Friday, December 21, 2007

"The KNEE" - Good News...But Not the Rest of the Story...Yet

I saw my sports doctor this morning and I walked out feeling better than when I walked in. He told me that the Route 66 course in Tulsa is not the best running surface around and I would have to agree with him. I'm not sure of the total mileage we ran on concrete but it was alot. I also told him that I had finished the Honolulu Marathon last week and he seemed impressed.

He took the typical medical history and was impressed that I was even running after my heart surgery from 2 years ago. He had me stand in my barefeet, on tiptoes, squatted, and then took my left leg through a series of bends and manipulations as I lay on the exam table. Only one point did I experience any abnormal pain.

His take on the situation is this: The bone surface on the back side of the knee cap should be smooth, alot like ceramic. He thinks that mine has gotten rough and porous like over the years. He said that it wasn't necessarily caused by the running. He also thinks there may be a small sliver of cartilege torn that is behind the knee cap and that is a large part of the potential irritation that I feel. What he wants and is scheduling is an MRI and will see me again next Friday to discuss our options.

He gave me some exercises to strengthen my quads and stretch my hamstrings. To strengthen my quads I sit near the edge of a chair or table, raise one leg until it is parallel with the floor, I lock the leg straight and then slowly lower it to about 30 degrees. I do this several times a day. I have the remnants of a quad in my right leg but my left leg quad is non-existant, or nearly so. For the hamstrings it's the typical stretch, putting your foot on a chair or table from a standing position and then pointing the toes back to the chest and holding for 15 seconds, repeating this 8 to 10 times a day. I think I should have been doing both of these all along.

The good thing about strengthening the quads is that I believe I can do that exercise from my office chair, or in a restaurant, or a meeting.

I asked about the upcoming Houston Marathon and then held my breath. He said at this point he believes I can go. He said that if I had to I could walk the course. So I'm planning on going, woohoo.

So there should be more news next Friday. In the meantime I'm going to try and do a very easy light run on Monday morning, weather permitting.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

I'm in a Quandry

What does one write about when one doesn't run due to a potential injury? I didn't get to see our sports doc yesterday because they had been closed all week without power. I have an appointment next Friday to see him.

I HATE not running, but I also can't STAND the thought of running on my knee to soon and risk a sliver of a chance of doing the Houston Marathon in 4 weeks, well ok, 3-1/2 weeks. I've got the mileage in but I would like to get around 15-20 miles a week next week and the week after that, but I'm beginning to believe it isn't going to happen.

I noticed last night that at one point, I can't remember what I was doing, but my right knee popped, alot like when you "crack" your knuckles. At times that is what my left knee feels like it needs. I wish I knew more.

We still have several hundred thousand people without power in the state. Fortunately for us here in the OKC metro area we didn't get as much snow last night and this morning as they originally predicted.

Now I'm having thoughts of what we were doing last Saturday in paradise.

There was alot of concrete surface that we ran on in the Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa in November, I'm wondering if that is what aggrevated my knee. I can't think of anything else that would have done any damage......grrrrrr.....

They used a new type of timing chip at the Honolulu Marathon that didn't work out too well. It's the same chip they were going to use in the Houston Marathon..and I stress the Houston has backed away from it and will be going back to the older more reliable ChampionChip type of timing device.

It would appear that I'm rambling tonight, guess it's because I really want to be out on the streets somewhere, even though it's 28 degrees here right now. I took communion tonight at church and I asked for God's Will to help my knee heal.

After church Bonnie and I went out to do some last minute shopping for a "dirty" Santa gift for our church small group Christmas Party tomorrow night. Each person that comes brings a wrapped gift for playing dirty "Santa". Bonnie gets to pick a nice gift and I get to pick one that according to her is "butt ugly". At least that was her thought last year and MY gift ended up being traded and fought over the most by the group. I'll try and remember to post pics tomorrow of what we are taking before we wrap them up. Guess that will pass some time of not running too.

Well....Goodnight JohnBoy.....

Friday, December 14, 2007

More Hawaii Pics

The day of reckoning, race day, 3:00 AM for our photo opportunity as a group, the Edmond Family Center for Autism group..."TeamAutism". From left to right Cristy, Phil, Angel, Stacey, Alan, Randy, Steve. We were pumped and excited, little did we know that a scant two hours later we would all look like drowned rats.

Stacey was our first runner across the finish line in under 5 hours 30 minutes, hats off to her effort. I ran with her for 11 or so miles before I began to fade with my knee issues and we agreed we should both run our own race at that point, she was a great organizer for our trip and coach to those that had never run a marathon before, she ROCKS!!! That is Taylor with her after the finish line. Bonnie stayed with Taylor while Stacey and Alan were on the course, when she suggested they head to the finish line to see everyone run to the finish he got upset and said there was no way he could run a race that far. He thought she meant they were going to run the 26.2 miles to the finish. When she got him convinced they wouldn't have to do that he then thought it would be cheating to just "show up" at the finish and again didn't want to be seen as a cheater. More explaining but he was there when it counted for us. We are all so proud of him for making the trip with us and being so upbeat all the time....he's truly an inspiration!!

Yours truly after the finish line, tired, sore, and yes in some pain due to my left knee at that time. After crossing the finish line we got a "lei" of seashells and then had to walk thru water, mud, and muck for another 1/4 mile to get our finisher's medal and t-shirt. That was the worst part of the day.

I had told Bonnie before the race that if we finished close enough to the beach that I was going to give her my shoes and I was going into the Pacific in lieu of an ice bath. The water wasn't as cold as ice water would have been but the wave motion on my legs and feet felt really good. That is Taylor in the foreground with me.

This is Alan one of our walkers and the last of the EFCA participants to cross the finish line. Bonnie was our sideline cheerleader and photographer and she watched over Taylor while his Mom, Stacey, and Dad, Alan were on the course. Again we had some explaining to do with Taylor to convince him it was ok for him to walk with his Dad and that it would excite Alan to see him coming out to meet him. What a wonderful supporter Taylor made for each of us.

Here's one of those famous Hawaiian sunsets as seen from the balcony of our room, the sky sure lit up that evening when that big fireballs slipped into the ocean.


Monday night after the race on Sunday we were treated to a wonderful Hawaiian Luau on the north shore of Oahu. Here is Bonnie and I at the hotel just before we left on the tour bus with our group. Keep that purple dress in mind as it will show up in an unlikely photo in just a bit.

Oh my, here it is already, Bonnie learning to do the Hula Dance. You should see her instructor, no wonder she is smiling so big....he's in another photo just a bit later too. The ladies on the stage did a great job and had a lot of fun with this part of the festivities. We had Hawaiian pig that had been roasted in a covered fire pit, and several other Hawaiian vegetables that we could sample thru their buffet line when we ate.

The theme thru the dancing portion of the luau was based on the Christmas Holidays and it was exciting to see the different island cultures that were represented during each of the different dances.

More of the dancers in various Christmas dress. Even with the Christmas theme, the things you would expect at a luau were never far away, the grass skirts, the dark tan, the festive atmosphere.

Here is Bonnie's hula dance instructor, she said the eye candy made it very easy for her to follow his instructions as he stood just off the camera showing her and the other ladies how to do each of the various steps associated with the hula.


On Tuesday as we waited around the hotel for our evening ride to the airport, we were fortunate enough to meet Eric Mzioki, third place runner from Kenya, and Boniface Mbuvi, fourth place runner also from Kenya, near the hotel hot tub. It was a bit difficult communicating with them, but they very much understood a photo opportunity.

Then to top things off about an hour later we had the good fortune to meet the winner of this years Honolulu Marathon, Ambesse Tolosa from Ethiopia. Ambesse was a bit easier to chat with and also had an intrepretor with him. He was also the winner of the Honolulu Marathon in 2006. It was very exciting to spend a few minutes with him and to realize that he was every bit as tired as we were.

This is Diamondhead taken from the beach in front of our hotel. The marathon took us thru the street in front of our hotel, paralleling the coast and then eventually up over the right hand shoulder of Diamondhead that can be seen on the very right of the photo.

It was a fun and wild 6 days in Hawaii and I debated on adding this photo, then decided not to put it in, then decided oh heck I need to add it. Taken from Senor Frogs, was I surprised when I had to make a bathroom stop while Bonnie and I had chips and salsa there on the day that we left to come home....Add this to those crazy things you might see while on vacation I guess.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Back Home

Bonnie and I arrived back home yesterday afternoon. I felt as though I had lost a night somehow. We left Honolulu at 10:30 PM Tuesday night Honolulu time and arrived at the Oklahoma City airport at 12:50 PM on Wednesday afternoon. This is alot of flying time, I don't know how pilots cope with that sort of thing.

