Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Richmond Marathon Training Take 2 - Week 21

How is it even possible that I am finished with the hardest part of my training? It seems like it was just yesterday that I took a dive into the sidewalk during our first MTT training run.

So, without further delay, may I present my highest-mileage-ever-week:

3 runs for 36.2 miles
2 miles of swimming

Running miles logged so far: 506

Training highlights:

  • Greg and I totally kicked butt during out speedwork session on Monday. Our best pace during the 10 x 400 session was a blazing 6:47. 
  • A super cold but fun outing on Wednesday with Shawn, Kit, and Greg. Rain threatened for the whole run but luckily held off until mile 9, at which point the cold drops just  made us run faster to the finish. This was the last double digit weekday training run, which seems impossible. Back in July, the idea of getting up early enough to run 10 miles before work seemed impossible... and now it's over! Not only that, but it turns out that I kind of liked getting up at 4:50 a.m. and getting such a big run accomplished before most people even get out of bed. 
  • Second (and final) twenty miler accomplished on Sunday with the company of my Navy teammate Marie, who was also unable to go out with the team on Saturday per usual. Finish time was 2:59:37... maybe this 4 hour marathon thing is possible after all. 
  • This week, I crossed the 500 mile mark in my training, which is very exciting. Even MORE exciting is that with addition of this week's mileage, I have met my new year's resolution to run 800 miles!

Training lowlights:
  • Missing out on this awesome view that the Saturday MTT folks got as they crossed the Huguenot Bridge.
Photo credit to Greg

Gold star of the week:

  • Marie for sticking with me for the entire 20 miler. I'm so glad that we had each other. She thinks that I pushed her though it, but really, her company helped me just as much as she thinks I helped her (for the record I don't think she needed me at all).
Marie and I at the end of the 20.
Greg met us at the Stadium to document the occassion.

  • Big FAT gold stars to Kit and Teresa, who both ran the Marine Corps Marathon on Sunday. Kit finished in 4:07:11 and Teresa in 3:57:09. I am not only incredibly proud of both of them, I'm also so inspired by their accomplishments. I can only hope that I am able to make them proud in Richmond.

I know I've already said it 548054 times, but I really cannot believe that the hardest part of training is over and I'm into the taper already. Did I really run two twenty milers? Is the marathon really just 17 days away? 

Pinch me.

But on the other hand, I am more than ready to get this over with. I think this sentiment is shared by many on our team. We've been going at this for 3 long months. We are as ready as we're ever going to be. Let's just do it! 

As for myself, right now I am feeling very confident. I was telling Jason this past weekend that I'm not scared of the marathon at all. I'm not worried that I'm going to be wishing I was dead by mile 20, or in a lot of pain, or crying, or struggling. Based on the way those two twenty milers went, I think I'm going to be fine. Of course the great unknown of the last 10k still looms ahead of me, but I am choosing to not think about that.

Not worrying about what's ahead until I get there is how I've gotten through this whole training experience. On Sunday, the course covered much of the marathon course, including the notorious section on Riverside Drive, through Forest Hill, and over the Lee Bridge. Many people say this is the toughest part of the course. At each of the water stops sprinkled through that section, everyone was saying, "Are you ready for the hills on Riverside?" or "Still gotta tackle the Lee Bridge" or "The hardest part is still coming." Marie and I just covered our ears and said "la la la", choosing to deal with things as we came to them instead of fretting about what terrors lay ahead. Our strategy was to just keep putting one foot in front of the other - and it worked.

So that is going to be my race day strategy too. One foot in front of the other until I'm done. It's what has gotten me through 500 miles so far.

Seems simple enough at the moment, right?

Now I just have to get through the next 17 days without getting sick or doing anything stupid to injure myself.


  1. man, you are a ninja warrior in running now! well done!

    1. Only because I learned from the best, Obi Wan. I miss running with you. Can't you get that old man knee fixed already?

  2. "We are as ready as we're ever going to be. Let's just do it!" <- that's exactly how I feel about NYC. And I had a short training plan, too! I feel like once I crossed the point where I could reasonably improve, I became very impatient to just do it, already!

    You'll be great! Just don't get sick!