Sunday, November 30, 2008

Race Pictures

Pictures from the race can be seen at the following web site. My BIB #22001. Enter it in the Photo Search box. Gill's BIB # is 16056.

Race Pictures

There are also some pictures that are not yet under our BIB numbers. Enter these numbers in the Photo Id section of the Photo Search box.




Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Race Report!!!!

We gradually made our way closer to the starting line. As we got closer I got a little more excited. Soon it was our corral's turn at the start. Ready set GOOOOOO!!!

And we were off.

The start of the race was pretty fun. We were having a pretty good time. Gill and I were chatting back and forth as we were going. Within the first couple of miles we came across a couple of idiots riding their bikes in the middle of the street full of runners. Of course I had to get after them about being there. I don't think that it did much good, but they got out of the road at the next street. I realized right away that my Star Wars jersey from Primal Wear was perfect for running. There are deep pockets on the back that actually go below the waistline of my shorts and that kept all the stuff that I was carrying from bouncing around. I would definitely recommend Primal Wear jersey to runners doing the marathon.

Gill started having some pains in his feet pretty early on. These were the same pains that he got near the end of the Detroit marathon that he ran about a month earlier.

It was a fairly cold morning, but I had ditched my sweatpants at the gear check and was wearing a sweatshirt, hat, and gloves. We reached the Alamo at mile two and decided it was time to take of the sweatshirt and reveal "The StarWars Runner"!!!!

Things were going pretty good we were maintaining around a 10 min/mile pace and it felt really pretty good. There were several kids along the route that looked pretty bored. So I started making an effort to give them "five" as I was running by. The kids really seemed to enjoy this and it would bring a smile to their face.

A little while later Gill started his own variation of this by trying to get the HOT women spectators to give him high fives.

We were following our race strategy of walking through the water stations. Gill seemed to notice some benefit to this compared to how he ran the Detroit Marathon. Gill and I ran in the general vicinity of each other for about 10 miles and then he had to slow down/stop because of his foot. One minute he was there and the next time I looked back and I couldn't see him. I continued to do well and maintain the 10 min/mile pace. I did have some groin area pain and some pain in my toes, but I was able to run through the pain.

I met up with Jill and the girls around mile 14 and still felt good. I ditched the sweatshirt and gloves. I told the girls to hold out their hands and give the runners "five" as they ran by. I should of had Arin and Rachel run with me for a short way. I was really nice to see them and I was glod to get rid of the stuff that I was carrying. It was shortly after mile 15 that I started to have problems.

The support on the back half of the course was not nearly as good as on the front half. I started listening to the ipod in this area. It was around mile 18 when I started wanting to stop and walk more often, but held off through about mile 20. I finally reached mile 20. This was the point of the unknown. I had previously only run 20 miles so this was all new territory for me. It was around mile 20 that I remember my thighs really burning. On the bright side the groin pain was gone and so was the pain in my toes. It was also around this time that I noticed I was running slower than the 10min/mile pace that I had been maintaining over the first half of the race.

I remember passing the mile markers around mile 23 and I could see the Tower of the Americas in the distance and the Alamodome, but they never seemed to get any closer. I definitely knew at this point that it was all mental. I will have to remember to do a better job of creating mental images or repeating a mantra to myself as I run these last 6 miles. I finally made it to the Alamodome and was running on the side and I turned the corner to head up the dreaded hill that was just before the finish line. I had toured the course before the race so I was aware of the hill. I am not sure yet if that was a mistake or a smart thing to do. The hill was not horrible but the location was!!! The cool thing about this was that there spectators lined all the way up the hill and around the corner to the finish line.

I made it up the hill and rounded the corner to see the finish line. My running became easier since I just came off the hill and I knew that I would make it to the end. I was not able to muster the energy to have a big finish, but I was just happy to cross the finish line. The clock time was 5:15 minutes and my chip time was 4:45 minutes. I crossed and got my medal. I was most surprised by the fact that I just wanted to cry. This was really surprising to me. I walked around the finish line area drinking water and trying to keep loose while I waited for Gill.

I kept looking for Gill, but had not seen him cross. I was becoming more and more worried that he had not been able to finish. I had no way to get a hold of him as he did not have his cell phone (this is one thing that I would change next time - I would make sure that we have a back-up communication plan.) I finally spoke to my mom and had her look him up online. She said that he had not yet crossed the mile 24 split and 1.5 hours had passed since the split at mile 20 (I think). I thought that He had come in off the course and I now I had to go and find him. A few minutes later mom called and said that he just crossed the 24 mile split. This made me feel a whole lot better. Now I waited around for him to cross the finish line. He finished in 6 hours and 15 minutes.

One of the things that I realized from this race is that there are so many variables that can go wrong when running such a long distance that it is just amazing to finish. It would be nice to set a new personal record with each race, but there are just too many possible issues that can cause you problems during the race.

