Sunday, October 19, 2008

Morning Inspiration & My First Official Half Marathon

Click the link below for an inspiring story.

Knoxville Man Runs 100 Miles In 24 Hours

We had a great turn out yestersday for Saturdays portion of the Lonesome Elevator Run. I look forward to hearing from more of you today. And did you notice Kate has set the bar this weekend for a full half marathon. Ok Kate now its my turn.


Woke up bright and early at 5:30. Dressed, ate breakfast, and did some streaching. Race time for me was 8:00 but not knowing what to expect I left the house and was downtown by 6:30. The temp was 46. It was nice that I made it down early because at 7:00 they allowed the Marathon walkers to start. I had discovered at packet pickup that a couple friends of ours (Deb and Marilyn) would be walking the full marathon. It was nice to see them before the start and wish to each other well.

Shortly after they left I returned to my car and took off my outer layer of clothing. Returning to the starting line I found that Anytime Fitness was leading some pre race stretching exercises so I joined in. After that I walked around waiting for the announcement to line up. I began to notice that many people were wearing plastic garbage bags to help keep warm. What a simple idea. It looked a bit silly but it was something that could be disposed of quickly at race time.

Rather than having "gates" this event used pace runners. These runners each held signs stating an expected finish time. My goal was to finish between 2:15 - 2:30. The closest pace runner to that held a sign for 2:20. When the gun sounded it was a mere 49 degrees. We were packed in together pretty tight at the beginning. I expected that like DAM it would be a good mile or more before everyone thinned out enough that we could actually run. I was wrong, shortly after crossing the timing chip mats things spread out fast. I could not believe it, right out of the gate and we were nearly jogging at pace. Having the pace runner was nice because it gave me a visual aid that helped me to check against taking off too fast.

The first 3 miles wind around the buildings of Des Moines downtown district before the Marathon and Half Marathon runners split. About a half mile from the split we entered Water Works park. This portion of the course is an out and back. Before we reached mile 5 the first runners were already coming back our way. Wow I watched these athletes running past without a bit of strain on their faces. They looked so comfortable even while maintaining such a fast pace. While on this leg of the course I began to see many people discarding long sleeved shirts. Everyone that I saw do this was courteous and tossed the clothing off to the side. During the run I made use of the Sports Beans. They did seem to help and I made the effort to take them shortly before water stations.

As mile 9 approached we had left Water Works and begun a two mile loop around Grays Lake. So far I was still running right next to my pace runner. Prior to Grays Lake we had been running on roads, here we were on a walking trail. Which was quite a bit narrower. At first this was not a problem because everyone was in motion and staggered out. The one complaint I have about this course came near mile 10. This was a horrible spot for a water station. Suddenly we were all bottled up and at one point I had to stop because I simply could not move. People grabbed their water and walked with it 4 abreast on the trail. Losing that momentum really hacked me off.
Shortly after that I began falling behind the pace runner. I tried to catch up but it was taking more effort than I could give.

By mile 11 I was starting to tire out but I knew the end was getting close. A couple of times I had to slow down to a walk because I was over exerting myself trying to catch up to the pace guy. I finally had to give myself permission that it was ok if I did not get back up there. Once I did that I settled into a nice light jog to finish the race. From a half mile out I watched the pace runner cross the finish. The funny thing is that my chipped time actually has me finishing at 02:20:09.
Just before finishing I had something happen that I had never experienced. I had spasms in each of my calves. It was brief but a bit scary. I had a fleeting image of crashing before crossing the line.

This picture was taken right after the finish. I was spent. I grabbed a water and told my wife I need to keep moving and I explained about my calves. She insisted I eat a banana which I did.(even though I do not like them) We walked up to my car and I changed into some dry clothes. Then it was back to the celebration and FOOD! I did some streaching afterward but mostly I just tried to keep walking. We decided to make a day of it, so we stayed and waited for Deb and Marilyn to come in. While waiting I decided it was time to begin carb loading for the next run.

Shortly after 2 o'clock Deb and Marilyn arrived having finished a full marathon distance in just over 7 hours. To celebrate we all went to dinner at El Bait Shop

So those are the events of my day. I can tell you I clearly have things to work on over the next couple months. Most importantly I need to condition my feet back into these longer runs. I felt a bit of a hot spot near the end of todays run. At home I discovered a small blister just behind my big toe. I have never had a blister there before. Not entirely sure what caused it. After taking a nap this evening I found that my left arch is once more givng me discomfort. I did not bother me prior to lying down.

Before closing I want to thank everyone for the great participation in this weekends virtual Team Meet. I see by my email that Andy (yes that Andy) and Matt have checked in. I will update the chart before turning in tonight.


MikeF. said...

Hope all went well today! I did 8.44 miles in 1hr 15min 33sec.

Chris said...

Awesome job on the half Jeff!!! Long way back from the Dam to Dam and you kicked some serious tail out there!

sambycat said...

fantastic! i am so impressed! thanks for sharing your day with us!!!!!!!

Craig Wheeler said...

Great job with the run. Glad to see you met your goal.

mgreene said...

Lack of potassium is generally associated with leg cramps. You may need to eat more of those yucky bananas. Potatoes are also a good source.

Jeff said...


I did not know that about potatoes. I can handle that!

I like other fruits fine, raisins seem to have potassium but the sugar concentration seems high.

There is just something about the texture of a banana that causes an unpleasant involuntary reaction. I did manage to keep yesterdays down.

Thanks for the tip!

Joggerblogger said...

Nice work :-)

Great time as well.

Know what you mean about the crowds in certain areas of races, the Robin Hood manages to push everyone together around mile 7-9 in the park and uphill - It's almost impossible to get around them.

Thanks again for sorting out the run and the audio, very cool.

Jennifer said...


DebWDW said...

Wonderful, wonderful race!! Congrats. I got chills reading about it, and imagining what January will be like!!