Monday, April 30, 2007

Guntime - Chip Time Confusion

I noticed that after the HM yesterday that the OKC Marathon website showed my pace as 13:15, and for some reason I decided to calculate it and I came out with 12:43. It's not alot of difference but I like the idea of staying under 13 minutes. I haven't worked it out yet but suspect that the 13:15 has something to do with guntime. I did determine that the 13:15 is a guntime pace.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

OKC HM Details

Well, I bested my previous HM training time by 6 minutes, so I feel good about that. I unfortunately pushed too many buttons on my Garmin Forerunner 305 about an hour into the run and didn't realize it so I think I lost about 45 minutes of detail out there somewhere.

Mile 1: We started downhill in a HUGE sea of bobbing heads. It took us (I had two running partners to start) about 7 minutes to cross the start line after the gun. In fact we stood in place for over 2 minutes before even moving. The three of us were doing a 1/1 run/walk race. The first mile was great though, no pain.

Mile 2: Included the Walnut Street Bridge, something that from a runners perspective looks almost vertical. However it was overcome and on to the 4th street turn towards Lincoln. Still no pain and running easily. The run/walk was giving me what I needed a restrained slower start than I had done when I ran this route in practice back on April 1. In Mile 2 we saw my wife Bonnie and my daughter Lindsey for the first time, they had some welcome Gatorade, cheers and encouragement.

Mile 3: Took us on up Lincoln past the State Capital Building. Not much to offer here other than still no pain. It was great to run without something hurting. Somewhere in Mile 3 though Rachel and I moved ahead of our other partner Clyde.

Mile 4: We circled around to get onto 23rd Street through our first neighborhood. For some reason I really don't have much memory of Mile 4. I think I was looking ahead to Mile 5 where my daughter would be joining us for a brief run-along.

Mile 5: At the corner of Robinson and 23rd Lindsey stepped off the curb as a bandit runner and ran most of the next mile with Rachel and me. This is also the beginning of several of the older lovely neighborhoods that we would work our way through. This one goes thru a series of "beltway" types of parks along side of Harvey Parkway. A friend from church found me at the entrance to these parks and provided another Gatorade. I was surprised that he also decided to run along with us for a short while. Toward the end of Mile 5 Lindsey started to cramp and dropped back and called Bonnie to pick her up. My church friend ran with us to the corner of 35th and Walker. Somehow I noticed that they had interrupted my pace and I felt different as we started north on Walker. I just didn't feel the same and commented to Rachel about this.

Mile 6: We continued to wind through other neighborhood running over on 38th Street to Shartel, up another good hill and then cutting over on 42nd Street to Western. Western is another north running street and is somewhat downhill to 50th Street.

Mile 7: Finds us still on Western approaching 50th Street and the point where we will deviate from the full marathoners. We turn left onto 50th Street and it immediately starts to climb, but only for one short block to Military. It is in this climb though that I realize my legs are starting to hurt some, not a bad pain but from the knees down I know they are struggling.

Mile 8: Is a turn south onto Classen Blvd. and starts a very gentle 2 mile climb towards 23rd Street from 48th Street. I don't remember if it is in Mile 8 or Mile 9 that I see a port-a-potty and decide a quick break is in order. However, the break is anything but quick. I stand in line behind only one person for over 3 minutes before deciding to look up the road for another spot. Now I've lost my other running partner, she kept on.

Mile 9: Onward to the top of Classen. I find yet another church friend, Bonnie and Lindsey waiting on me at Classen and 23rd. Another Gatorade. Just past them is Mile 10.

Mile 10: My legs are hurting more, but not enough to stop. At times they are beginning to feel rubbery. Another port-a-potty and I walk right in, what a blessing.

Mile 11: Enters Mesta Park and then into Heritage Hills. Heritage Hills lives up to it's name, down to one intersection, up to the next. I do catch Rachel on Mile 11 again, but I fear my legs may have paid the price. Very rubbery now. While on 18th Street heading to Hudson we encounter our last hill as we get ready to exit Heritage Hills. My legs are getting weaker it seems.

