Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Sorry, the RR is on hold for real life. I'll post the report soon, but for this audience I offer up a little data. It tells most of the story, anyhow. I feel that last Sunday's 5k race and the last quality workout 4 days prior to the race really put me in a great state-of-mind to engage the race in the last 10km. The result was 4+ minutes off the PR.

1- 7:18
2- 7:20
3- 7:17
4- 7:09
5- 7:08
6- 6:55
7- 6:57
8- 7:47 (includes ~45 second pit stop to pee)
9- 6:55
10- 7:02
11- 7:00
12- 6:55
13- 6:56
14- 7:00
15- 6:59
16- 7:02
17- 6:50
18- 6:53
19- 6:54
20- 7:03
21- 6:57
22- 6:57
23- 6:53
24- 6:58
25- 6:44
26- 6:58
0.2- 1:19

1st half: 1:33:28 (7:08 )
2nd half: 1:30:39 (6:55)
Last 10km: 42:46 (6:54)
Total: 3:04:07 (7:02)

Monday, October 29, 2007

(Pre-race) Week of Oct 21-27

My week leading into the race:

S: 9.5 miles, with 5k race (18:58 ); Cycle 11
M: Swim 1000m, Cycle 5
T: 8.5 ez (with 4x strides)
W: 7 miles, with 3 @ T-pace (4x1200m; with 1 min rests)
 Ave T-pace = 6:24
R: 5 ez
F: rest
S: 3 ez, (with 4x strides)

Run: 33 mi
Cycle: 16 mi
Swim: 1000m

Last weekend, I joined the 5km in Rocky River at the HS track where we practice. Following a loose interpretation of Pfitzinger's marathon plan, I ran this race as a hard interval workout equivalent. Conditions (windy) and course (hilly) were not optimal, I did get a solid effort. A typical Rocky River course: downhill to the lake, loop, and uphill finish. Splits: 5:43, 5:58, 6:38, 0:39. Insane headwind made for a tough third mile. I trailed my running buddy Dee the entire way and finished 6 seconds behind.

The purpose of tempo paced run four days prior to the race is to maintain leg turnover, stay loose and provide one last carb-depleting run. Lots of my contemporaries question the need for this workout. Many might try a mile or two at marathon pace in this last week. After weeks on end of of 4-8 miles of quality workouts, I've concluded that 3 miles of tempo running during race week will not hinder. The quality activity keeps my mind on the task at hand. My idea for this workout was adapted straight from Daniels Marathon Plan. My execution of the plan has worked well for me in the past -- providing just enough work to stave off taper madness in the last week. My T-pace, per the VDOT chart, is about 30-35 seconds faster than my goal marathon pace. Marathon pace on race day, feels comparitively easy.

The results are in. Next up, a report.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


Quick update here before I fall asleep.

We caught a great day to run in Grand Rapids today: Clear and sunny 34F at the 8am start and 45F at the three hour mark.

1:33:28 + 1:30:39 = 3:04:07

Last 10km: 42:46

I'm really happy about shaving 4+ minutes off the PR. Though I wish I could have had this run 3 weeks ago at Steamtown, it sure feels good to validate the training effort of our long hot summer season.

Details to come.

Me, far right in blue, in the first mile of the Grand Rapids Marathon.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

JFK tips for my friends

Three friends from my running club are signed up and preparing for this year's JFK 50 Mile. Their first ultra. All three are experienced marathoners and taking the ultra plunge. They've bypassed the 50km distance and went directly for the 50 mile!

I promised that I'd put together a short set of JFK tips for the first time ultrarunner. Its pasted below in its unedited entirety.


Hello all,

I promised that I'd put together a guide for JFK and here it is. I certainly could write a book on running 50 miles, but that's not my intent here. I just want to share with you some tips that might help you with your first ultra run as well as some insight to the JFK course.

First and foremost, you should have no great worries about finishing JFK. If you think about this more as a long trek, and less as a race, you are already trained enough to go the distance. You do, however, have a few weeks to do some training so that you can increase your enjoyability at JFK. If you still have doubts, the FAQ section at the Reston Runners website is a good starting point for first-timers.

