Sunday, May 31, 2015

Minneapolis Marathon

My third marathon in May is complete and it went well.

Turned out to be the fastest of the three (albeit still a very slow time for most runners) and was probably the hardest of the 3 courses. I was again using the Galloway run-walk approach of 60-60 and it again worked well. I lost a few minutes in the last 2 miles but that was more due to the foot as I couldn't run down hills on it. My splits were pretty consistent so this method is working and my recovering is quick as evidence of running Med City last week and running consistently today.

Although I did say I wasn't going to discuss injuries this year, this is not the same issue I had last year with my plantar, I believe it's a return of posterior tibial tendinitis or it could be the tibialis anterior tendon. The good news is I taped it with KT tape this week after Med City and it seemed to help. It is quite tender at the attachment point to the foot near the medial cuneiform (I think). I may go in and get it looked at to see if there is anything I can do to get pain free ahead of Grandmas

Back to Minneapolis, what an enjoyable marathon. The volunteers were great but the course is what I enjoyed (see map and elevation profile below). Considering the cancellation of last years event, this year was a nice recovery by Team Ortho and did I mention how perfect the weather was this year, blue sky, mid 40's at the start, low 60's at the finish. I also think it's a decent value, you pay ~$80, you get a jacket (picture from the website) which is pretty nice and are running through a major city which adds a bit of cost. Although I still don't like that they hand out a finisher's jacket ahead of the race and I believe sell them at the expo. Can't blame them for wanting to make some money but then I would prefer it to not say finisher, anyway it's a nice participant jacket.

The marathon starts in Theodore Wirth, heads north through Victory Memorial parkway, meanders over 94 and the river,snakes through North Minneapolis, through St. Anthony, through the U of M and then down east River road, over the Franklin bridge to west river road and down to Minnehaha Park where we turn around, staying on West River road, cross over the Franklin avenue bridge to East River road, back towards the U of M then cross over the Northern Pacific bridge (nice view from there of the river) and end up finishing in Gold Medal Park.

MM15 Technical Course Map

MM15 M Elevation

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Data doesn't lie

I was lamenting my recent marathon times trying to figure out how I can get back to running sub 5 hrs or even a little over 5 hrs when I chose to do a little data analysis, here goes.

Key data points:
Image result for cartoon images of data analysis1st marathon - 1993 at age 35, weight ~185
1st knee surgery - 1999 at age 41, weight ~194
2nd knee surgery -2003 at age 45, weight ~205

23 Marathons run from 1993 through 2003
Average time - 4:38
Fastest time - 4:02 (1st and 3rd marathon)
Slowest time - 5:22 (after knee surgery)
Lowest weight - 180
Max weight - 205 (after 2nd surgery)

20 Marathons run from 2004 through 2015
Average time - 5:43
Fastest time - 5:03 (lowest weight)
Slowest time - 6:27 (after plantar rupture)
Lowest weight - 208
Max weight - 230

Image result for running images with quotesSo the knee surgeries did ultimately hurt as did running through injuries and I was 10 years older but the bottom line is weight may be the key issue. It may not come as a surprise but during my first 10 years of running marathons I more often got to the start line injured, many of which should have kept me from running the event. So all things considered, if I want to get faster, the best option would appear to be to drop 30+ lbs and then see what happens.

My plan for this year has been to work on weight and I have dropped a few pounds but my main focus has been on running marathons without causing new injuries. I have had some success but have a few nagging issues that I am working through. My current weight is around 227 down from probably a peak of 235 and I am planning to be at 222 for Grandmas and 212 by TCM.

My actual plan is to drop 35 lbs by 4/1/2016. I set that goal this past April when I realized that my losing weight by running wasn't working and my metabolism probably needed a boost to get things working well. I tend to accomplish things I write down and now by posting it in my blog I am pretty sure I will follow through.

Stay tuned for future updates in the coming weeks.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Med City Marathon

Another marathon finished.

Med City MarathonThe foot was sore throughout so I didn't push it but instead focused on my fueling. I do enjoy running this event. I have viewed these initial marathons as training runs, that said I am not sure I could have gone a whole lot faster. The test will come at Grandmas where I will have 3 weeks to taper after Mpls. Back to Med City, I drove down the morning of and parked in the 1st street lot which is within 100 ft of the buses to the start line and free on the weekends. Picked up my packet in Byron, got ready and before I knew it, I was underway.

