Sunday, September 30, 2007

The day after - post ride

Post ride:
I'll have to say I slept pretty good last night. Got about 8-9 hours of sleep. My legs feel great this morning, no major soreness at all. In fact my neck and shoulders are more sore than my legs. This morning it seems much better than it was last night. And I'll back up and say that I'm sure at least my recovery from the marathon will be much worse.

Here are some photos of some of the group & friends:

Left to right, Curtis Davis, Heather Bender, Marianne Park and Gary Davis.

Curtis and Gary finished the ride at 05:08:00. They did not even stop at any of the aid stations, they carried everything with them. They are "animals" when it comes to biking and running. If you want to see two guys that train hard, these are the ones. They also do Triathlons. Great guys and I look up to them a lot.

Heather and Marianne just completed Ironman Kentucky. They are the "animals" on the womens side. Ironman KY was a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and a 26.2 mile run! Thats all in one day! All I can say is "amazing"....these girls rock! Somehow I finished the BDB just a few minutes behind them, obviously they were not racing it.

This was part of the Cruiser group right before the start. They asked me to hold my finger up since it was my first 100 miler. You can barely see me in the background. What a great group of people!

This was me right before the start. Marianne went on and on about my "Firefighting" jersey and how cool it was. It was the only one out there so it was easy to spot me.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Big Dam Bridge 100 Report

Big Dam Bridge 100 report – 9/29-07

First off, the day started out absolutely beautiful. Could not have asked for better weather for the beginning of a 100 miler. Since this was my first ever, I really didn’t know what to expect, other than I knew I could ride 40-60 miles without a problem and had done quite a bit of hill training during the summer. The running added to my fitness level. I was a little concerned at the start of the race with so many bikes starting at once. It was really a lot like the start of a big running race, once you went a little ways, it would thin out.

This was what it looked like in front of me close to the start

Most of the Cruisers were fairly close together at the start but with so many bikes it was hard for everyone to stay together. I think I caught up to David on Cantrell and we road to the bridge fairly close together. The BDB was closed to all other traffic (or at least that’s what the signs said) so the bikes went across two wide. I lost David in the pack here with me getting stuck behind some slower riders and I couldn’t pass. We continued on down the trail and cut back to Cooks Landing where the first rest stop was. I skipped this one as we really haven’t been going long. Maumelle Blvd. was a breeze, with some good speed here with minimal effort. The route turned off the Blvd. on to some side streets that I don’t remember the name of. There was another rest stop here and this was the turn around point for the 25 mile group. Again, I skipped this stop, everything was working too well. I felt great and the speed was easier than I expected.

On to Hwy 365 to Mayflower. Again, everything seemed easy at this point, I did start encountering some hills here but most were not too bad. I finally caught up to David just before Palarm and there was James Martin, Russ Vines, and I think also Kristina Graham & Del Medlin. We pushed on to Mayflower and the thoughts of that rest stop was looking good to me. My Garmin shows me there at about 1:23:00 into the ride. The Mayflower rest stop was also the turn around for the 50 milers. I knew after this stop things were going to get tough as Rocky Gap Rd going into Conway has some pretty good hills. I did a gel here, ate some cookies and a quarter of a peanut butter & jelly along with some Gatorade.

Nothing too exciting from here to Conway, we really didn’t have any pace lines going, the wind wasn’t a factor yet and the leads changed several times. Rocky Gap had a couple good hills on it, but also had some good down hills. Pace wise I lost no time here. By the time we hit Conway, I was maintaining a 17.1 mph pace. Maybe a little faster than I expected, but up to Conway, things did seem fairly easy. The group pulled into the Conway rest stop at various times. I had tried to drink from my bottles every chance I got and I usually drank a lot at the rest stops. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were plentiful at all of them so I’d eat a quarter of one when I could. Didn’t let any grass grow under our feet here or at most of the stops. I saw David pulling out, some of the others were still taking a break. This was the last place I saw James and Russ.

Leaving the Conway stop, we headed down I think Hwy 65 through town to Hwy 286. It was here that we caught the wind. I hate a head wind worse than anything. It just wears you down, slows you down and makes you work harder. This was one of those. Everyone was kind of on their own for this one but it seemed like David & I kept fairly close. 286 seemed to start my struggle a little and I guess everyone else’s. If it wasn’t the wind, it was the traffic. The road was rough here too so there was no good place to ride unless you were in the traffic lane. Somehow I got ahead of David in here and I was just kind of a lone biker out there for a while. So I found that the white line on the side was about the best for me unless I could get in the traffic lane. Just had to grin and bear it here, I knew Saltilo was not too far and another rest stop. Thank god for those rest stops! They were heaven, and I enjoyed every one of them. I got to Saltilo Grocery and Otto Road and there was no aid station. For some reason I thought it would have been right there but there was a sign just ahead stating that it was about 1 mile ahead. There was a big church there that made a perfect stop. I had to stop here and really get fueled up because shortly we would have the hardest part of the course and some BIG hills.

I wasn’t at the rest stop long and David pulled in and then I saw Kristina and Del. Still no James or Russ. Not sure if they left Conway before David and I or if they were behind us. I think I hit this stop just shortly before 11:00am. My pace had dropped in the wind, but I was holding about 15mph+. I took a gel here, loaded up my bottles, got a snack, tried to stretch and took that needed bathroom break. David rode out a couple minutes before me. I wasn’t far behind. Otto Road was newly paved it seemed so it was nice and smooth, unlike the State Hwy we were on. The wind didn’t seem to be quite as much a factor here as there were a lot of trees in some spots along the road. There were also several hills. Nothing to cry about yet though. I knew they were coming. Otto Road ended with a right turn on Hwy 107, then an uphill to Fortson. This was a solid climb, maybe ½ a mile. I had road some of Fortson a month ago so I knew there were some hills coming up but I hadn’t come in from 107. Well, once we turned on Fortson, It was a BIG hill. There was one person that had pulled over just to think about it and get the energy to go up. My brain told me to also, but I knew better. I just had to knock this bad boy out. It was a tough climb, and my bike is not really geared for the big hills I have found. With a double crank, it finds me looking for one more gear that’s not there. So I have to sit and pedal, then stand and pedal. This hill I pretty much stood the whole thing. I’d pedal a couple strokes, then sit down and pedal a couple. Or I’d stand and pedal a couple, the coast till I almost stopped, then do it again. Well, I made the top and never stopped. There was a group resting here also. Good idea but I didn’t do it. Long downhill from here, and it was rough so you had to break most of the way down. Then comes those two or three really short but straight up hills. Ok, after the first one I was just hoping my legs would hold up over the next one. I had caught back up with David on the first Fortson hill so we both struggled up these little monsters. Again, there were bikers walking their bikes up some of these. Somehow I managed to get over them. A few more small hills and we were at the 60 mile rest stop. I was READY! I think I filled my water bottle twice here, got some PB&J, a pickle, stretched a little. Didn’t stay long, I was thinking 89 to Mayflower was flat! Ha. So we were off. A mile or so down the road here I noticed my Cat Eye had quit working. I figured maybe the little magnet had moved or something on the rough roads so I slowed down trying to figure out what was going on. Shortly I just pulled over and check everything. I wiggled something and it started working again. David was ahead of me a pretty good ways now so I just rode on. Parts of this section were flat and I did encounter some pretty good wind here. It seemed like I’d have a good pace going and then I’d slow down. My shoulders were hurting now and my neck so I kept trying to change positions with my hands, do stretches or whatever to get through it. Like David had told me, the last part we were going to just have to gut it out. So I was trying.

