blueollie

keep on keeping on..

Well, I haven’t given up on long distance walking…yet, but I have revised what is realistic for me to achieve. I have an idea about my next attempt..or two attempts.

Quad Cities Marathon – Photo by Erling Larson

From the A set of photos by Howell Photographic Arts of the Quad Cities Marathon.

Today: easy 5.2 mile walk in the drizzle. I did yoga last night.

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October 12, 2017 Posted by | marathons, walking, yoga | Leave a comment

DNF again (3 of 4)

No easy way to say it: I dnf’ed at close to mile 17, but I had to walk the “walk of shame” 1.2 miles to the start.
So, in terms of road marathons: 3 dnf’s in the last 4 attempts (2 QC marathons were heat related..mile 20); this one was my going out too fast for my abilities because of the 6 hour time limit.

Reality: I no longer have 2:25 half marathon speed (when I could walk in the 5:30-5:40 range); it now takes me 2:4x to do a half and that is not enough margin of error for a 6 hour time limit. To finish, I need to be trained AND have non-hot weather AND have a 6:30-7 hour time limit so I can take it out at a realistic 14 minute pace.

And I need to lose at least 10 lbs.; 15 would be better.

So, I don’t view this as a failure on my part as much as my taking an challenge that I am no longer up to. The writing is on the wall; my 2012 marathon: got sick; rested 1 hour; finished just under 7 hours. 2013, 2016: run/walks in the 5:40-5:50 range. 2015: walk in perfect conditions: 5:48. The trend is clear.

Splits: 1:02:55 (5), 2:08:14 (10; uphill), 2:50:20 (half marathon), 3:18:34 (15; included bathroom; crashed here) I could not longer even sustain a 17 minute pace at this point, so I told race officials that I was dropping.

Weather: warmed up quite a bit by about half way; first half was nice and cool (albeit humid)

But there was some fun too.

My plan: stay behind the 5:30/2:45 (half) pace groups for the first 8-10 miles, then see what I could sustain. I really needed to hit the half at 2:50 or so to stand a chance..and I did. But by then the legs were gone; I was about 3:03:30 at mile 14 and starting to slow badly. The half marathon had turned off and I was solo, solo, solo.

The 5:30 pace guy was going a bit faster than I wanted to; mile 1 was 12:18 (fine for a half marathon..not a marathon). So I dropped back and walked with Cindy, the 2:45 pace person who was more or less solo. We kept each other company until the hill at 7.5 miles and I let her go; we exchanged names. Chatting with her and some of the others was very pleasant.

Afterward, I waited for Mat to finish (5:07) and chatted with Jennifer and others.

Seeing others along the way was a real treat; Theresa, Barbara and Cassie took photos of me along the way.

I saw this shirt at about mile 2; it made me laugh.

Theresa took this shot of Cindy and me.

Barbara took these four photos near mile 10, near our house.

Cassie got this one of me, between mile 12 and half way; I was starting to crumble.

Mat finishing.

Jennifer and me after the race.

Workout notes: on the road; got a Riverplex workout first. rotator cuff, bench press: 10 x 135, 1 x 185, 10 x 165, incline: 10 x 135. pull ups: 5 sets of 10 (at least, maybe 6), military: dumbbell: 10 x 50 standing, 10 x 45 standing, 5 x 140 new machine, rows: 3 sets of 10 x 50 dumbbell. light yoga, including headstand. squats: to the bench: 10 x 35, 10 x 50, 10 x 70.

October 9, 2017 Posted by | Friends, marathons, walking, weight training | 1 Comment

time for talk…over

Marathon tomorrow. I plan to walk the whole way, if possible. Strategy: stay behind and close to the 5:30 pace group, never getting ahead of them and hang on for dear life. If they are still in sight at mile 13-15, I’ll do fine. It will NOT be easy though, even though the weather will be better than 2 weeks ago. The first 2-3 hours look to be cool, next two should be nice..then it gets tough.

I need to average 13:43 mpm to meet my goal. Yes, they record finish times after 6 hours, though you have to move to the sidewalk. And if they let me, I’ll keep going.

Workout notes: today, 2 mile walk.
yesterday: full weights, light yoga: PT, 4 sets of 10 pull ups, bench press: 10 x 135, 5 x 185, incline press: 7 x 150, 10 pull ups, dumbbell bench 10 x 70, rows: 2 sets of 10 x 70 dumbbell, 10 x 200 Hammer, military; dumbbell 10 x 50, 10 x 45, machine military: 10 x 180 (90 each arm),

October 7, 2017 Posted by | marathons, walking, weight training | Leave a comment

Postmortem

I was wondering why I ran out of power. Bottom line: I simply do not train enough to have “reserve capacity” to overcome things like hot weather. In the days of old, I had much longer walks (and more total miles) so I would not shut down so early.

I am trained enough to finish IF conditions are not quite this severe. So my options moving forward: find a way to get my body to accept more training, or choose my races more carefully.