We saw alot of the devestation in the OKC area from the ice storm that they experienced while we were lying on the beaches of Hawaii over the past 6 days. We live in one of the lucky areas that did not lose power during all of the cold weather. Yesterday and today were days of reprieve from the icy mess. Tomorrow (Friday) is promising more weather tho in the way of snow, at least 4 inches plus they are saying thru Saturday night.

On the long flight back to Houston (7.5 hours) my knee gave me fits all night long even with ibuprofin. I noticed that my feet and my lower legs seemed to swell during the flight but didn't say anything to the others that were traveling with us at the time. At the Houston airport we got to talking about general discomfort during the flight and noticed that all of us that participated in the marathon seemed to have similar issues with swelling. Bonnie mentioned that she too felt that her feet had swollen during some part of the flight.

I slept pretty good last night, only having to take ibuprofin at one point during the night and I've got pretty good movement of my knee this morning. Because of the weather I'm not considering running at all until sometime next week.

Now I officially have two of the three marathons behind me in my hunt for Marathon Maniac-dom. The Houston Marathon looms ahead on January 13, a month from today!!!!

I'm trying to get an appointment made with our local sports medicine/podiatrist to talk to him about my knee and get some recommendations from him towards a better recovery effort for me. It seems the weather has played havoc with their office hours this week, but I am hoping to be able to get in to see him tomorrow. He's a member of our running club and that usually helps to get us in or to work us inbetween others on his schedule from what I've been told.

It's good to be back home, sleeping in your own bed, but I do have to admit I miss the weather that we experienced in Hawaii already.

Monday, December 10, 2007

"The Race Report" - - "The Engine That Almost Couldn't"

I'm going to try something different with this report and list/focus on the pluses and minuses and see where that takes us. First for the pluses:

+ I finished the race in an upright position under my own power.
+ I finished with essentially no new injuries or blisters....wooohooo!!!
+ I ran with a great group sponsored by The Edmond Family Center for Autism.
+ Having Bonnie here was a positive thing for me.
+ The fireworks they use at the start at 5:00 AM were beautiful.
+ The rain that came thru at 4:30 AM while standing in the potty line was "refreshing".
+ The rain that came just before the gun start was as good as a shower at home, but no soap.
+ The scenary has to be the best of any race that I've run, though my career is still young.
+ The water stops offered plenty water, gatorade and icy cold sponges.
+ Remembering to bring extra socks in a zip lock baggy.
+ The sun was not a big issue until later in the morning, the clouds were a very welcome veil.
+ The course is challenging but not overpowering, with Diamondhead the only real hill section.
+ The spectators were totally awesome, tho many were Japanese so I couldn't understand them.

The minuses were present but were overpowered I think by the more positive aspects of this race:

- Finish time was 6:49:48 (chip time) for a terrible pace of 15:19.
- Too many participants (over 20,000) left you running in a constant pack.
- The torrential rain at the start slowed things down considerably.
- Wet socks, what else can I say about that.
- My knee giving me trouble early on and throughout most of the race, forcing alot of walking.
- Taking waaaay too long to cross the finish.
- I was too worried about my knee to take any photos even though I did have a disposable camera with me.
- The finish area was LOUSY for a number of reasons, mostly because it was a quagmire.
- We got a shell necklace at the finish line but had to slog thru mud that reeked of raw sewage for a 1/4 mile to get our medal and finisher's tshirt, not something you want to do after 26.2 miles.
- For the finishers they had apples and cookies, not the greatest of food for the end of the race.

While there were some negatives about the run, the positives so far outweighed them, looking back at them the next day makes them seem almost inconsequential. Today after reflecting on things, I would say the mud in the finish area that smelled of raw sewage and the distance the finishers had to walk to get their medals was the biggest issues. I would still put this marathon on your radar screen if you have yet to run in Hawaii it is crowded but still a beautiful run.

I'm down because of the poor finish that I had, but I'm also upbeat that I was able to finish in any time. I feel that I didn't post as good a showing for all that donated on my behalf, it's a personal thing, just makes me feel like cr%p. This makes me want to come back and redeem myself with a better effort.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Thursday and Friday Catch Up Time

There are 5 couples/families that are making this trip to participate in the Honolulu Marathon on Sunday, (Bonnie and myself), (Alan and Stacey and Taylor), (Angel and Phil), (Christy and Matt), (Steve and Debbie). Of this group Bonnie, Debbie, and Matt will not be bib carriers in the marathon. Alan, Angel, and maybe Christy will be walking the marathon; the rest of us will be running.

Yes Bonnie did go with me on this trip. No there is no way that I could have gone out the front door with her. She will be part of our cheering squad, our photographer, and supporter, and she will be watching Taylor while Alan and Stacey are participating in the marathon on Sunday.

We've made it to the Houston Airport (Taylor, Angel, Stacey, Phil, Steve and Bonnie), the others are up near me when I took the pic.

Here's our running mascot Taylor, he is now 7 years old and is a delight to be around. He is a barrel of energy and so willing to do just about anything. When we boarded the jet to Honolulu when they announced our seating group they announced his name as well and that got him very excited.

It was almost an 8 hour trip from Houston to Honolulu. We spent the time sleeping, doing Soduku, eating, and looking out the window....I thought this pic was interesting with the sun dancing off the wing of the plane.

As we made our approach into Honolulu I happened to look down and saw this submarine leaving the area, apparently coming out of Pearl Harbor. I thought that was an interesting thing to see.

"We've arrived in wonderful Honolulu!!!!!!!!!

At this point we had all received our lei's. Angel's right cheek, Debbie, Steve, Matt, Christy, Phil and Bonnie's left cheek. Not sure where Stacey and Taylor were for this pic. Alan joined us later Thursday evening.

Friday we visited the Arizona Memorial, this was December 7, the 66st annivisary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. In the distance here you can see the Arizona Memorial, sitting atop the sunken remains of the battleship Arizona and the tomb of so many of her young sailors. The battleship Missouri is anchored just south of the Arizona. The Missouri is where Japaneses surrender was signed in 1945.

This is one of the Pearl Harbor survivors. He was on our tour and was visiting the memorial for his third and what he feels like his last time. He had visited a friend aboard the Arizona in the engine room about an hour before the bombing started. He had been discharged already but his discharge papers were ripped up and he served for 4 more years. Bonnie got autographs of several other survivors from the bombing at the museum before we took the boat ride out to the memorial.

The watery grave of over 1,000 of the Arizona sailors. Even today the other survivors of the Arizona can be cremated by the Navy and interred in the ship with their shipmates by Navy divers. One new interment was to be made Friday night after all the ceremonies of the day.

Close up of the battleship Missouri.
Here's some of the Edmond Family Center for Autism gang (Matt, Christy, Randy, Bonnie, Stacey, Taylor, and Alan) in front of one of the anchor's that were taken off of the battleship Arizona. The other anchor is on display at the Arizona State Capitol.
At the entrance of Honolulu Marathon Expo.
Friday night we ate at a place called Cheeseburger's in Waikiki. They had the best cheeseburgers I've eaten in a long time.
As for the weather, yes it's rained alot. The temperatures have ranged from 68 to 82 since we've been here. We keep hearing flash flood warnings for the area but have only seen the streets flooded in isolated areas once or twice. The rain never seems to last very long even when it gets really heavy.
Here it is early Saturday morning, Stacey, Bonnie, Christy, and I met downstairs for a 2 mile run. We had a time of 23:36, taking it very easy. Our pace was 11:47 and it was never a struggle even with the high humidity. My knee feels fine so I'm hoping for a great race tomorrow morning.
More later.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Honolulu Bound

Well we have taken the first steps towards Honolulu...wait I guess I've actually taken quite a few steps towards Honolulu in the last 6 months. But at last we are "on our way". We are at the OKC airport waiting to board our flight for the first leg to Houston, then non-stop to Honolulu. We arrive around 3:30 PM which is 9:30 PM Central time.

In checking the weather for Hawaii last night they are having flooding due to rains it seems. PLUS, the mountains actually had a snow advisory!!!!! Yes in Hawaii a snow advisory for the mountain areas. I had no idea that Hawaii had mountains that tall, or that they ever got snow.

More to come later today with some photos.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

I "Feel" Like I'm Ready

Thanks to so many positive comments and prayers yesterday I finally reached the point where again I felt that I am truly ready to "run" the Honolulu Marathon. So many of my blogging buddies have left comments that have in one way or another had a very positive impact on me over the past several days, and last night at church it was astounding the numbers of people that were asking if next Sunday is the day that I am to run and they were all so upbeat, positive, and happy that I'll be running. Thanks to all of this wonderful support my body and mind seem to have merged and once again I truly do feel ready to "run".

Up to this point I had been having thoughts that I could "settle" for a walking marathon, knowing that I could finish that. But I've got the confidence back that is enabling me to "see" the finish. Thanks to all of you. I'm feeling great, I'm ready, I'm excited.

