2017: Cellcom Green Bay Half Marathon

Owing to the organizers’ unique three-year medal strategy that started in 2015 and my innate inability to let certain things go (one of them being the want of materialistic memorabilia since there is no display case for memories), I had signed up and completed the 2015 and 2016 editions. And the quest (read: want) for the final piece ensured I at least signed up, and would find ways to complete it given my very limited training.

Continue reading “2017: Cellcom Green Bay Half Marathon”

2016: Cellcom Green Bay Half Marathon

Signing up and participating in this event has turned into a tradition of sorts. Owing to the organizers’ unique three-year medal strategy that started in 2015 and my innate inability to let certain things go — one of them being the want of materialistic memorabilia for there is no display case for memories, this tradition will continue at least through its 2017 edition.

Continue reading “2016: Cellcom Green Bay Half Marathon”

2015: Cellcom Green Bay Half Marathon

The 2014 edition of this event made me the recipient of yet another unexpected, undeserved and unrewarded act of kindness from a lady at about the 11.75 mile mark. Courtesy of a miserably failed experiment — of using my body’s stored fat reserves in lieu of energy gels during the run — I was seeing more than one star in day light. And courtesy of my super-massive ego taking a back seat to my common sense for once, I stopped in someone’s front yard asking for a fruit. In ran the lady and out she came with a plateful of freshly cut berries of various kinds and a bottle of water. It was and still is a very humbling experience to have even completed the race, and realize how much this random act of kindness played a role that day (and has since then) — especially when I look back and remember how many more runners fainted under the scorching sun (and couldn’t complete the race) over the last mile or so, and understand the stupidity of the said maiden experiment.

Not wanting to be ungrateful, I stopped by the aforementioned lady’s house the day after the race (Monday) on my way out of town. In spite of repeated requests, the much elderly woman wouldn’t give me the last name of her daughter who had helped the day before. About a month and a half later, while driving down to Indiana for Chelsea and NilsI DO festivities, I stopped at her door again. This time, no one was home and I requested the neighbor to pass along a thank you note. Few hours later, as I was finishing up dinner with Christine and Jaime in Valparaiso, I got a call and the lady on the other end said: We got your note and that other thing. But our house was not on the course last year. It ran about two blocks away. I swore I remembered very vividly the street signs and that she must not be remembering what she had done for me but reviewing the GPS log from race day revealed that she was, in fact, right and I was, in fact, delirious. I requested the lady, albeit politely, to take the thank you note up the street on my behalf but never heard back from either one.

The days following the said event were no different: one dear friend took me up to the indoor track to analyze my running form (or lack thereof) and then to the fitness center to put me through a set of simple workouts that would help improve the core strength, and in turn, improve the speed over a period of time; many others — many a part of the Keweenaw Running Group and Team /var/run — let me run with them often at the expense of their time, pace and/or distance to help me get better. The combination certainly went a long way in marking the beginning of me becoming far more disciplined with regards to consistent eating, sleeping, running and working out habits.

The initial round of planning for 2015 races did not necessarily include this event. But an exchange of text messages with Bryant, followed by a dinner time conversation with Chelsea and Nils in Ambassador Restaurant a day later and the plethora of additional reasons entailed below ensured that this event did get on the list:

The mystique (yes, the mystique) of Green Bay and all that it has been and continues to be a stage for; an opportunity to thank the aforementioned lady in person and hang out with good ole friends, and explore the usual and some unusual culinary corners of (greater) Green Bay; a chance to measure my new self against the old one in light of almost meticulously and consistently following the eating, sleeping, running and working out habits, and earning a materialistic yet unique memorabilia: one third of a medal in a three-year medal series.

A bit of excessive running with not enough rest following the Great Bear Chase led to frequent and often very sharp pain in the lower left calf. Timely diagnosis — muscle tear, knots, pinched nerve, lack of potassium or combination of all of them — and suggestion for rest (by dear friends) along with consumption of bananas as if they were going extinct helped heal whatever it was in very short time, although it didn’t seem short at that time. But I am grateful, nevertheless, that it wasn’t something more serious that would have forced me to take a longer break from or worse, give up on this new found hobby.

Another new hobby, road biking (story saved for another occasion later this year) and renewing yet another long lost hobby, swimming, came with the advice that I needed to pull back on my running goals, albeit slightly. Running too, not to be left behind, came with few more suggestions to improve: cutting down one core workout session in favor a speed workout (Robert Larson), running faster to be running faster (Andi Vendlinski), lifting up the knees and running on front portion of the feet while going up hill (Rob Handler) and the potato chip/egg technique to not clench the fist while keeping the fists lower (Ryan Towles and Stephen Eles). Incorporating them all to the point that they became almost second natured took some time but in hindsight time invested was more than worth it.


