Saturday, November 6, 2010

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Marine Corps Marathon 2010

Another marathon in the books. 4:49. Not a PB or a bust and I did not have negative splits. Many positives. A new reason to run....because I can. The weather was perfect. Sunny and high forties in the beginning and high fifties at the end. The route was beautiful, scenic, and challenging. It is hard not to be patriotic in such a setting with the marines all around and so much pride all around. I am truely proud to be an American.
The positives. My prerace meal was good. A gluten free Java chocolate brownie and water three hours before the marathon start. 10oz of water/gatorade mix right before the start. No hunger at or low sugar feelings at all. I decided to carry only Gu gels and take the Powerade on the course. I began with a full cup of Powerade alternating with a full cup of water with a Gu at the aide stations which were a little further then 2 miles apart. I did get a little thirsty during the second half. If it had been much warmer, hydration may have been an issue. I took endurlyes after 2 hrs for a total of 4 alternating with aminoacid tablets from Hammer. They worked out well. I should have taken more. At mile 19 they gave away Sportbeans which I took and ate one by one. It did help the cramping I was feeling at mile 16 to eighteen. I think the fatigue was more related to decreased training miles instead of caloric depletion but I am not sure. I do not think I could have taken more Gus'. Maybe more sportsbeans.
I never lost my head and I felt I was present most of the race. In the beginning I focused on keeping my HR below 160. I did not want to go lactic and have a 5 plus hour marathon because of pushing for a pace I wanted versus a pace I could handle. I also never had a low moment when I just did'nt care. I kept trying to keep my HR greater then 150 during the second half to maintain pace. During the last three miles I kept pushing although the lap pace does not show so much repeating to myself that slower was not going to be less painful. I finished happy and hard and thanked each Marine I passed for there service. Semper Fi.
I found a new reason to run.. I can. I am healthy and free. Free because of our military who fight to maintain our fredom. Thank you all. At the expo my friend Sally noticed the Hope for Wounded Warriors table. This is an organization that raises money to help our wounded warriors with living expenses, education and other supportive services for them and their families. I was immediately sold. Sally's late husband was retired Navy and we loved him dearly. It would have pleased him so much to help these people. I bought a race shirt and immediately decided that this would be who I would run for from now on in future marathons and triathlons. I wore that shirt with pride and humility in honor of these wounded heros. Thank you.
Things to change. I need to go back to running 3 to 4 twenty mile long runs at whatever pace. I need a longer mid week run as well as the speed work. I think the cross training is good but no substitute for running when it comes to doing well in the marathon. I need to focus on more electrolytes and calculating my caloric intake during the race. I need to run.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Longboat Key Triathlon 2:13:47

One week to go before the Marine Corps Marathon, I decided to squeeze in another Triathlon. This was the longest yet with 1/2mile swim, 20 mile bike, and 5 mile run. It was the inaugural event for the Longboat Key Chamber and they did a fantastic job. No course glitches, plenty of pleasant volunteers and it was held at the resort. We ran most of the 5 miles on the golf course which is unheard of given the anti runner mentality of most golfers. I can say that having been a golfer and lived on a golf course but never anti runner. They were just skinny people having a good time killing themselves. Anyway, hats off to the race director. I guess the only bad thing that was not in there control was the tide and swim location.
Of course I worried about the water temperature the week before. Projected 76 to 78F. The morning of the race was a little warmer at 69F so it was not cold waiting around. The full moon over the bay was quite spectacular as we waited for the sun to come up and get started. I wished I had a picture. It was wetsuit legal but I followed coaches advise and girled up. No wetsuit which was fine. The bad part was the tide. You had to do a wade, jump, waddle for about 50yds or so to get deep enough to swim. Not in my training. So I floundered and jumped and got all out of breath before I ever put my head in the water. Then I was breathing so hard, I felt the need to breath every other stroke. Just could not settle down. When I made it to the first buoy it got a little better and a swam a good line along the next two. Then trouble started when we made the turn for shore and I swam way right. I had trouble seeing the shore flags and kept going right. Way right like 50 yds. So yes sighting needs work.
Transition to the bike was good. The course was great. Out 10 miles and back. I drank every 10 minutes. I thought I was crushing it into the wind and realized on the turn around that was not the wind direction. The way back was pretty gusty. I did manage to maintain my pace and finished the bike in an 1:00:51.
The run was mostly on the Longboat Key resort golf course and finished with the last 1.5 or so miles on the beach. Very pretty. Very well supported. I loosened up after the first quarter of a mile and was pretty comfortable the rest of the way. Given I will be running the marathon next week I did not push all out on the run.
Afterwards there was a great healthy feast under the big white tent. We enjoyed a great meal sitting out on the driving range. Well done.
Off to Washington, D.C. Friday.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Another Triathlon in the books

