Monday, December 12, 2011

Roller Coaster Ride, Hold on Tight

I have had a great 14 months as I look back. I ran the Chicago Marathon on 10/10/10, followed by a trip to see my daughter in New Orleans, a family trip, in a rented van with 6 of us packed like sardines in a van to drive the 22 hour trip. Upon arriving I was able to get in a Half Marathon, Ole Man River. We had a great visit and then headed back to Nebraska with 7 in the sardine can. My son had taken the train from Birmingham to NOLA and rode back home for Christmas break with us. We survived an ice storm and somehow by  the Grace of God made it home to end 2010. We were nearly in a serious accident in Kansas as a fuel tanker went into a skid on an icy bridge. Wichita is a 4 hour drive normally, that night it was 8.5.

On to 2011 and the news I had gotten in to the New York City Marathon. I ran The Gambler Half Marathon in Council Bluffs, Iowa and then a trail run at Quarry Oaks. The summer was filled with 5K's and 10K's. I also ran in 2 relay events, a 66 mile relay called the BFE that started in Hastings, Nebraska and went via gravel roads to several small towns and back to Hastings. Then the Market to Market Relay from Omaha to Lincoln. What a blast. Then in November I ran and finished NYC. A truly great event. I have ran 2 Boston Marathons, in 1996 and 2000. New York was every bit as fantastic as Boston. In a couple of weeks it is back to NOLA for New Years with my daughter. This year we will make the trip in 2 cars so we should have more room. But someone decided my daughters 2 Chihuahua's and our new golden doodle puppy should make the trip. Should be interesting! Then in February of 2012 I will fly to California and run the Surf City Marathon.

To get to the moral of my story. I didn't mention times. Aren't times the important thing. PR's, you know, the reason we run. I have learned a valuable lesson this past 14 months. I ran my two slowest Marathons of my life. I have ran 3:05 twice in my life. In Lincoln, Ne in 1980 and in Pensacola at The Blue Angel Marathon in 1998. My first Boston in 1996 was in 3:25, I redeemed that time with a 3:13 in 2000. I had a 3:11 and two 3:12's as well in my running resume. I ran 4:04 in Chicago, I felt like I needed redemption in New York. But I ran much worse and ended up with an IV and a 4:19. I also found out my blood sugar was high. The Med Tent doc said I needed a follow up when I got home.

I turned 55 in December and at my annual physical was told I am borderline diabetic. I have withdrawn from people since that news. I know genetics play a roll, mom, dad, brother, grandparents, all diabetics. But me. I can't believe it. I am in denial. It must be a mistake. I am in great shape. I have ran 19:56 in a 5K this summer, 43:30 in a 10K. I am as thin as I have been in years.

I know it is silly, but I initially viewed my medical news as a weakness. I saw a loser in the mirror. I wanted to talk to no one.

Then I realized, I am still a runner. I may have to fuel a bit different. Drink a few less beers, (like my on bottle of 312 a night is an issue), and poke my finger a few more times. I may end up on medication or insulin. But I can still run. Just yesterday I ran 18 miles in 2:34.

So I vow to begin enjoying the run, the finish, the sites along the way. Time is no longer an issue. I took a Runners World poll today. Why do you run. My answer was not a category winner. Only 3% of the respondents agreed. The reason I run, it is to be around fellow runners.

In 2012 I will enjoy the moment. I will breath the salt air at Surf City, enjoy the Ocean and the people I run along with. I will notice corn fields and wild life along the way. I will load the old Chicago song, does anyone really know what time it is, does anyone really care. I am just glad to run. Happy Holidays and may you all have a Prosperous 2012!

Monday, December 5, 2011

I Spent a Week on a TreadMill Last Night

My new year resolution is to blog more in 2012 than I did in 2011. That won't take much since I only posted like 2 blogs all 2011 so far. Life just has a way of getting in the way. I have turned 55 since my last post and after last nights 16 miles on a treadmill, I feel 65! I don't know how you treadmill lovers do it and any suggestions are welcome. I don not have access to the virtual equipment that Gary uses in Tejas, after all this is Nebraska.

My jaunt started at near 5pm and with 6 inches of new snow on the ground I was forced inside. Unfortunately coach Jill says 50 + miles this week and it looks like a bunch of those will be on the dreadmill as well. I ran for 90 minutes, in the same place of course. No virtual caves, mountains or gorges, just the ugly guy in front of me, which of course was me. I took a quick pause for a restroom break and water bottle refill and then hopped back on ole Trigger for 54 more minutes and the last 6 miles of the journey to hell and back. I set the pace at 8:57 and waited for the number 16 to light up.
A drive across Nebraska is more entertaining than 16 miles on the TM!

What can I look forward to, -2 degrees tonight, 19 for the high tomorrow and a 10 miler on the tm. I do hope we get enough sun to clear the roadways of ice or it will be an 18 miler on the mill next Sunday. With posts like this I can imagine by now your are all saying, darn, I wish this guy would have made this resolution in 2010.

