Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2008 is Almost a Rap

One day left and I know I won't be adding anything to the log so I figured I would go ahead and throw out or should I say "throw up" my final stats for the year. The first half of the year seemed to be all about running then injury hit and biking took over. I almost feel like I have become a biker that runs some. Anyway, here is some of the final numbers for what its worth.

Finished 14 Races of various lengths not counting one Duathlon. Injured in mid-June with PF.
Raced 12 races in the Grand Prix Series finishing 8th in my age group out of 14 runners.
Here are the races by length:
2 - 2 milers
6 - 5k's
2- 10k's
1- 15k
2 - 1/2 Marathons
1 - Full Marathon

Set 7 new PR's at various times prior to my injury.
1 mile - 7:56
2 mile - 16:19
5k - 27:20
10k - 58:01
15k - 1:33:58
1/2 - 2:18:16
Marathon - 4:58:03

By the way, the one mile and 2 mile time was right when I started hurting in June. Had really started building up a little speed and then lost it all to injury.

This was the fun stuff. Not sure how many long rides over 60 miles I did training with others but here are the official rides.
2 - 100 mile Centuries
1 - 62 mile bike tour

1 - Duathlon (wish there would have been more)

Here are the total miles logged. I know people that ran as much as my bike and run combined. Maybe '09 will be better.

Total Run Miles - 690
Total Bike Miles - 1440

Looking forward to a better '09. Hope everyone has a Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Last Outside Ride of the Year

Since the weather looked favorable today, I broke my temperature rules and met the group at Mt Carmel Church for the normal 1:30 Sunday ride. We ended up having 8 riders which according to Charlie was the record since October. I know October was the last time I was on the bike outside too. The temps were suppose to be in the mid 50's but they were not. It was about 50 degrees at ride time and partly cloudy. Little to no wind, at least that's what the weather said. I dressed pretty warm, had a long sleeve bike jersey on top with a Pearl Izumi thermal jacket to keep me warm. Had my tri shorts on the bottom with my CW-X running tights on top of them to keep my legs warm. A beenie under my helmet and some full finger gel biking gloves finished it off. Pretty warm sitting still but as soon as we started moving it was cool. But never cold.

We headed out Kerr Station road and soon the breakaway group consisted of James, Russ, Mark O. and myself. I knew this would not be an "easy" ride. Never is on the bike when there are guys. Before I knew it we were in a pace line and getting some pretty good speed going. On this stretch of road with fresh legs we seemed to be averaging 19-22mph. We took turns pulling and when it was my turn it was 20-22mph. First hill and I could feel my lack of training though. We turned on 236 and when we slowed you could feel the heat, had to keep moving.

Didn't take long and I just couldn't hold that kind of pace and once you fall off the wheel, your done. I decided I would just take my time and catch them later on. Its a lot harder working on your own than in a pace line and I could feel it. My heart rate was high, higher than normal on the bike which just told me I haven't been doing enough lately. The guys stopped at the 236/31 junction and I got back in line heading down 31. This was the best part of the ride for me. It felt like I was in a rocking chair, drafting off the bike in front of me and doing 19-21 mph. The effort was so much easier in the draft. I was dreading the hills on 321/Mt Carmel though.

We made the turn on to Mt Carmel and I noticed that everyone had slowed down some. It was kind of nice as I was working about where I wanted to be and I could hold the line with no problem. I was leading when we made the junction of Mt Carmel/321 spur and I dropped back and told James that I couldn't pull on those hills. I stayed on till the first hill then I fell off the group big time. If you haven't ridden Mt Carmel back into town there are a few monster hills. My legs were singing to me by this time. I tried to keep speed up the hills but the legs were burning out and downshifting was needed. By the time I made the last hill which we always call "Heartbreak Hill", I figured I was going to cramp up anytime. I didn't though and I made it up and over Heartbreak but it was slower than I had done it in probably a year. When I got off the bike at the church, my legs felt like jello. They had definitely gotten a workout. I was disappointed that I couldn't keep up with the guys but then again, I haven't really done diddly squat for almost two months.

After looking at the final stats and then looking back in my log book at other rides on this route, I was pretty happy. I probably worked harder than I normally do on this route but my average speed was about the same or better. Heart rate was high, high, high for biking. Not sure whats up with that other than my pure lack of hard cardio work lately. It was still nice to be out and on the bike, pushing it and seeing the countryside. Best of all, I never really got cold. I was sweating and several times had to unzip my jacket to let in some air. I do need some shoe covers to keep my feet warm. I just ordered some from Performance Bike along with an extra tire that they had on sale.

Here were the stats from the ride:
Total miles - 26.67
Time - 1:33:17
Average - 17.1 mph
Calories burnt - 1722
Avg. Heart Rate - 174
Temp at finish - 49 degrees/partly cloudy

Hope to get at least one ride in before new years on the trainer. I know I won't get to ride outside. I am reducing my lowest enjoyable temperature to ride outside to probably 45 degrees. May have to raise it if I ride when its that cold.

Happy biking everyone!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Screw it - I Did A Brick

With the crappy weather we have been having I finally took my bike and put it on the trainer to see if I could burn my back tire off. After an hour and five minutes of various intervals I did a pretty good job of shedding some rubber. It felt good to be back on the bike even it was on the trainer in the house. I alternated with 5-10 minute speed intervals with 5 minute light spins in between. I would also vary my position on the bars but most of my time was spent totally in the aero bars. Got a good 18 miles worth anyway.

After that I was feeling so good I decided that I had to run and just make it a brick workout. Yeah I know, I said I wasn't going to till after the first. Well, I couldn't help myself. Like a kid in a candy store, feeling those heavy bike legs starting a run was something I was longing for. Just so I didn't kill myself or drop some more kidney stones I only ran a mile. It was good though, not fast but it felt good to run even on the treadmill. I must be sick, I even liked the one hour on the trainer. My butt is a little sore, has been almost two months since I got a mile in the seat. Glad to get some miles for December anyway.

Hopefully I won't be paying for this tomorrow. Still a little concerned about the kidney stones though I haven't had any problems at all. I'll know tomorrow anyway. If all is good I may just do it again. I am for sure running at least a mile on New Years day no matter what or how I have to get it.

I am at least feeling a little lighter today. Must be time to eat again!

Here's a pic of my bike on the trainer along with all our workout junk

Friday, December 26, 2008

Help - I'm getting Fat!

I am scared to even look at the scales after all the holiday food I have had. Christmas Eve we went to my sisters house in Otter Creek for a big dinner and to see my family. We had all the usual, ham, turkey, dressing, etc etc....oh and the sweet potato casserole. Of course I had to have some of my sister in laws banana pudding! Came back to Cabot afterwards, exchanged gifts with my kids at our house and then headed to Magness Creek to eat again. This was about 9pm so I had ham, mashed potatoes, and way too much other to mention there again. I was so stuffed. But it was so good. Food like this doesn't happen very often!

We spent the night there so we could watch Kylie do her Santa Claus. All this food is giving me writers block so I won't try to tell everything else that we did on Christmas Eve. Maybe Annette will post it all to her blog. Back to food though, Christmas morning we woke up, did the Santa thing and then Livia and Vonda cooked the most awesome breakfast ever. Annette told them this was much better than the breakfast buffet we had at the Hyatt in Memphis a few weeks back.

It still didn't end there. We came home about 1:00pm, did our Christmas. I had a little cat nap and Annette slept on the couch sitting up for about 2 hours. I guess Michele called and invited us over for dinner so we went over there about 6:45. Ha, another full course meal. Turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, corn, I was beginning to feel like I died and went to heaven. Or maybe I was sinking from all the extra added weight...lol.

I had planned on biking this morning since the weather was suppose to be warm but I was surprised to find out that it was misting rain. No bike:( Annette did get a run in but since I was self grounded from running I sat around and got fatter. Well, this dang cold doesn't help much, I'm hoping food will cure it...I wish. So after Annette got home and rested a little we headed off to pick Kylie up and go shopping. I was starving by then so we went and had Mexican food at a place called Cactus Jacks on McCain where we had never been. I got fajitas. It was good but the same type Mexican food that all the others have. I think they should all just be a franchise, even the menus look the same. I miss Tia's, now they had some good TeX-Mex style food.

OK, the good news is I didn't have supper. Well, supper consisted of pumpkin pie, and I can't say how many pieces. I think it may be time for an intervention! Well, all good things must come to an end and I gave myself till the first then its all out. I just hope that running is part of it.

Hope everyone had as great a Christmas as I did!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I'm Done

I'm done running till 2009. After running Sunday afternoon I thought everything was good then Monday I started passing kidney stones again. Guess the running was shaking what was left loose. To top it off, now I have a bad cold right here at the holidays. I go back to the doc on Tuesday so I figured I might as well wait till '09 to start back up. If I can get a bike ride in I will be doing that since its not as much impact. May do some weights/core training but its not as fun as running or biking.

