Dec 28, 2006
Dec 21, 2006
We met at Kevin's house even though he is still sidelined with an injured achilles. I wonder if he saw our cars and how he felt not being able to join us. I know it's really been eating at him. Kevin's a guy who was in Boston Marathon shape a short 8 months ago! Any way, 10 miles this AM in just just under 1:18. Great run!
Dec 19, 2006
Dec 17, 2006
The run itself went well. I've been consistent enough with my running of late to be content although I wouldn't mind picking it up a notch. Perhaps signing up for a spring marathon will inspire me to run a few extra miles during the week.
Dec 14, 2006
Dec 11, 2006
Nov 30, 2006
The weather is still awesome although the forecast is calling for a rapid cooldown by mid-afternoon. This mornings 10-miler may have been the last warm-weather run until April/May.
Nov 28, 2006
Nov 22, 2006
WASHINGTON - Marathon runners face a heightened risk of skin cancer, likely due to more sun exposure or an immune system inhibited by arduous exercise, researchers said yesterday.
Researchers at the Medical University of Graz in Austria studied 210 male and female marathon runners and 210 other people of the same age and sex.
The marathon runners were found to have more atypical moles. They also had more so-called liver spots -- small, flat, brownish, harmless lesions, also known as solar lentigines.
The number of these moles and liver spots is considered a strong independent indicator of increased risk or developing malignant melanoma.
Wow, and how much money was spent on this study? Good to know that long term exposure to the sun is still harmful!
Nov 21, 2006
Also bought a pair of Brooks ST Racers for my tempo runs and local 5K's. I'll be under a lot of pressure when wearing these because they're yellow. Yellow shoes = fast runner.
Nov 20, 2006
Nov 6, 2006
Oct 31, 2006
For my records. Not an ideal race (i.e. negative split) but not too bad overall. I think I'm only good for negative splitting a projected finish time of 3:05-3:10. Perhaps I'll make that my goal for my next marathon since I wasn't planning on it when I did it two years ago in Toronto. A negative split Boston would be a real challenge with those darned hills near the end.
Mile 1 - 6:36:32
Mile 2 - 6:42:48
Mile 3 - 6:21:33
Mile 4 - 6:46:99 (CLIF SHOT)
Mile 5 - 6:38:26
Mile 6 - 6:39:90
Mile 7 - 6:40:43
Mile 8 - 6:50:37 (CLIF SHOT)
Mile 9 - 6:47:58
Mile 10 - 6:40:17
Mile 11 - 6:41:71
Mile 12 - 7:09:49 (BATHROOM)
Mile 13 - 6:38:02
Mile 14 - 6:40:21 (CLIF SHOT)
Mile 15 - 6:44:82
Mile 16 - 6:51:16
Mile 17 - 6:54:59
Mile 18 - 6:36:96
Mile 19 - 7:11:00 (CLIF SHOT)
Mile 20 - 7:01:95
Mile 21 - 7:02:61
Mile 22 - 6:39:77
Mile 23 - 7:06:73 (CLIF SHOT)
Mile 24 - 7:21:37
Mile 25 - 7:15:34
Mile 26 - 7:20:94
Mile 26.2 - 1:35:43
AVERAGE - 6:51:37
Oct 27, 2006
Bridget just ran the Nike 26.2 Women's Marathon in San Francisco and Elizabeth rocked Chicago on a pretty crummy day that saw the men's winner nearly split his head open as he slipped on a plastic decal placed at the finish line. Poor guy. Athena and Jen are running Marine Corp this weekend. Kick a$$ ladies!
Oct 18, 2006
The gun fired prompty at 8:00. Lou and I paced off each other for the first 3 miles and established a very smooth rhythm. I knew from my race here last year that it was important not to go out too fast (it's so easy to do!). Just before making our first turn on the course I fell in behind a small group who were all looking to run under 3-hours (3 men and 1 woman). The woman, Kristin Price, ultimately went on to win! That's Kristin with an "i". One of the guys asked her because his wife's name was Kristen (with an "e"). Anyway, another of the guys was wearing an Ironman hat so we chatted briefly about IM Lake Placid and IM France. He was an awesome looking guy, broad shoulders, ripped legs, etc. (I bet he shreds the water when swimming!). We would meet up again later in the race. For now, I was in cruise control. Went through the 5 mile mark in 33:08, 1/2-Marathon in 1:27:57 (2:55:54 projected finish time). One of the hardest parts of the course for me last year was passing through the 1/2-way point surrounded by cheering crowds and then finding myself alone running north on High St. It took the wind out of my sails a year ago but this year I was better prepared mentally. There were a handful of runners ahead of me so I just focused on them and how strong they looked. I just kept thinking to myself that maybe someone was behind me using little ol' me as a motivating force to keep pushing.
