I miss running. Last time I ran was the 2009 Philadelphia Marathon. Just got to be too hard getting Charlie ready on top of trying to get out and run in the morning. Hope I can get back on track once the snow and ice melt and the sidewalks dry.
Excited to get back in the gym, too! Need a workout buddy? I just got a membership at Planet Fitness. Thinking about MWF @ 8 pm. (Looking at you, Mark.)
I had big plans for the 2010 marathon season after my marathon mess last year. Instead I won’t be running at all. Sitting this one out. And I’m majorly bummed.
For starters, snow. Lots of it. Even if I wanted to get outside and gear up for spring races I couldn’t have as Philly was besieged by a record 73″ of snow. But that shouldn’t matter, right? Skip those spring races and train for fall! That’s the ticket!
Wrong again, sadly.
Mornings are a tricky thing in our household. Charlie still wakes up to nurse around 4 AM or so and cannot ever settle himself back to sleep. And Helen’s not a morning person, so mornings are Daddy’s duty. So instead of knocking out 3 or more miles a morning, I’m chasing Charlie around the house trying to feed and clothe him before he’s off to daycare.
Much as I’d like to be Super Dad and find a way to work out either during the workday or afterwards, I just can’t. Running at night in Fishtown/Port Richmond is worth your life simply because of visibility and traffic. And who wants to run after dinner? Not me, that’s who.
I like to think that once Charlie weans he’ll be more willing to sleep later simply because he won’t have the urge to nurse the moment he wakes at the crack of dawn. Maybe then I’ll be able to sneak out, fire up my Garmin watch and get in a few miles before I have to get him dressed and ready for preschool. Fingers crossed!
Want a marathon pro tip? Have a race plan. It’s the only way you’re going to live to tell the tale.
You know what I did wrong this year? I didn’t have a race plan. Unlike last year, the world intervened, making it harder for me to train at the level I did in 2008. It rained frequently and hard. I had a beautiful baby boy. I came down with a bad head cold at the end of October.Â Yes, I did the best I could considering the circumstances, but when I caught a cold after a few too many runs in the October rain combined with a baby who’s just learning to sleep on his own, marathon training kind of goes out the window.
What was the outcome? A completely respectable 3:35 marathon. I didn’t set the world ablaze like I did last year when I ran a heartbreaking 3:13 and just missed qualifying for Boston in my debut, but I managed to maintain my dignity and come in with a time most amateur runners would kill for. I’m not ashamed of that.
I am ashamed of how stupidly I ran. I met my friend Pat at the start. He was shooting for a 3:40 time, and that sounded reasonable to me after taking so much time off. I wish I could’ve maintained that outlook for more than a mile. I took off hell-bent for the 3:30 group just as I hit Delaware Ave. I felt good! I figured I might just uncork a decent run! I was in for a surprise.
I caught up to the 3:30 group by mile 5. I still felt great, but that’s probably because I wasn’t paying any attention to my wildly fluctuating splits. I suddenly believed that I could catch the 3:20 group by, say, mile 12. And thus ended any chance of me recovering any semblance of a race plan.
What happened from that point forward can be summed up pretty easily. I took the fly and die approach. I ran very hard right up until about mile 18, whereupon I realized how difficult the next 8 miles were going to be. Ordinarily, I run 8 miles an hour. Last Sunday, I found myself walking and jogging just to be sure I would finish the run. I learned a hard lesson.
I crossed the finish line in agony, but I finished. I also realized that the OCD level of discipline that I brought to my first marathon is a must if I’m going to achieve that sort of success again. Am I discouraged? Not at all. I’m invigorated. I’m excited to train hard this winter and I plan on entering some spring races. Bring it on!
When I ran the Philadelphia Distance Run last year, it was a tremendous relief just to be able to run at all. I’d spent the better part of a month suffering from serious tendinitis in my right ankle and hadn’t even been able to run the week before the race. Fortunately, the rest did me good and I was able to run. I finished with 7:58 splits. I ran about half a minute faster than I expected to run and felt great about it.
This year I haven’t had any of those setbacks, but I was still uncertain about my goals for this race. Should I take it easy and treat it as a practice run? Should I push myself and try to hit the 7:15 pace I need to qualify for Boston in November? I met up with Kristen early yesterday morning thinking that I’d do the former. My mind was made up, or so I thought. I didn’t want to be disappointed if I tried to hit marathon pace and failed. This was a failsafe.Continue reading “I Ran the Philly Distance Run”
I haven’t been slacking with running despite not writing about it here very much. In fact, I’m off to what I believe to be a much better start than I was last year. This time last year I was battling tendonitis in my right ankle, an injury made worse by an inadvertent kick in the shin during a beach soccer game in mid-August. I was hobbled and had to take a week off after seeing a doctor. A steady diet of pain medication and stretching got my back on track and I was chomping at the bit for the Philadelphia Distance Run.Continue reading “Marathon Training Update”