PS: Santa, you can bring me a new Cervelo P3 Tri Bike and a Nikon D60 DSLR camera. Well, a P4 would be better but I would settle for a P2 even. But since you have way too many to get presents for, we will save these for our wish list for '09.

Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 21, 2008


I'll have to say, Annette, Brenda, Jane and Cindy had it today. They went and ran around 5.5 miles in 24 degree weather around a lake. They actually enjoyed it too. Except maybe for the shivering part afterwards. I was suppose to go but I was still feeling a little sick from the antibiotics I was having to take so I figured why be even more miserable with the cold. Good excuse huh.

Hey I did get a run in on the treadmill this afternoon. A whole 3 miles. Was actually hot, since the treadmill is in the house upstairs. Have to keep fans on me to keep cool and it still wasn't cool enough. I guess now I am so out of shape it showed on my heart rate. An 11:00 minute pace had me up to a 183 average. I usually race 5k at that rate. Could be the meds still wearing off too or maybe again I have to rebuild. I never did any walking though other than to turn a fan on. I think that's my new rule for the new year, no walking, unless of course you just can't go anymore.

I do have a big event to train for. Still not sure which full marathon I am doing. We have reservations in Nashville so I'll probably do the full there though I have thought about Little Rock and then doing the half in Nashville. Time is short for Little Rock though and I am on schedule for Nashville. The most exciting event though will be a new one for this area. It is a long course duathlon, basically a half ironman without the swim. 2 mile run, 56 mile bike and a 13.1 mile run. It is June 6th at Lake Beverfork in Conway and is part of the Ironmountain Triathlon. I am so excited to get to participate and not just be on a team. August 15th there is also an Olympic distance duathlon. This one is held at Lake Degray and it is a 2.5k run, 38k bike and a 10k run. Along with the Du for The Parks which is usually on Memorial Day, I should have some great run/bike multi sport events to train for.

Speaking of training. After January 1st, it is on! I don't have the plan together yet but my intensity will increase where no one has ever seen it. Of course, pending any injuries or other old age problems. I turn 50 on January 21st so I was really wanting a special event for my birthday but it looks like there will be none. Maybe I'll try for a 50 mile week running. Which I could probably do but it might not be too smart. I could do a 50 mile bike ride but that's just not really hard enough. Will have to give it some thought. Irregardless, I am going to try to be more dedicated to training harder. We do have the Grand Prix season to deal with too.

By the way, if anyone has or knows of any free long course duathlon training plans let me know. I will be looking for one though I could probably use a 1/2 ironman plan and just run for the swim part.

Stay warm and be safe!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

CCC Christmas Party

Friday night was the Cabot Country Cruisers annual Christmas party. For the past several years it was always held at someones home but the club has grown so much that this year we had to find a place to hold it. Ended up being held at the First Baptist Church in Cabot. It was nice as there was plenty of room. It was a big potluck and everyone brought some kind of food and a dirty Santa gift. Special thanks to Ginny who headed up the Christmas committee.

Club President David H. started things off with a welcome and announcing that he was stepping down as club president and turning it over to Jackie C. Well, Jackie was the perfect candidate. She was featured in Runners World Magazine about her Family Track Nights here and the Inspiration Run she started to the local schools. I know she will do an awesome job and the club will grow even more. By the way, I was told that our running club has a short mention in the January issue of Running Times. I haven't got a copy yet or even know if its out. Jackie was the point person on this too.

After the official stuff was over everyone ate and talked. These things seem so short when there is so many people you want to talk to. Especially since I haven't made any of the runs in a while and there hasn't been much biking activity. Well, other than Charlie W. who is still on his quest to break 10,000 miles again this year. He did it last year, and I didn't have the chance to ask how close he was but I know he is riding some almost every day. That's pretty awesome in itself.

After dinner the fun stuff started. Rick P. became the Master of Ceremonies with his guitar and microphone. He started things off with the traditional 12 Days of Christmas. Only thing was, for each day there would have to be one of the people from the group up in front of everyone mimicking whatever number they got. So, to choose who all the victims were, Rick started it off with picking the person for the 1st day. It was Tammy F., then she had to pick the second day person and the second day person picked the third and so on. Well, I got picked by Michele for the 12th day which was the easiest because I didn't have to do my part over and over again. It was pretty funny what some of the people came up with to simulate their day. When the song came to your days part you would have to make the gestures, some were doing bird calls.....it was pretty funny.

We thought we were done but then came Christmas carols. Same thing here, Rick picked the first one, they would have to get up in front of everyone and sing the song. Well, for some it wasn't a big deal and lucky for me I didn't get picked. Annette got picked but she wouldn't sing so she got Kylie up there with her. Let me tell you. Miss Kylie was not shy at all. She wanted to be up there and later she even went up there by herself to do some singing and some backup vocals. It was too cute.

This was my niece Kylie in pink with two of Jackie's girls and Rick on the guitar

Kylie doing backup vocals

Finally we were to the "dirty Santa" gifts. I had never done one of these before and everyone that brought gifts were given a number. When it was your number you would go up and pick a present, any one you wanted. The next person up could "steal" your present if they wanted it. Then you would go pick another. There were several "thefts" but it was all in good fun and everyone really had a good time. I ended up with a pair of gloves and some liquid hand warmers.

Can't wait till next year, word is we will need a place for dancing too by then!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Crushing Stones

Well yesterday was the big day. I was scheduled to be at St Vincents at 9:30 to get prepped for the Lithotripsy procedure to crush my kidney stone. We had ice on the roads Tuesday and lucked out driving there other than the traffic was terrible and people were crawling across the bridges. They were quick to get my paperwork done and we didn't have to wait less than 5 minutes after that to go back to pre-op. All the nurses working pre-op were watching for me already as my sister used to work in that area and knew all of them, so she warned them about me.

I don't remember her name but the first nurse was so nice. Had me get naked and put on the hospital gown. Annette had to tie the back for me but not before she took a picture of my behind. No telling where that will end up but it won't be on here!

Another girl came in and got blood, another did an EKG, they took blood pressure, temp and all that stuff. My nurse started me on an IV around 10:45 and put some drug in there to ease secretions in the mouth. Well, I couldn't eat or drink after midnight so I was starving and dying of thirst already. But I couldn't have anything. I did get one swig of water when they gave me some pills for something.

I was scheduled for the procedure at 11:30 and really up until about 11:00 we stayed quite busy. About 11:30 the nurse came back and said that there had been a delay, the doctor had gotten tied up on a surgery before me so it was going to be at least an hour. Well, I had already been laying on the gurney for almost an hour and I was getting pretty bored. Annette was falling in and out of sleep between text messages with people checking on me. About 12:30 a nurse came back and told us it was going to be another hour. This was really starting to suck. Laying there with nothing to do at all but stare at the walls with an IV stuck in me. Finally about 1 they came to get me and take me for an xray to make sure the stone was still there. That takes all of 15 minutes. After that I went into the Urology Surgery Center at a waiting area. More waiting......I was so tired of waiting. Lets just get this over with!

Finally about 2 they rolled me in the room. There was a machine that looked like an xray camera and a bed underneath it. They wheeled me next to it and told me to scoot over under that thing. Well, the funny thing was, this was not a regular bed or table. My butt was put on some kind of rubber looking thing and then it felt like I was laying on a metal bar. Not very comfortable. The rubber thing reminded me of an over sized condom. Really weird. But hey, the anistesisologist said he was giving me something to relax me and then next thing I knew I was out. Whatever happened there stayed there because I remember nothing of it. I was glad too, because they were also running a tube/camera up the front end to look into my bladder. I was most happy to be out while they did that.

I woke up in recovery looking at the monitors going and listening to my heart beat. It probably wasn't 5 minutes and I was wide awake and felt great. I guess my vitals were great because it wasn't long and they were wheeling me back to the pre-op area where I started. Annette met me there along with my sister. I felt like I needed to pee while I was in recovery and they gave me one of those jugs to use but I just couldn't pee laying in the bed. The rule was that you couldn't go home until you could pee. Well, I was ready to go home so I was determined to pee.

Back in pre-op I had a male nurse named Walter who was very nice. He gave me another jug to use but I told him I wanted to go to the bathroom across the hall. He said that would be fine but that I still had to use the jug. Guess they wanted proof! Well, that wasn't at all pretty. Looked like I was peeing blood which it was but it was expected. They said small sand like pieces of the stone would come out for the next 48 hours.

The doctor told Annette that everything was great, no other issues to worry about. They gave me a prescription for some pain medicine, an antibiotic and some med that was suppose to open things up so whats left of the stones will pass more easily. By the time I was dressed and released it was almost 4:30pm. And we had expected to be home by 2 or 3! Delay after delay and all the waiting. But we were not done yet!

