I just took the plunge and signed up for the Northern Central Trail Marathon. It's a 26.2 mile trail marathon (duh) that runs on 29 November 2008, the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
Last year I participated in (and won!) National Novel Writing Month for the first time. I wrote a 50,000 word manuscript called Awake-- a coming of age story set at the Naval Academy. It wasn't about me (okay, yeah it was).
Sunday, October 26, 2008
I decided to try and incorporate a really long run on Sundays. So this morning I rolled out of bed at 5 am and finally hit trail at 5:30. It was really dark out when I took off down Rock Creek Parkway from Woodley Park. When I got to Water Street in Georgetown I ran into a bunch of Marines who were preparing the route for the Marine Corps Marathon. I greeted them loudly and then promptly hit an uneven patch of pavement and went down hard. I could feel I had banged my left knee a bit but didn't think it was too bad. It turns out I was wrong, I took a pretty good patch of skin off of my knee.
I hit the trailhead for the Capital Crescent Trail and ran all the way to Mass Ave before the sun came up. I was very happy I had a tail light and a flashlight. Even before the sun comes up the Crescent is pretty busy.
I was carrying gel for the first time. I opted for Clif Shots because they had non-caffeinated chocolate. I'm trying to avoid caffeine. I have to say that they really helped a lot. I ate a Clif Shot at about one an hour, and the first one left me amazed. I was starting to go into a little decline at the hour mark, but after the gel, I felt really great.I continued on the Capital Crescent until it met up with the Rock Creek Parkway again and followed the RCP all the way home. Rock Creek was stunning today, so achingly beautiful that I was running along and laughing. When I run I really try to concentrate on my surroundings and it was terrific to do so today. The only trouble I had was that I kept thinking of music. I know this sounds innocuous, but I have a spiritual belief that I owe it to my higher power to try to appreciate whatever surroundings he/she/it has prepared for me. So I found myself running along, thinking, "help me to hear your work". It helped. The creek has a lovely murmur and I was able to concentrate on that.
The route ended up being right at 22 miles (http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=2359605) I forgot to track about a half-mile detour I took when I got lost finding the RCP from the Crescent. I finished right at 3:31, which works out to 9:35 miles, which I was very happy with. I finished feeling pretty strong, and it occurred to me that I only had to run four more miles to run a marathon. The Marine Corps Marathon was today, so I could have signed up. Next year, I guess.
I did my fifth step yesterday.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
This week has been a little lighter running, so far. I was ready to run 21 miles on Tuesday night-- it would have been from FEMA on to the entire Capital Crescent Trail, then back down Connecticut Ave to home in Woodley Park. But Sonia called just as I was getting to Bethesda and she wasn't feeling well. So I hopped on the metro at Friendship Heights and hurried home. I fixed dinner and put her in bed and the next morning she was doing a lot better.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
This was a race for my kid's school. I was pretty happy with the time-- there was a killer hill right at the beginning of the course that really made me wish I had been training hills. But good. 7:13 miles.
One nice thing-- they did a health fair after the run and I got my cholesterol checked. Six months ago I had it checked and it was at 225. The nurse practitioner told me she would have to put me on medication to reduce my cholesterol if I couldn't get it down. Today I tested it and it was at 150. Really very good.
Here's how I did it:
- Oatmeal and fruit every morning
- Metamucil twice a day
- 1000 mgs of Flax Oil a day
- No eggs (I now eat egg beaters or eggs with no yolks)
- I read the label on everything and tried to keep my cholesterol and saturated fat as low as possible.
- I ran and lifted a lot. My mileage is between 25-40 miles a week and I was lifting vigorously a couple times a week.
Disclaimer: this is what worked for me, your results may vary, I'm a computer programmer, not a doctor, please don't sue me.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
I ran from FEMA to our house tonight via the Capital Crescent trail. The change of seasons is so much closer to you when you run. I ran the same basic route just a week ago and it was much lighter out. By the time I turned off onto Massachusetts, it was pitch black out. A biker passed me on trail and griped me out for not having a light. I deserved it.
Monday, October 13, 2008
I just tallied up my mileage for the week:
As far as I can remember, I've never put in that kind of mileage.
Two thoughts occurred to me when I tallied up my mileage:
1) Next week I'll be blogging about some new injury I've provoked by ramping up too fast (KIDS: Don't try this at home. Tim is being foolish.), and
2) That 7 miler I did this morning really wasn't a big deal at all.
On point two, I finished off my run this morning and realized that running six or seven miles just isn't all that big of a deal to me now. I was setting up my schedule a couple years ago and the thought of a six miler was always kind of a grind. Now it's just another run, and I'm pretty sure I could do that again tomorrow.
Friday, October 10, 2008
I probably was the least likely candidate to be a Marine Officer. I mean, I'm really glad I did it now. I'm proud I was a Marine. I'm proud I was a Peace Corps Volunteer and that I worked for Oracle and that I lived in Barcelona five years... but being a Marine was in a different class. My memories of the Marine Corps get fonder the older I get. I loved my Marines, I remember every Marine who worked for me. Trouble is, I think war is a bad way to solve problems-- in the words of the Dalai Lama, war has become old fashioned. I'm with him.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
Predictably, I didn't get away with my three and a half hour run without injury. My lower back can be a little iffy, and running that much makes little imbalances really turn into big deals. So I limped over to the chiropractor.
As usual, they required a medical history. They asked about previous injuries and operations. I thought a while and wrote:
- snakebite (11 y/o)
- trauma to base of neck from a failed somersault (no fracture)
- 75% rupture to knee ligament (ACL) from Tae Kwon Do accident
- shoulder injury (pickup football)
- elbow injuries (both elbows; fell down stairs)
- strangled (fist fight while in Peace Corps)
- nostril pimples (just kidding)
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
I took the day off from work today-- I'm a little burnt out after this hurricane season. I goofed off, read about a hundred pages of John M. Barry's excellent Rising Tide about the Mississippi flood of 1927, and generally didn't do much. After lunch with Sònia I was pretty set that I was going to take a nice long nap.