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Goals

Posted Monday, April 17th, 2017 10:52 am GMT -5 in Marathons,Running,Travel at 10:52 AM

Someday (right, cardiologist?)

40th Annual Grandma’s Marathon

Posted Sunday, June 19th, 2016 03:41 pm GMT -5 in Marathons,Running,Travel at 3:41 PM

When the good people at Grandma’s Marathon announced plans for the 40th anniversary of the race, I perked up when they said runners who registered early would get a special jacket. When they published a picture of the medal, I signed up right away.

Guess I’m still a sucker for nice bling.

Lots of other people were apparently excited by this year too, with 9,100 runners selling out the race for the first time in quite a while. This was my eighth Grandma’s (and 26th marathon), but I hadn’t been up there to run since 2011. Love the race and how the city embraces the weekend, so I’m not sure why I waited so long to return again.

With my work schedule completely out of control right now, I was not nearly as prepared for this race as I would’ve liked to be. I did get in long runs of 17.5, 21.5 and 15 miles in the weeks leading up to the race, but there wasn’t much in the way of short weekday runs (or any cross-training or speed work). Add in my Garmin dying the week of the race and a forecast for hot and humid weather and my time expectations for this race went out the window.

My A, B, C and D goals were all very low-key: get an official finish under seven hours to get the damn medal, beat my worst Grandma’s time (5:26:54), keep it in the fours and, finally, try to beat my Des Moines time (4:37:23). Three out of four was pretty good on a day when the weather warning flags went from green to yellow to red to black as the day went on.

We stayed at my sister’s apartment again and I got dropped off downtown to catch the train to the start. I thought getting there at 4:50 was plenty of time, but the line to board was already down the street. Capacity must be way higher than it seems, though, as everyone in line before me only filled the front half of the train. Talked with three other runners on the way to Two Harbors, including a friendly woman from Colorado and a sixty-year-old gentleman who is a fan of the Galloway run-walk method.

We arrived at the starting line just before seven and I actually waited in line for a port-o-potty (which I think is a first for me). Maybe I missed it, but I don’t think they did the flyover before the start (which was always a highlight for me). Looked around a bit to see if I could find anybody I knew, but decided to head to the chute when it got crowded. No real announcement to start this year either – everyone just started moving slowly to the line and we were off.

Running without a Garmin was strangely liberating. I just wanted to take it slow and let my muscles take over instead of my brain. The only anxiety I had was due to the 4:15 pacer, who I traded places with twice. This race doesn’t have many clocks on course, so I knew I hit the halfway mark around 2:10. After that I had no idea until mile 25, but I knew I was going slower the second half because of walk breaks through each water stop to rehydrate, take on ice and sponges and pour water over my head (all tricks I learned the last time it was too hot).

As I’ve said before, this race takes on a whole new feel when you enter Duluth city limits after mile 18. The crowd support is amazing and they helped me run non-stop from the last water stop at mile 25 to the finish line, where I finished in 4:47:36 (10:59 Minute Miles). Full results can be found here, including my official splits (10K – 59:02, 13.1M – 2:10:22, 20M – 3:30:47 and 25M – 4:34:45).

Next up: Afton Trail Run 50K on July 2

Anniversary bling acquired

Posted Sunday, June 19th, 2016 12:24 am GMT -5 in Marathons,Running,Travel at 12:24 AM

Grandma’s Marathon 40th Anniversary Medal

Better start training soon

Posted Wednesday, February 10th, 2016 01:58 pm GMT -5 in Fashion,Marathons,Running at 1:58 PM

The Grandma’s jacket has arrived

Such a sucker for bling

Posted Tuesday, December 29th, 2015 03:35 pm GMT -5 in Marathons,Running at 3:35 PM

40th anniversary of Grandma’s Marathon

Isn’t that cheating?

Posted Sunday, December 13th, 2015 12:33 pm GMT -5 in Fashion,Marathons,Running,Shopping at 12:33 PM

$50 for a 2015 Boston Marathon jacket @ Marshalls Mall of America

The more, the merrier

Posted Monday, October 26th, 2015 02:00 pm GMT -5 in Links,Marathons,Running at 2:00 PM

http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-best-training-for-a-marathon-a-marathon-1445873867

2015 Des Moines Marathon

Posted Wednesday, October 21st, 2015 09:39 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food,Marathons,Running,Travel at 9:39 PM

Last weekend, 75% of the Kingsbury clan headed down I-35 to the Iowa state capital for the 14th running of the IMT Des Moines Marathon. I picked this race as part of the Fifty States quest, with Iowa and South Dakota being the closest ones to Minnesota that I hadn’t knocked off yet. Combine that with a very reasonable rate at the Downtown Marriott ($130 + tax) and what I thought was a rather flat state overall, it was a no-brainer pick for marathon number 25.

The hotel turned out to be great – within walking distance of the start and finish area, no forced two night minimum and a 2pm late check-out for runners to return and shower after the race. The room was your typical downtown business hotel as far as furnishings go and the staff was very friendly. Just like most business-class hotel chains, though, they still charge extra for wireless internet and a 30-second phone call I made from the room to Colleen’s mobile phone was billed at $5.75. Ouch.

As for the race, I was disappointed with my performance (4:37:23 – 10:36 pace, 895th overall, 77 out of 106 in my age division). I could blame lots of things, but it was mainly just a lack of faster training miles during this cycle that blew it for me at the end. Turns out this part of Iowa is far from flat – the course map shows a rise of “just” 150 feet, but the hills between miles three and eight were substantial. Not Superior Hiking Trail bad, but still very trying. Ironically enough, that part of the race was also my fastest (first 10K in 55:00 for an 8:52 pace).

