Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Frank SINATRA -New York New York

Ok,I have finally lost it. I have marathon on the brain and now with my friends running New York I can't get this out of my head. It's actually a pretty good video and song. Maybe it's the start of taper madness!

Lance Armstrong-The Inspiration

Lance will be running the New York Marathon again.....he never gave up.

New York City Marathon

Ok folks, the New York Marathon is this weekend. This IS one of the biggest marathons out there. I am lucky to have two running friends running this. Jackie and Joan. They are rock stars in my eyes. These two have done so much for the running community in my area and continue to inspire others. Jackie was featured last month in Runners World Magazine for her volunteer work in promoting running to the local elementary schools. Joan has been running marathons for 20 years I think and is an inspiration to all. When she gives marathoning advice, people listen. They will do great in New York and I can't wait to hear their stories as I am sure there will be many. I feel so lucky to have gotten to run many times with both of these athletes. All I can say is "They Rock!"

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Last 20 Miler DONE!

That's right, another 20 miler down. It wasn't as pretty as I would have liked but I got it done anyway. This was my last 20 before Tulsa, so next week I will start the dreaded taper. I really don't think I'm gonna dread it that much.

Started this mornings run at 6:45am on the River Trail. Jane and myself needed 20. Annette, Heather and Michele were doing 12. After their 12, Annette and Michele were going to ride their bikes and crew for us. It was cool, around 50 degrees but much warmer than yesterdays 38. I wore the same basic gear as yesterday so I was a little worried that I would get too hot.

We probably went out a little faster than we should have, especially doing 20 miles, but it felt good. Really it wasn't that fast, we were running 10:30's pretty much. We really didn't stick to the one mile run/walk break through the first part. Sometimes it would be almost 2 miles before we took a quick break. Annette was tired from yesterday as she did about 12 yesterday.

We ran into Gary and Curtis at about mile 4 and ran a few miles with them. I conquered the Big Dam Bridge again. We also saw Marianne on her bike and got to talk to her while we ran. It always helps having others to talk to as it passes the time. About every two miles the River Trail has bathrooms and water so this seemed to be our usual stopping points. Sometimes we probably spent a little too much time but we were not in a race today, we just had to do the miles. It was all about time on the feet and the constant pounding.

Cabot Cruisers-Gary, Marianne, Curtis, Annette, Me, Jane, & Heather

Right around mile 12 I started feeling what I thought might be a cramp coming in my right calf. I had never felt this before so I really didn't know what it was. So I stopped and stretched it out. Seemed to help. I was almost at the Skate Park anyway so I figured I'd fuel up before the second part of our run. After taking a quick break and everyone getting a snack and refill, Jane and I took off for the final leg of our run. Annette and Michele was going to follow on their bikes to crew for us and help keep us going.

At this point we needed about 4 miles out and back to give us 20. We really didn't want to go all the way to the bridge so we elected to run around the soccer fields for something different. This worked out good as the soccer fields have really nice bathrooms. I really felt like I started struggling a little around mile 11 but my times didn't show it. Mile 16 started going downhill. Part of that was because thats where the bathroom break was.

At mile 18.8 it hit me. My right calf just said NO MORE and I had to stop. Maybe it was a cramp but it didn't feel like any I had ever had. It was tight, really tight though. I stretched and tried to walk some. I could walk but it didn't feel real good. I stretched again and tried to run. I thought I heard something pop, so I stopped. I figured I was done. At 18.8 I could walk it in. I walked for a while, watching my pace go down the crapper. I had been ahead of my goal pace and figured I would beat it today. After walking a little I tried to run real easy again. I could do it, nothing was broke or not working. My calf was still tight. It wasn't a pretty run, more of a hobble, but I kept going. I'd run a little then walk a little. It was painful, but not the kind of painful to give up. I wasn't going to give up. I could run it in. I was going to get my 20 done running and I did! Jane had already finished way ahead of me but Annette and Michele rode in with me to the finish. Afterwards we had a little tail gate party with snacks, fruits and drinks to celebrate. I even rode Annette's bike around the parking lot! Next up, TAPER TIME!

A brick after 20 miles!

Me and Jane, 20 miles DONE!

