Thursday, December 30, 2010

I asked for it!

Well, it looks as if I've spoken too soon.  My last post was about some of the annoying things that I've had to overcome during the training/build-up for the Goofy Challenge.  Today, I happened to look at the 10 day forecast for Orlando, FL.  Granted, a forecast this far out can be a little inaccurate.  However, I was still pretty unhappy to see what is in store for me and my 42.4 miles of fun.

Starting on Friday, which is when the 5k takes place, the temps are supposed to be at about 53* for the start, which is fine.  Along with that, there is now supposed to be rain!  Awesome.  Next, on Saturday, for the half marathon, the temp is supposed to be about 45*, also with rain!  Woo hoo.  The predicted weather for the marathon won't be posted until tomorrow, and I'm sort of afraid to look.  I keep telling myself that if I don't look, then it will just end up being perfect weather.

I've done some searching around online, and come across a few different forums talking about the weather for this race.  There is one guy, whom everyone calls "coach" (I didn't care to investigate for any period of time as to why he has earned, or given himself, this nickname) who seems to think that the forecasts are nothing to worry about.  He claims that there are several places out there that are offering varying forecasts for race weekend, and that we can pretty much ignore what everyone says until a few days before the race.  Well, I know my luck.  It's pretty safe to say that if at some point someone says there is going to be rain, or some other obstacle for my race, then it is going to happen. 

So on that note, it looks like I shouldn't have written that post the other day about the obstacles.  I would like to apologize to everyone out there that is participating in Disney World Marathon Weekend for causing this rain to happen.  You can blame me.  But, as long as I am still able to finish all the races, I really don't care.  Only one week left!

Monday, December 27, 2010

What hurdle is next?

During the course of my 18 week training plan, I've encountered a fair amount of obstacles to deal with.  Some of them are every day things that everyone who is training has to deal with such as time management, not getting enough sleep, etc.  Other things have been problems like getting sick or getting injured.  I had weekly posts here, which include most of the problems that I've come across.  However, the last two weeks, which are supposed to be relatively easy weeks, have had their own set of problems as well and have been pretty annoying.

Last week, I went out for my last 20 mile run and my leg began to hurt.  Two days later, I went out for a set of half-mile sprints and began dry-heaving.  After those two failures, I had two good runs.  Then came Christmas.  Christmas was great, except I was very tired from Christmas eve, and couldn't convince myself to get up and run at 4 a.m.  No big deal, except I couldn't find any other time during the day to get that run in.  And on top of that, the bottom of my left foot was pretty sore.  It seemed I had developed a case of plantar fasciitis.  I taped my foot and babied it all of Christmas day.

Yesterday, I taped my foot again.  It felt much better, but still a little sore.  I still needed to get in this 13 mile run too!  I couldn't find time in the morning, and once church was over, I didn't have enough fuel in me to put together a good run.  So we had lunch, took a nap, and when I woke up, it was go time.  I untaped my foot so I wouldn't develop any blisters, like I did the week before the Prospector's Tri. 

My run couldn't have gone any better.  According to my training plan, I was supposed to run 13 miles at a 7:15/mile pace.  I was able to hold a 7:01/mile pace for the run, which is by far the fastest I've ever run.  Had it been an actual race, it would have been a new half marathon PR!  But, I'll hopefully be setting a new PR in 2 weeks.

So now that I've finished my long run from last week, and have only 2 weeks left before the big race, I'm left wondering what else is going to come up that gets in the way of my training.  Looking back on the last 16 weeks, it sort of seems like I haven't had any weeks that have been picture perfect, but I guess that's part of the excitement of the training, right?  If anything, it'll give me even more to be proud of once I finish the race.  But that's assuming I finish!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Two wrongs make a right

Over the last few days, I've been getting a little frustrated with my running.  My race is just over 3 weeks away, so there's not a lot of time to mess around.  At this point, every run is very important.  There aren't any spare days to make up missed runs.

