Awsome new look...Same great flavor!

1 year
140.6 miles
8:59:59 OR LESS!
That's the game

Monday, March 18, 2013

Maratona di Roma...tale of a Gladatorial Slaughter

 The Colosseum, or Flavian Amphitheater, was the site of my latest attempt to impress myself in one of my stupid human tricks.

Maratona di Roma was not a high priority event; but, a must do attraction while living two hours south of Rome.  I came into this event with some decent running miles, bike power (on trainer) intervals; and, a 36k swim over 2 days just days before running a marathon.  It is safe to say doing 1656 flip turns (pushing off the wall with quads) a few days before running a marathon and not expecting some residual fatigue may have been a slight oversight.

I started almost in the back of the 20,000 person crowd.  I wasn't seeded by time in the placement of the group, which turns out to be a pain in the ass if you intend to run a little quickly.  Ironman running off the bike is MUCH LESS crowed at the start!  My first and second 5k's were my slowest at 24:26 and 24:20.

There was absolutely nowhere to go!  I bounced up on curbs, behind dumpsters, around parked cars, but in the end I realized I was just wasting energy and not making any real progress.  The roads finally started opening up around 12k.  I am always amazed at running races how the 5foot 250lb man is able to be that far ahead of me at 15k into a marathon...or even 30k????

I was well off the pace hitting the half in 1:37 but the third 5 k came right in on pace at 22:10, I blame the traffic. I was ready to fight.  I was in total, "I AM THE AMERICAN GLADIATOR!" mode and I am here to kick some ass.  Bring on the km's.  Stay strong. Get back on pace and wait for your race plan to begin.

 30k.  19 miles.  That's the go point.  In Ironman if you can hold, or better yet accelerate, and make your last 10k the win...or almost.  That was the plan, hit it at 30.  At km 29 I take calories, water, and take inventory on my body.  Legs feel good.  Upper body loose.  HR right where it should be, and I'm ready to add a few BPM's.  Everything checks out. To me, the is Emporer giving me the thumbs up to, "HIT IT!"  The next 5k from 30-35 was right on 22,  and it even included some hills and bridges. Then,

Right on the 37km mark,  with 3.1miles left...

American Gladiator ended.  Fatigue won.  I slammed a Double Latte Powergel, said every mantra I knew, and counted km's to the finish all while playing the I promise to walk at the next km sign game.  My mind won, no walking, no quitting, no whining.  The final 5k was almost equal to my first 5k at 24:31  I finished 26.75miles (all 6 of my GPS wearing friends got 26.7 - 26.8miles because the course was rerouted around the Vatican because something about some new guy in town...pope) I'm pretty sure my time was 3:15 with an actual 26.2 marathon time via GPS right around 3:11:30...whatever.  Big bike rides start back this week with no cast, first ride on the road since 2 days after Xmas!!!!! 

Veni, Vidi, Vici in Roma...almost!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Another Gladiator Approaching the Colosseum

 20,000 gladiators will approach the Colosseum on Sunday morning to face their fates at the Maratona di Roma.  42.2 km of success or...well, not too many walked away from Flavian Amphitheater during it's history if they weren't successful.  Every marathon brings carnage, and here is to hoping that I'm not it!

 This past weekend I ran a 10k road race, which I won BTW!... and then later found out that me, and the top 15 or so men, were DQ'd for cutting the course, opps.  But, it was a good test to see where I'm at this early in the season. 

Some #'s.
 I ran the 10k in 38:38 (extrapolated out to actually be 10k vs the "shortened" course I chose to create)  That puts me at a 1:25 half and a 2:59 marathon using the charting system I use; has been very correct in the past and put me at 3:15 for the Napoli marathon and I ran 3:14:44 including my 1mile walk at the 40km mark.

Well Fuck Me!

