Monday, May 30, 2011

Week 1 of Akron Marathon Training

It is hard to believe that the Cleveland Marathon was only two weeks ago.  It feels like it was months ago, except for when I run.  You probably already know, but I pulled out of the Buffalo Marathon to focus on getting in better shape for the rest of the year.  I would like to continue to become a better distance runner was well as lose another 20-30 lbs.  So,  I will chronicle my training through weekly updates.  Kinda like I did during the Cleveland preparation.  I'll be focusing on running the Akron Marathon this fall as well as a bunch of other events throughout the summer.

This week was pretty good to me.  We finally had some good weather here this weekend and I took advantage of it by riding over a 130 miles this weekend.  I also cross-trained by playing some flag football.  I played quarterback and led our team to an impressive victory too.  I decided to go hardcore yesterday and worked on hill's the elevation profile from my ride.

The ride went better than expected, but I got a little aggressive with the miles at the end.  I bonked pretty hard with 6 to go.  Ran out of both water and good.  Thankfully, the last bit was downhill.  So it wasn't too miserable.  All-in-all it was a fun ride and I earned a few beers that afternoon.  Unfortunately, I ate something that made me sick and I spent the evening wishing for death and watching my favorite nascar driver run out of gas one turn from the win.

This week, I will be focusing on improving my bike endurance as well as maintaining my running legs.  This weekend has a couple cools events i've been looking forward too.  On Saturday is Pedal with Pete Charity Ride and Sunday is the Lake Health Half Marathon as well as the Ride United Charity Ride.  I'd like to do two out of the three.  I'll see how the legs feel and what the weather is before I decide.

Running:  7.50 miles with an average pace of 9:20

Cycling:  140 miles with an average speed of 16.8

1 flag football game

Total time:  10 hrs 53 min.

Cals burned:  7,384


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Good News / Bad News

The good news is that I am not injured.  The bad news is that I have not recovered quick enough to run this weekend's Buffalo Marathon.  I had planned on running my 2nd marathon just 14 days after the Cleveland Marathon to join the marathon maniac club, but i'm still plagued by some minor aches and my legs lack the strength to run another marathon.  This week's runs have been hard and i'm getting sick to my stomach to the point of almost earning a pukie.  Unfortunately, I am not far along enough in my distance running life to attempt this.  Sometimes I forget that I've only been running distances over 6 miles for 8 months and I need to do this longer before attempting something this extreme.  I had really hoped to achieve this accomplishment, but I am just not ready.  So, its been a rough week and I can't help feeling like I have failed instead of basking in the glory still of surviving my first marathon.  I understand I shouldn't feel this way, but I do.  That is just how I am.  I'll now focus my training on getting in better shape, losing more weight, and having a strong run at the Akron Marathon.  Marathon manics, save me a seat at the bar.  I'll won't be joining you this spring, but I hope too within the next year.  I've also made some changes to my June schedule that I have listed below.

June 4:  Pedal with Pete (64 miles) or Trail of Beers run.
June 5:  Ride United (60 miles) or Lake Health 1/2 marathon
* depending on weather and legs to decide which 2 events to do.

June 13:  Sunday In June Ride (64 miles)

June 19:  Towpath 10/10 miler


Monday, May 23, 2011

Product review: SPIBelt

I recently had the chance to use a great product and would like to share my experience with everyone.  Truth be told, SPIbelt saved my running butt.  Ever since I was a little kid, Lemonade flavored drinks always upset my stomach when consumed during activity.  Unfortunately, it seems every event that involves running or cycling.  Only offers lemonade flavored sports drinks.  I had been worried about this while training for my first marathon, but still hoped the flavor of the sport drinks would be fruit punch.  Well, my fears were realized when it was announced that the Cleveland Marathon would be supplying Lemonade flavored sports drink.  It was mostly my fault for not being properly prepared with a back up plan, but I found myself several days away from a marathon with no real hydration or eating plan.  My dilemma was  how to carry enough carbohydrates without weighing myself down with a hydration belt, plus mens running shorts do not have sufficient space for what I would need to carry.

