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Green Bay Half
by on Sunday, May 19, 2013

To say the very least this was a stressful week.

Warning This race report contains a lot of grammar mistakes but i am tired and am poorly educated.

Sunday Night- Little ones came down with horrible cold
Monday Morning- Husband cut of part of finger at work....in Missouri
Monday Afternoon- Took daughter to ortho for possible Stress Fracture- got the yellow light for her to continue track
Tuesday very early a.m.- Husband returned from Missouri and discovery that maimed finger makes husband very crabby

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Race report: Run the Bay 5K
by on Sunday, May 19, 2013

The story of this race actually starts 8 days pre-race. On the Friday of the week before the race, I hit the training wall a little earlier and harder than intended. As a result, I started my cutback/taper week 3 days earlier than planned and cut back more than originally planned. I also put plans to run the race on hold. I'd only run the race if I felt like I was recovering well enough to race well and to do so without compromising my next phase of training.

Fortunately, after 3 very easy days of training, I came back fairly well on Monday and Tuesday. A workout Tuesday left me a little more drained than it should have but I hit good splits on the workout and a few more very easy days left me ready to race...or so I hoped. So off to the races I go. I made a few comments to people about seeing what my cranky legs would allow me to do, which is really how I felt. My legs were being cranky for a little over a week. Would they treat me well or make me regret the decision to race?

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Slow, but consistent.
by on Friday, May 17, 2013

In a couple of days it will be 3 years since I last had a day without a run. I wasn't planning that; it just happened. For the past 15 years I've been nothing but consistent. Usually missing a few days a year, often going 16 or 18 months between days off.

This streak owes more to the fact that I switched my weekday runs to the early morning than to any other factor (perhaps luck, life hasn't gotten in the way either). Little stops me from going for a workout at 5 or 6 in the morning!

At 55 I've come to accept that my PB's are in the past. Yet, I step out the door every morning, without racing goals, able to enjoy the act of running for its own sake. It took a long time to accept that! I struggled as I slowed; thought of giving up on the sport.

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Minimalist shoes and the boom/bust cycle
by on Thursday, May 16, 2013

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Earlier this week, it was reported sales of minimalist shoes "plummetted" by more than 10% in the first quarter of 2013. It's being reported that the "fad" is over. People are realizing that minimalist shoes are getting them injured and going back to stability and support shoes. So is this really what's happening?

I'd argue that, in a way, this is what's happening but it's more complex than just that. As with many things (low fat diets followed by low carb diets, for example) the pendulum swung. Through the 1990s and early 2000s, the attitude toward shoes was the bigger the better. Those of us who didn't want a whole lot of foam and rubber between our feet and the ground were forced to choose from an ever-decreasing list of choices. Eventually, we were down to a handful of "lightweight trainers" or racing flats.

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A full week and a 5k!
by on Saturday, May 4, 2013

My week does not end until Sunday but I already got all my workouts in for the week and with a 8 or 10 mile easy run tomorrow I will be up over 60 miles for the week.

I had a good tempo run on Monday, a fast finish 15 miler in 80 degree temps on Wednesday, and a race on Saturday. The 5k was a last minute decision. It was one of those little town races that are more of a charity walk anyway. The course was flat and traffic free and it's only drawback was about 13 turns which is a tad bit excessive for a 5k. It ended up to be an almost solo effort with the 1st place man almost a minute ahead of me and the 2nd place man over a minute behind me. The 1st half I felt great and was wondering if I would accomplish great things. I cannot say I felt bad the second half but a tad bit unmotivated to push to the limit. I have this fear that I will crash and burn and that fear can hold me back from really taking off. This is a good fear to have in a half marathon but not a good fear during a 5k. I also misjudged how many blocks I had left near the end due to all the turns and ended up closer to the finish line than I wanted to be before starting to kick. But anyway I finished in 19:06 which is an alright time for me for a 5k. I always prefer to be under 19 but as long as I am under 19:20 I am happy. My PR is 18:44 for 5k. I have ran this PR 3 different times over the past 5 years. I am quite optimistic that this will be the summer that I finally lower that PR. I have a fast 5k in June and another in July and I think that those will be very good places to attempt to push myself to the limit.

