Monthly Archives: April 2008

Local Marathoner Catches Thief

A St. Paul marathoner and medical researcher – Mark Laliberte – saw a robbery and took action.  The thief took about $350 from the coffee shop inside St Joseph’s hospital.  Laliberte happened to see it and decided to take action.  Initially confronting the thief and tackling him inside the hospital, Laliberte got caught up in the suit coat he was wearing which allowed the suspect get free.  After removing the sports coat Laliberte proceeded to run the thief down.

Used to running 6:30 pace Laliberte a marathon and triathlon veteran mustered up some sprinting speed and chased the thief for several blocks in downtown St. Paul.  Eventually Laliberte caught and wrestled the thief to the ground before horse collaring him and dragging him back to the hospital.  Eventually the hospital security and St. Paul Police arrived to help!

Once they were back in the hospital, Laliberte gave the suspect a quick leg sweep that he remembered from his college kickboxing days and brought the man to the ground. With his knee on his back, Laliberte waited to for hospital security and the St. Paul cops, who placed the man under arrest.

“We don’t usually suggest that people chase down suspects,” said St. Paul Police spokesman Peter Panos. “We usually suggest that people be good witnesses.”

This marathon-hero story brought to you by the Star-Tribune. A quick search of showed a Mark Laliberte, but the ages didn’t match up.

Would you chase a criminal down the street??

[tags] Marathon, Robbery, St. Paul [/tags]

Detraining and Recovery

After 12 weeks of training for a race I’m now taking some time off to let my body recover and heal.  When I was first thinking about trying to do a fall marathon I asked my old X-Country coach what he thought about doing a spring half and a fall full marathon.  He suggested I schedule it so that I could take at least 2 weeks off without running.  It worked out pretty well in the schedule for me to run the Earth Day race and then turn around and run Twin Cities in the fall.  I’ve done pretty well at not running only logging 9 miles in just over a week (though 6 of that was racing).  I feel fine,  but I miss running.

Here are some thoughts about de-training and recovery from the New York Times.

This is from an older article about fitness but it is still worth reading and thinking about.

…training is exquisitely specific: you can acquire and maintain cardiovascular fitness with many activities, but if you want to keep your ability to row, or run, or swim, you have to do that exact activity.

It also shows, they say, that people who work out sporadically, running on weekends, for instance, will never reach their potential.

An athlete who has stopped training for 3 months loses almost all of the cardio benefits gained through months of consistent training.

Running allows athletes to have a lower resting heart rate, a larger heart, and greater blood plasma volume (which allows the heart to pump more blood with each beat).

One of the first things that athletes lose during a period “detraining” is the plasma volume.

Plasma water is lost amazingly fast, said Dr. Paul Thompson, a marathon runner and cardiologist at Hartford Hospital in Connecticut.

“We once paid distance runners $10 a day not to run”, Dr. Thompson recalled. “They spent a lot of time in the men’s room urinating. Two days into their running fast,” he said, “the men lost a little more than two pounds from water weight as their plasma volume fell 8 percent.”

But if runners keep running, even if they cover many fewer miles than at their peak, they can maintain their plasma volume, Dr. Thompson said.

When athletes stop training, the heart also pumps less blood to their muscles with each beat. Both changes are so pronounced, says Edward Coyle, an exercise physiologist at the University of Texas, Austin, that within three months of detraining, athletes are no different in these measures than people who had been sedentary all their lives.

The article also talks about the impact of cross-training. The conclusion is that cross-training can help the athlete keep some of their cardiovascular gains – but they will still have to work hard to recover other aspects of their training. But there is good news:

Even exercise physiologists are surprised at how quickly the body can readapt when training resumes. Almost immediately, blood volume goes up, heartbeats become more powerful, and muscle mitochondria come back.

That is the good news that most injured runners need to remember in the doldrums of an injury. The researchers did caution that recovery is dependent on a lot of factors.

[tags] Injury, Cardiovascular, Training [/tags]

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Race Day: Get in Gear 10K

This race is billed as the annual rite into the spring racing season. Well it definitely wasn’t spring out there. I awoke to a car completely covered in snow and snow covering most of the grass. It wasn’t sticking to the roads but the air temperature was about 30 with the wind chill of around 18. It was pretty windy and intermittent light snow. YUCK! Why did we move to Minnesota??

