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I’m Back

Well, it has been quite a long time since my last post. Woah! since July 19th! My bad! I got busy with training and work and then hunting season happens, and then I am never home, so let’s review what has happened over the last 6 or 8 months!

First, running.

I ended up running a total of 1494.99 miles in 222:42:05! Well above my goal of 1200 miles for the year, but kind of sad I just missed 1500. Oh well! Maybe this year.

2015 Total Mileage
2015 Total Mileage

My goal is a minimum of 1400 miles this year. that equates to 116.6 miles per month. So far this year in January I ran 161.89 in 24:26:48, so I am on pace to do that.

Jan 2016 Total

And really I have spent this off season just running enough to stay in shape, and trying to let my body recover to ramp up for this race season (which my first training block started yesterday and went really well).

Between July and now I ran a couple¬†more races. I ran the Fox Communities Half Marathon on September 20, 2015 and the Appleton Turkey Trot on November 26, 2015. I finished the half marathon in a time of 1:47:36, which set a new PR for me! I was really excited about that, especially since the first few miles I felt slow and like I wouldn’t even break my 2 hour goal. The Turkey Trot was a 5 mile race I finished in 39:07. Again I was pretty happy with that, as I was hoping just to be 45 minutes or less since I had already started to cycle down my running and my wife decided at the last minute we should all run it.

The whole family after the Turkey Trot
The whole family after the Turkey Trot

Overall, I would say 2015 was a great year of running for me, and I think 2016 will be another great one as well! I already have a couple of races lined up, including the Cellcom Green Bay Half Marathon again!

Other adventures!

As I said, before, once hunting season starts I am never around! I am always chasing after the big buck, and this year I was lucky enough to get two! One up in Michigan and one on my cousin’s farm that I have hunted since I was 12.

In Michigan, we had this really nice buck on trail cams. The nicest buck we have seen. Somehow, I was lucky enough to have him come right in by my stand the first night we were there!

My Michigan Buck
My Michigan Buck

He is probably one of the heaviest deer I have ever gotten. He is a nice 9 pointer, especially for Upper Michigan.

The second buck I got was a really nice 8 pointer. My brother had shot his buck opening day in Wisconsin, and since we decided not to shoot does in Wisconsin, his season was over. He had been sitting just to try and see where they are moving to help me out. Well, on this day it had been raining, and we hadn’t sat together yet so we decided to. This nice buck came out walked to 33 yards to eat some apples that had fell off a tree, and I was able to make a good clean shot. We actually watched him fall. You can see in the picture actually the box blind we were in!

My Wisconsin Buck
My Wisconsin Buck

It was a good season for everyone on the farm as all 4 of us that bow hunt there regularly, shot nice 2.5 year or better bucks, and we saw even nicer bucks than what we shot! Gun season was slow for us, and while I did see some deer and a a buck, it was too small to shoot this year.

I also spent a lot of time in my garage building things.

I built a set of bar stool chairs for my kitchen.

Bar Stools I built
Bar Stools I built

I also ended up building a big out feed table/assembly table for my table saw.

Table saw out feed table
Table saw out feed table

That is actually prior to me adding drawers and some doors and shelf for storage, but I love it! Makes working on stuff a whole lot easier!

We also did stuff like go see Garth Brooks in concert in Milwaukee, went camping, and recently my brother and I just bought the cottage that my grandpa actually built in 1974. My grandma had sold it to another couple a few years after he passed, and they lived there for 30 years, but they are in their 90’s and were ready to move on, so we had the chance to buy it back.

The Cottage
The Cottage

I would say it is in pretty good shape for being that old, and the the couple that bought it took pretty good care of it, but it does need some updating. Everything is original from 1974 except the carpet in most rooms. Living room may be original. They left quite a lot of stuff in it so there is a lot of cleaning and junking to be done. My wife and my brothers fiance spent most of the first weekend cleaning everything while my brother and I got the outside stuff situated. Last weekend my brother and I with the help of his fiance painted the living room and the kitchen and hall area. There is more to be done for sure, but it is coming along slowly. Once nice part is it backs right up to Tommy Thompson State Park, so last weekend after we were done painting and to have a little fun, we hopped the fence and went right on the snowshoe trail that goes right by the house. Plus in hunting season (for part of it anyway) we can hunt right in that park.

So, as you can see, it has been a busy few months, but I am hoping to post more regularly on here again.

Thanks for staying with me and look for more posts!

Week in Review – July 19, 2015

This week was pretty eventful…both good and bad! I had some good runs, and I had a bit of a scare.

