Thursday, April 30, 2009

It's almost that time again

I've had a good, restful week. My massage on Tuesday was great and I had a nice easy run on Wednesday. My legs are still a little tight, mostly in the ITB region, but I'm not too worried. I'm sure it will loosen up by Sunday.

My weight is still down a few pounds from where it was. This is somewhat troublesome only because I can't explain it. I've been hydrating well and it's been very cool and rainy so I can't understand why I haven't gained my water weight back. I'll have a few more beers tonight and I'm sure that will take care of it!

I checked in for my flight tomorrow already so I guess the weekend has started. I'm really excited. The people I'm going to Fort Collins with are so funny and have such a good time together. I hope we all rememeber to actually run the marathon! There are a lot of breweries around the Fort Collins area and we may just get sidetracked.

Well I'm off to watch The Office and 30 Rock, my Thursday night excitement, love you guys and gals, c-ya on Monday! Wish me luck.

Again, here's the link to the marathon, not sure if they will have tracking or not.

Thanks for listening

Monday, April 27, 2009

Pics and the rest of the story

Here are some of the pictures I took from the weekend. I spent way to much time listening to Bill Rodgers and forgot to get a picture with him this year. This is my first man-crush so I'm still learning to control it.

So here's the story about meeting Andrea. After rushing downtown to get my voucher on Friday, I rushed back home to get The Little One ready for school and rush him off. I stopped briefly at home and happened to check my email. I had one from someone named Andrea whom I didn't know. She said she had read on my blog about the voucher system and she was planning to drive in from New Mexico to run the 1/2 marathon. She wanted to know if there were any vouchers left for the 1/2 before she made the drive. I got on the phone to some running club friends and luckily found one who happened to be at the expo at that time. I asked him to check on the vouchers and pick one up for Andrea if there were any left. He called me back later and said he had one in his hand. I called Andrea and let her know she was in! So she drove in on Saturday and I met her at the expo to give her the voucher and help her get registered. She was awesome! So totally cool. She even brought me some southwestern spices and salsa which I'll use this summer. I am so amazed at the people I've met through this blog. I was scared at first about putting myself out there and the kind of people I might find but everyone I've ever met through this media has been great. And it just keeps coming!

I still haven't spoken to Paula. Sarah reminded me today that I not only ignored her for the week, I ignored her for the first few miles of the marathon when she was trying to tell me to slow down. This probably put the icing on the cake for her and she totally turned off. I don't know how to overcome this great injustice I've done to her. Flowers? For a watch? Nah. I don't know what to do for her. I don't know how to get her back. She loves to run but I won't be doing much of that this week. Any thoughts?

In a weird twist of fate I'm not sore at all today. When I thought about it I realized I really only ran 13 miles hard yesterday and the rest was more a walk-jog. So I didn't stress my legs that much. This may be a blessing in disguise for my Ft. Collins marathon on Sunday. The world turns in mysterious ways sometimes.

Thanks for all the concern over my health. I'm fine today and am getting back to a normal water-balance. I had some severe hot-flashes last night but I hydrated all day today and I think they have past. I owe so many people thanks for taking care of me. I had many people come by the medical tent while I was down. I love this running club! They rock. (one exception would be the guy who took a picture of me in my desperate state! I saw it last night and it's just not right at all! It's not a pretty sight. I love you man but that was just wrong!!!!!)

Thanks for listening

Sunday, April 26, 2009

New Experiences

How does that old saying go? "If you want to run something, run 100 yards, if you want to experience something run a marathon."

The entry fee for a marathon gets you so many things. Bag check, a chip to get your exact time, massages after the race, and access to wonderful medical care if you need it.

Today I got my money's worth. I'd never been to the medical tent of a marathon before and I honestly don't remember much about how I got to this one today. It's a wonderful place. They bring you drinks and ice packs. They gave me a nice bed to lay down on. All I had to do was lay there and let them take my blood pressure and heart rate. 80 over 60 and 84 if your wondering. I was a little loopy so I don't have all the details. I'm getting ahead of myself.

