Posts Tagged With: skyline

Chicago Marathon Recap – New PR Followed by Beers, Butts & Burgers!

The Chicago Marathon is doneski! Months and months of miles and miles to prepare, and it was over in just three hours and forty eight minutes. If you’re keeping track at home, that is a nearly 20 minute PR for the Ole Scott-O…I’ll take it!

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Yay, we did it! Can I sleep now?

The morning started with a 3 a.m. alarm and breakfast. Then off to the ALZ Stars staging location (two of us were running for that charity, two others were running for different charities) where they were nice enough to let us stay warm and destroy the toilets use the facilities.

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Well this is embarrassing…we all wore the same thing!

And YAY, my old college buddy was able to meet us too. Love me some Rexy!

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She decided on the pink tutu. Dang, I shoulda wore one too-too!

From there it was a short walk to the start corrals at Grant Park.

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A bundle of nervous energy.

And before we knew it, we were off! I felt great. The weather was a bit warmer than we’d like, but at the start it was pretty nice – mid 50’s.

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WTFrick?!?! My feet are actually in the air?!?! Nice!

I’d heard the tales of the amazing crowd support, and they were all true. The cheering, the signs, the music, the costumes, the everything was awesome! Chicagoans really know how to support a race! Each neighborhood had their own flair and I loved each of them – drag queens in Boystown, mariachis in Pilsen, dragons in Chinatown, etc. etc. etcetera.

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Keep rollin rollin rollin.

10k in and I was feelin runderful. I ran into a Dallas friend who said she felt the same. Just ahead of us was the 3:35 pace group. I went ahead and passed them. I didn’t feel like I was working hard at all.

13.1 miles in – halfway there and I was at 1:45:43 – that is my 4th fastest half marathon ever – within 3 minutes of a PR! I hoped I could keep it going.

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Do I ever change my expression?

The second half of the marathon is where reality sets in. Miles 16-19 I started to feel it. I tried to push through, but I could feel I would need to start taking some walk breaks soon.

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Still determined…or gassy, I’m really not sure what that expression is.

By mile 20, reality had really set in. The sun was up in full force. The temps were rising. Mid-Upper 60’s by now. I was still determined, but slowing. Luckily they had a hydration stops about every mile. I made it my goal to run to each one, then I would allow myself a walk break as I sipped Gatorade/water, before running to the next one.

The 3:35 pace group had passed me around mile 17…then the 3:40 pace group…finally the 3:45 pace group around mile 21-22. I didn’t want any other group to pass me. I picked up the pace best I could and luckily they weren’t able to catch me.

fsfgsd

I really need to get a new expression.

Everyone says this race is “pancake flat”. That’s mostly true, but there is an incline at the start & each bridge we crossed was a little mini hill. That, and I had been warned by several people about a hill right at the finish. Half a mile to go and I saw it. My sister was right to describe it as “dumb & annoying”. It was so dumb and annoying. I was temporarily defeated and immediately started to walk up it. Then I said, “eff that noise.” I ran up that stupid hill and cruised into the finish line!

I guess I'll smile when I finish.

I guess I’ll smile when I finish.

At the finish line I was pumped when I saw my I had set a huge PR at 3:48! Then even more pumped when my training partner cross shortly behind me. She rocked a 3:45 (she was in a later corral) – a PR by like 30 minutes!!

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Yay, smiles!

I’m happy to report that everyone I came to the race with set new PR’s!!!! My college buddy Rexy even crushed a 3:05!!! And she did it in style with the tutu and a finishing brewski!

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She knows how to do it right.

After a long rest, we slowly started to make our way out. But not before a couple pictures and a few beers at the post race party!

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We’re members of the sunglasses of the month club.

We found a shaded area to park our rears & drink the free 312 beers.

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Snapchat had some fun marathon specific overlays.

There wasn’t much cell service due to the crowds, so we had trouble meeting up with other friends. That’s ok though, cause we couldn’t walk very fast by this point anyway.

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Can I sit here forever?

To sum up the race, I felt great the first 30k, then it was more of a struggle. No negative split for me this day, but you race and learn. I hope to be stronger at the next 26.2.

sfgdfgs

Out of 37,000+ total finishers.

