Sunday, April 10, 2016

Race updates

Yup a bit overdue.

I used to post my race plans for the year in early January, well that hasn't happened and to get the year off to not so good start, I started the race season with a DNS at Zoom Yah! Yah!. Turned out besides my poor training I went into the race weekend trying to recover from being sick all week. The day before ZYY, I went to the club and tried to get in a couple miles on the treadmill and couldn't make a mile so I pulled the plug.

As to this year, we have a lot of things going on in May (youngest daughter's graduation and oldest daughter's wedding) followed by the start of my marathon season.

Med City Marathon -- May 29th

FANs Volunteer -- June 4th
Minneapolis Marathon -- June 5th
Grandma's Marathon -- June 18th

Afton 25k or 50k? -- July 2nd
Turtle Trot Triathlon -- July 16th

St. Paul Urban -- August 20th

Marquette Marathon -- September 3rd
Walker Marathon  -- September 17th
Mill Race Marathon -- September 24th

Twin Cities Marathon (Ultra Looney) -- October 8 & 9th
Surf the Murph (tbd) -- October 22nd

Dates in green are paid for races, yellow are under consideration

You can see I am sticking with the MN marathons and 50k's for this year but with our youngest out of college my wife and I can renew the 50 state marathon quest going forward.

Any recommendations?

Monday, January 4, 2016

Time to catch up - 2015 stats

Well, I am long overdue in posting so I will do a short summary of my fall and then add in my 2015 stats.

When I last posted I was heading to run the Mankato marathon. I decided to DNS and instead I got a Doctor's appointment. We discussed my options, and agreed that the best option was for me to go in for PT. I did and was pleasantly surprised to get the probable cause for my Posterior Tib Tendonitis. The root cause, a pathetically weak core. I flunked all of the hip stability and strength tests. She provided me with some simple exercises (Clam shell, Bridge with leg lifts plus a few more) and she recommended more supportive and higher heel drop shoes to take any pressure off of the tendon. The initial assessment is it is working, I am running pain free for the first time and like forever. I have a long ways to go but am on track.

As far as 2015 goes, I endured 6 marathons for the year (Lake Wobegon, MedCity, Minneapolis, Grandmas, Walker and the TCM Ultra Loony Challenge, the Turtle Trot Tri and the Gobble Gait 8k) and that's my year. I say endure as every step of each race hurt to some degree and the more steps I took the more pain I got to endure.

I found this cartoon of Sylvester the cat and I think he has nicely captured what I have done to myself. My continuing to run through injury after injury has proven to be an unwise choice and what's funny my core has been weak since I popped something and had a lot of hip flexor issues.

Anyway, I am on track for a better 2016. I have my first race scheduled for next Sunday, the Zoom Yah! Yah! indoor marathon in Northfield, MN. My only issue is very poor training in late December where a combination of weather, sickness and work had me miss out on my final 2 or 3 long runs. Add in the normal poor December diet habits and well it could be a challenge and possibly a stupid way to start the year. So is it a good idea to try a marathon with a couple of long runs of 13 miles?

As to 2015, here are the stats:

Miles - 1140 miles
High mileage month - May, 148 miles
Low mileage month - February, 66 miles 

Weekly Avg. - 2192 miles
Longest run - 26.2 miles

Average run - 5.38 miles
Consecutive days - 8
Max days run in a week - 7

Average days run/week - 4.08
Total days run this year - 212

Weekday runs - 46.3% of available days
Weekend runs - 85.6% of available days

Events Participated in
Lake Wobegon Trail Marathon - Sat 5/9th - Completed
Race for the Cure 5k - Sun, 5/10th - Completed
Med-City Marathon - 5/24th - Completed 
Minneapolis Marathon - 5/31st - Completed
FANS 12 hr - Sat 6/6th - Volunteered

Grandmas Marathon - 6/20th - 15th Grandmas in 2015 - Completed
Turtle Trot Triathlon - 7/18th - Completed
Walker/North Country Races - 9/19th - Completed
Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon - Ultra Loony Challenge - Completed
Mankato Marathon - 10/18th - DNS
Surf the Murph 25k - Sat 10/24th - Volunteered 
Gobble Gait 8k - Thur 11/26th - Completed

Friday, October 16, 2015

Running Race Acronyms

Runner Lingo  50+ Definitions of Common Running Terms & AcronymsWhen I first started running I had to learn running terms, things like the following:

DNF - Did Not Finish
DNS - Did Not Start
DFL - Dead F*cking Last
PR - Personal Record
PB - Personal Best
PW - Personal Worst

There are many more but while I was on a run recently, I came up with one of my own:


Which stands for "Should Not Start", this reflects what I ponder at most of my races :-). So what is the criteria folks use for should I start or not? For me, it's pretty simple. Here are the questions I go through:
  • Can I finish within the time limit?
  • Will I cause more damage?
  • Will it cost me more to go than what I have invested in race fees?
  • Do I have a race streak going?
  • Would I feel better to finish last or to not start?
  • What's the worse thing that will happen?
  • Am I ok with a DNF if things go bad?
  • My last question always is, what do I have to lose?
You might be thinking that a SNS leads to a DNS which could be true but in my case it usually leads to a finish, I guess it also has lead to a DNF, DFL, PR, PB and PW. So all things considered if I look all of my marathons over the last 2 years all were SNS but apparently I seldom heed to logic and common sense.

