Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sometimes the best plans lead to disaster

This weekend the wife and baby left for Ogden to attend a baby shower. These things seem to be very popular as I swear she leaves once a year to attend such an event. All I know is they were eating a diaper cake, don't ask me why anyone would want to eat a diaper cake. So that meant and means I had the entire weekend to myself, which is kind of cool you can nap during the middle of the day or catch a movie.

Now lately my rest days from running has been Thursday as I donate plasma after work meaning I get home around 6:30 or so and who wants to go for a run in the cold and dark right now. But this Thursday I had an appointment at 4:00 pm so I readjusted my day getting in my plasma donation before work and found myself home at 4:30. This week I have also been having to man a booth at the Parade of Homes which had me getting home after 7pm on Tuesday and Friday. But to get around it I ran in the morning on Tuesday and planned on doing the same on Friday. Still thinking about taking the day off and running in the morning on Friday like I had planned the wife came up with a suggestion that I run Thursday instead as she was going up to the in-laws to make the diaper cake.

This sounded great, it meant I would not have to worry about fitting in a run on Friday before work so I agreed. Also I could not pass up the chance of starting my run from the in-laws house. I love starting my run from their house for two reasons the first being its a different area to run in, the run around my house gets stale after a while and secondly it has the perfect 5k course to train on. It is mostly downhill or flat for the first 2.4 miles followed by a slight uphill incline the next .5 miles and finishing with a massive uphill the last .2 miles. Perfect course to train on as it mostly flat but ending with great hills to practice kicking on.

And since I have a 5k coming up on March 26th the Biggest Loser 5k out at Tuachan I can't pass up the opportunity to get some good speed work in when offered the chance. The only downside was my wife wanted me to stop at redbox which meant I would need to stop my stop watch for several minutes giving my run a little extra boost. Thursday despite being my 7th day running and my 40th mile logged in a week was one of my best runs ever. I set a new pr for a 5k with a 25:08 and then set a pr for a 5miler with a 43:xx (didn't get the seconds as I turned off my stop watch after finishing the 5k portion of the run). So I am not sure if I want to count the 5k as a pr because I did stop for several minutes to rent a movie. But I hope its moot anyways as I want to run a sub 25 5k at my race anyways (seems funny that just last September I was aiming for a sub 30 for the first time).

Well now I could take Friday off but then all of a sudden my brain kicked in and I was like Friday morning if I run today that means I can take Saturday off with no work and no running and chill and nap and do whatever I want all day. LETS DO THIS. Now my run was a little tougher than normal because I had done a tempo run the day before and also because it was my 8th straight day running but all in all I had a good time of about 51 minutes around my normal pace of 10mm except when I am doing speed work. So I get home and cool down and chill for a little while like I normally do after a run. Around an hour before I have to go to work I go to hop in the shower as that should also give me plenty of time to get some lunch as well.

Once in the shower I turn the nob and nothing happens, you have to freaking be kidding me. I try like 3 other faucets still nothing. But right before I went for my run a construction worker had knocked on my door asking me if I knew who owned a gray truck as they were trying to install new lamp post. Well I get redressed in my sweaty clothes and go outside to ask what is going on. "Oh we hit the water line and had to shut off the water, it should be on fairly soon" Well do you know how long tell the water is back "oh just a couple of hours is all." I guess my idea of fairly soon is a lot different than a construction worker.

So now here I find myself scrambling to find a place to take a shower. My wife left with her keys that have the in-laws keys on them meaning that is out of the question. Call my father in law to see when he will be home and that's not for another hour. I ended up going to my grandma's to take a shower. What kind of call is that hey do you mind if I use your shower.

