Monday, June 30, 2008


Car Back blog is presently under renovation.  I hope to be up and blogging again no later than July 7.  Stay tuned.   Y'all come back now.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Thank you!

Life, don't ya know,  is a marathon.  We set goals, we work towards those goals, sometimes we succeed, sometimes not.  We look and we search, and once in a while we find the answers to what we seek.   We laugh and we chat.  We ache and we find pain in places we never knew pain could exist. We are determined.  We are defeated.  We live and we grow.  We learn.  We seek wisdom and happieness. We cry and we laugh... my how we laugh.  We give thanks for our health.  We acknowledge we are the lucky ones.  We love our families.  They love us.  They are proud.  We silently model to our children. We run, we run, we run.
Life is a marathon.  One can't get through life alone, nor can one run a marathon alone.  No marathon is finished without giving thanks... thanks to the people who pumped me up, encouraged me, motivated me, and helped me across the line.  To you I say "thank-you".
You gotta love this photograph of Dianah.  The picture was taken moments after completing a 20 mile training run, not in February, not January, not even March... it was taken in May!  Dianah is one tough girl.  She's like the Energizer Bunny.. she just won't stop!  Dianah set a new PB this time around, one in which she can be very proud.  At the finish line she supported me and helped me walk a few steps while I recovered.  I mumbled "blah, blah, blah popsicle" and she ran returning in a flash with an orange popsicle... my favourite.  Thanks Dianah for helping me across the line. Nazir, the quiet one, sets a steady pace on the hills.  He's the mathematician of the group.  Anytime we need to calculate (pace x windspeed) / (gradiant + drag) - heart rate (squared to the third power) = X (in metric and imperial)... Nazir's our man!  A kinder, gentler man you will not meet.  Nazir has been a significant positive influence on me personally. Thanks Nazir, for helping me across the line.  You will do Boston.  You will!Jacques keeps setting these amazing p.b.'s.  First it was the Police Half and now the MB Full.  For a novice runner Jacques is setting some pretty amazing times.  My guess is his next marathon will be sub 4 hours.  Jacques is a strategists; he had no less than three back-up plans for this past marathon and it appeared that he used all three!  In the last couple of miles I was muttering to myself about some crazy thing.  Jacques looked over and said "You ok Mike?". I was pretty out of it at that point, but Jacques query was enough to snap me back into shape.  It's been such a pleasure running with this fine man.  Thanks Jacques for helping me across the line.   Terry is one of those guys whom everyone enjoys.  His humor is infectious and inviting.  Terry makes everyone in his group feel welcome and valued.  I've borrowed more than a couple of routes from Terry and he freely offers suggestions on how I can shorten or lengthen the routes to accommodate our schedule.  Terry's an experienced runner with a zeal for life.  He brings the mundane to life.  Thanks Terry for helping me across the line.Thanks Jen for your running blog and the encouraging comments.  Your blog is always entertaining, always incredibly honest, and always there when I need to read another runner's perspective.  I've modeled my blog off yours.  Utah sounds just like Winnipeg except for the c-o-l-d.  From one blogger to another... thanks Jen for helping me across the line. Rodica is the chatty one.  She loves to make us laugh and tells a story like no one else.  Running with Rod is like driving a fast car with the stereo blasting one incredible tune after another, top down, wind blowing, smiles a mile wide... you just can't help but be mesmerized with her stories and her laughter.  Rod is also a serious runner with many marathons under her belt.  We've shared a few bumps, bruises, and setbacks, but man oh man, it sure has been a blast running with Rod.  Thanks for helping me across the line Rod.   Dinu is the strong silent one with a wicked sense of humor.  He doesn't speak much but when he does it's always interesting and usually very funny.  Dinu stayed with the group until mile 20 and then picked up the pace.  He's a very strong runner and like Jacques, is ready for a sub 4 hour marathon.  Thanks Dinu for helping me across the line. Vivian with the wicked sense of dry humor.  Her wit is sharp as a tack and has caused me to laugh out loud on many occasions.  Vivian is credited for providing names for many of the trails we plod up and down, time after time.  The "Butterfly", "The Valley of Death", "The Valley of Dog Doo Doo" just to name a few.  Vivian is a incredibly strong runner; lean and fast are two adjectives that spring to mind.  She set a PB at The Police Half Marathon and is primed for a full.  Thanks Vivian for helping me across the line. 