I don't feel like I'm in 3hr shape??? However, at the Napoli run where I was still "chubby" and lacking long runs I went through the half just under 1:30; then, I went into nuclear meltdown because I was a big pussy and dressed like it was 25 degrees versus 57.  Trust me in that I will make a much better clothing choice on Sunday...speedo?  Buon Giorno Italia...Mi Chiamo Ryan!

This will also be the largest marathon I have run and I'm sure there will be some crowd issues the first 5-10k of bobbing and weaving.  I'm going to try to run consecutive 1:32 halves, and then maybe, just maybe, I can conjure up some strength of emotion that the gladiators felt as they approached the Colosseum on the very roads I'm running.  Imagery.  Me.  Strength.  Fear.  Success.  Life.  I AM...Another Gladiator Approaching the Colosseum!

Friday, March 8, 2013

New Kicks!

I'm  sure y'all get the same scenario thrown at you: "ask Ryan about running shoes...he's a runner."

Just cuz I run "a little" doesn't mean I know everything about running or running equipment, ie: shoes.

Three years with the Kswiss team really spoiled me, "oh look a scuff on my shoes...I think I'll open a new pair today."  Plus, it really dumbed down my running shoe technical knowledge because I was not investing thought, or $, on new shoes every six weeks.

When that deal was done I went back to wearing Newtons.  It was sexy.  Back to flash colors, great ventilation, light, leading edge of running innovation; sadly they keep aggravating a nerve/neuroma on my 4th metatarsal making it nearly impossible to continue running.  I had a lump the  size of a golf ball on my foot just before Challenge Roth that had me in the "day to day" category.  I love ya Newtons, but I just can't do it anymore.

Now comes the problem.  One would think living in Italy, the "fashion" capital of the world, I would be inundated with footwear options.  Yes the Italians run, quite quickly in fact; but, it seems,  they all run in Adidas and the stores don't carry size 15, or 50 in euro.

I have used the Zappos' option where I order $700 worth of different shoes all in the same size and then return $550 of shoes a week later (thanks for free shipping to FPO address btw Zappos).  That yielded me using Saucony Kinvara 3... me likey!! they are light, padded, and fast.  Good price too!  Liking the Kinvara 3's, I found some markdown Kinvara 2's for a price to not be missed.  Total Shit!  What a difference between two models of shoe.  Kinvara 2 = shit, Kinvara 3 is a great shoe with some durability issues compared to coming off over 500miles per pair in Newtons. 

Still Looking...

Now I've just tried the Asics Gel DS Trainer 18. 
Other than looking like giant bees attached to my feet, I like them.  They are a little bit heavier (11oz) than I have been running in for the past years (9oz) and they have a little more lift than the 2-4mm drop, but I'll mark that down to extra padding and injury prevention for an aging athlete :)  I have a few more runs in these before I decide between these and the Kinvara 3 for the Rome Marathon next week.  One problem with running in these urban marathons (Florence, Napoli, and Roma) is the amount of cobblestones run on; it is akin to running on solid steel or concrete.  ZERO GIVE!  I was sore for 4 days after Napoli Marathon and it's 32km of cobbled roads...ouch.  This big fella needs some padding.  Asics makes this same shoe in a racer version that is a little lighter and has water draining vents in the soles.  Perfect for Ironman France's heat and my propensity to dump water over my head whilst running.  Soft squishy shoes for training and light vented shoe for racing...I'll keep you updated.

Up next: My favorite treadmill runs

Friday, February 8, 2013

Keep on Movin' -n- Groovin

A great "why the hell am I doing another Ironman" song; although, many times during a long run, and occasionally a race when I haven't totally exploded, I sing in my head, "I'm on the run...10 more minutes and I'm gone...I'm on the run..."

