Just A Couple Quick Things

This past Thursday my 8 year old son, Brady, who was part of his elementary school's Cross Country/Running Club, had his final run of the season. Throughout the season they met once a week and worked on different things to do with running, and this final day was the "Colt Bolt 3k Fun Run"

Thursday morning was my first run back following the marathon, and I thought the Fun Run was only going to be a mile so I told him I would run with him. When I got there and found out it was a 3k I thought to myself I should have just run the Fun Run as my first run back instead of both the morning run and this run.

When we were lining up at the start Brady was begging me not to run with him. I think he was embarrassed because there were not too many parents running with their kids. I had taken off work early for this and really was looking forward to it so I didn't obey his wishes and ran :)

He did really good and I was very proud of him for running the entire thing without walking even one step. He did really good and finished in 18:02 with a 9:41 pace. He told me after that he was happy that I ran with him and that it helped him keep running the whole time. That makes it worth it :)

On a different front......

Today was my daughter Payton's first run back after two weeks down time following her State Cross Country meet on November 7th. I was going to go out for 3 myself, but we went out for 2 miles to start back slowly.... tomorrow I will take her 10 miles :). She starts winter conditioning for Track on Monday.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving (if you are in the United States - if not have a wonderful Thursday!)

Tim Wilson - blog.262quest.com - subscribe - follow this blog - twitter-virtual4now

First Post-Marathon Run

I just got back from my first Post-Marathon run following my First Marathon this past Saturday.

I wasn't planning on taking this much time before my first recovery run, but my right ankle was a little sore still and I wanted to make sure that it was solid before heading out and trying anything.

Sunday, the day after the marathon I was pretty sore all day and was doing the marathon shuffle. The worst part, as always, was going down stairs..... but I was loving every step because it reminded me of my accomplishment. Monday was more of the same like Sunday, but a little better throughout the day. I would have probably recovered sooner if it wasn't for the desk job and not moving much all day.

Tuesday was when I started feeling much better and was able to make it down the stairs without holding onto the rail and taking one step at a time. I was going to go run on this day but didn't because of the ankle.

So, today, Thursday, was my first Post-Marathon Recovery Run. My ankle felt good as did my legs. I took it really easy with a first mile pace of 9:49. My legs felt a little tight, but nothing too much out of the ordinary for an early morning run, but they were not sore.

About a half mile into my run I came really close to getting hit by a car that was in a bit too much of a hurry to beat another car out onto the road. I was crossing the intersection while he was coming up to a stop, but he wasn't watching and decided to try and beat another car out onto the main road. I had to stop and swerve very suddenly, and I am sure would have been hit if I hadn't done so.

The second mile was a little faster, but still not too fast at 9:18. I was shocked with the experience of how fast my legs fatigued. My legs felt like I had been running 15 miles by the time I had completed the second mile. the run

This afternoon I get the pleasure of running a small 1 mile race/fun run with my 8 year old son, Brady. He was part of the elementary running club and this is their end of the club fun run. I was excited when I heard that parents could run with them. I am really looking forward to this. We have run a couple other races together, but I always do cherish these times.

Tim Wilson - blog.262quest.com - subscribe - follow this blog - twitter-virtual4now

Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon - My First 26.2

The Quest was officially completed yesterday morning when I crossed the finish line of my very first 26.2 mile run on a very nice marathon course in Northern Georgia. The weather was perfect and everything went to plan.... up until a point.

The morning started the day before. I spent the day drinking a lot of water and Gatorade preparing for the big day. I didn't have anything laid out or ready, or even really decided upon before dinner Friday night. My wife made me a wonderful chicken ravioli dish for my pre-race carb loading feast. Once dinner was finished I decided I had better get prepared. I had already made sure my MyTach GPS Watch was completely charged since I have read too many times where people wake up on race day with a dead battery. I spent a few minutes laying out everything I needed and getting my race clothes out and ready. It was going to be a very early morning so I needed to make sure everything was ready and nothing was forgotten.

