I am now under the 75 day mark until my first marathon. The blog postings reflect my current situation in that I have not posted anything in the past couple of months. Besides an easy run at the beginning of June, I have not done much running.
I am disappointed in what I have done and, at the same time, frustrated that I cannot do more. My daughter was born in May and I have taken more time to help the wife with the kids. Money has been tight so doing the strength training has been limited at best. To top it off, I might have a stress fracture in my left leg. I could not get it confirmed from the doctor, but there is specific tenderness in one area as well as localized bruising in the same area. The good news is I now am not feeling any pain in the leg. The ankle is weak though and I have been taking it easy.
I am determined though. I am shooting for finishing within the time allocated for the race. My stretch goal is 5 hrs. It seems crazy that I would even consider doing it with that goal - but I am cheap. Since I have already paid for the race and signed up to run for St Judes, I do not want to disappoint. I have not run since the beginning of June - but have taken time to do the crosstraining, weight training as well as some aqua jogging and swimming. I can see improvement on the swimming as I now can do 12 laps + in 15 minutes (started out at less than 8 in 15 minutes).
Anyway, I am having second doubts but I think that is mainly because I am getting close. More to come later - sorry for the rambling....
I have discovered that I love blogging to some extent. Instead of repeating myself multiple times, I can say it once and if people want to hear it, they can read it. If not, well that is ok as well.
Yes, I did finish the Chambersburg 1/2 marathon today. My initial goal was 3hours with a stretch goal of 2 1/2 hours. My thought was that I had not done the training in the past month to warrant the good outcome. I did barely any running in February due to the thigh injury. I planned on running 1 mile then walking until the 12 min mark. Run to the 2 mile mark, then walk until 24 minutes were done. Great plan... but I did not follow it.
They were expecting 300 if the weather was nice. Needless to say, it was anything but. The mid 40s was ok. The rain just meant that I got soaked 4 miles in. What was a killer was the 15-25 MPH winds that I had to deal with. To top it off, the race was labeled as a "challenging" course with a change of elevation of 600 feet. We had a head wind for most of the first 1/2 of the race, at times causing me to veer off course due to a strong gust. After mile 7.5, it was easier. The wind was to our backs for most of the way back.
I decided to just ignore the wind and rain and try to joke about it. I am sure some of the guys running near me thought I was crazy - but it helped. There was one guy I ran with almost to the 1/2 way point. I hit a stretch that was easier due to a tail wind and had a good segment. He ended up passing me a little while later and finished before me. I then ran with another gentleman that really helped keep me motivated. We ended up using two taller runners to draft behind for a while. We then passed them after we had a tail wind and left them behind.
With the motivation, I was able to keep up a constant pace of around 10min 15 seconds per mile. The first mile, that was the time. After that, it seemed pretty consistant until the end. The last mile, I got distracted trying to answer the phone (my wife wanting to cheer me on at the finish line who got lost) and I did not fnish that one as fast. Couple that with a bad foot cramp the last 1/4 mile and it just took a little longer.
Either way, I finished the race. The time was better than my stretch goal and I finished my first 1/2 marathon.
Just a couple of kudos to go out:
1) The guy I ran with the last 1/2 of the race. Running with someone really made a difference - music or not.
2) The volunteers - they were cheerful - even if they were soaked to the bone. At one of the stations, there were HS kids passing out water. They were the first station and the last - both times smiling having fun and cheering us on. It really helped and was appreciated.
3) The race organization. To keep it well organized, especially with the weather was a good job.
The only downfall - the traffic. We had a few times that drivers were not paying attention - even with all the signs and runners on the road. The run was too long to shut the roads down, so I understand that - but honking because we were at the point of turning around is un called for.
Thanks all for the advice. The power gels worked great and I think I will use them in the future.
A few days to recoup and then to work on strength training. I will post pictures later once I have time to get them off my phone!
Today is reminding me of my first 5K run that I did a little less than a year ago. Then, too, it was raining. I remember then thinking if I really wanted to do the run. I could be home in bed, dry, warm and then playing with the kids. After a week of absolutely beautiful weather, today it is in the 40's with a steady rain and strong winds. I am wondering if they would ever cancel the run?
