Sunday, October 29, 2006

Grand Rapids Half Marathon 2006

Well, I did it.

To start with the night before the race could have gone better. I had to cover a soccer game that started at 6 p.m. Temp was about 40, but major gusting wind in my face that probably brought the wind chill down to somewhere in the low to mid 30s. T was gracious enough to accompany me to the game. Afterwards we went to Olive Garden for a little pre-race pasta. Only drawback, we didn’t get our food until 10 p.m. (It was a Saturday night.) We get home and get everything ready. She volunteered as a medical aid for the race and she had a meeting at 6 a.m. across town. Set the alarm for 5. Get up, I turn on the TV to check the weather. Weather Channel says it’s 4:08. Holy Crap we forgot to set the clocks back! Back to bed for both of us.

Made it downtown to the race by 7:20 for an 8 a.m. start. Jog about 0.5 mile warm-up and head to the bag check area. Only one small problem. They didn’t have any bags! They had expected us to bring our bags from the Expo!!!! Luckily I was parked less than a block away so I just jogged back to the truck to stow my stuff. Made it back to the porta-potty line about 10 minutes before the start of the race. Took care of business and made it to the start with a minute or two to spare.

We were off!

I made a pace chart for myself – starting slow and speeding up throughout the race. I knew what my goal times were for the first 4 miles so I was a bit surprised when we paced mile 1 and I was almost 2 minutes faster than I wanted to be! Thing is, it felt like a pretty maintainable effort so I just went for it. Also, the heart rate on my 305 didn’t work. At all during the race. Not sure why, but I’m going to check the battery sometime in the next few days.

Pretty uneventful for the early going, unless you count dodging people at the aid stations. Around mile 5 I hear a voice behind mention Oregon. Eventually we were next to each other and I had a nice conversation with a guy moving to Bend tomorrow. Yes, I’m jealous. I was still about a 1:20 ahead of my goal time.

Mile 6 I took a Gu. First time trying it. Not bad. DW managed to score some for me from her aid station.

Between mile 8 and 9 I passed T’s station. Got a big cheer. Felt good. (Have I mentioned how supportive she was through this whole thing? She even surprised me with a long sleeve tech t with the oval 13.1 on it!)

Around mile 9 the two courses diverged so I lost a lot of the people who had been around me so far. It was about this time my left hip started talking to me about how it wasn’t having fun anymore. Nothing new, so I tried my best to put it in the back of my mind. This was my slowest mile of the day. D@mn hip.

Mile 10 my right IT band joined in with the hip to let me know they both weren’t having any fun. 3.1 to go.

Mile 11 we came out of the trees along the path we were on and the wind picked up.
Mile 12. Just past the marker we turned back into downtown and the wind was in our face. Felt like I was on a treadmill. The last 300 yards or so were the worst, but at least I could see the finish line at this point.

Crossed the line – not looking at my watch! Shook the race director’s hand. Got my medal. Turned in my chip and sought out the beer.

Here are my splits:
Mile 1 9:52
Mile 2 10:08
Mile 3 10:15
Mile 4 10:13
Mile 5 10:12
Mile 6 10:02
Mile 7 10:06
Mile 8 10:13
Mile 9 10:44
Mile 10 10:03
Mile 11 10:13
Mile 12 10:23
Mile 13 10:32
Finish (my watch) 2:15:06
Chip time: 2:15:07

So I missed my goal by 4 minutes, but I couldn’t have given any more on the course. Very satisfied with my first race over 10k.

Now on to the

So this is the t-shirt T (did I mention how awesome and supportive she is) gave me, my medal, and the race shirt - also long sleeve tech t

A close-up of the medal.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


Ok, it's Thursday night which means I have just a bit more than 48 hours until the half marathon. Now, I ran a 5k on Saturday (see pictures/post below on the PR) but I haven't run since. I'm taking "tapering" to a whole new level here!

I have figured out what I'm wearing, mostly, after checking the weather about every 3 hours - last check high of 45 on Saturday and chance of I'm thinking it will be somewhere in the 30's at race time. Ordered a sweet new Smartwool beanie to wear that is much lighter than my fleece ones. Plus it's not black. I'd include a link but it just takes you to the smartwool website. It's the "training beanie" in twilight if interested.

