Posts Tagged ‘marathon

05
Oct
09

Marathon #20. Portland Marathon

marathon-signWell, well, well……….  This marathon was a totally different experience.  It was not even slightly the same as other marathons that I have run, even other Portland Marathons.

It was a mighty good challenge to say the least and I am very happy to say that I got a new PR and actually finished in like the top 10% of all runners.  That was something very pleasing and new to me.  I ended up with a time of 3:33 for the marathon.  This is an improvement of 25 minutes compared to my former personal record marathon time.  For that day, on that course, using the strategy I used; I COULD NOT HAVE GONE FASTER.  That was it.  I gave it my all.  I have had to fight off the disappointment of not finishing the marathon with my goal pace range of 7:30-7:50 miles but I am trying to focus on the positive.  In the last 10 months I have went from a 4:14 (9:41 miles) to a 3:33 (8:06 miles).  This is a vast improvement and my hard work paid off very well.

One mistake that I made was to try and do the marathon using the strategy of the Pace Groups.  They use an effort based model where each mile is run in a different time in order to create the same “feeling” or “effort”.  This is not how I have practiced.  I always run mile goal paced miles strictly within my 7:30-7:50 range.  Using the pace group strategy I was doing some miles in the 6’s and that just was to fast for me even if it was only for one mile at a time.  I normally stick to my plan, go slower on the uphill and make up for it going down the hill.  This has always worked out well.  I should have been more confident in my own plan.  I may not have finished with a 3:20 (the pace group I ran with) but I would have probably finished better than I did.  But like I said, I did the best I could with how things were in reality and I exploded my previous PR.

Running a marathon faster like this is totally different than what I am used to.  It is not as enjoyable to run like this but it has it’s own special appeal and allure.   It is very satisfying in it own way.  For one, you run along side some very focused people and you are just going, going, going, very focused like.  There are also WAY MORE SPECTATORS.  This was shocking to me.  Usually by the time I go by most of the spectators are gone because there person has already passed through.  Being in the top 10% made it that 90% of the people had not yet passed through so 90% of the spectators were still waiting.  And that was a lot of family and friends.  It is fun though, they call out your name (it is on the bib) and it is motivating.

Overall I am pleased with how things went.  I am also sore as hell today.  Much more than normal. 

Here I am waiting for race walker champion Tammi.  Fellow blogger who won the race walk division.  I am also getting teared up by watching everyone push through and finisher their own marathon

Here I am waiting for race walker champion Tammi. Fellow blogger who won the race walk division. I am also getting teared up by watching everyone push through and finisher their own marathon

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28
Sep
09

Progress in running and marathon #20

portland-marathonI have been waiting for this moment now for a long time To be exact, I have been waiting and running now for 2 years and 7 months.  For some reason 20 marathons is a major milestone in my head.  It is a big deal to me.  Not only is it a big deal to have 20 marathons under my belt, but this will be the first marathon that I really go for it.  It is also neat that for my first goal paced marathon and for my 20th marathon, I will be doing my 3rd Portland Marathon.  It is kind of an anniversary marathon I guess since it was my first marathon ever back in October 2007.  My time in that first marathon was 5:45 or so.  I can’t exactly remember now but I am pretty sure it was in the 5:40’s.

There are many areas of running that a person can see improvement and I am going to share some of the growth in running that I have experience.  My goal is to inspire hope that sooooo much more is possible for us than we think when we are first starting out.  I remember that when I first started out with a long run of two miles that I wanted so bad to someday be able to run a mile in the 7 minute range.  Now I will be trying to run a marathon with 26 consecutive miles in that range.  I hoped to be able to run a marathon in about 6 hours, now I will be running one in hopefully half that time.

My goal was to run injury free and still love running after a long time.  I have done this.  I have not sustained an injury nor have I given up the most basic of exercises.  Despite my general sense of low self-esteem, I have been proud of what I have accomplished with running and weight loss.   This is possible you guys.  It is possible to be transformed from an overweight person who hates exercise to an athlete with many accomplishments.  Here is a little bullet list of what is possible.  At least this is how it worked for me.

