Monday, 21 March 2011 13:11

Tapering.....

[caption id="attachment_1430" align="alignleft" width="275" caption="Which road will your taper take you on?"][/caption] This is the word that most endurance athletes fear.  Why?  We fear it because of the idea that we are no longer going to be training 15 to 20 hours per week and our bodies will be craving those workouts.  We fear the word taper because the days of consuming 4,000 calories are over and having to watch what we eat even closer than we already do is about to kick in.  We fear tapering because it is the new unknown. When we first started training the unknown was how far can I go on the bike, or on the run, or in the water.  Then it became how fast can I go those distances but it was always about pushing to get to that next level.  It fit into our Type A personalities perfectly.  Throughout training we would have pull back days or weeks to allow our bodies to recover and recovery means adding speed and that works for us. Now, the taper week or weeks comes and what are we to do with ourselves?  We look at our training schedule and add up the hours and we are going from 15 hours to 5 hours and our minds begin to race.  What do I do with all that time?  Maybe instead of a 1,000 yard swim I will do 1,500.  The training schedule shows a 4 miles Zone 2 run but I will push it to a 10k and that won't hurt me, right?  Our minds race because we crave the miles just like a craving for chocolate.  We have become addicted to training and now we are going cold turkey.
"Runners develop not only a physical but also a psychological dependency on running," says Troy Smurawa, M.D., a 2:46 marathoner and physician at Akron Children's Hospital Sports Medicine Center. "So when runners take time off, they go through withdrawal."
The problem is that tapering is necessary.  It is a necessary evil in that it allows us to have our bodies truly recover from all the work we have put in for the months of training.  We have pounded our bodies to a pulp and tapering will allow all the muscle fibers to recuperate and the best part is it allows us to get faster. Wikipedia says the following of tapering: Tapering, in the context of sports, refers to the practice of reducing, or tapering off, exercise in the days just before an important competition.[1] Tapering is customary in many endurance sports, such as the marathonathletics and swimming. For many athletes, a significant period of tapering is essential for optimal performance. The tapering period frequently lasts as much as a week or more. As a general rule of thumb, longer endurance events are generally preceded by longer tapering periods, with the curious exception of particularly long endurance competitions, such asultramarathons and multiday races. In swimming the opposite is true; distance swimmers will often taper for only a week or less, while sprinters (50 m-200 m) taper for up to 3 weeks.[citation needed] [caption id="attachment_1431" align="alignright" width="264" caption="Tapering properly will allow you to Finish Strong"][/caption] Typically, tapering for relatively short endurance events takes as little as a week or less, but tapering for an event like the marathon takes at least two or three weeks. Bob Cooper, a veteran marathoner and contributing editor for Runner's World, points to medical studies as evidence that the final three weeks of any marathon-training program are the most critical stage of training; a review of fifty studies on tapering indicates that optimal levels of muscle glycogenenzymesantioxidants, and hormones, which are significantly depleted by intense endurance training, are achieved during a taper. Tapering may also be done for submaximal exercises.[2] Why am I posting about this today?  Today marks the fact that I am 13 days away from 70.3 Oceanside.  On my schedule today is a 1,000 yard swim, which by the time you read this I will have already completed.  I read the schedule and thought it will take me 15 minutes to drive to the pool, 15 minutes to swim 1,000 yards and 15 minutes to drive home.  Can I just do this in my bathtub and save the miles on my car?  There are other slightly longer sessions on the schedule but nothing like a 4 hour ride that I have recently put up.  Nothing like a 3,500 yard swim that was done just last Monday.  There is not a run in the 2 hour range anymore. I have fears.  I am fearful that my body will be craving that pounding and I won't know what to do.  I am fearful about packing on pounds during this two week period.  I am fearful of the mind games that I will be playing with myself as sitting on the couch doing nothing is not for me.

