Tuesday, July 29, 2008

One week marathon training

So I've got a week to train for a marathon any tips??

So I haven't done my typical 20 miler 3 weeks before, I haven't built up my weekly mileage, I haven't done speedwork since April, I haven't taken an E-Gel since May, I just got new orthotics and my longest run in them is 10 miles, and I don't have a place to stay in San Francisco yet so I may be sleeping in the car the night before the marathon. How can I pull this off? I DON'T HAVE A CLUE AND I DON'T CARE! This will truly be a FUN marathon. I want to eat up the atmosphere, the people, the weather, the Golden Gate bridge, etc... I'd like to say that my time won't matter but I know that my inner well being needs a 3:45 or better to avoid ego-destruction. 

In my search for flights, rental cars and hotels, I have come to the conclusion that rental car agencies need to start renting motorcycles. If I could rent a motorcycle I wouldn't have to worry about parking and I could save a fortune on gas. It the perfect idea! OK so maybe not, but for me it would awesome, possibly the only thing that could improve this weekend.

Did I mention I get to run across the Golden Gate bridge? I'm a little excited about that. 

I'm also excited to be running in a great city like San Francisco. I've only been there once before but it was so beautiful and interesting that I have always wanted to go back. What better way to see a city than to run 26.2 miles through it? I can't think of any.

One interesting human emotion comment. The cool thing about blogging is that you can share the best parts of yourself to others who you don't have to worry about ever finding out what you look like, what you act like, or how much of a total dork you can be. It's like the perfect relationship. So what do you do when you are now faced with meeting some of your blogging pals? First reaction is WOW this is awesome, second reaction is HOLY CRAP this is scary! It's sad that a man of my age still gets butterflies when meeting new friends. All I need is my mom to come lecture me about being myself and not worrying about what others think. That and a pair of parachute pants and my old REO Speedwagon T-shirt and I'd be right back in those old feelings!!

On a totally different note...
I got so caught up in my excitement that I forgot to mention that my wife ran a PR at the midnight streak Saturday night! She ran a 31:57 5K which is the kind of time she used to run in high school. She was so excited, I think she may have finally gotten bit by the running bug. This was the first time I actually saw joy in her face after a race. It was cute to watch someone get that first taste of running success and watch how it can change them. At that first taste of success suddenly the world makes sense, all things become possible and you feel GREAT. That is the true soul of running and it's cool to see it first hand. 

I just found a couple of videos of the marathon course on Youtube. There were some parts that confused me. There seemed to be an incline to the road at some points. I'm not familiar with those land formations. I think they called them "hills", anybody familiar with those things? You don't have to actually run up them right? They provide an elevator don't they? They look a little like Oklahoma, only tilted. I'm sure someone has seen them also and alerted the race organizers that there are hazardous obstructions on the course and they can re-route it around them. Yea, I'm sure that's what they'll do.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

I'll leave my heart in San Francisco, along with some sweat.

This is from the email I just received!!

Welcome to The San Francisco Marathon (TM) - August 3, 2008!
Keep this email receipt in case there are any questions regarding your registration. Also, please note that the billing on your credit card will come from our registration site, and will read as San Francisco Marathon.

I'M GOING TO SAN FRANCISCO!!! Holy crap! This is my first spur-of-the-moment marathon trip so I'm a little nervous and excited at the same time. I have always wanted to do this but now that I've done it it's kinda scary!

I'm heading out on Friday after work and will get to see RBR run the Barb's Triathlon (Weird name, who the heck is Barb anyway!) on Saturday, run the marathon on Sunday, spend the rest of Sunday drinking my way through San Francisco, then return home Monday morning. This is like a dream weekend for me and I hope everything works out.

Thanks for listening

Saturday, July 26, 2008

If you're going to San Francisco...

