Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Cleveland Marathon Recap: Cairo’s First Marathon

Hmmm… to get a little nostalgic, I could talk about my son’s first steps, first words, first day at school, first soccer goal, first race, etc.  All worthy milestones in the lifetime of any child, but to be really epic, yep, I said it… EPIC, you’ve got to talk about your 17 year old son’s first Marathon!

If you don’t like to read about a father’s pride, you might want to close your browser now! :)  By the way, this will be a long blog post.

Guys Weekend

IMAG1078We were originally going to stay with family while in Ohio, but I decided to make it totally a guys weekend. We pricelined the car and hotel which got us a heck of a deal.  The hotel allowed us to enjoy time with each other.  We definitely enjoyed seeing family, but we got to hang out and bond.  Cairo really liked the rental car. I think it was the novelty of riding in a brand new car.

Family Visits

20130517_111208966553_10201197098393148_1316926848_oWe arrived late on Thursday night and crashed at the hotel.  On Friday morning, I couldn’t wait to get going to visit family.  First up, was Denise!  Cairo finally got to meet the infamous Jackson.  He’s quite the swimmer and retriever.  We also got to see his snarl, which Denise told us is nothing to worry about.  All snarl and no bite!  His snarl wasn’t intended for us, but Denise’s other dog, Sammy.  He likes to get attention too!

After getting Denise, we all visited my dad at his gym in Avon. After recovering from heart surgery, he’s still training people and running a business.  He took some time to school us on table tennis.  He’s going to compete in the upcoming Senior Olympics.  Up above is a picture of my dad, Cairo, and myself. We thought it’d be fun to stand in the order of height.

20130517_152227Visiting my mom is always a treat!  It’s been about 6 years since Cairo has visited Ohio so I gave him the grand tour of the homestead.  I showed him my palatial room.  Does anyone else think it’s odd that you always remember your home and room being so much bigger as a child?  I also showed him the huge backyard with the creek that I used to hang out and build tree houses.  Yep, I was getting nostalgic! We took Mom to one of my favorite ice cream stands… Dairy Grove in North Ridgeville!  I have to visit that place every time that I come home.  I always have to get the banana shake.  It’s not as good as the old days, but I still get it.

 

20130517_124945Expo

We got our race packets, did a lot of goofing off, and spent plenty of money at the race expo.  It was a decent size and had a great selection of race shirts.  Since this is Cairo’s first marathon, I splurged a bit and let him get when he wanted.  We enjoyed waiting for Denise as she spent twice as long at each booth as we did.  I’ve never seen anyone try on 3 different sizes of an uber cool race shirt and then not buy it.  She was still talking about that shirt a couple of days later. 

20130517_13251020130517_12514720130517_125154

20130517_12530020130517_142854

VIP Dinner

20130517_210655One of the cool things about blogging for the Cleveland Marathon is that we get to attend the VIP Dinner on Friday night.  We get to dress up a little, meet other bloggers, race dignitaries, elites, and talk running.  We probably talked most about the upcoming Sunday morning forecast.  Why do we talk about things that are out of our control?

It was great to meet another teenager running her first marathon… Alana Hadley.  This 16 year old Olympic hopeful ran a 2:58.  Great first showing!  It was great to have a conversation with her dad about their training and who he’s been training.  He trains marathoners and elites through his coaching program: Maximum Performance Running.  I cannot wait to see Alana’s running success in the future.  She’s so down to earth and loves long distance.  It’s so cool to see someone that young embrace the marathon distance.

20130517_200400

20130518_124206Shake out Run

Knowing that Cairo was probably not going to be able to sleep much on Saturday night, I let him sleep in.  Once I woke him at a reasonable time, I took him down to the Cleveland Metropark – Rocky River Reservation to run.  Because of illness and the weather, I didn’t run since Tuesday so I really wanted to get another run before popping 26.2  We ran a few miles just to shake things up a bit and enjoyed the scenery.  It’s pretty darn beautiful down there!

Pasta Dinner

IMAG1097IMAG1100

In keeping with tradition, we had the Saturday night pasta dinner at Debbie’s house.  Debbie is the oldest of us Lindsleys and is an awesome mother of two children that keep her busy – Michael and Kayla.  With all of the family gathered, we enjoyed picking on each other and carb loading.

