Marathon Day: Running the Minneapolis Marathon

The day had finally came. On March 31st I attempted my first marathon. After 18 of training, all the blood, sweat, and tears was finally put to the test
I was running the Minneapolis Marathon. Last year I trained to run the 2014 Minneapolis marathon. However, a thunder storm caused the race to be rained out. I call it a blessing in disguise. During my marathon training I realized I was in not prepared to run that race. My weekly mileage averaged 10-20 miles a week, I was doing a poor job carb loading, and I barely had a race plan. If I ran that race I would’ve fell hard. But now the 2015 race came and I went in feeling confident and well-trained.
Sunday morning started without a hithch. I woke up at 4:30  extremely well rested. I had all my race gear laid up the night before. This left plenty of time to gobble down my carb-filled breakfast and to force myself to use the bathroom. After reading through various marathon reports I learned it’s best to go to the bathroom as much as possible before the race.
Shortly after waking up I had my massage therapist friend stop by. I scheduled a warm-up massage session with him to help loosen up any last minute tension. After 30 minutes of work I was ready to run. I made sure to fit in one last bathroom break before heading out. I left a little before 6:00, it should’ve been ample time to get to the starting line before the race started. Unbeknowest to me, some construction sites had caused me to detour enough times to arrive late. The race started promptly at 6:30, and I was cutting it close at 6:25. I got out of the car roughly two blocks away from the starting line and I raced to the starting line. I started my race at 6:35.
I was the the last to start in the race. I knew I had to make up for lost time so my goal was to run at a moderate pace to catch up with the 9:00 min/mile racers than keep at their pace for the rest of the marathon. As I ran I started to catch up with some of the runners going at a 11:00 min/mile pace. Then I began to pass them. Soon I found myself passing by a lot more of the runners. By mile 4 I felt well energized and had passed by over a hundred runners.
This made me cocky. I gradually increased my pace as I passed runners. For the next few miles I kept a mental map of the route. Every 2 miles I was going to drink a cup of water. Every 7-8 miles I was going to have an energy gel. I was still passing by the runners effortlessly. By mile 6 I was greeted with a long stretch of hills. I slowed my pace down so I didn’t tire my Type II muscles. Thank goodness for that. I was seeing many runners keep at the same pace as they went up these hills. It wasn’t long before I, and many others, started to pass them.
The first 8 miles went by quick. I didn’t feel slightly tired and I was still passing by  runners. I felt like by now I had to have been coming close to the 9:00 min/mile runners. I decided to pace myself with another runner. I spotted a runner ahead of me wearing a bright red shirt and an orange headband. He was going at the same speed as I was so I kept close behind him. He and I were whizzing past many of the runners ahead of us. I was impressed that he and I were able to keep a solid pace even when we neared the halfway mark. However, by mile 11 I noticed he started to slow down. I had done well to keep in range of him, but now I found myself going at a lot slower of a pace than I felt I could run. I decided to run ahead of him hoping he’ll catch up with me soon. I never saw him the rest of the race.
Between miles 12-13 I was switching off between people to pace behind. Many of these runners I try to pace with would be the ones who would burst ahead of me for a short distance only to shortly lose steam and fall behind. I finally caught up with the 9:00 min/mile pacers. I felt myself going at a reasonable pace and decided to move on ahead of them. Finally I reached the halfway point. I was excited to have made it so far and not even feel tired. The last half of the marathon was a loop. We would run an extra 6.5 miles from the half way point then turn around and run 6.7 miles back to the finish line.
