Sunday, October 26, 2008

I did it!

I was able to complete the Silicon Valley Marathon today. I am so thankful and happy.

My time was far behind my hopeful time. I hoped to complete it in 4 hours and 30 minutes but I was about a half an hour off pace. I injured me knee about mile 2 or 3. I'm not sure what occurred (maybe it was a hill or it was cold out). I just started feeling a sharp pain every time I took a step with my left leg. The pain did not go away. I had to slow down because the faster I went the more it hurt. There were a number of times that I thought it might be best to stop due to the pain. But, I thought about my dad and the pain he went through last year as he lost his battle with cancer. I pushed through and completed it.

Thanks so much for your support!

I cannot believe in late May I weighted 230 pounds and could barely run a mile. I did not start my long runs until July 20th (that was a 6 mile run). Yet, I was able to prepare myself and complete the marathon. I wish the time could have been faster, but with my knee it was enough to just finish and not quit.

Also, thanks to God for giving me the strength and determination to finish this life long goal. And, thanks to my dad for showing me to fight through pain. I did it for you too dad.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

1 day left

I am 1 day away from the Silicon Valley Marathon! I finished all my training runs and now I am just waiting for Sunday to come.

My longest training run was on Oct 5th and it was 20 miles. I ran 7 miles before the San Jose R&R half marathon. I hit a wall towards the end and it was very difficult, but I completed the 20 miles. So I know that 26.2 miles will be very tough. But, I'm excited to complete it.

In late May (I believe it was May 27th) I had a doctor's appointment. I weighted about 230 pounds and my blood pressure was high. I thought about my dad and how he always smoked and would not listen to us asking him to stop. He passed away with lung cancer on Oct. 28, 2007. It can be frustrating when people do things that we know are bad and then they suffer the consequences. However, thinking about my life, I was doing similar actions. I was not smoking, but I was not watching my weight. I was not exercising and I was not eating proper.

So I decided that I needed to start getting in shape. I would ride my bike to work and I started watching what I eat. I also started going for jogs. I would not go for long jogs. When I first started jogging I would only be able to run to the end of the nearby park and back. It was about 1.6 miles and I went at a very slow pace. I used to run more when I was young, but it had been about 5 years since I ran. Each week I would slowly try to increase my distance. I would run 2 miles, then 2.7 miles, then 3 miles. I would also take my bike out for longer rides. I did a couple of 20 plus mile bike rides. I was slowly losing weight and slowly getting in shape (I was down to about 215 in early July and my blood pressure was normal.

One of my goals in life had been to run a marathon. I checked out the various marathons and had noticed the Silicon Valley Marathon was two days before the first year of my dad's death. I have an earlier blog talking about my first long run and my decision to sign up for the marathon (see the earlier blogs on this webpage). So to make a long story short, my first long run was July 20th. From that point forward I increased my long training runs up to 20 miles. I have also helped raise funds for the American Cancer Society in his name (LINK TO ACS PAGE)

I now weigh 180 pounds. The training has been tough and my knees have had many very sore days. Now, I am less than 24 hours from the marathon. I'm not going to worry about times (I don't think I can keep a 10 min a mile pace. I was able for my 18 mile run, but not my 20 mile run), I'm just going to give it my best to complete it. I remember a year ago watching my dad fight to stand up. Fight to take a step. Him having to use a walker and struggle to get a few feet. Him unable to get out of bed the final few days. I remember the doctor telling him that he only had 1 week to live. It was very tough to watch him go through what he had to endure. I am thankful that I have the opportunity to even walk, let along run 26.2 miles. I'll be thinking of my dad when I need strength to finish.

Thanks for all the support everyone.

Friday, October 3, 2008

14 mile run

Originally posted Sept. 28, 2008:

Just a quick update. I was able to do my schedule 14 mile run. My pace was 9:43 per mile. My best time yet. Overall, though it was still very hard. I thought it would be easy since I did a 15, 16, and 18 mile run. But, it is still tough. Maybe, I kept too fast a pace. But, I finished it.