This morning the running club met at 6 AM to run around Lake Hefner and I actually made it out with them!! Yea for me. I hadn't run with them for awhile and was a little nervous about just showing up but they were just as I remember them, fun! I joined up with a couple people who were running the entire loop around the lake and we settled into a nice 8 min/mile pace. Of course we ended up a little faster now and then but we took long breaks at the water stops so this more than compensated for the faster pace. I had a ball! It was great to run with people again. It didn't hurt either that the temperature was well below 90 and the sun hadn't yet come up. In fact I was able to watch the sun rise over the lake at one point and I was reminded why I love running at Hefner. It really is beautiful at times. I ran 10 miles in 80 minutes. I thought that was cool since it equates to exactly 8 min/min. There is something I like about good, round numbers during a run. It's a runner thing that you just can't run 9.8 miles or any distance of with a . in it. I will always add some distance to round out the number. Funny thing. 

My wife is running the Midnight Streak tonight at, you guessed it, midnight. It's a 5k so I am going to pass and be on kid duty while she runs. Running a 5k at midnight should be reserved for younger people who actually see the hour of midnight once in awhile. Me, I'm a 9 PM in-bedder or else so midnight will be a bit of an adventure. 

I am seriously considering jumping on a plane and running the San Francisco marathon next weekend. I know it's a late decision but if you knew me better you wouldn't be surprised. Long term planning for me is in hours, not days or weeks. I had been thinking about San Francisco for some time because I love the city and really want to run across the Golden Gate bridge. I was also aware that Southbay Girl and Calyx were going to run it so I thought this would be a perfect chance to connect in person with some E-friends. Now, of course, Southbay Girl has a hurt foot and Calyx may not make it either.  Darn! Oh well, I still want to run across the bridge and eat some seafood on the wharf. If I remember correctly, they also have wine not too far north of the city. Good wine. I like wine. We'll see....

Thanks for listening

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

So this is heat exhaustion

Another hot run tonight. I set out to do 6 miles at a moderate pace. I made it 4 and got that tingly light headed feeling. Then my muscles started cramping and my breathing got extremely shallow and labored. Luckily I made it into the shade of a large tree and rested until I knew my name again and could walk for awhile. The sun was really beating down and there was no wind (weird for Oklahoma). I walked about 1/2 a mile and then was able to run home at a pretty good clip although I still got dizzy every so often.

I had many flashbacks to the Andy Payne marathon I ran a few months ago where I had these feelings before. I feel lucky that I had that previous experience and was able to recognize the onset before it got worse. I do love the heat and I love running in the heat but I am also keenly aware of the dangers and have a respect for them. There is very little margin between OK and serious trouble, I enjoy finding that line but don't ever want to cross it.

In a bit of a Simpson's mood, Homer makes me look good as a father! 

Thanks for listening 

Sunday, July 20, 2008

It's hot, really hot, damn hot, sizzlin' hot, I mean it's hot

Got my long run in today but I paid for it. I slept in because I'm still in a bit of a funk and just couldn't get out of bed this morning. By the time I decided to hit the trail it was 90 degrees. I loved it, for the first 5 miles. Then I came to the realization that I need water. Really badly. Really, really badly. Funny that never occurred to me BEFORE I started around the lake. You would think 90 degrees and no clouds would have clued me in, but no, the depths of my stupidity no no bounds! So I struggled through another mile and finally got to a water fountain. You could say that I bathed in that water fountain. I poured water on my head, legs, neck, back, everything that I could. 

This put me back on track and I was back under 8 min/mile for the next couple miles. It felt great, the sun beating down on just me and my shoes and shorts. I hit the next water fountain and did the same. Another 2 miles and repeat at the next water fountain. This got me home and I relaxed on the last mile to cool down a bit. I ended up getting in 10 miles with 9 of them under 8 min/mile. I won't say it was easy but I do think I could have gone faster. I keep reminding myself that I am just getting used to a faster pace. I don't have to be able to run it NOW, just have to pick it up a little now so I can jump into the Boston training program at the end of August with a jump start. 

After the run I got a great endorphin rush which I LOVE! This reminds me why I run these long runs. Even now I have that wonderful light-headed feeling and a great feeling of fatigue that will help me sleep great tonight. I haven't had time for a nap but maybe I'll catch one. All in all, a great day.

Thanks for listening.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Home at last

As much as I loved the beach, it was nice to hear those tires screech on the runway in OKC. I got home late Thursday night and got up early to ride my baby to work on Friday. It was a beautiful morning and my girl was running and sounding great. I think she missed me. Why do motorcycles and dogs seem to be the only things in the world that truly miss guys when they leave! Maybe because they are the only things in the world who can put up with all of our faults!!!