 

Let's address some of these fears separately, as I read an article in Runner's World and it does help to know the answers to the questions before you take the test: Trap: Craving Carbs Solution: During your taper, slightly modify the carbohydrate-based diet you've maintained throughout your marathon training. "Simply emphasize the carbs already in your diet," says Nancy Clark, R.D., a sports nutritionist in Boston. "For example, instead of having chicken with rice, have rice with chicken." Clark recommends taking in 55 to 65 percent of your calories from carbohydrates, 10 to 15 percent from protein, and 20 to 30 percent from fat. Ensure the proteins are low in fat, such as chicken, fish, lean meats, beans, and legumes. My thoughts: This is not the problem for me.  The problem is controlling the calories.  Going from a metabolic rest burn of 2,000 calories plus a 2,000 calorie burning day of workouts means I can consume 4,000 calories in a day and not have a weight issue.  I have made quite a few changes to my diet in the past three months and now I have to adjust even further to account for calories I am not burning. ---------- Trap: The Impulse to Cram Solution: "Rational thinking helps," says Hays. Realize that extra mileage and harder training at this point will hurt your marathon, not help it. Research has shown that those who taper properly perform better than those who train right up until race day. To convince yourself that you've done all the work necessary to run a good race, review your training log thoroughly, noting all the weeks of high mileage, long runs, and tough workouts. And no matter how short and easy your runs get during the taper, keep recording your workouts in your log to reinforce the feeling that you are studiously sticking to the plan. My Thoughts: This is a great idea.  This will allow me to understand all the work I have put in and that tapering is a reward for all those hard workout and that I need to embrace and enjoy the miles that I am putting in during taper week and not regret them because they aren't the longer distances. ---------- Trap: That Sinking Feeling Solution: Take a short-term approach. "You only have to get through the rest of the taper," says Hays. Do a little low-impact and low-intensity cross-training--like pool running--to generate the good feelings you normally get from running. Also, use your downtime to focus on other things that bring pleasure to your life, such as listening to music, cooking, and being with family and friends. And rent some funny movies or read a few joke books to lighten your mood. My Thoughts: This is another great idea.  As you all know laughing and smiling is a huge part of my life, but I am an intense competitor as well.  I can get that 1,000 mile stare and be so focused on my event that nothing else matters.  Fortunately for me I do have a passion that is just as strong as my endurance sport passion and that is cooking.  I would expect to see quite a bit of cooking posts over the next two weeks. ---------- Trap: Weight Gain Solution: Realize that the extra "water weight" will be beneficial during the marathon. It will actually help keep you better hydrated on race day, when it will be released as the glycogen is burned. But you can also do a few practical things to help you cope with this temporary weight gain. Don't weigh yourself during the three-week taper period. And if the feeling of tighter-than-normal clothes causes you anxiety, wear clothes with more forgiving waistbands and drawstrings. My thoughts: Hogwash.  I have a racing weight that I want to be at and I am not going to compromise that by wearing bigger pants.  This makes no sense to me.  I am disciplined and I will apply that to my caloric intake over the next two weeks and not compromise my mind further.  If I am worried that I am gaining weight then that will not help me during taper and will cause more harm than good. ---------- One year of training comes down to two weeks of tapering.  I am mentally prepared.  I am physically prepared.  I have put in the work and know that when that gun goes off all my hard work will be rewarded.  

How do you deal with taper madness?  Do you have tips and tricks that you can share?

 
Published in Train
In a continuing effort to highlight those around the country that are racing we at CTER are running race reports and hopefully motivating you to get moving.  If you would like to be the featured athlete please use the Contact Me form and submit your race report.  Right now the reports are being posted on Saturday mornings and will continue to do so for the forseeable future as there has been great success in having the readers read them with their breakfast and cup of coffee. The following race report is by Kristie Concepcion of 140 Point 6 Miles of Awesome! and that is not a lie.  She is awesome.  I have exchanged emails and tweets with KC and she has helped me quite a bit.  Her biggest contribution has been to my nutrition between the swim and the bike and the bike to the run.  What is that contribution you are asking?  How about FIG BARS.  Yes FIG BARS.  And if she wins the Cupcake Marathon then Elisabeth of Sugared Bakery has offered to make her fig cupcakes. Enjoy the race report.

Gasparilla Half-Marathon Race Report by Kristin Concepcion

all smiles at mile 4
Half marathon race result breakdown
Chip Time: 1:37:42 (garmin said 1:37:39)
Clock Time: 1:37:50
Overall: 267/4827
Gender: 50/2500
AG: 9/391
Last years race report and results can be found HERE.
There used to be a 26.2 tied in with this event, but last year, the organizers decided that 2010 was the last year for the marathon. Thankfully, they decided to keep doing the half marathon, so guess what happened this year? all of those runners that would have done a marathon had no other choice but to do the half so I noticed it was a little more crowded, but no big deal. It made for more competition that's for sure. I also want to point out that the 40-44 female age group is more fierce than the 35-39! just sayin'. Raise your hand if you agree?
mile 9 and feeling the heat ...and my legs are really pissed off at me
The weather was great for cycling but a little warm for running. Even though the race started at 6am, while it was still dark, I could feel it heating up around mile 4. I promise i'm not whining here. I train in this heat and I'm used to it but I don't LOVE running it. I do LOVE cycling and swimming in it way more. 
one of the best race sherpa's around, Angie (aka: Bella)
  
we pulled a McGiver and set the camera on timer and used a bike seat as a tripod

race bling - front
 
race bling - back
 
blingity-bling
I was really surprised how well my legs felt after beating them down the day before with a 71 mile ride in the hills ...that is until around mile 10 when my legs started to feel like lead. My race sherpa, was on her mountain bike shadowing me and i told her that maybe the ride in the hills the day before wasn't such a great idea afterall. I told her I felt like I was running 10 minute miles, even though my slowest mile was mile 12 at a pace of 7:42. I focused on my music like my sherpa told me to do and just kept putting one foot in front of the other. Overall, I am very happy with how i ran and I am chalking it up as a great training weekend in preparation for the Gator Half-iron distance triathlon coming up March 20th. Mission accomplished! As usual, I am VERY sore today. My quads, hammies, and left glute (never the right) are sore but a good sore not an injured sore. needless to say, no running for me today and probably not tomorrow. I did hit the weights and the bike this morning but sitting all day at work made me get even more sore, so tomorrow it looks like a great day to swim and bike. Can you believe? February is OVER! only 249 days til IMFL. Much love and peace out!
Published in Race Reports
Please continue to submit your race reports through our Contact Me form and we will schedule the post and inform you of when the post will go live.  We have had some great responses so far and we would like to continue that success. This race report is from Jim Weatherly of 50 after 40.  If you have never been to Jim's blog you are truly missing out and I don't say that lightly.  Each and every time I go to Jim's site it inspires me to be better today than I was yesterday and even better tomorrow than I was today.  His signature line is BE GREAT TODAY!  There is nothing better than that. Please enjoy Jim's reports.  One is an overall review of the race and the other is a personal review of his race.  Thank you to Jim for submitting his race report. --------------------------------------------

Race Review ...

