Saturday, April 30, 2011

Run to end MS Half-Marathon Race Report

Runners just do it - they run for the finish line even if someone else has reached it first.  ~Author Unknown 

Started the morning at 6am, stuffing a bagel and a banana  down my throat along with a  Tassimo  Cappuccino. Was the highlight of my day before the race started as I was sleep deprived by the dumb(er)  cat that decided since the "BOSS" was back from her girls trip to Atlantic City, she should make my feet the  center of her bed to keep us company. Tossed and turned all that sucked!!!!

Got a kiss and a hug and a "good luck" on the way out the door at 8 for the race start at 9. Nice  wick free shirt  for doing the race along with a reusable bag and some snacks. 514 runners for the morning between the 1/2, 5k, and 10 k runs (over $30,000 raised for MS research...yay).

Weather =  Awesome.  Sunny and cool,  little or no wind.

I went out quick.....all of 64 runners in the 1/2 that I had to clear you know!!!!  I knew the course like the back of my hand as I have either run it in training or rode my bike on it for the last 10 years. Along the St. Lawrence River, pretty if you have time to look.
So back to the going out quick. Paid for that! Started to cramp at about 1 1/2 miles. My left calf felt like it was a piece of steel. Slowed my pace  a bit and luckily had a  runner pass me and then I matched her pace for about 2 miles. The cramp finally let go so I  got it  in gear and  started pushing it a bit. I passed my pacer and  2 more runners before the 1/2 was finished. Also made sure I had 2 water cups for that "pacer" who helped me when she crossed the finish line. She looked at me like I was a stalker until I told how she inadvertently helped me when I really needed it.

Therefore, I PR'd.  Finished at 1:42:38:8    Bettered my best by 3:35. I held a 7:45 pace for much of the race but I probably ended up around a 7:50 mins/mile at the end. I was very pleased with this as I have put in lots of miles...and it is nice to see results show up in minutes, not seconds. 

Ended up 5/6 for my age group and 26th out of 64 total, 19 out of 31 for gender.

So now I have to rework my goal pace for my 1st Marathon at the Ottawa Race Weekend, May 29th. Will have about 40,000 plus runners to get out in front of that day...hahahahaha

But we will worry about that later. For now I am relaxing with a few of these:

And a few of these:

I have also been busy this week so did not catch upon all the blogs I follow...hope everybody had a great week and if you were racing this weekend, hope you nailed it. 

Taking son "B" to a skate park in Montreal tomorrow for his belated bday present with a few of his buddies. Should be fun as I will go beer shopping while they "grind"......and then I will get back to the "grind" of training on Monday.....enjoying the hell out of it because I know I am going forward.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend folks...and please cheer for my Flyers!!!!!!

Later eh...(my bed is calling me for a nap!!!)...shawn

Friday, April 22, 2011

Wojo: My old man didn't believe in holidays. He thought they were slothful. He used to say, "If the Lord can get up and move a rock, so can you!" [edit]

As a kid, I loved TV. I still love TV and I miss many of the shows I grew up watching.

I remember Red Skeleton on Monday nights as well as The Carol Burnett Show. Harvey Korman and Tim Conway always cracked me up, especially when you knew Tim was just deliberately trying to make Korman laugh. 

They always got to me no matter what. I just had to throw those links in, they still make me giggle. Sketch comedy, live TV at its best. I also loved Barney Miller, especially the brownies episode. And who could ever forget, the Classic WKRP Turkey drop

So......this has nothing to do with running...but it does have to do with the fact that I had/have to work both Good Friday and Easter Monday this year. I am not very religious but I do enjoy the extra time a get to spend with my family over the holiday. I guess my catch phrase this year is from Wojo from Barney Miller who said (when asked about working Easter Weekend), 

"My old man didn't believe in holidays. He thought they were slothful. He used to say, "If the Lord can get up and move a rock, so can you!"

So there ya go. Got in a great 9 miles last night at pace and did not let that wind get the best of me. After working today, got 7 in at a relaxed pace and in running shorts and a t-shirt....woooop, woop. 8 tomorrow, 16 Sunday and then I will start to take it easy before my 1/2 next Saturday.

Hope spring is headed your way everybody, its about time.

Do you remember these shows I used to watch? Am I the only one who still finds this stuff funny?

BTW....Harvey Korman and I share the same bday...who knew? 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Weather forecast for tonight: dark. ~George Carlin

That in a nutshell explains today's forecast.

Dark and crappy out there today, happy I got my run in yesterday afternoon in the sun.

