Sunday, October 28, 2012

Make A Wish 5K Race

Well, I'm doing the running thing.  So far in 2012 I've run 1,116.8 miles according to my running log.  I'm afraid that at some point in here my running has gone from being done to get in shape for hunting to running to get better at running!

I had a couple goals for this fall and one was to run a 10K race in under 50 minutes and the other was to run a 5K race in under 24 minutes.  I was able to make the 10K goal back in September when I ran the Shallowater Stampede 10K in 49:18.  That's an average pace of 7:56 per mile which is WAY faster than I would have ever dreamed I would be able to run 6.2 miles at even a year ago. 

There are all kinds of running calculators on the Internet and plugging my 10K time into them made it seem like I should be able to run a 23:45 5K based on that race so I felt pretty confident that I would make that.  Too confident it turned out!  After some posts on the Internet I even thought I might have a chance to run a 22:00 5K which sounds crazy fast to me.  So we signed up for the next 5K which was the Red Raider Road Race which is one of the biggest races of the year for the running club and I did some speed training and showed up expecting to nail it.  I did have some allergy issues and was taking antihistamines though, so that had me a little worried.  Race morning was pretty decent temperature wise, but we had a pretty good wind going about 20 mph that wasn't looking to great.  I warmed up and was ready to go, the gun went off and so did I.  The first mile was a 6:55 split which was what the running calculators said was the pace I should be able to run a mile at IF I was only running a mile!  But I still had 2.1 miles to go.  I slowed down to a 7:25 pace on mile 2 and completely blew up on mile 3 slowing down to an 8:15 pace.  I finished the race with a 24:06 time and missed my goal. 

So that brings us to the Make A Wish 5K race!  I couldn't let that disappointing race result sit with me any longer than I had to and I found another 5K on the calendar just two weeks away.  I did some more 5K specific training and felt like I really could get close to a 23:00 5K based on my training times.  The big thing I learned from the previous race was that if you go out too fast you will pay for it in spades.  I couldn't believe how slow I got on that last mile and I really was giving it everything I had.

They had a costume themed race and our family decided to dress up as hunters.  Not too big of a stretch for us!
Cathy and Eli ran the 1 mile run/walk and Eli got 1st place!  The course was a tiny bit under a mile and Eli finished it in 9:38!  He ran nearly the entire way.  Of course we won't mention that the race was a little unorganized and the fastest 3 runners in the 1 mile ended up going out much farther than they were supposed too, but Eli did still cross the finish line first.  Maybe we'll make a runner out of him yet. 

It was a brisk morning with the temperature at 38 degrees at the start, but it was sunny and only a light breeze at 7 mph so it really wasn't too bad.  In fact, that is about perfect conditions for a fat boy like me who needs some help dissipating heat that I build up on a run!

It was a very small race, less than 100 total runners with most of those in the 1 mile Run/Walk. The 5K had about 30 and the 10K had about 15. Got in a good warm up, but the race started almost 10 minutes late so was getting a little anxious by the time it finally started.
We finally got lined up and I was right on the front line. They gave us some last minute instructions and blew a whistle and we were off. Had a nice little group of about 5 of us that settled in right at the start with a couple 10K runners pulling out in front of everyone. Our friend Larry was running with me and I had my phone set to give me audio cues every minute so I was NOT going to go out too fast and blow up this time.

One minute in and my phone tells me I'm running a 7:03 pace, I didn't feel that at all so I just kept the same pace and tried to run smooth. Two minutes in and my phone again tells me I'm running a 7:03 pace and this time I believe it and slow down just a little. Next minute clicks off and I'm down to a 7:15 pace, another minute and I'm down to a 7:20 pace and that's where I wanted to keep it for the rest of the race.

Kept it real steady and Larry just hung with me and the pack just kind of stuck around. At one point we were actually leading the 5K! At about 2 miles in a couple of high school cross country girls went ahead of us and another guy a little younger than me pulled ahead. I was staying really consistent and was afraid to blow up like last time so I just let them go. At 2.25 miles I could tell my buddy wanted to go win the 5K and if we waited much longer the 3 ahead of us might pull away so I told him to go. It was getting harder, but I still felt WAY better than I did two weeks ago when I blew up. What little breeze there was was behind us so I felt like I had 24:00 in the bag for sure. He took off and left everyone so it was the two girls and the 35ish guy in front of me. They ended up about 50 yards ahead of me and then either they slowed down or I picked it up slightly or probably a little of both because it stayed that way to about 2.75 miles.

