Sunday, December 30, 2012

Here we go....and so it begins.

               Good day, everyone. I started training last week. It is going not as good as I'd like. I have a nasty cold, and it has been bone chilling out. I have skipped a 16 and an 18 due to my head feeling like it is exploding in slow motion, and not wanting to aggravate my situation. So, in short I am not living up to my standards. I am going to do everything to fill this next week out entirely. I took a long break, running sparingly to rest up from a very good year this past year. But I think my cardio may have taken a hit. I won't know entirely until I get to test the boundaries. I can't afford to miss any big mileage. I am upping the anti- this year. I am running the Ice Age 50 in May, hoping to register for the Kettle 100 in June. That's right! I'm finally going to do my first hundo! July will be Dances With Dirt again, September is North Face Gore-Tex 50, October is Detroit, November is New York to round out the year. Just gotta get over this shitty cold.
               Have a great new year, everyone! Run like your ass is on fire....and you stole whatever you're carrying!

Monday, November 12, 2012

A New Page For 2013

               2012 was a great year. I definitely upped the anti. I covered 2 50 mile ultramarathons, both my first and second, I did 2 more marathons, and a half marathon, followed by a handful of other races littered throughout the year. I think I may change it up this year. My time will be tighter than usual...and it's tight already...due to starting school in January. My time is valuable and sparse, so I will start the year out with the Ice Age 50 in May, probably RAGNAR in June again, Dances With Dirt in July, Madison Mini in August, North Face Endurance Challenge Gor-Tex 50 in September, I'm going to make a point to make it to Detroit in October for my travel marathon as I missed it last year (I'm coming John Barry! Be ready!), and hopefully...hopefully NYC in November. I'll get in the lottery again, and maybe...and if I don't get in this year, after 4 refusals I'll get in on the 5th automatically, so patience. I'll run it eventually. This is of course tentative, as I am eyeing the idea of the Kettle 100, or another 100. We'll see what the year brings.
               Good luck to all my friends on the off season, and I'm looking forward to seeing all of my nutty buddy ultra peeps in the coming year! Run safe! Stay healthy! See y'all soon!

Friday, September 21, 2012

North Face Endurance Challenge Gore-Tex 50 2012

               The Gore-Tex 50 was a success! I started out and felt great the majority of the race. It helped that the first 2-3 hours were before and during dawn, as the race started at 5am sharp. The headlamps kind of isolate your surroundings when on the trail. You've no idea how many people are around you, behind you, in front of you unless they're wearing a tail light...which is kind of pointless on the trail, because all you're doing is making yourself a viable target for the person behind you. Just saying folks, if you don't need a tail light, why wear one? You put yourself at a disadvantage.
               I finished with an official time of 10:53:49, shaving just over 2 hours off my previous 50 mile time. It was a little easier terrain, but not easy. There were still plenty of bumps and drastic inclines and descents, being that it was in the Southern Kettle Moraine region. It was definitely a far more comfortable temperature, starting out in the low to mid 50's and ending in the mid to high 70's. I took only one tumble early on, rolled out of my fall, posted gymnast style, giggled a minute and kept on trucking. I had a guy tell me that that was one of the best recoveries he'd seen. I thought it was a good one. ;-)
               It was absolutely beautiful. I was tempted to take a bunch of pictures, but I was too inclined to be focused on crushing the course. I'll be out again to do some more running out there. The campsite I was at was pretty amazing. It was the Pinewoods, just north of Ottawa Lake, where the start and finish was. In.thee.middle.of.no...where. I've never seen so many stars that I can remember. There is zero light pollution. The campsite was extremely well-kept. Pinewoods is a 24 hour quiet zone, so no partying rednecks lighting firecrackers at all hours. No noise, no dogs, very secluded. It is open for camping year round, as is Ottawa Lake. I recommend it if you are looking for a great place to camp. It's about halfway between Milwaukee and Madison.
               I was well prepared with my drop bags, potatoes. Pringles, Powerade Zero, fruit....except...I made a rookie error in that I forgot to pack protein. I have never forgotten to do that before. I felt so very stupid, but I motored on. I got sick about mile 39 next to a tree, then felt pretty good, amazingly and picked up the pace. I finished getting sick after the race behind one of the vendor tents, then politely apologized to the vendor, who was gracious and understanding. Thank you, wherever you are. I missed my first drop bag, focused I guess. I missed my third one, as it just wasn't there. I notified staff. apparently there were a few others that had the same problem....motor on, motor on. I only changed out my clothes once this time. I sweat a ton, so I tried all compression on this one. It was a success. Triathlon half-zip tops and compression shorts. I saved a ton of time not having to doddle around the checkpoints. In and out and go. I used my Altras for the first 35 miles, switched to my Mizuno Ascends for the final 15. I'm forcing myself to take a full week off after this one. It is no treat. My body wants to go again. I am recovering quicker and quicker....which can only mean one thing. Step it up. So my next plan that I have to devise is how and when. I'm figuring I will run 2 more solid  50 milers, then knock out a hundo. I won't be doing Leadville right away, but I may hit a moderate 100 miler, maybe the Kettle Moraine 100. If all goes as planned, it'll most likely be late next year, or early 2014, providing there are no hitches in my giddy-up. I have considered doing it solo, picking a route. I've also considered doing a solo multi-stage run. For about a week, running to a few different state parks, fast packing. But for certain, I am a junkie in need of his next fix.
               Safe running everyone! Keep on keeping on!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Pieces Are Falling Into Place Quite Nicely.