Glad I did not go to Boston this past weekend (note: Blatant Sarcasm). Would have missed all the fun of being sick and watching my cold start in my throat and migrate to my sinus's. Yippeeeee. Hence, I missed out on 28 miles of running for last Fri/Sat & Sunday. The only good part about missing the runs was the fact that the forecast on the weekend was the same as today's.....crappy!  Must admit that the couch was easier to lay on when it was pouring outside.

So hopefully some blue skies tomorrow as I have a 9 miler at race pace planned, an easy 7 for Friday and then an 8 and a 16 for Saturday/Sunday.

Also have a 1/2 on the 30th, still going to go all out and recheck my MP for the May 29th Marathon.......and I hope the forecast is Sunny....with no wind.

Congrats to all of those folks who ran Boston. I am impressed and jealous at the same time.

Carry on......

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Garmin Dude-1, Shawn -0

Technically, that should be Shawn - 200+ , Garmin Dude – 2.

Went out last night for an easy 6 miler. No problem right?

Left leg cramped up between the knee and the ankle after 2 miles. So I considered running through it and then said no. I considered stopping altogether...and then said no. But I did stop, did a little magic massage and lo and behold, finished my run. Not at pace, but I finished. Hence the Garmin dude got the better of me again.

Probably has not helped that the “Boss” and son “B” have birthdays within 2 days of each other so my diet (beer/pizza/wings/cake/pizza/beer/etc...) has been a bit inconsistent and the temps have dropped again, and it was wet...blah, blah, blah

I have to admit, I have not felt the greatest since my bonk on Saturday. I started that run at 196.6 lbs and ended it on the scale at 188.8 lbs. That’s what the digital scale said...yikes. That’s not perspiration folks, that’s sweat!!!!

So no big deal on the 2 losses. I see a bigger goal that will be completed tonight. I WILL break 1400 miles of running in less than a 1 year period (1 year = Apr 20). My 9 miler at Marathon pace tonight will push me past that milestone.

To say I am proud of myself is an understatement. I earned every sweat stained mile and no one can ever take that away from me. Not that anybody would want my sweat stained know what I mean.

With that said, got up this morning with a sore throat. Hope it is just from too much talking (it’s what I do for a living) and nothing else. Guess I will find out sooner than later.

And hey, if Garmin Dude wins be it. I figure i’ll always be the winner.... just for getting off my A$$ and going for a run.

And on this Thursday, I am thankful for that.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Fall seven times, stand up eight. ~Japanese Proverb

Being the Dumbass, Idiot, Adventurous runner that I am, I decided to follow some great advice from Jamoosh with respect to my future Marathon pace.  His a trial run... my 16 miler to run at an 8:15 pace and see how things worked out since I was questioning my future MP. Unfortunately, I decided to do that on 29 mile legs and there ya go. No fault to Jamoosh, I just am the impatient type of guy and figured as I was lacing up the sneaks Saturday morning,why not today?

The cool thing is, I held a 8:10 pace for about 12 miles. At 12.5 miles, I ran out of water. At 14 miles, I stopped 14.5 miles, I did the walk/run / "I know I'm in trouble trot". 

Should I be I knew the risk I was taking on tired legs and I paid the price. But I also learned when my "safe' stop point was. I know my limit...and hey, it was a training run...better to bonk on this one than the race.

All in all, a great weekend. I was shredded after my 8 today. The "Boss's" party may have had a bit to do with it. Not blaming her, she did not force beer down my throat. But she kept looking at me with that "Thank-You" it feels good to still be able to throw her a curveball once in awhile. 

So a new number for most miles in a week.....and lesson learned. Great things rise from the ash's?????? 

Have a great week all...I know I will.

When was the last time you bonked?????? 

Friday, April 8, 2011

Most people run a race to see who is fastest. I run a race to see who has the most guts. ~Steve Prefontaine

I went out for my run yesterday with the goal of running an 8:15 marathon pace for 8 miles. The Boss joined me on the bike and thought the up tempo was did I.

That’s because I ended up doing the 8 miles at a 7:57 pace which was equal to my 1st ½ MP.....and I felt great. A bit of

wind but the temps were nice and the sun was shining.