I completed the Siesta Key triathlon last Sunday. It was a great day. I was worried about the water temperatures which were reportedly dipping into the high 70s. I know that is not that bad but I hate to get cold. I gave that up when I moved south. The reality was the air was cool but the water was great. I did the half mile swim in just over 19 min which was my longest swim so far. My line was good and I was fairly relaxed but my breathing was a little quick causing me to have to take a breath every other stroke. Usually, I am every third or forth. I maintained freestyle the whole way so I was happy. I have not gained enough courage to mount the bike with my shoes fixed or dismount while moving so transition times still slower than I would like. The bike otherwise was good. It was a nice ride around Siesta Key and through the village at the end. The run was on the sand. Siesta beach is one of the nicest running beaches in the country. Flat packed sand near the water. The temperatures remained cool so the run was not to hot either. My legs loosened up pretty good and I was able to pick up the pace over the last mile. Run time was 27:33 for a total of 1:30:35. I felt better than the last tri so that was good. One tri left and then the Marine corps marathon. Hope the last long run is good.
I think I am going to sign up with Team in Training for the St Anthony's tri next spring. I would like to give back and little while being blessed to do what I love.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Hot but not so hot

It was a hot and humid weekend of training. Saturday I was scheduled for 16 mile long run with 15 min pick-ups to 9 min pace. A rice cereal, rice cake with Nutella at 4 am so everything would be digested Started the run at 6:30 am with 30min warm up. Temp about 77F. The fifteen minute pick ups felt good. I programed my Garmin with the workout so I was not getting accurate pacing. I thought I was going faster. Also, heart rate monitor kept sliding down secondary to the Chamois Butter. It is good to prevent chaffing but not good for holding up a chest strap. No I pushed each one to what I thought was a zone 3 pace. Realistically, it was probably slower than 9 min pace and my HR was higher than a zone 3 pace. After the third interval I was mush. It was like someone pulled the plug. Slower and slower. I was taking Infinit and had 8 endurlyes and 3 gels. Totals was 56oz fluid and 530mg/hr Na. Not the 800mg/hr I was hoping for. I felt like my legs were going to seize. The last 2 miles were walk/run slow. Very disappointing. Not sure if secondary to salt and hydration. Do not think it was glycogen issue. Next week I plan to weigh before and after. Aim higher for the salt intake and I ordered a new HR strap for my Garmin.
Sunday was a 1:30 bike ride for 23 miles with the focus just on rpms >80 in the big ring on back. The spin was good to clear out the lactic acid from Saturday's run. It was a sunny but pleasant day and very enjoyable. Nevertheless, I am nervous about my conditioning for the Marine corps marathon. I will run long next weekend and then the following weekend I will be visiting Addie at Emory so the mileage will be low.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Venice Triathlon

I arrive at 6:30 to the staging area. Unloaded bike/gear and proceeded to the marking area. I have to admit getting marked is fun. One feels like entering a mini Kona instead of the local sprint tri. I met up with the Joules and Trisports team. We made our way to the water which was extremely warm and calm. I was in the third wave (old girls 40 and up). I took off with the pack. It was quite fun with all the kicking and pawing for position. I tried to follow bubbles but there was a bit of a slinky effect so it took a while to get into good form. My goal was to swim the whole way freestyle with good form. I felt quite comfortable but needed to pull up occasionally to sight. I didn't get off line too bad having to adjust on two occasions. When we turned for shore the sun was so bright I couldn't tell where the shore was for a few seconds. I then locked onto a flag and was ok.
I came out of the water feeling good. Barefoot running experience helped me to the transition zone without problems. I grabbed my bike and headed out. My bike split turned out to be my best effort. I averaged over 20 mph for entire ride. No muscle fatigue. Slowing occurred with the congestion of the course and tight turns on the double loop course. I was also slowed by a wreck in front of me. My transition 2 time was slow. I was slow hanging bike and had an indecisive moment of whether to take a water bottle. The run was a little slow but uneventful. Anybody can run 3.1 miles right. Finishing was great. I got fourth in my age group at 1:10:54 so I was happy. I enjoyed a great lunch with the Trifit gang before heading back to Port Charlotte.
I think I can squeeze one more sprint tri in before the marathon in October.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Triathlon plan changes

