Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Race Review: Giving Thanks 5K

This race has outgrown its humble beginnings.  It wasn’t clear to me when I registered that this was a “fun run” had I known that I might have chosen a different race or just run with another group of friends.  Nonetheless, we had a fun time and enjoyed the beautiful Thanksgiving morning!

We arrived in plenty of time, checked-in, and waited around.  There was hot water with instant coffee, hot chocolate, and hot apple cider available.  I went for the cider and Nathan, Mike, and Emily went for the coffee – I was the only one who walked away happy.  Registration went smoothly and Nathan and I did a warm-up lap around Como Lake. It is about 1.6 miles around the lake and we got a little confused by the mile markers. They didn’t represent miles or kilometers….

Como Lake is a nice setting for a race and it was a beautiful morning.  Upper 20’s or lower 30’s and a lot wind, with the lake having a thin layer of ice on top.  Some snow lingered around the lake and frost on the little dock.  The rising sun would have made for an amazing picture – but I forgot my camera and I’m not good at creating a word picture, so just imagine it!

We made our way to the starting line and waited, and waited, and waited some more.  They were waiting to get everyone out of the registration area.  The race director made some announcements, but some in the crowd were getting a little anxious to start.  We finally started exactly 15 minutes late.  The director had tried to help the front of the pack separate into some semblance of finish times which if people actually followed would have made for a decent start.  At these races though no one really starts in the right spot unless they are super-fast on the front line!

I was on the far outside 3-5 rows deep and was able to dart out and around a huge chunk of slower runners. Paul, another runner in our group, got stuck on the inside and struggled to get around slower runners. I settled into a comfortable pace and started picking off runners, while dodging walkers.  Even during the first lap there was a lot of walkers on the trail.  Some were neighbors of the lake, while others were wearing race numbers and should have started behind us…  For the first lap it wasn’t too much of a problem because they were in small groups.  About .75 miles into the race we turned a corner and got hit by a pretty strong headwind which we faced for about the next mile.  Shortly before the first mile mark a father was letting his 4 young boys run around with the runners.  They paid no attention to us almost cutting me off a few times.  I think if this wasn’t a holiday I may have gotten upset.  I tried to stay relaxed and have some fun. I was enjoying slowly picking people off!  I ran the first mile in 6:37.

It was pretty much more of the same as we came through the finish line area and back past the starting line. At this point the trail started to really be getting crowded with walkers, strollers, and dogs. I tried to stay relaxed and zigged and zagged my way around them without making any quick movements and trying to run the tangents as much as possible. I was feeling pretty relaxed and comfortable as I came through mile 2 in 6:35.

The last mile was all in the wind again which wasn’t overly pleasant and the runners were pretty spread out while the walkers were getting thicker. I looked up ahead and saw a woman running and a man in shorts and set myself to try and beat them both.  So I slowly picked up the pace and worked on my zig zag technique and ran mile 3 in 6:16.

As we turned the corner into the homestretch I still hadn’t caught either of the people I wanted to pass and couldn’t see shorts guy anymore but the woman was with in reach – as long as she didn’t kick too hard! I turned it on and went flying past her and strode across the finish line, pretty happy with myself!! The last 0.1 miles was in 0:32 which is 4:41 pace!  Overall 5K time was 20:01.  I had no expectations for this race so that was fine… it would have been nice to get under 20 since I was so close, but oh well!!

Talking with people who know the race director they said something like 600 people had pre-registered for the event, for smaller events you plan to double your pre-registered numbers, but there was a 700 participant limit.  I would wager that they got pretty close.  Since this was a fun run they didn’t have an official timing system or results.  In his pre-race announcements the director indicated that next year they will be changing the course so that the runners aren’t lapping the walkers and creating a mess in the middle of the race.  That would be a most excellent idea, especially if they can keep it flat! I occasionally enjoy low-key events and this would rank up there as fairly low-key. Charities Challenge is trying to encourage everyone to exercise and it is a hard balance between attracting lots of runners (of all speeds) and families who just want to walk together while supporting a good cause.

A lot of the walkers had pinned sheets of paper on their backs which said, “I am thankful for…” It was a good reminder throughout the race that I should be thankful for my abilities.  Many of them were too long to actually read while I ran by, but it is nice to see people celebrating family!

