Sunday, January 30, 2011

My Kind Of Injury

My pinky toe is missing some of it's skin.
January has been my peak month of mileage for the upcoming Austin Marathon next month.  All in all, I've done pretty good with the training, but my body has fought back a bit.  Not that any injury is good, but if I had to be injured, the 2 that have occured to me this month haven't stopped me from getting in the mileage.  First came what I'll call my ironic boo boo.  As in, I put a new type of band aid on my ring toe, and the band aid turned out to be course enough to act like sandpaper rubbing my pinky toe skin raw during a 10 mile run.  I took a wonderful pic of it.  Please, no need to comment on how I should've been a foot model, psych.  How ironic is it that a band aid caused me to need another band aid to protect and heal the damage done by the first one.  My second little ailment came out of the blue in the form of lipoma.  What is a lipoma you ask?  As my doctor put it, for my particular case, it occured when some fat tissue in the side of my left leg was rubbed and irritated to the point of inflamation by my IT band.  However, while it is sensitive to the touch, it doesn't bother me while running.  My plan of attack is to ice it, stretch the IT band, and give it a chance to heal itself.  Like I said, if something had to go wrong, at least I'm still able to run.

This bridge was kinda cool to run across at night.

On to more positive news...  Last week I joined a group of local runners for an adventure through downtown Wichita.  This nighttime 4 miler had all kinds of action:  Running through stop lights, traversing black ice, avoiding obsticles in the dark, trying not to get tripped up by other runners or their dogs, etc.  Afterwards, we met back up at the bar where we started, for dinner and drinks.  As long as I've been a runner, I've never really been on a group run before, races don't count, mainly because I live in the boonies, or because not many groups run at 5 in the morning like I do.  I approached group run as a light recovery workout where my main goal was to get to know the other runners (wonder if they were thinking "wish this guy would quit talking so I can focus").  It was a fun group with people from all runs walks of life including wicked cool bloggers Fair Weather Runner and Hannah from More Than a Marathon.

I met Hannah for the first time.

Here are my weekly stats:

1/24/2011 Weekly Mileage
Mon.107.9 min/mi
Tue.118.1 min/mi
Wed.148.0 min/mi
Thur.88.4 min/mi
Fri.58.5 min/mi
Sat.208.0 min/mi on treadmill

Maybe I should run one mile today, 69 would be a nice way to finish off the week!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

2Slow4Boston Junior

My blog tends to be so self-centered at times.  It always seems like I'm talking about myself, as I should.  I'm doing this or that.  A PR here, a PR there.  See more pictures of me.  Well, today it's time to spread the wealth a little bit.

A barefoot runner in the making and I
 better start budgeting for more socks.
Not only am I a runner, but I'm a father of 3.  My oldest son Colter, age 6, likes to run sometimes.  Last Summer we ran a 1 mile race together in 10:29.  He likes running, but I've never pushed him into it, and I've never known him to ever run more than a mile at a time, if that.  Last Friday he told me he was going to run 4 miles on the treadmill.  I said go for it, not expecting him to follow all the way through.  Next thing I know, he came to tell me he's at 2 miles.

Lots to look at here.  Notice his Silly Bands next to the
console.  Ignore the Thomas the Train set.  My downstairs
 is a mess.  He is almost at 4 miles.

I heard the treadmill in the other room changing speeds.  He was doing a fartlek workout and didn't even know it.  His sprints were set at 9 mph.  A little later he tells me he's over 3 miles.  Now I'm starting to get interested/impressed.  I run to get my camera and snap a few pics.

Colter did stop a few times to update me on his progress and to grab a drink or two of Gatorade, but he pretty much reached his target before I knew it.

It's official, 4.01 miles in 48:48.
Not sure what gave him the wild hair.  Maybe he was wanting to be like daddy.  Or maybe it was because I told him before that a 4 mile race was too far for him to sign up for and he wanted to prove me wrong.  I think this could work to my advantage someday, I'll just tell him he's not capable of cleaning his room.

His eyes look dilated, maybe he's on the juice.
Nevermind, wrong drug to cause that

I think 4 miles is a long distance for a 6 year old.  I doubt I covered that distance until my late 20s. Pardon me if I'm just being a proud parent rambling on about my kid.  Next time, I'll be back to talking about myself.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

2010 in Review

I might be one of the last bloggers to write a recap of 2010.  Partly because I chose to write a race report at the beginning of the year, and partially because I've been spending my blogging time reading other blogs instead.

Let's start off with a list of the races I competed in 2010:
Wichita Frosty 5K - 21:15
Saint Louis Marathon - 3:55:05
Wichita YMCA Rock N Run 8k - 0:37:52
Valley Center 5K - 20:54
Wichita Prairie Fire Marathon - 3:35:49
Wichita Turkey Trot 10M - 1:12:55
Wichita Jingle Bell Run 4M - 0:28:46

Running St. Louis Marathon

The first half of the year wasn't too noteworthy,  my running times had been plateaued for all of 2009, and the start of 2010 was more of the same.   I did travel to Saint Louis for my only out-of-state race of the year to run their marathon on April 11th.  Also, I struggled with fatigue as I started running 60 to 70 mile weeks, up from 40 to 50 mile weeks.  The increase in mileage didn't really help my time in that marathon as I clocked a 3:55:05, one minute faster than my previous 26.2. 

