Monday, May 30, 2011

Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson -- Ottawa Race Weekend Marathon Report

The day started at 3am. I was up and had my cantaloupe and 2 bagels with peanut butter and a cup of coffee.

Had the rest of the family up and we were on the road at 5:10 am for the hour plus ride to Ottawa.

Weather was about 16 degrees and overcast...and humid. And it did get warmer and more humid.

There were 5024 runners in the full marathon starting at 7am and 11000+ starting at 9am for the half. It was absolutely surreal looking in every direction and seeing runners of all sizes and shapes and feeling the buzz of energy making the ground vibrate.

And that was my downfall. I fed off of that and went out way tooooo fast. I was good for about the first 8 miles or so and then realized I could not keep the pace. In hindsight, I should have really throttled back...but obviously I didn’t....and I paid dearly for it.

At 10 miles, I started to get the first of the cramps that would be with me till the end of the race. My left calf started tightening up and was doing that nasty spasm thing and then the quads started to join in.

Just to let you know, I did not use the camelbak. I don’t think it would have helped much as I drank enough water and Gatorade to float a boat at the aid stations...the humidity and the fast start just did me in.

By the time we reached the half way mark, I was starting to compose poems in my head for the blog, too bad I can’t remember any of them but I’m sure they were good. They helped me get through some tough mental challenges about how goals 5, 4, 3, 2 were not going to happen.

It was about that time to that I started to notice the entertainment along the way. Lotsa bands playing and tons of people on the course cheering everybody on. Even where traffic was backed up, motorists were honking their horns in encouragement and nobody seemed to be foul about being stuck in traffic.

At about 8 miles left, I knew I was going to do it. I was not physically tired or mentally tired for that matter, my muscles were just giving up but I was not going to quit.

I got to about 6 miles left and spotted the “Boss” and “A” & “B” on the side of the road. Gotta a hug and a kiss and an “I’m so proud of you” that picked my spirits up and made me even more determined to finish.

I definitely will always remember the band singing “I Will Survive”. As I went by I did a little hand roll and finger point to the sky 3 times aka John Travolta style. There were belly dancers and cheerleaders, drummers and Dr. Seuss characters, you name it, they had it.

Check out this lovely belly dancer, what a trooper in the rain

Those last 6 miles were probably the hardest thing I have ever done. I would run for half a mile and walk for a 100 yards, and then start all over again. And I was not the only one. I saw tons of runners with the same corral start as me doing exactly what I was doing. That gave me a bit more strength as I was not the only one struggling. And as I got closer to the finish, the run distance was getting less vs. the walking time.

At ¾ of a mile, I said to hell with it, pain and all, I was going to run over the finish line. I think if that sucker was a few more 100 meters/yards away, I would have croaked. My knees felt like two fists hammering each other dead on everytime my feet hit the pavement. My mantra at this point was finish and learn for the next time.

The best part of the whole day was when I saw the clan at the finish line and I got kisses thru the fence from the family. They had all the runners in a penned in park (full and half ended close to the same time so roughly 16000 runners in one was crazy but well organized and controlled) so I had to meet up with the family after the race at a different location.

The “Boss” snapped a pick of all the human baked potatoes....

We met at the Mall after I got some yogurt and water. I was wasted and ready to go home.

To get to the wheels, we had to go up 2 sets of stairs. I got a major cramp/spasm at the top of the 2nd and had to massage my leg for a few minutes. It is probably the closest I have come to screaming in pain as an adult. Owwwwww

When we got home, the “Boss” headed for a nap and I took a look at their pictures and had a few frosty’s. After many attempts to get comfortable, I had a nap too. It was hard to lay somewhere that didn’t hurt if that makes sense. And of course, I was sleeping with my new buddy, I earned that right.

So, I have learned so much this weekend. I will do another marathon this year for sure...just maybe a bit smarter. I also have a ½ in 3 weeks and a duathlon or two to sign up for soon. Still stiff and sore this morning but filled with a sense of accomplishment. The pain will go away with Advil but the accomplishment will stick around for awhile I think.

Thanx for the support....I had lotsa time to think about my blogging buddies during the 4 hours and 32 minutes of my run. You all got me thru some hard spots.

