Sunday, November 20, 2011

Time Flys

Seems like it was just a few weeks ago that I started to work toward a marathon. Since then I have run a total of 5 half marathons and one full. School is in full swing, ok exams are in 2 weeks, and I'm still focused on running. I want to break 2 hours for a half marathon and cut about an hour off of my full. I still have goals and as I progress in my training I will be sure to update everyone. Happy running everyone!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

I know, I know

I know, I really need to update my blog, but with all of the demands for law school, I haven't had a chance. I just updated my race results for this year and my personal records. I promise I will update the blog before the Detroit full marathon in two weeks!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Miles, Miles & More Miles

I would guess most runners have a demon that follows them when they run. For some it is continually trying to recover from an injury. Others may totally despise  running on hills. Other may hit their wall at the same distance. Someone else may battle with the little void in their head that says they cannot go any further and need to stop.

As the day for Detroit approaches, I keep thinking 26.2 miles? Really? I have never run that far in my life. The most I have ever run is 13.1. Plus, I have had hip flexor issues and shin splints this year. I know I need to put in some long runs. My mind is ready for them but my body isn't there yet. I'm not saying I have issues with the body, but the shins aren't 100% and I haven't been able to put in the miles like I should be.

I find myself questioning everything for Detroit. Do I need to get some new shoes and break them in? Will I turn in a decent time? Will I be able to find my friends in the crowds? Will I have enough GU? How much will the 125' elevation change at mile 3 effect me?

I have already put in 17 miles this week. That is actually quite a few for me coming back from an injury. The good news is the body seems to be holding up well. I kicked out a great 5 miles on the track this week and put in another good 5 miles at Dawes. Ideally, I would like to put in 14 tomorrow, but with my shins, anything over 10 will be seen as a success.

I need to forget about the distractions. I just need to focus on my training, Detroit will be a flat course and I will get through it. I also have two half marathons coming up before Detroit. I want to hit a PR at Emerald City then just take the USAF half as a training run and try to maintain a consistent 10 min pace.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Detroit Dreaming

It's been quite sometime since I updated this blog. I had a rough July with
running. Not only did I have shin splints but the heat & humidity was punishing
to every runner I know. I cannot stress enough how much hydration is needed,
especially in the summer months.

A dear very experienced running friend was down for a few days due to
dehydration. She knows what is needed & had even written an article on it weeks
before. It can happen to anyone. Drink drink drink.

I had two friends have injuries this week (knee & ankle). They may be laid up
for a week. I can only run on trails right now until I'm 100% again.

Being on the sidelines isn't easy. We are out of our routines. We cannot run &
in some cases cross-training is out of the question. So what do you do during
those days & weeks?

Refocus. Focus on that next race physically & mentally. What will your training
plan be when you return to running? What is your goal for the next race.

For me, I want to PR at Emerald City, use the USAF as a training run for Detroit
& finish Detroit with an average pace of 10 min. I know they are all possible, I
just need to take the steps to get there.

The other running goals I have for the next year are the Disney Race & a Half
(half marathon Sat & a full on Sun) & to run the Paris (yes France) marathon in
April. Pretty large goals for a new runner, but I aim big. I know it won't be
easy with school, but would it really be a goal if just anyone could do it? 
What are your goals & dreams?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Taking It Easy

There are so many things I could write about today. I could talk about running in the heat and high humidity, how to deal with injuries, nutrition, or even about staying on a training schedule. These four subjects seem to be constantly in my head.
Instead of those subjects, allow me to discuss the benefits of running with someone slower – yes I said slower.  As runners we always seem to want to go faster and farther. That is why we train and push ourselves so much.  We track our times, distances, paces, even our food – just to see what works for us.
Why would a runner who wants to go faster and farther run with someone slower. It’s actually very simple to me. When we run with someone slower, we tend to focus on the basics of running.
I had the privilege of running with someone this week who was returning to running after an extended break. They knew the basics already – hydrate, good shoes, cool clothes, etc. But what they needed most of all was motivation.
For someone who has run previously, 3 or 4 miles at a slow pace isn’t a huge challenge. The challenge lies in getting out and running. Once you are at the location you want to start from, the rest is easy – just start putting one foot in front of the other.
So how does running with someone who is at a slower pace help the faster runner? Very simply, it allows the faster runner to encourage the slower runner. This is just a small hill. You’re doing great. We are almost there. The faster runner isn’t thinking about the little things (aches, pains, pace, etc.). The faster runner becomes one with the slower runner and it actually makes the miles go by faster.
So to all of those (Mel, Dave, Jessica, Deb & Kym) who continue to give me advise and run slower with me, thank you. And to all of you who have encouraged me along the way (all of my DM friends - especially Marie, Alissa, Cindy & Kim, friends on Facebook – Ray & Karen, and to my family – my parents, Aunt Marcia & Uncle Brent), thank you.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Runner's Health

