maintenance mode

R-E-L-A-X…five letters that make a lot of sense. it’s not to say i’m spending all my time sitting on the couch flipping channels on the tv but i have eased back on how much and how fast i’ve been running as of late.

for now i’m content to simply shuffle along in the wee hours of the morning. i’ve still got my eye on the prize in that i’d like to roll past forty thousand on my odometer before the end of the year. doing a bit of math, mustering weekly mileage in the mid-thirties will get me there.

9/24 – 7 miles
9/25 – 7 miles
9/26 – 7 miles
9/27 – 7 miles
9/28 – 14 miles
9/29 – off
9/30 – 5.5 miles

September Totals: 230 miles
(29/30 days, 33 hours & 48 minutes)

10/1 – 6 miles
10/2 – off
10/3 – off
10/4 – 7 miles
10/5 – 6 miles
10/6 – 6 miles
10/7 – 5 miles
10/8 – 3 miles
10/9 – 3 miles
10/10 – 3 miles
10/11 – 26.2 miles in 3:13:21 (BQ!!)
10/12 – off
10/13 – off
10/14 – 6 miles
10/15 – 6.25 miles
10/16 – 8.5 miles
10/17 – 7 miles
10/18 – 9 miles
10/19 – 6 miles
10/20 – 6 miles
10/21 – 6 miles
10/22 – 6 miles
10/23 – 5 miles
10/24 – 5 miles

MTD – 136 miles (20/24 days, 19 hours & 57 minutes)
YTD – 2,143 miles (280/290 days, 313 hours & 14 minutes)
Odometer – 39,682 miles

October 25, 2014 by Jerry Cameron
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Praire State Marathon

in the wee hours of a saturday morning, i headed south of the border (wisconsin/illinois) for the prairie state marathon. unlike the other marathon held in the windy city that weekend, prairie state is a smaller event which includes a half marathon as well.

the start of the race was relatively casual with the half marathoners starting at the same time as the marathoners. the course headed north mostly along crushed gravel trails for a nine mile out and back segment. i cruised along at a seven minute per mile pace and passed the half marathon mark in 1:32:12.

in a rather cruel manner, the course rolls back through the start/finish area after 18 miles which is just when a bit of fatigue begins to set in. the remainder of the course is a four mile out and back segment which was less crowded as the half marathoners had already crossed their finish line.

the real beauty of the out and back segments is you get a chance to see where your competition is at. in my twenty second mile i counted the runners as they passed me on the way to the finish line. one, two, first female then not too far ahead of me – - and faltering – - was number three.

this race removes the top three finishers for men & women from age group awards so it’s a bit “more” to be top three versus getting an age group award. a few years back at the race for the bacon they scored the race in the same manner and i finished fourth overall. while i got first in my age group that day, i would have preferred to have been on the podium.

i downed my last energy gel, chased it with some water from the aid station then zeroed in on closing the gap on the runner ahead of me. it was really two runners as the guy had a friend running along with him. i drew even with them with less than three miles to go and muttered “looking good” to the guy.

true story. in that moment, my music shuffled to a tune i know really well which repeats “triumph awaits” over and over in the lyrics. just above the din of the song’s guitar/drum intro i could hear the guy’s friend say “lets keep up with this guy.”

no.

not going to happen.

i immediately threw down a surge to put some distance between us. running a bit recklessly, i didn’t turn around to see where they were because i didn’t want to give them any hope that they could catch me.

passing the twenty five mile marker in 3:03 i was able to do some math and figured i still had a solid chance at bettering the time standard (3:15:00) for the Boston marathon. as i neared the finish area, there were a few cheers from spectators and other runners as i passed the twenty six mile marker. a quick glace at my watch confirmed i was still on track so i made one last push to the finish line.

finishing was a relief as i was able to stop the clock in 3:13:21, which met the time standard for Boston. just after finishing, another runner crossed the line and then about a minute later the guy i had passed finished as well. a quick check of the posted results confirmed i had held onto third male finisher by a slim margin of six seconds, based on “chip” time.

3:13:15.7 (chip time)
3:13:21.1 (gun time)
4th/270 Overall
3rd/150 Male Finishers

so for only the fifth time, i was able to meet the time standard for the Boston Marathon. registration is closed for the 2015 event but my time would be good for the 2016 edition. maybe between now and then i’ll take another shot at bettering the time so i can move up in the starting corrals. regardless, marathon number twenty two…done!

