Marathon Training

The Marathon

If you’ve run a marathon, you’ll appreciate this.

If you haven’t yet, it’s what you have to look forward too.

Only some of you will ever understand this.

This is bDean Karnazes from Runners World. You should check out his blog.


The Marathon is not about running, it is about salvation. We spend so much of our lives doubting ourselves, thinking that we’re not good enough, not strong enough, not made of the right stuff. The Marathon is an opportunity for redemption. Opportunity, because the outcome is uncertain. Opportunity, because it is up to you, and only you, to make it happen.

There is no luck involved in finishing the Marathon, the ingredients required to tackle this formidable challenge are straightforward: commitment, sacrifice, grit, and raw determination. Plain and simple.

So you set about your training to prepare your body for the rigors of running 26.2 miles. You refuse to compromise, dedicating yourself wholeheartedly to the contest ahead, pouring everything you’ve got into it. But you know the Marathon will ask for more. In the dark recesses of your mind, a gloomy voice is saying, you can’t. You do your best to ignore this self-doubt, but the voice won’t go away.

The Marathon rattles you to the core. It deconstructs your very essence, stripping away all your protective barriers and exposing your inner soul. When you are at your most vulnerable, the Marathon shows no pity. The Marathon tells you that it will hurt you, that it will leave you demoralized and defeated, crushed in a lifeless heap alongside the roadside. The Marathon tells you can’t do it. “Ha!” it torments you, “In your dreams…”

You fight back, however, and stand courageously at that starting line, nervously awaiting that gun to go off. When it does, you put your head down and charge into the abyss, knowing honestly in your heart of hearts that you either paid your dues or that you skimped along the way. There is no lying to yourself here, the Marathon sees right through excuses, shortcuts, and self-transgressions.

All goes well for the first half. But slowly, step-by-step, the pain mounts and the intensity of the endeavor amplifies. You remain steadfast, knowing that you did not skimp, that you did not take shortcuts, that every footstep was earned through months of rigorous preparation and hard work. Still, with each draining thrust forward, that little nagging inclination of self-doubt in the back of your mind progressively advances into your awareness.

Then, at mile 20, the voice looms louder than ever. It hurts so bad you want to stop. You must stop. But you don’t stop. This time, you ignore the voice, you tune out the naysayers who tell you that you’re not good enough, and you listen only to the passion within your heart. This burning desire tells you to keep moving forward, to continue putting one foot in front of the other no matter the consequences.

Courage comes in many forms. Today you will have the courage to keep trying and not give up regardless of how dire things become. And indeed dire they do become. At the 26-mile mark you can barely see the course any longer, your vision is faltering as you teeter precariously on the edge of consciousness.

And then, suddenly, the finish line looms before you. Tears stream down your face as you realize you might make it. Now, finally, after years of torment you can answer back to that nagging voice of uncertainty in your head with a resounding: Oh yes I can!

You burst across the finish line and are liberated from the prison of self-doubt and limitations that have held you captive. You have learned more about yourself in the past 26.2-miles than you have known in a previous lifetime. You have forever freed yourself from those chains that had previously held you captive. Even if you can’t move for a week, never have you been so free.

As they carry you away from the finish line, wrapped in a flimsy Mylar blanket, barely able to keep your head raised, you are at peace. That daunting adversary that has haunted you an entire lifetime is now your liberator, your fondest ally. You have done what few will ever do—you have done what you thought you could never do—and it is the most glorious, unforgettable awakening ever.

You are, above all, a Marathoner, and you will wear this distinction not on the medal they place around your neck, but deep inside your heart, for the rest of your God given years. Nothing can ever take that away from you. You are a Marathoner.

Categories: Inspiration, Marathon Training, Road Running | Leave a comment

The End of the Run or At Least a Significant Hiatus

I got the results from my MRI today and it look like my running career  has come to an end due to Cervical Disk Disease. At a minimum, we are talking a year or two with physical therapy or other treatments with no guarantees that the pain won’t re-occur if I start running again.

cervical disk mri





A possible resolution is surgery to either fuse the affected vertebrae or replace the disks. In either case no running for me for at least a long time. I’m going to really miss running.

Some other things I can do is use an elliptical, a spinner, ride a bike, light weights, and swimming. I’m not really into any of those right now but I’m sure something will piqué my interest and get me off my butt. I’ve already gained 17 pounds in a month of no running. I have some soul-searching to do and find a way out of the funk I’m in. At least I finished a marathon before I was sidelined. A goal I’m very proud of and it was worth every one of the approximately 1,899,200 training steps I ran to get there for a total of 2,004,000 steps.

Categories: Injury, Marathon Training, Races | Tags: , , , | 18 Comments

Taper is Done, Race in the Morning

Well today I finished my taper. The last time I ran was Wednesday a week ago. I felt I need to really pamper my knees and they feel great. I wore knee braces for a few days and have been icing them every night.  I’d say they are about 98%. I’ve also been fueling up over the past week. I had a big Carb dinner last night and a smaller one tonight. I’ve gained six pounds during my taper but read that is not necessarily a bad thing if you are tapering and fueling correctly before a big race.  I have no worries about my strength or endurance. I’m positive I’m strong enough to go the distance both physically and mentally.

Today I picked up my race packet!


It was really awesome seeing all those people who will be running with me tomorrow. Bib number 1919, easy to remember and a nice long-sleeved shirt. They also had Pace Bands. I was thinking about buying one online but I’m glad I didn’t since they had them for free! I’ve decided to join a Pace group for a 4:45 finish. That way I won’t get too carried away, plus I’ll get to run with some experienced runners for my first marathon.