Last Saturday was supposed to be my last 20 mile training run, and last long run before my tapering was to begin.  I headed out for my run, and was doing fine until about mile 8.  At that point, I started to feel a sort of grinding sensation every once in a while on the back side of my right knee.  It wasn't really a pain, just sort of an annoyance.  I was coming up on a point in my run where I could either turn to head away from my house, and continue on my long run, or turn and head home.  I made the decision to head home.  I thought to myself, I'm only 4 weeks away from my race, and it's better to not force myself to run through injury and possibly hurt myself.   So I ended up running about 10.5 miles.  Pretty upsetting.

I rested my leg for a couple days, and decided to continue my training on Monday, with 8 half-mile sprints.  I was on sprint number 5, and started to dry heave.  So, that ended that run.  I was planning on running later in the day, so I hadn't really been eating properly in the morning.  Then, a change of plans had me running earlier than I expected.  I think that's what caused the almost puking episode.  Regardless, still upsetting.  That makes 2 bad runs in a row.

Today I was determined to have a good run.  I knew that I was more than capable of completing my scheduled run for the day.  It was just a matter of if my luck would continue to go South or not.  I headed out on my run and felt pretty good.  I did my normal 5 minute jog, followed by 5 minutes of stretching.  I was then to do 1 mile in 8:09, which I did in 7:44.  Then I was to do 5 miles at a 6:48/mile average.  Well, I ended up averaging 6:41/mile.  There was a couple times during this run where I felt that grinding again, but I just said screw it.  It was a short run, by comparison, today.  And, I'm taking the next 2 days off.  Hopefully with enough rest, ice, compression, and elevation, I'll cure what I'm assuming is tendonitis.

So, normally two wrongs don't make a right.  However, after 2 bad runs, I finally had a good one.  Yeah!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Goofy Challenge training blog on

Over the last 16 weeks (well, not quite 16 yet, but that's how many weeks I will have been training come race day) I've been doing some pretty heavy marathon training for an upcoming marathon.  I've run a few marathons before, and never trained this much, or much at all really.  I came across a book called "Run Less Run Faster" and gave it a quick read.  I was hooked.  I decided to try out their half marathon training plan for the Disneyland half marathon last September.  I was actually doing the training for a half-iron distance triathlon to be held in Tempe, AZ, but the dam exploded and the lake was no more.  So, at about the halfway point in that program, I had to change my goal race to Disneyland.  Well, like I said earlier, this was the first time I had really done proper training for an event.  My results were amazing!  I shaved off over 20 minutes from my previous half marathon PR.  Unfortunately, this began to fill my head with some crazy ideas.

I had already registered for this race called Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge, held during Disney World Marathon Weekend in January.  The Challenge entails running a half marathon on Saturday, and a marathon on Sunday.  My goal since signing up for the race was just to finish, without even considering time.  But, once I did so well at Disneyland, I began to think that I shouldn't waste this opportunity to run as good of a race as I possibly could.  In comes the "Run Less Run Faster" book again.  I decided I might as well set my goals high to keep myself motivated.  So I decided on qualifying for Boston.

Qualifying for Boston may not mean much to people who don't run.  To those who do run, it's sort of like the marathon's Super Bowl, but something that anyone can participate in, not just go spectate.  At my age, to qualify for Boston, I have to finish a qualifying marathon in 3:10:59 or less.  It just so happens that the Disney World marathon is a qualifying race!  Well, this book has specific training plans in it to qualify for Boston, so I decided to follow that.  However, due to the nature of my race weekend, I had to adjust the plan a bit.  Normally, those trying to qualify for Boston don't run a half marathon the day before their qualifying race.  It's just not a good idea.  But like it said, I set my goal pretty high.  And truth be told, I'm doing what is unofficially called the "Dopey Challenge".  This is the Goofy Challenge, with the Family Fun 5k added in on Friday.

So back to the title of this post.  I've been writing a weekly blog about my training.  If you're interested in just how much work I've put in to try and be successful at this, then feel free to check it out here.  Whether or not I'll be able to qualify, it's been pretty amazing to find out how I can run if I actually train.  I'm almost done with week 4 of my training (the weeks count backwards from 16, so I'm almost done), and this is really the last hard week.  Now, it's time to rest and hope that all the work I've put in will pay off.

