Household PR Derby – the 26.2 showdown

aka the one where I admit to having non-internet-fabricated running relationships

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

You may not know this, but Brian actually ran a marathon before I did.


my third half, Bri’s first full (& BIL Sean’s first half) – Columbus 2009

And when I decided it was my time to graduate from the half, he jumped on board for a second.


Cleveland 2010 (recaps)

And then as a birthday “gift” I signed us both up for our third (I’d run NWM as my second). I ended up dropping to the half, and B crossed the finish line straight into retirement, swearing like so many others,


Vegas 2010, where Bri swore off 26.2 and I swore off RnR (recap)

Neither of us knew anything about running and relied on general athleticism and stubborn drive to get through. No specific workouts or fancy technology – just running the same speed all the time and gradually building long runs. A pretty basic “train your body to cover the distance” plan.

It worked fine, he had a nice 3:38.43 PR to show for it, despite never running further than 16 miles in “training.”


faking it at Vegas mile 25

As I started learning more about training and running, and in turn my times dropping, Brian’s interest seemed to pique, but remained steadfast in his anti-marathon stance.

And then I beat his PR by 90 seconds in Eugene (I truthfully had no idea until he told me later that night) and he graciously handed over the “fastest spouse” title. Even when I publicly announced to a party I was faster than him or used the PR card to get out of dishes.

(not really. I mean I would if I thought it’d work…)

But for some unknown reason, after standing out in the pouring rain chasing K and I along the CIM course and shouldering my DNF cries, the itch apparently came back.

Well into our 3rd round of pint sampling after the race (Pliny on tap yes please), Bri admitted to wanting to give another shot at 26.2. That these “real workouts” he’d been hearing about sounded intersting and he was curious what a shit-trained 3:38 could equal if he put in some proper training.

So right there, on the Pangaea bench, we registered Brian for the Surf City Marathon and drafted a tentative 9 week plan.



an homage to K’s rookie registration text

There are a few curious points in this whole tale – other than Brian’s sudden competitive desire to reclaim the household PR title and our belief in scheming rash plans under the influence….

(no morning-after regrets re: signing up, although I suspect when he sees the Pliny-inspired custom bib he might have some words…)

  • This is a terrific distraction for me during Zero Month. Having a direct outlet to focus all my displaced running energy is keeping me sane. Also, Brian’s agreement to “do whatever I say” for 9 whole weeks!? YESSSSS
  • That said, if by chance something goes badly, I’m going to feel terrible and completely responsible.
  • … and on the flip, if it goes really well and he completely crushes my time….

Here’s to new fuel for 2013 and the Household PR Derby…

Sarah OUaL


20 thoughts on “Household PR Derby – the 26.2 showdown

  1. This is awesome!!! I currently have the Marathon PR in our household too, and my husband (who would probably come close to breaking the 3 hr mark if he actually trained) is getting the itch as well with me running more. We both ran our first untrained (no runs longer than 15 for either of us) marathon in Philly where we went 4:20 (him) and 4:45 (me) respectively, then I reclaimed it with my Redemption Marathon (aka I trained) in 3:51… Firm believer that friendly spousal competition is a great thing :) Good luck whipping him into shape!


  2. Hahahaha, the only way C would win the household PR derby for us is if we raced 400 m or less! He’s an Ultimate player, so 90 minutes of 40-yd sprints are his specialty. One time I got him to run a 5k with me, which he finished in a very respectable 28 minutes, and then swore “Never again.” Someday! He will run with me!


  3. Boys have this amazing ability to “not train” for a race and then kill it. For some reason it doesn’t really work for girls the same way!

    I’ll look for him out there! I’m also running Surf City full!


  4. Pliny induced? HA! That stuff will make you do lots of things…. I wish I could run-boss my boyfriend for 9 weeks! I’d have him signed up for plenty of races and a relay or two :)

    I always confuse Surf City and Surfer’s Path (a May marathon near Santa Cruz)… Surfer’s Path has a 1/2 marathon tacked on to it as well, but it’s branded as the Capitola Half Marathon. Both courses are beautiful! My sister and I will be running Capitola 1/2 along with a ton of family members on the day of my mom’s wedding (#2). Can’t wait!


  5. Any good books you’ve read or resources for types of training plans or ways to train? When you described what you guys used to do… That’s what I do!!! Ahh need to get more knowledgeable, thanks!


    • (a billion years later…) I really just follow the rest, easy, speed, easy, tempo/hill, crosstrain, long run template and fill in with 3 build weeks and a step back week, increasing by 10% weekly mileage and peaking around 45-50. Most of our track workouts were ones Margot did in HS, I use to get an idea for paces. The only technical books I’ve read (and would recommend) are Heart Monitor Training for Compleat Idiot (the purpose of working really hard and really easy as opposed to always kind of hard) and Run Faster by Brad Hudson. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Run Less Run Faster and the Hansons Marathon Project books for actual plans and workouts – maybe check those out?


  6. I’m so excited for both of you!!!
    I couldn’t decide between Surf City & Carlsbad
    (but ended up choosing Carlsbad b/c of the free entry)
    I can’t wait to cheer for you, I know you’ve got a PR coming your way!
    I hope you’ve been healing well!
    good luck with the training-cycle!


  7. I recently broke my S.O.’s half marathon PR by over a minute (yes, this absolutely matters), and I am looking to increase that gap next year. She has no idea we’re competing.


  8. Pingback: Gimme Dat Bib | Once Upon a (L)ime


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