Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Wednesday 12-26-07

The Christmas feasts are over and its back to a sensible lifestyle. I swam one mile at the Y during lunch today. I need to hit the pool in a disciplined way especially with the lack of running I have been doing.

I have been accepted in the Masters' of Operations Management program at the University of Alabama. I will be taking classes online so my evening schedule is going to be busy. This is going to mean I am going to have to get my exercise regimen done in the mornings or at lunch.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Tuesday 12-18-07

I want to give an update of my visit to Dr. Jacobs concerning my feet pain. (Incidentally, he is an excellent Podiatrist if anyone in Columbus should need to go to one.) He x-rayed each foot and determined there were no stress fractures and no signs of plantar fascitis. But, he did say I needed to let the dogs rest for several weeks because I basically "blew a tire" running the marathon. So, for four weeks there will be no running. I am going to have to find other things to do aerobically to stay in shape. He suggested swimming, elliptical machine. Any ideas? I guess my plans to train for another marathon in the early spring must be postponed. I have time. What is the hurry? My main focus now will be keeping the holiday pounds from creeping back on me.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Thursday 12-13-07

It has been almost a week since my first marathon and I have recovered almost 100%. I still am having some pain in my feet, however, so I have made an appointment to see Dr. Jacobs next week to determine if I have any stress fractures. If not, I am back in training mode. I have decided I want to improve on my marathon time and compete in one after having trained at a higher level. If I get a good report from the doctor I am going to begin following a training schedule for intermediate marathoner runners I got from Runners' World magazine. My goal is going to be a sub 4:00 run. I believe I can do it now that I have found out just how important it is to pile on the miles during training and mix in speed work.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Rocket City Marathon 2007

After a one week hiatus from my blog, I am back to give my account of the 2007 Rocket City Marathon of which I was a participant. It was an interesting and rewarding experience and I am thrilled to have my first marathon under my belt.

We arrived in Huntsville Friday night and I picked up my race stuff and we went to stay the night in Decatur with family. Up at 5:00 the day of the race feeling quite nervous about a number of things. My wife could not understand why I was so nervous about a simple race but most of you probably understand; "Have I trained properly?", "Am I wearing the right pair of shoes?", "Is my injured left foot taped up well enough and will it hold up for 26 miles?", "Can I finish?". The weather at the start of the race was unseasonably warm and drizzily. It actually rained lightly for the first couple of miles before stopping.

I felt really good for the first 7-8 miles and I stayed on a 9:00 minute pace. ( I had hoped to run a 4 hour race). Soon after mile 8 I started getting a cramp in my left ankle and had to work at keeping that to a minimum. My parents met me at mile 12 and gave me a boost seeing them. The race was really going well until the turn around point at mile 14. The cool breeze we had been enjoying stopped and I started feeling my energy level crashing. I was really hungry along then and could have eaten a couple of Big Macs if I had them. Instead I ate one of the energy gel Cliff Shots, which are nasty and did little to give me energy.

The rest of the race was pretty much an exercise in survival. I saw my parents again at miles 14 and 18 and then at mile 22, my wife was at the aid station with much needed nourishment, a banana and a tangerine; just the fuel I needed to get me to the finish. My longest run in my training program was 22.5 miles and in the race after that point was TOUGH. I knew I was going to finish but it really hurt every step I took. I had to stop two or three times and walk in the last few miles. At mile 25, I decided I was going to run all the way in and I did. I actually crossed the finish line in a normal gait looking better than I felt. With a time of 4:32, it was slower than I had hoped but I am thrilled to have finished.

Looking back on the race I realize now how very important it is to put in a lot of miles running during training. Because of my hurt foot I laid off running the last couple of weeks before the race and I think that had a negative effect on my performance. BUT, it was necessary to rest my foot or it would not have healed enough to allow me to finish. (I actually had it taped and supported so well, it gave me NO PAIN during the race).

Despite the pain and soreness in my legs a day after the race, I am proud of how well I did and looking forward to training for another.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Saturday 12-1-07

Today was supposed to be my last long run before the race next week, 10-11 miles. Since I decided last week to let my foot rest and heal there was no running. But, I did swim one mile at the Y and rode my bike for 20 miles. I believe I had a comparable cardio workout. I do not think missing the run will really negatively affect my race next week. I just hope the foot heals enough that I won't be hobbling for most of 26 miles. The bike ride was not without incident as I took a nasty spill right behind the convention center on the riverwalk as I crossed a railroad track. Scraped up my left elbow, shoulder and hip. They are going to be sore in the morning.