"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went" - Will Rogers

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

in between trainings...

Tuesday mid-morning:

As I enjoyed a last couple of v-days off from work (use them or lost them policy) earlier this week I got myself outside on on a picture perfect day Tuesday for my last run in the training books for the 2008 season. I decided just to run a "whatever" route in our region to just enjoy the day and the run felt really good with that mindset :-)

I covered 6.2 miles in 54:51 for a mile pace of 8:51 and an average HR of 137bpm. I picked in the pace each mile after I used the 1st three miles as a warm-up so in the last mile I acheived my max HR at 150bpm.

It was a perfect way to end the 2008 training season!


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Some Obi pic's when we had snow...

Here's some pictures of puppy Obi at 20 weeks old enjoying the snow day a couple Fridays ago when we did have snow in our region...he likes chasing Kristen around the yard :-)

a long run sunday...

Sunday morning:

I headed out to Barrington Hills (Home Economist) with Kristen as she needed to get in a long run for her early spring 50k race training. The temps were cold and very windy with lots of frozen mini-ponds covering the county roads of Barrington from the previous days rain and snow melt-off. K controlled the pace perfectly as we covered the 10.6 mile hilly course in 1:44:25 for a mile pace of 9:51. My average HR was at 127bpm with a max climbing a headwind hill at 141bpm.

My running conditioning has dropped dramatically as this is only my second run since Tecumseh on 12.06.08...but this break from running is much needed as my body needs to heal from the 2008 racing season ;-)


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Holidays


Merry Christmas to all :-)


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

An early Christmas Present has arrived!!!

the long awaited custom etched Tecumseh Trail Marathon Finishers Medal has arrived via mail on Christmas Eve...of the four marathons I ran in 2008 even though this was my slowest time due too the toughness of the race and I will have to say this is my favorite marathon medal to date of the 12 that I have run so far :-)

thanks Santa for the present!

Winterfest Chicago style...

A couple weeks ago K & I went to the Daley Plaza Center for the Annual German Christmas time market in Chicago every year...

Chicago's Christkindlmarket 2008

Here's some pic's I took that day :-)

first run in two weeks!!!

Saturday morning 12/20:

I finally got my body out of the house to go on a 8 mile hilly run up in Lake Zurich with Kristen & a whole bunch of other runners. It was my first run in two weeks time since the Tecumseh Trail Marathon on 12.06 so I have lost alittle conditioning since then but all went well. I covered the distance in 1:12:29 for a mile pace of 9:03 and an average HR of 137bpm. I had a max HR climbing one of the hills into the wind at 151bpm .

Afterwards a group of us went out to Panera for breakfast in Deer Park as I consumed the ever awesome chicken noodle soup in sourdough bread bowl...hit the spot perfectly!


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

back to biking for now...

I have purposely chosen not to run since Tecumseh to give my body & mind a much needed break from running after such a long season of racing...so I have decided in the interim to start training once again on my tri-bike via the indoor training since I have not ridden the bike as of 10.04.08 at the 10 Mile outdoor cycling time trial...

Thursday 12/11:

Rode for 30 minutes via the tri-bike on the Kinetic rear-wheel training to help flushout the dead leg (mainly quads) syndrome I was still suffering from at Tecumseh. I covered 6.9 miles in that time frame with an average HR of 95rpm plus average cadence of 90rpm. Average speed was recovery low at 13.9mph with a max speed on a push at 19.2mph...this is just what I needed!

Sunday 12/14:

Another 40 minute recovery ride on the tri-bike via the trainer this time covering 9.5 miles with an average HR of 102bpm and average cadence of 88rpm plus an average speed of 14.2mph. Legs were starting to finally feel better on this day...


Sunday, December 14, 2008

My 2008 Tecumseh Trail Marathon Race Report...

2008 Tecumseh Trail Marathon Race Report

I remember last December thinking about racing the “Thingy” for my first trail marathon but thru early to mid-2008 I forgot about the race since I had a very fully race season scheduled already. But post-Chicago 2008 Tom M. reminded me that Tecumseh was filling up fast so I always listen to what Tom tells me :-) I forged ahead and signed up for the trail marathon. Since I ran Chicago and then New York I then was going to run Tecumseh as a “fun” marathon run with some friends to close out my 2008 racing season…sure brian…a fun run :-)

