Donation Totals

Sunday, March 29, 2009

ING Marathon Atlanta!

Wow, what a day. So my goal going in was to break four hours, with the hopes that I might make 3:40. It has been a rough couple of days sleeping and by the time I got to the race start I was absolutely exhausted. Add to that a huge dinner that I didn't quite clear out of my system and a ridiculously full bladder at the start and I didn't have high hopes. But the whistle went off promptly at 7:04am and I tried to get started. Tried you might ask, why only tried? Well with 15,000 people at race start between the marathon and the 1/2 marathon, it was tough to get going at any decent pace, leading to a 9:32 first mile. Not exactly what PRs are made of. Following that first mile, I finally found a place to go to the bathroom and finally was able to get going. So I got a bit excited and pushed too much, getting miles 2 and 3 in 8:13 and 7:40 min. Being that I have a Caldwell bladder,I of course had to stop a couple times to pee, but it worked out fine. Knowing that I had pushed my pace a bit, I finally I pulled myself back and settled into a good rhythm at 8:26, 8:07, 8:23, 8:13 and 8:09, at which point I had my first spectators! Got to see Bernd, Kelly, Mom, Dad and most especially Betsy and Cole! Bernd had quite the wonderful sign for me (Run, Bitch, Run) and Cole had a big old smile for me too! That got me motivated to move on again and got the next mile in 8:00 before getting the next few miles in 8:25, 8:38, 8:10, 8:16. Just after this I passed over the 1/2 marathon split point, getting there in 1:49:02, then getting going again, putting in miles in 8:17, 8:24, 8:21, 8:31, where I got to see the family and Liesenfeld contingent just between 17 and 18 mile markers! At this point I really wasn't feeling so hot and actually started thinking for the first time that maybe I wouldn't make it. However, a couple sports beans (I was on the 5 sports beans every 3 miles and a gel every 5) got me back up again. I continued on, finishing miles 18, 19 and 20 in 8:36, 8:34 then dying out on mile 20, which was heavily uphill in 9:04. Luckily, at this point Kelly hopped onto the course and started running with me! Couldn't have happened at a better time! She was a huge boost to my motivation, and kept me going the whole way. The words of encouragement, someone to talk to and just knowing and hearing how close I was to the finish really kept me going! With Kelly's help, I got back on pace and finished the final 10k with miles in 8:37, 8:32, 8:51, 8:51, 8:42, 8:43, and then finished with a nice burst at the end after Kelly left me with 0.1 miles to go. Overall, I finished with a 3:42:00 even, without my stops for bathroom breaks! Overall a PR, and just at my goal! Still waiting to see my final official time, but hopefully soon! Photos to be updated shortly!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Easy run to loosen before the marathon.

We got into Atlanta yesterday and Bernd and Kelly arrived shortly thereafter. Unfortunately Bernd's knee didn't recover in time, so I am on my own for tomorrow, but considering all my training has been solo and there are pace groups at the marathon, I should be fine. Anyway, needed to do a nice easy run to loosen up for tomorrow, so Kelly and I got out with Trinity and put in an easy 3 mile run around my parent's house. Felt pretty good and loose and looking forward to tomorrow! Finished the miles in 8:30, 8:31 and 8:27.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

'Track' workout on the road with Cole!

So I got a workout from Jerry to get out and get in a nice warmup, then get in 3 miles at 7:45 min/mile, followed by a nice long recovery. I got out with a nice 8:24 min mile to warmup, then stretching a bit before getting started for the 3 mile effort. Cole and I got rolling out for 1 1/2 miles before turning around and finishing on the return trip. I got the miles done in 7:42, 7:57 and 7:33 min, a bit faster for 1 and 3 than my goal pace, with mile 2 being a bit slower than the others due to the turnaround and just general trouble dialing in my pace. I finished off with an easy mile in 8:31 min before coming in and stretching out. Overall it was a good effort and fun to hit the road for the 2nd day in a row with my giggling baby boy!

Monday, March 23, 2009

'Recovery' Run with the Baby Boy!

Got going with the intention of getting in an easy 4 miler, keeping an easy 8:30 min/mile pace... but errr... didn't happen. Despite the stroller, my continued attempts to slow myself down, somehow I kept finding myself turning in miles in just under 8 mins. Cole seemed to love it though! He was giggling the whole time, taking in all the sights as we ran through the streets! We had a great time and got home in a great mood, just in time for din din and a shower! It was rough getting used to the BOB stroller, but now, it is so much fun to hit the road with Cole!!! So tomorrow has an easy track workout.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Last long run before the marathon!

