Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Bay State Marathon Race Report

My race report is not going to be as extravagant and detailed as many of my runner friends, but here it goes. I'm about 3 weeks out from when I finished my marathon. This is just a brief summary and my thoughts on it.

It was windy, rainy, cold and miserable. I started off with a disposable rain poncho, but could not stay warm at the beginning of the race. I got rid of the poncho about mile 4. It rained harder and harder as the race went on and finally snowed. Luckily I was already showered, dry and back at the hotel by the time it started snowing.


I have to say that I had expected more from myself, and really thought I could do it. I was at about 1:45 at the halfway mark, I was doing great (I thought). I was still able to make it under 4 hours (3:57), and it was a struggle to get there. I could have easily quit at any point along the course I was doing that poorly. My desire had been crushed when I started walking at mile 17. The last 6 miles were hell. There was another runner and myself that kept giving words of encouragement as we struggled. "Under 4 hours" we kept saying to each other. All I can say about my performance is that I DID IT! I didn't qualify, but I finished a marathon in under 4 hours that 4 months prior I could NOT have done.

I think things went well with hydration and GU. I think for the time I was shooting for I still was a little fast out of the gate for the first half, and that was my downfall. The 3:20 Pace Group started off slow for the first mile, but then took off faster than the pace I wanted to go..... ...so note to myself on Pace Groups: They are going to go the speed from start to finish to complete the marathon in that given time. I was not prepared to go quite that fast. Which leads me to set realistic expectations for myself on future races and marathons.


I know in my heart I had set unrealistic expectations for myself. ...but it's what made me do what I did! Looking back at my training and talking with seasoned marathoners, I should have been shooting for MAYBE a 3:45 at most! I'll chalk this one up to experience. I would have enjoyed the marathon more if I had set realistic expectations... It's tough to set those when you don't know what to expect! I think if my coach Nate Jenkins hadn't blew me off I could have set more realistic goals towards the end. Now I have a Personal Record (PR) to beat! I can't wait to work on that as I set up my next training cycle.


This is really where I fell short... Having a 'coach' for a short amount of time kind of messed me up here to. I should have just stuck to my plan or got a coach from the start. My distance training was right on. I felt great on my long slow days. It was my favorite day of the week! I fell short on my speed training. Through the winter I'll continue my once a week LSD, and will start incorporating more speed work. It will be my main focus when I start my next marathon training cycle. I'll also work on dropping a few additional pounds and a stronger core.


I could not have done this with out the support of my friends and family. Becky and the girls were great and were very supportive throughout the whole experience. She understands that I've been bitten by the running bug and supports me in my efforts. Thank you sweet heart. I'm now starting a running streak at least through the middle of January. This is more due to the fact that I don't have a specific training plan or marathon in mind. It could be very easy to go through another winter saying "I'll get around to it". This way running will be part of my center until I come up with a full plan. If my miss my morning run, and don't do it during the day, Irun before I go to bed - No questions asked.

The Colonial Road Runners (CRR) have training days that I will probably participate in for next years race. They are a great group of people and I can't wait to do more runs and races with them! My goal next year is to be in the top 3 for the Grand Prix race schedule for 2010. More details on that later!

Get Rid of Shin Pain With Help from Runner's World.com

Get Rid of Shin Pain With Help from Runner's World.com

Friday, October 16, 2009

Race Manifesto - Updated <10/17/2009>

1. I will REST, REST, REST between now and the marathon.

2. I will drink at least 8 cups of water a day before the marathon.

3. I will eat food that will fuel my body.

4. I will fill my thoughts with seeing 3:20 as I cross the finish line.

5. I will stay warm and dry until the race starts and then pretend that there is no wind, no cold and no rain.

6. I WILL drink something at every water station and GU every 30 - 45 minutes.

7. I will keep the 3:20 pace group in site the first 1/2 and pass them the second 1/2.

8. I will believe I can do it!

9. No matter my finish time, I will rejoice and pat myself on the back for accomplishing something I could NOT have done 4 months ago.

