Marathon training – week 1 (of 12) – Race #5

Last year I signed up for the Big Sur Marathon lottery, and I got in.  So even though I have already run California, I decided that I’m going to train for this race.  From all accounts, it’s a bucket list run, and I’m on this new(ish) kick to do those things as much as I can, because nothing in life is guaranteed.

 

So I’m going to enjoy the hell out of training and running.  Number 5 on the way!

 

WEEK SUMMARY

I ran three times this week, for a total of 22.12 miles.  I did go on my longest run of 2018 to date–a 11 mile run on Sunday.  I was feeling a bit sick this week.  Mini has been sick, and we’re in this perpetual cycle of sick, recovery, repeat.  Jess encouraged me to do the 11 miler, which was intended to be 13, and I’m glad I did.  I feel like if I didn’t, I would have decided not to train for the race.

 

I’m trying to incorporate more hill workouts into my running, because Big Sur is a freaking beast.  I think the total elevation gain is 2182 feet, including a brutal 600 foot climb from miles 10-12.  So I need to train hills like crazy.  Unfortunately, DC isn’t terribly hilly, but there are some opportunities to get some hill work, especially down Mass Ave towards the Embassies.  That’s where I did my 11 mile run.  Looking at the chart, it looks like there’s a 300 foot elevation climb for about one mile.  Which doesn’t compare to the monster climb, but it’s a start.  Maybe I’ll try repeats on that?

 

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So yes, 22.12 miles this week.

 

TWIR

 

Most of our week was spent taking care of Mini since she had a minor cold.   She’s better now, though, and we’re glad for that.  Neither Jess nor I have been sleeping much, but that’s ok, we’re in the weeds of it right now.  Mini sure is on the move though.  She started crawling just a few weeks ago, and now she’s cruising all over the place, standing up, falling down, rolling over, laughing the whole time.  In one of the most heartwarming moments of my life, on Saturday, Jess came home from the gym and Mini pushed her toys out of the way to crawl over to her as fast as she could.

 

Saturday was a good day.  It was cloudy and rainy, and so we spent the day inside watching TV, playing with Mini, and relaxing as a family.  We got some amazing BBQ food.  Pretty much a perfect day.  Sunday was great too, saw some friends, and then I went on my long run.

 

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January 2018 – Stats

The first month of 2018, off to a slow start.  Mainly due to this terribly flu/cold season where I’ve been trapped in a perpetual battle of getting sick with Mini and me.

 

Miles 37.62 miles
Total time 5 hr, 59 min, 44 sec
Average pace per mile 9 min 34 sec
Number or runs 7 runs
Average distance per run 5.37 miles
Average temperature, per run 49.42 deg F
Average temperature, time spent in temperature 45.01 deg F
Coldest temperature 28 deg F
Warmest temperature 70 deg F
Total elevation 702 ft
Average elevation per run 100.28 ft
Longest run 9.01 miles
Shortest run 3 miles

Maintenance week – Jan. 29 to Feb. 4

WEEK SUMMARY

 

I ran 10 miles this week over two runs.  My goal for 2018 was to try and run 1000 miles, or at least do 100 miles a month.  Obviously, January wasn’t a great start to that goal.  But that’s ok, I’ve given myself permission this year to be more forgiving of myself.  This January has been terrible with the cold and flu season.  Mini and I keep getting each other sick, nothing serious, but still it feels relentless.

 

The two runs this week felt great.  Especially the 7 mile run.  I was cruising, and felt fantastic during it.

 

Next week, I start my 12 week training for the Big Sur Marathon.  I’m not planning to PR it.  I’ve already checked CA off my list, so running this is more for the bucket list aspect of the race, which I hear is spectacular.

 

So, two runs, 10 miles, this week.

 

TWIR

 

This week kind of flew by in a blur of family and work.  A good friend from New York paid us a visit on Monday, and it was nice to catch up with him.  Mini has been crawling a whole lot these days.  It’s so adorable.  She will see us from across the room and then make her way over to us, slow and steady.  Last weekend was filled with social activities, so we laid low this weekend.  Sunday was the Super Bowl, an exciting match up between the Patriots and the Eagles.  I didn’t really have a horse in the race, but I was slightly rooting for Philly.

 

 

Maintenance week – Jan. 22 to Jan. 28

WEEK SUMMARY

 

After a couple of weeks and weekends of sickness, I eased back into it.  Still super low mileage, but ran twice, for 9.57 miles.  I really plan to pick it up this week.  Planning on doing 30 miles this week.

 

I did take Mini on my 4 mile run on Saturday morning, which was the first time we’ve been able to go together since the Fall.  It was a bit cold, but not too bad.  We went down a familiar path–Lincoln to Georgetown and back.

 

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TWIR

 

This week, and weekend, was fairly eventful.  On Monday and Tuesday, Mini had been sick, so I stayed at home with her.  It’s the first time she’s been pretty sick, and it was tough to watch.  She stayed at 104 for three days, with her temperature breaking intermittently.  Jess and I basically held her for several days straight.  She’s better now, back to normal, but it’s a tough thing to watch.  I really feel for people who’s children are sick with more serious illnesses.  And, also, after staying home for two days, managing work, etc. I am in awe of single parents who manage to do it all.  Those are real miracles around us every day.  I enter the week with a new found thankfulness and appreciation for the life around me, and the courage of others.

