Monday, October 08, 2012
It turned out that the longest training run before my upcoming marathon came on a day we would be visiting my daughter and the grandkids. We take our RV, park on her covered RV pad and sleep there during our visits. I wasn't too eager to do my run there, because it's hilly where she lives.
The morning of my run, all my 'stuff' had been laid out the night before, so I was ready fairly quickly once I woke up at 5:30 or so. It was foggy, 100 percent humidity and 72 degrees at 6 AM when I started out. I got out alright, but developed a problem with my Timex GPS watch at mile 1:29. It started beeping and there was a message that the memory was full. So I had to delete some previous runs, and restart the watch. In the dark. On the side of a rural road adjacent to an orange grove
Got that done, but was frustrated that I already lost time messing with the watch. I kind of wanted to get an idea of how long it would take to run 22 miles in relatively warm weather. I forgot to look at the time before I restarted the run, but I guess it was around 16 minutes, since I started slowly. So, I never got an exact run time.
I went out for a mile and a half, turned around and came back to the lake that I usually run around. It's 2 1/4 miles one way on the lake running track, but I decided to continue and go off track and return to my starting point, all the way around the lake. That was just about 3.33 miles one way. I did a couple of these, then backtracked on the running path, just trying to change up to not be so bored.
During the run, around mile 11 or so, I saw my daughters BF standing on the side of the road, next to his car. He had a cold bottle of water, and was checking up on me. That was cool. I stopped for a bit, ate another fig newton and had a sip or two of the cold water. It was getting warm already, the cold water was good. Better than the warm water I had been drinking from the fountains placed around the running/walking track on the lake.
Being a Saturday morning, there were other runners and walkers out there. Lots of them. When I started out in the dark, I was the sole runner for what seemed like a long time. Then they came, in droves. Mostly all cheerful smiling faces. Old guys walking and talking. Young runners flying by in each direction. Women with kids in strollers. Moms and daughters. I like seeing other runners, makes it more fun.
So, I continue to run, it gets warmer and eventually, I am the only runner out there again. Wow, this is a long run. No runners, some runners, lots of runners, the herd thins out. Now they've all gone home, because it is too hot to run. But, I continue. And man, it feels like a hundred degrees out. I'm really wearing down. And there is daughters BF, Tom, again.
More water, and best of all, encouragement. He took my picture, told me I was looking good. And being the nice guy he is, asks me if I want to sit down for a while. I smile graciously and said, "Naw, I think I better keep going, but thanks anyway". I drink some of his cold water, and am silently grateful that my daughter chose such a nice guy for a boyfriend. He asked how I was doing and I checked my watch, told him I had about 5 more miles to go.
I run some more. Now I have about 2 miles to go to make 22 miles, I head back to the RV. I'd underestimated how far it was to the house, so it turns out I was to run farther than 22 miles, about 22.5 actually.
The sun is beating down, and I am whipped. My heart rate is over 170, and I am concerned it's too high. So I walk more. I try to run, but almost immediately the HR goes up to 170 plus. I had read about being careful in the heat, and pay attention to heart rate, so I'm going to play it safe, shelve my ego and walk the last mile. It is now 82 degrees, and I'm in direct Florida sun, I try to run, but that danged HR keeps going up. Besides, the way home is uphill. Like I said, there were lots of hills on this run. So, I mostly walk back, and soon enough I am done.
Total mileage was about 22.5 and the time was just about 5 hours and 7 minute. Not a bad effort for the conditions. I was pretty tired, but still resisted the effort to crash. I did my foam roller and stretches for a short time. Rested a bit then did the stretches and rollers again. I remained kind of tired all day, this run took a lot out of me.
Oh yeah, my knees were perfect! No real pain. My new Altra zero drop shoes are working fine for me. My feet were sore. No pain like I'd been having. Sore is fine, though.
Today, 2 days later I feel fully recovered. So, my longest run ever was a success. I sure hope it is cooler in Savannah when I do my marathon. That would be good. But, even if it gets up to the 80s, I know I can finish.
