Saturday, October 25, 2008

Tulsa Run

I didn't get much running in this week, because I'm still dealing with some pain in my right leg. And then I started having a sharp pain in my lower back Thursday evening. As of Friday, I wasn't even sure if I would run the race. So, Friday night I took some muscle relaxer before going to bed, and I felt good enough this morning to run in the Tulsa Run 15k.

I showed up early because my daughter, Becky, and her friend, Molly, were doing the 5k. They had a good time. It was Becky's first race ever, and I think it may have been Molly's first too.

At the start I lined up just behind the elites. Brian had me put on a yellow vest, and my job, along with several other people, was to keep the regular runners from crowding the elites. Just before the start, we removed our vests, and then the gun sounded, and we were off. Kendal was with me at the start, and his plan was to follow me, but I think I took off too fast for him. My goal had been 70 minutes, but I figured with all the leg trouble I have had lately, that I would be happy with 72 minutes, or even just beating last year's time of 73 minutes. Here are my splits, with some running commentary:

2k: 8:31 - this is an average of 4:15 per k, which is faster than my goal, but not bad considering that it was mostly downhill.
3k: 5:02 (13:33 total) - this was an uphill portion, so 5:02 wasn't bad.
4k: 4:35 (18:08 total) - this split also was uphill - along Utica.
5k: 4:39 (22:47 total) - this was mostly downhill. I was thinking about my quads, and made sure I wasn't going too fast down the hill by Woodward Park. I was only 20 seconds slower than my 5k PR at this point.
6k: 4:28 (27:15 total) - still downhill on this portion. The 6k mark was right at Vetern's Park, where we start our Saturday morning runs. I felt good.
7k: 4:44 (31:59 total) - mostly flat. My knee was starting to feel funny, and I had some tightness in my right leg, but I told myself that I wasn't going to use that as an excuse to slow down, so I kept the pace strong.
8k: 4:48 (36:47 total) - flat. During this portion I was starting to slow just a bit and was passed by a woman who seemed to be laboring with her breathing quite a bit more than me. I thought to myself that I can keep going fast. I'm not breathing that hard. So, I kept the pace pretty steady.
9k: 4:48 (41:35 total) - flat. I was looking forward to hitting the turnaround.
10k: 4:51 (46:26 total) - flat. This is the section where we hit the turnaround on Riverside.
11k: 4:44 (51:10 total) - flat.
12k: 4:53 (56:03 total) - flat. In this portion I took a drink of water at an aid station. I tried to drink while I was running, and it went down the wrong pipe. For about 500 meters I slowed down and was coughing. I felt terrible and almost decided to stop and walk.
13k: 4:58 (1:01:01 total) - flat. I ran this portion a little slow, partly because I was recovering from my coughing fit, and partially because I knew the hill was coming up. Still, I'm happy that I kept the pace I did.
14k: 5:08 (1:06:09 total) - uphill. I felt pretty good going up the hill. I didn't kill myself, but I did increase the effort a bit.
15k: 4:10 (1:10:19 total) - pretty flat. I picked up the pace and thought I was going to hit the finish line at 3rd Street, but I actually had another block to go. It was hard, but I kept up my pace and finished strong. I PRed by almost three minutes!

I was very happy with the race. At the end Becky and Molly were cheering me on. That felt good! Then, I got a super massage from the OU physical therapy students. I have gotten massages at the end of races before, but they never seemed to do much for me. This massage was great. The guy and two girls seemed to know what they were doing. I volunteered to be a subject for their classes during the week, but they are near the end of the semester, so I was turned down.

32 out of 233 in my age group
356 out of 3362 overall

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Saturday, October 18, 2008


Had a good run this morning with the group. We did a hilly run through the center of the universe, past Cain's Ballroom and the Brady Theater, past the BOK Arena, to Tulsa's oldest house, back south to the pedestrian bridge, and back to Veteran's Park - a total of 10.4 miles. I ran with Kendal pretty much the whole way, with a good size group not far behind. We stopped at several water stops to wait for the group to regather, and during those times I stopped my watch, but here are my mile splits:

Mile 1: 9:32
Mile 2: 8:11
Mile 3: 8:01
Mile 4: 8:00
Mile 5: 8:18
Mile 6: 8:04
Mile 7: 7:46
Mile 8: 7:47
Mile 9: 7:47
Mile 10: 7:32

I spent the whole afternoon with my daughter, Sarah, at TU. She wants to be an athletic trainer, and TU was having athletic trainer day to aquaint prospective students with their program. Among other things, we got to see the trainers tape up the football players, help them stretch, and adjust their equipment before tonight's game. Then we watched part of the game. We didn't stay for the whole thing because I am tired and had to get home and prepare a Sunday school lesson, and Sarah wanted to go to a praise and worship service tonight at church.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Mostly Cross Training This Week

My right leg has continued to bother me a little this week, so I have cut back on my running some and done some cross training. Monday I went to the YMCA and swam 500 yards and then lifted weights. I was there with my wife, and I was expecting her to come up from the pool and get me in 30 minutes or so. In the meantime, I lifted some weights and ran a lap, lifted weights and ran a lap, etc. After about an hour and a half of that, and I couldn't lift anything anymore, and my wife still hadn't come up to get me, I stopped and found Marilyn downstairs sitting at a table waiting for me. I was worn out, but I felt so pumped up after that workout that I thought for sure I must look something like Arnold Schwartzenegger, but I looked in the mirror, and it wasn't so. More like Mr. Ethiopia!

