Mar 27, 2010

No Go For Mojo

The running mojo hasn't returned yet and it doesn't seem like it will anytime soon. Just feel like I'm not able to keep my fast paced runs fast paced and if I try, I can't keep the pace very long. Last Monday I had a decent run, the workout part of it was 9 miles at 7:07 but I was working waaaaaay to hard for that. Had a very slow run the next day and then on Thursday I couldn't only get 4 mile at that pace.

My slower runs have been okay, just can't seem to increase the pace. Like today I ran with friends for 18 at about 8:18 pace and then went home for a bit more with Hiroo (the dog). I guess my plan will be to slow my fast pace down, maybe 7:25-7:30, in order to get the distance I want. After all I am marathon training and miles are at a premium.

This week seems like it will be lower miles. Heading to Florida on a Spring break vacation with the family. Should be a great time, just not conducive to running maybe. I'll have to see how much I can get in.

All in: Monday 11 at 7:22
Tuesday 6.54 at 9:01
Thursday 10 at 8:00
Saturday 19.68 at 8:22

Mar 22, 2010

Shout outs

Thanks for all your responses to my last "scaredy cat" post. You've inspired me. I'm all ready (maybe not?) to sign up for an Ironman triathlon. I liked your comments so much I'm going to respond to each one of them in this post.

Julie: Thanks for having faith in me. You are right, it's all in the training.

Bill: The Florida course is real flat but can be windy. Most concerned about the swim in the ocean. I've done two open water swims in the ocean and puked after both, one in a triathlon in Japan. Too many waves.

Karen and Jean: Thanks for all the confidence in me!

Jill: Thanks for the vote of confidence. The mojo might be coming around, have to see what today's run brings. Hope yours comes around too.

SDRunner: Baby steps, good idea. I think I'm ready for the big step now. You'll get there, I just have experience (read as older) than you.

San: IM Florida is in November so I'll have the Minnesota summer to train in. Usually not too bad. Hey, you'll get that marathon, keep moving forward!

Beth: Mike did a great job and had a great race report. I'm sure he put a lot of time into it. I've heard good things about IM Florida.

Meg: Tough love! Perfect. Inspiring.

Lindsay: I think I've wrote in in your comments before, we're runners cut from the same mold. If I haven't I've thought it.

Glenn: The swim is the hardest part! If I get through that I'll be doing the rest on my own.

All in: Thursday 14.06 at 7:51
Saturday 20.02 at 8:27

Mar 16, 2010

Somebody can title this one for me.

My last few runs have so pathetic that I'm not even going to blog about them. That'll teach'em. Give me a bad run will you; I won't even tell everybody about you then.

So a running blog without running. Could be pretty boring but then a lot of people would think a running blog with running would be boring. Those people aren't going to be checking out this place though so I could call them names without them even knowing. I could.

Maybe I'll write about something diametrically opposed to running, like triathloning. Okay, so they aren't diametrically opposed. In fact, they are a somewhat complementary but they are opposed in that if you want to do well (maybe we should say "your best" here as "well" is somewhat relative) in either you really have to sacrifice the other.

I have a friend who really wants me to do Ironman Florida in 2011 so we can go visit her and her future husband (who will likely do the race also). Interesting story, (at least to me, you might find it less so) she was one of my best girl friends in high school. So good in fact that she stood up for me in my wedding (my wife has 3 brothers and wanted them in our wedding so we each had 3 couples that stood up with us). We kept in touch some but then sort of lost touch (when I say sort of I mean didn't communicate for several years in a row) which I firmly take the blame for. I've never been good at keeping in touch and unless you live with me (or read this blog) you might not know I've died for several years.

So anyway, she got back in touch with me a few months ago to tell me that she is engaged and getting married. Yay for her. Not only that but it turns out she ran the Myrtle Beach marathon that I did last year. I was blown away! Too bad we didn't see each other that weekend. She is a runner now and does half marathons and marathons and I'm so jazzed about that. Of course I think it is great. I wouldn't have expected it from her.

So back to the triathlon. Her soon-to-be husband is big into Ironmans (Ironmen?) and since it is my goal to do one in 2011 it all fits perfectly. I'm right there with her until it comes down to actually signing up for this thing. I don't mind saying I'm as scared as hell and intimidated beyond belief by this thing. I've done several marathons and two half iron tris but this scares me. And you know, the worst part about it isn't really that I'm scared of failure or of not finishing but that I'm scared of not doing as well as I want to. It's an Ironman for heaven's sake, why can't I be happy with just finishing it? No, I must have some deep-seated insecurities that causes me to compare myself to other competitors with a need to be faster. What's up with that? I mean, just do your races and be happy with it. The only comparisons I should be making is against myself.