October 15, 2014 by Jerry Cameron
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watch cross

has your get up and go got up and went? is that first step out the front door getting more and more challenging with less and less daylight to run with?

go watch a middle school (or high school) cross country meet. watch the start of the race with the (sometimes) hundreds of kids streaming across a field. stand at the top of a sizable hill and encourage the middle/back of the pack runners as they struggle to climb.

see the proud smile of the kid who finishes first and notice the same beaming smile of another kid who fought hard to the finish. the next time you lace up those running shoes, that first step won’t seem quite so difficult.

8/26 – 9 miles
8/27 – 8 miles
8/28 – 7 miles
8/29 – 9 miles
8/30 – 9.25 miles
8/31 – off

August Totals: 281 miles
(29/31 days, 40 hours & 38 minutes)
** second best mileage total for a month, ever **

9/1 – 9 miles
9/2 – 7 miles
9/3 – 7 miles
9/4 – 5 miles
9/5 – 7 miles
9/6 – 19 miles
9/7 – 9 miles
9/8 – 7 miles
9/9 – 6 miles
9/10 – 5 miles
9/11 – 6 miles
9/12 – 5 miles
9/13 – 8K in 30:15 plus 2.5 miles w/u & c/d
9/14 – 10 miles
9/15 – 6 miles
9/16 – 7 miles
9/17 – 7 miles
9/18 – 7 miles
9/19 – 7 miles
9/20 – 7 miles
9/21 – 20 miles
9/22 – 5 miles
9/23 – 7 miles

MTD – 182.5 miles (23/23 Days, 26 Hours & 54 Minutes)
YTD – 1960.25 (254/266 Days, 286 Hours & 23 Minutes)
Odometer – 39,497 miles

September 23, 2014 by Jerry Cameron
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finish line

this past weekend, a legend in the local running scene passed away after a long battle with cancer. i was fortunate enough to have recently been able to say hello to tom. however, it was another meeting with tom that happened years before that i’m most grateful for.

i was preparing for my first ice age trail 50 mile ultramarathon and took good friday as a vacation day. i’d shown up that morning at the trail head in the kettle moraine to meet up with anyone else who was available, thanks to an email that was sent out to local trail runners.

i knew tom from working at the same employer years before. he offered to run with me through the southern portion of the course. knowing of his experience on the course i was really appreciative of the offer. that said, i was a bit worried that i wouldn’t be able to keep up with him. i was thirty years younger than him but his fitness level was incredible.

we wound our way though the wooded trails single file with tom out front. the occasional open prairie sections allowed for running side by side which gave him the opportunity to quiz me on my training to that point. i remember a brief pause at the southern most part of the course when i stopped to retrieve an energy gel out of my hydration pack. while i found it and downed it quickly, he was at the ready for the return trip.

on the way back, when approaching a sizable uphill tom dropped to a brisk walk and told me this is the right hill to power walk up and grab another gel. further down the trail, he ratcheted up the pace through a winding single track section. when i was finally able to catch up with him at a road crossing he explained that’s the section he liked to press the pace. reaching the end of the twenty five mile training run, i remember being wiped while tom looked to be ready for another twenty five.

a month later i was able to finish my first ice age trail 50 miler and earn the coveted finishers belt buckle. without question, tom’s advice was very helpful in getting me to that finish line and i continue to be very grateful for the time and effort he shared with me that good friday morning.

September 17, 2014 by Jerry Cameron
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comfort zone

so the first stretch of humid weather has arrived a bit later than usual. when it’s cold outside, keeping warm while running is fairly straightforward since you just put on another layer and go. however, keeping comfortable while running in warm temperatures and high humidity is another story. there is only so much gear you can remove without…offending.

regardless, there’s little choice in the matter since the weather is just one of many things that is beyond my influence. in the meantime, i simply step out the front door, start my watch and go.

8/1 – 6 miles
8/2 – 16 miles
8/3 – 9 miles
8/4 – 9 miles
8/5 – 9 miles
8/6 – 9 miles
8/7 – 9 miles
8/8 – 6.25 miles
8/9 – 17.25 miles
8/10 – 9 miles
8/11 – 9 miles
8/12 – 9 miles
8/13 – 9 miles
8/14 – 9 miles
8/15 – 10 miles
8/16 – 19.25 miles – uff da
8/17 – off
8/18 – 9 miles
8/19 – 9 miles
8/20 – 9 miles
8/21 – 9 miles
8/22 – 9 miles
8/23 – 10 miles
8/24 – 10 miles
8/25 – 9 miles

MTD – 238.75 miles (24/25 Days, 34 Hours & 27 Minutes)
YTD – 1735.5 miles (226/237 Days, 253 Hours & 18 Minutes)
Odometer – 39,272 miles

August 25, 2014 by Jerry Cameron
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