blueollie

Peoria Zoo Run, Illinois vs. Western Michigan football and Quad Cities Half Marathon

I had a “vacation within a weekend”; I am sure glad that I drive a Toyota Prius that gets 48-50 miles to the gallon on the highway (and walk to work every day).

8 am Saturday: Zoo Run Run 5K (Peoria Zoo fund raiser)
Day: cool and dry. Course: three identical loops (1.033 miles each). My performance:
9:23, 9:30, 8:50 for 27:45.

Upside of the event: free zoo admission and a rather interesting, scenic course. It is hilly in a “rolling” sort of way; you are kept honest.

Downside (for some: it is a slow course (long?) in its current configuration (there have been at least 5 different ones since 1997). The winning time was a mid 18 (it was a mid 19 last year); the guy who won it usually runs a mid 17.

My race: I warmed up by doing one loop plus a bit more; I cooled down by walking about 1 mile; .5 of that was with Tracy. I tried to keep things under control during mile 1 as my knee had been a bit sore (behind) this past week. I maintained this for the second loop as well; I did jockey back and forth with some.

On the last loop I reminded myself: “hey, this is a race; go hard” and so I picked it up. I set a goal of passing 2 people which I did; but one got me and I couldn’t quite get her back. But needless to say, running the last 1.03 miles 33 seconds faster than either of the previous ones means that I perhaps had a bit too much left.

2:30 Saturday: Illinois vs. Western Michigan football
After the race, I picked up Lynn at 10:30 am (yes, I showered first! 🙂 ) and we drove 90 miles to Urbana-Champaign to see the Western Michigan-Illinois football game.

Though the Broncos (WMU) lost 34-10 at Michigan earlier this year (in a rain shortened game), they did beat Illinois 23-16 in Detroit in 2008. They have a strong passing attack.

(photos by Jonathon Gruenke from Kalamazoo Gazette; many more here)

Frankly, they outplayed Illinois in the first half to take a 13-10 lead. Most of Illinois offense came on a long roll-out pass to the tight end which set up the first score (second possession). Otherwise, the Broncos moved the ball well between the 20’s. But they did miss two field goals; a key play was when Illinois sacked the Bronco quarterback to put them back on the 31; then a makeable field goal became a lower percentage 48 yard attempt, which barely missed wide. Without the sack yardage, they make it.

In the second half, the defense played better and Illinois found a running game, especially with the option. A big run set up the second touchdown and a 17-13 lead; but the next time Illinois threatened, they had to settle for a field goal. Western Michigan answered with passing (set up by a good punt and good field position) and Illinois took the lead with 8:2x left in the game with another field goal.

The defense held again and forced a punt with 6 minutes to go. Illinois ground out the clock with good running but failed at 4’th and 2 on the Western Michigan 32. But WMU had to use all of their time outs and so had none left when they got the ball.

They still moved it but then came another key play: a quarterback sack. That burned a lot of clock and with 10 seconds to go, WMU got off a play good for a first down at the Illinois 41…as time expired!

Illinois, despite being outgained in the first half, ended up with a 463-361 edge in yards and gained 296 on the ground. Some of the ground yards lead to scores, and the last bunch burned off precious seconds on the clock which, ultimately, put the game away. Still, the Illinois quarterback has a sore shoulder and has to be substituted on occasion when a “all but certain long pass” is called for.

The defense got some key quarterback traps and really shut down the Bronco running game.

The kick return team gave up too many yards, in my opinion.

Overall, this is the type of game that last year’s team would have lost; instead they found a way to win (key quarterback sacks, that final burn the clock drive on the ground against a defense that was stacked to prevent the run).

But: it gets harder from here on; Northwestern comes to town next week and they’ve had a week off to lick their wounds. My guess: we’ll see another squeaker. Barbara is going to that one with me.

She’ll like the fact that Lynn and I found a good Middle Eastern restaurant on Wright Street.

College football: the bizarre
1. Western Michigan had one false start penalty waved off because the Illinois band was playing during the count.
2. Check out this call on a key extra point during the Syracuse-Toledo game. It sure looks as if the kick missed; the ball passed IN FRONT of the upright and never “hooked back”.

Lynn and I had dinner after the game and we got back into town at 9:30 pm.

7:30 am: Moline, Illinois: The Quad Cities Half Marathon
Yes, it is another 90 minute drive on I-74 from Peoria; this drive is due west (and north). I had to leave town at 4:45 am as the race started at 7:30. Still, I made it in plenty of time; thanks to IDOT for telling us IN ADVANCE that the 7’th ave. exit ramp was closed. They had a detour all set up and well marked.

The day was cool; though I drove through some rain and then a lightening storm to get there, there was no trouble at the race, at least for those who finished their respective races in under 2:30 or so.

Quick summary I “power walked” this race; my right knee won’t straighten for a legal race walk.

(this is me last year; my right supporting leg is obviously bent; in a judged racewalk that leg has to be straight from the time the foot hits the ground until this position).

Time: 2:22:27 (chip); I was at 1:06:30 at 10K. It took me 3 minutes to get to the start. Note: I forgot to start my watch and so “just walked”; I focused on my race and chasing after the slower runners. I did slow down (11 minute pace for the final 6.9 miles; 10:42 for the first 10K). I varied my gait a bit; sometimes I took shorter steps and I did have that soft knee.

Details
This Quad Cities race followed the 2008 course; we went through Bettendorf (via the I-74 bridge), along the bike path to Davenport and then across an old railroad bridge into Rock Island/Arsenal Island; we spit off from the marathoners on the bike part prior to the half marathoners turning into Davenport and then crossing here:

You get to mile 10 on Arsenal Island and do about 2.5 miles there.

