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Monday, November 28, 2011

looking back at my training...

Here's a fun fact: I didn't hit 40 miles in 2011 until the first week in September!

That being said, my running Jan-Aug was nothing much to write home about, mileage wise. So, September-October (Marathon Training time period) my training consisted of:

112 miles in September. Highest week: 46.5
196 miles in October. Highest week: 51

From Oct. 22  through Nov 11th  I was on taper. (weeks of 33, 17) and marathon week I hit 35, which was boosted from the 26.2 mile day on Nov. 12th.

Only 1 week all year I hit 50+ miles!

I am a little surprised to see my sub 3 hour race given my modest mileage. 

2011 total miles through today, Nov. 28th: 1,178


Catching up on runs last week:

Wed (11/23) 6.73 miles at McAlpine with David and Mitchell. Legs felt okay, kinda low on energy.
Pace: 7:30
Time: 50:39

Sat (11/26)
5.08 miles around my neighborhood. Felt good
Pace: 7:01
Time: 35:42

Sun (11/27)
4.25 miles around my neighborhood pushing Avery in the jogging stroller. Legs not bad, but needing to go slower
Pace: 7:58
Time: 33:52

Monday, November 21, 2011

"November Rain"

Strange weather we're havin, it n it?

It started to drizzle when i went out and started running. I was just out blowing leaves and couldn't tell it was going to rain at all. I didn't think about calling off the run, because it was unseasonably warm temperatures.

Immediatly felt fresh and quick. I was a little less than 100% on strength and energy, but my legs felt great. The rain picked up throughout the run, and at the end it turned into a mixture of night time rain, darkness and sheen off the streets, high spirits, and soggy shoes.

Easily could have run farther, but decided to come inside and see my girls.

5 miles
37:14 time
7.27 pace

Saturday, November 19, 2011

awake to cold miles

the night before i slept soundly. I woke up around dawn, but napped until 9:30, then went immediatly for a run. Wanted to hit, and did, 5 miles. Legs started off okay, slow and easy for a bit, then on faster at the end nothing below mid 7 tho.

cold to chilly weather, but enjoyable. grey day, and leaves almost all off trees.
now, I have a Saturday to look forward to with my daughter and anyone else that may arrive. My wife is gone for the day at the Southern Christmas Show.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Feeling out the wheels

a warm stretch of temperatures the last few days, but today it was raining. I got out the baby jogging stroller and decided to take Avery for her second spin ever in the thing. David came to my house and the three of us set out on a wet, blackened jaunt.

initially i felt that my legs were not that sore. I wasn't going fast, but slow rather, with the comfort. after the first mile around 830, i started to get tighter on the second, but was a little faster. maybe high 7s. just did 2.7 miles. Probably helped to flush out some waste. Maybe i'll venture out this weekend. But for now, i'm enjoying myself.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Thunder Road marathon 2011

I read my recap of last year's Thunder Road 2 or 3 times last week as I was becoming more and more excited as this year's race drew near. I must say it was some pretty good writing, and I don't really think I can recap as well as last year - but I'll give you my thoughts nonetheless.

Just like I don't think I can give as good as a report on this years race, as I did last year, similarly I thought going into this year's marathon that I wouldn't be able to repeat with a race that was as good as I ran last year. Despite a full year of running, and racing, I didn't fully have the confidence going into the race that I would be able to PR (personal record). Fully, being the operative word. I knew I had a chance, but that thought was kind of deep down.

I think the main thing that I doubted was my ability to hold the pace required to get under 3 hours. Yes, anything under 3:00:40 would give me a new best, but if I was going to improve I really wanted to break the 3 hour barrier. Another thing that was keeping me from really believing and being pysched about it was the fact that Boston 2012 plans have already been made, and that the whole point - at least when I decided, back in the summer, to run the Thunder Road - was to have one more marathon experience so that I could really use Boston as the race to lower my PR. Basically, I was looking at Thunder Road as an "experience" marathon rather than one to focus on getting a PR. At least that was the thought process back then, and I found leading up to this race, that I was lacking a little confidence and fire to go run something great.

Yet, my old highschool friend and teammate, Josh Brewer, was in town, and he was thinking about trying to break 3 hours - so I knew that I would have some friendly competition to get me going, not to mention David Brinkly.

The weather was clear and cold at the start. Mid 30's, and warming up as the morning went on. Really great running weather actually. I found my way to the start earlier this year, and with the new corral system, there were no issues on getting out, like there were for me last year.

I knew the first mile was downhill and fast, from experience, so I decided to make it feel like a crawl as Josh and I strolled along to a 7 minute mile on the opening stretch. My Garmin beeped signaling "mile 1" some 8-9 seconds before the first course mile marker, and from there on my Garmin would measure each mile little by little further and further from the course markers as the race went on.

Josh and I kept it easy the second mile, and by the third mile I noticed he was dropping back, while I was keeping an eye on David. - I must say in taking inventory of how I felt, my legs felt fresh, breathing felt good, no aches or nagging pains, and I was settled in and the pace felt easy and comfortable - all positive check offs a marathoner looks for early on in the race -. I slowly reeled in David and Jamaar until I caught them around the 4.5 mile mark.

