Friday, November 28, 2008

Turkey Trot 8k

Yesterday I ran the 8k Turkey Trot. It was good weather, and one of the largest crowds I've seen there, over 800 people. As has been the trend lately, more women than men ran the race.
I wanted to run well, but didn't have that "great race" feeling. I warmed up and then got ready to start. We were off and I was feeling tired within 1k. But I pushed on. I had set my Garmin to record my pace in k's and I wanted to try and keep a 4:15 to 4:20 pace. I was doing that and hanging on through 7k. I faltered a bit near the end, and I averaged 4:21/km or right at 7:00/mi finishing in 34:47. I took 3rd in my age group, 53rd male and 61st overall.

After that, I went to Stillwater for dinner. It was ok, my sons and granddaughter went with me. We ate, came back and I took it easy for the rest of the evening. This morning I went to Arcadia lake to meet with 3 other people for an easy 9 miles on trails. This was a very relaxing run, and I felt great afterwards.

I hope everyone is having a great Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Racing and Life

Before I started blogging on Blogger, I blogged on Myspace. The title of this post is from a Myspace post from Dec. '07. Here is the first paragraph:

"This past weekend (Fri Nov 30-Dec 2) I was in Dallas visiting a couple I've been friends for many years. The friends moved from OK to TX about 3 years ago. The man was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) about a year ago, and is starting to go down hill. He can't walk, can barely talk, and gets around in a motorized wheelchair. Since I knew I was going, typical me, I had to see if there was a race nearby, there was,"

I stopped there, because I went to Dallas again this weekend, and again I found a race.

So now I will talk briefly about the race. I found a 5k in Weatherford TX about 45 miles from where I was staying. My appointment in Dallas was for 1:30 Saturday, and I couldn't just hang out in my hotel until then. So I went to the "Coyote Chase" and ran, came in 2nd in my age group. Well run race, they gave you a nice trophy instead of a medal. Back to last year.

Here is the last paragraph from that '07 post:

"Back to my friend, some people I've talked to about this situation ask me "how can you deal with his illness?" "How can you stand to see this man that you used to hang out with, run a business with, and travel with in this condition? I reply, me? All I have to do is treat him the same as I always have for 3 days, then I'm back home preparing for work or my next race. But he has to deal with things like his wife or caregiver having to wipe his behind and feed him every day. He had to deal with knowing that there is no cure for ALS and it is almost 100% fatal. I got the easy job."

Well Anthony died last week, he was 48, and I went to Dallas to help his wife celebrate his life. She had a wake Friday night, and it was as close to a party as you can get in a funeral home. I spoke very briefly "I look over you all and know that many of you knew Anthony better than I did, and I know that I was not his closest friend, but whenever I was around him, he made me feel like I was his best friend." Everyone who spoke of him said the same thing, they would call or visit to encourage him, and he would turn the tables on them every time. He would always end up encouraging them. He will be missed, but as someone else said, his influence will always be with us.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Putnam City Cancer Classic 5K

I wanted to keep the speed work up after my very long slow distance last weekend. Many of my friends and co-runners are off to run in either the Tulsa Route 66 Marathon or the San Antonio Rock n Roll Marathon.
The only race nearby was this 5k which was perfect as far as I was concerned. It was cold this morning, and even colder at the race site which is on the lake. My car was showing 40 before I got there, but I know it was in the 30's with a wind chill in the 20's. I did my best to stay warm until the start. This was a moderate sized race, 212 finishers, and a fairly flat course. We started and I was looking at a couple of people ahead of me that I knew I wanted to get ahead of quickly. I did, and as the course turned north we were going into a strong headwind. I had my Garmin set to alert me when I was going too slow and it was beeping constantly. But I knew I wasn't going to use all my energy fighting the wind. This is an out and back course, so I knew the second half would be with a strong tail wind. I made the turn around and none of my age group rivals were anywhere near me. Still I was giving it all I had. As I passed the 4 k mark I was fading fast. I heard someone breathing heavily behind me and thought it was a rival. I sneaked a peek as I made the final turn and saw it was someone much younger. He passed me and I crossed the finish line. I had a finish time of 21:27. That was good enough for first in my age group, and I was fine with that. Today was not a day for p r's.
I will run an 8k on Thanksgiving Day and then it's the Tucson Marathon for my B Q attempt.
Good luck to all that are running marathons and half marathons tomorrow.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Motherroad 100 Miles - Pacing duties

