My first running marathon. Well, I did sort of run a marathon distance in high school once, but that's a different story. I have walked 5 of them, but I gave that up a while back because the training times are so long.
I've been following the Jeff Galloway for several months, planning on a time of 4:40. Some of my training suggested I could run a faster time, but I thought 4:40 was a good first goal. I planned to stick to the 10:40 per mile for about 20 miles and then see how things felt.
The event sold out again this year, 17,000 total, most of whom are running the half marathon. A very crowded starting line, but after the starting gun, we were across the starting line after only 8 minutes. They had fireworks for the start, too.
The race was so crowded, especially for the first 3 miles or so that it was difficult to keep to my desired run/walk/run schedule of run 3 minutes, walk 1 minute, run 3 minutes, and so on. So I often ran a bit more than intended and would walk when I could get over to near the curb where I'm less likely to have someone run over me from behind. But I did keep pretty close to my desired pace, passing the 10K point in 1:06:04, a 10:39 pace.
After the tour through Bexley, it's back to downtown and then south to German Village. A good turnout everywhere, as it usually is for this race. I spotted a friend or two in both Bexley and near German Village and managed to wave hello.
Mile 11 starts a 4 mile straight stretch up High Street. The half marathoners turn off to finish just before mile 13. Once they leave, the course is not at all crowded and it's much easier to walk as needed. I ran for a bit with another 'Galloway run/walker' and I saw quite a few people using that.
I passed the half marathon in 2:18:04, which would put me on pace for a 4:36 marathon if nothing went wrong. At mile 15, I decided I would run a few miles at a pace closer to 10:00 per mile and I would back off from that if it didn't feel good. But this was fine and I kept this up through Mile 20 in 3:28:32, at 10:25 average pace.
Passing near Bob's house between Miles 20 and 21 was an encouraging sign. By this point I felt very good, much better than I had ever felt in training, especially at this distance. I was certain I could finish so I picked up the pace some more, averaging 9:25 per mile from Mile 20 on. I was still taking short walk breaks as needed; I found them essential.
I have mostly walked the Columbus half marathon in the past years but a while back I started walking the second half of the course a week later, just because it's such a nice course and also seemed like a fun way to complete a marathon, albeit over 8 days. I'm glad that I had walked the course a few times, because I was now familiar with how it went and knew what to expect.
After Mile 25, I was still feeling strong, so did the last 1.2 miles at 8:14 pace, still with short walk breaks. It was a relief to finish in 4:27:10. My second half of the race was in 2:09:06, which actually is my fastest half marathon to date.
I used the Tweet My Time service to post real-time updates to both my Twitter feed and my Facebook and it was fun to come home after the race and see all the online comments and encouragement. I sure do thank everyone who encouraged me online and on the course and I thank Krystin for all the yummy desserts she made for me, too.
Now I need a new marathon to shoot for...
I've saved the GPS track online at Garmin Connect.
I now own a tiny home. It travels on two wheels and can go almost anywhere.
It's a Casita 17 foot Spirit Deluxe travel trailer. To me it seems large on the inside and tiny on the outside. It's very very easy to pull with the new F-150. Still working on backing up – practice makes perfect.
My friend Blake flew down from British Columbia to Texas to join me for the delivery from the factory and do a shakedown road trip back to Ohio.
We arrived at the factory on Thursday, 22 September, a half hour before they opened. When they were ready for us, Blake backed the pickup into their garage and they tested out trailer connections, which were fine. Tim at the factory went over everything, starting on the outside and working to the inside. Lots of systems to learn and things to remember, but it will all get easier over time.
Then we were on our way, with the first stop at Nelson-Putman Propane in Corsicana to get the two tanks filled up. After a lunch break, we did some shopping for needed items, especially some food and a couple of chairs and a table for sitting outside.
The first campsite was at Navarro Mills Lake. Most Casita owners spend the first night fairly near the factory in case any issue comes up that could be easily taken care of with a trip back to the factory the next morning. And Navarro Mills was only about 20 miles away and a highly recommended stop. It's a great campsite and I'd stop there again. We made some dinner and celebrated. It's still hot in Texas, but the air conditioner cooled the trailer off quickly. The refrigerator seemed very slow to get cold, but our campsite neighbors assured us that was normal. Indeed, the fridge was nice and cool by the morning.
