Monday, November 28, 2011

Live Free or Die Trottin'

I did some of my best and worst running this long weekend.

The best first, The Detroit Turkey Trot. This was my second year running the Trot. Last year was my first 10k and I didn't get an official time due to arriving after the gate was shut off. I know it was over an hour, so my goal for the next 10k was to break that. I did that at Run the Pointe a few months back with a 58:40. I managed to set a new PR at 57:26.

Its a love/hate relationship with this race. I love the pre-emptive attack on my calorie intake. I love running around downtown. I love bumping into others that I know and since I've started to make make friends online, its nice that I may be able to meetup with them at a race like the Trot. I hate that it costs so much (but its for The Parade Co, so I can't get too upset about that). I hate the traffic getting down there and the parking (I consider myself seasoned at parking downtown, yet this day drives me crazy). I hate risking my ankles on Michigan Ave (busted bricks and patches of asphalt). And probably most of all I hate the 'bob and weave' of the first 1-2 miles.

I should have registered for the wave in front of me. My 'Dasher' wave was for 9:30-11:00 pacers and I knew I wanted to be no slower than 9:30. I couldn't get to the front of the corral either, making matters worse. What I couldn't believe, though were the amount of walkers I had to pass, even with the waves separated by pace. I ended up following another person's lead, by hitting the sidewalks until I hit Woodward. I must of passed 1,000 people in that first mile. Once the 5k and 10k split, it gets better, so long as you watch your step. Michigan Ave is an ankle buster if you don't watch out. I ran the turning lane and the bike lane to avoid the loose red bricks.

After the first 2 miles, the race went pretty fast. I still was weaving through runners. My favorite are the abrupt stoppers. I felt like a runningback at times. Okay, enough bitterness.

Around mile 5 I overheard someone nearby tell their friend that they were at about 8:45 pace. Feeling alright, except for my knees, I decided to kick it up for the final mile. In the .25 or so, my stomach started to act up. I kind of felt like I was going to heave, and I was sort of happy in a sick sense. Back in CC, if I didn't cross the finish line and head straight to a tree or fence to hurl, I knew I didn't run hard enough. Its been 10 years since I've felt like that.

Distance runners are a strange breed, no?

One more 'love'... the costumes. No wait two, and the dogs. I didn't bring Buddy this year (another post), but I saw so many others. I missed the costume contest (again, traffic), but I did see a few great ones and a few crazy ones. I witness quite a few people in Vibrams going, the 'barefoot' route. Then I saw the ultimate minimalist runner, a man running barefoot. Really barefoot. He was wearing nothing but a pair of shorts and some bandage wrapped around the ball of his feet. That's insane!

The funniest costume, however goes out to the group of "Occupy Sesame Street" protesters.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Nostalgia Kicks In

I hit the treadmill at work yesterday. I decided I would try for a "speedy" 5k. I managed to go sub 25 and was quite happy with it. According to DailyMile, it was my fastest 5k in 5 years.

Feeling nostalgic, I was curious if I could find some old XC race results online. I know I used to run much faster, but how much I had little idea. I was able to find 2 years county finals, 9th and 11th grade. Holy crap! Freshman year at Stoney Creek, I ran a 20:15! I then remembered I had an invitnational a week or two later where it snowed, but I also beat the freshman record (but another kid beat me by a few seconds in the same race). I believe it was on the lighter side of 19 minutes.

That was a long time ago. I can't even count that time as my PR, because I was a different person then. I wonder if I could ever get close to those times again. Being at least 30lbs heavier than then sure isn't helping. Come on muscle memory, remember those sub 7 splits!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sports Doctor Visit

So last week I had my first ever visit to a sports medicine doctor. Up
until the day of, I debated whether to go or not. I hurt my left foot a
few days before the Detroit Half rested for the race and it flared up
immediately after I crossed the finish line. The pain was bad enough to
cause me to limp. Any weight on it and I would get a shooting pain on the
outside of my foot just in front of the heel and towards my little toe.
But now it had been 4 weeks and all was pretty much back to normal. I
decided to go anyway and I'm kind of glad I did. It was an overall
positive experience.
Before even seeing the dr, I was sent to radiology to get some X-rays
taken of my foot. Afterwards, I returned to explain my story with the
nurse. She let me know that the Dr had a student with her today and that
the student would come in first. She came in shortly after and asked some
questions about the pain and the moved the foot around to see if it hurt
from any of the movements. I almost wished it did hurt, so she would have
something to work with. I mentioned how I noticed my shoe wear patterns
show me suplinating. The shoes are gait-correcting for over-pronating,
but I've worn these shoes for 200 miles. With that info, she was off to
get the Dr.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Recovery is Boring

Recovery is boring. Rather than running, I'm planning out training and
races and other running related things. I have a list of races planned
for the next year in my preparation of the full marathon in October.
Another half in the spring a half in the late summer and as many 10 and 5
k that I can afford, including Warrior Dash.
Some friends have sparked interest for the PoHo Hot Cocoa 8k in January.
Sounds fun. The after party is chocolate themed and you get a neat
I set up an appointment with a sports medicine doctor for a post-race
checkup. Hoping she can educate me on some of my pains, like the one in
my heel and outer foot. The pain has subsided a lot since the race, but I
figured a nice 5 miler the night before will make it surface.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Detroit Free Press Marathon

I guess my first post to the new blog will be a big one and therefore anti-climatic. A few other blogging runner's begin to write at the start of their training. Not me. Nope. About 4 months ago, I started training for my biggest running achievement to date - my first half marathon. It was a slow-and-steady kind of training that started to lose momentum towards the end, but I stuck with it. Now I can say I earned the right to put one of those cheesey "13.1" oval stickers on my car. I haven't, but I earned the right to. Moving on...
The day started at 4:30 AM. I got up, came downstairs, woke up Emily, my running partner/sister-in-law, and got a move on. I wasn't sure if I was going to go with pants or shorts as I train with both and it was about 45 out that morning, but I went with the shorts; pants are for sub 40. A banana and a Mojo Cliff Bar later, we arrived downtown. I knew it was a huge event, but when you're joining up with your fellow 20,000 colleagues and their cheer support, its really put into perspective.

We met up with the third of our "team", Anthony, near our corrals. Warmed up, shook loose the nerves and dropped off any "extra luggage". At about 6:30 AM we headed off to our respective corrals. I bumped into a old coworker, who happened to be in my corral and we kept company until our start. Being in one of the last corrals, our wave started around 7:20. The airhorn sounded and I was off - alone amongst thousands of others.
The first 2 miles are kind of tough, but not because of terrain or anything like that. You're trying to adjust your pace, meanwhile you have to weave in and out of everyone else as they do the same - people that started behind you are trying to pass you, while you, yourself are trying to pass the slower-paced people who started in front of you. Meanwhile, everyone is shedding their throw-away warm-ups. Its a chaotic 2 miles, despite being straight and flat.