Oct 31, 2006

Columbus Marathon Splits

For my records. Not an ideal race (i.e. negative split) but not too bad overall. I think I'm only good for negative splitting a projected finish time of 3:05-3:10. Perhaps I'll make that my goal for my next marathon since I wasn't planning on it when I did it two years ago in Toronto. A negative split Boston would be a real challenge with those darned hills near the end.

Mile 1 - 6:36:32
Mile 2 - 6:42:48
Mile 3 - 6:21:33
Mile 4 - 6:46:99 (CLIF SHOT)
Mile 5 - 6:38:26
Mile 6 - 6:39:90
Mile 7 - 6:40:43
Mile 8 - 6:50:37 (CLIF SHOT)
Mile 9 - 6:47:58
Mile 10 - 6:40:17
Mile 11 - 6:41:71
Mile 12 - 7:09:49 (BATHROOM)
Mile 13 - 6:38:02
Mile 14 - 6:40:21 (CLIF SHOT)
Mile 15 - 6:44:82
Mile 16 - 6:51:16
Mile 17 - 6:54:59
Mile 18 - 6:36:96
Mile 19 - 7:11:00 (CLIF SHOT)
Mile 20 - 7:01:95
Mile 21 - 7:02:61
Mile 22 - 6:39:77
Mile 23 - 7:06:73 (CLIF SHOT)
Mile 24 - 7:21:37
Mile 25 - 7:15:34
Mile 26 - 7:20:94
Mile 26.2 - 1:35:43
AVERAGE - 6:51:37

Oct 27, 2006

Recovery Mode

I'm fully enjoying my recovery period after having run my marathon 2 weeks ago. Part of me is dying to get back on the roads but I'm somewhat limited in my ability to do so because of some pain in my right knee. I'll take that as a sign to chill out for another week or two. I have this crazy idea to run a marathon on the evening of my 30th birthday (Jan 10). I think it falls on a Wednesday this year. I'm not trying to turn back the hands of time or anything like that. I mean, the last time I checked (about 6 years ago) I had the lungs of a 9 year old, and that was before I started to run! I just think running 26.2 to commemorate such an occasion would be fun and a good story to tell down the road. So I'm in no rush to start running again. I figure I'll be just fine if I'm back to doing 5+ miles by mid-November.

Bridget just ran the Nike 26.2 Women's Marathon in San Francisco and Elizabeth rocked Chicago on a pretty crummy day that saw the men's winner nearly split his head open as he slipped on a plastic decal placed at the finish line. Poor guy. Athena and Jen are running Marine Corp this weekend. Kick a$$ ladies!

Oct 18, 2006

Columbus Marathon

Race morning was a tad bid on the cold side. I woke up to find my car windshield frosted over. As I made my way from the parking garage on Nationwide Blvd. to the start of the race on Broad St., the sun started to come up and it immediately started to warm up. At about 7:45, having decided that my planned race attire would suffice, I peeled my sweats and jacket and headed to the front of the start area close to where the wheelchairs were about to take off. I did a lot of bouncing around while scanning the crowd for Lou. I finally spotted him with about 5 minutes until the start. He looked so relaxed and it had a calming effect on me. The mood was already that of pure excitement and the flyover of a C-130 practically made me burst with pride and accomplishment. I've welled up with tears plenty of times at the start of a marathon. After all, simply to have put yourself in a position to be amongst the mass of runners is a huge accomplishment in itself.

The gun fired prompty at 8:00. Lou and I paced off each other for the first 3 miles and established a very smooth rhythm. I knew from my race here last year that it was important not to go out too fast (it's so easy to do!). Just before making our first turn on the course I fell in behind a small group who were all looking to run under 3-hours (3 men and 1 woman). The woman, Kristin Price, ultimately went on to win! That's Kristin with an "i". One of the guys asked her because his wife's name was Kristen (with an "e"). Anyway, another of the guys was wearing an Ironman hat so we chatted briefly about IM Lake Placid and IM France. He was an awesome looking guy, broad shoulders, ripped legs, etc. (I bet he shreds the water when swimming!). We would meet up again later in the race. For now, I was in cruise control. Went through the 5 mile mark in 33:08, 1/2-Marathon in 1:27:57 (2:55:54 projected finish time). One of the hardest parts of the course for me last year was passing through the 1/2-way point surrounded by cheering crowds and then finding myself alone running north on High St. It took the wind out of my sails a year ago but this year I was better prepared mentally. There were a handful of runners ahead of me so I just focused on them and how strong they looked. I just kept thinking to myself that maybe someone was behind me using little ol' me as a motivating force to keep pushing.

