Monday, August 27, 2012

I Must Run...


I was listen/watching Iron Man races from the past and a link came up on the side that simply said, I am a Marathon Runner.  I am injured.  Before you click on the link, I have to say it made me crack up.  There are a ton of these little videos.  This one in particular reminded me of the routine my Uncle and I have discussed in regards to preparing for a race or long run.  It holds a lot of truths for many runners I am sure.  The injured part reminded me of my Aunt.  She ran the GTIS Half with a bad knee and another not 100%.  She did not have this laundry list of injuries but based off her experience, the experience I've read about other injuries from people running, they throw caution to the wind as well because they are a Runner, they must run.

This is supposedly the conversation a runner has had with his wife before.  Not surprised.  I am sure marathon runners and their spouses that don't run are not always on the same wavelength.  I know I struggle with that myself.
I am a Marathon Runner. I Must Run. I am Injured.

This one is after he gets back from his run.  There is a routine there for runners as well where we use the bathroom, eat, stretch, etc.  We are then reminded hey selfish bastards, you have a family and friends and you need to be somewhere so we must hurry.

I am a Marathon Runner. I must hurry.

That all said, my left knee has been slightly sore here and there.  It goes away but comes at times.  It felt great before my 1/2 marathon but a couple days after, it's back to very minimal discomfort, but I am a runner, I must run.  I am sure it will get better, because I am a runner, I must run.  :)

Anyway, a very relaxing week of running.  I almost snuck in an extra run but with so many things to do on Saturday, I am glad I waited to get my longer run (11 miles) on Sunday morning and not do a 4 ahead of time.  My legs felt good.  I played it smart keeping my pace between 9:35 and 10:15 throughout my run.  You don't realize how much ground you can cover on your feet until you start running.  I ran what is the first 1/3 of our drive from the in-laws house to our house yesterday to a big open space pond.  I remember when I used to think that was a decent distance.  4.5 miles, really, a long distance?!  4 miles runs used to be excruciating but now they are energizing and just a prelude to a longer weekend.  Hoping my knee pain stays minimal.  Hoping my Aunt's knee improves dramatically and quickly or the doctor has some magical fixer.  I may have to take the baton from her for the opening leg of the ADT marathon relay my Aunt and Uncle are doing with my cousins.  I would love to be a part of it, but only if my Aunt just can't run it and is going to cause more issues to her knee.  But she is a runner, she must run.  So we will see. 

The week before Labor Day weekend.  Pretty exciting weekend ahead.  Going to go watch CU play CSU for their annual showdown at Invesco.  Then family BBQ and some work around the in-laws house to help with the improvements there.  Then Labor Day will be ADT Relay, if I fill in for my Aunt, family time and my fantasy football draft.  Yes, we do a last minute draft, but you get to see who the starters will be come the following week.  An example of this is the QB situation in Seattle.

Anyway, I am a big Buffs fan and will leave my crap talking for another time when both programs warrant it.  It is sad to see the game at Invesco and the fan support atrocious.  CU at least filled about 80-85% of their seats last year and they get 55% of the stadiums seats.  CSU only had about 16,000 of their 35,000 seats filled last season. It was pathetic.  This is the first start of the football season without my father-in-law.  I know going to games will not be the same, as they were difficult to do the couple games last season.  Either way, I am sure his seat is better than any of ours.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Dreams...

My week has been full of crazy dreams and daydreaming about things I thought people were insane to even attempt.  I'll touch on those things (much further below, I am a rambler, what can I say?!)but something that I am going to use as my M.O. I've decided is something that's been said in many ways but since I can't find a google search for it, I'll claim it:

"The only challenges you can not conquer are the ones you don't attempt to do!"-Andy Ventura, Aug 23, 2012

Another thing I hate hearing is CAN'T.  When I coached, that was one of the things I didn't allow to be said in the room.  There is always someone achieving something that has never been done before from an athletic to inventive standpoint.  If people did not attempt to better themselves with training and saying, I CAN do that, the human species would be stuck in a far worse place, athletic events would not be entertaining and people would not strive to better themselves.  I see that runners are CAN people.  This isn't saying other people aren't in other ways or don't accomplish many things that are AMAZING feats but runners strive to better their lives through this means of excercise and challenge their body and mind and find ways to get better at it.  I am seeing that that may be the reason why I love running.  I feel like I CAN do more.
The few that have read my blogs know of my LIFE challenge that started this March and how far I've come.  40 lbs is a long way and I've sustained staying at 170 or below for over a month.  Diet is the number one reason for the change, but without excercise I don't believe it can be sustained.  I've gone on multiple weight losses to get back down from 205-210 to get back to 185-190.  Each time it didn't last more than a few months before I was over 200 because I wasn't burning anything EXTRA I was consuming.  Anyway, back to dreams.