Slept the Day Away

Wednesday I called in sick, took a Unison, and slept until 3:30pm in the afternoon. I read until dinner, put the girls to bed, and watch some TV with with Becky. I was still under the weather the next morning, but my yesterday morning I was doing MUCH better. Today I feel incredible, but still have a slight headache and a little stuffy. I'll be fine for race day!

Thank you Becky for letting me get the much needed rest on Wednesday! I love you, and thank you for being so understanding of me going after the mid-life goal of mine. :0)

If nothing else, this cold has allowed me to FULLY rest my body. Not exactly how I would have liked to have done this, but psychologically, it was easier not to run while I was sick. I have not run since Saturday when I started feeling sick and did my 8 mile tempo run. I'm ready to kick this things butt!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Finally got a Cold

It had to happen... I've been fighting this as hard as I could, but I have 4 sick women in my house and they finally gave me a cold. I'm taking Zicam, which seems to help, but it did not make for a fun 8 mile tempo on Sunday. I'm sure this will be over in the next 4 days...

On a side note, I experience my first mysterious pains during taper. I got shin splints just warming up on Sunday and pain in my left foot. What?! I haven't had this in 4 months of training. I iced my shins and foot that night, and I feel better today. I've read an article from Runner's World on this type of thing and I've heard other people discuss this too. Some not realizing it's all part of the Taper.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Last Weekend before the Big Event

Yesterday I ran a great tempo run for 5 miles. I cranked up the last mile with a fast than 7 minute pace that was mostly up hill. The other miles were 7:33 or faster. I felt great! I need a 7:37 pace for 26.2 miles... That will be tougher.

Saturday I have an 8 mile tempo run. I'm really looking forward to that!

It's throwing me off not getting up to 'train' every morning. Everything I've read tells me it's what my body needs.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A Dad and his Daughter

I'm 2 weeks out from my marathon, and today I was able to run a 1 mile race with my oldest daughter Lily. She did her 1 mile race in 13:18. I am very pleased. We had a great day and she had a wonderful experience in her first race. I am hoping this will lead to a life time of fitness for all my girls. Callie and Ashley enjoyed cheering their older sister on.
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Monday, September 28, 2009

Let the Taper Begin - 20 days to go!!!

I hadn't realized it had been so long since my last post. I may be the only one looking at this thing, but it's been a fun journey. My longest run was this last weekend. My average pace for the 24 miles was about 8:30. My mantra for the run was SLOW DOWN, SLLOOOOWWW DOOOWWWWN. I kept looking down at my GPS at I was going faster than marathon pace.

I met up with some friends after mile 17, so there was a little break there while we waited for them all to show up. I had a great run with them and hope to do a 5K with them at BSC on 10/31.

On this journey I wish I had done a little better with the speed work. I think getting the coach 1/2 way through for a few weeks really messed that up. It's a shame he never contacted me again. I am feeling pretty confident at this point though. Making the 7:37 pace for 26.2 miles WILL be tough, there is no doubt about that. I was having doubts about this, but at this point I feel that I CAN DO IT!

The concept of the taper will be interesting. I'll run my plan by my DailyMiler friends to see what they think and what input I get back on my 'plan'. I think I've done pretty good at this point following my own training plan and being my own coach. We'll see October 18th!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Still Going!

Runs are going fantastic. I was getting a little frustrated there for a bit, but things are going much better! Speeds are where I need them for my long runs.

This week I'll be running 4 miles at Half Marathon Pace. This will increase weekly. I also have my longest run (19 miles) coming Saturday. I'm really looking forward to it.

My Coach never got ahold of me, so I am on my own. I feel comfortable with that though. I'll have to push myself a little harder. I think I needed him to ensure I was getting pushed hard enough. I think I'm there now. I just missed my 40 mile week last week, but I will be well above that this week. I have a rest day today, so I can ensure I hit the speed I want to tomorrow. Sunday will be my next 'rest' day.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

3 - 9 August, 2009

Great week of running. I'm loving the new Nike shoes. My distance for the week so far is 32 miles, but I'm going to run a 'recovery' run tomorrow.

