Monday, January 26, 2009

Ice Run

Today we got our first winter storm of the season so I decided it was a good idea for a run. On my way home from work today I stopped by a sporting goods store and picked up some Yak Trax.

Basically they are a cleat type thing that you put over any type of show that turns them into snow shoes. Man, they work great. I was able to run a little over 3 miles with no sliding at all while cars and trucks were sliding to stops and around corners. It actually took me about 25-30 minutes to get my truck into the driveway after sliding out and around a few times. Good times.

It doesn't look like anyone is going to work tomorrow, so I'll get to put them to the test again on a fresh layer of ice.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Houston Marathon

I am finally getting around to writing about the Houston Marathon I did last weekend.

We left OKC the Friday before and headed down right after work. The 7 hour drive got us in at about 11pm, so it wasn't too bad. I slept like a rock that night. I'm not used to staying up that late and I was ready.

Saturday morning I went for a nice easy 3 mile run and then headed down to the expo and picked up my bib, chip, got weighed and picked up my t-shirt. I did a little browsing too at all the shops. Luckily, I only picked up a new race belt with a little pouch to put race day stuff in. I headed back home for a great meal of cube steak, mashed potatoes and gravy, and some jello. Man it hit the spot. The afternoon was pretty laid back. I just played some cards with the family and tried to stay off my feet as much as I could. For dinner I had my usual spaghetti dinner and not long after that I went to my sisters place that is pretty close to the race start. That allowed me a little longer to sleep in (about 90 minutes) and not worry about traffic around the race site.

Morning came quickly and I was up at 5am. I took a quick shower to wake up, ate a banana and a bagel w/peanut butter. By 5:30 I was in the car and my sister was dropping me off. I sat in the expo center for a while drinking some gatorade, surfing the internet on my phone and just tried to relax. When 7 rolled around I drank a Red Bull and headed out to the start. When I signed up for the race, I had never run a marathon and had no idea how fast I would run so I put down 4:45 which put me in the second (last) group. I knew I was going to be closer to 4 hours, so I made my way up to the very front so I wouldn't have to pass as many people. As soon as I made it up there, we were off and running.

The first few miles went by and I was a little off pace, but not by more than a few seconds. Once I made it to mile 2, I was getting into my rhythm. I skipped the 1st water stop like I normally do because there are so many people slowing down to get a cup. At 2 miles in I don't really need a drink.

Things were pretty boring for the next few miles, which was good. A little before mile 8 I found out that my parents, sister and grandma were waiting for me at mile 8.5 so I looked forward to seeing them there. I was having an issue with my MP3/Cell phone holder so I was anxious to get rid of that. I saw them there on the side of the road cheering for me and it lifted my spirits. I felt a little bad because they were there for a while and then I was gone in a couple seconds.

Not long after that the half marathoners hit their turn around. It was a little harder than I thought it would be to go past that. They only had ~4 more miles. I had ~15. Ugh.

Right after that, the crowd thinned out quite a bit and it was kind of lonely. I did get a surprise at about 11 when I saw my family again. I guess my sister saw my compression socks as they were driving by and they got out. Pretty cool.

I was at mile 13 at 1:54 so I was feeling pretty good about my time. I saw my family again not too long after that and my mom handed me a bag of sliced oranges. I found those to be a great pick me up when gu and other energy things just don't.

Mile 16 came and my GPS finally lost it's signal. Without that I didn't have a good guage of my pace, but I was running by feel more at that point. I did keep hearing the pace callers at the mile markers and I was right at a 8:55-8:58 pace.

At mile 17 I saw my wife and a couple friends on the side of the road cheering me on and holding signs. I felt like a celebrity with all the cameras they had pointed at me. That lifted my spirits up seeing them out there.

Mile 20 came and I was still feeling pretty good. I ate a couple orange slices, shot of Hammer Gel and kept running. We were in the shade still so the heat wasn't too bad, but you could tell it was warming up. At the start of the race it was about 55, which was warmer than the highs I have had in OKC for the past 2 months.

Mile 22-23 was where I started to feel the heat. I just kept dousing myself with water at the stops to cool down. It helped, but I was slowing down a bit. I never really hit a wall which means I hit the nutrition pretty well.

Mile 24 and 25 came and all I was thinking about was finishing so I could get out of the heat. It was maybe ~70 but I don't really like warmer weather almost 4 hours into a run.

Mile 26 came and I was so close. I was just barely off the 4 hour pace and I wasn't sure I could make it up, but I was going to try. At the last turn I could see the finish line, but it seemed like it was miles away. I tried to really push the pace but my hamstring was telling me know. I just went to the point it hurt, but not bad enough to stop. I saw my family and wife and friends right at the end and tried to smile, but I'm not sure if I did or not. I crossed the line in 4:01:14. Not too shabby for the training I put in and the heat at the end.

I was disappointed to find out that the chip I had was a dud. I didn't receive an official time, but I know I finished.

I finally got inside the expo center again and tried not to pass out. I got my medal then went into the restroom and washed off and cooled down. I was almost in a daze. I had some ice cream (that was delicious) while I made my way over to get my finishers shirt. After that I met up with my group and we headed out to eat.

The perfect post race meal. Three enchiladas and a tall Shiner Bock beer. I think I had about 3lbs of chips too.

All in all it was a great time. Loved seeing family and friends out there cheering me and the other runners on. I just need to verify my chip next time.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Taper Time

I had my last long run before the Houston Marathon next Sunday. I got out and did 11 miles on Sunday and felt pretty good. I haven't done as many long runs for this marathon so I am hoping it all works out in a week. I would love to go sub 4hrs again, but I think a 4:10 is more realistic unless things just click.

The rest of the week is pretty low key with a long run of 4 miles.

Today is also the official start of Ironman training. I am still up in the air if I am going to do the full. I am for sure signing up for the half and train for the full. If all goes well I can change to the full before the race.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

100 Runs update

Well through 23 days I have 19 runs in the bag. I think after the Houston Marathon in a couple weeks I will start putting in a couple runs a day to make up the missed ones. I haven't been sore at all. In fact, I feel better now that i run almost every day. Add the swimming I have been doing I am finally feeling like I am in shape again. It is amazing how a couple weeks slacking off can lose a lot of fitness.

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Years Fun

Well I didn't do anything special for New Years Eve (I was actually asleep by 11) so I decided to do something fun on New Years Day while everyone was sleeping off the hangover. Since this is my year of triathlon, I decided to start the year off with one of my own.

I woke up about 6am, ate a little breakfast and headed to the gym. I swam for about 30 minutes doing some drills and just trying to get more comfortable in the water. I probably only swam about 800 yards but it felt good for me.

I then came home and took out my road bike. I just got a new rear wheel in so I wanted to try it out instead of my tri bike. It was pretty windy but not too cold, in the 50's. I rode for 24 miles on a loop that I ride quite often. I didn't want to go too hard or long this early in the season so it was pretty easy spinning.

Once I got home I swapped into running shoes and went on a 5 mile run. I felt like I was dragging but my pace was pretty good at the end of the run. One thing I am really going to focus on this year (well, besides swimming) is running after the bike. This was a good start to that goal.

All in all it was pretty uneventful but I felt good after getting that all out and starting the new year off right.

Next up is the Houston Marathon.