Just like any sport, a runner must be healthy to compete. Not only do you need a strong heart & lungs, but you also need a good set of feet, knees, ankles, legs, hips... It seems like the list just keeps going. Even your shoulders need to be somewhat strong. Why? Try pumping your arms for about 2 hours without stopping and see if they get sore.

As runners we get blisters and don't think a thing about them. To us it is more of how many do I have this week attitude. I think I have 6 this week. They don't bother me. Its just from the constant rubbing in the shoe. Eventually they will dry up and become a callus. To bad there isn't a Blister Fairy. I would be a very rich man!

We also lose toenails. Gross I know, but it is a fact of life. I have one toe right now that has lost about a quarter of the nail. I'm sure you all want to be kept up to date on this topic. :)

There is also the mental side of running. Quite often we tell ourselves we HAVE to make a time or we HAVE to run a certain distance. We do this to keep up with our training and to mentally drive ourselves to our goals. Tomorrow I need to run 4 miles. Then Monday I will be running 9. I'm scheduled to run 4 miles every day this week, but I know my body will need a break so I will be making an adjustment.

Why does 9 miles sound so far away now? Probably because I have been running under 6 miles for quite some time. But it is time to put in longer runs to build up to the 26.2 that I will be facing in October. With the pace I am training at, I will probably run it in about an hour and a half. I'm sure I will run someplace with some hills too. I will probably end up at Dawes or in Granville. Again the hills are part of the mental aspect of the run. Running is as much mental as it is physical. You must have physical and mental toughness. You are the only one that can keep yourself moving when your at mile 20. What drives you - focus on it and finish strong.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Deep Discussions

I was with some friends from work Friday evening and was asked by one of them why I run. To be slightly more exact, the question was with a statement. It went something like this:
Everyone I know that runs, is running from something. What do you run from?
Wow. Talk about a deep question when you are sitting with 7 of your other co-workers. My immediate answer was I enjoy running and have a goal of Detroit this fall (even though running in Paris is another goal). But it made me think.

Why do I run? Is it for the exercise? Do I do it to clear my head? Is it just something to do which I enjoy? After a few days of contemplating, I have determined it is all of the above. Running isn't a shelter from life, but rather where I solve (or attempt to solve) my own and the worlds problems. It isn't that I need to get away to do this. I just choose to clear my mind when I run.

This is a short post, but think about my co-workers statement. What are you running from?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Staying On Schedule

Quite often you will hear runners talk about how far they "need" or "have" to run on a specific day. We do this so we can reach our specific goals. After getting cleared by the doctor and starting physical therapy, I needed to get back on track. As much as I want to go out and run 5 miles every night, I know my body isn't ready for it yet.

My schedule for this week is consistent but not huge in miles on a daily basis. Sunday I was supposed to run 5 miles, but I ran/walked a 5k with my daughters instead. On Monday, I was scheduled to run 3 but because I did the 3 miles on Sunday I did 5. Tuesday was scheduled to be a rest day, but I decided to do 4 miles on a trail with hills - in a thunderstorm no less. Wednesday I rested since I didn't on Tuesday. Today, I'm going to run that trail again and get my 4 miles in. Friday, same thing, unless I get my 4 miles in at the Relay For Life. Sunday is 6 miles.  Each week the miles will increase. As we get closer to October my long runs will be double digits.

I am making myself run on the hills. Hills are my weakness (a realization from Chicago). I don't expect any significant hills in my next race (Air Force Marathon in Fairborn, Ohio), however, I know Detroit will have the climb over the bridge to Canada and we will have a steep uphill coming up the exit of the tunnel from Canada.  The hills will also help with the endurance. It isn't always a fun, but I remind myself hills are my friend during training.