I DID IT!!!!

May the Force be with You!!!


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Race Day!!!!

I had a hard time falling asleep for the last several days before the marathon.. I am not quite sure why as I did not really feel nervous or excited about the race (at least not that could tell). My goal was to finish so it's not like I had to do my very best or that I was hoping to win so I don't think I had anything to be nervous about.

We got up pretty early to give us enough time to get to the AT&T Center and take the shuttle to the start line. Gill and I went for a quick 1/2+ jog before we left as a little warm up. We get to the AT&T Center and there were some pretty long lines to get onto the shuttles. When we left the AT&T center there had to have been 6 - 8 thousand people still waiting for the bus. I think that we waited for maybe 30 minutes or so and rode the bus for another 20 minutes. We had to walk quite a ways from where the bus dropped us off to get to the starting line. By the time we got up there they had already started the race. On the bus there were a bunch of people that were concerned about getting there after the start of the race, but to me it didn't really matter because your time is based on when you cross the starting line with the chip in your shoe.

While we were making the trek to the start line there were all kinds of people (both men and women) running off among the buildings along side the road to go to the bathroom. I had heard that people would do that during the race, but I was surprised they would need to do that before the race. It was crazy!!!

We got up to the start line area and checked in our gear bags and used the bathrooms. We still had plenty of time to find our corral group before they crossed the starting line. Since it was a cold morning people had worn extra clothes so that they could keep warm before and during the race. As we got closer to the starting line you could see that they had started to shed these clothes. Some of the clothes looked pretty nice too. We continued to see articles of clothes along the course, but mostly hat and gloves.

Our group finally made it to the front and after 30 seconds or so they released our corral and we were off....

I had started my FIRST marathon!!!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Expo

My marathon experience first began with the Health and Fitness Expo. You must go to the Expo to pickup your race packet, goodie bag and T-shirt or you cannot run in the race. Essentially they force you to come to the expo to try and entice you into buying their souvenirs or buying items from the race exhibitors. This seems to be a successful tactic as they got me to so both. I purchased a RNR San Antonio tech shirt, bought a book, and some shot blocks that I needed for the race the next day. The expo was fairly crowded, but did pick up some good samples from Cytomax. Gill was not impressed with the medals that most of the races at the expo were displaying as the medal from the Detroit Marathon was much better that all of the others.

While there we had the opportunity to meet with Marathon Chris at the expo. Chris has the blog and podcast called Running Adventures in an Extraordinary World. It was neat meeting a podcaster that you have listened. After getting to know them in cyberspace, by listening to their podcasts and reading their blogs, it was nice to talk in person. I see that she has already posted several items on her blog about the race so be sure to check that out also. Here is a picture of me with Maraton Chris.

While we were at the Expo we listed to several of the speakers that were putting on the clinics. Several were pretty funny and they were also interesting. The people that we heard were John Bingham, a Runners World journalist that run's mararthon's in the back of the pack, The Hansons, which is a Detroit, MI area elite running team, and Bart Yasso, a Runner's World journalist that has run in a lot of extreme events. Bart was also at the Expo autographing his book about his running life. After listening to him talk it sounded like his book would be interesting. The photo below is of Bart Yasso(on the right)

We skipped the pre-race pasta party to have a pasta party at my house as my wife was making a really good baked spaghetti dish to load us up with carbs for the next day. This was a much better idea for me as I knew that if I went to the pasta party I would have eaten a lot more that I should have.

Next I will be talking about arriving at the race and the race start.


WE DID IT!!!!!!

Here are our results from the marathon on Sunday. It was tough especially the last 6 miles. It was definitely mental. When I was at the 23 mile marker the finishe line seemed oh so far away and as I kept going it did not seem like it was getting any closer. I will be working on posting more about the marathon in the coming days as I get time to process the race.

My results - I met my ultimate goal of finishing the marathon and I finished in less than 5 hours, which was my next goal. I fell short of my stretch goal of a 4:30 finish, but I am pleased with how I did!!!

Gill's results - He had some problems early on in the race, but he persevered and finished strong!!!! Gill also ran the Detroit Marathon less than a month ago. So I think he was behind the 8 ball from the beginning!!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

San Antonio Rock and Roll Marathon

Well, the San Antonio Rock and Roll Marathon is upon us and I have put up some useful links on the right hand side of the blog that you may want to use to view details of the marathon. One of the links will take you to the results page were you can review the results of the race and check on my (or another runner's) progress during the race. Below I have provided a brief summary of the links that I have put on the left side.

As I review the last six months or so when I really started to entertain the this crazy idea of me running a marathon (yeah I know still sounds really funny!!!) I am surprised about what I have accomplished.

To think this really all started when my friend Gill called me last November and really wanted me to participate in some way in the this event. I appeased him and agreed to do some kind of event a 5k walk or something. I still don't know what possessed me to entertain the idea of running last June when I first entered that 10k race. Or the following week when I was in Michigan and conned my two sons into running with me in another 10k race.

