Throwback Thursday: 2013 Training Run

0253306A-E144-4ABC-BA34-CE936DFBDA0CTHROWBACK THURSDAY
June 8, 2013

I was out on a 5.21 training run leaving my neighborhood in Winton and running into Atwater, along a canal bank, and then back home.  Here’s what I wrote after the run:

The heat kicked my ass! Whose bright idea was it to slap pavement midday? Oh yeah. My idea. Not bad considering. I’ll take it.

 

Throwback Thursday: 2010 Spirit of Giving 5k

Gizzel, Ana, & I

Gizzel, Ana, and I before the Spirit of Giving 5k in Modesto on December 13, 2010.

THROWBACK THURSDAY

Ana and Gizzel joined me at the 2010 Spirit of Giving 5k in Modesto, CA.  New to running, this was their first race and my 3rd.  Or course, we were not competing for first, but we did have a good time.  I left them behind in an attempt to record a decent time and then doubled back to bring them in.

Monday’s Motivation – May 23, 2016

Although they may not realize it, spectators along the course provide a lot of motivation to runners.  These complete strangers clap and cheer, often shouting words of encouragement as each runner passes by.  Some spectators hold signs like the one below.  Notice the adorable little girl cheesing it when she saw my camera.  Today’s motivation is more of a thank you to all the spectators at all the races for the motivation your provide.

Mortuary Ahead. Look Alive!!

“Mortuary Ahead. Look Alive!!” Spectators along the course of the California Classic Half Marathon in 2013. Notice the adorable little girl cheesing it.

The Starting 9

Anyone who knows me on a personal level, knows I have been a Los Angles Dodgers fan since I was a boy.  I remember going to Dodger Stadium only once as a kid and I was able to see Orel Hershiser walk through the bullpen.  Through the good years and the bad years, I will always bleed blue.  Since I am such a Dodgers fan, people often wonder why I run the Giant Race.

Giant Race

2013 The Giant RaceThe Giant Race began in 2009 and currently is partnered with Project Open Hand, Charro Foundation, Junior Giants, and Junior Achievement NorCal.  The course is an out and back route starting just outside AT&T Park, running along the Embarcadero under the Bay Bridge, past Pier 39 and Ghirardelli Square, along Marina Blvd., past Crissy Field, almost to Fort Point with beautiful views of the Golden Gate Bridge before turning back and finishing on the field at AT&T Park.  Passing by so many landmarks in San Francisco, who would not want to run the Giant Race?
I discovered the Giant Race in 2013 and being a Dodgers fan, I knew I had to run it.  Since the Dodgers and Giants rivalry in baseball, I knew I would be heckled.  And heckled I was, but I never saw the guy because he could not keep up.  At one point, a San Francisco Police Officer asked if I had taken a wrong turn.  We had a quick laugh and I continued on.  The running community is generally a welcoming one and those at the Giant Race were no different.

Stop Fan Violence!

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In September of 2013, I attended a baseball game at AT&T Park between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants.  After the game, there was a brawl between two sets of fans that ended with the death of Jonathan Denver.  I did not know him, but I was deeply bothered by the senseless violence.  When I returned to the Giant Race in 2014, I returned with a message, “STOP FAN VIOLENCE!”

2011 Santa Cruz Half Marathon

This was not the first message I have had during a race.  In March of 2011, at Dodger Stadium, Bryan Stow was viciously attacked after the game leaving him with permanent disabilities.  Deeply bothered by this, new to running, and scheduled to run my 2nd half marathon in Santa Cruz, I decided to paint one of my Dodgers jerseys with orange and the message, “Get Well Bryan Stow.”  I then wore the jersey again at the 100th Annual Bay to Breakers in San Francisco.  It was my hope that I could show most Dodgers fans, like most Giants fans, do not condone violence at sporting events.

My running buddy and life-long Giants fan, Mohawk Man, was being interviewed after the 2014 Giant Race.  Because I was in my Dodgers gear, the interviewer pretty much did not acknowledge my existence.  Standing next to Mohawk Man, I simply turned around so the camera and everyone else in the stadium could see my message.

STOP FAN VIOLENCE!

A month later, I was at the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation 5k with the same message.

A year later, again in Dodgers gear, I returned to the Giant Race with the same message.  Surrounded by a sea of orange and black fielding looks of confusion, the race started.  Through the music in my headphones, I could hear the announcer as I passed through the starting line.  When he first saw me, he pointed out I was a Dodgers fan.  Then as I passed and he read the message on my shirt he called me a “true baseball fan” and read my message, “STOP FAN VIOLENCE!”  I finally felt like my message was getting across.

The Starting 9

Recently, the Giant Race announced their new The Starting 9 Ambassador Program.  They are looking to “draft the nine most enthusiastic Giant Racers who are engaged in the community, have a passion for health and wellness, and aren’t afraid to show off how awesome they are.”  I think I fit their criteria so I decided to apply.  There are going to be a lot of applicants and I hope being a Dodgers fan does not automatically disqualify me.  Presenting a message of unity against violence is something we can all get behind.

Whether or not I am selected to The Starting 9 Ambassador Program, I will still be at the Giant Race in my Dodgers gear promoting my message against violence.

Throwback Thursday: 2012 NorCal Tough Mudder at Diablo Grande

Tough Mudder

Making my way through a mud pit during the Tough Mudder at Diablo Grande in 2012.