After spending a little time on Twitter I decided to call it a night at about 8:30 and see if I could actually fall asleep. I needed to get up at 3:40 so we could be on the road by 4:00 am...... yea, 4:00 am! I figured I would go to bed and just lay there because of my nerves and excitement, as well as because it was earlier than I am used to getting to bed. I ate a couple small whole wheat bagels with some peanut butter and the headed off to bed. I fell asleep much quicker than I expected and was asleep shortly after 9:00 pm.

3:40 came really early (duh!) Since I was fully prepared the night before the morning went pretty smooth. I got dressed and packed everything into the car. I grabbed three small whole wheat bagels and some water and Gatorade and headed out the door. A couple minutes later my neighbors walked out and we were on the road by about 4:05. The 2 hour and 10 minute ride went really good and we had no surprises. We arrived shortly after 6:00 am when the packet pickup began and were one of the first ones there. We had no problem finding a close parking space and finding where we needed to go. It didn't take us long to get our numbers and chips and all the rest that goes with it. They also gave us a pair of gloves and our T-shirts at packet pickup. The T-shirt was a long sleeve technical shirt, and specifically had 26.2 on the back of them.
The half marathon shirts had a 13.1 on the back of them. I thought this was cool because too many times I have seen that they list both on one shirt and so you never know which one the person ran..... I know, picky, but it is the little things :)

Since we were there early we were able to hit the bathrooms without much of a line. We also were able to hit the bathrooms in the adjacent high school so had warm bathrooms instead of the port-o-potties closer to the start/finish line. This is a nice luxury on a morning when it is in the low 40's.

It was about 30 minutes prior to the 7:30 start time so we made one last stop at the car to drop off as much as possible before heading over to the start/finish line. We left a long sleeve shirt on at this time because it was still quite cold. We had the benefit of my neighbor's wife being there and not running so she could hold what we decided to discard right before the start of the run. She was signed up to run as well, but got a stress fracture a couple months ago and is still not completely healed.

When getting to the start/finish line I finally got a chance to meet up with a buddy of mine. We used to go to church together years ago and have seen each other many times at many races. When we went to church together I was still terribly overweight and not running, and I am not sure he was running at that time either. It was really cool to see him the first time we saw each other at a race. We instantly had a bond and have kept in touch through Facebook ever since. Since neither one of us had run a full marathon yet we decided back in March that we would try to run our first together. He is much younger than me and is quite a bit faster than me so we knew we wouldn't "run it together" but that didn't mean we couldn't run it together. :)

7:20 came and we finished getting ready to run. I turned on my MyTach GPS watch and eagerly awaited the synchronization to the Satellites. I took off the last bit of clothing that I didn't plan on running with and then spent the next 10 minutes listening to the pre-race instructions and ceremonies that nobody could hear..... and shivering. Since we were at the Chickamauga Battlefield they had a small ceremony bringing the flag out and then a trumpet playing the National Anthem.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I heard they were not going to have any pacers so I really wasn't looking for any, however I did notice a few people carrying some very small balloons and noticed that they had times on them. The one I saw said 4:00 and I was a small bit in front of them. I decided to stay where I was and just make sure I didn't let them pass.

Wow - that is a lot of pre-race talk for a race report -- sorry!

The pre-race took a little longer than expected and they were a little late getting started. About 5 minutes late and it was finally go time! It was very cool, they had a very BIG starting gun..... a canon! They told us that they were going to shoot off a canon to start the race so everyone was ready, but when that canon went off everyone still jumped..... including me :)

The race was underway. This was the moment I had been waiting for, planning for, and training for - for a long long time. I was actually running in my very first marathon..... a distance very few people ever do, and I was doing it!

My plan for the first mile was to run about a 9:30 and then slowly speed up from there. My neighbor and I ran together for the first 8/10ths of the mile and then I slowly started to pull away as I tried to find my stride. The first mile was right about 9:15 so I was feeling pretty good about that.

