Friday, June 30, 2006


warm sunlight
filters through the bog
-- cranberries glow

Today was an 8 mile tempo run. Well, 2 mile warmup, then 4 miles close to tempo pace (8:32), then 2 miles easy. It was 78F and 54% relative humidity. Warm, but not bad at all. It felt very good. And I noticed cranberries growing in the "swampy" areas along the trail.

[And now for something completely different.]

Tagged by Audrey, I'll play along...

4 Jobs I've Had (prior to my current career)
* Programmer for Univ. of Ariz. Laboratory of Tree Ring Research (coding in Fortran)
* Trombonist for the Konza Brass Quintet -- hey, we actually had a couple paying gigs
* Belt laminator -- glued suede onto leather at a western style belt manufacturing company
* Driver for Arizona Public Service (Util. Co.) - I drove a van around Phoenix one summer listening to the radio all day long - one of the best jobs I ever had.

4 Movies I watch over and over
* The Commitments
* Best of Times
* Big Trouble in Little China
* Desperately Seeking Susan (weird, huh?)

4 Places I have lived
* Overland Park, KS
* Prescott, AZ
* Phoenix, AZ
* Tucson, AZ

4 TV Shows I watch
I don't watch anything these days, but have found these shows amusing...
* The Office (both the British and American versions)
* My Name is Earl
* The Red Green Show

4 Places I've Been on Vacation
[In no particular order.]
* Victoria, BC
* Honolulu, Hawaii
* Copper Harbor, Mich
* La Paz, Mexico

4 websites I visit daily
* (covers a lot of ground)
* (personal weather stations!)

4 Favorite Foods
* my mother-in-law's red chili (I normally prefer green chili, but hers will peel the tissue off the roof of your mouth and make your eyelids sweat)
* buttermilk pancakes with blueberries after a long run
* a spoonbread dish my wife makes (that's what we call it -- spoonbread)
* cuban-style black bean soup over rice with chopped onions, cilantro, olive oil and vinegar on top (my mouth is watering now)

4 Places I'd Rather Be
* up on the roof of our building
* ...with the rest of our work group
* ...drinking beers
* or, at home (I'm at work right now)

4 Favorite Bands/Singers
[Sorry, not my 4 favorites, just 4 of my many favorites...]
* Royal Crown Revue
* Richard Shindell
* Joni Mitchell
* John Coltrane

Bloggers I'm Tagging
[No pressure, play along only if you'd like to.]
* Anne - if it takes your mind off the injury
* Turnip - haven't heard from you in a while, are you lurking?
* Craig - I think this might be interesting...
* My brother - if he's reading!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Easy Run in the Rain

tall summer grass bends
yielding to the rain
-- hidden birds sing

Today was an easy (recovery) 5 mile run on the trails. Not too warm, but we'll say 100% relative humidity -- it was raining. Really just a constant light rain. Tomorrow is a well-deserved day off. Not much else happening right now. Lots to do at work.


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Still Feeling Sunday's Run

tall summer grass
shushing and bending
- resume spiring

My trail running has been taking me through these fields of very tall grasses. Some of it is 4 to 6 feet high. Very cool running down the trail, almost completely hidden by the grass.

And as the title says, I can still feel the effects of Sunday's long run. As great as the run felt, it really wiped me out. On Monday I just spent time stretching, did some ab work, and cycled just a bit to get my legs moving.

Today, Tuesday, I did an easy 4 mile warm-up on the trails (about a 9:10 pace). Temperature was 84F, 57% relative humidity. Enough to start some good sweating. Then I went inside and did intervals on the treadmill -- 7 X 800m at 7:20/mile pace with 2 minute recovery in between. Total of 9 miles.

Stay cool.

Monday, June 26, 2006

21 Miles in the Rain

...and it was just wicked pissah!

