Friday, July 29, 2011

You Got Questions, I've Got Answers

Thanks to everyone who wrote in wanting to know something about me.  I enjoyed reading and answering all the questions, so without further delay, here are my responses:

My Photo
Q:  Have you ever run naked? How far did you go? Was it enjoyable?
A:  Yes, on my treadmill, but not too far.  Not particularly enjoyable as I recall, it was a little distracting.

Q:  Weren't you in that porn film?
A:  Yes, I was all over it.

Q:  Have you ever watched one of "your" films?
A:  Yes, multiple times.

Q:  What barnyard animal is staying at your house?
A:  A Turkey, and not just at, but inside at times.  Long story made short, he doesn't do well in 110º heat, and neither do I.

"Bak Bak Motherfuckers!"

Q:  What was your favorite OTHER sport?
A:  Favorite sport to watch is Pro Football.  Favorite sport to play is either soccer or baskeetball.

Q:  Who got to name the kids?
A:  My wife and I went through some names together, and came to mutual agreements on all 3, but as I recall, I had to convince her of 2 of our kids names.

My PhotoChris K:
Q:  Do you really think you are too slow for Boston?
A:  Yes, I know I am, and the BAA lowering the qualifying times didn't help me, but thanks for your confidence in me.  I do have faith that I will qualify someday.

Q:  Who's the boss? You or the Mrs?
A:  I think we do an equal amount of bossing each other around, the only difference is the Mrs. ignores me more than vice versa.

Q:  Do you wish you had an "h" in your name?
A:  It is kinda a pain having to clarify at times my non-common spelling, but at 3 letters instead of 4, it's 25% faster to write.

Q:  How handsome in real life is Jim 50 after 40?
A:  Jim graciously sent in a reply which I'll repost for those who missed it.
Jim: Let me handle this one for you Jon ... CK - I'm not sure words can describe the pure animal magnetism and deep manly musk that this gentleman exudes. He bowls overhand. Dead sexy indeed.

Well said Jim.  I've got one more thing to add.  Jim went down to "The Virgin Islands", now they just call them "The Islands".

My PhotoMichael:
Q:  Was it difficult going through life with your name or did it help get you chicks?
A:  Not too difficult, I can't really say that it's helped me get laid girls though.  I mean, I never went up to one and said, "Hi, I'm Jon Holmes.  Does that name ring a bell?"  Although, looking back, that might not have been a bad strategy.  If they knew my name then that could've been a sign I was trying to penetrate the right market so to speak.

Q:  Do you have any other major running goals (outside of Boston)?
A:  I haven't really mentioned it on my blog, but I want to run a marathon in all 50 states.

My PhotoJim ... 50after40:
(I can appreciate his knowledgeable and thoughtful questions about Wichita)

Q:  Do you wish you had more hills in Wichita to train on?
A:  Yes, this place is as flat as Kate Hudson.

Q:  Have you ever described yourself as a "Shocker"?
A:  Yes, I am a proud Shocker!

Q:  Will Wichita's airline industry ever come back to full strength?
A:  I think it will recover, but some of the jobs are going overseas, and like everything else, the economy has to improve first.

Q:  Do you ever go watch the Wingnuts?
A:  For most of you, the Wingnuts is Wichita's baseball team.  The Wingnuts have only been here a couple seasons, and I haven't seen them play in person.  For one, I'm not a big baseball fan, second they aren't even a minor league farm club.  Wichita used to have minor league farm clubs here.  I'll probably end up going as part of a social outing.

My PhotoCoy Martinez:
Q:  Do you think that barefoot running / minimalist running is just a fad and that it'll go away? Would you ever run barefoot?
A:  I don't see it staying as popular as it is right now, but a lot of people swear by minimalist running, and I think there will always be a market out there for it.  I'm too scared of stepping on something sharp to run barefoot, but I've been wanting to try a minimalist shoe like the Vibram 5 finger.

My PhotoJill:
Q:  What's next after Pikes Peak?
A:  It will be about time for a fall marathon, but probably just the one in my hometown.  My travel budget is shot for the year.

Q:  Do you think Pikes Peak is going to be the most rewarding race you've ever done?
A:  I actually think it might.  There are more factors/challenges at play than a normal marathon.  The greater the challenge, the greater the reward.

Q:  Do you think you'll reach a point where racing won't hold the same value to you as it does right now?
A:  Good question.  I'm sure one day that will happen, but it will probably take old age or debilitating injury to do it.

Q:  What's your blog name going to be when you make it to Boston?
A:  I really like my blog name.  I'm not sure I'll want to part with it.  Now the way Boston is set up, I might qualify, but never get in cause the faster times get priority, hence, I will still be 2 Slow 4 Boston on a technicality.

Q:  When you qualify for Boston, will you actually GO to Boston to run?
A:  Yes, it will be a priority to travel there and run and experience it.

Q:  Finally, will you wait for my sorry butt at the top of PP?
A:  I would like to do nothing more, however I doubt I'll be in charge that day.  My family will have already been waiting for me for 4 hours by the time I make it to the top, and the PP website says we should get off the mountain as quickly as possible for both congestion and health reasons.

