Monday, June 30, 2014


     Every journey begins with a single step and now that I have my goal, the next question is how am I going to get there, right?  I have spent the better part of the last 4 months reading books, combing the internet and asking countless questions to try and figure that out.  What I have really found is that there in no one plan that was tailor made for me and everyone has their own opinion of what really is the right way to train.  What I ended up doing is taking, what I think, are the best parts of different systems and molding them into a custom made plan for me.  The base of my plan is rooted in the Hal Higdon novice version, but in my mind I didn’t think only one 20 mile run is enough to prepare me for the 26.2, so I went with his intermediate idea of three 20 mile runs.  My friend Thomas, from my Ragnar team, is where this idea came from when I was asking him questions about his 1st marathon.  In my opinion, the most important item I needed to consider was my time available to complete the training.  Wednesdays being my day off will lend itself perfectly for my long runs.  I don’t want to cut into my limited time I have to spend with Mandy each night so for the rest of the week days early morning before work is the only time I can really fit the miles in, and due to time constraints I really need to keep the mileage down on those days.  For the weekends, Saturday is a work day for me so it has the same constraints as weekday so mileage will need to be kept down and Sunday I rotate having to work and work starts a little later in the morning so it seems to be the best fit for my mid length runs.  Cross training is a little up in the air right now as to what I will be doing if any.  I will ease myself into it though, I don’t want to over do it and burn my body out.

     Below you can see my plan as I have it laid out.  (click on the image for an enlarged view)  I don’t want to say this is a fluid plan because I want to stick to it, but as my body reacts I might make some minor tweaks on mileage or which days I run.  I tried my best to keep the other advice I got from my friend Katie, which is not to do two had workouts back to back.

Here is a more detailed laid out of my training plan:
     Sunday - Race Pace: so for this day I will run my first mile and my last mile at my easy 9:45 pace and run all other miles at my 3:59:59 or better marathon pace of 9-9:10 per mile avg.  I also threw in a complete easy pace day every two or three weeks to help curb any chance of over training.

     Monday – Rest Day: No exercise or running of any kind, thank God!

     Tuesday – Easy Pace: so for this day it is just about putting in a few miles at a nice steady easy pace of 9:45-10:15 per mile.  The mileage starts at three and climbs to six during the meat of the training cycle.

     Wednesday – Long Run: here is where it all counts, I start out with a mileage of ten miles and progressively build up to a total of twenty miles.  I throw in a step back day every three weeks where I cut my mileage back to let the body recover.  I have also set this pace at a nice steady 10:15-10:30 per mile avg., because on these runs, speed is not the goal, time on the feet is.  I need to learn and get use to spending multiple hours on my feet, not only for the physical purpose, but the mental as well.

     Thursday – Rest/Cross Training Day: Thursday is primarily a rest day, but if I decide that I want to do some cross training, this would be the day.  If I cross train here is what I am thinking, a few easy miles on the bicycle just to keep the legs moving a little bit.  Planks, push ups, squats and stretching are a few others that will be added as well.  I was thinking yoga, but I don’t know of a good studio around me and I’ll admit it, I am a little scared to.

     Friday – Tempo Run: Now I could totally be misusing this term, but for me it lets me know that I will run a set number of miles at a pace faster then my goal race pace.  For this plan my Tempo pace will be 8:20-8:30 per mile avg. starting at 3 miles and building to a total of 6 miles.  Now I have also given myself some leeway here and decided this could be turned into interval runs if the pace seems to be too much for me at these mile distances.  The goal is to make this my 10K time, because according to the Runners World race pace predictor, a 3:59:59 marathon finisher should be able to run a 10K at that pace.

     Saturday - Easy Pace: this is basically just a carbon copy of Tuesday’s plan.  It gets me a few more miles on the road and running on tired legs from Friday’s run should simulate the later stages of the marathon.  I hope anyway.

     Well that is the plan; I hope my rambling makes sense to you all.  I think I covered everything I wanted to cover, but if I missed anything then I guess it wasn’t that important.  Please feel free to leave any feedback, good or bad, on my plan and my approach to the marathon.  I think the only thing I really didn’t cover was nutrition, and that will be more of an on going experiment to find what works for me.  I think I will have a good handle on that after my first or second 20 mile training run. 