My splits started to fall off a little around mile 19 but this was the "hilly" section of the course and I found myself slowing down through the water stops more than I had earlier in the race. Passed through the 20 mile marker in 2:15:17. A downhill stretch on Lane Ave. during mile 22 was key and allowed me to run a 6:39 mile. It also helped to stretch my legs out a little and build confidence for the final 3 miles. At this point, my mind was racing trying to determine how fast I needed to run the final 3.2 miles and still finish under 3-hours. It seemed do-able, but my legs were starting to feel like lead, my arms were getting tingly and my mind was starting to question the importance of achieving such a time. I was asking a lot of my body at this point and my body was asking a lot of my mind. I didn't much feel like myself anymore. I think this is the point where all marathoners begin asking themselves, why am I doing this? It just doesn't make sense at that point. Then, at mile 25, a familiar face showed up along side me on my left. it was the Ironman guy from earlier in the race. He looked strong and I said to myself, and out loud to him, that I was going with him. He seemed to sense the urgency of that final mile more than I did, which was exactly what I needed. Running 1 mile with legs on fire, numb arms and heavy breath can seem like a marathon in itself. The 26 mile marker was just before the final right turn on to Nationwide Blvd. Finally, the finish line was in sight and I knew from my watch, and the official finish line clock, that my sub-3 was a lock. I spotted a few of my friends in the crowd coming down the homestretch and managed to crack a smile just before crossing the finish line.
Some very nice volunteers removed my timing chip and placed a medal around my neck. I then made a b-line to the fenceline to meet my friends Keith, his girlfriend Lexi and my buddy Jeremy, who had just finished the 1/2-marathon. My poor body was tingling all over. I tried giving hugs but I was pretty weak. I found Lou and gave him a big celebratory hug. He shattered his previous best time at Columbus by 27 minutes!! Plus, he qualified for Boston, which is something a man like him truly deserves and will appreciate fully. After about 15 minutes, I hooked up with my friend Bridget who was searching for me because she had all my clothes that I shed before the race. We walked over to just before the 26 mile marker to cheer on the Team in Training runners with Steve, who was a Mentor for the fall season. I think the elite runners are awesome to watch but not nearly as exciting as those who finish in the 4-5 hour range. I devoured a double quarter pounder with cheese from McDonalds on my way home. I won't need to eat McDonalds for another 6 months now (nor will I want to!). I'm going to rest for a week and a half or so before I start to run again. My muscles still ache and my right knee feels a little funny. I'm sure it will get better soon!
Oct 16, 2006
Oct 15, 2006
Oct 13, 2006
Oct 10, 2006
1. Finishing my first marathon: Cleveland 2003 - I remember in great detail most of this race. Running past my aunts house in Lakewood twice, meeting several interesting runners including a dentist who was running his 112th marathon, feeling my arms go numb and my feet start to get sore at the 22-23 mile mark. Perhaps what I remember most is meeting Teresa at the finish line and falling into her arms in tears of joy. Never has anything hurt so bad but felt so good!
2. Running my first 3 miles non-stop: August 2002 - This run, in my early stages of running (obviously), made me feel on top of the world. It was done in the twighlight hours at the Westlake Rec Center (outdoor all purpose path) and was fueled by thoughts of all the people in my life who would be proud of me for getting out there and getting myself in shape. I literally spent most of the run developing a list of everyone I would invite to watch if I were to ever run a marathon. Shortly after I signed up to run the 2003 Cleveland Marathon.
3. Qualifying for Boston: Toronto 2004 - The perfect race! A beautiful day and a beautiful course. I was aiming for a 3:08 (anything less than 3:10) and finished in 3:03! A negative split marathon. Yes, it can be done! My Dad was instrumental in helping me finish strong as he patiently waited at the 40K mark (24.8 miles) to let me know I had it in my grasps! My parents and Teresa's parents were all waiting at the finish line. Shortly thereafter, I proposed to Teresa and the rest is history!
4. Track workouts with Team in Training: Summer 2005 - I wouldn't be half the runner I am today had it not been for this group and all of the people I've met through this group. Every single person I run with to this day are connected to this group in some way. I used to run alone 90% of the time and now I run alone only 10% of the time.
5. Sub 24 minute 4-miler: July 2005 - 6 minute miles is alway a good target pace for 5k's, which would be about an 18:38 finish time. Sometimes I can run faster than this and other times I'm nowhere close. Some solid speedwork led me to a 23:16 finish (5:49/mile). I was very tired in the end but was equally as excited to have run such a good race.
6. Strong Finish at Youngstown 1/2-marathon: March 2006 - I was told this was a hilly course but was up for the challenge. I found Bryce at the start and we set off at a 6:15-6:30 pace. My shoelace came untied within the first mile and since we were a little ahead of pace, I told Bryce to go on ahead and that I'd catch up with him. As soon as I caught up with him a right turn and a monster hill greeted us. I was already slightly out of breath from having picked up the pace to make up for my stupid shoelace! The next 3-4 miles were awful and I thought for sure I would self destruct. I remained patient and before I knew it, I was feeling good again and passing people by mile 10 and ultimately finishing in 1:26:20 (12th place overall)!
