Moonlight Marathon Recap!

In this blog:

  • Self Image – i.e., incoherent rambling
  • Moonlight Marathon Recap!
  • This Weekend – a Full Marathon and a Half Marathon – Back to Back
  • Week 20 Weigh-In

I guess we all (speaking only about myself actually but it seems less like i’m opening myself up if i say “we all”…) have a picture in our mind of what we like to look like whether we look like it or not.  For me, at 300 lbs, 320 or 254 ….i still have this same image of myself that doesn’t look like any of those body weights.  This latest truth comes from the fact that I signed up for another 1 month diet bet to lose another 4% by June 9th.  In those bets, like all others, we need a shot of the scale with some key word on an index card along with a full body shot of us standing on that scale.  I don’t normally take full body shots of myself so every new weigh in or weigh out tends to be an ever humbling experience.

An ideal selfie is taken from the chest up, smile and …if you angle the camera just right… volia! no double chin!  :)  …and why bother sucking a stomach in when you can avoid the matter all together? :)

However, all these full body shots has allowed me to do something I’ve never been able to do before.  I was able to put pictures side by side from Feb 3rd, my first diet bet and May 1, three months later as kind of a transformation duo picture.  There’s quite a difference and even though neither picture looks the way I’d like to see myself there is considerable change in the right direction.  I have another slot open in that picture collage to the right for a 6 month progress picture.  I’m very curious to see what that is going to look like.  reality is so slow when it’s happening…

Moonlight Marathon Recap!
This was a very interesting race.  From 5 p.m. (ish) to nearly 1 a.m. there was a total of 7 different races held at the Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois this past Saturday night.

  1. Ultra Marathon – 5 laps or 32.75 miles
  2. Marathon – 4 laps, start anytime from 5ish to 9 p.m.
  3. Daylight 5K
  4. Dark 5K
  5. Single lap 6.55 miles (a bit more than a 10K)
  6. Half Marathon – 2 laps
  7. Marathon Relay

Mentally, it’s a bit like the weight I mentioned above.  In my mind, I’m a 4 hour 22 minute marathon runner – that equates to 10 minutes per mile.  Even though it’s been 20+ years since I’ve even run close to my weight, that’s what has always stayed in my head.  4:22:00 and capable of much more.  I have a lot of reality to interject with my ideal thoughts.  The first reality is the training I did last year for the Southwest Championship Marathon race that was held in Wynne, Arkansas on October 31st last year.  That’s one race on my list that I paid for but – DNS – Did Not Show.  The magnitude of the marathon, in my mind, simply exceeded what I thought I was trained for at that time.  I suppose I was still holding tightly to that 4:22 or so time and thought I was capable of getting to that level during last years training but that was not the case.

So, a slight shift in mental attitude had me thinking more along the lines of “let’s just see if I can cover the distance” and that I did. :)

The course at the Oak Ridge Cemetery is a crazy 6.55 mile loop.

USATF Moonight Marathon Route

with about 600 blue reflectors along the 6.5 mile path.  As runners, our mantra was to keep the blue reflectors on our left which, at times was easier said than done.  As a marathoner in the race, we were not allowed to have watches or any timing devices so, my exact start time is unknown but I know it was sometime after 5 p.m.  maybe 5:15ish when I started with the Ultra Runners.  The first lap was a bit like sightseeing and seemed very long since the entire path was new.  I alternated walking and jogging and then jogged in the last couple miles of the path.  When I came back around to the start I saw a guy named Kevin that I had become friends with before the race sitting on the knoll and asked him when he was going to start and he responded by jumping into the race at that time and running alongside me.  Since I’d already been running a couple miles nonstop I only made it another 2 miles or so with him at my side but it was very nice having someone to talk with during the run.  Along the way we both made another friend with a guy named Jesper Christensen who was from Denmark and had been up in Chicago the preceding week for Microsoft conferences.  He has a personal goal to run a half marathon every month of 2015.  He said he had never seen an American cemetery before and thought this run looked interesting.  This was his 2nd full marathon.  Kevin was an arborist from Decatur, IL and this was his first marathon.

When the second lap was coming to an end I remembered thinking that I would be sad if my race would have been over at that time and was glad I opted for doing more.

The third lap was kind of exciting because soon after starting that lap I knew I only had one more full lap to do and simply had to complete the remaining fraction of that third lap to hit the final lap then I would be able to claim my third full marathon.  It was dark by the third lap and during one of the inner loops of the race I came upon a young lady who was distraught with tears, pleading for help and had totally lost her way.  Apparently her mom had yelled at her for not training enough and took off without her.  I did my best to console her situation and told her to stick with me and we’d get her back on the right path.  She was a half marathoner and only had one previous lap in the daylight and the darkness tricked her up a bit.  Eventually she calmed down and took off at her previous pace.  About an hour later she came up behind me again confessing that she had, once again, gotten lost….  She only had about 4 or 5 miles left when I first came upon her but I had well over 10 and knew my hardest miles were ahead.

