Friday, December 19, 2008

Self-Inflicted White Rock Ultramarathon - Not Quite!

If you've been following this blog you know I missed my last race due to illness, then decided to turn the White Rock Marathon into a 56 mile Ultramarathon by running to and from the race (see previous posts below).  Well, it almost happened, but not quite.

I did get up at 4:00 AM on Sunday to start my journey.  I had coffee and breakfast, got dressed, and was out the door by 5:10 AM.  The race started at 8:00 AM so I planned to take about 2 hours and 30-40 minutes, leaving me 10-20 minutes before the official start.

The run to the race was great.  You can see my route here.  It was quiet and peaceful, although it was very windy.  The wind was out of the South so it was blowing in my face most of the time.

At one point I stopped at a McDonald's to refill my water bottle and use the restroom.  I was wearing my race bib (number) at that time.  As I ran through the McDonald's parking lot two women got out of their car.  They were wearing half marathon bibs.  You could tell they were totally confused to see someone running with a race bib about 8 miles from the actual race.  It was funny.

I arrived at the race in plenty of time, stood around waiting for the start, then finally the starting gun fired and there was more waiting to actually get to and cross the starting line.  I started the nice easy run/walk pattern (run 0.9 miles, walk 0.1 miles) that I had been using all morning.  The race was going well until around mile 10, when I started feeling nauseous and full.  My stomach felt tight and I didn't feel like eating or drinking.  This is a consistent problem for me when I eat only sweet things (I was eating Power Gels, Jelly Belly Sports Beans and the new Power Bar Gel Blasts).  I need to find an energy source I can carry that is not primarily sugar.

Anyway, after another couple of miles I needed to find a port-a-potty.  I had to use the restroom and was really feeling nauseous.  Not good!  I asked a volunteer where the next port-a-potties were but she didn't know.  Finally as I approached mile 11 or so I found some.  As I ran to the potties there was a band playing, and this is what they were playing ("Where Did Our Love Go?" by The Supremes):
I've got this burning, burning
Yearning feelin' inside me
Ooh, deep inside me
And it hurts so bad.
Yep, that's about how I felt.  I used the port-a-potty but couldn't throw up (and if a port-a-potty won't make you throw up I don't know what will).  I started walking more and running less.  This slowdown continued through the marathon halfway point (13.1 miles, which for me was mile 28).  I had been hoping to finish the marathon in five hours but I was pretty sure that wouldn't happen.

Around mile 14 I ran into some women from one of my past Team in Training groups.  They were following a 5:30 pace group (an experienced runner runs a preassigned pace and people who want to run that pace can run with the pacer).  They were running five minutes and walking one minute.  I started running with them and that worked well for a while, but I still didn't feel well and wasn't eating enough to maintain the effort.  Finally around mile 18 (mile 33 for me) I dropped back and started walking more.  

I walked most of the rest of the race with occasional bursts of running.  I was really tired and still felt nauseous and a little dehydrated since I wasn't eating or drinking enough due to the nausea.  It was discouraging to walk so much, but at least I was going to finish.  However, I knew I would never have the energy to run home another 15 miles.  I also felt what I thought were blisters on both feet (they turned out to be hot spots, so that was good).  I finally got into downtown Dallas which meant I was within a couple of miles of being finished.  I ran most of the last mile and ran across the finish line.  Finally finished in a time of 5:48:41, my slowest marathon ever (1:26 slower than my fastest marathon and 52 minutes slower than my next slowest marathon).  But I did run 15 miles before, so I wasn't too upset.  Here is a map of my marathon race before the batteries in my watch died.

At the finish I ran into a lot of my friends from Team in Training and I hung out and cheered for some of the last finishers.  Then I caught a ride home, ate a LOT and had a hot bath and a cold beer (both of which are supposed to be bad for you after running, but who cares!).

Total for the day:  41.1 miles, 8 hours, 27 minutes, 1 second, pace of 12:21 per mile.  Pretty slow.

