Archive for June 2013

June 30th, 2013 (Sunday)

228.5 this morning after a road trip yesterday to visit family – too much food!

So it is 2 weeks this morning since the Manitoba Marathon – still feeling very solid and strong – the first couple days after the marathon were very good – I was a bit tired but had no trouble with stairs or anything like that (which is a good).  If I sat for too long I would get stiff in my legs and it would take about 4 or 5 steps before I felt loose again but still that is not too bad either.

I have not run once since the marathon unfortunately.  The work on our pool in the back yard is in full swing and between work and trying to get stuff sorted out there and having to fold up the treadmill for the electrician to work I haven’t gotten in a run.  I have done pretty hefty physical work instead though – last weekend I moved 5 cubic yards of crushed limestone to rebuild your deck area.  Plus I also rebuilt our deck that had to be ripped off the house when we found out that the pool had to be over dug much more than the original plan.

Pool is supposed to be finished on Tuesday or Wednesday and from there I probably have a week of heavy labor getting the yard, fence and deck back in good shape (looks like about 10 cubic yards of river rock, 5-10 cubic yards of crushed limestone and a couple thousand square yards of sod to lay in about a week…).  I have the next 2 weeks off from work to get this work done and then relax but may have to shift the vacation if they aren’t done as planned.  We will have to see.

The current plan is to get back into running this week but probably on a reduced level. Instead of having a plan with 5 days of running a week I suspect I will do 4 days a week and put much more emphasis on speed work.  There are 2 half marathons in Winnipeg in September and I am looking at doing both of those plus one in October – and I would like to see if I can hit a new personal best in the half with one of those races – current personal best on the half is 1:46:11 and I was only 10 minutes off of that in May at the WPS Half marathon so I think it is possible with a concerted effort and concentration on speed work.  This will also require me to concentrate harder on the weight loss as well.

So with this rough plan in place I suspect I should be able to get my weight down in the next couple weeks with the hard labor in the yard in some pretty high forecast temperatures, doing some running in the morning or evening when it isn’t too hot and then swimming in the pool.

Once the yard is all sorted out I will be looking at resistance training in the pool in combination with the running to help increase endurance even more.

To go with all of this I have adjusted my morning protein breakfasts as well.  For a couple months I have been doing 2 protein shakes and really nothing solid and while my weight has been constant I have been a bit zoned out at work but in the past couple weeks I have backed off to 1 protein shake and 2 scrambled eggs for breakfast and I have been feeling much better and even with no running at all I have come down a few pounds (was 225.5 on Friday morning which is the lowest I have been in years).  So if I can continue this breakfast and get a good push on the weight loss this week I think I should be able to get to maybe around 210 or so for September (maybe 207 to give me an official weight loss of 50 pounds since last September?) which will help with the goal of setting a new personal best.

I still haven’t fully fleshed out what this will all look like but once I do I will write it up and post it online.

Manitoba Marathon 2013 (June 16, 2013) – part 2 stories and thoughts on the race

In part one ( I talked about my times and how I felt about that – in part two I will more give a story of the race and the day itself.

Started out being startled awake by the alarm on my phone – I had set it as a back up alarm but it went off with a different sound than I expected and scared the heck out of me – needless to say I didn’t fall back to sleep after it went off.  Up at 4:45 am (much better than being on the Disney buses at 3 am).

I got up and had a quick shower and breakfast (of a bun with butter, a banana, 2 strips of bacon and a coffee).  Put all my stuff together and grabbed my small fuel bottles to go on the new running belt only to discover that between the stretchiness of the new belt and the weight of the bottles the belt wouldn’t stay up.  I was running out of time at this point so I grabbed my old running belt and transferred the fuel bottles to that and in the interest of time I ended up running with both belts – the new one was so small and light that I didn’t feel any difference and it essentially have me another pocket.

I hopped in the van and scooted over to the closest park and ride location, parked the van and got on a school bus to be taken to the race.  I was one of the last ones on the bus and it left pretty much right after I got on which was nice – I definitely did not want to be sitting around stiffening up on a school bus before the race.

We were dropped right by the bag check tents which went quick and smooth.

