Blood, sweat, and mud (but no tears)

2:20 a.m. on June 24, 2012 (EDT)
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I wore my runner's cap in the cool and rainy Nordmarka Skogsmaraton (forest marathon) in Oslo. Mostly just dirt roads, but there was a short section of rough trail at about 32k, by which time I was definitely dragging so I stumbled and fell, with my hat in hand rather than on my head, and cut my palm just enough to draw some blood. Ho here's my cap and me, looking a little dazed after another 10k to the finish:
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Brim badly bent on one side, but I managed to straighten it out.

Here I am with my daughter the start:

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And at the finish:
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7:33 p.m. on June 24, 2012 (EDT)
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Wow, awesome Bigred! You both finished? Any marathon is tough stuff ...

8:50 a.m. on June 25, 2012 (EDT)
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Yep -- this was my first marathon and my daughter's second, but I finished almost 20 minutes ahead of her. She had final exams etc. and couldn't really train properly, otherwise I think it might have been the other way around or at least more even.

4:39 p.m. on June 26, 2012 (EDT)
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I would be interested to see your training regimen if you don't mind to type it out.

Frequency and distance , per day, per week etc... did you ever attempt the full distance as part of the training? How many rest days did you work in between runs?

 

Or are you one of those special athletes that doesn't have to train and can jump up and run a marathon? :)

3:26 a.m. on June 27, 2012 (EDT)
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Somewhere in between. I'm a "skinny guy" and I have always stayed in good shape mostly by doing what I like to do, but since I hit the 50 mark (and moved to the city) I've started working at it a bit more, with the general goal of always being in good shape for trips to the mtns -- no more Monday morning sore thighs! I switched from mountain biking to running three years ago, mostly because my daughter had challenged me to do the 60k Trollheimen Triangle with her and I knew I had to do more specific training if I was going to survive that (I did, twice, 12:18 in 2009 and about 10:40 in 2010, but she did it in 9:50 that second year!).

I never adopted a formal training program, just tried to keep running regularly. The rule of thumb was to get out about every 1.5 days on weekdays (i.e. Monday morning, Tuesday evening, Wednesday off, Thursday morning, Friday PM) for a minimum 8k run, plus at least one long run (15-20k) on the weekend and often a shorter one on the other weekend day if I wasn't doing anything else. So typically 40-50k a week.

I run mostly on trails on steep (for running)  terrain in the forest area near my house, where it was hard for me to average much better than 9k/hr, but lately I've kicked that up to 10k/hr on shorter runs. In the month or so before the marathon I started avoiding the big hills, which meant more road and bike path time, so I could push my pace to where I could hold 11k/hr over distance, and started doing a bit longer runs on the weekends, topping out at only about 25k. I fooled around a bit with a HR monitor but haven't used it in a couple months -- I got tired of the chest strap slipping.

Two weeks before the marathon my daughter and I did the 30k "Topp7" tour run in the hills above Trondheim, but a lot of that was just too steep and muddy to run so it was mixed running and speed walking, but still good training. I had some pain in my right foot after that, and cut way back in the final two weeks -- I guess it's generally a good idea to cut back in the last week anyway. My foot got better, and I thought the marathon would aggravate it again, but it was actually OK. I think it has to do with shoes -- I have been running exclusively in Merrell Trail Gloves for the last couple of months, but did Topp7 in some old spongy Nikes (the trail gloves are no good in mud) and also did a short, intense day hike in the Nikes the week before the marathon, both of which left my foot hurting. I did the marathon in the Trail Gloves and the pain didn't come back. So I guess they work for me -- I need new shoes, and may just get another pair of Trail Gloves.

The marathon was in some ways humbling, getting dropped by guys older and women much smaller than me makes me realize I still have a lot to learn. But I don't want to get too serious about this, I try to keep the perspective that I'm just trying to stay in good shape for the real adventures.

9:58 p.m. on June 27, 2012 (EDT)
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I love your marathon pictures, BigRed! Congratulations!

12:33 a.m. on June 28, 2012 (EDT)
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Holy smokes !!!

That TS cap looks like it was ran through a grinder. :)

12:46 p.m. on August 23, 2012 (EDT)
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Epic images!  I always wondered if these hats were blood-resistant!

September 30, 2014
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