In my mind, the essentials to running 50 miles are these three things:

1. Taking care of your feet (and body):

I ran the JFK in road shoes. Most of the course is Towpath or road. Only about 12 miles are on the rocky AT. If you have a crew, a good idea is to wear trails shoes until mile 15 and change when coming off the AT at Weverton Cliffs. Regarding taking care of feet, the best policy is to take care of problems right away. If you feel a rock in your shoe, take the time to stop and remove the rock. A small problem can escalate quickly in to a huge problem. Ideally, you will not have to remove your socks during the race, but if you have a large blister that is hurting you may want to have it lanced and bandaged. I've never had this problem, but I have had to stop on the side of the trail to adjust my shoes and socks.

Its normally cool/cold at this race. You will be cold at the start, then get really warm as you climb the hill (first 4 miles), then you will get cold again as you run a slower pace on the trail section. I recommend wearing a long-sleeve layer that you can tie around your waist when you warm up. Later on in the race, when you're walking more often, you will chill easily and you'll want to have that second layer available.

Muscles (sore quads): After a long time on feet, your muscles will get sore and tighten up. Its not a bad idea to stop every once and a while and keep the quads and calves stretched out. Once they tighten up, its hard to loosen them up late in the race.

2. Hydration (includes electrolytes):

Staying hydrated is a no brainer. You'll want to drink small amounts frequently throughout the day, as opposed to drinking large amounts only when at the aid station.

Salt: Sodium is the catalyst for liquids to digest into the place you need it most -- into the bloodstream. Your electrolyte needs depend on sweat rate. If you take some sort of electrolytes on an hourly basis, you will ensure that the liquids you do comsume are being used and not just making you bloated. Paying attention to hands and feet are a good indicator. Know that swollen hands is a sign of low electrolytes and indicates that its time to take some salt.

3. Energy (consuming calories):

Food. This is probably the most difficult adaptation that the marathoner has to make in the transition to long ultras. Consider that one can survive a marathon on as little as a couple gel packs, or couple hundred calories. For ultras, the energy requirement is considerably more. The formula that has worked for me is to target 200-250 calories per hour. You should imagine that you'll require 1800-2000 calories to endure JFK.

What to eat? In my experience, and generally speaking, liquids digest more easily and convert to energy faster than does solid foods. Examples of liquid foods: gels, energy drinks, sodas such as Coke and Mountain Dew, and soups. A good idea at each aid station is to grab a few handfuls of food and start walking. For solid foods, I like calorie dense snacks like trail mix, cookies, and pretzels.

All-in-all, know that your hydration and energy consumption is a continual balancing act. You will have to be aware of your body and know when its time to replentish your stores. Its highly probable that your stomach will rebel at some point. Its up to you to figure out when to take more or take less food or drink. At some point late in the race, say after mile 30,

Always keep a gel, block, or a piece of candy on hand, as your blood sugar can take a nosedive in a hurry. If you're in walk mode, it might be 30+ minutes to go the two miles to the next station. It sucks having to get going on empty.

That's it. Those are the essentials. Everything else is a luxury and I will list a few below.

What to carry:

A water bottle, a couple hundred calories in gels or blocks, and a water-proof baggie with some small items such as: electrolyte caps, ibuprofen, Tums, chewing gum, chap stick, and the like. Jolly Ranchers and Starburst candies are are good to have too.

What to expect:

- At some point after mile 30, you will have a low point(s). Your energy will be zapped and stomach might rebel. Know that it will pass and if you keep walking forward, you will start to feel better. It never always gets worse.

- You will discover the foods that work for you. At my first JFK, after I hit my low point near mile 30, I turned to Coke and pretzels. It was the only things I could stomach. I made it all the way to the finish on Coke and Prezels alone.

- It’s a good idea to have a plan at each aid station. The basics: Have a volunteer refill the bottle, drink a cup of something, eat, and fix any chafing. I can't tell how many times I've forgot to fix chafing and it drives me crazy to have to wait until the next station.

