What mom taught me about running marathons
Desire. I don’t really think I understood the word’s meaning until this morning.
I woke at about eight o’clock at the hotel room I was staying at in Lansing, Michigan, took a shower, got dressed, grabbed my bags and drove down the road to the memory care unit where my mom lives. Mom is 86 and has lived in this home for about two years now. I live in Wisconsin and try to get over to see her as often as I can. This time, in addition to seeing mom, I was also in town for my annual trip to run the Grand Rapids Marathon.
When I walked into the front door of my mom’s home I was greeted by a young man named Chris who I had met before. He told me that mom was in the dining room for breakfast. I thanked him and started walking back to find mom. There she was sitting with two other folks waiting for breakfast. I sat down with them, said hello and looked at mom and said, “Hey mom, it’s your son Joe.”
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Tapping running community for advice, guidance, inspiration
Here it comes – another year and another run of the Grand Rapids Marathon with the perennial goal of qualifying for Boston. I’ve been trying to achieve this goal for about five years now. I thought maybe when I turned 45 and I my qualifier changed to 3:25 that I would be within range. But events in 2015 and 2016 came and went with PRs but no BQs.
So now here I am again, my PR only 15 minutes short of my goal. My training has been a bit sporadic this year after some burnout caused by what I think was heavy training through the winter and spring months for the Kettle 100 followed by a challenging race day at Kettle. I have been running but the energy just hasn't been there like it should be. I figure it's my body telling me to layoff a bit, so I haven't really pushed it until now.
I'm currently running about an 8:45 10K comfortably, which I can push to about 7:30 with effort. My half marathon pace has been hovering around 9:00 and I have not done anything farther than that since Kettle. These numbers are similar to last year at this time and I ended up coming out with a 3:40 PR at Grand Rapids so there is something that tells that I can do this with a little bump.
My sleep is good, getting a consistent 8 to 9 hours a night. I eat mostly vegetarian with some chicken and fish mixed in occasionally for good measure.
I’ve tried everything I can think of in terms of training. Workouts are a mix of fartlek, high intensity speed and slow distance runs. I try to follow 80-20 as close as possible although there are days I just want to bomb through long runs. I average about 25 miles a week, ramping up to between 40 and 50 in the couple weeks before my two week taper.
I’ve made modest gains over my running career and I know it’s in me to do this, I just need to figure out how. And since I am too cheap to hire a coach, I am coming to you the running community for advice, encouragement and guidance.
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