Thursday, September 20, 2007

Life always changes

Ok so this week was fun, Track on Tuesday night we had a 4 mile Cross Country run, I was still sick so I thought I was just going to hang out. Anne came with me and did the warm-up alone and I still was not going to run. We all headed over to the starting line which was in Cherry Creek Res. and lined up into 6 teams of at least 6. One of the runners mapped out the 4 mile course and put everyone into groups and was going to lead the run on his bike. I had on my workout clothes but was going to help Steve with the timing then all of a sudden something strange overtook me and I jumped in line right behind Anne. She turned and smiled and said "I thought you were not going to run" The only response I could come up with is I just really want to. How lame is that....I am willing to admit today that I am a competition junky!!!!!Yes I need help.

The gun went off (not really a gun but all races should have a gun so pretend that this one did). I started to run with Anne in the mid pack and after a few hundred feet I noticed that the groups were splitting and so I told my wonderful wife good by and took off for the lead group. I did not warm up at all and so I tried to stay with the back of the lead group for the first few miles and then I would pick it up. I found Mike whom I had run many track laps with and sat on his heels and when we passed mile one I asked the pace and he said 7:18. Pretty fast but felt good, I decided to stay on his heels for the next mile and then I would pick up the pace. Mile 2 came pretty fast and he said 6:42. Wow pretty fast but still feeling good and the course for the next little bit was flat so I picked up the pace pretty aggressively. I did not have a watch so I do not know mile 3 but by the start of 4 I had passed 3 others and had 2 more in my sights. Mile 4 started with a two little hills climbs and on the first on I sat on the heels of Brian and we started to work on reeling in another guy I do not know. Brian kept a really good pace up the first hill and by the second we had caught this guy and I made a surge to pass them both. I pushed it really hard to the end and my lungs were screaming. I did not have a watch because I gave it to Anne because I was not going to run but in talking to Brian and another guy I figured I came in some where in the neighborhood of 26 Minutes. PR for me on a 4 mile course for sure and I am pretty happy with it for no warm up and having a head cold.

Sonya you kicked some serious tail out their also, I tried to catch you but you were wicked strong and I could not even come close, good job to you and to all the PC runners. You all rock and look good.

On to the real news,,,,,,,,,I am a Husband and a Dad first and an athlete second and sometimes that causes problems. I signed up for the St. George Marathon because it was a race I grew up knowing about. Winning my lottery spot was really exciting and then to find out Eric B and Jeff L were going to be running it also made this seem perfect. I am really looking forward to these guys having a good race and wish you the best. Family matters came up and I am not able to go on this trip. I need to be home and so it kills me to say this but I am not going to the ST. George marathon......I have know about this for a few days and it has killed me to cancel my trip. It makes me even more disappointed to know that I had put in all this work and would not be able to run the race I was working towards. Anne came to me on Tuesday night and said how sorry she was I was not able to go and the she heard of some of the PC athletes going to the Denver Marathon the following weekend. I looked it up and the race is not full and I am able to make that date because of how close it is to home. I get to sleep in my own bed and then run my first Marathon in my home town. I am sorry to all those that I committed to running with but hope you all can understand that this happens some times.

Talk to you soon,

I love you Anne,


Monday, September 17, 2007

18 with Anthony

As Saturday morning approached I was faced with a different set of challenges. Anne and her Cleveland girls headed off to Chicago for the weekend and I was left to play single parent to 3 wonderful kids. I had most everything arranged but the added stress of being alone and John giving me the cold of the week made my mind start to play ideas of how to not run, not finish or to keep the pace slow. I new that the day would be tough because of the mental battle that I was having.

Anthony is a Boston qualifier and a smooth runner. He was kind and willing to run at my pace and work with me because I needed the help. I am not sure if he was guided by Steve on how the day should go but he was able to help more than he knows.

I decided that I wanted to run an out and back on the Highline Cannel trail here in Denver and we started at Goodson Rec. Center. 6:30am came fast and we started out at our normal 10 min pace and I asked if we could hold that for the first 9 miles. We talked about everything Tri and work and family, and much to my surprise Michelle his wife was in Chicago with her girlfriends on a weekend out. Funny how things like that happen.

