Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Well....the Portland Marathon finally came....and I finally finished. It was probably the toughest thing I've ever had to do in my life. I have to say my training for this thing wasn't the best. I started this adventure exactly one year ago (right after the '07 Pdx Marathon) and I might have tackled this thing way too early. The last couple of months have been tough for me training wise. I think doing too many races early on the year kind of burnt me out. Probably every other day I heard myself say..."fck it...fck this training...I wasn't meant to do this" but I also heard myself say "you're going to regret it if you don't do it"
I didn't actually register for the race until just a couple of weeks ago. My whole goal at that point was just to finish it....and not worry about my time. My official time was 5 hours 38 minutes I think. I'll tell you how the race went shortly but back to my training. I signed up for an online training program and I think if I could go back, I wouldn't have done that and would have went with a group program like Portland Fit (program where a ton of people train on the weekend on the long runs). The long runs were very boring for me because I was by myself and I noticed you don't run as hard when you're alone (at least for me). Training on the weekdays usually meant running on my lunchtime. My overall diet the last couple of months wasn't very strict at all and I never got the weight I wanted to be at for race day too (I wanted to be somewhere around 150lbs but was right at 170lbs). I probably lost 5 lbs the day of though! I really believe (and I talked about this with Dave on the race), that diet, sleep and proper training are the most important parts to being successful for a marathon (successful in hitting your time goal that is). I learned a lot about myself from my 1/2 marathon races and long runs too. I learned I sweat more than the average person. I also learned my dark hair on sunny days drains me even more. I noticed this when I saw salt residue on my forehead on my long runs. I learned about "Hyponatremia" and the causes of it. I think I read as much as I could on it after my first 15 mile run. I've never hit a wall like that before. My leg muscles completely shut down and locked up. When I tried to walk to rest it and started back up...it was probably just a few feet and they locked up again. So after that run, I decided to train w/ salt. I measure my loss of salt and started training with salt tablets to help me retain water. This helped me a ton on my long runs and I also got a white cap to help block the sun. I never cramped up again after that with my training runs. My last long run was a 20 miler. I ran a very slow pace and the negative thoughts started to linger during that run. I started thinking about how this was really a slow pace to just get used to running for this long amount of time but thought "could I even run at a faster pace than this?" It was probably 3 and 1/2 hours of running for the 20 miles and your start calculating what you think you'll finish it in at and that sounded depressing too. I was like "jeesh..maybe I wasn't cut out for this." And to make things even worse, I got a respiratory infection after my last long run. I thought it was a sinus infection (still do actually) but my doctor didn't think so. He actually ran the marathon too and said 60% of runners get some kind of illness after their last long run. I can understand that...because you lower your immune system soo much on those runs. He didn't want to give me antibiotics because we were so close to the race and he actually said its good it happend to me 2 weeks before than happening 1 week before. I didn't feel normal until the Saturday before the race. Amy invited friends over for a big spaghetti dinner before the race. It was nice hanging out with everyone. Made me relax and not think too much about the race. Scott came over too and helped me strategize the plan to meet up during the race. He and Dave both met me on the course to help me run and give me some added boost. I can't thank them enough for their support.