Summary of training activities since the last race
# Date and time Activity details
Device, Distance, Time, Pace, Speed, HR
Weather notes
01 2015-03-08 08:15:00 Ready for Summer Run 10k (WR4BC)
Garmin 620, 6.36 mi, 1:09:05, 10:52 min/mile, 5.52 mph, 156 bpm
16 F, 3 mph S, 16 F, 85% humidity; snow but not very cold
02 2015-03-09 18:49:00 Houghton Medium Run
Garmin 620, 10.25 mi, 1:43:02, 10:03 min/mile, 5.97 mph, 170 bpm
37 F, 9 mph E, 31 F, 65% humidity; sunny, warm and pleasant
03 2015-03-11 09:58:00 Houghton Short Run
Garmin 620, 6.25 mi, 1:01:28, 9:50 min/mile, 6.10 mph, 166 bpm
32 F, 12 mph W, 23 F, 74% humidity; sunny, warm and pleasant with a gentle breeze
04 2015-03-11 17:46:00 KRG Weekly Run 2015 #09
Garmin 620, 6.02 mi, 1:00:57, 10:07 min/mile, 5.93 mph, 166 bpm
37 F, 8 mph WNW, 31 F, 48% humidity; sunny, warm and pleasant
05 2015-03-13 14:02:00 Houghton Short Run
Garmin 620, 7.05 mi, 1:20:46, 11:27 min/mile, 5.24 mph, 149 bpm
46 F, 0 mph, 46 F, 66% humidity; cloudy and comfortable
06 2015-03-14 09:26:53 Pi Day Run 10k (VR)
Garmin 620, 6.28 mi, 1:01:27, 9:47 min/mile, 6.13 mph, 163 bpm
34 F, 16 mph WNW, 24 F, 66% humidity; cloudy and drizzle but comfortable
07 2015-03-15 07:58:00 Houghton Quick Run
Garmin 620, 3.13 mi, 0:35:52, 11:28 min/mile, 5.23 mph, 154 bpm
25 F, 5 mph ESE, 19 F, 86% humidity; clear skies but slightly chilly
08 2015-03-17 17:17:00 St. Patrick Day Run 10k (USRR)
Garmin 620, 6.30 mi, 1:00:40, 9:38 min/mile, 6.23 mph, 181 bpm
30 F, 25 mph W, 16 F, 47% humidity; sunny, windy and blue skies
09 2015-03-17 17:17:00 Lucky Leprechaun Run 10k (VR)
Garmin 620, 6.30 mi, 1:00:40, 9:38 min/mile, 6.23 mph, 181 bpm
30 F, 25 mph W, 16 F, 47% humidity; sunny, windy and blue skies
10 2015-03-18 18:02:00 KRG Weekly Run 2015 #10
Garmin 620, 4.49 mi, 0:41:53, 9:20 min/mile, 6.43 mph, 163 bpm
30 F, 9 mph W, 22 F, 28% humidity; sunny, nice and pleasant
# Date and time Activity details
Device, Distance, Time, Pace, Speed, HR
Weather notes
11 2015-03-20 15:02:00 End of Winter Run 10k (VR)
Garmin 620, 6.38 mi, 1:06:38, 10:27 min/mile, 5.74 mph, 168 bpm
39 F, 13 mph W, 31 F, 65% humidity; sunny but breezy along the canal
12 2015-03-20 15:02:00 Lucky Leprechaun Run 10k (WR4BC)
Garmin 620, 6.38 mi, 1:06:38, 10:27 min/mile, 5.74 mph, 168 bpm
39 F, 13 mph W, 31 F, 65% humidity; sunny but breezy along the canal
13 2015-03-21 13:39:00 Viking Challenge Run 5k I (USRR)
Garmin 620, 3.11 mi, 0:34:37, 11:08 min/mile, 5.39 mph, 149 bpm
16 F, 15 mph NNW, 1 F, 57% humidity; sunny but cold
14 2015-03-22 12:41:00 Viking Challenge Run 5k II (USRR)
Garmin 620, 3.10 mi, 0:30:35, 9:52 min/mile, 6.08 mph, 163 bpm
19 F, 10 mph NNW, 8 F, 53% humidity; sunny and not very cold
15 2015-03-25 17:59:00 KRG Weekly Run 2015 #11
Garmin 620, 3.20 mi, 0:31:48, 9:56 min/mile, 6.04 mph, 165 bpm
34 F, 16 mph W, 24 F, 86% humidity; snow and a biti windy
16 2015-03-28 13:03:00 Classic XC Ski: Michigan Tech Trails
Garmin 620, 7.01 mi, 1:34:02, 13:25 min/mile, 4.47 mph, 136 bpm
28 F, 4 mph S, 28 F, 31% humidity; bright, sunny, blue skies and beautiful, slow and slushy at times
17 2015-03-28 16:52:00 Classic XC Ski: Michigan Tech Trails
Garmin 620, 8.15 mi, 1:51:24, 13:40 min/mile, 4.39 mph, 141 bpm
37 F, 3 mph NNE, 37 F, 23% humidity; bright, sunny, blue skies and beautiful, slow and slushy at times
18 2015-03-29 16:02:00 Viking Challenge Run 5k III (USRR)
Garmin 620, 3.07 mi, 0:27:43, 9:02 min/mile, 6.64 mph, 172 bpm
34 F, 8 mph SW, 27 F, 86% humidity; snow/rain and a bit windy but warm
19 2015-03-30 16:55:00 Houghton Quick Run
Garmin 620, 3.04 mi, 0:27:43, 9:07 min/mile, 6.58 mph, 166 bpm
36 F, 10 mph WNW, 28 F, 60% humidity; sunny and beautiful with gentle breeze
20 2015-03-31 17:21:00 Houghton-Hancock Short Run
Garmin 620, 6.27 mi, 0:55:41, 8:53 min/mile, 6.75 mph, 165 bpm
34 F, 9 mph NW, 26 F, 86% humidity; cloudy, drizzle and even a few snow flakes but comfortable
# Date and time Activity details
Device, Distance, Time, Pace, Speed, HR
Weather notes
21 2015-04-01 18:01:00 KRG Weekly Run 2015 #12
Garmin 620, 3.26 mi, 0:32:19, 9:55 min/mile, 6.05 mph, 163 bpm
39 F, 11 mph E, 32 F, 70% humidity; cloudy and drizzle but comfortable
22 2015-04-05 09:40:00 Hippity Hop Run 10k (VR)
Garmin 620, 6.21 mi, 0:53:51, 8:40 min/mile, 6.92 mph, 174 bpm
21 F, 4 mph ENE, 21 F, 62% humidity; sunny and beautiful
23 2015-04-06 15:21:00 Opening Day Run 10k (VR)
Garmin 620, 6.20 mi, 0:51:39, 8:20 min/mile, 7.20 mph, 171 bpm
34 F, 7 mph ESE, 28 F, 47% humidity; sunny and beautiful
24 2015-04-07 16:37:00 Houghton Quick Run
Garmin 620, 3.11 mi, 0:25:23, 8:10 min/mile, 7.35 mph, 169 bpm
34 F, 11 mph E, 25 F, 40% humidity; cloudy, a bit chilly but comfortable
25 2015-04-08 18:02:00 KRG Weekly Run 2015 #13
Garmin 620, 3.18 mi, 0:30:23, 9:33 min/mile, 6.28 mph, 167 bpm
36 F, 11 mph E, 28 F, 75% humidity; sunny and breezy but comfortable
26 2015-04-11 09:08:00 Houghton Quick Run
Garmin 620, 3.11 mi, 0:25:25, 8:10 min/mile, 7.35 mph, 171 bpm
39 F, 8 mph W, 34 F, 60% humidity; sunny and gentle breez but comfortable
27 2015-04-11 10:14:00 Easter Egg Run 10k (WRB4C)
Garmin 620, 6.10 mi, 0:54:36, 8:57 min/mile, 6.70 mph, 161 bpm
45 F, 11 mph W, 39 F, 53% humidity; sunny and gentle breez but comfortable
28 2015-04-12 16:48:00 Houghton Quick Run
Garmin 620, 3.07 mi, 0:27:49, 9:04 min/mile, 6.62 mph, 159 bpm
72 F, 17 mph SW, 72 F, 29% humidity; sunny, gentle breeze and beautiful
29 2015-04-15 17:41:00 Downtown → SDC Run
Garmin 620, 1.60 mi, 0:14:13, 8:53 min/mile, 6.75 mph, 163 bpm
57 F, 11 mph E, 57 F, 28% humidity; sunny, head winds but beautiful
30 2015-04-15 18:03:00 KRG Weekly Run 2015 #14
Garmin 620, 6.01 mi, 0:57:51, 9:38 min/mile, 6.23 mph, 160 bpm
57 F, 11 mph E, 57 F, 28% humidity; sunny, gentle breeze and beautiful
# Date and time Activity details
Device, Distance, Time, Pace, Speed, HR
Weather notes
31 2015-04-17 11:40:00 Houghton Short Ride
Garmin 620, 15.42 mi, 1:13:32, 4:46 min/mile, 12.59 mph, 118 bpm
57 F, 4 mph, 57 F, 41% humidity; sunny, breezy and beautiful
32 2015-04-18 10:17:00 Houghton Short Ride
Garmin 620, 16.16 mi, 1:23:25, 5:10 min/mile, 11.61 mph, 70 bpm
43 F, 7 mph ESE, 39 F, 65% humidity; sunny, windy and beautiful
33 2015-04-18 12:03:00 Houghton Quick Run
Garmin 620, 2.01 mi, 0:23:35, 11:44 min/mile, 5.11 mph, 174 bpm
45 F, 10 mph ESE, 39 F, 61% humidity; sunny, windy and beautiful
34 2015-04-18 15:49:00 Hancock Medium Ride
Garmin 620, 24.02 mi, 1:55:03, 4:47 min/mile, 12.54 mph, 113 bpm
48 F, 9 mph E, 44 F, 46% humidity; sunny, windy and beautiful
35 2015-04-19 09:57:00 Boston Strong Run 10k (WRB4C)
Garmin 620, 6.20 mi, 0:49:51, 8:02 min/mile, 7.47 mph, 170 bpm
37 F, 30 mph ESE, 29 F, 75% humidity; cloudy, windy, drizzle but comfortable
36 2015-04-19 18:41:00 Houghton Quick Run
Garmin 620, 3.13 mi, 0:26:53, 8:35 min/mile, 6.99 mph, 162 bpm
46 F, 11 mph E, 41 F, 57% humidity; cloudy, breezy but comfortable
37 2015-04-24 08:50:00 Houghton Quick Run
Garmin 620, 3.17 mi, 0:30:31, 9:38 min/mile, 6.23 mph, 166 bpm
21 F, 0 mph, 21 F, 93% humidity; sunny, no breeze and beautiful
38 2015-04-27 15:20:00 Houghton Medium Run
Garmin 620, 13.11 mi, 1:59:34, 9:07 min/mile, 6.58 mph, 161 bpm
51 F, 11 mph NW, 46 F, 46% humidity; sunny, gentle breeze and beautiful
39 2015-04-27 15:20:00 Earth Day Run 10k (VR)
Garmin 620, 13.11 mi, 1:59:34, 9:07 min/mile, 6.58 mph, 161 bpm
51 F, 11 mph NW, 46 F, 46% humidity; sunny, gentle breeze and beautiful
40 2015-04-28 15:37:00 Houghton Short Ride
Garmin 620, 10.63 mi, 0:51:58, 4:53 min/mile, 12.29 mph, 71 bpm
61 F, 8 mph NW, 61 F, 31% humidity; sunny, gentle breeze and beautiful
# Date and time Activity details
Device, Distance, Time, Pace, Speed, HR
Weather notes
41 2015-04-28 17:25:00 Houghton Short Ride
Garmin 620, 15.04 mi, 1:05:31, 4:21 min/mile, 13.79 mph, 131 bpm
63 F, 7 mph NW, 63 F, 27% humidity; sunny, gentle breeze and beautiful
42 2015-04-29 11:30:00 MTU Pool Swim
Garmin 620, 0.20 mi, 0:14:00, 70:00 min/mile, 0.86 mph
60 F, 0 mph, 60 F, 60% humidity
43 2015-04-29 17:38:00 KRG Weekly Run 2015 #16
Garmin 620, 4.71 mi, 0:55:38, 11:49 min/mile, 5.08 mph, 158 bpm
48 F, 10 mph N, 44 F, 50% humidity; sunny, gentle breeze, a bit cold but beautiful
44 2015-04-30 17:09:00 Houghton Short Ride
Garmin 620, 19.04 mi, 1:30:47, 4:46 min/mile, 12.59 mph, 129 bpm
52 F, 10 mph, 52 F, 54% humidity; sunny, breezy and beautiful
45 2015-05-03 06:47:00 Houghton Medium Ride
Garmin 620, 26.26 mi, 1:55:19, 4:23 min/mile, 13.69 mph, 126 bpm
57 F, 4 mph SW, 57 F, 63% humidity; partly cloudy, a bit breezy, chilly, humid and rain
46 2015-05-03 10:33:00 KRG Weekend Run 2015 #01
Garmin 620, 5.16 mi, 0:57:37, 11:10 min/mile, 5.37 mph, 148 bpm
59 F, 5 mph SW, 59 F, 82% humidity; sunny and humid with a gentle breeze
47 2015-05-03 15:26:00 Copper Harbor Medium Ride
Garmin 620, 24.16 mi, 1:56:22, 4:49 min/mile, 12.46 mph, 105 bpm
73 F, 16 mph WNW, 73 F, 44% humidity; partly cloudy, breezy/chilly by the shore
48 2015-05-03 17:27:00 Copper Harbor Short Run
Garmin 620, 5.04 mi, 0:43:31, 8:38 min/mile, 6.95 mph, 149 bpm
72 F, 13 mph WNW, 72 F, 46% humidity; partly cloudy with a gentle breeze
49 2015-05-04 17:32:00 Cinco de Mayo 10k (VR)
Garmin 620, 6.21 mi, 0:54:16, 8:44 min/mile, 6.87 mph, 161 bpm
61 F, 0 mph, 61 F, 39% humidity; sunny, gentle breeze and beautiful
50 2015-05-05 16:48:00 Houghton Medium Ride
Garmin 620, 21.01 mi, 1:50:45, 5:16 min/mile, 11.39 mph, 104 bpm
64 F, 12 mph E, 64 F, 26% humidity; sunny, breezy and beautiful
# Date and time Activity details
Device, Distance, Time, Pace, Speed, HR
Weather notes
51 2015-05-06 18:03:00 KRG Weekly Run 2015 #17
Garmin 620, 3.07 mi, 0:34:37, 11:17 min/mile, 5.32 mph, 151 bpm
66 F, 8 mph, 66 F, 30% humidity; sunny, gentle breeze and beautiful
52 2015-05-09 07:31:00 Houghton Quick Run
Garmin 620, 6.21 mi, 0:52:35, 8:28 min/mile, 7.09 mph, 163 bpm
43 F, 9 mph NNE, 38 F, 75% humidity; cloudy, chilly but comfortable
53 2015-05-10 11:05:00 Houghton Short Run
Garmin 620, 11.33 mi, 1:46:22, 9:23 min/mile, 6.39 mph, 156 bpm
45 F, 12 mph E, 39 F, 70% humidity; cloudy, chilly and windy but comfortable
54 2015-05-11 18:30:00 MTU Pool Swim
Garmin 620, 0.20 mi, 0:10:00, 50:00 min/mile, 1.20 mph
60 F, 0 mph, 60 F, 60% humidity
55 2015-05-13 17:39:00 KRG Weekly Run 2015 #18
Garmin 620, 7.20 mi, 1:18:19, 10:53 min/mile, 5.51 mph, 149 bpm
50 F, 8 mph ESE, 47 F, 37% humidity; cloudy, but comfortable
56 2015-05-14 10:20:00 Houghton Quick Ride
Garmin 620, 8.32 mi, 1:02:40, 7:32 min/mile, 7.96 mph, 95 bpm
50 F, 9 mph S, 46 F, 43% humidity; sunny, breezy and beautiful
57 2015-05-14 11:28:00 Chassell Quick Ride
Garmin 620, 8.30 mi, 0:51:17, 6:11 min/mile, 9.70 mph, 88 bpm
54 F, 8 mph SSE, 54 F, 38% humidity; sunny, breezy and beautiful
58 2015-05-16 08:20:00 De Pere Quick Run
Garmin 620, 3.14 mi, 0:28:38, 9:07 min/mile, 6.58 mph, 160 bpm
55 F, 3 mph ENE, 55 F, 94% humidity; cloudy, foggy, muggy, humid but comfortable
59 2015-05-16 17:47:00 De Pere Short Ride
Garmin 620, 20.41 mi, 1:36:31, 4:44 min/mile, 12.68 mph, 121 bpm
70 F, 9 mph ENE, 70 F, 64% humidity; sunny, humid, breezy and beautiful