7. Bench-Bar Halloween 5K: October 2002 - What's more fun (and memorable) than running in costume? I was still pretty much a virgin runner at this point but managed to squeak out a 19:34 and place in my age group. I also won an award for best costume, Raggedy Ann! Run Raggedy! Run!
8. Cleveland Browns TD Run (5K): August 2004 - A solid 5k is always hard to come by because it's pretty much an all out race. If you don't "got it" on that day... "it" ain't happenin'! On this day I ran so good I finished well under 18 minutes (17:32 I think) and ran my final mile the fastest. Perhaps it was the finish on the field of Cleveland Browns Stadium that made the difference for me.
9. Boston Marathon: April 2005/2006 - I will forever be proud of the fact that my name owns a permanent place in the official records of the 109th and 110th running of this famed race. The inspiration for countless speedwork sessions and long runs, Boston remains the benchmark for many runners. Have you qualified?
10. Crossing the finish line at Ironman France: June 2006 - After a slow swim and an average bike, I slipped on my running shoes and went off for 26.2 of the most memorable miles of my life. I fought through 80+ degree heat and slight dehydration to finish ahead of people that started their marathon an hour or so before me. Because of this, I'm not sure I'll ever consider myself a triathlete. I'm more like a runner who was crazy enough to train for a 2.4 mile swim and a 112 mile bike prior to running a marathon.
Oct 3, 2006
Oct 1, 2006
Sep 28, 2006
1 mile warmup - 7:38:57
1. 800 - 2:42:46 400 - 2:20:21
2. 800 - 2:50:63 400 - 2:20:64
3. 800 - 2:43:74 400 - 2:31:98
4. 800 - 2:55:85 400 - 2:30:70
5. 800 - 2:46:63 400 - 2:38:20
6. 800 - 2:50:92 400 - 2:31:19
1 mile warmdown - 8:05:79
Pretty good, I think. Followed this run up with an easy 10-miler at 5AM this morning. I'm starting to feel more confident. 17 more days until showtime!
Sep 21, 2006
Mile 1 - 7:20:96 Mile 7 - 7:39:87
Mile 2 - 7:19:84 Mile 8 - 7:48:67
Mile 3 - 7:37:52 Mile 9 - 6:02:00
Mile 4 - 6:18:25 Mile 10 - 6:01:70
Mile 5 - 6:03:62 Mile 11 - 7:49:84
Mile 6 - 6:02:57 Mile 12 - 5:56:32
Had a great hill workout on Tuesday morning and plan on getting a solid 12-15 miler in this weekend while in the Hocking Hills of southern Ohio. A friend of mine from college is going to be running the 1/2-Marathon at Columbus this year. It's going to be great to see him accomplish this amazing goal. Only 3 more weeks!
Sep 17, 2006
Sep 9, 2006
Sep 5, 2006
Mile 1 - 5:52
Mile 2 - 6:11
Mile 3 - 6:12
Mile 4 - 6:08
Mile 5 - 6:06
...for a 30:29 finish. Perhaps I went out to fast or maybe I slowed a little too much after I saw how fast my first mile was. Oh well. Running a hard 5-miler makes me think back to my first 5-mile run and how hard I thought it was at the time. I remember writing in my journal "5 miles ain't no joke!". No it ain't!
Aug 31, 2006
I've continued running hills on Tuesday and tempos on Thursday. The weekend runs have been a little off from where I should be but I have 3 more 20-milers planned and a great running partner to do them with. I'm also back to doing 120-150 push-ups a night along with some dumbell curls and/or lateral arm raises along with some ab-work to help strengthen my core (and to look ripped up in those finish line pics!).
So Columbus it is... Maybe this year I'll actually notice Ohio State's football stadium when I run by it. It's a hard thing to miss but I managed to do so last year.
Aug 28, 2006
With all that said, I had a great week of running last week including 8 miles of hill work, a 9 mile tempo run and a 14 mile long run to cap off the week.
Aug 15, 2006
Monday 9PM - Felt great running around Westlake for an easy 4 miles (27:12).
Tuesday - 4:30AM came a little early but I managed to get out the door in time and was climbing my first hill by 5:05AM. We did 8 miles total on a course that's best described as a long half pipe. Up, down, up, down.... repeat. (58:56).
Tuesday - 6:30PM, 2x800, 2x400, 2x800, 2x400*
*Final 400's were done as a relay. Liz and I combined to run a 5:12 mile!!
800 - 2:54:07
800 - 2:44:95
400 - 1:18:23
400 - 1:14:72
800 - 2:54:46
800 - 2:42:57
400 - 1:09:66
400 - 1:09:74
The track workout went great! I felt some minor abdominal cramping every now and then, but nothing that stopped me from running hard. Looking back at our times, we were really consistent.
