Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Worldwide Festival of Races Half Marathon

Here's some clips from the Worldwide Half.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Wineglass Marathon Race Recap Blog. Podcast Coming Soon!

     My first marathon went better than I could have expected. I met up with Chris @cyktrussell on Saturday and headed down to the expo in Corning, NY. There were a couple of small tents set up for packet pickup and some running gear, but that was about it. We picked up our race packets with our bib, wineglass, split of sparkling wine, long sleeve tech shirt, and sample of Aquafore then walked down the street to meet @NickiInNY, a friend from Twitter/Daily Mile. Then we suited up and got in a short 20 minute run to get the cobwebs out on the last mile or so of the course before we drove north to my house. We stopped along the way for a bite to eat at "Happy Days" where they didn't have hummus (or know what it was), but did have chick peas. The same guy (server) also asked how far we were running in the marathon. We continued on and got our race gear laid out at my place then hit the rack. I woke up twice during that short 6 hours and was up 5 minutes before my 4am alarm was due to sound. The coffee I made could have used another scoop…

     4:45am: we drove down to the finish line in Corning, parked the car and boarded a warm school bus filled with the aromas of poorly managed carbo-loading and Bengay and set out for the starting line. It was a crisp 39 degrees so we got geared up and put on our custom fit 30 gallon trash bags to keep warm while in line for one last "fluid offload" before the race started. That’s where I realized I forgot my nip guards. I ended up using the mini Aquafore sample and got away without too much damage in the end.

We lined up in the middle of the crowd and the race started promptly at 8:00 am (8:02 Garmin time, but who's counting?). The goal was a 4 hour marathon and the plan was to go out and try to hover around a 9 minute mile pace and keep my heart rate as low as possible, then do some negative splits later in the race. Chris took some videos during the race as he tried his hardest not to shoot ahead at some 7 minute pace. He'd run ahead or wait on the other side of water stops for me and record snippets throughout the race. I wore a Nathan hydration belt with two 10oz bottles which I refilled as needed as I walked through each water stop. Of course the requisite Garmin 305 and heart rate strap were also on board.

     Fueling: GU every 45 minutes-ish after the first 5-6 miles with another 1 or 2 thrown in as I lost track. Filled bottles with Gatorade - usually one full strength and one half and continually sipped. One Endurolyte per hour-ish. In the end this plan was spot on.

     The first 18 miles were just plain fun. We ran along and played some leap frog with the 4 hour pace group led by Sweet Johnny. Really. That was written on a sign pinned to the back of his shirt. He was a good guy and ran with a smile. His pace definitely fluctuated from 8:30-9:30, and he finished almost right on 4 hours, maybe a minute under. Running with that pace group for most of the race was the girl who sold me my first real running shoes. I talked to her for minute and thanked her for not laughing at me when I told her a year and a half ago that I was going to run a marathon. We ran along and talked to so many runners. Chris is much better at striking up a conversation with a stranger than I am, but it sure made the miles fly by, sharing the experience with everyone rather than silently running next to them (which I have done alone in other races).

     At one point later in the race a minivan that just absolutely HAD to get somewhere right away was driving down the road in the same direction we were moving and actually hit a woman with its mirror which, thankfully bent backward. Both the woman and the van just kept going. I'm still irritated by that, but probably not as much as the woman who got hit.

     Late in the race we saw a bunch of people hitting the wall. Some were just pulling up and walking, some were vomiting, some were stretching in people’s front yards. My heart rate slowly creeped up throughout the race as expected. Starting out around 130, then 146 at the half way point, then into the 160's as we started doing some negative splits around mile 22, and finishing the last mile at 170. I really couldn't ask for much more than that. (Chris averaged in the 120's for the race – showoff)

     22 miles is where it started to hurt. It’s also where Chris started pushing me. Sometimes I wished he'd physically push because I was finally starting to feel tired. Mostly my hips and quads were feeling pretty sore. I was waiting for this though - the point where I started feeling like I wanted to quit. I was ready for it so I knew I wouldn't, but I didn't know how bad it would be. Around mile 23 we went down a short, steep hill into a park and it made my quads really scream. Shortly after this, a woman who’d been with the 4 hour pace group the whole way was now struggling to keep up with Chris and me, who were out in front of the group. She was decked out in Brooks gear (except for the Asics shoes) and was clearly not a Brooks ID member (Chris asked and got a very strange look). Chris was encouraging us to get in his “wind shadow” and draft as a headwind had picked up, which was not what I was looking for in the last few miles. This is when Chris’ wisdom and motivation/encouragement would be key. As you can clearly see and hear on the video posted on his YouTube feed (also posted below) he calls me a #$%^& right in front of this innocent woman. It still makes me laugh. She didn’t say anything. She also didn’t manage to hang on with us, but I doubt it had anything to do with anything we said. I’m sure she only finished a minute or two behind us.