Henry you've taken me far; much, much farther than I ever thought possible. You've given me the courage and confidence to do what I once considered impossible.  You taught me how to run smart and efficiently.  You taught me that pain is part of the journey, but you gave me the tools to forge forward and not succumb to the pain.  You are a superior teacher for you inspire.  Thank you for helping me across the line.
Lynda and Debbie, two stalwart runners with tremendous positive energy.  We have run countless miles together and we have found many a trail.   It has been an honor to run with the two of you and I look forward to many more miles. Lynda, you say Boston was your swan song... I think not.  There's several more long dances in you yet.  Debbie, Boston 2010... it's yours baby, it yours!  I am SO your personal trainer!  Thanks to the both of you for helping me across the line. To sweet little Lucy, my nieces' daughter, aka "personal trainer".  Lucy kept me company in sub zero temperatures for miles upon miles as I cross-trained up and down the river trail.  Lucy is an amazing person and has brought such joy to our family.  Her life path is simply a miracle. She has little understanding of the impact she has had on me. Thanks darlin' for helping me across the line. Lucy's mother Laura, now there's another story!  (No that's not her new boyfriend chasing her down.)  Laura is a tremendous athlete and has run many marathons.  In fact she is the person who inspired me to start running.  She ran by my side for my first half-marathon and coaxed me step by step.  I wanted to cave, but she kept me going.   She continues to be a positive influence and I look forward to running Twin Cities with her.  Thanks LJ for helping me across the line. 
Now who would of thought an opera singer would ever want to join our motley crew?  We hope David's singing is better than his jokes!  ;>)   It's been a pleasure sharing the miles with David.  David is a determined individual with a heart of gold.  Thanks David for helping me across the line.
Ah Gwen, sweet, sweet Gwen. They broke the mold when they made this gal. A kinder person you'd be hard pressed to find.  Gwen brings out the best in runners. She leads them with baby steps, build them up, makes them feel omnipotent, and then encourages them to take flight. Gwen, always interested in your best, always caring about your person.  Thanks Gwen for helping me across the line.
John, another skinny little runner with amazing stamina and heart.  John is the new guy on the running block, but I expect he'll be around for a few more marathons.  John is a gentle man and brings tremendous positive energy to the group.  Like all, he struggled on this first marathon, but he crossed the line with a smile.  He walked from the finish line, sat down and teared up. He gave thanks and it was emotional. I was moved with his passion and determination. Thanks John for helping me across the line.
Mario is the up-beat one; always positive, always smiling.  I hear his cheerful "HEY MIKEY" greeting about a block before I actually see him!  Mario survived Fargo with a good time and then, 4 weeks later, Manitoba.  This guy is goal oriented and determined to do the best job possible.  He brings good karma to any group.  Thanks Mario.
Lorie and I share the bragging rights of running 12 miles in -52 and she has the tee-shirt to prove it!  This is Lorie's second marathon in 4 weeks.  We've run hundreds of miles together, made snow angels off Sterling Lyon Parkway, frozen our rears, drank coffee, and confided with one another our teen-aged heart throbs.   Lorie is quite simply an amazing individual with confidence and grace.  Thanks Lorie for helping me cross the line.
Manny the MAN!  This was Manny's first marathon and he performed amazingly well.  He sets his own pace and stays completely focussed on the objective.  Thanks for helping me across the line.
Sandra,  I will remember that frigid run we had back in January.  You and Lorie and I set out down Sterling Lyon Parkway for a 6 miler in pitch black.  We came waylaid in waist high drifts along the trail.  Well, we could have cursed, we could have turned back, we could have crossed around, but instead of that we lay down and made snow angels... talk about making lemon-aid!  We shared teen-age heart throbs (you and Lorie, The Back Street Boys, me Melanie), and then we got lost on a trail we'd run a million times, go figure.  Thanks Sandra, for helping me across the line.
We missed Naomi.  As fate had it, this was not to be her marathon.  I reflect back to those runs back in February through the woods with Naomi taking lead.  We were just getting to know one another and I remember thinking that Naomi was one of the stronger runners in our group.  She has strength, skill, and poise.  She is a runner and I look forward to running along her side once again.  We could feel your good vibes at the finish line, and in fact, I think they dragged me the last 1/4 mile!  Thanks Naomi for helping me across the line.
To the others of which there are many, thank you.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the laughs, the support, the coffee, and the wisdom.  I enjoy your company and I am honored in your presence.  Thank you, thank you all, for helping me across the line.  It's a good day to be alive.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Race Day

