Oct 29 2008

Training Wrap-Up

Between July 8, 2008 and October 16, 2008 – there are 100 days. Nice round number! These are the dates on which my first training run took place, and my last training run took place.

Total training miles: 248.44
Miles per day: 2.48
Longest training run: 13.24 miles
Shortest training run recorded: 2.68 Miles
Average training run distance: 5.52 Miles

When I started training… I was a “seasoned” runner… having just come off of a 10k, and having already run two half marathons in 2008. The first half-marathon in April went very well. Then, not much training took place between April 20 and June 2, when the second half-marathon took place. I paid the price by injuring my legs running the second half-marathon… and they stayed injured for quite a time!

Ok… so fast forward to July 8th when this training started… despite having completed earlier runs in the season… I felt out of shape and hadn’t been running very regularly (0-2 times per week) for the past few weeks.

On my run on July 14th I was on my first run where I felt, “back in shape”.

My legs hurt terribly bad through the very end of September. They were constantly tight and sore. So much so that at the beggining of EVERY run, I would actually be limping! They would calm down about a half-mile in so that I didn’t have to limp any more… but often they would be sore the entire run. This all started when I ran the hospital hill after not nearly enough training.

Despite all the soreness – it wasn’t ever TOO bad. In fact it usually felt pretty good while I was running… just after runs / before runs / normal waking hours… very sore.

I began to wonder if they’d ever go back to normal.

Then… I ran a 5k on September 20th. I remember them still hurting that morning, but I forced myself onward.

Seems like after this race I was ok.

When I ran the Omaha Half-Marathon on September 29th I was problem free!

I was supposed to run a 10k on October 11th, but I slept in instead… first time I’ve ever missed a race I was planning on running. Oh well… I eneded up running 10 miles that night… one week out from the marathon that I probably would not have run if I had run the 10k. Maybe that was meant to be then.

Then ran 3.5 Miles on Oct 13th.

Then ran 2.8 Miles (approx) on treadmill on Oct 16th.

Had a big pasta dinner on Oct 17th, and the rest is history!

So now you know exactly how much training you can get away with to run a sub 4 hour marathon!

Detailed running log:

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Oct 29 2008

Kansas City Marathon 2008 Race Report

OK! So the official results are now in:

Chip Time: 3:58:18
Gun Time: 3:59:34

So, back from July – when I started this blog… I had the goal of running in under 4 hours. That goal has been met! It wasn’t easy… and now… a couple days later legs still *very* sore, but of course it was worth it!

Funny how the time and place always move around a little… I added on 7 seconds from yesterday… but still way under 4 hours… so still great! Here’s how the 26 went:

Mile 1: Great. Easy pace feeling good, but cold! I *really* need to bring some gloves next time… hands are freezing.
Mille 2: Pace group leader asks to everyone — are you warmed up yet? Nope. Still freezing… still feeling ok though. TONS of people racing… it’s still shoulder to shoulder… very crowded.
Mile 3: Still very crowded, figured it would have thinned out by now but still crowded. Still feeling pretty good, and finally starting to:
Mile 4: Warming up now!! Still early, still feeling good. Running with the pace group.

–OK– I wrote all that shortly after the race… it’s now October 29 — so let’s see if I can still remember:

Miles 7 & 8: Running around Brush creek… gets cold again! Freezing for at least 2 Miles here. Temperature had to have dropped at least 10 degrees if not more. Really wishing I had some gloves again… but I’m feeling good and here again we get some gummi bears.

Mile 9: Feeling great, fresh… no problems at all! I could probably do a marathon every weekend if I had the time! Could probably even run it in 3:50 or less! But… I’m not ramping it up. I know its only half (wait… not even) over.

Mile 10-13: We’re going through the Brush Creek / Mission Hills area / Ward Parkway. Someone running by me who is not from KC remarks that “They should have called this the parade of homes marathon” — haha yeah he’s right there really are a ton of endless mansions and upscale homes here. Some are really impressive. We’re also seeing a ton of Obama and McCain signs. Too many to count really. I’d say they are about 2/3 Obama, 1/3 McCain… but really a lot for both candidates. Fun to see all the neighbors with opposing signs.

Mile 14: Ok… a little over half-way and I have a whole new perspective. Now I’m starting to feel tired! Legs are getting sore. Nothing really “hurting” though so I’m doing ok.

Mile 15-19: A long “out-and-back” but not on the same street down Ward Parkway South and the back up Wornall / Brookshire Blvd. North. Fairly uneventful but legs are getting more and more sore. About mile 19 a guy comments that his legs feel like piano wire… hmm… yea that seems accurate.

