Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Talking Myself Down Off the Ledge

After I completed Barb's Race I found myself in a bit of a funk because I no longer had a training goal. During my despair, I signed up for the California International Marathon (CIM). Once again I had a training goal.

Last year I ran a marathon on my birthday...33 laps around McKinley Park in Sacramento (that is a whole other story) this isn't my first marathon rodeo. However, this year I had about 4 months to train instead of about 6 weeks.
Me and my cheering squad after my b-day marathon

Last Sunday was my last "long" run before CIM on December 8th. Yesterday I decided to compare this year's 20 mile run against last year's 20 mile run. I expected to see a BIG improvement. I was certain I dropped about 15 minutes. To my shock and horror, there was only a six minute difference!!! OMG! I was feeling so good about my run on Sunday. How can it only be six minutes faster?

Tale of the Tape
This year, 20 miles took me 2:57. Last year, 3:02:51. It doesn't seem plausible or fair that after all the training I've done, that I've only been able to drop six minutes. Why am I killing myself? 

I talked myself down off the ledge and took a closer look at the data (this is why I love my Garmin and Garmin Connect).


Elapsed Time: This year 3:00:24 / last year 3:08:56 (lots more resting in 2013) Eight minutes of resting plus 6 minute time difference = 14 minute overall difference

Pace: This year 8:50 minutes per mile / last year 9:04 minutes per mile. Also, last year I started off fast and slowly died. This year, it was a nice easy progression from slow to fast...and I think I could have kept going.

Workout Intensity: Here is something that is not readily apparent in the comparison above. I've been training much harder than I did last year at this same time. My legs are definitely not rested and should feel much better on race day.

Look at the two weeks below. 2013 vs. 2012. In 2012, I did not have a single workout recorded in the week before my 20 mile run. This year however, I had quite a full week of workouts.


Seeing all this makes me feel much better about hitting my goal at CIM. I also feel better about all the time and effort I have put into training.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

20 Done!

Today was my last long run before CIM. Armed with nothing more than a bottle of water and and two GU packs, I hit the road. Since I could not stand to zig zag through my neighborhood one more time, I decided to work on my mental toughness and run around the Embarcadero loop eight times. It's two miles from my house to Cumberland and each loop is roughly two miles...perfect route for a 20 mile run and HS wouldn't have to worry about me (The Niners were playing so my escort stayed home).

If you want to see something funny, follow this link to my Garmin data and click on the "player" button can watch my loops :-)

Last Long Run Before CIM by tpengilly at Garmin Connect - Details

My legs were pretty tired at the end of the run. I also had a couple of raw spots on my back where my sports bra rubbed. Other than that, I felt really good about the run. This is my longest run this year and it follows a brick workout on Friday and a 24 mile ride on Saturday. Come race day, I am going to be rested and ready. I'm starting to look forward to race day and Leatherby's!

Cloudsurfers - Run #3

The shoes felt good during the run. I did develop a blister on the bottom of one of my toes.  However, it could have happened with any of my shoes...I just don't know because I haven't done a 20 mile run in my Brooks or Mizunos. I am having second thoughts about racing in the Cloudsurfers though... I've got three weeks to decide.


As soon as I got home I had HS help me out of my compression calf sleeves. I changed into a swim suit and headed to the back yard for an "ice bath." I was going to sit on the pool cover, but after my feet hit the icy water, the idea of sitting down didn't sound so good. I sat on the edge of the pool and tried to slide towards the middle. As soon as my butt touched the water, I was ready to stand up. 

I managed to stand on the cover, ankle deep, for about ten minutes. I then switched to the hot tub for a little soak and stretch for about 15-20 minutes. I went back to the cover for another foot/ankle soak for 10 minutes and then back to the hot tub.

After that, I changed into my compression pants (I will probably sleep in these tonight). I also got our TENS/EMS unit out of the closet. This machine is pretty incredible. Hook up the electrodes, turn it on, set the strength and your pain goes away. TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator, and EMS stands for Electronic Muscle Stimulator. Both settings can be used to treat chronic pain (my right achilles always feels tender). While the units function similarly they are different. The TENS unit stimulates the nerve endings while the EMS unit stimulates the muscles. I'm using the EMS setting.