  • All out mile: 9+ min., 7:52, 7:07, 6:56, 6:41, 613, 5:41 is now my new PR.
  • Half-marathon: 2 hrs, 56 min, now it is 1:32 (7:02 pace)
  • Marathon: 5:45, and my new PR is 3:58.
  • 50K:  5:35 to a new sub 5hr
  • 41.2 miles: 7:51 to a new 6:56
  • I breathe about as hard running 8:30 minute miles as I did running 13:45 minute miles in 2007.
  • My legs heal faster and my soreness is gone on the third day compared to being sore for almost 6 days after my first marathon.
  • I increased my long run from 2 miles to 50 miles.  That two miles seemed just about as hard as 50 at the time, at least mentally.

I am a new man.  I hope that this little changes that I have made can inspire you to believe that you can make sure strides yourself.  Thanks for listening.

14
Sep
09

Marathon #19 is in the bag!

skagit flats finish line

My 19th marathon went just as I expected.  It was a no-frills “long run” as my final long preparationg for the Portland Marathon.  I usually will do my 100 miler pace on these “long run” marathons but this time I didn’t.  I walked every 15 minutes for about 1 minute.  I also found that my legs and body are more comfortable at a faster pace rather than a slower one.  The slower one conserves energy but at the same time makes my legs feel tired too.

washingtonSo I had to work on Saturday and the marathon was on Sunday in a town 4-5 hours north of my home.  I got off of work at 5 pm and then had to take my wife to her annual employee appreciate party at one of the doctors house.  So I did that, had some food and fun, then left for Burlington, WA around 7:30 pm.  I finally arrived at my sisters house at around 10:30 (she lives about 45 minutes south of marathon start).  I talked with her and her husband for an hour and hit the hay.

Woke up bright and early at 4 am, had coffee, ate two small chewy granola bars, and waited for our time of departure.  My sister took me to the marathon and was amazed at all the “regular” looking people who were running it.  By regular, she meant people who were not “rail skinny” like the elite distance runners you see on TV.  Yep, that’s right.  We are just regular people conquering the miles.  Doing what we can with our regular bodies.

I finished the marathon in 4:10.  I did 10 minute miles for the first ten miles.  I did 9:30 minute miles for the second ten miles.  Then I did 8 minute miles for the last six miles.  I was a hot sunny day and the marathon maniacs were out in full force.

02
Sep
09

My running workout today!

exhuasted-runnerSpeedwork is tough.  It is a great character builder if you ask me.  I have only had a couple of speedwork sessions that were kind of easy.  The rest are just plain hard.  Today I had 6×1000 meter reps with one minute breaks in between.  The laps are done as part of a 6 mile total for the run.  Here are my stats for today’s workout.

1st 1000 meters= 5:55 pace

2nd 1000 meters= 5:55 pace

3rd 1000 meters = 6:03 pace except I almost puked and had to stop at 600 meters and take a 4 minute break. HAHAHAHA

4th 1000 meters= 10k pace @ 6:28  minute miles

5th 1000 meters= 6:30 pace

6th 1000 meters= 6:30 pace

Overall pace counting running to the track and taking my one minutes walking breaks was about 8:04 average pace.

I was supposed to do the laps at 5k pace which is about 6:08 for me.  I went out to fast and this hurt me especially on these longer reps.  Usually I do 400 meters at this pace.  Needless to say, I could not keep that aggressive pace for all those reps.  Also needless to say though is that I built up mental strength (physical too I guess) because I did not quit and I just adjusted my paces so that I could finish.  My coach says that paces between 5k-10k are considered high quality paces for high quality workouts.  In two weeks,  have my last easy/slow marathon prior to my PR attempt at the Portland Marathon.  Hoping all will go well.

More on food, WW, life, etc. in the morning.  See you later.

11
Aug
09

Marathon #18 and more golf

tetherow7I had a good but slightly lonely marathon weekend.  I went to bend/sunriver, Oregon on Friday night so that I would be able to pick up my race packet on Saturday morning.  I went to bed as soon as I got there because I had to get up at 4 a.m. to do a 10 miler before I went golfing at a really special golf course in Bend.  My 10 miler went very smoothly with no hiccups.

