Saturday, January 29, 2011

Uh oh...

I ran a fair half marathon.

Then I lost my mojo.

Then I hurt my calf.

Then I got sick!

Now I'm getting better.

But there's just three weeks to train before going 26.2 miles.

Uh oh...

"Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance"
British Army

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Mojo Missing

A friend recently asked how my training was going for the Austin Marathon"Lousy" was perhaps the most fitting answer.

Sure, the Dallas Half went swimmingly but my training plan and resolve completely fell apart after the race. I ran only twice in the two weeks that followed the half marathon. I just couldn’t conjure up the resolve to strap on the Asics. Blame for my marathon training doldrums can be attributed to a hectic work schedule and holiday obligations but the real culprit is a lack of motivation. Put simply, my running mojo was a no show.

Santa delivered a new GPS-enabled running watch (product review to follow) and some much needed inspiration. I managed a few good runs as the final days of 2010 slipped into history.

My training was just getting back on track when I pulled my calf muscle in early January. In essence I've been out of commission for well over a month!

My calf seems to be on the mend but I’m at a loss for what to do about Austin. As I see it my options are to:
  1. Drop out
  2. Switch to the half marathon
  3. Suck it up and do the full marathon
Each option has its pros and cons… Dropping out would be easy but who wants to be a quitter? Moving over to the half is probably the rational option but how many rational distance runners do you know? Going the full distance opens up the possibility of further injury but also brings the most satisfaction.

“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.”
-Eleanor Roosevelt

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Belated Dallas Half Marathon Report

It has been over a month since I ran the Dallas Half Marathon; and I’ve let all this time pass without updating my blog? For shame! I should probably be drawn and quartered by the blog militia.

I can hardly bring myself to think upon the suspense that you, my dear loyal reader (yes, singular… you and I both know who you are), must have endured. Assuming you still visit this domain, I’ll consider myself lucky to count you as my reader and dispense with the navel-gazing.

Race morning began far to early with a drive downtown to Fair Park. It was rather brisk so I waited to the last minute to drop my belongings at baggage check and head into the corral. This turned out to be a blessing, but I’ll save that for later in the tale.

I was seeded well toward the front of the chute and was delighted by the race start fanfare – complete with local celebrities, music, confetti, and pyrotechnics!

The race itself went about as well as it could have. My pace was challenging to maintain but my splits were consistent most of the way through to the end.

Mile One 7:34
Mile Two 7:22
Mile Three 7:25
Mile Four 7:31
Mile Five 7:24
Mile Six 6:33 (short mile?)
Mile Seven 8:45 (long mile?)
Mile Eight 7:53
Mile Nine 7:55
Mile Ten 7:31
Mile Eleven 7:38
Mile Twelve 7:38
Mile Thirteen 7:10
Last Tenth 1:57

Officially, I finished in 1:40:20, a pace of 7:39 per mile which I’m absolutely pleased with given that my training has been less than desired.

After crossing the finish line, runners are directed into a large indoor multipurpose space where organizers put on a nice post-race spread. Water, Gatorade, bagels, fruit, yogurt… beer. Really everything you could want after running 13.1 miles.

The race itself is flat, fast, and winds through some terrific neighborhoods. Bands were stationed periodically along the course and organizers and the city did a great job ensuring roads were clear and free of traffic.

The only flaw was that the organizers did a poor job with baggage check. The volunteers were just beginning to unload bags when I approached. I ran a decent pace but not that fast… Fortunately, since my bag was one of the very last to go into the baggage trucks, it was one of the very first to come out. Others, I’m sure, had considerable waits for volunteers to unload and organize 15,000 to 20,000 bags.

That said, the MetroPCS Dallas White Rock Marathon and Half Marathon was a very positive experience, and a race I’m sure to run again!

“Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough.”
Charles Dudley Warner