Another foot pic

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Sutter Creek and the World's Best Pizza

Today's ride is definitely one I will do again and again.  Sutter Creek is a quaint little town in Amador county that still maintains a Gold Rush era feel. It took us a little more than an hour to get there from Stockton, which wasn't too bad. The plan for today (as the start of our 70.3 training) was to ride from Sutter Creek to Volcano.

James had given us the option of extending our ride by riding from Ione to Sutter Creek. However, after Anthony said that it would "make a man out of you," I knew that it wasn't the ride for me...especially given the fact that I plan on running 20 miles tomorrow.

I would have liked to stop and take some pictures along the way. Couldn't stop! I was peddling my butt off to try and catch Paul. If I managed to pull close, he would just ride away. I could see him off in the distance pedaling with such a smooth cadence. What the heck was I doing wrong?

He did wait up for me once when he passed a strange dude walking along the road. I took the guy for a serial killer. Who walks alone in hills wearing an overcoat and gloves? It had to be a serial killer. So I caught up with Paul, he made sure I was safe, and then he left me again. LOL

First to the top...the two new Shivs
After everyone made it up to Volcano, we turned around and headed down the mountain. I did much better on the descent than I usually do. Typically I ride my brakes but today I tried to ease up a bit and let gravity have it's way with me. There are some rough patches of asphalt along the way so I did slow down through those areas. I also slowed down when the grade got just a bit too steep.

Sutter Creek Ride by tpengilly at Garmin Connect - Details

Pizza, Pizza

After everyone made it back to Sutter Creek, we headed to Pizza Plus which was conveniently located next to where we were all parked.

Love our group! 
Half of our group ordered sandwiches. The other half ordered the most amazing pizza in the world. It was pretty funny to sit there while we devoured this pizza in between comments like "The is the best pizza I've ever had", "The crust is amazing", "Mmmmmm". I know the sandwich people were hating themselves.

Pizza envy!
According to my Garmin, I burned 1,402 calories...I'm pretty sure I ate more than that (that's what she said). Oh stop!

Watch Out for Hay Trucks

We got stuck behind a couple of hay trucks on the way home. The driver in front of us could not seem to control his truck and kept driving on to the shoulder of the road.  The worst part, that had everyone in our vehicle holding their breath, was when this idiot came up on a cyclist. Luckily he took a cue from the driver in front of him and moved over.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Beautiful Day for a Brick (Cloudsurfers Run 2)

Thanks to my 9/80 schedule at work I have every other Friday off. Today was an "off" Friday and therefore a good day for a brick workout.

Love the fall colors

Today was also HS's maiden voyage on his Specialized S-Works Transition.

Another flashy red bike for HS

Since HS hadn't worked out all the bugs on his bike setup (and brakes), we took it easy on our ride.

Brick - Bike by tpengilly at Garmin Connect - Details

After we got back from our ride, I changed into some running shorts and laced up my On Cloudsurfers. This was my second time running in my new shoes. The first time was Wednesday before swim practice. I have to admit that Wednesday's run seemed a bit slow and my legs felt heavy. Of course, in my mind, it was the shoes and not my training.

Today my legs felt much better. Actually, my legs always feel pretty good coming off the bike. I remember the first time I did a brick workout.  When I looked at my Garmin, I couldn't believe my pace. Today was no different. My first mile was 8:12, followed by 7:39 and 7:24 for miles 2 and 3. I walked the last .65 as a cool down so my average pace was off.

Brick - Run by tpengilly at Garmin Connect - Details

Since Barb's Race, I've been doing one brick workout a month. I think I am going to increase this to two times a month...or every "off' Friday.

On Cloudsurfers - Run #2

The shoes felt even better today than they did on Wednesday. I am still amazed at how quiet they are when I run.

My feet were really cold coming off the bike, so it took about a half a mile before I could feel my toes. One of the comments I read about the On shoe is that the uppers don't breathe well and can make your feet hot. Honestly, my biggest problem in the winter months is not being able to feel my toes. I didn't find the shoes to be too hot or too cold...they were just right.

My dirty clouds

Little teeth to lock the clouds before push off

  • Cloudster - For all types of runners or walkers. Made to start and have fun.
  • Cloudrunner - Made to build endurance and to train on and off the road.
  • Cloudsurfer - Made to increase performance, to train and to compete.
  • Cloudracer - Made to perform in competitions.
One review I read about these shoes said that they made it difficult to run poorly. Right now I am leaning towards wearing these on Sunday for my 20 mile run. If they perform well and feel great, I may just wear them for CIM.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Athlinks Beta Test

Today I got an email saying I was selected to be a beta tester for the new Athlinks website. I am so excited! This is the first time I've ever been picked to do something like this! Now I get to geek out on new software and track my race results. Who could ask for more???

