|Horrible, terrible, pathetic, etc... Need I say more? How am I ever going to quality for Boston with runs like this? |
I started out well under my goal pace. I felt comfortable and didn't seem to be pushing hard. When I got near 3 miles it hit me like a, well a wall. I was soooooo tired, I didn't want to run. I was thirsty, sweating, and hot. I took a break and hit a water fountain. After what seemed like an hour I thought I better try and finish this run and began out across the damn again. I didn't make it a mile before I had to stop again. This time I just lost it mentally. I was running a good pace, feeling OK but my mind slipped for just a second and I stopped. I rested for a bit and started up again only to make it another quarter mile and stop again. This was not going to be my day.
I made it off the damn and to another water fountain. I rested again and then decided to walk it on in. I had given up on a run! I called my wife to come pick me up because I didn't want to walk. Very depressing. I just didn't have it today, I'm not sure I have it at all.
I have plenty of excuses. Want to hear some? I stayed up late watching the Missouri game. I ate junk food for dinner. I drank beer yesterday.
Posted from traininglog.roadrunnersports.com
Next up, Tuesday, Speedwork on the track. 2x(3x800 meters) in 2:59.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
I ran with my Ipod tonight and it REALLY help push me through those hard miles. I'm a child of the '80s so I had Motley Crue and AC/DC rockin' in my head. I posted the Youtube video above so you could enjoy it too. If you don't remember it's from the Dr. Feelgood album which has many great songs for running. Try not to remember the hair and the leather though.
Next up: Sunday, 13 miles at 7:56 pace.
2 Miles Easy
2 Miles at 6:45 pace
2 Miles Easy
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
So I found out my online training log allows you to publish activities directly to your blog! How cool. So I thought I'd try it. This is my recovery run tonight.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
- Why do the divers shower after every dive? You don't see the swimmers showering after they swim.
- Love the beach volleyball. Obvious reasons. I'm not gay but ladies you are being cheated, I noticed the guys wear shirts and shorts! Given what the ladies wear, I'd be pissed if I were you.
- If those Chinese gymnasts are 16, I really do look like Brad Pitt.
- What the heck happened to Bernard Lagat in the 1500?
- The women's marathon was AWESOME even if Paula didn't win. I was pulling so hard for her. I really wanted Paula to get a gold this time. Proud of her for finishing even though I hate that she felt she had too in order to satisfy the British press.
- How much must it suck to break your foot in the Olympic marathon? How many marathons has Deena run and fate decides to break her foot in the Olympics? Wow, I can't even imagine what that must feel like.
- Anthony Famiglietti is really cool. If you haven't been catching his video blog on Runnersworld.com you should. He has such a cool attitude and he gives an interesting and different look at China.
- So looking forward to the men's marathon. Go Ryan Hall!
- What happened to Tyson Gay? Wow, I really thought he'd do better. I hate to say I'm disappointed but I am.
- Shalane Flannagan pulled out an amazing Bronze in the 10,000 meters. I was so proud to watch her. It was one of those moments when I didn't expect an American to be close and she pulled it out. I love those moments.
- Is it just me or is NBC ignoring many of the longer distance running events? I got so excited for the 10,000 meters and the Steeplechase only to be disappointed. I saw some highlights but I still haven't seen the entire events. Why couldn't they post the videos somewhere?
- It must be horrible to run a marathon in that smog. I know it's offensive to China to talk about it but damn that city is dirty! Then again I just ran a half marathon in Southeastern Ohio where there are at least 5 chemical plants within 20 miles and I have to carry my inhaler all the time!
Sunday, August 17, 2008
The weather has been great here in southeastern Ohio and raceday dawn with the same wonderfully cool and dry conditions. Since this was only a half marathon they started at 8 instead of the usual 6 AM marathon start time. Yea! Sleep in time baby. Forgot that my wife and son were running the 2 mile race which meant we had to get up at 6:30 anyway to get everyone and everything together. So much for the sleeping in but it's still better than waking at 4:30 and running in the dark for the first few miles.
I was extremely worried about the hills on this course and my legs were still feeling tight so I was still working out my race strategy as I lined up. By the time the gun went off I had come to the extremely well thought-out and detailed plan of "Screw-It this is just for fun anyway" strategy. Pretty good for a last minute plan don't you think? I though so and was proud of myself for thinking of it.