At the same time as hoping they do, I hope they do not. This is something I have been looking forward to. Today I challenge myself to go farther than I have before. I will forget about the little aches and pains and finish the race. At this point, I do not care about the time other than the fact I want to finish in under 3 hours. I just need to remember to stay within my training and not push too hard too fast. The thigh is still giving me a reminder that it is there and it would not do any good for me to injure it any further.
Anyway, it is about 2 hours from race time and I will be leaving soon. The oatmeal is ready now so that is my breakfast along with some OJ. I have extra supplies in the car for when I am done. The IPod and Garmin are fully charged. It is just time to do it.
My first 1/2 marathon is happening this Saturday. I know that I have been lax in adding blog posts. Part of the reason is that I have been not training as well as I should. The injury from November still haunts me. I was feeling well in January and put in over 75 miles. February, I reinjured the thigh muscle and took it easy. I have talked with a doctor and they basically said rest and strengthening the knee/ thigh muscle. So that is what I have been trying to do.
In March, I have done more training and less running. I ran a 7 mile run in about 70 minutes , a 5 mile run in about 50 minutes. Both times, my knee locked up and there was pain in the leg a couple of hours after the run. I get the impression that I am overcompensating for the injury in the thigh and it is causing more problems. In addition, the left foot has been sore. It almost feels like the shoes are tied too tight on that foot and it is causing problems. If I do not wear shoes, I am fine. If I wear them too long, well.... it is not comfortable. I know it is not the new shoes as it started before I got the new running shoes.
Anyway, with all this going on - I have been tempted not to run. I am positive I can, if I take it easy. I plan on running 1 mile then walking. By doing that, I think I can finish in a decent time. I have done shorter runs by doing that method. I seem to be getting 5 miles + done in an hour. At that rate, I should finish in 2 1/2 hours. Not what I was planning to have as my finishing time - but better than nothing.
I think that my main problem for the race will be more mental. The past week I have found myself thinking of reasons for not running this weekend. Not enough training, the lingering injury, my mom saying I should not run, the weather, etc.... I feel fine when I am at the gym working out as well as when I am out running in the community. But, if I skip to rest my leg - I think that I should just cash it in. It is supposed to rain all day on Saturday, but will be in the mid 60's. Not bad if not for the rain... but for my first 1/2 marathon.... what was I thinking?
All of these issues would not be a major thing if I had the support - but I have not. My wife might make it to the finish line - but if it is raining, she will not. My family could care less and friends have not really said anything. I do thank those online here for the support. It is well appreciated.
Today was a decent day. I took a 1/2 hour on the treadmill, finishing 2.6 mile. I then went to do weight training for the legs. Tomorrow, I will be doing the elliptical machine and the rest of the week will be light training. Friday, I plan to skip doing anything in final preparation for the run.
I realized recently that I have not written anything on my blog lately. It is as if I just dropped off the planet and did not finish what I started when I first started this blog. It has been frustrating that I am not where I wanted to be and at the same time, I think everything will work out in the end.
First off, my goal of running in my first marathon on May 1st will not happen. I needed to be 100% to run and when the 1st came around, I was still having issues with my inner thigh tweaking everytime I tried to jog a short distance. I think my wife was more than happy to hear of my decision since our 4th child is due the next day.
For now, I am just working on my first goal of 100 miles in January. I am not sure I will make it since I need 70 miles in 19 days. My last 2 runs have been at an even 10 min. mile - 7.1 miles on the treadmill and 6.2 miles on the road (that took 61 min 32 seconds!).
Since then, I have reevaluated my goals and have been working on making a plan for 2010.
Goal # 1: Run 1,500 miles in 2010. This will include the elliptical work since I am not fully healed yet in the thigh muscle. Since I ran nowhere near that amount in 2009, I think the modified amount will be doable if I keep at it.
Goal # 2: Run in the Akron Marathon at the end of September, 2010. Since I grew up in Akron, Ohio and we have quite a bit of family/ friends there - I think it is a good idea to put my first one in there. I have also heard it is one of the better marathons in the country and really look forward to running on the streets that I know so well. There will be no suprises of what I am getting into.
