Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Glass City Marathon Reveiw.

Res a good panoramic stitch togetherImage via Wikipedia
By: Brent

I have run plenty of races. I started small and graduated up. I ran my first 5k at age 30 after having my second daughter and realizing I wasn't getting any smaller, or younger, or healthier. I weighed in at around 238 lbs. My first race was at an 11:30+ mile. I was pleased to know I could finish, but knew I had more in the tank. I ran a couple more and always saw progress. Then I stepped up to a 10k. This was a road/trail race. I honestly thought they had mismarked the course. I knew somehow they had sent me on a 10 miler and everyone was laughing at me. Nope, it appears it had been marked as expected. I then ran a couple more 10k's and again, always saw progress. I finally got down to under an hour and felt pretty good about that. I then stepped up to my first half marathon. 13.1 miles amongst 35,000 others. I honestly didn't enjoy the crowd but I was okay with the length. It was 40 minutes of waiting from the time the gun fired to the time I finally started the start line. That alone put me in a funk and I just never shook that. I entered 2 more half marathons and again, always saw improvement. I started flirting with a 2 hour half marathon and I liked the sound of that. I figured that since I was so close to the 2 hour point, I should step up again.

4/25/10. Glass City Marathon. 26.2 miles. Toledo, OH. 700 Marathon runners. Dead flat. The weather made for tricky game time decision as far as what to wear. It was 50 degrees and had rained hard the night before. The forecast was still pretty spotty looking as far as what would happen, but it was rain or shine and the most important thing was that it started. Elizabeth went to the race with me and as they are saying the final announcements I change my mind. I'll drop the long sleeve shirt and just go short sleeve. She helped me change my bib to the short sleeve and about the time I got my hat on, the gun fired. As always the crowd pushes and you feel that instant adrenaline, then it bottlenecks and you feel like a dope walking for 15 seconds, then you take off again. Its like detonating a bomb, then stopping to tie your shoe. So the race began and for the first mile and a half it takes me a little bit to get in a groove. Then you sink in and left right left right just seems to be an after thought. You forget breathing and you just coast. I remembering looking around in some of the subdivisions that it trekked us through thinking, "I have never been to Toledo, but this is a wonderful city" So around mile 4 I thought, "hmmmm. I gotta pee." But I was coasting along nicely at a 9:30 pace and I really didn't want to break that. I pushed on. At about mile 6, I was started chatting with another lady who was running her first marathon. Very pleasant lady who was the overly positive thinker. Very nice. Just a little over the top with the whole "everything is sooooo wonderful". Either way we got in a great pace and both had 4:10 on the brain. We coasted along with no complaints (not that she would have heard them anyways). We hit the halfway point and it was roughly 2:05. I knew that was good and bad. Good that I was on pace at about my half marathon pace, and bad knowing that I had to maintain it all over to not lose my 4:10.

Pee was on my mind. It was getting worse. I had that thought. Yes I did. "How bad is a wet sock?" Then it dawned on me... I will not be winning anything. Zero. No amount of urine in my shoe was going to be worth it. At mile 16 we were still kicking along at 9:30's but I saw port a potty's and it felt like it was going to be the right move. I checked my watch before going in. No line, but the "process" felt like an eternity. Come on, come on...... Okay! ...get back to it! But it was tricky. That stop felt very rewarding. it gave the muscles time to tighten and the lactic acid some time to set in. Even if this wasn't true, in my head, it happened. I knew I was doomed. From 16 on it was a struggle.

For about 10 miles I mixed running and a strong willed walk. It wasn't what I wanted but it wasn't rolling over and letting the marathon win either. I passed each mile marker and always felt a bit of relief with each pass. When I hit mile 22 I thought, you did it. Your going to make it, push on. I thought with 3 miles left, you can run it out to the finish... but I couldn't get the body to agree. With 1.2 left I thought okay, we can finish this. You could see the stadium that you would be finishing at. But I couldn't get it going, still mixing short runs with longer walks that were still spirited no doubt. At mile 25 one volunteer yelled "Water, Gatorade, Beer!" With the iPod blasting, I flinched. BEER!?!?! I grabbed one thinking this will be the best story ever! I took a college gulp of the coldish Coors Light and instantly thought, this was a horrible idea. I still needed to juggle my guts another 1.2 miles so I dumped it (Sorry Beer Gods, just poor timing!) Just after the 25 mile marker the 4:30 pacer passed me. So I knew I could hang in there for this, the last mile. I mixed my pace and we switched back and forth until we finally made the turn in to the stadium. I knew I could finish with a run. No questions. I looked good, as I always do at any 2 given moments.. 1) Camera man 2) Finish line. Never let them see you walk in the newspaper. You have to be ready to pick up the pace and you never know when the camera man will hop out from a bush. Race camera men are like ninjas but at the finish of my first marathon, I knew I would be lookin' good.

