Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I am Hurt

The problem with my back continues. I did a 6 mile walk-run yesterday and everything on my right side hurt from my rib cage (side stitch) to ankle. Primarily, there is a deep dull pain in my right glute. Time to break out the pharmancy! I will start with good old Ibuprofen and work my way up from there. Currently, I am still planning on going to Vegas for the Angle. I will reassess my condition tomorrow.

If I end up going to Vegas, it looks like it is going to be a long 50 mile run on Saturday, I many have to exercise a bit of common sense and bail out early. God, I hate being old and broken!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Pop goes the Angel???

I took the last few days off as part of my taper for the Angel. This morning I decided to do a easy pace 6 miler just to get the legs moving. I was about 2 miles into the run when I heard and felt a pop in the lower back that had enough force to knock me to the ground with a spasm in my right leg. After I stood up I had a shooting pain that went from my gluts to ankle. My guess is that I tweaked the Sciatic Nerve. I loosely blame the posture and lower back exercise the trainer has me doing. Anyway, I hope that this does not screw up my plans to run the 50 miler this weekend. I am going to do a 4-6 mile walk in the morning followed by a sauna and soak in the hot tub to see if this loosens thing up a bit.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas 2008

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Healthy New Year full of running, swimming, and biking... Train hard!

Be safe but take some risk, Celebrate Life, Support your competition, Thank your coaches, crews, volunteers and pacers. Together we have "promises to keep and miles to go before we sleep"

2009 is going to be fun!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Rant

It is beginning to look like Christmas – thankfully it is almost over!

Well Christmas is almost here and I just don’t have the spirit. I haven’t sent a single card, opened any of the cards I have received, gone to any of the parties, or bought any presents except for my younger nephews and nieces. Lacking a family of my own has caused me to really dislike the whole Christmas thing.

Enough of the gloom – After Christmas comes the happiest time of the year for an ego centric ultra runner with a love for Vegas. We are only 10 day from the Running from an Angel! I only have to run 50 miles of penance to pre pay for a week of sinning in Las Vegas! For me the finish line is not boulder beach… it is my first Scotch on the rocks at a steak house following the race!

I did a very cold 12 miler yesterday morning followed by a Spinning class. In the evening I did another Spinning class, a half hour of stretching and a glorious 40 minutes in a 200 degree sauna. It felt soooo gooooood. I am still not doing enough in the pool. I got to get motivated or the triathlon season is going to be a painful experience. I am taking today off to get a massage and hair cut, Tomorrow the gym has stupid hours of 8 to 1 so this pretty much blows the workout for the day. The way things are working out I wont have a session with the Trainer or Swim Coach for nearly three weeks. Nothing like a forced taper!

Speaking of triathlons, I am being lured further and further into the cult by all the shiny, geeky toys that is see advertised. I want them all! I want an bicycle, a tri suit, a power meter, a fancy set of wheels, a new helmet, a wet suit …. Please Santa, I have not been that bad! Maybe I better count on getting a few good cards in Vegas to pay for my rebirth as a triathlete.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Two Weeks to the Angle

In two weeks I will be in Vegas doing the Running from an Angle 50 Miler. I am looking forward to this race to test my new commitment to training and see if the knee will allow me to continue to run ultras. Next week I will start a mini taper and will most likely take off most of the week prior to the race.

My work with the Personal Trainer continues to go very well. She hurts me in ways that I have never been hurt so I know that she is targeting areas that need improvement. I been a bit negligent with my swimming in the last week due to just not being motivated to get into the pool. I will kick up the swim over the next two weeks while I taper for the Angle. With the cold weather I am enjoying the sauna training. Initially this was in preparation for possible heat at Rocky Raccoon, but with the cold and wet weather it just makes my old and tired body feel good.

Speaking of my old and tired body, I received a gift package for a massage, manicure and hair cut an FX studios. I am using it next Tuesday night as part my taper. I usually don't do the massage thing, by why not give it a try?

I am leaving for Vegas on following the New Year. I usually fly first class for the extra room and free drinks. Unfortunately, I will not be able to drink booze on the flight to Vegas due to the race being the next day. I will be good and drink water and juices. I have a limo meeting me at the airport. While this is a bit excessive, I like having someone there to handle my bags and keep me from having to fight the long taxi lines. I am staying at the world famous Hooters Hotel. This is a cheap, fun place just a block away from the strip. Friday will be a fairly mellow day, check in, pick up the rental car, a stop at the MGM buffet, packet pickup and back to the hotel for a few hours of rest. I hate going to bed early on a Friday night in Vegas.

Saturday, will be an early 3 am wake up and a drive to the race. At 6 am the gun will go off and I will do an 11 hour tour of Lake Meade. If the planets align correctly, I will be out on the town Saturday evening. Don't think I will be moving too much but I just want to go somewhere where I can sit down, be entertained, and have someone bring me drinks.



Sunday, December 14, 2008

Goals – Gotta Have Them

Here we are with two weeks left in 2008. Between the eggnog and cookies it is time to ask yourself what will be on your plate for 2009.

Have you set any goals? Have you signed up for any races? Have you outlined a training program? I encourage you to start planning early. Many of the popular Triathlons, Ultras and Marathons fill up six or more months in advance.

Try something new.

In business jargon we sometimes talk about setting stretch goals. Don't underestimate the value of lofty goals. We all know of the stories of a person that started out in the mailroom and became president of a company. Most likely, this person was not much smarter than his cohorts in the mailroom. The difference was that they had goals and made a commitment to improvement.

If you keep doing the same thing, you will always be the same person. Challenge yourself, find a race that you would like to do that is a bit beyond your current abilities and commit to training for it. What is the worst that can happen? A DNF? To me a DNF is far more a sign of success than a Did Not Start.

By selecting a challenging event we have set a goal to work towards. It helps organize your training and wellness activities.

Do good deeds.

If you are in a club like the NCR Trail Snails you should find out what races other are doing. While, I like to do races some of my fondest memories have been on a in the middle of the night on a dark lonely trial, waiting for my runner to come into an aid station. There is a special and often silent bond between a runner and crew that leaves them both better for the experience. Don't underestimate the value of to crewing, pacing and volunteering to help others achieve their goals.

So what?

So, what are my goals for 2009? Well my racing plans are posted for the world to see. But, my goals are a bit more personal, I want to have the opportunity to meet new training partners, establish new friendships, travel to new places and celebrate myself and my achievements.

