Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Next Phase

Now, after a brief respite for the holidays it's time for me to start the next phase of my goal. I achieved the Deadman2Marathonman but that's not the name of this blog. As soon as I had finished my marathon I recall thinking to myself "why would anyone ever do that a second time?" But, I guess like child birth, the immediate pain of the experience passes and you start thinking about the next one. In this case, the next one is a triathlon.

I'm even more determined to attempt it than before. A couple of weeks ago NBC broadcasted the Kona Ironman on TV. I found it very riveting and couldn't stop watching. It made me want to do it.

Several things have to happen to start the path to the Ironman. 1) I have to gage my abilities in the water. Though I swam in high school, lifeguarded in my youth and surf when I can; I'm not sure how well I'll do in the water. 2) I need a bike, and all of the equipment that goes with it. Running was an easy activity to fund; it just takes the shoes. Biking is a whole new level. 3) I need to start training for the event. Finding time for a workout on 3 sports is 3 times as hard and fare more complicated to coordinate while trying to work too. And, 4) I have to pick and sign up for an event.

I’m happy to report that I've about completed all 4 things. First, I thought I'd run up to the YMCA and see just how far I can swim. It was a cold rainy night during our deluge here in California. I felt bad for the lifeguards because, when I got there, they were hunkered down inside as no one was in the pool. I figured that they are getting paid anyways; they might as well have to do something. So I went outside to the pool to start swimming with my own personal lifeguard in tow.

At first it felt pretty natural but I quickly started feeling like I was drowning. My breathing, which is difficult when I run, is nearly impossible while swimming. I don't know if it's old age or as a result of my accident but I really don't like the feeling of water in my mouth. I never notice it before but now while swimming and breathing I really get a lot of water that has to be dealt with. Unfortunately, a lot of it got swallowed and, as a drowning victim, I can tell you that it is a very uncomfortable feeling.

I pushed on anyway and my breathing got better but I still had to take several large refilling breaths every once in awhile in order to originate myself. In the end, I was able to swim a mile in about a half hour. I even finished my swim with a couple of lengths doing fly. Not a very good fly stroke but a good attempt for my part. It's good to know that my shoulder is up for the job. It's still not as strong as it was before my accident but it gets better all of the time.

Second, Santa was good to me and got me my bike for Christmas. Everything just worked out so well, in that, I just happen to mention to someone that I was going to look at a bike I was thinking of buying. He told me that he had one for sale himself. It was the right size, type and price so I got it just then. Of course the bike is just the half of it. This is where sponsors would come in very handy. I had to get special shoes that go with the special cleats I needed to buy that go with the special pedals on the bike. Next, I had to get the biking cloths, including padded pants, jersey, gloves and an helmet. I have no idea why helmets can vary in cost from $29 to $200 plus as they all have to meet the same safety standards but I tried to get the least expensive I could. Well not the least, as that would have been a women's helmet. Don't ask me why there's a difference between men’s and women’s, something to do with pony tales.

Next, I started my training. I found a site on the web with a beginners level triathlon schedule to use. It mixes multiple days, activities and number of workouts a day. I plan on starting at the New Year. I tried out my bike for the first time yesterday. I went 20 miles in just over an hour. I did get passed once but for the most part I did the passing. I’m paying the price for it today though, the padded shorts don’t offer that much in the way of cushion and I’m feeling the sore muscles that don’t normally get used.

I thought I’d try to run after my ride to see how the transition goes. That was an eye opening experience. I’m hoping that I haven’t bitten off more than I can chew because when I went to run, I could hardly move. My legs felt like two large over inflated led balloons. I could hardly jog down the block. I’m sure that its going to take a little building up to.