From there I did some wandering around in the nice sunshine before hitting the port-a-potties quickly before the race.  It was nice – there seemed to be plenty of port-a-potties and there wasn’t much wait and they were relatively clean.  The whole pre-race routine seemed to go very well – nicely done Manitoba Marathon.

Got in line at the start line and we were off.  Things were nicely staged splitting up the full racers from the half runners (2 waves of half runners – first was sub 1:50).  The relay runners started after to give a chance for the field to spread out and then 10 and super runners were staged later.  I only saw the wheelchair and full marathon starts but things did seem to be well organized and well run.

I didn’t really fuel at all in the first hour and that was probably a mistake that helped cause my slow down and leg cramp later in the race – I told myself I would do things differently this race and make sure I fuelled earlier but apparently I don’t take orders from me.

One interesting thing was that first refreshment stop on the race seemed to be oranges, it seemed a little early for them in the race – but that might just be me.

Right around the 9 mile mark I ran into my wife and kids for the first time – I was on the wrong side of the road but was able to cut across hopefully without cutting any off and got a look at the nice signs the kids had made (Go Daddy Go) and got some Fathers’ Day hugs and had a swig of some cold Coke the wife had brought and was off again.  Strangely while I was there one woman ran by and asked where their Daddy was – so I answered “right here” – she had a strange tone in her voice so I don’t know what that was all about but whatever.

I ran into the wife and kids again just before the half way mark and had some more Coke.  My son was having a blast cheering on all the runners and just really having a good time – it was nice to see him in the spirit of the whole thing.

From there I continued on and then ran into them again probably around the mile 20-21 mark.  Had some more Coke and a chat and continued on.  Could tell by this point my daughter was bored (she also got to bed 3 hours late so she was probably really tired too) but my son was still going wild cheering people on.

Kept going from there and with just around 2 miles to go I ran into them again and had some more Coke (I don’t think I fuel the same way for races that most people do… ).  At this point my daughter was obviously done and was being unruly but my son was still having the time of his life telling all the runners that “The end is near!”

From there I finished up, got a bunch of high fives from the cheering folks at the end and went to the recovery area.  They had quite a selection there for food and recovery including electrolyte popsicles, bagels, juice, chocolate milk, SunChips and yogurt.  I grabbed chocolate milk and some SunChips and found a place to sit down.  I found the chocolate milk to just be a little too thick at that point (I have had it after training runs but my stomach just wasn’t ready for it after the race) and I just couldn’t eat many of the SunChips.

From there I went to the bag check and got my stuff, organized my things and got on the school bus to get back to my van.  We had a long wait while the bus waited for other riders to our location and of course my back decided to spasm at this point.  Sitting and waiting in a tight school bus was not pleasant.

Got back to the van and headed home for quick shower and change so that we could head out to my son’s music concert.  That was a bit tough on the legs and back at that point as well but after that was done was able to head home, stretch out, have some Advil and crash for a bit.  Feeling good now.

So overall I think the Manitoba Marathon was well run – the water stops sometimes felt a bit far apart but other than that they were well stocked and the volunteers did a fantastic job getting the drinks out.  Sometimes had to search for the Gatorade but it wasn’t that bad.  Most water stops also had sponges as well – I didn’t think it was quite hot enough to use them myself but was tempted a few times and they did seem to be well appreciated by many.  There were also several showers out on the course to cool people off – I didn’t take advantage of these either but definitely nice to have available.

A big thanks to all the volunteers and congratulations to everyone that ran.

Manitoba Marathon 2013 (June 16, 2013) – part 1 how I did

Whoohoo – finished – 4:40:07.6

Official time shows me at the half way mark at 2:01:29 – I made a couple stops to say hi to the wife and kids so was probably under 2 hours there (2nd stop was right before so I probably would have made it under 2 hours with just even the one stop).

I did 7 miles in the first hour and then settled into a slower pace from there.  I was doing pretty solid and was over 19 miles at the 3 hour mark.  At that point I still had a shot at being under 4:30 but the back of my left thigh cramped up.  Luckily I was able to walk for a minute and have it clear up – from there I had to keep my pace slower to make sure it didn’t cramp again and luckily it didn’t bug me anymore after that.