The Surprise

IMAG1094group

I wanted to make this marathon experience extra special for Cairo. I always knew that I wanted to make a race shirt for us, but went a bit above and beyond by getting my family the cairoshirts as well. With the help of my friend Rob, we worked together on the artwork and all. Originally, I wanted to have a Batman emblem on Cairo's runner and Superman on mine since we both like them so much. However, Zazzle.com would not allow the use of the trademarked super hero logos. I couldn't even plead with them that I was not going to sell the shirts for profit. It was a no go, but the runner silhouettes look uncannily like Cairo and I. You would think that someone used pictures of us to create the silhouettes, but they were taken from some stock artwork that I purchased.

For the big reveal, I took Cairo for a little walk down the block and back to allow time for all of the shirts to be handed out and worn.  Cairo was surprised when he saw that everyone was wearing the shirts.  On the drive back to the hotel, he told me that it made him feel very special to have these shirts made.  It was also very cool to see everyone wear them when they came out to cheer us on at the race.

If you ever need shirts, I would highly recommend Zazzle.com as it was an easy setup, affordable, and no setup fees.  They always seem to have a discount code happening, so make sure to look for those.  For a total of 12 shirts in which 3 were tech shirts, I paid a total of $152.  Pretty good deal!

20130519_060955The Race

This was the 11th time that I lined up at the start of a marathon and the same thought goes through my head… “Oh crap, I’m about to run 26.2 miles!”  This time, I’m thinking the same thing for Cairo and knowing that I wanted to be strong for not only myself, but for him.

Team Lindsley below is all set to take on the streets of Cleveland!

20130519_064502

Normally at marathons, I’m wearing a throw away shirt until the last second before I start running.  However with the temps already in the low 60s there wasn’t a need for the long sleeve t-shirts that I brought.  I really wasn’t looking forward to running in the heat, but only moaned and groaned about it in my head.  No need for Cairo to hear my complaining.

It didn’t take long to feel the heat.  The breezy wind did feel good at times, but it wasn’t enough to offset the heat and humidity.  Since Cairo and I had our own water bottles, I made sure that we avoided the initial congested water stops.  I did tell him that the water stops were our reminders to drink.  Once we were out, I then told him that we’d be filling up our water bottles with 50/50 – half water and half Powerade.  I’m glad that we did dilute the Powerade because the times that I did drink the Powerade, it was way too strong.

The Half Marathoners don’t separate in this race until mile 12 which makes it pretty crowded for quite a while.  It felt nice to have some elbow room when they split off.

We did very well in the early miles keeping the pace under 9:00.  I had hopes of getting Cairo close to a 4 hour marathon.  We hit the Half Split at 2:01 even though we had a 4 minute potty break.

978040_4148621693045_1739945502_oOnce we got past mile 17 then Cairo seemed challenged by his knee and the heat.  He told me that his knee hurt with a huge grimace on his face. We walked through the water stop and a bit beyond it.  We stretched some and gave it a go for awhile longer.  At this point of the race and remainder, we ran to each water station and walked through.  There was a time when he wanted to walk and I told him no, that we’d walk at the next water stop which I thought would be right around the corner.  Poor kid… it was a long corner.  I’m sure he cherished that water stop/walk.

At one of the water stations there was a medic.  I asked for something for his knee and they gave him some BioFreeze which seemed to help.  They also cooled us down with water over our heads.  I’ve always read that it’s best to continually drink instead of pouring water over your head.  However, it was definitely refreshing.  There were several locations on the course with people spraying people with water from hoses.  That was definitely helpful.

It was an added boost to hear the occasional person yell out, “Go Cairo!”

Toward the last 6 miles, 74be2aea-aca6-4cf2-b897-d4cf3312a43aI was trying to keep him at a 10 minute pace, but he kept seeming to lag behind.  I pretty much did what Hamlin did for me at my 50K, I stayed ahead of him and pulled him through.  I would run backwards at times to see how he was doing.  I would encourage him and yell to other runners that Cairo was running his first marathon at 17 years old.  Total dad pride taking over.  The other runners encouraged him as well.

It was great seeing family throughout the race. We saw my brother-in-law and nephew at miles 11 and 23.  They called me a handful of times throughout the race to see where we were.  We missed them at mile 15 as we were already at mile 17.  I got to see my sister Deanna at mile 25.  She was so full of excitement to see us!

