Sunday, April 26, 2009

Mission looking ahead

Well, today was a great success. I managed to run my first 1/2 marathon and ran quite well considering the 30+ mph winds and the nasty humidity.

Race day started pretty early...I woke up about 4:30 a.m. and went through my morning routine. Breakfast of champions as always. English muffin, peanut butter, and a banana. Mmmmm.

Then it was off to the race. I was a little lost at first. Everyone seemed to be there with someone and I was just running by myself so I just took the only free spot I could find among the 8 to 9 minute mile pace group. It amazed me how many people they had stuffed into that starting chute. I was glad I did some stretching before getting in line, because I had zero room. I bumped into Katie and she joined me for the start. It was nice to have someone to chat with leading up to the big start. She and I were both on the same page once the gun went off. Headphones in and get to business. My only complaint about the start, freaking OU marching band. Really? Who wants to hear Boomer Sooner at 6:30 in the morning? I sure the hell don't.

The race was pretty frustrating the first few miles because it was more people dodging than running. I never understand why slow people feel the need to line up in the front. They have those handy-dandy pacers to line up around so you can run with people your own speed. After effectively dodging 100s of people, we finally made the turn towards the capitol building and things started to open up a bit. It was a nice run up Lincoln because the wind was at our back and the streets were wider. I didn't feel like I was going to trip on someone. I was drenched by mile 2 thanks to the humidity, but lord knows I didn't smell as bad as some of those people. I honestly think half of the older guys don't wear deoderant. Ha, hopefully I won't get that way.

About mile 4, I felt my hip start bothering me. It was a concern, because I stopped training this week because I was in so much pain after running. I honestly thought at one point that I was going to have to stop. I don't know what I did to it, but I know I will have to figure it out before I start training for the full. I couldn't put any weight on my right leg when making turns so I had to make sure to position myself better going into turns. After a mile of pain, I finally found my groove again and started picking up the pace through Crown Heights. I got a few good laughs through these neighborhoods because people were out having drinks and offering shots to the runners. Plus, with all the big houses, the wind was a non-factor. I also found a few running mates at this point. Well, more like targets than mates. I wanted to always keep them in site and I knew I was doing well.

All was going well, definitely hitting my groove when we turned south on Classen. You could almost see the life come of out some people. The wind literally almost knocked you down when you turned the corner onto Classen. I tried to save some energy early in the race because I knew that stretch was going to be brutal. I actually made up some pretty decent ground on this stretch and passed quite a few people. I felt good going into the turn on 18th and that's when I saw Allison. It was so great to see a familiar face for the first time all race. It made me smile and gave me a little extra boost.

After that point, I really started trying to pick it up to full speed. I knew I only had a couple of miles left and I so wanted to get close to my goal. By this time I knew that 1:45 was out of the question, but I knew I could still finish well under 2 hours and that was a lot better than my original goal when I started training. My Nike+ was lying to me all race and telling me that I was running a lot faster than I was so that was a bit discouraging. Actually, right after I saw Allison, my iPod started messing up because it had gotten so sweaty, not to mention that you could have gotten a pound of salt off my body. I don't think they were meant to function wet and salty. I can report that it is working fine now so let's keep our fingers crossed that it continues to do so.

On the homestretch I really picked it up. I would be really interested to see how my last 2 miles were pace-wise. I think I probably ran 2 of my strongest miles at the finish. The turn on to Broadway was about as daunting as Classen, but at that point you only have about 1/2 mile left so it's easy money. I felt great finishing when I did and I was ecstatic after the race. I wish I would have had someone there to celebrate with me, but I did run into some familiar faces in the cool down area.

After the race, I noticed I had some very tender feet so pulled off the socks to some lovely surprises. I had a couple of huge blood blisters underneath my toenails and not really sure how my toenail was still attached. Needless to say they are a bit tender and I need to get some bigger running shoes for next go-round. Oh well, the pain is worth the pleasure I felt after it was over.

Here are my results:

Chip time : 1 hour 51 minutes and 47 seconds

Overall : 408 out of 5773

Gender : 308 out of 2188

Division (M25-29) : 46 out of 334

I had set a goal for myself to place in the top 10% overall so I reached my goal. All in all, a great first 1/2 marathon!

Next up : 05/09 Clean Air Challenge 5K

1st marathon : Dallas White Rock Marathon, Dec 13th 2009

Friday, April 24, 2009

Registration confirmed

Short post tonight, but one I want to make public to my 2 readers at the moment ;-)

I am officially registered for the Dallas White Rock Marathon! Training begins again in a few weeks!

