November 30, 2009
I usually log a couple miles the day after a long, but this week I didn't run the day after. I assume my aching legs are the end result of changing routine.
Once Andrea got home we ran half mile intervals with a long recovery (0.15). The pace was quick and now my legs feel great! Had I run a couple miles yesterday I wouldn't have had all the dull pain today. Once again, lesson learned.
Lifted some "big weights" in my home gym. It always makes me feel good to throw around some heavy iron.
I attached a few pictures from our photo shoot. I'm really proud of them.
November 29, 2009
With Saturdays 50k quickly approaching, I'm growing concerned about the heaviness of my legs and lack of energy. I'll make a few changes in my training and schedule a massage.
One-hour on the recumbent bike followed by an upper body workout.
November 28, 2009
Ran eighteen miles with Kevin and Tom this morning. I remember why I love running trails, because the concrete is b-r-u-t-a-l.
Not a lot went right on today's run. The morning started with me waking up late and skipping breakfast. If I knew then what I know now, I would have stayed in bed.
We ran the first nine miles with four other Kingwood FIT half-marathoners. The KWFIT-half group was scheduled to run 11 miles, but Kevin, Tom, and I decided to run the entire 30k distance.
This morning I wore a new Nathan HPL 020 hydration pack for the first time. The fit was nice, but I struggled to get water out of the bite value. The water was there, but I had to work hard to get a nominal amount of water. For this reason I didn't drink as much as I wanted or needed too.
Around 13 miles I ran out of gas. I took S-caps every 30 minutes and Gu every hour, but neither of these items stopped me from falling apart. It was a hard week, so there are a number of reasons why I bonked. These excuses can include all or any mixture of:
-Limited water intake due to the hydration pack value
-Hard mileage this week
-New E2 workout
-No dynamic stretches before the run
-Tiny bit faster on the first ten miles
On the last water stop I drank several cups of Gatorade and noticed a significant improvement. Unfortunately, the feeling was short lived... very short. We took 0.10 mile walk breaks on miles 15, 16, and 17. Some how I finished. I'm really glad I had the guys there to support me, because I would have done a lot more walking if they weren't right beside me.
When I finished I realized a bigger issue. I hadn't urinated since I left the house 5 hours ago, nor did I have an urge. I was dehydrated. I weighed myself at home, which revealed a four pound weight loss during the run. This week I need to work hard to rehydrate. I've read that it can take upwards of one-week to rehydrate once you've been truly dehydrated.
I sat in a tub of cold water for a 30-minute soak and realized the new hydration pack rubbed a raw spot on my back. Needless to say, I'm not happy at the moment. This run beat me up. On the bright side... it's DONE.
We had a tasty and "somewhat" healthy lunch at New York Pizzeria. Once we got home, Preston and I took a nap while Andrea ran.
This evening we attended a Couples Bridal Shower that was thrown for us by Heather. The event turned out to be no more than dinner with a few friends. I think Andrea's feeling were hurt. Andrea has lots of friends that she would do anything for, yet only a few took the time to attend her shower. I feel her pain, because I've been there. At one time I had a lot of people around me that I called friends. It didn't take a rocket scientist to realize they were only my friend when it was convenient to them or when they needed something of me. A few years back I axed all those people from my life and I don't have a single regret. She has to find a path that makes her happy. Tonight she learned that most of the people she loves are merely Fair Weather Friends. Sad to admit, but true.
November 26, 2009
From this point forward I will post my weight. Typing and reading my weight everyday will surely act as another form of accountability.
Rode the recumbent bike, ran on the treadmill, and completed another E2 workout.
Engine 2 Beginner
I don't typically talk about work, but we just got back from a weird call and I'm bored enough to share. Apparently a driver crashed into a wrought iron fence that borders Rosewood Cemetery. During the collision the driver ruptured a gas line and water line. When we pulled up, the roadway was blocked off by the police department due to the overwhelming smell of gas. We found a large one-inch line flooding the area with natural gas due to the meter being seared off. Todd brought me a tool from the truck and I shut the gas line off, followed by the water line. Then the call got weird... We could tell by the tracks in the graveyard that the driver was still inside the fenced property. Not knowing if there was any more property damage or if the driver/occupants were injured we decided to walk through the 40-acre facility. Let me paint a picture for you; we were walking around a cemetery, at night, on Thanksgiving, looking for a truck. We never found the vehicle, but the police found an open gate which they escaped. Even so, it gave me the heebie-jeebies walking through a graveyard in the darkness of night.
Weird, even by my standards.
