Sunday, October 23, 2011

Santa Clarita Marathon

It looks like I may not be able to run the Santa Clarita Marathon next month.  I was looking forward to it since I consider this marathon to be my home course.  I've run the half marathon 6 times in the past and this would have been my first time running the full marathon on this course.  I won't be able to run it since it looks like I'll likely be in New Zealand that weekend. I've never been there but for as small a place as it is New Zealand has a strong running tradition. I remember seeing New Zealand born Rod Dixon win the NY city marathon in 1983 on TV.  He's probably the reason that I wear Saucony running shoes. If I remember correctly, Saucony used the image of him just after he crossed the finish line, on his knees, arms outstretched, just a few seconds ahead of the number two runner.  At 6' 1" tall,  Rod didn't look like the typical marathoner.
After a little looking around, I came across this video from a couple of years ago.  Rod talks about his winning run at NY back in 1983.  It's a pretty interesting account, especially his strategy to pass the leader, around mile 26, just 2/10ths of a mile from the finish!  He looks as surprised as anyone the he did it!  He attributes being able to pass the runner in front of him to the fact that he was able to run a shorter distance to the finish line by running the corners.   Running the tangents is worth thinking about especially if you're running a course that has a lot of turns in it like the Santa Clarita course does. 

Any way, if I can't run the Marathon, I look forward to getting in a nice run or two in New Zealand and I'll find another long race in December or January.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Are You More Powerful Than a Giant?

No. Probably not.

"What," you may ask, "if I'm Patrick Makau Musyoki, world record holder. My marathon time was 2:03:38 in Berlin"

Nope. Not even . . . OK. You have me there. I hope you enjoyed your German Engineered Electrolyte Replacement Drink at the end, Patrick.

Before you get too smug lets talk kilowatt hours and joules. You see, Patrick weighs a scant 123.2 pounds. I currently strain the scale at 225.7. I don't have a marathon time so I'll compare half times. My most recent half time was 2:25:58 at a weight of 235 (not counting my camel back). In total output measured in kilo joules that puts Patrick at 11,832.26 and me at 22,569.64.

So in total output we Giants smoke that punk!

That's not the full tale unfortunately. In Kilowatt Hours he runs 3.4 and me 2.6.

But let's compare mortals with mortals. A 150 runner doing 1:30 half marathon is doing slightly 2.6 kw/h. An hour faster for the same output.

So be a prideful Giant.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

3 Weeks Until My 1st Marathon

3 Weeks until Santa Clarita. Current tonnage: 228.

I am a proud Giant. Short of being lost in the desert for a few weeks I'll never lose my Giant status but I'm hoping to get to 220 for Santa Clarita. And down to 210 by Tough Mudder in late February. The challenge is to not shed muscle mass in the process. I have no interest in being a waif-like marathon runner. That is why I do so much strength training.

I've been eating something like the Paleo Diet but with a cheat day on Friday's. For these last 3 weeks I'm skipping the cheat days. Post Marathon is pizza time.

This picture is the last time I weighed 228. I could only do 20 push ups then. Now I can do a few more.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

13.1 Los Angeles

Registration price increase for this race  on October 23.   I'm not sure if I'm going to run it in 2012, but it's tempting.  I ran the first outing of this race a couple of years ago and was impressed.  Plenty of parking, fast course, well organized...everything you want in a race plus a nice shirt and cool finishers medal too.

Monday, October 10, 2011

City to the Sea

I ran the City to the Sea half marathon this past Sunday.  I was hoping to run a bit faster, but ultimately I am pretty happy with my time of 01:40:41. I'm not very sore and feel like I'm in a good place for the Santa Clarita Marathon on November 6th. The course was a fast, mostly downhill one with plenty of volunteers stocking the aid stations.  I typically start pretty slow.  Last year at the Santa Clarita half my first mile was around 9 minutes but my average pace ended up being 7:37.   I wanted to get out a bit faster for this race so  I didn't have as large deficit to over come later in the race.  I ran my first mile in 7:16 and eventually settled into a comfortable 7:30ish pace.  Between miles 5-9 the course got a little hilly, and I fell off the pace a bit.  Around mile ten, it flattened out again and my pace picked back up. I missed the 11 mile marker but my pace for the last 1.1 miles was back in the 7:30 range.  My overall pace ended up being 7:41.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Carb Loading

City to the Sea is two days away, but I figured a little carb loading today would be good so we headed over to Gordon Biersh for lunch. Given that it's October a little German Engineered Electrolyte Replacement Drink seemed appropriate.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Abebe Bikila

Even though he wan't a Giant Abebe Bikila has a pretty interesting story. Boston in 63 was the only Marathon he entered that he didn't win. And he's the namesake for the Vibrim Five Fingers Bikila. It's funny to name a shoe after guy who didn't wear shoes (mostly).


I've notice looking though pictures of me running that when I get tense it shows up in my hands, my thumbs actually.  When I get tense, I look like I'm give the thumbs up gesture...weird.  It's hard to run fast while tense, so I have to constantly monitor my thumbs and remind myself to relax.  How does your tension reveal itself while you run?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Barefoot Style

Rainy Morning

This morning I woke up to a wet and windy day.  I thought, "I don't need to run, I'm pretty much set for this weekends race"  After a while on the couch I thought "maybe I'll run on the treadmill"  A little longer and I thought "what the hell am I thinking, it's only rain!  Then I imagined R. Lee Ermey in my face screaming "There's no such thing as bad weather, just soft people."  Why R. Lee Ermey?  Because I watched Prefontaine  a while back and he played the role of Bill Bowerman who the above quote is attributed to.
I got off my ass, threw on a sweatshirt ( yes a sweatshirt, made of cotton, not some high tech, space age polymer, moisture wicking, GPS enabled, precipitation shielding device...A SWEATSHIRT!) and headed out the door.  Once I got out there I remembered how much I enjoy running in the rain.  BTW, the sweatshirt was not needed, all that wattage that Chris was talking about is the same as heat and we giants generate a lot of it.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Giant Among Giants

The Giants are contemplating the Shadow of the Giants 50k Trail Run. For me it seems like insanity to plan my first Ultra-Marathon when I have yet to complete my first frumpy run-of-the-mill Marathon. Let's see what happens.

Monday, October 3, 2011

What's Your Wattage?

So, is a lumbering Giant performing as well as a spritely un-giant? Long a tool of cyclist, wattage is one way of measuring output. For cyclist they use special hubs that give them their wattage for a given effort. For a runner its not so easy. Enter the RAST test. For giants it gets interesting here.

If you are a 150 lb un-giant running 35 meters in 5 seconds you produce 668 watts. If you are solidly in the Giant category like me at 233 and do the same 35 meters in 5 seconds the wattage is 1033. To match the power output I'd have to run nearly a second slower.

We are currently working to develop a formula that will estimate power output for runs of any length. This may be in the form of a Pace Calculator iPhone App.

Hell Week: Conclusion

Saturday to Saturday - Running, Swimming and Workouts totaled 48 Miles, burned 10,154 Calories. I would have topped 50 miles but the effort started catching up to me. I got some IT Band pain for the first time since switching to Five Fingers. Fatigue started to hound me. My last exercise was a 10 mile run. Normally that

We'll see whether that effort benefits me.

From September 24, 2011