Tag Archives: goals

Guest Post: First Marathon with a Sub 3 Hour Goal

Since I’m not running a fall marathon this year (sadness), I decided to check in with my friend’s husband to see how his training for his very first marathon is going. He is running it in October in my hometown and he has a BIG goal – sub 3 hours! Just between you, me (and the blog world) – I’m pretty sure he’s got this goal in the bag. He is super speedy and I can’t wait to see him crush his goal. Anyway, here is a fun guest blog from Bob on training for his very first marathon. Welcome Bob!

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Thanks, Lindsey, for encouraging me to make my first foray into the world of blogging.  Hopefully this will be a bit more interesting than the usual stuff I write for work (I’m an engineer, so most of my writing material could be used as insomnia treatment).

The Mohawk-Hudson marathon in October will be my first marathon, but I’m no stranger to running.  I ran cross-country and track in high school and college and have trained moderately since then, mixing in the occasional summer road race. 

When I was younger, I figured that I would run a marathon within a couple seasons of finishing my eligibility (I finished my eligibility in ’96).  Unfortunately, the competitive side of me has been a hindrance to getting that first marathon under my belt (ironic sounding, since most people who know me outside of running would not use the word “competitive“ to describe me unless it was prefaced by the word “not“).  I’d always said to myself and others that if I was going to run a marathon, that I would do it “right” and put in some serious training.  Now that my definition of serious training has changed (I no longer feel the need to train like I’m 22), I’m finally ready.  Nonetheless, because I know that competing keeps my motivation to train higher, I’ve decided I want to not only finish my first marathon but shoot for a personally challenging time.  I want to break 3 hours.

Right now I’m a few weeks into my serious training for the marathon.  I’m actually following a workout schedule for the first time since college (I got the schedule off of the Runner’s World website).  I‘m not traditionally a huge fan of schedules and to-do lists (ask my wife), but I view it as a necessary evil.  Every week has a couple of easy runs and three tougher runs.  The tougher runs are: an interval workout on the track at paces well ahead of goal race pace, a 6-9 mile tempo run at about 20-40 seconds ahead of goal race pace depending on the distance, and a long run (14-22 miles) at a pace that is a little slower than goal race pace.    

The workouts are going okay for the most part, but there have been a couple of hiccups.  It’s been pretty easy to meet my time goals on the track workouts.  I’m usually well ahead of my goals, and I always feel pretty good at the end of the workout.  The tempo runs haven’t been too bad either.  I’m generally either at or a little better than my time goals for those.  The long runs have been the biggest challenge to date.  I’ve done five of them so far; three went well, and two went poorly.  On the two that went poorly, I finished the last few miles way slower than I had planned.  Both runs were on hot days where I didn’t pace myself very well early in the run, so mostly I chalk up the poor results to stupidity on my part for running too fast, too early in hot weather.  There is some doubt that creeps in though…maybe my 3 hour time goal will be too challenging?  Maybe I’m better at middle distances than I am at long distances (1500 meters was my best event in college)?

So far my body is holding up okay, but I do have one major annoyance.  I’ve had chronic Achilles tendon problems on my left leg for several years now.  It makes the first mile or so of every run a bit painful and gimpy (the first hundred yards, I run more like someone who’s 67 rather than 37).  Fortunately, it always loosens up. 

To make sure that my tendon doesn’t get too stiff overnight, I’ve been wearing a night-splint to bed.  The sight of me sleeping in my monstrous night-splint really makes Jess (my wife) think that I’m a lunatic for even putting myself through all of this.  Our cat, Desmond, is not a big fan of it either, since it has been the direct cause of his involuntary ejection from the foot of our bed a couple of times when I rolled over. (Similar splint/boot below in photo)

I guess there’s not too much else…I haven’t changed my diet at all really, except that I eat a little more.  It hasn’t been too tough to find time for the runs so far (Jess has been very accommodating on this front).  Running with a water belt for long runs felt a little weird at first, but I’m getting used to it now.  I like my Garmin Forerunner 405 watch.  Plus, I am definitely looking forward to the weather cooling down (especially for those after-work runs during the week).

I plan to send Lindsey a follow-up after the race with my thoughts on how it all went.  It’ll be interesting to see how everything plays out.  I’m sure it won’t go exactly like I expect, but that’s part of what makes this exciting.

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Thanks for your guest post Bob!! Best of luck to you on your first marathon. I can’t wait for your race recap and Jess’s pictures of you running! 🙂 I’ll be running the half marathon that goes along with Bob’s marathon, so I should hopefully get to see him finish – although at his pace, he might pass me and finish first!

What about you (readers) – what was your biggest running goal? Did you accomplish it? How did you feel? And if you’ve run a marathon before, how was your first one? Did it go as planned?

Post From The Road

So the title is pretty self explanatory. I’m writing my first blog post from the road. We are on 87 in the worst traffic ever. Regardless, I thought I’d give blogging from the road a shot. I’m not entirely sure if I can post photos this way and I’m sure my spelling will be horrendous.

The good news of my week is that I managed to accomplish all of the goals I set for myself yesterday which were to get out of work on time, squeeze in a 5 mile run, and make a delicious dinner. Check, check, check.

