Monday, August 25, 2008

Still on Schedule!

Wow! I cannot believe it! Saturday morning, I ran 19.48 miles! That is the farthest I have ever run at one time. The mileage increases to 5 and 8 mile runs this week!

The first 15 miles were at my training race pace (as slow as it is), but the last 4 miles slowed down significantly. It was an outdoors run in beautiful weather among a crowd of runners. It was great!

I thought I was doing and feeling pretty good, but when I rode the bike this morning, I felt it in the thighs at first. I was pretty good by the end of the ride.

So… Last week, I ran 40.26 miles. I rode the bike for 16 miles.

This weekend? I am headed out for a Labor Day Camping trip. I’ll run on both Friday and Saturday, but those should be easy at 5 and 13 miles respectively.

If you are running or training every weekend, check out the running group on What's a Few Miles Among Friends? Join this group of great virtual runners!

Have a good week and a great holiday everybody! Thanks for reading my blog!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Short and Sweet!

Saturday, I ran 18.1 miles. It is the longest run I have ever accomplished! It seemed to take forever, but I've done it! I had to run it inside on the treadmill due to very wet weather in the Denver area.

I ran a total of 39.42 miles last week and 29.02 the week before.

Training week 11 now and I am on schedule. Miles are up again this week.

I am feeling pretty good about preparing for the Chicago Marathon. At least now, I think it is a possibility.

On Wednesday of this week, I should complete 1,000 miles run in 2008!

Woot! Woot!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Georgetown to Idaho Springs Half-Marathon

The Race -
It was early. I still woke up before the alarm was supposed to go off at 5:00 AM. I did not get as much sleep as I would have wanted, but I think I got enough.

I had prepared my running bag the night before. I got the coffee ready to turn on. There was instant oatmeal in a bowl and a measuring cup next to it.

I got up. I dressed in my running togs. I was out the door in 45 minutes. My friend, Tom, went along as my support team.

The one hour drive to Georgetown was easy. Traffic was minimal when we got there. The line for the registration packets was long but moved quickly. My number was 2855. I had everything I needed by a little after 7:00 AM. The start was scheduled for 8:00 AM.

I put on the shoe chip, set up the Garmin 205 and I thought I got the iPod Nike+ set up. I sucked down a Carb Boom gel and headed toward the start line.

I set up at the 11/12 minute pace line. Couldn't hear much way back there. Did hear some of the music for the Star Spangled Banner, but I did sing along. In a few minutes after, the announcer said a few things then a ripple of movement moved the the crowd. It was the start! We were on the road for this race!

It began with a walk. People began moving slowly then faster and faster. We were at a decent pace by the time we passed the actual start line.

This race runs West into the town of Georgetown. We run into town and around the Georgetown lake. After that 2 mile leg is completed, we start to run from 8500' to 7500'.

I concentrated on maintaining an 11 minute pace. Throughout the first half it worked well. I knew I was on “track.”

I consumed some additional Carb Boom packs at 3 miles, 6 miles, 9 miles and 11.5 miles. At the water stations (every 2 miles), I alternated water and PowerAde. It worked for nutrition. I did experience a different problem and one unique for me.

Just after mile 12, I began to feel a tightness in my left calf first and then my right. I knew that I was developing a 'Charlie Horse.' I've never experienced anything like it during a run. I was not prepared for it. What should you do?

I stopped and massaged the left calf quickly. It felt better. I knew that I shouldn't curl my toes so I lifted them instead. The pain abated a bit. I seemed to be holding it at bay. I ran on.

A 'bump' on this race is a slight uphill section. It has two sides, of course. The up and the down. The up side did not cause any discomfort, but the down sides caused the feeling of a developing 'Charlie Horse' again. There was a lot of downhill as we made the final run into Idaho Springs, but after entering it was an uphill run for several blocks. I was feeling better and better. With about a quarter of a mile left to go, the course headed slightly downhill. I ran the final few block to the final turn. I felt the muscles start to spasm again. Still feeling OK, I planned to kick it for the run to the Finish Line. It was very downhill. Instead of kicking it to the finish, I ended up running through it stiff legged and starting to hurt.

I did remember to raise my arms and tried to smile. I limped to the chip removal and left the chute. I quickly massaged the calves and found a place to sit. Tom handed me a bottle of Gatorade. The bottle was welcome and I thanked Tom for it! It was delicious and was gone quickly. I stretched a bit while sitting and lifted my toes. Slowly the pain abated. I got up in a few minutes and headed into the arena for my finishing swag.

The swag for this event was pretty cool. Instead of a plastic bag, the hand out bag is a 'Green' grocery bag with the logo on it. The shirt was a special edition and design for this 30th Anniversary of the event. The food tent was busy but I took advantage of it. Bananas, watermelon, bagel pieces and yogurt. It was great.

