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Registered for my first Marathon.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Finally bit the bullet and registered for a full Marathon. It will be the Rock N Roll Savannah Marathon in November of this year. I like the idea of a large event for a first timer. I may even use a pace group to help me out. Being such a huge effort for a man of advanced age, I am really going to attempt to just finish this race.

I started running when I was near the end of my 64th year. My goal was to do a Marathon before I turn 66. Pretty close to one year from couch to Marathon.

With our Florida summers being so brutally hot and humid, I will have to train very early in the summer months. Since I am relatively new to running, I have never trained during the summer - should be interesting. November is a long way off, should be plenty of time for training.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SKINNYPOWELL1 4/10/2012 8:46AM


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DAPHNE_RUNS 4/1/2012 10:31AM

    Good luck Vic. You will do just fine training in the summer. It takes your body about two weeks to adjust to the heat. I started running last summer and it was challenging but doable. I'm not quite ready to take the marathon leap......I am here to cheer you on and take notes!!!!!!

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WONDERWOMAN 3/31/2012 11:35PM

    Good luck and enjoy. I did the Savannah RnR Half last year. For the most part, I enjoyed it; but I hear the course for the full left a lot to be desired. Hoping they fix that for this one. I'm toying with the idea of a full, but haven't fully wrapped my brain around it. Glad to hear I have a few years yet before I'm "too old."

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RHONDALYN10 3/30/2012 9:03PM

    Woohoo! Best wishes!!
2012 = The Year of The Marathon

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POWERAUER 3/30/2012 7:48PM

    Congrats! I agree about the big event and the pace group. Good luck with your training and keep us updated.

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STRIVER57 3/30/2012 4:34PM

    congratulations & good luck. i signed up for my first half yesterday -- in October. i'm pretty sure a half is all i'm interested in doing ... well, hopefully, halves in the plural. but i find it incredible that i am doing this ... and doing it because i want to.
wow. getting old is fun!

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ONMYMEDS 3/30/2012 3:07PM

    Vic, best of luck on your first marathon. My age and running experience is very much the same as yours. I started running about a year ago when I hit 64. I'll be running my first marathon on May 5th at age 65. If I live through it, i'll let you know how it goes.

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BUTTERFLY-1976 3/30/2012 1:01PM

    Good for you Vic!! You'll do great.

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LAURIE5658 3/30/2012 12:19PM

    Vic, I am with you all the way, buddy! We will train for our first Full's together as a team so lets do this thing!


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WADINGMOOSE 3/30/2012 9:37AM

    Fantastic goal, good luck in the marathon!

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MARATHON_MOM 3/30/2012 9:36AM

    Good luck!!! I ran the inaugural event in Savannah last year. It was a good run, with the exception of a few parts. I hear they are tweaking the course a little this year to make it better, too!
Congratulations on making the decision to run a marathon.

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PIXIEMOM13 3/30/2012 9:21AM

    Best of luck to you!

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Remember to refuel on long runs!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Got our race packets last night and gotta admit, we were like little kids, pinning DWs first number on her new running shirt. She'd had about a month of training and was ready to run. Well ready to finish anyway.

I think we were more excited than we wanted to admit, 'cuz we were up and down all night! Really. We woke each other up several times. Going to the bathroom, or tossing and turning. She even asked some race questions in the middle of the night. "Vic, tell me, have you ever seen anyone trip and fall?" "Honey, how hard is a brick street surface to run on, compared to asphalt?" Yep, she had race jitters.

We'd set two alarms and the first one worked just fine. Got up at 5:30. The race was just a couple of miles from home and started at 7:00AM, so we had plenty of time. Oatmeal and half a banana for breakfast.

We found a parking place easily because we were so early. There were over 4,000 runners pre registered, so this was a crowded race!

We got into the corral for the 2 mile run. I was doing the 2 mile, and then a 10K directly after I finished. The 2 mile start time was 7AM and 7:30 for the 10K. So, I probably wouldn't see her again until after my 10K.

DW is no lightning fast beginner, at age 64 she was hoping for a 30 minute finsih time. Just before the gun went off, we gave each other a good luck smooch, and off we went. I thought I'd go for a fast pace on the 2M and take it easy on the 10K. It was sooooo crowded! The 2M went quick for me, and I finished with a 17:21 a fairly good effort for me. I took 1st place out of 7 runners in my AG for this one.

Not so with the 10K I am sorry to say. I had a disappointing run. I actually didn't think about refueling at the end of the 2M and they had only water at the water stations. No gel, no energy drink. I know that hurt me. The field was very crowded, and it was difficult positioning myself the entire race. Here is a shot I took with my phone camera just after the 4 mile mark.