Media Coverage Pre-Race on Kare11

Note: if you zoomed in really close on the map you could see the zig and zag but at the zoom level above it just looks like the same course.

[tags] Thanksgiving, 5K, Race Review, Charities Challenge [/tags]

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

November Highlights

Sign at hotel in Wynne, AK

It is a little hard to believe that I am recapping November already.  Last year at this time we were finalizing our decision to move to Minneapolis and beginning the process of saying goodbye.  This year we are enjoying our life in Minneapolis, wondering what the next year will bring – but it doesn’t seem like a year has passed.

Last Year I traveled with friends to Arkansas for the Midsouth Marathon.  I ran the 1/2 and they did the full. After the race getting ready to head home we saw the recap of the Men’s Olympic Marathon trials and the roller coaster of emotions that day brought as Ryan Hall had an amazing performace while his friend Ryan Shay had run his last miles.

Later I ran the last of the year’s DINO 15K trail races and it was quite cold! It was a lot of fun though running through the hills and creeks of Fort Harrison State Park.   I also ran in my first Thanksgiving Day race – the Drumstick Dash. Wray Jean, one of the friends I went to Arkansas with, went to Tennessee to knock off another state’s marathon and ran the Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon.

With most of my racing out of the way for the year, I began to look back on analyze my training plans for the 3 major races.  First up was the Indianapolis Mini Marathon.  My second major race and analysis was for the Bears of the Blue River 10k.

I was also going through my RSS feeds and highlighting some of the blogs I read.  These included Martin Dugard’s Paper Kenyan, Cool Running’s blog, and the Phedipidations Blog.  Also at the end of November Dr Cade, the inventor of Gatorade passed away at 80 years old. I started a feature that continues today – Foto Friday!

For November 2007 my monthly mileage was 52 miles!

This year was a lot different my monthly mileage was double that of 113.6 miles.

I raced quite a few times this month, which helped keep my mileage up.  I ran in the USATF-MN XC Series.  Completing the Rocky’s Run 8k and the USATF-MN XC Championship 10k.  With those races out of the way I began contemplating what the off-season might have in store. It includes another round of the 100 push up challenge.

I finally finished a book called The Sacred Art of Running and started a series taking an in-depth look at the book. The first part was Foundations of a Spiritual Runner, which laid a lot of ground work for the rest of the book.  Next came Spirituality: A Running Definition,  which defined what spirituality means (to the author and the book) and what that had to do with running.

Of course November means Thanksgiving and offering thanks for the many blessings in our life. It also marks the anniversary of Foto Friday!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Thankful Today

Img from stock.xchng.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you are having a wonderful day enjoying friends, family, and food!

I looked up the word “thanks” in the Webster dictionary and it used the word gratitude, or having grateful thoughts.  Using the Webster thesarus brings even stronger words: appreciation, appreciativeness, gratefulness, gratitude, thankfulness, thanksgiving; gratification, indebtedness, satisfaction; acknowledgment, recognition, and tribute.

I think most of us don’t use these words often enough. I know I don’t.  I try to be thankful in every day life but it is hard sometimes.  I want to take a few minutes and share with you a list of things I’m thankful for, but first I really like this verse from the Old Testament: Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.

In no particular order:

I am thankful for…

… my wonderful wife

… my parents

… my extended network of family

… great friends that span the world and the technology to stay connected to them

… the opportunity to serve my community

… being able to wake up each morning in a warm house with food on the shelves

… great neighbors

… the ability to run and the strength to do so

… my growing network of friends who care about me individually

… friends and people who challenge me to strive to become the best person possible

… a church that cares more about taking care of each other and our neighbors than a building

… amazing co-workers who truly care about our students and their education

… the freedom to worship

… the snow, the sun, and even the rain (but maybe not -34 windchills)

What are you thankful for this year?

