Thursday Miles

Running route on Thursday morning, 10/31/2013.

Running route on Thursday morning, 10/31/2013.

It’s been four days since the Muncie Mini Marathon and I thought my thighs, hamstrings calves were all rested and ready to go out and run again. So, I got up about 4:30 am this morning and started running about 5:00 am. I thought I would get in a slow 3 mile run without much effort. It was great morning with warm air temperatures at 63°F. However, there was rain in the area and the forecast was for all day rain. I was lucky, though, for my 32 minute run it didn’t rain on me!

About 1.5 miles into the run I could feel my thighs starting to scream. I just ignored the growing pain and finished the 3.2 mile run. I should have listened because I had to limp back to the house when I finished the run. It was also starting to rain.

Wow … my thighs are still screaming several hours later. I guess I should have waited an extra day. I don’t think I will run tomorrow and hopefully I can get some miles in on Saturday.

I hope that everyone is have a great day today!

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Muncie Mini Marathon

muncieMiniMedalMy goal was to finish in less than three hours and my finish time was 2:39:41. Yay! I came in under the goal. I placed 6th in my age group (M50-54) out of seven participants. I finished 55th out of 65 males who ran in the race. And I was the 102nd finisher out of 127.

I left the house at 5:45 am for the 90 minute drive from the south side of Indianapolis to Muncie. The drive to Muncie was uneventful. However, once I arrived in downtown Muncie, I was totally lost. I anxiously drove around for about 20 minutes trying to find the Turhey Pool Park where the start/finish line was at. I finally stopped a pedestrian and asked him where the Park was at. He directed me and a few minutes later I was picking up the packet. The organizers suggested I park my car at the nearby high school which was about a quarter-mile walk from the start finish line. But, thankfully, I found a closer parking space.

The air temperature was about 38°F and the wind was strong. So, there was a wind chill. And, of course, I forgot to bring my heavy running shirt. Not that I ‘really’ forgot as I didn’t expect I would need it so I left it at home. The day before was such a bright sunny and warm day I assumed that the next day (race day) would be the same. Not so. I brought a normal sweat shirt to wear after the race but decided to wear it during the race, just to keep warm with the wind. Everyone else was dressed in normal running attire and I was the only one wearing a bulky sweat shirt. I’m certain people were thinking that this was my first event run.

It was my first Mini Marathon event in several years. I don’t really remember the last one I ran in. It probably was the Geist Mini Marathon in 2008. I’ve run in several Indianapolis Mini Marathons but haven’t run a Mini in several years.

Before the race started, there were some announcements, singing the Star Spangled Banner and a prayer. Then a huge cannon was fired and the race began. I was happy to get moving.

The highlight of this race for me came just after the first mile. The course ran on the east side of the Ball State University campus and next to my old freshman dorm. Except for some new landscaping, the building looks exactly like what it did when I was living there in 1982! It’s hard to believe that 30+ years ago I was living life as a college freshman.

The course eventually made its way to the Cardinal Greenway along the White River and out about 5 miles north of downtown Muncie to a turn around point. And then it was essentially the same course back to the finish line. About 11 miles into the race, I overlooked one of the course markers at a turn and wondered off course. I was running with three other people and we all stopped and tried to figure out where the course was. Someone who was walking along the street told us that we were about a quarter-mile off course. We made our way back to the course and ran to the finish. That silly faux pas added almost .4 miles to my overall distance!

Am I happy with my performance and time? Yes, I honestly am. Although I wish it was a better time. My best mini finish was 1:57:00 at the 2007 Indianapolis Mini. But this was really a finish of determination. I signed up for this event back in early June and had every intention to properly train for it. However, the 7 week layoff during the summer for that heart issue (which turned out to be nothing, thankfully) derailed my training. I ‘restarted’ the training at the first of September and two months isn’t really enough time to train for the full 13 miles. My longest training run was 6 miles.

I thought about opting out of the Mini distance and doing the 10K distance, since the promoters offered the 13.1, 6.2 and 3.1 distances. But, since finishing a Mini Marathon was one of my top 2013 goals, I thought I would give the 13.1 miles my best effort, even though my training wasn’t anywhere what it should have been.

So, my strategy for this Muncie Mini Marathon was to run as normal as I could until the turn around point and then use a walk-run strategy to the finish. I wanted to finish in less than three hours so I had to maintain an average pace of 13:45 minutes per mile. I ran a pace of 10:30 or so for the first few miles. My running was fluid and steady for the first seven miles to the turn around point. After that, I kind of broke apart. After the turn around point, I could only run for a few minutes and then had to walk for a few minutes. As I was running, I could feel my ham string and calf muscles starting to cramp. When I felt the cramp start to come on, I just stopped and walked. I did that for the next six miles. I was thankful when I crossed the finish line and was given the finisher’s medal. Yay!