Bring it on!!!!!!!!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

OMG - Honolulu is but a WEEK away!!!!

Finally, after 6 months it's just around the corner, the Honolulu Marathon. We've got our airline tickets, I've got my bib number (6532) and I think you can follow things on the website the day of the race...just remember they are 6 hours behind those of us here in the Central Time I'll leave it to you to do the math...

My knee seems to have recovered from the aftermath of the Route 66 Marathon. Yesterday I started seeing running images again of me any time I closed my eyes, images of the Honolulu marathon course and I've never been to go figure. I did the same thing though prior to the Route 66, all I would have to do is close my eyes and my focus became the race, it is so strange.

I've still not run since the Route 66, it will be 2 weeks tomorrow, but I've been listening to my body and have decided that I am at a level with my training that I need this break and it is just a part of the taper. I will try to run a couple of miles this weekend if the weather will allow it and see how things turn out. The ibuprofin and ice seem to have done the trick with the recovery for my knee.

I'm sooo excited....we leave on Thursday....finally I don't have to say something 2 weeks from this's THIS Thursday!!!! We will take plenty of pics and yes I will try and keep the blog updated more often. I'm sorry that I fell into the funk of not running and not blogging, Molly you woke me up on that...thanks.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Update on the Knee

My left knee started to hurt shortly after finishing the marathon on Sunday. It never gave me any indication of being overused, or sore, or in any pain until AFTER the finish. I worked my way thru the finish chute and met Bonnie at the exit of the chute. I was still standing at that point and looking around for perhaps an ice pool but didn't see any for this race.

I did spot a food tent for finishers and told her that I wanted to head that direction. She asked if I wanted to sit down but I said no I felt that I needed to walk. The food tent was across a field so we started that direction, slowly. I took my time letting my legs and body get back to some semblance of normal vertical activity. I went into the tent and had two orange slices then moved on to find all they had left was pepperoni pizza, which at the time sounded like a 16 oz prime rib to me. I took a very large slice and walked out the other end of the tent.

I could see Bonnie waiting on me at the entrance and thought I would get her attention to come to me rather than me walk back to her. Then I did my biggest mistake.....I sat down in a chair to eat the pizza. I sat there long enough to eat it, and Bonnie eventually saw me and came over and sat down too. I finished the water that I had and began to realize that my knee was hurting all of a sudden.

I was panicking that I had done something to it in the race but could not remember anything that caused any problems on the course.

Well, my coach says that by sitting down too soon and bending my knee at a 90 degree angle that quickly and for a prolonged period of time I was pushing my thigh bone into the knee cap and aggravating the cartilege there. He says that the running naturally aggravates it some but as long as you don't sit too quickly after the race or sit with your leg bent 90 degrees or more that you shouldn't have alot of pain.

Today it continues to feel much better. I just have to remember to not sit that same way even now as it brings the pain back when I do. I will take his advice and not run until at least the weekend and maybe into the middle of next week. It's again my taper time for Honolulu anyway.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Race Photos

The Night Before: Our race gang, well at least part of the Edmond Running Club, Lissa, Julie, William, Cindy, yours truly and Bonnie. We met at a quaint Italian restaurant off the corner of 15th and Peoria and enjoyed pasta and good conversation. Some innocent bystander going in agreed to take our photo as we were coming out.

A loving couple enjoying time with great friends. We were both excited about the upcoming race, Bonnie running the Route 66 Quarter Marathon and me running the Route 66 Marathon, my first leg towards Marathon Maniac status in January 2008.

Race Prepartion: Remember crib notes in school? I decided that my feeble mind wouldn't be able to accurately remember the various paces that I felt I had a potential to run in this race, so I decided it was time for a bit of descriptive artwork. Tattoo artist I'm not....but they didn't run....while I was running and sweating.

At the Start Line: Papa Bear is ready for the gun on Sunday morning. I ended up not needing the headband/ear warmer for this race and it was lost along the didn't make for much in the photo either. I do have to admit the smile was an unusual thing for me to show.....I can't remember what Bonnie said to get it. We started in the same chute that we would finish the race in a few hours later.

The Finish Line: Time lapsed photography and a wonderful wife brings this finish line dash to you. I don't honestly remember "dashing" to the finish. Somewhere just before this was taken I could tell I wasn't going to have my gun time be under 5:30, but I was pretty certain that my chip time would be...and it was 5:29:34.

The Medals:'s the end result, they have some of the nicest medals. The lady at the finish line asked if this was my first marathon. I explained to her that it was my first Tulsa marathon and first Oklahoma marathon. That at my one previous marathon they didn't have such a finisher's medal. She said with the effort I had made she felt I should have this to hang in my collection. She wished me well in my quest to run a marathon in all 50 states.

I'm equally impressed with Bonnie's Quarter Marathon Finisher's Medal's very impressive and really more "shiny" than the one that I got. I'm so proud of her efforts and all of her support during this year. She has evolved into much more than what she termed early on as my "atheletic supporter"...yes she does know what that is.....she's my cheerleader, my coach, and most importantly....The Love of my Life....

The Long Report - 0ne Day Beyond

Well a quick check on what I posted yesterday, my knee seems to be better this morning thanks to alot of ice and ibuprofin. More ice today at noon I think and ibuprofin.

As for photos, I still don't have them downloaded yet and the cable to get that done must be in the bedroom and I'm not going to wake Bonnie again. I promise later today.

Start Line: I talked with a couple of folks from the Edmond Running Club (Joanne and Maurice) that were running the full that I knew would be up in front of me.I lined up with the 5:00 pace group for the start and at 8:00 sharp.

Mile 1 - 11:15
The start of the race was great. They let the elite runners go out about 2 minutes ahead of us, then it was our time...."Runners Set"......then the shotgun blast and we were off. I was able to run with the 5:00 hour pace group with real ease over this first mile. We ran over a bridge spanning the Arkansas River, so that was the first of many hills for the day, and was probably one of the smaller hills. After the bridge we ran west for a ways then turned north on a part of "old Route 66" the historic American highway, the namesake of the race, so we can say that we "Kicked it on Route 66" as our finishers shirts would later indicate. Toward the end of Mile 1 my bladder made it's one and only stop of the race, throwing me about 30 seconds behind the pace group.

Mile 2 - 12:19
Mile 2 started near the center of the second bridge that I believe was the Southwest Blvd Bridge, we were headed east back over the Arkansas River and would be turning right onto Riverside Drive. Riverside Drive is the long stretch of the race that will take us all the way to just past Mile 11. Mile 2 was catch up time to get back with the 5:00 pace group. My pace had fallen to around 11:40 if my memory serves me right. But try as I may I couldn't catch those guys again. I would keep them in sight up to mile 15 though. Still running strong.

Mile 3 - 11:47
During Mile 3 we completed a loop that took us back under the first bridge that we had run over. The significance here was that I got under that bridge before the half and quarter marathoners took off at 9:00 AM. Actually I was hoping to maybe see Bonnie but it was not to be. Again continuing to run strong. I was running between water stations and not feeling any discomfort at all. I started to notice bronze looking statues of wild animals in the grassy way between us and the river that was now on our right. I wish I had a portable camera to take photos of them as I noticed several other people doing. I remember deer, big horn sheep, bears, a seal, antelope, and others that apparently escape my still tired memory. I remember passing the turn around point for the quarter marathoners (Bonnie) during Mile 3 and saying a prayer for her and the other racers in that group.

Mile 4 - 11:46
Somewhere in Mile 4 I think it was we saw a woman standing in a large picture window with a very large cat. She had the cat standing on all fours and was waving with its forepaws to all the runners as we went by. A stranger sight indeed. There were also a fair number of spectators along this part of the course and near the water stations. Still keeping up a consistent pace to this point.

Mile 5 - 11:57

Mile 6 - 11:42

Mile 7 - 11:54

Mile 8 - 12:03
Somewhere during this mile I had a couple of guys catch up with and we leapfrogged for a bit then ran together until we were in Mile 11 crossing the bridge over the Arkansas River again. One had run many marathons and had heart surgery (stents) and the other...this was his first marathon. I asked them what time they were shooting for and the older gentleman said 5 to 5:30. The younger guy said he was shooting for 5, but he was looking at 5 PM. We got a good laugh from that. They were very complimentary of me when they learned of my quadruple bypass surgery 2 years ago.
Mile 9 - 11:44
I think it was during Mile 9 that I saw the marathon leaders coming back in from the turn around point. They looked awesome.
Mile 10 - 11:58

Mile 11 - 11:54
Once again we crossed the Arkansas River as we would near the turn around point for the race. I saw Maurice, Casie, and Joanne all running strong but going the other direction on the bridge. I'm glad I saw them it gave me a boost to keep going. The funny thing about seeing the runners ahead of me coming back in it seemed to pump me up some to run strong. For a while I wasn't just running with those around me at or near the same pace I was doing.
Mile 12 - 11:56

Mile 13 - 11:40
When I crossed the halfway point, my Garmin indicated 2:34:52, ahead of my pace that I did in the Lewis and Clark Marathon in September by about 2 or 3 minutes. Still running and feeling pretty strong at this point. I knew that I wouldn't be coming in with the 5:00 hour group so was now focusing on a 5:15 pace and this seemed very "doable" at the time. I didn't realize at the time that this was to be my last sub-12 minute mile.