The course:

As far a courses go, JFK is fairly simple. The technical section ends at mile 15 and the goal is to arrive at the towpath without injury. The Appalachian Trail (AT) is tricky with all the rocks and leaves. Here is a quick description of the course:

The course starts on road with all the major climbing done in the first 4 miles (total of 1200' gain.) Miles 1 & 2 are on road, mile 3 on AT, and mile 4 on paved road. By the time you reach the AT again at mile 4.5, you are done climbing and the rest of the AT is along the ridge line.

The first major aid station is at mile 9.3 and the next aid is at mile 15.5 at the start of the towpath. Then next 26 miles are on the towpath and the final 8.5 miles on rolling country roads.


There only a couple weekends left to do anything substantial before a two-week taper. My suggestion is to continue a normal weekday schedule and load up on big runs on the weekend. Back-to-back runs on Sat/Sun are as beneficial as one long run. It depends on your time availability. The goal is to practice running/walking on dead legs.

Ideally, you will complete one 5-6 hour run. Doing so will test your shoes and socks and you will get an idea of what it feels like to run on depleted energy stores. You'll discover what it feels like to keep going when tired and how to replentish calories and liquids. Its not easy to push yourself to 6 hours of motion, but doing so will help you adapt to the 9+ hours at JFK.

You all with do great. There is one rule I allow for myself. In the race (as well as training) I'm allowed to walk at anytime. In fact, I encourage it! Only the really talented can run the entire distance, so I don't even try.

Enjoy your preparations. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.


Saturday, October 20, 2007

Week of Oct 14-20

I'm trying out a new online running log at Running2Win. My personal run log can be found at this link as well as in the sidebar.

Su: 7 miles ez
M: 4 ez (with 4x strides)
Tu: 9 miles, with 3mi at I-pace (6x800m; with 400m recovery jogs) ;  Cycle 10
W: 5 ez
Th: 6 ez on trails
F: Cycle 10
Sat: 7 ez (with 6x strides); Cycle 14

Run 38
Cycle 34

Since the field filled up this week I'm already registered for next week's Grand Rapids Marathon. I'm doing what I can to maintain my marathon fitness and keep the peak going for three additional weeks. I'm prepping and hoping for one good marathon effort before starting a new training cycle.

Tuesday run with the old track group. The fast group. I'm eyeballing a 5K this weekend and I wanted to push it for a few miles to prepare. I couldn't keep up with the speedy runners in the warm-up (7:15 pace), but I hung for the 800m intervals. A couple of the training groupies are running the 5k, so I'll have friends to chase. The workout:

9 miles total
2.25 mi warm-up and cool-down
6x800m at Interval pace; with 400 recovery jog

800m splits: 3:06/3:00/2:58/2:57/2:55/2:58

At the time, I could tell the legs were still slightly heavy from the marathon, because the intervals did not come as easy as the ones 3 weeks ago. Nonetheless, I'm happy with the workout and my confidence is rebuilding for the next race.

Good luck to runners in this Sunday's Columbus Marathon. It was four years ago at Columbus '03 where I made my return to marathons. Each year since, I returned to Columbus to ride along and spectate on bike. This year is the first year I'll miss. With its fast course and fair sized field, its one of my favorite marathons to race and I hope to return one day.

Its amazing to reflect back and see how the sport of running has brought tremendous joy, friends, and spirit to my life.

The journey continues...

Monday, October 15, 2007

What's next

I think the disappointment of the Chicago Marathon accelerated the rate of entry to the Grand Rapids Marathon. My preference, when re-running a marathon so quickly, is to sign up the day before the event. Grand Rapids was filling so quickly that I took the plunge. I'm in for another try now less than two weeks away.

I'm going to California for a long Thanksgiving holiday. The Quad Dipsea is high on my list. I'm going to be in and around Northern California and undoubtedly I will make time for a few trail runs.

After that, I'm not sure. Some down time. Rest. At a minimum, survive the winter. Designs on 2008 are quickly coming into view. I've yet to try the Winter Buckeye 50km and this could be the year.