All my problems were solved after a quick visit to the Second Sole in Akron, Ohio.  After explaining my problem, they were quick to recommend a SPIbelt.

A SPIbelt is a simple spandex pouch that is attached to a comfortable elastic belt.  The pouch easily expands to hold whatever you place inside and is sealed securely by a high quality zipper.  A phone, GU, bars, keys, and etc all would easily fit inside this pouch.  You can wear the belt comfortably with the pouch in the front or back.  I opted to run with it in the back and would slide it around to gain access.

The SPIbelt is extremely comfortable and you forget about it quickly.  I had mine packed with 7 GU packs and it wasn't at all noticeable.  How much does all this quality cost?  I thought it was very reasonably priced at 20 dollars.  Apart from stability shoes, it is the best investment I have ever made in regards to running gear and I will not do a long run without it again.  So, if face pocket issues like I do.  Definitely check out a SPIbelt.

Here is a picture with 7 GU packs.

This is how easily all that fit in the SPIbelt.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

2011 Cleveland Marathon - Playlist

Several people requested this and I had wanted to post it prior to the race, but ran out of time.  Here is my playlist for the Cleveland Marathon.  It was a little more heavy on the metal side than I usually have, but I was grumpy from the weather forecast.  My next marathon will be a little heavier on the Trance side, so I can just zone out.  btw - ignore the Dave Matthews.  I made the promise I would to put it in my mix for a banana along the route.


1 - The Ecstasy Of Gold by Metallica
2 - Psychosocial by  Slipknot
3 - Control Me  by Surrounder
4 - Now Thy Death Day Come by Exodus
5 - Neuro by X-Cabs
6 - Transmission (Public Domain Remix) by  Fast
7 - Encore Une Fois - Future Breeze Mix by Sash!
8 - The World Is Mine (Nat Monday Remix) by David Guetta featuring JD Davis
9 - 1998 by Binary Finary
10 - Make Some Noise by Beastie Boys
11 - Head Crusher by Megadeth
12- Thrill  by Bastian vs. Ernesto
13 - Enviromental Product by Brisk & Vagabond
14 - World Painted Blood by Slayer
15 - Blackened by Metallica
16 - Wasting My Time by Dj Urdan Chris
17 - Acapella (Benny Benassi Remix) by Kelis
18 - In My World by Anthrax
19 - Violent Rrevolution by Kreator
20 - Oildale (Leave Me Alone) by Korn
21 - Crazy Horse by Black Label Society
22 - The Obsidian Conspiracy  by Nevermore
23 - Set to Fail by Lamb of God
24 - Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck by Prong
25 - Domination by Pantera
26 - Superstar (Dub Mix) by David May
27 - Drive In Drive Out by Dave Matthews
28 - Don't Play No Game That I Can't Win (feat. Santigold) by Beastie Boys
29 - Barbra Streisand (HK Mix) by Weekend Millionaires
30 - Something Good '08 by Utah Saints
31 - 2gether (Extended Mix) [feat. Kanobby]  by Far East Movement & Roger Sanchez
32 - Twisted Transistor (Dummies Club Mix)  by Korn
33 - Rock Is Dead by Marilyn Manson
34 - Nitro  by Awesome!
35 - From Out Of Nowhere by Faith No More
36 - DJ Virus by Future Shock
37 - Thomas Trouble by ECHOES
38 - Heaven Scent (Original Mix) by Bedrock
39 - Fire Lances of the Hyperzephyrians  by The Sword
40 - 197666 by Murderdolls
41 - Zwitter by Rammstein
42 - Zero Signal by Fear Factory
43 - You’re Not Alone (Violators Remix) by Neon Lights
44 - Worq It by Ignition Technician
45 - Wisconsin Death Trip by Static-X
46 - Vote With a Bullet by Corrosion of Conformity
47 - Turn On the Music by Roger Sanchez
48 - Track 2 by Vicious Vic
49 - Till I Collapse by Eminem
50 - Sweet Dynamite by Mike Danis
51 - Stingwray  by Static-X
52 - Stillborn (feat. Zakk Wylde and Ozzy Osbourne) by Black Label Society
53 - Moments by DJ Tatana
54 - Matt Darey by Electro Buzz
55 - Long Train Runnin by Filo & Peri
56 - Live For This by Hatebreed
57 - Ice Cream Paint Job by Dorrough
58 - Holy Wars...The Punishment Due by Megadeth
59 -Final Product by Nevermore
60 - Exhale byArmin van Buuren featuring System F

