Friday, December 21, 2007

stir crazy

13 days since i have logged a run. 10 days since i have log any trainer miles. lunches at Smith & Willensky, Wildfire, & Ditka's, that included some Frogs Leap and Stages Leap, massive steaks and massive deserts, all before 2pm. not to mention the cookies and chocolates and muffins and crap that keeps flowing into our office. topping it all off is that burning sensation i have. no it aint pride or guanaria. its freaking Iliotibial Band Syndrome.

so, i am done with the self imposed break due to the self diagnosed injury. i can not do it. i picked up the mythical foam roller all runners speak of. i hope it turns my frown upside down. i used it yesterday and wow my leg muscles are sore. i plan to give the trainer a go at it this morning. then roll the legs out. then ice. then come back here and whine like a little baby some more.

have i mentioned my down time has been consumed by thoughts of high end home theaters? my basement project is under way. see the pics HERE.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

On A Break.....

one of my favorite episodes of Friends was "The One Where Ross and Rachel Take a Break." that show use to make me giggle. i know, it's hard to believe, but it did.

anyway, i am down for the count. i was taking it easy last week with no running. since the first weekend of December i have been dealing with a sore, tight, burning left IT Band. it is really uncomfortable when i am sitting and/or doing nothing.

after a day of nothing i thought a little treadmill run would be in order last night. wrong. despite warming up and going slow at mile 1 i felt a sharp twinge. i was done at mile 1.85 after only 20 minutes. normally this thing works it self out and loosens up. not this time.

after two years of training for this and that and just enjoying being in great shape it is time for a break. 2 years, 4500 cycling miles, 1200 running miles, 70 lb weight is time and i am officially on a break.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

A week of NOTHING....

well, that is a bit of a stretch. however, this past week is the first since July that i have not logged any runs. not one. is it that marathon depression in full swing? is it the cold and crappy weather turning up my S.A.D. earlier then normal? is it that burning left IT Band? the one that has been screaming at me for two weeks? who knows??

i was thinking about all this running i have done this year. i spent some 30 weeks of 2007 preparing for two running events. the March Madness Half and the Chicago Marathon. that is more then half of my year. yikes, that is a lot. especially for a cyclist.

so, i think i need a break. its hard for me, mentally, to take breaks. i love being fit. i mean being really fit. hopefully some time off these next couple of weeks will launch me into 2008!!

wait, when i say rest i dont mean nothing. just less. see, i got this new cycling trainer that i need to break in :)

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

the white stuff....

i am not a big fan. in fact, i could do without winter. however, i live in the Chicago Area and it does snow here from time to time. so, i make the best of it.

i have this fancy $1000 dollar snow blower that i purchased almost 2 years ago. i have used it four times maybe. today seemed to be a perfect day to bust it out. three inches of fluffy snow on the ground and my morning free, but i decided against the blower. yep, i thought it would be a better "workout" to shovel my drive and walks.

what the heck is wrong with me?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Two Things......

I may have found a bit of motivation. I am closing in on 3000 cycling and running miles for 2008. That would be 2151 cycling, 781 running, and 12 brisk dog walking miles (back off they count. Eddie Vedder, the dog, is faaast!).

Workouts: 212
Total Time: 247:17:35
Total Dist.: 2944.3 Mi
Cal. Burned: 212669

Next, this winter, in my quest to dominate all that is and will be the 2008 BFNIC cycling season, I will be riding a trainer. Not just any trainer, but the infamous Kurt Kinetic Road Machine. I know you can NOT wait to read my tells of hours upon hours spent spinning in a stationary fashion.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007


I got it. Nothing. I am burnt out. My IT bands are screaming. I want to ride, but it is Winter. This is my blog, but there is NO crying in fitnessland. That is all. Later.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


2006 Gobbler Hobbler 10k = 49:59 and a distance PR.

2007 Gobbler Hobbler 10k = 47:17.

Put that in your running pipe and smoke it.


Friday, November 09, 2007

We Got The Funk.......

Sick, Uninspired, and Unmotivated.

Yeah, I know, who wants to read about my woes. Quick question though; did you think of Joey Lawrence or Keanu Reeves when you read Woe (whoa)? For me it was Keanu, but not the Bill & Ted version, the Matrix version. You know, when he is standing on that rooftop, after just doing something totally amazing, then stares into the camera and says, "Whoa."

O.K., a good thing is that besides being a bit sick my body is in good shape. Post Marathon I have logged a couple of bike rides and ramped the running back up to 20 miles a week. The speed is slowly coming back too. I feel good.

I have the Gobbler Hobbler 10k this weekend. I am looking forward to besting my 2006 effort. It is crazy to think that last year this 6.2 mile run was my longest ever. After that I hope to run one more 5k or 10k before brunt of winter rolls in.

I have some thoughts for December motivation too. Currently I have trudged 2882 cycling and running miles this year. I want 3000. I may knock this out by doing a December-A-Thon. WTF, you say? That would be running every day in December no matter how far or short. We shall see.

Finally, get over to and check out the most excellent progress Mark has made on his weight loss journey. Further proof that you do not need a gimmick diet or workout to drop weight. A healthy diet combined with exercise, hard work and dedication can give you the results you want. Also, check out Mark's site. He is a true artist with his camera.


Friday, November 02, 2007

My Fitness Resume

has goggle thought of everything? are they planning to take over the internet world? i think one day both google and starbucks will rule the world together.

oh, i created a really cool (to me at least) googlepages page (is that one too many pages?) listing my cycling and running accomplishments. i dig tracking crap like this.

that is all.


Monday, October 29, 2007

The Mile

It is the classic running distance. It starts with childhood and P.E. class. It is the distance used to measure millions of teenagers fitness levels on a daily basis. We get away from the mile as we get older. A lot of Americans get away from exercise all together, but that is another subject, or rant, for another day.

On my 34th birthday I decided to hit a local track and run ONE timed mile. Let us call this the Birthday Mile. I hope as the years tick tock away I will continue to run the Birthday Mile. One day, when I am 70, I can look back at the efforts and wonder; How the heck was I faster at 45 then 35???

Luckily for me there are two High Schools within a 10 mile radius of my house. See, the first one I went to was all locked up. The second one had one open gate, which clearly indicated it was o.k. to run on the track. :)

It was crappy, cold windy and rainy. I was a bit hung over from a late night of pre birthday partying with the wife. I warmed up easy with a couple laps, then stretched, then depanted (to my shorts you crazy people), then set the iPod to start with some Outkast, then hit start on the Garmin, then ran until I felt like I was going to puke.

So, at age 34 the Birthday Mile clocks in at 6:25.

A little less wine, more sleep, and better weather might have assisted in a faster time, BUT you only have one chance a year at the Birthday Mile.


Friday, October 26, 2007

What to do? What to do?

With completion of the Marathon I was really hoping to log some significant cycling miles. However, the 94 degree heat & humidity we had on Marathon Race Day has gone bye bye real quick. While I have managed a couple of rides, including a nice 51 miler last weekend, the colder, shorter days are not my friend.

Last year at this time I was transitioning from cycling to running. The start of me becoming a runner. It was new. It was fun. It took my fitness to a most awesome new level. Now I struggle with what to do. Sure I can just keep running, but I have been running all summer. Yeah, I know some of you will say it is that post marathon depression crap. Me, I just think I miss my bike and the BFNIC gang.

Alright, done with that. Next up is my birthday. In the cycling world we like to ride our age on our birthday. That would be a nice and easy 34 miles for me. However, the weather does not look so great for Saturday.