But I'm getting ahead of myself. After Friday's 10 mile run in the morning humidity, on Saturday I did an easy 4 (plus) miles. There was a break in the rain and I took the opportunity to get an easy run in without getting soaked. I don't think there was more than just a very occasional sprinkle of rain.

Now, I was worried about how far to go for my long run on Sunday. Mainly, of course, because I just did a marathon two weeks prior. Even if I did walk 7 or 8 miles, it was still quite an effort. I decided that I would start out assuming I would do my 21 mile route, with the option of bailing out anywhere along the out-and-back to (and around) Jamaica Pond. That way, if things weren't going well, I could cut the run to 17 or 18 miles.

And then there was rain.

I woke up early Sunday morning to the sound of rain. As rain was forecast on and off the whole day, I figured there was no point in attempting to avoid it. I got up and got ready and did some stretching. By the time I was ready to go out the door, the rain had stopped. I began my run down to the Charles River and out to the Museum of Science. I was able to stay dry (relatively dry, it was a bit humid and I was sweating) for about 5 miles. Then the rains came. Except for the loop around Jamaica Pond, and much of the last mile or two, it pretty much rained continuously. By mile 7 I was absolutely drenched. But I was feeling pretty good. I tend to have a tough stretch around mile 11 or 12, but I decided not to cut the run short and did the loop around Jamaica Pond. (As an aside, I think around mile 11 or 12, roughly 90 minutes into a run, is where I begin to run out of muscle glycogen stores and my body has to transition to other sources of energy.) Around mile 13, as I made my way back from the loop around the pond, down the Riverway trails, in pouring rain, that old friend the runner's high hit me -- big time. I was picking up the pace just a little bit, running strong through the pouring rain, and smiling. The few other runners I passed along that stretch probably thought I was nuts, but at least one of them managed to smile back (who says Bostonians never smile at strangers?). The feeling lasted all the way back to the Charles River and most of the way back to the house. Around mile 20 it kind of felt like I was hitting the wall, but that only lasted about a half mile and I finished the 21 miles strong.

Far and away my best long training run ever. And as they say in these parts, it was just "wicked pissah".

And so now begins another taper as I prepare for the Paul Bunyan Marathon.


Friday, June 23, 2006

A Little Sticky

I've been getting some good "heat-acclimation" runs in lately. On Tuesday I ran 6 miles on the trails near work at lunchtime. It was 84 degrees and 50% relative humidity. Averaged 8:52 per mile (the first mile was a too-fast 8:25 -- I just felt really good). I also measured my sweat rate (occasionally I will weigh myself before and after a run -- usually at least a 6 mile run). My sweat rate in those conditions was just over 4 pints per hour. That's some good sweatin'!

On Wednesday I ran in the morning. I did a 4 mile warmup on the trails again, then went inside to the treadmill to do intervals. I did 4 X 1200m at 7:20/mile pace with 2 minute recovery between each one. Then there was about a 1 mile cooldown. It was supposed to be a 2 mile cooldown, but I had to get to work so I cut out a mile early. Total of 9 miles.

Thursday was a day off, though Anita and I walked a couple miles to Harvard Square and back home. We love being within walking distance of the square and everything around it, as well as the Charles River.

This morning (Friday) was a great humidity-acclimation run. Temperature was 70F and the relative humidity was 85%. Ran 10 miles along the Charles River trails. Felt great. Absolutely drenched with sweat when I got back. I've been drinking water all day long.

Tomorrow will be a short recovery run, then on Sunday I'll do a long run (18 to 20, I haven't decided yet).

Stay cool.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Next Race

OK, so I trained for this last marathon, then on race day was hammered by heat exhaustion. I was not acclimated to the conditions (even though it wasn't terribly hot, it was quite humid). I ended up walking most of the last 7 miles. Which means I didn't "run a marathon". It was more of a brutal training run, followed by a long walk. Which means (as Elizabeth suggested) I could still run another marathon (with a short build up and taper).