The weather was really cold at the start – about 35F with clear, sunny skies and a light wind that picked up substantially as the morning went on. I had packed a “cold” outfit and a “warm” outfit and completely picked the wrong items to start with. It was great before the race, but once things started, I was too hot. Colleen and MK drove to around mile 16 and I was extremely thankful they had brought part of the other outfit with them.

One of my favorite parts of this course was the loop around the famous blue oval that is home to the Drake Relays. First held in 1910, this track has hosted a who’s who of the running world: Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner, Michael Johnson, Carl Lewis, Jesse Owens, Wilma Rudolph, Frank Shorter, Gwen Torrence and several hundred other Olympic athletes. My lap was probably one of the slowest ever recorded there, but it’s fun to think of Randy Wilson setting the 800m record (my high school event) on April 28, 1978 – a blazing 1:45.86!

I hit the halfway mark right at two hours and was hoping to stay in the 4:00 – 4:20 range, but I started to cramp up and had to take longer and longer walk breaks during the water stations. The sections around Waterworks Park and Grays Lake Park were not my favorite – you could see the huge loops around those areas and both felt like forever to complete (even though they were only about two miles long each). I saw Colleen and MK again around mile 25, then headed to the finish line, which was in the same spot where we started (Locust Street bridge). Running the second half 37 minutes slower than the first was just sad, but it’s over, it wasn’t my slowest marathon and it still counts as a finish.

My Garmin said I ran 26.4 miles, so I guess I took the tangents poorly. Here are the watch splits: 8:45, 8:53, 8:49, 9:01, 8:33, 9:03, 8:52, 9:05, 9:01, 9:04, 9:26, 9:34, 10:05, 10:14, 10:37, 11:56, 10:46, 11:35, 12:28, 12:01, 12:25, 12:25, 14:00, 12:08, 12:28 and 11:47. The official reported splits were: 10K – 55:00 (8:52), Half – 2:00:15 (9:11), 20 miles – 3:19:05 (9:58) and last 10K – 1:18:19. Nice food options at the end, which I also thought was organized very nicely. Still couldn’t find the family, but that my fault for not telling them where to meet ahead of time.

The expo was small, but nice. We saw our friend Kris Jessee, who ran the half in an impressive 1:43:58. You could tell this is really more of a half marathon event – there were just a couple of spots for marathon bib pick-up and a whole wall full of spots for the half. With just 1,392 people in the full, there was plenty of elbow room once we split from the half runners around mile three. The full marathon course was well supported throughout, but there weren’t a whole lot of spectators. They gave out the shirts at the expo and not at the finish (one of my minor pet peeves), but they are very nice. Cool medal design too.

The rest of trip was short, but fun. MK had a school project based on planning trips, so she practiced on this one. Based on her research, we stopped at the very cool Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden and drove by the pretty state capital building. We also hit up locally-owned Zombie Burger + Drink Lab for lunch, where I ordered the huge double “Dead Moines” burger (smoked gouda, prosciutto, ham and truffle mayo). It was great, but trust me when I say a single is more than enough. RAYGUN, the Greatest Store in the Universe, was just down the street, so we of course had to stop in and do a little shopping there.

We didn’t stick around too long after the race on Sunday, breaking our locals-only food rule with a quick stop at Noodles and Company before hitting the road back north. The road construction on I-35 once we passed back into Minnesota was completely ridiculous. MNDOT really needs to study ways to improve that whole situation. The Iowa DOT runs some pretty awesome “modern” rest stops – perhaps they can give MNDOT a call and lend a helping hand…

Another state about to fall

Posted Friday, October 16th, 2015 05:59 pm GMT -5 in Marathons,Running,Travel at 5:59 PM

Des Moines Marathon this weekend 

Then orange

Posted Sunday, October 4th, 2015 07:29 am GMT -5 in Marathons,Running at 7:29 AM

Twin Cities Marathon medals

Green first

Posted Sunday, October 4th, 2015 07:28 am GMT -5 in Marathons,Running at 7:28 AM

TC 10 Mile medals

Good luck next week

Posted Sunday, September 27th, 2015 11:58 am GMT -5 in Marathons,Running at 11:58 AM

I’ll see you all at the finish line

New marathon pacer

Posted Friday, September 25th, 2015 04:00 pm GMT -5 in Marathons,Nature,Running at 4:00 PM

Seriously, how’d I get so slow?

Sign me up – Grandma’s 40th

Posted Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015 04:56 pm GMT -5 in Links,Marathons,Running,Video at 4:56 PM

Des Moines Marathon Planning

Posted Wednesday, July 1st, 2015 10:36 pm GMT -5 in Marathons,Running,Travel at 10:36 PM

It’s been a few weeks since I signed up to run the 2015 IMT Des Moines Marathon and I really should come up with a formal training plan and get serious about running again. As my running log chart can attest, this has been a down year so far – less than 350 total miles in 2015 (and we’re already half done). Plus I now have the added pressure of a work colleague threatening to start a BQ challenge. Actually, that’s probably just what I need to get motivated again. Watch out, 3:25, I’m gunning for you again…

OK, maybe not. It would, however, be nice to PR on Sunday, October 18th. The race starts at 8am on the Locust Street Bridge in downtown Des Moines and has a course map that reminds me a little of Fargo (see above). There is roughly 150 feet of elevation change, though, so it’s not a completely flat course like one would expect to find in the great state of Iowa. Packet pickup is only open on Friday and Saturday, so I booked a room at the downtown Marriott on Saturday night. It’s close to the start/finish area and will have showers available afterwards, which sounded like a good plan.

Des Moines is a smaller race than I expected. Marathon weekend last year had about 9,000 total runners, which includes the marathon relay, half marathon and 5K events. Looks like they had just under 1600 marathon finishers, so it might seem a little more like Eau Claire than Fargo. I generally prefer larger races, but it will be interesting to see what I can do these days with fewer people on course.

