Wednesday, February 22, 2012

July 2011 to February 2012

I typically like to post fairly soon after races, as my memory ain't what she used to be.  If I don't spit it out in a day or two it gets lost forever in the back alleys of my brain.  With that said, here is a quick recap of what I can recall.

After Rosaryville, I got in weeks of good solid training with my mind focused on JFK 50 miler scheduled for November.  I was feeling pretty confident that I could run a similar time as last year, with a dream goal of going sub 10 hours.

But first........
October 29, 2011:  Marine Corps Marathon

This was my very first marathon back in 1998.  I felt a little nostalgic going back to run it again.  I was handling it as a training run for JFK and planned on pacing a friend who was shooting for 4:30ish.  Last year I made the mistake of running the Baltimore marathon too hard before the 50.  So, I was being super relaxed about the whole thing.  In fact, I was so relaxed I overslept by almost an hour, missed the meet up at the metro station, and had to sprint to the start!  Never found the friend I was suppose to pace.
I don't have an actual picture of me running,
so here's one  of Porter and me  at packet pickup.

Nevertheless, I tried to stay within the 4:30 range to hopefully meet up.  Didn't happened.  I felt really bad about that.  I ran along and came in around 4:23 (which included a emergency stop to deal with a colitis flare up right before the last bridge) .  Nice and comfy for me.  The real marathon started post race.  Good grief!  Getting back into the metro station and in an actual train took f-o-r-e-v-e-r!  One lady passed out!  Lucky her, she got carried through the crowds.  Another guy had the smarts to stop in at the McD's and got himself a large ice cream shake.  Why didn't I think of that?  I was drooling as I watched him enjoy the sweet coldness and inched my way to the turn stalls.

November 6, 2011:  Riley Race 5k in Annapolis

A cause dear to my heart, our wounded military, were to benefit from the proceeds of this race.  Only a week after the marathon, I planned to run alongside my 14 year old daughter.  The race started with tears as 4 young brave men told their stories of lost limbs and lost friends.  Watching them run and cross the finish line was an image that has been burned into my mind.

The race was great.  Nice swag too.  Addie, my daughter, started conservatively, with her dad and me.  It was a blast to run together, which we did until she found another gear towards the end.  Buh-Bye!  I'm so proud of her.

November 19, 2011:  JFK 50

My "A" race!  I had been nursing my son's strep throat that week before and vigilantly, ok, obsessively washing my hands and spraying Lysol.  Unfortunately, about 3 days before the race I started to feel "off", then achy.  I couldn't believe it!  All this training and I was getting sick a mere couple days before the race.  I tried to will myself well to no avail.  So, naturally I went into denial mode.

I traveled to the race alone.  Something not initially planned, but since my son, Thomas, was still sick, we thought it best this way.  Apparently some people find ultra sports not to be spectator friendly!

I thought I had left myself plenty of time to walk to the start from the school gymnasium, but the gun went off with me (and quite a few others) still a couple minutes from the start!  Some started to run.  Not me.  I wasn't going to start until I was officially over the start line.

The Rocky AT
I pretty much felt yucky right off the bat.  But I was determined to suck it up and run this thing no matter what.         I won't bore you with a play by play of the course (see my JFK 50 report from last year), but here are some highlights.

I started having problems breathing.  I could  not get a good lung full not matter my efforts to suck in that precious O2.  At this point I figured I had strep or a bad cold.  Nothing I couldn't suffer through.

TMI warning here.  I have exertional colitis.  That basically means that when I exert myself my digestive system and bowels go all to hell.   As predicted they did just that around mile 25 or so.  It's not pleasant and wipes me out.  But, I have learned to deal with it and carried on.

As I ran along, meeting and speaking with people, every time I laughed, I sounded like a 3 pack a day smoker.  My chest felt constricted.

This all resulted in a long and painful race.  The last 20 were torture and I knew a sub 10, or any PR, were out of reach.  Heck, I was now just worried about finishing in the 12 hour time limit.

I finish in 11:27.  Over an hour longer than last year.  I tried to eat something and enjoy the post race camaraderie of my fellow finishers, but I just wanted to get back to my hotel room and in bed with bags of ice for my legs.  But, in accordance with how my day had been going, I got on the wrong darn bus to get back to my car at the start.  Realizing this, as we crossed paths with the bus I should have been on, I begged the driver to stop.  I flagged down the right bus and hoped on.  In my defense there was one other guy who did the same thing.

Getting the Neb
On the bus (the right one) I started to hack.  I can't really call it coughing.  It was nasty.  Thank goodness I had the school bus seat to myself.  It was gross, what was coming up.  That's when I knew that I was sick.  Really sick.

The next day, after I got back into town, I went to my local minute clinic before even going home.  I was diagnosed with a severe case of bronchitis.  It would be a solid 6 weeks to fully recover.  The longest I have ever been sick.

February 11, 2012:  Valentine's Day 5k

Once well, I was able to get back into the swing of things by the new year.  I signed up for the Annapolis Strider's Champ Series.  The first race was the V-Day 5k at Kinderpark.  There was fear of it being canceled as a dusting of snow covered the ground from the night before.  With not much sticking to the roads or trail we were fine to go ahead.

I had no expectations going into this race.  Well, that's a lie.  I did have some conservative expectations that I am actually embarrassed to say out loud.  It is really hard to admit that I have slowed as much as I have since my hay days.  A combination of variables have conspired against me to slow my race times more than nature would normally allow.

I did finish faster than my hoped time so that was a plus.  But my finish time was blah.  I'm not going to tell you what my time was.  Feel free to Google search if you really want to know.  Nothing impressive.  But it was my first 5k in awhile and something to build on.

There you have it!  Up next is a trail 10k, more series races, the Zooma race, the 6 hour race at Quietwaters and hopefully another JFK50.  I have some unfinished business to take care of there.