Sunday, May 30, 2010

Some times you have great runs

and sometimes you don't.  Yesterday was one of the don'ts.   I'm slowly but surely adding a mile every couple weeks to my distance until I get up to 20 miles in advance of the marathon.   I went out yesterday and did my longest run of 14 miles.   I've done 13.1 a couple times, but this was quite a bit tougher.  In hindsight I think there were a couple things that sent the run off the rails.

  1. Starting too late in the day.  I started at 11:45.  I think I may have picked the hottest part of the day.  Dumb.  Its cooler in the morning and the sun isn't directly overhead.  
  2. I didn't really fuel up properly in the morning.  I started the day with a bowl of chocolate mini wheats.  Not even close to the breakfast of champions.  
  3. I decided to fuel up mid run with 2 chocolate covered Oreos at mile 9.   This was just to not feel so bad about only spending $3 on the charge card at the take out place.  In hindsight, pure knucklehead.
So between the height of the day heat, the poor nutrition, and eating Oreos, my stupidity conspired to make for a really bad run.  Oh yeah, and at mile 3 I realized that I hadn't cover/lubricated my nipples (pretty sure those last 4 words are going to make for some great referrals in the traffic stats) so I got to run 11 miles without a shirt on...that alternative being chaffed / bleeding nipples.    It was one of those runs where I would look at the Garmin and see my pace and convince myself that the GPS was hinky and I was really farther than it thought and was clearly miscalculating my distance....nope, I was just running really slowly.   

That all being said, I slogged out the 14 miles.  Farther than I've ever gone and I don't feel like death today (YAY!) and I am going to get the bike out tomorrow and ride a bit with my honey.  So all in all I count it as a victory.  

I have learned though, that my next long run is going to start with the old faithful of a bowl of oatmeal, will begin early in the morning, and won't include any Oreos.  And my nipple with be properly prepared.   

Hopefully this will lead to better results.   15 miles in a couple weeks.   Details below.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Latest Happenings

A couple good points to note.

I've had great support from donors.  I'm 23% to my goal of raising $3,500 for the Prostate Cancer Foundation.  Thank you to everyone who has supported me.  I really appreciate it. Your support is providing vital services to fathers, sons, husbands, brother and uncles everywhere.  Thanks! If you'd like to make a donation please click here.  Checks are always welcomed as well.  Please email me and I can give you my home address.

For those of you in the DC Area:
DASH FOR DAD, the premier prostate cancer race series in the U.S., is a heartfelt tight-knit community event that brings together athletes, cancer survivors, physicians, caregivers, family members and friends. Proceeds from each 10K race are used to provide free prostate cancer testing for men in the local community of the event.
Is coming to Alexandria.  This is a great way to help out the cause and run a little shorter route.  The run through Alexandria should be great and a lot of fun.

On the running side, I think I might have gotten the trail running bug.  As you might remember from my last post, Noel and I spent some time on the trails when we were up in Rhode Island.  I had so much fun up there that I decided that I would do one of my long runs on the trail down here this weekend.  I decided to head to Patapsco Valley State Park outside of Baltimore and put in roughly 12 miles on the trails.  I figure a good 12 miles on the trails would be like 14 on the road.  I'm not sure if that's the right conversion, but it was a blast and did kick the daylights out of me.

A couple things I discovered.  Mentally trail running is a lot more taxing and challenging.  You've got to keep your eyes on the trail constantly and think about how you're going to run all the time.  I ran without my iPod and my brain was constantly working (especially when I got off the GPS track a couple times. )  I also noticed that its a lot harder, which is great.   It took me 3 and half hours to run roughly 12 miles.  Last week it took me 2 hours 8 minutes to run 13 miles on the road.   I had a blast though and always had something to focus on out in the woods.   (BTW: there are a ton of busy woodpeckers in that forest.  It's a shock that there are any trees left.)  I was also completely spent at the end of the run.  I had to duck into the local Burger King on the way home and try the new Burger King A1 Steakhouse XT Burger (which I heartily recommend once in a great while.)

