Thursday, November 19, 2009

UGH...Akron Marathon gets me again!

So, all of my hard work and excitement for the Akron Marathon really brought me down. I finally had a "bad" race day. No excuses, I was aiming for sub 3:30 and came out with my first sub 4 hour marathon, 3:56:17.

My HR was 171 by mile 3 and honestly it was downhill from there. Plus, you know how runners are, stubborn, so instead of slowing down and adjusting I just kept pushing. I ran the first half in 1:45 and was JUST EXHAUSTED when I got there. Predictably it took me another 2:12 to run the 2nd half of the race.

Akron Marathon:
10 miler at pace 3 weeks earlier:

Other notables: headphones shorted out at mile 8, splattered a bunch of an opened GU packet all over myself at mile 15, but I still made my 1:10 plane for Disney with my family!

The HR issues scared me that day, I was up over 220 - three separate times and at another time I was over 200 for 3 consecutive minutes. Since my dad passed away at 44 I've been getting all of the tests done to make sure I'm good to go.

I'm still running and I'm still alive. I'm following more of a Maffetone method for now, looking to improve my aerobic fitness. I think this will be a big help for me!

I'll post some more soon. Sorry this took forever, but I was in the dumps for a bit. I'm coming out of my shell again now! It helps to know so many great runners in the area!!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Akron Marathon training just about complete, nothing left but to TAPER!

I SURVIVED! That's exactly how I feel this week. I finished up the 16th week of Hal Higdon Advanced II Marathon Training and just have the 2 week taper left. I will make this short, if you put in the time and sweat, this program will make you faster.
Exhibit A: Former PR for half marathon - 1:49, NEW PR - 1:38:26
Exhibit B: Ran the hilly, 9 mile Potato Stomp this past Saturday and ran in 1:04:55 (7:13 pace)

I've NEVER been this fast and I love it. However, there's still work to be done and I'm not finished. I plan on going sub 3:30 at Akron next Saturday and that is another step in my goal. I hope to jump back into training in October and start aiminig for 7:17 goal pace for a Feb. or spring marathon. That will get me to 3:10 and qualify me for Boston.

It has been hard work and I hope to meet my goals. The past 16 weeks have reminded me of something simple though. I LOVE running and competing.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Training is Paying Off!

13 weeks of Hal Higdon Advanced II is in the books. WOW! It's tiring, but I'm definitely getting stronger. I was unable to make the Erie Half due to my b-day present being tickets to Mary Poppins with my wife. (The show was AWESOME, and any date with my wife is a good one!)
Thus, I found a half marathon for Wooster on Aug. 22nd. Heart and Soul 1/2. I punched up the McMillan calculator to see what I should be able to run a 1/2 in if I want to run a 3:30 marathon. The calculator says 1:39 and some change, a 7:36 pace, so that was my goal. My PR was 1:49:36 so either way I was getting a PR. Course was pretty up and down and through 8 miles it didn't look like I was going to crack 1:40. I hit the burners around mile 10 and I believe I ran the last 5k in 21 minutes! Chip time was 1:38:26, over 11 minute PR. I was so jacked about it! It was weird being in Wooster, alone, and so excited. Oh well, this race is a small step in the longer journey of qualifying for Boston.
I still woke up and knocked out 20 the next morning. Training is really going well. I have to say, if not for the extensive running community in this area I don't know if I'd be as motivated. This summer I've shared ideas with lots of runners and went and watched the BT50K where I was able to pick some brains of some of my favorite runners.
Akron is looking like this: probably going out with 3:40 pace team (see you there E-speed), I believe I'll be able to finish strong and in the 3:30's.
I plan on hopping right back into training a few weeks later and gunning for a 3:10 marathon in February on a much flatter course.

Stay tuned, I'm training hard. I really would love to hit Boston, if I don't in Feb. I may just have to start running further instead! : )

Monday, August 3, 2009

...and the training continues!

10 of 18 weeks in the books for this guy! I will say this, 18 weeks of Hal Higdon is a GRIND!
All of the runs are going well, my favorite workout is the 800's and my least favorite are the hills. I've hit all my times on the pace runs (8 min/mile) but my HR is still relatively high and I'm actually having to start thinking about dropping to the 3:40 pace team at Akron. I really was hoping to be at the 3:30 level, but with 8 weeks to go it's time to start being real with myself. I knew 3:30 would be a REALLY aggressive jump from my best marathon (4:00:08) but a 20 minute improvement is still really good.
Keep in mind, I've got the 3 pronged attack mentality. Big improvement at Akron, Nov. 1st get under 3:30 at Elyria Inland Trail, then hit it hard until Feb and go for a 3:10 at Last Chance Boston in Columbus.
It's good to have aggressive goals huh? Shoot for the stars and if you miss just get to the clouds...LOL
This past weekend was the best, I showed up at the Burning River 100 miler (Boston Store) and cheered on runners while chatting it up with some local runners that I really look up to, and also got to meet some really great new people to. There are so many great runners in this area, I'm proud to know some of them! A lot of 100 mile finishers in the area as well...makes me think... : )

Then Sunday morning I met Janet (Daisy Duc) for 19 miles around our old stomping grounds: Mantua, Garrettsville, Hiram. We took the trail from Garrettsville to Mantua for 7, then took a VERY hilly track back to Garrettsville for the remainer of the 12 miles. I think we had over 3K feet of ascent in the run. Great times. Janet really pushes me, and I can use that on my Sunday long runs, it's really easy to slack on those, luckily Janet doesn't slack! : ) Thanks again Janet!
Here's a link to the run:

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Training Must Go On!

