From 6 to 200 MPH

Monday, September 13, 2010

Be Careful.......

When I had my annual medical check-up yesterday, I told my doctor of my plan to run the full marathon.
This is what he told me:

1. Be careful. There are not that many 68 year olds running their first marathon.
2. Drink lots of fluids and stay hydrated!
3. Since there are many staff/volunteers and other runners around, make sure you notify someone if you are feeling bad.

Comment #3 got me thinking. Is my doctor hiding something from me? He told me that I am in good health and all the lab work results are how come he made the comment? On my way home, I realized that my doctor was correct. At my age and with some medical issues, strenuous activities like running, can be risky and there is no better place to have an episode such as a crowded organized event. People/spectators/race marshals/medical aides are around in abundance at events like a marathon in case someone needs attention!

But what about those long runs and trail runs during training. I always run alone and as a precaution:

1. I always tell my wife my route and time I will be back.
2. Run close to my house and if I have to train at the event route, my wife goes with me.
3. Always have my hydration belt regardless of the distance.
4. Always have my driver license, medical insurance card & road ID bracelet.
5. I dont carry a cell phone now but I plan to carry one just in case!

Moving up a next level in running, such as my first marathon, is a big pun intended! It takes careful thought, dedicated training and planning for any and all circumstances such as a medical emergency. Taking care of the little things will ease my mind and give me confidence and motivation at the start and cross the finish line arms raised 26.2 miles later!


  1. Wishing you the best Arthur in your first 42K...Always better at 68 than never :-) and I am sure you can do it! Will be visiting Davis again the weekend after Long Beach for an alumni leaders meeting..Are you aware of any races in CA around this time? All the best! SR

  2. Thanks for the motivation, Ed! Here are some events in CA.
    1. Oct 24 - Los Angeles Rock n Roll - 1/2 Mary
    2. Oct 30 - Napa Wine Country Marathon - Calistoga, CA(not far from Davis)
    3. Nov 6 - Sta Barbara International Marathon - Scenic Sta Barbara, CA

  3. Hi Arthur,

    Good list of stuff to carry. I do the same ;) Having a cell phone is also useful for helping others (downed cyclists, etc)

    I hope to be still running marathons at 68 and beyond so it's great to see you out there as inspiration to continue.
    My two cents on your first marathon: don't try to go fast..

    i.e. your 2:06 HM time predicts about a 4:19 marathon. But my personal experience is that these equations are not so good for older runners. I would use the 5X10k time for your first (as Hal Higdon suggests) which would be 4:35.

    BTW: I'll also be at Long Beach...I'll look for you at the finish!

  4. Thanks for dropping by, Paul! After my 2 long runs of 18 & 17 miles, I will be ecstatic if I cross the finish line within the regulation time. I am hoping that the company of other runners and the spectators can give me the extra energy burst that I been missing in my long runs.

    That's great! We can have a cold one at the yard house or at the Hooters.

  5. The race day excitment should help, yes. Passing the 20 yr olds that cramp up is especially envigorating ;)

    I see that you did a 10:12 pace for your 17 mile run..which is a decent pace. I take it your issue is fatigue resistance..not aerobics.

    I think is the same issue all of us novice runners face and what makes the marathon so much more 'interesting' than shorter distances. Weird stuff happens out there beyond 16 miles or so.

    I would try to do one more long run before the 3 week taper...try to do a full 20 miles if you can. I have been experimenting with 22 mile runs and find that it helps (not many data points yet though)

    You can also experiment with walk-running which can extend your range (this is what most ultra runners do after all ..walk uphills run the rest) You can hit the same average pace by running faster to compensate for the walking, but the walking seems to help extend endurance by delaying the muscle fatigue.

    If you don't like that idea for the actual marathon, you could try this to get to your 20 miler training run: try walk 1 minute, run 9 minutes for the first 5 miles, then start full running for the next 15 (at your 10:15-ish pace)..anything you can do to extend the time on your eet will probably help on race day. This is how I did my first 22 miler without killing myself.

    Also make sure you eat during these runs. I found that one GU per half hour is optimal for me. GU with caffeine is great for a lift when you are a couple of hours into the run.


  6. Hi Paul:

    Thanks so much for your comments. I still have one long run of 21 miles on schedule and I will incorporate your advice in this run. Fatigue, boredom, and focus are killing me in my training.

    Take care and see you in Long Beach.

  7. Good luck on your first full, Sir Arthur! I'm sure it'll be a blast. Run safe and always listen to your body.

  8. Thanks Julius! My last long run of 21 miles will define how I will run my first full marathon. Read your blog. Take care and good luck on your Camsur run.