This is my life. Sometimes shown through the eye of my camera phone, and sometimes not. I'll talk running, gadgets, music, and whatever else I stumble on to

Thursday, February 13, 2014

New stomping grounds!

Hey! I've move on over to my blog on Tumblr.

Pay a visit, will ya?

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Illinois Half Marathon 4/28/12 (01:50:25 PR)

Wow. Just wow. Things couldnt have gone better for this half- my fastest to date. Official finish time is a personal best at 01:50:25 (old 01:53:21 Chicago RockNroll '09). I credit my CES training through winter and spring for learning to pace properly and to push it where it counts. An average pace of 8:19 and negative splits in the second half with times in the 8:15 and 7:32 range were difficult for me just a year ago, but felt like a breeze this day. The rain stopped about 15 minutes before start, but it continued to be quite blustery and chilly. The cool weather definitely helped to pick up the pace.

I developed a slight kink in my left calf that felt like it was about to cramp up around mile 6, but the cramping never materialized. The IT band on the right side that had been nagging me earlier in the year gave me no issues- what a relief.

On the heart rate monitor: Wearing the HRM on this day really opened my eyes to what exactly was going on with the ticker during the run- especially during the faster paces. I'd only worn it a couple of times before, but this is the first time I had it on during an extended run. To actually see that I could push it without getting tired too fast made a big difference. I still have a lot to learn about running with it, but it was really, really interesting to see.

Overall, the Illinois half was a great race, and really enjoyed the enthusiastic crowds! Props to the Best Western Riverside in Danville for putting out breakfast for the runners an hour before they normally do- It was a relief to get a good meal in before the festivities.

Taking a week off before re-starting Ragnar training!

See more stats on my MotoActv page here

1 1.00 mi 8:27 min/mi 141 bpm
2 1.00 mi 8:29 min/mi 152 bpm
3 1.00 mi 8:26 min/mi 156 bpm
4 1.00 mi 8:38 min/mi 157 bpm
5 1.00 mi 8:32 min/mi 157 bpm
6 1.00 mi 8:34 min/mi 158 bpm
7 1.00 mi 8:26 min/mi 158 bpm
8 1.00 mi 8:22 min/mi 160 bpm
9 1.00 mi 8:28 min/mi 159 bpm
10 1.00 mi 8:17 min/mi 162 bpm
11 1.00 mi 8:14 min/mi 162 bpm
12 1.00 mi 8:03 min/mi 164 bpm
13 1.00 mi 7:32 min/mi 166 bpm
14 0.20 mi 6:56 min/mi 169 bpm

Friday, March 30, 2012

Running Happy

So here I am- another year of running happy. I believe this is my 6th year since coming back from a loooong hiatus- I'm talking high school here. Last year wasn't the greatest, as I was struggling with some rather scattered training for the Chicago Marathon along with fighting a right IT band issue. That injury still bugs me today, but it's not as serious and I seem to be recovering rather quickly.

I managed to only do 13 miles of the Chicago Marathon last year. I jumped in at the 13.1 mile marker after watching my favorite pro runner, Ryan Hall, zoom by with the rest of the elite field. Needless to say, I don't count it as a full marathon, and consider it a DNF (did not finish). I still had a grand time enjoying the crowds even though it got rather hot yet AGAIN.

I decided to train over the winter with Chicago Endurance Sports and their Winter Warriors program. It kept me fit through those long, cold months and liked it enough to join their Spring Training Program to prepare for the Illinois Half Marathon on April 28th. Not only am I running with a fun group of people, but it's teaching me pacing, timing, and fancy workouts that help me with my speed.

I've signed up for the Chicago Marathon again this year. My goal is to finish in that ever elusive 4 hour (or less) finish time that I came so close to reaching back in 2009. In other running news, I joined the 6-man Ultra team for Ragnar Chicago this year. Back to back runs totaling close to 33 miles are on my plate for Ragnar this year- it's going to be a challenge for sure!

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Cleaning the flower beds

Sent from my Windows Phone

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Hello 2012

Of course, my little 'ol blog has been neglected since I've been spending so much time writing about mobile tech for other blogs. I sure do miss it, though. This year's running adventures are looking to be rather interesting, and would love to continue writing about them here- I sure do miss that.

I've signed up to run the Chicago Marathon again this year in my continuing quest to finish in or under four hours. I've come ever so close, but my personal best still stands at 04:11:44, which I did back in 2009. That particular race had me beat my previous PR by 43 minutes! I'm hoping that wasn't a fluke, and am working hard this year to shave that 11 minutes off.

I'm crossing my fingers that I'll have more time to write here. For those of you who are still visiting- thank you!

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Originally uploaded by automatic_man2

She never fails to impress but I think she wants to go higher!-- Sent from my Palm Pre on Verizon Wireless

Friday, June 10, 2011

Ragnar Start line waving of runner #1- Karen!

