Sunday, February 26, 2012

All for 1 (Jan), One for...


I guess I took this break after blogging every day in January a little too seriously. February is usually a little busier, but I definitely got away from the blog.

So, since February started here's a little smattering of the goings-on:

Beth had a three-week "training camp" down at her parents house in HHI. You certainly can't get much riding done in Western PA in February. I joined her for the first weekend and had some great workouts in shorts & tshirts. I got home as the Super Bowl was going on so I missed most of the commercials. My favorites were definitely the ones from Volkswagen.

The best news is that I didn't destroy the house while Beth was on. I did set up my command central in the living room (to be able to access the computer, tv, dvd all while eating). I did a little bit of "cooking" if you can call grilling chicken on the George Foreman and making pasta cooking. Ultimately, thank goodness Subway had $5 Febru-any footlong subs. Yum!

I loaded up on a running weekend and did 14 miles on Saturday and 18 on Sunday. Of course that was the weekend it was blustery and nasty with bad footing due to snow. The following weekend I knocked out a 20-miler and this past weekend I did the Spring Thaw 20-miler (more on that in a minute). So, the miles are starting to pile up. I've already racked up nearly 500 miles on my shoes I started in December after Harrisburg. I'm going to try to hit 70 this week. Miles! Miles! Miles!

Last weekend I also had a chance to swing home and see all the families and friends from my church growing up and see both sets of grandparents. Before visiting the grandparents, my dad and I chowed down on a band sub from my high school. Don't know what it is about those, but I sure to like them.

First to the grandparents on my dad's side, we saw the puzzles they had put together and shared some stories. We were sitting in their living room with my grandparents and my dad sitting on the couch and me on the chair opposite of them. I said, "This is picture-worthy." I hope you agree!

Then, off to a rehab facility because my grandma (on my mom's side) had fallen the previous week and banged up her elbow. My pappap and aunt were there also, so there were some funny stories shared. On a sad note, later that night, my grandma had a minor heart attack. She had surgery this past Thursday to clear up two blockages and is now recovering. Thanks for everybody's prayers on facebook. It was reassuring to know so many people out there were keeping her in their thoughts.

Then, Thursday I picked up Beth at the airport. In some ways the three weeks went by in a blur. In other ways, I was excited to have her home because it felt like forever it was just me and the dog....and the dog isn't a good conversationalist.

But, we picked up right where we left off with Beth having a huge workout day on Friday, me doing a race on Saturday, and Beth having a swim meet on Sunday. For the race, it is called the Spring Thaw and it's a race that involves a 5-mile loop around the lake at North Park. You can choose to run either 10, 15, or 20 miles. I've done 10 a few times and did 15 last year. Last year's goal was to race the first 10 (with the hopes of being right around an hour - 6:00 pace and then cooling down with around 7:00 pace for the third lap).

This year it was not about speed but all about marathon preparation. I've come to find out that, relative to marathons, speed is overrated. It didn't help me to run a speedy Great Race and Buffalo Creek half before Philly. It didn't help me last spring prior to Pittsburgh. It didn't help me to do 4 summer 5k's in the low 17's to run at Harrisburg. So, the goal was to take the first two miles at 8:00 pace (almost as a warmup) and then do the next 15-18 at marathon pace (6:50ish pace).

Mission accomplished. Well, the first mile for Ben and I was 8:40, but we worked it out after that. After the first two miles, I averaged 6:41 the rest of the way for the final 18. My final time was 2:16:07 - good enough for 9th place in the 20-miler. This was one of Ben's longest runs ever - let alone race - and he had a positive experience that is setting him up for an awesome season that's going to include his first ironman distance race. We celebrated by flashing a "2-0" for the camera!

Winter track is winding down and Outdoor track officially starts a week from Monday. And, as I say every year, the next stop is Memorial Day!

So much more on the Pirates, March Madness, and Running for Laptops in the coming days!