Me Jane and Michele

Here are the final numbers:
Total miles run - 20.01
Total time - 4:00:55
Average pace - 12:02
Mile Splits:
1- 10:36
2- 11:03
3- 10:21
4- 10:33
5- 11:12
6- 11:13
7- 12:31
8- 12:08
9- 11:10
10- 11:10
13- 11:00
15- 11:39
16- 13:15
17- 14:52
18- 13:53
19- 11:28
20- 16:52
Average heart rate - 150 78%
Calories - 2957

Saturday, October 27, 2007

A few more miles

I got 7 miles in this morning with the Cruisers. After the initial start it was just three of us and I had the pleasure of running the whole 7 with Robert, Kelly's husband. It was funny because Annette was running with Kelly today in Benton so it worked out really well. Joan also ran with us most of the way. It worked out really good running with these two as I didn't want to run really fast, just a slow and steady. Joan, who I think is in her 60's is doing the New York Marathon next weekend so we got to talk a lot about that. She is a real mentor to all the runners around here. She qualified and ran Boston last year and i'd be scared to say how many Marathons she has ran. Robert had just started getting back into running so the miles clicked away pretty good. It always helps to have people to pass the time with. The weather was 38 degrees when we started but it really didn't feel that cold. Again, I felt like I was running slower than I should be but I really wasn't. I guess all these long runs have really gave me endurance because we didn't take a walk break until just past mile 3. Just long enough to get a drink and we were off again. The next break was at about mile 5.5 or 6 I think. Lots of hills on our route today. Joan left us at about mile 5 as she was adding on and doing 12 or 13 today. I ended up with 7 miles total with an average pace of 10:28. I'm a little worried now as the last hill I thought I felt my IT band tightening up. I really don't want to deal with that again. Sunday's 20 miler will tell the tale. I'm excited to be doing my last 20 before the marathon and then I'm worried that something is going to go wrong. I have been so lucky so far in that all of my long runs have been good. No wall, no injuries. The weather is going to be nice again so hopefully my next post will be about celebrating my last 20 miler!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Rain rain go away

It's been another rainy day, and hopefully it will go east and give some needed rainfall to drought stricken Tennessee and Georgia. I'm sure there are others that need it too. The only good thing about the treadmill is it doesn't take much getting ready to use it. No garmins to turn on, no flashing lights, just running shorts and shoes and your good to go. (if your a man anyway)

So Wednesday I got two runs in. 2.2 miles on Wed morning on the treadmill then Wednesday night I got to run outside. The weather was cool and crisp which made it feel like I was running with no effort at all. I ended up with a little over 2.5 miles but I forgot to start my garmin and didn't start it till about .6 into the run. I ran mile 2 at a 9:01 pace! Thats fast for me, almost 5k race pace but it didn't feel like it. I never even wanted to walk the whole time. About a 9:53 overall pace for the run. Tonight I had to hit the treadmill again and slugged out 3 miles. Luckily the rain is going to be gone this weekend so Saturday and Sunday should be very nice fall days. I'll probably run about 6-7 miles Saturday with the group and then Sunday is my last 20 miler!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The dreadmill

Well weather has forced me to run on the dreaded treadmill some this week. I wasn't sure if I could even do it again. The last time I tried it I got on and got right back off because it didn't feel right. Still doesn't feel like the road but I can say, I do get a better cardio workout. Maybe it's the lack of air, not really sure. I know my legs don't feel as worked but my heart rate is higher for the same pace. Then again, who knows if the calculation is right on the treadmill. I may be running 8 minute miles and its saying 10. Irregardless, its still miles and it counts! Last winter while training for the Little Rock Half Marathon I probably did 75% of my runs on the treadmill. One requirement is some kind of music, tv, or other distraction. I don't think I could make it a mile without something. Just too boring. But, you always have that timer to watch too and try to beat.

So last night I did 3.1 miles on the beast and this morning another 2.2. Ran about a 10:20 pace last night including a warm up walk and a 10:14 this morning. It sure seemed faster than that. I swear it was speedwork but who knows. Good workout either way and my legs feel good. I'm kinda scared to up the mileage too much. I do not want to get a weird injury from it and thats my biggest fear of the treadmill right now. If it's raining tonight I'll hit it again.

My last 20 miler is this weekend and I'm really looking forward to it. We are planning on running at the River Trail on Sunday and maybe even have a little celebration afterwards. Then if I can only survive the taper!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sunday 15 miler

What I thought all through the run to be a terrible run ended up being one of the best long runs I have had time wise. It was a perfect morning. We started at 6:30am and it was a cool 62 degrees and low humidity for a change. Jackie and Jamie started at 6am from the dog park area of the River Trail and Annette and I started at the skate park. They were there waiting for us when we pulled up. The girls took off and it felt fast to me, but after being out of town for 3 days I was feeling fat and slow anyway. My achilles was still tight, my legs were tight and nothing really felt good. Then my garmin wasn't getting a good signal and I look down at my heart rate monitor and its showing something like 75-85 . This made things feel worse when your stuff doesn't work. I kept thinking how could my heart rate be that low when I felt like I was running hard?

Just past two miles when we had a short walk break I finally figured out what was going on. I had messed with my heart rate monitor last night so come to find out I had changed it from actual heart rate to heart rate percentage. No wonder it only showed 80. It meant 80% effort. Once I fixed that everything was good and my garmin only lost signal for a couple minutes.