               I must first say that I am physically more alive than I ever remember feeling. When I remind myself that I am closing in on 40 years of age, I am not scared, but excited. I feel better at 37 than I ever remember feeling at even 18. I appreciate it far more. I am doing something with my vitality, which honestly, I pissed away a lot of my youth on being down, and not knowing what the hell I was doing. Now, I don't know what I'm doing, but enjoying not knowing. The moment is really all you have. I recently came to the conclusion that moving backward is a very dangerous illusion. One does not move backward so much as forward with their back turned. You can't ever go back. And, quite frankly, you can't move forward faster than time allows. There are manipulators, such as exercise and physical detriment. Ultimately though, you are here until you are not, and attempting to maintain control is like pissing in the wind. One must learn to surf...figuratively, and if it is in your power actually. I must say, it is awesome to move with a wave. I miss it. I am considering fresh-water surfing Lake Michigan and/or Lake Superior just to get a little in. So....ya. My running. Alive. That's the only way to describe it. I don't feel right unless I'm running. I am absolutely addicted. I am running, and it is me.
               I am 16 days out from my second 50 mile trail race. The North Face Endurance Challenge Gor-Tex 50 mile. I have been keeping up with my training runs, listening to my body when it says back off. Picking it up when it says so, and making sure not to over-train. I'll be camping out again at the race site. It is a cathartic experience when you get up, get your gear ready, and walk or ride your bike over to the race start, and run all day in a zone. It is like nothing else. My first 50, I ran for almost 13 hours, but where did the day go? It was an amazing 13 hours that flew by. I am going to again shoot for 10 hours. I have a better shot at it on this course. There is plenty of challenging terrain in the Kettle Moraine area, but far less elevation than Devil's Head/Devil's Lake. When I am road running, I love it, but it is much more meditative, in that I go on autopilot, and my legs gracefully let me have a controlled fall for 26.2 miles. When I am trail running for 50 miles, I have that very meditative state, but there is a state of consciousness that is there that I can't begin to explain. You'd have to see it with your own mind and body. I am far more in touch with my primal state. It's an 'upgraded' autopilot. I have to be aware of roots, rocks, leaves, mud, cliffs....yes, cliffs. All while maintaining my meditative state. Sound like fun, huh? It is heaven. HEAVEN!
               I'm stoked. This is my last major race for the year. I'll do the Indian Lake Trail Run in October, then, a break, I think. At least until the Spring. I have to get back school. Plus my body hasn't rested properly in 3 years. So the plan is to keep my cardio up and build more muscle, then pick up where I left off, focusing more on ultras, and maybe crossing over to triathlons. We'll see how I feel when I get there. We'll talk to you soon, North Face is almost here. Safe running, everybody!      

