Date registered: July 29, 2011
- My First Marathon — December 16, 2011
- Keys to Recovery — December 12, 2011
- The BIG Day — December 2, 2011
- Race Day Gear — December 2, 2011
- Pre-Race Logistics — November 28, 2011
I made it! On Saturday, 12/3, I ran 26.2 miles for the kids of St. Jude and thanks to your support, together we raised $1,125 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. We raised enough to buy a day of meals for two St. Jude families, three pair of pediatric crutches for St. Jude patients, four platelet count tests, and two transfusions of red blood cells.
It was a perfect day in Memphis – about 40 degrees and sunny. A few days prior we had our first snow fall, so needless to say I was very thankful for the sun. As the gun flared, I was along side 16,000 runners leaving downtown Memphis. My mom and wife were armed with signs, horns, pom-poms, and the like along side all the volunteers and spirit teams cheering with excitement. My favorite sign was “I just farted, run faster,” but there were also several heartwarming moments like when running through the St. Jude campus and passing a little girl with a sign “I’m here because of you.”
The first 13 miles were great and then the half marathon runners turned off and headed for the finish line. Within an instant, I was by alone – no more cheering, no more signs, and no more runners. For a second, I thought I took the wrong turn. Fortunately, I was warned about this point in the race and had my headphones with me. As I was listening to my tunes, I was cruising along and before I knew it I was already at mile 20.
All of a sudden it became tough! Mile 22 and 23 were the worst miles of the race. My legs were tired, my body was aching, and my mind was getting the best of me. As mile 24 approached, I remembered why I was running this race and began thinking of the St. Jude kids. I pulled myself together and heard my running coach’s advise, “the pain is taken away by the finish line.” My goal was to jog the last 2 miles and finish strong.
Sure enough as I rounded the corner of the St. Jude campus, I heard the cheering at the finish line. I crossed the finish line and received my official time – 4:28:33! I made it!! The last four months of training, early mornings, strict diet, running a total of 375 miles, and burning nearly 50,000 calories was all worth it.
Thank you for supporting me and donating to the kids of St. Jude! For race photos, visit http://on.fb.me/SJMMW.
A special thanks to (order in donations as received):
Permanent link to this article: http://runningforthekids.com/195/firstmarathon/
After running a marathon or half marathon, it is essential to properly recover. Coach Kevin Leathers suggests the following tips to reduce post-race soreness.
Permanent link to this article: http://runningforthekids.com/188/keys-to-recovery/
Tomorrow, starting at 8 a.m. CST, I will be running my first marathon for the kids of St. Jude. Overall throughout the last 16 weeks, I’ve run more than 350 miles and burned nearly 50,000 calories. Without question, it’s been a long road, but well worth it!
My goal is 4 hours, 30 minutes. As long as I can maintain 10-minute miles, I should be fine. I’ll be sure to share my experience after the race.
Time to get some rest – wish me luck.
Permanent link to this article: http://runningforthekids.com/190/the-big-day/
Tomorrow at 8 a.m. CST (9 a.m. EST), I will be running my first marathon. I will soon be one of the 2% of Americans that have ever run a marathon. It is an accomplishment that I have been training 16 weeks to achieve!
The weather in Memphis, TN is predicted to be about 65 degrees and sunny. Should be a perfect day to run 26.2 miles.
Below is a list my gear for race day. If you are preparing for a race, feel free to use this checklist.
Running Gear (NO COTTON)
Permanent link to this article: http://runningforthekids.com/184/race-day-gear/
A few weeks ago, I attended the fourth and final St. Jude Marathon training clinic. Coach Kevin Leathers hosted the program and discussed pre-race logistics as well as provided a sneak course preview. As I was listening to Coach Leathers, my nerves began to feel that rush of adrenaline only caused by race day.
The biggest takeaway from this session was to reduce your stress. Coach Leathers recommends a plan should be put in place beginning Friday night and all running gear should be double-checked. On race day, it is important to arrive early – at least 1.5 hours before the race. This will allow you enough time to get yourself situated, get your bag checked, and stretch with plenty of time to relax. You’ll also beat the crowds and avoid any additional stress.
When lining up in the coral before the race begins, make sure you seed yourself correctly. This will help avoid having a slow runner in a fast pace group or a fast runner in a slow pace group. The St. Jude Memphis Marathon also provides race pacers to keep you on pace. At the start of the race, line up near with the pace leader and remember to keep them in sight throughout the race.
As with any marathon, it is also important to stay close to the turns. Marathons are measured near the turn, so if you are running far from each turn, you’ll end up running more mileage. A few tenths of a mile add up with you are running 26.2 miles! Coach Leathers suggests when you see a turn approaching, start making your way toward the edge of the road early.
Overall, the most important aspects of every race are to relax, focus, and enjoy!
Permanent link to this article: http://runningforthekids.com/181/prerace-logistics/
The phrase “hitting the wall” is actually a myth! This statement is commonly made when an athlete can no longer continue a physical activity, such as running or cycling. Scientifically, hitting the wall or bonking describes a condition caused by the depletion of glycogen stores in the liver and muscles.