******A quick side note - I found my watch was beeping before each mile so it was measuring each mile a little short. Each mile it was a little bit sooner than the previous so I know it was pretty consistent. I noticed that this was happening to others as well, but everyone seemed a bit different. Someone told me that it could be that the watch was being slightly messed up by my swinging arms..... not sure what the reasoning is, but have seen the same thing happen at other races, just not quite as pronounced as when running 26.2 miles :) In the end my watch said I ran 26.8 miles so I took the extra .6 and divided that up and added :15 seconds to each mile. I know this isn't 100% accurate but it gives me a closer indication to what I was really running. (based on this calculation my watch time puts me at 1:58:19 at the half and the chip time said 1:58:40 at the half so it is fairly close)

We were running through a small gravel trail when we hit the one mile mark and shortly after that I had a young lady probably in her early 20's start running with me and chatting me up a bit. We were still running with all the half marathoners and that was the race she was doing. We talked for some time and she mentioned that it was her first half marathon. She was shooting for about a 1:45 is what she said, and I said she better get going because she needed to be running an 8 min pace to do that. She quickly corrected herself and said she meant 1:55. She mentioned that her husband said that she better not walk because it doesn't count if you walk, and then she said "but you see who is not out here with me :)" We talked a little about the course because she said she trained for Cross Country on these same roads when she ran in high school. As we neared the 2 mile mark I looked at my pace and realized that I had been running it a bit too fast at 8:38 and wished her luck and told her I was going to slow down a bit.

I ran pretty much by myself for the next few miles and was just enjoying the scenery and the nice wooded roads. The sun had come out by now but most of the course was in the woods so it was shaded. We only came out into the open battlefields occasionally. This was also about the time it started warming up a bit and was a very nice day to run. We couldn't have asked for better weather in my opinion. I was running very comfortably at this time. They had water stops with water, Powerade, and fruit every couple miles give or take. These were all well placed and well run. I took Powerade at each stop early in the race except for a couple where I opted for water instead. This was the first race I had run where they had something other than the standard yellow Gatorade/Powerade. They had red at most of the first stops and later on had a mixture of blue, yellow, or red. I joked that they gave us red so when we spilt it on ourselves it would look like we were bleeding (I had a white shirt on) At mile 10 and mile 20 I added the Sport Beans to my mix and everything seemed to work as planned.

Somewhere around the 6 mile area I heard a pack of runners coming up behind me. I turned to look and noticed it was a pace group so I asked them what pace group they were. He said they were pace group 4:00. I looked down at my watch and thought they were running a bit fast so I let them go. Shortly after this the Pace group leader took a dive off into the bushes :) The pace group continued on and I let them go. I figured at the pace they were running they were going to burn out all the 4 hour hopefuls. Later in the race this proved to be true when I saw them running by themselves. At that time I was blaming them for running too fast, but knowing what I know now about the second half of the marathon they were probably right on pace.

Right around that same time I came up on a guy and started running with him. I asked him if he had a time goal and he said he did, that it was 4 hours. He also mentioned that it was his first marathon as well. He was from Powder Springs and runs with the Atlanta Track Club. He said a lot of them were expecting him to have a really good time, and he wanted to get the sub 4. We talked a little bit about the Pace group and he was feeling the same way I was. We ran together off and on for quite some time and around the 11 mile mark he started to speed up a little so I let him go.

Somewhere in the first half of the race I had a couple of ladies come up behind me talking quite a bit. They were talking loud enough it was hard to not overhear them. During the course of the race I heard way more than I ever wanted to hear from them. I heard about emergency C-sections and an abscess while breastfeeding. Then one of them mentioned that that was why they didn't want kids, which the other one quickly said "don't let that stop you and xx from mating", which she quickly replied to "what, are we primates?" Later on I heard them talking when one of them mentioned "I am wearing a thong" and went into some different reasons why. She then mentioned to her running partner that she didn't mind her knowing....... I was thinking..... what about everyone else running around you right now? (if this was you and you are reading my blog.... sorry, I really couldn't help but overhear some of your conversations)

I don't know if it was the same two ladies as the above, I can't quite remember, but at around the same time I remember a couple of ladies starting to run right around me. They were doing a run/walk and so we yo-yo'ed quite a bit. We stayed right around each other from around the 7-8 mile area all the way to about the 21 mile area when they started to leave me. I guess the run/walk worked better than my plan :)