I hope everyone has a healthy and safe 2009. See you on the on the trail!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Random Thoughts and Stressed Induced Ramblings

The Job …

My Company announced a reduction in force last week. Approximately, 800 employees were slated to be severed from the company. Over the past few days there has been a lot of meetings and rumors of who got terminated. Everybody has been walking around in a daze, silently praying that they were not one of the designated employees. I survived the reductions in force but I lost a few friends and cohorts to the cuts. Hopefully the carnage is over.

The Economy …

I have taken a lot of economics courses, I read the Wall Street Journal and many other business publications but I just can't get a grip on what is happening. Today, I looked at the 3 week Treasury Bill Rates. They are paying 0.01%! This is equivalent to stuffing money in a mattress. How do we encourage saving for a rainy day with rates like this. Obviously, the government does not want people to save. We need to get out and spend money to stimulate the economy. This is a hard thing to do when you are part of a kamikaze workforce where "every paycheck could be your last." I have considered cancelling my upcoming vacation to Vegas, but with the extremely cheep hotel rates and using frequent flyer miles for free 1st class airfare; I can't afford not to go.

I need a Vegas trip to decompress and reload for 2009 and will do my best to stimulate the local economy.


The most dreaded time of the year is approaching. Soon and without preamble, a plague of soon to be new year's resolution breakers will infest gyms throughout the nation. Like locust they arrive on schedule and die off in a few weeks. This is one of the reasons I take the first week of the year off, I just don't want to deal with the overcrowded gyms.

Training is going very well. I won the company's Shape up the Nation competition by logging over 300 hours of working out in the past 12 week. I am the proud owner of a new IPod for my efforts.

My personal trainer has been a godsend. She knows what I need to do and I obediently follow her instructions to the letter. She has made significant corrections to my posture. We still have a long way to go but I look better than ever. I feel alive and invigorated. People are noticing a new aura of confidence in the way that I present myself. Likewise, the Swim Coach is working her magic with me in the pool. I am a lucky man to have these professionals assisting me in my training. I am going to reengage their service for at least 3 more months.

I have started to add sauna training to my daily workouts in preparation for possible heat at the Rocky Raccoon 50 in February.

I am feeling very strong with my running. I am diligently running 10 miles every morning followed by a spinning class prior to going to work. I think the spinning is helping me increase my running cadence. We will see if this helps with my attempt at the Angel 50 in 3 weeks. If my knee holds up, I think I should be able to break 10 ½ hours which will be an hour better than last year's performance. The quicker I get done, the faster I will be able to get to enjoying Vegas.

The MAC is offering a Triathlon Training Program to start in the early spring. This program will be lead by 2 dynamic instructors and will consist of 8 hours a week of group training over an 8 week period. I am looking forward to this program to help me kick off the 2009 season with a bang.

Monday, December 1, 2008

One More Race Added to the 2009 Plan

I had a bit of trouble sleeping last night, so, I decided to surf the web for triathlon sites. Well, I stumbled across the Beach to Battleship Triathlon to be held in November 2009. This would be a perfect taper event between the Marine Corp Marathon and the JFK50. As fate would have it, registration opened today. This had to be a sign, from some divine power, that I need to do this race. Not to tempt fate, I signed up for the IM distance event this morning and have already made my travel arrangements and hotel reservations. 2009 is going to be a fun filled summer.

On the training front I, did an early morning 10 mile run followed by a spinning class before work. After work, I had a training session with the Personal Trainer and did the evening spinning class as well. I closed out the day with a half hour of pool drills. All considered it was a fairly good workout. This routine will either kill me or turn me into an IRONSNAIL!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

NCR Trail Marathon ‘n Stuff

Yesterday I ran the NCR Marathon with Coach. He was recovering from the JFK 50, so, I had a remote chance of keeping pace with him. Going out to the 13.1 mile turn around we were kicking 9 minute miles. On the return trip we slowed a bit and finished in a respectable 4:41. This is a well managed low thrills race presented by the Baltimore Road Runners. The race could be best described as a race for runners by runners. I did not see any cell phone talking; I pod wearing zombies that have seemed to infect the larger marathons. Everyone knew how to run through an aid station which was a welcome relief. The crowds were sparse due to the limited vehicle access to the trail which prevented the endless bombardment of "Eye of the Tiger" and "Rocky" music. Best of all I only saw one cow bell. Unfortunately this was being rung by a fellow Snail.

The race conditions were perfect, cool and sunny with a few refreshing breeze. The aid stations were well managed and placed about 3 miles apart. The Snails managed the Monkton Station stop which with the exception of that dam cow bell was the best one of the race. On the way out Coach and I were looking forward to seeing our friends. We were greeted as royalty as we approached the station. It was like we had a dozen individuals solely focused on our needs as we entered the aid station. When we were tiring on the way back, we counted down the miles to when we would see "Our Snails" as a way to make the miles seem shorter. On the return trip the snails once again fed and water us and sent us down the trail.

After leaving the snails for the last time we had about 2.5 miles of the trail and 2 miles on the road to go. The trail portion went fast but the uphill run road portion was a rude welcome home. My quads were fried, so we took a few short walk breaks during the last section of the course. We crossed the line and were quickly tended to by the finish line crew. A medal, handshake, foil blanket and bottle of water were given and we were directed to the school cafeteria for the post race festivities. There was ample food (chicken soup extraordinaire). All in all it was a very good day.

On the training front all is going very well. I continue to work with the Swim Coach and Personal Trainer. The Swim coach has me working on endurance and kicking drills while the PT is focusing on posture and core training.

I signed up for another Triathlon last week. The Nations Triathlon in D.C. I just could not skip a race so close to home.

Monday, November 24, 2008

JFK 50

Well a rookery (you had to be at the post race party to understand) of Snails completed the JFK 50 this weekend. All finished well, a few sore muscles for the runners and some thermo nuclear hangovers for the crews.

Any Ultra where nobody goes to the hospital is a successful one in my book.

I am truly proud of all the runners. We had a few newbies and seasoned veterans, who stepped up to the line and completed this difficult event. There was one common thread in their discussions – I am OK … How is everybody else doing? This only proves two things about Snails – We all lie and we care about each other.

After the race we all gathered for a well deserved post race party. Good food, ample supply of alcohol, and fine friends carried us into a night full of laughter and fun.

Kudos to all on a 2008 season well done! Time for a well deserved rest… you earned an extra large slice of pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving.

Next week we start training for the 2009 season.

