Thursday, October 25, 2012

Maybe Going Back to my Marathon Running Roots for a Few Months (Part 1)

Ron, my Dad and I before MCM 2010
To marathon or not to marathon….that is the question?? This exact question came up last night at the DC Tri Club, “Plan Your 2013 Race Schedule” seminar. Eight of us from the DC Tri Snapple Team sat on the panel and answered members’ questions about how to plan your race season. I was quiet when this question came up because I am debating this myself. I do know that now that it is ‘off-season’ I will be focusing on my weakest link….swimming and adding in some yoga or pilates two times a week. This has to become a habit for me since core and functional training is key to preventing injury. And, it will definitely play a huge part in my marathon training if that is indeed what I decide to do.

The marathon in question is the VA Beach Shamrock Half, March 17, 2013. Ron and I did the half marathon a few years ago and had a great time. There was a big house that a bunch of us shared and it was the first time that I had ever been to VA Beach. The weather was perfect that weekend. Here are the pros and cons for this race.
·         We can make a fun weekend out of it and share a house with friends.
·         I mentioned it to my Dad and I think he’d be pretty easily persuaded to come out for it. Plus, he’s never been to VA Beach.
·         The finish line is a blast with green beer, Irish soup and relaxation on the beach!
·         Flat and fast course.
·         I’ve heard the 2nd half of this race is pretty damn boring. Hmmm
·         You have to train through the winter.
·         How will this play into my tri season next year. (I’ll get into this in part 2 of this blog.)
My main reason for wanting to do a marathon at the end of Winter is because my dad and I would love to go back to Boston together in 2014. I’ve done Boston three times now, 2001, 2003 and 2005. My favorite year racing the Boston Marathon was in 2003, when my dad and I experienced race weekend and race day together! Not too many people can say they did the Boston marathon with their dad and I want to be able to say I’ve done two Boston marathons with my dad! Now, we both just need to qualify. ;)
My dad chilling after MCM in 2010
My dad just did the Des Moines marathon and unfortunately, did not feel good the second half.  He was running with the 3:35 pacers the first half. Cramps and fatigue took over his body but he did not give up and still finished around 4 hours and took 5th finish place in his age group! He’s beating himself up for not having a ‘good day’ but you can’t help it if your body is just not feeling it race day. My dad’s ‘bad day’ is still amazing! The qualifying time for his age group is 3:55 and he is definitely in shape to do a 3:30 something marathon still. Heck, two years ago he ran Des Moines in 3:35 and then two weeks later ran the Marine Corps Marathon in 3:41! Here is where I brag about my dad a little bit. He doesn’t give himself nearly enough credit for his abilities and everything he has accomplished over the years! My dad is one tough, inspiring athlete and this marathon finish was number 23 for him! Back in his prime marathon years, my dad had several sub-3 hour marathons and two of those were a time of 2:47! That’s just over 6:20 pace! Very impressive! I can’t imagine what going that fast would feel like!
I started running with my dad when I was five years old. He still has a picture he drew of the two of us running out to the bridge by where we used to live. It was about a two mile run. Then I remember entering into some 5k’s and 8k’s as I got older. My brother, Tyler, even got into it when he was younger and we have a funny picture of my cousin Derek and my Dad holding him up by the arms running a mile race. My brother never got the running bug quite like I did but displayed his talents on the soccer field growing up and is currently the Assistant Coach for a high school team in South Dakota. In fact, they just won the state Championships!
My dad and I before MCM 2010
Growing up I did track but didn’t really enjoy it. The all out sprinting is not something I could really get into. I found out my Junior year of college that I enjoy long distance. I signed up for a marathon training class and did my first marathon in 1999. I was hooked from that point on. My dad has truly inspired me over the years and finding out that I got his endurance genes, I couldn’t resist seeing how far I could push myself. Hence, how I found my passion for long distance triathlon.
(I'm not trying to leave my mom out! :) She does not enjoy running but we enjoy doing other activities together such as traveling, know womanly stuff ;) I'll be blogging about our NYC trip in November!)
That brings me to my original question....should I go back to my marathon roots and train for a marathon this winter? I’ll get into that in part 2 so you don’t have to keep scrolling down to read. Plus, my lunch break is over. J

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