Stephen Rathbun, native New Yorker, avid runner and Key Account Representative here at Rockport, will be running the Boston Marathon on April 16th in our DresSports shoes, one of the first dress shoes to be infused with sport technology. In the months leading up, Stephen will chronicle his progress as he trains for the marathon (if you haven't already, be sure to check out his previous posts here and here). 2 weeks to go…wow, things are starting to get real! As I sit here writing this post, I am having a cup of coffee before my last long run until the marathon. After this weekend we are looking at the start of my 2-week taper with next week being 80% of my peak mileage and the following week at 50-60%. Training has come together about as well as I could have hoped the past month. I spent a week in Seattle for work, and I was able to get in workouts with some of my buddies from the Club Northwest team - Seattle’s longest standing running institution. It is always great to meet up with my man Turner, pictured below, because he loves to push the pace and challenge me. This picture is at the top of Volunteer Park in Seattle. The hills to the top are no joke and make some great prep for Boston. Despite the goofy look on my face, this photo opp was a much-needed rest during the run.
The donut-shaped structure is a 1969 sculpture called Black Sun, which has a view of the Space Needle, Olympic Mountains, and Elliott Bay. I also had two races with my club, Garden State Track Club, in the past month. This is always an integral piece of a marathon build up for me; races help to break up the monotony of the training cycle while also challenging the body at quicker-than-marathon pace, ideally making marathon pace feel easier. The first race at the beginning of March was the Adrenaline 5k in South New Jersey on St. Patty’s Day. Though not my best effort in cold and windy conditions, it was a great rust-buster and a blast to hang out with the squad.
Oh…I can’t forget the best part of running this race…the post-race brunch at the Pop Shop in Collingswood, NJ. The highlight of the meal is the legendary Pancake Fries (insert heart eyes!). Refueling after a race is of the upmost importance.
The next race was last weekend, the Garden State 10 miler and 5k. This is a great test for Boston. I ran both the 5k and 10 miler as a workout, using both as a progression where I pick up the pace as the race goes on. Despite the 5k not going well at Adrenaline, this effort was so smooooooth! I hit the progression times I was looking for- and with only a 15-minute break between the two races- and I was able to recover and run a very solid 10 miler in windy and cold conditions. I ran 5:30 pace for the 10 miler and felt very comfortable. This made me more optimistic for the marathon in two weeks. Oh, how can I forget? I ran the 10 mile race in my DresSports, as pictured below, and they even felt good at the faster pace! The shoes delivered on the promise of comfort and stability.
The next two weeks we will cut down the mileage and intensity of training. Two pieces will be a focus here: sleep and nutrition. I will aim to get in 8 hours of sleep each night. This has been a reach for me as of late, but with the decrease in time I need to dedicate to training I am left with more zzz time. Also, as we move closer to the race I will work to phase more carbohydrates into my diet. Without increasing total caloric intake, I will shift the carbohydrate percentage of my diet to be the lead while proteins and healthy fats become less important. Aside from that, the “hay is in the barn.” I will do a couple priming workouts, but the last two weeks there is more you can do to hurt your race than help. With the increased intensity of the training this past month, my footwear choices outside of running have become increasingly important for recovery. Of course, my go to recovery shoe is Rockport. Maybe I am a bit biased…but I do feel the tech is incredibly comfortable and helps my feet between runs. The shots below show off two new Rockports for this season. On the left I am wearing the lightweight, casual Colle Slip On. These are great weekenders to pop on and go. On the right is a picture with my girlfriend’s family over the Easter weekend; I am wearing the Total Motion Sport Dress. I have mentioned this shoe in my previous posts, but gosh I can’t get over how amazing these feel. I now have a few colors, and they work with every outfit. From dress casual to a suit, these Total Motion wingtips do the job for me.
I hope to have a few more Spring shoe recommendations on my next post. And of course, I hope to have some great stories after the marathon. Follow my progress along the route on April 16th on the Boston Marathon Athlete Tracking site; I am bib # 1187. Wish me luck! In comfort, Stephen