I borrowed this concept from my friend, Oscar, who recently sent out an e-mail with a similar format. It seems my verbal incontinence translates to the written word, so if you want a short synopsis of all of this noise, scroll to the bottom of this posting that will sum it all up in 25 words or less.
Also, I am HALF WAY to my goal of getting miles for my run sponsored. Again, if you have the means or desire, grab one of the remaining miles. Jake's Marathon Challenge. Now, on to the questions:
Q1: I understand you’re not doing the NYC Marathon. Are you still doing a marathon and why not New York?
A1: Yes, I am still doing a marathon and it’s true, I am not doing the NYC Marathon. I blame Oprah for getting your hopes up. You see, when I began this journey, I decided my first marathon was going to be the biggest and most visible of marathons. It fit with my timeline, I have family and friends in the City, there would be lots of fan support. If you’re going to do a marathon, this is the one to do. The one caveat to all of this is that, even though there are about 40,000 participants, something like eight times that number actually tries to register, so they have to have a lottery. Taking Oprah’s advice and following the ideas of The Secret, (if you know me, you understand this is tongue in cheek) everything I said and did were as if I had already made in to the marathon. As my dear cousin Jenny would say, I was placing an order. What I learned is the following: Oprah is a sham, The Secret doesn’t work and I will exact my revenge on them both. My marathon partner and my sister-in-law also missed out but congratulations and good luck to my friend and supporter Kellie Cofer for making it in – I’ll be thinking of you…you shameless harlot.
Q2: So, which marathon are you doing and what is this business about having a partner?
A2: Marathon partner, wise guy. I’ve become friends with one of the guys who I was running into at the races. His name is Patrick but I call him Oscar. We do our track workouts together and sometimes other runs. I asked him to think about joining me and after careful consideration and running a full background check on me, he agreed. He’s much faster than I am, but this is a pretty good partnership. As far as what marathon we’re running, he and I sat down Thursday night and studied our options. We considered Charlotte, Miami, Austin and many more. I lobbied kind of hard for the Flying Monkey Marathon near Nashville (It’s through a giant state park and there are actually Flying Monkeys that may glide in and try to tackle you. How freaking great would it be to have a story like that – and as you well know, I will make GREAT sacrifices in order to have a story like that tucked away). In the end we found our race – once we looked at all the vitals, we both just FELT like it was what we needed to do. So, about six months from now, we’ll have finished the St. Jude Marathon in Memphis, TN. We wanted a big race (3,000 in the marathon, 8,000 in the half), that was well organized and on a relatively fast course so we could get good times, had good weather probability, we wanted to do it this calendar year and space it in between some other really big races we wanted to do. It was the perfect fit. We slept on it and both registered the next day. Hooray for us!
Q3: Why are your answers so damn long-winded?
A3: Have you met me?
Q4: You mentioned you wanted to get good times. What is your goal for this race?
A4: The goal I’m sharing is to go under 3:30, which would be 8 minutes or less per mile. I have a different time I am kicking around, but that’s no one’s business. I’ve heard too many stories from runners I respect who thought they would race the whole thing and hit the proverbial wall, so I am comfortable saying I want to go under 3:30. Oscar is going to try and go under 3 hours, which is seriously hauling butt.
Q5: So, when do you start training and what system are you using?
A5: In truth, my training has already begun. Today was a long, easy day. I did nine miles and experimented with step-down workout. I began kind of slow, with about an 8:40 mile, then cut 10 to 15 seconds off per mile. The last two miles of this workout were a 7:30 and a 7:15. I really enjoyed this workout. It’s supposed to teach my body to finish strong. I will begin a specific marathon program in August that’s from the Furman Institute of Running and Scientific Training, or FIRST. There are two different training programs from FIRST, but I haven’t decided on which one to do for sure. There are three basic workouts, and interval workout on the track, a tempo or threshold run and a long run. I’ll be mixing active recovery days in as well. That’s just so very much more than you want to know.
Q6: You mentioned something about Memphis falling between some other races. Anything cool?
A6: Actually, yeah. There are some very cool races I am planning on doing. They’re all tentative at this point depending on what happens in my world, but check this out:
June 14 – Run for the Pies, 5K, Jacksonville. If you manage to finish under 20 minutes, they actually give you a pie. That’s a stretch for me, but stranger things have happened.
July 4 – Melon Run, 3mi., Gainesville. This is one of Gainesville’s oldest races. The men and women run the same course, but in different directions AND the top three or so finishers in the age group win a watermelon.
July 13 – The Boilermaker 15K, Utica, NY. This is one of the nation’s largest 15K races – and has been called the best, in part because it finishes at a brewery and has a pretty great after-party, but also because it’s a challenging course that is literally lined with cheering spectators.
Aug. 8 & 9 – Tour de Pain, Jacksonville. This is actually three races in less than 24 hours. It starts with a 4 mile beach run at twilight on the 8th. On the 9th, they have a morning 5K and an afternoon 1 mile race. Ouch!
Sept. 27 – Expedition Everest Challenge, Animal Kingdom, Disney World. This race starts with an obstacle course, has a 5K, then a scavenger hunt all in Animal Kingdom in Disney World. Word on the street is that the after party will be pretty clutch.
Nov. 14 & 15 – Ragnar Relay, Clearwater to Daytona Beach. Many of you are familiar with the Hood to Coast relay, well; this is the Florida version of that race. Me and 11 of my friends are going to run from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean (191 miles) in less than 24 hours. This means we’ll have to do about 16 miles each in several legs, running under 7:30 seconds per mile. How great is that!
Dec. 6 – St. Jude Marathon, Memphis TN. 26.2 miles through the downtown area.
A7: I know, right!
Q8: What was eight for?
A8: Eight? Eight? I forget what eight was for.
Q9: Wait a minute, isn’t the Run for the Pies on your 30th birthday? Isn’t there a better way to spend this auspicious occasion?
A9: Indeed, it is on my birthday and yes, I can think of a few other ways I would like to spend this day. If I had my long since estranged druthers, I would be sitting in the bleachers in Wrigley Field, having a giant, giant beer and slowly finding myself in the cups.
Q10: Are you freaking out about turning 30?
A10: No, this will be the best decade of my life. I believe my life will come together this decade and be better than I could have imagined just a year ago. (An alternate answer would be: Yes, I’m freaking out! I want to strap some fruit-striped gum to my hands and go play in traffic until I find a tan flavoured Toyota Camry that can just end it all…but that’s more depressing than I like for this blog to be, so…let’s stick with the first answer.
I didn’t get into the NYC Marathon and am running the St. Jude Marathon in Memphis instead. Please donate to my Marathon Challenge.