Friday, October 29, 2010

The Good Natured Taunting Continues

From the demented mind of JimDo64:

Things are as wild as ever over in DoppelLauferland.

I promise, we will be running a third DoppelLaufer Virtual Race Race which will last through the end of the year so that it includes all of the Turkey Trots, Jingle Bell Runs, etc. A half-marathon virtual challenge for the spring is also in the works.

We’ve worked out the general framework and I should be able to post details next week, after my race this weekend.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about you can check out this page to get caught up.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Daytona Half Marathon Water Stations

Just a cautionary note about the water stations at the Daytona Beach Half Marathon. Another member of WVR thankfully posted the details and it looks they are pretty irregularly spaced on the outbound half of the route.

Here’s the list:

2.2 - Daytona 500 Experience
3.5 - Mainland
6.5 - Bridge
7.25 - Sun Splash Park
8.5 - Bridge
10.2 - Jean St.
11.5 - Mainland
12.75 - Daytona 500 Experience

If you are like me and don’t find it necessary to hit every water station in a half marathon, just be careful not to skip the one at Mainland. That would mean more than four miles without water which could come back to haunt you later in the race. I’ve heard from several people that are planning to carry water for this reason.

Looks like we might be getting a break with the weather.  We've had 90 degree temperatures for most of the week but it will cool off quite a bit this weekend.  It should be really nice weather for the race.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I'm a Check List Geek

Shoes: Asics Gel 1150 – Check!
Socks: Thorlo Experia – Check!
Shorts: Reebok Relay w/pockets – Check!
Shirt: WVR – Check!
Spibelt – Check!
Cell phone – Check!
Ziploc for phone – Check!
Cash – Check!
Water Bottle Holder: Nathan Quickdraw Elite – Check!
PowerBar Gummies – Check!

Toe nails clipped – Check!
Body Glide liberally applied to thighs – Check!
Band-Aids on nips (Here's why, if you're wondering) – Check!

All fueled up? – Check!

Run 20 miles – CHECK!!!!!

Final Stats
Distance: 19.96 miles
Total Time: 3:18:54
Average Pace: 9:58
10 Mile splits: 1:40:36 (10:05 pace) and 1:38:18 (9:51 pace)  Negative split - yeah!

I don’t have a GPS record of this run, but here is a link to the route I ran from a prior run. I did two, ten mile loops.  This was a WVR run we call the Swamp House Grill Run that traverses some beautiful back roads.  I have to say that it is great to have friendly faces waiting for you at the end, Gatorade in hand, even when you are the last one to finish.  They do an awesome job supporting runners on these long runs.

What was the most painful part of the run?

Removing those damn Band-Aids (and more than a few chest hairs) from my nipples and then crawling into this:

My training is peaking and it feels good. Next weekend is the Daytona Half Marathon. The week after that is a repeat of this weeks training schedule, including another 20 miler. Then all that will be left is the taper until the Space Coast Marathon on November 28.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Guilty Pleasure No More

Although not a part of my recovery routine after every long run, I occasionally like to enjoy a tall glass of chocolate milk. I first remember hearing about the benefits of chocolate milk during all of the hoopla over Michael Phelps in the last summer Olympics. Shortly after his daily dietary indulgences were laid bare for the whole world gawk at I also began to read about it in running literature.

I’ll drink it straight up, or if I’m feeling rambunctious I’ll blend together the milk, a banana and ice for a nice smoothie. I know people that toss in some protein powder for good measure too.

Out of curiosity I compared the nutrition labels of chocolate milk and Mix 1 Enhanced Protein Shake. I used Mix 1 because I had some around the house, another race freebie, I assume it’s similar to other protein shakes on the market.

Look how similar they are:

So given the choice between something that sounds as appetizing as an “enhanced protein shake” and chocolate milk, which would you rather drink? For me it’s an easy choice. I’ll take the one that makes me feel like a kid again the moment it hits my taste buds.

In the spirit of Michael Phelps’ disclosure, I’ll also share my lunch today. I’m fueling up for my first 20 miler tomorrow.

A huge helping of beef tips over whole wheat noodles. Yummy!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Dealing with DOMS

No, not him.

Or those.

Or her either. Now behave!

I’m talking about Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.

