Saturday, May 31, 2008

Hard work

For the last 3 or 4 days I have been fighting something, with on and off headaches and a need to cough, especially when I lay down to sleep.
This morning when I woke up the headache I went to sleep with was still there and my mind said that maybe I should not run the 2 mile race. My heart really wanted me to run. So I found myself on the starting line ready to run. Once I got going I felt quite comfortable and my first mile was 7:31. I tried to maintain my form and my pace, but was finding it hard. My second mile was 7:43, for a total time of 15:14, just 5 seconds slower than last week. I actually found this encouraging, because I feel it shows that I am in fact stronger than last week, since I ran almost the same time when I was sick.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A little sore

I was a little surprised to feel sore this morning when I set out for work. I actually felt it more than I did after the 12 miles I did on Sunday. I guess the combination of the 12 and the 4, run at a bit more quality was enough for my body to feel slightly over done. I will run easy today and everything should get back to normal as the week goes on.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Much better this week

Woke up feeling pretty good. So it was out the door at 7 am and off to run with Utpal. Apart from a little soreness in my hamstrings I was feeling good after the 2 mile race yesterday. I guess Utpal was feeling good too because we went out a little faster than we usually do. The weather conditions were really nice and we had a good run out to Shea stadium.
The water fountains are on in the park so we stopped about half way and had a nice drink of water. There were no aches and pains this week and I felt really good at the end of the run. Yesterday afternoon I had the feeling I wanted to go out a second time to run and was feeling that again today, but I have to be sensible and wait for my 2 a day weekends. I do not want to over train and get injured.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

That's Better!

The weather for the 2 mile race was very pleasant this morning. It felt like I was actually running. I have been running a little harder in training this week and my legs were feeling a bit tired.Once I got going I felt good and knew I was running faster than last week. I did struggle a little bit with my breathing in the second mile, but pushed about as hard as I could at the end. First mile 7:38. second 7:31, finish time 15:09.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

30 days

No that is not a veiled reference to the Stevie Marriott song, 30 days in the hole. I am referring to the number of days I have now gone, where I have run. It's my second streak of the year, the first one being the first 60 days of the year. I don't plan these things they just happen and of course the 10 day race started this one off. So we will see how far this one goes.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Last night

Last night I watched the DVD I bought last week. It's called "The Runner" and it's all about a guy named David Horton. It's about his 2700 mile run along the Pacific Crest Trail. Which stretches from the Mexican border to the Canadian Border on the west coast of the US. It's an amazing film and I thought very inspiring. I think I may have met David when he ran in the race across America some years ago, but just briefly.
I felt pretty good when I got up this morning, no major problems from my run yesterday, My feeling while walking home from work were, that I am about 90% recovered from the 10 day race.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Still Recovering

So 2 weeks after the race it is time to see if I can get serious about my running again. This morning Utpal and I ran out to Shea Stadium and of course around the new Citi Stadium. I did feel the occasional protestation from my hips, which seemed to tell me that it was maybe a little too early, to run this far. At the end I felt OK. After a little breakfast and a walk home I was feeling a little sore. After an hour of relaxing I decided to take a nap, which turned into 2 hours. It then felt a bit like I had run an easy marathon. We will see how I feel tomorrow.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

After the race

When I got back from the race I didn't feel too bad. I slept for about 2 hours and then I had dinner. I made arrangements with Utpal to go for a run the next morning, which of course would be slow and easy. We ran about 2 miles or so with a little walking mixed in. I felt OK, we then stopped in at Dunkin' Donuts for a hot chocolate and a muffin. The run helped me to shake out a few things. I noticed that I had a big water blister on the little toe of my left foot, which had not bothered me, so I had left it alone. I decided to drain it, then it felt sore for a couple of days. I had forgotten my old feeling that if it doesn't bother you leave it alone and it will just re-absorb on it's own. Oh well!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Day 10 - The end

