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September 29, 2008

Hamptons Bay Marathon Report

My first running of The Hamptons Bay Marathon is in the books. I say the first because there will be more. It was a great experience.

On Thursday my wife and I arrived in New York. My nieceís (Pattiís), husband (David) picked us up at the airport. He was doing the marathon with me. During the drive to my sister in lawís (Patís) where we would be staying for the weekend we decided that we should drive the course.

We drove out to East Hampton with map in hand. Met up with sister in laws husband (Jim) right at the start line, he just happened to be working in that area and knew the area pretty good. Went over the map a bit and off we went. Pretty much from the get go I knew this was going to be a run that I would like. It was laid out through country roads carved through beautiful forests and a section that stretched out along the coast of Long Island. It was a delight to drive it and I was going to be able to run it.

The race started at 8:00 in the Morning and was about an hourís drive. Jim, David and I left at 6:00 and we arrived at about 6:45. Itís still kind of dark at that time. I was quite excited. As people came towards us I would say Good Morning or some other type of friendly greeting. The response was kind of mixed. David said Tim people donít do that here in New York. I paid no attention and continued on greeting people despite the advice from David. He commented ďIf you keep doing that I wonít walk with youĒ. Heck we were at the staging area anyways so I relented and just kept my giddiness to myself. It was now just a bit after 7:00 so we just moseyed about till 10 minutes before race time.

Prior to getting into the race I need to digress just a bit and get into the weather details. When we got that there it wasnít raining which was better than we expected. However our expectations did come to fruition about 20 minutes prior to the start time. It rained, not hard but steady for about the first 3 miles or so I think. Then it stopped. Not bad one would think. But then it started up again at about mile 16 to 17. A steady and just a bit harder rain than earlier. The rain continued on pretty much until mile 20 I think. From there it was pretty much rain free. Of course along with the rain it was a bit humid. The temp was in the low sixties and the wind was pretty much a non factor except for one small stretch. David said most New Yorkers would say it was miserable, my thought hey no big deal just run.

We started pretty much right on time. The beginning was downhill for a little bit. Just a bit before mile 2 we started to go up significantly. Once we hit the crest of that hill the course terrain was gently rolling hills for about 5 miles or so. Between mile 7 and 8 we descended down to the flat part of the course. It stayed flat for the next 9 miles. Starting right at about 17 we encountered the second significant incline of the route. This incline was also followed by some gentle rolling hills before descending at about mile 21. From there it was predominantly flat with an occasional bump here and there. It was a nice way to finish a long run.

I was able to run more during this marathon than my previous 6. I basically ran at a pace that felt very comfortable. I think for 95% of the race I felt in total control and mentally I was doing quite well. There was one small section in the flats when I was heading directly into the wind that I felt oh oh I am going to be able to get through this in under 5:00. Once I turned the corner and had the wind at my back it was nothing but positive. At mile 16 I checked my time and I was in much better shape than I thought. I had a chance at finishing in under 4:40. It was a slim chance but a chance. It gave me a big boost. At this point I did start a run/walk routine. I ran for about 9 minutes and than walked for a minute. I also walked the water stations. At mile 25 I still had a shot at finishing in under 4:40 but it would have required a pace of under 10:00 and I as hard as I could try that was not going to happen. What was going to happen was that this marathon would be my second best finish. I walked for 30 seconds and than put into the highest gear I could, managed a 10:35 pace, to finish at 4:41:04. It was an awesome run.

I had help in making this marathon a wonderful experience. David ran with me and that was a great motivator. I had family there to cheer me on. And boy did they cheer. They not only gave me a big boost, they gave another runner a boost too. They were screaming, hollering and shaking cow bells like there was no tomorrow. A guy next to me said ďwow thanks I needed that, I am pumped tooĒ. The second time around my wonderful wife had a dry shirt ready for me. A quick change and I was on my way. Too bad the rain started up again about 10 minutes after that. And of course I knew my entourage would be there at the finish line to cheer me on home.

This marathon was without a doubt a very special moment. Between mile 25 and 26 it wasnít raining from the sky but it was a bit watery if you know what I mean. In addition to my family there have been so many people who have supported me along the way. Thatís all of you who have followed my blog and chatted with me on running threads. I thank you and I used you along the way as well. I look forward to the next time.