Sunday, July 22, 2012

I am, as of this point, an Ultra Marathoner

               Dances With Dirt 50 was a success, in that I finished in under 13 hours, and it was my first ultra. I was holding a 10 hour pace for the first the 35 miles. It was very clear to me that every step after 27 miles was then the longest run I have ever traversed in my life. This is always an energizing experience for me, and not daunting, like it could be, if one's thoughts turn against themselves.
               Once I hit 35, my muscles felt tenderized. I never had cramps, as I have gotten better at keeping on top of my electrolyte chemistry. My body was rejecting a little is all. I have read about this happening the first few times. Your body does not know what is going on, and is trying to get you to stop. It's our job as ultra-runners to tell our body to "Shut the fuck up. Work with me here. We'll get through this together." Which brings me to the next bump I ran into...erratic heartbeat. But do not fear, my friends. Yours truly had it under control. Once I started getting short of breath unusually, I took my pulse, and walked for bit, thus losing a lot of time. But my goal was to finish, not have a heart attack. Sounds worse than it is. I was not worried in the least. 
               Of course, after this point I started keeping a closer watch on the time. I got another burst of energy at 42 miles. This is when I realized I am hooked. Ultra is my new junk. Once I hit my last aid station, I had an hour and a half to finish the last 4.5. However, this 4.5 is no ordinary 4.5. It is arguably the toughest loop in the whole race. We started the race out with it, and we are now finishing with it. I got stung by a bee/wasp/hornet the first loop and ran 40 miles with a sting in my shoulder blade. The guy behind me got stung in the head, and a couple others got stung 2 or more times. ....so....the loop. 
               It is a climb up the bunny hill at Devil's Head ski resort, then a barrelling down the triple diamond hill to the finish. There is a cut through rough brush that will slow you down a bit. Needless to say, It took me 1:25 to get through the last 4.5 miles. I finished in 12:54:57. Usually 40% finish this race of the entrant field. This year was better. It was closer to 55%. I was 54 of 56 finishers, I believe. 
               I loved every minute of it. Time was irrelevant. I had to dig deeper than ever I did previously just to keep moving. I had to be loving to my psyche, I had to kick its ass, I had to good cop/bad cop it. I 'ran to mom' when dad said to buck up. "Well, what did your father say?" You get the idea. It felt amazing to run across that finish line. I ended up sprinting across to the end. How? I haven't the foggiest idea. For the last 1500-2000 feet I felt no pain. Shortly thereafter, that is another story.
               When I got there I was hungry for a piece of meat for protein. I took the last hamburger in my hands and ate it plain with no bun. It was the best burger I've ever tasted....and usually I hate ground beef. The beer was gone. Fuck. I'm not a drinker, but a beer or two after a race is a welcome reward. The moral of this lesson is.....get there sooner next time. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Dances With Dirt 50, 9 days until go-time.....

               I am a bit nervous, but I am quite confident that I can keep moving for 10 hours. I think I will do better than 10 hours, but it depends on heat and many other things. The race starts at 5:30am, so hopefully it will be cooler and I'll get a good jump before the heat hits hard. However, if the current weather is any indicator, it won't fall below 80 degrees all night. The past couple runs I've done at night, it was still 88 and 85 degrees at 10pm. So, I just need to buckle up and put on the big boy pants. It's going to be hot. It's going to be grueling. It's going to be a life-changing first-time 50. I'm feeling great. Don't worry about me. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Ragnar Is Recommended!

               I ran the Ragnar Relay Chicago this weekend with 10 other amazing people. It was the most fun I've had in quite awhile for racing and running. No stress, all fun, just run fun. If you are not familiar with the Ragnar series, it is all over the USA. It is 12 runners typically, running 3 legs each, over the course of a day and a half. We run all through the night, 2 vans, sleep if/when you can. 
               We had eleven, our friend Eric, regretfully, had to pull out because of a fracture. We placed second in our division: SUBMASTERS MEN REGULAR with a time of 28:53:07. We had several Ironmen, several competitive road bikers, a few marathoners, and a couple that don't train other than running passively, and it was no pressure. For me, personally, it was just what the doctor ordered. It was agreat way to break up all the serious training with a way to just run and enjoy it. It is important to have stuff like this to remind you why you do it in the first place. 
               Long story short, if you have a chance to do a Ragnar, get on it. I knew nobody on this team, and I am a serious introvert with social anxiety...and I loved being ripped from my element. It was refreshing to know I have a tribe. I never knew, for the simple reason I train alone, I compete alone. I relish in accomplishment alone. Now I know better. You can get registered on the Ragnar site and look for a team if you are flying solo. There are so many teams that would be glad to have you. Do it. DO IT! I SAY! GO NOW!
               