I started the last day of the race with only 8 miles needed to 400 miles. So I was pretty relaxed. I reached this goal around 4 in the afternoon. One of my friends, Sanatan was so encouraging, he kept telling me he wouldn't leave until I hit 400. During the rest of the time until dinner I just walked and jogged a few more miles.
Traditionally on the last night the cooks get the night of ( sort of ), when the race directors for the evening shift bring pizza. I had the permitted 2 slices and then went to bed.
Some people like to push through the night to get extra miles, but I have spent the last 9 days training my body to a schedule and I stick to it on the last night. Marty Sprengelmeyer told me as he completed the 1300 mile race some years ago, that he made the mistake of not taking his usual breaks near the end and as a result struggled with his body wanting that break.
I spent the morning chatting and walking with some of the Russian runners, suddenly realizing with 2 hours to go that I had reached 427 miles. The number 27 is special to me, so I decided that this was a good place to stop. Another race completed.
After a special Lasagna lunch the awards ceremony took place and few goodbyes were exchanged and in the crowds a few missed.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Day 9

I just remembered something that happened to me the previous night. After eating dinner I took my usual sleep break. I woke up after 2 hours with a stomach ache, then after another 2 hours sleep I woke up and vomited. This has never happened to me before and once it was done it didn't seem to bother me too much.
I have mentioned that I came into the race with a goal of 450 miles, which I adjusted to 400 after the rain. So here I was starting day 9 with 350 miles, leaving me with just 50 miles in 2 days to reach my goal. This meant that I was very relaxed and had no pressure to push.
The forecast said there was rain on the way again, but this wouldn't be a problem. My friend Vladimir who was in 3rd place was having some problems with his shins and asked me to help him with some taping. Though I have not had shin splints for a long time I do know how to treat them and was glad to help.
Helping others seems to also help me and by the end of day 9 I had another 42 miles for a total of 392. I was very happy!
I forgot to mention that as I started my 390th mile I got the inspiration to run a little fast, it felt good so I picked it up and surprised a few of the runners when I did a 10 minute mile which is quite fast for this stage of the race.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Day 8

I don't seem to remember too much about day 8 for some reason. One thing was that after my sleep break I came out and Mark Dorian's family had arrived. Which was interesting for me because his wife is originally from Bolton. We talked for a little. Though I had slept well I couldn't seem to get going and took frequent breaks during the night. Also I was having a little trouble with the metatarsals on both feet, which has been a problem for me in the past. Took the time to treat them and add some protection to the soles of my feet.
My mileage only improved to 39 miles for day 8 for a total of 35, which ain't too bad for an old guy.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Day 7

Finally the weather had improved, but I think the rain had taken it's toll. There seemed to be a few runners out there with a few problems, especially some of the newcomers, first timers in the 6 day race. I was asked during the day for my advice, since some of them value my experience in these races.
I myself found that I slept a little longer on my main sleep break and was finally probably feeling the effects of all that rain. As a result my mileage dropped for the day and I only managed 38 miles. Giving me a 7 day total of 311. I did however close within 5 miles of the next runner on the board, at least briefly.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Day 6

After spending most of the night and day running and walking in the rain, it felt good to have a hot lunch and slip inside my sleeping bag for an hour.
2 years ago I did 278 miles in the 6 day race, which is about average for me and it looked like I could be right up there at the end of this day. It was nice to be rain free, well there were the odd sprinkles. With the colder temps after the rain and just the fact that the rain takes a lot out of your legs, I wasn't sure what day 6 would be like.
My breaks during the night were a bit more frequent, but by the end of it all I had 41 miles for day 6 and a total of 273. So pretty decent. I had also separated myself from 3 runners behind me on the board.This had come about by me just being consistent I think.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Day 5

So I slept for 1 1/2 hours this lunch time and when I got out there the course was pretty active with all the new runners. Most of the talk during the afternoon was of the impending rain that was expected during the night. Everyone seemed to have a different report. I was quite tired at dinner time and was happy to take my sleep break. Coming out before midnight it was still nice and dry, I ran well for about 3 hours and decided to take an hours break, just as I made it into the dorm it started to rain.
When I came out it was a mix of light showers and misty rain, but quite comfortable. The feeling was if it stayed like this it wasn't a big deal. However it just kept going on. At the end of the day I once again had 42 miles for a 5 day total of 232. It was Monday, the weekend was over and the park was quiet again.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Day 4

