Archive for June 2015

5 miles tonight in 36:23 on the treadmill – puts me just over 115 miles for the month. Improving.

I tweeted it out Sunday night but didn’t get it on the blog – 18 miles yesterday on the treadmill in 2:36:36. I was up early enough to run (darned pups) but was working on less than 4 hours sleep and ended up crashing out again instead. That was at around 5…I ended up waking up around 9:30. I then spent 2.5 hours in the pool with the kids. After lunch I was sitting on the couch yapping with our son while he was building some Lego…I woke up again 2 hours later. Just crashed out solid out of nowhere. Obviously I am lacking in the sleep department will need to fix that up.

After that it was just too bloody hot to try to do a long run outside so I hopped on the treadmill instead. I watched Zombieland (I’ve seen it enough time that I listened to music while I watched it – kept me distracted) – that got me through an hour and a half. After that I put on Disney Marathon videos and watched those until I hit the 18 hour mark.

Short dip in the pool to cool off after that before the mosquitoes chased me back into the house.

That was a very solid run and I never felt anywhere near as destroyed as I did a week before during the Manitoba Marathon. Probably 2 main factors there – less heat on the treadmill and improved confidence after getting through the Manitoba.

The run tonight was 5 miles in 36:23 with 2 minutes of walking and a maximum speed of 9 mph held onto for 3 minutes straight. That is an improvement and I felt good for the whole thing.

I ran the 18 miler in my Nike Pegasus 31s and then tried the 5 miler tonight in them as well. I had to stop after just a minute and swap them out. They are toast at 305 miles – kinda rough as I was averaging about 330-350 for the Pegasus 30s. Compare that to my Hoka One One Cliftons that are sitting at 450 miles and can still be used. I still love my Pegasus 30s (and I have 2 pairs of those stashed that I am rationing out – one unused and one around 100 miles currently) for shorter, faster runs. Basically it looks like my summer shoes are going to be my Cliftons for the longer runs and my Pegasus 30s for the shorter speed work and probably mix and match the 2 for medium length runs.

OK – With those 2 runs finishing up June, I am feeling pretty good going into July. Going to have to crank up the miles!

June mileage total is 115.12 miles over 15 runs.

Overall I am glad June is done and I can focus more on getting the long distance runs in.

5 miles in 39:34 on the treadmill – decently solid run – slowly rebuilding.

Got on the treadmill tonight a bit earlier than normal tonight – maybe a bit too early. Running that close to supper made me a feel a bit sluggish but overall not too bad, I just needed to make sure I didn’t push too hard and lose it!

I basically did 1 min at 7 mph followed 1 minute at 8 mph – I did this alternation for a few miles and then started bumping the 8 mph portions up to 2 minutes at a time. At the half hour mark I walked for a minute and then got back into alternating 7 and 8 finishing up with the last 2:34 at 8.

A solid run.

Right after the run I hopped in the pool for a half hour with the wife and kids and did a couple sets of swimming pool resistance exercises to finish up.

Minutes after that I got called into work – not bad timing there!

I will continue ramping up the mileage from here – maybe 6 miles tomorrow and will most like shoot for a half marathon distance over the weekend and possibly a 3 hour run. I will play it by ear but I am feeling good and will pushing until I start to see warning signs from the body.

4 miles in 34 min on the treadmill – short recovery and test run done! No permanent damage from the weekend!

Ok – time to suck it up and do a recovery run and assess where my body is after the Manitoba Marathon on Sunday!

I figured I would start off steady tonight and plan on doing 3 miles and going faster and / or longer depending on how things felt.

So I set the treadmill at 7 mph and I stayed at that speed for 3 miles. At that point I walked 45 seconds and decided to go further. I bumped the speed up to 7.5 mph until I hit the 3.75 mile mark, at that point I decided that I would stop at 4 miles so I bumped the speed again up to 8 mph and finished out the 3 miles in 34 minutes.

Overall things felt pretty good, no major aches or pains and nothing wanting to pull. I’m pretty happy about that!

I did notice that I was starting to feel a bit sluggish before I even hit the 3 mile mark and I assume that is just the body not having had a chance to properly refuel the muscles yet. That and the steak for supper might have slowed me down a bit too…

I am happy with that run and now can sit down and try to map out my training plan from now until October 3rd when the 12 hour Lemming Loop occurs. I have to say I am looking forward to getting into the hard training again – thinking back to last fall, I know that I just feel better on the weeks when I hit 50 miles or more.