Not sure what kind of training plan I’ll follow for this race – definitely need to pick up the mileage and continue cross-training. I still haven’t started my Wolverine workout plan due to travel/commute limitations, but I’d like to start adding in at least some of those new exercises. My weight is hovering a good 20 pounds higher than I want, but I’ve decided that I just don’t want to give up the things I like on the eating and drinking side of the equation. For now I’ll try the “increase workouts and practice restraint” method of weight control and see how that goes.

Step 1: 10K @ 5am – go!

Reykjavik Culture Night

Posted Wednesday, July 1st, 2015 09:12 pm GMT -5 in Links,Marathons,Running,Travel at 9:12 PM

http://marathon.is/reykjavik-marathon

Lifetime Membership?

Posted Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015 08:10 am GMT -5 in Links,Marathons,Running at 8:10 AM

http://www.runnersworld.com/races/grandmas-marathon-tradition

Garry Bjorklund

Posted Wednesday, June 17th, 2015 11:24 am GMT -5 in Marathons,Quotes,Running at 11:24 AM

My wife and I both think that the half-marathon should be called Grandpa’s Marathon because she tells me every day that men do half the work that women do….

Finisher Shirt Friday

Posted Friday, April 24th, 2015 01:25 pm GMT -5 in Fashion,Marathons,Running at 1:25 PM

The governor said so

Best Men Around

Posted Wednesday, April 8th, 2015 08:17 pm GMT -5 in Links,Marathons,Running at 8:17 PM

http://qz.com/379094/why-male-marathoners-might-be-the-best-men-around/

Guess I need adidas Adizeros

Posted Monday, November 10th, 2014 02:11 pm GMT -5 in Links,Marathons,Running at 2:11 PM

http://sneakerreport.com/news/the-first-100-shoes-to-cross-the-2014-nyc-marathon-finish-line/2/

Slowest Time Since 1995

Posted Tuesday, November 4th, 2014 04:12 pm GMT -5 in Links,Marathons,Running at 4:12 PM

http://www.newyorker.com/news/sporting-scene/woman-came-one-millionth-place

2014 New York City Marathon

Posted Monday, November 3rd, 2014 11:30 pm GMT -5 in Marathons,Running,Travel at 11:30 PM

After the last time I tried to run New York went sideways, I wasn’t sure what would happen this time. Weather did end up playing a role again this year, but overall I just feel incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to experience the race and the city.

The trip needed to happen on the cheap and I’m very thankful to my friends John and Dillon, who helped me with airfare and lodging. Dillon’s dad Tom also gave me a subway pass for the weekend and my mom snuck some extra spending money in my pocket when I left town on Friday night. I also feel extremely grateful to my immediate family – we don’t get to take many vacations these days and this chance for me to complete a major running goal is a true gift.

Heading into this week, I felt pretty good about my running readiness (even with the two week illness break in September). My yearly mileage is currently the second highest since I started keeping track and I really felt a PR might be possible. That was my A goal for this race, with a B goal of sub-4 and a C goal of finishing without getting hurt.

Option C would be the winning bet, I’m afraid.

When I read the National Weather Service had issued a wind advisory for marathon day, I knew it would be tougher than normal. When I heard the wheelers would start in Brooklyn instead of Staten Island for fear of being blown over on the Verrazano-Narrows bridge, I got really nervous. Turns out that part of the race was terrifying – the wind literally tossed me back and forth and nearly ripped my securely pinned bib off my chest (not to mention my hat). I read later that the reason there was no marker at mile one was because it blew off the bridge and into the water.

The weather Saturday was terrible – nearly the same wind and a constant, cold rain all day. Thankfully, the precipitation cleared out by Sunday morning, but the cold stuck around and the wind picked up. I left the Astoria Boulevard station at 5:30am, taking the N and 4 trains down to Bowling Green and the short walk to the Staten Island Ferry dock for my 6:30am assigned boarding time (made it with five minutes to spare). The waves were big and the wind was howling the whole way across. It’s really amazing how many people can fit on those boats – the police escort was nice too.

When I arrived at the St. George Ferry Terminal, I made a beeline for the waiting buses. They were nice and warm and it was great to beat the crowd and not have to wait outside any longer than necessary. The short ride over to Fort Wadsworth was quick and easy, with the driver dropping us off right in front of the security contingent. The police presence was both reassuring and frightening – you don’t see cops with automatic weapons and full riot gear at TCM.

The starting area zones had lots of great pre-race items (coffee, water, bagels, energy drinks), but it was crowded and cold and everyone basically had to wait around for two plus hours before being called to the corrals. Everything was running behind schedule too, but wave two was finally allowed in around 9:25am. It was very nice that they had extra bathrooms in the actual corrals and there were tons of Goodwill bins to discard the extra layers I purchased just for that purpose.

The canon went off for my wave and I officially made it up the bridge ramp and over the starting line at 10:15:19am. That first hill is supposed to be the biggest on the course, but I didn’t think it was too bad (other than fearing for my life each time a 50mph+ gust hit). My Garmin wasn’t very accurate all race and outright stopped measuring distance at one point, so I quit looking at it when I knew the A & B goals were shot. I held sub-nines for the first seven miles and hoped to at least stay in the nines for the rest of the race, but it was not meant to be.

I knew there were a lot of miles in Brooklyn and it seemed to never end. There were several points on this course that have very long straightaways, so you see waves of people for what seems like forever. I don’t really like that much – all my mind can think is how far I need to run to catch up. The stretches in Manhattan up First Avenue and down Fifth Avenue were similar. Brooklyn did finally turn into Queens, home of my least favorite part of the entire course. The Queensboro Bridge is just Evil. I was slowing down a few miles before that damn bridge, but it put an end to any thoughts of a decent time.