Mile 12: A radio announcer informs us that we've just done the last of the hills. Woohoo. We run down Hudson and turn left onto 12th Street. Now we can see the last turn of the course, right onto Broadway. After making the turn onto Broadway we can see the Finish Line, only 7 blocks away. We continue our run/walk pace though, until we are within a block and a half of the finish. Then Rachel tells me to go for it and from somewhere I find energy that wasn't there just minutes earlier and I finish strong with Rachel right on my heels.

What a great day for a run. Temp was 55 to start, finishing up in the mid 70's and almost no wind all morning. Thank you Lord for allowing me to finish safely. Thanks to Clyde and Rachel for their running support. Thanks to Bonnie, Lindsey, Bart, and Dean for their support.


First HM is History

Woohoo!!!!!! I finished the OKC Memorial Half-Marathon in 2:46:40, a pace of 13:15, not bad for an old man. I'll have more to post about the marathon itself later, we are going to get something to eat. No real aches and pains and I'm looking forward to doing another later this year.

It's Race Day

I'm so excited but so nervous too. Not so nervous that my stomach is upset. I've got me list of things that I need/want and those are either on me or in the bag that we are taking to the race. We have extra drinks and ice in a cooler and an extra set of clothes for a change after the race, did I say that I'm excited. It's 55 degrees F, light wind, less than 5 mph. perfect for a run. Somewhere up ahead of me will be Bill Rodgers and Joan Benoit-Simpson and several other elite of the elite. Bill will actually be running the HM with me, woohoo.

More after the race....

Saturday, April 28, 2007

It's Race Weekend - Update - Got 5 miles in

Well it's finally here, the weekend of my first half marathon. Thursday night Bonnie and I got to meet Bill Rodgers and at 59 he still seems to be going strong. He will be running the half with me tomorrow, so I'll be in the company of the elite, at least at the start line.

Update: I did get out early this morning and did 5 miles on the streets of Edmond. Time was 58:21 and avg HR was 142 with Max at 156. The real difference is there was no pain, anywhere. I'm ready for tomorrow, I'm physically ready and in my mind as I indicate below I'm very ready, I know I can do this. The time today was a 1/1 run/walk and I was surprised at the time.

Yesterday I picked up my runner's packet and got my timing chip and my bib number (3314). There must be something magical about that number because this morning I feel no pain at all in my left leg, heel, or arch....WOOOHOOO.

When I ran the training route (13.1 miles) on April 1 I had run a 5k on Saturday so I'm about to head out to do 3 to 5 easy run/walk miles and see what the body says to me. I haven't run this week since Monday due mostly to weather and work issues.

Am I excited, oh yes. However, I told Bonnie last night that all day long I've run the course in my mind and I was running easily, almost without effort and I finished strong. So at least in my mind I know I can do this and do it well with regard to my other runs. The big focus though for me will be to just finish. The time will be what it will be, as my first official timed half marathon. At the same time I am so very humbled that God has given me this chance to work on my health in this fashion and I thank His love everyday for giving me this second chance 2 years ago.

My daughter got into town last night and I am excited that she is here to witness me running and to cheer me on. She's a bit undecided about running a part of the race with me, and I'll leave that up to her, just having her on my team is enough incentive for me to run and run well, knowing that she and Bonnie will be at various points and at the finish line will bring me home with a smile on my face.

More later......

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Meeting Bill Rodgers

This Thursday night the Oklahoma City running club will be having their April meeting and Boston Billy Rodgers will be at the meeting. Bonnie and I are going and hope that it proves to be an exciting evening.

Looking Ahead

I talked to my brother this morning that lives in Houston and the one that ran the Houston Marathon in January. He has commited to running with me in the half marathon in Durango, CO in October this year. That is great. Running there in October should be fantastic, the leaves should be changing and from what I have read about the course it is relatively flat by Colorado standards. I'm excited about it and excited that he will be running it with me. If you have never been to that part of Colorado, Durango is a former mining town that has a fantastic downtown area that caters to skiers in the winter and summer vacationers. There is great food, several micro-breweries and alot of local artisan shops.

Let me hear from anyone else that might be considering that run. They have a marathon that weekend as well as a trail run that I believe gives the hard core group a chance at a double double for the weekend.