I have decided that I'm leaving the iPod at home. I may pay for this later, but I'm sticking with the decision.

I have decided which pair of running shoes I'm wearing - even if they did start squeaking on me in the race Saturday! Then I'm retiring them...over 400 miles on them so they will become everyday shoes for me.

Erin - let us know when the interview is and how it goes!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Great Start to a Saturday

Now I might be crazy for the title, but bear with me...

Ran in a 5k today at GVSU. I know I have the half marathon next week and racing probably not the best thing, but then since my training has been "unique" I thought what the hell.

So here is me prerace:

Lowest bib number I've ever had for a race...felt pretty good after my warm-up (technically when T snapped this photo).

Felt really good during the race: mile 1 - 8:37, mile 2 - 8:43 (so I slowed down a bit but still feeling pretty good). T snapped this picture at about the 2.5 mile point:

No matter what T says about me looking at "ease" when I run, I was pushing it pretty hard by this point

Mile 3 I started to fade...8:53, but turned it on, or tried to from the 3 mile point until the finish.

Finished with a time of 26:51. A new PR for me, by 54 seconds.

So feeling pretty good about things right now.

Only thing left to do today is get ready to go tailgate with T's co-workers this afternoon. So there are beers in my future.

Maybe the title should be a good start and a great finish?

Friday, October 20, 2006

New Addition

Ok, here it is, the new TV:

Picture is great. HD programming is unbelievable. Those of you who haven't experienced it, I highly suggest it.

Running a 5k tomorrow. Supporting the Grand Valley Track/Field program I think. Then it's tailgating with T's co-workers later that afternoon. It's homecoming.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Long run...

Completed my last long run in preparation for the Grand Rapids Half-Marathon (13.1 miles) today. Set out to run between 11 and 12 miles. Nice easy pace goal for today, between 10:20 and 10:45 min/miles.

Made it through 10 pretty easy, but then my hip started to ache a bit, was able to ignore it though and push on.

12 miles clicked by, felt pretty good actually so I decided to see if I could go the full 13.1...and I did.

Legs were/are dead now even after a cold soak in the tub for 10 mins. But overall I feel pretty good. This was the longest run I've ever completed and now I KNOW I can make it on the 29th.

Just need to recover by Saturday...running in a 5k.

TV UPDATE: it's somewhere between Louisville, KY and here still according to the tracking number. I'm hoping for a Monday delivery!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

TV Update

As of 5:16 a.m. the TV is enroute to Michigan from Louisville, KY. Hopefully it will arrive Monday or Tuesday.

Still cold here...not really looking forward to standing outside at a soccer game today - however, the saving grace is that due to weather they split up the double header that was scheduled, so I only have to cover the men's soccer game. woo hoo.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


It is snowing. It is October 12th.

Sad thing is, I just ran 6 miles in the stuff.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Christmas? In October?

I have the greatest wife ever...she doesn't freak out at things like "T, I'm going for a run. Be back in 2 hours." or "You want to go for a hike on the coast this weekend? It's supposed to be 40 F and raining." or "We're not going to get a better deal, so should I go ahead and order the TV?"

That's right. The 37" TV was ordered today. It is currently "processing" and should ship in 24 to 48 hours. Went with the 3-day shipping option, so I'm hoping that it will arrive on Wednesday, around the same time as the bedroom furniture.

Now just have to 1) find a stand for it to go on 2) Call Comcast (once I know when it might be here) to have them hook us up with the HD package and the DVR to go with our digital cable (don't get me started...I know DirecTV would be cheaper, but we aren't allowed to have it here at the apartment. When we buy a house.)

Sunday, October 08, 2006

New the house!

Bought bedroom furniture yesterday. Queen sized bed frame (already had the mattress, etc) a chest of drawers, another "master" chest - think that's what the name was - with a mirror on the front (got it instead of the dresser), and two night stands. Will be delivered on the 18th. They only make deliveries out where we live on Wednesdays and neither of us can be here this week. Needless to say, T is very excited.

