Official Photos From Living History Farms Race 2011

Came across the email that let me know the pictures from the Living History Farms Race I completed a few weeks back are finally up online. Here is the link: http://www.jolesch.com/livinghistoryfarmsrace/

You can see all the people and crazy costumes if you check the site.

Here is a link to my blog post after completing the race in case you missed it.

Here is an image of the start of the race.

Here are some photos of me from the race. The ones where I look dead tired are at the end when you have to run up this slow incline of a hill in a field.

I actually look somewhat like a runner. This is a first!

This is where I thought I was going to die.
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Living History Farms Race Recap

3:30 – Woke up to eat breakfast and get around. Fell back asleep after being up with Ava through the night.

3:52 – Got up and made coffee, ate french toast with turkey sausage

4:30 – Headed out the door to give myself time to find the place. I am terrible with directions so I wanted to be sure I planned accordingly. I also wanted to get there early to get a shirt in my size.

Packing for the elements and the unknown
Coffee is a must at 3:30 am

7:10 – Arrived and had to pee like nobody’s business. Coffee and a jug of water will do that to you. When I got out of my car it was freezing cold! I was like thinking about why I decided to do this race.

7:15 – 7:30 – Waited in line to get inside to grab my registration materials. During this time I realized that my ankle was killing me. I had not had any injuries or aches in quite some time so I was not too happy. I later realized I am just getting old and my joints need time to warm up.

7:45 – 8:00 – Went back to my car, blasted the heat and put on my bib and timing chip. Finally, I just sucked it up and went outside. I did not drive 2.5 hours to sit in my vehicle.

8:00 – I went out for a warm up run. I did 1 mile, but stopped along the way to check out the Living History Farms, the water, the hills, etc. I had a blast just exploring. This helped me warm up. I am glad I did this because I was bundled up and I was able to find out that I did not need all the clothes I had on.

Me contemplating the hills and water on warm up run

One of the many creeks to cross

Hills like these just kill the legs after 4-5 miles of running
I ran this as  warm up to prep for the race.
Seeing coffee, pumpkin bars, cookies, chocolate, donuts before the race almost made me not race and just eat!

8:25 – Final stop at car to shed clothes. I ended up running in shorts and long sleeve compression shirt. Made my way to the starting chute. There were 7500 runners and tons of spectators.

9:00 – The race began.

This race was awesome. I ran way better than expected. My goal was to try and run a 8:00 mile pace overall. This means I would have to run faster than 8:00 to accomodate the creeks and hill climbs. I was not sure if this was going to be feasible as I learned from doing the Governor’s Run a few weeks back that I am not trained for off terrain runs. Also, I have not ran 7 miles or more since October 25th. It has been about a month since I have ran 7 miles, let alone on farm land, hills, forests, mud, and creeks.

I ended up running 55:42 for my official time. I finished 347th overall and 39th in my division. There was not a mat at the start so everyone started with the same start time no matter when you actually go to the starting line. I started my Garmin right before the start and my time on my watch was 54:45. I spent at least the first minute at a walk or super slow jog. You can see the image above of the start. It is hard to see, but this mass of people goes on forever.

My mile pace ended up being 7:49. I was quite surprised. I was not expecting to run this pace. I jumped out fast. There were a lot of fast runners. I started off mile 1 at a 7:49 pace. I looked at my watch and thought “Oh boy!”. I knew I started slow due to the amount of people. To have this mile time for mile 1 meant I must have been moving way faster than planned to have this mile split. Mile 2 I ran 7:28. At this point I was feeling fantastic, but in the back of my mind I knew I was going to hit a wall. Being my last race of the year I thought I would just push to see what I had. Mile 3 was where we finally hit the first creek. Up to this point we were running in fields, farmland, and some small timber. Mile 3 I was cruising even fast at 7:05. This was stupid. I was so caught up with the people. I could not believe how fast everyone was so I just tried to maintain my groove. The first creek was a nice depth and it quickly froze the toes and legs. Running in wet shoes is always an unique experience.

Mile 4 I started to slow down as we made our way into the forests and trying to follow a small path. I was still cruising at 7:36. From here we hit a major hill/bank and some creeks and this wiped me out. We were also doing some serious up and down climbing so I slowed to 8:11 for mile 5. This was to be expected with my previous pace and also due to the terrain. Mile 6  I dropped even more to 8:31. There were more creeks and nothing was easy about this mile. I started to hit the wall I was dreading. I fought through it. Mile 7 was creek heavy. There was water it seemed like all the time with a nice long slowly increasing hill in a field to get us back to the finish. I knocked out mile 7 in 8:00. I was gassed. I had nothing left.