The way the course was laid out you couldn't actually see the finish line until you made one last turn, and I was still worried about blowing up like last time so I didn't start picking up the pace until about 200 yards to go. In retrospect I should have picked it up at least 400 yards out and I really think I might could have caught up with the guy in front of me as I felt great going across the finish line. Still, I was VERY happy with my time as I smoked my original 24:00 goal and beat my 23:00 fairly well.

Here's a couple pictures Cathy took as I was approaching the finish.  Here's where I should have already been kicking to try to catch the guy in front of me.
Here's a closer up picture of me.  I'm going to have to start admitting that not only am I nearly completely gray, but I'm going bald as well!
A couple more pictures of the finish.  I'm still a little upset with myself for not catching this guy in front of me.  They split the age divisions into 30 and under and 30 and over since it was such a small race and turns out he was the first place finisher for the 30 and over Male.  I took 2nd.  I was running more to get my time than to win a race as I just never would have dreamed I would have a chance of actually winning my age group.
Here's me going across the finish line.   The clock shows 22:34 and it looks like I'm only a couple steps from the finish so you would think I would have ended up with a 22:35 or maybe 22:36, but they have me down as 22:39 for my official time.  Still a very good time for me.  Eli was chasing after me to congratulate me as soon as I crossed the finish line.
If you are interested in the details, here's my splits with HR info.

Distance Duration Total Duration Pace Avg HR Max HR

1 mi        7:20.59    7:20.59         7:21   164        181
1 mi        7:18.88   14:39.47        7:19   177        182
1 mi        7:12.52   21:51.99        7:13   180        183
0.12 mi        0:48   22:39.99        6:40   181        183

I don't know how to really analyze these numbers, I didn't even get close to my Max HR of 194 at the end of the run so I think that means that I should have kicked much earlier. I think my avg HR being at 177 (91%) for the 2nd mile and 180 (93%) for the 3rd mile means I was not going to be able to keep that pace much longer though. Also not sure if the low temperature helped keep my HR low also.

I felt MUCH better than I did at the end of my 5K two weeks ago that I ran a 24:06 on. A little sore in my quads, but not just beat down like I did after the last one.

Pacing was just about perfect when it is all said and done I think. Should have kicked a little earlier, but I was so worried about blowing up after the last race I was too conservative at the end.

Oh well, it's been a while since I posted and I thought I would update things.  I have another half marathon scheduled for two weeks from now, but I'm not going to stress about getting a specific goal time on it.  It's a tough course and I'll just be happy to finish under 2 hours which should be pretty easy, but you never know until the day of the race. 

That's it for now.  Nathan

Monday, September 17, 2012

2012 Wyoming Antelope Hunt

Way behind on my blog, maybe one of these days I'll go back and try to get it caught up.

In the meantime I figured I would post on my latest hunting adventure in the meantime.

We had some prior commitments and had to miss opening morning, but we got there about 10 am Sunday morning and saw antelope alongside the highway on public land on our unit before we even got to where we were going to drop our travel trailer off. Stopped a couple times on the side of the road and glassed, but nothing too exciting so we just kept going to get the trailer parked.

One thing for sure, there were plenty of antelope in the unit. Even getting the trailer unhitched there was a herd of 15 or so antelope just over the fence on private property. We drove around for 3 hours on 2 track roads and saw probably 100 antelope and 15 or 20 bucks. One thing that really surprised me was that they didn't seem very skittish at all. I had 2 average sized bucks about 12"ers stand and look at us with the truck stopped from less than 100 yards away. Saw one prospect buck but it was probably 1,000 yards away and pushing a doe but with the boys and the wife with me I decided not to go after him and he was heading away from us anyway at a pretty good clip.

Ended up on one 2 track road that was marked on the maps and the gps, but not very well marked on the ground at all. The wife didn't enjoy that part much at all. The boys really had a hard time understanding why I wasn't shooting the antelope we were seeing and I kept telling them I was looking for a bigger buck, and after passing on about the 10th buck they seemed to lose interest and after some back seat whining they ended up playing video games instead of helping me look for antelope.

We got out to a main road finally and headed back to where the trailer was parked. I bet we saw another 100 antelope on the way there and a couple slightly nicer bucks. Most of those were on private land, but if I had seen a really nice one I was thinking I could watch them and see if they decided to venture onto the public land across the road.

We got back to the trailer and hung out a little bit while we figured what to do. They were ready to go visit our friends in Powell, and they were running late so we ended up heading up to meet them and swap stuff out. My friend Mike was coming to hunt with me the next few days while the boys and my wife were going to hang out at their house in Powell.