September 23, 2008

October Surprise

I may be a crazy conspiracy nut but maybe not. If I am not you saw it here first.

It seems Mr Biden is all over the map lately with off the wall statements. Well not really he has been known to say some dumb stuff on occasion. They just seem to be coming a bit more routine lately.

You wonder where I am going with this donít you?

Here's the conspiracy.

Biden continues to make his usual (dumb) comments. The democrats start rumbling and get upsetwith the continued idiotic comments from Joe Biden. A huge outcry goes out for Hillary to save the day. Obama gets on hands and knees to beg Michelle (no doubt she rules the roost) for permission to approve dumping Biden and bring in Hillary. Hillary comes riding in on the white horse, nope sheís just on Billís back and thatís his white hair I see.

Gotcha thinking now donít I?

Thereís your October surprise.

Because I am concerned for your well being: A Public Service Announcement:

If you get an e-mail with 'Nude Photos of Sarah Palin' in the subject line, do not open it. It might contain a virus.

If you get an e-mail with 'Nude Photos of Hillary Clinton', in the subject line, do not open it. It might contain nude photos of Hillary Clinton.


You have been warned.

September 21, 2008

Ready or not here I come

I feel like I am ready. I have run short, medium and long. I have run flats, hills, in the wind, in the heat and occasionally in the rain. Now itís pretty down to waiting for the gun to go off at 8:00 am on Saturday the 27th of September.

I ran my last long run for this marathon training. Probably one of the toughest if not the toughest LSD I have done. I checked the elevations again on the race and there are two good sized hills to climb. Each followed by some rolling hills for a couple of miles. Therefore I chose to run the hilly part of my town tonight. With only a small section of about a mile it was 12 miles of pretty much nothing but ups and downs. So the long runs are in the book which only leaves some short runs on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday to complete my training for Saturdayís marathon.

All in all I think it has gone pretty good. It took awhile for me to handle training in the heat. That was probably the toughest part of getting ready for the fall marathon. It is most likely why I doubt I will do another fall marathon. There werr a few aches and pains too. None of the aches and pains ever caused me to be concerned as I knew they were minor. The step back weeks allowed me to recover nicely after those tough long mileage weeks. So yes I am ready.

The early forecast doesnít look to be too bad. Looking at temps in the 50ís most likely at the start. Later the temps should not be much more than the mid 60ís by the time I cross the line. No predictions on humidity or wind as of yet. The weather is pretty much out of my control so I plan on showing up and I will deal with whatever it is.

There is no online tracking available for the event. From what I was told is that cell phone coverage is spotty so the splits cannot be tracked. The final results I guess will be posted a short time after the race is complete which should be about 2:00. www.hamptonsmarathon.com

Stay tuned for a race report

September 18, 2008

Mo back on my side

Last night I ran my last long run as part of my training for the Hampton Marathon. The run was based upon time, 3 hours, rather than distance however I did hope that I would get to 17 miles. I completed 17.5 miles and felt like I could have done many more. Definitely has put momentum back on my side.

Overall the run went extremely well. I was a bit nervous and anxious during the day with knowing that I was going to run that night. I knew that for my mental attitude towards the event next week I needed a good run. At the start of the run I felt a bit stiff but that went by the way side after about half mile or so. I settled in and basically went along for the ride from that point. I carried my Gatorade which I drank every 2.5 miles. There would be an occasional ache or discomfort zone once in awhile although nothing ever lasted very long. I am quite pleased with how it went and how I feel today.

Now with that behind me I need to try and stay loose. Of course today I will rest. Friday and Saturday I will run short runs of 3 to 5 miles maybe. Most likely Iíll do 12 or 13 on Sunday which will be followed by a rest day on Monday. Short runs will be in order for Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday is when I travel to NY so I do not plan on running Thursday. Friday Iíll run maybe 2 or 3 miles real slow. My body will pretty much determine the pace of the runs. The only goal of these runs is to stay relaxed.

Thoughts of what my pace will be going through my head. I will have a plan one day and a different one the next day. Than on race day all plans will be forgotten and I will run whatever the conditions allow me to run. The pace will be the best I can do for that day.

