Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Chicago Marathon Training: Week 7

Thursday marked my first day of training with no work obligations interfering with my schedule. It was another good week with reasonably solid training and few aches and pains. My last day of school was on Wednesday, so I celebrated on Thursday by running six miles through Lebanon Hills Regional Park.

I'm really digging the time off of work, and will be using a good chunk of it trying to get ahead on strength training. I'm hopeful that if I can get all my stabilizing muscles nice and strong, I will finally be able to ramp up my mileage closer to where I want it.

My week ended with a trip down to my parents' place in Norfolk, Nebraska. My mom, sister, Laura, and I all ran in the Laugh-and-a-Half races on Saturday morning. My mom and Sarah did the 5k, Laura did the 1/2 marathon, and I ran the 10k. It was pretty fun running with my family, especially in the town where I went to high school.

I'll get into more detail on the 10k in my race report, but I will say that it let me know I've got a ways to go in my training. I had thought about racing the 1/2 marathon, but I know that my lack of mileage would keep me from running anywhere near a time I would be happy with. I thought I might be able to do better in a 10k, but that was not the case. I couldn't come anywhere near my 10k PR pace, and the pace I ran at (slower than my 1/2 marathon PR pace), was still difficult.

Though it was a tough race, I did manage to finish at a somewhat strong pace and without collapsing. I was also able to get a few miles in afterward to turn Saturday into my sort of long run day.

Sunday my legs were feeling pretty sore, but I enjoyed a nice jog around Skyview Lake. It was clear, sunny, and breezy and cool--a great way to end my seventh week of Chicago Marathon training.

Happy Running!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Chicago Marathon Training: Week 6

This was the fastest week of training for Chicago yet. Our young adult group met at our church's sand volleyball court last Tuesday night, my report cards were due the next day, and our all school field day that I helped plan and run was yesterday!

So, my fastest week of training went by quickly in the relative sense. I didn't run any faster than normal, and didn't get quite as many miles in due to all my other time commitments. I am, however, still enjoying my training and have had a lot of enjoyable runs and bike rides.

My favorite run this week was on Sunday morning. Laura and I spent Friday night and most of Saturday at the summer camp where we met, Camp Omega. I was hoping to get a run in on Saturday morning, but was awaken to the sound of pouring rain and thunder. Sunday morning, however, we were in Rochester to celebrate an early father's day and the birthdays of grandpapa and my brother-in-law, Joe.

Before the party, I got up, did a little more work on field day, and set out on a two hour run. About four miles in, I encountered a family of three investigated a snapping turtle that had planted itself in the center of the Cascade Trail. I chatted with them for a bit, and then the dad said, "Let's see if we can get it to move." He began to roll his stroller towards the eighteen-inch long turtle.

Visions of the turtle using its powerful jaws and sharp beak to snap the jogging stroller's front tire asunder popped into my mind's eye. "Careful," I said, "it will snap your tire." A look of surprise formed on the father's face as he thought better of, "getting the turtle to move." He reversed the stroller's direction, potentially diverted a blown out stroller tire.

A little down the road I encountered a runner walking on the trail. We exchanged pleasantries, and since I was ready for my walk break, I joined him for a bit as he talked to me about the Chicago Marathon, his career as a Marine and Delta pilot, and his joint problems as a result of ejecting from a fighter jet during the first Gulf War. At 65 years old, he was still going strong, running marathons in under four hours.

Though I put in the least of amount of time running and biking this week--about four hours--I still felt good about my week of training. I've been keeping up with my core workouts, have been sleeping better, and am still enjoying training for Team World Vision. On almost every run I think about those without clean water, and this thought helps me put my minor setbacks into perspective.

My school year is over on Wednesday, at which point I'll dedicate more time to running, biking, and strength training.

Once again, if you feel so inclined, consider making a donation to World Vision. Visit my fundraising page and consider a donation in any amount.

Happy Running!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Chicago Marathon Training - Week 5

Another week down in the Chicago Marathon training and Team World Vision Fundraising. This week I spent a little over six hours biking and running. I also managed to squeeze in three decent strength and core workouts. Although I only have eight school days left, there are still a myriad of things to get done before the school year ends.

My favorite workout this week was a trip to Lake Calhoun with Laura. One of our favorite summer pastimes is driving to Minneapolis to run around the chain of lakes. We got a little bit of a late start, and by the time we got there it was almost 80 degrees.

Traditional preparations for a long run at the chain of lakes
We had an enjoyable run, despite the heat. We ran together for a bit, then parted ways to run our separate distances and paces. It was a great way to spend the day before our seventh wedding anniversary.

I'm down to eight school days left, and am looking forward to have a little more time to spend training. I know this last week-and-a-half of school is going to go by quick--I just hope the kids don't tear the place down before then.

Feel free to check out my Team World Vision fundraising page. I still have four months to raise about $800. A donation in any amount is appreciated.

Happy Running!