I decided to research this subject after being particularly sore and stiff for days after my last long run. I have experienced this often enough and believed it to be a necessary evil that just had to be “toughed out.” The only thing I ever really tried to do to alleviate it was to just keep moving. I found that long periods of inactivity following a hard or long workout seemed to increase the muscle aches and stiffness. Unfortunately for me, my lifestyle does not allow me to avoid long drives or hours spent sitting at a desk.

Here are a few tips I gleaned to help reduce the irksome effects of DOMS:

First, properly warm up before and cool down at the end of a hard or long workout.

Next, mangia! Protein, protein, protein . . . did I mention protein? As soon as possible after the workout consume carbs and protein to both refuel and help heal your muscles. Anti-oxidents are also reputed to aid in the healing of damaged muscles. You could always look to sensible sources for these anti-oxidents, like nuts and berries, but I prefer something a little more satisfying, like dark chocolate, dark beer or red wine - in moderation of course. ;-}

RICE. Rest Ice Compression Elevation. You’re probably tired of hearing it, but it seems to be the answer to nearly every sports related malady.

Finally . . . massage, and I’m not talking about the kind offered by Mistress Fatima Fetish (pictured above). Either a professional sports massage or self massage using tools like The Stick or a foam roller.

Of all of the things I have discussed here, massage is the one that is noticeably absent from my post workout regimen. I intend to rectify that as the end of my marathon training approaches.  Or maybe I'll just see if Ms. Fetish can fit me in to her busy schedule.

For a little more detail, I found this article particularly useful on the subject.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Basking in the Afterglow

I’m fresh out of an ice bath, bingeing on pastries and coffee, and celebrating the completion of a glorious 19.1 mile run this morning. This was my longest run to date and capped off a 42 mile week, also a record.

Everything went well this morning. I had no knee pain, or any signifciant pain for that matter.  I even had enough energy left at the end of the run to pick up my pace for the last three miles.  I had my hydration perfected.  I ate well in preparation for the run.  The temperature was in the 60's for the entire time.   I couldn't have wished for a better run.

For my last two long runs I have been eating Powerbar Energy Gel Blasts. I got free samples of these after my last few races and finally decided to give them a try. I like them much better than Gu and will keep using them for now. After the first few miles, I start popping one every mile or so and that seems to work well. They have a much better taste than Gu and a texture very similar to Gummi Bears. I look forward to eating them, like candy, as opposed to Gu which I down with reluctance every time. They do take a minute to chew and swallow which can be a little difficult when you are breathing heavy.

I am confident that I will be able to finish 20 miles next week but the thought of having to run another hour in order to finish 26.2 has me a little nervous.

Six more weeks until the Space Coast Marathon!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Saucony ProGrid Kinvara – First Impressions

I decided to risk straying from my usual support running shoes and try a more minimalist shoe. After a lot of research and several recommendations, I chose the Saucony ProGrid Kinvara.

As you can see, I opted for a little flare.

I was unable to find a local source for this shoe, so this was also the first time I ordered shoes online. I ordered them from Running Warehouse for only $65 after a 15% discount (thanks again Jim). That great price even included free 2 day delivery.

My current favorite shoe is the Asics Gel 1150, classified as a support shoe. I was fit for these using the traditional treadmill gait analysis for pronation and they have proved reliable and comfortable. I was happy enough with them to buy a second pair. With well over 300 miles in them between the two pairs I have no complaints, but probably like most runners, I can’t help but wonder if there is something better out there.

The Kinvaras are classified as performance neutral. They are very light, weighing in about 4 ounces under my Asics. That is the first thing you notice when you try them on. They offer some cushioning, but noticbly less than my Asics. They also are much flatter with a smaller heal rise (4mm as compared to 10mm on my Asics).

I think this shoe runs a little narrower than my Asics. The fit was a little snug wearing my usual thick Thorlo running socks on my size 11 dogs. When I switched to thinner Experias, the fit was perfect. The Experias could become my new favorite sock if they prove to be as durable as the thicker Thorlos.

I wore the Kinvaras for the first time on a 4 mile run this morning. There is a lot of hype about these shoes online, and about minimalist shoes in general, but I tried to keep my expectations reasonable.

I was very pleased with the feel of the shoe while running. My online buddy and fellow DoppelLaufer Virtual Racer, JimDo64 from the running forums, described the sensation as being able to “feel the roadness,” eloquently stated and I don’t think I can improve on that description.

