Sunday, June 28, 2009

Hyde Park Blast

This blog post is made possible by the ever supportive girlfriend Gina who is pictured above laughing with my daughter, the less supportive but tolerant, Aiden who is being mauled by the Charmin bear at the Piglet Run back in May. I made them get up early Saturday morning so I could run the HydePark Blast.

I was told that I owe them big time. They're right I do owe them big time. This isn't the first time, and won't be the last time they've been drug out early in the morning as I ran some race. As Gina likes to say, never underestimate the effort the spectators put in on race day. If it weren't for the support of friends and loved ones we would be running through empty streets with nobody to cheer us on except each other. So give it up for all those that support you on race day.
The race can be summed by two words: hot and hilly. I had no time goal or PR goal since it was an oddish 4 mile race. I started out the race wanting to do about 7 minute miles. By mile 2 or so the sun was beating down and the day was heating up, so it became more about just getting to the finish line without stopping and looking good for the photographers.

Generally I met my goals. I don't know about looking good for the photographers, but I was just off my pace goal by a bit. More importantly I had a good time at the race, saw some friends and familiar faces and spent the rest of the day recovering poolside with the support crew.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Day One

This week is a new beginning with a great new job. I hope it's going to be a great new job. If it turns out to be a not such a great new job it should, at the very least, be a stepping stone and a great incentive to continue with nursing..nay..mursing school.

I've spent the last two days in orientation of Mercy Health Partners for a PCA job. For at least the next two to three years I'll be in the trenches assisting the nurses and doctors doing the gruntiest of the grunt work. I'm excited and a little apprehensive about the whole deal. What if I hate it? What if I can't take the various gross things that I'm bound to encounter in the coming years? What have I gotten myself into?? I could have taken a nice easy customer service job where I would have sat at a computer dealing with customers over the phone at a nice safe long, long distance. No bodily fluids, weird smells. The horror.

Pull it together man. We're in this for the long haul. This is about the future.

Let's look at the bright side. I felt excited at the orientation. I sat through many speakers, managers and administrators over the last two days blowing varying amounts of smoke and hopeful words into various orifices. Some of it I could take or leave, but some of it struck a chord. Common themes were compassion, community and service. I can dig these things.

It's going to be an interesting ride. Interesting for all these things and the fact that the hospital I'll be working at is the hospital that my mom has worked at for close to 30 years. Many of the people have known me since I was a little kid. It's the hospital that I would visit several times a year growing up to get stitched up. Should be fun...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Ride Cincinnati

The word for this post is "fun". Count how many times I use the word "fun". It's "fun".

I couldn't say it better myself...but I'll try. No, I won't. It was a great ride for a great cause. The Ride Cincinnati for Breast Cancer Research is a ride I've been meaning to do since it started 2 years ago and finally made it.

It has been so long since I've done a fun ride like this that I kind of forgot they are. I'm really bringing it with my adjectives. It was fun.

The highlight of the morning was chillin' and checking out the variety of bikes that people ride. I should take more photos of fun bikes and their riders in the future. There were a couple that caught my eye including this fun looking bike. The lady riding it said her partner talked her into getting a bike and she needed one that was pretty much "unbreakable". I don't know about unbreakable but it is distinctive and cute.

Hopefully we'll get out for at least one more fun group ride this year. I've done a number of these in the past, but usually by myself. Gina was right. It is more fun to have a partner at your side..who you can steal snacks from in a pinch.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Goals for May:
Running = 75 miles
Cycling = 100 miles

The results are in. I didn't quite make it to both my goals. I reached my running goal with 13 runs totaling 78 miles including 3 races making for an excellent month of running. I didn't make it for cycling. I was able to get out on my bike 5 times for a total of 56 miles. Even though I didn't get in as many miles as I would have liked it was still a good month for riding.

Looking forward to June I think I'll set up the same distance goals. I'm looking at some fall half marathon options, so I may need to start training for that soon. A couple of options that I'm considering are the BayState Half Marathon (anybody up for a trip to Massachusetts? Gina?) or the White Tail Trail Half Marathon. I always enjoyed trail running, but don't do it that often. Maybe this one would give me incentive to hit the trails more this summer and stay off the hot, hard roads.

As summer kicks into gear there is lots of great riding and running to do, and lots of fun races to seek out. It's looking nice outside right now. I think I hear my bike calling.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Redlegs Run For Home

Some races are worth running just for the experience or the loacation and the giveaway that comes along with the race. The Redlegs Run For Home is one of those races. The race begins behind the reds stadium and ends inside the stadium next to the field. So, I'm so exhausted by the end of the race that I don't really get to appreciate the finish inside the stadium. Details. Still, it's a fun race and you get a free Reds ticket for running.

For my third running of this Redlegs 5k I decided on a novel idea. For this race I'm not going to go all out in the first mile and blow up in the third mile struggling to make it to the finish line. For real this time. Things are gonna change...I can feel it.

I lined up at the front of the starting line as I usually do these days to avoid congestion. I noticed a young girl near me lined up at the front. I'm bad at guessing ages, but she looked young to me, maybe a freshman in high school. There are always people that line up at the front that should really be toward the back. I'm not saying this out of snobbery. I never presumed to line up toward the front until recently as I've improved and found it frustrating and a waste of energy to work my way through the pack on these courses that are often tight at turns. Point is, she looked like one of those kids that line up at the start, sprint 100 yards and then slow down or stop.

As the gun went off that familiar surge of adrenaline went through me all though to a lesser degree than sometimes since I just raced a week ago. Having the memory of a painful race still fresh is the best antidote for an overeager start. I settled in at around a 6:30ish pace. The goal was to clock in a couple of 6:30's and see what was left in the tank for the final mile. A nice flat course on a relatively cool day was perfect to try and bring it in under 20.

As we taking the first couple of turns during that first mile I noticed the girl again. She was at about my pace so I stuck with her for a while. In a race with about 3000 participants it's easy to find somebody to pace. I settled in and cruised through the first mile at 6:26. A little fast, but I was feeling really good.

At some point I lost track of my pacing friend. Oh well. I flew by the water station and closed out the second mile at 6:33. Still on track to break 20 and I felt like I had some juice left. I ran up next to a young kid who asked me in an exhausted, out of breath voice how far it was to the finish. Less than a half mile left I told him. Less than a half mile left?? Sweet. I picked up the pace and left him behind.

The last couple of turns lead into the stadium. Crossing mile 3 I had about 45 seconds left to bring it under 20. I gave it all I have left and crossed the finish line with an official time of 19:48. Excellent race. I was feeling good about it. A few minutes after finishing I bumped into that girl that I saw at the starting line. I asked her how she did. 18:10 she responded. Whoa.

Official Results:
75 of 2792 total.
M35-39. 9 of 188 in division.
66 of 1388 males,
Time: 9:48 Pace: 6:24