My first reaction after this last race was to take a little time off to regroup. But since I've already done the conditioning to run a marathon, it would be a shame not to run one now. So what I need to do is crank the mileage back up for a couple weeks, acclimate to the heat, taper, and run a summer marathon.

Yesterday I ran 12 miles on the Charles River trails. It was pretty darn warm. Most of my runs last week were in fairly warm temperatures. I'm drinking a LOT of water. I've cut back on my caffeine (haven't decided whether or not to eliminate it altogether). I'm almost one week into my heat acclimation. The running feels good -- no current issues.

And it turns out there is a unique New England summer marathon coming up on one of my free weekends in July. The Paul Bunyan Marathon in Bangor Maine.

Gonna do it.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Happy Father's Day all you other fathers out there.

Today at brunch (at which my daughter made the most awesome pancakes) we talked about our memories of our fathers.

One of my earliest memories of my father is of him painting a ceiling in the dining area of our house on a Saturday morning while my sister and I watched cartoons -- Mighty Mouse of course! Not much more to the memory. My dad used to cut my hair. It seems like it was always on a Saturday afternoon and ABC Wide World of Sports was on the TV. I don't recall him watching it so much as listening while he did chores around the house. He cut my hair until I basically rebelled (late 60's, early 70's) and grew it out. It was one of the few things we fought about.

He was a gentle and loving father, and always willing to talk reasonably about anything (except the length of my hair). He didn't show a lot of emotion when I was younger, but I knew he loved us more than anything. He took my friend Steve and I fishing on Lynx Lake outside of Prescott, Arizona. We rented a boat and everything. We really sucked at fishing, but it was wonderful. We had a great time. I didn't care that we never caught anything, it was just being out there together that mattered.

He told corny jokes, was a devout Christian, and provided for our family (we didn't have a lot of money and our vacations almost always consisted of camping, but they were wonderful times together). He never blew up at any of us kids. Even the time, as a young driver, that I continued driving our VW van after the generator (fan) belt broke and the engine overheated and seized. I remembered that the day my daughter smoked the clutch in my VW Vanagon. He has been my role model as a father.

He was also quite an accomplished athlete. A high school basketball star, he played varsity basketball for one year at Michigan Tech. He was a natural at all sports. If it involved a ball, a racket, a club -- he would immediately master it. He never held back, and I could never compete with him. Even a few years ago at Thanksgiving. He beat me at ping pong. He was a natural at virtually any sport. Except running -- issues with his hip. Of course, running became my thing. Not because it was something I could do that he didn't do, but that it was something I could do to push myself to my own limits. Something in which I could find my own physical excellence, at the level where I am; not any great athlete, but the very average person I am. I think he would understand that.

He set a fine example of fatherhood for my brothers and myself. He encouraged all of his children to strive for excellence, but accepted us all for who we were. He set a very high mark for my brothers and I to meet.

He passed away a year and a half ago and I miss him dearly.

I hope all of you, if you could, have expressed your appreciation to your father, or to that person who was most a father-figure to you. And for those of you who can no longer do so, perhaps you can share a fond memory with someone else.


Heat Exhaustion and Acclimation

As I sit here by the open window upstairs in our residence, I'm pondering the topics of heat exhaustion and heat acclimation. We just returned from dropping off our daughter and her boyfriend at the T (they were visiting for Father's Day and are now returning to Brooklyn), and the thermometer in the car registered 100 degrees in Harvard Square.

Dang. It really is hot now.

And I'm thinking about my dismal race last weekend where the humidity just did me in in the first half of the marathon, even though the temperatures were not that high. Obviously I was not acclimated to the race conditions. I started training for the marathon in the middle of the winter here. In fact, the first weekend of my training, when we visited NYC, included the biggest blizzard Central Park had ever seen. My cap froze to my hair on long runs along the Charles River. Looking over my running log, I had perhaps two runs where the temperature exceeded 70 degrees. I don't recall them being too humid. By mile 18 or 19 of the marathon, I was suffering from heat exhaustion. I wisely backed off to a slow (dead man walking) walk to the finish.

