Saturday, September 27, 2008

I couldn't resist another "teaser" from Maui, you can still see the ocean over my left shoulder. This photo was taken somewhere in Lahaina, near Bubba Gump's Restaurant I believe.

This morning I got in 8 miles, the first 4 by myself at a pace of 11:56 and the last 4 with Bonnie at a pace of 14:56. Yes I was definitely tired for the second 4 mile loop. Both loops were over the same streets, ran one direction the first time and then when she joined me we reversed and did the route the opposite direction. Still I figure not bad for giving birth to a 5mm kidney stone earlier in the week.

Also, another worthy the WW weigh-in this morning I was done another 6.2 pounds to 218.4. Again not bad I say from my high the second week in August of 236.8. Patting myself on the back.

Now I'll mention Bonnie's version of our run together this morning. She said it was great to run with me when I had already worn myself out because we actually got to run together. She also made a comment at one point when I was running behind her that it must be nice getting to chase her tail for a change.

There was some woman at the Maui Marathon that she kept cheering for when she would see her and the woman told her at one point that she felt like Bonnie was her own cheering team. Bonnie told her that it was because I was chasing the other woman. The lady then asked Bonnie what she thought of her husband chasing strange women for 26.2 miles. Bonnie said she was used to it that I do it all the time.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Spirits have been GOOD!!!

Ok, so this is an "edit update" the Maui Marathonfoto CD came in the mail today and I just had to add a new image...yes see...there I was running THAT close to the water, it was so awesome and yes I was actually running for that photographer...tho I looked like death warmed over I think..."end of edit".....

Three full days of not trying to enduce child birth from the male body....ladies I will never ever make smart talk of what you go thru in that process. I did run on Wednesday morning and then couldn't stay at work all day because I became nausated and weak, I know poor me...go with it ok...the run felt good even tho I wasn't my full self. Sometimes I wonder if I'm ever my full self when I'm running.

Oh by the way, I've lost at least 12 pounds and I'm hoping more towards 14 pounds when I weigh in at WW tomorrow morning after our run. I'm going to be doing 4 miles without Bonnie and then another 4 miles with her. I've made a decision that if I'm ever to improve my marathon times and get anywhere near my PR (5:29:00) that I need to speed things up in training. So I'm going to concentrate on myself for the first 4 miles and then relax on the next four with Bonnie so she gets her road mileage in too. Weight wise I'm hovering just over 220 now, down from a high of 236 the first Sunday of August and I can "feel" the difference it makes in my running. I've still got a long way to go tho, somewhere under 180 to reach my goal, but I know I can do it. I've forsaken peanut M&M's for over 4 weeks now, that is a huge success for me!!!

It sort of feels good right now to not have a race on the horizon, tho I am toying with the Las Vegas Marathon in December if it is still open, I haven't looked lately. I do plan on hitting things starting in January one way or another, maybe the Phoenix RNR, and I would really like to do the National Marathon to Fight Breast Cancer in Jacksonville, FL because it is a highly sponsored race by Jeff Galloway and they have Galloway pace groups there and the course is relatively flat I believe.

Well I'm rambling today, but hey it's Friday and it's payday, and tomorrow is Saturday and I'm happy to be well again and alive!!!!!! Go out and hug someone you love...I bet they hug you back..and maybe more...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Did I mention Kidney Stones

During the Maui Marathon I felt what I thought of at the time was a muscle spasm at the midway point but kept on going. Admittedly it slowed me down quite a bit. Upon returning to Oklahoma though I learned I had a kidney stone that wanted out. I spent last Friday night in the ER and was basically looped on pain meds over the weekend and thru yesterday morning. The urologist that I saw yesterday feels pretty confident that I've passed what showed up on a CT scan Friday night so he encouraged me to go out and be active. Well, I'm joining our normal Wed morning group for a hour and will see how things go for me. I'm in no pain as I write this but will see what the run brings along for me. I hope everyone has a great hump day!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Maui Marathon "We Done It"

On Sunday September 14 was again on the road. This time we surfaced in Maui, Hawaii to participate in the 38th annual Maui Marathon!!!! We had a blast. Our team was small but strong, from left to right, Rosemary (walking her first marathon), yours truly, and Stacey (co-founder of TeamAutism). Bonnie was our coach, cheerleader, and photographer for the event. Three brave souls rested and ready to pound the pavement.

Below is my terrible attempt to capture the sunrise somewhere around mile 3 or maybe 4, I can't remember. Yes I know I need to put a great deal more effort into this self-photography thing, or maybe I just need to find a better model; where were all the bikini's when you needed them.

Now this is a much better rendition of sunrise that Bonnie captured while waiting on us to show up at the first spot she had selected to provide drink and good cheer. We found out later that she not only was cheering TeamAutism along she was a favorite of many of the runners. More than a few offered her thanks after the race it seemed for being a big part of their support system as well, most of those I might add were men, and I thought she came with us to be "my" cheerleader. She is the greatest though and can also be the loudest at times too and that is great!!!
In Lahaina there was a Bubba Gump restaurant and being nicknamed Forrest at work, I couldn't resist the pose outside the restaurant. As the saying goes "There's an awful lot you can tell about a person by their shoes"...Run Forrest Run...Run Randy Run...

