Marathon Nostalgia

If you’ve checked out my running log, then you’ll probably find this pretty hard to believe, but there was a time when I was extremely fit and completed a marathon in a little over 3 hours, which put me in the single digits percentage wise. I did a sub par job of chronicling my training for that marathon, but for what it’s worth, I’m sticking it here as inspiration.

September 8, 1999

Well, so far so good. I went 13.1 miles today and it felt great. It took me an hour and 28 minutes. I really could have kept going without much trouble. I’m starting to believe in this plan a little more now. It is really a positive thing that I’m starting to pick up the mileage as it is beginning to get a little cooler. Let’s hope that this trend continues.

September 16, 1999

I saw yesterday that those runs I’ll be facing in a couple of weeks aren’t going to be so easy. I guess over the next two months I’ll find out what I’m made of as a runner. It wasn’t that the run itself was so hard, it was more that the mental aspect of the run was rather rough. Of course having the mental aspect weighing down on me didn’t help the physical aspect of the run too much. It took me two minutes longer this week, but I sort of expected as much, since last week I missed a run on Labor Day. I’m starting to have a hard time imagining running for two and a half hours with no fan fare whatsoever. If I can get through that 21 mile training run in a couple of weeks, I know the marathon will be a piece of cake. Anyway, I supposed I’ve rambled on about this long enough.

October 5, 1999

It seems kind of funny to me that I can motivate myself enough to go out and run 15 miles, but I’m too lazy to sit down here and type about it. That’s probably because I know that none of you really give a rat’s ass. Anyway, I know you were rooting for me to fail, but no I have not missed any of my long runs, I’ve just neglected to put anything about them on this farce of a site.

I’m a bit hesitant to attempt to report about the runs so long after completing them, because of course they don’t seem so bad now. Let’s see, I did the 14 mile run in 1:33 and the 15 mile run in 1:42. I know, it’s horrible that it took me nine minutes longer on a run that is only one mile longer, but I started out a lot more conservatively on the 15 miler because that 14 miler hurt so much at the end. Naturally though, the 15 mile run hurt pretty bad near the end too. I’d say around the 14th mile of the 15 mile run is when I first began to question whether or not I’m going to be able to run this marathon. By the end of the run, as I could feel the fatigue begin to settle into my legs I knew I was going to be fine on Marathon Day. I’m sure I’ll begin to doubt it again as that 14th mile creeps up on me again this week, with several miles left to go, but for now I have confidence that I’ll be fine.

This is a bit off the subject, but still an issue that almost all runners face. What is with the morons in cars that like to yell stuff at us while we’re running? I don’t have much trouble ignoring most of it (and the hoots of appreciation from the ladies are welcome), but for those of you in the Jonesboro area; If you can’t come up with something a little more creative to say than “Run Forest, run,” please don’t bother speaking to me. If you’re so devoid of intellect, what the hell are you doing operating a motor vehicle in the first place? I wasn’t aware that chimps were allowed to drive these days. OK OK, I’ll get off this now. Anyway, until next time…

October 10, 1999

Well, it has taken me three days to actually sit down and write about it, but I did succesfully complete the 18 mile run for this week. I’m sorry to disappoint any of you out there rooting against me. Do you have any idea how far 18 miles is to run? NO, YOU DON’T!!! That’s OK, neither did I until last Thursday. Oh yeah, I moved the long run to Thursdays, but I’m too lazy to go back and edit the table. It’s been that way all along really. Anyway, surprisingly enough, I was fine up until I passed the fifteen mile mark, at which point I really started to drag. The important thing is that I finished though, and I think all things considered I finished strong. Hopefully I’ll be able to say the same thing after doing it again this week. Anyway, there’s not much more to say I suppose.