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The running community is amazing
by on Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I just had to drop a quick note on how great the running community is. I was out yesterday doing some half mile repeats. Late in repeat 6 of 8, a couple of runners were approaching me and I recognized one as Dan Held. As we approached each other, he began jumping and yelling at the top of his lungs "COME ON RYAN! COME ON MAN!" You'd think he was cheering for his own kid at the state championship track meet the way he was getting into it.

Here I am, just some average Joe doing repeats at a pace that is pedestrian by his standards and a guy who has run in World Championship races, who was 7th in the Olympic Trials my freshman year of college, is going ballistic cheering for me. Yes, the running community is amazing.

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The week that wasn't
by on Sunday, April 28, 2013

This week I planned to front load a 1000 meter interval workout and my long run, take Wednesday off, run easy with strides Thursday and Friday, and race the Crazy Legs Classic on Saturday, and then to take an easy day on Friday. Crazy Legs is a huge 8k with lots of great competition and I was hoping to get good insight into my current fitness. As my 1k repeats went great on Monday I was feeling very optimistic.

Of course God laughs when one plans anything (esp running) and my plan abruptly changed late Thursday night as I came down with a horrible stomach virus that made me wish for death numerous times between bedtime and sunrise. I only seem to get stomach viruses every few years right before races. Friday was not a whole lot better as the most I managed all day was to get out of bed to clean and disinfect my laundry basket. It is hard to be sick when you are Mom and esp when Daddy is away but my own Mom did come to take my littlest one to the farm as he had the day off from school.

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Clues & Lessons (race recap)
by on Sunday, April 28, 2013

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Yesterday, I donned my BTC racing kit for the first time -- first race this year and first race since October '12 -- for the Boulder Distance Classic 5K. Overall, training had seemed to be going well, though it had admittedly been diminished the past few weeks. Regardless, I was excited to finally get to race and the weather was getting really nice. My race execution was what I had planned: get out to an aggressive start and cruise through the first mile, pick it up for the second mile, and then push hard in the third mile. However, that plan left me with a finish that was not at all satisfactory, even given the slow nature of the race course: 35th overall in 18:57. I laid it all out there, showed up and ran the best I could on the day. I make no excuses, yet I am wondering about what reasons might be holding me back from racing faster. First would be the aforementioned flimsiness of my recent training. The structure itself is sound, it could just use more volume, which I will be correcting. I am also reminded of the ancillary strength training I have not yet implemented. Aside from those details, I have been feeling significantly low in energy lately (including the morning of the race) and in reading a NYT article today that mentioned symptoms of sleep disorder it occurred to me to start being more disciplined in getting sleep. The other possibility (which lack of sleep would lead to) is adrenal fatigue, so I will also be cutting out coffee and alcohol for the next few weeks to see how that helps. The good news is that I am confident in both pinpointing clear issues and knowing steps to take to work on eradicating them. It was also good to be around the team at a race, there was a really good group energy there to keep my mind off my disappointment. The great news is that two guys I coach had really good races, plus I now have photos of me racing in my new club uni!

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Race report - Deer Run - 5K
by on Saturday, April 27, 2013

My reports are not nearly as good as Ryan's are but here goes.

I made sure to get to the race early - I like being very early so I can be relaxed. After getting my race packet I went back to my car and ditched my warmer clothing. The weather was very nice and the winds very light - I was happy with the weather conditions. I pinned my bib on (glad I brought my own pins as they only provided two) and the turned on my Garmin to go for a 2 mile warm-up run.

I ran at about an 8-8:15 minute per mile pace for the warm up and was sure to run the final half mile of the race to end my warm-up. I noticed they were setting up timing pads at the start/ finish line and I checked my bib. There was no chip! I went to the check-in area and they directed me to a spot behind day-of registration where they were handing out the timing chips. (I wish he told me that when he gave me my packet at check-in.)

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Effects of sports drinks in mid-distance road racing
by on Wednesday, April 24, 2013

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For terms of this post, I'm considering anything 90 minutes and under to be a "mid-distance" race. For most of us, that would be somewhere between 15K and half marathon at the upper limit.

This is something I've often wondered about. We know our bodies can store enough glycogen for about 90 minutes of running so how useful are sports drinks in a race of less than 90 minutes? Your body already has enough fuel on board, does it really help to top off the tank?

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