89 had some hills I found out. Maybe two or three pretty big ones that slowed me to a crawl again. I really thought they should use the slogan “what hills?’ on the 100 mile t-shirts. This was starting to be no fun. I actually think the hills and wind took so much energy that I probably hadn’t drank or fueled enough. I tried to drink more from my bottles as I knew Mayflower wasn’t too far away and 35 miles was not that far, I had done that many times. I finally struggled in to Mayflower, as David was parking his bike. I had already decided when I got here that I no longer cared what my time was, what my pace was or any of that. I just wanted to finish. I took a little extra time here, doing the usual and again taking a gel. I sat down for a couple minutes and felt better. Before I left a guy pulled in the parking lot, got off his bike and fell out on the grass. MEMS was there and quickly came over to check him out. He was ok and back up, sat in a chair for a bit and I think he got going again. I think a lot of people were struggling at this point.

David pulled out before me as he had a goal of getting across the finish line before 2:30. I hope he made it, I’m not sure as I didn’t see him at the finish. When I started back out, traffic was pretty bad, and all I could think of was 25 miles to go. That’s not far at all! Yeah right. Again, I had to fight the wind. I think it was following us just to slow us down or something. No matter what direction it had its toll. I didn’t ride too hard here, I was feeling everything. My neck, my shoulders, my knees, my feet. Then I started getting a weird feeling in the back of my leg. All I could think of was cramps and I didn’t want them. I had seen way too many people today with cramps. I tried to hydrate every time I thought about it. Whatever it was went away. Again, 365 had a few decent size hills. I just slugged them out. At about mile 88, Marianne and Heather passed me. The only time I had seen them today was at the start. They looked like they were feeling good. I thought to myself, two Ironmen (women) just passed me at mile 87. They defiantly knew what they were doing.

I finally made the Maumelle rest stop. It was a welcome sight again. I ate a cookie, did a gel, some good cold water and sat for a little while. Frank Massingale was there from the Grand Prix series and he told me he was struggling and had thought about calling his wife to come get him. Well, at this point I could understand that. It was tough. I probably sat here too long but I didn’t care. Well, at least it seemed long to me. Don Fleming pulled in while I was there too. I got going again, and had already decided this stop was taking me to the finish. I could not wait to get on the River Trail as I knew there were no cars and smooth sailing. Only one or two small hills to deal with and they were nothing compared to what we went across. By the time I hit the river trail I just went with an easy gear and just went in slow. I didn’t have the extra to give and wanted just a little at the end. Right before the golf course I heard my name and it was Marianne and Heather again. They had stopped for water at Cooks landing. I felt better about my ride knowing that I was that close to these two experts. I noticed some of the other bikers ahead of me just easing to the finish. I think everyone was pretty much done.

Finally, I hit Broadway and made the turn on Main. I was thinking there might be some crowds at the finish but there wasn’t. The road was lined for about a ¼ mile with steel barricades much like the Tour de France finishes. But there were no people. I crossed the finish line looking at the clock. They handed me a little pendant for finishing. I saw Marianne again, grabbed some water and headed to load my bike. I was done. Today, at least for me, I think a full marathon would have been easier. The last 25 miles felt like one of the hardest things I have ever done but I am glad I did it. Next year I will train better and have a time to beat. I wish I had gotten more photos but its almost impossible to ride and shoot at the same time. At least I haven't got to practice it yet.

Here are my final times:

I crossed the finish line at 3:18 per my clock

Official Race time – 7:49:35 (but they don’t give this to you, you have to look as you cross)

Bike Time – 6:34:52 – (this is what most people use)

Avg. pace 15.0mph

Total calories burnt - 5478 cals.

Average heart rate - 154

By the way, my butt really doesn’t hurt! I still can’t believe I pedaled for 6 hours and 34 minutes! I am kinda brain dead, think its from the weight loss and dehydration. Legs feel pretty good now too.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Big Dam Bridge is tomorrow!

It's now just a matter of hours before the start of the Big Dam Bridge 100. I am probably about as carb loaded as one can get. If I have a flat it is because my tires no longer can hold my extra weight. Well, it's not really that bad. We did load up for lunch at Larry's Pizza along with several other local bikers doing the ride. Afterwards Annette and I went to Dickie Stephens Park to get my registration packet and look at the Expo they were having. I was a little disappointed in the Expo as there were only about 4 vendors there when we went. I did go ahead and buy me an official BDB Jersey. I needed another one anyway, though I won't wear it on Saturday since they say its bad luck to wear the race jersey/shirt on race day. Not sure if it is or not but I need all the luck I can get and I'm all about stacking the odds in my favor.

Here is a photo of the super cool jersey

Since I was pretty much worthless at work today and we were already in North Little Rock, I decided to head up towards Conway and follow some of the BDB route. Didn't look too intimidating until we turned on Rocky Gap Rd. off of 89 in Mayflower. Quite a few hills on this stretch but I have still done bigger so it should not be a problem. We ended up in Conway, fought the traffic around town and went by the Sporty Runner. Annette got a really cool new blinky light that had a magnet that holds it to your shirt or whatever. After that I had to stop by The Ride bike shop. I was wanting some gel gloves for the ride. The ones I had been using didn't have much padding so I figured now is the time to upgrade. With 100 miles ahead of me I need all the padding I can get! By the way, the people there are super nice as are the people at Sporty Runner. I will do business with both of these places again as they seem to not only want your business but ask if they can help you and are willing to answer questions.

After dropping $30+ dollars at The Ride, we cut back cross country on Hwy 286 following the BDB route again. Otto Rd is going to be interesting for sure. I had already done the hills on Fortson Rd so I know what I have there. Man, this is going to be a long ride for sure! I'm putting my Garmin on the bike as last night I finally figured out how to change it over to bicycle mode. I can get some good data from it after the ride that will help in future training. I am still debating on using the virtual partner for the bike ride and setting it up to go a certain MPH. Either way it will compliment my Cat Eye speedometer. Only thing I wish I had now was one that showed cadence. I may take a digital camera with me or if nothing else I will have my camera phone with me. It's just hard to remember to take photos sometimes so maybe I'll remember at some of the rest stops.

If you can't tell, I'm excited and can't wait to get going on this ride! 100 miles is a long way to pedal. I just want to have fun, have a decent time and most of all finish feeling good.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Rants and Raves

My Rant
For anyone that lives in the Cabot area you should read the article in Wednesdays Leader Newspaper about the Police chasing a motorcycle. The article states that the police were in pursuit down S. Second Street (Hwy 367) at speeds up to 100 mph. The chase continued on into Pulaski County on Cleland Rd with speeds again up to 100 mph. Well, if you read my blog from last Thursday night you know what the outcome of this chase was. The bike crashed and the rider had to be med flighted out. The key element that most people miss in this story is the chase speed. Up to 100 mph??? WTF? Have the police lost their mind? This was around 6:30pm down one of the busier roads in the area. What possible outcome could the police have expected to happen? The guy just pull over?? I doubt it if he's already running. The officer in this pursuit put many lives in danger here. First off, if you chase a motorcycle, the only way they are stopping is either to run out of gas or crash. Usually the biker dies. In this case he survived but was this chase worth putting so many peoples lives in jeopardy? Just imagine topping the hill on 367 at 84 Lumber close to 100mph and someone is trying to turn right or left by Larry's. It's not going to be pretty and a siren only gives so much warning. Most Police Departments including the Pulaski County Sheriffs office have a "do not pursue" policy with motorcycles because it is useless. Someone is going to crash and get hurt. None of us wants it to be with our family or kids. And for what, a stolen motorcycle or drugs? Not worth it.

I did write a letter to the Leader and the Mayor expressing my concerns on this. The whole thing smelled cover up to me and several others, especially since Cabot had their Fire Department respond 10+ miles out of the city limits. The Leader wanted to publish it but due to possible repercussions with my Fire Department I would not give them my name. I'm hoping that some other citizens out there will read the article and write in. Police & Fire are suppose to protect the people, not put them more at risk.

