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Marathon Training Begins

First, thanks for checking out the new Tumblr. I’m using it to update people (who are interested) about how marathon training goes this summer and fall as I prepare for the Chicago Marathon in October 2013. My “official” training plan for the marathon starts today, although I’ve been prepping since the spring time. 

For the curious, I’ve answered some of the questions I’ve already heard from my friends & family below:

1) Why a marathon, and why now?

For a few reasons. My girlfriend Meg has done two marathons already and was signing up for her third back in the winter. I was initially going to volunteer to assist with her team’s training by biking along the runners, dropping off water bottles along their training routes, etc. I had always wanted to take a shot at 26.2 miles but wanted to increase my basic running speed and chase some personal bests at shorter distances (5Ks - half marathons, see below) first.

I went to the call out meeting on a cold night back in the winter and when I arrived at that meeting I caught the bug. The runners came in all shapes and sizes and frankly I figured, “why not?”. It seemed like it would be fun to train with Meg and at least knock the marathon off my bucket list - I could train for the shorter distances in the winter and spring of 2014. 

And in regards to “why now”, I figured there’s never a great time to train, just because it does take a lot of time. But I could see it becoming a trend now that I’m done with school. 

2) Why run as a charity runner?

A few reasons - first, the charities I’m running for have a real measurable impact helping the people of Chicago (and other places in the world) through difficult times. I see people all the time through my work who struggle with issues like homelessness, job loss, domestic violence, and a general lack of opportunities. The organizations I’m running for help address all of these issues with meaningful results. Second, the organization I’m running with - Team Crossroads Runners from Old St. Patrick’s has been one of the top fundraisers for the Chicago Marathon in the past and I was excited to work with them based on my interactions with them during the past two or so years. Third, I think it’s just a good thing to do - it’s always nice when we can combine our passions with the ability to do good as well.

If you’re interested in donating to the cause, you can find a link to donate here.

3) What is your running background?

I started running my junior year in high school - I did cross country and track for two years with a decent amount of success/luck and then went away to school at Indiana University. At IU I ran on and off as I was able based on my academic schedule but really didn’t run regularly until my senior year (2007-8) when my course load lightened up. I then picked it up on a pretty regular basis during the first year of medical school (2008-9) and was able to sneak in two half marathons which I (kind of) trained for but then had to pretty much stop any type of serious training during my second and third years (the busiest years). I picked up training again during my fourth year, largely in the spring of 2012, and I’ve been at it ever since. I’d like to keep the hiatuses to a minimum now that I’m done with school. 

My personal bests are 18:00 in the 5K and 1:55:40 in the half marathon, for those who are wondering. 

4) What is with the name?

I’m a resident physician in a Chicago hospital (and couldn’t think of a better name). 

5) What is your gear?

I’ve been running in Mizunos for the past two years and am currently using the Wave Rider 16. I’m going to be picking up the Wave Sayonara in early July for my speedier workouts. 

6) I want to start running but don’t know how to start. What should I do? (probably the most common question I hear)

- make sure you’re healthy enough to run - if you don’t exercise go to your doctor first to get cleared to run

- Hal Higdon is one of my running heroes and has a great website with help on getting started

- take it slow and enjoy yourself