Happy Halloween....but no Orange for me...
Green means GO right? Green is my favorite color…yes? In college, the architecture building was called the GREENE BUILDING...
But in the NYC marathon, EVERYONE hates the color green…the reason? You are better known to be on the bottom of the Verrizono Bridge that means various bodily fluids (pee, umm…upchuck, and other various objects come down…and then the wind blows and blows into the lower deck…ew right?) Well…this year causes more problems with the construction going on the lower deck as well. They couldn’t get it done in time? Come on now! Construction causes problems for safety concerns therefore there will be “heats” or various corrals that will be going off every 2 minutes or so for the green section people. Uh!
So, I shall give you some muggy pictures of the underground tunnel, instead of beautiful up on top of the bridge pictures this year…I just hope next year will be better…(I mean my marathon card had gotten lost in the mail and just recently found out of my number and color of the corral…) this is not turning into a very pleasant experience so far…but I shall be ok. I’m doing my first NYC marathon and I’m taking this one for easy…well what is exactly easy?
Race pace of course…not really slowing down per say, but I’ll be taking pictures and enjoying myself with the crowd, friends that I hope will come out to cheer me on. We’ll see, I guess…I’m guessing 3:30 final time…or hopefully later…we’ll see.
But…4 days till the race…
Ok...So I didn't detox like I usually do for the NYC marathon, but hey, we need a break somewhere in this good old town right? Can't exactly be a straight up person and give up drinks here and there and it was a major buzz kill on my social life here....
But waking up from a killer drunken debacle of last night's Halloween party that one of my great sister's friends/my friend at Underground was so much fun, but it hurt so much in the morning...boy I hate these mornings again...or rather afternoons when I finally got up....after going to bed at 4am in the morning and well considering or planning on going to the Poland Spring Marathon Kick off event...at 8am...but woke up at 9:30 and was like...opps...oh it's over...then back to bed!
Sorry JM, AK and JG for saying that I was going to take pictures....my bad.
But...after last night....Detoxing begins...until the end of Philly...damn! that means no drinking after NYC marathon....now that sucks!
Well, the day just started out with a rainy, windy weather of NYC. Umbrella’s seem to not work at all in the cities (wind & rain working side by side with each other to cause you to be soaking wet by the time you get to work).
But yes, after receiving news that I have to evacuate my apartment the following night when I had returned to my apartment at 12 am in the morning, the news just got better and better….I kid you not.
The problem is…is that finding a place in NYC is like going for a job interview. You are not just looking for the best available spot to live, you have to deal with the person that you are going to live with, they have to like you on their side and they will be choosing you as the winner…it’s like a popularity contest or a survivor tv show. But some places in NYC are just ridiculous! Not only are the places small or literally holes in the walls that sell for $1000 a month (excluding utilities), but most of the locations sell themselves. I hate looking for apartments in nyc…the worst thing ever!
So, my morning had been consumed with constant e-mailing to different people around the Manhattan area of home owners looking for a roommate. I must have e-mailed about 30-40 people…and little response came back at all.
After work, I needed a big break. As always within Wednesday nights, I run up 8th avenue to the park, run around towards the engineers gate and meet up with the Wednesday night running group. The usual were there, SR and DG and his wife, LG, and JM whom I was surprised to see due to her injury, but on the comeback. It had been starting to rain and I was surprised to see people out in the rain running. Not many people had been running and rather take the day off or run inside due to the rain, but well when it comes to training for a marathon, nothing is in my way.
We started the 6 mile loop as a regular conversational pace, rain still dropping and cool weather prevailed as my hands got colder and colder. As we reached to Harlem hill, we sped up the pace. I was surprised to see that everyone was still together…we stopped for water, then I was leading, slowly hearing behind me the chattering of the usual group. Then, I look back and they were gone…no one behind me…I don’t know what happened to them. So then I sped on my merrily little ways, in the rain, cold and dreary weather…
I first apologize to all the Flyers out there for already reading this in the October Newsletter...but it's for my other non-flyer friends...
For the intermediate runner (anyone that runs one or more marathons) you have surpassed the test of the first marathon. You have already gained the whole experience of training and the endurance of the race and are ready for the next one. Your next goal is to set your sights higher and surpass your first marathon finish time and you have gained different precedence of what you would like to do better. Let me try to break down some of what I consider the top 10 improvement basics:
1. Know which plan best suits your training schedule and your body:
This may be running more or fewer 20 milers, doing more speed work outs, longer overall distances or more days off to recuperate between workouts. As you are now “a more experienced” runner, you can acknowledge a more accurate plan for your own self. There are many training plans available that are designed for an average runner.
Do some research, reflecting on your first (or previous) marathon, to decide which you would like to participate in that best suits the needs for your own improvement. If it suits you, you can also mix and match different training programs to create one tailored for your individual goals.
2. Develop a base in training (run a more consistent core in training):
For the longer distance runners out there, develop a training program that allows you to have a better weekly base.
Increasing the distance of a few of your training runs up to 10, 12 and even 14 miles during the middle of the week allows you to get comfortable at a higher level of mileage during training, which allows you to optimize your distances during your long runs on weekends.
This also allows you to be stronger mentally and physically during race day, knowing that a 10-14 miler feels like a regular training run.
3. Develop a better nutrition plan and eating schedule during training:
Now that you’ve done your first marathon, the main focus is not so much enjoyment of the race as much as a higher degree of competition. You may be taking this next race more seriously, and following that thought, what you eat.