While it is OK for me to blog about the new site, they have asked that I refrain from posting any full screen shots or writing about some of the new and exciting features in detail. So I will hold back and post what I can.

In case you haven't checked out, here is what the Athlinks site currently looks like...

Personally, I never cared too much for the current screen layout. It's a little too busy and I'm not fond of the color scheme. The new site has fixed that issue. It is well laid out and visually appealing. Here is just a little taste of what the new site looks like...

As you can see, it is much cleaner than the original site. I've just begun to poke around, but as far as I can tell, all of my existing data is still easily accessible. I've noticed a couple of new features so far that have made me think "Nice touch!".

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Cloudsurfer - Day One

On my long run last Sunday, I decided that my Brooks Pure Cadence had reached the end of their lives. Being the gear geek that I am, I decided to try something different. I ordered a pair of On Cloudsurfers from

If you follow triathlons, you probably have already guessed why I wanted to try these shoes ;-) If you don't follow triathlons, I'll fill you in...Frederik Van Lierde just won the Ironman World Championships in Kona wearing a pair of On Cloudracers.

There aren't many shoe stores that carry On. The closest store to me was sold out of all of the women's On. My only option was to order a pair without knowing how they fit or what the sizing was like. I read several reviews online and everyone said the shoe fit to size so you didn't need worry about sizing up or down. I usually wear a 9 or 9-1/2 in street shoes and a 10 in running shoes. I ordered a 9-1/2 in the On and they fit perfectly.

After deciding what size to order, my next challenge was deciding which shoe I wanted. There are currently four shoe styles. The On website shows the shoes along with a corresponding pace. I was a bit perplexed because the "performance" shoe had a 4-5 min/mile pace which was faster than the Cloudracer (the "competition" shoe). As it turns out, when my package arrived, the Cloudsurfer's 4-5 minute pace was actually kilometers, not miles. Someone needs to tell On to fix their website :-)

Who's running this fast?

First Impressions

The shoes have an interesting look. They aren't flashy like my hot pink Brooks Pure Cadence or cool like my Mizuno Wave Sayornara. They have a weird sort of Euro look to them...sort of like some of the stuff from Ikea (Don't bother emailing me, I know On is from Switerzland and Ikea is Swedish...I'm just saying).

Fresh out of the box
Ok, the thing with the laces is pretty cool, but that's just for case you want to pick a different color. These babies will be getting a pair of bungee laces as soon as I can get by Fleet Feet.

I took the shoes out for a quick 3 mile run before swim practice. You would think that the lugs on the bottom would feel weird but they didn't. The shoes were cushy without being overly soft.  Another thing I noticed was how quiet these shoes are. Normally, I hear my feet slapping the ground...smack, smack, smack, smack. These shoes were I was running on clouds :-)

My one concern with these shoes is the color. All white! How long will they look like this? My last pair of Brooks Pure Cadence were black. Oh the horrors that those poor shoes saw but they kept my secrets hidden well. Even when my Brooks were dirty, they still looked pretty good. The Cloudsurfers probably won't handle the dirt as well, but only time will tell. 

I'm hoping to take the Cloudsurfers out for another short run on Friday before deciding if I want to use them for my next long run. I'm also not convinced they would be the right shoe for CIM. They are a bit on the heavy side so I might be racing in the Sayonara.

OK, I Admit It...I Take Supplements!!!

Let's be honest, I'm 45 and HS is just a bit older :-) We can't put our bodies through the all the training we do without a little help. Below is a list of the 4 supplements I use on a daily basis (besides Advil LOL!)


HS and I each have a glass of FRS every morning with our breakfast (We've been drinking this for quite a few years now). We drink the low calorie version which is 15 calories a serving. I will often have a glass before heading out on a long run too. When Max and Lindsey come to visit, we are usually left with an empty bottle.