I am an impatient person by nature, so I can’t wait to see how this whole thing plays out for me.  Really, Is it October Yet!!!  

* For quick access to my entire Marathon training journal click the "Marathon Journal" tab just below the Running In The Fat Lane header

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wednesday Weigh In

     Well another week has past and another trip to the scale to see where in this journey I am at.  My weight loss has slowed down the past few weeks for a variety of reasons.  Dealing with an injury and sidelining me from running for three weeks was a big contributor and my eating habits lately has been the other.  It is summer time so grilling out and eating out have increased over my normal routine, and this week was no exception.  Mandy's Father is in town visiting so we have been enjoying summer with grilled steak, Mandy's famous potatoes, a trip to a really good Mexican restaurant and today the world famous Tony Packo's.  I have been able to slowly increase my running mileage which has helped counteract the effects of what I have been putting in my pie hole.  Don't take this as complaining because I am the one choosing what and how much I eat, and the fact I still lost a half pound is fine with me.  All this means is it is taking me a little longer to get to my goal.  With marathon training starting up I am hoping all the miles I will rack up and if I am able to control my food intake I should be right back on track in no time.  

6/25/14 official weigh in
188 lbs
Change: -.5 lbs
Total loss from heaviest: 129 lbs
Current BMI: 29.4 (overweight)
Change: -.1

     Today's long run went great and I finally feel like I am back to my old self again.  I can tell I still need a few more miles to feel completely back to where I was, but today was great.  This was the first time I have gone past the 6 mile mark in weeks and my knee did not disappoint.  My father-in-law wanted to go out with me, but only wanted to do 4 miles so he ran the first 2 with me and then turned around and headed back as I kept on going.  It was pretty humid but with the overcast skies and a light breeze it was still bearable.  Looking at my pace breakdown, I accomplished exactly what I wanted to do.  I started off nice and slow; slowly building my pace each mile feeling good and strong all the way through, just in time for the start of marathon training!


Monday, June 23, 2014


     Now that I have chosen which race to run, my next challenge was to establish what my goals are going to be, and believe me that seemed to change daily!  I have read in several places and even heard from close friends that setting a time goal for your first marathon should not be high on my priority list.  The only thing I should be worried about is getting to the finish line.  I can understand where this comes from; it is a daunting task to jump from a 13.1 half to a 26.2 full marathon alone without worrying about what time you will finish in.  For me, I need more of a goal than just saying my goal is to finish, I need a time to strive for.  If I don’t have a time goal I feel like my training will just be all over the place and I won’t be as prepared, plus if I shoot for my goal time and come up short but still finish the race isn't that still a victory anyway?
     Based off my last half marathon finish of 1:57:43 the Runners World race predictor is estimating a marathon time of 4:05:26 for me which I feel is totally achievable.  However, with a time so close to breaking the 4 hour mark I might as well set myself up to hit a finishing time of 3:59:59 or better. I don’t feel like that is to unreasonable of a goal and even if I don’t break the 4 hour mark but I still finish the race I didn’t fail anything I did what I set out to do, complete a marathon.  I don’t like to do A,B & C goals as it gives me an out for not reaching my A goal, but in this case with so many unknowns and variables I think it is appropriate.
My Official Goals: 
                            A) Finish the marathon in under 4 hours with a smile 
                            B) Finish the marathon in under 4 hours
                            C) Finish the marathon with a smile
                            D) Just finish 

* For quick access to my entire Marathon training journal click the "Marathon Journal" tab just below the Running In The Fat Lane header

