Sunday, March 24, 2013

New Running Blog! Come Visit!

Hi again everyone (or all three of you, as the case may be),

I've set up a new blog with a focus on running and fitness (don't worry, I'll try to keep it somewhat humorous as well . . . no comments from the Peanut Gallery, please -- I can just hear Sully thinking "why start now?")

If you'd like to join the fun, the new site is Splits 'N' Giggles.

Help spread the word!

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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Looking for Input . . . Potential Move

Hi Everyone,

I'm strongly considering making the complete conversion of this blog into a "running blog."  Actually, I'll probably just create a whole new site, and leave "Knucklehead" as is, for all of posterity and maybe return to it occasionally when the "humor" mood strikes.

So here's where you come in.

I'm kind of stumped for a name for the new blog.  The ones I've come up with are already taken, and I don't want anything TOO simplistic.  Maybe clever, maybe punny, just something to do with running/jogging/fitness, etc.

Your thoughts are quite welcome.



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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

San Diego Half Marathon Recap

L to R: Me, my wife Theresa, and my brother Bobby
After months of training and preparation, the big event preceding the REALLY big event took place over the weekend.  In other words, I ran the San Diego Half Marathon on Sunday.

Having put in the necessary miles over many weeks, I knew that I was physically prepared to conquer the 13.1 mile course.  I've completed training runs up to and including the full marathon distance of 26.2 miles, so conditioning wasn't too much of a concern.  There were, however, two major fears weighing on my mind in the week leading up to the event.

The first fear was the result of a YouTube clip I'd come across in my marathon research entitled "Guy Shits Himself During L.A. Marathon."  I watched this video and, trust me, you do NOT want to be this poor bastard.  When I do my training runs (no pun intended), I know exactly where the restrooms are, and plan accordingly.  The S.D. Half Marathon course map included the location of "pit stops," but you still don't want to ruin a potential P.R. with an untimely number two.  Fortunately, there are a lot of good articles about nutrition for runners that minimize the likelihood of needing to do business during the race.  Starting a week in advance, I increased my intake of good carbohydrates like wheat bread, pasta, brown rice, and oatmeal, eliminated carbonated beverages, and completely cut out sugar (not that I eat much of that anyway).  Two nights before the race, we went to Olive Garden for spaghetti and breadsticks.  The day before, it was pasta for lunch, chicken Caesar salad for dinner and LOTS of water and Gatorade.  Too much, in fact, because on the two-hour drive from my home to San Diego, we had to make about three pit stops.  Note to self: don't start taking on fluids until you arrive in the destination city.

My second fear was the Washington Street hill, located nine miles into the race.  For the most part, the San Diego Half Marathon course is flat or downhill.  However, Washington Street is one major exception.  It's about a 3/4 mile stretch at a moderately steep angle.  We drove the course the day before to get a look at it, and in a car it wasn't too imposing.  Come Sunday morning, my perspective changed entirely.  But we'll get to that.

During my training, the fastest I'd ever run the half marathon distance was 2:09:47.  From what others have told me, and from my own experience with the Ontario Mills 10K in January, it is not uncommon for runners to improve upon training times by up to a minute per mile when they run competitively and the adrenaline kicks in.  Based on this theory, I thought I had a reasonable shot at running the S.D. Half Marathon in under two hours.  A lofty goal, perhaps, but a distinct possibility.  That's a pace of about nine minutes per mile, so I did the math and calculated that if I got to the top of the Washington Street hill by the 1:30 mark, I could get it done.  The last three miles of the course was all downhill, and a thirty-minute 5K is something I do with relative comfort.  But getting up the hill in time would be the hard part.

Waiting for the race to begin.
Theresa and I woke up at about 4AM, because I wanted to eat a small breakfast and give it a chance to run its course, if you know what I mean.  I had two Special K cereal bars and half a bottle of Aquafina water.  At about 5:30, we met my brother Bobby (who was running the half marathon with me) in the lobby of our hotel, and walked Theresa to the shuttle bus that would take her to the starting line of the 5K she'd entered.  Bobby and I then went back to the hotel to stay warm, and so I could make an attempt at downloading unnecessary ballast.  None was forthcoming, so it was on to the starting corrals for our race.

There were almost 6,000 runners entered in the half marathon, and to keep it from being total chaos at the starting line, participants are split up into "waves" based on their self-estimated finishing times.  When I signed up in November, I projected my time at 2:30, which put me in Wave 11 out of fifteen.  I knew I was now faster than that, but I stayed put.  Right there in the wave with a guy dressed in a seven-foot banana costume.  That's nothing.  Wave 5 included two Marines in bunny suits.

