Thursday, June 11, 2009

Marathon Preview

Tomorrow I'm taking a vacation day from work so we can travel up to West Virginia to run the Hatfield & McCoy Reunion Festival Marathon on saturday morning. It's my first attempt at a full marathon distance, and I am so ready for this one. Everything is feeling good, and I'm ready to race.

The family fued between the Hatfield's and McCoy's is actually quite gruesome. In the early 1880's. A Hatfield (Devil Anse) got elected, then was stabbed and killed by some McCoys. As payback, 3 of the McCoys were tied to a paw paw tree and shot. This was a battle over coal mining land and how to treat it. For the run, everybody gets assigned to either the Hatfield Team or theMcCoy Team and the total group times are compared to declare one family a winner. I can't decide which team I'd rather end up on.

The course goes back and forth between West Virginia and Kentucky. It follows a route that takes you past a lot of the gravesites and homesites of the people involved in the fued, including past the paw paw trees where the McCoys were shot. I've already got a lightweight disposable camera that will stay in my pocket during the run so I can take pictures of whatever I can recognize. As much as I love gardening, I'm not sure I could pick out the paw paw trees that are somewhere in mile 6 I think.

The web site does have some info about the course, but not really a map. There is a half running as well, and they say the first half of the course is harder than the second half. When you look at the location (Matewan, WV) on Google Earth there are no straight roads, and tons of peaks. So this is a mountain marathon. I would love to see a map and elevation profile. There are 25 aid stations, and I'm going to carry the Camelbak. My plan is to walk the aid stations, walk the steeper uphills, and make it through to the finish line. The main goal is to finish and establish a time. I'm going to use the Garmin and set the lap counter at each aid station, so I should have an elevation profile afterwards. It would be fantastic if I can break 5 hours, but I'm not going to push that quite so hard on this challenging course. I just want to see that finish line.

You may or may not remember back in February when the germ factories kept me from attempting my first marathon. I've been on a marathon training plan since October of last year. When I got sick in february and had to miss the myrtle beach marathon (Kelley still ran it 5:56) I was very dissapointed. We had both spent 5 months on a Hal Higdon training plan running 5 days a week. She came through that one ok, I popped Advil like candy and ended up with knee problems and left shin problems. Occasionally some ankle stuff too. We both tapered and took some time off after the marathon I didn't run. That's when I found this race and put this plan together.

This training plan I combined a FIRST marathon training plan with an Oly Tri training plan I found on beginnertriathlete.com. Basically the oly tri plan had 3 runs a week, and I replaced the distances and methods with the FIRST runs. The FIRST plan called for lots of cross training anyway, so the bike and swim workouts fit right into the plan. Knowing that I had a marathon in addition to the oly, I would still skip a bike or swim workout and be sure to make all of the runs when family or other life got in the way. And I actually came through this entire training cycle injury free! I feel strong and balanced. Plenty of yoga and tri power workouts for strength training. I truly think this balanced concept is the key to having more fun, covering more miles, and having less pain. Sure, you can run 5 days a week or more, increase your speed/distance incrementally and regularly and still have fun. But it increases your chances for injury. In my head, cross training is a direct lead-in to triathlon. Biking and swimming are the two most complimentary forms of cross training to running. and if you're going to train in 3 sports, it can be fun to race in 3 sports.

So our plan: tomorrow morning Kelley's mom is coming up here to keep the kids for the weekend. We're driving to packet pickup at the race start location in Kentucky. Get checked into the hotel room and maybe the pasta dinner with the race organizers. Saturday morning run 26.2 miles through those mountains. I'm going to wear my Chopat knee braces b/c my knees still feel it anytime I get over 15 miles. And this time I will be able to band-aid the nip-nips and wear loose shorts, not running in a swimsuit like last weekend. I'm taking 5 gels and a granola bar in my pockets, and the Camelbak with Heed. Then recover and eat at the hotel. Our reservations are confirmed, and the pics on the hotel web site make it look like a really nice place. There is also a restaurant at the hotel. Sunday morning we're headed back to Greenville. I'll post a race report either sunday night or monday morning. I'll update my facebook status as soon as I can too. Kelley's going to be taking pictures, but running races don't usually have the kind of shirtless hardbodies that the tri's have. So I wouldn't get your hopes up for more man candy pics. Plus, we're talking about Kentucky and West Virginia here people. You never know what you're going to get.

So wish me luck, here goes nothing! I am so ready for today to be over. Isn't the day before a vacation day always the longest workday of the year? Good luck if you're racing this weekend, and have fun!

15 comments:

Ashley said...

GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!! I think you're a total f***ing badass for doing an olympic tri & full marathon all within a week of each other - you pretty much rock!

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

Good luck.

You'll fit in well with all those other rednecks, Cletus. They'll probably adopt you; maybe even make you their king since you seem to have a tooth or two left in your head, assuming you haven't been photoshopping the pix you post.

I think you should run this marathon in bib overalls or in a top- and bottom-less barrel held up by shoulder straps to hide your shame.

Preferably the latter.

And by "your shame" I mean your face.

Wes said...

Have fun, CJ! and for GAWD's sake, keep your head down...

tfh said...

I think you're going to have a lot of fun-- that just sounds like a great marathon, and if the course is tough, well, it'll make your next one feel easier. It's a great feeling getting through a training cycle injury free and I think I would follow all your TRI!TRI!TRI advice if only I didn't develop that sudden and intense reaction to chlorine...good luck, and have fun! (And good luck to Kelley too-- spectating a marathon is a lot of work, too.)

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

GOOD LUCK! I think it's going to go great for you! Can't wait to hear all about and see pics!!

Amanda said...

Good Luck, kick ass out there!

chris mcpeake said...

good luck and have fun .. sounds like a great race

Viper said...

A hearty good luck. I hear the losing family gets shot. So, don't get shot. You've got the right attitude for your first, and you're obviously ready. Cheers!

Lori said...

Good luck!

Mel-2nd Chances said...

Good luck this weekend, you'll do awesome. Have fun, and no doubt all your hard work will have paid off. Will Kelley be there taking pics again? :D

hebba said...

YAY! Good luck to you!

raulgonemobile said...

Hey, good luck! (Loved the tri report, too. Some day I'll try something like that) Looking forward to the report from the marathon!

teacherwoman said...

Good luck this weekend John! Wahoo!

Girl on Top said...

Can't wait to hear about it!

Badgergirl said...

So I'm a little late. But I hope the marathon went well! Can't wait to read about it.