The term was coined years ago and derived from the fact that without any addition supplements our bodies can perform for about 2 hours of continuous activity before getting tired. Marathon runner’s claimed to hit “the wall” around the 20th mile, which is around 2 hours into a marathon for an average runner. With no supplements available, runners essentially “hit the wall” causing sudden fatigue and loss of energy.
Today, hitting the wall can be overcome through regular hydration and routine replenishing of supplements. A proper race strategy with adequate replenishing every 50-60 mins. and keeping on pace will ensure the wall is never reached. It’s essential to have a practiced fueling plan and physical and mental fortitude long before race day.
Some words of advice from running Coach Kevin Leathers are to remember to accept the pain – it’s supposed to hurt. And remember, it’s the ability to keep running that will get you through the race.
Permanent link to this article: http://runningforthekids.com/179/overcoming-the-wall/
For the last 12 weeks, we’ve talked a lot about physical training, but mental training is just as important, if not more important. As part of the third St. Jude Memphis Marathon Training Clinic, Coach Kevin Leathers outlines 4 areas of focus for mental training.
Coach Leathers’ ultimate advice is to know the pain is always erased by the finish line. It’s the finish line that makes you want to race again and again.
Permanent link to this article: http://runningforthekids.com/172/mental-marathon-training/
The BIG race is only 4 weeks away! I’ve been training for 12 weeks now and can honestly say that it’s the motivation of running for the kids of St. Jude that inspires me to keep going.
Last month was probably the most challenging. Between getting sick for two weeks and traveling almost every weekend, it was difficult to stay consistent (which, by the way, is the key to marathon training). Dwelling on missed miles is only going to set me back, so I need to look forward and focus this month because in 4 weeks it will be me, my running shoes, and 26.2 miles of pavement!
With October behind me, I’ve recently been reenergized by two sources – (1) the comments from readers of this blog and (2) the St. Jude Training Clinic #3. Before recapping the third training clinic, I’d like to take a moment to thank all the supporters of this blog for their dedication and loyalty to Running for the Kids. You’re daily comments are so supportive and truly mean a lot.
About two weeks ago, Coach Kevin Leathers hosted the third St. Jude Training Clinic. The topic was Peaking for Optimum Performance: How to get the mind and body ready for race day. As Coach Leathers starts every training clinic, he reminds us consistency = success.
The most important training period is 4 – 6 weeks out from the race. With the Memphis Marathon only 4 weeks away, this puts me in the strike zone! The reason why this time period is so crucial is because it takes about 3 weeks for any training improvements to appear. Simply said, any strenuous training done in the last two weeks is not going help on race day. If scheduled properly, your longest run should be exactly 3 weeks prior to the event.
During this 4-6 week time frame, Coach Leathers explains emphasis should be on the following…
The remaining 2-3 weeks are all about tapering for optimum performance. Tapering is a critical part of training. During this phase, it’s important to maintain the intensity, but cut the mileage. Coach Leathers reminded us that tapering DOES NOT mean stop training. Overall, the idea is to reduce mileage by 20% each week leading up to the race so at the end of 3 weeks, you’ve cut your milage by 60%. Why is tapering so important? Because we now know that no additional fitness is gained 3 weeks out from the event.
On race day everything really boils down to these two words: consistency and confidence. Consistency provides the routine and confidence provides the ability to transform nervous energy into positive energy.
Permanent link to this article: http://runningforthekids.com/158/peaking-for-optimum-performance/
With the help of my family and friends, I have raised 75% of my $1,000 fundraising goal for St. Jude. To date, we have raised $746 for the kids of St. Jude!! To support this wonderful cause, please consider making a donation at bit.ly/HelpStJude.
A special thanks to…
Permanent link to this article: http://runningforthekids.com/143/fundraising-update/
Training for the marathon has been an exciting road (no pun intended)! In 11 short weeks, I’ve gone from getting tired after walking the dogs to running 14 miles in a couple of hours. It’s amazing what’s possible when you completely focus on a goal.
Everything has been great up until this week when I learned my biggest lesson, don’t push it. I developed a small cold, which started out as a soar throat and eventually turned into complete sinus infection. In an effort to get better, I took a few days off from running, plus running without being able to breathe would be quite a challenge. Eventually the cold stated to move and I thought I was feeling better. Determined and upset that I just missed a few running days (I never thought I’d be upset about not running), I went on a 14 mile run – my longest run to date.
The good news was I made it back in 2.5 hours; the bad news… I was completely exhausted. I didn’t drink enough water, didn’t have enough gels, and wasn’t prepared for the stress on my body. After doing my best to replenish the carbs and electrolytes that I lost, I went to bed. The following morning that cold was back and I knew I was in for a long recovery.
Since I was stubborn and ran while still being sick, the cold returned and I had to take more time off from running. These last few days have tough for me to accept and not being able to lace up my running shoes is frustrating.
My plan is to rest this weekend and hope my endurance doesn’t fade. I know I need to reset, put the lost miles behind me, and move on. Within a few days I should be back and ready to take on 16 miles next Saturday. As I move into the last 6 weeks of training it’s time to focus (not over do it) and look forward to accomplishing my first marathon.
Permanent link to this article: http://runningforthekids.com/129/my-biggest-lesson/