Nutrition and your eating habits during training have a lot to do with how your body performs during your runs. Energy and how carbohydrates are stored and released as energy may become a bigger focus in how you may want to train for this marathon. Do the research and figure out what kind of diet regimen works best for you.
4. Get focused:
When you really want something and you put your mind into it, you can accomplish
almost anything. Even if you don’t reach the particular goal that you have in mind, you will find out more about yourself through trying to achieve that goal. Your goal might be a specific time you want to beat, a particular pace you want to keep, or a better training regimen. Whatever the case, you are in charge of your own destiny.
With a better focus on how you want to accomplish this goal, your experience will turn out better in the end.
5 . S t a y i n j u r y free:
There is a saying among marathoners: “If you can make it through t h e t r a i n i n g , you can make it through the marathon”. Remaining injured free during the training process is probably the toughest part about the marathon. You may say that you have done a marathon before and made it through without injury, but keep in mind this, while training for the next one, even though you are more “experienced,” you are often more driven and put more miles and train harder, which can often lead to injury. Be careful not to do too much too soon.
6. Know proper ways to heal your body:
Develop different ways to proper ways to care for and heal your body if you get an injury. Stretch, ice, massage, and take time off to rest; learn to develop a better concept of learning about your body. Research your injuries, know how much time it can take to heal and develop a sense how much time you need to take off. Follow doctors’ orders.
Know if you can or can’t do a marathon and pull out if you are injured. There are always more marathons in the future.
7. Stay relaxed and know exactly what you need to do before a marathon:
Ok, you have done a marathon before and know exactly how marathon weekend plays out. From marathon expo to getting to the starting line, you need to know what you have to do to make this better. Be more efficient, find better ways of travel and stay relaxed.
8. Have a hydration plan and have a race route plan of attack prepared for the race:
Knowing the race route of the marathon is equally important. Training for specific hills during your weekly runs may simulate the same tiredness that you may face at those hills during the actual race. Having a hydration plan and knowing where all the water stops before the race, allows you to simulate where you’ll be taking in fluids along the course. Know exactly when you will take your GU, shot blocks or power beans and simulate how you are going to run your race. And of course, know where the finish line is and when you want to put in the last 100% of what you have left to finish.
9. Consult a more experienced runner and ask them any questions:
- Ask questions, from basic training
- questions to course-specific marathon
- questions about the race you are running.
- Runners are always willing to help other runners out. We learn from other’s experiences. Knowledge is power and knowing what to expect will always help you in the end.
10. Go for a big and prestigious goal or a Boston Qualifier (BQ):
Keep these in mind as you train and prepare. You know exactly what you want to do and your goals are only for your benefit. Relax, always have fun during the marathon and keep things simple. Good luck and know that with the right preparation, you can always reach your goal.
Brian is not a certified coach or expert in marathon training. He admits that his advice is taken from his own personal research and experience only, but loves to share what he’s learned, and invites fellow runners to discuss and compare their training with him.
Although, I plan to video tape this during the marathon, because I have heard that when you get off the 59th street bridge during the marathon, all you hear is this massive echoing of people cheering. I can’t wait and fathom that feeling and well I’ll share that in 2 weeks to come.
So, many people were there from the NY FLY team, too many to list on out, so if you were there, then I probably saw you. I talked with LH in the beginning, chatting about how the Chicago marathon went and how a heart monitor can really help you determine how fast you are going at the end of the race. It’s always nice to talk to flyers to get their advise and really keep in check with your own knowledge and schedule. I stretched a bit, got many congratulations for finishing the Chicago marathon and just enjoyed quality chatting time with many of my teammates. The topic of running is so hard to escape when you are a runner and haven’t seen someone for a while, so the two topics of “how is your training going?” and “how are you feeling?” are usually the two main questions that come up.
Toby Tanser was there to lead us off, and I was surprised to see him run with us for the frist two miles, giving us the split times for all those who wanted to simulate the race. I mean we were passing through traffic like we owned the road, which is really bad, but when you are a runner, you want to stop at nothing and just continue because the time is always ticking. So we went up from 59th street and 1st to the end of 1st avenue where the bridge that took you over to the Bronx. I have always seen runners run across this bridge and I would never fathom myself running in the NYC marathon, which gave me somewhat some goose bumps. We went into the Bronx and that was a little dull for a bit of a stretch. Seeing a father/grandfather dressed up in a purple suit looking all fly and gangsta-ish or more like a pimp, told me that we were definitely in a different borough.
Although we were not in the Bronx for too long, and before you knew it we were running across another bridge to make it back to Manhattan onto 5th Avenue. Once on 5th avenue, you know that you are almost there since you enter the park onto 5th avenue. But just don’t get too anxious, because when you get off the bridge onto 5th avenue, your at about 157th street and you have to get onto 90th street to enter the park…a good mile and a half. Also, don’t get me wrong, CP is an amazing park, although there are quite some challenges in the park as well and there are no easy hills to be taken lightly at the end of a marathon.
So…we wait for 14 days or 2 weeks to this day exactly…Till then, we taper, rest our legs and hopefully enjoy the remaining days till my very first NYC marathon.
With one week left to go till the NYC marathon (the 2nd marathon of my month and a half tour, I keep telling myself to continue and I’m almost there…
So waking up to the cold raining weather, the down pouring didn’t stop me from training. Actually it was the promising effects of my fellow flyer, SS, whom could not make it to lead the Saturday morning group run, so I had volunteered to lead. So…I got out of bed, put on all my gear and extra dry clothing into my new pack and headed out into the rain.
