Tag Archives: fall marathon

Saving for Chicago


The last four years I have travelled out of town to run a fall marathon. After having a good time in Philadelphia last year I was hoping to be able to do that again this year. For a little over a week now I have had my sights set on the the option I want to do in the fall.

My decision was made after the Chicago Marathon announced its registration process for this year. While many people have been debating the choice to opt for a lottery another aspect caught my eye, direct entry via time qualifier. According to the new process, men can gain direct entry if they have run a sub 3:15 marathon on or after January 1 2012. That means my time here in Ottawa qualifies me for direct entry.

My wife and I have nit been to Chicago before and it was on our list of cities to visit and now we have an excuse to go this year. It is also one of the major marathons in the world and of the American ones Boston is still a work in progress for me and New York might not be attainable given the tighter qualifying standards and cost involved with running the New York City Marathon.

Chicago will be an amazing experience both in terms of running and visiting. There will be plenty to see and race day will be equally as impressive. Both times I ran the Philadelphia Marathon The first thing I ate after I finished was a cheesesteak. In Chicago I plan to find the best place for deep dish pizza and make that my first stop after I get showered and changed.

Of course Chicago will not be a cheap trip either, considering we will need to pay for airfare and accomodations. That means I will have to find a way to finance the trip. Starting now I am saving all of my change and rolling it. This money will go into my Chicago fund that I will cash in before the marathon in October. Hopefully between now and then I will be able to put away a decent amount to help pay for the cost of the trip.

Now that I have identified my plan to run the Chicago Marathon I would be interested in hearing any feedback you may have both in terms of running the marathon and visiting the city.

Headed Back to Philly

Last week I mentioned that I was considering a few different options for a fall marathon. Friday night I made my decision official by registering for the Philadelphia Marathon. It will be my second time in three years doing this race.

Why Philadelphia? I began my search by looking for a fall marathon within a reasonable distance from home. I was also looking for a course that would give me a good chance of improving on my time in last month’s Ottawa Marathon.

I came up with a short-list of four options. Philadelphia was at the top of my list from the start. Turns out it was at the top of my wife’s list as well so it was an easy choice to make in the end.

Why was it at the top of my list? The course is similar to the course here in Ottawa in that it is mainly flat and that you spend much of the race running along waterways – the Ottawa River and Rideau Canal here and the Delaware and Schuykill rivers in Philadelphia.

In addition, to the course itself my wife and I enjoyed our weekend there more than we expected because there was no shortage of things to see and do. On top of that, a cheesesteak was a pretty good recovery meal after the marathon.

Here is a picture of me enjoying one of the sites..

IMG-20111119-00271For now I will continue running without a set plan but later in the summer I will start to get ready for marathon number nine.

Back to Running Regularly

I’ve managed to get out for runs the last two days and have managed runs in of the last five days. After a quick recovery following rather Ottawa Marathon I am back to running regularly.

For now, at least, I am once again running without a specific training plan in mind. Other than the Army Run in September I do not have any races planned for the rest of the year. I am just running regularly because I enjoy.

I am not sure how long this will last, probably not long, but I will eventually get around signing up for some shorter races over the summer in order to give myself something to train for and have a goal in mind.

I am also leaning toward running a fall marathon again this year. in have not made a final decision yet but I have looked at a few options, including two that I have already done. I do have a preference but am not looking to rush my decision but I will likely make my decision official soon after more discussion with my wife to see what fits best into our schedule for the fall.

What training plans do you have for the rest of the year?


What Next?

I’ve recovered from Sunday’s marathon and got out for my first post-marathon run today. Now comes the question of what comes next for me? For now the answer is that I have not quite figured out what comes next.

Same as I planned the past two years I plan on pacing the Army Run half-marathon in September again this year. Unlike last year, I don’t plan on getting injured playing soccer the week before the Army Run. In fact, you can pretty much guarantee I won’t get injured playing soccer because I have not registered to play soccer this summer.

Coming off a new pb Sunday I am still contemplating whether I want to do a fall marathon and what options I could possibly fit in to my schedule. Right now, I am leaning toward wanting to do a fall marathon and to take a shot at shaving another couple of minutes off my time and running a Boston qualifying time.

If I do run a fall marathon I will also have to start looking at shorter races between now and the fall to use as training runs. So far I have not looked at the race schedules but I would be looking at racing a 10 km and a half-marathon again in the lead up to a fall marathon if I do one.

For this week and maybe next week I will just be going for easy runs and running without a plan but I will likely figure a plan for the fall soon so I can get back to focused training.

What are your plans for the fall?

Easy Run Thursday

With 90 + km logged last week and a similar pace this week I am reaching the peak point of my training for the Ottawa Marathon.

My legs are starting to feel it too. I cut my speed work short last night because my legs felt tired although that probably had more to the fact that I ended up playing indoor soccer at work on Tuesday which probably was not the best way to spend what was supposed to be a rest day following my long run Monday.

The good news is that after a shorter than expected run yesterday and some use of the foam roller my legs felt better tonight when I headed out for my 12 km easy run. I ended up finishing the run in 1:01 tonight.

As I have already mentioned a couple of times, I did not get into the New York Marathon via the lottery yesterday. As a result, I am considering other options for another fall marathon. Right now I am leaning towards the Philadelphia Marathon in November. From the feedback have received so far it certainly sounds like a fun event. Have you run the Philadelphia Marathon before? If so I’d be interested in any feedback you can provide.

I am also still open to other options that are not too far from home. Let me know if there are other fall (October or November) races you would recommend.