Happy Halloween everyone!
Good luck to all the MCM Runners!
The race photos are up. A few came out ok, but nothing worth paying for the full size. I like the one of me standing on the finish line. It was a bittersweet moment. I finished, and was happy by that, but seeing my time and knowing how close it was to being so much better was disappointing.
This morning a hesitantly clicked the button sending $106.75 to the wonderful folks hosting The Yuengling Shamrock Marathon. I only have a few weeks to relax before training starts for it. I’ve started to look for a treadmill because I can not rely on doing my long runs outside all winter long.
My hamstring is still fairly sore, I most likely pulled it some while hobbling for two miles yesterday. No running this week!
I may have had a crappy finish for the race yesterday but could this face be one of utter disappointment?
Taken at Buffalo Wild Wings shortly after we left.
On Wednesday the race pics are supposed to be posted and I’m hoping for some good ones. I “posed” for a bunch of cameras throughout the race. I’ll post any I can find.
Oh, and I’m probably going to try for two more races this year. A Turkey Trot, and a Christmas race.
The morning began at 4:30 with the alarm clock blaring it’s ugly tune to get up. I don’t recall what time I got to sleep but it was somewhere around 10:00, so I wasn’t for lack of sleep, but it was still hard to get up that early. I got up, hoped in the shower and we were off. Stopping at 7-11 for some coffee along the way. We made it to the metro station about 25 minutes to 6:00 and had to wait on the platform for awhile before it opened. When it did, we had a pleasant surprise… we were able to catch the yellow line and didn’t have to make a switch over like we thought. Connor was tired, but he loves trains and enjoyed showing his stuffed animals the train. Off we went and about 45 minutes of rest.
We arrived at the pentagon and out to a darkened view. The excitement was in the air and I had a twinge of excitement…… wait, it wasn’t from the excitement, but the need to pee. We fumbled around locating the jons and ended up getting in line while a guy was hollering about 100’s of open potties on the other side of the stage. We decided to stay put… a good thing too, because after I headed through the runners security, I realized they were for runners only. Jen would have been out of luck
We watched a paratrooper come in and I prepared to head out. We said our goodbyes and I was off to the starting line. I took about 10 minutes to do some stretching, ate a GU (mint chocolate…yum!) and proceeded to my corral.
It was supposed to be two waves, and subdivided by color. Well when I lined up in my color (white) corral, it was a rainbow of colors… bib-wise.
We stood around, thousands of us, waiting for the start. Wounded warriors first, then wave one, then us. I crossed the starting line about 13 minutes after the wave 2 gun went off.
The race was packed tighter than a cheap can of sardines. I made an executive decision to run the first mile without walking, for fear of being run over. I took it slow and steadying, knowing I tend to get caught up in the excitement and go out to fast. The crowd and runners were both awesome. and things were off to a great start. Hitting mile one at a 10:52, I was going strong. That’s when I decided to start the run/walks. Mile two was great. We crossed over into DC and to a large crowd of spectators. Running by the Lincoln Monument and around to Virginia Street, I was feeling strong. I hit mile 2 in 11:34, right on target. Up Virginia Ave, to the sounds of a band (there were several along the route), and passing by the State Department (I do some work there on occasion). Scenery-wise, this is probably the dullest of the entire route. Mainly, I was pushing strong through here and focused on my running. I could tell I was have a great race at the time.
Miles 3-4 along the river. Again, I was focused hard on myself and the pack. My preferred position is on the left side of the road, and there were plenty of spectators cheering us on. Somewhere around here I started to take a Cliffs Bloks. I’d been drinking water throughout the race and thought I was doing well nutrition-wise. Mile 5 and along the Washington Monument, I was really enjoying myself. My running was strong, I wasn’t over doing it, and everything about the race was just working. Coming on the mall and the crowd became huge! It was extremely motivating and running through the mall, where I’d worked for nearly a year, brought back memories from my former job and thoughts of how much better my life is now. I was having a great race.
Mile 6 marker was by the American Indian Museum (Which I used to service) and right on the corner was a high school band. We turned north and looped back around the front of the Capitol then back down the mall. Somewhere around here I started to feel some pain in my hamstring, but I didn’t think much about it. My feet were feeling good, I was well hydrated, and breathing was steady. Somewhere between mile 7 and 8, I hit it. I had stopped for a walk, and realized my right hamstring was getting worse. I stopped and did some stretching, and took the next run very slow. It didn’t get better. Turing the last main corner and it was slightly over 2 miles left. I took a break at a port-a-jon and massaged my leg. Did some stretching and attempted to get back to it. I got about 10 seconds in and more sharp pain. I tried off and on to run for about 1/2 a mile from when it first hit, but about the 8 mile mark I made the decision to stop the running and walk the rest.
