Showing posts from 2011

What Comes After Humbled

Last weekend was my third marathon of the year, in addition to one ultra, and I owe readers a race report on it. But first I'm going to spend time discussing several things that happended at the Team Type 1 Training Camp, which happened in Tucson at the same time as the Tucson Marathon. There were a lot of reasons for the Camp to take place. For the Pro Cycling Team, it's a ten day long series of workouts in the desert and the mountains. In addition, it was a rare opportunity for us amatuer athletes to interact with one of the finest professional cycling squads, certainly in the US, and more every day, in the world. In addition to seeing some of my best friends on the team, the Camp gives us the ability to meet "in real life" people we may have only met online. Generally speaking, Team Type 1 folks follow each other on Twitter and friend each other on Facebook, but this was the chance to actually meet. Anne Findlay, Laura Eli, Patricia Brownell, Mike Hebe, etc.

Running Thankful

A year ago, I was nearly through my first month of almost 200 miles/month of running. November 2010 was the first of many high mileage injury-free months. This year, I'm dealing with some tendonitis in my foot that won't allow me to run on back-to-back days. It's my first injury in over a year and like all injuries, it's annoying. But even so, I come into this holiday (my favorite holiday, actually) thankful for the year of running I've had. * This year I ran races of distances I never did before: my first 10 miler, my first 16.3 trail mile race and my first 50 miler. * This year I PR'd at both the 5k and marathon distance. * This year I enjoyed AG awards in 10 of my 12 races, plus 2 races where I was top 3 overall. This included my first 2 trail race awards and my first ultra award. The only 2 races I didn't win an AG award at were both of my marathons, which gives me a nice goal to continue to chase. * This year I qualified for the Boston Marathon.

From Team Type 1 SANOFI's Run Across America - Night Shift

Night Shift by Marcus Grimm “We saw what you wrote about us,” Team Type 1 SANOFI runner Eric Tozer said to me, in a way that made it clear that he and his night-shift teammates, Jon Obst and Ryan Jones, were not entirely pleased with one of my earlier dispatches. The fact that Tozer would voice his displeasure at all meant something in and of itself. If you were to make a list of the most easy-going members of the team, you’d be hard pressed to top the youngster from Sacramento. Tozer’s complaint was in regards to my first story about the team’s new strategy nearly a week ago. I had written then that the plan for the night-time crew was to run slower and to cover fifty miles per night. In my defense, that was the plan. But as we all have come to learn, many things in the Run Across America didn’t go according to plan and one of those was the success of the night crew, which somehow managed to run similar paces as the day crew, despite limited visibility and fewer than ha

From Team Type 1 SANOFI's Run Across America: The Importance of Team

The Importance of Team by Marcus Grimm Run across the country for two weeks and you figure, a man could change. Things that maybe seemed impossible before might be entirely possible now. In conversations I’d had with Matt Patrick, who won a 100k (62.5 mile) race earlier this year, he’d often told me that he thought guys like Jon Obst and Ryan Jones, who compete regularly at 100 miles, were crazy. That there was “no way” he’d do something like that. And so it seemed like a logical question to ask him how he felt about such races now; now that he alone has traveled nearly 300 miles in two weeks, on slight sleep, through mountains, snow, ice and rain. Truth be told, the writer in me was looking for a story about a man being transformed. “After a couple days of doing this, I was sore,” reflected Patrick. “But strangely, the soreness went away. Your body adapts and things don’t always get worse. So, physically, I think, ‘Yeah, probably my body could do that.’”

From Team Type 1 SANOFI's Run Across America: Whatever it Takes

Whatever it Takes by Marcus Grimm As Team Type 1 SANOFI heads into less than one thousand miles to go in their amazing run across America, the excitement of their new strategy coupled with some solid sleep has the runners moving at a more rapid pace than on any stretch of their journey so far. Utilizing their new plan of seven men running fast pulls during the day, and three men running slower miles through the night, spectators in Illinois were surely to be disappointed if they weren’t paying attention, as the team crossed the entire state in a mere twenty-four hours. “We’re in a totally different place now,” said Kevin Powell, “There’s chatter in the van, again, and all kinds of excitement.” But recent calculations determined the team still was behind their goal of the East Coast by Sunday, so the men have ratcheted up the logistics of the journey. Now, the van drops a single runner off, moves another mile and then does the same and repeats the process unt

From Team Type 1 SANOFI's Run Across America: Happy Birthday, Ingrid

Happy Birthday, Ingrid written and edited by Tom Grossman & Marcus Grimm Tom Grossman had felt many things since the start of the Run Across America a week ago; highs and lows, both in spirit and in blood sugar, as well as fatigue and energy. But what he hadn't felt until today was the realization that he was simultaneously exactly where he should be at the same time it seemed he was precisely furthest away from where he wished he was. Grossman, like all on Team Type 1 SANOFI, understand the importance of what they're attempting here, to revise the public understanding of diabetes, so that they can better encourage those that live with it it. As someone whom has lived with diabetes for nearly three decades, Grossman is particularly qualified to understand the misconceptions diabetics are prone to receiving from those around them. But there on Highway 56 in Kansas, Grossman felt his mind drifting, as it did often, to his home and family in Midland, Michigan. He

