Thursday, January 28, 2010

Frustrated being on the sidelines...

I have been sitting on the sidelines since January 16 with a very serious groin pull. More specifically it is the "adductor longus" that is the problem. That is the muscle that runs from the pelvis to the thigh bone. An example of using it would be bringing your second leg into the car, something I couldn't do without the assistance of my hand for several days.

Over the last 10 days, I have been resting the muscles, treating the area with ice and some light stretching. In the last week, I feel that I have improved 150%, but I still have a long way to go. I am now facing the fact that I may not be able to run the LA Marathon on March 21st, which is something I have looked forward to since I made the commitment in November. I have a number of friends running the race and I thought it would be fun to be surrounded by some great people as I venture down the path to completing my first marathon. I still have hope that I will be able to make that journey with them.

Yesterday, I made an attempt to run just a few feet and there was just too much pain in the pelvic area after a few steps. So I decided to hit the pool this morning and see if swimming had any effect on the groin. After a short warm up, I started to get back into my normal swimming rhythm. I noticed some slight discomfort in the first few laps, but then it went away. This was the first time I had been back in the pool since December 24th, although I swam about 800 yards in the open water in both Grand Cayman and Cozumel, both of which were so much more fun than swimming in a pool.

Once I knocked out 500 yards, I decided to try and run in the pool. The discomfort in the groin area returned, so I decided to go back to swimming. I finished up 500 more yards for a total of 1000 yards for today. I sat in the hot tub for a while and I must say that I felt pretty good when I got out.

My plan is to hit the pool several times over the next week and take my bike out for a quick spin on Sunday. The doctor says if I can ride the bike, pain free, it's OK to ride then. I will continue icing and stretching and if all goes well, I will try a very short and very slow run next Thursday at A Runner's Circle....that is a big IF right now...trying to keep a positive attitude though.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I'm on the Disabled List...

Here we are at week 9 of my LA Marathon training program and I end up with a pulled muscle in my groin. I did it on the last day of our caribbean cruise and as always I followed my mantra..."Go Big or Go Home" and boy did I. I am taking this week and part of next week off before I try to run again. I will most likely make it to the pool this weekend to get in a few laps. I am going to have to readjust my training plan but I feel that I will be ready on March 21st.

So you are probably wondering what I did to injure myself...

This should explain it...although this wasn't the actual incident.

Monday, January 18, 2010

2010 Disneyworld Half Marathon Race Report

Disneyworld Half Marathon 1/9/2010

We arrived in Orlando on Thursday evening to temps in the high 50’s and thought that just maybe all of the weather forecasts were wrong for the weekend. We got checked into our hotel, Port Orleans French Quarter and met up with a couple of our friends.

Friday morning we got up to some very cold temps, predicted high for the day was 45 degrees.

We had some breakfast and got over to the expo early. The Expo was about 2-3 times bigger than the Disneyland Half Marathon in Anaheim. We got our bibs, t shirts and goody bags and wandered the aisles of the expo. We decided to buy each of us a Tyvek jacket for $10 each and that proved to be the right move. It seems that the Tyvek jacket and pants vendor was the big winner that weekend. After wandering for a bit, we decided to board the bus back to the hotel. We spent Friday afternoon roaming around the Disney complex and met up with our friends from for dinner at Wolfgang Puck’s Express. We spent the rest of the evening looking over weather reports and talking about strategies for the race morning.

Saturday morning we woke up at 2:30am and began to get ready for the race. I decided on tights, base layer shirt, run club shirt, long sleeve tech shirt, throw away sweatshirt and the tyvek jacket. Hat and gloves rounded out my ensemble. We met our friends at 3:40am and boarded a bus for the starting area. The temperature was in the high 20’s and later found out that the temperature at the start of the race was 24 degrees. When we got to the starting area two of our friends went to the race retreat and the other three of us got to stand out in the bitter cold. I bought a cup of coffee to try and keep warm, but that was really difficult as there was no covered area to wait. (More on that later) The three of us waited for the porta pottys and the snow started. It was light and never made it to the ground.

We made our way to the start. The walk to the start was about ¾ mile and we were late, the race started as we were getting to the last corral. We ended up waiting and getting into the last corral, G. I had been assigned corral C but there was no way to get there. It took about 30 minutes to make it to the starting line and away we went. Corral G is very crowded, mostly with walkers and those that didn’t furnish proof of time. As we made it to the starting line, the snow was turning into a "wintery mix".

Corral G was very crowded and I spent the first couple of miles trying to get past some of the slower runners and walkers. The first 2 miles were littered with discarded clothing, the Orlando homeless shelters got alot of donations that weekend. I saw other runners taking discarded clothing and putting it on because they were cold...I guess there is a first time for everything. At mile 2 I shed my throw away sweatshirt and made a pitstop on the side of the road. The next few miles is where the sleet became rain and continued on throughout the race.

