Thursday, October 29, 2009

Up Next Manchester Marathon!

This Sunday, November 1st, Danny and Amber will be embarking on a 26.2 mile journey along the mill city of Manchester NH.
A rather hilly first half with steady, if not steep, climbs that will them by the famed Derryfield Park's X-C course before taking Hanover St back down to Elm. There they will split paths with the half-marathoners who will turn to the left and finish. The marathoners will continue on crossing over to the West side of Manchester and running by Saint Anselm's before crossing a foot bridge and finishing up.
This may be the second running of the marathon for the two runners, both hoping to improve upon their last year's times. The reason for the may is that Amber and Danny are still recovering from a 18+ mile hike in the Whites this past weekend- having to ford 5 rivers, climb down a waterfall and running the last four miles back to the car before it got dark. That considering that weekend was to have been the recovery week from Baystate Marathon the weekend before. Suffice it to say, they are both sore. Danny's commited to running it no matter what, but Amber, taking the far more reasonable approach, will wait until the morning of to see how she's feeling.

Danny's Goals: Qualify for Boston, Run sub-3, Qualify for automatic entry into NYC marathon with 2:55:00
Amber's Goals: Determine whether to run the full or half; If running the full- Redeem self from last year's run.

Monday, October 19, 2009

A cold and blustery Baystate!

For a day that end with blizzard like conditions as the Patriots trounced the Titans, the Baystate Marathon started out innocently enough with a cool and overcast morning. Those unfamilar with New England would consider that perfect marathoning weather, but, as predicted in the unpredicted New England, the temperature soon dropped and the clouds opened up on the record number of runners seeking Boston-berths. What a day to qualify for Boston? The results were mixed for the Dream Team and Greg Cullen.

Greg's goal: Run under 3:30 and re-qualify for Boston. Reality- 3:32 and did qualify again despite horizontal rains and post-race lower extremity cramps.

Amber's goal: Break her PR of 3:16 and re-qualify for Boston. Reality- 3:21 and did qualify for Boston despite three separate instances where she had to stop and stretch out her IT band and curse at Danny(she'll be using the run as a long run for Manchester Marathon).

Dan Frisch's goal: Qualify for Boston with the scorching time of 3:10 or better. Reality- Ran a 3:13! Great first marathon, solid performance and had it not been for a 10+ mile hike the weekend before in the White Mountains, Dan probably would have had enough in the tank for that 3:10. Better luck next time Danny Boy!

Deidre's goal: Qualify for Boston with 3:40 or better. Reality- After nearly a month of hamstring issues, Deidre expected them to miraculously subside which of course they did not. There is no doubt with a dedicated month of rest and stretching, Deidre will be back and ready to take on the marathon again.

Danny's goal: Run a PR. Reality- 2 weeks of training apparently is NOT enough time to prepare yourself for a marathon. On pace for 3:06(not a PR), but when he passed Amber he decided he'd pretend to be chivalrous and run with her. In reality, he was using the much needed decrease in pace to be able to stop the tears that were forming acutely at the edges of his eyes.

All in all, despite Dan's tears and several near-hypothermic runners, Baystate was as exciting as predicted with Dan and Deidre's first marathons ever, Greg showing that he is a man of consistency, Amber muscling through a tough IT band issue and Danny managing to consume more calories than he burnt during the race(thanks to several GU stations!).

Danny and Amber will see you at the Manchester Marathon on the 1st!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

How to train for a marathon in 2 weeks

By the end of this blog the title will make perfect sense to you. Let me begin by saying that my husband has a great deal of raw talent and this fact, and only this fact, allowes him to conquer such feats as running 88 miles in a row and completing his 3rd marathon in 30 days in a blistering time of 3:01. I say this with love and admiration...and a little bit of jealosy. Let me explain....

For months before a marathon I am rising at the crack of dawn, logging 50 miles per week, analyzing my training log, comparing race stats with fellow runners, analyzing my log again, googling "how to run your best marathon", and then repeating. Meanwhile, my husband is in full taper mode. He sleeps in, endulges in tasty treats and thinks outloud how my training (50 miles per week) is far inferior to his training which includes:

1. periodic breath holding (to increase his cardiovascular endurance) and
2. contracting his abdominals (to work on his six pack...obviously!)


However, as marathon day approaches the tables begin to turn. As I enter my much needed taper mode my husband starts to panic. I can hear it in his voice as he states, "the marathon is only 2 weeks away. I need to start training." And so the madness begins. He attempts to squeeze 4 months of running into 2 weeks. Here come the track workouts and the hill repeats and the long runs. While the rest of the running world is sitting back with their feet up my husband is on full tilt. He crammed 4 months into 2 weeks!

And what about race nutrition? His fastest marathon happened after 12 beers , a steak sub and instead of the standard GU during the race....he chose breath mints.

Raw talent.

Baystate Here We Come!

This race holds special significance to Danny and Amber. Not only will this race be the third anniversary of Amber's first marathon, running to a fourth place finish with a 3:16, but it will also mark the first race that Amber will be competing as Amber Ferreira! Additionally, this race will be Amber's younger sister, Deidre's, first marathon hoping to qualify for Boston as well as Greg Cullen, Amber's dad, returning for his second time running. And to round out the Dream Team, Dan Frische a cornerstone of this year's triathlon season, will also be running his first. It sure makes for a very exciting race day!

We'll both be racing for GCS-Triad tomorrow as part of the New England Grand Prix season finale so the competition is expected to be stiff. But as we both know, a marathon is not so much a race against others so much as it is one against yourself and any self-doubt.

Amber and Danny will both be running with the 3:10 pace group so hopefully we see a bunch of familiar faces in the record crowds expected tomorrow in Lowell.

Good luck to everyone using Baystate to qualify for Boston! We wish you our best!