Just before the half way point the half marathoners left us (they had a little bit different routes at times so they were at about 11.5 miles when we were getting ready to hit the 13.1 mark) I watched the clock at the 13.1 mark and saw that I was under 2 hours and I was happy...... little did I know what the second half would bring. At that time I was still very optimistic and in my delusional state actually thought I could run the second half at the same pace as the first. This may be telling to much, but at some point early in the race I felt so good I actually thought I may be able to pull a negative split out of this race....... any marathoner out there is laughing at me right now :)

Shortly after the half way point I started running with an older gentleman. I asked him if he had a time goal and he said he was hoping to break 4 hours. I asked him how many marathons he had run and he said that this was his 59th. I asked him if he had run a sub 4 and he said he used to run down around 3 hour marathons but that was 15 years ago. This continued to boost my confidence in hitting the sub 4 hour goal since if I was with him he surely knew how to run a marathon and so I couldn't be too far off. I made a comment to him about trying for the 4 hour goal and that it was my first and he kinda chuckled and said.....
"yea, but you don't know what the second half of a marathon holds" I know he wasn't trying to be mean, but rather just being honest. I ran around him for a while and about 16 miles he told me to be careful. He said that it is usually around 15-18 miles where people are feeling good and get too confident and run too fast and ruin the rest of their races. I thought this is great advice, but felt I was running conservatively so didn't change anything. He left me about 17 miles.

Right around 18 miles I started to catch up with the guy I had run with earlier in the race. We ran with each other for a couple miles and I commented how I was experiencing something I had never experienced before. This was a 2 loop marathon and the hills actually grew taller and longer the second time around. He laughed and said he was thinking the same thing. This was shortly after I ran past a pink flamingo sitting on the back of a car. I was a bit nervous to mention it to him, hoping that I wasn't the only one that saw it :) We ran with each other for a couple miles when he started to leave me again right after the 20 mile mark.

Right before the 21 mile mark we were on our second time on a little out and back of about a mile. Just before the turn around I saw the older gentleman that I ran with a bit earlier. He must have seen I was starting to fade and have trouble because he encouraged me and told me to keep it up. This was where the race took a nasty turn..... I have never experienced a Bonk before, but I am assuming now that this is what it feels like. At the turn at the end of the short out and back I couldn't take another step. I walked for a few seconds and then it took everything in me to start running again. I was fine in every way except my legs just gave up and wouldn't move anymore. The rest of the race was all uphill in my mind. My pace started to drop dramatically as I couldn't keep running for more than a little bit at a time. I would run a little bit until I couldn't take it anymore, and then walk for a little bit. The rest of the race went this way with each mile getting slower. Mile 24 I was able to speed up a little bit, but mile 25 took an even bigger dip. My worst mile was the second half of the 25th and first half of the 26th.

During the last couple miles I remember while running my legs were hurting so bad. At the point I just couldn't take it anymore I would walk for a little bit, but then my feet hurt so bad I started running again. This went back and forth and it seemed like the end was so far away. I was starting to pass some people that this had also happened to, but I was also being passed by others that were in the same boat, as well as others that were just plodding along barely moving.... but still running. I came up on a younger guy that was hurting pretty bad. He was doing the same thing as me and at one point we were running together. We weren't talking to each other but were running side by side. I finally came to a point where I had to stop and so I stopped to walk. He quickly turned around and encouraged me to keep going. I got myself moving again and we started to talk. He was also running his first marathon and also realized he had gone out faster than what his body was ready for. He, like I, thought that the training we had done and 4 20+ milers we had put in in training were going to carry us. We both were struggling but helped each other keep going a bit. Looking back, this is probably the 24 mile time-frame when I was able to speed up a bit. At the final water stop he fell back a little bit further and I didn't see him again till after the finish.

The last water stop came at about 1.5 miles out from the finish. This was also when we left the big circle and started heading back to The 6th Cavalry Museum in Fort Oglethorpe where the Finish Line was. I ran as much as I could, but still had to walk a little bit. I decided that I would run the last mile (ok, half mile will do - it is easy to change your mind in this state) and so when the last half mile was here I absolutely refused to stop and walk for anything. I am sure I was running at a snails pace, but I kept running.

I came out from between two houses and was 4 tenths of a mile out from the finish. I could see the finish line with all the people lined up just over the field. I ran the 2 tenths of a mile to where the road curved enough to where I could now see the finish line directly in front of me. I was just passing the 26 mile marker and knew I only had that infamous .2 in front of me. I closed my eyes for just a second and blocked everything out of my mind. I felt pain through every part of my legs at that time but I felt like I was floating on air. The only thing I could see was the FINISH banner, and everything else around including the cheers and the noise was all blurred.
I took that last step and the volunteers where right there to hand me my medal and shortly after my framed bib saying "First Marathon" I have heard about the emotions at this point, and yes I teared up for a moment getting caught up in the moment. "I just finished a marathon!" I had done what very few others have done or ever will do! I am a Marathoner!

I was not where I had set off to be at under 4 hours, but I had crossed the finish line and I had a time of 4:18:51 according to my watch. The official results were posted later in the day and are here. I finished 244th out of 469 and 33rd out of 61 in my age group. My mile splits can be viewed here on my running log. I am not at all upset with what transpired. I am thoroughly excited and proud of what I have accomplished. However, that doesn't mean I will not be critical of myself, that is how we learn and get better next time...... yes, there WILL be a next time :)

Right after the finish line my buddy and his parents were there waiting for me. They had hung around after he finished to be there for me. He too had a similar experience to me and we exchanged war stories. I was grateful to them for sticking around to support me.

I got some pizza and some other post race food and hydrated a bit. I felt hungry but also felt like my stomach was a bit upset. It was probably because I had totally depleted anything I had in me. I still felt kinda icky for about 30 minutes after the race, but I knew I needed to eat something.

I went over to my neighbor and she was still waiting for her husband to finish and was getting worried. It was about 4:45 now and I told her not to worry that I didn't expect him to finish till about 5 hours. He had not trained much at all and had never run more than 15 miles so I knew based on how I was hurting he was hurting much more. He crossed the finish line walking shortly after the 5 hour mark with his shoes untied because his feet were swollen. He had walked the last 6 miles in horrible pain, but he had completed it. He said he would never do another one (but today he said..... maybe)

***forgot to add - last minute addition: As we were getting ready to pull out of the parking lot I pulled out my 26.2 magnet - my car is now adorned with it's very own 26.2 oval magnet..... before she was even started the first time post race!

To wrap thing up: I was very happy with the course, it was a great half or full marathon course. The race was well organized and well run. The packet pickup was great, the food was great and the way they treated the runners was great. All of the water stops were great, and the way they handled the runners at the end was also great. I would do this race again without any hesitation. The Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon gets my thumbs up - thanks to everyone that helped!

What will I do differently next time? The only thing I will do differently is train up to the distance of 26.2 miles. Almost every training program out there takes you up to 20 miles as your longest run. I was worried about this during training and wanted to get my longest run up to 24, but after my 21 miler the next 20+ miler didn't go well and I stopped at 20 miles. I didn't have time in the schedule to get past the 20 mile mark again.

If you are stopping by for the first time you need to read my pre-marathon report. It gives a lot of information on my journey to my first marathon. As I stated in that post, the journey is just as important as the actual event.

Thank you everyone for the support along the way. All my internet friends played just as much of a part in my journey as those directly in my life.

I also want to especially thank my wife. I am the luckiest man alive. I know many of you think the same thing about your wife/husband, but I am sorry that you are wrong :) She has put up with so many things along the way. Having to deal with me complaining when my shorts/shirts/socks/etc were not clean or where I could find them, to having to be awaken by my really early morning runs when I was a bit too loud. She went to bed early so it would be easier for me to go to sleep when I needed to get up at 4:00 am to run, even though she is a night owl. She listened to me when all I wanted to talk about was my run and how it went, how it could have gone better, or what part of my body was aching now, but most of all, she encouraged me and believed in me :) Thanks Lisa - I Love You!

Tim Wilson - blog.262quest.com - subscribe - follow this blog - twitter-virtual4now

I Can Now Call Myself A Marathoner

This will be really quick as it is just an update so you will know. I will post a full race report hopefully tomorrow.... I am a bit long winded as you all know so it may take me some time :)

I can officially call myself a marathoner now. It is absolutely one of the most awesome and humbling things I have ever done and I have a new respect for anyone that completes a marathon. It also was one of the hardest things I have ever done.