On the way over a couple of game wardens were checking folks. We didn't have anything to check, but we talked about 10 or 15 minutes and they were very helpful. One of them said that this was his unit and he had done the counts in August and that there weren't very many large bucks due to the drought conditions that they had this year. He said they had only checked one really good buck, but most of what they were seeing were 12" and under with a smattering of 13" and 14"ers. I was starting to second guess passing on some of the bucks we had seen earlier now, especially since it would have been neat to share that with the boys.

We swapped everything out and headed back to the unit about 5:00. The thought process was to head back to the eastern side of the unit and see if anything jumped out at us. The light was very odd for the time of day as a front was coming in and it was overcast, plus the smoke in the air from the fires almost made it seem like twilight, but it was still well over an hour before sunset.

Getting back to the unit we saw one good buck almost in the city limits of Shoshoni well onto private land and several other bucks that were all that average 12" or so. We went by several groups of antelope off of the highway on public land but nothing to get excited about. We ran out of public land along the highway and it was starting to get closer to actual sunset so we took off on a nice gravel road going north off the highway.

The crazy thing was that the nice gravel road wasn't on the map, although we had been on some terrible 2 track roads that were on the map. Sure enough a few miles later and we were dead ended at a gas well pad. Oh well, we backtracked and ended up on another 2 track road that was on the map and headed east. Sun was setting now and we were several miles in on the 2 track and had several more miles to get out and we tried to decide what to do. We ended up crossing some private land and checking out some public on the other side of it and it was getting close to dark now. We'd seen several more antelope, but again, nothing exciting. We had maybe 10 or 15 minutes left before dark and we decided to just head back to the highway. We turned around and hadn't gone more than 1/4 mile and a buck and 2 does popped up onto the ridge we were on from the bottom in front of us.

We stopped and checked them out and the buck was decent. After talking with the game warden at the check point, I was starting to think my standards might be set a little too high, I was looking for a monster and this buck wasn't a monster. I got out of the truck and actually chambered a round for the first time that day and walked up a little way to check him out. He saw us and looked at us, but didn't seem too concerned even though we were only 250 yards away. I glassed him some more and debated and decided not to shoot. They ended up trotting off in the direction we were headed and then stopped about 400 yards away just a few feet off the 2 track. Walking back to the truck I was still second guessing myself. This buck was tall and had good mass, just not very good cutters, he was obviously a mature buck and the best one I'd seen all day and I'd seen 25 or 30 bucks that day. I told my buddy that if we drove up there to within 100 yards and that buck was still there I would shoot him. We got in the truck and drove toward them and stopped at 100 yards away or so and he was just standing there with his does. I got out and set up and he starts walking toward us. No idea why, but I guess this buck just had a death wish. He angles a little bit sideways so he is quartering to me and I punched a hole in him with my 7 mag. He wheeled around and ran about 20 yards and then went down.

Walking up to him there wasn't any ground shrinkage. I had guessed him at around 14" and decent mass and he was every bit of that. Here's the glory shots.

He had a really dark face and nice cape. Ended up measuring him out at 15" on the right side and 15 1/2" on the left side with 6 5/8" bases. Cutters obviously the weakest feature at 4 4/8" on the right and 4 2/8" on the left. Green gross score was 78 1/8". 

Not a monster, but I'm happy with him. Looking at his jawbone, his teeth were worn almost to the gumline so he was for sure a mature buck. Not sure how he got that old as stupid as he was acting, but love will make a fellow do some pretty stupid things I guess. 

Have him caped out and in the freezer, planning on getting a shoulder mount done on him when I get home.

That's it for the first part of my hunt. Heading west now to chase some Wapiti on my general tag.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Levelland Lope

Way behind on posting.  This one will be a short one so I'll just get it done.

Cathy and I ran in the Levelland Lope 10K run this past Saturday.  This was my first 10K ever so no matter what it was going to be a personal record for me.  In the past a 10K has always been way too long of a run for me to even think about trying to run one, but after the last year and a half marathon under my belt, a 10K seemed pretty short.

I really didn't have any expectations for how I was going to do, I've been working on my low heart rate training and wasn't even sure if I was going run in a race or not this summer, but the running club races are only $5 to enter so I figured I might as well get a few of them in.  Based on my half marathon time, the online running calculators were saying I should be able to run a 52 minute 10K, but that doesn't take into account that my half marathon was run under near perfect weather conditions and on a Saturday in June in West Texas the only thing for sure was that the weather conditions would not be near perfect.

