Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Race for the Light - Race Report

I really had no intentions of doing any more races in 2014.  I thought I was done racing at least until 2015.  To be honest, I really haven't been doing much since the Whistle Stop Marathon back on October 11th.  Well, I take that back, I should say that I really haven't been doing much swimming/biking/running.  Because honestly, I have been doing a lot of stuffing my face with treats, candy, and beer - not that I am even remotely proud to admit it.  But, none-the-less, I have been in full-fledged off-season mode.  A couple weeks ago, I received an email at work about a local 5k in Oshkosh, WI, and our Sheriff's Office was looking for some people to run in it as part of a team.  I jumped at the opportunity as a way to get out the door for a race since it has been nearly two months since my last race.  The race is called Race for the Light and is run through the Oshkosh Celebration of Lights in Menominee Park.  The race was run in the evening, starting at 4:30pm.  That way, you get the opportunity to run through the park when it is fully illuminated with Christmas lights.  We have made it a family tradition over the past 3 years to bring the family and our parents to Celebration of Lights and then go out to dinner afterward.  We decided to use this race as a way to combine the lights with some good old fashion exercise.  I also wanted to try out something completely new during this race.  One of my impending Christmas gifts this year is going to be a Contour Roam2 action video camera.  Basically, it is the cheaper comparable version of a GoPro.  I ordered it from Amazon during Black Friday and wanted to try it out to see how it works during a race.  You can see the resulting video below.

Training for This Race

As I explained above, I have done more training similar to that of a lazy sack of potatoes.  Since the Whistle Stop Marathon (60 days), I have run a total of 146 miles.  In comparison, I ran 199 miles in the month of September alone (just 30 days).  So, to say that I actually "trained" for this race is just a lie.  I guess I did a couple runs to help prepare for running a hard 5k.  On the 27th, I did a 5 mile interval run consisting of 4x800m and then on the Wednesday before the race I did a shorter interval run with 4x400m sprints.  

Prerace

First off, the race started at 4:30pm...yup I said PM.  I hate afternoon races.  Well, actually, I don't mind racing in the evening, but I hate the preparations of racing in the evening.  It is something completely different.  Something I am not used to.  I work out in the mornings.  I train and race every morning.  So, when I'm asked to race in the evening, my entire "race day routine" is thrown out the window.  I was originally scheduled to work both Friday and Saturday, but after Sarah and I agreed to do the 5k, see the lights, we decided to make a full holiday weekend of it, so I took off Friday and Saturday.  We finished our Christmas Shopping and went to the Mall so our girls can see Santa.  It was a nice weekend.  On Saturday, I tried my best to avoid all cruddy foods, but still had a turkey sandwich on wheat bread for lunch and had a bowl of Cheerio's for breakfast.  I at least finished eating any meal by 1:00pm, about 3-3.5 hours before the start of the race.  We picked up my dad and were at the race start by 3:30 and picked up our race packets.  I was really pleased with the race shirt, which was a nice long sleeve t-shirt with a nice design.  An added bonus was the pair of running socks with the race logo on them!

Nutrition Plan

My nutrition plan was simply to stick with what works and try not to destroy my race with piss-poor nutrition throughout the day leading up to the start of the race.  I feel like I (kind of) stuck with my goal of eating decent before the race.  Then, an hour before the start of the race, I took, Hammer Anti-Fatigue Caps, Race Caps Supreme, and Mito Caps.