P.S. I have never felt so good after a JFK 50. I may need to become the perpetual post race party planner.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

JFK 50 – Party Planner

Next weekend a heard of Snails will be heading to Hagerstown to do the JFK 50 miler. We have 9 brave souls running the event and 11 faithful supporters going to cheer them on. I decided not to run this year, so I will be among the supporters. I have volunteered to be the official post race party planner for the Snail Celebration. Unfortunately, my duties will require me to sleep in late and spend the day in a nice warm hotel preparing for the event. I may even need to get in a late afternoon nap just to be sure that I am fully able to fulfill my duties. It is a tough job, but I don't mind making a sacrifice for my friends.

In addition the required full bar featuring Guinness Stout and Single Malt Scotch, I will be serving my soon to be famous "Snail Aid" a sassy little concoction that is guaranteed to make the runners forget they ran.

I always have a problem with solid foods after a run. They just take up space that will be better filled with booze, but I am serving a selection of finger foods for them to nosh on:

  • Mini Sandwich Party Tray
  • Chicken Strips
  • Red Skin Potato Salad
  • Fruit Tray
  • Bread Bowl Dip  
  • Cookies
  • Buffalo Wings  
  • Bowl of Shrimp

    I will do my best to meet any post race craving the runners may have. It is their day and my chance to live up to the motto – "We are behind you all the way"

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sticker Shock -- Bill from the Physical Therapist

I received my first bill from the PT today. My portion of the cost runs about $15 per visit; a fee I think is fair. But looking at what they charge the insurance company is disgusting. None of my visits lasted more than a half hour and with the exception of the initial assessment they were mostly done on my own while the PT attended to other patients. I was fine with this since I am a bit of a gym rat and did not really need a full time overseer. A breakdown of a typical visits bill is presented below:

  • Therapeutic Exercise - $ 45
  • Neuromuscular re-ed $ 45
  • Functional Activity $ 45
  • Manual Therapy $ 45

Total for a visit - $180!!! What a racket – no wonder companies are being challenged to provide medical coverage when cost like these are standard.

$ 360 an hour for a massage of the knee and an ice pack! What a way to prove that the health care industry needs reform!

Reassessment and Planning

There is a Jesuit saying – "Without Refection There is not Learning". This is one of the few useful tidbits I picked up from paying Loyola College $40K for an "Executive MBA".

I have been back to "normal" training for two months – time to do some assessing of where I am and where I need to go. On the positive side:

  • I have lost slightly over 13 pound
  • I paced the last 14 miles of the Baltimore Marathon with only 3 weeks of running
  • I completed the Marine Corp and Harrisburg Marathon with little effort
  • I have engaged a swim coach to help me with the return to the water.
  • I had a superior VO2 Max test (more on this later, once I figure out what all the numbers mean)
  • I hired a personal trainer to kick my ass into shape
  • Over the past 2 months, I am averaging 5.5 hours a day working out
  • I am far in the lead of my company's Shape up the Nation competition

On the work needed side of the equation:

  • My current weight is still way too much. I am carrying 173 pounds on a 5-10 frame. According to the numbers measured at the gym, I am 24.9% fat! Obviously, this is far too much for me to be carrying on a 100 mile run or an IM Tri. The Trainer has set an intermediate goal of 156 pounds which would be still a whopping 18% FAT. Being an over achiever I want to be in the single digits by Louisville IM. Diet will be real important and beer and booze will be a off the menu … I will only drink post races (I need my Scotch) and while in Vegas … I need to sin in Sin City. …. I wonder if Hammer has considered a beer flavored version of Heed.
  • I have always found that the best things for you are the most unpleasant… The best tasting foods are usually the worst things on the menu… taking the stairs is better than the elevator … Running a marathon on Sunday beats watching football on the boob tube. In grad school I begged my way into the hardest classes outside my major to challenge myself. I need to put this philosophy to work and put more effort into the swim.
  • I need to start lifting more. Once again this is something I don't like to do but it needs to be done.
  • The VO2 testing revealed that I am a very efficient runner. But … I shut down the test just when I reached the Aerobic Threshold. This is a sign that I run in the comfort zone but when things get painful I quit. Sounds like the answer to my failures at Umstead in the past two years. I need to work out harder. Longer workouts provide only marginal gains since these are just doing more of the same. It took the VO2 Max testing for me to realize that I can't improve by just doing more of the same thing. Starting today pain will be my friend.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Pure Addiction

I just signed up for another Ironman Distance Triathlon -- the ChesapeakeMan Ultra Triathlon. Summer 2009 is going to be a bit busy. By this time next year I will be either a lean mean triathlon machine or a broken wreck. Time will tell.

I also made my hotel reservation for the Marine Corp Marathon. Sometimes it is harder to get a room in DC than getting into this race.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Harrisburg Marathon Race Report

This Race Rocks!!! Five Stars in every aspect … I will be back for as long as I am able to run!

Always last in a race report is the thanking of the volunteers – Well at Harrisburg they deserve to be first. The volunteers were the best. I would put them in the same caliber as Umstead. This is a very high standard to meet in my book. The course was a series of loops from City Island to the east side of Harrisburg. Nice scenic course but the winds were brutal for the sections along the Susquehanna. The course was very flat with the exception of some challenging hills in the 18-20 mile areas. I like hills but it is just cruel to hide them in the back side of the course.

The only complaint I have is that the mile 16 aid station ran out of cups … so there was no water for Jim at this stop. A minor problem that I am sure will be corrected next year.

I ran the course in my heavy trail shoes to provide extra support for my knees. Overall I feel very good with only one small blister cause by a foot taping error. As for the finish, I completed the course in 4:44 and change. I am happy with this performance because I was there to get some hours on my feet in preparation for the Angle.

Next stop – The NCR Marathon

P.S. Does the fact that I am writing this while watching the Ironman Coeur d'Alene on TV indicate that I have a mental disorder when it comes to endurance events? I need help—Send Scotch!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Anything Worth Doing is Worth Doing to Excess

Today, I entered 2 more triathlons – The Philadelphia Insurance Triathlon Combo package. That's right … I am going to do back to back triathlons – a Sprint race on Saturday and an Olympic distance race on Sunday.
My 2009 (October 08 to October 09) plans include:

  • 4 Marathons
  • 2 50 mile Ultras
  • Umstead 100 miler – Ummie and I do battle for a third time… AKA Ummie must die!!!
  • 9 Triathlons

I will probably throw in a few more local marathons just for training. Good God! – I should be permanently banned from!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Snail on Land … Lemming in the Water

I had my first swim coaching session this evening and let's say it was a bit of a rude awaking. It has been nearly 20 years and a similar number of pounds since I have gotten anywhere near a pool and believe me it showed. I flailed about in the pool under the watchful eye of my Instructor. There is a lot of work to be done to prepare me for triathlon season.