Jackie and Jamie got ahead of Annette and I as they both run pretty fast. By the time we got to the Big Dam Bridge they took the loop around by Cooks Landing. Annette took a bathroom break and we decided to do an out and back across the bridge rather than having to add on elsewhere. Plus running the bridge is a good workout. We both ran up and down the other side without stopping and it felt good. At the 6 mile mark Annette turned around and I went on as I had planned on 14-15 miles so I was shooting for 7 out and 7 back at least. Annette ended up doing a couple bridge repeats waiting on me as we kinda got our wires crossed at the turn around.

I felt slow all day. It might have been because Annette and the girls were running so strong. I did not feel it. I wasn't tired but my achilles was bothering me a lot so I just couldn't really get the legs to cooperate. The cardio was there, the legs or really foot wasn't in the game today. At some points I actually felt so slow I just wanted to quit running. Not a good thing. I did finish out the run, hitting the 14 mile point right before the Skate Park. I ran another half mile up the road and back to get my 15. I never walked the bridge going up or down and I never walked any of the other hills. I took one gu through the whole run and about 5 sport beans along with at least two bottles of water/accelerade. Overall I felt good, but my left achilles still hurt. After I got home I was almost ready to declare it an official injury, but now its feeling better so we will see. I could have run this run today so much faster if it wasn't for that.

Here are my splits. Some not too bad when I pushed it and I could have done more. I really wanted negative splits for the 2nd half but that didn't work out.

Total Distance - 15.02 miles
Time - 2:44:26
Average pace - 10:57 - This would be a PR for 15 miles or even 13 for me.
1- 10:46
2- 9:11
3- 10:58
4- 10:56
5- 10:57 - this was going up and down the bridge
6- 9:53 - mile 6 and 7 I just ran harder and had more turnover.
7- 9:44 - I should have ran like this for at least 13 miles
8- 11:51 - the walk break here killed me and I never could run fast again
9- 11:15
10- 11:36 - part of this was going back up the bridge
11- 11:49
12- 11:31
13- 11:31
14- 11:52
15- 10:15 - I should have had more of this, it wasn't that hard, it just hurt

Average heart rate 159
1800 calories

Saturday, October 20, 2007


For last three days Annette and I have been in Baltimore on a business trip. I love traveling and I hate traveling. I really like seeing new places and being on the go, but on the other side I really hate all the time I lose having to wait. You have to wait at the airport, at restaurants, etc and it just seems you always have something to wait on. Being in a two day meeting is like waiting too. Even though the subjects may be good, it still wears on you.

We did have a good two days worth of meetings, learned a lot and met some new people and best of all developed new friendships. We stayed at the Rennisonce Hotel on the inner harbor which was very nice. At $200+ a night it should be! Luckily this was a business expense. It was funny, we were sitting at lunch on Thursday and the General Manager of one of the companies from California named Marc was talking and he said something about his race a couple weeks ago. So I had to ask him what kind of race. He said it was a sprint triathlon so the conversation was on from there. Evidently he is a big time off road exterra racer and is ranked really high up. It was cool to have something besides work things to talk about. Then, I found out that Steven, one of the CFO's from another company in Minnesota was also a runner. And his boss Joann was there and she was a runner also. How cool. We all talked about running and now Annette really had something to talk about. There was a short talk about we should all run while we were here but we never finalized anything. I figured that after dinner that night we wouldn't want to run.

This was the U.S.S. Constitution, looked pretty cool at night

Dinner was at a Brazilian Steakhouse called Fogo de Chao compliments of BASF. All the meat you can eat and then some. They keep bringing it out till you say no more. It was awesome! I probably got a protein overdose. A glass of wine, a capridinia and some of the best Keylime Pie ever I was stuffed. This was not good for marathon training! Afterwards a few of us went to one of the really nice bar/lounges in the hotel. It ended up being the same group from lunch so running ended up being a big topic of discussion. Ater a couple moheitos, we made a running date of 6am to run around the inner harbor. Joann couldn't run because she didn't bring her running shoes but Marc and Steven were in. Annette and I had planned on running at least one day anyway so running with new business friends was a plus.

This was a view of the inner harbor from a restaurant we ate at

We made the 6am meet, how I don't know. After all that meat and a few drinks I really didn't feel like a 20 miler but I figured Marc and Steven would take it easy and we only had 30 minutes to run anyway so the most might be a 5k. When we got down to the lobby they were there ready to go in their running clothes. We took off into the darkness of the city. Well, it was dark outside but the city was lit up really good. We were just across the street from the harbor so we headed out around it. This is a really cool place to run and you see people running here all day. Steven led, and took us all around the pier and across a couple small bridges. It was hard to keep up with these guys. I guess all the food and we had some really bad humidity too. We were all just out, running through the city along the harbor and it was so cool! No one was out, we saw a few runners though but not many. When we started up into the city and it started getting darker we figured we better turn around and head back. We never could get a signal on our garmins so I didn't get a good mileage but I did get to map it out so I think we ran about two miles. It was fast, hard and made for a good workout. After a Starbucks and a shower, Annette and I both felt like taking on the world. Well, at least another day of meetings anyway.