I completed my first marathon in 4:18:51 according to my watch. I had set out to do it under 4 hours, but I guess I was not ready to do it that fast. Everything fell apart after mile 21. I am completely OK with that, and am not at all discouraged or let down..... I am thoroughly excited and proud of what I have accomplished. However, that doesn't mean I will not be critical of myself, that is how we learn and get better next time...... yes, there WILL be a next time :)

Thank you all for following me on the journey and the kind words and support along the way.... it really means a lot to me!

Till I write the race report!

26.2 - A Long Time Coming, But Here So Soon!

I have so many mixed emotions about what will be taking place in just over 24 hours. I am so excited about my first marathon, but also in disbelief that I will actually be running a full 26.2 miles this Saturday morning.

It has been a long journey, but one I wouldn't change a thing about. The highs and the lows along the way is what has made this journey worth taking. Each part of the journey has been a learning experience, some with bumps, bruises, and broken bones, and others with joy and pride.

Something I have never mentioned before was something I said to my wife nearly 8 years ago when our youngest son was born. I have not said anything about it because the memory is a bit fuzzy and I am not 100% sure if my memory serves me well (I am getting older you know.... almost 40!)

I was already well on my way to being terribly out of shape when our third child, and first boy came along. I was a couple years into a new job that I was sitting in front of a computer the entire day which didn't help with my physical well being. I remember mentioning to my wife that I was going to get into shape so I could be there for my little boy when he got old enough to get out and play. We already had two girls, but for some reason having a little boy made me think about how far I had let myself go. I remember telling her that by his 5th birthday I would run a marathon and be in shape enough so I could be with him while he enjoyed what boys love to do. I am not sure why I said this because I had never thought about or planned to run a marathon, I guess it was just how strong I felt about getting myself in shape to be there for my kids.

His 5th birthday came and went and I was in worse shape than I had ever been in my life, I was not doing what I said I would do. I thought about it every so often but it seemed so overwhelming and I just didn't have the self discipline to do anything about it. This was about the time that I realized I really needed to do something if I wanted to be around for my family for very long, but still didn't have enough in me to make it happen. I won't re-write the rest of the story, because it can be read in the first post in this blog and my other weight loss blog.

Needless to say, along my journey mentioned in my two first posts listed above, I decided that I WOULD and COULD run that marathon. I committed to that goal when I set up this blog in January of 2008, and here I am almost 2 years later finally realizing that goal. It has been a long time coming as the subject says, but it has been worth the wait.

I was hoping to do my first marathon a year ago which would have been about 9 months after my first half marathon in February of 2008, but my plans were changed for me when I was tripped in a 5k race and broke my collar bone in June of 2008. It took me over 6 months before I could get back to running at all and another couple months to get back to any kind of normal running or distances.

It was almost a year after my collar bone accident that I finally committed to and registered for my first marathon, the Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon this Saturday, November 14th.

The training has been great, and honestly much better than I anticipated. Sure the early mornings almost every day of the week and the brutal long runs as I was building to 21 miles were tough, but I enjoyed the whole process. I would be lying if I said that I never wanted to skip a run and always looked forward to every run, but I can say honestly that the times I wanted to skip a run can be counted on one hand. I do think that I experienced a bit of burn out in my training when I was reaching the peak right before my last long run and the start of the taper. You can see this in my training log if you look at it for the time I was training for the marathon starting August 21st till today.

I did do another half marathon as part of my marathon training. I ran the 13.1 Marathon Atlanta at the beginning of October and set a great new PR!

As I have mentioned before, my goal is first to finish, but second to finish in under 4 hours. I am still not completely prepared and will have some planning of what clothes to wear etc tomorrow night. As far as getting hydrated and what I am going to eat I am all set with my plans. The weather is supposed to be great, with a forecast of 43 degrees at race time, and a high of about 64 degrees when I presume I will be done. It is supposed to be 100% humidity at the start, but dropping to about 60% by noon, with partly cloudy skies throughout.

