Monday, December 26, 2011

Not a great end to 2011

There is always an up and down nature to endurance and running but gees.  This isn't a post for sympathy or anything but this is a diary for me.  I use this blog to remember what works and doesn't work.  I look back and learn.  I am wondering what I am feeling.  Truth is, I don't know.  The problems I am having are both mental and physical.  Mental trouble surrounds my thoughts of doubt.  Am I choosing goals that out of my ability?  Am I training appropriately if these goals are doable?  I thought that I recovered ok but my body feels worse now then a week after the marathon.  I didn't even go fast or long.  A few footwear mistakes and I am on the mend.  I cannot pinpoint the trouble though.  Is it calf?  Is posterior tib? Plantar fascia?  I don't know may be all of them.  I didn't run more or less than usual, I didn't have anything out of the norm.  Except may be running full time with sully.  He has been awfully impatient with me.  I don't know.  May be I need a break?  Back off running and focus on strengthening.  Change gears but keep running to stay cardio fit.  I don't feel fit or strong.  I am wondering if I should back off to the half at surf city.  Should I start triathlon training?  I don't know, I am just in a rut.  I need to get my nutrition discipline back.  I need to balance out the force moving through my body and I need to get my ass in gear.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

ReCharging the Batteries

The focus of the last few weeks has been forgetting the race and moving by concentrating on recovery.  If this post was yesterday I would have said I was back to 100%.  Todays run was harder effort than it has to be.  There has been no pain, no musculoskeletal stuff but overall just feel lethargic.  Overall, just more tired than anything.  I am focused on Surf City and happy that I have a long break with coaching to just concentrate on what I need to do.  On another note, I put both of my bikes up on craigslist.  I am giving myself until after Surf City to sell my bikes and to get a new one.  I will race at RAGE for the 4th time and see what happens.  I will dedicate a whole post to that race because it is going to be special.  Also, Sully had is 1st birthday and is now not limited with how much running he can do.  Here is how my week went:

Tuesday-Easy 45 min that turned into a bit more.  This is my 4th or 5th run since the marathon and I feel pretty good.  Sully was happy to be out this morning.  The plan was 22.5 min out and back.  I couldnt keep my pace to slow just I just rode it.  The last 2 miles at 8:51 and 8:49. It felt good just be unconsciously running and faster than just getting some miles in.  I think tomorrow will be good to open it up and see how I feel.
Wednesday-6 mile progression run.  I wanted to go fast but not too long.  Here are the splits: 9:06, 8:54, 8:47, 8:43, 8:38, and 8:11.  I felt strong but still a bit more tired then I am used to during this workout.  Not fully recovered yet.
Thursday-Easy 40.  20 out and back with sully mostly off leash.  He is so fun to watch.  Running fast so he can check things out, then stopping and letting me run by just to take off again.  I felt no ill effects from day before and looking forward to getting back to full speed.
Friday- off
Saturday-Hill Repeats.  With a small group already excited about running Exploration peak I couldnt say no.  20 min easy, climb X 3, and then easy cool down.  About 5 miles total.  I could have done more but I figured I am still recovering and I have tomorrow to go long.  The weather was perfect.  Sully must have went bottom to top 6 times.  He is a stud.  Overall, a great effort and quite the the lung/leg burn.
Sunday-Long run.  My first long run and I didnt anticipate such effort.  I ran an old course that I havent run in years and I ran so much stronger on it.  It has part of the silverman course on there too.  I went 10 miles in 1:34 and 9:27 pace.  I just locked into rhythm and took what my body gave me and went with it.  Pretty scenery, Sully out in force, and just a little harder then Id like it to be.  The build has already started and this body better get going.  Quote:

Don’t be afraid to give your best to what seemingly are small jobs. Every time you conquer one it makes you that much stronger. If you do the little jobs well, the big ones will tend to take care of themselves. -Dale Carnegie

Just taking care of little job after little job.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Top 10 Reasons I Will Not Run the Las Vegas Marathon Again

As the information has trickled down this week and I put the pieces together, I dont know what exactly happened.  Remember, I LIVE HERE.  This is my home race.  I know that I will not be back to run this marathon for sure: here is the list.

10:  The entry fee.  I am a sucker for paying that much to run a marathon.  I get that the permits to shut the strip down at night must be outrageous but I dont have to contribute to it.  $150 bucks to run a marathon is a lot.

9:  The Expo.  If you pay that much to race, it better be a first class event.  It most certainly was not.  They gave me the wrong size shirt and would not exchange it until after the race.  There were thousands of people jammed into a very small space and no walk ways to move around.  There were no race posters.  I collect them and now I dont have one for this race.  They needed twice the space.

8.  The shirts were ugly too.  Wouldnt you think a race ran at night would have something fun about night time gear.  NOPE.  Black shirts with a little glow in the dark writing.  Black shirts for a night race? Bogus.

