Carmel Marathon Weekend 8K race report

morningI ran the Carmel Marathon Weekend 8K race this morning and had a pretty decent time. It was a chilly, but pretty, morning with the race temp around 35 degrees. I decided to go pantless! But, did wear gloves. Before the start of the marathon and half marathon a trumpeter from Hoosier Park horse track played the National Anthem and then played “Call to the Post”. That was a pretty unique touch, I thought. There was also a moment of silence for Boston.

medalWhen my race started a half an hour later we got the call to the post again. The people running the marathon relay started at the same time but they separated at the first stop light just a couple hundred yards in to the race. I went out pretty slowly to enjoy the scenery and completed the first mile in 9:48 as we went up Rangeline Road, then a quick jog on Main Street, and over to the Monon. Then I guess I got caught up in the race and went to 9:02, despite the rolling hills that were on 136th Street. Mile three was mostly on Keystone Parkway which was pretty much all rolling hills as the highway went up and down due to overpasses; pace was back down to 9:34 which was about what I wanted to run at. Mile 4 took us off of Keystone Parkway and back on to 126th St. I picked up a cup of Powerade at the aid station when we turned back 126th to go to the end. Mile 4 was done in 9:32. Mile 5 was back west on 126th St to the finish line and was done in 9:35. My Garmin finished at 5.04, and that last .04 showed the spring with a 6:45 pace. Nice course, and I was pleased with my official time of 47:46 and 9:37 pace.

meI ended up getting two medals for the race. The regular one for running the race, and the second one for running each of the three years that the event has been run. I am now a “Certified Streaker!” I wore a Boston Red Sox hat that I had bought for the race, and pinned a yellow ribbon, that was given out at the expo, to it. The post race food spread was great. I had a banana and a sliver of pizza that really hit the spot.

I did end up with a nice sized blister on both of my arches. Maybe my shoes are bigger than I thought or maybe I lost some weight on my feet. Sorta upset that my shoes with 50 miles on them, and the fancy insoles, may have to be relegated to gym duty. Oh well.

Ready for Carmel 8k race

20130419-212633.jpgI’m ready to run the Carmel Marathon weekend 8k race on Saturday. And I have a renewed excitement because the Boston Marathon bombers have been killed and caught. It will be a chilly morning, so I’ll probably be wearing a long sleeve shirt and gloves. And my new Boston Red Sox hat with a Boston yellow ribbon on it. Should be a good time with this good news from tonight.

Oh, and I’ll be a “streaker” since I’ve run in each of the 3 Carmel Marathon Weekend races; the half the first year, 8k last year, and 8k this year. Check out the sticker on my bib! I think I’ll get a nifty piece of bling at the end.

Oh yea, my weigh in this week was down 4.2 lbs, for a total of 25 lbs lost in 1 week shy of three months following Weight Watchers. I had planned on just doing WW for three months and then going on my own, but I think I’ll continue my subscription and continue this journey.

My thoughts on the events in Boston

This morning, I checked on the results of the Boston marathon and felt good about the show the Americans put on. Shalane Flanagan and Kara Goucher for the women, and six American men in the top 15. I thought that was just great and went about my day.

Then shortly after 3PM I received a text from a friend asking me if I had seen Boston, and I replied something about the results. She replied “bomb” and my response was “what?” followed by looking at CNN, then “Whoa!”

A couple hours later, and it’s clear that someone did set off at least two bombs near the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon. Someone intended to harm the spectators that were there to cheer on runners like me. Someone intended to kill and injure as many people as they could. People that, as I heard one reporter describe it, were at the happy capital of the finish line of one of the great marathons.

I have a heavy heart for the people that were killed, one was an eight year old child, and injured while cheering on people like me. I feel terrible for the people who were experiencing their happy day only to have it ruined by people who’s only goal was to bring evil to the world. Runners, like me. Spectators there to cheer on runners, like me.

I think that a lot of the people still on the course were those that had qualified on time but weren’t having the best day, or maybe charity runners that raised a lot of money to get in to the race. People that were just out there doing their best and trying their hardest to finish the race. I’ve not run a marathon, yet, so I can not even begin to imagine the heartbreak those people feel.

I watched video footage of one of the explosions and I see people rushing to the aid of the fallen. Soldiers, policemen, and just average folks running in to danger to render aid. I see Americans helping each other out in their time of need. Then I read a tweet like this:

And I’m reminded that runners are great people. I’m glad to be a part of the running community made up of such great people. The running community, the Boston community, the American community will overcome. We are strong willed. We will not let evil win. We will run happy again.

Was a nice day for a run

Today was a good day for a run. Went out for my 4 mile neighborhood loop and the temp was in the mid 60’s and the strong breeze felt pretty nice. That’s the longest I’ve run in a few months and it felt harder than I expected. But it felt good. Then I went and mowed the lawn for the first time this season. And I was beat! I’ve been far too sedentary this winter.

