Sunday, February 28, 2010

My first Marathon taper is underway...

But first a funny story. Random lady at the store says "OMG did you do a triathlon? You certainly look like your in good shape"...I was startled since she was kind of behind me. I turned, looked at her and told her I did this triathlon (I was wearing my SILVERMAN finisher shirt). She proceeds to ask the basic questions lay people ask, distance, where did you swim, temperature of the water, HOW LONG ON THE bike?, how did I feel?, was I sore, what do you eat, 5 min long interview by the way. As the ambassador of triathlon I happily addressed her questions. When I my wife arrived she asked her if she did them too, Julie said "naw I run marathons though." WOMAN SAID YOU TO ARE INSANE and her eyes rolled back into her head. We smiled turned and I said to my wife, "Yes, yes WE ARE INSANE." We laughed. We talked about how this lifestyle is so foreign to people. I also realized its the first time in about 10-15 years a stranger has commented on my physique and my fitness level. I was proud.

Another 20 miler in the books. 2 in 2 weeks. I felt about 90% recovered and given the time its taken me to recover, my wifes foot/ankle, the timing was right for another 20 miles. It went much better than the first one. 17 min faster too! This time there was no tending to my wifes injury so I am wondering how much time was spend doing that 2 weeks ago. Also I am a lot closer to my nutrition strategy. With my sugar issues, the heavy sugar products kill me. But may be it isnt so much the sugar as the lack of protein. I just do better every time I have a liitle protein. The change I made was Accelerade instead of other drinks and a few sharkies instead of shot blox. The sharkies do not seem to be a sugary. I did not start any until 2 hours in. i am still trying to train my body to use as much fat as possible. The result was NO cramping at all. It was still slow, but I did go 20 miles. Here is how the rest of the week went.

Monday-3 mile run
Tuesday- Softball
Wednesday-8 mile run. Felt very strong considering my legs dont have that extra gear.
Thursday-Missed the polar bear loop (group ride with my brother and friend Art) and then missed my afternoon run too. Life is funny sometimes.
Saturday-20 mile run
Sunday-25 min easy swim. Probably 20ish laps. Didnt keep track, it was nice. Cut my soreness in half.

My weight 230. 19 pounds lost since Silverman recovery. A new 15 year low. I am thinking of riding in the Tour De Fire. A road race out here in NV. It has a bunch of distances but it is on the same highway that all the tris are out here. It would be my first bike race. Could be fun to sprinkle in amongst the marathons, other running events, triathlons, softball, and other races like muddy buudy. SO FUN!

"Take care of your body with steadfast fidelity. The soul must see through these eyes alone, and if they are dim, the whole world is clouded."

How thick do you think random lady at the stores cloud is?

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Yeah my legs are thrashed. After running my first 20 miler, I am thrashed . It mostly didnt stop me from anything though.

Monday-recovery run 3 miles
Tuesday-Swim. 500 meter time trial. 12:30. Now at first glance not that fast. But if you consider that was my first swim SINCE silverman in Nov. NOT ONE SWIM. My goal pace for silver man was 6 min per 250 yards. SO I was pumped. Not just that but I felt very very strong too. Looking forward to spending more time there. I also played softball as league started tonight. Felt very strong.
Wednesday-Run 6 miles. Sore and slow. Legs were not responding to my brain. It was like mud.
Saturday-Softball tournament. 7 games and as the day went on I felt more and more thrashed. My legs at the end were absolutely DONE. Today I felt so dam sore. So I skipped running. Recover again then another 20 miler in a week or so. Taper for the big race March 21. LA MARATHON bring it on.

“I believe life is constantly testing us for our level of commitment, and life's greatest rewards are reserved for those who demonstrate a never-ending commitment to act until they achieve. This level of resolve can move mountains, but it must be constant and consistent. As simplistic as this may sound, it is still the common denominator separating those who live their dreams from those who live in regret.”
Anthony Robbins

oh yeah, I like that.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Marathon has my attention

As this progression continues to the LA marathon I am completing my longest runs ever. This weekend is no different. I was able to run 20 miles yesterday. Not fast, not pretty, but happy and healthy (sort of). Does anyone run 20 miles for the first time and not be in pain or soreness? I was wondering if the half Iron distance triathlon would be harder than the marathon. If the last 6.2 were anything like the last 2 yesterday, MARATHON will have my attention. As hard as this run was yesterday the HIM was harder. The training volume is certainly more. The last 2 miles were tough though. I had a bit of cramping and my feet were very sore. As the day went on the rest of the muscles below my mid-back were very sore. Today my heal is pretty sore and everything else is feeling a lot better. I think having lots of life this week didn't help. I wasn't able to get my mid week run is so I didn't feel recovered from sunday. Monday we rested, tuesday small run of 4 then nothing until saturday. I missed a medium length run. My wife was able to get 16 in despite continuing to battle foot/ankle issues. This week I am hoping to start to incorporate some swimming and may be a bike or two back into my training. When this marathon is over immediately I have an olympic distance triathlon to be ready for. I will recover from marathon running with swimming and biking. I gotta get back into the weight lifting too. I need to be more diligent with my strength training.

