We’re back from Summer break. Hopefully, everybody’s training has been going well. The Berlin Marathon is Sunday, September 25th. I have a preview of what us regular runners can expect and why this is a great course for a PR. I end with a breakdown of two record holders looking to add to their already impressive results.

One Day Away Until the Berlin Marathon!

I’m writing this from a hotel room in Berlin, Germany less than 24 hours before the Berlin Marathon. My wife and I called it an early day to make sure we get enough rest before the race. I need it for the actual run. She needs it because it takes a lot of work to deal with me and make sure I’m good to go šŸ˜‰ I joke..sort of. But without her support, I don’t accomplish my goals.

berlin 1
That’s me after picking up my race bib. If you download the Berlin Marathon app you can track me during the race by typing in my name or bib number which is above.

Mentally, I feel ready to go. I’m relaxed right now and am not worrying myself about time or place performance. I’ll review my strategy in my head when I start to warm up tomorrow morning. No point in exhausting myself now thinking about it. I’m going to take the same approach I did at the New York City Marathon in November. That approach is to enjoy the moment and each mile of this journey.Ā  I soaked in the loud crowds and told myself how great it was to be able to run through such a big city.Ā  I think that attitude carried me through the race.

Physically, I feel much better. My left hamstring is just about pain-free though it is a bit tender in some parts. I’ll work on massaging the area tonight. My calves are tight so I’ll continue to stretch them.

I enjoy both small races and major races. They have their own charm as well as positives and negatives. Usually, the positives outweigh the negatives. A major race like this has great crowd support. Spectators are loud and encouraging. They do a great job of helping push the runners. I’m going to use that to my advantage.

Do I have any predictions about my performance? No. I’m not going there. The weather is great for running and I feel mentally and physically ready due to all my training but I can’t predict what I’ll do. Lots of things have to go right to run a great marathon. Sometimes, things just happen like cramps so all I’ll say is that I’m ready to do the best I can do.

berlin 2
I’m starting close to the front in the B block. Maybe I can catch a glimpse of the elites before they take off way, way far ahead of me.

Running With You,



Berlin Marathon Training Week #19 Day 3 A Nice Short, Sore Run

Location: Pasadena, CA.

Temperature: Cloudy, 71 degrees, 65% humidity

Type of Run: Easy

Length: 5.34 miles

Type of route: gradual uphill and downhill, one uphill climb and one downhill descent

Time: 38 minutes, 54 seconds

Pace per mile: 7:17

Reason for Run: This is an easy run meant to keep the legs active less than a week before the marathon.

How did I feel? Fine. There was no more stiffness in my lower hamstring. However, my groin, upper hamstring and a butt muscle were sore, likely from overcompensating and overworking them on the run the day before. The soreness is not a great concern as I expect it to go away after a few days. The soreness did cause some discomfort on the run though. However, my muscles did loosen as the run progressed so the discomfort decreased.

I will continue to massage the area and take care of it so I can be completely free of discomfort for the race. The fun begins after my last run. Then, it’s packing and making sure I have absolutely everything I will or might need for the race.

Running With You,


Berlin Marathon Training Week #18 Day 2 Last Long Run Before the Big Race

Location: Pasadena, CA.

Temperature: Sunset run so it got dark, 80 degrees, 50% humidity

Type of Run: Long

Length: 16.09 miles

Type of route: some flat areas, gradual uphill and downhill with one hill climb and one descent

Time: 2 hours, 10 seconds

Pace per mile: 7:28

Reason for Run: The long run builds endurance as well as increases muscle strength. It also helps improve blood circulation and increases capillary size so the blood can deliver much-needed nutrients to hard-working muscles. Running for a long time can be a mental grind too. It can be hard to stay focused for that long, especially if you are a busy person. The long run tests mental strength as well. If you can complete the grueling long run there’s a lot more you can accomplish too.