This trip we did find some time to tour the island and ran across several beautiful waterfalls, the colors were lush and everything was beautiful...very close to paradise I've heard.

Need I remind you that Bonnie took some of these photos and I am not responsible for the content, but did you also notice the blue water and surf, and the view was awesome. There were surfers below us that we noticed a bit later. This was part of a road trip that we made called "The Road to Hana", what an excursion into the backcountry, beauty, waterfalls, cascading waves, old lava flows, and 56 single lane bridges on the way to Hana, what a day.

Back to the grind of the marathon, here I am toiling along the way, somewhere past the halfway point. I didn't know it at the time but I had developed a kidney stone around the halfway point. I just thought I had a muscle cramp in my lower left back. It bothered me from mile 12 out to around mile 17, so I did alot of walking and tried to keep my breathing under control. I didn't find out until we got home though about the kidney stone oh was that an experience. I would gladly run a marathon to keep from going thru that again.

Yes the water and the waves are often as close as 10 or 15 feet from the course. It was like running in paradise and some water stops even included hula dancers to remind us how close to paradise we truly were. The trade winds were not blowing the day of the race thus we had to contend with something the locals called "VOG", which is the Hawaiian version of fog, generated when the trade winds do not blow and volcanic clouds settle over the islands.

Here comes Stacey on her way to a 5:09 personal best for her, she rocks as our lead runner. This was her third marathon and second in Hawaii.

These are the three women that I had to chaparone while we were in Maui, oh boy was that ever a tough job. Bonnie, our coach and cheerleader, Rosemary (she walked her first marathon in 7:46 woohoo!!!), and Stacey 5:09. I managed to finish in 6:13, better than I did last year in Honolulu, but I was sure wanting to finish under 6 hours.
And I will leave you with a look at our final sunset before we left Tuesday evening, oh yes paradise can't be far away, what beauty lies in waiting if you haven't visited these islands.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Random Grandma' Marathon Photos

These photos are not in any real particular order, but hope they capture the momentThe pic above was actually late in the race, less than a mile to go at this point, but I don't really look all that tired, even though I felt it. This is a photo from Marathonfoto, for once they did some decent pics.

This photo was near the 5 mile mark, and for the life of me I have no idea why my arms are in the position that you see. I was already tired here, the sun was warming things up already. Bonnie took this pic.

The photo above shows Lake Suprior in the background, the entire course is run along the lake and it is seldom ever totally out of sight. At this point either mile 13 or 19 I may have been walking, probably was walking, was happy to just be walking. Bonnie took this one too.

Now I can "smell the barn", in the finish "chute". This is a Marathonfoto.

The lady above and I walked together for the better part of an hour before I finally decided that I "might" be able to get to the finish before 6 hours...but it was not to be. This was her 13th Grandma's I think. Again taken by Marathonfoto.

Yes it did rain, at least for us late finishers. It rained, the wind blew, but not directly in our faces, and thanks to Mother Nature the sun disappeared for a few minutes. Courtesy of Marathonfotos.

I finished, ahead of four men that I managed to pass in the last mile and I was able to determine that all four were in my age group...woohoo. 6 hours 19 minutes, chip time. Courtesy of Marathonfotos.

Here is Bonnie's photo showing me at the finish with a gun time of 6 hours 27 minutes.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Monday/Wednesday Recap

Monday was a slow day 4.2o miles, 1:01:52, pace 14:44...Wednesday was a bit faster but still slow 5.00 miles, 1:09:10, pace 13:49.

This has been such a lackluster year for me. Ever since the start when my left knee was hurting it's just been so entirely different than last year. I'm not running as many miles, I don't blog as much, I'm not doing as many 5k/10k runs on the weekends, I've gained some weight back, tapping out at a high of 238, but now hovering around 230 again, I don't even have a good idea of how many miles I've run this year.

I have run 4 marathons since the first of the year, working on number 5 in Maui in September and my knee pains have all but gone away.

Today I forgot to take either of my knee wraps for our run and I feel tired but no extreme knee pain.

Perhaps later today I will put up some Grandma's Marathon photos....will make the attempt anyway...hope everyone has a fantastic hump day.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Where Have I Been???????

It's been well over a month...ok ok ok...two months since the last post. I was reminded at a club meeting last night that the commitment we make to running is so much more than just running and that our running extends into so much of our life. I've neglected my blog and my blogdom friends long enough and for that I apologize. I'm even learning that there are folks reading this that I wasn't remotely aware of and that is certainly encouraging to me.

Since I last posted, Bonnie and I took a much needed vacation. Well we drove like bats from you know where to get to Minnesota in two days, then a day of relaxation, and on June 21st at 7:30 AM I find myself in the mass of folks starting the 32nd annual Grandma's Marathon. The run ends in downtown Duluth, but it starts 26.2 miles away in Two Harbors, a sleepy little town on the edge of Lake Superior.

The race was great, the course is awesome, the spectators were beyond awesome. But....I keep asking myself why does that "but" keep getting in the was "hot" not just hot but HOT!!!! very little wind, NO clouds, and being that close to the edge of Lake Superior added to the discomfort I think. I ended up with a tan/burn to the left side of my body, looked a bit weird for a while.