Workout notes: weights only; yoga later:
hip hikes, toe raises, rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10), incline press (one bench was ooc) 10 x 135, 4 x 160, 7 x 150, dumbbell bench press: 10 x 70, dumbbell military press (standing) 10 x 50 (sloppy), 10 x 45, 20 x 40, machine rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110. Goblet squats: 10 x 44 (sill), 10 x 53 (sill), 10 x 70 (20 inch).

I was ok; that the squats went ok was a pleasant surprise.

September 25, 2017 Posted by | marathons, weight training | Leave a comment

Hot Failure

Upshot: I was doing fine up until mile 16; in fact mile 16 was 15:02, which was only a slight slowdown from my previous pace. It felt very doable though it was getting HOT. The next mile the wheels came off completely; I lost all power in my thighs and legs.

It was 89 F when I bailed. Basically, I took about 20 minutes a mile for 18 and 19, when two ladies passed me. I walked with them (17:xx) and it felt ok; my shirt had been wet down a bit. But then as I dried out and lost shade…BAM …back to a waddle/crawl. So I called it a day at mile 20.

Bottom line: in the past, my digestive system shut down. Today, THAT worked well…it was my legs that just shut down. When it is hot, something will shut down on me.

I hope for cooler weather two weeks from now.

Mat took this photo of Cassie and me at packet pickup.

Note: between mile 9 and 10 we lost several minutes due to a goddamn train. Were I going for a time, I would have been pissed. It didn’t really affect me that much though as I was in it just to finish.

September 24, 2017 Posted by | marathons, walking | | Leave a comment

Going to be hot…

first 10: 2:25
second 10 : 2:35
Then 18 minute miles would get it done.

Just be humble at first.

September 24, 2017 Posted by | marathons | | Leave a comment

Uncertainty

Well, the Quad Cities Marathon is tomorrow and it is supposed to be as hot as hell. Yes, I’ve faced similar conditions before, (in marathons), finishing the Andy Payne, We Walk, and DNFing at Quad Cities twice (2007, 2016)

Each of these events had two things in common: 1: I went out way too fast for the conditions (12:xx pace) and 2: I had to stop and rest an hour or so.
In my two DNF’s: I was 5:03 at mile 23 and 5:01 at mile 20. But there is one difference this time: time limit is no 7 hours…and I would have finished with a 7 hour time limit.

So, there is nothing more to be said. I HAVE to start out at a slow pace (nothing faster than, say, 13:30-13:45 in the early miles, maybe 14:00 would be better) and if I can get to mile 20 in 5:00 to 5:20 and remind myself that, 2 hours for the last 10K is a 19 minute pace, and 1:40 for the last 10K is a 16 minute pace.

Oh, I’ve finished this course before and I ran the first one in miserable heat (3:55) and the second one in 3:45. My walking PR is 4:44. But that is yesterday’s news.

Do I want to finish badly enough to go out with the proper amount of humility? That is my worry. And no, even this slow time won’t be easy. Well…

workout notes: easy 2 mile walk.

September 23, 2017 Posted by | marathons | | Leave a comment

On the need to prove yourself…

Well, I have signed up for a marathon this weekend, and it will be hot as hell. Still with a 7 hour time limit, I should be able to make it, if I don’t go out like an idiot. 14-14:30 mpm at the start..get to mile 20 in 5 hours and then I’ll have 2 hours to bring it home. That should be doable, even on a hot day.

Yeah, I’ve done a number of these, but with me, the question is “can I do it one more time?” I’ve got that need.

Yes, I’ve done much better in the past (masters PR: 3:38 (2000) running, 4:44 walking (2002); first marathon was done in 1980 (3:33)). Yes, in 2004, I walked 100 miles and *averaged* 6:12 per marathon. But can I finish THIS time?

But not everyone does..and that attitude is what I have to deal with. Where I went to school (undergraduate and graduate), it wasn’t just about learning something; it was about showing that you’ve mastered the material well enough to move on. You had to prove yourself. And, well, not everyone is able to. And so, as a young professor I brought that attitude into my classroom, and it did NOT go well. The old “not everyone can do this…are YOU one who CAN?” just does not play well in most settings. And it was tough for me to adjust to that.

Workout notes; taper mode. I had a full weight workout on Wednesday (the usual; incline instead of bench: hip hikes, rotator cuff, toe raises, pull ups: 15-15-10-10, incline: 10 x 135, 4 x 160, 7 x 150, military: 10 x 50 dumbbell standing, 10 x 45, standing, 10 x 90 machine: rows: 3 sets of 10 x 110 machine, then yoga). Today: taper: 3 usual PT, 3 sets of 10 pull ups (strong), bench: 10 x 135, 6 x 185 (good, lots of energy), incline: 10 x 135, military (dumbbell) 10 x 50, 20 x 40 standing, rows: 2 sets of 10 x 110 machine).