There were not as many runners dressed in costume as I have seen at the Disneyland Half, but I think that was due to the extreme cold. The y guy dressed as Stitch looked to be pretty warm.

We finally made our way up to the Magic Kingdom, turned inside the park and headed up Main Street. The Castle was light up along with Main Street and all of the Christmas decorations...what a sight.

The course narrowed as we made our way up Main Street and into Tomorrowland. At some points the course was no wider than about 10 feet, so the pace slowed a bit as I tried to maneuver around other runners.

Next up was Fantasyland and Cinderella's Castle.

We then made our way through a backstage area and they had a Pirates of the Caribbean ship setup along with Capt Jack Sparrow, who incidentally looked an aweful lot like Johnny Depp...go figure.

We then exited the park along a backroad that was really narrow, I ended up running on the grass for a while just to be able to pass people. After a mile or so we ended up on the main road again heading back to Epcot and the finish line. There were 2 overpasses in the last couple of miles and I felt them.

At the end of the overpasses was Epcot where we entered the park, headed down to the waterfront at World Showcase, turned around and headed for the finish line.

I finished in 2:11:25, which is about where I had wanted to come in. (My target was 2:10-2:15) I wasnt pushing the pace and felt good the entire run. I enjoyed the scenery and the race itself. I went down the finish chute, got some mylar, my medal and some food, now the waiting begins...

My wife walked the race in 3:15:51, so I had about an hour to kill. I was getting text updates from the race so I knew her approximate finish time. I went and got my bag out of bag check and looked for a dry place to wait for her to finish. The only place that was dry was the massage tent, so I headed in and stood around for a while. I was getting cold so I shed a couple of damp layers and put on a sweatshirt, but I was still cold. This is where I and many others as well feel that Disney failed...they had several days warning that this cold front and storm were coming. They could have set up some tents in the family reunion are for runners to wait both before and after the race that was covered and a bit warmer than standing in the open. This would not have been a big deal for them as they have plety of tents at their disposal. I was so glad when I got the text saying that my wife had crossed the finish line. I went out to meet her and we immediately headed for the bus pick up. We got in line for our resort, which turned out to be a very popular place based on it's location. There were about 400 people in line in front of us, whereas the other resorts had 50-100 people in their lines. The buses would come, fill up and leave and another would come about 7-10 minutes behind the last. That's fine on any other day...but not today and Disney realized it. They started sending more buses to our stop and then they started scanning the line looking for people that were starting to get hypothermia and getting those people on buses right away. We got on a bus and headed back to the resort. We took showers and still couldnt get the chill out of us. Later that day we headed over to Downtown Disney to see a movie and have a good dinner. Our original plan was to go to a theme park, but with the terrible weather we decided to scrap that idea.

All in all, it was a good race and an interesting experience! I now have the difficult part of the Disney "Coast to Coast Challenge" done and once we run the Disneyland Half in September, we will collect our Coast to Coast medal. The people that I would really like to thank is all of the volunteers...they sat out in the cold/snow/sleet/rain and handed out water and encouraging words, all with smiles on their to all of you I say a big Thank You!

The next day we all boarded Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas for a cruise to the western caribbean. I will post about that later in the week.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Disneyworld Half Marathon

Cold, Cold, Cold...and a bit of snow!

Working on Race report, will post soon.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Orlando Bound

I started packing last night for our vacation that starts Thursday morning at 5am when we head to Orlando Florida, meet some friends from Texas and New York to run the Walt Disney World Half Marathon. Following the race we will make our way to Port Canaveral to board Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas for a 7 day cruise of the Western Caribbean.

With this week's cold snap hitting the south, it forces me to rethink what to bring and wear for the race since at the start the temperature should be around 30 degrees. This will not be a PR race for me as I want to enjoy the scenery and hang out with our friends during the race. I will try and tweet from the race as well as shooting video on my Flip digital video camera. By doing this race and the Disneyland Half Marathon in September, my wife and I will receive the coveted "Coast to Coast" medal, a nice addition to our collection.

I am 16 weeks into my Higdon marathon training plan and it is not going as well as I had hoped. I am still getting in my quality workouts on Thursday's and my long run on Saturday's, but I am trading some of the shorter runs for 30-40 min swims in the pool. Over the next 10 days, it will be tough to stay on schedule. I will spend sometime each morning either running on deck or on the dreadmill in the gym. If I can get a longer run in somewhere in one of the ports we will visit, I will. I will also be doing some open water ocean swimming at least 2 of the days.

I hope to do some posting either on twitter or facebook as we will have wifi (dialup) service in the cabin. In any case, I should have a great race report with video when we return.