St. Luke's Half Marathon 
1:56:19 - PR - my goal was sub-2. I'm glad to finally get that off my back after a disappointing half last October where I was on sub-2 pace until the side stitches felled me around mile six and resulted in 2:06 and change. No side stitches this time. I ran wearing the Merrell Trail Glove.

From the start, I paced behind the 1:50 group but finally lost sight of them around miles 7-8. The 1:55 group passed me around 10 but I was able to keep them in sight until the end. I hit the halfway point around 55 and change, mile 7 around 59 and change and 10 around 1:26. Once I hit 7 at 59 minutes I knew I could PR if I could run the next 6.1 miles in less than an hour. The hills around miles 7-9 were a b*tch and that's were I did some brief walking. Nonetheless, it was a successful run. Rest week is ahead and then I'll drop back into 10-12 miles a week and try to get more velo in.

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2011 Log 
Running log for 2011: 975 miles. I doubt I'll top that in 2012 even though I am running a half-marathon in spring and plan on running a marathon in the fall. Marathon training, including the grand finale, is around 450 miles. I never added up how many miles are in the half training plan I follow but I would assume at least 200.

Add another 474 for velo and that's 1449 miles moving forward.

Happy 2012!

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D&L Heritage Half-Marathon 
Ran this one this morning; a nice and scenic run from alonf the corridor from Northampton to Slatington. I had high hopes for this and was aiming for a sub-2 hour run. However, it was not to be. I was running a sub-nine minute pace and on track for a sub-two hour finish until side stitches hit me like a ton o' bricks around mile six. Some walking helped and by mile eight the pain was gone but I lost too much time. I finished in 2:06 and change and I figure the side stitches cost me about ten minutes.

After a week off, I'll do some light running for the rest of the year; maybe 10-12 miles a week. Maybe I'll do a 5K or two before years' end but that's it for now. A spring marathon would require training to begin the day after Christmas so that seems unlikely at this point. For 2012, I'll initially plan on another half in the spring and then a full in the fall. I have some races in mind already. Let's see how I feel mentally and physically in six to eight weeks.

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Log 
January through June this year:

Running: 548 miles, approximately 86.5 hours.

Cycling: 202 miles, approximately 18.6 hours.

I'll run a half-marathon in the fall and then another marathon next year.

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26.2 
I ran my first marathon today. I finished 16 minutes slower than my goal thanks to side stitches and a blister on the toe one over from the big on my right foot. Weather was perfect for a run: ~62F with some occasional rain showers. I'm sore as hell but, I can say "I'm a marathoner".

Update - Some rankings:

251/377 in my age group
1711/2643 males
2493/4282 finishers.

Also, according to my log, I tallied 441 miles running during training, excluding the marathon.

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10100 


I did it. I ran twenty miles today in ~3:13; 9:40 pace. Pinnacle of training has been reached and the tapering begins. I feel pretty good, albeit a little sore. It rained, and rained hard at times, for the first fourteen miles. After you've run fourteen miles in heavy rain, it doesn't matter anymore if it doesn't rain for the next six.

I'm glad the big 2-0 is behind me. The marathon will be hard but I'm going to be ready.

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Week 15 
Fourteen weeks of marathon training are in the log and the dreaded week fifteen begins tomorrow. Runs of 5, 10, 5 make up the mid-week runs and then Saturday is the longest run of training - 20. When I first considered whether or not to tackle a marathon, week fifteen was the week that scared me. Now, I look at it and it doesn't look so frightening anymore; dreaded, perhaps, but I am confident I can bag that 20 six days from now. After all, I've already done an 18 and, while that was hard, I did it. It's going to take me about 200 minutes to run 20, but I am sure I can do it.

After this week, tapering begins. Mileage is reduced and runs are more for maintenance. It's funny to look down at a ten or twelve mile run instead up at it.

It is now twenty-eight days until the marathon and I'll be ready.

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15 
I am now about to finish the 10th week of marathon training. Today I ran my longest distance yet - 15 miles. I was a little nervous and intimidated about today's run going back a day or two but today I woke at 5:45 and did my stretches, had 1.5 cups of coffee and half a banana, and went out and ran the 15. I felt a great deal of accomplishment after I finished and the 20 miler that's scheduled for Easter weekend and that I've been fretting about seems possible now.

My goal for the run today was 2:22:30 (9:30 pace) and I finished in 2:25:23 which isn't too bad. It's not going to win me any awards but running 15 miles at a 9:41 is what it is and it isn't sitting on a couch saying "I need to get in shape."

As I've said before, there's a big difference between "I will" and "I should."


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99 
A few weeks ago, I registered for a marathon. I'll be running Pittsburgh 100 days from today which means 99 more days of training are ahead. This week will mark the conclusion of four weeks of training.

So far, the training hasn't been difficult as the distances involved aren't a challenge for me. Week five has the first double-digit long run and that will be the norm for the rest of the training. The plan I'm following comprises of four runs a week, one of which is the long run over the weekend. This long run will gradually increase to 20 miles on Easter weekend and then taper down until the big day in May. During the week, the runs will be two short (three, increasing to five) bookending a medium (increasing to ten); two rest days and a cross-training day round out the week.

Two glitches have come about: the weather and my knee. The weather hasn't forced me to miss any runs yet as the townships have done a sufficient job plowing their sections of the bikepath. However, I aggravated my knee last week and runner's knee has flared up again. It's not enough to stop me from running but I do need to stretch often and am going to PT again to get it worked out. This is my second bout with it.

Will I be ready? The weather will get better, eventually, so it's just the knee that I need to work out. The distances don't intimidate me as long as my body is tuned properly.


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Log 
I ran 692.16 miles in 2010.

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Conquered the Mountain 
I did it; by my watch: 46:20 up and 44:18 down. The official results are four seconds not in my favor but it doesn't affect anything really. About 1/3 of the runners finished behind me - a number I expected. Runs with the word "mountain" in them bring out the hard-core runners. I held my own in this crowd.

The biggest worry was my knee. I have a minor case of runner's knee and I was concerned that after the race, I'd have to shut things down for the rest of the year. The funny thing is that going down the mountain is harder on the knee than going up and while I haven't run since the race yet, the knee is doing ok. I'll take it easy for the rest of the year - probably no more than another 50 miles - and decide on which marathon to run in 2011.

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Go Tell it on the Mountain 
I am running in the South Mountain 10 miler next Sunday. Why? Why not. The challenge is obvious: a 636 foot ascent over a two mile span. The hill begins around mile two and is done by mile four so at least it's out of the way early. Since the half in September, I have been running about 15 miles a week: two short (3-5 miles each) during the week and a longer run on the weekend 6.2-9 miles). After this run, I am going to pare it down some and maybe settle in at ten miles a week or so - three running days - 3, 3, and 4 (as of now I am at 597 miles logged for the year and my goal was >600). I will definitely do, at minimum, another half in the spring. I want to run a marathon next year but haven't completely convinced myself that I am ready. I may try a marathon as early as spring but I am not willing to commit yet. I will ride this year out and decide by the end the year - whether I do two 13.1 milers or a half and a full next year.

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