I've been reading a lot about marathons, ironmans and even ultras.  All seem to have an appeal to me.  You have to walk before you crawl they say but what if you adjust your life and change your ways so you can walk shortly after crawling?  I feel like I am doing the things necessary to have a successful first marathon.  My Uncle put us on a long plan that seems to be working really well for me and I want more.  I am tempering this by waiting a month before I start "walking" from this crawl stage into becoming a marathoner.  I say this because while I've been running a fair amount for the everyday average person, I've only really been doing mileage that someone would train for for a half marathon.  26 miles and 4 days (a couple 5 day weeks but those were earlier on) have been my longest week of running. At the end of September I won't be under 5 days and 30 miles until I begin tapering down.  My old plan also only had me getting up to 40 miles once during my plan.  I get there 7 times in my new plan and I hit 20 mile 6 times compared to the previous 3.  It will be difficult, but I CAN and will conquer this challenge.

Back to dreaming:
I've had some crazy dreams this week.  On Sunday night it was me being at the Bolder Boulder.  I had qualified for the CA group (which is true from my GTIS Half time) and was ready to go but I HAD to pee and wasn't going to start and have to stop when I could start later.  Only problem was every time I went to go to a bathroom, I waited 5 minutes or longer.  Finally I got to a port-a-pottie and people were going to the bathroom but they were completely immersed in water while standing up and going pee (they must have been all guys and why were the doors open, but I only saw the backside thank goodness or the dream may have went somewhere that most states don't believe is right and I wouldn't or don't prefer doing but have no issues with, anyway...), and there was no way I was going to do that so I wandered aimlessly as I saw the EG group I was in this year take off and then woke up.  I went pee after I woke to prove my dream I was the boss.

That day Sophie was sick so I worked the night from 11-4 to get some things out the door at work since I needed to take Tuesday as a sick day.  I went to sleep immediately after showering when I got home (sorry I don't sleep without taking a shower even at 4 a.m.).  I crashed hard and in the 3hours I slept, I had two seperate dreams that centered around the same thing (no not sex though I am a man so I am sure there is some study that says I daydream about it 25% of the day) BLACKING OUT.  In both dreams I ended up somewhere after blacking out.  One was a family vacation where I woke up on the ground in front of everybody after just leaving work.  Another was ending up at another airport after driving to DIA to see my brother.  I woke up in his front yard.  Now if I could travel like that in life and it be only mere seconds, I wouldn't mind dreaming like that.  I've had other dreams where I am driving and become incoherent and can't stay awake or the car is driving itself and I am in the backseat making feeble attempts and can't move my body.  In all cases I think it's my mind talking to me about being exhausted and not being able to function right and I believe many of those dreams happen when I only get very little sleep.

Then I've daydreamed a lot and wondered if I could do more, getting back to my crawling before walking part.  Marathons sound like a beast of a distance but I see a smaller group of people talking about running 100 miles and I am awed by it and wonder, could I, should I.  It is idiotic, insane and stupid and something that I don't expect people to support immediately, but when I run 26.2 and then do it again and do a couple long runs of 30+ miles... we'll see.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Men have feelings too. No, not just the hippies...

I drive by a sign for Mantherapy.org almost everyday on my way into work.  It makes me laugh and/or smile every time I see it or think about it.  I also went to the website as I was typing this and the site is hysterical.  It also makes me think of Flight of the Conchords song "Hurt Feelings" every time as well.  Ah, the simple things in life.

