Trust your Training

Experience is the best teacher. There are no shortcuts in running. You get results based on the amount of effort you put into training. I should know this but again the lure of a quick fix was too tempting. I experienced this first hand at the DC Rock N Roll Marathon on 3/16/2013

I put in the effort and trained as best as I could. I increased mileage, did speed work and taper when I should. The day before race day the little voice in my head came up with a brilliant what if idea.  I adjusted my fueling plans to include a LOT of caffeine. 5 scoops of Hammer’s Caffe Latte Perpetuem powder to be exact.

I didn’t drink enough water to offset the amount of caffeine I was taking and end up severely dehydrated due to its diuretic effect. After mile 16 the dehydration took its toll and all my training was for naught. The last 10 miles was a death march and I somehow managed to finished.

I felt lightheaded and dizzy after the race and barely survived the metro ride home. At home I forced myself to drink and drink lots of water to re hydrate. It felt like a really bad hangover but luckily I am feeling much better now that I’ve slept it off and can eat again.

The splits from my Garmin are available @

Don’t be an idiot like me and save yourself the trouble of personally experiencing that level of dehydration. Race as you train and don’t fall for any last minute self-guided gimmicks no matter how convincing it sounds.

Once I am fully recover I will start training for the Bob Potts marathon on 5/26. I will take my own advice this time and race as I train.

70 days and counting!


I want that medal

Truthfully the only reason I signed up for the JFK 50 miler was because I heard they gave out a huge medal. This is the same line of reasoning that motivated me to run both Frederick and Baltimore marathon together in the same year. The prospect of an extra third medal was enough to lure me in.

It goes without saying that you don’t just sign up for a 50 mile ultramarathon without properly training for it. After speaking with various runners that have done it before the secret formula seem to be miles miles and miles. I need to run run and run some more. The extra mileage will give my body a chance to adjust so I’d be able to actually finish the race within the alloted time of 12 hours.

The one main contributing factor to me finishing my first marathon last year was the group training with MCCRC’s FTM program.  Being very new to running I learned a lot from the coaches and more experienced runners. I learned to stop at EVERY water stop and take a gatorade, pace myself correctly for a strong finish and most of all running should be fun, if you’re not enjoying it, its not something worth pursuing. Sure every now and then you’ d want to step up and go for that PR but keep in mind that running should help relieve stress not add to it. So what if you didn’t make your time, accept it and try harder next time.

With that being said I am beginning to take my training more seriously. My weekly mileage were lacking and at that rate I was in for a world of pain at JFK. The magic number seem to be 50+ miles per week. More is always better but if I can at least manage 50 miles per week, I’d be able to finish. In order to keep track of my training and motivate myself I’ve even created a spreadsheet for it. (See told you I was serious, I made a freaking spreadsheet) You can track my ongoing progress @

This post didn’t seem right without a picture so BAM.

FTM 18 Miler

FTM 18 Miler

This was our point to point 18 miler on Sunday 8/9/2009 starting from Grovesnor Metro Station to Union State. It was HOT, I fell apart at mile 17 due to cramps on my left calf but I manage to sucked it up and shuffled my way to Union Station.

Frederick Marathon 2009 Race Report

My goal for this marathon was to get under 4 hours and 30 minutes.  That didnt happen. I’ve been training all winter since mid January to make up for my humbled experience with the Marines Corp Marathon in 2008.  I finished in 4:34:57 A LOT better than MCM but failed to meet my goal. The thing about setting goal is that if you exceed or meet your expectation its a great feeling but for those that couldn’t quite make it due to various reasons there’s a huge sense of burden. Dissapointment will always linger until they confront what happened. The easy thing to do would be to find excuses and blame it on factors that are outside of our control.  I didn’t have the drive and motivation to push myself . There’s no sense in beating myself up about it, I am already in too deep. I must train harder and smarter in preparation for the upcoming Baltimore marathon in October. 

