Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Boston Marathon/post-La Marathon recovery day. It is so hard to balance recovery from one marathon while trying to maintain your current fitness levels for the next marathon a month away. I am always amazed by people who recovery quickly enough to run a race again the following week of a marathon. I am not that genetically gifted. I get sore and stay sore for at least 4-6 days after a race. I follow the advice of others who do run within a week to walk or do a light jog the first few days after a race, use a bike to get the blood flowing and do light stretching to help aide in the recovery process. Still it never helps. In fact the one time I really tried to get back to running by the next weekend, I hurt myself. So you can see my concern while I try and get back to running for Boston.

The plan today is a 30 minute light jog on my grassy field at school. I will try and do it tomorrow too. Then take Friday off. Hopefully by Saturday I can get in a 6 miler and the same Sunday.
Then next week it will be back to a decent amount of training. That's the plan in the head- hope the legs agree with the plan!

Have a great day.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Here I am 2 days removed from the fantastic LA Marathon and I am already looking forward to my next marathon. It just happens to be the Boston Marathon, so you can see why I am so excited. I have 27 days until I leave athletes village in Hopkington and head for downtown Boston. If you have been you know what I am talking about. If you haven't been there yet, as a runner you NEED to get there one day. If yo qualify you HAVE to go.

Unfortunately for me, that was almost not the case. In the Summer of 2008 I trained so hard to run the Long Beach International Marathon and qualify for my 6th Boston, I was crushed when I learned that due to the LA Marathon being moved to May, our SRLA qualifying race would be moved to the Boston Marathon weekend. So being the dedicated coach I try to be, I cancelled my trip to Boston so I could be there for my team as they tried to qualify for the LA Marathon.

Luckily, my BQ was good until this April. So I figured I would go this year. I made all the necessary arrangements and was looking forward to it until my wife got laid off in January. The plans might be scrapped again due to funding. My plan was to roll change, save as much as possible, and work a few extra shifts at TGI Fridays to make the trip happen; but it would still be a huge financial burden.

That will not be the case, I am going thanks to my team. At our annual end-of-the-season luncheon, I usually receive a gift from my team. I hate receiving anything because I do this for love not gifts, but it is still much appreciated. This year, they called me up and said that since I had to miss last year's race, they weren't going to let that happen again this year. They had raised over $500 to help send me to Boston. I was in tears! I couldn't hold back my emotion, and every time I think of it it makes me choke up. I plan on going back there, injury and all and giving it my best shot. I can't let me team down.

Wish me luck.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Whoa what a weekend, and running was the easy part! If you read my last blog, you know how busy I was leading up to the LA Marathon (if not take a peek and see what it takes to get 147 kids ready to run a marathon Mt Gleason Style). Things didn't stiop Saturday.

Sunday morning I was up at 2 am to eat breakfast and then pick up Chris Schauble (@chrisschauble) to go meet the kids at school at 3:45 so we could all be ready when our bus left at 4:30 am. Once we left it was 3 to a seat on school busses for a 30 minute ride to Dodger Stadium. Not an ideal way to stretch out before a race. We were so cramped up it sucked.

Then it is go sign in with Students Run LA, get visors for all the kids, get them in the bleachers, get them ready for a pre-race picture, then finally we can go to the starting line at 7 am. Finally, I can start to stretch and focus on running, but I still need to find all my sub-4 hour runners so we can stick together. Tough, tough stuff.

Finally the race. The pace was dead on for a 3:40 marathon through mile 11. Thne things started happening. The 9 of us who were running to gether started to splinter. So the ones that could stay on pace did (leaving 5 of my kids). We also cuaght Chris Schauble who managed to "sneak" away at the start (so packed couldn't find people 3 feet to your right or left). He was looking strong and confident. He stayed with us a few miles, until we started to pick up the pace. Then it was only Hayley and myslef at mile 15. I kept looking over my shoulder to see if the kids and Chris were back there and I could see Chris and he still looked good (the best I have seen him in later stages of races). At 17 Hayley cramped and told me to go on. So I decided to get in some training . I had 3 more runners up in front of me so I dropped to 7:30 pace (from the 8:25-8:00 we were running) and caught KeKe. He stayed with me from 18 to 21. Thne he wanted to slow down. I dropped to 7:00 minute miles at this point and flew down San Vincente (freakin love that street!). Once on Ocean I cruised to mile 26 where our Mt Gleason parenst were and stopped. The clock said 3:31. I had really picked up the pace to go from a 3:40ish pace until mile 17 to get to a 3:33 pace.