It also makes me think of stories of reading about grown, tough men that have ran marathons and wept like babies at the end.  I feel I'll be doing enough 20 mile runs that I'll cry by myself a handful of times that I'll only have tiny tears of awesomeness leaking from my eyes.  I have been reading a lot about running and training and just love going on a run.  I have been running for 5 months and have not missed a run yet.  I actually am so excited about what I did at GTIS and what I've been doing that after a month of LIFE running or my long-term running, 4-5-4-11, I plan on ramping up to an advanced runners schedule of 5 days a week starting late September and multiple 20 mile runs before the 3 of us (I refuse to use the term 3some involving 3 men, especially of the same bloodline, but may have different thoughts if it were a Sandberg, Gaga and Timberlake sort of thing, It's a SNL thing) run Myrtle Beach and the vaunted 26.2.  I am excited but I am curbing that excitement and seeing how my body handles 24 miles a week regularly and if I can improve my diet in that timeframe.

I really need to think about some of the times I say I am rewarding myself.  I will grab a cinnamon roll or donuts once a week and not feel bad but when it's a couple times and I mix fast food in, that's not helping even if my weight my stay the same.  I'd like to tone up and part of that is eating more super foods and fruits  Unfortunately my favorite fruits of blackberries and raspberries are no longer summer cheap but I enjoy a banana (I can't type that without snickering) every day.

Chia has helped regulate my body. It is a great seed to eat and I plan to add to that food.

I've been running along OLD Buckley road.  It can not have been opened for at least 15-20 years.  I see beer bottles and other old car parts that look that age and older.  It is along the eastern side of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal trail that goes all the way around the exterior of the arsenal.  The first time I ran it, my bodywash smelled like Ammonia!  Weird.  Who knows excatly what was dumped and happened in that area.  Anyway, my goal is to use my 11 mile run and run to 56th Avenue and back and say I've ran the Eastern and Northern boundaries of the Arsenal.  Of course, these are the two shortest sides but my ultimate goal will be to run around the entire thing.  I believe this is just over 20 miles and while it's not the most beautiful run, it's a great run during the middle of the day, especially since you can see downtown and the mountain ranges for a long part of it. 

Last, I have running fever like the Jamaican's had bobsledding fever in Cool Runnings.  I am thinking what is next already and all I've done is a half.  The full is still 1/2 a year away but I am stoked.  Instead of cheating our pact, I've decided ramping up mileage is more what I am interested in since I want to be fully prepared for the marathon.  Here's to staying healthy and accomplishing that goal before I dive too deep into the next running goals that may come about.  Like everyone says, including world class marathoners, you hit the wall from 17-20 and it's now a battle between body and mind and having them work together.

Monday, August 13, 2012

GTIS Half Marathon Recap...

1:51:51 was final chip time.  I crossed the finish line of the GTIS and it said 1:52:30.  My goal time had been 1:55 which would have put me at 8:45/mi pace.   I have been running with my iPhone the last 3 weeks and was thinking I had become dependent upon it to give me a kick and make sure I was on pace.  I was worrying whether I should run with a watch or even my hydration belt just so I could have that crutch in my pocket and know how I was doing.  But I decided Friday night I would run "free" like I had been  for the majority of my training and decided to just have my car key and a honey stinger waffle on me for something to put energy in me.  I also knew there would be a pace group that was running 1:55:00 and if I kept with them, I'd be fine.

Friday night, my Uncle and Aunt went up to Idaho Springs to get my bib. So, I went to bed knowing I didn't have to fight through traffic (human) to get to the race and find my bib and stand around.  I was able to completely prepare myself from eating a piece of bread, a little fruit, drinking my chia and consuming liquids in water and Powerade FORM.  When I got to their house, I was primed to visit one of my favorite rooms of any house or building I visit, the bathroom.  I won't go into details for those queasy of stomach regarding that but I was glad that was taken care of.  Or was it...

