Friday, August 31, 2007

This Is Another Run!

First of all, I ran 36 1/2 miles this week. I still have tomorrow to go for this week.

I thought that I would share yet another run with everyone. This park is 1 mile from the house. We run through another park to get there.

There two hills on the way. One minor one from the house to a park on the way, and a second one from that park to the new park. It is easier to run it to get there and more of an incline to run back.

This park is a Denver County Park. It is also the headquarters for Denver's Swat Team so it is pretty cool.

Around the park are placed exercise stations.

There is an extension office for Colorado State University in the park.

There is also a nine hole golf course. Think of it - You can run the park and do the exercise stations along the way; then you could play nine holes of golf! What a country!

I have no idea what the chimney was for. It just sticks up like a sore thumb now. There are communication antennas at the top. It is seperate from the building next to it...

This culvert is just off the golf course. If you click on the picture you will see some golf balls embedded in the cement. Always something here!

Ah ha! This recreational use area is actually a cleverly disquised flood control area. Hmmm...
Heading on the South side of the park back toward the street that takes me back home.
This is the extreme hill right off the park on the street headed for the house. You will feel this hill as you run it!
Finally, a tree in full bloom. Late summer and a beautiful bit of nature to enjoy!

This run is just short of 4 miles. If I run the Phedipp Worldwide half-marathon from home this is going to be one of my cloverleaf courses that I'll take.

Let me know what you think!

Talk about annoying videos from you-tube. Yes, my name is Charlie. But I am still very tired of this annoying video...
Charlie the Unicorn

Have a great labor day weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Catching Up On Some Things

I thought that I might catch up on some things.

First of all, Running - I ran 38 miles last week. Mostly sweet, comfortable, junk miles. It is ever so nice to finish a competition and then go into a rest mode. Nothing is quite as nice as a rest mode. I even ran 28.2 miles the week after my last competition.

So far this week, I have run 20 1/2 miles. As with all things, even a rest mode needs to stop so that you can train for the next competition. That being, The Phedippidations Worldwide Half-Marathon!

Personal Medical -
Other things can happen to a person in the meantime. My Doctor prescribed for me a colonoscopy. It is a preventative measure due to my being older than 50. It happens on the 11th @ 11:30 AM. The day before is a clear liquid diet day with a prescription laxative at 5:00 PM on the 10th and then again at 5:00 AM on the morning of the 11th. Now that you're all grossed out, let's move on!

Trail Shuttle Vehicle -
On Saturday August 18th, there was a problem with my trail shuttle vehicle. My good friend left the Mighty YJ running, in neutral, and he thought he set the e-brake. As it ended up, he didn't.

Here is what happened. We were taking a new trail - The Hidden Valley Road. With recent rains, the trail had been washing out. The road surface was gravel - soft and loose. The one main obstacle on the trail had to be taken. Although there was a go-around for the obstacle, it was blocked by a large pine tree that had fallen over. So, everyone had to take the main path and go over the obstacle.

The Mighty YJ has ARB lockers on the front and back axles. That means that the axles lock and both tires on the axle can spin at the same time and together (essentially "locking" them together). There were three vehicles on the trail that day. As we were locked, we drove it first. Then we turned around and faced the obstacle. This would allow us to winch the others up should they need it. As you can see above, our friend Ben did need to be winched over the obstacle. We pulled him up and over. We took the Mighty YJ back up to the top of the hill. My friend left it running, in neutral and thought that he set e-brake at that point.

I was still at the obstacle when I heard a rushing engine noise and a wooden sounding sudden stop. I thought to myself that someone on the trail today was in an awful hurry...

Then I realized that it was my ride home! I ran over to see what had happened. The Mighty YJ had rolled down the go-around and hit the tree blocking it. The Mighty YJ was buried deep in that tree. The Mighty YJ had moved that tree so that the go-around is no longer blocked. The 3rd vehicle in the group did drive the go-around!

Fortunately, all of the damage was done at hood height and above. It did take out the windshield and damaged the frame. There was some other damage but it was minor. No person was in the vehicle when it happened. Molly, my Australian Sheperd, was in the back. She got right out, seemed to be fine, and hopped right back in when it was time to go. This picture shows me cleaning up after the altercation.

We did drive it home. It took two weeks to repair the damage. We took it to the windshield shop yesterday and picked it up today.

