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Archive for the category “Marathon”

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.

Marathon Random Thought

Post marathon there is the ride home. For most of us that is a drive of hundreds of miles, which the afternoon of or the day after a marathon can be brutal. The best practice is stopping frequently and stretching those battered legs. There is solace knowing that at each rest stop there will be others just like you getting out their cars and limping around. An easily identifiable kinship.

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.

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.

Marathon Training Without the Marathon

With no fall marathon on the schedule for this year, I decided I would train as if there was a December marathon planned. The main reason is for the weight loss and the other is the mental aspect of getting back in the game.

My 3 year plan is to get down to lowest body weight of my adult life, which would be lower than any of my previous marathon pursuits and then qualify for the Boston Marathon at the age of 50.

A long road ahead, but the goal is set!

 

Chicago Marathon Prep

It’s an exciting time as the fall marathon season begins and the marathon training programs wind down. Usually by late August/early September the weather in the Midwest mellows from the exasperating heat to a comfortable range to allow for those final 20 milers to be completed before the big race. This year has been a reverse of that pattern. Early August the temps cooled off, but the heat came back the last two weeks and look to continue for another week at least.

The best plan to beat the heat and still get those long runs in is to get up really early, as in before the sun comes up. 2011 was an especially hot summer and if I didn’t get up at 4:30 and hit the road by 5:00 the temps were in the high 80’s/low 90s by 9:00 and close to the 100’s by Noon. Avoiding the midday sun is always a wise choice, but that year it was an absolute necessity.

Though I hate to drive/waste gasoline to get a run in, the wise thing is to put out water/energy drink on your long run course. My usual course provides a few hiding places for the drinks, so as not to be disturbed by ill-doers. If your course is not so well equipped, the next best plan is to carry your beverage of choice. Personally I don’t like to carry water for several reasons, but the placement of beverages that are the same as the ones that will be provided at your marathon is optimal. As an example: The Chicago Marathon provides Gatorade Endurance formula and water. The Fargo Marathon provided PowerAde the year I ran it, so that year I started my marathon training using PowerAde (which I don’t like) up to Fargo and then switched to Gatorade after and then all the way up to Chicago. You always want to condition your body for all the variables you will be hit with at your respective marathon. The same can be said for energy gels.

Studying your marathon of choice’s website is key to any successful marathon pursuit. Limiting surprises is always a good idea. The more that you know going in, the less opportunity to have the unexpected trip you up on race day.

Fall Marathon Post 2013, Chicago Marathon 2013

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