Miles 1-5 went fast and felt really good, at 6 we stated to pick the pace up a little and ran 9:30's for the next 3 miles. At the turn I was really surprised how good I felt so I asked to pick up the pace for the next mile and moved it to a 9 min pace. I was starting to work a little but it felt good to be moving a little faster so on the next mile we moved to 8:30's and then to low 8's for 13-16. I was really cooked at the end of 16 and my body was feeling pretty tired so we slowed down and walked for a moment to get relaxed again and then kept a pretty slow pace to the 18 mile mark. The way I felt on the last mile was very different than the other two long runs. I finally had a good experience on a long run, I felt that I could really do this distance and find success. The rest of the day I was a Dad and we had a good time. Josh decided that it was important enough to have a bath with Dad the he jumped in the freezing water and had an ice bath with me. Anne came home on Sunday night and quickly after that my life went back to normal, or what ever normal is to us right now. I look forward to 16 next Saturday, I will be running the same course and I am starting to get excited for the Marathon. Until next time,

I love you Anne,


Sunday, September 9, 2007

20+ Long run

All week long I was thinking about the 24 mile run on my schedule. I wondered if I would do good, succeed or run into some unknown challenge. I decided to use the trail that was plotted by Steve that went around Chatfield. It looked like a good mix of trails, cement and low traffic. I also decided to try to get some help from fellow PC athletes and sent out an email on Thursday asking for runners to join me. When I checked my email on Friday I had a group of 5 that said they would run between 6-14 miles with me, my parents even said they wanted to do a water stop and they said that they would be at mile 18 and really excited to help. I was totally excited and knew that they would be a huge boost. Friday nights sleep went crappy and I ended up getting to sleep around midnight to 1am. The alarm went off at 10 minutes to 5am and I was up and ready to get the run going. I dumped a cooler at mile 5 and 7 and had arranged with my most wonderful wife to help from miles 12-22.
Michelle and Beth both were at King Sooper's before I arrived and a minute later we were off. We started at an 11 min/mile pace and held between 9:20-10:20 most of the first 12 miles. I was cautions in my communication and really enjoyed listening to Beth and Michelle visit and the three of us had a really great start. Michelle looked awesome and Beth has a calm run stride that just simply rocks, I thank both of you for your help off the front half. Great run to the both of you. Anne found us at mile 14 along with my parents who were excited to be apart of such a huge day. Both Beth and Michelle went back to their cars then and Nicole and I ran together. She talked about being an Iron Man and all that come with it, wow what a huge champ you are. Thank for getting up and running the barren stretch of the route. Jackson and Josh even got in on helping me and ran my pace for a few blocks, I have to say both of you boys will be great runners and I look forward to the day where we can run races together. Keep up the good work boys I love you tonz. Anne took Nicole back to her car and planned on meeting me at mile 20, my parents smile as they headed to help Kristin install her dishwasher. I was alone and tired and wicked proud of myself because I was making a new longest distance run with each step I took. I approached Titan road and felt my left leg from the knee down to my foot start to tighten and hurt. I pushed on for a few more minutes and the pain got worse and my calf started to tighten more than it ever has. I stopped and tried to stretch it and get it to loosen and a few minutes later I was running again only to have it get worse a few moments later. At mile 20.5 I decided that I needed to be smart and I stopped my run. Nearly 3.5 hours of running has passed and I had been 3 miles farther than I have ever run before and I was really on top of the world. I had run longer than 20 miles at one stretch and I felt pretty good about that part. I found Anne a little later at mile 21, it was 1 hour later then she expected and so she was really worried. I hate to make you worry love so I am sorry that I did not instruct you better. She drove me to get all the water we left on the course and back to my car. She and kids spent all of Saturday morning helping Dad workout and I am really glad that you are so willing to be apart of this. I talked to Steve as I was driving home and his words of support and comfort meant a lot, I am glad for such a dedicated coach. It is Sunday night and I am still deep down inside happy about the fact that I ran 20+ miles yesterday. I am stronger today with my running, closer to finishing my first Marathon and really the best Tyler I have ever been. Thanks to all that help this weekend between the calls, running with me, or helping me out with water and calorie's, you all rock. Most of all I love you Anne, Thanks for being apart of my 20+ long run,

I love you Anne,