First things first. Twelve days to the race and go from there.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Report: Steamy Steamtown Marathon

Steamtown Marathon
Scranton, PA
October 7, 2007

Executive summary:
Steamtown was steamy, but nothing like Chicago or Twin Cities. 62F (90% humidity) at the start and 75F at the 3 hour mark.

A well organized mid-size race. Very similar in course and feel to Boston. A countryside point-to-point course with many town residents out to hand out water bottles and cheer from their front yards. The downhill course is scary fast and if not careful the race can get away from you in a hurry. It's easy to see that the Scranton area residents take pride in the event with ample course and crowd support.

Goal one: 3:03
Goal two: 3:08 (PR)
Goal three: To finish with a smile and learn something.

Results: 3:16:27 (135 of 1582 finishers)
1st half: 1:31:40
2nd half: 1:44:47

After the Mohican 100 in June, I joined my local marathon training group for a 16 week program designed for this race. The plan was an adaptation of a Daniels Marathon Plan A with one quality mid-week workout and a weekend long run. Averaged 49 mpw running and 45 mpw cycling for the 14 weeks leading up the race. An early season time trial set my initial VDOT at 52. I raced infrequently this summer, but the one 10 mile race (6 weeks ago) gave me the confidence to increase my quality training pace to VDOT 54. In the last phase of training, the emphasis was placed on long tempo sessions in the form of “cruise intervals.” Ran the weekly 40-50 minutes of tempo consistently at 6:20-6:25 pace; the easy and long runs at 8:00-8:30.

This season was a bit light on mileage. Yet I stayed healthy and managed to hit all the quality workouts and long runs, each week, through the taper and into the final week. My confidence was high and everything seemed to fall into place this training cycle. I felt ready to run miles in the range of 6:50-7:05 for the race. The downhill course provided an additional mental boost.

The story of my marathon, however, was the fever and cold that crept up on me with less than 72 hours to the race. On Friday, I developed a scratchy throat that turned to a fever on Saturday. I would never shake the cold. I spent Saturday worrying about it, hydrating and eating the best I could. The ailment took me out of my game plan, as I had no appetite on race morning and I failed to have a bowel movement before the race start. Of course, I started the race. I told myself to run 10 miles and see how it goes.

The race:
The Steamtown race experience reminded me of a small version of the Boston marathon with a shuttle to the start and the wait at the high school. We got to the start with plenty of time to use the restroom, stretch, and check-in a bag before the 8am start. My cold and fever took away my pre-race game face and all I was concerned with was hydrating and trying for BM. No luck.

The race started next to the high school in Forest City, PA heading north-to-south towards Scranton. Although the course is generally downhill for the first 16 miles, the most significant elevation loss comes within the first six miles. I started off with my basic marathon plan to go easy in the first two miles similarly to a weekend long run. My idea is if I jog the first two miles that I effectively turn my 26 mile marathon into a 24 mile marathon.

After goodbyes to my buds, I line up in the first third of the field and away we go into the foggy air. I remained optimistic that temps in the 60s would have minimal effect, but the lack of wind took its toll immediately. It took only a mile to become drenched in sweat. Normally, an easy first mile is 7:45-8:00 but Steamtown's initial mile offers 150’ loss by the 3/4 mile and I arrive at easily at M1 (7:10). I still have my reservations about my day but my goal at this point is to just get to mile 5 and go from there.

While I’ve placed high expectations for myself in this race, this is the first time racing the marathon as already qualified for Boston. I felt less pressure than normal and with my condition I briefly entertained the DNF. Why not, I thought? After all, Columbus is two weeks away.

I settle in and hit M2 (7:14) and notice that I’m already drenched. I’m pleased the miles are coming easy, staying a bit above goal pace, and after M3 (7:16) we leave the township and head along a scenic country road. Looking ahead I couldn’t believe my eyes – at least several hundred runners lie ahead. Even though I held back, I expected to be closer to the front. The course sucked in anyone who wanted to run fast. Sheesh. I thought I was going fast!