There were 2039 finishers; 1118 female and 921 men. I placed 1674th with a time of 2:26:00. It is not an overall PR for me. It is a course PR for me, though. Last year, I ran this race in 2:28:01, so I decreased my time by 2 minutes and 1 second.

It was a good race and a great way to start the day.

Race Relationships -
I ran/paced with three people during this race (at different times).

At about 3 miles in, I saw two younger boys running it. I commented, "Wow! How Cool is that! You kids are doing great!" They smiled, thanked me and ran ahead a bit. I looked at the man with them and said, "So is their old man!" We ran together for a while. I learned that for his family it was a 3 generation run. He said that he was hoping to beat his Father in the same race.

I saw another man slow down on an uphill run and then walk. As I ran up to him I said, "I know that feeling!" He smiled, thanked me and ran to catch up to me. We exchanged some pleasantries. We exchanged some goals and saw each other through out the race.

I also paced with a young lady. We ran for several miles together. Such a delight! It was her second race. I could tell that she enjoyed life and running. At one point, there was a water sprinkler set up near the course for runners to run through and cool of. We ran through the sprinkler together. What fun! I caught a small stone in my shoe and had to stop to remove it. I couldn't catch up to her after that.

The Rest of the Day -
Now, I don't know how much the cost of gasoline is in your part of the world, but I paid $3.75 a gallon to fill the Jeep. The trip to Georgetown was a trip to the Mountains. We decided to run the Red Elephant Trail solo. There was a quick stop in town to get more food for both of us, then we headed up to the trail.

Colorado is in the monsoon season. The foothills have been getting rain. It was evident on this trail. A lot of the trail had large washes and ruts from recent rains. It made a challenging trail even more challenging. What fun after a morning run!

After Red Elephant, we headed even further up toward Bill Moore lake (elevation 11,383'). On the way, we met Vance and Al in their rigs. We all stopped and had a mini-party right there on the trail. Pretty cool.

Tom and I headed up to the lake. We spent some time walking about the lake in the wilderness area. The wildflowers have reached timberline now.

Here are some pictures -

What an Ending!

We have a participant in some of these mountain competitions that is an inspiration. He runs the competitions with emphysema. He is serious about competing to the point that he has his oxygen tanks mounted on a cart. He runs with it.

Next time you can't find any reason to run, think of what he does to run!

Monday, August 04, 2008

On Schedule? You Bet!

This week, I am on Week 9 of the 18 week training schedule I am using to prepare for the Chicago Marathon. That means that I am approaching the halfway point in my training! It also means that I am but 2 months from the event, itself!

I ran 34.14 miles last week. For cross training, I rode 17 miles along the Highline Canal on the bicycle. It was a good week. I have run 927 miles so far in 2008.

I think it is getting exciting for several of us that are making the trip to Chicago this year. Maddy, Petra, Melisa and Susan are headed out that way. We originally met at the blog, "What's a few miles among friends?" We're talking about getting similar outfits and headgear for the run!

This week, I am modifying the schedule a bit. I have a Bloodborne Pathogen presentation on Wednesday morning. It is early (for me) so I may or may not get a run in. I am also running the Georgetown to Idaho Springs Half-Marathon on Saturday morning. I will be taking Friday morning off for that. I will also take Sunday morning off to recover.

That is the last competition that I will participate in until the Chicago Marathon.

Chicago Marathon? Be sure to visit the blogs from Ryan and David as they train for it, also!

Did I go Jeeping? Even with the cost of gas I took the rig up to Redcone Pass. 5 rigs went on this run. I’d driven it before, so I was the trail leader. It was a lot of fun.

Redcone Pass is a fun trail that goes above timberline (the line where trees stop growing and the alpine tundra starts). It is a fun trail due to two very steep downhill runs. Everybody had a fun time that went along…

You never know what you might see on a trail ride!

Until the trip back to Denver, that is. Interstate 70 goes West from Denver and through the Rocky Mountains. We have a phenomenon here on Sunday afternoons. People who went camping, fishing, hiking, or are just out enjoying the environment all head back to town at about the same time. That makes for stop and go traffic that can truly frustrate a traveler.

We got to Loveland Pass at Keystone at 3:00 o’clock. It took 3 hours to make the trip down into Denver. That trip should tak about an hour and a half. We should have anticipated it, but instead we got stuck! That does happen, unfortunately.

I’ve talked about the Highline Canal trail before. I took a camera with me on today’s cross training bicycle run. I took pictures as I rode so I could share the pastoral rural scenic views that this rustic trail can show in the heart of a city like I live in.

My last 2 15 mile long runs were also run on this trail. To vary things, I ran it opposite directions.

Enjoy the pictures!

I decided to take this totally random picture on my way back from the ride!