Stomp of Approval!!!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Hottest Half race report, 8-14-11

So everyone has their good races and their bad races. Today was a BAD race for me.

With a name like "The Hottest Half" and my love of punishment one would imagine that this would be a great race for me. WRONG!!!! To start with, it was in the upper 80's and maybe lower 90's during the race, it started at 7:30 so the sun wasnt beaming down on the course, there was actually a little light breeze, and the course was a nice smooth barefoot friendly cement pathway with a few gentle elevation changes. So conditions were perfect for me to set a good PR around 1:35 or so....

Before the race I met up with 2 fellow barefoot runners from the Runners World barefoot forum (TalonRaid and Pilot Runner) which are the other 2 goons in the pics with me (Im the one in blue, Talon in grey, and Pilot in red) and we hung out for a few minutes before the start of the race.

As usual I mosey'd on up the the back of the pack at the starting line just as the gun went off. So after a minute or so I make it to the starting line, hit start on the Garmin, and take off only to apply the brakes. The first mile to mile and a half were just a huge conglomerate clusterfuck of people running all different paces and directions. Since its a public park there were cyclist and runners out and about coming the opposite direction of the race traffic, most were courteous and friendly,but I almost caught my left elbow on some fat bitches handle bars.

After fighting my way through the throng of people I tried to pick the pace up some and came across the first 5k mark around 22:30ish, which is where I wanted to be. I wanted to hold as close to a 7 minute mile pace, so I was doing good. The course ran on a cement path around some lake, which made for a pretty course with a little breeze coming off the water. There were a few bridges that were either worn down wooden planks, or cement suspension type bridge which would bounce up and down and totally throw you off as well as make you trip out because you couldnt visually see the movement, just feel the bridge either dip down or rise up and slam into your feet unexpectedly. Running around this lake also made for some quality scents, like dead fish, through some parts of the course. Somewhere around mile 5.25 the first place guy came flying past on his way back in (he finished in 1:07:54 gun time, WOW!!!) And at about this time I started to hit the wall. No biggie, I thought, second wind will kick in here in a few minutes and Ill be good to go. WRONG! I made it to the 6 mile water table and grabbed some water for the first time and ended up snorting half of the cup up my nose. So I stopped running to try to avoid drowning mid run (funny, "man drowns in biggest drought in history" sounds like a good headline) and I found that I couldnt make myself start running again, so I walked for the first time ever in a race. I only walked for about 50 feet then took back off hoping that it would be enough to feel revived. Wrong yet again....

I made it to the turnaround point and the guy working there said I was the first barefoot runner he had seen yet! Great, I get to be the example everyone sees first! Sorry fellow BFRs for giving you a bad reputation. I dont remember my exact time at the turn around, but I do remember thinking I was behind and that a PR probablly was not in the works. On the return leg I see another BFR a good ways behind me, some little Asian guy, no clue who he was. Then I saw David Repp sportin some fancy lookin huaraches, and PilotRunner lookin like a stud. Shortly after that, around mile 9 I had to stop and walk again. I tried to keep it short and sweet, so after a hundred feet or so I take off. At this point I see TalonRaid, so we cheer for each other as we pass, and after a little bit Im back walking again and wondering if Ill be able to finish. I just felt like I had no energy left in me to burn, but after walking for a quarter mile or so I started mile 10 at a 9:30 pace determined to run the rest of the race and finish under 1:57 since thats what I ran my first half marathon in.

The last 3.1 miles sucked! I was suffering through alot of mental anguish from having to walk, and now I was struggling to keep a 9:15 pace for 3 measley miles. Needless to say, it wasnt a pretty place inside my head at this point. I rounded the last corner and saw the finish chute up ahead and heard my wife yell my name. Apparently I gave her a bad look based off her reaction, lol. I hit the stop button on the Garmin as the announcer calls my name and I step on the timing mat, but dont lool at it at first cause Im sure it will just make things worse. I see a bunch of kids handing out cups of water, so I go and down about 10 of them all while feeling like Im going to fall flat on my face, which would have been perfectly fine at the time since it felt like I was floating in the air about 3 feet off the ground and spinning around like crazy as if I was in one of those gyroscope rides at a carnival. My wife finally makes it over to me and asks what my time was, so I finally look at my Garmin as I go to show her what it says. 1:54:49... Well, not my worst, but still very dissapointing. So we walk over to the free stuff tents and some girl hands me a chochlate Muscle Milk. I drank half and remembered that I hate those things so I threw it away and went off in search of water. We find little kiddy pools full of the little 8 oz bottles of Ozarka. I bent over to grab 2 of then and when I stood up everything was much brighter than I had remembered it being. I opened a bottle, closed my eyes, and downed it. When I opened my eyes I was facing the ground, which was a strange mixture of floating silver sparkles and bright yellows and oranges. Thats strange... Another bottle chugged, more silver specks and brighter yellows, but oddly enough duller oranges. Not sure exactly what was going on I decided to just keep walking to the car. After what felt like 15 minutes of staggering around I am finally sitting in the passenger seat of the car with the AC blowing full blast and heading back to the hotel to shower and change before hitting up good old IHOP!!!