The big training run is next week. 20 miles. I'm scheduled to run the Silicon Valley Rock and Roll Half Marathon. Which means I have to run 7 miles before I start the half marathon. It is going to be hard, but I'm going to do my best to complete it.

18 mile run

Originally posted Sept. 21, 2008:

I was able to do my 18 mile run today. I did it in just under 3 hours and burnt through over 2K calories. Right now, as I type, I am very, very sore. Lot's of pain in my knees, but I feel good. I'm sure I am going to be even more sore in the am.

It was hard but felt great to complete it. I kept a very steady pace. It amazes me of how my pace has increased over the last month. The run itself was not too eventful. With the trouble of the 16 mile run, I tried to make sure I had good sleep the night before and tried to eat a lot of pasta. I also have GU with me and propel (for the water). It helps a lot. I did not take a drink until about mile 7 and then did not take the GU until the halfway point. Then, I refilled my water about mile 10.

I was starting to hit a wall about mile 12 and was slowing down. Some French man (I think he was French) then came running next to me (I could hear him jogging from behind). He asked if I wanted to join him and since I was hitting a wall I said okay (thought it might help). He kept a very fast pace (well under 9 mins a mile). We ran and talked (a little about our training and past marathons (none for me, four for him)). Then by mile 14 I told him I had to slow down (the pace was too fast and I was unsure I would make it if I kept his pace). But, it helped me get through my wall.

Then the last 4 miles went by fast. I tried to keep a 10 min a mile pace to finish under 3 hours. I did it! I'm so happy. I cannot believe I am going to have to find the strength to run 8.2 MORE miles, but I'm so glad that I completed this run.

My Garmin watch is having trouble transferring the data online (I do have it on my computer).

12 mile run

Originally posted Sept. 14, 2008:

Back from vacation and had to do my 12 mile run.

If anyone is on facebook, I have pictures on facebook from my short vacation. Just look me up under Timothy Fitzgibbon. I'll put the pictures on myspace also. So I was in Maui and did my long run last week before I left. I planned to do my long run (this weekend) when I got back today rather than do the long run in Maui. So although I was on vacation I still ran. I ran 6 times. There were a lot of hills and the weather makes it difficult to run, but great views. We had a condo near the beach so most of the run had good views of the beach. There were some long and steep hills. Very difficult short runs.

Today was a down weak . . . only had to do 12 miles. It's crazy how the training works. Two months ago, 12 miles would have been very scary, but it seems like a light run (although still difficult) after you have went on longer runs. Next week is going to be a tough one . . . 18 miles. The 16 mile run was very, very difficult, so I am going to have to make sure I'm rested and ready for the 18 mile run.

Back to the topic. I did the 12 mile run this morning. Here is a link: 12 Mile Run I did it in less than 2 hours (by a few seconds). So I avg'd a 10 min a mile pace. Not too fast but I am very happy. When I first started training (back in June) I had trouble running 1.6 miles. That was my starting point and it was difficult. I also could not maintain a 10 mile pace for just 1 mile. So it's great to see your times and distance improve.

The trouble with all the running is the pain. My knees and feet hurt. But, so far no major injury that is stopping my training.

I'm really excited for the 18 mile run next week. It's going to be hard, but I know it will feel good to complete it.

16 mile run

Originally posted Sept. 5, 08:

This morning I did my 16 mile run. It was by far the hardest and longest run I ever did. I'm trying to get work done before vacation so I stayed up late Thurs. night (until about 1:30am). Then, I tried to wake up at 5am. It was about 5:20am before I got up. Then, off I went.

It was tough. I just did not have the energy. About mile 11 I hit a wall and the rest of the run was just very difficult. However, I did it. Now only two more long runs before the marathon.

The 16 Mile Run

15 mile run

Originally posted on August 31, 2008:

Well I did it! 15 Mile Run

I'm tired, but very happy. This is my second week with a sore knee. I was very unsure about how I would do on this long run. I have never run this far before in my life. So it was going to be a challenge even without an injury. But, I did it.

I tried to maintain a steady pace and not push myself too much. About mile 11 my knee was really bothering me but I just pushed forward.