The drive down to America’s Dairy Land with Lynette was smooth and uneventful — barring one minor incident that almost could have turned my car into a bonsai. Settling down in the cozy confines of dear friend Sarah‘s home (she was gracious and kind to let me stay the whole weekend even though she had to be out of town) was soon followed by a quick trip to the holy Lambeau Field to pick up the race packets for myself as well as Chelsea and Nils at the Prevea Health & Fitness Expo. That, in turn, was followed by a dinner with Katie in HuHot Mongolian Grill before returning to the aforementioned cozy confines to call it a night.

A quick but easy paced 5k on Saturday morning (I probably should have just signed up for the 5k as part of the weekend race festivities) gave a preview of things to come the next day: hot, muggy, humid conditions … very conducive for profuse sweating within half a mile of starting to run. Breakfast at the newly recommended (thank you, Lynette!) Kavarna Café (Huevos Rancheros Egg Wrap with red onions, red pepper, salsa and pepper jack cheese) was quite delicious, and this unassumingly large, spacious, ambient and rustic-looking eatery hiding behind an assumingly small entrance is now on the list of must eat at place in Green Bay. I then drove around the suburbia for a while and had a chance to visit the house Lombardi lived while he coached the Packers, and then somehow ended up at the Prevea Health & Fitness Expo.

After having spent some time just sitting around in the majestic Lambeau Field — remembering all the fantastic memories of being at many a Packers games with dear friends, many more fantastic memories created by countless re-watching of legendary games, contemplating on how much I sucked last year while looping through the stadium and imagining what it would be to not suck at it the next day … couple of volunteers, sporting Wisconsin Public Service outfit guided me to the Green Bay Floral & Greenhouse.

Third time was indeed the charm, and I was able to meet the lady who gave me fruits last year in person for a few minutes. She was a bit overwhelmed by my showing up at her door step but the conversation was very pleasant. For someone who takes a lot of pride in remembering names of people, more humble pie was on the menu: not only I didn’t remember where she lived before I also didn’t remember her name correctly! And just before we parted with a hug, she did encourage me to eat well for the race and that she wouldn’t necessarily have any food to save me again. A 20 mile bike ride around De Pere to keep the legs moving and a dinner marked the end of proceedings for the day.

Race day morning came a bit sooner than expected (thanks to a misconfigured system that kept texting me from about 4 am or so) but nothing that would damage the preparation or performance. The morning also brought along by far the warmest and most humid conditions at the start of any of the half marathons so far. About an hour’s worth of chatting later, we — Chelsea, Nils and I — headed to our respective corrals (I barely made it before the gun went off but that’s a different story). Rendition of the national anthem was less than glorious, and so was the number of portable toilets outside the stadium compared to last year.

13.14 mi, 1:53:17, 8:37 min/mile, 6.96 mph, 140 bpm
Splits: 7:46, 7:46, 7:52, 8:13, 8:14, 8:39, 8:38, 9:30, 8:37, 9:06, 9:26, 9:10, 9:07, 1:14
A sharp and sudden spike in pace around the 13 mile marker is due to loss/recovery of GPS signal around the Lambeau Field
Garmin Forerunner 620 and WP GPX Maps plugin for WordPress


Personal goals for the event (in order of importance)
## Goal Result
01 Find ways to be at the finish line when Bryant comes through Yes, around the medaling area
02 Improve upon the current PR for half marathon: 1:58:40 (6.57 mph, 9:04 min/mile) Yes, 1:53:11 (6.96 mph, 8:37 min/mile)
03 Finish under 2:00:00 (6.55 mph, 9:10 min/mile) Yes, 1:53:11 (6.96 mph, 8:37 min/mile)
04 Keep every mile under 9:00 min/mile pace No
05 Do not walk except for aid stations Yes
06 Finish in the top 50% overall, amongst males and in age group Yes, 596/5128; Yes, 401/1808, Yes: 77/292
07 Improve upon the current PR for this event: 2:36:52 (5.00 mph, 11:58 min/mile) Yes, 1:53:11 (6.96 mph, 8:37 min/mile)
08 Maintain good posture throughout each run, especially in the latter half Yes (awaiting photographic evidence)
09 Keep the 2015 average run time for half marathons under 2:00:00 Yes, 3:54:24 total for an average of 1:57:12 per event
10 Finish under 1:55:00 and qualify for USA Half Marathon in San Diego Yes, 1:53:11

Race started out just fine and it took about one half a mile of weeding through the initial crowd to find an arm length worth of space around me. Support from the community, just like last year, was exemplary — many of them lined up for much of the course on either side, and several of them had their personal sprinklers turned on to help the runners beat the heat and humidity. The heat and humidity took some toll — the pace dropped marginally after mile three, and considerably after mile seven.