It's a good day to be alive.
:>) M
Please visit again... SUNDAY... this blog ain't over yet.  MB

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Race Day Eve

Hey all, sorry for being so snarky yesterday.  I know I'm skinny and I'm ok with it; I was just venting.  (Did you know I lost about 20 pounds since I first started running?).  In any event I have a great new mantra... "Run ya skinny little bastard, RUN!".  If you see me on the course (spectator, volunteer, or runner) please shout it out to me... it'll make me laugh, it'll sustain me.
You know that person in your life who is hurting, sick, dying, clinically depressed, mentally ill, living with AIDS, or a loved one lost, someone who has rubbed your back, washed your feet, or wiped a tear, or was there by your side when you needed them... you know that person.  Take out your bib and write that person's name on the back. Dedicate the pain and the months of training to that person. Dedicate the miles to that person.  Dedicate the nausea to that person.  Let the tears drop on the bib as you write that name, that brings it alive and it mixes well with sweat.  Think of that person and say a prayer in their name.  Use that name in your mantra, use it quietly at first and then yell it out when you need to the most... no one will care and we will understand.  At the finish line say a quiet word of thanks to that person for getting you across the line.  Across the line. This is why we run.  To prove to ourselves that we are alive and we feel pain.  We can do good with that pain.  Offer it up and it'll sustain you.
My race is dedicated to the memory of my brother John who died from what is now a treatable cancer.  He was 21.  I was 15. I lost my best friend, my brother.   I imagine John yelling "run ya skinny little bastard, run" at every mile marker, around every corner, and it makes me smile, smile through the tears.  Remember, it's the journey that's important, not the destination.  The destination is about ending, the journey is about living.  It's a good day to be alive.
Have a good race everyone.  Michael

Friday, June 13, 2008

Race Day Count Down: Day 2

Enough already!         I'm starting to feel like a caged animal being force fed carbohydrates.  I feel like one of those poor chickens on those assembly line farms that PETA wants to shut down... sit/ eat/ sit/ eat... I can't shake the image that I'm just being fattened up for the slaughter!  I feel as though I'm one gram of carbohydrate away from total blindness.  And the tooting!  Enough already!  Yup, the jitters have set in bad and it's beginning to consume me.  
Pet peeve?  I don't know how many people have asked if I feel ready for the marathon and I don't have a definitive answer.  My response sounds more like an excuse or even an apology.
"So Mike, ya ready for the big day?"
"Gee, ah, well, sort of, I guess, but I have this little pain here in my....".  
I should answer with a vibrant "YES.  I AM MAN.  I AM READY" but the lingering doubt casts a cloud. What if I'm not ready?  What if I crash and burn, or worse, hit the wall? Now THAT would be embarrassing after me coming across as such an expert on the wall in that blog post a couple days ago.  I'd rather be run over by a bus than face the humility of the wall!  And what if I let my group down? They actually think I know what I'm doing!  Sure hope they're not reading this post. They'll be looking to cash me in for a younger, sexier bunny.
Equally frustrating is the comment "Man you look so skinny" and then for emphasis in case I don't believe them,  "even your face is skinny", and then, as if I'm a total nimrod and require a visual, some will actually pull their skin down over their cheek bones. Excuse me, but I'm not skinny!  I'm in shape for a marathon.  I've been training since August 2007.  I've logged almost 700 miles since January 2008.  I run 4 or 5 times a week. I eat like a horse.  I don't eat junk.  My only vice is a beer and dark chocolate.   Sheesh man get it right,  "fit" yes, "strong" you bet, even "lean" would be ok,  but skinny?  Man that's just deflating!  
Snarky eh?  I'm blaming it on the carbs.. their backing up into my cerebellum, the old grey matter's shutting down.  Yup those jitters sure do get a hold of you!  
Bye for now.  M ;>))  