At around the 21 mile mark I still had a shot at 4:30 but I could feel I was tanking and had to switch to run walk cycles to maintain forward momentum – ran into the wife and kids for the third time about this point and had a little rest.

My running was doing well and still had a rough shot at 4:30 but I knew after mile 23 and then the bridge around mile 24 that it wasn’t going to happen.  So when I ran into the wife and kids again just after the bridge I had a bit of a longer rest than I would have otherwise and continued on.

I was able to hold onto some strength and was able to push pretty strong at the end on the nice rubberized track to feel like I finished strong.

After you get through the throng of people at the finish line and get your medal the Manitoba Marathon has a walker talk with you as you keep moving to see how you are doing.  I had a bit of fun when he asked if it was my first by holding up 4 fingers and saying no it is my 7th.  I laughed at myself before he caught it and laughed as well.

Just before the recovery area they have a second walker have a chat and direct you to the recovery area – this one commented that I was walking stronger than a lot that were finishing – I guess being used to running a half marathon the day before a marathon gives my legs a bit more strength than how these things are normally done.

So overall a little slower a race than I wanted and was feeling a bit fried by the end but considering I stopped to talk to the wife and kids 4 times and still got the fastest time I have had since before we had kids I am going to put this one in the win column.


June 15, 2013 (Saturday)

231.5 when woke up and 230.5 after morning run.

I did a quick 2.2 mile run in 21 minutes outside this morning as a bit of a warm up for tomorrow and to keep the legs loose.  Run felt good – felt out of breath for a couple minutes right at the start which had me worried but it all sorted itself out and I had no issues for the rest of the run.

So the Manitoba Marathon is tomorrow morning….I am ready – it won’t be my fastest full but it will be solid.  Weather is still calling for 60% of showers and 21C for the high tomorrow so as long as there aren’t any torrential rains the weather should be just about perfect.  The Manitoba Marathon course is pretty flat so it all adds to providing a strong opportunity for a good run.

It’s strange though – with the stuff that has been going on with putting a pool in the backyard the race being tomorrow doesn’t really seem to be real.  For the WPS Half Marathon I was pushing myself and focused on the run because I really wanted to get under 2 hours and for the past several years all my runs have been at Disney World so there was always the travel to provide the mental poke that the run was just around the corner.  Don’t really have that here for the Manitoba Marathon right now – I figured packet pickup yesterday would drive things home but I was in and out of the expo so quickly that it really didn’t make an impact mentally.

So I really need to get my head in the game here – to do that I will probably watch some Lee Hoedl Disney marathon videos, prep my gear, organize….and set my alarm clock – at this point I seem distracted enough to actually forget to set my alarm – can’t let that happen!

Interestingly, tomorrow I actually have a deadline for finishing the my race – my son has a music recital at around 2:30 pm (there was some confusion – we thought it was supposed to be Saturday).  So that means I need to finish my race, grab my medal, take the park and ride bus back to my vehicle, get back home, have a shower and change and be back out of the house well before 2 pm (probably closer to 1:30 if we can pull it off).  Race starts at 7 am, I need to give myself an hour from race finish to get back to my van (hopefully way less but I haven’t taken the park and ride here before so I don’t know how full the vehicles need to be to make a trip – could require a wait), then another 45 minutes to shower and change and stretch a bit – If I walk that back from 1:30 leaving the house that gives me 11:45 as the latest finish time or 4:45.  That shouldn’t be a problem if I extrapolate my last long slow 20 mile run outside but it would also be the fastest I have run a marathon since 2006.  No pressure.

June 12th, 2013 (Wednesday)

231.5 when I woke up and 233 after evening run.

Run was 4 miles in 32:40 with 1 minute of walking, 5 minutes at 7.2 mph and the remainder at 7.5 mph (longest stretch was 17:40).  Run felt not too bad but it took quite a bit to keep pushing – I think this was due to having a late supper around an hour before getting on the treadmill and that made me feel a bit sluggish.

Also had Wendy’s for lunch since I forgot to bring a lunch to work today and that can’t have helped my weight today.

So now only one more training run to go – a short 2 miler on Saturday.