Have a great week everybody, I know I will.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

I came, I saw, I achieved goal #1

I Adam the Boring runner would say: 

"I feel like I've been on a 3 day bender with Lindsy",

More to follow....humid, out too fast, ran/walked last 15  miles on cramped quads.

Ran the last .75 miles to the finish, I had the family cheering me on, best day ever!!!! 

Chip time = 4:32. 

Screw the other goals, I FINISHED!!!!!! 

Beer & Advil & my pillow are calling me.

Thanx for all the support.....I now have to walk 2 flights of stairs to my pillow....should take a year or so if I'm lucky!!!!

Later folks.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Apparently I'm twice the runner I thought I was...who knew?

Just a quick note to the world and then I will return to my Subterranean Dwelling to wait out the taper till Sunday.

1st – Sorry for the lack of comments on any blogs you have
written as of late. Apparently there is some issue with “comments” feature of blogger as to whether you have embedded or pop up comments enabled. Much too technical jargon for me as I always thought computers were just a fad. All I know for sure is this, “blocking a pop-up” meant something completely different when I was a teenager (insert drum ba-da-bump-bump here).

2nd – Went to Ottawa last night to get my race kit for Sunday. The first time I have been to an expo (please note Cave Dweller comment above) and everything went wonderful, or so I thought. Got my package and had a cursory look, yeah, bib is there, other stuff rattling around, probably chip and some pins. Then went to the expo where they grabbed my, the package and checked the disposable chip by waving it past a scanner. My name popped up (no pop-up blocking there) so I guess I am good to go. Well, got home last night and had a closer look at the package and lo and behold, I have 2 timing chips.

I have sent an email to the organizers asking if this is normal and should I really have 2 of them (chips that is)? The reply back was – “Shawn, 1 chip only”. That’s it, no solution or call us or anything else......just – “Shawn, 1 chip only”.  I am now thinking of changing the name of my blog to “Shawn, 1 chip only”.

Just think of the possibilities.....I will go to Subway and get a meal deal. They will ask “What kind of cookie would you like with that?”. And I would answer, “Chocolate for Shawn, 1 chip only”. I could go to England and have a Fish & 1 Chip only meal. I could be a great golfer, just get to the fringe and they’d being saying “Oh, here he comes again, Shawn, 1 chip only”. I mean really, the possibilities are endless.

So I now have another email sent out asking “What should I do?”. Wear both chips since I don’t know which one is good....or will I get 2 times.....begging the question, who’s “other” chip do I have? If I do wear both, should they be on top of each other or might that make me have 3 chips? Which makes me ask another question...did my package come in close contact with another package and since my chip was so attractive, the other chip decided to jump in with mine? So as of right now, I have no answer to this ongoing saga but it should end up interesting to say the least. I also asked the organizers to answer this question, even thought they can’t, “Why does this always happen to me”? I hope they see the humour in this....but I really am looking for a Chip answer because the pace I have set for myself is only 2-4-6-8-10-12-20 minutes off a BQ (please note earlier posts...this is goal #5). It would be a shame to have a nasty good race time and not have it show up due to some silly chip thing.

3rd – Supposed to be hot on Sunday...28° C and muggy so worrying about a BQ may be a moot point. I start at 7am and they have 17 water stations set up about every 3km or so (1.8 miles) along the route. I know the numbers don’t quite add up...but I am now wondering if I should wear the camelbak knowing there are that many stations.

So I am looking for opinions, hump or no hump?

Lastley - I can only imagine the millions of well wishes that did not get to me because of blogger comment issues....that makes all of yours that did get through that much more special to me. Thank-you and have a great weekend...for some, a great long weekend.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars. ~Les Brown

I am ready (I think).
Sunday May 29/2011 in Ottawa will be my first Marathon.
I am bib number 1950, for whatever that is worth.
Since Jan 24th, I have:
·         Done 18 weeks of training
·         83 runs
·         603.49 miles
·         88 hours, 12 minutes
·         Had an average speed of 6.8 mph
·         Burned 89,141 calories
I am in awe when I look at the miles run for those 18
 weeks.  I am proud of myself, no matter what happens
 this Sunday.