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Race Day Count Down: Day 3

This stuff is amazing.  My wife picked  it up last week, not out of sympathy as you might expect.  She's just getting tired of me "borrowing" her expensive hand cream for my sore, callused, and frequently blistered feet.  I've been applying it liberally on both feet every night before bed and it's done wonders.  It goes on cool and is absorbed within several minutes.  It's the most fun I had with my feet since walking in gooey mud as a kid.  If you have feet issues, this stuff might be for you.  It sure puts a smile on my tootsies.  And if it doesn't work I suppose you could always dry it out and smoke it.   ;>)
We had our last school run this morning.  It was great fun and I promised the kiddies that we'll start up again in September.  Here's the numbers:
  • 3800... number of kilometers we logged.
  • 130... number of student participants.
  • 33... number of parent volunteers.
  • 32 number of students, moms, dads, and staff participating in the marathon.
  • 1250+ ... number of freezies consumed by running club.
  • priceless... number of laughs and talks with the kids.
My grade 8 student who is running the 1/2 marathon asked if he could join me for the first 5 or 6 miles where the full and half separate.  I told him we'd be honored to have him join us.  I'm thinking I might also try to hook him up with a 2:15 group but then again that might be too slow for him.  I'll figure something out.
Speaking of figuring... I'm trying to figure out what to do with this blog after the race.  It was intended to track the 6 months leading up to the marathon.  Now that we're almost there I'm not sure where to go from here... what to do with the blog?
Rest well, don't forget to pick up you're race kit.  Bye for now.  M

Race Day Count Down: Day 4

Good news, it's beginning to look like heat won't be an issue on race day.  Bad news, better be prepared to get wet.  The long range forecast calls for a low of 10 c, a high of 19 c, and a 60% chance of rain. Squishy shoes and blisters here we come.  No matter, we'll take it as it comes (not like we have much choice).  
This evening I ran a one mile portion of the marathon route, mile 14 to 15.  For the last 29 years the course went right by my front door on Palmerston.  For this, the 30th Manitoba Marathon, the course has changed to exclude the loop on Palmerston.  We now go straight down Wolseley Avenue between Raglan and Sherbrook.  The reason for the change is to better accommodate the relay exchange at Laura Secord School on Wolseley.  The new route allows for a longer relay exchange thus easing the huge congestion of previous runs.  I'm a little diasppointed with the marathon not going down my street (it was a great location for a quick pit stop and some fresh Gator Aid), but I understand the reason for the change... just don't like it  :>(
Ever wonder why the fastest long-distance runners are often very small?  Tim Noakes (The Lore of Running) says the average height and mass of Boston Marathon winners has not changed in the past 100 years.  The average height of the Boston Marathon winner is 171 cm (male) and 165 cm (female) with a range of 155 to 191 cm.  The average mass of the winners is about 61 kg +/- 5 kg. Interestingly the average height of an American citizen has increased about 1 cm per decade in the last century and yet the average height of the Boston Marathon winners is consistent.  If this pattern carried over to marathon runners the average height of today's Boston winner would be about 10 cm taller than 100 years hence, but statistics show the average height has remained consistent... 171 cm (male), and 165 cm (female).  This information is true of all marathons, not just The Boston.  Smaller runners seem to have an edge, particularly in hot conditions.  Hmm. "Why" you ask?
No one knows for sure, but scientists believe the rate of heat production rises significantly higher and faster in taller, heavier runners than shorter, lighter runners. Smaller, lighter runners simply don't produce the same spike of heat as taller runners.  They also shed heat more efficiently than the taller runner.  It's the same in high humidity conditions; statistically, smaller, lighter runners have an edge.  
To summarize, smaller runners produce less heat and are more efficient at shedding the excess heat.  Taller runners must slow their pace to dissipate the heat while smaller runners can maintain their pace longer in hotter conditions.  
The picture to the left is Josiah Thugwane, gold medalist, 1996 Atlanta Olympic Marathon (5'2", 99 pounds).  Thugwane is the first South African gold medalist.
This evening I ran one slow mile outbound, 4 reps of 1.5 minutes brisk/ 2 minutes recovery, 1 slow mile. homebound.  I came home to a massive carb load fest.  Is it just me or is anyone else having trouble looking pasta in the eye?
Four more get-ups!  The jitters are setting.  How 'bout you?  M 

