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2018 Marathon Training Cycle

Wow, it's been a long time since I've been here.  I hope my absence has not spurned you web-crawlers that are hopefully indexing this site and bringing it to a larger audience.  But, I've been busy!  Since the Jingle Dash 10k, I've started up my Hanson's Marathon Training Plan again.  This time I am doing the entire plan and I'm not subbing out rides and swims for easy runs.  I'm running all of those miles, shoes be damned. 

In fact, the plan officially started on 12/6/2017, and since then I've run 92 times for a total of 724.78 miles.  The plan has me running six days a week, if you do the math it turns out that I've missed four prescribed runs and failed one run.  That's over 92 hours of running to prepare for one race that I have coming up in a week and a half.  It's not like I'm going to stop running for the next ten days leading up to my race, but today was my last "SoS" run (something of substance).  From here on out it&#…

Being Looked Up To

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Today I ran in the annual Jingle Bell Dash (formerly the Jingle Dash).  It's a community event that is a 5k course with two loops for people who want to do a 10k.  Typically there only a handful of 10k runners and a (relatively) large number of 5k runners.

I've done this race every year since 2013 and I've come in first place three out of those five times (I was second in 2015 and 18th in 2013.  It sounds more impressive than it is.  Don't get me wrong, I'm proud of my performance.  I broke 40 minutes in the 10k for the first time in this race.  However, with the field for the 10k only being about 30 deep, it is not exactly elite competition.

This year I went out a little harder than I expected to.  This is a tough race for constraining yourself because the course starts downhill and there are a lot of kids that like to go out really fast.  But after half a mile there were only two people ahead of me, and a mile after that it was me and one other kid who kept abou…

Giant Acorn International Triathlon 2017

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My wife had the great news to share with my several months ago that one of her good high school friends got engaged to be married and was going to have a bachelorette party.  The only problem was that it was an out of town party and it was on the same day as the Giant Acorn triathlon that I had done the past two years.  I told her it wouldn't be an issue since I had apparently forgotten to sign up, or at least I couldn't find my registration confirmation for the race, and now that she had plans, I just wouldn't sign up.

On Wednesday I got an email from the event giving me the pre-race logistics.  "That's funny," I thought, "Did I actually sign up for this race?"  So I searched for myself on the event site and saw that I had a bib number assigned to me.  My first reaction was, "How can I get out of doing this race?"  I had just started a 10k training plan and had, as a matter of fact, done a my second hard workout of the week; an anti-tape…

South Riding Triathlon 2017

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The South Riding Triathlon has always been an "A" race for me.  I've done it every year since 2011 and I use it as a measuring stick to see how far I've progressed.  I know every turn of every part of this race by heart.  In fact, according to Strava, I have run the run portion of the Tri 100 times.

And because of that, I felt pretty nonchalant in the days leading up to the race.  It almost seamed like I didn't even realize it was on my calendar.  The Thursday before the Sunday race, I thought maybe I should taper a bit so I cut back the intensity of my workouts, watching Moana during my Thursday trainer ride, doing an easy 5 miles on Friday morning, and then a stretch-out hour swim on Saturday.

The day before the race is when I started to get my pre-race jitters.  That day, in addition to all of the normal race prep stuff I needed to do, I also had to drop Ellie off at her grandparents' house.  They are always gracious and willing to help which is amazing. …

Being a Dad

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Injured Again

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I don't know when it happened or how it happened, but I can tell you why it happened.  Once again, my pattelar tendon on my right knee is acting up.  The last time this happened was early 2015.  I can pinpoint exactly when it happened by looking at my yearly mileage progression charts.


That was when I was ramping up for my first marathon.  I had laid down the base mileage as part of my training plan and was getting into the speed/strength workouts.  I had just completed my first interval training session on a treadmill and when I got off I knew something was wrong - my knee felt alien.  I thought I could run through it (a couple of times, as you can tell from the chart) but I eventually went to a physical therapist for it and sidelined myself for essentially five months.

My pain this time is not nearly as bad as it was back then, and the onset of the pain was not nearly as sudden, so I'm hoping for a quicker recovery time.  After realizing that I wasn't going to be able to…

Here We Go Again

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My marathon is in the past and it's time to start looking forward to my next race, a half marathon in beautiful Loudoun county.  I decided to do this race pretty recently.  I felt pretty good that based on my marathon performance (well, the first half of it, anyway), that I'd crush a half marathon.

That's still TBD, as I have quite a few hurdles in front of me.  First, I took off two weeks from running.  I was biking and swimming during that time, but my first day running again I was quickly brought back down to reality and reminded why there was a mandatory 2-week cool off period built into my training plan.  Suffice to say, it was rough.  But I kept going - no hard runs, and nothing long.  Easy runs at no set pace, just based on feel, from anywhere between three and seven miles.  I've been doing that for three weeks now and I finally feel normal again when I run.  My endurance wasn't an issue (especially given the pace of my runs getting back into it), but the s…