The waves were released two minutes apart, so by the time my brother Bobby and I got to the starting line, Wave 1 with the elite runners were already 22 minutes into the course.  Given their speed, a few of them were probably at mile four or five.  But it doesn't affect your finishing time because a runner's "chip time" doesn't begin until you cross the starting line.

About five minutes before the start time, I ran over to a Porta-potty to give it one last try.  Nada.

Back to the starting corral.

The horn sounded for Wave 11 and we were off.  I started my Garmin runner's watch, and took off at a comfortable pace.  After about 200 yards, I'd left the rest of the wave in the dust (including Bobby as well as the banana) and had the course pretty much to myself for the next mile and a half when I caught up to the Wave 10 crowd.  I checked my watch at the two-mile mark and saw that about 17 minutes had elapsed.  This meant I was already a minute ahead of schedule for the 2:00 goal I had in mind.  I settled into that pace, enjoyed the music pumping through my earbuds, and took in the gorgeous San Diego scenery.  Mile two through mile four took us right along the harbor with the USS Midway and various cruise ships.  And the weather could not have been better -- 65 degrees, perfectly clear, and no wind to speak of.

Somewhere around mile 5.
I hit the 5K split at the 25:40 mark, less than a minute off my best 5K ever, and a minute and twenty seconds under the pace I'd need for a two-hour finish.  I was still navigating my way through a lot of runners, but the field was quite spread out at this point so there weren't any real log jams happening, certainly nothing that would have a big effect on my overall pace.  I took the first of my GU Energy Gels at the four-mile mark, and chased it with a cup of water handed to me at an aid station.

Miles five through seven ran through the Marine base, which was my favorite part of the course.  We were greeted by the Point Loma High School Marching Band, and lots of spectators.  One lady held up a sign that read "GO, RANDOM STRANGER, GO!"  I thought it was nice of her to cheer me on like that.  At the six-mile aid station, I grabbed a paper cup of sports drink (grape -- it was disgusting) to keep hydrated.

I hit the 10K split (6.2 miles) at 52:56.  Still a couple minutes under my goal pace, but Washington Street was still looming on the horizon.

At about the eight-mile mark, there was a very short, but very steep hill.  This sapped my energy a little bit, but there was an aid station right after it where I took some water and the second GU Energy Gel to give me a needed burst for Washington Street.

And there it was.

While not incredibly steep, this part of the course ascended gradually for just under a mile, and the incline became greater in the latter stages as we went up the on-ramp onto University Ave.  Because Washington is a very busy street (a highway, really), the city did not shut it down for the event.  Instead, a lane was established with orange pylons for the runners to proceed along the shoulder.  The lane was about ten to fifteen yards wide, and due to the fact that about half the people going up the hill had chosen to throw in the towel and walk it, I really had to work through a crowd to maintain my speed, which had slowed considerably.  To get my mind off the increasing fatigue, I simply picked out a runner about twenty yards ahead of me and focused on catching him (or her).  When I caught one, I focused on the next.  And then the next.  After what seemed like an hour, I made it to the top.  At the ten-mile split, I guzzled two cups of water and checked my watch.


Only a downhill 5K to go, and over thirty-one minutes to do it in.  Could this really be happening?

Mile eleven went through the Hillcrest district of San Diego, lots of shops and neighborhoods.  Spectators lined the streets, including a very attractive woman holding up a sign that read "YOU HAVE STAMINA!  HERE'S MY PHONE NUMBER!"  Outside a small, family-owned convenience store, I noticed a girl of about seven holding a big bowl of Gummy Bears for runners to take to boost the blood sugar.  I grabbed a couple, thanked her, and gave her a fist-bump.

I turned right onto 6th Street, and you'll never guess who I caught up to.  It was the Marine bunny rabbits from Wave 5, who had started about fifteen minutes ahead of me.  They looked exhausted.  It was now about 75 degrees, and those furry suits could not have been comfortable.  As I passed them, I couldn't resist shouting, "MAKE WAY FOR THE TORTOISE!"

Jeez, I crack myself up.

Yeah, you could say I'm proud of my little brother.
As I cruised through the last mile, I saw my parents and my niece in the crowd, shouting encouragement.  Having them there was simply the icing on the cake.  I had no idea where my brother was at this point, but I hoped he was doing well.  He'd trained for the race, but only for about a month, so I had no idea what his time would be.  Knowing his competitive and determined nature, I had a feeling he wasn't far behind.