September 22, 2017 Posted by | education, marathons, social/political, weight training | 1 Comment

Goat rant 1: long walk…

The first photo shows my actual time. One modification: I did NOT go around the ball field wall, but I did double back to the Riverplex (from the path near the beach volleyball court) to use the restroom. That is approximately the same distance. I was 2:54 at the turn around but managed a Glenn to home 1:13:35. (5 miles). That one minute extra was on the first downhill leg from Glenn to Forrest Hill.

The rant: (ok, whine)

1. I remember my running days. My “20 miler” was about a 2:50 to 3:10 event…maybe 3:20 on a bad day. I often ran without water and just stopped at a nearby fountain along the way. And I didn’t need bathroom stops as I sweated heavily.

NOW: 5 hour event, I pack water, money, salt tablets (they keep nausea away) and yes, nutrition tablets too. And yes, I have to stop for bathroom breaks as not only am I out longer, I sweat a bit less. And my “ok, use the bathroom, gather my stuff, put my orthotics in my walking shoes, lube up, etc. takes 30-40 minutes. Gads…so much for just going. It almost feels as if I am going out for an expedition. Damn.

2. And these walks go through phases. The first part of this walk didn’t go well at all…my attitude got worse the longer I went..I felt sluggish and exceptionally slow. I was almost ready to pack it in early. But I wasn’t feeling sick, nauseated …anything. I just felt sluggish and slow, and that is not a reason to quit.

But somewhere around mile 9, I started to feel better and I actually enjoyed the final 9-10 miles of the walk. The first part of the walk was discouraging..the final part was encouraging. And mind you, it was warming up. Yes, I know that the part from Hooters (on the River) to Sheridan/Northmore (near Midstate College) is a 8.6 mile stretch that is net uphill and the return from the Tower to my house is net downhill. But in the past I’ve felt terrible on the downhill return stretch; not today.

3. I cannot handle the mileage. Yes, this was my 4’th 20, and I also have 2 18’s and 3 half marathon races. But IF I’ve done any speed work in the week, I feel it on my weekend 20. Forget racing/20 on back to back days; that used to be a staple. Not anymore. Ok, once in a while…
Let’s just say that now-a-days, I have to work hard to do fewer miles than I once did.

Is the marathon worth it? Well…I am looking forward to it, but I won’t finish in the allotted time if I don’t train hard. The days of a road marathon being a “train through” or speedwork to build up to something else are over for me. Yes, when I did 24 hour events of 100 milers, walking 26.2 miles at 12 mpm is “speedwork”, at least it was for me.

Oh well, what did I expect. At 58, I should be grateful that I am out there at all. I am debating whether next Saturday’s workout should be a “faster 15” or a “slower 20” as it is two weeks prior to Quad Cities…I want to get it this time!!!! There is a local half marathon on Sunday, BUT the Illinois vs. Western Kentucky game kicks off at 7 and I won’t get home until after midnight…and the half has a 7am start. I suppose that IF I wake up on my own by 5, I’ll just register “same day” and do my best. The last time I tried that, it did not go well.

September 3, 2017 Posted by | marathons, running, walking | Leave a comment

How much is too much?

A conversation with a friend got me to thinking about my training, life and long distance events.

She told me that one of her friends is always on her about “overdoing it”; hence when she posts “my feet are blistered” photos after ultra marathons, she excludes that person.

Ok..here is it. I’ve run for most of my life, lifted for most of it, and swam off and on. I started in 1972 to get ready for football.

It is now 45 years later and I can no longer handle significant volume. My knees have a dull ache much of the time (5 operations, mostly due to malaligned patellas and arthritis; these were in 1978 (major), 1979 (major), 1984 (minor), 1984 (minor), 2010 (minor). I haven’t really been the same since the 2010 operation.

I did most of my running in the 1997-2001 window and “serious” walking from 2002-2009; it has been a struggle since then. My walking marathon (best: 4:44, usual: 5:12-5:35) has migrated to 5:50 or so…and maybe not that fast. Running: LOL..I did run 3:38 in 2000, 3:33 in 1980…but my final sub 4 was in 2002 (3:57). That is gone forever.

Again, I am stiff most of the time (a return to yoga is helping that though), and there is the knee ache and tingling feet (soles)…calf/sole stretching appears to help that. And the back, the shoulder (PT for both). so right now, I walk about 40-50 miles a week and lift 3 times a week; 1-2 yoga classes too. I might add swimming later.

How much is too much? I have a friend who is in her early 70’s; she has run 4-5 miles, 4 times a week for years and years. But even she has aches and pains from time to time. And those who I know who do not work out: many are train wrecks, so it is hard to tell how many of my aches and pains are due to excessive activity.

Yes, I know: 100 miles is too much for me. There are people who are better designed for it..I am not one of them. 2009 was my last one. I have not given up on doing another 50 though; 2015 was my last one (in a 24 hour event). But yes, there comes a point at which excess activity harms the health.

My running/walking friends appear to be mostly healthy…but do they do the endurance sports because they are healthy, or does their activity enhance their health? It is hard to tell…

But, as for me, running might be over, at least in anything over 10-15 miles a week.

August 31, 2017 Posted by | marathons, running, walking | | Leave a comment