I actually had my first phone call come through when I was on the run. I have the iphone with me because I listen to the ipod. I normally would not answer the phone, but the music stops when there is a rang. So I picked it up (this was about mile 7). It was my step-mother and she asked if I was sleeping. I guess jogging while talking might be similar to picking up the phone half a sleep. The funny part is I'm trying to cut the conversation short because I'm not stopping and I'm trying to keep pace. But, she continues to talk and talk. I need to call her and tell her sorry if I was rude for not talking back (I did say yes a couple times, hopefully I did not commit myself to something). Well, I guess not too many exciting things occur while you are running.

The other odd thing I find is how to address people that you make eye contact with. I generally say hi, but some people turn their eyes away really quick.

Lastly, bikers can be so rude. But, I think people who walk with their family and take the ENTIRE path are more annoying. Stay on one side and four people don't all have to walk four side by side. But, in general, I find it nice to run where there are a lot of other people either jogging, walking or biking. It seems to give you more energy. But, I think sometimes I'm sort of silly. For instance, about mile 12 (I was very tired) there was a lady maybe 50 feet in front of me. So I pictured that I was attached to her by a rope and she was pulling me forward. I also tried to take her energy (at least in my mind). Not sure it worked because by mile 13 she must have been 200 feet in front of me. By mile 14 she was out of sight.

Oh, but I'm happy!

10 Mile Run

Originally posted August 24, 2008:

I was able to complete my 10 mile run today! I'm very happy because I've been bothered by a sore knee all week. Link to the 10 mile run

Last Sunday I ran 13 miles and felt good after the run. But, Monday morning I went for a three mile jog. The three miles were mostly going up and down hills. I must have done something to my right knee since after the run I started feeling shooting pains in it. It stayed sore all week. Ice and ibuprofen have really helped, but it has not appeared to be getting better. I tried to take my workouts easy this week, but I still had to get some running in and my knee always felt worse after a run. So I was very unsure whether I would be able to complete the run today.

I told myself that I would give it a shot. All I really had to do was run 5 miles. If I went five miles in one direction, then I would have to somehow get back (whether its jogging, walking, limping, being carried). The run was not too eventful. I took my iphone which helped pass the time. I mostly just focused on making sure I did not push myself too much (likely did not do a good job at that) and tried to not seriously damage my knee. I maintained a pace just over 10 minutes a mile for the first 5 miles. I stopped at the 5 mile mark to stretch and check out my knee. It felt okay. My right knee was still sore, but it was holding up. It's still sore right now (I have ice on it). Then, I turned around and went the five miles back. I felt good for those five miles. I kept about a 10 minute mile pace (maybe a little too fast). About an hour and forty three minutes after I started . . . I completed the 10 miles!

Next week is a scheduled 15 mile run. Hopefully my knee gets better.

Tuesday is the softball division final. We play a very tough team that beat us good during the season.

Long Run 5

Originally posted August 16, 2008:

This week my training schedule stated I should run 13 miles. I was excited to do it because it's almost a half-marathon. I went out and bought two new pairs of shoes, some new shorts, and some of the powerbar gel to help me get through the run.

I planned to get a good night rest on Sat, but I forgot the 49ers had their first preseason game (we have season tickets). It was at 6pm. We decided to go. Because parking is horrible at the stadium, we park about a mile and a half away and walk to the stadium. It's a good walk and generally fun because a lot of people do it. I just got stuck waiting an hour trying to leave the parking lot once to many times . . . I would rather walk the 20 minutes. So we actually did not get home until later. And, then I had to watch Phelps go for his 8th gold. It's great that he won, but sometimes it bothers me that the focus is so much on who wins the gold. If he only won 7 gold, I'm sure the U.S. would have been disappointed. So I'm glad he did it.