Ok, some good stuff now. Wednesday night was a rest night for both Annette and myself so we had a little treat. We went out to dinner at Red Lobster. It was soooo good. I pigged out, since I was suppose to be "carb loading" anyway. I don't think I've ate that much in a while. It was weird though, because with all the various training we have been doing, we really don't get any extra time during the week nights together so it was a pleasant treat. Resting today and tomorrow for the BDB 100 on Saturday.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Wed. Morning Run

I started to not get up this morning but I woke up anyway so I figured why not run, even if it is at 5:30am and in the dark! Jane was coming over to run with Annette so I figured they might need an escort. My legs and feet were still pretty sore from the speed work last night but sometimes a slow run helps. Well, the humidity didn't help anything! It was like 71 degrees but the humidity was 96% or more. Needless to say it was a tougher run than normal for me, but I still got 4.65 miles in with an 11:02 slowwww pace. It really felt like race pace trying to keep up with the girls. I probably should have slept in.

FD Training

Tuesday night is also our normal training night for the fire department so as soon as I got done with the running clinic I headed to Station 3, changed into some dry clothes and headed over to station 1 for drill. I had already missed 45 minutes and the guys were getting ready to set a fire inside a portable connex trailer we had for training. Basically we put some wood pallets and hay in the back end of the trailer and soak a little diesel on them and set them on fire. Even though this is in a small enclosed trailer, it still simulates a bedroom or other small room. They sent two engines down the road with full crews, lit the fire, and then had them respond in just like it was the real thing. I ended up missing most of this fun as the Chief asked me to get some FEMA training put in the computer for one of the guys. It was ok by me since I had already had my workout plus we were trying to get some of the rookies feeling some real fire. Well, they got to pull some hose and feel some heat. You can actually see the fire start, go up to the ceiling and then start ticking across the top, all the while the heat and smoke gets worse. What's funny is after the fire is out, the rookies always think its over but its not. You still have to load hose, change out air bottles, put equipment back on the truck and more. The thing about being a firefighter and especially a volunteer is that it is a total team effort. Everyone depends on someone else to make things happen. You don't always just get to put the wet stuff on the red stuff. Thats the easy and fun part. A lot of the time you have to do what you don't like. Loading 1500 feet of 5 inch hose at 3am after a 4 hour structure fire is not fun stuff!

This is the trailer we use. This was after the fire. They were just putting out what was left smoldering but you can see the white smoke which was mostly just steam.

By the way, it has been very quiet this week. Way too quiet.

Tuesday Night Flyers

Tuesday night we did Interval repeats at the Tuesday Night Flyers clinic. Since I was in the "intermediate" class, our workout was 2x200 with a 1 minute rest, 3x400 with 2 minute rests, then a 1x200 to finish up. After about a .7 mile warm up run from the school to our workout road, we all did some speed changes to get ready. Annette and Brenda were told not to do the speed work as they are tapering for Chicago and its just too close. I ran all of mine too fast based on my pace chart. 200's I was suppose to be at 1:08 and 400's I was suppose to be at 2:15. I ran it too hard and and I could feel it a little this morning in my feet. Speed work and hills seem to aggravate my achillies. Here are my times:

2x200's - :57 & :59
3x400's - 1:59, 2:02, 1:57
1x200 - :50

Ended up with 2.99 miles total with the warm up and cool down run. I was drenched afterwards, since the humidity was pretty high.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Countdown to the Big Dam Bridge 100

4 days and counting to the Big Dam Bridge 100. I'm getting pretty excited. Biking 100 miles is going to be like running a marathon, well, maybe not but close. Considering the longest ride I have ever done is a little over 50 miles who knows how it will turn out. But it will be fun either way. I think I can do it and have a decent time. The scary thing is, my legs feel GREAT. I have been having foot problems for weeks and after putting some inserts in my Brooks Adrenalin 7's, no more heel pain! Even after the 17+ mile run on Saturday and Biking over 50 miles total on Sunday. No telling what I can do with fresh legs! I'm planning on only short easy runs this week to be ready for the ride.

To make things crazier around here, Annette will be running the Chicago Marathon NEXT WEEKEND!! This week and next week is going to be hard to get any work done at all. You could say its marathon madness time.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Sprint Triathlon Sunday (not really)

Todays work out plan was to do a "brick" (bike/run) in the morning and then ride the bike with the group in the afternoon.

There was suppose to be a group meeting at the school at 6:30am for the brick so I set my alarm early and did all the usual morning stuff. Annette was doing her long run today of 12 miles starting at 6am. After Annette left, I decided I better check the bike real quick because last night my front tire had been low. Well, as luck would have it, it was flat. So I had to do a quick change out of the tube still trying to make it to the school by 6:30. Got it changed, then I got me changed into my tri shorts and started gathering up all my gear. By the time I got all this done it was almost 6:25. I knew they would leave right at 6:30 no matter what so I figured i'd just catch up.

After getting everything loaded up, I headed down the road only to be surprised by rain. It was pouring down rain! I almost turned back but I thought that it might stop so I went on. When I got to the school, no one was in the parking lot. I looked at my watch and it was 6:32. I didn't see Cindy or Lisa's car so I figured they were either running late or decided the weather was too bad. I had two options, ride anyway or wait till 7am for the other running group to start. I decided to ride, the rain had stopped but it looked like it might start again anytime. I got all my gear on and waited just a few minutes just in case someone else was coming and they were late.

6:45am I was off and riding down 89 towards Furlow. The plan is usually to ride as hard as you can for 30 minutes and then turn around and come back. I figured I would ride till 7:15 or till I hit Furlow grocery and come back. After the 17+ mile run yesterday the bike felt really good. I had mentally told myself not to push it, just have an easy out and back. Then run maybe 2 miles as a recovery from yesterday. I knew the route Annette and Brenda were running so I figured I might head that way but I had to knock the bike out first.

The further out 89 I went the wetter it got. It had rained pretty hard earlier evidently. I was hoping it would wait till I got back to start again. All I could think of was these skinny bike tires have no traction. At about 7 miles out I saw three bikes coming back towards me. I guess someone did show up! It was Robb, Cindy and Lisa. I turned around just as they passed and caught up to Cindy. Her and Lisa had rode their bikes from their house so thats why I didn't see their car. I tried to hang in behind them but these girls are FAST on the bike. I could have if I wanted to but I really didn't want to push it after yesterday so I just held my pace the best I could.

After riding about a mile or so, the bottom fell out. It started raining. Slow at first and then it was like buckets. I was wishing I had windshield wipers on my glasses. All I could do was pedal and hope it didn't get worse. I kept thinking about a car coming by and hitting one of those spots holding water and splashing me. Luckily traffic was light and that didn't happen. I was thinking as I was riding that it was a good thing that you can swim in these tri shorts too, as this was like swimming. My feet were soaked, my head was soaked, at least it wasn't a cold rain. It actually felt good. It was hard to see though.

About a mile before we got back to the school it quit raining. We made the parking lot, changed into our running shoes and got ready to run. Lisa's husband Bob had showed up so there were three guys to run with. Lisa and Cindy are way too fast for me to keep up with so this was nice. I didn't want to run fast or long, I just wanted to have a nice recovery run.

The girls were doing the Candlewood 5K route and they were anxious to get going so they took off. The guys said they didn't really want to run far, one mile out and back would be fine with them. I told them I knew a short cut that would give us just over 2 miles. So we took off. First mile seemed pretty fast, we took a short walk break and took off again. Our plan was to beat the girls back to the school. We had passed mile 2 and was walking in the Church parking lot when we saw Cindy so we took off trying to beat her back. Ended up we all got there at about the same time. I led the guys pretty much the whole way on this run which was unusual for me as I usually end up following someone faster. It made for a nice change and it was a fun short run plus great recovery for me.

