Monday, January 24, 2011

First ever VLOG! Enjoy...

Carlsbad Marathon Race Review

For my race report, please scroll down to the next post.

I normally don't do this, but I felt it necessary to praise the organizers of the Carlsbad Marathon for a great race. This was my ninth marathon to date and so far has been my favorite. I wanted to take a minute to review some aspects of the race and to give my thoughts on how I felt about my personal race...

The course: In a word, stunning. A large majority of the course was along the water with the beginning of the race offering a view of the ocean at sunrise. You simply can't beat that view. The course was predominately flat with just enough rolling hills to allow for a challenge.

The swag: Very nice, long sleeve shirt and a hat (not a typical giveaway for a lot of marathons).

The expo: While not the biggest ever, offered a strong amount of vendors as well as being well organized and easy to get in and out of.

The spectators/entertainment/course support: Those that were out along the race rivaled the well-respected Rock and Roll Marathon series. Excellent live entertainment and plenty of well serviced aid stations. A strong amount of spectators, thanks in part to the half-marathon, was a huge boost to runners.

How I felt about my race: Though I finished well of of my personal best marathon time, this was only my third marathon under the four-hour mark and my first since May of 2009. What I was most proud of, however, was the consistent splits I was able to maintain (between 8:40 and 8:50). Thanks to the course, my Maniac friends, my cute supporter and a strong performance, this was easily my favorite marathon.

Great day to be a Maniac! (Carlsbad Race Report)

My bright yellow "Marathon Maniacs" singlet came in the mail over a month ago and ever since then I had been dying to put it on for a race. That time finally came on Sunday as I stood at the start line of the 2011 Carlsbad Marathon.

With the moon and the stars still shining brightly, 1,500 runners crossed the start line and headed into the dark streets of Carlsbad. My legs felt fresh and I had plenty of energy so I knew this would be a pretty good day. We made a couple of turns and found ourselves running parallel with the beach just as the sun was starting to appear over the horizon.

What a perfect sight.

The sun rising, the fog lifting and the waves rolling in provided the perfect backdrop for the day. I got lost in the view for a mile or so and didn't realize I was running next to two other Maniacs! We quickly exchanged pleasantries and jumped right into a typical runners conversation. We talked about pace, heart rate, previous races, future races and just about anything else running related you could imagine.

The next thing i knew we were over six miles in and myself, Doug and Ron were keeping a solid pace and enjoying each others comraderie. This Marathon Maniac shirt held a lot more potential than I realized. The encouragement I received from other Maniacs and even from strangers spectating was amazing.

I did have one favorite spectator, though, and my-oh-my was she pretty. Not only was she stunning, she also spent her entire weekend dealing with her crazy-runnning-boyfriend, waking up at 4 am on race day to come watch me run. (Sidenote: She woke up at 4 am to watch me run for probably a total of a minute and a half) To me, that is just as impressive as running 26.2.

Heading out onto Palomar Airport Rd., we were still out of the sun enjoying the cool morning air. We conquered a couple of hills and reaped the rewards on the backside. In no time at all, we passed the half-way mark with no problems whatsoever.

Turning for our last out-and-back we started running directly towards the sun. The heat had picked up and my energy was quickly being sapped from my body. Ron had dropped back a little ways, leaving Doug and I a few hundred feet ahead. After reaching the top of a particularly difficult hill and making our last u-turn, my legs were burning and needed a brief rest so I said goodbye to Doug and took a quick walk break.

About a minute later, Ron came up alongside me and I kicked back into stride. With about six miles left, we were determined to break the four-hour mark. The next few miles went by relatively quick, until mile 23 when we began using a run-walk method at Ron's suggestion. He could have easily kept going and left me to finish with the others over 4-hours, but Ron was determined to help me stick it out. He offered just the right amount of encouragement and advice as we pounded out those last few miles together.

After the mile 26 sign we took a left turn and could see the finish. The clock was at 3:59...we sprinted toward the finish line and finished strong, 3:59:37.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Experience the race for yourself!

I have some exciting news for those of you that follow my blog. For the past couple years you all have been reading about my experiences, but now i'd like to offer you the chance to SEE them!

This weekend I will film some of my experience at the Carlsbad Marathon and show them to you right here on this blog!

My hope in adding this feature is rooted in the same motivation I have for doing this blog in the first place, 1) To chronicle my experiences for myself and 2) For others (friends and family) to get a glimpse into why I do what I do. Hopefully this avenue will be both interesting and entertaining.

Make sure to check back after the weekend for a race report and my very first "Vlog". (Yes, that is really a term...I just looked it up)

Happy weekend everyone!

Here we go again...Two more marathons in 14 days

Can you ever have too much of a good thing? While opinions may differ, i've been pushing my limits to find out. Distance runners everywhere strive to discover the answer to this question and many eventually reach that point. Distances vary, but at some point most runners realize how much is too much of a good thing.

Two days from now i'll be up before the sun to run the Carlsbad Marathon. Two weeks later i'll head to the beach for the Surf City Marathon. For those of you keeping track, these are races four and five in my "Six in Six" goal. Almost there.

An update on my tired legs: They're pretty tired. Some mornings they will surprise me and find some life, but most mornings I am having to drag the heavy stumps all over Orange. I'm encouraged, though, at the rare moments they do show new life and I realize that I have to get through the tough times to break through into a new level of conditioning.

I'm excited for the next couple of races. After a killer 50k, I cannot wait to go back down to marathon distance and to do so in flat races. It's strange to think that a marathon will be a "welcomed regression", but I am looking forward to these courses.

Stay tuned for what I hope will be some great race reports!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Never satisfied...

I've never been able to really explain why I love running so much and i'm always at a loss for words when people ask me why I push myself so hard. It has always just made sense to me, but i've never been able to put it in words that make sense to others.

Last night, I was reading a new book titled, "Run: The Mind-Body Method of Running by Feel" written by Matt Fitgerald and I came across a line that was just perfect. It finally gave me an answer that makes sense...

"Being a happy runner is compatible with being a runner who is never satisfied."

The statement is so simple, but it truly captures my motivation to run more, faster, and longer.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized the statement is also true of my life. Never being completely satisfied gives me the desire to try new things, to learn more and to set and reach new goals.

To those of you who have asked me about my running and have not received sufficient reason, I hope this helps. If you're not satisfied, well, then you have what it takes to be a runner.