Monday, October 31, 2005

On the way home

ORN: 0

Pretty stiff today. More than I expected. Also some soreness that I didn't have after Chicago.

I'm in no hurry to get back at it.


Sunday, October 30, 2005

Race Day, MCM

ORN: 26.2 miles, 6:22:00

WOW. It's been a number of years since I ran the Marine Corps Marathon. I've been here every year since I ran it the first time in 1994, and ran it several times since, but recently I've been "working" the race for Team in Training, usually chasing around on a bicycle.

THE BAD NEWS: I travel ALL the time. I'm very careful about packing, especially on a weekend where I'm going to run. I lay everything out before I pack. I check, double check, and check again to make sure I haven't forgotten anything.

Guess what? I forgot my running underwear! I cut the "briefs" out of my running shorts and use the Under Amour tight fitting "boxers" [more like compression shorts] so that I don't have to deal with the dreaded CHAFFING! Saturday night, laying everything out for Sunday morning, I discovered that somehow I had forgotten to pack running underwear. NOW WHAT?

I'd come too far to not run, so I grabbed a pair of trusty cotton boxers, loaded up on A&D ointment and Body Glide and hoped for the best. I'm happy to say that it worked. But just!

THE GOOD NEWS: The course was new for me, and I must say that it was the most beautiful but most DIFFICULT course I've run here. The opening miles through Arlington were HILLY, the run through Rock Creek Park was HILLY, and that took care of much of the first half. With all the security they've had to take out "Capitol Hill" so most of the second half was dead flat.

The weather was near perfect. I've run this race on some UGLY days, so it was a gift to be out there on a coolish, clear day. My plan was to run 3 minutes, walk 2 all the way around. It was a good plan, as far as it went.

I ran into a friend at about mile 6 and we chatted away for the next few miles. He wasn't having a great day so we switched to running 2 and walking 3. Eventually, even that was more than he wanted so about mile 16 or so I went off on my own again. I went back to 3/2's until I got to the bridge at mile 20, then relaxed back to 2/2 until mile 24.

I felt great, and as I said the day was perfect, so at mile 24 I decided to walk it in. I met some nice folks, had a good conversation with a guy who was running in honor of his son, and just tried to soak up as much as I could of the atmosphere.

MCM is a great race. There's a reason why it closes. It's unique with all the Marines, the sites and sounds of Washington, DC, and the true amateur spirit of the event. If you haven't yet run it, I encourage you to. It's an experience you won't forget.

So the question is, now what? Honolulu is coming up in mid-December. Could I do a third marathon this season?? YIKES. I feel great. Nothing's banged up or twisted. Honolulu has virtually no time limit. I could WALK the whole thing just for fun.

I'll see how I feel in a few days!!!

Waddle on, friends.


Saturday, October 29, 2005

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Last Minute Tune Up

ORN: 30 min, 3/2

Just making sure I've got it together. No pressure, just moving the legs.

Waddle on,


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Planned Pace/Explanation of intervals

ORN: 55 min, 5 w/u, 45 @ 3/2, 5 c/d

OK, let's see if I can explain. This is the same course as I "normally" run, along the Chicago lakefront. I use it as a barometer. By keeping the course the same and altering the run/walk interval I get a pretty good sense of how I'm feeling and how fast or slow I'm going.

Today was a "planned marathon pace" run. I know that I'll be useing a 3/2 ratio so I wanted to get the feel of that. It went great, which confirms the decision to take yesterday off.


I do most of my workouts by time, not mileag,e and I always use some kind of run/walk interval when I "run". For example, run for 5 minutes, walk for 1 minute, then repeat for the total time. I also always walk for 5 minutes at the beginning and end of each workout. SO... today's workout was:

Total time; 55 minutes. 5 minute warm-up, 45 minutes of running and walking [3 minutes of running, 2 minutes of running and repeat] and then a 5 minute cool-down.

Waddle on,


Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Extra Day's Rest

ORN: 0

Guess it all caught up to me. I've been travelling since last Thursday. Indy, then San Francisco, then home. Every now and then it just bites me.

I was dressed and OUT the door, and quit. Went back in the house!!

It only happens a few times a year, but, when it does it's important to give in to it. I NEVER want to hate running. I enjoy it too much. And so, every now and then, the best run is NO run.

Waddle on,


Monday, October 24, 2005

Catching up

Wow, the weekend just slipped away. Here's the last few days.

ORN: Saturday, October 22, 2005. 55 min, 5/1

I'm in San Francisco, so I got to run down Market Street and along the Embarcadero, past the piers. It's probably the only flat stretch of pavement in San Francisco.

My legs were feeling VERY good, at least for the first 30-40 minutes. Getting closer to a decision on MCM.

ORN: Sunday, October 23, 2005. 0

Today was "race day" for everyone else. It was the Nike Women's Marathon [and half marathon]. 15,000 participants, of which only 150 were men. Amazing energy. Very well done. There's a column in it somewhere!

But, it was a lot of standing around. Not the best on the legs.