I am not looking forward to the early morning Saturday. We are driving up there on Saturday morning which means we will need to leave by 4:00 am. With many of my training runs getting me out of bed around 4:00 am I am not terribly concerned with the time, but just would rather not do it on a Race morning.

Until post marathon I will leave you with this:

If you get a chance please share this with others to show them that it can be done. I would like to share my story and my journey with as many people as possible to show them that it is possible. If I can do it...... they can do it!

8 Miles Down.... 9 To Go - (and 1,000 miles)

Today's "long run" (can you really call it that?) of 8 miles is in the books. It is the final long(er) run of my marathon taper. I have been trying to run all my runs lately at my target marathon pace. For the shorter distances this is an easy pace so it is hard to keep myself from going faster. I have been working on this so I know how it feels and so I can work on staying consistent.

Breaking News!!!!!!
I just flipped over to my RunningAhead Running Log and noticed that today's run took me over 1,000 miles for the year. I wasn't watching for that, but knew that I would hit it sometime this year. It is cool to hit it in the last week of my marathon taper.
I have just 9 miles left in my taper before I run the Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon this Saturday, November 14th. I will be running 3 miles on Tuesday, 4 on Wednesday, and then 2 on Friday. All to finish off the Hal Higdon Intermediate II Marathon Training Schedule which I followed loosely these past 4+ months.

With my daughter's State Cross Country Meet finished yesterday I am sure I will start focusing and obsessing with the race this Saturday.

I am so looking forward to this :)

State Cross Country Meet Went Great!

Yesterday's Cross Country State meet went great and Payton did a great job! If you would like to know more about my freshman daughter Payton and her road to State you can start by reading my recent posts - especially this one.

A couple things I haven't mentioned prior to this were weighing heavy on our minds as we approached this State Meet, and the opportunity for Payton to run in the State Meet as a Freshman.
  1. Payton has been nursing a borderline injury for the past 4ish weeks. She has had some pain in her right arch that comes and goes and seems to be a bit of tendinitis. Her coach has been well aware of this and we have all been working together to keep this from turning into a problem or get worse. The past couple weeks he had her really start to cut back her mileage and this has helped quite a bit. We were concerned all along that it would get bad enough that she would have to quit running just short of this great opportunity to run at State.
  2. This past Sunday Payton spent the day with her Sunday School class. This was a great time for all. Mid week we found out that most of the family at the house that she was at came down with the flu shortly after this get together. We know there is nobody at fault, and nothing that can be done in this circumstance, but we were on pins and needles the rest of the week hoping she wouldn't get sick right before state.
Both of these concerns turned out in our favor. Payton was able to run and didn't have any issue with the flu or her foot. We were quite relieved.

The weather was great... almost perfect. This was a big change from most of the rainy meets the XC team has had this season. It was in the mid 40's when we got there about 8:00 am and the sky was clear. The team had driven to Carrollton, GA the night before and they were there already when we arrived.

The boys 5A race was at 8:30, and the Girls 5A race was at 9:00. About 10 minutes prior to the race the team walked over to the starting line. They were all still dressed in their warmups, but nobody was suspicious, or at least they didn't say anything. Just a few moments before the race was to begin they finally removed their warmups to show that they were wearing a completely different uniform. This uniform was white top and black shorts, with a single "B" for Brookwood on the top. There were three main teams that were in contention for 1st place and our coach was trying a little strategy to throw the other teams off a bit. It made it difficult for us parents to follow them as we were used to their other uniforms :)

Payton ran an awesome race. She was upset at the end and said she didn't run as hard as she could have. She said she ate too much for breakfast and her stomach hurt the whole race. She ate at the hotel, which is not a problem, but she ate two small waffles, and a bagel. I just had to laugh, but also feel sorry for her..... these are all learning experiences I suppose. I am sure she was quite nervous and ate more because of the nerves.

You have to note that the State Course is in Carrollton, and they ran this course one time prior in the season. It is a hilly course and can be difficult. Payton held her previous PR of 20:59 at this course (yes... I said previous) This was probably because of all the wet and muddy meets they had to run this season.

Payton did great and set a huge PR! She crossed the finish line 56th out of 211 girls and set a new PR of 20:23! 56th out of 211 in the 5A State Championships..... as a Freshman! How Awesome!!!!

