Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Fire it up!

OK, I finally, officially joined the insanity. I registered for Chicago against the advice of every non-runner I could find. ;) I set a soft goal of 3:45 (~8.5 minute pace), but I have no idea what to expect at that distance.

I had a wonderful experience over the weekend. I got to run at ~1000 ft elevation in Atlanta. I had wings! However, today's run was a bit of a rude awakening back at the usual 6000+ ft. It was just one of those "couldn't find the groove" days.

When I got home today, I saw that my schedule shows "tempo runs" starting about now. Since I didn't pay much attention to this the last time I ramped up, I thought I'd look into it. I found this interesting article:


Does anybody have any advice for tempo runs? For example, how do you dial in the right pace and interval? Are there clear physical signs of the lactose threshold?

Also, did anybody sign up for that $30 feeding frenzy before the Marathon? I passed on it since I wasn't sure.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Pat nuggets #6

Living In Faith Exchange Runners (LIFER's) Chicago Marathon Team
* Shane, John, Tracy, Steve, Chad, Bill, Lindsay, Rich, Courtney, Angi, Pat, Scott, Ben, Kevin?, Doug?
Hi, LIFER's:

Happy Easter! A few nuggets:

Registration: Scott is going to register! Scott's running partner, Kevin, may also join us. Chad's running partner, Ben, plans to register. Doug Young (Academy physics instructor) is thinking about joining our team as well. Doug, Scott, Ben, and Kevin...please let me know when you have registered and made hotel/flight reservations...Just Do It!

Running Goals: We need goals for John, Shane, Bill, Lindsay, Scott, and Ben...
Training: To prevent injury, gradually build up your miles (~10% overall weekly increase) to be ready for the first week of your 18 week training plan (8 Jun) .
* I am one of the officers in charge of the Academy Marathon Club. Some of our t-shirts have this quote on the back: "The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare." by Juma Ikangaa (world-class marathoner from Tanzania)
* How is your training going?

Run for ProLife!,
Phil 4:13

* LIFER's Chicago Marathon Team blog at marathon-for-life.blogspot.com.
* ProLife Ministry Support: We have ProLife wristbands. Start asking friends and family to sponsor you ($/mile). Pick your own ProLife ministry to support. Angi and I are thinking about donating to the local crisis pregnancy center.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Pat nuggets #5

Living In Faith Exchange Runners (LIFER's) Chicago Marathon Team
* Shane, John, Tracy, Steve, Chad, Bill, Lindsay, Rich, Courtney, Angi, Pat, Scott?
Hi, LIFER's!

Lot's of great exchange this past week...great teamwork! A few nuggets:

Registration: Scott is still on the fence. Let's all encourage him to register and officially join our team!

Running Goals: Everyone has posted their goals except John, Shane, Bill, Lindsay, and Scott.
* Several of us signed up for Pikes Peak (Aug) on 12 Mar, including Scott, Courtney, Steve, Angi, and I. Steve replied to my Pikes Peak "let the suffering begin" email with these comments: "I think I'll make a shirt that says, "Don't look twice - You've just been passed by a very large man with 21 fusions and titanium rods in his spine!" I will just be glad to get to the top."

Training: The 18 wk training plans begin 8 June (novice, intermediate, advanced). Gradually build up your miles to be at the week 1 level by 8 June. Increasing your mileage no more than about 10% per week will usually prevent you from ramping up too quickly and getting hurt. Also, to prevent injury, do not go more than two days without running, take one but no more than three days off in a week, and include one cross training day (at least between now and 8 Jun). Starting 8 Jun, stick to the schedule!...you may have to ease off and then back into it if you have a minor injury or illness. Don't exceed your schedule...if the schedule says 9 miles and you feel real good, make it a solid 9 mile run...don't go 13 miles. Exceeding your schedule could lead to injury or jeopardize an upcoming workout.
* Rich is going to journal his daily training notes as a "comment" to his "Running Goals" post (consider doing this).

Stretching: To prevent injury and increase speed, stretch after every run. When you stretch, go until you feel tension and hold for 10 sec to 1 min (don't bounce). You should stretch at least these areas: calf, Achilles, quad, hamstring, groin, back, ITB. If you do not have an iliotibial band (ITB) stretch, Google it and start it today (very painful, common for >30 yr old runners).