I am not sure if it was worth it Saturday was nice and peaceful and totally restful with a nap, some wii, an afternoon matinee and then checking out a few homes a the parade of homes but Friday was totally a screwed up day. Well at least I set new pr's for the 5k and 5miler my race should be awesome, followed the very next week by my first sprint triathlon.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Boston Marathon

For a west coaster and runner like myself who has never been east of the Mississippi (still singing it) the idea of the Boston Marathon holds a lot of mystique for me. First off just getting to go to Boston would be cool as it is a place I have always wanted to visit. Secondly the Boston Marathon is the premiere mythical magical marathon that most runners dream about for several reasons. The first being its long tradition and storied history and the second because of how hard you have to work to qualify for it.

As most runners probably know yesterday Boston tightened their standards for qualifying for the 2012 and 2013 marathons. So what was once already a hard thing to achieve became even more so. For me I was enjoying the idea of getting a 5 minute bump come my birthday and my BQ time changing from a 3:10:59 marathon to a 3:15:59 marathon. Gone is the 5 minute bump and gone is the 59 second leeway meaning my BQ time is now a 3:10:00. And that wouldn't even get me into Boston it would just qualify me for a letdown as that would only allow me to register day 8 which by that time in all honesty registration would be closed. For me to realistically get in I would need to run 20 minutes under my BQ time to register day 1 and have a marathon time of 2:50:00.

Oh I have no delusions of grandeur, I am not even planning on running a sub 4 for my first marathon this fall much less a sub 3 to have any chance at Boston. My goal time is 4:30xx. But I feel for the heartbreak that may be caused by someone working so hard and so long to find now that their chances are gone. Even if I BQed this fall I couldn't even afford to go unless somehow I managed to win the marathon and find myself a sponsor but I like the idea of the goal to BQ someday.

To me that is the ultimate goal, something I would like to do before I am 40 and hopefully at the 2016 Saint George marathon (hopefully the 6th time I get to run my local marathon with this year being the first). Do I have it in me, I am not even sure I have yet to even run my first marathon or even begin my training for it but what is life without goals.

So Plan A has become to train for my first marathon, run my first marathon and then spend the next few years trying to improve my times until I actually BQ, I don't want to be one of those lameos that basically buy their entry for four grand and become a charity entry. It's ok to run as a charity runner but I think you should have also BQed instead of taking away a spot for someone who worked hard to get there.

But I have also come up with a plan B and that is to invent rocket powered Wiley coyote shoes, you know the ones I am talking about

Sure it never went that well for Wiley but he never read the instruction booklets. After inventing my shoes I am going to invent a course in a wind tunnel with a 50 mph wind pushing you the entire way all downhill on a %15 grade.

Sure plan B seems like a lot of work but so does plan A.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I have decided I need to have a passionate love affair with gatoraide, there is just no getting around it

So if you are checking your police blotters and you see me arrested for unseemly things done with gatoraide it was all in the name of running a marathon.

I don't know if my electrolyte issue is well documented but it should be. I should be in some medical science book for the most freaking and entertaining muscles spasm dances east of the Mississippi (anyone else have to sing that out to spell that word thank you grade school).

Sure I could become like that freaky guy running the Tokyo marathon wearing enough gear that I add 50 pounds to my running weight but I would rather not.

This guy, no words fit for the sheer stupidity of this getup

Gels in pocket one, electrolyte tablets in pocket two, pretzels in fanny pack one, pedolyte in fanny pack two, gotta get one of those belts for nuun, some natural juices and then fanny pack three for whatever.

Or I can just figure out a way to make up with gatoraide, I don't think a simple friendship will do, I think we need to become lovers and sweethearts. I mean there is gatoraide every two miles of the marathon course. So option A is to become a complete goober and carry enough random items to fill one of those little clown eco friendly smart cars (you know the ones I am talking about, the ones you are waiting for 20 clowns to climb out of and wonder what happens to them if they hit anything doing more than 2 miles an hour, honestly how is it smart to get into a car that if you were to hit a beetle or a bug too fast your going to total your car and die).