Well with one week to go until my marathon, I wanted to get in one last reasonably long run, just to loosen up and get the muscle memory back in for my pacing. So Jon, Betsy, Cole and I all got going on the Accokeek loop, planning to get in five miles together before Jon and I were going to break off to finish with about eight. We started off at a pretty decent pace of about 8:20 min/mile, not so bad considering I was pushing the stroller, having to stop briefly just after the first mile and again just before mile three due to some constuction, but felt really good. It was truly the most comfortable I have been with the stroller thus far. We kept the pace, chatting through the run adding in an extra mile to the four mile loop by doing an out and back on Accolawn road, before coming back to Livingston Rd, where Betsy and Cole headed home and Jon and I continued on for the final three miles. We headed out the dirt road (Apple Valley) out to Bryan Pt road, did a quick loop around the second dirt road there, and came back on Farmington before heading straight back on Livingston to home. We kept the pace steady the whole way, just about the pace I want to keep for the marathon, so it was a really successful run! Finished the miles in 8:27, 8:24, 8:14, 8:23, 8:30, 9:08 (up the big hill), 8:27 and 8:13 min before finishing the final 0.2 miles at 7:47 min/mile pace. Great run. Been nice to have Jon around again, always seem to have good runs when we head out together!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Run with Jon Smith after work!

Jon Smith is back in town again for a Environmental Law meeting and is staying with us! So after picking him up after work, we headed home and after playing with Cole, we got changed and hit the road for a quick 4 miler. We got off at a pretty good pace, finishing the miles in 8:10, 7:56, 7:57 then 8:00, with a total time of 32:22 for the 4.04 miles. Nice to catch up with Jon and have a running partner for a bit. I think we will be out for another run tomorrow after work as well.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Track Workout at TC Williams High School

For the first time since Cole was born, Betsy joined me at track! Elana came with us and watch Cole for about an hour so we could both run! I started with a 1 mile warmup then stretched and chatted with Coach Jerry and then 4x100 strides. After talking with Jerry, he seemed to think that with the marathon about 10 days away that I should focus only on 800's. So instead of following the team's plan of 4x800 then 4x400, I did 6x800, trying to keep a steady pace. I must say that the new track at TC Williams (Remember the Titans anyone?), as well as the school is absolutely top notch!!! Anyway, I wasn't really feeling it today and steadily fell to the back of group 1, but still felt ok enough that I got my 800s in 3:17, 3:13, 3:10, 3:11, 3:16 and 3:21 min. The last two were by myself (everyone else was doing 400's) and you could tell the drop off in my effort. Really shows what an benefit it is to get in work with others! Anyway, it was an ok workout, not how I wanted to end my difficult training for the marathon, but considering the recent successes I have had, I certainly can't complain! Now on to the taper!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

New Long Run Route through another Local Neighborhood

Got going a bit late this morning as I was trying to finally catch up on some sleep, but because of the weather I needed to get out fairly early to avoid the rain. So around 10:30, just as Cole was going down for a nap, for a 12-15 miler depending on how I felt. Got going down Livingston and hopped down Pine Dr, across Rt 210 to the Simmon's Sub division. Ran through the different neighborhoods, cutting back and forth and just kind of exploring as I went along. In the end, found myself much further south than I expected, and felt great the whole way, leading to a very nice and moderately paced 14 mile run. Got my miles in at 8:27, 8:18, 8:39, 8:47, 8:46, 8:36, 8:22, 8:26, 8:18, 8:32, 8:30, 8:43 and finally finishing in 8:12.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Back on the road again.

With my last long run tomorrow morning, I needed to get out just to loosen up, so I took off for a 4 miler after work. I got off going strong, stronger than I wanted, but couldn't help myself. I got going the first mile in 8:07, following it up with 8:15, 8:04, 8:05 and finishing the final 0.05 mile in 8:07 min/mlle pace. Felt a bit tight and it was fairly chilly and wet, so I wouldn't say that it was a great run... but it was good none the less!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Track workout at Wakefield High School.

