Wednesday, August 27, 2014

2014 Marine Corps Marathon Training Update

I find it hard to believe I completed half my training for the 2014 Marine Corps Marathon.  My Intermediate Training Program is challenging and achievable for my current skills and fitness.  I am running 5 days a week with a mix of tempo, speed, long and recovery runs.   I managed running while traveling for work and vacation.  The travel provided opportunities to run in and explore interesting places.   Running conditions in Central Virginia continue to improve with the transition from hot humid summer to brisk cool  early fall.   As the longer runs get longer, and the speed work gets more taxing I find that my nutrition is the weakest component of my training.   Nutrition and diet are areas that I don't know to much about so I need to get some outside help ensure I get the best results.    

I started thinking about my performance and social goals for this marathon.   On the performance front, my goal is pretty simple:  Improve on my race from last year.   My target time for completion is 4:15, which will not be a PR but I think is reasonable considering my current fitness and the course.    I am still uncertain about my social goal, but I expect that I will pick a charity to promote.  

I am thankful to be healthy and running without injury as I enter the home stretch of training. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I hit the lottery!

The 39th Marine Corps Marathon registration lottery completed today and I received notification that I am officially registered for the race.   The MCM is considered a premier race in the US.  It is the 3rd largest in the US and 8th in the world After running the race for the first time,  I am excited to participate again because I will get to:

  • Focus on the contributions and sacrifices of the US Service Men and Women
  • Participate with a large diverse global runner community
  • Run the nation's capital and see the monuments
  • Feel the support from the marines and spectators
I look forward to my upcoming MCM training activities and hope to improve my performance over last year. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Today's Run - 3.2.2014 - Saunders-Jefferson Trail Run

I can't remember the last time I ran the Monticello Saunders-Jefferson Trail and since the 2014 Montalto Challenge registration opened this week I decided to hit the trail for a nice run on Sunday to get reaquanted.    The ~2mile crushed gravel and boardwalk path is well maintained by Monticello and even with a number of people walking, running and riding the path there is plenty of room to run.

I enjoy running this trail and the Montalto Challenge because you get some amazing views of the Charlottesville area.  For this run, I started at the bottom of the trail and ran to the Monticello Visitors Center and back to the bottom of the trail, and for kicks I ran to the top again to complete a 10K.  I met my family at the top of the trail for the relaxing walk back down the trail.

I find this course is very difficult at the bottom as you start the ascent. The grade of the trail smooths slightly in the middle, but by no means do you forget that you are running uphill.  Once reaching the top of the trail you stand at the bottom of the Montalto Mountain which is the last mile of the Montalto Challenge course.   I find myself admiring the significant climb to the top and remembering the dedication it takes to conquer the switchbacks.

The return to the trail reminded me that I have significant training to do in preparation for the Montalto Challenge in the coming weeks.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Hotels focusing on runners

This CNBC article discusses the trend of hotels catering to runners for big events like marathons.   I typically travel for races and know that hotels can impact race logistics.  The night before a race is full of mental and physical preparation activities which are made more difficult when you are not in your normal environment.   I try to find hotels close to the runners village to have access to transportation drop offs and hopefully local restaurants.

I was lucky enough to stay at the Pentagon City Ritz Carlton before the 2013 Marine Corps Marathon.  The Ritz did a great job welcoming runners with a supportive welcome note and a gift back of water and sport bars.  The hospitality team did a great job preparing runners in the morning with oatmeal and other breakfast options.   Upon returning from the race the staff offered supportive and honest congratulatory remarks about the race.

I hear you all now; "What else do you expect... it is the Ritz!  You will not find that service at the Super 8!".  You are probably right - but it is this type of experience that makes people frequent the Westin and Marriott properties.   I take full advantage of being a business traveler to use rewards program for my race weekend travels. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Training Delays

The best of intentions and training plans are easily derailed by life, illness and weather.   I logged limited miles in the last few weeks due to winter storms and illness.   As February starts I have a full book of business travel ahead of me as well.   I will get back on track with a few short treadmill runs and hopefully a run outside when on location in California and India.

I shook off the jetlag this morning with an easy interval run on the treadmill.   My legs felt rested and my head cold symptoms are almost gone.   Not my best run, but a good way to start the day.

I find that the forced physical break is helping me mentally recover from last years training.  The lack of training runs will impact my hopes for a strong C'Ville 10 Miler race.   In the long run it may help me gain a fresh start to building my base for my goals later in the year.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Planning 2014 Race Schedule

I am looking to 2014 as an opportunity to return to a more defined racing scheduled.  I enjoy the added excitement of running when in a crowd and on different courses than my normal runs.    I also find the challenge of competing against others and myself pushes me to improve.

I plan to return to the following local Charlottesville Track Club races:
  • Charlottesville 10 Miler - March
  • Montalto Challenge (5K) - May
  • Boar's Head Turkey Trot (5K) - Oct
I also plan to run a 1/2 Marathon and a Full Marathon.  I will post a more detailed race schedule once I settle a few more details.

Friday, January 10, 2014

I may not have posted about it, but I am still running!

The RunDugRun blog went stale in the last year due to me having limited time to focus on and contribute to blogging.  You may ask what kept me occupied since my last post.  To quickly catch you up, since August of 2012 I successfully completed a Masters in Information Technology from the University of Virginia,  joined GE Healthcare, traveled to (and ran in) multiple US, European and Indian cities, ran 900 miles in 2013, as well as completed the Marine Corps Marathon.   I can happily say that I am ready to start 2014 with more time to focus on my family, friends and running.

I start the year with the following running goals:
  • Run on average 3 times a week
  • Run 1000 Miles
  • Run in 3 Charlottesville Track Club events
  • Complete 1 or more Marathons
  • Be more faithful to a healthier diet
I also have the following stretch goals:
  • PR 5K time
  • PR Marathon time
  • Compete in a sprint triathlon 
I am excited to accomplish these goals in 2014 and plan to blog about my progress as I go.