This was a statue of something. We ran past this on Friday morning.
Thats Annette next to the fountain.

Not much to add other than Friday was another 8-5 day of meetings. Afterwards several of us went out to dinner which was fun. We spent a little time afterwards with Steven and his wife before everyone said good byes as most had early flights out.

This was another photo of the Inner Harbor area.
There are restaurants and shops all around the piers.

You just never know where you will meet other runners. And having something in common besides business makes for really good conversation and friendship. This was the case here.

On Saturday Annette and I walked the harbor, did a little shopping and ate again before flying back home. We are running again early Sunday morning so hopefully I still can. I am scared to even look at the scales. Lucky for me all I have to do is about 14 miles.

Thats me next to some submarine

Annette standing in front of the World Trade Center Baltimore.
We ran past this in the dark also.

Another inner harbor photo. You can see the Hard Rock Cafe guitar in the background

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Humidity sucks for running. Got out at 5:30am this morning for a nice little run. 62 degrees and 98% humidity felt more like 85 degrees in the sun. You would think 62 degrees would feel cool but its not when the humidity is that high. Annette and I ended up with about 4.2 miles and an average pace of 10:36. Pace was about the same as our normal "easy" runs but the effort was more. I could tell based on my heart rate. Usually at that pace i'm cruising around 160 give or take 4, today it was more like 169 + or - 4. Almost a lactate threshold run all the way. Needless to say, it was not the most enjoyable run, but it was ok. Got a few miles in anyway. My legs are still a little tight from Sundays long run but the foot is feeling pretty good. I think the new Saucony's helped.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The perfect run

Have you ever had what seemed like the perfect run? Where everything just seemed to feel right? Well, tonight was one of those for me. I wanted to do a recovery run after yesterday's 21 miles so when I got home I was ready. It had been raining all day and it had just stopped. I really wanted to try out my new shoes too and I really felt good all day, not too sore maybe just a little tired but not bad. I changed and headed out. The air was crisp from the recent rain. The roads were still wet all the way. There was a nice breeze blowing and I had brought my IPOD for a change just in case. I turned it on some of my better running songs. As I went to the next neighborhood, something clicked. I was running, feeling the breeze, the good music, seeing the colors in the western sky and I wasn't even struggling. It felt really good! At that moment I could have run forever. I guess maybe this is the runners high. I had to make myself run slower and I had to make myself walk 30 seconds at 1.5 miles just because I didn't want to injure anything. I would have never though that after yesterdays long run that I would feel that way, if nothing else, one would think I wouldn't want to run for a while. That's not the case. I think maybe today I really became a runner!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

1st 20 Miler DONE

Today was the day. Did my first 20+ mile run and it was awesome. We met up with several of the Cruisers and went to the River Trail. The weather was perfect. We started just past 6:30am and it was about 54 degrees then. It was still warm running but not hot. I never hit the wall, never felt like I couldn't go anymore. There were three of us doing 20+ today and afterwards Jackie said "too bad the marathon is not today, we could of all done it with no problems."

There was probably at least 8 Cruisers that started this morning. Some were only doing about 10 miles. Annette was doing 9-10 and then riding her bike to support the long runners. It's always nice to have people out there helping watch out for everyone. We decided on doing an out and back from the Skate Park to the Big Dam Bridge which is right at 9+ miles, then the long runners would do the route again looping back through a couple other trails on the way back. This worked out really good.

The first 10 miles seemed like it flew by. We were using Galloways Run/walk program, running one mile and then walking, usually about 30 seconds, sometimes 60 max. This worked really well in saving our energy for the long run. We did see some other Cruisers on the trail, Marianne, Gary and Curtis were biking and then Gary and Curtis ran with us some. It was great to run in to them and get to spend some time running with them.

Curtis, Jane, Gary & me

Not much to write about on the miles other than Jane, Jackie and Annette on her bike were awesome to run with. We helped each other pass the miles. The only small fade I felt was around mile 18. My feet were hurting a little and my legs felt like they were trying to stiffen up. Somehow I ran up the hill before the golf course without walking then when I hit the woods just past the golf course I faded a little. Annette was there on the bike and had a fresh dose of Accelerade. After getting a good drink of this I was good to go. The last hill I just powered on up and never walked it. Then something clicked in and I started running about a 9:30ish mile, swinging my arms and doing everything like I was supposed to. It was almost like everything was perfect for just a few minutes. I hit the 20 mile mark shortly there after and we kinda threw our arms up in celebration. From there we ran it on in to the Skate Park and then did almost a one mile recovery walk. I told Jane I think the walk was harder than the run. Total miles for the day, 21.3! Special thanks to Jane and Jackie for running with me and Annette for staying with us on her bike through the last 10 miles. It was a great day with great people!