And then the finish line was in sight.  I saw my Theresa on the left, proudly wearing the medal she'd earned in the 5K.  As it turned out, she finished with a time of 31:20, a personal best for her, and 20th in her age group.  She's amazing.

I hit the finish line, and looked at my watch for my time.

1:57:04.  Mission accomplished.

I received my finisher's medal from a Marine (not one of the bunnies), and got a bottle of water, a banana, and a bagel.  I posed for a couple official pictures, and then met up with Theresa in the finishing area.  A few minutes later, my phone buzzed.


"Dude, where are you?"  It was Bobby.

"In the finishing area eating a bagel, where are you?"

"Down at the finish line.  Come down and let's get a picture together."

Bobby's time was 2:05:20. Pretty damn impressive.

We took several photos, met up with the rest of our family, and went to enjoy a big breakfast.  We'd all earned it, for sure.

On a side note, as I'm writing this two days later, I still have yet to poop.

Countdown to My Next Event = 4 Days
Run4Kids 100-mile Relay
Corona, Ca.
March 16-17, 2013

Countdown to the Orange County Marathon = 54 Days

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Monday, February 11, 2013

Runner's High and The Wall: Fact or Fable?

This would be the ultimate "bonk."
Today, we're going to discuss two somewhat mythical concepts that exist in the world of distance running, phenomena known as "Runner's High" and "The Wall."  There is some debate as to whether these two things actually exist, or if it's just a load of mumbo-jumbo.  I'm certainly no expert myself, but here's what the research and my own personal experience would suggest.  You can judge for yourself.

The Runner's High is said to occur after long periods of strenuous exercise, such as long-distance running.  Once a runner gets past a certain level of exertion and glycogen depletion, endorphins are released which allow him (or her) to continue in spite of exhaustion and/or physical pain.  In some cases, it also causes a feeling of euphoria or happiness.  Interestingly, the Runner's High is believed to be evolutionary in nature.  Apparently, way back in the Flintstone Era, we humans had to rely on running as our primary means of transportation and when we were hunting for our dinner, we'd come upon the occasional, I don't know, saber-toothed tiger or fleet-footed wildebeest.  Since succumbing to shin splints or the occasional pulled hamstring would result in our becoming dinner for said predators, nature kindly provided us with a mechanism for sucking it up until we got back to the cave where we could pack our injuries in ice.  This is how that period of history became known as the Ice Age.

I myself have yet to experience Runner's High, in spite of the fact that I've run the marathon distance on two separate occasions.  On the contrary, after completing those runs, I experienced what might be better described as a Runner's Hangover.  This involves flopping down on your bed, guzzling as much Gatorade as your bladder can manage, and whimpering in pain due to your burning muscles and aching ankle and knee joints.  Once the pain subsides, there is a general sense of accomplishment and pride, but to call this a "high" would be an exaggeration.  Maybe a Runner's Buzz.

Runners also frequently discuss The Wall, a somewhat arbitrary barrier during a marathon where the body pretty much says, "Okay, I'm done.  Call a cab and let's get the hell out of here."  This pleasant experience, also known as "bonking," happens when a runner has used up all his glycogen stores, and the body begins burning fat, muscle, bone, eyeballs, anything it can get its metabolism on.  The good news is that with proper nutrition and training, it is possible to delay or completely eliminate the appearance of The Wall.

Since, according to most experts, The Wall doesn't really come into play until after mile twenty, I've only had two opportunities to experience it.  So far, I don't think I have.  Now, don't misunderstand, I'm certainly not saying that miles twenty through twenty-six point two are all fun and games.  They aren't.  But I haven't had my legs just up and quit, nor have I upchucked my gels and Gatorade all over the pavement.  All that's happened is the pain in my muscles has progressed, and my minutes-per-mile pace has slowed.

So far, so good, I guess.

But just for fun, I think I'm going to put some Pink Floyd on my running playlist.