My first HM is just a week from today and I'm excited. I'll be running tomorrow morning with my Monday morning group then heading out of town until Wednesday afternoon. If I don't get another run in while out of town I'll run with the Thursday morning group.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Last Weekend's 10k Recap

I promised Phil or someone a recap of my first 10k from last weekend. This was my first race using a run/walk pace. I ran with a couple of running club members, though one had to drop back due to early shin splint problems. All three of us did finish. We ran a 1/1 interval and did the race in 1:17 and a few seconds I believe. Since that time I was out of town and was guilty of not running much at all this week until this morning.

Mile1: Was all uphill, not a terrible elevation change but none the less moving upward from the start. We were in a big sea of runners and managed to not get run over by starting closer to the back of the "wave". Since I didn't have my Garmin for this run I do not have mile/lap splits.

Mile 2: Was much flatter and took us thru the first of many neighborhood streets in the Nichols Hills area of Oklahoma City. Oh I forgot to mentiont that by race time (2 PM) the temp was near 75 with just a light wind, not bad for that time of day. Later it did feel hot. The run/walk did help my heart rate stay more in my target range, even though I did not officially monitor it I could feel that it was never under any stress.

Mile 3: Flew by and I hardly remember it, again mostly flat with some downhill grade. The homes were spectacular and the residents that were out to cheer us on were great. Several had their own water stations set up and many had their water hoses out to the street with sprinklers attached for the runners to run through to beat the heat.

Mile 4: As I remember had some small hills to it but again were not overally cumbersome. I still feel the run/walk was so helpful in making these hills seem less of a challenge. Somewhere in Mile 4 a port-a-potty manifested itself and I took advantage. My running partner pushed ahead with the agreement from me that I would catch him. I did within 3 interval cycles I believe and I was glad to be back with him. There is just something about a run where you are with friends to carry on a conversation versus running alone.

Mile 5: My partner told me that I could push ahead if I wanted. He had developed some shin splint issues in one leg and thought he was holding me back. Instead I chose to run with him, feeling his pacing was doing me much more good than harm. I so appreciated his presence and was reluctant to move ahead.

Mile 6: Saw the last of our hills that led to a downhill finish. When we were in sight of the finish line I did pull ahead slightly but my partner finished right behind me. It was a great race, we didn't set any speed records but we had a great time and that means more to me than a record at this point.

I have to admit that with a partner the race was over before I realized it. I will be running with the same two next week for the half marathon plus at least one other, and I am so looking forward to it. This isn't the greatest recap but it's late being published and the best that I can do for now.

Wife's First 5k

Today Bonnie and I ran in the Miracle Run 5k. Yes we both ran. She did it, so she says, because it is my birthday. I'm just glad to have her along as a running partner. We finished in just over 38 minutes, which for her first run was GREAT!! It felt so good to have her there with me every step. The course was a bit of a challenge, more hilly than I thought it would be. But we finished, she finished and has said she will run other 5k's with me. That is a wonderful birthday present and I am so very proud of her. At one point she urged me to go on ahead that she could make it on her own, but instead I chose to stay with her, letting her set our pace.

This was also my first opportunity to use my new Garmin Forerunner 305 and it was awesome. I set the watch up to help us run/walk a 1/1 interval and it worked perfectly. For the first time I was able to complete a 5k keeping my max heart rate under 160, today's max was 157 and my average was 141. At the end of the race I knew I was ready for next week's half marathon, my feet and legs weren't hurting and felt that they could have done the 13 miles.

Bonnie I love you and am so glad that you ran with me today and that I had you there all the way as my partner. Thanks.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Weird Saturday

