Saturday, February 09, 2013
Today I ran a half marathon race. Exactly 6 days after doing a full marathon last Sunday.
This is not advisable. You need to rest up after the herculean effort of running a full marathon. Different advise is given on how much to rest, but everyone seems to agree you need to rest a lot. I guess at my age, 66, it is even more important to stay off your running feet for a while.
But, I had scheduled this HM before I scheduled the full marathon, then forgot about it. I saw it on my calendar a while ago and was undecided whether I'd do it or not. I decided at first I'd just walk most of it and run a little bit and at least collect my shirt, bib and participant medal.
Then today came, and I got in line at the start. I felt okay, not great, but able to do this. I started out with a 2 or 3 minute run, then walk for 30 to 60 seconds. Nothing etched in stone, I just ran as I felt. I got warmed up and was doing okay, so I got a bit more vigorous in the running portions. The miles piled up, and now I'm around mile 5 and I noticed I'm not getting that invigorated feeling I usually get at this point. I am more tired than usual. Okay, it's to be expected. Let's keep up the pace and see how I do under duress.
The miles go by, still run/walking. No second wind yet. Drat. I am going to have to push for the entire race. OK, Boilham, let's see what you're made of. Now I'm doing the guy thing, and trying to prove I'm not so old, and I just need to gut it out and push for a decent time.
I'm even passing a few slower runners towards the end. I am still at the relative back of the pack, but doing okay. Okay is the word I use most for this race, 'cuz I never once got that rush of energy where I felt like I could run forever. That's okay (damn, I said okay again) because this is now a test of endurance. I am into it.
Tired all the way, I pass the mile markers. Taking in water a lot and a couple of GUs. It's not too warm, but I am perspiring more than usual. My heart rate is higher, too. I'm thinking this is good (thought, I was going to say okay, didn't you?) because I need to push myself beyond my comfort level once in a while.
The last few miles whiz by. Soon enough I'm at the 12 and still running a vigorous pace. I tried to do the last mile without walking, but I confess I pretty much needed that rest, so I did walk. Then the last half mile was upon me and then down the finish corridor I went.
I glanced at the clock as a ran under - it said 2:17:34 and then a few more steps and I passed the finish mat.
They never posted my time on the time sheets. I guess I finished just when they were tabulating the awards, so it's good I took a look at the clock. I always forget to hit my stop button on my watch, so when I finally stopped my watch it said 2:18:20.
I went to the guy with the computer and he assured me he had my time in there. So, I won't know the exact time until I see it online.
But hey! I took second place in my AG. The guy who finished first had a nice time of 2:06:34, a pretty fast pace.
So I had a good race today, surprised myself with what I think is a pretty good time considered I had no right being out there running today. I should have been home resting. I feel great right now. No pain, or injuries, so that's cool.
I think I will take a bit of time off now. Unless there is another race coming up soon. Just kidding.
Thanks for reading and have a great day.
Edit: official time 2:17:42
Monday, February 04, 2013
You know how once in a while everything falls into perfect alignment?
Today the weather was great, beautiful flat course, crowd support, food and water on the course. Beforehand, good training, lots of rest, good attitude, everything fell into place nicely.
Also, I had done some research on muscle cramping. Which was a big problem for me on my first full marathon. Two known causes - muscular overexertion, and low sodium (some say potassium depletion also). There is lots of anecdotal evidence that drinking 'pickle juice' can stop cramps. Use it as a preventative measure, or during cramping. So, I took 8 oz of pickle juice with added salt with me today. Tastes pretty bad but I had no significant cramping.
Yesterday I picked up my packet at the DoubleTree Hilton in Tallahassee. Tallahassee downtown is beautiful and the park across from DoubleTree is nice and had adequate parking.
Went back to my hotel for more rest. Fell asleep early that evening. Set two alarms, as usual, and woke up on time. Had all my 'stuff' ready. My room didn't have a coffee pot, so I went out to the RV and brewed myself a cup, and heated up some oatmeal, my usual pre-race breakfast.
My DW called and wished me well. She had craft fairs and art fairs to attend yesterday, so wouldn't tag along on this one.
When I got to the race site, I called my grandson. He was nearby and would see me shortly. He arrived just minutes before the start of the race, we said hello and I got in the crowd and placed myself near the end.
There were only 308 full marathoners and over 700 half marathoners.
Most of this run was on a small paved trail. Very enjoyable for me. Considering this was a smaller race with only about 1,000 participants there was a lot of support from the community. Probably had 20 groups of folks along the way. Some of them in costume! Even the road guards cheered us on.
The race got off to a slow start, maybe that was good, it forced me to start slowly. There was no room to accelerate from my spot in the back of the pack. I forgot to check my watch at the first mile but I imagine it was probably a 13/14 minute mile pace. Okay, I could make that up. I'd planned for an 11mm pace. Not being an elite athlete I knew my second half would be a longer time than my first half. I kept checking my watch and I was consistently running 10:45 or close to that - the miles ticked by. At the half marathon point the clock said I was right at 2:21 gun time - not bad, about what I wanted. I chugged on through to the turnaround which was at mile 14.