The Brookwood team did good as a team as well, they finished 3rd in State in the 5A State Championships. As the coach said - "This was the best season the Brookwood Girls program has had in several years."

Payton was a little down on the way home from Carrollton. She said with a down look on her face "so I won't be running cross country anymore?" She really loved to run and looked forward to her practice each day. She will be taking a couple weeks off and then we will start conditioning for Track.

Looking forward to the next few years!

Tim Wilson - blog.262quest.com - subscribe - follow - virtual4now

The Final 10 Days To 26.2

This past weekend marked the end to my double digit long runs. It is funny to now refer to my 12 miler as a long run, but will be even funnier to refer to this Sunday's 8 miler as a long run.

I put in 6 miles this morning and will be putting in two more 4 milers before my 8 mile long run this Sunday. Next week, the final week of my taper, will top out at 4 miles with a 3 miler and 2 miler wrapped around it.

I am taking the taper serious even though it seems very strange to be running so few miles. I have been following Hal Higdon's Marathon Training Schedule: Intermediate II with a few slight modifications along the way to move my runs to make them easier to fit in my schedule, and also because I wanted to get a little past 20 miles for my longest run. The plan to get in runs past 20 miles didn't work out really good as I only got one 21 miler in, and the next time I was going to go 23 I was just not feeling it and couldn't push myself to the 23. I know I am fine since I did end up with 4 20+ mile runs, much more than most people run before a marathon.... especially their first.

I am very excited but right now it is not sinking in as I have a lot on my mind. Our oldest Daughter Ashlee who is in Color Guard has her last Football game this Friday night (which we are chaperoning for), and then our Daughter Payton will be running in the State XC Meet this Saturday. Once I get past this week I am sure it will start sinking in much more.

I am starting to think about some logistics like what to wear, what to take, what to eat...... should I get some throw away gloves and hat incase it is a little cool at gun time..... All kinds of things starting to go through my mind.

I received my 26.2 car magnet in the last couple weeks. I had to really search to find the white letters/black background as most of them are the other way around. I am so looking forward to putting that on my car. Even though It has been almost 2 years since my first 13.1 I never felt the need to put one of those magnets on my car..... not sure why.

Here's to the last 10 days/25 miles of my 26.2 Quest!

Tim Wilson - blog.262quest.com - subscribe - follow - virtual4now

Payton Is Going To State!

The Cross Country season has officially come to a close. It seems like it had just begun.

This past Saturday my daughter Payton and her team ran Regionals, the official last meet of the season.
The team won Regionals and Payton ran one of her best/smartest races all season. The course was horrible as it had been raining quite a bit and there were 4 other races that morning before her race. This course was by far the worst conditions she had ran in causing her to have one of her worst times of the entire season, in fact..... her worst.

By the time her race was set to go the course was very muddy and much of the course was a mud pit. During the entire race the girls were slipping and sliding and some were even losing their shoes while others were falling. Payton ran a very smart race and finished 11th overall with a medal to show for it. She also finished 6th for her team, the first time she had finished in 6th place all season. The times were way off, the first place finisher finished in 21:10 and Payton finished in 22:43 - her worst time all season by almost a full minute.

Payton had been finishing 7th most of the last meets and is officially ranked #7 on her team of about 95. Early in the season she started ranked #9 and moved to #8, and the second part of the season moved to #7.

Being ranked in the top 7 of the team is a big deal - especially for a Freshman! There is one other Freshman in the top 7, running in the #5 slot. Payton has had a lot of opportunities over the season running in the top 10, one of the coolest being her trip to Richmond VA/Washington DC to run in the U.S. Army X-Country Festival at Maymont but the coolest is coming this Saturday.

This Saturday is State! Payton, and the rest of the top 7 on her team have earned a spot in the AAAAA State Championship to be run in Carrollton, GA. How cool is that as a Freshman??!! We are all really excited for her and very proud of her. One of the really cool things is Carrollton is where she holds her PR of 20:59. I am sure she will blow that away this Saturday!

Wish her and her team luck!

Tim Wilson - blog.262quest.com - subscribe - follow - virtual4now