Going to Boston again (09/26/11)For the first time in several years, I didn't qualify for Boston at Boston last April, probably a consequence of running the Gansett Marathon two days earlier. I figured with the new registration process and tighter qualifying standards, I probably wouldn't get in anyhow and since Gansett requires a qualifying time 5 minutes faster than Boston, I thought I'd run that one while I could. Over the summer I didn't do much running, too busy with travel and hiking and putting on the Light at the End of the Tunnel marathon in July. At the end of August, I decided to start running more again. I kicked it off with a couple of marathons over Labor Day weekend then signed up for Skagit Flats on 9/11. It's a flat course, and would be my last chance to qualify for Boston for 2012. Not that I expected to qualify. I was only trying to break four hours but after running the first half in 1:47, I of course had to try to hang on and see if I could make it. I slowed over the second half (no surprise) then ran into a wall for a mile or two after mile 23 which cost me several more minutes but still managed to come in almost three minutes under my qualifying time. That turned out to be enough to get in; BQ-1:14 was the cutoff, so I'm signed up for Boston #6.
Still running? (08/31/11)Yup, still running, still doing marathons. My current goal is to run one barefoot this fall. I did a barefoot half early this month, kind of by accident - I'd intended to run the First Call Summer marathon but when I arrived at the start I discovered that I'd left my running shoes at home, so I ran the half marathon instead. I think with a little more practice, I can go the distance.
Seattle Marathon (11/29/09)Seattle was a lot of fun. It was great to run a marathon again, great to see so many Maniacs out on the course, great to visit with Maniac friends whom I hadn't seen in a while. I averaged 25 miles per week for the 10 weeks prior to the race, pretty low mileage but sufficient since I wasn't trying to run fast. I began to feel some stiffness by the half way point but was able to run the last 4 miles comfortably at about 8:45/mile. Walking for a half hour prior to mile 22 while talking with Larry Macon probably helped. In the recovery area I had a brief stretching session courtesy of Bastyr Naturopathy University then hung out with Monte and other Maniacs for an hour or so before walking the mile back to my car. I felt pretty good afterwards though my shin was a little irritated in the evening.
Half Fanatics (8/08/09)The Main Maniacs and I have started a new online running club, the Half Fanatics along the lines of the Marathon Maniacs except for Half Marathons. It looks like it's going to be quite popular. I actually hadn't qualified yet when we went live but as of today I've run 4 half marathons in 4 successive weekends to reach the 4-moon level. No shin soreness, which is exciting; it looks like I'll be able to do a marathon or two this fall along with the halves.
Boston Marathon (4/20/09)Boston went great. I ran hard the first half then took it easy on the second half, running just fast enough to qualify again for 2010. Though I didn't run much in preparation, fewer than 450 miles in the preceding six months, some cycling at a hard pace along with two twenty milers in the two months before the race helped my aerobic conditioning. No tendon soreness during or after the race either, though my quads were sore in the last 5 miles and for the next several days. The anterior tibialis tendon soreness flared up again a week or two after the race so I won't be running another marathon for a while.
Recovering from injury (3/16/09)It's been six months now since my last marathon, Maui. Feels like forever. I missed five marathons that I'd already signed up for in September and October and another at the end of the year after I re-aggravated my anterior tibialis tendon on a twenty mile run. Now I'm planning to try again. Back in August I signed up for Boston and it has been my goal race since the tendon problem acted up. Boston will be my 75th. A few days ago I completed 18 miles so five weeks from today, I think I can do it.
Recent Races (9/21/08)As of mid-September 2008 I've run 15 marathons and 8 races longer than marathon distance, mostly 50K's, since the beginning of the year, along with one 27 mile training run. Here's a complete list of the 74 marathons and ultras I've done altogether. For the last week or so one of the tendons in the front of my shin just above my ankle has been sore, so I haven't been running and may have to skip one or two of my upcoming races. Not running is frustrating, but I figure I'd better rest and let it heal.
I've written accounts of several of my recent races in my online journal.
Thirteen Marathon Photos and AccountsBetween August 12 and October 13, 2007 I ran 13 marathons, a modest effort by Marathon Maniac standards but a significant increase in marathon activity for me to date. Last fall I ran four in four weeks. This spring I ran two in one weekend. To do 13 in 9 weeks I ran a a marathon every weekend but one, including two on Labor Day weekend and 4 in 4 days at the end of September. The object of this quest? To get seven stars on my Maniac scorecard. And of course, to see if I could do it. Here are photo galleries of the thirteen marathons in the series:
Other 2007 Marathon Photos and AccountsBoston was the big one, the most exciting marathon I've ever run other than my first one at Big Sur. I attempted several times to qualify, missing by 40 seconds in my best effort, before my father offered to be my fund-raising chairman if I wanted to run as a charity runner on the Tufts PMC team. I took him up on his offer and found running Boston to be a very moving experience. I wrote about it in my journal entries for April 15 and 16.
Yakima was another fine marathon, very scenic course highlighted with lots of Maniac yellow and a comfortable homey atmosphere about it.
Articles on running
Higher HR in the morning? (12/10/09)
Another article in the The New York Times this morning claimed that for people who exercise regularly and for comparable performance levels, heart rate will be lower in the morning than in the evening. This is contrary to what exercise physiologists would predict because studies have shown that efficiency is actually greater in the late afternoon and evening than it is in the morning. In theory, that would mean that for a given level of power output a runner should have a lower heart rate in the evening, but instead the reverse is true. Both maximum heart rate and maximum performance tend to be higher in the evening. So if you're going for a PR, race in the late afternoon instead of the early morning.
FWIW, my own experience doesn't support the idea that my heart rate is higher in the late afternoon. On the contrary, my measurements over the years indicate that at a 10:00/mile pace under equivalent conditions, my hear rate will tend to be 2-3bpm lower in the late afternoon than in the morning.
Osteoarthritis and Older Runners (12/10/09)
I read an article in the The New York Times this morning which implies that for older runners, distance running (about 5 hours a week) rather than being detrimental to the knees, might actually help prevent knee damage. The primary study referenced by the article states Together with observations from this study, the data suggest that long-distance running as an intense recreational activity may not confer additional risk for knee osteoarthritis (specifically, tibiofemoral cartilage degeneration).
This is good news for Marathon Maniacs and also corroborates my own experience. My knee problems seem to have diminished as I have run more marathons, and bicycling in particular seems to be harder on my knees than running or hiking.