Today dawned windy, hot and humid. No thunderstorms which was nice. I made it to the start and fought the crowds to get into the starting corral. I introduced Andrea (see side-story below) to my friend who was also running the half and shooting for about the same time as her. I was so glad they could meet and run together because there weren't any pace groups for the time they wanted to run and I hoped they could help each other.

I woke Paula up and she was grumpy. She refused to link up with the satellites. We were surrounded by buildings so I knew it was hard for her but I also knew she was upset at me for forgetting her on my last 2 runs. As has been explained to me hundreds of times, you can't ignore a women for a week and then one morning roll over and try to turn her on and expect her to perform. Paula was giving me the cold shoulder. She was still not linked up when the gun went off so I ran the first mile without her. I thought I was taking it easy but when I saw the clock read 7:28 I knew I was in trouble. Did I mention it was hot? It was hot. I tried to slow down but the wind was at our backs at this point so it was hard. I didn't catch my 2 mile time but I went through 3 miles in 24 minutes flat. 8 freakin' minute pace in a marathon I was supposed to be running easy! I've never run the first 3 miles of a marathon in 24 minutes. Did I mention it was hot? I was drenched in sweat by mile 3.

Let me stop at this point and say that I was aware of how badly this race could go because of what I was doing. I KNEW I was running too fast for the conditions. I KNEW I was running way beyond my current physical fitness. Did any of this make me slow down? Nope, I acknowledged the reality and kept on trucking. So stupid, so very, very stupid.

I went through the 10K in 50:35. Still feeling good but still too fast. We still had the wind at our backs. This is about the time I heard the rudest comment I've ever heard during a marathon. There was an old lady running next to me that had obviously run many miles in the sun. She had the loose, brown skin that happens after too much time in the sun. A spectator, sitting in a lawn chair, yells "great job" as she runs by and then proceeds to quietly say "Geesh, look at the skin cancer lady". I don't know why but it pissed me off. I didn't say anything at the time but I wish I had said, "Geesh, look at the non-running heart disease lady sitting her fat ass in a lawn chair". Damn I wish I had those thoughts quicker.

Leading up to the half way point, I was starting to feel the effects of the heat. Because I was aware of how stupidly I was running, I had been drinking 2 cups of PowerAde at every stop but I was beginning to think it wasn't enough. I went through the half in 1:49 and that is the last GOOD thing I can say about my race.

Mile 14 turned us back into the wind and I fell apart. We were out at Lake Hefner and running head on into the wind. This is where I first walked. It was depressing. I was completely out of energy and fighting this wind. I eventually started running again but it wasn't pretty. I drank, I ate pretzels, I took my E-Gel, but I couldn't get my pace back. I had no energy. I had stopped sweating so I knew I had exhausted my body's water reserve. I struggled through the next few miles running and walking. I couldn't seem to run more than 1/2 mile before I got totally exhausted and had to walk. I was getting passed by everyone. I went through mile 19 in 2:50. I figured if I could run 10 minute miles I could still get a 4 hour race. I kept trudging along and did the best I could. I saw the 3:40 pace group go by, then the 3:50 pace group, and somewhere around mile 22 I got passed by the 4 hour pace group. This was the final blow. I knew I had lost a sub-4 hour race. I got very depressed. I never thought of dropping out but I lost my motivation to push harder.

My running spurts were getting shorter and considerably more tiring. I basically ran until I just couldn't go on and then I'd walk. Around mile 24 I told myself I can run the last 2 miles without stopping. So I started jogging. I picked up the pace between mile 24 and mile 25 and was feeling pretty good. I hadn't reached mile 25 when I started getting dizzy. I pushed through it and tried to keep focused. I made it to the final turn before I walked again. I was 1/2 a mile from the finish and I was walking. That just wouldn't do, so I made myself run again. I don't remember much of this final stretch. I remember a lot of cheering people but I was barely keeping my feet moving forward. I don't remember crossing the finish line but I do remember a very nice person holding me up and keeping me walking. She asked me a lot of questions that I tried so hard to answer but I was having trouble getting the words out. When she asked me if I wanted a wheelchair though, I answered with a resounding NO! I was not going to be put in a wheelchair. Just not going to happen. She carried me to the medical tent where I found a nice bed and some nicer people. Lot's of fluids and lot's of time with my feet in the air later, I regained my sanity.