As I left my apartment, it wasn’t so bad. The rain was slowly dripping here and there, but I had a long sleeved shirt…As I ran up 2nd avenue, I passed the apartment that I had been eyeing to be at that was on the East Village. As I reached the Upper East Side, I forged ahead toward the Engineers Gate, making this decision was quite simple…I was early, wanted to run more and it was cold…so I would rather be running. As I entered Central Park, the park was absolutely empty…well with a few people here and there. The week before marathon weekend is the most packed time for the park, it’s usually starling with people. As I made my way toward the 72nd Street Transverse, I see JH and ST, getting ready for the marathon. I stop to chat a bit with them and they tell me that they are getting ready if the marathon brings bad rain weather.
So I trekked toward 72nd street to find only one person, JJ and we had a nice leisurely run since both of us were going to do the NYC marathon. Good conversation, good pace, rain was not that bad…it was actually good. We planned it pretty perfectly and when we ended it was just a few minutes away from the “New Flyer Run”…double soaked! So we met up with JL, SC and T_, for the new group run, there had been about 3-4 new people and what great competitors they were coming out on a gloomy day. We ended up doing a 4-5 miler from both transverses and had a great time catching up with old flyers whom we haven’t seen in a while.
As the day slowly ended as I had left the park, that was indeed my last long run for the NYC marathon and maybe even for the rest of the year. I ended up doing about a 16 miler on that day (even though I was suppose to be tapering)….with the last ten miles to do the next day!
Seriously! Was absolutely everyone at the park (CP) today? I mean I could not put it better than runner26, when I had seen her running in the park (which was a good sign to see her running in the park and always a pleasure to say hello and catch up). But she just couldn’t resist in running on such a beautiful morning and what turned out to being such a beautiful day. But I spent much of my run talking to her on the side, which was well worth it to catch up.
So, I had decided to wake up early to do the Saturday morning run with the NYFLY group, although I had heard from AK that she was “the third wheel” in last weeks run, but I wanted to experience that for myself. So I deciding to do 12 miles today, I ran up to the park, took the longer route to 89th street and ran down toward 72nd, where we usually meet up. It’s very unusual though, as NYC marathon comes around; most teams would appreciate in the attendance of members to group runs. For our team, it is just the opposite, where most of the members of our team depreciates…or well, tomorrow’s “Last 10 miler” would also be another reason to “take it easy”.
So I met up with SS and we were the only one’s on the run, but we decided to do tempo runs on the dirt path…As we rounded up Cat Hill and move past the museum, I spot my best buddy from High School, BJ. BJ had gone to my high school, we actually did track and were co-captains of our team, he was salutatorian for my class and went to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) with me as well. But the bigger picture in BJ was that well I always called our teamwork, the “dynamic duo” which goes hand in hand with scoring points and really coming through when the team needed it. We both go back as far as 1st grade where we played soccer on a travel soccer team and his parents and my parents were really close friends. Although we both lived in the city, we really never do get to see each other. Our work consumes us both, although we catch up from time to time. (a story for the history of Brian’s which I will catch up on later on in my blogs)…
But I didn’t end up running with SS, due to him tweaking something and getting a little injured…I don’t know what happened, I was not to blame though. So I ended up doing a loop where I had met up with Runner 26, ST and her boy, JH…and well…I just ran home…on a happy beautiful day…
It's absolutely amazing...I would have never believed hitting 100 posts on my blog! Here is to you Mr. Franklin...because posting 100 blogs is like getting a $100 dollar bill....
umm...not quite though....can you believe it?
Ok…maybe it’s a bad thing…ok, I know it’s a bad thing, but still. Again this week has been the first week back in my running and I have been “slowly” adding on mileage again. I am pretty sure that my mileage from months past while training for the Chicago Marathon has finally caught up to me…and taking a whole week off allowed my legs to soften up a little. So running 8 miles on Monday night and 12 last night has definitely taken it’s toll.
By mile 9 last night, I thought to myself while running home from the park that I couldn’t make it back. I started getting chills (was this dehydration) or was it just the Fall cold settling in. I was extremely hungry at that point. I thought I was not going to make it. I took a swig of water at the water fountain at Columbus Circle and that quickly rejuvenated me.
Although…while running my usual tempo runs on Wednesday nights with ST, a fellow flyer, I was simply trying to keep up with her. As I rounded up Cat Hill, I felt a POP! I have been ailed to have Achilles tendinitis and on the side of my leg, where I have been having an ailing injury, well before my Vermont Marathon back in May, my muscles are simply having knots from the lactic acid that is building up accrued by all the miles that has been added up during training. Anyways…I have been meaning to put this up, but didn’t want to jinx myself before the Chicago marathon….it scares the BIGEEZES out of me….
BUT No...I am not injured. Everything is all good. I feel good as a whistle! I just have a whole lot of knots in my muscles...
BUT yes, I will get that checked after all this is OVER!
How do I get rid of Achilles tendinitis?