Now it is ready for more trails. We are planning on taking it up to the mountains for a weekend of camping and trail running this weekend. Well, OK, not trail running for everyone but definitely for me. One trail that I want to run is Mount Antero. It becomes a single lane shelf road that climbs to 14,269 feet in elevation. The trail ends in a parking area at 13,800' and you get to walk the rest of the way. Look forward to pictures next week!

You can learn about it here - Mount Antero.

What is everyone else planning on doing this weekend?

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Where I Run (The River Run)

Susan had a great idea on her blog. She thought it would be great to exchange pictures of where we run.

I have a run course that follows a floodplane near the house. I knew that Tom would run today, so I grabbed the camera and went with him. He is the guy in some of the pictures.

How does the old saying go? The best laid plans of mice and men oft go astray, especially if you wanted pictures of the river run today (or something like that).

This is our river course. Of course, it rained last night. Pretty heavily in our area. Near the plaza is a nice, little pond with fountains (turned off and drained today). The path is cement but the underpasses were covered in muddy silt from last night's rain. The sky was also overcast and smoggy. Regardless, this is "The River Run" in pictures!

It is a half mile from my house through residential neighborhoods. As you descend from street level to the recreation path, we found this muddy silt covering the ground (did wonders for the shoes).

As you approach the commercial city center area, the ducks greet you every day. Usually they have a small pond to swim in.

Mostly it is a greenbelt as the next pictures show...

The end of the recreation path feeds into Englewood High School. There is a set of stairs there that I climb and descend everytime I pass them.

Followed by a more gentle slope up to street level. Of course, you need to turn around, back track a bit, then keep going to the next street. Then its back to the starting point.

This course is 2 miles if you run just the recreation path. If you include all the feed paths it will be around 4 miles. With the run from the house and back it is just about a 5K run. Perfect for a short run!

Its a fun path to run and very close to the house.

So now! Where do you run?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Tom Whooped Me!

We ran earlier than usual this morning.

I made the rookie mistake of a fast first mile. Tom was right behind me allowing me to pace for him. He took the lead in the last 3/4 of a mile to the finish line. The final 1/2 mile is a slight downhill where I though I could take him, but it didn't happen!

We both finished under 30 minutes but Tom took me by an easy ten seconds!

(I'll get him next time)

See why having someone to run with can stretch your limits? I know that he really appreciated it!

I finished last week with 28.2 miles. After the race today, I ran an additional 3.2 miles for a total of 6.3 miles. With that I have run 1301 miles so far in 2007. I might just make 2,000 miles for this year!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Observations From A Race

To start this off, let's look at Google Earth maps from my 2 half-marathons. The first one is a representation of my last competition.

The next map is a Google Earth view of the first race plus the second race.

Hey! They overlap at Georgetown! I can't help but think that I should find a half-marathon that goes from Idaho Springs 13.1 miles closer to the city. Haven't been able to find one yet. I suppose that I could run one like it for the Pheddipidations Worldwide Half...

I am sometimes amazed at how people run. I remember running behind one lady for a while whose feet toed out fairly heavily. When I was finally able to pass her I suggested the she get some shoes fitted at a runners store and she would be more comfortable.

The mountain half-marathons are both wonderful and not so wonderful. You get amazing views like Clear Creek running full in its banks just feet from the running surface. You also get to smell automobile exhausts as you run near to Interstate 70.

There was a trail section in both Halves. I liked the first half trail run better than the first (higher in elevation, more scenic, Wonderful mountain forest smells, but right at the start so it was crowded). The second half trail was thinner and lower in elevation and much more level, but there were safety cones placed on hazards (by the time that I ran by them they were all kicked off target or in-the-way generally).

It is funny running a scenic route. The runners all move to one side or the other to enjoy the view as they are presented on either side of the road. I did it, too! But it is fun to think of us as sheep, just following the crowd until we find out why!

Finally, why is the Gatorade that is provided during runs always the yucky tasting original flavor? Also, something in gatorade tends to seal my lips shut at the outside edges. I do think it is necessary for both hydration and for energy, but there are side effects.

It took me much longer to recover this week.. But I ran a 10K this morning that I was fairly happy with (I was able to do some intervals during this run).

Sunday morning early (or at least early for me) I'll run a 5K with Tom at full speed to check conditioning!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

My Second Half-Marathon - Completed!

Did I achieve a new Personal Record? We’ll see soon!

2,053 people finished the race. Of those, 1150 were women and 903 were men. The average time was 2:06:10.

Some pictures:

This is a panorama of the starting line. This picture does not do justice to the scene at the start line. The starting line is way over at the left of the picture.

Crossing the starting line.

