Friday, October 7, 2011

The End is Near

2011 has been a roller coaster year for me and my family.  Turmoil in areas we least expected, and calm seas where trouble has historically emerged.  Health issues, job issues, etc., we’ve been burning stress for fuel far more that ever wanted or expected.  In the last couple months we’ve taken some steps to try and get back in control, and we may be at the tipping point for the better.  Professionally my wife and I are both proactively working to change our situations.  Health-wise, a string of bad news has been followed by relative quiet, and no health news is good health news right now.  As for running, after running my first 2 marathons in 2010, the only race on my schedule for 2011 is the Marine Corps Marathon, which I’ll be running 23 short days from now.  2011 has been a long road figuratively and literally, but hopefully by the time I cross the finish line in DC at the end of the month we will have crossed the finish line in other areas of our lives as well.

After starting off the year bonding with my orthopedist and therapist again, and spending most of January and February on the sidelines trying to get healthy enough for training, I got started on 36 week plan to build a solid base back up, and then train hard to try and cut another 20 minutes off my marathon time.  I’m in the 33rd week of that journey, and although you never know what race day is going to have in store for you, I’ve done everything I intended to do in that plan to get me ready to race.  There have been pains and setbacks along the way, but I’ve managed them with as much common sense as I can muster, and kept them all from forcing me to shut things down.  Unfortunately I lost my training partner along the way – he’s still alive, and I didn’t actually lose him … I know where he is – but he developed a calf issue and had to defer his entry.  After adding tempo/speed work to my training for marathon 2, I’ve embraced hills and trails for this one, and actually enjoy the hilly long runs now more than the flat ones.  Go figure.

July, August, and September were strong training months.  Hot …. but strong.  21 runs in July for 143.38 miles, 19 runs in August for 146.11 miles, and 19 runs in September for 131.79 miles.  Not as much speed work as I would have liked, but more hill work than I had planned.  I’m hoping the hills are building more quad strength for me, which in turn will stabilize my knees more so I’m not running this race with any braces.  So far so good.

I’m starting to get excited for the MCM.  I’m not a huge fan of crowds, so this should be a pretty wild experience, as I’ll be surrounded by a crowd for hours and hours, all heading for the same place.  This is one of a very short list of marathons that have specific meaning for me and are ones I want to do before I find another pursuit to rob me of sleep and beat my body into submission.  Just need to stay healthy for 3 more weeks.  The end is near …


  1. This is so freaking awesome.....23 days!!!
    I'm so happy you've come back through all these speed bumps in the road. Your roaring through them like a champ.
    MCM will rock!

  2. I'm sorry that 2011 has provided a lot of drama for you and your family. Hoping the last few months are much more peaceful!

    Sounds like your training has gone really well - may the next 3 weeks fly by uneventful and pain-free!

  3. so glad things are on the up and up. enjoy MCM! it's a beautiful course and those hill runs will serve you well. best of luck!

  4. You have certainly laid the foundation for a fabulous race and I'm thankful you are healthy again! 3 more weeks and you will own MCM. Here's to a smooth 3 weeks for you and your family!

  5. Sooo good to hear that things are making a turn for the better! I can certainly relate to what you have endured and know it feels so good to FINALLY feel good about life again. Good luck with the next 3 weeks... very exciting! :)

  6. glad to hear things are starting to look up for you in both life and running. mcm is an incredible race. wishing you a good taper and a great race!

  7. Sounds like I'm not the only one who got caught up with life and leg the blog fall to the wayside for awhile.

    I'm sorry you went through a rough patch but I'm glad things are looking up. ::hugs::

    I surprised myself when I was able to hammer out four months of cycling every other day with long rides on the weekend and be so prepared for my three day bike tour. It was a good feeling.

    23 days, huh? Good luck. I'm sure there's a big part of you that is looking forward to that long run after all you've been though.

  8. Glad that things are going well and that you are ready for MCM. Now it's time for my favorite part of training, the taper! Hoping we are going to have good weather.

  9. Happy things are starting to look up for you, you've got such a great base for MCM, Good Luck!!!!!!

  10. sending those "stay healthy and stay strong" vibes your way!!

  11. Stay positive...... I hope that 2012 brings good health and happy times for you and your family!!