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Wednesday Weigh In

     I am sitting here typing this from the parking lot of the Palace of Auburn Hills (just north of Detroit), and why am I writing this from the parking lot, well that's because my wife and her friends are inside the arena watching Bruno Mars perform. I told Mandy I would drive them up here so they could enjoy themselves and not have to deal with the traffic, so I brought my computer and kicked my feet up and started typing.  I won't be able to post this till tomorrow, because I won't be getting home till probably 1am and I have no internet right now, so enjoy Wednesday Weigh In on Thursday!
     This week was not to bad for me when it comes to my calorie intake, but not every day was a good day. Sunday Mandy wanted to go for a bike ride and we both wanted to get something to eat. I really don't know why but I was really craving pizza so I decided we would try this small place in Marblehead, Bruno's Pizzeria . I have to say it was pretty damn good. Traditional hand tossed pizza with plenty of toppings available to choose from; all the ingredients tasted fresh and they had excellent fast service as well. We will defiantly be going back the next time I need a a pizza fix.
     Having said all that, I didn't have a big loss this week but another pound lost is a plus for me. What will be interesting to me is how my marathon training will effect my weight loss. I have read that some people actually gain weight while training. I wonder if it is because they are running so many miles that they think I can eat whatever I want or they are building muscle and getting stronger which contributes to the weight gain. I will just take it one day at a time and one week at a time, and keep an eye on my calorie intake and make adjustments as needed. For this past week anyway, here are the numbers...

6/18/14 official weigh in
188.5 lbs
Change: -1 lbs
Total loss from heaviest: 128.5 lbs
Current BMI: 29.5 (overweight)
Change: -.1
     Today’s long run was extremely short in comparison to what I will be doing here soon, but I am still building myself up slowly from my knee issue I have been having.  I am happy to say today I had no pain whatsoever.  I kept my avg. pace around a 10 min mile and this time did everything I could to run relaxed and not focus my attention on my knee waiting for the pain to kick in.  The weather wasn’t too bad; it was mostly overcast with a light breeze and a temp in the low 80s, and the humidity was defiantly noticeable but not horrible.  Next week is my last “rehab” week before I start my marathon training so I have been trying to ramp up my miles and my pace a little bit so I will be ready to go.
Well I better pack it up, the concert should be over soon and I have a long rainy drive back home! 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Marathon Training = About the Race

     The first thing for me to consider for my first marathon was which race to run.  I wanted to keep it fairly local just for the fact that I wanted to limit as much stress as possible.  I felt like if I had to figure out logistics in an unfamiliar city that just might add to an already stressful day.  At first I thought about the Glass City Marathon here in my home town, but it is a spring race and I didn’t really want to do all this training for the first time in the middle of winter, which this year turned out to be a great idea!  I chose a fall race so I had a better chance of getting the time off from work and the chances of it being extremely hot or cold on race day is a lot less in October than say a mid summer race.  After talking with a friend of mine about her first marathon experience in Columbus, I felt like it was the best choice for what I was looking for.  The course is mostly flat, its in mid October, I have friends that live there so I am somewhat familiar with the city and members from my running club will be there running as well.

To provide you all with some background info on the race I visited their website and here are a few facts I came across:

-  This year is the 35th anniversary of the race

- Roughly 18,000 athletes participate each year

- 100+ bands and entertainers perform while adding extra cheer.

- A 27-member organizing team and 11-member board of directors putting in more than 10,000 hours of planning.

- More than 60,000 people attend the Health & Fitness Expo each year.

- 100,000-plus spectators cheering on athletes along the race course.

The Supplies

- 250,000 White Castle cups of water, plus 250,000 cups of Lemon-Lime Gatorade (approximately 11,600 gallons) to keep thirsty athletes hydrated.

- 18,000 servings each of granola bars, pretzels, chips, yogurt, bananas and chocolate milk to replenish the race finishers.

- 550 portable bathrooms for relief.

- 24,000 Clif Shot energy gels to refuel (chocolate, raspberry and citrus flavored!)

- 96 portable generators to power the music on the course.

The Course

- 10,000 feet of fencing (nearly 2 miles) along various parts of the course.

- 201,600 watt sound system revving up runners at the Start Line and bringing them across the Finish Line.

- 27 permits throughout five different police jurisdictions allowing us to close down 26.2 miles of Columbus-area roads.

Here is the course map from 2013 as a 2014 map is not yet available 

Here are a few pictures I though I would share from their Facebook page

     By the looks of it, the race is well organized with an established history and should play host to many of first time marathoners like myself.  I am excited to begin this journey and with lots of time, training, effort and a little luck I will be able to cross the finish line and join the brothers and sisters who call themselves Marathoners.