Training

Week Ending July 19, 2015
Week Ending July 19, 2015

This week I ran a total of 38.52 miles in 5:35:40. This included my Tuesday trail run, Wednesday Interval day, a 5K race and 16 mile long run today.

My Tuesday trail run was a good one. I decided to take a bit of a different course than usual. I ran my usual course backwards but also took a different trail and ended up running longer and harder than usual. It was a good fun run. I still enjoy the trails very much!

My Wednesday Interval day was partially good and partially bad (this was the bad thing that happened). The run itself was actually quite good. It was challenging, but I was able to complete the assigned running. I enjoy pushing myself so that was good.

The bad was that I must have got SUPER dehydrated. I was very sick, I am not sure how i went and picked up the kids actually. I felt not great but after I got home from getting them, i was much worse. I was dizzy and sick to my stomach. I drank some water and ate some popsicles when my wife got home and finally started to feel better later that night. I was afraid if it kept going south, I was going to end up in the ER.

Saturday morning, I ran the Paperfest Sunset 5K race. This was the very first 5K I ever did last year. Last year they ran it on Friday night, but with the sponsor change I guess they decided to do it Saturday morning. Saturday morning is probably what I would prefer than Friday night, so that was good. We had pretty terrible storms Friday night so it was unclear if the run would happen but it did. I ended up finishing 22nd overall, 20th of males and 1st in my age group of 35-40. I had a time of 23:21 (compared to last years 32:12). I may do a full race review on this one, but it was a small race so I may not.

Saturday afternoon my brother and I went to look at a couple of pieces of land so I ended up hiking another 5 miles or so. Which would have been alright, but that led into Sunday…

Sunday I had my long run. A long run of 16 miles. This is by far the furthest I have ever run. I ran 15 miles on the treadmill once, but I don’t really count that as it is much easier on the treadmill, and probably more inaccurate as to actual distance. I ended up running from my house to High Cliff State Park and back for my 16 mile course (High Cliff is where I generally go for my trail runs).

I started out a little slow and the muscle in the right side of my chest was sore for some reason, but after a couple miles I loosened up and was moving along fairly well. It was a slow run, so I wasn’t trying to push my time too hard, but I did have a general goal to stay under 9:30/mile. The interesting part of this route is that exactly in the middle of this route is the giant hill at High Cliff. Eight miles from my house is exactly at the top of that hill. I actually made it up and down pretty well.

I started my eight miles back home, and I was doing alright, but the way back was pretty much into the wind all the way. I struggled in parts with the wind, but I pushed on.

My wife actually came and drove by to check on me around mile 12, which was really nice. I was doing alright so I gave her the thumbs up. I found out after that she then went and waited at the park and ride for me to get to around 14 miles and checked on me again. I was still doing good, so I gave her the thumbs and continued on.

I ended up finishing with 16.09 miles in 2:26:56 which is 9:08/mile. This is right on where I need to be to complete a marathon in 4 hours, so I was feeling good about that.

It was a tough week of training, but I enjoy the toughness and pushing myself to see what I can do. I never would have thought that I would be able to run 16 miles! Not next week, but the week after, my long run pushes out to 20 miles, and I think that will be the run that tells me if I really want to go ahead and do the full marathon or stay with the half this time around.

Week in Review – July 12, 2015

This was a pretty good week of training. I had some good runs and got some new gear. Here we go!

Training

Week Ending July 12, 2015
Week Ending July 12, 2015

This week I ran a total of 33.36 miles in 5:00:05. My Wednesday Interval run was kind of intimidating going into it, but when I actually ran it, was not too bad. My long run today was fairly easy.

Baby Raccoon at High Cliff State Park
Baby Raccoon at High Cliff State Park

On my trail run this week, I ran into a bit of wildlife! I saw a snake (the second one I saw in less than a week). I also ran in to the little guys above. I was running along and some something black and furry moving towards the trail ahead of me. My first thought was that it was a skunk! I stopped and watched, and realized it was a baby raccoon. I watched for a bit and saw that there were actually 3 of them! It was kind of cool to see. I tried to snap a few pics but they were moving along pretty good.

The long run was scheduled to be 5 miles of warm up, then 2 miles at 8:33/mile and then a 2 mile cool down. I ending up running the whole thing at 8:47 average. I did run the intervals faster, but I just felt good as I did take a day off completely on Saturday.