The course was pretty flat and the weather wasn't terrible though, so I was hoping to finish somewhere around that mark.  Race morning broke with the temperature at 65 degrees with 90% humidity and a 15 mph South wind.  Not a very big crowd for this race as it was a 30 mile drive from Lubbock, but we had a decent start.  Here we are at the start, I'm 205 and Cathy is just behind me wearing bib 204.  I forget that I'm a little different body type than your average runner until I look through pictures of the start of some of these races. 
Pacing was pretty good for the first 4 miles.  My splits were 8:30, 8:18, 8:32 & 8:37, but at about the 4.2 mile mark the course turned back into the wind and it felt like it had picked up some from earlier and mile 5 clocked in at a 9:12 pace and mile 6 was a 8:49 pace with about 1/4 mile of that into the wind as well.  My heart rate was pretty good throughout and I didn't feel like I was really going all out or anything, I pushed in the last .2 miles with a 7:38 pace and was clicking along at a 6:30 pace right there at the end. The club photographer was taking pictures right around the 6 mile mark and I was still feeling good enough to give a thumbs up as I ran by.
Cathy lost her hair band in the wind coming back so I couldn't get approval to post her picture with her hair flying in her face, but she wasn't too far behind me and had a smile on her face as well.

I ended up finishing in 54:12 for an official pace of 8:45 per mile, and Cathy ended up with a 56:26 for a 9:06 pace.  Our friend Larry finished 3rd overall with a 38:15 time and an average pace of 6:10 per mile!

We had a good time and it was nice to get a race in.  I'm back on my heart rate shuffle and it's not looking like the race had any negative affect on my base building work so that's good too.  I ran the 6 mile route at the house yesterday in 1:06:04 for an average pace of 10:54 per mile and an average heart rate of 137 bpm so that is my fastest MAF run yet.  It probably didn't hurt that I spend the first part of the week at 7,000' elevation and then came back and ran at 3,000' the next morning though. 

I need to get some other posts done soon, but at least this one is fairly current. 


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Still running....

Well, I was doing good there on posting for a little while and have fallen off again.  I'm still running although I don't really have a new goal set yet to train for. 

I've been doing a lot of reading on running and I'm starting to work on building my aerobic base using a method designed by Phil Maffetone.  It's pretty simple, you take your age away from 180 and that's the heart rate that he thinks you should be doing most of your base training at.  When I first got my heart rate monitor back at the end of December, I did some calculations and came up with 149 bpm as my "easy" heart rate that I was training at.  This takes it even lower as 180 - 44 = 136 bpm, also referred to a my MAF.  I had just gotten to where I was able to jog at about a 10 minute per mile pace at a heart rate of 149 bpm, and then I end up deciding to slow down to 136 bpm which put me all the way back to the paces that I was running in early January, around 11:20 - 11:30 per mile.  The difference is that at this new heart rate I'm supposedly building my aerobic engine even stronger with even less chance for injury from overtraining.

I've only been working on it for a couple weeks now so not much of a chance to see much improvement, especially as the temperatures are climbing, but it should be interesting to see as the summer goes on if I can bring my pace at MAF down to 10:30 or 10:00 per mile, a general rule of thumb is that you should be able to race shorter distances (10K, etc.) as much as 1:30 to 2:00 per mile faster than what your MAF is.  So if I'm running a 10:00 mile with my heart rate at 136 bpm, then the theory is that with a little speed work before getting back to racing that I might be able to run as fast as 8:00 per mile in a race allowing my heart rate to climb as high as I can stand.  In my last 11 mile race, I ran the last 7 miles with my heart rate at or above 180 bpm so I should have quite a bit of buffer to give up when I start running hard.  Of course this is all theory and each person is going to have different abilities and reaction to picking up the pace, but my goal is basically to get faster by running slower.  Seems counter intuitive, but we'll see if it pans out.

I did run the Horseshoe Bend race put on by the West Texas Running Club a couple weeks ago.  The start/finish line is only about a mile from our house and I've always wanted to run in it, but never been in even close to good enough shape to attempt it before.  It was just a couple weeks after my half marathon and I didn't do any specific training for it, but I finished it in 1:41:53 for a 9:16 avg pace and was pretty happy with that.  It was actually slower per mile than my half marathon time, but the course was harder and I hadn't realized how much of a boost the thousands of cheering fans along the course gave me in the half marathon race.  On this course there was 7 folks cheering us on over the course of the 11 miles and they were all volunteers working the water stations.  Quite a difference from a couple weeks earlier with bands, cheerleader squads and literally thousands of folks cheering for you.