The heat seemed to slow everyone down. I found a walking buddy and walked at least an hour of the race due to the heat. But then I decided I might still have a shot at finishing in under 6 hours so I gave it my all, and that "all" lasted all of about 2 miles and there were still 6 miles or so to the finish line.

Well long story if there was such a thing with my blogging, I finished in 6:19 something. Not a great time, but I was running at the finish line, not hobbling and I went across under my own power in a vertical position!!!

Bonnie was able to meet me at 7 places along the course and that was fantastic. I believe she met me at miles 5, 9, 13, 16, 19, 24 and the finishline. Having someone at a race of this distance that is there to cheer you on and offer oranges, and ice cold water, words of encouragement, and yes in this instance a kiss or two is a great inspiration and boost to the morale and mind.

I was on the course long enough to get rained on the last couple of miles. As we came into downtown Duluth on Superior Ave it started to sprinkle then rain and the wind picked up too and it felt like heaven, well at least like Mother Nature was watering her garden. But unfortunately from a timing standpoint, it was too little too late...had we gotten the rain say at mile 10 things could have been different, well maybe.

One positive note with the finish. I passed four men in the last mile or so that all looked to be in my age group and when I saw the list of finishers I believe all four to be in my age group. It felt good to know that I had enough kick left to pass them and not give up. My hat is off to the lady tho that passed me about this same time. As she ran briefly with me she told she had been chasing me for miles. I decided that I would stay close to her and she became the inspiration that I needed for that last bit of the course. Sorry to the four guys that I did pass.

Another marathon is in the books, marathon #7, state #6. The Maui Marathon is coming up in September, another event.

Oh yes about the rest of the vacation...well if you've read this far, I'm sure you are either tired or sleepy so I'll include that in the next post. Happy Running to's great to be back here....

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Bonnie Got Gold and I Bombed

Today was the Sooner Games (5k, 10k, and half marathon) here in Oklahoma City. Bright sunny day great for running but it did end up getting a tad bit warm, but I'm not complaining I'll take that over frigid weather any day.

Anyway, Bonnie ran the 5k, 39:33, not a PR, but good enough to come in first in her age group!!! Yes she got a GOLD medal for her efforts. Another great effort on her part and once again I wasn't around to see the results, but let me be the first to tell all in blogland I did HEAR about it after I finished!!!! I'm very proud of her and how she keeps improving.

Me on the other hand, I ran the half marathon, was just trying to get in under 3 hours. Well I wish almost counted in running like it does in horseshoes. The gun/chip time officially said I did 3:00:06 and it wasn't because of a bathroom break that I missed the sub 3. My watch on the other hand said 2:59:56. Well there will be other races and other days.

We had fun that is what counts!!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Finally it Seems to have Warmed Up!!!

Maybe just maybe we are seeing a warming trend...but I have to head to Baltimore tomorrow then on to York, PA. Should be an interesting trip, I've never been to that part of PA before. I'll be home on Thursday in time to participate in Nancy's Virtual 10k...that should be alot of fun!!

Today's run, rather erratic:

Total Miles: 4.53
Total Time: 1:03:28

Mile 1: 14:23
Mile 2: 17:33 (extended bathroom break for 2 runners)
Mile 3: 12:46
Mile 4: 11:57 (where did this come from)
.53 mi: 6:47

Saturday, May 03, 2008

"Marathon Freak" and "Runner Girl"

As is the "Marathon Freak" and "Runner Girl" magnet pics, if you see us on the road honk!!
What a crazy morning for a run. Clyde picked me up at 5:15 and we then picked up Rachel at 5:30 and I discovered that I had left my Garmin at home. Why would I do such a thing? Anyway we did a 2.2 mile loop, then Bonnie joined us. We had intentions of then doing another 4.2 miles or so, but my right knee (outside back edge began to hurt some again) so Bonnie and I repeated our first 2.2 mile loop and called it quits. Clyde and Rachel finished out with something over 6 miles. We then met for breakfast. What a great way to start the day.
Rachel has decided to try and "qualify" for Boston for next year. Her son is already qualified and she believes it would be awesome to be able to run with him in that most prestigious of marathons. Rachel received a complimentary entry into this years Boston and ran a respectable 5:42:00. She will need a time of 4:59:00 or less to qualify, so we are now strategizing how we can get her race time to improve towards that goal. That will be a great thing for me as well, as doing a marathon under 5 hours is also a goal of mine...then maybe I can set my sights on a Boston qualification at some point after that.

Friday, May 02, 2008

OKC Marathon Photos

Ok, as promised here are some photos from last Sunday's marathon. Some of you know that I ran for last December in the Honolulu Marathon. Well Bonnie, Scott my future son-in-law, and I ran for again on Sunday. Overall I believe we had 21 runners between me in the full, 4 I believe in the half, and 3, yes 3 relay teams in the full. Bonnie and Scott were on Relay Team 1. Bonnie ran the middle position (12K) and Scott was their anchor person, bringing home the final medal for his 10K effort.

