Staring at my Navel: where I am in terms of sports

Don’t worry: there will be no politics or social agenda commentaries in this post. 🙂

Workout notes
Running: 1 mile walk warmup, 2 miles of jog 200, walk 200, 2 mile “run” (10:18, 8:59 in lane 3), 1 mile cool down.

Weights: 2 sets of leg presses, 1 set of curls, extensions, abductors, hip flexors.

Swimming 2200 yards; 20 x 50 on the 1, 10 x (25 drill, 25 swim) fins, 10 x 50 (alt paddle, free), 200 yards of “strokes” (alternating butterfly and back).

Daughter: I am enjoying out time together. Exercise wise, I try to get her to do a little something every day. We’ve been on an 8 mile ride, 2 mile hike, 500 yard swim and a yoga class.

She isn’t into organized sports though she loves music.

My “sports state”: here is a bit of background detailing where I am and how I got here.

As a young adult I dabbled in distance running, swimming and in weights. My top marks were 310 for the bench press, 425 for the dead lift, 3:33 for the marathon (Maryland, 1980), and 39:50 for the 10K (Azalea 10K in March, 1982).

This was me toward the end of my only sub 40 minute 10K.

By 1992, I was morbidly obese; I weighed 320 pounds. It took me 36 minutes to walk 2 miles. I also lifted weights and could still bench about 300, but I couldn’t do a single pull-up. Still I lifted and walked.

By 1994 I had worked up to jogging 2 miles and my weight had dropped to 250. Still, it took me about 24 minutes to jog 2 miles.

In 1995 I had dropped to 220 and was lifting weights in an effort to be able to run again. My time for 2 miles had dropped to about 20 minutes.

In 1996, I reached my current size (185-195). My first “post morbid obesity race” was a 5K which I ran in 23:15. I was in tears when I finished (and not because my time sucked). I worked down to a 6:20 mile and a 21:45 5K prior to the end of the year.

In 1997, I recovered from Achilles tendonitis and worked myself down to a 42:30 10K, 20:03 5K, 5:53 mile and a 1:41 half marathon. I added swimming.

In 1998, I got down to 41:27 for the 10K, 19:53 for the 5K, 5:41 for the 1600 and 1:39 for the half marathon. My marathon (3:46) was a flop.

In 1999, I recovered from Achilles tendonitis (again), and I ended up with a stress fracture. In between, I managed a 20:50 5K, a 1:34 half marathon and 3:45 for the marathon. I also made progress in swimming reaching 15:37 for the 1000 yard.

In 2000, I started off with a 1:35 half marathon and had a 3:38 marathon; I didn’t do much else in between.

I entered some swim meets and managed a 15:59 1000.

In 2001 I ran a 3:40 marathon at Lake Geneva, a 20:48 5K and a 1:37 half marathon. That was my last good year of running. I also swam a 1:43 open water 5K.

In 2002 I got yet another achilles injury; since I had signed up for a local 5K I showed up and walked it. I noticed that my time (30:50) was a bit quick; I looked up racewalking on the internet and found out that I was walking with a bent knee; hence I was “creeping”.

So I decided to see how fast I could walk “legally”. I added walking to my regimen and tried to see how good I could get.

Times for that year: 1:06 for my first judged racewalk (10K), 30:41 for a judged 5K (two red cards!)
4:44 for the marathon (sloppy knees), a 3:57 running marathon (beginning of the year; I recovered from the flu) and 4:04 (after taking a month off for shinsplints; I had 18 training miles for this marathon, total!)

this is from my first judged 10K.

Here is my last 5K run at under a 7 minute per mile pace (21:38)

I also finished my first ultra (50K walk with sloppy knees; 6:22)

In 2003, I got better at racewalking; I got a 8:31 1500 meter, 2:27 for a judged 20K and 30:42 (slippery course) for a judged 5K. I powerwalked a half marathon in 2:17 and finished three trail 50k s and some road marathons.

In 2004, I finished my first 100 miles (101 miles in 24 hours) walking the entire time. I then tried to do it an a couple of official centurion walks but failed (88 miles, 81 miles). I saw two DQs at judged races (50K in January, 5K in September) and one official finish (18:03 for 3000 meters).
I had an unjudged 50K in 6:20:02.

Me at mile 100. 🙂

In 2005, I finished a trail 100 miler in 34:16 (McNaughton) and a groomed trail 100 in 29:34 (Leanhorse). I did little else (6:29 50K) and failed at another centurion attempt. I did run a few races (barely sub 50 10K, 23:05 5K).

I also struggled to a slow, slow finish at the Steamboat 15K (1:23).

In 2006, I started off with a nagging piriformis tingle; it was to get worse. I started off with another centurion failure, a DNF at the McNaughton 100, a trail 50K (Ice Age) and 83 miles at the FANS 24 hour. Then I had to quit a few weeks later and focused on cycling (stupid; it irritated the piriformis) and swimming.