Once there I stopped and waited, so I didn't finish yet. I was waiting for my two adorable seniors whom I train with every weekend. They slowed at mile 12 but shouldn't have been that far back since they are endurance beasts. We had talked about it and dreamed about crossing the line together since this would be their last marathon as Mt Gleason Runners. So I waited and waited and waited. I waited until the clock said 4:15ish and realized that I was getting so cold and stiff and I really needed to eat. I decided to jump back in with any of my team that ran by at that point. When I saw Michelle and Peanut I jumped in and finally finished. My final time was 4:23. That was 50 minutes of waiting. Oh well, my time didn't matter it was the team's times that were important.

When it was all said and done, 146 of the 147 runners finished. One kid had a severe asthma attack and had to be pulled from teh course at mile 11. As a coach I am so proud of the team. I am also super proud of Chris for his new attitude about enjoying the experience even if you don't get a PR. And I am really proud of Bob Frein for his first marathon finish in 5:14.

Now it is time to focus on the Boston Marathon. Today is not a rest day. I will jump on the trainer for 30 minutes so I can get the blood flowing and stretch. Then it will be a light jog on Tuesday.

Hope everyone loved the race as much as I did. The course, the activities, the support, and the runners were all so amazing. I can't wait until next year.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

3 days left until the official start of the LA Marathon. To me though, it all starts tomorrow. One of the rewards our kids get for signing up and running the LA Marathon is they get to miss school on Friday and go to the Expo (last year it sucked cause we had to go on Saturday so no one missed school). So that will take up most of tomorrow day. When we return to school we have to set-up our multi-purpose room for our annual pre-race carbo-load luncheon that is held on the Saturday before the race.

Saturday, I will get up early, drive out to school and get finalize the luncheon details. I have to set-up the buffet area, get the end of the year awards ready, get a speech ready, make sure the sound system is set up and working with a projector to show our end of the year video, all before 500 plus people arrive to eat lunch. Then it is a massive clean up. Hopefully I am home around 3 so I can start to unwind for Sunday.

Sunday morning is EARLY for me. I am up at 2:15 to shower and eat, pick up Chris Schauble, then head to school to get all 147 runners ready for the race. Our bus is leaving our school at 4:30 am so we can get to Dodger Stadium early and get ready for the huge SRLA picture.
Then it is actually race time.

After the race it will be a waiting game to see how the entire team does. Once everyone is done, we get top ride the bus back to school and put away all our supplies. When it is all said and "run", I should be home around 6-7 pm. No relaxing after-race sit-down lunch for me, no after race beer, no after race, shower and lay around the house on the couch day, it is all spent at the finish line and working. Oh well all part of being a coach. LOVE IT!!!

See everyone Sunday and GOOD LUCK to all who are running.

P.S. Don't forget today is the TGI Friday's/Students Run LA fundraiser, please go and support!
TGI Fridays benefit night for Mar 18 can be found here:

Monday, March 15, 2010

One more week. That's all I have to wait until the LA Marathon. After a great weekend of training (Saturday 8 miles, Sunday 8 miles, without any pain really) I am really looking forward to running my 31st marathon.

I will be extremely busy this week getting all the supplies/paperwork in order for my team. Imagine how busy/mind-consumed you are before your own marathon. Now magnify that by 147 (really more than that since we are talking about middle-schoolers and they need a little more attention than adults) and you can imagine how busy I am.

So to fill my void of blogging I added a few short videos from last year's LA Marathon about 2 of my runnerss.

Check them out.

Friday, March 12, 2010

With only 9 days left and only one weekend standing between our team and the LA Marathon, I am super excited and extremely busy. I have to buy supplies for our support station which is on the corner of Orange and Sunset (right between miles 11 and 12). If you are in need of anything including medical supplies stop in. Just look for our red easy-ups and the red Mt Gleason Runners sign. So this weekend it will be training then shopping.