We hit rush hour traffic going home. Annette had called our personal pharmacist and running friend Kelly to see how late they were open. They were open till 5:30 but she was going to wait on us. I knew I had to have those meds. By the second traffic jamb I just wanted to be home. I felt like I had to pee but with what I was peeing I couldn't just do it anywhere. We rolled in the pharmacy about 5:20 and Kelly got us in and out of there in record time. I was never so happy to be home and be done with all the waiting around.

The night wasn't too bad. I did end up needing one of the pain pills and finally got some food. Annette kept me drinking all into the night which really helped clear things up pretty quick. I got to pee through a strainer so could save any pieces of the stones for the lab to check. The stones look like extra small pieces of sand or some say they look like cuckleburs. I was going to take a photo but they are too small to show up.

Today Annette put the girls on me. I was getting multiple text messages and emails asking how I was and telling me to drink, drink and drink some more. Thank you ladies! You guys are the best and I love all of you! By the way, I drank everything in the house!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

BOSU Balance Training

About to go nuts not being able to run or bike. Last night I did a bunch of core/yoga and bosu ball training. I ended up making my own Bosu training that was kind of fun. I would stand on the bosu ball, balance then throw darts at an electronic dart game I have on the wall. Did give my lower legs and ankles a good workout and broke the boredom. I have found that over the past year I can stand on this thing forever. When i first started I could barely stand on it without falling off. It is good for strengthening lower legs and core. Along with that a few yoga poses, plank, side plank, etc seem to help a lot and I can see lots of improvement there over time. These help not only for running but biking too. Winter is a good time to work on strength even though it can be boring at times.

On a side note my Lithotripsy has been rescheduled from Monday to next Wednesday. Just more days that I can't run. It's making me nuts!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Memphis Marathon Weekend

Sorry if this is long but read on if you dare.

The St Jude's Marathon is now over but it was a whirlwind weekend for Annette and I. Me as a spectator. Annette as a full marathon finisher. And I'll have to say, I am pretty proud of her. She ran 20 miles without a walk break and set a new marathon PR of 4:57:53. This was her 5th marathon and her 4th this year. Amazing!!

We left Friday morning meeting a caravan of Cabot Cruisers at Brenda's house around 10am. The initial count by Vicki was that there was going to be at least 35 Cabot Cruisers at the race either doing the full or the half. Vicki was doing the 5k even. We hit the road with the official Cruiser caravan and the funny thing was, it was three Honda CRV's and all with 26.2 stickers on the back.

We arrived at the expo around 12:30 and got our packets and made the rounds. I was a little disappointed that the expo was so small. I guess it was maybe bigger than Little Rock but there was no comparison at all to Nashville. Memphis may have been smaller than Tulsa in fact. Nashville was so crowed you couldn't even walk. Memphis you could look around and chat all you wanted which was nice. Afterwards we all got checked in at the Marriott and started thinking about where to eat dinner. It was soon determined that we would eat at the hotel since they were having a pasta buffet. Around 5 we met in the lobby and took over the restaurant. There were other Cruisers that had arrived and I think we must have had 20-25 there by that time with more arriving. It was pretty cool to see that our one little town had this many runners here.

After dinner we hung out and chatted, sat down with James and Michele while they ate dinner and also went to a 25 year wedding anniversary toast for Don and Tammy. Pretty busy night and it was still fairly early. Since I wasn't racing, I could really see and feel the stress and tension everyone had. Wondering what to wear, what the weather was going to be like, what to eat, did they have their nutrition right, what pace they were running and the list went on. We even walked back over to the Expo with a few of the crew then it was time to head to the room.

That was another story too. For some reason we had gotten a room with two double beds and Jane, who had her son and a friend with her, only got a single king bed. We were staying two nights and she was only staying one but to make things easier for them, Annette offered to swap rooms for the night. No big deal, happy to do it. Only problem was, late check out was 2pm and we had to get our stuff back in our original room by then. That meant that the girls would have to run the marathon and be back at the hotel within 6 hours. Well, Annette really didn't want to think about that the night before and I didn't push the issue. She had stuff laid all over the room trying to figure out what to wear. It was very interesting to say the least because the marathon had totally taken over everyone at that point. I think we finally got to bed at 10 maybe. Set the alarm for 4:50. Of course, hotel rooms always suck and it was hard to sleep.

Annette was up and going at 5am so she could eat. By 5:30 she was getting up and starting to get ready. Think I made it up around 6, headed down to the coffee shop and got coffee. The group was all meeting at 6:50 to head to the race start. I wanted to see them off but I really didn't want to go to the start as it was about 28 degrees or less and you really can't see anyone in that mass group of people. Instead, I came up with the plan for the support crew in the group to go to the corner of Popular and Main to cheer everyone on. That would be just past mile 3. We got a couple photos before everyone left then the rest of us had a little time.

Just past 8am, James, Bob, Cindy and myself headed to the corner to cheer on the runners. It was very cold and it was windy too. This was one time it would have been better being a runner because at least the running would warm you up some. We got to see the lead vehicle and then the lead runners come through. The first two were very fast and obviously just running the 1/2. About a block back came a group of Kenyans who all appeared to be running the full marathon. One of our runners was not too far behind them though. Josh who is very fast was maybe a couple blocks behind them and this was his first marathon.

We saw several of our runners and it was fun cheering everyone on as they came by. I would often tell the people running that they were warmer than I was. I don't even remember who all we saw. We wanted to see everyone but we missed a bunch in the traffic. I hope we gave some of the runners a boost at least. And we hung out there in the bitter cold till probably past the 5:30 runners. By then we had to go get warm and headed back to the hotel with hopes of breakfast.

After checking our time, Bob informed us that he didn't have time for breakfast as he wanted to see Lisa finish the half. She is very fast so she was expected around 1:40ish. We didn't have over an hour so we opted for coffee and some got a snack there. We lucked out and caught the warm trolley and headed for Autozone Park and the finish line. It was a good thing we did things the was we did. It wasn't 3 minutes after we got there and Lisa and Rock's name was called out as coming in to the finish line. The finish line for the half wasn't really where you could see it good so James and I ended up going over to the food. Since both of us had paid to race and couldn't, we used our number to get us some free race food. After all, we paid big money for this little perk!

After killing a little time talking and walking around, it wasn't long till we were in the 2:30 time range. We all knew that Josh was shooting for maybe a 2:45 marathon time so we sat and waited in the bleachers to watch for him. Time passed but there was still plenty for him as he needed a 3:10 to Boston qualify. Just past the 3:00 time we saw him run in the stadium. He crossed the line showing 3:02 but officially it was a 3:01. Amazing time for his first marathon! I also forgot to mention that I got to see the marathon winner come in and finish. That was pretty awesome too!

We knew it would be at least an hour before we had anyone else come in so James and I headed over to the Peabody to see if they were showing the pay per view fight Saturday night. After that we headed back to the hotel and I had intentions of getting our bags moved back to our original room. We did luck out and catch the trolley so it only took maybe 5-10 minutes to get there. Still plenty of time for me to get back to the finish line. When I got to my room my key wouldn't work so I had to go back downstairs to get another one. But, Jane's son was at the stadium and not the hotel so I couldn't move our bags back. Time was running out and I had to get back to the finish line to watch Brenda finish so I took off. Unfortunately the trolleys were all going the other way and I had 15 minutes before the 4:00 race time mark. Brenda needed a 4:00:59 to BQ and I was determined to not miss seeing her make it. I ended up running and walking all the way back to the stadium. Walked in and the clock was showing 3:58 I think. I found Cindy and asked her if Brenda had come in yet and she said no. I knew there was some cushion though because the race was chip timed and it could have been 10-15 minutes to cross the start. I was hoping at least for Brenda who had worked and trained so hard for this race. Something told me though that the extreme cold temps had slowed some people down and I was right. As the clock ticked past the 4:01 time we all got more and more anxious. Our little group of spectators was almost chanting, "come on Brenda," "come on Brenda". Well, she gave it her all and it was just not the day to do it. Her final time was 4:07 and change I think. Still an awesome time but the course and weather conditions just didn't let the BQ happen. I have no doubt that it will happen on the next one! Next came Andrea, Bailey, Michele, Robert and Jane.

