Erie Marathon at Presque Isle 2007

The Erie Marathon was on September 9th. This is a day I will not forget. Family and friends were there to cheer me on as I attempted to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I cannot thank my family and friends enough for their efforts to get up so early in the morning and drive to Erie, PA to see me run. I am so glad they were there to share this special day.

Training

This year I consistently attended Josie’s stability ball class and lifted weights. I firmly believe this helped my training and racing. My upper body did not get fatigued during long runs. I also consumed more protein using protein powder. Over the winter I worked on changing my stride to be more efficient. I went from landing on my heel to landing mid-foot. As I would find out this change not only made my stride more efficient, but was much easier on my joints. Even at the height of my marathon training, I had negligible soreness in my ankles, knees and hips.

Boston. Say this word to any distance runner and they will know exactly what it means. The Boston Marathon is not just another race. Besides the Olympic Trials and the Olympic marathons, Boston is the only major American marathon that requires a qualifying time. For most marathoners just qualifying is an achievement itself. For me this is a BIG achievement.

The idea of running a marathon to qualify for Boston started this spring after running two half marathons as part of my goal to run 25 half marathons in 25 states. I almost broke 90 minutes at the Martian half marathon in Dearborn , Michigan. I entered my Martian half marathon time into the McMillan running calculator and it returned an estimate of 3:11 for the marathon. At that moment I realized with grace from the Lord and hard training, I could qualify for Boston.

I followed Hal Higdons Advanced I marathon training plan. The plan included speedwork/hill training intervals (more than I have ever run before), paced runs (running at marathon pace) and several long runs of 19 miles or more. My peak mileage was in the 50-55 mile per week range. There were times I was fatigued, but this was planned. I included as much rest on the weekends as possible.

Overall, the training plan worked for me. There were times when I was very tired and then an easier week was on the schedule. The easier week always seemed to happen at the right time. Hal Hidgon knows running!

Race

It was a rainy and dreary day. It did not matter to me because I had trained all summer for this race and rain was not going to stop me from achieving my goal.

To qualify for Boston I had to run a pace of 7:28/per mile or less (3:15:59 for my age group). I had a plan for the race. I knew if followed the plan, I had a shot at qualifying.

1 – Do not go out too fast – I was able to keep a consistent pace early in the race and did not go out too fast
2 – Run the first half of the race in 1:38 – I was very close. My official half marathon (13.1 miles) split was 1:38:22
3 – Run the second half of the race faster than the first half (negative split)- I ran the first half in 1:38 and the second half in 1:35. I ran the last 10K (6.2 miles) of the race in 44:37 (7:11/per mile).

I met my plan and finished in a Boston qualifying time of 3:13:30. The mile splits below tell the story. Photos from the race can be viewed here.

I cannot wait to run the 112th Boston Marathon on April 21, 2008.

Erie Marathon 2007 Laps

Martian Half Marathon 2007

The Martian Half Marathon was my 5th half marathon in pursuit of my goal to run 25 half marathons in 25 different states. The race was on April 1st in Dearborn, Michigan. I followed a different training plan for this race. The plan was the advanced half marathon plan by Hal Higdon.

Early on race morning it was raining. As the morning progressed the rain subsided. Once the race started the rain had disappeared and heavy clouds remained. My goal for the race was to run under seven minutes per mile (sub 1:31:32). I started the race with a goal to run the first mile under 7:30. I thought that if I could run a decent first mile, I would be able to get into a rhythm and make up the time lost in the first mile. My first mile split was 7:08. My splits for the next seven miles were very consistent. At mile eight, I ate an eGel by Cranksports. I was feeling a bit tired, but the gel provided the energy I needed to push hard in the last three miles. The last 5K was run in 20:18 and my official time in the race was 1:30:41.

I was very happy to reach my time goal for the race. All of the hard training paid off.

