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Archive for the month “May, 2011”

School of Run

If Jack Black was born to play Dewey Finn (Ned) in School of Rock, I was born to run and write about it tongue in shoe, er, cheek. Being able to run is a gift and sharing that gift with others is an even bigger gift. Running is like a hilly road as it has many peaks and valleys. Setting big goals are important as goals will help keep you on the road when maybe you just don’t feel like it on a rainy day.

Sometimes those goals are met and sometimes you may could up short like I did at the Fargo Marathon. I took sometime to cry in my oatmeal, a couple of days, and then I got back to training for the Chicago Marathon. With a 18 week training program set for Chicago, I only had one week to get myself back together and get back on the horse. Mentally I feel refreshed and as determined as ever to qualify for Boston.

That is just how it works, give it your best and if your best was less than expected, get back to work, make some adjustments and  be better the next time around.


Fargo Final Exam

Arriving in Fargo on Friday, I was very impressed with the ample free parking at the Fargodome and the layout for the marathon Expo. Easy in, easy out. I can see why The Fargo Marathon is highly recommended by Runner’s World. Big marathons can be a logistical nightmare and Fargo was anything but. If you have the opportunity to run Fargo, just do it.

From a personal standpoint, Fargo was a failure. I just didn’t have the energy to keep my pace up for the entire 26.2. Now I could list out a bunch of excuses, like the hotel reservations were screwed up, I didn’t sleep for 2 nights before the marathon and I forgot my energy drink the morning of, but that wouldn’t change anything. The bottom line is that I didn’t do what I wanted to do. I am disappointed and that is driving me to modify my plan for Chicago and go back to a more traditional training plan with longer long runs.

To be on  Boston Marathon Qualifying pace at the half and then have the wheels completely fall off is totally unacceptable to me. To have my worst marathon performance hurts. To spend a solid 4 and 1/2 months of training and have this ugliness occur tastes like crap.

I take the pain and use it as motivation, that is all I can do as I start another 18 week program for Chicago. I won’t let the failure stop me, but I will use the lesson to better the next time around, darn it!

Bib 924 Fargo Marathon

Marathons take a tremendous amount preparation. We spend months logging serious miles on roads, watching what we eat and putting together a plan for race day. If everything goes well we finish and accomplish our goals.

As I lie in my hotel room, my wife on her laptop and my son in his pack and go sleeper, asleep, I wonder if I have packed enough for this trip. Ok that was a lie, I don’t wonder if I packed enough as I packed about every piece of running equipment I own. I have all the variables covered from rain to shine, cold, colder, coldest, warm to hot. What ever marathon morning brings I will be ready. I packed about 10 pairs of socks, ridiculous. 4 pairs of shorts and 3 different pairs of running tights, crazy. 6 shirts, sleeveless, short and long-sleeved, overkill.

Someone should tell me that this is running event and not the red carpet. Oh and you can follow me at I am bib number 924, like a Porsche. Not as cool as the 911, but still a Porsche. You won’t be able to tell what I am wearing, but you will be able to tell how fast in am going. Hope to be clicking off 7:15 per mile. Take to you all later.

Honest Effort

Whether it be sport or work, honest effort should go a long way. Now with the reports of cheating in both athletics and in the corporate world, it is  just nice to be considered a recreational runner. No need to get crazy and try to juice up to hit more home runs or garner insider information to make another billion. Training for a marathon just to complete it is good honest hard work.

It may not get me a promotion or fame, but I can spread wellbeing and raise a little money for cancer survivor programs. We can help others and our selves though honest effort.

2011 Team LIVESTRONG Run – General Donation

It’s been Cookin’ for a while Now I can almost Smell Marathon Morning

Just 8 days left before the morning air hits me like the fresh smells from a neighborhood bakery. The excitement, the chills, the atmosphere. There really isn’t anything like marathon morning. From the documentary film The Spirit of the Marathon when the older runner steps outside and says, “This is good.” There is a feeling that only runners experience on a day like that. If you haven’t been there, it is like trying to explain the experience of fatherhood to a 24-year-old bachelor, it just doesn’t translate until you get there yourself.

If you are in your running infancy, you want to work to get this point where the feeling of marathon morning can take you over and transcend you. You will know what I am talking about someday. You’re welcome.

10 Mile Race At Marathon Pace

A last minute decision provides supreme confidence going into the last 2 weeks before Fargo. My hometown had a 10 mile race today. I really didn’t think about running it until I noticed it listed on on Thursday. I am so glad I did as I was able to finish in over a minute faster than my goal of 1:12:30 in 1:11:24.

Now I am planning on running a controlled, relaxed pace for Fargo. What today’s race told me is that a controlled, relaxed pace is a 3:10 marathon. For my age group that would be 20 minutes faster than the needed qualifying time for The Boston Marathon. Under the new rules for registration for this year, I would be able to register on day one. Now I am realistic and it has been 4 1/2 years since my last marathon, so I will set a realistic goal of 3:20 for Fargo.

It is now 2 hours after the race, the knee has been iced, but overall I feel great. No soreness and I feel like I could run another 10 easy. We will see if I could run another 16.2 easy. Well, er, we all know that another 16.2 won’t be easy, but I am going to ride this new-found confidence  for all that is worth. Boston here I come.

6:50 6:42 6:46 6:54 Splits

With the struggles of being an over 40 endurance runner comes the realization that you may never regain the speed of yesterdecade. I know my top speed was so 20 years ago. That being said I was encouraged by my speed workout tonight. The winter was long and frustrating. Today changed all that. The mile splits listed in the title turned months of dubious results into feelings of hope for a successful marathon.

With a goal marathon pace of a modest 7:20 per mile, the speed workout reveals the can do nature of the goal itself. If the game day magic comes through and 7:20 feels easy in the first half then I will notch it up for a second half negative split. I have learned from too many slower second halves to get too aggressive in the first half and then not have enough guts left to finish strong.

Lessons are learned hard in the marathon. Prepare, plan and hope. Be under control in the front for a better finish.

2011 Team LIVESTRONG Run – General Donation

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