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5ksandcabernets: February 2011


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Austin Marathon pictures

I got the finisher's medal

These cramps are killing me

Rounding the corner to the finish line

The finish line almost tripped me up

Trying to look strong

Here are the official photos from the race site and a video of me crossing/stumbling across the finish line.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Marathon carb count

I'm working on a bigger post about what happened/went wrong at the Austin marathon, but here is what I ate the day before the marathon. I based my day-before-the-race diet on this study by some Western Australian scientists (and on advice that about a dozen other people I know use). The day before the race, we warmed up for about 20 minutes, then ran 3 minutes hard, like faster than 5k pace, on a track, then immediately drank a carb-rich drink.

This hard workout tricks your body into thinking you are starving for carbs, thusly, your cells store more and more carbs than usual, making them available on race day.

For the entire day, I was supposed to get 4.6 grams of carbs per pound of bodyweight. For me, this meant I needed about 713 grams of carbs.

I wound up closer to 800.

Here is what I had from 7 am Saturday morning to 8 pm Saturday night (Marathon was Sunday morning). By the way, I didnt have any GI problems either day. Of course, this carbo-loading didnt save me from cramping, but thats another story.

Here is what I ate (in order of its apperance to my diet that day) and the amount of carbs each item contained:

Meal replacement drink  (15 oz of water)...... 48

Three small boxes of raisins 33

Protein bar  39

Small box of raisins 11

Glass of orange juice 26

Two waffles. 44

Syrup 40

Orange juice  26

Three slices white bread 36

BBQ sauce with drumstick 10

Powerade 32 oz.       56

Gluten free trail mix.  39

Raisins (3 boxes).       33

Cookie.                       35

Trail mix.                  35

Carb rich meal replacement shake (15 oz of water)         48

Two and half slices of thick garlic toast 50

8 oz angel hair pasta.    168

Glass of lemonade.              30

I normally weigh 155 pounds. I stepped on the scale before i went to bed Saturday night and I was 165.

Again, I didnt feel bloated or have GI issues on this day or the day of the marathon. I guess looking back, I should have drank more water throughout the day. I think I was so busy eating that I didn't think to drink a ton of water.

Still, I had to go to the bathroom (for onesies) every hour it seems and my urine was clear. So, I figured I was properly hydrated. Though I did have a major headache for the first few miles of the marathon. Was I dehydrated?

I dont think so. I mean, I know what it feels to be dehydrated. You feel weak. Nauseated. Like you are going to drop dead. On marathon day, my mind was clear, and I felt strong - even when I was cramping, I felt like the fight hadnt left my body.

During the marathon, I had two cups of water and some gatorade every three or four miles. And thats it. As I said in a previous post, I started to take a GU at Mile 15, but the instant I chewed on some, my hamstrings started cramping. Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not. But I just felt like the thing was making me sick, like I was having an allergic reaction, so I threw the GU down and trudged on.

Oh, well, still trying to figure this out.

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Austin Marathon: I did my best, but.....

......the cramps still came.

I carbo-loaded, downing  800 carbs the day before the race. I hydrated during the Austin Marathon, drinking two cups of water and a little gatorade every three miles.

I ran the first half as slow as possible, not one mile faster than marathon pace, and most of them 30 seconds slower.

....and yet my quads still tightened, calves spasmed, and a dream of a respectable marathon time already dead by Mile 15. That's when the wheels began to fall off. At Mile 15. I started sucking down a GU and like an allergic reaction or something, my inner quads start spasming. I was like, "Are you friggin kidding me?" I wasnt breathing hard. Was just cruising. And to have that feeling was just depressing.

The other weird thing is that in the first 10 miles, when I'd drink water and/or gatorade, it made feel worse. But at the end, when I wasnt sweating AT ALL, drinking water and the downhill portion of the course absolutely saved me.

My final time for my eighth marathon was 4:10:10, with my first half split being 1:51 and my second half being 2:19.

I'll go into more details later, but I remain at a total loss. Was it hot? Very, not as bad as Chicago, but 60s and high humidity at the start and high 70s at the end. And so, maybe, I just cant perform in the heat. Still, I seem to perform worse than others. I was in 980th place or so at Mile 20 and near 1,500th place at the end. EVERYBODY WAS PASSING ME.

And as I said in an earlier post, I've run that same Austin Marathon course in training, posting two 22-mile runs in an average pace of about 7:50. I think Sunday I only had two miles that were that fast.