Garmin and I, along with 700 of our new friends, started off behind the 4-5 Ethiopians who had travelled to West-By-God-Virginia. We were running comfortably and I was ignoring Garmin for the first couple miles just to make sure my legs and mind were on the same page before I worried about my pace. Our first real hill was a downhill. I was surprised at the slapping of feet I heard all around. It was like a herd of buffalo running on pavement! I thought I was bad at hill running! My shins hurt just listening to it. We settled out and hit our first real hill around mile 2. I had run this one on Wednesday so I was ready for it. No problem, up and over. Next hill had a water stop at the top of it. What a great idea! I love these people. Grabbed some water and we were on the downhill again. Mile 3 was at the bottom and it was rolling hills after that for many miles. I had made it through the tough part. Holy crap, I'm still alive, both legs still attached and I was still running.
I began to check Garmin as we ran along scenic South Parkersburg. I was easily running just under 8 min/mile. GREAT! Didn't expect that. Hey there's the golf course I got kicked off of when I was in school. They didn't appreciate us racing their golf carts. Or maybe it was the crashing more than the racing? Either way they made us leave with a police escort. Not one of my finer moments in history.
Still more rolling hills as we past my brothers house. Still running under 8's. I was beginning to worry that this may be too fast. I committed myself to keeping it easy until 6 miles. Hey look, 6 mile marker in 47 minutes. Where did that come from? This is kinda fun. Did I mention the water stops? Wow they had one every mile! I'm not kidding, every mile on the 1/2 mile there was Gatorade and water and wonderful, cheering people. I grabbed some water and took my PowerBar gel at mile 7 1/2.
I did some quick math, kept my shoes on so it wasn't exact, and figured I had a chance to PR on this course if I could pick it up a little. I knew there were hills up ahead but I was over half way and I had at least 2 more miles before I got to them so what the heck. I put the hammer down and lengthened my stride and tried to make quick turnovers. It actually felt good. I started picking out people to use as targets. It's a mental game I use to make sure my mind doesn't get time to think too much and figure out I'm actually running. I like to keep him in the dark about these things. I saw a large group of people way up ahead of me and put a bulls-eye on them. I caught them about the time we got back into the city and then picked out a group of women who were running just ahead of me. This was about mile 10 and I was waiting on the hills. As I got closer to these women I could hear them talking. And talking. And talking. Chatty-Cathy's. Here I was running hard and barely catching them and they were chatting about who was going to drive home! Super ego-blow. When I caught them they decided to talk to me. I tried to make good conversation. Something along the lines of, "yea", "good", "Ughh", "Blah" etc...
I did get enough energy to ask them where the next hill was. They told me to look to my right. HOLY CRAP THAT'S A BIG HILL! I thought that not enough energy to speak it. Who puts a major hill at mile 12 of a 13 mile race? Satanic cults with a running problem, that's who! I put my head down and charged up West Virginia's version of Pikes Peak. Thighs burning, lungs in my hand, and chatty-Cathys behind me, I made it to the top. "It's all downhill from hear" is what a spectator yelled at me. Yea! it has to be since there's only 3/4 mile left and I'm at the F-ing top of the world! Where else to go but down! Now shut up and let me swallow my lungs and finish this race.
I hit Market street and it actually was downhill so I started my kick. I caught a couple people and the finish line announcer actually called me out! It was cool to hear my name and home town called out so I raised my arms and showed off a bit. Figured I'd earned it and most of these people don't know where Oklahoma is anyway! Some of them may remember me from my younger days anyway and they would expect no less.
I finished in 1:40:52 according to Garmin. That's just 2 minutes off my PR. I was VERY happy with that given the hills. At the finish I heard an old friends name announced just after mine so I waited to see him. I walked up and re-introduced myself and he remembered me. He said he had run behind me the whole race and noticed me because of the Oklahoma City Runners Club shirt. He had no idea it was an old friend! He had run cross country and track with my brother so I took him over to my parents and brother and we got caught up on all the details of each other's lives. What a great surprise.
This was a wonderful race. I have never seen so many volunteers. They were everywhere handing out water, stopping traffic, directing runners and even riding bikes along the course with radios to watch for runners in trouble. What great organization. This is my hometown but even I was impressed with the race organization and the city's embrace of the event. People were everywhere cheering and watching. All in all a wonderful event and I'm glad I came.
After the race I went out on the Ohio River with my dad, brother and his family. It was a beautiful day and we had a ball. Here is a picture of my son diving into the river.
Thanks for listening.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Thursday, August 7, 2008
San Francisco Marathon race report.
I enjoyed my time with RBR so much that I didn't return to my hotel the night before the marathon until almost 10 PM. This was not good since I had flown into town the night before at midnight. I hadn't had a good nights sleep for days and was hoping to get to bed early the night before the race. Oh well, it was worth it.
I decided to wake up at 3:30 in order to get downtown and park well before my 5:45 start time. Luckily I didn't lay in bed for long before I was out. I slept well and was easily up with the wake-up call and dressed in my Oklahoma attire. I did all my ritualistic pre-marathon routines which I will spare you the details of.