The crowds in Manhattan really were everything people say – the whole course has great support, in fact. It was also fun hearing the bands and DJs (I especially liked the Run-D.M.C. sample in Queens). The brief jaunt through the Bronx tossed a few more wonderful bridges in the mix and I was really surprised by the amount of elevation at the end of the race – it doesn’t look like much on the chart, but Fifth Avenue and Central Park hit you with gradual climbs when you least want them. And don’t get me started on the “little” bump between mile 26 and the finish. More Evil.

I’d been mentally playing a strong finish in my mind the past few weeks of training, but all I felt running past Columbus Circle and into the home stretch was pain and disappointment in my slow time (officially 4:24:14 and a 10:05 pace). I know the wind impacted every runner, but it was still a letdown to not be closer to at least my B goal. Oh well – still grateful for the experience (and to be walking around now without any major pain).

The finish line experience was interesting – I liked the recovery bag idea (everything pre-loaded) and the no bag check poncho was really nice (and an excellent way to warm back up on a cold day). The long march north was a pain, as I basically had to walk an extra three miles or so to get back to the right train station. That walk was made much more enjoyable, though, by all of the people who congratulated me on finishing the race.

Here are the splits reported by the timing mats:

  • 3M 25:11 – 8:24 pace
  • 5K 26:04 – 8:18
  • 4M 33:48 – 8:39
  • 5M 42:24 – 8:37
  • 6M 51:02 – 8:39
  • 10K 52:54 – 8:43
  • 7M 59:45 – 8:44
  • 8M 1:08:55 – 9:10
  • 9M 1:18:15 – 9:20
  • 15K 1:21:14 – 9:17
  • 10M 1:27:28 – 9:12
  • 11M 1:37:11 – 9:43
  • 12M 1:46:46 – 9:35
  • 20K 1:51:02 – 10:00
  • 13M 1:56:43 – 9:57
  • Half 1:57:52 – 10:27
  • 14M 2:06:49 – 10:04
  • 15M 2:17:40 – 10:51
  • 25K 2:23:47 – 11:28
  • 16M 2:28:29 – 10:05
  • 17M 2:39:15 – 10:46
  • 18M 2:50:11 – 10:56
  • 30K 2:57:35 – 11:33
  • 19M 3:01:57 – 12:10
  • 20M 3:13:42 – 11:46
  • 21M 3:25:43 – 12:02
  • 35K 3:34:24 – 11:37
  • 22M 3:37:04 – 10:33
  • 23M 3:48:29 – 11:25
  • 24M 4:00:04 – 11:36
  • 40K 4:09:25 – 10:57
  • 25M 4:11:03 – 11:14
  • 26M 4:22:09 – 11:07
  • Finish 4:24:14 – 9:32 (2:39:32pm)

I’ll write another post later this week about the rest of the visit (food, shopping, theater, etc) – stay tuned…

Links to NYC Results

Posted Monday, November 3rd, 2014 04:45 pm GMT -5 in Links,Marathons,Running at 4:45 PM

http://www.tcsnycmarathon.org/results

Another one for the rack

Posted Sunday, November 2nd, 2014 05:52 pm GMT -5 in Marathons,Running,Travel at 5:52 PM

2014 New York City medal

Found my corral

Posted Sunday, November 2nd, 2014 07:58 am GMT -5 in Marathons,Running,Travel at 7:58 AM

See you on the other side

To the Five Boroughs

Posted Saturday, November 1st, 2014 09:30 pm GMT -5 in Marathons,Running,Travel at 9:30 PM

Ready to roll

Up on stage

Posted Saturday, November 1st, 2014 11:02 am GMT -5 in Friends,Marathons,Running,Travel at 11:02 AM

Deb and I at the expo

Fearless

Posted Saturday, November 1st, 2014 09:50 am GMT -5 in History,Marathons,Running,Travel at 9:50 AM

Kathrine Switzer

Back at Javits

Posted Saturday, November 1st, 2014 07:35 am GMT -5 in Marathons,Running,Travel at 7:35 AM

The expo entrance

New York State of Mind

Posted Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 12:54 pm GMT -5 in Links,Marathons,Running at 12:54 PM

http://www.runarweb.com/nycm_advice_e.php

Respect my authoritay

Posted Sunday, October 5th, 2014 03:22 pm GMT -5 in Marathons,Running at 3:22 PM

Volunteer finish line security for the 2014 TCM

A new PR for Megan!

Posted Sunday, October 5th, 2014 12:23 pm GMT -5 in Friends,Marathons,Running at 12:23 PM

4:06:21 at the 2014 TCM

There’s your winner

Posted Sunday, October 5th, 2014 10:16 am GMT -5 in Marathons,Running at 10:16 AM

2014 TCM Champion Tyler Pennel in 2:13:33

Eyes on the Prize

Posted Sunday, October 5th, 2014 05:52 am GMT -5 in Marathons,Running at 5:52 AM

Marathon morning

Summer Running Update

Posted Saturday, July 26th, 2014 05:18 pm GMT -5 in Marathons,Running at 5:18 PM

Yesterday was the 100 day warning for the 2014 New York City Marathon. Last week was also the start of the 16 week training programs for that race, which starts at 9:40 a.m. on November 2 (wave 1). As I found out earlier this year, I was picked again during the lottery (which worked out so well in 2012). I should be getting super excited and motivated to go back and try again, but it’s been a rough go so far.

First off, I really want to take the whole family, but airfare and hotel costs are ruling that out. In fact, I don’t know if I can afford for me to go solo. I’m working a few angles, though – there are a couple friends that offered up couches and I’m about 2,000 Delta SkyMiles away from a free ticket (anybody have any extra they’d like to gift?).