Setting out with what could have easily been sub 1:45:00 pace but then to be passed by 1:50:00 pace group with few miles still to go was quite the disappointment, and I had to often look back to ensure 1:55:00 pace team wasn’t on my heels. Just when the feeling of déjà vu — that I was somehow going to find a new way to mess up a chance for a PR and that may be, just may be, I had somehow offended the substance gods by worshipping the style gods (wearing multi-colored calf sleeves and reflective shades to look good in photos) — was starting to set in, the cloud cover brought along with it a very gentle breeze offering much deserved needed rejuvenation. I felt like I was pulling sub 8:00 min/mile pace while reality was a minute off on the wrong side but it didn’t end up costing me a PR and few important goals. Either carrying necessary fluids with me or drinking the fluids while running through the aid stations could have probably saved me 3-4 more minutes from the final time.

Post-race activities included a meal (cheese curds, sandwich and a beer sampler) at Titletown Brewing Company with Chelsea and Nils, another meal (more cheese curds and few craft beers) in Fox Harbor Pub & Grill with Team /var/run, a warm shower, and yet another meal (pizza) in Gallagher’s Pizza with Sarah before calling it a night at 8:30 pm. Drive back to the Yoop with Lynette was safe and uneventful — much of it listening to the newly recommended audibook (thank you, Andi!).


Praise be to the Good Lord and life's blessings, and thanks be to

the opportunities, organizers, sponsors, volunteers, law enforcement/border patrol/immigration officials, timing folks, photographers, community members, fellow racers, electronic gadgets, software, internet, and my good friends -- the Abbotts (Kathy and Mike), the Blakes (Amy and Scott), the Bogans (Ronda and Jim), the Boissevains (Margi and Paul), the Bradfishs (Anna, Eva and Eric), the Brauns (Teri, Louis, Louis, Tom), the Brewsters (Katie and Brian), the Bunkers (Kris and Kate), the Carlsons (Abby, Cassondra, Josh, and Justin), the Carmeans (Jess and Tim), the Chards (Amy and David), the Donnelys (Darcy and Brian), the Durochers (Bridget and John), the Eles (Sarah and Stephen), the Engstroms (Christine and Jaime), the Ericksons (Maija and Nat), the Fredricksons (Linda and Dave), the Friedrichs (Dr. Mary and Dr. Craig), the Gracis (Kara and Sam), the Grays (Stasi and Richard), the Greens (Kim and Greg), the Handlers (Christine, Rob, Shannon and Stephen), the Janowiaks (Rexx and Maria), the Johnsons (Rich and Erik; Robyn and Adam), the Kramers (Mandy and Jim), the Kostinskis (Dr. Lilliana and Dr. Alex), the Lehtos (Tammi and Chris), the MacDonalds (Cynthia and Bruce), the MacInnes' (Elizabeth and Scott), the Makelas (Lynn Czarnecki and Jason), the Manderfields (Leslie and Peter), the Meyers (Lisa and Mike), the Meyers' (Jeanne, Ted and John), the Milligans (Sheila and Dr. Walter) the Obermanns (Alicia, Catherine, Doug and Tim), the Ontls (Kelly and Todd), the Oppligers (Shawn, Emily, Ruth and Doug), the Pandeys (Aparna and Dr. Ravi), the Pergers (Liz and Dr. Warren), the Ransoms (Cindy and Chip), the Rasners (Amanda and Donald), the Resslers (Dee and Tom), the Richards' (Carrie and Dr. Bob), the Rukkilas, the Salos (Chris, Karen, Dan and Don), the Seelys (Nancy and Dr. Bruce), the Smigowskis (Christina and Tim), the Stenvigs (Alexa, Annie, Chelsea, Erik, Helen, John, Nils, Mike, Nancy Verscheure, Tom), the Stickelmyers (Kari and Steve), the Tervos (Chris, Jim and Ryan), the Tomasis (Susan and Mike), the Vendlinskis (Andi, Jim and Rick), the Vertins (Melissa and Joel), the Vizankos (Kelly and Steve), the Watrous' (Liisa and Matt), the Weathers' (Stacy and Bryant), the Wendels (Heather and Caleb), the Wilmers' (Kelly and Stephen), the Youngs (Amber, Christine and Michael), the Zerbsts (Kristen and Ron), Adam Griffis, Dr. Alex Mayer, Alice Flanders, Alison Umbarger, Amanda O'Toole, Amy Madsen, Angela Luskin, Angela Yu, Ann Anderton, Ann Hoover, Ashley Ames, Ashley Miller, Audrey Manderfield and Kyle Kelley, Aurelia Leigler, Dr. Bryan Suits, Ben Wittbrodt, Carolyn Stevens, Cassandra Wagner, Chelsea Fagan, Chris Swanston, Christopher Buckley, Christopher Schwartz, Cindy Harwood, Crystal Haataja-Holzberger, Dana Bianco, Dr. Daniel Fuhrmann, Dean Woodbeck, Deedra Irwin, Elizabeth Stempihar, Ellen Manderfield and Ryan Jones, Erin Kauppila, Greg Reed, Jeff Brookins, Jeffrey Burl, Jeffrey Toorongian, Jenelle Potvin, Dr. Jennifer Slack, Jim and Randy in Cardinal Hotel, Joan Becker, Joe Caron, John Burton, John Vertin, Jonathan Kilpela, Julie Koskinen Ruotsala, Julie Springsteen, Justin TerAvest, Karen Koethe and Adam Manty, Kate Waring, Katie Temple, Kay Tislar, Kelly Wooten, Kelsae Eliszewski, Kenny Gilkerson, Krista Kasuboski, Kristen Schmitt, Kristin Thompson, Laura Mlynski, Lauren Schaefer, Lauri Keteri-Smith, Leah Tollefson, Lianna Miller and Benjamin Ciavola, Lena Widman, Louisa Raisbeck and Jesse Cleaver, Lynette Potvin and Matt Manders, Lynn Geisler, Mahesh Shastry, Marc Rea, Mariana Grohowski, Marine Foucher, Mark Schnabel, Marilyn Swift, Mary Webster, Matt Mlinar, Dr. Maximilian Seel, Melissa Elmer and Justin Hoffmeyer, Michael Babcock, Michael Karinen, Michael Sereda, Mike LaMotte, Patrick Rozich, Peter Negro, Polly Bolduc, Shreya Kumar and Randal Harrison, Ray Sharp, Rebecca Anderson, Ryan Towles, Riccardo Tortini, Robert Larson, Dr. Robert Weidman, Sam Roache, Sam Robinson, Sandy Houle, Sarah Bird and William Atkinson, Sarah Conner, Sarah Menassian, Sarah Stanek, Scott Gibbs, Shannon Vairo, Sue Peterson, Tom Edinborough, Tony Schwenn, Wayne Mills, 5th & Elm Coffee House, Copper Country Track Club, The Fitz, Houghton Pizza Works, Houghton Police Department, Keweenaw Running Group, Madison crew (Christine and Scot Van Asten, Mark Mehler, and Susan Speth), Michigan Tech Athletic Department, Michigan Tech Public Safety, team /var/run (Nancy Banfield, Joshua Myles and Amy Blake), and more (in and outside of my community) -- for the often unexpected, undeserved, unrewarded acts of constant encouragement, and offerings of constructive criticism, tested tips and tricks to improve myself as an athlete.

2014: Looking back

Much like 2013, life in 2014 too has been great — I still have my dream job and live in a place that I love amidst people with whom caring is more than a 2-way traffic. Thanks in greater part to my friends in and out of this community, and their unexpected and unrewarded acts of kindness, 2014 became my first ever almost full running season. There wouldn’t be an almost in the previous sentence, and the progress towards the end of it would have been much greater had I not procrastinated too much over the first many months (as can be seen from the histogram of monthly mileage).

Doing ten half marathons in the calendar year — primarily to give myself too little time to get too comfortable with the results of the previous event — was by far the best solo athletic-related life decision that I have had the opportunity (and common sense) to make. Virtual races [thanks to US Road Running (USRR), Vacation Races (VR) and Will Run For Bling and Charity (WR4BC)] helped quite a bit in this regard by adding value to training runs and making it difficult to skip them.

The said decision helped me participate in 35 unique events (more when double/triple events are taken into consideration), and made me far more disciplined with regards to eating, sleeping and working out schedules. It also took me to four states outside of Michigan and a plethora of townships and cities of varying sizes, and brought me in touch with fantastic people from those cities, townships and other places, and some once in a life time, hither to un-experienced opportunities (interactive map above, and the boring list below).

The additional decision to give up alcohol anywhere between 10-21 days prior to any event helped me perform fairly satisfactorily in many of them, especially since June — earning five PRs in half marathon category, and at least one PR in every other distance category.