Taken two miles into the run. We’ve just completed going into Georgetown then around the lake. The starting line was moved away and packed up while we went around the lake.

Crossing the finish line. You can see the "Pray for Elijah" band on my right wrist.

At the end of the day we watched a rainbow form on the peaks across the valley.

The Race Report:
It is always crisp and cold in the mountains at morning. It was no different this morning. We got to the registration table early. I got my bib number (3711) and my chip. People were everywhere. This was going to be a very busy race.

We watched and prepared for the start. I put the Forerunner 205 on my wrist and hung my Nike+ iPod system around my neck. The race chip was attached to my right shoe. As time passed the area was getting busier and busier with more and more people.

At about 20 minutes prior I decided to make a rest stop. I got in the shortest line that I could find. As I waited, I heard the countdown… “20 minutes” “15 minutes,” “10 minutes,” “9 minutes,” and “8 minutes to go!”

I was at the start of the restroom line. A door in front of me opened, I jumped at my chance. It took me a long time (seemingly) to accomplish my goal. When you are properly hydrated, the chances of a full bladder are assured (especially after waiting for 20 minutes in a 'short' line).

Finally, I was able to head for the start line. I went to the back of the line. Since I left the porta-potty, I had not heard any more announcements. People started moving in front of me. People would start running in place only to find out that they were walking to start out. Space grew between people and I crossed the start line.

It was amazing for me to see. The street in front of me was filled with round, bobbing heads and shoulders. This was for quite a space of time and distance in front of me. I could tell where the first turn was long before I got there. As we entered a residential area you could see the residents out on their porches and balcony watching and waving to us.

We ran the north side of Georgetown then around the west half of Georgetown lake. When we returned to where the starting line was, it was now the 2 mile water station. I grabbed a cup as I ran by.

The race was run on frontage roads to Idaho Springs. The one exception was a trail section between Lawson and Dumont. The roads were not closed but traffic was minimal.

I did fairly well for the first 8 miles or so. I was at or under my 11:00 minute per mile pace. After the fourth mile, I realized that I left my energy gel (Carb-Boom) at my house. Doh! I wasn’t that worried, though. I figured if I drank Gatorade at every water station from then on, I could do it. I passed the next water station at 6 miles and grabbed water. Doh! Doh! Doh!

At between 10 & 11 miles, I felt the energy drain. I bonked. I didn’t stop, but sure felt like it. It became a matter of putting one foot in front of the other. Just west of Idaho Springs there was a “Sportsman’s Club.” There is an outside firing range there. It was an odd thing to hear as you approached. You couldn’t help but wonder what was happening. It would be easy to imagine that you just became a moving target in a penny arcade. Finally, we entered the city of Idaho Springs.

It was a slight climb along a residential street. I slowed down again. One might say it was an uphill climb. Things changed as I crested the hill. I found some energy and was able to speed up. I passed people the next few blocks. We turned a corner and there! The finish line! I gave it what I could and finished the race.

I watched my friend, Tom, in the chute and taking my picture. I walked over to have my chip removed. I walked back to Tom and he handed me a quart of grape Gatorade. Then he pointed me out of the chute. He was there as he had volunteered to remove chips from shoes at the finish.

I walked down into the stadium. It was busy place with lots of runners, family, supporters, and volunteers. I started to feel light headed, so I sat down for a while. I sipped at the Gatorade and just watched the people. I found the T-shirt tent and got my shirt, I also received an energy bar. I started chewing on that. I saw people walking past me with plates full of food. I headed over to that tent!

I got some watermelon, an orange, 2 bananas, some bagel and some cream cheese. I also grabbed some yogurt, as I was sure that Tom would be hungry. I sat on the grass by the stadium bleachers and worked on the wonderful bounty that I was given.

About the time that I had finished and disposed of my trash, Tom was walking toward me. Tom looked like he was hurting. He said that he must have removed 1200 chips from shoes. He said that most of the time, he was standing up then kneeling down. He said that he had re-tied hundred or so shoes. One guy came in and collapsed on Tom. He assisted him over to the emergency care area. Another runner crossed the line and dove to the ground like a batter stealing home. I think it was a great thing for him to volunteer at the finish line like that.

We listened for the prize pulls and some of the awards. It was a fun way to spend a morning. We walked out of town to the Jeep. We started up a forest service for a place to set up the tent. I was going to get some afternoon sleep and then observe the stars that night. Yeah, of course, it ended up raining!

