How did I get the name theBrainrunner?

Well it's a long story but I'll keep it breif. On November 3rd, 2008 I was getting ready for work and passed out in the shower. Luckily, my wife was home at the time and ran upstairs to find me and after having trouble reviving me she then called the paramedics. After an ambulance ride, followed by a CT scan, then a helicopter ride to another hospital I ended up having surgery to repair a ruptured Brain Aneurysm. 5 months later I had two more aneurysms clipped. I was thankful to be alive, as 40% of ruptures are fatal, and 66% suffer from some permanent neurological deficit. I use to be a runner in High School, and after I had recovered from the surgeries I wanted to be healthier than I had been at that time so my wife and I started running again. Every time I run I'm thankful to be alive and able to be outside doing what I love. Thus, theBrainrunner was born.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Am I doing this thing right?

I'm running the Chicago Marathon on October 9th, 2011. I'm now less than 2 weeks away from this race and this will be my first full marathon. Having never run this distance before, I'm kind of freaking out!

With only 10 days left before race day (as of this writing) I know at this point there is nothing I can do to improve. But, I keep having the question "Are you ready?" flash in my mind. I know I've put in a lot of miles preparing for the BIG DAY. I know I'm registered, I have the hotel booked, I even know I can cover the distance. That's not the issue! The issue is this: I'm very goal oriented, and I've set achievable goals (at least in my mind they are achievable.) I want this race to be special! I know it will be special in all the normal ways a race is special. But I've put my heart, and brain into this race.

After all of my brain surgeries were completed and I ran that first 5k race with my wife I decided I wanted to run a marathon. This was a way for me to prove to myself that I'm back to normal after having a life altering brain aneurysm rupture and nearly killing me. I was in the hospital for 2 weeks. The first week fighting to stay alive even though I was not conscious for most of the first week (at least that I remember)

I read some books on marathons and some training plans, but how do you know if you're doing all the right things for success? Did I pick the right training plan? (I really didn't use one, I made up my own because of my crazy schedule) Did I run enough miles to hit my time goal? (Who the heck knows) Will I hit the wall? (I hope not, I hope the gels and hydration will prevent it) Am I setting too lofty of goals on my pacing? (I've added a minute per mile to my pace from my half marathon pace) I'm tapering now, am I doing it right or am I not running enough? (I feel well rested, but will that result in over-rest where I feel sluggish on race morning) I had some chaffing on my 20 mile run, was that just because it was 90 degrees with high humidity, or will I have that same issue on race day? (Who knows but I'm buying some Body Glide)

I've heard a lot of people say it's your first one, your goal should be to just finish. That's fine and dandy but I don't operate like that. I want to finish but I want to finish strong. I want to finish with a final kick after I make the left hand turn off of Roosevelt Road onto Columbus Drive. I want to maintain a 9:10 per mile pace through at least 20 or 23 miles and then let it fly. I want to be under 4 hours.

But having not done this before I don't know if I'm doing this right? Is this what is suppose to happen? Am, I suppose to feel like this? I've run in some big races before but I've never felt this level of anxiety, especially so far out from race day.

So....... I hope! I hope I've done this right, I hope I'm ready. I guess I'll find out when the gun goes off on October 9th 2011 at 7:30am

To be continued.........................

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sidenotes vol. 1

Since I last updated you I've had quite a bit going on, I'll try to be fairly brief and bring you up to speed.

Jeremy Wright Memorial 5k: 
I ran the Jeremy Wright Memorial 5k on August 13th as planned, and although I had an age group positioning lower than last year, my time was faster. I ended up going out a little too fast at the start and paid for it a little later. My first mile split (my tracker had poor reception so these are close guesstimates) was 6:45, followed by 8:21, and a 7:49 plus the point 1. This came out to an official time of 23:26 which just happens to be a PR for myself. I was happy with this as I'd not been doing any real speed work since I'm actually in training for my first marathon attempt in October. I did not win my age group this year but I did get a door prize which was nice.

Marathon Training:
I've really been trying to increase the long runs this month as we're getting close to race day. The Chicago Marathon is on October 9th this year, and I'll be there running it with 45,000 other runners. I ran my first 20 mile long run with some success. I took it nice and slow just wanting to make sure that I got it finished. I did finish it, however, I did experience a little chaffing. Then it was time to try my hand at my first ice bath which was cold but relaxing. Work has been a little hectic and has made my training difficult to get in at times but I continue to be creative and find ways to make it happen. I run at night, or early in the morning. I do not run super early in the morning though, mostly because I can't seem to get my body moving that early unless it's race day.

My Brain:
I had a brain scan to see if any additional aneurysms have formed since my last surgery. I went in to the hospital and was hooked up to an IV so they could inject a dye so they could see the contrast in the veins better. The nurse told me that I might experience a hot flash when they inject the dye and I didn't think much about it but WOW! When that stuff started flowing through my veins the hot flash was like a giant wave that washed over my entire body. It was extremely hot and uncomfortable but it only lasted for a few seconds. I did get the results back a few weeks later and my doctor informed me that I am clear of any abnormalities. I'm so excited, as was my wife and family. Thankfully I still get to run the marathon. I had a deal with my wife that if it came back and I did have another formation I would not be running the marathon this year.

Until next time..... keep on running!