Sunday, November 14, 2010


I've finished my breakfast of a bagel with almond butter, banana, and coffee. While fueling up I read about my friend Ashley Kurpiel describing an event yesterday:

"..had an amazing night.. I was honored along with some other amazing men and women.. Such an honor to be able to be recognized for just living my life.. I even got a standing ovation! I'm so thankful for the great people that surround me always.."

As I read this and finish eating my bagel, the radio, as if on cue, plays Blackbird:


I have a mighty milestone to reach today: 20 miles. This is the training distance that one needs to cover to be minimally prepared for a marathon. Running much further than this tears the body done too much to be considered "training," but much less and the body does not experience the physiological changes that come with the distance. The dreaded wall as carbs are depleted may be seen for the first time.

I have broken down in every single marathon I have run. Cramping was my first enemy, then an assortment of inventive tripwires. Even when I had great training, I did not consider that the very dry air of the Arizona race site would trigger an asthma attack that would land me in the med tent after the race. At Cleveland my right hip flexor gave up the ghost and I struggled just to finish; I barely made it to that race as my ankle was becoming a distortion of what it once was.

So yes, I have a healthy respect for the distance and why I've been so concerned about my less than stellar training. I will certainly find out today if my residual limb and socket are going to be friends and let me get this long run done without incident. There is still time for some quality training if we can all just get along. I want to cover this distance at least 4 times, with some shorter long runs done a bit faster.

My plan for this first 20 miler is to start with 2 on the treadmill, then 6 near the house for 8 total. I'll refill my Camelbak and head out for the last 12. I had a good night's sleep and feel rested for this effort. The dreaded Drysol has been applied. I hate you Drysol. I love how well you work.

It's going to be a long day, a serious test. My recent training has been going well so I have some confidence it will make this run less stressful.

In two months I will be standing on the starting line of the Charleston Marathon. In some ways it begins today, the transition to the path up...up to that goal. I can see it clearly in the distance.

Time to do it. Time to move. Time to fly.


Update: Mission Accomplished!

I ran my first amp 20 miler and I am still in a bit of a shock...I never got in distress, the last 6 miles were my strongest, and if I were running a marathon today I would have made the full distance. My socket did take some skin off the back of my knee, so I'll be visiting Floyd Brace early in the week to get it adjusted once again.

I sure needed this confidence boost, given the marathon is only two months away, which is 6 weeks and the taper.



  1. best of luck with the 20! i think your plan is really good. i love breaking up my long runs into shorter segments. it makes it so much more mentally easy

  2. Myron, I saw this just before I headed out. I did not fall apart, actually felt stronger for the final 10k. Socket will need another adjustment as I lost some skin behind the knee but no so bad as to be bleeding. Night and day difference since my last long run, I am guessing other training is to blame. :-)

  3. Thanks mm, sometimes plans do work, much to our shock and surprise! I really needed this confidence builder and happy it went so well. Saw you had a magnificent long run, fantastico!

  4. Richard - Congratlations on a great, great, GREAT training run! Sounds and looks like your training is paying off - it is so very tough to gauge at times as it is the "cumulative" effect of the training that prepares the marathoner - not just looking at a single workout.

    Glad to hear you are getting closer on the fitment as well Richard - you continue to inspire! Best as you begin moving closer to the taper and to race day.

  5. Hi Joe,

    I felt a little like I was on the high wire for this run, just had to make it to the other side.

    My training is mostly hard one week and the next dealing with issues, but I am getting there.

    Not a day goes by that I don't see myself on the course, running this race. It seems like dream.

    Good luck in your training, my friend, and we'll see you at the CRBR.

    - Richard

  6. So glad the 20 miler went well. Congrats on the mission accomplished. I am sure you will be well prepared and all the effort will pay off.

  7. Hi Sue...thanks for the words of encouragement. One never knows what raceday will bring, the marathon can be a fickle friend, but always an honest one. Looking forward to looking my friend in the eye.

    - Richard