Okay, I'm done publicly psycho-analyzing myself now. Sorry you had to witness this.

All in: Saturday 11 at 8:44
Monday 14 at 7:42
Tues 5 at 7:47

Mar 11, 2010


Recovery seems to be going pretty well. In fact, really well. On Tuesday, two days after the marathon, I ran a slow 10 miles. I have to admit it was pretty slow and I was feeling pretty sluggish but I still got it done. Today I got in 11 miles but at a decidedly faster pace. In fact I did a MP run with 9 of the 11 miles at 7:06 per mile. My HR was really pretty low but towards the end my legs were feeling tired so I stopped. I guess my legs haven't recovered quite as quickly. I also did a little weight lifting and a little swimming on Monday. Just enough to get loose.

My more astute readers will notice that I have changed my April marathon. On the right you'll notice it says that I'm now training for the Earth Day Challenge marathon. I was originally planning on the Oklahoma City Memorial marathon but I read too many horror stories about the hot and windy Spring weather that Oklahoma is known for. I got scared. So now I'm all signed up for this small one in Ohio. It has a limit of 200 for the full, 300 for the half. Should be interesting. The only hill is in the first mile and then it is flat the rest of the way. Negative split potential? I think so.

Finally I have to say that the photo from my last post was taken by my wife. Trust me, none of the "official" ones were worth keeping, much less buying. Why is that always the case? Maybe because I knew where my wife was and was able to smile at her but I didn't notice any of the other photographers so I was just running. I'd much rather bring my own personal photographer and fan club anyway.

All in: Tuesday 10 at 8:45
Thursday 11 at 7:24

Mar 8, 2010

Little Rock Marathon

First a little note to Beth. I've tried to comment on your last two posts but for some reason it won't take my comment. Maybe others have had that problem.

Okay, on to the race report.

A little bit of travel excitement getting down to Little Rock on Saturday. Our (my family was able to go with me) flight out of Minneapolis was delayed 2+ hours so we missed our connection in Memphis. As we ran to the gate, the plane was just pulling out. Missed it by that much. Oh well, we just rented a car and drove to Little Rock arriving at the expo at 5:30, it closed at 6. A slightly close call. Also forgot to pack gels so I had to load up at the expo. At least I was able to make it to the starting line okay.

At the starting line it dawned on me that my balky left ankle wasn't bothering me at all (and still isn't); a good sign. Mr. Garmin had trouble picking up a satellite so when I looked for my pace, I got nothin'. I didn't really have a pace until about mile 2. Early on I saw a few signs, the obligatory "Run like you stole something" and my favorite "1. You are running. 2. There is no 2.". My pace seemed to be okay, in the 8:20's. 8:30's would have been better but you know how that goes. At around mile 4 I passed the 3:40 pacer but I was in the 8:30's at that point so he was a little slow there. A couple bridges early but not too hilly.

First time I was able to see my family was around the 7 mile mark. I saw them 4-5 times; always get a boost out of them. Before the race I put a couple notes in my pocket from my kids. One was "I love you so much" and the other was "Go Daddy Go. I'll run with you.".

Around mile 8 I was passed by the 3:40 pacer and I heard him saying he "might" be a little behind. He was definitely a little behind. I ran with the 3:45 group a little bit but then let them go. I saw a woman aiming with her camera but she had her lens cap on. I yelled that out to her and she and her friend had a good laugh. I went on to see them 3-4 more times on the course. At first they said "Go Az" because you could customize your bib. I told her it was A Z and she got it right after that.

Stopped for a potty break at mile 10, only one this race so I didn't mind even though I lost 30 seconds. Coming up to the halfway point I slowed down quite a bit (12th mile was 8:40) thinking that the slower my first half the better chance I had for negative splits. I went through half way at 1:52:24 so I'd have to go sub 3:45 for negative splits and I thought I'd take the second half easier than that so I let that thought go.

Miles 13-17 are very hilly. Long steep uphills and one big downhill that was so steep it didn't really help. Everybody was braking on the way down. Somewhere in there I was passed by the 3:40 and 3:45 pacers without their signs. Maybe they had a potty break and somebody carried on for them? Also saw a boy throwing the football around with his family. I stretched out my hands and he threw it to me. I had to reach back and catch it one-handed. As I backpedalled and returned it to him my throw was way wobbly and way off target. Oh well, I was running a marathon.

Those middle miles seemed to go by pretty quickly and mile 19 came and went. Just after that I checked my watch when I thought there was about 7 miles (one hour) left. My watch said 2:44. So one more hour at about 8:30 and I could go negative. If you remember my 2010 Goals include 1 negative split marathon. It looked like I could make this one so I tried to push the pace a little bit. Miles 21 and 22 were good in 8:07 and 8:16 but then I got a little tired. The next two were 8:34 and 8:37. Still, I was on pace to just eke out negative splits. Then mile 25 hit.