               Next up...Dances With Dirt-Devil's Lake 50. Yes, my first 50 miler. I am crossing over to Crazyville. I'm buying a farm over there and building a cabin. It's over. I'm officially a nutty-ass runner freak. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

...And we're back!

               Well folks, I am off and running again. I am skipping the Madison Marathon this year to be on the safe side. They may be cancelling it, anyway. Apparently the heat may be an issue this weekend, and they may hold the half, but cancel the full. No biggie. I'm not running it. I ran my 10 miler this morning, and an ice bath, feeling fantastic. I have the Ragnar Relay on the 8th and 9th of June. Not at all worried about that. 3 legs of 8 miles or less. My longest is just over 8, my shortest is just over 5. I should be able to blast through, providing I utilize my off time for icing and proper recovery. The next Big Kahuna is Dances With Dirt in July. This will be my first 50 miler. I am stoked. I feel like bellowing like a warrior of olden times, a Celtic warrior on a Birzerker the night before a battle. I know, corny, but this brings out the beast in me. I am not quite ready, but I will be. Once I get my 35 mile training run in, my life will have changed forever. I will have crossed over to Crazytown once and for all, and I'm already scoping out the situation for buying some property there. ;-) Happy running, everyone!

Monday, April 30, 2012

...And another one bites the dust!

               Well, I just got back yesterday from Louisville, KY. Not my best race at 4:10:55. I over-trained. Plain and simple. That, and I wasn't 100% over my cold. I conned myself into thinking I was, but I wasn't. I met my threshold for the time being. I ran 3 marathons in 5 months. I am going to take a full week off of working out, running, etc. The next week will be cross training only, maybe some lifting. For now my 2 50 milers are on hiatus. My next marathon is in October in Detroit. My next race is the Ragnar Relay from Madison to Chicago, with 11 other runners and our support team. Each runner runs 3 legs over the course of a day. It will be a new experience for me on many levels. I am a runner that keeps to myself. It cracks me out of my shell. This is a good thing, I think. Also, the mileage isn't too bad, but running 3 times in a day is definitely new to me. 
               On a different note, no offense if any of you are from Louisville, but when I was there, nothing but fucked up shit went down. When I got into town, I went to my hotel, unloaded, went to the expo downtown at the Kentucky International Expo Center. After I was done, a kid pulled the fire alarm. Luckily I was on my way out. They cleared the building, firemen, the works. As I turned 1st and Market, a Ford Explorer was in the lobby of a building, another car wrapped around a light pole, and when I got back, the news said the truck hit a pedestrian. Never found out how they made out. Drunk driver killed a lady, going the wrong way on I-65, some guy tried to outrun the cops in a high speed chase and jumped in the Ohio river to ward off cops, only to hide between two piers because he was in danger of hypothermia due to exposure. The night of my race after I got back, thunderstorm from hell, golf ball hale, 85 mph wind. Another drunk driver accident, driver died, car he hit lived, but in critical condition. Is it always like this here?! If so, God hates this place. God will win this one. Move. Seriously. Pack. Go.
                Anyway, I'm gonna relax, then start running again in a couple weeks. As I write this, I want to go for a run. It is gonna be incredibly tough. I may break down and run before my body is ready, but I will fight every urge. No joke. Why can't I just be Wolverine or Superman or something, and heal in like 3 seconds? It would be so much easier. Plus, Adamantium bones. Who wouldn't want those?!

Monday, April 16, 2012

A rough bump...building up to the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon

              Well, I had a rough spot. I am at about 80%. Just getting over a cold, and I had an issue with my lower calf that I am not quite sure what it was to this day. Maybe a pulled muscle? I gave it some rest. 4 days off, and back to small mileage. My longest run between here and the marathon is 8 miles. I don't know what to expect. I'm hoping to be up and full-on by April 28th. It is a relatively flat course for being in Kentucky. I'm hoping to slay it. I might just go guts out and see what happens. I plan on starting with the 3:25 pack, and hanging on for dear life. I'm feeling better, but I'll update next week when we're less than a week out. Today we're 11+ days out. I have some work to put my brain in the right spot. I've been scattered with other details. For the record, other details, like bills, and insurance, and work, and family stuff is not conducive to staying focused. My advice is to tell them all to go to hell and get away. You've got priorities. ;-)

Ya, that's probably the best option....
But wouldn't it be cool if you could just unplug?
Hey North Face! If you sponsor me, I promise I'll run a bazillion miles, like Dean Karnazes. That would solve a lot of my problems. Thanks.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Shamrock Shuffle 10k 2012

