Great Western Half-Marathon

Great Western Half Marathon

The Great Western Half-Marathon is the “Great Western” because it’s on a trail that was converted from the old Chicago Great Western Railway. It was also a point-to-point race, with shuttle buses taking us from parking at the St. Charles North High School to the start of the race at the Sycamore Speedway. It was flat and straight and the weather was gorgeous and if I hadn’t not-trained since my last half I might have even knocked a real nice time. As it was, I lost the 2:30 pace group at a port-a-potty around mile 4 and just had to run my own race.

The trail ran through some beautiful Illinois country side—I’m pretty sure I saw some beaver dams!

This marks nine of thirteen “Runner’s Dozen” halves done and I’m going to be making May my double-up month, so I’ll be back out for another half in a few weeks. Let’s see if I can keep some running going between now and then.

Time: 2:34:42
Pace: 11:48/mile
Place: 517 / 608
Place in Gender: 271 / 295
Place in Age Group (M45-49): 48 / 50

Great Western Half Marathon

Great Western Half Marathon

Ravenswood Run 5K 2018

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Fuzzy Shaun and Stella finishing the Ravenswood Run

Now that the Edgewater 5K exists, I guess I really do have a neighborhood run of my own, but for years the Ravenswood Run has fulfilled that spot in my race calendar.

Time: 29:09
Pace: 9:23
Place: 919 / 2307
Place in Gender: 614 / 1144
Place in Age Group (M45-49): 84 / 155

Sly Fox Half Marathon

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Why does April still have to be so cold?

Time: 2:24:10
Pace: 11:00 mins/mile
Place: 344 / 407
Place in Gender: 206 / 235
Place in Age Group (M45-49): 38 / 41

Shamrock Shuffle 8K 2018

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On St. Patrick’s Day last week there was a last minute sale on registration for the Shamrock Shuffle. I’m a sucker for a sale (I may just be a sucker) so I signed up.

I think all these half-marathons have broken me for “short” distances like an 8K. It’s fun to run around downtown on blocked-off streets, but the whole race felt like it was over very quickly. (I mean, I know the point of a race is to finish it quickly…)

Time: 51:48
Pace: 10:26 min/mile
Place: 11139 / 20901
Place in Gender: 6352 / 9249
Place in Age Group (M45-49): 568 / 898

Bolingbrook St. Paddy's Half Marathon

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Fuzzy running the Bolingbrook Half

OK, since this was 7 of 13 of my Runner’s Dozen, I can now officially say I’m half-way through. I’ll still have to run two in one month coming up, but only five months and six races to go.

Time: 2:38:49.1
Pace: 12:07 min/m
Place: 470 / 528
Place in Age Group (M45-49): 41 / 41
Place in Gender: 257 / 267

Winter Trail Frosty Half-Marathon

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Fuzzy finishing the Winter Trail Frosty
/Who’s that muddy guy about to finish a half-marathon? It me!/

I’ve done a lot of do-a-certain-thing-over-and-over self-challenges that I’ve documented here on this blog—part of the point of that sort of thing seems to be the public accountability you get by broadcasting that you’re doing it. I’m half-way through a challenge right now that, for whatever reason, I didn’t really want to talk about. I don’t know if it’s because I thought there was a reasonable chance I might flake out on it, or what, but it’s the case.

My friend Antonio first introduced me to the idea of a Runner’s Dozen—a self-challenge where you run a half-marathon a month for a year, and throw an extra one in there somewhere for a total of 13. It all has a nice numerical symmetry, what with 12 months in the year and 13 miles in a half-marathon and so on. I had the concept filed away in the back of my head and then last fall I realized that I had 3 half-marathons planned in 2 months. I flaked on one of them, but it still meant I was heading into November with 2 months of a Runner’s Dozen already completed. So why not just keep it rolling?

Winter, it’s turned out, is light on half-marathons, so I’ve been traveling a bit farther to do the races than I’d normally do. (There’s no rules to the Runner’s Dozen, since it’s a self-challenge, but my own personal guideline is that if at all possible I want to go do an organized race and not just run 13.1 sometime during the month.) In February, the closest half to Chicago was down in Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis. So yesterday I drove three hours down to Indiana to run 13.1 on a reasonably challenging trail course in a torrential downpour. It’s the Winter Trail Frosty. Get it? Get it?

On the plus side, I planned pretty well on clothing and so I was drenched from the start, but never really uncomfortable. On the minus side, man what a slog all the mud was.

Time: 2:57:05.31 Lap 1 Time: 1:24:33.03
Lap 2 Time: 1:32:32.27
Pace: 13:31 min/mile
Place: 130 / 165
Place in Age Group (M40-49): 26 / 29
Place in Gender: 78 / 89

Polar Dash Half-Marathon 2018

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Fuzzy near the end of the Polar Dash Half-Marathon

The Polar Dash Half-Marathon was a little chilly this morning. 2° F, to be exact. It could have been worse—there was only a light breeze as we headed back north. If it had been really windy, as it often is by the lake, it would have been quite a different story.

