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5ksandcabernets: October 2009


Sunday, October 25, 2009

So what...

I know it seems like I've dropped off the face of the (blogging) earth, but I have been adjusting to my new job investigating mortgage fraud and have been trying to fit how to run in my new schedule.

And I have been running and in this colder weather, my runs have gone well, but so what...

I ran 13 miles in 1:37 (7:30 pace) this morning, but so what... I don't even come close to that pace when I run marathons. I also averaged around 7:30 for an 8- and a 7-miler last week. But it's like, yeah yeah yeah, where is all this speed and endurance on Marathon Sunday?

I don't know.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I'm back....

I know it's been a while since I've blogged.
For one thing, I just returned from Tempe, AZ after two weeks of the most intense training for my new job. Another thing, and more importantly, I just needed to re-charge my batteries.
My blogging batteries.
And my running batteries.
Consider me recharged.
It's hard to blog from work, so I'll have more later. But know this: I will not let that last marathon performance keep me down. I will beat the Marathon Monster.
I have not blogged or read a blogpost since before the marathon, so forgive me if I have not visited some of you. My Google Reader is wayyy full but I plan to catch-up on all your comings and goings.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Portland Marathon Race Report: Stage fright and a small dose of redemption

So what happened? That's the big question that everybody has, right? I mean, how did 55 miles/week of training and 8 runs over 20 miles equal a 4:03 marathon on a flat course and in temperatures that were 25 to 30 degrees cooler than I normally trained in?

How did my Portland marathon turn out 10 minutes slower than my Cowtown Marathon even though I was much more fit going into Portland?

You got questions? I've got answers.

1) I got stage fright.I totally freaked. I mean, in the beginning, my legs felt tight and they weren't firing right. The more I worried, the worse I felt. I was stressing so bad, man. I worried that my legs didn't feel right. I worried about when I should use the port-a-potty. I worried that my left shoe wasn't tied tight enough. And I worried that I wasn't sweating enough.

And you know how they say stress can impair the central nervous system? That's what was happening to me. I was having this weird brain-body connection. The timing between my brain and my legs was just off for much of the run. I know it doesn't make sense, but that's how it felt. My right leg would hit the ground and it just felt like my brain was just a split second slow in sending the signals for my left leg to fire.

You know how it feels when you step off a short curb that you didn't know was there? You feel startled, right, like you are going to fall but you catch yourself? That's how I felt. And as the miles ticked by, I was more worried about not falling off the curb than running. I was trying to keep from falling with each step instead of just running, that's how stressed out I was. It got so bad that sometimes I'd stop, and literally say to myself, 'Just put one foot in front of the other, dude.' I mean, I would switch my running form, or I'd stop and start again, trying to do anything to shake myself out of the doldrums.

2) Nutrition, hydration? Not sure if this was the problem. If anything, I over-ate and over drank during the week leading up to the marathon. And if I had to guess, I'd say i was overhydrated. I carried a water bottle with me during the first four miles so I wouldn't have to stop and fight the crowds so early in the race. I took a gel and had a salt packet 20 minutes before the race. I had another gel at Mile 4 and Mile 9. These were the same gels i took in training. After Mile 4, I took one or two cups of water at the water stops.

But the funny thing is, the more I drank or the more gels/salt tablets I ate, the worse I felt physically - and this was aside from the "step off the curb" feeling I had. I had to go to the port-a-potty five or six times (to do No. 1) and each time, my bladder emptied clear urine. It took me a while to figure out what was going on, that I probably began the race super-hydrated and since I wasn't running anywhere near marathon pace, I wasn't thirsty at all, and drinking water made me feel worse.

By Mile 21, I had had it with gels and water and decided I'd run the last five miles without taking any more gels and only water if I was thirsty. To hell with a formula! How did that work for me? I was one-minute faster per mile from Mile 21 to 26.2 than i was from Mile 13.1 to Mile 20. And my last two miles of the race (7:59 on Mile 24, 7:21 on Mile 25 and 6:35 pace for the last two-tenths of a mile) were much faster than my first few miles of the race.

That's it, people. I just freaked out and probably drank too much water. I didn't get cramps like I usually do, which is a good thing. But I was so scared that I thought the tightness I was feeling in my legs was the precursor to cramps. I ran scared. At one point, around Mile 11, I told the guy pacing me to go ahead and run because I knew I was cooked. He didn't think it was a good idea to leave me and insisted that he at least make sure that I finish. I promised him that I could finish the race and he took off.

