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Showing posts from November, 2007

Next Up - Jingle Bell 5k

Final race of the season for me is a Jingle Bell 5k the weekend after next. Random facts:

I ran this race in 22:37 last year, but was only running about two days a week then. I was also biking 1-2 days a week as I was beginning to prepare for my spring triathlon.

My goal is sub 20, with a stretch goal of 19:30. I did a 20:11 several weeks ago that wasn't an all-out effort. The good news is that this course is much faster. The bad news is I haven't run fast since the marathon. The good news is I have been running a decent amount - all on trails, all easy. Not sure how that will play into the intensity required for a 5k.

I'm going to try and go out at 6:15/mile and hold it as long as possible.

I bought a pair of racing flats which will be making their debut at this race.

This is really my last decent VO test for a few months. My race calendar for Jan/Feb will likely consist of mostly trail races.

My employer is a big sponser of this race and we will have 12 people on our team. Woo…

Run More... or Run Faster or.. Just Run.

Interesting article in the NY Times about maintaining running fitness. In a nutshell:

To do your best at a given sport, train for that given sport. This is why triathletes are total studs in my book. It's also why most (though not all) elite runners run more and cross-train less.

However, the article also says that you can mitigate some of this conclusion by running fast on the days you are running. This is exactly what the FIRST plans calls for - running three times per week - hard. While you won't get the maximum aerobic benefit from cross-training, you'll heal up your legs enough to beat them into a pulp during those three workouts. (Obviously, I'm paraphrasing.)

As mentioned before, next time around, I'm going to try and split the difference a bit. Here's my plan in a nutshell:

1) Go from 5 workouts per week to 6.
2) Do 3 hard runs - long run from the FIRST plan, interval and tempo workouts from Fitzgerald.
3) Go to 2 easy/base runs and 1 XC day - this, too, is F…

Type 1 Diabetes Cured By Halle Berry.

This will definitely help people understand diabetes:

Pregnant HALLE BERRY is winning her battle with diabetes, thanks to a healthy diet and good living. The actress was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes after she passed out while shooting a TV show called Living Dolls when she first arrived in Hollywood. But the disease has now dropped to Type 2 diabetes because Berry is no longer "insulin dependent".

For her next trick, Berry hopes to turn her eyes blue and morph her feet into fins via the power of suggestion, because - you know - stars can do that kind of stuff.

Diabetes & Marathons - Perfect together?

About four months ago, as I was booking my next appt. with my endocrinologist, I realized that I was due for an appt. two weeks after my marathon. This allowed me to schedule my blood work five days after the marathon, which I found really interesting. Simply put, I was curious to see how screwed up my blood chemistry would be so soon after a 26 mile race.

Unfortunately, there's no really cool stuff to report - everything was pretty much normal.

Diabetes-wise, let's discuss my A1C. In a nutshell, an A1C is your average blood sugar over the past 70 days or so. It's pretty much the "de facto" test for diabetes control. We all have bad blood sugars in certain moments, but the A1C says how you're doing overall.

Last I checked, the ADA recommends an A1C of less than 7% and some society of endocrinologists recommends an A1C of less than 6.5%. Generally speaking, I'm usually somewhere in between those two figures - I was 6.6% in the summer. (Quick advertisement for…

Temptation or... What's Next?

I'm finding it very difficult to ignore the many Turkey Trots going on in the next few weeks, but I will because I've got no business going fast for the time being...

I'm looking at what comes next.... a recent commenter was surprised I wasn't going for a marathon again for another year, but I'm not at a point in my life where I want to "run" marathons - rather, I'm at a point where I want to train specifically for one and race it as hard as I can.

Looking to the next several months, here's what I'll be working toward:

1) A sub 20:00 5k -- I'm hopeful I can pull this off in the local Jingle Bell Run on Dec. 9. If I heal quickly, I should be able to. If not in December, I've got a 5k planned in a warm locale end of February. I was close six weeks ago, with a 20:11 that wasn't really an all-out effort. But who knows what my fitness will look like in a few weeks.

