Thursday, December 31, 2009

It was 1999

and I did not run.

I had lived in Arizona for 4 years.

I was in my third year of being a Realtor.

My kids were 6 and 9 years old. Little ones at the elementary school.

Amy and I celebrated our 13th anniversary.

I was 38 years old.

I drove a Mercury Sable.
Amy still worked for May Department Stores in the Credit Department.

It was two years before we took our kids to Disney World. See picture

It was two years before the world changed.

Ten Years Later

I'm older, my kids are taller.

I run 15-25 miles per week.

Amy is a Realtor and I have been for 14 years.

We've lived in Az for 14 years.

I've run 3 Marathons, 11 half marathons and over 50 races.

Amy's made a half dozen quilts or more.

I drive a 2004 Honda Pilot.

Tyler's a Freshman at the U of Arizona.

Emily is soon to become a senior in high school.

Both kids drive!

I've been to California, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Florida, Utah and just over the border into Mexico. (during this decade)

And today starts a new decade. It should be fun!

My Running Miles

Just short of 800 miles this year. Two injuries slowed me down. The first was an ankle issue that limited my miles in the summer and the second was a left calf issue that I'm currently dealing with.

I'm hoping to do over 1000 miles in 2010 and race many more 5k, 10k, half and full marathons. The first marathon is supposed to be the PF Chang's Rock N Roll here in Arizona on January 17th. I'm thinking with this calf issue I am going to either cut back to the half or DNS it all together.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Butterfly Effect:

John Bingham, The Penquin, has written his last column for Runner's World Magazine. Waddle On, John. You have helped many people learn to love running and you can count me as one of them.

Here's his last column:

The Butterfly Effect:

Saturday, December 26, 2009

I hurt all over

Ever since the Tucson Marathon I've hurt all over. I went to my doctor and explained. She was confused, so I showed her by touching my arm and saying 'Oww, that hurts." I then touched my shin and said, 'Oww, that hurts.' I then touched my forehead and said, 'Oww, that hurts.' After looking at my finger, she put a bandaid on it and said my finger was sprained.

Seriously, my back and left calf have kept me out of my Nikes. The back seems to be getting better, but the leg is hurting more and more. I haven't run since Monday, the first day of winter. Only 9 miles run since the marathon. Maybe calling it quits at the 20 mile water stop was the right call. Therefore, I ran on and finished the bloody thing.

Sorry about saying 'bloody thing'. I'm reading a book I got for Christmas written by an English stand up comedian, Tony Hanks. Not the skateboard dude. He likes to say English things like que and quay and bloody thing. The book is "Round Ireland with a Fridge."

It's a true story about a guy that has a bet that he can't hitch hike around Ireland with a fridge. Before you call him daffy (English term) keep in mind he used a small compact fridge and a hand dolly. Then realize that he sold 500,000 copies to the Queen's subjects and that they and other who bought the book are the 'daffy' ones.

I'm not daffy, because it was a gift*. I'd blog more, but I got to get back to the book.

*My son heard me talk about this crazy book I saw in Barnes and Nobles. The library didn't have a copy, so I didn't think I'd ever read it. He went out and bought it for Christmas. What a good kid.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Arizona Vs. Michigan - The 1000 Mile Challenge

It's Arizona Vs. Michigan
Five runners per state.
1000 Miles per runner (or more) in 2010.
We need a team captain for each state and a team name. I'll volunteer to be the AZ captain. I now need teammates. Anyone interested, just leave a comment. Michigan needs a captain. I'm thinking Jen or Ken. As soon as we get captains, we can start making some rules.
If you leave a comment and want to suggest rules or a team name, do so. If you live in another state and can round up 5 teammates and want to play, let me know.

Monday, December 14, 2009

2009 Tucson Marathon and an almost DNF.

I made it to the aid/water station just past mile 20 and asked the lady in charge to call a shuttle to pick me up. I was done. One of the bike patrol offered to make the call about a mile back and I said, "no, I only have a bit more than six miles to go." But, then I thought six miles of walking. What will that be for? It won't help me with my PF Chang's Marathon in January. It won't make me a stronger runner. All it will do is get me a medal and my third marathon completion. At the time it made perfect sense to throw in the towel.

