Late 30s husband, father, programmer, and runner.
I don't always run marathons, but when I do, I prefer the Hansons marathon plan.

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Ran after work. I had to be there at 6am today. I’m wiped.

Legs coming alive a little near the end. My shoes were stank. All that sweat from yesterday must have soaked in. Probably need to give them a good washing soon.

Oak Brook Half Marathon - 1:30:34, 30th place, 4th age group

Nowhere near what I’m capable of, but sometimes the weather doesn’t cooperate. That sticky layer of moisture from the 90% humidity settled on my skin pretty quickly. I decided to adjust my target split from 6:10 to 6:30 and treat this race like a long tempo run. That worked for a little while. At the 6-mile split, I was already up to 6:50 and just trying to run at a pace that would get me to the finish. Then the worst of the hills came, and I was toast. My pace graph is ugly with just a little redemption at the end.

Yes, this is a disappointment. I’m less bummed about the actual time and more bummed about not getting a good read on my progress towards the Chicago Marathon. Where I finished today relative to last year’s time was supposed to give me an estimate of that future performance. When no PR was possible today, it was better to pull back and conserve some energy for the rest of my training plan.

Some highlights from the race include meeting kzoorebelrunner beforehand, giving my kids high fives near the halfway point, and getting some good pictures from my wife. Look how much my shorts are stuck to my legs in that finish photo. Even my socks were squishy from all the sweat dripping down my legs.

No rest for the weary. Couple easy days coming up to get back to normal and then tempo Thursday and long run on Saturday per schedule.

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Almost 8 minutes slower than last year. Humidity was taking its toll early, and I knew a PR was not in the cards today. I ran 5 decent miles and then it shifted to survival mode. My wife said a 1:20 would have been 5th. It will be interesting to compare results to last year.

Ending the month in style!

260 miles for August. By far the most I’ve run as an adult, and surely more than I ever did in high school. I would have had another 14 if I wasn’t cutting back some for tomorrow’s half marathon.

The forecast was looking pretty rainy for a while. As of now they’re predicting clear and 70 degrees but 90% humidity. Might put a damper on my 1:20 aspirations. The plan is to run as many 6:10s as I can and hope for a surge at the end. Drinking lots of water and relaxing tonight. I even paid my 8 year old 50 cents for a 5 minute massage and roll with the stick!

Ending the month in style!

260 miles for August. By far the most I’ve run as an adult, and surely more than I ever did in high school. I would have had another 14 if I wasn’t cutting back some for tomorrow’s half marathon.

The forecast was looking pretty rainy for a while. As of now they’re predicting clear and 70 degrees but 90% humidity. Might put a damper on my 1:20 aspirations. The plan is to run as many 6:10s as I can and hope for a surge at the end. Drinking lots of water and relaxing tonight. I even paid my 8 year old 50 cents for a 5 minute massage and roll with the stick!

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Squeezed in my 8 miles between soccer games. My youngest is playing in his first travel tournament, and he’s very excited. Ended up playing in goal for the first game, which is not something we expected going into the season. He did great though. 14 saves and only allowed one goal on a rookie mistake. Hopefully the afternoon game goes as well.

I got stuck at an intersection in that 7th mile for about a minute. Can you tell I’m afraid to pause my watch now?

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I figured out pretty quickly why my tempo run was all messed up on Wednesday. Fired up my watch for today’s run, and I see that the GPS is turned off. Somehow that pause in the middle dropped the signal, and the rest was just the footpod. No wonder the times were off. Now that I look closer at the map on the website, the run “ends” where I paused even though there are mile splits the rest of the way.

So, turned the GPS back on and away I go for 6 easy miles after work. Way more humid than I was expecting, but I was coasting anyway. My goal is to be 100% fresh by Sunday for Monday’s race. Another easy 8 sometime tomorrow and lots of foam rolling and stretching to keep the muscles loose. I’m chillin’ in my compression sleeves as I type this and then it’s off to bed. Jealous? Ha, ha.

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No time to run before or after work tomorrow, so my 9-mile tempo had to be moved up to tonight. That meant only a day and a half between hard workouts. Barely enough to recover in my opinion, and I was feeling the fatigue. With the half marathon coming up on Monday, I also wanted to ease back a bit on the pace target. Instead of my normal 6:29/mi, I was thinking anything between that and 6:39 would be fine.

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You can see I was doing well for the first 5 miles, and then it looks like things went a little south. In reality, I paused my GPS watch for at most 2 seconds in that 6th mile so I didn’t get run over crossing an intersection. From there the calibration was just off. I’m pretty good at gauging my pace, and I was running just as hard in the second half as the first. You can tell something went wrong because my cooldown mile was also 6:39??? Uh, hello. Not a chance.

So physiologically, a good workout. Effort was on point and doing this a little early gives me more time to recover before my race. Psychologically, a little annoying with the technology malfunction. Hopefully everything will work next week. Mental note to not pause my watch unless I really, really, can’t avoid it.

Two year comparison

PS - moving this up gives me 75 miles in 7 days. Yikes.

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Tuesdays are my day to get up with the kids and get them ready for school. It’s an early wakeup, and by the time I get both on the bus and take the dog for a walk, my workout doesn’t start until 8:30ish. Today, it was pretty warm by then. My grey singlet is already a little tight, but it was like second skin pretty quickly.

This was the second “strength” workout of the Hansons plan. 4x2400m (~1.5mi) with 800m jog recovery. The target is 10 seconds under marathon pace, so 6:19/mi or ~9:25 per 2400.

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I had to dodge the gym classes playing softball on the infield. One time a ball bounced right over my head. How rad would it have been to catch it in stride?

Official splits:

9:13.87  9:21.02  9:19.84  9:16.52

Two year comparison

Six steamy miles at the track and almost 12 total. That’s a lot for a Tuesday morning. And now I drip all over the driveway.

Six steamy miles at the track and almost 12 total. That’s a lot for a Tuesday morning. And now I drip all over the driveway.

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It’s been a long day. Started with a 4:30 wakeup with a work emergency. I had to go straight in on the next train, so no run or crossfit like I planned. Ripples from the work issue preoccupied me most of the day until I caught a slightly early train out of the city. Exhausted and barely staying awake on the way home, hoping I don’t miss my stop.

The afternoon is humid in that pre-storm kind of way. I throw on my shoes and head out for a sticky 6. Legs starting to come alive after a full weekend of running. More interested in getting home as quickly as possible than recovering for tomorrow’s track workout. Showered, made dinner, and then went to pick up my son from soccer practice and attend a parent meeting.

Such is life. In the grand scheme of things, these are minor challenges. At church yesterday, the sermon focused on being thankful in all circumstances. Not necessarily that life is going to be peachy, but being grateful for what you have. They showed a video that stuck with me. A man praying that he’s struggling, to show him what he has to be thankful for. It then follows him through the next day and the countless ways he is blessed - a bed to sleep in, a car to drive to work, a healthy heart.

Likewise in running. Not every run will be great. Some will be painful. You might have to cut it short or skip it. For the most part, if you are a runner you’ve got a lot to be thankful for. Just being able to move and have the strength to put one foot in front of the other is a blessing.