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smoothrunner99 in Chicago is doing 20 things including…

Run the Boston Marathon

4 cheers


smoothrunner99 has written 10 entries about this goal

I chased this goal and I accomplished it!

I have more confidence that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to. Running Boston was amazing and I will be back next year. Below is the link to my post to my running blog.

On the verge on a major accomplishment

OK everyone, we are a mere 4 days off from a lifetime accomplishment for me. My first ever Boston Marathon.

It wouldn’t be special if Mother Nature didn’t make it interesting for all us running schmucks. Most forecasts are predicting a wicker Nor’easter to brighten our Boston experience.

It doesn’t matter. I earned this opportunity and will be out in the windy, wet mess celebrating my achievement. I’ll be in Beantown trudging through all 26.2 miles. No one can take that away from me.

March Madness Half Marathon Report

One of my many favorite things about running is when you have one of those days when you surprise yourself – in a good way, of course. I had one of those days today.

Today, I ran the March Madness Half Marathon in Cary, IL. I came into today’s race with a touch of curious excitement about what kind of race I could run. I honestly did not know.

The winter had been marred with a stretch of injuries to both IT bands, coupled with a lot of brutally cold, windy weather, which required a lot of heavy clothing.

Running friends had warned me that Cary is quite the hilly course. “You won’t run what you ran at C.D.C,” admonished one experienced friend. He was referring to the Chicago Distance Classic, where I set my PR of 1:30:24 last August.

I officially set goal time of 1:34:59, which is exactly the 7:14 pace that I ran for an entire marathon last fall. It seemed like a realistic stretch goal, given the hills I expected and my comparative level of training to last fall’s Chicago run. I had done no speed work while working through injuries, weekly mileage has been lower, and I hadn’t raced since a disappointing showing at the Las Vegas Half Marathon in December.

Conditions were ideal, simply stated. No wind. A crisp 36 degrees at start with a beaming sun overhead.

These guys weren’t kidding. There were some tough hills, but I surprisingly was enjoying them, taking them on like they were my friends. I was up and down through the rolling hillsides, and I kept my heart rate in reasonable check.

I truly got a boost at around mile 8. I don’t know what it was, but I really felt good… like I could be running 7’s or better for the rest of the way.

The last 5 miles had a few monster halls, and I attacked them with a vengeance. The Morton Aboretum has been a great training ground, I thought. Once I hit 10 miles, I knew I could hold for a sub 1:34, way better than I thought. Then I knocked out a couple of sub-7’s on 12 and 13 and realized I could actually get sub-1:33.

I sprinted the last 0.1 to a 1:32:39 on my watch; a 1:32:50 on the gun clock. Like I said, in running, some days you can really surprise yourself. Today was one of those days.

7:23 – 47:11 at the half (6.55)
1:32:39 – 7:04 per mile

Estimated negative split of 1:43

The McMillan predictor chart says I have the potential to run a 33:02 at next week’s Shamrock Shuffle. I think I’ll set the bar at 32:59.

He also advises that I can run a 3:15:24 in Boston. I’m not worried about trying for this kind of time. I don’t have as many long runs in. Plus, my IT band was really acting up towards the end of last week’s twenty miler. I’ll be fine lining up with the 3:25 group in Boston and enjoying the fanfare of all the crazies, while I celebrate all 26.2 glorious miles.

Recap of the week

Mon – Rest
Tue – 7.5 mi
Wed – 5.25 mi
Thu – Rest
Fri – 8.25 mi
Sat – 3.5 mi easy
Sun – 13.1 race (7:04 avg pace) + 2.4 recovery in afternoon = 15.5 mi total

Total for week: 40 miles even

Still on track - 41 days to Boston

One of my dream goals is on its way to becoming reality. I am laboring through training, which is not nearly as intense as it was for the Chicago marathon. I’ve had some run-in with IT band syndrome and have dealt with some horrendous Chicago weather. Nonetheless, I will be running the Boston Marathon in 41 days.