Ok so I've run out of time tonight. I'm going to bed. I'll finish the story tomorrow and tell you all about meeting Andrea. Don't let me forget.

Thanks for listening.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

It's here

Well I've run and ogled over Bill, I've been to the expo 3 times, I've attached my bid and strapped on my chip. My socks are on top of my shoes and my E-Gels are already in my Race-Ready pockets. I have Paula all charged up, I have eaten pasta and drank gallons of water.

I'm as freakin' ready as I can get!

Forecast for tomorrow morning.... Sever Thunderstorms with hail. South wind at 20 gusting to 30.

BRING IT ON! I've faced down those weather Gods before and I know their tricks.

My bib number is 1945 if you want to track me somehow. There may be a link on the Marathon Website

I have so much to write about but need some sleep. I'm finishing up my game of Go-Fish with The Little One and we are going to sleep. He just asked me if I have any 'Ps'. I think he means '9s' but you never know with this one, he is wearing 3-D glasses after all.

My wife ran her first half marathon today in Nashville, she and her sister rocked it and had a ball. Really though, who gets a mani-petti after a race??? I guess it's a women thing.

Thanks for listening

Friday, April 24, 2009

I'm In!

My lack of planning almost ruined my world this time. As you know, I missed the deadline for online registration for the OKC Memorial Marathon so I was going to register at the Expo this weekend. I got an email last night, however, that said registration was extremely limited and was expected to sell out quickly. So quickly, in fact, that they were going to hand out vouchers for the last few spots in the race. They told us to line up outside the expo at 9 AM today and get a voucher that we would need in order to register. If you don't get a voucher, your out!

So I packed up the Little One early this morning and headed downtown. I had heard through the grapevine and there were only about 200 slots left for the marathon. When I got to the expo center I saw a looonnnngggg line of people in front of me. Immediate depression set in. I began to think about what I would do if I had to miss this year's race. It was not a pretty thought process.

Luckily I had nothing to fear. I made it to the front and received a voucher. The stack was not very big when I got mine but I made it and that's all that matters. Whew!

Looking at it from another aspect, it's really cool that the marathon is going to sell-out this year. This will be the first year for that. Awesome! I have learned my lesson, I will register early next year.

Went to see Amy Palmiero-Winters last night. She was GREAT! I totally expected a canned, well-rehearsed speech but what I got was a real person who just got up and talked. She talked about her accident and how she dealt with the loss of her leg like we were sitting around the dinner table with friends. She has so much drive and motivation it's infectious. She's running the marathon with us on Sunday and will be at the legends run tomorrow morning. I will get a picture of her and post it.

Speaking of the legends run, I get to run with Bill Rogers tomorrow! I can't wait. I totally love this guy, it's a true man-crush. I love that he's absent minded and he runs like a chicken. I love hero's that are strong-willed and work hard to get their success but I really love someone who is also real and I can relate to. I'll get a picture of him too.

Thanks for listening

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Germs, germs, everywhere germs

So there I am at The Big One's last track meet minding my own business watching him finish the 110m hurdles at the finish line. I'm holding a big drink because it's kinda hot and I need to stay hydrated. He finishes his race and comes over to me and says, "Oh I need a drink my throat is really dry". So I, being the wonderful father that I am, say "here take a drink of this, it's the Shakely sports drink". Great he says, taking a big long drink out of my cup. He hands it back to me and just as I'm about to take a drink he casually says, "Man my throat really hurts, it has for a few days now, I think I've got strep throat". People I literally had the cup an inch from my lips when he tells me this! I was an inch away from the little, nasty bacteria that this teenage germ factory was trying to sabotage my marathon week with! It's 4 days until I run my first marathon of the year and now I'm under attack. From my own family no less! Ahhhh! Once he said this, I could just see the little critters swimming around in the cup. My hands instantly felt dirty and I wanted to shower in bleach.