"If you feel bad at 10 miles, you're in trouble. If you feel bad at 20 miles, you're normal. If you don't feel bad at 26 miles, you're abnormal."

Rob de Castella, winner 1983 World Marathon Championships

OK GOOD, Im normal.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Surf City 1/2 marathon race report: No excuses

I have been deep in thought since the beginning of this race. It was my last attempt at fulfilling my goal of a sub 2 hour 1/2 marathon before I run the full. Interestingly enough, this race was the most I have focused on this goal. The last time I tried to PR at this distance I finished at 2:12. All that said, here it goes.

I woke up with a very calm demeanor. I had a plan for today and my progress so far should lend itself to sub 2 hours. The weather was georgous. Sunny, cool, slight breeze, not a cloud in the sky. The day before rained cats and dogs. My group separated into our respective corrals and I took my place amongst the other 2 hour folks. My plan was simple go out a bit slow, speed up to the 9 mile mark hold on, and pour it on with a strong finish.

My first 5K was a few seconds slower than I wanted but nothing I couldn't recover from. I wanted about 9:15ish. (Parts of this post is taken from an email from Karl, he put it into words nicely) At the three mile mark I was averaging 9:23/mi and at the next check point (8.2 miles) I had my average down to 9:15 (on pace for 2:01) which means that over the 5.2 miles after the 3 mile mark I averaged 9:10’s. 9:10 pace over 13.1 miles is 2:00:10.

The last 10K is where the gravy is. I wasnt hot, I wasnt hurting, I wasnt thirsty, I wasnt hungry, I wasnt sick. I didnt plan on walking. I was tired. I wanted to grind it out. I didnt. I wanted to have a strong fast finish. I didnt. I kept saying to myself this is the spot where I take off...TAKE OFF. I didnt have it. COME ON TAKE OFF. The course didnt beat me. It was georgous. Over half of the race with a ocean view. Breathtaking. Mile 10 there was a hill that killed me mentally. It wasnt big or steep or anything. It just took the wind out from underneath me. I was embarased since my best friend Karl came down to pace me. I wanted to celebrate with him. I wanted him to help me get there. The truth is he did help me to sub 2:10. Did I quit? I am disappointed in myself. I quit in front of Karl. The example of not quitting.

The final 4.9 miles were run in 52:00 or a 10:37/mi avg. It was the walking that slowed the average so much. I havent looked at my watch yet but Im sure if I add up the walking minutes its 7 or more. My calves were tight and quads were tired but I wasnt suffering. I felt like a rock climber looking desperately for a hand hold that wasnt there. I wanted to stop. This is going to be the fuel. Not to stop. Endurance athletics ask you to reach down deep. I looked around and didnt pull out of it. I am not happy about it. I should be somewhat happy. It was a PR of 5 min for me. I wanted 2 hours though. 2:07.

I am quickly learning and with more experience it is becoming more and more evident that everybody is a role model. Every level of athlete out there is looking up at the person in front of them. The walkers look up to the slow people who look up to medium fast people who look up to fast people who look up to the really fast people who look up to the pros and olympians. Where am I? Where will I be? I am just not what I thought I was. It is a good lesson. Humbling and hard but good nonetheless. Did I improve, hell yes. Will I continue to improve YOU BET YOUR ASS. Am I a inspiration, YES. When we get down to brass tacks, on this day, me compared to me, I quit. I will use this as fuel. I will think about this every time I train, I just know myself. I will get to the bottom of this. I wanted another notch and I wasnt willing to go there.

“Whenever you make a mistake or get knocked down by life, don't look back at it too long. Mistakes are life's way of teaching you. Your capacity for occasional blunders is inseparable from your capacity to reach your goals. No one wins them all, and your failures, when they happen, are just part of your growth. Shake off your blunders. How will you know your limits without an occasional failure? Never quit. Your turn will come.”
Og Mandino quotes

Perhaps my limit was reached and I thought it was further out there. I have learned a lot about this and next time I will be better prepared. For the record I am so damn proud of my wife. Busting her ass for the last few weeks with a complicated foot/ankle issue, had a PR of 2:07 too. She beat me by 9 sec. Before she knew what her time was I said, honey what percentage did you perform at? She said 80%. Her 80% is better than my 100%. I love her and I hope this helps her confidence blossom. Thanks for your time and the push Karl, I love you too man.