The workout called for 2x1 mile and 3x800 with a 400 jog between sets. Started off with a 1 mile warmup and then stretched and chatted with Coach Jerry. Got in with Group 2, and finished both miles in 6:42 min, feeling pretty good for both. Got started on the 400s and Mark and Kierstin from the group put in a good push and kept me going at a pretty nice pace, finishing the 800's in successive decreasing times of 3:13, 3:10, 3:06 min. Felt really good, especially this close to the 20 miler last weekend! Anyway finished it off with a nice easy 1 mile cooldown. Afterwards chatted with Jerry and planned out a 6 mile recovery on Friday and a 15 miler on Sat and am planning on a workout again on Tuesday.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Afternoon recovery run.

So I am still recovering from this weekend's 20 miler, but with my track workout looming tomorrow evening, I needed to get out for a short recovery run to loosen up. I got home from work around 4:30 or so and quickly got changed and hit the road. I was trying to keep a nice slow 8:30-9:00 min/mile pace, but I am repeatedly finding out that my new 'easy' is 8:20 or so and every attempt I made to slow up proved unsuccessful as I just lapsed back into the comfortable 8:20 pace again. Anyway, I was pretty tight, but finished the 4 mile run in 33:42, with miles in 8:12, 8:17, 8:20, 8:07 min.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Best run ever!

I had my last big training test before my marathon at the end of the month and after feeling pretty crappy and sore yesterday afternoon after my 4 mile run in which I got some more blisters on my feet, was very wary heading into today. Add to that that this has been a long week with a couple early mornings in a row to finish it off and my nerves couldn't have been worse. But knowing it was today or never and that the idea of not getting in a long run today meant no more long runs before the marathon, I forced myself to get up at 6am, head over to the Mt. Vernon Trail and get started. I tried my new nutrition plan, 5 sports beans every 3 miles and a power gel every 5 miles, with water and gatorade whenever possible. That seems to be a major difference (plus the gatorade and 5 hour energy) in the quality of my long runs to this point. I started off feeling pretty terrible and sore, so much so that I slowed almost to a 9 min mile for my second mile, but quickly fell into my pace and was comfortable from there on out. I initially ran north from the bathrooms at Belle Haven, getting up to just about Slater Lane on the Trail, before turning around and heading back. At the car, I dropped off my running pants and long sleeve jersey as it was absolutely gorgeous running weather and took a swig of water and gatorade and headed back out again. I continued south until just past the 4 mile marker, marking off an additional four miles south, so that by the time I got back to the car I was at mile 16. Luckily, today is the Potomac runner's long run day at Mt Vernon, so they had water and gatorade out at a couple different locations. After another swig of gatorade and water and some more aquaphor for my now severely hurting nipples, I hit the trail again, heading north, but this time taking a detour out to the Lighthouse down by the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, then heading back into Old Town Alexandria for a bit more, before turning around to finish the final mile and a half. I finished mile 19 starting to feel a bit worn down, but decided to put in a final effort to see how quickly I could finish the run. Amazingly, I was able to finish the last mile in 7:47 min! Overall, I finished 20 miles in 2:46:19, good for a 8:19 min/mile pace, add in about 5 min for water and gatorade stops and still I was well faster than the pace I need to break 4 hours! Furthermore, it turns out that this was a personal record for 20 miles, beating my best previous time by 9 min!!! Furthermore, the first part of the run set PRs for fastest 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19 mile runs!!! Afterwards, I stretched, chatting a bit with a runner I had seen on my run for a bit before heading home! I actually felt and still do feel great! My hips are a bit sore, as are my thighs, but overall I feel fantastic considering! I finished miles in 8:21, 8:58, 8:15, 8:24, 8:27, 8:25, 8:29, 8:08, 8:18, 8:11, 8:20, 8:07, 8:20 , 8:05, 8:14, 8:14, 8:20, 8:16, 8:34 then finishing with a 7:46 min mile.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Reasons for Running

The ING Marathon asked the runners to write in and tell them why they run. So I decided to share my contribution to my blog for the 1 person who might see it and read it...

I run for many reasons and my reasons have changed over time. Initially I ran as a kid while playing baseball and playing games in our yard. I ran because it was fun.

As I got older and entered grad school, I started biking to work, which in turn led me to triathlons, where I ran because I had to if I wanted to do well. I ran because it was needed to.

