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2007 Races/Events


2007 Resolutions


Current PRs


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Monday, February 19, 2007

Clinton Lake it is...

They announced the winner of the North Pole Marathon contest, and it was Bobby Bostic, who I think will be a fantastic choice. That means that on April 1st, I'll be running the Clinton Lake 30 Mile Trail Run.

Ironically, appropriately, they're predicting temperatures in the 40s and 50s this week, which should result in a pretty much complete absence of snow to run in...

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

The hits just keep on coming...

I woke up this morning so sore from yesterday's run that I was seriously thinking about not going to the time trial today. After I got up and moving around a bit, it was somewhat better, but my legs were still pretty sore. Got over to Champaign Cycle in plenty of time to warm up for my 11:30am start time, and ended up setting a new PR! (cut 29 seconds off my previous PR for the 10k flat time trial, and increased my previous best average watts to 269)

I rested up a bit this afternoon, and then made a wonderful (if I do say so myself) vegan Carbonnades Flamandes (substituting seitan for the beef), which I served for dinner tonight, along with a bottle of New Glarus Wisconsin Belgian Red. Dessert was vegan chocolate cupcakes with coconut pecan frosting (Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World), brought to us by our dinner guest.

As far as my condition post-time trial is concerned, I'm having some trouble with walking up stairs, my left hip flexor is cramping up something fierce, and I couldn't be happier!

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

More fun in the snow!

As promised, here's what I did after my mini-vacation...

We had an 18 mile training run scheduled for today to train for the Clinton Trail Race, which I also thought would be a good training run for the North Pole Marathon if I end up at that (I should hear about that by Monday). We drove out to Allerton in a steadily falling snow (although nothing nearly as bad as Tuesday's blizzard), and were presented with the following on the trail
Looking out on the Allerton Schroth trail
That's roughly mid-calf deep snow, with a completely ungroomed trail when we started.
A view of the Allerton Schroth trail
The plan was to run 3 loops of the 6 mile trail. The depth and density of the snow disagreed strongly with us on that...

A little over 2 hours after the start, we finished the first loop of the course, and were pretty much done for the day at that point (the loop was described by the organizer, who ran >200 miles at this year's Across The Years, as "pretty damn tough...I don't think anyone considered a 2nd or 3rd loop"), and rather snow encrusted...
Post run icebergs on shoes
We stopped at the Red Wheel for breakfast afterwards, and I had my traditional post-run breakfast (The Shea-Stack - three buttermilk pancakes, no butter, with three eggs over-easy sandwiched in the pancakes)
The Shea-stack special

The wind had picked up a bit by the time we left the restaurant, and conditions on the road were not great on the way back home. About half way back to Champaign, the truck I was in decided that the day would be more exciting if we spun around a couple times on the highway, ending up in the middle of the median, pointing in the opposite direction to our intended travel, in snow deep enough that I had trouble getting my door open to get out. The other car of runners was a few minutes behind us, so they were able to stop and help us get dug/pushed out. The unpleasant (and somewhat amusing in retrospect) part was the fact that I was standing directly behind one of the back wheels pushing, which resulted in
  1. being repeatedly pelted with snow/ice in a very sensitive place
  2. looking like this by the time we were doneGrrr


Came home, took a hot bath, and now I'm resting up for tomorrow's cycling time trial

Update: Kathleen just pointed out that I left out how I felt about today's run (probably due to focusing on the epic nature, and my run-in with the snow goblins flinging snowballs at my crotch)...I had a blast - do I wish I'd gotten 18 miles in? Of course I do, but I had a great time on the run, and can't complain about it as training for the North Pole Marathon, that's for sure.

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Blog posting not for the squeamish

Warning: This posting contains very little about running, and a good deal of alcohol and meat consumption. Such is vacation.