Strengthening (core): To prevent injury (and for mountain running), do core training after stretching (after every run), including at least sit ups, push ups, calf raises, and shallow dips and/or lunges. Whenever you start a new exercise start easy (low reps) and build up about 10% per week until you level off. I leveled off at 20 pull ups, 100 crunches, 80 push ups, 150 toe raises (50 on each foot and then 50 with both feet), 100 shallow lunges/squats (50 lunges rotating legs followed by 50 squats).

ProLife Ministry support: Let's keep this simple and start casually asking friends and family to sponsor us ($/mile). Pick your own ProLife ministry to support. Angi and I are thinking about donating to the local crisis pregnancy center. Other ideas?

Run for ProLife!,
Phil 4:13

* LIFER's Chicago Marathon Team blog at marathon-for-life.blogspot.com.
* ProLife Ministry support: We have ProLife wristbands. Start asking friends and family to sponsor you ($/mile).

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Running Goals (Tracy)

I think I'm the last one to post my goals, but better late than never, right? Here goes:

1) Realize (again) why I have always loved to run – just me, God’s amazing creation (especially in CO), and the peace and quiet to hear His voice and relax from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
2) Become more educated about the ProLife movement and do my part to raise awareness.
3) Complete the training and the marathon while avoiding injury (I’ve had intermittent problems with IT band and bursitis injuries since my competitive running days in college). Hopefully I’ve learned by now how to avoid those all-so-pleasant overuse injuries.
4) Finish the marathon in under 4 hrs – once I get into my training I’ll hopefully be able to refine this goal a little more
5) After the marathon, maintain a healthy and more balanced lifestyle: good food, more consant fitness level, positive attitude, and a growing faith.

I've always said I would run a marathon someday, so I guess I'm finally going to do it. I'm super excited especially since I'm not just running a marathon, but I'm running it for such an important cause. I'm sure it will be a challenging journey, but that's usually what helps us grow the most. And maybe after my husband, Demi, sees how much fun it is, he'll want to join me next time :)

Some Helpful Resources/Tips

Here are some helpful resources that I used as I trained for my first marathon and some helpful tips I learned the hard way. After all experience is the best teacher, right?



  • Keep a running journal of your training (I do mine right on my outlook calendar - I put my training runs in there then log my info each day that I am tracking). It's fun to look back on too.
  • Do some races as part of your training (5K's, 10K's, half-marathons, etc.) - great for getting used to the road race environment or getting reacquainted if you're a vet. Why not set some PR's along the way?
  • Long Runs - by definition anything over 13 miles (though you could use if for lesser runs too)
  • 1) run early when it's cool
  • 2) think long and slow
  • 3) hydrate and fuel throughout out (gel packs every 45 min.'s and drink every 10 - 15 min.'s). How much and how often will be determined through trial and error, but those are general guides. I'm a larger guy so it took more often and more quantity. The heat also plays a role in the summer.
  • 4) get a hydration pack system that works for you so you always have it on you - I used a hydration belt and loved it, but some people hate them.
  • 5) if you are new to the long runs - find a "loop" that brings you back to your starting spot a couple times in the run - you'll only get stuck on a long out and back once. There's nothing worse than having to walk 8 miles back to your home. It's that or carry a cell phone in case you get into trouble and have a helpful voice on the other end (props to my wife, Tina, who did a number of rescue missions)
  • Stretching and Ice are your friend - you are not a wuss if you have to use ice! Thanks to pes anserine bursitis/tendinitis in my right knee I am incorporating a more vigorous and aggressive stretching routine based upon long, slow stretching (hamstrings, quads and Achilles for me) at the advice of my doctor and PT professional. I paid lots of money for this advice so you can learn the hard way (get injured like me and pay lots of money for people to tell you what you already know) or the easy way (work smarter not harder).
  • I will also be incorporating some strengthening exercises for my quads and hamstrings - I didn't realize it but long distance running actually weakens your quads. This can cause your knee cap to pull off it's natural track (sharp pain in the top of your knee when you start to run). Another issue I ran into about week 12ish into my training.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Pat Note #4

Living In Faith Exchange Runners (LIFER's)
* Shane, John, Tracy, Steve, Chad, Bill, Lindsay, Rich, Courtney, Angi, Pat, Scott?
Hi, LIFER's:

* Shane Hall registered this past Friday! Shane said, "I guess I can't let that go to waist" [regarding the registration $]. I replied, "The marathon training will be good for your "waist" :)!"