Jackie, Jane, Curtis and me at about 13 miles

That was me about to hit the 20 mile mark

Here are my stats per my garmin:
Total run miles 20.1 (added .93 afterwards for cool down walk)
Run time - 3:54:34
Average pace - 11:41 - my goal for today was 11:39 so i barely missed it
1 -10:21
Avg. HR - 153 - 80%
3395 Calories

In looking at the overall time I'm happy. Looking at some of the mile times I really don't remember them being that slow. We did lose signal a few times but the distance is pretty much dead on. Based on my heart rate I could have stepped up the pace a little but then again, it might not have been as good a run. After all, this is training and the real marathon will be much faster. I was a little worried on this run that my achilles problem would worsen but it didn't. Seems to be the same weather I run 3 miles or 20, though today it did slow me down. Can't wait to try out my new shoes. They should be broke in good before my next long run.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

New shoes

I bought some new running shoes today. Ended up getting some Saucony Hurricane's at Sporty Runner in Conway. The people there are so nice. I had probably 5 different pairs of shoes out trying different ones and they were very patient. Of course, Annette had to get new shoes too so what did she end up with?? Saucony Hurricane's also. I hope I didn't make a mistake on these but they felt so good in the store. They are very cushiony and have good support which I need. The bad thing is, I can't wear them tomorrow on my long run. They say it's not a good idea to wear new shoes on a long run until you break them in a little so I guess tomorrow I will just have to suffer. I had been wearing the Brooks Adrenelin 7's and they seemed fine, though not as much cushion. Mine are wore out, about 300 miles on them and almost wore flat on the fore foot area.

I also bought an achillies tendon strap to try. It actually goes over your sox and around your ankle, then has a strap that wraps around your heel. Hoping this may help that some.

This morning I ended up running about 6.2 miles with Annette and some of the other Cruisers. It was very nice with temps in the mid 50's when we started just after 7:30am. There were several different groups running different routes but since there was a 5K in town, we were all meeting up there. A few people in the Cruisers ran the 5k. I didn't since I have 20 miles to run tomorrow and racing would hurt my achilles more. Three of our girls took 1st, 2nd and 3rd place female with the most impressive being 3rd place. 10 year old Caitlyn Clinton. This little girl is awesome and WILL be a track star one day. Coach Dennis said we better get her autograph now as it may be really valuable one of these days. If she stays at it I believe it! By the way, her mom Jackie was featured in this months Runners World Magazine for her work in promoting running to the kids. Check it out!

This was Caitlyn sprinting to the finish. 3rd place female!

Some of the Cruisers hanging out at the race. Annette, Cindy. Brenda, James, Lisa, Bob

Friday, October 12, 2007

Thursday Night Run

I was able to get a little over 4.3 miles in last night. Running the 5k route down S. First Street and then making some loops through the other neighborhoods. The traffic made this run terrible! I had to dodge cars for 3 miles of the run. I sure wish we had some type of paved trail system in the Cabot area for running. Ended up with an average pace of 10:45 which sucks for me on this short of a run but all the stopping and starting waiting on traffic had its affect. I am so looking forward to running on the River Trail this weekend so I won't have to deal with the cars. I seem to still be having some foot pain that was aggravated by the speed work on Tuesday night.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Speed work hurts

Well I wimped out last night and didn't run. When I got home I needed to mow the back yard and I knew my heel had been sore all day. When I changed shoes I could see I had just a little swelling where my achilles attaches. So, I wimped out and called it a rest day to let it heel. It will, just takes a couple days. Annette told me to rest, she said "you did speed work last night" which is true but I need the miles. It's strange how I can run 18 miles and be fine the next day but one mile of speed work makes it hurt and swell some. Another good reason not to race the 5K this weekend. Now I feel bad because Wednesday was a total waste. I started to bike some but it would be dark before I could get changed & get everything ready. What happened to the long days?? Don't they know I am training? We do have a plan for the long run this weekend now. Everyone is meeting up at the River Trail Sunday morning and Saturday morning we are running to watch the 5k so I should be able to get maybe 6 miles in then. I'm sure I'll run tonight if nothing comes up as i'm sure my foot will feel fine then.