Unofficial splits from my Garmin Forerunner 205

1 – 7:08
2-3 – 14:08
4 – 7:00
5 – 6:57
6 – 7:00
7 – 7:01
8 – 7:03
9 – 7:01
10 – 6:57
11 – 6:46
12 – 6:25
13 – 6:28
.1 -0:39

Akron Marathon 2006

The Akron Marathon was last Saturday 9/30. This was my second marathon. My first marathon was seven (7) years ago in 1999. My training was better for this marathon and I did not suffer from joint pain in my hips, knees and ankles.

The temperature for the race was in the upper 40’s with light rain. At times the wind was strong so it was not ideal race conditions. My goal for the race was to run under 3:40 (3 hours and 40 minutes). A 3:40 marathon is a pace of 8:23 per mile. I started the race relaxed and did not go out too fast. My pace was consistent for the first 18 miles. I felt good at this point so I decided to push the pace. From mile 18-23 I ran a sub eight (8) minute mile five (5) times. These miles were through a stretch where there was a gradual uphill. Once I hit mile 25 my legs felt like concrete. I knew at this point I just had to push a little more to reach the finish. My official time was 3:37:14 (8:17/mile pace). This is my personal record for the marathon!

Statistics

  • 148th overall out of 1036 finishers
  • 128th male out of 723 males
  • 22nd in age group (35-39) out of 119

Below is information about the race from my Garmin Forerunner 205:

Weather

Elevation percentage

Elevation change

Elevation profile

Unofficial mile splits

Note: the last split (11:07) was for 1.2 miles
Splits

It is Official – Registered for Endurance 50 Cleveland Marathon

I have registered to run with Dean Karnazes in the North Face Endurance 50 Cleveland Marathon on October 20th. Dean is running 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days. He started his quest to run the 50 marathons on 9/17. He is logging his experience here.

This race will be 20 days after I run the Akron Marathon. I am very exciting to have this opportunity to run with Dean.

Endurance 50 Registration

Running Week in Review – 09/24/06

This was week two of my taper for the Akron Marathon.  My left Achilles tendon continued to be sore during my first mile of running.  It has not hurt my training, but I hope it does become an issue during the marathon.  I ran at tempo pace for two miles during one of my runs this week.  The remaining miles this week were at an easy pace. 

There are only six days until the marathon.  My focus during the upcoming week is rest. 

  • Tuesday 9/19 – Strength training
  • Wednesday 9/20 – 6.1 miles – 49:11 – 7:58/mile pace – Run included 2 miles at a tempo pace of 6:55/mile
  • Friday 9/22 – 5.1 miles – 45:15 – 8:47/mile pace
  • Saturday 9/23 – Strength training + 4.2 miles – 38:29 – 9:10/mile pace
  • Sunday 9/24 –  9.3 miles – 1:20:34 – 8:40/mile pace

Mileage for this week was 24.7

Year to date mileage is 1003.4

Thanks Steve Runner at Phedippidations Podcast

I sent Steve Runner (creator of the Phedippidations podcast) an email a few weeks ago detailing a few techniques I use to help me improve my race times. Steve was kind enough to mention me (and this site) on his podcast (epidsode 62 in the 28th minute of the podcast). In addition, Steve mentioned the Half2Run site that inspired me to set the goal of running 25 half marathons in 25 different states. I hope this inspires someone else to set this exciting goal. I have run in four (4) states so far. The experience so far has been great. I am looking forward to traveling to my next half marathon in the spring of 2007.

Running Week in Review – 09/17/06

My first week of tapering was good. There is one item to mention this week. My left Achilles tendon is sore when I start my run. After about a mile the soreness disappears. I do not think this will be an issue for the upcoming Akron Marathon.

  • Wednesday 9/13 – 5.1 miles – 45:16 – 8:52/mile pace
  • Thursday 9/14 – 5.7 miles – 50:14 – 8:47/mile pace
  • Friday 9/15 – 6 miles with mile repeats – 47:09 – 7:52/mile pace
    • One mile repeat 1 – 6:16 pace
    • One mile repeat 2 – 6:06 pace
  • Sunday 9/17 – 13.1 miles – 1:52:58 – 8:37/mile pace

Mileage for the week was 29.9

Year to date mileage is 978.7