Summary of 2014 races
# Date and time Activity details
Device, Distance, Time, Pace, Speed, HR
Cadence, Ground Contact Time, Vertical Oscillation, Stride Length, Training Effect
Normalized Gradient Pace, Intensity Factor, E Factor, Grade, RTSS
Weather notes
01 2014-02-02 11:05:00 Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon
Garmin 405CX, 13.22 mi, 2:43:43, 12:15 min/mile, 4.90 mph, 170 bpm
158 spm
11:47 min/mile, 0.72, 0.89, -0.20%, 188.5
45 F, 5 mph ESE, 40 F; 87% humidity
02 2014-02-15 09:48:00 Book Across The Bay 10k Classic XC Ski
Garmin 405CX, 6.23 mi, 2:27:03, 24:00 min/mile, 2.50 mph, 159 bpm
NA
24:00 min/mile, 1.07, 0.00, 0.00%, 319.1
15 F, 6 mph, 12 F; 84% humidity; snow and partly cloudy
03 2014-03-08 09:48:00 Great Bear Chase 10k Classic XC Ski
Garmin 405CX, 5.92 mi, 2:13:26, 22:13 min/mile, 2.70 mph, 168 bpm (PR)
NA
22:13 min/mile, 1.11, 0.00, 0.10%, 308.5
15 F, 6 mph NNW, 12 F; 64% humidity; cloudy and cold
04 2014-05-03 11:02:00 Door County Half Marathon
Garmin 405CX, 13.10 mi, 2:33:27, 11:46 min/mile, 5.10 mph, 176 bpm (PR)
156 spm
10:22 min/mile, 0.82, 0.97, 0.00%, 196.7
45 F, 7 mph W, 41 F; 93% humidity; cloudy
05 2014-05-18 09:01:00 Cellcom Green Bay Half Marathon
Garmin 405CX, 13.17 mi, 2:38:02, 12:00 min/mile, 5.00 mph, 177 bpm
150 spm
11:21 min/mile, 0.75, 0.88, 0.00%, 168.9
50 F, 5 mph SSW, 48 F; 66% humidity; drizzle/cloudy
06 2014-05-31 09:01:00 Breakers To Bay
Garmin 405CX, 5.00 mi, 0:54:18, 10:55 min/mile, 5.50 mph, 178 bpm (PR)
150 spm
10:21 min/mile, 0.82, 0.96, 0.00%, 67.9
64 F, 10 mph S, 64 F; 64% humidity; sunny
07 2014-06-07 07:07:00 Baraga County Lake Trout Festival Half Marathon
Garmin 405CX, 13.10 mi, 2:22:48, 10:54 min/mile, 5.50 mph, 169 bpm (PR)
156 spm
10:42 min/mile, 0.80, 0.97, -0.40%, 171.2
55 F, 5 mph WNW, 55 F; 82% humidity; cloudy, foggy along lakeshore and then sunny
08 2014-07-12 09:00:00 Run The Keweenaw: Mt. Baldy Summit Run
Garmin 405CX, 3.53 mi, 0:47:36, 13:30 min/mile, 4.44 mph, 170 bpm (PR)
140 spm
10:33 min/mile, 0.81, 0.98, 3.80%, 57.2
66 F, 14 mph WNW, 66 F; 94% humidity; cloudy but then clear
09 2014-07-12 17:00:00 Run The Keweenaw: Copper Harbor Trails Challenge
Garmin 405CX, 8.62 mi, 1:58:48, 13:47 min/mile, 4.35 mph, 162 bpm
144 spm
12:03 min/mile, 0.71, 0.90, 0.00%, 111.7
72 F, 3 mph, 72 F; 69% humidity; shady
10 2014-07-19 07:30:00 Hancock Canal Run Half Marathon
Garmin 405CX, 13.10 mi, 2:12:51, 10:08 min/mile, 5.92 mph, 171 bpm (PR)
164 spm
9:40 min/mile, 0.88, 1.06, -0.3%, 194.6
63 F, 7 mph S, 63 F; 83% humidity; cloudy but comfortable
# Date and time Activity details
Device, Distance, Time, Pace, Speed, HR
Cadence, Ground Contact Time, Vertical Oscillation, Stride Length, Training Effect
Normalized Gradient Pace, Intensity Factor, E Factor, Grade, RTSS
Weather notes
11 2014-08-02 11:03:00 Copper Man Triathlon Run
Garmin 620, 5.02 mi, 0:50:26, 10:03 min/mile, 5.97 mph, 167 bpm, 5.0 (PR)
159 spm, 9.2 cm, 239 ms, 1.01 m
9:51 min/mile, 0.87, 1.07, 0.00%, 69.5
68 F, 5 mph SE, 68 F; 64% humidity; sunny
12 2014-08-03 17:33:00 Top Gun Run Half Marathon (WR4BC)
Garmin 620, 13.21 mi, 2:49:06, 12:48 min/mile, 4.69 mph, 146 bpm, 4.80
149 spm, 7.90 cm, 284 ms, 0.85 m
12:41 min/mile, 0.67, 0.95, 0.10%, 144.7
72 F, 7 mph ENE, 72 F; 57% humidity; sunny
13 2014-08-15 19:01:00 Ragnar Relay: Great River #1
Garmin 620, 4.88 mi, 0:49:27, 10:08 min/mile, 5.92 mph, 164 bpm, 4.2
154 spm, 9.7 cm, 276 ms, 1.03 m
9:44 min/mile, 0.88, 1.10, 0.20%, 69.8
84 F, 7 mph SW, 84 F; 40% humidity; sunny
14 2014-08-16 04:59:00 Ragnar Relay: Great River #2
Garmin 620, 4.98 mi, 0:51:41, 10:23 min/mile, 5.78 mph, 161 bpm, 4.3
156 spm, 9.4 cm, 271 ms, 0.99 m
9:40 min/mile, 0.88, 1.13, 0.70%, 73.9
64 F, 0 mph, 64 F; 100% humidity; partly cloudy
15 2014-08-16 13:13:00 Ragnar Relay: Great River #3
Garmin 620, 6.80 mi, 1:17:55, 11:28 min/mile, 5.23 mph, 157 bpm, 4.2
153 spm, 9.0 cm, 254 ms, 0.92 m
10:40 min/mile, 0.80, 1.05, 0.50%, 92.5
77 F, 3 mph, 77 F; 69% humidity; sunny/hot
16 2014-08-25 10:00:00 NPS Birthday Run 10k (VR)
Garmin 620, 6.27 mi, 1:46:06, 16:55 min/mile, 3.55 mph, 150 bpm, 3.2
136 spm, 8.00 cm, 321 ms, 0.70 m
15:30 min/mile, 0.55, 0.76, -0.20%, 60.1
50 F, 5 mph, 45 F; 90% humidity; cloudy, foggy and rain
17 2014-08-29 19:30:00 Blackrocks 5k
Garmin 620, 3.20 mi, 0:27:38, 8:38 min/mile, 6.95 mph, 162 bpm, 3.8 (PR)
161 spm, 10.1 cm, 250 ms, 1.16 m
8:21 min/mile, 1.02, 1.30, 0.20%, 52.3
66 F, 12 mph S, 66 F; 94% humidity; cloudy but not chilly
18 2014-08-30 09:00:00 Marquette Half Marathon
Garmin 620, 13.15 mi, 2:05:30, 9:33 min/mile, 6.28 mph, 162 bpm, 5.0 (PR)
160 spm, 10.2 cm, 226 ms, 1.05 m
9:36 min/mile, 0.89, 1.14, -0.90%, 186.6
63 F, 3 mph N, 63 F; 100% humidity; rain
18 2014-08-30 09:00:00 Howl at the Moon Half Marathon (USRR)
Garmin 620, 13.15 mi, 2:05:30, 9:33 min/mile, 6.28 mph, 162 bpm, 5.0
160 spm, 10.2 cm, 226 ms, 1.05 m
9:36 min/mile, 0.89, 1.14, -0.90%, 186.6
63 F, 3 mph N, 63 F; 100% humidity; rain
18 2014-08-30 09:00:00 No Work On Labor Day Half Marathon (WR4BC)
Garmin 620, 13.15 mi, 2:05:30, 9:33 min/mile, 6.28 mph, 162 bpm, 5.0
160 spm, 10.2 cm, 226 ms, 1.05 m
9:36 min/mile, 0.89, 1.14, -0.90%, 186.6
63 F, 3 mph N, 63 F; 100% humidity; rain
19 2014-09-14 09:55:00 Crazy Monkey Run 5k (USRR)
Garmin 620, 3.09 mi, 0:28:31, 9:14 min/mile, 6.50 mph, 165 bpm, 3.6
