Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Food for thought

I have been tossing around an idea lately that I'll value everyone's feedback when they get a chance. After, Mark mentioned ITB syndrome and without having any insurance (until Nov. 1st) I did some reading on Google and think he is probably right. I am an overpronator on my right foot only which goes hand in hand with ITB syndrome. Once we get insurance, I'm going to schedule some diagnostic testing to see exactly what is up.

However, I am getting somewhat frustrated of being injured and not being able to run due to my injuries. I'm becoming more convinced that I needed to take it even slower and allow more time to increase my measly miles. After 15 years of basically sitting on my can, eating like crap and not taking care of myself it shouldn't be a surprise that I'm battling injury. I'm starting to think that I want to start all over from scratch again. I want to basically not do anything that causes my knees, feet, back and hips to hurt until I first strengthen my core, increase my flexibility and lose a little more body fat. Then and only then will I start to run.

If anyone else has any ideas, I'm open to anything at this point.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Stressful day=more miles

My goal is to run up to two hours a day, 6 days a week, split into two workouts, adding 4-5 miles a week until I get up to 60 miles a week. I am to do 45 this week; I am only on week two. I really don't know if I will do Boston...I am not registered and it may well be full by the time I decide. However, that's okay with me. I don't want a repeat of last year. I will go if I have a good shot at getting the time I was shooting for last year. I'm just on the boring treadmill, still worried about my knee. When I go outside my miles will likely go down a little before they go back up...we will see.

I am headed to Arizona so will be running outside there.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Go with the flow

Well, I haven't posted since before the marathon but I underestimated the impact of injuring my foot. I left the marathon kind of beaten up even though I had a pretty good run until about mile 20. I did see the Doctor and x-rays showed negative for a break but stress fractures wouldn't show up until after they start healing a bit so I am not sure at this point whether it is a stress fracture or tendon related. But the pain is going away slowly and sometimes I can walk without a limp. The drug of running is gone from the blood and so I am on a down cycle wishing I could go to the gym to weight lift to get the endorphins flowing a little.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The longest run of my life

Since blog authorship has proven successful for me, I'll do a real post.

I signed up for a half marathon run on Oct 31 from above Aspen Grove (near Sundance) into Provo. I'm kind of excited about it. It will give me an idea of what I can do on the real run on Jan 30, except that it is all downhill. There are only about 500 people signed up so far, so I should finish within the first 500.

I ran part way up and down Provo canyon this morning for a training run. I had to keep going until it was light enough to read the mile posts, so I went a little further than intended. I also had quite a scare as I heard some loud rustling noises above me in the dark. You should have seen how fast I ran then. After about half a mile, I stopped looking over my shoulder and relaxed down to a slower pace.

All told, I went up 7.3 miles and back. 14.6 miles in 134 minutes for an average pace of 9:10 per mile. I don't think my legs have ever felt so rubbery, but I was pleased.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Just checking to see if I now have author privileges

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Latest knee news

Well, since I check this everyday and thoroughly enjoy it, and have been disappointed with new posts and comments, I'll bore you all with my lame details.

My knee is....better....but still scary.

I thought at first I tore something, then thought that it wasn't a tear due to how fast it was getting better, but now I'm thinking it's somewhere in between. I can walk just fine and can run .75 miles at an 11 minute pace, but it soon starts to get stiff and then hurt. I then slow it down to a walk and it feels decent. Don't really know what to do. I'm pretty bummed actually. I really have huge desires to one day run fast and far. It feels like every day that goes by is a day wasted. Maybe I should just completely shut it down for 3 weeks and start over??

Any and all thoughts are much appreciated. I would be swimming to keep my cardio up if there was a pool in Afton, but no luck. I'm going to resort to just start pounding my thighs with my fists or something. :)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Finally Got a Good One

I traveled to SLC on Monday of race week, with the intention of getting some acclimation to the altitude, and I think that worked pretty well, though you can never know for sure. I was steeply into my taper mode by the time I arrived at altitude and only ran twice during the week. The first time was a run out the door of Jennifer and Scott’s apartment on Tuesday morning, out Foothill then up Sunset toward the Hogle Zoo before turning around and returning for a total of about 5.1 miles. Lots of up and downs on the run which was good. My lungs burned a little to start then seemed to get used to the thinner air. Then Wednesday afternoon I ran with Byron at the Smith Fieldhouse in Provo. The track is about 1/6 mile and we ran around and around for an hour, no idea how far we went but I felt good and Byron ran slow for my benefit.