What do we runners do our birthdays? I certainly do not think a 34 mile run is doable for me. It was suggested that I hit the track for a timed 1 mile run. It would be something I could do every year on my birthday. I would of course time, log, and track it. Then on my 80th birthday I can look back at the times and wonder how the heck was I faster at 40 then 34. Sounds like good times.

The other option would be a long run of 17 miles. Yep, you are quick, that would be a run equal to half my age.

I am attending a Halloween party this weekend too. It would be this same party last year that I was talked into doing the 2007 Chicago Marathon. The other two boobs never even got started with training. I will have my eye on them and their bright ideas this time around!


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Maized & Confused

It took a two year old to lead us out of the Corn Maze this past weekend. And yes, I borrowed the title of this thread from my good friend CyLowe97. He is such a clever chap. Later.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

2007 Chicago Marathon: My Report

It has taken me a couple of days to put my thoughts together. Maybe I still don't have them lined up either? I will do my best.

Quick background: I am a cyclist who runs during the off season (winter months) who was talked into doing a Marathon by a couple of "buddies" who eventually backed out in early Spring. I achieved some cycling goals in Spring and early summer before turning to focus on the Marathon in July. Quick background done.

Race Report

I was up a 4am. Six pancakes, large bagel, small coffee, & 16 ounces of water. Out the door at 5:15am. In Chicago and parked by 6am. A quick meet & greet & photo with a few Runners World forum folks at 6:30am. Arrived at the open start corral at 7am with 16 ounces of HEED and a Cliff Bar. Took a seat on the concrete next to The Saint (RW folk) and we hashed out our plan.

The plan was a 3:50 Marathon, skip the first water station (just the first), walk the aid stations every 5 or 6 miles to consume food (gels), and adjust from there based on how we felt.

The open corral was weird. Online it indicated the open section started with the 4 hour pace group. However, the first pace signs were for 3:30 or 8 min/miles, but I never spotted any pacers for this group??

The next pace group was the 4 hour one. We lined up in the middle of the two. I would estimate that we were in the front 1/3rd of the 35,000 participants. I am a tall dude and was amazed to see the mass of runners lined up behind me. Seeing it in person just amazed me.

The gun went off and we made it to the start line in a short 10 minutes. I thought that was impressive. From there I could never get on pace. There were people everywhere. Darting and stopping. Bobbing and weaving. The streets of Chicago seemed so small. I had no idea that my pace would be so out of my control.

I quickly learned to skip the first two tables in the aid stations to avoid the traffic jam and lack of water. It was always easier to obtain fluids from the last two tables. This lesson was learned at aid station number two.

The Saint and I parted ways around mile 8. I think it was this same time that the 4 hour pace group went flying by. I decided to grab on to them with hopes of smoothing out my pace. However, they were flying at a much faster pace then 9 min/mile. The two pacers were weaving in and out of runners in an impressive fashion. It was hard to keep with them. I managed to do so until I took a potty break. I can not remember what mile that was, but I was in and out of the porta potty with no wait.

The GPS signal on my Garmin was wacko and useless. I lost touch with the speedy 4 hour pace group. I felt lost out there. I just kept a pace that felt comfortable and trudged on. I crossed the Half Way point in 2:02:48 at which point I spotted my wife in the crowd and mouthed to her, "ITS FREAKING HOT!"

The second half of the race was brutally hot. Hot Pockets Hot. Paris Hilton Hawt! There seemed to be little shade once we left the Loop. However, looking at my numbers I was running consistently around 9:30 min/mile up until mile 19. Miles 19 to 21 were 10 minute miles. Miles 22 to 26.2 were above 11 minute miles. This must be that wall runners speak of.

It was mile 20 when I thought I heard someone state the race was cancelled. Maybe it was the heat I thought. They can't cancel the race. At mile 23 one of Chicago's Finest announced over his PA system that the race was cancelled and everyone should walk the rest of the way. I was confused. It didn't make any sense to me. People were still running. Volunteers were still handing out fluids, bananas, and gels. The crowd was still cheering. WTF did he mean Cancelled??

I continued on. Like I said at mile 20 I hit a wall. Maybe the wall. It was definitely a hard unmovable wall like structure. From there it was a run / walk finish for me. I was not cramping or dizzy. I did not have a headache. I did not feel like I was putting myself in danger. It was odd, my legs were just so heavy. I felt like I was barely moving. I was not alone though as I looked around everyone was barely moving.

I think it was the last aid station that lifted my spirits for the final push. A classic Chicago South Sider handed me a cup of gatorade. She looked me right in the eyes and with conviction proclaimed, "You Got This. You're Almost There!" The Volunteers and Crowd were just amazing. Thank you to all of you.

As I finished the announcement came that the Marathon was now a Family Fun Run. I was utterly confused, but had little time to think about this as I crossed the finish line into a sea of crazy. This area was packed with runners. It was a log jam of heat, sweat, and tears. It was making me sick (physically). I just wanted out of there. I really thought the finish would be something more then this. Something special, but it just wasn't in the game plan for this day.

I did not know the gravity of the days events until later that night. I was stunned to see the news footage. The race was cancelled, runners were forced to stop, 312 were hospitalized, and one passed away.

Looking back I do recall the frequent sirens after mile 20. There were some runners sitting on curbs getting medical attention, but they were not dropping like flies around me. I remember passing those cooling buses at mile 18 or 19 that were suppose to take us back to the start, but no one was instructing riders to board. The timing clocks were still ticking away.......... Was this the same race I just ran this morning?

In all honesty I was initially disappointed with my finish. I put a lot of time and effort into the Marathon. My wife and daughter made many sacrifices along the way to accommodate my training. They supported me 100% . I felt like the conditions and elements of the race that cost me time were out of my control. It was a odd feeling for me to have, but it is what it is.

Three days later this is no longer the case. I am a Marathoner. I am very proud to say that. Thank you to my wife, my daughter, my family and friends for your support. Thank you to those who have posted encouragement on my blog. It all has meant the world to me.


Sunday, October 07, 2007

Sweet Rewards........

RUN Alert

aham23, 04:25:37 (net) @ Finish (unofficial). Pace 10:07. By The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon

RUN Alert

aham23, 03:30:06 (net) @ 35K. Pace 9:39. Predicted 04:13:00. By The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon

RUN Alert

aham23, 02:02:48 (net) @ Half. Pace 9:22. Predicted 04:05:34. By The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon

RUN Alert

aham23, 01:27:32 (net) @ 15K. Pace 9:23. Predicted 04:06:00. By The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon

Saturday, October 06, 2007

I'm Not Saying, I'm Just Saying.....

High: 84°F RealFeel®: 87°F
Humid with the temperature near the record of 86 with clouds and sun.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Expo Goodies....

I think I ate 27 mini pieces of various this and that nutrition/energy/health bar. I like free stuff. Later.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Reduced Threat Level....

but still on guard.

getting AIRBORNE & NAKED seems to be working as i have managed to avoid the Strep Throat outbreak at my household.

focusing on work is difficult. luckily, this is my last day until next Tuesday. tomorrow i hit the Expo. late morning i think. the runs this weeks are really just to keep the wheels in motion. i feel good. the aches have diminished. i am ready to rock it.
i guess i need to through out a goal? being a virgin the obvious one is to finish. however, i normally aim a bit higher, or in this case lower. originally it was 4 hours. in my mind i know i really want a sub 4. maybe 3:50, 3:45, 3:40?? who knows.
i will be starting in the open corral and the fastest pace group there is 4 hours. from there i will adjust on the run to the run.
the weather forecast has flipped flopped Chicago style. a record high is now projected. cooler would be better (duh!), but it is what it is. i mean i trained in some pretty hot and humid weather this summer, so bring it.
one last item. using the runner tracking feature at my chip split times will be posted in real time to this blog. not that anyone cares or will be tuning in for the stats, but i just think it is cool and the gang.

