The best running advice I ever received is: “Plan your next race immediately after completing the race you are training for. You do not want to lose your conditioning and focus. It will make your next race easier.”
Following that advice, I searched far and wide for upcoming races of all distances and settled on a familiar foe: The Rock and Roll San Diego Marathon.
Old Enemy Meets New Challenges
I completed the San Diego Marathon in 2011. It was my first marathon and it stands as one of my top 3 greatest athletic accomplishments of my life. The sacrifice of waking up every single Saturday at 5:30am during the peak of wintertime stands out as a vivid memory for me.
The San Diego Marathon course defeated me in a few critical ways. The hills are enormous and heart breaking. The majority of my training was on flat courses and surfaces which made the rolling San Diego course overwhelming. I vowed to become a better hill runner as a result of that experience.
My lifestyle, now focused on a continuous regimen of eating right and exercise, is a big reason why I want to run San Diego once again.
I was almost 40 pounds heavier since the date of the last race. I am interested in seeing what my performance will be in my current improved physical condition.
San Diego Marathon Challenges
1.) Weather. Warm weather marathons posed dehydration issues.
2.) Hills. I’ve experienced the hills and they crushed me.
3.) Injury. Marathon training places a huge stress upon the body.
4.) Cross-Training. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Judo activity will have to be managed. One grappling injury can negate months of marathon training
5.) Burnout. Back-to-back training camps will be stressful.
I’m looking forward to the challenge and opportunity to rise to the occasion.
Completing the Rock and Roll DC Marathon was of huge significance for me. The marathon is the culmination of desire, discipline, and dedication to a common goal. My Marathon Training group assembled on a cold (and rainy) December evening and committed to training through the worst winter in years in order to be in shape enough to run the entire 26.2 mile distance with the strength needed to accomplish such a task.
There were many challenges along the way. I suffered some major injuries competing in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu during training which forced me to re-evaluate my goal and focus. I realized that an injury during Jiu Jitsu would force me to forfeit *months* of training and conditioning for the marathon, so I pushed my competition calendar back in favor of lighter intensity workouts dedicated to my goal.
Special thanks to Charm City Run. My coaches and fellow runners. This moment is something I’ll never forget!