I drove up to Idaho Springs to park my car while my Uncle and Aunt followed me.  On a side note, my Aunt's knee was in pain and she did not seem too excited but I knew she was too tough of a person to quit, so I expected her to make it whether she was running, walking or whatever means were necessary.  So we found a spot and it was within a couple blocks of the finishing area.  Kind of funny everyone parked near town while we got probably one of the best spots later in the morning aroun 7:00.  We then headed up to Georgetown.  My Aunt needed to find her pit stop like anyone that has ran more than 3 miles knows is necessary.  Well, so did I.  I felt relieved I had a second opportunity and it was a poreclain throan with no one waiting and doing the potty dance instead of a plastic one with dozens waiting.  I Vasolined up the possible chaffige areas though since I've lost all my weight the only concern is my nipples or my running belt.  I had the nipples taken care of with my waterproof NexCare 3M band-aids.  I cursed them the first time I tried to use them in the pitch black and they wouldn't stick to anything.  Well after a couple test runs I found they are awesome and will be stocking up on these for long runs.  We were then off to park.  We parked a little way away from the start.  About 3/4 of a mile, but it was good to allow us to warm up our legs walking.  I don't understand the people running sprints or jogging a mile or two or 3 before a run.  The first couple miles of this run and the amount of people were perfect to set up for warm-up for the whole event.  The temperature was awesome.  Not too cold you needed an extra shirt or trash bag (except the 0% body fat old people I saw wearing them) but enough it would take a few miles of running to warm up.  Georgetown to Idaho Springs is beautiful.  You only realize this when you aren't cursing the stop and go traffic or speeding through I-70.  A run down this road was a great way to see what you miss out on.  Anyway, before the start I fought the port-a-potty line.  Yes, I have a weak bladder and I needed to only pee this time.  If I hadn't I would have run poorly, plus I knew it was a chip timed run so why worry if I started a minute late.  I felt relieved (that's why they say "go relieve yourself" after all) and ready to start.  The best part was they were still blabbing about things and I was able to be that asshole that butts in line with 1000s of others waiting to cross the little guardrail.  The event was a record crowd of over 3100 participants.  A beautiful morning and view and a way to start the weekend.  And...

I was off and I saw my goal in site, the 1:55 pace group about 15 seconds or so ahead.  I told myself, keep them in sight and that's all you have to do this whole time.  Well, I knew I had to make some moves with the walkers and slower paced people so I hugged the pothole/road missing part of the shoulder until we headed into town and the little neighborhood.  There were many others that were "jockeying" for position as well, so I didn't worry if a walker got nudged out of the way a little with a slight forearm tap.  LOL.  The dirt road through the neighborhood reminded me of a fishing communities neighborhood with the way the houses were set up and the lake near by.  Of course this isn't an ocean, but a nice quiet mountain town.  I saw very few locals out and about cheering people on.  They either must  have been running or hate Clear Creek High School and the people that supported this.  Or maybe they were along the bridge area with all the other people cheering everyone on.  Either way, the first two miles were fast and were welcomed because it meant there was no more log jam.  People had pretty much started spreading out enough to move around.  Don't get me wrong, I spent part of the next 11 miles being stopped by diagonal running people like I was at the Bolder Boulder but it thinned out dramatically as you got further along.  One thing I could tell early on is this wasn't my typical long run, my legs would be burning like a 5k or 10k the entire time if I wanted to push the pace.  I also think my legs were a little sore from playing stair bobsledding with Sophie the night before and not wanting to wuss out and going a dozen times instead of the 2 or 3 I said I should.  That and I ran my ass off all week with high intensity runs Tuesday and Wednesday.  But I knew my legs would be fine so I kept at my pace.  At about the 5k mark, I passed the 1:55 pace group.  Now all I had to do was stay ahead of them.  One thing I did not do is look back the whole run.  I didn't want to have to race the pace group until it was neccessary.  I spent the next mile enjoying a downhill and passing a lot of people.  They were probably laughing at me knowing I was that idiot rookie runner.  They were only part right, I am only half idiot.  Clear Creek being next to you for so much of the run made it nice but looking up 1000s of feet to the mountains made the run go by fast.  Looking around was minimal because people still were around in large amounts.  Aid station at Mile 8 was not easy for me.  I had managed to barely choke down a honey stinger waffle half bar thinking the water station was around the corner when it was still a 1/2 mile away.  The helpers here were not as plentiful and were jumping in front of runners.  A taller guy put his arm into my back twice while I was getting the same water and gatorade he was.  Oh well, I am still stocky and built like a wrestler and could have taken him but all I was thinking was, I'm running and keep it up.  Also at this time I was like, 5 miles is not that far since you've done this before.  Well, every aid station seemed to be more than 2 miles apart though I knew it was Head Games!!!