The scary thing is that for nearly 10 years, I made my living working as a pool manager, lifeguard and swim instructor. I had qualified on multiple occasions as an ocean lifeguard and have made scores of open water rescues. I guess the old saying is true – Use it or lose it. Starting Monday, I will add at least an hour a day in the pool to my morning workouts. This should be easier if I trick my body into thinking that day light savings time didn't end and just keep my wake up time an hour earlier.

Who knows what the bike training will have in store for me.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Marine Corp Marathon Race Report

Yesterday was my longest run since the knee surgery.  I completed the MCM in 5:12.  Not my best marathon performance but being only a few weeks out of recovery and having not ran over 14 miles in 6 months, I will claim this as a victory!

Physically, I held up well.  There was very little discomfort in the surgery knee.  My good knee felt the strain much more that the one that was operated on.  I did not push the pace so while tired, I still had a lot left in the tank at the end.    I plan to use the upcoming Harrisburg and NCR Trail marathons as training runs for the Angel 50 miler.  What I need now is slow and steady running – Time on my feet is more important right now than speed.

The MCM was, as always, an excellently managed event.  You know it will be quality when the USMC puts their name to it.  The course, water stations, and crowd support were excellent. 

The only downside to this event was the number of race participants.  There were just too many people.  I may be a marathon snob but there were a heck of a lot of people out there that don't have the etiquette to run in public. 

  • Galloway groups and Team in Training that stop dead in the middle of the course because it is time to walk
  • IPod wearing zombies that are oblivious to the world around them
  • Runners that stop dead in front of other runners to hug their supporters
  • Crowds that come to a complete stop at the first water table
  • Photo takers – here is a news break Washington DC has been there for over 200 years – anything you want to photograph will be there after the race
  • The greatest hazard of all – Cell phone user.  Who the hell do you need to talk to in the middle of a marathon? 


Hopefully these are the antics of one and done marathoners.  Go home – Impress your friends by wearing your medal to work for the next week. Now it is time to look for another thing to cross off your lifetime to do list.  Leave Marathon running for the Marathoners.




Friday, October 24, 2008

Pre Marathon Preparation

I am packing for my annual pilgrimage to Washington DC and the Marine Corp Marathon. This has become a Snail tradition that we spend the weekend in Arlington, Va. We get in town around noon on Saturday and go to the packet pickup and expo. Afterwards, we go back to the Hotel and crash until dinner. On Sunday we will get up and walk about a mile or so to the start of the race. After the race we gather in one of the rooms and have a bit to eat and a few stiff drinks. In the evening we have a tradition to go out to dinner and them early to bed. Most of us will go directly to work on Monday morning.

My plan for the race is to finish. This will be my first official marathon since my knee injury so, slow and steady is going to be the order of the day. I don't care how long it takes as long as I finish without injury.

On the Triathlon front, I picked up the Kestrel from the bike shop. The bike looks good and should serve me well for the 2009 season. I am considering buying a reasonable priced Hybrid to ride for training purposes.

I have not had much success hiring a Tri Coach. Mostly, it is my fault that I don't want to give up my ultra running to become a Triathlete. I know the coaches are right… but psychologically I can't give up the friendships I have made due to running. I have hired a swim coach to work with me once a week in preparation for my rebirth as a Triathlete.

Speaking of Ultras… I got a nice note from Joyce the RD for Running with an Angel. She is a super caring RD and I encourage everyone to participate in one of her events. BTW – Rooms in Vegas are getting real cheap! Try Hooters – Cheap, Clean, Fun place to stay only steps from the strip.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Invest in Yourself

It's getting a little ridiculous – all everyone is talking about is their 401Ks and their stock market investments. The financial networks have a 24/7 countdown to the end of the world as we know it. Everyone is awaiting the financial meltdown and anticipating how bad it will get.

Let's face reality -- we can't as individuals do a lot to control the outcome. Other than stuffing money in a mattress or withdrawing money from our 401K to buy a tricked out tri bike; we just don't have a lot of control.

The market is a bit of a gamble – you win some and loose some, hopefully you come out ahead in the end. But there's one other big gamble that we face every day – and we have a lot more control over it. That's our personal wellness.

Think about how much time you spent last week concerning yourself and talking with others about your investments. Did you skip a workout due to financial worries? Are you neglecting your investment in your personal well being?

Take time everyday to increase the value of your most important investment – your health. The stock market is going to recover somewhere down the road. A training session lost can never be recovered.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Elvis loves the “Girls”

Today, I ran the Baltimore Korman Race for the Cure or to be more correct my alter ego "Elvis Snail" ran the course, posed for pictures and cheered on runners through the 5K. I usually don't do any race where it takes longer to drive to the event, that run it, but this is one race that I make an exception to the rule. There are a few reasons for this exception.

First there is the political; My Company fields a team for the race. Being marked as a runner in the health and safety department automatically makes me a prospect for the team. It would be career suicide to say something along the lines "I can't attend because I need to do a (real) run". Instead, I got to the race early and did 2 laps of the course prior to the start.

Secondly, while almost every race supports a charity, the Korman race is special. I gain a lot of appreciation for life when I see the passion of the participants. The survivors are motivational with their strength. The families of those that have been victimized by this dreaded disease carry on their battle by wearing "In memory" of bibs. The sadness of these participants is counteracted by the joy in the faces of the young high school and college girls that team together to do their small part in fighting for a cure. Of course us guys know our palace and are there to support the girls. No pun intended but I will take credit for it anyway.

Lastly, I have to admit that some, many, most of my fondest memories have involved breast. We got to team together to "Save the Girls".

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Perfection is Expected…Excellence will be Tolerated

Yesterday, I had the privilege to join 45 of my friends and pace the Baltimore Marathon. The GEICO pace team is an elite collection of experienced marathon pacers. We are charged with hitting each mile within seconds of the pace time and must bring our assigned pace groups over the line within 1 minute of their assigned time. Over the past 6 years the GEICO pacers have hit the mark 62 out of 63 times! The 5 hour pace group is 6 for 6 capping our performance with our 4: 59:51. Once again we lived up to our commitment to our fellow runners. Congratulation to all the runners in the 5 hour pace group you did great!