As the 3 of us came along the crowd at the corner of Providence and Sharon at the 5 mile mark, I threw KT my long sleeve shirt, and took my first GU Chomps. As we ran throw Foxcroft, we sunk into a pace that was heading for a sub 3 hour marathon. In this neighborhood, David and I came up to the pretty good sized pack of runners around the 3 hour pace group leader, an older man named Jonathon who sounded very British. I was talkative, and introduced myself, and he was not shy to talk either - for I'm sure he was quite comfortable being a pace leader.

When our pack passed the 9 or 10 mile mark where I had to use the Porta John last year, I was pretty excited that I didn't have to stop, nor think that I would anytime soon. I was hoping I could get through my first marathon without having to use the bathroom.

As we came down Queens and made our way onto Kings, I found myself a few strides ahead of the pack and restrained myself from growing the gap but also not slowing down enough to let them catch up. I turned, and they followed, up Morehead and the hill didn't seem to be anything of a challenge at this point in the race at all. I was still feeling good. My splits to this point were close to the 3 hour mark, but I was a little thrown off from the beginning since my Garmin was registering miles long before the actual markers. (later that night after the race, i found out I can still hit the "lap" buttong on my garmin to record intentional splits I choose, despite it telling me when i have run a mile or race i'll do that!).

There was the biggest crowd of the day so far when I came across the turnoff for the marathoners and the half marathoners. Speakers blasting some Switchfoot, and CRC and fans going crazy cheering. This electrified me and I started to grow the gap from the 3 hour pace group and found myself alone after the turnoff. The energy I got really increased my pace, and I started running away from the pace group, knowing I was flirting with the unknown as I was venturing farther and farther into sub 3 early too, as this was only mile 13. Mentally, after I crossed the half way point, I felt like the end would come soon, and I got agressive and decided to roll the dice. When my pace krept faster, I settled into that and didn't hit the brakes. I was going to try and maintain for as long as I felt in control, and hope I still had a good last 10k to bring it home to the finish line.

Keeping my spirits upbeat and quick, I passed Katie and my daughter and mother in law around mile 15 and started to reel in runners in front of me. The field was pretty thin, so I was hoping I would link up soon with someone going my pace to help me work. I passed a couple runners coming up Mint St., and as I passed Bank of America Stadium, I asked the runner who I just passed to come run with me, and what his goal time was. This would be Chris McFarlane (not to be confused with the creator of Family Guy). I remembered when he passed David and I around mile 5, and noted that he looked like he was a pretty good runner. Once he answered the call, he and I introduced ourselfs and talked about where we were in relation to pace, and how we wanted to finish. Realizing we both had almost identical PRs and goals, we decided we would work together forever how long we could for the rest of the race. Since I was pushing a faster pace at this point (having caught him), and keeping it there as I asked him to come up, Chris told me he was willing to try and stay where we were. This was a crucial point in the race. Looking back I might have talked to much in the race during my time with him, but perhaps it helped the miles go bye and me not dwell on how fast we were going, since we were doing the typical get to know you routine of our past. Pretty cool!

Chris and I clicked our faster mile for the race (at least mine) at mile 19 before we turned onto N. Davidson, and were quickly approaching the Wall zone, where runners start to bonk. As I took GU Chomps at miles 10 and 15 per the plan, I reached into my shorts and unleashed my last supplement - a GU Rocktain gel. I tried to suck/eat it around the 20th mile, but could only get about half of it down. I took some water and that helped, but the whole process wasn't as smooth as I would have liked, nor did it go down as easily as I had envisioned.

Again - I am reazling I'm not giving proper "props" to those fans who came to multiple spots like I did in my last blog, so let me apologize. Mitchell, Blackwoods, Family, and anyone else - you guys rocked and inspired me, so let me THANK you here. You guys posistioned yourself well along the course, and it was great to see you out there.

-now back to the race-

As Chris and I made our way on the Plaza, we were now into, I think, our 21st mile, and starting to come off the pace I had been pushing. I started to feel my legs getting tired and heavier as I ran down Plaza, turned onto Central, and made my way back into the residential neighborhood of Plaza Midwood. And during this stretch I was fighting bouts of nausea. Also, the conversation between us had stopped a few miles ago, and we were getting into the tough part. The mental zone. The fight to the finish.

I pushed through, and at the end of the 24th Mile, before we turned to Hawthorne, Chris passed me. As we came down Hawthorne Chris stopped quickly for a water/gatorade at the stop, and I passed him, and 2 others who had been ahead the whole race. This was short lived as Chris passed me back right before the Hawthorne Hill. While I was climbing said hill, I heard a guy yell "let's go shirtless!" Woah - could it be?! When I heard this I was shocked. I had left Josh Brewer - the only guy shirtless in the whole race - at mile 2, and had been looking behind throughout the race and hadn't seen him at all. Now, he's right behind me? I knew it had to be him. As I started the 25th mile, cresting Hawthorne and making my way towards downtown, Josh passed me like a flash. Another runner passed me soon after, and now I was watching "shirtless", Chris, and the Asian (guy who passed me after Josh) battle and pull away from me. I was hurting, but I wasn't dying. My pace wasn't getting out of control. I passed the 25th mile marker as the clock showed 2:50:xx and I knew that as long as I didn't fully fall apart, sub 3 would be mine.