I had my A, B and C goals for this race. A – PR. B – Break 4 hours. C – Run in the 3:30’s. I hit 2/3. I’m pretty happy with that.  Especially considering that 3:48 shatters by nearly 20 minutes my previous PR of 4:07 (set at the Disney Dopey Challenge)!!!

Anyway, after a little while we became rungry and rangry. So a few of us ate greasy burgers at the famous Billy Goat Tavern.

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It says “butt” Hahahahahaha! Yes, I am 12.

The best part about this was all the beer & fat & carbs marathoners trying to walk down the flight of stairs into the restaurant. Well, it wasn’t funny when we did it, but it was funny to watch the others try to negotiate it…4 minutes to walk down 7 total stairs, seems about right.

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If it’s good enough for Bill Freakin Murray, it’s good enough for me.

I’m still trying to process all that happened, but I had a total blast! All the feels!!!!!!!

How bout you? Any Chicago Marathon memories? Any dumb and annoying hills lately? Go-to post marathon grub (cheezborger)?

-Scott

Categories: chicago marathon, fitfluetial, Fuel (food), marathon, Race Recaps, run, runner, Running, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Chicago Marathon Pt. 1 – Lost Wallet & Expo, No Flat Runners & We Bean Runnin!

So the trip got off to a rocky road start. As in my ride to the airport arrived at 5 a.m. (thanks for the ride dad!) and as I was walking out the door, I realized I didn’t have my wallet. It was nowhere to be found. It was frustrating. It was stressful. It caused me and my friend to miss our flight. I felt awful about that. And any hope to getting to the Expo early was dashed.

Please don't make me go in there.

Too many people. Too much stimulation. Please don’t make me go in there.

Luckily I’m one of the few Americans who actually has a passport. I grabbed it. My pops let me borrow his credit card. I thanked him. Finally got to the airport and sweated out the standby process.

Three happy people. One miserable one.

Three happy people. One miserable one.

Luckily there was a loooooong security line that caused many a people to miss their flights. Thanks TSA. But their loss, my gain. I took one of those poor suckers seats on the next flight. Standby success!

Next stop, Chi-Town!

First sight off the L train.

First sight off the L train. A sign that we were in the right spot.

Then it was off to the Expo. Luckily there was a shuttle from our hotel. And by shuttle, I mean a real live school bus. Okie dokie.

Snapchat fun: @piratebobcat

Snapchat fun: @piratebobcat

I personally don’t like expos much. Too overwhelming for me. But I sucked it up and tried to enjoy it. Luckily they had free beer to help endure it.

We found the beer bus!

We found the beer bus!

That looks like a long way to run.

Do we really have to run that far?

Bibs got.

Bibs got.

Hoping I will be like the sign says.

Hoping I will be like the sign says.

You hear that Chicago? I own you!

You see that Chicago? I own you!

With the expo out of the way, we were free to do a bit of light sight seeing.

We're not tourists.

Who us? No, we’re not tourists.

Heck of a town.

Heck of a town.

I see you, camera person.

I see you, camera person.

And of course, we ate. A lot. We ate a lot. Ate a lot, we did.

Homemade past? Yes. Wine? Double yes.

Homemade past? Yes. Wine? Double yes.

And did I mention I was running this race for charity? I had raised funds for Alzheimers, and the group was cool enough give us a pre race dinner! They rule!

And it was all purple.

And it was all purple.

But the best part of the pre race shenanigans was meeting up with my old college buddy, Rexy. We were on the cheerleading team at Ohio University and have remained close ever since. She’s the bomb biggie…and one heck of a runner. We met up with her for a two+ mile shakeout run the day before the race.

Lisa Lisa, why ya buggin?

Lisa Lisa, why ya buggin?

Where did we run? To the Bean of course! And we weren’t the only ones with that idea. I think every other shakeout runner was there too.

Have you ever 'bean' to Chicago?

Have you ever ‘bean’ to Chicago?

That’s always a good spot for pictures, and I’m glad we got it out of the way early as it would be packed later on in the weekend.

Just hanging around.

Just hanging around.

And since I refuse to take a #flatrunner picture the night before a race…all that was left was to wait for the 3 a.m. alarm to go off. While I did, I went back and read all the supportive comments you bloggers have been making on my posts the past few weeks (I still promise to respond to each of them). I also checked out all the supportive messages on the Facebook as well as the kind texts I received. Thanks again urrbody!

