(that's 'the info' for those not in the know) For August, I need to post my run totals. There are no bike totals to post, because, other than riding my bikes to the back yard to wash them, and ride 'em back to the garage, that's it, got nothing for ya, no rides! So here we go:
The longest run for August was just over 15 miles, I did it in 2h 17m at a 9:07 pace, which is about the slowest I want to run for the marathon. Oh, it rained for that entire run too, poured at times, so much that I had to stop home before the start of the 2nd loop to put on a fresh, dry coat. Overall, the month of August was my first EVER entire running month, where I concentrated on nothing else but running. And I would say the month was fairly satisfying, maybe a B+, if I had to grade it. 9 days out of 31 where I did not run, 22 runs logged. I could have run a few more days, skipped a few rest days, but I wanted to make sure I don't push it and wind up with an injury that blows up my marathon chances. Err on the side of a little more rest, easy does it for this 1st Mary.
Today was my 1st run of Sept, after taking the last 2 days off. I intended on only one rest day out of these past two, but circumstances (read: work) shot Sept 1st down, and I knew I'd be doing a longer run today, so I said "what the heck" and took lat night off too. Today's run was a decent run, just under 11 miles in 1h 35m, doing it at a 8:48 pace and feeling pretty good afterwards. I could have run further, but it was getting late, dinner was getting close and I had to run more errands, plus take the kids out for a bike ride after dinner. My goal for Sept is to log about as many miles as I did in August, maybe a few more, and build up to at least 2-3 longer runs yet, at least one 15+ miler, one 17 miler and a long 20 miler, the real test run. This is before starting to taper down on or about Sept 26th-27th. I am leaning towards two full rest days before the Marathon, and the 3rd day before, it will be an easy, short run, maybe only a 5k at a jog, just to loosen up the legs a bit. These two rest days before today's run made my legs feel nice, rested and fresh.
So, I'm feeling pretty good in these last 4 weeks leading up to the marathon. I was reading one of my race mags today, there was an article on the importance of the mind/body connection, and the real importance of mental preparation for a race or major goal; the author said something I found interesting, and also I realized it was dead on to my own attitudes about lining up for a major race or some big event. She wrote, "I like to think of a race as the celebration of all the hard training that goes into it. It is time to enjoy the fruits of your labor". I think this was my attitude in heading out for the FLETC ride, and for many of the shorter run races I've done in the past year. I never felt pressured, never felt uneasy about how I'd do, I just thought, "Man, this is fun, lining up with friends and racing together, at our age", and my results were better than I thought they'd be, more often than not. That is exactly how I'm approaching the marathon-it should be a blast lining up and waiting to start that long journey, even going up to the Expo to pick up our race packs the night before and to head out for dinner with our good friends who are running the Mary. It will be one of the 'Life List' things I'm talking about with our friends, it's one of those things we just have to do at least once, before we get too old...
Speaking of that, I just sent out an email to a bunch of the guys and gals I run and ride with, after I saw the latest addition to my 'must do at least once before I die' list; The Leadville 100. I saw a short video clip on FaceBook today, Lance Armstrong posted it (yeah I know, all the LA hype, some people are always critical, saying LA this, LA that, he wants the publicity, he will run for public office, etc. But I think he draws the right kind of attention to bicycle riding, racing and even marathon and triathlon now, as well as Livestrong. And, what can you say about this last one?) for an upcoming documentary entitled "Race Across the Sky", coming out in Oct '09. This looks like an AWESOME event to race in the near future; I know, my friends were probably like, "Oh, boy Hav has blown another gasket on this one. The last one was L'etape de Tour in France, the Door County 50 miler before that...."
But seriously, these are things that I feel are worthy of making my personal goals to do in life, like one of my dreams for as long as I can remember since riding my bikes, to mountain bike on Vancouver Island. A little history, since I'm rambling now. I had started my infamous riding life like many kids, on a BMX that was stolen from my front yard, not too far from where I live now when I was living in the 1st house my dad built. So, I went up to a Schwinn World Sport multi speed, had one of those stolen too (it's a Racine WI thing, crime stats off the chart!) and got another Schwinn until I got run over by some guy in his big Cadillac. The Cad man did stop at the crash scene, and he even gave me a telephone # so I could call him about paying up to get my bike fixed (not to mention, my bloody legs and arms). Yeah, he gave me a bogus #, and I did not even think to write down his license plate # (youthful optimism...or naive).
So, I quit road biking for a few years and got into the MTB scene, big time, jumped in with both feet. We used to ride at Kettle Morraine Southern Unit, near Eagle WI, where they have some very nice MTB trails, with lots and lots of hills. We also road Petrifying Springs and UW Parkside trails in Kenosha WI as well. So I racked up several thousand miles on my trusty Trek 820 MTB, which I still have, by the way (it's hanging in my garage as I type, complete with street slicks for pulling the kids in the Burley, when they used to fit in the Burley that is!). My girlfriend (now wife) even got the MTB bug, as did her dad and her brother, so we all used to go tear it up on the trails, along with a bunch of my friends, having a blast, coming home covered in mud when it rained, drinking some beers right on the trail along the way!
So, then I started having low back problems, and the docs told me, "No more MTB riding", so I listened, and got back into road biking again. Well, the docs told me I'd never run again too, and here I am, 30 days out from my 1st Marathon! And almost 9,000 miles later on my road bikes since 3.16.06, when I started my '2nd' road bike life. I guess I think my back will hold up to the trail rides and MTB, which gets me back to the Leadville Trail 100 race, before my topic derailment. Pencil the Leadville 100 in on the 'must do before I die' list...and I think I'm adding cyclocross racing to that list as well...I've been watching some CX races the past few years, yeah, got to try it. Something about running and riding a bike in the mud, I guess, it looks like a blast! Maybe not this fall, the season starts very soon now, and I don't have a CX bike, and there is NO way my wife is letting me buy another bike right now-she told me to 'liquidate' some of my other toys, like the Harley, the jet ski, what else can you sell, she asked??
I did ride my bike after all, after swapping out rear wheels (my Trek had a flat, with some large chunk of metal stuck into the tire). I went around the pond tonight with my 4 year old, who was pedaling along on her bigger purple Trek, while my wife walked with my 7 year old. I miss riding, and can't wait to get back on the bike soon. But it won't be much until after Oct 4th, that much I do know.
Quick off-topic: Beck and I went to see Five for Fighting (John Ondrasik) in Chicago last Friday at the Lincoln Park Zoo, for an outdoor show. Wow, awesome times at the zoo, and what a performer Mr Ondrasik is. The zoo has free admission, so we will be bringing the kids back there to see the no cage/no glass lion and tiger pens, as well as all the cool attractions. I posted a video clip from the show on FB, I will see if blogger will let me load it here too. The video is not the best, was shot in the dark from 150 feet from the stage, but the audio is pretty good. Here is a pic of the stage, at least (video, not so much on the loading!):
The lion pit:
And, we had a birthday party for our four year old bike riding star! She upgraded bikes in under two weeks!!
Me and my birthday girl:
My oldest, riding with her pet dog stuffed in her sweatshirt!
Buds, at least for the moment!