Sunday, March 27, 2011

22 More Days.....

Ran 23 miles today with w/roughly 400 feet of elevation gain btwn miles 18 & 21. Was really nice to soak feet in ocean at La Jolla Shores afterwards. Brings the total weekend miles to 33. Now relaxing with Lynn at home in San Diego enjoying the sun, view, and happy to be done with my last "long" run before Boston. Only 22 more days...wahoo!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

23 More Days Until Boston Marathon - April 18, 2011

Training for this year's Boston race has been challenging for me with a lot of international travel and a couple cold/sinus battles. However, I have been able to get in some great long runs and running injury free.

Received race package from Boston this week saying my bib number is 5035. Excitement is definitely building and I'm really looking forward to having a good race this year.

Tomorrow we run our last "long" run = a hilly 22 miler in La Jolla that starts with scenic run along the coast then turns inland to circle Mt Soledad. Did a hilly 10 mile tempo run today so the 22 miler tomorrow is all about putting in the distance at an easy pace.

Cheers!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Wahoo! New PR at the NYC Marathon!

Everything came together on race day. The weather was cold and clear. My body was healthy and injury free. The crowds along the course were unbelievable. And, the good vibes and well wishes from family and friends really special.

Starting out in Staten Island, they fired off a canon to start the race and played New York, New York as us runners headed out to conquer the course. It was really windy going across the first bridge. Once on the other side, it was a big relief to feel the sunshine and get out of the wind.

Was really impressed with the number of people that came out and their attitude. Unlike many marathons where people show up to cheer their friends on and don't say much until they see their friends, at NYC fans were cheering, screaming, and making noise the whole time for all runners. The energy from crowd was like a playoff football game. Just amazing.

My race plan was to run at an even effort that felt comfortably fast versus try to maintain specific mile splits. I had a good start number so most the people around me were fast runners. The first half I felt great and although I knew I was running faster than I should be, it just felt good so I went with it. My half marathon split was 1:30:30, which works out to a 6:55 average pace.

Someday I'll run that the whole distance, but on this day in NYC, the last half of the course got the best of me with what seemed like another 13 miles of uphill or downhill running. I did manage to hold on and recovered a bit of time between miles 16 and 22. Miles 22-25 were brutal with most of it uphill. Once I passed mile 25 I knew I was on the home stretch. We turned onto Central Park South, which was 1/2 mile uphill into the wind blowing about 10mph. I tucked in behind a big guy who was running a nice pace and held on...then gave it all I had to run the last 800 meters at about 6:15 pace which felt like I was sprinting.

As you pass the 26 mile mark you start up another hill. Good news was I had enough gas left to rally so it really didn't slow me down and I just kept running as fast as I could all the way to the finish. My goal was 3 hours and 10 minutes. Happy to report my finish time was 3:10:32! A new personal record and very satisfying event.

The next marathon I'm doing is Boston, which is April 18th. Plan to take a few weeks off to rest and recuperate, then start my Boston training mid-December. Thanks to everyone who was out there on the course cheering us on and thanks to all my friends and family for the support. Cheers!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

NYC Marathon here we go!

Training has been great and I'm injury free...knock, knock, knock...that was the sound of me knocking on some wood. :-)

Weather here in San Diego was 92 degrees today. Forecast for NYC on Sunday is a low of 33 degrees and high of 49. Huge difference! I'm hoping the cool temps will reward fast times and many PR's like it did last year in Chicago.

The build up for NYC Marathon has been really fun. So many people run it (45,000) there is a ton of excitement in the air. Time to sign off and head to the airport. Will send an update along the way. Cheers and RunFasta!!!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Finished the Boston Marathon!

The past week has been a tornado for me. Race weekend in Boston was unreal. Just like the Super Bowl or the Olympics. Was an amazing experience and the people of Boston were so wonderful. Thanks to everyone who was out there cheering and thanks to all my friends and family for your support. Special thanks to my beautiful bride Lynn and her friend Margrete for making the trip to Boston…and to Matt Baier for keeping the Facebook crew up to speed.

As it turns out, the actual race was much more challenging than I expected and it didn’t end with the PR that I was hoping for. However, it was an amazing journey and I’m so glad to have been a part of it and to now be an official Boston Marathon finisher.

