My first...

Discussion in 'General Fitness' started by Larry McMahan, Feb 2, 2004.

  1. ... Half Marathon and Race Report:

    The Home Depot San Francisco Half Marathon in Golden Gate Park.

    February 2, 2004.

    [this post is way the hell long]

    First some things about getting ready for the race. No not the training, I did that all wrong by
    taking three weeks off in December. I had only been running seriously since Jan 1 (new years
    resolutions), but more of that later.

    First, due to the 8 AM start, there was no way I was going to get up at 5:30 AM to drive into the
    city. So my wife and I started looking for accomodations in the city. After finding a number of
    hotel rooms for nothing less than $120, and finding them all a good Muni ride away from the park, I
    suggested we concentrate on finding something nearby. This was a stroke of genius or luck! :) We
    found a Motel 2 blocks from the finish line for $60. Not bad.

    We came into the city Saturday night, and wound up eating at her favorite Indonesian restaurant for
    only $25. Hot damn! A chance to run in the Half, and a fun weekend in the city for under $140
    (including race fee). Not bad.

    Now back to the other preparation, the training. Since I had taken 3 weeks off in December, I knew I
    wasn't going to break any records, even personal ones, :), but since I had run 20K on Jan 4 after
    the layoff, had run 25 to 30 miles a week since, and had easily run a 15 K race the previous Sunday,
    I would have no problem going the distance. I was still concerned about the time. Since I had run
    the previous 15K at an 8:30 pace and not really pushed it, I figured that I could run that pace for
    the Half. I told my wife that my goal was to run that pace and finish in 1:52.

    Next came the day of the race. Since the start line was a couple miles from the hotel, I had my wife
    drop me off and go back to the hotel to park. It was the kind of race day taht you either love or
    hate, 45F and a fine drizzling mist. Ground soaking wet from rain the night before. OK. I hated it
    much more than I loved it, but I was not going to be put off by it.

    Monika dropped me off at Great Highway and Fulton, and I waited for one of the shuttle busses with
    the couple hundred people in line there. But the race people were REALLY well organized. The
    busses came up 4 or 5 at a time, loaded a hundred people on, took off, and up came the next batch
    of busses.

    When I got to the drop off point, I began to realize how big an even it was. Even in the rain,
    there were people everywhere, and most of them were wearing bibs. As I walked through the tunnel
    where late registration was being done, past the place to drop off sweats, and so on, the crowd
    just kept getting thicker. I guess with a bib number of 2145, I should have figured out how big it
    was going to be.

    By the time I made the obligatory (for me) pit stop and got to the start line, it was 20 minutes
    before the race, and they were starting to make the announcements. When the guy said that it was
    overcast now, but that it would be clear for the finish, I knew that he had sealed our fate. I was
    right. Still, it never poured, it just kept up the fine drizzling mist for the entire time and the
    ground stayed wet and in some places, slick. I reiterated my plan for a 8:30 pace for the race to my
    wife, and got ready to start off.

    I took at look at the 6 min and 7 min signs on the start area and mentally calculated where 8 min
    would be and stood there. After a great admonishment from the starter to ignore the sirens as a
    starting signal and wait for the cable car bell, he suddenly rang the bell without any preceedign
    sirens, and we were off.

    Ah yes, this is another place where my inadequate preperation had left me, well, inadequately
    prepared. I had decided to not wear my HRM for the race. I had forgot that my HRM receiver is also
    my best racing stopwatch. My regular watch does not measure laps, but I was stuck with it. I was
    going to have to memorize and remember the mile splits during the race by myself. Ouch! I was
    planning on the race being a physical effort, but not such a mental one!

    Anyway, we took off. By my watch, it took me 36 sec to cross the start line. For the entire first
    mile, it was shoulder to shoulder with no room to pass. I passed the one mile mark at 9:30. I was
    one minute behind, but the racers were beginning to thin out a little. I told myself not to try and
    make it up but to just get on my pace.