October 14, 1999

Wow, 18 miles is a bitch. I’m really starting to doubt my own sanity. Actually, I don’t think it would have been such a hard run if I hadn’t started getting a cramp in my side with 5 miles to go. That made it really hard to finish. I know it destroyed my time, but atleast I didn’t give up on it. Hell, after running that far there was no way that I was going to quit. It’s kind of funny. When I first started building mileage back in May, I’d go on like a 10 mile run and be pretty tired when it was over, but I’d also feel pretty damn good. Well, I just finished with 18 miles about 2 hours ago, and now I’m just tired. My legs are aching a little, and I have to be honest, it isn’t seeming like much fun anymore. I know for you non-runners out there running isn’t fun period, but for me it has always been something that I have enjoyed. Next week I have a 20 mile run slated. Ugh!…All the experts tout the 20 mile run as one of the most important in preperation for this little event they like to call a marathon, so I’m going to do my best to make it through, but I know it’s really going to show me what I’m made of. Physically as well as mentally. The mental challenge really is significant. It’s hard to keep running when you’re out there on that 16th mile all by yourself, knowing that if you just stop, the pain will subside. Atleast I’m not too worried about being able to finish the marathon now. I don’t think that the extra mileage will be too big of a stretch when I’m out there with all the other psychos, and those bored enough to actually watch us, and cheer for us. OK, I’m done yapping now…

October 22, 1999

DAMN!!!!!! That is just about all I have to say about running 20 miles. I guess it would have been more fitting to have said “That’s all I got to say about that.” I’m amazed what a difference those extra two miles can make. Actually, the run itself wasn’t all that bad, except I spent the first hour and a half with a pain in my side. How crazy is that to say? The first hour and a half of the run…yeesh!!! Anyway, I got past this by walking for about 30 seconds every 30 minutes until the pain went away. So I guess I probably ended up walking for 2 minutes or so, which doesn’t seem so bad in a run that lasted for two hours and twenty nine minutes, but it kind of took away from the sense of accomplishment for me. Ugh, my legs hurt so bad right now. It’s really not such a pain, as a dull ache that comes with near exhaustion. I know if I can carry a 7:30 mile pace by myself for 20 miles I’ll be fine come Thanksgiving, but it still seems like a daunting feat I’m going to embark on. Here’s to hoping, right? C’mon ya bastards, have a little faith in me. Give me some encouragement, I’m starting to doubt my sanity at this point. That’s OK though. The worst part of the training is over I think. I only have one more long run. Atleast long in comparison to what I did tonight. I have to do it again in two weeks, then let the taper begin. It’ll be nice to know that all the hard stuff is over, but I’m not sure what I’m going to do after this whole thing is over. I’ll have to find some sort of new goal to pursure. Assuming that I obtain this one that is. I have the utmost confidence that won’t be an issue. Anyway, I’m straying from the theme of the page, so ciao…

November 2, 1999

Heh, I told you I was lazy. I hope you weren’t expecting me to actually update this the day after the run. Well, I did 16 miles with no problem. It still sucks running for that long, but I finished strong. The long stuff is basically over now. I’m supposed to run my second 20 miler this week, but I just found out about a half-marathon this Saturday that I’m thinking about running, in which case I’ll amend my training schedule a little bit. I doubt seriously that swapping out one run is going to make all the diffrence in the world, especially since I have done a one twenty mile run. I’d rather go into this a little undertrained anyway, my legs have been feeling sluggish the last week or so. So, the plan is to just run seven miles this Thursday, take Friday off so I can run the half-marathon with a little vigor on Saturday, then finish off the week with my usual Friday run on Sunday. Does that sound good? I don’t really care what you think; Ever heard of a rhetorical question? If you just answered that, you’re a Grade A dipshit, probably of the Run Forest!!! Run!!! club. It will never cease to amaze me how much attention I garner when I’m running sometimes. To the fat little representative of the afore mentioned club: Be glad you’re not worth the law suit I’d be facing if I’d stopped. I’ve always hated kids, but lately I hate you all more than usual. The only good thing is that I still have fond memories of when I knew it all and nobody could hurt me either. I miss those days, reality is a bitch, and someday it’s going to smack you in that oversized gut of yours. Don’t worry, it’ll happen before your arteries become completely clogged. Ok, I’ve strayed far from the intended scope of this page. Later…

November 11, 1999

Well, the long stuff is over. With the exception of a 12 mile run slated for next Tuesday, there aren’t any runs over 7 miles left. Let’s see, last week I elected not to do the second 20 mile run. I know, I’m a wuss, but that’s OK. I ran 7 miles last Thursday and then a half-marathon on Saturday morning. I almost won the damn thing too. I ended up with second place, but I was only about 30 seconds behind the winner. The time was 1:16 minutes and about 25 seconds. Yep you got it, there wasn’t exactly a lot of high talent competition in this race. OK, there wasn’t any, but that’s OK too. I’m happy though, I took about 15 minutes off my first half-marathon time, and I honestly think that this course was much tougher than the Atlanta half-marathon course. No, I’m not just trying to make myself feel better about it, everyone agreed. There were hills out the wazzu during the second half of the run. I actually thought about quitting at one point, because the hills were that hellish. OK, I knew there was no way I would quit, but it sure made me feel better to know that I could if it I really really wanted to.