The Personal Record:
Yes, I did set a new PR.
My guntime was 2:31:21.1.
My nettime was 2:28:01.0
My split time was 1:10:52
My overall pace was 11:18

Overall Place 1753

Last half-marathon was 2:33:22.
On the guntime I shaved 2:01
On my nettime I shaved 5+ minutes.

Friday, August 10, 2007

1 Day To Go...

1 day to go...

Tomorrow is the day. 13.1 miles of mountain elevation running.

Today I rest and hydrate. It feels odd to me not to be running.

I am preparing everything that I will need for tomorrow today. That includes items for the race and also for the camping trip afterward.

I'll be up tomorrow at 4:00 AM. Quick cup of coffee and then load the Jeep. The livingroom is full of the stuff to load already. Out the door no later than 5:15 AM and drive up to Georgetown lake - Hopefully arriving by 6:15 AM.

I'll get my bib number and chip then get ready for the starting line. I'll be wearing my Garmin Forerunner 205, my iPod with the Nike+ sensor (I won't be wearing the earbuds - I just want to record the run). I'll set up toward the back of the pack.

Then at 7:00 AM, the race begins...

Thursday, August 09, 2007

2 Days To Go...

2 days to go.

I just completed my final run prior to the race. I ran 3.1 miles in 33:49 minutes.

I trained differently for this race. The race will start at 8500 feet in altitude and drop to 7500 feet. It will start going around a mountain lake with rises and falls (I talked with a gent yesterday that ran it last year). He said that part would be the most discouraging for the first time runner.

I feel confident. I trained by running a lot of mountain trails at elevation. My city courses had a lot of rises and falls (including steps). My diet has been set to meet the needs of the upcoming race. I really want to beat my previous PR.

I have been serious about meeting my pace for the race. Heaven knows that I have run a lot of miles at the 11:00 pace.

Now is my time to taper. I will concentrate on what I will take with me, on resting, what I will eat and be sure to hydrate.

Tom and I discussed the strategy this morning. I am emphasizing my pace for the race. He reminded me that it is a competition and that I should strive to "Beat the guy next to me." I told him that I am a middle of the pack runner. It is my second competition and I am still getting used to the environment and attitude of the race. I am in it right now to better my PR.

Any other opinions out there for me?

I think that I am ready.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

3 Days To Go...

3 days to go...

Getting down to the wire.

I ran the High School River run this morning. An easy 10:44 pace (slightly faster than my half-marathon pace). It is always fun to run with someone and that is what I did today.

3 days to go...

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

4 Days To Go...

4 days to go.

I ran 4.1 miles on the treadmill today. Easy 3 miles and then a push to the finish.

1,247 miles is the amount I have run in 2007 as of today.

On the taper now to race day!

Monday, August 06, 2007

5 Days To Go...

Wow!!! 5 days to go.

I ran an easy 5.1 miles today - Why 5.1? Balance the books so to speak.

It was a treadmill run today at a pace of 10:42 per mile.

The treadmill turned over 2300 miles today. Not bad for having bought it in early to mid-2006.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

6 Days To Go...

6 Days To Go!!!

Although we went Jeeping, we opted not to check out the course. Sometimes things can be fresher without knowing the path (enlightenment comes later).

I ran my last long run today. I ran 10.10 miles for a time of 2:01:57. Not what I wanted but close.

The rest of the week?
Monday - 5 miles
Tuesday - 4 miles
Wednesday - 3 miles
Thursday - 3 casual miles
Friday - REST day

Saturday? Half-marathon!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

7 Days To Go...

7 days to go. 1 week.

Weather next Saturday at Georgetown, Colorado is supposed to be a high of 73 degrees under partly cloudy skies.

I ran a casual 3 mile run today outside in the hot sun. Pace was 10:56. I am getting very consistent. I hope I can do for the race next Saturday!

1 week to go.

Today, I will go jeeping at Georgetown and check out the course...

Friday, August 03, 2007

8 days to go...

8 days to go...

Did a treadmill run today of 5.31 miles.

Eating better. Balanced diet with pasta, greens, and smaller amounts of protein (but still maintaining the needs of a man of my age). Oatmeal for my breakfast with yogurt.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

9 (count'em) 9 Days To Go!

9 days to go...

I ran 39.1 miles last week. According to some information in the latest Runner's World, that makes me a consistent "Moderate" runner. I average between 35 to 40 miles per week. Last month, I ran 175.63 miles. So far this year, I have run 1219.26. Phew! Why aren't I tired? 'Cause I love to run...

More tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

10 Days to go...

Until my next half-marathon!