Last week I was working noon to 9PM at work and I really hated that. I only got in one run, just 2 miles, on Tuesday morning. I just didn’t want to get out the door the other mornings. And my eating was pretty crappy. Well, not as bad as it would have been in past weeks when I worked late shift, but not as good as when I work my regular hours. I did manage to stay on my Weight Watchers plan every day, so I was happy about that. But I lost less than a pound, so I was disappointed in that.

They’re starting up a Weight Watchers at Work program at the office, and I’m going to check in to that. I chose the online route because the meeting times aren’t entire convenient for me right now. I do my school work in the evenings and would rather not lose another evening due an additional “activity.” But, if they have meetings during a lunch hour, then I can just take my sandwich and eat during the meeting. That’s be entirely convenient. So, we’ll see what all this entails.

I participated in the Twitter #runchat hour tonight and had a good time. It’s usually far too busy for me to keep track and I actually had not participated in several weeks. One person wondered how to do speed work on neighborhood routes and my suggestion was to use the mailboxes as markers for fartleks. Run fast to this one, then slow to the that one… and go for whatever distance. I hope to get back in to doing workouts like that later this year. For now, I’m just plodding along and enjoying the scenery.

Time for a beer! Sierra Nevada Stout is about to be poured. Cheers!

My points help control my life

So the Weight Watchers app and website have been down for about 5.5 hours now. No comment from Weight Watchers on their Twitter, Facebook, or website. Kinda sucks that they charge $19/month for the website and then have zero communications during their outage.

Worse than that, is I’m not exactly sure how many points I have left for the day. I didn’t get to log my dinner, and I just got home from work at 9PM and want a snack and a beer while I watch the NCAA basketball game. I know I have 10 – 15 points left, but that’s the difference between one or two beers and it dictates what my snack will be.

For lunch today I had a Bootlegger sub from Jimmy John’s — it has roast beef and turkey. I passed on the Italian Nights sub that had more points, though I do like it better. I also only ate half my chips and saved the other half for dinner.

It’s good that I’ve gotten so conscious of my points left for the day over the past couple months. I’m allowing the points to control what I eat and finding healthy ways to consume those points. I hope these are long term changes for me. But in the short term, it’d be nice if I could track my food for the day!

Saucony Guide 5 and SOLE Softec insoles

I’m trying to get my running back on track by wearing my Saucony Guide 5 shoes with SOLE Softec Response footbeds.

The Saucony Guide 5 is last year’s model of the Guide that I’ve had for about 9 months now, but never really used. The first pair seemed to get some fast treadwear and it was almost at the midsole after 60 miles. Fortunately, Saucony replaced them for free but I never really ran in the replacement pair. They’re a moderate stability shoe and have been pretty comfortable so far. I did have to go a half size up from my usual Brooks Adrenaline GTS shoes (those are also in the rotation with Superfeet Blue inserts). The Sauncony Guide 5, like a lot of Saucony’s traditional shoes, moved to a 8mm heal to toe drop last year to better encourage a midfoot strike. Adapting to that is taking some work, especially as I start to tire and my mind wanders of paying attention to my form.

The SOLE Softec Response insoles are interesting. You warm them up in the oven for a few minutes and then put them in the shoes. As they’re cooling they form to the shape of your feet. My idea is that they will provide some additional support to help keep the plantar fascitis from coming back. The PF was caused by low / collapsed arches and lack of flexibility in my calf muscles, so these should help one of those symptoms. They have felt pretty good to run in, but I’m only doing 2 – 4 miles at a time right now.

20 Pounds Down!

I started on Weight Watchers Online for Men on January 24th, 2013 and weighed in at 260lbs. I had just gotten bigger and bigger, again, and that 260lbs mark was the straw that broke the camel’s back. It was time for me to do something!

I’ve tried Lose It! and MyFitnessPal over the past couple of years. Lose It! was great and I lost 20 or so pounds on it, but gained it back when I got tired of playing the calorie counting game. MyFitnessPal was more recent. The app was great with its bar code scanner and expansive food database, but I suffered from the same problem. I was just playing a game with the calorie counting, and not really being honest with myself.

So, I started off on Weight Watchers with a new goal — learning how to eat. Yes, learning how to eat. More vegetables, lean means, less carbohydrates, less processed foods, more fruits. No more pizzas after a long run, no more drinking a six pack of craft beer, etc. I CAN still eat all that stuff, but I pay for it with the higher PointsPlus values of the food, so I’ve been choosing not to. I can have a couple beers and a slice of pizza — it’s about moderation.

And accountability. I need that app to hold me accountable. The problem I had with calorie counting was the guilty feeling when I’d go over my calories for the day. Weight Watchers helps me with that by giving me a weekly points bucket that I can borrow from. So if I use all my daily points, then I can use a few weekly points and still be on the plan. Those backup points, though I’ve never had to use them, have really been helpful for me. It’s something in the back of my mind that I can use as a crutch to keep my eating on track.

