Archive for April, 2008

April 27, 2008

Last Long Run

I’m running 10 today – my last run before even more resting this week. It’s
funny – 3 months ago 10 really was a long run and now it hardly warrants a

Anyway – one last 10 miler, a few 2 to 4 mile runs this week and then off to
Vancouver for the race!

Sent from Patrick’s mobile phone using free wifi!

April 27, 2008

Not Quite Ten or Hail, Rain and Snow

I shouldn’t complain about being healthy and well enough to run a marathon. I’m just back from my last run of note, where it was 60 and raining the whole way. That means that over the course of my training, I ran in the hail, the rain, and the snow. Toss in a little sleet and I may as well go work for the Pony Express!

Cool notes keep rolling in, like this one:

Awesome. Mile 25. A week from today, 4 May, I’ll be thinking good thoughts to push you through the end of the race! As I’m sure you’re well aware, your race times just don’t happen on their own. Make this your race. Run the time you want. I’ll be that thought that pops into your head pushing you to stretch your stride, pick up the pace, as you finish your race!

April 27, 2008

Last Long Run

I’m runing 10 today – my last run before even more resting this week. It’s funny – 3 months ago 10 really was a long run and now it hardly warrants a mention.

Anyway – one last 10 miler, a few 2 to 4 mile runs this week and then off to Vancouver for the race!

Sent from Patrick’s mobile phone using free wifi!

April 26, 2008

Marathon Next Weekend!

The race is getting close – by this time next week, I’ll be in Vancouver getting nervous. I’ll be checking my gear, probably will tour the course, will look for high carb but bland food (a terrible thing to say when in such a great town), and will review all of the notes from friends:

For years now, when I run a marathon, I invite my friends along – some make it in person, others pick a mile in particular and send strong thoughts my way, and others opt for a "I’ll be thinking of you for the WHOLE time" philosophy.

One of the best thing about a marathon is that it takes a long time – so I’ll print out everyone’s name, will make a wrist band or tape those names to my hat – and then I’ll peek every mile. It’s fun – I get to run a race, I get to think of my great friends and family, far and near.

This year should be the same – but I’ll also have my brother Frank along for company – an extra person for every mile!

Anyway – here are some of the things I’ll be remembering:

During that hour, I will be describing the connection between the preservation program for cheetahs in Namibia is linked to dramatic improvement in eco-friendly land use for farming and ranching throughout Africa. So, I plan to reference you, by name, during my presentation, when I describe that cheetahs not only run fast, but they also cover a tremendous amount of ground in a single day.  Just like you and Frank…

We want your toughest, most excruciating mile and when it comes, we are going to ROCK OUT, play some air guitar (and perhaps change a poopy diaper . . .

We have a concert at 3pm on the 4th. We’ll be thinking of you as you run and we play

Mile 25 it is. I will send endurance, lightness, humor and grace

While others view it as unlucky, I was born on the 13th and luck has nothing to do with your success.  At this point in the race you will have been reaching or forming a tipping point.  You will have to make decisions throughout but somewhere around 13, you will know that you can do a negative split or you will know that it is for another day.  You will do well.  But at 13, you will tip toward your success.

I will be in Europe on the day of your race — so, I will join you from afar and I will send you a note.  Mile 17 (favorite number) is mine! 

I will pick you up at twenty miles. That, I believe is where we met before. So I’ll plan accordingly, take your pace into consideration, the time zone difference, and I’ll be out on the local bike path at that time. You’ll come up behind me and I’ll say, "Looking good Patrick. Let’s go." I’ll stay with you as long as I can.

At this point we’re taking it one day at a time. So, if we don’t make it, we’ll be thinking of you at mile 8. I’ll get Maddie to do some jumping jacks with me– we’ll be sending her exuberant toddler happy energy your way!

I’m feeling good after reading your write-up and I’m picking mile 17 if it’s still available.

April 23, 2008

Hail No!

That’s right – hail in April – on both Friday and Sunday.