So Im not 100% certain of the direct cause of my poor performance, but heres a few ideas of what I think could have caused it....

Firstly, and I think this is probablly 90% of what went wrong. Nutrition. The night before I had some shitty fast food burger and fries and a bunch of water. Then for brekky I had a bananna and some more water. I dont think I had any fuel for the fire and thats why I bombed so early.

Secondly, Ive taken the last 3 weeks off from any real training. Where Ive been averaging 25~30 miles per week I maybe ran 30 in the past 3 weeks combined. I felt like I had the speed in my legs as the first 4 or 5 miles felt fine at just a hair over 7 minutes per mile.

So what lessons I learned from this experience.

1) Nutrition, nutrition, nutrition!!!! I need better meals the day before and the morning of the race. Ive heard many times that input = output, so if Im using shitty fuel then Ill have shitty performance.

2) 3 weeks for a taper is waaay too long. I usually do a week of taperage, and maybe 2 weeks would work well too, but 3 weeks is not going to cut it.

3) Hydration. After the race I had orange piss. That is not a good thing since all I had drank was water. I need to learn how to drink on the run without drowning myself....

I had planned on this being my last race for the year, but I cant end the year like this, so Ill do the last race of the 4 seasons of texas which will be in the fall. Hopefully it goes better for me!!
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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

My terrible, horrible, no good, very bad night.....

So, I just had one of the worst nights of my life. I would say it ranks in the top 5 worse nights of my life somewhere between the night I lost my virginity and that time I played the part of William Gacy in what was supposed to be a Sunday school play at a local church. Wish someone had given me prior instructions to each of the above listed activities that way I could have avoided that restraining order and the over abundance of scar tissue on my wrists from excessive rug burn....

So onto my story of last night.

My wife, a crazy coupon type lady, picked up some of those extreme 2 hour Crest white strips for a fraction of the normal retail price and we decided to try them out last night. So she applied hers while I was putting the kids to bed, and then I applied mine. 2 hours later she removes hers and I decide to remove mine too because their driving me crazy. Instantly I can tell that things are wrong. I dont normally have sensitive teeth, but as soon as I pulled those bad boys off my teeth felt like I was biting into a really cold popsicle. They hurt. So I brushed them with the special tooth paste and got in bed. I told my wife that my teeth were hurting and then we made love for the next 2~3 minutes (might have set a PR!) and then rolled over to go to sleep. The pain in my teeth had increased substantially and I tossed and turned for 30~45 minutes before falling asleep, which isnt normal for me as I normally pass out as Im crawling into bed. At this point its about 11:15 or so, which is late for me. I wake up in tears at 11:52 due to the intense pain coming from my mouth. It feels as if someone is sawing my teeth with razor blades very slowly. So I go to the kitchen in search if some type of extreme pain killer (think Heath Leger style here) and some Oragel.

Fast forward through a bottle of water and a handfull of assorted Tylenol, Asprin, Exedrin, and Aleeve and Im back in bed tossing and turning still in agonizing pain. Its now about 1 in the morning and my alarm is set to go off in 3 hours and Im running on only 40ish minutes of sleep.

1:40 now, still dying of pain and debating on going to the hospital. Desperate for a solution I start google searching and discover that the numbing agent in Oragel is "Benzocaine" which is also conviently the numbing agent in "Anal-Ease" which we just so happened to own a tube (my wife uses it to numb her eyebrows when she goes to wax them, nothing provacative here....)

So I grab the tube of Anal-Ease, squirt some on my finger, and go to town rubbing it all over my gums. WOW! Instantly my entire mouth was completely numb and I had Anal-Ease and drool dribbling down my chin. Numb and satisfied I lay back down in bed, only to discover that the amazing numbing powers of Anal-Ease is not a long lasting effect, but rather short lived. So now Im applying Anal-Ease to my gums every 5~10 minutes just so I can tolerate being awake. The time is now around 2:30.

Back to google I go in search of a better, longer lasting, less strange resolution. I read that raw garlic cloves have some type of anesthetic in it that works good for the nerves in the teeth. So I make the journey to the kitchen again and find that we do have some garlic by the banannas. YES!!! So I break a clove off, break it in half, and start rubbing violently against my teeth and gums. Three amazing things took place! First, the Anal-Ease induced drool looked silly compared to the gushing river of drool that was now literally pouring from my mouth in a steady stream and running down my hand and arm and chin and forming large saliva puddles in the kitchen sink. Second, the painfull razor blade in the teeth sensation was slowly starting to dissipate little by little. Lastly, that damn vampire that had been following me from the shadows for the past 2 weeks finally left me alone!

