Running log week of 2008-02-24

02/24 – Sunday – Town Lake – 10 miles – 1:37
02/25 – Monday – off
02/26 – Tuesday – Neighborhood – 4 miles – 40 minutes
02/27 – Wednesday – Stationary Bike – 30 minutes
02/28 – Thursday – Neighborhood – 4 miles – 40 minutes
02/29 – Friday – Neighborhood – 3 miles – 40 minutes
03/01 – Saturday – off (volunteer at Texas Independence Relay)
Weekly mileage: 22 miles

Texas Independence Relay pre-drive

I’ve volunteered to help at a 200-mile 40-exchange relay road race on March 1&2 (yes, it’s two days long from Saturday to Sunday). It is called the Texas Independence Relay and goes from Gonzales, TX to East Houston, TX. I will be the lead vehicle, which means I stay with the lead runner who ever it is, and phone ahead to the next exchange to tell them we’re coming. When I get to an exchange I need to drop off a packet of supplies with the volunteer there and help set up the exchange. So yesterday I drove the course with the race director, Jay H. We started at 6:30 AM from the house, and drove to Gonzales. At 8:10 AM we began our journey and drove to each and every exchange to East Houston and the San Jacinto monument. We finished at 4:25 PM – that’s 8 hours and 15 minutes and we didn’t stop much. During the trip I used the maps from the race. I also used a Garmin StreetPilot GPS that I had borrowed and downloaded a route which I entered earlier in the week. It was a lifesaver since it helped keep me on the route. After we were done I asked Jay if he knew how to get home and he said yes, so I turned off the GPS and we headed back home. This was fine until we got to Brenham and made a mistake because we were talking too much. It was only when we had gone miles and miles north and the road unexpectedly ended in a T-intersection that we realized we had made a mistake. OK, so I turned on the GPS and told it to plot a route to home. Neat. No problem. We were again driving along heading home albeit on a longer path toward the south. Again we were talking and I didn’t realize we had entered a small town until I looked in my rearview mirror and saw that we were being pulled over by a police car. Yup. I got a speeding ticket (my second in 40 years) in Thrall, TX for driving 60 in a 50-mph zone. Ouch. Oh, I now need to pay about $200. Double, Triple, and Quadruple Ouch. I finally got home about 8:30 PM. What an adventure. Let’s hope that next week is less eventful.

Running class dinner

Our running class met this Thursday for dinner. We ate at NXNW which is a microbrewery near to home. Two of my four running buddies were there. Celeste bought me a beer and Glenn told stories about going out too fast. It was fun to recount the experiences of running the marathon with many of them. Each person had a different adventure and fought their own battles. I looked at my time and compared it to the others. Even though I thought I was at the very back of the pack during the marathon, I now see that my time was about in the middle of all the people in my class. It still doesn’t change my mind about retiring from running the marathon though.

time pace
3:40:41 08:25 Robert Williams
4:21:28 09:59 Glenn Kohfield
4:27:22 10:12 Tania Lincoln
4:29:02 10:16 Brad Talkington
4:31:12 10:21 Shambra Speckmiear
4:33:13 10:26 Jay Newman
4:34:56 10:30 Lisa Tsai
4:36:24 10:33 Celeste Domsch
4:38:58 10:39 Christopher Lion
4:39:49 10:41 Heather Mitchell
4:45:05 10:53 Justin Lincoln
4:48:29 11:01 Brian Watt
4:58:40 11:24 Sarah James
5:16:41 12:05 Michael McFarland
5:17:59 12:08 Praveen Nuthulapati
5:25:30 12:25 Aimie Black
5:32:39 12:42 Jan Daley
5:35:02 12:47 Murali Narasimhan
5:40:30 13:00 Tiffany Hepner
5:41:22 13:02 Trisha Porter
5:58:26 13:41 Lorrie Council
6:59:09 16:00 Darshana Gore
3:46:08 08:38 Joe

Running log week of 2008-02-17

02/17 – Sunday – A&T Austin Marathon – 26.2 miles – 4:48
02/18 – Monday – off
02/19 – Tuesday – Neighborhood – 4 miles – 40 minutes
02/20 – Wednesday – Stationary Bike – 30 minutes
02/21 – Thursday – Neighborhood – 4 miles – 40 minutes
02/22 – Friday – off
02/23 – Saturday – off (drove Texas Independence Relay with Jay H.)
Weekly mileage: 34.2 miles

