Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Mile, Timed.

Today I decided to attempt a timed mile.  The last time I did one was back in October where I ran a 9:01.  I began the run with a warm up lap around the track. After some stretching I took off.  Since I've been used to run/walks I choose to use a 2 minute run to 15 second walk.  It felt great opening up the throttle after going a winter on slow-mo for the marathon.  I could tell my time was going to be significantly better than in October, but when I finished and saw my watch, I was shocked...


That's right bitches, I flew right past the 8s and made it into the 7s!  And that's with three 15 second walks thrown in for good measure. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Brisk Two Miles

Today was my first run since the marathon.  Now that I’m not in training for long distance, I want to work on some short and quick runs.  I decided to up my interval from the 1:15/1 that I was doing for the race to a brisk 3/1.  It was pretty hard maintaining the run that long between walks but still felt good.  The awesome part was that my pace ended up being a 9:40 pace. :)  I’ll probably try a timed mile at some point this week.  Provided the weather cooperates. 

In other news, I’ve got an appointment with my podiatrist on Thursday where I’ll be getting fitted for custom inserts.  Heel problems will be in the past!  Or so I hope.  :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Shamrock Marathon Race Report Part II

There I was, standing in line at the start of the 2011 Yuengling Shamrock Marathon freezing my tail off, thinking I was nuts for wanting to run 26.2 miles in this weather.  Just moments before I was standing with Jen and Connor in the warmth of a hotel lobby.  Now, I’m waiting in the cold with about 4,000 other nutso’s waiting for start.

My strategy was to go out very slow for the first couple of miles, then pick it up to a decent pace.  My goal, loosely, was for 5:30.  I positioned myself about 20 feet behind the 5:00 pacer and got myself ready.  Nerves really kicking in, I just wanted to start.  The field was divided into four corrals and I was in the last so it took about 8 minutes from the start before I started the run…. then I was off!

The first mile was tough.  Not tough in the sense of hard, but tough in that there were a ton of people surrounding me, I wanted to catch Jen and Connor about 1/2 mile in, and trying to keep my pace above 13 mins/mile.  Luckily, I was able to catch the Fam cheering me on. I ended up with a 13:00 for mile one.  Still faster than my intended. 188824_10150107062364397_587324396_6293996_6383979_n

Miles 2-6   Once we got out and going, the wind died down considerably and I was warming up.  I kept my pace dead slow through the first 3 miles.  The course looped around by the ocean and over the only hill on the entire course, a small bridge at mile 2.  It wasn’t difficult to cover and after the bridge came a long straight away until about mile 5.5.  The crowds were awesome.  Our names were printed on the bib so people could shout out your name.  Why can’t all races do that?  Around mile 3.5 the course met up with the 9 mile mark so I was able to catch the elite runners and man were they moving!  I started to pick up the pace at mile 4.  My only stop the entire race was a potty break at mile 6.

Mile 2 – 13:09  Mile 3 –13:03  Mile 4 – 11:36  Mile 5 – 11:53  Mile 6 – 13:01



Miles 7-10   A turn took us into Camp Pendelton where a bunch of soldiers were cheering us on.  Through this area I noticed a lot of people were wearing down and doing a lot of walking.  I maintained my 1:15/1 ratio and kept it strong. Really picking up the pace at mile 8 where the soldier were. The return over the bridge was at mile 10 and it gave a good shot of the ocean.

Mile 7 – 12:26  Mile 8 – 10:57  Mile 9 – 11:01   Mile 10 0 11:20




2011-03-20_10-20-44_725Miles 11-16  Now was the long trek back through the Virginia Beach.  Mile 11-12 was run mostly on the board walk and it made for some great scenery.  The wind wasn’t too bad and I was feeling good.  Right before mile 12 it switched over to Atlantic Ave and into the cheering crowds. Jen and Connor were waiting for me at mile 12.  Unfortunately Connor was napping at the time,but I stopped for a minute to kiss them and take back off again.  At the half mark I was still feeling great.  The elite runners were coming in opposite me and I could see some of them really straining.  This route continued north with many spectators along the way. 