Afterwords, Liz and I went for some Italian grub down in Little Italy where the Feast of the Assumption was still going on. We grabbed some to-go cavatelli and took it to Teresa at work. She thanked us by accidently spilling this nasty smelling liquid on Liz's arm while forcing her to take a whif. Luckily it was something that Teresa's patients drink so it didn't burn a hole through her skin!
Roughly 18 miles in less than 24 hours. I need some sleep!
Aug 10, 2006
It's these reasons that have made me feel less burdened at the fact I haven't been following my training schedule nearly as close as I should be. I have, however, continued to swim on occasion and have pounded out some pretty impressive bike rides of late. I've been impressed anyway! I swear my legs must have thought I was applying cruel and unusual punishment to them in France because they've been a lot more dependable on the bike, especially on hills.
I've got a tempo run planned this evening and am hoping I come out of it feeling like a runner again. Afterwards, in case the run doesn't build up my confidence, I'm going to hang my Boston Marathon posters up in what's slowly but surely becoming my trophy room.
Jul 27, 2006
Mile 1 - 7:32
Mile 2 - 7:38
Mile 3 - 6:13
Mile 4 - 6:10
Mile 5 - 6:07
Mile 6 - 8:21
Felt pretty wiped out after mile 4 so I took a quick water break before mile 5. It's been so damn humid out lately and I sweat like a pig. So much for my body's natural cooling mechanism! I'm going away to Syracuse this weekend and am going to attempt to get in my 18-miler before we hit the road at 9AM on Saturday morning.
Jul 24, 2006
I drove down to Lou's house and we started off just after 7AM. My fuel-belt was loaded up with two flasks of water, two flasks of orange Gatorade (full-strength) and two Hammer-Gels. About 3 miles in we landed on the canal towpath and followed it all the way to our turnaround point. A light rain kept us cool the entire time, which ended up being just about 2 hours 24 minutes (7:12/mile). I felt a little labored breathing most of the run, but was still at "conversation" pace (until the end). My mind is way ahead of my legs at this point and it's gonna take another month or two until things equilibrate. I found this course to be pretty challenging as there is a dandy of a hill at mile 18 and continues on a gradual incline to the finish. I emptied my fuel belt at the base of the hill and concluded that it's perfect for a 20-miler but probably isn't necessary for anything less than 12-15 miles.
Overall, everything felt great for this time of year. Thankfully, the weather cooled off for us and we didn't have to slow our pace to keep from overheating/dehydrating. I'm hoping for more of the same on the days of the remaining four 20-milers.
Jul 20, 2006
Run - 1 mile warmup, 4 miles @ 6:20, 1 mile warmdown
Mile 1 - 7:37
Mile 2 - 6:24
Mile 3 - 6:22
Mile 4 - 6:21
Mile 5 - 6:15
Mile 6 - 8:09
Notice the killer 5th mile... White Zombie's 'Soul Crusher' never lets me down! "Demon got my soul and I said "Drive!" Come on - speed kills - but I'm alive yeah!". Aaahh, takes me right back to 12th grade!
Anyway, swam off of Columbia Park last night for about 1/2-hour. It was really choppy... probably too choppy for an effective swim. I take that back. It's always beneficial to get a feel for different types of water conditions. I happen to be a fan of the "flat as a sheet of glass" type! The kind that would leave a water skiier salivating!
Jul 18, 2006
Splits were something like this:
1200 - 4:26
1000 - 3:38
800 - 2:44
600 - 2:01
400 - 1:14
200 - 0:29
800 - 2:48 (Shouldn't have run the 200 so fast!)
I felt a little strained on the first couple laps of the 1200, but my legs/head loosened up shortly thereafter. The FIRST workout will have me running hard just about each and every time out so my track times should reflect this effort.
On a side note... I have a blister on the bottom of my foot that started to break open tonight on the track. It's from Sunday when I decided to run barefoot on the hot pavement. I thought the bottom of our feet are supposed to be tough!
Can you think of a worse place for a blister?
Arrived at the start about 1-1/2 hours prior to 'go' time. Had plenty of time to prep my bike, chat with other competitors, hydrate, wait in line for bathrooms, etc. With about 15 minutes to spare, I slipped on my wetsuit and handed in my SWIM bag. The beach wasn't nearly as crowded as I thought it would be and I wasn't nearly as intimidated as I imagined I'd be. This particular beach in the south of France was rocky! They were of the rounded-off, skipping stone type, but rocky nonetheless. It was a little tricky getting good footing. I stepped off to the side where the 1:20+ signs were (i.e. slow swimmer territory) and found Susanna. We stood together in anticipation of the start, which came pretty quick. I believe it was an air horn of sorts that signaled us to begin. 6:30AM on the nose, ambient temp about 70°F, water temp about 68°F. Wetsuits allowed and used by most.