For this event, I chose to not wear my Nathan, instead relying on carrying a couple of water bottles loaded with Nuun, clif shot blocks and jelly bellys in my pockets. I wanted to make sure that I ate a bit more and stayed on top of my nutrition.

The weather for today was drizzle but the temp was perfect, not too cold nor hot. Probably not the best day for volunteers.

The course for this year was altered as they are working on the Convention Center. I didn't know that until I went by it around mile 20 or so. The course is really pretty interesting, your run in from Byron, head out to Quarry Park, move over to the jail, then the Technical college, down to Bear Creek and then back towards downtown, then along the Zumbro, around Soldiers golf course and then on to the finish. You can see from the Garmin data that it loops around a bit. Very Enjoyable.

Anyway, I finished and the nutrition plan worked, I was not very fast, but the pace seemed to work and I wasn't in last place so I guess it was a good day.

Oh one last thing, when you finish Med City, MN RED serves you a beer. This year they had Summit IPA and Grain Belt, nothing like a cold beer after a marathon.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Lake Wobegon Marathon

As predicted my training was close but not good enough.

The race went overall pretty well but around 20 miles the foot got pretty sore and I messed up on fueling so the wheels sputtered. I finished but lost 12 to 15 minutes over the final 6 or 7 miles, hopefully I can stay on track at Med City.

It was a beautiful day and the volunteers were great. The Lake Wobegon course is nicer than I would have expected from a bike trail. I thought it would be boring but between the towns, some creeks, some roads, some trees and bridges it was enjoyable. The one part that wasn't enjoyable was when around mile 5 the sweeper came up along side of me as I was in last place. He was on a bike and we talked off and on for the next 13 miles. Around mile 18 I passed a runner and the sweeper stayed with him. It was nice to be alone again and not in last place. After that I continued on until the gas meter went low. It was funny as some bikers passed and then about a 1/2 hour later they came back by and one of them offered me a gel. I must've looked like I needed it, I thanked him but said I had my own except I hadn't taken in anything for 2 hours. So my nutrition for the day consisted of a packet of jelly bellys about an hour in, followed by 2 or 3 Clif  shot blocks at 2 hours and then the gel around 4 hrs which explains the loss of energy. I drank Nuun throughout which works well for me for fluids and electrolytes.

The foot has continued to be sore,not really sure what the issue is as I have some real sensitivity above the arch on the navicular. Tomorrow will be a test, my thinking is to give it a go and if things aren't right to think about a DNF. Hopefully it works out.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Marathon Season begins

Lake Wobegon Trail MarathonSo my first race of the year is Saturday, the Lake Wobegon Marathon.

Am I ready, yes and no, Yes as I have gotten in some training but it wasn't as much as I was hoping for and no as I still have some issues with the foot and I have not lost the weight I figured I would lose. Oh well, I will be in no hurry and my plan is to simply take what my body is capable of doing and seeing what happens. Worst case I DNF all other cases say I finish. As a reminder to myself, my goal is to finish.

I will again be using the Galloway method, I am not sure what time intervals yet, that will be a Saturday morning decision. Over the last few weeks I have tried a variety of time intervals, ranging from 4 minutes running - 1 minute walking to 60 seconds running - 40 seconds walking to 45 seconds running - 30 seconds walking to 30 seconds running - 20 seconds walking. The good news is that they all work and I should be able to run between 12 and 13 minute miles. Here is Galloway's recommendation from a recent podcast, you can also check out his website.

Pace/Mile Ratio Ratio Ratio
13 to 14 30-30 20-20 15-15
12 to 13 45-30 30-20 15-10
11 to 12 60-30 40-20 30-15
10 to 11 90-30 60-20 30-10
Sub 9 120-30 80-20 40-10

On my final longish run (17 miles) I did find the short duration bursts (30-20) to possibly work the best as my HR never got higher than 125 although I did have a low sugar or something moment where things fell apart for a few miles around mile 12 or so. One negative of the short bursts is that it did take some mental energy to stay on task. I hadn't thought about the effect of using Galloway on HR, but in reviewing the data over the last 3 long runs it does keep the HR lower by 5 to 15 beats per mile over the distance which makes sense. Does that help extend the distance, I don't know but I will be experimenting all summer so maybe I will figure it out.

Time to focus on resting this week so I hit the line feeling good.


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