Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving Week Runs

Tuesday I got up early and ran seven miles along the hilly Creek Turnpike trail averaging about 8:30 per mile. At noon I went out to run an easy three from downtown to Veteran's Park and back. While I was at the park, I did pull ups and push ups and wore myself out. On the way back I took it really slow. My left knee was hurting a lot, and I walked quite a bit.

My knee stayed sore even for walking for most of the rest of the week, so I didn't run again until Saturday morning, when we ran as a group on Turkey Mountain. I showed up early and did five miles or so at a pretty fast pace before the group arrived. My knee only hurt a little bit, beginning about a mile or two into the run. I then did about another five and a half miles with the group, taking in the red and yellow trails. Again, it was at a pretty fast pace for most of the way, and I was pretty tired at the end. Then I waited for Paula to complete her loop and we did another six along the paved trail at a more relaxed pace. Total for Saturday was 17 miles. Total for the week was 27. Total weight gained during the week was five pounds, not counting the pie and cookies I had today.

My legs are a little sore today, but my knee is good.

Thanksgiving was good. Marilyn's brother came into town with his family, and her Aunt Ruthie also came. We also had company over on Wednesday. On Wednesday we had turkey lasagna; turkey and ham plus all the fixins on Thanksgiving; leftover turkey on Friday; leftover turkey lasagna on Saturday; Polish sausage for lunch today (starting to run low on leftovers). Pumpkin, pecan, and cherry pies all days, plus brownies, various cookies,and chocolate candy. Gooey and cheesecakey pastries for breakfast on all days. Then, last night Becky brings home a huge Boomer Sooner cookie. Yummy, but this has to stop!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Eight Things

8 shows I love to watch
1. Criminal Minds
2. ER
3. The Office
4. Fox News (but I don't really like Hannity)
5. Local News
6. Lou Dobbs
7. Anderson Cooper
8. Dirty Jobs

8 places I love to eat
1. Home
2. Ted's Cafe Escondito, but not the night before a long run!
3. Texas Road House
4. Abuellos
5. Subway
6. Taco Bueno
7. Mazzios
8. Mimis
9. Freddies

8 things I did yesterday
1. Went to church
2. Patrolled the parking lot at church
3. Counted the offering
4. Ate at Mazzios
5. Put together a shelf for the bathroom at home
6. Went back to church
7. Went to Home Depot
8. Fixed a shelf in the church nursery

8 things I look forward to
1. Going to bed
2. Running, especially with the running group
3. Church
4. Going home and seeing my family
5. Watching my daughter play basketball
6. Listening to my kids tell me how their day went
7. Pay day
8. Heaven

8 things I love about fall
1. cool air
2. colorful leaves
3. hot chocolate
4. bugs are gone
5. home made soup
6. Thanksgiving
7. marathon season
8. playing catch with the football

8 things on my wish list
1. For my kids to have happy, successful lives
2. that my kids will continue to love God and serve him all of their lives
3. harsher punishment for parole violators
4. peace on earth
5. health for me and my family
6. for a marriage that is even happier tomorrow than it is today
7. to qualify for the Boston Marathon
8. to complete a 100 mile race

Friday, November 21, 2008

Post Marathon Reflections About My Running Buddies

Well, I've finally had a chance to talk to most of the people about how they felt about the Route 66 Marathon. It seems that most people had a really good time and are looking forward to many more marathons. Most of them aren't keeping blogs, so I will post my comments about them here. First listed is most of the subgroup I have been running with for the past few months. Well, I haven't really been running much with Duston and Andy; they are too fast!
  • Duston Lansford had a very fine first marathon, finishing in 3:29:31. He is pretty well recovered and ready to roll for the next one.
  • Andy Karlin was not far behind with an impressive 3:45:34. I ran with him on Thursday, and his Achilles tendon is a little sore, but I'm sure he will be back to regular training soon.
  • I was happy with my 3:57:10, although I was hoping for closer to a 3:45. I am feeling good and just about ready to start some more serious training.
  • Rusty Stecker went out fast, but slowed to finish in 3:59:25. He was happy to finish under 4 hours, and next year he will try to improve on his time.
  • Larry Davied did much better than he expected, finishing just over four hours with a 4:00:25. He was very pleased with how he performed.
  • Bill Major started out this training season not even thinking about running the marathon. He finished his first marathon in 4:10:39 and is elated!
  • Jana Headrick was hoping to come in close to four hours, but it wasn't her day. She finished in 4:23:25, which was a big disappointment to her. She is a great runner, and I am sure with some persistence she can break that four hour barrier soon.
  • Bill Litton was also a little disappointed in his time. He was aiming for close to four hours, but slowed to a 4:24:54. He thinks part of his problem is not hydrating enough. So, he learned something from this marathon, and he is bound to do even better in the next one.
  • Chad Stites was also disappointed. He kind of ran out of gas around mile 18 and he is not sure why. Still, he finished in 4:25:13, which is not a bad time at all. Chad is a quick runner, and I think with another season of laying down a good solid mileage base he will come close to or even break the four hour mark.
  • Kendal was happy with setting a new PR by about five minutes. He finished in 4:53:01. He is a quick runner and is capable of a much faster time. Like Chad, if he gets another season of good solid mileage, I expect to see that time drop considerably.
Team Bean all did great in their first marathon. I am so proud of all of them. They are also excited about running more marathons and even venturing into the ultramarathon distances. Jason is already signed up for a 50k in December. The sad news is that kidney bean a.k.a. Erin is having problems with her knee. Hopefully with some rest the pain will go away and not affect her running. I am looking for her back running with us again. They have blogs, so I will let them tell their own stories.

