Sunday, April 26, 2009

Oklahoma City Marathon - Pictures

I ran with the legends yesterday, and cheered the runners on today. I have a new toy, a Kodak Zi6 video camera. This is similar to the Flip. My skills are poor since this is only my 2nd day using the camera. Needless to say I didn't realize how jerky the video would be since I was walking, so I cut pictures from my videos. If any of you in the pictures want the video, let me know. The sound is outstanding. The first two pictures were taken by a friend, thanks Arnie, with his camera. One is me with Bill (Boston Billy) Rodgers and the other is me with Joan Samuelson. By the way, Joan was 1st place female in the half. At 51 years old she ran 1:21:57.
The runners did a great job today despite the hot, humid and windy conditions.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The 113th Boston Marathon

Wow.... I wasn't prepared for this. I don't mean physically, I mean mentally. Going into this, I just wasn't buying into the hype that is the Boston Marathon. But they made a believer out of me today.
I went to the expo on yesterday and it was crowded but I wasn't impressed with it. I did buy one of the overpriced official jackets, but felt like I had to have one. I also saw Team Hoyt there.
I was looking for Kara Goucher to get an autographed pic for Wille, but alas she wasn't there.
I awoke this morning and caught the shuttle from my hotel to the race shuttle buses and then made the 26 mile trip to the start. The athletes village was ok. There were plenty of drinks and energy bars but it was crowded. The good thing is that the weather wasn't too bad. Rain was predicted for later in the day, but it was overcast and a bit chilly. It was below freezing when I got up, but it was probably in the high 30's low 40's by the time we were outside.
Ok time to line up in the corrals. Then we're off, it took about 3 minutes to cross the start and then we were running. This is the largest marathon I've ever run, and I was worried about having room to run. It does take a lot of energy to get through when you're running just a bit faster than some. From almost the start there was great crowd support. And there was never a time without that support. Every city we ran through was extremely supportive. All the parts you've heard about now I was seeing. Hopkinton, Ashland, Framingham, Natick, Wellesley, let's stop here for a moment. As we approached Wellesley I heard this loud noise. A sign warned us to cover our ears. As we hit Wellesley (Women's) College, the ladies were screaming and had signs that said kiss me. I picked me out one, and moved over to plant a kiss on her. About 15 seconds lost, but I wasn't going to miss this opportunity. On to Newton, Brookline, Brighton, and Boston. This is a hilly course and while it is a net downhill, it is not what you'd think of as a downhill course. It is hard on you and takes a lot out of you. Before we hit the halfway point, there were people walking the hills. On the bus I overheard a conversation where this guy said "don't worry about Heartbreak Hill, you'll run over it and wonder, was that it?" I knew where it was before we climbed and certainly didn't wonder "was that it?" It is hard on you around mile 20, but it also isn't the last hill as I thought it was. Around mile 19 I passed Team Hoyt, and it looked like he was having a hard time. I was almost in tears thinking about them and the dedication of father Hoyt to his son. Around 22 I saw Bill Rodgers (Boston Billy) over to the side and he seemed to be having problems. I checked and he finished just over 4 hours. Which means he did indeed have problems because he is much faster than that.
I had already mentioned two things, (1) one of my New Years goals was to run Boston in under 4 hours, and (2) that my IT Band problems might derail that goal. I started out running just under 9 minute miles because the start is a steep downhill. On level ground I tried to hold 9's, lower downhill and higher uphill. Around mile 18 my IT Band put out a little dull pain, then looked up at me and smiled and said, just don't want you to forget about me, but I know how bad you want this, so I'm going to give you a break today. No more IT Band problems. That is not to say that I didn't have other problems. I was starting to hurt around 20 and had just under an hour to finish. I walked a bit on a couple of the hills near the top and then started back running when it leveled off. That seemed to work well, and I still was holding close to 9:15's, which if I was able to hold would just get me in under 4. At mile 25 I wanted to walk so bad because they were still teasing us with hills. But I knew that I was too close to 4 to do any walking. They have a sign that says one mile to go, and when I hit that I started picking it up a bit. Another hill, oh well just kept pushing and topped it, turned left and I could see the finish line in the distance. I like that because I kept up my pace and took it on in. I didn't know for sure if I had beaten 4 because the clock was gun time and I didn't beat 4 there. But my Garmin said 3:59 and change. Official time 3:59:35. Mission Accomplished.
I don't know if I'll run this marathon again, I'm qualified for next year also, but I've learned not to say what I'll do right after the race.
This is an awesome race if the conditions are right. While we had a head wind off and on, the conditions were still good.
I am also pleased that I have accomplished two of the four goals I set for myself this year.
Blessed that I was able to finish this race with no apparent injuries.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Pre-Boston Marathon