The second half of the marathon was hot and many of the runners paid a toll for running in the heat. In the last 10 miles we passed a lot of the walking wounded suffering from the heat. I think this shows the true spirit of the marathon where average guys and gal set a goal and endure pain to press on and reach their goal. They may be slower, but in a few hours they achieved what they set out to do. Experienced marathoners sometimes think that slower runners tarnish the status of being a marathoner. To them I say try joining a 5 or 6 hour pace group and see how much harder these athletes work to make it to the finish line.

Being a pacer gives you some special perks … while GEICO sponsors and supports the group, Baltimore based Under Amour the race sponsor likes to take care of the pacers too. This year we got the opportunity to test pilot their new running shoes. In a few words THEY ROCK! Extremely comfortable, great support and best of all no blisters! They have what they call a "Footsleve" I think both ultra runners and triathletes are going to like the smooth lining of these shoes.

I am happy to report that my knee came through the marathon pain free. Hard to believe that this is only 2 months post surgery.

My training is entering a higher intensity phase. This week I start to add in swimming to my daily routine. I think I am going to lay off the upper body weights for 2-3 weeks until I get into the swimming routine. In preparation for the Angle and Rocky Raccoon I need to start increasing up the running mileage too. Looks like I need to get up an hour earlier every morning – oh crap!

I am considering hiring a Tri Coach to prepare me for next year's Triathlon season. More on this to follow.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Shape up the Nation

My company is participation in a wellness program called "Shape up the Nation". Teams or individuals compete in three categories

  • Hours of Working Out
  • Steps Walked
  • Pounds Lost

I am entered in the hours of working out category. On Thursday they posted the results from the first two weeks and shockingly, I am in first place for both the Team and individual hours of working out with 50 hours in 2 weeks. Actually I logged 66 hours but the system only allows for a maximum of 25 hours a week. I don't see where 4 hours a day is a record setting level of training but I guess that there are not too many normal people involved in wellness activities. I received a few nasty grams from others in the company wondering how I could possibly log that many hours. I simply invited them to meet me at 3 am every morning for a little pre work run. Enough said!

Training is going well, I still get a few twinges in the knee but I and ready for pacing the second half of the Baltimore Marathon next Saturday.

I lost my EBay bid on a Tri bike, so I decided to stick with the Kestrel 4000. Today, I took it to a bike shop to get it tuned up and have some of the components modernized with new bars, fork, head set and cables. I am going to keep the drop tube shifters instead of having them bar mounted. Even thought this is a 20 year old bike it is still more than I will need.

Things at work are calming down. I think management is doing their best to keep everybody informed and focused on their jobs. I am fairly hopeful that I will survive the changes.

The tooth is still giving me problems. It is a nagging pain but I am afraid that it will flare up at an inopportune time. I think it is time to give up and go with the root canal.

Speaking of nagging pains … I have quit Toastmasters. I just don't want to play their anal retentive games any more.


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

2 Month Post Surgery Doctor Visit

Today I had my 2 month follow up with the surgeon. Everything is going well and I have been cleared to do what I want to do whit the warning that there is a bit of wear that could limit my ultra running abilities.

On the training front things are looking up. I am doing a 10 -12 miler every weekday morning. On Monday, Wednesday, Friday, I do a 45 minute spin class following the run. My M-F evening workouts are an hour on the treadmill, a weight workout and a spin class. Next week, I will start to add a swim workout 2-3 times a week.

In 11 days, I will pace the final 14 miles of the Baltimore Marathon. I will do the full Marine Corp at the end of the month. In November I will do the NCR Marathon. Sometime in early December I need to get a 35-40 miler under my belt. January starts the 2009 season with my favorite race – Running with an Angel in glorious Las Vegas. Of course I will need 10 day in town post race to recover and rehydrate!

I have started to cruise EBay for tri bike components. I have purchased a new set of handle bars for the Kestrel 4000 to replace the old Scott DH bars. I have a low ball bid on a bike but I am leaning to going with the 20 year old Kestrel. It is still a lot more bike than I will need. I will be better severed by spending time training the engine and not worry about a few grams in the bike.

On the work front, I am picking up vibes that I will survive the merger. Thank God that I invested a lot of time in my career through graduate studies and certification. I am getting 2-3 call a day from headhunters so if the unthinkable happens, I should be able to land on my feet.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

It Has Been One Hell of a Week

Let's start with the good …

  • The new gym is working out real well. I am able to get an early morning workout in before work and an evening workout in without moving my car. I saving gas and have more motivation to work out. There is no excuse to skip a workout when you need to walk through the gym to get to your car.
  • My father had cataract surgery and came through it well
  • My PT for my knee is progressing well … I have full range of motion in the knee but need to work on strength.
  • I am still employed --- I think


Now the less than good…

  • My Company experienced a meltdown . Academically, I know what caused the problems but I am still kind of in a daze on how fast things happened. I am going to lose a few bucks in the deal but I think I will survive the acquisition.
  • I had a simple replacement of an old dental filling… now the Dentist tells me that there is a good chance that that tooth may need a root canal.
  • All the drama associated with the issue cause me to cancel my plans to go to The Iroquois Trails 100 to crew for a friend and do a bit of sampling of the NY wines. So much for purchasing non refundable tickets and getting a deal on Priceline for a cheap (non refundable) car.
  • I was a bit stressed on Friday, which caused me to overdo the evening workout. My knee hurts so much that I spent most of Saturday in bed icing it.
  • I am getting phone calls from the President of my Toastmaster group asking why I haven't distributed the agenda for Thursday's meeting … Do you think I give a shi# who is going to be Gruntmaster at the next meeting? I think toastmasters is becoming more trouble than it is worth.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Today was a big day. I decided to change Gyms. I actually have belonged to 2 gyms that are at opposite ends of spectrum.

FX is a great club with superb facilities and a great staff. I will miss this club a lot.

Brick Bodies (Downtown) is a disgusting, dirty, worn down facility with poor management and a staff that would have problems serving up a Big Mac with fries.

On many occasions, I have arrived for my 5:30 a.m. workout only to find the doors locked because someone decide to sleep in. The showers at this club are filthy. The lifeguardless pool is gross, it is about 4 feet deep but you would never know it because you can rarely see the bottom. the condition of locker rooms reminds you of a dilapidated middle school.

With the way they run business ... I am sure that there will be "billing errors" that will lead to continued charges on my credit card.

I have endured this club for years because it is conveniently located near my office and there really wasn't a viable option in downtown Baltimore.