The symptoms of heat exhaustion may include increased heart rate, headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, clammy skin, quickened breathing. For me it was the nausea and vomiting, as well as clammy skin (as my body became unable to regulate its temperature through sweating). It wasn't "full-blown" heat exhaustion, but likely only because I dramatically backed off on my efforts.

It's important to recognize the symptoms -- either in yourself or others. I really appreciate the volunteer who walked with me for a bit to make sure I wasn't continuing to overload myself.

This race, and my previous crash and burn in San Diego, both came as surprises to me. I say this because running in the heat never used to be a problem for me. You see, I grew up in Phoenix Arizona. I was acclimated to some pretty brutal conditions. I used to run at lunchtime in the summer -- 110 degrees. But after moving to Prescott, Arizona (cool and dry), and then to the Kansas City area (hot and humid in the summer, but cool in Spring and Fall, cold in Winter), and finally to Massachusetts (where I almost never ran in warm temperatures), I had totally de-acclimated from the heat. And oddly enough, I am beginning to believe that I have been chronically dehydrated.

Now that it has gotten quite warm here, and I am consciously trying to drink more water, I'm realizing how much water I have NOT been drinking over the past 10 years. This week I've been hydrating like crazy and am recalling how, in Arizona, I would drink water almost continuously. And I remember 10 years ago when we moved to the Kansas City area, commenting to others how I don't seem to be drinking nearly as much water as I used to. Chronic dehydration. Not good for marathoning anywhere.

And so now I am consciously acclimating myself to hot weather running. I am again drinking vast quantities of water. And I am running in somewhat warm and humid weather.

The experts say it takes 10 to 14 days to acclimate to the heat. In the first week, there is an increase in blood plasma, heart rate reduction, and improved cardiac output to capillaries in the skin and active muscles. In the second week, the blood plasma levels return to normal and there is a longer-lasting reduction in skin blood flow that serves to increase central blood volume. The bottom line is you sweat more and you sweat earlier. The effect of all this is an increased tolerance to exercise in the heat -- you can run farther (or faster) with reduced cardiovascular, thermal and metabolic strain. Good stuff.

On Friday, I did 6 miles on the trails at lunchtime. It was warm. It felt great. Averages 8:54 per mile. Saturday morning I did 4 miles around Fresh Pond. It was early and the weather, though a little humid, was pretty nice.

C-Ya (and take it easy in the heat)

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

NODM Race Report

OK, here we go. Another learning experience.

The North Olympic Discovery (Debacle?) Marathon Post Mortem:

First, the course.

Not exactly as advertised. The pictures show you these great images of running across wooden trestle bridges under a huge canopy of shade trees as well as running along the Strait of Juan de Fuca on the edge of the water. Well, those images represent maybe 25% of the terrain. The first 15 or 16 miles were almost all totally exposed to the sun; the remainder was a mix with more shade than direct sun. Some areas of the trail really are as beautiful as the pictures.

It also had some hills. Most of them were not too bad at all (except for where the trail plunges down into a creek bed and then climbs steeply out -- twice -- at miles 16 and 20). Easy to go anaerobic running out of those creek beds.


I was unprepared for the humidity (kind of like San Diego last year). Though it started out cool (about 56F), during the race it quickly warmed up to the mid-60s (Sequim hit 74 that day). Doesn't sound too bad yet, does it? But the humidity started at 90% (fog). The humidity dropped to maybe 70% by the midpoint and remained there.

In the second half of the race, it wasn't quite as bad (the shade helped). And the last 5 miles were almost cold (and humid -- more fog) running very close to the water. By then, though, it was too late. The damage was done.

I believe I was just not acclimated to those conditions. I started this marathon training cycle in the winter and even recently have had mostly very cool temperatures in which to train. I think there were only a couple days where I trained in the low 70's (and they were not humid days nor were they long runs). I also probably went out a little too fast for the conditions.