November 25, 2009
Arrived back in Kingwood at 3pm. After 5 hours of driving I was ready to workout. No one showed up for the group run, but Andrea and I completed the workout as scheduled. An hour before starting I cycled a couple miles while measuring a route for the speed workout.
Started the session with a one-mile warm up run and core strengthening exercises. Speed training consisted of 10 x 30/30's at 8-9 RPE. Andrea and I struggled with the first couple intervals, but settled into a consistent rhythm shortly thereafter. Average run pace was ~7:00 and the average recovery pace was ~10:30. Total speed workout pace was 8:20/mile. I'm a bit disappointed and would have liked to see the total average under 8:00. Slow 2.9 mile cool down run after speed work. All times combined below.
Rode my bike trainer while watching Biggest Loser.
November 24, 2009
I need validation.
The awards luncheon at the conference was difficult to say the least. They started the meal with an attractive, albeit dry salad of iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, and celery. The salad was good, but they only provided ONE salad dressing, which was creamy bacon ranch. The dressing looked like it was half bacon and half ranch. Needless to say I ate a dry salad. The entree wasn't much better. The green beans were grossly bathed in butter and the cheesy noodles were floating in gravy from a slab of rump roast. The meal was completed with an over sized individual apple pie. I ate the a dinner roll, salad, green beans, the noodles NOT covered in gravy, and the desert. I walked away hungry and consumed a whopping 1435 calories (estimated).
I've been reflecting on the last two day's. Clearly I still posses old behaviors that need to be addressed. There's a mental health glitch that says I HAVE to eat, especially if it's free. This same glitch assumes something horrible will happen if I don't eat. I need the ability to walk away from a meal if it's not appropriate for me. An easy solution would have been to pack small snacks and find a healthy vegetarian meal for dinner.
Lessons learned! Changes will be made. I am strong.
Skipped the last conference session to workout early. One hour on the recumbent bike, three mile treadmill run, E-2 beginner workout, and twenty minute treadmill walk.
My legs are getting progressively fatigued. After tomorrows speed work I plan to take it easy in preparation of this weekends 30k and next weeks 50k.
November 23, 2009
I've had to estimate the caloric values of my first two meals of the day. I'm confident in my ability to estimate food values, but my choices were limited. The selections were high-calorie foods, resulting in higher than usual numbers.
I rode a recumbent bike for an hour and ran on the treadmill for an hour.
I completed the Engine 2 Beginner workout for the first time. I enjoyed the workout and I look forward to incorporating these exercises into my regimen. The exercises include:
Sun Salutations (10)
Kicking Toe Touches (10 each side)
Side Stretches (10)
Trunk Twist (10)
Barrel Rolls (10 each direction)
Arm Circles (10 each direction)
Body Weight Air Squats (15)
Incline Push-ups (10)
Flutter Kicks (20)
Squat Thrust (10)
Lunges (5 each leg)
Seated Chair Dips (10)
Plank Pose (30 seconds)
Jumping Jacks (20)
Step-ups (10 each leg)
Downward Dogs into Child's Pose (5)
Incline Mountain Climbers (20)
If my math is correct, I stayed UNDER my allotted daily calories. The scale has not been kind the last two days. Maybe tomorrows weight will confirm my ability to estimate calories and workout when faced with temptations.
November 22, 2009
Even though it was only 9am, it felt nice to sleep late this morning. When I finally drug my ass out of bed I went to the store for a few essentials and grabbed lunch. Once I was back home I cycled six miles on the greenbelts. Immediately afterwards Andrea and I ran 3.5 miles which was mixed with nearly 2 miles of walking. And last, but not least, I lifted weights.
Even though it's five hours later than my original plans, I'm glad to know my exercise regimen was not neglected!
November 21, 2009
It rained all night and continued through this morning. I desperately wanted to cancel, yet I didn't because other people were involved. There was a feeling of gloom about the run, which I was not looking forward too. I assume it had a lot to do with the dreary weather. It was cold, raining, and I simply didn't feel my typical motivation.
Once we got started my head was free of all the prior negativity. Fifteen miles would be a distance PR for Tom, so we kept the pace nice and easy. The route was not planned beforehand. Armed with my Garmin, we simply ran around Kingwood. Nothing spectacular or scenic, just the usual roads and greenbelts in the 'hood.
The run turned out to be quite pleasant. The rain reduced to a slight drizzle, after ten miles the rain completely ceased. The sky was overcast and the temperatures were cool, which was ideal for a long run. Andrea and Tom talked most of the time. I merely pounded out the mileage. I've not been in a talkative mood and often to flows over into my running.