So on Friday 12.5.08 I headed out for the 4 hour drive to Bloomington, IN with plenty of time to spare before package p/u at the host (small) motel between the hours of 6 to 8pm. I decided to go out for a 3 mile easy run to loosen up my legs from the car travels and I was running out of the hotel parking lot another running was pulling the lot in their car as she smiled and waved to me. The hilly training run went fine so I cleaned up afterwards I drove out to the Yellowwood Forest finisher’s area to get a better idea of the region for which I noticed immediately entailed hills, hills and more hills! After seeing where the finishers area was and needed to be the next morning to pick-up the bus ride to the starting area I headed to the package p/u motel were I immediately spotted a group of serious looking racers and started to wonder what I had gotten myself into…I’m a rookie trail marathoner with no trail training…just some very basic thrown together, very simple maintenance training since Chicago & New York! I then remembered this was a “fun run” for which I was aiming to finish in the 4 to 4.5 hour time zone…

Afterwards I met up at Italian Restaurant in downtown Bloomington with fellow Tapirs Leann, GregC and DaveK for a much needed carbo dinner and strategy session on how to approach this technically challenging trail race. GregC ran this event back in 2005 and shared his wealth of knowledge about Tecumseh mainly telling us to take it easy up till mile 18 as all the major climbing is done in these early miles…walking up the steep hills were a must! Also Leann told me she was the one in the car pulling into the hotel lot that afternoon…a small world :-)

After a perfect night of sleep I finally decided on my race attire as I ate breakfast that early morning. I headed out early to the curvy, hilly country road luckily before the snow started to fall and as I parked at the finishline area the snow then started to fall. As I ate alittle more pre-race food and drank some more electrolyte drink I must have reviewed the elevation profile chart a hundred more times http://www.dinoseries.com/maps/TTMprofileB.gif and thinking about GregC’s words about taking it easy the first 18 miles before getting out of the car to get on the school bus at 8:45am to head to the starting area. I spotted Leann as we rode on the bus together to the start area which kept my mind off the race that we were about to take part in with 598 other runners. As the bus delivered us to the start I wished her well and I would she her at the finish area. I spotted GregC with his foot just millimeters behind the spray painted on two inches of fresh snow starting line and Tom M. spotted us both as Tim Miller was here also with us just weeks after his awesome Indy Marathon time. We all wished each other the best and after the race organizers finally got the led vehicle running the start horn went off at 10:20am…

As the race commenced I started near the front as I heard the trail pinches into single track close to mile two but I was running at a comfortable pace. The race is quite majestic in the especially as the lightly falling snow flakes were settling to earth. The ground was frozen icy due too the cold nights they had just the days before the race which suited me much better than mud. As we entered into the single track areas I was very glad I had chose to wear my Solomon Speed Cross 2 trail shoes http://www.sport-evasion.fr/catalog/images/speedcross2.jpg as I noticed alot of runners in front of me struggling with grip on the uphill and especially downtown switchback descents. They performed perfect traction over the 26.2 miles except on very icy layered large flat stone slab rocks which were very few and far between. The miles went by comfortably and in control as we approached the “infamous” mile 13 uphill fire road with large gravel rocks on it. As I walked up the 200 foot climb uphill with several other runners it kept my mind off the steepness of it. After the crest of the hill we all resumed running downhill to the slightly smaller uphill at mile 16 which required walking once again with conversation once more. Once again after the crest we resumed running downhill as the next uphill started at mile 17 but went till mile 18 at a slightly less steepness and then…

I exploded by hitting the marathon “wall” running along the long plateau zone just after mile 18 even with all the hydration & nutrition I was carrying and consuming up to this point…I didn’t listen to GregC’s words but it felt like I was before this situation dissolved upon me. To be honest I don’t remember much from just after mile 18 till about before mile 22 as I was delusional from this massive bonk scenario. I attempted to run the flats and the downhill’s but I was way out-of-balance so I choose to walk & slight jog when I could as I was consuming massive amounts of nutrition to attempt to reverse this trend. As I would step off the single track to let fellow runners by I provided words of encouragement to them as they ran by in packs of either 3 or 5 runners. Also everyone whom passed me provided encouragement to me also which was truly appreciated during these challenging times which is what finally kick started my return to running once again just around mile 22. Everyone whom was a volunteer, aid station working and spectator was great motivation to all us runners also …thank you folks!

As I ran now on the switchback downhill heading toward the lake near mile 23 I was feeling much better now as the singletrack then followed the ebbs and flows of the typography along the beautiful snow covered frozen lake my energy was coming back but at a reduced rate of speed which I was happy to have at this point. I could hear the speaker PA system announcing runners finishing the race from the other side of the frozen lake which meant the end was near. At about mile 24.5 I had my one & only fall for the day as ran up a short uphill out of a dry creek bed after a quick downhill …my left foot toe box hit right onto the face of a dark colored flat-top granite slab rock but I bounced up quite quickly since I was more embarrassed about that fall than anything else. Luckily no one was near to witness this as I pretty much ran the last 4.5 miles of the race solo anyways. The race then had one last uphill walking climb around mile 25.5 and then I found some reserve energy to kick-in the last half mile and I had finished with a big smile on my face…finish time was a marathon PW at 4:56:34 but a trail marathon PR since it was my first one!!!