Well aware that next mile offers the steepest pitch on the course, I loosened-up and was not surprised when I arrive at M4 (6:33). That’s just the beginning. The course continues on a steady decent, losing another 200’ in the next two miles. I take the first S-cap at 30 minutes and arrive at M5 (6:46) exactly at 35:00 flat and perfectly on pace. Not bad, I thought to myself.

In hindsight and with knowledge of the humidity, I should have backed off the goal pace by 5-10 seconds. But not knowing the course I had no clue how it was to unfold so I just went with it M6 (6:52) continuing on and telling myself to now make it to 10 miles and evaluate from there. I was somewhat shocked that I was steadily passing runners up to this point, but it was a steady flow.

M7 (7:06) approaches the township of Carbondale as we cruise along the main thoroughfare which continues on for a good long stretch with some more downhill before arriving at M8 (6:53). To our benefit, the locals seemed to embrace this race as there were many “unofficial” water stops; residents in front of their homes with a table handing out water bottles. On this day I took advantage of all the liquids I could. Chilled water felt like heaven.

Before M9 (6:58 ), I caught up to a woman wearing a bandana around her neck and asked the casual question, “run ultras?” She replied and we struck up a conversation. Hearing she ran Hellgate 100k, I asked her her goal. She said sub-3 but has backed off due to the heat. M10 (6:53) came quickly, passing in 1:09:41 and I was feeling great and thought I could possibly do something on this day. Oh, how easily the competitive mind blocks out negative thoughts. In this case, the hot and humid weather.

Hungry a little sooner than normal, I take the first of three gels at 75 minutes.

Kerry, the speedy ultrarunner from Connecticut, and I traded miles M11 (7:04) and M12 (7:06) before eventually just running and working together. We took turns leading and the random conversation, including her husband's aspiration to do the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning, passed the time. The course flattened out through the town of Archbald M13 (7:05) before hitting the half in 1:31:40. Pace was perfect sevens and I couldn’t complain, considering the humid day. Before the race my guess was that this course was 2-3 minutes slower in the second half. My dreams of a PR began to materialize.

I took S-cap number two at 90 minutes and continued the mission for max hydration, taking fluid at each chance. At M14 (7:00) the pace wasn’t slowing, but I felt the heat and the effort rising. I tried to ignore my temperature but each time I poured water on my head I could feel it turn warm right away. Not good.

Right before M15 (6:56) we turn off the road and on to a dirt towpath style trail along a scenic river. Kerry was immediately turned on by the dirt trail and she led the next mile (still downhill) M16 (6:52) as this race was shaping up great for her. She was feeding off the female competition and ready to reel them in. I pleaded for some patience, surprisingly she heeded, yet still our pace easily picked off runners ahead.

Gel number two at 120 minutes.

We continued working together as we left the dirt trail near M17 (6:57). At this point came my “where’s the porto-john” moment and knew I had to stop. No john in sight as I ran on gingerly. Kerry was ready to roll and, looking back and not ready to leave me, I told her to go on (like I had any choice.) I survive the next 5 minutes until entering the park passing M18 (7:11) and finally found a place for the pit stop. During the stop I simultaneously shivered and overheated. Reality hit me and I knew my day was somewhat done. Details being details, 2+ hours of humid, sweaty running and toilet paper don’t go well together. The deed takes a little over two minutes and after the restart I continued to push ahead arriving M19 (9:46) entertaining a good finish but with much less spirit. Arriving M20 (7:36) in 2hrs 23min+, I still had thoughts of a 45 minute final 10km and a possible PR. But in my heart I knew that this was not to be my day. I know what “good” feels like at mile twenty and this wasn’t it.

It helped to have a similar race experience. Athens ’05 was a similarly hot day where I backed off after 18 miles, finishing intact and returning to race three weeks later.

I trudged on, passing the desolate miles M21 (7:43) and took S-cap number three at 2.5 hours into the race. By M22 (7:49) I was no longer passing others and simply holding on to some semblance of a pace. While I was definitely jogging at this point and not running, I did notice a higher than normal amount of walking dead in this race. My guess is one or any of three reasons: 1) heat and humidity, 2) the faster-than-normal pace depleted runners' glycogen stores more quickly, or 3) downhill pounding taking its toll.

