It’s over…

So, at 7.30 AM on Saturday, April 28th, I began my 26.2 mile journey to complete my goal of running a marathon before I died. Actually, I had two goals: complete the marathon and do it in 4 hours.
I accomplished one, but didn’t accomplish the other. As I’ve analyzed it, I ran a pretty fast 18 miles (I didn’t stop running) but after Iroquois Park, my right foot gave out on me.
So I ran a fast 18, but I ran my slowest 26. I’ve run faster than the 4 hours and 57 minutes. A few weeks ago I ran 20 miles in a little over three hours.
But that’s the past.
What have you done lately?
And to answer that question I can answer “finish a full marathon.

It was an easy 18 miles. Everything went well and I felt good. The incline of the park wasn’t bad and I didn’t slow my gait too much. But I keep coming back to how disappointing the last part was.
I suppose you always rerun a big event over and over trying to determine what you could or should have done differently. Should I have stayed with the 3:50:00 pace peloton? Should I have stayed in the middle of the road and not the side? Should I have gotten different shoes at the end of March?

At this point, it doesn’t really matter. The race is run, the event is over. I will go down in posterity with a 4:57 time. It doesn’t reflect the hours and months of training. It doesn’t show how quickly I can run a mile or how I can manage my run.

It was great to see my family out there. I really loved seeing my kids being happy for me. That was a big surprise. Not that they wouldn’t feel happy, but how my reaction to it was. I wasn’t expecting to be touched by it like I was. But it did mean a lot that everyone was there and excited and proud of me.

It’s been a long training and despite it not having quite the result I had wanted, I am pleased that it’s over and that I accomplished it. I told my wife that I won’t be running any more marathons. Not even a mini marathon. My limit will be the 10k.

It was exciting. I got a medal. I had my name called out on the loudspeaker as I ran to the finish line. I got a complementary nanner and a bagel. And I got a round of hugs from my family. Plus, I have a war story to bore future generations with.

All in all, a good time. I just hope my next right foot is nicer than this one (I’m taking auditions for a new one)…


Bib FName LName City State Country Div Age Sex

ChipTime ClockTime Overall SexPl DivPl AgeGrade
4:57:07 5:01:14 1593 1063 167 43.4%

Picked up my packet today

Got my packet. I posted a picture of my race number on my twitter account.
The route is here. It’s gonna be a long race. I checked the elevation and stuff and it gets pretty hairy in the middle (through Iroquois Park). The run back will seem like it’s downhill.
I will be sending updates to my twitter account (@jil_marathon) throughout the race. It’ll show up on the side bar of this site.
Because there will be 18,000 people in this race, I doubt I’ll even cross the start line until 8.00 or 8.30 AM. So, who knows when I’ll be finished. I’m hoping by 1PM.
The weather is supposed to be partly cloudy with a chance of rain. Don’t know when that rain will be coming, but it will probably be in the late afternoon. But at this point it doesn’t really matter much.
I’m putting together my final play-list, slapping on my racing number and setting out my clothes gearing up for what could lead to my eventual death.

I ran two miles.
Got stopped by someone asking for directions, but I still was able to keep my time low.
Two miles down, 26.2 miles to go.
Tomorrow is a rest day for me. I’ll be spending most of it off my feet.
Ready for Saturday. So ready for it to be over.

It all comes down to Saturday. I have trained for nearly 11 months to prepare for this event. I’m a little excited, a tad nervous and very anxious.
After Saturday, I won’t have to make a playlist that will keep my legs pumping. I won’t have to wake up early and head to the LMPD gym at 4.30am to run 18 miles. I won’t have to map out an 8 or 10 or 12 mile route on maymyrun dot com.
It’ll be the aftermath to deal with, I guess.
This past Saturday, I ran 8 miles. It was the longest eight miles of my life mainly because I knew that this would be the last “purposeful” Saturday run of my life. Do I plan on training for another marathon? Absolutely not.
It’s been interesting, but I don’t feel a pang in my gut to run any more marathons.
I started this to get more exercise and have a goal. I was tired of going to the gym and not having a tangible result. After Saturday I will have that.
And I’ll have a Blizzard!

Breaking the barrier

Hal Higdon says that once you’ve run over 16 miles, you can complete a marathon. Last weekend, I ran 20. And I felt pretty good about that. It was a little over 3 hours. And it was on a pretty hilly/uneven course. And I felt pretty good afterwards.
This weekend I ran 12 miles. Didn’t stop, didn’t have to walk any of it. I went straight 12 miles and got done a little more than an hour and 45 minutes.
And that’s the goal at this point. To finish in under 4 hours.
A year ago I was thinking I’d be lucky if I could finish at all. I was about 45 pound heavier and had no endurance to speak of.
Yesterday I was thinking that I might even complete the race sooner than four hours. Possibly 3:45. That’d be really good, but it’s not what I’m shooting for.
My post-marathon regimen will be less long mile runs. I doubt I’ll go over 10 on any given Saturday. But I’ll keep running. I think during the week I’ll run on Tuesdays and Thursdays and do a longer run on Saturdays/Sundays. My goal is to continue to keep the weight off. I like knowing that my clothes are too big for me. I’ll keep going to my kettle bell training during the week too. Perhaps three times a week. This will help me get stronger and more toned.
As of now I have about 13 days until I run 26.2 miles. I have one more Saturday to run a “long” run (only 8 miles this time). Next week is when I will need to start getting focused. Short runs will keep my loose, and it’ll be weird to only run a two-miler on Wednesday. But on Saturday, I’ll be in a crowd of 18,000 people testing my body to see if all this training is worth it.