Annette had called me when she was at mile 22 pretty upset. She was cramping and was having to walk. I told her to take some electrolytes and drink some water. This was all before Brenda came in and I kept texting her trying to keep her updated. She sent me a text later saying she was at mile 24. I knew her ultimate goal of 4:45 was not going to happen but her under 5 hour goal was still doable. If only we knew what time her garmin had! It was like sitting on pins and needles watching the race clock as it went past the 5:00 mark. Brenda said her time was almost 15 minutes off so that was encouraging. Then as the clock was about to show 5:10 I saw a lady in pink come running in. It was Jackie. And then behind her was Annette. They were going to finish right together. It was an awesome sight. They crossed as the clock said 5:11 something but everyone said they were under 5 hours. That was all that mattered. I took off to meet them. The bad thing about this marathon is that afterwards, all the runners have to walk up stairs to get out of the stadium. Is that cruel or what?? Anyway, I was there at the top when Jackie and Annette made it there. Annette was happy but pretty upset that she missed her 4:45. She said a cop let a car through an intersection and she had to stop running real fast which caused her to cramp up. Irregardless her 4:57:53 is an awesome time and a big PR for her. Kelly finished a few minutes back behind Annette and she also had a big PR.

Unfortunately I couldn't stay around to celebrate. It was 1:30 pm and I had to have our stuff out of that room by 2:00. So I took off leaving Annette with the others. Luckily Jane and the boys had already went that way too. Again I missed the trolley so I fast walked it back. And again, my room key wouldn't work. Got new ones, they wouldn't work. Finally the maid let me in as she saw all the trouble I was having to go through. She must have wondered what the hell was going on when she saw me moving bag after bag from one room to the other. I just said, we are crazy runners! All the while this was going on Annette was calling telling me they had walked to a Mexican Restaurant to eat and for Jane and I to come join them. Once we had everything situated we took off for the restaurant. Again we missed the trolley but it was good for Jane to get some walking in anyway. Had some good food and a couple beers at the Mexican place. All the marathon finishers were hobbling around. Must have been at least 15 of us that ate there.

We lucked out and made the trolley back to the hotel. When we got back Jane and her gang started grabbing their bags to head home. One of the maids knocked on the door and handed us some shoes. I guess I had left a pair of Annette's running shoes in the other room. The maid had remembered the room we were in because of all of the confusion. Robert and Kelly also had stuff in our room so it was a whirlwind again, everyone getting their stuff and changing to head home.

Annette and I stayed the night and later met up with James, Michele, Phil, Jackie, Bob, Lisa, Ken and Debbie. Made it down to Beale Street for some food, fun and more walking. Ended up at BB King's place where Annette and I even got some dancing in. I was amazed that she could dance after running a marathon! We also got to see a parade of Santa Claus's walking down Beale Street. Now that was a weird sight!! We were all back at the hotel before midnight. It was a fun night with some great friends and running companions.

Unfortunately neither Annette or I got a good nights sleep. The room was either too hot or the pillows were too flat. I ended up getting up pretty early, got coffee and then we ended up meeting James and Michele for a breakfast buffet. It was awesome! Headed home about 10:45 ending an awesome weekend in Memphis. Hopefully next year it won't be as cold and maybe I'll get to run St Jude's for once.

I'll try to post some photos that I took later.

Friday, December 5, 2008

It's A Stone

I got a call about 8:30am yesterday that the doctors office had finally gotten everything approved to have my CT scan done. They wanted to get it done that morning so I agreed to be there at 10:15 and try to get it over with. Not knowing and wondering was getting to be a pain. Got in pretty fast, the CT scan was nothing. Laid me on this table and the lower part of my body went in this big round hole on this big white machine. It wasn't one of those whole body things. It was over in 15 minutes and I was on my way. They said the doctor would call if they found anything.

Had a lunch scheduled with my managers and some vendors at Olive Garden at noon. Just as we were finishing up my phone rang and it was the doctors office. I had to answer. The nurse told me I had a kidney stone. And that it was 7mm in size and that I needed to be at the Urologist at 2pm. I was relieved to know it was a stone. I was a little worried at how fast she was wanting to get me in to the Urologist. 7mm seemed big to me. Actually, that's just a little over a 1/4 inch in diameter. Since I was just up the street from that doctors office I waited a few and headed on over. Didn't know what they were going to do. Had to fill out paper work there and wait probably an hour and a half before I went back. First thing they do as I'm walking down the hall is give me a cup and told me to pee in this. Got that over with then went to a room and waited on the doctor.

When the doctor came in he asked a few questions and I explained the "how it started after I was running" story. He said that made total sense. That the running makes the stone move around and causes a little blood to pass. He said my stone was too big to actually pass down the tubes so they would need to crush it by doing what they call lithotripsy. This machine uses extracorporeal shock wave technology to break the kidney stone into small pieces so it can pass out your system. Not a major deal, just an outpatient thing. He said mine did not hurt because kidney stones usually don't cause pain until they start passing down the urinary tract tubes and mine was just sitting there. He said there was no immediate rush to get it done like right now, but it had to be done, otherwise over long term you would have kidney damage because of the blockage. So, long story short, I am scheduled for December 15th to have the procedure done. He said no running for sure as this causes the stone to move around. So, at least I still get to go to Memphis. I was worried that I was going to have to sit home and use a strainer all weekend to see if the stones pass. I still get to enjoy the race.

So, me and my stone are headed to Memphis for the weekend!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Well I am not running the 1/2 at Memphis Saturday. I will be there for support and join several of the other guys as spectators. After doing my long run Monday night, mid morning on Tuesday I had a little blood show in my urine again. That's always a weird feeling even if it is just a very small drop. Still haven't heard back from the doctor when my CT scan will be so its a wait and see game right now. I do know that running makes whatever it is worse or aggravates it. Because for 13 days of non running, I had no issues and nothing what so ever was visible. Then the first time I run, boom the next day I have it and felt like crap. So, I figured there was no need to feel bad on Sunday after the race if I didn't have to. Lucky for me there are at least 4-5 other runners that are not racing that is in our club so I will hang with them and we will have fun. One other good thing, the weather at race start is suppose to be pretty cold so most likely, I will still be inside where its warm, at least till its time for the 1/2 marathoners to come in. I want to be there at the finish for them but especially for Brenda and Josh who are trying to Boston Qualify. They have worked so hard, especially Brenda and I know she is going to do it. It's going to be awesome watching them achieve their goals.

Annette is shooting for a 4:45 I think & she can do that with no problem if she doesn't have a lot of bathroom issues. My Tulsa marathon partner Jane, will be shooting for a 4:30 I think so I'm crossing my fingers that they will all make it. Several others will also be running the full, Kelly, Robert, Michele, Jackie and I'm sure more that I will forget to mention. Should be a lot of fun even if I'm not running. Wishing I had one of those really good SLR digital cameras now. Maybe one of these days.

Good luck to everyone racing and I hope you achieve your goal.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

New Treadmill Record

I set a new distance record on my treadmill last night. 8.5 miles. Probably set a new record for slowest time too. Average pace, 12:02. Think I could have walked almost that fast. First couple miles were good, 10:04 and 10:31 pace but pretty much went downhill after that. Maybe not all so bad considering a stressful day and the fact that I haven't ran in 13 days. I could have ran faster but my heart rate was so high I backed down. Maybe it was from the temperature or maybe it was just from the day. Either way averaged like 174bpm and that's too high for me on a slow easy run. Legs and foot felt good, started feeling a little towards the end but at least the foot isn't hurting bad. Actually could have went a few more miles. They would have been slow but I figured I better not. I actually enjoy the treadmill sometimes when the Ipod has some good songs and there is something to look at on the tv.

Now the bad, went yesterday and did my pee test again. I figured it would be perfect. Wrong. They called me back late yesterday afternoon and said I still had the microscopic blood. May not be anything but they want to do a CT Scan and see a urologist. Needless to say, this will screw up your game plan, especially the not knowing what the hell is going on part. May not be anything, but they want to do more tests to make sure. I don't mind the CT thing at all. But thinking about some urologist running a camera up the front end is pretty scary. I'd rather run in a burning house. So, now its a wait and see when I get to do this. Then the big question is, can I run Memphis? That's this weekend. Of course if I ask they would probably tell me no, but I really don't see what it would hurt at this point.

I hate waiting and wondering.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Trying to Maintain

Just trying to keep my endurance till I can get back to running on Monday. So today my goal was to walk as fast as I could for 1 hour. Actually surprised me how fast it went by, even on the treadmill. Ended up doing a total of 4.5 miles. Jacked up the incline on the treadmill to get my heart rate up and with the fast turnover, it was pretty easy to sit close to 160bpm. Wish I had done more of the walking thing back during the summer. The good thing is it has no impact on my plantar facittis at all. Hope doing this helps, if not I am doomed next weekend at the 1/2.

Walking stats for the day:
4.5 miles - 1:04:16
hit 4.3m in 1:00:00

Does this mean I'm goal oriented since I'm tracking walking pace?? Probably.