My PhotoFair Weather Runner:
Q:  Who is your FAVORITE Wichita runner?
A:  That's a loaded question.  I know Hannah reads my blog on occasion, not to mention a few others, so it would be unfair to single someone out.  Maybe if you and Hannah were to get in a ring and mud wrestle while I ref, I could come to a conclusion.

My PhotoNelly:
Q:  How did you meet Mrs. 2Slow?
A:  I met her on an internet dating site.  Back in 1997, that was kind of a new way to do it.

Q:  What is your strength routine?
A:  Lift as much weight as I can.  Actually, I don't really have a set routine, but I do try and hit the weights about 5 days/week while at the gym.  My main exercises include lunges with dumbbells, leg extensions, ab crunches, and back extensions.  I do several sets of each while increasing the weight for each set.

Q:  Have you had any other injuries besides runners knee?
A:  I got a couple discs out of alignment in my lower back, so I spend a lot of time lifting and stretching trying to prevent it from bothering me.  Also, several years ago, I was tapering for a marathon when I came down with a kidney stone.  I had minor surgery 2 weeks prior to the race, but still ran a pretty good time.

My Photo
Q:  When is your BQ?
A:  I wish I knew.


Pikes Peak Training Week
7/2553 x 1mi intervals 7:00 pace
7/263Treadmill 12% incline 13:20 pace
7/2786 miles on track @ 8:45, 2 miles 11% incline @ 13:20 pace
7/2885 miles on track @ 7:45, 3 miles 11% incline @ 13:20 pace
7/2949 min/mi on track, 1 mile on 12% incline @ 15:00 pace
7/3020penciled in for 20 road run tomorrow morning

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Q & A. It's My Turn

My friend Nelly (The Shoutout King) handed this baton to me, so now it's my turn to step up to the plate and field some questions.  As this 2 week old tradition goes, no question is off limits.  If you can think it, I can answer it.  Ask me a funny question, maybe I can give a funny (yet truthful) answer.

Do you want to know:
  • What barnyard animal has been staying in our house?
  • How I met Mrs. 2Slow?
  • Have I ever ran naked?
  • How many miles I've logged in a year/lifetime?
  • What is my homeopathic cure for sinus infections?

In the meantime, and possible question material, here's my latest Pikes Peak training log:

Pikes Peak Training Log
7/1854 miles of 3 - 12% incline, variable pace
7/1953 of the miles ranged from 3 - 12% incline
7/2073 mile warm-up, last 4 miles @ 10% incline, 13:20 pace
7/2110flat, 8 min/mi
7/224flat, 9 min/mi recovery run
7/23144 mi warm-up, 10 miles @ 11% incline, 13:20 pace

Normally 45 miles/week would barely make the grade for me.  However, I have to keep telling myself that most of those miles were done on a slope of over 10%, and running 4.5 mph just doesn't add up as fast as running 7 or 8 mph.  The 14 miler took me 3 hours to do, and has given my a bit of confidence for PP as my taper time is nearing.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Toto, I Don't Think I'm In Kansas Anymore

Forgetting the fact that I got in the family minivan last Friday and hit the road for about 16 hours, the first clue I had that I'm no longer in Kansas was the high temps here in the 70s or 80s.  In contrast, Kansas right now has to have a thunderstorm for the mercury not to top out above 100º.  My next clue was that there are lakes all around me.  Kansas, no so much.  My friends, I have made it to the land of 10,000 lakes, otherwise known as Minnesota.  My family is spending the week at a resort on a lake with my parents, and my brother's family.

This vacation isn't fitting in real well with my training for Pikes Peak next month since there are no incline treadmills, weight machines, or stair steppers in sight to get me ready for the trek up the side of a mountain.  However, I do have some extra time on my side since I don't have to go into work.  Also a plus is that this is a real vacation where I can relax in the lake or by a campfire and not have to run around to tourist traps all day following an itinerary.  What I'm trying to say is I'm lazy and plan on drinking a lot I won't need to take another vacation to recover from this vacation, and I'm still be able to get my run on.

We're staying at a resort called Sunset Beach for obvious reasons.
After the sun goes down and we put the little ones (and the old ones) to bed, us thirty-somethings can sit around the campfire, drink a few adult beverages, swat some mosquitoes, unwind, and bring up topics like peeing in the shower.  Apparently, my wife has never thought peeing in the shower was an option, and was surprised to find out I have done it.  You would think she would know me better by now.

I'm happy to say I've been getting a full 8 hours sleep at night for a change.  By the time I get up, eat a bite, and hit the road, it is about 9:00a.  In Kansas, the heat would be beating on me like Casey Anthony by that time.  Here, it's been in the upper 50s or low 60s, and I can finish 10+ mile runs without being dehydrated.  My daily runs take me by several lakes.