It must be the lull before the storm again at the Fire Department. It has been too quiet for too long. We still get our normal daily medical calls, but even these are fewer than normal. I know something big is headed our way again. Just don't know when or what but it will be soon I'm sure. There has been a rash of motorcycle fatalities in the area the last week, none in our fire district but bordering ones. I got a call yesterday from my Chief telling me that a guy that was killed in Searcy a couple days ago on one was a former firefighter on our department that I knew about 10 years ago. It seems several of these were people in cars blowing stop signs or just not paying attention and not the bikers fault. All the more reason to stay alert and be careful out there! People just don't pay attention to what they are doing.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

2007 Chicago Male Elite Finish - This is awesome!

Photo finish for the elite males....this was awesome!!!

Chicago Marathon 2007!! Adere's Amazing Comeback!

This was the female elite surprise finish at the Chicago Marathon.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Tuesday - behind again

Its already Tuesday night and I am behind on everything again. I have been cramming at work for the past 4 days to get month end done, get property tax payments out, and get my people's bonuses figured up along with putting out the normal day to day fires and just keeping things working. I guess you could say end of month is "that" time of month for me. Once that last report is done it's like finishing a race. I have a bunch of stuff to put on the blog here too but where is all the time??

I did go to the running clinic tonight and we did a timed mile. My last timed mile was done on May 29th and it was an 8:45. Tonight I ran a 8:26. Not bad I guess, though I could have done a little better. We were running a measured loop in Magness Creek and I misunderstood where the finish line was so I missed about 200 meters probably of faster running but thats ok. I'll take an 8:26. Based on calculations that should give me about a 8:56-9:06 5K pace. Last 5K I ran was a 9:17 so it sounds about right.

I have a 20 miler this weekend and still trying to figure out where to run it. At least the weather sounds like it will be much cooler. I also have some more stuff from the Chicago Marathon I need to get on the blog. Maybe tomorrow will be catch up Wednesday!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Chicago Marathon Is History

The Chicago Marathon is now in the history books. Not only was it the hottest, but it also had two of the closest finishes ever in the Elite mens and womens field. Due to the heat they started shutting the course down early also. If you hadn't made it to the half point by noon, you were done for the day.

The girls all made it. But after the half, they started making people walk. I guess because there was so many people with heat related illnesses, they were running out of ambulances. At least one runner died and over 250 were transported by ambulance. Annette said they turned on fire hydrants and water hoses all over the runners to cool people down. That made what little running they could do even worse because their shoes got all soggy. The police were warning people to walk!

Here are the girls from Cabot final numbers. And yes, they ALL finished even though they had to walk 7-8 miles at the end. Pretty tough!!

Annette - 6:27:52
Brenda - 4:58:40 (really good considering the conditions)
Kim - 6:25:47
Michele - 6:09:33

Awesome job girls!! It would have been so easy to get on one of those air conditioned buses but you didn't do it.

On a side note, my recovery from my 18 miler yesterday was fantastic. I felt very good today, my legs and feet were not that sore. I ended up running a little recovery run tonight for 2.3 miles and an easy pace of 10:17. It was hot too! Monday will be my rest day as I have speed work on Tuesday.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

18 miler Done

This morning I slugged through and got my first 18 mile run done. I started at 6:20am and ran a little over 2 miles with Jane, one of the girls from our running club. She had 15 scheduled so we really wanted to start as early as possible. The regular Saturday morning group was starting at 7:00. The humidity was terrible at our start time. It was like 96% and even though it was only maybe 71 degrees, we were soaking wet after two miles. This was going to be a tough day i thought.

The Saturday morning runs are fun as usually there are anywhere from 10-20 runners. Usually in this is about three or four different pace groups and not everyone doing the same distances. Today the majority of the group was running what we call the 10.3 mile Tour de Cabot. Basically starting at South Side Elementary and ending there making a loop through town. After the start, the groups started splitting up based on pace and Jane, David S. and I ran together. We actually had a really good run back to the school even though it was hot and humid. The humidity and heat kept us running a somewhat slower pace than usual but that was ok. This was one of those days to back off a little. We would run 1 mile and then walk probably less than a minute and start back. Lucky for us there is a store just a little over half way where we can refill our water bottles. We had run out about a mile from the store.

After making it back to the school, I still had almost 6 miles to run and Jane had a little over 2. There was at least one running 20 today, maybe two. After refueling at the school with water and gels, we were off to finish. The faster group had already went ahead, some had gone home.
Jane and I split off about half a mile from the school so she could take a shorter route. I went on down and turned on New Country Rd. By this time I was at about mile 14+ so I started to slow down and take more walk breaks. A little ways up New Country I heard a couple dogs and looked and here comes this big black Chow right for me. I started yelling "NO", "STAY" about the time I felt his breath on my leg. Lucky for me "STAY" was the right word and his owner came out about that time. Note to self......never run on this road again!

