Monthly Archives: January 2013

Plano Pacers 5M – 2006

December 30, 2006

I am back in Dallas for Christmas.

Part of my Christmas present from my sister is a body fat test (next year, I get to do a stress test).

I have had body fat measured in a bunch of different ways:

*calipers – got a reading of 18%
*handheld electronic machine – got a reading of 9%
*body fat scale – got a reading of 16%

The method used at the Cooper Clinic is the submersion version.

I strip down naked and get into a hot tub of sorts (in other words, the water is pleasantly warm).  I need to be fully submerged and sitting in a “deck chair” scale.  I have some problems with this, because sitting in the chair regularly (which is probably standard, my feet are touching the bottom.  No good.

Then, I try sitting cross legged, but my knees are hitting the sides of the pool.

We finally find a position where I am only on the chair (very awkward) and I find it almost impossible to stay submerged, blow out all my air and stay under long enough for them to get a reading.  They finally get a couple of readings of 23%.  Afterwards, they do the caliper test and get a reading of 21%.

I don’t really trust the caliper test because it is a measurement of averages.  They measure your belly, your lower back and your thigh… but if you’ve seen me, my legs are a large part of my body, and for the most part, not a bit of fat on them.  I don’t think you can use the same averages as someone who has shorter legs and a large frame (I have a small frame – yes, small and 6’6″).

I did manage to do a couple of practice stress tests on the treadmills at the Cooper Gym.  The stress test is walking on a treadmill at 3.3 mph (about 18:00/mile) at 1% grade.  Every minute, they increase the grade by 1% until they reach a maximum of 25%.  You cannot hold on, and probably every 3-5 minutes they are taking your blood pressure and electrodes are attached as well.  It’s awkward.  If you make the maximum grade, then they start increasing the speed by 0.3 mph every minute until you just about collapse.  I think my sister may have gone for 37 minutes, which is very very good.

There are treadmills at the gym that go up to 50%.  At about 30%, you HAVE to hang on, because it is too steep.  What I didn’t realize is that you have to have a “key” in to pass 25% (and it kept falling out on the angle), so it kept stopping before I could get a decent reading.  I will have to wait until next year to see how I can do for real.

My sister runs with a club in Dallas (maybe more like a team), but there are several clubs in the area that do multiple monthly races.  As far as I can tell, the Plano Pacers never do runs together… unless they are races.  Basically, your membership is discounted races.

I do their 8K (5M) run in Schimmelpfennig Park by the Plano Senior Center.  My parents come out and stay inside the warm car until I am done.

For some reason, the park asphalt surface feels too solid on to me or knee busting.  I just do my best to stay with people I think I would be competing with (I’m a terrible gauge on how old people are.).

Even with a small race, they give out trophies to the top 3 in every age group, and they even have a Clydesdale Category (190+ pounds).  My time of 36:38 is good enough for 1st in the Clydesdale category (I’m probably the lightest, at 205 pounds), but wouldn’t have been more than 6th in M35-39.

This group has at least two races a month, so next time I am in Dallas to visit, I will run with them again (race was $10).

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Make Room 4 Santa 10K – 2006

December 17, 2006

Post-marathon and post-Sheriff’s run, my body needed a break and so I got sick.

However, I had already committed to run the Make Room 4 Santa inaugural 10K in Irvine with a bunch of friends, so I sucked it up and just did the race.

Most of the people I went with got all gussied up in Santa outfits.  I demurred and wore a “Santa’s Little Helper” green rubber bracelet (something that wouldn’t affect my running) – thanks, Geri.

Despite having a head cold, I had a decent race, finishing in 46:12, out of the medals, but even so, I still felt sick at the end.

LASAA East LA 10K Mug Run – 2006

December 9, 2006

I went against my full-week off of running plan and did the 10K from the Citadel Factory stores shopping center (near) East LA.

Since this was my first post-marathon run, I had some breathing problems.  If you have ever taken time off of running, you will find that the first time you run after the break, it feels like you haven’t run for ages!  And in a race, you are trying to not fall behind or run quickly and efficiently.

In any case, this is a good training help for running tired, which I am going to have to do if I am doing that ultra/marathon back-to-back next year.

I managed a 47:15… not good enough for a medal, but still under 8:00/mile.

California International Marathon – 2006

December 3, 2006

In 1996, I ran my first marathon at the California International Marathon (CIM).  I decided that I would run it again for my 10th anniversary of doing a marathon.

When I was in Dallas for Thanksgiving last month, I read an article in the Dallas Morning News (a great newspaper for runners – weekly articles, calendar, etc.) about some nutty people who ran an ultramarathon on Saturday and a marathon on Sunday.  Less than 20 nutty people.  I wanted to be one of those exclusive nuts, but the race weekend was this same weekend, and the anniversary was important to me.  I was definitely going to take it on in 2007!

I made plans to stay with my friend Jessica in Davis, and hoped that I could rely upon my friends in GVH running club to carpool to and from the race.  I sent a number of e-mails months prior and no one was that organized.  Then, two weeks ago, everyone had their carpools set and no room for me.

Jessica, who is not remotely interested in running (except as a friend because it interests me) said that she would drive me to and from the race… and help out anyone from the club in the same boat.  (I couldn’t offer to rent a car, because the marathon is point-to-point, so there would need to be two cars.)  This was a VERY generous offer (who wants to drive people anywhere at 6am on a Sunday?), and two people from GVH took us up on the offer.