Here I am at the 12 mile mark, note the wet streets, it had finally stopped raining, but it was still very windy and cold, hence the jacket and long pants....I had at least put the mittens away for a bit.....
Then here comes Bonnie at the same 12 mile point, but this was like mile 3.5 of her 12K relay run, she's saying "piece of cake". I did some calculating with my Garmin and determined that she actually was faster for her 12k here than I was when I ran the same 12k stretch...she was faster by almost 2 minutes...then I had to go and spoil it by telling her...honey I had already run 9 miles ahead of that. But none the less I think she looked fantastic and she did awesome in her first ever relay event!!!
Then as promised, I had my daughter hustle back to the finish line...I so wanted a finish line photo of me with the clock in the photo....yep, there I am on the right...see Marcy I can keep up with you speedsters...4:32:26...isn't that an awesome marathon time for a 53 year old...oh dang...I forgot we started early so you have to add 2 hours to that time....sheeshh....
Talk about hustle though...that is Scott our future son-in-law in the blazing red shorts and that is his relay team strung out behind him at the finish line. At the OKC Marathon they allow the other team members to run with the final runner as they cross the finish line...but someone forgot to tell Scott to slow down so they could stay with they were all actually screaming at him to keep buring the pavement to the finish, but it was a great race for them all and for
Here is a photo that I'm especially proud of, at long last I'm not running these things alone and I love that, I'm on the right, the roly-poly one, Bonnie is next to me, then Scott with their relay medals, and then my daughter Lindsey, she is the best fan, supporter and photographer, what a team!!!!
And the other great were missing our third relay team in this that point we weren't sure where they were on the course or if they had finished. If anyone is interested will be running again in Maui and we could use some teammates on the marathon team, but no relays in that race.....

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Grandma's Marathon

The Grandma's Marathon in Duluth, MN is Saturday June 21 this year. The registration for it is already closed but I was wondering if there is anyone else in blogland that is signed up to run it besides me? We have family in the area (grandkids) and Bonnie wants to use my running as an excuse to visit them, as if we needed an excuse. Sure Randy can just whip out and do 26.2 miles as we visit on the sidelines.

Anyway, if there are others that will be there I would like to try and maybe catch up before or after the race.

Hey Marcy, I sent an email to an Etonic shoe rep this morning about feedback from the marathon on Sunday. I am running in Etonic Japara's now and I met him at the expo before the race. Maybe I'll get a pair of socks out of him!

Is anyone else having trouble getting their posts to show up on their blog? Mine seem to be delayed for some frustrating reason...grrrrrrr!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Negative Split Recovery Run

Well I wasn't able to have a negative split on Sunday's marathon run, but this morning during our recovery run, one that was very slow, or at least I thought it was we ended up with nice splits:

Total Distance: 4.27 miles
Total Time: 1:00:00
Mile 1: 14:12
Mile 2: 14:15
Mile 3: 13:58
Mile 4: 13:32
.27 miles: 4:08 (this was part of our cool down)

I feel mostly good, I've got one toe (second toe right foot) that is beat up pretty good, and the back outerside of my right knee has a small amount of pain. I am glad to report tho that my left knee (kneecap) seems to be over the pain that I had been experiencing with it since last December, so maybe the layoff time was good in that respect.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Edmond Running Club

We had our monthly meeting last night, the day after the Oklahoma City Marathon. It was a great meeting, everyone in attendance got to tell how they participated in the marathon, most everyone either ran or volunteered in some way. We also had officer elections last night for the new year and I was elected club Secretary. I hope I can continue forth with the same degree of effort that our previous Secretary had, he had been in the position for several years. I'm looking forward to the role and hopefully will be a part of taking the club to new levels during the year.

We had one club member qualify for Boston and I believe this is his 5th time to qualify. We had at least a couple of people place in their age group, one of which happened to be Rachel, who had just run Boston the previous Monday!!!

Update on my legs....everything seems to be recovering really well. The knee soreness is all but gone unless I sit too long. We start our runs again tomorrow morning and I'm really anxious to get back into a consistent level of training.

At the expo on Saturday Bonnie bought me a new magnet for our vehicle to go with the 26.2 that is already there...the new one says "Marathon Freak", I guess that fits. She also bought one for herself that says "Runner Girl". I'm really proud of her effort and that she was willing to participate in the marathon relay. She did the long leg of the relay, 12k. Our future son-in-law Scott did the last leg of her relay team, a 10k leg, and he really brought the group home. He did his 10k in 58 minutes I believe. I also think we may have a budding marathoner in him as he expressed an interest in going to Disney World in January with us to run that marathon for TeamAutism.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Oklahoma City Marathon....Done!!!!

Last year I ran the OKC Half Marathon, this year I graduated to the big league here and ran the OKC Marathon. Despite the dead of night (we did an early start at 4:30 a.m.), rain (between miles 2 and 11), and wind (oh that dreaded north wind all race long) I did finish. Not the fastest of my times, but not the slowest either (6:32:06). I was beat when I crossed the line and so glad to be done.

During the rain which pretty much happened almost all before daylight, the streets were really slick, almost to the point where you felt like you were skating.