Thursday, May 19, 2011

2011 Cleveland Marathon - Additional tid bits.

This is a bit of a different post.  Below are some thoughts I did not initially remember when writing my race report and some are thoughts that really didn't fit in.  So, when you buy a DVD movie you get a bonus disc.  This would be like that bonus disc.

- Their is not a more sobering moment than when you first look at your race photos.  I fully understand I won't be getting modeling jobs anytime soon, but geez I look hideous when I run.

- Funniest sign:  There was a blonde lady on the first part of the course with a sign that said, "Single and supportive."  I would like to pretend she started yelling at me.  I couldn't hear over the headphones, but as I ran by.  Everybody around turned and looked at me.

- Funniest sign runner up:  There was a group of people on the MLK dressed in all black.  I forget what group they were from, but they had a sign that said, "Don't poop!"

- I stopped for a couple seconds after we split from the 1/2 marathoners.  I noticed my beer coupon was falling off and I wanted my free beer.  So I stopped and put it safely in my Spi belt.

- While running on the East side of town in the 17-18 mile area.  The route ran by a church.  Some people were crossing the road to get to church.  Not one of them cheered me on, nor smiled, and they didn't even stop to get out of my way.  I didn't stop either and almost ran one over.  I guess if you are that much of a jerk.  You definitely need to be going to church.

- Anybody see the lady driving down the road at mile 6?  I don't know how the hell she got on the road or what possessed her to ride against traffic with thousands of runners headed right at her.

 - While running through the crowds.  I thought, They are here for someone else but the cheer for us all the same.  Cool.

- Why wasn't the bike path portion of the marathon swept?  There was dead fish and skeletons everywhere.  Definitely an embarrassing moment for the city.

-  By the time I finished.  It was raining and the temp had plummeted to the lower 50's.  Think I could have used a space blanket?  Well, they allowed the 10K runners and 1/2 marathoners to take all the blankets.  I can understand the need for one after a half, but 10K...REALLY!?!?!

- What was the deal with all the doomsday people along the route?

- The Indians are in first place, a Brown is on the cover of Madden, the Cavs had a 2% chance and still got the first pick, and I completed a marathon....wait, maybe the end of the world is here.

- Yes, my post race celebration consists of beers.  My favorite to celebrate with?  Christmas Ale and Summer Shandy.

- I wish I knew how to leave replies to comments on my blog.  I would like to thank everybody for all the nice things they said.  Also, I did not realize to yesterday that only followers could leave comments.  I think I've fixed that situation.

- My first thought as I awoke on Monday?  Oh dear God!  Yes, I hurt that bad.

- I punished my legs on Sunday and they punished me on Monday.

- I got a text from my mom Monday morning asking how I felt.  I let her know I wasn't doing so well.  Her response was "Are you hurting from the marathon or the beer?"

- Yes, a deciding factor in what races I do is how well I can celebrate afterwards.

- How'd the post celebration go?  Drank my weight in Summer Shandy and Christmas Ale then had a steak that was roughly the size of half a cow.  Sounds like a perfect mix of recovery carbs and protein to me.

- I couldn't walk on Monday.  On Tuesday I was getting around like I was 80 and Wednesday I was getting around like I was 60.  Hopefully I am back to normal by the weekend.

- I still haven't committed to running the Buffalo Marathon yet.  I'm about 60/40 right now.

- Taper and carb loading again actually scares me more than a second marathon.

- I consider myself a nice guy and have finished last enough to prove it.  I also live my life by the saying.  I'd rather live my life as a nice guy and finish last all the time than pretend to be somebody i'm not.  With that said.  I really need to re-think my race strategy in regards to being polite when stuck behind slower runners.  I didn't spend 20 weeks training to run my slowest split in the half because people don't have the decency to line up in the correct spot.