20th Annual LIVESTRONG Austin Marathon

February 20, 2011
Austin, Texas Overall Rating ... 5 out of 5 Longhorns
Spoiler Alert...
  • I loved this race ... my favorite to date!
  • Great Expo - Dick Beardsley, Bart Yasso, and former marathon WR holder Steve Jones as guest speakers
  • Lance Armstrong ran the Half-Marathon in 1:22
  • Challenging, but manageable course - aprx 300ft climbs at miles 3-6 and 9-19
  • Start & Finish area close to everything downtown at the Texas State Capital Building
  • Great SWAG, medal, and t-shirt
  • Best organized race I've ran to date
  • Great tour of the city including run through University of Texas campus
  • Local couple got married at mile 22.5
  • A little warm ... 65 degrees/85% humidity, 10-15mph wind
Finisher Medal and T-shirt... [caption id="attachment_1140" align="aligncenter" width="150" caption="Finishers Medal"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_1141" align="aligncenter" width="150" caption="Race Shirt"][/caption]
Race Expo...
[caption id="attachment_1143" align="aligncenter" width="150" caption="Race Expo Floor"][/caption]
What an am amazingly well organized packet pick-up and race expo for an event with 20,000 runners.  It was held at the Palmer Events Center in Austin, TX, and there were knowledgeable volunteers everywhere waiting to point you in the right direction with friendly words of encouragement and well wishes.  The expo featured fantastic guest speakers including former marathon World Record holder Steve Jones, Runner's World writer Bart Yasso, and running legend Dick Beardsley.  All of these gentlemen offered great insight and expertise from their marathon experience.
[caption id="attachment_1142" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Bart Yasso and I"][/caption]
Steve Jones offered tips about the course with race director John Conley.  He also shared stories from the 1984 Chicago Marathon, where he set the former marathon World Record at 2:08:05. Bart Yasso shared information about the his Yasso 800's, a popular running workout named after him for his mid-week speed work. He also talked a lot about his world travels, including races on all 7 continents, and a naked race he ran in Washington.  He was a very funny and entertaining speaker.

[caption id="attachment_1144" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Dick Beardsley and I"][/caption] Dick Beardsley was my favorite, telling the inspirational story of the 1982 Boston Marathon.  His second place finish to Alberto Salazar is detailed in the book "Duel In The Sun" by John Brant.  He also had a lot of inspirational advice about the marathon, and life in general.  It's simply a great opportunity any time you can hear world champion caliber runners speak, and this event had three of them.  I took a lot of great advice away from each of them.    
[caption id="attachment_1145" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Swag"][/caption] To go along with the great guest speaker list, this was one of the best race packets I've received for a marathon.  The SWAG included a great commemorative LIVESTRONG Austin Marathon Messenger Bag, Spibelt Small Personal Item Belt (given to the first few expo attendees), yellow LIVESTRONG bracelet, Stinger Protein Bar, Gear Check bag, and official race booklet.  The entry fee was $100, which is a little high, but overall the event was very well organized and supported, and the "give-aways" in the race bag were a nice bonus for the price. This was the largest race expo I've experienced.  There were about ten rows - all fifty yards long, of back to back vendors promoting new products and upcoming races.   My favorite was the KISS guy who was handing out flyers for the upcoming race called "Hell Run" in Austin, TX later this year.  I usually don't stick around at most expos, opting for resting in my hotel room, but I hung out at this one for quite a while.  It was a great opportunity to look over new products, meet other runners, and listen to a few great speakers.  The only negative about the expo was the $7 to park at the event center, with no validation inside. For $100, I think they should cover the parking, but that's just me being a tight-wad. All in all, it was a GREAT expo!
Austin, TX
Although I lived in Killeen, TX as a baby when my father was stationed at Fort Hood, I had only been to Texas one other time, and never to Austin.  In a word, it was fantastic!
[caption id="attachment_1146" align="aligncenter" width="150" caption="Austin Skyline"][/caption]
Austin is obviously the capital city of Texas, and the home of the University of Texas Longhorns, but there were so many other great things about the city that I experienced in the few days that I was there.
--------------------------------------------

Mission Accomplished!