My splits started to fall off a little around mile 19 but this was the "hilly" section of the course and I found myself slowing down through the water stops more than I had earlier in the race. Passed through the 20 mile marker in 2:15:17. A downhill stretch on Lane Ave. during mile 22 was key and allowed me to run a 6:39 mile. It also helped to stretch my legs out a little and build confidence for the final 3 miles. At this point, my mind was racing trying to determine how fast I needed to run the final 3.2 miles and still finish under 3-hours. It seemed do-able, but my legs were starting to feel like lead, my arms were getting tingly and my mind was starting to question the importance of achieving such a time. I was asking a lot of my body at this point and my body was asking a lot of my mind. I didn't much feel like myself anymore. I think this is the point where all marathoners begin asking themselves, why am I doing this? It just doesn't make sense at that point. Then, at mile 25, a familiar face showed up along side me on my left. it was the Ironman guy from earlier in the race. He looked strong and I said to myself, and out loud to him, that I was going with him. He seemed to sense the urgency of that final mile more than I did, which was exactly what I needed. Running 1 mile with legs on fire, numb arms and heavy breath can seem like a marathon in itself. The 26 mile marker was just before the final right turn on to Nationwide Blvd. Finally, the finish line was in sight and I knew from my watch, and the official finish line clock, that my sub-3 was a lock. I spotted a few of my friends in the crowd coming down the homestretch and managed to crack a smile just before crossing the finish line.

Some very nice volunteers removed my timing chip and placed a medal around my neck. I then made a b-line to the fenceline to meet my friends Keith, his girlfriend Lexi and my buddy Jeremy, who had just finished the 1/2-marathon. My poor body was tingling all over. I tried giving hugs but I was pretty weak. I found Lou and gave him a big celebratory hug. He shattered his previous best time at Columbus by 27 minutes!! Plus, he qualified for Boston, which is something a man like him truly deserves and will appreciate fully. After about 15 minutes, I hooked up with my friend Bridget who was searching for me because she had all my clothes that I shed before the race. We walked over to just before the 26 mile marker to cheer on the Team in Training runners with Steve, who was a Mentor for the fall season. I think the elite runners are awesome to watch but not nearly as exciting as those who finish in the 4-5 hour range. I devoured a double quarter pounder with cheese from McDonalds on my way home. I won't need to eat McDonalds for another 6 months now (nor will I want to!). I'm going to rest for a week and a half or so before I start to run again. My muscles still ache and my right knee feels a little funny. I'm sure it will get better soon!

Oct 16, 2006

The Aftermath

A little sore today (quads and calfs mostly) but not too bad. Usually I'm the most sore 2 days after a marathon. Not looking forward to that, but waking up tomorrow morning knowing the Bears dismantled the Cardinals tonight on Monday Night Football should ease my aching muscles!!

Oct 15, 2006

Post Columbus Results/Pics

Overall Place: 88/3750
Division Place: 12/231
Sex Place: 84/2254
Time: 2:59:38
Pace: 6:52

Mile 9 - Feelin' fine : )

Jeremy, me, Mike - 3 Happy Runners

Oct 13, 2006


I'm getting a little flustered having really pulled back on the running these last few days. Thank god it's Friday! Tomorrow I leave for Columbus! It's supposed to be low 40's at the start of the marathon and mid-50's by the end. I'm planning on wearing arm warmers (used when biking in the cool weather) and a light beanie of sorts (don't want my dome to get cold!). My race strategy is somewhat simple... run even splits all the way. I'm going to attack the last 10 miles or so as if each one of them is my final and most important mile. 10 individual 1-mile races. Oh god, I'm making myself nervous!

Oct 10, 2006

My top 10...

Since I've slowed down on the running front, I thought it might be fun, and a good way to build my confidence leading into this weekend, to summarize my top ten running memories (in no particular order).

1. Finishing my first marathon: Cleveland 2003 - I remember in great detail most of this race. Running past my aunts house in Lakewood twice, meeting several interesting runners including a dentist who was running his 112th marathon, feeling my arms go numb and my feet start to get sore at the 22-23 mile mark. Perhaps what I remember most is meeting Teresa at the finish line and falling into her arms in tears of joy. Never has anything hurt so bad but felt so good!

2. Running my first 3 miles non-stop: August 2002 - This run, in my early stages of running (obviously), made me feel on top of the world. It was done in the twighlight hours at the Westlake Rec Center (outdoor all purpose path) and was fueled by thoughts of all the people in my life who would be proud of me for getting out there and getting myself in shape. I literally spent most of the run developing a list of everyone I would invite to watch if I were to ever run a marathon. Shortly after I signed up to run the 2003 Cleveland Marathon.

3. Qualifying for Boston: Toronto 2004 - The perfect race! A beautiful day and a beautiful course. I was aiming for a 3:08 (anything less than 3:10) and finished in 3:03! A negative split marathon. Yes, it can be done! My Dad was instrumental in helping me finish strong as he patiently waited at the 40K mark (24.8 miles) to let me know I had it in my grasps! My parents and Teresa's parents were all waiting at the finish line. Shortly thereafter, I proposed to Teresa and the rest is history!