I’ve been replaying the race over and over trying to figure out what happened and still have no conclusive answers. Was it my nerves, a lack of sleep, was my body fighting a cold, did I get dehydrated, were my sodium levels low, was it my calf muscle injury? Wish I had one thing to pin it on, but in reality, I think it was just a perfect storm where a little bit of all of these added up to a very challenging test of will power to make it to the finish line.

I do know one thing that contributed was the calf muscle knot/injury I mentioned in the post the night before. The same thing nuked my first attempt at Chicago Marathon and acted up a year ago just before SD Rock N Roll Marathon. I thought I was doing everything right during the weeks leading up to the race including rest, stretching and massage.

Unfortunately, my right calf acted up about 3 miles into my last tempo run on Tuesday before the race. I babied it the rest of the week and did massage, ART, the stick, foam roller, stretching, ultrasound, you name it. None would relieve the big knot. I was able to run on the treadmill the night before without pain so thought all was good, but about a mile into the race it hit and I had to adjust my stride to more of a heel strike to relieve pressure on the calf (I'm normally a mid-to-forefoot runner) so I lost my normal efficient/fast stride.

Marathoning is a big mental game so I tried to view it as a positive thing that would help make sure I didn't run too fast the first 5K, which I was told over and over again “don’t go out fast”. My first 5K split was 22:01, which was 30 seconds slower than my target so I figured I was doing good pace wise and would be no problem to make up once I got to the hills. However, the knot in my calf didn’t get better and I could feel a twinge each time my right foot hit the ground. At the 10K mark (6.2 miles) I tried to pick up the pace, but found my legs felt heavy and tired. Was really strange to be tired that early in the race. I knew something was not right and my mind was racing a mile a minute trying to analyze the whole thing…nothing made sense.

My half marathon split was 1:35 so definitely slower than my target of 1:29:30. I wanted to pick up the pace, but was already out of gas. I knew my issue wasn’t that I went out too fast, but I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. My pace just kept declining and I had no ability to keep it up. I felt like I had the weakness of the flu without any other flu symptoms. I had Gatorade at mile 5, 8, and 10 plus Gu as planned at mile 8 so hydration shouldn’t have been an issue. My training had lots of uphill and downhill running and I had recent training runs where I ran 18 miles at an average overall pace of 7:01 so I knew what my body was capable of doing. Was so frustrating!

Anyhow, I knew I was in bad shape when I hit the steep downhill around mile 15.5 because I wasn't able to run much faster even with the downhill to help. The first hill over the freeway at mile 16 was really tough. Around the top of that one I pulled over to stretch my calf muscles and could not believe how tight they were. Hardly any range of motion and stiff like never before.

I continued on and forced myself to "run" the Newton Hills, but the downhills brought no relief and by mile 22 I got cramps in my quads that forced me to stop. Have never gotten cramps like that before. Just stopped me in my tracks. I was able to walk through them, but the last 4 miles were painful. Best part was I hobbled up to a guy from Chicago about mile 24 who's PR was 3:10 and he was having same problem so we carried each other to the finish alternating between baby step running and walking.

My finish time was 3:44. I’m not happy about it, but I did shift gears from racing to enjoying the journey right around the second Newton hill so all was not lost. I tried to focus on soaking up the cheers and enjoying the crowd which was truly unbelievable. Also pulled out my iPhone and shot some videos of heartbreak hill. Just nuts how many people come out to cheer and it sure looked like they were having a lot of fun.

All that said, I'm bummed that my body wasn't able to perform at its peak and disappointed in my performance. However, the experience was priceless and I'm definitely planning to go back next year to exercise those demons!

I’m writing this post 4 days after the race and the good news is my legs feel about 80%. The right calf muscle knot appears to be gone with no more pain when running and the only remaining issue is sore quads. I went for a 9 mile run out to Cabrillo Monument this morning with Randy Gorman. Was really good conversation and so nice to get back on the road. My next race is Rock N Roll Marathon in San Diego June 6th. Hoping to ramp back up the mileage next week and be in peak form for RNR so can race it fast and pain free. Thanks again to everyone. It has been, and continues to be, a lovely cruise!

Boston Marathon Elevation Chart



As you can see from this chart, that damn course is hilly. It's advertised as 16 miles of downhill followed by 5 miles up, then 5 miles downhill to the finish. Reality is the first 16 is rolling hills and as you can see, there is quite a bit of uphill along the way down. The need to train on hilly terrain is definitely an understatement!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

T minus 11.5 Hours until my start time at the Boston Marathon!