I am considering investing in some trail specific shoes and need some help from friends to find some other trails...especially those a little close to Annapolis.   (comments please)

The map of my run is below (it only says 11.2 but I ran a little me.)

Other than that, that's about it.  I'll be doing another fundraising appeal in a week or so and may plan an auction / happy hour for the summer.

Thanks again everyone.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Yeah, they're margarita flavored clif got a problem with that??

Hi. My name's Noel. Why are you taking my picture?

Looking strong....and curious.

Looking Less Happy Here at the Finish Line

Feeling Happy and Strong Near the End of the Race

I think this was somewhere around mile 10

Monday, May 03, 2010

Providence Half

So Noel and I had a great marathon / half marathon weekend up in Providence. Most importantly, we had a great time hanging out together enjoying each other's company and poking around Providence.

A couple quick observations about Providence.

  1. There are "Hot Wieners" (NY or Conney Island System) everywhere.
  2. The city seems to have a higher than average share of strip clubs.
  3. There are alot of psychics; and
  4. Everyone must be getting tattoos.
That aside though, we did have a nice time in Providence.  I think we covered a fair portion of the city in our 4 day weekend up there.  We hit the Italian section of town for lunch one day (yum handmade gnocchi), had goat with some friends in the Latino part of town another night, and did a little bit of shopping here and there the other days.  We stayed at the Johnson and Wales Inn and enjoyed the hospitality of the students.  

A couple times we were able to head over to the James V. Turner Reservoir down the street from the hotel and do some trail running around the reservoir.  The community has done a great job preserving the area around the reservoir and the trails were in great shape (in spite of the recent flooding).  The first night we got there and hit the trail as the sun was setting and were able to watch the sun set through pines around the water.  We were also able to have a nice stretch out run on Saturday morning the day before the race.  Both very enjoyable and a running treat.  I truly enjoyed the trail running and might have to find some good trails back home.  

The race itself was excellent.  We were blessed with some really great weather.  It was lightly overcast with temperatures right around 70 at the start of the race.   Other than the promoters putting the port-a-johns in the same space as the starting corrals, the start came off without a hitch.  (BTW: I think the announcer might have been phil liggett, but that' just speculation)

The first couple miles were nice, snaking out of the downtown core and through the area around Brown and RISD.  Beautiful communities and the only real hill on the course.  I didn't feel great at the beginning, but I think I am finding it takes my legs a little while to open up.

By about mile four I really started to feel strong.  I had my garmin with me so I could tell that I was doing a 6 mph pace keeping myself right at my 10 min pace.  This was feeling good on a long stretch out along what looks like a municipal park of some sort (that we would come back along later).

In the mid miles I largely continued to feel good, pushing myself a bit, but not so hard that I'd be out of gas at mile 10.   I started to feel a bit rough around mile 8 / 9 but was able to chug through it and felt better after we did a short downhill and got along the water around mile 10.

I don't know that there was any point where I knew I was going to do really well, but when I hit mile 10 I remember the timing sign saying 1:40.  Knowing that it took me a couple minutes to cross the start line and that I had to take my shoe off at mile two to clear a rock, I knew I was running well below my goal and if I could keep on trucking along at the pace that I had been I would beat my goal.  

Miles 11 through the end were pretty uneventful and were just a matter of slogging things out and getting to the end.  I would note though that you're ever cheering on a race, never ever tell someone that they're "almost there."  Especially not at mile 11.5.  Until you cross the line you still have a ways to go.  Clap and yell.  I suspect most folks either know what mile they're at or are doing their best to be wilfully ignorant and are in their happy place.  Shouting that "you only have a mile and half to go" at mile 11.5 is just mean.

I finished strong (although not as strong as the guy next to me who dipped into the suitcase of courage and sprinted across the finish line.)   I was able to get cleaned up and go cheer for the marathoners and wait for Noel as she came across with a really strong time.

I feel really good about my performance.  I think the training is working and my body is handling the runs better.  I will say though that I could have put another mile or two in after the race, but my body still has a ways to go until it can get to 20....but I've got a couple months and alot of training miles.  

All in all a great success all around.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

I'm in!

9:49 pace
34 seconds faster pace than last half.
More details later.