This ridiculous contraption minus the clowns

Or option B is to become one with the gatoraide and drink it every two miles that it is provided on the marathon course.

I am going with option B, I got like seven months to do it. I even bought a 12 pack at the grocery store of perfect little running bottles of gatoraide yesterday. So this weekend the plan is to run the first 5 miles of my 10miler with water and that since my runs are in 5 mile loops around my house to then switch to gatoraide for the next 5 miles. I will stash the gatoraide in a bush or something, I am sure there must be roving bands of gatoraide thieves roaming the streets looking for unguarded gatoraide to steal so better safe then sorry.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Saint George Half Marathon

Seems like a while since I posted, and during that time I think I became more of a runner than ever. Running is like one long never ending learning process that occasionally knocks you down but you just have to keep getting up. I ran the Saint George half marathon on January 22nd my second half and I can't wait to run another one.

The short of it. Didn't get out of the house on time, horrible traffic to get to the race start, barely made it got to the start line and had to double back almost missing the start of the race, stomach cramps leg cramps, muscle spasms, bloody nipples, blood soaked bib and tech shirt oh and a new shiny pr of 2:20;20 a pr by 10:15 in just 78 days since my last half marathon.

Now the long and probably craziness of it all.

Had a plan to get up at 7:30 and get some breakfast and be out of the house around 8:20 with the start being at 9pm and the race only being 10 minutes from my house. Well used the snooze button twice and woke up at 7:40 and then it's so hard to get the wife up in the mornings that around 8:15 when I decided to jump in the shower I told her that she needed to either get up or I was leaving her. Finally got out of the house around 8:25-8:30. Still plenty of time but did not factor in the horrible bottleneck of craptastic roads the city has by the start of the event. Sitting at the light about a mile away for three cycles contemplating jumping out of the car and running to the start line. Even made the decision if hit it hits 8:55 I would be abandoning the car.

Traffic finally moves and we pull into cracker barrel with still 10 minutes to spare. The wife was going to take son and get some breakfast and then head up to the mother in-laws tell the end of the race and meet me at the end. So rush to the start line and as I am walking over I see all these runners take off and I am like NOOOOOOOO I check my watch and its 8:51 and I am like why the heck are they starting 10 minutes early and am freaking out. Then I remember just as I get to the start line that they were running a 5k too and that its start time was 8:50 and that made since as I am like all those people must be crazy running that fast at the start of a half marathon.

Hear the announcer say 7 minutes tell start and am like cool start getting my ipod ready and my watch (my awesome $15 target watch thank you very much) ready and then as I am digging through my pockets I come across my wallet. Crap the wife needed that to pay for breakfast and I still have it. Rush back to cracker barrel and toss the wallet at the wife and then run back to the race start with 1 minute to spare (yes for those people who were eating cracker barrel this morning that was me the crazy dude that came running into the restaurant calling out my wives name and then throwing my wallet from half way across the room).

Race starts and everything is going great despite the near misses. Run the first mile in 9:17 and the second mile in 9:16 perfect pacing (without a garmin thank you very much). Keep to my plan and walk through the water station and mile 2.8 and still have a fairly good mile despite the walk break and log a 9:56 mile. But this is where it probably all went downhill, did take a water and drank it and this would be the only water I drank besides the 20 ounce bottle I was running with the entire race. Mile 4 went great with a 9:57. Overall perfect 4 mile time of 38:26. Lost a little time on mile 5 because of few hills but still logged a nice 48:44 and 10:18 mile for mile 5.

Between mile 5 and 6 is where we start started to get lapped by the leaders as they did a long loop and short loop. And this is where I started to bleed a little time as well as I stopped at the water station again at mile 6 and then walked the huge fraking hill that was just beyond it dropping me to a 59:25 for the first 6 miles. This is also where I started to lose track of the time, keep in mind no garmin so I looked at the stop watch every mile and did the math in my head as I went a long to track my splits.