    The second and third mile markers were 8:29 and 8:32. I felt that I was running the race I wanted at
    this point. This took us out of the Park, around the panhandle and back in.

    At this point, the crowd had dispersed enough that you could run more easily. The next mile was
    8:13, and I had made up some time. I slowed down to take it easy, but when I logged
    8:21 and still felt good I decided 8:20 was an OK pace.

    At this point something amusing happened. The ground was very wet, and my feed had gotten soaked. As
    I ran up alongside another runner she remarked that my shoes sounded like they were full of water.
    All I could say was "you're right"!

    The next two miles were downhill. When I logged 8:15 at the 6 mile marker AND I got a pace time of
    8:33, I began to thing that I could make up the time and finish at a pace better than
    9:30 over all. I held my pace and ran another 8:15 for mile
    10. This put us out of the park and onto the Great Highway. 3 miles out, and three miles back.

    Here the running was harder because the path was narrow and there wasn't room to pass or move about
    freely. You had to move up on someone's shouler, let them know your presence and squeeze through.
    That was more tiring.

    I slowed back down to 8:20 for mile 8, back to 8:16 for mile 8, back to 8:19 for mile 10 (which
    was around the turn-around) and back to 8:16 for mile 11. I think the variations were just
    crowded versus uncrowded portions of the race. I told myself that at mile 11 I would try to push
    the last 2 miles.

    I still logged an 8:16 for mile 12. At this point, several people were passing, and I decided to
    really push it. I put on my best imitation of a sprint after running 12 miles. I finshed the last
    1.11 miles in 8:55. That's a 8:02 pace, not bad for the last mile. Serious negative splits.

    After collecting my t-shirt, and my goodie bag, next came the really good part. I walked back the
    two blocks to the room and took a hot shower before checking out. My hands were so cold I could
    hardly move them, so it was quite refreshing.

    So here is my log from the race:

    split s-time cum-ti cum pace mile 1 0:09:30 0:09:30 0:09:30 mile 2 0:08:29 0:17:59 0:09:00 mile 3
    0:08:32 0:26:31 0:08:50 mile 4 0:08:13 0:34:44 0:08:41 mile 5 0:08:21 0:43:05 0:08:37 mile 6 0:08:15
    0:51:20 0:08:33 mile 7 0:08:15 0:59:35 0:08:31 mile 8 0:08:20 1:07:55 0:08:29 mile 9 0:08:14 1:16:09
    0:08:28 mile 10 0:08:16 1:24:25 0:08:26 mile 11 0:08:19 1:32:44 0:08:26 mile 12 0:08:16 1:41:00
    0:08:25 finish 0:08:55 1:49:55 0:08:23

    A few random reflections:

    11:23 pace overall. Not bad. My pace for the 15K the previous week had been 8:32. After my first
    half marathon race (I've run longer, 21 miles in training, I am getting much more serious about
    running my first marathon.

    I am definately going to run this race again next year, rain or shine. I am also going to stay in
    the same place.

    My NB RC 150s which already had 420 miles on them, and which I wore for the race died. They served
    me well. They will not be forgotten.

    I think with the regular training since the beginning of the year, I am beginning to get a little
    speed back. I am pretty sure I could do this at an average pace of 10 - 15 seconds faster in the
    near future.

    The race felt good, and I felt good after the race. In fact I ran a 5K the next day (today) at a
    7:40 pace. No aches, no pains.

    I'm happy, I had fun, I am ready to do it again.

    Larry
     
    Tags:


  2. Anthony

    Anthony Guest

    Larry - nice report and a well-run race.

    It looks like you have a great attitude, and I'm sure your race times will keep improving.

    Good luck,

    Anthony.
     
  3. Runmum

    Runmum Guest

    Larry McMahan wrote:
    > ... Half Marathon and Race Report:

    <snip>

    > I'm happy, I had fun, I am ready to do it again.
    >
    > Larry

    Nice report, Larry, I enjoyed it :) Good luck with the next race.

