Sunburst is done

It's done. Better than Lake Geneva, but warm and humid, which is not a good mix for me. (Okay, it was only mid-60s at the start. That's twenty to thirty degrees warmer than my optimum, and I haven't gotten used to warmer weather yet anyway.)

I haven't had time to really pore over the splits, but I held a fairly stable and decent pace until mile 18. Mile 19 was bad, and even though I got it together for the next few miles, I was really cramping and doing the run/walk routine for the last few miles. I still finished in style though, sprinting into Notre Dame stadium and racing down the field, fighting with another runner for a completely unremarkable place.


I'm in trouble

I'm in trouble. Really. That's the short of it. And here's the reason:

I went for a short run today. I didn't plan on going fast; I figured that I would do an east 3 miles or so, and take about 25-26 minutes at least, and really, I planned on holding it down so that it would take me almost 30. After all, it was hot, sunny, and I had spent several hours at a park already, chasing after DS on his bike, and 3 of his friends. Plus pushing them all on swings, teeter-tottering, climbing up ladders, going down slides, and so forth.

And, it felt fairly easy. But it was fast. Too fast. I'm talking like under 22 minutes.


So much for taking it easy.

I didn't hurt myself or anything. But it's not a sustainable pace for a marathon. Not yet, at least for me. So, all my other runs for the week (such as they are, with the Sunburst marathon on Saturday) have to be on the hamster pad, at a set speed, just so I can remind the legs of the pace they are supposed to hold. I have no desire to crash and burn on this race - if nothing else, because I have to drive back home afterwards.

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He will be Myth-ed

Robert Asprin, author of the Myth series, Phule's Company, Cold Cash War, editor of Thieves World, and a whole bunch of other stuff, died. He was one of my favorite authors, and the Myth series never failed to delight me, no matter how bad the puns were.

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Allergic to WiFi?

Now I've heard everything.

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Happy delivery

The son has been a little train-obsessed for a while. Well, about 2 years, but anyway. . . earlier today, outside our door, the USPS dropped off a package. A long, wide, flat package. One which, when we opened it, held his first train set.

We've been telling him for a while that he would get one, and he knew it was coming, so it wasn't some huge, Christmas-level surprise, but he was bouncing off the walls when he saw it. It's an older set, so none of that fancy EZ-Track or anything, but it's (1) similar to the first set I had when I was a kid; and (2) inexpensive. I've told him that anything he breaks beyond my ability to repair does not get replaced, so if he trashes the engine, he's out of luck. But so far, in 30 minutes of play, he's been very careful with it.

We'll see if I am still saying the same thing next week.


A running update

Ya know, I haven't talked about running lately, which is odd, since for a while, almost every post involved running in some way, shape or form. So, here's an update (though my sidebar is still waaay out of date. I should fix that.)

Saturday - I went running with the Y group. Most are training for either the 5k or 10k race in June (Cereal City Classic), but a couple of us are year-round runners. (For what it's worth, I will be running the 10k. It's two weeks after Sunburst, so I am not expecting it to be too quick.) Since most of the runners are some variant of "Couch to 5k in 10 weeks", I wind up being counted among the fast runners. Anyway, I wound up doing the long 7-mile route (there are two routes - one slightly less than 7 miles, one slightly more - hence the short 7 and long 7), and the guy I was running with kept talking about how he's been told that I am the one to stick with, about how fast I am, etc.

The bad part is that I kept telling him, "Dude, your 5k time is better than mine by 2 minutes or something. Just get the miles in, and I'll be working to keep up with you." It's probably true, too.

Yesterday, I went out for a quick, just over 5 mile run, along a new route. First, you need to understand that, where I live, we don't have sidewalks. Seriously. Along a couple of my routes, I have the option of running in the road, on the gravel-and-litter studded shoulder, or through the tick-infested underbrush. I generally opt for the shoulder (which has a pretty decent "sharp litter to tick" ratio), but sometimes, the choice is made for me. Like, when some idiot in a behemoth of an SUV decides that flooring the gas and swerving towards the shoulder is "funny." Oh well - adrenaline must have done some good, since I was able to run fairly consistent splits, with a total time of 37:03 for 5.3 miles! Woohoo for post-marathon legs - that's close to race pace, but it certainly didn't feel like it.



Oh yeah, like that's needed.

The other day, I purchased a tree pruner from a large chain hardware store. Now, this thing is (when not telescoped) better than 7 feet tall. It's bright orange-red, and, frankly, rather awkward to carry if you are carrying anything else. And, by the way, watch how you take corners, because one slip, and it's good-bye lightbulbs, hello HAZMAT team.

And yet, this thing (unlike the new blower or weed whacker I got as well) had to pass over the scanner which deactivates an anti-shoplifting device! Really now. . . the only way this modified, 21st century pole-arm is being smuggled out of the store is hidden in something like a roll of carpet. Of course, you'd have to unroll the carpet first, then wrap the pruner up in it. That strikes me as a bit inconspicuous, but what do I know?

(And, for the record - in any post-apocalyptic scenario, I'm heading for a hardware store. Propane tanks, 2000 degree torches, poleaxes and machetes. Plus, of course, chainsaws.)

Oh yeah - I also went running today, for the first time since the marathon. That actually deserves it's own, non-blade-related, post.

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Lake Geneva Marathon

Ouch. Ouch. Ouch.

OKay, the good, the bad and the ugly are in, and I can start writing a reasonably coherent report. (Hey, the blog is Random Brain Dribbles, not "Deliberated Thought" or something like that. You get what you paid for here.)

The Bad
I finished. Technically, it was a huge improvement over my last marathon (Disney in January), but then again, this time it wasn't 100% humidity at the start, nor was I wearing a hydration pack, and, oh yeah, it wasn't my third race in three days.

