Wednesday, October 29, 2008

New York City Marathon

My old friend Chris Kavanagh from Toronto is running the New York City Marathon this weekend. With a little arm-twisting he's agreed to guest-blog a pre-race report on Saturday and a post-race report on Monday so stay tuned. Chris is an amazing individual with an abundance of positive energy and charisma. He's a suit and blackberry guy in real life, but also a stellar runner in his off time. This race is absolutely on my list! In the meantime I must run it vicariously through Chris! You'll enjoy this powerful video of NYC Marathon. It captures the spirit of the marathon runners from super-elite to Joe The Plumber. I first discovered the video when Laura (Lucy's mom) ran NY in 2004. Happy trails and stay healthy. Cheers to you Chris, run like the wind! Mike

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Still a little sore...

I'm still a little sore from the Twin Cities Marathon so I've decide to take Sandra's advice and lay low... give the bod a good rest. She reminded me that four week's rest following a marathon is the recommended recovery period. Thanks for the good advice Sandra... just what the doctor ordered. I've been walking, raking, and generally just being a middle aged, middle class kind of a guy.... yup, boring as hell! You know you're bored when you sweep your driveway twice in one weekend and you find yourself longingly staring at the runners whizzing by (they look so damn good, all sleek and fast). My current goal is to complete the Hypo-thermic half-marathon on March 1 with a sub two-hour time. This isn't a race to set p.b.'s but what the hey, it's a goal and a goal's just that, a goal. If you achieve it, good for you, if you don't, there's always next time. The important thing is to set goals and put in the sweat equity, log the miles, freeze your butt, and have a good time. If you meet a few new people along the way all the better. Hope to see you soon, slogging it out on the trails. By the way, I'm looking for guest bloggers. If you have a story to tell about a race, a particularly gruelling training run, an announcement, a funny story, or some running wisdom of any kind, please send it my way for publication on See Mike Run. Photos add zest to the stories so send them along too. Please don't be bashful. Surely to goodness you're tired of reading my stuff!? Shel gave me the idea of guest bloggers with her Ten Reasons To Love Minneapolis blog. Thanks Shel. Any takers? Stay healthy, stay tuned. Mike

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

WPS Half Marathon

Don't forget to sign up for the Winnipeg Police Half Marathon. You can save $5.00 by signing up before October 31 so go ahead... what are you waiting for? Click here to register. Don't be disappointed; this race has a limited number of spots so click now. Race Director Nick Paulet tells me he's thinking of changing the name of this year's run to "I-lost-my-shirt-in-the-stock-market-and-I-don't-care Half Marathon". There's a new start line, a guaranteed 13.1 mile course, a technical long sleeve finisher's shirt and all sorts of other firsts. Clearly, Nick has been listening to the running community and is planning the best race ever. The thing I love about The Cop's Run is that it marks the start of a new season, new pb's, new goals, new friends, and generally, for me, a new pair of running shoes. :>) M

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Odds 'n Sods

Interesting graph if you're a geek like me (sorry for the poor quality... best I can do). The graph shows my heart rate (top line) compared to elevation of the Twin City Marathon. My heart rate averaged 166 bpm and spiked at 176 bpm at mile 3. The valleys show my walk breaks where my heart recovered to about 145 bpm and then spiked back to 165 - 170 bpm when I resumed running (the graph shows I took 13 one minute walk breaks, or about every 2 miles and none for the last 6 miles). My pace slowed to an average 11 min/m for the last 6 miles which accounts for the downward trend of my heart rate. You'll notice the steep incline in elevation at mile 20 to mile 24. It's about 225 feet over 4 miles, so it's not extreme, but it's enough to suck your life force! It's true! It really is mostly downhill! (although it sure fooled me!). I joined Lorie, Lori, Gwen, Sandra, and Bernice for a ten mile run this morning; my first run since Twin Cities (it was daunting). It's been a while since I've run with this group so it was great to catch up and just gab. Sandra ran the Victoria Half last weekend and was gushing with her race report... a new PB for Sandra (1:55 and change... way to go Sandra... you keep getting stronger!) Sounds like I'll have to put Victoria on my marathon list. Unfortunately, my right knee started aching so I had to pull out early (I managed 7 miles). Nicole aka Running Bebe ran the Victoria Full and blogged an excellent report... check it out. For a heart-felt race report on the Chicago Marathon check out Jesse's blog . Chicago was Jesse's first marathon and aside from the intense heat it sounds like a blast (another marathon for my list). Good luck to Jen who has has attributed her ongoing injuries to a "conspiracy" (I can relate). And finally, I am the 2 hour pacer for Ted's Hypothermic-half clinic. The 16 week clinic starts November 4 at 6:30. Love to see you there. The best thing about this clinic is it gets you off the couch during he darkest and coldest months of the year... nothing says "Winnipeg" like 13.1 miles in -45 degrees... and at those temps it doesn;t matter if it Celsius or Fahrenheit... it just damn cold! Stay healthy, stay safe. M