In the end, it turned out to be a great run. Tom has a new distance PR and I'm really proud of him. The only bad news to report is; Andreas knee is bothering her. I'm reducing her mileage this week in lieu of cycling. With any luck the knee will behave itself.
In non-running news... I almost went under the 200 lb mark this morning. I weighed 200.5!!! The post long run "free-meal" will surly delay going under 200 lbs for a few days. I'm okay with that, but I'll be glad when the "200's" are in my rear-view mirror. FYI: I weighed myself AFTER the run and weighed 199, but it doesn't count.
November 19, 2009
I love East End Park, but I think my days of running there are done. The beauty of the trails is beyond belief, but the tension between runners and idiot dog owners is too much for me!
Anyways I digress...
Tom and I ran three miles at the park this morning. For the first time in a really long time, my legs were D.E.A.D. Over the final mile it was a mental challenge to keep moving. The dead leg feeling is probably the result of adding weight training and two tempo runs this week. After the run I followed Tom on my bike, while he ran a second three mile loop.
Once home I biked for another 30-minutes and lifted weights in the gym.
Foot pain is gone... again. Now I need to make plans for a solo 15-miler Saturday morning. Anyone interested?
November 18, 2009
I ran two miles along the Bayou Rim this morning in my Patagonia Release Trail shoes. I'll be damn if the foot pain didn't come back. It sucks having the pain again, yet I'm glad to know the reason. I'll see if Luke's will entertain a return. The Patagonia's have a little more than 70-miles on them and I'm not sure of the cut-off parameters for exchanges.
The run itself was good. Nice and sunny with a cool breeze. As soon as the run was over I changed shoes and went to the gym
Upper-Body + Core
This evenings speed workout went exceptionally well. I was expecting a lot more people to attend from the emails I received. We had a total of four, two of which were Andrea and I. Although, I had the privilege of meeting two incredible runners, which had inspiring stories of massive weight loss and distinguished running credentials.
One mile warm up, core strengthening workout, four Yasso's, followed by a one mile cool down. I ran at a comfortable pace, because I was engulfed in the dialog with Chris and Bob. I probably should have pushed harder, but I had an "enjoyable" workout.
My Yasso 800 average was 4:29. I started the session by stating I'm on schedule to run a 4:30 marathon. Even though this is only a Half-Yasso workout, it's interesting to have an average time of 4:29. My Garmin measured the course a little longer (0.53), so the time might have been less on a true 800-meter track.
I spent the better part of 30-minutes measuring 0.25 mile in the open parking lot. Unfortunately, a student driver decided to take my cones and use them to practice parallel parking.
All the times are combined below.
November 17, 2009
Needless to say I'm at work and I've been in a bad mood all day.
Glad to report everything is better now. All it took was a three mile run on the treadmill, 13-miles on recumbent bike, a lower body workout, and a phone call to my sweet-heart.
By the way, today was the first day without any foot pain whatsoever. That alone is enough to make me happy!
November 16, 2009
Andrea and I ran a weird route through Kingwood to get our seven miles. The cooler weather yielded a swift pace. Not only were we running fast, but I ran comfortable with energy to spare!
Upper body workout in the gym. It's funny how much Texas weather changes in 24-hours. Yesterday I had to turn on the gym fans because I was getting warm. Today I had to close the big door to keep the cold breeze from blowing inside.
Workout went as planned, although I started feeling bad near the end. I needed a mere five extra minutes of cardio, so I rode my trail bike around the block.
Once I completed my workout I rapidly became ill. I felt nauseated and my stomach was in knots. I sat my desk for 20-30 minutes hoping the feeling would pass, but it didn't. After taking a warm shower I made an attempt to eat the meal Andrea prepared. Miraculously, I felt better within 3-4 bites of food. Apparently my blood sugar dropped, even though I had consumed ~1400 Kcals before dinner.
I'm glad I'm feeling better, but I can't help from wondering why I had an acute drop in energy. Hypoglycemia most often has a gradual onset. I felt awesome all day and the crappy feeling hit me like a brick wall, all at once. I'll check my blood sugar at work tomorrow. Maybe that will give me piece of mind.
An hour after dinner I had enough energy to complete a Core Workout. It's sad how weak my core has become. Lucky for me, core workouts are quick to improve with a little attention.
Mid-Body + Core
November 15, 2009
The water was clear and we saw a million fish, but we were not able to hook a single fish. We still had fun. Any time with my kids is a good time.
Andrea and I rode our bikes on the greenbelts after the kids left. We scouted out a new bayou extension. Other than that, it was an uneventful ride.