Mile 14 - 12:23
Things slid a bit here with the pace, I think I was now moving into the 11:50ish area for a race pace. I was getting a little tired but still felt strong overall.

Mile 15 - 12:04
This mile felt like a bit of a struggle at times. By now we were back on Riverside Drive again going north this time. I was again running alone, chasing shorts in the distance, passing some, watching others pull further away. When the relay runners would zoom by it played havoc with my mind, at first can these people be so fast so far into the race...the answer...they were alot fresher than we were.

Mile 16 - 12:02

Mile 17 - 13:03
The first 13 minute mile that I would do in the race, but definitely not the last. I could see the 5:15 pace passing me by even though there was no 5:15 pace group for this race. I made a vow to stay close to the 12:00 minute/mile pace that was needed for that though.

Mile 18 - 13:04
I'm not sure if it has any real significance or not but I was able to "clump" my times all pretty close together....running earlier in the 11:40's, then the 12:05 range, and now low 13's. Another significance of starting mile 18 was that Bonnie was supposed to try and meet me near the 18.5 mark where Riverside Drive intersected 61st Street. Well 61st came and went and no Bonnie. The next big intersection also went by, and I'm getting a bit worried about her race now...did she finish...was she hurt....but she made contact with me between Miles 21 and 22 and said she was at 61st street asking where I was and I told her...she said oops, it took her longer than she thought to get out of our hotel after showering and changing so she missed me, but I assured her that was ok and I was just glad to hear from her. She would meet me at the finish. Finally I have started to throw in some additional walk breaks in between the water stations, but I'm still running considerably more than walking.

Mile 19 - 13:22
5:15 was now definitely slipping away. I was beginning to think about the hills to come and hoped that I could maintain some sembleance of pace for them. During this mile we ran past a belly dancer providing entertainment but to be honest I can't even remember what she had on as we went by.

Mile 20 - 13:38
Each mile is getting to be more and more of a struggle now. I'm having to talk to myself mentally to keep keep running when my body wanted to walk. I walked quite a bit this mile it seemed. The end of Mile 20 took us onto Peoria Avenue. We had been on Peoria 3 weeks ago for the Tulsa Run 15K race, so it was familar ground for me. There were again crowds of people out to cheer us along. It always felt good when someone would pay attention to the bibs and call out your name...Run Randy Run....well ok Forrest Gump I'm not.

Mile 21 - 13:54
Definitely doing some walking here. This mile saw the first of the hills, though the Peoria incline was very gentle compared to what was to come...the "Hills from Hell".....

Mile 22 - 13:52
This mile was spent on Woodward Blvd and Owasso Place and these people all must have problems during ice storms. The fun part of this mile was running thru all the colored leaves on the street. Fall has made it to Oklahoma and the leaves are painting the area in a beautiful array of Thanksgiving colors. I walked up most of the hills starting in this area. I thought I had seen the worst of them, but ohhh nooooo.....

Mile 23 - 14:06
We crossed over Peoria doing a weave up a hill that would make you think once you got to the top you had to be King or Queen for the moment, you wanted to stop and do a Rocky Balboa victory dance with arms raised...but there was no time...there were more hills yet to come...but this one indeed proved to be the worst of the group.

Mile 24 - No data
The tree coverage in this area was still pretty thick and for the first time ever my Garmin registered only limited data showing that I only went 483 feet for this Lap or mile. My Garmin stayed on track though overall for the chip time that I knew I was running, so it was strange to see this when I had finished. This mile started with a climb for maybe a quarter mile up to Utica Avenue, then a downward turn, with a rolling hill at the bottom then another climb up towards 15th Street.

Mile 25 - 14:03
It's funny, at Mile 25 we passed the Italian restaurant where we had eaten the night before, but I was sooooooo focused on trying now to stay under 5:30 I never saw it. I knew that 5:30 was going to be a battle...there were times that my mind would say..."just slack off you aren't going to make it any way"...that had to be the left side....then the right brain would kick in and say " don't back off you can still do it...we have some kick left, show them you are capable". I think I failed to mention earlier that I was altermating talking to God and talking with those Nigerians and Kenyans that often I find running with me as I zone out or hit a runners high....I was being pulled along by fierce competitors and a wonderful Higher Power, I decided I could do it. 15th Street had one last hill to climb and then it was down hill to the turn onto Boston I think it was. As we turned to Boston I could hear the finish line, basically 2 turns away. I was still struggling with the 5:30 pace though.

Mile 26 - 13:27
One more turn, the finish line could definitely be heard, the streets were somewhat lined with spectators again, many that had finished the course ahead of us cheering us along. I turned the corner and could see the finish line, the same chute that we had run thru over 5 hours ago. The clock was ticking it's red numbers at us, the seconds were winking by as we got closer. Still short of the mat I could see the blink of 5:30:00 and kind of lost it a bit thinking I had failed. I hit the mat at 5:30:39, but the chip time was 5:29:32. My Garmin read 5:29:34, close enough for government work and since I don't consider myself one of the elite that has to follow gun time, I give myself credit for finishing under 5:30...just barely.

At the finish line
I struggled to the lady that would give me my finisher's medal, then was a bit confused as to who took our chips and she pointed me in the right direction. Some guy in a red t-shirt shook my hand and wanted to know if I needed to sit down...I tolk him no I needed to walk for a bit. I struggled to put my foot up on the bar they had for the chip removers and thankfully they had a higher bar for us to lean on. Then someone gave me one of the thin space blankets, but I was hot and didn't feel like I would cool down anytime soon so I soon lost that. But before I took it off I went to the tables where they were giving out nice finishers shirts and asked for a Large. The man behind the table was told by someone else that these shirts were only for those that finished the full marathon. I looked at him and said I may not have alot of strength left but I would fight him for the shirt....I then moved the space blanket to let him see my bib and he quickly apologized and I got my shirt. He said that he was confused by the green ribbon attached to my medal. I got a "My First Marathon" medal since it was my first marathon in Oklahoma, there wasn't that kind of option in Missouri and another race buddy said that I should take it if they offered it to me. The lady that gave it had no problem with it.

Overall I feel good. This morning my knee doesn't hurt, I'll exercise it some today, walking but no running and icing when I can. What a taper run for we come....!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Route 66 - Short Report

Well here's the skinny for tonight. We are back home, it was a beautiful day to race, it started out at 45 degrees at the start and finished in the mid 60's I think, little to no wind, AND it stayed mostly cloudy the entire time. Now if you could have just gotten rid of the Hills from Hell between Miles 23 and 25 it would have been near perfect. There were like 6 hills in that span that just kept coming at you....very overpowering to the mind.

Before I forget, Bonnie ran the "Quarter Marathon" there today and did a very respectable 1:27:32 which equates to a pace of 13:21. She actually ran this 6.55 miles faster than she ran her 10K (6.2 miles) back in October (1:28:22 pace 14:13). I'm just waaaaay proud of her for her tremendous efforts. She does all this while juggling work and putting up with me.

Me on the other hand, well I did ok. I finished going across the finish line vertically, which as I mentioned above the last hills were worse than the worse sex I've ever had.

Total Distance: 26.2 miles
Total Time: 5:29:34 (chip time)
Pace: 12:34
Avg HR: 153 Max HR: 167

I was hoping for a time around 5:15 but I'll take this time, it's 26 minute improvement over the marathon time (5:56) that I did in September. Even with the hills I can't really say that I saw a wall today, not like I did in September. I did get tired and I had to talk myself thru a few points but overall I had fun. Tonight I do have a sore left knee. I've been icing it and will ice again when I get done here.....what should I do with it tomorrow....more ice?

I do have a few photos that I'll try to get up with a longer report tomorrow sometime. The first leg of the Marathon Maniac quest is now history!!!!

Route 66 Race Day!!!!!!!

Well it's here, and it's 6:00 AM and I believe I'm ready. We are going down stairs at the hotel to grab a bit of breakfast at 6:30 then Bonnie is driving me to the start line. The race starts at 8:00 AM. We are planning on trying to get me to the start line about 45 minutes before the start.

Bonnie is running the quarter marathon (6.55 miles) and they start at 9:00 AM. Keep her in your thoughts and prayers this morning. We've also got a number of other friends that are running the half marathon that starts at the same times as Bonnie's race (Bill, Lissa, Cindy, Julia, Karan, Cara, and perhaps others).