161 spm, 9.70 cm, 236 ms, 1.08 m
9:06 min/mile 0.94, 1.17, -0.10%, 45.3
46 F, 10 mph S, 42 F; 71% humidity; cloud/drizzling rain
20 2014-09-22 16:53:00 Talk Like A Pirate Day 10k (USRR)
Garmin 620, 8.31 mi, 1:33:23, 11:14 min/mile, 5.34 mph, 160 bpm, 4.7
151 spm, 9.20 cm, 246 ms, 0.95 m
10:42 min/mile, 0.80, 1.03, 0.00%, 110.6
64 F, 17 mph W, 64 F; 56% humidity; sunny
# Date and time Activity details
Device, Distance, Time, Pace, Speed, HR
Cadence, Ground Contact Time, Vertical Oscillation, Stride Length, Training Effect
Normalized Gradient Pace, Intensity Factor, E Factor, Grade, RTSS
Weather notes
21 2014-09-27 11:34:00 RunningChunk.com 5k
Garmin 620, 3.09 mi, 0:26:41, 8:38 min/mile, 6.95 mph, 147 bpm, 3.4 (PR)
163 spm, 10.2 cm, 222 ms, 1.14 m
8:14 min/mile, 1.04, 1.45, 0.50%, 51.7
61 F, 4 mph S, 61 F; 77% humidity; sunny and breezy
22 2014-10-04 09:01:00 Mt. Bohemia Trail Running Festival 5k
Garmin 620, 3.25 mi, 0:38:20, 11:48 min/mile, 5.08 mph, 140 bpm, 3.2
157 spm, 9.60 cm, 254 ms, 0.87 m
11:00 min/mile, 0.78, 1.14, 0.10%, 42.1
39 F, 6 mph N, 35 F; 87% humidity; Cloudy and rain
23 2014-10-04 09:59:00 Mt. Bohemia Trail Running Festival 10k
Garmin 620, 6.20 mi, 1:13:20, 11:49 min/mile, 5.08 mph, 140 bpm, 3.8
154 spm, 9.40 cm, 277 ms, 0.89 m
11:33 min/mile, 0.74, 1.07, -0.20%, 74.2
39 F, 9 mph NNW, 33 F; 87% humidity; Cloudy and rain
24 2014-10-05 09:02:00 Mt. Bohemia Trail Running Festival Half Marathon
Garmin 620, 12.54 mi, 2:40:42, 12:49 min/mile, 4.68 mph, 73 bpm, 3.1
147 spm, 9.30 cm, 294 ms, 0.86 m
11:42 min/mile, 0.73, 2.06, 161.4
37 F, 9 mph W, 31 F; 87% humidity; Cloudy and rain
24 2014-10-05 09:02:00 Chocolate Run Half Marathon (WR4BC)
Garmin 620, 12.54 mi, 2:40:42, 12:49 min/mile, 4.68 mph, 73 bpm, 3.1
147 spm, 9.30 cm, 294 ms, 0.86 m
11:42 min/mile, 0.73, 2.06, 161.4
37 F, 9 mph W, 31 F; 87% humidity; Cloudy and rain
25 2014-10-19 10:30:00 Detroit Free Press Half Marathon
Garmin 620, 13.26 mi, 1:59:06, 8:59 min/mile, 6.68 mph, 56 bpm, 5.0 (PR)
163 spm, 9.5 cm, 234 ms, 1.10 m
8:34 min/mile, 1.00, 3.67, 222
45 F, 3 mph, 45 F; 57% humidity; Sunny
25 2014-10-19 10:30:00 Halloween Half Marathon (USRR)
Garmin 620, 13.26 mi, 1:59:06, 8:59 min/mile, 6.68 mph, 56 bpm, 5.0
163 spm, 9.5 cm, 234 ms, 1.10 m
8:34 min/mile, 1.00, 3.67, 222
45 F, 3 mph, 45 F; 57% humidity; Sunny
25 2014-10-19 10:30:00 Pirate Bay Half Marathon (USRR)
Garmin 620, 13.26 mi, 1:59:06, 8:59 min/mile, 6.68 mph, 56 bpm, 5.0
163 spm, 9.5 cm, 234 ms, 1.10 m
8:34 min/mile, 1.00, 3.67, 222
45 F, 3 mph, 45 F; 57% humidity; Sunny
26 2014-10-25 08:18:00 The Running Dead 10k (WR4BC)
Garmin 620, 7.07 mi, 1:08:46, 9:44 min/mile, 6.16 mph, 100 bpm, 4.0
163 spm, 9.7 cm, 261 ms, 1.02 m
9:29 min/mile, 0.90, 1.86, -0.20%, 103.2
52 F, 23 mph N, 52 F; 54% humidity; Sunny
27 2014-11-01 10:00:00 Muck Run
Garmin 620, 3.13 mi, 0:45:48, 14:38 min/mile, 4.10 mph, 143 bpm, 2.7
135 spm, 7.1 cm, 334 ms, 0.82 m
14:25 min/mile, 0.59, 0.85, -0.30%, 29.4
19 F, 0 mph, 19 F; 86% humidity; Sunny
28 2014-11-09 08:10:00 Madison Half Marathon
Garmin 620, 13.25 mi, 2:01:26, 9:10 min/mile, 6.55 mph, 174 bpm, 5.0
162 spm, 9.1 cm, 239 ms, 1.08 m
9:00 min/mile, 0.95, 1.12, -0.10%, 204.6
37 F, 10 mph S, 30 F; 70% humidity; Cloudy
28 2014-11-09 08:10:00 Saluting Our Veterans Half Marathon (WR4BC)
Garmin 620, 13.25 mi, 2:01:26, 9:10 min/mile, 6.55 mph, 174 bpm, 5.0
162 spm, 9.1 cm, 239 ms, 1.08 m
9:00 min/mile, 0.95, 1.12, -0.10%, 204.6
37 F, 10 mph S, 30 F; 70% humidity; Cloudy
29 2014-11-15 09:31:00 SC14 SCinet 5k
Garmin 620, 2.98 mi, 0:25:15, 8:29 min/mile, 7.07 mph, 172 bpm, 3.9 (PR)
162 spm, 10.4 cm, 242 ms, 1.17 m
8:01 min/mile, 1.06, 1.28, -0.10%, 51.6
43 F, 11 mph ENE, 37 F; 56% humidity; Sunny
30 2014-11-20 08:30:00 SC14 FLOPS Trot 5k
Garmin 620, 3.09 mi, 0:25:35, 8:17 min/mile, 7.24 mph, 169 bpm, 3.8
166 spm, 1.17 m
7:55 min/mile, 1.08, 1.31, 0.40%, 53.6
52 F, 7 mph SSE, 52 F; 76% humidity; Sunny
# Date and time Activity details
Device, Distance, Time, Pace, Speed, HR
Cadence, Ground Contact Time, Vertical Oscillation, Stride Length, Training Effect
Normalized Gradient Pace, Intensity Factor, E Factor, Grade, RTSS
Weather notes
31 2014-11-22 08:24:00 Thanksgiving 10k (WR4BC)
Garmin 620, 6.57 mi, 1:05:21, 9:57 min/mile, 6.03 mph, 157 bpm, 4.4
164 spm, 8.50 cm, 255 ms, 0.98 m
8:16 min/mile, 1.03, 1.36, -0.10%, 128.6
57 F, 11 mph E, 57 F; 82% humidity; Sunny
32 2014-11-27 07:23:00 Turkey Trot #1 (VR)
Garmin 620, 6.36 mi, 1:10:57, 11:09 min/mile, 5.38 mph, 164 bpm, 5.0
153 spm, 8.6 cm, 296 ms, 0.94 m
10:46 min/mile, 0.79, 1.00, 82.5
7 F, 9 mph NNW, -7 F; 66% humidity; Cloudy
33 2014-11-27 09:00:00 UP Health (Portage) Turkey Trot 5k
Garmin 620, 2.53 mi, 0:28:14, 11:08 min/mile, 5.39 mph, 166 bpm, 3.7
155 spm, 8.3 cm, 301 ms, 0.93 m
10:34 min/mile, 0.81, 1.00, 0.60%, 33.3
7 F, 9 mph NNW, -7 F; 66% humidity; Cloudy
34 2014-11-29 17:06:00 Pie Gobbler 5k (USRR)
Garmin 620, 3.30 mi, 0:36:13, 10:59 min/mile, 5.46 mph, 159 bpm, 3.7
155 spm, 8.6 cm, 292 ms, 0.94 m
10:47 min/mile, 0.79, 1.03, 41.3
36 F, 9 mph S, 29 F; 75% humidity; Cloudy
35 2014-12-22 17:25:00 Polar Bear Run 10k (WR4BC)
Garmin 620, 6.55 mi, 1:09:33, 10:38 min/mile, 5.64 mph, 173 bpm, 5.0
159 spm, 8.50 cm, 285 ms, 0.95 m
10:15 min/mile, 0.83, 0.99, 0.00%, 89.2
36 F, 7 mph ESE, 30 F; 87% humidity; Cloud/Foggy

