Monday, 12 January 2009


Apparently I have fallen down on my homework.

Got an email from someone who knows the Austin Marathon, which I am attempting on February 15th, marathon #3 in my 12in12 challenge. She casually drops in "I hope you're doing some hill training, because Austin is hilly". Who knew? Apparently a lot of folks, NOT including me.

The information's all available on the official marathon web site and other places, such as I didn't even think of looking for it because my assumption (yes, I know!) was "How hilly could it be? It's Texas, for heaven's sake."

Fortunately, about six months ago, I added hills to my regular training runs. There's a mile and a half climb right outside my front door, should I choose to accept it. Today I added nearly three more miles of climbing to that, and did it into an often-fierce headwind, on my 15 mile morning jaunt through Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, Oakland and back.

It was my last long run before the Carlsbad Marathon in 13 days, which I am using as a final long training run for Austin. (No disrespect to the the SoCal folks. I just need to space this stuff out if I'm going to be able to knock this challenge out.) I would normally add an 18 and a 20 to that pre-marathon training schedule, but seeing that I just did CIM (Sacramento) last month, I figure I can still count on my core fitness from that.

Speaking of core fitness (whatever that really is) I am about to head into week two of the 200 situps challenge, A six week training schedule that ends with, duh, 200 situps at one go. My initial test came out "average", which kind of set me aback. I did 30. Was hoping for 50. Since then I've done three days work. The 3rd day I did a total of 92 (broken up over 5 sets). I can't even imagine doing more this week. Dang! that burns. Why am I doing it? Your guess is as good as mine.

In other news...I am patting myself on the back just a little today, because as of the end of this morning's run I weigh less than I have in at least 30 years. In 2003, my stepdaughter told me as we ran the Portland Marathon together, that she had read that every time our feet hit the ground our body was absorbing three times our body weight's worth of shock. I weighed 197 then. The math from that was sobering, although I do remember having a tasty cheeseburger, fries and beer post-finish. For the years since then I have mostly hovered around 182-184, but for some reason, the pounds have been falling off over the past couple of months. I've wanted to weigh 175 for years. I'm currently just one pound off.

With less than two weeks til Carlsbad, it's time to taper. And that can mean only one thing. It's pasta time.

Gotta run!


CewTwo said...

Michael, Good job. I have been so busy with End-Of-Year tasks, that I have not been able to update my blog. I apologize for that.

You are doing one heck of a job. It is a rare man that can take that deep of a look at himself to improve in the manner that you have.

I commend you!

Julianne said...

Good luck with Carlsbad Michael!!!

Oh and of course, Austin, too. I had no idea Austin is hilly? It's time to hit up the Arlington hills, maybe??

Melissa said...

Regarding the hills here in Austin, let's just say I was overly prepared for the San Francisco marathon in August :) I think the hills on the course here are much milder than my training runs, though. I don't think they'll give you any trouble if you've done a little hill work.

kch said...

Sounds like your training's going well - good luck at Carlsbad.

And keep going with the situps - a strong core can only help your running, as much as it hurts!

jbone66 said...

I ran Austin Marathon 2007 (the first year they implemented this new course). If memory serves, I was only presented with a few minor bumps (short bumps-nothing new to us Californians). San Francisco Marathon and Napa Valley Marathon are certainly more challenging courses. Like Melissa says, if you are prepared, it will be a slam dunk! Best of luck...