Goal # 3: Stay healthy and train smarter. I will be talking with the local running store about new shoes and some tips to be prepared for my first marathon. If the medals on his wall are any indication, he will be a good source of information this year.
My running schedule:
March / April - Unsure of which I will do. There is a 1/2 marathon in Chambersburg the end of March. I would prefer this since the next run I want to do is 5/1 and it will give enough time to recoup and be ready for it.
May 1st: Apple Blossom Valley Health 10K- this is part of the Apple Blossom Festival in Winchester, VA. It is fairly close and the family wanted to go to the parade anyway (if the baby does not come!)
Mid June: YMCA 5K Run - local run that was my first run last year. I want to keep this on the schedule to compare year to year since it is the same course.
July 4th: Undetermined - not enough out there yet to make a decision. I would rather have it be a 10K / 10miler or 1/2 marathon.
End of September: Akron Marathon
Thanksgiving Day - Hagerstown Turkey Trot.
6 races for the year. I may try to run one in October depending on the cause and how I feel after the marathon.
Good luck to all. If you happen to be running in any of the races I mentioned, let me know. I would love to meet you out at the races!
It was a good day for a run. It was a little foggy and I was seriously thinking about getting my gloves from the car. I am glad I did not though. After I started running, it was the furthest thing from my mind. There were about 1000 people running/ walking in the race and my main concern was to keep a good pace and not get trampled too badly!
I could tell it had been a while since I really ran. I started out way too fast and at the 1 mile mark, I was at 7 min 42 seconds. Considering my average time for the first mile is usually 8 min to 8:30, I was way ahead. At the 2nd mile marker, I was still way ahead of the pace - 16min 01 second. A little slower, but still way ahead of my fastest time. Unfortunately, since I did not pace correctly, I had to walk a little (30 seconds) when I approached mile #2.
Coming around through the crowd, we headed up the path and did a little cross country. On the switch back up the hill, I had to walk again. I was still ahead of my pace and knew I was going good. Coming down the hill and a 1/2 mile from the finish, I ran but walked the part right before going back up and into the gym. As many of you know, when you get into the crowd and can see the finish line - it is time to put the speed on. I hit that last 1/4 mile on the track and did strides to the finish. I probably passed 8 or 9 people toward the finish and finished strong.
My time was at 25 min 27 seconds, a full 30 seconds quicker than my previous best. I am fully confident that had I been able to fully train and not nurse a thigh injury, I would have finished under 25 minutes!
That was me entering into the last 1/4 mile on the track from outside.
This was my friend that started running about 2 weeks ago. He had a great time of 30 min and 16 seconds +/-.
This is my 4 year old getting ready to run her race. Unfortunately, the other pictures really did not come out and Sarahs was blurred. There was some confusion on the races so some of the 8yr olds ended up racing with the 3 and 4's. Then when Sarah's turn came to come, she was not lined up and had to sprint to catch up. She still ended up beating a few kids even though she started 10 seconds late! They both did their best and I am one proud daddy!
I hope everyone is ready for running tomorrow. I am looking forward to running with some friends and seeing 2 of my daughters run in their races. I will *try* and post some pictures from the race.
I probably should not have gone to the gym this morning, but hey - it feels good to get in a good work out. Since I am not going for the best time tomorrow, I am not really worried.
In looking at my goals, I am still working on developing it. There is a 1/2 marathon in March that I am eyeing. It will be about a month prior to my first marathon, so it should be well timed.
Just watching the Biggest Loser show tonight - the "Where are they now" show. It is interesting to see so many of the previous contestants and the runs that they were doing. One of them actually finished an Iron Man competition in just under 17 hours! Most of the others that they showed are running 5Ks and 1/2 marathons. It is good to see them doing it and it actually gets it out there. One of the ladies started a 5K run about 1/2 hour from where I live in Bethesda, MD. I thought it might be interesting to run in if it fit with my schedule.
Anyway, I know - just some random thoughts for now. I need to get the turkey ready for tomorrow. We are doing a citrus turkey - stuffing the turkey with Lemons, oranges and grapefruit! It should be interesting.