Like many things in my life, running seems to answer or solve most of my problems. For example, today my foot felt better than it has all week. Who said rest is the smartest thing to do!?!? ...crap, I said that. LOL
I ran three miles along the bayou rim. Ran a new section, which is AWESOME. The newest route is scenic and has a decent amount of distance (3.5 miles).
A cold front was blowing through during my run. I ran through a couple small, isolated clouds dropping rain and easily noticed the change in temperatures. All and all, it was a good run at a respectable pace.
While waiting for Andrea to finish her 10-miler I hit the gym and had a great workout. I've lost a lot of strength, but I still enjoy my time lifting weights.
The first thing I noticed this morning was how sore my legs were. It's doubtful the ten mile long run made them this sore. Most likely it's a result of yesterday's lower body workout. I would assume my legs are in good shape, but that goes to show you the benefits of cross training and lifting weights. There are numerous other muscles that get neglected when you stick to a single sport/activity. Point dooley noted.
November 14, 2009
Most of my usual runners were NOT in attendance, so it was just Tom and I. We followed Coach Jenny and her group, which was 50-yards ahead of us. Before the first mile we dropped the hammer and caught up with them. They were running a respectable 11:30 pace, which is faster than my typical long run pace. We both easily settled in their rhythm without any issues. The group of eight runners stopped for a re-fuel break at 3 miles. With energy to spare, we continued ahead of the group and intentionally dropped the pace to 11:15 miles.
The mid-point water cooler was located exactly at five miles. We refilled our water bottles and took at off at our prior pace. When we reached six miles we realized we were running out of time, no pun intended. I had someone holding over for me at work, but Tom still needed to be there by 8am. Our current pace would leave Tom with a mere 15 minutes to get to Humble. Nothing we could do would create significant additional time, but we continued to better the pace every mile.
On West Lake Houston Parkway we started picking off returning marathon group runners and improving our own effort in the process. In the end we finished ten miles with an overall pace of 10:50. Tom and I talked the entire time and ran at a comfortable effort level of seven on a a 1-10 scale.
My foot is still bothering me. It started feeling a little better yesterday, but I'm back to square one. My foot hurts either way, so why not run, right? I plan on running through the pain this week and see where that takes me...
Once I got to work I finished the fitness regimen with a lower body workout.
On Showtime (cable channel), I watched the last 30-minutes of "Running the Sahara". It was an amazing documentary and I really want to see it in its entirety now. I searched endlessly, but it would appear this was a one time showing. If anyone else knows when it comes on again, PLEASE let me know.
November 12, 2009
Started "core conditioning" tonight, in preparation of the upcoming speed work. I've noticed my back muscles are fatiguing on long runs, which is sure sign of a weak core.
November 11, 2009
Foot pain isn't better, but at least it's not worse.
Yeah, you read that right... I lifted weights today! Felt good to lift, although I need to find a consistent rhythm in the gym.
Every dark cloud has a silver lining. I've been bummed about the weight gain, but it has motivated me to get my ass back in the gym.
November 10, 2009
The foot pain is still bothering me. In a lapse of intelligence, I decided to push through the pain and run 7 miles on the bayou rim. I enjoyed my run greatly, but it came at an expensive cost. My left foot feels exactly like it did when I finished the 50k.
It's time to take my own advice and try a couple days off. I don't want to rest for weight loss reasons, yet I know it is the smart thing to do. I'll cycle Wednesday and Thursday and take a complete day off Friday. I'll keep my fingers crossed that I can run 10-miles on Saturday morning with the Kingwood FIT gang.
I explored a couple new trails this afternoon. They weren't as long as I had expected, yet I'm sure I will use them again. BEAUTIFUL day outside. It's sunny and cool. Everything is near perfect, with the exception of this damn foot pain.
Ten push-ups during each commercial break of Biggest Loser. So glad to see Shay go home on BL. I've watched the entire season and seen tid-bits of her crappy personality. I was tired of her endless, "I'm the victim" pleas when it benefited her.
November 9, 2009
Tom meet me at the house for a recovery run. We ran 1-mile intervals along my 5 mile loop. My legs feel great, but something on the top of my left foot is hurting. Not sure what it is.
Biked along side of Andrea while she ran the same 5 mile loop.
November 8, 2009
Only two minor race related issues left to deal with. The top of my left foot is aching and I have some minor transient soreness on the lateral aspect of my left knee.
I took today off from both exercise and calorie counting. I might regret the decision when I see the scale for a few days, but I think my decision was justified.