Total miles - 12.87
Time - 45:31
Average speed - 16.97 (17)
Max speed - 22.9

Total miles - 2.43
Time - 28:18
1- 10:38
Avg. 11:38

Ok, I had no way to add up the "swim" distance, but it was a lot!! Does this qualify as a sprint tri?

Afternoon Ride
I arrived to meet the group at the Church around 1:15pm. I saw a couple bikers waiting so I proceeded to get all my gear on. A few minutes later several bikers rode up riding from their homes. We had a short meeting to discuss possible routes and it was decided we would do Kerr Station to Lonoke and back down Hwy 31. About a 30 mile plus route. Sounded good to me as most of this was fairly flat and I wanted a nice easy ride. The group today consisted of David, Vicki, Lisa, Russ, James, Patty, Bill and myself.

We started out slowly cutting across Candlewood to Kerr. Everyone was bunched up and talking. A few miles down Kerr, people started breaking away some riding faster than others. I just rode, trying not to push too hard but still trying to maintain a decent speed. I set my Cateye speedometer to show time ridden as I planned on drinking every 15 minutes and taking a gu at one hour.

After a few miles Bill led the breakaway group followed by Russ then James and myself. We were moving along at a pretty good speed, probably averaging 16-17mph. By the time we reached Military Rd, we couldn't see the others behind us. We were not 100% sure of the route at this point but we knew how to get to Lonoke. Russ took off heading east on Military and James and I followed, wondering if we were going the right way. Shortly, Bill rode up to us and said we were suppose to go straight across Kerr so we turned around. We still wondered. We increased our speed trying to meet up with the others. When we turned south on Kerr, we saw some kids playing and riding bikes and we asked them if they had seen some more bikers and they said "yes, they had just passed by here a few minutes ago". Well at least we knew we were going the right way and I knew there was a road that cut over to Highway 15 up ahead. At several points here, I would look down and see we were going 20-21 mph. We kept thinking, we should be seeing them any minute but we didn't.

I don't remember the name of the road but we turned left and after about a mile, we could see the other 4 bikers. By the time we caught up to them we were pretty tired. We rode slow for a little while to recover which was nice. I tried to drink every 15 minutes alternating between my accelerade and water. We stopped at the church at the corner of Hwy 15 and took a quick break.

After the break we crossed over 15 and headed east towards 89. It was here that things started getting tough. The wind decided to beat us up. It was more of a side head wind then anything. It would come in gusts and I could feel my front wheel turn from the force of the wind a little. We had to pedal extra hard just to maintain a decent speed. Everyones speed dropped considerably. This road was flat but the wind made it hard. It was probably 5 miles heading east that we had to put up with this. About all you can do is try to get as aero as you can and keep pedaling. I alternated between my aero bars and the hoods. The aero bars working really well but I am still getting used to them so I usually wouldn't stay on them but a few minutes at a time. It wasn't long till we made the big curve and started up the bridge that headed to the west side of Lonoke. As soon as we made the turn, the wind went away.

We eased into to Lonoke, stopping at Sonic for refreshments. Some got ice cream, I got a lemonaide and took my honey gu that I had. This was a nice break. Everyone got to relax, talk and have some refreshments. We stayed maybe 15-20 minutes and we were off again.

We headed north on Hwy 31. The wind had changed and now appeared to be our friend. I looked down and I was doing 18 mph and not even pedaling hard. 31 is fairly flat with nice shoulders. This was a road to cruise on. It was about 8 or 9 miles to the 321 intersection where we would turn. I used my aero bars many times on this stretch, finding that when I used them, my speed increased at least one or two miles per hours. I'd often look down and see I was going 19+ in the flats. The same group of guys was ahead of me and they must have been riding much harder than I was. I would consciously tell myself not to push it, you want to feel good at the end.

We took a short break after we turned on Hwy 321 so everyone could regroup. Patty left the group as she was headed home the other way. 321 has some hills as you come into Cabot so everyone seemed to be taking it slower on this stretch which was ok with me. I ended up taking the tail gunner position and just staying with David and Vicki. Vic turned off by the water tower and we said our goodbyes. It wasn't long till we were at the hill that I hated seeing yesterday when I was running. Annette called it "heart break hill" because she had to go up it at the end of one of her 20 milers. It wasn't much better on the bike. I tried to keep up with David going up it but my legs were trashed. It probably slowed me down to 7-8 mph before I got to the top. I had to stand up and pedal probably twice which didn't feel really good, but I made it. At the crest I could see the church and the parking lot. Our ride was over. What a great ride with great people. The only downside was the wind, but that was just an obstacle we had to over come. The good thing was no one had a flat!!

Afternoon ride stats
Total miles - 37.34
Time - 02:28:41 (actual bike time)
Avg. pace - 15 mph (wind ate our lunch)
Max. speed - 25.6mph
Calories burnt - 1708

Total bike miles for the day - 50.21!

After today I feel a little better about riding the Big Dam Bridge 100. My nutrition plan worked today and I felt great when I got home. And this was all after 17+ mile run on Saturday. My butt does not even hurt! Fresh legs next Saturday should get me through it. I think I have the endurance. I'm more concerned now about those little aces and pains like neck, back, hands, etc. that may come up in the extra long ride. I guess I will know next Saturday.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Long Run Saturday

What a great long run today! Normally I have been doing long runs on Sunday but since the Chicago Marathoners are tapering, I decided to run with the Saturday morning Cruisers. Several are training for Tulsa as I am so we were close on the mileage we needed today, and there were runners that were just doing 10 or so. This pretty much gives everyone at every level someone to run with. My goal was to run 17 today.

We started the run at 7:00am at Southside Elementary doing the 10 mile city route. After that, those that needed more miles would add on by going down 89 to Mt Tabor and across Dogwood to pick various route back to the school. There was probably close to 14-17 runners this morning, the temperature was nice, around 65 but the humidity was high.

I ran the majority of the first 10 miles with David S., both of us keeping a good steady pace and having some good conversations. It felt like we were going pretty fast but it wasn't like I was working extra hard. I think the humidity made it feel that way some. Most of this group was doing a run/walk program. We would run 1 mile than walk maybe 30-50 seconds and we were off again. I didn't really need the walk breaks at first but I figured what the heck, why not try it and see how it works. Plus doing this I would have someone to talk to. It actually worked very well for me. I felt much much better than I did last weekend. We also stopped at about mile 7 for a refill at a convience store. I think I took my first gu at about mile 6 or so which was just over 1 hour of running. I used the Honey that I had got at the bike shop. It seemed to work well last weekend so why not stick with it.

About mile 10.5 put us back at the school so I refilled my water bottled and took an electrolyte tablet. It was much warmer today compared to last Sunday so I knew I better keep extra hydrated. There was probably 5 or 6 girls plus myself doing the add on miles. Several were going for 19 today. I tried to stay with the main group but several of the girls were just a little faster than what I wanted to run. One of our running buddies, Rock, stayed back and ran with me for a while. It was very sweet of her as I knew she usually runs much much faster than what I was doing. I was running 10-11 minute miles. She hung in there with me, talking and helping pass the miles. Brenda and Annette had elected to crew for this group and set up water stops for us which was very nice. Rock and I didn't even stop at mile 12, I just kept running as I knew we were not too far from the scheduled stop. My garmin read 12.99 when we made the stopped and refueled. 4 more miles....I can do it. I felt really good, my feet and legs were not hurting as they had last weekend. My legs were starting to get a little tight at the stops though.
I went ahead and took my last gu here since I was just past the 2 hour mark. Vicki, the president of our club, was not feeling all that good. We ran on but after about half a mile, Rock hung back with her. I caught the other group at the mile 14 walk break. Annette and Brenda would be at 15 with water so we pressed on. Seeing them parked waiting for us was like seeing the finish line. Pretty nice!! 2 miles to go.