There were complications this week, from a deal I have been working on for three months and has still not closed. Lots of tense moments made worse by me being out of town, even though I had good cell phone and internet connections. But we got most of the issues done and out of the way by the time I got into the car with Clint and headed down to St. George on Friday afternoon, although I was on the phone as we took off and Clint drove the first while until I could get off the call and switch so he could study.

Running with me in the marathon were Clint (more about that later), Byron and Marci, Elaine, Daryl and Eric. Cheryl and Nathan were entered but had to drop out from injuries. (It turns out there is no truth to the rumor that Cheryl broke her tailbone during a yoga class, but it was a wonderful story while it lasted.) Esteemed visitors at the finish line were Scott, Jennifer and Jane, Stephen, Nathan and his four boys, and Becky. Walt and Helen stayed behind in Woodland Hills to tend Byron and Marci’s kids and Kate. Dale Thurber, Daryl’s training partner, wasn’t entered in the race but came down with Daryl, drove him to the starting line the back way from Cedar City, then ran a marathon distance through the mountains while the race was going on, he was crewed by his sister and saw a lot of interesting country and wildlife. He ran about 4:15 and seemed disappointed by his time. I would kill for a 4:15.

We stayed at a motel in Hurricane and left at 3:30 in the morning to catch a 4:00 bus ride from the finish line to the start line. It was low 30s up there at altitude. There were lots of bonfires burning, probably about 50 and lots of Juans (Clint’s term for outhouses), but only one roll of toilet paper in each outhouse. Clint and I rode with Byron and Marci, and miraculously found Daryl. Byron and Marci bought us some airplane blankets at WalMart in Hurricane which really helped cut out some of the cold breeze. It was dark up there with a full moon which sank by the time the race started.

At the start of the race it took us 10 minutes to cross the timing mats, but the race computer measured our time exactly the same way as my Garmin watch did, within one second, so no complaints. I ran with a wallet, car keys and a cell phone. Everything else went into the drop bag.

Clint didn’t feel like he had trained enough for this marathon and he was probably right. His longest run going into the race was 12 miles. He has run one other marathon, at 4:45 about 5 years ago. My goal pace was 5:00, so we agreed that Clint would stay with me and dial 911 as needed. As I looked at the mass of runners in front of me trying to cross the starting mat I told Clint that I would never win this race. Quite a few people overheard me and were laughing out loud at the old man. Need some Southern hospitality out there in St. George.

Daryl ran the first 3 miles with us then took off at his own pace. Clint watched him longingly as he faded into the distance. I had a chart for my goal pace, and we were too fast the first mile then too slow the second mile. After that we pretty much stayed right on pace for the first half of the race. It seemed a little fast at first then seemed quite comfortable, even a little slow.

The first miles went by really fast. There were lots of interesting people to watch, fat, skinny, fashionable, nerdy, everybody turned out for the fun. Lots of funny signs too, but neither Clint nor I can remember what any of them said.
The first reality check was the Veyo hill, which started after 7 miles and was very steep for one mile, then a gradual uphill through mile 12. I ran halfway up the hill then decided to walk, though I still made my split for that mile. Somewhere in here I took a detour into the bushes but only lost one minute.

When I reached the halfway point I felt better than I ever have, whether during a race or a training run. The only major climb in the race was past, and I was in good shape. I was a little bit emotional that I felt so good but tried not to blather all over the course. I had told myself ahead of time that if I felt good at the half I would stretch it out a little bit. The average pace over the entire course for me was 11:23 per mile, and I started putting down some fast miles, getting as low as 9:27 on one of the splits, mile 15 I think. Reality started to sink in a little as we approached mile 18, a little more as we approached mile 20, but we were still going strong, passing hundreds and hundreds of walkers. I tried to stay hydrated and even ate a little bit of bananas and oranges, whenever offered. I was very confident and confided in Clint that I had dropped my goal finish to 4:45. Clint calculated that if we kept up the same pace (mid-10s) we would make it.