Our training is 8 miles on Saturday, that's my team's last distance run. I will try and do a 6-10 miler on Sunday depending on how my injured leg feels. I am really looking forward to this weekend as the weather is getting better which always makes me run better. The warmer it is the better I run.

Speaking of weather- looks like it will be 70 degrees and sunny for the marathon. Beautiful weather for a beautiful course. The view from mile 23-26 will be breath taking!

Have a great weekend

Thursday, March 11, 2010

10 days. 240 hours. That's all that stands between 20,000 runners and the new Stadium to Sea LA Marathon. I know I can't wait, I hope everyone else is feeling the same way.

I am taking today and tomorrow off to rest and get over this nagging head/chest congestion. Better to rest 2 days this week and get rid of it then push a little this week and suffer the consequences by not being at full strength for LA.

Saturday is our team's last distance run. It is only 8 miles but since we are at the end of our taper and have followed a 5 month marathon training plan, thus any long run could do more damage then good.

enjoy your day

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The running gods are telling me to take a break and let me legs heal that extra few days before LA. How do I know? They made me sick. See, the running gods follow us on our daily runs. If you are hitting the right pace, all the lights will be grenn. If you are not training at the right levels and pushing too hard, the gods will turn the lighst red and make you take a break. They also can effect our bodies, such as me being sick. They are making me ill enough where I can barely get in a 4 easy miler and not push it too hard. With only 11 days to go until the LA Marathon, I am listening to them.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I don't know if it was the frenetic pace of Saturday's run or the lack of sleep the last few weeks, but i woke up a little sick on Sunday, and it has gotten worse. My throat is killing me and I have tons of phlegm. Nyquil is best friend right now. I am hoping it will pass by tomorrow or the latest Thursday. I did manage a 4- miler at a very easy pace and felt better when I was done. I am thinking that today I will do the same and then go home and go to bed.

With only 12 days left until the LA Marathon I don't want to push anything and leave anything to chance next week. Better to rest now and race hard, then practice hard now and race like crap. I know first hand how it feels to race sick. The last 2 LA's I started sick and it didn't end up going to well those days.

Have a great day

Monday, March 8, 2010

Only one weekend left until the LA Marathon. I usually don't count weekdays as they seem to be filled with work and other obligations, so workouts are usually maintance with the occasional tempo runs. Weekends are the time to shine. The time to treat yourself like an Olympian, focusing on longer runs, extended down time and better meals. So in my mind I only have one weekend left which will fly by.

Our weekend 11 miler went great, except for my leg. We all ran well, and I actually crushedd it. I ran all 11 miles in 1 hour 21 minutes. Super happy with the pace and the way my body and lungs felt, except for the nagging injuries. My left leg felt like it did weeks ago. It hurt so bad after the 6 mile mark. I made it back and iced immediately. Then I went home and jumped in an ice bath. Finally, that night my lovely wife gave me a massage. I felt better on Sunday but still a little worried.

We will see how today's 4 miler goes before we push it a little harder Tuesday.

With only 13 days to go until the LA Marathon, are you feeling ready?

Oh and by the way, thank you Bob (@bfrein) for coming out and training with us on Saturday. We always love having "extra" parent/adult eyes on the kids. Hope to see you this Saturday. And no hard feelings about the "laughing as you pass comment"

Friday, March 5, 2010

After waking up at 4:30 to get in a 5 miler and the working 2 jobs (teaching and waiting tables), I am a little sluggish today. So today will be a chest and core work out day without any cardio (although waiting tables again at night is like walking 5 or 6 miles). This should leave me feeling refreshed and eager to tackle our last double digit LA Marathon training run tomorrow. We have an 11 miler scheduled, rain or shine.

Am I the only one with tunnel vision? I get like this when I am getting close to a race. Ever since I knew that the LA Marathon (and thanks to an inside source I knew months before others) was going to be a new course with the "Stadium to Sea" idea, I have been really looking forward to it. I always have loved LA, have always looked forward to it, vowed to run it every year for the rest of my life, and it holds a special place in my heart since it was my first marathon which lead to my beautiful life. But this year, I have been so anxious for March 21st to get here and now that it is only 16 days away, I can't control myself. I am constantly think about pace, feel, the course (I have driven the entire thing, studied the course map, and enjoyed viewing from @chicrunner's blog), yo9u name it, I am thinking about it. I can't wait!!!!! I really hope everyone is as anxious as I am and we really make this a great event. See you all in 16 days!