4. Track workouts with Team in Training: Summer 2005 - I wouldn't be half the runner I am today had it not been for this group and all of the people I've met through this group. Every single person I run with to this day are connected to this group in some way. I used to run alone 90% of the time and now I run alone only 10% of the time.

5. Sub 24 minute 4-miler: July 2005 - 6 minute miles is alway a good target pace for 5k's, which would be about an 18:38 finish time. Sometimes I can run faster than this and other times I'm nowhere close. Some solid speedwork led me to a 23:16 finish (5:49/mile). I was very tired in the end but was equally as excited to have run such a good race.

6. Strong Finish at Youngstown 1/2-marathon: March 2006 - I was told this was a hilly course but was up for the challenge. I found Bryce at the start and we set off at a 6:15-6:30 pace. My shoelace came untied within the first mile and since we were a little ahead of pace, I told Bryce to go on ahead and that I'd catch up with him. As soon as I caught up with him a right turn and a monster hill greeted us. I was already slightly out of breath from having picked up the pace to make up for my stupid shoelace! The next 3-4 miles were awful and I thought for sure I would self destruct. I remained patient and before I knew it, I was feeling good again and passing people by mile 10 and ultimately finishing in 1:26:20 (12th place overall)!

7. Bench-Bar Halloween 5K: October 2002 - What's more fun (and memorable) than running in costume? I was still pretty much a virgin runner at this point but managed to squeak out a 19:34 and place in my age group. I also won an award for best costume, Raggedy Ann! Run Raggedy! Run!

8. Cleveland Browns TD Run (5K): August 2004 - A solid 5k is always hard to come by because it's pretty much an all out race. If you don't "got it" on that day... "it" ain't happenin'! On this day I ran so good I finished well under 18 minutes (17:32 I think) and ran my final mile the fastest. Perhaps it was the finish on the field of Cleveland Browns Stadium that made the difference for me.

9. Boston Marathon: April 2005/2006 - I will forever be proud of the fact that my name owns a permanent place in the official records of the 109th and 110th running of this famed race. The inspiration for countless speedwork sessions and long runs, Boston remains the benchmark for many runners. Have you qualified?

10. Crossing the finish line at Ironman France: June 2006 - After a slow swim and an average bike, I slipped on my running shoes and went off for 26.2 of the most memorable miles of my life. I fought through 80+ degree heat and slight dehydration to finish ahead of people that started their marathon an hour or so before me. Because of this, I'm not sure I'll ever consider myself a triathlete. I'm more like a runner who was crazy enough to train for a 2.4 mile swim and a 112 mile bike prior to running a marathon.

Oct 3, 2006

Who Turned Up the Heat?

...I murmured to myself as I finished the first of 8 hills this morning. I believe it was 65°F when I stepped out the door wearing fleece pants and my fleece Boston jacket, which was rather comfortable, and probably would have been the perfect attire if all I planned on doing was standing at the base of the hill watching my friends pass by. After 57:50, I was relieved to be done; my head dripping sweat and my Columbus Marathon 2005 long sleeve rolled up to my elbows. The actual act of running went fine. I hit the 2nd and 4th repeats hard as usual and felt relatively good after having gone long less than 48 hours earlier. My hips, etc. usually ache after a long run, but not this time. I'll take that as a good sign. I'm going to concentrate on stretching and positive imagery over the next 12 days.

Oct 1, 2006

Final Long Run - Fall Marathon 2006

Was a little late getting out the door this morning for my long run, which I was hoping to start at 6:30 so I wolfed down a bowl of oatmeal in the car and was on the run at 7AM. Did just over 3 miles before meeting up with Cathy to accompany her on her 15. I took down a CLIF Shot about 4.5 miles in and could hear the contents of my stomach jostling around shortly thereafter. I'm never affected by this but it's a little unsettling. Hit our turnaround point and took down another CLIF Shot. Made a quick pit-stop at Little Met a couple miles later and continued on. When we approached the final mile of Cathy's run, I asked if she wanted to pick up the pace a little and finish strong. She was a little reluctant but hung right on my shoulder and made it through with no problem. I was at 18 miles and was feeling great. Downed another gel and headed out for my final 4. Mile 19 fell right around 7:00, mile 20 about 7:15. Pulled back a little on mile 21 for a 7:30 and finished strong with a 6:19 mile 22. Legs felt pretty good in the end. I could feel my inner thighs starting to tighten a little and my hamstrings made their prescence felt but the quads and calfs felt good. My breathing on mile 22 was a little labored but still rythmic at every 4th foot strike. I still plan on doing hills and a tempo this week but may shorten the distance of the tempo and make it up with a few shorter runs on what are normally my off days. Since I'm not running as long or as hard, I'll need to run more often in order to stay in the game mentally.