Running the full marathon with me are Casie (she finished the Chicago Marathon earlier this fall), and Joanne (Joanne is our club marathon maniac and has run a number of marathons this year).

The jitters come and go, but I'm ready. Today as always I just want to finish the race without injury and secondary to that I would like to finish under 5:30:00.

Full report later today. Good luck to anyone else racing today.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Jitters and Confidence

Yesterday I ran with my run/walk buds and stayed with them the entire hour that we ran. They wondered if something was suddenly wrong with me. They seemed to have forgotten that I'm running a marathon on Sunday....yes as of today it's a mere 5 days away.

I'm getting nervous jitters...I know they will go away at the start line, or certainly by the time the first mile is history. I can close my eyes and see myself on the course and I don't see any struggles, even with the hills that are at the end of the course...these are the same hills we struggled over just over 2 weeks ago in the Tulsa Run 15k and I got thru them just fine then.

I close my eyes and see that dreamweaver taking me down the road, the tapestry is one of mile after mile filled with the jubilation of the effort, knowing that success is only steps away....I see that the pace is new, it doesn't come without some effort but it's there pulling me closer and closer. This feeling is so incredible, the journey to get here has been difficult, but the reward is like no other...what is truly incredible is that the journey is truly just beginning...moving forward, looking for ever to the front, knowing that I'll reel someone else in.

I pray each day for a safe race, not just for me but for all others, I pray for a complete race, and I also pray that I am allowed to run my best whatever that is for that day. I pray for peace and healing, feeling that by my running I am making a difference somehow, somewhere for others.

Is it possible to find that runner's high yet not even be on your feet? Not even sweating? In closing my eyes the visions that come are real, they feel so true, I am there, I hate to keep using the word incredible....but it's the single word that best describes what I feel. Is this a sign of training done to sufficient length to prepare for who knows what?

Yes I'm prepared for Sunday, yes I'm ready, yes I am jittery, but most importantly, yes I have the CONFIDENCE that I can compete and finish.

Monday's Easy Efforts

Total distance: 4.43 miles
Total Time: 1:03:01
Pace: 14:13
Avg HR: 120 Max HR: 141

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Interesting Race Today - Strange Results

Today was a really different day, it started out in the low 50's with 95% humidity and very very foggy. By race time the fog had only lifted slightly and the temps still hovered around 55. It just wasn't quite heavy enough to say it was raining but you could feel the water particles floating around in the air, very different.

They started the 5k and 12k groups off together, don't ask me where they came up with the idea of a 12k race. I just know it was a good distance to include in my taper before the hunt begins next week for Marathon Maniac status.

I was surprised at the .5 mile point to have one of our quicker club runners shout my name...from BEHIND me!!! Well seems she had been out running before the race and had done 4 or 5 miles already. She ran with me for about half a mile making me feel good...that "I" was running with her at "her" pace. But alas, she said I'm going to take off now....and left me in her dirt...drats!!!!! In looking at things when we finished though, she only finished 8 minutes ahead of me.

I was able to run to the turn around point for the 5k folks and at that point I walked thru one of the two water stops, the other being waaaaaayyyyy out at our turnaround point, at the 6k marker. I ran at least a mile and then walked for a minute or less from that time until the turnaround. I did the 6k turnaround in exactly 40 minutes. I knew though that I had started very very fast for an old fart and I would have to really find something deep to get equal or negative splits today.

Well it wasn't to be. I did meet another runner that surprised the dickens out of me. We were between the 8k and 9k points and she came up on my left and said "Come on you are doing great". She surprised me to the point that I had to walk for just a short was unnerving. Then we seesawed to the 10k marker and she caught up again and we introduced ourselves and from that point we ran in together, finishing with the same times I believe. As it turns out her boyfriend was a former employee of my company and while we had never met face to face we both recognized the others name....strange yet again. He ran the 12k and finished in 1:05 I think.

Anyway as I mentioned the negative splits weren't to be for me chip time was 1:24:09. Just 4 minutes off the pace for negative splits. My pace for the day was 11:10 and with the exception of the recent 5k training runs that I've been doing without any walking, this is the best pace time for a race that I've had since mid-May when I PR'ed at a 5k with a pace of 10:40. I calculated my 5k pace today and discovered that I had a 32:30 for the first 5k for a pace of 10:27. When you see the times you will see....again..for an old fart I was moving faster than I normally do.

Before I post my times...I want to say that Bonnie also ran the 12k with me today, she did a time of 1:48, though we don't knwo what her official time was and are waiting on final times to be posted. She did great, even though her pace today was slower than the 15k she did two weeks ago...I attribute that to the humidity that we ran in.

My numbers:

Total Distance: 7.53 miles (according to Garmin)
Total Time: 1:24:09
Pace: 11:10

Lap 1: 9:51 (woohoo...too fast a start..but it looks good and felt good too!!)
Lap 2: 10:53
Lap 3: 10:42
Lap 4: 11:44
Lap 5: 11:17
Lap 6: 11:41
Lap 7: 12:23 (this seemed to be all uphill on the way back to the finish line)
.53 Mi: 10:25

Overall, I had a PR since this was the first time I've run this distance....but I think more importantly was the significance of the pace I was able to maintain, that made me feel really good.

One Last Short Race

Today Bonnie and I have decided to run a local race that will be a new distance for both of us...a 12K. It's part of my taper as next weekend is the Tulsa Route 66 Marathon...yes I'm getting some of the race jitters already. I haven't run this week since Monday morning, but I'm looking forward to the race today. I'm hoping to run with a club friend, at least for part of the way. She's younger and faster than I have been in the past, but I'm going to make a bit of an effort to stay with her and see what plans are to run except for the water stops and to not overdo things.

Next weekend the Maniac in me starts to work it's way out...the first of 3 marathons within 90 I truly doing this??? I'm insane....crazy...I know maybe even a MANIAC...I hope step at a breath at a time...

Mary...I have to apologize I got so busy on this trip to Colorado and had more people to deal with than I thought I would....several folks that I worked with when we lived in Midland that I totally spaced giving you a call. I will be back in Denver in a couple of weeks it looks like and I promise I will call then. That cup of coffee...especially Starbucks if you have a hankering for that sounds sooo good. I hope you continue to get beyond the ailments....

Bonnie...I can't wait to see you crossing the finish line do so well in your runs and seem to find such great energy's truly see my TrophyBride in these races.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Saturday Stroll

We did our last long run yesterday, a 20 mile repeat of a route we did in August as our final long run before the Lewis and Clark Marathon...this time I'm two weeks away from the Tulsa Route 66 Marathon. I feel like I'm ready. I had thought of going beyond 20 miles but I felt good when I got to the 20 mile point, tired but good.

The run was pretty much uneventful, I ran with one of my normal buddies for about 1.5 or so miles. We did a 1 minute run/walk interval up to that point and I was warmed up and I took off. We had water spotted at roughly each 3 mile point.

I was able to run to the first water stop from that 1.5 mile point, roughly 1.75 miles further. I only stopped for a bathroom break on the next three mile stretch and then walked again to get water. Things progressed that way until I got out to the 17 mile point and I started to get a bit tired...I never felt the "wall" like I had done in our 20 mile training run in August and during the marathon in September, but our temperatures were alot cooler yesterday, mostly in the 40's and low 50's.

***Run Update*** - I was just informed that I failed to mention that my biggest supporter joined us at Mile 14 and ran the last 6 miles with Clyde. She is such a trooper, even if she did get to sleep later than I did...Bonnie has come so far so quickly...she's registered now to run the Quarter Marathon at the Tulsa Route 66 event on November 18.

In August I completed the 20 miles in 4:55:14....yesterday I did the same distance in 4:15:31.....40 minutes quicker!!!!

Today the bottom of my feet are a bit sore, behind the 5th metatarsal on both feet, not sure what is going on there and I leave town tomorrow morning before I can talk to my coach.


Total Distance: 20 miles
Total Time: 4:15:31
Pace: 12:46 (woohoo....not as fast as some..but better than 14:37 in August!!!)
Avg HR: 143 Max HR: 160

Lap 1: 14:49
Lap 2: 17:50
Lap 3: 11:12
Lap 4: 11:49
Lap 5: 12:38
Lap 6: 12:10
Lap 7: 11:32
Lap 8: 11:40
Lap 9: 13:59
Lap 10: 11:36
Lap 11: 11:47
Lap 12: 12:13
Lap 13: 11:56
Lap 14: 13:15
Lap 15: 13:48
Lap 16: 13:20
Lap 17: 12:28
Lap 18: 12:12
Lap 19: 12:47
Lap 20: 12:21

***One More Update*** Splits for this run....1st half 2:09:15...2nd half 2:06:07

I've got to pull a 12:35 or better pace out of some pocket somewhere to get in under 5:30:00 in Tulsa. Can I do that? That is 10 seconds faster per mile than what I did yesterday. I felt strong to the heart felt good, I never felt like I was every overtaxing we shall see what happens.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

New Training 5k PR!!!!!