Race day has arrived...wahoo! The past 48 hours have been fantastic here in Boston. Amazing experience. So glad to be a part of it and thoroughly enjoying the ride. Have had several scares in the injury department this week (mostly related to my right calf muscle). Been doing lots of stretching and using "the stick" to break things up. Pre-race worries reached max levels when we got back from dinner tonight. I couldn't shake this feeling in my head that both my calf muscles were tight and going to haunt me. Ended up going down to the hotel fitness center and running on the treadmill for 5 mins to put my mind at ease. Happy to report all felt great, so breathing a little easier now.

Weather has been cold with on/off rain since I arrived early Saturday morning. Good news is we saw our first glimpse of blue sky and sunshine this afternoon...and as I write this, weather.com is forecasting 47 degree temp at 10am (wave 1 start time) with winds in the 10-15mph range from the north west = cross wind the first 17 miles, but should be tailwind as we enter the Newton Hills and carry us to the finish. Could change, but with race time only 11.5 hours from now, it shouldn't change much.

Time to sign off and get some rest, but before I go, want to send out a HUGE thank you to everyone who has sent a text, email or Facebook post. Your support is greatly appreciated!!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

On my way to Boston!

Wow. It's finally time to get on plane to Boston. Can't believe it's finally here. Very excited and nervous at same time. Weather is windy and raining there now, but forecasts says the rain should be gone by Monday. Sure hope so. All for now. Three more days!!!

Monday, April 5, 2010

14 Days Until Boston!

Getting excited. Hard to believe the race is two weeks from today! Did a 19 mile Boston simulation run yesterday with 18 at marathon pace. Felt good and strong. Definitely ready. Today I had some tight muscles, but feel surprisingly good like I could go do another 19 today...very cool. That said, it's all about resting up and staying injury free from now until race day. Plan calls for running 5 to 8 miles every other day at marathon pace with some strides mixed in and some long walks or short easy running in between to keep muscles active. Been having fun reading up on Boston and hearing stories from others. Can't wait. Gonna be a great section of my running jouney. Cheers!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Only 33 More Days Until Boston Marathon!!!

My training has been great. Averaging 50+ miles a week and put in 62 last week. Best news is no injuries and legs very strong. Have done a good amount of hill training and quite happy with the results. Basic training plan has been three fast tempo runs per week in the 6 to 10 mile range with a couple shorter recover runs of 2 to 4 miles on the off days plus a long run on Sunday's of 18 to 22 miles. Tempo runs I've been shooting for average pace in the 6:40 to 6:50/mile range with a few mixed in at 6:20 to 6:30 just for fun. Really feels like I'm flying when running at that pace.

For the longer run on Sunday, our legs are already tired from all the hard tempo workouts so the pace is in the 8:00 to 8:30/mile range. Something new I started in January after getting some coaching from a guy named Hal Goforth who is an exercise physiologist that is returning to Boston this year to run it for the 36th time...is not eating before or during the long runs. Idea is to put the body into a glycogen-depleted state to force the liver to train itself to be more efficient at converting fat to usable fuel (glycogen). We eat a normal meal the night before, then on Sunday the only thing I have is a cup of coffee when I first wake up...until about a half hour after the long run is complete. No water, no sport drink, and no Gu or gels while running.

First time I did this I did hit the wall at about mile 12 so the last 3 miles were very hard and slow. However, I didn't really miss the water and was surprised how good I felt afterwards. I had visions of being couch potato the rest of the day, but was no problem. Since then, my liver must be getting healthier because now I'm able to run all the way up to 22 miles with no issues and feel strong at finish. That said, on race day we'll have a normal pre-race breakfast and I'll be consuming Gu several times during the race. This crazy no food idea is strictly for training, but I do think it is working.

Looking at the calendar, it's roughly 5 weeks until race day. Have 3 more long run Sunday's to go and then it's taper time. Last weekend I managed to do 18 mile run with 14 of them at my target race pace = 7:04/mile. Although I was tired at end of run, I think I'll be good on race day to run that pace for the full marathon assuming the weather cooperates. All for now. Will post more as we get closer to April 19th!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Training Advice for those Aspiring to Qualify for Boston Marathon

Many have asked me about qualifying for the Boston Marathon with the hope that someday they can do it too. After responding to a recent inquiry about this, I decided it was time to make a new post on this subject. Bottom line for this post is that you’d be surprised what your body can do if you take action and train smart.