I jumped in the car and headed downtown. It was then that I learned that San Francisco is not much different than Oklahoma city at 4:00 AM. There was no traffic and plenty of parking spaces very near the start. Great! Now what do I do for an hour and 45 minutes? I decided to take a nap in the car for awhile and then head down to check in my gear.
After my nap I wandered down to the start. I stole a bottle of water from the volunteer's tent (sorry! I was thirsty) and promised to help someone during the race to at least earn it. There wasn't even a line at the Porto-potties! What marathon doesn't have a line at the Porto-potties??? I've run small town 5ks where I had to wait for a chance to partake of the wonderful sights and smells of portable toilets!! Not in San Francisco at 5:00 AM! I'm sure they filled up later.
I ventured over to the start line and took some pictures. The bay bridge was lit up and looked great so I got a picture of it also. I even had a nice lady take my picture in front of the start. I was amazingly calm which rare for me before a marathon. I was just so happy to be there and have the ability to run a marathon in such a wonderful city. I guess I was in a thankful mood more than a competitive one. I hope I'm not becoming a softy!!
I took my pain killers, stocked up my Race Ready shorts with E-Gel and my cell phone and checked my bag. I should have known there would be trouble when they took my bag and immediately threw it (I'm not kidding) back to a young man who caught it and put in on a pile with the rest of the bags. Not much of a system. I then went up the street a distance to get a good view of the start of the elites. They were starting at 5:20 so I had some time to get some pictures before I had to start. I pushed my way to the front and watched as the REALLY fast people took off. Unfortunately my cell phone camera wasn't fast enough to catch a good shot of the speedsters in the dark but it was cool to watch. These guys and gals were taking off like they were in a 5K! More power to them, I'll be in the back.
Eventually we started and I settled into a nice pace with the rest of wave 4. I think this wave starting thing is great. I didn't have to walk to the start line and was running immediately with plenty of room around me. We were heading down the road that runs along the bay (Embarcedado?) and the views were cool even at night. I tried to stay near the 3:50 pace group but didn't really care since it was still way to early. I stopped a couple times to take pictures of Alcatraz and the bay once the sun started to come up. Near the end of the road we ran by the Sourdough bread company which was torture because it smelled WONDERFUL! I slowed up some to get more of the smell. I can't help it I LOVE BREAD!
At the end of the bay road we got on the sidewalk and ran out right along the water at some amphitheater looking thing. We then hit a road again and our first hill! It was short but steep. I took a picture and sent it to Southbay girl who immediately responded that I hadn't even gotten to the hills yet. Great, it only gets worse. By this time the sun was up behind the clouds and the Golden Gate was in sight so I stopped repeatedly to take pictures. One guy offered to take my picture with the bridge in the background but I refused. I was a little self-conscious about acting like a tourist in the middle of a marathon. I knew I was being laughed at for stopping every 100 yards so I didn't want to push it. He laughed and I said that I was in San Francisco to see the bridge and I just needed a marathon to blame my trip on!
As we approached the bridge we had... you guessed it... more hills. This was a sign of things to come. Most weren't bad and I was up and over them quickly.
Then we got to the bridge. It was really cool to run past the toll booths and out onto the Golden Gate. It was a little surreal for me. I think I was in a daze for a few minutes but I recovered and reminded myself that I was really doing this. SO COOL! They put us in one lane of the bridge so we were a little crowded but not bad. I was able to run normally just couldn't stop because I would have been trampled. I took pictures, I sent texts, and I took in the moment. I forgot I was running. I felt so good I was running on air. This is what I had come for and now it was happening. Usually I am depressed at moments like these since there is nothing left to look forward to but not this time. I was up, I was alive, and I was running.
I took my first E-Gel at mile 8 coming back across the bridge. I was feeling great and my legs had loosened up. After I had a brief text conversation with my son back in Ohio I put the phone away and decided it was time to race. This was mile 10. I kicked in a little speed and slipped under 8 min/mile still feeling good. We entered a park right after the bridge (and some more rolling hills). This is where it got kinda boring. I'm not sure if it was the lack of crowd support or whether I was just coming down off my bridge induced high but I was having trouble staying focused. I was still feeling good but I couldn't get lost in my thoughts like I usually do. I kept looking at my watch monitoring my pace way too much. I went through the half at 1:51 by my Garmin. I noticed that my Garmin distance and the race course distance markers were beginning to get further and further off. Garmin was about .2 miles ahead of the markers. It was interesting at this point in the race but would become a point of much anger later.
