Saturday, June 25, 2011

Cancelled my A**!

So today was the day!  My first 10k.  I was very excited; didn’t sleep too much last night but still woke up ready to go.  Went by the gas station to pick up a water, some Gatorade, and a morning snack to get me started.

This was the Jazz in the Woods 10K/5K in Overland Park, Kansas; not too far from me on the Missouri side.  Packet pickup was organized, parking was great, and everything seemed to be set up well.  Then the skies opened up.  A thunderstorm at that.  Yikes.  We were ordered to our cars to wait it out.

After an hour several of us reassembled at the starting line.  It continued to rain lightly.  Then it happened: cancelled!  Oh no!  This wouldn’t do!  My very first 10k, history! 

I promptly removed my timing chip and gave it to the organizers, and then said “forget this, I’m running!”  I started the Garmin, and along with about 15 other runners headed down the route.  I ran about half of it before they had removed the markers, and it was difficult to see where I was supposed to go next.  So I had to wing it a little.  I ran through parking lots, up and down some streets; whatever it took to make 6.2 miles.  The rain eventually stopped, and conditions, while humid, weren’t that bad.

While running, I recalled that this was supposed to be my long run day in my training, replaced by this 10k.  I was supposed to hit 7.5 miles today. So I decided to do my best 10k, and then push ahead for another 1.3 miles to hit my target.  I made 10k at 1 hour, 3 minutes, and 45 seconds.  To me, this was fantastic!  My previous best was around 1 hour and 10 minutes.  I kept pushing on through.  The crowds were gone.  There were no aid stations.  The parking lots were deserted (except for some event organizers still cleaning up and the other crazy runners who stayed to run).  And I made 7.5 miles.  I did it.  I felt fantastic!

No pressure, a clear, non-crowded course.  There were a couple of places where mud had washed up due to the rain, where I had to tread carefully, and my spotless Kinvaras suffered, but other than that, I really couldn’t have asked for better conditions.  I understand why they had to cancel, and I don’t fault the organizers.  I appreciate those who organize these things. 

All in all, this was one of the best days of my running life.  I’m very proud of myself today.  Some days are going to be tough; others are going to be like this.  Some days I’m going to be challenges, and I have to find a way around or over that barrier. 

I called my story into the Extra Mile Podcast.  We’ll see if it makes it on.  I just HAD to tell someone about it. 

Hooray for today, and my cancelled 10k!

Enjoy your progress! 


Friday, June 24, 2011

Packet Pickup for Jazz in the Woods 10k

I got my packet for tomorrow's race; my first 10k ever

Number 60?  Kind of a low number.  My guess is that the slower you are, the lower your number is :-)  I'm excited and now just holding out hope that the weather is all good for tomorrow.  

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Beware of Wrong Turns

Today was my quick run, and also the last run before my first (EVER) 10k!  I’m getting pretty excited about the race, although they are saying it might rain.  I’ve had the good fortune of avoiding rain throughout my training runs for the most part.  I’m prepared to run through whatever is thrown at  me; it is just a slight concern that the conditions are going to be a little different.

So what is this 10k?  It is called “Jazz in the Woods.”  It is in a local business park and along some nearby park trails.  I say local, but it is actually about 40 minutes from where I live, so there will be a bit of a drive to get there.  It is within a festival of the same name that celebrates, well, jazz music.  There is supposed to be musicians along the path playing jazz, although I’m not sure if that’ll come to fruition with the rain (if that happens).  Perhaps the jazz will turn into the blues if that is the case.  It sounds fun to me all in all, and it is part of my progressive build up to longer races and my goal of the St. Louis Rock and Roll Half Marathon in October. 

What is my plan?  I know that I’ll need some walk breaks to make it through.  My current max continual run is probably a little over four.  I’m planning on trying to take a one minute break every mile, which I think might coincide with the aid stations (I believe they have aid stations every mile; I’ll hopefully find out more at packet-pickup tomorrow).  I’m not sure if that’ll be enough, but hopefully the course is also relatively flat to help me out (it is in Kansas, so there is hope!  I’m saying a lot in parentheses, I noticed).  We’ll see how it works.  I’d like to turn in a time of less than 1 hour and 10 minutes, although I’m not really focused on time.  I should simply be trying to finish the race, which I’m confident I can do. 

So how did the 3 miles go this morning?  Well enough, except that I took a new route and then a wrong turn!  As a result, after 3 miles I was still about a mile and half from home.  So I timed 5k, then walked and ran a little bit the rest of the way.  When you miss your turn during a run, that is a bit more of a problem than when you miss it driving somewhere!  Over the 5k part I pushed to go too fast.  I don’t know why I did this, but it gassed me out a little too quickly and I had to stop for a minute before I got to 3 miles.  I was blessed with fantastic weather this morning.  The humidity didn’t seem high and it was in the high 60’s during my run.  I got the run in and now I feel ready for a rest day and then ready for the 10k. 

So here’s to the 10K…I’m excited!

Enjoy your progress,


Monday, June 20, 2011

Salvaging a Run

Another day in the humid Midwestern air.  I started the run this morning feeling quite good, and after a mile I was thinking today would be a good run.  By mile two things started to unravel, but I again think it was more mental than anything.  Grrrr…need to control my thoughts a bit better.  There are some other excuses available, such as the humidity, but I really think I might have powered through it a bit better than I did.