Speaking of the day off, usually I atleast cross train on the elliptical machine on my off days, but after being up north and running everyday for a while, my body needed the day off. On top of that, I could feel that shin splints are coming on. I know that this was mostly due to needing new shoes.I ran my long 14 mile run last week in my Hoka One One Cliftons and it was pretty rough. They have 317 miles on them, and while they look good still, I can tell they are worn out. My Saucony Zealot ISO also have 222 miles on them currently and are nearing end of life. So I know I needed some new shoes. Which leads use to the new gear!

New Gear

Saucony Kinvara 5 (L) and Brooks Glycerin 13 (R)
Saucony Kinvara 5 (L) and Brooks Glycerin 13 (R)

I went to my local Run Away Shoes to try out the new Hoka One One Clifton 2 shoes, as I love my Cliftons. I ran my first half marathon in them earlier this year, and I have been using them for all my interval runs, and they are nice and cushioned and light. I checked out some reviews and a lot of people complained about the Clifton 2s being more narrow than the originals. I went and tried them out and I was glad I did. They are indeed much more narrow, and now I cannot wear them. I asked if they have any original Cliftons left, and they had to call around but found some and are shipping them for me.

I still needed new shoes and with long runs coming up, I knew I needed something good, so I went to the local Fleet Feet store. I tried a few pairs of shoes on and ended up picking the Brooks Glycerin 13 (in blue above). They felt pretty good on my feet. Not as cushioned as the Cliftons, but comparable to the Saucony Zealot ISO I have currently. I figured that the Brooks would be a good replacement for the Zealots and I would have a good chance to test them out for distance on my 9 mile long run.

I ran my long run today (9 miles @8:47/mile) in the new Brooks. They were not bad. I do not think they are marathon shoes though. They are a great mid distance shoe, probably half marathon at most, but I don’t know at this point if I could go longer than that in them. It was just one run and they need more break in, but I am happy with my purchase so far. They will get used!

While I was there, I saw they had a pair of Saucony Kinvara 5 on clearance in the bright lime green I really like, so I ended up buying those. I love the Kinvara 5’s I have already, so I figured why not?

We also picked up and stocked up on some Nuun and Huma Gels. Once I get my new pair of Cliftons, I should be ready, for the rest of my marathon training program. I will need to replenish my nutrition here and there, but I should be set with my shoes.

That is it for this week! Hope everyone gets out and runs!

Week in Review – July 5, 2015

This week, I got some great training in. I was on vacation up north near Crivitz, WI and it is a much more hilly area than near my house. This led to some good interval training and long training on the hills.

Training

Week Ending July 5, 2015
Week Ending July 5, 2015

This week I ran a total of 35.44 miles in 5:40:30. As I said above, the last half of the week was done on vacation up near Crivitz. The hills added a great dimension to my training and I felt strong while doing them.

My long run on Sunday was pretty challenging. I had every intention of getting up early (5:00 AM) but was just tired from being up late and hanging out at the beach and stuff. I didn’t start my run until about 8:30 and by then it was pretty warm. I definitely felt the heat! I was surprised though, that I only used one GU gel in 14 miles. I drank a decent amount of water but not a ton. I did have a banana with peanut butter on it before my run, so I think that helped. Overall I felt really good. When I nit the half marathon mark, I was just under my two hour goal, so I was happy with that.

That is about it this week. I hope everyone gets out to run!

Month in Review – June 2015

This month, I got a lot of good training in. I am currently signed up for the Fox Communities Half Marathon in September. I have been training, however, for the full marathon that happens the same day. I wanted to see how I would handle the training before I would commit to doing the full. That way I should still be able to do the half on the training I have done so far, but can switch (if there is room) to the full if I feel good closer to the full marathon.

Training

End of Month - June 2015
End of Month – June 2015

This month I ran a total of 115.48 miles in 17;25:17.

Year To Date - June 2015
Year To Date – June 2015

That puts me at 761.04/1200 mile goal for the year and a total time of 113:31:58. I am on pace to meet my goal of 1200 miles by the end of the year, so that is a good thing!

Training has been going good. The interval runs have been a bit challenging, but in a good way. I feel like they are making me strong. The long runs haven’t been too bad yet, though I have not had to run any further than any previous long runs. I have a 16 miler in a couple of weeks and then 20 miles a couple weeks after that, so I will have a much better picture of if I want to do the full marathon or not after those runs.

I am hoping that my training continues to do well in the coming months ahead and that I do feel up to running the full marathon course. It was one of the goals that I developed along the way, so I hope to accomplish it, but if not this year, then maybe next.

Week in Review – June 28, 2015

This week I had some hill fun while training!

Training

Week Ending June 28, 2015
Week Ending June 28, 2015

This week I ran a total of 31.5 miles in 4:52:03. This included an interval run on Wednesday as usual, hill run on Friday and 10 mile long run on Sunday.