I got to 10 and was like everyone else.  Only a 5k ahead and I do these for breakfast.  The run from 10-12 was actually less of a pain mentally than from 9-10 and once I saw 12 my goal was to pass a couple people.  Goal accomplished but unfortunately the last 1/2 mile seemed like it was a lot longer than what it actually was.  I was like, damn they put the 12 marker at 11 because this is one long mile.  I think I felt that expression all around me.  Finally when I saw people veering right, I knew the finish wasn't far off.  I could not see the clock due to people standing in front of it, but I saw seconds ticking up so I just gave what I could without pulling a muscle.  The clock said 1:52:30 before I looked forward to cross the line and run through the imaginary tape.

I was stoked and was looking for my Uncle and running coach/guide after I crossed excited to share the news.  He had a smile on his face when I finally spotted him and you could tell he had a good run and that he was even more happy for myself and doing so well.  I was a little taken aback.  There were times I had been running and had questioned if I had missed my 1:55 pace group passing me at a water station or when I was just zoned out.  I was glad to see that clock at the finish and realize I had met my goal.  My Aunt trooped along and you could tell she was fighting pain but she crossed the finish line in under 2:30 with a bum knee and not feeling the best.  So a few items I'd like to note I missed on in the rambling above.

  • It is a great sight seing so many people running together and enjoying a day off being active and running a distance most people would never even consider attempting.
  • I saw a family of about 10-12 that looked like all of them had ran it but a couple that hung out with the great-grand kids.  How cool would it be running that long with your grandparents, parents, brothers/etc? 
  • The course is a great course.  They stay stick to the right lane, but runners had their freedom for most of the course.  There was maybe half a dozen cars that didn't know there was a race or didn't care and worked around us all up or down the road.  The one thing that frightened me was the sand pit through the trail portion at Mile like 7+.  I hit that after being on only hard surfaces and was like, not a good idea!  I am glad I didn't hurt myself there.
  • The HS and school district uses this as a fundraiser.  Awesome.  I just wish the water stations were a little more spread out.  I found it hard not to stop at many of them rather than keep jogging.  You could tell who had prepared and which groups were "just there".
  • Beau Jos and Tommyknocker!  Come on.  Some coupons for pizza and some 2 oz beer samples would put this event over the top.  You guys can spare a few bucks considering I am sure business was humming already for you guys because of everyone there!
  • For the price and the views and a more challenging course than you'd expect from 1000 feet drop in elevation, I am doing this race again next year no doubt.  I may carry some of my own water to make up a couple minutes at a few of the crazy water stations and to store some fuel but I can't complain much.  Had a great run and it was nice being able to share it with two really great family members.  They also treated me to a delicious chicken sandwich at SmashBurger after, so that was another perk.
On a closing sad note, I had a missed call at 9:20 from Andi.  I was like, she wouldn't have called in the middle of my run for nothing and was like oh no!  Sophie had got bit by a bug and her face had swollen badly.  She was at Children's Urgent Care when I finally got my phone and called her but was fine.  The swelling went down over night and she looked and acted normal fully within 24 hours.  Andi acted swiftly, with a nice assist from her mom, and I felt bad not being there, but I knew it was not a 911 situation when I talked to her and that Sophie would be fine.  I also got a delicious Lasagna dinner my mother-in-law made that night that reminded me of what my mom used to make growing up full of cheese and sauce.  Actually going to have some leftovers again tonight.  I hate leftovers typically but if it's pasta related, that goes out the window. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Family Fun Club's Everyday Endurance Clothing...

I am prostituting myself out in this blog to try to win something free.  Since I don't twat or telleveryonewhatimdoingsotheycankillmeorstealfrommeorrapeme (facebook), I figured I'd get an entry into my favorite blogger ShutUpandRun (someone that blogs about running and her shit issues are both a new topic I have found much love for recently (running) and since I can remember (shit issues)).

I recommend if you read my blogs and enjoy running you read her articles.  They are not all about shit (well 50% of them have a shout out to them it seems) but about many topics involving running.  She is funny and has a lot of great reads, so go join and maybe if you win a shirt because of it, you'll let me have a shirt of yours as a thanks.

They have plenty of cool apparel and accessory designs for the active and those who are becoming active lifestyle or just enjoy something different for a design.  Their link is: http://www.yourapparelsource.com/familyfanclub/

Monday, August 6, 2012

Running with a vengeance (5 days to GTIS)...