I am so out of shape. I did do more training for this race then I did for Little Rock or Houston earlier this year, but it shows in my time and how I felt for much of the run. I'm getting back into the training mode with my local running partners though and look forward to the next bunch of weeks, training hard for Grandma's in June.

My hat goes off to one of my running partners, Rachel, who finished Boston last Monday in 5:42:00 and then ran ahead of me and finished yesterday in 5:50:00 like she was not even winded. I felt honored to run with her for the first 2 or 3 miles before I had to slow down. The kicker here is that she's 68!!! I have all the respect for her abilities and talent.

I'm sore today, my right knee is most sore but it is much better this morning than it was all day yesterday after I finished. I'm hoping that by the weekend I will be ready to get back into training full tilt again.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Maniac Is Back!!!!

Good morning everyone, sorry that I have been AWOL for so long and have not kept in touch. There are many reasons, most notably is that I've determined I'm a wimp when it comes to cold weather running it seems. Add that to a work schedule that has kept me out of town more than in town of late and I'm just able to not find the time or energy to drag myself out of bed when I should be to get the morning run going. Excuses Excuses Excuses...a dime a dozen and with enough of them and a pocket full of money we can all stop in at Starbucks for a needed caffiene kick can't we. Well I"M BACK.

Not only did I take off most of February, but I managed to not do much for March either. I did show up for the Little Rock Marathon on March 2, and yes I did finish the full marathon under my own power, but not overly happy with the results (6:33:36). I wasn't the last off the course but dang near it. I got one of their big honking medals, and I do mean BIG. They advertise that they give the biggest medal in the marathon world, what they don't tell you is that it weighs the most too. I told the lady when she put it around my neck that I wasn't sure I could carry it, but she assured me that I had just completed the truly difficult part. Their course....I can say it all in one word...HILLY. The first 16 miles are hills of some sort, up or down, but always one or the other, and as a runner it seems we climbed alot more than we bounded downhill. As an engineer I know that for every reaction there is an equal and opposite reaction, so that for every time we ran up a hill we would need to run down a hill at some point. However, miles 14, 15 and a part of 16 I think were all up Mount Everest, or what seemed it's equivalent in Arkansas. But I do have to admit that the back side of 16 was almost like a slide, where were those shoes with the wheels underneath them at that point!!! I can add more detail if anyone might be interested in running this race in the future, I don't think I'll be adding it to my conquests to repeat, at least for a while. But it is certainly a fun race and scenic.

So as a quickie recap I've done 5 marathons in 7 months, and preparing to do #6 in 8 months. I missed in October and February. The upcoming marathon is the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. If you've not run this it is a great event originating as a memorial run on behalf of those that lost their lives in the 1995 OKC Bombing, but has evolved in a memorial race for many others.

In fact this year the Edmond Running Club, where I am a board member, will be sponsoring special bibs for ERC members to wear on behalf of Rachel Davis. Rachel's mom Karen is a member of the ERC. Recently Rachel was tragically taken from us as the result of a car accident where she and a fellow Oral Roberts University classmate died while enroute from Tulsa back to Rachel's home in Edmond, OK. Those of us from the ERC will be running in rememberance of Rachel and all the good that she stood for as a young adult whose life was cut short, but has gone to live in eternity with our God and Savior.

So yes I'm back. I've not felt much like blogging this year because I'm just not running felt that it was not justified to blog about something that wasn't happening. But I'm back....with a vengence....well I'm not sure about that, we shall see...will be looking forward to catching up with everyone though....hope you all are well and still around.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Well here's the long and short of things. I've decided for several reasons that I'll be taking a rest in February. It will give me time to put some shorter mileage runs on my knee and hopefully allow it to recuperate some. I can always work on upgrading the Marathon Mania status later. At this point I think I would just rather not push things too far.

I am still scheduled to do the Little Rock Marathon on March 3, and the Oklahoma City Marathon on April 27. After that I'm toying with the idea of MAYBE doing Grandma's in June. It's really just an excuse for Bonnie to get us to Minnesota to see the grandbabies. See how that works, I go run the marathon while she's playing Grandma. Me, I do whatever to make her happy, including going out and beating my body into the pavement for 26.2 miles. Well, as you know that isn't entirely true, I do the races because I want to, because I'm a maniac. This should also give me some time to focus on losing some weight, and I'm hoping that will help the knee as well.

So now I'm looking for some decent weather, it has been so windy here, over 30 mph and gusts even higher for days now it seems. Today I fly to Grand Junction, Colo and I'm taking my running things but I'm not hopeful of getting much done there, well maybe some time on a treadmill I guess.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


I've run marathons in each of the last three months and I have marathons scheduled for March (Little Rock) and April (OKC Memorial Marathon). Now it's time to decide if I continue the streak by stepping into something in February, perferrably early February or not. One week after the Houston Marathon my knee feels fine, so I'm seriously leaning towards maybe the ARR Desert Classic in Arizona. I have a free flight available to me on Southwest so I could go out for free and just have one night's stay on Saturday and return Sunday night, provided I can get the ticket thru Southwest....that's a very strong possibility. There are some others that are back east that weekend or the next weekend that might work as well.