7.  Number of entries.  The official numbers are 44,000 people signed up.  Let me tell you that the number of people walking with bibs, yardy margaritas, and beers seemed like way more than that.  It was New Years and a race.  Except the control the cops have at new years was missing.  It was an absolute circus.  They are trying to get to 100,000 entries for the future and next year the goal is 60, 000. I will not contribute to that.  There was so many people walking they covered the marathon lane.  I zig-zagged the last 13 miles of this race.  More on that later.

6.  Timing of the half and the full meeting back up on the strip.  The shear number of people, the number of bandits, It was bedlam.  Perhaps I am too slow to experience good separation but gees, It was miserable weaving around the 3 hours plus of walkers.

5.  Aid stations.  The aid stations were horrible.  Not only were they not enough of them but they were bare when I go there.  I received no cytomax for the last half of the race.  That means I was stuck with water only for the second half of the race.  Some aid stations you had to pour your own water.  Not to mention the number of people who were sick from the water.  I had most of the symptoms other had.  I dry heaved A LOT but did not vomit.  I was so sick.  Did I make a nutrition error?  Yes, but I have never felt that way before and it lasted all night.  They tapped a fire hydrant for water.  Used a hose to pour water into cups then they couldnt fill them fast enough.  So they filled a trash can with water using a liner.  They scooped water out and served it to runners.  My symptoms were severe to me but way less severe compared to others, so I am not sure.  For that entry fee I better have the resources I need.

4.  Medals/Swag.  There are literally hundreds of people who did not get a medal.  People who finished got offered multiple medals and they took more.  Some bandits got through and took medals.  The finishers for the half were so backed up at the medals that they had stand on the magnetic strip.  Literally on the finish line.  There was nothing to eat but green green bananas and stale bagels.  Really?  For 150 bucks I cannot recover?

3.  Running at night.  Now should I have trained this more?  YES.  I am responsible for that aspect of it but it made running more of a challenge.  I didnt think I would have had that problem.  It is nice to start out cold and get warm as you run.  At night its warm to cold.  Bring extra clothes to run the second half but you have to carry it through the first have.  Not to mention the people who are in las vegas and have a vacation to enjoy.  Walking through the race or using LV Blvd to walk to dinner or to a cab with your luggage.  Runners smashing into civilians with their luggage during the race?  Really?  Why do we have to weave around those folks too?  It was cold, and even rained too.  Parts of the full were very well lit and other parts was almost totally dark.  Weird.

2.  Competitor group.  I am starting to see a trend here.  The competitor group is getting awfully greedy.  Last year was borderline and I was a sucker for coming back.  I am even considering canceling my traithlete magazine subscription so those guys dont get anymore money from me.  The tri rock series is not even close.  Same baloney with water and bikes?  NO CHANCE.  I will not be back to vegas for sure and If the competitor group is behind a race I will be very reluctant to sign up.  I am thinking the local race thing is what is important.  Big, gaudy, manufactured experience is not desirable.  Not me, No thanks.

1.  The survey we got from the healthy district.  When the health district is trying to investigate what the runners drank at a race you know its bad.  I wish I can remember when i took water to help this out.  I wish I knew when which aid station it was.  I know that my insides were twisted and all of my muscles cramped.  My middle back and shoulders?  Lower back and legs?  I have never felt like that before.  Thank god it wasnt enough to make me seriously ill but gees it still was bad.

The good news:
-It was been really smooth recovery.  Since I didnt have a strong second half, I wasnt torn down.  I was sore but not horrible.  I have been able to run 30-60 min easy and I really, really want to go faster.
-I know I can push through anything.  If I can push on through what I felt then, what can stop me?
-It is still a marathon PR.  just not that impressively.
-I know that if the race was in the morning and I had healthy water to drink  I had a great plan.  I am in good shape.
-This puts me in good position for Surf City.  I am going to have one more week of easy recovery then get back to it next week.  I am ready for the new schedule!

Monday, December 5, 2011

2011 Las Vegas Marathon: Crash and Burn

I know better.  I am upset with myself.  I should have trained for an afternoon long run.  I gave others that advice and I did not follow it myself.  I should have trained an afternoon long so I could see what the nutrition should be.  I found out the hard way what it should not.  I am embarrassed and I am upset.  I have a new marathon PR but its no where near what it should be.  NO WHERE NEAR.  I began trouble at 4 miles, heart burn and curling stomach.  By mile 10 my knee was hurting but I was able to use mechanics to get through that and it wasnt a factor.  At mile 14 I was only 5 min slower than expected.  Then the bottom fell out.  My stomach turned into knotts, my abs, my back, my quads, my hip flexors, my calves, and my toes cramped.  My race came tumbling down.  I have had long run after long run with absolutely no cramping or digestive issues.  I think it was the smoothie I had for lunch.  TOO MUCH SUGAR.  I ran walked the second half.  2:10 for the first half and 3:05 for the second half.  5:14.  A 9 min PR but a horrible result after the training would support much faster.  The cold didnt help.  The cold rain didnt help.  The walkers I had to weave through didnt help.  This was just not my day.  I had great training, I had a great plan, I just had a bad night.  Thanks to my wife for supporting me through thick and thin.  Thanks to Karl for putting me in the right position, thanks to people like chuck and the other commenters for your continued support.