Monday, May 16, 2011

2011 Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon - A weekend I'll always remember.

I survived!!!  I'm a marathoner!!!!!  I still can't believe I ran 26.2 miles yesterday and this was a weekend I will never forget.

The final preparation for Sunday's marathon began this past Friday.  I was a nervous wreck and spent the day with the mind running wild.  I wasn't so much nervous about the distance itself as I was with the preparation.  I had read an article earlier in the week that Friday would be the most important day for hydration, carbohydrates, and sleep.  Being that this was my first marathon, I was pretty stressed over doing the right thing.  If I had it to do all over again.  I probably would have taken a half day at work and attended to the Expo during the afternoon.  I think I would have relaxed more.  I capped Friday off having dinner at Casa D'Angelo with fellow runner @JillMEarle.  It was a great time and I had a blast discussing running, taper, and the big weekend ahead.  I got to bed early and logged a solid 9 hours of sleep.

I woke up Saturday and the nerves set in again.  I had planned on attending the Expo in the early afternoon as several Tweeps were going to be there and it would have been great to attend the Expo with them.  I made the decision go up their at the opening as I felt it would be better to spend the afternoon relaxing at home than walking the Expo.  I made the trip up to Euclid and with the help of the Garmin, I easily found the place.  I was really excited to attend the Expo as last year's Akron Marathon was my only other large race.  I didn't know what these events were and just went to get my bib.  I regret that now and was looking forward to visiting each booth.  I made my rounds and picked up some good deals.  I was a little disappointed all the shoes I liked were sold out of my size, which wouldn't have been the case if I went on Friday.  Also, it seemed like the womens items were way better than the mens.  I did see @RachaelMarchini and it was good to visit with her for a few minutes.  After the Expo I went back home to relax for the rest of the day.  I also went for a short 2 mile run to get used to the spibelt and body glide.  That evening I got my gear together and consumed my last bit of carbs.  At this point the nerves really set in.  The fact that I would be running 4 plus hours in the morning had set in.  I was fortunate to fall asleep about a half hour later and slept till my alarm went off at 3AM.

I have a set routine I do in the morning and I like to get to races early so I can prepare.  So, I was up at 3 in the morning getting coffee at McDonalds.  I was surprisingly pretty calm while getting ready and headed to Cleveland at 4:30.  I was fortunate enough to have a VIP parking pass for being an Official Blogger for the marathon and arrived at the stadium at about 5:15.  Parking was 25 yards from the start finish line too!  I made my way over to the stadium and had my first pitstop of several that morning.  It was really nice for the Browns to allow access to the stadium.  It was great to use an actual restroom versus a port-a-pot.  I headed back to the car and made my last good lucks to everyone and tried to relax as much as possible.  As this point worry began to set in about making to the finish.  About 45 minutes prior to the start, I slammed a GU and headed into the stadium again to spend time with the fellow runners prior to the race.  I was lucky enough to run into @Mojamala2, she was running the marathon as well and we discussed the race and if any other tweeps were around.  I went down to the start about ten till 7 and attempted to get in line.  As luck would have it, I lined up right behind fellow running tweep @seesararun.

My only major complaint was the road for the start was not wide enough to handle the 19,000+ runners. Either a wider road is needed or the pace groups need to lengthen out.  My other complaint is towards my fellow runners.  I know I have only been running for about 9 months, but I already understand runner's etiquette.  Please! line up with others that are your speed.  Also, the walkers need to start in the back.  My biggest complaint as well as the hot topic on twitter yesterday was the cluster of runners that lasted for the first 10 miles.  No matter what I tried, I never could establish my pace because I would get stuck behind a pack of slower runners or walkers with nowhere to go.  I spent the first 10 miles complaining to myself about the running traffic.