Just a little mud remains on the face!

Post race food was the best!

Is there a better reward?

Spectators and fans were everywhere!

This bib will be a reminder of the great times of this race.

More mud

Can you tell where my shoes and mud met?

This was a fantastic race. I loved it. I am enjoying the trail runs more and more. The 7 miles flew by as you are always checking out your next step, the landscape, or watching other runners. I was a muddy mess. At one creek crossing the bank to get back on the path was about 10-12 feet high. The runner in front of me lost his grip and flung so much mud right in my face. I only had to laugh.

I was very happy with my time. I have progressed so much as a runner. Being that I have not been following a plan or any structure the last month or so I will take this time. I wonder had I been following a plan of some sort how much faster I could have gone. I looked up my Bix time from this summer and I remember being so impressed with myself running that race in 52:36. This race I was only a few minutes off of that with a landscape much different and a workout that did not exist.

This is why I race. I don’t always feel like I am making gains during my training, but signing up for races allows me to see my progression. I will be signing up for this race again next year. It was well put together. The spectators were awesome. They were everywhere and cheered for everyone.

I was quite sore when I got home after sitting in the car for 2.5 hours. I did take a power nap. GETTING IT DONE! was accomplished again.

 347   39 M30  Aaron Maurer, 30, Bettendorf, IA           55:42 
 

 
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Living History Farms Race – Pre Race

I am getting ready to head out the door to discover another hopefully super awesome race. Headed to bed around 10:00 last night after watching Bettendorf Football at state. Ava decided to wake up and be loud last night from around 1:00 – 2:00. My alarm went off at 3:30 and I was up at 3:52.

GU packed. iPhone packed. Change of clothes packed. Coffee and Water packed. Garmin packed. New music playlist for the drive downloaded. Breakfast packed.

I am ready. I will post the results of the race later. I will be supporting my Live Uncommon shirt for the race. T-Minus 5 hours until GETTING IT DONE! begins at the Living History Farms Race.

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Training – 1 Day Until LHF Race – Swim Workout

Jumped in the pool this morning to work on my swimming technique. I honestly lost count of how many lengths I did so I will side on the error and go with 20 laps, but I think I did 25(50 lengths). I was in the pool for 40 minutes.

I had two objectives for today. First, I wanted to continue to work on the drills and techniques that I learned from last weekend. Second, I wanted to work on my stamina by not having to stop each time I swam one length.

I worked on all the drills of swimming: breathing(3,5,and 7 strokes, pull buoy, board to focus on my kicks, keeping my head up and looking forward, and really extending my reach.

I was able to get down and back without stopping, but after a few times doing this I really had a hard time with a lack of oxygen. I know this will come with time and practice, but being that I cannot swim 50 meters without breathing heavy I have a hard time visualizing swimming 1-2 miles. I have some major ground to cover. I also know that my stamina can be improved later once I fix my swim technique.

I am excited for my race tomorrow. The weather shall prove interesting. There is a chance of rain along with 15-25 mile an hour winds. I am still trying to figure out how to dress for this race. I was thinking shorts as running through creeks pants would get wet and I would have to continue to run in wet pants where bare legs would dry faster. I need to prep tonight as 3:30 am will be here soon when I am up and preparing to leave.

Happy Friday everyone!

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Training – 2 Days Until LHF Race – 5.26 Miles With Two Crazies

Three of us were up early this morning for our run starting out at PVHS. It was another cold morning of 20 degrees. We took for a 5 mile run around town. We ended up running 5.26 miles in 42:18.

It was another good run. I have had three great runs this week so I am feeling good heading into my race this weekend. My body feels fresh once I get warmed up. I am not sure what the temp or weather will be like, but I will embrace it all.

After our first mile of 8:40 we ran the next four miles all under a 8 minute pace. It is nice to run a different run and to run with others. I know I said that last week, but it really breaks the week up.

Heading towards the pool tomorrow for a swim workout to round out the weekly workouts. I will take a day off of running to give my legs a rest for the run Saturday.