               Well, where to begin? I did not run my best. That is an understatement, but, oh well. There were so many little things that went wrong. Truly little things. I was still getting over a bit of a cold or flu thing, so my lungs were lagging, my right knee was feeling wonky, I just got done dealing with a bout of my left calf locking up, and I miscalculated my incline going up Observatory Drive, which is usually my strong suite. I most times pass people up hill going steady, but not over-doing it, and throw the hammer down on the down hill when others are recovering, which worked for the most part, but ran into oxygen debt early on, due mostly to my lung thing, most likely, but, all in all, so many things went awry that I don't know what one thing made the difference, so I am very quickly forgetting about this little ego-sore...and moving on. I averaged 8min/mile, which might be good for a half or marathon, but not a 10k. Moving on...moving on....

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

New Found Territory

               Well, I recovered from Austin extremely fast. My downtime was very minimal, and I'm up and running. Right now I'm in the beginning stages of training for my first 50 mile trail run. It starts out very easy and manageable, eventually excelling to 26 mile training runs. I'm both excited and terrified. This reminds me of prepping for my first marathon. It is new. New is scary. Scary is exhilarating when you concour it. Once I've run a couple 26ers, I will have a new perspective I think. I may up one to 30, just to mentally destroy the barrier I have. I haven't ever run more than a marathon at one time. I figure once I throw down a 30 or so, mentally I can run whatever you throw at me. It seems to be the easy choice for me.


                 Louisville should be a blast. I was thinking it would be hilly for sure. Not the case. For whatever reason, the marathon is relatively flat. Coming hot off the heels of a PR and knowing I have more to give, if my pacing is right, I plan on cracking it wide open. Fast, flat course?! Man, did  I luck out? All I need is decent weather, and it's on like Donkey Kong. Flat though, I don't even need that. 


               I'm stoked about this year. I'm about to find out just what kind of runner I am, and just how high my threshold is for pain, endurance. I've always been a bit of an envelope pusher. Running is perfect for me. I set the bar. I adapt and overcome. If it goes well, it's all me. If it doesn't, then I stepped in it, and need to clean it. But I will clean it, and I will continue.


So, I'm looking at: 


Shamrock Shuffle 10k
Madison, WI
3/17/12


Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon
Louisville, KY
4/28/12


Madison Marathon
Madison, WI
5/27/12


Ragnar Relay
Madison, WI to Chicago, IL
6/8/12-6/9/12


Dances With Dirt/Devil's Lake 50 miler
Baraboo, WI
7/14/12


Madison Mini-Marathon
Madison, WI
8/18/12


North Face Challenge/Madison, WI  Gore-Tex 50
Eagle, WI
9/15/12


Detroit Free Press Marathon
Detroit, MI
10/21/12


ING New York City Marathon (pending until April)
New York, New York
11/4/12

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Livestrong Austin Marathon 2012

               Well, I will call this a success. Ultimately the flaws in the race were mine, due to my choices, but I will say that this pace team was the most flawed I've depended on. But my choice to depend on them was mine and mine alone. Lesson learned. I will depend on my own watch. I don't like running with a watch, but I will make the sacrifice. They were off by :48 on the first mile, and didn't settle into pace until about mile 11. I believe with every fiber of my being that I would've hit 3:30, maybe 3:25 if even they were only off by 10-15 seconds. I still set a PR at 3:42:03, shaving 2:20 off my previous 3:44:23. I believe I have a great chance to shatter that in Louisville in April with my own watch and proper pacing. I was previously not going to run the Madison Marathon, as I've run it twice and grew a bit bored, but now depending on the outcome in Louisville, I may run it. If for no other reason than I know every crack and bump, hill and dip, in that race and will tear it open.
               My body is nearly completely ready to go, and only 3 days ago I ran the marathon. My thighs are still a bit tight, but everything else is ready to roll. I'm going to be swimming and rowing for about 2 weeks to get my cardio, some upper body training, core workouts, etc. My body is responding to the demands I'm placing on it and I am very happy with the results. 
               The day could not have been more perfect. 45 at the start, and 65 at the finish. Sun was shining. Perfect number of water stops. Great community support. Tons of bands. Some people set up bands and had parties in their front yard. Great atmosphere. If you haven't, Run Austin!