Wow do I feel good. I did this run this of the non-stop 5k efforts that I've been working on over the past few weeks on Tuesday and Thursdays. Well I finally managed to best my previous 5k time. I ran a race back in May where I did 33:05, it was an early morning race and since it was after the OKC Memorial HM I must have run it using the run/walk that I had started to do back in mid-April.

Today though I ran the entire distance. Granted this wasn't an official timed event, just the World According to Garmin.....I did the 5k in 32:33.....still no sub 30 run on the books yet...but just I did shave just over 30 seconds off my previous best. AND there were some hills involved with this run, not gargantuan hills but none-the-less inclines. Still not a "Marcy" paced run, but not bad for an old cardiac-fart.

Total distance 3.1 miles
Total Time: 32:33
Pace 10:30 (oh baby yes!!!)

Lap 1: 10:03 (almost a sub 10 mile...I've got it in me....)
Lap 2: 10:23
Lap 3: 11:00 (why couldn't I have shaved a second off this)
.1 Mi: 11:13
Avg HR: 155 Max HR: 168

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Beat the Train

*Edit Update* - Looks like I will finish October with 123.4 miles, most in one month!!

On a part of our normal route we cross over the north/south train tracks that run through Edmond. There have been times when we had to take an unplanned detour because of a train that was passing through town. Well today we had crossed the tracks to the west and were on our way back across the tracks to the east when we heard a train whistle. As we got closer to the crossing we wondered if we were going to get caught "on the wrong side of the tracks". The crossing had lit crossing arms that would come down when the train was near and they had yet to light up, so we thought we would try to "beat the train". Well about 10 steps before the crossing the lights came on and the arms began to come down. We could see the train to our south but decided to get across anyway. We had to be careful to not get hit by the arms as they dropped, but we made it safe to the east side. I think that was a first for all of us.

Total Distance: 4.82 miles
Total Time: 1:07:20
Pace: 13:58 (Faster than Monday's pace, but we ran about the same length of time)

Lap 1: 17:22 (bathroom break)
Lap 2: 12:51
Lap 3: 11:55
Lap 4: 15:24 (bathroom break)
.82 Mi: 11:56
Avg HR: 127 Max HR: 158

Saturday we are doing a 20 mile run, then the taper starts in earnest for me for the Route 66 Marathon on 11/18.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Monday Morning...Again

Well Monday is back. This is supposed to be the start of the taper for the Route 66 Marathon on November 18, but I'm running my 20 mile run this coming Saturday. The 15k Tulsa Run this past Saturday sort of threw things off a bit. I really don't mind though and I'm looking forward to just a two week taper....

Today was all run/walk...

Total Distance: 4.69 miles
Total Time: 1:07:24 (included a bathroom break for all three of us)
Pace: 14:23
Avg HR: 121 Max HR: 145

Lap 1: 14:42
Lap 2: 12:52
Lap 3: 13:15
.69 Mi: 12:44

Recovery day most definitely.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Race Report Details

Bonnie and I were picked up by Clyde at 5:20 this morning, then we drove to Rachel's and from her house she and Bonnie drove to Tulsa in her vehicle and Clyde and I followed in his. We left pretty well dressed for the race. I was wearing long pants and had on a short sleeved compression shirt, long sleeve shirt and once we arrived in Tulsa I decided to wear my new pull over Mizuno jacket. I attached my bib to the jacket thinking we would need the outer wear for a while into the run.

We parked near the finish line and then we walked the mile to the start area as a warm up. It felt good to do that. We got to the start area with about 45 minutes to spare, did our bathroom breaks, walked around and ran into nother club member, Joanne, then another bathroom break before we moved towwards the start line. While in the starting area we saw another race club member Linda and wished her well. She did great with her run at 1:24:08. Once the gun was fired it was about 2 minutes beofre I could cross the starting mat.

The first mile was mostly all downhill and was run in a very large pack of people...a sea of runners. Behind me I could hear the Army contingent that was running the race in formation and their cadence was fun to listen to. Just after passing Mile 1 they came by me looking strong.

As Mile 2 started I saw a fairly large hill that had to be scaled, it turned out to be the biggest incline of the race. About half way up I decided I needed to get out of the Mizuno jacket. Well unfortunately my bib was pinned to it. So I slowed to a walk, figuring with the hill I could walk to conserve energy and shed the clothing at the same time. It felt like I walked for 5 minutes to get that accomplished. I did get out of the jacket, didn't loose any safety pins, but I did manage to drop my bib...but fortunately there was no wind and I was able to retrieve it without too much trouble. I got it repinned on my long sleeve shirt, pushed the sleeves up and again I was set and I was near the top of the hill. I started to run again.

Mile 2 had two large hills, the biggest that I mentioned above and another after that with one fairly significant downhill. As Mile 2 ended, we rounded a corner onto Peoria. There was a line of port-a-potties at the corner and I took advantage. As I was coming out I could see that Clyde had passed me again and was maybe 75 yards ahead. We stayed close or together for about a mile, then I moved ahead again to stay.

Miles 3-5.75 was the out route on Peoria then we began the return back up Peoria. There were many merchants out as well as spectators that were cheering us along. There were also a large number of families out with trick-or-treat kids along the way. It turns out that this day is a trick-or-treat festival along Peoria and after the race it got even more crowded with the trick-or-treat bunch.

We left Peoria near the 7.8 mark turning onto 31st to the west. Again, here was a nice downhill area. We turned right onto Riverside Drive and ran along the Arkansas River as we headed north back towards downtown.

The finish line for the race was in Veteran's Park.

As I mentioned above the spectators were fabulous. They were out and very vocal as we would pass. The intersections were well controlled with race volunteers and Tulsa Police.

The water stops were AWESOME!!!!! They were well manned, were frequent and had plenty of water. I don't believe any of them had any sports drinks at all and there was no GU or other energy eats along the way...but for a 15K run I wouldn't expect that either. The water stops were more frequent than at any other race I've been in this year....again they were truly AWESOME.

Before I give the details of my run, I've got to mention that this was Bonnie's first 15K, first run at this distance and was her longest run to date. I was at the finish line this time to cheer her in and I believe between the four of us that started out together she finished the strongest of everyone, she powered her way through the finish line and looked like she was running with great ease. I am so very proud of my TROPHYBRIDE!!!!

My Garmin worked great today and though the race was a 15K, 9.3 miles, it registered 9.44 miles which I'll give to the corners and such as I took them perhaps wider than what the race committee had measured.

Total Distance: 9.44 miles
Total Time: 1:51:25
Pace: 11:48
Avg HR: 149 Max HR: 166

Mile 1: 10:24
Mile 2: 13:41 (Uphill and fighting with bib and jacket, lot of walking here)
Mile 3: 12:33
Mile 4: 11:53
Mile 5: 11:18
Mile 6: 11:25
Mile 7: 12:00
Mile 8: 11:52
Mile 9: 11:35
.45 Mi: 10:34

From mile 4.5 to the finish line I was able to run between the water stops and I only walked the short distance thru each water stop. That is a first for me...wooohoo!!!! I'm not sure how far I ran versus walked for this race but it is definately the longest I've run in any race. I am slowly moving away from the run 1-minute-walk 1-minute intervals and I feel great from it.

"Quickie" Race Report - 15K Tulsa Run

It was chilly, more on that in the longer report. We did good for the run, there were over 9,000 entrants in the 15k, 5k, 2k runs combined. Bonnie and I ran with Clyde and Rachel from the Edmond Running Club and we had a great time. Most of the time I ran alone. I did the 15k in 1:51:25, Bonnie did it in 2:06:42, Rachel ran 2:04:50, and Clyde ran in 1:53:30. We were all close together but still strung out.

Friday, October 26, 2007

TGIF - Day of Volunteering

Well today was a great day to run, except it is a day before we run our 15k race in Tulsa, so what do we do instead....our local club volunteered to go to Tulsa and be responsible for the "chip check" table for the race participants picking up their packets today. Cindy, Julia, and I spent from 10 am to 1 pm doing "chip checks" for runners and had alot of fun. But I'm also tired of standing on my feet for all that time. I got to thinking about it and it's like running the 15k while standing in place. Ok, so maybe I didn't break a sweat, but my ankles are sore and my feet are tired...doesn't that count for something...or am I just looking for sympathy here???