This has me re-thinking that whole MP thing again. The reasoning behind that is:

  • No fueling or water on this run

  • Still a bit bundled up for the temps

  • No taper before this run

  • Did this after running 6 miles the day before and 49 miles the week before

  • I could have kept going at pace for awhile longer

  • My Winterman ½ was 44 seconds slower than the Army ½......and that was in the cold with almost no fueling

  • I trust my instincts

I have also started playing a game with the Garmin Pacer. I set up the workout function and race the pacer. For whatever reason, I hate to lose to that thing. So I try to get a few 100 feet ahead at the beginning and then try to maintain that lead for the rest of the run. Yesterday, I beat that little crapper by 0.27 mile. Whooooooooawwwwwwww!!!!!!!

I have also started cooling down after running by starting a warm shower, turning it progressively colder and then filling up the tub till I’m cooled off. No muscle pain, legs feel great after and so do I. Thanx Kate

So, I have a ½ scheduled for the end of the month that I am supposed to run at MP. I have been thinking about this for awhile and I have decided I will do it full out for a PR and then plug that time in the pace calculator and go from there. I figure I still have a month to go after that to tweak. My big fear is having a ton left in the tank at the end and I could have gone out and done a better job....but........and I have to remember the marathon plan priorities:

  1. Finish

  1. Sub 4 hour

  1. Make my pace

  1. Beat my pace

  1. Join Chris in Boston next year

Sometime this weekend I have to do an 8 and a 16. Supposed to be warm but wet on Sunday. Might be cool to run in the rain again. Sure beats the hell out of snow and cold winds.

I will probably be a basket case before the summer is done with all the math I am doing in my head. Oh well, it could be worse......I could be figuring out my chip to beer ratio while rolling around on the couch looking for the sweet spot.

How often does everybody else change their race plans? Are you constantly adjusting “The Plan”?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I got you Babe!

I was supposed to do a “strength” set of runs on I am supposed to do every Tuesday until my Marathon. Well, that’s not going to happen.

See, around here, Tuesday is cheapie movie night. So I have given up doing Tuesday runs and will now do a moderate run on Wednesdays (instead of that being my rest day) and then do my Marathon pace runs on Thursdays and continue on with the rest of the schedule.

We have 2 lads who like the movies and to keep the “BOSS” happy, I will now take one in once in awhile too. I figure they sacrifice quite a bit for me as my runs are getting longer and more frequent these days.

I like going to the movies but get uptight about a few things...such as

  • I don’t like going to the late show on cheapy night. TOO MANY PEOPLE who are like cattle

  • I won’t go to a new show in it’s 1st week.....once again.
      TOO MANY PEOPLE and  I hate being crowded

  • I don’t like crowds

Do you see a recurring theme here? All that being said, I don’t like crowds. I don’t like being jostled and I don’t like being crammed up like a cow in a cattle car.

This does not seem to bother me too much for the ½ Marathons I have been in. I think it is because of the common goal that we are all going the same way when we start....not all different this 1st event

We went to “The Source Code” last night. Sat with the “BOSS” as the lads went to sit as far away as possible from us with their friends. I enjoyed the movie. It was not too crowded and there was no mooing going on in the theatre...a most pleasant experience.

Funny thing was, this morning while eating breakfast, I was thinking about “The Source Code” and the parallels to “Groundhog Day” when “I Got You Babe” started playing on the radio (insert Wayne's World Intro here...nah nah nuh nah). Too weird. Wonder what’s in store for me today?

So, the rest of my week calls for:

Wed – 6m
Thurs – 8m @ Marathon Pace
Fri – 7m
Sat – 8m
Sun – 16m

All this around Soccer practice, Track practice, Horse Riding lessons, going out Saturday night for the ”BOSS’s” Bday (shhh, it's a secret) and then Sunday for a little quieter get together with friends for Wings and Beers. The nice thing is, I looked at the extended forecast and see double digits for the weather so that should not make things too miserable.

Do you have phobias, hate crowds? Or should I just lighten up?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

There is a first time for everything

Well...another 1st,

I did 49 miles in training this week. I was so excited I had a beer with my post run breakfast after my 20 minute cold shower/bath. It really is recovery food!

The 'Boss" once again got on the bike and did circles around me and accompanied me on the "farm run". Too bad that g#$@%^$%amned wind was up again. I could see the heart rate stats from Garmin go up about every place the wind picked up or anytime I tried to converse with the "Boss". I think there is a lesson there somewhere :).

So todays other big news, my Tulips are poking thru the mulch and I actually have a couple of flowers blooming. Yay....I love gardening and flowers and crap...Chris will probably take me off the Manly Man follower list but hey, that's who I am.