I woke up about 6:45 so that I could get ready and leave around 7am. I took my garmin, powerbar gel, water and NEW shoes. Kinda silly to use new shoes when I did not know how my feet to react to them over a long run. The sales person told me I should break them in first with shorter runs before using them on a long run, but they felt good. Long story short . . . I completed my run. Here is a map of the run (have to put my garmin to good use) LONG RUN 5. It took me a while, but I made it through the 13 miles. And, I felt quite good. I also thought the powerbar gel was helpful. It is the first time I used it. The taste was not bad. It was a pain to open the package, but maybe because I was tired and trying to run at the same time. I think it helped. I had more energy at the end of the run than I did last week at the end of the 12 mile run.

Now I have to prepare for a speech that I have on Monday. It's on the indirect foreign tax credit and the foreign tax credit limitation. I have 130 slides so I need to start deleting them and need to think about what I want to say. Oh joy.

My speech is in San Francisco so at least no travel. Seems like there will be a good crowd so I better start preparing.

Long Run 4

Originally posted Aug. 8, 2008:

Ran my 12 miles today! Yeah. Since my flight to So. Cal is at 11am, I had to get up at 5:30 am to get my run in. I was very tired and really did not want to do it. I thought about just putting it off and trying to get it in over the weekend. But, being away from home I had to make sure I got the long run in. Okay, need to pack.

Long Run 3

Originally posted August 3, 2008:

This morning was my scheduled long run. I planned to do 10 miles. And, I failed. J/K. The main reason for me writing in this area is that I have some accountability. I would think I might to be ashamed to write about not completing a run (unless I got injured, which I'm still a bit worried about). :)

Well, I wanted to get out of the door at 7am, but it was about 7:20am before I left with my new Garmin. It was actually my second new Garmin. For a little while there it seemed like I might not have one.

I went out on Friday and bought myself a Garmin Forerunner 405 so that I can know how far I am running. Last week, I ended up .2 short of 9 miles (my goal) because of a wrong turn.

As I mentioned, I bought one on Friday (left work for about an hour, don't tell anyone). When I got home, I played with it for a little while. Since I had to charge the battery first, I did not get much time to fuss with it on Friday. So Sat. I turned my attention to it. Well I could not register it. Time after time, I tried, but could not. After about two hours I gave up and returned it. I assumed that the one I purchased was a returned and the prior owner had registered it. Instead of trying to deal with customer service, I thought I would just exchange it for another one.

So I went to REI to exchange it and they did not have another one. They told me I could hold onto it and talk to customer service for Garmin to determine if they could fix the registration. If I wanted to talk to customer service, I doubt I would have drove 20 minutes to exchange it. I did not want to sit on the phone dealing with it so I just returned it. Then I drove to the REI in San Carlos (about 20-30 minutes away from the first REI) and purchased one.

Then, I get home and try to install the software. Well now there is a problem with the software. It is focused on my old Garmin (the one I returned) and is not recognizing my new one. I'm ready to give up and just return this one as well. I was a bit sad because I was so excited when I bought the first Garmin.

I was thinking about seeing the Dark Knight in the afternoon, but I have to get the Garmin to work so that I could use it on my long run. I'm not sure how long I installed, removed, and reinstalled the software, along with reading the troubleshooting webpages. It was long enough that my thought of seeing the Dark Knight was gone.

Finally . . . and I don't know how . . . I was about to have the program recognize my new Garmin (which means the training can be downloaded from the watch to the computer). It was a long and frustrating process. It took most of my Sat (with fussing with the first Garmin, returning it, buying a new one at a location many miles away, fussing with the second one). So I had to test it. I could not go for a run since I planned to use Sat to rest my legs (I worked out the prior four nights and needed an "off" day before my long run). So, I took Jake and Jenny for a 2 mile walk. It was hot!

Then I came home and hoped that the software would work (download the details of my walk to the computer). It worked! Yeah!

So to end the long and boring story . . . I have my Garmin and could use it for my long run.

It's 7:20am and off I go with my Garmin. Nothing too much exciting about the run. I ran up to Steven's Creek Trail, ran about 2 miles of the Trail, and then headed back home. It was long, hot and I was tried. But, I did it. And, I ended up with 11 miles. The Garmin watch came into good use as I got near my home I was at 10.8 miles so I forced myself to jog up and down the block until I hit 11 miles. The watch says I lost nearly 1400 calories. I started off with a good pace, but really slowed down. Yet, I reached and exceeded my goal.

