Sunday, October 21, 2012

RnR St. Louis Half Marathon 2012

Today I ran the Rock n Roll St. Louis half marathon. I signed up for this way back on 11/11/11 when the entry fee was relatively cheap. My running volume has been pretty good the last couple of months, at the expense of swimming and cycling, so I figured I could PR given good weather. The only problem was mental. I've had some changes at work that have increased my stress level and responsibility as well as decreased my free time substantially. Not good for racing. On top of that, I really don't like the stress of racing nor racing alone. I also didn't do myself any favors having a cookout last night and having a few cocktails. Oh well, I put on my big boy panties, sucked it up, and toed the line anyway :-).

Last night I feel asleep on the couch watching baseball, woke up at 3 am and ate breakfast, then went back to bed until 5 am to start my day. At that point I still wasn't sure if I was going to have fun by high fiving people, taking my time, and walking when I felt like it or go for a PR and suck it up even when things hurt. I got to the race site about 6:15, looked for some friends and didn't find them. I headed to corral 2 out of something like 16, took a Gu, drank some water and just hung out and stretched my IT bands. The weather was a brisk 55 degrees and since I chill easily, I brought a couple of those chemical hand warmers. They were wonderful! Note to self: bring spares. A woman standing next to me was shivering uncontrollably so I gave her one of my two hand warmers. She looked at me like I was a creep, but took it and used it :-).

The race started and I just started running with 16 plus thousand of my closest friends. I don't have a Garmin and had no idea what my pace was and just tried to stay comfortable. Mile one was ~8:20 and I was feeling decent so tried to keep about the same pace. Mile 2 and 3 were about the same, fast for me! but still feeling good. I did the first 5k in 25:40 and was feeling good. Next 5k was in 25:25 and I was stilling feeling good, but starting to get a bit fatigued. I knew I could PR at this point, knew it was going to hurt and decided to try to hang on. My pace started slowing a little on the stretch heading to the 10 mile marker, but I was holding it together. I was working hard enough that I decided to skip taking a GU at the one hour mark, wasn't sure it would stay down. I did take a salt packet instead. I know, nothing new on race day, but it sounded good at the time. I did take a couple sips of water at each aid station too. The last 5k was rough. My glutes were aching, I was breathing hard, my legs just ached, but I sucked it up and kept going. Trying to do math in my head, I knew I had my goal in hand (<1:55) and maybe my A goal (<1:50). Two miles to go and I was struggling. One mile to go and my left calf , hamstring, and glute were starting to cramp. I'm sure my form went to hell at that point, it was pure mental effort to PR for sure. Somehow I kept going, trying to smile for all the people cheering random strangers like me on. Crossed the line with a five+ minute PR (1:49:49) and staggered a little. Got some water, Gatorade and a space blanket and started making my way the 10 blocks or so to my car.

I was at the race by myself and get really cold right after races, so I made a b line to my car. Would have been fun to stay and hang out if I had some warm clothes handy, oh well. On the way home I picked up one of my favorite breakfasts, McDonald's sausage burritos, hash browns and coffee :-). Once home, the cold set in and I was shaking, so a long hot shower was in order followed by the burritos, then a nice nap.

After a second nap and some grocery shopping, my race number took it's proper position on the garage wall then I had another cookout.

Grill 2 was lobster and scallops.

Grill 1 was salmon, prime rib and potatoes.


Have a great week!

Sunday, October 7, 2012


This time of year I always get a craving for squash. Here is a quick and easy method for making squash on the grill, but it can easily be done in the oven as well.

First, pick up the squash of your choice. Acorn squash and Butternut squash are two of my favorites.

Acorn squash

Butternut squash

Second, cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon.

Third, put some butter and brown sugar on each half and wrap in foil.

Fourth, grill on low/medium heat for 45 minutes to an hour.
Lastly, enjoy!

Oh, we had BBQ chicken to go with the squash in case you were wondering :-).

Have a great week everyone!

Monday, October 1, 2012

September Training

September was a running month, and I'm good with that. I'm still enjoying the simplicity of running and getting out 4-5 times per week. I don't have many 100 mile months so I was excited to see a total of 116. A quick check showed I've only been over 100 miles in a month once before and it was two years ago!

I follow people that run 2-3x that every month, but 100+ is good for me. If I could just add a few hundred bike miles and 20k yards of swimming, I would be all set :-).

As I mentioned in my last post, I bought a running belt that can hold my phone so now I can take pictures. I made it out for an 8.6 mile run Saturday. The leaves on a few trees are changing, but not many yet. Here are a couple pics.



So I'm starting to make plans for Patrick's 12 hour run next month so I decided to hit the trail this Sunday to see what I'll be up against. The trail is fairly technical with lots of roots. I tripped several times and fell hard twice. I need to learn to pick my feet up or I have no business being out there :-). Luckily I didn't fall on a root or break anything, but I am a little sore today. Whenever I fall, I try to remember to take a picture once I'm done cussing and checking for injuries. Here are a couple I took yesterday. Sorry if you follow me on instagram and have already seen these. Oh, I also bought a headlamp since the beginning of the run will be in the dark. Can't wait to try it out!

The first fall wasn't too bad, but it happened fast. One second I was running and the next I was looking straight up at the canopy.

The second happened just as fast and I went down hard! Jammed my shuffle into the ground and jammed a bunch of dirt into the on/off switch turning off my tunes. After turning it off and on a couple times, it started working again, phew!

When I came out of the woods, a couple mountain bikers were staring at me with my right side, shirt, shorts, knee, calf, etc covered with dirt. I responded with, "just completed some full contact running :-)".

On to October!