Knock Knock. Who’s There? Boston!

Take a deep breath. Sitting down? Doesn’t matter. I just submitted my registration for THE. BOSTON. MARATHON. Ah!!! Yes! Ok, now calm down.

Note I say “submitted my registration”, not “registered”. That’s because they need to take a look at everyone who

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wants to run the race and determine if there’s enough room (details below). I’m hoping my time (3:03:36) is good enough to get me into the race. It should be, but you just never know.

Before I do anything else, just gotta give a shout out and thank you to Colin for convincing me that it could be done. After my first marathon (2007 Marine Corps – 3:53:42) I was just amazed I finished. How far we’ve come. I qualified at Vermont 50 minutes (and 6 seconds) faster, four and a half years later. From then until Vermont I had no disillusionment of actually qualifying for Boston, but Colin kept pressing the issue. Well here we are. Thanks buddy.

And bear with me, but I must give one big thank you to my support crew. Hazel as my training partner and Ev as my incredibly understanding and loving wife. It might be cliché, but I couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you more than you know.

Now it’s time to wait. Anyone who qualified can register from now through Friday. That’s when they close the doors, check how many people registered, and then either say “we’re full” or open it back up until it finally sells out. I won’t know if I’m officially registered until as late as October 1st. Sheesh. Hopefully they’re so amazed by my application that the race director personally calls me. Or they can just shoot me an automated email ASAP. Either way.


p>Overly detailed explanation: If more people want to run than there is room, then they start cutting people with the slowest times until they get to their target number. Last year, for example, the qualifying time was 3:10 (for my age group), but because there were too many people who wanted to run, the real cut off was actually 3:08:46. So you could’ve qualified with 3:09:30 and not been admitted. This year they made the qualification standards more difficult, requiring everyone to run 5 minutes faster than previous years. Will it be enough to reduce the number of applicants? I sure hope so.

Hey Boston, I’m coming for you

Last weekend we ventured to our rhyming sister cousin friend acquaintance city Boston for my cousin’s wedding.  While there I figured I’d try to get scope out the Boston Marathon course.  Maybe check out those nasty hills or get a preview of some of the scenery.  Well my plan was foiled when I learned that most of the race route is on city streets with minimal pedestrian access.  It didn’t stop me from getting very excited.

Instead I went out for two amazing runs along the Charles River.  The paths along the river are amazing as you run by all the historic brick buildings.  Starting in Copley Square I crossed the river into Cambridge and then trekked up one side of the river and back down the other trying my best to take it all in. If you wanted to convince me to move to Boston, all you’d need to do is take me on another run along the river there and I’m sold.

But all that running meant eating a lot.  We ate a ton.  Lobster rolls, pizza, pasta, and pastries like whoa.  On day 1 of our trip, my sister (who lives in Boston), Ev, and I hit up the gloriously named Mike’s Pastry for a famous canoli.  Not to waste an opportunity, I also picked up something called a lobster tail, which is really a code name for “enormous pastry stuffed with a pound of cream filling”.  By the end of the weekend I had conquered both desserts, sharing only a few bites along the way.

It’s hard to get perspective, but that lobster tail is about 11 inches long and weighs in, I’d guess, at 1.5 pounds.

What made up for not running any of the actual marathon course was getting to see the real finish line.  Most races bring in a scaffolding on race morning and take it away when the race is over.  Boston takes things much more seriously by actually painting the finish line onto the street.  How cool is that?!  Can’t wait to go back for the real deal!

Can’t wait to cross that finish line 9 months from now!

Let’s Get Serious

Alright folks. No more messing around. The biggest race of my running life is a week away. I’ve been training like crazy. I’ve been tracking the weather (like crazy). I’ve

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already picked out my race attire. Now it’s time to make some internal changes. It’s time to get serious.

From now until the race I’m going to be strictly monitoring my

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diet. So far, alcohol, large amounts of dairy, and overly greasy food are off the table. Beans? No thanks. Broccoli? Apparently not. Gluten and caffeine are going to be severely limited too, though not cut out completely. I plan to eat lots of oatmeal, bananas, rice, fish, potatoes, and chicken.


p style=”text-align: left;”>Besides diet, I’m also going to do my best to get more sleep. My current 6 hours per night average isn’t cutting it. Basically my plan is to adopt a bland, responsible, adult lifestyle for the next week. I know they say don’t change anything you haven’t practiced, but I can’t imagine that applies to dropping bad habits. I guess we’ll find out! Until then we’ll be all serious all the time.