Mile 11 – 11:12  Mile 12 – 11:26  Mile 13 – 11:56  Mile 14 – 11:55  Mile 15 – 11:43  Mile 16 – 11:26









Miles 17-19  This was probably the most lonesome part of the entire race.  A backwoods road with little spectators. I ended up calling my mom and talking for about 15 minutes.  Yeah, I could run and talk at the same time.  :)

Mile 17 – 11:58  Mile 18 – 12:59  Mile 19 – 12:10

Miles 20-22   Finally back to the ocean!  Hitting mile 20 felt great.  I was in new territory now.  Pushing hard but feeling tired.  I moved forward.  At this point I hadn’t had any trouble.  No pain or any other complications.  I also called my sister and talked for a bit. It was a great way to take my mind off of how tired I was getting. My pace slowed down through this area.

Mile 20 – 12:39  Mile 21 – 12:55  Mile 22 – 12:59  2011-03-20_12-23-18_690

Miles 23-25  About mile 23 I started feeling light headed.  I’d been hydrating every 2 miles and didn’t think it was due to that.  I was in the hot sun, had been running a LONG time, and was tired.  I slowed my intervals down to a 1:1 just in case and drank some more.  It cleared up by mile 24 and I keep moving. The course left the beach and continued down the road where many spectators were cheering us on.  By this point I knew I was going to finish.  Les than 2 miles to go!!  I started picking the pace back up.

Mile 23 – 12:57  Mile 24 - 13:51  Mile 25 – 13:28

The final mile   After mile 25 the course moved back over to the board walk and I could see the finish.  I was tired and ready to stop but seeing this pushed me forward.  I picked it up more and started trying to kick to the finish.  I didn’t have much but I was determined to catch the person in front of me.  We crossed the line at nearly exactly the same time.  It was over and I’d finished!!!! I kept moving, got my medal, hat,and shirt, and caught up with Jen and Connor.  I’d finished and was feeling awesome!!  Sure I was tired, but I felt good, never hit “the wall” and could still walk.  Life was good. 

Mile 26 – 12:32 Last .2 – 2:20  Final time – 5:22:06









After the race I grab some  water, bananas and headed to the finishers party for free Irish Stew and beer.  We couldn’t stay long as Jen and Connor had to get home so we headed back to the hotel and rest. 









It was an awesome race and even though I had some training complications, I was well prepared to cover the distance and without injury.  Will Irun another marathon?        Maybe!  But for now it’s time to focus on the short runs and my speed.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Shamrock Marathon Race Report Part I

Pre-Race Day’s

My marathon story begins last Thursday.  In conjunction with the marathon weekend, I’m attending a military conference in Hampton, VA,about 30 mins away (I picked this marathon primarily because it was at the same time as the conference).  A coworker and I drove down Thursday and got settled in.  Friday began the entomology workshop and that day Jen and Connor drove down to meet me.

When the Fam got down, we headed into the race expo and grab my gear.  I bought a new hat and the much needed energy beans/gels/etc.  We headed back towards the hotel to find dinner.  Stopping at a Mongolian BBQ restaurant.   The food was great but service sucked.  A complaint to the manager by Jen landed us a comped meal for her and Connor, so end the end it worked out fine. 

The next day, I was presenting my bed bug work to the ento workshop.  I was fairly nervous since it’s been awhile since I’ve given a formal talk but it went well, and I was nervous about the race.  That evening the Fam and I hit up the obligatory pre-run pasta meal at Olive Garden.  Afterwards it was a trip to the pharmacy for some Imodium as my nerves were causing some issues.  We then headed back to the hotel and to bed.