Second, the Minnesota weather hasn’t exactly been cooperating. Spring took forever to arrive, then lasted about four days. Summer has consisted of trail-flooding rains, high dew points and way too many flying bugs. That has translated into lots of summer treadmill time, which also unfortunately means a reduction in miles. I’ve kept up the 100-mile per month goal so far, but a few of those were cutting it close.

Lastly, I’ve just haven’t been motivated to run the past few months. I think part of that is due to general aches and pains that I’m assuming are due to aging (since I’ve been training continuously). It’s tough going out when every time feels like I’m starting over from scratch. I’ve been reading a little bit on hip flexors and wonder if the new pain I’m feeling there is caused by that. My running partner also moved across town, which makes it harder to get off the couch (especially with less-than-prefect weather).

There are a couple of things in play that could help change course on motivation. First, I need to get my weight back in check. It’s been inching up for months and really needs to drop at least ten pounds. Distance running isn’t generally a weight loss tool for most, but it has been for me as I build mileage and cross-train.

Second, I’d really like to get that BQ before I jump to the next age group in four years. That means a 3:25:00 (7:49 pace) if I want a mid-April trip to Boston (April 20, 2015; April 18, 2016; April 17, 2017 or April 16, 2018). This would be an aggressive goal – I need to cut about 18 minutes from my marathon PR – but it might be exactly what I need this year. Plus, how cool would it be to BQ at NY?

My next confirmed race is the Minnesota State Fair Milk Run 5K (7:45 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 24). It would do wonders for my confidence if I can PR at that race and get an age group ribbon (need to beat 21:42 to be in contention).

Thinking ahead to 2015, I’d love to do the spring 50K Superior Trail Race in Lutsen and then run the 50 mile in the fall (I need the former to qualify for the latter). The spring race is May 16th and the fall date is TBD (September). I had that dream about running a BQ at Grandma’s, so I feel like I just *have* to run that in 2015 (7:45 a.m. on Saturday, June 20). I also still want to run the Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon (June) and Des Moines (October), but those will probably have to wait at least another year.

Now I just need my body to cooperate and hold on for a few more years…

In Memoriam – Denise Waterman

Posted Wednesday, May 7th, 2014 02:46 pm GMT -5 in Family,Marathons at 2:46 PM

Funerals for first responders are incredibly powerful and emotional. Yesterday I attended the memorial service for Eau Claire Fire Department engineer and paramedic Denise Waterman, who passed away April 30th after a short eight week battle with cancer. Denise was married to my wife’s cousin Greg, whose family we have visited in Eau Claire many times over the years.

Forty-eight is way too young, but as Rubén Rosario wrote in a recent Pioneer Press story, cancer is a growing problem for firefighters. These brave men and women serve their community by fighting fires and conducting rescues, only to face even more danger from exposure to cancerous agents while in the line of duty. The local Eau Claire TV station WEAU had nice coverage of the event here.

When I arrived at the Plaza Hotel, the front parking lot was full of red fire equipment, including two ladder trucks that formed a memorial arch. Several hundred firefighters attended the service, which included an honor guard that changed every ten minutes, a single file procession past her badge and uniform with salutes, a bagpiper playing Amazing Grace and flowers from fire departments across Wisconsin and Minnesota. The service itself included several friends and colleagues sharing memories, a ringing of the bell (three sets of three), the presentation of a flag and other awards to Greg and a final farewell from the dispatcher that was too much for me to handle.

The Eau Claire Marathon was last Sunday and the local newspaper reported on a special tribute:

Also participating in Sunday’s marathon were several members of area fire departments who ran in full gear that weighed up to 30 pounds. The firefighters ran in memory of Denise Waterman, a 16-year veteran of the Eau Claire Fire Department who lost her battle with cancer Wednesday. The firefighters ran with Waterman’s photograph taped to their air tanks. “You lean on each other, and you support each other, and this was a great event to lean on each other and support our brothers and sisters,” said Tony Biasi, a member of the Eau Claire Fire Department. Eight firefighters ran the relay marathon and four ran the full marathon.

Colleen and I did not know that Denise also went to UW-Madison, studying art and creating beautiful paintings, many of which were on display at the memorial. After the ceremony, the room was flipped to serve dinner and celebrate the life of a very special person. It was the party she wanted and it was an honor to be a part of it.

Let’s try this again

Posted Wednesday, March 26th, 2014 11:43 pm GMT -5 in Marathons,Personal,Running,Travel at 11:43 PM

Passed the lottery, now need to find the money and hope for good weather…

2014 Running Plans

Posted Monday, January 27th, 2014 11:30 pm GMT -5 in Biking,Marathons,Running at 11:30 PM

All these crazy Arrowhead 135 athletes have me inspired to set some goals for 2014 and start to seriously decide on races for the year. I’m currently only registered for one race right now – the Get in Gear 10K on April 26th. I’m also in the New York City Marathon lottery, but will likely email them to take my name out (no money for a full-blown New York trip this year).

So what do I want to do? Registration for the TC 1 Mile opens Saturday and I’ll sign up and try to make it four in a row versus Megan. I’ve got the ultra bug and probably should’ve signed up for the Superior 50K, but that race just filled. Both of their fall races (the 50 and 100) require a previous trail ultra, so those will have to wait. I’m seriously considering the Zumbro 50 that Megan did last year, but it’s coming up soon (April 12th) and I’m not sure I really want to run much outside the next few weeks. Oh, I’d like to do this sometime too…

I still really want to run the Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon in South Dakota on June 1st, but that would require at least one hotel night expense. I really missed Grandma’s last year and have a place to stay for that race (June 21st). The other benefit to that race is that since it usually doesn’t fill, I can wait until the last minute and still register.