September 14, 2008

Cruise Control

At his point of my training I am now on cruise control. There will be no speed workouts, no hill workouts or trail running. I will run on routes that I am familar with and hazard free. They will include hills and flats however the pace will be pretty consistent at what I hope to be my marathon pace. It's going to be just cruising along and enjoying the ride.

This weeks training schedule was interrupted by weather. I chose not to run in the rain on Saturday. After having two off days in a row I chose to change up the schedule and postpone my last long run until Wednesday. Todayís run would have been 16 miles, so that is what I will do on Wednesday.

I am working on my training plan for the remaining days following my Wednesday LSD. At the moment I plan on Thursday as an off day. I will follow with 2, 6, & 12 miles the Friday to Sunday. Monday will be an off day. Two short runs than on Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday will be travel and an off day. I will most likely run a quick 2 miles on Friday just to loosen up the legs a bit. Basically the only item that I think might change is I may run up to 16 again this Sunday.

I feel that I am ready for this marathon and confident that I will be able to complete it comfortably. The weather is basically my only concern.

Looking forward to showtime.

September 11, 2008

Pitbull

I have to admit that I am quite amused by Democrats trauma over the Sarah Palin VP nomination. Reminds of me of the story about chicken little. I see all these characters running around claiming ďthe sky is falling, the sky is fallingĒ. Canít help but sit back and watch the spin with a big smirk.

For goodness sake the Republicans nominate a woman to the presidential ticket. How dare they? Its just not fair according to those wacky girls on the View and even Oprah doesnít want any piece of Mrs. Palin. The Republicans just arenít playing fair. Democrats are the party that supports the minorities. I find it kind of comical how the rug was pulled out from those dems.

The response so far has been trying to dig up some dirt on this woman. No way can she be qualified according to the dems. The democ(rats) and supporters (media) are scurrying about looking and trying to drum up or dig up something on this fine woman. So far itís like watching the squirrels in the park going around trying to find places to their nuts. Reminds of the old saying when youíre up to your neck stop digging but do they listen, nope. Keep digging boys and girls.

What was looking like a boring presidential election has now been spiced up a little bit. Certainly made it interesting. No doubt in my mind that it will still be close and most likely neither candidate will have a significant majority. No doubt in my mind where the problem with this country lies and it will stay there. That where it lies is Congress. Once itís over we will all go back about our business and the politicians in Washington will start campaigning for the next election.

September 07, 2008

Caught wiht my pants down!

When the gun went off to signal the start of the 25K that I ran today I was in the biffy. I had entered the line to the row of biffys just a bit more than 20 minutes prior to the start of the race. They could have used a few more. Quite a number of people were in the same predicament as I was. I sure was glad when I came out I had no resemblance to a white tailed deer.

I was about 30 seconds behind the gun time when I crossed the start line for the City of Lakes 25K. This course is run around 2 of the many lakes that are part of Minneapolis. Itís a very scenic run the first time around. The second time around wasnít too bad either. A very gentle course that is mostly flat just a few minor hills.

Weather wise it was pretty much perfect. Right around 50 degrees and just a slight breeze that was quite cool along on one side of the lakes. A little bit of sunshine early and pretty much cloudy when I crossed the finish line. I ran the whole thing in long sleeves rather comfortably.

The pace I ran was much better than anticipated or could have expected. If someone said I could run better than 9:30 pace for 15.5 miles I would have bet them otherwise. Today I would have lost that bet. I ran 2:27:27 which translates to an overall pace of 9:26. In my world thatís smokin!

Upon reviewing the mile splits per my Garmin I was pretty consistent for the most part. My slowest mile was the first mile which was my only mile over 10:00 minutes, a 10:04. A few of the mile splits surprised me which was miles 9, 12, and 15, I ran those at 9:12, 9:17 & 9:16 respectively. Mile 2 split was my best at 8:56.

Everything was aligned today, the weather, the legs, the breathing and the mind. With out a doubt todayís run was my best ever.

I am now down to 20 days to go. I will probably run about the same miles this week as I did last week. I will than begin the taper part of my training. The countdown begins tomorrow.

After todayís run I felt like I could say ďTo infinity and beyondĒ

See ya next week.