Finishing that third lap was awesome as I knew I only had one more lap to go to achieve my marathon goal.  However, the vast excitement I had during the beginning of lap 3 no longer existed.  It became more of a mental game to keep moving from miles 20 to 26.2.  Overall though, it wasn’t that bad.  I had paced myself within my limits.  I knew I had another full marathon to complete the following Saturday and had to be judicious with my efforts to make sure I’d still be in working order the next week.

In that last lap, the last 6.2 miles, the last 10K, it’s like every single step takes the same effort as 10 steps in the preceding 20 miles.  My toes felt like they were being smashed forward in the toe box of my shoes but, I had taped my feet up pretty well before hand to help avoid blisters and, in the end, there was only a small cut on the top of my left foot.

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I have a lot of pictures to share from this race but, I think putting them in a facebook album might be the way to go so I can add captions and most easily review them :)

This Weekend – a Full Marathon and a Half Marathon – Back to Back
I don’t have a lot of time now but, there is another full marathon this Saturday morning in Ottawa, IL which is a place I used to live back in the early ’70s then another half marathon in Chicago that I have to be at starting at 5 a.m.  It’s been very interesting to get a glimpse behind the scenes as a volunteer for that race as well as a runner.  My job will be to help get and keep the starting corrals in order then jump in at the end as a back of the pack pacer.  I think the allowed time for that half may be as long as 4 hours which, is even slow for me but having done a full mary the day before I’ll be lucky if my legs are still working.  I think I should be fine though and I don’t get to visit Chicago all that often so it should be an enjoyable time :)

Week 20 Weigh-In
I had an interesting series of weigh ins before and after that last half.  I ate plenty leading up to the race.  Before I left my house for Springfield, I weighed 249.0 and when I got back home I weighed 245.8 and the next morning I was 243.8 :)  This morning I was 247.4 :)

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I had another pasta meal last night and am looking to duplicate last week’s results.  For now, I’ve completed a marathon in my late 20s, 30s and 40s and I do believe my mind is much better now.  Much more readily able to handle the mental rigors of the marathon.  I remember clearly after my first marathon telling myself that once every 10 years was good enough but, perhaps I was selling myself short – mentally, in my 20s though, that’s what I thought.

The very best weapon I have in my arsenal as a great ally is calm.  Simply staying calm.  Kind of reminds me of those Stay Calm sayings which have become so popular over the past few years.  I did see one of those as a poster during the race this past Saturday that I really liked.

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Two Marathons & One Half in 8 Days

In this blog:

  • Two Marathons & One Half in 8 Days
  • Week 19 Weigh-in

 

7 days, 18 hours – from 5 p.m. Saturday, May 9th until 11 a.m. Sunday, May 17th.

I think it started out with a single half marathon, the Moonlight Marathon, in Springfield, IL on May 9th.  Then I heard my LPHM pacer was pacing a back of the pack group at the Starved Rock Full Marathon in Ottawa, IL on Saturday, May 16th.  So, I signed up for that run as well.

Then I learned about a new ranking system within the Half Fanatics and Marathon Maniacs …two groups which are dedicated to running nuts.  I’m already a Half Fanatic (#10814) but, for people who are able to qualify for both the Fanatics and Maniacs there is a title known as a Double Agent.  The minimum requirement to become a Marathon Maniac is to either complete 2 Marathons in 16 days or 3 Marathons in 90 days.

So….I chatted things out a bit with the race director of the Moonlight Marathon and I bumped that up to a full mary to meet the Maniac requirement and then get relisted as a Double Agent.

Then, this past Monday, I’m at my usual park looking to knock out an evening 10K and get an email before my run that there is a spot open with the back of the pack pacers for the Chicago Spring 13.1 event on May 17th.  That race has been sold out since March 14th and not only did I have a chance to get in but, I was able to get in for free :)

It took two miles into my run to make a decision and reply that I would take that last spot available.

1994 was my first full marathon – 2004 was my 2nd.  I was intimidated enough by the full mary coming up this Saturday and I have absolutely no idea in the world if I’ll be able to walk the day after my 2nd full in 8 days.  Literally doubling my number of fulls …from 2 to 4.

As long as I don’t break, I should be able to complete the full this Saturday night.  I’m almost apprehensive about even posting this because I’m so far out of the norm that I have no idea if this is all even possible, especially doing a half mary the day after a full.  The best I can think of doing after the Starved Rock full (besides eating soon after the run) is to get a couple bags of ice and soaking my legs in an ice bath, 20 minutes at a time to help reduce any inflammation.

I just looked up the Chicago 13.1 course for the first time and it looks like an out and back course which runs just east of Lake Shore Drive along the Lake Michigan.  Should be flat anyway.

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One thing at a time.  For Saturday, I picked up the mandatory headlamp earlier tonight.  Found my biking shorts, CEP compression socks are washed & ready to go.  Ate first round of pasta a few hours ago, maybe 300-400 grams of carbs right there.  Doubled up on supplement packs over the past week and am constantly drinking water – enough to make sure my urine is clear, especially on Saturday.