So I still didn't achieve my goal of 50 miles to keep me on track with my racing and fundraising.  I may be able to make it up in February, but I'm not sure yet.

Finally, please look at this incredibly inspirational picture taken by the wife of a member of my running club, the North Texas Trail Runners.

That's one of the things I love about running.  There are so many different types of people out there, each testing their own abilities and their own limits.  These guys are dealing with challenges I can't even imagine, but they're out there giving it their all and pushing themselves.  Such an inspirational image.

Thanks again to everyone who has supported me, both financially and with encouragement and support.  You guys make my efforts worthwhile!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Bid for the Cure: "Archived" American Girl Doll for Sale

My wife has found herself in possession of an extra Samantha doll from American Girl.  Samantha has been "archived" or discontinued and is no longer available.  This doll is in the original packaging which shipped directly from American Girl and has never been opened.  The set also includes six Samantha books.  Everything is brand new and never opened.

If you or someone you know would like to bid on Samantha please visit this eBay page to place a bid.  ALL monies raised will go toward my fundraising efforts on behalf of the Prostate Cancer Foundation and Athletes for a Cure.  So bid early and bid often!


Friday, December 12, 2008

Self-Inflicted White Rock Ultramarathon

If you've been reading my blog you know that last weekend was supposed to be the third race in my Race Against Prostate Cancer (SunMart 50 mile) but I was sick and had to skip it.

Now I'm well and looking for ways to still meet my goal of one ultra per month for seven months.  Unfortunately there aren't any more ultras nearby this month so I'm going to get creative.

This Sunday I will run the White Rock Marathon.  I'm excited about this race - it's always fun to run in my hometown, and I will see tons of people I know.  That is always a great experience.  However, a marathon is not an ultramarathon.  So to accomplish my goal I will run to the White Rock Marathon, run the marathon, then run home.  It's about 15 miles from my house to the American Airlines Center where the race starts and finishes, so that means I will run about 56 miles in total.

For some reason I'm really nervous about this, even though I've run longer distances in the past.  First of all, it will all be on pavement and concrete, so that will be hard on my body.  But also I'm nervous about running 30 miles alone (I should point out that I'll be running up and down busy streets so I'll never be alone, but I'll be the only one running my "event").

The good news is that there will aid everywhere!  Restaurants, convenience stores, Starbucks.  I'll even run by Krispy Kreme twice.  So I plan to carry my credit card with me and stop frequently for "aid".  

Thanks to EarthRunner on Twitter for the title of my race.  He jokingly called it a Self-Inflicted Ultra and I liked the name.

So wish me luck.  And if you happen to be driving near my route and see me, feel free to toss me some food or a beer (Shiner Hefeweizen is always appreciated).

Thanks again to all of my supporters and donors.  I've received several more donations this month!  I've reached 42% of my goal ($1,844) and I've received another $1,338 in pledges.  That's a total of $3,182 raised or committed, all thanks to your generosity.  So thanks again.

I'll post an update Sunday night!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Skipping SunMart

Unfortunately I'm skipping SunMart due to illness.  I travelled to Milwaukee for work this week and Wednesday I started feeling bad.  I started loading up on vitamins, oranges and orange juice, and I got lots of sleep Wednesday night, but I only felt worse on Thursday.  Thursday I did not sleep AT ALL (which is not like me) and by Friday morning I was feeling pretty bad.  I flew back home this morning and am planning to rest and recover this weekend.  I might try to run the White Rock Marathon next weekend if I am feeling better.

However, that leaves my short one ultra in my Seven Ultras in Seven Months fundraising effort.  I may do an extra 50 mile race in February (the Rocky Raccoon 100/50 miler which is actually on much of the same trail as SunMart) to make up the difference.  I'm going to hunt around and see what the other options are.  But be assured that I will reach my mileage goal, and with your help I will also reach my fundraising goal!

Remember that for the rest of this year all of your donations are matched by The Safeway Foundation so if you have been considering donating this would be a great time to do so.  You can double your money!

Have a great weekend, get plenty of rest and avoid those cold and flu bugs!