Time to sleep. Months and months of preparation was over. In the morning we race 26.2 miles across CHI.

Good night, sweet city.

One heck of a town.

One heck of a town.

Come Monday I will post my recap of the race. Stay tuned folks! Spoiler alert – I ran a PR!!!!

How bout you? What’s your pre-race ritual? Do you like expos? Ever bean to Chicago?

-Scott

Categories: chicago marathon, expo, Fuel (food), Life Times, marathon, Race Recaps, run, runner, Running, travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Rock n Roll Dallas Half Marathon Recap – New PR & I Beat Deena Kastor!

Yay, we did it!

We did it, you guys!

Yes, I set another PR, but I’ll get to that. First, let me start at the beginning ~

Like a lot of big races, this one had an expo where we have to go to pick up our bibs. So that’s what I did.

A pretend finish line at a real expo.

A pretend finish line at a real expo.

I saw a lotta friends there, which was good. Tho some of them didn’t notice me at first…

Photobombing like a BOSS!

Photobombing like a BOSS!

But I gotta say, the RnRDal expo has gotten really small over the years. There were not a lot of vendors. I wonder what’s going on there???

Anyway, the next morning some friends met up earrrrrrly to carpool down.

The carpool gang.

The carpool gang. We hang out under bridges and terrorize the city folk.

Since the race route had separate start & end points, we parked near the finish and then had to heel-toe it across town to the start.

The carpool gang roaming the foggy streets of Dallas.

The carpool gang roaming the foggy streets of Dallas.

When we got there, we were waaay early. So we did like a buttload of other runners and kept warm (and off our feet) inside the Omni Hotel.

Chilaxing wide shot.

Chilaxing wide shot.

It’s nice of the hotel to let us destroy their restrooms politely sit on their floors like that. Shout out to Omni!

Chilaxing close up.

Chilaxing close up.

After a while, it was finally time to race! So we shed extra layers, dropped off our gear bags, then went to the corrals. I was in corral 1 – yippee! The horn sounded, and we were off!

Here we come!

Here we come! Lots of interesting outfits here.

The weather was decent. In the 50’s, and somewhat humid. But the rain had stopped a few hours before the race, and it felt cool.

I will rise above, thanks street artist.

I will rise above, thanks street artist.

I had a ton of friends not only running this race, but also cheering and volunteering at aid stations. So great to see so many peeps along the course!

Hey, my form looks pretty good here. I'll take it!

Hey, my form looks pretty good here. I’ll take it!

A bonus of having friends along the course is they were able to take some of the pics you see here. Tho sometimes they didn’t see me until I was going past.

I swear I was waving at my friend and not flipping the bird.

I swear I was waving at my friend and not flipping the bird.

Warning ~ Mild Rant Here

The course itself was just ok with me. I do not understand local race directors obsession with having us run through West Dallas. I know they think it’s cool to have us cross some of the bridges over the Trinity River, but it comes at a cost of us passing MANY bail bond shops, car impound lots, etc. Not the best way to show off Dallas.

I boycotted this race last year because they had dropped their charity and were strictly for-profit. That, and I thought the quality had gone downhill year after year. Part of that quality is the on-course entertainment. There was not a lot of crowd support. And for a race that bills itself as “Rock n Roll”, there were hardly any bands along the course. Speaking of which, why is it they always seem to be taking a break when you run past?

And I already mentioned the disappointing expo, but people were also disappointed with the medals. They were very small and kind of uninspired. What gives RnRDAL?

Warning ~ Mild Rant Over

Runnin over a bridge.

Runnin over a bridge.

Other than that, the course was nice….except for the hills! They threw in a few doozies. Especially towards the end.

Ugh.

Ugh.

I felt pretty good during this race. I never even wanted to stop and walk (well, I might have wanted to on that last hill – but didn’t!), I never drank anything at the aid stations, & I didn’t even eat my Gu. I was never completely uncomfortable during this race. That’s good, because it means I can go faster!

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Proof that I ran the race.

I don’t know why I felt so good. Could be that everything just fell into place. However, I did do one thing different that morning…I drank UCAN.

My new BFF.

Just a couple of BFF’s.