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Race Day Count Down: Day 5

I met with the parents and students participating in the marathon.  We're now up to 33 runners.  I had to delicately suggest to the adults that their children, after 12 weeks of training, are probably a tad better prepared for the run than are the parents.  The parents, thankfully agreed that this was a fairly accurate conclusion.  Going on a limb again (twice in 2 minutes... must be close to retirement) I suggested that the parents let the kids run their own pace, not their parents' pace.  After all, even 13 year olds appreciate PB's and all that other good stuff.  I encouraged the kids to shave off between 5 and 10% from last year's time.  The parents agreed that this was a good idea and the kids are pumped with the concept of setting a PB.  
More on the infamous "wall".  I used this video about three years ago to help the kids understand how I felt after marking 120 math exams.  As I was scooting home today I remembered the video and thought it might also further our understanding of what happens when we hit the wall.  ;>)  M

Monday, June 9, 2008

Race Day Count Down: Day 6

Hitting the Wall:  Simply put, hitting the wall (aka bonking) means you've run out of energy, usually starting at about the 20 mile mark.  The medical term is hypoglycemia. Runner's World provides the best definition I've come across;  hitting the wall means the "...collapse of the entire system; body and form, brain and soul."  That's about it, no biggy, just the collapse of the entire friggin system!  
If you've been serious about carbohydrate loading the week leading up to the marathon, you've probably managed to tuck away about 2000 calories of glycogen in the liver and muscles.  Depending on pace, heat, humidity, wind, and other obstacles this is enough to get you about 20 miles into the race. If the glycogen is not replenished it's ... hello wall, think I'll just lay down a spell... At this point it's game over, you simply cannot recover from the wall, you're done like dinner.  
I won't bore you with grade 10 biology (Jacque will fall asleep again) but suffice to say glycogen comes from carbohydrates. Glycogen is stored in the liver and converted to glucose as it enters the blood stream. It's the glucose that feeds the muscles, about 10 grams an hour at rest, about 60 grams an hour during a marathon! When you hit the wall you have low (hypo) blood glucose (glycemia).  When your glycogen tank is empty your body attempts to consume fatty acids which eats oxygen and makes the heart work harder to carry oxygen-laden blood to the muscles. At this point your blood is a whole lot thicker (from dehydration) so your heart has to work that much harder (think pumping water vs pumping molasses). As if that wasn't enough... the brain also begins to shut down without a constant source of glycogen!  One of the first signs that the wall is approaching is an overwhelming desire to stop running.  In extreme cases runners will hallucinate, stumble, and imagine all sorts of nonsense.  The trick is, obviously, replenish the glycogen as you run.  Gels, sports drink, whatever it takes.  Stay tuned for another scintillating ;>) blog entry.... only 5 more get-ups.  
Rain rain go away!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Race Day Count Down: Day 7