Hurricane Earl has lead to a change in plans. Miami Beach has been having some wicked riptides so I have decided to stay local and do the Venice Beach sprint triathlon. I am disappointed about doing a shorter distance but it is probably for the best for my reentry into the triathlon scene. Last weekend I participated with Trifit tri team in a kamikaze style weekend workout. We started Saturday with a 7 mi bike ride to Manasota Beach where we did a run/swim/run session followed by a swim/run/swim session and then biked back to Englewood beach for a picnic. We covered about .8mi swimming and 8miles running. Sunday was a bike/run/bike/run session where we went out 1:40min bike/2mile run/80min bike. It was my longest ride ever totaling 46 miles. And the pace was hard and into the wind on the way out and hard back. I was dropped from the pack of experienced cyclists but they were very encouraging on my return. Trifit is a great group of athletes and I was happy to join in even if I spent most of the day chasing the pack. The Sprint tri is this weekend then it is all eyes toward the Marine corps marathon. I hope all this cross training pays off. My runs are down to three days a week but they are very specific and intense. I definitely want to do more triathlons in the future with 1 to 2 marathons in between. Future goal will be Olympic distance triathlons next year with a future goal of a 70.3. Need a lot more riding and swimming before I sign up for one of those.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The journey has begun

Big week. Officially started triathlon training. Completed two bricks with a bike then run. Did two swims. One in the county 25 yard pool for 900yds and the other in my endless pool. Running mileage down a lot. My coach assures me this is ok. Definitely feeling the workouts. My runs have all been specific intervals or tempo. Biggest mistake this week was not hydrating and eating properly before Saturday's tempo run. Bonked nicely in the humid hot weather. Had to grab my emergency gel from the car between my fast 10min sessions. When will I learn that you need to fuel high intensity sessions more than the slow recovery runs.
My nutrition has been off this week mainly to the extra out to lunches with Addie before she leaves tomorrow for Emory. Having lunch with her is always special. Too bad this town is extremely limited in healthy choices. Off to Georgia tomorrow so the workout routine will be a little altered. Cross training by setting up dorm room.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Never say never

I like to run. It releaves stress. It makes me feel good and boosts my metabolism. I can go anytime. Just put my shoes and garmin on and out the door. No pumping tires. I like to swim but don't swim much because I would rather get wet running then jump into the water. I like to swim but just don't that much. I like to bike but have to get gear ready and check the tires. Will not ride in dark or rain. Don't really like the trainer. Hard to push myself on bike. So I like to run. That is what I told the triathalon coach. She said ok. Then I saw a triathalon on Facebook. Proceeds go to Southwest Florida Special Olympics, my favorite charity. It is a little longer than a sprint tri with 1/2mi swim, 18 mi bike and 4mi run. That should be long enough not to hurt my marathon training for Marine Corps in Oct. I'm in. Wait, I have to swim a 1/2 mile in the Atlantic. That means I need to practice-swim. Still good. Went to bookstore: 3 magazines on biking and triathalons. Triathalon coach laughed. Got her way. Now she is in complete control because I need her to get me through the swim and bike as well as run.
Then I discovered an olympic distance (they even have a HalfIM) triathalon in Morgantown Wv on August the 8th which happens to be my BD. I'm in. For next year that is. So I am shopping for Tri gear, reading tri blogs and downloading tri podcast and am hooked. I am waiting on a schedule that will add more biking and swimming to my easy run days or instead of easy run days. I was told this will make my marathons stronger? We will see. For now something to look forward to.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Too fat to fight

This site was taken from AirForce Ted's website You Dont Have to Run Alone
It is just another example of what the obesity epidemic is doing to our country. Chances are if you read this website, you are not directly affected. Please join me in the fight to educate and demonstrate a healthy lifestyle.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Summer training