    Donna
     
  4. Lanceandrew

    Lanceandrew Guest

    Larry, great report, thanks. I'm originally from Oakland so I reading about races from home is
    always good. Care to name the Hotel for $60? Was it decent for a place simply to rest your head?

    However I have gotta take note of something you said, "My NB RC 150s which already had 420 miles on
    them, and which I wore for the race died".

    I've never in my life heard of or seen runners of your pace wearing this shoe (at any length of
    race) or any runner getting 400+ miles on this shoe. IMO that's more than twice the typical lifespan
    of this shoe for most wearers of it.

    A runner of your 8:23 pace wearing 150's in a 1/2M that had 420 miles on them at the time....all
    these facts coupled together?...this does not add up imo. It's nothing short of stunning and yes,
    unbelievable. It also does not sound wise. It's just a series of 3 points which on their own are "eye-
    opening"....however added all togther?....it's unheard of.

    methinks you're running in the wrong shoe and would before better in a pair of light-weight trainers
    from NB or Asics or Adidas, etc. Right now you're getting no support, ZERO, from the shoe you wear
    and based on your pace I think you're going to benefit from getting support from your running shoes
    and have better times.

    An 8:23min/mile 1/2 Marathoner should wear a shoe that offers support. It's that simple. This is
    the elitest of the elite shoes and actually a dangerous shoe if you cannot ball/toe strike the
    distance of the race. it offers no shock absorbtion or support of any kind and is just shy of
    running barefoot. I could be completely wrong here however the facts that you've presented truly
    are unheard of...
     
  5. Topcounsel

    Topcounsel Guest

    >A runner of your 8:23 pace wearing 150's in a 1/2M that had 420 miles on them
    at the time

    I too believe that this RC 150 is pretty much a 5k/10k shoe not intended for longer distances even
    if the pace were faster.
     
  6. Lanceandrew <[email protected]> writes:
    : Larry, great report, thanks. I'm originally from Oakland so I reading about races from home is
    : always good. Care to name the Hotel for $60? Was it decent for a place simply to rest your head?

    Ocean View, Great Highway and Judah.

    : However I have gotta take note of something you said, "My NB RC 150s which already had 420 miles
    : on them, and which I wore for the race died".

    [rest of diatribe snipped] :)

    OK. In the first place, I don't think I am your typical runner. :)

    I am a pretty lightweight runner with normal arches and a good footstrike. Any races under 10K I run
    barefoot. I have run 15K barefoot. I consider wearing any shoes a concession.

    I ran my 21 mile run in the NB 150s. They were perfectly comfortable, both during the run, and
    after. I have a pair of Adidas Cubato Plus at a little over 7 oz. I HATE them for races because they
    are so DAMNED HEAVY! If I could just find 3 oz shoes to protect my soles from pavement abrasion, I
    would buy them. That's all I need.

    'Nough said.

    Larry
     
  7. TopCounsel <[email protected]> writes:
    :>A runner of your 8:23 pace wearing 150's in a 1/2M that had 420 miles on them
    : at the time

    : I too believe that this RC 150 is pretty much a 5k/10k shoe not intended for longer distances even
    : if the pace were faster.
    I run 5 and 10Ks barefoot. I don't need no stinking shoe! See my response to Lance.

    :)
    Larry
     
  8. Eat Dust <[email protected]> writes:
    :>If I could just find 3 oz shoes to protect my soles from pavement abrasion, I would buy them.
    :>That's all I need.

    : Ballet slippers? These are a slim leather liner for a sole, with light cloth upper that only
    : surrounds the foot, with a minimal "tie". Whether they'd stay on is another question.

    Hmmm. Wonder if I can get me to last the entire race. Interesting.

    Larry
     
  9. TopCounsel <[email protected]> writes:
    :>I run 5 and 10Ks barefoot. I don't need no stinking shoe! See my response to Lance.