The Runner Girl Power duo also did well in their first marathon and are ready for another dose.

Kathy Fleig had a good race, finishing in 4:13:56. If you look at her time in terms of age and gender grading (62.17%), she was our fastest runner, other than Lisa Butler, who is just blazing fast! Just for reference, Duston's age and gender grading was 59.62 percent. Woohoo Kathy! Kathy will soon be in another age group, which will bring her Boston qualifying standard up to 4:05:59. I will be keeping an eye on her times. I'm sure she can make it. Patty Powell, who regularly trains with Kathy also ran another good race, finishing in 4:50:06.

Special recognition needs to go to Larry Long, who finished third in his age group and got a new PR of 4:27:19. Woohoo Larry!

Also, we had two runners who ran in the Mountain Home Marathon on Saturday. It was their first marathon, and they did great on that brutal hilly course. Becky Scott finished first in her age group with a time of 4:41:27, and Janet Burgess finished second in her age group with a time of 4:41:29. Not bad for a first marathon!

Roman ran in the San Antonio Marathon, but is having some problems with his Achilles tendon. He will be laying off the running for a few weeks, while he goes to the physical therapist and waits for his healing to come. Too bad, because he was really looking forward to the Sunmart 50k.

The half marathoners all had a great time. Simone is happy to stay at that distance, and that is great. It looks like Daryl and Robb are setting their sights on the full marathon, though, after their thoroughly enjoyable half. Also, Stefanie is training for the full marathon in Houston, which is in January.

Sorry if I missed anybody.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A New Marathon PR

Well, it wasn't pretty, but I did get a new PR in the marathon. I wasn't sure how I would do. My goal at the beginning of the training season was 3:45, but I had problems with my quadricep, which seriously affected my training for at least a month, and last week I did a 40 mile run with Kathy, and I was still probably a little tired from that. Still, I thought I would go for it. I thought I would stay close to the 3:40 pace group and probably fade a bit after mile 20 or so. But, it was worse than that. I was right on pace for 3:40 until somewhere around mile 17 (average pace to this point was about 8:24), and then things started to fall apart for me. I guess I hit the wall. I really pushed hard the 18th and 19th miles, but couldn't get the pace below 9 minutes. Then I started to run a few minutes and walk about a minute, run a few minutes, walk a minute. I thought, "Oh, if only I can keep the pace at 10 minutes, I can still get close to 3:50." But by that time my body was pretty well spent, and it was all I could do to keep an 11 minute pace. My splits from the race are listed at the bottom of this blog entry.

I was glad to finally get the downhill on 15th Street. I coasted for under 10 minutes in that mile, which included some walking on Boston. The last half mile I hit pretty hard, and my legs - calves hamstrings, and quads - were cramping pretty badly. I forced myself to ignore the cramping, and I held on to finish strong. It really helped to have Lisa and her family cheering me on at 18th and Boston.

When I crossed the finish line, I was exhausted and weaving around. A couple of volunteers asked if I needed to go to the medical tent. I regained my composure and said no thanks. After I picked up my medal and shirt I started to walk over to Lisa, and it was really weird. I started to cry. I wasn't in pain, or sad, or particularly happy, but I was so exhausted that I couldn't control my emotions. By the time I got to Lisa, though, I had pretty much recovered, though.

From our seats on Boston, we were able to cheer most of the runners from our training group. That was a lot of fun!

By the way, not only did I set a new PR of 3:57:10 in the marathon, which betters my PR by a little over a minute, but my 1/2 marathon split of 1:50:05 is six minutes faster than my 1/2 marathon PR. Woohoo!

Even though the race didn't go exactly as planned, I was satisfied with the results. And even though the last eight miles were quite agonizing, I still enjoyed the race and will definitely do another marathon. I am having second thoughts about my goal of trying to qualify for Boston in a year.

