Saturday, February 28, 2009

Cool Tech

Some things amaze even me. Now this one has been around for a while but I still think the idea is cool. In some races they will send an SMS message (a small text message of up to 140-160 characters) to the cell phone of a friend/family member with your time/place as you cross at certain points in the race. In Paris they will be sending out an SMS at the half way point 21.1km and at 30km.

The service is being offered by Gaz de France. In case my explanation was not clear, here is an animation they put together demoing the service:

So far the site to register for this service has been flaky. I can not figure out the combo of name and birthdate it wants from me to register me. No error mesages, just a little > Invalid < message.

So once I figure out how to get into the site I will see how many people I can register. If you are interested in me adding you to the list then send me a mail with your cell number. Family and friends first. I will also try adding my twitter feed so that it gets twittered. That will show up here or on the right or on my feed if you are subscribed.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Going Strong

Looking at the mileage so far this year I am blown away. Wow, the miles add up when you are training for a Marathon.

This year's training is going very well. Having completed my first Marathon last year I am more confident that with this year's outing. I feel stronger, I am completing my longer runs without the problems that plagued me (calf pains), I am not very sore after my long runs (only stiff for a day though the blisters I have collected last week had me limping a bit on Monday and Tuesday).

Running this much means more shoes. The pair I have now I purchased in the fall last year and I will need to get a new pair to break in for the Marathon. The ones I have now are no longer lasting to the end of my long runs. So they are fine for shorter (10km-ish) runs for a while.

As for some of the issues you must deal with when you start running for 3+ hours (if you are a 4h 28min range Marathon runner, my time from last year), I have been revisiting them recently:
  • Blisters: little ones and a huge one on my arch from my orthotics. I am double socking it with under/wicking socks but it is not stopping the fact my feet need to build up some callouses to handle the beating.
  • Friction Burns (only thing I can think to call them) in private areas, under arms, nipples. Body Glide (looks like a stick of deodorant) has helped out here very well. One note, don't wear one of your favorite shirts when using Body Glide or other anti-friction creams since you may end up with a shirt that is now permanently stained from the oil I assume is in the product. Not sure if the stain came from Body Glide or something else I tried.
  • Training takes a long time. You need a supportive spouse when you have 2 children under 4. My wife is a key part of my training plan, her support helps me attain this silly goals I set.
  • Sleep is critical. You need more. Missing it (sick, teething 6 month old, overtime) leads to lower energy, possibility of injury and of course being overtrained (which basically translates to under rested for a simplistic look at it).
  • Food is critical. Junk in, junk out. Be good to yur body, refuel during your run (I refuel about every 45 mins and take water every 20 mins or when I feel thristy).
Your body is not a temple, it is a big house of cards and each piece of food, each ounce of sleep, and each training session is just one small piece of the foundation that keeps your house strong.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Underslept + Hard Training = Overtraining

My 6 month old has been teething for about 3 weeks now. He is onto the 7-8 teeth now. My wife, bless her soul, has been taking the brunt of it in the night times (getting up with him) but we are all not getting enough sleep. A screaming kid in the house in the night time does not a good sleep make.

So, pile that one with the training which I have been working very hard to on, and I was blown this week. I rested on Monday instead of cross training, I ran hard on Tuesday, then cross trained on Wednesday, but Wednesday night was a low sleep night so I took off Thursday/Friday/Saturday, and did my long run today.

I needed the break,even with skipping one of my runs, my legs were heavy at the start of the run today. I was facing a 29km run today at a goal pace of 6:09/km. I was blown at about 27km and at 28km I stopped and walked the rest of the way home (only .43km). Actual time was 3hr 1min 55sec or 6:24/km.

Not bad considering I only started to dial up the distance last month, but I am hoping I get more sleep this week so I can tackle next weekends 32km with a little more pep. Here I am hoping to have pep running 32km, heck I am pretty stoked I can hammer out 28km right now. I got a glimpse today that even with a compressed training schedule (I wish I had 4 more weeks) I should be ready for the Marathon in April.

Now, I am going to go crash and read a book while I wait for my family to get home.