Also, it appears as if we (I) will be allowed to purchase a new tv, possibly as soon as this upcoming weekend. Current choices are:

Television One - Costco currently in the lead I believe, but waiting to hear back from a friend with electronic gadgetry knowledge

Television Two - online retailer

Ok, off to finish (as close as we can) our table and chairs - pictures of them and the new bedroom furniture when able.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Free Time

T had this on her blog the other day so I thought since I have plenty of time to kill this afternoon here goes:

1. How tall are you barefoot? 5’ 11” on a good day
2. Have you ever been unfaithful in a relationship? Nope.
3. Do you own a gun? No.
4. Have you had a mental disorder? No, the voice in my head hasn’t mentioned anything.
5. Why is a raven like a writing desk? Uh….
6. What do you think of hot dogs? They have their place…like in a cheese coney!
7. What's your favorite Christmas song? Hard to pick just one.
8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Coffee. Lots of coffee

9. Do you do push-ups? Sometimes
10. Have you ever done ecstasy? No
11. Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend? Not currently, I don’t think the wife would approve.
12. Do you like the rain? Yes.
13. Are you sweet? More sour.
14. Do you have A.D.D.? No.
15. Full initials? KNP
16. Do you like the snow? It’s ok, until it turns to grey slush.

17. Name 4 thoughts at this exact moment. 1) Season premiere of Lost is on in about 2 hours 15 mins. 2) I hope T isn’t too late tonight (she teaches a class from 6-9 pm) 3) Downloaded some Metallica from iTunes today. 4) I’m hungry.
18. Name the last 3 things you have bought in the past week: a big mac, a mountain dew, groceries on Sunday
19. Have you ever been arrested? Nope, but have been “patted down” at gun point
20. What time did you wake up today? 6:30 am, then 6:40, then 6:50, then 7:00 – T is evil and introduced the snooze button to me
21. Can you spell? Yes.
Hey, what happened to 22?
23. Current hate? The lack of a good cup of coffee in Michigan.
24. Favorite place to be? Oregon? Actually anywhere with T.
25. Least favorite place to be? Dentist office.
26. Where would you like to go? Would love to see Europe. If T and I could only save up the money for a vacation.
27. Do you own slippers? Yep, have ‘em on now.
28. Where do you think you'll be in 10 yrs? No idea. A lot can happen in the next 10 years, ‘cause a lot happened in the last 10.
29. Do you burn or tan? Burn…what’s this tan you speak of?
30. Yellow or blue? Orange?
31. Would you be a pirate? Maybe, if I could swim better.
32. When was the last time your phone rang? Monday morning.
33. What songs do you sing in the shower? Don’t sing.
34. What did you fear was going to get you at night as a child? The Boogey-Man of course! And you never know when he’s gonna be there!
35. What's in your pockets right now? Nothing. Empty.
36. Last thing that made you laugh? An email from Jodi Schneider concerning a “conversation” she had with someone pretty important.
37. Best bed sheets you had as a child? Superman.
38. Worst injury you've ever had? Broken collarbone.
39. Have you ever crashed a car/truck? Yes.
40. How many TVs do you have in your house? Only one…mmwwhhaa, but soon there shall be a new 37” LCD TV in the house.
41. Would you ever buy an iguana? Not a chance in @*$!’ing hell!
42. Are you attracted to your same sex? No.
44. Do you wish on stars? No.
45. What is your favorite book? Into The Wild – Jon Krakauer
46. What song did you last hear? Metallica: Whiskey in the Jar
47. Do you think Mormons are hot? No.
48. What is your favorite cereal? Kellog Fruit Harvest, Strawberry and Peaches
49. What were you doing at midnight last night? Sleeping.
50. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up? Five more minutes?

24 and Counting

That would be days until the Half marathon. Managed 11.3 miles this past Sunday, but due to real-life and weather commitments I haven't gotten a run in since...tomorrow.

BAM: if you (or Tom) are reading this, I need an email address for you since I'm not sure the Holden Village one will still work.

A Day Late....

In our current geopolitical state of affairs and all that is ongoing in Afghanistan and Iraq, let us not forget 10/3/1993, Mogadishu, Somalia, and the actions of brave men. Lessons were learned, paid for in life and limb, hopefully not to be repeated. Two men were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for their actions during the battle. Read the book Black Hawk Down, it is well worth it no matter what you feel about our leadership (or lack there of) in Washington.