 

On Wednesday, I had an op-ed publish in the Baltimore Sun.  One night, I could not sleep, so I wrote it.  I didn’t really expect to it to be published, but it did.

 

Saturday and Sunday were spent in a flurry of fun times with friends.  On Saturday, we visited friends in Maryland, on Sunday we had some people over for a mini celebration for Mini.  Great times with great friends, as always.

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Maintenance week – Jan 8 to Jan. 14 & Jan. 15 to Jan. 21

WEEKS SUMMARY

There has been a lot going on these last two weeks, so I haven’t been able to summarize.  I’ve been sick over this past week and so has Jess and Mini, so I haven’t been able to run or exercise.  I may be coming down with the flu, but hope not.  Let’s see.  Two weeks ago, I did run three times for a total of 18.06 miles.

 

I’m hoping to get back in it by the end of this week, but we’ll see how this goes.

 

TWIR

Lot of great stuff happening with Mini even though she’s sick.  She started to crawl for the first time, which is a moment I will always remember.  And about a day or two after that, she’s started to stand up.  So she’s accelerating at such a fast past.  Otherwise, the weeks have been a bit of a blur of work. family time, sleep, and sickness.  And it’s been cold as hell, but looks like it’s thawing out.

 

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(Non)Maintenance week – Jan. 1 to Jan. 7

Full disclosure, I’m writing this on Jan. 10, but I’ll still say, Happy New Year!  Wow, it’s only been 10 days into 2018, for some reason it seems longer than that.

 

I don’t have a running summary because I took a week off.  I was feeling a bit under the weather, and also, just wanted a break from running and exercising, so I took it!  Back at it this week though.

 

Instead of a summary, I have a random thought that came to my mind yesterday during my commute home.  It’s about staying grounded and true to who you are.  I was watching an ESPN program in advance of the 2018 CFP National Championship Game about how routine is so important for teams to stay focused on the present and not get caught up and frozen in the limelight.  I was thinking about what that meant.  When you experience success, or setbacks, or new experiences, how do you approach them with the same work philosophy that you’ve developed through your years and your prior experiences.  I think the answer to that is that you have to find some mechanism to ground yourself to who you are.  Maybe that’s what all of this is becoming for me.

 

Just a thought.

 

Anyway, back at it this week.  I’m starting up a 16 week training plan for the Big Sur International Marathon.

 

 

Year in Review – 2017

2017:  The short version

There’s this quote from the show “House of Cards” that always resonated with me for some reason.  The quote is from Frank Underwood’s character, as he’s back at his alma mater attending a building dedication in his honor and reminiscing about his wilder and simpler days as a young adult.  He says:

“Harmony.  That’s the word that’s stuck in my mind.  Harmony. It’s not about what’s lasting or permanent.  It’s about individual voices coming together for a moment, and that moment lasts the length of a breath.”

I suppose that Frank Underwood isn’t the ideal character to quote for inspiration, and this thought is complicated further by the serious real-life allegations against the actor playing him in the show.

But there’s something to that quote.  To me, it perfectly captures the idea of transition.  That, when change occurs, we are dually influenced.  One, to unsuccessfully hold on to a past, now irretrievable, and to remember it in glossy ways and forget the imperfections.  And two, to be so focused on looking forward to life after a change event, that you forget to live in the present.  You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.

The harmony, though, it’s about living in that transition moment, pausing the note and stretching it for as long as you can without making the music sound terrible.  And when that moment is over, set your eyes set on the horizon, not in the rear view mirror.

You can see this in application by a real US President. Taking in the crowd for that one moment, after finishing his second inaugural address and before tending to the work to be done in a second term.

Last year I wrote about how 2016 was all about perspective and about cognitive dissonance.  2017 was undoubtedly about transition.  Personally, this was the best year of my life.  I experienced the biggest transition that I think I ever will, on March 17, St. Patrick’s Day, when Mini was born.  Taking that harmony quote above, the moment at 6:43am on that day stretched for an eternity in my world.  In some ways, I feel like I’m still living my life within that moment, that every second after she was born is a subset of the second when she was born.

I experienced other transitions too.  My family, social, and career life all saw big changes this year.  And it felt that this year of change extended to those close and familiar to me in their own lives.  And even on the national and global stage, the world has seen transition too.  For any doubt, just remember that Donald Trump is now President of the United States.

In the midst of all this change, for me, 2017 was a year where I took the perspective I learned in 2016, and realized that I have so much to be thankful for.  Every day, I can’t help but see the beauty in the world.  I have a wonderful family.  I am healthy.  I am alive.