It is certainly summer here in Southwest Florida. I have been starting my runs between 5:15 and 6am. My newest training partner is Tiger, my Dad's German Shepherd. He is almost four and all 110 pounds are full of energy. I have started taking him 2 to 3 miles in the morning before my regular runs. He is great protection and is going well on a short Caesar Milano soft lead. My Shepherd Lexi is getting a little old and little too furry for much running.
This week was week one one of my 16 week marathon training for the marine corps marathon. I hope to run a little faster in this one. I have added a Tuesday speed session and a Thursday longer run. I hope I can keep this up.
The Cardiac running/walking group continues. I am adding in more running intervals now that they are gaining confidences and endurance. The group is growing slowly. I hope to have more patients show up. This week I listened to the Endurance planet podcast and they spoke with the trail Geek of the month. I don't remember his name but the story is similar to others that I have read. He was overweight and out of shape nearly 40 year old that was encouraged to tray a 5k. He liked it and one thing lead to the next and now he has run several 100 miles races and is very conscious of his nutrition and has lost a ton of weight.
I think exercise is the key first step. Especially running. You start running and then start paying attention to nutrition to run better. There is no fad diets or quick fixes just the learned enjoyment of running and then a healthy lifestyle. Otherwise the weight just yoyos on and off.
I had a patient tell me the other day that his son was one of those exercise and nutrition "nuts". I told him he was only a nut in the eyes of overweight sedentary America that we have come to know as normal. Hopefully, someday the nuts will be the known as the couch potatoes that serf from one fast food place to the next.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Firecracker 5K July 3, 2010

I started a group of beginning runners from my patient population about 8 weeks ago. I put sign up sheets in the office advertising free 5k training on two nights a week. I encouraged all my cardiac patients to consider. Most would not even look at the sheets despite them being posted above the sign in sheets, the sign out, and over the scales. I finally got a few takers and the groupt started. 5 patiennts signed up. One has a temporary knee injury. The remaining four patients have had either angioplasty or coronary bypass surgery. They have met and walked and jogged a little twice weekly over the past 8 weeks. Three completed the 5K this weekend with one winning second in her age group. These were non exercisers. The grew to enjoy the walking/jogging and each others company. They had a great time running/walking Saturday despite the heat. I hope that these folks will set an example for the rest of my patients that that they are too old not to join. Hats off to the group. I think we may need a name.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Hatfield and McCoy Marathon

What I did on my summer vacation. I ran the Hatfield and McCoy Marathon. As part of our yearly vacation to WV, I decided to add on a WV marathon. This would be 7 weeks after Boston. I wanted to see how I would feel running 2 marathons back to back. Because of nutritional errors at Boston, I didn't feel like I ran a hard Boston or that I was physically drained. I didn't feel tired or sore when I resumed running after a few days. I consulted Pftizinger's book for a guidelines to running in between the marathons. We did two 17 milers in the 7 weeks between and a 13 miler. A few short tempo sessions but no real focus on speed. The plan was to do Hatfield more as a training run and stick together given the remote area.
Williamson WV sits in southern WV along the Kentucky border and is the site of the Hatfield and McCoy famous feud. There is a great book named the Coffin Quilt that I read before the marathon that tells the story from the perspective of a McCoy child. It was a great read that described the area and locations that we would actually run by. Places like Blackberry mountain that was the steepest climb for about 1 mile. The site of the McCoy massacre and cemetery was also depicted.
My daughter, her boyfriend and Carol and Tom drove down to Williamson from Morgantown in just over 4 hours. They had a tent setup for registration and timing band pickup. There was a map of the course and Addie and Blake confirmed their volunteer water stop at mile 23 at the site of a scrap metal yard. Of note although Addie is a very experienced driver over distance, she has never driven on back narrow hilly roads and was quite concerned. She was told to go to the DQ and make a left and follow the road till she sees the scrap yard. Right on. She did nervously with us as co pilots the day before to get her courage up.
We stayed about 30 minutes from the race start because of limited lodging in the town. Amazing enough, I met Ashland Dave from the podcast Running in the center of the universe at the hotel. He had just finished a 50 mile trail run and had two banaged feet.
We arrived about thirty minutes before the start at the Food City grocery store. There were no significant lines at the porta potties. A first in any race I have attended. We took pictures and lined up with about 450 runners including the half and whole distance. 49 states and 3 countries were represented with many being from the marathon maniacs or 50 staters. Off we went to the start of a shot gun. We went up country roads weaving in and out of WV and Kentucky. As we started up Blackberry Mountain the first thunder boomer occurred followed by a torrential downpour. It didn't last that long but was rather soaking. I am now a fan on Iniji toe sox. No blisters despite 4 plus hours of wet feet. It rained on and off and was moderately humid. There were aid stations every mile with plenty of water, sports drink and friendly faces. Rosanna McCoy and her Hatfield boyfriend were at one of the stations. We ran on small side roads, gravel and even some dirt/mud trails. We ran across a beautiful golf course and swinging wooden bridge. The finish was back in Williamson with Mr. Hatfield and Mr. McCoy waiting. Our time was slow but I felt strong during the last three miles with a pace in the 10:30min/mi range when we split up when we entered into familial territory. It was great seeing Addie and Blake at their water station at mile 23. They were great sports handing out drinks and support in the pouring rain in the middle of no where.
The finish was well supported with cheering crowds and plenty of food and drink. We receive a finishers medal along with a pleasant cold towel and mason jar containing a Hatfield and McCoy Plaque.
I always thought I liked marathons because of the huge crowd sensation. Now I believe the small town scene is also quite neat. I look forward to more small marathons as well as the big city scenes.
It was very special running a marathon in my home state and introducing my friends to the wonderful people and scenery. We even had breakfast with the race director the next day at Hardee's along with everyone else in the town. He was a very humble man with great insight for the race and his town.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Trifit Duathalon Relay