We drove up to Milwaukee on Wednesday for a short working vacation (I had a meeting for work on Friday). We got in fairly late to Milwaukee, and had dinner and cocktails at our hotel. Thursday morning, I got up early for a tempo run on the hotel treadmill, and then we set off for a walking/eating/shopping tour of Milwaukee. We stopped in at Usinger's, and I considered buying some blood sausage, given my serious love of blood sausage, but decided to mail order some later. Next stop was African Hut, for a much needed influx of warming spicy food. I had the extra spicy Yinka Wings, a bowl of spicy Pepper Soup, and a cup of Rooibos tea. Kathleen had Fried Plantains and the Mandingo Warrior Platter (with Jollof rice, Peanut Stew-Banfi, and Ghana Beef Froyi).
African Hut

We spent a good deal of time at The Spice House, leaving with, among other things, black lava salt, grains of paradise, and a huge quantity of sage. We meandered through Milwaukee, spending a good bit of time shopping on Brady Street, snacking on yummy Italian cookies from Peter Sciortino's (I'm actually eating the last of the sesame cookies as I write this). We decided to head to Cafe Hollander for dinner, since I was craving frites, and also had a bit of a craving for Carbonnades Flamandes. It was getting a bit chilly, and we were not sure if we had our bearings exactly correct, so we ended up starting at what had to be one of the nicest (and largest) bike shops I've ever been into (Crank Daddy's) - they gave us step by step directions the rest of the way, and didn't mind my drooling on their bikes, and shortly thereafter, we were warming up again at Cafe Hollander.

We ended up getting the world's largest basket of frites
Frites at Cafe Hollander
and an order of mussels steamed in ale
Mussels steamed in ale at Cafe Hollander
Kathleen's not a fan of mussels, so I had to eat them all myself. Such is my lot...Didn't end up ordering Carbonnades Flamandes, but enjoyed the meal quite a lot just the same.

We decided that walking back to the hotel would probably be a bit too cold, so took a cab the rest of the way back, and headed to Mason Street Grill for cocktails and dessert
Dessert and cocktails at Mason Street Grill

My meeting went well on Friday, and we hit Whole Foods for a little while (for the record, the Milwaukee Whole Foods is one of the largest that I've ever seen), got some food for the road, some New Glarus, and few other yummy items.

We headed over to Tandoor House to stuff ourselves with puri, goat curry, and malai kofta before the drive back, and then hit the road. We ended up getting back to our house at about 11:00 Friday night, and I had a few hours of sleep before my next adventure (which I'll blog about shortly - I'll give you a hint, it involves running...)

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Short video of today's blizzard

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Details on tonight's run


Setting out for a run
Originally uploaded by infoninja.
Here's what things looked like when I set out for tonight's run - click through for details on the photo...


I ended up covering .58 miles at an average pace of 26:23, with an average heart rate of 159, and a max HR of 175.

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Man plans, and God laughs

Well, I went for my "run", such as it was. We're still in a blizzard, and only a couple of people in my section of town besides me have cleared the sidewalk in front of their house. As a result, the majority of my run was in snow well above my knees, with wind above 30MPH. I ended up covering a little over half a mile in about 15 minutes...I was feeling pretty good at the end of it, and was feeling like I could have continued, but I didn't really think I get quality mileage in at that point, so I decided to come inside for hot chocolate chip cookies and Bushmills.

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Fun in the snow!

We're in the midst of a blizzard, and the University has canceled classes due to weather for the first time since 1979. I'm working from home today, except for Spinervals Time Trial Special before breakfast, and a recently completed hour and 15 minutes of shoveling snow to work up a good lunch appetite...

Will probably go for a little run tonight - see how I do in deep snow/heavy wind conditions (wind's gusting up to 40MPH currently). Two days until the winner of the North Pole Marathon contest is announced - if you've been considering adding a comment/testimonial to my entry but haven't yet, there's still time at:
http://www.yourrunning.com/story-inspired_to_head_north

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

The start of a perfect day


Not Quite Full English Breakfast
Originally uploaded by infoninja.
Up at about 6am to feed the dogs and let them out, grabbed a cup of tea and a small snack, then did about a 3 mile recovery run (still a good deal of snow on my usual running routes) at 9:39 pace, then home for a nice big "Not Quite Full English Breakfast" (click the picture for a complete description of the breakfast). Now I'm going to stretch out on the sofa, enjoy a nice relaxing morning, and then watch the USATF Cross Country championship this afternoon...

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Do these running tights make my ass look fat?