It was crazy to be recognized at the race.  I had a few people that recognized me because of my smiley faces on my calves or that they remember reading about myself and Cairo.  I had one really nice girl say that she actually used my before, during, and after bags for the race.  I’m so happy to think that I helped someone’s race experience.

I kept counting down the final miles for Cairo. When we got to mile 25, I told him that if we could keep it to a 10 minute mile that he could hit a Sub 4:30 marathon time.  I think that got him going.  When we had a half mile to go, he was hitting a 7 minute pace. I tried to get him to slow down as I knew how far we had to go and I didn’t want him or myself to be walking at the end. He slowed down a bit, but once we made the final turn and last 400 meters, he put the hammer down.  He was literally doing a 5 minute mile pace at that time since looking back at my Garmin time, I finished running a 5:40 mile pace trying to keep up with him.  He beat me to the finish by 5 seconds.  There was no keeping up with him.  That boy couldn’t help but to finish Cross Country Style.

Immediately after we finished, he gave me a big hug of relief.  I was so proud of him.  When one of the volunteers gave me a medal, I placed it over Cairo’s head.  I’m so proud that he gritted it out and pushed when he felt a lot of pain.  There are life lessons throughout the marathon experience that he’s going to be able to use in life.  I think that he’s pleased with his finish time of 4:25.  We had fun throughout the race.  It was great to see him interacting with the crowd as well.  At a later point in the race, he saw a mom with 2 toddler girls in a double stroller, he hollered at them, “Good morning, ladies!”

We grabbed some recovery food and found my family.  My mom, Debbie, and her kids were there to greet us.  We grabbed our checked bags and then found Denise after she finished.  She pushed through the heat as well.

Recovery & Celebration

After the race, Cairo and I grabbed a couple bags of ice each from the gas station next to the hotel.  We then had our lovely ice baths.  That ice bath felt so darn refreshing!

We then had our celebration dinner with all of the family in Avon at Bubba Q’s.  They have a D-Boned Baby Back Rib Steak that is just stupid awesome!  Cairo and I wore our race medals proudly.

Closing Thoughts

Cairo did really well!  He did all of the critical training elements to be successful.  Once in the race, he dug deep and pushed through.  He definitely had self doubts, knee pain, and the heat of the day weighing him down, but he pushed through.  I’m super proud of him.  I’m so glad that I got to experience this event with him.  This is something that we’ll share and cherish for years to come.  I’ve asked him to come up with his own blog post so that we could hear the thoughts of this 17 year old marathoner. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Last Minute Marathon Tips

Only a few more days until Cairo and I and thousands of others run the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon.  We’re super excited and cannot wait for the Start and Finish lines!

All of us runners get so many tips on running marathons.  Some of it’s good, some of it’s completely bizarre.  I really enjoyed this video that I saw awhile back.  It hits almost everything I can think of.  I wish that I can take credit for it, but I cannot.  Most of all the advice is spot on.  Enjoy and heed some of that advice!

Last Minute Marathon Tips: shot with Nikon D90 from Mike Kobal on Vimeo.

Monday, May 13, 2013

What goes through my head before running a Marathon?

So, it’s marathon week again!  :)  It’s been a few weeks since running the Eugene Marathon and I’m ready to rock the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon with my 17 year old son, Cairo.  This will be his first marathon.  I’m so excited for him!  Besides all of my normal excitement, I’m on overload with what the marathon experience will be for him.

I have so many things going on in my head the week/days leading up to a marathon.  I’m so darn excited, it’s hard to hide it physically.  I’m just all over the place with my thoughts… Did I train well enough? Did I taper well enough? Should I have started carb-loading a couple of weeks ago?  SQUIRREL!  You get the idea.

If someone could peek into my head the days leading up to a marathon, they would see something like this video:

With that being said… I try really hard to relax!  How do I relax?  Make checklists and check off the items that I’m concerned about.  Travelling pack list, race outfit check list, race plan check list, and check lists for my check lists!

My sister seems to think that I’m over the top with some of the things I do, but it’s all about my process.  I’ll relax after the race!  :)

If you’ve got a hyperactive brain like I do… try to relax and let things happen.  Enjoy the marathon experience!  You’ve worked hard for it and now it’s time to reap the benefits of all of the disciplined training!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Inspirational Running Videos

So, I was thinking the other day what my life would be without running!?!  Scary thinking for me!  I’d be unhealthier, have less friends, lower self-esteem, and I wouldn’t be able to do cool things.  Cool things like being a part of a video for our company customer conference.