The first 3 miles went great - the timer said 31 minutes at the 3M - and that was gun time, so I was doing better than that on the chip. Then I started to loose energy. At the time, it hadn't occurred to me why, but I knew I was not feeling my usual level of strength. Only later did I put it together, that I was out of fuel. I hadn't eaten anything since my oatmeal and banana at 5:30.

So, I just kept running, aware I was slowing down. Thank goodness the hills were mostly a thing of the past. Not so much uphill now. At the beginning there sure were. I could see my heart rate was not so high either, so I used everything I had to keep it up, all the time feeling disappointed and wondering why I was so tired. I was making all kinds of excuses in my head, told myself "hey you can't expect a PR every race" everything I have read told me to enjoy myself and stop fretting about the times. So, I tried that and it worked for a while. Until I hit mile 6 and it was well over an hour! 1:04 I think.

Oh man, I didn't like that at all. I had nothing left for a final kick, either. I just kept going as fast as I could, at this point the finish line was coming up and the crowd was wonderful, cheering and whooping it up and shouts of "big finish" "you're almost there" "woo hoo". Certainly generic shouts thrown out to all us runners, we were still almost shoulder to shoulder, but it felt like they were talking to me. Thanks for all who cheer us on, it means a lot to me.

I ran over the finish line, and looked for the nearest water station, walked right by the cute girl with my 10K ribbon. Yeah, I went back for it later, after I got my water.

Then there was another person handing me a different ribbon, this one for finishing the "Distance Dare" Hell, yeah! Two ribbons for one event. DW Chris was there near the water station, waiting with a towel in her hand.

We shared race stories and it was a great day. She had a 30:06 time by the gun, and she started back in the pack, so we counted it as an under 30 time. :) My final 10K time was 1:06:01. Came in position 14 out of 28 runners. Sheesh, I couldn't have run :02 seconds better to get a 1:05? :)

Later I did think about it and realized I need to be sure to eat something on the long runs. I certainly do on my training runs! Plus, I didn't have my morning coffee, or a caffeine strip. Excuses? Yeah, I got a million of them. When do I get to the point of just running for fun, and ignoring the clock?

Thanks for reading. I had a wonderful time this morning. And having the DW with me made it that much better.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STRIVER57 3/27/2012 3:07PM

    came by to thank you for the lovely comment on my blog -- and read yours ... sounds great. 4000 sounds like a nice tiny race to me ... which is what i'd really like to run. the only one i've done so far ... a 6 k -- was 25000 women ... and very crowded. doing it again this september and should drop my time a lot ... i'm already 10 min faster for that distance and i have 6 months to go. but am also working on a half. hope your wife has as fun as i do with it.

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BUTTERFLY-1976 3/26/2012 11:25AM

    Congrats to you & your wife. It's great that you can share the experience together & support each other.

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SKINNYPOWELL1 3/26/2012 9:17AM

    So glad your wife had a great first race, please give her my congrats on a super time. I see her following in your footsteps, look out she's right behind you. So great that you are doing it together.

You had a great race too, and you learned something....Fuel, fuel, fuel. Your time was awesome, definitely a great time.

Loved hearing about you race adventure.

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LAURIE5658 3/24/2012 9:20PM

    Vic, ype at even in your 60's one will learn from every run or race. It's how runners evolve. Today was a HUGE lesson learned and that is very important. Congratulations to you and your wonderful wife on a great running event. On to the next!

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FANGFACEKITTY 3/24/2012 7:22PM

    How awesome for both of you! Congratulations to you wife on her first race and your times are nothing to sneeze at. I'd have been hard pressed just to keep you in sight.

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RHONDALYN10 3/24/2012 7:09PM

    I LOVE that your wife had her first race today!
When you get to the point of running for fun and ignoring the clock let me know how you did it! I am not there yet. Had a miserable 5K today because of it.....and another hundered excuses.
Great job! You are an inspiration!

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DAPHNE_RUNS 3/24/2012 2:10PM

    Vic, that is wonderful your wife got out there and ran a race with are spreading the spark.

You did an awesome job on both your runs....and congrats on the 1st place medal in your age group for the 2 miler.

One of the local running stores sells a wrist storage band for cell phones, keys and for just about anything you can fit in there....I need to buy one so I can keep my cell phone with me to take pictures. I always leave my phone in the car for fear that I will drop it on my run.

Great race report. Thanks for sharing.

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REDSHOES2011 3/24/2012 12:30PM

    emoticonsounds like you and your family had a canon great day!

