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