But again, its back to the drawing board. Again, a search to figure out why this happens in races. I'm starting to see how Susan Lucci felt.

All I can say is I'm glad I finished and got a medal.


Friday, February 18, 2011

My marathon weather history

The latest conditions for the Austin Marathon call for temperatures at the start around 60 degrees and a high of about 75. And humidity will probably be 1,000,000 percent.

Ok. Ok. I've done this before. Run marathons in much worse conditions, what with freezing winds at the 2009 Cowtown Marathon in Fort Worth and a freak heat wave at the 2010 Chicago Marathon.

Here, in fact, is a look at the weather conditions for each of my previous seven marathons. I pulled the weather from the weather underground site I list what the weather was at the start and finish of the race (7 a.m. and noon for continuity).

A look:

December 11, Dallas White Rock Lake Marathon: 38 degrees at the start. 60 at the finish.

December 9, Dallas White Rock Lake Marathon: 46 at the start. 39 at the finish. (brief periods of light rain)

December 14, Dallas White Rock Lake Marathon: 66 at the start. 75 at the finish with speeds averaging 21 mph. (Cramped real bad here.)

February 28, Fort Worth Cowtown Marathon: 35 at the start, 46 at the finish. 24mph wind speeds made it feel like it was 23 degrees. (Chilly)

October 4, 2009 Portland Marathon: Start 44, Finish 50. (The most perfect day to run a marathon. Unfortunately, I didnt run a perfect marathon).

December 13, 2009 Dallas White Rock Lake Marathon: Start 48, Finish 54 (Great weather. Ran a PR of 3:36)

October 10 Chicago Marathon: Start 59, Finish 81. This is not a misprint. EIGHTY ONE DEGREES!!!! (Yes, I cramped up all over the place. Just like 2008. Hmmm. A trend. Lesson: When its that hot, take it easy!)

Again, with temps expected to be pretty uncomfortable during Sunday's race, my goal is to take it easy, real easy for the first 13 to 18 miles, running wayyy slower than my marathon goal pace (7:40 min/mile), and then if I have something left, turn it on at the end.

I will take it easy.

I will take it easy.

I will take it easy.

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

2011 Austin Marathon: My goals.

They say you should set several goals for yourself when you run a marathon. From your A goal, where everything is going right and things feel easy, all the way to your D goal, when you are having a bad race or the weather stinks.

Here are my goal for the Austin Marathon.

D. Finish with a smile on my face. I've run 7 marathons and have had disappointing finishes in five of them, finishes that saw my pace slow to as slow as a 15-minute mile because of cramping quad muscles. If I do anything Sunday, I'm going to run slow/relaxed enough so I can run every mile in a respectable time.

C. PR: My current PR is 3:36. That's an 8:15 min/mile pace. In each of my last two 22-milers, on pretty much the exact same course that we will run Sunday, my pace was about 7:50 min/mile.

B. Sub 3:30: That's an 8:00 min/mile pace or better. See C.

A. Qualify for Boston. That means run a 3:30 or a 7:38 min/mile pace. I have the leg turnover to do this. Ive run 1:32 half marathons and so slowing my pace by another 40 seconds a mile should be a piece of cake. But, See D.

Weather: Its going to be pretty hot, pretty muggy out for a marathon, with forecasters calling for temps in the high 50s at the start and getting up to the high 60s, low 70s near the end. I'm going to take it easy the first 13 miles, run according to feel and not time and then try to push it near the end.

So, if easy running means I'm scooting along at 8:30 pace the first 13 miles, then that's what I'm going to do the first 13 miles. I'm going to respect the weather, the humidity, and the distance.

And most of all, I'm going to relax and have fun and treat the marathon as one big long training run.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I'm on camera...

...And so are about 5,000 other people. The good folks at Brightroom just released pictures and videos of the crazies who ran the Austin 3M Half Marathon last Sunday.

Click this link for the 3M Half Marathon and Video pics.

If you can get through the 30 second clip, I'm the black guy wearing the gold shirt about 8 seconds into the video. At 15 seconds in, you can even here them call my name.

There are also pictures.

I looked ghostly. (This nostril-snorting, eye-squenching photo was shot near the end. I'm doing everything I can to breathe. In. Out. In. Out. The fellow to my right doesn't even look like he is running that hard and yet he is step for step with me. &%$#*&)

The humidity coated my hair and skin and made me look 20 years older.

I felt it.

Oh, and one more thing... I changed my blog a little.