Monday, October 01, 2007


for real. my two year old has been sick since Thursday. she was diagnosed with STREP THROAT tonight. i currently have no symptoms. it can take a week to rear its ugly head. at least i can stop worrying about the weather :).

Panic at the Disco..........

Sunday, Oct 7
High: 59 °F RealFeel®: 54 °F
Mainly cloudy and cooler with a couple of showers and a thunderstorm

Sunday, September 30, 2007

A Little Speed Never Hurt Anyone...

Plainfield Harvest 5k
7:16 minutes per mile
5th of 35 in my age group (30-34)
61st overall out of 750 runners
A personal record by 34 seconds.

In the blink of an eye.........

One year ago on 9/24/06 I ran my first race, a local 5k. At that time the 3.1 miles was my longest run ever. My time was decent at 24:07 or 7:46 min/mile and I remember feeling like I had plenty of gas left in the tank.

This morning I will run that 5k race again. One week from toeing the line at the Chicago Marathon.

3.1 to 26.2 in one year. That is just crazy when I think about it.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Week In Running

Since my successful 20 miler on 9/16 I have struggled physically and mentally to get back in the game. This is my first go around at Marathon Training and the 20 mile effort was a real big deal. The fact that my longest run ever was an organized race like event added to the build up. I mean I ran freaking 20 miles along the Chicago Lake Front. Pretty cool.

Physically, I have been sore and slow to recover. I got sick with some cold/flu like symptoms that are still lingering. My (and i really mean mine) training plan started the Taper last week. Mentally I was running confused. I slowly struggled through the efforts. I kept thinking "WTF?" this is my Taper and it should be fantastic. Right?

It all blew up on my Saturday run. I just did not want to run 13 miles. I did 20 already! Isn't this long run crap over yet?!@! Nope, I was looking at another 2 hours on the road. I knew that the poor eating and drinking decisions I made Friday and Saturday morning were NOT going to help either. I was right.

Of course, I drowned those running blues in burgers and beer Saturday night. Blah, Blah, Cry, Cry..............I know...........Toughen Up.

I feel better. I think? Maybe? Do You?

This week the running looks easy. It goes 4 - 6 - 3 - 8. I have other issues though. No not that crying crap above. The BFNIC is having their Fall Invitational Ride. These are my guys. I may even be an unofficial founding father of the group. AND I miss them :). The turnout is looking to be a most excellent one. The route options are 32, 62, or 100 miles. So, running world unite and tell me how dumb it is to cycle 32 miles SEVEN days before your first Marathon?


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Joy and Pain........

Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock 's classic hip hop hit of 1988 pretty much sums up my 20 miler. Joy and Pain, Like Sunshine and Rain, Joy and Pain! :)

I am extremely happy that I participated in the CARA Ready To Run 20 Miler. It was like a race, but not a race. An organized training run complete with pacers, bid numbers, a wave start, water stations, porta potties & an awesome route along the shore of Lake Michigan. The run started on the North Side, then down and into the Loop, then past Soldier Field (where Bear fans were already tailgating at 9am for the 3:15pm game), then finally on to the South Side. Some fantastic views for sure. Oh yeah, and 3000 plus participants.

I learned a lot from this run. Simple, but important things like arriving early enough to allow for standing in line for that pre run bathroom stop. Eat more for breakfast and/or bring some Hammer Nutrition Gels along with me. The water stations were just that and stocked only water and Gatorade. About mile 8 I could feel the hunger coming on. I managed to consume enough calories via Gatorade to finish the run, but a gel or two would have been nice.

So, what did this key run reveal about my marathon quest? Cardiovascular wise, or is it Endurance wise, I have the ability to complete a 26.2 mile run. There is no doubt in my mind. That being said, I am not a runner. I do not have miles and miles beneath my feat. I am not logging 5o plus miles a week and never will. The the pounding of the long run can be cruel. It is a different beast. I have been on the bike for 9 hours, climbed 12000 feet and ridden 160 miles in one day, but this is different.

On this run it was around mile 13 where things started to tighten up. The left leg is the culprit. The knee, hammy, and IT band get so tight I have can not bend over. The right hammy and IT band seem to follow the left's lead. This seems to be the norm. I had a message yesterday and will continue to stretch things out on a regular basis, but this does worry me.

I was a Zombie Sunday post race and Monday. The fatigue really got to me. I am even battling a little cold or flu like symptoms. I was in bed both nights by 8:30pm. The rest, gallons of water and some Naked Juice have me feeling better today.

The end of the 20 miler begins the Taper. Mileage is reduced and rest is increased. This should help ease some nagging aches and pains. There was quite a build up to the 20 miler. I mean it's kind of a big deal. I ran 20 freakin miles. THREE hours of running, now that's just crazy talk!

Yet, the ultimate goal is still three weeks out. Time to relax, regroup, and get back to work. I got 5 miles scheduled for today. There are bigger fish to fry. Later.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Ready To Run..........

I hope so. I have this little jog slatted for Sunday Morning; The CARA READY TO RUN 20 Miler. I figured it would be a lot more fun to run with a large group along Lake Michigan then solo through plain fields.

Who am I kidding though. Either way it is gonna leave a mark :) !


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Chicago Confirmed....

Chicago Confirmed
Originally uploaded by aham23.

This little booklet has put a little extra get up in my step this week. Perfect timing for the toughest week (mileage wise) of the training program.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Long Run, The Stats & Story.......

Distance = 16.02 miles
Time = 02:30:27
Pace = 09:23
Avg HR = 146
Max HR = 156
Calories Toasted = 2227

First, Sunday was a great morning to run. It was 60 degrees, sunny and clam. Well, I departed at 6:15am as soon as daybreak hit, but by the end of the run the sun was in full glory. I went without music the first 11 miles and just soaked in the beauty and clam of this morning. Crazy I know.

My plan (which really is my plan taken a bit from Higdon and FIRST) called for 15. For some reason I had 16 on the brain. So, I did 16 miles. I slowed/stopped twice (miles 8 & 13) for my water & Hammer Gel drops and once (mile 11) to tinkle. I think walking through the water stations at Chicago is the way to go. Despite thinking I am coordinated I always miss the mark when attempting to drink while running?!?

I was really tight at the end of the run. Like barely could bend over tight. I spent a solid 30 minutes stretching. Then 10 minutes in a cold bath. Then a cold shower. Then I ate and ate and ate and napped and ate and ate and watched Da BEARS and ate. Today I have aches and pains, some new some old.

The results of this effort were positive. However, I am not sure how the heck I can run another 10 miles. I don't think I could have yesterday. I mean 26.2 miles is a long way. The pounding the body takes is just crazy. Mentally and cardiovascular wise I can handle it. BUT, will one of my legs fall off? Will my hip or knee spontaneously exlode :) ???

OK, done with that and on to this week. This week seems key. The weekend will bring THE 20 MILER. The logistics of the solo self supported 20 miler scare me. So, I signed up for the CARA Ready To Run 20 Miler. It will be an awesome run along the entire Chicago Lake Front. They provide pacers, water stations, the route, shuttle back to your car and food at the end. I just have to show up and run. I like that thought.


Saturday, September 08, 2007

Prep for The Long Run.....

If it goes well it should be a distance PR for me tomorrow morning. I will wake at 5am. Drink coffee & eat oatmeal. I will depart at 6am with iPod Shuffle and my Amphipod Bottle. In tonight's darkness I strategically dropped water bottles and Hammer Gel in two spots along my route.

If it goes really well the PR will be followed up by an afternoon arse kicking in favor of Da BEARS!

