Monday, November 12, 2012

Anthem Richmond Marathon and HCA VA 8K

This past weekend, Mr. Marathon and I ventured all the way to the big city of Richmond, VA, from our little rinky-dink town of Bassett for AMERICA'S FRIENDLIEST MARATHON (or so they say...).  The journey was about 4 hours, and once we got there, there was an extremely impressive packet pick-up/expo with tons of vendors. There were more people in that convention center than we have total in Bassett, I'm pretty sure.  Despite the large crowds, we enjoyed the hustle and bustle and the hype that surrounded this massive event.  We were both thrilled to run our respective races (Mr. Marathon was running the full marathon, and I was running the 8K).

We headed on to our hotel to rest up for the next day's racing festivities, which for me, would begin at 7 AM (meaning, we had to get up at 5:30.  omg.)  We made it out the door and then to downtown Richmond in good time on Saturday morning.  We found our way slowly but surely to the designated starting areas.  The corrals and waves for each race were very impressively organized.  Almost TOO organized...  Regardless, I found my way to my corral for the 8K just as the race was beginning.  The 8K took off first thing, when it was only 35 degrees!!  Perfect for me!  Except for the fact that I still had my little cold.  But I'm over that now.  

Anyway, Mr. Marathon watched me depart, and then he stuck around to watch the half-marathon begin at 7:30, while waiting for his race to start.  After attempting to stretch (he managed to touch his toes once or twice while shivering), he was ready to get this marathon on the road!  Get it?  It was a road race.  HAH.  Moving on..... Mr. Marathon got going, despite feeling a little disconnected from the whole race experience.  He managed to get a nice starting pace going at the beginning.  After a few miles, he felt that his shoes were tied a little too tightly.  But there was no stopping him by that point.  No way, no how!  He kept on trucking through his discomfort and maintained a good pace until mile 18.  That's when the shoes finally cut off circulation from his head to his toes (maybe he's being a little bit dramatic in his recollection....).  But he kept going, although he was slowing down.  He continued to feel more and more disconnected from the race.  He did not feel as though he was a part of it, even though in reality, he was definitely running it.  All 26.2 miles of it!  He did the best that he could, but in the end, the Richmond Marathon beat Mr. Marathon.  And the moral of this race for him is that you can't over-train for a race.  He felt like he did not train nearly enough for this race, but in his mind, like it always has been and is always going to be, he can take any challenge, any time, any day (even the cold ones).  He knew he could finish it no matter what, but at his time of 3:43:54, he feels like he could have done much better with proper training and preparation.  And that's what he plans to show on his next marathon post.  So stay tuned and wish him luck!!

The Richmond races were our last scheduled races for the month of November, but we will keep you posted on all of our upcoming training and any races we might decide to do (there are 2 in December we are considering!).  

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Another Milestone.... Well, a 9.3-milestone!

Mrs. Marathon here.  Yesterday, I conquered my farthest distance so far, with the help of Mr. Marathon.  Now, I hate making excuses, which is why I refused to do so yesterday.  I had heard about the Race the Bar 15K like a month ago and I was determined to do it.  I had to!  It's great training for my half marathon and plus, I needed a new challenge!  I signed up for it earlier this week, then of course, I had to get sick.  Mr. Marathon and I are good at getting sick right before a big race, aren't we?

Anyway, yesterday got off to a stressful start anyway, then I made it worse by assuming where the race was.  I knew it was in Winston-Salem, NC, which is a little over an hour away.  I finally looked it up about an hour and half before race time to find out that it was going to be an hour and 20 minutes away.  Ohmygosh.  I began rushing around freaking out, we finally hit the road and made it with five minutes to spare.  We pulled up to the location and slowly realized that we were in the wrong place.  OHMYGOSHH.  I looked it up, and there were two addresses listed for the brewery where it said it would be held... obviously the race was being held at the other location.  We hurried back to the car, left the parking meter that we had just paid for and made our way to the correct (we hoped so, anyway) location.  Roads were already blocked off, it was 10 minutes after the beginning of the race, a friendly cop lets us through since we had already registered and we parked and ran for the packet pickup (that was our warm up).  We saw that people were still lined up at the start... there is still hope, we thought to ourselves!

Turns out, the 5K had not yet started so the start line was still assembled.  It was chip timing so we could still start!  After freaking out and boohoo crying for 20 minutes, I pulled it together to run my first 15K and my longest distance to date: 9.3 miles.  Oh. My. Gosh.   I was so proud when I finished at 1:54:01.  We were the last ones to finish since we had started late, but turns out there were people who finished "after" us technically according to chip time.  So we weren't the slowest!  Mr. Marathon was so sweet and he ran with me the entire time, even though he could have finished in like an hour quicker without me.  I needed the support yesterday.  Everything was working against me.  Either way, we both placed first in our age groups because we were the only ones.  I am just proud I finished, but I definitely hope to do better in the future.

Here are a couple of pictures taken during awards yesterday.  They were totally candid, sorry.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Who is Mr. Marathon?


Hello!  Mr. Marathon here.  Since it's the 1st of November, I figured I'd go ahead and give you an introduction of who I truly am.  First of all, my name is Alfredo.  And sorry I'm not Italian, nor do I come in a jar or a packet or on top of pasta.  I was born March 26, 1990, which means I am 22 years old currently for those of you (like Mrs. Marathon) who are bad at math.  I am a Mexican-American (born in Mexico, raised in America).  I am fluent in Spanish, as well as English.  I graduated from Bassett High School with an Advanced Diploma in 2009, which means I'm a little smart.... maybe.  While in high school, I was active in many extracurricular activities due to my JROTC experience.  It made me open my eyes and realize that if I have an opportunity in something, I have to take it, whether that meant extra classes, sports, clubs, or just going the extra mile in whatever I do (see what I did there?  mile?  running? hah.).  I was in JROTC for all four years of high school and my senior year, I achieved the highest rank and honors: Cadet Colonel, as the Bassett High School JROTC Battalion Commader.  One of my biggest goals is to join the United States Air Force, but until then, I am currently a full-time employee at Packaging Products, Incorporated, in Bassett, VA.  I also play soccer religiously (because I play every Sunday morning... another pun!), but I do attend church when I can at First United Methodist Church in Martinsville.  I try to be very involved in church with a pre-youth group, as well as our monthly Food Bank, and any other activities going on at the church.

In addition to all this other stuff, I like to run occasionally too.  Hence, this blog.  Running is my main hobby, and I have achieved some of my greatest accomplishments in this sport.  I ran cross-country, indoor track, and track while in high school (but I did do practically all other sports as well, including football, wrestling, swimming, soccer, JROTC drill team, JROTC rifle team, and JROTC Raiders).  But none of these sports would be possible without the help of a JROTC instructor, Lieutenant Colonel Guy Mellow.  He not only showed me how to control my breathing while running, but he also helped me with my running technique, which I still use every single time I run (training as well as racing).  Currently I have run three marathons, two half marathons, one ultra-marathon, and many other 5Ks and 10Ks.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, my current running goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon.  If for some reason I cannot qualify this year, I will definitely keep trying.  I will plan ahead of time to sign up for more qualifiers.  All I can say is that if I am not running with my wife to support her, I am giving it my all.  I try to race against myself at every race.  That way, I can strive for a personal best each time I run.  My running motto is "Give it your all, because the race doesn't last forever."  So no matter what I'm doing, running or anything else, this is my mind-set.

I hope this gives you a little insight about the real Mr. Marathon.  Til next time, guys.