So its now 3:15. Im in much less pain than before, Im still looking like my mouth is the newest addition to the Niagra Falls, and Im getting delirious from the lack of sleep and the large quantity of pain killers (all OTC stuff by the way, were randomly drug tested at work often) So I journey back to the bedroom and get back in bed and lay there for a good 15 minutes before finally falling asleep for 30 minutes before my alarm goes off....

Waking up covered in drool with the combination of Anal-Ease and raw Garlic stuck in your teeth is never a good place to be, add the fact that your still covered in sticky drool and your mouth is still hurting like a somebeech and its a very bad place to be. So on the way to work this morning I stop by the Walmart and buy some "Severe Pain Formula Orajel" and start applying it like crazy. Much better than Anal-Ease, and I probablly wont get the funny questions from my wife when she sees this on the bedside table instead of a tube of Anal-Ease...

Long story, but theres a lesson to be learned from it! Im not sure what that lesson is exactly, I just know that I need to eat something because Im feeling very queasy and weak, and I still have a very strong hint of garlic and cherry flavored sexual numbing solution in my mouth.
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Tuesday, August 2, 2011


FINALLY, I now have my blogger app working on my phone, AND I figured out how to add pics!!!!! I no longer feel like a technologically challenged idiot! Just a normal idiot....

So I will now try to post some random pics that I have on my cell phone. Most of these probablly wont have anything to do with running, so enjoy!
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Weekly runs, 7/11 - 7/17

Almost every time I got in my car after work to go do my evening runs, this was my welcoming sign.... And this was usually after a little raining action around noon. Yay!

Monday, 4.25 in the morning. Nice and humid. My goal was to keep a decent pace, so when I hit the first mile in 8:56 I was a little pissed with myself. So I picked up the pace and clocked a 8:09 second mile. Still not fast enough. 7:36, looking a little better. Last mile was in 7:05, which is where I wanted to be the whole time. The last quarter was at a 5:57 pace. It feels good to increase the pace over time like that.

Monday evening, hill work. I finally found a substantial "hill" to run over. Its actually a bridge over a ship channel. Its also where locals go to committ suicide. Awesome! The bridge is 1 mile straight up, 1 mile straight down. I did a total of 4.52, so it was 2 miles up uphill, 2 miles of downhill, and half a mile of flat surface all in my huaraches. The out trip was pretty easy, but the trip back over the bridge was into a VERY hard headwind that was blowing debris into my face on the way to the top of the bridge. Very good run! Managed to average a 9:15 pace. Ill try to take a pic of the bridge next time I go to run it.

Tuesday, forgot the huaraches at home, so I decided to try going bare during an evening run. Big mistake... Only managed to get in 2.54 miles and my feet were blistered in a few spots and quite painfull. I did keep a 7:21 pace.

Wednesday. Forgot the huaraches at home again, so I decided to try and run on some grass. The only area around here with such is Dornsboro Park. Managed to get 3.31 miles in at a 8:58 pace. The ground was very uneven and hard and dry and cracked. The combination of this surface combined with patches of high grass made my calves BURN!!!!! Felt like my lower legs were working double time trying to adjust to the surface. I run at the park at home often, and theres always punk kids skate boarding and stuff, but I did see a first while I was at this park. There was a very similar group of punk kids, but instead of skate boarding, they were tight rope walking.... And there was one kid who was actually pretty skilled at it too!!!

Thursday I went to the local highschool track for speed work. It had sprinkled most of the day and was very overcast (but still over 100!!!) So I figured the track wouldnt be too hot. I did a warm up mile at 7:31, then did 4 X 100s at 78, 76, 76, and 73 seconds which is a 5:03 mile, then a cool down at 7:36. On my last lap it started to sprinkle a little, and as soon as I got in the car it really started coming down.

Took Friday and Saturday off to work on some stuff around the house. We were upgrading from a queen to a king size mattress, so we decided to build a platform bed and headboard for it. I am pretty impressed with my carpentry work to be honest. And the bed has held up for 2 nights now, so I did something right!

Sunday I was planning on doing a 13~15 miler early in the morning. But after getting 5 hours of sleep Friday night, and 4 Saturday I was dead tired. So around 7 that evening I decided I needed to get something in, so I strapped the huaraches on and ran down to the end of my road and back for a good 6.5 miles. Around mile number 4 I hit the wall and could feel the lack of sleep coming into play. I still managed to finish with a 8:03 average pace.

Pretty decent week, ended up with 24.12 miles, most of which were what I consider to be "speed work" so although my mileage wasnt great, I felt I had some good workouts.
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