I felt comfortable at my pace, so I had the crazy idea to attempt negative splits. The last half was extremely hilly. I had tried to do well to slow my pace down, but even then I started to feel my muscles tire. I was approaching mile 16 and I started to slowly feel the effects of my running. It was only then I reminded myself “You are not running this as a race, you’re running this to complete it. Slow down”. I started to keep my pace slower, but I feel like it was too late. I was no longer being the passer, but the one being passed. I took another energy gel by mile 17. It did not digest well the rest of the run. I felt sluggish by mile 20, and I forced myself to take my 3rd energy gel by mile 21.
I started feeling delusional at some point in my run. By mile 21 I saw a kid try to hand out what I assumed was half eaten piece of corn. My mile 22 I referred to the guy handing out a plate of oranges as Saint Juicy. By mile 23 I realized I had been holding an empty plastic cup since mile 22. By mile 24 I settled that if I eat that last energy gel I was going to vomit.
It was a struggle to run those last 2.2 miles. Every step ran was another step I wanted to slow down and walk. However, I kept pushing myself to keep going. I kept thinking to myself the encouraging thoughts I had during my training, “It’s faster to finish if you just keep running”, “You had not stopped running so far, why start now?”, “It’s easier if you just don’t think about it”. It was tiring, but I was able to push myself run the longest 2 miles I had ever ran. I saw the finish line and I crossed it feeling overjoyed, finishing with a time of 3:47:44.
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I felt like I was walking on jello, but I was too happy to care. I not only completed a marathon but I ran it’s entirety. My brother and my girlfriend greeted me shortly after. I was grateful for them to be there. I tried to scoff down some water but my body was struggling to consume anything. The next half hour felt like torture.
I had tried to make sure I stood up and stretched out. I was too tired to move, and too tired to stand. I eventually collapsed on the ground unable to feel my arms. I had to be fed my food because I couldn’t move my body. I knew something was wrong and asked my brother to get First Aid. After a short while I found myself lying down on a bed with 5 different guys asking for my name. I couldn’t remember much, I did remember the feeling of cold towels, people forcing me to drink fluids, and then waking up to the sound of “We Are The Champions” playing nearby. I eventually was given the go to leave. I hobbled down to the car eating the baggie of pretzels given to me at the finish line. They were the best damn pretzels I’ve ever had.
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That puts an end to my marathon journey. At least for this year. I spent the next two weeks trying to walk normally. I admit, taking a break from running only made me anxious to run more. The 18 weeks spent running were tiring, but it felt worth it in the end.
Were there things I would want to change? Sure. I would’ve gotten to the race earlier so I could have ran at my goal pace. I felt like passing by the slower runners just drove my arrogance to run faster than I should have. I would have stretched out more during my training to avoid my knee injury. It would have allowed me to put in a lot more mileage and maybe finish a bit easier. I would’ve skipped the idea of doing negatives. I realize that just because I’m doing well the first half, doesn’t mean I’ll keep it up the second half. I would’ve also have skipped the energy gels and switch off between water and Gatorade. My need for first aid was caused by a lack of electrolytes. After I chugged a good few cups of Gatorade I started to feel normal.
Overall, I had fun. I would definitely recommend anyone who has never done it to run a marathon, and I mean RUN a marathon. My experience has caused me to push myself hard. It’s now a lot easier to quiet that voice in my head that tells me to stop going when things get tough. I have a new found confidence in myself because of it.
Marathon pic
Thank you all for reading my Marathon Training blog.  It was an exhausting journey, but  it was worth it was worth it in the end. You may have noticed that at some point I stopped posting the Hanson’s Marathon method reports on my blog. I apologize for this, but my schedule wouldn’t allow me to write a summary of the chapter so frequently. With that being said, I still plan on summarizing the chapters. Now that my marathon is finished I will be making posts that will summarize each chapter. These chapter summaries will hopefully be posted on a weekly basis. Stay tuned for any updates on this. Until then, remember to stay dedicated and train hard.