Since it was my grand-daughter’s birthday and since I was near the BSU campus, I wanted to buy her an ‘authentic’ Ball State sweat shirt from the campus bookstore. So, in the midst of residual pain from the Mini, I walked to the short distance to the student center to buy the sweat shirt. When I was a student at BSU in the mid ’80’s, the book store was in the student center. But, I learned that the book store is now in another building about a quarter-mile walk from the student center. So, I painfully walked to the bookstore and bought a sweat shirt for my grand-daughter. I splurged and bought one for me too!

Here’s my pace per mile:

  1. 10:22
  2. 10:07
  3. 11:15
  4. 10:32
  5. 10:39
  6. 10:39
  7. 11:13
  8. 11:46
  9. 12:23
  10. 12:42
  11. 13:11
  12. 13:25
  13. 13:13

So my second mile was the fastest at 10:37 and the 12th mile was the slowest at 13:24. My average pace was 11:47.

The promoter of the Muncie Mini Marathon (America Multi Sport) offers three Mini Marathons in several cities in east Central Indiana. Maybe next year I will do the Henry County Mini and the Richmond Mini and the Muncie Mini for a triple crown!

Happy Running.

New Miles

Thursday 10/17/2013 map of this morning's 5 mile run.

Thursday 10/17/2013 map of this morning’s 5 mile run.

I finally dragged my fat butt out of bed this morning so I could put in some road miles. I’ve been so lazy this week on the running. It seems so strange that I can have a great run and a new PR on last Saturday’s Red Gold 5K and then I can’t seem to get out of bed in the morning to run this week. So strange.

Anyways, I got out of bed at 4:30 am. I checked the weather and it was 44°F outside! It’s getting colder in the mornings. I wore running pants and a long sleeve shirt to keep the chill off me. I really need to buy a jacket of some sort, especially to keep the wind off me. This morning there wasn’t even a slight breeze so I was ok but if there is the slightest wind I get chilled quickly.

I was able to make the 5 mile run in 49:53 at an average pace of 9:56. Since it was spooky dark this morning I just ran laps around the neighborhood. The fastest mile was the 5th mile at 9:44 and the slowest was the first mile at 10:11. This morning’s 9:56 average pace is so much slower than the 9:07 from last Saturday’s 5K. But, I’m glad I can slow down. With the Muncie Mini Marathon in less than two weeks, I really want to slow down. I’m afraid that since I’m not really trained up for the mini that I will start too fast on that race and run out of energy and DNF. So, I tried to keep it slower this morning just to gauge my slower pace. I’m thankful for the new 5K PR but a mini is a different race and needs a different strategy. I want to start slow in that race … which is exactly the opposite of my usual tactic … where I start way too fast.

Well, I hope everyone has a great day and great miles!

Red Gold 5K

Swag from the Red Gold 5K.

Swag from the Red Gold 5K.

What a great time. The people at Red Gold know how to stage a race.

Red Gold is a large tomato processing company with plants in Elwood, Orestes and Geneva Indiana. They say the race raised over $14,000 for food banks in east Central Indiana.

I left the house at 6:30 am for the hour and ten minute drive from Indianapolis to Elwood, Indiana. It was dark and chilly when I left the house. I arrive at the Callaway Park in Elwood along with about 500 other people in time to pick up the race bib and a bag full of race swag (along with the t-shirt). They were giving out free energy and protein bars. The race started at 9:00 am.

Being a mid pack runner, I staged myself in the middle of the pack. The course ran around Callaway Park and then to downtown Elwood and then back to the park. I thought I would give this race my absolute best effort at a good time so I started fast and really didn’t slow down for the entire race.

The Red Gold Chili Cook Off was in full gear when the stream of runners ran through downtown. There were people lined up on the route to cheer us on. Kind of cool to run through it. I could smell the chili cooking in the background. Every running was given a ticket to get into the cook off and sample and vote on the best chili.

I made it back to the Park in full stride and crossed the finish in 28:17 (according to Nike+), which is now my 5K PR !! Not too bad. My average pace was 9:07 per mile!

Wind Farm in Indiana.

Wind Farm in Indiana.