Ragnar Start line waving of runner #1- Karen!
Originally uploaded by automatic_man2

-- Sent from my Palm Pre on Verizon Wireless

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Ragnar Relay Ready!

Well, the time has come. I'm one day away from joining 11 other amazing runners to take on the Madison to Chicago relay Friday through Saturday. We leave for Madison, WI. around 6:30 a.m. Friday for our 10 a.m. start. Two vans, 6 runners each, no sleep, tons running, and lots of fun awaits us! It looks like we'll be challenged with some rain in the forecast, but the race goes on rain or shine unless really threatening weather comes up. In that case, they'll postpone it and then continue when it's safe to do so.

I'm feeling pretty good today. The nagging IT band on the right side of my leg has been really sore since the weekend- more than usual. I've been doing a lot of resting and stretching this week with lots of one on one with the foam roller. I haven't done any running in fear of aggravating it further, so keeping it loose with all the stretching has been vital. We'll see how much it complains during the relay. Either way, I'll be taking a couple of weeks off when I'm done before beginning my Chicago Marathon training later this month.

Just like last year, I'll be providing updates on our progress via Twitter, Facebook, and here whenever possible. So make sure to check back!

Here is a photo gallery from last year's race and a video of our finish!

Wish me luck!

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Monday, May 30, 2011

Splish Splash I Need A Bath!

I'm resting up as I write this after running a decent 13 mile run on Saturday. This comes after a 3 miler Friday afternoon, with a decent four hour "nap" in between. This is sort of a carbon copy of last weekend, except I had an official 13 mile half marathon to run on Sunday- the Splish Splash half-marathon at Keylime Cove in Gurnee. That race wasn't my best performance, finishing in an unofficial 2:06- that's about 13 minutes beyond my personal best in the half at 01:53. It got dang hot! But it was more of a practice run for the Ragnar Relay coming up here in a couple of weeks.

I hadn't run a race that big since the Chicago Marathon back in October. Plus, how could I miss running a half marathon in Gurnee of all places! I can now admit to being partly responsible to holding up traffic on busy Grand near Gurnee Mills. And I got to run through Great America and UNDER the American Eagle. How cool is that? It was the inaugural running of this race and I think a first for Gurnee. It was a really nice experience despite the rather slim spectator turnout. I hope it becomes an annual thing and more people turn out. The post-race buffet at Keylime Cove was really awesome. There was a HUGE spread of all kinds of goodness, and a band to boot. Applause to Splish Splash for a job well done.

The Ragnar Relay is in a couple of weeks, so my training has been focused on that. I have a string of double digit long runs planned, including 13.1 last weekend, 13 this weekend, and and another 10 next Saturday. Even though I only have a total of 19 miles to do over three legs, it still feels good to finally be hitting big mileage.

More photos from the race can be found here.

I can't wait for this thing to begin!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Splish Splash Half Marathon packet pickup, Keylime Cove, Gurnee

Splish Splash Half Marathon packet pickup, Keylime Cove, Gurnee
Originally uploaded by automatic_man2

-- Sent from my Palm Pre on Verizon Wireless

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Madison to Chicago Here I Come!

Well, in less than 30 days I'll once again be running the Madison to Chicago relay on June 10th and 11th. Its been something I've been looking forward to all winter. Almost 30 hours of non-stop running with a team of 12 and two support vans between us, hopscotching between two states to make it to the finish line in Chicago. We start at 10 a.m. on Friday and finish some time in the afternoon on Saturday.

Last year, I ran three legs for a total of 12 miles or so, and got maybe 20 minutes of pure sleep over two days curled up in the front seat of an SUV somewhere on a lakefront near Kenosha. Some of the team in the van I was riding in tried to sleep on the beach before a fearce north wind came through to stir us all awake. I met 11 of the coolest runners you'll ever run into, and it was a joy teaming up with them last year. We lost a couple of that same crew for this years run, and they will be sorely missed, but we still managed to fill the 12 person team just as well this time.

We are ready to roll.

My training over the winter was pretty scattered and light. I absolutely hate running on the treadmill because it seems I can't stay uninjured running through the winter months on it. One year it was the left knee, the next the right knee, a hip flexor, and an IT band the year after that. This time around I did no more that two or three miles at a time on it, and came out mostly unscathed. I am still fighting that IT band on my right leg, but targeted stretching has helped it a lot. I am mostly healthy, thank God.

So here I go again. I'll be blogging throughout the relay here, on Twitter, and Facebook along with the usual random post.

Thanks, friends, for sticking around. I'm still alive and healthy.

Oh, and Katie says hi :)

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Originally uploaded by automatic_man2

I HATE it when I break the pocket clips off of my pens.-- Sent from my Palm Pre on Verizon Wireless