Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Marathon Week – OKC Version

banner I love Marathon Week!  The anticipation before a marathon is like nothing else!  I’m so looking forward to what Sunday has in store for me at the Oklahoma City Marathon. I’ve run the half marathon there a couple of times, but haven’t tried the full marathon. After being laid off for awhile, I wanted one last time to knock out another marathon before the summer heat arrives.  It’s almost here in Texas!

My plan is to average 8:40 per mile to comfortably get under 4 hours.  I’ll be happy with anything with a 3 as a front number.  If everything gets stupid, I’ll be happy with finishing my 13th marathon.  I really do plan on enjoying the race.  Run quick with a smile!

Ursula and I will probably go down memory lane as we used to live in the OKC area when I was in the Air Force at Tinker Air Force Base.  It’s always cool to drive by where you used to live and visit familiar places.

Here are some Marathon Week Pre-Race Rituals that I go through to get mentally prepared for a marathon:

If you’d like to track me on my progress, you can register for Runner Tracking here.  My bib number is 1976.  It would’ve been even cooler if it was 1967.  :)  I’ll also be posting my splits on my Facebook timeline.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Marathons are Addictive! @OKCMarathon

1968-132014 Creative_4 I’ve been enjoying the last couple of weeks as my running has become more natural after being laid off from running for 5 weeks. I’ve only been training for the last 6 weeks, but feel that I can knock out a marathon before the summer months. I know that it won’t be an optimal race, but I’m really itching for a big race.

I’ve signed up for the Oklahoma City Marathon which is on April 27th. It’s just a little over 17 days to go before the race gets here. I ran the Half Marathon there a couple of times back in 2009 & 2010. I definitely enjoyed the race environment back then.

The run that pushed me over the top of going to OKC was my destination run to my in-laws. They moved here last summer and I always knew that I was going to run to their house. I’ve been scoping out safe routes to their house for quite awhile.  The route from Frisco to Lucas is 18 miles long with the last 3 miles being the worse.  The bad things about those 3 miles is that there are no sidewalks, a very narrow shoulder on the road, 50mph speed limit, blind spots, and there’s no other road to their house.  Even though the last part of the route was a challenge, the windy rainy conditions posed to be quite the pain. I almost stopped at mile 10 as the rain really came down. I’m glad that I didn’t stop.  It was awesome to get the finish line of my in-laws house. Below is a little recap of the run from Strava.

Looking forward to my 13th marathon experience up in Oklahoma in two and a half weeks.

Monday, April 7, 2014

It’s been a while

I hate writing one of those “it’s been a while” blog posts, but it’s been a while.  The last I posted was about completing the Houston Marathon. I learned that I actually pushed through that race with a strained MCL. Not as bad as the doctor originally thought, but it still laid me off for 5 weeks from running. Those 5 weeks seemed like torture.  Ursula couldn’t wait for me to stop complaining and get back out on the road or trails.

Getting back into running has been a challenge. I’ve felt sluggish and so out of shape. I trained for about 4 weeks getting back some base mileage to be able to run the Grasslands Trail Half Marathon.

Grasslands Trail Half Marathon

0087-cropped I felt so darn sluggish during that race. It had a lot more elevation challenges than I remembered from the previous year. I don’t think I remembered them from last year because there was more walking through the slip-sliding mud that was happening.

During the race, I kept pushing myself beyond what I was truly comfortable with.  I walked a few of the steeper inclines… always a nice place to walk if you’re going to walk. About 4-6 people would pass me during that point. I’d get back to running and in turn I’d pass them again. After doing this a few times, I decided it’d be best if I just caught the pace of one of the guys that I kept passing. I needed to run comfortably and enjoy the race. I kept pace with a guy named Geoff. We hit it off with some great conversation. Our kids are about the same age and we shared about our professional lives. I really enjoyed our conversations as it truly kept my mind elsewhere.

Trail Biking

20140324_192756 The other thing that I’ve been getting into is MTB or trail biking.  I’m not sure if I can use the term Mountain Bike Riding here in flat Texas. 

I’m riding on the same trails that I used to run on.  Well, I’m still running them at times, but it’s definitely more fun riding them.  It’s also a bit scarier when riding them.  The falls or crashes seem to hurt more when riding. I had my first big spill last month, but have bounced back onto the trails.  I seem to be getting the hang of it.

20140314_093423 For my birthday, I rented Cairo a bike and he joined me.  That was an awesome birthday!  I really do enjoy getting out there and enjoying the trails.  I think he liked riding the trails better than running them.  However, he wasn’t up for me purchasing him a bike.

When it comes to birthday gifts, I’ll always take experiences over gifts.  I’ll never forget this ride with Cairo!  Thanks, Cairo!

Here’s a video of me getting to see George W. Bush zooming by with his Secret Service dudes behind him.  Excuse the language in the video.  You can barely see G.W., but you get the point. :)

I’ve got some blog posts rolling around in my head.  I felt like I needed to get this one posted before getting new ones out there.