Took my time getting into the water as I wasn't in any hurry to get passed by others that may have been sandbagging it in the back. The water got deep pretty quickly and I was once again enamored by the clearness of the Meditteranean (We'd already done a practice swim on Friday). I'd have taken more time to take in what I was setting out to do, except that I was in the process of being kicked and bumped and fingered, etc. The start was very rough and I was in the vicinity of a guy that was apparently going to breast stroke the whole thing and a guy that would literally stop swimming every 5-6 strokes to look up to see where he was headed. He was a comprable swimmer to me, but was all over the place. Once I saw him look up to re-direct his path and then swim directly into a string of buyos about 5 second later. I think I did a pretty good job sighting and swimming in a relatively straight line. The first lap went well and as I exited the water I realized that the lead swimmers were also exiting with me, except that they were done with their SECOND lap!! I had been lapped, but it was cool. The Australian exit didn't phase me a bit. I jumped right back in the water and was back in a good rhythm in no time. For some reason I had some French phrase stuck in my head and couldn't get it out. I can't remember it for the life of me now, but it was driving me nuts at the time. I made the final turn towards the beach and started to see a few kayaks pull up near me to help guide me in. I knew I was going to be one of the last out of the water, but them taking the time to guide me in made me feel important and I was able to exit the water in fantastic spirits. Plus, a large number of spectators were still hanging around cheering on the stragglers! I jogged easily up the ramp onto the street above where the BIKE bags and changing tent were. I spotted Teresa and Annie and was exstatic to be done with the swim. Never in my life would I have imagined swimming 2.4 miles. What an accomplishment in itself, nevermind the 138.2 miles still to come. P.S. Ocean swimming is awesome! There were pockets of "cold" water that were very refreshing and the water is so clear. At times you could see schools of fish swimming below. I just hoped they weren't swimming away from a shark!
Headed into the transition tent and peeled off my wetsuit as quickly as possible. I was wearing some spandex swim shorts underneath my wetsuit and had considered slipping my tri-shorts over top of them but decided against it because they were a little wet and it was going to be very hot on the bike... So, I did what all true triathletes do and got NAKED in front of about a dozen people, most volunteers and some, women. Nothing like a little exhibitionism at 8AM. Once dressed, cycling shoes (w/ socks), tri-shorts, tri-top (sleeveless), gloves, sunglasses and helmet, I jogged down to my bike, which was about 100 or so meters down from the changing tent. Grabbed a PB and honey sandwich that I had placed on my handlebars earlier and was off. Since I was pretty much alone at this point, the race MC was able to announce my name as I went through to the mounting area. Go me!! Once again, I was made to feel like a rock star by the IM France folks!
The first thing I remember about the bike is seeing a few race photographers snapping away as I left the mouting area. I was glad they hung around long enough to catch me in action on the bike. The second thing I remember is how sore my legs were. This really scared me! After all, if my legs felt this sore less than one mile into the bike, how in the heck would they make it through another 111 miles (not to mention the marathon). I did what I read so much about and ate part of a peanut butter and honey sandwich I had stashed in my aerobars. I also drank some Powerade and water to help wash it down. My legs started to come to life around mile 5, shortly before the course turned north away from the coastline. Race organizers had warned us of a 500 meter hill at the 20K mark (about mile 12), which was 10% grade. I saw the 20 km sign but wasn't thinking about the hill until a few race volunteers steered me in its direction. Of all the hills on the course, this was the most gruelling. I dropped into the easiest gear, stood up and gave it hell. I could hear my bike squeaking below me and prayed that I had adequately tightened everything. I breathed a sigh of relief at the top and continued on. Within the first hour I was beginning to pass quite a few people. The serious climbing began about 2 hours in. I remember passing Susanna mid-climb and her asking me if this was the 12-mile hill. I didn't know at the time but when the hill seemed never to stop, I had to assume it was. It's hard to put into words what it was like to climb for such a long period of time. I would look up to a section of hills in the distance and think to myself, there's no way there's even a road on that hill. But sure enough there was. The scenery was unimagineable, which really helped keep my mind from turning on me. A lot of the climbing was back and forth on switchbacks. At times I would look down at the cyclists way below and was thankful I didn't look up back when I was where they were. I knew the climbing would be over around mile 75 or 80 so I was relieved when I saw the 110 km sign. At one point near the end of the climbing, I read a sign near a house that said 1064 m above sea level!! I couldn't believe I was nearly 3/4-mile above where I started. The remaining 30 miles or so were sure to be super fast. When the climbing stopped and the downhills finally started, it seemed like a separate race/course all together. I must have hit speeds ranging from 35-40 mph, which was scary at times with all the hairpin turns on the switchbacks. I had read up on the best way to approach a turn, etc. and managed to do pretty well in this regard. Still, negotiating a 180° turn at a high speed was no easy task. During the downhill return I did a fair amount of coasting in order to rest my legs. I stopped at the aid stations for 1/2 bananas, powerbars, gels, Gatorade, etc. I didn't want to eat too close to the end of the bike in fear of getting sick or cramping on the run. As much as I was trying to enjoy the final miles of the bike, my mind was already looking towards the run. The last three miles was along the same stretch of road as the run course. I finally felt at home! My people! The wind was strong coming in but not too bad. I was about 11 minutes from being done with the bike and was feeling great. I didn't know how my legs would feel after dismounting but I guessed they'd be fine since I had dismounted once or twice at the aid stations. My adrenaline was off the charts at this point. I couldn't wait to start the run. I knew I had another 4-5 hours left but there was nothing I'd rather be doing at that point. I've proven my strength as a runner but had no idea how I'd fare after 1:36 in the water and 7:11 on the bike.