Performance Review...
      I'm not a marathon veteran by any stretch, but you would think with 8 of them under my belt, I would have the whole marathon day thing figured out a little better than I do.  With the exception of the Top Of Utah Marathon, where I BQ'd, I have always left the race feeling somewhat dissatisfied.  The main problem being, I've ran out of gas and had to walk every time ... every time! The number one reason has been starting too fast.  I haven't been super disappointed with my finish times - it's just that as many miles as I run, "bonking" should not happen as often as it does.   (For example, I was in great shape for the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon last fall.  Conditions were great and I felt really strong.  I ran miles 5-20 at a 7:15 pace, and was eyeing a PR of 3:15-3:17.  But at mile 22 I hit the wall big time and had to walk on and off for the last 3 miles.  It killed my race and I finished at 3:29:11.  (I'm NOT trying to get an "awwwwww" from anyone, I know a lot of people would gladly take that time.)  My point is, I ran a horrible race.  It wasn't that the middle miles were too fast for me, I had trained at below 7:00 for most of my runs, it was just that I started too fast and let the race control me, as opposed to the other way around.   Fast forward to last Sunday in Austin, TX. I was a little afraid of the hilly course going in and VOWED to "not injure myself" stay healthy for Boston (edit courtesy Chris K).  I had prepped with a few 85 mile weeks, and put in quite a bit of hill training, but with the memory of recent "hitting the wall" episodes fresh in my mind, I was very apprehensive.  I told myself START SLOW and just get through it somewhere in the 3:30's.  But most of all, enjoy the experience, smile, and have a good time!

prior, and didn't run at all either day, only stretching twice each day.  I tried to keep moving and not lay around too much, but one of those days was a 12 hour car ride.  I had been a little tired and heavy-legged the week before with all the training, so I think the extra day of rest really helped me.  There was a P.F. Chang's across the street from my hotel, so I ate my pre-race big meal there.  Since I've started blogging, I take pic's of everything.  At this race, I learned that if you're sitting alone at a bar in a crowded restaurant, people think it's a little weird when you take pictures of your food.
  When race day rolled around, I went through my typical routine for a 7AM start time. Up at 4AM. "Read the paper" at 4:15AM. Eat a banana and protein bar at 4:30AM. Stretch, watch the clock, relax, watch the clock, drink a little Gatorade, and watch the clock. When 5:50 rolls around, I head out the door to the gear check tent with my bladder starting to fill. After I drop my gear, I usually spend the remainder of the time before the race reclining, stretching, and relaxed listening to my iPod, trying to focus on pace and tempo.  (Yes, I'm an iPod runner ... sue me.) I lined up in the 3:30 pace group, and when the gun sounded I soon realized that if a race has 20,000 runners, your pace is going to be much slower than planned at the start.  My first two miles were 9:02 and 8:51 as I tried to navigate my way through the crowd.  I felt like I was already two minutes behind my target time before we had even hit the first hill.  It was warm, 65 degrees, with 85% humidity ... about 40 degrees warmer than I had been training in all winter in Missouri.  And I started sweating a lot immediately.  But throughout the race I just tried to keep water on my head and neck and the temps & humidity didn't really bother me too much.  The biggest challenge was the 10-15mph head wind on most of the back half of the race.  It almost blew my hat off a couple of times, and made the final hills seem a little tougher. As shown on the elevation chart, the Texas Hill Country soon came into play.  There was an initial incline of 300ft from mile 3 to mile 6.  But the most challenging portion of the track was miles 9 through 20.  It featured a 350ft, 11 mile gradual incline.  My legs were really fresh and I didn't really notice the first hills, but everyone felt the second group. I took both sets slow and controlled.  I wanted to make sure I held back a little and didn't spend too much energy in the early portion as had been my trend in previous races.  This would serve me well in the final 6 miles. Leaving so much time on the clock in the first two miles really put me in a different mindset.  I reaffirmed to myself that I was there to have fun and enjoy the experience.  I wanted a solid race, but with this course, weather conditions, and the volume of runners - there was definitely not going to be a PR.  And I was okay with that. I took 2 bathroom breaks in the first 10 miles and didn't really try to kill myself making up time.  I just enjoyed the course at a little under an 8:00/mile. I utilize three mental check points in a race.  I do an internal evaluation at miles 12, 18, and 22 - to base how the race is going.  I remember thinking each time that I analyzed myself that I had tons of energy.  Maybe there was something to this starting slow business.  And the slower start was reflected in my huge negative split.  My 13.1 time was 1:46:58 ... but I sped up a lot on the second half running 1:43:04 ... a difference of about 4 minutes.  It seemed like I had energy to burn throughout the race. At mile 20 I put the pedal down a little.  I felt great, and the 10 mile stretch of tough hills were behind us.  I began picking up my pace, running my fastest mile of the race thus far at 7:23.  I've ran faster at mile 20 before, but I have NEVER felt this good doing it.  I couldn't believe how much energy I had! As I hit my 22 mile check-point, I knew that I had a strong finish in me.  I kept my pace around 7:30 and was breezing by people left and right.  FOR ONCE I was the one passing runners, and not the poor exhausted soul walking slowly up the final few hills. And when I approached mile 24, I knew it was "my day".  It was not a PR.  It wasn't blazing fast.  But I felt stronger than ever before ... it was time to kick it in gear. I kept a 7:33 pace for mile 25.  And at mile 26 with the crowds cheering and the finish line in site, I pushed for a 7:18 pace ... my fastest mile of the day.  I literally sprinted the last 100 yards and flew by the finish line. I had finally done it.  I had ran a nice, comfortable, controlled race.  I had ran a race where I wasn't dying at the end or barely able to walk.  I had managed my pace and enjoyed every step of Austin. As I reviewed my list personal objectives for the race, I couldn't have been more satisfied: A. Stay healthy for Boston in 2 months ... Check! B. Run the whole time ... Check! (I didn't walk at all!) C. Finish somwhere in the 3:30's ... Check! (3:29:02) D. Enjoy the experience ... Check! After the race I went through my typical post-run refuel with a bagels, oranges, an energy bar, and plenty of water.  But later that night I also snuck in a Double Cheeseburger, fries, and large Coke from Fran's Hamburgers.  I think I literal heard one of my arteries close up, but it was one of the best burgers ever! Hundreds of runners crossed the finish line before me in Austin, but I doubt that many experienced the pure joy of the race like I did that day. Finally, running a marathon was a total blast ... and not a leg breaking chore.  I probably won't start many races with two 9 minute miles again, but I will definitely start slower from now on and control my pace a little better.  Hopefully there are many more enjoyable races like the LIVESTRONG Austin Marathon still to come.