Ok, enough with the negative.  We were pretty lucky as the conditions ended up being a lot better than what was in the forecast.  There was a good bit of fog that was lifting and the temps were in the low 60's.  Also, there was next to no wind at this point.  As I plugged along, I was amazed at how many people were out cheering us along.  The first 13 miles were packed with people braving what could be a potentially wet day.  The route began with a fair amount of climbing and then flattened out through the next ten miles.   The route took us by lakefront, Ohio City, Tremont, the westside market, west 6th, Tower City, and Progressive Field.  Apart from the amount of running traffic.  It was the most scenic route I have ever ran.  I was also happy to meet a few runners who recognized me from this blog too.

The half marathoners split apart at Tower City and this is when the real journey began.  I felt really good at this point.  Partly because I held up for so long.  My first half split was 2:11, which is the slowest I have ever ran 13.1 in.  I wasn't upset at this time as I figured it would help me at the end.  The work and established a good pace down Euclid.  Mile 18 came pretty quickly and this was the first point that I began to tire.  I was excited to get to MLK as the route video made it look like a slight grade down and I figured I could make to mile 22 fairly easily.  Well, that did not happen.  The MLK was a much steeper than I had expected and I struggled getting down it.  I looked at my watch and had expected to be making time up and was running my worst time of the day.  In a attempt to settle down, I kept repeating..get to mile 20 by 3:30 and you'll be good.  Also, kept repeating get to the lake and it will be flat.  What came next was mile 21-24.

I think part of the joy of being a marathoner is telling your first marathon horror story.  I've heard every thing from hallucinations to blacking out.  When I hit mile 21, everything began to fall apart.  I started gagging and thought I was going to throw up.  At this point I stopped and tried to calm myself down.  I tried thinking about the finish to get motivated and my emotions went nuts.  I started sobbing while thinking about finishing.  Managed to start running again and immediately began hyperventilating.  I stopped again and attempted to calm myself down again.  At this point I arrived at the lake and was happy to run on flat ground.  The joy didn't last as it began to rain and the wind off the lake was murderous.  The temp also began to plummet.  At this point I was surprised to see the 4:30 pace group and I hopped in for the next mile.  I ran with them till about 23 and fell apart again as I couldn't keep up.  This was a crushing blow that I struggled to deal with and emotions went nuts again.  At this point, I was pretty much broken and began to wonder if I would even make it in under 5 hours.  When I got to mile 24, my Ipod saved me.  I never had this song on a playlist before and I don't even know why I added it.  What came on was Till I Collaspe by Eminem.  I hadn't had a second wind yet and it kicked in with this song.  I started to run with authority again and telling myself I would be done in 20 minutes.  I was worried if I was lose it when the song was over, but what I hadn't realized that miracle #2 of the day was about to happen.  I was running along with about 1.5 miles to go and I go see two girls cheering me on to my right.  I couldn't hear them as I had the headphones cranked on high.  As I approached they ran out on the road and at this point I realized it was fellow runners @mollyberries and @finishingfirsts.  I quickly ripped out my headphones to say hello.  They provided me with some much needed support as I tackled the end of the race.  I dug deeper than I ever have in my life trying to hide how tired I was in front of these fellow runners.  Their support continued and they got me to the final left in front of the Rock Hall.  Making that final turn was something I visualized all through training and the race.  It was more than anything I had ever imagined as it was a wall of noise and were people cheering me on.  I lost it as I  could see my family cheering me on and crossing that finish line is something i'll never forget.  I quickly received my finishers medal and found my parents.  The hugs from my parents and sister were a moment I will always cherish.  I couldn't believe I made it and if I wasn't so sore today.  I'd think it was all a dream.

I would like to thank everybody again for their support.  I also would like to thank the Cleveland Marathon again for allowing me to write these blogs for them.  Also, thank you for the Monday Marathon Twitter contest.  If I hadn't won.  I doubt I would have attempted running the full marathon.

I woke up this morning feeling like yesterday was the end too Chapter 1 of a great book.  I am not exactly sure what Chapter 2 will bring, but I am looking forward to experiencing it.  I hope you enjoyed these blogs and feel free to continue to stop bye.  I have a feeling it's gonna be a great year.