Will these shoes automatically improve my running form? Probably not, but the shoes did make me feel more aware of my form. It was easier to feel my footstrike and to therefore make adjustments. I didn’t miss the extra support at all, but time will tell whether this will still be true during longer runs.

I ran the first two miles at a fairly comfortable 9:00 pace and when I pushed that up to 7:41 for the third mile, the shoes performed really well. The faster pace did seem easier, but that could be equally attributable to cooler temperatures. Still, I’m excited to try these in a race.

I am looking forward to testing these on longer runs and if they work well, I may even wear them for the Daytona Beach Half Marathon at the end of the month.

More to come.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

New Route Announced for Daytona Beach Half Marathon

It must be official because I got the email announcement today and when I tried to access their website, it had crashed. I’m sure everyone must have been trying to check it out right away, just like me.

I finally got a look at the new route this evening and I’m pleased.

The race starts and ends inside the Daytona International Speedway.

I'm not a huge NASCAR fan, but its hard not to take an interest when you live this close to Daytona.  I've never actually been inside the Speedway, so that alone will be an experience. 

We will not be able to race on the track because of repaving, but we will run a little over 2 miles through the infield. After that we will exit the Speedway and run east towards the Atlantic Ocean on International Speedway Blvd. (US 92).

At about Mile 6 we will cross the Hallifax River via this bridge to get beachside. We will get a very brief view of the ocean at Sun Splash Park before making the turn and heading back toward the Speedway, crossing the Hallifax Bridge again at Mile 8.

With the exception of the two bridge crossings, it should be a pretty flat, fast course.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Marathon Training Update

I completed week 10 of my marathon training with 5 workouts totaling 34 miles including a 17.5 mile long run this morning.

This was my first long run since I started suffering ITB issues three weeks ago, although I did run a 15k race last weekend.

The 17 miler was a great -12 mile run. Unfortunately my knee started hurting about half way through, gradually increasing in severity, and I struggled quite a bit during the last 5 miles. The good news is that I finished and that the onset of the pain occurred much later in the run compared to last week. I will call that improvement. I was also running pain free during my shorter workouts during the week.

As much as I hate to, I think I’m going to give up one training day per week, at least until I can complete a long run with out any knee pain. I think a 4 day per week schedule will give me the recovery time I need between runs.

The weather turned really nice in Florida this week. I started the run in the upper 60’s and the humidity was significantly lower. This meant much less sweating, but since I didn’t adjust my hydration, it also meant a few “bio” breaks. Actually, it was more than a few. Actually, it was so many that I lost count. That was probably as much a factor in slowing me down as my knee was.

I was also strangely not hungry after the run. I usually have a voracious appetite after a long run. I made sure to consume plenty of calories though. I made a real pig of myself on Saturday. I had a 5 Guys Bacon Double Cheeseburger for lunch and Olive Garden for dinner, so that might have been a contributing factor to my poor appetite today.

I’m off for another torture session with my foam roller.

Friday, October 1, 2010

You pays your money, you takes your chances

My wallet is a little lighter today because I just registered for the Daytona Beach Half Marathon on Halloween. This will be my second half marathon and with one month left in my marathon training, it will be a good test of how well my marathon training is going.

I ran the Gasparilla Half Marathon in 2:16 in February and I think I have a very good chance of breaking 2:00 for this race.

The course is interesting in that it starts and finishes at the Daytona Speedway. Historically, the route began and ended on the racetrack and included a lap around the 2.5 mile track. Since the track is undergoing repaving the route has been changed for this year. We are still guaranteed a “race track experience” whatever that means. The new route should be made available any day now.

From the speedway we will run to the beach and back, so there will be two bridge crossings near the middle of the race.

I’m back on schedule in my marathon training. I ran this morning for the third day in a row and had no pain in my knee, even when I accelerated to about a 7:40 pace for the last ¾ mile.

My training program originally included three 20 milers, but after the hiccup I experienced over the past few weeks, one of those has been scrubbed. If all goes well I will have 20 milers the weekend before and after this race and then start my taper for Space Coast Marathon on November 28.  Looks like I’ll be carb loading over Thanksgiving. Like I need an excuse. :)

I will rest tomorrow and do 17 miles on Sunday. I must be a little sick in the head because I am really looking forward to this long run.