Monday, December 12, 2011

Race Report

Twelve miles were almost complete and I was running cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 best half marathon of my life. That's kind of a joke - it was only my 2nd and cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 odds were with me for it to be my best. Then I felt cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m coming. Cramps. In both of my calves. Not cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 entire muscle, but small strands of fibres near cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 center of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 back of my lower leg. "No, not now," I thought, "Not now."

It was 4pm on Sunday, December 4th, and I was sitting at a 2/5 NL game at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Aria casino. I'd been in Vegas for about a day and a half and had perhaps 1 beer and 2 glasses of wine. I was as relaxed as I could be before a race for which I'd trained 3 months. Our group, no, our Team had planned to meet 1 hour before cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 race at 4:30 to grab a shuttle to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 starting line near Mandalay Bay. Otis, G-Rob, Dan, Chako and myself changed into our gear and met near cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 poker room exit. I was anxious, I wanted to be at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 starting line now and begin to stretch. Our team didn't worry about getting cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re on time, that is until we had been standing in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 shuttle line with about 300 ocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r people waiting for a bus that would never come.

I don't like expending any energy before an important race. But in order to get to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 starting line on time, we all realized we'd have to walk cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 mile and a half to get cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re. We left cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Aria at about 4:50pm, it was going to be close, but we should have been able to arrive on time. Along cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 way, though, police stopped us from crossing cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 street so that cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 full marathon race leaders had a clear road. Anocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r delay.

By cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 time we reached cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 starting gate, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 mass of humanity 33,000 strong prevented us from making any headway towards our assigned starting corrals. Before our team split, Dan grouped us togecá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r and reiterated cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 fact that we were all very lucky just to be able to participate. That had some calming effect on me, but I was still jittery. I gave Otis a hug, wished him luck, and crammed my way into corral #4. The starting gun went off before I even got inside. I was pissed. I hadn't stretched, I hadn't checked my bag and I just realized that I put my water belt on upside down. The two bottles of fluid I was going to run with were long gone and I began to panic just a little. I turned on my GPS watch and watched in dismay as its inability to find a signal magnified my anger. How would I ever be able to prove my finishing time to anyone, let alone, myself?

As you may be aware, I'm an engineer. It's my job to solve problems. That mode of thinking took over and I made some adjustments. First, I took everything I wasn't willing to lose out of my check-in bag. And cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365n I just tossed it to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 ground. I got my iPod ready and would simply use cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 total elapsed song duration to determine my race time. For fluids, I'd just have to use cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 aid stations throughout cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 race. For my running pace, I'd use feel. That's one thing I'm pretty good at - determining my pace based on effort, stride and tempo. I said to myself, "Don't let this petty shit ruin your race for you." So when my corral moved to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 gate and got ready to run, I did a mental reboot and hit play on my iPod as soon as cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 gun went off.

It's not my favorite song by any means, but ever since it randomly started my first 10k that I ever ran, I use it to start every race that's longer than 6 miles. Broken, Beat, and Scarred. Three minutes into cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 song, my GPS watch acquired a signal. I didn't hit start on cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 watch timer just yet. I'd wait until cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 first song was over, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365n I could simply add cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 duration of that song to my overall time. The first water station came up and I took a drink I'd not normally take. And cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365n I just simply tried to run cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 race I'd trained for, all cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 while making sure to soak up cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 atmosphere of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Vegas Strip at night.

There were some minor logistical obstacles to overcome. For one, even though cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y group your corrals by anticipated finish time, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re's nobody to enforce that rule. I must have passed several hundred people in cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 first few miles, even a couple of walkers. That's simply unacceptable and dangerous. If you want to walk a race, that's fine, but don't do it at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 peril of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 runners behind you.

The first 6 or 7 miles were easy. I was running too fast, that much was certain, but I didn't care. I would just slow down if I needed to. I absorbed myself fully into my playlist. It was carefully crafted especially for this race. It had a couple of slower, less intense songs at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 mid-way point so that cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 end was pure extreme metal intensity. I do recall having enough energy to sing along to Firewind's Set cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 World on Fire during mile 8. I hope nobody heard me though.

During my training for this race, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 point at which my muscles and joints would begin to rebel against my wishes would occur later and later into each run. It was at mile 9 that this point hit me during this race and I slowed down a bit. It was my slowest mile of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 race and I found it a bit difficult to resume my earlier pace. But difficulty is a relative term. My trials and tribulations were nothing compared to those of my friend.

The Thursday before I left for Vegas, I got a text from Otis' brocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r Dr. Jeff. "Mom and I are forcing Brad to Vegas to finish what he started. Take care of him for me." I was surprised, since I thought cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re was no way Otis would go to Vegas. I was also excited, he was part of our team that trained hard for this moment. That he would be a part of it after all that happened was great news. I was also honored.

Thinking of Otis is all it took for me to resume my race, even as my hamstring throbbed and my ankle ached. Ignore cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 pain, that's all I have to do. My GPS watch went from an 8:02 pace back to about 7:45. Good enough to set my personal best. My music did cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 rest.

Until cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 cramps hit.

I adjusted my stride hoping cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y'd go away. I ran with more of a flat footed step hoping to minimize cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 strain on my calves. It seemed to work, until I had to move laterally to pass someone; cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365n cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y'd begin again. I knew I'd need sustenance, so I forced down anocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r package of something called Gu that I'd picked up at an aid station. "Please be enough to stop cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 cramps," I begged. I'm not sure how quickly I could digest and process that something called Gu, but perhaps psychologically I convinced myself that it helped.

