Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Route 66 Half RR

  I had a terrific week 2 weeks ago and was primed for a strong effort but then beginning on Monday of race week, I crashed due to a zinc/copper imbalance.  I went aggressive with the liver glandular, which proved to be a bad call.  I never did get back on track all week and actually considered bailing.  I figured since I already paid for both the race and had a non-refundable hotel, I would go and give it a shot even though I knew my chance of a good time was almost zero.  All I had to do was finish and it would count as state #21.

It's about a 10 hour drive from Birmingham to Tulsa, which is about as far as I will go via car.  It was not a bad trip if you split it up evenly over 2 days.  I left work 2 hours early and stopped in eastern Arkansas and actually saw a guy that I know from Birmingham at a gas station.  The 2nd day was a little messy as it started raining hard when I neared the Oklahoma border.  Fortunately, it stopped once I got to Tulsa and the weather would not be much of an issue on race morning.

Course and weather:
Temps were steady in the mid-upper 50s with mostly cloudy skies and winds of 15 mph so no real complaints there.  I was never uncomfortable with a tech shirt and shorts.  The course was gently-moderately rolling with some flat areas mostly from Miles 6-9 before a tough stretch in Mile 12.  It covered mostly residential areas with a few parks and a small section down by the river before heading back to town for the finish It could be a PR course but was not blazing fast.

I awoke on race morning feeling lousy but I would still give it a try.  Extra glutathione seemed to help a bit but Vitamin C made little difference.  I arrived in plenty of time but there was a mile long line for port-a-johns so I ducked into a nearby hotel but would have little time to warm up.  No big deal.  I did not want to waste the little energy that I had.  I predicted that I would crash within 4-5 miles and slow jog or even walk-jog to the finish.

The gun went off and it was rolling from the get go.  After a slow start, I began feeling not as horrible around a half mile in and managed to increase my pace.  Mile 2 was mostly downhill and would be my fastest mile of the race but as expected, I began fading shortly thereafter.
7:07- 7:07 not so bad
7:04- 14:11 not so bad
7:16- 21:27 slipping
7:28- 28:55 meltdown is coming

I fully expected that the meltdown would come within another mile or two and my pace continued to slip by 10-15 seconds per mile but surprisingly I was able to hold it there and figured that I might manage a hollow victory with a sub-1:40.  On a flat section just after the halfway point, I made an effort to pick up the pace and found a surprising resurgence.  I did my best for the remainder of the race and though it wasn't pretty, it was a boost in morale knowing that I would finish with a non-horrible time.
7:44- 36:39 8 miles of pain to go
7:40- 44:19 holding on.
7:42- 52:01 flat section
7:22- 59:23- resurgence

I would pass several runners over the next 2 miles and a sub-1:40 was all but locked up.  In Mile 10, I took a gel after a tough uphill and though my energy remained similar, my groin began to tighten up and I had to slow down a bit.  We hit some nice downhill, which led us to a nice section along the river.  It would be a tough finish back into town but I held my position and even passed a few runners on my way to a solid finish.  According to the results, I gained 21 places after the 10K mark and managed a slight negative split for only the 4th or 5th time in a half marathon.  My watch time at the finish line was 1:37:42 (7:28 pace).  A mediocre performance but better than I expected on race morning.
7:17- 66:40 passing runners
7:40- 74:20 water and gel stop
7:28- 81:48 riverside
7:35- 89:23- holding on uphill
7:19- 96:42- solid finish
1:00- 1:37:42- last .16.

Final thought:
I've gone numb.  It seems that I never go into a race expecting a PR or even to run well. This was nearly 10% off my PR and close to the lower limit of "respectable."  With 21 states in and only 4 to go, I might as well finish the Half 2 Run challenge but if this doesn't turn around next year, I'm sticking to local races that do not sell out.  If you need Oklahoma, OKC is probably a better choice because there is more to do in that city.  In addition to the lack of port-a-johns, I was mistakenly assigned to the slowest corral at the expo.  Fortunately, I was allowed to move up without a word from the volunteer.   This one fit my schedule because of the Thanksgiving holiday and gave me an excuse to take the whole week off. I did meet a super nice woman from OK on my way back to my car and we talked for 5-10 minutes. She smiled the whole time and I got a sweaty hug too.