When my wife started doing triathlons with me, we started running together. We got a dog who loved to run with us, that was when running became a bit more than a chore. I ran because I had a partners.

Later my wife decided to run a marathon and I felt it was a fun challenge, so I decided to do it with her. Throughout the training and the race, we stuck together. I ran because it strengthened my marriage.

After we moved from Florida to DC, training became difficult with new weather and responsibilities. So to force ourselves to get back into it, we signed up for another Marathon. I ran to regain some normalcy in my life.

Last June, my wife and I had a son and bought a jogging stroller. Now we run with him. I ran to train while I spent time with my boy.

Just this past year, one of my best friends decided he wanted to do a marathon. He asked me to run with him to help push him through his first. So I ran to help a friend.

After finishing that marathon, I realized that never before had I run for me. Finally I can see what I can do in a marathon. So I will run to challenge myself.

But through it all, running has meant more time with my wife, my son, my dog and myself. It has meant good health, both physical and mental. It has meant self-confidence. I have and I will always run because it keeps me centered.

Afternoon run with Cole!

Got up really early again this morning (5:30am) to get in to work to get started early so I could get home sooner. With Betsy not feeling so hot yesterday, I wanted to get as much work done early so I could take the boy off her hands for a little bit to give her a break. So I got home around 2PM, ate some lunch and grabbed the boy, the jogging stroller and his coat and hit the road. Felt pretty tight and sore most of the way and can feel some blisters coming in. Need to be sure to get some mole skin ready for tomorrow's 20 miler! Hopefully I will be less sore tomorrow too!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Treadmill Track workout

Went over a bit after lunch to get my track workout in. The workout called for 3x1200 and 3x400, with 400 jog between, 800 jog between the two parts of the set. Total workout was 6.25 miles. Started off with a 1 mile warmup, finishing at 9:02 then moved into the first set. Got started with the 1200s, keeping consistent finishing them in 5:29, 5:29, and 5:30, with a 400 jog between at 9 min/mile pace (2:16). After the first set, took an 800 jog to recover and prepare for the second set at 9 min/mile pace (4:25), diving into the 400's, where I succeeded in finishing them at progressively faster paces, 1:37.1, 1:33.9 and finishing with a 1:27.6. Took in a nice 1200 cool down at 9 min/mile pace (6:48) before hitting the showers and heading back to work! Looking at a recovery run tomorrow and 20 on Sat!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Snowy roads leads to recovery run on the treadmill

After work hopped on the treadmill and used the 'personal trainer' setting for a 10k run. This appears to simulate hills during a road run, however really pushes the hills! I only did level 10 and it still beat me down, despite only trying to maintain a 8:27 min/mile pace! I tried keeping track of my heartrate during the run, but my training center program didn't like that so much. Anyway, got the 10k down in 52:27, with miles in 8:31, then 5 straight miles at 8:26. Good run, good workout, ready for track tomorrow.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Weekend off leads to Suffer-O-Rama...

Well I had to go to a meeting for a committee I am on through the Materials Research Society yesterday downtown, so I didn't get anything in workout-wise. Further, I missed Sat due to the cold weather and soreness from my 18 miler the day before. Therefore, today with the snow (6" about) that we got overnight dooming any thoughts of running (I did get to go and play in the snow with Cole and Betsy and the doggies though!), I took some time to hop on the bike trainer in between my efforts working on a paper I have been trying desperately to finish writing over the past few months. Decided I needed a challenging workout, so I put in the Suffer-O-Rama tape, about 50 min of brutality, with high cadence/high gearing efforts, standing and sitting efforts, a few sprints and some time trial efforts. Anyway, afterwards I was quite beat! Good workout though! Not sure what the plan for tomorrow is as it is supposed to be wet and cold again, might be doing something on the treadmill or trainer again!

2010 Efforts!

This year, like last year, I will be riding for Mary Payton's Miracle - My friend Steve Kogos from Trigators informed me that his friend Joe's daughter, Mary Payton, was diagnosed a number of years back with Late Infantile Batten Disease. This is a disease with no cure, however, there are special experimental (and extremely expensive) treatments which have shown some significant signs of success! In order to assist with the costly treatments and research, Mary Payton's Miracle was created to raise money to find a cure, hopefully in time to save little Mary Payton as well as the many others affected by this terrible disease!

Total Mileage

Current Challenges

Valid 2/1-12/1/2009