I guess I am…

So I was walking with someone who was making a lame attempt at small talk (I’m not one to make small talk with people. It’s awkward and uncomfortable). One of the things he said was “So, I hear you’re a runner?”
My response was “Well, I wouldn’t say that. I mean, I’m training, but I don’t think I’m a runner

But after yesterday, I guess I am one.

I had an 8 mile run to complete yesterday. I had thought about waking early and running in the morning to get it out of the way, but decided against it. So I ran after work. It had been threatening to rain, but I didn’t think too much of the grey skies as I “suited up.”
About three quarters of a mile in, it started to sprinkle. A few paces later, down came a heavier steadier rain.
Now, I could have turned back and gone to the gym and completed my run on a steady and dry treadmill. But I continued on the sidewalk and hopped the accumulating puddles.

I was thinking to myself that I guess I am a runner now. I’ve woken up at 4.30am to prepare for long runs. I’ve run up hills, I’ve dodged cars and dogs. I’ve slowly morphed into a runner’s body. My feet are worn into a smooth leathery texture.
And now I’ve run in the rain.

There’s no denying it, I guess.

Losing steam…

At this point in the training, I am beginning to look at the long Saturday runs with dread. I mean 18 miles?!? But I know it’s important to push through it and get used to the long run that is at the end of my goal.
But really: 18 MILES?!?
Anyhow, last weekend instead of the 12 miles I was supposed to run, I entered and ran a 10k race. Out of the 7225 entrants, I came in a fairly respectable 1729. I figured that was pretty good. I felt really good about myself and the “runners high” got me through an hour kettle bell class. I figured that the two combined made up for not running a 12 mile.
Then I saw that my time of 54:03 (Nike GPS actually tracked me at 53:47) was a shade slower than the winning 70 year old…
But at least I kicked that 80 year old’s ass! He did it in 70 minutes! Lazy.
So, the final month begins with a long long run. And my mid week runs are 9-10 miles. I’m feeling a little tired of these 18 weeks. But I figure this is going to reflect how I’ll feel during the 26.2 in April. The first 6 will be exciting. The middle 14 are going to be tough. But those last 6.2 will be nice: Because the end will be near…

Closer and closer

This is the time that sucks the most about training. You get to a point where you do the long runs, you’re moving for hours, and you realize “oh man, I’ve got 7 more weeks of this.”
I ran 16 on Saturday. It wasn’t hard until mile 11. I was going ok, but then I started thinking “when is this going to end?!?” But that’s the beauty of Mr. Higdon’s training schedule. You hit those long runs and then you back off the next week. And I realize now that you aren’t really running for time, you’re running for endurance.
Mr. Higdon tweeted that once you can run the 16 miles, you are already prepared to run the full 26.2. And I agree. I could go out this weekend and run 26.2 and have no problem doing it. However, mentally I wouldn’t be prepared. You need to build up your mind as well as your body when you’re running a marathon. 26 miles is an inordinate amount of mileage. And your feet are going to hit the pavement about 40,000 times (I can’t do the math. It’s something like 175 paces per minute and you multiply that by your estimated time of 240 minutes. It equals A LOT). How you handle that info intellectually is as important as how you handle it physically. And this training is helping me. Next weekend I will run 18. And instead of wilting at 11 miles, I’ll probably want to throw in the towel at 13 or 14. And that’s okay.
Eventually I’ll be ready to give up nearer to the 25 mile mark.

This weekend I’ll put myself in the “real life” arena. I’m going to run the 10k. It’s only 6.2 miles. It’ll prepare me for a real environment. I’ll nrobably be done inside of an hour. But I’m not focused on time. I’m yearning to run in a group situation. It’ll be odd. And interesting. Right now the forecast is 50s and cloudy.

My training is coming along nicely. At the end of it, I think I’ll treat myself to a small chocolate chip blizzard. Mmmmm.

Life got in the way

Didn’t run 8 miles yesterday. Just put in 4. Didn’t really want to do that, either. We worked the hell out of my legs at kettle cross, so my legs were worn out on Tuesday and Wednesday. As Mr Higdon has warned, don’t overdo the training. I’ve found that overdoing it will be counterproductive. So, while I didn’t really want to just do eight, I think it’ll be better in the long run.

I’ve started running outside on my Tuesday/ Thursday runs. I’ve made sure the route has some hills. Gotta conquer the hills, man. I’ve noticed that my speed is pretty zippy on the first mile and then it evens out to about 9 minutes per mile for the remainder. I can handle that. Honestly, since i’m not in it to win it, just to finish it, the amount of time isn’t really that important. I just want to work on getting the marathon complete in about 4 hours.

All in all, things are moving along pretty well.

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