Blog #2 on my first marathon training

One of the things I really enjoy about long runs (anything over six miles starts feeling long to me right now) is getting a little lost or at least feel like I’m a fair distance from home. I like to go out in one big loop, making sure not to cross the same area twice if at all possible. It’s an exhilarating thought to be that far from home on foot – powerful, possible, and it often means I’m seeing new things, which is fun. Discovery in exercise! There is a limit however.

Last week I ran nine miles and was noticing some pain – not a lot, but enough to be concerned as I felt I had trained well enough for that level not to hurt. Part of the pain, I think, was about not drinking water during that run as I don’t want to carry and, unlike race day, there are no refill/refuel stations on training runs. So this week I decided to go for a bowtie run.

What I mean by that is I set up a mini-refuel station in my backyard. I ran for six miles, got a sip of Gatorade and a half pack of GU (these things are so tasty), then ran for another 3.5 miles, got another sip and the rest of the GU, then ran one more mile. So actually I ended up with an old school western bow tie pattern…or something like that. The point is, I allowed for the breaks and it really made a difference. I felt stronger throughout and the recovery has been very good. It’s a good life lesson.

When Taking The Long Road, We Need To Refuel &Raquo; File 2

There’s an ego part of running for me that just wants to push through at all costs, break personal records for time, etc… There’s another part that recognizes I’m 52 years old and running my first marathon, so I need to be conscious of that and train accordingly. In many ways, I’m fortunate that I’ve maintained my health well enough to have this opportunity. And who knows how much longer I’ll have it? Life happens, so I’m grateful for each day, each mile, each sip of Gatorade, and especially each chomp of GU.

When Taking The Long Road, We Need To Refuel &Raquo; File 1

I know the GU packs well from when I rode my bike across the country with my great, lifelong friend and mentor, Gary Earl. The lessons learned on that, my first elevated endurance activity (100 miles a day for 35 days – pretty good stuff), continue to flourish.

I’m grateful for the work, the friendship, and sharing this journey with you all.

Robert will push his father, Dan Cochrane, in a Hoyt Running Chair in the Walt DisneyWorld Marathon on Jan. 8, 2023. Click here if you’d like to run virtually with them and support their non-profit organization, Yes, And…eXercise!

Originally Published on

Robert Cochrane, PhD Yes, And...eXercise!

Dr. Robert Cochrane is a graduate of UNLV's Integrated Health Sciences department. He's researching the effect of improvisation and storytelling on Parkinson’s disease. He received grants from the Parkinson's Foundation and support from the Davis Phinney Foundation along the way. He is a popular, unique and high energy Keynote speaker, bringing joy, optimism and practical tools for people in the PD community to thrive today.

He has a background in filmmaking, with the Artisan Entertainment release, The Playaz Court, and two Stephen King-based short films among his credits. His father, Dan, was diagnosed with PD in 2001, which shifted Robert’s artistic lens to health. He made his first documentary, the award-winning Boys of Summer in 2004. There are two follow up films in the series with the fourth film coming in 2023.

He moved his family back to Walnut Creek, CA, where he grew up. He lives there with his beautiful wife, two teenagers who are, indeed, "all that" and is a proud care partner for his amazing parents.

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