Monday, September 24, 2012

Omaha Marathon

The Omaha Marathon was this weekend.  The race has a somewhat checkered past.  It has had trouble with sponsorships before and one year it was cancelled due to an early fall blizzard.  The date and course have changed frequently.

Race organizers seem to be finding their groove, and the Omaha Marathon is settling into a very nice, early fall marathon.  Local residents are lucky to have two very good races now, with Lincoln in the spring and Omaha in the fall.

Read about this year's race and see results here:

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Seeing Double

In three weeks I will attempt my first "Double-Marathon," running a marathon in Hartford, CT on Saturday and Newport, RI on Sunday.

In order to train for the rigors of two marathons on consecutive days, I have been doing two long runs on the weekends.  In keeping with my reverse taper philosophy, the week after the Tupelo Marathon I ran 8 miles Saturday and 8 miles Sunday.  Last weekend I ran 12 and 12.  This weekend my training for the Double peaked.  I ran 20 miles Saturday and 20 miles Sunday.   Ouch!

I carbo loaded the night before each run, and made sure to eat good recovery food right away after each run.  I ate whole grain cereal, greek yogurt, and bananas.  I've previously posted on the benefits of wearing compression socks during and after long runs.  I did both.  My legs felt a little fresher during and after the runs, so I think it helped.  I took full doses of Tylenol and Ibuprofen after each run to minimize the soreness and inflammation I felt.  

After doing my double 20 this weekend, I feel very good about the prospects for the New England Double in 3 weeks.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Run to Overcome Depression

Bryan/LGH is sponsoring a road race to raise awareness about depression.  Adam Zetterman was a nurse at the hospital who took his own life after a long battle with depression.

Three time Olympian Suzy Favor Hamilton has had her own personal battles with depression, and she will be in Lincoln to support the event.

The race is on September 30 at 12:30 PM at the Lincoln Southwest Highschool Track.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Buffalo Run

Congratulations to those who ran the Buffalo Run yesterday at Pioneer's Park.  The winning time was 26.48.

See full results here:

Which Diet is Best?

Fad diets come and go.  Scientists, doctors, and nutritionists have long argued over which diet is the best.  A recent study compared low carb, low fat, and low glycemic index diets.  In the short term, low carb diets tend to work better.  However, dieters who followed a low glycemic index diet were better at keeping the weight off.

The glycemic index is a measure of how quickly your body turns food to sugar that it can use.  Processed foods and simple carbohydrates have a high glycemic index and cause the familiar "sugar high" and subsequent crash.  Foods with low glycemic indices have more of a slow burn.  Brown rice and whole wheat pastas are examples.

Diet alone is usually not enough.  Not surprisingly, researchers also found that individuals who exercised 60-90 minutes a day were the most successful.

Here is a link to the article abstract and a story about it.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Reverse Taper

I am frequently asked how I train for multiple marathons.  It is quite simple, really.  The key is not to overtrain.  Most marathoners are familiar with tapering.  This occurs 3-4 weeks before the race and consists of a gradual decrease in mileage and intensity.  Weekly runs taper from 5 to 4 to 3.  Weekend long runs taper from a peak of 20 to 12 to 8.

With my next challenge 6 weeks from the Tupelo Marathon last weekend, I began what I call a "reverse taper" this week.  My weekday runs start at an easy 2-3 miles and next week will increase to 3 and 4 and then 4 and 5 the week after that.  My long run this weekend is 8.  Next week will be 12, and then 20 after that.  From there, I will begin the familiar process of tapering again.  The "reverse taper" allows my body to recover from the last marathon while getting ready to peak for the next.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

#35--Tupelo Marathon

Tupelo, MS
September 2, 2012

I chose this marathon for two reasons.  The race was during a holiday weekend and Tupelo is close to Memphis, which is a direct flight from Omaha.  This allowed me to take the whole family.  The race has a reputation as being a spartan, no-frills event for serious runners.  Coming on the heels of the hyper-commercial Lululemon 1/2 marathon in Vancouver, this was a welcome change.

Travel was uneventful.  We arrived in Tupelo Saturday evening.  Ole Miss and Mississippi State both played home games, so Tupelo was a ghost-town that night.  We had a nice dinner at an Italian restaurant in downtown Tupelo.

I missed the packet pickup Saturday because of our arrival time, but the race director allows early pickups on race day.  As the race started at 5AM, this meant a really early start to the day Sunday.  The 5AM start was great.  I usually run at that time anyway, and this allowed us to at least mitigate the heat and humidity that was sure to follow.  Temperatures were already in the high 70s at 5AM.  The course is described as "rolling hills" which means you are either running up or down a hill the entire way.  Thankfully it was pretty overcast most of the morning with a gentle breeze that kept the heat index in the 80s (still hot for a marathon, though).

I felt pretty good and ran the first half in about 2:12.  During the second half the hills, heat, and humidity began to take their toll.  My pace slowed considerably and I finished in just under 4:45.  Not great, but I wasn't expecting much better.

The course was run mostly along the highways in the Tupelo countryside.  The scenery wasn't spectacular, but not bad either.  The start and finish was in a furniture warehouse parking lot.  BBQ pulled pork, baked beans, potato salad, water, powerade, and beer awaited the finishers.  The medals and t-shirt were both very unique.

All in all, it was a good race. With the 5AM start time, I was able to go back to the hotel and rest and get cleaned up before the noon checkout time.  Afterwards we briefly toured Elvis's birthplace, about the only thing to see in Tupelo. 

Now I set my sights on my first "double," back-to-back marathons on a Saturday/Sunday in the fall.

Monday, September 3, 2012

#35 in the books

The medal from the Tupelo Marathon reads, "Trample the weak and hurdle the dead." I didn't do either but I did survive the heat, humidity, and hills of Tupelo, Mississippi to complete my 35th marathon yesterday. Full report to follow this week.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

2012 Paralympic Games

London is once again the epicenter for the international sporting community, this time hosting the 2012 Paralympic Games.  South African Oscar Pistorious has brought attention to the sport, but there are many other amazing athletes whose stories are just as inspiring.

And You Think a Marathon in Every State is Crazy?

Robert O'Connor of Sarasota, Florida is in a very exclusive club.  He is one of less than 400 runners to complete a marathon on every continent in the world.  Read his story here:

Go Big Red!

Today marks the start of the college football season in Lincoln.  The Cornhuskers look to extend their nation leading streak of victories in season openers.  I'll miss the game, however, as I travel to Tupelo, Mississippi for the Tupelo Marathon.