They are one of Meb’s sponsors. When I met him back in December, they gave us a free sample. I decided to try it before this race. I need to do more experimenting to see if it really works that well for me, or if it was a fluke!

Back to the race ~

It finished outside American Airlines Center, which is where the Mavericks & Stars play. If you’ll recall, I ran a fun 5k at the same spot back in the fall. Here’s the recap.

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Flying to the finish.

Finally, I passed by the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders who were dancing near the end and finished the race! New PR! WooHoo!

The stats.

The stats.

This was my first race since turning 40 earlier in the week. I was probably the youngest in my age group. Hahaha, I guess it’s not any easier than the 35-39 age group. I was in the top 6% overall, but only top 13% in my division. Ahh well.

Oh, and one cool feather in my cap is now I can officially say I beat Deena Kastor in a race. She was there pacing the 1:45 group. But officially, it will go down in the record books as me finishing ahead of her. Hahaha!

Anywhoodle, at the finish area I saw a bunch more friends!

Some friends.

Some friends.

And then it was time for the post-race party. I was excited because Eric Hutchinson was the headliner. I actually like some of his music.

The party was ok. They gave us one free Mich Ultra beer. To me, MU is like drinking water. Not much flava. And if you wanted more than one, then you had to shell out $6 a piece. HAHAHAHAHAHA…No thanks!

Our one free beer.

Our one free beer. Celebrating the many PR’s set this day by the members of the Carpool Gang.

So we left to go get brunch and margaritas at a TexMex joint. But before we did, I got in one last 6 second video of the party.

So there it is, another half marathon in the books. And yay for the PR!!!

How bout you? Ever raced without stopping or drinking/eating anything along the way? Are you scared of the Carpool Gang? Did you race this weekend?

-Scott

Categories: expo, fitfluetial, Life Times, Race Recaps, run, Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 44 Comments

The 9 Mile Lake Loop Run & Taco Reward

I’ve written about it before, but White Rock Lake in Dallas is an extremely popular spot for area runners – as well as bikers, walkers, fishers, kayakers, unicyclers, etc.

The main trail around the lake is pretty much exactly 9 miles. There are also connecting trails and secret little side trails if you want to add more mileage. When in marathon training, this is where I usually go for my really long runs – especially if I need to run 20+ miles.

Running Shoes, meet Lake.  Lake, meet Running Shoes.

Running Shoes, meet Lake. Lake, meet Running Shoes.

Since I finished the Dopey Challenge in Janurary, I hadn’t been down to WRL to run. But as our week of record low temps for North Texas in July kept on keepin on, I decided I better take advantage, and so I went to loop the lake.  The temps were awesome, but it was still 95% humidity – It never quite rained, but it did mist at times.  But the cloud cover was very welcome indeed.

Panorama mode

Panorama mode

One always see a lot of weird interesting things around the lake – elites training, an episode of Cheaters being shot, coyotes, Dallas Cowboys taking photos of a horse, a dead body, a marriage proposal – seriously, you knever know.

This time around, I ran into crossed paths with a couple runner friends who were doing their own loops…Like my buddy Lindsay over at Marathonstateofmind .  It’s funny though how none of us ever seem to stop and say our hellos – nobody wants to interfere with the others’ workout – we just wave and shout a passing, “Heeyyyyyy!”  Haha – though immediately afterwards we all contacted each other to make plans to catch up.

boom

You might want to avert your eyes at the Pump House ~ brown chicken brown cow!!

Anyways, for my run I decided to keep my pace comfortable and not look at my watch the whole way. Just wanted to enjoy it. I don’t know if it was the weather, but I think this may be the first time I’ve looped the lake without taking any quick breaks (to refill my water bottle or use the loo). I just kept going – one foot after another until I made it all the way around.

When I finished, I looked at my watch and was pleasantly surprised. I had ran the whole way with an average pace of 8:10 per mile! Not bad (for me) for a ‘long’ ‘comfortable’ solo run. I’ve run one 10 mile race as well as a few half marathons at an 8:13-15 pace which felt like tuff exertion.  So I’m anxious to see how my next race at those distances goes! Looks like my speed work is working.

The tale of one man and his trek around a city lake.

And so ends the tale of one brave man and his trek around a city lake.