Tomorrow promises to be in the high 30's or low 40's at race time, clear, low humidity and very little wind. Well the race starts in downtown Tulsa and we all know how just a little bit of wind turns a downtown area into windtunnels, so we shall see what comes of the dawn. The race doesn't start until 9:00 am so the temps will climb just a bit from the typical morning lows. So maybe I can brave the cooler temps and run in shorts and a long sleeve shirt, we shall see. I'll take a pair of pants just in case.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Thursday Travel and Run

Well today was another travel day, back to OKC from Denver. I didn't run last night as I wasn't sure of the neighborhood that I was staying in and I opted out on the hotel treadmill, wimpy me I guess.

Today though I did meet one of my running buddies, Cindy, and we did what has become our normal Thursday 5k "run" with no walk breaks. But today I did have to take a potty break close to the 2 mile point. So I crashed our time. Still it wasn't bad. I had the 3.1 miles at 33:40 and Cindy had the same distance at 32:52 or so. I don't stop my watch though for breaks, I'm thinking that she must have.

Total Distance: 3.1 miles
Total Time: 33:40
Pace: 10:52
Avg HR: 154 Max HR: 165

Mile 1: 10:08
Mile 2: 11:30
Mile 3: 10:59
.1 Mi: 10:30

I was tired when we were done, but then I haven't been pushed like that for over a week.

Saturday is the "Tulsa Run", not the marathon, but a 15k race that is supposed to be alot of fun with some really good SWAG. Hey speaking of that, does anyone know what SWAG stands for? Bonnie will be running the 15k with us. It will be the first for that distance for both of us.

Marathon "Maniac"

For those that don't know this refers to a group of crazy people that seem to take marathon running to an entirely different level. If you visit the Marathon Maniacs website you will learn more about the group. Click on "criteria" on the left side to see the various Maniac designations and requirments that must be satisfied to earn the designation.

I am shooting for 3 marathons within 90 days. This will start with the Tulsa Route 66 Marathon on 11/18/07, the Honolulu Marathon on 12/09/07, and end with the Houston Marathon on 1/13/08. The Route 66 is spaced just far enough apart from the Honolulu Marathon that it will be my last long run going into my taper. I intend to use the Honolulu Marathon in the same fashion in preparing for the Houston Marathon.

Craziness to say the least, but it's just something else to give reason to the running and all the training. I sat by this past spring as fellow blogger Back of the Pack completed her Maniac craziness by running four marathons in four weeks that earned her an Iridium Level designation. I decided then that when I had more of a base built that I would try for some level of the Maniac group...

The 3 marathons in 90 days will get me in the door at the Bronze Level. Just a toehold but nonetheless I'll be a Maniac!!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tuesday Junk

Elevation changes and flying don't do well for my body it would seem. I started out with the intent of doing 4+ miles but it didn't take even .5 miles to realize that wasn't going to happen. No I'm not in Oklahoma any more.....I'm in Grand Junction, Colorado today. I flew into Denver then drove over, a 5 hour trip, with stopping for breakfast in Vail, plus a couple of other "necessary" stops. So the difference between Edmond and Grand Junction....I knew you were going to ask.....Edmone elevation about 1,000 feet.....Grand Junction about 4,700 feet. The travel combined with the elevation change convinces me that it's not a good idea to fly to some vastly different place and then expect to run the same day...not a good idea.....let the body acclimate....remember that Randy.....

Anyway, I did manage to run/walk for 3.1 miles, but...and this is the wild took me 39:02 to get that far. Tomorrow night I will be in Denver so I'll see what happens then.

Total Distance: 3.1 miles
Total Time: 39:02
Pace: 12:35 (Actually I would take that for the 15k that is coming up this Saturday I think)

Mile 1: 11:55 Min/mile pace
Mile 2: 12:41
Mile 3: 13:16
.1 Mi: 11:32
Avg HR: 133 Max HR: 152

Try as I might I couldn't go more than about 1.5 minutes without having to walk.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Crappola Monday

What a day, it's been raining here since like midnight, PLUS it's cold, almost as cold as a well digger's butt, or at least it feels like it is. This is a sucky kind of day, no running this morning, so I was going to go home and run at lunch....well guess what!!!! It's still raining!!! Someone is trying to mess with me mileage and I don't particularly like it.

So all that said, this is also the day of our monthly running club meeting. My cardiologist was supposed to be our guest speaker but had to cancel at the last minute...which I can understand...more important someone's well-being take a precidence over a meeting, so she wants to reschedule for another that is good that she just didn't say forget it altogether.

Now for some running ramblings with Randy....since I can't run, or choose not to so I don't catch some viral problem, at least I better's getting too close to my "3 marathons in 90 day dash" and a designation as a Marathon Maniac!!!!! Insane? I know but it gets worse.....I've noticed that on the longer runs where I'm starting to get away from doing our run/walk routine and allowing my running intervals to steadily lengthen in time I feel that I'm hitting what I can remember as a runner's's such a rush!!!!

But I've got to admit the things that run through my brain during these times is a bit wild...but I've got to blog about them before Bonnie tells the world. I'll be running along...won't even realize that my brain has gone off into some "other zone" then what wanders back are thoughts..not about my running, but thoughts that I'm some Ethiopian or Nigerian runner out ahead of the pack in some marathon, maybe it's Boston....then I'm back in my body...silly I'm out in front because there is no one else running at 5fricking-o'clock in the morning.... So I go a bit further and then once again my mind wanders off on its own...I'm always so astounded that it can find me again when this happens because I'm never at the same place where it left....well am I really that slowt that it can leave and still is able to locate me....anyway......the next thing I know is I'm seeing the finish line of some marathon...again unknown...I'm not sure that I am the winner....but the way people are cheering and yelling my name I must be in the top 5 or so...and then again I shake this off to realize I'm running thru a traffic light.....not some finish line somewhere.....

These are truly incredible times...notice I didn't say incredulous...I will leave you to your own conclusions in that regard. I just know that when these things happen I am at a point where I don't even feel that I'm running...sometimes I want to do a reality check to see if I'm really on my feet or not. Delirious....maybe.....runner's high....maybe....feeling great when it happens...absolutely. It is like I'm at a whole other level....sensing that changes are coming...I know I can run faster, have better endurance, I can "see" what I am capable of and it fills me with a higher energy......hard to explain...but so wild to experience.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Saturday Run and Run and Run

It seemed like we ran forever, before it ever got daylight this morning. We started...according to my 5:24 AM. We ran a nice scenic route but alot of it was in the dark. In all I did exactly 17 miles.

Bonnie joined us near the 10 mile point and ran 7.5 miles with Clyde. I was ahead of him at that point. She did the 7.5 miles in 1 hour 42 minutes and 30 seconds at a pace of 13:40. We are turning her into a bona-fide runner it "TrophyBride". Meaning the one who brought the hardware home last weekend.

Me on the other hand, well I managed to run my 17 miles in 3:54:27. I think when I compare the numbers I'll find negative splits for my efforts, and that includes running into a 25+ mph wind for the last 3 miles.

I did see a shooting star before it got daylight, the second one I've seen this week!!!!

Total Miles: 17
Total Time: 3:54:27 (Not 1:54:27 like I had originally posted!!!)
Pace: 13:47
Avg HR: 132 Max HR 159

Mile 1: 15:02 Mile 9: 12:19
Mile 2: 16:39 Mile 10: 10:55
Mile 3: 13:05 Mile 11: 14:51
Mile 4: 18:11 Mile 12: 12:01
Mile 5: 12:58 Mile 13: 13:42
Mile 6: 13:45 Mile 14: 10:56
Mile 7: 13:57 Mile 15: 12:06
Mile 8: 18:40 Mile 16: 12:42
Mile 17: 12:28

The good thing about today is that even with the wind, when I was done I still felt strong, alot stronger than I did after completing 17 miles in the marathon last month. Miles 2 and 4 were definitely bathroom break miles. I have no reason or justification for Mile 8 taking over 18 minutes. I believe at that time I was running alone, scratching my head as to what I was doing then???? Mile 13.5 to 14.5 I managed to run the entire time, which surprised me that I would have the energy that late into the run to go for that distance.

The Weekend....Finally!!!!!!

Everybody's workin' for the weekend.......

Work...doesn't quite fit the definition for today's 17+ miles, fun, exhilerating, wild, involved...those seem to fit mo' better.

Why am I in such a good mood today, up at 2:30 am to get picked up at 4:15, ate breakfast....heating up legs...doing some stretching on the living room floor...getting fanny pack set, bag of clothes ready.....

I'm less than a month now till my next marathon.....the Tulsa Route 66 on November 18...getting nervous about it...but also feeling well trained at the same time....

Good luck to all racers this weekend....

Remember....enjoy it today....tomorrow is just another we desperately need to figure out what the "it" is.......

Friday, October 19, 2007

I'm Up....Waaaay Early....Work Stress I Think

I've decided to "plant" a question before the rambling that I wrote about why I can't sleep....Is anyone signed up to run the Houston Marathon in January? If so maybe we could somehow hook up before or after the race....I am going to have to check but I think we are staying at the Doubletree near the finish line the night before the race....