I had the good ole annual physical today. The ticker is good, hopefully the blood work is good. While I was in the medical tent in New York the Doctor was concerned with my Blood Sugar levels being high at 212, but my doctor here thinks it was stress related as my last AC1 test was dead on. I hope she is right, I do have a family history of diabetes though. Time will tell. As for the prostrate check, she said it felt good, I told here I disagreed, it didn't feel so good to me!

I hope all of you are ready for the Holidays! Happy Holidays everyone and take some time this holiday season to spend time with family and friends and reflect on the good things in your life.

Until next time, run on my friends!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Winter Blahs

Today is the first cold day of fall, just a reminder that my least favorite time of year is around the corner. Winter can be long in Nebraska. So how do you fight the winter blues. Train for a West Coast Marathon. I have entered Surf City on February 4th in Huntington Beach. That should keep me motivated. That and the fact that Coach Jill will expect execution of her weekly training schedules. Jill is the best coach ever.

I originally had signed up for the Half Marathon at Surf City. However a very poor NYC Marathon led to an upgrade to the full Marathon. I know I can run a 3:40 at Surf City. Okay I have stated it, now the pressure is on to go do it. I had a bout with the flu for NYC and had to get my first ever IV following the finish of my 8th Marathon. My slowest, but the best Marathon in my opinion I have ever participated in. I have run 2 Bostons, Chicago, Lincoln, Blue Angel in Pensacola, FL, Rocket City in Huntsville, AL, and a Warner Robbins, GA and now NYC. The crowd was great and the tour of the city was the best ever!

I saw some cool sights in New York. The 9-11 Memorial Water Falls and the Tent City protests to name a few.

NYC Marathon action shot
9-11 Memorial Water Fall
Tent city, the week before they were cleared out.

I was duct taped to a light pole to raise money for St Jude Heroes. I was able to raise $4,200 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in NYC Marathon.

I had a fun time in New York. But I am really bummed with my effort, a 4:19 finish. I have PR of 3:05 in 1980 and again in 1998. I know I am aging. I will be 55 on December 2nd. But I know there is a 3:40 left   in this body.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
I have gone out to fast the last 2 Marathons and I will fix that in February. I also think the Pacific Ocean will be a comforting sight and I intend to enjoy the view! I am not as concerned with overall time as I once was, but I know I can run faster!

A couple last random thoughts as I close the NYC saga. I was touched and moved by the 9-11 Memorial. But even more emotional was the return flight. As I was heading to my gate to depart Laguardia a group of people were gathered with American Flags at the next gate. I asked what was going on and I was invited to welcome home 6 wounded soldiers from Afghanistan. One with no legs, another badly burned, all six I would guess with nightmares I could never fathom. I felt shame for complaining about a bad Marathon. Life has a funny way of putting things in perspective!

Then I boarded my plane. I sat next to a lady that asked me if I thought Prison could rehabilitate a person. I said yes, I had worked for 15 years with adjudicated youth and if people couldn't change then my life was a waste. I shared of a young man who was in my wife and I's Group Home that is now a successful Lawyer and Father. She thanked me and said she was returning home to Texas after serving 8 years of an 18 year sentence. We visited all the way to Dallas. When we parted she thanked me for my kindness. I wished her well and as I walked off I once again realized how blessed I am. My life is not so bad. I have it pretty darn good. One bad Marathon doesn't change that! I have 8 in the bank and number 9 coming up in February.
Life is good...............

Monday, January 31, 2011

Getting Started is the hardest part!

I have been a blogger for about one year on the RW Loop. I have followed I Like Margarine and Runwithjill for about six months. I have even had the honor of having Jill as my coach and will have her as a coach again for New York 2011 as I have already been accepted thanks to a 1:38:35 Half in Lincoln, Ne last May. Being an old fart has its perks.

We are in the grasp of another blizzard as I blog. 40 to 45 mile per hour gusts. I drove home to day in white out conditions. I am so ready for Spring that I just signed up for a St Patricks Run. It is on March 12th instead of the 17th, but at least there is green beer and it will force me to get of the couch and start training again and held between Omaha and Lincoln.

Just a little about myself. I am the fathter of 6 children. 5 biological and 1 special needs son who is 11, non verbal and still in diapers, a handful, but we wouldn't trade him for anything. He has been with us for 7 and 1/2 years. My oldest daughter works with troubled teenagers in a group home in New Orleans, my #2 daughter teaches 2nd grade ESL students Math and English in Omaha, #3daughter is at home and waits tables at Perkins, #4 son is at UAB in Birmingham as an Elementary Ed major and #5 daughter will graduate from High School in May and was just accepted in to the New York City School of Dramatic Arts. She has also been accepted to Oklahoma City University and the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. My wife of 30 years is a Speech Therapist.

Enough, I love to run. I am coming off a rest as I tore myself up pretty good last year. I ran 3 Half and a full Marathon in Chicago. I tanked in the heat and ran 4:04. I also ran several 10K's, 5 milers, 5K's. My PR for the Marathon is from 1980 in Lincoln at 3:05:05 and I ran a 3:05:48 in Pecsacola Blue Angle in 1998. I have ran Boston 2 times, in 1996 in a time of 3:25 and some change and in 2000 in 3:13 and some change, 3:11 and change chip time.