... be great today!

 
Published in Race Reports

Unless you have been going through the site and found the Race Results 2011 you would not have known that I was racing this weekend as I have not spoken about it. The reason I did not speak about it is that I wasn't sure how I was going to approach this race.  Was I going to approach it as a long run or was I going to race it. When Coach C put out the schedule for the week it showed a long run on Saturday of 1 hour and 50 minutes.  I texted her and asked if I was not supposed to race and just run at that pace.  She told me to race it but didn't think I would have a PR type of race because we have been going hard for about 1.5 months and no taper.  When I say hard I am not kidding.  I have been training for 15-16 hours per week for the last 6-8 weeks.  It has been taxing on the body and so I understood what she meant by not expecting a PR type of race. On Friday night I could not sleep and decided to figure out what it would take to get a 1:39, then I figured out that my 15k run from Bold in the Cold was around 7:25/mile and what would that get me.  I used that as my gauge and decided I was going to run a 7:25/mile.  In the Bold in the Cold I felt great at the end and figured I could do the same for the half-marathon. [caption id="attachment_846" align="alignleft" width="302" caption="Temp at 630a before heading to race"][/caption] I got up on Saturday morning and got myself ready for the race by having a breakfast of a whole wheat nut bread, 2 tbs of sunflower butter and a sliced banana on top with a cup of decaf coffee.  I had about an hour before I had to leave so I decided to make homemade granola bars and take my mind off of whether or not I could hold the pace of 7:25/mile or just run.  While the granola bars were baking I made a few trips to the bathroom and I thought....uh-oh I should not have eaten so much.  I figured that I had enough time to digest the two that it wouldn't be bad.  Fortunately it subsided and I was out the door and ready to head to the race site in McKinney, Texas.  This would be about a 35 minute drive. I arrived at the race site at 7am and gave myself 30 minutes to get warmed and into my mindset.  Of course I had to pee now and so I did.  Kneeled down and went in the street as the bathrooms were not open yet.  The YMCA opened when I was finishing and I went in an had to use the toilet again and I finally felt like I had nothing left in me. I had been talking and texting with Greg Larsen whom I met on Twitter.  You need to follow him if you are not already.  Great guy with a great attitude.  His twitter handle is @tri2live.  Greg sent me his bib number and I headed to the start line.  I was headed right to the front of the pack as I made up my mind to race this event.  There was Greg and we introduced ourselves and chatted.  I told him I was aiming for 1:38 and he told me he was looking at 1:20 but with an ITB and Achilles issue he wasn't sure if he could get that number. Once the horn went off we went at our own paces.  I kept him and his bright yellow shirt in sight for about the first 0.5 miles.  I was feeling great and really cruising. At Mile 1 looked at my watch and the pace was 7:15.  I knew that I could hold this pace as I felt strong and knew that  I had banked :10 on the 7:25 goal.  Then all of a sudden I was getting passed by about 6-7 people and that included 1 chicked.  I was thinking to myself did these people get shot out of cannons?  Where did they come from?  There are quite a few hills going up and down and up and down.  The total elevation gain for the race was 491 ft and I don't recall much, if any, of a stretch of flat. The course took us through a lot of neighborhoods around the Stonebridge Ranch and was great to see the volunteers and the fans cheering us on.  I hooked up with two guys that were running at around a 7:25/mile pace and figured I would just run with them the entire time.  