I'm now into the 8th week of Hal Higdon's Advanced II marathon training and let me say this, running 6 days a week becomes a real grind. I really enjoy running, but a program like this forces you to narrow your focus and that's something I've needed for a while.
The hardest part of training is having a family, a job, and running around life events in general.
From July 2nd -12th the family and I took one of the best vacations I think we've ever had. We visited some friends (our newly adopted family) up in R.I. I was really excited for this trip because I've always wanted to visit the New England region and I was NOT disappointed. We spent a lot of time at the beach, went to a game at Fenway, and just had some phenomenal moments all around! There are memories from that trip that will last a lifetime!
Another great thing about the trip is that my friend Gareth is a runner (just qualified for Boston in his 1st ever marathon!!!) and running with him for a few weekends really pushed me. Their house sits right on a 14 mile paved bike/run path in Rhode Island. I believe it runs from Providence to Bristol, really great feature to the house! : )
I'm training to run a 8 min/mile at Akron so Gareth pushed me on my pace runs a bit and it really helped my confidence. Saturday July 4th I was scheduled for a 7 mile pace run, needless to say I blew it out of the water. My HR was very high, but knowing what I'm capable of was priceless! I ran the 7 miles at a 7:36 pace, my last mile was at 7:09! I'm well aware that this isn't the way to run pace runs, but to open up the throttle like that was so exciting! Here's a link to the run, during the hottest time of the day too 75-78 degrees!!!

Vacation came to a close, we got back home Sunday the 12th and I've battled an upper respiratory infection since : ( I've skipped my last 2 "rest" runs, just making sure I get my pace, tempo, and long runs in. My times have suffered due to being sick. I wonder if most runners run through the sickness, I think it helps but do not have any evidence to support that. I think runners just think they can overcome anything and I'm no different.

I'm signed up for the Erie Half marathon this Sunday and I'm 50/50 on whether or not I'm going to run it. I'm feeling better today, but if I don't feel at least 90% by Sat. morning I'm going to just do my training run. My PR for a half marathon is 1:49:36 and I KNOW I am capable of breaking 1:44 right now.
If I run I plan on going out and getting HR to around 165 for 2 miles, then try to push low 170's until mile 10 or 11, then redline it for the last few miles. Very interested to see what happens, so I have to get feeling better!

Excited to see where the rest of training takes me!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Training is getting Intense!

5 complete weeks into Hal Higdon Advanced II and things are going really well. Just being back on a good schedule is very rewarding. My goal of 8 min/miles at Akron is still on the table since I've nailed all of the runs thus far. Could I run a 3:30 marathon right now, nope. Am I a lot closer to a 3:30 marathon, YES! I've done well on all the pace runs, and I even see my heart rate dropping on my easy runs, making the easy runs even a bit faster. I ran the back 14 miles of the Akron course and it was a blast. You also remember how much uphill is going on back there too!
Last night was my 2nd trip to the track for 800's and I'm really digging them. I was scheduled to do 5 - 800 intervals, however, I wanted to see how many sub 3:30 800's I could do in a row. I set my Garmin for 8 intervals thinking I'd miss on either the 6th - 8th one. Instead, I ran all 8 in under 3:30 and my 8th one I completed in 3:18 and it was my fastest one!!!
This program is really tiring, 6 days a week wears on you, especially with all of the family things we've had going on. Tomorrow we leave for Rhode Island and I'm really excited to change the scenery for a few days. Plus, I get to run with my friend Gareth and he's training for a 3:10 fall marathon. It will be good to run with someone faster.
Here's to more healthy running.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Running for a Cause

Just recently I'd been asked to run for a cause when I run the Akron Marathon. I've never really done that in the previous 5 marathons, it was all about personal challenges and goals. This cause that I'm running for hits close to home and I wanted to mention it today because it's just very emotional.

I grew up in Garrettsville, OH (and proud of it). A fellow classmate that was a few years older than me in high school has a daughter, Melana (8 yrs old / 3rd grade), that was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in her brain stem in February. Here is a post from their Care Page blog (

Finding Out...
Posted Feb 4, 2009 11:35am
Melana is my friend Heather's eight year old daughter. She is in the 3rd grade at Garfield Elementary in Garrettsville. Just last Thursday they found out that Melana has an inoperable brain tumor in her brain stem. At this point they have told Melana that her brain is "sick". This is a very rare and serious cancer. Right now, the plan is for her to have 6 weeks of radiation at the Cleveland Clinic 5 days each week. It will begin Monday Feb. 9th. She has to be under full anesthesia for this each time. With the steroids Melana has been experiencing some relief from the original symptoms of difficulty walking etc., but now she has very dramatic mood swings and a ravenous appetite! Please join us in praying first and foremost for a miracle for this little girl! Heather said that the first doctor to read her scan asked about 30 others to review it as well, but they all came to the same conclusion. Secondly, with having to travel an hour 1 way everyday for these next several weeks (as well as the many others stresses on them right now) , we'd ask for strength for Heather and John . Heather asked too that we pray for Melana to be able to experience joy and just to "be happy". She said she has never seemed to be able to have that sort of childhood because of the various diagnoses over the years and different medicines that came with that. She did say that finding this out was of course such a shock, but it very well could explain some of the issues Melana has always struggled with. Please pray!

Having 7 and 5 year old sons that I am extremely close to makes this all to real. I can't even tell you how emotional this makes me. It's difficult to type. I will be posting more in the future, but I do hope that I can raise some amount that can help this girl and her family.

Thanks in advance.