Marathon Update

Well Father and son should be an hour and half into the race at this point.  So far the automatic race updates that are to be sent to my phone have not arrived.  That being said, the weather is perfect for a marathon, and I’m sure they’re doing great.

If the updates come, I’ll post them.  If not, we’ll have to wait with baited breath for the final results

Marathon updates

My brother Jeff has graciously agreed to post updates of my race as he gets them in real time. My marathon starts at 7:00 AM Eastern, so if you are interested, check here off and on tomorrow morning for updates. I’ve asked him not to post my final time, so that I can do that personally. 🙂

Right now it is to be high 50s in the morning, getting up to 70 by 11:00.

Final Thoughts before tomorrows marathon

Here we are in Bethlehem PA (near Allentown) about to go down to breakfast and prepare for our day and get ready for the Lehigh Valley Marathon tomorrow.

We have a fun day ahead of eating, picking up our race bibs, eating, watching football, eating… you get the point here.

My thoughts on tomorrows race.  Overall very positive.  I haven’t run much over the past week, 6 miles in all.  So my body feels much better and happier.  My only issue, and one of the reasons I haven’t run, is the top of my left foot where I tie my shoe is still hurting.  I’m sure I could run on it, but I am pretty sure it will impact my performance.  Nothing I can do about it now.

I am so excited.  Tomorrow at this time the race will be starting and I will be on another leg of my journey.

I am excited for TJ also.  He has trained so hard, averaging 70 – 80 miles a week.  He will do fantastic.

So away we go.  I’ll post some updates throughout the day and tomorrow as I can.  Unfortunately I got a rental car for the trip and no one under 25 can drive it.  I’m the only one over 24 on this trip.  So after the marathon, we head back to the hotel and pack the car and I drive 3 hours to my mom’s.

Needless to say, I’ll try to post after I finish, but I imagine it will be a one liner.  Lord willing I’ll be done between 10:30 and 11:00 Eastern.

One again, and I never say this enough, THANK YOU for taking part in my journey.  I honestly know I would not be this ready if it weren’t for all your help and encouragement.

Who says running isn’t good for you!?!

Yesterday was a fitting way to enter my vacation and this weekend’s marathon.

I went to my doctor for a physical.

It was two years ago that I went in and was told I was pre-diabetic and if I didn’t start getting some sort of exercise that my future was not going to be hopeful.  Thinking back on my physical in 2011 I remember the following info:

  • Blood Pressure: 150/100
  • Weight: 268
  • Pulse: >90
  • Sugar: high
  • Cholesterol: Good was low and bad was high – Overall high
  • About a third of my blood test was going the wrong direction

Yesterday, two years and 2000 miles of running later, here were the same stats:

  • Blood Pressure: 100/60
  • Weight: 182
  • Pulse: 64
  • Sugar: Normal
  • Cholesterol: Good is high and bad is low – Overall it was good.
  • My blood test was in the normal range on every item.

My doctor made an interesting statement.  He said he was amazed that I had done so well.  I told him that he shouldn’t be surprised since he was the one who told me to begin exercising.  He said, “But no one usually listens to my advice”.

What a difference a couple years make.  I am heading out tomorrow not only excited about my race, but also excited that I probably just added about 30 years to my life.

I guess it was worth an hour a day of hitting the pavement.

4 days and counting… @ViaLehighValley

Wow, only 4 days to go to the Lehigh Valley Marathon. I can’t believe that in 4 days we will be in PA and running our first marathon. TJ is doing great and I know he will run his best. As I told RS, no matter what happens, as long as I finish, it’s a PR. 🙂

Today I have a physical and then a Chiropractor appointment. Tomorrow is packing day and then we leave at 4:00 AM on Friday. We get to the hotel in a short 14 – 15 hours and get some rest. Saturday it will be time to explore the route, pick up our bibs and relax and watch football. I normally don’t like running the day before a race as I feel great after a day off. This time it depends on if I have run at all this week. I may run a couple of miles with TJ Saturday morning. I’ll play that by ear.

Sunday morning is the race. 7:00 Eastern time. Right now the weather is supposed to be 60 degrees at race time with 98% humidity. Hmmm. I don’t like that humidity part. I guess it could be worse. Also it is still a while away and weather will change. I am hoping for a lot less humidity.