The dismount went fine. I didn't fall over and my legs held steady beneath me as a volunteer kindly took my bike from me to put in the racks (merci!!). For some reason I kept my shoes on while making my down to where the RUN bags were hanging about 100 meters away. It's hard to run in them given the giant cleat centered in the middle of the sole so rather than slipping them off, which may have been easiest, I decided to walk down. I grabbed my bag, slipped my running shoes on and scanned the tent to see what others were doing. There was a table of water, bananas, etc. so I grabbed some water and 1/2-banana. I also saw a table full of sunscreen and remember feeling how flaky my skin felt when applying it. It was either sweat from my trek on the bike or remnants from the saltwater (or both). Either way, it was an odd feeling! I had made up a lot of ground on the bike and was ready to do what I do best, run!!
In my experience, which is very limited, it seems the only thing better than being a triathlete with a triathlete's mentality is being a triathlete with a runner's mentailty. I truly enjoyed setting out on foot for 26.2 miles! The rest I enjoyed late on the bike was just what my body needed. Once out of the test, I began scanning the crowd for Teresa because she was holding the Orca hat I bought at the race expo. I was so intensely focused at this point that I didn't stop for too long once I spotted her. I grabbed the hat, smiled, got a good luck kiss and was on my way. The first quarter mile or so was somewhat narrow with lots of spectators and volunteers. I was running on the Premenade de Anglais, which lent itself nicely to the crowds with a grassy divider on the right and a boardwalk on the left (heading east). Just beyond the boardwalk was the beach and the ocean, which offered up gorgeous scenery throughout. My goal for the run was pretty simple... run from aid station to aid station, re-assessing my condition at each stop. On my way to aid station #1, the lead female passed me but it wasn't a swift pass. I was surprised at my pace relative to hers. Her final marathon time was 3:15, which averages out to about 7:26/mile. I was probably running 7:45's at that point. Making it to the first aid station was pretty cool. I knew I had a long way to go (approximately 25 miles), but I really felt "into" the race at this point.
Jul 14, 2006
Jul 12, 2006
Prime example of my OCD : )
$100 if you can find me!!
2.4 miles in the books! Only 138.2 to go!!
Getting pumped for a 112 mile tour of southern France
Fighting the winds as T2 is within sight
Finally! At home in me running shoes!
The finish made me all emotional-like : )
A few pieces of schwag for my effort
Teresa and I as the day draws to a close
July 4th with my niece. She's just too cute!
Jun 18, 2006
Jun 9, 2006
Woke up around 5:15 on Sunday morning and started taking stuff to the Jeep. It was still dark outside but a haze had rolled in overnight and was causing visibility to be low. I arrived about an hour and a half early to allow time to set up my transition area. Luckily, I was early enough to get a pretty good spot in my row (second from the end). While setting up I got to talking with a few of the guys in my age group. Everyone was nervous about the bike course. This one guy from University of Wisconsin's Triathlon Club even went as far as saying it was going to be a technical race. If by that he meant long and gruelling, I'd say he was accurate. Anyway, I slid on my wet suit and headed to the beach area for the start.
I had the luxury of watching all of the Triple-T participants hit the water first, which eased my nerves a bit. I was no longer nervous by the time my age group lined up. I simply made my way to the rear of our pack and waited for the signal. Since this was a land start, I was able to run into the water and "dolphin" dive for the first 10-15 meters until it was deep enough to swim. The first couple hundred meters were probably the most difficult for me as I adjusted to the water, people around me, etc. After that, everything was smooth. I was having a little trouble sighting the buoys ahead and was probably zig-zagging quite a bit. I felt good at the end of the first lap and was a little annoyed having to get out of the water, run around a cone and head back out for lap 2. However, the start of lap 2 was much easier and I was in cruise control almost immediately. In fact, I was actually enjoying the swim at this point. My thoughts were of getting back to the exit and heading for my bike.