1 - 8:23
2 - 8:18
3 - 8:28
4 - 8:22
5 - 8:32
6 - 8:36
7 - 8:24
8 - 8:20
9 - 8:18
10 - 8:06
11 - 8:13
12 - 8:26
13 - 8:27
14 - 8:24
15 - 8:24
16 - 8:26
17 - 8:42
18 - 9:07
19 - 9:16
20 - 10:25
21 - 9:56
22 - 10:13
23 - 11:27
24 - 10:59
25 - 11:16
26 - 9:45
26.2 - 1:53

Friday, November 14, 2008

Finally Tapering

They say you should taper for two or three weeks before a marathon. So, two weeks ago I had a 22 mile long run almost at marathon race pace, and then this past weekend after I did about five miles Saturday morning, I ran with Kathy on Saturday night for 40 miles. Not your usual taper, but we'll see how it works.

Tuesday I ran a 4 mile tempo run averaging just under 8 minutes per mile. Here are my 1/2 mile splits:
4:29, 3:42, 4:03, 4:05, 3:48, 3:39, 3:46, 4:15

I guess Wednesday I started my taper. I didn't run at all on Wednesday.

Thursday I ran four easy un-timed miles. Then I ate pizza and cupcakes with my friends at RunnersWorld!

Friday I took off of work. In the morning I picked up body parts from two different cars in a salvage yard to repair my daughter's wrecked car, a 1993 Saturn that already looked like a wreck before she wrecked it. In the afternoon I picked up my bib and chip for the marathon. In the afternoon I started to put the car back together.

Saturday morning I will pick up the hood for the car from a different car in a different salvage yard, then stop at RunnersWorld to pick up some shot blocks and sport beans that I forgot to get on Thursday. Then I will go home, and hopefully I will be able to get everything to fit on the car in the afternoon. The car is going to look interesting. It used to have two colors of body panels, but I doubling that to four colors. I'm thinking of getting a paintbrush and some Rustoleum and painting it all one color.

Sunday is race day, and I am going to have fun!!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Hoover Dominates

For a couple of weeks there was talk of a smack down. Ken, the trail zombie, was predicting a win against Coach Kathy in a hundred miler - the Mother Road 100, part 2. I like Ken. He was actually the first person I met and talked to in the Tulsa Running Club. It was December of 2005 at the Marvelite run. After the run we had pizza, and I asked Ken if I could sit down and eat next to him. We got to talking, and I found out Ken had run a hundred mile race. I thought that was pretty amazing. My longest run at the time was four or five miles. I left that running club event thinking Ken was the nicest guy - very friendly and encouraging. I didn't see Ken again for probably six months - sometime after I started running with RunnersWorld. But since then, I have grown to appreciate Ken more and more and to value our friendship. But there is a point where you have to lay friendship aside. No way was I going to let him beat Kathy. It just wasn't going to happen.

I first heard of the Mother Road 100, part 2 when Kathy suggested I enter. But, when I asked my wife what she thought about it, she made it clear in no uncertain terms that she did not at all approve of me running a 100 mile race, but she didn't have a problem with me pacing someone or helping at an aid station. So, I told Kathy and Brian and Ken that I would be glad to pace for whoever needed me. I was really hoping Kathy would ask me, but I sorta figured she would have people beating down the doors wanting to pace for her.

As it turned out, Kathy only had three pacers lined up, Glenn, Roman, and me. Then Glenn got sick and had to back out. And then my wife's uncle died and I had to be at a funeral parlor in St. Louis at 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon. So, it was decided that I would pace first. I would go as far as the TATUR aid station, and if Kathy made it there by 1 a.m., I would go on to Geary with her.

At 5:15 p.m. Roman and Candice dropped me off at mile 38 to start running with Kathy. She had been in immense pain because of a pinched nerve that was affecting her shoulder, but other than that she looked okay. The early miles were pretty uneventful. About 7 p.m., Kathy had to take her first potty break. As she squatted by the road, I gazed up in the heavens and looked at stars. I said, "Oh, look. There is Cassiopeia!" Kathy shot back, "You mean, there's Kathy o pee a!" That sort of started an evening of silliness and singing and loads and loads of fun! I was having such a good time, that the time just seemed to fly by.

A couple of aid stations were at the end of little out-and-back spurs off the main road. When we got to those, we saw Ken and his pacers, and we were slowly gaining on him. I think it was about mile sixty that Kathy and I finally overtook Ken. As we approached, I remember I was singing, "every day it's a gettin' closer, going faster than a roller coaster..."

One of the things that sort of tickled me happened at the TATUR aid station at about mile 72. Kathy and I had been talking about various things, but one subject was the idea of being kind to and saying encouraging things to our spouses. Kathy is always so encouraging to us runners, and I try to be encouraging too, but when we get home, sometimes it is easy to take our mates for granted, and for some reason the encouraging words stop. So, I am going to try to be more encouraging to my wife, and I think Kathy is going to work on that with Brian. Anyway, the thing that tickled me was that when we got to the TATUR aid station Brian and Kathy hugged and kissed each other like they were newlyweds! I thought that was cool! I know it energized Kathy for the next stretch of road.