*Click on the book cover and it will take you to author's website...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Alli's first trip to the dentist!

Teeth counting, flossing, fluoride, and polishing without any crying or complaining. She barely even said one word! She did so great!

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My head might explode!

I recently returned from a short, little vacation to Disneyland.  The trip was great, but the night we returned, my daughter became sick.  Not normally a big deal, except that I had to work the next day.  When I woke up in the morning, my throat hurt.  This ended up putting quite a damper on my training I was suppose to complete for the weekend (which I ended up not doing at all).  So Friday, my throat hurt.  Saturday, my throat felt a little better, but now I couldn't breathe through my nose, and I had a sprint triathlon to compete in as part of my Team Marathon agreement, so I couldn't back out.  You can read my race report here.  Sunday, I felt pretty destroyed.  It obviously wasn't a great idea for me to race on Saturday, but I had to.  However, being sick, I knew my recovery wouldn't be all that great.  And it wasn't.  I was tired all day on Sunday, and had a sinus headache.  On the plus side, my throat felt better!  Which brings me to my head exploding...

Yesterday (Monday) brought the start of my last week of heavy training for the Goofy Challenge before I start my 3 week taper.  My time is pretty limited, so I knew if I didn't train Monday morning, I probably wouldn't be able to get in.  So, I did the only thing I could, and I woke up at 4:30 a.m. so I could be out the door by 5:15 a.m. so I could run 10 sets of 1/4 mile sprints.  The run actually went pretty well, except for still having a little sinus pressure.  Later in the day, I decided to do what I normally do, and did some weight training.  Now I know what you're thinking, "He sure doesn't look like he does weight training.  He's too skinny!".  Well, just imagine how skinny I'd be if I didn't do any weight training!  I would probably have to wear weighted boots during monsoon season, just in case there was a strong gust of wind, so I wouldn't get blown away!  Anyways, back to the weight training.  When I began my bench press routine, I thought for sure the top of my head was going to blow off and all the pressure in my sinuses would finally be released.  But no.  Then, towards the end of my workout, I did some back extensions.  Wow!  Every time I was bent so my head was below my waist, I thought my eyes were going to pop out.  Thankfully they didn't.  And even more thankfully, I feel a little bit better today.

Now hopefully I can kick this little cold/flu bug to the curb by tomorrow morning because I have an 8 mile run and a dentist appointment.  I'll post how that goes.  Well, just the run.  I don't think I need to post about how perfect my teeth are (or not so perfect, which is probably more likely).

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Anthem Holiday Classic Race Report

Today I participated in the annual Anthem Holiday Classic Sprint Triathlon!  The first time I did this race was back in 2006, and it hasn't really changed much since then.  The course has altered slightly, but it's mostly the same.

It starts with an 8 lap swim in a heated, outdoor pool.  It's great that the pool is heated, since it's pretty cold outside.  But, once you get out of the pool, it is FREEZING!  Then, getting on the bike makes it even colder, but oh well.  I get through it by convincing myself that I'm not the only one feeling cold.

The bike starts out weaving through the parking lot of the Anthem Community Center, then there's a nice little uphill climb for the first half of the bike loop.  It's not actually that steep, and not actually that long, but coming to an incline right out of transition is not the funnest thing in the world.  Overall, the bike portion is pretty smooth.  It's three loops on nicely paved roads, so not really too much to complain about.

The run takes you through a beltway-type area, behind a bunch of homes and out to a main road.  From there, you run South for about half a mile, do a 180* turn, and run around the block to the finish.

Overall this was a fun race.  I did not do any proper training for a sprint triathlon, since my main focus right now is completing the Goofy Challenge in January, and possibly trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon.  And on top of not training, my family returned from vacation on Thursday night, only to find out that all of us had picked up some sort of cold/flu bug.  But, no excuses.  I did as well as I could have under the circumstances, and set a PR for this particular course.  I ended up finishing in 8th place in my age group, and 43rd overall.  My final time was 1:10:43.  Now on the agenda, get over this sickness because next week is my last heavy week of training before the big Goofy Challenge!