rock n' roll marathon

Day 1 of training complete!

Y'all. That was a lot of sweat and it wasn’t even that long/tough of a workout? I mean, this will be the easiest workout I have…other than my off days.

I wasn’t supposed to start until next week but my neighbor asked if we could start today and I figure at some point I’ll need a down week where I don’t put in a lot of miles or I’ll fee better repeating a week and this padding will allow me to do that.

Hoping to find some local 5k’s this summer to gauge my speed and how I’m increasing and getting better throughout training.

Here’s hoping my neighbor will stick with me through training. It’s nice to have a training buddy.

The Nashville marathon is in the books at 4:07. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed that I didn’t come in under 4 hours, but this is a very hilly and very long course and I’m well above a competitive racing weight. The medAl is cool though - it includes a turntable that spins.

The last 6 miles were pretty grueling - a good reminder why more people don’t run marathons; it’s really, really hard.

My only complaint about this race is that half and full marathoners start together and run the first 11 miles together. It’s psychologically challenging to watch 80% of the field peel off when you’ve got >2 hours to go. The other consequence is an inordinate number of inexperienced runners (hundreds) who choose to line up in the wrong corral, many of whom were walking within the first three miles. I’m assuming a lot of people simply don’t know any better. It’s a shame that races don’t gently provide some guidance

Fall has arrived here in Minneapolis and it makes running even more fun. I ran an easy 6 miles at Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet and enjoyed the people watching. This coming week is a cutback week, then one last big week before the taper. 

I’ve been on the fence about whether to do the Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans full or half marathon on February 5th. It’s 14 weeks after Marine Corps Marathon, so it’s definitely doable. I’m feeling great right now so it’s very tempting. But I’ve decided to do the half marathon. I’ve run the Goofy plus three more marathons this year and I’m mentally having to push myself more than usual to get the runs done. I’ll run a heavier mileage plan for the half and then think about doing a marathon later in the spring. We are for sure going to be doing NY Marathon in the fall, so we’ll see what happens.

I’m still rowing and absolutely love it! I’ll have to get my boat off the water by the end of October, so only a few weeks of time in the boat left. I accomplished all of my season goals and am thinking about what I want to do in the off season to be ready to hit the water in the spring ready to really train. The season is so short compared to running. Lot’s of fun things to think about.

It’s not that the prodigy lacks joy. Or the newbie, conviction. It’s not that the up-and-comer doesn’t foretell dreamscapes, like halos of spun sugar. It’s just that when the comeuppance is also the comeback, our hearts break into a million pieces and reform into something that looks like hope. We know the loss, the injury, the pain, and the fear have created an environment only a few can sustain. The insanely dedicated. The embattled fighter. The athlete who knows everything counts because everything’s at stake. And we pull for them. Because they believe in their potential just as we hope to believe in our own.

Pictured: Kara Goucher, CU Track, in prep for her return to racing at the Rock n Roll Philly Half Marathon 9/21/14. Photo: Caitlin Fairly.

{1/30} Semester Goals

This is a page I set up in my bujo for my first semester of college (aaah!). Some are academic, but most of them are oriented around adjusting and having a good personal life.

In case you can’t read my handwriting:
- Run the Rock n Roll half marathon
- Write 1k a week
- Read 1 book a week
- Get a 3.0 or higher GPA
- Keep a healthy sleep schedule
- Join 3 clubs
- Meet everyone on my floor
- Call home once a week

Marathon #9 is in the books! I’m pretty happy with my race. It was really hilly, including a mile long hill that was the totality of mile 26. It wasn’t too hot but did rain on and off through the first half and then got pretty darn humid.

I averaged 10:11 per mile but the course was a bit longer than a typical marathon course at 26.66. The extra distance put m over 4:30 which I would have liked to hit but 4:31:44 is fine for the course and weather.

I’m also happy with how I handled the day. I really enjoyed the first 18 miles and never suffered. I ran EVERY hill and didn’t walk except when drinking at the stops.

The only negative moment was when I mistook pickle juice for Gatorade at mile 22. The guy said pickle juice, but I thought that he was trying to be funny or that it was a euphemism for Gatorade. No, it was not. I hate pickles and spat it out. That made me sad.

Is pickle juice on the course a normal thing?

3:47 at RocketCity in Huntsville.

This is a well organized race that begins and ends at the local auditorium so you can stay warm before and after the race. They don’t offer a half marathon option and the 3,000 of so participants all seemed to be competitive/experienced runners. The proof was that I didn’t have to navigate around a single runner who started too far in front of their pace group (my primary racing pet peeve).

I hung with the 3:40 group until mile 20 and then struggled to the finish. I think my travel schedule and short recovery from Marine Corps caught up with me. The course had a lot of turns (my Garmin said 26.5 at the finish) but I’m happy with the 3:47 and would absolutely recommend this race.

This was my fifth and fastest marathon of the year - next up, Rock n Roll New Orleans in February.

Another half marathon in the bag, another PR.

My previous PR was 1:24:22 which I set six months ago at the Santa to the Sea half marathon. I’ll have to check but I think I set a 10K PR too. I felt really good throughout most of the race. I’ll write a full race review later. For now I’m just going to sit on this couch and relax.


A race experience really isn’t over for me until I have a chance to crunch some numbers. That’s almost as much fun as signing up! Oh, and running is fun, too.

I finished the St. Jude Nashville Marathon right in the 20th percentile. I think that shows the difficulty of the course and the weather. You can see my pace vs. the field in the last picture and it confirms my feeling that I held up better through the last hour than the average runner. I passed a ton of people walking and was proud that I never stopped to walk except when grabbing a drink. I ran every. last. hill. And there were a lot of them, particularly in the back half.

This was my 9th marathon and the time was right in the middle for me. It was the longest of all of them, clocking in at 26.66 miles. The race also capped off April with 188 miles for the month. I keep thinking that I’m going to stop running so much and start biking more but that hasn’t happened with the Goofy and Nashville being only 16 weeks apart.

And now the Utah Valley Marathon is only 6 weeks away! When I signed up, I figured it would be okay that the races were so close together because Utah Valley is totally downhill. But my quads are a bit shredded from the downhills this weekend. Time to concentrate on recovering!

It’s Peak Week for Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville, or as I like to think of it, the last week before the taper. Ten miles today in a little bit of snow, a little more rain, and quite a bit of wind. Minneapolis can’t decide if it’s winter or summer here, and it looks like this week is going to be mostly winter. I’m just glad I got today’s run done without having to resort to the treadmill.

Only 11 more days until I can start stalking the weather forecast for Nashville!