Soon enough though one guy started to slow down and I passed him but the other runner was looking strong.  I hitched my wagon to him and let him pull me along until around Mile 5. At Mile 5 he began to slow a tad and at the same time I noticed the woman that chicked me.  I know had two carrots I was chasing.  I got past the guy around Mile 5.5 and set my sights on the female.  It was an uphill stretch and I pride myself on running uphill. I think I am at my best at going uphill because people tend to keep their stride the same and I pump my knees so that I can get up the hill fast and I don't stop pumping until about 4-5 steps over the crest as I want to keep the momentum going. I passed her around Mile 6.5 and told her to keep up the great work and I started to speed up.  At this point I had seen miles around the paces of 7:20-7:21 and felt great. It was around Mile 8 that I came up on another runner who had the M-Dot tattoo and looked to be in great running shape and I had another carrot to pursue.  As I caught up to him I noticed him grabbing his side.  As I passed I asked if he was ok and if he need any of my water or clif shot.  He told me he had a GI issue and I said well I can't help you there and left. I then saw another guy up ahead and he was one of those that passed me at the beginning of the race.  I knew I could catch him as I felt fresh and he looked like he was struggling.  I caught him and passed him around Mile 10 and and kept on pushing.  I knew I was in good shape and told myself to run the best 5k I ever ran. This course was very winding so at turns I would look to make sure he was not gaining on me and then all of a sudden there was another runner coming up and he looked fresh.  He looked like he just started the race and he passed me as if I were standing still. I knew I could not keep up with him and so I said to myself just keep that last guy behind you no matter what.  I got to the Mile 12 marker and decided that my body could withstand anything for 1 mile and turned it on.  I heard the beep from the Garmin and looked down.  The time showed a pace for that mile of 6:48.  I thought that can't be right.  I then decided not to let up and keep pumping.  I knew that the guy I passed wasn't going to catch me and I tried to figure out what my final time would be.  Could I break that 1:41 I set back in November at the DRC Half-Marathon? I got closer to the finish line and the announcer commented on #242 Jason from Lewisville wearing his rocket red shoes.  I almost stopped cold in laughter at this but I only had another 50 feet to the finish line at most.  I crossed and looked down and the time came out to be 1:36:29 and I knew that I beat my PR from November by 5 minutes.  What a great feeling and my legs felt great and I was not fatigued at all. I hung out with Greg for a bit and then noticed the results going up so I went to check.  I found my name listed 21st and thought to myself that I would be on the podium.  As I scrolled my finger up the list the first 5-10 names were not in my age group and then all of a sudden there was 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and a 6th name within the range of M35-39.  Wow I thought.  I finished 21st overall and yet 7th in my age group.  What a fast age group.  Congratulations went up to Greg immediately as he finished in 1:28 and came in 2nd in the M30-34 Age Group. This was a great race and one that I will certainly run again.  My first two races of 2011 have resulted in one 3rd place 15k PR time and one 7th place 13.1 mile PR time.  2011 is off to a rousing start for racing. Here is the route we ran for this half-marathon: My splits for this race were as follows: 1 00:07:15 2 00:07:36 3 00:07:28 4 00:07:21 5 00:07:25 6 00:07:23 7 00:07:17 8 00:07:14 9 00:07:12 10 00:07:28 11 00:07:25 12 00:07:09 13 00:06:48 14 00:01:21
Published in Race Reports
Friday, 28 January 2011 16:01