    : As Lance said, "my hat's off to you." Question though: How did you come to run barefoot? How did
    : you start and did you "train" to do this? Have you had any cuts or other injuries as a result? Are
    : you glad you run barefoot? I have seen the "barefoot running" website, and it does intrigue me.
    : Was Abebe Bikila's barefoot olympic marathon win an inspiration to you or something?

    Answering both of you at once...

    First I saw a thread on rec.running about 3 or 4 years ago about running barefoot.

    Second, I started noticing my times were vastly different depending on what shoes I was wearing. I
    found the difference in time coorlated to the weight of the shoes.

    Third, I started running. I started with 2.5 K every third day. When the soles of my feet stopped
    burning, I knew it was time to run again. Fortunately, I am pretty light and a neutral runner. To
    answer Lance, who supposed that I should be faster, maybe I was once, but I am 57 now. I am still
    pretty fast for my age. I can come in first or second in my age group in the smaller races.

    I run barefoot primarily for two reason, speed and form. Running barefoot, you get immediate
    feedback of your stride incorrectly. It's a pretty easy way to stay conscious of good form. I also
    find that Just like the NB 150s are 10 - 15 sec per mile faster than normal running shoes, barefoot
    is 10 - 15 sec per mile faster than the 150s.

    I would run longer distances barefoot, but I just can't seem to get the soles of my feet tough
    enough. Like I said, I can go 10 k pretty easily, and 15 K, but then my soles start to burn. I would
    have to train a lot more miles barefoot in order to run a race barefoot.

    If you are even thinking of doing it, there are some real things to watch out for.

    1. Start slow. Like I said, 2.5 K every third day.
    2. Examine your feet after every run. Don't just judge by how they feel. Sit down and examine the
    soles of your feet visually. Don't run on a blister. :)
    3. Add distance slowly. Just like adding miles. Not more than 10% at a time.
    4. Don't run a race barefoot until you have run the distance in trainging.
    5. Don't try to run barefoot unless you know the surface you are running on. Preferably you have
    already run it in shoes.
    6. Some surfaces are more forgiving than others. I like concrete better than asphalt because the
    asphalt is very abrasive. It's like running on sandpaper. Seldom travelled asphalt roads are
    worse than ones with a lot of traffic. Be careful of dirt trails because of hidden rocks. Again,
    know your surface and run in shoes first.

    I ran about 350 of my 1260 miles last year barefoot.

    Larry
     
  10. On 3 Feb 2004 11:21:32 -0700, Larry McMahan <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >[rest of diatribe snipped] :)

    That wasn't a diatribe. That was 'global' being polite. Stick around, there's bound to be a real
    'global' diatribe within the next 7-10 days.

    >OK. In the first place, I don't think I am your typical runner. :)

    No, you're not. You a runner that appears to combine intelligence with a remarkable degree of closed
    thinking. A combination that is, in my experience, almost unique.

    >I am a pretty lightweight runner with normal arches and a good footstrike. Any races under 10K I
    >run barefoot. I have run 15K barefoot. I consider wearing any shoes a concession.

    As a concession to what? Common sense?

    >I ran my 21 mile run in the NB 150s. They were perfectly comfortable, both during the run, and
    >after. I have a pair of Adidas Cubato Plus at a little over 7 oz. I HATE them for races because
    >they are so DAMNED HEAVY! If I could just find 3 oz shoes to protect my soles from pavement
    >abrasion, I would buy them. That's all I need.

    I care not what your 'barefoot running' website says, or what you say, I'll tell you what IS. You
    WILL be doing more skeletal damage running your little race at 8 - whatever pace in bare feet than
    you would using any form of running shoe. There are no 'ifs' or 'buts' here, it's a simple
    biomechanical fact.