This was very disheartening. Only about 5 minutes prior, I was having a great race. It was going so great, that I had decided I was going to run the last mile without walk breaks. I’d been set to run well above my goal and was excited. When the pain over took me, I was pissed off and feeling like crap. I tried to speed walk it, but after a bit, even that was causing pain. Stopping every few minutes to stretch and rub my hamstring, and I only continued to slow down. Soon enough even the other walkers were passing me, and people were asking if I was ok.
Around the 9 mile mark, I could have easily given up. I’d been walking for over a mile, the pain was constant, and my goals had all but slipped away. One thing I kept noticing were the shirts of my fellow runners. A lot of runners were doing it in memory of fallen soldiers, or were injured or retired soldiers themselves and I used that to help me through the last mile. Hobbling along, I came into the last turn and pushed through to the finish. I nearly collapsed, not in exhaustion, but from the pain. I found the medic tent and checked in to have my hamstring looked at. The Dr. that saw me agreed that it was a cram and not a pulled muscle. I did some stretching and proceeded to go find Jen and Connor. I collected my medal, hobbled over to our pre-arranged meeting spot, and sat down, contemplating the race. We were supposed to meet some friends afterwards, but decided it was better to head home.
When we got off the metro at the last stop, a fellow runner got up, and was hobbling similar to me. Come to find out he works at Fort Meade as well, and had a similar (although not as severe) injury as me. It’s strange, but that made me feel better.
So to sum it all up… The Army 10 Miler was one of the best races I’ve been in. Partially because I work for the Army, used to work in the area of the race, and the administration and spectatorship of the race was top notch. the first 7.5 miles of the race I was kicking ass. I was feeling great, having a good time doing it, and happy as can be. The last 2.5 miles were a struggle I faced and beat. Even though it came off crappy towards the end, the race was still an accomplishment, and I am very glad I did it. Did I meet all of my goals, no. Did I complete my first one (to finish) yes I did and I’ll do it again next year damnit! Possibly side by side with my wife too!
I believe I've narrowed it down to the The Yuengling Shamrock Marathon in March. It's at Virginia Beach and I have the Force Health Protection Conference less than 30 miles away that following week I've already got hotel reservations there in case I choose to attend pre-conference workshops. As long as I don’t have to attend a workshop that Sunday, then I’ll be free to run it. Also,I can do the Whale Challenge by completing the TowneBank 8k that Saturday. I’m thinking if I choose to do it, then let’s go all out! It’s only an additional $35. Hmmm. Off to contemplate things…
Tonight the entire family (minus the doggies) did the challenge Paige and Connor tired then jumped and flipped around. It made for a fun time.
Push-ups:10, 12, 7, 7, Max (I did 12)
Sit-ups: 15, 18, 11, 11, Max (I did 23)
No squats this week
Push-ups: 4, 6, 4, 4, Max (She did 12)
Sit-ups: 6, 9, 6, 6, Max (She did 10)
Squats: 6, 8, 5, 5, Max (She did 20)
Tomorrow is my units PT test. I’m hoping they all pass! It’s good to be a civilian!!!!
Congratulations to the following for participating and winning The Runnersbug Virtual Non-Race. I didn’t have a great turnout but to all that participated and spread the word, a big thanks!
Lisa at Chasin’ Bunnies for posting pictures from a great run. She lives in the great state of New Mexico and has awesome places where she runs. Thanks for posting the pics!
Bobbi at Zero to 26.2 for having the kind of run everyone needs to have. She did just as asked and “it turned into one of THOSE runs.” This was exactly why I chose a Non-race; to bring yourself back to why you love to run.
Stacy at Dare To Tri for being creative with the run. Stacy chose to do a treadmill run, not exactly what I was intending but it worked great for her. This allowed her to “distract myself with some good Sunday football” and kept her mind busy with formulating 2011 goals.
Lastly, Ginny at Neurosis of the Stay at Home Mom of 3 for going above and beyond what I had asked. She not only chose the 10 miler, but she did it twice! Although she admits “I did wear my watch, so, there was some watch looking”. Not to worry, I actually did the same. I nearly always do run/walks so I have to have a way of timing the intervals.