Time will only tell. Later.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

The Black Team

Jillian Michaels is back. Back on the show that gave me a motivating kick in the arse! The show is what it is, but I am actually looking forward to tuning in and seeing her return. Totally cool! Later.

Monday, September 03, 2007

My Week in Running........

Another week of training bites the dust. The past week had me achieving a Personal Record (PR) for weekly mileage, 29.5 miles, and a distance PR with Saturdays effort of 13.88. Sure that distance PR was just a bit more then my previous obtained at the 07 March Madness Half Marathon, but it still counts.

Tuesday = 4 miles at 9 minute pace. Plan was 4. Life had me running late (7pm) and after dinner. It was humid, sweaty, and crappy.

Wednesday = 7.91 @ 9:33 pace. Plan was 8. Ran before work at 8am. Things were sore and tight so I made an effort to run slow.

Thursday = 3.67 @ 8:34 pace. Plan was 3ish. Sore, tight, and tired all day. Then I hit the road and all was good. The speedy effort helped me shake it loose and it felt good.

Friday = 27.88 @ 18.3 mph average. My last Friday half day as Summer Work Hours come to an end. I was surprised how spunky the legs felt. Ended the ride with a 30 mph sprint on a flat road with a slight tailwind.

Saturday = 13.88 @ 9:12 pace. THE LONG RUN. Plan was 15. Well the old plan was that. I needed to get 13 this weekend. Then 16 to 20 to taper time :)! The middle of the run was a toughie. I had some stomach issues at the end.

These long runs can be very emotional. Ups and downs. I think about cutting it short, stopping all together, going longer then planned, feeling like superman, and so on. You gotta love the ups and downs of The Long Run.

August is no more. I ran 101.8 miles (9:06 pace) in August. Guess what? Yep, that's a monthly distance PR for me. About 20 miles more then my previous high I think. I had a fabulous weekend with the family. I rode 35 miles today in perfect 85 degree summer weather, despite fall being around the corner. August ends and September begins.

The 2007 Chicago Marathon is 4 weeks and 6 days away. I am not ready. I am not sure I will be ready. I will run on and continue to Respect the Marathon. Later.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Last Week In Running....

It went rather well. I was busy with family and work, but managed to stay mostly on target. No new nagging injuries. In fact the left knee and ankle felt pretty good. The long run and total distance was scaled back just a bit as I planned a long organized ride for Sunday.

The Breakdown:
Runs: 4
Avg. AHR: 148.7
Total Time: 03:39:54
Avg. Mi Pace: 9:08
Total Dist.: 24.0 Mi
Total Cal. Burned: 3322

Tuesday = 2.56 @ 9:45 pace. Plan was 4, but work & family had me getting a late start. I got to the gym at 8:30 pm to quickly discover they close at 9 in the summer!@?!

Wednesday = 7.14 @ 9:06. Plan was 7. Morning run at 7:50 am. Mid run the sun and humidity awoke to make the second half difficult.

Thursday = 4.11 @ 8:31. Plan was 3ish. Headed out before dinner and in between tornado warnings. The weather made it a speedy effort!

Saturday = 10.23 @ 9:16. Plan was 10. Afternoon run fueled by pizza & birthday cake. Yep, I headed out after the birthday bash.

Sunday = 68.54 @ 17.2 mph avg. Bike Psychos organized ride. I opted for the Metric to prevent from totally thrashing my legs. First half was quick and fast. Second half was a toughie, but I figured it would go this way with the limited saddle time this month. Great Weather!!

This week the long run will be a PR, distance wise, for me. Of course, that is assuming I make the scheduled distance. It will be a most excellent test of my current running abilities!!

Finally, I would like to confess that I have been eating Pizza and Birthday cake for three days straight. Today, I hope to break this evil addiction. That is all. Later.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Pretty In Pink...

Saturday was my little baby girls second birthday. The party was awesome. For her present I just couldn't resist any longer and pulled the trigger on her first bike. Yep, my little princess rides a Giant bike just like her Daddy!! Presently, she can not reach the pedals, but I have been pushing her around the house all day. :)
She totally loves it. After her nap on Saturday she immediately was asking, "Where my bike go?" It doesn't get any better then that / this / and her. It is what it is all about!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

This Week In Running.....

When I was a kid I loved baseball. Playing it, watching it, cheering the beloved Cubs, collecting baseball cards and watching This Week In Baseball on Saturday mornings. Not so much anymore. The game has changed. Players have become superhuman freaks. I don't even know if the show is even on any more?

Anyway, my week of running was solid. Remember I am a bit late into the marathon training game. That being said, it's not like I am trying to go from couch to 26.2 miles. I do respect the marathon! :)

Last week I cut the mileage back a bit as I was having some nagging left knee and ankle pain. It worked. This week the knee and ankle feel good. I continue to ice them down after each effort. A couple of ice baths here and there also do wonders. I can not preach the benefits of ice baths or ice packs enough. They will keep you in the game.

This week I ran a marathon. I had four runs for 26.27 miles. Fooled you a bit, didn't I !?! The numbers (compliments of break down like this:

Avg. MHR: 162.0
Avg. AHR: 146.8
Avg. Time: 00:59:33
Total Time: 03:58:13
Avg. Speed: 6.6 MPH
Avg. Mi Pace: 9:04
Avg. Dist.: 6.6 Mi
Total Dist.: 26.3 Mi
Avg. Cal. Burned: 906.5
Total Cal. Burned: 3626

Today it was the long run. I logged 11 miles at a 9:12 pace. It went well. I got up at 6am to eat and drink java. I was out the door at 7am. It was cloudy and a cool 60 degrees. Body parts were getting tight near the end, but I had gas in the tank. I could have pushed it to 13 or 15 with no issue (I think). However, the weekly mileage is high for me. With several weeks left I have plenty of time to ease into that long run of 20 miles.

Hope your week of running went well too. Later.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Picture of MY Day....

I just have to share this one. We were headed home from a weekend camping trip. Everyone was exhausted, except for the two year old. She made good use of the drive time by doing some light reading!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Still Stressing.....or not.....

My concerns with marathon training are easing a bit. Mainly as I was able to log three solid runs this past week. While I was not fast, the runs felt good as I tackled them in the August Midwest Heat Storm!!

The Breakdown:

Tuesday: 4.16 @ 8:51 per mile pace. Departed a 7:40pm with a heat index of 99 degrees.

Wednesday: 6.01 @ 9:12 pace. Time was 3pm & heat index around 90 degrees. I experienced some post run left knee and ankle tightness/pain.

Friday: 8.33 @ 9:05 pace. Worked late, then dinner, so it was a 7:30pm start time. The plan was for ten, but getting out late limited my sunlight and cut the run short. I felt great and could have knocked out ten miles for sure.

Sunday: CYCLING!! 35 miles @ 17.5 avg mph. I could feel that I had been off the bike for 8 days as this was an effort. I was surprised that I was able to log a decent average m.p.h. despite my time away from the bike.

O.K., while I only ran three times this past week and did not top 2o miles total I am feeling good with the efforts. The left knee and ankle pain has me concerned a bit, so the slight step back in mileage might not be a bad thing. I continue to ice them down after each run.

This week is wide open for me on the training front. No 10 hours of driving to Iowa for Lies and
(aka, fake wedding! :) ). In a perfect world I want four runs and two rides. I will take four runs and one ride. If the neighborhood kid shows up to mow my yard I may run tonight....

Last weeks efforts left me with one burning question; Headband or Hat?


Saturday, August 04, 2007

I Was Just Running......

So, I have been transitioning, a bit, from cycling to running. I am trying to determine if I can get ready for the Chicago Marathon. Well, I actually decided in mid July I would go ahead and run Chicago, but recent events, a.k.a crappy runs, has me re-thinking my re-thinking of my thinking about the Marathon????