I’ll start out by saying that I was pleased with my time after the race given the conditions. When I got home I became even happier when I realized that I was only 2 seconds from a PR. That happiness was tempered with the thought that I should have found a few more seconds and actually PRed but oh well.

Packet Pick-up went pretty smoothly. I went down on Friday because Minnehaha Falls (check out this older pic of the falls) is only about a mile from work. The packets were full of goodies including a box of Minute rice! I opted for the cotton t-shirt instead of paying more for the tech shirt – it has a pretty good design.

Race morning was biting cold. I wasn’t 100% sure what to wear but opted for a long sleeve tech shirt underneath the jersey with tights. And of course gloves and a hat! At the start it was a little chilly but I’m glad that was all I wore because it got warm on parts of the course. We had to wait around for awhile before the gun went off but this is the largest 10K in Minnesota and the 15th in the nation. This year there were almost 3,500 finishers and I’m sure some people didn’t even show up. We settled into our spot in the chute and shuffled to the line. It was then that we realized we started to far back in the chute. Within the first few hundred yards we were dodging people left and right some who were almost walking. I tried not to zig-zag too much but had to fight the crowd for at least the first mile. The course was pretty scenic running along the Mississippi Byways right next to the Mississippi River. The overall course was mostly flat with a net elevation loss and only one hill worth mentioning (right after halfway). I came through the first mile in 6:34. I felt like I was working a little bit but it didn’t seem strenuous. I was definitely a little tight.

We continued along the river for the second mile. At this point I let teammates Kirk and Chris pull away a bit. Nothing too exciting was happening. We were mostly protected from the wind during this stretch. It was generally from the West but was blowing pretty much every direction at some point! I came through the second mile in 6:27. The third mile continued on the West bank before making a jump onto the Lake Street bridge. I caught back up to Kirk and Chris as we got to the middle of the bridge and ran with them for awhile again. It was really during this mile that it finally seemed like the crowd had dispersed on the course. After crossing the bridge we headed down the East Bank of the Mississippi, now in Saint Paul. I came through the third mile in 6:36. I came through the 5K in 20:22.

Right after the third mile we climbed up the hill to the University of St Thomas area before turning into the wind and going back to the river. When we made the turn and headed West again, it was spitting snow and had some powerful wind gusts during this short section. With the hill I let Kirk and Chris go but started finding other people to run with. As in most races I would pick it up for awhile with the occasional runner who was passing me. I went with one guy wearing an IU Little 500 hoodie for awhile and he helped me catch onto another group of guys that I’d run with for awhile. I came through mile four in 6:46. Mile 5 was more of the same trying to hang on and push through the tiredness. Going back and forth with runners and staying tough. I came through the mile in 6:40. Mile 6 seemed pretty long but it was a difficult mile. We continued along the river before making a quick loop to get onto the Ford Parkway bridge. In my mind this meant we were pretty much done, but in reality we had almost 3/4 of a mile to go from when we actually got on the bridge. The bridge was brutal because we were running right back into the wind. I tried to draft off of some people but it wasn’t really effective and actually slowed me down a bit (maybe my 2 seconds for a PR!). A small group of us went back and forth for the rest of the race. After I crossed the bridge I kept thinking – we have to be almost done. Finally we came to the 6 mile mark and I ran it in 6:52. The last .2 went by pretty quickly as we left the main roads and down into the park (the last half mile was pretty much all downhill). Somewhere in there we merged with the 5K runners so the final sprints to the finish was a mix of 5Kers and 10Kers which made it a little frustrating since you didn’t know who you were trying to outkick! I did manage to kick in the last 0.2 miles in 1:32. My last 5K was 20:50 my Garmin measured the total course 0.09 long so officially the last 5K was 21:08.

My overall 10K time was 41:30.

I think this would be a good race if it hadn’t been so cold! April is so unpredictable that you never know for sure what you are going to get. I would say that crowd support was pretty good for how cold it was! What did you think of the race?

[tags] 10K, Get in Gear, Race Review [/tags]

Foto Friday

Taken during the Earth Day Half Marathon by Craig Yotter of the USATF. I cropped the bottom a little bit
from his original but my form was already breaking down and this I believe was between 4 and 5 miles.

Picture taken April 2008.

[tags] Foto [/tags]