Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October 2012 Recap

Miles this month:  Total of 167 miles this month, including progressive Saturdays of 16, 18, 20 miles in prep for marathon next month.  Taper started after the last 20.  Only missed one day of walking this month.   2nd highest total monthly mileage so far.

Races this month:  1 - half marathon (AthHalf)

Good things this month:  The long distances on Saturdays can get really boring, being out there for 4-5 hours, but the addition of the Bill Cosby and Bob Newhart "albums" to the iPod actually did help.  Did a lot of laughing hearing Bill Cosby's stuff again!  

Finally the heat is gone, actually had to wear gloves a few times - nice!

Looking forward to next month:  3 races, listening to more Cosby/Newhart during the marathon, and this ridiculous election season will finally be over.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

20 Miles with Bill Cosby & Bob Newhart

As final preparation for a marathon next month, did my final long slow distance, a 20 miler.  The theory is to prepare your body for being out on the course for a pretty long time, building up every other week until you get close to the marathon date.  For me, I expect to complete the marathon in about 6 hours so today I was out on Suwanee Greenway for 5 hours.  I've done 20 milers before, they're boring.  However, for this 20 miler, I added a few more things to my iPod shuffle:  two Bill Cosby 'albums' and one Bob Newhart 'album'.

Up until this week, my iPod only had music.  I had to remove some of the songs from it to make room for this new content.  The idea was to put the iPod on 'shuffle' and have it randomize everything so it would come out something like: song, song, Bill Cosby, song, Bob Newhart, song, song,...

It worked great!  Had some great laughs, I hadn't heard some of these routines in years.  I was laughing out loud listening to Bill Cosby's Noah's Ark routines!  He is so funny!!!

So the iPod now has 170 songs/routines, about 12 hours, and I still have some space left on it.  These things are amazing.  The ability to put that much on a device so small - just amazing.

It was a good workout.  I did notice something very unique around mile 16 - crowds, long lines, lots of people.  Usually there are just a few cars in this parking lot and no people.

Early voting in Suwanee, Georgia!  Made my way around to the end of the line and talked to a few folks, their estimated wait time was three and a half hours!  Some were giving up and others were willing to wait.  Think I'll wait until Election Day.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Race 26 - AthHalf

Had a really good workout this morning, did the AthHalf (Athens Half Marathon).  The course started in downtown Athens and finished on campus of the University of Georgia.  

One again up at a crazy early hour for the 55 mile drive to Athens.  Found parking easily in the County Courthouse Parking Garage - free on Sunday mornings - that was good.  Temperature was in the upper 40s as folks started gathering for the 7:30 AM start, about 15 minutes before sun up.

Downtown Athens, GA just before AthHalf start

We got started on time and that was good for me as the battery in my Garmin died and a 7:30 start vs. a 7:37 start was a lot easier.  This of course meant I would have to estimate pace and such the old fashion way, doing the math in my head.  All I can say about that is, the earlier miles, no problem.  The later miles, it's like the brain was stealing energy from the body to do these calculations - and they body was not willing to give it up!  (note to self - replace battery this week)

The cap was 3000 for the race and I think they reached it or at least came really close.  As usual after the first mile or so, things were pretty much sorted out as people were in their pace by then.  From downtown we headed into various off campus locations.  A few miles in we were in an area with the sorority and fraternity houses.  Check out the photos below, notice anything?

sign says - Parents Weekend
furniture & beer bottles on the front lawn :)
College towns!  So which one would you join?

My daughter is a UGA alum and the course today brought back memories of her time here.  Of course 100% of the time in those memories, I was driving these roads.  But once again, from doing the races, you never really know a place until you walk (or run) it.  You see so much that you never see from a car.  It's fun.

Although there were some nice downhill stretches, I seem to recall going up hill more than down,  especially towards the end.  The last 4 miles were on the UGA campus and it was my favorite part of the course because there is so much to see.  I think the university has 30,000+ students so the campus is huge.

The end of the course was the best.  As advertised, we would finish by taking a lap around the hedges in Sanford Stadium where the Bulldogs play.  As I entered the stadium, I noticed the letters "G.A.T.A." overhead:


I believe this is where the Georgia Bulldogs are prior to going out on to the football field for a game, the G.A.T.A is an acronym for "Get After Them Aggressively" or the more PG-13 version "Get After Their Asses".

It was fun going around the field.  They even put us up on the Jumbotron:

Me on the Jumbotron...
I still do not know what my time is, guesstimate in the 2:45 range.  It was a really good workout and I did have fun!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Half Marathon or Full Marathon?

I am still trying to figure out which of these two distances  to concentrate on.  Out of 25 races to date, 14 have been half marathons, two have been full marathons.  

That should be enough evidence to convince anyone, including me, that the half is the distance I prefer.

Half or full?


As a build up for a November marathon I signed up for, completed 18 miles yesterday on the Suwanee Greenway.  Why???   Beyond that, I have also signed up for two more full marathons in early 2013 - force the issue I suppose.  Maybe I'll know after doing 3, 4, 5,... more fulls?  Fulls, fools, hmmm...

When I look at this logically, at my pace, usually 2:45-3:00, the half really is a great workout for me.   I'm not "racing" against anyone.  My goal is to finish, get a really good workout, and enjoy the process.  But of course, sometimes logic does not matter :)

I am curious though, for those of you who do these distances, do you have or did you have this internal battle?  If so, any insights?