Mile 25 featured two and a half big hills and went by in 9 minutes. I'd lost what I had gained. By mile 26 I was working hard and I could feel it. I kept thinking to myself that I should just slow down and enjoy it but then I would think "when will I ever have a chance at negative splits again?", so I kept pushing it. I ran it in 8:14. After the last mile marker I was pushing pretty hard but my stomach threatened to explosively expel it's contents. Pretty sure that that would slow me down so I let up on the pace. The thought of doing that in front of several hundred people wasn't so appealing either. I still ran as hard as I could. I was so focused that I didn't even wave at my family even though I heard them cheer. I forgot to raise my hands to the crowd to hear them erupt. I sprinted across the line, but missed negative splits by 9 seconds.

All in all it was a good day, upper 40's at the start and low 60's at the finish. This is definitely a hilly course and has a long out and back from 18-24 that the breeze was in our face both ways (or so it seemed). Nice if you have friends in the race that you could see. Free hot dogs and bananas and oranges at the end but I went straight for the ice cold chocolate milk. Especially good. I have to say the goodie bag was sorely lacking. Really doesn't matter to me because I usually don't keep much from it anyway but they really didn't give anything but the race bib and chip. Shirt is kind of bland.

The medal though; the medal is a thing to behold. Ridiculously big. Obnoxiously big. But I earned it.

The final numbers: 204 of 1,544 marathoners; 26 of 147 in my age group and 166 of 970 men. First half 1:52:24; second half 1:52:35; total 3:44:59.

All in: 26.2 at 8:36

Mar 5, 2010

Go Slow Down

FIrst of all, let me thank Glenn and San for sending me the Sunshine Award. Never thought of myself as sunny. Now, on to the post.

How does that title sound juxtaposed with the "Need For Speed" title from last week? I'm planning on slowing it down this weekend in Little Rock. Of course I've said that before. This time I really mean it. Really I do. I'd like to go closer to 3:50 for this marathon, thinking that my recovery will be much better. So if I go faster than 3:45 please feel free to chastise me.

I know what the problem is, it's my oversized sense of pride, is what it is. I'm mean there's all these people in the half and full and I'm looking around thinking I should be way ahead of these guys. How sad is that? I should be bigger than that.

It isn't going to help that the race director put me in the A corral (sub 3:20) because I ran that last year even though I only requested the B corral (sub 3:45). I think I'll just slip back one corral and to the way back of that one too. Think they'll mind?

Today was a good run, seven miles with 5 at 7:08. A little more than I probably should have with a marathon in a couple days but it's just a long training run, right? I guess I'll find out Sunday if I overdid it.

Supposed to be great weather and there are still a few slots open. Anybody care to join me?

All in: Friday 7 at 7:35

Mar 3, 2010

Nice Weather

It's been beautiful here lately so I've been able to get outside on a few runs. Of course for Minnesota beautiful = sunny +35 degrees + snow/ice/slush/water covering only 30% of the trail or so. Took the long run outside on Monday. My never fail plan (it's failed before, in fact I can't remember it ever working) was to get 15-16 on my own and then swing by the house and pick up the dog for a little company as I get the last few hard miles in. Problem is once I get home, I don't want to go out again. Poor dog. Yeah, I knew that was going to happen again since I was feeling pretty tired at mile 15. Maybe I should have taken that gel that I carried around the whole time. I was too lazy for that though and didn't have any water anyway. Maybe it was this type of run that teaches my body to burn fat. Anyway, at 15 I took my own little detour and finished the thing by myself.

Yesterday I got in a weight session and some swimming which was good. I wrote about the things that I don't like about swimming but there is stuff that I like too. I like the feeling of gliding through the water (although that doesn't happen often). I think I like being able to swim more than I like the actual act of swimming. Less than 3 years ago I couldn't swim for the life of me and never thought I'd do a triathlon. Maybe I should be grateful for that Achilles injury that put me into the pool.

Today I did another MP run and since I didn't want to be slowed by bad footing I did it on the treadmill. Thirteen miles in with 11 at 7:08 pace. I should have just done that last .1 to get a half marathon in under 1:37. Not bad at all for a training run. I'm pretty jazzed at how these are going so far. Next week I'll do another one and then the following week I'll start doing two per week. After these hard efforts I like to walk/drive/move real slow. I don't know why. Maybe it lets me relish the good feeling more. Unfortunately the guy driving behind me isn't relishing as much as I am.

Little something about a marathon this weekend?

All in: Monday 18 at 8:38 pace
Tuesday 700 meters swimming
Wednesday 13 at 7:23 pace