Today, I entered nirvana. I joined the MAC The downtown club is heaven. Clean, modern equipment, a beautiful pool and attentive staff; what a change from Brick Bodies!

I now have no excuse not to be in Ironman shape by next August.

I was a member of MAC in Timonium for about 10 years before I got a bit bored and and joined FX.

Since then MAC opened a downtown and Hunt Valley Club (next to FX) in addition to their flagship Timonium facility. So, I am quitting 2 clubs and joining 1 that has 3 convenient locations. I will save about 80 bucks a month in club membership fees and another $ 100 or so a month in parking since I will park on a lot next to the MAC and walk about 10 minutes to the office.

I'll walk a mile for a nice club!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

I’ve Been Outed!!!


There are some secrets that we all try to keep in the dark, hidden from our closest friends and loved ones. Well Umstead was one of those dark secrets that I wanted to hide from the Snails. I just wanted to sneak off and try this one more time without the pressure of having a crew or dedicated pacer. I wanted to be invisible. I did my home work and surveyed the possible race participants in our little band of misfits and thought I was going to be able to hide my attempt to run Umstead.

Well my plans were destroyed by the publishing of the list of race participants on the website. Soon after the posting of the list I received the following email from a trusted friend

 "I sort of remember someone saying never again, wonder who that was? "

So much for my plans to sneak off and do the race… I better finish the job this year; otherwise I will have to adopt an alias for 2010.

I have decided to come clean with my entire 2009 plan. All the races I have registered to do are listed under Racing Plans.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

He Who Hesitates..

According to some blogs online registration for Umstead closed after just 19 minutes!
Update from the race web site:
Sept 5, 8 pm, Both the Race and waiting list are full. No additional entries will be accepted. We are saddened that so many Umstead hopefuls had to be turned away due to our race cap. We hope you will try to run with us in a future year

Ummie’s Lure

Online registration is already full. You can mail a registration in to see if you can get on the wait list

Could there be that many masochists eager to register for a 100 mile trek in the North Carolina woods that this race filled up in less than a day?

Come to think of it, do I really want to be out in the middle of the night on a dark trail with 200 other sick minded individuals?

All joking aside, it is not surprising that the Umstead 100 filled in less than 24 hours. It is a first class event. The Race Director and volunteers are the best. The aid stations are endless smorgasbords for the runners.

Here is an excerpt from my April 8, 2008 blog entry –

"Umstead is a great course, the aid stations and volunteers are superior. I don't know what is in the North Carolina water but it brings out the best in people. After I crashed, I fell asleep on a bench in the HQ building only to be awakened by an apologizing volunteer, a true angle of mercy as she lifted my head to place a pillow. She had already covered me with a blanket."

Is there any question why I am drawn by Ummie's call?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Death Wish III

Well it is done. At precisely 12 noon today I took a step into the dark abyss of my running experiences. I committed to return to the bane of my existence as a runner – the Umstead 100.

Ummie and I have done battle on two prior occasions and I have fallen short on both. In 2007, a broken rib and hamburger feet were my demise at 62 mile. 2008 Umstead was where I did in my knee resulting in surgery and my current state of recovery. What adventures await me in 2009?

Is there a Psychologist in the house … I need help.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Idle Hands Are The Devil's Tools

Today the gym was closed and, after my morning run, I decided to do a bit of surfing on the net. I looked at some of the race sites trying to plan my 2009 calendar. Let's see Umstead Registration opens tomorrow … Do I dare go for a third attempt?

What other fun things could I do in 2009? Ultras??? Adventure Racing??? Bull Riding???

Triathlons look like fun with all their techno gear and lycra! I own a swim suit and a bike (one of the original Kestrels) … Why not give it a tri?

I am registered for the 2009 Louisville Ironman!!! Time to break out the water wings.

On second thought maybe I should have spent the morning surfing

Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Long Road Back

Yesterday was my first Snail run since the surgery. It was good to be out with the group and they provide a lot of encouragement. I did a six mile walk with a few running stints, when no one was looking, thrown in to break up the boredom. I felt pretty good but I have lost all my endurance that I had prior to the injury. There is a lot of work to be done if I am going to run the Baltimore marathon on October 11 and the MCM on October 26. Some small voice in the back of my head is telling me to back off … but you know what they do to people that listen to imagery voices!

The PT is going well but I hate the Pilates torture rack. I was raised Catholic and I think some of the positions she is putting me in are viewed as sins!

Friday, August 29, 2008

One of our Own

I picked this up from a running club email list. No political commentary intended.


WSJ. Magazine    
Gov. Sarah Palin: Midnight runs and caribou dinners

Coming Saturday Sept. 6 in the debut issue of WSJ. Magazine, a conversation with Gov. Sarah Palin about her unusual workout and fitness routine. Preview excerpt

August 29, 2008 2:15 p.m.

Brian Adams for WSJ. Magazine

Gov. Sarah Palin has always been a runner. Her parents were marathoners and high school track and cross-country coaches. "Running was a family affair," she says. "I didn't have much choice. Thankfully, I've never tired of it."

Gov. Palin, a mother of five kids, says exercise is still very much a "family thing." She and her husband, Todd, also an athlete, named their first son Track because he was born in that sport's season. Gov. Palin (above, near Mendenhall Glacier, outside of Juneau) and her family live in Wasilla, about 45 miles north of Anchorage.


"Conventional running is my sanity," Gov. Palin says. Having recently given birth to her fifth child, the governor is trying to get back to her old workout routine. She was running 7 to 10 miles almost every day but switched to aerobics classes at her gym when she became pregnant. She has worked her way back up to running three miles every other day.

In the summer, when it's always light, she'll sometimes run as late as midnight. In the dead of winter, when it's dark, she sneaks in an afternoon run, or else grudgingly runs on the treadmill at home or at the gym in the evening. Gov. Palin keeps dumbbells at home, but she says most of her upper body strength comes from snowmobiling with her family. "It's the best upper body workout you could ever have," she says. "You're maneuvering through hundreds of pounds of powder." (Todd is a four-time champion of the Tesoro Iron Dog, the world's longest snowmobile race.)

Brian Adams for WSJ. Magazine

Gov. Palin in Juneau, Alaska

Diet pitfall

"My family and I eat a healthy diet heavy in wild Alaskan seafood, moose, caribou and fresh fruit," she says. "I guess my biggest pitfall is breakfast. I know it's the most important meal of the day but I still haven't bought into it. I hate to admit it, but a skinny white-chocolate mocha is my staple in the morning."