My last three long runs were of 20 miles or more. Since I’m tapering, I cut back the long run mileage to 16. Next week, the long run will only be 11 miles which isn’t even considered a marathon training long run. The purpose of this tapering is to make sure my legs are rested and recovered from training so I can race well in Berlin.

How did I feel? So-so again. The lack of quality sleep continues to affect me. I felt tired and not as energetic as usual. My legs were fatigued from the 12-mile run the day before and the 10 x 1-mile workout two days prior. Running on fatigued legs while training for a marathon can be good because you have to get used to running on tired legs if you want to run well the final 6 to 8 miles of a marathon. Also, the warmer weather and humidity doesn’t help. They zap your energy. This run will be the hardest of the week since I’m tapering. Less than two weeks until race day!

Running With You,


Berlin Marathon Week #17 Day 1 An Easy Run Before an Extremely Hard Run

Location: Pasadena, CA.

Temperature: Mostly sunny, 86 degrees, 55% humidity with a 67-degree dew point

Type of Run: Easy

Length: 8.02 miles

Type of route: Some flat, some gradual uphill and downhill, one downhill descent and one uphill climb

Time: 59 minutes, 40 seconds

Pace per mile: 7:26

Average heart rate: 139

Reason for Run: This was an easy run meant to be done at a relaxed and controlled pace. This workout is sandwiched between two intense workouts as tomorrow I plan to run long and hard (weather permitting). By taking it easy, I don’t want to wear out my legs.

How did I feel? Fine. My legs were a little fatigued after the run–a carryover from yesterday’s long interval workout. The mornings are no escape from this intense heat wave gripping California. While it wasn’t scorching in the morning, 86 degrees and mostly sunny is not fun. I plan my toughest workout of the marathon training cycle tomorrow but I may have to adjust if the temperature is too warm so as not to run myself into extreme exhaustion.

Running With You,


Berlin Marathon Training Week #15 Day 4 One Month Away!

Location: Pasadena, CA.

Temperature: Partly sunny, 72 degrees, 70%+ humidity with a dew point above 62 degrees

Type of Run: Medium-long

Length: 12.03 miles

Type of route: gradual uphill and downhill, some flat areas, two hill climbs and one downhill descent

Time: 1 hour, 29 minutes, 21 seconds

Pace per mile: 7:27

Average heart rate: 135

Reason for Run: This was a medium-long run. The purpose is to build endurance and strength while adding to the weekly mileage total. You want your body and mind to get used to running for long periods of time. Since you shouldn’t do multiple long runs in a week due to wear and tear on the body, you reduce the mileage to between 10 and 14 to still get the feel of running for an extended period. Usually, the pace will be a little faster than long run pace. Today, my pace was a bit faster than my long run pace this week but not by much.

How did I feel? Good. I took it easy to start then picked up the pace a bit as the run moved along. It was humid and a little sticky again as my shirt was quite wet when I was done. However, I don’t think the humidity bothered me too much as the temperature was lower today when I ran. That was thanks to running earlier in the day and overcast skies, which prevented the sun from heating things up early in the morning. Today marks one month exactly from the Berlin Marathon. Am I ready? I’m getting there. Am I excited? YES!!

Running With You,


Berlin Marathon Training Week #15 Day 3 Throwing in Some Hill Climbs For Good Measure

Location: Pasadena, CA.

Temperature: Sunny, 77 degrees, 60%+ humidity

Type of Run: Medium-Easy

Length: 9.2 miles

Type of route: gradual uphill and downhill, some flat areas, four hill climbs and four downhill descents

Time: 1 hour, 8 minutes, 8 seconds

Pace per mile: 7:24

Average heart rate: 138

Reason for Run: The goal was to add to the weekly mileage total with a run not too short but not too long. I felt 9 miles was a good distance. To add some challenge to this, I picked a route with four hill climbs. Running hills challenges the legs as it works different muscles than when running on flat terrain. This strengthens the legs muscles which will help build stamina and power during races like marathons.