Another bonus to running there is the proximity to some good taco joints. Of course that is exactly where I went after I was done to get some breakfast tacos…

Boom.  Tacos.  Boom.

Boom. Tacos. Boom.

All in all, a purdy good lil Saturday morning there.  It made me really look forward to the fall (not a literal fall, like falling down, but like the Autumn kind ~ ya dig).

How bout you?  Any special go to run spots?  Seen any odd interesting things on a run recently?  Who wants tacos?

-Scott

Categories: Fuel (food), run, Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 53 Comments

The Killers, Taxes & Open Mouthed Selfies

This was a pretty good weekend.

It started with a quick 10k run.  Then a homemade egg and turkey sausage sammich.  So far so good.  But then came the thing I dread all year – doing our taxes.  Ugh.  But I was able to fight through it and get em done.  My reward?  A free concert by a band I really enjoy – The Killers!!!

The Killers in koncert.

The Killers in koncert.

Why are they in Dallas?  Why was it free?  Lemme splain.  The NCAA Final Four (college basketball) is being played in town (the championship game is tonight).

Someone graffiti-ed on the Omni hotel.

Someone graffiti-ed on the Omni hotel.

As part of this tournament, they put on a bunch of fun events for the community – including a bunch of free concerts.  Over the weekend they also had some country music acts, LL Cool J, Fun, and even Bruce Springsteen!

The only show I was able to attend was the Killers, and I’m fine with that.  Like I said, I’m a fan.  They’re one of the few bands that I follow that I hadn’t seen in concert before.

Everything seemed to align for this concert.

First, I got downtown with no traffic, I found cheap parking, then walked toward the venue.

I always watch my back when passing the building where they say Lee Harvey Oswald shot JFK from (the square window on the 6th floor).

I always watch my back when passing the building where they say Lee Harvey Oswald shot JFK from (the square window on the 6th floor).

Also, the forecasted severe weather held off (that would’ve been bad at an outdoor event).

In the park!  I'm not sure why every music festival has to have a ferris wheel, but whatevs.

In the park! I’m not sure why every music festival has to have a ferris wheel, but whatevs.

And I was really happy this was FREE (their tickets normally start at $150 – ouch)!  Also, there were no annoying opening acts (they screened the basketball game, and as soon as it ended, the Killers started).

Watching some b-ball, waiting for the show to start, and tanning the inside of my mouth.

Watching some b-ball, waiting for the show to start, and tanning the inside of my mouth.

Also, since I’m old I have to get up early every day (for running and for kids), I was glad that this was an early show start with a fairly early end (the downbeat was at 7:30pm and the encore was over around 9ish).

The Killers were killin it.

The Killers were killin it.

It was first come (first serve).  Open seating (a field).  And I was lucky to get there early enough to snag a spot fairly close to the stage!

About 30 rows deep, my mouth a gasp with excitement.

About 30 rows deep, my mouth agape with excitement.

The show did not disappoint!  The crowd was really into it, most of us singing along to each song.  The band was really into it – the lead singer even mentioned how they weren’t sure what to expect from the crowd (this was for a baskeball tourny after all), but they were really happy with our energy!  The only weird thing was that the cigarettes people around me were smoking smelled kind of ‘skunky’, I think their tobacco had gone bad.

I'm still not sure why I was taking photos when they'd play a song I liked.

I’m still not sure why I was taking photos when they’d play a song I liked.

And since it was an early start/finish, my old responsible self was home by 10 pm!

Post show walking.  Pretty skyline on a pretty night.

Post show walking. And no, I never did ride the ferris wheel.

That show was great, btw!  They were very energetic and made sure to play all their hits.  And since I was home at a reasonable hour, I was able to make it to yoga the next morning!  The whole experience more than made up for it also being my tax preparation weekend.

How bout  you?  How was your weekend (it was a big one for races – anyone race)?  Any good concerts lately?  Are your taxes done?  Do you watch the NCAA Basketball Tournament?  How many flies did I catch in my mouth?

PS – Today is the last day to vote for our video in the Earth Day contest.  Please vote “C”!!!! It’s the one with the little girl and a bag mobile.  Vote for “C” here: http://www.heb.com/page/offers-contests/earth-day-video-contest

-Scott

 

Categories: Concerts, Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 60 Comments

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