Workout gear

"My ideal fantasy is to be running on a hot dusty road just wearing running shorts and some kind of top that wicks away sweat. But in reality I'm running in 20-below temperatures, so I wear layers of fleece and always a good outdoor waterproof trail shoe. Right now I've been running in Nike Air Structure Triax. And I always wear sunglasses. My kids tell me to put them on so I don't freak people out when they see me with a goofy hairdo and no makeup."

While I'm working out

"I'm thinking about my next speech. I usually write my best speeches and letters [in my head] while out running. That is my inspired time."

Postworkout food

"Nothing. I just drink water."

Workout pitfall

"Being pregnant every few years. If I get lazy and go weeks or months without exercising it's not because of circumstances but because I'm being less disciplined. Shame on me."

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I am Back… Kinda -- Sorta

It has been a bit over three weeks since the surgery and everything is progressing well. The PT exercises are working and I am regaining strength and flexibility in the knee. Every now and then it gives me a little twinge to remind me that I need to slow down a bit. Outwardly, the knee looks good with most the swelling gone, the only signs of the surgery are two small lumps where the incisions were made.

Speaking of the PT, I think the woman is trying to kill me. Painful Pilates combined with the lecturing about posture are enough for me to work extra hard just to get a clean bill of health.

I have been back in the gym everyday for the past 2 weeks. I am doing 2+ hours on the elliptical and some resistance training. For the next 3 months I am going with a heavy weight low rep routine to see if I can put on a bit of muscle.

My fall running plans will include the Baltimore and Marine Corp marathons and crewing / pacing the JFK. I am also slated to crew the Iroquois 100 in late September for a friend. In January, I plan to do the Running from an Angel in Vegas. This is an OK race but I will do anything that gets me to Vegas. Who knows I may even return to the Umstead 100 to beat myself up for a third time.

Positive thought and good Karma to a fellow Elvi Runner and Blogger – Brian Pilgrim as he runs the Lean Horse 100. I have never met him but I find his writing inspiring and hope to share a trail with him some day.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

10 Day Meniscus Update

All is going fairly well on the post surgery front. On Friday I had my first PT session. The Therapist poke, prodded, measured and stretched me in various painful ways. She also gave me a long lecture on my poor posture. So, we now have 2 problems to work on. I hate being broken …Old age sucks!

The right leg has significant atrophy. There is a lot of work to be done prior to retuning to distance running. I am to do PT 2-3 times a week.

I learned an important lesson on Friday. When I returned home, I was a bit upset in the exercise the PT gave me to do. Basically, I do 2 sets of stretches and 2 sets of knee extensions without any resistance. My initial impression was "how is this going to get me back into shape… I need more". Well, I was wrong. Yesterday at the gym, these simple exercises kicked my butt. Lesson learned – Listen to the Professional they know more that I do.

Following my humiliation, I did 15 minutes on the recumbent bike and a light upper body gym workout. Following my workout, I weighed myself – bad news I am 22 pounds heavier that I was in April prior to the injury. Good bye beer and snacks … Gotta get back in the gym and burn this blubber off.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Back to the Grind

Today was my first day back to work following the surgery. I attended an all day meeting which required a lot of standing. By the end of the day I was hurting, needless to say I decided to skip the gym and rushed home to my ice pack and a Scotch on the rocks.

I finally connected with the physical therapist and have an appointment for Friday afternoon. The PT has a unique practice that combines Pilates with traditional PT. Hopefully, they will help me with my flexibility along with my meniscus recovery.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Meeting with the Doctor

Today, I had my 1 week post surgical checkup with the Doctor. I have been given the ok to go back to work and I should be back to distance running in 6-8 weeks, just in time for the fall marathon season.

According to the surgeon I had a 35% tear of the medial meniscus with some minor wear. He recommends some physical therapy and to come back in 8 weeks. Following the recovery, I have the go ahead to attempt distance running with the understanding that if it hurts too much I may need to become a biker.

I have made some calls to local Physical Therapist; work must be good because no one is jumping to take my business. Life is getting back to normal… tomorrow I will start back in the gym for a light weight workout.


Monday, August 4, 2008

Meniscus Surgery Day 5

I am feeling OK today. The knee appears to be healing well but is still quite swollen. I am still having stiffness and trouble climbing stairs.

Tomorrow, I will see the surgeon and hopefully be released to physical therapy. Wednesday will be my first day back to work.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Post Surgery Day 4

I am recovering well but the knee is still swollen. This morning I tried to do a short walk consisting of less that a quarter mile and it was hard to complete. Following the walk the knee, calf and hamstrings were throbbing. Stair climbing is a bit difficult. I don’t have the flexibility to step up with the repaired knee.

Rest and ice are the orders for today.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Meniscus Surgery Day Three

This morning I removed the elastic bandage. Much to my surprise the knee looks better than expected. I have 2 stitches where they inserted the instruments and a small amount of swelling. The most obvious sign of surgery is the purple graffiti left by the surgeons marking pen. Everything feels much better with the bandage off. I am much more mobile and was able to finally take a shower!

Time to do a bit of showing off … I am going to meet the Snails for breakfast. I will be the good smelling one with the slight limp.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Meniscus Surgery + 48 Hours

I am still feeling OK. I slept well last night but awoke with a bit of nausea. The knee is a little looser and not too painful. I did not take any pain killers yesterday. Tomorrow the compression bandage comes off and I should be better able to assess the damage.

I spoke to the nurse at work and she warned that I am going to experience more pain in the next few days as the healing progresses. I told here that I felt that I would be back to the office sometime next week. She said to count on coming in sometime the following week.

The doctor’s office called to check up. The nurse said that the tear was larger than expected and that there were some areas of wear seen. I will have to leave it up to the doctor to tell me what this means to my future running plans. I expect that a lot depends on what happens on the PT front.

I am becoming a couch potato! Day time TV and junk food are addicting.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Day 2 Meniscus Update

The knee is doing well. I woke up around 5 a.m. and was a bit sore so I took a Vicoden just to take the edge off. My knee is a bit stiffer this morning but overall I am diong well. The al la carte ice wrap that I purchased at the surgery center has help a lot. It is a bit painful but I am keeping the leg elevated as instructed. The compression bandages has to stay on for 2 more days. Hopefully, things will get more comfortable when it is removed.

Time to raid the fridge.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Six Hour Update

I just completed my 6th hour post surgery survey for the medical study. All is still going very well. I have not needed any pain medicine since leaving the recovery room. All my discomfort is being controled with the ice wraps.