I've set two realistic goals for the next 4-weeks;
1. Average weight of 196 or less BEFORE the Texas Trails 50k on December 05, 2009. That will be 60-pound weight loss!
2. A sub 7-hour finish at the Texas Trails 50k.
November 7, 2009
Let me write what I’m able to recall in chronological order, starting yesterday afternoon. I spent most of the day taking care of little errands and chores that needed to be done around the house. The only reason I mention this is because I was on my feet all day. I was so busy I neglected my pre-race hydration regimen and didn’t “truly” rest my legs like I wanted.
As soon as Andrea got off work we drove to Trinity to drop Taylor off at Erin’s house. The traffic through Conroe cost us an additional hour, which I wasn’t expecting. On the trip North we made a quick stop into Luke’s Locker for a new hydration belt and then to the Lodge in Huntsville State Park for our race packets. From there we meet Erin in Trinity at Roma’s Mexican restaurant for dinner. We didn’t get there till 6:30, which is 2.5 hours past my usual dinner time, so I was starving. I devoured a basket of chips before my food arrived. A small voice in the back of my head kept telling me it wasn’t smart to do this, but I did anyways. For dinner I had veggie tacos and rice. Not bad, but not great either.
With Taylor now at Erin’s we took off towards Huntsville in pursuit of a hotel for the night. I was so sleepy the drive was a complete blur. We had called a few hotels on the way to Trinity and all the rates were about the same, so we pulled into La Quinta. I have a serious phobia of hotel germs and general yuckiness. I’ve had good luck in the past with this hotel chain… until now. This place was nasty, but I was so tired it didn’t matter.
I took a quick shower and was in bed by 10pm, two hours later than my original plan. Alarms went off at 4:30 am. I found myself tired and wishing for another hour of sleep, but sleep deprivation has become a norm for me. Another shower, got dressed for the big show, and then checked-out of the hotel on schedule. We stopped at McDonalds for an egg biscuit, but they were having issues (drive-thru speaker was not working and doors were locked), so we drove off hoping to find something else to eat. The only place we found open between Huntsville and the State Park was a gas station. I know better than to eat new or different foods before a race, but it didn’t stop me from walking out of the gas station with an apple fritter, banana, and juice. I don’t think I’ve ever ate so much sugar for breakfast. Well, I’m only human and allowed to make stupid decisions too.
Andrea and I arrived at the starting area by 5:30am with time for a bathroom break and stretches. Weather was a comfortable 58-ish, but far from my ideal running temperature of 40-45 degrees. I’m not complaining, because the humidity was tolerable and the trails were nice and dry. While waiting for the start Andrea and I struck up a conversation with another female runner who was also running her first 50k. You could easy sense the nervous excitement between all of us. Then a HUGE shock came to me when another woman walked up and asked me if my name was Bill. After a quick introduction she introduced herself and told me that she reads and follows my blog. How cool is that!?!? This has happened several times, but it never ceases to amaze me. Too freakin’ cool!!
The 50k race started a few minutes past 6am, about 30-minutes before sunrise. The first section was on the roadway, which was well lit. I spent the first few minutes of the race trying to get my hydration belt positioned. During the process I lost a water bottle among the runners, which I had to run back and retrieve. By the time I picked-up the bottle I was at the very back with the speed walkers, who, by the way are super fast!
We ran nearly one mile before turning onto the trailhead, which required lighting. Many people were running without lights. It was comical listening to people trip without actually falling. I don’t know how many times I heard the sound of someone tripping over a root and hearing them yell out; “Shit”, “Son of a bitch”, and “god damn”. I tried not to laugh, because karma would certainly deliver me a fall. One of many goals I established before the race was to run the first loop without falling down. I purposely spent time training on trails, which I hoped would prepare me for this race. On Rick’s last email he reminded me to pick up my feet to avoid the 8 million roots. Looking back I think his number of 8 million was a low conservative estimate of roots.
Once we turned into the woods, I glanced at my watch several times, like I always do and noticed my pace was 14:23. Something didn’t seem right because I felt like I was moving faster than that. I knew I had a long time to go and blamed it on a poor satellite signal. On the fourth glance of my watch I realized I must have stopped my watch when I went back for the water bottle that had fallen.
I love knowing all the “numbers” when I run, so this error quickly got in my head as bad mojo. To make matters worse I didn’t feel like I was moving effortlessly in relationship to the pace. There again, I didn’t know my pace, but I knew I was at the back of the pack.
