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I ran in the Icebreaker Indoor half marathon yesterday. It's held at the Pettit National Ice Center running track because, as I always say, if you are holding a running race in Milwaukee in January, you probably want to hold it indoors. This is my third year running the half marathon, and I think it's a great event and I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys running in circles. I think it's a lot more fun than people think it sounds like. We're all in there as a group, they have music playing and an announcer announcing, you go past the spectators constantly, and you go past the hydration table every 443 meters so you never have to worry about water. Unless you are one of them, you get passed repeatedly by the really fast runners, which is quite impressive to see. It's like they are doing some sort of interval workout, except the interval is 21.1 kilometers. And many of them are coming back the next day for 42.2km. If you aren't among the slowest then you in turn get to lap other runners, which makes it really feel like some sort of race. It takes about two laps for the field to spread out and start to sort out by speed, and after that for the most part it's not much problem to pass and be passed.

My time this year was 1:46:16, 64 seconds faster than my previous best half marathon, which was last year's Icebreaker. Best of all, nothing in particular ever hurt. There are ups and downs, times I felt good, times I felt really tired and just plain beat, but no foot blisters, weird knee pains, muscle cramps, or any other sort of specific injuries or pains.

I started long track speed skating because of the Icebreaker run. I signed up for the half marathon back in the fall of 2010 and did quite a bit of running in the Pettit center in preparation, mostly after work during the time the speed skating sessions are running. I saw the speed skaters and thought I wanted to try that, and now I'm out on the oval regularly. I thought it might be fun to do some speed skating during the running of the marathon today, and it was. I found out that I can match the speed of the marathon winner, but only if I have speed skates on. A few of the runners chatted briefly while I was gliding around the outside of the ice, and the skaters thought it was interesting that I'm also a runner and had run the half the previous day.

After a little more than an hour of mostly easy skating I went to Lapham Peak to ski. It was cloudy and a bit foggy today, but it turned out to be a really beautiful day at the park, with a frost effect coating trees and pine needles in parts of the park with ice crystals. After all the other activity I was going to take it slow, and it really was a pretty day to just ski around (and take some photos) and enjoy the place without athlete-ing around trying to achieve a fast time.

photo )

Snow!

Dec. 2nd, 2006 11:20 pm
beige_alert: (snow)
We had a significant quantity of snow in the Milwaukee area on Friday. About 10 inches (25 cm) in the city, more to the south. Yesterday, I stayed home until afternoon. Today, I went skiing. The pigs, they are resting comfortably.

photos! )

Skiing!

Jan. 21st, 2006 04:02 pm
beige_alert: (snow)
We got something like 10+ cm of wet, sticky snow last night. Enough for skiing. Lapham peak was in pretty good condition, with the trails snow-covered. The snow is just a bit sticky in places, which is too bad, but still pretty nice. The trees are all covered with pig pillows :)

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