I haven’t had any of the traditional 15-20+ mile long runs so, all my toenails are still attached, which is nice :)  I’m looking for the lowest intensity possible this Saturday night.  I’m pretty confident that I’m good for 18-20 miles.  The last lap through the cemetery.  The last 6.55 miles will be very interesting.  I’m going with the Brooks Glycerin for the two full mary’s because the New Balance are getting a little loose feeling and want to avoid blisters.  Got athletic tape and will probably go along the balls of my feet as well as a single wrap around the ankles and crossing anteriorly to meet up with the balls of my feet tape.  couple bandaids in the appropriate spots (marathon runners know what I’m talking about)


 

 Week 19 Weigh-In
omg, I’m tickled to death with this week’s weigh-in.  :)  Officially, and to the uninformed eye, it might look like I gained a pound ….LOL  it’s really getting funny to me to even comment on bland, all-inclusive weight because it means so little.

I had two DietBet weigh-ins this week, one on Tue and one on Wed and my confirmed weights were 252.4 and 247.2 respectively.  Those would be my 14th and 15th straight wins.  And – check out my late night snack last night….

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I weighed 251 after that meal.  In the past I probably could have eaten the entire box (3200 kcal) worth of spaghetti.  I thought of just eating half but ….there was a LOT so, I ate a little over 1/3rd.

Anyway, here’s my nifty new Weigh-in Wallpaper –

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I added pictures from two additional runs.  Below the future car are two pics from my last 5K.  I like that one because it represents busting my butt.  I actually had a kick at the end of that race.  There were two people in front of me in the last quarter mile.  Normally, that wouldn’t matter to me because my gas pedal was already to the floor and I wasn’t going to go any faster no matter what, my engine was already topped out …reminds me of my first car, a 1977 Plymouth Arrow which had a top speed of 72 mph…

Anyway, I had another gear and was able to pass both people in that race.  The lower right hand corner pic is from the Lake Ozark 10K and shows me running past the finish, nobody put a medal around my neck as is being done with the lady in pink, I grabbed the medal and kept on running :)  That’s what love looks like.  Then I added a goofy pic with my brother at the GO! St Louis half marathon.  I kept that picture small so as not to scare little kids….

What I’m tickled about though is the fact I’m starting this Month out in the 240s which means the probability of having an average weight this month in the 240s is – numerically speaking – outstanding :)

Those three pictures on the left that have been part of my Weigh-In Wallpaper for some time now – those remind me of a difference between endorphin and enkephalin.  I think of endorphin as something more readily obtainable such as is often associated with a runner’s high but enkephalins I have more closely associated with achieving a long term goal and victory.  My time in the St Louis 1/2 mary was faster and much easier to achieve but, in that race I only had a sub-goal of simply repeating what I had already done the week before – ie, anything under 3 hours for my finish time.  The first 1/2 mary of the year being under 3 hours – that was very hard and was one of my goals from last year which never was obtained.  so – enkephalin.

The pics engender everything from determination to love and everything in between.

….pondering ….it’s been 11 years since my last full marathon so…. and …. enkephalins are involved with nociception modulation – recalling that nociception is what pain impulses are called before they are interpreted by the brain so… during the last 6.2 miles when I’m in the most pain from this upcoming full marathon, I may also be generating some nice endogenous opiates to help quell that pain.  YeeHaw! :)

2015 Week 18 Weigh-In

Two weeks ago we had an anomalous reading of 248.0 but my week 18 weigh in is now solidifying the 240’s as a new reality for me.

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246.8 is 2.4 pounds from the lowest weight I’ve recorded in the past 2 years.  Last year at the end of a 12 week contest I hit 244.4 for my final weigh in but that was a bogus and very temporary & manipulated weight.  Just a few hours before weighing 244 I was 248 and told the office staff where I was weighing in that I would be back in a few hours.  There’s always zero eating or drinking on the final day of a contest weigh in so I just walked for a few hours and came back about 4 lbs lighter.

My average weight for April is now officially 12 pounds lighter than my average weight in March – from 266 to 252.

May should be pretty interesting.  My average weight for this month should be solidly in the 240s and that will also bring my yearly 2015 average weight below last years average weight.  My initial goal at the beginning of this year was to weigh in the low 240s so, anything under 245 will give me that.  There’s also a good chance of hitting my lowest weight ever since initially tracking my weekly weight since Jan of 2014.  Anything below 244.4 will give me that.

As enamored as I am with my weight in the 240s – I’m looking at my Calendar and the fact that as of this morning (Sat 5/1) I only weigh 246.6 so there is a strong likelihood of dropping down into the 230s by the end of this month.

This month is going to start out with more board reviews – from Sat 5/2 to Wed 5/6 so that means I’ll be sitting on my butt a minimum of 11 hours per day – 9 for reviews and another 2 each day for commuting.  I’ll be playing hooky again on the first day of reviews to squeeze in a local 5K but overall, I may be lucky to maintain my weight this first week – thinking I may have to make friends with Queeny Park which is near where I’ll be taking my reviews and plan ahead of time to stop there each night after reviews to get some miles in …. I know there’s a decent 4 mile loop at that park which should help offset all that sitting.  I also really need to think ahead of time about my lunches.  Traditionally I have a favorite little Chinese restaurant I like to “reward” myself with everyday during my reviews but, maybe I can change that mindset and look forward to rewarding myself with a sub 245 lb Week 19 weigh-in.