After the dinner party, I made my breakfast shake that night so I could just wake up early to drink it. It was made of a replacement meal powder, yogurt, milk, graham crackers and some fruit. I woke up at 5 to pound it and I also had a small cup of coffee. I drank about 2 cups of water too and had one salt tablet. I took off for Portland at 6 am and it was chaos downtown. I actually didn't check my bag in and was ready until around 6:50am (race started at 7 am)! I had to take a major piss and I was in the longest line. I said..."fck it! I'll just hit the first bathroom." They started the race in waves and I couldn't get up to the wave I initially wanted (the 4hr 30 minute group) so I ended up starting around 7:10am. There was a wait on the first bathroom but I couldn't keep running...sux. Anyway, after a few minutes of waiting I finally got back to running and I felt like I had to try to catch up to my group...that was really dumb. I should have just stuck to my plan to run 10:30/miles and I tried to speed it up a little. The first couple of miles are up hill (its the first tough hill at this part of the race) and I was running up it at a little under 10:30 when I really should have been doing it closer to 11:30/mile. I was probably doing 8minute pace down the hill too. I was pretty consistent on my pace after this point. I was planning on meeting Scott right around mile 11 and I tried to look for him but I was starting to think he might have took off because I was about 30 minutes behind the time we thought we'd meet. I started slowing down a lot because I didn't think I was going to hook up with them but at mile 12, I saw him and that gave me a huge boost. It was great seeing him and it made me get back to my pace. He took me all the way to St. Johns bridge which is right around 16.5 miles. He couldn't actually cross the bridge though because they only allowed racers w/ bibs on the bridge. I was feeling good up until that point but the on ramp to that bridge was hell. I started cramping up at this point. I had to stretch and walk most of this bridge because I knew Dave was on the other side waiting for me and I wanted to run with him. The last 1/2 of the bridge was slightly down hill so I started running again at that point. Then I hooked up with Dave and he stuck with me all the way to the end. He and Scott were a great help. The kept me going and gave me some Gel and food for more energy. When I passed mile 20, I felt a huge accomplishment because I've never gone beyond that point. I think I had to walk right after that though because of more cramps..unfortunately :-(. Dave ran into a TNT buddy and was able to get me some GU and powergel. That helped me out a lot. The last 6 miles were really tough...a lot of walk/run combos'. The last 1.2 miles, I told Dave ok I'm going to pound this thing out and try to finish strong. I was able to tough it out and run without stopping. I think all the spectators and music helped me fight off the pain. I also got to see my daughter and parents at the finish line too. They were so proud of me for finishing. It was really a tough and great day. It would be really hard for me to be able to describe any other day like that.
So I got my medal and my finisher shirt...pounded a ton of chips, cookies, choc. milk and fruit at the end. Amy got me a massage the day after too and that was so nice! Goal is to do Eugene '09 now and I know what I have to do and when to start doing it. Scott and Dave are both doing it too so I think the training will be a lot funner this time. This winter I'm going to take it EZ but not let myself go. I have some other friends that I might join up with for some trail races. That should be a nice change.
Friday, May 09, 2008
It's coming up! My official marathon training schedule begins Monday, May 19th. I'm using Active Trainer for my training and my first day is an easy 45 minute run. The training will be mostly a combination of running (different paces and intensities) and cross training (various diff't types of cardio, weights, etc.). I've built a very solid base the last 7 months. I have to admit my diet hasn't been that consistent the last couple of months buy my activity and exercise habits have been overall very good. My weight has fluctuated from 171 to 165 the last couple of months, and I think that will get down and consistent when I combine my training with a stricter diet. I have another race tomorrow. The 2008 Lake Run which is a 12k around Lake Oswego. Should be a fun run and I'm hoping the weather will be nice. I'm really excited because my daughter is going to participate on the kid's dash. It's a 1/2 mile run and she is really, really excited. I'll make sure to post a pic. She's gonnna love her tee shirt she gets too. Amazing how excited kids get over the little simple things. I've signed up for the Helvetia 1/2 marathon in June as well and I'll also be doing the Sauvie Island Flat 1/2 Marathon in July. After that, I'll be done with races until the October 5th Portland Marathon. My August and September will have a couple of 20 milers...fun, fun, fun! :-)
My family and I have tried to become more Green. We've always tried to recycle and we use compact fluorescent bulbs at home. With the crazy gas prices, we decided to get rid of our SUV. It was getting really expensive filling that bad boy up. I bought a bus/MAX pass and have been using public transportation to go to work. It's been actually pretty good. I'm still learning the bus times as I've waited at the stop a couple of times for 20 minutes...ugh! I've gotten off early too and ran home. Gives me some extra exercise. The first time was rough because I had a back pack and I got some serious neck burns after. My last one went a lot better. I'm going to take MAX tomorrow and hook up with my buddy Dave so we can commute together to the race. Go GREEN!!!...
