Sunday, October 5, 2008

I did it!!!

At least the training for the marathon, that is.... I feel so blessed and happy that I was able to get through the training for my 3rd marathon. I guess the more amazing thing is that my 1st marathon was a little less than 10 months ago, and I feel as though I have learned so much about marathon training, and about myself since then. I have completely changed my training regimen since the 1st marathon, which has been less intense, but much more volume. I have had to make a new found commitment with re: to getting up early in the mornings and running in very uncomfortable conditions this summer. I lost a bit of confidence midway through my training regimen, because the heat and humidity were starting to get to me and slow down my training paces considerably. Over the last few weeks, everything has changed... the humidity has lessened and the temps have gone down, and my paces have gotten so much quicker. I actually have started to run later in the day (around noontime, because I want my body to stay acclimated to the heat, and for me not to get too confident and cocky). My wife and kids have liked that because now when they wake up, Daddy is now home to greet them, instead of them greeting me when I come back from my runs.
Most importantly, I am relatively injury-free. I was able to get a massage yesterday from Chris, and that was perfect. My body feels loose and ready to run. This morning, I completed my last long run of the training period of 12 miles with Chris. I was able to run the whole time, and have a full conversation without really breathing hard at all. It was just a perfect run for me. The last two miles, I was able to hold a much faster pace, but I didn't feel spent at all. I just came back from church and we taught the little kids this morning and I don't even feel stiff.... I feel so blessed!!!
So here are my stats for this marathon training period:
I started my training in June

June: 167 miles
July: 200 miles
August: 190 miles
September:189 miles
October: 25 miles so far... and a little 26.2 mile run next Sunday

771 miles since June:
New 5k race PR: 19:38
Unofficial 10k time trial: 41:52

This is just awesome.... I can't believe I have been able to run a 5k under 20 min. based on marathon training that has me going fairly slow most of the time. Can you tell I'm happy??

But now comes the big one.... I guess this race means a lot to me, like everyone else that is running it. The marathon is such an emotional event, because you are running with so many people that have put in as much or much more time and dedication to their program than I have. You just want everyone to do awesome, but the truth is that the marathon is such an unforgiving distance, that anything can go wrong, and if you gets ugly.....real ugly. So with that said, I am happy about all the great things that happened throughout my training cycle, but I expect good things to happen next Sunday, God willing of course.

My marathon PR (personal record) is 4:52. That should be crushed next weekend (noticed I said "should") Based on my training, I should be comfortably under 4 hours, as long as I do the following:
1.Don't get caught up with the fact that I am running with 45,000 other people, with many of them much faster than I am. I have to run my own race, and not worry about anybody else.
2.Try to stay relaxed
3. Don't do anything stupid this week with re: to nutrition and hydration.
4. Pace evenly and properly and listen to my body.

Easy, right???

No matter what happens next week, one thing is for sure.... this is my last marathon for awhile. Why??? Because my wife and I agreed on it... more like my wife said it is!! LOL!!
Kerry is so supportive of me running, and has never stopped me from my training... and I mean never. She never complains about my running habits, my running obsessions, etc. But with a new child on the way, the training is very time consuming, and we don't have a major support system here in Tampa to help with our kids and other stuff, so I have decided to scale it back a bit. This has nothing to do with how well or poor I do next weekend. This is more of a family thing...which is a hell of a lot more important than marathons.
I will still be running around 3-4 days/week, and will be able to participate in local races from the 5k-1/2 marathon distance, but I will not enter marathon training until at least a couple months after the baby is born, which would put me at doing no marathons for the rest of 2008 and all of 2009. I guess everything is subject to change, but for now.. that is the plan. With that said, that is why Chicago will be so special, because I know that I just need to soak in the whole experience.