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Archive for the category “Honest Effort”

Chicago Marathon 2017

Maybe not writing and holding myself accountable for my training, weight loss and pace ultimately resulted in less than desired results. After a devastating 2016 Chicago Marathon after a painful training season, 2017 training was a breeze. No injuries and decent pace miles along with a good June half marathon led me to believe a dramatic improvement was in order in Chicago.

The marathon started well. Running a relaxed pace through the half, a goal of 3:45 was well with in reach. Butttt by the 17 mile point the wheels came off and I was telling myself I wanted the quit and give up marathon running for good. Somehow the sense of defeat was in itself defeated, which allowed for me to finish the race albeit at a far less than expected 4:21:56.

After race feelings (both emotionally and physically) were much better. Physically I felt better than any of 8 other marathons I have run which includes 2 Boston Marathon Quilifying times. I was amazed and can only point to the 4 months of a plant based diet as the only difference in personal conduct compared to the previous efforts.

Suffice it to say, I am not done. I will run again as I am planning 2 marathons for 2018. #dontquit

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Marathon Training Kinda Crazy

You know you are kind of crazy when the marathon training is what you look forward to the most. The actual completion of the marathon is fun and exciting, however that is the end in a way. The event really is the training. The marathon for most people lasts less than 5 hours of their lives, but the training is the hobby, is the reward, is the pleasure, is the life of a runner.

Each week of marathon training can be a waiting period if you think in terms of it’s still 18 weeks until my marathon, it’s still 10 weeks to my marathon. Personally I think in terms of long run to long run. I can’t wait to get to the next long run as the runs during the week are just too short. Sunday comes and I am off and running both emotionally and literally.

Let me know if you have similar experiences.

Marathon Training Injury

A relatively new friend of mine was training for her first marathon and suffered a hip injury 2 weeks out from her marathon. The injury is so serious she is forced to pull out of her marathon. As a runner we all know how devastated we would feel in that situation. 16 weeks (out of the planned 18 weeks) of serious marathon training which was preceded by years of running. Many of us have built up from 5K to 10K to half marathon to get ready for the full marathon. It just doesn’t seem fair.

In 2010 after a layoff from marathon training I decided to run a fall marathon and started my training ramp up a bit late about 15 weeks out. With 3 weeks to go before the marathon I suffered a knee tweak that at first I thought I could fight through it and keep training. I wasn’t successful. I was crushed, but it didn’t break my will. I got in the gym and worked on my overall leg strength and made a plan for both a spring and fall marathon for 2011.

Running to the runner is obviously the basis for a strong existence. We define ourselves by being able to do what we love. Injuries for the most part are a sidetrack, but not a wall. We will find a way eventually. Staying positive is not always easy, but is also the best way not to be defeated.

Mental Game Running Goals

On today’s 11 mile run I was focused on every aspect of my successful marathon experiences vs. the unsuccessful ones. The result being in the training before my Boston Qualifing marathons I was able to fight through fatigue. I would feel awful, but would resist the temptation to walk and keep thinking “once I am past this hill, things will get better”.

The body can do more than mind tells you from time to time and it is your job to override those thoughts to get where you desire to go. Training is as much mental training as it is physical development. The BQ goal can be lost week 1 of training if you are not focused on it from the day you start. That is not to say that one bad day will defeat you, but it is how you recover mentally from a bad experience and use that knowledge to not repeat mistakes.

Mental preparation is something that can be practiced at other times off the course. Driving to work, writing a running blog, a lifting session, etc are great opportunities to  focus on your goals and train your brain to not except less. When I have failed, I wasn’t willing to fight poor mental feelings to reach my vision.

Be strong mentally and you will find your kick.

Chicago Marathon 2016

I got in the Chicago Marathon. 7th time overall and first since they went to a lottery system. What a great feeling. Now it’s time to ramp up the miles and the blog entries. Talk to you all soon.

A Few From Fifty

Wow, it has been a few years since I posted last, a few years since   I last ran a marathon and just a few months before I turn fifty. I suppose it is as good time as any to get back in the swing of marathon training and writing about it.

I entered the Chicago Marathon lotto and will find out Thursday April 21st if I got in (or not). If that falls through the back up Marathon is the Quad Cities Marathon. The  QC is only 2 weeks earlier than the Chi so my training schedules are pretty compatible.