This was a first for me, a race that I was running for someone else. Throw ego to the side, and realize that you are there for the runner you're pacing, not for yourself. Some time ago, a friend of mine announced he was running the Mother Road 100 Part 2. I told him if he did, I wanted to pace him. He said, "I sort of had you in mind." This was to be his longest race ever. I won't go into his ups and downs before the race, you can read his blog if you care for the background. If I had not had pacing duties, I would have run a 12k yesterday. I thought I could do both, but I decided to check my ego, and not run it so as to be well rested when my pacing duties started. The 100 mile race started at 9:00 a.m. Saturday morning. The plan was for me to jump in at mile 67 and basically run with him through the night and on to the finish line. I woke up that morning very early, and decided to go out to the 12k and volunteer. I had a great time there and for one of the few times got to see a race from start to finish. It was inspiring to see both the front runners kicking butt, and the back of the packers just enduring to the end. After that, I went home to piddle until that night. I knew I needed to nap, but just wasn't tired. I watched football, but again was getting restless. So I decided to find my way to finish line parking and see if I could find a ride to the meeting place aid station. I waited in my car and listened to the end of the OSU-Texas Tech game. I saw someone picking up a pacer, turned out I knew the pacer and they agreed to take me to my meeting place. My runner was running a bit behind schedule, so I went out to meet him. He was in good spirits, this is around mile 65, and was actually assisting another runner. He whispered to me that he was going to make sure this runner made it to the 72 mile aid station, and leaving it up to him whether to continue. We did that, and the runner stayed at the aid station. I don't know if he finished. This aid station was a weigh in point, and Joel was right at the limit, so he hustled out before they had time to do the math. He said he was really a little heavy at the initial weigh in, and he was not concerned that he was not taking in enough calories. We pushed on to the loneliest part of the race. This was a 6 mile stretch of dirt road that crew vehicles were not allowed on. Did I mention that it is now around 2:00 a.m and cold cold cold. I had dressed warmly enough, but I always have issues with my hands. This night was no different. It was hard to navigate this section, there were several forks in the road, but we finally figured out that they had thrown ribbons on the correct road. This would be a very hard section by yourself, and after that many miles you'd be a bit punch drunk. I would guess that several people dropped after this section because of that and the cold. Joel decided that when we finished this part, and got back to our crew vehicle, we would have to sit inside for a while to warm up. He had put together the perfect crew, this guy, Michael, was the right man for the job, and assisted Joel with his every need. The car was showing around 35 degrees. Joel was also starting to have some foot issues, 78 miles by now, go figure. He took care of them, and we headed out for the next section. It was a low point for Joel again, but again he persevered. By the time we made the next section, the sun was coming up, and so were his spirits. We started running more than before, and made our next section in good time. Joel had goals, but in my mind my only job was to listen to him, and get him to the finish line safely and under the 30 hour cut off. I gently pushed him, but this was not a kick him in the pants for some unimportant time goal. Joel was really hurting on the last section, but he smelled victory and kept moving. Our pace was slowing, and quite honestly I was getting a bit sore. We were going slow, but over 30 miles is still a long way. However, I knew I wasn't going to get any sympathy from a man on his 95th plus mile. Joel's family started showing up as we neared the finish. He was hurting big time, he didn't give me all the details, I'm sure by this time just talking is a big effort. But it was clear he was just pushing the pain aside and concentrating on the finish. I honestly gained more and more admiration for him as he pushed on. This race has a cruel finish, you turn through a gate and think the finish line is not far and then you see a sign that says "only 1.5 miles to the finish."

Nonetheless he persevered until the end. I am sore after my 35 miles, but so glad that I got to be a small part of this impressive showing by Joel. Great job man.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Very Historic Day - Un Día Muy Histórico

When I started this blog, I made a conscious choice to keep it non political. Not that I'm not political, I'm a very political person. And I will admit that for the first time in my life, I contributed to a presidential candidate. However, I didn't want the blog to be political. Politics has gone beyond civil reasonable discussion and disagreement, to nasty dirty lies and innuendos about people. Nevertheless, I cannot stand silent on the historical nature of, and the statement made by the people of the America I live and vote in. I will leave it with "we can only hope that the promises become reality." "Esperamos que las promesas serán realidad."

Monday, November 3, 2008

Race With Stars - Training Runs

This past Saturday, Nov. 1st I ran the Race with the Stars 5k. I like this race, it is run well. There is plenty to eat before the race, hot coffee and chocolate and they don't give medals, they give gift certificates to local business. I think I won one to Outback last year. Also, the weather was perfect, too cold before you start running, but just right after. Which also makes the coffee and chocolate taste so good. I saw only one rival that I thought would give me a problem, and I was right, he will be great motivation in my new age group. Nice, get older and the competition gets faster. I finished in 20:48, good enough for 2nd place in age group and only my second ever 5k finish under 21 minutes. The prize was a gift certificate to a Chinese restaurant. It was a good run and afterwards I went to a friends home who served breakfast to many of the runners.
Sunday I did a double run. First, in the morning I ran 8 miles with the running club. While I ran the first miles easy, I ran the rest slightly below MP to bring the overall average to MP. I cut the run short because my granddaughter was spending the weekend with me and I didn't want her uncle to have to deal with her too long. After she left I went out to the lake and did 11 miles very easy. I won't bore you with the rest of the week, but it was good with a mixture of runs.
This weekend I'm scheduled to pace a friend in his 100 mile run. The weather looks good and I'm feeling good about his run.