Hopefully I will have the plan out and posted in the next couple days.

Manitoba Marathon 2015 recap – I reaped the consequences of no runs over 13.1 since March. But I learned some stuff.

To start with – the Manitoba Marathon was well organized again this year and as always the volunteers were fantastic along the course and at the finish! Another great race put on by the Manitoba Marathon team!

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OK, so the day started off pretty early for me – the pups got me up a half hour before my alarm was set to go off for the race. No sleeping in I guess. Luckily I had gone to bed quite early and still got a good 7+ hours sleep or so. I’m glad I did because I knew it was going to be a rough run.

Folks that follow the blog or my twitter posts know that I had a rough couple months and my training really fell apart. By the numbers I had 556 miles on my shoes so far this year but at the same time last year I was at 810. A very significant difference year over year. The bad statistic though was the missing 18 and 20 milers. I knew I was going into the race trained to do an ok half marathon but not trained for a full at all. I was going to be relying on sheer determination, a lot of pent up frustration and whatever residual stamina I still had left from the Dopey Challenge training.

So basically I knew going into this race that it was not going to be great for me physically.

It was a beautiful day though and not raining like last year’s Manitoba Marathon so that was a positive but it was forecast to get pretty warm. Not Florida warm but still enough that it was going to be a factor in the race with the humidity.

Again this year I took the park and ride option instead of trying to find a parking spot at the race and everything worked pretty efficiently again. I basically got out of my vehicle and wandered over to the bus got on and we were on our way in a few minutes. It was a short drive and we were dropped off close to the bag drop tents. Very smooth.

The only hiccup was that I realized that I had forgotten to put on nipple protectors before I left the house…but I figured I would forget something and luckily I had packed a set in my hydration backpack and I put those on before I got on the bus. Apparently I was rushing though and one didn’t stick properly…more on that later.

I wandered around the start area, hit the port-a-potties and checked out the changes in the course right at the start. New this year was an adjustment to the course for where everyone starts. It used to start with a straight shot down a road but now there was a 90 degree turn about 100 feet from the start line. I was worried this was going to be an issue (thinking back to the hordes at Disney races and how crowded a corner like that could get). Luckily it wasn’t an issue but it definitely slowed down most folks through that first chunk of the course.

While wandering around, I ran into a gentleman from work who was out for his second marathon (first about a month or so previous). I had a good chat with him about strategies and different races and then we headed out to the get in our chosen finish time zones.

I chose to line up with the 4:30 run/walk pace group. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to keep up with them or not but it seemed like a good spot to start as I tested myself out. But I was still worrying about the heat and what that would do later in the race.

But then it was time to start – after a couple quick twitter interactions with Kenny (@runshooze on twitter) as he offered encouragement to help get me started.

I realized very quickly that heat was definitely going to be a factor and after pacing evenly for a few minutes I decided that sticking with the 4:30 pace group wasn’t going to work. Basically doing the math it meant I would probably hit the half about 2:10-2:15 (which didn’t match my previously determined plan of trying to hit around 2 hours and then just do what I could after) and the heat would be up and I would probably be already tanking out. This would then likely make it harder to keep going and probably do some hefty damage to my confidence.

So I weighed all the factors and decided to do something pretty dumb and the opposite of what all the marathon gurus will tell you. I decided to run the first half of the marathon fast – I was going to be struggling hard for the second half no matter what but I figured if I could get the first half done quicker, it would mean less time pushing in the heat later.

At that point then I bumped the speed up and decided to follow my original plan – hit the half at around 2 hours and go from there.

By mile 2 I had passed the 4 hour group and the 3:45 group – I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone else but it was what I figured I needed to do.

I passed mile 7 before the hour mark and the 3:45 group passed me shortly before the 8 mile point as I was already feeling the heat.

Right around the 9 mile marker a gentleman I interact with on Twitter (Anthony – @DrAnthonyH) caught up with me and we had a bit of chat about different races and our goals, etc. We also quickly talked about WDW Marathon races and then he continued on and I kept rolling on.

Less than a minute after that I saw Heather and my son and daughter up ahead cheering me on – I caught site of them just as Anthony was giving my son a high five.

They hadn’t spotted me yet so I put on a burst of speed and bolted up to my son and started tickling him instead of what he thought was going to be a high five from another anonymous runner. Surprised him pretty good! And, I think, the folks that were standing beside my family that didn’t know at first what was going on until my daughter gave me a hug and started saying “Happy Fathers’ Day!”

