Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Without further ado…The Marathon Race Report:

While I appreciate them, the phone calls and text messages can all stop now. Here is the report.

I’m not going to talk about training…
I’m not going to talk about all the time I’ve had off the bike lately just to do a silly running race…
I’m not going to complain about the injuries I ensued during my race preparation…
Not going to talk about race strategy…or how hard the race was…or how much time I lost from mile 20-25…I’m definitely not going to talk about nipple guards…I may talk a little about some crucial areas I made sure were “properly lubricated” pre-race…
I’m certainly not going to talk about what it felt like to meet “the wall” first hand and push through it in tears…I’m won’t mention how awesome it was to see fellow Wolverines as I passed the 25 mile marker and how their encouraging words allowed me to ignore severe knee pain in the final mile…
No sense in describing how I now have to go down steps backwards like an infant due to intense post-race lactic pain!
And I certainly won’t confess that the race evoked so much emotion out of me that I was virtually crying that last two miles…that would make me sound like a ninny-boy.

What I would like to talk about is the answer to this question: Where was I going with all this training for a sport I never identified myself with? Why did I decide to attempt something that less that one percent of all Americans ever take a crack at? Where was I going?

It seems that the answer to this question never really came to me until a mere few days before the marathon. After a bit of soul searching and listening to episode 116 of the podcast Phedippidations, I started to gain a clearer perspective of where I was going with all this running.

I love riding my bike…I live to ride my bike. I feel so fortunate that I have sponsors and people that help me out financially and with equipment when it comes to racing. I even like the very small amount of glamour that occasionally comes with racing a bike.

I know that I will NEVER be even remotely fast enough for anyone to give me any significant discounts towards running gear, or help finance race entry fees or traveling expenses. I also know there will NEVER be a running team that would ever want to recruit me regardless of how hard I trained. I don’t “have it” when it comes to running. My body was simply not designed for it.

A large portion of my passion for cycling is the love affair of man and machine. A pair of running shoes never really did it for me.

Ironically, the same things that always deterred me from running ended up being the things that just recently made me respect and honor the sport.

It turns out running is quite a true testament of spirit and will. While I never found any personal speed satiation with running, I did find that it was able to mentally elevate me to levels I had never been before. This is a very hard concept for me to put into words.

When I ran those 26.2 miles on Sunday it was almost as if everything in my life had lead up to that moment. During the race I relived childhood memories in my head, I thought about my family and friends, my girlfriend, my job, my education, lost loved ones, and people who have meant a lot to me in my life. I was able to access where I have gone so far and was able to come to a peaceful resolution with myself that I am truly happy with where I am and am going.

I had a goal in my head to run a time somewhere between 3:30-3:40, I ended up with a 3:46. I was in competition with myself. However, in the end I realized that I had accomplished a goal that I never set out to, I realized where I was going.

Where do I go from here? It’s time to get back on the bike. Will I ever run another marathon? Please ask me this question in 6 months.

Oh…and yes, here is a graphic picture of me properly lubricating the nether regions that were susceptible to chaffing.

“Who Cares? I’m Flying” Award

This week the W.C.I.F.A. goes my good friend/running coach/boss/personal photographer/personal chauffeur/ and primary meal provider, Dirt Dawg.

Fresh off his successfully completed 50-mile trail ultra-marathon, Dirt Dawg was a bit timid going into Sunday’s race. He had been my source of running advice and motivation for the past few months. After completing my 20-mile run and submitting my training report to D.D., I think he began to feel that his protégé might surpass him. However, D.D. had made a pact he would run with me during my virgin attempt at a marathon regardless of the pace.

Hesitantly he lined up with me on Sunday in the 3:30 pacing group. As the race began he looked strong; snapping pictures, telling jokes, commenting on fellow female runners and bobbing his head to whatever sounds his iPod was producing at the time. As my pace began to stager in the later parts of the race D.D. would run ahead of me and walk at the mile markers until I caught up with him. Knowing D.D.’s PR was 3:44, I quickly came to the realization that he would easily beat this time if he could shed his anchor, me. I informed D.D. that if he does not make an attempt at a PR because of me I would be livid! With that information, he motored away from me with the assumed mantra of “Who Cares? I’m Flying!”

D.D. went onto to crush his previous PR by over 11minutes and finishing in an impressive time of 3:33.

Lets all raise our Garmin 305 adorned wrists and water bottles full of Hammer Heed to Dirt Dawg, you are this week’s well deserved W.C.I.F.A.!

Check out D.D.’s race report at: http://dirtdawgramblingdiatribe.blogspot.com/

Monday, October 22, 2007

2007 30th Detroit Marathon Race Report

I really wanted to write my race report tonight...I really did. However, after I got home from work today I hit the couch, passed out, and that was my night. I am exhausted and in pain, but it was all worth it. I will share my research findings from my undercover running binge soon.