Have You Seen The Sun Rise?

Welcome to the new site for Jason Bahamundi and the Life of An Aspiring Triathlete.  You can see that there have been 'some' changes around here.  In the past two months or so I have truly been chasing my passions.  My passion for cooking and my passion for a healthy lifestyle through training and racing.  I decided to put them together and came up with this site.  I did not do this all on my own.  With a lot of help from Rita Barry at Fitblogger and Blog Genie this dream has become a reality.  It is terrific because the post for today was going to be based on the sun rising.  Well the sun rose over me today when Rita sent me an email that said the site was (almost) ready except for a few things.  I could not contain my excitement anymore and decided to launch it and will fix up a page or two along the way.  Thank you Rita. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [caption id="attachment_333" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Pic courtesy of noelkingsley.com"][/caption] As a runner we are often asked: 'Why do you run?' and 'Why do you run so early?' For me the answer is very simple.  I run because it is my time.  It is my time to getaway from the everyday.  It is my time to let my creative juices flow.  It is my time to examine who I am and how I want to be better.  It is my time to dig down deep and push myself to the next level.  It is my time. And during that time I have seen some of the most amazing sunrises.  I have run pre-dawn in cities like New York, Maui, Dallas, Jackson MS, Cozumel, Miami, Philadelphia, San Antonio, Austin, Healdsburg CA, and Charlotte to name a few.  It is the same sun everywhere I have been but it is a different and amazing feeling because each city, town, village is different. I have seen my breathe in Jackson MS in October on a 16 mile run.  I didn't have any idea where I was but as the sun started to rise and my feet met the pavement a warm sensation came over me that can never be replicated.  I felt free at that time.  I had a 7 hour drive back to Dallas ahead of me and at that time it didn't matter.  I was alone with the world and at the same time I was one with the world. I have had sweat pouring off my forehead in Cozumel while running side by side with my wife.  We didn't talk, we just ran.  We didn't have to talk as we knew what the other was feeling.  The sun was beating down on us but to our right was crystal blue waters.  A sight like no other.  Yes, the water in Maui was crystal blue as well but in Maui I had beaches before that water.  I had the smell of pineapple in the air.  Fresh sushi was on tap for lunch and well Maui was different that Cozumel. This is the beauty of running.  The ability to see the world from a different perspective.  Have you ever seen the sun rise?  Have you ever seen the sun rise while running?  How about seeing your city?  You drive through it everyday but have you ever run through it and seen it  from a different perspective?  Have you truly opened up your eyes to your environment. For me this is what running is all about.  It is the Social Studies class they never taugh in school.  They can tell you about the capital of Texas being Austin, but they can't tell you how it feels to run down Congress Ave with the capital building ahead of you and the hundreds of people going to their many destinations. I love running and it is my lifestyle.  It brings me joy and happiness.  It brings out my creative problem solving skills.  It bring out the best in me.

Have you ever seen the sun rise?

Published in Race
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