I have 5 goals:
·         FINISH
·         Break 4 hours
·         Make my Pace (8:15 mins/mile)
·         Beat my Pace
·         Meet Chris K in Boston next year
I do not think these are unrealistic.
My biggest fear is dehydration. I will take my camelback.
 An extra 2.2 lbs will not kill me considering I have been
 using it on the long runs anyways.

I have 1 more run tomorrow of about 6 miles and then I
 will start my taper.
Today’s run was great. Son “B” and I did 6.4 miles. It is
 the furthest he has ever run….he is training for a half to
 be run on Fathers Day. That will be a family affair as all
 my brothers (my sis does not run) and I will be running as
 well as various nieces, nephews and outlaws as kind of a
 reunion type thing. I am thinking he will be running with
 one of his Uncles as I have a goal to beat 1:40 for that

I am so looking forward to it as my family is scattered
 from Ontario to the Northwest Territories and we have
 not all been together in one place for at least 10 years.

So now I am relaxing…I earned it this weekend. Saturday
 was shopping and cooking, Sunday was full of cleaning and
 grass cutting, cooking and laundry (still have yet to plant
 the Hosta in the bag in the back of the picture). It is now
 my time to chill with a Vince Flynn novel, a bud light lime
 (or 2, or 3???) and a tray of finger foods (cheese, almond
 stuffed olives and fresh veggies). Have to take it easy
 after last nights feast of breaded chicken breasts
 stuffed with prosciutto and Fontina cheese, garlic mashed
 potatoes and fresh veggies… about rich!!!!
So have a great week everyone. I will be starting the mental prep after tomorrows run:

Only think of two things - the gun and the tape.  When you

 hear the one, just run like hell until you break the other.

  ~Sam Mussabini

 I look forward to giving you a great race report next



Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Bad weather always looks worse through a window. ~Author Unknown

It’s a Mad, Mad, World

I have been too busy to blog and comment (sorry) and it is going to get busier as summer rolls around. That is if you can call our weather here for the last week and a half or so summer.

Rain, single digit temps and my arch nemesis, wind.

 I can only hope that all that running into the wind will give me an extra boost should I need it in 11 days. My last race pace 10 miler was 5 miles into the wind and the Garmin guy was ahead at 4 miles. I made the turn at 5 about 11 feet ahead of him. The back 5 miles I smoked him by 350 feet. Amazing how much intestinal fortitude (and mental mind games) is required to run in that damn wind!

My training had been great up until Saturday. Put in a solid 10 miles and was supposed to do 10 on Sunday.....but the torrential downpour had started and I could not force myself to run the treadmill. So I spent the day fixing some of my neglected projects.

Monday rained again and due to getting the sons where they needed to be......

[ Insert other things that don’t have to do with running here:

The BOSS started a 4x12hr day stretch, during the week, son “A” is horseback riding and playing 3 vs 3 hockey, son “B” is playing travelling soccer and reffing soccer too. Add in cooking, cleaning and laundry for some dirty smelly boys and you start to get the picture

Enough whining, now carry on ]

....I made the run short and fast (read: wimped out early cause clothes needed to be folded...gotta keep the BOSS happy you know, or get brownie points, your choice).

Last night was a write off as more taxiing was done. Hopefully I can get in an easy 8 tonight and 10 at race pace Thursday.

Will run this weekend and then start my taper about Tuesday or Wednesday for the Sunday test. Will also cross train by cutting the mountain of grass that is growing thanx to all the rain.

On a bright note, I went to the dentist yesterday before all the driving and got a cavity free thumbs up, pretty rare for me as I have funded several kids of dentists through school via my dental work...oh the horror stories I could tell......

So that’s it in nutshell.  It’s a Mad world for me these days and the forecast just calls for more.

Ain’t life grand?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Never raise your hand to your kids. It leaves your groin unprotected. ~Red Buttons

Sing out loud in the car even, or especially, if it embarrasses your children.  ~Marilyn Penland  

This is the "BOSS" to a tee. Especially if their friends are in the car...always cracks me up cause she gets the giggles and then has to go to the bathroom.

The "BOSS" came home from 12 hours of nursing (cleaning up puke, gagging stuff and wet well as poking, prodding and sticking things into people) to have me tuck her into bed.