So now I'm a total germ phobe. I have threatened my children with eternal haunting from the grave if I get sick before this marathon. I NEED THIS PEOPLE! GET AWAY AND STOP WITH ALL THE BREATHING! My children are both carriers, I know it, they rarely get sick because they've bonded with the germs after living with them for so long. They just carry them around like pets, sharing them with the rest of us who aren't as accepting of the germ way of life.

The forecast for Oklahoma City on Sunday morning last week was for 60's with a good chance of rain. This wasn't the best forecast in the world but as long as it wasn't thunderstorms I was OK with it. NOW the forecast is calling for lows of 60's on Saturday night and highs of 80's and sunny on Sunday. THIS IS WORSE! I absolutely love training in the heat and sunshine, but my body is sooooooo not used to it yet. It freakin' snow a few weeks ago for goodness sake! It has been hot here for the last 2 days so tonight I went out and ran 6 easy miles more for heat acclimation than for any training benefit. Guess what? Around mile 4-5 I was really feeling it and now I have a nice sunburn going. Yea, needed that. It's suppose to continue with the heat so I'm thinking of getting in 3 miles a day from now until Saturday.

How 'bout the Americans in Boston?! I know they didn't win but a 3rd for the men and another 3rd for the women. We're at least in this sport again and I love it. Kara and Ryan ran their hearts out and I wanted a win for them so badly but it just didn't happen. I think I would rather have a bunch of Americans slowly climb their way to the top than to have a single American suddenly come along and start winning. This slow progression shows that we are developing a successful program of distance running and not just benefiting from a single person's natural ability. I want to see us at the top of this sport for many years, not just win a few races and then go back to the bottom of the pile. I respect long-term effort, go figure.

Speaking of Americans in Boston, Reese really made his presence known in Boston. Well, at least in Wellsley there was one person who new Reese was there. Go read his race report if you haven't done so already. He's an amazing runner and an even better man.

After reading Sarah's wonderful post a few days ago, I have a new motto for this week. "I'm running 2 marathons in 2 weeks. BECAUSE, YES, I CAN!"

Thanks for listening

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Let Marathon week begin

Well I did my last long run today. Nothing exciting, just 8 miles in the cold Oklahoma wind and (a little) rain. It's funny to think that this is how the training began many weeks ago. Cold and windy. It was a nice easy course with plenty of potty stops which, it turns out, I needed.

So now it's officially marathon week! If anything could lift my spirits that could do it. The Boston Marathon is tomorrow, GO REESE!, Tuesday night is packet stuffing if I can make it (the running club volunteers to stuff the race packets for the marathon), Thursday night the running club is hosting Amy Palmiero-Winters which will be AMAZING! Friday the expo starts and oh yea, I have to actually register for the marathon on that day. Quiet! I know I'm a total dork for forgetting to register before now. It's just how I roll. Planning? What the heck is that?

Saturday morning is the legends run when I get to run with Bill freakin' Rogers and Dick freakin' Beardsley! See my profile picture? That's from last year's legends run. I made a total fool of myself last year acting like a complete star-crazed teenager when I met Bill for the first time. I plan to repeat that performance again this year. I can't help it, I used to watch him win Boston on TV and now I get to run with him! Gives me goosebumps just thinking about it.

Sunday is the marathon and the official beginning of Willie's marathon season. Let the fun begin! Prediction? Hmmm.... How 'bout 3:45 and not dying? Sounds like a good goal. Sunday night's forecast is for an ice bath and lot's of alcohol which is the perfect way to recover and prepare for another marathon in 7 days.

So that's my (cough) plan. I'll keep you updated as the week progresses.

Thanks for listening

Saturday, April 18, 2009


The end of my week has been much better than the beginning. I ran 3 easy miles on Friday and 3 easy miles again today. I'm having a mild pain in the back of my right knee but it seems to get better after a few miles so I'm not too concerned.

I'm running 8 miles tomorrow morning with the training group. It's our last run together before the big day. I think I'm more excited for the first time marathoners than I am about running the marathon myself. I love that first marathon experience, it's so neat to watch.

