Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Running for Enjoyment

Yesterday, I ran 3 miles and I found out that sometimes, we run for enjoyment.

I didn't wear my watch, and it was wonderful. I have no idea how long the run took me, and I don't really care. I think I've spent lots of hours on the road worrying about splits and average pace, when all I should be worried about is making the miles happen.

So, for the next two weeks, my challenge is going to be NOT wearing a watch and NOT counting every second. Hopefully when I DO put my watch back on, I'll be ready to count the time again.

Positive thought for the day:
Through letting go, we find happiness.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

5mile Training Run

Yesterday I completed my first run in the Chicago Marathon training schedule, it was 5 miles, and while the heat wasn't very intense yesterday, the thick, humid air made it quite the difficult run. I finished in 37:25, not too shabby for an early training run. I need to be running about 7:15 miles in order to meet my goal for Chicago on October 11. This is going to be an intense program to get in that kind of shape, but I am faithful that I can pull it off. I already know this training program will be less about getting in shape than my last one because I started last time struggling to finish 4 mile runs, this time it is all about shaving off time, hopefull before I start shaving, I'll be able to lop off some time in this first few weeks, because that is when the long runs start to really come in. I'll be running 14 miles at the end of week 6, and I hope to be able to finish that run with my goal of 7:15 miles.

I'm very very excited about this program and I hope that everyone who followed last time will continue to check back to review my progress.

Positive thought for the day:
Anything really is possible, willingness to put in the time and effort is the only obstacle.

-Billy the Kid

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Chicago Marathon 2009

Today, I started unofficially training for the Chicago Marathon with a six mile run. It took me 47:15, not a very impressive time compared to the times that I was logging only a couple of months ago, but it is a start. Now I'm sitting in my living room on a "lazy sunday" watching a motivational speech on PBS and getting psyched up for the Chicago training.

A lot has changed for me since the start of this year, and I am thrilled about the potential that the rest of 2009 carries. Now that I'm going to be running more and more, I will probably be writing more posts here on the trials/tribulations of the schedule. Please check back soon and I will keep you updated on the "official" training schedule that begins Monday, June 15.

-Billy the Kid

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

First Post Back

It has been almost a month since I last posted anything here, and today seemed like a great day to do that. I just got back from my second trip to Memphis this month, and I have to say, the weather could not have been better. I got two runs in (Friday & Saturday) of varying distances, and saw some of the most beautiful trees and homes anywhere.

After my drive home on Monday, I got another run in here in St. Louis and it was great too. Near the end of my run a very nice man riding a motorcycle yelled "That's a red light" to me, I was glad he informed me of the color because I, as many of you may not know, am not colorblind. He then proceeded to let me know that I was, in fact, a "criminal." I am glad he was there to inform me of this, because, again, I was unaware that what is evidently referred to as "jaywalking" was engagement in criminal activity. I have of course contacted the proper authorities to altert them of my rogue delinquency.

On a serious note, though, I had such a wonderful weekend with my friends John and Jimmy in Memphis. I wish that we were all in the same city again, but alas, our visits to each other's cities, however infrequent they may prove to be, will have to suffice for the time being.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

My Marathon, In Detail

Okay, it has been a week since I ran the marathon, now I'm ready to tell everyone what the actual race was like.

The Start: I got there at 6:00 for a 7:00 race, hung around with the other runners, and got myself ready to run. I stood in the 9 minute mile pack of people, so when we started to go, there was lots of "traffic" before the actual run started.

Mile 1: Ran really slow, due to the massive amount of people, we were all tripping over each other, and no one was really running the pace they were supposed to, so I had to skip up to some faster runners as soon as I got a chance. There was a woman on the road during this mile with a sign that said, "You are NOT almost there" it was funny.

Miles 2-8: These were really pleasant miles, I was free of all the slower runners and there was plenty of room to spread out, also, the rain hadn't really set in yet, I got to 8 miles without even feeling like I had done much work, that is when I knew that this marathon would actually happen.

Miles 9-13: There was this massively long incline, probably a mile long, and the rain really came down for a bit, this is when the reality of the magnitude really began to set in. some guy was complaining about the difficulty of the course, which makes no sense to me because it is a marathon, of course it is difficult.

Miles 14-16: This is where things really started to hurt, chafing wise, my ankles started to bleed a little bit, my left arm was rubbing against my shirt and burned and my inner thighs began to hurt. I never ran this far in the rain, so I was unprepared for any chafing. Also, this is where I got my first taste of a gel. It wasn't half bad.

Miles 17-20: The blisters on my feet started to become irritated and the one on my left foot popped, which was excruciating. I was keeping pace with lots of the other runners, and some people started slowly falling back at this point. I knew it was going to happen, and the psychology at 20 miles is, "Hey I've run 6 miles hundreds of times, this will be easy"

Miles 21-24: This is where they decided to hit us with the hardest steep hills I've ever run. I began thinking incredibly negative thoughts. All the people at the water stations and on the side of the road kept telling us we could do it, what did they know? I was so angry, I began thinking that this was the dumbest idea I ever had. We did get more gels at mile 23, which helped, kind of.

miles 25-Finish: Here is where I realize, I am actually about to finish a marathon. New positive thoughts came across my mind, and allowed me to push through any pain that I was experiencing. So exciting. I got to the home stretch and I almost broke down crying because it was all happening. There were more spectators here, a bar we ran past had set up a booth offering beer to the finishers, I declined, but it was funny. I got to the last half mile or so and I saw my dad standing there, I said hi, he handed me an umbrella, I ran for a little with an umbrella, it was funny. I put the umbrella on the ground after about 300 yards, and just started pushing my legs as hard as I could muster. I saw the finish, hundreds of people were gathered there, all I kept thinking was that my friends would be waiting for me at the end, I was so excited. Regardless, I knew I wouldn't have to run any more, I finished, sprinting over the end check point. some girl hands me a medal and I am completely delerious. I get some free food and water. I can't find my friends and I am all fenced in, I almost passed out. I started crying. I stopped crying, I have to find my way out of the fences. Walking has become almost too difficult, finally after about 15 minutes of walking in circles, I find my way out of the fences and go to the finish line to find my friends. They were across the way when I finally did find them and they had to walk around the fenced area to get to me, it was about another 15 minutes before they got there. I finally knew I did it, the race was over and I was exhausted, so I leaned my head on a parking meter and let go. Through a mix of tears and laughter, I knew that it was true. I couldn't even remember how I did it, only that it was done and I felt like a new man.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Ante Diem

As Whitney and I sit here discussing the title of today's blog, I find myself full of nervous excitement. 26 miles is a long run, but then, I've been training for months and am in the best shape of my adult life. Can I do it? I sure as hell hope so, but I know that once I am on the road, there is no stopping. If any of my followers still read this blog, wish me luck, I'll talk to you from the other side of the finish line.

Billy the Kid

Positive Thought for the Day:
There's always beer.