From Team Type 1 SANOFI's Run Across America: Aretaeus Returns

Aretaeus Returns by Marcus Grimm Most people are unfamiliar with Aretaeus and the place he holds in medical history. A disciple of Hippocrates in ancient Greek, he was the first to name “diabetes,” based on the Greek word “to siphon,” emphasizing the symptoms of excessive thirst and frequent urination common when the blood sugar is high. Aretaeus referred to this, mostly incorrect, “as a melting down of flesh and limbs into urine.” And despite the fact that Team Type 1 SANOFI is made up of a group of remarkably well-controlled diabetics, it’s possible that Aretaeus might feel otherwise had he come upon them, running their way across the windy plains of Kansas. The group, fit and trim when they started the journey a week ago, are thinner to a man. Their lives are as simple as could be, consisting only of running, eating, sleeping and managing the mathematics of a disease that demands you know how these factors will affect your blood sugar at all times. And make n

From Team Type 1 SANOFI's Run Across America: Going to the Dogs

Going to the Dogs by Marcus Grimm As Team Type 1 SANOFI said goodbye to New Mexico and hello to Oklahoma today, it's fair to say the runners are hoping for slightly different types of homeowners. Matt Patrick said, "I hate  to generalize, but it really seems as if a lot of people in New Mexico have dogs, and many of those dogs are of the loud, scary variety." The threat of defensive canines was no more prevalent than at night. Said Kevin Powell, "It was so dark, you'd hear them before you saw them; just a frantic barking coming out of the night." When the runners could spot the dogs in advance, they adapted a sneak tactic, having the vans pull up beside them and drive slow. When the canines caught on to them first and seemed intent on dining upon diabetic runners, the members of Team Type 1 SANOFI would be forced to dig deep for a fast twitch muscle response and dive into the van. By the third night through New Mexico, however, the decision was made to purch

From Team Type1 SANOFI's Run Across America: Snowbound

Slippery Situations by Marcus Grimm Of the many hazards faced by Team Type 1 SANOFI thus far on the Run Across America (and to be clear, there have been many), one of the obstacles they haven’t had to face was the weather. Until today, the runners had enjoyed remarkably clear weather, with sunshine during the days and bright stars at night. This all came to a close shortly past three AM this morning as Van A traveled from Taos, New Mexico toward their final destination of Eagle Nest. As the runners crawled higher toward nearly two miles of elevation, a flash blizzard came upon the crew. For the runners, the road became slippery, yet passable. But for the vans, equipped for conditions in California, where they were first rented, the situation turned much worse. The van struggled to make it up the high ascents, as did many of the vehicles around it. The situation went from bad to worse as a semi-truck in front of them began to slide backwards and sideways, bot

From Team Type 1 SANOFI's Run Across America: Setbacks and Recoveries

Setbacks and Recoveries by Marcus Grimm Cuba – New Mexico – For Team Type 1 SANOFI runner Brian Foster, it seemed like the Run Across America was over almost as soon as it began. Foster, of East Amherst, New York was navigating a construction-strewn shoulder of a road on the first night of Run Across America when he rolled his ankle. Pain shot through the joint immediately and Foster had to pull over, forcing teammate Matt Patrick to take over early. At the time, Foster thought he’d be back to action in time for his next run in the rotation. He hobbled a few more steps, expecting the pain to subside, but it didn’t. And very quickly he realized that with only four miles done of the three hundred he expected to run during the next two weeks, he incredibly might be finished. Worse, Foster’s injury meant that the runners in Van A were pressed into twenty percent more mileage, and twenty percent fewer recovery breaks. They accepted their fate easily. For Foster, it

8:15 Miles - From Team Type 1 SANOFI's Run Across America

8:15 Miles by Marcus Grimm The Run Across America itinerary is based on Team Type 1 SANOFI running 8:15 miles. How fast that sounds, of course, is relative. To the men on Team Type 1, an 8:15 mile – or a few of them strung together – is not particularly fast. In fact, most of their marathon times are faster than that per mile. But don’t kid yourself; 8:15 isn’t exactly slow. Go to any local 5k in your neighborhood, pay the twenty bucks, toe the line and knock the race out in about 25:30. In most cases, that time will put you in the top third of the field, and depending on your age group, you may even come home with a magnet or ribbon for placing in the top 3. Now realize this: the pace you just ran is equal to what the members of Team Type 1 SANOFI are averaging for their entire run across the country. Not that they’ve been able to knock out even efforts so far. At this point, in Arizona, more than seven thousand feet above sea level, they’ve climbed a lot of hills. I

Magnification - From Team Type 1 SANOFI's Run Across America

Magnification by Marcus Grimm Caption: Brian Foster takes his turn in the Recovery Pump As Team Type 1 SANOFI nears Flagstaff, Arizona, Van B’s Chris Zenker observes that everything the runners do is intensely magnified. “Every decision we make reaps a result,” he says. “A great choice in anything leads to great running and recovery, but the opposite has an equally negative effect.” Like their teammates, the runners first had to deal with ratcheting down their insulin requirements. Failure to do so results in low blood sugars. CGM alarms and the intuition of your teammates prevent the athletes from being in danger, but a runner with a low blood sugar is also a slower runner, and despite this being the most ultra of runs, speed is somewhat of the essence. And as the miles pile up, how the runners prevent injuries is equally important to Zenker’s magnification theory. Indeed, if you don’t do everything you can to keep healthy, you, your teammates and the entire journey are put