My speed workout I didn't do exactly as planned, but I was just over 7 minute splits for the interval. My recovery run the next day I kept slow, but still put in 7 miles.

The Long run was FANTASTIC! Better than I had expected. This is also my longest run yet! Here are my Splits:

The 9:25 pace must have been when I stopped shortly for my GU, and drink, or shortly afterwards. I felt great and actually slowed myself down at times. Obviously not marathon pace, but it was meant to be slower.

I may have lost my coach! Hasn't responded to my emails. I'm hoping I haven't lost him, but I know he's heading overseas soon for a big race. Best of luck to him either way. So... On that note, I've got to dust off my old routine and get back to it. I hope that doesn't mess me up to bad. Nate's workout seemed a little more aggressive, so I may have to add a bit more 'spice' to my old workout plan.

Monday, August 3, 2009

It's been a while

It's been 2 weeks since I've posted anything, so I thought I'd catch you up! Training has been going great, just haven't posted a lot on here. My pace is a lot slower than I had hoped for, but I've been getting the miles in. I've also been getting a lot of good advice and input from runners on Dailymile.com. It's been great! My only complain are the blisters on the end of my toes. I sent and picked up "Nike Air Max Motto+ 6" shoes (size 11, 4E). I feel like these are the first running shoes I have ever worn that weren't tight anywhere or to loose. It's awesome! I'm hoping that helps. I picked them up from Marathon Sports in Norwell. It was a fantastic shopping experience there.

July I posted my post miles ever in a month, 130+ miles! Yeah for me! I did a 15 miler 2 weeks ago and have a 17 miler scheduled for this week. I can't wait to see how I do in my new shoes.

Monday, July 20, 2009

New week new challenges

This week should be crazy! 4 x 2mile runs at Half Marathon Pace this afternoon. Recovery run tomorrow, and 15 miles on Thursday. ...followed by 'Murphy Boy Weekend' (golf, volleyball, beach). I'll have to come home early Sunday to do some 'home repairs' in preparation for siding our house next month, so that is my day 'off'.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Tough Week

First of all, I'd like to say that I've just run my farthest yet, 14 miles! ...but it was TOUGH today, not sure why. Had to talk myself into finishing rather than going back to the house at about the 10th mile. I walked some of it, but I finished. Couldn't keep the pace from my new training plan, so we'll see where this takes me. I could feel my hamstrings getting tighter, but no issues there... ...yet.

The 12X1's workout was a disaster! I was no where close to the times I needed for the new training plan. I'm sure we'll make some adjustments and work on building my speed. I ended up running two days in a row instead. Not exactly what I was hoping to do..

Mechanically I feel great! No knee, back, leg, foot or any other pain. ...well, there is a toe issue, but that's because I kicked something REALLY hard in the middle of the night last week. It's purple now on the end of the toe under the nail, not broken, but it's sore. Not affecting my running though.

I think my issue is actual leg strength. Muscles just are not used to going that fast for so long. My legs are having less muscle twitching today than last week's long run, but that could be because I walked part of it and didn't push as hard... Pure speculation. I'm willing to listen to anyone's feedback on that one.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

First Week of Nate Jenkins Training

Wow! What a week! I have never run that hard before for that long. I didn't do as well on the 7 X 1 miles. I only reached my goal times for the first 2 miles. I feel I should have / could have pushed myself a little harder, but I know I'm not used to running that fast.

My long run I feel I did pretty good! Stayed faster than my goal pace for 12 miles but ended up with an 8:10 pace overall after the last mile. I guess I can't complain to much about that! It took me half the day to recover from that run though. --discloser-- I did take an 8 1/2 minute pee break at about 9 1/2 miles into this... What a rookie!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My Revised Schedule

Below is my revised scheduled that I received from Nate Jenkins. I read from the Bay State site about the possible coaches I would have working with me, but didn't think about it to much until today. I just googled him... I can't believe I have this quality of a runner coaching me! I'm looking forward to working with the guy. Starting late as a runner, hopefully he'll be able to get me to the speeds I need to be at to qualify for Boston, or I'll know early on that I won't be able to make it.