Well boys and girls, today's lesson is on heat exhaustion.  Sit up straight and pay attention... you in the back, Jacques, stop talking!  
Heat exhaustion  is no laughing matter; you'll feel as close to death as you'll ever want to be.  I was 26 years old when I had the brain wave to set out for a solo bicycle tour to Kenora via the back roads north of Highway One.  I was geared up to the ying-yang with tent, sleeping bag, change of clothes, food, stove, well you get the idea, I had a heavy load.  
It was stinking hot, not unlike marathon day.  Under the noon day sun I removed my helmet thinking it would help dissipate the heat.  I started to feel a little lightheaded and confused.  I knew the heat was an issue, but I thought as long as I kept hydrated I'd be ok (remember, I was young and stupid).  I hydrated like crazy which, in reflection, probably attributed to the extreme nausea. I remember the confusion setting in, talking to myself, and weaving like a drunk down the deserted back road.
I remember dismounting my bicycle because I could no longer ride straight and was losing my balance.  In my confused state I thought I had drank some bad water.  I imagined I had consumed sewage water and it was causing me to be ill.  I was dazed, confused, and starting to get scared.  I remember weaving into a little town. I managed to call my parents from a pay phone. My mother answered and I blurted out "I'm in Renee and I'm really sick. Come and get me" and then I promptly fainted in the phone booth with the phone dangling. My poor mother, she had no idea what was going on, but understood -like only a mother- that I was sick and in need of help. 
This is turning into a long diatribe so I'll cut to the chase.  I was suffering from heat exhaustion. Believe me, this is not a good place; you absolutely do not want to go there. The above chart show the likelihood of developing heat exhaustion is largely dependent upon heat and humidity.  The yellow zone shows a high probability of developing heat exhaustion.  The red zone -heat stroke- is a completely different kettle of fish. The treatment for heat exhaustion is to stop exercising, hydrate, and cool the skin. Unlike Heat Stroke (the evil cousin to Heat Exhaustion) the body temperature is not elevated significantly.  Heat Stroke occurs when the core body temperature elevates to 41 degrees Celsius or higher.  People with Heat Stroke need immediate medical attention... death is imminent if left untreated.
Be smart out there on marathon day.  If you feel sick or confused, tell someone.  If you see someone weaving and acting erratically tell an official... you might just save a life.  
Did 3. 5 miles today... nice and s-l-o-w... it felt great! 
Six more "get ups" until race day. 

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Race Day Count Down: Day 8

Run For Rights    
What a great race... low key, lots of kids, excellent weather, and a superb course.  All the elements of a great race... and a great cause to boot.  The wind was a bit of an issue but the trees and houses along the route provided good shelter.  I arrived at about 9 and scanned the joint, got my bearings, and registered.  There were about 100 to 150 runners in all sizes, shapes, and ages.  Little kids on teeny bicycles, moms and dads with state of the art strollers, athletes in wheel chairs, seniors all decked out in high tech running gear, teenagers on blades, and even a guy on a unicycle.  This is most definitely not your typical    
racing event but impressive nonetheless.  There was a real party atmosphere and good karma everywhere. The race started promptly at 9:30 as promised.  I stood at the front of the start line snapping pictures as people poured by... first the little kids on bikes screamed by, then the bigger kids blasted out 0 to 60, then the adults, and finally a whole crew of walkers with dogs and the elderly strolled by.  It took a full five minutes for everyone to pass.  After stowing my camera in the scooter I started... last place by about 2 minutes.   I slipped into a nice groove and flew past the walkers.  Soon I was out of the park and focusing entirely on form... it felt good, very good... Zen
 And The Art Of Running personified.  I slipped into a comfortable 5:30 min/ k pace and held it for the entire 10 k.  I took three brisk walk breaks and gulped down Gator-aid... hell, even that felt good!  At 5 k the course looped back and the wind, although not a big issue, was at our back.  I wasn't too concerned about time, however, being a runner, I was thinking this might be the makings of a 10 k PB so I poured it on a bit more.  The last k felt fantastic.  The volunteers cheering, my time looks promising, PB here I come, and then... what's that?... the finish line!... it can't be... it's only about 9k...  zoom past the smiling lady at the finish line and applauding spectators.  Race over, time 48 minutes, 43 seconds... distance 9.4 kilometers... 0.6 short of the advertised 10k.  Have to wait for another time for a PB.  Oh well, it was a great day and good karma abounded.   
The whole event from start to finish was idyllic.  Hats off to the organizers and volunteers for a job well done.  The
volunteers were plentiful, enthusiastic, happy, and extraordinarily encouraging.  Aside from the short course, it was an amazing event!  Oh... did I mention the food?  Fresh fruit, bagels, vegetables, cookies, coffee, juice, and cheese.  A nice touch.  I will be back.
A big thank-you goes out to Debbie who, unable to run, made a generous cash donation to Welcome Place.  My thoughts go out to Debbie and her family.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Race Day Count Down: Day 9

