May 142013
 

Yes, I did it.   I finished the Brookings Marathon in 4:24:00.   I did not join the DNF list.   I’m not particularly happy with the time, but all things considered, I’m satisfied.   Perhaps best of all, the shirt this year, a technical shirt again, is kind of a pale royal blue with

By the 20th mile or so, I was off pace and busy making up excuses why I didn’t finish in less than 4 hours.

So here goes a couple that I can think of

  • I didn’t sleep well in the week or two leading up to the race.   I’ve been preoccupied with other subjects that have kept me from good sleep.  Nothing that are huge worries, just general pre-occupations
  • I was unable to train as vigorously as with the last two marathons.  My circumstances last year allowed me to do two-a-days.   But that is no longer the case.
  • It was very windy in Brookings on marathon Saturday.    Some of the course is protected from the wind, but other places are not.
  • I don’t pay enough attention to my diet.   I’ve said in the past that I like to eat, so I must run.  It is true that I have a healthier diet now than 10 years ago, but I could do better.  But I will never give up spaghetti with made with hot Italian sausage.
  • I have an almost two-year-old in the house.  He’s the Prince of Cuteness right now and Mrs. Dakotabranch and I agree that the more time we put into him now, the better he’ll turn out later.   Having him around makes finding time for long runs a little more difficult.

I guess I’m proud to say I am now a three time marathon finisher.

Happy rails.

May 062013
 
I used white glue to attach my cork roadbed to the 2 inch extruded foam insulation.

I used white glue to attach my cork roadbed to the 2 inch extruded foam insulation.

My wife Beth models beside the newly completed cork roadbed.

My wife Beth models beside the newly completed cork roadbed.

The first bridge that I installed in this place was a Walthers wooden trestle.   Knowing how to fill in around the bents was above my scenery skill level at the time, so I switched to an Atlas steel span without any supports.  This was a good long term choice, but was a temporary setback at the time.  I re-used the Walthers trestle in another part of the layout a few years later.

The first bridge that I installed in this place was a Walthers wooden trestle. Knowing how to fill in around the bents was above my scenery skill level at the time, so I switched to an Atlas steel span without any supports. This was a good long term choice, but was a temporary setback at the time. I re-used the Walthers trestle in another part of the layout a few years later.

A staging yard is one of the best ways I can think of to expand an otherwise boring 4x8 HO scale layout.    I divided this yard and called the left side Corson, SD and the left I referred to as Morefield South Dakota.   This extension has since been demolished and rebuilt.  I neglected to use cork roadbed here and paid for it in hearing loud trains running over it.

A staging yard is one of the best ways I can think of to expand an otherwise boring 4×8 HO scale layout. I divided this yard and called the left side Corson, SD and the left I referred to as Morefield South Dakota. This extension has since been demolished and rebuilt. I neglected to use cork roadbed here and paid for it in hearing loud trains running over it.

I've installed the Pikestuff ramp kit and will move on to painting the surfaces that will be covered with ground foam and gravel soon.

I’ve installed the Pikestuff ramp kit and will move on to painting the surfaces that will be covered with ground foam and gravel soon.

This is the Walthers  Red X Cement Plant.   The tooling is the same as the Medusa Cement Plant, but comes with some added rooftop details.

This is the Walthers Red X Cement Plant. The tooling is the same as the Medusa Cement Plant, but comes with some added rooftop details.

Here I'm working on a cut into a hillside.  I represented this by building up the hillside with shaped scrap foam insulation, wadded newspapers, masking tape and plaster cloth.

Here I’m working on a cut into a hillside. I represented this by building up the hillside with shaped scrap foam insulation, wadded newspapers, masking tape and plaster cloth.

One reason i chose foam is that it is easy to work with and represent changes in elevation of the surrounding terrain around the right-of-way.  The long gently curving line is where my backdrop will be placed.

One reason i chose foam is that it is easy to work with and represent changes in elevation of the surrounding terrain around the right-of-way. The long gently curving line is where my backdrop will be placed.

I also made heavy use of a Sharpie marker to lay out my ideas of where stuff would be placed on the layout.

I also made heavy use of a Sharpie marker to lay out my ideas of where stuff would be placed on the layout.

It is always important to test your tracklaying before you get too far into the scenery process.   It also keeps you interested in running trains.

It is always important to test your tracklaying before you get too far into the scenery process. It also keeps you interested in running trains.

May 062013
 

I haven’t written much on running lately because there hasn’t been much to write about.  It seems every time I step out for a run lately, I tell myself it is the last time I’ll be wearing warm clothing.  Even in South Dakota, snow should not be allowed after May 1st.   But that’s what we had.   Perhaps in spite of it, I logged 31 miles last week.

But that’s about all I’m going to do before Brookings Marathon on May 11th.   Most marathon training plans call for a buildup to a weekly long run of around 20 miles three weeks before a race.  I’ve done that, but with as little training as I’ve gotten besides a couple insanely long runs.  My average during the week run have been varying between 5 and 7 miles a day.  Mostly seven.  I’m at 443.5 training miles since Jan 1 2013, so I feel I have it in the bank to finish the 26.2 mile run at Brookings.

This running has been evenly divided between treadmill and open road miles.   I really don’t mind either one that much.   But when it is cold, dark and icy like it was a lot this January and February, I opt to stay in and listen to podcasts and music MP3s on the treadmill.

The weather is still a little sketchy for Marathon Saturday, so I’ll have to wait a little longer to lay out my race day apparel.  I’m a firm believer in nothing new on race day, so I’ll be only choosing from stuff I’ve run long in during past runs.

BTW, does anybody know what the Brookings Marathon race shirt looks like this year?   If you know, you can tell me, but part of the fun is the suspense that exists before actually seeing it in my packet.

If you are running the 2013 edition, good luck!   And if you see me, stop me and say ‘hello’!