Friday, October 26, 2012

New goal: Boston

A lot has happened in the short few weeks since my half marathon. I have to keep going back to the feeling of completing the race in goal time for motivation...

I started using after my friend Scott and his wife recommended it to me. At the same time I decided to get serious about training for the Boston Marathon. The starting line is only a few miles away and I will be 40 next year, so why not?!

Not sure if I've discussed my plan to try to secure an official number in the marathon. So here they are:

  1. Sponsorship from Biogen - my neighbor is former marketing director for Avonex, the drug I am on. He said he would bring it up with his replacement and try to create some momentum. I haven't seen him for a month, so no progress there.
  2. Available bib from a soccer mom on my son's team that I coach. Talked to her two days ago, she asked about #1 and I said nothing yet. So she is going to ask her friend if I can have the number. Fingers crossed!

My new plan includes a few challenges. Speed workouts on Tuesdays, swimming training on Wednesdays and biking on Saturdays. I have done the speed workouts and they are fun, but this last one left my knee sore. I ran on it last night and it doesn't feel worse for the wear. Went back to my Brooks instead of the Newtons - the Newtons are challenging for some reason. I really want to improve my form. I think I need to go back to Danny Abshire's book on Natural Running Form and start in on the strength exercises full time.

I am doing good on core exercises, though I slowed down from 5-6 times per week to 2-3. I need to pick that up to keep the good core I've worked for.

Supposed to find time to run 6 today. Wish me luck!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Half Marathon: Complete

All of my hard work and preparation started to really come through in the last mile of my half marathon yesterday. I was surprisingly emotional for the last half mile or so, I actually started crying. I was just so happy my training had paid off, I felt good, I had conquered obstacles and I was about to fulfill my goal time! It was the greatest and one of the strangest feelings I've ever had. I was thinking of my wife and son there waiting for me at the line. About my MS and heart issues. I was thinking how great it was that I was picking up the pace to about 8:14 to close it out. I started to feel massive waves of emotion, I was so happy I think I had a big smile and tears were welling up. I crossed the clock at 2:00:55 and knew I was probably just under 2:00!

I think I am officially addicted to running.

Still, aiming for the Boston Marathon in April feels a little daunting but after the last 3 months of training I'm sure the right program will get me there. But that is the future! First, my big accomplishment!

The rain and drizzle kept increasing as we moved a few miles from the start, temperatures in the 50s and all-in-all perfect running weather -- except for the water-logged shoes and big puddles. Running in a big pack vs all my other runs solo was a difficult change. I was running at around a 9:00 pace after slightly faster first 3 miles, but it seemed like I was always being passed. Just a side effect of starting too near the front of the race I guess, I'll know better next time.

It was hard to keep motivated and at pace during the middle miles, especially on long straight sections vs the small twisty hilly streets where I couldn't see past the next 30 or so people. But once we turned the last section onto the coastal rode I could feel my adrenaline kick in. I forced myself to keep the same pace for a couple miles saying I would only try to kick after 12. Plan worked pretty good my last mile point 3 was probably at 8:20 pace!

So mission accomplished, I am relishing in the feeling for a few days then will start in on something new for a few weeks, probably adapting to my Newtons and improving my running form. So far only my right hip flexor is more sore than I think it should be. Rest of my body is equally sore on both sides, but only in a 'I just gave it my all' way.

Here is my garmin map showing pace and all that for the race: