Thursday, October 29, 2009

After 3 Days Off, Back Running

After 3 days off, I am back running again. I ran a solo 3.2 miles today on the towpath. It was nice to get out there and run again, even if it was only for 22 minutes.

There is one more part of my 2009 season to complete. The 10Ks. Ah, I like the 10K. It is a good distance for me, a good combination of anerobic and aerobic training. And, it helps my marathon training. I know I have raced a lot this year, but I have also been building back ever since 2007.
Some notible statistics of race Totals for each year:

2007: 2 races: one really bad Marathon, one really bad 1/2 Marathon
2008: 8 races: 1 "off day" Marathon, 2 solid 1/2 marathons, & other race distances
2009: Will be a total of 20 races: 2 Marathons: one was solid, one was an "off day", 2 solid 1/2 marathons, & other race distances

So clearly, I am getting much much stronger. In addition, my total mileage is rising & rising. However, it looks like I will likely race a little bit less in 2010, but more QUALITY racing.

I am feeling a bit more positive about my Marine Corps Marathon run. I felt like the medal I earned deserved to be hung up on my wall of marathon & half marathon medals. The marathon medals I have hung up are all the sub 3 ones: 2:38, 2:43, 2:57. I have come to realize that the marine corps marathon I ran wasn't all that bad, and was still a solid training run. I am building up for something greater. I am building a monster for the marathon distance.

Remaining 2009 Race Schedule:

November 7- Cardinal 5K-Kensington
November 15- Veterans Day 10K
November 26- Bethesda YMCA Turkey Chase 10K
December 13- Jingle All the Way 10K

As for 2010, my race schedule is starting to come together. After I finish up 2009, I likely won't race until March 2010.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Sometimes you fall.
Sometimes life throws things at you.
Sometimes you just need to start over.

Last May, I had a terrific race in the Frederick Marathon, posting one of my best times of 2:43 and placing highest I ever have in a marathon(2nd place). On top of that, it was a really hilly course. I ran some good half marathons this year(1:15 & 1:16). I PRed in the 8K over the summer. I ran 100 miles in one week. I started up running with the Georgetown Running Company. I ran in the USA Cross Country Championships last Feb in arguably what my former highschool coach called the best race I have ever run, placing 93rd out of 168 deeply talented runners all over the country.

I thought I was ready to run a PR in the Marathon this fall. There have been signs of my progression in the marathon. Signs that I can bust out a 2:29 marathon..

I started out a little slow for the first 2 miles(12:20), but picked it up and hit the 5K around 18:28, and the 4mile 23:45ish, 5 mile 29:45 ish, 10K was 36:57. I was right on goal pace. 8 mile-47:xx, 10 mile was 59:16 or something. It was perfect pacing. I hit the half in 1:18:28, a little slower than anticipated. I was slowing down. But it didn't really happen until mile 17 or so. Mile 15 was 1:30:xx, 16-1:36:50. After that, I realized I was slowing down and really couldn't do anything about it. I am a tough runner. I run through pain. I am built for the marathon. This isn't making any sense I thought, why am I slowing down? Usually this is the part where I am strong. In Frederick I was strong. People started passing me left and right, it was really dissapointing. I told my body to go and race, but it didn't. It didn't respond at all. It was out of my control. I had to just deal with it and treat the race as a training run instead. False Alarm. I hate false alarms. I ended up crawling the last 5 miles to the finish in 2:57:30. On an off day 2:57 aint bad. I actually was happy that I still ran sub 3 as an off day. BUT the dissapointment burned deep inside my soul, my heart. I was heartbroken, I really was. I want more than anything in the world to run a sub 2:30:00. But maybe this is part of the patience, and sticking with it. When you have runs like these, you question to yourself, what does this mean? Everything has a reason, and this run surely will mean something I am sure when I look back on it in the future. Maybe I NEEDED to run slow today in ORDER to achieve my goal in the months ahead. After all, the year before I ran Frederick I ran in the San Diego Rock n Roll Marathon, finished in 3:29!, walked 3 miles of the course! And it simply was that I knew I needed to do it for some reason, at the time I did not know why and was very frustrated, but I did it for bigger reasons. So, if a 3:29 off day a year earlier brought me a 2:43 a year later, I wonder what a 2:57 off day will bring me..

Sometimes you just need to start over.

This has been a rough month. I lost my job, and I did not run the marathon I had hoped to run. But thats ok. Because sometimes we all need to start over. I will pick myself up, dust myself off, and take this week to recover/relax...get back to a starting point. I am going to VA Tech next weekend to really relax and take a "breath."

For the remainder of the year, I am going to have some fun and jump in a few 10Ks(veterans day, turkey chase, jingle all the way). This will put some new spice into my legs and will be a refreshment of shorter distance. It will be a great new start for the end of the year into the upcoming 2010 season. I am excited for the spring goals meeting the GRC is having in a few weeks. This will really be motivating for all of us GRC runners.

So everything is a fresh new start now. My running, my job search, its all a new beginning for me. I can't thank my girlfriend enough for all the support she brings to me during this time. She and I are going to take a trip to VA Tech next weekend for a mini-vacation. I long to return to the mountains once again.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thurs.-Rest Day

Today, Thursday, October 22nd, was a rest day. It's the first rest day I have taken in about 5 weeks. Went for a nice walk with my dog, Mickey, and did a little strength work, but no running today.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Marathon Plan

I immediately felt the difference in my legs and energy levels as I dropped to 55 miles this week from 100 miles the week before. I am feeling strong and am getting ready to roll. I have one more week until the marathon. Not having to go to work is a plus right now.

The plan for this marathon is to go out strong and finish strong, as I always run well that way(and why I am suited well for this type of race). I want to go out in 1:16:00-1:17:00 for the first half(5:50 per mile), and maintain 1:18:00-1:19:00 for the second half(6:00 per mile). If I do that I will run a 2:35:00. Of course there are some hills in the first half, so maybe a 1:17 1st half, 1:18 2nd half is more likely. I need to run even, that is when I run well. I do not want to run slower than 2-3 minutes for the 2nd half. Who knows, maybe I'll run faster and pop a 2:32:00. As far as placing, my goal is to finish in the top 25. I will not get caught up going out too fast however, I am going to run my race and focus on my splits. As I revived my running again a few years ago, I have set PRs in the 8K and 10K, but I have my sights set on the goal that got me started again: to better 2:38:48. This is my toughest PR to beat, from 2005. I believe I am in the shape now to do it, and on a slightly harder course. This is the barrier that needs to be broken, after 2.5 hard working years to get back in shape, and to begin looking into the future of possibility. Bettering this time will mean a lot to me, because I will finally begin looking ahead at cracking 2:30:00 soon.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Oct 5-Oct 11: 100 Miles/week

I hit my peak mileage for this fall's marathon. 100 miles is a lot for me, in fact, it's the most I've ever run in a week, and it has taken some work for me to get up there. But I feel like this is just the beginning, really. I feel that my body is built to handle even up to 140 per week one day, it's just taken time for me to work my way up there. It's an exciting time for my running. I am so happy I started up again in 2007. I feel like this is meant for me, and am looking foward to really pushing the envelop over the next couple of years.

This week's runs:

Mon: 8 miles easy
Tues: 16 miles easy
Wed: 17 miles med long run
Thurs: 11 miles
Fri: 14 miles
Sat: 22.5 mile long run
Sun: 11.5 miles

Total: 100 miles

I am now going to reduce my mileage over the last 2 weeks in prep for marine corps, and turn up the intensity a bit to get my legs fresh and rolling. I feel a PR around the corner..

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The final long run: 22.5 miles

I ran for 2 hours and 29 minutes today, and felt very comfortable, I did not push the pace, since I have an upcoming marathon in 2 weeks. The distance ended up being right around 22.5 miles. It felt good to get the long run out of the way on a Saturday. I ran on a rolling hills course around my hometown and ran from 4:45 pm until dusk-7:15 pm. After tomorrow this week's mileage will be my highest yet, I am already at 88-89 miles after today. After tomorrow, I will post each day's run this past week as the peak of my marathon training this fall.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Lots of Running

I am really enjoying the freedom to run whenever I feel like it. It's nice not to have to work the same hours EVERY SINGLE DAY. It gets so old. My dream is to find a job that has flexible hours. It's great to be able to go for a run around 2 pm somedays. Anyway, yesterday I took a drive out to Edward's Ferry and ran on the towpath past whites ferry for a few more miles, turned around and headed back on river road to Edward's Ferry again. I did 16 miles, very slow though. Today I ran from my house out to Seneca Creek State Park and ran around the lake, added a few loops, and headed back. Ended up running just about 17 miles today. It was BEAUTIFUL out. The weather has been so nice lately, if there is any time for me to be layed off from work, my boss couldn't have picked a better time. I know it is a bummer, but I am really starting to look on the positive side of the situation. I am shooting for 110 this week. This is the final push before the taper.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


On Friday, October 4th, at 4:30pm, I got laid off. It's strange how things can change so fast. But this blog is not about work, it is about running. Here is the wonderful thing about running: I can get laid off, but I still have something that is much more fulfilling than work(besides of course my wonderful girlfriend) running. I still have my running. I mean, even if I only run ONE great race in my lifetime...I have it forever. A certain time is forever. No one can take it, or "lay me off". The working world does that to you. You can have one thing, and BAM you lose it without your control. In this period, I am happy that I have kept up my training, because it proves that it is all worthwhile. It always pays off in the end. I ran 78 miles last week, with an 18 mile long run on Sunday to cap it off. Next week will be my highest mileage ever, before tapering the last 2 weeks before the Big Dance on Oct 25th. I am going to use this "layoff" as extra motivation for the marathon. I am going to take advantage of it. Because that's what runners do. They use everything to the fullest.
By the way, thanks Patrick Murphy for giving me some contact names.