Tonight I ran a 16 miler. It took me about an hour and 46 minutes. Sorry, I don’t have the seconds on this one, I wasn’t really that concerned at the end of the run, because it was cold and dark. The run wasn’t hard at all, but I was bored out of my mind. I don’t think I’m going to continue with distance anywhere near this long after this marathon is over. The physical part is only a very small percentage of what makes these long runs tough. Anyway, in two weeks this will all be over. It’s hard to believe that it is less than two weeks away. I’ve been training for this damn thing since May. Hell, I don’t know what it going to keep me running after this is over. I guess the fact that I like being able to take my shirt off at the beach will have to be my motivation. Hopefully that’ll get me back in the weight room too. I suppose you’ve noticed I haven’t worked on the weight training portion of this site, and there is a reason for that. I’ve only touched any sort of strenght training apparatus once or twice since I left Athens in August. I hadn’t planned on stopping, it just managed to fall out of my routine when I got home. The week after the marathon, I vow to get back to it. At which point, I’ll also endeavor to work on that part of the site. Anyway, as usual I’m veering away from the scope of the page, so I will end this rather abru…

November 25, 1999

Well, it’s the eve of the big event, and I can’t really seem to get too worried about the run tomorrow. Actually, the run in 7 hours. I should be in bed, but I know I wouldn’t be sleeping anyway. I know this is likely to be less than fun, but I don’t think I’m in any danger of not finishing. I’m shooting for 3 hours and 15 minutes. I guess we’ll see.

Since my last update, I did my 12 mile run as scheduled and ran in a 5K last weekend. My time was pathetic…18:08, but it was still good enough to win the thing. I won by about 40 seconds, and I was jogging the last mile. I hate being out front the whole time, I feel like a rabbit being chased by a pack of dogs. I much prefer to do the chasing and making a move near the end. Anyway, at the very least I suppose I should lay down now. I have to get up in about 5 hours. I’m more worried about actually finding my way to the starting line than I am about running the marathon. Though, just between you and me, I’m not sure I’ll be able to hold pace that long. Ah well, we’ll all be able to see how I did soon. You can find the results at The Atlanta Track Club website. I’ll be in the 20-24 year old age group. If you can’t figure it out from there, you don’t need to know. However, I’m sure if you wait a day or two I’ll post it here if I’m not totally ashamed of it. OK, OK, I’m going…

November 26, 1999

Well, it’s the day after the marathon and quite obviously I’m still alive. Much to the disappointment of some of you I’m sure. I think three words describe the experience very well. Never, ever again! I was feeling great right up until the twenty-second mile. I was running at a pace of about 7 minutes ten seconds per mile, and feeling strong, when suddenly things began to fall apart. I guess I hit the wall at about that point. It took me 21 minutes to run the final two miles. I actually kind of ran and walked those last two miles. Overall I probably actually ran 25 and a half miles. If I had run at the pace I had trained for, and intended to run, I probably would have finished a lot more gracefully than I did. As it was, I finished at 3:16, which was good enough for seventh in my age group, but if I had held pace I would have had fourth, so as ridiculous as it is, I’m a little disappointed.

I was stiff and achy yesterday. The more I moved around throughout the day, the better I felt though. Today?? I’m pretty sore. The only time I really notice it is getting up, sitting down, and going up or down stairs. Going down is much worse than going up! I guess I’ll probably try to go for a slow easy jog on Monday, but I doubt I’ll do any real running again until the next week, at the earliest. I want to make sure that my legs recover fully. People wonder what kind of a difference there is between a 20 mile run and a 26.2 mile run, and now I can tell you it is a world of difference. I think at the point you push yourself past total exhaustion you’re going to be recovering from it for a little while. Anyway, I’m rambling, so later…