I made it to Boston safely. Nothing really to report. I feel under trained for this marathon. But I am determined to run it. I didn't make it to the expo today. I walked to the subway, then remembered that I needed this postcard to get my bib. I was at the station getting ready to buy my tickets when this revelation came to me. So I just walked back to my hotel and decided to wait until tomorrow.
I just finished reading Willie's blog. I feel you brother. I haven't run this week either. I told myself I need to let my body heal, but the truth is I haven't felt up to running. On the flip side, I have read other peoples blogs, and it seems like several are going or have recently gone through this. Hopefully I will get over it soon. I plan to blog one more time before the marathon, or I may just add to this one since it is a bit short.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


I wanted to race this weekend, but didn't want to run in the Redbud Classic. The classic is a huge race, plus it is Sunday afternoon, and I wanted to run long Sunday morning.

The Patrick Frensley Memorial is a 5k run in memory of a young man (College Student) who was killed by a train....... while running. I didn't know this story until I had finished and a friend asked me if I knew the story of this race. He had a slight grin on his face and I wondered why. I thought it was strange to get hit by a train while running (sober), but then I thought back to my youth and in my mind I could see him thinking even if he didn't beat the train to the crossing, he would be able to see he wasn't going to make it and stop in time. It is also my understanding that he did beat the engine, but there was something sticking out that caught him.

I made the 20 minute drive to the start of the race. The weather was warm, but very windy. This is an out and back, so I thought the wind would be against me at the start, but with me on the way back. While it is an out and back, it is not straight out and back. It seemed that the wind was against me no matter which direction I was going. On the way back I was pretty much by myself. There was one lady right in front of me, and I heard someone tell her she was 3rd female, so I thought, I'll stalk you for a while then pass you. I passed her with about 1.5 k to go and there was no more incentive to go faster. I wasn't going to catch anyone else, and no one was going to catch me. I finished in 22:07. First in age group and that was ok. This is a nice little race, and I would do it again.

Today the running club was doing their last 20 miler in preparation for the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. I did not plan to do 20, but wanted to test my IT Band up to 16 miles. The difference between today and yesterday's weather was the high Sat. was 80. The low this morning was 37. I knew a cold front was coming in and thought I was ready for it. I woke up this morning, checked the temp, 39. A little warmer than I expected, but the wind was howling like there was a winter storm going on. The weather man said these were tropical storm grade winds. I made a decision not to run with them, but wait till the sun came up and it warmed up a bit more. I also figured it might be smarter to do my miles on a loop course in case my IT Band flared up I could stop immediately. Whereas if I had run with the club, it was possible that I could be up to 8 miles from my car and would have to walk back. When I left, it was all the way up to 41, a whopping 2 degrees warmer. And the wind was still howling. I ran one untimed lap (1.5 miles) to warm up then started my Garmin. First lap at 9 minute miles. Then I sort of got into a groove and started doing 8:10-30 minute miles. I treated it like a true race pace, and when there was a headwind, I backed off, and when there was a tailwind let it take me away. I was able to do 16 miles, with an average pace of 8:30. While I did feel my band tightening up, it never hurt. That gives me hope that I may be able to run the entire Boston Marathon in a couple of weeks. I am determined to do it, but may fall short of my proclaimed goal of doing it under 4 hours.