After the run, I spotted several giant windmills in the distance. So I jogged out to one of them to take a photo. I didn’t realize that Indiana has a wind farm. I’ve seen a few of these windmills in Iowa on a trip to the rocky mountains but didn’t know Indiana has any. Later, I was told that the wind farm goes out beyond Elwood to Kokomo Indiana, about 40 miles.

I wondered around the chili cook off to sample the variety of chili. It was a great time. I voted for Team Jacob’s mild chili, which was about the sweetest tasting chili in the competition.

The next Red Gold 5K is on October 11, 2014. Hopefully I will be able to do it again.

I hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Thursday Morning Miles

Running route on Thursday morning October 10, 2013.

Running route on Thursday morning October 10, 2013.

Thankfully, I was able to get out of bed this morning and get in a few miles before I had to leave at work. It is increasingly hard to roll out of bed at 4:30 am to get in some miles when it’s dark and cold outside.

For the last two days I have put in the miles during the evening … after work. Those runs were fabulous. The bright sun and warm temperatures make a difference. However, when I run in the evening, it takes up much of my evening hours so I can’t get much of anything else done. Last night, I ran 3.5 miles. However, I had to take another shower and by the time the entire task is done, it is almost 7:00 pm and I have to make dinner and get the chores done. There’s not much time, or energy, to do anything else. That is one major reason I would rather exercise in the morning.

So, this morning I ran 4.26 miles in 41:13 for an average page of 9:40. The third mile was the fastest at 9:33 and the first mile was the slowest at 9:49. Usually, it’s the other way around where the first mile is the fastest and the slowest miles come later. I would rather the first mile be the slowest. At least this morning I felt better running a little slower in the first mile.

I’m looking forward to the Red Gold “Run To Crush Hunger” 5K on Saturday. It seems to be a huge event with an estimated 800 people participating. The weather forecast seems to be good with a partly cloudy sky and mild to warm temperatures. Not too bad for mid October in central Indiana!

I pray that everyone has a great day and a great run!

Tuesday Evening Miles

Running route on Tuesday evening, October 8, 2013

Running route on Tuesday evening, October 8, 2013.

Wow … what a great evening. The air temperature was very mild at about 70°F with a cloud less sky. Since I didn’t run in the morning I thought I would get some miles in this evening. It was a great run. My total time was 48:39 for an average pace of 9:37. Not too bad for an overweight old fat man!

My first mile was clocked at 9:19. However, my second mile was clocked at 10:18. About halfway during the second mile, a guy was walking his dog and the dog got loose and started to chase me! The dog was a little mutt and wasn’t any threat. But I saw that the dog was dragging his leash so I grabbed the end of it and run over to the guy. He was thankful that I was able to catch his puppy. The dog’s name was Baxter.

The remaining miles were great miles and I finished the five mile run strong in spirit and body. Which is odd, since I usually feel bloated and heavy during an evening run.

Monday Morning 5 MIles

Aside

Running route on the morning of October 7, 2013.

Running route on the morning of October 7, 2013.

I was up at 4:30 am this morning to get some miles on the log before I had to go to work. This morning the air temperature was 49°F. The was a stiff wind from the west so it felt even colder. For the first two miles I was chilled but warmed up afterwards. I was wearing shorts and a long sleeve cotton shirt. By coincidence, this past weekend I dug out my winter running clothes from the closet. Maybe I should have worn a heavier shirt on this morning’s run. Other than the wind, the run was great. I was able to get in 5 miles at an overall time of 48:05 for an average pace of 9:36. The second mile was the fastest at 9:33 and the last mile was the slowest at 9:38. I was lucky this morning since it started to rain shortly after I finished the run.

On Saturday, 10/5, I was able to run 6.2 miles around Craig Park in Greenwood, Indiana. It was a great morning for a run, with bright sun and mild temperatures. The weather man said it would start raining about mid morning and rain for most of the day. So, I was on the trail by 8:30 am to get in the run before it started raining. The 6.2 miles took me 1:02:14 to complete for an average pace of 10:01. I had to take a few walking breaks in mile 5 and 6. This is the longest run I’ve done in some time so I wasn’t surprised that I would need to walk. Usually, my pride wouldn’t allow for any walking breaks but I thought I should get used to taking walking breaks since I have the Muncie Mini Marathon in 3 weeks. The training for that race broke down when I had to take a 7 week layoff during the summer. I might as well get used to taking some walking breaks since I know I’ll need to during that race. I haven’t run a mini in years. I signed up for the Muncie race back in early June believing that I had all summer to train. But my plans were interrupted. One of my running goals for 2013 was to run a mini and it’s important to me to go the distance.

I hope that everyone has a great week!