This weeks runs were not good. There was the after dinner run that was slow and sluggish. There was the in the heat run that involved some walking and HOTNESS. Then the attempted weekend long run where at mile 2 I wanted to quit, mile 4 I felt I could run all day and finally at mile 6 my knee felt like it was going to explode. I made the planned mileage for the first two, but only got 8 of the 10 miles I planned for today.

With only one ride in for this week and three poor running efforts I am not sure my plan, running three days a week and cycling two, is going to work. Not sure it's enough running, but more concerned that I can even find the time to attempt the plan.

Plus, after Thursday effort in the heat I came down with what appears to be a cold. I went to bed that night at 8:30pm! Maybe it's more that then anything else?? Or maybe I need to let cycling go and focus on running. Try to log 4 weekly runs with 1 ride. Or maybe I just need to stop crying about here, go take a nap, drink some Naked Juice and get to freaking work!

Maybe. Later.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

July was good to me..........

Great weather, quality rides, fun organized events, and my return to running (or more specifically my commitment to Chicago 2007) have me wishing July would never end.

These days find me busy. Family and work pretty much make me a "weekend warrior" when it comes to cycling. So, logging 566 cycling miles is a big deal for me. The key for me has been making a commitment to get out early on the weekends. This allows me to get the cycling miles in and limit the time taken away from the family.

Running is a bit different as it generally takes less time. Marathon training will bring longer runs and require more time, but I am just entering this phase :) !!!

The July Stats:

Rides: 11
Total Time: 31:22:22
Avg. Speed: 18.1 MPH
Total Dist.: 566.6 Mi
Total Cal. Burned: 27286

Runs: 7
Total Time: 04:37:21
Avg. Mi Pace: 9:21
Total Dist.: 33.7 Mi
Total Cal. Burned: 4573

How was your July? Later.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

How Did You Get Here............?

Making my way through all the Tour de France Doping post at I came across one titled; "How did you get into the sport?" For some reason I found myself laying out my response in a very thoughtful (for me) way. It just felt right to post it. Maybe it was, or is, too much information, but it just came out. So, I share it here, with you.

in grade school i had a pretty blue schwinn traveler that i would race around the neighborhood. it was a great getaway vehicle. i think riding was always in my blood, but didnt do any in high school or college or after that.....?

fast forward to full blown adulthood and 2004. married, trying to have a kid, and getting fat. i use to play a lot of basketball, but being fat and out of shape made that hard. my lower back and knees couldnt take the summer 3 on 3 tournaments anymore. through in some anger and drinking issues and i was a real miserable SOB.

a good friend of mine was just getting hardcore about triathlons and cycling. he did some sprint triathlons that involved mountain biking. so, in late 2004 i got a specialized hardrock sport. i really enjoyed riding singletrack, but found it hard on my body (neck and back). plus, i had to load the bike & gear up then drive to the singletrack and it all took too much time.

2005 the wife gets pregnant. i convince her i need a road bike. it will save me time. i can just jump on it and leave from the house. she could care less, but rubber stamps the purchase and in june i get a trek 1000. the pregnancy and subsequent birth is difficult and i dont really ride much in 2005.

i change my life in 2006. i embrace being a father and a husband. i change my diet, exercise, and drop 30 pounds by may (70ish for the year). i meet dudes on the internet who i ride centuries with. i get a new bike in august. i ride more centuries with said dudes. i cant ride enough. i log 2500 miles my first year.

now, i love my life and my bike. that is all. later.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Official Final RAIN Thought.....

The official 07 RAIN finish times are in. Here is how my two years of participation in this event compare.

2006: Total time of 12:22. Finished 595th out of 859 finishers. There were over 1000 riders who started, but mainly due to the heat numerous riders quit or didn't make the 14 hour time requirement.

2007: Total time of 8:32. Finished 200th (tied for 77th on time) out of 1001 finishers. Perfect weather conditions lead to a fast ride.

Since this post is official and all, I might as well mention I am now focusing on the 2007 Chicago Marathon. No more dilemma for me on this event. Later.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Monday, July 16, 2007

RAIN. The Report.....

i like RAIN. its flat, its fast, and its well run. 07 had great weather and a great BF turnout. i travelled to the ride with Psi and Cy. much props to Psimet for organizing the logistics and all that jazz. much props to CyLowe for bringing the humor. i had a fantastic ride. it pretty much played out like i had wanted, except for a couple extra mph on my average at the end .

we arrived earlier then last year (my first was 06) and lined our group up at the front. we could have been on the front line, but opted for about 10 rows in. the ride starts out fast. its downhill into Terre Haute and everyone is hopped up on excitement.

miles 1 to 10 were nervous for me. speeding downhill into the sunrise and cold breeze in a large group had me searching for a sweet spot in the group.

miles 10 to 20 brought some more sun and some loose legs. i jumped up from the second group we were in to the main group. this was a large group and i was just hanging on the back. shider was right behind me, then right in front of me, then GONE. at mile 20 i got a text message from my legs; "hey dummy you have 140 to go and we dont like this current pace." needless to say i drifted back. at this point i wasnt sure if this was another Sudden Century style pop at mile 20 or just better cycling judgement.

miles 40 to 60 were fun. the entire BF group and maybe 15 others were pulled by shider. he did pull off once or twice. apparently cycling machines only need to float back 2 to 3 riders, wait 30 seconds, then charge back to the front and continue pulling. at the 60 mile SAG stop our pace was around 23 mph.

miles 60 to 90 were tough for me. the legs still didnt want to respond. the riders also start to spread out at this point and we were in a smaller group. shider had continued on at his breakneck pace while Psi, Cy & I eased up a bit, but only a bit. my legs still were unresponsive. i could ride in the pack with no issue, but pulling was putting me a in spot of bother.

mile 90ish was lunch. i ate. i tinkled. i drank. and i ate. i lead us out of the lunch stop in the wrong direction. appears there was a new route out of the lunch stop. luckily, last years marking were still on the ground and some other riders made the same mistake (or they followed us ?). one of the other riders was familar with the area and along with the 2006 markings we were back on route in no time.

after lunch i was giddy, energized, and ready to roll. clearly, it was powered by oreo cookies. ten of them to be exact. i think it was around mile 105, right after Psimet blew our group up, that we parted ways. i wasnt sprinting or putting myself out. i just spun it at a comfortable pace.

from 105 to 125 i rode solo and i rode it fast. the legs just did NOT want to stop and the wind was encouraging the effort. around mile 125 i passed smokinmiles. dispite hardly stopping, she was still flying down route 40. she mentioned shider was just up ahead. i looked up and sure enough there he was in his hard to miss bright yellow jersey. i put my head down and chased after him. not the smartest thing to do, but i was oreo cookie powered!

i caught him just before the 130 SAG stop. he was hurting a bit with some calf cramps. after a quick stop, we headed out for the finish together. we rode miles 130 to 160 fairly fast as we took our turns pulling towards the finish. the decent into Richmond was downhill, fast, and fun. we spun like crazy. like we had just started the ride. (oreo cookies GOOOOD!).

the numbers from my Garmin:

Total Time = 8:32:40
Ride Time = 7:35:00
Avg MPH = 21.2
Distance = 160.44

complete edge stats HERE

this is a four hour improvement over last year. yes there was a tailwind, but the all knowing Garmin has it at a SSW 9 mph avg with gust of 15. i do think there was a bit more wind then that, but definetly not a four hour wind. i think everyone in our group rode faster and better then they thought they would! a great effort by all.


