Wednesday, March 13, 2013

February was awful.

I haven’t posted anything recently because there were several weeks where anything I would have written, would have been negative and defeatist. Who wants to read that?

Here is the February summary: Lower back was giving me grief. Then my hips decided to join the party. Then I got a head cold that worked it’s way into a sinus infection. I was feeling as if I had aged years in just a few weeks. Anytime I’d think about this summer’s races, I’d wonder if I’d even make the start line this year. (In hindsight, it’s funny what being in pain can do to your thinking)

Fortunately, things are going much better now. Over the last 2 weeks I’ve progressed from just being happy to finally be moving again, to catching myself pushing myself a little too much during my workouts. (But wow does it feel good to put a bit of speed into my run workouts!)

In terms of my weight, I can’t give you an exact number. After February, I figured any progress I had made could have been lost, so I’m not getting on the scale this month. I know there is work to be done and that I’m out of time. I’m changing it up a bit and removing grains and starches out of the diet and going back to lots of vegetables and about the same amount of meat.
The easy carbs are going to come from fruit and those are going to be eaten somewhat sparingly. Most of my carb intake is going to just pre/during/post my workouts. 

Last week was a solid effort. 8 workouts and I felt that I was in control of my eating. More importantly, I’m just feeling good and actually looking forward to my workouts. (How about we keep that feeling around forEVER).
The 50-60 degree weather this past weekend didn’t hurt either.

So there you have it. I’m hopeful that things will continue to go well and I’ll have a bit more to write about on here.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Manhattan Half Marathon 2013 Race Report

(This happened January 27th, I just never got it posted)

I actually tapered my workouts leading into this event. It just happened to fall into the right place on my plan for this to happen. So I was feeling well rested going into this.

When I woke up the temperature was 11 degrees. I had thought it was going to be 20 or so. I look up the temperature in Manhattan, 20. Alright, that’s more like it.

Todd picked me up, I haven’t seen him in weeks. Along the way, we drive up on an accident that must have happened in the last 5 minutes.  What is typically a 3 lane bridge had the far right lane closed off for repairs. Now keep in mind that there is no sun glare because there is no sun yet. There is hardly any traffic on the roads. Yet somehow this person seemed to have missed the fact that the lane was closed and must have driven full speed into the big sand drums in front of the Jersey barriers. I say full speed because the result was he ended up upside-down in the 3rd lane of traffic. At first we thought we might miss the race because they had us at a complete stop. I guess we were fortunate enough to have been there before the ambulance and tow, because they slowly let us through after a few minutes. (driving over a pile of sand)

We luck out in terms of parking and we stayed in the car for a few minutes longer before going out into the cold. We decide there will be no warmup and we won’t be going to the front of the corrals. It’s not going to be a fast day. They had collapsed the corrals by the time we had arrived so we just hopped onto the back around the 8000s. It took us nearly 8 minutes to reach the start line from the gun time.

Todd hasn’t been running much. Which is kind of crazy, the last NYRR event he ran, back in November, he set a new PR pace for his NYRR runs. 6:31 I believe. Now he’s going to run with me…. Slowly.

We kept the pace conversational for the most part, there were some hills that probably upped my HR outside of conversational. The first 3 miles were at nearly 10 min/mile. Which isn’t surprising we started with about 8000 people ahead of us probably 500 or so behind us.

Because of our pace, I guess I had a chance to look around a bit more than I usually do. I’ve run 20+ races here and somehow this is the first time I’ve noticed that you can see the Guggenheim from the run course. I’ll chalk that up to showing how focused I typically am during these events.

Once we hit the hills on the north side of the park, we were able to move through some of the crowd and we were able to pick up the pace. I didn’t have a watch on. Todd had a new GPS watch and at some point said that I had us pacing at 8:40 min/mile. Which was feeling great. I think my longest run in January was just shy of 9 miles and my biggest week was just over 20.

It was definitely cold and breezy in places, which for someone who sweats as much as I do, makes it uncomfortable. If I had a way to keep warm until the start and then immediately after a race, maybe it would make sense for me to always run in shorts. (At least for 10Ks or shorter, maybe not 13.1.) We were reminded of how cold it was at the aid stations, the Gatorades were like slushies. Todd grabbed 2 and was concerned that he was going to get brain freeze as he downed the 2nd.

Around mile 9 or 10, my hamstrings and lower back started to tighten up a bit. Hard to say whether it was fatigue or the cold. Todd was starting to feel the lack of training miles around that point as well. We took the pace down a bit, not much. Even though this was going to end up being a training run, I still wanted to stay under 2 hours.

We managed, but not by much. 1:58:38.
I finished feeling good that I’ve got the fitness to run an easy half marathon at the end of January. Not sure that I’ve been able to say that in past years. Let's see where this takes us.