Saturday, September 30, 2006

Five Fast Freaks Furiously Fly

The title describes our finish in the 5 person open mixed relay at the Akron marathon today. Todd ran first for a fast 10K. Brooks fried his 5K leg. Amie had a fabulous 10K finish. Elizabeth flew on her 5K portion. And Papa Louie, freaking finished the 12.2K strong to help bring us in 1st of 456 total in the mixed team relay. Second place team was 3 minutes ahead of us before I began the last leg but I not only passed that person but added 3 more minutes to finish our team in 2:57:25.

The only complaint was that it was cold and a lot of us had the uncontrollable shivers while standing around waiting for our relay to start. I took the shuttle bus with Elizabeth to her 5K start and ran from there to my start. I had to tell the cheering people, who thought I was running in first place, that I was just warming up, but thank you anyway.

We got to meet the marathon legend Bill Rodgers and I took a picture of him with our 2 fast lady's. Hopefully, Elizabeth will post that picture.

Click on this link to view our results.

Say the title 5 times for fun.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Five Fast Freaks

I am excited to announce that I was invited to be a 5th member on a relay team for the Akron Marathon. The team was just put together this week and I signed up for the race yesterday. I have the privilege of running the final leg to the finish. Here is a quote from a description of:

The Finish
An Olympic-style finish in Canal Park, our beautiful AA baseball park and home of the Akron Aeros, features 9,000 seats for family and friends. For those who watched runners at the start, the 3-mile mark and the 10-mile mark, they have only a short downhill walk to arrive at Canal Park in time to watch the finish. These fans greet the runners as they enter the ballpark in right-center field and make a final circuit around the warning track to the finish line near first base. This year, fans will also be able to spot their favorite runners on the new digital scoreboard in center field.

Doesn't that sound so cool? How can I not have fun with this race?

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Hard to stomach 20 miles

First off don't laugh at me. Ok I've been reading a book titled, The miracle of garlic & vinegar. I found a recipe for a high power energy drink which was:
2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar,
2 teaspoons of honey,
mix with 8 ounces of water.
Apple cider vinegar contains 19 of the 22 necessary minerals essential for human health.

When I first read about the drink I tried it a few days ago and it tasted good. I planned to try it on my last 20 mile run before Columbus marathon for today, except I modified the recipe to about 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar, 3 tablespoons of honey and mixed it with water in my water bottle.

My wife riding on her bike was my crew support for the run. She had 1 plain water bottle and 1 miracle drink bottle in the bike bottle cages. She also carried the 2 packs of Power Bar gels.

I began to sip the miracle drink after about 25 minutes into the run. And every 15 to 20 minutes there after. At one point maybe after nine miles my wife took a sip of "the drink" and with dramatic facial expressions spit out the elixir. I couldn't understand why the dramatics.

We made it to the turnaround in good time of 1:09:21. I slurped a gel and washed it down with plain water. Not long after the turnaround my stomach was doing somersaults and feeling gassy and after 16 miles I was hurting. I counted my workout as a bad day but then I realized it was the magic potion that did me in. When we got home after running for 2:21:52 I went straight to the bathroom and relieved a couple more pounds which added to my already 6 pounds of sweat loss. I felt like $hit and when I looked in the mirror I looked it too. My lips were white from all the vinegar. I laughed. Now I understand my wife's dramatics.

Later that evening my son found the bottle that had some left in it and he began to enjoy what was left. A few hours later he complained about stomach pain. Oops, I should have dumped it right away when I got home. Poor kid. He's sleeping now.

OK, I learned my lesson. Make it right. I will still try it on my other runs and biking workouts.
Now you can laugh and make fun of me.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Season Finally of Triathlons

A week or so before the Portage Lakes Triathlon I checked the participate list and found my name on the International Elite Masters Triathlon list. For some reason I thought I signed up to race the sprint distance triathlon. In the back of my mind I was thinking I've got to run 15 miles at a 6:45 pace on Saturday and that on Sunday I'd be ok to race the sprint distance. It bugged me all week and even up to the day before yesterdays race whether to change my status from long course to short course. I decided to just run the longer race and have fun with the little extra pain.

The good the bad and the ugly:
Out of 127 overall finishers I finished the swim in 104th place. I guess I could have finished 127th but 23 other nice swimmers felt bad for me and let me pass by.

On the bike I somehow managed 57th place even though my legs didn't feel fresh. It must have been the 15 mile run the day before and moving grandma. Carrying the washing machine up and down stairs was a little heavy without a dolly.

When it was time to run all my troubles seem so far away. All the fun was kicking in and I remembered this was my last triathlon for the season so I better finish strong. I finished 6th in the run.

Now my attention and focus is on Columbus marathon which is in 4 weeks, then REST (i think).