    Now you may PREFER to run your races this way, and who am I to stop you if this is your choice? But
    to infer that yours is the choice of a rational person is to insult the rest of us who wish to have
    a lengthy and injury free running career.

    ALERT!! *!!Name - dropping ahead!!* ALERT!!

    About seven years ago I was chatting to a certain Mrs Pietersie. The subject of our conversation was
    the wisdom, or otherwise, of barefoot running. I suspect she has far more practical knowledge on the
    subject than either of us. Her basic advice was - if memory serves me well -

    "Fine on grass, dusty trails, or a 'soft' tartan track, but plain stupid on anything harder."

    And who the fcuk is Mrs Pietersie, I hear you scream? You'd know her as Zola Budd, possibly one of
    the greatest female athletes never to win an Olympic title, and a staunch advocate of fast-paced
    barefoot running and racing.

    Were I you, I'd swallow my pride and take her advice to heart.
     
  11. In article <[email protected]>, Larry McMahan wrote:
    > Lanceandrew <[email protected]> writes: at a little over 7 oz. I HATE them for races because
    > they are so DAMNED HEAVY!

    It's a fallacy that the weight slows you down. The effect on running economy trumps the effect of
    the 3 or so ounces that distinguishes a flat from a light trainer, and most people do not maximise
    their running economy by going barefoot. Maybe you're the exception-- but be aware that most people
    who think they're exceptional aren't as special as they think they are.

    Cheers,
    --
    Donovan Rebbechi http://pegasus.rutgers.edu/~elflord/
     
  12. Second reply to the same post. Just answering the questions this time.

    TopCounsel <[email protected]> writes:
    :>I run 5 and 10Ks barefoot. I don't need no stinking shoe! See my response to Lance.

    : As Lance said, "my hat's off to you." Question though: How did you come to run barefoot?
    In the other post.

    : How did you start and did you "train" to do this?

    I don't understand the question. I DO train for barefoot races by running barefoot in training. If I
    didn't my feet would kill me!

    : Have you had any cuts or other injuries as a result?

    How about a blister on my heel the size of a 50 cent piece the first time I ran 12 K barefoot. This
    is where I learned the part about not adding more than 10% at a time. I took another two weeks
    before I could run barefoot again. But my foot eventually got tougher.

    I gotten a couple of stickers and metal shards in my foot, but I just dig them out again. :) You
    learn to look where you are stepping!

    : Are you glad you run barefoot?

    I enjoy it. Like I said, when I do it my form is good. I go faster and I feel more rested
    after running.

    : I have seen the "barefoot running" website, and it does intrigue me.

    got a URL?

    : Was Abebe Bikila's barefoot olympic marathon win an inspiration to you or something?

    Who? Really, I didn't know him by name, but I had heard that some Nigerians ran barefoot. I
    figured that if they could run marathons, it was doable, and that shoes could actually be hurting
    running form.

    Larry
     
  13. TopCounsel <[email protected]> writes:
    :>>Ballet slippers?

    :>Hmmm. Wonder if I can get me to last the entire race. Interesting.

    : My 6-year old wears these for, of all things, ballet. Actually, we have had some problems getting
    : them to stay on her feet if the stage is even a little bit "sticky." We have used talcum powder on
    : the outside bottoms to alleviate this, but I don't think that's gonna help you on asphalt! Perhaps
    : "adult" slippers are more affirmative in the way they fit the foot? I'd give 'em a "test run"
    : before laying down the cash. BTW, the folks at the "dance" store are going to think you're crazy,
    : y'know...

    They're right, you know.

    Larry
     
  14. Dot

    Dot Guest

    TopCounsel wrote:
    >>>Ballet slippers?
    >
    >
    >>Hmmm. Wonder if I can get me to last the entire race. Interesting.
    >
    >
    > My 6-year old wears these for, of all things, ballet. Actually, we have had some problems getting
    > them to stay on her feet if the stage is even a little bit "sticky."