Now it's time to rest up for the half on Sunday. Weather looks crappy, but it will still be fun. I may have to revise that goal of mine if the wind is blowing 30+ the whole race.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

My, fascination with Miranda

Over the years, I have latched on to a few artists that I continually go back to for pure listening pleasure. Sure, my tastes have changed somewhat and some of my favorite acts have come and gone, but they all share one thing in common. They make me happy. I sing loudly. I dance alone in my apartment. I join fan clubs. I become "that" guy at concerts. I have to say the Dixie Chicks are probably my all-time favorite when it comes to singing in the car, but my woman of the hour is Miranda Lambert. What's not to love about this girl? She is hot. She has tons of personality. She is super talented. She sings good, fun music. Just to give you an idea of my fascination, here are a few pics. As you can see, I am accompanied by another Ran Fan at these shows. Mrs. Bailey, your 2 seconds of fame ;-)

Go check out her new song. It's titled "Dead Flowers" and you can find it on YouTube. I am quite jealous because Allison is going to Dallas to see her in concert next weekend, but I will be wedding it up in Ponca with the college friends. Likely singing a Miranda song on my way north.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009 love/hate relationship is blossoming

Take a step back in time with me to mid-February. My waist had grown, my gut had expanded, my motivation was lacking, and the deadline to sign up for the spring races was a few hours away. Working at such a great company as Chesapeake (CHK) provides one with the opportunity to enter several races throughout the year for free. CHK pays the entry fees and as long as you run the race, you don't have to pay anything. Entry deadline was quickly approaching and I was struggling with the idea of entering races, which I knew would require me to get off my butt and start running again.

I was comfortable. I had a routine. I knew it would make me change my daily life and the thought of upsetting the apple cart was holding me back. Part of me didn't think I could do it. The other part wanted to have a goal. A specific point in time I could set my sights on and push myself to the end. The competitive side won out and I faxed in my forms for the Red Bud Classic 5K and the OKC Memorial Half Marathon. I figured since I was only 10 weeks out from the Memorial, I should push myself to highest attainable goal. Thus, my relationship with running began on Feb 16, 2009.

Keep in mind I hadn't ever really ran seriously Sure, I ran for conditioning in baseball in high school. I ran around the bases as an adult playing softball. I occasionally ran a mile or two on the treadmill at the gym when I felt I needed to lose a few pounds. Never before had I actually ran. This was the beginning of something big for me. I was excited. I was nervous. I was doubtful.

Training started off really well. I picked up a training schedule from the CHK intranet and adjusted the 12 week schedule down to a 10 week schedule the best I could. I know it says you should have a base of 10-15 miles each week before you start, but I made a compromise and started from scratch. Two miles here, two miles there, and before I knew it, I was becoming a runner. I wanted to run. I looked forward to running. I needed to run.

Fast forward a few weeks and it was time for my first race. It was a Sunday afternoon. It was cold. It was windy. It was only a 5K. I honestly didn't know what to expect. I never knew that I could get such an adrenaline rush from running. The whole atmosphere on raceday was fun. It felt like I was competing. Not only against myself, but against the other 700 people running the 5K with me. I started off fast and actually finished a lot stronger than I thought I would. I ended up running a 23:19 race into a stiff north wind. I think i got around 75th overall which wasn't too shabby for my first go at this racing thing. I was hooked.

Next up, the 10k in Stillwater for the Remember the Ten run. It was a very personal race and one I ran alone. Back in January of 2001, my freshman year at OSU, 10 members of the OSU basketball team were killed in a plane crash in the Rocky Mountain foothills on the way back to Stillwater. It was a very sad time as an OSU student and fan. This race was to remember the ten. It was there to bring the OSU community together once again. I saw a lot of familiar faces and talked about the good times in college. I remembered why I love OSU. I remembered why i am and always will be a Cowboy. I also ran a great race for my first 10K. 46 min 41 sec. I got 34th overall and 10th in my age group. Another good finish for my first crack at a 10K.

Training got a lot easier for me as the weeks progressed. I looked forward to the long runs. I looked forward to pushing myself and setting new personal records. 8 miles, 9 miles, 10 miles, 12 miles. My all-time longest run has been my best to date. 12 miles on a beautiful sunny, crisp April morning with a group of 175 OKC LandRunners along by my side. It felt great. It was inspiring. It was a huge boost of confidence. At that point, I knew I could conquer the half marathon. My self-doubt has been washed away and now I am just ready. Ready to set another personal record. 13.1 miles. Me and the pavement. My goal : 1 hour 45 minutes. Wish me luck!

Taking a stab at blogging again...

So, the other day I ran across my friend Jane's blog that I had bookmarked ages ago and it inspired me to start writing my own. Or at least give it a shot. I am pretty bad at keeping up with blogs, but even if I write once every week or so, I will be happy. Some days you just don't feel like sharing your thoughts or sitting in front of the computer, but on days that I do, maybe you can get a glimpse into my life. I hope it makes you laugh. I hope it makes you think. I hope it makes you feel something. If not, then I hope you are at least entertained for a split second.