Saturday, October 26, 2013

Reflecting Back on Previous 26.2's ... 28 days til Tulsa

     Today I finished a 22 miler, my longest training run since March.  Still feeling strong, but feeling the grind of training.  I understand what the athlete endures now, taking a beating in training and trying to prop yourself up and recover for the next training session.  During today's training run I started reflecting back on all of my previous marathons and how my preparation affected each one.  I made a lot of mistakes, which is expected.  Coach Steve Griffin says that it takes doing about three to four of these to get it right.  I'm sure hoping this is the one.   
Per my 4 marathons.  Pitiful.
Hopefully I will get it right on November 24th.

     I won't count my first marathon, the Big D in Spring 2012 as it was my first one and the goal was to just finish.  Ironically it is still my P.R. at 4:13:06.  I ran the Dallas Marathon that fall and I followed the training plan pretty well, however weather did not work out in my favor on race day.  On that day in early December we had warm humid weather and I ended up breaking down at mile 20 and in the back of an ambulance.  Here's the blog post to that debacle:  In better weather conditions and if I had have hydrated better, I'm confident I would have had my sub 4:00 marathon that I have been pursuing.  The Dallas Marathon course is not difficult at all, just the weather is a crap shoot every year.  After that race, I did not have the common sense to stop running and chill the hell out.  I should have not run or barely run for three to four weeks but instead I kept on piling up the mileage, so afraid that I would lose fitness before the Cowtown Marathon in February this year.  What happened due to my hardheadedness was an overuse injury of my lower left leg, and I've never mentioned this until now, but to this day I think may have been a small stress fracture that was never diagnosed.  My training ended up getting interrupted as I wasn't able to ramp up and peak out on the miles that I needed and as a result I lost some of my fitness and ran that marathon on that bad leg.  I finished at a decent time considering all the pain that I ran through at 4:30.  I also remembered that I spent about 10 minutes during the race waiting on and using the port-o-potty, so I probably could have had a 4:20.  The last marathon I ran, The Big D again, I actually served as a pacer for the first time.  I had no idea what to expect, as I was just coming off of that injury.  I was assigned to lead the 4:45 pace.  The weather again was warm and humid, and I was worried about my history of severe leg cramps.  This ended up being the first marathon I would finish and feel somewhat decent.  It was at a much slower pace than what I usually run and very grueling (not to mention the course was miss-routed and everyone ended up running 27.4 miles).  
I'm proud of each of these races in different ways,
even if the end result wasn't what was desired.
     So now, here I am preparing for marathon #5.  I have been following the training plan almost to a "T".   The most positive thing about this training season is that I'm completely healthy and everything is rolling along just fine.  The planets are all starting to align nicely.  I'm still trying to figure out these leg cramps as I experienced them again in the half I paced a couple weeks ago in Tyler, TX.  Both calves completely clutched up on me, but I think the factors were how saturated that course was with hills and the ridiculous humidity that day.  Plus I was just getting over a bad cold.  Per my conversation with fellow runner friend Jon Cruel, we both agreed that the leg cramps also may be due to not getting in enough intense long runs.  I have been trying to mix those in, at least one per week.  I just mapped out the course for the Tulsa Route 66 Marathon and the elevation gain proves show that this race will be hilly just as everyone has been saying.  I compared that route to the elevation gain of the hilly routes we run every week in training and it is no more hillier, so I'm not entirely frightened.  The Cowtown was 'hilly', so bring it.  I'm just hoping the beatdown that I'm giving my body right now pays off.



  1. Looking forward to your Tulsa finish!

  2. can't wait to hear all about it, oh fearless pace leader!