Musings on, Art, Skinning, Computers, and the True meaning of Life. (AKA The Lego Theory)


Since I started running almost 3 years ago, I have run 2 full marathons, as well as 3 half-marathons. Yesterday I ran my 3rd full marathon, and set a new personal record of 3:54. The sad thing is it doesn't even count.

My 1st marathon, L.A., March 2007, I trained very hard for, but had no idea what I was in for, and I burned myself out in the first 10 miles. I had a goal time of 3:30, but I finished with a time of 4:28. I was heartbroken, and it took me quite a while to be ready to try again.

The 2nd marathon, Detroit, October 2007, went better, but mostly because I had lower expectations, and I trained smarter rather than harder. I finished at a respectable 4:10, though I still missed my goal time of 3:55 by 15 minutes.  

The end of 2007 brought with it the the biggest challenge of my short running carrier. I got a bad flu, and was working 18 hour days, not to mention that it was the worst winter weather I had seen since coming to Michigan. My mileage dropped from 30 to 40 miles a week to 5 to 10. By March 2008 I had gained 22 pounds back, and felt as if I was back to square one in running. This low point, not to mention the weight gain, made me realize just how much running had become a part of my life.

In March I decided to get my act together. I came up with a simple plan; build up my running and count calories. 6 months later I have lost the weight, and have set new personal records on every race I have run.

13 weeks ago I began training for my 3rd marathon. Yesterday was my last long run of this training cycle. I had planned on doing 24 miles outside, but the remains of hurricane Ike brought the gift of constant rain and wind. So I found myself at the gym. Running my long run on a treadmill. The problem was the treadmill only lets you do 99 minutes at a time, so I had to stop the treadmill twice, drag the belt to a stop and restart the machine. This cost me 20 seconds or so, but overall the treadmill was helpful, in that it helped me control my pace more than I have been able to in my past long runs.

This is not to say I did not have some adventures. My headphones cut out on me, and I had time to, while running, call my wife, and ask her to drive to the next town and pick me up another pair. She was able to bring me new ones, as well as some bottles of water, with and hour and a half to spare.

In the end this was the best long run / marathon I have ever done. I was able to nail my pace to 9:05 for the first 20.2 miles, and than speed up for the last 6 miles, finishing with a respectable 7:45 mile. I was even able to talk the poor lady on the treadmill in front of me to take a picture of me as I crossed the imaginary finish line. I finished with as best I can tell at 3:54:15, with average pace of 8:55. This was my best marathon to date, but I don't think I will be in a rush to do an indoor treadmill again.

on Sep 16, 2008

I am in awe of your personal discipline.  I've never been able to run due to not having cartilege in my knees but I doubt I would even if I could.  My hat is off to you sir.  Well done!