The second Saturday of this month will consist of knocking out my 20th half marathon up in Springfield, Illinois – The Moonlight 1/2 Mary.  There’s also a *really* fun looking Fat Ass 5k that day which starts at 10 a.m. – the water stops along that 5k feature ice-cream, corn dogs, donuts and beer!  no joke – it sounds like a blast.  There’s even a 1/10th mile “Fat Ass Detour” route which takes runners straight to a bar!  :)  I checked last years race results and some people take up to 3 hours to finish the 3.1 mile route.  I think i have a picture of the flyer….

FatAss5K

To me, the most appealing part of that race are the corn dogs!  I love corn dogs :)

The Fat Ass 5K street party ends at 3 p.m. and I think the half mary starts at 7 p.m.  idk – it would be easy to rationalize but, I’m also considering how much fun it might be next year when I don’t actually look like a fat ass and have a half mary to run afterwards, maybe even book a hotel room for the night so I have a place to stay after all the festivities.  So …skipping the corn dogs might help but, I’m not all that restrictive with my eating overall.  With the DietBets there’s always plenty of time available to eat whatever I want.  I’ve had no shortage of pizza’s this year, just smaller and less and sometimes if that’s what I indulge in say, for lunch, then that may be all I eat for that day.

The third week in May is a biggie – My third full marathon up in Ottawa, Illinois – The Starved Rock Full Mary.  I’m only about 5 months off from a goal I set 20 years ago to run a full marathon every 10 years so, that’s not so bad and then I’ll be able to restore my original icanrunaminute tagline to “Can a man who can barely run a minute complete a marathon” and be able to answer with a Hell Yes!  :)

I got an email regarding the Starved Rock marathon today and the Chicago pacer, Christina Chapan will be pacing a 6:45 group and there’s another guy by the name of Walter Evans who will be pacing a 6 hour group.  I’m not sure which group would be a more prudent choice.  Do I start out with Walter then if I fall behind I can always join up with Christina’s group?  Do I start w/ the 6:45 group and stick it out the best I can?  A 6 hour time equates to a 13 min 45 sec pace ….for 26.2 miles so, it’s a tad faster than a very brisk walk.  a 6:45 finish time equates to about 15 min 27 sec per mile.  I think Walter’s 6 hour pace would include a mix of jogging and walking which would inherently stress the muscles differently due to the mix of paces.  That could be a benefit over a more static type of pace which will arduously keep stressing the same biomechanics relentlessly.  Overall, I’m guessing I have close to an 80% chance of being able to cover the distance.  I know there are cheerleader positive thinking type people out there who want to say “you can do it!” but, I know the stark realities of a full marathon.  It’s bear – a beast – an 800 lb gorilla that can crush you.  I know what it’s like after mile 20 to have your legs stop working the way they did for the first 20 miles.  But, as long as I can move I should be able to finish.  I suppose if I knew there was a 100% chance for success then it wouldn’t be as interesting so part of the intrigue is to flirt with the 20% that may challenge me to stop – or, just flat out break me.  We shall see.

For some dumb reason – I am registered for a 5K the day after my full mary.  It’s a run at the St Louis zoo.  Oh, I do have a picture of the full mary medal.  I kinda thought it sucked at first but, it’s starting to grow on me :)  It’s actually part of a 5 medal series – the first medal was last year and if you run all 5 years then all the pieces fit together like a jigsaw puzzle and kind of represent the history of Starved Rock State Park.

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One thing is certain, I will be creating an indelible memory on Saturday, May 16th and I won’t be forgetting that run for the rest of my life.

 

 

 

2015 Week 16 Weigh-In & Marathon Madness!

On the surface it looks like I dropped 6.8 lbs from last week and have my 6th straight weekly drop now totalling 24.8 lbs.

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I’d like to offer a little transparency here regarding weight fluctuation.

  • 4/09 8:19 am – 254.8 – Week 15 Weigh-In
  • 4/10 7:53 a.m – 254.0
  • 4/12 5:08 pm – 248.2
  • 4/13 6:55 am – 249.2
  • 4/14 7:56 am – 249.2
  • 4/15 6:04 am – 250.8
  • 4/16 10:09 pm – 248.0 – Week 16 Weigh In
  • 4/17 8:30 am – 250.0
  • 4/19 6:38 am – 255.2
  • 4/21 6:51 am – 257.2

Those weigh-ins are from my Week 15 weigh in on 4/9 through this mornings 4/21 weigh in, the day I’m writing this blog.  Between this blog and the half dozen diet bets I’m in it’s become a bit of a habit to weigh myself nearly daily and I take a quick snapshot with my phone camera which is how I know the dates and times of each weigh in.

