Saturday, July 19, 2014
I remember when I first started running. I thought about running a 5K some day. I was unsure that I could run that far, and was afraid of coming in last place. Sounds familiar?
Well, I did it and finished just fine. They even gave me a ribbon! Wow how cool is that? A cool ribbon just for running 5 kilometers, I think I'll save this.
At some point soon thereafter, I found SparkPeople, and joined that, too. One of the first things I noticed is the runners ribbon racks, and walls with race bibs proudly displayed. Someday I'd like to have something like that too, but gee, it must take a long time. These guys are crazy dedicated to running!
So, I continued to race and got a few race bibs, and ribbons, made a rack from plans I found on the internet. Nothing fancy, I'll show you a picture of it in just a while.
First, let me tell you about my dear wife, Chris. She collects Boston Terrier stuff. We've had Boston Terriers for decades. And all the while, DW would find BT statues, door stops, picture frames, calendars, dishes, posters, decals, on and on.
I noticed the house was getting really full of Boston stuff, so I said to her, "Honey, at some point you will have to stop collecting these things. When do you stop becoming a collector and become the 'crazy Boston Terrier lady'?" She agreed, and did stop acquiring them, and even forbade her friends and famly from buying any more BT gifts. She went so far as to pack most of them away. They're in the garage now. Not to worry, there are still plenty around the house.
These are just the ones in the china cabinet. We have door stops, calendars, refrigerator magnets and statues elsewhere, too. Even with the bulk of them stored away.
So where was I? Oh yeah, collecting ribbons and race bibs. I remembered the conversation with my DW, and thought, ''Geez, am I becoming the 'crazy race trophys collector'?'' I had one ribbon rack, then my daughter found another larger one, which I thought was ridiculous, because it was so big. Guess what? It's almost full now. And wall plaques, too. And race bibs, so many of them they cover my ribbons on the smaller rack.
Never thought I'd have a wall like this.
When does it end? I've only been running a few years. And just started with triathlons a few months ago, and am now getting ribbons for those too.
I have become the crazy athlete ribbon guy! But, I'm not alone. Some of you are just as crazy as I am.
Thanks for reading and have a great day.
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
As I said in todays update "training in the heat always takes a lot out of me".
It has been warm and humid, and I'm ramping up my training a little bit in preparation for my 1st Olympic Triathlon in August. Once again, I registered for proximity to home and familiarity with the event location. The bad part is, the timing is not right. I'm a little short after coming off a recent trail marathon that really took a lot out of me. I did rest up pretty well and started back in easily enough, but I might not peak and taper correctly.
So, I've decided to just take my time and just finish the event. I can do all the distances fine, as long as I take my time. I'm looking at a dead last place finish, or close to it. The Olympic tris have some serious competitors. So I psyched myself to accept that and just be proud that I can do it at all. It's a new discipline for me, the triathlon, and I'm just not a good cyclist. But those who know me, understand that I just love to try new challenges.
Like that trail marathon. New challenge, indeed. Wow, was I surprised by the difficulty factor in that one. Shook my confidence on that race. There were only a few marathoners who attempted, about 43 as I recall, and several decided to not finish it. But, albeit slowly, I finished.
Anyway, my training is going along fine. My cycling has improved ever so slightly. I'm toughing it out in the heat and hydrating carefully. I hate it when I'm near the end of the long runs and rides, and I'm getting really tired, but love it when I'm finished.
The swim training is going great, too. Water temp of 72 degrees all the time. So, no heat problems there. I'm not so fast there, either, but I do enjoy the swim portion. It's one place where I can interact with other people, so I get lots of nice feedback from folks I meet.
So, just a quick update that I'm still here, even though it's been a while since my last blog.
Thanks for reading and have a great day.
Saturday, June 14, 2014
Especially an off road marathon.
I arrived yesterday in my camper to stay overnight for this race. The young guys who run these events are super nice guys. They're always so happy to see me. I'm usually the oldest runner. He happily tells me he has something 'special' for me, walks away and returns with a laser printed plaque. It's for my being a constant supporter of the Masters of All Terrain events. Check it out.