ORN: Monday, October 23, 2005. 55 min, 5/1

Same run as Saturday. Same results. I actually felt better in some ways. My legs have come back pretty quickly. I'm feeling stronger than I expected.

I'm pretty sure that I'll "run" MCM this weekend. Probably do a 3/2 run/walk sequence.

Waddle on,


Friday, October 21, 2005

Travel Day

ORN: 0

You'll notice lots of travel days. It's that time of year. Seems like there are events every weekend from Labor Day until almost Thanksgiving.

I am a little stiff, though, from the longish run. It might be because it was all on concrete, or it may just be that I'm not quite ready to be running an hour yet.

Waddle on,


Thursday, October 20, 2005

Almost Normal

ORN: 65 min; 5 w/u, 55 4/2, 5 c/d

This was the longest run I've tried since the marathon. I'm still toying with the idea of running [run/walk] the Marine Corps Marathon a week from Sunday, but I haven't decided for sure. No matter, I felt like it was time to stretch the time some.

The "rule of thumb" is that if you're under 40 you need one day per mile to recover from a race. If you're over forty - say 56 years old - you need one day for every kilometer to recover. So, for someone like me that means nearly 6 weeks of recovery after a marathon. That doesn't mean no running or walking, just no high intensity training.

I know I'm pushing things to try to stay steady, recover, and get ready for another marathon in three weeks. It's not the dumbest thing I've done, but it's probably close. My thinking is - and I can tell you up front that it's flawed - is that since I'm in marathon condition I should try to do a couple!

What I won't do is do something stupid, like run if I'm not recovered enough. But, I know that this is a dance with the devil.

Waddle on,


Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The one that got away

ORN: 0

I had PLANNED to run today, but the day just got out from under me. It happens. I had a morning meeting and a late afternoon committment. In between I was running errands and the traffic was BRUTAL.

So, that was that. Couldn't get it in!

It happens.


Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Mix and Match

ORN: 50 min @ 5/1

For those of you who follow closely, you'll notice that I'm doing 50 minutes, but altering the run/walk ratio. This keeps me on my feet for the same amount of time, but, as I increase my run ratio the amount of time I RUN increases. Obvious, I know.

Changing the run/walk ratio is a great way to get different workouts in the same amount of time. An EASY 50 minute workout might be running 3 minutes and walking 2. You might do 4/2, or 4/1. You could even move all the way up to 9/1. It doesn't matter.

What matters is finding a way to vary your runs so that your body doesn't get "locked in". The shorter the run interval, the faster you can run. The longer, the slower.

This way you can keep your total workout time the same but still have LOTS of variety.

Waddle on,


Monday, October 17, 2005

Funny day / Blog comments

ORN: No idea.

It's hard to explain. We were doing some demonstration running this morning and were out for several hours. It's not that I ever ran that long, but I did run a bunch.

Also, there's been a lot of "spam" replies to the blog. There's a setting where you have to type in a "hidden" word before you can post a comment. I'm sorry for the added step, but I think it's best for everyone.

Thanks for understanding.


Sunday, October 16, 2005

Hard to believe

ORN: 50 min, 4/2

This was THAT day. A week after marathon. It's HARD to believe that one week ago I ran/walked 26.2 miles without much of a problem. Today, I felt like I couldn't run a BLOCK.

I know that it's recovery. I know that it's my body healing. I know.

But, it still plays games with my head.

Waddle on,


Saturday, October 15, 2005

Not quite yet

ORN, 10/14 & 10/15: 0

Funny kind of tightness in my lower legs. I think it's from the "fast" walking that I did.

At any rate, nothing good is going to come from rushing back into it. I've got the marathon medal. There's nothing left to prove. Better now to be safe than sorry.

Waddle on,


Thursday, October 13, 2005

Test run

ORN: 50 minutes, 3/2

Whoa... it was TOUGH going for the first few minutes. It always surprises me how it feels like ALL of the training runs out on race day and you have to start from scratch.

20 minutes or so into the run I could feel things staring to loosen up. By about 40 minutes into it I was actually RUNNING again. Amazing.

Tomorrow is a travel/rest day. No need to get ahead of myself. I'll make a call on Marine Corps early next week.

Waddle on,


Wednesday, October 12, 2005

An extra day

ORN: 0

Not much stiffness or soreness today. That's the good news. The BEST news is that I didn't take any NSAIDS after Sunday night.

I may try to get out some tomorrow, but no promises. It's been a long season of training. I'm in no hurry to get back at it.


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

One more day

ORN: 0

Another day of recovery. The aches and stiffness from a marathon don't always show up the first day, so, it's important to take a few extra days just to make sure.

When it comes to recovery, I little too MUCH is better than a little to LITTLE. Right now it's hard to imagine running. I know that it will pass. I'm not going to rush back into it.

Then there's the dreaded PMS. Post Marathon Syndrome. It's very easy to fall into a depression following a big event. Knowing that it might be out there doesn't make it any easier.

Waddle on, friends.