Here is the URL for the video in the previous post. I guess Youtube or the owner decided they would no longer allow this one to be embedded. Good video and song though.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Lonestar - Mountains

This is still one of the most motivating songs I know of. It has helped get me through many long runs. Every time I hear it I want to reach down deep for whatever extra is there. Like the song says, "you can't lean on no one else, that's when you find yourself", "the good lord gave us mountains, so we could learn how to climb"........
That's just a few of the words, I think the whole morale of the song is that we all can do outstanding things if we really want to and set our mind to do it. Listen to this next time you need that extra push.

Turkey Day Maximum Fat Burn

Well I got a good pre-thanksgiving meal workout in. Spent 1:18:33 in my home gym. 31:00 minutes on weights, core, abs and threw some leg presses in. Then I hit the treadmill for some walking. It is so hard not to run. Especially when you look at the beautiful weather we are having today. Sunny and 55 or so at 11:30am. Perfect running weather. But, since I had to hold back for a few more days, I challenged myself to see how fast or how much faster I could get just walking.

Actually speed walking is kind of fun. It's a lot like running but you just don't get the miles done as fast. I'm sure there are ways to increase the pace and if I was stuck to walking I'd start playing around with different techniques. As it is I just want to see how much I can improve from the last time. I do know that swinging your arms like in running makes walking faster much easier.

So I started out at 4.0 mph on the treadmill then pretty quickly increased it to 4.3. Varied the incline from flat to 3.0 just get some hills in. Most of the time my heart rate was around 160 or a little less which is almost but not quite where my marathon heart rate normally is. Ended up doing 3 miles in 42:55 which is a 14:18 pace. Kind of funny that I'm trying to lower my pace walking. Again, it really was not bad, even on the dreadmill. It was a fast pace, had to keep my legs turning over pretty good but never running or jogging. Had my garmin on to keep up with my heart rate and it showed an average of 145 for 1:18:33. It didn't calculate my calories for some reason but from experience on the bike, this gets me probably around 1100 calories burnt. Now I can go eat!!

Next time your bored with running or just don't want the impact, try some fast walking and just see how fast you can walk 3 miles. Maybe it will help in your next marathon or event. If nothing else, the lower heart rate will burn a ton of calories.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Not Running

Well my blood tests came back today and they were perfect so here I am, not running till Monday so I can make the doctor happy. I've had no issues since last Thursday when I went to the doctor so now I feel like I did all this for nothing. Guess its better to be safe than sorry but it is messing up my training. I'll go in Monday and pee in a cup just to satisfy the doctor, but I'm 99% sure it will be good. Everything adds up to me now. 1) I was a little dehydrated from being in Vegas the week before. 2) Ran some good tough runs, three 5 milers with no water on any of them and I am not used to that, even when its cool. 3) The cooler weather I have to force myself to drink more water. Since last week I have been drinking a lot more and I can tell the difference. 4) I still think I may have had some kind of bug or something on that Friday and that could have further caused me to dehydrate some. From that, it all makes sense a little, but it sure has screwed up my training for Memphis.

Since I haven't been running, Sunday I had to do something. I did about an hour on the weight machine and also did some core and ab work. Then I hit the treadmill and walked 1.5 miles at a fast pace. And NO, I didn't run. Annette told me, "you better not be running", was kind of funny hearing that. Guess when people tell you that you know you must be a runner that's injured or sick.

Not to be outdone I hit the weights and treadmill again on Monday night. This time I only did a 1 mile walk. Did it in 16 minutes and could have walked a little faster. I really think its not a bad idea to practice speed walking some. I know now that I can at least walk 4 miles per hour with no problem. That would give me about a 6:30 marathon if I walked the whole thing. May have to implement some walking next weekend at the 1/2 in Memphis but I hope not. After I go back to the doc on Monday I'll probably do an 8 or 9 miler on the treadmill. Sounds bad, but I think I can occupy myself better on that then running in the dark probably alone most of the time. I really need one good run with that kind of miles but I feel pretty strong and the 12 miler I did a few weeks back was not that bad at all.

Let me tell ya, it's hard not to run when you can. Much easier not to run when your injured but just waiting is the worst.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Another Racing Season Winds Down

The Spa 10k was held today and it was the last race of the season for the Arkansas Grand Prix Series. I did not get to race it, but there will be another race. Maybe next year.

Sitting here tonight I thought back on the season and the races I did get to run. 12 in fact in the Grand Prix Series not counting many others that were not part of that. There were 22 races in the series this year and Curtis, who is one of the runners on the Cruiser team, ran every one of them. He will be given an Ironman trophy along with not more than 5 others that ran every race. Let me tell you, that is a feat in itself to make every race of the year, all 22 of them! We even raced a 10k on a Saturday this year then drove about 175 miles to run a half marathon the next day. My plantar facittis injury took me out of most of the races since June but I was still able to score some points for the team even running extremely slow.

I'll have to say it's been a fun year and pending a doctor telling me NO I will be running the 1/2 in Memphis in two weeks. Should be a perfect ending to the year in racing.

The Grand Prix will start back up on January 25th and continue till November 28th next year. Only 20 races for 2009 so I hope to run the majority of them. Easy to look forward and say that. But I remember many races that we went to this year that I asked myself why?? Like the Survivor Classic 5K in Fort Smith. 6 hours of driving to run a 5k?? And we didn't even get team points, but we still got our individual points. Not that it helped me much. It still will be a much better finish for me this year compared to last. The past two years I have been competing in the 45-49 year age group which is the toughest and fastest in the state. Next year I will move in the 50+ age group. Times are starting to come down a little so maybe there is still hope for a slow runner like me. Maybe by 60 I can start winning some awards!

Off from running for a few days here but the planning for next year has already begun. Everyone should start thinking about their goals for next year and how to achieve them. I know I will be.

Happy running!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Even the best of plans get messed up

Well I am officially not running the Spa 10k this weekend.

Ever since I was sick last Friday I had noticed different and weird colors in my urine. Not really anything unusual as endurance sports does cause different colors due to hydration levels. I just figured that I was dehydrated. With the cooler weather I know I'm not drinking enough water and I have been running longer without drinking than normal. Rested all day Saturday, drank a lot of water. Rested Sunday then ran again 3 miles. Monday started getting the weird colors again. Got some cranberry juice and started drinking that. Have been feeling fine all through that. Felt great yesterday and then saw just a very small drop of blood in my urine. Figured it was time to call the doc then.

Went today and saw my doc. Had me do a pee test. He said there was microscopic blood particles in it and that he thinks its just from the running. Seems there is a condition called "Joggers Hermaturia", where the bladder bounces around and the bouncing can cause blood. I guess it's pretty common in runners and probably a lot of people don't even realize that its happening. In fact, he told me he had a local runner in there today with the exact same problem, and that he knew I knew them but he couldn't say who it was. Weird to have two with this kind of problem the same day in a small town like Cabot.

He also ran some blood tests to check my kidney functions but I won't know the results on that for a day or so. They said they would call me. He told me that he would like for me to not run for 10 days then get checked again. If nothing shows up then it's most likely caused from running. If something does show up, then they want to do a CT Scan and run a tube up places I don't want. Yuck.

So there you have it, I can run, but I can't run. It still leaves me open to run the half in Memphis I suppose if everything is OK. 10 days off will for sure hurt my chances for a PR. Sure wish the weather was warmer so I could bike more.

Hope to know more soon, till then I'll be thinking about all of you running in the cold while I'm warm and getting fat!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tuesday Night

Feeling much better today. Still not sure what the heck I had or have. Did run 3 miles Sunday afternoon but it wasn't at all pleasant. I was really disappointed in missing my chance at a great weeks worth of mileage.

This week is COLD. Took Monday off to get well and tonight I had Fire Department training which was basically a bitch session on what needs fixed in the department. It is so hard to have happy people in a volunteer organization and then you add all males, with a bunch of macho, I know more than you type people and your going to have bitching. Like I told them all last week, business is slow (no fires) so everyone has more time on their hands so all they have to do is gripe and moan about whats not getting done and who is not doing any work. And wait till there is an officers position open. Talk about one being better than the other. It's not the pay that's for sure, because that equals ZERO. So why would someone even want to be an officer? More responsibility? More to do? Well, some just want to be able to boss people around and then there are some that just want to have a tittle. The best do it because they are leaders.

When it's all said and done, when it's time to do battle with the fiery beast, we do all come together and will do whatever it takes to get the job done to save life or property. Most of all, we will take care of each other. After all, we are brothers, and brothers always fight but we are still family always no matter what.

Not sure where I was going with that but back to running, I still plan to run the Spa 10k Saturday if I'm feeling good. Hoping to get a run in Wednesday night and maybe Thursday too. Suppose to be cold, may opt out for the treadmill. We shall see.

Stay warm and safe out there.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Down for the count

Had a good run Thursday night, again meeting up at Michele's for another 5 miler. This was supposed to be a little easier and it was to a degree. We ran the Krooked Creek area so it wasn't quite as hilly as Blooming Ridge is but it still had the rolling hills. Ended up with a 10:27 pace for non-stop 5 miles.