I've been running for just a year, but I already know the Achilles tendon is nothing to fool around with. Mine has begun to feel just a little sore, usually after a run, and friends have suggested I get heel lifts for my shoes right away and not rely on stretching. Should I? What will happen if I don't? What is Achilles tendinitis and how do I get rid of it? – Dee M., Huntington, NY
Thanks, Dee. This time of year I see tons of Achilles tendinitis, so this question is really timely. Any sport that keeps you on your feet and uses a pushing-off motion can produce Achilles trouble. Orthotics are usually prescribed, but stretching is always your first defense.The Achilles tendon, which is formed from your calf muscles, can be pushed beyond its limits and become inflamed. That's the tendinitis to which most athletes ascribe pain—and perhaps some swelling—above the upper heel. But every time the tendon gets inflamed, and certainly every time the pain comes from more serious micro-tears in the overused tissue which can easily be mistaken for tendinitis, the Achilles grows just a little weaker.
What brings the condition on, besides simple overuse?
The Achilles is vulnerable to misuse. Designed to do its job of guiding the heel in a vertical plane, it's intolerant of the inward rolling of the ankle when it overpronates, or supination (rolling outward).
But a calf muscle routinely loosened by conscientious stretching everyday and after a workout cuts the tendon some slack, particularly in stiffer athletes, reducing the tendon's role as a shock absorber for which it's not very well suited anyway. So on those impatient days when stretching seems too much of a bother, it pays to remind yourself that a neglected and partially torn tendon needs to rest and heal in a cast for 6 to 8 weeks unless you like courting a rupture.
And if that tendon does pop?
The gulf between the two ends creates a hole you can actually feel. A clock has just started ticking, during which the tendon's two ends will drift apart. As soon as possible you must decide if you want the rupture repaired by surgically reattaching the ends—the best choice for most athletes. It involves an operation and then a cast or cast boot at first and probably 9 to 12 months of therapy. The sooner it's done, the easier the repair. Or you can just go into a cast for maybe 8 to 12 weeks and accept whatever healing nature is able to provide—probably a weaker result and longer recovery.
Given all this, a couple of minutes of prevention don't seem like such a bother after all. Do both the gastroc (upper calf muscle) stretch and the soleus (lower calf muscle) stretch whenever you're near a wall and have the time. As for the Achilles tendon stretch, once a day for a minute should do it. For both, the more, the better.
1. Gastroc stretch. Lean into wall, keeping affected leg back straight, heel on floor and turned slightly outward. Stretch should be felt in calf.
2. Soleus stretch. Similar to above with affected leg back but knees slightly bent; lean into wall until stretch is felt in lower calf.
3. Achilles tendon stretch. Stand with toes on stair, heels off the edge. Raise up on toes, then down as far as possible. Return to starting position.
Heel lifts alone are a big NO. They shorten the muscle tendon complex. Yes, you "feel" better wearing them but next time out running, when you stride a little further or speed up, that shortened complex will now tear. That, you don’t want or need! So please, stay away from those heel lifts.
So what do you do if stretching alone doesn’t work?
The longer you take to seek help, the longer it will take to fix. All structures in the body constantly remodel (at different rates). The Achilles tendon gets its strength by its fibers lining up in parallel. If its originating calf muscles are inflexible living in an environment of overpronation and inflammation (the "tendinitis"), remodeling proceeds with the fibers lining up every which way instead of parallel; this results in a weakened, swollen, painful tendon: tendonitis (instead of tendinitis). This tendon is more easily prone to tear and will take a full-length flexible orthotic (worn full time instead of just running) and physical therapy for 8 weeks minimum. The therapist is specifically trained to bring blood flow into that tendon without breaking it.
If you have developed tendonitis, I know your next question is: Can I run? You can run in that flexible full length orthotic if you can maintain your running form. This may require slowing down and shortening stride length. Realize that your sports doctor should clear you before returning to speed and when you do, I suggest getting with a good coach and progressing back to your old speed; don’t rush, you will only hurt something else!
Enjoy the ride.
All of us who participated in the 30th running of the Chicago Marathon will always have that story to tell. We also all know that, tragically, Chad Schieber died during the marathon. No matter what your perspective of the race was, we can all agree on two things:
Marathoners NEVER QUIT!
We should do what we can to help Chad’s Family.
Wear this shirt with pride and let those around you know that while the race got weird, you never quit. At the same time, you will be helping the family of our fellow runner.
We are runners just like you. We ran (ok, we walked some too) the 2007 Chicago Marathon. We think it turned out to be one heck of a day, and worthy of remembering. We are not in the shirt business (two of us are actually in light manufacturing and one is in technology). We just had what we thought was a great idea for a shirt and were going to get a few printed for ourselves when the idea to help the Schieber family came along. We hope you enjoy the shirt and we hope the money and thought helps Chad's family.
Life was strange in NYC, it takes some time to get use to when you are from a small town community, where everyone knows your name. People walk right past you in NYC and I never would have thought that I would have fitted in.
So the first year that I had been living here, I wanted to join something that I had let go when I went to college. RUNNING. Running had never left me in college, although competitive running had. I set out on a huge feat in my first race which was to finish a half marathon. I really had never trained much and distance really was not my thing. I set my standards really low and it was just to complete the first race in NYC.
I had seen that many people had joined running clubs and had actually been overhearing a conversation that a female had with her running teammate. It was quite hilarious and well I had glanced at the team singlet that she had been wearing. It said, “The New York Flyers (NYF)” and then stated the web address on the bottom of it.