So, about the race. DW wasn't there, so a nice stranger took my picture before the start.The sun was just coming up.
One word keeps popping into my head to describe this race. Brutal. The weather was hot and humid, it got up to 90 degrees at the end.
The first half went fairly well, I was slow, but felt okay, considering the course. There were lots of hills, loose sand and narrow trails. Very difficult course, and 26.2 miles of it.
Here's a worker cutting out part of the path for us:
The course was a double half marathon, meaning we ran the half marathon, crossed the finish line, and did it again. At the end of the half marathon, my watch said 2:37. As it turns out that was way too fast for this course. At mile 15 or so, I started feeling my first leg cramps - in my inner thighs. Then the calves. Eventually the cramps were so painful I had to walk all the time. Each time I started to run, my legs locked up. I was in serious pain. I took ibuprofen, ate lots of bananas and was drinking a lot of water and gatorade as well. In retrospect, I probably should not have run that last 3 miler, in training, 3 days before the race. I should have taken 3 days complete rest. But, I'm still learning, and I underestimated the difficulty of this course.
Sad to say, it wasn't even fun. It's hard to walk ten miles and constantly stop to rub out cramps. At some point I couldn't even stretch, as this resulted in severe cramps, so I walked slower. I was determined to finish this race no matter how long it took. And boy, it took a long time. 6 hours and 26 minutes according to my watch. Wow! That's a long time to be on these old feet and legs.
On a plus side, there were a few other runners that I knew from other races, that were having a tough time as well, so I had a bit of company from time to time. Mostly, I was out there by myself, though. It can be kind of lonely on these trail races, just no crowd support, you're on your own.
I really got concerned more than once, that I might have to drop out. I was afraid my legs would just lock up and not let me continue, but I'd stop, stretch and rub and continue on. Spark friends, this was one difficult race.
Now, hold onto your hats. When I crossed the finish line, I asked the race director, "Dead last?" and he said no, there are still more out there. The awards had been handed out already, but he went and got a gold medal ribbon and handed it to me. Telling me the other guy in my age group is still out there on the course, so, "congrats you won 1st place".
Huh? 6 hours plus and still a gold medal? I didn't really even feel proud winning it, with such a bad time. What gave me pride is that my old body let me finish at all.
Well, this may not have been my best effort, but it is one I will never forget.
Thanks for reading and have a great day!
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Had a great run today. Did 9 miles and felt pretty good, even though it got up to 90F degrees at the end of the run. My long run, 20 miles, will be this Saturday.
I've backed off on swimming and cycling as I am preparing for a trail marathon in a couple of weeks. I'm probably not as well training for this race as I have been for past marathons. Because I've been doing triathlons as well, and the swim and cycle training takes away from the exclusive run training aspect that I had been used to. I think it will work out alright though, as I've been keeping pretty busy in general. Call the swimming and cycling cross training. I've just been not doing a "marathon" exclusive training program.
So, for the last few days, I've been doing more trail running. When I'm up in Ocala, I run the farm roads when I can, in addition to the regular asphalt road runs. I haven't ridden the bike there in a couple of weeks.
Here at the main home, near Orlando, I have been running on the side of the asphalt trail, on grass and dirt, to simulate off road running.
Plus there is a park nearby with a half mile loop which is nicely packed sand.
The idea is to log as much off road time as possible. I've never run a full marathon off road before, but I always wanted to do one. The half marathons seem to take their toll on me a little more than a standard road race, what with hopping over fallen branches, running on gravel, tall grass, leaves, and through water sometimes. Just a different race entirely, but more energy draining in my experience. My official time will be slower, but who cares? I get to finish an off road marathon, and check out the cool shirt they give you.
I love this shirt. Easy to see it's wearer has done something different than a standard marathon, and I like doing different things.
So, that's what I've been up to. Trail run training and enjoying life.
After this marathon is completed, I plan to start swimming and cycling again, after I rest up a bit. I have an Olympic Triathlon scheduled soon after.
Busy, busy, busy.
Thanks for reading and have a great day.
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