Monday, October 29, 2012

Skeleton Skamper 2012 Half-marathon Afterthoughts

I really didn't know what to think going into this race.  Having been since high school since I raced, I assumed it would be about the same.  I have watched races on TV and seen the start to them so I thought I would be okay.  I had read about corral and wave starts.  Perhaps this race didn't have enough people in it for them to bother with that.  It was a pretty easy start.  The logistics of the race were incredible.

Packet pickup was well organized, I was early so I had a lot of time to kill.  I ended up waiting in my car to catch a few winks, and about a half hour before the race I went on a quick warm-up run.

Skeleton Skamper Race Bib #1042.  Ironically enough, I had ordered from their advertiser the previous week.

Awesome glow-in-the-dark shirt that is too small for me (Accidentally ordered a Medium)
The organizations and families that volunteered for the water stations were great.  I expected to get missed at a few of them since I ran in small packs but I managed to get water at each station.  The immediate bottle of water and finisher medal was available right after I crossed the finish line.  This was extremely important to me since I recently read that some Chicago Marathon finishers had to wait for their medals, the thought of this was in the back of my mind and I'm glad it didn't happen!

I needed a few days to think about my feelings on my first official Half-Marathon.  I'll start by saying that I didn't do as well as I wanted, but I'm glad I did it and wouldn't change a thing.  I'm disappointed in the fact that I did what I said I wouldn't do on race day.

I got caught up in the beginning of the race go-getters and ran my first mile in 8:21, and the next 3 miles well under 9:00 minutes each.  When I was at the starting line I promised myself that if I felt good, I wouldn't focus on my pace by checking it every mile.  I didn't look at my GPS watch until about 4 miles in and that's when I realized I started way too fast.  I knew my 4 mile time should have been around 36:00 if I wanted to finish under 2 hours.  When I was 1:30 below that, I knew I was going to hit the wall near the 10 mile mark.  According the the pace chart, I hit the dreaded wall and slowed down a lot.

The course had far more hills than expected sine the site said it was a really flat course.  I'm glad they didn't have us run over any train tracks.

I stopped a few times to stretch my legs and eat some Gu Chomps energy gels.  Those helped, but I found the energy was short lived so I may have a bit to learn about that.

I'm pretty sure I'll be running this race every year as a celebration of my first half-marathon ever.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

It's Race Day!!

Gonna be racing today at the Skeleton Skamper in Racine Wisconsin. So much fun, expect a post a bit later with results and more info on how I thought the race was handled. So far, arrived around 6:45 to pick up my bib. I was the first one. Ate my banana and waited in my car with the heat on.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Plantar Issues

I was hoping this issue would shake itself out over time, but after my most recent run, it's flaming up again. My heel pain is the worst in the morning but gets better throughout the day to the point which I feel no pain at all while running. Of course this is making me a bit nervous since I have my half-marathon coming up on Saturday. Upon self-diagnosis I think it's Plantar Faciitis which I understand to be an inflamation of the connecting tendons of your heel. Wikipedia Link for more info. I could be wrong, it could just be irritation. I plan on running my half-marathon using smaller but quicker strides, hopefully placing less stress on the heels. Let me know what you guys think.

Monday, October 22, 2012

REGISTERED! - Chicago Rock & Roll Half-marathon

I've been watching the Rock & Roll Marathon Series website hoping that registration will be open the next time I check.  Well, I was reading my morning facebook feed and there was a post stating that the race registration was open AND if you register in the first 2 days, you'd get $20 off the fees!  Well, I couldn't pass this one up, no way no how.  I'm in.  The race is in July 2013.  I've seen these medals, I can't wait to get one!

View Race Information

Friday, October 19, 2012

Skeleton Skamper Half Marathon Initial Thoughts

As you may know already from previous posts, I'm planning on running the Real Racine Skeleton Skamper Half-Marathon.  I'm most excited about getting the medal and hopefully being able to set a PR for 13.1 miles.  I received a single medal in my lifetime, which was for my placement in the Shamrock Invitational in my sophomore year of high school.  That was about 12 years ago.

In effort to hit my 400 mile goal for the year I set out on a 10 mile run a few days ago and hit that goal.  I've heard of people training for a full marathon running a 20 miler around two weeks from their race date.  I took the same ratio and applied it to a half marathon with the exception of it being a few days closer to the race.  I also planed some shorter runs this week in planning for that race, probably a 6 and 3 mile run by Thursday.  I'm hoping for 9:05/mi, or just under 2 hours, to be my half-marathon pace.  I think with the race time adrenaline, a better night sleep and better meal planning will help me shave that 30 seconds off the pace per mile.  I'm not sure if this goal is a long shot, but I did run 13.1 in 2h 7m 28s earlier this year and that wasn't even a race.

I'm trying to cut out simple sugars and stick to normal meals, fruits and vegetables but I'm addicted to candy.  I occasionally have a soda, but snacking happens mostly on almonds.  The occasional cookie or two...or three.  The usual dinners include a veggie, entre and usually rice or potatoes.  We'll see how that works.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

48 Runs in 16 Weeks

Well, I've made a goal for myself to run 3 times per week throughout the Chicago winter. I may not run some weeks, and may run 5-6 days during other weeks depending on temperature, wind and precipitation. Current goal is to keep each run above 5 miles at a healthy pace (around 9min./mile). My reason for starting now is that my final run in this challenge will be just a day or two away from my birthday.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Tech Woes, iPhone GPS w/ Nike+ or Sport Watch

So for this entire year while running I have been using my iPhone along with the Nike+ Running app. That served me well for a bit but I tend to get a bit nervous running longer than 10 miles simply due to how much I sweat while running. I've also used Pandora or iTunes Match for music while I run. Not only does this zip through my cellular data but my battery takes a huge hit in the morning.

With longer runs, I've felt for the need to change the running technology that I use. Having used the Nike+ website for so much of my mileage/pace log, I didn't want to break away from that. I decided to buy the Nike+ SportWatch GPS with TomTom. I purchased it used on eBay since it was about $50 cheaper than buying a new one. I've used it for a few runs so far totaling about 12 miles. Since its been getting cold in Chicago, my runs have been shorter. I'm looking forward to a 10 mile run here pretty soon so we'll see how the watch holds up. So far I really like it.

Look for my post on comparing the watch vs. the app.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

First Post

So I've been mulling over the idea of training for the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge. Well, I've decided that I will train for it, I will run both races to the best of my ability.

I ran a small amount in 2011, and began picking it back up in March of 2012 by running once that month. Completed a mile in 12:40. From a bit of training this year, my fastest half marathon was 2:07:12 (9:43/mi). My goal for the Goofy Challenge is the half marathon under 2 hours, full marathon under 5 hours.

I learned a lesson about goal setting this year. When I signed up for the North Shore Turkey Trot 10k I told them my pace would be around 9:30/mi. What seemed to be a lofty goal when you ran a mile in 12:40 just a few days before. Well, I've recently run a 10k at 8:47/mi.

I'm not a fast runner, I enjoy it. Would love to form a community around folks chasing this dream.

Let me know in the responses below.
Take care,