As far as the social part: people did comment on my walking; no one thought that I wasn’t. I saw ultra runners Donna Creditor at the start and Bonnie Bush during. And yes, my eyes enjoyed all of the feminine spandex; it was in the high 40’s-low 50’s you know.

When we closed in on the finish we heard some booms of thunder. Then about 2-3 minutes after I finished, the rains just let loose for about 30 minutes. It poured.

Knee note: The knee started to bother me (behind the knee, as usual) at about 10K or so; it wasn’t severe and I needed no pain medications. I had to alter my gait just a bit every so often; it hurts much less when I avoid over striding.

What was unusual
Of course, for me, walking “sans watch” was unusual.

But early in the race; I heard something that I had never heard before. I was behind some guys who were running at their prescribed pace (10:30-10:40 as I was walking); we had lined up according to pace. Some very short woman came running behind us, perhaps at 8-8:30 minutes per mile. She said “on your right” to one of the guys (who I would guess was 6′ 4″ or so) and then she said that he ought to “move to the side if you are going to talk”. Huh? They were really running at their prescribed pace and only 2 abreast (unlike the 3-4 abreast I’ve seen from others.) The guys were nice about it and wished the woman luck; I wanted to blurt out something to the effect that she really wasn’t fast enough to warrant acting like that but just sighed and kept going. The guys joked about it with each other and continued to enjoy their run.

My stats: 590/694 among the men, 59/70 in my age group, 1198 out of 1638 overall.
(results are available here)

Past years:
1998: 3:55 as a runner (hot)
1999: 3:45 as a runner
2000: 1:40 for half of a relay
2001: 1:49 for half marathon (week after giving blood)
2002: 4:44 marathon as a walker
2004: 5:12 marathon as a walker
2005: 5:34 marathon as a walker.
2007: DNF at mile 23 (walker)
2008: 2:25 half marathon (walker)
2009: 5:28 marathon (as a walker)
2010: 2:39 half marathon (as a walker; knee surgery in July).

1230 Sunday: Aachi’s Indian food in Peoria, IL with Barbara
Yep, I made it back in time for lunch…and to cut the grass. Currently I am watching the Packers whip my Bears..it is 27-10 Packers in the 4’th and fixing to get worse.

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September 25, 2011 - Posted by | college football, football, Friends, knee rehabilitation, Peoria, Peoria/local, running, sports, time trial/ race, training, travel, walking | , ,

9 Comments »

  1. Hey, nice job! You are improving again :). Glad you enjoyed the race.

    Comment by Tammy | September 27, 2011 | Reply

  2. […] of my race are here. Short version: I power walked a 2:22, which is my fastest time since 2003. It is true that in 2002 […]

    Pingback by Quad Cities Half Marathon 2011 Photos « blueollie | October 25, 2011 | Reply

  3. […] of this was wind, some was heat, and some was me. (other: First Light Half, January 2012: 2:34, Quad Cities Half Marathon 2:22, September 2011, Illinois Valley Striders Half Marathon, September 2011, […]

    Pingback by Galesburg Half Marathon, June 3, 2012: Report on the race itself and my race « blueollie | June 3, 2012 | Reply

  4. […] Past Half Marathon Walks Galesburg First Light Quad Cities 2011 IVS 2011 Quad Cities 2010 Half Marathon Like this:LikeBe the first to like […]

    Pingback by Illinois Valley Striders Half Marathon « blueollie | September 9, 2012 | Reply

  5. […] Past years: 1998: 3:55 as a runner (hot) 1999: 3:45 as a runner 2000: 1:40 for half of a relay 2001: 1:49 for half marathon (week after giving blood) 2002: 4:44 marathon as a walker 2004: 5:12 marathon as a walker 2005: 5:34 marathon as a walker. 2007: DNF at mile 23 (walker) 2008: 2:25 half marathon (walker) 2009: 5:28 marathon (as a walker) 2010: 2:39 half marathon (as a walker; knee surgery in July). 2011: 2:22:27 (half marathon powerwalk) […]

    Pingback by Quad Cities Half Marathon tomorrow « blueollie | September 21, 2013 | Reply

  6. […] Past years: 1998: 3:55 as a runner (hot) 1999: 3:45 as a runner 2000: 1:40 for half of a relay 2001: 1:49 for half marathon (week after giving blood) 2002: 4:44 marathon as a walker 2004: 5:12 marathon as a walker 2005: 5:34 marathon as a walker. 2007: DNF at mile 23 (walker) 2008: 2:25 half marathon (walker) 2009: 5:28 marathon (as a walker) 2010: 2:39 half marathon (as a walker; knee surgery in July). 2011: 2:22:27 (half marathon powerwalk) […]

    Pingback by Quad Cities Half Marathon 2013: Could I possibly be any f*cking dumber??? « blueollie | September 22, 2013 | Reply

  7. […] 5:28 marathon (as a walker) 2010: 2:39 half marathon (as a walker; knee surgery in July). 2011: 2:22:27 (half marathon powerwalk) 2013: 2:20:59 as a runner 2014: 2:24:17 […]

    Pingback by 2014 Quad Cities Half Marathon: social, mistakes, but some success « blueollie | September 29, 2014 | Reply

  8. […] I’ve done versions of this race many times; the last time I ran this particular course was 5 years ago. […]

    Pingback by 2015 Zoo Run Run « blueollie | August 29, 2015 | Reply

  9. […] ALL those things were true. And ….well, I was just over 1 minute slower than last year, and just over 2 minutes slower than 2011. […]

    Pingback by And I hit a negative milestone: it was bound to happen eventually ….. « blueollie | August 27, 2016 | Reply


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