Monday, October 10, 2005

Rest, Recovery, and THANKS

ORN: 0

A well earned ZERO I might add. Took the day yesterday to inventory what was sore, what was banged up, and what was damaged. I'm happy to report that NOTHING is damaged. There's some soreness in my lower legs and quads and some tightness in my hamstrings, but other than that I'm fine. The training REALLY did pay off.

I'll take several days off, just to be sure, then probably try to do some walking later in the week.

THANK YOU!! To everyone who has written to congratulate me. I still haven't figured out how to respond to a comment, but I guess it doesn't matter. I can just post it here.

It's been very heartwarming to know that so many people have been following along on this journey. In the next few days I'll figure out what I'm going to do next. To be honest, I've thought about doing the same kind of run/walk for Marine Corps, but I won't be able to decide until I see how quickly I recover.

Waddle on, friends,


Sunday, October 09, 2005

Marathon Day at Last!

ORN: 26.2 miles, run 2 min/walk 3 min: 6:09:55

WOW, what a day!

I was pacing a friend through his first marathon. Our goal was 6:30 based on the training runs, but the Marathon Gods smiled on us BIG TIME today. The weather was perfect, except for a few windy spots, but all-in-all it couldn't have been better.

Some observations: for some reason the Gatorade didn't settle well. More precisely, it just seemed to be going right through me. That's unusual because I really LIKE Gatorade and the new "endurance" formula has worked well in the past. It might have been the cold, too. At any rate, I ended up stopping several times in the early miles to "drain the tank".

I ate 1/2 a Powerbar at mile 8, ate the other half at mile 16, and then used one Powergel at mile 20. In between I drank water and the "problem" went away.

We ran a negative split, meaning that the second half of the race was faster then the first half. In fact, the fastest mile we covered was between 25 and 26! We were strong enough to pick it up at the end.

As much as I complain, there is something magic about the marathon distance. Things happen from mile 20-26.2 that just don't happen any other time. I have to work past the fear, the fatigue - and in my case the anger - that seems to become ever present. It is much more than a physical challenge at that point.

Plus, the marathon distance rewards patience. When we took our first walk interval - TWO minutes into the race - we heard someone say "Well, they didn't get very far". I wish that person had been there to see us pass hundreds and HUNDREDS of runners who had crashed and burned!

So, marathon #41 is in the record books. I'll take some time to recover and then figure out what to do next.

Waddle on, friends.


Saturday, October 08, 2005

Team in Training

ORN: 0

This was a scheduled rest day, although lately I have been trying to run for 20 minutes or so the day before a BIG run, but it couldn't happen. I was at the Expo all day, and then spoke at two Team in Training pasta parties.

Nothing left to do now except run the race.

Waddle on,


Friday, October 07, 2005

Expo Legs

ORN: 0

Standing around at the Expo isn't doing my legs any good at all. Now I remember why I stopped running the marathons that I worked.

Pretty stiff, which I can deal with. I have to find a way to stay off my feet tomorrow.


Last Run

ORN: 30 min. 5 w/u, 20 @ 4/1, 5 c/d

Well, that's that. The last run before the marathon. All I did was walk some, run enough to break a sweat, then walk back.

I feel more ready than I have in years. The weather forcast looks perfect. I'm excited, and ready.

All that's left now is actually covering the course. Somehow, that seems like the easy part.

Waddle on,


Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Spin to Win

ORN; 15 X 2, city bike.

Not really exercise, just going to and from. My legs feel very strong, a good sign.

Beginning to sense the "pre-marathon" isolation setting in. Difficult to focus on anything or anyone else.


Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Round and Round she goes

ORN: 2 miles, 5/1, 5 min w/u, 5 min c/d, 30 min

Just a couple of gentle laps around a 1/2 mile loop. It was very hot and dry, so I kept the pace slower than normal.

Really feeling the tightness of the healing during the taper. I know it's normal, but I don't like the feeling.

Waddle on, friends.


Monday, October 03, 2005

REST, rest, rest

ORN: 0

HAD to rest. Didn't WANT to rest. HAD to rest.

I'd run two days in a row, I HAD to take the day off.

I HATE to taper!


Sunday, October 02, 2005

One more time

ORN: 3 miles, 35 minutes, treadmill, 4/1

We're getting near the end of it. The most important thing today was to break a sweat. There's not much left to do.

I'm stiff. Nothing feels good. I'm achey, tired, etc.

Guess I'm just about ready!!

Waddle on, friends.


Saturday, October 01, 2005

Easy Does It

ORN: 3 miles, 36 min, 4/1, treadmill

I'm on the road [what's new?] and had to run early in the day [not my favorite]. It was still dark [YIKES. How do people do that every day?] so I opted for the treadmill at the hotel.

The most important things to do are: 1] break into a little sweat to fight off any nasty bugs going around, 2] get good blood flow into my legs to keep them loose, 3] don't do anything stupid.

I had a "marathon" dream last night. A nightmare, really. I missed the start. I forgot my watch. I was wearing regular shorts and a polo shirt. Part of the marathon went threw a house: up stairs, through rooms, and back down stairs and out!

Yep. 40 marathons and I still have nightmares about missing the start!

Waddle on, friends.