Monday, May 18, 2009

So, last fall I ran two Half marathons in the span of two weeks (Oct. 18 and Nov. 1). My time for the second was 45 seconds slower than my time for the first -- 4 seconds per mile slower. My combined time for the two was 3:21:16. At the time, I was averaging about 30-35 miles per week training.

So, I decided to attempt the same again this spring, on my road to eventually running a full Marathon. I ran "The Mini" in under 1:36 (about 5 minutes better than last fall), so clearly I had improved at least a little over the winter. However, the biggest difference has been since Samuel was born in March, I have only been averaging 15-20 miles per week. Doesn't sound like a big difference, but apparently it makes a big difference in how one's body is able to recover from a half marathon race. I ran my second Half marathon this weekend, the Geist Half Marathon ("race around the resevoir" -- although we could only see glimpes of the resevoir every few miles, most of the view was of the mcMansions near it) -- and it took me 1:50. That's more than a minute slower than two weeks ago, and a combined time of 3:25:52 -- so despite running the "The Mini" in Personal Best, I ran the Geist Half in my second-worst-half-marathon-time-ever.

And it was brutal.

The course was definitely more hilly than most others I have run, but I am pretty sure that my poor time was due more to not being fully recovered from the previous race than from the course conditions. The Indianapolis Half at Fort Harrison had similar hills, and I did that one in about 1:40. I ran the first 5K in just under 21 minutes -- on pace to do better than two weeks ago, but I could already feel my body telling me it couldn't keep this pace up. So I slowed down a little -- I ran the next couple miles at about 7:30 each, then somewhere shortly after the Five mile marker, I Hit The Wall. My body stopped running, despite my best efforts to keep it going. I walked for about the next half mile or so, took it easy at the next water station, until I could just barely see the Six mile marker in the distance. I forced myself back to a jog. I struggled to keep my pace in the low 8's for the next few miles -- slowing way down at each water station, but trying to get under 8 between stations, then had to walk again somewhere between mile Nine and mile Ten. As I approach mile Ten, I forced myself back to a run, but stopped paying attention to my pace. For the last three miles, I just forced myself to keep running, trying to go as "fast" as I could, just trying not to stop and walk anymore -- and it Hurt pretty much every step. My official finish time was 1:50:12 -- an average pace of 8:25. Most of the time, I really enjoy running -- but I think the last half of that race is the first time I can definitely say I was Not having fun.

I guess I need to make sure my weekly mileage is up to grade before trying to multiple long races so close together again -- Ugh!

Playing House

Friday, May 8, 2009

updated 04.Aug.2010: New floor plan design supercedes this one.

Another step towards building our dream home -
We finally "completed" our pipe dream floor plan. I think we've spend about four months working on this, making sure it meets all of our Wants, and makes the best use of the lot (the lot is 132 feet wide). See bottom of the post for the floor plans and link to the pdf being used for bid requests. Here is a rendering of the exterior:

Yes, it's quite possible that after this gets turned into blueprints and we get a true cost estimate that it will be beyond our budget range, but we're starting with our dream and will pare down if necessary. We are hoping that between being our own general contractor, and doing some of the actual labor ourselves, we might get the cost into our range -- but only research and bids will tell us for sure.

Beginning today, I am sending this to multiple firms for bids on design and framing packages.

If anyone is interested, this pdf contains the full floor plan and elevations that I am sending out for bid -- in fact, if any other vendors happen to see this post and wish to bid on the design, engineering, and framing package, your bid will be given due consideration.

Main Floor
Second Floor
Full Plans and Elevations Here

Two Strikes

Monday, May 4, 2009

So, I had three goals for my running for 2009:

1) Qualify for "Corral A" seeding for the 500 mini-marathon.
2) Be one of the top 500 finishers of the 500 mini-marathon.
3) Qualify for the Boston Marathon.

While I turned in multiple race times that qualified me for "Corral B", I was always a bit short of the top level. Strike One.

This Saturday, I completed the mini-marathon in 1:35:40 -- about 7 minutes shy of the 500th finisher. Strike Two.

I suppose I could blame it on the inconsistent weather at the beginning of the year, or having a newborn baby that plays havoc with sleep schedules, but the bottom line has been that for the past 6 months or so, my training has not been as strong or as intense as it had been last summer, and I have not improved as much as I had targeted.

Still, I know I should be pleased with the results. As many of you know, up until a couple of years ago, I was one the most Non-Athletic people you've ever met. As a kid, I was always the scrawny wimpy kid who got picked last for the kickball team. As my metabolism shifted in college, I became the fat guy who wouldn't even wander near the kickball team. I've gone from getting winded walking across the house to running 13.1 miles in under 96 minutes. This whole running-thing is still fairly new and exciting and I am improving by strides (pun intended). But, repeatedly falling "just shy" of my targeted goals is frustrating.

Before I switch my training into "full-marathon" mode, I will be running the Geist Half Marathon in less than two weeks. In order to qualify for Boston, I will need to run a full marathon in under 3:15 -- as a gauge to my progress, since I am running two half-marathons within a two week period, I am targeting a combined time from the two halves to be under that 3:15. Since I ran "the mini" in under 1:36, that means running the Geist Half in under 1:39.

Currently, my first scheduled 26.2-mile race is the Indianapolis Marathon in October. With my three month training plan, I would theoretically be ready to run my first Full in August or September -- unfortunately, Summer does not seem to have a wealth of Marathon opportunities, at least not in this part of country. There is one in mid-September in Dayton, but would require an overnight stay before the race, which raises the cost of participation considerably beyond the base entry fee.

Ran a two-mile "recovery run" this morning -- it was pretty brutal, nearly 19 minutes to complete those two miles, but I feel much better and looser than I did before the run. Hopefully I can be back to race condition in time for Geist.
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