Trip home:
I stopped in Little Rock (4 hrs from Tulsa) to break up the trip.  It was a pleasant 60 degree sunny day and I enjoyed my tour of the city.  I saw the Clinton presidential library, which I enjoyed even though I am politically conservative.  I also saw the Old State House (ARK history museum) and state capitol building and did a junk run along the Arkansas river.  This was my favorite day of the trip.
Official result: AG 17/204- 92nd percentile, which says more about the overall weakness of the field than my performance.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Training 11/24-11/30

11/24- Spent the day in Little Rock to break up the trip home.  Did a 3 mile recovery jog on a bike trail along the Arkansas river.  Felt terrible again but on the day after a half race, I won't give myself less than a "C."  For the record, my time was 25:24 (8:28 pace) and I did loosen up a bit and turned in a negative split (13:00-12:24).  Tomorrow, I'm back off the liver glandular.
Grade:C/1 credit/distance=3.0

11/25- Planned rest day.  Travel.

11/26- AWFUL!  3 miles in 28:09 (9:23 pace).  Liver pills should be out of my system by now.  Went with 6 Thym-Adren and needless to say, it was not the answer.  I'm cutting it to 3 tomorrow and probably need ADHS, which I won't be able to take until I get home.
Grade:D-/1 credit/distance=3.0

11/27- WORSE.  1 mile in 9:12.  I'm shutting it down until I get back to Birmingham on Sunday.
Grade:F/1 credit/distance=1.0

11/28- Did not take any pills and feel about the same as yesterday.  Unplanned rest day.
Grade:F/1 credit/distance=0

11/29- Travel day.  Flight back to Little Rock and I plan to drive halfway back to Birmingham that night so I aim to be in Tupelo with a short 3 hour drive to go.

11/30- I was getting worse by the day and was barely able to drive home safely this morning.  Got home and popped some ADHS and saw some modest improvement.  3 miles on Wisteria in a blazing fast 27:28 (9:09 pace).  Modest improvement over the pathetic attempt 3 days earlier and I should be up for a standard issue run by tomorrow.
Grade:D/1 credit/distance=3.0

Weekly summary:
I can't take a mulligan on this week because I already used it over the summer.  As it stands now, it's still possible to make my year end goals but I'll need to ace everything for the remainder of the year.  Worst non-injury week on record.
Distance= 10.0/ GPA= 4.7/5= 0.94
YTD: 1,643 miles.  Record: 22-24 with a 2.67 GPA.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Training 11/17-11/23 (race week)

11/17- BAD!  I saw within just a couple laps that it wasn't my best day.  I normally rest on Mondays in race weeks so I bagged it and just slow jogged a mile.  This will count as a rest day.  Too much taurine is not good for me and that is a concern.  I could try cysteine but don't want to do it too close to race day. The Cal/Mag needs to be even and I hope to get by on 625 of each.
Grade:None/0 credit/distance=1.0

11/18- Poor effort.  Finished 3 miles in 23:51 (7:57 pace) plus a cool.  Started around 7:30 pace then faded to the 8:20 range.  Still too much taurine in my system.  It has yet to fully clear.  I am officially concerned now but I'm not going to panic just yet.  If I am not a lot better tomorrow, I am in trouble.  Took 2,000 last night but only 500 tonight.
Grade:C-/1 credit/distance=4.0

11/19- FAILURE!  1 mile in 8:49.  I've got 2 days to turn this around or I am OUT for Tulsa.  First try will be to lay off taurine completely.  Again, that's the same stuff that worked like magic just a week ago.  WHAT THE ____!
Grade:F/1 credit/distance=1.0

11/20- RELIEF!  It wasn't the taurine after all.  It was the Zn/Cu ratio.  I need to go back to the liver glandular but will have probably need low dose Thym-Adren + glutathione instead of taurine.  Too much upheaval so close to race day.  The plan for Tulsa is ADHS and that's what I took today.  3 miles in 22:25 (7:28 pace) with a negative split.  Tried 1 liver pill and it didn't work.