I really wanted to get up today and hit the Edmond hills with the Landrunners but when I woke up I felt like crap. My son had crawled into bed with me and was cuddling so it wasn't hard to quickly decide I wasn't getting up. I snuggled up closer to him and went back to sleep for awhile. Then he kicked me in the side and stole my pillow so figured it was time to get coffee. 

It's going to be hot today so I may go out and get my 10 miles in the sun. I love running in the heat but am somewhat concerned with running long hard miles in it. There is always tomorrow. My head isn't really clear anyway so it may be best to take another day off and let my old body relax and get back to normal. Then again, it will be hard to not get out there and run today.

On another note, my oldest son is in Ohio spending time with the grandparents. So far he has spend most of his time swimming in the pool, shooting guns at my farm, blowing up half the county with fireworks (got the sheriff called for that one), eating them out of house and home, NOT TEXTING HIS FATHER BACK!, going to an Indy car race, camping with his cousins at my farm, etc... As you can see he is having a total GUY summer. It may take months to bring him back to reality. I guess every boy needs something like this and I hope it helps him relax but he really needs to TEXT HIS FATHER every now and then. You feed them, you love them, you care for them, you buy them things, and then they leave and don't keep in touch. Sorry mom and dad now I understand.

Thanks for listening

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Life's a beach

More fun at the beach for Willie. My trip is going really well, working with the customer is great and the weather is fantastic. I have to leave tomorrow so tonight was my last run on the sand. I went a different direction tonight and ended up in a very isolated section of beach. It was great, no dodging sandcastles and little kids, just me and the waves. The incline still bothered me but I suffered through it as this was my last night and I will be back in flat and level Oklahoma tomorrow. Tonight was an easy run, 5 miles at 8 min/mile pace. It was relaxing and felt really good. I am feeling a little out of marathon form but figure I will get back there soon as I start my training.

I plan to work most of the day tomorrow and catch a late flight back home. I'll work Friday and then get my long run in probably Saturday. The club is running on the Edmond hills which I love so I may join them. As much as I love being at the beach I am SOOOOO ready to be home for awhile. This traveling thing is really wearing on me. My emotional state is best described as mush! I need to regain my base and get back to a normal life soon or I may implode!

I went out tonight to a place called Helen Back. What a great bar! The pizza was wonderful and it was right on the beach so I could drink my Whiskey and watch the waves roll in at the same time. Of course, I got back to the hotel way to late and will suffer horribly tomorrow for this but it's OK, I'll survive.
Thanks for listening

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Why wouldn't everyone live like this?

Well I've been here in sunny Florida for 2 days now and WOW I love the beach! Go to work in the morning, come home and run in the sun with salt in the air, go for a swim in the pool, hit the bar for dinner and drinks, repeat. Why do I live in Oklahoma again? I can't remember....

I did a 4 mile tempo run tonight and tried to keep it under 7 min/mile. I did pretty well until that last mile. Holy crap this is fast! OK though, I have a few weeks until the real training starts. This is just practice. My leg reminded me that it's still there but I hit it with ice and massage quickly and now I can't feel it at all. This is my 3rd day of running so I've improved at least. A few weeks ago I couldn't run back to back days without limping. I didn't limp at all tonight! Baby steps.

My phone screen died Monday. I ran with it Sunday on my long run and I think it finally gave in to the massive amounts of sweat I was pouring on it and gave up. I took some beach pictures with it Monday night without the screen hoping they would come out well. I think I take better pictures without the screen. Maybe I should turn the screen off for good!

Running on the beach is an interesting endeavour. I love the smell, the feel, and the view but the sand is really soft unless you get right down by the water. The problem is that there is a massive incline down there and one of my legs is shortened and one is lengthened trying to run down there. I feel bad for them but justify it by figuring I will get the other one back on the way home. Probably doesn't work that way but I LOVE RUNNING IN THE SAND! It's awesome. Legs just have to deal with it! Willie's happy here!

Thanks for listening.