On the blog front, I don’t know if I’ll post tomorrow. I am 99% sure I wont post Friday. Saturday is a “probably” and Sunday I might post some pictures before the race starts. After it is over TJ and I have to get back to the hotel, shower, pack and drive 3 hours to my mom’s home. So, assuming I make one of my kids drive (which I think I will), I may be able to post a quick recap via my phone during the drive.

So it will be a busy few days leading up to Saturday. I hope to sleep in Saturday and have a relaxing day.

I can’t believe it is only 4 days before the marathon.

I choose not to run… maybe

What a month last month was for my running.  I needed that month to be able to go to the marathon next Sunday and not panic.

I had a PR in miles run in a month – 195.

I had two 20 mile runs.

I had two 28 – 30 mile weekends.

Overall is was a great month.  Except…

Okay, I’m beat up a bit.  My hip is feeling better today, but my achilles on my right foot is not good and the upper part of my left foot (where you tie your laces) is still hurting quite a bit.

I’ve decided that I am not running another step until I feel better.  Today I am working, but tonight I will soak my feet in ice water and heat my back (not at the same time 🙂 ).  My goal is to get to the starting line at the Lehigh Valley Marathon and know that I will “rock it”.  That doesn’t mean I won’t run all week, unless of course it takes all week to heal.

So just consider this tapering on steroids.  I have to get my body back in a good place.  I don’t want to be a person who says, “I worked out for 4 months and then got hurt”.

I’m 50 years old and have only been running 17 months.  Everything I do is new to me in running.  I’ve learned a lot and I have a lot to learn.

If anyone disagrees (or agrees) with me on this decision to not run and to heal, please feel free to let me know.  I don’t want to regret what I did or did not do the last week before the biggest challenge of my life.

Marathon tapering comments from other bloggers

I am getting ready for the Lehigh Valley Marathon on September 8, 2013 (I put the year in there for posterity sake). BTW, also the day of my mom’s 85th birthday!!!

My blog post on tapering created a great list of comments that I thought would be helpful, in and of itself, as its own post. So I am posting those comments with links to the sites of those who commented for everyone to read.

I really appreciate those who take time to help and encourage me in my quest. Even if you couldn’t comment on this post, know that I appreciate you and don’t take your reading my blog for granted.

Get Going, Get Running!

Most marathon schedules would have a two or three week taper. As a weekly 50miler you shouldn’t need 3 weeks. Perhaps try to do 30 miles this week and about 15 miles next week, with 2 rest days before the marathon, with a 1 mile run on the day before to keep loose, with another 1 mile before the marathon to warm up and get your head right. All the best for your race!

Fluency’s Folly

First, congrats on the progress in your health and running! So great! Next, I love what Jay Johson, Jack Daniels, and the Hansons say about tapering, which basically boils down to a few things. 1) think about it not as “tapering” but as “peaking”…that is, you’re looking for that balance between getting a full recovery without loosing any of the physiological adaptations you’ve worked so hard for. Essential you want to cash in on as much of your fitness as possible 2) The 14-21 days taper concept is designed for elites who are training up to 12hrs per week or more and 100 miles per week or more, not us age-groupers, and three 3) don’t forget the mental preparation

From the studying I’ve been doing, talking to lots of experienced runners, and some self-experimentation, it looks like a safe combo for you would be something like a moderate decrease in mileage 2 weeks out (say from 50mi to 35-40mi) with your last hard workout/run (e.g. repeats, tempo etc) 10 days out from race day (that’s how long 100% recovery/physiological adaptation takes), and long run with some strides thrown in there (12mi?), then the last week 3-4 runs between 3 and 8 miles, again with some strides here and there to keep your turnover practiced, totally something like 20-25 miles for the week by the time you get to the start of your race.

The day before, I usually like to run an easy 3 miles, but you could get the same benefit more or less doing some leg swings and light dynamic stretched when you take pit-stops during your car journey…you’ll want to protect your back and hips nice from getting tight from all that driving.

And finally, visualize. Prepare your mind and expectations.

So, that’s the longest comment I’ve ever left, I hope there is something in here that will be helpful! Clearly, I’ve been thinking about this stuff a lot this year! And, I’ve got a marathon in 8 days! Gah!

Best of luck!