Thanks for reading and have a great day.
Saturday, September 22, 2012
Even though I've been careful about what I ingest, I deliberately ate a lot of carbs yesterday. Today would be my longest run - ever. I was scheduled for 19 miles today, and I wanted to ensure I had fueled up on both food and water.
My strategy seemed to be working, because I had plenty of energy this morning. It was cool but humid, and I ran strong. When I got to the 11 mile point, I was feeling like I could run like this all day. But, logically, I knew the point was coming that would change my mood.
Once the sun came out and it got warmer, and the miles piled on, I was indeed getting tired. My feet were doing fine, though. They'd been giving me lots of trouble. I ordered a new pair of Altra Instinct zero drop shoes to try to change that. After putting in metatarsal pads, these shoes were nice. My feet never hurt as I passed the 7 mile point, where they usually started acting up. At 11 miles or so, I first felt a bit of foot discomfort, but just that. Not real pain like I had become accustomed to.
I brought along water. G-2 gatorade, fruit slices and fig newtons. I took in about 50 calories every 2 miles, and drank a few sips of water of gatorade as well.
I was feeling worn down at around 15 or 16 miles and my pace slowed, and I rested/walked more. The temperature was around 80 degrees by now, too. My heart rate always goes up in the heat, and I could see it was around 160-170 at peaks. Too high. So, I slacked off.
Then as I rolled by the 17 mile point, I was in new territory. Farther than I had ever run in my entire life! I tried to step it up, and finish strong the last couple miles. I wasn't really running fast, but faster. According to my Timex Ironman, my last 2 miles were indeed speedier that the few miles preceding them. That's encouraging, being able to attain negative splits in the warmer temps, and running low on energy. I felt pretty exhausted at the end, in fact, felt like I didn't do as well as I wanted. But, my watch tells a different story.
But, this was not a race, it was a training run, during which I learned I was capable of speeding up at the end of a very long run. Good news for me.
I ran 19.34 miles in 4 hours and 16 minutes today.
Thanks for reading, and have a great day.
Saturday, September 15, 2012
Grandson and I had a great time this morning.
We got up way early for the race. Took this picture after we got our numbers pinned on.
The race was only 10 minutes away, so we had no trouble getting there. Found a parking spot fairly easily. Wow, was it crowded, even though we were 45 minutes early! The three of us wandered around a bit, and GS and I got in a little warm up run.
We separated a few minutes before the start. Joe went to the 7 min per mile area, and I hung around the back of the 8 minute per mile pack.
Gun went off, and as usual in the larger events, I just about got across the starting line at a jog. That was fine for me, as it was already over 75 degrees and 87 percent humidity, so I wanted to start slowly anyway. Lots of bumping around in the beginning, but it got sorted out by the 1 mile mark. I passed that marker at 9:11. Nice start, for once I didn't go out too fast. Although, by mile 2 I was feeling it. The second mile was a negative split, at 17:58, and I noticed I was passing some who came out too fast. I love passing the younger muscular guys towards the end by being an old tortoise.
Joe was disappointed with his time, but I had to explain that he did great, and must deduct time for the heat and humidity. He didn't even check his chip time, but the gun time was 23:11, so he was definitely in the high 22s. A great time, I thought.
I dragged my old tired butt across the finish line at 27:28 gun time. After checking the board, I saw 26:58 as my chip time. I'll take it. A good finish.
Good support on this race. A few families out on the street in lawn chairs. Three bands at different locations. Lots of after race food, water and Accelerade. They even had a beer corral. One free beer for each runner. I passed on that, long line and it was 8:30 in the morning. Not quite ready for a beer yet. I do enjoy a cold brew once in a while, but not today.
Grandpa and Grandson had a good day together, the DW was there supporting us, and taking the pictures you see here. I cherish the memories I have of my times with my long gone Grandpa, so I hope some of this stuff is building memories for Joe.