               Now, back to the grind.... The finish line is an illusion.          

Friday, February 17, 2012

Livestrong Austin Countdown

               I left Madison at about 8:45am Wednesday 2/15, making great time, as flow of traffic was about 80 mph once I got into Iowa. The posted speed limit is usually 70-75. All the way  into Missouri, this was the case. I got 30 miles outside of KCMO and fog settled in, I zoned out for about 2 minutes, not realizing I was at 84, according to the officer, (yes, I got a ticket.) and decided it's cruise control the rest of the way. I was concerned with burning more fuel, but now I don't trust myself to keep it steady. I surprised myself by not getting too mad. In the past I would've fumed about it until I was fully exhausted. This time I just chalked it up to travel expense. Say what you will but, most everyone I talked to in Missouri has had a speeding ticket...or several. This was an unmarked. This man was on a mission. I don't even know where he came from. It was like he dropped from the sky. I will say he was very nice though. But, there was no talking my way out of this one. He was there for the sole purpose of issuing tickets. Eh. Live and learn. Speeding ticket or cruise control....you decide. Either way it get's expensive.


               Got into Liberty and met up with my friend Adam at about 4pm, and got into the eating stage. Called up our friend Leo and went to an Italian place in downtown Kansas City. Pizza was insane. INSANE! Cafe Al Dente. Run by a little adorable Italian woman that serves you personally and runs around with more energy than I have sometimes and chats it up with everyone. Brick walls, nice atmosphere.


               Got on the road at 7am Thursday 2/16, again flow of traffic about 80, I set the cruise at 4 over the posted limit and just sat in the right lane. Got into North Austin at just 6pm, and landed at my hotel about 6:45pm. Checked in after peeing for what seemed like an eternity. I didn't want to stop because rush hour was happening and traffic was a little bogged. If I got off, I wasn't sure how easy it would be to get back on.
               Quickly setting my stuff in my room, I headed out to find an Italian restaurant. I asked a few guys working one of Austin's upscale downtown hotels where there was an Italian place close, turns out there is one a couple blocks from my hotel. Went to Taverna on 2nd and Lavaca. Awesome food, nice place, great sevice. On the walk over I realized that there is a running store a block away. How freaking awesome!? Then I noticed the place where the expo is is kitty-corner. Score number 2. There is a Taco Cabana a few blocks away I'll be checking out. Yummy Texmex.
               Then I headed back to get a run in. I ran 2.25, and felt amazing. It took everything not to keep running. I knew I could have run all night. I was afraid prior that I may have over-trained, but now I am quite sure I am just fine. Went back, showered, changed, and hit the hay. I'll go out and do a little eating, shopping, and time killing until 3pm, when I can go to the expo. Hoping that I can meet Bart Yasso, as he is the keynote speaker both days of the expo. I am feeling great. I could go for a run right now, so I guess my work is done until Sunday. Ciao!
     

Friday, February 10, 2012

Let's get this thing rolling!

So here we go....

I am a marathon runner. I have run 4 and soon to be 5, 9-10 by the end of the year, and hopefully/probably 2 50 milers as well. I have been running solid for 3 years. I am an ex-smoker and alcohol abuser. I got into a bad relationship, and running was the only time I got to myself to think, and literally...to myself. Period. I quit drinking and smoking, she did not, and we fizzled. She's better off, to my knowledge. She is married with a man far more suitable to her, and I am on a new course in life. That is that I am newly confident in my ability. I have confidence. That, in and of itself, is a rather new thing for me. I am not a religious person. I do not believe in god, per se, but running long distances is as close as I can get to a 'church' for what I believe in. Anyone who has ever run more than an hour straight knows exactly what I'm talking about. I am always looking forward to my next run. There will be more background to come.

I am leaving for Austin for the Livestrong Austin Marathon on February 15th, the day after my 37th birthday. It will be my 5th marathon. I t will be my first one flying completely solo. I have gone to where I have friends, etc., in the past. This is me all the way. I'm driving by myself from Madison, WI to KCMO, staying over with some friends, having dinner, and continuing on to Austin. I like me time. This is allowing for my own headspace, and it will put a few of my theories to test. More on that later.

So, now I'm heading to the indoor track at The Princeton Club to get my 8 miler in before I go to work. 2 days of rest, XT  on Monday, some tiny runs, then I will find myself in Austin before long. Have a great weekend!