And this hasn't happened to me in months....maybe over a year. I woke up from a good sleep at 2:05 AM, did the bathroom thing and as soon as I lay back down my mind is racing about issues at work, things that I don't have alot of control over but are still upsetting. In the past I've not had a blog to even consider using as a sounding board, so maybe this will help work things out, but I don't know that sleep is in the picture for the rest of this morning. Luckily Friday is officially a rest day for me, unless I run again with Bonnie tonight, but I do 17+ tomorrow morning so I think I will opt to not run tonight.

Work, I'm really reluctant to unload here since this is a running blog and not a psychiatric couch, but I don't want work stress to start impacting my running either. I work for an oil and gas mid-stream company, which means we take oil and gas from the folks that produce it from the ground, clean it up in various forms and then some product is considered to be saleable and is passed on to those that market it to end users, while other products find their way to the bigger refineries in the US for final processing before sales. Anyway, one would think that we make alot of money with the price of gas at the pump and heating oil and such.....well we are, but the powers to be seem to think that we are capable of making more. Anyway, we are going through budget issues and that along with other issues are creating morale issues across the company and that leads to problems with employee safety...which is my main interest, and no one seems to be willing to admit that the overall company attitude may be affecting employee morale which takes a heavy toll of people's focus, thus allowing their guard to slip when it comes to safety.

Anyway, I'm rambling and I didn't want to do that. I have written this and refuse to delete it, so I'm awake, not feeling alot better for having written it, but shall see what happens in the short term.....

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Thursday with Bonnie

Tonight when Bonnie got home from work we ran together. Well she will tell you that I ran slightly ahead of her, but the important thing is I didn't run off and leave her. It got dark on us as we ran, so I knew better than to do that. See a good hubby learns from experience, especially bad experience, like when I did run ahead of her a couple of months ago just after it got dark and all of a sudden she wasn't sure what direction I had taken.....yes the male species is capable of learning....and even remembering.

It was a good recovery run for me, slow and steady, it provides a time of reflection on my ability to run a much longer distance all of a sudden than I had been so used to running. This new found ability has me excited, I'm seeing improvement for my efforts and I'm being pushed again to continue to better my efforts.

Total distance 3.1 miles
Total Time: 43:39
Pace: 14:05
Avg HR: 121
Max HR: 134

It's not my fastest time, but that isn't the important's that we are able to exercise run together that I'm more excited about. We talked about the fact that Bonnie is running her races at her pace and she doesn't feel it necessary for me to run with her knowing I'm becoming more capable of faster speeds and that makes me feel good. It really felt good to have her at the finish line this past weekend when I completed the half marathon....but it also made me think she crossed the finish line of her 10k...the one where she won the trophy and I wasn't there to cheer her across the's not quite the same as missing the first steps of your first born when they learn to walk...but it's awfully close....I'm really proud of her effort this year, and glad that we are able to run makes me feel even closer to her.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Run/Walk Wednesday

This morning I don't know if it was a combination of the rain, feeling full from the broccoli that I ate last night, or just that it was an off day for running...I felt sluggish and never had the desire to run without a consequence I stayed with my running partners for the full route and the time reflects that.

Total Distance: 4.5 miles
Total Time: 1:08:00
Pace: 15:06

Mile 1: 19:15
Mile 2: 14:04
Mile 3: 13:58
Mile 4: 14:08
.50 Mi: 13:03

Yucky feeling, yucky pace...but it is what it is and I can say that it is done for the day...unless Bonnie wants to run after our church meeting tonight.

Today I get to spend the day putting my new office least part of it, since my new bookcases won't be here until at least Friday it seems.

Happy Hump Day all!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Tuesday Trot....With an Update

I did another 5k distance today and ran the entire time. It was windy here though and we ran along the east side of Lake Hefner so we fought the wind for the first half but I can't honestly say that I felt like we were pushed by the wind on the return.

Total Distance: 3.11 miles
Total Time: 33:42 (I think this is my second best 5k distance ever)
Pace: 10:50
Mile 1: 10:40
Mile 2: 10: 55
Mile 3: 10:59
.11 Mi: 10:02

Avg HR: 157
Max HR: 170

Hey each of the miles were under 11:00 minutes per mile....woohoo!!!!!

After Bonnie got home I decided to run with her so she wouldn't have to run alone. We did 3 miles in 14:29 for an average pace of 13:50. That gives me 6+ miles for the day. I'm tired but glad I ran with her. She ran almost all of the three miles, and to think that just a couple of months ago she wasn't a runner at all!!!!!

Mile 1: 13:43
Mile 2: 13:35
Mile 3: 14:09
Avg HR: 132 (My heart rate)
Max HR: 141 (Should I blame this jump in my heart rate due to her flashing her "tatas" at me at the end of the run). Shameless bride of mine....LOL

Monday, October 15, 2007

Today's Run

I"m gaining more and more confidence in running longer and walking less. Today I did a total of 4.5 miles but I actually ran just over 3 of it I think. It was a slow run, but it felt good again, will little or no shin issues.

Total Miles: 4.5
Total Time: 1:01:25
Pace: 13:39
Avg HR: 131
Max HR: 157

"The Rest of the Story....Madill Half Marathon

Well, I'm not sure what I can add to Bonnie's race story, nor do I truly want to take away from it. I did run more this half marathon distance than I have in the past. I officially PR'ed by just over 8 minutes from my half marathon in April......wooohoooo!!!!!

My time was 2:38:20 and my old time was 2:46:40. I had an 11:59 pace, I'm surprised I came in under 12 minutes per mile. I felt good the first half, making the turn at 1:16:00. At mile 4 I encountered a couple of dogs, large dogs, large barking snapping dogs that threw me off my gait for a while, plus they scared me to the point I thought I was being attacked.

The last 5 miles I ran and walked, but ran more than I walked, it was definitely not the run/walk pace that I had done for other races. At mile 11 though I hit a pretty hard head wind that seemed to just about bring all runners to a standstill. I did run the last 6 miles or so leapfrogging with 2 women that were also doing more than just a run/walk routine. It turns out that Bonnie had be-friended their spouses and family at the finish line...and when Bonnie saw me coming down the stretch...just over a quater mile and let them know...they also told her that their wives were just behind me.

I had a great cheering section at the finish line...making sure that I stayed ahead of the two women...I felt great at the finish, feeling that I could have run further.

I did start out with some sort of pain in my left ankle and foot that made my foot seem almost dysfunctional for about 5 of the first eventually went least somewhat, but it was a hinderance to start out with.

Total Time: 2:36:20
Pace: 11:59
Avg HR: 151
Max HR: 180

Mile Avg Paces:
Mile 1: 10:47
Mile 2: 11:12
Mile 3: 12:16
Mile 4: 11:49
Mile 5: 11:55
Mile 6: 11:58
Mile 7: 11:38
Mile 8: 12:30
Mile 9: 11:53
Mile 10: 13:46
Mile 11: 11:43
Mile 12: 13:13
Mile 13: 11:40
.20 Mi: 8:31 (Wow where did this come from?)

Nice course, very scenic around their town lake.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Bonnie's 10K - She Did AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!

Center stage...where else would you expect Bonnie to be!!! (well ok you have to know her to understand that comment). Today she ran in her very first 10k run in Madill, OK and she placed first in her age group...and YES I'm very obviously totally proud of her efforts in this race and her training that led up to it. She ran the race on her own as the rest of the Edmond Running Club that was at Madill today all ran in the Half Marathon race..more on that in another post.....

Here we are pre-race and ready. Us half marathoners started at 8:30 and Bonnie and the rest of the 10k'ers started at 9:00. The start and finish point in Madill has a really nice meeting room where the winners trophies were given out. They also have shower facilities that each of us took advantage of before we left.
The story here though is that Bonnie and I were both in the shower (not together...seperate areas...shame on you for thinking such thoughts) when they announced her age group for the 10k women's results and that she was the winner. One of the other ERC ladies had to run and grab her before she had gotten totally undressed and get her to come out to receive her trophy. We don't have a photo yet of her on the winners podium. AND to top this off no one thought to come and get me so I didn't even know she had won until I got done with my I missed her on the podium receiving her trophy.
We aren't sure of her time since it was not done with chips...she thinks it was 1:30:00 something, hopefully we know something later today or tomorrow.

This is Bonnie (left) and the rest of the Edmond Running Club that went home as trophy winners in their respective age groups. Cindy is just right of Bonnie, then Bill (he placed in his age group even though he ran an extra mile in the half marathon when he took a wrong turn and had to back track), then Clyde. We are proud of all of them for their efforts. Yes my photo is lacking here, in fact I was the photographer...see someone always has to tell the story...
Anyway....congratulations to my lovely, fabulous running wife Bonnie today for her efforts in her first 10k race!!!!!!!!