This past Thursday’s 4/16 weigh in was a bit abnormal.  I’d planned on leaving St Louis for Iowa around noon on the 15th after getting some work done on my car.  Car work took longer than expected and wasn’t done until 5 p.m. – I still had errands to run and didn’t make it up to Iowa until after midnight on the 16th.  The lovely Days Inn I was originally going to stay at cancelled my reservations without telling me and it was about 5 a.m. before I was finally settled into a new hotel.  I managed to knock out a 5K run that day before my reviews started at 5 p.m. but, reviews were cancelled so I headed down to the riverfront, pulled my bike out of my trunk and biked 22km before heading back to my hotel.  I hadn’t eaten since early that morning so between the 27km of biking and running I got a nifty 248 lb weigh in.

My recent uptick in weight to 257.2 is kind of interesting.  Fridays reviews went until 10 p.m. and the weekend reviews on Sat & Sun ran from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. – just a whole lot of sitting….  I played hookey Sat morning to sneak in a 10K over in Iowa City but still managed to get back for the last 8 hours of reviews that day.

Today was my 12th DietBet weigh-in and I only needed a weight below 258.7 which I got with my 257.2 weigh in so I’m now at 12 straight wins.  Other than my final two weekly Thursday weigh ins or this blog, I have a 13th dietbet weigh in pending for Thursday, April 30th and need to weigh no more than 252.8 and that objective will help keep things in check and not too relaxed this week.

Regardless of how the last 10 days of this month play out I’m pretty much guaranteed an average weight (as shown in the table at the top of my Running Log tab) somewhere in the mid to low 250s.  Which means I will be well poised to have an average weight in the 240s for the month of May.

From January, the data in my table shows a 6 lb drop in Feb and another 6lb drop in March.  So far this month I’m down about 12lbs from last months average and the big difference is the inclusion of races.  Since 3/14 I’ve ran in two 5K’s, one 5 mile run, two 10K’s and two half marathons.

For May, I’m currently registered for two 5Ks, one half marathon and one Full Marathon.  I’ve toyed with the idea of changing the half to a full which would give me two full mary’s in a weeks time and that would qualify me to become a Marathon Maniac as well as a Double Agent for being both a Maniac and a Half Fanatic….

The best analogy I have in my head for covering a single 26.2 mile full marathon is Columbus crossing the ocean in wooden boats or man going to the moon with 45 year old computer technology.  In either case, each had just enough resources to get the job done but not much extra.

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This is a beautiful looking course up in Ottawa, Illinois – close to Chicago.  I’m already signed up for the full and will have a “back of the pack” pacer and hopefully as many other people as possible tackling the full.

Contrast that full mary run with the Moonlight Marathon held from 6 p.m. Saturday May 9th through 1 a.m. May 10th in a cemetery where President Lincoln is buried in Springfield, Illinois….

USATF Moonight Marathon Route

…quite a difference.

I only have 2 full marathons under my belt – from ’94 and ’04 so – flat out ignorance may be part of what gets me to attempt this – along with TS Eliot’s quote.

Moonlight Marathoners get to pick their own starting time (whoever finishes closest to midnight wins) and I can start as early as 6 p.m. (earlier if they let me) and have until 1 a.m. to finish the race – so, an average pace of 3.75 mph would accomplish the task.  The pace is not intimidating – the 26.2 miles is.

I’m thinking if I can get some 4 hour training walks in at 4 mph and maybe two 5 hour walks also at 4 mph then maybe maintaining a slightly slower pace for an entire 26.2 would be feasible –

My mind thinks a lot about the muscle breakdown and recovery necessary for completing two full marathons in a week at my level of fitness.  Rhabdomyolysis comes to mind, heck, even troponin levels come to mind even though troponin is usually a marker tested soon after a person has a heart attack.

Two 10 miles and a 10K – that’s a marathon.  I should be completing at least one of those in May.  If nothing else, I should definitely be able to have an average weight in the 240s for the month of May – i don’t know the last time I’ve had a month in that weight range so, it will be a milestone type of accomplishment :)

 

15th Annual GO! St Louis Half Marathon Review

Ever since I ran my first 10K in the Summer of ’94 then my first full marathon a few months later every downtown St Louis 1/2 marathon followed essentially the same routes.  This year was a welcomed departure from the norm turned this course into one of my all time favorites.

2015-course-map

The course started from it’s usual location on Market Street but instead of starting out by heading South towards the Anheuser Busch brewery, it went East, straight towards the first of two bridges which were to be crossed.  Shortly after the the first mile marker began the “race within a race”  the 3.5 mile Bridge Run which had it’s own starting and finishing strips to time runners.

During the first mile this giant flag was hanging a little too low, and unless you were 4 ft tall or less, you were bound to run into it.

During the first mile this giant flag was hanging a little too low, and unless you were 4 ft tall or less, you were bound to run into it.

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A little low but at least it wasn’t hitting the ground.

