Marathon Mike

Marathon Mondays Week 6: PR’s and progress

Yes it is Tuesday. Yes I know the title of this blog series is Marathon Mondays. Yes I know that means that a blog about training for a marathon that is titled Marathon Mondays should be posted on Mondays not Tuesday. And I am also aware that this is the second time I have done this. Well guess what. I fucked up. So here it goes!

Welcome to the Monday* rendition of the my progress whilst training for my first marathon! If you are just joining in, this blog series is mostly whining about injuries and making excuses so buckle up. Lets start with how last week finished up.

Once again I skipped the flex day run, actually taking a day off instead of doing some type of cross training or running. My legs were just beat the hell up and I really did not think I could even run one more mile without something snapping. It was a great choice. Tuesday was a 6-mile hill run as well as a soccer game later on, so I seriously needed to be fresh or I wasn’t going to make it. The hills were great, I keep meaning to take a picture of the bridge I run up on 14th street in Hoboken. I think it’s 14th street at least. Whatever it is about .35 miles long so it works. The workout went swimmingly, I did 7 sets of .25 mile repeats up the hill. Some lady walked up that hill twice, once in the beginning of me starting the hills and once at the end. So all that lady saw me do was run up and down this hill, since she was walking slow as shit I had to run past her like 8 times. The last time she just laughed at me like look at this fucking loser. Fuck you lady with your old woman walking ass, go play in traffic. Just kidding she seemed nice and even waved the last time.

The rest of the week was pretty standard, though the 8-miler on Thursday was pure fucking torture. You know sometimes its just hot and muggy and you are shot and every step feels like you have been laying on a mirror in the middle of the Sahara wearing a gimp suit? Maybe that is just me…

Tempo run really felt like I loosened up, my gf was doing an 8-mile tempo run that was 1 mile at tempo, .25 mile recovery, for 4 miles so I did 3 miles of that with her. It wasn’t too bad prob kept around an 8-8:30 minute mile for them. Either way I got through it.

And finally, the long run. I set a new distance PR on Sunday with a lovely 14-miler. That run was honestly the first time that this whole running 26 miles thing seemed possible. We set it up pretty solidly, in front of my apartment I had a Gatorade (yellow of course. yellow is a flavor don’t @ me) so when we ran about 7 miles we passed the apartment and refueled for a good 30 seconds. That made all the difference. Well the weather made all the difference really because it was gorgeous. Whatever it felt great.

Taking a look at the upcoming week it seems to be a down week in terms of day-to-day runs so I am looking forward to getting some cross training in. I did some hot yoga yesterday and while my downward dog still looks like dead dog I really do recommend adding yoga to your routine. I feel astronomically better today than I did yesterday. Once I learned to accept that I am always going to suck at yoga and to not be embarrassed about it, I have way more fun. I still try all the hard shit and fall and stuff, but what are you going to do. Like I tried to do this pose where you are in tree thingy and you grab your big toe and extend the leg out, but my hip almost snapped off and I stumbled and gave it up. It would have looked sick though. I think this is it.

Today, I have an 8-mile interval run and I think this will be the most challenging thing I have on the agenda so I am glad to get it out the way. No soccer tonight the seasons over. We sucked. The long run this weekend is 10 miles so nothing too crazy there. I even have a 3-mile run on the schedule, what will I do with all the time on my hands. Maybe finish a fucking book…

Marathon Mike

Marathon Mondays Week 5: On to the 2nd quarter

One quarter of the quest to become Marathon Mike is officially in the books. It is easy to look at a plan and think that it seems like an impossible amount of time, but I am here to tell you that it is an impossible amount of time. I feel like with how much I talk to people about this, with all the blogs, and the obvious planning/training/recovering of doing the actual plan, it feels like I have been doing this for an eternity. To think that four weeks is literally a month, not a pleasant thought. If you thought some encouraging shit was coming, MY BAD.

That being said I guess the truth is that if you were a quarter the way through your run you might feel like it’s not that bad. So there is that. I guess. But lets not focus on the negative and get into talking about the runs last week.

Right off the bat you can see the tuesday run I was talking about. For a 6-mile interval run to start off the week, it wasn’t too bad. I felt like I was getting some good pop off of the speed intervals. I got terrible pop in my soccer game that night, but whatever thats not relevent to the blog. It was kind of nice to open up after a brutal 12-miler the day before, and while I felt my knee teetering on disaster, it held up. Seems like my knee if finally starting to heal up correctly. I think a heating pad on it for 20 minutes three times a day at work, as well as working the quad with a lacrosse ball really contributed to the muscle finally loosening up.

The other stuff was business as usual. I banged out the tempo run on Friday morning, felt really good during it. I ran 20 minutes at the tempo, i think the first mile was at an 8:00 minute pace the second one dropped off too an 8:20. It is really hard to get good speed workouts in when I am so worried about getting hurt during soccer. Tuesday night I literally felt like death had come calling. I don’t worry too much about performing well during the speed stuff, I sprint a lot playing sports. As long as I attempt it I am happy.