** this is my write up from over at**

Friday, July 13, 2007

One Day, One Way, 160 Miles

Go time. The gang departs today, high noon. I am ready. I think. My easy ride yesterday was uneventful, if not, a bit more difficult then it should have been. Thank you Mr. 15mph Headwind.
Goal for RAIN? You know me, I love my goals. Last year the ride time was decent at 9 hours 22 minutes. The total time was brutal at over 12 hours. The breaks were too many and too long, but needed, so that's that.
Quick facts: I am 10 pounds lighter for this start. I have more miles under my butt. My fitness level is solid and I may be peaking (?). It should not be as HOT! The not so good: I have some minor left knee pain. My neck and back is tied up in knots. It could be hotter then I think.
Alrighty then, the goal is a Total Time of 10 hours. This means limited stops. My thoughts are ride a 18 mph avg for the 160 miles. This is around 9 hours of ride time and leaves me a buffer of an hour for breaks, mishaps, and general suffering that I love so much.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Hammer Time....

As I previously posted I have been testing out some Hammer Nutrtion Products. I pulled the trigger last Friday (7/6) and ordered some product from their site. It came today. As a first time online customer they tossed in some extra goodies. Actually, a lot of extras. Not to mention they called me about an hour after I ordered to inform me that the ground shipping I selected would cause the order to ship Monday (7/9), which could put it at my door too late for RAIN. Of course, I upgraded to 3 day shipping. When FedEx delievered the package to the wrong house yesterday, Hammer tracked it down and had it at my door this afternoon. So, I like their product and the service is top notch too. Later.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

RAIN Prep....

Next weekend is RAIN. The 160 mile, one way, one day ride. I have been training for it specifically the last two weeks. Well, finding my legs after vacation (that included 10 days off the bike) and training for RAIN.

Fitness wise things are looking good. This week I have logged two 68 mile rides. The first on the 4th was a flat as a pancake organized Metric. I limited my stops and put in a very aggressive effort. I rode it solo, never drafting, and managed a nice 18.6 mph average. I stopped twice for only 13 minutes total to refill the water bottles. The hard effort didn't totally wipe me out either, which leads me to believe I had more to give, and that makes me happy.

Yesterday, it was another long solo effort. I headed out around 9am for 68 more miles. This was a slower ride at 17 mph average, but the route had some nice rolling hills and the legs responded positively again.

I have been testing out some new nutrition too. Hammer Nutrition products to be exact. First, HEED their sports drink is awesome. Not to sweet, in fact it's very subtle. It's easy to get down when the temps are rising and it has not produced any GI issues for me to date. Next, their GELs are all natural, meaning no HCFS, and very tasty. Espresso, Tropical, and Raspberry are the ones I have tried. Just like HEED they are easy to chug down when hot. This is key as it is July and HOT (duh)! Finally, the HAMMER BAR, both chocolate chip and almond raisin. They are decent, but nothing special. They remind me more a treat or dessert bar then anything else. While their sports drink and gels are worth the premium price the bars are not ($2.50 per). Nothing can beat the $1 Cliff Bar in my book.

The legs, mind, and nutrition are ready for RAIN. My neck and bike are dragging behind in their preparation. I need to focus this week on stretching out my neck every night. It is so tight that it very uncomfortable when I am on the bike. I blame the Hard Arse Mexico Resort bed for this. It always is an issue, but normally not at mile 10. I hope to work it loose this week.

Anyone know a good bike mechanic? (Psimet you out there?) My crank or bottom bracket is creaking like a cricket when under the slightest pressure. Very annoying for me and anyone else riding withing 100 feet!!!! Everything is function fine, just in a loud manner. I hope to get this looked at on Friday (hint hint).

Finally, I need to focus on my overall nutrition. With the holiday it has consisted of beer, barbecue, beer and ice cream. Well, not as bad as that may sound, but something I will be cleaning up starting today. Later today I plan a short run and tomorrow another ride. The goal for next week is two short and easy 30 milers and one run. Nothing to hard as I want the legs to be fresh for the 7am RAIN start a week from today. Later.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Running Deliema.....

It all started at the end of 2006. I had a great 06, became a new person mentally and physically. You know, "The Best Shape of My Life" kind of stuff. I started running as it got colder. Did a couple 5ks and a 10k and a enjoyed the training. I enjoyed taking my fitness level to a new high. And so on....

Early November we are at a party with some long time friends. One guy, was into triathlons in 2005 ,but not so much anymore. He wanted to do something in 2006 that he could train for and use to get back into shape. How about a Marathon? How about Chicago Marathon 2007? After a couple beers it was agreed too. It was me, him, and that guy who is overweight and out of his league, but just cocky enough to think he can hang (you know that guy!), who agreed we would do the Marathon.

January rolls around and two of us sign up the first day. That third guy didn't. Never did. Never will. So it's two.

I love to cycle and really am only a part time runner. My cycling season has been fantastic to date. My off season running program has me flying on the bike in the early season. I am loving it. The plan was to run three times a week for 15 miles until late July when I would focus on the Marathon. That has not happened. I am running, but lucky to get two runs or 10 miles a week. I am struggling with the thought of interrupting my cycling season for a Marathon. ??

Now, the leader of this brain cramp is backing out. He must be hurt. He must have some catastrophic runners injury, because this guy doesn't quit. Yep, he quit. He has he reasons and I respect that.

What to do? I have paid. Forked over the hundred bones. It is something I want to do, but like I have said, I love cycling. I will not decide until after RAIN (160 miles, one way, one day), which is in two weeks. Smart running knowledge is you need at least 16 weeks to train for a Marathon. Not to mention a pre training start base of 20 miles a week. I will not have that. I will close to 1500 cycling miles though.

With my fitness level is 12 weeks enough time to prepare for Chicago? It's Chicago! My hometown Marathon! I would love to run it. I am not a quitter. What would you do?

I am off to run.


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Return.....

On the tenth day he returns from Mexico and RIDES!! We had a great time. Great resort and a fantastic view from our room (as you can see above.) That being said, it was difficult for me to take so many days off in a row. O.K., I did a couple of short runs through the resort and we did walk pretty much everywhere, BUT I missed my bike. It's kind of weird, the person I have become. Two years ago I would go months without strenuous activities. Who knew?!?!
So the legs felt good today on the bike. Every thing else was tight, but that I expected. It is time for me to focus on preparing for the RAIN ride. Yep, 160 miles, one way, one day. It's around the corner. Schedule wise it looks like I should have ample riding time. I am looking forward to it. Later.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Finishing Climb

Finishing Climb
Originally uploaded by aham23.

Nothing like a 13% grade at mile 130!!

Monday, June 18, 2007


Well that was interesting. I did this little ride Saturday called the Horribly Hilly Hundreds. A 200K ride in Wisconsin with over 12,000 feet of climbing. For a boy from the corn fields of Illinois that is a lot of hills.

Enough of the small talk. The stats: 131.36 miles, 8:45:28 ride time, 12,298 feet of climbing, and at no point did any steep arse slope cause me to stop or walk.

I rode smart, but hard. I used the early 2.5 mile climb as a test for how my day would go. The climb was brutal. Around half way up it starts to mess with you by presenting false flats and plateaus only to jerk you upwards again at 15%. I rode the hill strong, but my heart was pounding and the sweat was streaming. All this at mile 8! Sixty-two miles over this hilly terrain would be an accomplishment.

I traveled to and rode with some BFNIC buddies, Cylowe & Psimet. I think all three of us had a different agenda for the ride. At one point or the other we all stated we wanted the 200k route belt notch, but as the miles and hills mount things change.