The Fit-triathalon was quite an event yesterday at Siesta Key, Florida. There was Sprint distance tri and duathalons as well as international distance tri and duathalons. We signed up for the relay with three mixed teams. The international duathalon was a 5K , then 26mile bike, and 10K to finish. The run was on the beach and the other legs were on the road. They had a huge turn out of people. All ages, sizes and shapes. From finishers to very competitive racers. Mountain bikes to high tech tribikes. There were a lot of families as well. The setting was beautiful on one of the most beautiful beaches in Florida. The swim waves were fun to watch with their different colored caps running into the water. The swam a challenging course in the gulf on pretty calm seas. The water temperature was about 85F. The 5K run was down the beach which is very flat with hard packed sand. The challenge was coming out to the road for transition in the soft sugary sand. The bike leg looped twice around the key which is quite scenic. The 10K went .25mi on trail then down the beach road and back. A little hot by mid morning but nevertheless a pretty run. We had a great time cheering each other on each leg of the race. Everyone gave there best effort.
Most notable was the anniversary of Howards first shock. Four years ago my friend developed a near lethal arrhythmias that required multiple defibrillations as well as multiple procedures to correct the problem. A lot of people would have quit there and then, and lived a life in constant fear. He has resumed an active life and has been training hard to get himself in bike racing shape. His effort was admirable. Another friend had angioplasty 4 months ago and is also back in racing shape. Both have changed their lifestyles but neither had to change their motivation. Both lead quietly by example.
There were a lot of heroes there yesterday in the heat. Some you think would have had trouble walking to get the paper completed the events smiling. There were daughter-dad teams and children and parents competing. It just goes to show you that we can all compete. It just takes the will to get out there. It is my hope that I can encourage people to get out there and tri or du or just run

Friday, April 23, 2010

Greetings from Boston

Well I finished in 5:02:44. Not one of my best. Not one of my worst. Back to my book of stupid tricks I guess. Just as I thought maybe had things sorted out-bang.
When we arrived in Boston on Friday it was cold and we even saw snow. This prompted visits to the expo to gather more warm running gear. The expo was huge. We even got to hear some of the Boston legends talk. The AMAA meeting was excellent. The first talk was on sudden death and running. We decided no high fives because that seems to happen just before the runner drops. It was great hearing about the running accomplishments of fellow physicians. I was particularly inspired by Dr.Walter Bortz II who was running his 40th marathon at 80. I still have time to get it right.
Boston is a great town with very friendly people. It was especially great to have dear Bostonian friends show us the sights. We kind of ate our way through the town so to speak. We didn't eat bad and had plenty of carbs so that wasn't the problem.
On to the marathon. Great weather. Sunny 44 to 55F. No wind to speak of compared to our training. I ate my timed prerace meal three hours before the presumed start. Plain bagel first mistake. Also a banana and Infinit sports drink. Hindsight: plain bagel with little fat or protein equals gone before the gun. Walking down to the start line I yawned. I was not bored. I was low glucose lethargic. With a gun time of 10:30 am and actual take off time of 10:50am I was missing morning snack and soon to follow lunch. Depleted before I started. I was so afraid to overload that I under loaded. When we took off it was fantastic. Huge crowds were screaming as though we were the elites instead of back of the packers. I wanted to be conservative to start. 10:30 to 10:40 pace was good. Soon I felt as though I had no energy and no motivation. Sluggish. I took a honey stinger gel with no improvement. I repeated it in 40 minutes no better. The next 40minutes I tried a tropical Heed gel. Figured the caffine my boost me. It did. I felt a little better. I just could not push the pace. Stuck in low gear. I then switched to Infinit sports drink. I had concentrated it in my flasks. I took a few swigs every water station and it seemed to be helping but I also started to develope some belly cramping so I backed off. By mile 15 I was falling rapidly. I admitted this was not my day but I was more than capable of finishing at a slow pace. Better to waddle in then go to the woods with "GI issues". I kept taking the Infinit and mixed it with water at the aide stations. I took the PowerGel with 1x caffeine at mile 17 with a boost in my energy. Still slow but ok. I never walked up a hill. My heart rate never got out of control or near threshold. The crowds remained fantastic. As I was going up the hill at 21, I asked "is this heartbreak" to a spectator. They yelled yes you have this. It was the most excited I had been. I felt great going up the hill giving all the BC kids high fives ( it was ok because it was not at the end). I gradually picked my pace up a little and enjoyed the last few miles crazy as it seems.
It is amazing what nutrition can do to you. My training had been good. Not perfect but certainly adequate for a 10 minute pace. The result was disappointing but the straight stretch to the finish was great with all the crowds cheering. I will definitely strive to qualify and return someday. I will be more aware of my prerace fueling with regards to time of day. I will continue to use Infinit sports drink and probably switch back to PowerGels. My hat is off to Boston, its people and the race director and volunteers. A class act. I'll be back.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Count down begins