     Mile 24 or so I was struggling to keep up the pace. Several times I tried to refocus, relax, straighten up my form and increase my cadence. Any time my pace fluctuated I made sure to do this. The only way I had a chance of holding on till the end was to keep up my form, which, for the most part, I think I was successful at. I attribute this to working my core and back muscles in the gym. My wife’s uncle had mentioned he’d seen a lot of people in the marathon he ran stretching sore, fatigued back muscles during the race and I didn’t want to be one of those people. I also knew the only way to keep up good posture was to work the core.

     At mile 24 I also felt like the finish was about 10 more miles away. My mind was mush and my energy spent. We skipped the last 2 water stops because at that point it really wasn’t going to help. I had some left in my bottles anyway. All I wanted to see was a familiar landmark. Chris and I had checked out the end of the course so there’d be something familiar to see and know the end was near. The only thought going through my mind was where my wife and two boys would be. I knew they’d be around the finish line but I was scanning the spectators for the last mile so I wouldn’t miss them. They were a few feet past the finish line.

     That moment was sweet. The fruit of 1 year 3 months, 3 hours , 58 minutes and 27 seconds worth of labor. As I ran over the huge pedestrian bridge I tried to smile, I heard Chris shout, I saw my wife and boys and I saw the official race clock which read 3:59:59 before I passed and I knew we had some time in the bank for the chip time. I crossed the line and high fived Chris and hugged the family. Victory! And for the second long race in a row, I almost got emotional. I bent down for a second and my legs immediately started to cramp and lock up but I quickly straightened up and walked to the person who put the medals on us then moved out of the chute. I felt great. My arms and legs tingled for a couple minutes and the med tent flashed in my mind, but I moved around and drank some water and I was good to go.

     In this race I accomplished everything I hoped for and more. I held back in the beginning, ran consistently in the middle and ran negative splits at the end. My heart rate increased slowly throughout the race. My energy lasted longer than I thought it would. My nutrition and hydration plan worked perfectly with no gastrointestinal problems or nausea. I HAD FUN. I enjoyed every single minute, even the ones that hurt.


     I can't thank Chris enough for driving all the way here and running this race with me.  His "tribal knowledge" is priceless.  The video he created is something I can have to remember my first race and I appreciate that very much.

Here's my Garmin Data:

Thursday, September 30, 2010

R3 Podcast Episode 9 Wineglass Marathon Preview

An addition to the Chapman Family, Great Race recaps and a preview of the Wineglass Marathon that Mike is running on October 3rd 2010.

The Great Race - Auburn, NY

Wineglass Marathon

Chris Russell's RUN RUN LIVE Website and Podcast

What NOT to do in a marathon. - Look at number 1!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Mike's Marathon Training Plan

As requested, here's my (Mike) marathon training plan. Its only the last 12 weeks of an 18 week plan. I use this plan as a guideline mostly. Sometimes I'll do 2 tempo runs in a week. Sometimes I'll cut a run short or stretch one etc. At one point I got behind on my long runs so I limited my mid-week mileage so I wouldn't be increasing the overall mileage for the week by too much and possibly getting an over-use injury. I do try to make sure to always do what's prescribed for the long run.

I'm no expert and I wouldn't tell anyone else that what I'm doing is the best way to train for a marathon, but I'm pretty confident that I'll do pretty well come race day. I made that determination after my first 20 miler.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

An podcast in a different place

Hey everybody, Ted from the "You Don't Have To Run Alone" podcast and Mike from Real Rookie Running put together a little Q&A and did some recording. They called it "You Don't Have To R3 Alone".  Click Here to download the show from iTunes and see what these guys are up to.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Relay for Life - Rookies on TV

Mike ran 2 legs of a marathon torch relay run on Friday from Onondaga Community College to Auburn High School. The marathon relay kicked off the Relay for Life at the high school. Here's a link to the News Story from Channel 10 news in Syracuse NY.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Most Inspirational Ultra Runner You Never Heard Of

Cathy is a friend of my wife's family.  Her story is much more incredible than this column lets on, if you can believe that. I hope to post the rest of her story as her columns appear in the Fingerlakes Runners Club Newsletter. You won't believe it.  Please click the comment link and leave your thoughts.

CTC (Cathy’s Tahoe Column): Before The Beginning, Part 2
 By Cathy Troisi
Link to Cathy's Article Click "News - 5-13-2010"

As I sat at Albany's airport, I realized a pattern was evolving.  My first column was written while I was at gate B5.  Next column, B7.  Now I'm at B9, awaiting a flight to Pensacola via Charlotte.  Although this weekend is void of a marathon or ultra, it is a 'run away' weekend that will have comparable runner camaraderie.  Before I divulge the details of this weekend, it's back to Tahoe.