I made the transition to the bike relatively smoothly, except that I nearly fell over when trying to mount up at the designated spot. I guess my legs were a little shaky from the swim. I was thrilled to be on the bike, to be on land! The bike was split into two 28-mile loops. There were many rolling hills but the first major climb came about 5 miles into the loop. Started up a hill and it never ended! It was at least a 10% grade and was about 1.5 miles long (possible longer). I was relieved to hit the top and drop in the aero bars for the decent. I couldn't do that for long as there was a hairpin turn about 1/4-mile later. I found that getting in the aero bars on the downhills of this course was a calculated risk. Was it worth the extra speed for such a short time? Was it worth risking a wipeout? I wasn't necessarily racing this thing so I opted to be extra cautious. Made it through the first loop in about 1:40 (17 mph average). I indulged in the rest area as much as possible, grabbing a banana, water, Gatorade, gels, Power bars, etc. Probably took about 5 minutes before I was ready to head back out for loop 2. Very similar to loop 1 except that I felt a little more comfortable on the hills and was able to muscle up them a little easier knowing it was was the last time of the day. Somewhere around 40 miles I made an error switching gears and my chain popped off. Surprisingly, I've become somewhat mechanically adept with my bike and was able to fix it in about 10 seconds and was back riding within 20 seconds or so. Entered the transition area in about 3:30 and quickly prepared for the run.
I found this to be the strangest part of the day. The bike course never doubled back on itself so the only people I saw on the bike were people who were slightly ahead of me or, as I passed them, slightly behind me. The run however, was a double out and back so right from the start I was crossing paths with people who were already well into their run and perhaps almost finished. I was inspired by how great some of these people looked. Most of them were Triple-T participants (i.e. very experienced triathletes). The run course took us out on a fire road that wound through the hills. There was a lot of uphill on the way out with a nice downhill stretch leading up to the turnaround point. By this time it was very hot (about 80°F) , and much of the field was reduce to walking at least a portion of the hills, including me. I took in as much water as possible at the water stops and even grabbed a few Oreos at the mile 9 stop. I've never eaten solid food on the run before, but it seemed like this is just what I needed. My last 3 miles were strong and I clocked a 7:11 for the final mile.
Finished in 6:33'ish and was relieved to be done. Getting back into the transition area to recover my bike was pretty cool. I sort of looked down and saw what looked like shrapnel from a bomb explosion. One cycling glove, an inside out wetsuit, a half eaten power bar, etc. I wondered what a criminal investigator would gather from my personal "crime scene". All in all, I was very pleased with the day and found it to be great preparation for France in less than a month. I took some pictures using my disposable camera but have yet to use up all of the film. Will post ASAP.
May 26, 2006
Sunday brought with it the Cleveland Marathon and Bridget, Rachel, Lou, Dan, Jackie, Katie, Annie, Sue and Ed were all running. The plan was to see everyone off at the start and then hit a few spots on the course for support. Surprisingly, it was relatively easy to get around this course and I was able to see everyone, except Dan, atleast once. At the 16 mile mark, I jumped in with Bridget and ran her all the way in to the finish. Since the last 10 miles was all I ran, it was pretty amazing being able to actually enjoy the end of a marathon course. I took in the scenery and took some mental notes in case I decide to run Cleveland again in the future. Everyone did amazing despite the tough conditions. I was even impressed with the crowd support. It's not Boston, but a fair amount of people make the effort to get out where there normally wouldn't be anyone. Also, the volunteers were great at the water and aid stations.
After such an exciting weekend, my week has been rather glum! Suffered through a 3 day audit at work and spent Wednesday night alone with the puppies as Teresa was entertaining a handful of our Irish relatives in Niagara Falls. It's finally Friday and I'm chomping at the bit to get on the road to Portsmouth for the 1/2-Ironman I'll be doing on Sunday. Went to the pool for a light swim this morning just to work the jitters out and build confidence. Tomorrow when I arrive in Portsmouth, I plan to squeeze into my wetsuit and swim the course for 20 minutes or so just to get a feel for the open water. I may try to run a few miles on the course as well. Assuming I survive this thing, I'll have a full recap next week!
May 13, 2006
Feelin' pretty good after 62 miles!
May 9, 2006
I'm in the process of customizing my bike for the upcoming racing season. I've yet to install my bike computer and I need to have a bike shop install some screws on the top tube and down tube of my frame so I have room for another water bottle and a handheld air pump. I'm also thinking about taking out a couple of spacers from my stem to allow for more of an aerodynamic position when in the aero bars. Whoa... I just made myself hungry by writing aero bars... Have you ever had the Nestle chocolate bar called Aero? If not, it's worth the trip to Europe or a specialty chocolate store to grab one!