I’m into the tapering section of my training – not running so much, finished my last long run (15 miles in the hail) and am trying not to get fat.

Don’t laugh – I mean – when you’re a skinny dude, even an extra pound or two makes a difference over the course of 26.2 miles. Conventional wisdom says that you should run at your body height in inches, times two. that puts me at a body weight of 139. I’m pretty close – I’ll probably hit that just after the race. Last time I raced, I was at 137 – a tad too skinny, I think, and I once raced (London) closer to 145 which was too much!

So – I’m aiming for the 140-141 mark – which means – with less running these last few weeks – a little less food until the day or two before the race!

April 20, 2008

Vancouver Marathon Ahoy!

When I finished my first marathon in Portland, I was pretty sure that it was also my last. I’d trained with my buddy Jim Sheehy, and we were making it up as we went along – we just knew that we had to get a longer run every weekend until we were up close to 20 miles. So we did – we ran 20 miles the week before the race! We should have rested – and on race day both Jim and I suffered, tripping over the paint stripes in the road near the end. It was a long day – more than 4 hours.

My second marathon was just because – because I felt I could do better. I trained a LOT better, and had my brothers around for support, and I shaved almost 30 minutes from my time. I wasn’t hooked yet – but I was headed that way! I ran in Clackamas, Oregon – a nice folksy race with just a few hundred runners.

Frank and I ran in Portland again for my third, and his second. We were aiming for a 3.30 race and missed. Still – we finished in a very respectable 3.45 – and I was starting to get hooked. The thing is – they don’t get a lot easier – but I still learn a lot – how to train, how to rest, and, most important of all – what to do when it gets hard. Kinda like growing up.

Meredith sent me to my fourth marathon. It was a classic romance gone south and I wanted an aggressive goal – and qualifying for the Boston Marathon seemed like just the ticket. I hired a coach, ran 50 miles a week (and didn’t do much else!) and headed back to Clackamas. It was hot – 90 degrees at times – but I managed to break the 3.10 mark. I was officially hooked – and headed to Boston!

And that was next – my fifth where I trained harder than ever, aiming for a sub 3 hour race. My mom and dad and many friends made it to Boston that weekend to help (Dad trucked out to mile 17 to give me an energy gel, and mom staked out a spot at the finish line HOURS in advance!). I blistered in the first three miles (no, I didn’t wear new shoes or new socks or anything like that!) and it was grueling. I felt great otherwise (up until the last of the hills, anyway) and when I hit the finish at 3.03 I was thinking more about amputating my feet than I was about those 180 seconds.

My music buddy Joe was responsible for number six, along with my friend Rebecca. Joe was convinced that I had to run the inaugural Rock and Roll Marathon – and Rebecca was looking to qualify for Boston – so I was off to San Diego. The rock bands didn’t make their wake up call (we didn’t hear any music until mile 5 or so) and Rebecca qualified by a handful of seconds. My dad, my twin and my youngest brother were on hand, too – and that always helps at a race!

Jeremy and his wife moved to London, and he and I thought it would be fun to run that one together. Unfortunately, I won in the lottery, and Jeremy didn’t! Coupled with a very late notice from the London folks –number seven found me running by myself and severely under trained! Joe, Eve, Jeremy and Allison all made it to London, though – and they pulled me through to the finish.

A couple of years passed and number eight beckoned, along with the elusive quest for a sub three hour race. The Silicon Valley Marathon was near my mom, dad and sister –and I even flew home for a 20 mile test run a few weeks prior. I trained harder than ever – up at 6:00 AM and down to Lake Washington for grueling 9-12 mile mornings full of mile repeats, half mile sprints and more. I had my mom and dad, my sister and her family and a familiar course. And I didn’t have my day. As my friend Roger Hart told me after – sometimes you run the race you get, not the race you want. I missed that sub three hour goal again – but I did qualify for Boston.