Several times my brother, the one that also runs has told me that along with my running training that I should me logging everything that I do, that I eat, that I feel, etc. into some kind of a log so that I can more easily recognize when things don't quite feel right I have a reference as to why.
This morning while lying in bed, knowing that I can't eat just yet because today is weigh-in day for Bonnie and I at Weight Watchers at 10:00 AM, I realized that my ankles aren't feeling right. I feel this and I haven't even gotten out of bed at that point!! Good grief. I didn't run yesterday because of the heavy rain we are having and because we went to a great Michael W. Smith concert last night, he is awesome.
Anyway, this morning I'm lying in bed and I start to recount what I ate yesterday and I realize that I didn't have dinner last night due to the timing of the concert, so I ate a bowl of dry cereal last night, for lunch I had a banana, WW food bar, and some raisins, for breakfast, I skipped. Not a great day of food for anyone. No one my ankles feel weird. They hurt like they have done on a couple of runs where they felt like they wouldn't loosen up to run but eventually did after about 2 miles. Maybe those days were following bad food days as well.
I know WW wants you to journal your food intake and I've been a bad boy not doing that, but at long last I seem to be able to tie the benefit of doing that with perhaps a benefit for my running, so between the two maybe, just maybe I will start to journal there again. Best intentions. But I've blogged about it here so there is some accountability and I will talk about it at our meeting today, more accountability. I'll see where this all gets me.
Sorry for rambling, but I felt it needed to get out.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

April 11 5 mile run

This morning I completed a 5 mile run/walk with several club members. The pace was 12:24 or so. I'm without my old Polar watch and also without my new Garmin (the start/stop button appeared to be defective so I sent it back to Garmin this morning and should have a replacement on Friday, in time for my 10k run on Sunday). Without either of them I feel lost, guess I've gotten too spoiled with technology.

I'm so glad that I ran this morning as the wind is howling here this afternoon. I wanted to do another 5 miles this afternoon before our Wed evening church group meeting but I'm opting out, or wimping out. I'll give my left heel and arch a rest.

Monday, April 09, 2007

This is a Truly Great Day - - April 9

You see it was two years ago this morning at 7 A.M. that I was wheeled into an operating room to have a 4-5 hour surgery...a QUADruple bypass cardiac surgery. That was obviously successful, I had God on my side, a tremendous loving wife, daughter, Dad and many other very loving family members and friends as well as two exceptional surgeons and an excellent cardiologist. I know this because as I came out of surgery back to my room I crashed, my heart went into ventricular fibrallation I believe it was called, where it raced big time and my blood pressure shot up to dangerous limits. They had to use electrical paddles on me to get things back to normal. Other than that no complications.

On this day in April two years later I am able to run 5 miles without any significant problems and certainly no cardiac issues. I feel so blessed to get a second chance and that I've re-discovered running as one way of staying healthy. I have one of my younger brothers to thank for that. He began training for the 2007 Houston Marathon last year and kept me informed of his progress. I was able to run the last 6.5 miles of the Marathon with him this past January, much to his surprise. His courage to run that marathon has put me back on the road, literally, pounding the pavement early morning as well as late in the afternoon on days that I don't run in the mornings. I'm so thankful to him for being my guide.

I am also thankful for my wife, Bonnie, and her steadfastness with me through the surgery and my recovery afterwards. She is a dream of a mate and I am so very lucky to have her by my side. She has been a pillar and so quick to pick up on any small problems that I might have felt over the past 2 years. Now she is my "atheletic supporter".....her words not mine, and she has been at the start of every race I've run and at the finish of each one and many times some places inbetween. I'm so blessed to have such a wonderful cheerleader for a wife.

This will always be a day of thanks to my Saviour Jesus Christ and to those closest around me for all they have done. The 5 miles that I ran today are more than just my anniversary run, they are my expression of thanks to all that had faith in my recovery.

I will turn 52 later this month and I will finish the month by completing the Oklahoma City Memorial Half Marathon, my first.....but not my last. I'm so glad to be alive, and I am so excited to be able to be active again.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Great Run Saturday

I ran this morning with a group, a slow group and had a very good experience with them. Thanks to Lissa and her Navy heritage for not leaving a buddy behind and running with me at a slower pace. The others (Cindy, Mike, Bill, Bob, and Bill) ran slightly ahead of us on our route through Edmond.
We did 5.3 miles this morning in the cold 30something degrees and a light wind. Not sure of our exact time at this point but I believe it was just over an hour.