    Another possibility might be what's called "beam" shoes, I think. Gymnasts use them on balance beam.
    Our coaches use them when running on floor exercise mats where we're doing a lot of turning, usually
    in socks which tend to roll when turning corner (until you find the magic pair that hangs tight).
    Don't know how well they'd do outside, but they definitely don't come off in those workouts.

    Dot

    --
    "Success is different things to different people" -Bernd Heinrich in Racing the Antelope
     
  15. Dot,

    You're brilliant! I ordered a pair. I'll "run a test" (or is that test a run) and report back how
    they work out.

    Larry

    Dot <[email protected]#att.net> writes:
    : TopCounsel wrote:
    :>>>Ballet slippers?
    :>
    :>
    :>>Hmmm. Wonder if I can get me to last the entire race. Interesting.
    :>
    :>
    :> My 6-year old wears these for, of all things, ballet. Actually, we have had some problems getting
    :> them to stay on her feet if the stage is even a little bit "sticky."

    : Another possibility might be what's called "beam" shoes, I think. Gymnasts use them on balance
    : beam. Our coaches use them when running on floor exercise mats where we're doing a lot of turning,
    : usually in socks which tend to roll when turning corner (until you find the magic pair that hangs
    : tight). Don't know how well they'd do outside, but they definitely don't come off in those
    : workouts.

    : Dot

    : --
    : "Success is different things to different people" -Bernd Heinrich in Racing the Antelope
     
  16. Back to the sequence of posts in this thread related to what shoes do you wear.

    Like I said, last year I ran 1262 miles. It broke down as follows

    461 Adidas Cubato Plus 383 NB RC150 353 Barefoot 59 Asics Tiger Gel Flats 6 Asics Pusuit 940s

    I have tried to run 1/3 of my distance barefoot. I have not run any significant distance in anything
    but flats since 2000. My last "running injury" was a pulled groin muscle in 2000.
     
  17. In another life, when we are both cats <[email protected]> writes:

    : No, you're not. You a runner that appears to combine intelligence with a remarkable degree of
    : closed thinking. A combination that is, in my experience, almost unique.

    : Now you may PREFER to run your races this way, and who am I to stop you if this is your choice?
    : But to infer that yours is the choice of a rational person is to insult the rest of us who wish to
    : have a lengthy and injury free running career.

    Ever peer-reviewed clinical or population study I have found show a higher rate of injury with
    running shod. Closed thinking?

    Larry
     
  18. Phil M.

    Phil M. Guest

    Larry McMahan <[email protected]> wrote in
    news:[email protected]:

    > Ever peer-reviewed clinical or population study I have found show a higher rate of injury with
    > running shod. Closed thinking?

    The average barefoot runner is not your average runner. I may be wrong, but I'd guess your average
    barefoot runner is a lighter, more naturally talented runner than your average shod runner.

    -Phil
     
  19. On 4 Feb 2004 19:51:57 -0700, Larry McMahan <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >Ever peer-reviewed clinical or population study I have found show a higher rate of injury with
    >running shod. Closed thinking?

    OK, time-limited thinking.

    There are - as far as I am aware - no long term (8+ years) studies into the benefits or otherwise of
    running without shoes. I am not disputing the fact that it feels fine, dandy, and quite macho to
    skip lightly over the city street sans shoes, I am questioning whether you'll be able to do so with
    a demonic grin on your face in five to ten years time.
     
  20. On Thu, 05 Feb 2004 03:01:03 GMT, "Phil M." <[email protected]> wrote:

    >The average barefoot runner is not your average runner. I may be wrong, but I'd guess your average
    >barefoot runner is a lighter, more naturally talented runner than your average shod runner.

    I think you could have stopped at "lighter", Phil. I've known a few folk who made a serious attempt
    at incorporating barefoot running into their training schedule, and without exception they were all
    as skinny as rabbits.

    FWIW, none of them stuck with it after a couple of seasons. Having said that, it IS fun :)
     
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