The interval run on Wednesday was actually not too bad this week. IT was a bit hot, but I felt good doing it. The longest interval was 3/4 mile and that wasn’t too bad. I felt good and strong doing it. I did keep my other shorter runs (except my trail run on Tuesday to the 3 or 4 miles required by the program rather than extending them a bit like I usually do. I should probably try and stick a bit closer to the program to not burn myself out given the mileage increase coming up.

Friday called for 4 miles of hills. Luckily, we went up north by my uncle and it is much more hilly there than at home. I got a good 4 mile hill workout in. Saw some deer, got bit by some bugs, and had a blast the whole time. I love the hills.

Sunday, my long run was 10 miles. I took advantage of still being up north and used the hills to really give myself a good workout. I ran a good pace and had a solid run for 10 miles. It was very nice to get to tackle some big hills on tired legs and push through them no problem.

New Gear

This week, I finally got my Saucony Nomad TR trail shoes I pre- ordered at the Run Away Shoes VIP night way back in January. I picked them up after work on Tuesday and went directly to the trails to try them out!

Saucony Nomad TR
Saucony Nomad TR
Saucony Nomad TR
Saucony Nomad TR

My first 4 mile or so run with them was great. I also own Saucony’s Peregrine 5 trail shoes, and that is what I usually do my trail running in. I feel like the Nomads are a bit lighter, a bit more cushioned, but a bit less traction and protection. The Peregrines seem a bit more stiff (I think it has a rock plate to protect your feet from stones and bigger sharp rocks) than the Nomads. The grip is a lot more aggressive on the Peregrines as well. I feel like the Nomads will be great for mixed trails. Trails where you have some off road dirt, but more gravel paths and/or pavement. The Peregrines shine in the mud and the looser trails. I will keep using booth and let you know what I think as I get more miles on them. Maybe a good side by side comparison.

That is it for this week. I hope everyone gets out to run and has a great week!

Week in Review – June 21, 2015

This week was a good week of training and included an adventure! I went backpacking/camping/hiking with my brother over the weekend, so that added so good workouts to my week.

Training

Week Ending June 21, 2015
Week Ending June 21, 2015

This week I ran a total of 30.32 miles in 4:39:39. This included a pretty tiring interval run on Wednesday and a Long run on Sunday.

The interval run was pretty difficult for some reason this week. I don’t know if my legs were just tired or it was the heat, but it was a tough one. I did complete it successfully, but I know I worked hard.

The long run on Sunday was a bit more difficult as well. First it was in the afternoon heat. And it was a hot one! Second, it was right after I got back from my camping trip on Sunday. A couple of nights sleeping on a pad in a tent plus over 13 miles of hiking, and then an eleven mile run. It was tough but I did it!

Adventures

As I said earlier, I went on a backpacking/camping/hiking trip with my brother. You can read more about that here.

That is it for this week. I would say overall the marathon training program is going good so far. I haven’t had to get into the real long mileage yet though, and that will be the real test. The intervals are a bit faster than they were for my half marathon training program, but I have so far been able to do them OK. So far, I would say I want to switch to the marathon in September, but I will know more in a month or so as my long mileage grows.

Hope everyone gets out to run this week!

Backpacking June 2015

I spent the weekend of June 19-21 backpacking/camping/hiking with my brother at Newport State Park in the most northern part of Door County, Wisconsin. It is the second year that we have done this trip and it was a lot of fun!

At the start of the trip.
At the start of the trip.

We drove up after work on Friday evening and made it there by about 6:30 pm. We checked in at the ranger station, filled our water bottles and water bladders and set off on the hike into our campsite. The hike in was 1.76 miles and took us about 42 minutes. We had to stop along the way to put on some mosquito repellent though and we took our time a bit.

P6190003 P6190005

With the late start and dark coming sooner than later, we got the tent set up right away. The site was pretty nice. We had a bit of trouble finding a decent flat spot with no rocks to cut up the tent, but we got it. There were two benches which was nice as last year’s site only had one. There is also a bear box at every site to put your food and garbage in so you don’t have to worry about hanging it.

First night camp fire!
First night camp fire!

Once we had the tent set, we headed out to gather some firewood. Within an hour or so, and thanks to my pocket chainsaw, we had a decent collection of firewood. It took a bit to get it started as some of the wood was a tad wet/green but as you can see above, we had a pretty good fire going.

By the time we got all the work done, it was fairly dark and had cooled off. We still needed to eat supper, so we threw our headlamps on and went about to make some supper. I had a Mountain House Chicken and Rice Teriyaki meal that was very good!