Though one of the goals for this year was to run not for bling but purely for overall individual improvement as a runner/athlete, I ended up acquiring far more bling that I ever had before.

Praise be to the Good Lord, and thanks be to

the opportunities, organizers, sponsors, volunteers, law enforcement/border patrol/immigration officials, timing folks, photographers, community members, fellow racers, electronic gadgets, software, the internet, and my good friends — the Abbotts (Kathy and Mike), the Blakes (Amy and Scott), the Boissevains (Margi and Paul), the Brewsters (Katie and Brian), the Bunkers (Kris and Kate), the Carlsons (Abby, Cassondra, Josh, and Justin), the Carmeans (Jess and Tim), the Chards (Amy and David), the Durochers (Bridget and John), the Eles (Sarah and Stephen), the Engstroms (Christine and Jaime), the Fredricksons (Linda and Dave), the Gracis (Kara and Sam), the Handlers (Christine, Rob, Shannon and Stephen), the Kramers (Mandy and Jim), the Lehtos (Tammi and Chris), the MacDonalds (Cynthia and Bruce), the MacInnes’ (Elizabeth and Scott), the Makelas (Lynn Czarnecki and Jason), the Meyers’ (Jeanne, Ted and John), the Milligans (Sheila and Dr. Walter) the Obermanns (Alicia, Catherine, Doug and Tim), the Ontls (Kelly and Todd), the Oppligers (Shawn, Emily, Ruth and Doug), the Pergers (Liz and Dr. Warren), the Rasners (Amanda and Donald), the Resslers (Dee and Tom), the Richards’ (Carrie and Dr. Bob), the Salos (Karen, Dan and Don), the Smigowskis (Christina and Tim), the Stenvigs, the Stickelmyers, the Tervos (Chris, Jim and Ryan), the Vendlinskis (Andi, Jim and Rick), the Vertins (Melissa and Joel), the Vizankos (Kelly and Steve), the Watrous’ (Liisa and Matt), the Weathers’ (Stacy and Bryant), the Wendels (Heather and Caleb Wendel), the Wilmers’ (Kelly and Stephen), the Youngs (Amber, Christine and Michael), the Zerbsts (Kristen and Ron), team /var/run (Nancy Banfield, Josh Myles and Amy Blake), Keweenaw Running Group, Houghton Police Department, Jim in Cardinal Hotel, Adam Griffis, Dr. Alex Mayer, Amanda O’Toole, Amy Madsen, Ann Hoover, Ashley Ames, Ashley Miller, Dr. Bryan Suits, Ben Wittbrodt, Chelsea Fagan, Chris Swanston, Christopher Schwartz, Dana Bianco, Dr. Daniel Fuhrmann, Darcy Donnelly, Deedra Irwin, Elizabeth Stempihar, Erin Kauppila, Greg Reed, Jeff Brookins, Jeffrey Burl, Jeffrey Toorongian, Joan Becker, Joe Caron, John Burton, Jonathan Kilpela, Julie Koskinen Ruotsala, Julie Springsteen, Justin TerAvest, Kate Waring, Katie Temple, Kelly Wooten, Kelsae Eliszewski, Kim Green, Krista Kasuboski, Kristen Schmitt, Kristin Thompson, Laura Mlynski, Lauren Schaefer, Lauri Keteri-Smith, Leah Tollefson, Lianna Miller and Benjamin Ciavola, Lena Widman, Louisa Raisbeck and Jesse Cleaver, Lynette Potvin and Matt Manders, Lynn Geisler, Mahesh Shastry, Marc Rea, Maria Janowiak, Marine Foucher, Mark Mehler, Mary Webster, Matt Mlinar, Michael Babcock, Mike, Mike LaMotte, Shreya Kumar and Randal Harrison, Ray Sharp, Rebecca Anderson, Ryan Towles, Riccardo Tortini, Robert Larson, Dr. Robert Weidman, Sam Roache, Sam Robinson, Sandy Houle, Sarah Bird and William Atkinson, Sarah Conner, Sarah Menassian, Sarah Stanek, Scott Gibbs, Shannon Vairo, Sue Peterson, Tony Schwenn, and more (in and outside of my community) — for the often unexpected, undeserved, unrewarded acts of constant encouragement, and offerings of constructive criticism, tested tips and tricks to improve myself as a runner, and helping make 2014 a very memorable year.

2014: Cellcom Green Bay Half Marathon

As I noted in my previous entry, Door County Half Marathon, and in Looking Ahead for 2014 a while ago, partaking in the Cellcom Green Bay Half Marathon wasn’t necessarily a part of the plan when the 2013 running season ended, and when planning for the 2014 running season started.

As disappointed as I was that things didn’t work out the way I had planned and that I couldn’t run the Journey’s Half Marathon, I couldn’t be more happier for the then lack of hindsight: for a delayed chafing [WebMD and Wikipedia] attack pretty much grounded me for ten days, until about 24 hours prior to the start of the race.

Long before I forgot to (or didn’t realize that it was important to do so) apply Body Glide and paid dearly for it, members of team /var/run had taken turns in a very conspicuous way — one that would put all of Dallas Cowboys’ conspiracy theories to shame — to progressively motivate me to sign up for the Cellcom Green Bay Half Marathon: Amy used the social media while Nancy used the historic Lambeau Field (home turf of a 13-time NFL champion pro-football team that I own), and Josh used the football shaped finisher medal that I’d get to earn.

All this peer pressure combined with a rare opportunity to run through the holy Lambeau Field, potentially earn a PR owing to flatter course, and test out some of the hitherto unvisited watering holes in Green Bay area (Titletown Brewing Company, Appleton Beer Factory and The Keweenaw) got me to sign up about three months before the event.

Though I paid dearly for the lack of Body Glide application, the lessons learned were painful, invaluable and unforgettable. Given that my outfit, running shoes and the terrain had all stayed about the same between training runs and the race run, discussions with friends from the Keweenaw Running Group led me to believe that the shortened stride could have been the a major cause for chafing.

While there were no training runs of any length since the last event, my legs stayed active thanks work outs suggested by dear friend, Rob Larson. And thanks in great part to few half-a-day hikes in the Yoop’s wilderness lugging around heavy camera gear, my heart stayed a bit more healthier as well. One such hike provided clear evidence for pregnant women, often pushing strollers, running faster than I did/could just by myself in some of the previous races.


Summary of training activities
## Activity Date and Time Details
Distance, Time, Speed, Pace
01 Door County Half Marathon 03 May 2014 @ 10:00 am 13.1 mi, 2:33:13, 5.10 mph, 11:42 min/mile
02 Hungarian Falls (Hike) 04 May 2014 @ 01:30 pm 2.20 mi, 2:00:00, 1.10 mph, 54:30 min/mile
03 Explore The Keweenaw (Hike) 13 May 2014 @ 02:30 pm
04 Explore The Keweenaw (Hike) 14 May 2014 @ 01:30 pm

The drive down to Packer land was smooth and uneventful on Saturday. Had I paid attention to the pre-race expo timing, I would have planned my haircut appointment a day or so sooner (gotta have an aerodynamic head, right? Aerodynamic body is a whole another project) and left Houghton as early as possible. Lambeau Field Atrium served as the venue for the biggest pre-race expo (Prevea Health & Fitness Expo Packet Pick Up) that I have attended to date, and a brief hang out with a good ole friend, Josh.

Having eaten (home cooked baked ziti) and rested well the night before in the cozy confines of dear friend Sarah‘s home with Erik, I woke up to the nightmare that race had started while I was still in bed. The bright sunshine peaking through the blinders didn’t help my cause either, making the nightmarish dream look a awfully close to a reality. Fortunately, it was only 5:30 am giving me plenty of time to recover from the shock, get ready, and get to the arena with plenty of time to spare.

It was a very pleasant surprise to have run into more good ole friends — Sarah, Kevin, Katie and Matt — on my jog into the arena. A few pre-race photos with team /var/run and dropping our belongings with the gear check (which, I must say, was supremely well organized using a number of school buses), we were off to the starting area.

With nearly 6,000 registered completed racers (with an almost 2:1 ratio of women to men), this event turned out to be the biggest of the big city races I have had used the opportunity to be a part of. It took that large of a crowd a few moments to realize that the national anthem had started. But once realized, it was pretty darn quiet and the only thing that could have made the whole experience greater was a fly over!