I chatted with them a little bit and then kept moving.

About mile 11 or so I felt some chafing and realized I had lost one of the nipple protectors – not much I could do about it then but I as I was wearing a white shirt I started to wonder what the shirt was going to look like when the race was done!

Just prior to the half way point the gentleman from work passed me and wished me luck on the rest of the race and at just about the half way point the 4 hour pace group passed me. I hit the halfway point at about 1:59 (so goal achieved).

It was at that point I ran into my family again as they had moved to a second viewing spot. We talked again at that point and off I went again.

Not too long after that I started to hit the wall for sure. I was still pushing but it was taking way more pushing to keep going. The heat was also definitely playing a factor at this point.

I also started adding a minute of walking after I hit every mile marker from here on out. I was carrying about 2 liters of liquid in my hydration pack that I had been using frequently but I started making sure to supplement with water at every water stop and using sponges to help cool off. Sponges were plentiful too so kudos to the Manitoba Marathon team for that!

I hit the 18 mile point at around 2:57 or so. That was great for my confidence – it was slow and pretty rough but I also knew I would be under 5 hours to complete.

At this point I sent out a proof of life tweet and got moving again.

Right after that I ran into the wife and kids again before continuing on. I didn’t run long before I ran into a family who was giving on freeze pops…and they had blue! It was glorious! Much thanks to those folks whoever they were!

I kept going from there and was struck at the difference in the weather from last year. This race was hot and sunny and last year I remember being so soaked that passing trucks splashing water onto me as I ran didn’t even phase me.

At about the 4 hour mark I decided to stop and send another proof of life tweet as I had hit right around mile 23. After I sent the tweet my phone started beeping that it had low battery. I wasn’t going to finish this without music so I popped off my hydration pack and dug out my spare battery.

After a relatively quick battery swap I was back on my way. The 4:30 pace group went past me around this point.

Shortly after that I saw the 10 mile marker for the half marathon folks (who share the same finish line) – only a 5k left to go. I knew I was going to survive!

My pace picked up a bit when I was running but I was doing shorter runs now of maybe 3-5 minutes at a time before walking again for 30-60 seconds.

I was here that I learned something very specific about my running that I am going to have to watch for in the future and train against. Basically when I would stop running I would feel a bit woozy, almost light headed but after a few seconds of breathing properly I would be fine and able to go again. I realized that as I was trying to run and push as hard as I could, I was tensing so much that I wasn’t breathing properly. It took me about 10-15 minutes to figure that out and then I was fine.

Then at about 24.5 miles I ran into the wife and kids one final time and I started the final push.

About this point I was probably half and half running versus walking but I was still moving and still coherent.

Then the final corner before I start in towards mile 26 and final stretch on the stadium track. Finished upright with no apparent injuries and under 5 hours. And even the lost nipple protector didn’t cause too much grief. Marathon #11 in the books.

I was handed a popsicle and slurped that down. Chatted with a lady who had just finished her first marathon and was asking other finishers around to sign her arms and legs, etc in celebration. Awesome for her! The Manitoba Marathon is great race for first timers – very friendly.

I then grabbed some water and had a quick chat with one of the volunteers who was obviously there to make sure that runners were still healthy and able to hold a conversation.

I then wandered out to the buses and got on. As I was getting on the bus driver asked “a bit stiff?” My response “no where near as stiff as I will be when I try to get off the bus!”

An accurate prediction – but surprisingly not bad.

I wandered out to my van, hopped in and drove home.

After unloading all my stuff I wandered into the kitchen for a big glass of milk and some bacon. If “recovery bacon” isn’t a thing, it should be.

Had a bit of a scare as I was sitting at the kitchen table leaning forward talking to the kids and getting my Fathers’ Day cards from them…my arms started to tingle a bit. Oh crap…but then I remembered the breathing lesson from about mile 24. I sat up straight, had a few deep breathes and everything returned to normal.

10 minutes later I was in the pool with the kids stretching out the legs and working the kinks out. While cooling off.

I got about a half hour there before we had to get dressed and head out to our son’s piano concert. He did awesome! (and I actually survived) Several people we didn’t know commented on how well he did and how much energy he had. Very cool!

After that we headed to Boston Pizza for a celebratory supper for all of us and I had a beer the size of my head.