Tuesday I barely made it out of bed; I was so sore. Wednesday I had planned to swim again at the Y, but I still couldn't move my arms. But I did an hour - 16.2 miles - on a stationary bike that evening during the presidential debate. Thursday afternoon I went bowling with a group from work. My arms were still sore, and I took 1200 mg of ibuprofen before I headed to the bowling alley. Bowled the worst I have ever bowled since about 4th grade, but I did win a prize for the lowest score by a male. Finally by Friday I could move my arms again, so I went to the YMCA again and swam 500 yards, but was much slower than Monday. Afterward Brian and I lifted some weights, but I don't think I overdid it this time.

My running this week, besides the laps at the Y, consisted of about 4 miles easy on Tuesday, during which my right leg hurt quite a bit, and a 6 mile tempo run on Thursday, which felt pretty good; averaged about 7:40 pace for that run.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Back to Back 20 Milers

Yep, I did 20 milers two days in a row. Okay, they weren't both running. Friday afternoon I rode my bike along the 20 mile route that our RunnersWorld marathon training group ran on Saturday. I loaded up my pockets with sidewalk chalk and marked every mile according to my bike odometer. By the way, the love notes to Stephanie were courtesy of Brenda, who I met on the trail during my ride. I took the ride really slow and kept it in a low gear, so the ride served to kind of loosen up the muscles in my legs.

Saturday, I had a great time running with the group. The first few miles were a little tough because my right leg was a little bit tight, and my gait didn't feel normal. I had thought about dropping at Turkey Mountain, but it felt okay at that point. I hung with Jana for pretty much the whole run, and our objective was to keep it at 4 hour marathon pace, which we did pretty well. I think she will be able to finish the marathon pretty close to four hours.

Larry and Bill also kept up a similar pace, and I predict a close to four hour time for them. I suggested the world record plus two hours for a goal, which is what my goal was last year, only this year the world record is just a little bit faster. It is now 2:03:59. Gina faded a little at around mile 16, but I still predict a sub 4:30 for her. Rusty was going strong the whole way, and a 3:30 for the marathon wouldn't surprise me.

It seemed like everyone did really well, except for Chad, who had some knee pain and dropped at around mile 17. Hopefully it is nothing serious. Of course, everyone was tired, but what do you expect! They had just finished running 20 miles. For most of them it was a new threshold achieved. That is what the training is all about - getting tired, but combating that tiredness so that we can achieve new heights.

By the way, here are my mile splits (I did stop the watch for drink and restroom breaks. Too bad they don't do that in the race!):

Miles 1 and 2, run slower to warm up: 10:01, 9:43
Miles 3 thru 5: 9:09, 9:20, 9:04
Mile 6, which includes the up hill at Turkey Mountain: 9:31
Mile 7, down 71st Street: 8:24
Miles 8 thru 13: 8:53, 9:04, 8:52, 9:03, 9:15, 8:52
Miles 14 and 15: 8:37, 8:20 (I was trying to get closer to my marathon pace, so I ran ahead of Jana for these two miles.)
Mile 16: 9:37 (This included a short stop to talk to Keri, who was out walking her dogs. By the way she is pregnant and won't be running for a while. Jana and the rest of the lead group caught up and passed me.)
Mile 17: 8:52
Miles 18 and 19: 8:41, 8:13 (Those two miles I was trying to catch up with the group after I had waited around for Chad at RunnersWorld.)
Mile 20: 9:59 (I caught up with Jana and ran an easy mile to finish up the run.)

A big thanks go to Susan and Candice for giving everyone support along the way.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I'm Sick and My Hip Hurts

Saturday afternoon my throat started getting sore. After a day or so my nose started to run, and I developed a cough. And I'm tired. So, I'm not running much this week. I definitely won't be at RunnersWorld for the group run Thursday, but I hope to be ready for our twenty mile long run on Saturday.

Monday morning I went to the YMCA and swam 800 yards, even though I was already feeling the effects of the cold. I felt pretty worn out after the swim. My plan was to swim two or three mornings a week, but I think I will put that off until I am feeling better.

