Saturday, September 28, 2013

Brewers Mini Marathon

     2013 marks the second year for the Brewers Mini Marathon and the second time I got to pace it.  Performance Running Outfitters, a local running store, supports the pace team. This year the weather was much better.  Last year we were greeted at 5:30 am by a large lightening bolt across the parking lot.  Que long weather delay inside crammed Miller Park.  For 2013 the weather was great, cooler temps and not a cloud in the sky, more on that later.  Even the packet pickup was different.  2012 the pickup was behind home plate on the main concourse.  This year it was still behind home plate but on the Club level.  That is the nice carpeted level with all the founders suites.  Parking for pickup was much better this year.  The Brewers Mini always has great race swag especially if you love baseball and the Brewers.  We got a bobble head, ticket voucher, tech shirt, medal, and two beers after.
Race day I showed up bright and early.  However there was no bright yet.  We pacers hung out in the parking lot.  We told poop jokes (Knock Knock?  Who's There? Poop!) and shared running stories.  We all took a group photo and headed for the corrals.  Since parking before the race was still an issue this year the start was delayed 10 minutes.  If you have ever gone to a baseball game in Milwaukee you know how the parking lot people can be.  Let's just say imagine cranky people at 5:15 in the morning.  
     The course was slightly different this year from the last.  Instead of running a loop around the parking lot the course takes you out and back on a bridge past the Iron Horse Hotel.  Along this
course are the many smells of Milwaukee.  And some of those are not so good smells.
Mile 1.75 you run past a tannery.
Mile 2.3 is a slaughter house.
Mile 2.4 is a casino.

Mile 3 is an electric power plant.

Mile 4 Harley Davidson Museum.

Mile 4.4 a nice bridge looking thingy.
Mile 5 a corner of downtown and Marquette University.

Mile 6 got to smell the tannery again and run over a long bridge.  In Milwaukee we call them viaducts.
Mile 7 a strip mall.

Mile 8 another viaduct.

Mile 9 ????

Mile 9.5 Miller Valley.

This was one of the best parts of the race.  Great to smell the wort and see the assembly line running.
Mile 10 more factories.

Mile 11 is a nice Maple lined residential street.
Mile 12  A bridge.

Mile 12.75 Miller Park.

Runners had the opportunity to run on the warning track from left field past home to right field and out the back door.

Mile 13 was on the road outside the stadium.

The course is not the best in the world.  But it does give you a real feel of Milwaukee.  Some one said and I second their statement...The downhills do not feel to match up with the amount of uphills.  There are many straight sections with out a turn in the wide open sun.

Personally I felt like the on course entertainment was lacking this year.  Last year the racing sausages were in the Miller Valley and really energized the runners.  I also felt like there were less photographers.  I did love the purple Gatorade on course.  For some odd reason one stop around mile 9 had lemon lime.  The post race finishers area was nice.  Cookies and chocolate milk are always a favorite.  I could have done without the salty communion wafers.  Excuse me, I mean Lays Pops.  But I ate them because I needed salt.  Massage and free beer is great, but with so many runners the wait was insane.  5,000 runners, 1 tiny little beer wagon.  There is not much support on the course but you cannot blame people when a race starts and ends at Miller Park.  The seating area is open to watch runners and they are selling beer and food right outside the park.
     I hope I have the chance to pace again next year.  Great to spend a Saturday morning with 2 strangers gabbing away.  And after 13.1 miles you feel like old friends....till next run.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Back at it

     After some extended rest I am back!  I went for a mile test/warm up on the trails near Whitnall park.  All went well so I decided to run the last fun run of the year.  My local running club has Wednesday Fun runs all year long.  This week was the last of the year and I thought it would be a good test of my legs.  I know every crevasse and dip along those three miles.  I feel like I could run it with my eyes closed.  So I knew it would be a good test to see what my legs feel like.  I would know what is a twinge in my muscles vs just a crack in the pavement.  I felt strong the first 2 miles and pushed the pace hard.  My legs responded well.  No sharp pain, Bonus!  After 2 miles I knew that my tank was starting to drain.  A few people that I passed early got me in the last mile.  I could have pushed it more, but I was just testing the waters.  Overall I felt strong. 23:24 for 3 miles not a PR for that course, I was 9 seconds beyond that, but felt like I could have hit that mark if I pushed harder.  After running my legs felt sore but no sharp pain.  I slept on them and felt good again today.  My hips did feel a little tight after a hard day at work but some yoga at night and walking home fixed that right up.
   I have not taken more that two days off of running in forever, March actually.  But 4 days off of running sure worked.  I am still a little tight and creaky, but feeling good about running.  Feelings about life?  That is another type of blog all together.
     Tomorrow is packet pick up for the Brewers Mini.  I get the pleasure to help pace again.  I love helping others reach their running goals.
     From here there are 10 days until Lakefront marathon.  My A goal is still going try and break 4 hours....till next run!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Running Status : OUT

     Friday night I went out for a 8 mile run.  That was not a good idea.  It was too much for me at this point in my schedule.  The pain was intense.  My running buddy and I ended up walking in the last mile.  I have been struggling with some pain in my lower leg.  I don't know if it is shin splints, or a high ankle sprain, maybe tendonitis or muscle tightness?  I can't go see a doctor because of other situations.  I have been wrapping it with compression, icing it, and stretching it.  Not to mention self massage all the time.  It feels like a cramp in my muscle on my high ankle.  The ankle itself was swollen for days and that has finally gone down after a week.  When standing flat on the ground if I lift my toes up leaving my heal on the ground I feel the pain.  At times the pain is very sharp, most other times its a constant dull ache.
      Saturday I went for a rehabilitation assignment.  I hiked 2 miles with the family on part of the course that I ran the 50 on last week.  I did run a tenth of a mile and payed for it.  When I ran my 50 the plan became run the downhills, walk everything else, and run when you can.  I need to continue to use this philosophy.  Today I am officially listed as OUT of running.  I expect to be out 2-3 days.  From there Wednesday looks Doubtful.  I will continue to walk and do yoga as rehabilitation.  I do not want this to turn into something that needs serious repair....till next run!