Mother's Day is coming up Sunday and I'm having my family come over for a pizza party. I'm in charge of hosting. I'll have my pizzas ready to go and they'll all bring their favorite toppings. Should be fun. I've gotten really addicted to making pizzas. Probably a big part for me slackin' on my diet. My buddy Scott got me all hooked into it as I went to his house a while back and had his BBQ pizza..yummy. So I have my pizza stone ready to go in my BBQ and I just bought a pizza peel to help my slide it on. It gets really tricky and messy putting it on there. If this gets really good, my buddy Scott and I may have to open up a BBQ pizzeria when we retire. You never know.....
Friday, April 04, 2008
Wow! It sure has. I've been slackin'...I know. Life has been busy and I'm happy to say health and fitness is still good. I haven't been eating as good as I should be but I'm still exercising and running a lot so the guilt is minimal.
My parents were in the Philippines and my weekends had been really busy trying to help with their remodel. I did the Shamrock run last March and I had one of my best performances (I can't remember if I beat my '03 time). I finished the 8k in under 40 minutes! I was on my last mile and I looked at my watch and said to myself "wow...you're doing awesome!"
Scott and I are doing a 1/2 marathon this Sunday and we went on a long run last weekend. It went great too and I had a chance to try some of Scott and Lyndsey's famous BBQ pizza. It was fantastic and I also tried anchovies for the first time...very salty!
We're trying to do at least one race every month and we have a nice 10k around Lake Oswego in May and then the Helvetia 1/2 marathon in June. Weight today -169 lbs.
Monday, February 04, 2008
Hi there. Thought I'd post an update with what's going on this New Year for me. Still running and exercising. No real changes yet. I think I've established a good base now w/ the consistent long runs on the weekend with the boys.
My parents are in the Phillippines and won't be back until 3/17 and they're doing a very extensive remodel at their home while they're away. That's been very exciting and fun for all of us in my family. It's taken up some of my time outside of work and fitness but it's been really awesome seeing the changes at their house. My brother-in-law has been just phenomenal with the whole remodel too. He's taken up Real Estate the last couple of years and has built a couple of homes and established some great connections at the same time. His knowledge, expertise and networks has really helped my parents with this remodel. We can't thank him enough for all of his hard work. My sister has been going to the house during the week and videotaping the transition and I plan to make a cool video for the Holidays. We're planning on doing a little "extreme home makeover" video the day they come back too!
I went running yesterday with Scott and I can't tell you how fortunate we've been with the weather this Winter. I think we've only had rain once or twice during our long runs. We did a 6 1/2 miler yesterday and we threw in a "fart leg" (first time I've heard this before :-) during the run to push our heart rate and pace. I didn't feel that great yesterday and I think a lot of it was I woke up early and had an early breakfast and didn't eat for 5 hours so I didn't have too much reserve energy for the run.
I've got a pretty good schedule for exercising now. Monday is my usual rest day and I hit the weights and cardio during the week. Saturday is our soccer game and Sunday is the long run. I've noticed I haven't gotten sick either...which is awesome.
I had Mackerel last week at a Japanese restaurant...painful! Very tough to get down. It almost made me regress and not want to eat seafood ever again! My buddy gave me a California Roll and that was actual pretty good. I'll keep the seafood thing going....just sticking to less "fishy" seafood. I know there are a lot of healthy benefits with seafood I just can't forgo.
My weight hasn't changed any (166lbs). I've been bad recently but I feel it's better to have moderation with that stuff then fully, outright avoid that stuff. I've realized living a life of extremes is really not realistic. I've experienced failure in the past (and I've seen it with other too) when you try to live a life like that. Baby steps and moderation!
Talk to you later!
Friday, January 18, 2008
It's been a while since I've blogged. I've been slackin' I admit but I haven't been slackin' with my fitness and health. I had a physical last Monday and everything came out great. They did some blood work to find out my cholesterol and the numbers were better than I expected. My total cholesterol was 150 and my LDL was 92 (you want it below 100) and my HDL was 47 (you want it above 45). My doctor said "wow!"
So besides my goals for running, I'm hitting my goals for a life of health too (the ultimate goal). I've still been running and I've added more weights and strength training in my weekly routine too. I went running with my buddy Ty on my lunch yesterday and it started snowing in our run...crazy! We're going Sunday on a longer one with Dave and Scott too. Should be good. I've definitely felt stronger on my runs lately and I think a lot of it is from my long runs on Sunday and weekends. We're planning on doing the Shamrock run this March and we'll also do the Helvetia Half marathon in June. I haven't signed up for the indoor track yet but I'll be doing that soon.