According to the FRS Website...
"All FRS® products feature quercetin, a powerful all-natural antioxidant found in foods such as blueberries, red apples and grapes. It has been shown in multiple clinical trials to provide sustained energy, increased endurance, immune system support along with many other health benefits.FRS uses only QU995™, the purest quercetin available, and combines it with a patented mix of green tea extract and vitamins to deliver optimum performance.
A serving of FRS contains a healthy amount of quercetin, but to get the equivalent you'd have to be willing - and able - to eat 40 apples in a sitting! 
Instead of using lots of caffeine and sugar to give your body a lift, FRS activates your body's own energy-producing mechanisms for sustained energy without fear of crashing. 
Quercetin acts in the body as a “super fuel” that mimics the effects of exercise by enhancing the production of the body's mitochondria, the energy-producing units in cells. Traditionally, exercise training has been the only practical way to increase the amount of mitochondria in cells."
A study was published in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. It found that quercetin increases VO2max and endurance capacity.
An independent, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study showed that when 12 healthy, active (but not highly trained) men and women consumed 500 mg of quercetin (QU995™) in an enriched drink mix twice daily for 7 days, they experienced a 13.2 percent increase in ride time to fatigue (based on bicycle endurance capacity) and a 3.9 percent increase in VO2max (maximum oxygen consumption). Read full clinical study.


Ok, before I discuss Results & Recovery and Shakeology, I just want to make it clear that I am a Beachbody "coach" and I earn money by selling these products. That being said, I have been using these two products for years and swear by them. Even though it has been almost 2 years since we stopped hosting the Warehouse Workout and are not as active in Beachbody as we used to be, I keep my Beachbody account active so I can continue getting my 25% discount! I am writing about these products because they are something I take on a daily basis, no different than FRS.

P90X Results & Recovery

HS and I started using Results & Recovery back in 2009. What I love the most about this product is that it doesn't taste like a protein/recovery drink. In fact, blend it with some ice and you will have something reminiscent of and Orange Julius. Does it work? All I can tell you is that when I take it after a strenuous work out, I am able to do it again the following day.

Since I don't want to reinvent the wheel, I'll just copy and paste some of the info from the Beachbody website...
"Proper post-workout nutrition is a crucial element in how quickly and completely your body recovers, benefits from, and adapts to exercise. Studies show that if you recharge your body the right way during the first hour after exercise, you can increase your ability to recover by more than 100 percent. P90X Results and Recovery Formula combines the exact nutrients you need, in a ratio of four parts carbs to one part protein, to ensure speedy muscle repair after challenging workouts.
Extensive scientific research has shown that there is a 60-minute window of opportunity right after exercise when muscle cells are primed to repair, rebuild, and adapt from a workout. P90X Results and Recovery Formula is designed to take advantage of this interval, fueling your muscles with the exact nutrients they need to reap the greatest benefit." 

Shakeology is one of my morning "snacks". Right now I'm hooked on the vanilla flavor and will blend it with ice and a banana for a treat that seems quite sinful. I don't talk about this one too much because it is on the expensive side, but in my eyes it is worth it. I can't explain all of the 70 different ingredients or what they do, so if you are interested in learning more, just go to my website. There are some great videos that explain the product and the benefits.

How it compares to other "shakes"

16g of protein and lots and lots of vitamins

Recently Beachbody added the option of allowing people to make a one-time sampler pack purchase. It's about time! Now, at least people who are interested can try a few flavors and see what they like.  I used to hate trying to explain to people what "Greenberry" tasted like!  LOL

Sample Pack 


Given everything I've just listed above, there is really no reason for me to take any additional vitamins. However, nowadays, almost every major supplement is available in "gummy" form. So I cheat on my "no candy" rule by chewing a few adult gummy vitamins :-)

Just a kid at heart

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Central Valley Triathlon Club (formerly Lodi Masters Triathletes)

Have you ever thought about doing a triathlon but didn't know where to start? The answer could be in your own backyard.

  • Need work in the pool?
  • Want to become stronger on the bike?
  • Not really a runner?
  • Don't want to workout with a bunch of crazy, elite athletes?
Don't worry, we are not a team of crazy, elite athletes. We've all struggled (or continue to struggle) in one or more aspects of triathlon, but we continue to work on our weak points to get better. One of the best things about Lodi Masters Triathletes is that we are more than just a club. We offer actual training throughout the year to help you reach your goals. 

Quite a few people have told me that they would like to do a triathlon but that they can't swim...don't worry, we've got two coaches that will get you from floundering-fish to Phelps in no time!

