Archives for category: Training Recaps

This is how it starts.

This week, a strange series of ‘what-ifs’ has been bubbling up inside of me. What if I ran the race differently — got out of the gate faster? What if I changed my training schedule? What if I ran with a group? Could I do better than I did?

I have been trying to bury this feeling with beer and cheeseburgers, but to no avail. Sooo…we’ll see how this goes. But I may have to do another one.

One thing I did enjoy about marathon training (it’s really more about the training then the actual race) is how I’ve been feeling recently. I didn’t drink any alcohol in the month of November. I stuck with non-processed foods as much as possible. I stuck to a pretty regimented schedule.

The results weren’t immediate, but they were positive. I had more energy. I had less back pain. My pants fit differently. I recovered quickly from race day and wasn’t all that sore. I liked all of those things.

Now, whether I like those things more than chicken wings remains to be seen.

Post-race fan club

Post-race fan club

I did it!

The day after the race and I’m proud to say I have finished my first marathon. It was not as miserable as I would have imagined — the weather cooperated (low 40s, fog), the course wasn’t as bad as people led me to believe (those Galer/Madison hills weren’t too bad), and I feel OK today (well, at least I’m vertical and walking). I really enjoyed visiting with people during the race and got three visits from my lovely girlfriend along the route.

Looking back, running a marathon isn’t just about the race day. It’s the training, the gear, and the camaraderie with fellow runners that makes it worthwhile. I logged almost 400 full miles (complete stats below) during this journey, which started in Africa and ended at Seattle Center. It was a great experience!

Before and after my first marathon

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It’s hard to believe it, but the race is only 10 days away! Time flies when you’re having fun, and I can’t believe were almost here.

I just calculated my statistics for this training regimen — would you believe I’ve already put in 350 miles? That’s about 13 marathons of distance, just not in a row.

My confidence level is good. I got through a 20-miler on Nov. 3 with a minimal amount of discomfort. I’m not saying it was easy, but I felt pretty in control and didn’t need to collapse on the sofa afterward. I was able to take an ice bath, shower, and get on with my day.

Overlooking Union Bay/Lake Washington from 15th and Garfield

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I think I know what I’m going to wear on race day.

As many of you know, selection of the race day outcome is a crucial component to a successful marathon. I used this week’s 20-mile run as a test-drive and came out quite pleased with my sartorial choices.

I’ll be wearing a cold-weather, black underlayer with a green windbreak up top. Down below, I’ve picked out a nice pair of black running short that don’t bunch up and remain dry, but also manage to keep my legs warm.

I flirted with the idea of wearing running tights as well, but in the end I’ve decided against it unless the weather forecast is below 40 degrees. At that point, I may reconsider.

The Aurora Bridge from the houseboats on Lake Union

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As we waited in the Sunday morning chill, my childhood friend Catherine and I wondered when our tradition started. Was it 2007? 2008, perhaps? Since then, we’ve joined each other once a year for the late-fall Dawg Dash.

With a course that highlights the University of Washington’s stunning architecture and beautiful landscape, the annual Dawg Dash is currently in its 27 years. For my money, it’s the best race in the area, but I’m biased. It’s mostly purple-and-gold clad Husky alums, many of whom bring their dogs.

Best two moments? An assortment of dogs howling during the national anthem and another pup stopping in the middle of the course to relieve himself, to the chagrin of his owner. Doggie dos and doggie don’ts, indeed.

Well, I think I shot myself in the foot. Or rather, the leg.

It all started Monday, when I decided to delay my long run by two days so I could play soccer Monday night. I reasoned that I’d be fully recovered from soccer by Thursday, when I was scheduled for a 17-miler.

Turns out I wasn’t able to do that. I was so sore from Monday’s match that I skipped Tuesday and Wednesday’s runs (to be fair, the rain had a bit to do with it as well). With that in mind, it was perhaps inevitable that I’d suffer a little adversity during Thursday’s long run.

I hit a wall near Seward Park. I felt a twinge in the right leg that required me to slow down significantly, then to walk. In the end, I walk-jogged (wogged?) the seven miles home.

A bad run in all, but the training continues. I took Friday off and had good runs on Saturday and Sunday.

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Seattle’s Seward Park

Why I’m Running:

I want to raise enough money to sponsor two promising African ladies: Elaine and Mandisa.  It costs $80 so sponsor Mandisa for one month of Imagine Scholar costs — this amount pays for her transport, healthy food in class, school supplies, and many other things. For Elaine, it’s $78. Lump those two together and you get $156/month. Multiply that out my 12 months and you get a very achievable fundraising goal: $1,896. Please donate at my Crowdrise page here:

http://www.crowdrise.com/runandyrun

Weekly Statistics:

Miles run: 30.7 (266.38 total)

Average speed this week: 5.4 MPH (okay)

Calories burned: 4,507 (38,627 total)

Race day is less than two months away, and the training runs have ratcheted up accordingly. Yesterday’s 15-mile training run was the farthest I’ve ever traveled on these two feet, an accomplishment I am proud of. I took a similar route as last week — starting in Cap Hill, north to the water and over Montlake Bridge, behind UW along the water, and up to Magnuson Park. On the way back, I followed the Burke-Gilman trail until I reached 15 miles near the bottom of Cap Hill, and then walked home (actually, to the nearest teriyaki shop.)

Midweek training runs have gone well, too. I have been doing some speed work and have found a nice track on the Seattle U Campus which I’ve made my ow. It’s a bouncy surface, nearly brand-new and surrounding a FieldTurf field. It’s a nice little urban oasis from the stop-and-go running one gets with all the city’s traffic lights.

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Aerial View of Seattle’s Magnuson Park

Why I’m Running:

I want to raise enough money to sponsor two promising African ladies: Elaine and Mandisa.  It costs $80 so sponsor Mandisa for one month of Imagine Scholar costs — this amount pays for her transport, healthy food in class, school supplies, and many other things. For Elaine, it’s $78. Lump those two together and you get $156/month. Multiply that out my 12 months and you get a very achievable fundraising goal: $1,896. Please donate at my Crowdrise page here:

http://www.crowdrise.com/runandyrun

Weekly Statistics:

Miles run: 41.88 (235.68 total)

Average speed this week: 5.6 MPH (decent)

Calories burned: 6,308 (34,120 total)