I cannot believe that it’s been a year since these videos were created and used. I was meaning to blog about them, but never did.  It was super cool to be a part of the video process.  The videos might’ve only lasted a few minutes, but the whole process was a day and a half of running and going to the different shooting locations.

I especially loved the second day as my daughter tagged along.  She actually drove the car for awhile as the video dude hung out the window videotaping me.  It was a great bonding time with her.

This inspirational video was one of the video openers for the daily sessions.  It was so weird watching it with all the conference attendees.  Check out the DC12 Opener Video.

 

There was a second video done for the our road show conferences which are our mini-conferences done throughout the country.  Check out the DC Roadshow Video.

If I didn’t run, I wouldn’t have been asked to do these videos.  I wouldn’t have experienced such a cool process.  I wouldn’t have made so many friends.  I wouldn’t have higher self-esteem.  I wouldn’t be as healthy as I am.  There are countless positives to running.  I’m so glad that I took that first step and that it has become an incredibly satisfying part of my life!

Looking forward to the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon to add to my experiences – the Cleveland Experience is going to rock this year!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Put your running spectators to work

There is nothing better than knowing that you’re going to see family and friends along a race route.  It’s a milestone marker that you can set out for yourself and recover a bit.  It’s also a huge boost that you’ll need.  When my family comes out to see me run a marathon, I stop just about every time that I see them, even if it’s just for 30 seconds.  I figure if they’re going to follow me around during the whole race, I better stop and let them know how I’m doing and all.

There are definitely times when I’ve seen my family at a race and haven’t stopped.  My awesome family in Ohio were at mile 25 of the 2010 Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, I was on track to PR and felt too darn good to stop.  I was too close to the finish to stop – I had to keep stepping.  If I ever try to BQ, I’m sure there won’t be much stopping then either.

Since my family is coming to these races, I secretly put them to work as my race crew.  I’ve asked them to bring me items during and after the race.

20130224_040724

I usually prepare the before, during, and after bags the night before the race.  Creating 3 different bags makes it so easy for your family.  Instead of asking for certain items, you’re asking for a specific bag.  Pictures shown here are from the Cowtown Ultra Marathon – 50K that I ran in February.

Before Bag

The Before bag has my stuff that I need before the race… Garmin, GUs, SPI Belt, headphones, etc., etc.  I usually take this bag with me to the start line.  I’ll hand it back to my family along with any jacket or pants that I might take off.

During Bag

20130224_040748

I usually pin some directions on the During bag as shown in the picture to help them during the race.  What’s in the bag?  Some extra GU in case that I drop any.  A dry shirt, a towel, band aids, extra water bottle, and a plastic Walmart bag for any wet sweaty clothes that I might take off.  As you might notice in the picture, I ask for water and Gatorade G2.  It’s listed on the directions since the drinks are in a cooler.  :)

So, just think of what you might need during the race and throw it in the during bag.  Best case is that you won’t need it.  But, if you need it and it’s there… all the better!

After Bag

20130224_040759My After bag usually contains my favorite post-race beverages: chocolate milk and grape Gatorade G2.  It also contains my favorite protein bar, a dry shirt, towel, pants, and a jacket.  I get cold pretty easily after the race is over.  I need dry clothes to change into pretty quick.  It’s such a weird luxury to change into dry clothes.

I also place a portable battery phone charger in this bag as my phone will usually be close to dead.  I got my phone charger from Groupon.  It definitely comes in handy.  With the phone charger, I can start responding to tweets, texts, and FaceBook posts as I recover.

I keep refining the before, during, and after system and it’s worked out pretty well.  Below is a picture of my race crew after the race.  Notice the after bag :)   Best race crew ever!

image (2)-cropped

If your family is out there, they want to help you along your journey. Make it easy on them to help.  They’ll even feel more involved in the race.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Eugene Marathon – 3:40

tracktownWhy Eugene?

Why did I run the Eugene Marathon?  First of all, my running friend, Felix asked me to. Secondly, I’ve heard nothing but great things about the race.  Third, the race website boasted one of my favorite four letter words:flat.  I wasn’t convinced before going since I knew that area of the country had plenty of mountains.