With New York likely out, my fall marathon spot opens up and I’d kinda like to check Iowa off the 50-state list by running the Des Moines Marathon on October 19th. I’d miss Twin Cities, but those two races are always too close together, so maybe I’ll take a year off from the hometown race.

Decisions, decisions…

2014 Inaugural Dopey Challenge

Posted Wednesday, January 15th, 2014 10:58 pm GMT -5 in Family,Friends,Marathons,Running,Travel at 10:58 PM

When runDisney announced the inaugural Dopey Challenge, I was intrigued. The “old” Goofy Challenge of running the half marathon Saturday and the full marathon Sunday was on my bucket list, but I was just too nervous to pull the trigger and try it (even though both my brother Brian and my running partner Megan had Goofy medals in their collections). The new Dopey would add a 5K on Thursday and a new 10K race on Friday, for a grand total of 48.6 miles in four days. Sold!

This was an expensive race entry ($495 early bird), but a lucky slot machine in Kansas justified a one-time splurge (at least in my running-deranged mind). The 7000 Dopey slots filled rather quickly and both Megan and Brian missed out. My brother decided to go Goofy again for the second time, while Megan signed up for the full (her tenth).

The expo opened at 10am on Wednesday and was expanded this year to include the baseball stadium (in addition to the HP Field House and the Jostens Center). There was a separate line just for people who wanted to buy the limited edition New Balance runDisney shoes, which I heard started to form at 4:30am. The Field House had the usual packet pickup, along with most of the race shirts and a new runDisney merchandise shop. Jostens Center held all the rest, including the runDisney booth where I stood by Jeff Galloway again and listened in on a few conversations. With all of the shirts, I left Wide World of Sports with a pretty heavy race bag.

The Family Fun 5K event on Thursday had the latest start of the week, with the fireworks going off at 6:15am. It was fairly warm and humid for the first three races, with a wonderful cold front moving through on Saturday night before the marathon on Sunday. The last three races all started at 5:30am and I’d say getting up so early four days in a row was probably the hardest part of the challenge for me (2:45am on Sunday was just brutal).

I ended up semi-racing the 5K and 10K and dialed down the pace for the last two. Given my relative lack of training the previous month, I was very happy with all of the times:

  • 5K – 24:27 (7:52 pace)
  • 10K – 51:09 (8:14 pace)
  • Half – 1:58:04 (9:00 pace)
  • Full – 4:11:49 (9:36 pace)

My brother helped me pick out the cool Pirates of the Caribbean costume for Sunday, while the giant mouse hands and ears made a return appearance in the half. Megan ordered a Duffy costume from an Etsy vendor online and the crowd response was awesome (especially from cast members) – pretty sure she was the only Duffy in the field too.

Spent a little time in all four parks while I was down there, but for the most part, I just hung out with Brian and his wife Patti while soaking in the non-Minnesota winter weather. Thanks for the kind hospitality you two!

Only one other confirmed and registered race entry right now in 2014 – the Get in Gear 10K on April 26th. Lots of others I’d like to do, but we’ll see how much I can budget for entry fees this year…

Done

Posted Sunday, January 12th, 2014 10:13 am GMT -5 in Marathons,Running,Travel at 10:13 AM

Dopey Challenge 2014

Duffy and the Pirate

Posted Sunday, January 12th, 2014 04:12 am GMT -5 in Friends,Marathons,Running,Travel at 4:12 AM

Ready to roll at the marathon

That’s a lot of swag

Posted Wednesday, January 8th, 2014 04:05 pm GMT -5 in Fashion,Marathons,Running at 4:05 PM

Dopey Challenge race shirts

The 2014 Expo

Posted Wednesday, January 8th, 2014 11:34 am GMT -5 in Marathons,Running,Travel at 11:34 AM

Walt Disney World marathon expo

Appropriately named

Posted Wednesday, January 8th, 2014 10:54 am GMT -5 in Marathons,Running,Travel at 10:54 AM

The Dopey Challenge

Buzzfeed #26

Posted Saturday, December 21st, 2013 03:03 pm GMT -5 in Friends,Links,Marathons,Running at 3:03 PM

http://www.buzzfeed.com/markjoyella/26-things-that-make-perfect-sense-when-you-run-the-ms2

David is a Runner

Posted Thursday, November 21st, 2013 11:00 am GMT -5 in Links,Marathons,Running at 11:00 AM

http://athlinks.com/athletes/DavidKingsbury/Profile

Thank you ESPN

Posted Monday, November 4th, 2013 11:00 am GMT -5 in Links,Marathons,Running at 11:00 AM

http://adage.com/article/creativity-pick-of-the-day/espn-protect-nyc-marathoners-abused-nipples/245081/

The Phil Coppess Story

Posted Wednesday, October 9th, 2013 09:08 am GMT -5 in Links,Marathons,Running at 9:08 AM

http://www.twincities.com/sports/ci_24250179/most-marathon-runners-dont-know-his-name-but

2013 Twin Cities Marathon

Posted Sunday, October 6th, 2013 03:41 pm GMT -5 in Friends,Marathons,Running at 3:41 PM

Well, that was fun. Marathon number 22 is in the books (ninth TCM) and it was the fastest one for me yet. I’m terrible at calculating times, but Google says I actually ran my first reverse split in a marathon. Here are the main stats:

  • Official chip time: 3:43:32 (8:32 pace)
  • 13.1M split: 1:52:46
  • Overall: 1932/8849
  • Age group: 216/692
  • Garmin splits: 9:13, 8:46, 8:40, 8:46, 8:49, 8:44, 8:59, 8:00, 8:15, 8:14, 8:14, 8:10, 8:19, 8:11, 8:04, 8:17, 8:15, 8:33, 8:24, 8:26, 8:21, 8:32, 8:42, 8:33, 8:44, 8:34

I’m not entirely sure how accurate those watch splits are, as the Garmin was off at almost every mile marker. It also said I ran 26.38 miles – I know I’m sometimes bad at running the tangents, but that seemed like a lot.

