Posts Tagged ‘half marathon’

Today was a day that a significant goal was proclaimed, started a year ago, was put to motion, and finished. All good, all done  as I type this! For my daughter Christina, today was her day. I’ll argue in my own perspective it was in fact partly mine. Yep, my prerogative  if you’ll stay with me on this.

My daughter started a journey of taking control of her health, weight and choosing the path to a better well being. This would be taken head on, on a few  fronts with a healthy diet, exercise and plenty of it. Over the years she has been a spectator to many of my events watching me finish. This would include a half ironman finish, a bunch marathons, including Boston, and the numerous weekend events I participated in. So it can be said I lead by example. Christina mentioned that she would like to walk the Dallas Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon. Without hesitation I would fly down from New York and walk it with her. This is no small affair as she had been plagued with knee problems as a young woman, including several surgeries. In her preparation for this goal, in a years time she has literally shed  60+ pounds. A monumentally accomplishment. For those of my followers that had gone through such transformations they most certainly understand what a big deal this is, a testament to pure guts and determination. As her father I am most proud of her taking this on, and making it happen. As a mother of three children (otherwise known as my grandchildren) the positive and tangible benefits of a fit and healthy woman are of course obvious, and to the result of a much more positive and improved lifestyle. Not easy with three children at home.

I flew in a few days before race day to settle in, and do the usual race event prep that is customary and expected. Since this is a large event, the race expo is a happening all of its own. We would take the kids and make an afternoon of picking up our packets and checking out all the vendors. For myself covering 13.1 miles is no longer daunting, something I have done many times since the early 90’s. Although I walk some, especially during hunting seasons, my efforts at covering significant distance is by various paces of running. Not that I was concerned about finishing it, however I am sure my walking gait and efficiency is not optimal. At some point It would at least take on the feel of more work than a leisurely stroll in the woods. My goal here was to accompany Christina’s first attempt at this distance and  to help her in any way I can to make it happen. She would do all the work, and I needed to be available as the old wise one, and head cheerleader. One thing for sure, I would have plenty of years of experience to call upon for mistakes not to repeat (I know most of them, and of course by doing most of them personally myself), tips and tricks to help the time pass, and to mitigate the various problems that creep up while covering the miles of a distance event.

We got to the event start with ease, and the wait for the start in all reality didn’t seem all that long. It was a cool 53 degrees at the start, and would be a comfortable ride all the way. We had a good position in the staggered corral staging, and got into a comfortable 16:48 /mile pace which was ideal for walking. My first gems of well learned wisdom was to not surge out with the hordes of runners and just get dialed into a pace we wanted to do. We did. The miles clicked off easily,and we would jog the downhill sections and a few of the flats in order to bank free time against the four hour time limit. Each mile we would bank another 70-90 seconds against the clock. I found it funny as they had “selfie” stations to take pictures with props, cowboy  rope handlers, and such. Mentally all the distractions and eye candy, coupled with making good decisions would prove useful when the last two miles got harder.

The police and the event staff and especially the volunteers were above and beyond friendly and professional. No complaints as it was well orchestrated and ran well. There was water, Gatorade, and gels when we really needed those, and given the cool temps, all that was needed. We maintained pace up to mile 10, and it would be were the pace began to slow.  We were in territory that was beyond distance that she had ever conquered, and she earned ever bit of her finish the last two miles. I knew when she was gritting it out as the conversation became less, and I could see she was doing whatever she had to to keep it moving forward. I was a little sore at that point as I don’t normally walk that distance, but otherwise felt fine. It was at that point my words of encouragement would take a back seat to her determination to claim her first attempt as a finisher.

The down hill finished was a welcomed reprieve! Christina decided she would run that last 150 yards to the finish. We would run it in together and step on the timing mat in sync. The goal was accomplished, and with a little bit of style. Christina became a little overwhelmed at the moment of truth, something I truly understand, and suspect many of you do as well while achieving a big goal. Post race food goodies hit the spot, and concluded a great event.

Truly it was Christina’s day, and almost as much mine as her father. This is our “thing” we did together, and something I’ll cherish for years to come. I am one proud father today, and yes it most certainly my prerogative  🙂


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Middle of January, we’re in the thick of it, and on many fronts. Currently in Endurance Nation’s Out Season plan. The idea is to work on speed and needed skills. Of course in my case speed is oh so relevant and a large matter of perspective. Given that qualifier, I have faith and past experience that supports the belief that I will be ever so slightly faster on wheels, land and sea at the end of the Out Season (end of March). It is my hope that I will see substantial gains as compared to the here and now as I type this. After that, welcome to volume and endurance on top of some speed work, just not so much.