The lady in charge of the water station offered me a chair, while she called. As I sat in it, Vince happened to run by. "No way buddy. You're not done. Come on, run with me." I didn't know Vince at this point. He was just a helpful fellow competitor. I told Vince I was done and he went on. I sat. I became a non runner. I hit the stop button on my garmin. The shuttle was a green jeep cherokee and the driver took 5-10 minutes to get to me. So, I sat and watched as runners stopped, got a drink and hurried on their way. I never volunteered at a water stop, so this was all knew to me. A runner would come by, the volunteer would give them a cup and say how great they looked. I was waiting for her to point to me and say, "you're doing way better than that guy." She didn't.

In the meantime, I massaged by calves.

My day started at 4 am. Actually 3:44. That's when I awoke at the Best Western Innsuites Hotel. I wanted that extra 16 minutes of sleep, so I closed my eyes. Figuring I got the extra rest, I looked at my clock again. It was 3:45. For the next 15 minutes I kept looking at the clock figuring time was up only to see a minute had gone by. Finally, I got up and got ready for the 2009 Tucson Marathon.

It was going to be a good day. The first 8-9 miles are ups and downs with a net elevation drop of about 400 feet. Starting at 4800 feet in Oracle, AZ. The plan was to run the downs and walk the bigger ups, but to conserve energy for state route 77. SR77 is where you go from 4400 elevation to around 27oo over the final 17 miles (little did I realize it would also be in the face of a pretty strong wind). The plan worked for the first 10 miles. All my splits were under the 12 minute per mile I planned. All except for mile 8 that was over 15 minutes and was the biggest up hill on the course.

As I sat at aid station 20, I watched runners go in and out and I knew they'd finish. My time to that point wasn't horrible. I was behind where I wanted to be, but it was the calves and feet that were the reason for me stopping. I'm not good with pain. I tried to pretend I liked pain, but that didn't work.

Miles 12 thru 20 were my undoing. I wanted to do these downhill miles in under 11 minutes. My plan was to get to the finish under 5 hours. The hardest part of the course was behind me and I expected to do negative splits. Around mile 12 I could feel the pain from the Oracle hills in the beginning of the race. The walk breaks became longer. I wasn't sure if I was developing blisters on the pads of my feet. I did realize that I should have trimmed my toe nails the night before. I could feel that one or two of them were slicing into the neighboring toe. Turned out my feet came out ok. No blisters and only one toe got bloodied. My splits in these middle miles were in the 14 to 19 range. Any split over 15 is a mile in which I could only walk. Today, it's hard to imagine I couldn't run. But, from mile 16 until the water stop after 20 I walked. I watched my garmin and I thought how could I ever be able to go another 10 miles? I saw the Catalina Moutains way to my left and I knew the road would curve back to them.

I became a non competitor at the water stop. Vince couldn't get me up. It's weird watching a water stop activity as a non competitor. So, I continued to massage my calves and then I stood up. I walked to the street and said, "I'm not done. Thank the shuttle driver. I'm going to head on down the road." Yeah, I thought about what I was going to write in my blog. I thought about what my fellow bloggers would think. I guess you're my enablers. No, there was no Rocky music with this decision. I just decided my legs felt better after the rest and I could run/walk to the next water station and then see how I felt.

I had a new plan. Survival to the finish line. I was going to count my running steps. 20, 30 or 40 right steps and then I could walk. I did this a few times and passed 3 runners that I watched pass me at the water stop. I did it a few more times and then saw the green jeep. She had her window rolled down and asked how I was doing. I tried not to look at the plush leather seats or feel the heat escaping from the car window. I told her I was fine and that I was going to soldier on. Little did I know that Vince, my 'enabler' was a soldier.

After a few more running segments I passed a Team Chances runner from Ahwatukee. Practically a neighbor. She was laboring with her two sons to get to the finish. I was in the middle of one of my running segments, so I kept on moving. Up ahead I saw a guy in a white shirt. Could it be Vince? After a while, I caught up to him. He was walking with a hiking stick. Never seen that before in a race. I tapped him on the shoulder, which scared him to no end. He was glad to see me and congratulated me on returning to the race. We talked for a while. He's in the army at Fort Huachuca (wa-chu-ka). This is where I learned his name and that he almost quit on a 100 mile race. At mile 93, someone got him up and running. He was just paying it forward. I thanked him for his service and we walked for a while. Then, I told him I needed to get running. I didn't think I'd see him again. But, around mile 25 he passed me. Said I inspired him to finish strong and he finished ahead of me.

