Redemption

20 miler in the books!!!  Man it feels great.  The run was in the same basic area as the 17 miler, exept this time there was no blizzard to contend with.  I also made sure I drank plenty of water the entire time and used two packages of shot blocks.  I was able to complete the entire run nonstop (except for the necessary bathroom and water/refill stops).  I was also able to maintain a decent pace, pretty much keeping up with the grandaddy long legs of the bunch, David and Greg….that is until we had three miles left and David decided to see what he was made of and Greg maintained his pace while mine started to fade.  This feels great, and is a very important confidence booster for me after my lackluster 17 mile performance.  The last 3 miles were definately all about keeping one foot infront of the other and going through the running motions (even if I was barely moving faster than a brisk walking pace). 

Everyone else rounded the last corner shortly after I finished and I have to say I’m very proud of everyone in the group for being able to finish the run.  I also want to give a big thanks to those that provided water and post race bagels. 

The day after the hardest day of my life…sick…concerns…long blog…get comfy

Ok, so it’s been a while since my last post.  I won’t bother making up for lost time, but I will sum up a few things.  Last weekend I ran my first race ever.  Greg, Zach, Taylor and myself all participated in the Anthem 5k in Louisville.  Everyone did well and finished in the top 1/4 (or better) of all runners.  The Monday before that was when I had a bad ankle sprain (which is still tender when I rotate my foot the wrong way).  I went out of town that week and was still too sore to run the mid-week 10 miler.  So, besides a 7 miler last Thursday, the longest run prior to yesterdays 17 miler was the 15 miler two weeks ago…not good for the training. 

Yesterday was by far the hardest thing, both physically and mentally, I’ve ever gone through.  Friday and Saturday provided the biggest snow storm we’ve had in central KY in some time.  When we got to the park Saturday morning, the neighborhood roads had not been cleared, but as Chuck put it, this was not just about running 17 miles, it was a quest…something we could tell our grandkids about.  Mike, Zach and Bobby decided to put the run off until today…probably a smart move. 

The first 3 or so miles were actually kind of fun…like an adventure.  At about the 3 mile mark, David asked me how I felt and if I thought I could do 14 more….at the time I felt good and said I believe I can….boy did I have some news coming.   By the time we got to about mile 7 or so I realized this run was taking its toll on me.  It was at that time that I took half of my only package of shot block energy.  Just as we were finishing the first loop, my feet went out from under me and before I knew what happened I was on my rump (feels a little bruised today, but not bad).  At the halfway point I was already physically exhausted, so I took the remainder of my energy pack.  It was also at this time that I realized I was getting pretty dehydrated.  I could only pee about two tablespoons and the color was extremely dark and orange/yellow…not good. 

By mile 10, my body was pretty much shot, and it was at this time that I started getting very bad chafing (sp?) going on in my upper, inner thigh area.  It was a struggle to even put one foot infront of the other.  The pain and fatigue were setting in quickly and hard.  I had to walk several times for the last 7 miles.  I also could not get enough water to drink…thanks Greg for giving me your water bottle.  I mentioned to Taylor how exhausted I was and he agreed and mentioned that he was also chafing and in pain.  He also mentioned something else that hadn’t occured to me.  When running in the snow, you are using almost every muscle in your body to stablize yourself.  When he said that, it hit me that not only were my legs extremely exhausted, but also my entire back and shoulders.  Chuck and Taylor really stuck it out with me for about the last 7 miles;  encouraging me to run some and walk some.  Taylor actually came up with the idea that we’d run for 5 minutes and walk for one….everytime he said it was time to run, it was like someone was punching me in the face. 

At about the 15.5 mile mark, we realized we didn’t know where we were.  So, we wandered around for a while until we found a nice lady to tell us how to get where we were going.  At this time I must have looked to that lady like someone on psychodelic drugs.  Looking back on it, being as dehydrated and exhausted as I was, I was probably in that state of mind. 

The ride home was also an adventure because the exhaustion actually caused me to have a hard time staying awake.  My eyes were heavy most of the ride home.  I took about 3 naps yesterday afternoon for a combined 7 hrs.  BTW, I weighed myself yesterday morning (before the run) and when I got home…dropped 3 lbs…that’s a lot of weight to lose in that short of time.

I’ve got to give mad props to Chuck and Taylor for hanging back with me and helping me struggle to the finish.  Sorry if I held you all back.  I hope you all realize what it means to me that you all did that. 

This morning I was physically ill from about 12 am until around 11ish.  I assume it was just a bug…or did I get something from Doug (my boss who showed up to work Thursday after being sick in a hotel room for 2 days while on a business trip)? 

A lot of feelings are running through my head as I write this blog.  I can’t figure out why I was so dehydrated.  I drank probably a gallon of water Friday.  Was the dehydration the cause of my exhaustion?  Afterall, even though I hadn’t had a real long run in two weeks, I only missed a 10 and  4 miler, but to make up for it, I went on an extremely difficult mountain bike ride for 4.5 hrs last sunday.  The chafing was pretty bad (got some blood from it), but was it really that bad?  Did I not have enough energy blocks?  Probably not, but was that really it?  Was it the snow?  Everyone else did ok with the snow.  Did I already have the bug that made me so sick this morning and was it already affecting me? Was it a combination of everything?  I feel like I’ve proven I can do this, the 15 miler was tough, but not too bad and I felt like I finished fine…this time, though, I only got to about 10 miles before I felt like I hit the wall.  What happened?