It has been overwhelming when combined with starting a new technology company. Long hours, up to my eyeballs trying understand more of the business side of things. As chief  everything officer, all things including the buck stops at my feet. Good news, office is up and running , and working on first contract. Getting it up and running and making money quickly sure helps.  I have yet to nail down a solid schedule with everything in flux. Having some flexible time does allow me to get  workouts in, but I need to get that down to a consistent schedule. Training for an ironman and starting a company, probably not the best idea, but it does help relieve the stress. No trouble sleeping this past week.

With multitasking in overdrive to the point of mental abuse, I did accomplish a few things for my ironman quest. Swimming lessons start in two weeks. That will take up Tuesday night time slot. Renewed YMCA membership  to get other swim days in, plus tread mill for those over the top nasty winter days (winter running is my favorite). Three blocks from my office,and very handy for a early or midday workout. Hopefully I will be bike training with a power meter in a few weeks. Looking forward to better more consistent and objectively measurable workouts on the bike. The watts don’t care about other factors or how you feel. More watts, harder, faster. I am signed up for race rehearsal camp in June in Lake Placid. It will be great to get a real feel for the venue. Should be a big confidence builder. Anything I learn there will give  me a few weeks to either enhance or correct before the big day. Looking forward to meeting my teammates that weekend. Even with all this going on, I am still working on getting the payload down. Getting faster by dropping weight is a plus. Still have to get a bike fit done before those long 3/4/5/6 hour rides.

As I mentioned in earlier blogs, I will forgo some of the usual races to stick to the training plan, not to mention keep a reign on discretionary spending. Broke my heart to not sign up for boilermaker (favorite race) That day will be a two hour bike and 20 min run, with a four hour bike the day before.  I am signed up for Lake effect 13.1, and the new Syracuse 13.1. Looking forward to doing those as I can fit them into my current out season plan. Of course it calls for doing 1/2 mile repeats  at tempo pace with 2 minute recovery pace between each one. Smile and run anyway  🙂


One of the fun things I enjoy while being in “come back” mode, is the nostalgic return to events I participated in many moons ago. This past Thursday evening I ran in the 35th annual Tromptown half marathon in Deruyter, NY.

Aside from training tri’s and fun runs that the local running/tri clubs put on, this rural gem is one of the very few midweek evening events in Central NY. A low key race held in a very scenic area that Is ideal for a half marathon. This is a no frills race that gives you a certified course, beautiful scenery, plenty of water stops, and great volunteer support. You can opt to purchase a shirt or race patch, which is great for those of us who have a ton of race shirts.

Over the years I have done the 5k and 10k offerings as well. The 5k gives you a hill mid way that requires your attention. Once you crest the hill, you are rewarded with a nice downhill and a flat run, straight to the finish. The 10k is no longer offered, and was discontinued many years ago. I did like the 10k course…….

The half marathon course is a favorite. A fly by loop around the town takes you past the first mile, then out to the countryside by mile 2. You get a small hill as you head up to West Lake Road. After that, you get flats and small rollers as you travel around the Deruyter Reservoir. No big hills or long steep downhills to pound your knees.

Great course profile that switches up your legs over the long haul. The last 5k is mostly flat with an uphill turn onto Route 13. The last mile is straight and fast to the last turn to the finish. The finish line is set up in front of the fireman’s field days which has been integral part of the race for many years.

I signed up for this event for several reasons:

Favorite event/course profile
Midweek evening run, not taking up another Saturday or Sunday
Fits into my schedule for a long training run.

I would run this for training, not race it (insert loose definition). I do like the opportunity to have a catered long run, and enjoy the company of other runners. I pushed out the scheduling of my usual long run on Sunday, which was ok. Being that this would be a minor hack to an already modified short course (tri) plan with a marathon hack. In short, I hacked a hack. All of this is in route to NYC marathon this fall, and a prelude to ironman training for Lake Placid next July.

The race would be under warm and humid conditions (mid 70’s). Which was a reprieve from mid 80’s mid-day. I did try a modified fueling to correct cramping issues I had at ironman Syracuse. I added lava salts to the bike bottle of Roctane to boost my sodium intake. Between powerbars and my liquid fuel, I loaded up 1200mg of sodium. For two hours plus in moderate temps, it worked out well. No muscle spasms, or cramps. I was a little crusty when I finished 🙂

I really enjoyed this as a training run! Nice to see some of my running pals, and make some new ones on the course. I ran the entire race with great company and conversation. The miles flew by, even at my slow training pace. Walked most of the water stops for 30-40 steps. That kept my calves from tightening up.

All in all I enjoyed it from start to finish. My only issue was with only having watermelon & water at the finish. My issue really is my own as I get terrible headaches from watermelon (even as a child). I do like watermelon, but it doesn’t like me. Even so, I could head into the field days to satisfy my food choices. Beer comes to mind 🙂

If you haven’t ran this before, I highly recommend it!