Recent Runs:
2/5/13:  5 miles, 50:20
2/6/13:  8.16 miles, 1:21:33
2/7/13:  5 miles, 51:41
2/9/13:  3.1 miles (5K), 24:49 (PR)
2/10/13: 13.1 miles (Half Marathon), 2:11:00 (PR)
2/10/13: 2.9 miles, 31:12

Countdown to My Next Event = 24 Days
San Diego Half Marathon
San Diego, Ca.
March 10, 2013

Countdown to the Orange County Marathon = 80 Days

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Monday, February 4, 2013

Running For a Cause

I've been doing a lot of reading lately, books by marathoners and ultra-marathoners like Hal Higdon, Dean Karnazes, and Bart Yasso.  Some of what I've read deals with training advice such as how many miles to run each week, hill training, speed work, technical stuff like that.  Karnazes's books are mostly stories about his epic adventures -- running a 135-mile ultra-marathon in Death Valley, a marathon at the South Pole, and the unbelievable quest of running fifty marathons in fifty days . . . one in every state.

But the most significant idea I came across was the idea of dedicating events to worthwhile causes, including how to set up websites to designate charities and request donations.

I think you see where I'm going with this.

Matthew is a high school student with epilepsy.  I've known him since he was in kindergarten, as his father is a good friend and colleague of mine.  Matthew's a great kid, with courage and determination that help him fight through his seizures and other challenges.  I've dedicated the San Diego Half Marathon to Matthew, and designated the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles as the specific charity.  If you'd like to donate even a small amount to Miles for Matthew, please go here.

Sam and me.
I'll be dedicating the Orange County Marathon to Sam.  I've worked with kids for going on twenty years, and it's safe to say that my buddy Sammy is one of my absolute favorites.  He's funny, compassionate, and is also a pretty darn good athlete.  And we share a common interest . . . music.  From time to time we'll engage in jazz duets with me on trumpet and Sam on air-trumpet.  If you'd like to contribute to Strides for Sam and the Down Syndrome Association of Orange County, please go here.

I don't often use my blog for solicitation, and it certainly won't become a habit, but I believe these are very worthwhile charities.  If you can kick in even five bucks, it will make a difference.

Matthew, Sam, and I thank you very much!

Recent Runs:
1/29/13:  5.07 miles, 50:43
1/30/13:  8.20 miles, 1:31:21
1/31/13:  3.1 miles (5K), 25:09 (PR)
2/1/13:  3.1 miles (5K), 32:20
2/3/13:  26.2 miles (Marathon), 4:46:57 (PR)

Countdown to My Next Event = 34 Days
San Diego Half Marathon
San Diego, Ca.
March 10, 2013

Countdown to the Orange County Marathon = 90 Days

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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Continuing the Grind

Now that my first "official" event is out of the way, it's time to settle back into my normal training routine in preparation for the San Diego Half Marathon coming up in March.  This consists of four days of running, combined with cross-training at the gym.  My long runs will be no more than 16 miles, with my mid-week runs ranging from 5 to 10 miles.  I'm also trying to keep my nutrition under control, emphasizing protein and "good" carbs while limiting sugar and fatty foods (though I did have a "cheat" day on Friday that included an In-N-Out Double Double and fries).

Nothing real exciting or eventful during this week's training.  The weather was warmer than it's been for a while, which was nice.  Lots of other runners were out and about on Saturday, which is when I did the long run of the week (16 miles), and there's always a sense of community among us.  Also a little rivalry . . . no one likes getting passed (especially by the old guy, who is actually pretty spry).

I also signed up for a couple more events.  In May, just two weeks after the Orange County Marathon, I'll be running in a local event -- the Mojave Narrows Half Marathon in Apple Valley, California.  It's a small event, but the course runs literally right through my neighborhood.  About two miles of it are on a street that I regularly run during my training.  Since it's my home field, so to speak, I couldn't NOT sign up.  I'm also registered for the Long Beach Half Marathon in October.  Beyond that, I also plan on running the huge L.A. Marathon in March, 2014.  Long term, we'll probably stick to one marathon per year, with a bunch of half marathons and 10K's sprinkled in.

But first things first.

I'm really looking forward to the San Diego Half Marathon, and not just because it's in one of my favorite cities in the world.  The event has turned into a family affair, with my brother Bobby signing up for the half marathon and my wife Theresa hopping on board for the 5K.  Also, Bobby's girlfriend and my parents will be driving down to be our cheering section.  It will be fun running with my brother, though my greatest fear is that he'll roll out of bed the day of the race, scarf a couple Pop Tarts, throw on a pair of flip-flops, and then go out and whip my butt.  Don't know if I could handle the humiliation.

This week, I'm going to mix in a couple hill runs, since the San Diego course features a stretch of two miles where the elevation increases almost 300 feet.  I certainly don't want to be unprepared for that.

