Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Slightly Competetive?

So I’ve been noticing my competitive side coming out…

Yesterday I went running with the Red Lizards, and we all started out at about a ten-minute mile pace, which to me felt slow. After about half a mile, I was feeling slightly impatient, I jumped up to the front of the pack and picked up the pace a little bit. A few other guys soon followed me in our faster pace, and we were soon pushing each other faster and faster.

We came to the first big hill, and one of the other guys, Jon, took off up the hill like a shot. Another guy, Robert (who’s a 5 time Ironman by the way,) followed suit and was soon leading the ascent up the hill. I didn’t want to look bad, or like I was slacking off, so I pushed myself to just stay on their heels. We were running quite a bit harder than I have in quite a while.

I thought it was comical. There were a couple points of the run in which the three of us were running shoulder to shoulder, and when one person pulled slightly forward, the other two would run harder to get just ahead of them, no one wanting to be left in the dust.

We ran by a high school, and our resident Ironman needed to use the porta-potty. Jon and I know that he is a lot faster than we are, so we couldn’t let him catch us in the last stretch to the finish. We pushed and pushed and when Jon looked down at his GPS watch, he exclaimed that we were running a 6:30 pace. I, for one, was incredibly surprised. We finished the run without Robert catching back up to us, and our average pace for the six-miler, in spite of the sluggish start and all the hills, was 7:14. Not bad for me. Running like that feels good every once in a while, but with Ultracentric just around the corner, I shouldn’t be doing that every day.

I know I need to be careful in these few weeks before the 24-hour race, especially considering a pain I have been feeling recently. I noticed a pain in the middle of my left shin that had not crept up from the base of my shin like shin splints would have, so I was worried that it was a stress fracture. I have been taking ice cold baths after running, and taking it easier on my runs to try to see if I might heal up. I have good news, after that hard run yesterday, my shin was not in the least bit sore. I’ll keep an eye on it though, after all, I have less than three weeks until the big race, and I don’t want a stress fracture to turn into a compound fracture in the middle of it.

Until next time, keep running!

Tim Lawson

Monday, October 15, 2007

Ultracentric! Just Around The Corner!

In about a month from now, I will be taking off from the Portland Airport to head to Grapevine, Texas, to run at Ultracentric, the 24hr National Championship Race. Quite frankly, I'm nervous!
The race will be run on a 2.4mile out-and-back course, and the goal of the race is to see who can complete the most miles in 24hours. I know people say this is crazy, but at least to me, it is exhilarating! I get to push my body to my breaking point to see just what I can handle, (and then come back next year and see if I can improve.)

One argument I have heard is, I will burn myself out, but when the fastest people in the world are in their 40's and 50's, its hard to pay much heed to that warning.

Others of you may ask, "will you rest?" or "what will you eat?"

As far as rest is concerned, I plan to walk approximately 5 minutes of every hour, even when I feel fresh at the beginning of the race. The body can recover quite a bit during 5 minutes. I do, however, want to run the other 55min, and not stop at any point of the race (I know this is a lofty goal, if not nearly impossible); its all about relentless forward progress. I will also bring a cousin along with me to encourage me once my spirit has been beaten out of me, and yell at me whenever I slack off. ha ha.

And as far as sustinence, I know the race will be providing salty snacks, fruit, sandwiches, soup, oatmeal, and pasta, along with two types of sports drinks and water. I can rely my cousin to help me out also by getting food ready for me so that I dont have to slow down too much when I have some momentum going.

I know it sounds boring, but there will be several world class runners on the course, and live music much of the race, and once the music is done, my mind will be so far gone, it wont matter to me. It will take all of my concentration just to take the next step and not fall over.

I know that just the experience is worth every bit of effort and money I put towards the race, even if I don't, which I probobly won't, come back with prize money, or having qualified for the National Team. Thats right, I said prize money.... $26,500 worth! but check out what each runner would have to do in order to get a piece of that!

I have been doing a fair amount of training for this run, but I feel like I need to get back to it now and work some of these jitters off.... and as long as I'm at it, I should get rid of this belly also. ha ha.

Until next time, keep running!

Tim Lawson

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Portland Marathon!

For those of you who are wondering, I finished the Portland Marathon in 3:50:54, faster than the 4hrs I was expecting to take.

I’ve noticed that in certified marathons I tend to run slower than I do on self supported long runs, or even some ultras. Now I think I’ve finally figured out why that is. Salt.
Whenever I run ultras or go for a long run on my own, I always bring Cell Salts with me, but in a normal 26.2 mi effort, I take whatever they’re offering (in this case, sports drinks, gummy bears, and at mile 24, Beer!)

Because I wasn’t getting all the salt I needed, I started cramping up at about mile 19. I have to say… it was odd to look down at my quads and be able to visibly see them ball up with every step. I slowed down, stretched, and within a couple minutes I was back up to a relaxed run. I finished out the race, got some chips, and was feeling better soon after.

I know it is a “rookie mistake,” and as a Marathon Maniac you’d think I’d know better, but you can be certain I wont make that same mistake again.

Now about the course, I thought it was fairly scenic, fast, and well supported. There was one little out-and-back during the race that I know some people were complaining about, but I loved it; it was completely flat, and as a slower runner, it was my only chance to watch the leaders running.

I was excited to see so many Marathon Maniac there! I know there was a plethora of marathons going on around the country, but there was still over 50 Maniacs at the Portland race.

I got to also see plenty of the Team Red Lizard members I run with on Mondays.

I had carpooled over to the race with one of the other Maniacs, Marathon-Freak, who lives less than a mile from me, and his mom, aunt, and sister. Steve - Marathon-Freak, finished about 15 min ahead of me, and so we hung out talking to a lot of the other Maniacs there, and some of my Red Lizard friends, why we waited for the rest of his family to finish the marathon walk.

Some of the Maniacs we talked to ran a 50k race the day before Portland, and will be running 2 marathons next weekend, and 2 more the weekend after, and so-on and so-forth. Crazy People…. I want to do that! I do have a big run coming up next month though, so I want to be in top form. I’ll put up a posting about it in about a week, so stay tuned.

Until next time, Keep running!

Tim Lawson

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Preparing For Portland?

Well… here it is October 2nd, and on the 7th I run the Portland Marathon. I find it comical; here I am running all over the place, and I have yet to run the Marathon in my own city!

I want to do well, but not push so hard that it may hinder my training for Ultracentric in November. I hear it may be rainy, but then again, it is Portland…. What do you expect!? As far as training goes, I haven’t really followed anyone’s “marathon training plan” or whatnot; my training goes something like this.

When I feel like running…. I go for a run.
When I don’t feel like running…. I really need to go for a run.
When I feel I may be hurting myself…. I lay off.

No matter what’s going on, though, on Mondays (and sometimes Wednesdays) I have to run with Team Red Lizard at Portland Running Company in Tigard. Its imperative… well… a whole lot of fun. You should come too! 6 PM!

And as far as eating… I like pasta! And anything else I can get my hands on. I know what I should be eating, but actually eating right… not all the time. One of the guys in Team Red Lizard joked about having a beer for me at mile 24 of the race. Ha Ha. I’ll see what happens with that.

Look for me to finish in about 3:45 to 4:00, but who knows…. Crazy things can happen in a marathon. I might be really fast! Or not.

Until next time, keep running
And good luck to all the Marathoners this weekend!

Tim Lawson