The rest of the group was going to run across Dogwood to Campground but I was going to go left on 321 and head for the school which would give me 17. I knew this would be the toughest part of the run today. There are several big hills on 321 going back. Jackie, Jane, and Susan ran with me to 321. They were going to turn around and let Vicki catch back up to finish the run. Susan elected to run in with me which was nice to have the company. I looked ahead at the road and all I could see is one BIG hill in the distance. I told Susan, "that sure looks more than 2 miles away".

We ran on, the other group turned around to meet up with Vicki. All I could do was think about that hill. Actually there was two of them, the other not looking as big. Maybe it really wasn't that big, but at 15+ miles, they all look big! We did our walk break at 16, the sun was out now beating down on us. There was no shade on this road at all. It was hot now. I looked at my garmin and it said 3:00:13. Wow. My goal last weekend was to run 16 miles in 3 hours. Well, I almost made it today. Missed it by 13 seconds, but thats close enough.

I think I ran about 1/2 a mile before I wanted another break. Susan had picked up speed and gotten ahead of me. It was getting harder and harder to start running again after a walk break. I kept thinking, almost there, almost there. I climbed that big hill, though I did walk part of it. It really wasn't that big and I could have kept running but I was about to hit mile 17 anyway. I was just about done! Took a couple more short breaks on that last part but the route was actually longer than 17 miles. I hit the school parking lot and hit stop,, my garmin showing 17.57 miles. Alright!! I was done, and I still felt pretty good. My foot was not hurting and I was happy about how things turned out. In retospect, I wish I had went on with the other group as Jane ended up getting 20 miles today, even though she was only suppose to do 18-19. I could have done it I think. But, better to work up to it some more. I missed several of my normal weekday runs this week but obviously it didn't hurt my long run. And I still have Sunday to add some more miles on since my week runs from Monday-Sunday on my training schedules.

Final Stats:
Total time - 03:21:30
Miles - 17.57
Average pace - 11:28
1- 10:47
2- 10:43
3- 10:55
4- 10:50
5- 11:36
6- 10:36
7- 12:14
8- 9:44
9- 11:17
10- 11:48
11- 11:57
12- 10:26
13- 11:35
14- 12:32
15- 12:19
16- 11:57
17- 12:09
18- 13:11

Friday, September 21, 2007

Firefighting Thursday - was it a full moon??

I had big plans for Thursday after work. Annette and I were going to run 5 miles around 6:30ish. I needed the miles for the week but some days it's just not meant to happen. This was one of those nights.

As a volunteer firefighter you never know when the next call will be. Sometimes we go days with out anything, even weeks. Though we usually have minor medical calls everyday. Then all of a sudden, boom......all hell breaks loose. It usually happens after a slow time when we have low call volume. The fewer calls we get, the more we all know that something bad is going to happen. It always works that way for some reason. Thursday night is one of those nights.

Incident #1 - Grass fire

About 6:20pm, we get paged out for a grass fire off of Carrington Rd. Evidently some guy had been burning on his property there all day. I had gotten several calls from fellow firefighters asking if I saw all the smoke. There was big black smoke in the area all afternoon. Black smoke usually means rubber or some plastics burning. Well, no one called 911 until 6:20 so since it was in my fire district and I was most likely the officer in charge I took off. En-route I got a call from one of our guys that told me he went down there earlier in the afternoon and it was one of those places you don't want to go into without law enforcement being with you. No Trespassing signs were all over the place. The strange thing on this was that it was located in Lonoke County and wasn't even our jurisdiction. We told dispatch that this was in fact "Lonoke County" and not Pulaski County. They told us that the City of Cabot had refused to take the call. This was the start of the cluster for the evening.

We went ahead and responded with 2 brush trucks and one Engine along with myself in my personal vehicle. We never refuse a call no mater where it is, even though we "don't" get paid for it. We requested PCSO to send a Lonoke County deputy to the scene before we went in. So we waited. I decided to drive down as far as I could and take a look. When I got to the end of the paved road, it looked like a scene from Deliverance. A bunch of old trailers, some abandoned and most all with No Trespassing signs around the property. Just not one of those places where you want to be without armed backup. There was still light black smoke showing in the woods, but I couldn't see the fire. Since there was no one there to meet us, I knew it was pretty much a BS call, only thing, whoever was burning was burning something illegal. The only thing you can really burn legally is yard waste. This was not yard waste. I turned around and went back to where everyone was standing by at the other end of the road to wait on the deputy.

After probably 15 minutes or more, the Lonoke County deputy finally arrived. We also had a Mtn. Springs Engine on scene. I had asked them if this was their area and they said no, Cabot had agreed to take calls on this since it was closer to the city. Bottom line was, this was what we call a "no mans land" that no fire department really had coverage on. What really irked me was the fact that this was Lonoke County and we were a Pulaski County department. So why were they wasting our time when it was their county??

I guess the deputies didn't want to go in first so they followed our brush trucks and Mtn Springs engine in to the scene. About the time this was going on, we heard Cabot Fire getting paged for a motorcycle accident at Fortson and Hwy 89. Myself and the Captain on E65 kinda shook our heads in disbelief. Why would Cabot get paged out for a call there?? That's OUR area and about close to 10-15 miles from the city limits. We heard them go enroute, and about that time MEMS requested us since Fortson and 89 is our district in Pulaski County. I advised the crew on the brush trucks to handle what they had, that I was responding with Engine 65 to a motorcycle accident.

Incident #2 - Motorcycle Accident

At probably 6:50pm we went enroute to the Motorcycle accident. Dispatch advised that Airevac was en route also so we figured it was bad. I requested an additional page from dispatch in case we had people closer to the scene as we were at least 10-15 miles away. We sped away with me following Engine 65. While en route, Hilltop Fire Department from Faulkner County advised that they had a unit on scene and that airevac was en route. We knew MEMS was en route also. I was thinking in my head what our job would be when we got there, so I figured it would be to land the chopper.

Then the weirdness started.....we were talking to MEMS on the radio and they advised that Cabot engine 3 was in front of them. WTF??? Why were they responding out in the county when they wouldn't take a call a couple miles from the city limits? Sure enough, when we got on scene we started assisting in setting up an LZ for the chopper. I found a nice field about 800 yards from the accident scene. Cabot Fire was on scene, then we saw a Cabot Police car. WTF?? Why is PD way out here? Well, the Pulaski County deputy told us that Cabot evidently was in pursuit of this guy on the motorcycle and he eventually crashed. The way I heard the story and this is NOT official was that Cabot didn't even advise Pulaski County that they were in pursuit. This would be a common courtesy when you cross county lines or jurisdictions.

Now things started adding up. The Cabot police officer was chasing this guy on the bike, he failed ask for help from Pulaski County, and then the guy crashes. So he calls his city dispatcher and requests their fire/rescue. Makes me wonder if he was doing everything the proper way. Oh well, not our call. The PD's can work that one out. We had to land the chopper. I made it a point to ask one of the Cabot firemen why they were way out here when they "refused" to take a call next to the city limits. He told me that the fire department hadn't refused any calls, that it must be "new dispatchers". Ok, whatever. They were putting city fire protection in jeopardy and had put our district in jeopardy by us having to take some BS call in their county.

