The skiing was good in Breckenridge today. After leaving the condo this morning we went to the bus station next door and waited for a bus to take us to the nearest ski lift. It took a few minutes for the bus to arrive, but that gave me time to get all of the various pieces of clothing that I was wearing properly adjusted. The bus arrived and took us to Snowflake Lift. We hopped on the lift, rode it to the top, and slid down the side of the hill to Lift 5. We then proceeded to spend the morning going up Lift 5 and down the various green runs that are near it. I used my GPS over the course of the day and we ended up traveling 42.52 miles (including the lifts and the ski runs themselves).

We came back to the condo for lunch and I had my typical travel meal: peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I don’t typically eat PB&J any other time, but I enjoy it when I’m traveling for some reason. Go figure. Along with the sandwiches I had some chips, an apple, half an orange.. I ate well.

For the afternoon we got slightly more adventurous. We rode the bus to the bottom of Peak 9 and took the Quiksilver lift up to slide down a few more green runs. Then, we went over to the Peak 8 Superconnect chair and went to (somewhere near) the top of Peak 8. The nice thing about this lift is that it only services blue runs. So, we got the opportunity to go down a small amount of blue. We went down Springmeier and connected with the 4-o’clock run. We took that all the way back to Quiksilver, and did the loop again. The top of Quiksilver to the Peak 8 Superconnect and from the top of that down the 4-o’clock run. We then went back to the top of Peak 8 and took Crescendo down. By this point in the afternoon, the slopes were getting a little bit icy. I didn’t have a problem on Crescendo, but it could have been better. By this time it was after 3pm (the lifts close at 4) so we went to the bottom of Peak 9 and just road lift 5 a couple of times. We got on lift 5 for the final time at about 3:54pm. So, it was after 4pm when we got to the top and we were able to ski down after 4pm all the way to the end of the 4 o’clock run.

Got back to the condo, took a steam shower (wonderful thing, those steam showers) and poked around for a bit while we were getting ready to think about dinner. We ended up going to Michael’s Italiano for dinner. I got the Grilled Chicken pizza. It was a small, but ended up being about a foot across and was plenty more than I was in the mood to eat. It was really good. It had the chicken, pesto, sweet onions, tomatoes, and goat cheese on it. Brian and Bill both got the baked ziti.

After that we hit a couple of stores and made our first visit to Crepes ala Cart. This place is indescribable. You’ve just got to see it. We had a dessert crepe. I went simple. Just a chocolate crepe. I wanted dark chocolate, but they didn’t have any dark chocolate, so I had to settle for semi-sweet. Supposedly they order their dark chocolate over the internet from somewhere in Europe, and they had run out. So, I didn’t get the dark chocolate. It was tasty, though.

Skiing today was good. I felt great all day long. No muscle problems worth talking about, and I feel great now. I think my running is really paying off. I knew I did that for a reason. I’m really looking forward to the rest of the week. If we can get some fresh powder I can totally see myself on blue-blacks by the end of the week. If things stay icy…. probably not. Stay tuned!

Go Back to the beginning of the trip report

Go to the next day

Today I’m starting my official training for the Bayshore Marathon on May 26th. I considered several different marathons. I started by wanting to do the Green Bay marathon, but I have other obligations that weekend. Then, I decided I wanted to do Grandma’s Marathon, in Duluth, Minnesota. I chose Bayshore over Grandma’s for several reasons: It’s 4 hours closer, it’s a maximum of 1,700 people versus 9,500 people, it’s $30 cheaper to enter, and it’s not over Father’s Day weekend. (It is, however, over Memorial day weekend)

I’m following Hal Higdon’s Intermediate 1 Training program. I might be too ambitious here, but I’m going to give it a try, anyway. I’m actually running a slightly modified version of that program. My special training program is also available.

My goal is to qualify for Boston. To do this, I need a time of 3:15:59. That equates to a 7 minute, 28.8 second mile. Or, about 8.02 miles per hour, for 26.2 miles.

I honestly don’t know if i can do it or not. I think I will be able to finish the marathon. Doing it in Boston-qualifying time is a very big unknown. Boston is next Spring. I am running a summer marathon so that, if I don’t qualify, I can run another marathon in the fall and still be in good shape for Boston next Spring.

I won’t be writing blog entries every day for the Marathon (I probably won’t write any, except for interesting events). I just wanted to get something up so that people know about it, which will give me great incentive to actually push myself as hard as possible. I mean, after all, since everyone knows about it, I have to do it, right?

Traverse City is supposed to be a beautiful place, and the marathon course is supposedly very nice as well. Here’s hoping they can give me a good first marathon experience!

It’s been a while since I’ve been skiing (months!). Too long. As we roll into December, the weather has gotten colder, and this has allowed the midwest ski resorts to make their artificial snow with reckless abandon.