I hate these kinds of decisions. I'm sure some would or will say to rest too. I could go with that option as well and then the 6 in 6 months is out the window. I feel that I can do one in February though so am I just rambling aimlessly here for no reason?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Marathon Mania - The Houston Saga 01/13/08

Bonnie and I drove down to Houston, starting on Friday evening, stopping in Dallas long enough to have a quick cup of coffee with my daughter and to admire her new engagement ring. She’s so proud and so is Dad.

We got to Houston Saturday morning before lunch and met up with my Dad and my middle brother Ben (who ran the Houston Marathon last year and got me started down this zany road). We piled into my Dad’s car with my brother driving and headed for the marathon expo. There we met up with one of Bonnie’s many adopted families. We met them in October at the Madill, OK half marathon. Bonnie ran the 10k run that day with the Mom of the group Rae Ann. I didn’t realize it but I was leap frogging with her daughter-in-law, Cindy. Anyway, Bonnie being her quiet, shy self, introduced herself to their cheering party as she and Rae Ann finished the 10k and waited on our group of half marathoners to come in. We also had a Cindy in our group that day that ran in about 3 minutes ahead of their Cindy.

One of Rae Ann’s son’s, Craig, ran the full marathon in 4:29 and some change. The rest of their group ran the half marathon in good times between 2:10 and 2:35 or so.

Now on to Sunday morning. On the way to the George R. Brown complex, my brother picked up a friend of his, Eddie that was running his first marathon. He was expectedly nervous. I tried to convince him that the important thing today wasn’t time but to finish. Once at the complex we met another of their local running friends, Earl. Earl was starting his 32nd marathon. We talked for a while in the complex avoiding going back out in the chilly weather and wind that was whipping around the downtown buildings, but finally we decided it was time. On the way to the intersection where our wave would standby while the first wave left, we stopped for a potty break and were amazed at how short the lines were there. We were walking to our intersection when we heard the gun signaling the start of Wave 1. We had ten minutes. As we got up in the waiting crowd I decided I would leave our small group and head up closer to the 5-hour pace group. When the fired the gun I was just two minutes crossing the start line.

In the first mile we saw Elvis, yes a bit too early to be hallucinating I agree, but there he stood on the bridge median over Hwy 59, bigger than life. On that bridge I had to make a quick stop to retie my left shoe, got that done and was on the road again, where is Willie? First several miles were under 12 minutes. I believe mile 6 was my first mile to take longer than 11 minutes. I think I made the first “on course” bathroom break in that mile. I ditched my gloves during mile 2 and my long sleeve throw-away during mile 4. The weather was turning out to be great.

I saw my brother, got double high 5’s from him, then Bonnie and my Dad. Bonnie was trying to take a photo and at the same time ask me what I needed. I surprised her, brushed the camera out of the way, and gave her a big wet kiss….yes there was tongue involved too. That was all I needed at the time, so much better than any other energy boost.

Miles 8 through 11 were uneventful, except that we lost the half marathoners somewhere in mile 9 I believe. There were still a lot of runners though. Just past mile 11 I say my cheerleaders again, my Dad walked along with me as I approached Ben and Bonnie, asking me how I was doing and how my knee was. I told him at that point that I felt good. I was a bit disappointed that I couldn’t see the 5:15 pace group any longer. Bonnie gave me a bottle of water and lip balm.

During mile 12 or 13 I took another potty break and as I came out the 5:30 pace group came by, another disappointing site. At this point, I was figuring out that when I stopped and then started to walk or run again my knee would hurt the most. Stopping was causing it to tighten up I presume. At every bathroom break, I took it hurt as I got back on the street. That caused a huge debate with myself just before the 25 mile mark that I’ll explain later.

Mile 14 I again saw my cheering group as expected. They had bought me a bagel and I took half of it at that point. I think I got another bottle of water from Bonnie at this point.

I had been taking Gatorade at each water stop and between water stops I was also taking in some GU. After mile 15 the GU started to not sit well on my stomach so I stopped using it. The Gatorade did not taste like it was being cut and I felt it was giving me the electrolyte balance that I needed.

At mile 16 I got a big surprise, this was in the Galleria area. I heard my name being called loudly from the right side of the street and I was on the left side at the time. I looked over to see my Dad, Ben, and Bonnie there. They were supposed to be at mile 19 next. I didn’t need anything at that point but it was great to see them again.

Onward I went from that point. First west on San Felipe for a short stretch then north again heading thru a neighborhood I think is called Tanglewood, heading to Woodway. I expected to see my group again just after I made the turn onto Woodway near the intersection with Sage but they weren’t there. I continued onward and between miles 19 and 20 I neared the Loop 610 overpass where last year I met my brother and ran in to the finish line with him. I thought maybe they would be there again, but again saw no one around that I knew.

Near mile 21, I looked up to see my brother standing in the grassy median of Memorial Parkway that we were now running on. At this point, it was beginning to feel like the home stretch. We were headed back to downtown Houston. After I saw him I encountered my Dad by himself and he walked with me towards Bonnie. She got a photo of us walking together. I haven’t had a chance to review the photos much yet and will post some later. I think this one will be one that I’m proud of though. I’m glad he could make the race. This was his first opportunity to see me run since my high school basketball days, many years ago.