This was a great social day. My former neighbor Tim stopped and visited at the Metrodome before the race, where I also met Megan and her dad. We walked with Yaniha to the start and I ran the first seven miles with Megan. She was diagnosed with asthma earlier in the week, but still finished under 4:15. Congrats to all of the people I knew running the full:

  • Megan – 4:14:55
  • Tom – 5:06:53
  • Yaniha – 4:06:36
  • Tim – 4:32:57
  • Deb – 4:01:25
  • Kris – 3:40:00
  • Elizabeth – 3:46:43

Congrats also to Twitter friends Kat (@kljwm) and Kristi (@lifeisfunner), who had great runs during the TC 10 Mile today too. And big shout outs to my only spectator Renee (@twindependent), as well as finish line security volunteer Marc (@WDWGolfer).

Overall, I felt pretty decent right after the race and walked down to United Hospital to get a ride back to my car at the Fort Snelling park and ride. Since I got home, the main pains have been my left ankle and (strangely enough), my neck. Not a big deal, though – should be fine by tomorrow.

While I’m very happy with the PR (which knocked nearly two and a half minutes off the old time), it still highlighted just how hard qualifying for Boston will be. Even with the extra time for getting older, I’m still more than 18 and a half minutes away.

Dang, now that’s fast.

The before

Posted Sunday, October 6th, 2013 07:29 am GMT -5 in Marathons,Running at 7:29 AM

Megan and I (and Tom) in the halls of the Metrodome, Minneapolis

Best bib ever

Posted Saturday, October 5th, 2013 09:52 pm GMT -5 in Marathons,Running at 9:52 PM

#1111 for the 2013 Twin Cities Marathon

Still get butterflies

Posted Friday, October 4th, 2013 12:22 pm GMT -5 in Marathons,Running at 12:22 PM

2013 TCM Expo, St. Paul, MN

No, thank *you*

Posted Sunday, September 29th, 2013 04:19 pm GMT -5 in Marathons,Running at 4:19 PM

TCM sign, Minnehaha Park

The new shirt arrived

Posted Thursday, May 2nd, 2013 08:55 pm GMT -5 in Fashion,Marathons,Running at 8:55 PM

Adidas Boston Stands As One T-Shirt fundraiser

Heartache for My People

Posted Monday, April 15th, 2013 07:39 pm GMT -5 in Friends,Marathons,Running at 7:39 PM

I’ve wanted to be there, but I’m not fast enough. I live vicariously on Patriots’ Day each year through people I’ve never met in real life (such as @susanruns and @mattlegal). Their wonderful blog entries are full of excitement and commitment to excellence. The world-class athletes that are featured on the live stream I watch every year make it look so effortless. Pure inspiration to get faster so I too can travel to Hopkinton some day.

I had turned off the live stream after Jeptoo and Desisa finished, just keeping a tab open to see if Nurse on the Run could maintain her 3:10 pace for the second half of her race. Then a few tweets starting trickling in my feed about an explosion. Then another. Links to unimaginable photos and video. I was in shock.

Runners are a close-knit group. Every time I see a runner out somewhere, I tell my family “there goes one of my people.” Today hit straight at my heart. Not just for the runners, but also the spectators, the first responders that line the entire course, the volunteers. It could have been my kids waiting there for me to finish. Such a senseless tragedy.

So very thankful everyone I know is OK. Google has set up a page if you are looking for someone here. The official BAA site also allows you to search for people here. The American Red Cross has a page here for people to donate blood in Massachusetts (although you can always donate blood wherever you are). The official BAA Facebook page is posting frequent updates here.

Peace and healing to everyone in Boston tonight…

Someday (I Hope)

Posted Monday, April 15th, 2013 10:33 am GMT -5 in Links,Marathons,Running at 10:33 AM

http://watchlive.baa.org/

2014 WDW Enhancements

Posted Monday, April 8th, 2013 06:41 pm GMT -5 in Links,Marathons,Running at 6:41 PM

Grand Lakes Marathon Series

Posted Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013 01:27 pm GMT -5 in Links,Marathons,Running at 1:27 PM

http://www.greatlakesmarathonseries.com/takethetour/

New York City Marathon Update

Posted Saturday, March 16th, 2013 12:35 am GMT -5 in Marathons,Running at 12:35 AM

Here is the disappointing news from New York:

The policy states that a runner must be denied 3 entry consecutive years, without entering these marathons through another means such as a charity. You were denied entry in 2010 and 2011, but you were accepted in 2012, so you are no longer eligible for guaranteed entry through the denied 3 times program. I am sorry.

As was stated on the website, this program is being phased out. The last year to enter the program was 2011.

So it looks like I’ll pick some different options for 2013…

My new office accessory arrived

Posted Thursday, March 14th, 2013 09:09 pm GMT -5 in Marathons,Running at 9:09 PM

Custom marathon medal rack

Running Plans for 2013

Posted Tuesday, February 19th, 2013 12:34 am GMT -5 in Marathons,Running at 12:34 AM

The New York Road Runners continue to hold sway over my future running plans. Yes, they refunded my $255 entry fee this week from the 2012 (non)marathon. The trouble is, they also posted a note that said they haven’t decided yet if there will be an open lottery for 2013, nor what they will do for people who didn’t get in for three years in a row (2012 would have been my third year). So I really don’t want to sign up for any long races until I know for sure whether NYC is an option this November or not. This is a bit of a problem, as there are several alternative options for this year that may or may not fill up before I find out about New York:

  • Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon, June 2 – my next 50 states option (plus I’d get to check out the Deadwood casino scene)
  • Grandma’s, June 22 – really missed running it last year
  • Med City Marathon, May 26 – continue to hear good things about this southern Minnesota race (and the price is right)
  • Twin Cities, October 6 – I’d love to have Ms. Medtronic 1) get the TCM monkey off her back and 2) break that 4 hour mark
  • Goofy Challenge, January 12, 2014 – not really 2013, but the cost would probably mean not running any other marathons in 2013

I’m currently registered for two shorter races: the Get in Gear 10K (April 27) and the TC 1 Mile (May 9). There are a few other ones I was thinking about too:

I also plan to cheer on Megan and her dad at the Zumbro 50 Miler on April 13, which I think is completely crazy. Of course I say that after looking at bikes today that could be used in the Arrowhead 135 next year, so I guess it’s all relative, right?

