Thursday, April 17, 2014

198 Days Left

198 Days Left

On November 2, 2014, I will be running the New York City Marathon for the second time.  I am starting the Under 5 Club because that is my goal, to finish the marathon in under 5 hours.  That averages to 11:28 per mile which seems obtainable.  In my first marathon, I finished in 7 hours, 36 minutes and 24 seconds, so what I'm hoping to do is shave 2 hours 36 minutes and 25 seconds off my time.  A fair number of people will run the entire marathon in a similar amount of time.

My wife had twins in January so training has been extremely difficult.  To be honest, I've done pretty much no training at all.  I want to keep blaming this situation but the marathon doesn't care what my kids are doing or that I have a full time job.  I read an article in the April issue of Men's Health that focused on truckers getting into and staying in shape.  The driver fitness coach at a trucking company is a guy named Siphiwe Baleka.  In a year when he logged 323 days on the road and 150,000 miles, he also trained for an Ironman Triathlon.  Translation, I need to make better use of my time.

I have run two races this year but haven't been happy after either of them.  My first was the Washington Heights Salsa, Blues and Shamrocks 5K.  It will always be the Coogan's Race to me though.  The name change was a bummer but that wasn't my issue with the race.  I ran a slow race which I expected because it was my first physical activity since the kids were born.  What really bugged me was the very end of the race.  I had been chasing another runner for the whole race and had finally caught and passed her with about a quarter of a mile left.  As I entered the chute towards the finish line, I could tell the woman was gaining on me.  I encountered two problems: the first was that I didn't have the power in my legs to run faster.  Like most large land mammals, I can sprint at high speeds over small stretches of land but not that Sunday.  The second problem was that because I hadn't been exercising, I didn't have the resolve not to let her pass me.  Most of running is mental toughness but that day I didn't have enough.

The second race was the Scotland Run 10k.  I experienced knee pain as soon as I started running.  I kneed to lose weight (get it?).  I am about 15 pounds heavier than I was when running the marathon last year and I wasn't skinny at that point.  I really would like to drop 90 pounds from where I am right now before the race.  The second part about the knee pain is that I haven't been doing a lot of lifting.  My race training includes squats and dead lifts so that's something I need to get back to.  The other issue with being inactive and then trying to run a 10K is this:
The giant blister is what happens when you sit down a lot.

I'm hoping this blog accomplishes two things.  The first is to keep me accountable.  The second is to maybe inspire someone else to get up and accomplish something.  That could be a marathon or a 5K or something totally unrelated to running.  Just last week my sister was having a conversation with someone who thought they might be too heavy to run a marathon.  My sister said, "That's nothing, look at this guy" and showed a picture of me.  Maybe it didn't go down quite that way but still, if I can get off my ass to finish a marathon, you can achieve whatever it is you are trying to do.


  1. Hi Jeremy! I just found your blog through your comment on the RW Back of the Pack article. Just wanted to wish you good luck in your quest for sub-5. I also ran NYC 2013 (after training for 2012 - we all know how that turned out!). My goal was sub 5 and I finished in 4:53:13. It was my first marathon - what an amazing experience. Sorry your NYRR group isn't more supportive. I am from Queens but have lived in San Diego for over 20 years. About 6 years ago I became a walker, and now a runner. Found a very supportive training group I now coach for and we have runners and walkers at every speed level. No one should finish a race without support on the course or at the finish line. If you ever make it out here for a race we volunteer for, I guarantee you will have a great experience. Best of luck to you!

  2. Hi E_Woman! Glad you had a good experience with NYC in 2013. I ran in 2013 as well (registered for 2012 too) and still consider it as one of the best experiences of my life. I have met a number of great people through racing. Many were racers but there were a few great NYRR Employees in there too. If I get out to San Diego, I will definitely get in a race out there to see how you guys do it. Good luck with your running and thanks for reading!