Every runner will have their own training plan. The miles or type of run may change based on personal goals but one thing will always hold true - we have a schedule and will do everything we can to stick to it.

Until the next update - stay on your schedule and keep on running.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

No Games. Just Sports.

I went to physical therapy today and was given homework for the next two weeks. Who would have thought lifting your leg would be so hard?? The therapist said I could run as long as I did my exercises, so I headed out.

I didn't want to over do it so I kept it short. I only went 2.45 miles tonight. The hills killed me Chicago so I headed over to Dawes to go over the hills. There will be some long down hills, the some small up hills then flat, then up hill again. It is a nice run.

One of my newer Dailymile friends would call this run "getting the mad out". This wasn't an angry run, but more of a "figuring it all out" run. So much is going on right now with work, relationships, running, and my car ( I have a nice new dent thanks to the massive piece of wood someone ran over and politely placed in my hood). I just needed to get away and run.

I didn't solve the worlds problems - heck I am still working on solving mine. But it was nice to just be out there in nature, alone, just me and the road. As I was running, and thinking about everything, I remembered a fictitious Nike commercial from the movie "What Woman Want". The commercial says it all. The road doesn't care how you look, if your are funny or not, how old you are or how much you make. It's just you and the road. Here is the link so you can watch the commercial for yourself.

To all of my running friends, if you ever need to talk to someone, the road is there and so are all of your running friends - no matter where we are located.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Another Half Complete

Chicago was a challenge for me. I knew about the hill at the start of mile 7. I had mentally prepared for it many times. My splits were good up to mile 7 as well. So what happened? Needless to say it was steep, very steep. It felt like I was running up 5 flights of stairs! I walked in the hydration station at the top of the hill and started out again. My times were a little lower (around 10 min miles), but I was happy with it. After all what I thought was the toughest part of the course was behind me.

Around mile 9, I could feel my body wanting to slow down. I made sure I had my GU and my liquids, but I was physically starting to feel tired. As I kept running my left foot started to hurt. I had been concentrating so much on the hill at mile 7 I didn't realize the end of the race was an uphill climb! I was toast. I would try to jog but then half to walk. All the while, my left foot was hurting. My foot will be fine. I just need to take a few days off then I can start running with more of a routine. I ran in my Kinvara's  and I had never gone that far in them before so maybe my feet weren't ready. Oh well.

I finally made it to the finish line. People were running by me as I was jogging, and I didn't care. I just wanted to finish. I knew I was close to a new PR so I kept pushing. I made the new PR by about 1 minute. It doesn't sound like much when you consider I ran 13 miles, but if you remember the hill at mile 7 and the incline at the end, then I'm very happy with it.

I'm so happy about it I'm considering returning in July to run a different half marathon. It is almost in the same area, but with two major differences. First, there is no 100 ft elevation change! Secondly, this course only changes about 20 feet over the entire course - it's flat! I wonder what my time will be on this. Humm.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Unscheduled Run

At the last moment I decided I wanted to run again this weekend. One of my Mt. Vernon Running Buddies mentioned a 5k in Mansfield so I decided to go. While looking at that race and some others I kept replaying the Cleveland run. What could I have done differently to get a better time? I was just under a 10 min pace which I was happy with for not running for so long, but really the goal is to be under 2 hours.

Needless to say I was back on-line looking at other half marathons for this weekend. There was the Carmel half, but the temps were scheduled to be much higher so that didn't sound appealing. Humm, what's this? There is a race in Chicago? I love Chicago! From there I started looking at the course, checking the cost, etc.

I decided to run simply because of the fact that as an athlete if you have what you perceive as a poor performance, you immediately want to get back out and improve on it. It's a mental thing. You could can be told you did a great job by everyone you know, but unless you think you did, it doesn't matter.

So here I am in Chicago hotel room. The pasta has been eaten, the small workout has been completed, the clothes have been laid out and now the second guessing begins. What did I do right in Cleveland? Do I wear the Kinvara or the Ride 3? Do I have enough GU? Should I wear the runners belt?

Needless to say, I will be going to bed early as the race starts at 7:30 and I have to drive 15 minutes to try to find some public parking. I'm sure I will wake up a few times and run the race in my head. I have watched the video of the course a few times.  It is fairly flat (similar to Cleveland), but there is one steep hill at mile 7. The playlist for my ipod is ready and I have the song set for when I should hit the hill.