Race Morning190249_10150107061669397_587324396_6293990_3027003_n

The race day did not start well.  I awoke at 5:00 and promptly hopped into the shower to get ready.  Jen started packing up as they had to return home after the race.  Jen abruptly opened the hotel door and screamed “Somebody broke into my car!”  Sure enough, the lock was jimmied (sp?) and her coat, cash, and checkbook were stolen.  Initially she thought her SS card and drivers license were too, but we found them in the floorboard.  The must have coffee and donut breakfast was had, then off to the races.  We got there, had a small traffic jam to contend with, then swiped a good spot in a parking garage.  We said our goodbye’s and good luck’s and I headed towards the race. 

The wind was harsh and the temperature horrid.  I was seriously doubting my sanity in choosing this as my first marathon. I found the starting line and still had about an hour to kill.  The much needed Port O’ Potty was used and I found myself huddling inside a hotel lobby along with a good many other runners.  How in the hell would I be able to run 26.2 under these conditions?  

A call from Jen brought her and Connor to meet me in the lobby as we waited for the race to start.  The word went out, the race had been pushed back by 15 minutes.  At the time we weren’t sure why, but found out later that the weather services were calling for the wind to die down shortly after 8, so they gave us a break.  THANK YOU Shamrock Race Coordinators! 

10 minutes before the new starting time and we did round two of the goodbye’s and good luck’s.

to be continued…

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I Finished!

Just checking in. The race is over and it was awesome.  I finished in 5:22.  I was shooting for 5:30 so I did better than I expected.  I didn't hit "the wall", and felt pretty good at the end.  A bit of light headedness (not from dehydration.  I was well hydrated from the every 2 mile water/gatorade stations) around mile 23 but cleared up by mile 24.  Otherwise, it was a great run.  Much better than the majority of my 13+ mileage long runs.  More to come in a race report but for now it's eat, rest, ice, tv. 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Night Before

Today I gave my first of two presentations at the conference. It came off well.  "Bed Bugs and Army Installations: Is There a Problem?"  I picked up my race bib last night and was happy to see my name printed on the front.  Gotta love random strangers yelling your name as motivation!  The expo was nice.  No free bio-freeze though, bummer.  :)  Tonight will be relaxing, dinner, and early bed.

I'd like to thank everyone that's helped me to this point.  All my blogging buddies with comments of encouragement and helpful tips.  My friends for supporting me.  Those I've run with from Fleet Feet for making runs interesting and providing support. My family for showing support and encouragement, but most importantly... Jen, Paige, and Connor. Without their support and putting up with my long runs and marathon obsessions, I wouldn't have gotten here.  Thanks!

Here's to a great race tomorrow. If all goes well, my next post will be of post run excitement!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Looking to the Future

Five days out and I'm looking towards the future.  As a coping mechanism for dealing with my apprehension of the marathon, I've been giving a lot of thought towards my post marathon running.  My eyes are set on a two week post marathon 5K right now.  There are a few in the area that weekend, one of which was the first race I ran last year.  It'd be great to repeat the race and kick my previous times butt. 

Speaking of time, I've been pushing the envelope during some of my short runs.  Getting into sub 10 min miles while maintaining the run/walk method.  I've been considering changing back to full running for shorter distance while maintaining the run/walk for my long runs.  Most likely, I'll gradually extend out the running segment and phase out the walking for anything 5K or shorter. One thing that I do not get with the run/walks is getting into the "zone".  Constantly listening for the beep to stop or start keeps my mind focused on the run.

My strategic planning for this running season is to run a race about monthly.  Primarily I want to stick with shorter races throughout the summer with possibly a mid summer half marathon, then for the fall another half.

So yeah, my mind is moving forward this week, but I've also been thinking of my plan of attack on the marathon.  Given that I'm prone to start too fast in races, and this would be a horrible mistake with a marathon, I'm looking to start it dead slow and ease into it.  Building up to my target pace (which I haven't determined yet).  Apparently the course is nearly flat with only a small bridge that we cross twice ( 2 mile, and 10 mile marks).   Thankfully I did a ton of my running on the NCR Trail which is flat!  