And we ended up in the pool before bed again. A very good Fathers’ Day all around.

The next day I woke up and my left ankle was almost locked – after a bit of walking around though it worked itself out. Over the course of the day I went for a couple 40 minute walks that included a few jogging attempts that went well.

Now 2 days later my legs are fine and I suspect I will try a recovery run later today. I have already done swimming pool resistance exercises and 15 minutes of deep water running with no ill effects.

I may not be the fastest, or the strongest (or the most dedicated) runner but man I recover fast. And I am grateful for that!

So coming up I have the 12 hour Lemming Loop that I have signed up for in early October. And I also signed my wife and I up for the WFPS Half Marathon for a couple weeks after that.

I will be starting to work out a training schedule for the 12 hour Lemming Loop in the hopes of breaking over 52.4 miles in the 12 hours (49.278 last year). I will also looking to see if I will want to add the Treherne Marathon (which is about an hour drive away) in early September to my schedule as a training run and as maybe a chance for some marathon redemption.

I should be posting up my planned schedule and goals and such in the next few days – I am going to have to work hard this summer!

2.1 mile shakeout run – last run before Manitoba Marathon 2015 – am I ready?…uh, nope but I’ll get it done somehow.

Last run before the Manitoba Marathon and I felt pretty good. So I am going into the race healthy, which is good and was the main goal after I lost so much training time and endurance back in April and May.

So…what is the run going to be like tomorrow? What is my plan? What are my goals?

Well tomorrow should be a “character building exercise”. I haven’t done a good long run (over 13.1) since March and I don’t know what my mental game will be like later in the race. There will probably be a lot of “f**k this” moments that I will have to fight through.

My plan is to treat this not as a race but as a training run. It is 16 weeks today until the 12 hour Lemming Loop and hitting well over 50 miles in that endurance challenge will be my focus once I get done the race tomorrow. I’m hoping that treating the race like a long, slow training run will help the mental game and help me push through.

I know from recent runs that I can still pull around a 2 hour half marathon at what feels like a relatively easy pace. I expect that I will try to push myself to be just under 2 hours for the first half and then go hunting for The Wall. I don’t know where my personal wall stands at this point so I’m going to have to play that by feel. I’m hoping with not pushing too hard I will find it around mile 16-17 or so, or about 2.5 hours in.

From there the run will be about playing every trick I have learned in my previous 10 marathons (some of which I were in much worse shape for than I am now) to just keep going. Run/walk cycles, straight out walking, talking to myself, concentrating on something positive, switching to audio books instead of music to distract the mind, etc – all things I have tried before with different measures of success.

Strangely if I look at various marathon finish time calculators and plug in my WPS Half Marathon time from May, I get predictions just over the 4 hour mark and a new PR. That is pretty hilarious – I suspect that won’t happen but it strangely is in the realm of possibility because of other elements that have slowed my best marathon races down. For example my 2 fastest marathons 4:09:44 and 4:15:01 were both heavily impacted by weather. My PR I did a half a month previous at 1:46 giving a predicted time around 3:45 but I had my knee wonk out and cold rain sapped my energy and I bonked so I got 4:09:44 instead. Fro the 4:15:01 race – I bonked from the heat at about the 2:15 mark and walked for an hour straight before feeling restored and starting to run again. For the Dopey Challenge / WDW Marathon in January 2015 it looks like I could have gone under 4 hours but I made close to 25 stops for pictures, etc (some with a fairly long wait) and still came in at 4:40. So as dumb as it sounds I could hit near the 4 hour mark and get a new PR. That is not what I expect but weird shit happens in marathons.

So what are my goals?

Well – honestly, to finish. Sounds hokey but with how my training has gone a DNF is possible and I will definitely have to watch myself closely so I can catch anything that might lead to an actual injury or damage. As I said, I want to take this as a training run so it will be about finishing healthy and relatively undamaged so I can focus on the next thing.

Beyond that, like I indicated above, I want to hit the half way point in close to 2 hours and then do as best as I can from there. Sub 4:30 would be glorious but sub 5:00 is more likely and should be achievable.

Really tomorrow is a bit of a crap shoot and I am going to learn things about myself I am sure. At least they aren’t predicting the drenching we got last year or blistering heat – should take weather mostly out of the equation and allow me to focus on just the running.

PS – if by some miracle I do hit a new PR, I will be signing up for a marathon in September prior to the 12 hour Lemming Loop so I can set a PR by training and not by fluke.