2017 Year in Review

Quick post to review my 2017 in running…

Goal 1 – Break two hours in a half
COMPLETE! FINALLY after years of trying, on half marathon #7, I broke two hours. I broke it by a lot, actually, coming in at 1:55 at the Kentucky Derby half marathon in Louisville, KY. It felt amazing to run a great race and knock that off my list.

Goal 2 – 1,250 miles
Complete FAILURE on this one. I ended the year at 964 miles over 180 runs. Both are records for me, besting last year’s 900 miles. Quite short of my goal though, and so utterly close to 1,000 miles.

What did me in was basically the lack of running from the end of May through late September. I ran, just not as much as I should. Even just a few runs here and there would have gotten me to 1,000 miles. With Dopey coming up this week, it wasn’t worth it to push for 1k though, too much of a risk of injury for that.

So, on to 2018! I’ve got Dopey, and then nothing else planned for the year yet. We technically have MCM in October, but we’ll see.


On Track

Well, as much as we can be. We are getting closer and closer to Dopey in January, and I’m proud to say that other than missing a long run for my birthday the other week, we’ve been nailing our runs. Either four or five days a week, getting some miles in. Sure, our long runs aren’t quite up to par (we are WAY behind on that), but at least we’re getting there.

Since we can’t catch up to the plan at this point, it was time to start developing a new one to get us as close as possible. The next three mini Dopey’s are 4/8/18, 4/9/19 and 2.5/5/10/20. Our longest run to date has only been 11, so that’s not gonna happen. Instead, here’s what we’re going to do:

    The Plan

  • This week: 3/6/14
  • Two weeks: 4/8/16
  • Peak week: 2.5/5/10/18

It’s aggressive still, but it’s the best we’ll be able to do given our current fitness levels. I think a good portion of the longer segments will need to be run/walk as well, so we will train for that.

But otherwise, we’re doing ok. We did our three miles on Thursday and six miles this morning, so tomorrow will be 14. Longest I’ll have run since Louisville, and after two days of running, so it’ll be interesting to see how our legs are feeling during and after the run. Going to be an early bedtime I think!

Going to Disney is the same as running, right?

This week we were scheduled for runs Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, with the Friday/Saturday runs at around 5-8 and 12-14 miles. We had the best of intentions too. We even managed to hit up the gym Thursday morning and get in a strength workout. But alas, it was not meant to be.

The weekday runs went fine, 4-5-4 as I had planned. Friday I woke up a bit tired, so only did four miles before work. It’s my birthday week (well, it’s Monday, but you know…celebrations start earlier). Friday after work we hit up some spots for happy hour, then went home after walking around at a monthly art show thing in our neighborhood.

Saturday we knew we were going to Disney, but had still planned to get some miles in. Instead, I woke up very late for me, and there just wouldn’t be time to do both. And in a battle between running and going to Disney to have some fun for my birthday….Disney won.

Next week I hope we can get back on track. My mother-in-law is with us for another week and a half, then my aunt-in-law is here for two weeks, then my mom for a week. By that point, over a three and a half month span, we will have been alone for one single day. It’s not ideal conditions to be training for anything, let alone an undertaking as large as Dopey, especially after wasting away July, August and September. But what can you do.

Big congrats to Shalane Flanagan! We woke up to watch the NYC Marathon this morning, and it was awesome to see her rock it! She held tight and then dropped the hammer and made her move in the last couple of miles, and no one could stick with her. First time an American woman has won since 1977! Friggin’ awesome

A Lot Has Changed…

Indeed, it certainly has. Officially, it’s been nearly four months since I last posted. Back then, I was training for a marathon I would not ultimately run, in a state I would not live in for much longer, working at a job I would no longer work at. Let’s back up, shall we?

In July, I started interviewing for a new job. It wasn’t that we were unhappy in Memphis, but we wanted to see what other opportunities were out there. I felt a bit stagnant at my company, and my role was about to become nearly 50% travel, something I did not want. I also had always wanted to work for a tech company. Not necessarily a start-up, as I’m too risk-averse for that, but still a small, internet-based company. The place I was interviewing fit that to a T. I did my in-person interview on July 16th. I found out I got the job on August 25th, and after a bit of negotiating, signed the offer that day. We would soon to be moving to….