I'm the one they call Beal.....and now you can call me a MARATHONER!

Friday, May 13, 2011

20 Weeks of work. A look at the numbers.

I had planned on posting this yesterday, but Blogger has been down for the past 24 hours.  Below is a brief look at the effort I have put towards Sunday's race.  It is hard to believe we can count the time till race day in hours now.  I just wish mother nature will put as much effort in stopping the rain as I did preparing for the race.

Total hours spent training:  148

Total miles ran:  709

Total miles on bike (outside):  325

Hours spent on the indoor bike training or spin class:  22

Total calories burned:  150,698

A special thank you to my Angels and Ninjas

I have to give credit where credit is due on this post.  I got this idea from a past blog post by fellow blogger CookTrainEatRce.  Also, in writing this post, I have two goals.  The first goal is to thank everyone who has supported me throughout the past twenty weeks and the second to is to talk about Twitter.

For those of you who are new to my  blog or accessing it through the Cleveland Marathon homepage for the first time.  I am a huge fan of Twitter.  I first signed up for a twitter on May 6th 2009.  At first I didn't do much with it besides follow some professional cyclists and news feeds.  I did this until this past November.  I am not exactly sure how I got the idea, but I began to follow local twitter feeds from fellow Ohio runners, cyclists, and triathletes.  Through doing that, I have met some truly inspirational people around the country.  I,mm not exactly sure who came out with the name Angels and Ninjas, but I think it was either @cooktraineatrce or @Tridiesel.  Angels and Ninjas is a support group of fellow athletes.  We share our training tips, workouts, and provide constant support to each other.  Well, except for Tuesdays and Thursdays.  That is trash talk time, which pretty much ends up being a battle of trash talk between Ohio Athletes and our Texas buddies.   If you are reading this blog and are interested in meeting some truly inspirational people who are always willing to help.  Then I recommend you sign up for Twitter today and follow these Angles and Ninjas.  Without the support from these fellow athletic friends, doing things like training for a marathon.  Would be a lot harder than without their help.

I would like to thank the following people.  All of you are truly inspirational and have been a big help to me.

@CooktraineatRce - A ironman, blogger, training maniac, and recipe genius.  Thank you for all your help this week.

@Tridiesel - I am still not sure if this guy is real or not (inside joke), but this guy is so inspiring.  He sweats inspiration.  Thank you.

@JillMEarle - A fellow NEO runner and tribe fanatic that I've recently had the pleasure of meeting.  Thank you Jill for all your support.

@MattyO_83 - A fellow NEO runner, cyclist, and ironman in training.  Thanks buddy and good luck running the Cleveland marathon.

@jeep4wdva - Former Ohioan who is a triathlete and fellow cycling fanatic.  Thanks buddy for all the support.

@ShellsRuns - Fellow NEO runner and Pancake Mafia captain.  Thanks Michelle for all your support.

To these fellow triathlete rockstars @ironmanbythirty, @vrljc, @caratunkgirl, @Athleticprformr, @milesmusclesmom,  @skdickers Thanks for all you support

To my fellow Texas Ironmen  and runners @Allie0622, @Tri2live, @theladybaha, @JeffIrvin Thank you for all your help.

To my fellow Ohio runners @cbkingery, @RunrJenRN, @Raymondromero, @runningmom2boys, @CLECraftBeerRun, @el_lunchbx_runs, @heathamursch, @seesararun, @aj1209, @poiseinparma, @finishingfirsts, @RachaelMarchini, @ChristinaD222, @Iseibs, @KrisRunTri, @Kterp @Kimikay.  Thanks and best of luck to you in your races.

To my fellow Triathletes from Canada aye @rbuike, @rbirse, @Adenatri.  Thanks for everything.

To the future NEO Marathon Maniac Crew @Justin_MCL, @mollyberries, @mojamala2  I hope I am crazy enough to join your crew.