Finally, I’ve decided to enter the Oceanside ½ Iornman race on April 2nd. The race is already sold out but I found someone wanting to sale his entrance. That puts me only 14 weeks out so I have to jump into the middle of the training schedule I found. I’m hoping that, with just having come off my marathon training, the fact that I could swim the mile with little effort and the relative ease of the bike ride; I can string them all together to at least complete the race. Next week will be the tale. I’ll keep you posted.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Marathon Done

Well, I did it. My finish time was 5 hours. I have to say that I think I under estimated what it would be like. I felt really good up through 15 miles. Once I hit 19 miles I started having more of a mental struggle. The furthest I had run up to that point was 18. I started thinking "why didn't I just pull off at the 1/2 marathon"? I was sure no one would begrudge me that. From 19 to 23 it was a struggle, alternating between running and walking. My thighs were starting to really get sore. They stopped working very well as shock absorbers and my back started hurting. Once I hit 23 I started to win the mental battle. I figured that all that was left was a short 3 mile run and I could do that. I started running more and walking less. At 24 miles I stopped walking with one exception of a small rise up the freeway overpass. I finished running strong, even sprinting (if you can call it that) past the person directly in front of me at the finish line.

At the end of the race my family and one of the doctors who helped to save my life were there. I hate to say but I did get a little emotional. I'm sure that it was only because of my weakened state that made me so.

In fact, I'm sure that it is.

Dr. Laura Boomer was one of the many doctors that were instrumental in saving my life. Because I was moved so quickly from UMC to Kindred and because of the heavy drugs I was on at the time, I don't truly remember all of those that were at UMC. So this was a special chance to meet with Dr. Boomer. She was the one that gave me that great scare down the middle of my stomach.
We must have sat there for an hour and just talked. Which was good for me because I was pooped. Unfortunately, since we couldn't drive from our hotel to the marathon we had to walk back another mile. In all, I had to walk a mile to the race, 26.2 during and another mile after. So I really did 28.2 that day. Yuck.

Now it's off to the next phase of my goal, the triathlon. I just have to get a bike, start swimming and biking, and find the race that will work for me.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

All most there

Well, I've done it again. In a world that you're busy living, it's tough to stop and find the time to write about it. A lot has happened since my last post. My training is over, I ran for the last time today before the marathon. Tomorrow we leave for Las Vegas and Sunday is the big day. I've done a lot of running without putting anything down in my blog. I successfully ran my 18 miles but didn't my 20. The 18 went ok although I had to walk and drink every mile for the last 3. Two weeks later I ran my 20. The only problem being that it was the hottest day of the year when I attempted to run it. It was also very dry that day. I made it 10 miles before I realized that my water was not going to make the whole trip. I started rationing water and ran out at about mile 15. I tried to make it to where I could refill my water but hit a wall at about 17 miles. Fortunately, there were people at a near by park watching soccer games that gave me some bottled water. I ended up walking another 1/2 mile and had to call to get picked up. By the time I got home and in the shower I was shaking and really felt crappy. The only other person home was my son-in-law visiting from Utah and I was getting worried that he was going to have to come in and get me; bringing our relationship to a whole new level. After that, I began tapper down the amount i ran till today. Now I'll rest up for 2 days and then do the run. After my failure on the 20 mile run I started getting a little nervous that I might not be able to do it. Just last week was thanksgiving and we went to Utah to be with our daughter and her family. While there I was to do a 3 mile run and then an 8. I tried the 3 mile one morning that happened to be about 10 degrees outside. The cold air, combined with the high altitude made it almost impossible to breath. It was so cold and difficult I thought I had better try the 8 on an inside track so I went to my old stomping grounds, the Orem rec center. The same place that Allison and I met and worked together when we were just out of highschool. They have an inside track that I gave a try. Unfortunately, 1 mile took 6 and 1/2 labs around. While having issues keeping count, figuring what the total was going to have to be (over 50 labs) and my lower legs starting to get really tight; I decided to call it at 3 miles. Later I found out that my legs got so tight because of the tight loop and constantly turning while running. All of this didn't do a lot to make my nerves go away. I hope that I'll be able to shake it off and finish.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

High altitude

It's 10/10/10 and we're in Utah visiting my granddaughter. Since I knew we would be here for my Saturday long run I decided to do my long run my long run for the week last Thursday. I was suppose to do 15 miles this weekend and I was worried about attempting that at 4000 feet. So, I ran to work Thursday morning. Since it's not quite 15 miles from my house to work I had to do a couple of laps around the block once I got there. Unfortunately, time ran out and I could only do 13 miles.

Since Las Vegas is almost 2000 ft I thought I better try some altitude training while I'm here. Saturday I went for my run but instead of a long one I did the 7 that I was scheduled to do on Thursday. I was very surprised at how easy it turned out to be, even with only 3/4 of a right lung and running up the canyon. The next couple of Saturdays will be tough as I ramp it up to 16 and 18 miles.