As some of you know, my quest to qualify for Boston started in January 2008. Since then I’ve finished 6 marathons and encountered just about everything you can imagine. Has been an excellent journey with much time spent on technique improvement, injury rehab, nutrition, training plans, etc.

In my opinion, it is hard for non-elite, older than college age runners to find a good running coach and although I did pay a few for advice and assessment, I think you really need to be your own coach because nobody knows your body like you do and nobody pays as much attention to your needs as you do. That said, it’s important to run with others at least part of the time so you have some friendly competition to push you along.

The biggest error I see with most people training for a marathon is they don’t use target paces. In most cases the quantity of running is OK, but the quality is wrong. Sort of a garbage in garbage out scenario. Running 5 times a week at the same old pace is boring and unproductive. The key is to use a recent 5K, 10K or Half Marathon race time to gauge your current running fitness level. Then set up your training schedule so your training runs are at a specific target pace. Combine this with a plan that has one day focused on speed, one as a fast tempo run, and one long run and you will be surprised how much faster you run.

There are several books I highly recommend that will help you get started. Below are links to them on Amazon.com. I built my training plan using the “Run Less, Run Faster” book. I really like it because you focus on 3 key runs per week that are complemented by cross training so the total miles per week are significantly less

The “Brain Training for Runners” book has some excellent background on how our brains work and what we can do to run faster plus it gets into technique. Chi Running is a good entry level into proper running form that gets you a good jump start. In my opinion, the drills and queues mentioned in Brain Training are easier to apply after Chi Running. Note that I have put these books in order of preference so if you can only buy one or two, start at top of list.

There are a few great websites I use a lot. Below are links to them with brief explanation.

  • McMillan Running Calculator. Greg is right on with his calculator and training philosophy. He’s very much in line with the Run Less book. I use the calculator all the time to figure out training paces and figure out what I might be able to run a given distance at. Check it out here; http://www.mcmillanrunning.com/mcmillanrunningcalculator.htm
  • Runbayou is calculator based on Jack Daniels. Is interesting to compare to McMillan since Daniels is the running guru credited with much of the science behind modern day running. http://www.runbayou.com/jackd.htm
  • eRaceWalk is a site for walker’s, but the calculators for figuring out times/paces at the race track work just the same for running. Page down to sections D and E. All times given in Run Less Run Faster or by McMillan are for Lane 1 at the track. I find that lane often is busy so I like to run in Lane 4. However, Lane 4 is longer so you need to adjust the times. Section E you enter the Lane 1 target time and it will tell you an equivalent time in Lanes 2 through 8. Then you enter the same Lane 1 speed in Section D and it will tell you the pace/mile in Lane 1. If you are following me, the pace you run in Lane 1 to achieve the desired Lane 1 time…if run in Lane 4 will equal the time shown in Lane 4 in Section E. Anyhow, doing these calculations before I go to the track help me run the right pace when I’m in Lane 4. http://www.eracewalk.com/CalcTrac.htm

For all you thinking about starting the New Year with a goal of running a marathon, the sites and books listed here are highly recommended for you too. Just remember, Rome wasn’t built in a night and you are a participant in the journey of life. Study up, make a plan, and take action. Most importantly, enjoy the process as it is the journey that counts, not the destination.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Wahoo...I Qualified for Boston Marathon!!!

What a great feeling! Thanks to everyone for your support. Here’s a recap plus a little of what was going through my head while running the Chicago Marathon this year.

For starters, we got up on race day at 5:45am to find out the temperature was only 30 degrees. After taking a hot shower, I had a cup of coffee, 1 banana, a zone bar, and a Naked Juice (Green Machine). After some stretching, was out the door at 7am headed to the start. Our hotel was the Hard Rock, which was excellent location about 1/2 mile from the start. Fortunately, I had qualified for start corral B so was able to line up near the front.

Chicago had 45,000 runners this year. Add one million spectators to that and it’s one crazy place. One thing that amazed me throughout the race was how many great runners there were. Was so cool to always be surrounded by a mass of fast runners.