* For quick access to my entire Marathon training journal click the "Marathon Journal" tab just below the Running In The Fat Lane header

Friday, June 13, 2014

Marathon Training = Overview & Why

     On October 19th 2014 I plan to toe the line at the Nationwide Children's Hospital Columbus Marathon.  The twenty six mile three hundred eighty five yards just seems to be the natural progression in my running journey.  A little over a year ago I ran my first 5K, two or three months later I tackled my first 10K, in October a half marathon and a couple more halves after that, so it seems only natural to me that a Marathon would be next on my list.  I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous and a little bit scared, there is just so much more to consider when running a marathon.  Of course there is the running part, but you have to figure out your training plan, and everyone has their own opinions on that, your nutrition while training and post race, your fueling strategy during the race, what you will wear to minimize any possible discomfort and, oh yeah the mental game. 

     We all know there is a lot of crap on the internet and it is easy to get into information overload, but over the past year I have found that reading other peoples marathon experiences have really helped me understand what I am truly in for.  That is where the idea for this page comes in.  I feel like this is such a big event in my life that keeping a written journal of all the highs and lows of this journey was the best way to commemorate it.  I also felt that keeping this detailed journal will serve as a way to look back and make any adjustments for future marathons I may attempt and allow any future marathoners out there a look into what my 16-18 weeks of training looks like. 

     Moving forward I will be posting information about the race itself, how I created my training plan, my gear that I use during training and the race, my ever changing nutrition plan, a weekly recap of the weeks training and of course a race recap to wrap it all up.

     I look forward to hearing from you as my training progresses and I appreciate you following along with me.  This should make for one long hot summer, but just I know the moment I cross the finish line and receive that medal it will be a feeling of accomplishment unlike any other in my life! except for when I met and married my wife :) Love you honey!

* For quick access to my entire Marathon training journal click the "Marathon Journal" tab just below the page header

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Wednesday Weigh in

      So hey everyone, it seems like it has been a while since my last post, and that's my fault.  Things have been so crazy this past week I just wasn't able to sit down and compose a post.  I have been able to get back to running this week which felt great, but I am still taking it slow because I still don't feel like my old self.  Sunday I just had to see where I was at so I did a 3 mile run that I pushed my pace to 8:59 per mile avg.  While that isn't close to my current 5K pace and I did have some minor knee discomfort I was able to complete it which felt good.  I rested Monday and did a short 2 mile out and back on the bike trail at around a 10:30 pace Tuesday morning.  I didn't want to push it because I was going to try a 6 mile run on Wednesday, which would have been my first "long run" in probably 3 weeks. 
     Today's run went as well as I could expect considering I was only looking to get through the miles and not allow pace to matter.  It had been an overcast morning light wind and cool, perfect for me, but just as I headed out the door the sun came out and warmed things up.  I kept this run totally on the road this time, choosing to bypass the paved bike trail all together.  The reason for that is the trail has a good angle to it which can aggravate an IT band.  Even though I was not worried about my pace I was able to keep it pretty steady around 10:10 avg.  One thing I read about IT band issues is that running down hill can aggravate it more so on the first overpass I walked down but on the second I wanted to test it and ran it, but I did slow the pace to a lighter jog.  My knee still just doesn't feel quite the way it use to and a light tightness and/or pain would come and go during the entire run, and the worst came in the last few hundred yards.  I finished and was happy but I am still a little worried and maybe I am just concentrating to much on it and should just relax while I am running.  I am going to take tomorrow off and do another 2 mile run Friday, that will give me a total of 10 miles for the week.

     Getting in a few miles have helped me this week when it comes to the bane of weight loss existence also know as the scale.  Now I wouldn't say I was perfect with my diet, I defiantly took a few detours this week with all the greasy food vendors at Ohio Bike Week and celebrating my 10 year wedding anniversary, but I ended on a good note.    

6/11/14 official weigh in
189.5 lbs
Change: -1.5 lbs
Total loss from heaviest: 127.5 lbs
Current BMI: 29.6 (overweight)
Change: -.3

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Wednesday Weigh In

     Sorry but this will be a very short post tonight, I just ran out of time to write today.  Things were much better this week and the scale showed it too.

