Tag Archives: Not Training

6 8 13 16 26.2

Race Theory #1 – 2, 4, 6, 8, What Do We Appreciate? Running!

6 8 13 16 26.2


I have a couple of weird race theories (literally two).  The first concerns the distance I need to be able to run to be able to finish a marathon.  It goes:  If I can run 6 miles, I can run 8.  If I can run 8, I can run 13.  If I can run 13, I can run 16.  And if I can run 16, I can finish a marathon.  Using the transitive property I learned in high school math, one can conclude that if I can run 6 miles I can run a marathon.


Ok, I don’t really believe that.  But I do feel like if I simply hit those target numbers in-between (8, 13, 16), I can finish a full marathon.  Emphasis on finish, since I’m not talking about speed or time goals or anything.  I never aim to only hit those numbers, and I don’t think I’ve ever actually only hit those numbers (e.g., I don’t think I’ve ever only done 4 weeks of training for a marathon), but those are my psychological milestones.  Eighteen miles is definitely the icing on the cake, but I don’t know if I’ll be hitting 18 this time, and I’ve run a couple of marathons without ever hitting 18 (but hitting 16 more than once).


Last week (actually this Tuesday morning) I ran 8 of the slowest, sweatiest miles of my life.  Today I ran 10 miles, almost as slowly but not as agonizingly hot.  That means that I think finishing the half at Beat the Blerch should be completely do-able, and Chicago is looking pretty good (knock wood).  Luckily, the next race on my book is the Pizza Run this Saturday, in which you run about 2 miles and eat 3 slices of pizza – my kind of race.  Unluckily, I suffered from some serious heartburn during my run today, which was really strange because I didn’t eat anything particularly unusual beforehand (multiple ice cream treats and chocolates is not unusual, ok?), and I never, ever get heartburn, so maybe it was just my body getting me ready for any potential problems at the Pizza Run.  I better practice eating pizza this week just in case.



I’ll share my second race theory tomorrow.



As always, never base your training on my terrible example, unless you’re using it as what not to do.  At any rate, how’s your training/recovery going?  Do you think we’ve reached the pinnacle of reality dating TV shows this summer?  Are you disturbed that the hottest weather we’ve gotten this year has been in September?  Share in the comments!

Little Rock Marathon weather prediction 2014

Little Rock Forecast Doesn’t Look Good

Little Rock Marathon weather prediction 2014

Temps in the 20s to 50s with an 80% chance of rain and thunder? I don’t like those odds…

Lest you think the winter weather gods aren’t out to get us all, they’re expected to bring rain and thunder to Little Rock for Sunday’s marathon.  I’ve been closely watching the forecast since Monday, repeatedly refreshing my weather.com page in hopes it will suddenly change to “partly cloudy with no chance of terrifying thunder and icy rain,” but to no avail.


If I don’t cancel the hotel reservation within 48 hours of my stay, I’ll incur a fee, so basically I have to decide tonight if I’m willing to risk walking 26.2 miles (potentially unsuccessfully) in the rain to knock off Arkansas and claim my 2.5 pound medal.  If I were healthy and trained, it would be a no-brainer.  I survived 26 miles of rain in Vermont last year (although it was in late May instead of yucky February), but there was no thunder and not (too) much walking.


Putting the physical strain and time considerations aside, I’ve been mostly considering the financial loss involved.  If I don’t go, I’ll have wasted the entry fee ($90 plus $25 for VIP pavilion) and airfare ($340).  If I go and don’t finish the marathon, I’ll have wasted that plus taxi fare (times four – to and from both airports, estimated at $150 total), hotel fees ($430 – yes, I’m staying at a fancy hotel), meals (estimated $125 total), and the inevitable thing or things I buy at the expo or airport (anywhere from $10 to $200 if I’m insane).  Oh, but I will get that free t-shirt for flying out there and picking it up.