So here's how it went down.

Race time was 9:00 am (they really ought to think about an earlier start). I did not sleep well at all the night before, and got up around 5:30 and ate a couple hammer gels. I had also been trying to drink plenty of water. I had a little coffee and more water up until about 7:00. After that it was stretching and getting dressed for the race.

The hotel was within a half mile of the start of the race (that was nice), but I still had my mother drop me near the finish. After my last bathroom break, I headed for the startline.

A few minutes before the start, I finally got to meet Sarah and her friend (running her first marathon), as well as Sarah's husband and son (who were not running the race). This picture is compliments of Sarah...

The race started right at 9:00am. The first mile was a gentle uphill and I ran it in 9:18. The pace felt good, but may have been still a little fast for a first mile (and an uphill one at that). There were only about 500 runners so it was not very crowded.The next two miles had a few gentle hills then back down to about the starting elevation. These were too fast even though it was downhill. I averaged 8:30 for both. Realizing I was going too fast I backed off a bit. The next two miles (4 & 5) I averaged 9:04. It felt like a good pace and I don't think I realized yet the impact the humidity was having. Miles 6 & 7, a gradual uphill again, averaged 9:08. Miles 8 & 9, which were flat, averaged 9:14 and that's when I realized things weren't quite right. I was slowing down slightly. Mile 10, a light downhill, was 9:49 as I began stopping to walk through and drink at the aid stations.

At this point I realized I was going to get into trouble if I didn't back off. Miles 11 through 14 averaged 9:53, and I think it was around mile 15 that I went into Galloway mode (alternating running and walking). Oddly, I mentioned this to another runner who said she used to live two doors down from Galloway in Georgia and would run with his wife (as a 3:10 marathoner decades ago, she was too advanced for Galloways classes, "...but those days are gone."). It was also about this time that Sarah and her friend passed me. Yes, it was evident this was going to get ugly and I wished them luck. With the alternating running/walking, miles 15 & 16 averaged 12:01. Ten miles to go, and things are starting to unwind.

Just after mile 16 is a steep descent into the Seibert Creek bed, and then a steep climb out. At this point Galloway mode is out the window and I take any excuse to walk. In fact, I begin walking more than running as I'm starting to feel nauseated. Mile 17 is 14:39. Somewhere around mile 17 there is an aid station with gatorade. Now, up until this point I've been drinking mostly HEED at the stations, along with a little water. I've also been taking an Endurolyte capsule at each station. I wonder if a change in taste might help, and I take a cup of gatorade. Whether it's heat exhaustion or the sugars in the gatorade, my stomach rebels and within a mile I'm vomiting gatorade. Bright green gatorade. Lovely. But I immediately feel better, take some water and continue walking. Miles 18 through 25 are mostly the same. Almost all walking, and vomiting about every two miles. I consider just dropping out, but decide to just really take my time and finish it. Around mile 21 a volunteer at an aid station can see I'm really struggling and walks with me a bit, asking if my hands are clammy, if I'm still sweating (I think I am, but later notice my shirt is dry). I tell him I've been vomiting and he cautions me to continue drinking and take it real easy. I'm surprised he didn't pull me out, but I think he could tell I was being very cautious. The last 5 miles are along the water where the temperature has dropped. It is very cool -- almost cold. Miles 18 through 25 average maybe 19:15.

I decide that I will try to jog slowly in the last mile. I start jogging. I go back to walking. Then I decide I will jog slowly in the last half mile. Start jogging again. OK, maybe just start jogging when I see the finish line. Mile 26 is 14:04 and the last .2 is 2:55. I stop my watch on the finish line at 5:39:39.