I swear to God, when he took off I honestly thought about quitting. All I had to do was find a medic who'd take me to a hotel. i could pack, get on the plane to Phoenix where I was to start my training for a new job, and not have to face my Team Rogue teammates. But I'd have to face myself. And so I just said I'd run as slow as I could run and try to recover and get myself together and when I would feel good, I'd try to run hard. My paces from Mile 12 to 18 reflected this meek strategy on my part. My min/mile paces during this portion of the race ranged from 7:42 to 12:00. I was literally all over the place. I couldn't get any inconsistency and when I found myself running at a pretty decent clip, I'd freak out waiting for cramps that would never come. Then I'd slow down.

Finally, at around Mile 24, I just got mad. I figured I hadn't done enough to use up my glycogen levels and so there was no wall to worry about. So I just took off. I figured I was too close to the finish line to stop. I was either going to cramp up or I was going to finish strong and regain a sliver of dignity. A tenth of a mile turned into a quarter mile and so on and so on and I kept passing people, at least 100, maybe more, and my legs finally started feeling like themselves and my lungs were grateful that I was making them burn a little bit.

I told you earlier how I was able to run sub 8s during the last 2 plus miles of the race. If there is anything to take from this disaster it is that last fact: I did not cramp and ran strong over the last few miles. I ran like someone was chasing me with my arms extended as I crossed the finish line and will probably wind up with the best marathon finish photo of any I've had. I'll build on that and I'll run another marathon. But I won't say when and I won't set a goal for time. I'm just going to run for the enjoyment of running and let the fast times come naturally.

I'm going to get this thing down one day.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Portland Marathon splits

In airport headed to Phoenix for the new job. Here are my splits. Last mile faster than the first but in between was a whole lot of misery and too much time in the portapotties. 

Sent from my iPhone

Begin forwarded message:

From: Kevin Lyons <>
Date: October 4, 2009 1:23:28 PM PDT

Sun, Oct 4, 2009 7:01 AM Pacific Time (US & Canada)
By newseditor
Elevation Gain
Elevation Loss
Avg Speed
Max Speed
Summary 04:03:4326.523,007 3,00109:1103:36 3,247
100:08:08 1.00199 28108:08 03:56121
200:08:05 1.0096 10408:05 05:16126
300:08:31 1.00159 1908:31 05:57125
400:07:51 1.0025 4607:51 06:04122
500:07:07 1.000 7607:07 05:47122
600:07:47 1.00219 20707:47 05:47123
700:07:47 1.0049 9807:48 05:50129
800:09:08 1.000 6009:08 06:36120
900:08:26 1.0062 8808:26 05:45127
1000:08:38 1.0047 008:38 06:36124
1100:10:28 1.0036 4910:28 07:58120
1200:09:25 1.0084 23209:25 06:55125
1300:10:35 1.00320 67510:36 06:54127
1400:10:01 1.00561 010:01 07:32124
1500:07:36 1.00106 11207:36 06:34123
1600:10:12 1.0046 1410:12 07:17122
1700:12:17 1.00 164 4412:17 06:48117
1800:08:36 1.0069 10208:37 06:17123
1900:11:43 1.008 2711:43 07:14119
2000:11:49 1.0027 011:49 07:39120
2100:09:16 1.0019 2709:16 07:46122
2200:01:48 0.1943 009:15 08:2924
2300:10:10 1.000 7910:10 05:18121
2400:09:59 1.0041 9810:00 07:02120
2500:10:38 1.0084 9610:38 06:48118
2600:07:59 1.00196 19207:59 05:18127
2700:07:21 1.00158 17807:21 05:20123
2800:02:11 0.33191 9806:41 03:3633
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Portland Marathon finish

Ran a 4:03. Wayyyyyy disappointing. No cramping though my legs felt
stiff for the first 24 miles. Magically I ran a 7:59 and a 7:24 the
last two miles. So that's the only positive.
The weather was perfect. The course was flat. I just bombed and knew
it before the end of the first mile. I put too much pressure on
myself. I was taking gells and drinking water and salt. But all that
shit was just making me feel worse. Finally at Mile 21 I said 'enough'
and treated the run like a normal long run. By the time Mile 23 rolled
around I felt better and sprinted the last few miles in.
I have no excuses. If I can run the last 2.2 miles in under 7:40 pace
then I should have been able to do much better.

I guess it is all in my head.

I gotta get ready to fly to Phoenix. I'll do a full race report later.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Track me at the Portland Marathon

Go here:

Start time is Sunday, 7:00 a.m. West Coast Time. Which means 9 a.m. Austin time and 10 a.m. for all my East Coast bloggy peeps.

My bib No. is 6811

My goal: 3 hours, 20 minutes.

My plan: Run the first 18 miles about 5 to 7 seconds slower than goal pace to preserve energy then try to close the last 8.2 miles. If I don't get 3:20 but finish strong, I'll be very happy.