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Not feeling so great today.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Had a wonderful time with the grandkids last Tuesday and Wednesday. They both were entered in a GNCC motorcycle race. My oldest DGS had problems with the bike and was unable to finish!

That's him standing in the middle.

2nd DGS came in 9 out of 17 - which was fine, 'cuz he just went up to the highest class in his AG.

Here he is, sitting on his bike, post race.

I felt great all day, that day, but my daughter and her BF where having some symptoms that they believed to be allergies. Watery eyes, runny noses.

Sure enough yesterday, after a ride to the last full day of Daytona Bikeweek for a few hours, I started to feel punky. Same symptoms, watery eyes, and runny nose, and generally tired.

Last night I slept 12 hours!! And, this morning DW and I went for her regular 2 mile training run. Felt okay, but not great. I am still undecided if I have a head cold, or have acquired and allergic reaction to pollen and orange blossoms. This is the season down here in Florida.

I am going to rest a lot as I have a Distance Dare coming up this Saturday, and it's also the DWs first race ever!!! The 2 mile first leg (for me) of the Distance Dare.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SKINNYPOWELL1 3/20/2012 9:03AM

    I hope you feel better, allergy season is in full swing here, yuck. Wishing you luck with your race this weekend, but I am soooo anxious to hear how the wifey does. emoticon

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FANGFACEKITTY 3/19/2012 3:57PM

    I hope you feel better soon! Bummer about your oldest DGS not being able to finish, that had to be a big disappointed for him, but great job for your youngest DGS!

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DAPHNE_RUNS 3/18/2012 10:12PM

    I hope you feel better soon. I hate it when these "illnesses" sneak up on you. This reminded me of the Friday before my half marathon. I woke up about 2 in the morning with a horrible stomach ache and did not feel better until 6 that morning. I had an apple, took chewable pepto did not work. And any liquids I drank made the stomach ache feel worse. So I went into my 3 year old's room and borrowed her teddy bear (the one that has a pull out bag you heat up) pulled out the bag and put it in the microwave and placed it on my tummy. All was well after that. My tummy ache was not an issue for the race. Whew, thank goodness.

So.....good thing this is happening this weekend and hopefully all will be well next weekend.

You will do great for the race.....good luck on your leg of it.

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KELSEY54 3/18/2012 8:57PM

    Hope you feel better soon! Are those boys ever lucky to have their grandad at something that was so important to them. Good luck to you and your wife in your upcoming race.

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LAURIE5658 3/18/2012 1:19PM

    Feel better soon, Vic! how wonderful that you got to experience your GC's racing events. Those times are precious to a grandparent. Have a great Sunday, my friend, and take 'er easy.

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HM number 2 was easier.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Had some second thoughts as I typed my title, 'cuz these thing aren't easy at all. Like everything else in life, it's all relative. So, it was easier than HM1, but I still felt the pain and exhaustion. If I didn't have my trusty Timex Ironman watch to tell me my heart rate and pace I never would have believed how well I was doing.

Because of the time change to DST, it was dark at the beginning of the race. It was raining a misty kind of rain, not too hard.

A lot of people arrived late, so they had to postpone the start by 20 minutes. Many people were annoyed at having a later start.

Anyway, the race finally got going, and the cool weather and misting rain felt good as I started off.

There were a few hills in the beginning, but I did okay on those. Tried my best to keep a slower pace, but when I looked at my watch, at mile 3 it said 29 minutes, probably a tad fast for me for a HM. By mile 5 and 6 I was still running around 10m pace but felt okay. My dreaded 9 and 10 mile markers came up and l was still running 9 and 10m paces! I did slow down and walk at the water stations, but that was all the walking I needed for this race.

Now I am wondering why am I doing so well? I thought I'd be doing my 11, 12 and 13m paces near the end, just like last time. But, nope, I felt comparatively good. So I just kept plugging along. I never "hit the wall" or felt the need to walk a while so I could get going again. Don't get me wrong, my feet were screaming "stop stop, this really hurts" and my calves chimed in with the same response, but I continued to run my quicker paces. My watch was telling me so.

I really tried to pay attention to hydration and energy levels throughout the race. I used all the water stations, took Gatorade twice, one GU at 7.5 miles. Since I drank no coffee this morning and am used to a cup or two, I had a caffeine strip at about the 8 mile mark.

Every time I looked at the Timex it said 9 or 10m pace! And this was near the end of the race! I was one happy runner.

I found a bit of energy for an ending kick, not much, but I managed to pass a couple runners near the end stretch. To be honest, one guy flew by me as well.

And there was DW Chris with the camera and she did well and captured a good picture as I neared the finish line.

And another shot after I got my bling.

