Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Four weeks of cross-training

I have been taking my time getting back to running since the marathon. I have run only nine miles since the race in four separate workouts. I started a four week muscle-building workout this past Saturday thanks to my friends at Active.com.

So far, I have suffered through two one-and-a-half hours weight training workouts and did a track workout of 3.5 miles that was composed of a 10 minute warm-up and cool-down with a fast steady-state mile in the middle. My steady-state mile was an 85% effort and ended up being a 6:33 time. That's about what I expect at my current level of fitness and the fact that my right calf is still really sore due to the marathon.

Today, I am really sore but I feel good. I am seven pounds heavier than I was at the marathon. I expect that my natural weight is 190 pounds and that I'll lose weight as my marathon training resumes in June. For now I am just going to focus on doing something to stay fit.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Changes are coming - a new entry in the Run-Net DNS table

I will be rearranging my blog soon. I started this blog to put some of my draft ideas in grad school on the web. It then became my running journal and has been best used as that. Now I am becoming energized to journal my thoughts on information technology.

I have recently been enamored by Tim Berners-Lee Linked Data project and the Wolfram|Alpha computational knowledge engine. I think these efforts will be big, really big, but I am not sure that I should mix the posts in a single blog?

No. I just finished Steve Runner's latest podcast on the "Run-Net" community on Phedippidations and understand that I am a node to this community and I prefer to have a more consistent and understandable directory.

So, I will be doing some information architecture and most likely producing two blogs in the near future: one for my running journal and another for my Semantic Web/software interests. Please follow me if you are interested. It keeps me energized.


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Post marathon blues...

I was on top of the world for a day and a half after running my first marathon this Sunday, but now I am analyzing and eager to get out and run again. I think the post-marathon blues is setting in.

I did not meet my goal for my first marathon. Don't get me wrong. I think its great to join the 26.2 club and plan on putting my first car sticker on my car EVER because of it, but I wanted to prove I was faster. I ran 4:03:27. Not bad by my peers opinions, but I actually don't personally know any other marathoners. My forum friends are encouraging, but some of them are so fast. I thought I was one of them.

I am fit, I am 6'4" and 184 lbs. I can run fast. My fastest mile was 5:20. I have run a lot of miles, well at least I ran all but a few of the workouts in Hal Higdon's Novice I marathon training program. Why couldn't I get the predicted 3:30:00 marathon?

Well, to be honest I told myself that I would be happy with under 4 hours, and that is why I am not happy. I trained like a mad man and felt awesome going into the marathon. I found myself well ahead of the 3:40 marathon pace group with only 12 K left, but I hit the wall and it took an hour for me to cover the last 5 miles. I tried to gut out mile 21 and hit an 8:44 pace for it, but slammed down hard afterward.

Oh well, I am waiting for the tenderness to leave my right calf and plan on a 3 mile recovery run tomorrow. After that few low mileage weeks, while I look for a good training plan to get me at least a 3:50 marathon. I have changed my expectations because I feel that if I had merely run the more conservative pace at the beginning I would've had more to give at the end. I will focus on negative splits because I almost never can do them.

I have got another marathon October 10th and I expect to improve.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

My First Marathon Race Report

My First Marathon Race Report

It was a cool Spring day about 55 degrees dark clouds in the sky hinted that we would have a long drenching day about an hour into the race. I arrived about 50 minutes early and after catching up with a few friends I ran into by chance and doing my bag check I got in line for the porta-potty with about 30 minutes until the start time. The line moved slow and I was nervous that I would not make it in time in both cases. So, the moral of the story kids is give yourself plenty of time to get to the bathroom when you arrive at a race.

I found my 3:50 pace group and quickly got claustrophobic with all of the people running near me so I broke away and found myself near the 3:40 pace group. A few miles in I got a little annoyed with conversation the women around me were having and my legs wanted to run faster show I got about 5 minutes ahead of the 3:40 pace group. I heard quite a lot about my pace group bib being so far behind and got into a conversation with a lady, her friend and her husband who hadn't trained but was fit enough and kind enough to pace his wife to the half marathon mark. By the time Bobby left us for the finish line I had run my fastest half-marathon by about one minute 1:50:33.

