Monthly Archives: September 2015

My Maple Leaf Half Marathon Experience

What possessed me to sign up for a half-marathon in Vermont without specifically training, with my last run being a 10K in December 2014?

Give me this any day!

GFNY Mont Ventoux

Mont Ventoux

My wife Melanie has really focused on her well-being over the past year and a half with running, along with yoga and teaching Zumba, accounting for most of the physical training (training for the GFNY 100 begins this coming week!).  Melanie trained for her race and on a few of her longer training runs through our local park I paced her; perhaps I should have gotten out of the car!

During the week prior to the race I agreed to participate in the race; I am still at a loss to explain this bout of insanity!  I love running and have participated in several half marathons and two ultra-marathons and therefore knew what I was getting myself into; I thought that cycling fitness would carry me a long way and was really hoping just to be able to finish.  Around mile 7 into mile 8 I remembered why it is really important to train for the specific event in which you expect to participate; basic fitness is not enough….(except for my wife who trained for the Bear 50 by participating in exactly ONE GFNY training ride the weekend before the event and was almost 2 minutes faster than me going up Bear!).

The psychology (or psychosis) of my run went something like this:

Start line – it is a beautiful day in Vermont

Maple Leaf Start Line

Mile 1 – that was a good warm-up and it is a beautiful day

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Mile 3 – I just need to do this 3 more times then run 1.1 miles.

Mile 4 – I just need to do this 2 more times then run 1.1 miles.

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Mile 5 – great!  I remember running several half marathons with the plan of a 5 mile run, then another 5 mile run, then a 3.1 mile run and done….but my legs were feeling really heavy and my lower back was already tightening up….

Mile 6 – let’s take some photos of the scenery….and why does the music keep cutting out?

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Mile 7 – wait, that looks like a cycling climb out of the Englewood Boat Basin and I don’t see my DeRosa anywhere…..

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Mile 8 – I know my brain is telling my legs to move but they don’t seem to be responding as they did before!

This is BS

Mile 9 – why deny yourself the opportunity to enjoy this beautiful scenery – slow down, take a walk, take some photos….am I seeing things?

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Miles 10 to Finish – see Mile 9.  My conversations with the volunteers went something like “is it still Saturday?”

All in all I really enjoyed my time and I had a brisk 4 – 5 mile walk after an 8 – 9 mile run on a Saturday morning in Vermont.

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That’s my in laws channeling their youthful inner Jay Z and Beyonce…..

I did realize that running is really a lot of fun and on the days when we can’t get out on our bikes a 30 minute, 3 mile run is a great way to jump start your day.  I am thinking that some running training is in order this winter, maybe a 10K in December or January and then some training for a half marathon in the spring……

I am really proud of my wife Melanie.  She trained, she ate well, she had a simple training plan that she followed and when life events got in the way of the plan she modified it but didn’t give up or do nothing….and then she ran a really great race, again!

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The joy of knowing that you trained and finished strong vs. the happiness of finishing alive!

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