Archive for the ‘Running’ Category

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My First Marathon

Posted: 2011-04-17 in Running
Tags: ,

On Saturday, 16 April 2011 I ran my first marathon. Finish time was 4:18:15.

My goals were as follows:

A – Finish in under 4 hours.
B – Beat Oprah (4:29:20) Check!
C – Finish! Check!
D – Don’t crap my pants. Check!

The marathon was an official satellite run of the Boston Marathon that will commence on Monday, 18 April 2011. I trained well for this. Here in Afghanistan we are sitting at an elevation of 4500 feet. There are no asphalt roads. Just gravel and dirt trails covered in potholes. I got used to it and it’s not so bad. The elevation took a while to get used to. Before I got to Afghanistan, my normal training pace was about 8:00 per mile. When I got to Afghanistan my training pace immediately dropped to 10:00 per mile. 3 months later I’m down to about an 8:30 pace in normal training runs.

The weather was perfect! Overcast, cool, and just a slight breeze. I thought I was going to nail my A goal with time to spare. This was not to be. My stomach was clearly upset and got worse as the start approached. My plan was to run the first 6 miles at a 9:30 pace and the remaining 20.2 miles at a 9:00 pace. The course was 7 laps around the airfield; each lap approximately 3.79 miles. As soon as the race started I was in jeopardy of not achieving goal “D.” I was forced to make a pit stop for the first three laps. Still wanting to finish sub-4 I increased my pace to an 8:30 pace. This was a mistake that I would pay for around mile 22. I had used GU during all of my long training runs and don’t think that was the problem. The problem was likely the gatorade or a combination of GU and gatorade. Laps 4-6 went by fairly well. The last lap, however, was brutal. I was literally running water station to water station telling myself if i had a cup of water in my hand I could walk. Each time I stopped it became harder and more painful to start again. I was literally screaming as I began running again. After the final water stop with about a mile to go I dropped the hammer. Unfortunately, it was a jeweler’s hammer and not a sledge hammer.

I finished with a respectable 4:18:15 achieving goals B-D! Since it was my first marathon I also PR’d!! I really want a sub-4 and will be looking to achieve that in Kansas City in October.

Now for some pics!

Before the start. Me and my running partner in the middle.

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The starting line. This is the BEST section of “road” on the entire course!

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First lap complete! 6 more to go!

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Smiling for the camera! I’m NOT smiling on the inside.

Dscn1968

Making the turn into the finisher’s shoot! That’s not a smile, it’s a grimace!

Dscn1979

Crossing the finish line!

Dscn1981

Posed finishing photo. The photographer was indisposed the moment I crossed!

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Operation Jack

Posted: 2010-11-11 in Running
Tags: ,

Today is Veteran’s Day. I’m receiving lots of wishes of thanks for my service. Someone even said I was a “Hero.” I know I’m not a Hero but I understand and appreciate the sentiment. The man who called me a Hero is Sam Felsenfeld of Operation Jack. In 2010, he is running 61 marathons (1 per week) to raise awareness and money for Train 4 Autism. Sam is a father of three. His son Jack has severe Autism which which has motivated him to undertake this grueling journey. That is heroic, in my eyes. Another Hero is Jack himself. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to live with Autism or have a child with Autism. We all have our crosses to bear in life and Jack does it everyday with the love and support of his Mom and Dad and siblings.

I found Sam through Twitter. Being a Father and runner I wanted to somehow participate and help Sam out. Our discussion on Twitter resulted in this Operation Jack blog post. On November 12, 2010 the details for participating in a Satellite Run for Operation Jack will be posted. Basically, sign up and run 6.1 miles on 26 December. You’ll get a t-shirt and a medal and you will be helping a Dad help his son and other children with Autism. This is a great example of Selfless Service (one of the Army Values) and one of the requisites of being a Hero. So, join me in helping Sam and Jack. Sign up, raise money and run 6.1 miles on 26 December 2010. I’ll be doing it somewhere in Afghanistan, even if it is on a treadmill.

Happy Veteran’s to all who serve or have served in our Nation’s Armed Forces. A big thank you to the families who love a Solider, Sailor, Airman, or Marine; It’s a really tough job. Thank a Veteran by helping someone less fortunate than you.

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