We arrived at the TATUR aid station at about 12:50 and were out of there before 1 a.m. That meant that I had time to do the next leg to Geary, which was about mile 78. So, after 40 delightful miles (and 9 hours), I finally turned Kathy over to Ed sometime around 2:15, somewhat saddened by the fact that I couldn't be there to the end, but confident that I was leaving Kathy in capable hands. Ed eventually handed her off to Roman, and he took her in to the finish line. Kathy finished in 22:48:26, which is a PR by at least and hour and a half. Also, she was the second place woman. And she totally dominated Ken in this race! Woohoo!!!

I really have to thank the rest of the team. Roman and Candice did a superb job of crewing, and on top of that Roman finished by pacing Kathy to the finish. I haven't heard how Ed's leg of the race went, but I expect that with his personality, he must have really energized Kathy. Also, thanks go to Bobby and Susan and Dana. Although they were not really crewing for Kathy, they were a great encouragement.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

On to Better Races

Well, the Presidential race is over. Here is an interesting news story about Obama supporters. I guess the same could be said of any of the people obsessed with all the political races, regardless of which candidate they were supporting.

But, there are better races to think about. I am looking forward to pacing Kathy during part of her Mother Road 100 mile race. Unfortunately, I can't run the last legs of the race with her, but before I hand her over to another pacer, I will impart to her my super TATUR proton energy power, and she will finish strong! There has been some smack talk between her and Ken, and it's hard to predict a winner, but I'm glad I'm on Kathy's team.

I am also really looking forward to the Route 66 marathon. After last week's 22 mile run, I have confidence I can set a new PR this year. If for some reason I don't set a new PR, though, I am still going to have a lot of fun! I can't wait to see all the RunnersWorld team finishing strong!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Tagged By Candice

Candice tagged me. I am supposed to post my sixth picture from my sixth folder of my "My Pictures" folder. I don't have six folders. I have 2, and then a few pictures in the "My Pictures" folder. Of course, on our network drive, we have bunches of folders with pictures of substations, but I don't think I'll post any of those. The one I thought about posting was just a boring picture of a circuit breaker.

So, I decided to post the sixth picture in the "My Pictures" folder. I got it off of Trail Zombie's blog after our 52.6 mile run a couple of months ago. It shows me about 15 miles into the run lying dead on the sidewalk with Kathy picking my pocket. Shame on you, Kathy! But it is an appropriate picture. Next Saturday I will have the privilege of pacing her for part of her 100 mile race.

Just so you know I'm not cheating, picture five is Kathy checking my pulse, Picture four is the running group in Little Rock. Picture three is of the fairies at last year's Tulsa Run. Picture two is a photo of Dan Nunley. And picture one is a drawing by Betty Martin. Picture seven is a revision of picture six that I was going to post a couple of weeks after our hilly run - the one on which I wore the thumbs down for Coach Kathy T-shirt. I'll go ahead and post that too. Maybe I can win the popularity contest!

I will tag my daughter, Katie, and Erin.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Last Long Run - Sort Of

Another week with not too much running because I've been babying my right leg. About 4 on Monday and 5 on Thursday. But then today, Saturday, we did our last long training run for the Rt 66 Marathon. The good news is that my leg didn't hurt at all on today's run other than some tightness in my hamstrings (and the fatigue and soreness that comes with all long runs).

I started out thinking I would run something like 9:30 pace, but somehow I got started at sub 9 minute pace, and soon, with Rusty beside me, settled into a sub 8:30 pace. We kept saying to ourselves that we were going to slow down, and that we would pay for it if we didn't, but we kept going at that pace. We even had an 8:07 and an 8:02 - way faster than marathon pace. Sure enough, it caught up with us at about mile 17. That last mile on the grass on Riverside we slowed considerably. We also walked a little on the hills. But we finished the 22 mile run in 3hrs 17 minutes, which is just under 9 minute pace.

In the actual marathon, we will not run any of those fast miles, and hopefully we will have more left for the hills. Also, I need to drink more early in the run. We passed a few water stops without drinking, and that was a bad idea. I had some calf cramping coming down the hill on 15th Street, and I think drinking more would have helped with that.

Next Saturday's run will be much shorter - just 6 miles for the beginner marathoners and 8 for the intermediates. I will probably run just the 6, or maybe I won't run at all. Coach Kathy and Ken won't be there because they will be starting another 100 miel race at 9 am that morning. Around midnight, I plan to start running with Kathy for the last part of her race - probably around 30 miles or so. Glenn and Roman will also be running with her for part of the race. I am really excited about it. For some reason I am looking forward to that even more than the marathon. It will thrill me to see Kathy get a new PR and to finish another 100 miler.