Not much to do now but wait on the chopper. The patient was loaded in back of the ambulance and there was plenty of help. Chopper came in, patient got loaded and we were done. Not sure of his condition other than he was alive. I headed home thinking about how crazy these two calls were, Cabot should have been on Carrington and we could have handled the motorcycle wreck with one engine company. By the way, the guys cleared up on the grass fire pretty quick so I figured it was just a BS call. I could have been home getting my 5 mile run in!! Thats the way it goes though. I'd make it up later.

Air Evac on the ground

MEMs waiting on chopper

It was dark when I got home after 8:00pm. I changed into my running gear and decided to do some weights upstairs and maybe run on the treadmill. Did about 30 mins of abs, weights then I tried the treadmill. I couldn't do it. The treadmill just sucks so I said to hell with it, changed and fixed something to eat. My night had been shot with back to back calls.

Incident #3 - 4 Vehicle MVA 67/167 (warning - may be graphical)

I got to bed about 10:30pm after having a late dinner and getting caught up on everything else. I was sleeping really good when about 11:15pm my pager goes off. All I heard was "we need you to respond to a 4 vehicle MVA 67/167 with entrapment". Damn. This was NOT going to be a good night I could tell.

I jumped up out of bed, threw my clothes on, stuck my contact in and I was out the door. As a volunteer firefighter, everything I need is right by the bed and usually in less than one minute, I can be fully dressed and partway out the door. The majority of calls are not life threatening, but when entrapment is involved, every second counts. The goal is always to get a severe trauma patient to a trauma center in less than an hour. They call this the "golden hour" as the chances of a severely injured person making it after that decreases rapidly.

While driving to the station which is 3 miles from my house, my first thoughts were who was going to show up for help. Was I going to be the only one at Station 3? How bad was the wreck really? Was it on the interstate, service road or what? Luckily radio traffic starts painting the picture. While scanning I heard that Cabot had two engines responding. The other Captain at my station asked me what my ETA was and I said about 2 mins. I was glad to hear Bobby as he was an EMT, worked for MEMS and one of the best firefighters on the department. We had worked together for 13+ years so we knew what each other could do. I sped up, trying to get to the station as quick as possible. When I pulled in I saw that we also had two other firefighters at the station getting suited up. Reginald, a veteran of about 3 years and Ryan, a rookie. Bobby was driving tonight, usually I drive but when both of us respond we just take turns or ask each other who wants to drive.

We went en route, not knowing exactly where the wreck really was other than 67/167 by Ace Liquor. MEMS had just passed our station so we could see them just ahead as we turned on Hwy 5. From the radio traffic, I knew Cabot had just got on scene and I had seen them going down TP White when I came across the freeway. Riding as Captain on the engine, I was responsible for everyone on that engine and what we did. Bobby asked me which way and I said TP White. About that time we see MEMS doing a U turn at the intersection of 5 and 367. They entered the north bound exit ramp going the wrong way so we did a U turn also and followed them. I knew this was bad if the freeway was shut down. Going the wrong way on the freeway is a pretty weird hope you don't see any lights coming at you. Even though we had emergency lights and siren, people just don't pay attention. We saw nothing on our side coming at was a strange feeling to say the least. We soon saw all the emergency lights. We were on scene.

What we rolled up to was pretty much a disaster zone, with orchestrated mass confusion going on at the same time. We had at least 4 vehicles, 3 of which appeared to be head on impacts. There was multiple fire companies on scene. Jacksonville had an engine and rescue company. Cabot had two engine companies. We had our engine company on scene and another engine company almost on scene. Needless to say, there was plenty of help. Cabot was doing extrication on a Dodge truck, Jacksonville was getting a patient out of a Camry. There was a Chrysler 300 with the front bumper at the dash with one female fatality in it. Our goal was to get the living out and to the hospital as quick as possible. I helped Jacksonville and MEMS get the lady out of the Camry. She was alive, but very large. I'd estimate 200lbs or more. Luckily we did not have to cut the doors open or anything, just get her on a backboard and in the ambulance. It took 5-6 guys to lift her and get her on the gurney. We also were setting up an LZ (landing zone) for Med Flight. Since the freeway was shut down, we set the LZ up right in the middle of the freeway just north of our scene. The other patient was out of the truck and loaded, headed to the chopper that had just got there. During all of this I learned that we had another fatality in the back seat of the truck. Our job was done for now....we had to wait on the coroner to get there and give us the ok to get the dead people out. 2 dead, one patient flown by chopper, two transported by ambulances. So now we got to wait.

Our department took over command and released Cabot to go back to the city. Jacksonville released their rescue truck but their Engine company was stuck on the freeway so they stayed. We started making a plan to get the lady out of the Chrysler. This was going to be a tough extrication. We unloaded our spreaders and cutters (jaws of life) and got everything set up. We had a plan, all we needed was the ok from the Coroner. He arrived fairly quickly, did the normal photos, etc. then told us to do our thing. We picked the truck first. The lady in the back seat was not entrapped and had no visible trauma. The sheer impact of probably a 70mph impact killed her instantly. The sad thing was, she looked fairly young, mid 20's to 30's. She had been riding in the back seat and even had her seat belt on. The right side rear door was jambed from the frontal impact, but the left rear door was open. Bobby climbed in the cab to see if we could get her out from the left side. Another firefighter was in the front trying to help him lift and I was at the legs. We tried to lift and pull but didn't have much luck. She was kinda wedged between the back seat and the front and all her weight was on the right side. We just couldn't get enough leverage and manpower to get her up and out from the left side. So we went to plan B. We took the spreaders and popped open the passenger rear door. This only took maybe 3-4 minutes at most. Once the door was open, we were able to slide her right out. It's over when the Coroner zips up the bag.

We still had one more, and this was going to take some major work. This car was pretty much flattened from the front bumper to the dash from the direct head on impact with the truck. The car did do a good job protecting the passenger compartment, but an impact this severe would kill anyone. The sheer movement of your internal organs is what kills a lot of people in these cases.

We had two tools going at once, Jacksonville had a spreader going on the drivers door and we had cutters going on the A post (windshield post). Our plan was to cut the A, & B posts(center pillar between frt & rear doors) , remove both doors and and totally remove the B post. Then try to lay the seat back. This would all be dependent on her feet not being trapped under the dash. If so, we would have to also do what we call a dash roll and push the dash forward. After several minutes of cutting and spreading, the doors were removed and the A&B posts were cut. Jacksonville used a battery powered sawz all to cut some of the plastic trim loose so we could totally take out the B post. After this was removed, we tried the seat but it was broken and would not lay back as we had hoped. We decided that we would take the cutters and cut the bottom hinge on the seat. Fast work was made of this and soon the seat back was out of the way enabling the removal of the body and giving the coroner another customer. The nasty stuff was now over. But we were not done. The wreckers had to come in, then the road had to be cleaned up. There was debris all over the highway. Glass, oil, transmission fluid, plastic parts, metal parts. It was a big mess. Once the State Troopers said it was ok, the wreckers started loading the vehicles up one by one. We started putting down absorbent to clean up the oil and fluids as this could cause another accident. After we got this down and swept it around, we charged a hand line from my engine and sprayed the road off. We loaded our hose up quickly and proceeded to get the freeway back open. After close to 3 hours I'm sure the ones that were stuck on the freeway were anxious to get going.

As we left the scene, we knew we were not done. Now, we still had to re-fuel the engine, roll our hose back up and re-fill with water before we could go home and get some sleep. Just because you leave the scene doesn't mean the work is done. We stopped and re-fueled and then caught a hydrant at T Ricks to refill the tank water. Hose was rolled and we were back in the station. Then of course, we all have to talk about what happened, what went right and what went right. If normal people heard some of our conversations they would think we are warped for sure.

