Monday, November 30, 2009

Week 16 : Thankful...

"There's nothing a man can't do if the spirit's there." - Franz Stampfl

I've almost met my goal! Muchos Gracias to those who have donated so far and a special shout out to my recent donations over the Thanksgiving holiday:

Mom & Dad (Sue & Dan) Foster
Aunt Marty
Nita & Jim Elizondo
Rique Bobbit
Jan & Henry Skala

You are all awesome! Thanks for believing in me and supporting the cause!

If there's anybody out there reading this who hasn't donated yet, here's some simple numbers:

3 more donations of $1 per mile ($26.20) reaches the goal.
6 more donations of $0.50 per mile ($13.10) reaches the goal.
11 more donations of $0.25 per mile ($6.55) reaches the goal.

Help me reach my goal & gut it out for Team World Vision!

The taper has begun. Only two more weeks until the big race. My midweek runs felt great. Not much soreness after the 20 miler (as compared to the 19 miler). I actually was running a bit faster this week. Blame it on nerves or the recent cool spell. Running in the cool morning air is awesome, though. I love when it's cold enough to see your breath. Maybe it's the "magic" of it because living in Texas, you don't get to see it all that often. There's just something cool about being able to watch your body work.

Week 16 Runs:

Tue: 5 miles
Wed: 4 miles (pace)
Thu: 5 miles
Sat: 12 miles (1hr 48min ~ 9:01 min/mile pace)

Total: 26 miles

The long run this week was 12 miles to start the taper period of my training. For those not in the know, the "taper" is the period of training when you step your mileage down to allow your body to rest and recover before the race. The run felt awesome and I kept it about 20 seconds faster than my usual pace, which I see as a positive as I really want to keep my time under the 4 hour mark.

Since this week included Thanksgiving, I'm going to take this opportunity to give thanks:

To God for giving me the ability and spirit to take on this challenge.

To my beautiful wife Amanda for loving me and being there for me through all the hours I've spent training.

To my 3 kiddos for loving their dad and for being an inspiration for him.

And to all my supporters, thanks for all your well wishes and your monetary donations to my cause!

Much Love!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Week 15 : The Twenty Mile Monster

The more I thought about what I get to do, the less I realized I had to do. It was just a shift, just a new perspective, just a new and more grateful method for labeling the things in my life. Think about it—if you stopped yourself every single time you were about to say, "I have to" and changed it to "I get to," it might change your entire experience. - Kristin Armstrong

It's here! The peak of my training and the biggest run before tapering toward the finish and running the marathon. I wasn't sure when I started this thing how it would all work out, but I made it through a couple of injuries and am still running strong toward finishing my 1st (and hopefully not last) marathon!

My midweek runs were good. Nothing to complain about besides the 20 mile distance staring me in the face like this guy:

Week 15 Runs:

Tue: 5 miles
Wed: 5 miles (pace)
Thur: 5 miles
Sat: 20 miles! (3 hr 8 min 9 sec ~ 9:24 min/mile pace)

Total: 35 miles

But I made him look like this guy:

20 miles. It seemed so far away when I started my training. Then the 11 miles seemed scary. I made it past that hurdle, and cruised up to the 19 miler that killed my legs. But all of that just made me stronger. I ran 20 miles with confidence and finished feeling like I could take on the world. I know I will finish the marathon. I don't know how fast, but I know my legs and feet can carry me there. I'm ready!

20 miles is nothing compared to as far as this little yellow dude goes. Take a look.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Week 14 : Sore!!!

Believe that you can run farther or faster. Believe that you're young enough, old enough, strong enough, and so on to accomplish everything you want to do. Don't let worn out beliefs stop you from moving beyond yourself. - John Bingham, "Tools and Rules," Runner's World

I strike out to run the Tuesday after the 19 miler and it hits me right across the face - SORE! It took a mile or two, but I got my legs back under me and finished up the run. Then the next day I head out for 8 miles - legs still sore! It was probably midway through my 5 mile run on Thursday that I had run out most of the soreness. I just have to keep reminding myself that the soreness is just my muscles repairing and they will come back even stronger!

This is how I felt for some of the midweek runs this week:

Week 14 Runs:

Tue: 5 miles
Wed: 8 miles
Thur: 5 miles
Sat: 12 miles (1hr 56min ~ 9:37 pace)

Total: 30 miles

My long run was 12 miles this week, a bit of a "rest" after the big 19 mile run. I think overall it was fairly ordinary. Pretty much all the soreness had subsided and I was just able to enjoy my run. On to the big fat 20 miler next week!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Week 13 : Woah My Legs Are Burnin'!

"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock." - Matthew 7:24-25

Thanks to my aunt and uncle, Nancy & Jimmy Shook, for the donation to Team World Vision. Hope everyone has a blessed day!

The knee is feeling great. Still a little "twinging" here and there, but I was able to do my full week of training for the first time in a few weeks. Three 5 milers and a 19 mile monster! The midweek runs felt great. Did a 5 mile pace run on Wednesday and I was able to keep it under a 9 minute pace.

Week 12 Runs:

Tue: 5 miles
Wed: 5 miles (pace)
Fri: 5 miles
Sun: 19 miles (03hrs 01min. 02sec ~ 9:31 pace)

Total: 34 miles

So I again start my long run at 4:30 am. Even though ridiculously early, things were going and feeling great. I cruised through the first 13 miles in a couple of hours. I started feeling it at about mile 14 and by 17 1/2 miles, my legs were saying, "what. the. heck." I made it all the way through mile 19, but it had me asking myself if 7.2 more miles were in the cards. I know I will do it. My legs will get stronger and I will RUN the distance. oh, did I say that out loud?? Just one more monster 20 miler and 5 short weeks to go!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Week 12 : Rest & Wreck 'Em

“God's voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding. He says to the snow, 'Fall on the earth,' and to the rain shower, 'Be a mighty downpour.”- Job 37:5-6

I took most of this week off. I tried to run on Wednesday, but my knee still felt pretty iffy, so I decided to rest up as much as possible to still get in my long run. I did find some help through on some stretches and "trigger point" manipulation that has helped tremendously.

Week 12 Runs:

Wed: 2.5 miles
Sun: 13 miles

The 13 miler was awesome because it was the first run in a few weeks I didn't have pain that made me want to stop. Turns out getting the knots out of my quad muscles is doing the trick. I just hope this is the last little injury hurdle I have to deal with.

And watching hits like this always helps the healing process...