I did finish a century ride and an open water 5k (2:02) at Big Shoulders. I did keep trying to run again and it never worked out.

Finally, in 2007 I started off by swimming a 1:36 5500 yard in the pool (5 K) and, after resuming walking by pacing at the McNaughton trail races, I attempted a 24 hour walk and got 66 miles.

Things only got worse; I did have a 31 minute 5K walk (unjudged) but I ended up with:

34 miles at the 12 hour, DNF at mile 23 at the Quad Cities marathon, 9:25 for 33 miles at Farmdale and 58 miles for the Ultracentric 24 hour.

2008: training finally started to get better, though in February I got put down for several weeks by a nasty flu, and then another week by a cold. Hence my recent long distance results :”sort of DNF” for a muddy 50 mile trail race (finished the next day), dropping out at 12 hours (45 miles) in a 12 hour race, almost DNF at a hot weather marathon (6:16).

What’s the problem: over all, my body is weak, and I haven’t done any “intensity training” to speak of since 2006.

Solution: build back up slowly; this is what I am attempting to do. My running: disaster; my legs are too weak and my body weight is too high for me to get “lift” off of the ground.

I’ll probably easy walk the Quad Cities marathon in September and the Chicago 50K in November. Otherwise, I’ll focus on a general fitness program. My goals to work up to:

1. Be able to run 10 miles in 90 minutes and do it easily.
2. Two weight sessions per week.
3. 3-4 swims per week;
4. 3-4 runs per week, working up to a minimum of three 5 mile runs per week and one 8 miler.
5. Get one 20 mile walk per week and one high intensity walk per week, along with recovery walks.
6. 3 yoga classes per week.

Where I am:
1. 3 yoga classes. Check.
2. Walking: current long walk is 12 miles but I should boost that this week. Intensity is also ok.
3. 3 runs per week; right now I can handle a 3 mile run at almost goal pace.
4. 1 weight workout; I need to build up when I am ready.
5. 2-3 swims per week; I did get up to one 3000 yard workout.
6. Weight: too high at the moment. I’d like to be 10 pounds lighter.

What I can expect: if one goes by my best ever athletic accomplishment (using this calculator)
I should be able to hit the following goals if I train for them:

runs: 21:33 5K, 45:10 10K, 3:53 marathon
walks: judged racewalk 5K: 32:00
power walks: 5K 29:40, marathon: 4:57, 50K: 6:31

I got these by age adjusting my all time best at these events.

July 9, 2008 - Posted by | injury, marathons, running, swimming, time trial/ race, ultra, walking, yoga


  1. Wow…that was quite a running history. Impressive!!! Ha, you think 23min 5K is bad??? I’d KILL for that time!!! 🙂

    Comment by pinkcowgirl | July 9, 2008 | Reply

  2. Wow! You are committed and make my modest goal of completing a 5K in 45 minutes pale by comparison. Actually I’ll be happy to do one in 50 minutes. 🙂 I’m thinking of entering a walk in September but it might still be too hot for me. The heat here is just intense and draining…at least for me it is.

    Comment by Rose | July 9, 2008 | Reply

  3. Nice recap! Very impressive history. Congrats on keeping your weight off for so long. That last 10 lbs is really tough, though, isn’t it? I feel that way about my last 5 lbs. Your running has been pretty fast in the past – that is neat. Seems like it caused you to get injured a lot, though – is there a reason you still want to run?

    Comment by Tammy | July 9, 2008 | Reply

  4. Rose (my sister), remember that age and sex are big factors. If I recall your age correctly, you’d have to walk a 41 minute 5K to “equal” my time. See this calculator.. That might put things in appropriate perspective; it isn’t fair to compare our times “straight out”.

    Pink: welcome. I’ll have to see where you are in your (running?) program. I put a question mark because many of the people who I talk to are walkers and walking is what I do (mostly).

    Tammy: when I got DQ’ed in that 5K, my time was 28:40 or so. When I put that into the above calculator, the performance factor was simply out of line with what times I had run; I had overreached with that walk. In fact, one of my good walking buddies (who was with me for most of the race) suggested that I should have aimed for about 1 minute slower.

    My best running times are in line with my best judged racewalking times.

    As far as trying to get in some running: I did better at the long walking ultras when I ran 20-30% of my weekly mileage; the extra intensity from the running “toughened” my stomach for those later miles.

    But when I get in the long training walks, my walking muscles were too fatigued for me to get in high intensity training walks, but I could get in a short to medium “tempoish” run.

    Also, my quads were stronger when I did some running; I could handle those late hills a bit better.

    So, the goal is to build up my running to where I can mix in some training runs when I start training for my next long ultra.

    Comment by blueollie | July 9, 2008 | Reply

  5. Hey, as long as you’re only running to train for the walk I heartily approve ;).

    Comment by Tammy | July 9, 2008 | Reply

  6. […] First, here is my background. […]

    Pingback by My Year in Endurance Sports 2009 « blueollie | December 30, 2009 | Reply

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