Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I Stand Corrected

Thank you to Adrian for pointing out my error. Yesterday I complimented Pixar for an other fine children's movie that adults could get behind. Well it turns out Dreamworks made Monsters vs Aliens, not Pixar. When Adrian pointed that out I suddenly remembered the little guy fishing on the crescent moon (the Dreamworks logo) being abducted by an alien ship. Good save Adrian.


Monday, April 20, 2009

Daddy, Daughter, Son-day

Yesterday I had the opportunity to spend the day with the Nora and Nigel. Robin had some work to catch up on and a meeting at church. She is on the search committee for our new minister. Anyway, that left Nora, Nigel and I on our own on a rainy day.

So, I decided to surprise them with a movie. What better than Monsters vs. Aliens 3D! Don't tell the kids, but I wanted to see it just as much as they did. They have come a long way with the 3D technology. The first 3D movies I remember were nothing more that a publicity stunt to get you to go see a bad movie. That has changed. The images have depth and really leap off the screen. If you ask Nigel, they leap off a bit too much. The preview for Night at the Museum 2 put Nigel in my lap. The dinosaur was trying to get him! Back to Monsters vs. Aliens. The story was great and the 3D effects were brilliant. We all had a good time and really enjoyed the film. Pixar does a nice job entertaining the kids and giving the adults some humor they can get behind. All in all, we three kids had a good time!


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Mission Accomplished

As you know last year I began running. The initial goal was to get in good enough shape to be able to run and finish the Morton Pumpkin Festival 10k. While training to do that run I entered a few 5k races and had good success. At that point my competitive nature began to take hold. I continued to push myself in subsequent runs and was nearing a level that would allow me to place in my age group. With that in mind I set a goal to place in a race this year.

I plotted out the races that I planned to enter this year, and scoped out the competition. I figured out that I would have to maintain a 7:15/mile pace to be able to crack the top 3 in my age range. I have run that fast for a mile or two, but never for an entire 5k or 4 mile run.

Enter todays Eureka Run with Your Heart 4 mile run. They were giving out medals to the top 5 in each age group, so I pegged this as a golden opportunity. I lined up this morning with high hopes and an anticipated time of just under 30 minutes. Anyone have a guess as to what the guy in the picture below put up?


I not only broke 30 minutes, but as you can clearly see I was sub 28 minutes for the 4 miles! The entire run I kept telling myself...DO NOT SLOW DOWN...YOU CAN MAINTAIN THIS...YOU WILL PLACE. At the 13 minute mark I reminded myself that I could do anything for 15 more minutes, or in this case 14:56. My time was good enough for third place in my age division and 24th overall. To say I am pleased with myself is an understatement.



Monday, April 13, 2009

Race Season Has Begun!

This past Saturday I ran my first race of the year. It was held at the University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana. They hosted a marathon, marathon relay, half marathon and 5k. Between 7-8 thousand people took place in the combined events. My friend Josh and I participated in the half marathon. What an experience! I loved every minute of it. The course was fantastic, and the community did a fabulous job getting out and supporting the runners. It was a good feeling having so many people shouting out encouragement and support as we ran down the streets.

The course was advertised to be flat and fast. I can attest to the flat bit, but am not too sure as to the fast part. Josh and I started out together and ran the first 7 or 8 miles together. Somewhere in that time frame I lost Josh. I kind of zoned out a bit and when I snapped back to reality Josh was no where to be found. So, from there on I carried on by myself just taking in the scenery and moment. At mile 10 I caught up to a old high school friend of mine who was running the full marathon. We chatted together for about half a mile until we half marathoners turned off to head to our finish. I was in for one amazing finish.

We were set to finish at the 50 yard line of Memorial Stadium. That in itself sounds great, actually doing it is hard to describe. We approached the stadium and ran along the exterior of it for about .1 miles before doubling back and heading to the field entrance. We turned and ran down the tunnel and emerged on the field to the sounds of cheering fans and supporters. Once on the field we ran along the back of the end zone until we reached the sideline. From there we turned up-field, ran the length of the field to the opposite endzone, turned and ran along the back of that endzone until we reached its midpoint. At that moment we turned and ran up the middle of the field to the finish at the 50 yard line. The jumbo tron was on capturing all the runners as we crossed the line. It was incredible. When I hit the stadium I was so pumped up and excited that I could not help but sprint the rest of the way. I crossed the finish with a time of 1:56:09. Not a bad time for a first half marathon. I hope to have some pictures soon to post.

Next weekend will be my second run of the year. I am running a much more modest distance of 4 miles, but with the lofty goal of placing in my age group. To do so, I am going to have to break 30 minutes. I think I have it in me.