The last month I have really began letting my body judge what it can do and not let my mind tell me what it can do.  My speed has increased because of it.  I can also tell I am not pushing it.  My goal went from running 9:30/miles for the marathon and a 2:05 overall to 8:45/miles and 1:55 overall.  I believe there are a few factors that have made me get to this point, listed below:
  • Weight-Lifting aroudn 40 lbs off my shoulders has been huge.  Carrying my daughter and the stuff we pack to grandma's house every weekend is what I was doing when I first started this journey 5 months ago.  I remember when I ran 4 miles the first time after running/light jogging only 3 miles the first 3 and a half weeks of training and thinking, wow, this extra mile is a lot. 
  • Distance-Expert writing there.  See how the segway above led into this.  Slowly building up to running 14 miles a couple weeks ago and running long runs of 11 miles or more 4 weeks in a row have helped my shorter runs increase in speeds.  My longer runs have increased in speed by about 30-45 seconds per mile.  Not pushing it harder.  I just have got more comfortable running.
  • Running-Again a nice segway.  I had never ran more than 3-5 miles and that was maybe a total of a dozen times in my life.  In over 10 years I had not ran more than 2 miles without stopping and walking.  My body has found it's comfort level.
  • Pacing-My breathing and how my body feels really help me determine how hard I am pushing it.  I ran 6 miles for my week's long run this week since I did my tapering.  Felt better than when I ran 10 miles the first time on my birthday.  Two months ago, I felt great, but nothing like today.
I am excited.  I am ready.  As long as I stay upright, I feel very confident I will beat 2 hours and hopefully exceed my goal of 1:55.

As for other happenings other than running or involving it...

Last Saturday, the 28th of July, I ran 11.  I got out late and it was one of the hotter long runs I did but I used my phone's Nike GPS to let me run free and it was a great run and I could tell I was ready for my half.  One thing that is great of having something to keep your distance is you don't have to map out your run ahead of time.  It has me thinking of getting a GPS watch instead of having to put my phone in my running belt. 

Friday, the 3rd, I was headed into work a little later and went my Santiago's breakfast burrito route of my old Colorado Blvd way instead of going down much more relaxed and scenic Monaco.  I was glad I did.  I spotted some guy pushing his own car while steering it under I-270.  I was glad it was later since that area is usually congested until 8:30 which it was at the time.  Guess it cleared out early today.  I stopped on the very small shoulder that that area has and ran back to help the guy.  Guy simply ran out of gas.  I had been there over a month ago when the family was trying to get to our pictures and pushed it too far and was less than a 1/4 gallon from our destination.  We were lucky to be on E-470 and get their awesome assistance.  (Really was, not being a smart arss like normal).  Anyway, I took him to a gas station just a little over a mile from where we were.  He kept talking about paying it forward and how he wish he could repay me and it sounded like he had already had a tough morning at unemployment.  Just knowing I could help the guy out a little was reward enough.  I've had plenty of down days where a pick me up or some assistance was all I needed.  Hoping times get better for him.

This weekend, Andi and I went to the Rockies game.  We went to Lodo's with her work ahead of time.  It was fun.  Made me realize that grabbing a couple beers on a rooftop should be done more often as long as you don't have to sit next to some early 20s a-holes, which we fortunately weren't.  I got to do some Century Link True or False trivia after the 5th inning.  I never thought I'd get the chance to do something at a game or win anything and while the prize was lame ($25 to concessions or retail), I was able to get Sophie a little stuffed animal for free.  I am tired of the Rockies but I see why they draw well.  It is a comfortable ball park and people go there for pre-night time downtown fun and warm up their socializing skills.  It was fun, I got to talk about my love for Tim Tebow and spend some time with my wife and her co-workers and had plenty of laughs and happy times.  Oh and I saw some guy named Sean Begay from Mines with his wife from there.  Him and I had talked many times at Mines but I guess 10 years and 40-55 lbs (I was as heavy as 225 at Mines) will make a person not recall who you were.  We talked a couple minutes and I got to meet their cute baby.  Just a fun side note.

