Tomorrow I run the Shamrock’n Half-Marathon with a sub-2 goal. I’m capable of doing it, but frankly don’t have much margin for error.
Realistically the fastest mile I’ll be able to run during a half-marathon is around 8:45. Since my average pace will have to be 9:09, I can’t afford even one really bad mile. While going out too fast is always a concern, I also have to worry about going out too slow and leaving myself with too much of a gap to make up. So I have a pretty simple strategy.
First three miles – 9:48, 9:24 and 9:09
9 minute miles the rest of the way.
That gets me in at about 1:59:16, leaving 43 seconds to account for unexpected events.
So that’s the idea. If I can’t hold up, my secondary goal is to beat last year’s time of 2:04:03, which should be in the bag barring some horrible disaster.
The weather will be beautiful tomorrow, although about 10 degrees hotter than my preference.
Wish me luck. I’ll tweet my official time tomorrow as soon as I have it, and will post a full race report here on Monday.
Here’s the course elevation profile for my 5-mile race on Sunday, along with a name for each of the worst hills.
I last ran this race in 2007, and completed it in 40:46.
With luck, I might break an hour this time.
My recovery from a heart attack in 2010 continues apace. My annual check-up confirmed that in many ways I’m in better shape than I was before the event. My heart function will never return to 100%, but I’m down to two medications (plus aspirin) and my cardiologist just reduced me to minimum dosage.
I realize I owe my current health to good fortune, but it can’t be denied that years of running greatly mitigated the effects of the heart attack, and continuing to run afterwards has been instrumental in my recovery. Running didn’t make me invulnerable to a cardiac event, but it certainly was advantageous to be a runner both before and after.
So when you’re out there on the road and the miles get hard, try to remember what a terrific thing you’re doing for yourself, and your family, because it just might keep you around longer.
P.S. I think I talked my cardiologist into taking up the sport.
What do you think, folks? Time to get a new pair of running shoes or should I wait until I can see my socks through them? YOU DECIDE.
That’s the word you want to hear from your cardiologist when he examines your lab results and echocardiogram.
Total Cholesterol – 151
LDL – 73
Triglyceride/HDL ratio – 1.2 to 1
Ejection fraction – 50% (continuing the steady improvement since my heart attack)
He also made good sense when he talked to me about runners and heart attacks. Running, he said, lowers your risk of heart disease, but heart attacks are much more arbitrary.
I’m living (thankfully) proof of that. So enjoy the good cardiac health that running gives you, but don’t assume you’re invulnerable. If you experience the classic symptoms, or even just inexplicable left-arm pain, don’t screw around. Call 911 or get to the emergency room. Don’t die of indecision.
So I had my colonoscopy yesterday. Despite what you may have heard, the hardest part is not the procedure, or the preparation, it’s the going without solid food for almost 48 hours. That was excruciating.
Anyway, I got through it OK, and was astonished to receive what has to be the most bizarre memorabilia imaginable – photos of my colon.
At least I think they are photos of my colon. I don’t have anything to compare them to. For all I know, they could be pictures of some random guy and the hospital hands them out like those photos that are included when you buy a picture frame or wallet.
I guess it is supposed to provide concrete evidence that they actually went there, like taking a photo at the summit of Everest. It seems weird, though. I mean, it was a colonoscopy, not a trip to Disneyland.
Sure, you’re all dying to know what my large intestine looks like, but that would be an invasion of my privacy. Instead, I can tell you that it looks exactly like this…
I’ve been a bit, uh, busy for the last 24 hours, so amuse yourself with a similar experience by a better humorist.