The cold symptoms are not my only concerns, though. Monday at noon I ran about four miles at an easy pace, and Tuesday I ran five miles at a fairly easy pace. On both of those runs my right leg hurt quite a bit - quads, hams, groin, and hip. The hip is what bothers me the most - mentally, that is. I kept thinking "this hip pain feels really familiar." It felt just that way for the week or so before I dislocated my hip in a cross country race my senior year of high school. So, no running for me at least until Saturday, and that will be slow. I've even started having second thoughts about signing up for the Tulsa Run.

In the meantime I have been trying to do self massage on my quads, hams, IT band, inner thigh, and the side of the hip. I've been meaning to order one of those quad rollers, but since I don't have one, I rolled on top of a basketball (tennis ball for the side of the hip). Boy was that painful! But, I think it may have helped some. I will try it again tonight.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Light Mileage Week

My running miles for last week was only 26.9. Sounds low for me, but I did do a hilly 35 mile bike ride on Monday. Also, three of the runs were pretty fast runs, pretty close to 8 minute pace.

Saturday I wasn't sure how much i would run - at least eleven, but maybe more. I started off with the fast guys, but they took off a bit faster than I wanted and sort of left me on 15th headed up to Utica. I finished the first loop of roughly five miles at about an eight and half minute pace. We regrouped and headed out for the next part of the hilly course, which we (or at least I) did at a bit faster pace, perhaps around eight minutes per mile. I had to do a pit stop at QT on the way back and was determined to catch up with the group by Veteran's Park, so I was really flying the last couple of miles, perhaps 7:30 pace or maybe even faster. I almost caught them, but not quite. Then the next mile I had gas pains again and sprinted to the restroom at the pedestrian bridge - a little under 7:30 pace for that mile. (Note to myself - Do not eat at Ted's Cafe Escondito on Friday night anymore.) Then the last mile was a more relaxed 8:30. Overall the pace was just over 8 minutes. Those last few miles wore me out, and I decided to not do any more after that; just eleven for me. It was a good workout, and I really enjoyed the run with friends.

Enjoyed church today. One of the songs we sang was "Above All," by Michael W. Smith. Here he is singing it.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Baby Food

I ran across a good deal on baby food the other day. They were practically giving away the stuff, so I bought a couple of cases. I plan on giving one case to Lindsay and the other to Candice after she has her baby. Here is a picture of one of the jars.

RunnersWorld Tulsa Team

Although running is very much an individual sport, it helps to have others encouraging you. One of the reasons I started running with the RunnersWorld group is for the encouragement I received from others in the group right from the start. It was people like Coach Kathy, who is always so willing to help the newbies, to give words of encouragement, and to run with you, even slowing her pace to a walk, although she is capable of much more. Or like Dana Asher, who was always there at the end of the run giving encouragement - and snacks and Diet Coke. And I could go on and on. I really appreciate so many people on the RunnersWorld team who have been good to me. Here are some qualities that I see over and over in my teammates.

My Teammates...
  • Make newcomers feel welcome.
  • Cheer for each other at races.
  • Encourage each other during workouts.
  • Are willing to adjust their pace during group runs so they can help each other.
  • Are as excited about teammate's victories as they are about their own.
  • Are friends, showing concern for each other.
  • Accept Coach Kathy's advice and decisions - even if it means running a hilly route.
  • Keep a positive attitude - even when things don't go well.
Okay, now for an update on my running so far this week. After the 35 mile HILLY bike ride, my legs mostly felt good, but my right quad has been sore up high and toward the lateral side. Tuesday I didn't get back into town in time to run, but I did get to visit Lindsay and Ahmad in the hospital. I even got to hold their new baby, Aiden. Wednesday at noon I ran a six mile tempo run, and my quad hurt all the way. Probably should have taken it easy on that run. Thursday at noon I ran four easy miles, the last two with Joe Hartl. My quad still hurt quite a bit, and this time I listened to my body.

My plan for Thursday evening before my quad was hurting was to do a semi-long (8+ miles) marathon pace run, but I decided I was going to only do six slow miles. So, I start off with Chad and Larry. First mile 8:11 - nope, that's not slow. Second (not quite a) mile 7:57 - nope, that's not slow. Third mile 8:18 - nope, that's not slow. At that point I stopped to get a drink and Larry and Chad went on without drinking. Chris then showed up and I started running back with him. Mile four 8:41, that's better! In the fifth (not quite a) mile, my quad felt better and I pushed the pace to 7:48. At the light I waited for Chris and Deanna, and we started the last mile together. At about 49th and Cincinnati I decided to push the pace again and finished with 6:52 for that last mile. Avg pace for the six miles was just under 8 minutes. No, it wasn't slow, but I feel okay today. However, I was really tired last night. I couldn't tell you who won the VP debate - I fell asleep as I was watching it.

Today is an off day from running. I can't wait for tomorrow's run, though.