Marathon
## Time/Pace Overall
1568
Gender
F: 631
M: 937
Age group
01 Josh C 3:32:09 (8:06) 215 180 32/126
02 Kara G 4:03:11 (9:17) 622 165 36/124
03 Elizabeth S 4:28:21 (10:15) 982 313 69/118
Half Marathon
## Time/Pace Overall
5356
Gender
F: 3480
M: 1876
Age group
01 Matthew B 1:34:47 (7:14) 166 128 29/284
02 Sarah S 1:41:49 (7:46) 350 106 23/577
03 Kevin S 1:44:04 (7:57) 442 299 47/226
04 Claudia B 1:51:48 (8:32) 869 323 54/577
05 Josh M 1:53:03 (8:38) 953 586 89/278
06 Katie B 1:56:03 (8:52) 1192 496 103/611
07 Amanda H 2:04:47 (9:32) 1931 927 111/324
08 Nancy B 2:05:05 (09:28) 1863 882 101/501
09 Scott B 2:26:57 (11:13) 3772 1535 158/184
10 Yours truly 2:36:52 (11:58) 4283 1666 257/284

I chose to start with the 2:10 pace group and see how far/long I could keep up with them. It took about 2 minutes past the gun time for me cross the start line, and another mile or so before I had an arm length worth of space around me. 2:10 pacers were long gone by that time. Given the lack of training runs, plan A was to treat this mostly flat half marathon course as a combination of four 5ks punctuated with recovering walks/jogs. I was starting to feel the burn at the end of the very first 5k and plan A disappeared into thin air.

Plan B was, then, to treat the race as two 5ks — one at the beginning and one the end — and do interval runs in the middle. This plan seemed to work at least till about the 10 mile mark. Sunshine and cloud cover and gentle breeze took turns, sometimes at two of the non-mutually exclusive ones, playing hide n’ seek throughout the course. And the mercury slowly but steadily seemed to raise as well.

With a PR (sub 2:33:13) still within reach around the 11.50 mile mark, I started seeing stars and feeling a bit dizzy. Having seen at least couple other fellow runners needing medical attention (probably) owing to similar conditions, I chose to put my ego/pride aside and ask for some fruit from one of the spectating households.

If not for the kind hearted lady offering me a plateful of freshly cut strawberries, blackberries, thimbleberries and blueberries, and a bottle of water, I would imagine chances of me finishing the race were slim to none. With that, plan B also disappeared into thin air and plan C was just to find a way to finish. The last quarter mile or so involved a lap through the holy Lambeau Field at the ground level (GPS tracks indicate otherwise) — an awe inspiring experience that’d be very hard to forget any time soon!

13.1 miles in 2:36:52 @ 5.00 mph, 11:58 minutes/mile
Splits: 10:51, 9:42, 9:59, 11:25, 10:47 (52:19 at 10:28), 11:43, 11:42, 12:51, 11:58, 12:12 (1:53:10 at 11:19), 13:34, 15:06, 13:39, 2:30
A sharp and sudden spike in pace just before 13 mile marker is due to loss/recovery of GPS signal when leaving the Lambeau Field
Courtesy: Garmin Forerunner 405CX, Garmin Foot Pod and WP GPX Maps plugin for WordPress


Personal goals for the event (in order of importance)
## Goal Result
01 Apply Body Glide before the race Yes
02 Finish the race without bodily injuries to myself or to anyone around me Yes
03 Not be the last one to finish — overall, amongst males and in my age group Yes; 4283/5356, 1666/1876, 257/284
04 Finish in the top 90% — overall, amongst males and in my age group Yes, yes, no; 79.99%, 88.80%, 90.49%
05 Run at least 90% of the length of the course, irrespective of pace Yes/May be
06 Use the aid stations to hydrate/electrolyte; do not use Gu/gel Yes
07 Fight Exercise-related Transient Abdominal Pain or side stitches Yes
08 Improve upon the current PR 2:33:13 (11:42 min/mile) No; 2:36:52 (11:58 min/mile)
09 Finish under 2:30:00 (11:27 min/mile or less) No; 2:36:52 (11:58 min/mile)

Given that the longest *training run* was between the parking lot and Lambeau Field Atrium on race day, I shouldn’t be complaining at all about the results I got. And as bad as the 2:36:52 finish felt at that time, 12+ hours of analysis did bring quite a few positives to light: the opportunity to be a part of the biggest race yet; the random opportunity to start the race with a gentleman that had run in all previous 14 editions of the race; no hint of side stretches through out the course, thanks to additional muscle relaxers consumed around the 7 mile marker; the highest number of cheerful spectators — mile per mile and block per block — compared to any other previous event; opportunity to run a lap through the Lambeau Field at the ground level; remnants of upper respiratory tract infection and chafing not playing a spoilsport during the length of the run (thanks to Rob‘s timely tip of extending the stride by a few inches); having dear friends Nils and Chelsea along the course, then inside the Lambeau Field, and Sam, Nils and Chelsea immediately past the finish line; learning the importance of training, value of Body Glide and not to be too proud to ask for help when necessary.

A plethora of (processed) information sent periodically from the race organizers in the form of First Timers Newsletter was also of immense help to learn many tiny little things that could go a fairly long way for longer runs, and support all along the course from fellow racers, organizers, volunteers, photographers, vendors, sponsors, spectators and friends made for quite a memorable experience. Far be it from me to judge those racers who ran to their own music, but I do believe such runners missed out — at least to some extent — on experiencing the awesomeness of spectators lined up pretty much through out the course. And it just wasn’t my own opinion — my Iron Man buddy, Nils, echoed the same feelings as well!

Post-race activities included a warm shower sandwiched between two feastings — one with Chelsea and Nils in Sideline Sports Bar, and the other with Nancy, Josh, Amy, Scott, Sophie and Aaron in Titletown Brewing Company — and lazing on the couch at Sarah’s place. After another night of good sleep and rest, the return drive (started after a quick walk through the Lambeau Field, Spiked Spiced Chai Latte in Curly’s Pub, and a brief chat with dear friend Matthew Becker) to the Yoop was about as smooth and uneventful as the drive down to Wisconsin.

Performance (or lack thereof) Analysis

With half a dozen half marathons in the rear view mirror (average speed plotted below), the reasons and explanations for the lack of required level of progress have been quite simple and straightforward: not making make more time to run regularly, and not having enough *experience* miles in the bank to cash the check on race day. I should probably find a way to permanently engrave Lombardi‘s words, you don’t do things right once in a while, you do them right all the time, as applied to running, in my brain so that they keep kicking me in the rear.


Praise be to the Good Lord, and thanks be to

my good friends — the Abbotts (Kathy and Mike), the Blakes (Amy and Scott), the Boissevains (Margi and Paul), the Brewsters (Katie and Brian), the Bunkers (Kris and Kate), the Carlsons (Abby, Cassondra, Josh, and Justin), the Carmeans (Jess and Tim), the Chards (Amy and David), the Durochers (Bridget and John), the Engstroms (Christine and Jaime), the Fredricksons (Lynda and Dave), the Gracis (Kara and Sam), the Handlers (Christine, Rob, Shannon and Stephen), the Kramers (Mandy and Jim), the Lehtos (Tammi and Chris), the MacDonalds (Cynthia and Bruce), the MacInnes’ (Elizabeth and Scott), the Meyers’ (Jeanne, Ted and John), the Obermanns (Catherine and Tim), the Oppligers (Shawn, Emily and Doug), the Pergers (Liz and Dr. Warren), the Rasners (Amanda and Donald), the Resslers (Dee and Tom), the Richards’ (Carrie and Dr. Bob), the Salos (Karen and Dan), the Smigowskis (Christina and Tim), the Stenvigs, the Stickelmyers, the Tervos, the Vendlinskis (Andi, Jim and Rick), the Vertins (Melissa and Joel), the Vizankos (Kelly and Steve), the Watrous’ (Liisa and Matt), the Weathers’ (Stacy and Bryant), the Wilmers’ (Kelly and Stephen), the Youngs (Amber, Christine and Michael), the Zerbsts (Kristen and Ron), team /var/run (Nancy Banfield, Josh Myles and Amy Blake), Keweenaw Running Group, Houghton Police Department, Adam Griffis, Amy Madsen, Ashley Ames, Dr. Bryan Suits, Caleb Wendel, Chelsea Trowbridge, Christopher Schwartz, Dr. Daniel Fuhrmann, Darcy Donnelly, Erin Kauppila, Greg Reed, Jeffrey Toorongian, Julie Ruotsala, Katie Temple, Kelly Boyer and Todd Ontl, Kelly Wooten, Kelsae Eliszewski, Kim Green, Krista Kasuboski, Kristin Thompson, Laura Mlynski, Lauri Keteri-Smith, Leah Tollefson, Lena Widman, Louisa Raisbeck and Jesse Cleaver, Lynette Potvin and Matt Manders, Lynn Czarnecki Makela, Lynn Geisler, Mahesh Shastry, Marc Rea, Maria Janowiak, Mark Mehler, Matt Mlinar, Mary Webster, Michael Babcock, Mike LaMotte, Shreya Kumar and Randal Harrison, Ray Sharp, Rebecca Anderson, Ryan Towles, Riccardo Tortini, Robert Larson, Dr. Robert Weidman, Sam Roache, Sarah Bird and William Atkinson, Sarah Conner, Sarah Menassian, Sarah Stream, Scott Gibbs, Sue Peterson, Tony Schwenn, and more (in and outside of my community) — for the often unexpected, undeserved, unrewarded acts of constant encouragement, and offerings of constructive criticism, tested tips and tricks to improve myself as a runner.