Tag Archives: first marathon

Badass Running / Walking Profile : Don Lhati

1383556_679266478775016_232238227_nName: Donald Lahti

Home State: Suitland Maryland, although I lived in Duluth Minnesota longer. Now I call San Antonio, Texas home.

BAR: When did I start running?

DL: The late 70’s early 80’s.

BAR: I’ve noticed that, though you participate in all of the running challenges we share on Facebook, you are a walker?

DL: I’ve always enjoyed walking, so when health issues and injuries ended my ability to run, I just switched to walking.

BAR: What motivates you?

DL: My biggest motivation is my health. I’ve been living without a pituitary since 1991 and dealing with worsening neurological issues, possible MS, since 2008. So, if bodies in motion tend to stay in motion, I’m afraid if I stop I’m doomed.

Longest Race: 50K Aug 2012

Hardest Course: The Decker 1/2 marathon in Austin, Texas–Monster Hills Hardest Race: Saturday & Sunday full marathons.

Favorite Race: 3M 1/2 Marathon in Austin, Texas during the month of Jan.

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Favorite Course: The Decker 1/2 marathon. Even though it was horribly hilly I loved it.

Favorite Distance: The half marathon–long enough to be challenging, but still able to finish in less than 4 hrs.

Least favorite Distance: The marathon–6.5-7 hours is too long on my legs and feet. Walking PR’s: 5K–42:05 1/2 Marathon–3:04:00 Full Marathon–6:40:32.

BAR: We see you in pictures with a lot of other runners and walkers. Who inspires you?

DL: Where to start?  First is my family. All of us race for Team Beef; including our granddaughters. My wife works 40hr weeks on her feet, but still gets out and logs 3+ miles in the evening with me, as well as a weekly long walk.

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Our oldest son has completely turned his diabetes around, thru diet & exercise.  In fact he is training for his first full ironman this fall. My youngest son balances work, time with his daughter, and still manages to run or bike regularly. I’m also a member of Team RWB & the I Ran Marathons family, whose many members I’d have a long way to go to match accomplishments with. And of course, there are all of you on team badass. On top of that I always try to live a life worthy of the sacrifices my fellow military members have made.

Bucket List: Grandma’s marathon in Duluth, Minnesota & the Disney World 1/2 marathon.

Favorite Shoes: Due to size 14 4E very flat feet, I wear clunky walking shoes, but my favorites are Brooks Addiction Walkers.

Other Gear: I either wear a hydration vest, or a fitletic quench belt depends on how I feel that day. I also use 2 trekking poles for stability; They’ve kept me off of my face more than once.

Apps/GPS: I’ve been using Map My Walk, but lately it has been really acting up. According to the app, my wife & I walked a 13 second mile the other day; not sure I believe that. I also use a Garmin hand held GPS unit. Not fancy but pretty accurate.

Advice: Just because you are a walker doesn’t mean you have to stroll.10849725_908910649143930_6877550262441194479_n

26.2 Miles – What I Learned from Them

26.24On Monday, 11/10/2014, I set out from home at about 8:30.  I had on my Altra Torin shoes, my Camelbak “Marathoner,” a birthday present from the family, several protein bars and Gu packs, my MP3 player, loaded up with part III of SWANSONG by Robert McCammon, and my game face.  One of the things that has characterized my running is the desire to get past the “I wonder if I can” stage of preparing for a race.  My first marathon was supposed to have been in March – The Newport News One City Marathon, which I’m looking forward too.  Still, that’s a winter away, and winter is the worst running time for me.  Right now I’m coming off hundreds of miles of training over sprint, summer and fall, and I just could not wait for March.

I had a plan (If you’ve read my posts about running long distances on my own before, you know that was futile).  I had a course set that should have brought me home just over 27 miles.  It was a reasonably simple map, and I carried the instructions with me, but there was a point – no road signs – where it just says, left, right. left right, and then turn right.   There were, of course, more options in that stretch than there should have been, and on that crucial final turn, I went…left.  Somehow.   I was supposed to run in to Elizabeth City, NC, and then loop back around toward home on familiar roads. Instead – when I finally poked my head back out onto Highway 17 about halfway into the run (a little over, maybe 14 miles) I was almost in HERTFORD, NC – the exact opposite direction from Elizabeth City.

By this point I had already nearly been blown off the road by a truck, chased by two packs of not-exactly friendly dogs, and gotten directions from people in two very “rural” yards.  One couple informed me I was way off track, but still better off than they were.  Their car woul dnot start, they were stranded, and they could not RUN all the way to the highway…made me smile.

So, anyway, there I was.  What I did was start calculating in my head.  I turned and ran back toward home, and just before hitting 16 miles, I turned left again, crossed back over the highway, and took the route I normally take on my 12 mile track (the one I got lost on LAST time).  26.21 26.22

I figured it like this.  No way I was not running the full 26.2 after all the preparation, and after telling everyone I was going to.  I planned to run half of what was left, turn around, and run back to that same point on the highway, then make it the last couple of miles to home and be well over my 26.2.   Except, what happened was that before I had quite hit that halfway point, I hit the final turn on my 12 mile course…and I took it rather than getting lost (lol)  So… on I traveled.  More dogs … a caterpillar … By this point I was at about 20 miles and speed was no longer an option, but I was still moving.  I stopped for a moment and called home at about 22 miles.  Trish was kind enough to drive out and bring me a bottle of Gatorade at mile 23.  I also gave her my camelback at that point, which helped.

The Gatorade was like magic.  I’d had a lot of water, and I still had water left, but it was no longer really rejuvenating me at all.  Of course, when I gave her the Camelbak, I forgot that my phone was in it – so I was then cut off, and had sent my “Mapmyrun.com” app home.  I kept going.  I had the Garmin watch, and it was going strong.  When I hit the turn to home, I started thinking.  I was going to be short.  Not a lot, but it was going to be – like – 25.78 … no good.  In the hardest running decision of my life, I turned AWAY from home and ran anouther 3/4 of a mile.  That was the defining moment.  After that I swung toward home, and I still felt okay…end in sight.

I walked / ran / stumbled the last mile … managed to remain upright through a shower … and plopped into my chair.  Then I got UP and drank a root beer, and a pepsi, ate an “Outshine” fruit bar, and got back IN to the chair.  Trish had gone to get Katie from school at this point.  Then I got UP again, ate a baloney sandwich and took the dog for a short walk.  The next time I got into the chair, I stayed until dinner…

So now I know.  I can go the distance, and complete it.  It feels good to be part of the 26.2 club…and today – after one day off – I’ll head out for my recovery run smiling.  25 miles from now, I will post again… that is when I will hit 1000 for the year, and I think I’ll take a look back at it for highlights.  Feelin’ kind of #badass today.

I did this (without planning to) on the USMC birthday.  To all my marine buddies, active and retired… Ooo freakin’ rah.

-DNW