After the Half Marathon had been completed, I was overjoyed about finishing my very first half marathon. So I checked different running teams around the New York City area. Hard to believe now it was between the Nike Central Park (CP) running team and the New York Flyers (NYF). Hard to believe because these teams are in the opposite spectrums of running clubs in NYC, the NYF is the largest running club in NYC where it takes in as many members of all speeds, all ages and all backgrounds, etc. CP…well that’s a different story, CP is a very selective running club where I had tried to get information about joining, they asked for my times in various distances. I was like, “what?” and me being a sprinter before in High School, and not a distance runner at all (having completed and really happy that I have competed a half marathon!!) it was sort of embarrassing. Plus, many people say, they are so called "arrogant" and rule the running community because of their fast runners and hey, when you are sponsored by NIKE...come on now...but I try not to make my assumptions.
So, I joined the NYF and am really happy to this day that I have decided to choose my running club. I have learned so many different things from many people about various things, running and non-running related. I have grown great friendships and gotten some great connections from a wide variety of people and their professions from the many of members. It’s absolutely wonderful. You can learn about anything and get advise from anyone on this team, from the very fast people to the “leisurely” paced people as well, each person brings a great aspect within running and a great aspect of how you want to run.
But the most important thing that makes this NYF community the best is the facts of how they actually care. The amounts of e-mails that they send wishing you luck before a big race such as a marathon, the congratulatory effects of e-mails to text messages just wondering how you did, the emotions of making sure you are ok after the aftermath of the “fun run” Chicago Marathon. It’s just amazing, scary even care more than my own parents, that they even track you whenever you cross the matt and know where you are on the race course…but reassuring to know that they care.
So I do tip my hat to all of you Flyers out there that make my life so much better. I appreciate every moment and everyone that makes me feel that my running community is like a family to me.
Well I made it a week without running and have a no running weekend as well. As many of you have known, I had also affected by an injury. Well not so much as bad as many people, but I was lucky to deal with my injury and run. This is why I have given myself a week break after the strong heat waves of Chicago and the cool effect that this week has brought. But WHAT GIVES? I was up in Syracuse, NY this weekend for a wedding and the outside temperatures at like 5pm was incredibly COLD! I was saying, a week ago, I was running in 93 degree temperatures and NOW I CAN SEE MY OWN BREATH! It was absolutely stunning, but brought the effects that FALL WAS FINALLY HERE and winter will soon follow.
oh and yes, after a month layover of detoxing, i guess it was pretty easy getting drunk with all of my college friends...
Running Into Trouble
By FRANK SHORTER
Published: October 12, 2007
AT the 16-mile mark of a very hot and humid marathon at the Pan American Games in Cali, Colombia, in 1971, I looked over at my good friend and teammate Kenny Moore and noticed something. “You’ve stopped sweating,” I said, trying to sound calm. Kenny looked at his dry forearms, and then his eyes got very big. Ten minutes later he was in an ambulance, incoherent with heat stroke. We had both expected extreme conditions and had prepared accordingly all summer. But it was not his day, and I went on to win the race. (The next summer, Kenny would finish fourth in the Olympic Marathon in Munich, which I won.) In Cali, my genetics had prevailed: some athletes simply handle heat and humidity better than others.
For many runners — especially non-elite runners who, after all, are on the course much longer — last Sunday’s Chicago Marathon was Kenny Moore’s Cali experience writ large: temperatures in the 80s, dozens hospitalized, one death and the race halted. I was in Chicago, and after watching the elite runners finish, I took off on a 1 hour, 50 minute training run to see for myself what it was like. I think several factors combined to turn the race into a worst-case scenario. Lake Michigan was like glass, and I realized early in my run that I wasn’t being cooled by any wind. Even though the temperature/humidity index was in the danger zone, it was the stillness that slammed the door on the runners, and ultimately on the race itself.
The organizers in Chicago were prepared for a hot race, though not one this hot — no one had expected the record temperatures, not even the top runners, who hadn’t made getting used to heat and humidity a part of their training. (It takes about two weeks to acclimate to hot, humid conditions.) If the runners at the back of the pack in Chicago — whose flat course tends to attract first-timers — were physiologically caught off guard, so were some of the elite runners.
The weather was unique and dangerous, and as soon as that became apparent the organizers decided to get everyone to safety as soon as possible. To me it was obvious that concern for the runners came first and all other interests second.How can marathon participants — runners and organizers both — prepare for such conditions?
- Make salt packets available at the start of races that are dangerously hot. In this context, salt is a good thing.
- Strip down. At the expo before the Chicago race, I advised men to go shirtless and women to wear as little as possible in order to maximize the refrigeration effect of wind against sweaty skin. (Unfortunately, this time there would be no wind.) The elite runners have learned this. In Chicago, I would have gone shirtless, and explained to my sponsors later.
- Have showers and misters at every aid station. In Chicago, drinking water ran out after runners poured hundreds of thousands of cups over their heads.
- Talk. Run at what I call a “conversational pace.” As long as you can carry on a normal conversation and don’t have to pause to get a breath, you’re getting enough oxygen. This is your only real protection against going over the edge to the point where your body has to recover, because in extreme conditions, you might discover that it can’t.
- Make clear to first-time marathoners what elite runners already know: in certain situations it’s important to back off from the gut feeling to exert yourself more and more just to maintain the pace.
- Change the standard ambulance procedures so that only those truly in danger are transported. Doctors will tell you that dehydration can often be initially handled on the scene, but many ambulance protocols call for sufferers to be transported automatically to the hospital.
- Make dropping out palatable. Runners, especially first-timers and those running for charity, should be given the option of getting their money back and perhaps a guaranteed entry at a major marathon in the near future. Race directors could easily cooperate on this. Peer-group and self-imposed pressure to follow through on months of training should be alleviated as much as possible. Fund-raising groups should underwrite a second try for those giving so much of themselves for the benefit of others.