Monday, July 14, 2008

On the run

Well it seems like I've been on the road since May! I was home this weekend but am waiting on another airplane today to take me away. This time, at least, I'm going somewhere nice. I'll be in lovely Florida for the week and will be staying right on the beach. Lot's of long sunset beach runs I hope. 

I have gotten back into running pretty well over the last week. I took a few weeks off to heal my leg and get my head straight and at least one of those has shown improvement. My new orthotics seem to be working well. I can still feel my leg but it's not pain anymore, it's more like an itchy, healing feeling. I have been aggressively icing and massaging the leg everyday. I have also gone back to using the Chinese liniment that Southbay girl recommended months ago. All of this has lead to 3 great runs last week in the hills of NY and a GREAT long run yesterday at my beloved Lake Hefner here in OKC. Oh, yea, all of this with NO Ibuprofen. I'm cautiously optimistic that I may have found the solution to this long-running problem.

I keep looking at the training plan I have decided to follow for my quest for a Boston Qualifying time. I am trying to think of it as reality instead of just a dream (Thanks Calyx!). I have also been trying to get my body used to running a faster pace. I have a few weeks to go before the training plan starts and I want to get a head start at the pace. It's not that much faster than I normally train at but I am worried about maintaining that pace for a 16 week schedule. 

The good thing is that I have lots of encouragement from all my wonderful blogger friends. Thanks for that.

Thanks for listening

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Plan

So I can't stop thinking about 3:15. I see it everywhere. I had been looking at training programs online when I discovered the Furman Boston qualifying program in the Runner's World book Run Less Run Faster. I have seen the Furman programs before when I was training for my first marathon. They emphasis quality over quantity which really appeals to me now because I have so little time available to give to running. 

The only problem with the 3:15 training plan are the pace's I'm supposed to run. It's a 16 week program and the first workout is speedwork on the track where I'm supposed to run 2x1600 at 6:12 pace! My fastest mile last year was 6:00 and that was just 1 mile. I have to do 2 of them back to back. I suppose running a 3:15 will not come easy so I'll buck up and see what I can do. 

My current plan is to ice and massage my leg twice a day from now until mid-August when I will start the program. I will only run 1-2 times per week from now until then while I try to get over this pain. If I don't fix this leg pain the program will fail before it even starts. I am putting all my hope in the new orthotics once I get the leg rested and healed. My shoe dealer (who is also a pediatrist) was very confident that my old orthotics were causing the injury to re-occur. Oh how I hope he's right.

I'm heading out of town again tomorrow. I will be in the north land for a week then I will be in Florida for a week. I will be "working" on the gulf coast. This will make it very hard not to run a lot of miles but I will have to control myself if I want to succeed. Wish me luck.

Thanks for listening

Friday, July 4, 2008

A new goal

Something has gotten into me lately. My Boston qualifying time is 3:15 and I have always put that out of my mind as an impossibility. Well lately I keep thinking about it. It almost seems possible. I think if I re-focus myself and get back to running for running's sake, I can make it. I have downloaded an aggressive training plan and looked it over. Why not? If I focus myself and do the plan I believe I could do it. 

RBR is doing the Ironman, she is such an inspiration. I want to set goals like that. I want to believe in myself again. I could keep things just the same, leave here the way I came with nothing to lose, but I DON'T WANT TO! I am setting a goal and have nothing lose. 

I will run 3:15. I will run 3:15. I will run 3:15.

Man that feels good.

Thanks for listening

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

My old Friend

After a long delay I have finally returned to running. I re-introduced myself to her last night with an 11 mile run. No Ipod, no Garmin, no shirt. Just my shoes, a pair of shorts and me with my own thoughts. Simple, uncomplicated running. The way it was meant to be. I haven't found myself yet but I'm on my trail and maybe that light at the end of the tunnel isn't a train after all. 

I have been caught up in the Olympic trials also. I don't know what is different this year but it seems as if the athletes are much more down to earth this year. Maybe it's me but I don't see them as untouchable celebrities this year as I have in the past. I really sense a true love of the game when I listen to the interviews. Good for them. If you missed the Kara Goucher interview after the 10,000 meters you should check it out. She is a total geek just like us!! I love it, what a real person.

Thanks for listening