Reminded of an incident that happened with son "B" when he was a little guy (about 10-12 years ago). We were at a mall, just him and I and I bought him an ice cream. He sat very politely on the bench and finished his ice cream and got cleaned up real well. On the otherside (behind us) of the bench, an old lady was sitting there (she must have been about 80). My lad stood up on the bench and went over and tapped her on the shoulder. She turned around and he gave her a big hug and a kiss. Her comment.....

"Oh my, it has been such along time since I was kissed by such a handsome young man!!"

It was one of the most spontaneous things I have ever seen in my life. He is still a play fair and everybody is included kinda kid. Maybe it is the month of April but it seems spring brings out the best of everybody.

Have a great week folks, enjoy your miles and hopefully some sunshine!

When was the last time you did something just for the hell of it?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Are you a random runner?

Happy Saturday...yeah

I put in a 10 miler today, the "BOSS" rode her bike beside me to keep me company. It was as windy as hell as we did the first 5 into it so as not to deal with it on the way back. It was pretty funny to have her talking to me and of course because of the wind...I could not hear a I did  a lot of nodding. I was just happy she decided to come out as she puts in a ton of shifts as a Nurse so we don't get many Saturdays together.

Amidst the chatter, I started wondering if every runner actually plans their routes? I have about 6 or 7 that I can do depending on the wind, distance and hill work. I always wear the Garmin because I know someday when I croak, all that data will be there to prove I was nuts to run that much and the "Boss" will let everybody know she was right I like to keep track of all my miles.

Luckily, I live on the East end of town so I can run on the bike paths, run west thru suburbia, run east through farm land and along the river most anytime I want. I like to shake it up a lot but my biggest concern is always that damn wind. I hate the wind during a run. For me, it sucks the life out of me.

What element makes you nuts? Please feel free to use the Periodic table to help you make your choice.

Also...please note the get yours, check out this site......

Dion did a great job for me...thanx 

Friday, April 1, 2011

The race is not always to the swift, but to those who keep on running. ~Author unknown

Time for a real post.

Like most everything this last month, my posts have been a rush job. No real thought put into them, just get the quick note in to ease the guilt of not doing a good job let people know you are still alive.

I think there are times during your life when you go on autopilot. You get the job done but put no real effort into it. I think everyone can look back at the end of a day, a week, a month and even years and see when they just slid through life without any effort. 

I sometimes think that is my tag line:

“If you would have put in a bit more effort son, it could have been Golden”.

This past March was one of those months that I was in cruise control. Call it the “blahs”, the "blues" or SAD, call it whatever you want. I just didn’t give a rat’s arse about anything! I knew things would get better, I just didn't know when.

I was running, but I wasn’t running......does that make sense?

I mean, I was not laying on the couch eating chips and hoho’s and drinking beer, I did put in the miles. They were done because they needed to be done, not necessarily because I wanted to do them. Kinda like those nasty things in life that you have to deal with (but dread) because life goes on and it just has to be done.

When I started running, I had a goal to lose weight. That is now accomplished. I have learned how to control my eating (somewhat) and do the regular running to keep things in check.

I then got a new goal, my first Marathon (now less than 2 months away, May 29th). I have been putting in the miles
because I know if I don’t, I will suck...big time. In almost all aspects of life, fear and embarrassment are great motivators.

So, on paper for March, I did 129.36 miles, had an average HR of 144 bpm, burned 19331 calories and an average speed of 6.9 mph.

A lot of those miles were done on autopilot, no real effort....just get er done. But in reflection, I realize that that in itself is an accomplishment. I also understand that I could have just said to hell with it and layed on the couch and eaten chips and hoho’s, drank beer and been in bliss thrown all my hard work down the drain.

This morning, I looked at my efforts put into my Marathon training so far:

309.93 miles, average HR of 145 bpm, burned 44015 calories and an average speed of 6.8 mph.

Then I looked at my Garmin numbers to date

200 runs: 1304.91 miles, 193 hours, Elevation gain of 18,881 feet, avg speed of 6.8 mph, avg HR 145 bpm, burned 195,258 calories, max speed 20.9 mph (probably from running down some big ass hill in Vermont), max avg HR 167 BPM.

I then gave myself a pat on the back, cut myself some slack, and thought, this is “Golden”.

They are just numbers...but they are my numbers, I earned them. I persevered when I could have quit and I am proud of them. So what if some are on autopilot, they still got done and that work will pay off in the end.

So I am glad that the March Madness is over for another year. I am back on track and am enjoying my runs again....much attributed to the vacation to Florida and an 8 mile run on the beach. I survived another winter....fitter, healthier and the happiest I have been in years.

Happy spring folks!!!

Do you suffer from March Madness?