Posted by: wheelywonka | October 24, 2010

Lacing Up the Sneakers for the Upcoming San Antonio Marathon

…Well, I have fully transitioned the focus of my fitness from cycling to running in order to prepare myself for the upcoming San Antonio Rock and Roll Marathon, which is three weeks from today.   I’m following the playbook I’ve used for the last two years.  After 12 weeks of cycling to get in shape for the Ride to the River, I participate in the event (which was incredible!), take a few days off, and then get back into the gym, on to the treadmill, and back on the road, for an accelerated program that prepares me to run 13.1 miles.   (I’m no fool – with this kind of last-minute preparation, I only do the half…although I keep saying I want to run a full when I’m 50, which is two short years away…)  Because I’m going through this transition, it gives me an opportunity to compare and contrast cycling and running –

  • Running is all about will.  There is no drafting, or coasting down hill, no advantage derived from a light, carbon fiber bike with effortless shifting.  It is about your brain sending signals to your muscles to keep moving forward.    Constantly, without a break. 
  • Running is about pain.   There are people who run lightly like birds, who seem to just float above the pavement, and whose movements seem so graceful and fluid.  I am not one of those folks.    I often feel like I’m constructed out of heavy bricks, and it takes a superhuman effort to lift my legs and press forward.   Some friends from work asked if I wanted to run with them on Thursday.  I had to decline – at this point, running is a pain best endured alone.
  • Running is about music.   When cycling, I don’t listen to music during organized events, and usually ride with the volume down and just a single bud in during training rides.  When you are riding in a group and going 20+ mph, it’s important to be in constant communication with your teammates – if you’re distracted and miss a call out, you can lose control and cause a massive wreck that results in lots of broken bones and road rash.  Running is a much more solitary experience.   It’s just you and the road and your playlist.  I joke with folks that last year I spent more time preparing my playlist for the marathon then I did actually training.  (This is only a slight exaggeration…)   This year is no exception.  I’m a huge fan of Carlos Santana, was a wanna’ be guitar hero in my youth, and (because of my age) was raised on music they call Classic Rock now.   So, Carlos’ new album Guitar Heaven is a triple threat for me – some of the best guitar songs of all times played by one of the most amazing electric guitarists in history.    For this training season, this has been the first hour of my long runs, and never fails to push me beyond or near a PB.

Will keep you posted .   See ya’ on the road!



  1. […] of the Sansa, I mentioned last week that running is about three things – will, pain, and the perfect playlist.   The thing I […]

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