Eight of my fourteen trips to Tahoe in the previous fifteen years were for the purpose of attending Jeff Galloway's Lake Tahoe Running Camp at Squaw Valley Lodge.  It's the best way to spend a week's summer (running) vacation.  The accommodations at the 1960 winter Olympic Village are five star.  The locale has a variety of activities in which to engage one's leisure time, restaurants abound, shopping is plentiful, and the scenery underscores majestic.  For me, Tahoe is an all-encompassing experience, not only in the beauty of the area but also in the week long running camp.  I'd previously attended Jeff's camp in Boston but I was a 'newbie' at Tahoe when I attended in August, 1996.  It was readily apparent those who had previously attended this Tahoe camp.  Their social exchange indicated that this gathering was a family reunion of sorts for camp alumni.  Their easy interpersonal banter was contagious as they readily embraced newcomers into the group.  I readily noted Joe and Dexter, finding comfort in our comparable chronological age but also in their obvious camp seniority which gave them the patriarchal presence of this family of campers.  Between them they'd been at the camp twenty-two times over fourteen years since the first Tahoe camp in 1975.   Their wit, humor, and easy-going personalities readily encompassed the newbies in the group of 40 campers from nine states who had gathered together based on a like-minded interest in running.  By the end of the next six days I was adopted into this Galloway family and departed the week long activities already anticipating the next year's reunion. 

The daily routine at camp was predictable.  We met at 6 AM for an hour run (a different location each morning but always within a short driving distance of Squaw Valley Lodge), then a quick shower before breakfast which was followed by Jeff's morning seminars and/or the guest speakers who regaled us with their running knowledge and experiences.  During lunch Jeff would identify the location of the optional afternoon hike.  The first day we hiked the mountain behind Squaw Valley Lodge.  The next afternoon found us carpooling to Emerald Bay.  E-Bay, as I affectionately call it (before the popularity of e-Bay) is considered the most stunning and memorable feature of Lake Tahoe.  It is easily the most photographed place in Lake Tahoe and is recognized as its signature tourist attraction.  Although there are many 'pull-off' viewing areas along the 72 miles of shoreline around the lake, including eight other bays, one would be hard contested to find a more beautiful site than Emerald Bay.

Despite the large parking lot at Emerald Bay which accommodates its thousands of visitors, the area remains pristine.  There's nothing tourist-y to spend your dollars on (although many other places in the Tahoe area offer the typical tourist souvenirs of Emerald Bay) and the only attraction is its natural beauty.  No matter your vantage point, Emerald Bay provides an aesthetic vision.  I climbed one of the large rocks that would put me at the pinnacle of observation.  As I stood there, looking out across the bay, three miles long and one mile wide, viewing the opposite shoreline of the lake ten miles away, I thought, "That would be an awesome lake to run around."

I have no idea as to what generated that thought.  I'd been running for two years three months and, as yet, was unaware of UltraRunning magazine.  I was unaware of the term 'ultra' as it applied to running.   I was unaware that there was a run around that lake.  At that point in time, I was unaware that I wanted to run around that lake.    Yet I was aware of Lake Tahoe's magnetic pull, especally Emerald Bay.  I believe it was at that moment that the lake permeated the totality of my being, mind and body, heart and soul.  It was love at first sight.  

Eight weeks later I was en route to Boston for a fundraising marathon (for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute) on Boston's famed marathon course.  I stayed overnight in Hampden, MA with a friend whose husband was a runner.  On their kitchen table was a copy of UltraRunning magazine; it was my first exposure to the publication.  Perusing the issue, I noted race results for the run around Lake Tahoe.  Hey, that was MY idea!  And here it was, in print, with eight official finishers.   I still never thought about doing that run myself.  Even though I now knew the term 'ultra' as applied to running, it still hadn't slipped into my consciousness for me to attempt those 72 miles.  Perhaps subscribing to UltraRunning magazine paved the way.

