The 2019 Modesto Marathon


The 2019 Modesto Marathon

Hello – my name is Chance Clark, I have been coaching CF since 2009 and been coaching at CFO since the grand opening. That’s 10 yrs of fitness. After 10 yrs, other than a couple CF comps  and the CF Open I realized that I hardly ever put my fitness to use. After listening to some badass runners like Courtney Dewaulter, David Goggins, and Cam Hanes on podcasts, I decided to put myself to a new test and run a marathon . Goggins is one I found particularly interesting because he just showed up to a 24 hr run and ended up with a story containing shit, blood, and piss on the track and having to have his wife practically carry him into the car. I have always had a thing for running.

Ever since I was a kid I’ve run. I know all kids run but, I would run a lot. I would try my hardest to get the most laps even at a jog-a-thon. When I had too much energy my parents would have me run laps around the house until I got tired. I joined the military after high school and we ran a lot there too. When I decided to run a marathon for real, the 2018 Modesto marathon was 3 weeks away. I knew this was not ideal and maybe even a bad idea. But it’s not like I had been sedentary for years I had been CrossFitting for quite some time. I figured   I could make it through to the finish line even if I had to walk it out. I told some people at work that I was thinking about signing up and they laughed and basically told me I probably wasn’t going to make it and that it was a bad idea.

I already knew it was not the best idea, but I used this as a little bit of fuel for my fire. So I did research, as I usually do on things that I get involved in. Searching the internet for advice for newbies, strategies, nutrition, hydration, shoes, etc. Race day came and I finished at the 4hr 23 min, but I was wrecked immediately following the race. It was hard to walk, bend over, sit down, and stairs were the worst. I was sore like I had never been before, I’ve been sore many times over the years from some crazy WODs sometimes for a week, but it’s usually muscular inflammation. This pain from the marathon was all in my bones and joints. Despite this pain surprisingly, I kept on thinking about the run and how if I was able to finish with little to no run training, what could I accomplish with some time and an actual plan? So a couple weeks later I decided I would run it again next year and try to beat my last time.

As the year went on, I stayed CrossFitting but added in at least 1 run a week. This was nice just to get outside the gym, and be outside sometimes on a trail, or around a lake or even just in town. Soon enough it was about three months out, and I had to start implementing a plan to achieve my goal. I wanted a plan that was balanced with strength training, most marathon training plans I had seen online had you running at least five days a week and racking up some serious mileage. I did not want it to get boring and wanted my joints to be supported by strong muscles. So my plan had me doing a compound lift 3x/week and running 3x/week. I work a 12 hr schedule where I have 5 days off out of 7 on one week and then only 2 days off the next week. It was difficult on the long work week, but I had to make it happen. This is a great time to add that I could not have made it happen without Christine my wife. I love her.  She is awesome and has such a busy schedule sacrificing more than once, so that I could fit a run in right after work, or train at the gym. So I stayed on track with training and made sure that the runs took priority over lifting/CF. I could not even afford to have a lifting session or WOD leave me depleted or take away from a run I had coming up. My training had a day of short sprints 200s or 400s, a medium length run like 800s or 1000 mtrs and a third day with a long run. The longest I ran in the 3 week training cycle was 12 miles. Then the 2019 CF open came around followed shortly after by the 2019 MoMa. This time I was prepared had a strategy, had my nutrition pretty dialed in. I changed things up this year by relying on the water aid stations instead of carrying a water bottle.

The morning of, I fueled up with some good food, some caffeine, then I was dropped off a little early, and hit the porta potty. Headphones and music were ready to go and before you knew it I was off for another 26.2 mile run. I found my pacer, settled into a breathing rhythm, and focused on good posture and the best foot strikes I could make. The first 10 miles flew by- the weather was great, I was running with a giant group of people, the city of Modesto comes out of their houses, and waits for you to pass by while sipping coffee in their driveway. People honk their horns at you as you go across “Mt Modesto”. It’s actually pretty fun, but then you get out in the rural areas, and there are less people cheering, it got warmer and you’re racking up some double digit miles. If you didn’t know MoMa is an out and back style run, so before I hit the halfway point the winners of the race were heading back to the finish line. They ran by me so fast I could not believe it, I forgot this happened last year. It blew my mind how they could maintain 5 min miles for 26.2 miles and how effortless they made it look. I just tried to stay focused and keep on trucking, eventually I approached the downtown area and the finish.

I got that last burst of energy and finished strong searching the crowd for familiar faces. I found my wife and son, they walked I hobbled over to the food and beer garden. After rehydrating, refueling, and gathering myself. We all went home and took a nap. When I woke up, we ate some taco truck and enjoyed some libations with friends. I seemed to have recovered a lot faster this time in comparison with last year. I was still sore but only for about 2 days, I can only attribute this to starting a fish oil regiment a couple weeks before the run.

This year I finished in 4 hr 4 mins, shaving off almost 20 mins. I accomplished my goal and beat my last time, not sure yet if I’ll try again.

Don’t forget to get out there and test yourself or use your fitness in other ways, especially if you can do it outdoors.

October 6th, 2019
It’s a run we can all do together! Sign up with Alison.

Workout of the Day


Back Squat

5 sets of 3 @ 60% of 1RM



10 Alternating Dumbbell Snatches 50/35

3 Bar Muscle-ups

1 Response

  1. Michele

    Love love this story. Felt like I was right there with Chance, without the pain lol! Congratulations Chance! #badass