Showing posts from May, 2015

Approaching my 50th State

My 50th state marathon is fast approaching. I’m scheduled to run the Newport Marathon in Oregon on May 30th. Not only will Oregon by my 50th marathon state, but it will also be the 50th state I’ve visited. I’ve never been there. It’s a long flight across the country, and I’m not taking a lot of time off work, so Scot and I will need to plan our sightseeing wisely. There’s so much to see, but we’ll limit it to Portland, Newport, Salem (the state capital, done as a drive-by), and the Pacific Coast Highway along the Oregon coast.

I’ve run 64 marathons and 33 half marathons. So, why am I a little nervous? My nerves should have been reserved for New Jersey, my nemesis state, which I conquered last month. I have no issues with Oregon…just that it represents this awesome milestone of finishing a full marathon in all 50 states. I’m not injured. I am under-trained, but what’s new? I’ll finish this marathon. And it will be beautiful. And I’ll have a handful of friends there to celebrate with me.

Training Begins Now

You’ve seen me write on this blog about training, or my lack thereof. I followed a regular training plan when I did my first few marathons. Then I set a training plan and largely followed it for my return to marathoning after a few years off. And then I started running multiple races close together in time. I found that I could always go the distance, even without consistent training. Not that I was fast, mind you…I could simply finish. I also sustained a few running injuries that had me cut back on my training mileage in order to “save myself” for my planned races. With one exception, my DNF at 2013 Atlantic City Marathon, I finished those races. But I always knew I could do better if I trained more consistently.

I tried to set a plan for training over the past fall and winter, and at first I did OK, but then illness and then bad weather derailed me. If I’m honest with myself, I’ll admit that I just didn’t want it badly enough. I let excuses take over where willpower was lacking. An…

Marine Corps 17.75K Race Report

In late March, Scot and I ran the Marine Corps 17.75K. We ran this one in 2013 but our experience was different this year. Still, it was a challenging course and had a great reward. All finishers of the 17.75K are guaranteed an entry into the Marine Corps Marathon (MCM), which is becoming harder to get into each year. Like many big-city marathons, there is greater demand to run the race than there are spots for runners. After a few years of a record-fast registration sell-outs, MCM went to a lottery entry. That means that not everyone who applies is accepted to run. The 17.75K as a way to run MCM has now gained in popularity. The odd distance is a reference to the year the Marine Corps was founded: 1775. This translates to just over 11 miles.

I already knew that I had an entry to MCM, but Scot did not. Three days before the 17.75K, we found out that Scot was not selected in the lottery, so he would need his guaranteed entry. I would be giving my guaranteed entry code to a friend, as …

Marine Corps Historic Half Sweatfest and Popsicle Give-Away

The Marine Corps Historic Half was held this past Sunday in Fredericksburg, Virginia. I ran it once (in 2012) and even though I had no other races planned for that weekend this year, I waffled on whether or not I wanted to run it. Then the race sold out and it was clear that I would not be running. As race day drew near, the weather was forecasted to be hot and muggy. Not the best running conditions. I decided to go down and spectate, and hand out popsicles.

I hate getting up super early on weekends. If I don’t have a race or a run planned, I’d rather be sleeping until 9 AM or so. In order to guarantee I’d stick with the plan to spectate at the Historic Half, I used Facebook to hold me accountable. I told members of my “Marine Corps Marathon and 10K Club” Facebook group that I would be there with popsicles. No going back on my word after that!

I thought it would be nice to take juice pops that were a little better than the standard high-fructose corn syrup fare. Sure, they would still h…

Flying Pig Half Marathon Race Report

Last weekend I was scheduled to run the Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati. I ended up just running the half marathon. I was sick with a bad cough and both nasal and chest congestion. It probably wasn't a great idea to run even the half, but what can I say? I'm a Marathon Maniac and a Half Fanatic. Being from Ohio, it's my goal to run all the major Ohio marathons. To date, I've run Columbus and Air Force. Now that I've dropped to the half at Flying Pig, I should reevaluate. Would I be content simply running the halfs? Or do I want to run all the big ones as full marathons? Things to ponder.

Anyway...on to the race report. This was going to be another quick weekend drive in the same vein as the previous weekend's trip to New Jersey. Only this time, the drive was more than twice the distance. Scot had to work on Friday night, so we set out before first light on Saturday morning. We stopped along the way in Charleston, West Virginia to get a photo of the state hou…

Throwback: My Marathon Maniac Qualifying Races

I first qualified for the Marathon Maniacs in 2006, but at that time I didn’t know that the club existed. Marathon Maniacs is a club for people who run a lot of marathons in a short period of time. And the way I qualified was to run the Columbus Marathon on one Sunday, then run the Marine Corps Marathon the following Sunday, qualifying at the Bronze or One-Star level by running two marathons in 16 days. I officially joined the club in 2011 once I knew about it. I had been out of the distance running world for a few years. Initially it was due to injury, and then because it had become habit to only run shorter events like 5Ks.

But in 2006, those were two special marathons for me, and they were intertwined from the onset. You see, I had already run two marathons, but my dad had not been able to see me complete either of them. He was very sick with stage 4 cancer at the time, so traveling was out of the question for him. I thought that if I ran my hometown race in Columbus, he might be ab…

Finished My 49th Marathon State - New Jersey!

It was with great relief that I finally finished a full marathon in New Jersey. This was my 49th marathon state and I'm gearing up for #50 in a few weeks in Newport, Oregon. But New Jersey was a pretty big deal too. It was not my first attempt at a marathon in the Garden State. Before my 4/26/15 finish, my New Jersey record showed one DNS (did not start), one DNF (did not finish), one canceled race, and one drop to a shorter distance race.

It all started in 2012 when I was registered for the Atlantic City Marathon. I canceled my appearance at that race when my grandmother died and I flew home for her memorial service. The good people of the Atlantic City Marathon allowed me to defer my entry to the following year, but that was my first attempt at New Jersey, which didn't happen.

Then in the spring of 2013 I was registered for the inaugural Liberty Run Marathon in Jersey City, which was canceled by the race director two weeks before the race. Apparently, they failed to secure…