Thought for the Day

Thursday, January 28, 2010

What It's All About

I had a fantastic time at the Carlsbad Marathon this past weekend, and I want to write it up soon, but that's not happening today. Today my Mom called me and read me something out of the latest edition of Diabetes Forecast Magazine.
What's better than getting written up in Diabetes Forecast Magazine as I was a little over a year ago? When someone writes a letter like this to the editors:
Last year I sent in a letter inquiring about diabetic marathoners and how they trained for their success [Mail Call, March '09, p. 13]. Tracey Neithercott's article "Success!" [Dec. '08, p. 61] about runner Jerry Nairn and his training program was very inspiring, and the advice was worthwhile.

I wanted to follow up to let you know that I just completed my first sprint triathlon. What a thrill! It was hard swimming in a lake with 800 other competitors, then biking 10 miles, and running 3 miles, but I overcame the obstacles and accomplished my goal. I am hooked! I love my fitness level now and my blood sugar control. I am more aware of my body and I am taking care of it.

I truly appreciate the "Success!" article, as it led me to believe that I could dream.

Dena Linda, Houston
Yeah, that makes me pretty happy.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Rock 'N' Roll Arizona Marathon

I got a text message from one of my brothers yesterday asking if I had won the Rock 'N' Roll Arizona Marathon that morning. He knew that I was untrained and unmotivated, even though I had agreed to do it months ago, and I had gone to the expo.
My reply said that I had won my own private little race, a 16 mile run followed by a 7.5 mile walk back to my car. I had warned everyone, Sandra, who organized the pace group leaders, and Jennifer, who was sharing duties with me to lead the 4:15 marathon group, that I probably was not going to be able to complete the distance in time. I was told it would be all right if I did the best I could, so that's what I did.
For myself I didn't really want to run this marathon. I knew I wasn't ready. But Jennifer wanted me to help her, or at least spend some time running with her again. We used to run together quite a bit.
And once I started, I really wanted to finish for the people we were there to support, the runners trying to hit their PRs or make their BQ times.
My legs were aching and sore from about 8 miles on, mostly calves and quads, but also my hips a little bit. I had an ultra-marathon-like soreness building up as we passed 12 miles, and I knew I couldn't make it in 4:15. I could always gut it out to the finish, but I didn't want anyone to be following me while I crashed and burned. So I handed my sign to Frank, a friend who seemed to be steady and strong on the pace, and I stepped off the course at mile 16.
I put my long sleeve shirt, which I had worn for the colder, starting miles, back on over my official pacer tank top, and started walking the course. I took a shortcut back to the finish area where I was parked, and cut off a little under three miles, or I would have had the marathon distance. As it was, I covered 16 miles in 2:36, and 23.5 miles in 5 hours.
I hope, but I'm not sure, that I helped some of the other runners out there by being there as long as I could. If Jennifer wasn't there to carry through to the finish, I wouldn't have even tried.
Blood sugars were fine all day. I was at 107 about 30 minutes before the start, and had a half a bagel right before the start. I had gels as scheduled during the run, and when I stopped at 16 miles, I was at 106. My blood sugar could have safely been a little higher, but it was never an issue.
I'm not calling this a DNF because I wasn't registered, and it wouldn't have counted as an official marathon if I had finished. For some reason this year, not all of the pacers were given free registration. This is the fourth year I've been a pacer at this marathon, and the first time they've done it this way. Anyway, for me it made it easier to do what I had to do, drop out.
If there's a silver lining, this experience this weekend may have been good preparation for next weekend, the Carlsbad Marathon. That will really be my 50th official marathon. I would love to be in better shape, but I can take my time and finish feeling good.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Here we go again...

I started last year with three marathons in three weeks, and I'm starting this year with the same three marathons, one after the other. The difference is that last year I was at least a little bit prepared before I started the set. My total running mileage for all of December was 13.
Oh, well, I'm not going to be setting any new personal records this month. I hadn't planned to do this, but this is the way it played out.
I had agreed to be a pace group leader, for runners trying to make it in 4:15, at the Rock 'N' Roll Arizona Marathon, as I have for the past three years. I was sick much of the time for the past six weeks, but this marathon is coming up this weekend, on the 17th.
I am running the Carlsbad Marathon on the 24th as part of the massive Glucomotive presence there, probably about 50 runners, many of them diabetic.
Then diabetic mountaineering legend and Ironman Sebastien Sasseville and diabetic Ironman Brian Foster will be in town for a conference and will run the Desert Classic Marathon while they're here on the 30th. I could hardly not show up for that event, and as long as I'm there, I might as well run the marathon.
It really seems as if I have no choice. I wonder how so many people avoid running marathons.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Havasu Falls

Well, I can't leave this blog just sitting here like this. I've been thinking about blogging, and things I should comment on. I even uploaded a bunch of pictures from a hike my son and I took down to Havasu Falls back on November 29th of last year, but I never got around to writing anything about it.
Anyway, please enjoy these pictures.

Snow! Something we hadn't seen for a while. It had us thinking it would be very cold in the canyon, but it wasn't.

At the rim of the Grand Canyon before heading in.

Passing the Havasupai village on the way down.

Francis shooting some video from the edge of one of the smaller waterfalls along the way.

Havasu Falls from above.

More video of falls.

It was a long, exhausting, fun, beautiful day. If you're ever on your way to the Grand Canyon, and you want some company, let me know. I need to spend more time there.
Happy New Year, everyone!