Saturday Morning - Klutz Time

Well I'm up and about at 5 am, eating some oatmeal and peanut butter before our easy 3 or 4 mile run this morning. The good news is that the computer says that it is still 32 degrees, it apparently didn't get to the mid-20's as predicted. Sometimes I love those weather dudes being wrong.
I am such a klutz, I need to live in a bubble at times. Last week while in Houston I fell and banged up my left knee and hand. The hand is almost healed, the knee is coming along but can still be sore. This morning I'm swinging my legs out from under the table and I bang my left knee on the sharp corner of one of the table legs, ouch! Yes it hurt, yes it still hurts, but no I don't believe I did any further damage except maybe to my pride.
Yesterday I returned my Polar watch, this is the second one that I've tried. The LCD face was less than a month old and the numbers on it were starting to fade, not all at one or all over, but just in selected areas. I returned it and got my money back. Then later in the day I bought a Garmin Forerunner 305 online that should be here Monday or Tuesday. This model has the heart monitor with it, a critical piece of equipment for me. I can't wait to get it and learn how to use it.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Saturday's Activity

I'm supposed to run 3 or 4 miles with members of the Edmond Running Club and it is going to be 20something degrees tomorrow morning. It's April isn't spring here, did someone forget and turn the clock back instead of "springing" it forward a few weeks ago. We even had snowflakes, yes snowflakes today. Good Grief, Charlie Brown!!!
My old body doesn't do cold very well any more it seems. I am going to run though, I don't commit to something and then back out of it. Besides it could be cold at some future race and a run of this nature might just teach me something. There, now that I've rationalized it, it doesn't seem such an impossible thing to do after all. Now let me sleep on it and I'm sure I'll have other reservations tomorrow morning. Brrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!

Almost forgot about activity.......

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Thursday Activity - - Confusing

Today I tried to set my Polar watch up so that I could run for 2 minutes and then walk for 1 minute. Well I set that up in Zone 1 and then I did something slightly different for Zone 2 which wasn't necessary. I set Zone 1 run pace between 9 and 11 minutes/mile and I set the walk pace between 13 and 15 minutes/mile. I tried to be as consistent as possible, running 2 minutes and walking 1 minute on a 5 mile course that I had done several times earlier in March. By running the same course in this fashion I was able to drop my best 5 mile time from 56:31 to 55:28. Not a huge change but one that I'm satisfied with for my first attempt at changing my running style.

My heel doesn't hurt as much tonight as it has after other similar runs recently so maybe my shoe inserts are paying dividends. My left ankle is a bit sore and I've put some "AtivON" on it and the soreness has greatly subsided.

One day this weekend I do want to up my mileage to 10 miles or so still working this run/walk concept and see how it turns out.

I pray that everyone has a Happy Easter, remembering our blessings and saying prayers for those that are in need. God Bless.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Early Morning Run Today

Thanks Rachel and Clyde for the great tips this morning during our 5 mile run. Running with the two of you doing your interval run/walk pace made the time really fly and I didn't feel at all like I had completed 5 miles.

The new inserts in my shoes seem to be a definite help to my planters fasciitis and woohoo the shin splints seem to have totally disappeared.

This is such a new experience for an old runner and I am truly appreciative of the knowledge that is shared by the ERC members.

25 days to race day, I'm definitely excited.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Yesterday and Today

Yesterday I got inserts for my shoes that are supposed to help with the planter fasciitia and it does feel somewhat better. Last night I walked two miles in the neighborhood with Bonnie at roughly a 15:30 pace. Tonight because it is very windy and turning cold we are going to walk in the mall at least 2 miles I hope.

Tomorrow morning I will try running again. This will be the first run since the half marathon workout on Sunday. I will be meeting a small group of Edmond Running Club members at an early hour before sun up. I've not run with anyone before so this will be a new experience for me. I'm suspecting that this group may be a bit too fast paced for me and if so, there is another group that will run on Thursday morning that is more of the run/walk types and that sounds more like my current pace.

Thinking about all of this long term, meaning after the April 29th half marathon, I believe that I will want to continue to run and train for other half marathons and who knows maybe a marathon at some point in time. My eyes are slightly on the Houston Marathon in January '08 in hopes that my brother will want to enter again. It wouild mean alot to me to be able to run with him in that event, either in '08 or '09. The other thing that I want to focus on with my training is endurance and being able to run further and further with fewer walking episodes in the workout.