We are well into taper mode. Did 10 miles easy on Saturday. Today just 3.2 miles to keep loose. Starting to track the weather. I am hoping for high 50s and dry. I still have a little discomfort on the ball of my right foot. I think it is just a little tendinitis and it gets better as I run. I have decided on my fueling strategy I will mix my Seabiscuit fuel concentrated in two containers which will provide about 700 calories. Seabiscuit fuel is a custom blend of electrolyes , carbohydrates and amino acids from Intuit Sports Inc. They formulate your drink based on your size, effort, sweating and absorption issues. The other 200-300 will come from the Gatorade on the course and a couple of gels. My goal is less that 4:36 and I figure about 200 calories per hour. Usually I go under just because it is hard to ingest much after a while. I will be wearing the Brook Launches and the rest of the kit to suit the weather in Boston.
We will be attending the AMAA medical meeting in Boston over race weekend. Hopefully, will learn some interesting things about distance running and health issues.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Boston marathon and a MRI

What would training be without an injury or setback. I have had a very mild discomfort on the ball of my right foot that has gradually progressed. Nothing on top but the dreaded stress fx thought has entered my mind. It seemed to have started after a longish run in the Brooks Ghost. I got them thinking that they were a compromise between the minimal Launch and the maximally cushioned Glycerin. Were the Launches causing a problem? no. The Ghost have a little more arch. I think they pushed my foot to supinate a little more. For most part I am a neutral midfoot striker. Anyway, a little tenderness started after the long run and has progressed. I ran the Gasparilla relay in the Glycerins for 19miles with essentially no problems. I have been running in them a little more trying to stretch out the Lauches for the last 100miles. I ran the Sarasota half in the Launches without much problem. Last weekend I developed pain in my right foot at the end of the run. Much like muscle spasm. We did 20 miles a week early just because it was only a little further than 17.3 miles and the weather was good? It did provide for good psychological reinforcement for Joules 2 and 3 that they still had a 20 miler in them. Nevertheless, the nagging pain has persisted. Worse after a run then during. No pain on top with minimal pain with running. Because Joule 3 is a radiologist I was privileged to get a peek at the injury with an MRI. No breaks just bruising around the second metatarsal joint. That was a relied. I figured I was going to run anyway but would drastically taper if there was evidence of a stress fracture. It is Boston. I think I will stick with the Lauches and break out the new ones for the taper and race. The Ghost will sit idle and the Glycerins?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The 4 Joules at the Sarasota Half Marathon

March 14, 2010 was a beautiful day in Sarasota, Florida. The am temps were 58F as the Joules stood together to start the running of the Sarasota Half. This was our last race before Boston. It was my daughter, Addie's first half marathon.
We took off before sunrise on the side streets of Sarasota to the bay's edge and then down 41 and across the Ringling Bridge. There was some wind but not nearly as bad as we have experienced in recent training runs. We were pretty far back in the field as we emerged from the mile long porta potty lines so the first mile was mainly about dodging walkers and run/walkers. The race went smooth after that and the sun was coming up by the time we hit mile 4. The course is quite scenic and familiar so the miles clicked by. I tried a new drink mix made by Infinti. You can have your own blend made and name it. My is called Seabiscuit fuel. I mixed in a concentrated form for about 300 kcal in a 10z flask. It is a mix of cho and a little protein and essential amino acids. There are also added electrolytes. I squirted a small amount into a cup of water at every other aide station. It seemed to work well. No cramping or GI issues. I finished in 2:02 which was 37/154 in my age group so not too bad. I felt good and could have gone a few more at that pace. The Joules came in in succession all smiling ready for breakfast. Off to the Egg and I we went to enjoy our post race celebration. A great day to be a runner in Florida.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Gasparilla Relay Marathon

