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Tale of two walks…

Yesterday, I took Mat to Mahomet to do a half marathon. Weather was reasonably cool and the course was “gently rolling”. But I was tired from the start; while Mat ran very well (2:02), I was 2:52:33 (about 7 minutes over goal).

I was mostly doing 12:20 on the down stretches and 12:40 on the uphill stretches until mile 9. That was my first 13:xx (13:10) and I thought “oh crap”; I was 1:58 at 15K at 2:07:50 at mile 10. Then I fell apart and averaged about 14:20-14:30 the rest of the way, getting passed by the 3 young guys just before the overpass and the pretty young woman on the track. I was “just done”; legs were dead and I had no energy.

But…when we went to breakfast, I perked right up. Yes, I did not eat before the race, but then again, I didn’t eat before the Galesburg half either and I did get zapped this badly.

I think it is a combination of things, INCLUDING weighing over 200 pounds. That has to change in the next month, if I am to walk a marathon in under 6 hours.

Results: 2:47, 1:56 15K (2:45 half equ.), 2:42, 2:52. All were since the first week of June. Yes, that is too many to race optimally, but I am using these to train for a marathon. I remember that when I ran my masters PR marathon (3:38, back in 2000), I had a series of slow half marathons that, while they felt discouraging, got me ready for the goal marathon.

So, while my race stunk, I enjoyed the first 10 miles of it and had fun with Mat.

Note: I’ve done this half marathon as a runner many times; I had a 1:55 (1998, 2001), 1:48 (2000) and a 1:37 (1999).

Today, I went out for 4 hours (15.5 miles; 15:30 average pace). What was good is that the final 5 miles (of the first 14.9 miles) was done in 1:12:40 (14:32 pace). That got me to 3:51. I did a 9 minute final loop to get me to 15.54.

What was interesting is that about 6 miles into it, I slowed down a few times; I was really ready to quit. I felt tired, had no energy..was discouraged. The first 5 went fine but for some reason, the next two miles really, really sucked. I was ready to turn it in but the 10-15 minutes of slower walking seemed to revive me, so I turned TOWARD Tower Park instead of home…and then I could feel my pace pick up; I felt good again.

The rest of the walk went fine; I am sure glad that I didn’t miss it. What caused that “depression” in the middle still baffles me. But I really did my best walking in the final 6 miles. And I even got greeted, several times…and got encouragement from ladies in a van.

The course: my standard trek to the River (Cooper, Moss, Union, MLK, Kumpf) though I did an out and back through the Gateway (they were breaking down the area), in front of the Riverplex, back to the trail, around the goose loop, around the ball field wall (that was 5 miles today) then the standard through the cemetery.

I took the “right hand road” path up the hill in Springdale to get to Prospect, then to Forrest Hill, then up Central to Tower Park (the standard “Boredom” way. Then I returned via Boredown (Hansler to get to Broadway). I felt awful in Springdale, started to feel good going up Central and felt GREAT from Tower Park back home.

Photos from the race:

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August 6, 2017 Posted by | Friends, walking | , , | Leave a comment

Why record keeping helps me…

I have my “marathon and beyond” list here.

Here, I am going to list my walking half marathons (and one 30K) Why? It makes a point: (note: I rarely walked this distance in the first few years of walking; I was more into the marathons and ultras, though I did do this distance frequently as a runner)

September 2003: 2:17 (Appleton Fox-Cities powerwalk division)
January 2008: Austin 30K 3:50:56 (about 2:40 for the half marathon split)
September 2008: 2:25:13 Quad Cities
September 2010: 2:39:13 Quad Cities (surgery that summer)
September 2011: 2:40:53 IVS
September 2011: 2:22 Quad Cities
January 2012: 2:34 First Light
June 2012: 2:30:18 Galesburg
September 2012: 2:24:46 IVS
April 2014: 2:25:26 Peoria Heights
May 2014: 2:19:15 Peoria
September 2014 2:35 (IVS)
September 2014 2:24:17 Quad Cities
September 2015 2:38:13 IVS
June 2017: 2:47:24 Galesburg
July 2017 2:42:19 Chicago RR

One thing to remember about my sub 2:30 half marathon powerwalks: they were almost ALL done in cooler weather. So when one takes age into account, my last two warm weather results do not look that bad.