What 40 year old qualifies for the Boston marathon on their first marathon anyways without any sort of running background?! Crazy old man!

Week 3 - It's ON!

I was beginning to think the 'coaches' for the Bay State Marathon were not going to contact me, but they finally did! Nate Jenkins sent me my first 3 weeks of training. He thinks my goal for the marathon is a little ambitious, so we will evaluate in the next couple of weeks based on how I do with the training plan he sent. MUCH more difficult than the plan I had laid out for myself from the one book I read. Today's run was tough. 7 X 1 mile runs at a 7:05 pace and 2:30 rest in between. I did great the first 2 miles, and then just couldn't get my legs to go any faster. I progressively got slower, but still was faster than 8:00 miles. I ended up doing 9 miles overall.

My goal for Saturday is 13 miles at 8:10 pace. I haven't run 13 miles since June of last year. My best 10K wasn't even than fast. Although my fitness has improved quite a bit, and I am faster now, this will be quite the challenge! Wish me luck!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Week 2 Completed

Great week! Loved my runs. I feel a little tired tonight, but that could be from the swimming we did this afternoon. I'm loving this GPS thing too. Took a new route and just followed my GPS, didn't have to think at all. I was able to just enjoy my music and have a nice pleasant run.

My 400M training was tough but I enjoyed them too. I had doubt a time or two on the speed I was trying to maintain, but was able to finish off pretty strong.

I am so addicted to running right now, I REALLY wanted to do more running this afternoon before we went swimming. Good thing I have my training plan, or I would be running way to much I'm sure!

I'm still using my Nike+ because it keeps me in touch with the running community I've used for support over the last year and a half.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Week 2 Begins

Had a nice 'jog' yesterday as part of my training. Supposed to keep it slow, but it was tough holding back sometimes. Today was cross training day, but I slept in. We'll see if I get around to something tonight. I have my 400M sprints tomorrow, so hopefully the rain holds back. I'm not looking forward to running in the rain, but I will if I have to.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Day Off

Enjoying my day off today. I may mow, but that's about it as far as exercise. Yesterday I had a great 'Long Run' day. Only 7 miles on my training plan, but it was a great run. My goal was to run 90 sec's to 2 minutes slower than my marathon pace. It was actually tough to slow down at times, but it was a very enjoyable run. My heart rate was actually up a couple of times, but there were some hills in this run.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Thursdays Jog

This link is to my run from Thursdays training. Supposed to be just a jog, did it a little faster, but felt good. Pretty cool little feature on there that let's you see my heart rate while I'm running (see Player).

Training Schedule

This first image is the description of training I have planned. Click on image to see in larger print

This second image is the actual schedule. The times listed are for an aggressive 7 minute pace, which I'm not at yet, but working towards. I only need 7:37 to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

Tools and Products

I'll also be reviewing tools and products and I'm using to reach this goal. Feel free to give me any advise or comments on this. I'm going to separate those from this Blog on Toolsandproducts.blogspot.com. I hope you find it helpful! I also have a link at the bottom to get to this Blog.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

And it Begins

  • I just started training for my first marathon ever. I was 240 pounds about 2 years ago and decided I need to make some lifestyle changes.
  • I've worked I'm my diet, but haven't gone 'crazy' with it. I still enjoy my wife's cooking!
  • This is week one. I ran 6 x 400M sprints to work on my speed. I ran two other times this week at around 4 miles (jogs). My speed has increased considerably since a year and a half ago when I started adding running into this.
  • I do have to thank Nike+ and my brother Tim for getting me started on that. I don't think I would have kept at this with out the two...
  • I'm now using the Forerunner 305. A lot more accurate, but I've JUST started working with it this week... ...more to come on that.