Sunday, March 13, 2011

One More Week

It’s been awhile since I past post.  Sorry to keep everyone anxiously sitting at your computers just waiting for a post from you favorite runner.  lol.

I have one week to go before my first marathon and I’m nervous/anxious/intimidated/uncertain/excited/happy for it to get here.  The last couple of weeks with training have been ok, but I feel I’m somewhat unprepared for the distance.  My longest long-run was only 18 miles, and with a pulling my hamstring 2/3rds of the way through training, I didn’t log the mileage I should have.  However, I do feel that I’m ready to complete the distance, but unsure of what time goal to have.  I’m still giving it some consideration before public stating what time I hope to make.  My basic goal is to just finish the race. 

Work has been hectic.  I had a work trip last week, and leave this Thursday to begin another (I choose the Shamrock Marathon because it was where my work trip is).  This next week will be tough, and not just because of the race.  Here is my schedule.  Mon, Tues are normal work days. Wed I am off for my every other week, day off.  Thursday is a travel day.  Friday I’ll be in a workshop (Jen and Connor will drive down this date).  Saturday I’m presenting in said workshop and hitting up the expo. Sunday is RACE DAY! (Jen and Connor go home).  Monday I’m presenting again.  Tuesday-Friday is the rest of the conference and home.  By Friday of next week I should be ready to crash!   

I’m behind on reading blogs and other things in life. Once I’m back from the conference it’s time to get back to normal. 

Sigh, deciding, training for, and running a marathon was a huge decision. I’m glad I did, but will be glad when it’s over and I can run for the sake of running again!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I'm Game

Everyone else has done this one so I might as well join in. 

Age: 33 (until this Monday)

Bed size: Queen, couch, floor, it varies on the day

Chore you hate: Trash, I always forget when it's trash day until it's too late.

Dogs: yes, I've had many throughout my life. Currently only a mini poodle.

Essential start of your day: coffee

Favorite color: green

Gold or silver: white gold

Height: 6'2"

Instruments I play: I played Trumpet for 6 six years but probably couldn't carry a tune on one now. I've messed around with a base guitar some but not very good.

Job title: entomologist, bug guy, bed bug guy, mouse man

Kids: Paige - 6, Connor - 2.5

Live: Baltimore Suburb

Mom’s name: Marsha

Nicknames: Emo, Bingo

Overnight hospital stays: two minor surgeries when I was little

Pet peeve: People that are not interested in improving themselves.

Quote from a movie: "HEY! Don't open that! It's an alien planet! Is there air? You don't know! " - Galaxy Quest

Right or left handed: Left

Siblings: 1 brother, 1 sister

Time you wake up: enough time to get up and get to work. On weekends it's usually
before 8

Underwear: yes

Veg you dislike: canned spinach

What makes you run late: traffic

X-rays you have had done: teeth, head, hand, lungs, feet

Yummy food you make: fajitas

Zoo, favorite animal: reptiles/amphibians

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

March has started off with a bang.  A good bang at that!  I ran 5K at lunch today and outside of some stiffness in my upper left leg, I didn't have any issues with my hamstring injury.  I couldn't even notice anything.  I sped it up quite a bit and felt great afterwards!  Could this be the end of my hammy troubles?

I bought an android phone a few weeks ago and have started using a GPS app that ties in with my running log (RunningAhead.com) and it's awesome.  Those of you with GPS watches, I'm sure it's nothing new to you, but old school me is fascinated with it.  Not only does it map out my course and upload it directly into my log, but it gives me the second by second pace as well. 

Here is a graph of my pace from todays run.  Keep in mind I'm doing run/walks right now.  Today's was a 1 min/1 min ratio.  Check out those paces during my run interval!

Unfortunately GPS does have it's issues.  Apparently on my last lap I decided to run across the water for a bit!
 What do you use to track your workouts?