There was a huge mental boost when we turned left on the jeep road. I studied the map and didn’t expect to see it this soon. By this time the sun was peaking over the horizon and there wasn’t a need for our lights. With the addition of the mornings light and a wider, straighter path I could see other runners, which helped take my mind off the task at hand. As I was watching the other runners I finally found my “go-forever pace” and started feeling good. Although, I had one issue, I needed to pee. Over the first 5 miles I stopped and pissed at least 3 times. I don’t know what was acting as a diuretic, but I had the urge time and time again.
The first aid station at 4.5 miles was awesome. There was no shortage of smiling faces and helpful volunteers at all the stops. I stayed true to my original plan and did not waste valuable time at the aid stations. I left aid station 1 with another runner who was eager to talk. He told me how this was a training run in preparation of his first 100-miler. He gave me lots of encouragement and during the dialogue I asked him how long we had been running. There was an eleven minute difference between our watches, so that helped me better distinguish my overall time… although it didn’t change anything!
About half a mile outside of the first aid station I heard a soft footed runner coming from behind me. As he approached and passed me I was struck in awe. This man is what I consider a true “runner”. Let me try and explain what I saw. First of all, he was a tall, skinny male and probably in his late fifties or maybe early sixties. He was wearing shorts than appeared to be swimming trunks and they were torn so bad that he had duck tap all over, holding them together. He had taken his shirt off and it was tucked into his belt. I didn’t notice a watch of any type and he wasn’t wearing running shoes, he was actually running in a pair of Merrell hiking boots. All this and he moved effortlessly through the trails, almost too quietly to notice. No digital watches, no technical clothing, no shoes MADE for running, yet this man probably knows more about the love of running than I ever will understand. I mumbled, “good morning” as he passed by and I felt privileged to receive a “thumbs up” from him as he ran deeper into the forest.
On Friday I set up an interval workout on my Garmin for the race. The plan was to run for 1-hour, and then run intervals of 15-minute run/5-minute walk. I started the walk-breaks about 6.5 miles into the race. This is also about the time we left the jeep trail and entered the real beauty of the park. Very few people were within sight of me in either direction, so it was just me and the trails. Regrettably, I spent the majority of my time watching the five-feet of trail surface ahead of me, but from time-to-time I looked up in amazement of the beauty that surrounded me.
About a mile before aid station 2 the leaders of the 25k flew blast me in a blaze of fire. It was amazing watching those guys run, even though I only saw them for a VERY short time. Over the years I’ve learned the leaders seldom, if ever talk when they are running. It was refreshing to have several of the top ten guys tell me, “Good job” and “Looking good”. As sappy as it may seem, their encouragement lifted my spirits.
I stumbled a few times, yet somehow I never fell. On the far side of the Seven Hill Running Club aid station I watched a woman take a wicked fall. I asked if I could help her, but she said she was ok. We ran together for a couple minutes. She explained that she lives in Corpus Christi and they don’t have roots like these. She also confessed that she had already fallen twice before. This was evident, because her extremities were covered in dirt and debris. I felt so bad for her and wanted to help, but there wasn’t anything for me to do. Before we lost sight of each other she fell once more and it seemed rather traumatic, but once again, she stood up and started running. Watching her struggling in frustration taught me to be more careful for my own footing and to be appreciative that I had not fallen.
My scheduled intake regimen was one S-cap every 30-minutes and one Gu every 45-minutes. Around ten miles I started feeling the ill effects of the sugary breakfast in conjunction with Gu gel and S-caps. At one point I was so nauseated that I actually started gagging. Luckily, the feeling was short-lived and the gagging was the worst of it. It was easy to keep track of the S-caps, but I was getting confused about the Gu timing. Several times I resorted to counting old packages and looking at my time to determine when the next one was due.
There was a large 5-6 mile gap between aid stations 2 and 3. I ran out of water at the same spot on both loops, which was mentally tough. On the first loop I had no idea where to expect aid station number 3. At every turn I was hoping to see a table with water. This is also the same time a “hotspot” developed on the outside of my right foot. With no water, I started to tire and found myself being overly concerned about the hotspot on my foot.
I finally found my oasis a couple miles past the boardwalks. The volunteers filled both water bottles, while I gulped several cups of water. With a little water in my system all was well again, except the blister forming on my right foot.
The trail was perfectly marked, but near the end of the first loop I didn’t have a good bearing of where I was in relationship to the lodge. Aid station 3 volunteers said it was only a few more miles to the end. My legs still felt relatively good, but those final miles felt like the longest three miles I’ve ever run. Within a mile of the start line there was a plethora of 25k runners passing me and 50k runners starting their second loop. I must have received a hundred “good job” comments on that last mile. It was a great feeling running into aid station 4 with all the cheering spectators.
