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    8-5-2015 7-21-00 PM

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Let’s talk marathons!

As we prepare for the multisport season, several members of SSSMST got their run fitness in shape by racing marathons (and half-marathons).  Jim started us off by running Boston, an annual tradition for him.  Jen and Mark headed down to Nashville to run the hot Country Music Marathon (Mark ran the half).  Brian headed over to Indianapolis to experience the Indy Mini, the largest half-marathon in the country (capped at 35,000 people!).  Locally, Tim, Brian and Mark showed their support of the Cleveland Marathon by volunteering on the cold, rainy day.  Aaron and Jim paced the 3:10 marathoners, while Brandy, Susan and Patrick ran the half.  Patrick and Susan ran PRs, and Jim ended up with an unbelievable negative split!

On Boston:

As always this race is on my calendar and a thrill to do.  For the third year in a row I did not have the race I wanted.  However, this time I was not disappointed as it is has been a rough training winter.  I’ve had injuries and time constraints that precluded any focused workouts and the race was a reflection.  I had a great time hanging with my father and college roommate for the long weekend.  Boston is a great town and this is a great race.  It hurts like crazy whether you’re prepared or not.  The difference on a good day versus a bad day can only be told by how much I smile over the last 5 miles.  This year, I smiled very little. 

On Nashville:

Last late fall I questioned Facebook to see what spring running races people were doing. Nashville Country Music Marathon/Half-marathon was an overwhelmingly popular response. Checked out the race website and it was only $5 more to sign up for the full (hey, that’s a deal-run twice as much for just a little more!) and there was no cost to drop to the half if needed. My last marathon ended in injury which had me doubting if I could ever run more than a half but I wanted to try. Signed up Dec 31st, and commenced a 17 week training plan. Knowing the course was hilly many runs were done in Bedford and Brecksville, as well as repeats up Rockcliff in the RRR. I was excited and more confident in my long distance running. Making it to the starting line-for the full mary-healthy was success in itself. It was gorgeous in Nashville. Unfortunately, it just was a little bit too gorgeous. Race morning started out about 55 degrees but as the sun came up it warmed very quickly. I started out comfortably and didn’t push it on the hills. Stay comfortable I was telling myself. Mark Murphy, who ran the half, was a good teammate in that he ran a couple minutes with me, holding himself back, and gave some words of encouragement. And again a bit later near the course split he gave me some final words. I knew this race was more of a half marathon (only about 4100 of the 31,000 runners did the full). There was more company after the split than I thought there’d be which was nice. However, I think there was less water! Not good on a warm day for me. By about the 21 mile mark I had definitely slowed. Only my quads were sore, no cramping. The last 5 miles seemed to take forever, but I made it. Surprisingly I was not that upset for not making my time goal. I enjoyed training for this marathon and ran my long runs faster than I ever thought possible. From that I have built a solid running base for this triathlon season as well as having the confidence that I know I can run a sub 3:40 marathon, probably even a 3:30. As I told a friend one day I will make it to Boston, it may just have to be when I’m 70!

On the Indy Mini:

I’ve wanted to do this race for quite a long time after being an Indy resident.  This race is labeled as the largest half-marathon in the country with some 30,000 finishers!  It starts out in downtown Indianapolis heads out to the Indianapolis 500 Speedway for a 2.5 mile loop on the track (awesome!!! And I’m not really any sort of a race car fan), and then heads back to downtown for the finish!  I  have to say, running on the track was pretty awe inspiring!  I’ve been to a few Indy 500 races, and that track is just enormous!  Definitely the highlight of the race!

The amount of people participating in the race was exciting to see.  Things really didn’t thin out until almost the second half of the race, so it was a bit difficult to settle into a pace, however that being said, my pace was faster than expected, most likely because I was weaving in and out of the other runners so much.  Overall I felt my race when much better than I anticipated, and my quads were not as taxed as they had been in the previous weeks training runs.  If anyone is looking for an exciting, flat, fast course, this is definitely a must!

On pacing the 3:10 group – Aaron:

another marathon pacing in the books- another pace attempt where we were too  fast


Good days happen when you least expect them.  I was planning on simply pacing the 3:10 group over the first 13 miles.  Aaron was scheduled to take over at that point and I figured I’d run another 1-2 miles and then drop off.  Aaron’s car was parked at the 14 mile marker so it was also the logical thing to do.  I don’t really do logical.

Anyway, after pacing the group almost 2 minutes ahead of schedule (not too good as a pacer) I stayed with Aaron and friends for another mile.  During that time I decided to run a 15th mile on my own and then make a decision on whether to continue or not.  If it felt good, then I’d continue mile by mile.  It felt good.  So I kept on going the same way.  By mile 20 I caught the 3:00 hour pace group and sat in for a mile or so and gathered my wind and surged again.  The last 5 went by unbelievably quickly and I finished with a 10 minute faster second half marathon.  Best marathon time I’ve had in about 7 years and the first time I’ve ever run 2 within 4 weeks of each other (did Boston in April).  Anyway, great weather and fast course.  Our pace group did very well as I saw a large percentage of people finish under 3:10.  Lots of fun…

On the Cleveland half – Patrick:

Nice cool morning, perfect for running.  The rain held off.  Felt good & it was great to see a lot of the SSSMST people on the course – Joe, Bill, Murphy, Tim and Jen (amongst others i saw).  And Rood & Jim doing pace team – always appreciated (since it helped me a few years ago)! Congrats to Jim picking it up & finishing a solid full.  Nice work to Brandy & Susan on nice halves!
I squeaked a PR, so the IM training is helping my overall fitness. Erin ran a comfortable race too which made for a fun morning. Good stuff.


I’ve been running a lot as I train for IMLP, and was looking forward to seeing where my fitness was in a half-marathon.  I wasn’t sure I could PR so I figured I’d got for a “Personal Second-Best”, or less than 1:50.  Race morning was great – cloudy and cool, and I lined up in a singlet and arm warmers.  Thank goodness I wore the warmers because I never ended up taking them off- it stayed chilly!  I had a hard time getting in a groove.  I had some cramps and my gait felt funny, but I pushed on, thankful I wasn’t running a whole marathon (and perhaps wondering how I am going to run a marathon at the end of Lake Placid?!).  It was great to see Jen P along the course and Mark Murphy handing out water.  Susan came past me at about mile 10 and we chatted about the weather until she went along.  I cut it close, but the downhill finish led me to 1:48 and change… PSB! 

Oh, and you know how they say you should never try anything new on race day?  Really- don’t.  The singlet/arm warmer combination was new for me, and although I body-glided up, I did not get the spot where the top of the armwarmer rubbed on my torso… holy cow that was the WORST chaffing I ever experienced!  I think it’s still healing today!


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