6/4/14 official weigh in
191 lbs
Change: -1.5 lbs
Total loss from heaviest: 126 lbs
Current BMI: 29.9 (overweight)

  The rain came in today around noon so we ended up not taking the bike this morning and I ended up trying another run instead.  I picked up the pace a little bit, around 10:30 per mile avg. and increased my mileage to three this time.  I made it through the entire run pain free so I am quite happy with my progress.  I plan on another try on Friday but I will back it down again to two miles, I don't want to push it.

     Since the rain came in and ruined our plans we hit an early movie, X-men, did some shopping and went out to dinner for our anniversary.  Our 10 year anniversary technically is tomorrow but since we were both off today we started to celebrate it today.  Tomorrow will be a big day, we are marking our 10 year wedding anniversary with a tattoo, but not just any tattoo, one that we are going to tattoo on each other.  Yes you heard that right, Mandy and I are going to tattoo each other.  Nothing big or complex but I am sure it will be fun.  Don't worry I will take plenty of pictures.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Small Victory

     So Sunday morning the dogs decided we had slept in enough and woke us up around 9:30am.  Yes that is early to us when we get a chance to sleep in!  We let the dogs out (woof woof woof) to do their business and I noticed how nice it was out, so I asked Mandy if she wanted to go for a walk.  I have been jonesing to do something active, but the fear of getting out to soon and re-injuring this damn knee has kept me from doing anything.  Luckily Mandy said yes and so we got ready and headed out on the bike path.  It was just a short 30min walk but while we were out Mandy pushed me to jog a little.  To tell you the truth I was a little apprehensive but decided to give it a shot.  I went a little bit more than 100 yards and slowed to a walk and stop to wait for Mandy who decided to jog up to where I was.  Mandy doesn’t run so I was so proud of her for doing it.  We continued on our walk and we both jogged two more times at 100 yards each time.  In total it wasn’t much, but it felt like a victory to me and was enough pain free running to get my confidence up.
     When we got back to the house we got ready and hopped on the Harley and headed to a small car show and motorcycle swap meet going on during Ohio Bike Week in Sandusky, Ohio.  After running into a few people I knew there that didn’t recognize me due to my weight loss, which felt really good, we headed out on the bike for a little while taking the long way home. 
     After we got home we relaxed for a couple hours before I made some BBQ chicken on the grill.  We had free tickets to a Toledo Mud Hens baseball game and we wanted to minimize spending to much money on food at the game so we sat down and ate about 20 minutes before we left.  It had gotten a little warmer out but it was so nice we decided to stick with the bike to take downtown instead of the car.  We got to the park picked up our tickets from the box office and headed in.  Free tickets usually means bad seats but it turned out we had decent seats, about 5 rows up down the 3rd base line.  The picture doesn't do it justice, it felt a lot closer than it looks.

     Mandy got a beer, I got water and of course we got the must have at any ball game, stadium peanuts.  Unfortunately it wasn’t a great game, it was kind of dragging on but there was two times when each team had the bases loaded and the play got a little exciting.  We decided to head out early which was fine because the hens ended up getting their butts kicked 7-1.
     After we got home we popped in a movie and chilled out till bed.  I told Mandy I decided to try a run in the morning.  She though it was a good idea and I chose to do a short 2 mile out and back on the trail at a super slow pace.  Fast forward to 5:30am, still a little dark out so I put on my headlamp and red strobe butt lamp and headed out.  I kept the pace nice and easy around 11 min per mile avg.  When I got to the last tenth of the first mile I slowed to a walk and made my U-turn to head back.  I slowly picked up the pace back to that 11 min mile avg.  I was concentrating so hard on my knee just waiting for it to start to hurt.  A couple of times I thought my knee was going to start giving me issues and I just kept saying, please no pain please no pain, over and over but the pain never came.  I reached the finish and was so happy that I made it without any pain, now I just hope that trend continues.  

     As of now my next attempt will probably be Wednesday or Thursday morning, that all depends on the weather.  We have plans Wednesday morning but if the rain washes that out then a run it is.