Mile 20 – 21 – 22: Ouch. Feels like I’m barely inching along. Still at a jog… but doesn’t feel like much of one. I think I’m still on the pace, but dropping back. Have I made up enough time already to be running this slow? Just barely chugging along. Al Murano (our pace leader) has dropped off the top of the pace group and is making his way up from the back stopping at each person that has fallen off the group and giving them a pep-talk. “It’s all the mental game now. Your legs can do it… you’ve just got to keep going.” … and more. Many motivational things I can’t remember now but at the time it really helped. What a great coach / pace leader. Would I have pushed on without him? We’re also heading up hills during this time. A grueling stretch.

Mile: 23, 24: Ok… I’ve found a second wind I guess. Legs are just carrying me forward. Not really forcing them or anything… they seem to just be running of their own accord. I pass the pace group but I’m not really trying to. I’m just running where my legs are carrying me.

Mile 25: Still running…

Finish: Finish line! The clock (gun clock) still says under 4:00. Wow. I’m super pleased with the run. From about mile 18 on I’ve been thinking – I’m going to do it… I can’t believe I’m going to do it… I’m *actually* – after all my (sub-par?) training and no long runs over 13 going to do it…or at least there’s a chance.

I’ve never had the beer at the end of a marathon / run before… but by golly I’m getting them here today! Great finish line… lots of eats. Replenished. 2 Free beers… could have got a third but that’s enough. They were out of Bully! Porter… so I got some wheat. (was all Boulevard of course!).  Sit around a little while and then drive home after a little walk back to the start line.

Well that was the race! Another tid-bit coming later… But that’s how the 26 played out.

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Oct 19 2008

Unofficial Result

Mission Accomplished!!

Chip time: 3:58:18
Gun time: 3:59:34

Full report coming soon…

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Oct 17 2008

Marathon is tomorrow!!

Well… it’s here… ready or not.

Apologies if the blog has been boring lately… going from 2-3 posts a week, to 1 post a week, to 1 post every 2-3 weeks. Well this should be about the 2nd to last post… I will do a race report too.

Starting to get very excited… there’s nothing like running a Marathon… I’ve only done one before (KC last year) and I still remember how much fun it was. I’ve done 3 Half-Marathons this year… and each of those were thoroughly enjoyable … but seemed like they cut-short!

My training did taper off considerably at the end, and in the end I didn’t really get any long runs in. I did a 13 miler, an 11, and a 10. A far cry from the 20 and 15 I should have done minimum… but… there’s something to be said for not doing those — they require a lot of time which I have limited amounts of!! Plus — a 20 mile training run is not really very fun. Nothing like doing the real thing…

So… here are my goals tomorrow:
Goal -1: Win the marathon! (HAHAHA … chances here 1 in 4,900,000,000)
Goal 0: Qualify for Boston. (Again… not going to happen. chances are 1 in 987,000 – I would have to run 3:09:59 – 7:17 pace!!! I barely run 5ks that fast!)
Goal 1: Run in 3:59:59 Hmm… this would have been highly attainable had I not slacked so much in my training… but I’m still going to try. I will line up with the 4:00 pace group and see where it goes from there! This is a 9:09 pace… pretty easy pace but for 26.2 miles any pace can be daunting! Chances here: 1 in about 25.
Goal 2: Finish better than 4:07:28. This would be a new PR for me… I’ll take it! Chances, 1 in 10.
Goal 3: Finish the marathon. This is the consolation prize. I’ll still have the time of my life… one of the best days of 2008 by finishing the marathon. Barring any unforseen tragedies… this one definitely happens! Whether I have to walk from mile 20 onward or not! Chances… 99.7% !

I’ll be putting up a post race report sometime soon. I’m going to Kansas City… Kansas City here I come…

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Oct 7 2008

Omaha Marathon 2008 Race Report

Ok… so I haven’t been writing hardly at all — so you wonder if this blog is done… or if I’m done running or gave up…? Sometimes when you get out of the habit its hard to get back into it regular. I don’t think I’ve played WoW in days and days!! As long as since I last ran? No…

Anyway… Omaha was pretty good. People said the expo lacked… and while it *was* a little small — I thought it was ok. Nice organization I thought… everything smooth… decent selection of ware peddlers. The building I thought was going to be a bustling “Science City” type of place like the Kansas City Union station… in reality it was an under-construction warehouse named inPlay which may or may not be in the near future set up like Science City… (I think that’s the goal?).

Omaha is a pretty nice town seems like. I was there a couple of years ago but didn’t really pay attention. This time we were right down town… easily accessible… not too congested… very clean… friendly enough people. I booked the race about 1.5 months in advance i think? And at that point most hotels were booked. I did get in the Doubletree on Dodge St. (one of the main streets downtown) which was about 1 mile from the start. Looked to be perfect to walk down to the start on race morning.