Vermont Status Check: 13 Days to go

My last long run is in the books.  17 miles (well, 16.3).  56 miles last week.  Two weeks to go.  Things are starting to get real.  Friday and Saturday served up back-to-back hard runs and my body exceeded expectations.  Friday I crushed a hard tempo workout.  Saturday was all kinds of hills and speed.  Both were fantastic.  All in all, I’m feeling strong right now.

On the flip side, the weather forecast is playing some sick joke on me.  When I first started tracking it on May 7th, everything looked amazing!  Like, too good to be true.  Well, I guess it was because a few days later, it skyrockeded 20 degrees to near-Austin temperatures.  Like any good runner, I started moping.  But!  Yesterday things took a turn for the best!  Inexplicably the race day high dropped 20 degrees again back down to darn-near perfect.  Yay!  Or so I thought.  Today, whoever fudged the keyboard yesterday figured it out, and updated the race day weather back up to 83 degrees.  Sigh.

No matter!  My recent hard workouts were awesome and the weather here was the same as the current race predictions.  I’m feeling good.  There’s still a lot of time until race day, but I think we can do this!

Vermont Status Check: 19 Days to go

As any marathon runner can tell you, tapering (the last couple weeks of a training plan where mileage and intensity decrease), can make you a little stir crazy.  For months and months any extra energy you might have gets immediately exhausted during the next training run.  So when the running decreases, the excess time and energy increases, which can be a dangerous thing.  You start to notice a little ache here or pain there that you’re pretty sure wasn’t there yesterday.

Continue reading

Vermont Watch 2012

We’re inside 3 weeks until the Vermont Marathon. To catch people up, I plan to qualify for the Boston Marathon by running

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sub-3:05 in Vermont. I thought it might be helpful to at least one person (everyone counts!) to compile all Vermont-related posts into one place. So here is a list of all of my Vermont coverage from the beginning.

Race Report!

Race Preview

Let’s Get Serious

Status Check: 13 Days to go

Status Check: 19 Days to go

Weather Tracker

Training Begins

The Training Plan

Signing Up

Weathering the Weather

It’s no secret I’ve been working hard to prepare myself to qualify for the Boston Marathon by running under 3:05 at the Vermont Marathon. Part of my hard work has been to control as much as possible. One notoriously elusive variable has been the weather, which despite my best efforts, won’t do exactly what I want just because I say so. Thus, I’ve been doing the next best thing. Since the beginning of my taper three weeks before race day (May 7th), I’ve been checking the laughably long-term forecast for Burlington, Vermont each day. Here’s where things stand:

Predicted Weather on May 27th as of: Accuweather
High / Low
High / Low
High / Low
May 7 65 / 46 * *
May 8 65 / 46
May 9 65 / 44
May 10 65 / 44
May 11 82 / 59
May 12 80 / 57
May 13 61 / 59
May 14 83 / 62
May 15 62 / 47
May 16 67 / 47
May 17 71 / 60
May 18 82 / 62 78 / 62 72 / 57
May 19 82 / 59 76 / 63 70 / 54
May 20 71 / 45 74 / 51 70 / 52
May 21 77 / 51 72 / 54 75 / 59
May 22 86 / 61 84 / 62 84 / 57
May 23 81 / 55 77 / 57 84 / 61
May 24 75 / 47 73 / 58 77 / 61
May 25 72 / 51 72 / 55 73 / 55
May 26 76 / 58 73 / 57 75 / 55
May 27

So that’s what the temperature has been predicted to be on May 27th over the last 21 days… neurotic? yes no. I call it thorough. I’ll be updating this daily until race

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p>* and Wunderground are not so foolhardy as to try to predict the weather 3+ weeks out. I like Accuweather’s chutzpah./

Why The Face? – Mental Case

Today I was supposed to go for a hard workout at the track.  Instead I slept in.  My legs (and really my whole body) were just tired, and there was very little chance of actually getting out of bed when my alarm went off at 5:15am.  Well I’m sitting here, anxious as all get out (that’s a saying, right?) about having skipped a run.  I think a big part is because I haven’t missed a run yet, except for two days after the Texas Independence Relay to recover.

Normally I’d go at lunch or after work to make it up, but neither option works today.  I realize it’s a tiny bit ridiculous, but I can’t quite shake it.  All will be right in the world.  I’ll just go for my run tomorrow.  But it turns out skipping a run has made me into some kind of mental case.  WTF running?  What is this spell you have over me?