But, after many days of deliberation, I’ve decided to go ahead and go to Little Rock this weekend.  Will I finish the marathon?  Maybe, maybe not.  But at the very least I’ll come back with a story to tell, even if that story is I pulled the plug after 4 miles and ate chocolates in a fancy hotel room.


Would you go to Little Rock under these conditions?  Do you know anyone who could do a reasonable impersonation of me on race day?  What candy bar goes best with wet misery?  Share in the comments!

New Garmin 620 & Weekend at Mount Snow


This picture sums up the overall ambiance of the Snow Lake Lodge at Mount Snow, Vermont.

Just got back from a fun, non-running weekend at Mount Snow, Vermont. Although the hotel at which we stayed (pictured above) was less than luxurious, my friend and I met a lot of great people and I did not injure myself with my terrible snowboarding, so overall the weekend was a solid win.


Today I went for a 5-mile “long” run in Central Park with my new Garmin 620 (!!), and despite some worrisome knee pain that cropped up after a walk break at mile 2.5, I managed to finish the lower loop without much problem and with a big smile on my face by the end.  It was so nice to be outside in the sunshine, running in my favorite park, especially after such a long absence.  I’m stretching and knocking on wood that I’ll feel ok the rest of the week, and that I’ll manage to pull off the seemingly impossible this weekend and finish the Little Rock Marathon despite persistent injuries & essentially zero training (13 total miles logged in the last 9 weeks, including today’s 5 miles).


More on the Garmin 620 later, but my first impression is super positive.  It found the satellites almost instantly (astonishingly faster than my old Garmin 110, which didn’t start tracking me until over 1/3 of a mile had passed) and its touchscreen was very responsive (with or without my gloves).  I look forward to learning more about its features and live-tracking abilities.  If you’d like to learn more about the Garmin 620 or 220, check out this crazily detailed review here.


Were you also in Vermont this past weekend?  Are you enjoying the brief break from the Polar Vortex?  Are you interested in a gently used, perfectly functional Garmin 110?  Share in the comments!

Superhumans Who Run Marathons Without Training

Sometimes it's just so hard to get up.  (Credit to Rick Weiss for the image.)

If I’m ever compared to something “not human,” it would be this guy. (Credit to Rick Weiss for the image.)

Last night my friend (who’s been training for the NYC Marathon for several months now) met two people who were planning on starting their training for the NYC Marathon this week.  Planning on starting.  As in, have not yet started to train for a marathon that is about 10 weeks away.


I’ve also met people who have minimally trained for marathons and then gone on to simply crush those marathons with no ill effects.  One was a friend who showed up to watch the Marine Corps Marathon one year and then just decided to run it instead (with no prior marathons, zero training, and just being generally fit), and he finished in about 4:30 hours.  Another was someone who trained for only two weeks, mostly by running stairs, then finished a marathon in around 4 hours, if I remember correctly.  Granted, he was in the military, but he had never run more than 8 miles at the time.


Stories like this make me feel very small and fat and slow(er than usual).  I know they shouldn’t, and that we should all run our own race, that you can’t compare yourself to 20-something men, that you’re only competing against yourself, blah blah blah, but it would be disingenuous not to admit that these superhumans inspire quite a bit of envy.  I’m really good at the “barely training” part of the equation (see me skip my run today?), but not so good about the “crush the next marathon” part.  And of course it’s hard for stories like this not to make our proud mortal accomplishments of running a marathon seem a little less shiny.


“For a [insert family name here], I’m an excellent runner.”  “Nobody else in the [family/company/carpool] has run a marathon.”  “Less than 1% of people have run a marathon.”  And all that might be true.  But if I were a cartoon villan, I wouldn’t mind stealing some of those superhuman running powers for myself, so I could justify how I sat on the couch today instead of going out into the muggy rain to see if my knee could stand a simple 5 miles.


Have you heard stories of people who ran marathons with little to no training?  Are you, yourself, a superhuman?  Share in the comments (or actually, if you’re a superhuman, you can keep that to yourself).