Son "A" wanted to get Mom jewelry.....son "B" is a you can figure out who his biggest concern is these days. So "A" and I went and got 3 huge bouquets  of flowers since I knew exactly what she wanted to wake up to.

I then went and ran a 16 miler to end the week at 47 miles. Bettered my goal pace by a bit and was just happy to get it done....I mean, it's not like I'm EMZ running 24 hours or something....hats off to you Emily, you are something else, I am truly in awe with that accomplishment. All I know is that I was running and sweating like a Mutha by the end of my run!!!! I then did a little majic in the kitchen and made breakfast/lunch for the boys and the "BOSS". Yard work for a few hours and now here I am doing this while the "BOSS" has snuck back under the covers cause she is back at it for another 12 tonight.

So I hope all you Moms had a great day. I guess I am throwback of sorts, a disciplinarian with the boys and pretty much a rules type of guy.....much like my Mom. I got spanked, pulled by my ear and had many, many, many timeouts in my room as a kid....and I love my Mom to bits....I just don't piss her off...I learned as did my brothers and sister. She's tough as nails but soft like butta when needed. If you ask her what her greatest accomplishment is, she would say this:

"None of my kids came back to live at home after they left, they are all self sufficient, productive members of society (4 boys and a little girl), honest, upstanding, have backbone and integrity. What could be better than that as your legacy?" 74 years young this year and still walks a ton of miles every week. Love you Mom!

SIDE NOTE: My Dad was and is always smart enough to say "Go ask your Mother!!!!"

Have a good week all...forecast calls for sun and then a bit more sun. 

Friday, May 6, 2011

Solitude never hurt anyone. Emily Dickinson lived alone, and she wrote some of the most beautiful poetry the world has ever known... then went crazy as a loon. ~Matt Groening, The Simpsons, spoken by the character Lisa Simpson

I run alone....until the racing comes along.

And then I run alone amongst a whole bunch of other runners.

I am okay with this.

Why bring this up? Well, as some may have noticed in my last post, I PR'd my 1/2 Marathon time by 3 minutes and 35 seconds. The whole reason for going all out on this 1/2 was to try and get a better baseline pace for my 1st Marathon in 23 days.

When I put my time in from my best 1/2 from last year (note...only 2 1/2's last year), the MacMillan pace calculator spit out an 8:33 mins/mile pace. I tried to train at that pace and pretty much drove myself crazy trying to run that slow.

If that is your pace, awesome, I am not trying to slag any 8:33 mins/mile pace runners. I am merely stating that I had a problem with that number....and therefore followed my heart and set a new Marathon pace of 8:15 to train at.

So back to the new 1/2 time.....1:42:38. Plug that into the old pace calculator and come up with a full Marathon pace of 8:16 mins/mile. Can you say CHA-CHING!!!!!!!!! I was off by a second according to some MacMillan guy....who I trust because us Scottish folk tend to be a bit clansy (men who wear skirts tend to be like that).

 So why the solitary stuff?....welll, the son's track coach who ran the 5 k last weekend (1st in age...I guess that's why he is the track coach)...made mention about how lonely the course was for runners...and he was right. Not many spots that people were cheering for runners....cause it was just not that type of course.

Did not bother me at all. I do run by myself and always have. I enjoy others company but it just never seems to happen when I run...oh well, thats life.

Just a couple of other quick notes:

  • I really enjoyed the comments from the last post that stated I should have won something for my age group. Thank-you. We have some awesome old guy runners around here...the top guy in the 45-49 age group ran a 1:21:31.....smoked me by 22:07. the guy ahead of me was a full minute and 9 seconds faster than the Immortal.
  • Some numbers changed from last week, I was 4/5 for my age group and was 26/64 overall for the 1/2. 19/31 for men.
  • Todays run was into a nasty ass wind gusting up to 20-25 miles or so. Was nice to have a big poosh on my booootocks on the leg home.
  • 8 tomorrow, 16 Sunday and that 16 will be my last long run before the 29th. I cannot wait.
So there ya go folks. It has been an up and down week, but that is how life goes some times.

Lastly, If you don't follow this blog , you should. Adam always cracks me up and he is also...a solitary runner.

Are you a groupie runner or not???????

Have a great weekend, rumor has it that spring is coming soon!!!