That tough little roller mentioned above splintered us. The other two descend like madmen and I waited for both to fly by. Only Cylowe did and this surprised me. All three of us were united at the first rest stop (25mi). I will not forget the pain, the sweat, and the anger on Psimet's face when he approached and demanded my car keys. He was opting for the 100K route.

The 200K (124mi) route was broken down into five stages. There were four rest stops and after each was a new stage or loop. Miles 25 to 45 were stage two and I rode with Cylowe. There were so many steep hills I am having a hard time remembering all the details. It was stage three, near the end of it that Cylowe and I split up. We met up at the rest stop (66mi) and I could see he was in a Spot of Bother (thank you Phil). At this point neither one us mentioned 200K. Cylowe is a master navigator. He knows this area, how to read a map, and how to cut the route short if needed. We trudged on.

Shortly, we split. We still had half the ride and numerous hills ahead. At mile 86 I was stopped at an intermediate water stop when he rode up. Left or Right. Cylowe went left and I went right. I would basically ride the next 50 miles solo. These were the toughest miles. Mentally and physically. The suffering was at an all time high. Mile 100 brought the end of a lonely stage four and the last rest stop. I was there for a while as I ate, stretched, and contemplated what the hell I was doing. From this stop the route immediately went straight up in a long fashion. I had to snake my way up this hill. This was the toughest hill for me. I have no idea how I made it.

After a quick water refill at 116 and a tinkle at 125 I was ready for what I knew loomed ahead. The last 3 miles was uphill. It included that same evil ascent we tackled at mile 6 and the steep rise to Blue Mounds State Park, the highest point in Wisconsin. The part of the Midwest the glaciers missed. I met up with 2 or 3 riders near the bottom, but we quickly went our separate ways. Only one darted off in front of me. The rest fell behind. At the halfway point a gentleman was cheering riders on and playing music from his van. I thought his choice of motivational music was odd, but do not recall what tune it was. He yelled, "Keep it up, your almost to the top!" Liar. I knew this was only the midpoint.

At this point I am going 5 to 7 mph, barely moving the pedals. I found the need to stand more, but that hurt sooo much. The last quarter mile had some spectators who offered motivation and cheers. That was fun and helpful. I was standing, turning the cranks, and suffering like a dog. I crossed the finish line to see my two BFNIC buddies, Cy and Psi. That last climb went like this; 3.45 miles, 24.54 time, and 900 feet of climbing. It hurt.

My normal rides and training are done on flat country roads surrounded by corn fields. As far as I know I have never tackled more then 5000 feet of climbing in any one ride. Of course, I know I was not ascending mountains, but these hills were steep, it was 130 miles, and it was 12,298 feet. A cycling achievement for me, for sure. The body does not always cooperate. Heck, the mind does not always cooporate either. This day all things lined up.

The Garmin Stats.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Monday, June 11, 2007

My Weekend....

When people ask me if I did anything exciting over the weekend I usually just say no, not really. I don't care to explain to co-workers my cycling and overall fitness obsession. I mean would they really understand it? Let me think......

"Oh, I had a great weekend. I spent it training for the HHH. That is an upcoming cycling event where I will ride 124 miles and climb over 12000 feet. My combined Saturday and Sunday rides totalled 80 miles and 4700 feet of climbing. "

Typically, the response are;

"You mean motorcycle, right?"

I just leave it at, yeah, I had a lovely weekend. I rode my bicycle and spent some quality time with my family. Clearly, they have no idea that I am not riding around the neighborhood pulling a kiddie wagon, but it works for me.

So, what did you do this weekend?


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

400 WATTS.....

The 2006 Udder Century was a fast century for me with a 5:53 ride time & 17.1 mph average. The 2007 Udder Century was a 400 watt hammer fest! Good times.

The usual suspects of the BFNIC ( IL Chapter) were there along with a couple of second timers and a few first timers. I knew before we even hit the road that this group would be fast. The wattage was just oozing out of some of these guys. I also knew that I wanted to test, push, and punish myself as part of my Horrible Hilly Hundreds (124 miles with 12000 feet of climbing) training.

I was not the driving force of this group, but I managed to hold my own. The results speak for themselves:
  • 100.45 miles / 5:13:42 ride time / 19.21 mph average / 86 rpm avg / 4865 calories.

Not to shabby for the first weekend in June. I see a sub five hour century in this group's future.


Saturday, June 02, 2007

Year To Date......

Some quick numbers:
  • Runs = 75 for 329.5 miles for 49:30:50 / 9 min pace
  • Rides = 19 for 714.7 miles for 42:08:09 / 17 mph avg

On the cycling front I am waaaay ahead of last year (my first season) when I ended with over 2500 total miles. Currently most of my running was done early in the year while training for a half marathon. My goal had been to run 15 miles a week for the purpose of cross training and more importantly maintaining a base for marathon training. That is not happening. This week I have no runs.

This worries me a bit as I plan to run the Chicago Marathon in October. In terms of running this event is right around the corner. Most marathon training plans are 18 to 16 weeks long and require you to have a pre training base of 15 to 25 miles a week. Anything less and you risk getting hurt. See Lance Armstrong in the 2006 NYC Marathon.

According to my calendar, in 18 weeks the Chicago Marathon will be ran. I got no runs this week. I got no plan. June and July are BIG cycling event months for me. Maybe I should stick to cycling? Do I have the time to do both? More importantly do I want to find the time? Questions I need to answer. Later.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Rest Day?

I think it is time for one?

Rides:4 Consecutive Days
Avg. AHR: 126.5
Avg. Time:01:37:17
Total Time:06:29:11
Avg. Speed:17.2 MPH
Avg. Dist.:27.9 Mi
Total Dist.:111.6 Mi
Total Cal. Burned:5343

I have done more mileage then this in consecutive days, but it's the effort that counts. I did intervals, an all out ball busting rain ride (18.8 mph avg in the rain and wind), some roller repeats, and a long recovery ride. Over 6 hours and 100 miles logged this Memorial Day Weekend. Not to shabby for an amature. That is all.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

RAIN Ride........

no, not the 160 miles, one way, one day, ride across Indiana that I am doing for a second time this coming July. BUT, I rode in the rain yesterday. In fact by the time I finished there was a full blown Tornado Warning in effect. I am hardcore?!@!?

Now, I am up at 5:30am with the hope of riding. NOT. It's a total rain fest. The family plans really only allow me this time, but the weather, as it was forecasted, is being a bummer. I am so bummed I think I will just stay up and stare out the window....................Later.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Something Different......

INTERVALS!! I have a significant HILLY ride coming up in mid June. I am talking about over 12,000 feet of climbing and 124 miles. I live and mainly ride in a giant corn field. This makes hill training difficult. Or is that impossible.

So, I feel like I have a decent cycling base built up and decided to try some intervals this morning. This is new to me, but I went for ONE minute all out efforts followed by THREE minutes of ride recovery REPEATED Five times. The route was flat with little wind.

INTERVALS = (1 min all out with 3 min recovery) x 5.

Warm Up=13:41 / 3.75mi

1= .43mi 25.8mph 162/197 HR
2= .47mi 28.2mph 146/174
3= .39mi 23.6mph 146/161
4= .44mi 26.5mph 152/170
5= .43mi 25.7mph 156/170

cool down/home=34:27 / 9.21mi

total ride was 19.47 miles in 1:07:52.

Some thoughts.....I need more warm up time and less cool down time. My HR numbers show that on efforts 2 thru 5 I had more to give. I hit a new max HR at 197 bpm. It really hurt and for at least a minute at a time I can be pretty fast.

That is all. Later.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Eddie Vedder.............

Treat Please!
Originally uploaded by aham23.

the dog, still loves me! I was surfing my Flickr account and came across this picture. What a great dog! Later.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

All that complaining...............

