May 17, 2010

Run and Done

And another Ogden Marathon is in the books. Official time was 1:44:23 - I think. My Garmin 305 shows 1:44:27 and a 7:51/mile average. Not awesome, but I am mostly pleased. The legs felt pretty good the entire time. But the day was not without its hiccups. Once again, I was plagued by stomach problems.

I woke up at 3 am and noticed immediately that I felt bloated, like I had an air bubble right underneath my sternum. I went about my pre race breakfast that worked so well in Moab earlier this year. And I would say worked well again this year. I didn't have a great bowel movement at home, but hey even shit gets performance anxiety occasionally. Made it to the bus on time. Stood around a campfire and stayed warm. It wasn't even a frigid morning and really was a wonderful day. The race started and took off. Uneventful. No worries other than the pressure from the bloat. Now, let me tell you something about the start of a race like this:

If you ever doubt the optimism of people, look at the start of a running race.

People don't understand or are not aware of the concept of pace flags. I lined up in my normal 8 min/mile section which is sorta far from the front. But it was like I passed half the field in the first 5 minutes, human detritus with no business being that close to the start line in the 6 and 7 min/mile pace areas.

Now I am no speed demon, but just line up where you belong and leave the road open for faster runners so we don't have to trip over ya!

The first mile was a blur and I just wanted to get away from the throng (marathrong?) of optimists. Which I mostly did at the top of the first hill. And then the bloat really kicked in. And I dialed it back to a spot in the upper Zone 3. And stayed there for the next 8 miles. Which was okay other than the discomfort. I got passed by a lot of people, and tried to go with a few of them, but found that the pressure would build and I'd slow down again. I limited my fluid and food intake, which helped, and by mile 9 started to come around. Which was according to plan. So I figured I would stick with the plan as long as I could, pushing into Zone 5 to the line.

And then the day got hard. I still felt like crap with waves of bloating the rest of the day. No rest in sight, we carried on to Smarty Pant's dance recital and then on to Wifey's cousin's wedding. Finally I experienced near-death slumber.

UP next: RAGNAR.

May 11, 2010

Here We Go ... Again

I'm staring another Ogden Half Marathon in the face. I know because the frequency of runners on the streets and sidewalks the last two weeks tells me so. I see them when I am going to the pool at 5:30am and when I'm driving to work.

I'm ready as I'm gonna be to go out and enjoy myself on Saturday for about 100 minutes. I'm confident that I have trained to run a good race, in a reasonable time, without spending any time in the pain cave. I have to wonder when I see most of these folks, just how many of them have actually trained or if they are trying to cram their training into a couple of weeks like they would for a final exam in school. Because you can't do it like that. Physical adaptations aren't absorbed like learning from a book. If you don't have it by two weeks out, you aren't going to have it.

Not that I have "it," mind you. Sure I've been training, and tapering. I think I've put in more quality running miles in 2010 than I ever have during training for a half marathon. I still ain't going to win. I'll be lucky to finish in the top 50 in my age group. But I am confident that I can run a respectable time without feeling like I've been plowed by a bus afterward. And, if you have read some of my earlier posts this year, you'll know that is the new goal. Compete, have fun, don't feel like, or have, a baboon's ass afterward.

Unlike those poor bastards I see every year that have waited until it's too late to train.