On Sunday, I talked briefly with the other two runners, both of whom I had never met before.  The one that stuck out in my head was Chris Rosario, who was a few months younger than me and was talking about how he was going to run 3:30 or so (faster than my PR) for his 2nd or 3rd marathon.  I thought that is unbelievable!

The plan was that I would have my cellphone and that we would all meet in a central agreed-upon location and Jessica could get there in 20 minutes to take us back.

It was pretty cold at the start, though not raining, and I felt stupendous, and ran the first 13.1 miles in 1:46:45 (which would put me on a sub-3:30 pace).  I was even running with the 3:20 pace group for several miles, and then the wheels fell off… my legs got tight.  I wasn’t consuming enough liquid either, and I’m certain that did not help one bit.

My biggest mistake (besides walking the 4 miles to the airport on Friday) was bending over to pick up someone’s dropped water bottle.  CRAMPS!!!!  (The A-hole dropped it on purpose – didn’t need it anymore!)  That basically reduced me to a halting walk for the last 5-6 miles and my second half was an unblistering 2:32… but I still did 4:18:48, which was a personal best on this course by about 15 minutes.

Afterwards, I was able to find Chris, but not the other gal.  We called her cellphone to see where she was, and we heard it ring… in Jessica’s trunk!  Great.  Now we’ll never find her!  Somehow, though, she managed to finagle a ride home with another team member and get her cellphone back later.

A few months later I was managing the AREC membership list, and I noticed that one of the new member e-mails looked familiar – it was Chris Rosario, who had moved to Long Beach.  It was nice having someone who had the same GVH/AREC/TRH experience… and bad because he always beats me in races.

Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot 8M – 2006

November 23, 2006

My first Thanksgiving in Dallas now that my folks have moved here.  Riva suggested that I do the Turkey Trot.  My first 10K ever was A turkey trot in Davis, and Turkey Trots seem to be a tradition for runners around Thanksgiving.  I wonder when the first ever Turkey Trot race was held (how many years ago?)…

This is one of your more unusual Turkey Trots because it is 8 miles long, not your standard distance, though I suppose 8 miles may just be long enough to run off the upcoming turkey dinner.

This is also atypical because of its large size.  There were over 20,000 runners at the event – that’s a lot of runners!!!

As I was waiting in the starting area, they had marked off various sections for specific paces.  I decided that 7:30/mile was pretty good, but soon I noticed that the area was mostly populated by people with strollers who didn’t look as fit as I did.  Even in the 6:00/mile pace area, there were people who “didn’t belong.”  I realized that I’d better move up quite a bit or I would be stuck in a slower group for the entire race.  I stood in the 5:30/mile section!

My first mile was a bit slower than I wanted to run – a little over 8:00, because it was so crowded.  Once I got into a better rhythm, then I was running with people doing my proposed 7:30/mile pace (and some of them had started in the 5:00 “corral”).  I guess had I started with that group, I could have broken 1 hour, but I was close with 60:13…. and being such a large race, I only managed 67th in my age group.

I would do this race again, if the timing works out.

LASAA Temple 10K Mug Run – 2006

November 11, 2006

Drove up to Temple City to do another Sheriff’s Mug Run.  This is a fairly uneventful street course that runs through a number of neighborhoods, with a net elevation gain (100′?) for the first 3 miles and then a mild descent back to the start/finish for the second half.

For me, it’s slightly notable that it is somewhat near where my grandparents spent the last years of their lives… I think I may have run by the hospital complex where my grandmother spent the bulk of her last 10 years.

Today, I tried out new “orthotics.”  In my mind, orthotics are inserts specially fitted for oneself, rather than over-the-counter inserts.  I bought some OTC inserts to give me a little more support.  I may have mentioned before that I have two differently sized feet, and they differ from what is normal.

My left foot is a 12-1/2 and my right foot is a 13-1/2… and after 12s, there are no half sizes.  I don’t generally know anyone who has opposite feet.  If I did, I would assume that their shoe width is also probably not AA, since most large footed persons have a wide width (like D or E or EE).

So… I get 14s, which is a pretty good fit for the right foot and a bad fit for the left.  The orthotic inserts help a little bit for both feet for support, but help best for the left foot.

I overcompensated a little bit on the run and went out too fast, but managed to get into a comfortable rhythm fairly quickly.  The fast start helped me to see where I was in the race, and only a few people passed me overall.

I ended up running 45:08, coming in 6th place overall and winning my age group.  Gotta love these small races when you are finishing in the top ten overall!

Dino Dash 10K – 2006

November 5, 2006

Kurt and I decided to do the Dino Dash (before the Sunday Hash) in Tustin.  This is one of your basic street runs, with a little hill over the freeway and back, circling around some Asian commercial-area churches, and finishing through some car dealerships.

I overdid the first mile, but still managed 45:30 (which is around 7:30/mile).  Kurt ran a personal best (or least, a personal best post-college).

Neither of us got any hardware.  Probably for the best.  A medal – I can hang on the wall.  A trophy – I can put on my bookcase.  A ceramic dinosaur (with plaque) made by an elementary school student – probably eventually ends up in the trash.  Neat idea, though!