- If necessary, turn off the clock.
I hope the Chicago experience results in a more flexible attitude on the part of all race organizers in terms of giving runners the option of saving it for another day, and that inexperienced runners are motivated to learn all they can about what they’re getting themselves into. As for the elite runners — for whom it’s less of a health issue — my advice would still be to think of my friend Kenny Moore in Cali. Because no matter who you are, it just might not be your day.
Frank Shorter, the 1972 Olympic gold medalist and 1976 Olympic silver medalist in the marathon, was the first chairman of the United States Anti-Doping Agency.
Granted it was really nice to get a letter from the race officials at the Chicago Marathon, although the decency of the effects in canceling the race to not taking responsibilities for their own actions is very, very low. Chicago as a race did not impress me, in any ways, there were some good parts: fans, crowds and a nice city, although I was not impressed upon the experience, course, and still not handling things "right".
I mean I should not really complain that much about it since after all I had a decent time and I finshed before they had canceled the course. I am also not really effected by the heat and never was effected by the "no water" or seen the masses drop out. But the effects on organization and how piss poorly they handled the situations for a marathon that is ranked in the top 5 marathons in the WORLD. I think I am placing it very high on the standards list and expected a whole lot.
Well...I guess I can say that no one is perfect, although it really dampered on the whole completion of the 4 months in training & race.
From the race director:
For 17 years I have been honored to serve as Executive Race Director of The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon, a race steeped in a 30-year tradition of providing the ultimate marathon experience for runners.
The record high temperatures and humidity at Sunday’s race made for a challenging day for marathoners. The conditions on Sunday presented me with the single most difficult decision I have ever made as race director. While that was a frustration to many, I stand behind the decision to end the race early– it was a necessary safety measure. However, I also recognize that because of the conditions and my decision, many of our runners did not have the experience they trained for and expected.
As an organization dedicated to providing the very best experience in the industry, the results have left us disappointed as well. Our team has spent the last several days reviewing the details and we are listening to runners, staff and volunteers. Rest assured that we take the day’s events - and your comments - seriously.
We are reviewing all details and feedback as we plan to continue the tradition of our race in 2008 and beyond. Offering the best experience possible to runners always has been our priority and it remains a commitment of the highest importance.
My personal gratitude goes to each of you, as well as to staff and volunteers, for participating in the race this year. I share in your disappointment, if you did not have the experience you expected.
I certainly hope to be able to greet you at our finish line in the years ahead, in the grand fashion that has characterized The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon for so many years.
Executive Race Director
I do truly believe that they will be taking every effect of this race seriously and hope that all the bigger marathons follow suit in a "continiency plan" for just in case reasons. I truly believe that he was disappointed and believe that it was a hard decision to make. But do believe that he made the best decision for the public and for life safety, even though many did not agree with it.
I believe that they were not very prepared for the heat (even though they shoud have been because of the forecasters preditions). The hot weather for the week already should have told them to order more cups, showering stations, water, gatorade, etc. They should have gotten more volenteers, at last minute, and could have told people to arrive earlier to the start to start earlier (1 or 2 hours earlier would have made a big difference). BUT...in all...what is done is done.
Maybe they should refund us our $100+ for the marathon entry? Ok...I'll take at least $50 back!
I can totally understand how organizers are being pulled 5 different ways especially in that situation down the stretch. I am also glad that they had called it off with the amount of supplies that they had had. It was just a disappointment. But in some ways, I think they should have some ways gone to every BJ's or whole sale store and buy them completely out of cups/supplies for the race if they knew it was going to be in the 80's that whole week. I never anticipated it being 92 when I saw the time and temperature on an electric sign while passing it near international mile.
What I could not believe was that they turned off the clocks in many mile stops after they "declared it a fun run", they were telling people to Slow Down...it's their own right if they want to go or not...They called the whole thing off due to the amount of ambulances that they had, they totally ran out of ambulances that is why they had no choice to continue the race because people were seizure and cramping up...dropping like flies everywhere.
Needless to say, running 26.2 miles in that kind of heat brings on serious concerns about dehydration and heat exhaustion. When the race started at 8 am it was already 80 degrees. We were in good spirits despite the heat and knew ahead of time that neither one of us would break our 4 hour goal. We got to see our super fan group at about mile 4 & mile 11, giving us the cheering, water & Gatorade we needed to push forward. And believe me, it was needed!
Even before we got to the halfway point, I saw plenty of people already walking, and these were people that looked like runners and appeared to be younger and in better shape than me. That was my first clue as to how bad the heat was. The second was that I was already feeling the effects on my body much earlier than in any of my training runs. The other clues were when I saw paramedics taking someone’s pulse at one point and shortly before the halfway point, I then saw paramedics literally giving someone mouth to mouth.
At that point, I told myself “if you have to walk, its ok”. I think it was around mile 15 that I had to take my first walk break. Somehow I pushed through to mile 19 where I got some more fan support, which was enough to get me through to mile 20, known as” the wall”. At mile 20, I just finished having a mental conversation of trying to decide if I could finish in 4.5 hours, when I heard the announcement “Attention runners, the race has been cancelled. You can stop running now. We have run out of paramedics”. I was obviously surprised and thought perhaps there was a punch line that I missed. Then I heard another announcement saying something similar.