I'm up to 476.1 miles of running and 78.8 miles on the elliptical for a total of 554.9 miles so far in 2012 so I'm on pace for over 100 miles a month so far.  I've already gotten more miles in 2012 than I did in 2011 for the entire year and that was the most miles I'd ever run in my life so I'm feeling like I am getting in pretty good shape.  I've lost a little over 20 pounds in the last year and would like to lose 15 more this year if I can watch my diet a bit.

That's pretty much what I've been doing lately.  Work is slowing down and I'm trying to get a few other things done as well.  Still working with our new puppy on retrieving and obedience, but need to start spending more time on that as well.  Seems like time is at a premium all the time anymore.

With that said I guess I better get back to something productive.

Have a great day!  Nathan

Saturday, April 28, 2012

My first half marathon!

After worrying about it for the last month or so, race day came around with perfect weather and everything went super smoothly!

We stayed in a hotel downtown within walking distance from the starting line and woke up and walked the 1/2 mile or so and were at the starting line about 30 minutes early.  It rained overnight but cleared up and the temperature was in the low 50's with a light east wind.

There were TONS of people!!!  The race was capped at 18,000 entrants and hit the max a week or so before the race.  The biggest race I'd ever run in before was around 300 people so it was amazing to see all the people.

Here's my view of the starting line.
Here's the view behind me at the starting line.  It looked to me that the crowd stretched on for about a half mile.
The gun went off and we crossed the starting line about 5 minutes later.  I had located the 4:00 pace group for the marathon and my plan was to try to hang with them for the first 8 miles until the marathon split off, but I ended up getting about 400 yards behind them by the time the runners stretched out getting started.  I was wearing my heart rate monitor and wearing my bluetooth headset in one ear, but I just had it set to give me my audio cues on pace and heart rate, I wasn't listening to any music.  I got a little concerned when I started out, because the audio didn't start out working, but it worked at the first 1/2 mile mark.  I was right on a 9:10 pace so that seemed perfect where I wanted to be.  I wasn't making much progress on catching up to the pace group though so I tried to pick it up just a little.  The 1 mile mark rolled around and my audio cue matched up just right with the mile marker and I was starting to catch up to the pace group.  My split for the first mile was 9:05 and my heart rate was at 164 which was a little higher than I expected so soon, but nothing terrible yet.

I kept after the pace group and caught them somewhere in the next 1/2 mile or so.  My 2 mile split was a little fast catching up to the group at 8:41, heart rate was up to 168, not bad but I was hoping it wouldn't keep climbing that fast.  I hung with the pace group pretty much for the next 6 miles.  They must have been planning on running a little faster than the 9:09 that would get them in at 4:00 on the dot because the splits ran closer to 9:00.  Mile 3 was a 8:54 split and my heart rate was up to 170.  A little higher than I was hoping this early, but I was hanging with the pace group though and didn't want to slow up.  Mile 4 split was a 9:06 and my heart rate actually dropped down to 167 so that was pretty encouraging.  Mile 5 was another 8:54 split and my heart rate was still dropping down to 164 at the end of mile 5.  I was feeling really good and the miles were flying by.  Some clouds had rolled in and the already perfect weather even got better.