Also, I can't forget my non-twitter supporters.  My parents who taught me that anything is achievable through hard work.  A big thanks to my Sister Megan who will be making her racing debut this Summer.  Also, a big thanks to fellow Stow runners Angie Rubino and Jen Fissette.  Hopefully some day, I will be as fast as you two.  Last but not least, thanks to my college buddy Johna.  Thank you for all your race day quotes.

I know I probably repeated myself quite a but in this post, but I just want to say one final thank you to everyone who has been there for me.  I will be thinking about all of you this Sunday.


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Marathon Ready? Weight Loss - before and after photos.

I always figured I would post my fatty pictures once I reached my goal weight, but I am fairly close now.  Plus, I have been doing a lot of reflecting the past few days.  I guess facing a challenge that you never thought would be possible will do that to you.

I'll spare you the details on how I ended up looking this way.  It's a story that I only choose to share with a few.  For those who haven't met me yet, this may come to a surprise, but I am actually a pretty shy guy and it has taken me a awhile to get the courage to post some of the things I do.  Especially these photos.  I am working on this, so this would be a step in the right direction.  I would like nothing more than to come up with some inspiration words to add to this post, but all the really needs said is.  I am not that guy anymore, nor do I want to be.  I am happy with who I am now and could not be happier doing the things I do.  I think the photos will speak for themselves.

                                                                      THE  BEFORE

                                                                      THE AFTER

Monday, May 2, 2011

Week 18 of 20 Marathon training

Week 18 is now in the books and time has been flying.  It seems like it was just yesterday that I was dealing with dead legs in the first month of training.  Overall this has been a great week in training.  I struggled big time big at the start of the week.  The week started out with an off day on Monday.  On Tuesday and Wednesday I struggled through two runs.  I felt sluggish and like I was fighting against myself.  Thursday was a little better as I focused on some short speed intervals.  On Friday I was feeling a little ill.  I'll spare you the details why, but I forgot to eat dinner Thursday evening.  I can be a full on dork sometimes when I'm nervous.   I thought I would struggle on Friday's run, but I ran and felt better than I have in a loooong time.  Saturday was my last hard workout of marathon training.  I ran 15 miles in just over 2 hours 20 minutes and then hopped on the bike for a 30 mile ride.  I really like going for a ride after runs.  I feel it gets the hurt out of the legs.  I felt great this morning, which probably is a result of the 11 hours I slept and I got another run in this morning.  In the rain, of course.  So, I am now officially on taper.  I'll be dialing my runs back a lot over the next two weeks.  I will also do some cross-training on the bike if I can.  The biggest thing I do have this week is the Run for the Boarder on Thursday.  It is a Cinco de Mayo race that starts and ends at the Blind Pig.  I have never done this race before, but this is what I have heard.  It is a staggered start and you run with one other person as a team.  At the start you get a list of bars you have to run too.  There is no route, so it is up to the team to decide on the fastest route, which should be about 3 miles.  At each bar you do a task before leaving...chug a corona...shot of tequila...etc.  Also, you have to run with an item that is given out.  Usually maracas or sombrero.  It should be a fun evening and I am looking forward to it.  My long run of the week will be this weekend and it will be 6-8 miles.  Ooooo taper....your feelings of laziness and phantom injuries are almost here.

Running:  35 miles with a 9:22 avg pace   
Cycling:  35 miles outside  with an average speed of 18 mph.

Weight training:  2 sessions:  Bench 1x12 165lbs 1x8 185lbs 1x4 205lbs
                                             Incline Bench 2x12 120lbs 1x10 115lbs
                                             T-Bar Row 2x15 75lbs
                                             Close Grip Pullups 3x12 (Weight assisted)
                                             Military Press 3x15 55lbs
                                             Pull ups 3x15 15lbs

Weight training 2 sessions (workout 2)  :  Incline curls 3x12 25 lbs
                                           Preacher curls 3x12 80lbs
                                           Tricep pulldown 3x12 85lbs
                                           Reverse Tri pulldown (one arm) 3x15 45lbs
                                           Reverse Preacher curl (straight bar) 3x12 50lbs

Calories burned:  Week 16:  7,695
Weight loss this week:  1lbs
Weight loss YTD:  12lbs