Recent Runs:
1/21/13:  5.1 miles, 51:30
1/22/13:  8.15 miles, 1:23:53
1/24/13:  5.06 miles, 47:45
1/26/13:  16.01 miles, 2:46:14

Countdown to My Next Event = 42 Days
San Diego Half Marathon
San Diego, Ca.
March 10, 2013

Countdown to the Orange County Marathon = 98 Days

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Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Ontario Mills 10K

Me with Christian Okoye, "The Nigerian Nightmare"
I'm definitely not a "morning person," so getting up at 4:15 to run a race isn't my idea of a great time.  But since the start time for the Ontario Mills 10K was 7:00, and the venue is 45 minutes from my house, and also since I wanted to have time for my breakfast (a banana and some Oikos Raspberry Yogurt) to run its course, I was up and out of bed well before sunrise.  This was a good thing, though, because according to all the advice and articles I've come across so far in my training, you want your body to be up to speed when the starting gun sounds.

Theresa and I arrived at Ontario Mills (a large outlet mall) at about 6:15, giving me time to warm up a little bit, down a mandarin orange GU Energy Gel, and even get my picture taken with the event host, former Kansas City Chiefs running back Christian Okoye. 

Then it was race time.

I've heard from several experienced runners that race day excitement and adrenaline can potentially help trim as much as 30 seconds to a full minute per mile off of your normal training times.  This can actually be a problem in longer races like marathons because if you burn too much energy too soon, you're likely to "bonk" or "hit the wall" in the final stages.  That's something I'll have to keep an eye on down the road, but for a shorter event like a 10K (6.2 miles), I didn't think it would be a problem.  So my strategy was to run hard (not sprint, but go a little above my training pace) for the first half of the race, and then turn it on in the second half alternating full sprints with a slower pace when I needed to back off a little bit.

It worked.

Crossing the finish line.
Keeping track of my pace with my Garmin Forerunner watch, I saw that I was right around eight minutes per mile for the first two miles.  This was significantly faster than even my "pushing it" training pace, which is usually between 9:20 and 9:40.  Thing is, it didn't feel like I was working much harder than usual.  I think the adrenaline, along with the fact that when there are other runners around you the instinct is to keep up with the flow, helped me maintain a quicker speed for a longer time. 

At the halfway point, my total time was right around 25 minutes, which was well under my previous best for a 5K.  It looked like a PR for the 10K was well within my reach.  During the second half of the race, I kept with my strategy and stepped up the pace periodically.  I passed several runners, and still felt fresh . . . no fatigue in my legs, I wasn't out of breath.  It looked good.

With about half a mile to go, I got passed by a 14-year old kid who didn't even look like he was trying.  I think he was texting someone as he flew by me.  I was tempted to crank it up an pass him in return, but then I thought better of it.  He'd probably catch me again anyway, so I decided to cut my losses.

Wearing the finisher's medal with pride.
I crossed the finish line, and the time clock read "51:10."  I'd set a new personal record by a margin of almost five minutes.  Looks like the "race day adrenaline" theory is alive and well.  That time was good for 58th place overall (in a field of over 200), and 7th place in my age group. 

I am also very grateful to my wife Theresa and to my mom for being there at the finish line.  Having the support of my family makes the training runs easier, and it's great to be able to share in the excitement with them.  Plus, Mom treated us to breakfast after the race and who am I to say no to a free meal.

So now it's back to the training runs to get ready for the next event on my schedule, the San Diego Half Marathon.  At 13.1 miles, this race will be more of an endurance test than a speed test.  I've gone well beyond this distance in my training, so I know I can do it, but strategy, nutrition, and hydration will play a much greater role this time.

Man, this is fun.

Recent Runs:
1/15/13:  3.1 miles (5K), 27:48 PR
1/17/13:  6.2 miles (10K), 55:59 PR
1/19/13:  6.2 miles (Ontario Mills 10K), 51:10 PR

Countdown to My Next Event = 49 Days
San Diego Half Marathon
San Diego, Ca.
March 10, 2013

Countdown to the Orange County Marathon = 104 Days

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Monday, January 14, 2013

Running From a Mouse

With my first "official" event, the Ontario Mills 10K, coming up this weekend, I've backed off my training just a bit so I'm fresh on Saturday.  This process is called "tapering," and although it's not really necessary when preparing for a short race like a 10K, I figured it's better safe than sorry.  This way I'll be more prepared to step things up a little bit and go for a personal record.  My current PR in the 10K is 58:20, and when I did that I was more or less at cruising speed.  If I push the tempo during the second half on Saturday, there's a decent chance I'll lower my mark.