2) A sub 1:30 half-marathon. That's a mighty big goal, particularly sinc…

You Ought Not Be in Pictures

Image
Final post about the Harrisburg Marathon. Suggested titles: "Carnage Caught on Film," "The Pumpkin King Rides Again," or "Vanity Has No Limits." Anywho...

On the top is the only one of the professional pics I'm considering buying. Why? Because this one was snapped at mile 25, and the myriad of insane thoughts that are rolling around in one's skull at that point deserve to be captured. I like the fact that you can see my utter disgust with the moment.

The middle pic - courtesy of the wife - was taken at the 25.5 mile mark, so there's certainly an air of nostalgia. However, the shorts on top of my tights give my hips the appearance of a Victorian woman. Incidentally, I'm not a fan of the shorts on top of tights look. However, I needed the Race-Ready shorts as they held: my insulin pump, blood sugar meter, strips & lancet, e-gels, iPod and a partridge in a pear tree.

And finally, approx. 3 minutes after the race with my Father-in-Law (head o…

Recovery....

I'm following McMillan's plan for Marathon Recovery because.... well, because it was in Running Times this month.

It called for 15 minute walks the past two days. I did 25 min. Monday and 20 min. Tuesday. Both days, I wobbled around the neighborhood like someone in dire need of medication.

Today called for my first run, which was supposed to be 20 minutes. But Nate was leaving the office at the same time, so I decided, "What the heck?" Nate's hip was bugging him, so the joke was that we went further than I wanted to go and faster than he wanted to go. We did five miles at a nice 9:04/mile clip.

All in all, I think I'm healing ok - there were some weird things in my knees and elsewhere, but nothing awful, so I took that as a good sign.

Sometimes There is No Answer...

Now maybe I'm just grumpy because the marathon's path through my neighborhood (aka straight up Williamsburg's Bedford Ave) prevented me from reaching my favorite spot for a breakfast sandwich, but to me, long-distance running has zero appeal. I mean, it's boring, it hurts while you're doing it, it hurts when you're done, and it takes up a lot of time that could be spent mastering Wii bowling. And yet people eat it up, including some of my friends of late--and then there's that guy who ran across the U.S.--which has caused me to wonder, why oh why do humans have such an itch to run?

Cool - scientists are trying to figure us out. Incidentally, Wii bowling is a lot of fun, too.

Harrisburg Marathon - Random Thoughts As They Come to Me...

1. Results have been posted. I came in 71st out of 687. 68th out of the men. 17th out of 70 in my age group, with a final chip time of 3:18:56.
2. There was 1 other runner faster than me in my age group who didn't qualify for Boston.
3. There were 2 guys behind me at the 10k mark in my age group who passed me later in the race and made it to Boston. Awesome job.
4. Bill Hathaway also ran his first and had a very very strong finish. Awesome job, Bill.
5. There are many ways to screw up a marathon. Here's how I screwed up mine: I didn't take the course into account during my long runs. All of my long runs - 15 miles and more - took place on very flat terrain. I wasn't ready to shift gears when the rolling trails came along at mile 18. Next year, I either train differently for the long runs or do a different course.
6. Nate screamed for me at the 15 mile mark. That was nice.
7. My father-in-law "crewed" for me and I highly recommend this. He was there at the start to …

Diabetes Didn't Beat Me... But Boston's Qualifying Standards Did.

The last thing I have the energy for right now is a race report, but because so many took the time to wish me good luck (including Missy Foy!! woo-hoo - I feel like Chris Farley on the Chris Farley show when he had Paul McCartney on!) that I owe y'all some nitty gritty's.

Here's the deal: I finished in 3:19 (probably 3:18:57 when they adjust for chip time). I was a total stud for the first 18 miles (averaging 7:20 pace), and then for some dumb reason - they sent us into the woods for two rolling miles, after 18 miles of flat -tick-tock-tick-tock running. Alas, that was the beginning of the end.

Out of the woods, I had about two more miles where I thought I was putting the pieces back together, but I came totally unglued at the 22 mile mark. I mean, seriously unglued - like 8:15-8:25 unglued. It was ugly and my legs were screaming.

