2010 Detroit 1/2 Marathon

2010 Detroit 1/2 Marathon
Doing Work!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Monsoon Marathon - California International

After hearing how fast this course usually is and deciding I wanted to try and run a fast marathon before the end of the year, I suggested to Kris James that we go to Sacramento and run California International. We then heard of a large contingent of runners from the Detroit area that were also going to be there along with Steve Menocvik. Leading up to the race however, the weather and injury dwindled our group down quite a bit. We expected about 15-20 people and only 4 of us made it. Steve, Kris, Joe Whitman and me.

Race morning, I was laying in bed, wide awake at 3:30am because that is what I do every morning when I am going to race. I grabbed my phone, checked the weather, and said F*$%!! I didn't realize Kris was awake so I shared the news that at 7am, race start time, we were going to be getting heavy rain along with winds coming from the SSW at 38 mph, gusting to 55 mph. Not great on a point to point course that runs SSW! The good news was by 10am when we were going to be done, the rain would almost be done and the wind would be down to 27 mph.

We were bused out to the start in Folsom. Our crew decided to go use the porta johns before it got too crowded. We put our garbage bags on headed out. It didn't seem too bad walking down toward the road the bathrooms were on but it turned out the rows of buses were protecting us from the wind because as soon as we made the turn right, the wind almost picked my garbage bag and I up off the ground. Feet are now soaked and the wind is nearly ripping the doors off the porta johns as people come out.

We headed to the start line and decided to look for the 3 hour pacer. We found him and after running with the guys at 7:03 pace for the first half mile, I decided I was going to get after it a bit. I ran a 6:44 first mile. Not terrible but there were a lot of people ahead of me. I thought that I would just find a good pack to settle into and run with them. I kept working forward but it was just me doing it solo. After clicking off the next 5 between 6:07 and 6:12, we made a slight turn and it was the worst we had felt the wind. To make matters worse, I was not in a pack and about 15 seconds behind the one in front of me. I worked to try and get to them and figured I would sit with them. Instead, I moved through them and on to the next pack. This happened for the next 6 miles. I ran between 6:15 and 6:27/mile for this stretch. The next stretch of the race for me was my best from 12-23, I ran 6:05-6:16/mile. I was constantly passing people and felt really strong through this stretch. At mile 14, I let out a "This is f*$%ing awesome" as we started to climb a hill. The guy next to me asked what was up and I told him I was misinformed that this course was flat. I loved the rolling throughout and usually run pretty well on rollers. The rain had let up some but it didn't matter at this point. I was soaked, cold and had a huge blister that had formed on my to at mile 16 from all of the squishing. With 3 miles to go, I took what I planned to be, my last drink of the race and it didn't sit too well. I started to slosh a little and burped up some of the water. At this point, I had to decide to try and push through the stomach issue, knowing I have a propensity to puke late in marathons, or back off, essentially giving up a PR but still running a respectable race. I backed off and finished with a 6:25, 6:26 and 6:40. From mile 2 through mile 25, I never was passed by a single person. A few got me in the last mile but I was on damage control at that point!

My finish time was 2:45:19, my second best ever and only 36 seconds off a PR in the monsoon. I was very pleased when I saw the clock and knew that was the best I had today. It was a little disappointing knowing that I was ready to run quite a bit faster than this but I controlled what I could and the weather took care of the rest. Kris ran a 3:05, Joe ran a 3:07 and Steve ran a 3:09. Also, the new friend we met, Lindsay, ran a PR of 2:50:37. All in all, we had a great time, despite the weather and I was very happy with the end result. What to do next??

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Year in Review

As I think back over 2011, it was definitely a disappointing year running. The worst part of the year was the tragic loss of my high school cross country coach, the man who saw potential in me and started me running 23 years ago. I think about him often while out pounding the pavement and wish he was still here so I could thank him.

I had a few goals but failed to accomplish most of them. I wanted to run 3,000 miles this year but a stress fracture in my tibia had other ideas. I wanted to run a PR in the marathon in Miami in January and was on pace through 23 when I fell apart. I was able to run a 2:45 still but not the 2:42 I was on pace for. I did run a PR for the 8K in 27:20, good enough for second place at the Bay City St. Patrick's Day race. I also was able to run a 2 minute PR in the Sanford and Sun Duathlon, also good for a second place finish. I also planned to go for a PR in the RnR Las Vegas Half Marathon but after only 6 weeks of training due to the stress fracture, a 1:20 was all that was in the cards. The final race results look like this:

Duathlon: 1(1:04:18)
5K: 3 (16:52)
8K: 1 (27:20)
10K: 5 (35:41)
1/2 Marathon: 6 (1:18:36)
Marathon: 1 (2:45:35)

I am hopeful that 2012 goes better than 2011. I would love to hit 3,000 miles this year though that may not be feasible as I currently deal with left hip pain. I definitely want to go under 1:16 this year in the half. I plan to tackle my first triathlon this year (hopefully I get the swim figured out). I am also planning to compete in the state championships of the duathlon this year. I plan to represent Runners Performance, Hammer Nutrition, Recovery Sock and Brooks Fanatics to the best of my ability this year. Hammer On!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Las Vegas 1/2 Marathon

Jen and I travelled out to Vegas to celebrate our 10 year anniversary and to run the 1/2 Marathon also. I had never done a Rock and Roll event so I was quite curious what it would be like. I was intrigued by the idea of a night race on the Vegas strip. Also, it was a requirement of my Marathon Bar sponsorship and with the stress fracture, this was the latest one that I could do and fit it in my schedule. Because the race was starting at 5:30pm, it was the equivalent of 8:30 in Michigan. We tried to lay low on race day by eating a big breakfast, watching some football, and taking a nap.

I left the hotel to go meet my Marathon Bar teammates to take a few pre-race pictures. I said goodbye to Jen and headed 2 miles down the Strip to Mandalay Bay. I was able to meet about 10 teammates and discuss where everyone was from and what our goals were for the race. I headed to gear check and dropped my bag off at 4:30. One more stop at the bathroom and out the door I went. I jogged about a mile to start to get loose. Then, I ran into Joe Laframboise and Joe Lasceski from back home and we talked in the corral. With about 15 minutes to go, I had to pee again and the porta johns were not an option. I figured it would go away once the race started. Shows what I know!

After the National Anthem, they counted us down and the race was underway. Much to my surprise, corral 1 consisted of all types of "athletes". Needless to say, I was pissed when the gun went off and I was having to weave around walkers and people who were supposed to be 15 or 20 corrals back. That was my first beef with Competitor on race day. They had no one organizing the corrals so the corral on your bib really didn't matter. As I hit the first mile, I checked and was at 5:43. A little too fast for the 1:20 I had hoped to run. I went through the 5K at 18:17 and my legs were feeling great but the pee issue, had not gone away. I even tried to pee my shorts at mile 2 but couldn't seem to make it happen.

I was shoulder to shoulder with folks through the 10K where I hit a 36:47. I was feeling pretty good still but the temps had dropped and knew on the way back, we would be headed into the wind. I decided this was the spot I was going to grab a drink to last me through the race. As I grabbed a cup of water and was about to raise it, I noticed volunteers pulling water from a trash can. I immediately dropped the cup and was pissed again. Apparently, they filled the cans with water from the fire hydrants, something that Competitor did not have approval to do. I tucked in with one other guy and we ran stride for stride until mile 9. At that point, we got chicked and he decided to go with her. I knew she was going faster than I could with 4 to go so I held back. At mile 10, she apparently was going too fast for him as well as I went by him and tried to get him to hang with me before I pulled away.

I hit mile 10 in 1:00:17. At this point, I allowed the thought of a sub 1:20 to creep in. I remembered Jen telling me that once we were at our hotel, The Flamingo, we had 2 miles to go so I figured that would be where I would start to push. The problem was, my tank was on E! I felt like I had cement shoes on the rest of the way. My legs, which had felt great up until this point, became very heavy. I was stalking a pack of 6 and they weren't getting away from me which I felt was odd. I couldn't believe as much as I had slowed, they had too. At mile 12, I heard my coach yell at me from the median to get up and run with that group. I believe he also said something about using my arms, which he confirmed post race, but I was so focused on reeling in the group in front of me I didn't hear the second part of the instruction. I got to the group and went by them. To my surprise, no one fought back. As poorly as I had run the last 5K, I only got passed by 1 person that I remember.

I crossed the finish line and the clock read 1:20:07. I was disappointed that I let the opportunity to break 1:20:00 slip through my hands but knew that my goal was 1:20 and I had accomplished that. My watch read 1:20:00. Spot on and pretty good considering I was 6 weeks back from a stress fracture in my tibia. As soon as I stopped, my calves cramped and I immediately looked for a couple bananas and some bottled water. I headed inside to grab my checked bag and get some warm clothes on. The temp had dropped from 45 to 38 and with the wind chill, we were below freezing. Winds were up to 12-16mph.  I walked into gear check with a kid who discussed his race with me. He went through the 5K at 16:47 and the 10K at 34:40. He said he ran a 33 something the week prior so he was expecting a 1:15 but he blew up.

