Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Don't try this run...

I know this is a bit late but I'm not the best blogger. In early March Leslie and I missed our regular Wednesday afternoon training run so we decided to run on Saturday 13th March. She needed to swim early morning ( 3000 yds or close) so we agreed to meet in Lehi on the Jordan River trail at 9 am. But I needed a longer run and Leslie only wanted 10 miles. So.. I met with the peloton in Highland at 6:30 am and ran 7 miles with them, then went home, showered, ate a bagel and was on the JR trail at 9am. The second photo is from the start of the run in the parking lot...
I didn't feel too good early on in the run. In fact by 3.5 miles my legs were cramping and I was having a tough time. Leslie gave me an endurolyte and after a few minutes that seemed to do the trick. It was cool and a little windy at the turnaround. We headed North, but by 7 miles it was raining quite hard. At the next turnaround it was hammering down to the point that running was uncomfortable. We were drenched when we got back to the cars.

So I think the first photo is from the end of the run. Truth is.. we didn't look as bad as we felt. But I an not going to run 7, wait an hour and run 10 again. The blood pools in your legs and it's tough mentally and physically to do that second run. Plus I much prefer getting out really early for my Saturday run. Still, it is always great to run with somebody who motivates you and makes you stronger. Leslie's quest to finish Ironman St. George has helped immensely with my marathon training this year. I am putting more miles in than I have for several years and I hope that pays off with some better finish times. 3:30 was too elusive last year. I think I have a good shot at breaking it this spring....

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Riverton 1/2 Marathon recap.....

Heidi, me and Leslie at the end of the Riverton half marathon. Saturday March 27th, 2010.

Leslie at the end of the race with her second place overall female trophy.. a PR of 1:35:05, and a $40 gift certificate to Get Fit Athletic Wear in Highland. Way to go Leslie !!!

So, after weeks of waiting and waiting... and training and training... here it was.. the Riverton half marathon. A race that didn't involve getting up at some unearthly hour, driving for hours etc and waiting in line for ever to pick up my race packet. Yet I still managed to sleep in and there was a mad panic to get everything ready and be out the door by 8 am. I did have time for a shower - I don't like to smell bad while I am running. So I mixed up some electrolyte drink, grabbed my gloves, Timex hat and a few other things and off I drove the 18 miles to the Riverton City park from my house.

As it happened I was one of the first ones there. A few runners were milling around and there was no line for picking up race packets. My bib number was # 280.

Leslie, my zippy training partner , showed up 5 minutes later and we chatted for a while then jogged down the street to the gas station to use the restrooms then back to the start. By this time most of the runners were lining up behind the balloons which was both the start and the finish of the race. I met a few more friends, plus some new ones such as Steve and Chuck at the race start. Leslie and I lined up near the front and the plan was to run 7:30 pace all the way for a 1:38:30.

Unfortunately, my adrenalin got the best of me and Leslie reminded me of that as we hit the first mile in 6:50. But what the heck ...I felt great. Three females passed us, and I tried to stay on them for Leslie's benefit ( I really wanted her to place in this race) which meant we hit the three mile mark in 20:52 , about 1 1/2 minutes too fast.

I sure paid for that at the first big hill when the old jelly legs were struggling and Leslie took a 50 yard lead. It was several minutes before I had recovered from the uphill. By then Leslie was 100 yards ahead and it stayed that way for several more miles. At 8-9 miles I stopped for some water as I was becoming a little dehydrated but was still holding sub 8 minute miles.

The real killer was the "s" hill at 10 + miles where I decided to walk, counting the runners who passed me, and then tried to pass all of them back on the other side. For the most part I did that, even putting a good push through mile 11, determined to get as close as possible to 1:38:30.

I ended up with 1:38:34, which, although 38th place out of 390 runners, was clearly not up to par. I chewed it over and over in my mind - If I had held back the first three miles, would I have made up more time later in the race.? .. I think I would. Leslie and I could have pushed each other to a better finish . I really believe that I would have come in around 1:35:30 to 1:36:00 if I had run a more controlled race. After all, I ran TWO 1:34 half marathons last year and have broken 1:30 five times in my racing career.

The good news is that Leslie, who I thought ended up 3rd, actually took the second place female with less than half a mile to go. I passed the girl who was originally third but then was passed by two other females during the course of the race. Leslie was waiting with a big grin for me at the finish line as she told me the story about passing the girl for second place near the end.

This was a pretty well organized race. There were plenty of massage tables at the finish line. I did have to remind the girl giving me a massage than she was NOT kneading bread and to go easy on the soleus muscles. I drank ample fluids and recovery drinks, chowed down on a bagel and a banana and then spent several minutes posing with Heidi and Leslie for photos and waiting for a few others runners to cross the line. The weather was really good, just a bit of a northern breeze that hit you early on and then once again in the last couple of miles. All in all this was a great course, well organized with a reasonable finishers medal to hang on the rack at home. Since I recently found a half marathon medal from the Top of Utah half marathon last year that I had forgotten about, that makes 102 medals on the wall in the home gym now.

One of the cool things about being a PT is that you are never ever " off duty". I happily obliged with a left IT band stretch to Leslie who tried to look pain free as I was doing this. Of course, if I had done it properly she would be laying still on her right side, holding the right knee up to her chest to put the pelvis in a better alignment for the stretch but without a treatment table this was the best that I could do on grass. The IT band is really tight by the way so needs a lot more work.

Now I am adducting the left hip to further stretch the IT band.

This was a cool parting snapshot by Heidi and captures in my face the fun morning we all had at this race. Thank you Heidi for being there with your hubby and your Nikon and thank you Leslie for a great run, sorry the rabbit died at 3. I will put the cruise control on 7:30 next time we race.

Back to the training regimen on Monday.