Miles 6-9 are kinda of a blur, I knew I was bleeding a little time as I came in at mile 9 around 1:32xx but mile 9 is where it went all wrong horribly wrong. Mile 9 was the same water station as mile 3 as we were on the second loop and this time I grabbed a Gatorade. Keep in mind when I started to lose weight I gave up all sugary drinks and only drink water, never much of a fan of sugar anyways it was fairly easy (fried foods is my kryptonite), I also never trained much with Gatorade either. So I started to drink the Gatorade as I walked through the water station and 4-5 sips in I got bad muscle cramps in my stomach, the sugar and probably the lack of drinking all together did me in. Mile 9 was nearly walked the entire mile (my plan had been working fairly well up to that point of taking short walking breaks every time I hit a new mile then running the rest of the mile, normally a 1 minute walk break followed by 9 minutes of running that had been keeping me fairly close to my 10 minute mile goals). The stomach cramps would stop me every time I tried to run. I lost nearly 5-6 minutes that mile alone as I ran mile 9 around 15-16 minutes.

Around mile 10 the stomach cramps had started to subside and then one of my favorite running songs that always gives me a boost (ok here is your opportunity to laugh) Miley Cyrus Party in the USA came on and I took off like a bat out of hell running mile 10 back at my start pace of a 9 minute mile. Mile 10's water station was the same as mile 6's so once more I walked through the station (and didn't even take any water) and up the massive hill from hell once more.

Around mile 10 was also when I looked down and noticed my shirt was fairly red as well as my bib. Darn band aids must have come off somewhere and I was becoming a blood soaked mess.

The hard run mile did me in as well as the lack of drinking likely though as mile 11 was soon followed by muscle cramps, and some severe muscles spasms. I tired to keep the pace but knew know that there was no chance of the 2:10 or even possibly the 2:15 I had wanted. Now my goal was to finish with a 2:20 PR by 10 minutes, get a sub 11 minute mile pace and finish as strong as possible, leg cramps and muscles spasms be danged. It was hard as every time I felt the spasms and cramps coming on I slowed to a walk wanting to finish as strong as possible and sprint the finish line this time.

Mile 12.9 to mile 13.1 was sheer insanity once that finish line came into view it was screw this pain, screw this torment I am finishing and I fraking sprinting across that. You could look down at my legs and the muscles were jumping like Mexican jumping beans in a freaky and quite intriguing way. I took off though and just as we came up on mile 13 I saw a lady that I had talked to a little around mile 11 or 12 sauntering in at a good jog. I am full out sprinting though and was like lets go finish line finish line lets do it lets do it finish strong sprint sprint sprint and she took off we me. We came across that finish line pushing each other like lunatics. I think I might be more proud of mile 13.0 to mile 13.1 of anything I have ever done running. Despite the pain, despite the dehydration and electrolyte deficiency I finished at an all out sprint and no one can ever take that away to you.

With my muscles visibly jumping like someone had asked them to dance we loaded up on some food and made are way to the board to get the official time and a massage. My legs hurting and cramping and really wanting to sit down I laid down on the grass and dear lord the cramps came on with a furry that had me swearing and cursing the heavens. Yes that was me fellow runners on the grass near the massage station cursing up a storm. Another runner came up and helped me work out the cramps, runners are awesome by the way and the wife brought me some Gatorade. feeling a little better we decided to stand in line for the massages.

After and hour wait finally got my massage and the masseuse knew something was wrong right off the bat. And had me iced and had my wife run to get me some more Gatorade. Muscles still doing the tango she was afraid to give me too deep of a massage. Oh and cramps in the balls of your feet might be the worst cramps known to man, give me those leg and calf spasms and cramps over the feet ones any day.

Limped home and took some pics for you. The wife forgot the camera and when she went home to get it while I was running her key snapped off in the lock of the door but she did get a good video of me at the finish line.

Up next the marathon, may the lord have mercy on my soul.