* Scott Casmer is still "on the fence." I think he is ready to get on our side of the fence based on this message from Fri night :), "OK, nut job. I've been doing some homework on this marathon thing. I'm fairly close to doing enough research." Let's all encourage him to register and officially join the LIFER's Chicago Marathon Team!

Running Goals: I noticed that Courtney posted her goals on the blog today, but for whatever reason, I did not get an auto notification email. So far, the following LIFER's have posted their goals: Steve, Rich, Chad, Angi, Pat, and now Courtney. To see their goals, simply click on the "GOALS" label (right side of blog, scroll down).

Stretching: I suggest doing a 2 min walk, ease into the first mile, finish hard, shuffle jog for one min (warm down), AND THEN stretch your warm muscles. You could pull something if you stretch cold muscle.

Fuel/Hydration: Food is fuel! Like Scott, I focus on three square meals. I also try to hydrate well: liquid with all meals, glass of water before and during dinner, and often glass of water before bed (recovering from hard workout or preparing for big workout next morning).

Training: For mapping your run milage, Scott suggest Google Earth (Tools->Ruler->Path function). Angi provided this website http://www.mapmyrun.com/.

ProLife fundraising: Scott suggested that we use this website to organize our fundraising: www.firstgiving.com/Design/1/sign_up_nonprofit_info.asp. More to come.

Inspiration: John Shannon shared this story about a 101-year-old man training for the London Marathon: sports.yahoo.com/top/news?slug=britmarathon030508&prov=reuters&type=lgns. John wrote, "Pat, I see you beating this guys record ~70 yrs from now J!" God, Angi, and knees willing, I would like to go for it J!

Run for ProLife!,
Phil 4:13

* LIFER's Chicago Marathon Team blog at marathon-for-life.blogspot.com.
* Training: Our blog has a link to Hal Higdon's 18 wk training guides for novice, intermediate, and advanced runners (starts 8 Jun).
* ProLife Ministry Support: I have our wristbands. More to come on sign up sheets for logging sponsors ($/mile).

Running Goals (Courtney)

Chicago this year will become my 7th marathon. ( I have to get through Pikes Peak in August first..That will hurt.) My goals for these 2 marathons are:

1. Train HARD for both!
2. Run under 6 hrs for the Pikes Peak Marathon - if it is not to hot..last year = horrible!!
3. Do Hill, tempo, speed workouts - with my awesome runner buddy - Angi on the track off of Northgate!!
4. Eat more = have more energy this year!
5. Get to chicago with no bronchitis/pneumonia (I had that in chicago the year of 2006)
6. Qualify for Boston (3:40) - i missed boston by 18 SECONDS year of 2006.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Sitting on the Fence (Scott)

Here goes my first blog posting ever...

Ok, I was planning to just watch all the traffic, but I've decided I can't just draft off this team (I'm finding inspiration in it so far). I need to chime in on certain topics.

First off, I am merely contemplating the Chicago Marathon. I intend to run the Ascent again this year, but I haven't figured out if a marathon makes sense for me.

I am not a serious/competitive runner, but I do find that setting a goal is essential to my motivation. It's too easy to let conditioning be outranked on the daily list of activities if a goal doesn't make it a priority.

In a nutshell, here is why I run:
* general health (physical, mental, and spiritual)
* efficiency of effort (lots of payback in just a few minutes)
* independent activity (no need to organize teams and set specific times)
* virtually free (compared to, say, skiing or golf)

In a nutshell, here is not why I run:
* to win (like Angi, avoiding the ambulance is a goal)
* to identify with being a "runner"

Now, for my contributions to recent and new topics.

Diet - I have found that good, old-fashioned "three squares" works well for training at my level. I'm always worried about anything too extreme. I'm not a guru on race day carb loading, etc.