15 in the books….4 miler….injury

Saturday’s run was another furthest for all but one of the runners (David’s already accomplished his first marathon).  15 miles is certainly a long way, but we stuck to the plan and maintained a reasonable pace and got through it in roughly 2.5 hrs.

As for today’s follow-up run, it was the easiest run to date no matter what the distance.  Michael and I took off after work for a quick 4 miler.  Our pace was roughly 9 minute and 3 seconds per mile.  My heart rate never got up high and the breathing was by far the best it’s been.  Our pace easily could have been faster except for one minor (I hope) injury.  I rolled my ankle stepping off the curb w/in the first mile.  I’m icing it now and have taken some ibuprofen to try to keep the swelling down…seems to be working, but it’s tender.  Hopefully it’ll be better tomorrow.  I plan to leave work early and go to Greg’s for the 10 miler (early, but due to a last minute work trip, I may have no choice if I want to get it in).

That’s all folks….

-Papacrouse 

Need for speed

Surprisingly, today’s 4 miler was easy going.  I didn’t know what to expect after Saturday’s mini-marathon.  All systems were “a go” today, and I felt the need for speed.  I avoided major hills today…not all hills, just the really large one’s I’ve been running the last week or so.  I purposely pushed the pace today just for a little mix-up in the training. 

BTW, I found this interesting article today for anyone looking to pick up the pace a little:  http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-238-263–12079-1-1-2,00.html  , so hit those hills…..

-Papacrouse

Mini Marathon….hardest run for me to date

I’m proud to say that in roughly a month and a half I’ve gone from complete couch potato to mini-marathoner.  It’s hard to believe that’s possible, but obviously it is. 

This run, however, was a slap in the face.  All the hill training I’ve done lately would have seemed to be to my advantage today, but that wasn’t the case.  There’s no amount of training that could have helped me today.  My worst running nightmares came true today and made me contemplate many times about giving up and walking.  I won’t go into any embarrassing details, except to say the pain was not in my legs. 

With that said, I’ve got to give much thanks to Mr. Chuck for sticking with me as I struggled through a very painful run.  We traded places back and forth for a while on the return route, and just knowing I had someone by my side helped me push through the pain.  It’s obvious, as a team it doesn’t make much sense for everyone to try to stay at the same pace, but it’s nice to know that no man will ever be left behind.  Thanks Chuck.

As for the run, it was a roller-coaster throughout. I’ve got to think that all this hill training will be to our advantage come marathon day.  As for the view of beautiful horse farms…I didn’t notice.  For the most part, for me, it was an effort in itself to keep one foot infront of the other without doubling over in pain. 

Here’s hoping for a more regular week with a big rebound next weekend.

Oh, I almost forgot.  I think everyone is doing great and I’m proud to be a part of this team full of iron wills.  Every member of the marathon team that was there on the first day of training is still with us, and that says a lot about this special group.  The percentage of people that have ever run a marathon is very small, and to think that 100% of our group is still here 6 weeks and 117 miles in is extraordinary.

Cheers!

-Papacrouse

Still climbing hills…still loving it

The roads were for the most part all cleared up tonight for my 5 miler.  A few patches of black ice, but I was able to spot them in advance.  The sidewalks were still covered with snow and ice, though, so I couldn’t run from my house to downtown, so instead I drove downtown and headed out from there.  I tackled two big hills early in the run, and then settled in for a relatively easy run.  The two big hills were within the first two miles, and even though this is the part of the run that typically gives me the most trouble until I get good and warmed up, the hills, though steep and long, didn’t give me too much trouble.  BTW, the standard deviation for tonights 5 miler was 97.084 (for those still keeping count at home).  It’s almost like I’m looking to challenge myself everytime out with larger and longer hills (that’s good, right?)….makes things interesting anyway.  I’ve got 5 more hills coming out of downtown frankfort that I still need to tackle before the marathon….these are the real beasts, though.  

elevation21.jpg

Plan B

So much for running 4 miles on Monday.  After reviewing all weather reports I’d seen throughout the day, I didn’t expect to see what had occurred in Frankfort by the time I got home.  When I left the office, there was a flake or two coming down.  When I got to the parking garage the snow started falling rapidly.  By the time I got to Frankfort, there was at least an inch of snow on all the roads.  What happened to the streets and road personnel?  Just where are my taxes going?  It was so bad, they had closed down East Main Street going downtown, which is the way I get home.  So I had to backtrack and find another route coming up East Main Street.  It was at this time that I realized I’d need to move on to plan B. 

 

Plan B was to use the ole trusty elliptical machine instead of risking injury by trying to run up and down hills on slick sidewalks and roads.  This might have been to my advantage, though, by giving my joints an easier workout while still getting the cardio I need to maintain my training.  Since the elliptical machine is typically an easier workout, I decided to go for an hour (burnt 672 calories) and use the around the world program (climbs all the high mountains around the world).  The workout was good; I maintained a high heart-rate throughout and sweated my butt off.

 

Tonight I will either make up the 4 mile run, or skip it all together, since I did get on the elliptical machine, and possibly go ahead and do tomorrows 5 miler.  Right now I’m leaning toward making up the 4 miler. 

 

That’s all for today, check back tomorrow to see if I decided to do the make-up run or went ahead and did tomorrows 5.

 

-Papacrouse