My moment came again. The next porto-john could not come soon enough and this time I was in no rush to do my duty. My head was spinning and I just tried to compose myself. I cleaned myself off, laughed, and started walking on. With the chance to break 3:10 slipping away I thought to wait for one of my training buddies and just before [b]M23[/b] (12:28 ), I turn around and see Mark about 100 meters behind. I wave and wait for him until I realize that he's running well and could likely blow on past me. I run on.

We both know that three hills loom in the final three miles of the race. Mark chases me up the first one and catches me with about 2.5 to go. He’s laboring, but still gamely. My fleeting energy returned as I relished the chance to become pacer for a friend. In my head, I’m thinking we can still break 3:20 when Mark utters, “I can still PR.” (Which is 3:15.) I didn’t argue with him and kept pushing.

By this point we’ve arrived in the city of Scranton and crowds became more frequent and louder. The nastiest of the three hills came next, a 100’ ascent to M24 (8:25), which Mark and I ran evenly throughout. I expected worse. The reward was a downhill M25 (7:34) that kick-started our drive to the finish. The final turn comes and the last 3/4 mile is a straight shot to the finish line. One minor hill separated us from the finish line. I drag Mark along to M26 (7:43 + 1:29) and the finish. If not for Mark's presence, I'd likely finished minutes later.

What a run. Mark finished a few seconds behind missed his PR by 1 minute. Kerry finished in 3:04 and 6th overall woman. My training bud Liz missed her PR by only a couple minutes in 3:27. A tough, humid day to run. It's frustrating that we can only imagine and never know our outcome under better conditions.

I gave it a go, but the story of the day was my malady and the weather. I consumed only half of my normal pre-race breakfast, so I imagine that I was not topped off prior to the start. Since I slowed down on my own, I don't exactly know how well my glycogen stores worked. Nutrition-wise, I stuck the plan that has worked for me: to avoid gatorade and consume water only.

Carried: 4 gels, 5 S-caps, a few cough drops
Consumed: 3 gels, 3 S-caps, 1 otter pop, and water only. It’s normal for me to pass on the gatorade.

If marathoning was only about the training and running, we'd all have fabulous race results, every time. Unfortunately, it isn't. Part of the allure of the sport is the unpredictability of the conditions and the on-the-fly decisions that are needed within the race. We’ll never know in advance how the body will react to the stress of marathon pace under the conditions of the day.

I am remiss not to mention that I recently launched a fundraising project for the Fisher House Foundation. Please visit my Firstgiving site to learn more about me and my endeavor to raise funds for an organization that help families of injured servicemen and women. Thanks to all that contributed -- I'm off to a great start toward my goal.

As I write this on Wednesday, I have 30 cycling miles and an easy 5 mile run under my belt since the race. The fever is gone and I feel better. I avoided a complete thrashing of the legs and I imagine that a marathon re-run is on the horizon in the next 3-4 weeks.

Monday, October 08, 2007

I survived

If marathoning were only about training and running, we'd all have many more great race results. Unfortunately, it isn't. Lots of things we cannot control. Today, aside from the less-than-ideal weather, I dealt with fever and intestinal issues mid-race.

I'll write up a full report, but the story of the day is I started the race with a slight fever and scratchy throat, which I first noticed Friday and got gradualy worse Saturday and Sunday. Race time temp 62F and 90% humidity. 75F at the finish.

The foggy air felt like soup from the opening gun. I told myself that I'd run 5 and see how I feel. With the downhill start, not bad! Mile 5 in 35:00 flat and mile 10 in 1:09:55. At that point I started to think I could do something. I ran steady with another runner between miles 8-17, holding the 7min pace. By 18, I was going back-and-forth between shivering and heat flashes. My body was wacked. The other runner went on to finish 3:05.

I had this heat experience before (Athens '05) and I did today what I did then. I shut it down at 18 and jogged/walked it in. That year, I found another race 3 weeks later.