Now I am sick. Friday morning I didn't feel really good then about 10am I started having hot flashes and sweating. Fever. I actually felt like I do when I give blood and almost pass out. Not sure what was up with that. Ended up going home once I felt like I could drive. Must have had fever the rest of the day. Just achy, sometimes hot and sometimes cold. Still ended up working from home as we had several conference calls scheduled. It was so hard to sit on the phone for 30-45 minutes at a time. I almost fell asleep a couple times. From 10:30 till 4:30 was on and off calls so I was never so glad when they were done. Felt achy and like I could barely move last night.

Much better this morning but no where near 100%. I'm thinking it must be a bug that's been going around. All I know is that after a great week of training, I may end up missing my long run. I guess I will know tomorrow as to how I feel. I am not planning on anything early tomorrow for sure. I really needed about 13 miles, but I guess I'll get whatever I get. Kind of frustrating, if its not work stuff its injuries or now sickness keeping me from getting my miles.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Another Fast 5

Last night I met up with Annette, Michele, Brenda and Kelly at Michele's house for what was supposed to be your normal everyday run. Annette, Brenda and Michele started a little early and Kelly and I ran about half a mile or so to warm up before we saw them. Then we were off to the races.

Michele was on fire last night. We were all having trouble staying up with her. We were running through Blooming ridge which is nothing but rolling hills. To make things even harder, it had to be 100% humidity or close to it because it was foggy and the streets were all wet. If anyone would have taken a walk break I would have too but we didn't and we all just kept running. Not much conversation going on, we were all gasping for air it seemed. I wrote it off to the humidity then afterwards when I saw my splits I knew I was running at almost 10k race pace. Even towards the end Brenda let Michele go on. They had gotten ahead of the rest of us and they had to be running 8:30 miles.

I finished with 5.01 miles for the night. When we walked the last block as a cool down Kelly said she felt like she was about to get sick. It was one of those runs. Great training though for the upcoming Spa 10K next weekend.

Here are my splits.....I'm still amazed. I have never ran this route this fast. It has some tough hills!
5.01 miles - 49:37 - 9:55 avg.

Monday, November 10, 2008

5 Milers

I didn't even get to blog about last Monday nights run with Annette, Brenda and Jane so I will now. As some of you may know, Annette had just ran the Wynne Marathon on that previous Saturday. So Monday night was her first night to run again. She was determined to get 5 miles and of course I told her she didn't need that many but that was like talking to a brick wall.

We started out from the Community Center at 6:15pm, it was about 55 degrees so not too hot and not too cold. My goal was to do 5 miles and stay around a 10:30 pace. First mile we ended up with a 10:26. Right on pace. Then Annette started getting faster. Second mile was a 10:07. I started asking her what was going on and that she better slow down. Think that fueled the fire maybe. Third mile was a 10:04. Still getting faster. OK, I was starting to feel like I was in a race just to keep up. By mile 4 Jane was thinking the same thing. Of course Brenda runs low 9's so she was comfortable. We started kidding Annette asking her if we made her mad or something. You are not suppose to run like this after just doing a marathon! Well, mile 4 was even faster. 9:46. I guess I started running out of gas cause mile 5 slowed to a 10:01. Thank god it was over! I know that's not that fast for some but it was fast for me just coming off an injury. if I had been racing a 10k, I would have had a PR.

Final time was 5.0 miles in 50:30 for a 10:06 average pace. I loved the negative splits too! Best of all, I never had a walk break or even water. 5 miles solid running and really it was at a comfortable pace.

This is kinda starting to freak me out. I have always been one who liked to run/walk. Now, all of a sudden I can run 5 miles non stop, not even wanting to stop. And my legs and foot felt great which even more so made me question what was going on. Maybe my recovery is over and I'm back in race mode.

Didn't get to run while I was in Vegas but I did get a lot of walking. I roughly figured it up and I walked at least 22 miles in the two and a half days I was there. Didn't run Sunday, my feet and legs were a little sore from all the walking so I figured I would just call it a week. Only 5 miles logged running so that sucked but I think with all the walking it really had no affect on hurting my training.

Tonight i ran 5 miles on the treadmill. And again, non-stop, no water..................this is becoming a habit, and a good one for me I think. Now I'm starting to wonder how far I can go. 6 miles? 7 miles? 10? Do the whole half? Well, I know I will have to walk to drink a little, especially in the half. By the way, I am officially signed up for the Memphis Half Marathon. I will also be doing the Spa 10k in two weeks so that will be a prep race for the half to get a feel of what I can and can't do. My goals for both are new PR's which I think are realistic and achievable. We shall see.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


I have been in Vegas since Wednesday for Automotive Repair Week. Has been very busy, dinner with BASF on Wednesday night. Almost all day Thursday was spent at the NACE Trade Show which is all about auto body repair equipment. Thursday night was a party at House of Blues put on by Enterprise Rent a Car. Then me and my counter part from St Louis headed out on the town, ending up at Coyote Ugly at New York New York till almost 2am. What a fun place!! Not even standing room it is so packed.

Friday was spent at the SEMA Show. This is "THE SHOW" for anything automotive. Though it was obvious attendance was down. This is all about specialty equipment, oems, pretty much anything automotive or custom. Guess you could say its a lot of bling bling. Can't say how many miles it covers in the convention center and outside. It is dominated by west coast people that's for sure. If you love cars this is the show, which the general public can't get in unless your in the business. I do have to give a thumbs up for ESPN Sports Zone at New York New York. Best food, best service I have had in Vegas.

We stayed at the Hampton Inn Tropicana which is off the strip but a nice hotel. Not in the best neighborhood but within walking distance of the strip which we did. I don't know yet how many miles of walking I did but it has to be at least 30. Hope I can count that as training miles!!

Here are some pics from Vegas and the SEMA show. I am off to catch a plane back to Little Rock!

Whats Vegas without the fountains at Belagio

Just a view

New Dodge Truck

Chrome Paint

Big ass truck!! And people buy these to drive around.

My next Ford Truck-The Raptor

You can't buy this on the showroom yet, totally custom

This is a Pontiac, like an El Camino

Black Camaro

Yellow Camaro Custom

One of my favorites- new "Cuda"

Another BIG truck - flat paint color is in

Totally Show SSR - everything opens to music

Monday, November 3, 2008

Sweat Gutr

For those of you like me whose head sweats buckets, I have finally found the perfect solution. Ever since I started running I have tried hats, sweat bands, bondi bands, nothing, towels, anything to keep the sweat out of my eyes. Well, I have found the one. It's called the Sweat Gutr. It's kind of like a head band but its made out of plastic, just over 1/4 inch wide and you wrap it around your head. In the front it has a gutter or channel that the sweat will run into and then it goes off to the side. In my case it felt like it went to the back of my head which is awesome.

There is nothing more frustrating then having to stop your run to wipe sweat from your eyes and so far, after using it on two runs, I have yet to get any in my eyes. I could feel a little building up on my brow but I could have probably lowered the gutr and that wouldn't have happened. In any case, I'd highly recommend one of these. Will be great on the bike too, in fact that's what it is designed for I think. Another good thing is you can wear a hat with it and it doesn't get in the way, unlike a sweat band or bondi band. I couldn't even tell I had it on.

Here is a picture and the link to their website. Most bike shops have these.


PS: I will take sponsorships :)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Trying Something New

Ever since I started running I have been more of a run/walk type of runner. A lot of times I would run really fast, then burn out, have to walk, then do it again. Sometimes I just didn't have the endurance. Sometimes I think it was just mental. Sometimes maybe I thought that walking would make my legs feel better, even if it was just a short 30 seconds. Something has changed as of today. Not sure if its endurance, weather, or just some mental block I had to over come but today was different. Today I never even wanted to walk.

This morning's run was suppose to be a recovery run from yesterdays 12 miler. So when I started out I thought I'd just try and stay around a 10:30 pace. I needed 4 miles to hit my goal for the week so to top it off, I challenged myself not to walk during any of it. I didn't take water so I couldn't use a water break for an excuse. The new sweat gutr was even working good so no sweat in my eyes. First mile went good, 10:29. Second mile, slow and steady 10:28. Third mile I decided to pick things up a little at times then ease back some. Had a 10:09 for it. Fourth mile was a 10:15 and I ended up getting an extra .2 on top of that. And it was hot. The sun had gotten up good as I didn't start till about 9 so when I was running without shade I was sweating pretty good. My breathing almost amazed me. It was almost like walking. And no lactic acid build up in my legs. They felt great, no foot pain. I'd have to say this was almost the perfect run. 4.2 miles, 10:18 average pace and negative splits to top it off. I was pretty happy. And that was slow and steady, not pushing anything. Just strictly endurance training. Why can't all my runs be like this?