Plains, Trains, & Automobiles

Felix and I decided to travel on the cheap/economically so we flew Southwest Airlines. I like Southwest Airlines, but that darn Wright Amendment meant that we had to have at least one layover, but on the way there, we had 2 layovers.  It made for long travel days since we flew into Portland and had the 2 hour drive to Eugene.  The beautiful scenery along the highway made up for the drive time.

Expo and this guy named Eugene

20130428_060524-croppedThe Marathon Expo was about the right size.  The race merchandise wasn’t overly priced. I grabbed a long sleeve half-zip shirt at a reasonable price.  I’m glad that my wife doesn’t read my blog as this seems to be my personal confessional… I always seem to buy some running gadget that I probably won’t use.  This time it was the Cadillac of SPI Belts.  At least that’s what I was told.  It had the attachments for the race bib, the gel holders, a bigger pocket.  But after buying it and trying it on in the hotel room, I decided to go with wisdom… don’t try anything new for the race. I’m glad that I didn’t because I wear my SPI Belt high on top of my shorts underneath my shirt.  I could just see those gel packets chafing me like crazy.

photo 3Felix and I got to ham it up a bit at the photo booth.  I think Felix edged me out in this photo.

While sightseeing around Eugene, you can definitely tell this town loves running, thus the nickname of Tracktown USA.  There were so many bike lanes, running trails, Nike running billboards, and tributes to the legendary Steve Prefontaine.

Security

It’s been a couple of weeks since the Boston Marathon tragedy and you could tell that security was increased more than normal. At marathons, it’s very normal to see a large number of first responders blocking traffic and aiding runners at the finish line.  However, there was definitely a heightened presence which included Homeland Security trucks and numerous military personnel. Before the race, an email was sent out explaining the increase in security. One of the biggest things was no lingering around the finish line… keep moving.

The Race Shirt

20130428_061700I don’t often dedicate races to anyone, but I really felt led to dedicate this race to my daughter, Briana. My bib number had one of her favorite numbers – 25 and I’m so proud of her tackling college life at Texas A&M.  So, I donned a Texas A&M shirt for the race.  I didn’t think I’d see too many Aggies up in the northwest, but there was one family of spectators that cheered for me every time that I saw them.  The tow times that I saw them on the course was so cool!  I had my adopted family right there.  After the race, a 2002 Aggie graduate came up to me and we talked for awhile.  I did see some ut fans and they gave me some funny gang signs.

Favorite Race Signs

home-2158I’m always looking out for funny race signs.  There were 2 that I haven’t seen before that I liked.  The first one was a play off of the “The End is Near” signs.  Early in the race… probably at mile 2, the sign read, “The End is Far”.  I loved it!  It was definitely the chuckle that I needed that early in the race. 

The second sign that I don’t recall seeing at a race before was “May the course be with you!”  Nice Star Wars reference.

The First Miles

The first few miles were really congested.  I’m used to clogged starts, but this one really seemed clogged.  In a way, I didn’t mind, because I really use this to slow my starting pace.  I’ve been ready to run this race for slow long that I just wanted to GO.

Felix and I were together at the start, but I got caught in the middle as he found a lane on the right.  He also jumped on the sidewalk to find relief from the crowd.  I stayed where I was as I knew that he was going to be going faster than I wanted and I wanted a slower start.

race-3-cropped-crowdAbove is a pic of me after I passed the 3:45 pace group. :)  I’ve tried to run with pace groups before, but I’m not totally crazy about them.  There are just too many people packed in together.  I like to run faster than my actual target time so that I can bank some time if I have to a nature stop.

Splits

I was worried that I might have picked up the pace too soon.  My biggest fear is that I’m going to hit that inevitable wall and want to walk at the end.  I decided to press on as I felt comfortable.  I wanted to run comfortable and not look at my watch frequently.

The first half of the race was pretty uneventful.  There was a great amount of crowd support.  There usually is more support for the beginning of a race since there are both half and full marathoners out there.  It was definitely nice once we were split off from the half marathoners.  I like when things thin out and we have some room to spread out.