Ramping - I ramped too fast the last time I trained for the Ascent. It set me back a lot. I wasn't sure I'd make my race. I won't do that again. Matt Carpenter recommends never increasing long runs more than 10% in a session/week. This is probably sound advice.

Planning Runs of a Given Distance - Being a geek, I use the Tools->Ruler->Path function in Google Earth to map out a new run. I like to establish a couple 2-, 3-, or 5-mile paths near my house for those daily runs.

Running Goals (Pat)

Hi, LIFER's:

I normally don't publicize my goals :). For example, Joe Hourigan and my Mom were the only people who knew I was going to attempt a sub 3 hr Pikes Peak Ascent in 2006. I hadn't even committed a goal with Angi or Rich (my running partner). God granted me the perfect day (cool with overcast) and ultimately the "desire of my heart", as I finished with a 2:59:51 (#50/1639)...thanks in part to Padre Pio (a mystical story for another day). I was unaware that Joe Hourigan volunteered to hand out finishers medals at the top. As I crossed the finish line, Joe yelled out, "brother, you did it!" I did it...through our savior Jesus Christ who strengthened me (Phil 4:13)! As the last person to break 3 hrs that day, my finish was described in the newspaper under the subtitle "10 seconds to spare." I was quoted in the article: "When I was about one minute from the finish line, I told myself to let the Holy Spirit carry me forth. After that, I don't remember feeling the ground. I was walking on a cloud."

To be a good teammate and accept my Brother Steve's challenge to post our goals (great idea for accountability), I will gladly publicize my goals for the 2008 Chicago Marathon :).

1. Run closer to Christ through our team fellowship and service to neighbor by defending the unborn, etc (faith).
2. Defend the unborn through education and courage (sacrifice).
3. Celebrate God's gift of life through the training process (joy).
4. Arrive at the starting line prepared spiritually and physically (peace).
5. Courageously reach for my best (break 2:53:51), praising God for the opportunity and honoring Him by striving to maximize my potential.
* Chad sent me a message today with this question, "Can you really not run just 5 miles in 30 mins?" I took this as a challenge :) and will attempt this as a secondary goal...as the Turks say, "Inshallah" (God willing).

For Christian runners, training for a marathon is a faith growing experience because the training sacrifices give us a greater awareness of our total dependence on God (humility) and the training time allows for more (and deeper) prayer time (greater connection with God's will for us). In short, a marathon training experience is like being on an extended retreat. If we surrender the marathon training to God, we will be excited at the starting line but not nervous (faith perspective). Also, with a faith perspective, the marathon is not the ultimate goal...Jesus is the ultimate goal! Therefore, if we were to get injured just a few days before the race (heaven forbid), we would feel some loss (goals 4 and 5 above), but we would have already accomplished the main goals (1 to 3 above)!

Run for Life!,
Phil 4:13


Per Pat's great instruction, I have been stretching after each run and calisthenics.
  • Are any of you stretching anything prior to your runs?
  • What particular stretching are you doing during these pre-run times?
  • What stretching are you doing post run?
I have been stretching via the following methods
  1. hands against wall, lunge forward with one leg back and one leg about half way to the wall, back knee straight. Stretch the calf.
  2. hands against wall, lunge forward with one leg back and one leg about half way to the wall, back knee bent as far as I can.
  3. Leg up on chair or car bumper for hamstring stretch
  4. Sit on floor with one leg forward for hamstring stretch
  5. One leg over the opposite knee of straight leg and pull knee to chest for ATB stretch
  6. feet together in butterfly position for groin stretch.
These are all post run, post workout stretches.

Diet of a Marathoner

I am assuming that plates of cupcakes are out of the question.

As I look forward to the many runs leading up to and including Chicago, I wonder about my eating habits. Pat has suggested that I am sure to stay hydrated - especially important for us Coloradans. Yet, I am also looking for a diet regimen. Does anyone have any suggestions of websites or downloads for diet programs. Maybe an article you have read in runner's world?