I cannot recall the specific how, when, where, or why I decided to run around Lake Tahoe.  I suspect it evolved in the same manner that a seed is nurtured by sun and rain and time, slowly and consistently until it breaks through the soil and blossoms into the light of day.  I remember calling the race director for 'America's Most Beautiful Relay and Solo Ultra.'  I explained I was planning to run around the lake, that I'd prefer to do it during his race although I knew I wouldn't be able to finish the 72 miles in the official 15.5 hour time limit.  I further explained I was familiar with the course (having driven it several times), I had done several marathons at altitude (including Lake Tahoe Marathon), Jeff Galloway would validate I was capable of finishing the  course, and  I would be accompanied by a two person crew.  He asked, "What do you want to do?"  I replied, "Finish the same day I start.  23:59:59 is good enough for me.  I want to start at 12:00 AM, September 8, 2001."  He agreed, only asking that I keep track of my time, that I not wear the bib number until 5:30 AM when the race officially started, and that I needed to be self-sufficient since the aid stations wouldn't be available until the race started.  So, at the age of 55,  five years after my first sighting of that "awesome lake to run around,"  I took the first step that would allow me to circumnavigate Lake Tahoe.  Accompanied by my incredible crew of FLRC's own 'Sal Gal' (Sally Rusby, who was then 65) and one of my favorite fellow Galloway campers from San Jose, Joy Johnson (then 75 years young), their ever vigilant 'TLC'  for 19:31:17 provided me the best experience of my running life.  It remains so to this day.  And the frosting on the cake: I won the Open Division for women.  All the other registered women were using the race to qualify for Western States.  They only needed to complete 50 miles in a specified time and then dropped out.  So, by default, I was the only female finisher, aka, the women's first place finisher.   When you're at the back of the pack, you take whatever win comes your way, however it occurs!

I celebrated my 'win' by taking my crew on a hot air balloon ride over Lake Tahoe.  As incredible as the view was from any point on land, the overview from the air was indescribable.  Plus there was the added bonus that I had nary an ache or pain from those 72 miles.  Afterwards, Joy drove back to San Jose while Sally and I headed to the airport for the red-eye flight to Rochester.  As we landed, the flight attendent announced it was 8:45 AM.  We were blissfully unaware it was the exact time American Airlines Flight #11 out of Boston crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

My Tahoe statistics:
I attended Jeff Galloway's Tahoe camp in 1996, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006.
I ran the Lake Tahoe marathon in 2000 and 2009.
I ran the one day ultra in 2001.
I ran around Lake Tahoe in two days while at camp in 2006, 36 miles each day.  It was a training run for the upcoming Pikes Peak marathon.  It was also the first time I went around the lake in a clockwise direction.
I ran the Tahoe Triple (three marathons in three days to go around the lake; an extra 10k is added to the first day to make it three full marathons) in 2004 and 2008.
I made a side trip to Tahoe when I did the Bishop Sierra 50k in 2006.

Lake Tahoe statistics:
*third largest alpine lake in the US and third deepest in North America
*Lake Tahoe sprawls California and Nevada, elevation 6,228 feet above sea level
*21.6 miles long and 12.2 miles wide
*water volume: 122,160,280 acre feet
*deepest point is 1,645 feet; average depth is 989 feet
*1,400,000 tons of water evaporate every 24 hours (dropping the lake level by only one tenth of an inch)
*lake clarity allows objects at a depth of 100 feet to be seen from the surface
*holds an estimated 39.75 trillion gallons of water
*the lake has enough water to cover the state of California to a depth of 14.5 inches

FYI: Albany airport has a gate B11.

Until my next column, safe miles.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Race Playlist

Here's the playlist I listened to during the race, as requested:

Lost My Mind - My old band
Falling Down - My old band
Hey Soul Sister - Train
Go The Distance - From Hercules Soundtrack Performed in 4 part harmony by Danny Fong
Ramble On - Zeppelin Cover Performed Live by Train
Click Click Boom - Saliva
Lose Yourself - Eminem
Home - Marc Broussard
Come Around - Marc Broussard
Podcast: Dirt Dawg's Running Diatribe Ep. 50
Podcast: Run Digger Run Ep 43

Monday, April 19, 2010

R3 Ep. 6 Boston Marathon Shoutout

A Quick shoutout to the Boston Marathon runners.  Tomorrow we are recording a full length episode, so be on the lookout.

Download Here  also.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Episode 5 of Real Rookie Running

In this episode we give an update on what we've been up to. Then its on to an interview with Chris "Mad Dog Russell" where he gives his best advise to the rookies out there.

Chris' website RunRunLive
  Follow Chris on Twitter
cyktrussell AT G Mail Dot com

Problems Downloading?

If Episode 5 does NOT have the date 02/20/2010 then you will not be able to download in iTunes. Right click the podcast in iTunes and choose "Show All Available Episodes". You should see Ep. 5 with the date and be able to click "Get" to download it.

You can also right click and "Unsubscribe" then right click and "Delete". When you re-subscribe, all episodes should work properly.

Friday, February 5, 2010

I just entered the Gomoji giveaway contest on the Quadrathon blog http://quadrathon.blogspot.com

Friday, January 8, 2010

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Corey & Mike run Half Marathons!

Corey & Mike ran 2 seperate half marathons on January 1st. Corey ran the "Chapman Invitational" in Auburn, NY and Mike Ran the "Hangover Half Marathon" in Albany, NY.  Both guys finished and brought in the new year in a positive way.

Check out a couple videos of Corey's run here and here.  Both guys will be giving their race reports on the next episode of Real Rookie Running.  Lots to talk about.