For now though I will settle for the run/walk strategy for the April 29 half marathon. I'm still very excited and want it to be here. Completing the training run on Sunday seems to have curbed some of my nervous jitters.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Half Marathon Training Run Log

Ok while it is still mostly fresh on my mind and so that I will have something to refer back to in a few weeks, here are some notes mile by mile of this first half marathon run:

Mile ONE: Time 9:53 - Oh what a fast start, I've got to learn to let the 20 year olds get out in front to lead the way, I'm not of that age bracket any longer and truly don't have any speed records to prove. With the route change so that we turn north on Mickey Mantle instead of Joe Carter there is a HUGE bridge on the north side of Bricktown that from the turn it looks like it is almost a vertical thing, very intimidating. I need to work on overcoming that.

Mile TWO: Time 11:52 - I let the bridge get to me and the time shows, although this should really be closer to the pace that I need to work towards. Steady Steady Steady

Mile THREE: Time 11:15 - I believe that Lincoln is slightly uphill when going north but I still gained a slight amount of time back here. I had four women that did great for pacing me over this part of the route even though they slowly pulled away from me. I later caught back up to them around mile 6 I believe.

Mile FOUR: Time 12:04 - I was starting to get a bit tired, running alone but had other runners in sight. After turning west on 28th from Lincoln the streets are a bit torn up from the icing this winter and you have to watch your step especially through the intersections.

Mile FIVE: Time 11:00 - My pace picked up slightly as part of this mile is back downhill on 23rd and the uphill run towards Robinson didn't seem to be that bad. In retrospect I think I got a bit of a second wind somewhere along here. I knew that my shins weren't hurting and that my left heel was only minimally noticeable.

Mile SIX: Time 11:41 - This is mostly through Harvey Parkway an easy run level most of the way. I was looking for Bonnie along here and when I didn't find her I got a bit concerned and called during a time that I was walking. During this time I passed two of the four women that I had been with at mile 2. I learned later that they only wanted to run 10 miles so they had turned around at some point and made their way back to the finish line. I was now alone with only one other runner behind me. At the end of Mile 6 or beginning of Mile 7 I was delayed for a light at 36th Street. I've noted that below also as part of the reason for a slower Mile 7.

Mile SEVEN: Time 13:22 - I think I was letting my mind worry about Bonnie's situation here and it along with the climb up to Walker slowed me down. It is still a good time though not too far off a decent pace for me. I was also slowed at Walker and 36th waiting on a traffic light to turn to my favor, maybe 30 or 40 seconds there and then downhill to 38th Street. This neighborhood was nice to run through, lots of tulips blooming. Turning right on Shartel I was suddenly following another male. Then left onto 42nd and off towards Western.

Mile EIGHT: Time 14:17 - During this mile I caught up with the male in front of me. We ran together for a bit and then he left me as he was running the 20 mile route. At 50th Street where I was to turn left, I took a quick nature call break at a convenience store so that is most of the reason for the slower pace here. I also heard from Bonnie that she got the vehicle going and would meet me somewhere on Classon. It was great to know she was safe and on the move again.

Mile NINE: Time 15:48 - The only thing I can attribute this slow time to was the steady rise that Classon has from 50th Street up to near 23rd Street. I am so glad that this rise is gentle and steady so that it isn't truly overpowering, but there is alot of it. I was alone for all of this run and I believe in the marathon there will be many other runners here that will help with the pace. This is the area where the full marathoners will rejoin us half marathon runners.

Mile TEN: Time 11:55 - Finally reaching 23rd Street and knowing that the uphill part of Classon is behind is such a great feeling. There were times here of running in the street and then a need to run on the sidewalk to avoid some of the traffic. The sidewalk was rough and uneven making the street the preferred place to run but sometimes traffic was just a bit too wild. None the less I was so glad to see Bonnie with an ice cold Gatorade at 23rd Street.

Mile ELEVEN: Time 14:14 - As the run takes me into Mesta Park I'm still enjoying the homes that I run by. The time is a bit slower and I really can't account for that other than I was getting tired. I believe that some of the way on Shartel might have been slightly uphill.

