Training Time (5/1-5/7)

In this section each week, I will provide updates on my training for the Boston Marathon qualifying race. If you are looking for tips on heart-rate zones or the physiology of running, you may want to look elsewhere. If you want some content on chafing prevention and pre-race Pop Tarts, you’ve found your place!

What a difference a week makes.

Last weekend, running outside felt like strolling on the surface of the sun. This week, the cooler temperatures and constant breeze made for perfect running weather. My 15-mile long run on Saturday actually took 12 minutes less than my 14-mile long run last weekend. There are always variables you cannot control.

This quest for Boston qualifying is still a long way off. I’m looking toward one or two attempts in the Fall to reach the time needed (3:05) in a qualifying marathon, but a build-up training cycle toward those races will not begin until the end of summer.

So until then…what’s the plan? What’s the goal?

If you read Post #1, you know I am an Achiever, at least according to one popular character/personality survey. If you haven’t read Post #1, what’s wrong with you? It’s a damn fine piece of literary genius. Go ahead and see for yourself…I’ll wait.

Ok, now that that’s settled….what was I saying? Oh yeah…achiever.

I am challenge-oriented in motivation. Running just to run, training just to be fit, or eating healthy just to be healthy does not entice me one bit, especially if it involves kale.

With that in mind, I’ve been looking for that next challenge prior to the Fall. I’ve finally found it.

The Grandfather Mountain Marathon takes place in western North Carolina and bills itself as “America’s Toughest” marathon. The race begins on the campus of Appalachian State University in Boone, NC and ends 26.2 miles later in McRae Meadows at the track of a Highland Games festival taking place simultaneously with the race.

What makes it “America’s Toughest”?



A number of peaks and valleys litter the first half marathon. Let’s call that the “rolling massive hills” section. Following that, an almost exclusively uphill 13.1 miles to the finish. Let’s call that the “climbing through hell to get to heaven” section. But heaven in this case is a group of fat guys wearing kilts, drinking beer, and slinging tree trunks.

I can’t wait to hear those bagpipes.

Training Recap (5/1-5/7)
# of Runs – 4
Total Miles – 34.5
Long Run – 15 miles
Strength Workouts – 3
Terrible Rounds of Golf Played – 1

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