Thanks for reading, and have a great day!
Friday, September 14, 2012
I'm an hour and a half away from home, visiting my daughter and grandkids today.
I had to pick up Joe, my 16 year old GS today because we'll be running a 5K together tomorrow. He drives (a cool looking Mustang, too) but just started, and Mom doesn't want him driving that far on interstates and such all by himself, so I decided to pick him up and Grandma will return him after the race.
I'm pretty excited about running with my GS, because Joe is quite an athelete. He runs cross country at school, and has a PR of 21.27 for a 5K, or is that just for 3 miles? Not sure how CC is timed for 3 miles or 5K, but at any rate, he's pretty fast. Let me throw in a brag for his older brother Doug, who is currently away at University of West Florida. Joe tells me Doug holds a record from his High School in the 5K. Joe doesn't know the exact time, but assures me "Doug was the fastest in HS" when he attended.
Joe also lifts weights, and he and I have often lifted together. He's very strong and can benchpress an unbelievable 230 pounds. He only weighs 140 pounds. How cool is that?
So, Joe and I are talking about the race coming up. He's asking about how far it is away from my house. Is it paved or trail, stuff like that. He gets around to asking me how my marathon training is going, and wants to know how my long runs are going, how far am I up to now. I advised him I've done two LRs that were over 17 miles long and my next week run will be at least 18 miles.
His eyes bulge out, his face lights up, he looks genuinely surprised and says "Wow, the longest I've ever run is 7 miles, how can you run that far?" I told him how I run/walk and just keep going. This kid now has a million questions. "How do you know how far you've run, do you have regular routes, do you use a mapping program to find routes?"
I'm kind of surprised at his enthusiasm. You know, teenagers are not well known for getting excited about anything other than their own immediate needs. So I hold on to my thoughts, and just answer the questions he asks.
Later, I ponder our conversation. A little light goes off in my brain. 17 miles, I think. What!?! Did I just say I ran 17 miles in one day, and intend to run 26.2 miles in a month or so?? Hell, yes, 17.5 miles is a long distance! I had just forgotten how far. I've taken myself for granted, and forgotten just how "far" I've come. It took the perspective of a 16 year old athlete to wake me up.
This kid knows about exercise, pushing yourself to the limit, and how exhausting exercise can be. He's looking at his 65 year old (I forgot how old that sounds to a 16 year old, too) grandfather, who just made the wild assertion that he's run 17 plus miles in one day! And he is impressed.
No wonder his eyes bulged out and he was so surprised! That is a long distance! I'd just forgotten, because I've done long runs so many times.
Do not take your accomplishments for granted. You've come so far and worked so hard for it. Be proud of yourself. You may have forgotten, too.
Thanks for reading and have a great day.
Wednesday, September 05, 2012
She says I used to complain about complaining oldsters when I was a young guy, and have now that I've graduated, I've become one with them.
I don't remember it that way - but I'll take her word for it. Supposedly, I used to say things like "What is it with these old people? They excuse themselves from life and fun by complaining about some issue, like a sore back, bad knees or a million other ailments."
I do have some pains. Wait until you get old, you may have some, too.
My left back/shoulder/neck hurts during long runs. My right shoulder gets sore quickly during weightlifting. You can feel a crunching if I rotate that one! Forget about my feet. The podiatrist wanted me to go under the knife 30 years ago, and I didn't - I got orthotics instead. That pain went away. until I started running last year.
I've kept these maladies under control by exercising with moderation. Believe me, when, for some reason or the other, I got away from exercising, those pains get worse! I NEED to exercise. Like the few times I've been on extended vacations and just took a break. Ooh, my lower back and right shoulder get real painful when I stay away from the weights.
So, I'll keep running and keep working out. I NEED to exercise. So my wife doesn't accuse me of being a complainer.
OOh, I just had a little cramp in my wrist... I think it's from typing too much.
And the knee IS a little tender this morning.....
Thanks for reading, and have a great day.
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