Post race, I met back up with Joe Laframboise and I waited for my wife and he waited for his girlfriend to finish. I headed to family meeting letter X to meet Jen and she got there about 5 minutes later. I asked how it went and she ran a 2:13:xx. I helped to get her warm stuff on and she immediately started complaining of feeling sick. It was only later we learned of all of the other folks being ill as well.

We headed back to the hotel and hooked up with Coach (Gary Brimmer) for some dinner. He got Jen to take a Dr. Pepper for her stomach and she started to feel better. We had a great time talking with Gary about family and training schedules. After a couple beers, Gary headed to his hotel and we headed up for the night.

All in all, I had a great time with my wife. As for the race, my result was about what I expected pre-race. Competitor Group and the Rock and Roll Series left a lot to be desired. For the $130 per entry we paid, the race left a lot to be desired and I don't have a desire to run another one of their events any time soon.

Time to focus on running a PR in the half in 2012!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

What's Next?

There are lots of things that this title could mean to me at this point. After the Coach Cole Memorial Race, I ran a duathlon in Sanford where I ran a PR by 2:30, and still got beat! After that race, I knew something was definitely wrong with my leg so I finally caved and went to have an x-ray. That led to an MRI where it was determined I had a tibia stress fracture. Number 4 in the right leg. I ended up completely shutting the running down for 4 weeks. This also meant that I would no longer be pacing the 3:10 group in Chicago for Nike.

I made the call to Paul, my contact at Nike to let him know about my stress fracture and we both agreed there was not enough time for me to be ready for Chicago. I also told him that I was going to start running fairly soon and he offered me the opportunity to run with a Charity Team. I agreed but didn't know exactly what this would entail. Come to find out, I would be a part of a Charity relay with 13 people, each with an amazing story and raising funds for great causes, 2 ladies running as pacers for the full marathon for our team, 2 other escorts in addition to myself and then 3 US Women's Soccer players, Hope Solo, Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan. My job as an escort, go anywhere Hope went for the day. What a rough job! I had a great time with the entire team and the event was a lot of fun but, honestly, I really wished I was running with the 3:10 pace group, a job that fell squarely on the shoulders of my buddy, Kris James, who I travelled to Chicago with. He was spot on and was within 1 minute, on the good side of getting his team to their 3:10 goal. It was great to see him finish! I also got to see Lanni and Adam before the race started, shook Ryan Hall's hand pre-race, see Jackie run her Olympic Trials qualifier, Scott run his new PR and celebrate as soon as he finished, and see Rich clip another marathon in the 2:40's. It was awesome!

2 days prior to leaving for Chicago, I started in a new shoe that was part of a trial. BIG MISTAKE. I ran 6 miles each of the 2 days prior. I then ran another 6 on the Tuesday when I returned. Each time, my right heel/achilles hurt worse than the time prior. Needless to say, the shoes went back and I opted out of the trial. I have been dealing with the pain even since.

Last weekend, I went out to run Sunday Service with James and Jeff. Things were clipping along just fine until James started to press the pace at about 9 miles. He put 30 seconds on Jeff and I pretty easy. At 11 miles, I told Jeff I was going to try and run him down. I dropped a 6:38 but gained no time and my heel was killing. I backed off the pace, watched Jeff go by and I dragged my carcas in. 3 days off to follow.

This week was started on Thursday when I felt pretty good. We hopped on the treadmill and I was able to stay on my midfoot for the 5 miles. Felt really good during but was pretty sore after. Friday, a 6 miler at about 7:17 pace, nice and easy. I took Saturday off in preparation for our Sunday Service. James and I started out with the expectation to roll 14 comfortable miles. We went through the first mile at 6:31, looked at each other and laughed. We talked about backing it down because surely, I can't handle this pace. Last weekend, I couldn't run a single mile that fast. Mile 2, 6:36. Guess we are going to just see how it goes. We went through 7 at 45:36 and I was feeling pretty good. So was James. Mile 8 and I felt like we were bleeding time. My quads were tightening and I was pretty sure the blow up was about to begin. 6:23! We actually got faster. We went through mile 9 and James reminded me that was where he pulled away, in a way meant to motivate me. By mile 10, the quads felt great and I was ready to roll. We ended up going through 13.1 under 1:25 and averaged 6:29 pace. James and I both walked away with a lot of confidence.