Gear/Equipment

My brand new Contour Roam2

Miles 0-3.1

My Splits
1 - 5:36
2 - 5:57
3 - 6:04
 
I truly had no clue what to expect with this race.  Obviously, my goal was hang with the leaders and contest for the win.  I had no clue if that was too ambitious or not.  As I mentioned above, I was participating in this race as part of the Winnebago County Sheriff's Office Team and part of that obligation was taking a team photo before the start of the race.  I didn't want to be a turd at the start of the race, but I really wanted to get in a decent warm up before the start of the race.  We ended up taking a team photo about 5-10 minutes before the start of the race...NOT conducive to a thorough warm up.  Immediately after our team photo, I darted out the door to get in a quick warm up.  I ended up getting in a 3-5 minute warm up, not great, but it was going to have to do.  I nearly missed the start of the race, but just made it to the start line in time.  I ended up way too far back for my liking at the start and was forced to duck and dodge between all the other racers in front of me.  I took off as fast as I could knowing I was starting behind the 8-ball.  After the first 400 meters or so, I knew I was in the top 6-8, but really couldn't tell.  By mile 1 I felt as though I was in the top 3 or 4, but knew I was running at a pace I couldn't sustain.  I did my best to hang on though.  By mile two I was breathing way too hard and because of that I knew I was going too hard.  I ended up losing 2 places, putting me in 5th or 6th in my mind.  My goal was to just hang on to where I was at this point.  I was able to hang onto my place and finished with a surprising 18:03 (5:49/mile) which was good enough for 6th place overall and 2nd in my age group of M30-39.  My video from the Contour Roam2 turned out pretty good.  Obviously, I sped it up about 8x faster, just to speed up the video from 18:00 to 3:00.  I think I just need to work on the positioning of the camera to focus more parallel to the horizon, because as you probably noticed, the video is angled up a bit too far. 

Post Race

After the race, my dad and I jogged the course backwards until we met up with Sarah and the girls.  Maya had been walking the entire distance to this point.  I started walking with Sarah and the girls and talked Maya into running the final 0.5-1 mile of the race.  She agreed to do it, and did pretty darn well for a 5 year old.  She finished under and hour, and I was thoroughly impressed.  After everyone had finished, we piled back into our car and then drove through the Celebration of Lights and stopped at The Elf's Workshop and to see Santa's Reindeer.  After checking out the light display, we stopped at a local Mexican restaurant for dinner and to watch the last half of the (terrible) Badger-Ohio State football game.  It was a great ending to a great day.

The Day in Music

For my second installment of my "Day in Music," I chose Run Run Rudolf by Brad Paisley & Steven Tyler.  Again, the goal of this section is to summarize the race in a single song, just for shits and giggles.  

What's on Tap

I'm going to leave this pretty open.  All I will say is that I have high aspirations for 2015 and will delve into my goals, resolutions, and hopes for a future post!  I will just say that my initial rough draft of my 2015 race schedule has me nearly as excited as I was going into my big Ironman year!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Harper's 6 Month Photo Shoot

Sure, Harper may be 8 months old tomorrow (13th) but we just got our photos back from Jennifer Lee Photography from her 6th month old session.  During this session we included the other two devils girls.  Here are some of my favorites from Jennifer.  Here is a link to Jennifer's website: Jennifer Lee Photography
















Sunday, November 2, 2014

Halloween Havoc


Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays.  Not exactly sure why, but it just has.  It might be the whole concept of getting dressed up in whatever you want and getting together with friends and family and having a good time.  Now, as my life changes I have grown to like Halloween even more.  Over the past month Sarah has been going to as many Halloween festivities as she can fit into her tight schedule.  This year we participated in the Teal Pumpkin Project and painted a pumpkin teal and placed it out in front of the house for Trick-or-Treaters to see.  THE TEAL PUMPKIN PROJECT website. The Teal Pumpkin Project is there to raise awareness of children who suffer from food allergies.  Simply put, if you participate, just paint a pumpkin teal and have non-food treats to offer kids as necessary.  This was the first year of the Teal Pumpkin Project and was definitely in the infancy stages, but I felt as though it raised a lot of awareness in our neighborhood alone.  The week before Halloween we took a family trip with all of our college roommates to The Great Wolf Lodge in Wisconsin Dells to use their indoor waterpark.  We didn't plan that weekend until about a month before, so it still amazes me that we were able to get all 4 families to the Dells for a weekend full of Halloween fun and swimming.  The day after Halloween, Sarah and I had the opportunity to send all three of our kids to her parents house for the entire day AND night!  We took full advantage of this for a full day of activities.  But, now with Halloween behind us, sadly, it's time to start planning for Christmas.

Do they come any cuter?




Zoo-Boo, N.E.W. Zoo, Green Bay, WI






Pumpkin Patch Fest, Door County, WI



The Great Wolf Lodge, Wisconsin Dells, WI

8 Adults....8 Kids, all in one large condo














Halloween










Date Night




My first ever Moscow Mule....Love It!!