For the prizes, I’ve decided that I will make a custom painting for all four winners. I am also gathering some various goodies, mostly energy gels, drinks, etc to send out. Please send me your addresses (Both email and snail mail) to email@example.com . If you have a photo already send it along with a description of what you’d like it to look like. If not, we can discuss it.
Congrats again Lisa, Bobbi, Stacy, and Ginny!!
Today I ran 8 miles on the NCR Trail as my last training run before the Army 10 Miler. I will probably do 2 light runs this week (Tues,Thurs) but nothing too strenuous. I’m also cutting out the squats challenge until next week. The run was great. I didn’t leave until about 10 because it was COLD this morning. By the time I got there, it had warmed up and was a perfect autumn day. Sun shining, light breeze, and the leaves. Many of the leaves are changing colors and starting to fall. It was a very pretty day for a run and I’d wished I’d had my camera.
My goal was to run 11 min/mile pace, but I was feeling great and pushed it too much the first two miles. Big mistake. After two miles, my times got longer. Not horribly longer, and to be fair I’ve been running 2/1 and not the 3/1 or 4/1 that I’ve done in the past so it shouldn’t have been fast. Here are my times:
Mile 1: 10:31
Mile 2: 10:33
Mile 3: 11:25
Mile 4: 12:16 (took a minute to have an energy gel)
Mile 5: 11:52
Mile 6: 11:43
Mile 7: 12:00
Mile 8: 11:33
Average mile: 11:29
For the race I’m going to increase the running portion. Probably 2:30/1 in the hopes of getting closer to 11 min/mile.
Yesterday was the Baltimore Running Festival and I knew quite a few people running it. I’ve yet to hear from any of them, but I hope it went well. I chose not to run any of the distances because of it being a week before the Army 10 Miler. Next year, I plan to run it. This afternoon Paige has her last kids race. I hope she does great today!
Tonight we let Connor stay downstairs while we exercised and he loved it. He tried to do them along with us. It made it more enjoyable so we’re going to try it with the whole family next week. I’m going to hold off on the squats next week though.
Push-ups:5, 7, 5, 5, Max (I did 8)
Sit-ups: 8, 12, 8, 8, Max (I did 17)
Squats: 7, 11, 7, 7, Max (I did 20)
Push-ups: 4, 5, 4, 4, Max (She did 8)
Sit-ups: 6, 7, 6, 6, Max (She did 9)
Squats: 5, 6, 5, 5, Max (She did 15)
Still going strong! Jen was definitely feeling it tonight. She changed to crunches because she struggled to get up. I’m sure she’ll feel better on Friday. I still have to applaud her for doing them!
Push-ups: 5, 6, 4, 4, Max (I did 11)
Sit-ups: 7, 9, 6, 6, Max (I did 18)
Squats: 6, 8, 5, 5, Max (I did 19)
Push-ups: 3, 4, 2, 3 Max (She did 8)
Sit-ups: 5, 6, 3, 5, Max (She did 13)
Squats: 5, 5, 3, 5, Max (She did 20)
Tomorrow I’ll see how my shins are doing. If they’re still sore, then I’m going to hold off on the squats until after the Army 10 Miler.
Speaking of, I received my bib number (17955). We’re definitely heading into DC for the pre-race expo the day before. I am NOT going to risk trying to pick up my package the morning of like I did for the Komen Race.
Today my goal was to run another speed mile. It failed miserably. I did a short warm up, stretched then headed out. I got about 1/3rd of a mile in and died. No steam left in the caboose. I ended up walking to the 1/2 mile mark then tried again, and gave out about a minute into it. I ended up walking the rest of the way. Two things:
1. My shins were sore again, most likely from the squat challenge. I think I’m going to hold it off until after the Army 10 Miler, then start it back again. I don’t want to cause any injuries before the race. I’ll be keeping the push-up and sit-ups going though.
2. I didn’t eat a lunch today and given I haven’t had anything since about 9:00 a.m. I had no energy to sustain the speed work.
I’ll try another speed mile on Thursday. I’ll be sure to eat prior to it.
Tonight Jen joined me in the challenge. She’s starting on week one so I’ll be a week ahead of her. Maybe I’ll increase mine by a week so we finish it together. Things felt easier today than last week, although it’s still challenging, just more natural feeling.
Push-ups: 4, 6, 4, 4, Max (I did 9)
Sit-ups: 6, 9, 6, 6, Max (I did 18)
Squats: 6, 8, 5, 5, Max (I did 21)
Push-ups: 2, 3, 2, 2, Max (She did 8)
Sit-ups: 3, 4, 3, 3, Max (She did 8)
Squats: 3, 4, 3, 3, Max (She did 17)
Tomorrow I’m planning another speed mile. Hoping to get it under 9:00 but it’s not going to be on a track so we’ll see!
