Friday, December 10, 2010

Got a new camera...just in time!

I just got my new GoPro Hero Helmet cam. I spent last night making a strap-on chest mount for it and I was going to show you all about it, but my HD camera broke. I've ordered a new one and it should be here Monday. In the mean time I'll post some of the bike cams footage. TTYS

Monday, December 6, 2010

The California International Marathon - 2010

I woke up at 3:30am. Couldn't sleep. I had a pretty bad cold so I took some medicine for it and hoped for the best.
The temperature was perfect and the weather forecast was for a 10% chance of rain till noon with only partly cloudy skies through the morning. You couldn't ask for better weather to run a marathon in.
My training hadn't gone very well. I was injured 6 weeks ago and as of last week had only worked my way back to 12 miles. Nevertheless, race day is here, I've paid the money and I'm going to give it my best.
Given my previous running experiences, namely a half marathon in 2:04:17 and a 10k in 56 minutes, I thought a marathon time of 4:30:00 might be realistic. I started with the 4:15:00 pace runners and almost immediately watched them creep away from me. That was OK. I knew they would. I just wanted to stay ahead of the 4:30:00 pace team...and I did...for twelve miles. They passed just before the half way point. My Half Marathon time was 2:15:56. Not as good as my last half marathon, but that one was flat and this one was hilly. I'm still recovering too.
Between the Half Marathon split and the 20 mile mark my pace dropped from 10:40 minute miles to 13:00 minute miles. It only got worse after that. Around mile 18, out of nowhere and completely unexpected came a friend of mine from the roadside. Mark had in hand a partially peeled tangerine and a bag of sport beans ready for me to eat. That was right on time! He ran with me for two miles. By mile twenty I was in pain. I had to stop at every mile and stretch my calves. My hips had been hurting for quite a while and my quads were like rocks. I knew the Hash House Harriers were ahead handing out beers and that was my first target of the run.
At mile twenty I saw several friends. Dave, Nichole, Carol and Noelle to name a few. I took a moment to hug every one of them.
With only six miles to go, the pain was increasing exponentially. Calf muscles threatening to tear. Quads hard as rocks and throbbing with pain. Hip joints feeling like they had been hammered upon. My knees weren't too bad...yet. Feet sore from the slight abrasion of my socks and the pounding against the pavement. I kept running. I was having to stop and stretch every couple blocks now. The end was getting closer and closer. The streets of downtown Sacramento are numbered. The Capitol is on 10th St. and I was at 29th St. when the pain became almost unbearable. Only nineteen blocks to go! Just zone out and keep putting one foot in front of the other. Pain is temporary! Accomplishment is forever! When I got to 10th St., I discovered that I had to run another two blocks to 8th St. so the finish would be running right into the open arms of the Capitol building. Ugh! Two more blocks I wasn't expecting! Just keep running.
I crossed the finish line with the clock reading 5:21:32. Forty-one minutes long of my target time. Twenty-one minutes long of my "reconsidered" target time. Corinne was there and got a picture of me. I was suffering, but I made it look good. I smiled at every camera I saw. Hopefully we'll get a couple good shots out of it.
That was my personal physical experience, but I want to mention another aspect of it. As I ran the course I saw the detritus of other runners. The cast off sweatshirts, gloves and hats. It was as though I was running through the leavings of a homeless camp. I was surprised by the exceptionally high quality of some of this gear. I saw $20 hats; $30-$40 base layer shirts; and Isotoner gloves. All just thrown to the roadside as if they had no value at all. As the morning wore on, the sun came out and I began to get hot so even my polyester base layer came off and was cast aside with the rest.
Then there were the spectators and volunteers. All along this route were total strangers cheering us on. A really great show of support from all the communities we passed though. People handing out snacks and drinks, playing music for us and cheering us on. I had seen this before, but it wasn't until my experience on the Death Ride and now here that I got a feel for what this kind of support means to an athlete. If I don't participate in these event, I'm going to start coming out to show support or volunteer for these events.
Speaking of volunteers, these people are great too. From something as simple as handing out water, to calling out pace times at each mile marker, these people are what make an event like this work. The bands and DJs that come out really rock the place too and since I can't thank each and every one of them, I plan to show my support for them by being one when I'm able.
I finished about twenty hours ago as I write this and I'm still in pain. What I thought was going to become a good sized blister on my foot changed it's mind. I ran a marathon and didn't get a single blister! I'll thank Fleet Feet Sports for that. I have a massage in 4 hours and need to get up and move because I'm getting stiff.
Thanks to everyone for your support!

One Man's Lessons - Race Day 2010!