February 28 was the final voyage of the Gasparilla Marathon. They site not enough entrants into the marathon as the reason. They needed at least 4000 to continue. It is hard to believe that a marathon as well run as Gasparilla could not make it. A fast, flat Boston Qualifier in a nice winter climate city with an international airport could not attract the numbers.
Nevertheless, the day was perfect with respect to temperature and sunshine. I saw a few complaints about the finishing headwind but really it was nothing compared to weather we have been having this winter. Team Joule was ready to go more or less. Addie was elected to go first with a seven mile leg. We gave her three weeks warning after basketball season finished. We didn't tell her it would be in the dark as the marathon starts at 6am. (she is afraid of the dark)
As for the rest of the Joules the plan was for us to run together the last 19 miles as a training run passing the torch as we crossed the check points. Meanwhile, Rom developed an Achilles problem pretty much like I had last year and an upper respiratory tract infection the week before. He finally decided to settle for running the last 12 and was definite about running the park 8 loop to get revenge for last years wrong turn. The day before it was decided we would do this as a training run. Not for time or speed. Yeah right. Carol always blames me for dragging her but it is not true. She is dragged by shear determination and grit that never slows.
Race morning we sent Joule 1-Addie off in the dark. Mistake number one- we went to Starbucks the hour before we ran. Coffee and a granola bar. Off we go to meet Addie. She finished strong and smiling. It was her first experience in the crowds of a marathon start as a competitor and she loved the excitement. Carol and I took off happy to get warmed up in the low 40s F temperatures. We took off-fast. Our usually long run pace is 11 to 11:15 min miles for our training runs. My last marathon pace was 10:36. We were running 9:30 to 10 min miles. Carol was leading. We slowed to 10:15 to 10:30 but in the end averaged about 10:30. This was not so good in the end for Carol who started having some GI issues about mile 8 which got worse about mile 12. We met Rom anxiously waiting at mile 14 ready to go. We kept that pace until about mile 12 which called for a bathroom break for the both of us. Rom went ahead afraid that his Achilles would lock up. My stomach was rumbling and I was afraid to take much in the way of gel for fear I would stir things up. I was carrying a flask of heed that was mixed a little strong which did not help. I decided to stick with the water. I did take some amino acid tablets and endurlytes. They eventually kicked in and I was able to pick up the pace at a mile 13 to 14 and took the band from Rom four the last 4 miles. Addie met me to run the last .25mile and we crossed at 4:45. Carol and Rom were about 10minutes back and finished strong.
The post race party was one of the best with food from Columbias and Mich Ultra. We sat in the sun and planned our next run. A great day to be a Joule.
I think that was my last coffee before a marathon. Also, I am going back to the strict rule of eating 2 hours or more before the start. I think the Heed is ok. The endurlytes and amino acids definitely. Not sure about the gels Still a work in progress.
We have the Sarasota half marathon in two weeks as our next run. I plan to race that run if all is well. We hope to get 2 more twenty milers in if possible before Boston. I wore Glycerin 7s for this run. I think I will were the Launches for the half and possibly for Boston.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Boston Marathon Training

I calculated the big hills starting at mile 16 on the Boston course. The first is .25 miles at 2.5% grade. There is a .5 mile hill at 2%grade and heart break is 2.3 percent for .75 miles. So I plan to start my hill repeats during the week as well as continuing the Punta Gorda Bridge in the long runs and adding the Ringling Bridge in Sarasota as additional training.
We are doing the Sarasota half marathon which incorporates the Ringling Bridge. I would guess the Ringling Bridge is about a .4mile climb pretty steep so it should provide good training.
In addition I am incorporating leg strength training once a week with single leg lunges, reverse lunges. forward lunges, and squats.
Only time will tell how it all pans out. This week a 20 mile run in Punta Gorda

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Training runs/races and winter running