Not upset, but its still a tough pill to swallow after putting in the miles. I am encouraged that I think my goal, or even sub-3 is in me someday soon.

The cold is now worse, but the legs not entirely thrashed.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Contest: Guess my marathon time

Hello all,

I recently launched a fundraiser for the Fisher House and I'm kicking it off with a contest for this weekend's Steamtown Marathon.

The Fisher House Foundation helps families of soldiers in need of medical attention by providing lodging and support while the service member is hospitalized. Donating to the Fisher House helps families of military members to be close to a loved one at the most stressful time -- during hospitalization for an illness, disease or injury.

You can learn more about the Fisher House at their website.

The contest is simple. Guess my marathon time at Steamtown. Closest to my actual chip time wins the prize(s.)

Make a guess in hours, minutes, and seconds (H:MM:SS)

My goal is 3:03, my best ever 3:08, and I wouldn't be surprized to run anywhere between 3:00 and 3:20.

I've gathered a nice pool of prizes (see list below.) Top 3 guesses here win a pick from the prize pool. None of the prizes carry significant value, but you can see for yourself. Its good stuff. (Special thanks to the Vertical Runner store for contributions to the prize pool.)

For information to help with your guess, I've included Part 1 and Part 2 of my marathon race history. Click the links to get started.

The entire purpose of this marathon game is to ask for your support for the Fisher House. The mission of the Fisher House is to help families of injured military personnel. I'm asking you for $2.62. Your guess could possibly be the winning guess. Your donation will go directly to the Fisher House.

Entries are due by Saturday night. The race starts at 8am on Sunday morning. Go to my Firstgiving* page to get started. Make your $2.62 donation and don't forget to give me your guess.

Thank you for your gift.


(* Note: While Firstgiving is a secure and safe way to donate, they do operate at an minimal overhead cost to the user. If you'd prefer to have a complete 100% of your donation go towards the Fisher House, please Contact me by email to arrange alternate delivery of your kind donation.)

Prize pool:
- Ultimate Direction Handheld water bottle
- ASICS running gloves
- Roadrunner mesh running cap
- Assorted technical running shirts (Style and sizes vary)
- Balega running socks (2 pr. Choice of size)
- Steamtown/Scranton related prize TBD (2 prizes)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Week of Sep 23-29

Whoa. I'm still behind. Here's last week:

Su: 5.25 E
M: rest
Tu: 8.5 E
W: 5 E
Th: 8, with 3 miles I-pace (4x 1200m; with 3 min recoveries)
F: rest
Sat: 13 E

Intervals: Goal pace 5:50-5:55
1200m splits: 4:31 - 4:22 - 4:24 - 4:23

Run 39
Cycle 22

I took it easy in the first part of the week and saved the quality for Thursday. Was 3x1600m planned, but I was joined by a buddy who wasn't up for miles. Opted for 1200s. I hit the target I-pace without too much strain, so I am inspired for my chances next week.

I got a last minute call from the Akron pacer director on Thursday -- my job was to fill in to lead 3:30 pace in the second half of race. I ended up watching the first half of the race on bike, arriving in time to pick up the marathoners near mile 15.

Before my run, I met fellow Coolrunner and Blogger (and speedy) Laura run the third leg (10km) of the relay. I followed her first (fast!) mile before high-tailing it mile 15. Coming off the trail, the last 1km of her leg was uphill but she breezed right up. I think her team was 1st or 2nd place. How cool to meet another coolrunner in real life, especially after following along with her training over the weeks. Count me in the Laura fan club.

One week to go now. I have 30 run miles, and 30 cycling miles planned for the week, with a 4x5min T-pace workout mid-week.

This will be marathon number 18, and the first one I'm truly racing in since May 2005. I PR'd earlier this year (3:08), in the midst of training for the 50 and 100 mile ultras with little marathon-specific speedwork. Its going to be interesting to see the outcome next week at Steamtown. Based on my training, I'm still going to aim for 7:00 pace, or 3:03. I will try to resist the tempation to aim for that sub-3 and leave that for another day.

Stay tuned. I have a fun marathon contest in the works for the race this weekend.