Saturday I played two rounds of golf so I got in a lot of activity even after my 10 mile easy run.  I didn’t play well but I had a good time.  I got done golfing around 8 p.m. and again went to bed right away so that I could get up around 3 a.m. to do 10 miles before the marathon start.

Sunday came in a hurry as I struggled to get out of my warm bed.  I was able to fit in 8 miles and finished this run about 5 minute before the marathon start.  At 7 a.m. the race started and all 112 marathoners took off up the 14 mile hill.  At first the hill was not very bad at all and I was able to run most of it with no problem.  I did a 4:1 run/walk ratio for the entire marathon except from miles 11-14 where the hill was just to steep and I walked.  Once we got to the top is was smooth and fun sailing down to about mile 20 (my mile 28) where the course flattened out.  Over-all the marathon was not really hard and it was enjoyable too.  I finished in 4:50.  This pace has allowed me to have post-race days without much soreness at all.  That has been VERY nice.

It was a good weekend and although I played golf and ran with many great people, I was really lonely without my wife.  I love her so much and she is my best friend.  I don’t like going to bed at night without her.  I don’t like not being able to see her in the evenings.  The good things is that she was able to have fun with her visiting family while I was gone.  I was happy for her in this respect.  She loves her family and that is a great thing.

Bye bye now!

tetherow3

tetherow1

06
Jul
09

Another good marathon experience

My 16th marathon (The Foot Traffic Flat Marathon) went very well.  It was a hot day but it did not bother me at all.  It was a smooth and controlled effort which produced the desired training effect: Run 30 miles on tired legs that are not yet recovered from last weeks 36 miles.  I finished the marathon portion of my 30 mile run in 4:29 with negative splits meaning I did the second half faster than the first. The marathon was much larger than I thought it was going to be so it was festive and fun.  The course was very beautiful as is snaked through the farms of Sauvie Island.  All and all it was a great experience which helped increase my fitness for the 100 miler.

My next race will be on July 25th at the Crystal Mountain Ski Resort.  This will be a 50 mile trail run with around 17,000 ft of elevation change.  It is a tough race but it will also end up being a good experience regardless of how it goes.  The race is called the White River 50 Miler.

31
Mar
09

Two big weeks of running before the taper to 40 mile ultra-marathon.

strolling-jim-logoGoooooood morning everyone.  I wanted to share my running schedule with you all today.  I have two big weeks of running left before I begin my taper (reduction in milage).  Runners taper prior to a significant race so that their bodies can get fully recovered for the race effort.  Tapers last anywhere from 2-4 weeks.  The weeks just prior to the taper are usually the biggest running weeks.

As you know I will be doing the Strolling Jim 40 miler ultra-marathon in Wartrace, Tennessee.  You can see my on the entrants list.  Another cool thing is that an occasional reader of run4change will also be there doing the early start with me.  Although I am quite the introvert, it will be nice to meet him.  So for the next two weeks I am going to be pretty busy with my running.  I have some hill work, speed work, and some pretty long long runs coming up.  Here is the schedule.

Week 1

Mon & Tues & Sat:  Off  

Wed: 6 miles with 5 hill repeats @ 5k pace

Thurs: 6 miles easy

Fri:  6 mile tempo run with middle 3 miles @ 10k pace

Sun: 35 mile long run

Week 2 (The point of this hard week after a 35 mile long run is to give my body one last chance at learning how to run on very tired legs)

Mon & Tues:  Off

Wed: 6 miles with 6 hill repeats @ 5k pace

Thur:  6 miles easy

Fri:  6 miles with 12 x 400 track work at 5k pace and 1 min rest between repeats

Sat:  6 miles easy

Sun: 2o mile long run with last 10 at race pace

So there you have it.  This is what I will be doing in my final preparations for the Strolling Jim.  My goal is to break the 7 hour mark.  Last year I got 7:51 so this year I want at least a 6:59.  You get a different colored shirt for each hour category so I am hoping to get a red shirt this year.