Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Texas Marathon

The Christchurch Marathon is behind me and I wanted a new goal. I can run just to run. I like running enough to keep at it even when I am not training for something. But training for something makes me push myself to run when waking up and going out the door at 4:40am does not sound fun. Call me weird but yes most mornings it does sound like fun.

We are going to Texas around Christmas. I was hoping to find a trail race to sign up for where I could run in the dirt. The holidays are not a great time to find any race at all much less a trail race. I assumed if I found a race to run I would probably have to drive some distance to get to it.

After digging around I found the Texas Marathon. I have heard about this race but had forgotten about it. It is a small race run in Kingwood Texas (not too far from home) on New Year’s Day. It is a four loop course on greenbelt and I have read that it is very well organized.

So I signed up for the Texas Marathon and assured myself that I will (as normal) sleep the New Year in.

Monday, June 21, 2010

SBS Marathon Photos

It looks cold huh?

Sunday, June 06, 2010

SBS Christchurch Marathon

I woke up this morning and took a quick shower to wake up and put on my running clothes - a short sleeve tech shirt and a pair of shorts and went down stairs in the hotel to find some coffee. After drinking two cups I stepped outside where there were drops of rain falling from the sky and it was chilly. It was too wet and cold for my current dress.

So I went back upstairs and pulled out the two long sleeved tech shirts I brought and gave one to Jakeb.

We got dressed and walked the couple of blocks to the marathon start. We hung out inside of the "town hall"and waited until closer to the start to line up.

At exactly 09:00 New Zealand time we took off. I have to say here that New Zealanders are a friendly talkative bunch of people and we had a great time listening to the conversations and participating in some.

We ran next to a guy from Singapore who is a stock broker. Last week he ran the Sundowner double marathon and now he was here to run Christchurch. He said he ran 23 marathons last year alone. He was wearing a Marathon Maniacs shirt. Go figure.

Jakeb wanted to finish faster than four hours so we looked up the pace per kilometer for a four hour marathon and tried to keep our lap time below that pace. I punched my watch at every kilometer that I saw. I missed some. During the first half our fastest kilometer was 5:12. A four hour marathon is 5:41 pace. We hit the half in approximately 1:55. I knew I was running faster than I should and would have to tell Jakeb to take off soon.

At the 28k mark my legs had had enough. I asked Jakeb how many more gels he needed to finish. He said "one". I asked if he had it and he said "yes". So I told him "you are going to have to take off if you want to get a less than four hour marathon". He said "You sure you don't mind"? I told him "no go for it." And he took off.

It was actually good for me to be able to slow down and work on getting the best time I could. It helped that it was raining and my shorts were wet and they were keeping my legs cool. I slowed down and even though the effort was not easy I felt much better. Toward the end I had to walk some and when I walked I tried to walk at a brisk pace.

I finished by my watch at 4:04:59.

Jakeb finished in about the 3:49 to 3:50 range. He smoked it. His first marathon was faster than my marathon PR. Youth is a great thing - and Jakeb is a really good runner. He has the mentality for it. He can go into himself and push when it is necessary. When he stepped on the finish line he said his calf cramped up. He tried to sit in a chair and take off his chip but as soon as he sat down he had to stand right back up. If you have run a marathon you know the feeling.

The SBS Marathon is one of my favorite so far. No fuss. Just a well run (pun intended) marathon in an amazing place where the people are laid back to begin with.

Update: According to the SBS Christchurch Marathon web sight Jakeb finished 3:50:18 chip time and I finished 4:04:57 chip time.

Race Morning

8am cold and rainy. One hour to race time. This should be a fun wet cold run. Details to follow.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

New Zealand Marathon in the morning

So Jakeb and I will wake up and run the Christchurch Marathon at 0900 New Zealand time. You figure what tme wherever you are.

If it is carbs you need before a marathon it is carbs I have. Pancakes for breakfast, banana snack in the morning, vegetable soup and bread for lunch, baked potato in the afternoon and pasta for dinner. Hopefully I am as ready otherwise.

Here are some pictures of what we have seen here so far.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


Tapering for a marathon is a weird thing. After running the highest mileage week in training you start to back off of the mileage to “rest” for the marathon. In the past when I tapered I would not only run less miles but I would run them slow and easy. It made me feel lethargic during the two weeks before the marathon. I would show up to the starting line of the marathon jittery and wanting to run but I also felt lazy.

I don’t know who wrote this but a about a year ago I read that it was important to keep up the intensity during the taper even though the mileage decreases. So for the last couple of weeks I have been trying to run harder during these runs that are progressively shorter.

This morning I ran three miles. Rather than the normal taper feeling of being slow and fat I felt strong and light. My form felt good and I ran three miles in the 7 minute per mile range. I was listening to loud music and running hard and it felt good.

For me it shows how important it is to always challenge myself in some way. I challenged myself with distance for the last 16 weeks. Now I just changed the challenge from distance to intensity. Rest is good and important but when rest borders on laziness it is almost always a bad thing.

I am boarding a plane tomorrow for the cooler climates of New Zealand. Marathon day weather is predicted to be cloudy with a low temperature of 40 F and a high temperature of 53 F. - Perfect weather for running a marathon.

Run hard …