After that the rest of my run sucked. New Country had a couple decent sized hills to go over. The heat started wearing me down so I'd walk a little then run. Somehow I managed to walk/run back to the school. It really wasn't that slow but I knew it was slower than the first 14 miles. When I got back to the school I needed about a mile or less to get 18. I ran around the small track there a couple times and then the parking lot. It was very hot by this time and I was ready to be done. Finally my garmin sounded and I was done. No extra miles today, I was ready to go cool off. It was a hard run, and I honestly thought that today might be the day that I hit the wall but I didn't. Hopefully I won't have to experience that.

I finished the run in 03:34:09 for 18.01 miles and an average pace of 11:53. Up to mile 16 I was staying around 11:25 or better. Here are the splits and most were pretty consistent except when we stopped to get water.
1- 10:36
2- 11:03
3- 10:04
4- 11:08
5- 11:01
6- 11:23
7- 11:31
8- 11:34
9- 13:56 (water stop)
10- 11:29
11- 11:47
12- 11:31
13-13:23 (water stop/school)
15- 12:51
16- 13:06
18- 13:13
3084 Cals
Avg HR 163

Friday, October 5, 2007

The girls are in Chicago!

I was up at 5:00am this morning, got Annette out the door and we picked up Brenda and Kim for the plane ride to Chicago. I was more than happy to provide the transportation as they are the ones that will be racing. It was my gift to them I guess you could say. I think I am about as excited as they are. The weather is not going to be the best there, calling for up to 88 degrees on Sunday with moderate humidity. Everyone was hoping it would be cool so the times would be better but the thing is, they have all trained in the heat so they are prepared for it. I know they will all do great!

Here is a picture of Annette, Brenda and Kim as they are getting ready to go in the Airport.

Annette had some really cool running shirts made up for the girls running. Each one had their name at the top in bold. Pretty cool!

I did get my run in last night, part of it in the dark. I only ended up with 3.7 miles but it was faster than my other runs this week. I think my first mile was like a 9:34. Ended up with about a 10:27 overall pace. At about mile 3 I ran into Kevin, one of my neighbors that was out running so we walked and talked for a few. Probably would have had a better overall if not for that but thats ok.

Saturday my schedule calls for 18 miles. Whew, its going to be warm too. I am starting at 6:20am and getting about 2.2 plus miles in before hooking up with the group at 7 for the rest. I am planning on setting my garmin up and using the virtual partner program to pace me. I'll probably set somewhere between 11:25 and 11:50 just to see how it works out. I know I will be running some of the miles much faster than that though, but 11:25 is my marathon pace goal or pie in the sky goal anyway. That gets me done around 4:59:00 which would be awesome. We shall see how it works out. Hopefully I can get to bed early tonight and get some sleep. Late night last night and up very early today so I am running short.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

A few Marathon Inspiration Quotes

I tell our runners to divide the race into thirds. Run the first part with your head, the middle part with your personality, and the last part with your heart. - Mike Fanelli

The marathon’s about being in contention over the last 10K. That’s when it’s about what you have in your core. You have run all the strength, all the superficial fitness out of yourself, and it really comes down to what’s left inside you. To be able to draw deep and pull something out of yourself is one of the most tremendous things about the marathon - Rob de Castella

Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway. - John Wayne

Energy multiplies when you set a desired goal and resolve to work towards that goal - David Schwartz

Good things come slow - especially in distance running. - Bill Dellinger

Running is a big question mark that’s there each and every day. It asks you, ‘Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?’ - Peter Maher, Irish-Canadian Olympian

The body does not want you to do this. As you run, it tells you to stop but the mind must be strong. You always go too far for your body. You must handle the pain with strategy…It is not age; it is not diet. It is the will to succeed. - Jacqueline Gareau, 1980 Boston Marathon champ

Marathons are 90% mental toughness, the rest is in your head!

If you think life is tough, try running a marathon. If you still think life is tough, run the next one faster.

This is what it will be like to finish Chicago

Click on this to see what the finish is like

Chicago marathon finish

Chicago - D Day - 3

Ok, it's official, I'm not even running Chicago but I think I am as much a basket case at this point as Annette. I really wish now that I had made arrangements to go just to take pictures but I know that would be hard too. I'm just so excited that Annette, Brenda, Kim, Michelle and some others I know are running this. This is one of the BIGGEST marathons out there. It just boggles my mind that there will be 40,000 people running this and my girls will be part of it!! Good luck ladies! I will be thinking about all of you.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Wednesday Night Run

Annette and I had plans to run this morning with Kim and Jane but rainy weather at 5:00am canceled that. I had told Annette that if it was raining, I didn't think she should take a chance running in the rain and getting sick 4 days before the Chicago Marathon. It wasn't a case that she had to have the miles. I was kind of happy that it was raining really. I had got to bed late around 10:45 and then about 1:30am I got paged out with the FD for an "unknown" type of fire on Toniville Rd. Lucky for me it ended up being a trash fire and we were canceled en-route. Sometimes those "unknowns" can be something big, but usually they are just BS.