We have completed two races in so far in 2010. The first was the Sarasota Ringling Bridge run. There were 1573 finishers for the 4 mile run. It was very congested in the early miles but a great run over the bridge on a cool January morning in the fifties. My time was 34:32 about 15 sec slower than last year. I am going to attribute it to little speed work and a very slow first mile secondary to congestion. We followed this with a 10 mile training run the next day. This week we did the Hands across the Harbor 8K in Punta Gorda. Time 43:45 . It was very windy on the return trip across the Peace River Bridge but overall a nice day to run. There were only 83 runners and 9 in my age group. I won my age group thanks to Leah D winning overall masters. She usually beats me in the age group. Today we did a 15 mile long run at a slow pace. It was cool and windy in the fifties. It seems we have had more cool runs this year than last year.
My treadmill broke so I have been running outside at 6 am with my running buddies. It is really nice running with them and the sunrise is very pretty. However, there is not much spare time before work so speed work and increased mileage is more difficult.
We are still experimenting with the raw diet. The granola is good. Getting good a smoothies for breakfast. Tried corn chowder made with walnuts, corn, and olive oil this week. Pretty good. I think there are many benefits so far. I had a banana/almond milk smoothie and granola prerun and did well.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Raw vs Julia : your genes win

I have no doubt that eating a raw plant based diet has health benefits. The nutritional benefits of eating a wide variety of vegetables and nuts are clear. There are some drawbacks of course. It is very difficult to go out to eat and find something besides a green salad, which means you need to eat before or after you go out. If non raw friends find out they will be afraid to have you for dinner or stress out trying to prepare you something special. The prep time requires you to plan ahead for things that need to be sprouted and dehydrated. I do not get the purpose of making raw substitutes for dishes that do not exist like pasta or bread. I do feel from my personal attempts so far to eat fairly raw that I did digest things well without bloating (except for the raw broccoli) and was very satisfied and not hungry.
I am not a huge cream fan and actually do not tolerate it well alone. But Julia Child's movie did inspire me to look more closely at some of the recipes. Butter makes everything better. Cream and gravies. Beef and pork. Sauteed vegetables. Potatoes. Of course the prep time for good French cooking can be extensive. I think the main thing with French cooking is portion size. If one were to consume the traditional American portions, the caloric intake would become a significant problem.
This does not even bring into other favorite ethnic foods such as pastas and breads.
So what to do.
One argument I read for the raw diet was that humans were the only ones to heat their food so it must not be necessary and domesticated animals get similar diseases as humans. To my knowledge wild animals do not live as long as humans. Julia Child and her husband, as well as a lot of French, live quite l0ng and productive lives eating cooked food with all the bad things we were not meant to eat. We all know people that developed diseases young and those who lived to be very old eating a horrible diet. I have definitely seen people and been one of them that drops weight and cholesterol with a vegan diet. I have also seen overweight vegetarians who consume a lot of dairy and sugar. I have never seen a study comparing cooked vs. raw so it is hard to say that a cooked vegan organic diet is worse than raw.
The answer: check your risk factors. If everyone in your family lives to be 100 you can probably live on donuts. If your relatives die young of cancer or heart disease you would be better off with more of a raw diet. I also think the French diet that Julia Child writes about is much different than the antibiotic, pesticide, poorly fed plants and animals we consume today. So again, we are probably better off leaning more toward the plant based diet with organic ingredients. That said the words of Julia are still pertinent. Eat small portions and don't snack.
My plan is to eat mainly vegan (cooked and raw) with a little of Julia and Nuni thrown in there. Keep the portions controlled and run until I cannot.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year 2010

2010 begins today. Last year I fininshe 1486 miles. The goal will be more for this year. The first run this year will be on the treadmill since it is raining so hard hear in Florida. Boston Marathon training officially begins. Will start increasing the base from the low 30s trying to peak in the fifties again. Need to get back to the weight lifting two days a week. Will focus on stability training with this.
On the road to Boston I plan to run a 4 mile Bridge run in Sarasota, the Gasparilla relay, the Sarasota half marathon and a few scattered 5ks perhaps.
I think I will stay with a more basic shoe such as the Brooks launch as opposed to more cushioned shoes. I think less is probably more with the shoes. Core stability with push ups, squats, stability ball exercises and planks will be a big focus. I will get back to healthy eating from this Christmas hiatus.
As for the diet plans, I think I will be searching for middle ground. I would like to eat as clean and organic as possible. More plant based. A good portion raw. Minimal processed foods. I will also add a few special dishes at night be it Italian or something from the Julia Childs cookbook.
The priority is to maintain small portions of the bad stuff.