Winter training has laid down a stable foundation and my long runs have been at over 10 miles for more than a month now. Feeling healthier than the last couple years heading into spring training, so this should be a good year.

Looking forward to more of these updates. Talk to you all soon.

Bix 7 2014

After missing last year’s Bix 7 due to reasons other than physical injury, you could say I have been waiting 2 years to return and run my favorite race. 10 years in a row was a good run and I am looking forward to another 10 as I approach 50 years of age (T minus 2 and counting).
Last year physically was a pleasure. I ran the entire year without pain in my knees yet didn’t run a single road race. This year started off with hamstring and knees issues putting me on the shelf for all of February.
It seems like I have to warm up longer and pay more attention to the little things than the younger me who could fly out the door and run for 2 hours without much thought of stretching or proper hydration.
This being Bix Eve Eve (2 nights prior) I look to hit the sack early and get those z’s that will more than likely elude me tomorrow night as Bix Eve’s tend to do.
So excited to be back, but I am concerned about a goofy hamstring and I strongly hope I have no issues on the hills of Davenport, IA Saturday morn. For the love of running and for the love of Bix.
Plus I looking forward to seeing Meb since he ran past me as I watched him win the Boston Marathon 2014. It will be cool to see him long before I get to the half way point as he hopefully has a large lead. Best part of an out and back course is seeing the elites running toward you. Participant and fan all in one.
Peace.

Run 4 What? The Hard

In less than 3 years this old runner will turn 50. Does the name of the blog need to change names then? Run 450 plus doesn’t quite cut it for me. Some have never caught on that the name of the blog was intended to indicate that the primary audience is the 40 plus runner, but then again it wasn’t supposed to be so obvious that it scared off younger runners. Oh well, a lot of things shouldn’t be so obvious that just anyone can do it. Like Tom Hanks character in A League of Their Own speaking of the sport of baseball, “The hard is what makes it great.”

Running marathons whether you are a 40 or 30 or 20 year-old are not easy endeavors. It’s almost impossible to complete one without feeling it during and long afterward. Whether you are slow or very fast, the distance will take its toll and you will know you have done something great by completing one.

This blog as long as it continues to be thrown out there by this old runner, will always be dedicated to being dedicated to running far. Slower than ever, yet still about the hard as always.

Sweet Home Chicago Marathon

Some things are just made for each other. Peanut butter and jelly. Front doors and welcome mats. Nights and moonlight. Long strolls along the river with a loved one. Chicago and the marathon.

I probably biased on this subject. I have only run 7 marathons and 6 of them were Chicago Marathons, but like all great fits, we tend to stick with what works for us. Those jeans that have been broken in just right are hard to get rid of.

If you have run the same marathon more than once, you know what I am talking about. Large city marathons have their challenges and knowing what to expect from traffic to the expo, to the aid stations, to finding your friends/support team after the race, all factor in on the overall enjoyment of the event.

I have discussed some of the tricks of the Chicago Marathon in past blog entries, so I won’t rehash those here. The point of this post is to find what works for you and run with it. Chicago is my fit. I plan to run it again next year and the following year. This was a down/off year for me, but I have that bug in my brain to get back to Chicago and finish a few things.

I hope you find your Chicago whether it’s called Napa Valley, Olympic, Nashville, Rock and Roll or Peanut Butter and Jelly Marathon…. now there’s an idea.

Since You Probably Won’t Read This Away….

For 40 plus years I have searched for the perfect workout to both satisfy my fitness goals and keep me entertained at the same time. Well, I finally found it…..Homeless Person Hurdles. Yeah, it’s in really poor taste and illegal in some countries, but heck why not give hope to the hopeless by bounding over a few on your morning run. Better yet carry loose change in our pockets and some might fall out mid-flight. Can you say BONUS!

This was a really poor attempt at humor, but nobody has been reading this blog lately, so I doubt I hurt too many feelings especially since the homeless probably don’t have working laptops with an active internet connections. But if you are homeless and read this blog after stumbling into a library, I am sorry.

If you actually read this far, I will say that a very high percentage of the contents of this blog are intended for the promotion of good healthy activities. Please take a look at the other 158 blog entries and I am sure if you give it a chance, you will find benefit from most of them. Peace. No humans nor any animals were harmed in the making of this blog.

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