THROWBACK THURSDAY

This week we are taking it back to the 2012 NorCal Tough Mudder at Diablo Grande.  This was one of the most challenging races I have ever completed.  It was the first time I have ever considered dropping out.  Through all the challenges, I was able to persevere and finish in about 4 hours.  I have since completed another Tough Mudder at Tahoe, becoming a Legionnaire.

What’s Going On?

What’s Going On?

So far 2016 has been rough.  A lingering back issue prevented me from running the Davis Stampede half marathon, which is a race where I ran my first half and have run every year since.  I did not want to miss it, so I opted for the 10k run.  After my first half marathon of the year I experienced major cramping and vomiting after.  This is something I have never experienced after a race before.  Then it happened again at another race.  I started looking for reasons.

Was I not training enough?  Maybe it was something I ate the night before a race.  Am I just getting old?  Was it the fluid along the course?  Maybe lack of sleep.

As if cramping and vomiting was not enough, my vision started to blur.  According to the doctor’s office, my vision went from 20/20 to 20/30.  Now that may not seem bad, but when you’re used to being able to see things and then everything becomes blurry overnight, it is a bit worrisome.  I continued to run.

On top of cramping, vomiting, and blurry vision, I developed a great thirst for water and a quick drop in weight.  I started drinking well over a gallon of water daily.  I was not even trying; I was just thirsty.  Over the course of about 2 months, about the same time I started drinking excessive water, I dropped 35 pounds.  Whoa!  Last year with all my running and races, I actually gained weight.  I dropped 35 pounds.

Doctor After Doctor

I did not concern myself too much with the cramping and vomiting, so I never discussed it with my doctor.  I figured I could eat better during a run and remedy the problem.  I did make an appointment with my primary doctor immediately after realizing my vision was blurred.  He referred me to an ophthalmologist.  Between my initial appointment and the follow-up appointment, my vision corrected itself.  No answers.

 

After running the San Luis Obispo Marathon half, I began brainstorming what could be causing my symptoms.  That is when it hit me:  WATER POISONING!  Of course, that is just a scary generic term for hyponatremia.  All the post-race symptoms fit.  I scheduled an appointment for a consultation with a sports doctor.

I met with the sports doctor and explained everything.  Her first thought about the thirst and blurred vision was diabetes.  The ophthalmologist had suspected it too.  Only the blood work I have had does not support a diabetes diagnosis.  The sports doctor agreed my recent uptake in water could be diluting the electrolytes in my blood and causing my symptoms when I run long distance.  My lack of training could also be contributing.  She could not explain what might be triggering everything going on with my body, but suggested more blood work and meeting with a sports nutritionist.

After seeing multiple doctors, I still have no answers and headed right back to where I started with my primary physician.  Hopefully soon I can figure out what is going on and I will be back on track.

 

First Half of 2016

20160319007D 058The 2016 Davis Lucky Run was my first half marathon of the year and fifth consecutive time running this course.  The race started off great.  Kept my pace slow and spotted a running buddy, Mohawk Man, very early in the race.  We chatted the entire course while maintaining a slow pace.  At mile 6 he introduced me to Christa, one of his running buddies.  We would pretty much finish the race together.  Except, that I did not finish with them.  With maybe a quarter of a mile left in the race, I took a turn and instantly my calf cramped.  I stretched them both and tried to run again, but it simply was not going to happen without injury.  I walked to the finish.

What Happened?

There is a lot more to running a half marathon than what goes on the day of the race.  First and foremost is the training.  I simply did not properly train for the race.  One of the golden rules to running is not to add something new to your routine before a race.  Instead of having my traditional pizza (you really should eat pasta) the night before the race, I found my self at Red Lobster eating Lobster Scampi Linguini.  We got home late, which means we were running on little sleep.  I normally eat a banana the morning before a race, but I skipped it.  However, I did still eat a bagel.  Despite all the changes, I felt good at the start of the race.

With a few miles left in the race and after drinking some of the Gatorade or whatever drink was provided, I started to feel nauseous.  My calves were talking to me, but I thought I would be fine.  I should have listened to my body.

 

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After the race, I would find myself violently vomiting.  Mostly liquid.  Not a good sign.  I could not eat and even water was not calming my stomach.  As if the vomiting was not bad enough, my calves began to cramp causing me to scream in pain.  At first is was the left calf, then the right.  I ate some crackers and french fries to raise my salt levels.  Then I napped on the car ride home.

When we got home I did start to feel better.  I was able to get some food down without getting sick.  At this writing, I am still a bit nauseous.

What Did I Learn?

I learned that I cannot simply just go and run a half marathon anymore.  I need to train and stick to my routine.  I need to be smarter about nutrition before, during, and after a race.  I need to listen to my body.

Monday’s Motivation – Apr. 20, 2015

MONDAY’S MOTIVATION

A few moments ago, the first participants began their 26.2 mile journey for the Boston Marathon.

Today’s Monday’s Motivations is dedicated to Rebekah Gregory DiMartino, who is running her first Boston Marathon.  Running your first marathon is always special and even moreso if it is Boston, but what makes DiMartino’s story remarkable is that she was a victim, who ultimately lost her leg, at the Boston Bombing two years ago.  She is an inspiration to all.

Good luck today Rebekah!  The whole nation is behind you.

To read her journey to Boston, read Back to Boston at Runner’s World.