With overcast skies at the beginning of the race we didn’t get to see the sunrise until the start of our first bridge, Eads Bridge which was had it’s initial construction way back in February of 1868 and first opened to the public on July 4th, 1874.  I never realized how long this bridge was until running over the whole thing but the beautiful sunrise kept us all company.

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another view of the Eads bridge (picture via Wikipedia)

After exiting the Eads Bridge on the Illinois side of the river we made our way over to the Martin Luther King bridge via Collinsville Ave in East St Louis.  I’m not sure how many runners realized this but, along the right side of the road we got to pass the Majestic Theatre.  About 20 months ago, I did a little research and expose’ on the Majestic Theatre after taking a snapshot of the building from the highway and being curious about it.  At a cost of $1 million the Majestic opened in 1928, had seating for over 1,800 people and a 3 tier balcony.  Up until it closed it’s doors in 1960, it was known as the brightest spot in Illinois owing to an illuminated marquee which contained over 3,000 bulbs of various colors and a chasing border surrounded by neon lights.

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The run back into Missouri via the Martin Luther King (MLK) bridge offered some fantastic skyline views of the city of St Louis.  If the GO! St Louis race directors keep this same route and you’ve never been to St Louis before, I would highly recommend this run as a great way to see the city for the first time.

St Louis skyline.  Note the long stream of runners heading into the MLK Bridge

St Louis skyline. Note the long stream of runners on the right heading into the MLK Bridge

As we got closer to the MLK bridge the skyline, the gateway Arch and the Eads bridge we had crossed to get into Illinois provided some more nice views.  In the picture below, you may be able to notice the coast guard in the Mississippi river but there was also a helicopter overhead as well as a drone by the MLK bridge.

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After getting back into St Louis city, we quickly found ourselves at Miles 5 and 6 – the race was nearly half over.  From mile 7 to about mile 12.5 was really cool.  That 5.5 mile stretch was out and back to the Anheuser Busch brewery and it was enough distance that I was able to see my brother on his way to the finish around the 11 mile marker (his side of the road)  It was really fun.  The brewery had one of it’s signature clydesdales horses out for photo ops.

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After hitting mile 12 and turning back on Market St I kept looking for that 13 mile marker ….I think that marker should be about 40 feet tall and in neon lights personally….. after a couple more turns and going one block north it finally emerged.

This was a great race for me.  I hit my sub 3 hr time goal last week at the LPHM and I was just looking to emulate that time but with less pain.  Mission accomplished.  This was one of the easiest half marathons I’d ever done.  I had about 95% less pain then the week before and even shaved about 5 min 30 sec off my time from last week.

Out of the 6,253 half marathon runners, about 28% of them finished between 1 and 2 hours.  63% finished between 2 and 3 hours and the remaining 9% finished in greater than 3 hours and I was just fine being amongst the majority of runners.

A big hat’s off to my brother who was among the 28% who finished under 2 hours.  His final time was 1 hour, 59 minutes and 45 seconds :)

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Brother’s Scott & Troy :)

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2015 Week 15 Weigh-In – The Downward Spiral Continues

This is the 5th week in a row of weight drops which now total 18 lbs or about 3.6 lbs per week.  The running has certainly made a difference.  My average weight for this month is now at 256.8 which is nearly 10 lbs less than last month’s March average weight of 266 lbs.

2015 Wallpaper 02 half - 2015

I did add a couple pictures to my laptop wallpaper (that I intend on buying) from the LPHM (Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon) and one from the Bridge & Dam 10K which I really liked.  Once I buy those pictures I may share in a future blog when I have the original digital copies.  The prices for the Bridge & Dam pictures are phenomenal and start at only 89 cents for 4×6 copies and I’ve already emailed the photographer about digital copies and she said she would add those for free once she gets my order.

I haven’t blogged much about my runs and I’ve completed 5 so far this year.  My first two runs were pretty lackluster – not much better than anything I did last year but that Bridge & Dam 10K at the Ozarks seemed to be a bit of a game changer.

PURE – that’s the word I think of with that run.  It was the kind of experience that helped me to fall in love with running all over again.  The fact that I was able to do it non-stop was amazing for me and when I talk about Pure, I mean the run was all about running.  There are a lot of races which ….how do I put this …they seem to have a keen slant towards entertainment which would not be pure.  The Rock & Roll events can be a great deal of fun but, having cheerleaders, pom pom girls and marching bands from every high school in a 60 mile radius of the run doesn’t have a lot to do with running.  From what I understand those 5K “color runs” aren’t even timed events, just people who end up with a bunch of color on their white shirts by the time the event is over.

At the B&D 10K there were 4 or 5 cars on the shoulder of the road right after the 5K turn around point where kids held signs cheering for their Mom or Dad and a few other places had some single individuals sitting out front on a lawn chair enjoying the spectacle but, that was it – the whole thing was about running.