I'm still not sure what happened on Mile 6.  My pace blew up to 9:25 for that split, but my heart rate was still dropping, down to 163 at the end of mile 6.  We ran through a park there with some turns, but no idea on the pace.  I think I had a crowded water stop in there, but I don't really remember.  Mile 6 was where I stopped to walk for the first time in my 15K race two weeks ago with my heart rate pegged up in the 180's and I was running faster today and my heart rate was over 15 beats lower this time!  Mile 7 split was back down to an 8:53 and my heart rate was back up to 167 which was pretty good for this far into the race.  I was expecting it to be in the low 170's for sure by this time.  Mile 8 went through Churchill Downs which was neat, but the pack was till pretty crowded at this point and there were several narrow spots that really tightened things up.  My split for mile 8 was an 8:49 and my heart rate was back to 170.  I pulled my phone out and took a picture as we ran through in front of the grand stands, but didn't take any pictures of the horses working out on the track.
After Churchill Downs the marathoners split off and my pace group went with them.  I was feeling really good and my overall pace was still under 9:00 so I decided to just try to keep that going for a while and see where it got me.  Mile 9 split was 8:55 and my heart rate was up to 173.  Still not bad at all.  Mile 10 split was 8:47 and my heart rate finally got into the upper 170's with a 177 at the end of mile 10.  I was still feeling pretty good and just had a 5K left to go so I decided to see if I could pick it up just a little bit.  Mile 11 split was 8:28 and my heart rate finally hit 180.  On my 15K race two weeks earlier it had hit 180 within the first 2 miles!  Amazing what some tapering and some cool weather can do!  I tried to keep that pace and Mile 12 split was 8:24, my heart rate was climbing a bit now, hitting 186 by the end of mile 12.  The crowd was really great the last mile or so (they had been really good the whole way though) and I started passing people like crazy.  I was feeling really good, but knew I still had plenty left in the tank.  I wasn't really paying attention to my splits or time by this time, I was way ahead of my goal by then and just wanting to give it my best shot for the last 1.1 miles.  I was shocked after the race looking at my splits to find out that Mile 13's split was 7:43!  I don't know if I've run a mile in 7:43 anytime in the last 10 years or more.  My heart rate at the end of mile 13 was 187 so I guess I was putting out the effort by this time anyway.  The split on my phone shows 8:08 for the last .1 miles, but I forgot to stop my phone when I crossed the finish line and my phone showed 12 seconds more than the timing chip for my overall time.  My heart rate was 190 at the finish which is right at my max.  My phone also showed 13.23 miles instead of 13.1 miles, but if you do the math based on my official time of 1:55:43 for 13.1 miles that comes out to an average pace of 8:50 which is WAY better than I was hoping for.

Did I mention that the weather was AWESOME!  I still ended up getting plenty warm and dumped water over my head at 3 of the last 4 water stops.  I went through most of the water stops and drank powerade at 3 of the stops as well.  The course seemed pretty flat to me, but my phone showed 579' of total elevation gain over the entire course, which was more than I would have expected.

I think this turned out to be a perfect first half marathon for me.  The crowd was great, plenty of runners but not too many, weather was PERFECT, course was pretty easy, everything was great.  My wife started with me, but she hurt her leg playing volleyball a month or so ago and was just getting back up to speed so she only ran about the first couple hundred yards with me before slowing down.  She ran a 2:10:15 which was pretty good for as little as she has been able to run the last month.

The race seemed very well organized to me as a first timer and everything went super smooth.  I felt great at the finish and feel like I probably left something out there in the middle of the race.  My avg heart rate was 169 which is lower than some of my training runs.  Did I mention that the weather was PERFECT?

Today was my wife Cathy's birthday and she said the best present she's had in a long time was seeing the smile on my face when I told her that I had made my time.  Kinda hokey, but that's what she said.  She's been running marathons and half marathons for over 15 years so she's excited that I was running my first with her.  Here's a picture of Cathy and I after the finish. 
Here we are in our finisher shirts after we cleaned up some.
I'm sure I've missed some of the details, but I had a great race and it was a great day.  Hopefully it will be the first of many.   I finished 2,540 out of 12,104 overall, 1,751 out of 5,165 males and 264 out of 745 in my age group. 

That's it for now.  Nathan

Monday, April 16, 2012

Race for the Arts

Saturday was race day for Eli and I.  He ran in his first kids fun run and I ran in a 15K (9.3 miles) as a final tune up for my half marathon coming up in a couple weeks now.

Eli was pretty excited for his first race.  We had run/walked a mile at the house a couple times over the last couple weeks and he was ready to go.

He got to meet Raider Red before the race started.
There were 90 kids that ran in the kids fun run, but at least half of them had parents running with them so there was quite a crowd at the start.
And their off!  It was an all out sprint at the start.  Eli got caught up in the excitement and took off and left Cathy in the dust!  He was SO excited, he was just beaming!
After the fast start things slowed down quite a bit.  Eli would run a while then walk a while but he still had enough energy to come up with his own obstacle course on the route.
The excitement was back to a fever pitch at the finish and he managed to sprint in the last few yards.
There was quite a crowd cheering them on.
All the kids that finished got a medal.  He was pretty pumped.
Not sure anyone wants to see any pictures of me after all those pictures of such a cute kid, but Cathy took some pictures of me running my race as well.  They started the 2 mile and 15K together so there was almost 300 runners at the start.  I started at the back of the pack with the other slow movers.
Running on the brick streets down Broadway.

