Friday, November 30, 2012

The Good, The Bad and The Very, Very, Very Ugly

Not the greatest training week ever.  I had come down with some cold symptoms last week in Seattle during the Thanksgiving week.  After we got back home on Sunday, I was pretty beat down - so, decided to postpone the long run until later in the week.  But, things went a bit downhill from there.

Started some nightime coughing Sunday night and only got a couple of hours of sleep.  So, postponed the long run again.  Started to take some Nyquil to help me get some sleep.  That worked great, except I was groggy and sluggish all day.

Decided to try the long run on Tuesday.  Got into it about a mile and realized that it wasn't going to be my day - so cut the run to 3 miles.  Wednesday was better; but, still sluggish from the Nyquil and the long one wasn't going to happen.  By this point in the week, it was pretty clear that the long run was going to have to go by the wayside. 

At this point - also decided to quit the Nyquil and other OTC meds.  Slept much better Wednesday night and felt a lot more alert and in tune on Thursday.  Wanted to make sure to at least get in one quality workout for the week.  Was able to get in a good 7-mile workout with 4-miles of tempo.  Goal was to be at Marathon Pace effort - 6:50ish pace.  Averaged 6:40 for the workout and felt pretty controlled; so, was happy with that.  Things seemed to be looking up.

Went to bed about 9:00.  Did some reading; and, about 10:00 realized that things weren't feeling so good in the belly and bowel area.  By 10:30 p.m. I was on the toilet with what seemed like and enless stream of liquid feces exploding out of my butt.  How can that much fluid turd matter come out of your body?????  By about midnight the puking commenced.  Finally settled down about 1:00 a.m.  But, then the coughing fits started up again.  Needless to say, it wasn't the most resful night.

Feeling better today......a bit tired.  A bit weak.  A bit bleary eyed.  But, vertical and all the fluids going in are staying in.  Actually got in a few easy miles and felt okay. 

Hopefully things have settled down with the cold and with whatever I had going on last night.  Not entirely thrilled with losing some training this week.  But, still will get in about 40 miles; and, got in a quality workout.  Still have 5 full weeks before Austin, so, plenty of time to still sharpen up and be ready to hit a decent half.

See you on the roads, tracks and trails

The Muddy Buzzard

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Is There Anything Left

Yesterday I was reaching up into the cabinet to grab my morning pill/medication routine.  Yeah, for years I've taken a daily multi-vitamin and some fish oil pills.  And, when the aches and pains were a little much, a couple of ibuprofen in the morning were not unusual.

But, now my daily routine also includes levothyroxine, coreg, lisinopril, simvastatin and low dose aspirin.  I'm now one of those that has to travel with a little container to keep my meds straight.  The AARP card must be right around the corner.  Never did I expect that I would be the guy who had some heart function issues; and, what the hell is with having to an internal defibrillator implanted?  But, like it or not, those are the cards I've been dealt. 

From a day to day standpoint, I've chosen to not let it define me or limit my lifestyle choices.  That includes my running.  Sure, I'm no longer able to compete at the levels I was accustomed to (see The Buzzard's Wings Are Clipped at  But, I can still run; and, to a lesser degree, still race.  And, there's still a couple of events I'd like to participate in.  One of those being the New York City Marathon.  I've done Boston and Twin Cities; I've competed in national championship events across the country; I've run Bloomsday and other top road races; but, have not had the pleasure of competing in the Big Apple.  And, in our sport, it's about as big as it gets.  So, it's about time that I go to see if "I Can Make It There".

At the same time, I really would like to "earn" my way to the starting line.  I could go through the lottery route; and, perhaps get luck enough to get in.  But, would prefer to go the guaranteed entry route.  The primary way to achieve that goal would be via running a time that meets the marathon's guaranteed entry standards.  For the 2013 event, you can achieve that in one of two ways:  For 50-54 year old males, that means doing a marathon in 3:06:00 or faster; or, a 1/2-Marathon in 1:29:00 or faster prior to January 31st, 2013.

For me, I've decided to go the 1/2-Marathon route.  Even in the early phase of my cardiac issues; but, before I was fully diagnosed and treatment started, 1:29 would have been no big deal.  In September of 2010, off very limited training, I was able to pop off a 1:20 at the Montana 1/2 in Billings.  But, with the meds, my pace and heart race maximums are limited and that's resulted in some significant limits on my performance.  In practical terms, it has meant a slowdown of 60 to 90 seconds per mile at all efforts and distances.

Now, a 1:29 Half equates to a 6:47 per mile.  Again, just two years ago, that wouldn't have been a problem.  Heck, that was still training pace for long runs.  But, now................6:47 is sort of on the bubble for me.  So, hitting the time standard isn't a walk in the park.  But, I'm going to take a stab at pulling it off.

My all-eggs-in-one-basket race is going to be the Austin 3M Half-Marathon in Austin, TX on January 13th.  It's a medium sized event (5,000 or so runners); the weather is typically good (mid-40's to low-50's); and, it's a net downhill course.  So, I think that I've picked a course that gives me a good opportunity to hit my time goals.

It's also the first time since my diagnosis in October of 2010 that I've set out on a focused, dedicated training plan.  As of yesterday (Saturday, 11/24), I'm halfway through the training cycle.  It's been going pretty well.  I caught a bit of a bug this last week (which resulted in laryngitis during Thanksgiving); but, at this point it's only created a minor bump in the road on the training cycle.  At this point, I'm cautiously optimistic.  I'm hitting a bit over 50 miles per week with long runs of up to 14 miles so far.  And, I seem to be hitting my goal paces in training.

I'll keep you up to date over the next 6 weeks as I give it a shot to see if I have anything left in the tank to meet a defined, specific time and race goal.  If nothing else, it will be an interesting adventure.

See you on the roads, tracks and trails.

The Muddy Buzzard