Why did I do it, why did I do it
I asked myself a hundred times and then I start to cry
It's up to my neck now I'm runnin' like a dog
I can't remember how it started
But it's too late to turn back the clock
I gotta keep on, and on, and on, and on

Oh my heart's prayin' for a heart attack
I'm gonna collapse but I better not
I'll get a few years for the things I've done
I'll never see the sunrise no more what the hell
I'm gotta keep on

Fighting for my sanity and for family
And for my baby, oh for my baby
Bullshit aside yea I knew how to play the game right
But this time I made a mistake and I'm gonna pay the price
I'd rather be payin' to the grim reaper, than the law keeper

I'm runnin', I'm runnin', I'm runnin', out of time
Too late to waste time in haste
I fell to my knees to pray to your God
But your God wasn't there for me

And so I prayed to myself for long life and stamina
I do believe I was startin' to lose my nerve and my mind
I heard a little voice screamin'
If you do the crime you will send to the time
If you do the crime you will send to the time
If you do the crime you will send to the time

Another one of my stupid ideas that I WILL NEVER DO AGAIN was the Polar Bear Plunge.  Sure it's Southern Italy.  Sure it's in a pool.  Sure people do it in frozen lakes...what the fuck ever!!!  Never again!  Last year in Camp Lejeune, Teegan and the Commander did the full deal running into the ocean, me???  I made it mid calf deep and called it quits. Will I ever learn from my mistakes?

Oh, and thanks to the Commander for telling people, "Oh he will wear a white speedo!"  I was going with black board shorts until I was called out...She didn't participate BTW!

47 degree water!!!!  Chicks understand SHRINKAGE...right?

Daddy and daughter

Pretty sure I'm thinking F**K THIS!

I was already proclamating, "NEVER AGAIN!"

Keep on Movin'-n-Grovin!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Bad Clothing Choice...Napoli Maratona

I think I was texting, "opps, I'm wearing too much!"

Norwegians have a saying: There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing choices.

The night before the Napoli marathon I set out my running attire, shorts, base layer undershirt, a running singlet, socks, and fuelbelt.  Weather called for low 40's start, mid 40's finish but windy, and sunny.  Race morning I go outside for a weather check and see that my deck has frosted over, I can see my breath, the temp is 38 with a windchill of 32...Wardrobe Change!  I go total Euro over dressed man.  Running tights, long sleeve UA insulated base layer, and a t shirt, gloves.  Only thing missing was a man-purse and a scarf. 

I meet up with some friends at the start that are wearing shorts and their legs are a little blue and covered in goose bumps...right choice so far!  I go for my warm up run and turn the corner along the waterfront, the blast of cold wind hits me "confirming" I made the right call.  Until, I turn around and now the wind is at my back and the sun is starting to rise from behind Vesuvius; I quickly start to heat up but it's ten minutes to the start and I will never get to my car in time to change.  Yikes!

At 6km my gloves were off and I was starting to feel warm.  At the 21k point I was already sweating enough to see salt lines on my tights.  30k my HR spikes from dehydration.  32k I stop and drink an entire bottle of water and grab another.  Around 36k there was a 1k downhill section; I stopped at the top of the hill to stretch my very tight hamstrings just beginning to tingle with cramps.  38.5k...CRAMP...every muscle in the back of my legs.  Stretch.  Tried to run again but the first step...CRAMP.  Ok so I guess we are walking now!  I could almost see the finish line less than 2 miles away and yet I couldn't run.  At the 40k sign I was able to manage a shuffle for the final 2 miles.
                                                       Distance          Time            Avg Pace       Avg Speed   Total Ascent                 Avg HR           Max HR

It was intended to be "just" a long training run and that is where the trouble began; I didn't want to be cold during my long run. I was shooting for a 3:10 and was on pace until trouble started hitting.  I had 2 minutes "banked" time so I thought i would still hit the 3:10; but, sadly there is no such thing as banked time in a marathon and as I was walking I saw my time pass. 3:15 is a decent run with that many hills and at my fitness level etc.  I'm sure my winter fat doesn't help??

That is what overdressing in a marathon looks to fight another day!  

Result of a sock failure