A nice touch at this marathon is at the finish line, every runner gets a volunteer to help them. A woman hands me water, a vitamin drink, gives me my medal, and helps me over to where they remove the timing chip. I sit in a recovery area for a while, trying to decide whether or not to just limp on over to the medical tent. I feel like I can recover on my own and eventually head over to the food. I pick up an orange slice and some pretzels. I concentrate on just drinking water. It takes me 5 minutes to eat a little pretzel. I take off my shoes and put on my sandals. It's cold and my mother suggests I rest in the car where I can warm up. I lay in the back seat, sipping water, for about an hour. Once I feel good enough to move to the front seat, we leave Port Angeles and head for the ferries at Bainbridge. Mom drives and I talk to Anita, Anja and Kai, giving them an overview of the disaster. By the time we reach the ferries (about another hour later) I'm feeling much, much better.

After crossing I take the wheel and drive Mom back to my sister's house where I quickly shower and change. Tammy and I arranged to meet for a bite to eat. It was quite kind of Tammy to drive over to the Redmond town center and wait for me. Over pizza and a beer I described the ordeal and we talked about speed training and triathlons.

So what's my take on this? I really think I was just not acclimated to the humidity. Which means I went out too hard for the conditions. With proper conditioning (training in similar conditions), I don't think it would be as much of a problem. Tucson still stands as my best marathon -- cool and dry. Phoenix was my next best -- a little warmer, but also dry. San Diego and NODM are my two disasters, both quite humid. I'm seeing a pattern here.

Anne has also mentioned hydration problems with taking endurolytes. I think I took too many. Next time, I think it will be only 1 per hour. Also, I have to honestly ask myself if I am really sufficiently hydrating. I'm not sure I drink enough water in general, and I drink a lot of coffee. Perhaps I am chronically dehydrated. Perhaps I should (GASP!) give up coffee?! That would be a tough decision -- I love coffee.

Lack of sleep may have played a minor role, but I don't think it had that much impact. And I do need to lose a little more weight as well. That would certainly reduce the stress on my body. And I have some weight to lose.

I took Monday and Tuesday off and then on Wednesday went for an easy 4 mile run. Noontime. Warm and a little humid. Felt very good.

So where do I go from here? Stay tuned.

C-Ya (and thanks for all the comments and support)

Monday, June 12, 2006

Preliminary Race Report - NODM

I've been procrastinating too long. Guess I better start putting this down. Sorry for keeping everyone in suspense. Here is the preliminary report from the "North Olympic Debacle Marathon".


Really bad.

Another "crash and burn".

That's 2 for 4 now.

But I did finish.

Is this not the most dejected "finish-face" you've ever seen?

Short story -- warm temperatures at the beginning, very high humidity, a couple of too-fast early miles -- disaster ensued. Serious dehydration again (happened in San Diego last year under similar conditions). I blame global warming. I'm sure Al will back me up on that one.

Now, I actually did meet one of my objectives. There was no cramping. Of course that may have been by virtue of the fact that I spent a lot of time walking in the second half. There was dehydration, but I was taking electrolyte supplements which presumably helped prevent the cramping. They didn't help the vomiting.

On the positive side, the scenery was very pretty. And in the last mile I amused myself by guessing the odds that I would actually vomit on the finish line itself (I didn't).

OK. My worst marathon. 5:39

More later -- I'm flying back to Boston tonight.


Saturday, June 10, 2006

Seattle to Bainbridge to Port Angeles to Sequim

Just a couple pics before bed...

Took the ferry from Seattle... Bainbridge. Traffic was a mess most of the way out of Bainbridge. We drove straight to Port Angeles...

...where I picked up my packet at the race expo. Took a few minutes to check out the finish line...

...and then headed over to the Elks for a Lasagne dinner with Mom...

...sponsored by the Sons of Italy. They put on a great dinner, complete with live music ("O Sole Mio")...

...and even got everyone singing in Italian! From there it was back up the road to Sequim...

...which is very beautiful.

And now it is off to bed. Everything is set to go for the race tomorrow.

C-Ya (in 26.2 miles)

Friday, June 09, 2006

Marathon Goals

Sunday is race day - the North Olympic Discovery Marathon!