PM- Apparently, the liver pill didn't hurt me after all.  I'm still a little gun shy about it so close to the race.  I'll be okay on ADHS and am still 60 hours away.  It was another 3 miler and my time is down to 20:55 (6:58 pace).  Splits were 7:02-7:01-6:52.  I hope to see further improvement tomorrow.  As I predicted, it will be a pattern of 2 weeks on the liver glandular and 2 weeks off. When the Thym-Adren trends down, it's time to switch up. Weather shows a chance of rain on race day but the worst of it will come through the day before.  At worst, it will be run in light rain with comfortable temps.
Grade:B+/2 credit/distance=6.0

11/21- Just a slow jog.  Untimed mile.  Did not feel well.  I'm going with the radical upheaval.  Back to glutathione+ liver + low dose Thym-Adren.  That's my only chance at a decent time.  Spent night in eastern Arkansas.
Grade:P/0 credit/distance=1.0

11/22- Arrived in Tulsa. Just did some strides in the hotel.  The 'mill here is acting funky and seems to stop for a split second every so often so I just hopped off after a quarter mile.  I do not have a good feeling about this one at all.

11/23- Survived.  Just wanted a "non-horrible" performance and I got it.  Felt awful for most of the race but managed a finish in 1:37:42 unofficially (7:28 pace).  The zinc/copper balance is out of whack and the liver glandular is not the answer.
Grade:C/4 credits/distance=14.0

Weekly summary:
OUCH!  No good days at all and only race day and Thursday were even respectable.  I need to win 4 of 5 to end the year to make my goal of a winning record.
Distance= 28.0/ GPA= 16.3/8= 2.04
YTD: 1,633 miles.  Record: 22-23 with a 2.71 GPA.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Training 11/10-11/16

11/10- Gold's 5 in 37:25 (7:29 pace).  Modest improvement over yesterday but still clearly off.  This will do okay for a standard issue run but I could not even attempt a quality session.  Took 6 Thym-Adren + Cal/Mag with no taurine.  Thym-Adren must be cut.  If I reduce it to 3-4, will I be able to take taurine again?  What would happen if I went with ADHS?  Questions never end.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=5.0

11/11- Veteran's Day.  I had the day off work so I took advantage by doing a daylight run just before noon in nice weather conditions.  I did an aggressive cut from 6 pills down to 3 pills and it left me feeling slightly over-stimulated.  It seems like 4 Thym-Adren is the magic number at least for now.  Workout was still good.  10 miles in 71:27 (7:09 pace) and I had something left at the end.  Fastest mile of the day was #10 at 6:48.  If I'm off by 1 pill, I can handle a quality day but a race would be average at best.  If I'm 2 pills off, a standard issue is all I can do.  Still unsure about the taurine but am hoping that I can take it.  Added a mile cool in honor of Veterans.
Grade:A-/2 credit/distance=11.0

11/12- Weather has turned cold as it often does after Veteran's Day.  I hope we'll get some days sunny and in the 60s in early December.  Went with 4 Thym-Adren and no taurine and it was NOT the answer.
AM- Lakeshore 5 with the Gnomes in 38:30 (7:42 pace).  Able to keep it pretty even but each mile passed with increasing strain, which is not what's supposed to happen at this pace
Grade:C+/1 credit/distance=5.5

PM- Popped some taurine and got better immediately.  Gold's 5K in 19:55 (6:24 pace) with splits of 6:16-6:27-6:32-40.  On the right track now but I still didn't feel fully dialed in.  When on taurine, I may find that 3 in the optimal dose of Thym-Adren.
Grade:B+/2 credit/distance=3.5

11/13- Went with 3 Thym-Adren + taurine and it was the right formula.  I was really dialed in and it felt great.  6 miles in 43:23 (7:14 pace).  Legs were a bit sore from the last 2 days of workouts but the engine was very strong.  Another 20 miles at this pace on fresh legs does not seem insurmountable today.
Grade:A/1 credit/distance=6.0

11/14- Planned rest day.  Legs are sore but I'm sure I would have been up for a standard issue run.  Need to save it for a long run tomorrow.

11/15- Slept in so I could run when it's sunny and 45 instead of dark and 25.  Trak Shak 7 and 9er in 2:01:11 (7:34 pace).  Splits varied considerably depending on the terrain but I kept every Mile below 8 and my fastest of the day was #16 in a strong 7:09.  1st half in 60:20, 2nd half in 60:51.  Slightly sluggish but it was probably delayed onset soreness from the week's workouts.  Barring an "F" tomorrow, I'm going to win for the 4th time in 5 weeks.
Grade:B+/2 credit/distance=16.0

11/16- Resolute group run and I took off on my own.  I could not believe how fresh I felt after yesterday.  I was doing sub-7 in the first half going mostly downhill.  The course heated up in the 2nd half but the pace remained strong.  Finished 5 miles in 35:21 (7:04 pace).  VERY GOOD.
Grade:A/1 credit/distance=5.0