The LPHM was very different also.  That run actually has pacers for times like 2:45 and 3:00.  Last year, I tried staying with the 3 hour pacers but, around mile 10 – a long, unforgiving uphill stretch of road, those pacers became like specks and eventually disappeared from my vision because I couldn’t keep up with them.  This year, there were three different sets of 3 hour pacers each with different run/walk strategies.  The lady I picked had the slowest running pace and probably the shortest walking time but, I figured I had my best chance to stay with her.  It totally worked.  There was one point, maybe 8 miles in when the 3hr pace groups got ahead of me by about 20 feet but, I caught back up to them and around mile 9.5 broke away from them and never looked back.  I finished about 4 minutes ahead of those groups.

The 15th Annual GO! St Louis Half Marathon is 3 days away and I’m hoping to come in under 3 hours again and I would be thrilled if I could do it with a bit less pain :)  For this half there are a slew of pacers up to the 2 hr 30 minute mark and then no other pacers until the 3 hr 15 mark.  However, I have found some 6 hour pacers for the full marathon advertised so I’m going to search them out on the day of the race figuring they will need to hit the 13.1 mile mark around 3 hours.

The course for the GO! half mary is pretty cool.  The full marathon runners don’t break away from the half mary runners until mile 13 so I will at least have the opportunity to stick with them for the entire half.  At the point in the race where I turn right and finish my race – those others will keep heading straight out and back for another 13.1 miles.

I’ll never forget my 2nd full marathon in 2004 when I came to that point where half mary runners turned to finish and weirdos like me ….for whatever reason, had decided to keep going straight.  I actually ran across my times for that 2004 full marathon.  I’ve always referred to that as my walking full mary but, I did maintain a pace of 13:04 which, was actually 25 seconds faster than my average pace for this past weekend’s Lincoln Half marathon but, that last full mary was a bit over 10 years ago and I suppose I have some more work to do in order to overcome those additional 10 years of abuse that I’ve hoisted upon myself ;)

Results - 2004 Marathon - Copy

I wish I could get my stats for the first full mary I ran back in 1994 and I have a tendency to email and ask every race director I can find if they know of anyplace with those records but, no luck so far.  That’s the race where I tell everyone I finished in about 4:30 when it was probably closer to 4:40 – either way, it was a 10:xx pace, something in the lower 10 min/mile pace.

This year has been very different regarding the running.  There are far fewer psychological games I need to play in order to move my legs.  And, even though I ran for about an hour and a half in the B&D 10K non-stop, in my mind it seems like the base for my running would now be the adage, I can run 4 minutes, as opposed to the name of this blog, I can run a minute.  But, there is a lot you can do with being able to consistently run 4 minutes straight anytime you want.  We can push that to completing a half in under 3 hours or even run a 10K nonstop.

I still have nearly 5 lbs I have to drop between now and the middle of next week in order to win two 1 month DietBets which I joined halfway through the games thus only giving myself two weeks to accomplish the 4% weight drop.

There’s so much people don’t understand about weight.  What I’ll be looking to see next week will be a preview of coming attractions.  I might get to see a 249.8 or maybe a few 10ths of a pound less.  The 3500 calorie bean counters always love to do the math, as if any instantaneous snapshot of weight has a high degree of significance.  But, I have to admit that people are a lot nicer on the DietBet website than anything I had to endure when I was on facebook where many of the messages and comments were pretty much like hate mail.

There was a time when the HCG diets were popular so many people accused me of injecting myself with that female pregnancy hormone – what a joke.  If anyone knows anything about that particular diet then they would also know it includes a diet plan of eating around 500 calories per day.  I could drink magical water and lose weight rapidly if I was only taking in 500 calories per day.

The fact is, I can lose weight on 2600-2800 calories per day and maintain in the 2800 to 3200 range.  You just don’t build up a body capable of bench pressing over 500 pounds without retaining a bit of muscle mass – one of the basis for our resting metabolic rate.  So, even without exercise and a sub 1,000 calorie per day diet there’s still a couple thousand calorie per day deficit – add in things like a 22k bike ride or a couple half marathons and that deficit goes through the roof.

and…as I’ve alluded to there are previews and there are actual weights.  I’d say most people don’t know the difference.  I may have to elucidate on this concept in an upcoming blog.  I’ve learned it’s not super easy to explain.

There are a series of weekly Wednesday night races put on by the St Louis Track Club – 12 of them and I think I’ll be able to make almost all of them.  They start June 3rd and the distances range from 3K (1.86 miles) to 4.2 Miles and the best part – they only cost $1.00 per run!  Now we’re talking!   :)

The runs are called the Summer Pace Series.  You predict your finish time, run without a watch then see how close you get to your predicted time.   Should be fun.

We have had some torrential rain in the area so my Metric Half Century bike ride may have to take place next Tuesday (allowing a days rest after the upcoming 1/2 mary)  I think a bit of carbs and adequate water while being careful with what I eat should help provide some really nice looking previews of coming attractions in terms of weight.  I’m looking at a low weight on the 14th/15th, a bit higher on the 16th for my next weekly weigh-in.  There is a DB weigh in on the 21st – only need a 258.7 so that’s kind of a joke but then my April 30th weigh in will need a 252.8 so that will help keep my efforts true. …a few 5k runs then my third half mary on May 9th back in Springfield, IL….I don’t have any weights listed in my Calendar for May.  I’ll have to get on that but, I am looking for an average weight in the 240s for the month of May.  A good preview 5-6 days from now should help ensure that.