The week so far...

Monday was a rest day. On Tuesday I ran an easy 6 miles on the trails at about a 9:10 pace. Wednesday, the plan had called for 7 miles, with 2 miles at marathon pace. I did 5 (with 2 at marathon pace) because of some time constraints with meetings. No big deal. It's a taper, right?

Thursday, was a rest day (as far as running goes). I flew into Seattle last night and am staying with my sister.

Friday will be an easy 4 miles (with 6 X 100m strideouts) and Saturday will be an easy 3 miles just to stay loose. That one MUST be followed by pancakes! The race expo is Saturday afternoon and my mother and I will take the Bainbridge ferry across and drive the rest of the way to Port Angeles. We'll go to the pasta dinner on Saturday evening, and then we'll be staying in Sequim near the race start. Hopefully I'll also get a chance to meet up with another blogger - Sarah.

Marathon Goals

1. [Minimum goal] 3:59:59 -- without cramping!

2. [Realistic goal] 3:55

3. [Stretch goal] 3:50



We're staying in Sequim, just a couple blocks from the race start, so I'll be able to sleep fairly late (I hope). I do not plan on eating much at all prior to the race. Recent articles I've read describe how you especially do not want any high-glycemic index foods within 3 hours of racing since it will elevate your blood sugar (causing insulin release), which then reduces the fats-to-fuels conversion and increases the rate of carbohydrate metabolism (faster muscle glycogen depletion). I've done all my long runs without eating anything prior. I've had no problems. Still, if I'm up early enough, I will probably try and take in some "Sustained Energy" and maybe a Hammer Gel -- as long as it's more than 3 hours prior to the race. This is just to top off my liver glycogen stores (muscle glycogen stores do not drop while sleeping).

I also like Sarah's plan to get a little caffiene. Now, where is that Starbucks?


The race is providing HEED along the course and I've been training with it. I've looked at the distribution of aid stations and calculated how much to drink at each one (6 to 7 ounces). I will also supplement with several Hammer Gels along the course (there are two aid stations providing them, and I'll carry two as well). This will be be mostly if I decide I want some variation. I'm planning on taking HEED at every station, so as long as it's mixed at full strength I should be getting enough calories.

Electrolytes are the big issue. My biggest problem has been cramping in the last 5 miles. Since a number of runners have recommended taking electrolyte supplements, I will do so in this race for the first time. Most runners have been using "Succeed!", but since I was ordering products from E-Caps anyway, I went with their "Endurolytes". I've been using them on all my long runs. I plan to take one tablet at each aid station (with HEED). That's an average of 3 1/2 to 4 tablets per hour. From the advice I've received, that should be sufficient (though I'll carry a few extra). I'll also make sure to do plenty of stretches over the next couple of days.

Next post will be from Seattle!


Monday, June 05, 2006

One Week to Go

I'm finally down to the last week -- race week! But first, a recap of the end of last week. My next post will detail my goals.

Monday (Memorial Day) was a day off. We took a bus over to Boston and had a picnic breakfast by the Charles River. Afterwards we walked to the MFA (Museum of Fine Arts). They currently have an exhibit of modern masters (Degas to Picasso). I also enjoyed browsing through their historic musical instrument collection.

Tuesday was a recovery run of 7+ miles, including 8 X 100m strideouts. I'm starting to feel pretty good. Wednesday was my last interval session. After a 4 mile warmup on the trails, I did 3 X 1 mile at 7:19 pace and 2 minute recoveries. With a short cool-down, it made 8 miles. Thursday was another rest day.

Friday was another recovery run - 5 miles including 6 X 100m strideouts. I did this at lunchtime on Friday and it was pretty nice out - overcast and not too warm.