How did I feel? Good. The muscles in my legs are a little sore from running 20 miles two days ago. However, this soreness is no cause for concern and is of the DOMS variety. I chose to keep my pacing relaxed so that I felt in control. I have two very tough workouts ahead this week so I don’t want to stress my body too much beforehand. Overall, this was a solid run.

Running With You,


Berlin Marathon Training Week #15 Day 2 Easy And In Control

Location: Pasadena, CA.

Temperature: Sunny, 75 degrees

Type of Run: Easy

Length: 6.14 miles

Type of route: gradual uphill and downhill with one uphill climb and one downhill descent

Time: 44 minutes, 57 Ā seconds

Pace per mile: 7:19

Average heart rate: 136

Reason for Run: This was an easy-paced recovery run following my 20-mile run the day before. The goal for a recovery run is to stay relaxed and comfortable without pushing oneself. You want to get in some mileage while also giving your legs a break from more difficult and longer workouts.

How did I feel? Good. My legs didn’t feel as worn out as they usually do a day following such a long run. I felt somewhat fresh. I kept the pace comfortable and in control. As far as standard post-long run recovery runs go, this was one of the better ones.

Running With You,


Berlin Marathon Training Week #14 Day 1 Getting Back to Normal

Location: Santa Maria, CA.

Temperature: Sunny, 67 degrees

Type of Run: Easy

Length: 6.31 miles

Type of route: flat

Time: 44 minutes, 59 seconds

Pace per mile: 7:08

Average heart rate: 141

Reason for Run: This was an easy run meant to gauge my physical condition to see if I can resume a regular marathon training week following my abrupt stop in the middle of a training run on Friday due to fatigue, a slight cold and dehydration.

How did I feel? Much, much better! Plus, no pain in my left thigh! As far as I’m concerned, this run was fantastic. The weather in Santa Maria was significantly cooler than anywhere else I’ve run since Salem, Oregon in mid-June, with the exception of last week’s overnight half marathon. The cooler weather makes such a big difference when running. Never underestimate how much hot weather can affect the body. It felt so good not feeling any discomfort in my thigh. My heart rate was back to normal for this run and there was no lingering effects of Friday’s fatigue and dehydration. The only thing that remains are some effects from the cold like a slight cough and some minor nasal congestion. Other than that, I felt like I could’ve run 14 to 15 miles. That’s a great feeling to have. Let’s hope the rest of this week goes as well as today. There’s nothing like the feeling of being pain and fatigue-free when running. I felt like nothing could stop me. That’s the best feeling you want when you run.

Running With You,


Berlin Marathon Training Week #12 Day 3 Pre-Race Run

Location: Pasadena, CA.

Temperature: Sunny, 90 degrees, 52% humidity with a 70 degree dew point (it was gross outside again)

Type of Run: Easy

Length: 3.45 miles

Type of route: mostly flat

Time: 24 minutes, 43 seconds

Pace per mile: 7:10

Average heart rate: 147

Reason for Run: This was a short pre-race run in preparation for the ET Full Moon Half MarathonĀ which is tomorrow night/morning at 12:30am. I wanted to get my legs a little bit of work before the race but not too much. I don’t them want them tired but rather loose and ready to go before the race.


Destination: Rachel, NV. Home of the Little Alieinn and who knows what other humanoid-type creatures.

How did I feel? Mostly good. My left thigh is slightly better than yesterday but there still is some pain. The pain though is not enough to make the run awkward or cause me to put more weight on my right side or negatively affect my stride. Because of this, I think I can manage a full 13.1 miles tomorrow. I will stretch tonight and massage my legs to keep my muscles loose especially since my calves are a little tight now. The awful weather does make running tough. Fortunately, the race weather will be in the upper 60s to low 70s with no humidity. The temperatures are much cooler than in Las Vegas because it’s at altitude. The race starts at about 4,700 feet before climbing to a peak of about 5,500 feet before descending back down to 4,700 feet. Hopefully, no aliens, MIBs or government agents around Area 51 will abduct me during the run.

Running With You,