At the end of the day I ran a 4:31:57. A PR (naturally). Did I have that feeling of okay, when is the next marathon? Nope. I wanted to throw up. I wanted to cry. I wanted a hot tub. You do instantly think about the pee break and think "what if..." But I really didn't care. I won't say I will never run another, but the marathon isn't my favorite distance. I love the bike. I want to get into Duathon's and I am thrilled that I completed a full marathon. I knew if I did a duathon first (run, bike, run) I may never do a full marathon so to me I have now graduated on to do another sport.... Multisport.

Overall thoughts of the course. Very pretty. Lots of nice grassy, forest area's. The downside, the course was frequently on 6 and 7 mile straight sections. Wind was tough but then you do it for 6 and 7 miles straight, it gets really boring. If I could have hung with that lady, it would have helped having someone to pass the time with but overall, I was very pleased with the course.

4:31:57. PR.
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Friday, April 23, 2010

Training, when will I get to end?

New York City MarathonImage by Pabo76 via Flickr
By: Brent

The Glass City Marathon is this week. I have prepped as well as I can. I run, I run, I run.

The Runner's World program gives you options for training for how long you want to work at it. They also give you options as far as how many miles you want to average. I chose the 16 week option with 3 days of running. In that time I have logged 256.92 miles prior to my marathon. Along side my training I have also put in 50+ miles on the bike.

16 weeks is a long time to train. I am thrilled to be at the end of it. As week 14 was starting I was beginning to get severe pain in my left foot and what seemed to be a strong head cold. Week 14 I really laid off the foot. I talked to other runner friends and read up trying to figure out if I had messed something up severely but I think it was just strained from a long run and a lot of yard work and labor that the foot wasn't used to over a long weekend. I tackled the head cold with more Tylenol Cold medicine and Vitamin C than any cold I have ever been through. Mentally I was shaken. I called my good friend Jon and talked out a lot of my concerns. He reminded me how much I have done and that he still is in such shock that I can honestly call myself a "runner". We are both of similar build. I call him Dr. Phil and he calls me Oprah. I don't know if in my entire time of knowing Jon we haven't picked at each others weight. Both of us at 6' plus and in the 190+ weight class. We got started running around the same time so we have been through a lot of the same feelings on running. I also reread a book that really gets my mind on the best part of running. "My Life on the Run" by Bart Yasso. Great book. And that is from a guy who does not read. Bart Yasso is a Runner's World top dog. He has one of those jobs that runner's would kill for. He is C.R.O. Chief Running Officer. He travels around to different races and meets and greet and helps race directors and give speeches but from my standpoint, the most important thing he does is motivates. Talking to him or listening to him, you just want to jump up and GO RUN. He is one of my "Face Book friends" and I have posted a couple things on his page and he has always responded and even his wife has chimed in. He may rub elbows with the Ryan Hall's of the world but he is just a friend of people. He himself is amazing. So at this point I feel very good about where I am at, what I have done and how well I have prepared.

So again, The Glass City Marathon is this weekend. the Half Marathon is sold out at 1,500 runners. The marathon is 94% sold out at about 650 runners right now. There is a 5k that I think has about 700 people entered into it also. I am very excited. There is really only one concern and it is one that I can't focus on. I have no control. Weather. Weather.com is calling for NASTY storms. 80% chance. I have stopped watching the weather. Living in the Midwest, I have learned that there is no predicting what the weather will really do. I have no idea what happens when a race gets rained out. I assume it will just get REscheduled, but that remains to be seen. Toledo is about a 2.5 hour drive. The plan right now is my family of 4 along with my mother and father will go Saturday and make a weekend of the happenings of Toledo. I guess worst case scenario if it gets rained out, I grab a buddy and sucker them to go along with me so I have a driver on the way back because I'm sure my legs won't work when I am done.. Again, I can't worry about that until it gets here.

In marathon training, and really any training, I think the part that gets the least amount of acknowledgement is the support you get. I need to thank mostly my wife for the time. Jeff, Rael, Andrea, Jon, Roger, my parents, Bart Yasso and anyone who has inquired about this marathon which gets me excited just talking about it

4/25/10. 26.2 Miles. Bring it on.
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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Top Ten Reasons To Ride Your Bike To Work

SAN FRANCISCO - MAY 14:  A bicyclist rides his...Image by Getty Images via Daylife
By: Jeff and Brent

Today is the first day this year that I have been able to ride my bike into work.  Ahhh fresh and brisk morning air, oh ya 36 degrees!!!  I love riding into work. Here is a list that Brent and I have compiled for reasons to ride into your workplace.

  1. Bragging
  2. Sharing your "workout smell" with the rest of the office
  3. To hear people make fun of your bike clothing
  4. Having a bike in your office is a nice conversation starter
  5. To get in shape (duh!)
  6. Having quiet time to yourself
  7. Avoiding rush hour traffic (If you live in a big city)
  8. Save gas money for your next bike
  9. Not as goofy looking as wearing your helmet in the car
  10. Spandex!

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