Weekly summary:
Win #22 on the year.  I'm ready for Tulsa and if I can keep the formula level, I can expect a good time.  In theory, this formula should both get be to balance and eliminate the toxic copper.  This is my highest distance recorded this year as well.  I have sub-3 talent if I am balanced.
Distance= 52.0/ GPA= 33.9/10= 3.39
YTD: 1,605.  Record: 22-22 with a 2.73 GPA.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Decided Against Hiring a Coach

Regardless of whether you run 80 MPW or 20 MPW, you are immeasurably better off than the average person sitting on the couch.  Regardless of whether your marathon PR is 2:30 or 5:00+, you have my respect and support.  I know what it’s like to be a mid-back of the pack runner and how hard it is to slog through those miles.  I will say that there is definitely a snob element in the running community especially on forums such as Let’s Run and some faster threads on RWOL.  I have serious issues with such people.  Everyone has different goals and aspirations and all should be encouraged.  Yes, I'll get more respect and admiration from the running community both in real life and online if I get faster, but that is no longer important to me.

Last month, I met with Coach Will from Running Lane for an initial consultation but decided against joining because there are still too many questions about my health.  Upon further reflection, I’m not sure it’s worth the cost even if I was healthy enough to follow the training schedule.  Coach Will is a good man so if you ever read this, please don’t take it personally.

I can think of 3 circumstances in which hiring a coach would be worthwhile:
1)      An ex-collegiate athlete who struggles with motivation without the structure of a team environment.
2)      A new runner who has had some success but has little knowledge of training and never runs intervals or tempos.
3)      A serious runner who is very close to a major milestone and the 1-3% increase in pace would make the difference.

Now let’s take a look at where I am and what I have accomplished:
400- Ran a 61.2 SOLO a full decade after I last raced that distance.  I’m afraid I’m too old for another shot at 59.9 but I can live with that.
Mile- Ran a 5:18.3 SOLO at the age of 32.  That’s within 10 seconds of my HS PR in a race setting.  I’d like to go sub-5:15 but would not be crushed if I fall short.
5K- Beat my HS PR just before turning 34.  Very few adult runners are able to beat their times at distances that they raced in HS.  I’m very proud of that.  Current PR is 19:09 and I know I can go sub-19 under the right conditions.
10K- 39:44 would have been unthinkable in high school.  My best event was the 800 meters and I was weak in cross-country.
Half- 1:28:12.  My strongest PR and I am most proud of this one.  It will be very difficult to beat.
Full- 3:21:56.  I still have room for much improvement here.  I didn’t have my best stuff at Mercedes and believe that if I raced that course the day I ran my half PR, it would have been 3:16ish.  4 years earlier, I could have BQ’d now with a 3:15:59.  Put me out there on a faster course and it would have been mine but I was born too late and the standards were toughened and may toughen again.

If I hired a coach:
Will said that I could expect about 1-3% improvement per season as a realistic goal but I know I’d level off within a few years.   Let’s say that my lifetime bests end up being 18:30/38:xx/1:26:xx.  How would my life improve?  I’d place in my age group more often but outside of that, I really can’t think of anything. Again, I no longer care about getting more respect from the running community. I’m not helping a team win meets and would be light years away from contending for the Olympic trials even if I was healthy.   If my marathon time improves as a result of coaching, yes there would be a real benefit but only because it could push me into BQ territory. 

My training:  I can run 50 MPW with relative ease when symptom free but struggle to hit 30 when sick. 
Spring and summer:
-3 standard issue runs (40-45 mins @ pace sustainable for 3+ hours)
-1 Tempo
-1 Interval
-10-13 mile long run @ standard issue pace
-1 Rest day
Fall and Winter:
-3 standard issue runs
- 1 Medium-long run (75 minutes)
- Tempo or Interval
-13-16 mile long run (jacked up to 20 only if I’m signed up for a marathon).
- 1 Rest day.
Brace yourself for some heresy.  My principle goal is NOT to get faster but rather to feel good and relatively fresh every day.  If my standard issue run was 60 minutes or longer, yes I’d have to slow down but as it is, it’s really not that hard.  I’ll be zonked after a 16+ LR or back to back quality sessions but I’m fine again after a single rest day.   Coach says that the idea is to feel like a million bucks when tapered but because of high volume, you can expect to have some fatigue most days when training at high volume.  I don’t want that and in my view, being constantly tired and sore is not worth the gain on race day when tapered.