Meet the Coaches

James Cotta is the head coach. He is a grape grower with a passion for helping people improve their athletic performance. When he's not coaching us old folks, he can be found in the pool coaching the kiddos. James' racing background includes criteriums (look it up...its CRAZY!), triathlons and Masters swimming. Coach James recently returned from the Huntsman World Senior Games with some nice hardware!

John & James
John Griffin, head coach of the Lodi Swim Club, is also on deck. Usually he is coaching his swimmers, but he is always willing to give you a workout if you ask. I try to avoid eye contact, so I don't get one of his workouts :-)  John has been a coach  for the Lodi Swim Club since 1982 and has been the head coach since 1986.  He coaches the swimmers 13 and up in the Senior or National group.

Who We Are

We are a group of people with a common interest in training for and competing in multi-sport events. Most of our members have busy lives with work and family commitments. Although the name says "Lodi", we have members from Stockton, Tracy, Manteca, and Modesto.  We have all ages and abilities on our team.

We have an active Facebook group where members converse daily. Scheduling changes are posted when they occur. We also share tips and techniques, ask questions, post photos, etc. Not only is this a great way to share information, but it also builds relationships.

When We Practice

As a member of Lodi Masters Triathletes, you can swim any time the Lodi Masters (swimmers) practice. Generally this is M-F mornings 5-6am or in the evenings (times vary but are usually around 5-6pm). Since we share the pool with local schools and swim & water polo teams, times/locatons sometimes change.

Tokay High School
There is also a group activity on Saturday mornings. Saturdays typically focus on cycling and running (and food).

Saturday ride, followed by breakfast at Bob's
Bike skills clinic

Open water swimming at Lake Camanche

Tuesday Night Run - Fleet Feet Stockton (Free & fun!)

What Type of Races

We do more than just triathlons. We also do duathlons and running events. Members are welcome to make race suggestions. It's not hard to convince teammates to come join you...we love to race!

2013 Kickstart Duathlon - Folsom Lake, CA
2013 Avenue of the Vines - Half Marathon
What's great about this group is that we have something for everyone. If your goal is to do a sprint triathlon, no problem...we do those. If your goal is to do a 70.3 race (or longer), we do those too. LMT is not focused on one type of race distance. Regardless of the type of race you want to train for, we have someone on the team with the same goal.

2013 Fathers Day Triathlon - Rancho Seco Park
We had a great turn out for the Fathers Day triathlon. In fact, this was the graduation race for the spring Triathlon 101 class. Quite a few of our families even had multiple generations racing.

2013 Vineman
In 2014, several of our members have decided to go long and have signed up for either Vineman 70.3 or Barb's Race (also 70.3). Coach James is still trying to decide whether he wants to be 100% coach for those races or if he wants to tackle the half aquabike again. I say "AQUABIKE"!!!

Fun Facts
  • Our first race as a team was the 2012 Golden State Triathlon in Sacramento, CA
  • Our oldest member is in his 60's
  • Married couples that train together get a discount
  • Coach James can be bribed with Subway or donuts (just checking to see if he actually reads this)
Final Thoughts

Sorry if this post came across as a shameless plug for my was! There is a quote that is often tossed around that goes something like "If you're not growing, you're dying". This can be true whether you are talking about a business, a church or a triathlon training group. We want to encourage new people to come and check us out...kick the tires...see if we are a fit. We want to grow!

I remember how nerve wracking it was to walk on to the pool deck at Tokay the first time. I made my hubby go with me for morale support (he later ended up joining the team too). Coach James and the rest of the team understands this, we've all been there. Once you meet us, I think you will agree that we are quite likable :-)

If you are reading this post because a friend sent it to you, contact that friend and ask them to bring you to practice (just for a little morale support). We would be thrilled to meet you and help you get started on your triathlon journey! Don't know anyone on the team... leave me a comment and I will make sure I'm at practice that day to meet you and introduce you to everyone.

#dreamingseason #trainingpeaks

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Black Bear Vurps

Since my BFF was running her first 10k at the Mermaid Run San Francisco, HS and I were on our own in terms of breakfast. Normally we meet BFF and Mr. T after church for a little Mexican grub. I suggested we eat before church...that way I could come home and get my 18 mile run out of the way. HS agreed, so we got up, got ready and headed to Black Bear Diner in Manteca.