This morning I decided to do my virtual non-race. I was originally thinking of doing the 10 miles at a very slow pace, but decided that would be pushing it so I chose the 10K instead. I headed over to one of my favorite routes, the NCR Trail, grabbed my walkman and a bottle of water and hit the road.
I was glad I decided against the 10 miles because my shins were sore. Most likely from my Squat Challenge. I took it slow and steady and kept forcing myself to slow it down. I wanted to savor the run.
It was a nice cool morning and there were plenty of people on the trail. I always enjoy it more when there are other people out there. The curious nod as you pass by, acknowledging effort, the smile from walkers, and the happy tail wagging of dogs. It makes for a nice run. The weather was great too. Nice and cool with a gentle breeze. I must say it was a near perfect day for a run.
I kept to my 2/1 intervals and didn’t push it at all. Just a nice relaxing run, listening to some great music. Afterwards, I headed home, showered, then we went to see The Legends of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole” which was a great CGI movie.
I’ve been thinking of some prizes for the virtual race and outside of the normal Gu, Nuun, etc. I thought I’d offer up something unique. I have a hobby of enhancing photos and/or making photo paintings on the computer. What a better prize than a personalize painting of your favorite running photo.
The winner from each distance will be offered a handmade photo painting. I can’t afford to actually print them out, so it will only be a digital copy, but there are quite a few places online that will print to canvas if you’d like. I’ll just make the image, but you can do with it as you like. The winners will need to send me a pic of them running or something else running related of them. Here are a few examples of my work
I hope everyone had a great weekend!
Being that I was off Monday for a holiday and Friday for my regular day off, I decided to take off the rest of the week. So, starting today I’m off for nine days!
I began the break by going over to the track on post and running a speed mile. I did a 1/4 mile warm up and stretches first. I wanted to time myself at an above race pace but not dead sprinting. The goal was to run the mile “uncomfortably fast” and warn out at the end, but not keeling over like I would sprinting. It was great, I finished fairly strong with a 9:01 mile. Better than I was anticipating! I did a cool down 1/4 run then headed home where I decided to knock out day three of my challenge:
Push-ups: 4, 5, 4, 4, Max (I did 10)
Sit-ups: 6, 7, 6, 6, Max (I did 17)
Squats: 5, 6, 5, 5, Max (I did 16)
Now it’s off to shower then a “Bull Roast” for Jen’s work tonight.
Catch Ya Later!
I was still sore from day one, but I set to it and got the job done.
Push-ups: 3, 4, 2, 3, Max (I did 8)
Sit-ups: 5, 6, 3, 5, Max (I did 22)
Squats: 5, 5, 3, 5, Max (I did 15)
It did feel easier to do the movements, even if I was a sore. I still need to find something to help my wrists during push-ups.
So what is your current challenge?
I didn’t think I’d be sore after last nights challenge workout….but I was wrong. I’m not dying but I can definitely feel it today. Stomach muscles, pecks, and shins all are tender. I guess that means it’s working!
Tonight I ran with Fleet Feet for the first time in a few months. I went with a group doing 1.5/1 and it went well. We ran slightly over 4 miles and ended at 50:24. It’s a slower run than normal but I enjoy running with the group. We took a rather hilly route to boot.
Not much else to report. If you haven’t signed up for the Virtual-Run, you have until Friday at 5:00! Join in and spread the word!
Jen has come down with a horrible fever and has been out of it all day. I wasn’t about to push her to working out in this condition so I’ve started the challenge on my own. Tonight was pretty easy. The reps were small and mainly I wanted to get used to the movements. I think it went fairly well.
Push-ups: 2, 3, 2, 2, max (I did 6)
Sit-ups: 3, 4, 3, 3, max (I did 20)
Squats: 3, 4, 3, 3, max (I did 13)
1) I need some push-up bars. My wrists are weak and I need to get some bars to alleviate pressure on the wrists.
2) While I have to watch sit-ups because of my back, this is my strong area.
3) Squats sure make my joints creak. I felt like an old rotting boat.
4) Do not attempt exercise in the same room as a neurotic dog!
Starting tomorrow Jen and I will begin three challenges. 100 pushups, 200 sit-ups, and 200 squats. From everything I’ve read, these challenges are fairly doable and should help develop some strength throughout our bodies. I’m looking forward to seeing the results in 6 weeks!