I enjoyed an easy recovery 5-miler yesterday, and rocked out my first speed work in a while today on a 7-miler. I ran 3 miles at sub-6:40, to help prepare for my 8k race later this month.

This post is being posted to my running blog as well. For my running blog readers, check out the site to help set your lifetime goals.

Now running injury free - On to Boston

I am basically over the IT band issue. I am stretching and foam rolling. I know now that I need to integrate routine strengthening and stretching into my running for the rest of my life.

My plan it to go to the gym twice per week, Wednesdays and Sundays, for the next four weeks, and see if this is a routine I can stick to longer-term. I will focus on quad stregthening and begin some basic upper body work. Nothing a major on the upper body.

After all, I am a marathoner. But it would be good to start doing some dumbbell presses and flys to give me some improved strength. I will read up on Runner’s World’s guide to cross training to develop a routine.

Dreaming of future marathons

I am well on my way to run my first Boston. I am coping well with the issue related to my iliotobial band and I am continuing to run more strongly every day. Boston is only 10 weeks away.

I also just signed up for the Chicago Marathon yesterday, which will be held on October 6th this year. I am excited about running this race again and look forward to beating my time of 3:10:04 from last year. Improving will be a real challenge.

For future marathons, I have identified two in particular that I wish to run sheerly for the intrigue I have about visiting the areas:

(1) Big Sur Marathon – Carmel, CA
(2) Anchoraga Marathon in Alaska

I hope to be able to do these in the next 3-4 years.

Shrugging off an injury

Yes, I am entered in the 111th Boston Marathon on April 16, 2007. As of right now, however, I have still not begun my training – due to a knee/IT band issue I need to fix.

I am 8 days behind where I want to be. This afternoon, I will go to a nurse practitioner to hopefully get a script for physical therapy. I hope I can rest/stretch this off and work up to 40 mpw in the next 3 weeks.

So training is about to begin...

Hard to believe, but it’s time to start training for Boston. I’m running the Las Vegas Half Marathon next Sunday on Dec 10. This will be 18 weeks from the April 16 Boston Marathon. I am a seasoned distance runner; strong and confident – and this strength and confidence reflects upon all aspects of my life.


Yesterday, I qualified for the 111th running of the Boston Marathon. I ran a qualifying time of 3:10:04 in the 2006 Chicago Marathon. I am still in awe that I accomplished this goal.

After I achieved my goal of running a marathon for the first time, I never thought I would even attempt to qualify for Boston. Even as I improved after a few marathons, it just seemed to far off. Marathon #5, Houston, Jan 2005 – my prior PR – was a 3:23:55. I was thrilled with another PR, but “How in the hell I am going to shave 13+ minutes?”, I thought. Further I said, “how I would I change my life to be able to train enough to make such a goal?”

Then I hit the wall in Tampa in February and ran a 3:31, and I was pissed. I said I know I am better than this. I moved to the Chicago area in the spring and I said “enough is enough”. I want to give my best. I trained far intensely than any of my prior 6 marathons.

When I was out there at mile 20, and then at 22, I wasn’t sure if I could hold on to make the time. At that point, it was all mental. I made a decision that I was going to hold on – that I had worked far too hard to not accomplish this goal. Once I hit 24, I was holding on for dear life and I kept pushing.

I took today off from work to really reflect and enjoy this accomplishment. It is a confidence boost for me in my life outside of running. By setting a goal, and sticking to a commitment and a well-thought out plan achieve that goal, I can accomplishment many great things.

I am on my way to qualifying for Boston

This has been the goal that has consumed me over the past 15 weeks. I have 5 weeks to go until I attempt to run a 3:10 qualifying time at the Chicago Marathon on October 22, 2006. You can see my progress at my training blog.

I never dreamed I would be so close to achieving this goal, but I really feel like I can do this. I ran my first marathon over 6 years ago in 4:16. Most anyone who has passion, commitment, discipline and a desire to succeed can do this. I’m a believer.

smoothrunner99 has gotten 4 cheers on this goal.


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