Mile TWELVE: Time 13:11 - A good deal of this part of the course runs east on 18th Street and I believe it has a pretty good uphill grade to it. By this time I was feeling the need to walk such a hill. I need to work on some reserve here to increase this time just a bit. But at the corner of 18th and Harvey my best dreams began to come true....a long down hill route.

Mile THIRTEEN: Time 13:26 - By now my legs were getting tired and my left heel was hurting quite a bit. A slower time than my overall pace but not a bad time for this part of the run. This is where I will be strategizing during the real race to have some "umph" left to work this downhill area better. Run smart. Turning the corner onto Broadway was like seeing heaven, knowing that in just a few short blocks the run would be over.

Down Broadway to the FINISH: Time 8:12 - Yes it's downhill, yes I was tired at this point, oh and yes the cobblestones at the intersections on Broadway seem to be a tough surface to run on, I'm glad the entire race isn't run on those. I finished, I finished....wooohooo. It is something knowing that I can complete that distance, not all running but using a run/walk strategy and being as consistent as I can be got me there. Now to look towards running smarter the day of the race. And staying healthy in between now and then. NOTE: My Polar watch says that I ran a total of 13.5 miles, slightly longer than 13.1 miles of a half marathon. I can't explain this. So I think that is why the last time to the finish appears goofy. Chalk it up to being a newbie.

Split Times: 1st Half - 1:17:50
2nd Half - 1:34:56
Again the newbie in me isn't totally sure of these times but I believe them to be close. Definitely not a negative split. I believe the overall message though is to start slower.....start slower....

April Fooled - - Once Again

It seems that the April Fool just wouldn't leave things alone yesterday. My wife and I got to the location of the OKC Memorial Marathon training run yesterday morning in time to catch opening comments by Jack Rector who is again training a number of runners for the marathon on April 29. Jack offers a lot of worthwhile information and tips to runners and also introduced several of the Marathon committee dignitaries that were present for our practice run.

After the opening comments all the runners gathered at what is known as the "Survivor Tree", the closest living thing to the April 19, 1995 Murrah Building bomb blast that was still living after most things in the immediate area had been destroyed. The tree stands a vigil watch over the memorial reminding us of the sacrifice that so many made that day as well as a reminder to those that survived that such an event may leave scars for so many but we shall endure as the tree has endured. Through all this tragedy we are capable of rising above the destruction and devastation.

We started our run shortly after 8 am under near perfect conditions, temp was around 55 F, wind was less than 10 mph. Bonnie met me at the corner of Lincoln and 14th Street to cheer and be supportive. She was going to take photos but her first attempt from there looked like a solar eclipse as she forgot to remove the lens cap. She did capture the back side of me and several other runners as we moved on up Lincoln towards the State Capital Building. Then unbeknownst to me, she had car trouble and I didn't realize it until I got to near the 7 mile mark. She was there and I called to locate her and found out that she couldn't get the key to turn in the ignition. Help was on the way and got her going after she sat there for an hour and developed a blister on her index finger from trying to turn the key.

So all was not lost as she caught up with me just after I started mile 8 of the half marathon course. I have to admit it had gotten a bit lonely and seeing her at Classen and 46th Street was a blessing. I started to feel then that I might finish the entire route. My brother had mentioned to me how lonely it feels when you don't have your own support team along the way and for just over 5 miles I was able to understand what he meant. Bonnie caught me again at 23rd and Classen and had some ice cold gatorade ready for me then, that was a lifesaver. By then I was a tired puppy but I told her that I believed I could finish. I never realized that from 50th Street to roughly 23rd Street going south Classen is a steady uphill climb.

I believe Bonnie took this photo somewhere on Hudson, though I can't honestly say that I remember her taking it. I "knew" by then that I would finish and I had started to smile with that knowledge. I was pumped and on top of the world but very tired at this point. Somewhere in this area I realized that it was all downhill to the finish line, what an awesome feeling. I now know that if I can hold something back for the end of the race I can hopefully finish with a flourish, especially after making the final turn onto Broadway, oh what an adrenalene rush. Yes, I've learned from my younger brother the true form of an Aggie is always not far from the surface (that famous Aggie "Gig 'Em" thumb).