Moreover, I believe I can BQ without a coach if healthy.  Simply jacking my mileage up from an average in the upper 30s-low 40s up to near 50 over the course of a full year may be enough.  When I set my PRs, I only had 3 months of good consistent training.  Finally, I’ve been symptom-free before but never in balance.  Even without additional training, I expect to be faster in balance because my system will operate more efficiently.

Will I ever hire a coach down the road?
Maybe.  Suppose after a breakthrough, I am on the cusp of a sub-5:00 Mile or if I run 2-3 marathons just short of a BQ.  In that case, I’m in but as of now, the cost of $60/month is not worth the potential gain.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Copper and Ceruloplasmin test #4

Raw numbers:
Copper- 85 units
Ceruloplasmin- 19.9 units
  In order to determine unbound copper, multiply Cp by 3 and subtract that result from the total.  Bound copper- 59.7/ Unbound copper- 25.3
At first, I was upset by this result, specifically the high unbound copper.  Copper was up by 9 units last month thanks to the liver glandular but only 5.1 units were bound vs 3.7 units unbound (toxic).  By comparison, I only had 21.4 units unbound last month and was well on my way to getting my unbound copper out of the toxic range (>15).  I feel better about it now.  The good news is the ceruloplasmin, which jumped 1.7 units after being essentially frozen at 18 since July.  25-35 is “optimal” but most labs consider 20 to be the edge of “normal.”  I feared that I may never raise it much above 18 but now I know it can be done.  I also know that reducing toxic copper can be done because I have lowered it from a high of 28.3 down to 21.4 on the previous test.
Suppose that my Cp level remains at 20ish.  Because of lab error, there is about a 40% chance that if I was tested again, I’d be 20.0 or slightly higher so I’m essentially already there.  If I can get my unbound copper down to 20 units, I’ll have only 5 toxic.  I think I can get there by the end of the year. 
What to take:
Thym-Adren or ADHS?
   Thym-Adren is clearly the better choice.  Not only is it more effective in fighting fast oxidation, it also contains a small amount of defatted liver tissue, which may be my key to building ceruloplasmin.  Without the liver glandular, I cannot expect my Cp to rise significantly every month but I’m essentially “normal” already.  Suppose it goes up to 20.3 next month then stabilizes around 21-22, I could live with that.   PLEASE  PLEASE don’t fall into the 18 range again without the liver glandular.
 I had to switch to the ADHS before starting the liver glandular because my total copper was getting too low relative to zinc.  ADHS has a 10:1 Zn/Cu ratio vs 20:1 for the Thym-Adren.  Although it may slow the progression of a high Zn/Cu ratio, it does not raise Cu or Cp.  It does contain herbs, which may be useful in detoxing other heavy metals so I’ll probably use it occasionally until my bottle runs out.
Taurine or Glutathione?
Still unsure on this one.  For the time being, I’m going with the taurine though I may try an occasional glutathione just to see what happens.  When I am not on the liver glandular, taurine is KNOWN to be effective in detoxing copper.  I am unsure of glutathione’s effectiveness.  I do know that glutathione was necessary when on the liver glandular but don’t know why.  There is a risk of symptoms if copper falls too quickly so I don’t want to see it go much below 80 regardless of my Cp level.  If that does happen, I know that the liver glandular will bring it back up.
Boron and Vitamin A to raise Cp?
I know Boron is a NO.  Vitamin A is also a NO.  Again, I don’t need to do anything radical to raise my Cp anymore.  I only need to keep it from falling.
2 viable treatments:
#1- 6 Thym-Adren + Taurine + Cal/Mag- to reduce unbound Cu and hope Cp rises slowly or at least stabilizes near 20 but I run the risk of a Cu deficiency.
#2- 3 Thym-Adren + Glutahione + Cal/Mag + Liver Beef- to raise Cp and Cu quickly while accepting increased unbound Cu.
I may have to alternate the treatments to get to the numbers that I want to see but I really believe that I can do it.   

