On the Road to My First Marathon

Last season kind of sucked. I hoped to do all this in 2009 but I broke my arm pretty badly last March and had to sit out the early season. By the time I healed up I was overcommitted to less strenous activities and only ran the Ragnar Great River Relay at a mediocre 8-minute pace. (I can do much better than that!!!)

I've had a goal for the past three years to run a Marathon, and really, I've wanted to train and qualify for the Boston Marathon. Not only does this require the stamina and endurance to run 26.2 miles all in one shot, but it requires me to maintain a 7:38 pace...which I have never done in even short timed events...and that over a very hilly course! (Boston is BRUTAL!) But I know I have sub-7:30 paces in me. I've done it in practice over 6 miles in 2008.

This year, I've changed my stride to the balls of my feet (as opposed to heel-to-toe running which has kept me around 8 minutes long-distance). That has transformed my legs from sandbags into shock-absorbing PISTONS that make even a 7:30 pace feel lazy. It's like learning to run all over again, and for the time being I'm training under six miles until I learn to control my pace over longer distances. I should have it down and be in good form in another two months, and hope to turn in several PRs in this summers events (and qualify for Boston!!!)

Here's my Itenerary for Summer 2010!!!

May 2 - Mall to Mall, Cedar Rapids, IA
8.8 mi. - Lindale Mall to Westdale Mall, time prediction race.
I'm predicting 8-minute miles, but after a good run recently, I'm hoping I can smoke that time!

May 8 - Lace Up for Learning 5/10K, Cedar Rapids, IA
10K - Kingston Stadium.
My first "official" 10K. I'm hoping to put down a good sub-8 pace (7:45?) to improve on for the summer!

May 9 - Quad Cities Distance Classic, Rock Island, IL
Half-Marathon (13.1 mi) - Augustana College
My second official half-marathon, and warm-up event for at least two more I have planned this summer. (I've run the distance several times in the past three years). I'm hoping to hold an 8-minute pace, but I'll be happy to best my time of 1:50 three years ago in Indianapolis.

May 15 - Marion Arts Fest 5K
5K - Marion, Iowa
Very flat and fast course with chip-timing. Excellent goal-event for setting an official PR!
1st, 2nd, 3rd prizes in many age-groups/categories!
That and the Arts Fest is the bomb!

June 27 - Sturgis Falls
Half-Marathon (13.1 mi) - Cedar Falls, Iowa
I don't have any events for six weeks, so I'm hoping at this time to have enough training/endurance to hold a 7:30 pace! If I can do that, I *might* have a long-shot chance of qualifying for the Boston Marathon yet this year...but I'd have to double the distance at roughly the same pace!

July 4 - Alliant Energy Fifth Season Race
8K - Downtown Cedar Rapids
This short little footrace is actually on the National map and attracts top names in Track & Field!
I don't stand a snowball's chance in hell of an upper percentile finish, but again, I hope to be in top form at this point in the season and put down a blistering PR for an 8K (about 5 miles). I'm planning on running pretty damn hard for the entire course!

July 24 - BIX7
7 mi. with a brutal hill in the first mile, and a few more hills thereafter!
- Downtown Davenport, Iowa.
This is another locally famous race and one of the most challenging short-distance races around. I ran a 6.3 mile leg with a 400-foot hill in the Ragnar Relay last season that was probably a bit more difficult, so I'm hoping to blast this one with strong RUNS up the hills! It should be a good mid-season guage as to how my Ragnar training is progressing.

August 20-21 - RAGNAR GREAT RIVER RELAY!!!
193 miles, 12 person team - Winona, MN to Boom Island Park, Minneapolis, MN

My favorite event of the season!!! I won't miss it...even if it means I have to captain the team in order to run! (Which I'm doing this year)

The course follows the Mississippi and St. Croix Rivers on the Wisconsin side, then runs cross-country to the heart of Minneapolis. 12 runners run in sequence three times for a total of 13-20 miles per runner. The entire course is hilly, about 6 of the legs are just BRUTAL.

My first year out (2008) I helped fill in for missing/injured runners and ran five legs for a total of 29.9 miles over 30 hours on two hours sleep and a wicked stress fracture. So yeah, after that I KNOW I can train for a MARATHON!

September 26 - Quad Cities Marathon
Full Marathon (26.2 mi) - Quad Cities
I'm hoping after all the training this year to be ready for my FIRST MARATHON! If I'm not quite ready, I'll save it one more month for Des Moines, and just run the half at a faster pace. I need to run 7:38 (3hrs 20min total) to qualify for the BOSTON MARATHON in April next year. I doubt I'll be able to do that. Hell, I'll be very happy to maintain anything under 8:15 at this distance! But i'm damn sure going to try!

October 17 - Des Moines Marathon
Full Marathon (26.2 mi)
If I only run the half at Q-C I'll definitely run the full marathon here. There's no reason I should not be in condition for it by then. If I run anywhere close to a qualifying time for Boston in the Q-C I'll make every effort to make the cut here! The weather should be cooler and ideal for running at both events, and they are probably my last chance to qualify for Boston 2011 before the roster fills up.

WISH ME LUCK!!!
BlackRoger BlackRoger
41-45, M
2 Responses Jul 26, 2010

Super - great training. You have the right attitude to do it. Yes, Boston can be a b*tch - BUT I think you have the attitude to do it. Go for it!

THANKS!!! q:)