Unofficially I had heard that the Chrysler had been traveling down the freeway the wrong way. It seems State Police had gotten calls before the wreck and were trying to catch the person. Some said the car was seen as far north as almost Searcy traveling the wrong way. We wondered how in the world someone could make it that far and even more so, how could you not know you were going the wrong way. Was it a medical condition? Drinking? This lady did appear to be older, maybe 60's +. We may never know or hear exactly for sure what happened. The truck had Texas tags and there were bags in the back. Probably someone traveling or visiting relatives. This is just some of what I heard and saw so it doesn't mean thats all the facts.

This wreck just added more victims to what I call "the Bermuda triangle". Seems there is this black hole between mile marker 14 and 16 on 67/167 that is probably the deadliest stretch of road in the state. Just one month ago we had another multiple fatality accident just 1/2 a mile north of where this one was. The body count on this stretch of road is getting way too high. Be extra careful if and when you travel it!!

I finally got home and to bed a little before 3am. I was happy that Friday was not my long run day.

Click HERE for article on this accident from the Leader Newspaper.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Spirit of the Marathon

Check out this video trailer of the upcoming movie to premier at the Chicago Marathon.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Wednesday night run

Annette and I did 4 miles after work. We waited till about 6:30 to get started so it would be a little cooler and the traffic would clear out some. We ran down S. First Street, then down Elm to Jackson I think. We were going to cross over and go down by the high school but the traffic was just too bad so we more or less just reversed our route. I was not feeling it at all tonight. I think they took a little too much of my blood at the Doc but I hung in there. It took some effort for me to keep up with Annette tonight. Here were the splits:

1- 10:25 (not bad for a warm up)
2- 11:10 (we were dodging traffic and stops signs during this one)
3- 9:39 (now we are flying again on the open road)
4- 10:40 (tried to slow down a little as this was suppose to be an easy run)
Total time - 42:01 - 10:29 pace

Overall about where I should have been for just a slow and steady. Mile 2 messed things up and i'm still a little sore from the 16 miler on Sunday. After running the gauntlet at the doctors office this morning its a miracle I even ran. Need some more miles tomorrow but I need the rest worse so it will have to be after work.


I missed the Tuesday Night Flyers running clinic last night. Tuesday night is our normal Fire Department training night and we had a Firefighters Association Meeting scheduled. Since I was the treasurer, I needed to be there. When I got to station 1 a couple of the guys were just coming back in from a medical call. They had run on a stroke victim, very over weight and in their late 40's. Daryl said he knew when he walked in that the man would be in the smallest room in the house and he was right. Daryl is also a Little Rock Firefighter and runs the downtown area so he deals with a lot of calls. It seems people always die in the smallest room in the house and thats exactly what happened here. The man was so big (est.300lbs) and the room so small, they had to drag him down the hallway to get him to where they could get him on a gurney. My first thoughts were that its a shame this guy couldn't have been a runner. Just a bad deal for people to die so young because they probably didn't take care of themselves.

Our Association held elections last night and I remained as treasurer. Our goal is to help raise funds to promote the health, welfare and safety of the firefighters. We try to spend our money on things that the FD Board of Directors will not buy. I also got tasked with updating the Chief's laptop so I worked on that last night while the other firefighter's did some training on search and rescue.

We have several things happening this weekend and next at the FD. This Saturday we have a crew performing an auto extrication demo at Community Fest in the North Pulaski community. Next weekend we will have a crew standing by at Sayles and Fortson Road for the Big Dam Bridge 100 Bike Ride which I am riding in. I am going to catch hell from the guys when they see me come through in bike shorts!! We also have a water shuttle/tanker class with Lonoke County next Saturday. I'll miss all of these because of running and biking but thats ok, I have put my time in.

This morning (Wed) I got to go and have my Fire Department physical done compliments of FEMA and the Federal Fire Grants. This was a head to toe very through exam including sight, hearing, blood, urine, EKG, x rays and more. Started at 7am and I was done by 8:30. I felt like I had been run through a gauntlet. They took three or 4 vials of blood and when they were pulling the last one off, I almost fainted. Weird huh. Probably since I couldn't eat since midnight plus I have always had a problem giving blood. The sight of it doesn't bother me, but it sure makes me light headed giving it. Doc said I was good, in fact my EKG was abnormal because my heart rate was so low. He said since I was an athelete it was great, otherwise he'd be wanting to put me on a pacemaker.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Monday starts a new week

Thought I would start with stats from last week:
Total Running miles - 31.3 (new record)
Long Run - 16 (new record)
New 5K PR - 27:38 - 8:55 pace
Total Bike miles for week - 14.8 (bad week)

It was a great week other than my bike miles. I did get a little over an hour in seat time. The previous Saturday I made up for it by doing a 40 miler right at a 17 mph pace. I'm beginning to get a little worried about the BDB100 ride since I may not get a 75 mile plus ride in before the race. Still have this coming Saturday open so I hope to do 40 plus miles at least.

After 9 hours of sleep last night and a total of 6 ibuprofen yesterday, my feet felt pretty good this morning. My calves were pretty tight when I got up and I used the stick on them before I went to work. They felt pretty good all day considering the 16 miles yesterday.

When I got home from work, I changed into some tri shorts and got the bike ready. Annette went to Jazzercise and we had plans to run when she got back around 7:15 or so. I figured I might get an hour of riding in. I actually ended up with about 45 minutes, nothing too strenuous, just some time in the saddle. Its hard to ride a road bike around neighborhoods because about the time you get going good, you have to stop or yield to traffic. I was still able to manage about a 15mph average pace. I really just intended to spin, but something about the bike just makes me want to go!

I got back home just in time to get a drink, change shoes and get my garmin ready. Annette pulled up shortly there after and got ready. We were quickly out the door. It was already starting to get dark so we both threw on some reflective tape strips on our ankles just to be more visable. The bike had gotten me warmed up, and I had stopped long enough for my legs to recover so this didn't feel like a brick thank goodness. I could feel me left heel was tender, but after we ran about 1/2 a mile, it felt fine again. We just ran a little 2 mile recovery run through the neighborhood's. Final pace ended up at 10:33. Faster than what I thought we were going and probably about right for a recovery run for us.

Tuesday will be a total rest day for me. Not scheduled that way but I have a Fire Department meeting after work so there will be no time. I felt a little twinge in my right knee tonight so I think an extra rest day will be good.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

This is what really happens in Marathon Training

This was my wife Annette after her 20 miler when she got home.

Part two below

Part three

16 miles Later

Well I got my 16 miler done. The weather was perfect, about 57 degrees when we started. Annette and some of the girls had started at 6am as they were doing 20 so I was suppose to meet them at 6:45am. When I got to the parking lot, Annette's friend Susan was there waiting for them too. I went ahead and started running out towards their direction just to start the miles. Three of the girls were running in the parking lot as I was going out but no Annette. I ran out probably 1/2 a mile and there they were. We ran back towards the parking lot to meet up with the others and to do this thing. They had already done about 5 miles so we were all going to run about 7.5 miles out and back. This would entail crossing the Big Dam Bridge. The last time I had ran the bridge I had to walk back 2.5 miles as I had IT problems so I was a little concerned, but then again, I have been doing hill and speed work so it really shouldn't be a problem.

The cool chilly air made running seem almost easy. If it wasn't for the nagging pain in my heel, everything would be good. First mile was pretty much my warm up. When the whole group started running, we never even stopped for a walk break until after 3 miles. Mile 1 was 12:56, mile 2 was 10:28, mile 3 10:13, mile 4 was 11:35. It was after mile 3 that we walked, I had to fix Annette's Garmin as it had been beeping now for two miles. Seems it was full of data so I had to delete some.