.....and I end up logging two very solid cycling efforts this weekend. It was two rides for 79.28 miles with a 17.8 mph average. Not to pat myself on the back, but for May these are some very nice looking numbers.

How was your weekend?


Thursday, May 17, 2007


is where I seem to be stuck. I can't totally find my cycling legs and form. After yesterday's 5 mile run I realized I have totally lost my running legs and form. I am not running enough to maintain form, but just enough to mess with my cycling. What is a wannabe amature endurance geek to do?

Ride and Run More?!@?!


Sunday, May 13, 2007

Finding My Legs......

or cheating the wind? Could be a combination of the two? Anyway, last weekends Century really was a toughie for me (see below). Add in the fact that I slightly tweaked my back doing some post ride stretching and it took me most of the week to recover. I only managed one run, but hey I was trying to listen to my body and take it easy.

It was NOT until Thursday, after a 30 miler, that things started to feel better. It was an easy effort where I just wanted to spin the legs and loosen things up. It worked. I had two great early morning rides this weekend and everything seems back on track. In fact, the legs were real good and produced 70 miles with 18 mph & 17 mph averages. The plan for next week is to log a few more runs.

I have to share a couple of pictures of my little one. It seems she may be ready for that Pink Giant Tricycle!! Happy Moms day to all the Moms!! Later.

Sunday, May 06, 2007


Complete and total SUFFERFEST!! My day was a bit of everything. Some fun, some pain, some wind, some pain, some doubt, some regret, and some pain.

I met up with 6 other BFNIC'ers around 7am at the ride start. It was cold and it was windy and it was only 7am. Part of the attraction for this ride is near the begining you get to do a loop around the Joliet Speedway. Yes, the race track where they run the big Nascar Event! It was cool. With a little help (wind) I took the final turn at 35 mph.

Then at mile 20 we turned East into the wind and I went dead. Yep, mile 20 and I was out the back with no hopes of ever seeing the great BFNIC again. Riding solo into a 20 mph headwind is NOT enjoyable. WAIT! A BFNIC'er flats and I am back in the mix. Yeah for me! :) !

Mile 35ish, after the first rest stop, had us back into the wind. We had seven strong riders all lined up in a tight single file paceline. Problem, it was into the wind and we were rolling at 12 mph.........yikes that hurts. At this point I am back at the end of the group trying to hang on for dear life. I am thinking there is no way these guys let me bail on them, but I just might have too. I may have to opt for the 5o mile option, the SAG wagon, or even worse, call the wife to come and get me. I was a mess.

As the route progressed southward we began to get a little break here and there. The crosswind was a toughie, but much better then the headwind. We started to get more tailwinds and the legs started to come out of their coma. At some point a couple of us stopped for a quick potty break and figured with the upcoming tailwind we could catch up. I had some issues though. My bike fell over while I was, uh, going and the seat post turned sideways. I had to fix it and this put me way back off the group. However a 35 mph pace (thanks wind) had me back with the group in no time.

The last 25 miles involved a wrong turn, getting dropped while spinning at 23 mph, and putting an attack in at mile 95 on the MUP. It's just how I roll.

The edge says it was 102.9 miles & a 16 mph avg with a 35 mph max. The winds were blowing at 17 mph on average with gust up to 23 mph. It felt stronger. See all the stats by clicking the link below.

Sudden SufferFest

The ride leaves me with questions; Why did I pop at mile 20? How did I manage to hang in there and actually finish strong? Why do I love the suffering?


Saturday, May 05, 2007


This week was a toughie at work. In fact, work seems like it will be a toughie for me for a while. Good think cycling season is about to blast off!!!

Only two runs this week for 10 miles. The legs have been feeling tired. Plus, I have this weird left knee and leg pain thing going on???? With a 100 mile bike ride slated for Sunday, yes tomorrow, I thought it was best to tone it down a bit.

I went out for a nice 25 miler today and tried to spin the legs loose. I think I did and I think it helped. The ride tomorrow is the Joliet Sudden Century. It will be a lovely 100 mile ride on mostly flat country roads. With a projected WINDY Day of 20 mph ESE wnds my NINTH ride should result in massive suffering. I can't wait.


Saturday, April 28, 2007

I See The Sun........

I finally managed to get all 15 running miles in this week and before the weekend! See my goal is to maintain some type of running form by logging 15 miles a week. I hope to accomplish this with 3 running days. The rest of the week, well really just weekend, will be dedicated to cycling. This will go on for a couple of months while I prepare for two or three challenging cycling events. Sometime around July I will need to switch it up and start thinking about the Marathon!

Where was I? Oh yeah, running was good this week. Knocked out 7 miles yesterday to get my 15. This morning it was up and out the door on the road bike. Man I love riding early in the morning. The Sun was out with the temp around 50ish when I left and 60ish when I got back. I went for a new route and ended up taking a wrong turn around mile 20 that put me back on my old route? Crazy how that worked out. Anyway, this new route has some potential with some nice rolling tree lined roads along the Fox River.

I was surprised how well my legs reacted after Fridays running efforts. They really wanted to go, so we went. My fifth ride of the season produced and average speed just over 18 mph. This number and myself didn't cross paths last season until late August. It is going to be a fun season.

The Stats: 45.06 miles, 2:29:44 time, 18.1 mph avg with 27.3 max, 129 avg HR with a 158 max, & 81 rpm avg with a 110 max.

Tomorrow the plan is for another early morning ride of 40 to 50 miles. Next Sunday will be my first Organized Century of the year. Just a ho-hum 100 miles in one day. Good times.


Sunday, April 22, 2007

Not Ready Yet?

The BFNIC Spring Metric Classic ride was yesterday. It was up in the lovely Crystal Lake area, which means hills. Yes we have some here in Illinois. We don't have any around my riding grounds, but they do up yonder. Hum, that seems like excuse number one? Here go two and three:

  1. See Above ^
  2. Prior to this I had only three rides for 118 miles.
  3. No trainer for me means no riding legs at this point in my season.

The weather was great. The ride and route were very well planned out. It was great seeing the other BFNIC'ers for the first time this year!!

Now the suffering. As this group normally goes (fast) we started out briskly. Especially considering it was the second thirty mile loop that included the hills. We bolted out of the start consistently in the 17 to 21 mph range like it was late season. This pace was cool with me at first, but I did pay later in the ride for it. Plus, I was struggling with finding the right gear. I like to spin, but today I was trying to ride mostly in the big ring with less spinning. I just couldn't find my sweat spot.

After the first thirty'ish mile loop the legs were burning. I regrouped at the stop and things went well until the hills around mile 60'ish. While I couldn't hang at the front I was still maintaining a nice effort up to this point. The last hill at mile 65 finished me. I have limited cycling experience, 1 year for 2500 miles, and none with 15% grades! I think my main missteps were standing too early and not attempting the "serpent weave" back and forth across the rode. See, at the steepest part I was already standing to keep the cranks turning. The legs basically wanted nothing to do with this and shut down. I had to stop and unclip before I likely fell over due to lack of movement.

I felt a bit bummed about having to stop. I mean I am in the best shape of my life, as the saying goes. I am lighter, stronger, and more fit then ever. I think my actions show I may be a bit smarter too. It's early in the season. I just didn't have the legs and more importantly the technique to tackle that hill at mile 65.

I think I may be back to this Bull Valley and that 15% grade. This ride was only 2800 feet of elevation gain. I have one slated for June with over 10,000 feet!

The stats:

69.29 miles / 4:02:24 ride time / 17.2 mph avg with 34.5 max / 125 avg HR / 65 rpm avg with 115 max / 3300 calories burnt.

The MotionBased Link...........HERE.