Monday, November 8, 2010

New York City Marathon 2010 pt. 1.

What another race report? Booooooring. Well what do expect this is mostly a running blog, remember about my exploits of running and life on the run and so on? Oh what is a runner to do?

So where do start? I know, how about with my last long run leading up to the marathon?
So this is my last 20 miler leading up to the NY marathon and seeing how I'm from NY I might as well make the best of it and run the last 18 and do another 2 in Central Park.

So I get up one day with my special someone, we travel out to my old hood Park Slope to mile 8 and proceed to do a run I've done many a time before except this time yours truly is a bit on the gimpy side.
I've whined about before about an inflamed metatarsal on my right foot which showed up sometime in June as a result of wearing light weight neutral light weight shoes and trying to improve my running form. Now I have pain and symptoms of neuroma that really threw my form out of whack and effected my left I.T. band making running literally a pain in the ass as well as my leg .
So my training has been only 3 days a week with very mild bike riding in between and barely any walking because I learned that to walk is to say ouch.

So I run this last 20 mile thing and quickly notice that this beast of a marathon is all up hill and to make it worse it's like running on the side of a hill (AKA uneven surfaces), which is a popular way to get I.T. band syndrome according to Runners World. But most of this is only noticeable when you are under trained or injured, and in my case I was under trained because of my injury. Hmmm.
So to say the least that last 20 was hell and I kept thinking am I going to finish a whole 26 miles? this last 20 took just about everything out of me.
Well with my lame leg and f'n foot I needed to do something in the way of cross training I chose doing yoga daily, I mean every fracking day for the last for 2 months (that was for any Battlestar Galactica fans out there.)
But was yoga helping any? yes, and to a point, I feel much looser in my leg, which is so tight I can feel my I.T. pulling it as I cross my legs.
It also helped more with my confidence and being OK with the idea of not racing or maybe even bailing out halfway through if need be.
Anyway my next longish run after that is 13 miles, and guess what? 13 miles is still hell.
And what of my next tapered long run of 8 miles? out of breath and no speed. Mmm, not good.
After that I just went with a last minute plan, run this bitch as slow as I can till the pain becomes unbearable then take the cab home.
So my next few runs were not too encouraging either. my last run 3 days before the marathon was 3 miles and after 2 messages, ibuprofen, ice baths, foam roller, and a couple of visits to the foot doctor guess what?? I was still in pain!
3 miles, only 3 miles I'd have to run another 23 on top of that. It would take a miracle for me to finish this thing. I was so mad at myself for trying to fix what wasn't broke in the first place and hurting myself, I didn't even want to run this anymore and I couldn't wait for November 7th to come and go.
So what happens? I get my friend to do a little acupuncture on my foot and head out to the marathon expo to pick up my race number oggle the running merch or as I like to think of it 'porn for runners.' This years theme 'compression.'
It seemed like there was compression gear everywhere, arm warmers and compression socks and more all different colors with funky styles to make you feel like the dorky super hero you always wanted to be.
That aside there are great deals to be had at these expos, I bought a box of 24 power gels for $15., that's half off. HALF OFF!!! How can you not buy it?

The day before my marathon I set up all my stuff. KT tape to tape up my leg ( my I.T. band strap, my compression gear including a pair of arm warmers I made from a pair of socks (hey why pay for something you can make at home with 2 snips of a scissor?) I also was wearing extra padding for my forefoot, and decided to leave my garmin at home and not worry about my time or splits . After that I set my alarm for 4:30 am. got in bed and began reading Russel Simmons book 'Do You.'

I got to an very interesting part of the book that had to do with 'being in the moment', and it was like a bell went off in my head. Yes be in the moment because when you're in the future you're worried about the outcome of something that may not even happen, when you're in the past you're dwelling on what could have been all the while never being in the moment the right now.

It also helped me to sleep, sleeping the night before a marathon is the worst for me, hell the whole week before sucks. I just have problems sleeping. But that's because I was always focusing on not sleeping and what if I wake up, and if I don't get enough sleep I won't be able to do well. And worse now because I'm injured. But this time I focused on the moment, the breath the quiet around me and soon I was able to remove the chatter from my brain and sleep. And I did it again when I woke up in the middle of the night, instead of thinking OMG it happened again and I'm only getting 2 hrs sleep before the big event I was able to put myself in moment and forget about what would happen if I didn't get sleep and so on.
To some of you this may be no big deal for for me it was huge, I've run many a race and marathon on fumes and let me tell you it's no fun. So waking up at 4:30 and about 5 hrs sleep under my belt I felt great.
I got up and told myself it was going to be a great day and I was going to have fun and that was it, along with finish injury free that was my goal.
So what happens next? aaah, that my friends is to be continued...

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Chris McDougall has a blog in the NY Times which is well worth a read but I need to correct him here. He goes on about barefoot running and now is considered some kind of spokes person for the latest running craze. So before you throw out your running shoes you might want to read my post.

"Hang on — if running is bad for humans, why isn’t it bad for every animal?” Dogs run on sidewalks, elephants trot for miles across baked African savannas, reindeer bound across solid ice on rock-hard hoofs, yet they don’t get shinsplints and Achilles tendinitis. How come every other creature gets along just fine on its own limbs except us?"
Quoted from his blog

Well think about this. When was the last time you saw a dog run 26.2 miles? are these elephants doing speed work around the track bi-weekly? and just how many legs do reindeer run on? Or better yet any monkeys or apes running 26.2 miles? Thats what I thought.

Kenyans run barefoot right? until they get free shoes donated to them and they jump right into them.
What about the story of animal hunters wearing down other animals? Are they running on a track doing? doing tempo runs? or racing every weekend? chances are they are more likely to do stop and go running and something they were raised doing. And lets not forget there lives are filled with physical hard work and heavy lifting, when was the last time you dragged a dead carcase back home from where you killed it?

And what of the tribe in Mexico? they are running sandals that are one inch thick, hardly barefoot. If we're getting injured a lot it's because we're over doing it. Do you treat track work and tempo runs like a race? are you pushing yourself too hard too soon? are you getting enough rest? do you run on an injury?

I'm just dropping this here because many of us (including myself ) are injured runners. Looking for a quick and easy answer isn't the way to go.

And by the way Mr. Mcdougall says he weighed about 240 Lbs. That is roughly 100 more Lbs than I am. Anyone carrying that much weight around is sure to have problems running.
He could have easily had the same results by stronger and losing weight with lifting.

I'm not saying barefoot running is not good for short runs to get your feet stronger but running races barefoot is smartest thing to do. And by the way many of those barefoot runners I do see at road races are the slower runners.
you want to be a faster and better runner? follow Mebs or Paulas training plan not some guy who's selling his book.