When they posted the results, I was happy to find I took second place (out of 9) in my age group. In addition to the bling, they gave me a nice plaque for my efforts.

Final time 2:08:57. Almost 13 minutes better than my first half marathon!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FANGFACEKITTY 3/15/2012 10:21PM

    Awesome! And fast! Great job.

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LINDAKAY228 3/13/2012 10:57AM

    Awesome job! I'm so excited for you!

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MASRITE 3/13/2012 12:26AM

    Awesome job Vic!! You smoked your first race. Keep it up and you'll be under 2 hours!! So, when's your next one??

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PIXIEMOM13 3/12/2012 11:12AM

    Holy cow..that was awesome!

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SKINNYPOWELL1 3/12/2012 10:42AM

    Boy am I smiling while reading this. emoticon
Sounds like the perfect race and you set a new PR, as long as you felt great with the faster pace, it was certainly ok to just "go with it". Great job, you are one amazing dude.

P.S. Hope you have a huge empty wall in your house to hang all your bling and placques.

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DAPHNE_RUNS 3/11/2012 8:34PM

    Awesome job on half marathon #2, Vic. Laurie, beat me to are a running machine. I knew exactly what you meant about it being an easier run. Halfs are a lot of hard work but when you are hydrated, eating right, and getting in the zzzzzz's, it is feels like you can run forever, at the right pace.

Your time was was the first half too. I am sure a lot of people were late for the race due to the time change....they probably forgot to "spring forward".

I have to wait until July for my next half, the Chicago Rock and Roll half.

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JENN03275 3/11/2012 7:54PM

    Awesome job!!

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RHONDALYN10 3/11/2012 7:48PM

    That is WONDERFUL!! What a great improvement!! So excited for you!

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KKINNEA 3/11/2012 6:35PM

    Awesome job! I'm guessing this will be your "actual time" - the pace and finish around which you're comfortable and can use as a launching pad for refining your efforts!

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LOGOULD 3/11/2012 6:03PM

    emoticonYou are definitely emoticonin my book!!! emoticon

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BUTTERFLY-1976 3/11/2012 5:55PM

    WooHoo!! You are a machine!! Congrats on the fast time!!

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ROBYNLN 3/11/2012 4:55PM

    emoticon Outstanding job!

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STRIVER57 3/11/2012 4:42PM

    wow. don't know if i'm more impressed by the time (ok, i'm old, but that's fast!) or the improvement from the last one!

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LAURIE5658 3/11/2012 4:31PM

    Vic, you are a machine!!! Congratulations, my fabulous friend!

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My old guy training coming along fine.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

I have discovered much of the information available to us runners does not apply to older runners. The schedules, race time predictors are skewed for younger runners. Perhaps the small number of runners over the age of 60 makes us such a small segment that optional information for us isn't preceived to be much in demand.

It takes me longer to recover than most programs would suggest. I believe the training programs are skewed for younger body recovery times. This has been my observation by trial and error.

Also, I don't believe my observations are specific to me, that maybe I have a slower recovery time than other oldsters, or such. In fact, my recovery times are most likely better than average, due to my good diet, protein supplement addition and years of weight training and recovery experience, spanning well over 30 years.

I'm not complaining, just stating my own findings, with perhaps a word of caution to those over the age of 60 to listen to your body, and don't take the training programs advice (especially the longer runs) as a certain, injury proof way to train.

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KKINNEA 3/7/2012 10:49AM

    I think I saw something roll by on a Runner's World email about masters training (that's 40 and up so I'll be there in a few years).

Frankly, I know a good number of people over 60 and 70 who can kick my rear end at nearly every race we run. You'll see a few of them in my race reports but my fave is Judy C - she's 71, runs pretty much only races but runs them every weekend and leaves me in the dust!

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LAURIE5658 3/7/2012 9:47AM

    I find that if I take the information I read and tweak it to my comfort level it works splendidly and successfully. I followed a training plan to the letter for my first HM and it was way too much. After that, I have followed the Galloway method and even tweaked that. I am a healthy and happy runner. You are doing awesome!

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SKINNYPOWELL1 3/7/2012 9:02AM

    Sorry you are not finding a lot of info on older runners, but my experience, no matter what the professionals and training plans tell you, everyone is different. What works for most doesn't always work for you. You definitely have to listen to your body and make the necessary adjustments. You're doing great, you continue to inspire me. You should join a local running club, you can continue to inspire in a greater capacity. Your story is worth sharing. emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/7/2012 9:03:20 AM

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    That is good advice for runners of all ages. I finally decided to develop my own training program because what I was experiencing just did not jibe with the expert programs or advice. Listening to one's body should always be the first rule.

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