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While I was on my run, I got to thinking about how I tend to compare myself to my “peak” of fitness pretty often. You might think it’s weird that I’ve already passed my peak and can pinpoint it. It was when I was training for the Poconos Marathon last spring. I had incredible endurance, speed and muscle tone. So inevitably, I find myself comparing my current fitness level to that “peak” and I always wind up feeling sort of disappointed. I don’t think it’s a particularly good thing to be doing, but I just can’t seem to stop it.

So my plan is to strive for a new level of fitness that fits with my current level of exercise and life. I am not training for a marathon so I have to accept that I won’t have that endurance and muscle tone that I previously had. So instead I want to strive to run 3-4 times a week and eat healthy overall. It’s hard for me to not have that marathon goal driving me and I need to create some new motivation and challenges. Maybe that will be half marathons, finding new running buddies, maybe taking some classes. But I need to stop comparing myself to that peak because it’s unrealistic and maybe a bit unhealthy right now.

What about you? How do you stay motivated and comfortable with your level of exercise and goals?

My Realistic Half Marathon Plan

I’m going to be completely honest on this one – I am not in the best shape for this half marathon. I made a training plan, but then really only ended up running 2-3 days a week. So I decided that I need to be realistic in my expectations for the Sun Half Marathon this Sunday in Lowell, MA.

Taking a look at my past two half marathons, I ran a 1:49:14 and a 1:46:00. That is about an 8:20 and 8:05 pace respectively. That’s simply not going to happen for this one. I am surmising that I might be able to run a consistent 8:30-8:35 pace (please note, even this could be too fast for me). So my goal time for this upcoming race is between 1:51 – 1:55. I’ll be using it more as a training run than anything else. I want to slowly work my way back into marathon training mode, so when I officially start training for Boston in December my body won’t be shocked.

Also, I wanted to share the pace band I created for Lauren.

I laminated the strip of paper and then you wrap it around your wrist and tape it. So while most of the time, you’ll be watching your Garmin or stop watch, you can then look quickly at the pace band to see where you are supposed to be and adjust accordingly. Like I said, I didn’t really use my band until around the 22 mile mark.

So – does anyone know someone else running the Baystate Marathon this weekend?

We are leaving tomorrow around 11-12:00 p.m. to head out that way, hit up the expo, drive the course, find the start and finish, and then have some pasta dinner. It’s time to get pumped up!! I’m not even running a marathon and I’m psyched!

Hope you all have a good weekend! And goodluck to any other marathoners out there running this weekend. 🙂

Party, Pizza Dip and Peanut Butter Balls

Good morning blog world. It’s Monday again and I’m heading back to work [groan]. I know that a ton of people took off from Christmas through New Years and I’m very jealous. I’m headed back to work and dreading it.

So I was a bad blogger and was MIA on Sunday. The party on Saturday night was a ton of fun and Sunday was mostly spent lounging around, doing laundry and packing for the trip back to NYC. The Hubby convinced me to relax instead of going for a run and testing out my Garmin – darn him! But it was nice to just hang for a bit.

So here’s a quick recap of Saturday. I pretty much took no photos on Sunday – so it will be considered a lost day. But here goes Saturday.

Breakfast was an English muffin with peanut butter and topped with a banana. Side of cranberry juice.

My mother and I got out during the day to run some errands and brave the shopping crowds. It was a quick trip, but on the way home I had a Gingerbread Latte craving. It was only my second of the season – they are so darn expensive.

I snacked on a few other things during the day, but this was the only thing I managed to capture: Greek yogurt with Kashi cereal.

We headed to the party around 7:00 p.m., so I didn’t really eat a “full dinner” beforehand. I had some cheese and crackers, leftover from our Christmas day appetizers. But the party had plenty of food! I also made my pizza dip to bring along.

The party was a blast – thanks go out to Jenny and Kevin for hosting. I love their house and they are such great hosts. Here are a few pics from the night.

A few apps on the pretty table.

All the girls gathering for a group photo. I thought the stairs would be a perfect spot, but turns out we had a lot of girls and things got a bit squished.

I still think it’s super cute, even though a little tight. There were also lots of yummy desserts. And you know I can’t say “no” to desserts.

My favorite were the peanut butter balls.

Sorry for the terrible pic! I mainly snacked on veggies, taco dip, and a few desserts. I had one scoop of my pizza dip and then went back for more and it was gone. I guess that is a good thing. I had two glasses of wine and one beer throughout the night as well.

Toward the end of the party some meatballs came out and I couldn’t resist them!

They were goood! Hubby and I had such a great time. Before we knew it, everyone had left and it was time to go. Here we are together at the very end of the night.

Wow – I need a haircut!

And now I will leave you with a photo of Mr. Murphy sporting a bow-tie that I bought him from Target after the sweater didn’t fit. Doesn’t he look regal?

Mr. Murph didn’t travel so well in the car on the way up (he got sick), so we had to give him half a Benadryl for the trip back. My mom got that tip from someone who works at Petsmart, but the Benadryl should only be 25 milligrams and then cut in half. Mr. Murphy seemed a bit groggy on the trip back, but we made it home with no sickness, so I consider it a success.

Does your pet(s) travel? Do they like it? Any traveling tips?

I’m planning to hit the gym today after work to burn off some of those holiday calories and get back into the swing of things. It’s time for me to start thinking about my 2010 goals. I’ve seen them posted all over the blogosphere, so I suppose I should give it a whirl.

What’s your biggest 2010 goal?

Have a great Monday everyone!