Generally those words are used in the context of a divorce, but in my case it’s a good thing. I have the kind of spouse who supports and encourages. It would have been easy to lay around in bed today recovering from Ragnar. But instead we did the 60 mile Lifetime Fitness Gran Fondo.
Technically it’s a race, but we rode at a moderate pace, stopped at two of the aid stations and finished in around 3:15. And then we rode another 45 minutes just because.
Done with legs 3 and 4 (my last). 8:26 in 1:10:18. My van has 5 more legs and the other van has 6 and then we’re done. I learned that at Ragnar when you pass someone they are considered ‘road kill’. Teams count their kills and keep a running total on their van. I got 38 kills, net 33.
Finished my second leg 5.18 miles in 44:47. That’s not super fast but the last 1.5 miles was the second hardest hill I’ve ever run.
1st leg done
6.14 miles in 48:50, just under my 8:00 goal. It was harder and hotter than I thought it would be.
What's your favorite pre-run food? Are your kids as athletic as you and Beth are? If you could be super good at one sport that you don't already do, what would it be?
I don’t have a consistent pre-race food. I eat what I usually do before work (a Zone Perfect bar). For a long distance event I’ll eat a gel 15 minutes before the start.
Our son is also a runner but our daughter doesn’t have much interest in running.
If I could magically acquire an athletic ability i would choose golf. I’m a terrible golfer and sold my clubs a few years ago. I think golf is rather boring but it would be very helpful for my work if I was a reasonably good golfer. (Yes, I realize the irony of me labeling golf as boring even though I regularly ride and run for hour.)
1. Tell us about your favorite race ever. 2. Best post-long-run meal? 3. Do you prefer to drive or fly on vacations? 4. What has been your most exciting age or age range?
My favorite race was my first Ironman, Ironman Florida in 2009. It’s not an especially scenic course, what is memorable is the overwhelming rush of euphoria as I ran the last 100 meters, realizing that I was going to accomplish a goal I’d been secretly chasing for years. As I get older, that rush is harder and harder to find. Yes, I’m happy when I finish a marathon or IM or when I PR, but it’s not the same. I’m working on a new goal, most likely something I’ll try in 2 years - hopefully it will give me the same rush.
Favorite post race meal? I don’t have a consistent post race meal, but I’ll go out of my way to find a large DQ chocolate shake. At 1,200 calories I don’t feel entitled to one of those if I haven’t run at least 20 miles.
I prefer to drive on vacations. Beth and I like to bring our bikes and it’s great to spend quality time with the kids in the car. Plus I like the time to decompress behind the wheel.
Thanks for the great questions!
Drive, run, repeat
I’m in the van headed to the Ragnar start. This is where I’ll be spending 30 of the next 36 hours. Good thing my new running friends seem nice.
Speaking of nice, now would be a good time for my Tumblr friends to do something nice and ask me some questions!
In the spirit of pushing my luck, I agreed to join the 201 mile Great River RAGNAR race tomorrow to fill in for a runner who dropped out at the last minute. Normally each team has 12 athletes each running 3 legs over 36 hours, but another runner dropped at the last minute so I’ll be running at least 4 legs, maybe more.
At this point you’re probably asking yourself, “Hey isn’t this the guy who spent most of June on crutches with his ankle in a boot recovering from a stress fracture? Geez, that doesn’t sound very smart.” Yes, I’m that guy.
The Demise of Running Shoes
My running shoes have an average 9 month life span. They start out fulfilling their destiny as my primary running shoe 4-5 nights a week. After a few hundred miles and several races they are demoted, only to be worn in rain or mud. And eventually they’re sent to the garage, only to be worn while cutting grass, the ultimate insult for a shoe that just a few months ago might have propelled me to a PR.
After returning from vacation Monday’s workout was limited to cutting the grass - a 90 minute functional strength training session with a push mower. I know I’ve done it right if I can finish on just one tank of gas. If I dawdle at all I run out.
Although it looks dorky, I always wear Bose noise cancelling headphones and listen to podcasts while cutting the grass. My new favorite is radiolab. You should check it out.
Back from a vacation in NYC! We had a great time with our two college bound kids, hitting all the tourist traps and also getting in some running every day. Young adults don’t like to be on their parents’ social media, so you are stuck with me, ExitRowIron, and the backs of their heads.
We ran in Central Park as well as along the Hudson. It’s wonderful to have a built in running buddy. We got up and ran each morning while the teens were still asleep, then headed out for the day feeling like we weren’t falling too far behind in our training.
We had a lot of fun but I’m glad to be home, too. Now I’m ready for fall!
Props to NYC endurance athletes - this week’s visit reminded me how small Manhattan really is and how hard it must be to train for long distance triathlons. Of course I’m also reminded how fortunate I am to live in Minnesota - lots of lakes for open water swimming, miles and miles of roads with wide shoulders for biking and Baker Park, just a 1 mile from our house, is bigger than Central Park.