As I crossed the finish line just a bit later I have to admit having thoughts of the Survivor Tree again, thinking of myself as something of a survivor. It will be 2 years on April 9th that I underwent a quadruple bypass surgery and here I am running my first half-marathon distance. Yes I have survived and feel better today than I have in years. With 13 miles behind me I admit that I was very tired but at the same time I truly felt alive and very proud.

But now that crazy April Fool played one final trick on me. I remembered to stop my watch as I crossed the finish line and I was soon punching buttons to see my total run time. I thought I had gotten to the screen I needed and what stared back at me was a bit of a disappointment. I told Bonnie that I had finished in 4 hours 1 minute and 7 seconds, I was dismayed but still proud that I had finished. I felt concerned though that I wasn't closer to a 3 hour finish. Then for some reason I asked her what time she had and she said 11:20. At that point I exclaimed that my new watch must not be working right as that should be roughly 3 hours. Then I looked at the numbers again, 04:01:07 but this time it was 04.01.07, April 1, 2007, APRIL FOOLS, and with another click of the button my real finish time was displayed and was 2 hours, 52 minutes, and 46 seconds. Oh what a happy camper I suddenly became. There was a renewed elation all over again. In fact Bonnie informed me that I became just a bit cocky. If I did, so be it, I think I deserved it. Yes I'm proud that I finished, yes I'm doubly proud of my time, though it is not a world pace, it is a best for me and at this point that is all that matters.

I've got scars from two years ago but I too have survived and have in my own way my fight for better health. As good as I felt I will admit to being very tired when it was all over. The emotion of finishing, even though it wasn't the official race and knowing deep in my heart that I will be able to do it again was such an incredible feeling. Still I was one very tired but happy Aggie. The bandaid was the result of my first fall while running and it happened in Houston last week.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

April Fooled

This has been a hectic weekend of sorts and today put the icing on the cake. Friday night we lost power during one of the more windy rain cells that passed through the OKC area and we didn't get power back until sometime around midnight. We have an atomic alarm clock by the bed and it appeared to reset itself ok. Bonnie set the alarm on her watch to make sure that I got up in time for my 5k run, which we did and all went well there.
However, what we failed to forget was that the atomic clock would reset itself at 2 am Sunday morning for the "old Daylight Saving Time". So as a result I set the alarm to get up at 5 am this morning to prepare for the training run on the marathon route today at 8 am. I actually got up at 4 am instead and got my oatmeal down before I realized whilc watching the weather channel that is was only 4:45. The computer said 4:45, one of our battery driven clocks said 4:45, the clock on our DVD player that sets itself said 4:45. So I tried to sneak back into the bedroom, which doesn't work, and check our cell phones and they both said 4:45.
So now I'm fully convinced that I got an extra hour to be with myself and God to contemplate this run and to assure myself that with God's help I will not allow myself to harm my body, not intentionally.
Run smart - - Run steady

Stats for March - - Goal for April

Well I did not have any particular distance goal for March back at the start of the month. I finished the month running a total of 52.31 miles. This included a number of days of rest due to shin splints that are, for the most part, better now.

Looking ahead to April, oops it's here already. Comparing to March and knowing that I finish the month with the Oklahoma City Memorial half-marathon, I'm projecting at least 80 miles for the month.

April Fool's Day

Well today I am going to participate in a practice run on the actual OKC Marathon/half-Marathon course. Yesterday Bonnie and I drove the half-marathon course to get a perspective of the elevation changes and learn exactly where it will be taking me.

Between mile 8 and 9 there is a long steady climb on Classen that seems to be the biggest of the hills. It may not be the steepest but it is definitely the longest in that most all of that mile is steady uphill.

We start at 8 am and there will be a group of runners from both the Edmond Running Club and the OK Landrunners Club participating this morning. I hope to meet new friends and perhaps learn from the more experienced of the runners, not the fastest but the ones that are near my pace but more experienced in how to maintain that pace.

My goal for today - - to push myself but to listen to my body and know when it may be time to stop. No records today, other than maybe to finish the half-marathon in "some" time frame.