May 4, 2006
Apr 23, 2006
Apr 19, 2006
Race conditions were nearly ideal as I made my way to Boston Common to catch the bus to Hopkinton. Elizabeth and I took a cab to the buses and managed to get into a relatively quick moving line. In about 15 minutes we were loaded up and on our way to the start. When we finally made it to the athletes village (after having been lost and dropped off a mile from where we were supposed to be), we quickly made the decision to take refuge in the "second" athletes village, which was a lot less crowded and seemingly a bit more relaxed. We hung out with some of the runners from the Massachusets chapter of Team In Training until it was finally time to head towards the corrals. We peeled our sweats, lathered ourselves in sunblock and bodyglide and dumped our bags on the baggage buses, which were neatly lined up right outside of the school. Liz walked with me to my starting corral and wished me luck. I still had about 1/2-hour to kill so I did some light stretching and a lot of pacing around. I snuck out of my corral to make one last bathroom stop with about 5 minutes to spare. From my corral, I heard the starting gun go off and it was time to go. At first, I didn't move at all but after about 15 seconds the crowd started to walk, which shortly turned into a slow jog until finally the official starting line crossed under my feet and I was officially on the clock.
The downhill start at Boston is so dangerous because it's so tempting to fly down that first hill. However, on this day, the crowd wouldn't let me go any faster than about a 7:20 pace, which was the time of my first mile. My pace band had me going 6:34 for mile 1, but I didn't fret. I figured I could make that up slowly over the next 15-16 miles. I believe mile 2 was dead on and I was feeling confident of my ability to pace myself per my pace band. I started off wearing a light racing cap but peeled it after about 4 miles. At 10K I felt really good and was already thinking ahead towards the Heartbreak series of hills. I tried to keep my mind occupied by listening to nearby runners or simply eyeing runners up ahead to see if I could keep up. A few miles back I had passed the 2 "jogglers" who were aiming to break the world record for joggling. I was still on pace as I came into Wellesley College. The girls were out in force but not as loud as last year. Last year at this point I was desperately searching for a port-o-potty, but not this year. I cruised through the 1/2-way mark on pace for a 2:58. Although this was promising, I knew it'd be tough to maintain pace through the hills and then finish nearly as strong as I started. After Wellesley, the only thing left to do is prepare for the hills as they were only a few short miles away. I swear as soon as you see the sign for Newton, a hill appears! This time it was clear to me... the first hill of the Heartbreak series is the worst!! My splits fell off as did my legs. I crested Heartbreak and re-focused. I knew it was going to be very hard to clock 6:40's at this point so I just ran as hard as I could without looking at my clock too much. I passed Boston College and could see the famous Citgo sign up ahead. It was still about 2 miles away but it was a beautiful sight nonetheless. The crowds at this point really started to thicken up and helped to carry me through the final miles. At about the 25.4 mile mark, just prior to the new hill, I saw up ahead of me Rick and Dick Hoyt. I couldn't believe it! I had caught them despite their 1/2-hour head start. I was dreaming about seeing them in action and there they were. I pulled even with them and yelled some inspirational words in their direction. They didn't need to say a word. Just the sight of that man busting ass for his son was enough to get me through to the end and finish on a high! The turn onto Hereford and then on to Boylston was just as amazing as I remember from last year. I soaked it all in and managed to spot Teresa in the crowd near the finish! When we met in the family meeting area a few minutes after the finish, Teresa handed me a single pink rose and a big hug! I nearly cried because there are so many "moments" at Boston that I will cherish forever! This was surely one of them! My time qualifies me to come back again next year but I'm hoping to run my sub-3 this fall in Chicago and will use that time for my entry into Boston 2007.
Apr 12, 2006
Champioin Care Bear! A good luck present from Teresa
Apr 11, 2006
Went to eat at Olive Garden with Teresa, Nikya, Steve and Bridget. Food was awesome and I even got a good luck present from S&B. They were thoughtful enough to put together a bag of goodies to keep me occupied on the plane, including a puzzle book, some dry-erase markers, a bag of Skittles and some Sunkist jellybeans! Steve also brought along some Tyr goggles for me to try out in the pool when I return.
Stretching w/ Nikya
My Goodie Bag!!
Apr 10, 2006
Anyway, The run was great and we all went out for breakfast at Panera's afterwords. I couldn't choose between a strawberry & cream pastry or a banana-nut "muffie"... so I got both, plus a huge carmel latte! I should have taken a picture of the latte! It was heaven in a cup!
Apr 7, 2006
mid 50's and sunny!!!!
Apr 5, 2006
I checked the 10-day weather forecast for Boston and it's looking like overcast 50's up until Friday the 14th. Doesn't look like it's going to be too warm, but there's a chance it'll be a little too cold and possibly rainy.
Apr 1, 2006
Mar 31, 2006
So here's to a good April! May warm weather grace you, tax refunds spoil you and... oh yeah.. Go Indians (and Red Sox)!!!
Mar 30, 2006
I love getting in a 10-miler early in the morning before I've even had a chance to think about it. It requires me getting up at 4:30, but it's definitely worth it in the end. I get to spend more time in the evenings with Teresa and the pup-pups, which is my favorite thing to do!