My biggest fear of the marathon?  Nausea. Whenever I approach the 18 to 20 mile mark nausea creeps up and then hits me hard at mile 22.  Not only does it affects my performance, it also takes away from my overall enjoyment of the day. Last marathon I felt horrible for the last 6 miles.  I just sucked it up and kept on plodding, but now it's come back to haunt me.  After the race my wife made me a celebratory "marathon brunch" with all the trimmings.   I could only stomach a couple of tiny mouthfuls of hash browns before I apologized and excused myself from the table.  The nausea stayed with me until about 5 PM.  I'm not sure of the cause.  I used to think it was dehydration or gels, but now I'm not too sure.  It's probably a combination of things.  According to the Noakes book there are three possible causes of nausea during a marathon:  1) an increase of repeated bouts of exercise induced astro-esophageal reflux, 2) ingesting too much fluid, and 3) motion sickness caused by incessant up-and-down motion of the head.  It's not clear which category my nausea falls into but I'm leaning towards too much fluid or esophageal reflux.  I can control the amount of fluid I consume by simply drinking less, but I don't know  to control the reflux (if indeed that is the problem).  Any ideas?  I'm considering taking some liquid Gravol at about mile 16 in the hopes this will help.  Interestingly, some marathon runners attribute nausea and vomiting to dehydration and consume more fluids thinking it'll help when in fact it compounds the problem.  Go figure!
If you haven't heard yet race kits can be picked up at University of Manitoba Investors Group Athletic Centre (Max Bell Centre) on Friday June 13 between 11 and 7, and again on Saturday, June 14 between 9 and 5.
I'll be running the 10 k portion of the Run For Rights tomorrow.  Hope to see some of you there.  Scroll down two weeks for information on this race. 
Later.  M

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Race Day Count Down: Day 10

Day 10:  This is it, the official countdown has started...ten days to race day.  This is when we become hyper-vigilant about injury prevention and viruses (i.e. the bubble-wrap phase of our journey).  Last year I pulled my glutamous-maximus two weeks before race day.  Stupid!  It took three painful massages and one physio-treatment to heal it enough to run the marathon. It was huge setback both physically and psychologically.  It almost cost me the race. Working in a school I'm only to aware of how fast and far viruses spread.  I'm going through hand sanitizer like nobody's business!  Be careful out there.. remember the bubble wrap principle. 
A couple of weeks a go I mentioned a story about the Terry Fox van.  Here's a follow-up story that might interest you... click here.  The Terry Fox crew needs runners to run alongside the van as it travels through Winnipeg.  Dates are August 9 (East perimeter to the Forks), and August 15 (Forks to West perimeter).  Use the above link to sign up.  
I met up with Manny, Debbie, Jacques, Henry, David, and Nazir this evening. We did a slow-ish five miles.  On the return we ran headlong into a stiff wind so we decided to practice running in a peloton.  It worked very well with two lead runner drafting  4 rear runners for a minute and then falling back to the rear aka 'the sweet spot'.  Depending upon the wind direction the sweet spot fluctuates between just behind the runner or just to the side.  You need to experiment.  We figure we'll try a peloton on race day if the wind is an issue (like Fargo).  
How do I feel you ask?  I feel tired.  I feel as though the taper came at just the right time.  I need to fuel and rest and ... wrap myself in bubble wrap ;>)  More later.  M