One of my best friends from HS, Nate, had his bachelor party this weekend.  I just couldn't find time to make it to any of the bash and felt shitty not being able to do so, but that's the crappy part of life, you always are missign out on something but as was the case this weekend, I truly got to enjoy what I was doing.  Him and I can go months without a hello and missing what'st going on in our lives and know that we still care about each other and have plenty to talk about when we do catch up.  People are busy and have their lives, we know that.  Planning on a lunch meet-up before Andi and I attend him and his soon-to-be bride Jennifer's wedding in September.  Hope his other friends made it a great weekend for him.



Thursday, August 2, 2012

Running Scared (and Stupid???)...

So a week and a half ago I went to the Western Slope over to Cedaredge to help my in-laws with work on the property my in-laws own.  I drove way too fast getting out there, stupid move #1, but it was early and traffic was minor so I figured why not hit 110 mph?!  I may not be a smart man, but I know what love is, Jenny!

Anyway, got there and I didn't need to rush over since we were waiting to get going when I got there.  Then we spent a lot of time standing around but did some tree stacking and what not on the property that was good.  I got paid way too much for it but that's okay, it was nice of my mother.  Anyway, we cleaned up and after chit chatting a little while with my wife's Aunt, we went and visited my father-in-laws best friend and his family.  It was good for my brother-in-law and mother-in-law to share that time with them.  I wish my wife and other brother-in-law could have been there with us.  Unfortunately after 4 hours of sleep and the day, I was nodding off and on.  On my mind was the run at hand the next day.  I knew I wouldn't be asleep until around 1 and I was getting up at 4:40 to run 13 miles plus miles.  I woke up and it was pitch black.  The area I was running at was isolated, very quiet and notorious for bobcats, mountain lion and coyote activity.  There was no light along the route and I knew the sun was 45 minutes from providing any light on the run.  I had a phone that had 25% battery life (camper we were in didn't have electricity due to circuit breaker issue).  Against better thoughts and thinking, I wouldn't have seen or heard any imminent attack until it was too late, I went out just after 5:00.  I needed my run and it was a perfect training run for the Georgetown to Idaho Springs Half Marathon.  It was 1200 feet of elevation drop and had a nice uphill to challenge in a short spot of it and it was just less than 13 miles from where I was headed.  My brother-in-law agreed to pick me up around 7.  So...

I set off.  I could see the road ahead of me with my phones flashlight and I just ran.  I ran fast.  I knew it but I was going downhill at a good slope and I was nervous.  I knew I was ill prepared to run in the dark with no sidewalk and lighting but I did not even think about cars.  I knew I may see some cars, but it was early Sunday and it is a hard working area where people were probably going to finally get to sleep in or not be active until past 6.  Well, I did see a car about 2 miles in and it was pitch black but I didn't have to call anyone, the guy just kept going.  Other than that, I saw shades of cows and started seeing light 45 minutes into my run.  Finally.  My battery was less than 8% and I knew I needed to keep it to call my brother-in-law.  I ran with the light amount of light which was enough to now see the road fully and what was ahead.  I felt some relief knowing town was just over the hill and down the road a mile or so.  By the time I got to mile marker 6, I knew I needed to take a quick bathroom break and saw that I had ran an average of around 9:20/mi.  WAY TOO FAST.  I was on a time restraint though (or so I thought) and needed to be done by 7ish and wanted to get it done.  I went into the gas station and there was an old guy drinking coffee and reading the paper at a counter with an attendant.  I left 5 or less minutes later and this lady was counting stacks of money.  I was like, wow!!!  What if?!  I wished them a good day and took off.  There was a ton of light but it still hadn't peaked over the other side of the hills yet.  I had a much more gradual downhill for the next 3.5 miles.  The temperature was great.  I felt great.  I spent the rest of the run just enjoying the run downhill.  By the time I got to the last 1/2 mile the sun was fully out and I ran an extra mile waiting for my brother-in-law.  My legs felt great and my pace would have been a solid time for a half marathon.  I was excited but was it stupid?  Maybe.  Nothing happened, but something could have and I need to think about my safety and my families concerns if I am going to run at crazy times and with it dark out.

Well, I am missing this past week's runs but I'll get to that another time.  Not much to report.  Pretty much I have started tapering down for the 1/2  marathon.  My Yasso runs have been consistently in the 4:00 range.  And I feel much faster and better than when I ran my first two races in May.  This should be a fun week and a half.  I am looking forward to it.  I'll give some updates before the race.  Until then, happy running.