This morning was one screwed up pre race. I woke up at 6:00 hoped in the shower and we were off by 6:30. The plan was to stop at Panera Bread for for some coffee and a pastry but they weren’t open yet. So we stopped at 7-11 and just got coffee. As we got closer to the race, the road traffic increased and we ended up sitting in line trying to park for a while. We got to the site and since I registered later, I had to pick up my bib. Jen had registered a long time ago and hers was mailed. Jen and Connor waited at one location while I went to grab my bib and shirt. That was a nightmare. I was standing in line to pick up my bib (line for A,B,C last names) and waited for over 30 minutes. Once I got up there, I was told my bib was in the line for timed racers and was directed towards another line that would have been 30 minutes or more. At this point it was already race time and thankfully I found a lady that went and grabbed mine from that line. Of course by this time, the gun has already gone off, Jen and Connor were no where to be found, and I wasn’t exactly sure where the starting line was (very poor organization and signage). I saw some other people running towards the start so I followed them and got up to the start.
When I crossed the starting line, the race had already been under way over 4 minutes. Not too big of a deal because this race was PACKED! I’ll have to look up the number later. Anyway, I took off, already winded from sprinting to the starting line, and having to pee. Not the best way to start a race. Settling in to the first mile I ran continuously. Dodging walkers all over the place. Having decided last night that I was planning to run the first mile before walking, I was feeling good about the race so far. The pack was horribly crowded and I kept getting cut off or having to slow down because the entire road was taken up by a group of walkers. Come on people! Just because you want to do it as a group doesn’t mean you have to be side by side! I came up to the first mile with a pretty good time (9:54). A bit faster than I was planning but overall feeling good.
I ran another couple of minutes then decided to take a walk/drink break. Having packed my fuel belt with a Nuun, I enjoyed some berry goodness, put the bottle back onto my makeshift belt (two elastic straps held together with velco, which worked awesomely by the way) and started back to a run. A minute later someone tapped me on the shoulder and said my bottle fell out. The pouch/strap that the bottle itself is in was still there, but the bottle was no where to be seen. I said screw it, not turning back in this crowd and kept going (Jen said she thinks she saw it on the ground, lol).
This area was even more crowded than the beginning because the road narrowed. It became increasingly hard to maneuver between people and I spent most of my time along the sidewalk or grass next to the road. Frustration was setting in but I had some great songs to listen to and kept at it. Hitting mile two at 10:56. Slower than I’d wanted but still under the 11 minute mark.
The next mile was a bit better maneuvering. I kept to the left side and only had a few times where I was stuck, but I also took a couple of walk breaks here. Feeling tired because I haven’t been running continuously in a long time, but otherwise doing well. I came to the three mile point at 10:33. Still doing pretty well considering the crowd.
The last .1 miles was cool. I was exhausted so didn’t have much of a push at the end, but the spectators were awesome and came in strong at a finishing time of 32:26 (watch timed). The shoot was horrible. As soon as I crossed the finish line I came face to face to people going the other way. There was no organization, it just ended and people were standing around in a mindless daze. Most people weren’t being timed, so nobody was taking numbers and nobody directing you where to go. I grabbed some water and waited along the sidelines for Jen.
She came in around 52 minutes on the clock, but she didn’t start at the beginning either. It was a great accomplishment for her (first 5k ever!) and even though she walked the majority of it, she did run some of it. I have a feeling she’ll be running it strong next year.
So…. everything considered, it was a good race, for a good cause. Better organization would be great considering most people that do it never run 5Ks or run at all, it was great. I came away with a better understanding of how huge races go and hopefully can adjust my strategy for the Army 10 miler in 3 weeks.
FYI, I did PR by a whooping 5 seconds!
Tomorrow I’m running the Susan G. Komen Maryland Race for the Cure. Originally my wife signed up and created a team. Next, I signed up and we were going to run it together. Unfortunately, Jen’s been having some trouble with her feet (Yeah, she’s got to follow everything I do! just kidding!), and the doctor suggested she not run it; so instead she’ll be walking it pushing Connor in the stroller. Being that she’s walking it, I’ll be running it and feel pretty confident that I’ll do well. I’ve decided to bring along my walkman and run with music. Tonight I’m planning out my play list. For some reason I just feel good about the race tomorrow.
I want to thank those of you that spread the word about my virtual run. I don’t have much a following yet and appreciate everyone helping out. I’m looking forward to reading the reports! Wish us all luck tomorrow. I know some of you are running it as well. Maybe I’ll catch ya there!