Saturday, December 07, 2013

Memphis St Jude Marathon 2013

Cancelled because of ice that fell all day Friday as freezing rain.  Friday night the race director gave his reasons: First, although the roads are ice-free, the course is not safe for runners in the start and finish areas; Second, the sidewalks are icy and dangerous for volunteers and spectators; Third, the course goes through a park where the roads are icy, at least one tree is already down, and more trees are hovering over the roads, threatening to break; Fourth, as of Friday night 30% of volunteers had already cancelled because they have their own ice problems; and Fifth, the entire area around Memphis is in a state of emergency, with power lines down and people out of power everywhere, so the police and rescue services needed by the marathon are required elsewhere.  I find it hard to disagree with that reasoning.

Plants coated with ice

He didn't even mention the unseasonable cold.  This morning, race morning, the low was about 20 with a stiff wind and a resulting wind chill temperature less than 5 degrees.  If the race had gone forward, it would easily have been the coldest of our 78 marathons, by at least 20 degrees, not considering the wind chill. Coming from Minnesota, I was ready for the cold, but we would have heard reports of frostbite or worse, so it's good that the race was cancelled for that reason as well.

This is the third time that we three have gone to a race that was cancelled after we arrived.  Chicago in 2007 was cancelled during the running because of heat (they ran short of ambulances), but I was far enough along that I was allowed to finish.  Then St. Charles MO, in 2008, was cancelled during the running because it got flooded by the remnants of Hurricane Ike, and part of the course went under water.  No one finished that one; we all ran 10.5 miles and got half-marathon medals.  Today's race was cancelled the night before the race, so today we're all carbed up with nowhere to run.
We rode this

I do like to blog about a race as soon as I can afterward, while the memories are still fresh.  However, as Sunshine points out, I've never before been able to blog during the time of the race.  Oh well, we took Amtrak to get here and that was fun.  Also we enjoyed a day in Chicago making the connection, and downtown Memphis isn't a bad place to be either.  We even rode the trolley from our hotel to the expo during the ice storm.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Be Careful What You Ask For

Saturday, November 30, 2013:

After the very hot San Antonio marathon I wrote "where’s a little sleet when you need it!"  Today, the long-range forecast for our next marathon, in Memphis, includes the words: "... chance of freezing rain and sleet."  Hoo ha.  Not the best of weather, but better than 89 degrees with a blowtorch sun.  Long-range forecasts never really come to pass anyway.  Usually.

Splits: 10:12, 9:54, 9:48, 9:25, total 39:18, pace 9:50.

Friday, November 29:

YMCA.  Today is the day for burning off the excess that I consumed yesterday (Thanksgiving).  I lost the splits (accidentally cleared my watch) but I know that I ran five miles, each one a little faster then the previous, and the last mile took about 9:10.

Wednesday, November 27:

Stillwater Bubble.  No pains or problems.  Running just four miles, I had a little fun in the last mile, doing several short sprints along one side of the soccer field.

Splits:  10:30, 9:57, 9:35, 9:29, total 39:32, pace 9:53.

Monday, November 25:

Stillwater Bubble.  We ran there for the first time this fall, just to enjoy the unheated air and the

Taco Salad, one of my favorite meals
rubber smell of the soccer field.  Well, there were other reasons too.  Actually I do like it a little better than the YMCA track, because it’s 5 laps per mile instead of 13.  And I had a very nice run, finishing very the 4.8 miles very strong.  I stopped one lap short of 5 miles (I goofed), but it was enough.
No pains, no problems.  It’s a masterpiece!

Splits: 10:07. 9:50, 9:30, 9:46, 7:29 (about 0.8 mi), total 46:42, overall pace 9:44.

Saturday, November 23:

Three more miles in the YMCA.  This time I ran (run/walk) a mile on the track, then another on the treadmill at a 10:00 pace, and finally another mile on the track, somewhat faster.

For most of the day I had been experiencing a significant pain in the upper left tibia or fibula, not sure which, on the lateral front, just an inch or two below the kneecap.  The pain appeared when I put weight on the joint, and also when I lifted the leg in a sitting position.  It hurt a bit when I started running, but then quickly settled down and has not been heard from since.

Splits: 10:14 (run/walk 56/30), 10:00 (run), 8:58 (run/walk 60/20), total 29:12, pace 9:44.

Friday, November 22:

This was the second run since Sunday's marathon, and I tried running  continuously, in place of the run/walk that I usually do.  I'm not sure that I understand or believe the results, though.  The mile that I ran continuously seemed to be much slower than the next mile, where I used a run/walk ratio of about 60/25.  So much slower that I wonder if I slipped an extra lap in there - the track is 13 laps per mile and it would be easy to miss one.  I'll probably try this again the next time we go to the YMCA.

 Meanwhile, I felt very good today, full of energy, and the last mile zipped by quickly.  A tightness in the right calf appeared and then resolved itself during the first mile.

Someday I’m going to measure this track, to see if it really is 13 laps per mile.

Splits: 10:44, 9:40, 9:18, total 29:44, pace 9:55.  Great for five days after the marathon.  I'll do longer runs next week.

Thursday, November 21:

Normally I would run on Wednesday after a marathon, but the yard was calling me Wednesday with tons of leaves that needed mulching.  I spent 5 or 6 hours walking behind a mower, and that was quite enough for the day.  Today was the first real run, and I took it very easy on the YMCA track.  I didn't bring my watch, but ran and walked for 33 minutes, according to the clock on the wall, at a pace that may have been 11 minutes per mile or so.  No problems.