Mathew Beard came in and talked about his training regime for running an ultra-marathon at our last #qs meetup. I was all ears because I too am planning on taking on that challenge. Unfortunately for me training time is largely over … the race is on October 6th. Now if my Greek translation is correct and “marathon” = “arrogant fool” than surely my latest endeavour should put me into the highly esteemed “ultra-arrogant fool” category to which I must simply say “piss off ye walkers and lazy slaggards”. Had I not had so much to drink though a more appropriate response might have been “can you point me to the nearest medical facility”?
I had always thought I’d run a marathon. Well not always … about 4-5 years ago I convinced myself that that was too long. The human body isn’t supposed to go that far. It’s not healthy. That’s what I said to myself. I may have been right but regardless I have now run one.
So, how did it go? Here’s my quick distance-based chronology:
- I feel healthy, I think I’ve trained enough but never gone more than 19 miles
- Nervous but secretly confident
- 5 miles
- I am the fastest man alive!
- 10 miles
- It must be tough on others how incredibly fast I am
- 13.1 miles (half way)
- I can feel it in my legs now but my stamina still feels good
- I am disappointed that I am only barely below my target of 2 hours; had hoped to have some “buffer” for later in the race
- 19 miles
- Jesus. I’m definitely feeling the strain.
- Still ok, buckle up soldier.
- 21 miles
- I know it’s only 5 miles to finish but i want it to end now!
- 23 miles
- The only enjoyment I can remember is when those kind soles hand me those cups of Gatorade at the water stations
- 26 miles
- Thank god … only 0.2 miles left. I’ve made it. I am an elite athlete.
- Hey wait, why do the signs say there are still 3 kilometres left? What?!?!
- Can’t blame it on the fucking metric system, must be the GPS in my phone. Jesus. 3 kilometres? I’m never going to make it.
- 26 miles + 1 km
- Is it ok for men to cry?
- I hate my phone for deceiving me
- I need to walk for a bit
- 26 miles + 1.5 km
- Ok, I hurt badly but I am not going to walk this fucking race
- Finish Line
- I did it!
- There’s no where to sit down!
- I can barely stand up
- Even if I didn’t like bananas I’d take your fucking banana treat … give me another!
Hopefully this conveys the triumph and the pain to which there was plenty of both. In the end I hit my official goal which was to finish but missed my informal goal which was to run it in under 4 hours (it took me 4 hours and 13 minutes). My informal goal not being reached was a result of the final stretch which was probably partially a result of my phones screwed up expectations but admittedly was a pretty speculative goal to start as I’d never run this distance before nor practice pacing on these long runs. The chart below shows my collapse around the time that I realised my phone was wrong about the distance:
All in all though it was a great experience. Would I do it again? Probably but I’m going to let my body rest first. Today is the first day since the race that I feel I can run again but today will be a small run to work out the kinks.
I jogged today through Hampstead Heath and in the course of getting my exercise added a few gems to my likely-to-never be published book of life hints:
- They say the shortest distance between two points is a straight line … but they forgot to mention hills!
- Just because you ran during a break in the rain doesn’t mean the ground won’t be soaking wet and that strangers won’t find it funny when you lose your balance.
- Getting lost when you have a GPS on your phone has no noticeable downside besides the constant feeling of “vuja de” (aka, the experience of never having been somewhere before).
Now onto more mundane topics … while not a long run it still topped off a good month for me. 15 runs during the month totalling 77.2 miles. My longest distance for a month so far (although not by much).
I’m walking 20 miles in a few weeks to help sponsor a fundraising effort for NSPCC who are raising funds to help stop cruelty to children. If you’d like to help sponsor, click on the link below. If you don’t … well that’s just cruel. ;^)
I’m playing around with HTML5’s charting capabilities and I just got my cholesterol readings back from the doctor. Why not combine them? Come on, you were thinking the same thing, right? Well voila, there you go.
What does all this mean? Well my HDL/LDL ratio is very good but my LDL is a little too high (although much better than it was only a few months ago). Just gotta keep on my current running, tennis, and basic lifting exercise kick.
Vacations have a tendency to enrich the spirit and (unfortunately) the gut. My gut was definitely enriched in California. I’m weighing in at 182 this morning. Damn! I was down to as low as 163 in Feb 06 (aka, before my wedding). Time to take a break from Foie Gras and a 1/2 bottle of wine every day. As part of my own personal “new deal” I’ve bought a new gadget … the Garmin Forerunner 405:
Hopefully this watch will get me motivated to start my running routine again. This morning I kicked off the routine which I can only say was intense. And by intense I mean “concentrated” and by concentrated what I mean is “short”. No sense in killing myself on day 1. :^)