I had a few goals for this race, but the most important pair of goals was:

1.) dont get hurt

2.)beat my last years marine corps time (2009, 4:24* injured finish).

a lil' background info on me. I'm 40y.o, and for the past couple of years i've been trying to run more. good exercise, love the endorphins, time to think, etc... i entered in some races and learned how slow i was, so i tried longer distances learned i was prone to injury. i always hurt myself. came to a head during the '09 marine corps
marathon. needed 6weeks of PT to recover. a friend said 'try my coach' - which brought me to Eric - (the hawk). now i'm up to 60+mpw, injury free, two 50km ultras under my belt. getting a little faster.

this '10 marine corps was a chance to maybe 'hit the marathon distance out of the park perhaps? but my 2010 goal is the JFK50-miler, gotta keep my head on the prize... but really 'excelling at the marathon' -no-no calm down.>>

***the macro look at my performance:

1.) not hurt! i feel great. interesting blisters in new places. i seem to chase those around my feet. i'll figure that out someday. i plan to tape feet smartly in jfk50.

2.) 'time' is relative. me and 10 other finisher clocked this marathon at 26.46 miles. i put a tag at the the 26.2 mark so i'd know and that was 3:38 a 46min improvement on last year's. official time 3:43, 41 min improvement

'great success'. i felt so strong and light on my feet even when tired. i knew the training had made me into someone very capable.

***the micro thingys were killing me. anyone that's ran a long race like this knows, just a seam in your sock, tiny pebble can kill your mood - i had a few such annoying things, some very much my fault.

1.) (sorry, kinda crude): a 2.5minute pee break on a tree 55mins in to the race. it was kiiiiiilling me that other dudes were 'wham bam' i went through 3 neighboring 'pee buddies'. down to restin heart rate. but i was on the steepest hill of the race, so i retook many many spots when i jumped back into the race, and felt so much better. maybe not too big of a hit in time.

2.) i carried a bottle in a hand-holder. i found i take many spots in a race at water stops. i figured i'd discard this bottle when it was empty or bothering me. so i took my cheapest bottle. big mistake. i never carry just water, it was accelerade, chia, some gel in there. went to take my first swig a mile 2.5ish. the spout was clogged. i was so pissed. i tried beating on it, i stopped to unscrew it and try to blow it out. nothing worked. now i'm carrying it AND stopping at hydrating at water stops. eventually i stopped, unscrewed and drank rescrewed and continued running. maybe 20-30secs per big swig. i also found i don't know how to drink from cups. this sounds silly, but twice i really choked myself. i mean people slaping me on the back, that kind of choking! lost minutes over this, but the real damage was to my mood.

3.) cramps - (related to 2). when i stopped or slowed or maneuvered to get a drink at water stops, i had three separate times when i'd get a top-of-the-foot cramp. it was agonizing, and only happened when braking. instead of 1-2 walking steps, it was more like 50-60. i had never felt anything like that, and running really helped, but slowing (or side stepping walkers) would trigger it again. very strange.

4.) my race strategy. i think i went out too fast. this is the age-old story, getting lost in the crowd and caught up in the excitement. i did this, but to a very minor degree. i planned to have avg HR of 164 for 20 miles, then over 170 for the final 6.2 (6.46 i guess). my first 20-miles was 166 (not too bad), but it’s clear after 2hours I was turning it up a bit too much. the last 6.2 i couldn't get my HR close to 170 avg speed under 7mph-daaamnation. I’m sure my mood wasn't helping follow the plan.

!!!i don't want to make it sound like i was really upset or anything, I was having fun, even waved my arms to get the crowds to cheer if they seemed tired. i gave high-5s to anyone very young, and commented on their costumes. i ran with some great people and gave pacing info to those that asked (when they saw i was wearing a garmin watch). good race, it even seemed ‘smaller’ this year, if that makes any sense. Kinda like going back to the camp you went to as a kid. but i need to plan a little better in future. but hey, i'm new at this! Thanks Eric for helping me "settle the ole' score" revisiting my 1st marathon!

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Comment by Patrycja Slawuta on November 19, 2010 at 4:12pm
uff - i forced myself to smile in the Marine Corps this year - definitely was not easy as started way too fast up those 2 hills... a lesson for next year:)
Comment by john hudak on November 19, 2010 at 12:16pm
Good luck this weekend, Mark! Over the summer I was using a 2.5 liter Camelbak for hydration, because I tend to dehydrate quickly in the summer, especially on runs of 6 miles+. Lately though, I have preferred the nathan speed 2 when doing Eric's virtual strength training camp, as it is much less of a weight, it is much less hot, and since I have been running on a track and they haven't shut the water fountains down for the winter yet, I can refill. I haven't yet done a marathon, but would definitely consider at least a 1 liter hydration pack...especially if you are doing a 50 miler. Also, most of the packs allow space for extra things you might need. Good luck!

Comment by Richard McGaha on November 4, 2010 at 10:33am
Congrats on finishing Mark, with a smile even!!! Let us know how JFK goes.
Comment by Mark Lofquist on November 3, 2010 at 6:46pm
I do the 'personal coaching' option.

the MCM just put pics up - see, i finished smiling :):
Comment by david tofel on November 3, 2010 at 6:28pm
That's great Mark! How did Eric coach you? Did you do one of these online programs?

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