I am considering keeping a daily log of what goes in and at what times. Then keeping track with how that day's run went. I think this will help tell me what foods MY body is craving for the long run.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Running Goals (Angi)

As of March 1st, I'm now out of maintenance mode and back to ramping up training for what looms in the distance (the majestic Peak) and to the East (the exciting streets of Chicago). I was really inspired to get back to serious running after watching "The Spirit of the Marathon" with my good friend and running buddy, Courtney (a fellow LIFER runner). Here are my goals for this season:
1. To support our mission (Right to Life)
2. Like Steve-to be below 200lbs. (hee hee)
3. Like Rich-to avoid the medic tent (hey-I've been there at Indy mini marathon)
4. Like Chad-to run a 6 min. mile pace (I'm sorry Chad, I just had to)
5. Seriously-to add more core training to my regimen
6. To add weekly speed workouts
7. To complete the Triple Crown (Garden of Gods-10miler; Bear Creek Park-12K; and Pikes Peak Ascent (in under 4:15)
8. To finish strong at Chicago with a sub 4 hour time (O2 rich air and no hills!!!)

Run for Life,

Running Goals (Rich)

Since turning 35 years old last December, I am now in the 35-39 year old age group for the Boston Marathon. My Boston qualifying time has slowed down to 3:15 from 3:10. My goals for the 2008 Chicago Marathon:

1. Gain support for the Right to Life Movement
2. Beat my marathon PR of 3:23 (7:44 pace; 2006 AF Marathon)
3. Finish under 3:15 (7:26 pace) to qualify for the 113th Boston Marathon (Apr 09)
4. Latch onto a 3:10 pace runner and stay with him to the finish
5. Avoid the medic tent!!

Running Goals (Chad)

Last week I praised myself on running 4 miles in about 26 minutes: roughly a six minute mile. I then found myself having a very difficult time just getting 3 miles in 30minutes on the treadmill. Having heard from Angi that she finds running outside easier than a treadmill this didn't bother me so much. However, I decided to re-check my mileage with our vehicles. Turns out that I had barely ran just over 2.5 miles. =) Wow, how cool am I.Today I did the actual 4 miles and it was about 28 minutes; roughly 9.5 minute miles. =)

1. work up to an eight minute mile over a 5 mile run.
2. Break 5 hours in Chicago

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Running Goals (Steve)

Hey Runners:

Well, I just purchased some new shoes and new orthodics this past week, so I'm all geared up. Now I just need to get my butt out of bed and start running again.

I've been rehabbing goosefoot (pes anserine) bursitis/tendinitis for over a month now, so I'm feeling more confident. Check out this link if your really interested in the injury


All I can really say is that it's caused by overuse, weak and tight hamstrings, and a poor stretching regimen (imagine a runner not stretching enough). I thought I was stretching well, but I've received an education these past weeks. I guess as a "Clydesdale" I'm more prone to these types of injuries.

I would like to issue a challenge to everyone to post their running goals so we can track progress and encourage one another as we progress toward Chicago.

I'll lead by example so here goes!

1) Break 4 hours in Chicago (4:23 w/ altitude and mountains in Black Hills)
2) Be under 200 lb's (lose about 15-20 lb's)
3) Improve stretching and strengthening regimen
4) Break 1 hour 45 minutes in a half marathon in September
5) Train and run the Pike Peaks Assent in August

OK, with all that said, let's get some enthusiasm, dialogue, and energy around this fantastic event we are moving toward! God Speed!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Pat Note #3

Hi, LIFER's:

A few updates:

* Registration: Everyone except Shane has registered. Just do it, Shane!

* Flights: Courtney, Bill, Lindsay, Angi, and I are all on the same Frontier flight into Midway (arrive 5 PM Fri, depart 7 PM Sun).

* Hotel: See blog for details. Everyone is confirmed except Tracy/Demi.

* Transportation: The train does not run until almost 8 AM on race day, so we will carpool to the race (starts at 8 AM). We should be covered with several people having cars at the hotel: Shannons, Livingstons, Castles, Clintons?.

Run for Life!,
Phil 4:13

* Team Name: Living In Faith Exchange Runners (LIFER's).
* Team Blog at http://marathon-for-life.blogspot.com/.
* Training: Our blog has a link to Hal Higdon's 18 wk training guides for novice, intermediate, and advanced runners (starts 8 Jun).
* Ministry Support (Right to Life): I have our wristbands. More to come on sign up sheets for logging sponsors ($/mile).