We had rain again on Saturday (and very cool temperatures) and I was worried I'd have to do Sunday's medium-long run in the rain. Sunday morning was overcast, looking like it could rain any minute. I decided that since next Sunday's marathon has a decent chance of being run in the rain, that I would run without any rain jacket. But I didn't want to get my new shoes (Brooks Glycerins) soaked so I wore my older ones (Brooks Radiuses). The older shoes are not as cushioned, but I figured my feet could take it. As it turned out, there was virtually no rain for the entire run - just a little misting and a short sprinkle. I did 12 miles at a 9:01 pace and I felt great. I am ready for this marathon.

Total miles for the week: 32.

I did forget to mention a humorous incident from last week's 10K race...

During the race, a little less than 2 miles into the race, I was approaching the first water station. I grabbed a cup and kept running. Just as I'm running past the tables and starting to try and sip some water on the run, a very large panel truck passes me. In the back of the truck is a guy with a big video camera filming the runners. The truck passes and then seems to linger about 15 feet in front of me. It looks like the guy is filming me. OK, so now I'm getting all self-conscious about drinking on the run and I'm worried I'm going to start choking on the water or something. So I take one more sip, take off my hat, and splash the water over my head. It feels like some of the water has missed my head, but I just toss the cup and put the hat back on. The whole time, this guy in the truck is filming me. Or so I thought. Moments later, Catherine Ndereba cruises past me! Catherine is the 4-time winner of the Boston Marathon - 2000/2001/2004/2005, 2-time Chicago marathon winner - previous world record set in 2001, 2003 World Championship gold medalist, 2004 Olympic silver medalist, and 2005 World Championship silver medalist (she was a special guest at the Rye-by-the-Sea races). I guess they weren't filming me. But I'd love to see the footage to see if when I splashed the water over my head I inadvertently hosed down "Catherine the Great"!


Thursday, June 01, 2006

Rye-by-the-Sea 10K Race Report

Well, I've been busy and so this entry has taken a while to get posted. But here it is...

The Rye-by-the-Sea races (in and around Rye, New Hampshire) include a duathlon (5K run - 18 mile bike - 5K run), a 10K road race, and a 5K road race. It was the only 10K I could find in the area for the weekend. My goal was 48 minutes and I didn't make it. I ran 49:48. In fact, my splits were almost identical to the James Joyce Ramble I did last month. How could that be? These are very different courses, aren't they? Well, they do have something in common.

The James Joyce Ramble had a series of nasty hills starting after the 2nd mile. It turns out the Rye-by-the-Sea 10K is flat (and fast) for the first 2 miles as well, then it's one long gradual uphill to the end. I would have thought that I could have run faster with a gradual uphill. I guess not.

I averaged 7:45 per mile for the first 2 miles. Pretty much on pace. And then I could hardly tell I was slowing down on the gradual uphill for the rest of the race. The remainder (except for the last half mile or so) was over 8 minutes per mile. I averaged right around 8:01 for the entire race (James Joyce was 8:00). Final time was 49:48 (3 seconds slower than James Joyce). Not what I was hoping for. Maybe hills just drag me down. Maybe it was the warm weather (it was cool for the first 2 miles running along the coast, but it warmed up about 10 degrees as soon as we headed inland). Maybe it's all the marathon training. At least I'm consistent!

The other odd thing is how the race prediction tables don't work for me. Based on my 5K race time, I should be able to run a 47:30 10K, but I ran more than two minutes slower. So it seems to me that I should use the more conservative 10K time as a predictor of my marathon time. Which means my predicted marathon finish is 3:54 (8:55 pace).

After the race, Anita, our son Kai, and my mother (who was visiting), and I all had a picnic on the beach. Quite a few people were out on this great Memorial Day weekend. After our picnic we stopped in Salem, MA at the Peabody Essex Museum to check out the "Painting New England in Summer" exhibit. It's an outstanding collection of American art depicting this area of the country. It included a painting of Cambridge that looked like it could have been set on our street.

Sunday morning it was back on the trails for 16 miles along the Charles River (two loops). That was the last of the "medium-long" runs before the marathon.

Total miles for the week: 40