As I ran around the mid-way cone I looked and the clock, which read: 3:17:09. Even though my number one goal was to merely finish the race, I couldn’t help but realize a 7-hour finish was plausible. Kevin parked his truck close to the start, so it was exciting to see his truck, even though I didn’t see him. I also thought there might be an outside chance I would see Andrea before I ducked back into the woods for my second loop. Even though she started an hour later, she’s a little speed demon, so seeing her was a reasonable expectation. Unfortunately, I never saw Andrea or Kevin.
Going into the half way mark I had to piss… again. I planned on waiting till I found some thick woods when I broke clear of the other runners on the second loop. As luck would have it, I caught up to two female runners. I tried passing them, but my walk/run regimen kept them within sight for several miles. Mid-way down jeep road I finally passed the girls far enough to enable me to piss without being a total weirdo. I’m actually happy it worked out the way it did, because it took my mind off the run.
Most of the second loop was run in a mental haze. I found it amusing trying to relate my perceived effort to that of my Garmin pace. Sometimes my pace felt speedy, yet the watch told a completely different story. There was a direct correlation between the slowing of my pace when compared to total mileage run. At twenty miles I found myself hurting. Everything hurt, with emphasis to my back and bottom of both feet. For the duration of the race I maintained a regimen of stretching every couple miles, which I contribute to my success.
I spent a lot of time thinking and talking to myself. There was times when I said I would walk the remainder of the route. Luckily, the intervals were spaced with enough time to bargain with myself. I agreed to start each run interval and if it got too bad I “could” walk if needed. The pain was the same both walking and running. The way I saw it, the more I could run, the sooner I would end the pain. Any expectations of a respectable pace were conceded to a mere finish, which was my goal to begin with.
The toughest part of my run was on the second loop, between aid station 2 and 3. Once again I ran out of water. I was hurting all over, but even worse, I was mentally fatigued. My run turned into something that resembled a death march. I didn’t think I would ever find the aid station. I was so thirty I considered asking another runner for a drink of water. While running on the boardwalks I must have looked bad because a female runner with a hydration pack asked me if I needed some water. I seriously thought about accepting the offer, but I didn’t want to foul her run. I did accept the fact that an extra 5-minutes of walking was needed until I found water. After the unscheduled walk the landscape started looking familiar, so I continued my running program.
I was so excited to find the final aid station. Part of me wanted to stop and take a break, but I didn’t want to take a chance of cramping. The volunteers helped me refill my water bottles and I was on my way in less than one minute. I doubled-up on S-caps and continued my shuffle to the finish line.
I don’t remember much about those last miles. Probably not my best idea, but I kept a close eye on my watch. Literally, I looked at my watch every minute… hoping to see a magical number. The trail leading to the finish is a mixture of crushed asphalt, roots, and some dirt. I recall the surface feeling so much harder than the previous trails that were primarily dirt, roots, and sand. I guess this is one more reason why I’ve made the big shift from concrete to trails.
In the final 200-yards I could see the finish line. As I approached the photographer I held up a “5” on one hand and a “zero” with the other hand to represent my first 50k. Behind the photographer I could see a young girl, which turned out to be Taylor. When I heard her yell out, “GO, BILL!” it was music to my ears. Then I saw Andrea running up with her camera. I was so overwhelmed with emotion I couldn’t think of anything to say or do, except run.
Even though there were less than 100 spectators, the cheering of the crowd was amazingly loud. One of my final thoughts while running was the lack of pain on the last mile. A man with a PA yelled out my bib number as I entered the pathway lined with cones and flags. The RD instructed me to run past the last cone, which was near the clock that read; 7:06:32 as I passed it. Andrea and Taylor ran along the outside of the course and were right there when I finished.
I did it. I finished my first 50k. I’m finally an Ultra-runner! I was handed my 50k finisher trophy and found a comfy spot in the grass to sit down. The first thing I wanted to do was take my shoes off. I had no idea what to expect of my feet from my first ultra. Damage control didn’t reveal anything serious other than a one-inch blood blister on the side of my right foot. Everything else looked good.
When I stood up, everything had tightened and hurt ten times more than when I had been running. With a 1.5 hour drive home I decided to take advantage of the “free” massage. I had to wait about 30-minutes, but the massage was well worth it.
On the way home we picked up a bag of ice for our cold bath soaks. Thirty minutes in a tub of cold water and half a bag of ice left both of us shivering most of the night. We finished the day with a mediocre meal at Jason’s Deli and we were in bed, sound asleep by 8pm.