Well I came down with some sinus problems on Friday before the race. Ugh… perfect timing. I just hoped it didn’t affect my running… I didn’t really feel 100%. Went to the Zoo on Saturday… was a little better this go-round. Perfect weather compared to the last time I was in the Zoo in February 06… when it was about 17 degrees outside with gale force winds. This time it was almost hot! I’ll take the hot any day. At the Zoo ran into Rick Roeber who as far as I am concerned is a local celebrity. You can read about him here: Barefoot Rick’s Website. I’ve seen him now at a couple races. He was wearing sandals at the Zoo!

Ok… so is that enough set up? Fast forward to race morning. I was up several times during the night blowing nose… fun. Had a dream that I ran the race but forgot the timing chip… so no finishing time. Well… got up… made sure to get my chip — which this is cool — they had a disposable chip. First one I’ve seen like that. I don’t mind either way I guess… I’ve had the ankle strap, the chip that you zip-tie to your laces and now this disposable one. Pretty cool. So… anyway… got everything and out the door.

Ring up the elevator going down (about 5:45am) and it’s full of other runners! Guess I got the day right. Down to the street level the other runners appear to have commandeered a shuttle bus… great! I’m sure I could have made it to the race ok… but being in an unfamiliar town I wasn’t 100% certain how to get down to the start… so the shuttle there was a welcome sight.

Munched a chocolate power bar (old reliable… ok… but wish I had something better… didn’t taste too bad this morning though). Had a water… took two Aleve as a precursor for my potential aching knees at mile 10+… stretched a lot… ran around a bit… it was a fairly warm morning (only slightly cold). Pretty good organization in all directions… lots of porta-potties… water available… bag checkpoint (I stashed my sweatshirt… sorry… bad habit I guess!).

Ok fast forward to about 6:45 race director giving instructions, thanks, encouragement, time updates (her watch is about 1 1/2 minutes fast). Everyone scrunches in the start area (about 2300 runners, not counting spectators and volunteers). We hear the national anthem played on guitar by a 14 year old… did a good job… and then bang! We’re off.

Very scrunched for the first mile… to be expected I guess… doing about a 10:30 pace. By mile two its still very crowded but I’m able to get up to about 9:00ish pace… feeling good! By about mile 3 I am able to realize me being “sick” isn’t going to be a hindrance so I speed up to about a varying 8:25-8:45 pace. Nice run… not many people talking though. Seems like people talked more at the KC runs…? No matter though. Weather perfect… running feels great.

Seems like we’re doing a loop… yep we are… back past the starting area… out to a long out and back which… and I think this is like mile 7.25 — start seeing people on their way back! Pretty cool… these guys are hauling ass. Pretty fun to watch these people coming back the other way and their numbers slowly increasing. First its a young guy (20s) and an older guy (60s) running neck and neck on a killer pace. Then don’t see anyone for at least a minute. Then a single runner. 20 seconds later another runner. No one for a minute… then 2-3 people… then a single runner… then 4 runners… etc… etc… as we get closer and closer to the turnaround point the numbers are increasing to mobs of runners. Fun to look at all the different people out there running!! And wait a second… yeah… all these people are beating me … oh well. Soon as I get to the turn-around at about mile 8.6 — now all the people I’m passing… I’m beating them!! Boy, they look like a rag-tag group compared to all the people that were beating me… hah! Oh well… everyone out here is doing something awesome… no matter if they’re walking… finishing 30 minutes ahead of me or 30 minutes behind me… we’re all having fun!

Oh yeah… there was a drummer (again, a little kid… about 13-15?) playing drums about mile 7. Sounds cool. Then at about mile eight there was a guy playing guitar/singing… he sounded really great!!

Ok… anyway… after the long out and back (which consisted of two, very fun, very large and long hills) its back for another loop of course we’ve already been on and on to the finish. At about mile 12 I started to pick up the pace quite a bit realizing I might have a chance to finish in under 1:50!! Feeling great a really had a solid run in… never sprinting, but definitely running briskly and with a purpose.

Well, didn’t quite finish under 1:50 (and I knew this about .5 mile out… still… ran it in), but I did set myself a new half-marathon PR! Previous PR was 1:51:58 at the Lawrence half-marathon. My chip time here was 1:51:12.

The end expo was ok. Good by any standards really… but for all the hype I heard about it… wasn’t too much to it. Still… I got some water, milk, coffee, fruit, some other stuff… searched in vain for the “free beer” I’d heard so much about but couldn’t find it. Oh well. Got my medal, retrieved my stashed sweatshirt… and … that’s a wrap! Probably won’t go back… but there was nothing wrong with the race at all… I did enjoy it… a fine race! Thanks Omaha.

Here I am at the finish line, (background in red)… I look happy I think!

Omaha 2008 Finish Line

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