Here's me at about the 5 mile mark.  About half those women behind me in this picture ended up passing me when I blew up at the 6 mile mark.
Almost there!  Eli cheering me on at the 9 mile mark!
And the finish.  I ended up coming in about 4 minutes slower than I was hoping for. 

Lots of lessons learned and it was a pretty warm morning and the 20-25mph winds didn't help a whole lot.  Hopefully I'll be able to get closer to my goal coming up in a couple weeks at the half marathon.

Eli and I both ended up getting medals!  I'm sure glad the West Texas Running club has a Clydesdale (AKA Fat Boy) division so I actually have a chance of competing.  If I had to run against all the skinny little guys in my age division I wouldn't stand a chance!
If anyone is intersted in the specifics I think I have set up that activity as a publicly viewable page on my runkeeper program.  It shows my pace each mile, heart rate, map, and other fun stuff.

That's it for now.  I'm hoping for cooler weather for my half marathon, that's for sure!


Monday, April 9, 2012

2010 Elk back from the Taxidermist.

Well it's been a little longer than I expected, but I think it was worth the wait.  I got my elk that I shot in New Mexico in 2010 back from the taxidermist this week.

Here's what it looked like coming home, having it fill up the entire bed of our short bed pickup really helps you realize how big it is.  I got a lot of strange looks and a few thumbs up on the drive home.

When I had it mounted I picked out this specific form and the angle that I wanted him turned to show off his left side that is a little better than his right.  He has a neat hole in his left G4 and his left G5 is a few inches longer than his right side and his right G3 has a few inches busted off.  I was planning on putting him in the center of the house, but once we got him home we decided to see how he looked over in the corner where my European elk mount had been.  It was a pretty simple matter to try it there since there was already a lag bolt in the wall.  The problem was that once we got him up, we decided that he looked really good there. 
When it is all said and done I think we are going to leave him there for now.  His still looks pretty impressive to me even with his weaker side showing and he seems to "fit" there in the corner.  His fronts are probably his best feature and they show real well like that.

Here's a different angle showing the form that I had him mounted on.  It's a wall pedestal form and I think it seems to make him more life like than the standard form flat against the wall.  The part of the form that is showing is covered in a brown suede leather.
Another angle.  His left side ends up almost against the wall so you can't see the hole in his G4 unless you get all the way against the wall and look.  We may still end up moving him a little farther to the left so you can see his left side a little better.
I've struggled to get decent pictures of it with the windows on both sides messing up the exposure on the camera and the flash overpowering it in the evening up close, but not enough farther away.  I did get a couple pictures of it with my mule deer mount in the same picture, but the window ends up messing up the exposure some.  He makes my 180" mule deer look kind of puny!
Here's another picture of them together.  From this angle you get a much better feel for how small the deer looks next to the elk.  Our dining room table sits right in front of the elk.  You can see the back of one of the chairs right in the center of the picture.
The original intent was to put the elk where the deer sits now and move the deer to the left of the fireplace that you can barely see all the way to the left of the picture.  I didn't realize how high up the elk's antlers would go (the base of the big beam above the deer is at 9') and if I put the elk there his antlers are going to straddle the beam which would look odd I think.  The other option is to move him to the left some, but that would put him in the way more as even as high as he is his nose is still around 6' off the ground and if you aren't watching you could hit your head if you are tall enough. 

Oh well, I'm very happy with how it turned out.  I really like that form that it is mounted on and I think it looks great.

Going to take a little getting used to having such a huge animal hanging out with us at dinner though!

That's it for now.  Nathan

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Longest run of my life!

The title pretty much sums it up!  I started out this morning at 7:30 and kept running until 10:20!  2 hours and 50 minutes.  It was supposed to be a 14.6 mile run, but I missed a turn in there somewhere and ended up running an extra mile or so and finished the morning with 15.91 miles under my belt.

Pretty morning, Overcast and about 55 and calm when I started out and upper 60's and 10 mph wind out of the west when I finished.  Let my heart rate get up a little higher than I wanted with a 153 average and my pace wasn't quite what I wanted at 10:42 per mile, but I was trying not to overdo it since I missed the turn and added the extra mileage in there.

Cathy and Eli came out and cheered me on and took a couple pictures for me.  I'm not breaking any land speed records, but I'm building a pretty good base anyway.

