Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Twin Cities Marathon

As I keep reading about the Elite Fields for the Twin Cities Marathon, and the American hopefuls to win this event, it becomes very inspiring.  The race is only 11 days away and I can't wait for it to start.  The two American hopefuls are Luke Watson and Jason Hartman, both very talented runners.  This will be Watson's debut marathon, so it will be interesting to see how he does, and Hartman was 10th at the 2007 Olympic Trials.  That combination makes for a pretty decent American Field.  I just hope to be in the mix with those guys.  At this point, I feel very confident in racing my own race, and not worrying about things I can't control.  

So, as far as training goes, last week (9/14/09) went really well.  We had one fartlek workout on tuesday, which consisted of 5 sets of 3-2-1.  The rest of the week leading up to sunday's long run/tempo was just easy mileage.  Now, sunday's long run/tempo was interesting.  As usual, we start late because Kris and I are off marking a 10k loop that we will run marathon goal pace at, at the end of our long run.  Once that "course" it set up, we leave some water bottles and fuel, and head over to meet up with the rest of the gang.  The long run starts off fine, with everyone: Me, Kris, Robby, Dustin, and Josh goofing off and trotting along the river for 12 miles.  Oh, and every so often Kris gets a bright idea to throw in a surge for a minute to spice things up... Well, once we finish 12 miles (or so), we head over to "the course" and start the last 10k of our long run.  Unfortunately, I started us off a little too quick and forgot to start my watch (so we had no idea how fast we were going), but I think it went well.  The course had a few turns through some neighborhoods, past some pit-bulls that wanted us dead, a few disgruntled sunday morning drivers and finished by a lovely fire station... All and all, it could have been worst.  I actually liked the course and I think we will use it for more of these marathon simulation workouts.  But, as I was saying, we didn't get a full time on the 10k loop, but I'm pretty sure we got the last 2 miles, which were in 11:11.

On tuesday, our other semi-last workout of the season, we just did 5x1000m at Albuquerque Academy.  This was another makeshift workout, since lanes 1-3 were blocked.  We had to calculate the correct stager in lane 4 and stay in lane 4.  That workout went well and Kris, Allen and I worked together on it.  

As we have 11 days till the marathon, I just hope to stay healthy and hungry to race.  "Tapering" is an interesting experience, and I don't even know if we are doing it right, but either way I know we'll be ready at the start of that marathon.              

Monday, September 14, 2009

3 Weeks and Counting/Hood to Coast

So, there are only three weeks left till my marathon debut.  I am both excited and nervous about this ordeal.  At times I feel like I could use another month of training, or just pick another marathon, but I'm sure the Twin Cities Marathon is a fine choice.  Kris and I have been preparing very well for this, and a few weeks ago we just completed the Hood to Coast relay.  Although, Kris and I were on different teams and different lengths the effort was still there, as well as the confidence.

The Hood to Coast relay was a logistical nightmare; fun, but insane...  This "experience" transpired back in March when I got an email from Steve Dekoker, a Brooks Sports Marketing guy, and talented runner.  His emailed explained how Brooks has been putting together a team every year at this NIKE Hood To Coast relay in Oregon.  This relay is "The mother of all relays", as it says on the back of the corny T-Shirts.  Well, Steve had invited a few Brooks athletes to be on this team, as well as local Brooks guys.  And with the lure of gear incentives, travel and free food, why wouldn't I take this opportunity.  Not to mention that the entire relay covers 198 miles from Mt. Hood to Seaside, mostly done at night. It was a nightmare, but fun!  Our team, the "Brooks Beast" won in a time of 16 hours and 55 minutes, an average of 5:09 miles.  Two years ago the Brooks team took 3rd to 2 Nike teams, Last year they were 2nd to the Nike team and finally, this year we won.  So, needless to say, it was a great experience!

Now, its roughly 2 1/2 weeks till the marathon.  Last week I tapped out at 124 miles for the week, which was the most I've ever done.  Hopefully I can post as much as possible leading up to the marathon.