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Twin Cities Marathon

I've run out of superlatives to describe this marathon. It was an absolutely amazing experience. If you haven't run Twin Cities Marathon I urge you to put it on your bucket list, if you have, then you know what I speak. The fan support is unbelievably intense. The streets are pretty well lined solid with spectators, EMS, clowns, bands and every sort of costumed character you can imagine. 14,500 full-marathon runners and tens of thousands of fans (I heard 350,000 fans, but that sounds like a lot)... it was an emotional sight to behold. The sheet rain for the first two hours only added to the overall experience. My left calf popped at mile 4. I was overwhelmed with the possibility of having to pull out after all the training and anticipation. My four hour goal was no longer a possibility... my thoughts turned to survival... will I finish? I stopped, stretched, re-evaluated, and continued on with a painful limp. The running gods were smiling because as I ran the pain eased enough to shuffle along at a reasonable pace (it only hurt when I walked).  I considered 4:15 may be a possibility, but even that time goal evaporated.  It was at this point, when I gave up on all time goals, that I started to enjoy the race.  There is one hill that my friend Gary has named Oh F*** Hill... you round a corner at mile 18 and there, suddenly, is a huge hill... "Oh F***' spills out under your breath... and then you toughen up and do it justice.  I ran non stop from mile 20 to finish... I was sure that if I did stop, even for a drink, I wouldn't have the energy to start again.  My calf was screaming, my legs were logs. At mile 23 I recited the times table, mile 24 the alphabet up to Z and then back to A, mile 25 I recited the names of my siblings, their birthdays, their kids, and their connections.... clearly I was skunked out stupid by this point.  It took every fiber of my being to cross the line without walking.  It was hard run, an intense run, an amazing run... and I am better for it.  It was a good day, it was an unbelievable day to be alive. Here's my beautiful niece Laura and I waiting in the Metrodome pre-race.  Some of you will know her simply as "Lucy's mom"... (I tend to brag about Lucy).  Laura is the reason I run. She motivated me years ago to take a few baby steps. I am grateful for her. Laura has run many marathons and continues to dazzle me with her accomplishments.  That's a New York Marathon tee-shirt she's wearing.   This is Tim and Gary with Laura.  I started the race with Gary, but we were separated at mile 3 due to the crowds.  Gary has run Twin Cities 4 times (or as he says 3 3/4 times because he had to exit with dignity once).  I believe he's run about 20+ marathons.  Tim and Gary are great guys and we had a hoot in Minneapolis. We met up with David and Melissa for supper and the morning of race day.  This was Melissa's second marathon and David's 55th marathon (he started running about 6 years ago... you do the math!).  An amazing guy with incredible charisma. Gary and Laura... pre-race surge to the start line.  It was chilly. Mike and Gary... started the race together with  the four hour pace group.  Gary and I passed this gentleman at the start... 80+ with 300 marathons under his belt.  Notice his pack... huge!  As I passed him I chatted and he gave me some advice... don't start out to fast. Too bad I didn't listen to him. Here I am at the finish line.  As the volunteer was placing the medal over my head I mumbled "stop".  I removed the medal, pulled out my camera to take a self-portrait, when another runner offered to take the picture...  A Kodak moment don't you think?  Notice the fake smile and 'heartfelt' thumbs-up. Laura is amazing... after the marathon she joined a quintet at The Hilton for an impromptu gig... she didn't even change.  What a gal!  We were asked to leave shortly after.
Thank you to everyone for your encouraging emails and advice, and suggestions, and encouragement.  I truly am indebted to you all.   
Stay healthy,  Mike

Twin City Marathon

4:23 and change!  It was amazing!  I have 350,000 new friends in Minneapolis/ St. Paul.  More this evening... y'all come back now.  Mike