On Thursday, December 7, I received an email from Paoli Peaks (a resort in Indiana) saying that they would be opening on Saturday the 9th. I’ve been wanting to go skiing. This email intrigued me. I’ve been to Paoli Peaks. It was the first midwestern resort that I actually visited. It’s no Colorado, but I can get there and back in a day, which I can’t do with Colorado.

On Saturday, September 30, 2006, I ran in my second race. I had run in a race on July 4th, and I found out about this race, and decided to go for it.

C-U On The Trails was billed as a fun race/walk on Robeson Meadows trails to familiarize people with the Champaign Urbana trails system. It was a 5k run/walk to start at 9am with refreshments and drinks provided.

Went on another long run tonight.


It was 6.58 miles, and I spent exactly 60 minutes doing it. So, it’s not too hard to figure out the miles per hour that I averaged. I averaged 6.58 miles per hour. That averages out to a 9 minute 7 second mile. I’m quite pleased with it. I must admit that I didn’t run solid. At about 4.5 miles I walked for a little while (maybe half a block) and then I started running again. I took 2 more walking breaks like that. So, if i had skipped the walking, i would either have fell over before getting home, or I would have shaved a couple of minutes off of my time.

But, I’m still pretty pleased. That’s more than a 10k run. So, I should be able to run a 10k if I feel the desire.

I didn’t do any running last night. I worked the upper body some (not as much as I should have) so I knew that I wanted to run long tonight. When the run started, I felt really poor. My legs were killing me. But, as is normally the case, once I made it 0.3-0.4 miles in, I started loosening up and then I got into the groove.

At about 3.4 miles, I have the chance to go back to the house. I’m only about a tenth of a mile from the house at that point, but I refused to do that tonight, and I just kept on going.

My plan is to go back to my standard 3.3 mile run, but I’m going to start doing interval training, where I run hard for a while, and then jog.. run hard.. and then jog.. etc. Supposedly it is the best way to reduce your times. I’ve also got to get some new shoes. I’m confident that my Nikes are starting to get a bit long in the tooth.

Raft On The Colorado River
In May 2006, I decided to hike the Grand Canyon. I felt like I was in good enough shape, and, as they say, there is no time like the present.


I’ve made up a detailed website where I discuss the trip. It contains a lot of pictures. But, more importantly, I kept a detailed journal of the entire trip. I’ve typed up the journal and put it online, with lots of links to appropriate pictures. Hopefully you’ll find it entertaining. To get there, just go to the above link and click on itinerary/journal. Then you can jump to the excerpt from first day’s journal entry.

I’d recommend a Grand Canyon hike to anyone. I had been there once before, but stayed on the Rim. Getting “below the rim” is a wonderful experience.

Today I competed in my first ever running competition. A few days ago I was looking over the website for the local fireworks celebration and I noticed that they have a 5 kilometer walk/run as part of the festivities. As I’ve been doing on occasion lately, I said to myself, “I’m in good enough shape to do that!” The deadline for preregistration was back in June, so I wasn’t going to manage that, but for the $15 entry fee I got a t-shirt, and I figured that would suffice to cover my donation that I normally give to the group for the fireworks that will be later this evening.

So, on Friday I ran to the library and back. Total distance of around 5.2 kilometers. It took me 27 minutes. The first mile took me 7 minutes and 33 seconds. The second mile was near that time, but the third mile really slowed me down. The route to the library and back has more of a hill that the expected race route, though, so I was hoping for a slightly faster time. I figured if I could do 25-26 I’d be happy. 24 minutes would be really nice.

On Saturday I ran/walked about 6 miles. Mostly, I walked. It was about 95 degrees that day, and I just wasn’t really in the mood to kill myself. On Sunday, I walked about a mile and a half, and I didn’t do any leg exercise on Monday. I figured my legs should be ready for Tuesday’s race that way.

The race route

This morning I got up about 7:30 and had some Total cereal with milk. At 9:30 or so I started to drink a little bit of Gatorade, and at 9:55 I started walking over to where the race was going to start. I got over there about 10:10 and there were a lot of people already there. I found the line for registration and then I waited.
A few minutes after I got there, Rob showed up. He was about 5-6 people behind me in line. The kid’s race around Assembly Hall started right there while we were waiting in line. We slowly made our way up to registration and when I was about 10 people back, the guys getting tshirts were complaining that Extra Large was all they had. That’s a bummer. I was wanting a medium. Guess next time I need to get here sooner. I made it up to the registration table, gave them my form and my money, they gave me a number to put on my shirt along with some safety pins…. And that was it. They had run out of tshirts. So, no tshirt for me. 🙁 Oh well. Live and learn… Live and learn..

Anyway, we got registered and I stood in line for a while for the bathroom, but the call to line up for the race happened before I had a chance to make it to the portapotty. Luckily, it wasn’t a pressing need, and I went and got in line for the race. A guy near the front talked for a while into one of those battery powered megaphones and finally realized that no one could hear him, and he started yelling out directions: On Kirby/Florida Avenue, go how traffic would go. South side going out, north side coming back. Two water stations, and at the end, runners to the left, and walkers to the right. Then, good luck to all, on your mark, get set, and Go!