(no link to site)

I’ve found that keeping legs fresh while tapering is strangely hard – so while I cut back on my miles, I’ll end several runs each week with strides/accelerations – I’ll do 4-6 that are between 50-100 meters long. These are not a sprint – rather a build up to a tolerable fast pace (thus the name “acceleration”!!)
And congrats to you and your wife on the massive changes to your health/life!!!!


Have to be honest – I SUCK at tapering. Mainly because I can’t taper my appetite to save my life so I keep running to keep the weight off. With that being said, since your body is feeling fatigued already, I would cut your miles down to 30 this week. And the next week I would run Monday and Wednesday – no more than 6 miles. When you get to your destination on Friday, go run 2-3 miles just to loosen your legs up. Saturday, I would probably do another 2-3 miles very EASY.
The key is this – at this point, you aren’t improving your fitness level. You are trying to rest your body and get your head on straight, while reminding your muscles of the job they have to do. Do what feels right for you – if you are fatigued, dial it back. If something hurts, stretch and take an off day. Now’s the time to begin fueling your body with good food choices and lots of water. And try to squeeze in some extra sleep (something else that is darn near impossible for me).
You can do this! Just think of that cooler weather you will be heading to!

sf road warrior

At some point someone I trusted suggested 80%-60%-40% (of peak mileage) for the last three weeks before the race, so that’s pretty much what I’ve always done & it’s worked fine enough for me. But I also think it’s way, WAY smarter to err on the side of tapering too much rather than too little — when I’ve had particularly sore or heavy legs during taper or something was hurting, I would take extra rest days without a second thought (since fresher legs are always better, & at this point missing one or two shorter runs is pretty much guaranteed not to affect your race).

I’m Going Slightly Mad

I’m sure it’s different for a full marathon vs a half marathon, but I did 48 miles this week and for my last two weeks of tapering, I’m supposed to do between 30-33 miles each week. (This week, my third to last, is about 36 miles to run). You may need to recover more for the much longer race.

30 mile run weekend. Where did that come from?

I needed 20 miles yesterday.

The Lehigh Valley Marathon is in 3 weeks.  I hadn’t run over 17 consecutive miles in one run.  My awesome fellow bloggers and my family keep telling me that I have the base and will do fine in the marathon – But I needed 20 strong miles… for me!

I got them!!!

Here is the breakdown:

  • 20:02 miles
  • 8:53 pace
  • 1659 elevation climb
  • 1 excited runner

I ran at the same park my friend Neill and I ran 10 miles the day before.  It was raining and in the 70’s  when I started at 6:30 AM.  I ran a 5 mile stretch of road that allowed me to hit the “zone” and be back at my car for a gel and gatorade.  I took some advice from comments on this blog last week and muted my iPhone.  No coaching from my app.  No mileage.  I just ran the way I wanted to run.

Other than the fact never walked, I am encouraged that I finished strong (last mile was an 8:35 pace) and my elevation climb was almost 3 times my previous high.

So I now look toward Lehigh Valley Marathon with a bit of excitement rather than dread.  I wonder after yesterday, might it be possible for me to qualify for Boston at this marathon?  I had let that thought go a couple of months ago as the heat of the summer set in.  Now, maybe…

Finally, THANK YOU.  Outside of my family, this blog and you who choose to read it each day is what keeps me going in this journey.  I am so glad I started it 8 months ago.  Your comments, suggestions and encouragment means so much to me, you will never understand.

3 weeks to go.  It isn’t over yet.  But I am looking forward to my race for the first time.

Sick Daze

Okay, it seems that as soon as I committed to running the Lehigh Valley Marathon on September 8th, my life has… well fallen apart.

Maybe it is just me, but I was very sick the past two days.  I had the worse sinus infection I’ve had in years.  In fact, I don’t think I have missed a day of work since I have lost weight and stated running because of being sick.  Now…  2 days.

I just had a great run on Tuesday and now the week is gone.  Today I will run, but since we have a 5K race in the morning, I’ll have to take it easy (and since I haven’t been out of bed in 2 days).

But I am going to try my new magic weapon.  Beat root juice.  Yes it sounds disgusting, but it is loaded with nitrates and is supposed to increase endurance by up to 15%.  Well, I guess I’ll find out tomorrow.

Short post today.  Tomorrow I’ll be hangin’ with the dog and then running with TJ, RS and my friend Neill (@BigBigGeed) in the Shake and Bake 5K.