Training 11/3-11/9

11/3- Poor performance.  Gold's 5 in 39:44 (7:57 pace).  Should not be THIS sore 2 days after a half marathon.  I actually took a step backward from yesterday's afternoon run.  Vitamin A is going to be a NO and I confirmed it after I got home.  I may struggle tomorrow but it's worth it to know.  It has to be Thym-Adren alone to get my Cp on the other side of 20.  Good news is that I did not fade (19:50-19:54) and kept the pace at or below 8 every mile.
Grade:C-/1 credit/distance=5.5

11/4- Unplanned rest day.  Feel about the same as yesterday though it does feel like I am improving this evening.  I should have a good day tomorrow.
Grade: None/0 credit/distance=0.5

11/5-AM- 3 miles in 22:24 (7:28 pace).  An improvement over yesterday but still not feeling quite right yet.
PM- 3 miles in 20:25 (6:48 pace).  Consider that a full 2 minute improvement after only 10 hours.  No doubt that the toxins are coming out but I still didn't have a tempo in me today.  Slight negative split (10:16-10:09).  I should be able to go medium-long tomorrow.
Grade:B/1 credit/distance=7.0

11/6- Daylight 10 miler from the Trak Shak in 73:40 (7:22 pace).  Solid performance.  Did okay for a training run but still don't feel quite right.  I think I need to tweak the Thym-Adren.  Got my driver's license renewed but still need the Star ID.
Grade:B+/2 credit/distance=10.0

11/7- AM 1 Mile on NO pills.  Last week, I ran a 7:23.  Today, I am down to 6:44 with an even pace. The not as good news is that although 3 pills did help, it wasn't enough.  I need 4 or 5 for optimal results but again, I won't be horrible if I'm off by 1 pill.  Did a half mile in 2:59 on 3 pills and was struggling a bit then finished with a cool down.  Next week, I'm trying ADHS and/or glutathione.

PM- Easy 4 at Gold's in 29:58 (7:29 pace) with a negative split (15:06-14:52).  Decent workout but something still feels a little off.  I haven't recaptured the magic of an easy run at low-7 pace.  I'm going back to the glutathione.  I believe my issues with Cal/Mag were due to excess Boron, not the glutathione.  I have 2 weeks to get this straight before Tulsa.  I can still win this week with a good long run and that would mean a lot.
Grade:B+/1 credit/distance=6.0

11/8- AWFUL!  Glutathione is NOT the answer and I suspect taurine may have been the reason I've been sluggish this week.  If that's true, I could be in big trouble.  7 miles in 56:49 (8:07 pace).  I was doing okay through 4 then hit the wall.  Last 2 miles were 9:11 and 9:44 so I had to do a 1 mile walk of shame.  I'm going to lose this week so that means I still haven't won 4 straight since Jan '13.  SUCKS!
Grade:D+/1 credit/distance=7.0

11/9- I did what I had hoped to do today.  Survived a double digit run without a meltdown.  Lakeshore 10 in a time of 79:09 (7:55 pace).  1st half: 38:52, 2nd half: 40:17 but I did show some life with a 7:20 in Mile 10, which was my fastest of the day.  No glutathione and I'm now testing my reaction to taurine.

Update: Feels like I went slightly backwards after taurine.  I'm going off it at least for a few days.
Cysteine and glutamine could be options but unlikely effective and possibly harmful.
PM- Another 1 mile junk run on Wisteria after taurine in 7:51.  As expected, I was slightly worse but not significantly harmed.
Grade:C/2 credit/distance=11.0

Weekly summary:
This is a blow to my year end goals of 26 wins and a 2.75.  Nothing should surprise me anymore with my chemistry but if I cannot take taurine, it could be BIG trouble.  I could try another sulfur containing amino acid but more than likely, it won't work.  If the sensitivity to Cal/Mag flares up, I believe taurine will work again.  Can I lower my toxic copper without it?  I'm not due for any more testing until after Thanksgiving.  This is my first week in marathon mode and I've got to do a LOT better than this to have any hope of a BQ.
Distance=47.0/GPA= 19.9/8= 2.49
YTD: 1,553 miles.  Record: 21-22 with a 2.71 GPA.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Monumental Indy Half RR

More of the same.  Frustrations continue.  When I hit the pills perfectly, I am as good as I've ever been but those days are rare and the magic formula remains unstable. My latest lab results show improved liver function but increased copper toxicity. I have been able to hit 40 MPW more consistently however and am considerably better off than I was last year.  I figured that a good day would be sub-7 pace (1:31:40) but anything south of 95 would be acceptable.  I have not broken that barrier in 5 races and 3 were over 1:40.