As of Friday, April 5, 2013, I am down 20 pounds exactly! My clothes fit better, my pants are looser, and I am eating far better than before. I went to lunch with my mom today and instead of having a breaded pork tenderloin sandwich I had a grilled chicken salad. And I enjoyed it. I am eating a lot more fruit — those “cuties” oranges are awesome little snacks. And I like bananas. And grapes. And I’ve bought more bags of frozen vegetables over the past two months that I have in my entire life I think. This isn’t a diet or calorie game for me; it’s my new way of eating, being accountable, and being honest with myself.

I’d like to get down to the 200lbs range, maintain that, then see how I look and feel before I decide if I should continue on.

What’s this have to do with running? Simple — I’ll have less weight pounding on my legs so I’ll be injured less and running faster. I’m looking forward to my running hobby becoming more enjoyable.

Let’s see if I can stay healthy

Yea, yea, the blog has been pretty quiet. Well, so has my running. After that Monumental Half Marathon I managed to run a 10K in December, and I decided to let my leg heal. I had a sore spot about 1/3 up my shin, right on the inside edge of the bone. If I had to guess, I’d say it was point where the muscle that connects down to my arch tied in up at the shin. Hey, I’m a computer guy not a doctor!

So I tried one run in January and decided enough was enough, I had to stop and let it heal. So I hardly did any running in January and February, and managed under 30 miles in March. The pain is gone now, so I’m going to see what happens as I try to run more.

I signed up to run the KeyBank 8K race during the Carmel Marathon weekend on April 20. I ran this one last year, but I was in better shape then so I don’t expect to improve my time any. I’m mainly doing it so I can get the “Streaker” award for running one race in all three years.

They are introducing a new Hoosier Park 8K Triple Crown series that consists of the 8K at Carmel, an 8K at Eagle Creek, and an 8K at Hoosier Park horse track & casino. I’ve never run at Eagle Creek or done a trail race, so that will be fun. And running on the horse track should be great as well, assuming the horse poop is cleaned up! Should be a good series of spring races.

Here’s to hoping my body holds up!

Monumental Half Marathon Race Report

I ran the Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon today in two hours and eleven minutes. But, it wasn’t the time that was important today. I just had a good time running!

I got downtown at about 7:00 but the traffic was backed up getting in to the parking garage, so I didn’t get out of my car until 7:15. I walked over to the convention center, waved at the group from work, then hit the bathroom. Another long wait. By then it was 25 minutes to the gun, so I walked over to the Indy Runners tent. I said hi and took off my warm up pants and jacket.

I was wearing shorts and compression sleeves on my calves and that turned out to be the right call. Up top, I had a short sleeve and long sleeve shirt, gloves, and a hat.

I went to the corrals at about 10 minutes to the gun. There was construction on Washington St so it was hard to get out on to the street. I ended up lined up pretty far away from the 4:30 pace group that I was hoping to stay near until the half split from the full. There were a lot more people there than I remembered when I ran the race two years ago!

The first mile or two was pretty crowded. We ran under the Arts Garden, by Lucas Oil Stadium, around a quarter of Monument Circle, then out Mass Ave. I saw a guy in old school Nike trainers, khaki pants, black belt, blue plaid short sleev shirt, red ball cap from Bubba Gump shrimp company, and clean cut hair…. Yep, Forest Gump ran! I saw his outfit and immediately thought of Forest, then I saw he was running with a lady that had a quote from the movie on the back of her shirt. I saw him between miles four and five but lost him at the water stop on Central Ave.

I hit the 10k mark in 1:02, around 3000th place. My Garmin autolap splits seemed to be all over the place for some reason. I’m not too sure if I should trust them or not.

The water stop after the 8 mile mark was supposed to have Gels but they seemed to have run out when I passed by shortly before the 1:25 mark. That was about the only negative mark against the race today!

The run back gets a little long with nearly three miles running straight down Meridian St. It seemed like the right turn on New York would never come! But it did, and we headed for home. There was a rude cop yelling at people to stay right of the cones even though signs said for us half marathoners to stay left. I think he was confused and jealous he couldn’t run more than a mile.

The finish area was PACKED. They need to find a way to improve that. I got my medal, beanie hat, water bottle, bagel, chocolate milk, cookie, and mini Jimmy Johns sub and headed back to the tent. It was just starting to sprinkle.

It was a great run, a great race, and just a really enjoyable morning. It’s days like today that make all the training miles and aches worth it!

Ready for the Indianapolis Monumental Half

So, after a hard year of plantar fasciitis and shinsplints I feel like I am ready to run the Indianapolis monumental half marathon on Saturday. The training has not gone as well as I would have hoped but I feel like I am ready to run the full (half?)13.1 miles. I did some of the runs by myself, some of the runs with the group at work, and some other runs with the Indy runners group. The weather is supposed to be in the lower 30s at the start and maybe into the middle 40s at the end. I think I’m going to wear pants for the race and maybe two long sleeve shirts.

The race gives everyone a nice Adidas technical T-shirt and commemorative poster. The background of the poster contains all of the names of the runners the pre-registered for the race. There should be water, Gatorade, cookies, and chili at the end of the race to help warm us up.

I am looking forward to the race. Hopefully I sleep well tonight! Good luck to everyone else out there that is running the race.