Captain Grose's Marathon pages

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Training for a marathon, you would think, is a pretty regimented endeavor. But I have to admit that the organization of my training was haphazard at best. I did run, and a lot, but my consistency was a problem. I would get motivated and get in cycles but to outline my entire process would be difficult if not worthless.

Gary and Brent had a different approach altogether. In fact, Major Patch was not to worried about it either. He had once ran a marathon with no training whatsoever and did fine. I did not want to follow in those bloody foot steps, especially from a man whose philosophy of stretching is : “Dogs don’t stretch before they run.” It is hard to argue with that kind of logic.

Gary kept to his own when it came to running. I am not even sure how much training he had done but he did tell us that his toenails fell off after the last Lone Pine Marathon he ran. That bolstered our motivation tenfold.

Brent, Major Patch, and I would usually meet on Saturday morning at 0700 and run to Major Patch’s office. There we would talk, drink coffee, and generally discuss the week we had just had. Then at 0800, we would muster what I liked to call the Trail of Tears which was every sick lame and lazy Marine fat or dumb enough to get put on the remedial PT program. The philosophy was simple, you will never have a weekend off until you either lose the weight or can pass a PFT twice in a row. It was not really a PT program but more of a harassment package designed to use the Marines’ love of weekend liberty as a means to an end.

During the running portion of the test, we would bolt forward on the 3 mile run, feeling as superior as one could, outrunning the very lowest sector of physical specimens the Corps has to offer. We would get to the halfway point and yell out the times for those that sadly lumbered to make time. Then we would shuffle with the lamest of the group and bring up the rear.

When we returned, we would sit in Major Patch’s office again, drink more coffee, talk some more, and eat oranges before running home. This run home was inevitably the biggest bitch of the whole procedure but where we probably earned most of our PT endurance of the day. The round trip was about 7 miles and served as a good “light” day of running.

On Saturday night, the four of us and our families would usually get together for dinner at one of our houses. It was a good time and after dinner, we would break up along gender lines, with the men retiring to Gary’s garage for a little poker. The women would clean up, talk some more, get the kids to bed, and usually watch movies. We, on the other hand, would stay up until 0100 or 0200 and play wonderful games of poker. It was a blast.

At 1000 the next morning, Major Patch and I would meet and go for a Sunday run. More often than not, it was just the three of us with Daisy, Major Patch’s dog, joining us. We would run for about 45 minutes and that was enough, especially when the spring starting kicking the heat up more and more. But I will always remember those times as personal and professional exchanges that I looked forward to each week.

The rest of the week was PT at lunch. I would either run on the treadmill for about 5 miles or run home (just under 3) and have Carrie drive me back. Gorging myself, running back, and then showing up sweating like a pig was not the best plan so I would ask Carrie give me a ride. On Fridays we had company PT and that would serve as another “light” day.

The only other thing of note is the one 15 mile run I did two weeks before the race. On the suggestion of my good friend, Shane Maxey, I mapped out a 20 mile course because, as he explained, you need to know where that wall is and you have to not only face it but figure how to get over it. You do not want the first time you look that monster in the face to be on the day of the marathon.

So I started to run at 0600 one Sunday morning and for the next three hours, I looked for that monster. And I found him at about mile 11. The bad part was that when I hit that point, the wind kicked up and I was running straight into a pretty stiff headwind. It so many words, it really SUCKED!!!

I hit the 15 mile mark and had noticed that there was a man with a dog running behind me. When I came up to a car, I put two and two together and prayed that was his car and he ending his run. I was done and wanted to go home. I had done good and 15 miles definitely fell into the category of “good ‘nuff,” especially since I was facing 5 more miles in an ever-increasing headwind.

Luckily, I guessed right and asked the guy for a ride back home. He obliged and I was forever thankful, going home and sleeping for most of the day.

That about ended my last milestone before the race. I was as ready as I was ever going to be but you never really feel fully prepared for something like this. But you would have had to drag my lifeless body off the course before I gave up and I think that is the most important quality to have when running any race. And it served me well.

The stories:
The Explanation
The Training
The Shopping
The Trip
The Run

How it all started...

2000 Wild Wild West Trail Marathon
2001 Wild Wild West Trail Marathon
2002 Big Sur International Marathon
2002 Wild Wild West Trail Marathon
2002 Bishop 50-mile Ultra-Marathon

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