I'm starting to think I might just be able to do this. To tell the truth, if I hadn't started this blog or told so many people my goal, I don't think I would have gotten this far. Have I said how much I dislike running!?! The truly good thing about it is that it let's me continue my love affair with food without repercussions, like gaining back the 45 pounds that I lost this year. I think I can honestly say I'm in the best shape I've been in for the last 10 years despite the accident. Now I'm signed up (and paid) for the marathon. I've also booked our rooms. I'm going to have to follow through now.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

I did it! 13 miles without stopping. I did walk in the middle so that I could eat my "goo". If I didn't I couldn't have eaten it and without a little energy along the way I'd collapse.

I don't like to run out half my distance and then turn around and run back. So, I try to do loops or run out and then get picked up. Today I ran from my house to the beach and then south past buccaneer beach. I thought I was going to stop at any moment from about 8 miles on but I just kept pushing through it. Once I did stop I turned around, looked back the way I just came and asked myself, "could I just run back home?" Today that answer would have to be NO! Hopefully, by the time December gets here I'll be able to say YES!

I heard that if you can run 13 you can finish 26.2. I'm counting on it, since I'm officially signed up and have paid the entry fee. Now I'm going to have to do it for sure.

Friday, September 24, 2010

1/2 Marathon

Yesterday was my 47th birthday. Thank you to all those that took time out of their day to send me birthday wishes. But it got me thinking that I haven't updated my blog for awhile. I'm finding that I'm not a very good blogger. While running I can always think of interesting or funny things to post about but by the time I do, I can never remember what it was I thought of. For example, last Saturday I was brilliant, but now, for the life of me, I can't remember what I was going to say. So here's the status on my progress.

Yesterday I started the day with my 3 mile run and then spent the next 16 hours working. Ending up spending my birthday night with my customer at a going away dinner party for my customer's program manager. It was nice but it wasn't where I wanted to spend my birthday. Even worse is, my cell phone battier ran out and I couldn't talk to, or email anyone. Like my son Quinn said, "wow, who lets their phone die on their birthday?"

By the way, all of those who say they love running, your sick. I still find the only think good about it is not doing it. For better or for worse, my personality is to keep 100% to what I've decided to do or 0%. That means if I were to miss even one day on my schedule I might just throw it all in and stop. Fortunately, I'm on track for my training. I did have to do my 6 mile run late Wednesday night and yesterday's 3 miler early in the morning. With only a 6 hour sleep in between, it made if very hard to get through the 3 miles, but I knew I had to do it. I pretty much hated every minute of it.

Last Saturday was my longest run yet, 12 miles. I finished, but ended up walking the last 1/2 mile due to a miscalculation on my part. I could have gone farther, and will have to this Saturday as it will be my official 1/2 Marathon. The amazing thing was, I actually passed other runners on my path, that never happens. Even better, I wasn't passed, which tends to happen from time to time. It was the worst when 2, fairly lengthy ladies blew by me. They were obviously runners, a lot younger, I pretty much think that neither of them were hit by a boat in the last 2 years or so. But, my competitive nature still took it hard. I pass plenty of walkers but last Saturday was the first time I passes a few runners.

Well, got to run, not litteraly, but I do need to get going. I'll try to write less, more often; and proof read...

Sunday, September 5, 2010

10 Miles!

Here's a sentence I never thought I'd write, "Just finished my 10 mile run". After working up in miles and doing 9 miles last Saturday, I just did 10 this Saturday. I ran down to the beach from my house. I felt like I could have done more, maybe even finished a half Marathon, but in order to not push myself too hard too soon, I stopped at 10. In the coming weeks I'll increase the mileage. My weekly Saturday schedule we be:

9/11 - 7 miles
9/18 - 12 miles
9/25 - 13 miles
10/2 - 10 miles
10/9 - 15 miles
10/16 - 16 miles
10/23 - 23 miles
10/30 - 18 miles
11/6 - 14 miles
11/13 - 20 miles (what?)
11/20 - 12 miles
11/27 - 8 miles
***12/5 - 26.2 miles***

I feel like I will actually do it. So much so that I've registered for the event and paid the entry fee. Now I'm committed and will have to finish.