Don’t forget to follow Jeff Paul this weekend as he is ready to tackle Ironman Arizona. He has been training like a machine for this race. If you need a reminder that we could all pick up or fitness levels head over to his blog and read what he has been doing for his training for this IMAZ while being a teacher, father, and husband. He is an inspiration to many. I will be following his race. I look forward to checking out the race with the GPS devices tagged on the pros.

Have a great Thursday. Continue GETTING IT DONE!

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Training – 3 Days Remaining Until LHF Race – BRRRR! Cold 5 Miles

Wowsers was it cold this morning. This was the first run where I really needed a pair of gloves. I ordered a pair of running gloves but they do not arrive until next week. I really wanted to get in a 7 mile run this morning but I fell back asleep for about 20 minutes after my alarm so I was not able to get out at an earlier than normal start time to accomplish this. In hindsight it was probably a good thing I did not go 7 miles today as I have a very busy week of excercise and training through Sunday.

Instead I went out for a 5 mile run. I wanted to go nice and easy, but it was just too cold to be out any longer than needed. I started off slow around 8:22 for the first mile and slowly warming up for a 8:05 second mile. By this point I decided to slowly pick up the pace to get the run done. Mile 3 was 7:50, mile 4 7:38, and mile 5 was 7:32. I was feeling really good running. I could have kept going. I hope I feel the same way Saturday for my race.

One spot on my leg left has been nagging me lately. The tendon/ligament/whatever on the outside of my leg right above my ankle bone has been giving me some sharp pains while out running. I need to keep an eye on this as I continue to run.

I finished up the 5.2 mile run in 40:56 for 7:52 pace. I will knock out another run tomorrow, swim Friday, race Saturday, swim Sunday, play basketball Sunday, and then collapse Sunday night. GETTING IT DONE! in November will only make Thanksgiving taste that much better!

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Training – 4 Days Until LHF Race – A Day in the Pool

This morning I worked out in the pool instead of on the pavements of Bettendorf. I recently had my first swim class over the weekend with a great coach/instructor who gave me some drills and techniques to work on to improve my swimming. Today I decided to swim 40 lengths and during that time I worked on her suggestions.

One of the things that I need to work to improve upon is the number of swim strokes it takes me to swim one length. When I started my session over the weekend I was around 20 strokes and by the end of the session she had me down to around 17 strokes. When I get better on my technique she thought I could get it down to around 15 strokes. Today I was focusing on how many strokes it took me and I was back around 20. I could not get it reduced. This is a sign that I must not be extending enough and really reaching.

I also worked on my kick. I used the board and focused on my kick. I did not use flippers so this was a good workout on the legs. I would go down and back working on my kick around every 10 lengths. I did fine while kicking with the board, but as soon as I brought everything together I know my kick fell apart. This is going to be my biggest thing to overcome.

I worked on the six stroke drill where I placed one arm straight ahead, kick six times, and then switched arms. This drill is tough for me. I cannot get my breathing down and I find it difficult. This is a drill that I need to continue to work on as the reason it is hard is because I have much to work on.

Another thing I did was swim regular while working on my breathing. I swam down and back breathing every 3 strokes. Then I would repeat breathing every 5 strokes and then 7 strokes. The 7 strokes is tough. I am good swimming down, but coming back is killer. I need to develop my lung capacity and swimming without oxygen.

Lastly, I used the pull buoys to work on my stroke. This is a great drill. I can really focus on extending and not kicking. I do pretty good when I am not kicking.

Overall, this was a productive session on my own. I worked on all the things from the session I had this weekend. I just need to become more comfortable in water and realize that progress is going to be slowly. I am glad I am starting now to give myself the rest of November and all December to work on technique before I really start to jump into any sort of training program.

This workout kicked my butt. I was tired when I finished. I swam 1000 meters which is not quite a mile. A mile is 1600 meters so I would still have 24 more laps for one mile. I cannot imagine swimming 1.2 miles for a half Ironman/Rev3 without stopping as here I was today stopping after every 25 meters. One day at a time, but my goals are big and so is my determination. GETTING IT DONE! just got a lot more interesting.

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Training – 5 Days Until LHF Race – 6 Mile Morning Run

After a very long night of dealing with Ava who was literally up all night crying, squirming, throwing up, etc. I was almost excited to jump out of bed to run. I was not sure how my body was going to do on the run with little sleep and still being sore from last week.