So on to next week . . . 12 miles.

And, the High School Reunion.

And, the Santa Monica Speech. Going to be tough to find time for the 12 miles, but I got to do it.

Long Run 2 - Camping

Originally posted on July 31, 2008:

I went camping last weekend! Yeah. It was fun except it started out very bad. I lost my wallet on the drive down (it was near Santa Barbara). It took me about an hour and a half to cancel my credit cards. I do not understand why it took so long. Very frustrating.

Luckily, someone found my wallet and called me. I picked it up on the way home. I told the man that found it that he could keep the cash as a reward. He did not want a penny. He is a very good man. I wish him the best and hope he is repaid for his good acts.

As for the run . . . I did 9 miles this past weekend. Well actually 8.8 (I took a wrong turn and it ended up cutting a little distance off). But, it was still a good run. I'm hoping to move up to 10 miles this week. Hopefully my knees will hold up. I'm excited to see how I do on a 10 mile run. I'm excited about it.

Long Run 1

This was initially posted on July 20th 2008:

This week, I've debated whether I should try to run the Silicon Valley Marathon on Oct. 26, 2008. I've been doing some jogging lately but most of my activity has been either cycling or playing basketball. One of my goals before I turn 40 is to run a marathon. The Silicon Valley Marathon is only 14 weeks away. If it was 16 weeks away, I would go for it, but 14 is not a lot of time to train for my first marathon. Since I'm considering this a little late, so far it seems all the "team in training" sort of groups are closed. So, it seems best to maybe look for another Marathon.


  1. I'm not getting younger,
  2. The Silicon Valley Marathon seems like a good Marathon for a novice . . . it's relatively flat and fast. It's also close.
  3. I've actually run those streets before. About 5 or 6 years ago, I was hoping to train for a marathon (got up to about 14 miles) and then got too busy at work. In my training, I ran a lot of the streets set in the course for the Silicon Valley Marathon.
  4. It will be nearly 1 year from my dad's death (Oct. 28, 2007). So, it will be a way I can remember him and a positive way to reflect on his life and passing.
So, I decided that I would register if I could do a long run this weekend. The goal was 6 miles. Then I could add a mile a week (for the one long run) and get up to about 18/19 miles in training.

I mapped out a course for a 6 mile run (it was actually 6.3).

This morning, I woke up for my first long run (I ran 3 miles yesterday as a warm up, took my dogs for the first two miles yesterday). Then off I went.

I felt good. About the 4 mile mark I started getting tired, but never the urge to quit or walk. I then made a change to my proposed route (I was not sure if the street went all the way through) so I took a slightly different route (the route I generally use to bike home from work). The last part of the run was the hardest. There was a large and long hill. My knees were hurting. But, still no strong urge to walk. Soon I was close to home and knew that I could keep going.

And, I made it! Yeah. It's just a start but it's a start. I came home and took the dogs for a walk to cool down. Then I checked the distance of the new route (the one I actually took). Turns out I ran 6.9 miles today. I'm really happy. Also happy that I ran about 11 minutes a mile. I want to get down to 10 minutes a mile, but right now the key for me is the distance.

I'm still not sure if I can train to run the full marathon. I have a lot of travel dates and a lot of speeches. But, I'm going to give it a shot. I remember after I got out of the Navy. I was working full-time and starting college (I was always horrible at school). I was not sure if I could do it (do well in school (taking a full load) and also work full-time). Heck, I was not sure I could do well in school, taking one class and not working. But, I was set to give it a shot. Do my best and not be afraid to fail. I got an A in every class and promoted at work.

So, although I have a very demanding job, I'm going to give this marathon training a shot. If I fail . . . well at least I tried. If I succeed, then it's one thing to cross of my list. More importantly, it will be a good way to remember my dad (I know I'm going to be thinking about him a lot in Oct. . . . I already do)

I'll provide updates whether I succeed or not. I'm going to give it a shot.

Trying out blogger


I'm going to move some of my post (especially those regarding my training) to blogger. Going to try a new blog spot.