As it was, the lakefront under snow was quiet and peaceful and beautiful. If my phone battery wasn’t so terrible right now (and if it wasn’t quite so cold) I would have paused and taken a few photos of the dramatic ice on the rocks or the sheets of ice in the harbors or… seems like there was a lot ice.

Time: 2:29:27
Place: 217 / 273
Place in Gender: 124 / 143
Place in Division (M4049): 34 / 37

Books 2017

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This year I’m counting graphic novels (and trade paperback collections) as books, not just to inflate my books-read numbers (54 with, 20 without) but really only to keep track of where I am in various series, which is really the point of this site no one else reads. As always on media consumption, I’ll remind you that I’m an employee of WB Games, but my book reading choices have nothing to do with my employer.

  • Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur v1: BFF
  • Totally Awesome Hulk v1
  • Paper Girls v1-2
  • Southern Bastards v1-3
  • Descender v1
  • Descender v2
  • Sex Criminals v1-3
  • Rat Queens v1
  • Doom Patrol (1987-1995)
  • Patsy Walker aka Hellcat v1
  • Ms Marvel v1-4
  • Welcome Back v1
  • The Vision v1
  • Wildside
  • Before I Fall
  • Exo
  • Polymorph
  • 39 Clues - Book 1
  • The House With a Clock in Its Walls
  • Anya’s Ghost
  • Spill Zone
  • Lumberjanes v1-2
  • The Motherless Oven
  • Bandette v1
  • The Can Opener’s Daughter
  • Every Heart a Doorway
  • Big Bad Fox
  • Bandette v1
  • Bandette v2
  • NOS4A2
  • Fuku Fuku Kitten Tales v1
  • The Dark is Rising 1: Over Sea, Under Stone
  • The Dark is Rising 2: The Dark is Rising
  • The Dark is Rising 3: Greenwich
  • Fuku Fuku Kitten Tales v2
  • Chi’s Sweet Home v1
  • Bandette v3
  • Where Angels Fear to Tread
  • Consider the Oyster
  • One of Us is Lying
  • The Coldest City
  • The Dispatcher
  • The Dark is Rising 4: The Grey King
  • Vacationland
  • The Dark is Rising 5: Silver on the Tree

Movies 2017

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I’ve long documented the movies I’ve watched each year. Below are listed the 68 movies I watched in 2017. As an employee of NetherRealm Studios, part of Warner Brothers Games, I should note that my movie watching choices are personal and do not reflect anything about my employer.

  • Inside Out
  • Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates
  • Neighbors
  • The Spy Who Loved Me
  • Moonraker
  • For Your Eyes Only
  • Central Intelligence
  • Octopussy
  • Tim’s Vermeer
  • Never Say Never Again
  • MST3K 1101: Reptilicus
  • GoldenEye
  • Tomorrow Never Dies
  • The World is Not Enough
  • Assassin’s Creed
  • Tangled
  • Anatomy of a Murder
  • MST3k: Cry Wilderness
  • MST3k: The Time Travelers
  • MST3k: The Loves of Hercules
  • MST3k: Avalanche
  • MST3k: The Beast of Hollow Mountain
  • The Grateful Dead (1977)
  • Paul Blart: Mall Cop
  • Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2
  • Kill List
  • MST3k: Starcrash
  • Moana
  • Free Fire
  • Baby Driver
  • Magic Mike
  • MST3K: The Land Time Forgot
  • MST3K: The Loves of Hercules
  • MST3K: Yongary: Monster from the Deep
  • MST3K: Eegah!
  • MST3K: Argoman, The Fantastic Superman
  • MST3K: Wizards of the Lost Kingdom
  • MST3K: Wizards of the Lost Kingdom II
  • MST3K: Carnival Magic
  • MST3K: The Christmas That Almost Wasn’t
  • Hot Fuzz (rewatch)
  • Elle
  • Wonder Woman
  • The Anderson Tapes (1971)
  • MST3K: At the Earth’s Core
  • Graphic Means
  • Pressing On
  • M. Hulot’s Holiday
  • The Thomas Crown Affair (1968)
  • Atomic Blonde
  • The Wild Bunch
  • Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?
  • Arsenic and Old Lace
  • Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Corpse Bride
  • The Search for General Tso
  • Pitch Perfect 2
  • Justice League
  • Girls Trip
  • Rogue One
  • Meet the Robinsons
  • Blood Simple
  • The Manxman (1929)
  • Princess Cyd
  • Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  • Jurassic Park: The Lost World
  • Another Thin Man