I had hoped to get in 25 miles of running last week, but ended up with only 18 miles. I did add a swim workout in there which was new to me. My feet were tender on Sunday and also this morning from the swim workout as my feet and calves kept cramping during the swim.

I headed out to BMS to meet the morning crazies. There were only two of us this morning. Many of the crazies ran this weekend in the Wildcat 50k or other races and I think they needed  day off. I know our group is going to be nice sized running group once we can get everyone dialed in and on the same page. With winter around the corner the race season is about over so we should be all ready to rock.

We knocked out 6 miles in 48:47 for a 8:08 mile pace. This was a nice pace that allowed for some good conversation. It was the perfect run that I needed. I don’t know if my body was ready to be pushed. This what I needed – some good exercise to get my mind cleared and to knock out some good miles on Monday.

I am down to 5 days until my race. I am excited to run something new and fresh. Aiden is having his first sleepover on Friday so Amanda and I will not be going up Friday for a getaway weekend as we had hoped for. I will be getting up around 3 am and drive the 3 hour drive to get to the starting line on time.

I hope I can stay healthy. I have been battling a cold, but my family has been dealing with much worse so I hope to avoid all the illness so I feel fresh on Saturday. I hope to jump in the pool tomorrow to work on some techniques that I was told to work on during my swim lesson.

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Training – Saturday Run and Swim – 7 Days Until LHF Race

Yesterday I had added a new chapter to my training routine. I jumped out in the afternoon for a quick 3 mile run just to flush out the fatigue in my legs. I felt tired. I have been fighting a cold and it has been taking a toll on me, but I felt the need to get a run in so I kept it short and just knocked out a 3 mile loop. I ran all in grass to help prepare for the race course next weekend. I ran the 3 miles in 23:18 for a 7:40 pace.

About 40 later I was at Augustana for my first swim lesson. I had contacted Stacey Zapolski to see if she would be willing to help me out. I have my eyes on the field of triathlons, but in order to do so I need help with my swimming. Stacey agreed to meet with me and give me some tips.

I was nervous prior to swimming because swimming is not something I am comfortable with because I don’t feel like I am a strong swimmer. Working with Stacey for about 45 minutes I jumped out of the pool knowing some techniques and drills that I can work on to improve my swim stroke. She was awesome to work with. I really appreciated her taking time out of her day to meet with me.

I had a great day of training. I have things to work on for my running and now the element of swimming. Starting on my swimming now gives me all winter to really focus on technique. I would like conquer a half Ironman/Rev3 or full Ironman/Rev3 next fall. This is a very large goal with many things for me to learn quickly. However, if I take things one at a time I think I could accomplish this goal. I just need to learn more about swimming and biking and then sit down in the next month and really hash out a plan. The plan will have to work for me, my wife, my three kids, and all the things that come with being a father and husband. Training for something of this magnitude is a serious time commitment so I want to make sure that I have the support of my family before going all in. I am excited.

I need one more good run in today, but not sure if I will be able to get it in. I know my body feels tired from running 4 straight days, a day of swimming, and not having good sleep with some sick kids. I have a run with the group of “Crazies” tomorrow morning so I shall see what comes of things. The last thing I need to do now is wear my body out before my race this weekend.

Keep pursuing your goals and dreams. Don’t lose sight of want you to accomplish and strive for GETTING IT DONE!

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Training – 8 Days until LHF Race – A Cold One Today

My hands are still numb as I type this post. I feel like a gorilla at a keyboard. It was cold this morning. I was tired this morning as two of my kids were up with a terrible cough all night. By the time I actually fell into a deep sleep it was time wake up. I fell back asleep after my alarm, but found a way to wake up and get up to run.

I wanted to get 5 miles in this morning. My legs felt tired after running the last two days and battling a cold myself. I knew I needed to pick up the pace just a little bit to get my run in on time as I was late getting started.

Once I warmed up it felt great to be out running. It was a very peaceful morning with the full moon out to light the way. I ran 5.19 miles in 40:42 for 7:51 pace running the last mile at 7:32 pace.

I am feeling good going into my race next weekend. I am hoping for one more run this week, maybe two if I can squeeze it in. I am also off to learn how to swim. That should prove rather interesting. I contacted a person to give me some tips. I know I will make a fool of myself for sure, but the only way to get better is to jump in and practice.

Have a great Friday! We survived this week that felt like it would never end. Off for some coffee and oatmeal.

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