I also hit the gym Friday night for some well needed leg workouts. With the knee thing I have been scared to do any legwork, which of course means if I lose strength I am more likely to get injured. A vicious cycle indeed. The long run was a 10-miler which was pretty easy all things considered. I ran it Saturday morning before the oppressive heat.

As for the upcoming week. I am taking today off, I feel like if I don’t take at least one day my legs are literally going to seize up, every time I think about running my calf starts to seize up like a fiend. Plus a 6-miler with a hill workout tomorrow morning is not going to be easy. At least the last soccer game of the season is tomorrow night! Until, the fall of course. The rest of the week should be good, though I will be setting my own distance PR with the 14-miler this weekend. That just sounds crazy, but the following weeks that hopefully will be happening a lot. Have a good week everybody!

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Snake it Till you Make It: Frank Meza Edition

This is a little bit different then my normal blogging material, but I promise it is well worth the read. Let me set the stage for you. Frank Meza is a retired doctor in Los Angeles who was a proponent of that stupid ass barefoot running craze that led to those weird web shoes. You can watch him in all his glory here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKmo8scMx1I Who gives a shit about some 70-year-old doctor who’s going to die soon right? Well the fucking internet does of course. Because let me tell you about my mans Frankie Meza. Frankie boy is a world class cheater, and his specialty is cheating hippie marathons out in Cali.

Your boy Frankie is currently in some hot water for allegedly cheating at the 2019 Los Angeles Marathon, where he set the record for the fastest marathon ever run by a 70-year-old with a time of 2:53:10. To be fair I just keep reading that he set the record, I have yet to find anything official on that. And also to be fair, he didn’t allegedly cheat, he without-a-doubt cheated. The point of this blog is not to prove his guilt or innocence since he is so clearly cheating, but rather to acknowledge a master of the craft.

Frankie boy has a long history of the long con, this was not an anomaly. You may be questioning at this point, if you have not already seen the story or been on Reddit, just how Frank cheated all these marathons? Well Frank is the master at cutting the course, which involves him exiting the course at some point and entering it at another. He has only gotten better as time has gone on, like literally this grandpa’s marathon times have steadily been improving as he pulls the ol’ Benjamin Button. He has gotten craftier by learning from his mistakes turning into a practical ghost who can teleport anywhere on the course. He specialty is the LA Marathon where he has been improving on his craft since 2015. Here are just some prime examples of places he got caught cheating.

He was disqualified once, from the 2014 California International Marathon. This is where he learned the importance of consistent pacing. See Frankie boy ran his final 10k in 36 minutes, which is awesome. The problem was that this final 10k was at a minute-per-mile pace faster than the rest of the race. Not to be thwarted, he tried this again at the 2016 CIM and of course got disqualified. When he could appeal, he was just like na fuck it.  

One would think this would deter him, as people seemed to be catching on, but apparently my man also is suspect at large at the 2019 Pasadena Half Marathon and The 2018 Long Beach Marathon, where once again his paces don’t add up. The beauty of Frank is you can’t stop him, if you disqualify him he won’t bother too appeal, he will just try it again and again. His determination to continue to cheat is just incredible, he is addicted to the cheating game through and through.

At the Phoenix Marathon this year, he cheated, which was proven by a camera that was set up where he just happens to have never blessed us with his appearance. That could happen to us all, I mean there are plenty of NYRR races where I am not on it, but those are still cameras, not video. Either way he pulled the wool over all our eyes. Granted everyone investigating him said he cheated, but no action was taken. Record set!

But the LA Marathon is where his bread is buttered. His biggest stage. His one shining moment. Frankie boy knows exactly where to cut in, just look at this here picture. While the picture itself doesn’t exactly mean he cheated, I said earlier I am not here to put him on trial, he is guilty.

But see where a loser like you and me might be like “shit got caught, might as well come clean,” Frankie boy has gone the 90’s baseball player route by denying any wrongdoing. This is all part of the craft. When shown the photos, he gave a perfect response along the lines of he ran off the course to pee. This having to pee thing screwed him up the year before because he went into a hotel to pee, so this year he let it fly on the side of the road. Genius move.

Frank is someone to be admired. Not for his actual ability to run of course, he’s a first class loser who is cheating in a totally amateur capacity and disgracing what it means to be a marathon runner or runner in general. But rather for his ability as a world class grifter. For some reason I keep comparing him to the legendary Frank Reynolds, a master grifter in his own right.

Since this race, the LA Marathon loser committee has decided not to disqualify him, but rather to have someone accompany him next year. Que up the injury bug, because I guarantee Frankie boy will have it come time to shine.

Since he was not disqualified for this year’s stunning performance, Frankie must forever be known as a record breaker. Game recognize game.

Final Notes: I got a lot of this information from a site called marathoninvestigation.com. I want to say that while I admire the level of detail this guy went into to knock down a good man like Frank, you have to be an allllll time loser to spend that many hours poring over an amateur’s race data. Like this guy was literally comparing photos and analyzing pace charts looking for discrepancies. The amount of pent up anger you have to have to spend that much time taking down someone is just a classic case of someone who needs to either jerk off or get laid so badly. Game does not recognize game. He did make this blog easier to write though. Thanks!