I was well ahead of the 3:50 pace group at mile 14. I was holding off on my second E-Gel until mile 16 since that had worked for me in the OKC marathon. I was still running strong and feeling OK when all of a sudden I had a thought of walking. Where did that come from? Then I started feeling tired, my head started hanging low and my legs felt heavy. What the F---! I stopped and walked. I was completely drained. I was having horrible thoughts of a bad finishing time. I took my E-Gel and kept walking. I tried to stop thinking. I tried to breath deep. I tried to relax. Still walking. Still tired. When the 3:50 pacer (it was a different person! They had swapped out at the 1/2. Jerks!), I tried to jog with them. it was horrible at first but eventually the energy kicked in and I was back on pace. My spirits improved and I was able to get lost in my mind again. Even now I'm not sure what happened. I suppose I waited too long for the E-Gel and I hit the wall but I think it was a lack of mental toughness due to no long run training. Getting your mind to ignore pain and fatigue is something I had to learn and it requires practice to keep it.
So I ran with the 3:50 group for awhile. Around mile 17 I fell into a faster pace though and left them again. I was nervous about this but figured I had nothing to lose. I was only running 8:30's so It wasn't that fast.
I kept a good pace through mile 19. When we got out of the park and into town we hit those hills again. It seemed like every time we went around a turn we went up hill! The only saving grace was that we usually had a downhill on the other side. Still though, those up and down hills were taking a toll on my thighs. I could already feel them burning which I had never felt before. I knew I asking them to do things they were not used to. By mile 20 I was spending more energy trying to maintain my pace than normal and I knew I was in trouble. It wasn't the kind a trouble you could slow down and recover from either. It was that feeling that I was nearing empty and there was nothing left in the tank once it's gone. I took a picture of the 20 mile marker and sent it to a group of people with the text "hurting". It was a plea for support. I was running on fumes and I knew it. I immediately got responses, it was so cool! Thank you guys so much, you may never know how much those words helped.
It was during these last miles that I started getting upset with Garmin and the mile markers. I always play a mind game with myself when I'm tired where once I cross a mile marker I immediately round down the miles to go. So if I get to the 22 mile marker I figure I am at mile 22.something so I really only have 3 miles to go. It works well for me usually. Well now I had Garmin beeping mile 22 at me a quarter of a mile before I saw the marker. So I would get in my zone of rounding and just about the time my mind was giving in to this little lie, I would see the marker for 22 and lose all hope again! It basically threw off my game and I couldn't focus. Guess I need more than one mind game to play.
I refused to walk. I was shuffling along at just under 9 min/mile with my head down. I was watching the sweat drip off the brim of my hat. It was amazingly consistent. I was desperate for something to help me disconnect from the pain. I was latching onto other runners and watching their shoes, I was trying to find a song in my head, trying to keep my feet moving. I took 2 E-Gel's in that last 4 miles and I don't remember where. The last one I couldn't stomach. I took one gulp and threw it away. My stomach was overwhelmed.
The 3:50 pace group caught me just before the 25 mile marker. I tried all I could to stay with them but I just couldn't keep up. This was as we ran past the baseball park and along the bay again. It really was pretty but I couldn't have cared less. My body was done. I really wanted to run strong at the finish because I knew there would be a crowd and I hate to look like a corpse when there are people around. So as I came around the ball park into the street I tried to straighten up and at least give an appearance of being alive. Luckily I was able to see the 26 mile marker and then the finish. This gave me one last push and I was able to run across the line with arms in the air and smiling (very important!!!). Finish time: 3:50. Not great but I'll take it.
The marathon was wonderful and I would absolutely do it again and recommend it to anyone. My thighs really took a beating on the hills and are still sore today.
I looked around for RBR and crew and eventually found them. I was a mess so I think I scared them a little. They had Starbucks coffee and seeing this I immediately wanted some! I tried to pull myself together and find some shred of dignity but then someone asked what that red stain was on my shirt. I looked down and saw that I had one of those very embarrassing male running issues. My OKC Landrunner shirt has a bad habit of rubbing my chest the wrong way in 2 certain areas. I knew this and tried to take care of it during the first 1/2 of the race but had obviously neglected to check during the second 1/2. Ooops, very embarrassing. The RBR girls obviously didn't know about this condition as they cringed when they figured out what it was. Ok, all dignity gone now I ran for a marathon blanket to cover up! Extreme hit to my self confidence when meeting new people with blood stains on my shirt. Way to go Willie!!! Oh well, I am who I am.
We eventually met up with Calyx and some friends and went back to their lavish hotel room for showers. We then hit the bay for lunch, chit-chat, and pictures. I really enjoyed my time with them and they are all so wonderful. I am blessed to have such great friends.
Thanks for listening