After a stop in Corsicana at the world famous and very nice and friendly Collin Street Bakery, we headed to Fort Worth to show off the trailer to friends there. A very nice neighbor allowed us to park in their driveway overnight, which turned out very handy since there aren't that many campgrounds close by in Fort Worth.
Saturday morning I ran and Blake walked with my running and walking (and Grand Canyon rim-to-rim) friends in Fort Worth. That afternoon a number of them came over for a wine and cheese picnic under the canopy outside the trailer. Sally presented me with an awesome package of stuff to use in the trailer, much of which is already in place. Thanks!
We all had a great dinner at the Mexican restaurant Benito's in Fort Worth that evening.
Sunday morning Blake and I were up early to get on the road just after sunrise, heading east on I-20. We ultimately decided to make it a long driving day to be better positioned for our next stops and also to have more time when we got back to Columbus. After we got to Vicksburg, Mississippi, we decided on Tuscaloosa, Alabama as a good overnight stop and made things easy with a hotel stay instead of camping. We had a nice meal, but did find out that you can't get a beer after 9 pm on a Sunday in Tuscaloosa.
Monday morning we headed for the Huntsville Space and Rocket center. It's always fun to see these huge rockets and read about their history and development. I had visited here in 1995, but this was a first for Blake, as was pretty much everywhere we traveled. Blake enjoyed seeing the rockets and some of the models of them that he had enjoyed as a kid. Much of the rest of the facility looks a bit run down, though, and some exhibits don't seem a good fit with the original theme.
From there we headed to Chattanooga and an RV park. We were easily the smallest trailer in the park. It would be a good place to stay while visiting Chattanooga.
The next morning we drove along scenic US64 and US74 east of Chattanooga, along a river that was used for the white water competitions in the 1996 Olympics. The truck and trailer had no problem with the mountain roads. We even drove the steep road up to Georgia's highest point and then walked or rode the shuttle another half mile to the visitor center. Good views from there.
From there we had an hour or two of driving to the Clemson, South Carolina area to visit an old friend of Blake's that he hadn't seen in many years. We could stay overnight in their driveway and Blake expertly backed it up the somewhat steep and very narrow driveway to the flat spot at the top. I'm going to practice backing up so I can do that, too.
It was a great visit for Blake and I enjoyed meeting his friends.
We were out late the next morning and headed north on I-26, I-40 and then I-75 up to Cumberland Falls State Park in Kentucky. The campground was not at all crowded and we enjoyed a nice walk along the falls.
In the middle of the night, a rotten tree fell on the campsite just two sites down from us, fortunately not hitting anyone. We were glad it didn't hit us!
After breakfast, we headed to the Lexington/Frankfort area for a quick stop at the Kentucky Horse Park and then a fun stop at the Buffalo Trace Distillery for a tour.
Coming north to Columbus, we hit downtown Cincinnati at early rush hour but thankfully had little or no delay. After the trailer spent the night in a friend's driveway for a visit, we took it the next morning to the storage area.
I'm sure looking forward to getting out with it again in a few weeks time.
Five weeks to go to the Columbus Marathon. The Jeff Galloway workout plan for this week was 10 1 mile repeats at race pace with 5 minutes of walking between, using a run-walk-run pattern of 2:30-0:30-2:30.
- For my time goal of 4:40, I'm supposed to do these in 10:15. I was faster than that for all of them:
Including all the walking, the entire workout took 2:28:14 and covered 13.12 miles, so it's a half marathon done at 11:17/mile average pace.
In contrast to last week's long run, I felt better after the 13.1 miles this week than I did after 13.1 miles last week, even though it was 8 minutes faster. Not sure I understand that, though it must be partly psychological.
I'll be doing a similar workout in 3 weeks, only that one will be 12 1 mile repeats. Next Sunday's workout is 6 miles with a "Magic Mile" time trial.
On our hike out of the Grand Canyon in June, the memory card on my camera failed, with a write error. From then on, I used the in-camera memory feature to take more pictures on the way out.