Good luck tomorrow and look back for my pictures from the race tomorrow!
Yes, this will be the last race of the season for me. The groin pull has been giving me issues and I really need to just give it a rest. I am still psyched for the race and hope that I can finish in good time. I just found out yesterday that there will be quite a few people from my church running in the race so I am now motivated more to really push myself. I am concerned for those that have not done any racing and are just getting into it. Josh has run about 10 miles in prep for this race. The last run he did was last Wednesday (a 5K practice run) with me. Another friend said that he was thinking about running - but still needs to register. He is in good shape and has done running in the past - but also had arthoscopic knee surgery this summer and has not really run since then. I am really praying that they will both do good and stay safe.
The JFK Ultra Marathon was this past Saturday. I think I have a good chance next year being in the top in our county. I could not win it as the top finisher was just under 6 1/2 hours. However, the 2nd place person for our county was at 8 hrs 39 min. The 3rd place guy came in at 8hrs and 59 min. I have a bar to set and just need to work towards it. I think 9hrs is reasonable - but of course, the longest I have run this year was 10 miles in 1hr and 20 min - so we shall see.
I just talked to my wife this weekend and briefly mentioned running in a marathon in May - her response was less than supportive, but better than I expected. Oh well......
For now, it is to try and go to the gym in the early morning. Non impact work is in the agenda and it really felt good to get there this morning. I think I can do it...
After being off for a week without running, I was itching to get back to it. Tonight seemed like a good night. My leg is still hurting, but not as bad. I was able to run the 5K in right around 26 min, so that was not bad.
I have been really thinking over my plan and it still seems viable. I have questioned it a few times on whether or not I am being to ambitious - but I think my main goal will be just to finish the marathons and be in shape ready for the 50 miler.
One thing I really need to look at is the nutrition side of things. I have tried the drinking chocolate milk as a way to get the protein, but it did not agree with my stomach. I am thinking about going to a protein shake (soy only, the others have too much cholestoral in them...)
Good luck to anyone out there reading this. I hope your training is going well ....
This blog is going to be my attempt to keep from boring my friends and family with my talk on running. They do not understand the draw, the desire that I have acquired for running. I enjoy pushing my body past what I thought I could do and I am competitive in nature. Since I do not have natural physical talent, running can keep me in shape.
I am just starting to form in my mind what I would like to do for next year. In my mind, it seems ambitious and be difficult. I need to give my legs some time to heal from the shin splints. I need to focus my mind on the exact schedule and what is important to me. Some of my running I want to use to help others. Many of the 5K runs help various organizations and I think I want to do that in the future.
So... here it is, my general plan for 2010. Remember, I started running in the beginning of 2009 with no previous running history. Please feel free to offer advice on the plan.
1) Final run 2009: Thanksgiving Day 5K
2) Non-impact workouts until 2010. I plan to switch between elliptical/ biking and weight training.
3) Start a "beginners" plan for a ... marathon run in May.
4) Between January and May, I plan on running in at least 1 5K, a 10K or 10 mile race. I do not think I will have time to run a 1/2 marathon race as most races will not really start until March.
5) May 2: Frederick, MD Running Festival Marathon - 2 things with this plan. My wife is due May 1st and I really am concerned that there will be issues and I might have to reevaluate. The good thing.... she has been late with the last 3 so.....
6) I will then plan on running a few more 10K and 1/2 marathons between then and the Baltimore Running Festival in October (I do not yet have the date). I partially picked this one because you get a discount for running in both and I think it would be awesome to run in Baltimore.
7) If all goes well, In July I will register for the JFK Ultra Marathon here locally. It is a 50 mile course with a 12 hour limit. The winners finish in 6 hours +/- .
My goal for the 1st Marathon is just to finish (4 1/2 hours or so). The 2nd Marathon would be 4 hours. The JFK would be in about 8-9 hours.
Anyway, as things go with this blog I will include pictures of where I run and results of my races. In the end, I want to know that I can do this and hopefully, I will get the support from the family on the longer runs.