At first I figured I would start training for the race whether I would end up trying the whole thing or just the half I wasn't sure. Truthfully, I didn't think that it mattered much because I figured I would have sustained a running ending injury long before this point. I had even waited until just before the price increase to sign up for the race because I figured I wouldn't make it that far. Unfortunately or fortunately (I guess I will let you know after the race on Sunday) my maladies have been essentially minor and have not significantly interfered with my training. I have listed below a brief comparison of where I started and where I am today.

Since I started training I have run over 370 miles. Which means I might have run far enough to almost be out of the state of Texas.

I ran my first 10k at a pace of 11:58/mile to finish in 1 hour and 14 minutes. My last 10k, on September 20th, I ran at a pace of 8:46min/mile and finished in 54 minutes.

In the beginning of July my training runs were run at a pace around 11:40 minutes per mile. Now my training runs are around a 9:15 min/mile pace.

San Antonio RNR Marathon - This is the link to the overall marathon website. There is lots of good information on this website and you can find about anything that you are looking for related to the marathon

SARNR Course Information - This link will take you to the details about the marathon route, the course mile by mile, course elevations and road closures

SARNR Results Page - This link you should be able to click on during the race and see the times that I have made as I progress through the race. After the race you will be able to see the final race results.

SARNR Race Medals - Here you can view the medals that will be awarded to the finishers.

PRIMAL WEAR - This link will take you to the company that made the Star Wars jersey that I will be wearing during the race.

Thanks for viewing my blog.

May the Force be with you!!!


Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Runner's High

You often hear from runners about the "runner's high" that runners often get while running. Whenever I heard about this mystical phenomenon I always thought how crazy they must be to run wether or not there is a "runner's high" or not. I have to admit that since I started this journey I have learned a lot about running and the runner's high.

Below I have listed a few of the things that I have learned since I started running:

Clothing - I learned that you don't run or exercise in cotton clothing as it soaks up your sweat like a sponge and you run around with heavy, soaked shirts and shorts. Cotton underwear makes you feel like you are wearing a wet diaper. You definitely want to wear techincal/moisture wicking t-shirts, shorts, socks, and underwear.

Protection - Another very, very important thing I learned is that when running more than six miles I need to make sure that I cover up those sensitive areas on my chest. Yes, I am referring to the nipples. Your shirt rubbing up and down on your nipples for more than 6 miles becomes very painful. I have learned that you need to either cover them with bandaids or put on an anti-chafing glide stick. It is also important to have this available when running longer distances as you will want to reapply this on your long runs. I will admit that I learned this the hard way!!!

As the beginning suggests I have also learned about the runner's high. Although I did not start running because of this mystically item I was curious about it. What is it? what does it feel like? when do you get it? How far/hard do you have to run etc.

Well I have uncovered the secret of the runner's high. As I have discovered on my frequent nightly runs in my neighborhood, the runner's high is the contact buzz you get from running by your neighbors house as they stand in the driveway smoking pot.

There you have it the mystery has been revealed and now you know why I have been enjoying running!!!

May the Force be with you!!!


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Marathon Planning

I have been thinking a lot about the strategy that I want to use for the San Antonio Rock and Roll Marathon. I think I need to remember what is most important, which for me is first to finish and second to have an enjoyable race. As this is my first marathon I have no idea what it is like going to be like to run in this event.
Not only is the distance further than I have ever run the magnitude of the event is huge!!! With 30k people signed up to race it is far bigger than the other races that I have run that have had several hundred people at most.

Right now I am thinking that I will run 1 to 2 miles and take a maybe 30 second walk break. It will be important to start these walk breaks right from the beginning. If I were to wait until I am already fatigued or having pain, then the damage will have been done and these breaks will not do much to help. I also want to try to savor the sights and sounds of the event. I will have other opportunities to have a really good time as my goal.

I will also be packing several packs of the Clif Shot Blocks to eat while I run to help me ensure that I have plenty of energy throughout the race and avoid hitting the wall at the end. I will also probably pack some Power Bars or Clif Bars.

I want this one to be for me to savor the journey that I have been on for the last 1 1/2 years.

May the Force be with you!!!


Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Taper

After I completed the 20 mile long run I started what is referred to as the taper. This is when you significantly reduce your running about 2 to 3 weeks before the race. Essentially you do just enough running and cross training to maintain your fitness, but let your body get completely rested and healed before the marathon (or other race).

Hopefully, this taper period will help prevent race day issues with my right knee and hip. I have 2 weeks left before the marathon and I only have five more runs scheduled on my training log. Gill and I will probably go out for a slow short run together on Saturday.

I have not really seen much change in my times since the last long run, but my last run was five miles and I felt pretty good during the run.

May the Force be with you!!!