Edgewater 5K 2018

  • Posted on
  • in

Time: 32:01
Pace: 10:19 min/mi
Place overall: 245 / 448
Place in Gender: 132 / 194
Place in Age Group (M18+): 106 / 145

Bucktown 5K 2018

  • Posted on
  • in

Erica and I play a game called “did Fuzzy see the camera?” The answer for this one is, obviously, yes, yes he did.

Erica and Fuzzy running the Bucktown 5K

Time: 49:07
Pace: 15:49 min/mile
Overall Place: 2190 / 2303
Place in Gender: 923 / 944
Place in Age Group (M45-49): 72 / 77

Chicago Half Marathon

  • Posted on
  • in

Steve and Fuzzy running the Chicago Half-Marathon

What do you do after you run 13 half-marathons in 12 months? Run another one the next month!

Steve and I were supposed to run this race last year, for what turned out to be the first race of my Baker’s Dozen, but he got sick. So when I was signing up for the Chicago Spring Half-Marathon there was an option to sign up for this one as well as a short “series” and so I suggested to Steve that we run it as a do-over. He agreed and so we’ve had it on the schedule for most of the year.

Steve broke a rib a few months ago, so he hadn’t been running, but he was game to try and I’m really proud of him for getting out and pushing himself. Erica asked if we were going to hold hands as we crossed the finish line, and how do you answer a question like that?

Steve and Fuzzy finishing the Chicago Half-Marathon

Time: 3:11:27
Pace: 14:37 min/mi
Place: 7442 / 7815
Place in Gender: 3393 / 3500
Place in Division (M45-49): 351 / 368

Big Shoulders

  • Posted on
  • in

We’ve been trying to swim the Big Shoulders open water swim for years. We saw the race happening one September, wondered what it was and looked it up. “Great, let’s sign up for that next year.” The next summer we went to sign up and discovered that it had already sold out. We noted that sign-ups started in March and the next year we checked in the middle of March. So then we found out exactly when registration opened and put a calendar entry in to remember to do it that day. So that was this March 1 and we signed up! Erica went whole-hog and signed up for the 3 mile swim and I played it safe and signed up for the 1.5 mile. Our friends Sara and Andrea signed up as well.

I wouldn’t say we trained hard core all summer, but we trained — Erica joined a gym with a pool up in Evanston and she helped me get my act together and signed me up as well. We got out for some open water swims and did a real 1-mile race and then did the swim in the Chicago Triathlon. We were both a little nervous about our distances, but we were ready.

And then there were very high winds and the race was canceled.

It was very disappointing, especially because the water wasn’t that bad inside the protected walls of Ohio Street Beach, but the Parks District wasn’t able to get their safety boats into the area.

So, we’re waiting for next year’s sign up with bated breath…

Chicago Triathlon 2018

Fuzzy finishing the Chicago Triathlon

There’s a giant asterisk on this year’s results, because Erica and I signed up for the International Distance, but while I was out on the run, they announced that because of the heat they were reducing the International run from 10K to 5K. When I heard the announcement out on the train, I was indignant. Sure, other people could quit if they wanted, but I’m an old hand at triathlons. And then I took stock of my situation and noticed that I was already walking and that probably this was not the race to push myself to the limits for. I think my 40 minute 5K shows the wisdom of that decision.

Time: 3:33:19
Place: 847 / 986
Place in Gender: 374 / 450
Place in Age Group (M45-49): 32 / 49
Place in Age Group (Male 40+): 247 / 303

Race Splits
Swim - 49:51
T1 - 10:41
Bike - 1:43:12
T2 - 8:25
Run - 40:17

13.Wine Michigan Wine Trail Half-Marathon

  • Posted on
  • in

So, first of all, whoever realized that the URL for this race could be 13.wine should be very proud of themselves.

Second of all, why aren’t there more half-marathons in the Chicago-land area in August that I had to drive to Michigan?

