Saturday, January 9, 2010

Quaker Oatmeal Festival 5K

Dust off the shoes & get out the door! 2010 has started & the Quaker Oatmeal Festival 5K kicked off the "training" for the second year in a row. For $16 you get a race, oatmeal & pancake breakfast afterwards, a goodie bag, can of oatmeal to take home & some vitamin water from Eldorado Springs. I woke up at 7 AM for the 9:30 am start time...putzed around with a shower & coffee/toast before leaving--it was 6 F when I woke up so pretty dang chilly! Last year I ended up 17:59 & getting "chicked" by the top female. This year, after setting a new PR only 2 weeks on a pancake flat run back home at sea level in 16:04, I was at least hoping I'd be close to 17 this time around. Add in altitude, cold weather & ice on the roads & it took me down to a rather disappointing 17:41 (12th overall out of 1,086 & 1st Master runner)--still faster than last year (which at 40 is a bonus). However, I really was hoping to be close to breaking 17 but that's the way the cookie crumbles when you let yourself slide out of race shape!  I've been running but it has all been base miles & the last speedwork I had done was a short race before Kona on trails where I took 2nd overall there. This year I did get "chicked" again by a gal that just finished Chicago Marathon this year in 2:32.  She passed me shortly after the turn around & she was flying!

I could tell my core was weak as my run form was not holding together after the first half mile. I was up with the top 6 at the top of the first hill (about a half  mile from the start), then the wheels came off. Opposite of last year I went out faster this time 'round instead of starting slower & keeping even paced. Obviously I slowed near the end, but figured if I got to the front & up to the turn around, I could "cruise" back home. One guy finished about half a step behind me so I was definitely having the hurt put on. I did not warm up that well I feel, and cold certainly isn't good for me & high intensity running. Cool weather is fine--but when it is below freezing, that is a little out of my comfort zone. Maybe next year I can be a little closer to 17--I'll just have to start some speed work late in the year to be ready for a January 5K..this year, it was too little too late but it WAS IMPROVEMENT over last year. Always have to take away the positives from your experiences.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Childhood Memories...

Things I remember from the past that keep popping into my mind…Sour Cream & Onion Doritos, Tostitos Nacho Cheese Rounds, Days of Our Lives soap opera at lunch with mom, poached eggs on toast several times in the morning with mom before leaving for grade school. Earl Nightingale on the alarm clock radio to help me wake up before grade school each morning…a show suggested to me by Delores Torsch. Using Hot Wheels track as a pretend fire hose to imitate my uncle, while playing at my cousin’s who was a captain in the local fire department. Sliding down the support pole from the top of my aunt’s steps to the basement—pretending I was sliding down a fire pole at the firehouse with my cousin, pretending we were my uncle’s firefighter crew. Playing T-Ball for a week on another cousin’s T-Ball team (while I was much older), as a guest player (only because my uncle was the coach of the team). Getting a can of Pepsi and bag of chips from the “concession car” after a game of Little League. Squashing ants/ant hills out in right field while I should have been paying attention to the Little League game…Going with mom & bro to sign up for a season of hockey—getting up to the desk and BAILING at the last second because I was too embarrassed I couldn’t skate that well. Staying up late in junior high school listening to my mini-speaker/Toshiba cassette player with the entire collection of Billy Joel music. Reading and re-reading and memorizing issues of Triathlon Today issues. Beating TWO of the “BIG FOUR” during their pro triathlon careers shortly before they retired…Scaring the bejezzus out of my parents every time I could when they either came home from grocery shopping or from somewhere else. Working summers in a factory until late evening and then cycling on the mag trainer & lifting weights until 1 or 2 AM with music blaring—then passing out after a bath (we didn’t have a shower). The day I ate 7 hot dogs & buns at my Grandma’s (cooked on this little yellowish gold indoor electric grill). Playing checkers with my grandpa every time I went to his house. Beating the tar out of my neighbor with a whiffle ball bat after I walked into the path of his swing set (I thought it was his fault). The street marker made of brick on Lincoln Street where we used to live—where I thought Frankenstein was housed (it always scared the bejezzus out of me walking by it). My dad occasionally bringing home a bag of Made-Right Cheese Popcorn from the vending machine at the factory (how I looked forward to it when he could afford it!) Catching a 27 lb. salmon with my dad when I was 13 years old—it took me half an hour to land it & my arms were soooo dead after! The trips to Cedar Point. The punishing and seemingly endless hours of cross country ski training with my buddy Jeff (who later went on to finish 16th in the US Olympic Trials & was NCAA national champion). My beloved doggy “Max”—a beagle—dying in my arms carrying him to dad’s truck when I was 14. Finding a giant bag of “speeders” in my sister’s high leather boots when I was nosing around in her room one day. Playing each weekend at “Busha’s” farm, or at my grandma’s house, usually playing games like Twister or hide & seek. Grinding up Ginger Snaps in my Great-Grandma’s hand-crank coffee grinder with my cousin. Pounding rocks looking for gold at Bloom Road Camp with my cousin, getting eaten alive by mosquitoes at the Haas Hunting Club each summer. Winter horse drawn sleigh rides pushing each other off into snow banks then going back to Bob & Mayford’s house for hot apple cider or hot cocoa. Becoming city-champion record holder beating my “mentor’s record” at Ms. Pac Man. Competing in the city-wide grade school championships track & field high jump event in a dress shirt and corduroy pants (I was too embarrassed about my milky white skin). Lastly, my first day of cross country in high school, running in an old pair of “Kangagroo” running shoes…it was about six miles and practically killed me (think I was sore for two weeks!)