No training. This is the marathon. Dublin, Ohio’s Last Chance for Boston Marathon.
Dublin, Ohio is a nice town.
The race hotel, the Crown Plaza, is an excellent hotel. Rooms were super quiet, spacious, great big king-size beds.
Now, when a runner’s describing a marathon and he/she starts out talking about the city and the hotel that ... you can assume that the run was not fun. You’d be right if you assumed that here.
That’s frustrating. I picked the race for its flat course, a one-mile loop through a business park, for its location - a day’s drive, and for its weather.
The weather. I love running in the cold. Colder the better. I go gloveless at 0 degrees. I’m a heatilator, slow and steady and pumping out heat. But that day, with temps in the 30’s and a breeze that kept getting stronger, I shivered the whole day. Never warmed up.
The course has a limit of 4:45. That was doable, I thought. Maybe 4:50 or 4:55.
Running on the treadmill all winter did not prepare me for running on concrete or running in the cold.
At the halfway mark, a half-marathon in distance I was ahead of schedule for finishing under 4:45. By the time I started my 24th lap it wasn’t.
At 4:50:00 the course rolls up its orange cones and its one aid station and the streets are empty. I don’t have any water with me. I’m looking at another 25 - 30 minutes. I’m still shivering. And I’m not going to get a finisher’s medal or be listed as a finisher.
I quit. I was right in front of the hotel and turned around and went inside. That’s right, I took my running shoes and went home.
What did I learn?
* Leg strength, leg strength, leg strength. Gotta get me some. That remains the theme.
* More pavement running. Gotta get me some if, and I know it will, spring arrives.
* Better training, smarter training.
Towards that end I realized this week I need a personal trainer. However, we live in a small town. There aren’t a lot of personal trainers focused on endurance running. Matter of fact, I’m sure there are none.
I noticed one member of the rec center who worked hard and smart, never grunting or showing a strain. They won a recent body-building contest. They kicked ass on leg workouts, pumping more weights and more reps than anyone. I mustered up the courage and asked her if she’s a personal trainer. She is. Turns out she’s a runner, too, her whole life running 5k’s, half-marathons and has triathletes and marathoners in her family. It helps that she understands the challenge of balancing strength training with endurance training. As I described my goals and the challenges, she’s nodding her head, got it. Yep.
We’ll meet next week. See how that helps. I’m sure it will. If I can squat what she squats it’s gotta make my running stronger, easier, longer.