July 18, 2017 Posted by | walking | , , | Leave a comment

Chicago Rock and Roll Half: acceptance

It wasn’t hot, but it was humid.

Splits:

11:00, 11:28, 11:34, 11:33, 12:16 (57:53), 12:38, 12:24, 12:40 (1:35:36), 12:53, 12:42 (2:01:12), 13:07, 13:29, 14:40 (2:42:29) (13:20 last mile).

You can see what the issue was: I started out too fast. My final 5K was pretty awful though I didn’t look that bad; I might have had more oomph toward the end with a more reasonable start. I’ll have to work on that.

In terms of age grading: this was similar to the walk I did in 2011 (Mobile, Alabama)

I started in Corral 16 which meant that my wave left about 31 minutes after the start. There was very little crowding early; that was a very good thing. Yes, eyestrain..lots of very tight, pretty spandex to chase. And perhaps I chased too much of it early. Somewhere around 4-5 miles (I was taking s-caps every 3-4 miles or so) I realized that my pace was unsustainable; after a sort of bad mile 6 (see the photo), I recovered somewhat and just walked.

Notes:

1. We did have a brief stop to let an emergency vehicle through.
2. There were several signs held by spectators: one said “free motivational butt slaps” (lol); the other said “you smell great”. I bellowed: “I don’t think so” and people chuckled.
3. I liked the course; in the last 2 miles or so we went past McCormick and Soldier Field and the Museum campus.
4. At about 11.5 a racewalker passed me. She told me that I had inspired her for “13 miles”. Her form looked great..and oh, what a cute rear end in shiny spandex. But alas; I tried to go after her and could not reel her in.
5. Event was well organized; I can recommend it. The lodging is pricey but the event was fine.

I did have some longing for days past when my body worked better, but I had the health and the means to do this race, and that is something to be grateful for; something to savor.

But I do have to face reality: a good marathon pace for me would be 13-13:20 or so. I need to practice walking at that pace.

Photos:


The pre race ritual…


View from my corral.

The start line is in the distance! 6 more minutes!

Ankle inflammation kept Barbara from doing the 10K. But she was a good sport and cheered me on. Here I am at mile 6; kind of rough sledding (perhaps breaking form for a water stop?)

These next 3 show me between 12 and 13; my form is MUCH better here (even legal) though I was focused on “walking as well as I could” as I knew my time was not going to be a fast one.

July 17, 2017 Posted by | travel, walking | , , , | 2 Comments

I lose round two: 10-9 also

I walked the Run Galesburg Run half marathon. It was warm; 72 F, 76 percent humidity at the start, 80-59 at the finish.

Time: 2:47:22, 12:47 mpm; roughly speaking I was 1:22:30/1:24:50 for my half splits.

12:03, 25:56 (2m), 12:42, 12:34, 12:29, 12:43 (1:28:01 at mile 7), 12:54 (1:40:56), 12:46, 14:23 (? huh?) 10:43 (2:18:49 at 11), 12:53 (2:31:43), 15:39 (bridge) for 2:47:22.
I kept telling myself that I would “pick it up”; never did (or could, really)

The effort was what I’d call moderate; I had something left but I was also tired. I might have maintained to 25-30 km, but not much further than that. Not in this weather.

The event: they changed the course from previous years; it now features more shady neighborhoods and just more shade, period. I like the changes. Traffic control was outstanding. Aid stations, volunteers: all first rate.
It was a small event (151 finishers; I was 136) but the course is open for 3:30 (16 mpm pace), so a reasonably fit, non-elderly person would walk it.

My event: my google maps came in handy; it routed me via underpasses; a friend who didn’t allow for “train time” got to the course late and started 2-3 minutes late.

We started and did 2 miles with the 5K people. There was one large male who was trying to run and trying so hard to stay with me; I wanted to tell him to “do your own race; I’ve done this before). The course soon emptied out and I had a couple behind me; one male who was LOUD..he’d yell “only x.1 miles to go” at every mile marker. He was running with a lady who was evidently an ex swimmer.