I ran more this year than I did last year, and I processed a lot of these thoughts on my long runs.  When Mini was born, several people told me to “get used to not running anymore.”  I saw that as a challenge.  I increased my total mileage from 590 to exactly 700 miles this year, which is the equivalent of running from DC to St. Louis.  Adding up all the minutes of every run, I spent four and half days in actual running time.  I ran 114 times in ten different cities, at an average distance of 6.14 miles, with an average pace of 9 minutes and 41 second.  But my most proud accomplishment this year was to run a race at every standard distance–5K, 10K, 10 mile, Half Marathon, Full Marathon–and I PRed three times.  As far as elevation climb, I climbed 21,512 feet, which is higher than the tallest mountain in the Bolivia.  And there you have it, your first random fact of 2018!

So, overall it was just such a great year.  I’m thinking about my goals for 2018, for running and life in general.  Happy 2018 to all, and let’s hope 2019 is a fantastic year!

2017:  The long version

2017 overall stats:

Miles 700 miles
Total time 4 days, 18 hr, 10 min, 39 sec
Average pace per mile 9 min, 47 sec per mile
Number or runs 114 runs
Average distance per run 6.14 miles per run
Average temperature, per run 58.96 deg F
Average temperature, time spent in temperature 57.01 deg F
Coldest temperature 21 deg F
Warmest temperature 90 deg F
Total elevation 21512 ft
Average elevation per run 188.7 ft per run
Longest run 26.6 miles
Shortest run 1 mile

I used a tool on Google maps to draw a 700 mile radius circle around Washington DC.  It is the equivalent of running from DC to St. Louis, or Daytona Beach, or Green Bay, or Nova Scotia.  Take your pick.

Distance stats:

chart

January 43.12 miles
February 54.89 miles
March 46 miles
April 53.48 miles
May 110.32 miles
June 102.64 miles
July 72.54 miles
August 50.28 miles
September 33.34 miles
October 45.74 miles
November 33.15 miles
December 54.5 miles
Total 700 miles

I had some bigger volume months in May, June and July, which coincided with my training for the San Francisco Marathon.  It was fairly consistent, except on September and November, where a career transition and illness respectively took time away.

Avg. Distance Per Run:

chart (1)

January 5.39 miles
February 4.22 miles
March 5.75 miles
April 5.34 miles
May 8.48 miles
June 6.84 miles
July 9.06 miles
August 6.28 miles
September 4.76 miles
October 5.08 miles
November 5.52 miles
December 6.05 miles
Total 6.14 miles

Workouts:

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January 8 runs
February 13 runs
March 8 runs
April 10 runs
May 13 runs
June 15 runs
July 8 runs
August 8 runs
September 7 runs
October 9 runs
November 6 runs
December 9 runs
Total 114 runs

Time:

chart (3)

January 384.55 mins
February 498.83 mins
March 453.91 mins
April 510.68 mins
May 1099.5 mins
June 1021.28 mins
July 762.28 mins
August 509.33 mins
September 312.93 mins
October 460.01 mins
November 318.4 mins
December 518.95 mins
Total 6850.65 mins

Avg. Pace Per Run:

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Avg. Temperature – Per Run

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Avg. Temperature – Total Time:

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Coldest Run:

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Warmest Run:

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Total Elevation:

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Avg. Elevation Per Run:

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Longest Run:

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Shortest Run:

chart (5)

2017 Races:

I ran in nine races this year:

The San Francisco Marathon – 5:00:05

Rock n Roll DC Half Marathon – 2:13:26 *PR at the time

2017 EOD Warrior Holiday Dash Half Marathon – 2:06:18  **Current PR

George Washington Parkway Classic 10 Miler – 1:29:53 **Current PR

Capitol Hill Classic 10K – 59:06

Lawyers Have Heart 10K – 51:10  **Current PR

Clarendon Day 10K – 57:42

The Boo! Run For Life 10K – 58:08

Clarendon Day 5K – 24:38

Marathons:

The San Francisco Marathon – 5:00:05

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Half Marathons:

Rock n Roll DC Half Marathon – 2:13:26 *PR at the time

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2017 EOD Warrior Holiday Dash Half Marathon – 2:06:18  **Current PR

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Ten Milers:

George Washington Parkway Classic 10 Miler – 1:29:53 **Current PR

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10Ks:

Capitol Hill Classic 10K – 59:06

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Lawyers Have Heart 10K – 51:10  **Current PR

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Clarendon Day 10K – 57:42

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Boo! Run For Life 10K – 58:08

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5Ks:

Clarendon Day 5K – 24:38

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2017 Run Locations

City Number of runs Total miles
Washington DC 91 544.81
Baltimore, MD 5 22.06
Columbia, SC 3 22.17
Mt. Vernon, VA 1 10.06
San Francisco, CA 3 36.9
Salt Lake City, UT 1 8.06
Jackson, WY 1 7.05
Reston, VA 4 16.39
Arlington, VA 3 19.4
Alexandria, VA 2 13.1

2017 Fundraising

I did not volunteer much this year, but I did contribute to various organizations with every race.  Most of those contributions were to “Stand Up To Cancer.”  I also decided to run several races that I otherwise didn’t train for in order to provide the charitable contribution.