Sunset the first night.
Sunset the first night.

We were camping right on Rawley’s Bay so we were able to watch a great sunset and get a nice picture of it as well.

P6200021 P6200019

The next morning, on Saturday, we woke up and made some breakfast. I had the Mountain House Scrambled Eggs and Bacon meal. I have had it before and I do enjoy it. You can see our cooking setup above. I use a Jetboil Flash to heat water for my meals. My brother is using a cheap stove and a Toaks Titanium pot I got him for Christmas to heat his water. Mine did heat faster, but his worked great as well considering his setup was half the price or less, it worked well.

We then decided to hike to the ranger station to fill our water back up and to hike a different trail. We hiked 2.41 miles in about 53 minutes back to the ranger station. We did see a deer but that was about it. When we got to the ranger station we filled our water and checked our phones to see what the weather was going to be. We knew it was supposed to rain, and there was a possibility of sever weather so we wanted to know. When we checked it looked like most of it was moving further north, so that was good.

We then decided to hike around the park a bit, but for some reason my feet were really hurting so we ended up hiking back towards the campsite early rather than walk the whole park. On the way back, it actually did start to rain. I put my rain jacket on and put my rain cover on my pack and we pressed on. The hike back to camp was 3.41 miles in and hour and 20 minutes.

When we got back to camp it was raining a bit, but not too bad. We actually decided to play some cards in the rain. Funny part was, we could not think of a card game for two people that we knew all the rules to! We kind of figured out some rules for Kings in the Corner and played that. Then we played a couple rounds of Crazy Eights, a round of War and then four or five more rounds of Crazy Eights. It started to rain a bit harder so we decide to head into the tent and took a nap for about 3 hours or so.

When we woke up, the rain had stopped! I had a bit of a headache and didn’t feel like eating, but knew I had to so we decided to make some lunch at about 3:30 or 4:00 pm.

P6200031 P6200033I decide to make some oatmeal. The above pics are me enjoying the goodness! We also at some point in there collected more firewood, and we had kept it going hot through the rain, so it was easy to get it started back up. After all that, I felt better and we decided to hike some more. We walked around the whole outer trail of the park and hiked 4.42 miles in an hour and 33 minutes.

By this time it was starting to get dark so we collected a bit more fire wood and got the fire going again.P6200034As it was getting dark, I had a chance to get some more sunset pictures.

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This one is my favorite.
This one is my favorite.

As it finally got dark, we decided to start making supper around 9:30 or so. We started hearing all this rumbling like thunder. We quickly realized it was fireworks! We went back down to the water and you could see all the way across the bay, there was a fireworks show going on. We hung out and watched them for a bit. Was kind of fun to see and enjoy on a camping trip.

After the show we went back up to the site to get our supper made. I had Chicken flavored Ramen noodles mixed with some dehydrated veggies to make it a bit more soup like. It was fantastic! I really enjoyed that and will be having that for a trail meal again. We watched the fire a bit longer and went to bed about 11:30.

We woke up the next morning and got everything in our tent packed up. Then when we got out, we struck the tent and got all of that packed up and taken care of. Once we had that all done we made some breakfast. I had some oatmeal because I really like oatmeal and it tasted so good when I had it for lunch the previous day. Once we got that done, we finished cleaning up and headed back to the ranger station.

We hiked 1.64 miles in 34 minutes. Once back to the car we got our packs loaded and headed for home.

It was another great trip. It is always fun to do a different kind of camping. We own a camper and do that a few times each year, but backpacking an hiking has always appealed to me.

So in total we hiked 13.64 miles over the weekend. Oh, and when I got home on Sunday, I did my long run of 11 miles! It was a very great weekend.

 

Week in Review – June 14, 2015

This was a good week of training. I got in some solid runs and good cross training.

Training

Week Ending June 14, 2015
Week Ending June 14, 2015

This week I ran a total of 26.99 miles in 3:57:46. This included a nice interval run on Wednesday and a long run of 8 miles on Sunday.

The interval run was the second scheduled of this cycle, but the first I completed. The first one, I was too busy on Wednesday with kids activities to get it in, so I skipped it. It was not terribly difficult, but it was a good challenge. I like the good hard runs to break up the easier ones.

The long run was 8 miles, and was a decent run. Nothing too special happened. I had to get it in before my wife and I had to be somewhere, so the last mile or so of it (.91 miles) was run at 7:30! That is a pretty good pace especially after having already run 7 miles. I was happy with that.

That is really all for this week. A pretty straightforward week overall. Hope everyone gets out and runs!