I was focused on trying to catch 3 people: one woman named Golda (bright blue spandex leggings) and two others; one of which ran the West Peoria 4 mile yesterday. I eventually caught and passed them; from my 7 mile split no one got me in the final 6.1 miles; I passed a few during that stretch. It WAS warm and sticky…

I think that the 10-11 mile splits were off; I did NOT slow to 14 minutes..though the final 1.1 might have been right; we did have an uphill overpass and the only runner in sight was a bit too far away to inspire me to really pick it up. This was one of those days where I told myself: “I’ll pick it up at mile 8..well, make it mile 9, ok, make it mile 10….and I just never did.

My goal was 2:40, so this was a loss, but one I can live with. I feel ok.

The purpose was to force me to walk some “faster” distances; I”d love to do one of these a month until marathon time. I do think that 12:30 isn’t going to happen for me; but maybe a cool day 13 would be a good goal?

Note: I read a Centurion’s report on how he pushed through troubles in the first 6 hours to make 100 miles..under 23 hours. Wow. He is older than I am too.

June 4, 2017 Posted by | walking | , , | Leave a comment

Feeling good after a half marathon…

One note: I walked the IVS half marathon about 10 minutes slower than I did in 2012. That race I did my two loops in 1:10:30 and 1:14:30. Today I was 1:18:30/1:16:30. But I finished feeling a whole lot better as I was attempting to practice marathon pace.

Sometimes it is nice to “do” an event rather than “pedal to the metal” race it.

Sometimes.

September 7, 2014 Posted by | walking | | Leave a comment

River City Half Marathon Powerwalk.

rivercityhalf2014

Just the facts:

Screen shot 2014-05-18 at 10.17.59 AM

Pretty pathetic by running standards, but not that bad for a walk. No, my knees were NOT straight, but they’ve been worse. I did see myself in the mirror; getting rid of that “bend forward from the waist” is tough to do. I try to arch my back backward.

Good news: no trouble with the piriformis or knees.

The day was all but perfect: clear skies, high 40’s at the start.

Splits:
11:28
10:47
11:08
10:35
10:25 (54:24)
10:17 (oops!)
10:36
10:54 (featured the uphill)
9:55 (??)
10:44 (1:46:52 for 10)
10:20 (mile 11)
22:02 for the last 2.1 (downhill the whole way)

I walked the 2 miles to the course (just over) as a warm up. The course wound through the downtown area then up Main Street hill at mile 7.

At first I hung back with the 5 hour pace group (first 2 miles) then I moved forward. I was in a pack of women who yelled at me to leave them alone (I wasn’t stalking them; they were merely going my pace) and that kept up to about mile 5 or so.

I could see the faster runners on the way back on this stretch and I got to yell for many of them. They yelled at me too; it was fun.

It was at this time the pace started to creep up. And I say this in all honesty: the people I saw were getting slimmer and slimmer (on the average).

Finally at mile 6.5 we turned onto Main Street and I relaxed going up the hill. I was completely familiar with the course as it was in my neighborhoods.

I saw the 4:45 pace group again and left them again.
At mile 8 I figured I could hold my pace. Then came 9, and 9.5 saw me pass in front of our house.

I wouldn’t see Barbara as she was working the mile 14 water stop for the marathon and my daughter was “belly up”.

At 10, I thought “maybe I can hold this” and I told myself to hold on until the last downhill mile which is what I did.

I was gratified to see the clock at under 2:20 when I crossed.

Then came the long, uphill 2 mile trek home. I walked along the course so I could see some of the later finishers; I got to yell at T and a few others.

Though I am making nice progress (17 miles today), I’ve still got some training ahead of me if I want to have a credible marathon walk (goal: 5:15).

Note: the race has improved over its first year. Mile signs were there and packet pickup went much smoother.

ps: the course:

Screen shot 2014-05-18 at 4.33.00 PM

May 18, 2014 Posted by | walking | , , , | 4 Comments