5 Run the Minneapolis Marathon ACCOMPLISHED

Bucket List
12 Run a Marathon ACCOMPLISHED

Goal 2 Completed: Got my driver’s license

Hello everyone! It has been a while since I last posted. I have been super busy trying to finish my goals for 2015. Today marks another goal accomplished. I finally got my driver’s license!

It has been a long while coming. I had my fair share of failures from previous tests and it resulted in me having to take 6 hours of Behind The Wheel for me to take the test. The biggest issue with that was that I did not have the funds to pay for Behind the Wheel. Fortunately enough for me, the new job I got in March helped me pay for a lot of necessities to work towards my goals.

Now, after 5 years of waiting, and 6 hours of behind the wheel finished, I passed my Driver’s test with flying colors!

Challenge List

2 Get my driver’s license ACCOMPLISHED!

Goal 22 Completed: Got a new Job!

Last February I was interviewed for a job at a different company. There was some miscommunication that went on, and I thought I got the job. I sent my 2-weeks noticed in to my previous job. I went in on the day I thought I started, only to find out that I was not offered a position. They had informed me that they were still in the selection process, and there were some issues with my paper work. In short, I was unemployed.

Now, 1 month, and many papers later, I was offered the job. I started last Wednesday and I couldn’t be more happier. This job fulfills nearly everything I’m looking for in my field-related career.

Challenge List:

22 Get a new job ACCOMPLISHED!

Monthy Progress Report: Feburary

I know that this it seems rather late to be posting a Monthly Progress Report for last month when this month is nearly over. I actually did have one for February written up weeks ago, but was hesitant to submit it. After much consideration, I settled to publish my progress report for February. I feel that if I want to have a fair reflection of my progress I cannot withhold publishing any reports.

The month of February was a rough one. Frankly, I was a little bit embarrassed by my performance for February. While I was able to keep up with my weekly challenges, such as meditation twice a week and martial arts, there were a number of sacrifices I made over the month.

Employment

The first sacrifice I made was my job. I interviewed for a position at a new company, but due to some miscommunication, I thought I was offered the position. I sent my 2-week notice in, went in on the day I thought I would start, and discovered that I was not, in fact, offered a position, but that they were still in the selection process. In short, I am unemployed.

300 Days of Parkour

In my January Progress report I talked about working on a new project called “300 Days of Parkour”. Unfortunately, the month I wanted to start also fell in line with same month of an upcoming security competition. My preparation for the competition absorbed a vast majority of my free time. I ended up have very inconsistent practice days and I was not able to shoot any training footage as a result.

Marathon Training

My marathon training had a few days lost as well. While I was able to keep up with most of the Hanson’s Method, 2-3 days had to be skipped. The weather had no mercy on me this winter, and I still feel guilty I didn’t power through the days I had to call it in.


Overall, February felt more like a month of regression than a month of progression. Despite all this, I am not going to look at it in a negative light. I may have lost my job, but I am not seeing it as a big deal. There’s a chance of getting the position, and if not, I can always focus on school work. Work has been a huge consumption of my time, and I feel this free time allows me to focus more on school work and certifications.

Secondly, the security competition is over. I have been more consistent with my training since then and will be begin recording my progression during the month of March.

Lastly, the weather is clearing up. It is becoming a lot more bearable to jog and I am also tweaking my jogging schedule each day to occur when weather is at it’s peak conditions.

It may have been a rough month, but it was not a bad month. With each moment of failure comes a moment of learning. With every sacrifice comes a gain. I will not stop pushing myself to reach my goals. I am going to take on March, as well as the rest of the year, with optimism. Until then, remember to stay dedicated and train hard.

Awarded the Silver Medal

I had begun my President’s Challenge some time in December 2013. When I started out I had joined just as a fun little way to track my activities. I had no idea how hooked I would’ve become. I started to frequently track my physical activities and slowly started to earn points doing it. It felt great!

A little under 3 months I racked up enough points to obtain my bronze medal. It was a lot of work, but worth it in the end. I continued for a period of time, but had decided to stop. As summer hit I became a lot less focused on my points and more focused on other activities. After a few months into my hiatus I realized just how much my fitness activities were influenced by tracking. I would do hours of physical activities just to earn points.

Once I had stopped tracking points I had also stopped putting in as long hours. It got to the point where my every day exercise routine dwindled down to exercising every so often. So in 2015 I had made a goal that will motivate me to keep tracking. I had taken on the challenge to earn my gold medal before the end of the year. Since the new year I had been bumping up my exercise routine to extend to working out every day.

Now, over 286 hours, and over 90,000 points worth of exercise later I have obtained my silver medal. This feels like a huge milestone for me. I had worked hard to make sure I earned enough points and am now that much closer to crossing off an item on my Challenge List. I will continue to work towards that goal medal, and hope that my work will also pay off to earn a possible platinum.

SilverAward