Coming back down the trail, more than halfway done, at mile 16 I see something out of place going on. About a tenth of a mile ahead of me, I see a woman coming towards me, look around, and turn back and go the other way! She was in the clear, and thought no one saw her. I sped up, and finally caught up to her and looked back at her bib number. I fully intended to report her, and I did. She was stealing from every other runner in that race, and possibly could steal an award away for someone. At the spot she turned back, she had effectively clipped about 4 miles off her marathon distance.
So back to the race, I was feeling great at this point. I took in a lot of 'GU' and water. My energy level was still very high. The miles were flying by. Maybe keeping track of my pace kept me so preoccupied that I lost track of my miles markers. I was often surprised at what mile I was passing. It seemed to be going quickly. At mile 20, still felt great, then I got some mild cramping. Took a couple of slugs out of my pickle juice concoction. The pain subsided. I think it began around mile 23 that I started to feel a loss of energy, but I had run so fast up to this point I felt I could break 5 hours easily if I didn't get into trouble.
I was slowing down. At this point I had been running with two other old coots, both in their late 60s. We chided ourselves for being at the back of the pack, but these guys, like me, were not about to give up. You could see the effort on their faces as they forced onward. I'd pass one or two of them, then walk for a bit, they'd pass me. Great fun - no competition here. I met and talked to several guys in my AG. There were a lot of older runners here.
Now I exit the running trail which had, in many places, a tree canopy and plenty of shade, now I'm out in the sun. My 'perfect marathon' began to get tough. Not exactly 'hills', let's just say a few inclines for the last mile and a half or so. The wind was really blowing now, too - directly into my face. This was tough going. I hunkered down, and pushed on, but it was really difficult now. Feeling a bit sorry for myself, that I was running up an incline against the wind, in the sun. But. My time was still so good, I knew I was going to finish under 5 hours. I was so glad I had that time buffer built in, because I was slowing down quite a bit now.
The finish line was on the track of the FSU campus. I ran through the gate onto the track and there was grandson Doug and his beautiful wife, Brandi. Smiling and clapping. What words can sound better than "Way to go, Grandpa, you're looking good"? Icing on the cake, for sure.
I struggled around the track.The announcer called out my name and hometown over the P.A. - another nice touch.
I had completed a second marathon a mere 3 months after my first. The kids came over to congratulate me, and I could hardly speak. I was really beat. I recovered really quickly, though.
My final time was 4:53:24. Almost 27 minutes off my previous effort! How did that happen? Everything just fell into place, that's how. The almost perfect marathon.
Thanks for reading and have a great day.
Saturday, February 02, 2013
Had a good nights rest. I'm carbed up, fat and happy. The weatherman is predicting cool weather. The course has been called "flat as a pancake". All good news for my 2nd marathon.
Spark people has been a huge part of my training and racing efforts. In my offline life I am kind of a loner, don't do group runs. Don't know a lot of local runners, except nodding at them on my runs. So, I do get lots of moral support from you guys. So, it's my friends right here in addition to my family that motivates me.
I'm seeking a pain and injury free run primarily. Of course, I wouldn't mind lopping a few minutes off my previous effort. That was 5 hr 20 min 04 seconds.
Here's hoping that this 66 year old man is still able to grow, and has not peaked, or God forbid, begun the downhill slide yet.
Thanks for reading and have a great day!
Friday, January 25, 2013
Tapering for my first marathon drove me nuts. I was new to this and wanted to run all the time. Like all new things for me, I tend to get obsessive. I wanted to run everyday, and my aging body would not allow.
Now that I've been doing this for about a year and a half, I'm more accustomed to it, and feeling less inclined to overdue. Nice. I know my limitations, yet I continue to push on to strengthen until I peak. A delicate balancing act, training without overtraining.
My tapering process has returned. I've done my longest runs. I maxed out with a 22 mile LR; now my longest run, tomorrow, will only be 10 miles. I ran a shorter 4 miler and a 6 miler already this week.
Not piling on the miles during taper weeks is rather enjoyable this time around. I find myself with time on my hands, so I do other stuff to keep me busy.
I know I'm 'allowed' to eat a bit more too, to store up the glycogen supplies in anticipation of the approaching massive assault on my old muscles, tendons and bones. Another benefit - eating!
Yeah, taper weeks are kind of nice this time around.
Thanks for reading and have a great day.
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
10 second commercial followed by video of my nephew Nick Newell, being refused entry into Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The quote from UFC President, Dana White is shocking to me, but I give him points for honesty.
Hoping Nick will eventually prevail and gain admittance into the #1 MMA venue, which is the UFC.
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