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.

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