After the trip, I tried a number of things to try to recover the pictures on that memory card, but nothing worked. I kept the card around, but I had given up, when a chance reading of one of my regular bloggers today pointed to a free program called PhotoRec, said to be useful for recovering lost pictures from digital camera memory cards. Could this be – I thought – and how come I hadn't run across this program before?
I installed it, ran it, and it recovered every one of my lost photos. Well, that just made my day! So, here is a photo album of the best of those photos.
Some comments to go along with the photos ...
"Tweeting from the Grand Canyon..."
Some of us did a day hike from Phantom Ranch. At the high point of that, we got cell phone coverage, which wasn't available down in Phantom Ranch. As others checked their cell phones, I pulled out the iPad to see that, yes, Verizon did have coverage down here, so I took a photo and sent it to Twitter. Everyone else thought that was pretty geeky, so there you go...
After the morning hike, I took a walk on my own to walk over both river bridges, a walk that most of the group would do later on in the day, hence the additional photos of the two bridges.
On the group hike over the two bridges, we spotted a Grand Canyon rattlesnake, the same species that we also saw at Cottonwood campground.
The photo of the Phantom Ranch dormitory should give you an idea of what they are like. 10 bunk beds altogether, 8 of which are in the photo. Everyone else in our dorm had already left that morning, the same morning that we hiked to the South Rim. Really not great accommodations, but not as bad as I originally anticipated. I'd rather have a cabin next time. In the next photo, Brad is coming out of that dorm, ready for the hike up.
The rafts along the river were rafting trips taking a break, just downstream from the Silver Bridge.
"heading up to the South Rim..." -- after the trail crosses the Silver Bridge, it follows along the river for more than a mile before heading up. Now we are finally starting up.
"relaxing at Indian Gardens..." -- really a nice spot. 4 1/2 miles to go.
"waiting for the mule team..." -- this was the only one we saw on the way up. My camera failed right after this, so for a long time I never expected to see these photos again. I have relived this part of the trip today, thanks to the recovery of these photos!
Updated Wednesday, 07 September 2011
Six weeks to go to the Columbus Marathon. The Jeff Galloway workout plan for this week was a 26 mile easy run for Sunday. Since the weather forecast for Sunday was still for fairly warm temperatures and thunderstorms, I pushed it back to Monday, which had a forecast for temperatures in the low 60s. This turned out well, and I went to a nearby park, Three Creeks, to run the trails, some of them multiple times, in order to cover the 26 mile distance. (Of course, I had to make it exactly 26.22 miles...).
This is the longest training run I've ever done; before I'd only covered this distance in the 5 marathons that I've walked. I settled into a run/walk average pace of about 11:55/mi, a bit faster than I'm supposed to do, but it feels like a natural long distance slow pace for me. (I did 11:48/mi in my 23 mile training run 3 weeks ago).
After 2-3 miles, the pace felt like something I could do "forever". By 12-13 miles, I knew I had done a decent workout, but was only halfway done. I crossed the half marathon point in 2:35:36, which is 11:56/mi pace. The next 6 miles went pretty well, but by the 20 mile point, I was starting to be ready for this to be done. I alternated run and walk mostly at random throughout the run, rather than sticking to my usual plan of run 3 minutes, walk for 1. By 23 miles, I'm really ready to be done, still close to the 11:56/mile pace, but I ended up walking most of the last 2 miles, finishing in 5h17m for an overall average of 12:07/mile.
My knees are a bit sore, (icing helps!) but not as sore as what I remember from each of the 5 walking marathons that I've done. So I'm happy with the results – there is nothing quite like covering the actual distance you're doing to need to do in the race.
Here is the GPS track for the entire run, at Garmin Connect
I really enjoy this park; it's flat and reasonably scenic for Ohio -- farmland, next to a river, and trees. I was parked about midway, so I could swing by the truck and get extra water or food if I needed it. I bought brand new running shoes yesterday and used them – they were perfect – but just in case, I had an old pair stashed in the truck that I could substitute.
And an audiobook helped the time go by faster, too.
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