They left me with cheers of my name and saying they would see me soon at the finish line, it felt incredible. I haven’t mentioned it but after I got to mile 8 or 9 I reverted back to my old run one minute/walk one minute routine that I did most of last year building my mileage base. This seemed to cause my knee to hurt less than trying a 5 and 1 interval.

As I was running between miles 22 and 23 I heard my name being called by someone to my left. I sometimes get so focused on the race that I hear my name but will ignore people. This time though something made me look and it was Robert another friend of my brothers that had run with us over the last several miles last year. I stopped long enough to shake hands and say hello letting him know I was good to go. He called Ben after I left him to let them know he had seen me at that point and that I was still looking good.

Just a couple of minor hills/rises and then into downtown, I was going to make it on my own power. As I approached the 25 mile marker I saw another row of port-o-potties and debated with myself to make a stop or not. I knew I could go and should go but I felt like I was starting to push the 6 hour window and really wanted my gun time to be under 6 hours. I decided I should stop though (I know my system, I have TB...tiny bladder). Again, as with the other times, my knee hurt as I got started walking again, but one cycle of walk/run and I was ok once again.

Into downtown we ran, turning left I believe on Louisiana and running there for 2 blocks, then right onto Rusk and you could see the finish line in the distance. I knew it was several run/walk cycles away and decided not to push things. I was confident that I would be under 6 hours for my gun time. I had the remnants of a bottle of water that I had picked up from Bonnie at mile 21 that I had been refilling at later water stops. I had hoped to find a trash can to drop it because I didn’t want it in my hands at the finish line. I was able to locate a trash can though and ended up dropping it on the street. I felt bad about that because there wasn’t a lot of other race related litter there. I was able to spot first my brother, then my Dad, then Bonnie, all yelling my name. It felt so great to see and hear them there for me. I could see the clock and it was reading 5:57 as I crossed. I later learned they adjusted our gun times in the second wave so that my gun time was actually 5:47:55, just two minutes more than my chip time.

I got my finishers medal and t-shirt and met my group and then we waited on Eddie and Earl to come in. I believe they both finished around 6:10:00.

I was treated to a great steak at a Saltgrass Steakhouse about an hour later and felt really good but very tired.

This now makes 4 in 5 months and 3 in the last 3 months. What will February bring? I am currently signed up for the Little Rock Marathon on March 2, and will soon sign up for the Oklahoma Memorial Marathon on April 27. If I decided to try one in February, it will give me 6 in 6 months and I believe I move up a level as a Maniac.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Houston Marathon "Quickie" Scoop

Here's the quick version of the race. Yes I did start, yes I did finish...wooohooo!!!! My chip time was 5:45:55, gun time they say was 5:47:55. I don't understand the two because while I was on the course early on I saw that I was exactly 12 minutes off the gun time. But they did have two starts and I was a part of the second wave that started 10 minutes after the first. Sooooo, maybe it only took me 2 minutes to cross the start line when "our" gun was fired. I know the clock at the finish line was reading 5:57:XX when I crossed, so I think I just realized the clock time at the finish had to be for the overall time from the "first" gun. They have adjusted my gun time to reflect my second wave start I guess. Who cares, right? I finished, under my own power, in a vertical position, etc, etc....and I'm mostly ok today.

My knee did hurt some but not like in Honolulu. I wore a brace around it to help keep the knee cap in place and that turned out to be a big help. It's kind of funny but the most it would hurt was when I had to stop to take a potty break. Standing still on it seemed to make it hurt as I would start to move again, weird...maybe TMI...but that is the truth. And of course I set a course record for needing to pee during a least for me...I can remember stopping 4 times, maybe 5, but normally it's one time and I'm good to go.

The weather was great, started out around 42, with a light breeze, then it warmed up to the low to mid 60's by the end of the race and it was bright and sunny no clouds anywhere. I heard that 7,000 started the marathon but I believe 5,594 finished, I finished 5,336 and was 3,368 out of 3,502 males. Not sure where I was in my age group, but definitely still back of the pack material here. I did not get my Maniacs yellow/gold shirt in the mail in time to wear it for this race, it was delivered apparently on Saturday.

Anyway, I hope the other runners from this weekend had great races, I know several were out doing the P.F. Chang in Phoenix....I'll have to wait till tomorrow night to catch up as I have to get re-packed to leave for Wyoming in the morning.....bbbbbrrrrrrrr.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Introducing "MARATHON MANIAC #788"

It's official tonight I've made it into the InSane AsyLum for Marathon Maniacs!!!!!! Newest member #788. Wow this is so incredible, I'm excited and amazed that I was able to pull this off and on top of it all, I didn't even realize that I had done it...doubly incredible. 2007 was truly a wonderful and wild year for me. Three marathons, two half marathons, a 15k, and numerous other "smaller" races....all I can think of writing is wow...Wow...WOW!!!!!

