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!
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.
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Finished the Wekiwa Springs Real Florida 10K race this morning.
A few things suggested that I not pursue a PR on this race. Too soon after my first half marathon, and another - my back was a bit sore AGAIN this morning. I took it easy training last week, but still have not fully recovered.
This course was a trail run, and it looked intimidating. Lots of fallen branches, pine cones, exposed tree roots and tracks where ATVS and utility vehicles had left loose sandy ruts. Some narrow single lane paths where vegetation brushed at both side of the runners. Started out with some nice downhill slopes, but you know what comes after downhill slopes, lots of hills.
So, I started off thinking I would give it my best shot, and take whatever time I could squeeze out of it.
In the back of my mind that little voice was whispering "Screw that, trust your training. Forget about all the reasons not to excel and just go for a PR anyway. Tell the DW you are going to take it easy, 'cuz your back is sore, but run like hell!"
It was pretty grueling. At about 4.5 miles my heart rate was peaking at 180 and I just had to stop and walk - for a bit, then off again. Watching my heart rate and pace closely, walking for short time a couple more times. Keeping my eye on the HR and pace, I saw I had a chance at just getting under the 1 hour time. My PR was 1:00:21 so this was going to require a difficult push at the end for this geezer.
I had a great finish -- there was a group of 4 in front of me, down the finish line corridor. Somehow I found some energy and started kicking! I flew past the 4 of them, the announcer said something about "we have a strong runner coming up, looking for a good finish" or something like that. That just made me run faster.
I finished with a time of 59:46. Real happy with that time, just 35 seconds under my PR but enough to get the coveted "under an hour" time I wanted.
I met some nice people. Most of whom had much more experience than I, and was told that these types of races are not the kind of races to go for a PR. Well, yeah, I thought that too.
Got another 1st place in age group as well. But, once again, I was the ONLY one in my age group.
Next race I am going to take it nice and easy and enjoy the run and the scenery. Not going to be so competitive. Yup, that's exactly what I plan to do.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
We did a 20 minute walk/run yesterday. The very first step in the Couch to 5K (C25K) program. DW is actually in very good shape, but lacks confidence due to having an MI a few years ago. Cardiologist says she will do fine, as long as she keeps it under the "able to talk while running" threshold.
For me, my back is slight sore this morning. Could be the weather - we had lots of rain last night. But, I am not doing a training run this morning, just to be safe. I have a 10K this Saturday and I need to be feeling good for that.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Not really enjoying the post HM rest period. But, I am using this time to do a bit more strenuous weight lifting. When preparing for a race, I don't hit the weights very hard, so this is a good time to work out the upper body a little more vigorously.
Been riding my mountain bike more too. I did run a bit yesterday, and felt okay afterward. Did 2 miles run/walk. Sounds like such a small run, but I understand I have to get back slowly in order to avoid injuries. Today was an off day, so I'll do another run/walk tomorrow, perhaps up it to 3 miles.
I am fortunate to be retired. It gives me plenty of time for exercise. And I really enjoy exercising now. I can rest when and if I feel like it, and don't have to come home from work exhausted and then work out. I remember years ago not liking it so much, but doing it anyway. That's not a problem now.
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