My New Year's resolution was to add seafood to my diet and I had Scott and his girlfriend over for dinner a few weeks ago. We cooked Halibut and I have to say it was pretty good. I haven't had anything else since but I plan to cook some Talapia pretty soon. My son really liked the fish too.
My weight is down to 166lbs so I came pretty close to what I wanted for the New Year. I'm wearing pants from my closet I haven't worn in over 4 years! I'm glad I didn't get rid of them! Life's been good!
Friday, December 28, 2007
Well Xmas is over! New Years is just a few days away. I have my friend Ty and his daughter Taylen coming over tonight. She's going to play with Morgan while we watch the Beavers play.
Xmas was really nice this year. We went up to the in-laws and we had a lot of fun up there. I have to say I ate pretty bad that day (and the day before) but I didn't overindulge...watched the portions. I had a martini (favorite drink) on Xmas eve and decided to pass on alcohol on Xmas day.
I got my Xmas present a little early this year and I absolutely love it. My wife got me the Garmin Forerunner (A GPS watch w/ a heart rate monitor) and it's the perfect gift for my fitness goals this upcoming year. I went on a 7.78 miler last Sunday in the cold rain. My buddy Scott got one too and we're going to totally "geek" out our training. We did a fitness test yesterday and I calculated my pace at 10:46/mile for a 145bpm heart rate. This will be my benchmark for my training in 2008. Scott is going to help me plot my training so I can gauge my overall health and fitness improvement. Good stuff!
My goal for weight was to be at 165lbs by the end of the year and I'm pretty close. I weighed myself this morning and I was at 168lbs. That's 23lbs lost since October 6th! I think my goal to be around 150-155lbs during Marathon time (October 2008) is very do-able. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if I'm below that. I know weight isn't the most important factor for my overall health success but I really believe to be running at my best, I need to really shed a lot of this excess weight and fat. Plus its easier to gauge on my blog.
I have my annual physical in January and I'll get my cholesterol checked too. I'm curious to see those numbers.
Have a Happy New Year!
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
I'd say the past weekend was probably my worst "eating" weekend. It was bound to happen. Here's the breakdown starting with last Friday (12/7);
- We had our work Xmas party at a very nice Mexican restaurant (Cha in NW Portland) and I had quite a lot to drink that night (all Tequilla). I did try tons of seafood that night because I'm really trying to expand my food variety. I don't think I overindulged that evening...except for the alcohol. In my defense, I rushed to the gym after work that day to get a quick 3 miles in on the treadmill (anticipating for the alcohol intake that evening).
- Saturday - I was pretty bad. I swear I eat better during the week just because I have a routine in the office (10am - snack usually involving carrots/banana/broccoli/snow peas, workout and then have a healthy lunch, and then a snack around 3pm - apple).....so at home I saw there was pizza in the fridge. I got some the night before for the babysitter and daughter.
- Saturday night - Ate out with the wife and got chicken tenderloins tossed in wing sauce with fries....OMG! Then did some shopping at the mall and got a plain pretzel and a latte.
- Sunday wasn't any better. Had brother and nephews over to watch Steeler/Patriots game and had ..you guessed it Pizza again! Went to a birthday party that evening and had ANOTHER slice of Pizza. Avoided the cake though...phew!
So that was my weekend. I did get some good exercise in though (soccer - 2 goals...thank you and a 9 1/2 miler Sunday morning with the boyz).
Today (Wednesday) was the first time I worked out since the long run Sunday. So a rough couple of days eating wise but I think my body really needed the rest from working out. I finally got rid of this nasty cough I've had for a couple of weeks.
So I'm back to my normal self. Ate good today and plan to work out the remainder of the week and have another good run Sunday with the boyz. I ordered my Christmas present last Monday too. I got a Garmin Forerunner 305 so as my friend said....here comes the geek squad. He got one too and we should be getting it soon. We're going to really get into the science of our training so the posts should get pretty interesting....stay tuned!