[tags] Thanksgiving [/tags]

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

9 Winter Weather Tips

Since I haven’t been outside running I’m a little late giving out winter running tips!  But here are nine tips every runner should know:

  1. Be Careful! Running in any extreme can be dangerous.  Make sure you are properly dressed for the weather and distance of your run.  For longer runs consider carrying extra supplies (dry socks, extra gloves, extra gel packets).
  2. Cross-Train Winter is the perfect time to step back and re-focus your energies, it is also a great time to add strength training and/or cross training to your schedule.  Unless you are planning an early spring race, this can be a great way to maintain your cardio fitness while letting your legs heal and get ready for next year.  My cross-training includes the elliptical machine and cycling, I’ve also started swimming, rowing, and stair climbing.  Cross-country skiing is also an excellent cross-training method if you have that much snow!
  3. Cover-up If you are running outside and the wind-chill drops make sure that you don’t have any exposed skin, you can also use vaseline to cover your face if you need to.  Make sure you wear chapstick and sunglasses.  If it is really sunny you may need sunscreen!
  4. Stay Hydrated Hydration is still important in the winter, even if you think your sweat rate decreases.  You may be wearing a wicking layer and that may trick you.  Also during colder weather your mind may not want as much water, even if your body needs it.  If your skin is dry and chapped, think about the inside of your body and drink more!
  5. Fall Gracefully With winter comes ice and slippery conditions, be careful.  I’ve never worn spikes or claws over my shoes, but even those aren’t 100% guaranteed to keep you standing! We are all bound to fall at some point so try to protect your head and face by tucking in your chin. Try to land on your butt or the side of your body if possible.  Try not to make any one part of your body absorb most of the impact, you could break a wrist or damage your knees.
  6. Stay Motivated It can be hard to keep motivated during these depressing months.  Plan ahead for next year, setting goals, and enjoy the freedom of not following a structured plan or make a structured plan depending on your needs. Explore new routes or run with different groups of people.
  7. Snuggle Up Take some extra time to read a running-related book or do some research on the Internet. Winter is a good time to grab a book off the shelf and read or spend some extra time on the Internet checking out running sites.
  8. Watch Out Be aware of the conditions you are running in and watch out for traffic! Remember that it will not be as easy for cars to stop or move around you.  You may also need to be aware of sliding cars coming at you.  You also need to watch out if you are indoors, be aware of others around you and your running form.
  9. Eat Healthy I know this is the worst time of year to try and eat healthy! But as you switch to cross-training and take more time off, the calories really begin to add up! I’ve talked to a lot of people who have gained weight already.  Runner’s World has provided a good list of ways to stay fit and trim and actually lose weight during the holiday season. It mostly comes down to being disciplined in your eating habits and not gorging yourself!

Bonus: Joe over at Run with Perseverance has developed a Winter Weather Temperature Chart (Excel Spreadsheet) which describes which items of clothing you should wear at 2 degree increments in the winter. This is a great system which can be modified to meet your specific running needs. I found it may be a little overdressed for my personal tastes.

Some of my inspiration came from these sources:

Yesterday’s Workout

Today was a lifting day! This is the first I’ve lifted since early spring and I can definitely feel it! My thought has always been to cross train MWF and lift on TR. It was nice to actually get the chance to do it! Today was upper body workouts which included bench, curls, dips, hanging leg raises, and shoulder press.  No cardio!

Technorati tags: , , ,
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Race Results from Thanksgiving and beyond!

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving and are getting back into the routine of your life! Welcome to the hustle and bustle of the holiday season!

Four Mile Foot Fest was won by Nick Polk, 23 of Indianapolis, in 19:59 (5:00) almost 3 minutes ahead of second place.  Nicole Gliem, 22 of Beech Grove, won the female division in 23:44 (5:56) about 10 seconds ahead of second place and 5th overall. 172 finished this event.

Drumstick Dash was won by Jeff Powers, 23 of Bloomington, in 21:40 (4:49) about 15 seconds ahead of second place.   Maddie  McKeever, 20 of Littleton, CO, won the female division in 25:12 (5:36) about 10 seconds ahead of second place and 23rd overall. 2,524 finished the 4.5 mile course (they don’t count the 2.6 mile course finishers).

Christmas in the Park (Brazil) was won by Zach Whitkanack in 17:05 (5:29) about 40 seconds ahead of second place.  Janelle Ralph won the female division in 20:08 (6:28) about a minute ahead of second place and 6th overall. 45 finished this event!

Pictures from Tuxbro and the Drumstick Dash.

Technorati tags: , ,
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]