My official finish time was 4:05:34. That doesn't sound too shabby, until we get to

The Ugly

Let's look at some splits, shall we?

Mile 1: 8:14
Mile 2: 7:37
Mile 3: 8:00
Mile 4: 7:51
Mile 5: 8:03
Mile 6: 7:57
Mile 7: 8:50
Mile 8: 8:02
Mile 9: 8:10
Mile 10: 8:23
Mile 11: 8:19
Mile 12: 8:14
Mile 13: 8:42
Mile 14: 8:35
Mile 15: 8:06
Mile 16: 9:16
Mile 17: 10:01
Mile 18: 9:14
Mile 19: 10:34
Mile 20: 11:27
Mile 21: 12:55
Mile 22: 12:03
Mile 23: 12:49
Mile 24: 9:31
Mile 25: 12:18
Mile 26: 10:19
The final .2: 2:04

I think it's pretty obvious where the wheels started to come off, looking at the splits. It actually happened a bit earlier than that, however. See, about mile 15-16, there is The Hill. And yes, it deserves the capital letters. It's long, it's nasty, and it just goes on and on. And it is preceded by it's little brothers, and the big brothers come along after it.

Now, in all fairness, you are warned about this in advance. It just didn't really sink in until you keep going up, and up, and up, and then down, and up, then down, then up, then down, and so forth, for mile after mile after mile.

I eventually wound up going to a run/walk routine, and having to take stops to stretch and try to get my quads and calves into some sort of co-operation.

The Good
(No, they aren't in order. Who cares?)

The course is beautiful, aside from the stretch where you run alongside (and I mean, alongside, as in, on the shoulder) of a highway. The crowd support is pretty slim, but there were a lot of informal aid stations set up by some local residents. (I had one couple offer me ibuprofen or Tylenol told them end - I declined, but I did ask about the availability of beer.)

I ran this on almost no training - my "long runs" were pretty much 12-13 miles long. (In my defense, I found out how short those trails were when it was too late to make up for it.) I was sore that evening, but not too much, and, despite the hills, I could tackle stairs the next day without more than a slight grimace.

It still counts for Wisconsin, and, if nothing else, I should (hopefully) do a bit better at Sunburst at the end of the month. After all, that one is flatter.


Race report

I'd like to give one for Saturday. Honest, I would. But, I installed Sporttracks on my computer, and now Garmin's Training Center can no longer communicate with my Garmie, and I want my mile splits before I give the gruesome details of exactly how the wheels came off during the race.

But, it is done, and Wisconsin is now crossed off the list.


I was only kidding.. . .

A couple of days ago, I was talking with our babysitter, and for some reason, we were discussing how to get rid of weeds. I joked that I wasn't going to mess around with any sort of harsh chemicals or truly toxic herbicides this year. No, I swore that this summer, I was just going to fire up an acetylene torch and burn those things out of existence.

(Disclaimer - some people don't consider a patch of violets to be weeds. Normally, I wouldn't either, but since the local deer population apparently needs a violet-scented restroom, I want to take action to avoid doing the deer-dropping two-step every time I mow the back yard.)

Anyway, I was only kidding. Better living through chemistry, and really, why not use an herbicide so powerful that nearby plants wilt when you open the container? But, lo and behold, I see that this is available.

2000 degrees of propane-powered incineration at my fingertips. What could possibly go wrong?

This seems suitably random

The Running Jayhawk wrote a post about something called Million Blog list. So, I added my name, at #1359. It's been running since April 10, but my guess is that it is going to grow in an exponential, rather than a true linear fashion, so it probably won't take too terribly long to hit a million blogs.

Not that I am going to tie myself down to a WAG "estimate", however.


Race report - Lakeview 10k

So, on a whim earlier this week, I signed up for a 10k race today. Just another sign of taper madness (Lake Geneva is only 6 days away now!), but I figured that I wasn't going to run more than 6 or 8 miles anyway, so I might as well get a T-shirt.

It was a pretty late start (8:30), and DW decided last night that she could take DD and DS in the jogging stroller, and do the (untimed) 1 mile fun run. That way, she could take a couple pics of me at the finish line. So, this morning, she woke up the kids (while I got ready), and then while they were still eating, I left in car #1, and they would follow in car #2. (The fun run had a later start, and this way, if something happened, she and the kids could leave early.)

There's not much to say about the course. It's moderately flat, with a couple notable hills. I ran essentially the same course last year, but in the other direction. I prefer the original version, because while you have a hill to climb almost immediately, you then get a nice, gradual downhill that lasts almost .5 miles. Today, you ran up that slow, gradual, quad-killer of a hill, in exchange for a short burst down the other side toward the finish.

The big problem I had was that my legs kept wanting to race, and my head kept saying "No. Yes, it's only a 10k, but you do something stupid now, and you have no time to heal or fully recover before next week. Dial it down a bit." My pace was relatively consistent (7:05, +/- 10 seconds or so), but it was faster than I originally planned.

Now, keep in mind that this is a small race, with only 30-odd people running it today. (The 5k had 60 or 70 though, so I think this will keep going in the future. I'd have liked to seen another 60 or 80 runners between the two races though.) Anyway, for most of the race, I was in 4th place (which, frankly, would never happen in a larger race). I ended up 6th overall - I kept calling to the two behind me to come catch up, and tried very hard not to keep up with them. I probably could have - they finished only about 5-20 seconds ahead of me, so a good kick going up that final hill would have brought them close enough to fight it out toward the finish, but it wasn't worth it.

I picked up an age award (#2), and had a good time. Hopefully, the good feeling from today will get me through some of the miles next weekend, because that one is going to be much, much harder.