Monday, January 31, 2011

Things are progressing

I am knee deep in training for round two at the Lincoln marathon this spring.  Things started out slow but my mileage has been slowly building up.  I am feeling good about my training so far and trying to play it smart as to not exacerbate the potential for any injury.

I have really enjoyed the Lincoln Marathon class that I joined.  One the group motivation and structure of the class has helped me getting up my mileage again.  It was nice to look on dailymile the yesterday and see that I had two weeks now of 35 miles.  The schedule this week looks like this:
Monday: 5M steady strides
Tuesday: 6M: with 6x hills
Wednesday: Spinning and Yoga
Thursday: 7M with 1M temp/1min easy x 3
Friday: 5M recovery
Saturday: 16M 5 middle M @ MRP
Sunday: off

For a total of 39 miles.  In addition to picking up the mileage, my pace is also slowly improving.  I can run steadily on longer runs (> 6 M) at a 9:00ish pace. Last year at this time, I was routinely running ~ 1.5 mins per mile faster.  Hopefully my speed keeps improving!

On other news, Lindsey and I booked our trip to Boston for the marathon.  We were shocked at how expensive the how trip is going to be.  We were struggling trying to find a hotel in the area but they were all super expensive.  We went to travelocity and saw that there was a "super secret" hotel in back bay.  With the "super secret" hotel they tell you the general location but do not tell you which hotel it is or exactly where it is.  The good thing is that this hotel was super cheap at 178 a night.  We took the gamble and booked the hotel and it turned out to be just a few blocks from the finish line.  It was a very nice surprise and was exciting to see a gamble that paid off!

In honor of the passing away of Charlie Louvin last Wednesday is "I like the Christian Life" that he sang with his brother back in the day.  This song was later made famous by the Byrds on their album "Sweetheart of the Rodeo"

And one more recent song by Charlie:

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

well hello there

I bet you all thought I had just dropped off the face of the planet. And in some sense I have.    My last post was in June and so much has happened since then. In fact, so much has happened that it has kind of kept me from posting about it.  I have been really wanting to start blogging now that my life has kind of settled down again.  To catch you up I am going to do this in a summarized list.

 At the time of my last post, i had just started running again after taking 6 weeks from the knee injury I incurred training and running the Lincoln marathon.   It was difficult getting back into it given the intensity that I was working at the lab but I was preparing for a Fall marathon.

Here is what happened since then in sequential order:
1) I accepted a job at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.  This offered me several benefits but most of all I would no longer have to drive the 6.5 hours to Lincoln from St. Paul. I moved there at the end of the August into Lindsey's house and love my job and being here. Between the time I accepted the offer and when I actually moved down here, I had to bust my hump getting things caught up before I left. I did not want to leave my lab in a lurch because I was leaving early, so the last month was spent by being in the office for long periods of writing and analysis.

2) Because I was not training as hard as I should have, and things kind of fell apart for the Wineglass marathon I decided to run to half marathons in the Fall.  The first one I did was the Omaha half marathon. It was my first half marathon and it was actually a pretty fun distance to run.  There were some issues I had with the race and there is room for improvement but all an all it was positive race.  Some of the issues can be seen here and here. My overall goal was to run it in 1: 30 mins but I finished sadly at a 1:41. Dissapointed but I have lots of room for improvement in future half marathons.    The second half marathon (13.4 miles) was the Bohemian Alps Endurance Run.  This run was probably the among the most challenging but fun runs I have ever done.  It is located in the small town of Brainerd, NE and they have a half marathon distance and a 50K distance a few weeks early.  Primarily on gravel farm roads (hilly) and cross country trails this course covers many rolling hills that can easily wear you out.  I ended up running this in 1:49 and placing 11th overall.  For doing that I received this sweet medal.  I think I am most proud of this medal.  There are two reasons for this: 1-Not everyone got a medal only the top finishers (15 I am guessing) and 2-this was very hard.  I can't wait to run it again.
3) Shortly after running the Bohemian Alps run, I was biking to work one cold morning. As I passed through an intersection (that is a designated bike path) I was t-boned by a pick up truck.  The truck was moving around 30 mph and nailed me right on the left side.  The driver did not see me because the sun was in his eyes. This was by far the most intense pain I have ever felt in my life.  The EMTs came to the scene and thought that I had broken my pelvis and was rushed to the trauma center.  After being thoroughly x-rayed it was determined that I had not a single broken bone, just severe bruising down my left side (I will spare you all the ghastly pictures).  I was put on pain medicine and essentially bed ridden for several weeks.  I am so lucky to have survived this, it could have gone wrong in so many ways.  If this had been played out more times, I know I would not have faired as well.  I am lucky to be alive and that I can still walk around on my own accord.  I am sure this will be a subject of future blogs.

4) While I was bedridden and fighting off the depression of not being able to run and be active of any kind I ended up purchasing a garmin 305 with a soft heart rate monitor strap. I got it from heartratemonitorsusa.  I was a little hesitant about buying from this site because I had never heard of it before and some of the reviews I read from a long time ago really criticized their customer service. BUT, the price of both of the watch and the heart rate monitor was only 235.00.  That was a deal I could not pass up, especially because shipping was free. I have since used the watch and the monitor and I LOVE it.  I do not know how I ever ran without one before.

5) Lindsey and I are now engaged.  I had a ring designed by kateszabone on Etsy.  The ring came out so great.  If you are looking for some jewelry, definitely look at her stuff, I could not have been happier with the whole transaction. We have not set a date yet but we are planning on getting married sometime this year.

6) Getting back into running has been a struggle.  I ended up gaining 25lbs during my hiatus from running and I think thats adding to my slothy feelings. Runners World recently had an interesting article about this.   Its now been about three weeks of running about 15-20 miles per week and I am feeling better.     To help build up my motivation I joined the Lincoln Y marathon class.  The class has structured schedules, group runs, and speakers.  One crazy thing about it is that there were 185 people that registered for it. A record! I figured that the group motivation and structured training will help me get back in shape for a redo of the Lincoln marathon this year.  This past Saturday, I completed my first long run (probably since Bohemian Alps) and it felt really good!  I am so glad to be back in it.

Well I think that is everything up to now. I will be posting at least once a week so if you stopped reading expect to hear from me more often.

I will leave you with one of my favorite albums of 2010.  Justin Townes Earl on Dave Letterman the other night.