Please read yesterday's blog about Students Run LA and how you can help these remarkable kids.

Enjoy the weekend of training and extra rest.

Oh and a huge shout out to my good friend Chris Schauble- he is turning 40, which means he is no longer in my age group for a few more years. haha

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Sorry if you are a devout follower of the blog (all one of you, which is probably my wife) and wanted to rad it yesterday, but I was busy. I finally got approval to take a physics class and yesterday was my first day. However, class started on Feb 22nd so I am very far behind. I tried to catch up but ity was tough.

yesterday I got in a good 6 miles (47 minutes) and then did another 5 early this morning. I am starting to get my "quicker" legs back and the pain in my groin is all but gone. As I was running my 6 the team did a 3 mile time trial. Over 90 percent PR'ed and the other 10 percent was close. Even though we are training for a marathon, knowing they are getting faster is still encouraging. All they have left is 6 practices and then the big day.

Speaking of Students Run LA ( please help us. Due to the poor economy, SRLA’s donations are way down forcing SRLA to cancel a few races and cut back on running equipment for the kids. You can help. All you have to do is eat at anyone of the participating TGI Fridays on Thursday March 18th from 4-10pm. If you mention SRLA or have the flyer, 20% of your receipt will go to SRLA. So go and pig out! Tell others to join you. Have your friends or family that live by a TGI Fridays go to their Fridays and eat. All you have to do is eat, pay your tab, and give them the flyer; there couldn’t be an easier way to help all of Students Run LA.


Thursday march 18 4pm - 10pm Thursday march 18 4pm - 10pm
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*Valid at these locations only. Excludes Alcohol, Tax, and Gratuity. Know someone in need?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Today is one of the super light, pre-race taper days that you kind of look forward to at the end of 4 months of training. All I need to do is go to the gym and see my chiropractor. No running, no cardio. Simple and easy (although I will kill it at the gym). However, since I have been injured, forcing me to cut back drastically on my marathon training, I am actually not looking forward to today. Each day my leg gets stronger and stronger, which makes me want to run further and push harder. I am trying my best to fight those urges and follow my rehab plan to a "T". So far it has been successful and I really don't want to mess up Boston.

Tomorrow we are running 4 miles for time. This will truly be the first time I actually will "push the envelope" and see what I can do cardiovascularly since early January. It should be interesting to say the least.

Have great day

Monday, March 1, 2010

Epic! That's the one word I can use to describe this weekend's run. That is both for the weather and the course. First, the course. We did a 16 mile run Saturday morning. Our first loop was a fairly flat 7 1/2 miles. We completed the first loop 1 hour. Just the perfect pace for our marathon gaol of 3:40. Then things got interesting. I decided to push the pace down to a 7-7:30 min/mile pace for the first 5 flat miles of the second loop. This was going to really tax our legs so we would hit the hills fatigued and really have to focus on good form to allow us to push through the gruelling hills (not an exageration-these hills we run are very steep and quite long, just ask Chris Schauble @chrisschauble who was a "hill virgin" before Saturday). These hills added another 2 miles to our second loop. When it was all said and done, 2:12 for the enitre run. I felt great, legs were stiff but nothing hurt, and our time was great; hell we only ran 12 minutes slower for the second loop, but we also added 2 miles of hills. That means we actually ran way faster on the second loop. Negative splits are always nice.

Now for the weather. When we started it was mildly overcast and looked like the rain had passed. 5 miles into the first loop, the skys opened up and DUMPED rain on us for a good 15 minutes. Then, the skys started to clear. Once again, it looked like the rain had passed. Then we turned to face the west and I saw a huge grey/black cloud. I was hoping we culd beat it, but no such luck. That sucker caught us with 3 miles to go. This time it rained harder, even sending us some pea-sized hail, the entire rest of our run. That means we had to do the hills in the rain/hail/wind. Not too pleasant.

All in all. a great run. Leg strength was buitlt, leg endurance was built, and mental confidence was solidified. I am a happy camper with 20 days to go until the LA MArathon.

One 11 miler and an 8 miler are our only "longer" runs left. All the rest are weekday maintenance runs. The work is behind us, the reward is in front. Which direction would you focu