Sunday, October 13, 2013


Pavement inspector at another race

Unlike the national news, bad news here gets little of the spotlight.

My half at Georgetown was a PW (personal worst). I finished 200th of 221 finishers, which conjured up thoughts of my high school track days. I knew there would be little chance of an amp PR this day, but why I ran so miserably is a mystery to me. I have some ideas of what may have contributed to this disaster of a race, but I don't want any to be thought of as excuses and do not offer them here. I will say this, Did Not Quit is the gold in a personal worst.

Instead, I need to change what I can and know in the past when I've had a bad race my next one is usually better. This does have me thinking that unless my training runs indicate this was a fluke, that I may change to the half marathon at Charlotte next month.

This is not the time to panic as my goal race is Boston next April. My training will increase in volume and intensity and I also have to guard against overtraining which can be worse than not doing enough.

So at the moment my plan is to take the early start at Charlotte and do a 2 minute walk every mile. I am not despondent over this last race but it is troublesome it was such a huge slowdown. That does come with age and we all face it, but I think and hope this was an anomaly and I can run better in the upcoming months. I will race sparingly and generally as part of my goal plan.

So there it is, a lot of work to do mentally and physically. I can't let bad races drag me down more than the gravity that is time. To put this in perspective, I'll offer a basketball insight. When I was younger I found dunking a basketball was beyond my ability. Despite getting close I just could not do it...then one day I rose above the rim and shoved the ball through the hoop. Done and always easy to do after that day. Now that I am older - and I quit basketball many years ago to focus only on running - I know the day would have come when I could no longer dunk, and know that there would be little reason to try.

The thing is, by trying I would still be rising. And this I intend to do for as long as this body will rise with me and go for a run. Today and tomorrow, I will rise.


I want to congratulate Jennifer on her first place finish in the 12k. Jennifer will say there weren't many people in her AG, but how does that matter when others can't even get themselves to the starting line, often complaining with age as their only excuse? Well buttercups, we all face this ultimate adversary, so sleep in or get up and face life running. Jen wins!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Half. Marathon.

We have a couple of races coming up, the Georgetown SC Bridge2Bridge on October 12 and the Charlotte Thunder Road Marathon on November 16. I will be running the half marathon at Georgetown and the 26.2 at Charlotte. Jennifer has not decided which race she will do at the former but plans to run the half at Charlotte.

I selected these races with one thing in mind, to prepare better for the hills at Boston. For most of my running life I have trained and raced on the lowcountry pancake terrain (pancake? did someone say PANCAKE?) with an occasional bridge, earthwork incline, or treadmill session for hills. I don't think cramping was related to the downhills of Boston, but I do know hill training makes for a stronger runner and I will be stronger for Boston next April.

View from the long run course
Georgetown features two bridges will be cross back and forth on, so some decent hill work in a lowcountry race. This will help me prepare for Charlotte, along with my Sunday long runs where I traverse the Ravenel (Cooper River) bridge. Tomorrow (Sunday, Oct 6) will be my first 20 miler on this latter course.


Janelle and her boys
I am looking forward to Charlotte for reasons beyond my goals, one is to see our friend Janelle Tuck finish her first ever half marathon. We first met Janelle at Getting2Tri and she was at Boston this year waiting for our finish. Fortunately she had left the area to recharge her phone's battery since I was having a slow race. I have described her as 'quietly fierce' and you will find her an uplifting soul who has faced adversity in a very personal way. You can read her story here.

At the marathon pasta dinner Nicole Gross will speak. Nicole, her husband Michael, and her sister
Nicole, Erika, and Carol
Erika Brannock were at the Boston Marathon finish waiting for their mom Carol when the bombs went off. The three were all injured and Erika required an above knee amputation, you can read more of their story here.

Nicole's talk will be very difficult for her and we want to be there for support and healing. The tragedy will never be undone, but in time those who remain can be hope's beacons to others facing the impossible, to help them see what can be. Different, yes, but more. Far more. Impossibly more.


I know I will once again struggle through the marathon at Thunder Road. No doubt I am getting stronger, but I am doing very little to make myself faster at this point in training for April. Later yes, for now building mileage and strength is part of the plan. I have been doing some run/walking on my long runs, walking about 2 minutes after every mile. This has allowed me to complete the distance without tearing myself down as much.

I have not decided for sure, but I will likely run Charlotte in the same manner. My two amputee marathons have both been far slower than my half marathon times would predict, and I may even take the early start at Charlotte. I'll decide this closer to race day after I see how my training progresses.

Much will be happening between now and next April 21. I hope I can stay healthy and train smart to have a good race, but hope alone will not get us there without hard work. But together....impossible is nothing.