As I heard the second announcement, I saw a girl with an oxygen mask, sitting on a chair stretcher being wheeled away. At that point I said, “Ok, time doesn’t matter”. Police & race officials continued to announce that the race was cancelled the remaining6.2 miles. They announced that they would shuttle runners back to the finish line at various aid stations, which I considered for about 10 seconds. Mary offered to come pick me up, which I also considered. Ultimately I decided that I’d already gone 20 miles, I should just finish, however that may be, running or walking. So that’s what I did! I ran/walked the rest of the way, mostly walking and even when I did run, I’m sure it wasn’t much faster than my walk. I won’t lie, it was tough! There were times that I was definitely thinking, “oh my God, I can’t believe I still have X miles left”.
My feet really ached and my muscles were definitely tired. Oh yeah, and it was HOT!! I continued to get water & Gatorade any chance I could. Various spectators & race officials came out with bags of ice for us to grab, which helped. Firemen also opened up hydrants for runners to run through the water and a number of spectators brought out their garden houses to shower those that needed relief from the heat. I had have my phone with me so I was able to text people to let them know that it was cancelled, but I was ok and still going.
Around mile 24, M texted me that he was proud of me and waiting for me at mile 26. That gave me the energy I needed to push on. As I turned the corner to enter the park, M jumped out of the crowd and started running with me. For those of you that don’t know, M DOES NOT RUN!! I knew then that I would definitely make it!! I even had a bit of a kick at the end. ;- )
A lot of people asked if I was mad or upset about the unprecedented cancellation. My answer was and still is “no”. The decision was made for people’s health and safety. There were extreme decisions that called for extreme measures. I’m proud of my dedication to training for 18 weeks and I’m proud that I finished. However, if needed, I would’ve dropped out. My final time was 5:31:56. Again, certainly no personal record, but given the conditions, I was more than pleased with my finish. As one friend said to me “T, you’re part of history.”
A couple of stats from the day:
45,000 registered for the race
35,867 started the race
24,933 finished the race
315 taken by ambulance from the course
5 hospitalized Sunday night
Also thanks to all of the encouragement many of you provided during my 18 weeks of training and the days leading up to the big day. As always, it is much appreciated! Thanks to all those who called, emailed and texted to make sure I was ok after news broke about the race cancellation. Its times like these that I’m reminded of how lucky I am to have such caring and supportive friends and family. T
October 8, 2007
Chad Schieber of Midland, Mich., collapsed about 12 p.m. at 1500 S. Ashland Ave. and was pronounced dead on arrival at a West Side hospital at 12:50 p.m., the medical examiner's office said.An autopsy will be performed Monday.
Despite the heat, executive race director Carey Pinkowski said race officials never considered canceling the race before it began because they believed the number of people running was manageable and that they could be cared for."In most cases they have trained for 25 weeks," he said. "Marathon runners are tough people. They train in difficult conditions."Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said about 315 runners were taken from the course by ambulance with what he described as heat-related conditions. He said city and suburban ambulances took 146 people to hospitals, most in good condition, and the rest were taken to hospitals or medical aid stations along the route by private ambulances.Five people remained hospitalized in serious or critical condition Sunday night, Langford said.
Runners described chaotic scenes of racers throwing up, passing out or being carted away on stretchers."There were people falling all over the place," said Rob Smith, 40, of Naperville, who was running his first marathon.
Though Schieber's death was not the first fatality in the race's 30-year history—the last was in 2003—it was the first time the event was cut short. Of 35,867 runners who started the race, just 24,933 finished, and by Sunday evening, the marathon's message board, along with Chicago hotels and restaurants, was buzzing with dissatisfaction.
"It was poorly done," said Mike Katz, 61, who has run 31 marathons, as he sat in the lounge of the Congress Plaza Hotel. Chicago officials "just didn't have it together," he said.With temperatures heading toward an Oct. 7 record 88 degrees, officials enacted a contingency plan about 11:30 a.m. to end the race early, Pinkowski said. He said there was precedent for such action.
In April, officials at the Rotterdam marathon in the Netherlands cut that event short, also because of warm weather.Runners who had not reached the halfway point were diverted back to the start at Grant Park while the rest were told by police and firefighters that they should walk to the finish. Some racers simply went home and others caught rides, but the majority walked on, some with bags of ice on their heads or dousing each other with the contents of their water bottles.
A few stubborn competitors kept lumbering along.Some runners chalked up the aborted race to bad luck, but many others seethed about a lack of fluids along the way."I had no water until Mile 8," said Blayne Rickles, 57, of Denver.The most welcome relief came in the form of spectators buying bottles of water near Mile 13 and handing them to exhausted runners, she said."The city was fabulous, but the race was horrible," Rickles said.
When race director Pinkowski making statements like:
By TEDDY KIDER
Published: October 9, 2007
Berhane Adere being escorted from the finish after winning her second straight Chicago Marathon on Sunday.
The one runner in the race who died Sunday had an existing heart problem, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office determined yesterday. The man, Chad Schieber, a 35-year-old from Michigan, collapsed near the 18-mile mark.
“Runners were using the water to cool their bodies as opposed to just using it for consumption,” Caponi said. “At the rate they were doing it, we were getting a logjam at the tables, and other runners couldn’t get to the water.”
Organizers of long-distance races have always encountered health issues, especially with so many amateurs and first-timers gathering at high-profile events. Even though organizers say they prepare for the worst, the conditions Sunday in Chicago, where the temperature reached at least 88 degrees, took many by surprise.
