Saturday, June 11, 2011

I'm Still Alive and Running

Needless to say, I haven't posted in quite some time. This is mostly due to how busy I've been over the past few months and deciding that blogging fell very low on the priority list. That said, I have missed the outlet of documenting my runs here and felt compelled to post this morning.

Quite a lot has happened in my life, as well as the life of my family. The most important of which is the upcoming addition to my family. My wife is pregnant with our first child and we could not be more excited. This is a great time in our lives and we're doing our best to prepare both mentally and physically over these whirlwind months. We also purchased and moved into a new house. This brought its own set of challenges as we decided to make some changes to the house before and during the move, most of which should finally wrap up this weekend. During this time, I also managed to get a few week long work trips in, visiting Tennessee, Virginia, and Texas. If that wasn't enough to keep us busy, Christine decided she needed to go to her sisters wedding in Oregon (just kidding Kim) so we thought it would be fun to tack on a trip to Seattle and Vancouver afterward. It was actually a very relaxing trip. One which we were able to unwind and enjoy not setting an alarm, having an extra coffee (or 3) and take in the city for a change.

In the midst of all of this, I've continued to run, albeit not as much as I'd like. This running was mostly geared toward one of my 2011 goals, which was to run the Steamboat Springs Marathon. I was able to accomplish this goal last weekend, knocking down a 3:22:50 in my first marathon. I goes without saying that I would I liked to do much better, especially since my original goal was to qualify for Boston at 3:10:00, but as life grew busier in the months leading up to the race, I somewhat lowered my expectations. The last thing I wanted was for running to become another chore rather than something I craved and enjoyed amid my hectic, time crunched schedule. I must say that running was a refuge during this time, something I could look forward to each day and be thankful for.

I was extremely nervous leading up to the race, feeling that I hadn't trained enough, that I should have gotten one more long run in, or that my taper wasn't adequate as I was super stiff leading up to the race. I did put together a solid plan for the race, that include where I wanted my pace to be at certain miles and when/how I would fuel. As for pace, I had hoped to average a 7:30 min/mil pace for a majority of the race, although it was more detailed by mile. Also, my plan for fueling was pretty simple. There were aid stations every 3 to 4 miles. I decided to mix cliff shot bloks and gatorade throughout the run. I stopped and walked through each and every aid station, driving one dixie cup of g-rade and took one cliff shot blok in between each aid station. I felt this technique gave me adequate fueling for the durati
on of the race. So, here are my splits:

Mile 1: 7:45
Mile 2: 7:19
Mile 3: 7:25
Mile 4: 7:51
Mile 5: 7:02
Mile 6: 6:58
Mile 7: 7.24
Mile 8: 7:34
Mile 9: 7:27
Mile 10: 7:30
Mile 11: 7:32
Mile 12: 7:31
Mile 13: 7:23
Mile 14: 7:36
Mile 15: 7:35
Mile 16: 7:37
Mile 17: 7:41
Mile 18: 7:52
Mile 19: 7:33
Mile 20: 7:34
Mile 21: 8:21 - This is where things started to fall apart - yeah, I know, "the wall!"
Mile 22: 8:11
Mile 23: 9:11
Mile 24: 7:42 - Short surge, thinking I was going to finish strong - didn't happen
Mile 25: 8:32
Mile 26.2: 10:37 - Ouch - starting cramping in my left leg - definitely not my dream mile!

My watch showed 26.28 miles with an average pace of 7.43 min/mil, ascending 1408 vertical feet, while descending 2663 vertical feet with a total time of 3 hr 23 min 1 sec (the official time was a hair under 3:23).

All in all, I'm pleased with my first marathon and feel confident I could easily drop this time by 13 minutes to get in under the sought after 3:10 Boston qualifying time. That said, I'm not sure what's next for me. As the spring weather arrived in Colorado, I found that I missed being on my mountain bike. I loved running on the trails, but there was a little envy seeing those guys on their sweet singlespeed 29er's. There's still a couple of local runs that have been goals for me since the beginning of the year that I plan to check off the list in the coming months, one of which is Longs Peak.

I've spent a considerable amount of time on my feet this year. Currently I've logged over 800 miles and 80,000 vertical feet. This puts me on track to log 2000 miles in 2011 which I believe would be an accomplishment in and of itself. Leading up to the marathon, I spent more time pounding the pavement than I'd prefer and I hope to be on the trail more this summer. Regardless of the next goal or objective I set for myself, I plan to be outside as much as possible and look forward to including my wife and child in our outdoor adventures soon enough!

Here are a few pictures from my travels and runs over the past few months:

Looking toward the Skyline Traverse from Heil Valley

Viewing Longs Peak from a window in our new home

My Wife's favorite store in the city where it began

North Vancouver singletrack

Portland at night

The two things you think of when you think about Seattle - Coffee and Pike Market

Looking across to North Vancouver

Seattle near the locks

My beautiful wife and I wrapping up her sister's wedding celebration


  1. Hey - congratulations on the upcoming family addition! And a marathon PR!

  2. Hey Shane, Congrads on the marathon and on the real marathon in your future...fatherhood. can't wait!! Mom Sitler

  3. Mom Sitler, thanks so much. I hope you can be here for the next marathon as I try to get closer to Dr. Dad Sitlers marathon best. As for the real marathon coming up, we'll definitely be looking for ample guidance for the two of you. Thanks for the comments!

    GZ, thanks for the good words. Hopefully we actually meet in person some day. Until then, your blog will be one of the few I read as life gets busier and busier. Take care.