My training so far...

I am really not a runner. Even in HS, I only ran track to stay in shape for football and I was never really that good at it. I did the pole vault, the hurdles (100 & 300), and ran the mile. As an adult, I certainly never ran by choice. When I first started running in March, I had to set-up my intent mentally. I started out slow and short. I couldn't even run a mile without stopping to walk a bit. I had to keep pushing myself to increase the time I could run. Once I was able to run for 10 minutes without walking, I focused on doing a mile in less than 10 minutes, then I'd walk until I felt recovered and run again. I kept doing it this way, gradually increasing the time I could run without walking and the total distance I covered until eventually I was running for a half hour straight and covering a total (with short walks) of 5 miles. Then one day it just happened, I ran for 5 miles without stopping! Granted it took me an hour, but it was on that run that I "got it" and I felt like I could do anything (and running a marathon first crossed my mind).

My point is that it was a long, slow, building process. I've had every obstacle that I can imagine thrown into my path and pushed on and overcome. Being in the business I'm in, I have SEVERAL overweight friends who sit around and tell me things like "I'm not a runner, I have bad knees, I get bored running, I have to figure out something new and creative if I'm going to lose weight, etc." To all of them I constantly say, "I'm no runner either." But the one thing I've learned is that running, unlike any other sport or activity I've participated in, is ALL mental. It's about discovering who you are, what your limits are, and surprising yourself everyday by breaking through your own limits.

I've learned more about myself over this past year than ever before. It really has been cheap therapy. This has been especially true over the past month as I've increased my milage every week and even entered a few races.

I do one "long" run every week. Right now I'm at 8 miles for the long run. On my first 8 mile run, I had to bring Isabelle in 
the jogging stroller (40 lb stroller + 35 lb daughter = torture device). I learned several lessons about running long that day. First, your body plays tricks on you (weird cramps, pains, etc), then your mind plays tricks (should I turn around? I don't think I can make it, these streets aren't really safe with all these cars...) and just when you overcome your body and your mind and get them working with you, your emotions kick-in (I can't even begin to explain, let's just say this is where the "cheap therapy" begins around the 6 mile mark). I don't think I could've made it, had Isabelle not woken-up on a particularly challenging hill (when I was on the verge of tears, working my ass off to get up the hill), looked up at me and said (exasperated) "Daddy! Why we WALKING Daddy?!?" I wasn't walking, but I was about to. Instead, I started laughing, and that was all that it took to push me over the top of that hill and I finished the run strong and felt amazing for the final two miles of the run.

When I finished, I realized my body wasn't done playing with me. My stomach was a mess for the next 36 hours. I learned I probably should do my long runs early in the morning BEFORE I eat breakfast and lunch, as well as avoiding fiber at all costs that day, LOL!. It's still a trial and error process, from nutrition to finding an efficient stride and getting my running form right to prevent injuries, but so far I'm doing okay. 

I'm incredibly lucky and blessed to have an amazing coach that works with me. Jeff Capobianco is a three time Ironman who's done the Lake Placid Ironman twice, finishing third in his age group this year and qualifying for the Ironman World Championship in Kona, HI. If it hadn't have ben for two flat tires, I'm sure he would've finished in at least the top 10 in his age group in Kona. He still finished very respectably in 11:04:47, despite riding the last several miles of the bike on his rim (his final mile of the marathon portion was something insane like 6:30). He is the founder of Breakthrough Performance Coaching (breakthroughperformancecoaching.com) and has offered to help me in any way he can. He's already adjusted my training plan and given me the proper paces I should be doing my training runs at. He's an incredible wealth of knowledge and I'm extremely grateful to have his help.

Hmm... Maybe I'll do an Ironman someday! Nah. I really don't think I could.


  1. Doug, Congratulations on all of your training so far and for getting number for Boston. You will have the time of your life. There is nothing like crossing that finish line.

    I was just looking at your Lex's Run website. We have good friends who have a son with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy so I'd love to rally my running friends to do Lex's Run next year if you have it.
    Best of luck with your training!

  2. Love it! I too am in training for the Boston Marathon and started a blog. You can share in my marathoning adventures at www.redroom.com/blog/ktweed or sign up to follow it on FB if you prefer by searching for Running Without Toenails in the networked blogs http://www.facebook.com/ktweed?v=app_9953271133&ref=profile

  3. Kelly, I will definitely check-out your blog, and I will see you at the starting line!

    Bettina, we are absolutely having the run again in 2010. We're shooting for the 2nd weekend in September again, so mark it off and tell all of your running friends! Thanks for your support!