Cliff Gardner

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Double Marathon

I won’t be able to run the Portland Marathon again this year like I had planned since it’s on the same day that I fly to Ukraine. So, I thought that instead of running one marathon all at once, that I would run twice the length of a 26.2 mile marathon (52.4) over the course of a week. Doing the math, that means that I need to do about 7.5 miles a day. I have a 2.2 mile loop that goes past three of the four schools I attended in Forest Grove, and a little mile extension that I can tack on towards the end, so if I do three laps plus the extension every day for a week, I should be fine. This is going to be tough, but at least I'm not this guy who's running 50 marathons in 50 days, so I'll try not to complain.

Sunday: I decided to get a jump on this whole double marathon thing by running 7.6 miles starting at midnight. The first loop was uneventful except that my hip started to hurt towards the end. During the second rotation, I had to stop a few times and stretch it out, but by the time I started the third lap I was pretty much cruising…until a little rat dog chased me for a few blocks before giving up and going home. I also ran through some sprinklers that just randomly turned on as I was passing them. All in all, it was a good start, but my hip worries me a little. I can tell already that that’s going to be my biggest obstacle. Motivating song of run: Eye of the Tiger, Survivor.

Monday: Another 7.6 miles at midnight. I’m sore and I’m not sure I can make it the whole week at this rate. The good news, though, is that Liz gave me a backrub today that felt really, really good. Aside from that, the only event from tonight’s run was this guy who stood on the corner of a random street for the three times I passed him…over the course of an hour, from midnight to one in the morning. Seriously, go to sleep, dude. At least I’m running. Motivating song of run: Walking in Memphis, some guy I don’t know.

Tuesday: Tonight was the easiest 7.6 miles yet thanks to a little drug called ibuprofen. I took two about a half hour before I started and it helped a lot. My hip didn’t bother me at all. My legs feel like Jello, sure, but muscle pain is manageable—joint pain isn’t—so with performance enhancing drugs on my side, I think I just might finish out this endeavor. There’s nothing interesting to report from the road tonight except the three police cars that kept passing me…no one is chasing me, officers, I’m fine. Motivating song of run: Learning to Fly, Tom Petty.

Wednesday, Part One: My friend Bethany called me today wanting to run, and since our normal distance together is 3.2 miles, I just ran 4.4 tonight by myself and will finish the rest in a few hours with her. The part I did by myself was more painful than last night—my thighs are killing me—but it wasn’t too bad. It reaches a point on long runs where pain just becomes background noise and I don’t notice it very much. Tonight, on the first lap, I passed an ambulance, and the second time around there were two there. I hope people are ok. Motivating song of run: Hands Up, Lloyd Banks (I think). Part Two: Wow, I’m really sore. The 3.2 miles with Bethany was hard—worse than the 4.4 from last night. Oddly, it’s easier to just do the whole thing in one shot than to break it up. I’ll certainly test that theory when I run the entire 7.6 in about 12 hours from now. At least I’m more than half way there!

Thursday: Thank God for ibuprofen. Before I ran another 7.6 miles at midnight, again, I was actually a little scared. I was already in a little pain having run more recently than usual with Bethany, so the prospect of another hour and fifteen minutes of pure agony was a little frightening. However, after popping two pills, my pain was really minor…until around the 6th mile. Of course, at that point I lost the ability to run in a straight line, swerving like a drunk driver because my legs hurt so much, but until then, everything was great! The only thing to report from the road tonight was the complete lack of anything to report—I saw no one while running and only three or so cars passed me. A quiet night in the grove. Motivating song of run: In My Pocket, Mandy Moore (I was actually looking for the version from Miami Vice, but I’ll take what I can get).

Friday: I’m almost done with this thing. After 7.6 miles tonight, I’m pretty sure that I got this whole distance running thing out of my system for a while. If I was swerving like a drunk driver last night, then tonight I was the Ukrainian jewel Oksana Baiul. In addition to the swerving, my back has started to feel/twang like I’m bending a saw back and forth…it’s not really painful, just weird, and I think it's a troubling indicator that I’ve pushed myself really hard. Ibuprofen only goes so far. Nothing odd to report from the road tonight. One more 7.6 mile run and I’m finished. Motivating song of run: Stronger, Britney Spears. SHUT UP, I was desperate!

Saturday/Sunday: You know when you’ve been shopping all day and you’re exhausted even though all you’ve done is stand/walk around? Well, after spending the day/night at the Oregon State Fair and Cake Concert with Liz yesterday, I know now that it applies to more than just shopping. When I got home last night at 2 in the morning, I knew that I was too tired and sore to run without doing some serious damage to my body, so I decided to sleep for while and run on Sunday morning. A few hours later, I ran 7.6 miles, completing my double marathon about twelve hours shy of my goal. However, for the first time during this trek, I ran during the day (so it was much hotter) and I ran 53.2 miles, or almost a mile more than I had to run, so I’m satisfied. Motivating song of run: Sinnerman, Nina Simone.

To recap: I ran over twice the length of a marathon in a little over a week. That translated into 53.2 miles and almost nine hours of running. Also, I think it’s worth mentioning that I lost five and a half pounds during the last week, bringing me down to a trim buck-twenty-five. My Florida State hat feels like a towel that’s been dropped into a swimming pool. I think I’ll take a few days off.


  • I don't know what impresses me more: the enormous sum of run time you logged or the music you played to get you through it. Way to accomplish what you put your mind to!

    By Anonymous sharl, at 3:26 PM  

  • I think it's so awesome that you did this! Hopefully you didn't do any damage to your joints. You're a rockstar.

    By Anonymous Liz, at 5:45 PM  

  • I was waiting for "Walking on Broken Glass" to be a motivating song. Congrats on all the miles. What state are you in for your run across America?

    And not only are you a rock star, but you are an 80's hair band rock star!

    By Blogger magic, and with love from Sam,, at 8:12 PM  

  • you are just amazing. that is all i can say about this.

    By Blogger Miss B, at 9:12 PM  

  • Holy cow Thomas, I think you may be the hardest core runner in the world!!
    I was so proud when I got to 3 miles w/o having a heart attack, but I haven't been able to run more than 5 minutes lately, so I just stopped. Here's my thought on running. Unless someone's chasing me, I do not run.

    By Blogger Diane, at 10:06 AM  

  • Congrats dude! While you're on break from running we should play some racquetball.

    By Blogger truax, at 12:11 AM  

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