Mileage so far this year has been a little on the light side, but I’m mostly OK with the current state of things. I’m planning to focus on treadmill speed work until I can get outside more, which should help prevent another knee issue at the 1 Mile. The 17 miler this weekend was a total surprise, as I was only planning to run 9 or 12 when I left the house. I love the calorie benefits from longer runs, though, so warmer weather can’t come fast enough.

Same goes for news from New York…

So does this

Posted Tuesday, January 29th, 2013 06:43 pm GMT -5 in Friends,Marathons,Running at 6:43 PM

Makes me want to run again

Posted Tuesday, January 29th, 2013 04:28 pm GMT -5 in Links,Marathons,Running at 4:28 PM

http://www.runkarlarun.com/2013/01/18/race-report-walt-disney-world-marathon-201/

This one looks promising

Posted Monday, January 21st, 2013 06:10 pm GMT -5 in Links,Marathons at 6:10 PM

http://www.deadwoodmickelsontrailmarathon.com/

2013 Walt Disney World Marathon

Posted Sunday, January 20th, 2013 01:14 pm GMT -5 in Friends,Marathons,Running,Travel at 1:14 PM

Marathon number 21 wasn’t my fastest and the weather was way too hot (82F and sunny at the finish), but it might have been the funnest one yet. My friend and running partner Megan ran with me dressed as Minnie Mouse, so I just had to be Mickey, right? It was so fun running through all four parks in costume – my only regret was wearing hot mouse hands for 26.2 miles. Much respect for the cast members that wear full costumes all summer long.

We really didn’t have any time expectations for this race – I had only run long twice since New York, with November and December monthly totals of only 41.9 and 59.3 miles, respectively. Megan hadn’t done any formal marathon training since her 50 miler in September and kept saying she would have to do a lot of walking after mile 17.

Turns out I was the one who wanted to do the walking late in the race. Just like my previous two Disney races, it was sunny and hotter than normal, with high humidity. I was glad to be in a forward corral, which gave us more time to run in the dark. I was hoping to get to the halfway mark before the sun hit us, but that happened just before Animal Kingdom (around mile 11). I wore the gloves for as long as I could stand it, but ended up carrying them for about four miles (and put them back on for the finish).

We saw the family near mile 15 and in Epcot near Spaceship Earth. We looked for my sister near the Contemporary Hotel, but must have run right past her in the dark (sorry Lynn!). My brother ran with his co-worker friend Bob, who we didn’t see until after the race (they started a few corrals back and were trying to break five hours).

The course was new this year, starting in the same spot, but running straight to the Magic Kingdom. Most of the course was similar from there on out, with the addition of a loop around the Richard Petty Driving Experience track and three miles looping around the ESPN Wide World of Sports area. I liked the changes for the most part – give me the same course next time with cooler weather and I’d probably love it.

We saw lots of characters during the race and stopped for a photo with Wreck-It Ralph. I really liked the grave diggers from the Haunted Mansion – that was really clever. The special surprise at mile 20 was cool too – giant puppets on both sides of the road, followed by a big arch with medals from all 20 races (and Mickey, Minnie and Pluto on stage).

Run Disney does such a great job organizing large races like this. The expo was big and crowded, although closing at 7 p.m. with a jam-packed hall was silly and made me feel bad for the smaller vendors. Race day setup with bag drop-off was very smooth and I still think the fireworks are one of the coolest things in the running world. LOVED the misting cooling fans in the finish area, but thought the food in the little box lunches was a little weird.

Now I’ve got Goofy on the mind!

Final results:

Megan and David

  • 5M – 49:14
  • 10M – 1:38:16
  • Half – 2:09:34
  • 20M – 3:25:45
  • Chip – 4:43:11 (10:48 pace)

Brian and Bob

  • 5M – 53:49
  • 10M – 1:49:34
  • Half – 2:22:05
  • 20M – 3:38:22
  • Chip – 4:57:03 (11:20 pace)

7MM Photo Gallery

Unofficial 4:43:12

Posted Sunday, January 13th, 2013 10:52 am GMT -5 in Marathons,Running at 10:52 AM

2013 Walt Disney World Marathon, Orlando, Florida

Mickey and Minnie run 26.2

Posted Sunday, January 13th, 2013 04:26 am GMT -5 in Friends,Marathons,Running at 4:26 AM

2013 Walt Disney World Marathon with Megan, Orlando, Florida

Time for another one

Posted Sunday, January 13th, 2013 02:44 am GMT -5 in Marathons,Running at 2:44 AM

2013 Walt Disney World Marathon, Orlando, Florida

The actual Disney expo

Posted Thursday, January 10th, 2013 06:50 pm GMT -5 in Marathons,Running,Travel at 6:50 PM

Huge expo! Wide World of Sports, Orlando, Florida

 

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Personal Records & Mileage

  • Mile - 6:10
  • 5K - 21:42
  • 10K - 44:40
  • Half - 1:38:40
  • Marathon - 3:43:32
  • 2017 Mileage: 157.7

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