It didn't, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 cramps came back midway through mile 13 and I was really thinking I'd have to walk. I turned towards cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 crowd for some reason. I can't really explain why I did just cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365n. I'd not looked at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 crowd cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 entire race prior to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365n. One head stool tall and over those people around him. "Hey, I know him." It was Drizz. I turned and pointed to him, music still blaring through my headphones. A group of about 15-20 bloggers saw me and began to cheer. Amazing. Truly an amazing feeling that will stick with me for cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 rest of my life. I'm not exaggerating. Fuck cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 cramps, I'm running through cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m. Powered by that simple gesture of friends watching and cheering, I crossed cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 finish line. Not knowing that cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 chip time was being recorded for me throughout cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 race, I calculated my finish time by adding song #1 of my playlist to my GPS timer. It came out to roughly 1:41, a personal best by 7 minutes.

To everyone who was cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re for me throughout cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 weekend, thank you very much. The race was part of a weekend that redefined what's important to me.

I think cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 best thing you can do for someone is simply be cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re when you're needed. You don't have to do much, most people don't need a lot of support. Small, little things matter. A cheer, a hug, a few minutes of converstation, a big bag of Stella....

Any support that's freely and willingly given to a friend is magnified a thousand-fold by its recipient. Trust me.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Exercise - Some Thoughts

I was honored last weekend to be part of a group of runners who dedicated cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ir time and effort to complete cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 Las Vegas half marathon with me. Many of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365se folks were running cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 longest cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y'd ever run before on that day and cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y all finished. One of cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 more common topics of conversation that I overheard afterwards was how being cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365re to cheer on ocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365rs had motivated cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m to eicá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r resume or begin training cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365mselves. That's outstanding.

So, if I may be so bold, let me relay a few tips to those of you considering beginning a training program, be it running or simply a general fitness routine. Many people start cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m, and as we all know, not as many people continue with cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m.



Consistency - This is cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 absolute, number one thing to remember. Be consistent. Try your best to make working out not something you feel you have to do, but something you want to do. Make it a part of your lifestyle, just like having breakfast. Yes, it takes time and effort; but you don't have to workout every day. Start out slow and get used to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 extra things you'll need to do to make working out easier, i.e. cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 extra laundry you'll need to do, cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 extra packing you'll need to do each morning before you go to work.

(Tip: If you work out after work, DO NOT go home first. If you think you'll head home after work and cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365n go back out to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 gym, you'll highly likely not make it. Go straight from work to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 gym, and cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365n go home.)

Plan is a plan - Find someone to help with your plan. A co-worker who works out, a trainer at cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 gym, hell, you can even email me if you want and I'll answer as best as I can. But remember this - it's just a "plan." You may have to deviate from it at times, so don't EVER get discouraged because you eicá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365r missed a short-term workout goal, regressed in your training a step, or flat-out missed a work out. Make concessions in your plan so that you'll have a back up. Shorten your workout if you need to, a shorter one is better than none at all. Switch off-days if you need to. If you have to miss a workout, make it up on one of your rest days. Even if you flat out miss a week or longer due to travel, do NOT give up. Understand that it's a small step backwards, but you're still on a plan to move forward.

Coming Back from a break - To me, this is cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 NUMBER 1 cause for people to fall off cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 work out wagon. Look, you'll get sick. You'll have unexpected travel. You will miss a workout, even several, through no fault of your own. You need to find cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 mental discipline to resume your program after a break. It's very mentally discouraging to make good progress by being consistent for months at a time and cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365n see it diminish because you're missing workouts. So what? Get back to cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 gym as soon as you can. It's difficult, I know. Just don't quit.

Enjoy - You should really at some point look forward to working out. It shouldn't suck. If it did, who would ever do it? Find something to make it fun. Honestly, healthy, physically fit people are fun to look at in tight clothing. I'm a male pig, and seeing a nice young woman in tight workout clocá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365s is a motivator to me. I'm sorry. It's because I'm a pig. I understand that. If you're lucky enough to have a friend as a workout partner, that can make things enjoyable too. When GRob and Otis began doing long runs on Saturdays with me cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365se past few months, it made a mundane run very much something to look forward to.

Compare you to you - Lastly, don't ever compare yourself to someone else. You're not cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m. You don't have cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ir genetics, you don't respond to training like cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y do, you don't process foods cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 same way cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y do, you're not cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365ir age, you're simply not cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365m. Everyone can find someone more fit than cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365y are. I can find tons of guys stronger, faster (Dan), more lean, more proportional, more everything. Don't let that keep you from working out. Keep a log if you can, and in a year, compare yourself to what you were doing a year prior. You'll be amazed at YOUR progress. You get to keep it and nobody can take it away from you. Think about that.

If you decide to do something with respect to working out, start today. Don't wait for January 1st. Do it today. There's nothing stopping you. And if you choose to do something, consider how lucky you are to be able to. Dan's advice to us runners this year is cá cược thể thao bet365_cách nạp tiền vào bet365_ đăng ký bet365 best advice I've ever had. "Consider how lucky we all are to be able to run today." There are millions of people who can't.