Now that’s out of my system, let me just take a moment to mention the weather. IT RAINED!!! The first 2 miles was fine as there was a little drizzle and everyone welcomed the nice breeze. After mile 3 it started pouring, there was no sign of it slowing down. Everyone was completely drenched and it took extra effort to shuffle on in wet and heavy clothes. But as marathoners go, we’re somewhat masochistic so a little rain doesn’t really put anyone off. A lot can go wrong in 26.2 miles, rain is but another inconvenience that we have to put up with . If anything, it makes for better post race stories.  

This was my first experience with the Frederick course and I must say, it is HILLY. The rolling hills punished the unprepared, myself included, and reminded us why it was a bad decision not to do any hills workout during our training.  I had to walk some of the hills to save my calves from cramping and locking up.  Unlike MCM I didn’t experience any sort of cramps at all for the whole distance. The decision to forego water and stick to only gatorade at the water stops was a big influence. 

I met a lot of interesting people as I made my way around the course. The most interesting was “barefoot Todd” running his 250th marathon today. He was quite an inspiration and a witty conversationalist, as there were other runners asking how he does what he does ? to which he reply “You guys have jobs” this is mine. There was a brief moment of silence as everyone within earshot wonder what it would be like to live a day as Todd.  Another interesting character was a tall and big build gentleman that have calves the size of my thighs. These things were freakishly huge and everyone couldn’t help but look at them. He overheard us talking about them and looked back to remark  “Yea ya like it huh ?” I am not sure what it was about them but I just couldn’t look away. 

Overall it was a pleasant experience, I am a little dissapointed that I didn’t make my time but I WAS running with a callus on my right foot  <—- excuse  🙂 

Frederick Marathon 2009 Results

Frederick Marathon 2009 Official Results


Me at the Frederick Fairground

Me at the Frederick Fairground

Annapolis 10 miler

Update: 8/25/2008
Read the Great press coverage of the race by
Touted as one of the nation’s premier 10 miler to race, the Annapolis 10 lived up to the hype. The race was extremely well supported by the volunteers, there were supportive spectators at almost every mile. The course was well planned, I really enjoyed the scenery, felt like I got to know Annapolis more intimately as I navigate through its neighborhood. Saved for the 2 unfortunate roadkills (squirrel & a badger ?) the course was fantastic. The finisher’s premium this year was a microfiber running jacket. I should’ve went with a small, medium is too bulky for my fun size body.

I arrived at the Navy Memorial Stadium at 6:00AM and promptly picked up my bib and champion chip. I spent the extra time taking in the sights and immersed myself in the naval traditions and history. I really enjoyed the brief solitude, for the next 30 minutes I had to whole stadium to myself. So what do I do when I am by myself ? I took a power nap.

My goal for this race was to finish within 1 hour and 30 minutes or better. I’ve been putting more mileage into my training schedule to adapt my body to the extra stress so I can push the last few miles. I started out faster than I should have, around the half way mark I was fatigued, I intended to push the pace around mile 8 but realistically I didn’t push until mile 9.5 I sprinted as best I could to the finish line and by the time I stopped my wrist watch I was ecstatic to see that it showed 1:29:13 Even more surprising was the realization that the time showed is my gun time, my net time was a new personal record of 1:27:35

As I sprinted passed the finish line I was greeted by a nice surprise, there were volunteers everywhere passing out cold towels to the onslaught of finishers. Luckily I finished early enough in this race to be able to enjoy the after race food offerings. There were the usual bananas and bagels, not willing to settle for just bananas and bagels I walked around scouting for more free food and was treated to a huge stockpile of precut watermelons. I also found a line for smoothie 🙂

Overall I had a great time, I would definitely run it again next year. Perhaps I could finish in the top 100.

Official results

At the start of the race

The microfiber running jacket. A10 Finishers premium.

Me prancing to the finish line

Me prancing to the finish line