This month's Runner's World described the reasons why so many are breaking out of their private running universes to expose their running lives to others on the Web. Sounded pretty cool, but I wrestled with the idea at first... mainly because while I love to talk about running, there are certain elements of running that are naturally private to me. And I thought "why sit around and blog about running when I can be out running, or resting up for my next run?"
However, I do recognize the benefits of learning from others and the inspiration that I can give and receive from running. So I'm considering this an experiment. I hope to connect with the many others on this life's mission we share... To use running as a tool to help us achieve balance, happiness and prosperity in our lives. I plan to share, colloborate, commiserate, inspire, motivate and learn as much as I can through this experiment.
A brief introduction...
My name is Ryan. I just turned 30 years old about a week ago. I just got married about a month ago. I live in the city of Norwalk, Connecticut in Fairfield County. My wife, Jen, and I moved to CT about two years ago to allow me to take a job here. I work for a large Consumer Products company that makes and markets branded alchoholic beverages.
Before arriving in CT, I grew up and went to school in Michigan before chasing a career through the cities of Columbus, OH and Pittsburgh, PA.
My running experience...
In high school, I was a burly (OK, chubby may be a better word) hockey player in that weighed 215 lbs when graduating. I didn't run a lick until the next year, my freshman year in college, trying to shed my baby fat so I could meet girls more easily. Thanks to running, I lost about 45 pounds in 3 months (it barely helped with the chicks). Thereafter, I began running mostly 5k's and 10k's during college and into my early 20's.
It wasn't until 2000 at age 24 that I decided to go after my first marathon while living in Pittsburgh. While I most definitely hit the wall (and hard, I might add), I couldn't wait to give it another shot. Since then, I have completed four more marathons -- one every year beginning in 2001. My first time in Pittsburgh 2001 was 4:16 and has improved every year down to 3:24 in Houston in January 2005.
I suppose the marathon has become a personal annual event for me. I like to think it keeps me balanced from the daily rigors of work and other personal stresses. When marathon training is not in focus, I tend to run 1-2 races a month ranging from 5k's to 1/2 marathons. July and August are my most dormant running months. I am a wimp when it comes to heat and humidity. Now that September has arrived, I am prepared to re-enter my peak form.
My upcoming running goals...
Jen and I just returned from a leisurely visit to Boston for the holiday weekend. While my reasons for taking us there were not running-related, I couldn't help but think about how incredible it would be to qualify for the world's most historic and heralded marathon. So, continuing to shave off time toward that 3:10 mark does rest at the back of my mind.
I've done 18-20 miles per week the past few weeks since we got back from our Hawaiian honeymoon. Now, I am ready to really build some structure into my training.
Before Katrina stuck, I had New Orleans as my top pick for my next marathon in the beginning of February. I had the flights picked out and everything. Right now, it's a wait-and-see game. The website says the race plans are in "flux" but that they hope to pull something together to benefit the victims.
I'm not going to pick my next marathon just yet. I'm going to set a target to run 20+ miles the upcoming weeks to prepare for the upcoming race schedule:
- Sun, 9/18 -- Darien Road Race - Darien, CT -- 10K
- Sun, 10/9 -- The Great Train Race - New Cannaan, CT -- 6.8M
- Sun, 10/23 -- Mystic 10 Miler -- Mystic, CT
I'll need to think about my current training schedule a bit more. For now, I am going to try for 5 runs per week -- with at least two that are 5-6 miles.
On to my first training entry...
Today's run was one of renewal. While the path I took was a common one for me around my neighborhood, the attitude was new. The cool September morning reinvigorated me. I knocked out 5 miles with relative ease today. The route took me from my home on Wolfpit Ave down to Partrick and across Newtown Ave to Grumman - like usual - and then back down Grumman to Overbrook -- cutting across back to Wolfpit. The time on my watch said 39:09 and it felt like about a 7:40 average pace.