The guys kept me company from mile 8 to mile 16 or so. The conversation was good though I felt like a little bit of a braggart with my marathon expectations. I remember once saying, "what if I qualify for Boston in my first marathon?" Susan and Jeanne have already run Boston and trained to qualify this race. They let me in on this little secret while hearing my speed fancies in the coolest way. At one point the pace was putting a cramp in Jeanne's style and she gave me the most awesome (and polite) brush off so she could run her own race. Jeanne said to me, "Can I bore you with my fastest marathon ever? It was 2:58..." then she took off to find the pace she was looking for. Mind you we had maintained an 8:23 min/mi pace up to mile 14.

Susan stayed with me until mile 16 when it looked like Jeanne was getting almost a half mile ahead and bid her adieu to me saying that she'll be back to check on me. I said I hope you don't have to. I have to say I love runners. In my experience the average runner is polite, thankful for the fans and peace officers that made our race safe and possible and we genuinely look out for each other.

Since this is a long post I will say how the tough parts began. Mile 18 began the two largest hills I have had to run - 142 feet of incline over one mile followed by 147 feet in the next. It was brutal but I maintained a fair pace. By the end of mile 19 the 3:50 group had caught me. Pacer Josh remembered me from my forum posts and our meeting at the expo on Saturday and he reminded me to glide or bounce down the hill we descended. He was a great motivator asking us to give a little something to finish the last 10-K I kept up for another mile putting in an 8:44 at mile 21 but by mile 22 and the return of the hills I was spent.

I never walked, but I was never the same from mile 22 until the finish. My legs tried to cramp, but a little sprint pushed those back. My diaphram felt that familiar stitch, but I wouldn't let it get me and I tried to put down more water at every rest stop. I ran double digit miles all the way to the end taking an hour to complete the last 5 miles.

I must give a shout out to the car full of the cutest kids ever who cheered me and other struggling runners on as we closed in on mile 25. They kept saying, "Go Kris!" and "Keep going Kris!" I actually saw them at the finish line and they said to me great job and I was very touched. I would thank them personally for what that meant to me if I could, but I'll pay it forward instead. Another shout out goes to my big brother who showed up to the race just in time to see me finish and helped me to my car as I was in bad shape at the end and to my wife and kids who met me at my hotel room with an old favorite - Fox's pizza.

I finished in 4:03:27. I did not meet my goal, but I tried to sprint to the finish line and I will be more smart about keeping a conservative pace all the way up to mile 20 and try to make up no more than 10 or 12 minutes at the end. Hey, its my first marathon I had a great time and met cool people. I am going to learn from this race and try to be better for my next marathon at Baltimore October 10.

Happy running and thanks for reading. I'll be back.

Split, Total Time, Elevation Gain, Elevation Loss
* 1, 08:18, 142, 62
* 2, 08:06, 63, 131
* 3, 08:22, 102, 79
* 4, 08:12, 57, 77
* 5, 08:37, 240, 224
* 6, 08:16, 101, 102
* 7, 08:10, 13, 54
* 8, 08:19, 68, 88
* 9, 08:19, 62, 52
* 10, 08:13, 65, 41
* 11, 08:11, 41, 85
* 12, 07:58, 41, 33
* 13, 08:13, 62, 33
* 14, 08:14, 177, 169
* 15, 08:32, 84, 137
* 16, 08:59, 87, 22
* 17, 09:04, 33, 58
* 18, 09:27, 142, 60
* 19, 10:18, 147, 33
* 20, 09:58, 52, 79
* 21, 08:44, 65, 185
* 22, 11:21, 95, 47
* 23, 11:46, 114, 80
* 24, 11:41, 58, 129
* 25, 12:24, 82, 73
* 26, 12:30, 52, 73
* .2, ???