It's not a bad drive from Birmingham.  7.5 hours and it's a straight shot up I-65.  I took the day off on Friday but left after work on Thursday and drove just past Nashville that night.  Friday was a bit stressful as I hit some rough weather and road construction in Kentucky.  It was pretty smooth once I got into Indiana.  I had been there before but it was always just a drive through with a stop for a meal.  It's an interesting state culturally.  I was surprised to hear southern accents across the river from Louisville and I'd say that the southern third is an extension of Kentucky.  Indianapolis is purely Midwestern while the northern third is much like Chicago or Michigan.

I arrived at the airport just in time to pick up my buddy Nick, who had flown in from Atlanta and we checked into our hotel downtown before heading to the expo where I purchased a nice warm hat and some fuel for race morning.  Dinner was a high priced but very good dry rub Ribeye.  That night, it became apparent that my formula would have to be adjusted because the Cal/Mag sensitivity had flared up.  I'm going back to the Taurine but it's too late to make any big changes but I knew of a quick fix to deplete the excess Cal/Mag.  Kickstart Energy just before bed!  It worked and I began feeling better soon after and actually got 6 hours of sleep.

Course and weather:
Fast course and one of the flattest that I have raced mostly through the city with some residential areas.  There were really only 3 noticeable hills and none of them were particular steep or long and I did notice a few gentle declines as well.  When I arrived in town, it was 37 degrees with light rain and a 20-25 mph wind.  That would be the worst possible conditions.  Fortunately, the weather did clear by the morning but the wind did not really die down too much.  It was still 15-20 mph winds with gusts up to 30 with temps in the upper 20s.  I've run in worse and it really wasn't too bad once I got started.  The sun came out in the 2nd half and I was actually comfortable in a long tech and pants.

Congested start over the first quarter mile but once I found some open space, I was moving well and feeling very strong.  I aimed for a 7:00 pace but I was doing in the 6:40s once I cleared the congestion.  I dialed it back in Mile 2 but was still doing just under 7.  Then my legs tightened up at 1.75 miles and I would have to slow down and settle into a sustainable pace.
6:56- 6:56- great
7:03- 13:59- on pace but slipping
7:17- 21:16- in trouble.

I was fearing the worst now and was prepared to accept another meltdown and a finish over 1:40.  Fortunately, I was able to hold my pace at goal marathon speed and once I got past Mile 5, I knew that most likely, I would be able to hold it to the finish.
7:19- 28:29- still holding on
7:14- 35:43- this is going to be okay.
7:15- 42:58- feel no worse than Mile 3.
Passed the halfway point in 47:03.  If I can hold a sub-7:20, I'll be under 1:35.

I ran the next section like a metronome and my pace never really varied no matter the terrain.
7:18- 50:16 still okay
7:18- 57:34 took a gel
7:18- 64:52- I should be a pacer.

In Mile 10, there was a bit of a downhill and my gel was kicking in so I threw in a bit of a surge but it was short lived and I slipped back to pace in the next mile.  With 2 miles to go, I knew that all I needed was 2 more 7:30s to break 1:35 and that was a pretty safe bet.  I tried to surge again but felt a twinge in my groin.  OUCH!  PLEASE hold up until the finish.  In the end, I did feel a few jabs of pain but it did hold up.  I shortened my stride and picked up the turnover as the course turned slightly downhill early in Mile 13.  It was my fastest Mile since #1 but I ran into a fierce headwind with about a half mile to go.  I continued driving toward the line but my groin was starting to give out with .1 to go so I just cruised it in.  I am NOT injured, just abnormally sore because my pills were off.  I was glad to finish respectably in 1:34:30.
7:10- 72:02- I'm going to break 95.
7:18- 79:20- back on pace. LOL
7:21- 86:41- groin
7:03- 93:44- finishing well
:46- 1:34:30- cruised it in

1st half: 47:03, 2nd half: 47:27.  That's one of the most even races I've run and certainly the most even for Miles 3-12. Overall pace: 7:13.  AG: 41/387.  Percentile rank: 89.
I'll take it.  It's my best showing at this distance since last January.  I know I'm better than this and will try one more in Tulsa before the year is out.  I have now completed a half/full in 20 states.
Congrats to Nick on another MASSIVE PR of 1:40:55!