I can waste time on the interweb...this is one of the many ways I do it...
Running. Running is a four letter word to a true cyclist, and for good reason. You see, running is just plain stupid. It really is; trust me, since I have empirically determined this over the last couple months. Of course, these thoughts are coming from a cyclist. So what do I really know about running? Not much.
Well, that’s not really true. I actually know a little bit. I knew a lot more when I was younger, but not because I thought running was the greatest thing ever and I competed in cross country during my high school years. It just turns out I knew a lot more about EVERYTHING when I was younger. If I would have listened to my younger self I’d be rich now. Maybe even famous. Not that I’d want to be famous, since that sounds like a royal pain in the ass. Ya know…the kind of pain you can get from running.
In the winter of 2009/2010 I started to run a bit. It had been years since I ran, but I was wanting to try something new in the winter to stay fit. And, riding at night is not something I thoroughly enjoy (nor do I have the proper gear for it), and the idea of riding the trainer inside was no longer an option (because riding a trainer is, in my expert opinion, just plain stupid). So I started to run. I ran a few times a week and decided I liked it. Oh, wait, I actually have a post on this topic. Read it here. It was in February of 2010 that I did a 5K and rocked a modest 19:21. Certainly not fast, but not too slow either. Especially for a cyclist. Earlier that winter my brother and I, after a few drinks, talked about doing the Chicago Marathon. I was in if he was…so I set my sights on the 2010 Snake River Half marathon. I ran a little, still concentrating on cycling, but still toed the line with nearly seven hundred idiots…err…runners that morning to run my first half-marathon. I told myself that if I could break 1:30 I’d stop racing bikes at the end of June and train for either the Chicago or Portland Marathon. The Portland Marathon was an option only if my brother bailed on the Chicago marathon idea (he did bail on it, but that does not matter…because he’s discovered cycling!). So what happened? I ran a 1:29:58 which was cool…except that meant I had to run marathon. Dammit.
Fast forward to a year or so ago. Allison and I headed down to Portland to watch her brother do his first marathon. I was excited for him and really did not think too much of it. Until race morning. I wanted to be out there but I had given up any hope on running again. We watched Rusty race and he did great for his first marathon. He had minimal training and a banged up knee, so he only did a 3:17:XX (side note: Rusty, like Allison, has something called “talent.” He raced road bikes professionally for a couple years, and when I say “minimal” training I mean “minimal.”). I wanted to run again, but I thought I could not. I thought there was no way I could. My foot just didn’t work right. Allison told me, implored me, not to give up. With her encouragement, I finally went to a doctor and wore a torture device on my ankle for a few months. Finally, on December 13, 2011 I ran again. Allison and I went down to the park and we ran. For twelve whole minutes. She on her surgically-repaired back and me on my bum ankle. But we ran together and enjoyed it. My ankle swelled a bit after that short of a run, but I did not stop. We kept increasing our run times very gradually to the point where we could both do 45 minutes without much of a problem. Not fast running, but at least we were getting out there. At the end of January, we did a 5K. I was slower than two years ago and only ran a 19:24. Age had obviously caught up with me.
We took a much needed trip to Maui in February with only running shoes, and no bikes. We did some great trail runs… and then it happened. Rusty contacted us while we were there. “You guys in for the 2012 Portland Marathon?”
“Why not?” we said. We signed up. When we got home I did a few duathlons, but mostly concentrated on bike racing, while Allison, after scoring a huge victory at the Tour of Walla Walla, dove into the triathlon world. My goal for the summer was the Crusher in the Tushar (I really should have written a blog post about that) bike race and after that I’d start training again for the marathon.
Starting on July 24 of this year, I began official training for the 2012 Portland Marathon. Now, anyone who knows anything about marathons will tell you that you need more time to train for a marathon than 10 weeks. Instead of agreeing with these thoughts, I just channeled my inner Sid Vicious and did it my way. So, I’ll take my 346.45 miles of training with me to the line on Sunday and hopefully achieve my first goal. To have fun.
Unfortunately, along the way, I lost Allison due to a stress fracture, so she will only be in Portland to support me. I am really bummed by that, but thankful for all the support she has given me during this “training” process.
I’ve shunned my poor bike (during cyclocross season!!!) and have only ridden it four times since I started marathon training. I’ve run a fair amount, but not enough. I’m okay with it. I’m ready. It’s go time. Bring on Portland.