Training update, 5-1-07: I’m now crazy, so I must be ready to run a marathon…..

May 3, 2007 at 4:47 am | Posted in My current training | 3 Comments

On Saturday 4/30 we had our next long coached run, again in Portola Valley, the place from a few weeks ago with the killer hills, which I talked about here.  I did 14 miles, the furthest I’ve gone so far. 

I wish I had good things to say about this run, other than I made it.  Since it was the same route I did before, I didn’t take any new pictures — you can see what it looked like at that previous post. I did have my pic taken this time by the Team in Training photographer. It’s below.

gt-portola-12-31-07.jpg

I actually look MUCH better in the picture than I felt at that time. That was about mile 13, after all the hills. It’s a brutal trail. It has some stretches of very very steep uphill, followed by some flat trails, then often a steep downhill. That’s like getting on a Stairmaster, putting it on 14 of 15, running until you can’t breathe, THEN trying to run on a treadmill. Very tough.

And the downhill was another matter altogether. As you can tell from the pic, I have very little in common with the typical 140 lb. Kenyan who wins marathons. Running downhill is tough on anyone’s knees, but especially if, like me, you weigh two hundred and xxxx-ty pounds. That’s a lot of pressure. So, if it was a fairly steep downhill, I would walk down the hill.

So I would try to run uphill, might make it all the way, then try to run a bit on the straightaway, stop if my lungs had given out, and then walking downhill. As you might guess, it was a very slow run, for me. Let’s just say, in the parlance of marathoning, that I almost had a Boston Marathon qualifying time (3 hours 21 minutes for my age) for the half marathon mileage, or 13.1 miles. But, it was more important to save the knees and get the benefit rather than make a quick time. The coach said that running 14 miles on these hills has the training benefit of many more miles that were flat, so it was good experience.

And perhaps more importantly, it hit me over the weekend – there’s just under five weeks left before my event on June 3. At first contemplating this I had a bit of flop sweat – am I really doing this? Can I do this? Have I trained enough? Should I do more miles than what’s being recommended?

The coach in an email reminded me what I already knew – I can do this, the program has me in good shape, and I’m already running better than I already have. Proof of that came Monday, 5/1 – I ran out by the Embarcadero near my office in San Francisco, along the bay by the Oakland – East Bay Bridge and Treasure Island, for about five and a half miles, in about 70 minutes. A great run, beautiful. I considered it a short easy run. Get this – I now think running for more than an hour is a short easy run. I must be crazy. Therefore, I’m ready to run a marathon.

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3 Comments »

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  1. Brother,
    Keep up the good work! I am so proud of you.

  2. You are looking rather fit these days.

  3. Greg,
    you are quite the MAN !
    You are actually a 20 miler ! Congrats.
    Please send us our pictures so we can use them for our appeal letter.


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