I am hoping that I am starting to turn the corner. The stress fracture gave me no pain and the heel/achilles was very minor. We will see what tomorrow brings. I still have 2 races to run for Marathon Bar this year. One will be Rock n' Roll Vegas so I will probably hit a local race in mid-November to get back into the swing of things. Here is to hoping the injuries are behind me.

Run Happy!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Coach Bob Cole Memorial

Well, it has been a while and basically because my running has been hit or miss. I have been dealing with minor tendinitis in my left foot/Achilles and a sore right shin. I took another 9 days off running but it forced me to start riding my new Felt bike, which I love now!

After my camping trip over the week of the 4th, my Achilles started to feel better so I started to run a little again. I ran between 4 and 6 miles all week long with no Achilles pain by the end of the week. The shin was still sore but tolerable. I decided I would give the Coach Bob Cole Memorial a try. I truly had no clue what to expect based on all the time off I had recently. I was joking with Coach's son that it would be a battle between the 2 of us just to break 18.

Saturday morning I got down to the ball diamonds early to give everyone a hand setting things up before the race. I went for a 2 mile warm up with Kris, Nick and some of Kris' team that he brought from Breckenridge. Just before the race started Ryan Cole shared some great words with all of the participants. I went over and found Coach's wife and gave her a hug before the race. We shared some words and I got a little choked up. Right after that, something clicked. I didn't feel any pain in my shin or Achilles. The horn sounded and we were off. I went through mile 1 in 5:25 and was sitting 6th. I never looked at the watch again the rest of the race. It didn't matter. We were on familiar turf where I had run many miles in high school during mile repeat days from Coach's old house. I moved up throughout the race and as I turned the corner, I saw the race clock. I figured there was an error for sure when I saw 16:30 on the clock. I finished up the best I could (I have NO kick). 16:52!! I was really quite pleased with the time and the 3rd place finish but that was way less important than the reason we were there.

That one was for Coach! I think about him during every run and know he is proud!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

New Sponsor and Healing Foot

I received an opportunity today to join the Marathon Bar team powered by Snickers! How can you say no to that! These things are awesome and good for you too? Very thankful that I was selected as part of the Active Ambassador's program.

This good news came on the same day I was able to run 6 miles nearly pain free. After the Eident Half Marathon in Rhode Island, I came back and took a week completely off to allow for the tendinitis in my left foot, 3rd and 4th metatarsals to heal. I started back last Monday and I am easing back. I only ran 47 miles last week. Today, I decided to push a little bit the last couple miles of my 6 miler and was able to go 6:04 and 5:54 with no pain! I am still planning to take it easy. I have deferred my Half Marathon entry for Bayshore to next year, instead only running the 10K. I have also had to drop out of the Great Lakes Relay. I couldn't be the slug on my team this year dragging those guys down. I will return to the Thundering Pickles next year though.

Run Happy!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Update on the past month

Running has been hit and miss over the last month. I developed what I thought would be a just a minor pain in my left foot just prior to the St. Patrick's Day 8K. I ran the race as the pain was minor and ended up running a PR 27:20, good for 2nd place, though I was never in contention to win the race. I continued to run the week following the race and by the following Thursday, the pain was so bad, I knew I needed some time off. We went on a cruise for spring break and I only went to the gym 2 days, biking 45 minutes each day.

When we got back from break, I was feeling quite a bit better so I decided to go run with the boys during Sunday Service. I made the mistake of going 15 miles. I took the next day off and was able to tally 48 miles for the week, including a 1/2 marathon that I won running a 1:18:36, good for 1st place by 5:30 minutes. I was a little sore but ended up putting in 58 miles the next week, including a 14 miler for Sunday Service. Again, this flared up the foot. I took Monday and Tuesday off and even went for an x-ray. I ran 8 Wednesday with Jeff. The foot hurt so bad Thursday, I took the day off. The results of the x-ray did not show a stress fracture as I suspected but they did encourage me to see my regular doctor and request a MRI. I ran 2.5 miles Friday and then against my better judgement, raced on Saturday. I ran a local 5K in 17:00, good for 3rd place (damn young kids).  For some reason, while racing, I am able to block out the pain but when training or just walking around, the pain is very noticeable.

I have a 1/2 Marathon in Providence this coming Sunday with Kris and then plan to take some time off to let whatever the problem is heal. As much as I would like to run through it, I am going to listen to the opinion of Steve and Sue, 2 runners I have a great deal of respect for. I know they are right! I also plan to contact my Dr to see if he feels an MRI is needed or if we should go the route of rest first. The next race planned is Bayshore at the end of May and that may have to be deferred to 2012 if this pain doesn't go away.