Clint and I talked about everything under the sun. We had a great time, then we weren’t talking anymore at about mile 22, as things started to get grim for the old man who was sure he wasn’t going to win this thing. I felt the first signs of fatigue back at mile 15, then my old friend returned, nausea. We kept going until mile 25 or so when the heat got me and I finally had to walk, a bit anticlimactic after thinking I would finish the whole thing without stopping to walk any significant distance. I walked the rest of the way in and Clint stuck with me. We walked all the way down the finish chute, much to the disappointment of all my fans, jogging only a few steps across the mat. My time on the Garmin was 4:58:30, and my official race time was 4:58:29, I finally broke 5 hours.

I misted off and got inside the runners area, but finally had to lay down and empty the contents of my stomach. Then my right calf cramped right under the shin bone. A couple of Army guys helped me up and into the tent where they took my vital signs, let me eat a popsicle then shooed me out. I did an interview with Scott, but found that I still couldn’t stand up without being nauseous. So I sat, and pretty soon the sun was too hot so I went and lay down in the shade (different spot from the first time), for about a half-hour then I was fine.

The real story in this race is Clint. He barely trained (he spent the summer applying for medical school, participating in a medical research team in Peru and getting engaged), yet was still capable of running faster than his first race. But he was a true champion, stayed with me the whole time, thank you kindly bud. Daryl in his first marathon since high school ran 4:15 on the dot. Marci ran about 4:19. Byron blew the lid off the course with a 3:47, almost half an hour better than his previous best time. Elaine despite all of the injuries she has been struggling with ran 4:00, re-qualifying for the next two Bostons. Eric, that sly devil, ran a 3:07 and said he was disappointed. I thought he was targeting 3:10 but apparently it was 3:00. It was his first marathon in 10 years; nevertheless, he also qualified for Boston by a wide margin.

This is a wonderful marathon, well organized and a great course. A great confidence builder and a good reward for a summer of hard running in the heat. Next up is the Texas Marathon on January 1.

Monday, October 5, 2009

St. George marathon, 2009, E's report, now I want to read YOURS

The bonding started at the bonfires, at the beginning of the race, hanging out with other freezing, pee-laden, nervous wrecks

A picture of my famous knee, the one everyone prayed for (or was this my right knee?)

A view from the runner's perspective (mine). I took this picture with my iPhone too. I was actually trying to get a picture of an amazing rock formation to the right but couldn't aim right while I was running. I thought this was cool too.

And a tribute to the weather. Could not have been better! (Unlike last year's rain)

Now for you numbers freaks. Here are the numbers:

Last year my overall time was 3:57:50, this year it was 4:00:18. I qualified for Boston both times, but only by 41 seconds this year.

Other numbers from this year:
3126 finishers behind, 44% of finishers ahead. Overall I got 2492nd place, 809th place for the women, 33% of them ahead of me, 84th place in my age division, 33% of runners ahead. I found how I ranked among the men but can't find it again. Last year I beat 51% of them, this year I think 54% of them beat me. Overall chip time 4:00:18.

Here's what my Garmin said, Average pace 9:08 min/mile, top pace 9.3 mph. The first 7.35 miles I averaged 7.1 mph, the second 4.59 miles I averaged 5.9 mph (I think this was Veyo hill area), the next 5.28 miles I got back on pace at 6.8 mph, then the last 9 I averaged 6.4 mph with a top speed on those last miles of 9.0 mph, probably my finishing "kick". So Jill, I didn't do the death jog at the end, and I didn't start out too fast, at least not too too fast.

I did so poorly because I was wearing braces on both knees, which I am hoping slowed me down a little and I had lost some fitness because of little to no outside training the last six weeks, lots of no running days.

I did so well because duh, it was downhill, my taper went better than my other two marathons, I NEVER stopped at a port-a-potty and was not dehydrated, I only walked through the aid stations and nowhere else, and mostly I did well because everyone prayed for my left knee, which barely even made itself known, the entire race!
Oh, and I had family there, oooooodles of family. Stephen and Nathan yelled at me at mile 16 (or was it 17?), then again at the end of the race. I especially enjoyed Nathan's yelling in the chute. I couldn't even acknowledge it as I was trying to finish a little faster, but it helped me. A lot. Mark and Clint and Daryl and speedy Eric were there too and although I never saw them, it was a boost just knowing they were there.

P.S. The beta blocker worked. My heart did not do its Boston flip flop but stayed appropriately where it should.