After about 2/3rds of the way through, I did find some extra energy and was able to “salvage” the run a bit better than I thought I would.  I finished with a decent pace and overall I don’t feel too bad about the run.  LESSON LEARNED: You can salvage a run that doesn’t start all that well…just keep pushing.

Along the way, I was rushed by a small cocker spaniel looking dog.  Fortunately, when it got close it peeled off, but it was certainly chasing me.  I never feared for my life, but I did fear for my ankle.  There always seems to be a brush with wildlife (or domesticated life) along my path. 

This week is a big one for me.  I have my first (EVER!) 10K this Saturday.  I’m excited, but also a little uncertain about how to run it.  I don’t think I’ll be able to run the entire 6.2, so I’m trying to figure out when I should walk.  I’m thinking I’ll start by running to each aid station and going from there.  The aid stations are supposed to have musical entertainment, so why not walk during those breaks anyway? 

More about it later.  Enjoy your progress!


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Seven Mile Lessons

Got in 7 miles today, which was my goal.  It was tough!  The humidity was high, and we had a good storm last night that knocked a bunch of branches and stick down on the sidewalk and path.  I had to do quite a bit of skipping around to not trip.

Every time you run a little further you learn some things.  Today I learned that some Body Glide is not enough for the nipples when I got 7 miles or longer.  I’ll need some bandaids.  NOTE:  I have also tried SportsSlick for chafing, and it is no match for Body Glide.  Body Glide works; just only to a certain extent.  I also learned that you should make sure that the tops are on your water belt water bottles tight, or the water will squeeze out and eventually the top will fly off.  I lost a lot of water and the top to my Amphipod bottle.  I got thirsty by the end of the run.  

Casualty of 7 miles; Blogger flipped my picture upside down?  Fate?  I think so...

I made it through the first five pretty well, and I really struggled after that.  Did quite a bit of walking but eventually did make my 7.  I feel pretty tired right now but glad I pushed through today.  Thought a lot about the fact that your body tells you you’re tired and should stop at 80% of energy expended; you have 20% left (and usually even more than that) so you can always go further. 

As far as the Amphipod, I like the belt.  I’ve never had any other belt (Fuel Belt, Nathan, Ultimate Direction), but this one is nice.  You don’t even notice it is there, really.  I just probably didn’t have the top secured well today.  Amphipods are a bit expensive, but I have to have water on my runs and I think this belt is worth it. 

I’m going to go rest now!

Enjoy your progress!


Friday, June 17, 2011

Chipotle Sour Cream Disaster

So as I've said previously I'm cruising along doing the 4 hour body diet.  Lately, the weight loss has slowed, but this week was looking promising as I've lost an additional pound for a total of 58.  So I'm thinking maybe I can push to 59 or 60 by my official weigh-in day, which is tomorrow.

Part of my 4 hour plan is to eat Chipotle.  I eat there a lot; probably 4 times a week.  Today their cash register was down, so it was a super long wait.  After 20 minutes, they prepare my bowl, which is always free of carbs (or at least it is slow carb) and dairy: black beans, fajita, chicken, salsas, lettuce, and guacamole.  Well today they didn't hear me or didn't listen and slopped a heaping spoonful of sour cream on my bowl.  Yikes!  I was about to start munching on my forearm (meaning I was hungry), so I said "screw it" and just let it go. 

Now I'm hoping that the sour cream won't derail my efforts for one or two more lbs by tomorrow.  I'm still on pace for 10 lbs a month since January, which is good, but it seems that lately the losses have been more hard fought.  I know the lighter I get, the more difficult it likely will become.  However, my miles are ramping up, too, so I'm hoping that will off set this.  I am burning well over 1,000 calories on my long runs (next up: 7 miles for tomorrow). 

So I'm saying my prayers (I'm sure the Lord has more pressing issues to deal with, though) that the sour cream won't make a big difference and tomorrow's weigh in will be a notable one.  If not, this will forever be known as the Chipotle Sour Cream Disaster.   Perhaps I'm over-dramatizing things a bit, but that is how my mind now works (scary, isn't it?).

Enjoy your progress!  Travis

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Training Plan

Got in a couple of runs yesterday and today!  Things went really well yesterday.  After a day of rest, my legs felt great and I was able to push through the run.  Today I as a little less well-off; back to back running days are still tough for me. I still made it through 3 miles.

I am currently training for the long-term goal of the St. Louis Rock and Roll ½ marathon in October, 2011.  They released the course map yesterday.  I know a little about St. Louis, but I don’t know it well enough to be able to ascertain how challenging this course will be.  I’m looking forward to it!

My training plan consists of base runs of five miles twice a week, a shorter run of three miles, and then my long run that will consists mostly of run/walk intervals.  I’m gradually building my miles up on my long runs to actually exceed the ½ marathon distance; the plan is 15 miles total (we’ll see if I can keep up with the pace).  I’m only adding ½ a mile per week, so it seems reasonable to me. 

Along the way, I have scheduled some races that are increasingly longer, starting with a 10K in a couple of weeks, another 10K in August, and a 15K in September.  This, I believe, will help keep me motivated toward the half marathon. 

That’s the plan anyway!  We’ll see how it goes. 

Enjoy your progress!  Travis