Oh my God, I can't believe I can't think of anything to say....that's not entirely true because I can think of something very special that I need to write about and share with this group. You guys and gals have been the best support group, cheerleaders, mentors, and fans that a person could ask for. Without your backing almost daily from so many of you I don't think I would have continued to where I am today and to each and everyone of you I am indebted and owe a tremendous THANK YOU!!!!!

I'm also thankful to the members of the Edmond Running Club that I've had the privelege of running with over the past year. Special thanks to Clyde, Rachel, Lissa, and Cindy my frequent training and race partners. It's been a very short year but there have been so many "stories" that evolved in that time frame. I so appreciate your training knowledge, your patience, your concerns with my health at various times, but most of all your total support and backing that I could set out to accomplish such a crazy and insane goal. I also want to thank my coach/trainer/mentor James who has done his darnedest to get me into a pair of motion control shoes but I've resisted...but I know you are right that I need to go that direction and will promise to work in that direction for 2008.

My biggest thanks I save until last and that goes to Bonnie "the woman in red", that beautiful lady that I formally met in 2000 in the Fargo, ND airport where she stood waiting for me dressed in that I would recognize her...see we met on the internet..but that is a whole other post or two or three. She was there with me when I had my open heart surgery (quadruple bypass) in April 2005, and she's been there either physically or in spirit with me for every race. She's even begun to run her own races and I am more than just thankful for all her wonderful, I'm so very proud of her own efforts. You see when we met and when we were married she wasn't a morning person and she definitely wasn't a runner. Well today she is both. In fact I may have a designation as a Marathon Maniac but she's my "trophy bride". She will be so very quick to tell you that for all my efforts in 2007 I've brought home t-shirts and medals, but I have yet to bring home a trophy. She did that in her first effort at a 10k run, finishing first in her age group. She means so much to me and is so special...I'm so proud to call her my bride.

Yes I can go from nothing to say to needing to have someone shut me up. I feel like I'm on top of the world tonight. What a wonderful way to culminate 2007 as my first year as a runner. Thanks again to one and all for the support.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

GOOF Award of the Year - "Me"

After the post I did earlier today the anal-engineer kicked in and I decided to reconfirm the number of days between the Tulsa Route 66 marathon on 11/18/07, the Honolulu marathon on 12/09/07, and the Houston marathon on 1/13/08, and I get a total of 56 days, not even close to 90 days, whew right......well there's more to the zaniness....

Then a very feeble light bulb started to shine and I decided to count the days between the Lewis and Clark marathon on 9/16/07, the Tulsa Route 66 marathon on 11/18/07, and the Honolulu marathon on 12/9/07, and I get a grand total of "84" days!!!!!!


I qualified as a Marathon Maniac with the Lewis and Clark, Tulsa Route 66, and Honolulu Marathons inside the 90 day window to become an entry level "Bronze" Marathon Maniac.

Would someone check my numbers, please...I can't believe this.

I'm still going to Houston though. This is where my true street running started in 2007 when I ran/walked the last 6.5 miles of the Houston Marathon last January with my brother. I'm still really proud of his effort and will always know and remember he did the first one first and it's because of him that I'm running like I am today.

Houston - A Week From Today

I finally got in some very slow mileage today. Bonnie and I did 2 miles at a 13:40 pace. It just felt good to be back out running again. I had a dull kind of ache in my knee but now, we've been back maybe 20 minutes and it's about gone away. I'm supposed to run in the morning with my old Monday/Wednesday gang. I haven't run with them since before the Tulsa Route 66 marathon back on 11/18/07. I will definitely be the slow horse tomorrow morning.

Looking ahead to the marathon, we are staying Saturday night at the Doubletree Hotel that is just off the start/finish area of the marathon, so I should be able to get dressed, do the bathroom thing and go start the run....oh yes and get in a warm up jog for a bit. The weather says that the start time temps should be in the mid-40's and will warm up into the mid 60's by early afternoon. This marathon puts a 6 hour cap on finishers getting a medal. So, I want to finish the race, first and foremost; and secondly I want to finish under 6 hours...and a far distant maybe a sliver of a chance at finishing between 5:00 and 5:30. It's a very flat course and the temps are right so maybe I'll do really good.

This is the third race to gain the Marathon Maniac status. Three races in 90 days, oh God I hope I've counted things right from 11/18 to 01/13. I think I should have about 5 days to spare.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

My Apologies for Being so Absent

I apologize for not being around, but not running can take one out of the mood to blog it seems.

I went back to my sports doctor and fellow runner yesterday. I FINALLY had my MRI done on Wednesday. The end results.....I'm getting old. It seems that the area behind my kneecap (patella), has eroded some but it does not warrant surgery at this point to correct anything. In fact he said there was much better odds that surgery now would just make things worse and I might not be able to run. So...NO surgery. He has cleared me to run in Houston a week from tomorrow...woohoo...I'm so glad he confirmed that. He feels I've got enough mileage base that this off period between Honolulu and Houston won't hurt me and it's given the irritation in the knee plenty of time to recuperate. It's hardly sore any more. He did tell me that with the longer runs it will hurt and that I need to follow the run with ice directly to the knee as soon as possible afterwards as I can...and Advil.

So Bonnie and I leave for Houston, either early Saturday morning or late Friday afternoon, not sure which yet.