It was a bit crowded at the beginning as well over 400 runners and walkers headed out, but it didn’t take too long for things to spread out some. I headed up Fourth Street, turned east onto Kirby Avenue and made my way eastward. In the first half mile or so of my runs, I have to convince my body that I mean business. I go through a period there where it would be more enjoyable to walk, but once I get into the groove I can go for quite a while. Before turning north onto Lincoln, there was a water station where they were holding out cups to grab. I wasn’t feeling the need, so I kept on going. We turned north onto Lincoln, and at the first major cross street (Pennsylvania) I saw a sign that read ‘1’, meaning 1 mile in. I looked at my watch, and I was going at an 8 minute pace. I kept heading up Lincoln, and, at some point, saw the guys in the front of the pack heading south. Needless to say, I wasn’t providing them any competition. I made it to Jimmy Johns, which is near Nevada. The race was supposed to turn around near Nevada. But we kept going north. A couple of blocks later there was a water station and the turn around. I tried to grab some water, but no one had a cup handy for me, so I passed by, turned back to the south, and kept on going. At this point, I was watching the people on the other side that were actually slower than me. That’s a nice change. Before, I was seeing all these people, young and old, who were running faster than me. But now, I was getting to see some of the people who were thinking that about me!

Back down at Pennsylvania, I passed the 2 mile sign. 15:40 in. Did the second mile 20 seconds faster than the first. Would be nice to keep that up. Turned west toward home, managed to grab a cup of water at the water station there. Took one swallow, managed to get a lot of it down my nose, and coughed for a while there as I was getting rid of water that went where it shouldn’t have went. I could sense that I was slowing down a little bit at this stage of the race. But, there was too much left for me to really start kicking in the speed. So, I kept going as well as I could. Once I turned south onto Fourth Street, the end was only a few tenths of a mile away. I started building up speed. I went by the 3 mile mark. Kept going. Going.. Going.. and stop. I looked at my watch. 24:35. Wow! But, I wasn’t done. There was a queue at the finish line while people were getting their official times recorded. By the time I made it to the official timer, I was at around 24:58. I don’t know the actual time yet. A guy wrote down my number, and then they tore off the bottom part of the number paper as an official record (I hope they don’t ever drop those things out of order). Then, I found a place to sit down. Rob was coming up to the queue point then. He ended up having a time of about 25:30, probably 26 official. Both of us did really well! I’m quite pleased with my time. Fastest I’ve ever run that. But, I wish it had been faster. When you do the math it figures out to 7.58 miles per hour, or about a 7.91 minute mile.

We noticed a board where they were arranging people in order of arrival. After a while, I found my number. I came in 177th overall (Annoyingly, that picture chopped off the number row. The numbers you can see are for the row beneath mine. I’m right above the number for 227). Rob ended up at 216th. We got a poweraide drink that they had for the racers, and were preparing to leave when they had the award ceremony. The overall winning time was 14:42 (which, in my opinion, is very impressive) and set a new record for the event. For my age range, 30-34, the top three male finishers were all under 20:40. So, I don’t know exactly where I came out in my age range, but I wasn’t in the race expecting to win, so I have no complaints. My only complaint is that I didn’t get a tshirt. I wanted a shirt for my first race. Oh well. After that, I ran back home, took a shower, and here I am, writing it up.

We saw a few people that we knew. Bob McGrew walked with, presumably, his daughter. Marc, from BISS, walked in the race. Jim Myers, from NCSA ran, and Steve Bond also ran. Rob talked to a friend of his that I didn’t know. You just never know who you might see at these things. All things considered, a good event. It’s interesting to see the subculture that surrounds things like this. A lot of the people were wearing tshirts from 5 and 10k runs that they had done several years ago. People behind me in the registration line were talking about marathons that they had signed up for.. Interesting stuff.

UPDATE: In my age range, 30-35, the top times were 17:58, 18:59, 19:27, 20:37, 21:21, 21:49, 23:02, 23:28, 23:36, 23:49, 23:57, 23:59, 24:05, 24:15, 24:18, 24:23, 24:57, and then my official time of 25:04.

Link To Race Results

So, I came in 18th in my age group. Nothing to write home about, but hey, it was my first race!

I had a pretty good jog/run last night. Speed wise I didn’t break any real records, but the distance was pretty good.

Route Down South And Back

I left from the house, went all the way down to Curtis Avenue, then over to Neil Street, came back up by the ATM machine and then up to Kirby Avenue, over and back down.

According to the pedometer it was 5.17 miles. My total time gone (including the brief break at the ATM machine) was 49 minutes. That figures out to 9.47 minutes per mile. The big thing, though, is that this farther than I’ve ever went while actually not walking. I didn’t take any breaks, other than the ATM machine and maybe 5 seconds at a couple of stoplights waiting for the walk signal. Other than that, no stopping, no walking.. Just plodding along. Hitting new milestones all the time…

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