Boredom is already setting in – I am eating everything in sight.

Three Hours Post Surgery

It may be the drugs but I am feeling GREAT!!!!

The meniscus surgery went very well I went into the OR around 9:45 and was coherent in the recovery room at 10:55. The post operative pain was a bit more than I expected and I required 4 doses of IV delivered pain killers. According to the nurse I had a boat load of pain killers on board. After the drugs kicked in I was given a few crackers and a coke and allowed to stabilize. Prior to leaving the Surgery Center the PA prescribed a dose of Vicoden with the instructions to take the meds as needed to stay ahead of the pain.

I met with the Doctor who said that I had a meniscus tear and a bit of wear. We will discuss the details during our follow up visits.

I was then allowed to dress and sent home.

When I arrived home there was a 30 pound package of goodies sent by my co workers. They thought of everything from home baked cookies to Scotch and Guinness! I am truly blessed to work with a great bunch of people. Speaking of great people, I can not say enough about my friends. Last night I received well wishes from Ma Ma Snail and Spinnie. Their heartfelt concerns and well wishes helped me relax and get a good night sleep. Spinnie even offered to bring me my all time favorite vice – a pizza bagle!

I am able to walk without crutches. In fact, I am in better shape than I was in Vegas post my attempt to run the devil.

Two Hours to Meniscus Surgery

I am scheduled to be at the surgery center at 8:45. I am a bit nervous but am looking forward to getting the knee fixed. I feel well but I am thirsty since I have not had anything to eat of drink since dinner last night. Time to get up and showered for the adventures that await me. This is gonna be fun!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Al la Carte Surgery


oday I spent the morning preparing for my surgery. While I am sure that I have a good Surgeon, I have to say that the medical system leaves a lot to be desired in the customer service realm. Ok, we know that you are stressed but here is a bunch of crap for you to do.

First you need to get a physical – or better said a medical history and have your heart listened to and blood pressure checked. That will require an appointment with your doctor. Now, I thought that the surgeon had been to medical school somehow you would think that he or one of his staff could do this pre op work. The AMA must be one strong union! Compounding this illogic practice is the fact that my “personal MD” has decided that he needs more money. He is now demanding a $ 75 a year "office fee" just for the privilege of being one of his patients. I can’t deal with this pay me for doing nothing attitude so I refused to give in to the demand and had my testing done a hospital clinic.

You need to buy crutches and ice bag and bring them to the surgery center. OK, crutches are understandable but when you are spending $ 1000’s for about an hour’s work you would think they could afford an ice pack.

Now the real bummer…. You will need to have your pain medicine for the recovery room. Fifty pills cost $ 15 at your local pharmacy …would it break the budget to just give them to the patient on the day of surgery?

Can you tell that stress is setting in?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Money, Money, Money!


oday, I spent the afternoon doing my pre op testing for the meniscus repair.

Sometimes you can step in crap but still come out smelling like a rose…

Today was one of those days. I was asked if I wanted to participate in a study centered on meniscus surgery.

Being a scientist, I understand the need to participate in medical research. I thought that I could earn some good karma by filling out a few forms or doing a survey.

Well my willingness to volunteer will be rewarded handsomely with $ 500!

Looks like I have my medical deductible paid with a bit left over for some post surgery splurges.

Life is Good!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Cut Me Doc … Please!

I met with the surgeon today and now have a surgical appointment set for next Wednesday. He says that it is a simple procedure that should be done in less than an hour. He believes that I will have a good recovery with about 8 week until I am able to start running. So I guess the fall marathon season is a washout.

He cautioned me that my return to long distance running is questionable and dependent on how much he has to remove. In his words I could fully return to golf or football but ultra running is a lot more wearing on the joints. I jokingly said I would have to go back to triathlons --- He thought that that would be better that my running.

I need to spend the next week getting my life in order. It looks like I am going to be on the disabled list for the rest of the summer!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Dammed By the Devil

Well it wasn’t pretty… the Devil took his due

I pulled out of the race at mile 25. The knee just would not hold on for another 25 miles and it was not worth the pain just to see how far it would carry me. Time to have a serious discussion with the surgeon and get this thing fixed. I am putting my race plans on hold until I am healed so I will not be registering for JFK this year.

On the plus side my training worked. I was comfortable with the heat, thanks to the long sauna sessions. I am sure that 6 or 7 more hours in the broiling heat would have baked me a bit but I think I would have endured. Overall, I felt very good after dropping out but the knee was badly swollen and a bit painful. The post race effects were unnoticeable on Saturday but they hit me hard on Sunday while waiting on line at the Bellagio Buffet. I came close to passing out. I think Coach and Ma were more scared that I was when this happened! I still get a bit light headed when I walk more that a few blocks. So, I have been hanging around the hotel with a few excursions across the street to either the MGM of NYNY.

Guess which knee hurts? Hint it is the hairy one

Speaking of Coach and Ma --- They rocked!!!

Ma scored a 1st place in her age group for the 10K!! What a considerable feat being only a few weeks post knee surgery.

Coach was in his element. He was very strong for the entire course despite being handicapped by staying with me for 13 – 14 miles. This probably cost him an extra hour in the heat. He finished a bit baked but he is now desert tested --- Bring on Badwater! I am ready to crew.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

One Week to the Devil

Today was my final Snail run prior to the Devil. I did a slow and steady 6 miler at Lock Raven. Everything feel pretty good, I still have a twinge in the knee, but it only needs to carry me for 50 miles and then I will give it a much needed rest.

As usual, following our run, we did our Saturday morning snail breakfast. I am sure that I put more calories in than I burned off this morning.

Coach gave me a stay cold bag to store my ice vest and hat inserts we will have to see if this works. Ma is recovering from her surgery and is planning to do the 10K. She is on board to be our designated driver back from the race.

We are staying the happiest place on earth ….

Cheep rooms, easy access to the strip, world famous wings,Fat Tire BEER and a lot of beautiful servers who could ask for more after running a 50 miler in 104 degree heat? My plans are to stay for a week after the race to recover. I may have to rent a scooter to get around but I will be in full Vegas mode. I wonder if they will give me a race discount?

This week my plans are to become a couch potato and hydrate—hydrate ---hydrate. I will up my electrolyte intake to be safe. I am flying to Vegas on Thursday to have some time to acclimate. The worst thing about this race is going to bed early on a Friday night in Vegas… somehow that seems to be a sinful act in sin city!