Sunday, January 21, 2007

You're freaking me out ...

I ran 20 yesterday morning.

I was running along the side of FM 2004. It is a fairly busy road with a wide shoulder. As I crossed the railroad track between Richwood and Lake Jackson, a guy in an Explorer waved at me and I waved back. I thought nothing of it because people give me a wave often. A quarter of a mile down the road I passed a convenience store and in the parking lot was the same guy who waved at me and he stared as I ran by.

I continued to run and as I passed him up he pulled out on the road the same direction I was running. The Explorer pulled into the bowling alley parking lot ahead of me and he turned around and stared at me again and slowed as he passed.

He apparently turned around again in the convenience store parking lot and passed me again pulling ahead in the Family Fitness parking lot. He turned around and passed me yet again. This happened a couple of times.

As I approached the Family Fitness parking lot he was approaching the highway. At first I picked up my pace so I could beat him to the pull out drive. As I passed the Explorer I thought, “This has got to stop.”

So I spun in my tracks and made two strides toward the Explorer. The guy had his window down and a funny grin on his face.

In as gruff a tone as I could manage I said, “Are you following me?”

His funny grin turned to a startled look.

He stammered and said, “No, I’m supposed to meet some family in this area.”

“Well,” I said, “you’re freaking me out by driving back and forth past me.” I shook my head and ran on.

I never saw him again and the rest of the run was uneventful.

It’s time to taper for the Surfside Marathon.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Half Marathon Pictures

We're all smiling because we all had a lot of fun.




Monday, January 15, 2007

Houston Half-Marathon

We made it to the race just in time to stand in the line at the porta-jons and line-up. Andrea, Gwen, Jakeb and I walked around just a little bit before the start but we never made it into the George R Brown Convention center. At the back of the corral we ran into Wes, Jenny and Dan (Jenny’s dad). We talked with them for a while and then we were off to find our places.

Jakeb and I told Andrea and Gwen good luck and we headed to the green corral. Jakeb and I had trained for this race for a while and we were both ready to get started. We got in place and Wes walked up to us wearing a trash bag. Jenny and her dad were right behind him. After standing for a while the gun went off and we were running.

We hit the first mile in 9:24. We had planned on running 9’s and hitting the finish in just under 2 hours so the first mile time was okay. Jakeb looked over the crowd as we came down the overpass and said, “This is incredible, look at all of the people.”

We ran the next couple of miles a little faster, 8:37 for 2, 8:32 for 3, 8:47 for mile 4. Wes, Jenny and Dan were running with us. We all stuck pretty close together.

Then we picked it up and started to run faster. Wes was pulling us along and pacing us faster than I had planned for us to go and it worried me a little for Jakeb because I was not sure he would be okay in the last couple of miles since we were pushing it this early. I asked him if he needed to slow down and he said, "No, lets keep it up."

Mile 5 – 8:23
Mile 6 – 8:25
Mile 7 – 8:38
Mile 8 – 8:33
Mile 9 – 8:26
Mile 10 – 8:13

The 15k and 10 mile signs had been switched. We joked with a lady beside us that we had run the 10th mile in 2:09 and congratulated her on setting a new world record in the mile. She laughed and we ran on.

Wes started to realize that he had a shot at a PR. This was mine and Jakeb’s first half so we would PR by finishing. So our new goal was to push it and try to help Wes PR.

Mile 11 – 8:16
Mile 12 – 8:15
Finish – 8:35 (1.1 miles)

Total time - 1:51:07

Excellent time. Jakeb ran better than I imagined he would. I knew he would do well but I am amazed how well he did. This half marathon was as much fun as any race I have run. It is an awesome feeling for me to train with my son and watch him reach a goal he has worked so hard for. After the race Jakeb said, “Thanks dad for training with me. This was awesome and incredible and I would never have done it on my own.”

That was enough for me…

Andrea and her sister Gwen finished the half in 3:17 – a 15:03 pace. It is faster than they walked in all of their training. I am proud of my wife for working toward her goal of walking a half-marathon and exceeding her expectations.

We had a lot of friends who did well today too. Cindy finished the half in 2:10 overcoming an injury she had in training. Laurie and Melissa finished the half in 3:31:22. Nathan debuted by blazing through the marathon in 3:29 … wow!

It was another good day.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Believe In Yourself ... It's Alright, It's Alright

I ran 4 miles this morning with my Nike + iPod sport kit. It would be very easy to get addicted to running with it. That could be bad because I used to pride myself on the meditative effect of running with nothing to interfere with the brain waves. I need to leave it at home some of the time.

Having said that though, I have built a “running tempo” playlist. The first four songs are Believe by King’s X, Hitchin a Ride by Green Day, Vertigo by U2, and What Would You Say by The Dave Matthews Band. This morning my plan was to run an easy four wherever my legs took me while my iPod measured the miles. I usually run a familiar mapped out route. The problem is that I heard the beginning notes of Believe and I had no chance at running “easy”. I finished at a 7:50 pace which is pushing it for me.

Jakeb is ready to go. Andrea is ready too. Sunday we all three will finish the Houston half-marathon.