Running Wichita Prairie Fire Marathon

However , the base I gained from training for St. Louis really helped me later that Summer, as I was able to quicken my pace while still maintaining 60 to 70 mile weeks.  Now that my body was able to handle that load,  I added some time on the elliptical machine to my routine.  The result was a 3:35:49 at the Wichita Prairie Fire Marathon on 10/10/10 (a 20 minute improvement over St. Louis and a PR by 10 minutes) .

Skipping back to May, I pulled my right hammy 5 days before a 10k I had already registered for.  It wasn't a bad pull, but I had to wait to run lightly on it for over a week.  Guess I should have known better than to run intervals 2 days after an intense 7 mile tempo run, just like I should have known better than to wear my Dallas Cowboys jersey in Philadelphia.  Luckily it was my only set back of the year.

My glass statue trophy from
 2nd place finish in Valley Center 5k

Besides the Prairie Fire Marathon, I had a string of PRs in the second half of 2010.  First came my 5k PR in 20:54.  Not only did I PR and take 1st in my age group, but I took 2nd place overall never mind that there were only about 50 people running\walking it.  I guess all the fast runners decided to run in this other little 10,000 participant event called the "Susan G. Koman Race For The Cure" that day.  Anyway, the guy that took 1st even let me lead for about 2 miles before he smoked me.  The trophy was awesome.  I think it could double as a piece of art.  On to November, I set a 10 mile PR of 1:12:55 that had my lungs feeling ready to retire.  Finally, a 4 mile PR with a 3rd place age group finish in 28:46 to complete the year.

I started this blog a day before my marathon in October.  A running blog wasn't even on my radar before September, but then I read an acquaintance's writing on Facebook, and I thought to myself I have lots of stories to tell and things to write about.  Not to mention, I wanted to connect with people as passionate about running as me.  Still, I thought about it for a week, and ran the idea by my wife and a couple friends before deciding I could make a commitment to blog.

Now to bring you some 2010 stats as only an engineer with a spreadsheet can:  My year end running totals no pun intended include 1337.5 miles on an indoor track,  536 miles on a treadmill, and 411.5 miles outdoors. Added up, that's 2,285 miles. I also logged 2,179 minutes on the Elliptical machine.   This marks my first year over 2,000 miles, or a 16% increase in mileage from 2009.  It would make sense that I set a record month for mileage too, tallying up 272 of them in the month of March.

I know not all years will be as rewarding or overachieving as 2010 has been for me, but I'm carrying some momentum with me into 2011, and who knows, maybe a BQ isn't too far off.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Frosty 5k, The Name Says it All

I woke up New Years Eve to 65º temps.  I woke up New Years Day to 10º temps.  What's going on here?  Maybe being in Houston the first morning and Wichita the next would explain it.  I enjoyed a little family vacation (and some running) in the Space City for the holidays, but had to cut it a bit short to return in time for the New Year's Day Frosty 5k in Wichita.

Before I go into the race details, I'd like to mention a song that I've gotten into lately that has a running theme titled, "I Just Wanna Run".  I think it has a good beat to workout to, and it makes me 'wanna run'.  If you like Top 40 Pop/Rock type songs, you might want to download this one to your mp3 player.

My highlight of the race was getting to met Fair Weather Runner for the first time.  She also introduced me to a few of her running cohorts, one of whom ran the race in a pair of Vibram 5 Finger shoes and gave me a dissertation on them since I am interested in trying a pair out for myself.  Not sure how he evaded frostbite.

Fair Weather Runner and I Post Race
Now, onto the race...  Despite the 20º temps, I wasn't very cold waiting for the gun to go off due to the  obscene amount of clothing I was wearing: Two pairs of socks, two pairs of pants, 3 shirts, gloves, etc.  My first mile was a 6:30 split, which was a PR pace, but that mile was mostly flat with some decline.  The next 2 miles had some slopes to run up, and sure enough they slowed me down.  No PR today.

Less than a mile from the finish I saw this preteen kid wearing a shirt that said, "I Busted Mine So That I Can Bust Yours". At this point in the race, I felt the only thing getting busted were my lungs, but for some reason that shirt hit my competitive nerve and I set my sights on passing that little boy, and took great satisfaction when I did.  However, I spent the rest of the race trying not to give into my body's desire to slow down while worrying that I would have to see the back of that kid's shirt again as he out kicked me at the finish.  Well, I'm happy to report that I ended up leaving him in my dust even though I'm sure as soon as he grows hair on his balls he'll be so much faster than me that the only way I'll know what shirt he's wearing is if I see it at the starting line.

I was just a bit disappointed to cross the finish line in 21:16, but my expectations were fairly low thanks to several variables not in my favor, so I'm not surprised that I didn't PR, but it was nice to take home a medal for 3rd place in my age group.

My Frosty 5k Stats
Overall Place23/382
Age Group.3/21
Finish Time0:21:16
Average Pace6:51
Average Heartrate193
Ending Heartrate207

Afterwards, there was a small chili feed.  I ran into quite a few friends including a fellow blogger and an awesome runner named Lacy, whom I barely know.  She mentioned that I inspired her.  I was a bit taken aback how I could inspire someone who is much more of an accomplished runner than me, so I asked her what she meant, figuring she read something profound in my blog.  Nope (I doubt she even reads my blog), turns out because I gave her some crap at the last race about not keeping her blog up to date, she is now inspired to be more prompt about her posts. Oh well, at least my kids still look up to me.

My next race might be a 4 miler on Super Bowl morning.  Until then, back to marathon training.