The First Week of Training

Scott Douglass

February 14, 2016_Coravalentine_CROPPED

Today was my first run in 6 months since Cora was born on September 4th. 2.62 miles. 29 minutes 11:05 pace.  Wow – I’m out of shape.  I was pushing a stroller, but I’m plain out of shape.

Carrie and I weighed Cora this morning and she weighed 13 pounds!  Fantastic news other than the fact that her Daddy has also gained 13 pounds since she was born!  Yep – I’m tracking with her pound for pound.  I’ve been pretty good at finding excuses for not working out my entire life, but a baby is the world’s ultimate excuse generator.  Add in the Holidays, cold temps, dark days and snow on the ground and the opportunity to snuggle with Cora instead of running and I’ll turn on the gas fireplace and pour myself a beer.  I have to change this habit.  Since departing the Navy as a LCDR on active duty in October 2013 and returning home to Bend Oregon (Beer Town USA), I’ve gone from 205 pounds to 230 pounds! (13 of those in the last six months alone)

Part of the problem is I’m the race director of a Beer Chase series and we work with nearly 30 craft brewery sponsors.  In Bend, meetings are held at breweries all over town so any meeting after 12pm is fair game for a pint.  So, in order to jumpstart a healthier routine and lose weight, I stopped drinking today.  I’ll allow myself to enjoy a glass of wine on Thursday date nights with Carrie, but I don’t need the 500 calorie pints if I’m trying to get back in running shape.

 

February 18, 2016 – 60 Days to Boston

It’s official – I’m running Boston Marathon on April 18th, without having qualified, without ever running a marathon before, and with only 60 days to train.  This might be the worst decision I’ve ever made after a few too many beers …or it could be the most enriching, motivating, inspirational and life-changing decision I’ll never forget.

Most likely though, and my wife will agree completely with this statement, I’ll probably never let anyone forget – as I somehow always find a way to tell everyone I meet that I’m training for a marathon 🙂  Which totally reminds me of a joke…”how can you tell someone is training for a marathon? …Don’t worry, they’ll tell you!”  

 

February 19, 2016 – 59 Days to Boston

So, how did I arrive at this decision to run Boston in less than 60 days and how on earth did I qualify?

The requirement to qualify for Boston was the easy part – I didn’t.  Holy smokes!…3:10 marathon for 36-39 year old male? That’s like a 7:15 min/mile pace, which is not even remotely possible for me…have you seen how big my thighs are?  My nickname in high school was Moose and I’ve never hunted animals, so I’ll let you guess how I got that nickname.  In reality, many people that run Boston don’t qualify and gain entry in other ways such as raising money for a selected charity.  Boston Athletic Association is gracious to support fellow marathon organizers and they provide a limited number of invitational entries.  As a member of the Board of Big Sur Marathon for the last seven years, the thought of putting my name in the hat crossed my mind every year but I always came up with a good reason to not take the chance. This year was different.

This year I turned 36 years old and I became the proud first time father to a beautiful little girl, Cora. In her first 6 months of life she gained 13 pounds and so did I.

The average age of a person running their first marathon in the United States is 36 years old. Why 36?  This is certainly not based on scientific study, but here’s my best guess. In your twenties your metabolism is your friend and staying active and fit is helpful in finding a life partner. I’m not sure if there are statistics available on whether married couples weigh more or less a few years after their wedding day, but I think we all know the typical trend.  Marriage sometimes leads to children and that adds a whole new list of reasons to skip that daily run.  So, when you get into your mid thirties, you need an epic fitness goal to break out of that cycle and the marathon is considered a lifetime achievement.    

 

February 21, 2016 – 57 Days to Boston

Part of the reason I have chosen to take on this challenge of running a marathon is to force myself back into the habit of running consistently and to set a goal (probably a little too lofty of a goal:), but with only 60 days to train – I won’t have any room for excuses.  I also don’t have any room for getting injured or sick either.

Which brings me to where I am right now…injured already.  I downloaded the Garmin Map My Run marathon training app and started following it.  I had to trick the app by stating I was an intermediate runner in order for the app to create a marathon training plan for Boston Marathon on April 18th.  I’m clearly a little closer to “couch to marathon,” but I have always been able to get back into running shape pretty quickly.  As a military officer, I’m pretty good at following directions so when the app said run this many minutes, I just followed instructions.  I started a little too quickly though and after my first three runs in three days of 30 mins, 50 mins, and 40 mins…I’m laid up and I’ve lost 5 days due to some serious low back pain and I can barely walk.

I’m rethinking my approach to training and I’m going to hire a Marathon coach.  In Bend there are many great resources for marathon training and we have many talented runners and coaches.