Monday, January 16, 2006

The 1/2 Marathon

I survived. I didn’t do as well as I thought that I would do, but after all this is my first half-marathon.

I was able to get through the first 5 miles, then I started to jog and walk pretty much the rest of the way. By the seventh mile my legs cramped up pretty badly but I was able to go on.

Some of the things I would do differently next time:

Stretch – I did not stretch nearly enough before the run.
Bathroom – I can’t stress enough about evacuation. By the time that you get to the race most of the lines for the porta-pottys are 20 deep.
Eat – because I didn’t eat before the race I had a stomach cramp for the entire race. Because I drank water on the race on an empty stomach it felt like I was running with a goldfish bowl in my gut, complete with goldfish.
Drink – At the race they passed out Phoenix tap water. More on this later, but have you ever tasted the water here? At one point I believe that I saw that they had tapped into the fire hydrants to fill the water reservoirs for the runners. I may try to run with my own water next time.
Train at an incline – I did some of my training on a treadmill and some of it on the street. The marathon was on a steady incline for the first 7 miles, I was not ready for this. For the next one I think that I need to do some more hill work.
Train more for speed – I had been jogging at a 13:00 pace (I know that some of you do not consider this running) but at that pace I am able to pretty much go all day. Anything faster than that and my little train would run out of soul coal. I think that more speed work with the goal of 9:00 would be good.
Get a groove – I never really got focused on my pace and my breathing. Usually when I am training I am able to get lost in the music and I am able to pick up the pace. For some reason I was just not able to focus…probably for all of the reasons listed above.
Chaffing – Two words, Body Glide.

Things that I would do again;

Music – The iPod was a real lifesaver. Some of the bands that they had there were mediocre to just plain bad. Having music that motivates you really helps.
Train Often – I was running 4 to 5 days a week for the race. I would like to continue this with my long run of 7+ miles on Sundays.
Wear only what I needed – many of the runners were way over dressed. I wore only a shirt and shorts knowing that I would heat up and that it would only get warmer. Mile 2 and 3 were spent jumping over sweatshirts, jackets, gloves and sweatpants discarded by runners ahead of me.
Ice Bath – This was a great idea. For as miserable as it was to first get into you could feel the effects immediately.
Beer – Having a beer immediately after the race really helped take the edge off of the pain and the subsequent twitch/convulsion attack that occurs from having spent my all. I was able to sleep easily after the ice bath and shower.

Here are the particulars on the event:

Last Name Flores
First Name Ed
Gender M
City Chandler
State AZ
Bib Number39456
Gender Place6291
Division M_40-44
Division Place936
Race Name Half Marathon
Gun Time3:29:37
Net (Chip) Time3:05:35
5K (HM) 39:10
10K (HM) 1:22:47
10 mi. (HM) 2:18:35
Total in Div. 1015

I am going to start training aging next week, as I will use this week to recover. In March I am going to run the Valley of Gold half marathon in Tucson.

I want to thank everyone that helped/motivated/encouraged me on my foray back into running:

Jill & Aimee – for putting up with me, my aches and pains and for all of the time that I have spent away on the road and treadmill. For being at the finish line, for helping me out after the race; Thanks for all of your love and support

All of the Agents, Supervisors, Managers and employees at 2Wire.

Chris Dorn – For motivating me in the humorous, agitating way that you do.

Tim Williams – Knowing that you were up there ahead of me on the race was a motivating factor.

A special thanks to Alice Pike for motivating me to get back into running, sharing all of her tips learned from her recent experience on the half marathon.

Kyle Scofield – I’ll see you on the mountain…punk ☺


Mr. Middlebrow said...

Dude: congrats, nice going.

And as far as 'doing well,' don't be too hard on yourself. Just showing up and getting across the finish line is 99% of it. Especially for those of us who've entered geezerdom (a.k.a. our 40s).

The fact that you're planning to get up and do it again speaks volumes. It also calls into question your sanity, but let's not quibble over semantics. Whatever you lack in velocity you can make up for in will.

That, and plenty of bananas. ;)

Kenn said...

I have no comment on running a half marathon, a 10k or even around the block, as I have made it very clear of my position on runners in general. However, something from your “I would do it again” list caught my attention. You said, “Having a beer immediately after the race really helped…” I would suggest that having a beer after almost any event, milestone or even a nap always helps. The only caveat would be that once in a while, when more help is called for, on those occasions I suggest a good Irish Whisky.

That said, let me also offer congratulations on accepting a challenge head on. “doing well” is doing! That is a lesson that many of us have yet to learn. As the exercise lady on “Naked News” is fond of saying, “getting started is the hardest part.” Both you and she are a great inspiration to me.