A Few Final TC "Loony Challenge" Thoughts

>> Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Alright, it's been 2.5 weeks. Here are my 6 closing thoughts on things related to the "Loony Challenge."

• I was thrilled to finish UNINJURED!! Two days after the 10 Mile, hip felt BETTER than it did during the final 2 weeks of building miles leading up to the race! The 20 minute massage after the 10K and 5K really seemed to help. (But I've only ran twice since then - an easy run 4 days after the 10 Mile, and then the Superhero Dash 5K with Henry the next weekend. Now I haven't ran in 11 days because my hip/sacrum has been achy again, so I'm taking it easy. I'll do an easy run shortly.)

• The only thing that hurt on my body was my calves. Monday after the races, I got out of bed and my calves screamed at me. They weren't injured, just tired. Tuesday they were better. Wednesday they were about back to normal.

• My finishing percentage looks pretty great in all 3 races. When I log my races on BeginnerTriathlete, they show overall percentage. My age-grade results are all decent too, putting me at the bottom of "Regional Class" in every category:

- 10K: 0.76% (70% age graded)
- 5K: 0.78% (70% age graded)
- 10 Mile: 1.14% (72% age graded)

• Just for the hell of it, I overlaid splits from all 4 times I did the TC 10 Mile. 2009 was my first ever 10 mile, 2010 was when I was coached with the goal of finishing sub-60 (finished in 59:05), 2011 was just a normal race, and this year was the end of the Loony Challenge:

2011 and 2014 were quite similar, with just some of the earlier miles being a bit slower this year as I was pretty timid about my legs being too tired from the 2 races the day before. But I honestly could have (and should have) raced those miles a bit faster. And that graph shows that (at least for me) miles 6 and 7 are brutal. It could be the hills, or it could be mental - feeling dead but knowing there are still a few miles left.

• "Race Buddy" James found me! I got an email last week from the guy who I ran with for the middle 5 miles of the 10 Mile. Remember all the photos like this from my 10 Mile race report with James and I side-by-side?

James and I at mile 5 (seen in my race report).

He sent me an email, and then he shared his race report with me - he's got a group of running buddies who all share race thoughts via email after their races. He finished 3-4 minutes faster than he had hoped, which he was thrilled about. Here's a middle paragraph from his write-up about running with me:

... Once it leveled out I caught up to a guy in a bright plaid long-legged speedo. I noticed that he was wearing a “Loony” tag (meaning he ran the 5K and 10K on Saturday as well) so I struck up a conversation. Turns out he is a semi-famous local blogger (named, of course, “Steve in a Speedo”) who writes about running and triathlons; every group of spectators had at least one person yell out, “Go Steve!” or “Nice shorts!”. Very nice guy and we stuck together until he dropped me around mile 8.

James had made a comment or 2 during the race about all the people who knew me and all the people cheering for the shorts. At the time, I couldn't tell if he was annoyed or if he was enjoying it. Glad to hear he was OK with it! Nice running with you, James!

(And thanks to Sarah for those great photos of us at mile 5, and thanks to Shinianen for the photos around mile 8. Check out Shinianen's spectator report which includes a photo of me, and a Cookie Monster holding a sign saying "C is for Chafing." Fantastic.)

• Twin Cities in Motion "officially" congratulated Don and I on Facebook last week. Here's a screenshot of their post from Facebook:

And here's that full photo they shared of Don and I finishing the TC 10K:

Both running easy (compared to the guy in front of Don and the guy flying behind me).

Remember, I ran the 10K with my camera, and here's a photo from my 10K race report that was taken just 15 seconds before the photo above:

Don in front of me, and the guy in blue up there too. (From my 10K/5K race reports.)

In the next week or so, I'd like to write up my thoughts on how to WIN a series like this. I've only done it once, but I have 2 cents I'd like to share.

In the meantime, here are a 3 related links in case you missed them:
     - My TC 10K and 5K race reports from our first day of the "Loony" races.
     - My TC 10 Mile race report from the next day.
     - The final "Loony Challenge" standings.


I Look HORRIBLE During 5Ks (here's the proof)

>> Monday, October 20, 2014

There are some pretty sweet photos in the album of official photos from the "ALS Superhero Dash" 9 days ago. Here are some of my favorites along with some horrible ones of me and Henry:



The group of LEGIT costumes out there!

She's got the same batman shirt as me, but she has cooler friends.


The "legit" Captain, some Ironkids, and an awesome tighty-whitey superhero.