There seemed to be 3 or 4 of us who were pretty close together at the back of the pack. I try to run my own race and not be influenced by those close to me on the scoreboard. I am sure that a couple of them were looking at me though. This was the last day that the 10 day runners would have before the 6 day runners joined us. Some of the 6 day runners were coming out during the day and setting out their tents and such. Asprihanal Aalto a favourite in the race and a friend of mine, told me that he had woken up with a fever that morning and had decided to not run the race.
Instead of having to deal with foot problems as I usually do on day 4, the ones that I got in the first 2 days seemed to be getting better. I was settling into a comfortable routine and enjoying the experience of once again being in a multi day race in Flushing Meadow Park. I improved my daily mileage slightly to 43 for the 4 th day, giving me a 4 day total of 190 miles, again below the pace I had planned, but still decent .
The 6 day race got underway just as I took my lunch and went for my break.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Day 3

I forgot to mention that for the last half of day 2 and first half of day 3 it was Luis Rio's Birthday.A little before lunch was served at the end of day 2 we had a party. The video above is Luis cutting the cake.
Day 3 was much cooler and by now I was starting to get in to the routine of the race. After my usual nap I was back out on the course. During the day you find others that are either running or walking at the same pace. Since I have done a few of these races ( this was in fact my 25th Multi Day ), newer runners or first timers often ask me for advice, or how to deal with a particular problem they may have. I am always glad to try and help.
In the dorm I was sharing with 9 other runners it can be surprisingly quiet at night and is not so hard to sleep. At least I slept well.
Again by the end of day 3 I had run another 42 miles a distance I seemed to be settling in to. This gave me a 3 day total of 147 miles, slightly less than I had planned , but I was satisfied.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Day 2

Each runner shares a table in this "Dug out" with another. This is where you can take a short break and keep a few items you may need handy.
At the end of each day they serve a hot vegetarian lunch, ( each day is from noon to noon)I usually eat this then sleep for 1 hour. The afternoon of day 2 was even hotter than day 1, so for me the idea is to try to take it easy and get whatever miles I can. I do this until 7 pm when they serve dinner. After dinner I walk 2 easy miles then go to the dorm where I sleep until 11:30. This is a schedule I developed 6 years ago and seems to work for me.
I have found that during the night it is much easier for me to accumulate miles.
I usually do not have a problem with my feet for the first 4 days, but in this race it started on day 2. I started developing blisters on the base of my fourth toe on each foot. I know how to deal with this so it was not too big a deal. In most races I manage to do around 50 miles on day 2, but by the end of this one I only added 42, for a total of 105. I felt strong and wasn't worried and was ready for lunch.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

10 Day Race- Day 1

For some reason they mis-spelled my last name on the scoreboard, they corrected it later.
The first day was interesting in that there were 49 runners on the course so it was pretty crowded. The afternoon was quite hot with a strong Sun. I spent the first few hours with some of my running friends, since we seemed to run at the same pace. I ran 35 miles I think in the first 10 hours and then took a sleep break.
I then seemed to struggle a bit which is not usual for me. I think maybe the Sun affected me a little bit more than I thought it would. Anyway I completed 63 miles for the first day, which is on the low end of what I usually do, but I was happy. Though I was placed near the back of the pack.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Recovery and such

The 10 day race is run on a 1 mile loop in Flushing Meadow Park in Queens NY. During the course of 240 hours you see a lot of things going on. The photo on the left shows you just one activity.
Needless to say my feet are sore from the race, but that has not stopped me from going out for a run. I am recovering so that means a 2 or 3 mile easy run, which feels pretty good at the moment.

The little toe on my left foot seems to be the most bothersome and that is something I didn't feel during the race.

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Past

Old relic
When I lived in London in the mid seventies I was involved in a relay run to celebrate the American Bicentennial. Three friends and I ran from the George Washington Statue near the National Museum,to the JFK Memorial at Runnymede. We got some newspaper coverage and this was a clipping from the time. I am the one on the right, I believe I was 22 at the time.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Luis Birthday

Over the 10 days of the race there were 3 birthdays. This was the first one, my friend and sometimes walking partner during the race. Is here celebrating his 60 th .

I pretty much kept to my the same sleep pattern that I did during the race, last night. My quadriceps were a little sore when I got up. I did however meet with Utpal and run a couple of miles, just to shake things up a little. I think it helps in the recovery.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Back from the 10 day race

Just to say that I am back from the 10 day race. I ran a total of 427 miles, which is smack in the middle of the two goals I had set myself. 450 being what I hoped for and 400 being my fall back. You can see from the photo that we did have some rain. I will talk more about the whole race in the next few days.