As we made our way down the hill, and took the left onto the straightway which would run us up to MLK, where the race would finish, I was doing everything I could to keep it together. Just keeping one foot in front of the other, and knowing that I had to suffer because sub 3 was atainable. I remembered Theodan's mantra "you can tolerate more pain than you think you can". I was telling myself this the last mile, while literally shaking my head in an effort to snap out of the haze and push to the finish. As I made that last turn to the finish line, I felt my vision dwindle and my legs ache. My face was contorted and twisted and I read the clock tick from 2:58 to 2:59 and prayed I could get to the finish before it read 3. I didn't lock up for fall down, and I made it. 2:59.12. Thank God. I put my hands on my knees and couldn't move for a few seconds. I raised up, and hugged Josh who had broke 2:59 and congratualted him, as he did me.

I made myself keep walking down the shoot, and looked for David. He made it! A huge PR for him, and a BQ (Boston Qualifer), so that was just awesome.

As I got some water and gatorade, I kept walking around, hugged Katie, and waited for Jason. He made it too! just under 3:30 for his First marathon.

Marathons feel like Championships, as I told me wife earlier in the week. It's the culmination of long training, and the day is just so sweet. While I told myself during the aganozing stretch of this race that I would Never do another one, I'm already looking forward to resting and regrouping to attack Boston this april for hopefully another PR. Thanks again to everyone who supported me.

Here is a link to my Garmin Splits. You'll note it measured my race almost a quarter mile longer than a marathon.

Clock Time 2:59:17

Chip Time 2:59:12

Overall Place 14 / 907

Gender Place 14 / 605

Division Place 6 / 70 (3rd place age group award. A cool TR flag I will frame and put in my man cave!)

Pace 6:50

10Ksplit 42:33

13 1Msplit 1:29:30

20Msplit 2:15:33 / 13.1-20mil  46:03, 6.40 pace

2nd half(13.1mi) split: 1:29:42    /  last 10k 20-26.2mil  43:39, 7:01 pace

Friday, November 11, 2011

shake out friday

This day is filled with excitement and anticipation. I love this part of the whole process with the marathon. I was giddy, and slipped on my LunarRacers to get in some strides and mile jog. Legs felt good and am feeling upbeat about the race. especially to run with my old friend Josh Brewer for the first time in almost a decade.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

easy and light

i've been reading my blog from last year to see what i did the week of the marathon, and last year I ran 3 miles the wednesday before. So today, I just ran 25 mins. More than 3 but less than 4. I left the garmin at home and just used a lap watch. legs felt good. Not like they were raring to go, but they didn't feel bothersome.

miles: 3.5
time: 25 mins
Pace; high 7's

Monday, November 7, 2011

night comes early

Hit the door in the dark cold air, and found myself for the first time in a long while running in the night. It was brisk outside, so my pace was a little quick in the beginning. Felt fresh though and kept it comfortable and easy. Just a little jaunt to keep the legs from getting rusty, while at the same time, getting them preserved for the race!

Miles: 4
Pace: 7.26

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Santa Monica two step

This time I awoke, feeling rested, after a night out on the town. I was a little hazy when we started, but my legs felt good and the run wasn't a chore at all. It felt good to be out there!

Weather was perfect. Bohle and I ran up from Venice Beach to the Pier at Santa Monica. That was a 1.22 mile warm up.

There we met a LADC runner, and Justin Cross. Once we were all together, we went out for a run around the town. After Bohle and Cross called it a day after a 4 mile loop, Steve (LADCer) and I decided to take on some more. I wanted to complete 8-9 for the day. This run was 7.57

miles: 8.79
pace: 8:05

That was it for the week. I hit 16.65 miles on 3 days running (tue/thur/sat). Pretty light on the taper, but I was having fun in California and this wasn't really unintentional.

Now just marathon week awaits me! Just a couple light jogs, and then the race!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

the ole treadmill

Awoke from a great nights sleep in my Hampton Inn bed, fully rested as I still not used to west coast time. It was a tad chilly outside and I didn't really want to be uncomfortable, so I decided to hit up the hotel treadmill.

Ran 4.5 miles pretty comfortably. about half in the high 7's and the other half in the mid 7s.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

balboa lake squeez run, Cali

After getting fueled up on my favorite fast food, In -N- Out Burger, I arrived at my last appointment early and threw on my running clothes in the car and stepped out to the trails around Balboa Lake, which is up in the Valley of L.A.

Unfortunatly, I only had time for just over 3 miles, but that was better than the alternative of nothing!

Ran in my LunarRacers, which I will be wearing for Thunder Road. They felt good, and so did my legs.

Pace was comfortable and weather was great.

3.36 miles