Just before the start of the 5K - I'm about 10 feet behind (the male) Captain America.

As I said in my race report, Henry and I jumped into the lead after a few feet, and just kept pulling away from the group. Here we are just a minute into the race:

It looks like we're not even moving.

Now it looks like we're running.

This is the next photo in the album after the 2 of me and Henry.
The guy leading this pack is the middle-aged guy I noted I passed early on.

Fat Luigi.

ALS Association Executive Director Jen (in the Wonder Woman getup).

More of the nearly 500 5K runners.

An awesome He-Man.

Waiting for the runners to do their lap around the lake.

Looking through the tunnel to the finish.

Henry and I came barreling up to the tunnel nearly 4 minutes ahead of anyone else, and we totally caught this family off-guard and freaked them out:

Scared them off the path. Oh, and sweet baby Jesus... look at my face.

Close-up of that last photo. There's the "vein of approval!" It approves of this effort.
But the rest of my face.......... dear Lord.

Running hard towards the tunnel.

Another gross close-up. Henry looks chill, though.

Headed to the finish.

Well, I guess it's OK to be a little ugly/gross at the end of a 17:56 certified 5K while pushing a stroller. Right?... RIGHT?... I hope so. Here are a few more photos:

Here's 2nd and 3rd running side-by-side.

Brette (Jen's hubby) was passed by Fat Luigi, so here I think he's checking
to make sure he won't be passed by Fat Mario.

Fat Luigi catching his breath post-race.

He-Man made an unlikely friend during the race.

A pretty sweet Wolverine. He's running WITH A CIGAR IN HIS MOUTH. Nice touch.

These next 4 photos show the definition of a "second wind:"

"Ugh... how much farther?"

"I don't know if I can do this..."

"Oh wait... the finish is just up THERE?!?"

"LET'S GO!!!"


Henry and I getting our 1st place medal from Storm and Wonder Woman.

Heading back to the car. Henry has his "stick guns."

Check out Henry's and my race report from last week if you missed it.
Here's all the "official" race photos in a Flickr album with 1400 photos.
And here's the race website. Thanks ALS Superhero Dash!


Running with Two Boys

>> Saturday, October 18, 2014

Pharmie busted out our double stroller for a RUN for the first time. We've got a "Thule Chariot Cougar 2" that we've used as a bike trailer a bunch of times, but never as a jogging stroller. (Check that link if you want to see how it transforms from a "regular" stroller, to a jogger, a bike trailer, and a CC ski sled.) The boys both needed a haircut, so Pharmie loaded them up for a 6-mile round trip run:

Loaded up on the (sunny) sidewalk.

At the barbers once Henry got out to get his haircut.

After 2 haircuts! Ready to head home.

There's a shade/visor you can pull down, and here's Charlie sleeping underneath it mid-run.

Back home on the porch post-run! Six successful miles with Mama!

Pharmie said it wasn't too much harder than running with our single BOB stroller (that's the stroller you've seen a lot of here - like in Henry's first 5K win a week ago). One thing she liked about the Chariot is that the front wheel attaches a little "loose" - it wobbles and seems janky. But as she found out while running, that wobble helps you to steer a bit easier.

If you're curious about running strollers, here's a link to a "review" I did of our BOB stroller just a few months after Henry was born. All the info is still true.

And in totally unrelated news, the boys and I made our yearly trip to "Minnesota's Largest Candy Store" yesterday. CLICK HERE to see lots of photos of their sweet soda selection in a post from earlier today on my "root beer blog" - I totally stocked up. Here's Charlie and I watching his brother and cousins play after getting sugared up:

Back shortly with race photos from Henry's and my 5K last week. I just saw the photos and MY GOD I LOOK LIKE HELL! Guess that's what happens when trying to race a 5K with a stroller...


Friday Funny 811: Responding with Sassiness

>> Friday, October 17, 2014

These people are sassy. I like them:

Technically, #15 is right. Right?

Lots more funny stuff on posted all week long on steveinaspeedo.tumblr.com.


Friday Funny 810: Preschool Knowledge About Bats

We had conferences at Henry's preschool this past week. (Yes, that's a thing, even for 3-year-olds, and it's adorable.) We saw a recent bat project hanging in the hall. Some of the quotes were pretty good. Henry's makes no sense:

We forgot to ask what the "pony basket" is. We're confused.
I'll ask his teachers next week and report back.

Here are 4 others that made Pharmie and I laugh:

This kid seems to be a Batman groupie.


Dads are gross like that.

Sounds like someone might have issues with his Mom...

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