And that was nine. I was running along the beach in Longview, Washington on New Years day and thought – why not? I was in great shape, I had time to train, and Boston always pulls, even though she didn’t treat me so well the last time. So I adjusted my training plan, and ran near race pace for my long runs – good practice, I thought. I had my dad, my twin, my cousin, my friends Andy and Emily – and I was ready. Somewhere near mile 8, though – I knew that I was running the race I was getting, not the one I wanted, and I finished in 3.29.

And that leaves ten, in just a pair of weeks. I’ll be running with by brother Frank, and I’ll have lots of good company – Puja, Frank’s family, Blugh, Marika and Dana, and the friendly people of Vancouver. It should be a pretty race. Frank and I are aiming at 3.30 again and we’ve put in the time. So on May 4th at 7:30, we’ll toe the line and look for the race we want.

If you’d like to come along for the run, please do! You can join in two ways – if Vancouver is a city you’d like to visit (and it should be a city you’d like to visit!) we’ll be there all weekend. Probably not a lot of fun on Saturday – lots of resting for me – but you can enjoy the great food and everything else that Vancouver offers. And then I’ll see you somewhere along the race course and we’ll make time lunch after!

And if you want to help from afar – just send a note. In races past, I’ve asked friends to “pick a mile” and send strong thoughts. You can do that, and when I hit that mile, you’ll be on my mind. Be sure and let me know if you’ll be doing anything special – some exercise of your own, maybe a pancake feed or some energetic music. Kudos to my friend Joe, whose good cheer and support (not to mention travels to Boston and London) sparked the “pick a mile” idea.


April 13, 2008

14 Pounds of Ice

Whoo hoo! I’m just done (0kay, not just. I had hot carrot soup and am sipping a shot of espresso to continue the warm-up process!) with my last ice bath before the Vancouver Marathon on May 4th.

Frank and I has a break last weekend – ran about 15 – and this weekend was our last long distance run – we were aiming at 22. Circumstances and such meant that Frank and I didn’t get to run the entire way together – but we did get in 16 side by side. We started at the Sammamish River Park out in the Redmond area, and ran the Sammamish River Trail into Bothell, where it turns into the Burke Gilman -and we stayed on that all the way to Montlake and then finished at Madison Beach – quite a long run.

Of course – we had help along the way. Puja made a great pasta salad for a pre run carb-fest, Suzanne and Olivia delivered us to our destination (and provided post run company as well) and the good folks at the 7-11 provided the 14 pounds of ice.

So – we’re on to resting, maintaining our fitness level, and hoping for good running weather in Vancouver!

April 8, 2008

Is That The Burke or the Los Gatos Creek Trail?

Well – it’s the Burke Gilman – but in a totally fun mirror image kind of way – Frank and I ran 15 miles on the Burke (a rest weekend, doncha know) and Puja and my brother in law Gary rode along. Funny thing – Gary and Puja (and my sister and my nephew) rode 15 or so on the LG Trail about a month ago – and here we were doing the same thing in my neighborhood!

Puja has provided a lot of cycling support and Gary is always game when we’re in his town or he’s in ours – and it was nice for a pair of riders to have someone else to talk to along the way.

It was WINDY though – so we worked pretty hard especially on the way back. Next weekend – 22 miles and let the resting begin!

April 8, 2008

Around The Lake!

Frank and I are getting ready for the Vancouver marathon, and a couple of weeks ago we ran around the south end of Lake Washington. I’ve been running parts of this loop for years, sometimes riding my bike, sometimes having running company – but mostly running by myself.

So it was great to have company – we left one car at Seward Park, another at Day Street Park (the full loop is 24 miles, and we’re not going that far this time around!), and we headed east across I-90, over Mercer Island, through the Mercer Slough, out near Coal Creek, and picked up the Lake Washington Train on the eastside of the lake. We followed that through to Gene Coulon Park, ran around the Renton ball field, the Renton airport, and caught Rainier Ave back to town, and finished by cruising into Seward Park.

I’m pretty sure we covered 21 miles or so – which means next weekend we cover 22, our last long run before the race. Don’t know if we’ll go back around the Lake (I kinda hope so – easier to run when you know what to expect!) but we’ll get our 22 and start resting!