Tag Archives: Running

My First Marathon – Tulsa Route 66

I’m not fully certain where I want to start this post. I’m not sure if I’m ready to explain where my thoughts are after running my first marathon.

I am thrilled with finishing and doing something that most people will never do. However, I would rather say I finished with the time and pace I had trained to accomplish. More on that later.

The Tulsa Route 66 Marathon was a magnificent event. The crowd support along the route was great. Aid stations where well stocked and restrooms abundant on the route.

The only thing I might change is I would not have paid for the Mother Road and VIP package. That was not necessary if your hotel is between the start and finish line like mine was. The start line food didn’t make it in time to the VIP tent and I only had time to grab one mini-muffin before having to run to corral C. Otherwise, it was a wonderful experience.

Garmin has the route at about 960 feet of elevation gain, and the wind was whipping between 10-15 MPH from the north.

Yet, I had hoped for a much better finish time and that’s why I have mixed emotions. 232 out of over 953 runners should feel good for a first timer, and it does on many levels.

The training was difficult. Certainly, I needed help pushing myself to do the training and the Lord helped push me. The Holy Spirit urging me to press on when my flesh didn’t want to on occasion.

Since my first half-marathon training started almost four years ago, I do runs three days per week, with a long run on the weekend of between six and ten miles.

However, my marathon training started about thirteen weeks ago. I started a premium Strava training plan created by McMillan running at the beginner level (Link here). It gave me a full twelve weeks of training planned (and more if needed) and would also send me an email each day of what I need to do in my training the next few days. It also included a write up of why and motivational quotes.

In the summer, I had to wake up early on Sunday mornings before church to do my long runs. I don’t really like early morning wake ups, but it was too hot training in the afternoons and evenings in the summer and early fall. It also meant that I had to put in many more miles during the weekdays. This meant less time for weight training, which I really enjoy.

Yet I did the training as directed, and going into the race weekend, I felt ready. And my body was ready. I completed the marathon with a great finish time for a first-time marathon runner. (4’09”) I finished in the top third of all runners. That’s awesome, right?

The problem is, I wanted it in under four hours and closer to 3’45”. And in my twenty-mile training run, I was well on target to reach that goal on fresh legs.

The first twenty miles went great and on a good pace for the elevation gain and 15mph head winds. Yet the last six miles is where my inexperience became evident. I went from an 8:30/m pace to 14/m pace for the last six miles due to cramping. I knew those last six would be slower, I had planned for a 9:05/m pace for that last six miles in my pace strategy. But these cramps were the dreaded “wall” I guess. I hit the “wall”.

I reached mile 20 in 2:52:28, and I had kept my pace goal so that I would not overrun my training in the first part of the race. Just like I trained. The last six miles were mostly downhill as compared to the first twenty miles. I should have easily reached my goal. But it didn’t happen.

So, I’ve learned valuable lessons on my first marathon. Race day hydration and calorie intake strategies need to be tuned. With the Lord’s help, until I reach my finish time goal, I’m going to keep trying to hit my pace goal. Next time, I’ll have a foundation and a little more knowledge to bring with me on the road.

Run. Endure. Finish Strong.

Run. Endure. Finish Strong.

We run this race because God has given us a crown. We don’t need to win the crown, we just have to receive it.

I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14 NASB

Run. Endure. Finish Strong.

Defeat or Determination? – When Circumstances and Obstacles Remove Your Motivation

We’ve been training for a few months now. We are only three weeks away from our big run. But now the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has forced the run organizers to cancel. #Coronavirus #BentonvilleHalfMarathon

It’s a hard choice for the organizers. And for the runners, especially first time half marathon runners, this is devastating news. For those who have been training and weekly pushing their bodies to new distance or pace goals, their big motivation has been removed.

This year would be my third Bentonville Half Marathon, my goal was to just run it faster. Yet I have many friends that I have encouraged to run their first half, and a few are now very demotivated.

My message to you all is to focus on taming the flesh and silence the voice of the lazy flesh sack we live in.

Be determined to press on and conquer those 13.1 miles. Many races are switching to a virtual format. This means you still have to prove that you ran the miles to get the medal.

And although the lights and the camera may not be there, the action will be. When you run 13.1 miles for the first time in your life it will still move you emotionally. Don’t give up your training just because you won’t be around thousands of other sweaty faced runners.

The true goal is to overcome the voice of the quitter in your head. And prove to yourself that you can do it. This is your motivation! Not the crowd at the finish line, but the one doubting voice in your mind that you must silence.

There are not many life changing goals that have ever been reached without hard work, obstacles, challenges and/or pain. Many times those goals are achieved without a finish line and no audience to speak of. But the goal was still achieved.

Will you give up? Will you let the voice of fear and laziness win again? Or will you Run, Endure and Finish Strong?

Taming the flesh and extending the mission that God has created you for.

Running 101 – MyFitnessPal Blog

Running 101 – MyFitnessPal Blog created several videos for the beginning runner and for those looking to improve their run times. There are some very helpful tips here as we move into running season and especially if you are training for your first 5K or even half-marathon.

Upper Body Form

When to Run

How Often to Run

What to Eat, Drink and When

How Fast and Far to Run

Cadence and Stride Length

Hill Running