I really recommend Chicago for first timers and veteran marathoners. The course is flat and fairly scenic with lots of variety so you never get bored. Best of all is the crowd cheering the runners. Truly amazing how many braved the cold to yell and scream. So cool and motivating when you have that many. Some of the corridors must have had 25,000 people cheering. Just amazing.

I started off the day with game plan of running with the 3:10 pace group. I was hoping to finish with a 3:15 time and I needed to run it in 3:20 (7:38 pace) in order to qualify for the Boston Marathon so running with the 3:10 group at 7:15 pace was aggressive for me. Once on the course though, my heart rate stayed between 152 & 156 while my pace was averaging 7:05/mile! Was a surprise to say the least as I found myself running ahead of the 3:10 pacers with relative ease.

At the half marathon point I had a bit of mental challenge because I realized I had just set a new PR at 1:33 for 13.1 miles and I was only half way through the marathon! I got worried I was running to fast and would crash. Oddly enough, we were running into the wind and my mind switched to strategy mode as I picked up the pace so I could tuck in behind a group of runners and be protected from the wind. Was hard to catch them, but I kept telling myself it would be easier once I did...and fortunately, it was.

Around mile 16 my legs started to feel fatigued so I stopped at the next aid station to make sure I got a whole cup of Gatorade in me. Picked up the pace at mile 17 and held it until mile 21 when my left quad started to feel strange. Hard to describe. Was like it was on the verge of cramping, but more of a freeze up. I tried to run softly, but could not land correctly and found it hard not to run with a limp. Was worrisome at the time. I decided to run through it so did not stop and it seemed to get better over the next ½ mile. As I turned onto Michigan Avenue a little past mile 23, I was afraid to stop as I could only imagine my legs cramping up and not being able to get moving again. We were running into a head wind and it was a struggle to keep up a good pace, but lucky for me, a big guy came motoring along who I was able to tuck in behind and we made good time.

At this point, my body core temp was dropping and I was freezing. So strange to exercise hard and be cold at the same time. Felt like my feet were frozen with a complete loss of feel for the pavement. I was tired and my quads were on fire. I kept telling myself this was my time to make it happen so no pain no gain. I reminded myself the distance left was like running one of my short runs back in San Diego. I cranked up my iPod volume and fast forwarded to a couple power songs then dug deep and stayed focused on putting one foot in front of the other…as fast as I could with a finish strong mantra running through my head. The finish was an emotional roller coaster and I was ecstatic to finish with an official time of 3 hours, 11 minutes and 33 seconds! Not only did I qualify for Boston, but I smashed my previous personal best by 24 minutes. Very, very cool.

As I write this post, I’m happy to report all is good with the body. Quads are sore and legs are stiff, but I was able to walk through the airport today without limping...so much better than last year when I could have used a wheel chair.

What a difference a year makes! Thanks again for your support. Happy trails and remember to enjoy the journey!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Race Day has Arrived!!! Gonna be Great!!!

Sitting here in hotel room relaxing and watching the Ironman World Championship in Kona thanks to www.universalsports.com. Gotta love technology and a good broadband connection.

Went to dinner with Lynn last night at a great restaurant called Province. Had several ceviche dishes and some hamachi sashimi for appetizer followed by excellent roasted lamb...and a nice bottle of red wine. Good stuff!

Was raining when we landed on Friday, but today we woke to clear skies and cool temps. Went for a 4 mile easy run to check out the start area for Chicago Marathon, then did loop along the waterfront that included the Navy Pier. Temp was about 42 degrees so a good warm up for the marathon tomorrow.

Such a major change in weather from last year's race when temps were in the 80's. Forecast is for 38 degrees at start time with clear skies so should be perfect running condition.

Continue to be impressed with Chicago. If you're a runner and have not run Chicago yet, you should definitely do it. Race is flat and temps normally cool. Crowd support is amazing and the people here are so nice. We went out for breakfast after our run this morning at a great little hole in the wall place called Mary's Cafe on Grant St. Seemed like half the people in there were running the marathon so it was lively environment and lots of excitement in the air.