One of the hardest things to do is go back to sleep after running out to a fire call. Usually you are hot, sometimes the adrenalin is still going. I wasn't sleeping good anyway so this was one of those nights so I wasn't mad about not getting to run at 5:30.

Annette and I did get a nice run in after work. I logged 4.25 miles. It was still pretty warm outside, I think more so because of the humidity. I had an average pace of 10:45, should have done better but honestly I was just being lazy and not pushing it. I did show the first mile at a 9:34 pace. I'll probably try to get another 4-5 miles in tomorrow after work. I don't have a plan yet for my 18+ on Saturday but I hope to tomorrow.

"If you think you can or if you think you can't, your right!"

The tittle of this post says it all. This not only relates to running, but life in general. Last night I attended a school inspection class as part of my regular fire department training. The instructor was a Regional Fire Academy Instructor and also the Fire Chief from Cane Creek. He did his presentation and then at the end he talked about why training is so important. To be a qualified firefighter in the State of Arkansas one has to complete 3 basic courses, Introduction to Firefighting, Protective Equipment and Wildland Fire Suppression. Firefighters also have to have 24 hours per year of ongoing certifiable training otherwise their department will loose tax dollars. This is just the bare minimum to be covered under workers comp in most places.

The story went on about how he himself had been in a very bad car accident several years back and could no longer actually do firefighting as he couldn't crawl around on the floor due to a replacement knee. That was why they made him Chief, so he could handle all the admin work. He also started being an instructor to help others.

At one of his Intro/Protective Equipment classes that was being held for a small volunteer department, he said the chief came to him and asked for his help. He told him that he needed to get his best driver/pump operator certified but there was a problem. The guy only had one arm! The instructor knew the requirements of passing the basic courses. Two of the main things were that to pass the course, a firefighter would have to be able to put on turnout gear (pants,jacket,hood, helmet,boots) in one minute or less. The other requirement was putting on an air pack and be breathing air, fully turned out in less than one minute. These two things can be a challenge for even someone in perfect physical shape but a guy with one arm? How in the world would he be able to do it?

The instructor contacted the Fire Academy and asked them about it and they said that as long as he could do it within the time limitations, they could certify him. So the instructor worked with him, and after his second try, he was able to get his turnouts on within 58 seconds. After his 4th try, he was able to pass the air pack test with about a 54 second time. Unbelievable with one arm!

The guy passed his tests and was now able to be certified for workers comp purposes. It wasn't that he would ever go into a burning building as he was only going to be a driver/pump operator, but he still had to get certified to be covered under insurance. The instructor said he himself would no longer say he couldn't do anything again because of his handicaps

I guess the moral of this story is that if you want to do something bad enough you can. It may take some extra work, and it may be the hardest thing you have ever done, but anything is possible if its something you believe in. So for all those doing Marathons, just remember, "you can do it!"

Monday, October 1, 2007

A new month

Well today started a new month and new training goals. I am 100% dedicated to my marathon now. No other events will be scheduled unless its just an easy bike ride somewhere. No racing!!

Yesterday I got in 3.1 miles with the Cruisers and then we did liter clean up along Hwy 89. I could tell I was still tired, not so much my legs but just overall. It didn't help any that it was 88 degrees when we started running. Needless to say I welcomed the walk breaks and took more than normal. Mile 1 was a 10:23, 2 a 10:33 and 3 was a 11:34. You can see the pattern. We had some Mexican food with the Cruisers afterwards for sort of a going away party for a couple girls that were moving.

I figured I would start my October training off right tonight with a 4 miler. I left the house at 6:30 and it was still pretty hot. The temp was just above 80 degrees and the humidity was high around 85%. I ran my regular 5K route to Freds and back figuring I would add on some at the end. I could tell I was still somewhat tired, though my legs really were not sore. I did the run one mile, walk 30 second deal for the first couple miles, not counting having to stop once for a car. The last two I walked twice each, I figured why kill myself as I was still recovering some from Saturday. I finished the 4 miles in 43:54 with a 10:58 average. My splits were 1-10:37, 2-10:21, 3-11:23, 4-11:23. At least they were consistent but not near as fast as I have been used to but the humidity and still not being fully recovered showed. I don't think I was fully hydrated today till I got home from work.

Lucky for me Tuesday will be a rest day as I have a Fire Department class to attend on school inspections. That should give me a good rest going into Wednesday. Plus I really wasn't looking forward to speed work this week. Coach Dennis had us scheduled to do a warm up then run a mile at lactate pace threshold, rest 5 minutes then run 800 meters at lactate pace. The speed work has been hurting my heel lately but I may do the workout later in the week on my own. I have 18 miles scheduled for my long run this weekend and will probably do that on Saturday.