Now about Mankato, should I go? Of course I will probably give it a go :-)

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Twin Cities Marathon - Ultra Loony Challege Weekend

I went into this year's Ultra Loony Weekend about like last years. Somewhat injured which made me think, why I am doing this. That's easy, because I enjoy it. Yes I would enjoy it a whole lot more if I had no injuries but I still enjoy myself.

Turned out, I took a bit longer to recover from Walker then I had planned, my legs felt great but my PTT had my foot/ankle hurting. My post Walker runs were not good but I was able to get through them and I figured I should still go for it as I made it last year and I was no worse than then.

I met Karyn at the expo again this year, she had decided to run the 10k which meant we could drive up together and run the 10k together. At the expo, I ran into quite a few people I know. I talked with Dane L. who was running backwards from the finish to the start and then back to the finish as training for Javelina, oh to be an ultrarunner again. I then ran into John Storkamp and to my surprise he knew my name, pretty much made my day. I suffer what many back of the packers probably do, I know about all of the runners by name but figure that they don't know who I am as why should they. I had a similar experience a few years back when Helen L. (now S.) knew my name when I weighed in at FANs. Anyway, it was nice, I also ran into a neighbor who was running the 10 miler and a former co-worker who was also doing the 10 miler. My other highlight of the expo was when I stopped by the Twin Cities in Motion booth and when they heard I was doing the Ultra Loony Challenge again, one of them said so that makes you a charter member which means I will be doing it again next year and the year after and so on, well you get the idea. I picked up my numbers and shirts  and Karyn got hers and we were out of there. When we got home though I noticed that Karyn had a 5k chip and shirt, oops back to the expo to get the right chip and shirt.

We got to the 10k in plenty of time, parking again at the same garage as last year which was free and close to the festivities, sure beats paying the $20 for the Sears lot. We ran the 10k together with no issues, I did my run-walk after the first mile and it went pretty well. A little slower (about a minute and a 1/2) than last year but the foot didn't bother me too much. For the 5k, it was chaos, as some walkers got too close to the start so runners were going around, add in all the young kids and I saw 4 or 5 runners get tripped up and hit the pavement. Once we got up the hill, things spaced out a bit and I was able to get into my run-walk routine, for the 5k my time was about a minute faster than the year before but the pace seemed fine and although the foot was sore I was still optimistic about the marathon.

For the marathon, like the year before I asked Karyn to drop me at the light rail station in Bloomington which worked great the year before. Of course this year, I screwed up and forgot my Garmin which led to us turning around when we were only about 5 minutes away but it had me muttering some words that shouldn't be said. Ok muttering might not be that accurate. Well it worked out ok as Karyn got me to the light rail and I made the train with 15 seconds to spare. Even if I had missed that one I would have been fine but I would have stressed a lot more.

The race started and my plan was to use the run-walk approach and if it went well, to finish in 5 1/2 hrs if the foot worked ok, maybe faster. It's funny for me to say that I use the run-walk approach as I can't run longer than a few minutes at a time.

Things got off a bit rocky when I looked at my Garmin after a few minutes of running and it showed a 15 minute/mile pace which caused instant stress. I was running and expected to see 10 min/mile pace. It turned out ok as I hit the 1 mile marker at just under 12 minutes with my Garmin showing the distance at .85 miles which explained the slower early pace. After that it was  accurate and I stayed focused and relaxed. I saw a co-worker at mile 4, ran into Scott Huston around mile 8 or so, we chatted briefly and then I continued.

It was shortly after that when my foot/ankle started causing me more issues. I tried to focus on my form which can help me ignore the pain but by mile 12 I knew the day might go longer than I hoped. I held things together until around mile 15 when I almost had to sit down as the pain was so intense. I hopped on it a bit and walked through it and then walked a bit more and it calmed down but the problem with the foot/ankle is that when it gets intense I walk slower and run slower as I can't push off and I lose time which causes stress. I accepted that my time goal might be lost and hobbled my way forward.

I just wanted to get to the Franklin bridge, and then the Medtronic water stop, Alarc wall, St. Thomas hill, have a beer somewhere on Summit and eventually get to the cathedral one more time. One thing that kept going through my head when I debated dropping before the bridge was that I can't as I am a charter member of the Ultra Loony so I had to keep going. I had my beer around mile 23 (thank you Growler) and then just kept going and although it seemed like forever it was over with before I knew it. My slowest Twin Cities ever (5:49:06) but it was a marathon and an Ultra Loony finish so I was happy to have it over.

This year everything worked out, the volunteers were fabulous, the weather was the best ever and the course is gorgeous. My thanks to the organization, sponsors and volunteers, great event. Can't wait until next year to do it all again.


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