If you're near a PC on Sunday, check out the race on www.universalsports.com. Starts at 7:30am central time. Womens race includes Deena Kastor who is favored to win and always great to watch. The men's race includes Olympic gold medal winner from 2008, Sammy Wanjiru. He chose to run Chicago due to it's reputation as one of world's fastest courses. The weather forecast is perfect for him so we're hearing lots of talk about him breaking the world record on Sunday.

All for now. Time to log off and go to the race expo. Take care and wish me luck!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Taper Time...Only 12 More Days...!

Sitting here in my hotel room in Seattle where it's heavy rain outside. Good thing I got up early and was able to get in a 6 mile run this morning. This past Sunday I raced my first triathlon. Was a great experience. Lots of room for improvement in the swim, but I made up a ton of time on the bike and run segments. More importantly, I finished injury free and I'm fully recovered now. Looking forward to Chicago Marathon 10/11/09. From all indications, race temperature will be much cooler this year so should be much better for those of us trying to qualify for Boston.

Training schedule is light for me the next 12 days with the main effort being the Mission Bay Triathlon this coming Sunday 10/4/09 in San Diego. It's a sprint with 1/2 mile swim, 12.5 mile bike, and 4 mile run. Essentially the same distances I raced last weekend on similar course so will be good to see how my times improve. After that, I'll do a couple 3 to 5 mile runs and then it's off to Chicago for the big day. A big thanks to my friends and family for their support. Cheers!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

32 Days Until Chicago Marathon!

Time is flying by. Hard to believe race day is only 32 days from now. Seems only a few months ago i was running Chicago, but it's been 11 months! As noted in my previous post, my training is going very good. So nice to be running injury free.

On separate subject, I have my first coaching client. Is a 27 year old mom who is determined to qualify for the Boston Marathon. She's a natural athlete who's raced a lot of triathlons and recently knocked out a 2:01 time at the AFC Half Marathon without much training. We started with a 5K time trial to establish a baseline I then used to create a custom training program. She's signed up to race the Arizona RNR Marathon in January. Her qualifying time is 3:40 so BQ there is an aggressive goal, but based on what she's done the first two weeks of new training program and her natural abilities, I think it is possible. For me, it's fun to help and will be great to see her make it happen.

Have a great week and enjoy the journey!

Monday, September 7, 2009

First post using iPhone app

A quick post to test iPhone app. Have been enjoying the addition of bike and swim to my running workouts. Seems the cross training is helping as I'm definitely getting stronger and faster each week. Went for a 20 mile run on Sunday that started with 4 miles easy at 9:05-9:08 pace and my avg HR only 125. Then picked up pace to 7:05-7:20 range for final 16 miles. Did stop to buy Gatorade twice, but all in all a great run and happy my HR stayed in the 150's even when running at 7:05 pace. Can only attribute it to healthier/stronger cardio due to extra time on bike and swimming.

Chicago Marathon is coming fast. One more month! Current plan is train for 3:10 target race time and run with that pace group so I have 10 minutes of cushion built in for walking at aid stations and the inevitable slow down in pace the last 6 miles. Need to finish with a time of 3:20 or faster in order to qualify for Boston. At the moment, I'm feeling good, injury free and BQ seems very doable. Only time will tell. Happy trails!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Has it really been 2 months since last post? Wow...time goes too fast!

My apologies for lagging on the postings. I've been chugging away at training and work...and neglecting to update this blog...my bad. That said, the quick update on all that has happened since June 11 is as follows:

1. Raced the San Francisco Marathon July 26th and finished with a new PR on very hilly course with a 3 hour 35 minute time.

2. Won the lottery for New York Marathon and I'm registered to run on November 1....however, I'm going to defer to 2010 because I'm already registered for Chicago Marathon and can't squeeze them both in. They did send me a very cool technical training shirt though!

3. Made a big decision and set wheels in motion to become a triathlete by registering for the Ironman California 70.3 in March 2010. Was nervous hitting submit on the registration, but now that a week has past, I'm excited and ready to make it happen.

4. Purchased a new Felt Z35 all carbon fiber road bike and have been loving life being back on the bike.

5. Raced the AFC Half Marathon and finished with 1 hour 35 minute time...a new PR for me.

6. Did my first swim lesson and although it wasn't easy, I now see light at the end of the tunnel that 1.2 mile swim in half Ironman is definitely doable.

That said, I have to run. Promise to update more often. Cheers!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Just signed up for San Francisco Marathon July 26th!!!