I’ve just go to say… it’s so weird running in an area that you’re not familiar with. I’m not really looking for landmarks or anything familiar. It’s just from one mile marker to the next. Yes, it was a very scenic route, but different than a local race. Just had to get that off my chest. :)

Nature Stop

Dootie called and I had to stop to relieve myself.  I put the stop off for awhile, but knew that I wouldn’t be able to hold it for the remainder of the race.  So, at mile 15, I had my one and only pit stop – 2 minutes.  This is the first time that I only stopped once at a marathon.  I usually stop more when I see my family, friends, or when I try to make new friends.

After I came out of the bathroom, I noticed that the 3:45 group passed me up.  I got my groove back and caught up to them.  Soon after, I passed them.  There was definitely a huge bunch around that pace group.

The Second Half of the Race – Last 6 Miles

It’s true what they say… the marathon is broken up into two parts: the first 20 miles and then the last 6.2 miles.  Getting to the 20th mile was pretty physical, but the last 10K is where the mind games come into play.

The last 6 miles I had so many positive thoughts shoving out the negative ones.

  • logan_sherman_cowtown13I thought about my victory pose at the finish line. Yep, crazy thoughts!  I rarely ever pose or do something like this at the end, but with how well I was doing, I wanted to do something. A few came to mind, but I decided that I wanted to steal or borrow Logan Sherman's victory pose from his recent win at the Cowtown Ultra.
  • I thought about all the training, all the Insanity workouts, and training runs with Cairo.
  • I just kept breaking the remaining miles into something easier to consume... minutes. OK, 5 miles left that's a little over 40 minutes left at this pace. 4 - 32, 3 - 24, 2 - 16, and at mile 25, I had 10 minutes left to go. For some reason, minutes were easier on my head than the miles that were left.  However you go about it, you have to break it down to something easier to handle or you’ll get overwhelmed.
  • I only once tried to figure out how I was doing with my potential finishing time. At mile 21 I looked at the 3:45 wrist band and saw that I was about 3 minutes ahead of 3:45. When I hit the last couple of miles, I didn't try to do any math to figure out when I'd finish. I wanted to be surprised and I sure was.
  • I kept telling myself to push through the pain.  The pain would feel the same if I walked or ran.  As well, if I ran, I’d get done sooner.

Finishing

There’s no stopping with less than a mile to go.  At this point, I’m really in awe of what I’m doing.  I’m actually doing it… killing my goal of hitting 3:45.

It was so awesome running into Hayward Field and seeing the full crowd in the grandstands. I had to wave at them acknowledging them and hoping to get them to cheer a little bit more.  It was exhilarating!  The other thing is that once I got on the track, I really wanted to run faster and pushed as hard as I could.

After crossing the finish line, I did my best Sherman Logan finisher’s pose and scream.  I’m interested to see what that photo is going to look like.  After I got my race medal and walked for a bit, I got a text from my wife that read, “Good job we r proud of u!! Cairo and I just saw u FINISH!!!”  It was so cool that Ursula and Cairo could see me finish all the way back in Texas.  The marathon website had a live video feed of the finish line.

I immediately called her and through tears of joy told her how I battled through everything.  I get pretty physically and emotionally drained at the end of these races.  This one was probably at the top of the list since I was battling myself to hit this loftier goal.  I just couldn’t believe that I not only hit my goal of 3:45, but I surpassed it by hitting the time of 3:40:33.  I knocked 18 minutes off of my previous PR of 3:58. CRAZY!

20130428_124057I finally met up with Felix.  He had it a bit rougher than I did as his right hamstring gave him troubles toward mile 20.  I never realized that I passed him.  I always thought he was in front.  I truly wish that he had a better race.  He was looking forward to this race so much more than I was.

We grabbed some liquid carbs after the race and chatted a bit about the race.  I’m really glad that Felix talked me into this race.  As far as the course, I was never really challenged on any of the hills.  I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been getting stronger or the lack of huge inclines. It’s probably a little bit of both.

What’s Next?

Next, is the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon in which I’ll be running for the joy of seeing my 17 year old son complete his first marathon.  This will be the shortest time between marathons that I’ve had – 3 weeks.

After Cleveland, my next scheduled marathon is the Bryan/College Station Marathon in December.  I’m also contemplating running in the Houston Marathon in January.

One thing for sure is that I feel more confident that I can qualify for Boston.  I’ve never really felt I’ve had a chance until the last few months.  It definitely feels more promising to think of knocking off 15 minutes vs 35 minutes.  3:25 to BQ still seems lofty, but not totally out of reach.