Recovery has been great so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I have pretty much decided to run the half at Memphis and try to have a big PR. I really want to do the full but I know my best bet is to do the half and keep training for Huntington Beach in February. If things continue as they have, I will have an awesome marathon then. Doing the full at Memphis would not be pretty, but I could do it. And I am still not ruling it out 100%, but at least 90% anyway.

I am off to Vegas on Wednesday to attend a trade show for work so I will be limited on how much I can run this coming week. It's suppose to be a back down week on my schedule anyway but who wants to back down?? I just want to get better and faster. I am hoping slow and steady will get me there.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Saturday Run

Sorry for the lack of posting this week. Annette and I left Monday morning for meetings in Memphis and didn't get back till late Tuesday. Seems like from there on I have been playing catch up. I did manage one mid week run. 4 miles on the treadmill on Wednesday night. Was one of those nights that I was lucky just to get it done. Always seems harder to get my runs in during the week.

Saturday morning I met up with a bunch of the Cruisers at Central Elementary. I wanted 10 miles minimum. Annette, Kelly, Michele and some others were off doing the Wynne Mid-South Marathon as a "suppose to be" training run. Jane did not go so I ended up running with her from the school. Brenda and some of the other fast girls left us in the dust but that was ok. We kept up a great pace I thought. First 6 miles was a 10:23 average and I felt good. Started slowing some after that for some reason but unlike last weekend's long run, I never had any pains in my knees or legs. The foot was ok, not perfect by no means but not painful. More or less just a nagging type of low pain at times. Pretty much what I dealt with before orthotics.

The weather was great, start of the run was 52 degrees and humid at 6am. First 6 miles was pretty much in the dark which is good. We couldn't see the hills! Not many on the route we took but there were a few. Not many walk breaks either. Pretty much only a short water break every two miles and I could have gone furthur. I figured I better practice what I'd do in the marathon though and I will definatly need water every two miles at least.

I'll have to say Jane is a great running partner, helped get me through Tulsa injured last year and today was no different. I know she could have run faster than me today and I was thankfull to have the company. I actually hit the 10 mile mark with a 10:46 average pace, the same as my 10 miler last weekend. We ended up adding on a little at the end to make it 12 miles total. I wasn't sure how I would feel or if I could do 12 but when we had hit 11 I knew I was going to do 12 and I'm glad I did.

Here were my splits, there at the end I should have kept pushing a little harder.
Total Run - 12 Miles - 2:11:10 - 10:56 avg pace

By the way congratulations to Annette, Kelly and Michele. Finished the Wynne Marathon in 5:28. Good training run!!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Running early in the dark

Started running this morning at 5:00am from the Community Center with Kelly and Jamie. Kelly had mentioned earlier in the week that she needed a long run before work on Saturday, so since I wasn't racing anywhere and needed 10 miles, I volunteered. I was having seconds thoughts as to why I would do such a thing Friday night when I saw that the temps were going to be in the lower 40's. Jamie read a post on the Cruiser forum that we were running at 5 so she decided to jump in there with us.

Getting up at 4am to go run is almost insane. Especially when its 40 degrees outside. The lowest it has been this fall in fact. Once I got there and got started I was glad I did. We just ran a big loop route, looping through various neighborhoods to make our way back. It was almost surreal, no traffic, everything quiet except for us talking as we ran. Pretty much we had the city to ourselves which is pretty cool in itself.

The cooler temps made for one of the best runs I have had all year. We took very few walk breaks, maybe one every 2-2.5 miles if that. I finished with an average pace of 10:46 for 10 miles. I looked back in my training log and that was the best 10 mile training pace I have had all year. Whats up with that?? Must have been the cold, the dark and the other runners helping me push through the pain. And we ran some hills too. Best of all we were done before 7am so the whole day is ahead of us now.

I could feel my foot through the whole run, not bad but I could tell it was still hurting some. Tomorrow will tell how well my recovery is. At this point I guess I am just pushing the foot to see how much it can take or hopefully, make it stronger so it doesn't hurt. Plantar has to be the worst possible running injury there is.

Its all good though when your running early in the dark!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

St. Louis Fire Department- Quint vs Quint accident

If you haven't seen this twelve seconds of video, make sure you do. It is the close-up view of the two rigs that crashed in St. Louis on October 10, injuring eight firefighters. This is pretty powerful stuff. Remember, all eight firefighters were wearing seat belts and there were no life threatening injuries.

Getting the miles

Starting to get a few running miles for a change.

Monday night jumped on the treadmill for 3 or 4 but only ended up getting 2.3 as I got called out on a vehicle accident with the FD. My hamstrings were singing to me though. Must have been from the hard bike ride on Sunday afternoon.

Wednesday night Annette and I met Brenda and Kelly at the Community Center for a good night run. It was a good run I guess. I was slower than I wanted to be. But my goal stands just to stay around 10:20-10:30. Well, I am not there yet, or at least not last night. It was still a little warm to me, and once my head starts sweating bad, I'll have to walk just to get the sweat out of my eyes. Wish I had a good solution for that. I have tried different hats, bondi bands, etc. Think I'll get one of those sweat gutters that they sell at the bike shops and try. Once it gets cold it won't be as bad.

Anyway, I did end up getting 5.3 miles in, even though I walked a few times. My heart rate was getting up pretty good, must have been the heat and humidity, plus the route we ran had several inclines on it. Some of those kinda creep up on you. They look like a small incline but they are really long, slow, inclines. Averaged an 11:06 pace, actually thought it was much better than that but that's what my garmin said. I know we started out pretty fast at the beginning and Annette had to stop at Phillips 66 just before mile 1 so Brenda and I kinda slow jogged to wait on her. This brought the average down a lot but its all good. I got the miles and that's all I'm after right now. If the foot holds up to the mileage, then I can start working on the speed again.

It does suck to know that in April, I was running 9:20's for a longer distance than that. I ran a 9:35 average in February for the 15k. I looked back at my Nashville Marathon splits and at mile 20 I was averaging 11:07. I also have to take into account it was cooler then, though June I ran in the upper 7's for a 2 mile race. Sucks to be slow but I have come to the conclusion that I will never be a fast runner, but I hope to get back where I can at least cover the distance again.

It's all good though, any running is better than none at all. Even if your slow at it.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Multisport Sunday

This is starting to be a Sunday regular. Run in the morning then bike hard in the afternoon. A good way to burn calories that's for sure. Past two Sundays I have burnt over 2500 calories each day. Not bad.

This morning started with a great run with my lovely wife Annette. We haven't gotten to run long together in a while and I really wanted to get in 8 miles. So we started out around 9am. No rush to get out the door, it was still nice and cool out, sunny and probably around 50 degrees or so. The sun makes it feel a lot warmer though.

We ran one of Annette's routes that she runs with the girls some mornings and it was great. We held a nice steady pace up to just past mile 3 when Annette started having some stomach issues and she had to stop and walk. We ended up running on to Knights so she could use the potty. On the return trip we had to stop again at Phillips 66 but really other than that we pretty much ran the whole time. On the way back Annette wanted to head straight to the house but I only needed about a mile or less to hit my 8 mile goal so I made a loop around one of the neighborhoods. Finished up with 8 miles at an 11:04 average pace. In reality the pace was much better, we pretty much stayed at around a 10:30 pace but the bathroom breaks slowed down the average. I'm happy though. This was the longest run I have had since June. The other good thing is I can still walk and the foot is not killing me.

After the run we loaded the bikes and went over to James and Michele's for some breakfast or actually I'd call it brunch. It was after 11 at that point. We had planned on riding with the group at 1:30pm and it was "suppose" to be an easy ride. LOL......with some of the people I bike with there is no such of a thing. It didn't help that James sent Gary a text and told him that I was there eating with them and that Gary was going to have to ride my wheel all day if he wanted to keep up! That was enough to get Gary and Curtis fired up and drive to Cabot to ride.

We had a good group of bikers show up. There was at least 15. Annette was going to ride with Brenda and Vicki so they could ride easy and chat. I had hoped that was what we were doing but no way. Once we hit Kerr Station Road, Curtis took off like he was on fire. Gary followed and James was right with them. Russ and I tried to jump on but they were just too fast. We drafted each other for probably 6 miles trying to catch those three but it was useless. Even though we were doing 19-20 most of the time. The wind was a factor though. We had a head wind and it was hard work when you were pulling. James finally fell off just before we hit Military Road. Gary and Curtis kept on.

During that time a weird, funny thing happened. Curtis ran over a squirrel with his bike and when he did I guess his rear wheel threw it up in the air. It hit Gary in the chest and then bit him on the arm. Funny but very strange. He was going to call his doctor and ask about rabies shots or what he needed to do if anything.