Big Pine Lake (the one we stayed on)

Nitche Lake

Don't know the name of this lake, but I thought the cows added
something to the picture.
Having the extra time and some cooler weather, was a good combination for my running routine.  I wasn't going so much for speed this week as I was for the extra mileage.  As a bonus, it is also a lot hillier here than back home, thus making my runs harder in a good way.

Minnesota Mileage
7/10118.5 min/mi
7/119.58.75 min/mi
7/1213.19 min/mi
7/14128.9 min/mi
7/15169.75 min/mi

Now that the running formalities are out of the way, I'll post a few family vacation pics:

My wife and kids raced turtles in a weekly event sponsored by the local Chamber of Commerce.  First turtle to the
outside of the circle wins the heat.  I was rooting against our turtles because winning the heat would mean having
to wait around for at least an hour for a semifinal.

My oldest boy, Colter, caught his first fish, and his uncle tried to get him to kiss it.

For those who like wildlife, we had chipmunks running around camp.

My adventurous wife taking her chances in water outside of a pool.
I will not comment on the lack of contrast between her and the raft, but
I'm sure it's my fault for not knowing how to take a picture.

Minnesota's state bird, the Mosquito.

Lunchtime with 2Slow's mom and brother.

My 4 year old, Hayden

We will be heading back to Kansas Saturday where I will have no guilt about my workouts here, but I will have to man up and hit the inclines and stairs hard next week.

Friday, July 1, 2011

River Run 10k & Training

A few weeks back I ran in one of the most popular local races of the year, the Wichita River Run 10k.  It is also the only 10k I run during the year.  This was the first time they held it in June, having moved from May.  Your first thought might be, "why the hell did they move a popular race to the heat of the Summer?"  The short answer is because it is part of the annual citywide River Festival, and the other events tended to get rained out and have low attendance at that earlier time of year.

Along with a new date came a new course.  In years past, it was more of a down and back, which I liked because you could look for all the runners you knew and see who's ahead or behind you.  The new course was more of a loop, but a lot of runners liked it too, and it went through neighborhoods with shade.  I believe it also started a half hour earlier to beat the heat (not that that helped much).  The race temps were sunny in the high 70s to start, and low 80s by the time I finished.

I met up with Fair Weather Runner, Mark, and a few other mutual friends before the gun sounded, and when I say gun, I mean a big, fucking loud, National Guard Howitzer (cannon) that makes you leap out of your shorts as it reverberates off of all the buildings around.  On the plus side, after you climb back into your shorts, the adrenaline rush makes any pace seem easy.  First miles of races are usually easy anyway, but I could tell pretty quick that I was heating up, and not in a good way.

By mile 3 I was a sweaty mess.  I had planned on PRing even with the heat, since I easily set a PR at every distance I attempted in the past year.  Alas, it was not to be, those 80º temps just don't like to yield fast times.  To finish the race, I had to out kick another runner, which is more of an effort than I'd like to give when my heart rate is over 200 and I'm drenched in sweat.

Speaking of heart rate, here's my HR chart.  I think it does a good job of showing my effort.  By mile 3, I was averaging 191 bpm, which I figure is about 90% of my max HR.  At the finish, it maxed out at 208.  That is as high as I've ever seen my ticker get.

Here are my splits.  Not bad that they were all within 13 seconds of each other except for the final 0.2 mi.

The month before I ran a half marathon in great weather conditions, and my average pace was only 5 seconds slower.

My mommy and daddy fought the crowds and waited at the finish line for about 45 minutes just so they could watch the last 15 seconds of my race.  I owe my mom some thanks for snapping a pic of me running down the home stretch.

I finished with a chip time of 0:45:14, about 1 minute off my PR.  I hoped I could find a positive from this race, so I went back through some previous year's results.  I found that prior years I came in in the top 8th - 9th percentile.  Since everyone else had to deal with the same conditions, I was able to come in the 7th percentile.  So I guess I am improving.

Wichita River Run 10k Stats
Chip Time45:14
Overall Place129/1690
Age Group15/98
Average Pace7:17
Max. Heart Rate208

Ideally, my post should stop here, and I would give my brain a rest.  But that's not how I roll when I haven't posted in a few weeks.  Now that the River Run is done, I've set my sights on the Pikes Peak Ascent in August.  This race is about as close as I have come to being scared.  It is only 13.3 miles, but it is up a mountain with lowering temperatures and oxygen as you get closer to the top.

About a week ago, I gave Pikes Peak veteran Jill a call for the first time, and we talked for over an hour about the race and running in general.  It was awesome talking to her, and I'm glad I got to know her outside of just reading her blog.

I've done 3 incline treadmill workouts this past week where I set the incline to 12-15% and I try to find a pace I can sustain.  It turns out 3 to 4 mph or 15 to 20 minute miles are about all I can handle.  It's not that my heart rate skyrockets, my limiting factor is my muscle burn.  I'm used to logging pretty decent mileage, so I have to get used to running for an hour and only having 3 or 4 miles to show for it.  On the plus side, I am getting a really good cardio workout without the wear and tear on my joints.  I think I've already noticed a difference on my normal runs where my pace seems more effortless.