Speaking of PR's, just this past Sunday I set a new best in the half-marathon with a time of 2:16:29.  More importantly, I paced myself well enough so that I was able to turn it on down the stretch and the final mile was my fastest of the run.  Definitely a confidence-builder.  I'm signed up for the San Diego Half Marathon in March, so it feels good to have some success at that distance.

M-I-C . . .See all this cash?  K-E-Y . . . Why?  Because you'll pay it!
I have to vent just a little bit here.  As I mentioned last time, I was considering signing up for the Disneyland Half Marathon, which will take place on September 1st.  It seems fun, and the course goes right down Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom (as well as the surrounding area of Anaheim).  Well, as is the case with most things related to Mickey and Minnie Moneybags, the registration fee was well above the norm, a whopping $205 (slightly less if you sign up early).  For that price, you get a t-shirt, a medal (if you finish), and a "goody bag."  No admission to the park for the rest of the day, heck, you probably even have to shell out twenty bucks for parking.  Keep in mind, this is for a half-marathon, not a full.  Just to give you a frame of reference, the entry fee for the Boston Marathon, the highest profile and most prestigious distance event on the planet, is $150.  So Mickey and Goofy can eat my dust.  Instead, I signed up for the Long Beach Half Marathon which takes place a couple weeks later.  The fee?  $79.

That's it for now, next time I'll have the play-by-play of the Ontario Mills 10K.  Can't wait!

Recent Runs:
1/9/13:  8 miles, 1:24:07
1/11/13:  3.1 miles (5K), 28:49
1/13/13:  13.1 miles (Half Marathon), 2:16:29 PR

Countdown to My Next Event = 5 Days
Ontario Mills 10K
Hosted by the Christian Okoye Foundation
Ontario, Ca.
January 19, 2013

Countdown to the Orange County Marathon = 110 Days

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Were There Penguins?

Against the advice of most every marathon training article I've read, and defying the general influence of common sense, I decided to take a shot at running a marathon this past Saturday.  It was not a sanctioned event, not an "official" marathon, just 26.2 miles around my neighborhood (it's a big neighborhood).  And let me tell you, that last 6.2 is a monster.  I thought my Garmin running watch was out of whack.  Not to mention my hamstrings.

Karnazes at the South Pole...
...and in 120-degree Death Valley.

Let me back up real quick and tell you what inspired me to go the distance in the midst of my training program.  I just finished reading a book entitled Ultramarathon Man by Dean Karnazes, a guy who is a running freak by anyone's definition.  Karnazes has made a name for himself by running insane distances under even more insane conditions.  For example, he ran a marathon at the South Pole.  Who was passing out water (ice?) at the aid stations, penguins?  He's also run the Badwater Ultramarathon, a 135-mile ultramarathon in Death Valley (temperatures around 120F), several times..  This guy even participated in a 199-mile relay where every team consisted of twelve members who took turns running six-mile shifts.  Well, not every team.  Team Dean only had one member.  That would be Dean.

So after reading his book, I found myself thinking, "Only a 26.2 mile marathon?  Suddenly that doesn't seem like such a big deal."

The good news is that I made it through in one piece, even beating the goal of five hours I've set for myself in the Orange County Marathon coming up in May.  Saturday's time was 4:59:19.

So even though I now know I can do it, I'm not going that distance again until it's official.  Despite the Karnazes-inspired "go for it" moment, it really is pretty strenuous, especially the last stretch.  No need to overdo it at this point.

Another highlight of the week was setting a new personal record (PR) in the 5K, 27 minutes, 58 seconds.

As my scheduled events approach, I've already started looking at others in the future.  The Disneyland Half Marathon in September sounds fun, and if I run the Beach Cities Series (Orange County Marathon, Long Beach Marathon, and Surf City Marathon) I'd get a really cool bonus medal so I'm thinking about going for that.

But not the South Pole.  I'm crazy, but I'm not Karnazes-crazy.

Recent Runs:
1/1/13:  10 miles, 1:47:57
1/3/13:  3.1 miles (5K), 27:58 PR
1/5/13:  26.2 miles (Marathon), 4:59:19
1/8/13:  5.02 miles, 49:21

Countdown to My Next Event = 11 Days
Ontario Mills 10K
Hosted by the Christian Okoye Foundation
Ontario, Ca.
January 19, 2013

Countdown to the Orange County Marathon = 116 Days

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