37th Overall
3rd place in the Triathlon International Elite Master division.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Bike Bloopers!

I wish I had a video camera to show some bloopers of my recent experience on and off the bike. It would be one of those where you laugh but it really isn't funny.

The first 'nutty' thing I attempted on the bike was to put a popped chain back on the bike. One afternoon I decided that it's about time to see my chain sparkle in the sun so I gave it a good cleaning. After cleaning it the chain came undone from the front chain ring. Rather than putting it back on I had the wild idea that I could get on my bike shift the front derailer all the way over to the big chain ring and after a couple pedal rotations the chain would go back on without me getting my hands dirty. I have put the chain back on before using this method. Well, I hopped on my bike, clipped my shoes into my pedals, shifted the front derailer over, and I began to pedal like crazy. But...I wasn't going anywhere and it was one of those s-l-o-w motion moments where I could see myself falling down. Ouch! I got a nice knot on my knee. I think I was more amused at the dumb idea and made a mental note NEVER to do that again.

The second 'nutty' thing I did happened today while I was out running 15 miles with my lovely wife accompanying me on her bike. We were clipping at a good pace around 6:35 per mile. She had a jacket tied around her waist and it came undone. She needed both hands to tie the jacket and we did what we normally do when driving in the car and someone needs both hands to do something (god knows what). The other person leans over and with one hand steers the car. She took her hands off the wheel and while running next to her I grabbed the wheel with one hand and she began to tie her jacket. But...She lost balance and began to lean away from me and the s-l-o-w motion thing happened. Ouch! I felt so bad and with sorrow I apologized. She got some bumps and bruises but was ok. We immediately realized how dumb the idea was and vowed NEVER to do that again. Good thing no one was around to get a good laugh or to film any of these bike bloopers.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Run Home!

I will start when the gun goes off.
I will run for 5 miles.
Feeling good, I will run to the 10th mile.
At the 10th, I will say, "only 3 more to the half way"!
At the half way mark, 13.1 miles I will know 15 is in reach.
At 15 miles, I will say, "you've run 20 before keep going"!
At 20, I will say, "Run Home"!
The Poem ' Strategy for a marathon' by Marty Mueller.

This poem will be one of my inspirational mantra during the Columbus marathon.

I think I have enough faith in my training schedule and feel I should be physically fit for the race. But I also realize positive mental mind games will be a determining factor for a top performance. And so, I have been focusing on positive thinking and well speaking while running. I am also reading inspirational books and writing down positive thoughts to help prepare my mind for the big race. If all goes well I am looking forward to having a great race.

Follow this link for a little movie clip on the Marathon Course Preview

Sunday, September 10, 2006

A day in the park.

Yesterday, was a beautiful day in the park for a run and bike ride. Brian came over early in the morning to run 20 miles with me. The temperatures were around 65 degrees and the skies were a hazy overcast but clearing as the sun was rising. We started out from my house and ran down the hills to reach the Cuyahoga Valley Park Towpath trail. After we hit the 3 mile mark in 20 minutes we thought, 'maybe too fast' but also realized it was all down hill to get there and that the pace would eventually even out. We were feeling somewhat comfortable and agreed that mile 12 through 18 would be a concentrated effort pace. The last 2 miles up hill was to survive and see what was left in the tank. This was my 4th 20 mile training run and was my best in time and comfort. Finish time was 2:18:10 which is a 6:55 per mile pace. For my last 20 miler in 2 weeks I do not plan on bettering that time. I will savor the moment that all my marathon training is in the bank and ready for me to cash in on race day.

The afternoon was spent riding bikes on the same Towpath trail with my wife, me pulling my son on a Trail-a-bike, and a couple of friends. Before we began our 23 mile ride we enjoyed a nice lunch at Hoggy's restaurant. The ride was at a comfortable pace, which was good for my legs to recover and move out the lactate acid. We all enjoyed the time together and couldn't ask for a more beautiful day in the park!

Friday, September 01, 2006

I think it's all in my head.

These days I am finding myself amazed after my training runs. But before I get out and run I have doubts and fears of not keeping my scheduled training pace. I worry about how I could keep such a fast pace and not burn out on the run. These are some of the thoughts I felt before I did yesterdays 10 mile run. I was scheduled to run 10 miles at my "planned marathon pace".

I started the run with a first mile in 5:59. No, that is not my marathon pace. It was about 30 seconds too fast. When I start out too fast I do not yell at myself to slow down because I know eventually I will. The next few miles were around a 6:17 mile pace. It wasn't until after 5 miles that I ran at pace. I finished in 1:03:54 which was a 6:23 pace. I felt the run was tough but manageable. So, I realized my body is stronger than the doubts in my head. I'll have to remember this during the marathon.
Everyone have a great weekend.