Went for a a run this afternoon in positively balmy weather (-2F wind chill - at the end of the run, there was a little bit of Perpetuem left in my water bottle, and that was a pretty thick slush). Ended up doing 12.1 miles @ 9:23 pace, including short walk breaks every 2 miles (working on fueling mechanics for ultras). I've finally got a handle on the glasses fogging up problem - wiping down my glasses with an anti-fogging cloth, plus wearing a pair of ski goggles seem to have mostly taken care of the problem. I had a couple of very small fogging/icing problems over the course of the run, but nothing too major.

The park sidewalks were clear of snow for the most part, which allowed me to focus a bit more on determining my fueling/anti-fogging strategies for the North Pole Marathon.

I did the run in 6 loops around the perimeter of one of the local parks, plus a short loop through the park to finish the run. About half-way through the run, 3 young deer ran across one of the busier streets bordering the park, almost right in front of me - pretty cool experience...

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Friday, February 09, 2007

The North Pole Marathon contest winner should be announced in less than 7 days, and I'm on pins and needles at this point. The cold has continued here pretty much unabated, which has given me the opportunity for more cold weather training, although not as much as I'd like - we got a good deal of snow on Tuesday, so my tempo run on Tuesday and my hill intervals on Thursday were done at the gym. I had plans for a fairly easy 9:00 pace 4 miler this morning, but that was derailed by the fact that apparently people in this town are in capable of clearing the sidewalk in front of their house after it snows. Weather was 6F with 8MPH wind - positively balmy!

A good deal of the run was in ankle-deep snow, varying between relatively fluffy powder and unevenly packed snow/melt/dirt with frequent holes from previous walkers, so my average pace ended up being 10:39, and that was pushing - my average HR for the run was 169, and that's with several walking breaks included. I'm figuring it was good training for the North Pole...

My legs are feeling pretty beat up currently, and I'm planning on a 12-13 miler tomorrow. I had been planning on using one of my typical road routes for that, but given the snow, I'm probably going to head for one of the parks in town and just do it in 3-4 mile loops.

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Monday, February 05, 2007

One more item re: Winterfest 5k, plus more fun in the cold

One item I forgot re: yesterday's 5k - in response to the question "How cold was it?", my best answer/example is the fact that breathing through my mouth during warmup and the race was a problem, due to the fact that my tongue kept going numb...
Today I decided to do a nice and easy 3 mile recovery run at about 9:00 pace. Ended up running slightly more than 3 miles, with fairly even splits. In a repeat of yesterday's weather, it was -7.5F when I left the house, with about 7MPH wind, for a lovely wind chill of -22F/-30C. I bundled up a bit more than yesterday, which kept me warmer, but certainly forced me to run slower. Running gear this morning was as follows:
  • On the bottom half of my body:
    • 2 pairs of wool blend running/hiking socks
    • Brooks Axiom trainers
    • Silk base layer
    • Under Armour tights
    • Running tights
    • Patagonia wind tights
  • On the top half of my body:
    • Silk base layer
    • Under Armour wicking top
    • 500 Festival technical shirt
    • Heavy weight wicking shirt
    • Cycling windbreaker
    • Thinsulate gloves
    • Thinsulate mittens
    • Neoprene/fleece face mask
    • Fleece ear band
    • Wicking skullcap
    • Running hat
I had a great time on the run - the only problems I had was the aforementioned lack of speed due to all the layers, and the fact that by the time I got home, my face mask was frozen stiff, my glasses were completely iced over, and there was so much ice on my eyelids and eyelashes that when I got inside and started to warm up, I initially thought I was crying from all the icemelt running down my face. All in all, I had a blast!

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Sunday, February 04, 2007

Kankakee Winterfest 5k Race Results

First of all, I'll deal with the bad news. My goal was to use the Winterfest 5k to try to qualify for a seeded start position at the half-marathon in Indianapolis. That didn't happen. Now I'll step through the race and give y'all the good news at the end. We drove up to Kankakee this morning (in a car borrowed at the last minute from friends after the water pump in ours went to the great junkyard in the sky). I'd been watching the weather forecast pretty closely all weekend, since I knew it was going to be super cold and windy, and wanted some idea of how cold it was going to be. I discovered first-hand how cold it was while warming up (as much as one can when it's this cold).
Gear required for a race @ -14F wind chill(click for annotations on specific gear)
When we got there, it was 6.8F, with 23MPH winds from the WNW. That works out to -14F/-26C wind chill (the North Pole Marathon lists average wind chill in 2003, 2004, and 2006 of -29C, -25C, and -10C, respectively), and a couple somewhat uncomfortable sections of a roughly rectangular 2 lap course.