Orlando, Florida! That’s right, we were packing up and heading further soon – kind of the opposite direction I ever thought I’d go (as my family is mostly in Ohio). But we couldn’t pass it up: Disney right there, beaches on both coasts, Miami a short road trip, a larger and more international airport, a MUCH larger Latin community that would make my wife much happier as well. Lots of reasons, so we were comfortable. We started planning for the move right away and getting things ready, as I started work in less than a month.

I put in my notice at work, transitioned my duties to others, packed up the house, fixed it up, hired a painter to repaint the exterior, and got with our realtor to get it ready to sell. It was on the market and we were headed for a 12 hour drive to Orlando!

We’ve been here a bit over a month so far. It was definitely a trying move – we didn’t know for sure if we had an apartment until two days before we left Memphis, and the movers “left behind” half of our stuff. Like, half of a bed, the coffee maker (but brought the coffee pot). That stuff was put on another truck a few days later….which then promptly broke down somewhere between Memphis and Orlando. All told, it took three weeks for our stuff to make that 12 hour drive.

So, you might be asking, how’s the running going? Yeah, with all of the stuff that needed to happen in a short amount of time, running definitely got the short end of our attention and energy. I ran 49 miles in August. I ran 32 in September. Not good. And of course, the Marine Corps Marathon was October 22nd. Naturally, we didn’t run it. We had deferred a few weeks prior, knowing we would not be in a position to run. Instead, we decided to focus as much as we could on Dopey.

We’ve been training in earnest for the past three weeks. We are starting late, for sure, but trying to just keep plugging away. At this point, we can’t catch up to where we should be according to our original plan; that would be unsafe and likely result in an injury or burnout. My goal is to put us in a position where we can get to a decent distance in the marathon – say, 15-17 miles – and just use grit and determination to finish. A lot will be determined by our mini-Dopeys coming up in a few weeks. The final one is supposed to be 2.5-5-10-20 miles, but ours will be closer to 2.5-5-10-15 or so.

Overall, things are good, though still hectic. Our house hasn’t officially sold yet. We had an offer, it fell through because the buyer slacked off on getting financing. We put it back on the market and got an offer right away; we also have a back-up offer in our pocket should this one fall through. We will be much less stressed once that’s taken care of, and we can start paying off the move.

More to come!

MCM Training: Week 1 and 2 Recap

Sorry y’all, I’ve been slacking on my blogging about training lately. Thankfully, my running hasn’t been slacking!

Training for the 2017 Marine Corps Marathon officially kicked off for us on June 20th. For previous marathons, we’ve both followed Hal Higdon’s Novice plans (1 and 2). This time, however, we wanted to increase our mileage a bit and really come in under 5 hours. So, we’re both doing Intermediate, which calls for five days of running. The midweek stuff is fine, no real differences there. But running both Saturday AND Sunday, that’s a huge chance. Sundays were our days to kick back, sleep in, relax, and get ready for the week. Now we basically have to wake up early every day. Sucks.

Week 1 was good, actually some cool weather in the mornings, which was nice. We even managed to go out Friday and Saturday night and still hit our runs. Woohoo!

Week 2 was a bit warmer, but still not bad. Already up to a weekend of five and eleven miles, so this plan definitely ramps up quickly. But we’ve been running a lot, including two half marathons in the first part of the year, so we’ve been consistently going 8-12 miles every weekend.

This weekend we also undertook our first semi-serious DIY project around the house. Our pantry (and all closets) have these awful wire shelves, which I hate. I’ve wanted to get rid of them since we moved in, but never got around to it. So on Saturday (after our five milers) we went to Home Depot and bought everything we would need. The project spilled into Sunday (after eleven miles), but we finally finished it all up around 4PM. We were exhausted! But it looks great, so we’re happy with the outcome.

Week 3 has begun, and so has the heat. Not looking forward to those terrible runs when it’s so hot and humid you can barely breath and want to die after five miles.

Happy Independence Day everyone!