There’s something astonishing about pushing your mental and physical abilities beyond the norm. I don’t think the average person understands what the human body is capable of. There’s a lot more will power left inside of me and I look forward to the challenges pursuing who I really am.
Another amazing day of my life, which I'm living to the fullest!
November 5, 2009
A small break this evening allowed me to use the recumbent bike for 1-hour, walk on the treadmill for 1-hour, and back to the recumbent bike for 20-minutes.
Time to put my game face on... only one more full day till the 50k.
November 4, 2009
Rode my trail bike to Wyatt's house. From there we rode to Subway for a quick sandwich. After riding back to his house I rode to the barber, then home. It was a great day for a bike ride. I'm loving this weather!
Arrived early for PIM and ran two loops around Memorial Park before the session started. Great run and surprisingly fast pace. I didn't try to slow myself down, instead I simply ran at a comfortable pace.
Tonight is PIM's last session before their goal race this Saturday. For their last run they are running for 30 minutes running. Also for the first time they will run all the way around Memorial Park. I ran with one of the faster runners in our group, Sara. We finished an entire loop plus a little extra, which totalled exactly 5k. Now she can officially say she has run 3.1 miles (in 35:01)!
I don't want to leave out the rest of the group, becasue they were right on our tail. All the runners I talked to said they ran the entire 30-minutes without stopping. They have been a great group and I wish them the best of luck this weekend.
I combined all the numbers below.
The Captain asked us to wake up at 6:30am to prepare for mandatory Live Fire training. It's been on the schedule for a couple months, so it wasn't a surprise to us. As one of the shift instructors, I've been helping establish training evolution scenarios and logistics for the last couple shifts. It's was fun, but I'm glad it is over. Everything went well and the weather couldn't have been better. Lots of quality teaching and a small bit of exercise also!
I only had a small 1.5 hour break between the end of the live fire training and going BACK to the station for Wyatt. Within 15 minutes of arriving, the alarms went off for our first EMS call, which is typical when I work on medic 1 for Wyatt. Afterwards I spent some time in the gym. I rode the recumbent bike for 45 minutes, ran 2.5 miles on the treadmill, then rode the recumbent bike again for 36 minutes. The run felt great, which is a huge mental boost for my 50k this weekend. The foot pain I experienced late last week had me worried. Now I'm feeling better prepared and I'm starting to show small signs of... excitement!!
Alison was sick Saturday night threw Sunday. Now it seems Andrea has caught the same 'bug'. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to help her from work so she toughed it out on her own. Good news is she is feeling better tonight. Hopefully, I can survive a few more days without catching the virus myself.
Finally got home at 10:30 pm. Couldn't resist the temptation to watch tonight's DVR'd episode of The Biggest Loser. At each commercial break I did push-ups. I like the results I see in my upper body with push-ups, so I want to start a consistent regimen.
November 2, 2009
I'm at work now. Sat on the recumbent bike for thirty-five minutes and read Skinny Bastard by Rory Freedman & Kim Barnouin. It's generally the same as the best-seller female version, which I've already read. Good to re-read the information, which will help me stay true to my diet.
I'm tired and hungry with a lot on my schedule for tomorrow. Time to get some shut eye.
November 1, 2009
5 x 0.50 run/0.20 walk
The late start enabled us to use our LED lights, which is additional trail training. Non-eventful run. It was easy and I feel good... nothing less to report.
Before the run, Andrea and I visited Luke's Locker. She has had some isolated hip pain, so I always consider shoes first. She doesn't keep super accurate records, but I estimated she has run 350-400 miles on the current shoes. With a small nudge from me, Andrea purchased a pair of Brooks Cascadia. I've been tempted to buy a pair for myself, but I'm leery to try Brooks again. I tried Brooks a few years ago and didn't like them. The Cascadia model is getting great reviews from both road and trail runners alike. If Andrea likes them, I want to give Books another try and the Cascadia will probably be my next shoe.
Sat on the boring bike trainer this evening to get my full 2-hours of cardio. I need to start walking or something, because I don't feel like I'm doing anything just sitting there mindlessly spinning.
Hope my weight loss continues. The scale was rough on me the last couple days. Usually my weight increases Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, then it drops Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. This is the result of my weekend "free-meal" and I'm learning to not be too shocked when I see 2-4 pound weight shifts. I pay a lot of attention to the 7-day average, which has been 3-4 pounds per week.
Glad to see an American win the New York City Marathon this morning. Way to go Meb!!! I was hoping to see Ryan Hall take it, but any USA runner is fine with me!!!