Author Archive | Trevor Spencer

Race Recap: The Modesto Half Marathon

Modesto Half MarathonSurgical Artistry Modesto Marathon is a well organized local race drawing about 3,000 people. It features a marathon, half marathon, and 5k. My dad and I ran the half marathon.

Farewell to Modesto
The purpose of my coming to Modesto was to help my mom and dad empty their house and move to the Washington coast.

The move required a massive downsizing –from a 4,000 sq ft home to a cabin less than half that size. Literally every item had to be packed, sold, or given away. I’m talking about 60 years of stuff! Some of the stuff was going to me . . . I just had to get it home.

The move just happened to coincide with the Modesto Marathon so Dad and I decided to run the half as a final goodbye to the city where I grew up and where he lived most of his life. It took us 2 hours and 24 minutes to finish the half marathon. Apparently we like long goodbyes.

—Read the rest of my race recap— Continue Reading →

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How I Ran a Sub-4 Hour Marathon

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You might have heard on our last podcast episode that I ran the Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Marathon in 3:54:15.

A sub-4 hour marathon is not remarkable as far as finishing times go. I’m a middle of the pack runner. (I finished 597 out of 2633).

But I did run 37 minutes faster than my best time . . . which is remarkable for me.

And it was actually easier than I thought it would be. Much easier than running my first marathon.

Here are a few tricks I used to keep my run under 4 hours.

Continue Reading →

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What I Need to Run 20 Miles

Fuel for my 20 miler (minus the fruit in the background)

Fuel for my 20 miler (minus the fruit in the background)

Tomorrow Angie and I are going on a 20 mile trail run. I’m totally stoked!

In fact, I’m so excited about this run that I found myself gathering my fueling supplies 17 hours in advance. Usually I throw it all in a bag before heading out the door.

Now that I step back and look at it all . . . THIS IS A LOT OF STUFF!

But every one of these fueling items is necessary when I run for 3+ hours.

Here is a break down of what I’m taking Continue Reading →

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Your Footprints in the Snow

footprint in snowThe snow doesn’t stay around for long here in S.E. Missouri.

We usually only get a light dusting -enough to conceal a dangerous layer of ice.

On one such day I found myself on a 5 mile training run. The temperature must have been in the low 20s.

As I picked my way along the road trying to avoid the icy patches I suddenly saw footprints. Continue Reading →

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The Unbreakable Runner

UnbreakableI recently ran twenty miles. This was a scheduled run in my marathon training for the 2013 New Orleans Marathon.

Twenty miles still feels like a huge distance to me and perhaps it always will. But I’m curious . . . do ultramarathoners look at 20 miles as a mere warm up? What’s 20 miles if you’re running 100!?

I finished my run strong and happy but tired. I can’t fathom running another 80 miles. Yet thousands of people (many who are older than me) run 100 mile races every year around the world.

One such race is the Western States 100 which starts at Squaw Valley Ski Area, Lake Tahoe, California and crosses mountains and canyons eventually ending in Auburn, California 100 miles later. Runners must make it in 30 hours or less.

I just watched a documentary called Unbreakable: The Western States 100. In 2010 the competition was particularly fierce. The four runners contending for first place were as follows: Continue Reading →

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How to Run a Faster Half Marathon

Photo Credit: Jason Q [syntheticj]

Photo Credit: Jason Q [syntheticj]

My first half marathon took 2:02 to finish. Afterwards my feet were too tender to walk back to the hotel. It felt like someone slapped them with a boat oar for two hours.

But alas! That was the young naive Trevor.

Two and a half years later my time has improved to 1:40 without post race soreness!

I attribute all my improvement to Angie’s coaching. I know it works and maybe if I wasn’t such a lazy runner I would follow her advice more completely.

If your goal is to run a faster half marathon next year (2013) I want to give you Angie’s 10 point plan for making it happen.

Continue Reading →

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Race Recap: The Route 66 Marathon

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

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Angie and I ran the Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on November 23rd.

This race had been on Angie’s wishlist for some time because of it attracts lots of Marathon Maniacs (she is maniac# 4723).

They even gave her a maniac finisher’s medal. How cool is that?

Cooler than anything I’ve given her.

This race proliferated with coolness. Here’s how Continue Reading →

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Fueling Questions with Steve Born from Hammer Nutrition

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Steve Born gives fueling seminars for Hammer Nutrition.

He is also an accomplished athlete holding two ultra marathon cycling records. This guy rides his bike 1,000 miles for the fun of it!

We asked Steve to give us a fueling overview. What should a runner do the week before, the morning of, during the race, and post-race?

Here is what he said . . . Continue Reading →

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Strength Training for Runners [part 3]

Side plank with leg extension

Are you ready to strengthen your muscles to become a better runner?

Here are some specific moves that focus muscles neglected in the running motion.

All of these exercises can be done in your living room with little to no equipment.

Yes that is yours truly busting a crazy side plank with leg extension (six pack modestly concealed beneath t-shirt)(I wish).

Let’s get started Continue Reading →

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My Killer Marathon Training Plan

After I ran my first marathon (in 2011) I had no aspirations of doing it again.

“Angie can be the 26.2 miler of the family.” I told myself. “I’ll stick to half marathons.”

I had gone from desk potato to runner. This was a remarkable transformation since I have hated running from a tender age. I failed PE class in 9th grade because I refused to run that mandatory 1 mile.

The marathon was a life changing experience but not one I was too eager to repeat. In the back of my mind I knew I would try it again but I planned to procrastinate it as long as possible.

The Eventual Death of Procrastination
Now I’m officially signed up for the New Orleans Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Feb 24th 2013. Do or die, this should be an exciting race. I personally think it’s worth a drive to New Orleans just to eat in the French Quarter.

Angie has designed a killer training plan for me that will be more aggressive than any schedule I’ve previously followed. This time I will be as strong as possible when I nudge my way into the corral on race day.

Here is a look at my training regimen Continue Reading →

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Race Recap: City of Roses Half Marathon

City of Roses Half Marathon Finisher's Medal

Click to see enlarged image


[Race location] Cape Girardeau, Missouri

I ran my fastest half marathon to date (1:44:28) this weekend!

There is no logical reason for why I set a PR.

I’ve never done speed work (ever). It rained non-stop. There were hills. I developed a massive blister. And I stopped to tie my shoes three times.

Angie is flabbergasted.

It must be a boost in mental power after interviewing Dean Karnazes (episode 66) and Eric Strand (soon to be released episode 67). Amazing runners!

Here is my race recap . . . Continue Reading →

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Race Recap | Winthrop Marathon and Half Marathon

What is vacation without running a half marathon?

We vacation every year in Port Townsend, Washington. Angie, being the marathon junkie that she is, signed us up for the Winthrop Marathon about 180 miles away.

My initial response was, “That’s too far to drive for some obscure little race.”

To get to Winthrop from Port Townsend requires taking the ferry to Whidbey Island then a 4 hour drive over the Cascade Mountains.

Angie’s response was, “What would be so bad about a scenic drive through the mountains?”

I acquiesced. We left our three kids in the capable hands of their grandparents and we headed to Winthrop.
Continue Reading →

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