Here I am at mile 12ish.  Out of the 15.91 miles, about 11 of them were on unpaved county roads like this.  I think it is less wear and tear on me than pavement.  The funny looking socks are compression socks.  The theory is that it helps with blood circulation and recovery. Not sure if they work or not but they can't hurt.  I'm wearing a mesh hydration pack to keep me hydrated while I run instead of trying to set water out on the route.  The best part about it is the brand name, "Nathan". 
I planned my run for the last 2 miles to be downhill back into the canyon.  I discovered this spot on accident back in college and when we decided we would put down roots in the Lubbock area on a permanent basis started looking for land out in this area.  This tunnel of trees is a pretty rare sight in Lubbock, Texas.  It's pretty neat to be able to run through them.
Coming out of the tunnel, around mile 15 which was already farther than I'd ever run before.  I actually felt really good at this point and picked up my pace for the last mile back to the truck.
Still working at losing weight.  Broke the 220 mark over the last couple weeks and am closing in on 215.  It sure helps when you are burning the calories that I've been on my runs.  According to Runkeeper I burned 2,853 calories on this mornings run, that's almost a pound of fat burned!

I haven't been running around the rest of the day doing jumping jacks or anything, but I haven't been laying around miserable either.  We took Eli to Home Depot to build a bird feeder and spent time together as a family. 

Oh well, that's it for now.  Happy Easter tomorrow!  Nathan

Friday, April 6, 2012

Long time, no post...

Well, it's a good thing I really don't have any folks that "follow" my blog, because if they did, they would have really been missing out the last few months.  I've had a lot going on and have added a lot of running into my schedule so my extra time is getting less and less.

I'm up to 356 miles running so far in 2012 which is already more than I ended up for the entire year of 2011.  I've got a running log keeping track of all the statistics and so for I've run for 61 hours and 38 minutes in 2012 which comes out to an average pace of 10:23 per mile for the year.  I'm going to run a half marathon at the end of the month and I set a goal of running it in under 2 hours and I'm not sure if I'm going to make that or not.  It for sure isn't going to be easy if I do.

We just got a new puppy and I'll be trying to spend some time with her as well to train her to be a retriever.  Her name is Layla and so far it seems that she is going to be a good fit for our family.
Just a quick post to try to get back in the hang of things.  Work is starting to slow down so I might be able to get some more stuff posted soon.  I'll probably start posting more on my running now and maybe some of the ups and downs on training a puppy as well.  The results for all the hunting applications will start to trickle in before too long so I'll try to keep up on that as well.

Maybe I'll get my blog resurrected too.


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Heart Rate Monitor, a step backward?

Okay, I'm starting to get into this running stuff a little too much I guess. Reading some different information, and checking my heart rate on some treadmills I've been using working out in hotels when I'm on the road made me decide to go out and get a heart rate monitor to help me make my running more effective. I was really surprised to find out the results.

According to all the charts at my age I should have a 177 max heart rate, but I've managed to get a 187 recorded after doing some sprints immediately following a 6 mile jog so I'm going with the 187 as my max heart rate. To keep it in the aerobic zone I need to be between 131 (70%) and 150 (80%). Anything over that is the anaerobic zone and if you want to build endurance you are supposed to only go there if you are doing interval training and stuff like that. Otherwise most of the stuff I've read said to focus almost all of your running in the aerobic zone.

I had built up to where I felt like a 10:00 pace was a cake walk. My last big run before the heart rate monitor I ran in and out of the canyon 8.38 miles at a 9:56 pace and felt great. I even ran a 6 mile run on flat ground in an 8:56 pace and felt good. Now that I have a heart rate monitor it is telling me that I can't run anything over about 11:10 pace on flat ground without getting my heart rate in the anerobic zone. I ran my first long run yesterday with the heart rate monitor and jogged/shuffled along at a snails pace to keep my heart rate under 150. Going up the hills I had to switch to a brisk walk because I couldn't run at all and keep my heart rate under 150. Ended up going 10.2 miles with an average heart rate of 147bpm, but my pace was a whopping 11:32 overall!
I was pretty surprised at how quickly my heart rate responded to different paces and especially elevation gains. Even just a slight rise could bring my heart rate up and running down the hills I should have run even faster than I did because my heart rate dropped really fast even though I picked up the pace to 10:30ish going down the hills.

What I'm really hoping is that this won't take very long before I can at least get back to a 10:00 pace with my heart rate under 150. Some stuff I'm reading says that you can shave time off pretty quickly and other stuff says it takes years. I'm a sucker for gizmos and think it is really neat, but was surprised to find that even at my snails pace back when I was running 10:00 miles I was working out too hard according to the heart rate zones.

I'm going to stick with the heart rate training for at least a month or two and hopefully I'll start seeing results and end up with a healthier heart too.

That's it for now.  Nathan