It's official. I just hit submit on the registration. My recovery from RNR Marathon is going great so I'm anxious to get back out and "run" the whole race. Went today to the athletic trainer who was helping me with calf injury prior to the RNR race and he too was surprised how well things are doing. He says my calf no longer feels like it's injured and it didn't hurt nearly as bad today when he was in there grinding away at it. Looks like my plan of running a little bit each day during recovery has paid off.

So...anyone care to join me in San Francisco? Race starts and ends downtown at the Embarcadero. Includes running across the Golden Gate Bridge and back so has lots of amazing scenery. Elevation profile looks like it has a fair amount of hills during first 18 miles, but they appear to be gradual up/down...and the last 6 miles is downhill or flat.

They also have half marathon. If interested in the half, you have a choice of running the first half or the second half of marathon so if you pick the right half, you still get to run over the GG bridge. Check out the race website at www.runsfm.com and let me know if you can make it.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Recovery time...so far, so good!

Had a long plane ride over to Honolulu on Monday. In Hawaii for business this week. Was actually surprised and happy to not have any sharp pains or injury related pain after the marathon...and no issues with blisters either. This morning I went for a 3 mile run to get the blood flowing. The first mile was really slow and hard because my quads just didn't want to cooperate. Definitely have a good case of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) like you get after a hard workout of lifting weights.

Good news is during the second mile everything started to loosen up and by mile 3 I was cruising along near marathon pace feeling great. After all the pain and agony leading up to the Rock N Roll Marathon with that damn calf muscle injury, I'm so happy now to be able to run again without pain! Is funny, but it's as if going the full 26.2 miles actually worked out the problem I was having in my calf muscle as now it feels great...strange, but good.

They say you should take it easy for the week or two following a marathon. I definitely plan to do that, but instead of staying off my feet, I've decided to run a little bit each day to keep things working and hopefully avoid calf injury relapse. I still think the injury I've been suffering is caused by scar tissue that forms during the healing process so maybe this time around if I stay active it won't happen...? Keeping my fingers crossed...that's for sure. Cheers from Hawaii.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Test of will power, but I finished RNR Marathon under 4 hours!

The past month has been tough as the calf muscle injury evolved into much bigger issue affecting all of my right lower leg and the outer portion of my right quadracep. I never was able to get back onto my training schedule and the longest run I had within the two weeks prior to RNR race day was 2 miles! As you can imagine, I was really uncertain how things would play out today when I headed to the start line.

I'm happy to report that I was able to overcome the odds and complete the race. Wasn't pretty, but I walked all the uphills, ran the downhills as fast as I could, and did my best to keep pace up on the flats. My half marathon split was 1:46 so was on pace for a 3:30 marathon, but by the time I got to mile 17 my legs were wearing out due to my altered running stride since I couldn't push off my toe using calf muscle.

Walking the hills had a few benefits I've not experienced before. For one, I took some photos and even uploaded one to Facebook at mile 20. Also stopped to eat some extremely good watermellon. Another benefit was less wear and tear overall. I'm writing this 10 hours after I finished and I actually feel pretty good.

Official race time was 3 hours 56 minutes so broke the 4 hour mark. Not bad for all the walking I did. More important, my calf muscle feels pretty good. I had a scare at mile 1 where it acted up and I started limping pretty bad. As I made my way to the side of road to walk I thought to myself, too early in race...let's run very lightly as if running on egg shells and see if we can work it out. Low and behold it worked out. Half mile later I was cruising along pain free with normal running stride that lasted me until mile 8 when I hit the big hill going up Hwy 163.

Since I hadn't run any long distances for a full month, my fitness level definitely took a hit too. And...my mind wasn't prepared. Once I got into the higher miles I actually found myself thinking my god this is a long way to run. Yesterday when I was at the race expo I got to meet Ryan Hall. That was very cool. He signed an autograph for me that said "Mike, discover what's inside". There definitely were several times today where I was feeling the pain and tired...and I thought about Ryan and what he wrote...and dug deep to keep going. Good stuff.

The race today also had a four person relay that my wife Lynn participated in with 3 of her girlfriends. Good news is the relay didn't bother the marathon runners and was well run. I think it's a great addition and hope they do it again next year so more people can experience the fun of running the streets of San Diego with live bands and screaming fans.