All I have left to do is get everything packed up and laid out tonight so I don’t forget anything. Hartford is about an hour away and I want to get there about 2 hours early to find parking, account for unexpected traffic, and meet up with my pace group an hour before the race. That means leaving about 4:30ish.

I can’t believe tomorrow is the big day. The year has gone by so fast. Thank you for all the encouragement during my journey. I will be thinking of all of you during my run and I’m sure I will feel your spirit with the whole way.


Categories: Marathon Training, Races | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

The Journey

I find this very true for me so far.

Categories: Marathon Training | 3 Comments

Taper Week 2 and Fitness

I started my second week of tapering today. I was supposed to run yesterday but I wanted to give my knees a bit longer to feel better. I’m nervous that if I’m not careful, they are going to give me trouble on the marathon. I had planned on running a nice easy 6 miles and decided to run on a nice squishy track. I was shooting for about a 11:30 – 12:00 pace. I started off nice and slow and kept trying to hold back. I felt like I wanted to just take off but I wanted to have a nice taper run. Here’s how it went.

2 October 13 Run


Wow, I really went a lot faster than I thought I was going. Running on a nice flat track compared to the hills I normally run was a lot easier than I expected. When my App said 9:03 at the first mile, I was a bit shocked. I haven’t been able to run this fast for this long since I was 25! Turns out I set 4 new PBs which I figured would be a LOOONG time before that would happen after the half marathon.

2 October 13 4 PB


After 3 miles of running that fast, I have to admit I was a little excited and got carried away, I figure I needed to stop so I wouldn’t undo all the rest for my knees. Tomorrow, I have three miles scheduled too but this time I’ll pay more attention to my pace.

My fitness stats have really improved over the last year. I’ve been tracking them on Endomondo.

Fitness Measurments Oct 12 to Sep 13


You can really see how my hard work is really paying off. For September, these are my stats.

Sep 13 Performance Totals


I feel really good about my effort and how I feel. I haven’t been this fit since my mid twenties! I hope this continues, I think it will. 🙂

Categories: Fitness, Marathon Training | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

First Tempo Week, Two Weeks To Go!

I Finished my first Tempo Week and can’t believe I only have two weeks until my Marathon. Monday was a nice 5 mile run but my legs were still a bit stiff from the 20 miles the Saturday before and my knees were too.

24 September 13 Run


I was not feeling well on Wednesday so I skipped running which was probably for the best anyway. Thursday I was real busy so I skipped running that day too.  I felt good for my 12 miles today though. I actually slept in and started around 11:00.  Everything felt pretty good. I have a little soreness on my right side but it’s hard to isolate it. It could be ITB, sciatic, or glute. Maybe all three. My knees felt really good until about mile 8 and then started to get sore. I had to walk a bit at mile 11. I know I didn’t hydrate enough so that may be part of the problem. I have some Ideas that might help, I’ll let you know haw it goes.

28 September 13 Run

Categories: Marathon Training | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments


This just amazed me.

And inspired me.

Categories: Marathon Training, Reblogged | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Energy Gels

I found a very interesting article “Everything You Need To Know About Energy Gels” by Jeff Gaudette at that I think you will find interesting, I know I did.

energy gels

Categories: Nutrition | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

My Big Week Ending in 20 Miles

This was my Big Week before my taper. I ran a total of 35 miles. Tuesday was 5, which I already posed about.

Thursday I ran 10 miles. My legs seemed a little stiff and my knees were a bit sore. It was a very nice day to run though and I ran a comfortable pace. I still hadn’t picked up some new insoles but this run convinced me to get off my butt and get them.

19 September 13 Run


Overall a good run. It’s funny how 10 miles just doesn’t seem like a long run anymore. 😉

Today, I did run a long run though. 20 MILES! This is the longest I have ever run and it went well. I got my new insoles yesterday and the made a huge difference on my knees.



This is the second pair of these I’ve purchased. I replaced the stock insoles from my Brooks Ghost 5’s with these about 4 months ago. They were noticeably flatter when I compared them to the new ones. I highly recommend them if you are having knee or foot problems. I addition to helping my knees, they also fixed my metatarsalgia in my left foot and subsequently the ITB trouble I was having on that side.

The 20 miles were tiring but invigorating at the same time, especially once I passed mile 18, my previous longest run.  At about mile 16, I really starting getting hungry. I had taken a GU 45 min and 15 min prior to my run along with a breakfast bar and then a GU every 4 miles. Taking one at mile 16 helped my hunger a bit. At mile 18, I started feeling some tingling pain in my right toes which went away as soon as I stopped to walk. I think I had my shoe a little too tight. Here is how my first ever 20 mile run went.

21 September 13 Run


So now I start my taper. I have a lot of faith in my training plan so I don’t think I will have any trouble sticking to it. I’m not trying to BQ or anything so that take a lot of pressure off. Now the only thing I’m wondering is, I ran 20 but can I add another 6.2 miles to it? We’ll just have to see.

Categories: Marathon Training | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

First Run After

Yesterday I had my first run after the half marathon. It was 5 miles and went really well. I was kind of expecting to be a little sore from pushing so hard the last few miles of the half but everything was fine. I also tried to speed up a little since I had such a good time. I was able to but I was not as fast on the hills as that nice flat road.

17 September 13 Run


I was supposed to run 10 miles tonight which would take me about 2 hours. I got home from work late but still got dressed and ready to run. Once I was totally ready, it was only an hour before sunset. I got my head lamp out but decided it was too risky running for an hour in the dark. There is a lot of traffic on the roads where I run with only about 6 inches of shoulder,  and lots of trees and curves. I’ll get in the 10 tomorrow.

Saturday is my 20. That is going to be interesting!

Categories: Marathon Training | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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