After I ate the awesome post-race homemade vegetable soup, turkey panani style sandwich, chips & peanuts I headed back to the car to change out of my race clothing and into some warm, dry winter ski clothing as it really was quite cold outside at about 30 degrees now with flurries still falling. As I headed back to finish area Tom M. spotted me after he finished this challenging race. After Tom consumed his food we spotted Leann whom just finished as we talked alittle bit about this experience we all went through today. I then drove Tom back to the cabin his family had rented for the weekend as Tom & his family invited me over for homemade Italian Beef sandwiches, brew and family time. It was truly appreciated as ever, we shared race experiences as that race was completely exhausting. Thanks Martin family once again!!!

As I left the hotel the next day on Sunday to return home via car I had a lot of time to think about how much I really did enjoy this new experience. I had a fantastic time at the Tecumseh Trail Marathon and sharing it with friends also, I would highly recommend this race to anyone looking for a new challenge. This race took me back a couple decades ago when I went to school out in Gunnison, CO where outdoor sports were plentiful to participate in. Running this “Thingy” thing reminded me of those times and running Tecumseh was an absolute perfect way to cap off my racing 2008 season…

BTW…I will return in 2009 with a much wiser & seasoned approach towards Tecumseh :-)


also…here’s a link to my polar HR data from the event as you can clearly see my bonk zone… http://www.twodogzdesign.com/run08/ttm120608.JPG

and here are the 2008 results and Tecumseh info if interested… http://www.dinoseries.com/2008TTMresults.htm

Sunday, December 7, 2008

a brief Tecumseh note before I head home...


That was the toughest challenge I have raced too date and I earned that 'dang sweatshirt & medal :-)

That wall at mile 18 crushed the life from me :-)

Congrat's to everyone whom raced Tecumseh and thanks for the much needed support!

brian - TTM08 4:56:34

Friday, December 5, 2008

now for the backside...

of the Tecumseh sweatshirt...

I'm here...

the front of the Tecumseh sweatshirt...

off i go to bloomington indiana...

Just wanted to say thanks for all the great support from everyone as I headed to the tecumseh trail marathon race tomorrow...the weather forecast looks like this...

Tomorrow: Variably cloudy with snow showers. High around 35F. Winds SW at 15 to 25 mph. Chance of snow 40%.
Above is the picture of the bad boy trail shoes I will be wearing for the slippery race...these are awesome shoes :-)
Keep an eye on my blog here as I'll post up info here over the next few days...
Have a great weekend everyone :-)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

lakefront run...

Saturday morning 11.29.08:

K and I headed down to the lakefront to meet up with our friends for our usual weekly long run. She ran with the group as I went ahead at my pace for training towards next Saturdays trail marathon. My legs felt good after running a hilly ten miler just 48 hours earlier as I was able to cover the 8 mile run in 1:06:54 for a mile pace of 8:21. My average HR was 137bpm with a max HR near the end at 150bpm as I was testing my legs reaction to some speedwork.

Afterwards the group of us went out for a great breakfast at Schuba's which has become a tradition at this point :-)


Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving morning...

Thanks everyone for the very kind notes about our 15 week old puppy Obie the wavy coated Portuguese Water Dog. He had a blast last Wednesday afternoon at his first ever trip to Lake Michigan at the Montrose Harbor dog park on the beachfront. Obie is quite the social butterfly as he gets along with all types of dogs as you could see from the video :-) He really enjoys these adventures...

The PWD breed type size is about 50 to 60lbs when fully grown so a medium size dog he will be :-)

Thursday morning:

K and I headed out to meet up with about 70 running friends on Thanksgiving morning in Long Grove, IL for the annual 10 mile run that has been going on for years hosted by the Alpine Runners. Kristen ran with our friend Bridget and a few others that started at 6:30am! I ran with the main group that started at 7am and it was fantastic to see so many people out there enjoying the beautiful crisp fall morning. The running loop was perfect as that area has some nice hilliness to it which worked out perfect for my Techumseh training :-)

I ran with a friend whom is training for the Arizona marathon in January then running Boston in April. The mileage went by quickly and before we knew it the run was over with. Afterwards people had brought food & drink for a nice gathering post-run.

We ran the 10.1 miles in 1:26:38 for a mile pace in the hills of 8:34 with an average HR of 134bpm...

It was just the kind of training run I needed ;-)