Then, the Ahwatukee lady caught up to me. We walked and talked. Her boys still with her. I told her she was doing great and she said I was too. The comradiere at the back of the pack is nice. Everyone supported each other, except for the two 'Paris Hilton' wannabes that were running and wouldn't even talk to me. More on that in another post.

Miles 22 thru 25 were 14:09, 13:56, 14:30 and 15:56. The last hill up Hawser Road slowed me down at the end. I was making a lot better time than in those middle miles. Not fast, but at least there was some running involved.

My attitude wasn't very good. I was upset that I didn't properly train for a marathon with this much elevation change. I was a bit naive to think that a couple hill workouts would suffice. I was embarrassed that I wasn't doing 11 minute miles. I had friends that told me, I just didn't listen.

By mile 26 I was toast again. I was walking and people that I had past were now passing me. I was glad for them (not the paris hilton girls). They all passed me, but by then I knew I would finish. I did in 6 hours and 9 minutes. It felt like 60 hours. But, I finished and for that I got my third marathon medal.

Tucson - Twin Cities - Rock N Roll Arizona

Below are pictures I took. I didn't take many during the last half of the marathon. I was not in a good frame of mind then.

The expo was at the El Conquistador in north Tucson.

The expo was small, so I sat poolside and looked at all the brochures they give you. The El Paso Marathon had a booth, so I spent a long time looking at info for West Texas and Big Bend National Park.

The race director had two school buses at the start. You find the window with your race number, put your extra clothing in a drop bag and toss it in the bus. Then at the finish line, they had your warm clothing for you to pick up.

Me at the start line. The start is in the middle of the Coronado National Park in Oracle, AZ.

A beautiful start area, surrounded by boulders and unbelievable views.

As luck would have it, a bunch of porta potties too. I chose to use the tree on the right instead. I'm sure the women appreciated less competition for the seats. However, I did see a few women squatin' in the desert.

Before the sunrise. We had to ride buses to get there and then we sat for over an hour until the race start time.

A close up of the rock climbing runners. I took several pictures from atop similar rocks.

The start.

Miles 5-9 are an out an back. They are also a down and up. I liked it, because you got to see all the other runners. The views were great at this point. I even saw superman running by.

Now I have 35 days to train for the flat PF Chang's Rock N Roll Marathon in Arizona. Yeah, yesterday I would have cancelled my registration.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Running the Tucson Marathon.

I'm off running in the Tucson Marathon. So, while I'm away I thought you might like to see a little running, Sesame Street style.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Amy's Quilt

For the past few months Amy has been making me a running shirt quilt. She used 16 of my 40+ shirts.
The next few photos are close ups quarters of the quilt. You can click on any picture to enlarge. This section shows my first marathon shirt form the PF Chang's Rock N Roll Marathon here in Arizona. The Air Force 5k was run in between retired planes in the 'boneyard'. The Mesa Turkey trot is my favorite T day run.
And here is my Ironman shirt. No, I didn't do the Ironman. But, I got this shirt from running in the 5k event the day before. The YMCA half is to the right of the Ironman and the Arizona Distance Classic was my second half down in Tucson. The Ostrich Festival 5k is one of the few races I do in my town.

The Higley High run is run in the dark on the canal and then around the HS track. There's my Lost Dutchman half shirt. It's a beautiful course at the foot of the Superstition Mountains. The Bumble Bee 5k was in San Diego and is run right before the Holiday Bowl Parade. I got a can of Bumble Bee chicken for that race.

I actually did the 1 mile race to get the ST. Patty's shirt. I finished second to a 12 year old speedster. There were about a dozen other runners in the race. The Run for the Islands is a race in Gilbert, AZ. It sounds like it should be in Hawaii, but it's not. There is a couple lakes, but no islands. The Run for Brooke shirt is from my very first race and my slowest 5k race ever.

Amy is an incredible quilter and I really do appreciate being able to hang this quilt in my office.