In retrospect, 7:20's was a bit of a stretch for where I am fitness-wise, and I might've done better doing like 7:23's. Then again, may…

See ya in 26.2 miles.

After returning from Chicago on Wednesday, I did my final interval workout - the FIRST plan called for 6 x 400's @ 5:48 pace. No problem, though my legs are still a bit sore today from the quick pace. Still, I'm hopeful the quick turnover will make 7:20's seem easy. They did today, when I did 3 miles, the last two @ marathon pace. So, for this week anyway, I was 100% FIRST. Well, not entirely. For the first time, I didn't cross-train, though I doubt it'll make any difference.

Heading into Sunday, I'm nervous. Reasonably sure everything will go well for 18-20 miles. Not at all sure what'll happen after that.

Reading Erika's blog, I see that she took a handful of blood sugar tests during her marathon. I'm going to try and not take a single one. Not because I don't think it's a great idea, but because I guess I figure I can't spare the time, and if my blood sugars do track too far out of the magic zone, I won't be able to get them back in…

Not an ideal way to taper.

I'm in Chicago for the American Business Leaders Top Management Meeting.

To keep away the germs from the plane/stress/hand shaking, I think I'm going to OD on Vitamin B.

Seriously, it's a great time and I'm learning a lot, but spending the day in dress shoes and the night in the bar probably isn't a recommended taper on any marathon plan.

I might go for a little 3 miler this PM. After all, I have a cute little Runner's World Map, courtesy of Westin Workouts (my third westin to give me a "card.").

Home again tomorrow and then a few days to catch up on sleep.

I see Diabetic Marathoners....

Call me paranoid, but I've noticed a bit more diabetic marathoning news of late...

Last week was the NOVA Marathon Challenge show, which I recorded, but did not watch until last night. For some reason, I thought this was a series, not a one-time airing.

The concept was to take 13 couch potatos and see if they can finish a marathon in nine months. Well, the only one who failed was the Type 1 diabetic. Riddled with stress fractures, she says:

Despite visits to several types of doctors, no one has been able to discover the reason my legs will not heal. There is, however, a general consensus that my diabetes may be a contributing factor. After 25+ years of diabetes, it is likely that I have impaired circulation in the microscopic blood vessels, especially in the lower extremities. This poor circulation could impair the healing of my bones.

To which I say, blah, blah, blah...

That could've kept me in a bad mood, but in this week's Parade magazine has a feature article on Missy Foy, …

Grumpy Taper...

I started the day grumpy. Fortunately, I didn't end the day that way.

A lot of stress caught up with me through the day: the fact that I'm travelling next week. While I enjoy travelling, much of my life is spent "on the grid." As such, three days "off the grid" takes some preparation and there were too many unresolved issues I had to hammer out prior to leaving work.

Moreover, I am "on the taper," which means my body has a little too much unused energy at present. All in all, I wasn't a great person to be around today, and by the time I got home at six, I was about ready to blow my top.

Fortunately, the gang was out and I wrote a note saying that I'd be gone for another 40 minutes. I ripped through a 5+ mile tempo run @ a total average of 7:24 pace and instantly felt about 80% better. The remaining 20% was handled by a beer I had ready for when I got back.

After all of that, I went to pick up a pizza and bumped into a few former co-workers of …

Taper Week #1 - Nearly Done...

Blog's been kind of quiet this week. I've got a biz trip next week and - as usual - am jamming two weeks of work into 1 week. However, most everything is going well.

Tuesday was a bike ride. It's getting to be that time of year where bike riding isn't as much fun. A bit colder.

Wednesday was an interval workout... I actually had an upset stomach and took the day off from work. By late PM, things were a bit better and I had a good - if not splendid - workout.

Thursday was supposed to be a bike day, but a couple guys from work wanted to go for an easy 4 mile trail run, so we did.

I've got a tempo scheduled for today, though that will likely happen late. Like I said, this week is a bear, schedule-wise.

One guide I read said that this week, I should set a series of goals for the marathon. Here they are:
3:15 - That's what it takes for me to get to Boston. Here's the deal: I have a 3:15 in me, if the weather is perfect, I manage my blood sugars well, and the couple ac…