2015 Week 14 Weigh-In, Down 16lbs in 4 Weeks

After my Week 10 weigh in of 272.8lbs I’ve steadily shrunk away at the rate of about 4 lbs per week to this week’s weight of 256.8 lbs.

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One big difference after week 10 was an uptick in my running mileage.  I finished out the month of March with 54 miles and the 2nd half of the month included 4 races which include a 5 mile run, two 5K’s and a 10K.  The intensity of races is usually a bit more than simply training so I believed that helped also.

Earlier this week, I decided to challenge myself a bit more and signed up for two 1-month diet bets that were already about 2 weeks in progress.  Those bets have me starting at ~260 and I’ll need to be down to 250 by April 15th.

I’ve got three things in mind to help me accomplish this feat – two half marathons and a Metric Half Century bike ride.  That was another thing, in addition to the running I’ve gotten in two bike rides so far, one 14k and one 22k (about 13miles)  50 km would be about 31 miles and I’m planning on doing that this coming Wednesday while my car is being worked on.

For the runs, I’ve got the Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon tomorrow in Springfield, IL and the GO! St Louis Half Marathon the following weekend.

Overall, I’m looking to have an average weight in the 250s for the month of April then I’ll be shooting for an average weight in the 240s in May and by the end of May I should have one of my beginning of the year goals met which is to weigh in the low 240s.

After my final weigh-ins around April 24th, I’ll get a bit of a reprieve with my diet bets because I only need a weigh in of 258.7 on the 21st and then a 252.8 weigh in on the 30th of the month which will help keep things in check.  That’s one thing I really love about these diet bets, the ability to rotate the intensity and discipline needed.

Getting down into the 240s is going to be a pretty big milestone for me.  Out of 52 weigh-ins last year, I only touched the 240s twice and never had a month with weight that averaged in the 240s.  So, I want to bust my butt in the next couple weeks and maybe get a sneak preview of the 240s – anything just below 250 for my April 14th weigh ins will be a treat – overall goal this month is average weight in the 250s then May should really rock with an entire month in the 240s :)

As far as diet is concerned, I can be pretty strict and – if I had to give a name to my diet – I would call it; The Feeling Diet.

The Feeling Diet
It’s a pretty simple concept.  If I’m feeling full, I gain weight and If I’m feeling hungry, I’ll lose weight.  And it usually works out that way.

VLCD – VLCD is a term commonly found in medical literature.  It stands for Very Low Calorie Diet.  It’s not uncommon to hear people quip to be careful and you’ll end up losing muscle mass and that’s the basis for your resting metabolic rate …yada, yada, yada

Well, the percentage of fat loss by an individual using a VLCD approach really varies depending upon the individual and probably the greatest factor is the amount of fat a person has to lose in the first place.  I wish I had this study readily bookmarked, I know I’ve mentioned it in an email before but, basically, this study from pubmed cited a 77% loss of fat in VLCD participants.  That’s kind of huge and noteworthy.  That number is an average.  A person with say, a BMI at 50 or above may easily be losing a rate of fat well in the 80% range while someone with a BMI in the low 20s is probably asking for trouble.

So, a huge calorie expenditure and very nutritionally dense eating and …not freaking out if I’m hungry.  Sometimes I’ll take the smokers approach about just putting off that next smoke – even if just for 10 or 20 minutes because sometimes that’s all you need to get past the craving.  It can work the same way with food – sometimes – not all the times.

If you use MyFitnessPal, you can break the days up into eight 4-hour time slots starting at midnight, then just log the food in the appropriate time slot.  I didn’t make up the notion of Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner nor did anybody reading this so why is it something we necessarily need to adhere to?  we don’t.  eat when you’re hungry – really hungry and not for any other reason.

Sometimes, you might just want to push off eating until the next 4 hour time slot.

That’s about it – I might miss one weekend when I’m out of town on business but, I’ll be taking my bike and shoes along and …when I get back, I’ll be hitting it with a vengeance and am looking at 3 races in 24 hours for the 25th & 26th of April.  Two 5Ks on Saturday and my first duathlon on Sunday.  I’m not sure I would do all that on my own.  I like to sleep.  I like to sleep in.  I like to have my morning coffee and lounge :)

Currently, I’m registered for 3 more runs in May including another Half Marathon and pondering a biathlon.  I figure I’ll just keep this up until things are the way I want them :)

Also joined the St Louis Track Club and a neat thing about that organization is they have a fun little competition where you can earn points for every mile you race.  I’m starting a little late with that but, like the dietbets, anytime I can turn something into a game, it seems to help have fun with the whole process and also increases awareness.

ha! :)  just got an email reply from a race director and i’m able to get in a 3.5 mile race this Sunday :)

At this rate …I’ll be ready for my reprieve in two weeks!  :)