The group got ahead of me here as I spent my drinking time working on the Garmin. No big deal, I'm used to running alone a lot so I just ran. Mile 5 was a 10:28, then it was the Big Dam Bridge. I was in no hurry to run fast up the incline here so I walked part of it. All the girls had went to the porta potties so I figured I'd go on and they would catch me later. Little did I know they didn't see me. I guess they freaked out and started looking for me, thinking I was back behind them still on the trail. After I had gotten across the bridge my phone rang. It was Annette wondering where I was. Well, I had thought they had seen me but I guess not. Mile 6 ended up being a 11:50. I ran on...but slower. My heel was hurting at times and I could feel my legs tightening up. (Probably from the bridge too) I hadn't done a GU yet so I decided that I would at mile 7. Hit mile 7 at 12:18...getting slower. I had a Honey gu and an Accel orange gu so I decided to do the honey. I wasted too much time here as I walked over and found a trash can for the gu package. I ran on......I knew I was turning around at mile 8 so one mile to go.

I sorta struggled through mile 8 trying to make up my lost time. I hit the turn around with mile 8 showing a 13:35. I needed to make up a little time now, but I also felt the need to use the bathroom. I knew the restrooms at Murry Park were only a mile or so away so I kept pushing. Pulled an 11:40 out of mile 9, close to my goal of 11:25. Somewhere in here I ran into Brenda and Michelle. They turned around as they had run back looking for me earlier so they didn't need to go as far now. They were soon ahead of me, my feet and legs sore, but everything else was good. My cardio and breathing was very low and just cruising along. I still had gas in the tank, the legs just didn't want to cooperate. I was wishing that I had some motrin or other pain relievers but I really don't like taking that stuff. I saw Annette and Susan but they kept going towards the turn around point. Bathroom break came up.......lost more time.

Mile 10 ended up being 13:56. The bathroom break ate a lot of this up but I tried to make up without running too fast. I must have hit the bridge somewhere between 10 and 11. I did a walk/run up the steep incline this time. Then ran the whole lenght and all the way down. I had actually felt hunger pains earlier so I figured I needed something and my plan was to take an Electrolyte tablet after crossing the bridge. I stretched here also which felt good. Getting started after stopping was beginning to not be any fun. Mile 11 was a 14:25 pace. Time to fly.

As long as I kept running, things felt pretty good. My feet still hurt, but it wasn't getting any worse and it was bearable. I tried to lengthen my stride to see how it felt. My speed picked up and it felt the same. Heart rate was not going up much. I looked back and saw Annette and Susan so I ran a little harder. Hit mile 12 at 11:55. Better. I think I took a walk break just past mile 13. The miles were adding up and I could feel it. Mile 13 pace, 13:39. At 14 I took my Accel Gel as I figured I needed it. Man did it help. I am sold on Accelerade and Accel Gel. Finished 14 at 12:21. I guess the Gel kicked in, because mile 15 I was flying. It was like seeing the finish line, I knew how far it was now and I had run this route many times. My mile 15 pace was 9:30! I wanted 16 so I kept pushing, I hit the parking lot with probably .4 to hit 16 so I ran up the road and turned around. Came in the parking lot and had another .1 to finish out and I did. Mile 16 pace was 10:38. And I could still walk, at least for now!

Afterwards we had a little celebration and picnic since several of the girls had done their last 20 miler before Chicago. The food was awesome. My final time running for the day, 3:11:46 for 16.01 miles with an 11:59 average pace. I'm pretty happy with todays run. My goal was to do 16 in 3 hours and have an 11:25 pace. Well, I missed that but not by a lot. There's always next week!

This was the girls celebrating

Sunday morning - the long run

5:30am and today is my long run for the week. Whew, I need 15 miles minimum, but would love to make it 16 just to stay the same as some others in our club that are training for Tulsa. My wife Annette our friend Brenda are doing their last 20 miler this morning before Chicago so I am meeting them at the River Trail at 6:45am. They are running about 5 miles then coming back to meet up with several others. The goal here is for everyone to finish together today and have a big celebration on the completion of their last 20 miler.

I was lucky last night, we didn't get any fire calls all night. I did run a vehicle accident Saturday evening but my station was canceled. Several weeks back I was out almost all night Saturday on a wreck, ended up with 2 hours sleep and then did a 13 miler early the next morning. It was tough but I did it anyway. I did sleep good the next day for sure.

I have never run 16 or 15 miles. Last weekend I slugged out 14 in the sweltering heat and then rain. This morning it is a cool 54 degrees....oh what a change a week has made! I have had some foot problems so I am hoping I can make it the distance today. At least it will be cool and I have no intention of running fast. An 11:25 pace gets me to the finish of the marathon with a 4:59:00 and I would love that but its probably not a realistic goal. We shall see as my long runs progress more. It all depends on the walking. Sometimes when you run with others they push you a little more and sometimes you just end up walking more with them. It's hard for me to run slow, so I need to practice just running a slow steady pace and not those 9 something miles then later super long walks to recover. We will see how it goes and I'll post later.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

What an awesome 5K!!

What an awesome 5K today. The weather was perfect, and I set a new PR!! I beat my previous PR set just a few weeks back by over 1 minute! My garmin said final time was 27:31 so i'm still waiting on the official times. I also won 3rd place in my age group and 3rd place overall Male Masters. This was the first time I have ever won anything in a race. It was a small turnout, maybe 60-70 people if I was guessing. I hadn't even planned to race this one but just have fun but when the race started and I saw the number of guys my age, I thought maybe I had a chance at something. I ran with one of my fellow club members most of the race and I think we pushed each other which helped. I never took a real walk break, only at the mile 2 water stop did I slow down to catch a drink. I maybe walked 30 seconds there and took back off. Lucky for me I knew this race course pretty well as we run there almost every Tuesday night. With a half mile left, I widened the gap between my friend and me. I just kept pushing till the end, though I really did want a break. I was elated to see what my final time was. I also got a really nice trophy for the 3rd place masters.

Me with my trophy. First time I ever won anything. 3rd place masters!

Race day

It's almost 6am and I am getting ready for the Fight to get fit 5K. This could very well be the last race other than my marathon of the season. For some reason I'm more nervous than normal, maybe because this is like a home town race. Plus my running coach is helping put on the race so I would like to do good. On the other hand, I don't want to push it too hard and get hurt. I had dreams about this race all night so we shall see how it goes. My last two 5K's I have set new PR's in so I would love for that to happen today. The good thing is, weather is PERFECT!! 59 degrees, probably around 62 at race time.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Upcoming Events

9/15/07 Fight to get fit 5K/run

9/29/07 Big Dam Bridge 100/bike

11/18/07 Tulsa Route66Marathon

First post

Well this is my first post on here. I probably should have started this a long time ago but now is as good a time as any. I don't know much about blogging but I do like to write so I will learn as I go.

So whats this blog about? I intend to write about my running, biking and firefighting adventures. I just started running in August '06 and have been a firefighter for 14 years. Currently I am a Captain at Station 3. Work revolves around managing operations for 4 automotive collision repair shops in which I am a part owner.

Running and biking has become a passion of my wife Annette and myself. Annette also started running in August so we are kinda doing this thing together. On October 7th, Annette will be running the Chicago Marathon. Thats 26.2 miles!! We have both done quite a few local races, the Little Rock 1/2 Marathon back in March being the longest so far. I have decided to do the Tulsa Route 66 Marathon on November 18th so a lot of this blog will be about my training and completion of that event. I hope I can do it!
One other major event to add, I have signed up for the Big Dam Bridge 100 mile bike ride on September 29th. This is the biking equivalent of a marathon.

Guess thats it for to start figuring out this blogging and add some more stuff!