Mary Wittenberg, president of the New York Road Runners and race director for the New York City Marathon, was at the race in Chicago.
Marathonguide.com states this at this with the Chicago Marathon:
"The Chicago Marathon chose to announce an early end to the marathon and reroute finishers who did not reach the halfway point in under three hours (gun time). For safety reasons, the approach of Chicago was probably necessary, but from the point of view of runners who were yanked off the course, the approach of the race was the equivalent of murder. The reviews we've been receiving at MarathonGuide.com have been uniformly angry with runners citing the "wasted cost of travel," "inability to take advantage of training for a marathon to actually finish a marathon, a now-broken string of Chicago Marathon finishes and other travails. CNN called it a "fiasco." The New York Times called it "havoc." We call it a lose-lose situation for the Chicago Race Director and City Officials..."
First and foremost, I would like to applauded my friends and family and NY Flyer family for their well wishes before hand and for their concerns for our health and well being afterwards. Thanks!
Under the extreme conditions, everyone did a great job. Those whom went with me to Chicago, ES, JT and AK, I say we had a great time during our “fun run”. The crowds of spectators also need to be applauded for their efforts to stay for the race and help the runners along the race course.
My after thoughts of the race...
What could have been done:
I feel that the race officials have no excuse for either starting an hour earlier or setting up more water stations during the last 10 miles of the race, when they had known the temperatures were going to be extreme a week before. Yes, the race officials should be concerned about the well being of the runners and could have "canceled the race" although as runners we train for marathons, 3, 4, 5, 6 months in advanced and people make plans and fly in for just these events. In some ways, you can say that they could have canceled the race and "made it up" but they allowed us to run this race and I'm glad that they did...I'm just disappointed that they did not have cups and more water stations out there to accommodate for the weather, which I suppose = more volunteers.
BUT most importantly...I look back and am sorry about being the thousands ahead that had taken advantage of the amount of cups/water/Gatorade that I have taken along the course. Maybe next year or in marathons to come there may be fold up water cups that each marathoner has to carry next to their GU or on their wrists as like an emergency cup...
NOTE: A tribute to such a crazy fiasco of the LaSalle Chicago Marathon, this week I will have countless articles to remember this crazy Marathon...
A Hot Day in Chicago Yields Two Close Finishes
By FRANK LITSKY
Published: October 8, 2007
Almost four hours into the marathon, the weather conditions led race and city officials to shut down the course. The recreational runners, most headed for finishes of eight hours or more, were encouraged to walk to a nearby park, where extra medical personnel were available. A similar move was made in the Rotterdam Marathon on a hot day in April.
With the Sunday morning temperature at 88 degrees and the humidity almost as high, two men fought it out over the final four miles. One was Jaouad Gharib, a 35-year-old Moroccan, who has twice won the world marathon championship. The other was Patrick Ivuti, a 29-year-old Kenyan, who had run only three marathons, finishing 11th, 5th and 5th.
The novice won. Just as Gharib seemed ready to break the tape, Ivuti caught him and beat him by inches. The time difference was 2 hours 11 minutes 11.00 seconds for Ivuti and 2:11:11.05 for Gharib, the closest finish ever here for men or women.
"I didn't know who won until the announcer announced it," Ivuti said.
Gharib said, "I didn't know if won or lost until my manager told me."
The decision was made by Pat Savage, the head referee.
"There was no doubt in my mind at all," he said. "He lunged at the end and won. It wasn't a lean; it was an extra jump." Savage said that three official timers using handheld devices provided him with the winning margin of five-hundredths of a second.
The women's finish was stunning, too. The race favorite was the defending champion, Berhane Adere, a 34-year-old Ethiopian. One outsider was Adriana Pirtea, a 27-year-old Romanian. Adere has broken world records and won world titles on the track; Pirtea had never run a marathon.
But here, after 22 miles of the 26-mile-385-yard race, Pirtea shook off Adere, and with a half-mile left led by 25 seconds. Then Adere started sprinting as if in a 400-meter race. Pirtea was waving her arms in triumph when, with 10 meters to go, Adere caught her and flashed by. Pirtea said she never thought another woman would be passing her.
Adere, who won by five seconds last year, won this time in 2:33:49 to Pirtea's 2:33:52.
"I didn't realize what was happening," Pirtea said. "When I took the big lead, I never checked over my shoulder. I relaxed. Afterward, I didn't know what to feel. I had tears in my eyes."
The Chicago course is flat and normally fast, but the weather led to Chicago's slowest women's race in 15 years and the slowest men's in 12. Ideal marathon weather includes temperatures in the high 40s or low 50s and low humidity. (The previous marathon record of 84 degrees was set in 1979.)
On Sunday, it was hot and humid, with no wind and no clouds for relief. The leaders often shifted sides on the road in a search for shade.
Among those who suffered from the weather was Robert Cheruiyot, who won here the last two years. This time, after he finished fourth in 2:16:13, he said: "The humidity was tougher than the heat. Even our drinking bottles were hot."
The winners conceded that the weather had changed their races.
"In the second half," Ivuti said, "it was a question of who could hold together." Adere said, "I didn't like it, but tomorrow I sleep."
Robert Cheruiyot is assured of a $500,000 first prize in the World Marathon Majors series. ... Daniel Njenga of Kenya was third in 2:12:45; in the last six years here, he has finished second, third, second, third, second and third. ... The race attracted 45,000 entries, including 7,700 from 120 other nations.