And they're off!
A little over 100 runners started at promptly 1pm - I ran this race last year, setting my 5k PR of 23:20.1. The course was almost identical this year, except they re-routed the finish very slightly so the chute put us directly into a nice toasty warm building to quickly take the chill off after we finished.

I got a good start, a little slower than my goal pace, but not that far off. Turning the first corner into the wind, I suddenly felt like I was running through molasses. The course took us in and out of the wind several times, but due to the way the race was laid out and the direction of the wind, we ended up running into a roughly 25MPH headwind for almost all of one section of the course, and into that same wind as a cross/headwind for another section of the course. Since it was a 2 lap course, we got to play in the wind in each of those sections twice!

Crossing the finish line - official finish time of 23:04.9
My dream goal was to finish in less than 20:30, which would qualify me for the #2 seeded start corral at the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon. I ended up finishing in 23:04.9, shaving more than :15 off my 5k PR (and doing it in very cold and windy circumstances - last year when I ran this race, it was 30F, with 14MPH wind, for a balmy wind chill of 19F)

Ow - my aching everything
Waiting for me at the finish - a loving spouse (thanks, sweetie!), a space blanket (thanks, Chicago Marathon!), and a recovery beverage (thanks, protein powder, Cell-Tech, and glutamine!)

Relaxing before my award
I got changed into warm and dry clothing, and decided to relax a bit and stay for the awards ceremony, where I discovered several things:
  1. I finished 24th out of 106 finishers (placing me very nicely in the top 25%). Last year, I finished 64th out of 179 finisher, which didn't even get me into the top third.
  2. I placed 2nd in the Male 30-34 age group, for my first age group award!
    First age group award that I've gotten
  3. The age group award has a polar bear on it - a good sign for the North Pole Marathon contest, perhaps?

(Note - if you'd like to leave a supporting statement on my North Pole Marathon contest entry, they're still accepting testimonials at: http://www.yourrunning.com/story-inspired_to_head_north)

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bring. it. on.

Predicted conditions in Kankakee at the start of the 5k:
  • 4F temperature
  • 19MPH wind from the WNW (curently, the wind there is 16MPH, gusting to 25MPH)
That'll result in wind chill of -16F/-27C.

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Friday, February 02, 2007

More winter fun/approaching first road race of 2007

I've got my first road race of 2007 on Sunday (Kankakee Winterfest 5k), which I'm using to try to qualify for seeded start at the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon in May. This has required making a pretty significant training change from concentrating mostly on distance to focusing on speed. This week was the following in terms of training:
  • Sunday
    • AM: Core/flexibility workout
    • PM: 5.5mi run @ 8:20, -3F wind chill
  • Monday
    • AM: Core/flexibility workout
    • PM: Rest
  • Tuesday
    • Sick
  • Wednesday
    • AM: Core/flexibility workout
    • PM: Gym/Speedwork
      • Treadmill:
        • 10:00 @ 10:00 pace
          3:15 @ 6:31 pace
          3:15 @ 10:00 pace
          1:30 @ 6:31 pace
          :30 rest
          1:45 @ 7:30 pace
          3:15 @ 12:00 pace
          3:15 @ 6:31-7:30 pace
          3:15 @ 12:00 pace
          3:15 @ 6:31-7:30 pace
          10:00 cooldown @ 12:00 pace
      • 5x5 70# weight-assisted pull-ups
  • Thursday
    • AM: Core/flexibility workout
    • PM: Spinervals 8.0:Recovery & Technique (45:00)
  • Friday
    • AM: Core/flexibility workout
I'm now resting up for Sunday's 5k. They're currently predicting that the wind chill for the 5k at -10F, which should be good training for the North Pole Marathon. Next week, I'll start my training plan for the Clinton Lake 30 Mile Trail Race in April - details/progress to follow on that.

I'll post on Sunday with the results of the 5k, as well as gear choices that I hope to have used to prevent freezing off anything too important...
©2007 Shea Nangle