Sunday, October 25, 2009

Week 11 : 18 Miles - Awesome Baby!

Sometimes it’s with our eyes closed that we find our sight. Sometimes it’s in the darkness we see the light.
- The Wedding, I'll Sleep When I'm Dead

Week 11 is here. 8 weeks 7 weeks (bad math) to "The Rock." Still working on trying to stretch out my IT Band. My 5 miles on Wednesday was a little rough, but I made it through. On Thursday, I decided to stop my 8 miler at 3 miles to give my knee a little rest. Tried to run a bit Friday morning, but the knee was still feeling flared up. I decided to ride my bike to keep up the fitness level.

I also have discovered a new technique in battling this IT Band pain:

And it freakin' hurts! You just roll your leg up and down the roller and it loosens up the scar tissue that has tightened up to make your knee hurt. Since you put most of your body weight down on it, it's like a "super-deep" massage, but it sure doesn't feel like a massage. Maybe when you're done, but man... It does seem to be helping though.

Week 11 Runs:

Wed: 5 miles
Thur: 3 miles
Fri: bike ride to save the IT Band
Sun: 18 miles (2hr 49min 22sec ~ 9:24 per mile pace)

In running 18 miles, I ran the length of Corpus Christi Island! When you think about it like that, it really puts things into perspective.

My knee started hurting a little bit around mile 2, but I kept running and it went "away" again like during my 17 miler last week. I just kept cruising along until I had a thought - "Just what time is Amanda going to have to leave for work?" So I made a quick pit-stop at mile 16 1/2 to make sure she wasn't going to leave before I could finish up. She was still asleep and gave me a get-the-heck-outta-here, so I headed back out to finish the last mile and a half. Wow my legs were hurting! It took me a few strides to get going again but I made it up to speed and finished the whole 18.

Had to put in a pic of Dickie V for the "Awesome Baby" reference.

Did I mention I started the run at 4:30 am?? Yeah that was interesting. Now, not just running the marathon is crazy, but I get up in the middle of the night to go running...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Week 10 : Mileage Starts to Pile Up!

Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”- Ephesians 5:19-20

Thanks to Gary, Mary, & Jake for the donation!

Well, here we are at week 10 and the miles are really starting to add up. And what do ya know, but my body decides to have another little tweak. My Wednesday run was just peachy. Then, on Thursday, didn't get up in time to go before the wife headed off to work. So I figured I could just grab the jogging stroller and get my 8 miles in. It was a great idea until my knee started hurting.

I iced and stretched and tried to get my 4 miles in for Friday, but 1.2 miles was all I could muster. By all accounts it was a common runner injury known as IT Band syndrome. Basically the muscle that goes from your hip down to the outside of your knee gets really tight and makes the knee start hurting while you run. So I iced and I stretched and I iced some more...

Week 10 Runs:

Wed: 4 miles
Thur: 8 miles
Fri: 1.2 miles...
Sun: 17 miles (2hr 41min 57sec ~ 9:31 min. per mile)

I started off on the 17 miler without much problem. About 2 miles into the run, there it was - like someone poking me in the side of my knee every time I took a step. I decided to tough it out and it seemed to come and go. By the time I got to mile 5 or 6 it had either just become numb or I had stretched out my muscles enough for the pain to dissipate. The run felt good and it feels good to keep upping the miles - just hope I can nip this little injury in the bud before the big race.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Week 9 : Rainy Week Ends with an "Easy" 11 Miler

To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. - Romans 2:7

Running in the rain is nice occasionally. It's fun to have something to worry about other than just hearing your own huff 'n' puffs down the street. The only drawback is having large raindrops wack ya in the eyeball while you're trying to keep the pace. All in all, it was a good week. The midweek runs were good with a nice 7 mile pace run. I really am trying to keep my pace runs under 9:00 miles in order to have a marathon time under 4 hours. I do wonder when it comes raceday, what I will do. I don't want to go out too fast for fear of totally pooping out down the stretch. That's right, I said pooping. But, I don't want to start too slow and finish even slower. I think my best bet is going to be lining up near a pace team and doing my best to keep pace. Maybe if I underestimate, I can take off and leave the pace team in the dust! We'll see...

Week 11 Runs:

Tue: 4 miles
Wed: 7 miles (pace run @ 8:43 avg. pace)
Thur: 4 miles
Sat: 11 miles ~ 1 hr 42 min. 36 sec. - 9:23 avg. pace

Well, 11 miles didn't seem so scary this time as I've conquered the 14 and 15 mile distances since. It was a nice little run and I felt good after. It's kind of funny to say/hear myself saying 11 miles was a "little" run. The long runs don't worry me so much any more. I have just gotten into a mode of heading out the door and finishing it. I feel like I'm prepared and I know what I have to do, I just have to train my body to make the whole distance. When I'm finished with my long runs, I find myself thinking, "Only 'x' more miles to the full marathon distance. I can do this thing!" Definitely keeping positive through this process.

I'm good enough, I'm strong enough, and doggone it, I'm gonna finish this thing!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Week 8 : Why would anyone ever want to run 26 miles?

and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was. - Mark 1:34

Another donation! Thanks Smith family! You are mucho appreciated! Just one more sentence with an exclamation mark! :P

My lovely wife recently made a statement, "Don't know why anyone would want to run 26 miles." I thought, "Hey, wait a minute! I'm running twenty-six POINT TWO miles!?!?" I think for me, when started this running thing, the thought of running a marathon seemed like the ultimate goal. When I was just getting up to running a 5K distance, the marathon loomed in my mind as an almost mystical event. I kept the running up and now here I am, smack dab in the middle of training for my 1st marathon race. I wanted to achieve the goal of running the marathon. I want to not just finish, but finish strong. I am taking in as much advice as I can get - I am going to enjoy this first experience and not expect too much. However I REALLY want to run a sub 4 hour race. And why wouldn't you want to run through confetti??

On to this week's training. The midweek runs were good. Not a whole lot to report there. More battling with the wierd Texas yo-yo "Fall" weather than anything.

Week 8 Runs:

Tue: 4 miles
Wed: 7 miles
Thur: 4 miles
Sat: 15 miles ~ 2 hr. 20 min. - 9:20 per mile avg. pace

Week Total: 30 miles

So I have hit yet another milestone! 15 miles goes down like a ton of bricks. It seems so long ago that I was really worried about that 11 miler in week 4. Now as the long runs keep going up in mileage, I just tell myself, "Only 'x' more miles than last week - just finish it!" It feels awesome to mark off the training days and know I'm just a few weeks closer. 10 more weeks...

Also in my training, I have been trying Clif Shot Gels for that mid-run energy shot. Mainly because that is what is provided at mile 19 of the marathon. I'm not a real big fan of gels in the first place because of the texture and I had really not tried any since my high school football days. My assessment of the 3 flavors I've tried so far:

*Blech Meter - 5 Blechs = Most Gross / 1 Blech = Least Gross

Mocha: Blech Blech Blech Blech
- Pretty awful. Only saving grace is it has a bit of caffiene in it for a little extra pep.

Vanilla: Blech Blech Blech
- This one's tolerable, but it's orange and that's just strange for vanilla.

Razz: Blech
- The winner so far! It may just be me, but fruity flavors just work a little better for me.