But most of all, this is it! I did it! My Baker’s Dozen of races – 13 half-marathons in 12 months.

The main idea was just to do the challenge. An important lesson I learned years ago from the The Non-Runner’s Marathon Trainer was that every goal you add onto a huge challenge is just a chance to fail even if you complete your main goal. So I had a secret goal, but I didn’t want to hinge my success on it. Which is good, because I failed that that secret goal.

I thought that signing up for 13 half-marathons would scare me into maintaining a reasonable training schedule, and super-secret goal, if I did keep training and running, surely my half-marathon times would creep downward and maybe I’d even PR by the end of the challenge. Instead, I learned that I’ve built up enough endurance (or stubbornness?) over the years that I could muddle through a half-marathon a month without keeping up much of a training schedule at all. I’d run one and it would hurt but I’d finish, so I’d take the next week off “to rest up” and then I’d run a couple 3s or 5s and then it was time for the next one. My times have crept up and up.

The good news is that I haven’t stopped. I’m signed up for two more halves this year. Two more chances to get slower!

Time: 2:48:10
Pace: 12:50 min/mi
Place in Division (M45-49): 4/4

Milwaukee Country Sole Half-Marathon

  • Posted on
  • in

Fuzzy finishing the Milwaukee Country Soul Half

An odd thing is that in all the time I’ve lived in Chicago, I’ve been to Milwaukee about three times. It always seems like it’s a million miles away, but it’s really only an hour and a half drive. So when I was trying to find a June Half for this ridiculous project and had to expand beyond the Chicagoland area, I was at first glance dismissive of the Milwaukee Country Sole Half-Marathon, but then realized that it was a lot closer than some of the downstate races I had found.

Also, it was a chance to earn a belt buckle. Except, I know enough about belt buckles in running that I’m never going to wear it out (I did to work today, but just to show it off to someone as “the belt buckle I’m never going to wear again”).

You see, in running belt buckles are associated with ultra-marathons[1]—one of the first ultras was actually a horse race that people started running on foot because… well, because people. In any case, the finishers medal for the horse race was a belt buckle and so that became the award for the foot race it turned into and then as other ultras were organized they started awarding belt buckles. So earning a belt buckle shows that you’re pretty hardcore.

Except that in recent years the explosion of running events has led to an arms race of clever medal designs and so I suppose that it was only inevitable that someone would do a “cowboy” themed race and have a belt buckle as the medal. I know the Austin, TX Half-Marathon did just that last year. And All Community Events has done the “Country Sole Half-Marathon” and I did it and got my belt buckle.

Fuzzy's belt buckle

The race itself, I should mention, was delightful. It was in a County Park in Milwaukee that followed the course of a river and then when we ran out of park the course was along a rails-to-trails trail, so while we were in the city, there were only a few road crossings and it was, you know, pretty.

The after-party had something unique I hadn’t seen before—the park itself had a Biergarten with actual Brauhaus München beers on tap and the post-race beer was good for one of those. There were also german-style full liter glasses of beer available for purchase. I wish I hadn’t had a 90 minute drive waiting for me to get home or I would have really enjoyed sipping one of those and wandering around the park.

[1] Basically, anything over 26.2 miles.

Time: 2:30:20.4
Pace: 11:28 min/m
Place: 196 / 229
Place in Gender: 104 / 112
Place in Age Group (M45-49): 17 / 17

Run for the Zoo 2018

  • Posted on
  • in

Fuzzy and Erica at the Run for the Zoo

The gimmick of the Run for the Zoo is that you get to run through the Lincoln Park Zoo as part of the course. Now, the Lincoln Park Zoo is free, and right near the lake shore path, so you could kinda go do that whenever you wanted. But, you know, you get a shirt and a popsicle afterwards! Look, zebras!

Time: 49:01
Pace: 15:47
Place: 2144 / 2753
Place in Gender: 828 / 1002
Place in Age Group (M45-49): 60 / 71