Boston is Monday! We've got a lot of Okies running it and I know they'll kick ass. Reese is already there and I'm sure he's having a great time. I can't wait to read his post about the race, he always has a great story to tell. He hasn't been around lately so I haven't been able to pick on him. I feel somehow incomplete without a nice long run and lots of laughter with Reese. Maybe that's my problem lately, not enough Reese.

The Big One ran his conference track meet today. He ran the 110m hurdles and the 300m hurdles. Yea, I don't know how he became a hurdler either, but he's really good at them. He was 5th or 6th overall in the 110m, we never did find out, and was 4th overall in the 300m. He won his heat in the 300m by .01 seconds. It was a great race to watch. He's so smooth over the hurdles. I don't know why anyone would want to run a race with obstacles intentionally put in their way but he does so more power to him. Usually my advice to him is "run fast", now I've had to modify it to "run fast, jump, run fast". This fathering stuff is hard sometimes.

Thanks for listening

Friday, April 17, 2009


I spent the week in NY and guess how many times I ran. Go ahead, guess! No really guess! Freakin' guess already OK!

Zip, zero, nada, never.

I did drink almost every night though. I also ate lot's of fried food. Beer and hot wings sounds so good when you have sat through long, boring negotiations all day, but not so good the next morning when you have to sit through more long boring negotiations.

I've searched to the end of the internet but can't find a runner's diet anywhere that prescribes coffee, muffins, whiskey, fried food, pizza, ice cream, cookies, and whatever else is placed in front of me. Good thing I don't have any marathons coming up soon, like maybe within a week. Yea, that would be really bad. That's not exactly what one would call "training". It's almost comical to think that someone would think they could run back-to-back marathons on that kind of "training".

So there you have it. No running, bad diet, and general pissed-off-ed-ness (just made that up!). So what have you guys been up to?

On a much more positive note, Rescue Me is back on the air and not a minute too soon. Since I was in NY the show didn't start until 10 PM which is way past my normal bedtime but absolutely fine last week since I couldn't freakin' sleep anyway. Hey I needed a positive.

Thanks for listening

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

Look I made a cake. It's got little insects on it. Mmmmmmm

Thanks for listening

Friday, April 10, 2009

Back in the saddle

I feel like I should re-introduce myself because I've been away for so long.

Hi, I'm Willie, rush chairman, damn glad to meet you. (Hopefully some of you remember Animal House)

You may wonder why I haven't written for so long. I wonder that too. Truth is I just wasn't inspired to write. It's not that my life has dropped to a lower level and I just had nothing better to offer up than the boring dribble I normally put forth on this blog, it's just that I didn't have my normal urge to bore you with it. Then it became such a long time since I'd last posted that I felt my next post should be something eloquent and meaningful and I just don't do eloquent and meaningful that often.

Then I remembered that you guys and gals are just fellow runners and you don't need eloquent. You are happiest when you are covered in sweat and have snot dripping from your noses. That I can do! My peeps!

I have been running. Last week was one of my hardest weeks of training this year. I've started my Tuesday speedwork sessions and my Thursday tempo runs again. I've done my last 20 miler. I've run the Edmond hills. What I haven't done is found my stride. I just don't feel as comfortable on the run as I did at the end of last year. I have lost so much speed. My speedwork is that in name only, it's nowhere near as fast as I was running last year. I can run my tempo runs at about the same pace but it is much more of a struggle. I'm not sleeping well and sometimes my feet hurt. I feel tired most of the time and I can't concentrate. Depressed yet? Stopped reading yet? Well I cut my hair off so I look stupid now too. There, ha ha, now who's down?

Actually given all that crap I'm still pretty confident. I've been through this before and am sure it will pass. It may sound ridiculous but I honestly believe it's because I haven't run a marathon yet this year. I know I'm supposed to love running in it's purest form and not need the thrills and excitement of racing. I also know that I'm very much a child at heart and I've embraced that immaturity and I need to race! I need to stand in a crowded starting corral, I need to hear the starting gun, I need to hear someone tell me I'm almost there and that I look great at mile 19. These things I need. These things will bring Willie back to life.