AT&T Austin Marathon

Glenn was gone almost immediately. Chris stayed with us a few miles, but he too left us. I started and ran with Celeste and Jay for over half the race. I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy race. By mile 13 I was having my doubts, and by 16 I was struggling. I would walk and run as needed. I tried to chase the 4:30 group, but finally had to ask myself why I was doing this and I couldn’t think of a reasonable answer. Finally I had to walk around mile 20 for a few miles. Celeste and Jay passed me and then they went off ahead of me. While walking I met and talked to a nice runner named Joe who was about my age and was having the same doubts about running marathons. After a mile or so we said our goodbyes and he started to slowly run again, and I watched him go off into the distance. I was alone again. I kept walking. There were many other runners walking too – zombies. I was way way at the back of the pack. The 4:45 group passed me. Then after a bit I forced myself to run (it was probably around mile 23) and I finished the race in 4:48:29. I got my medal, finisher’s shirt and Austin Distance Challenge jacket. All of which I am very proud to have. This was the longest time for me to run a marathon. Even my first one took less time (4:24). I knew ahead of time that today was going to be a tough one. I tried so hard to keep in control and pace myself. But in the end it had nothing to do with pace. I just got so sore and stiff as I always do and just had to walk. It was not easy to start running again, but I pushed myself. In my humble opinion this is the last marathon I will run in my life. It is just too hard on my body and me. I’ve not been able to handle the stress and it’s no longer any fun. I’ve not been able to solve this soreness and stiffness that now always happens to me. So I am officially announcing my retirement from being a marathoner after having completed six of them. I might consider a half marathon, but a full marathon will never again be an option. However I will always remember these times. I will look at the medals and pictures and remember the sweet feeling of accomplishment they represent. Yet I will continue to be a runner. My body and mind aches to have to say this, but I must. Adieu sweet friends and running buddies. May I run with you around my neighborhood or on the Town Lake trail, but otherwise I wish you the best to all who continue to do this brutal test of strength and spirit that is the marathon. Sincerely, Bri
Update: A photograph of my running buddies for 2008

L to R: Glenn K., Jay N, me, Celeste D., and Chris L.

AT&T Austin Marathon tomorrow

Tomorrow I run my sixth marathon, the AT&T Austin Marathon. I have no performance goals. No heart rate monitor. No pace band or calculator. All I want to do is complete it – run, walk, crawl – it doesn’t matter. Hopefully I’ll be running with friends – my running buddies from class: Celeste, Glenn, Chris, and/or Jay. They’ve helped me so much this year. Now I need to go to bed since I’ll be getting up at 4:30 AM to prepare for the 7:00 AM start. Wish me luck. I’ll need it since 26.2 miles is a long long way to go. P.S. To my sweetheart, Kathy, I love you. You make my life sing such a sweet duet together.

Running log week of 2008-02-10

02/10 – Sunday – off
02/11 – Monday – Neighborhood – 4 miles – 40 minutes
02/12 – Tuesday – Class (burn) – 2.75 miles – 1 hour
02/13 – Wednesday – Stationary Bike – 30 minutes
02/14 – Thursday – Neighborhood – 4 miles – 40 minutes
02/15 – Friday – off
02/16 – Saturday – off
Weekly mileage: 10.75 miles

Sore ankle

I slowly ran four miles this morning. I have not run for four days. My class last Tuesday was terrible for me. We had to run seven miles. By this time that should be easy. However my right calf was unusually tight, and my left inside ankle had a burning sensation. It is the left ankle that worries me the most. I had to walk several times at class. This has me really concerned. The burning sensation didn’t go away after running for a while. Now today it is back again. So even though I rested it that has not helped. I am very worried since I didn’t run very fast this morning and the marathon is this weekend. All the more reason to stay at the back of the pack, walk when needed and just try to finish.

Running log week of 2008-02-03

02/03 – Sunday – off
02/04 – Monday – Neighborhood – 2 miles – 20 minutes
02/05 – Tuesday – Class (my ankle was tight and hurtin’ – tough practice!)- 7 miles – 1:20
02/06 – Wednesday – Stationary bike – 30 minutes
02/07 – Thursday – In Buffalo visiting my Dad, no running in snow
02/08 – Friday – In Buffalo visiting my Dad, no running in snow
02/09 – Saturday – In Buffalo visiting my Dad, no running in snow
Weekly mileage: 9 miles