HS got chicken fried steak and eggs, no surprise there. I opted for the Southern Scramble which was a split biscuit, two sausage patties, scrambled eggs, and lots and lots of gravy. I also came with the best hash browns I have had in a long time. I could only eat half the food on my plate, but it was more than enough...and it would be hanging around longer than I wanted. (I also admit to a few BIG bites of HS's pancake!)

Yesterday's Ride

Before I get into today's long run, let me briefly review yesterday's ride. James took the group to Del Puerto Canyon Rd. This was a new ride for us and it was absolutely beautiful with hardly any cars on the road.

James and Nancy
 As you can see from the elevation chart below, the ride starts off with a gradual climb until you hit "The Wall". After that it's all down hill with a few small hills right before the end. I took it easy on "The Wall" and walked the super steep sections. I did this in an attempt to save my legs for today's run.

No shame in walkin'

I eventually made it to the top. Someday I would like to keep going, but for now I am content with this accomplishment.

Had to take a "selfie" because everyone else was already headed
down :-)

Today's Run

Earlier this week I ran an idea past Mr. T concerning my pace. Two weeks ago I did a 53 mile ride on Saturday, followed by a 15 mile run on Sunday. Felt fine. Last week I completed a duathlon on Saturday, followed by a 16 mile run on Sunday. Both of these runs were done at a pace determined by the MARCO Marathon calculator. Both times, I felt relatively good after the run. 

I contacted Mr. T to see what he thought about picking up the pace a bit. If I could do my training runs at race pace, especially following a hard workout the day before, maybe I was being a bit too conservative with my race goal time. He agreed, so we negotiated some pace times and I programmed my Garmin.

Below is a chart comparing today's run to last week's run. For the first 16 miles today, I was doing better and hitting my faster pace. Then I hit the wall...maybe it was the fact that I was passing my house for the 3rd time on this run, or maybe it was the fact that my legs were super tired, but about 1/4 a mile in to my final 2 miles, I could not run any more and started walking. I walked for at least 1/2 a mile before I convinced my legs that they could still run. I finally got moving and ran the rest of the way home. 

The 1/2 mile of walking ruined my overall pace and I finished the 18 miles with a 9 min per mile average. Boo :-( However, if I only look at the first 16, it was a good run...especially following yesterday's ride.

Next week will be a 20 miler, but I have decided not to push the pace. I am going to dial it back a bit and focus on staying healthy.

Ice bath on the pool cover

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Kick Cancer's Butt

Last Friday, I signed up to compete in Barb's Race again...

Barb's Race was developed as a fundraising event to be held simultaneously with the Full Vineman. As both events have grown and evolved over the years the goal of raising funds for local cancer related groups has continued to be an important element of Barb's Race. Over $750,000 has been raised for these organization since the inception of Barb's Race in 2001. In 2014 all registered participants of Barb's Race will be required to fundraise a minimum of $250. This amount is in addition to the entry fee.

Barb's Race is being held in honor of Barbara Recchia, a long-time Vineman Volunteer and race committee member who has twice been facd with the daunting task of fighting cancer.

I am reaching out to all my friends and family to please make a donation. The race organizers have made the process very simple... just follow this link...

Friday, November 1, 2013

Marathon Pace - Take 2

In about a month, I am going to be running in my second marathon. Last year (without much training) I decided to run a marathon because it was put on by a race company called "Tracy's Racing" and the race was on my birthday. Probably not the best reasons to sign up for a 26.2 mile race.

I survived!

Since I wasn't familiar with marathon pacing, I Googled it! I found a website called "MARCO Marathon Calculator". The premise is simple, select your race distance, enter your desired finish time, and the website will calculate your pace for each mile.

Like I said, I had not been training for a marathon, I had no idea what pace I could maintain, and I definitely had no clue as to what a reasonable finish time was. So, what should a marathon newbie do? Did you say take the Boston Qualifying time for your age group and subtract 10 minutes? Ding! Ding! Ding! If that was your answer, then you win a prize because that is EXACTLY what I did!

This turned out to NOT be a very good plan. There was no way, with my lack of training, that I could reach that finish time. On top of that, I started out way too fast and slowly deteriorated. 

Birthday Pace 2012

My CIM Plan

This year, after several triathlons and a couple half marathons, I have once again turned to the MARCO calculator. This time I was a little more conservative with my finish time. I have also been practicing running at the correct pace.

CIM Plan

Hopefully, when the starting gun goes off next month, I won't take off like one of my dogs chasing a squirrel :-)