We met Cindy C. at the store at Furlow for the final 8 miles in. Of course she took off with Curtis, James and Russ on her wheel before I could even get out of the parking lot. I tried to catch them but I was a lone biker and they were four. Gary caught me a couple miles out and he said he was going to try to catch them. So I got on his wheel for a few. At 24 mph it didn't take me long to drop off. That new tri bike he has is wicked and he is a good rider so the combination is hard to keep up with when he wants to turn it on and he was then.

Great ride though, even though it was much harder than what I wanted to do but I was glad I did it when we were done. Only 22.2 miles but considering we fought heavy wind coming and going, we did pretty good. Average pace was just over 17.5. Slower than what I expected but then again, I had tired legs from that run.

Also Saturday I ran 4.25 miles. Was going to do my 8 mile long run but I got started late and it was just too hot and sunny. I was half sick with a cold so I just said the heck with it. Glad I made it up on Sunday.

This past week started week one of my 16 week marathon training schedule for Huntington Beach. I'm not going to get too excited until I get a few weeks of long runs in and see how the foot feels. I will say I am not training for speed, though I still have the goal of running at least a 4:30.

Hope everyone has a great week!

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Endurance Path

Get out there and start to exert yourself.
Go long or go hard or both.
Begin to experience pain.
As you go further and/or harder, the pain increases.
The pain starts to annoy you.
You assess the pain: is it injurious?
If not, then you make a conscious decision to accept the pain.
You don't mind the pain.
You are not attached to the pain.
Finally, you accept the pain.
The pain just is.
After acceptance, you realize the pain doesn't matter.
Without it mattering, it can't contain or control you.
You have transcended the pain.
Now you can do anything.
Here's the critical part: As you go further or harder, the cycle can either be repeated or not.
You decide.
It's your pain.
Go with it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

No Pain

That's my new mantra. "No Pain"

I ran 10k on Sunday morning and I kept saying to myself over and over "no pain". Well, it seemed to work. Had one of the best runs I have had since June. Not super fast but I felt like I have almost got my running endurance back. Ran the first two miles without stopping or slowing down then took about 30 seconds to fix my Ipod. I can always find a good excuse for a break! Ran another mile solid back to the house where I had some water waiting and got re hydrated and then took off for what I had planned just to be another couple miles. The run felt so good that when I started getting close to 5 I decided to see what kind of 10k time I would end up with. Needless to say I wasn't racing or even trying to push the pace, just a relaxed pace run.

At mile 5 my legs felt great and strong. Guess all the hard biking was paying off. The PF in my foot was starting to rear its ugly head some but I just kept my mantra going and it was all good. Before I knew it I hit the 6.2 mark at 1:04:22. I didn't think that was too bad considering I wasn't even trying to do a tempo run. That ended up being a 10:22 pace and about dead on where I should be on my long, slow, steady runs. The weather was pretty nice as long as you were in the shade so at times I really felt like I could have ran forever. Great run and brought a lot of my confidence back even though the foot problem is still there. I'd have to say its about where it was just before I really hurt it in June. Some icing and a couple days of no running will help it.

Sunday afternoon I even got some biking in. I haven't even been back on the bike since the Big Dam Bridge 100 so I was glad to get on it again. Met up with James, Russ and Heather for the regular Cruiser 1:30pm Sunday ride. We had an awesome ride. Since the three of them are constantly training for triathlons, we worked on 20 minute hard intervals. It actually ended up being more like 20 minute races to see who could hang on. I really wasn't into pushing quite that hard since I hadn't been on the bike in a couple weeks but I hung in there ok. Heather and James pretty much left me and Russ in the dust most of the time. Heather has a new tri bike too and that thing is fast in the flats.

We had some pretty strong head winds at times but even with that there were times we were hitting 24 mph flat out with no help or drafting. It was a good hard ride and just what I needed. Right at 24 miles with a 17.4mph average. Not the fastest average but the wind on Highway 31 was brutal, probably 4 miles of a 15mph head wind made it hard to keep the 17-18 average. Also have to factor in the hills on Mt Tabor, Mt Carmel and 89. I did have to use my running mantra many times to get through it as my quads were screaming a few times. Good ride though!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Catching up again

Has been a super busy week for me. Trying to get caught up from being gone last week.

Monday - Monday night I had a good run. Jane, Michele, and Kelly came over to run with Annette so I jumped in for the first few miles. I'll have to say these four girls are my favorite's to run with as we all run a similar pace and they are always so much fun. At least I used to be able to keep up with them. I only did 2.5 miles, with about 1.5 running with the girls. First mile was a 9:52........so I was pretty much glad to turn around after that! I ended up with a 10:16 average pace which is good for me right now. They went on to make it 7 miles for the night.

Michele, Jane, Annette and Kelly having a small drink of beer to celebrate their 7 miles. Aren't they cute!! And no, Kelly didn't run in that hat.

Tuesday- 1:30am I get paged out for a structure fire. Fun fun. Got to the station and we had 3 others there plus me. The Chief took the tanker with Bobby driving E64 and me riding Captain. Billy was in the back jump seat. Communications told us that it was fully involved and that there was a hydrant a little less than 1000 feet away. We figured it would be over by the time we got there since it was all the way on the other side of the district.

Upon arrival, I had to take over command as one of the LT's that had command was running the pump on E65 also. I hate command, you have responsibility over the whole scene at that point and every one's life. At that point though it was pretty much a surround and drown situation. Still burning but since it was a mobile home, not much was left. They burn so fast, usually 5-7 minutes.

The deputy on scene advised me that the trailer was a "known" meth lab, but had been busted back in February so it had been unoccupied. We still had a bunch of crap to deal with. There were propane bottles everywhere and one was leaking to the point we could smell the gas. I hate propane tanks, as one large one like what most homes in the country have, if they explode, can take out about a 1/2 mile area. Not a good thing. That's why we have to protect those tanks with water or run like hell!

We also had two other fire departments on scene for mutual aid and by 3:00am we were loading up hose. I didn't feel like I did a lot other then tell people what to do and watch out for safety issues. Hope we didn't breath too much of that smoke! No telling what was in it. Guess I didn't feel like I smoked too much crack. I ended up getting home and back to bed at 4:45am, then back up for work at 6:20. Not much sleep!

Tuesday night - went to training at the FD and we discussed Incident Command and all the branches of it, span of control, etc etc. Just before we were done we got paged out for a rekindle of the fire from the morning. We sent a crew there with a brush truck and upon arrival they had a lot of fire at the back of what was left of the structure. They immediately called for an engine company to respond and since we had Engine 64 there from my station, we loaded a crew and went over.

Pulled one hose line off and had the fire out in a few minutes. Then when we started investigating. We found distinct signs that this was not a rekindle but arson. Someone had evidently thrown gas or some other flammable liquid on the back wall which was still standing. Makes you wonder why someone wanted the rest burnt down. Was there evidence still there of something else? Probably. We had the sheriffs office come out to take a look but really not much they can do. We all know its arson but not enough evidence to prove who did it. It is interesting to see the scientific evidence, even if nothing can be proven. Arson is one of the hardest crimes there is to prove and prosecute. We did get finished up around 10pm so at least it wasn't an all nighter again.

Do you think the gas can means anything??

Wednesday - Missed my run, which didn't make me happy. Annette's dad and step mom came in to town from Brazil so we went to visit them. I almost ran on the treadmill when we got home but just really couldn't muster up the motivation to do it.

Thursday - We have been having trouble with our Dish satellite receiver so I was on the phone with them for about 45 minutes when I got home. I had planned on running so this was costing me daylight. I wasn't a happy camper at all. By the time I got off the phone with those idiots, it was starting to get dark. Annette had rearranged all our running equipment so I couldn't find my lights so I gave up and headed for the treadmill. Got a 5 mile run in, averaged about a 10:40 pace. Not bad for me on the treadmill I figured. It's always harder to run on ours because its hot upstairs and even with a fan and a/c, there is not enough cool air movement. I slugged it out and actually could tell I was getting my endurance back. However, I could feel my foot most of the time. Afterwards I iced the foot, it was still pretty sore. Seems no matter how hard I try it still hurts at some point. Guess I just have to live with it or not run at all.

Have been debating on doing the Arky 100 bike ride on Sunday. I haven't been on the bike in almost two weeks now. I could still do it but I seem to be losing motivation. Plus I really don't know what to wear on the bike with the cooler weather. It is located in Sheridan so that's another issue. Pretty long drive from here. So, I have pretty much talked myself out of it. I would like to get some biking in this weekend but I really need the running miles. IF I am to do a marathon in February, I have to get started training. My goal this week is 15 miles running. I need 7.5 more to meet that goal. Hope to get that covered this weekend and maybe more.