I'm Not In Shape For 26.2 … So I Ran 50?

About a month ago, one of my favorite running friends named Lori asked me if I was going to be in town on the weekend of May 4 to run a 50K. We go way back and I love running with her. I ran my first 50K with her and I ran my first 50-miler with her, both back in 2009. Back at that time, she was running 50-milers every other weekend and winning her age group and I was rolling out of bed and rolling through sub-3:10 marathons on back-to-back days.

We were having fun and running well. Good times, no doubt. But life has gotten in the for both of us in the past couple of years. I’ve documented the struggles we’ve had with our severely autistic 9-year-old son Jack. Lori finished up med school and is working a ton of hours doing her residency at a hospital in New York City. Training has taken a hit for both of us and we’re both a shadow of our 2009 selves. But when she asked me if I wanted to run the race, I had no hesitation. We hadn’t run together in years and I love catching up and spending time with friends. [Read more…]

The Race After The Race: Getting Out Of Boston

Before Monday, I had run 104 marathons in my lifetime. When people asked me what my most memorable race was, I had a few different ones that came to mind. Different races stuck in my mind for different reasons. That was a tough question to answer. That’s no longer the case, though. For the rest of my life, the 2013 Boston Marathon will absolutely be the one marathon I never forget. And like just about everybody else who was there, the aftermath of the race will be the true memory.

I ran the race, went for broke, fell apart by mile 8, struggled miserably the rest of the way, left everything I had out there and ended up going med tent afterwards for only the second time in 105 marathons. 3:43. Miserable. There’s not much more to talk about from the running standpoint and really, with the way the day was, there’s not much more that matters. [Read more…]

What if …

If you’ve ever read my blog, you know I’m pretty strong in my faith. I trust God and I trust His plan and I don’t always understand it (and I frequently don’t) but I know His plans for me are good.

Well, this bombing at the Boston Marathon on Monday has me doing the What If game. While I find it very difficult to say I’m grateful for the way things turn out considering people died and people lost limbs, I know that that it’s possible me, my brother and two of my best friends could have been amongst the injured if not for my son Jack. Now, I’m making a couple of big leaps here, but stick with me.

Quick background: If you don’t know what Operation Jack is, CLICK HERE. If you don’t know about the issues we’ve had with Jack over the past year, CLICK HERE. In short, he’s 9 1/2, severely autistic and I relocated from Colorado to Pennsylvania because of a nightmare school situation with Jack in Colorado. It’s absolutely disgusting to read, but it’s important so you can see how life got in the way of my training. [Read more…]

Pocatello Marathon Race Report: Barely Enough On An Off Day

Sometimes the glass is half empty. Sometimes the glass is half full. And sometimes, it’s just nice to have a drink of water. I ran the Pocatello Marathon on Saturday, my last chance at qualifying for my sixth consecutive Boston Marathon. I love running Boston. At this point, it’s really the only reason I even train to run fast.

But for the first time since the first time I qualified, I was on the outside looking in a lot later than I wanted to be.

In October of 2007, I ran my first Boston qualifier (BQ) at the Long Beach Marathon and registered the next day for the 2008 race. That race also qualified me for the 2009 race. Six months before the 2009 race, I qualified for the 2010 race at the 2008 Long Beach Marathon. Then in January 2010, I qualified for the 2011 race at the Arizona Rock ‘N Roll Marathon. In December 2010, I qualified for the 2012 Boston Marathon at the Jacksonville Marathon.

So, the first four times I ran the Boston Marathon, I was already qualified for the next year’s race. But not this year. [Read more…]

Race Recap: 2012 Utah Valley Marathon

So on Saturday, I ran the Utah Valley Marathon. It was, in theory, my last attempt to qualify for Boston for 2013. I love running Boston. It’s the only reason I train to run fast. I’ve run it each of the past five years and I can’t fathom not being there next April.

I don’t have the budget to travel to races this year and time’s a ticking. I got to this race on a pretty light budget. I was comped into the race, my flight cost me $10 because of points, my rental car was $12 and my motel was $45. $77 for a marathon getaway. I don’t have ~$500 to spend nowadays on going to a race. So this was it. Utah Valley is a big downhill course. Those aren’t gimmes, because they can chew you up and spit you out. They pound your quads and I equate them to the Golden Goose; you can take a little if you want, but if you get greedy and try to kill it, you’ll be done for and there won’t be anything left.

I went into the race on a bad hamstring. It’s been bothering me for the past three weeks. I’ve run maybe 15 miles in those three weeks and about 13 of them hurt. I knew this one would hurt, but I had no choice but to fight through it. It was going to be a matter of will to fight through the pain and I was excited about the opportunity to see what I was made of. [Read more…]