The goal for tomorrow is to break 2 hours, but realistically, that wont happen. I would like to cut about 6 minutes off my time and get down to about a 9:30 pace.  Stay tuned for the actual results.

Now I need to brag on Running Away Multisport (the folks putting on the event). This event didn't have an expo but the package pick-up was very smooth and fast at one of their stores. Parking was posted well and the store had a great selection of items from shoes to gels, to clothing.  The little bit of swag was actually very nice. We were given a few advertisements for some of the other races they are sponsoring a map of both the 5k and half courses along with a detailed map of the starting line. Now for the good stuff. The shirts they provided have graphics on the front and back plus both sleeves. We were also given a running hat with their logo on the front and reflective material on the back.  It's actually very sharp. 

Well, until tomorrow, I wish everyone well. I'll keep you posted on my results!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Dr. Bright

I went running on Saturday and this morning to intentionally try to aggravate my hip so Dr. Bright could find the issue. My hip didn't really bother me so I was a little worried the trip would be a waste of time.  I printed off my running records so Dr. Bright could review them (thanks to After a brief visit, Dr. Bright determined sanalydilsneisiosis. Not really, I just made the word up but it makes it sound like something serious doesn't it? I just have a strained hip flexor. He wants me to get just a few sessions of physical therapy then continue the exercises at home. Now the best news is that I can run as long as I'm not experiencing any real pain.

I'm planning on running a 5k in Mansfield on Saturday.  I know I am behind on my training but I cant over do it to much. On Saturday, I'm going to try to shave a few seconds off my PR, but I wont be disappointed if I'm under 26 min.

Let the training begin. I'm ready to aim for Detroit!!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Why We Run When It Hurts

How does that old saying go? Isn't it something like, "If it hurts, don't do it"? That is probably true most of the time, but not always. As many of you already know, I have been trying to get my right hip back to full strength. I injured it in the end of March and it just isn't getting better. I'm scheduled to see Dr. Bright on Tuesday.

So again, if I'm trying to get the hip back to 100% why would I run? Well the answer is quite simple. Ever have your car make that "clank" sound, but once you get to the dealership it stops? Of course, as soon as you leave it starts up again. The same concept hold true here. I want Dr. Bright to be able to easily find the issue. I'm intentionally running today and expect my hip to flair up.

There is also the desire to get back out and run. Depending on the injury, a runner may not be able to run days, weeks, or even months. Believe it or not, when we cant get out to run, we go a little stir crazy! Not to mention, if we have a goal of meeting a certain time, we will do anything we can to get it. If that means feeling pain for the last 8 miles or just trying to keep the pace for another 1/4 mile, we will do it.

This is a short post today. Expect more to come by Tuesday when I see Dr. Bright. Get out and run (if it isn't to hot and humid where you are)  I hope that gives you a little bit of insight as to why when it hurts why we keep going!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Race Prep

Believe it or not you don't just need a good pair of running shoes to run. There is actually quite a bit of race prep that happens before a race.  Not only is there the training side of things (which is very important), but there are also the hotels to book, registrations to make, course maps to review, etc.

Tonight was filled with the joy of surfing the web to find a hotel close to the start/finish of the Detroit marathon. Even though I am looking for my hotel almost 5 months before the race, the "good" hotels are already booked. Mine isnt to far away from the finish line. Heck, even if I had to walk another mile to get back to the hotel, who cares...I just ran 26.

I also registered for the USAF half marathon in Sept. My goal is to finish under 2 hours. I'm not looking to crush my previous best because I have the full marathon just a month later. While examining the course map, I realized there are no hydration stations between miles 1.5 and 5. Then the next one isnt until about mile 9.25.

Maybe I was spoiled in Cleveland where they had liquids about every 1.25 miles. But this sounds to be more spread out. Which to me means, either I need to get a hydration belt, or fight the crowds for water. As much as I dislike the looks of hydration belts, I may use one for this race. Before I get one, I will need to double check the course map for Detroit. Originally, I was just going to carry some enery GU with me. But that will have to change if there are only a couple places for liquids.

So for everyone that thinks runners just show up and run, think again. Dont worry, there will be another blog closer to race day with all of the junk we pack!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Core Core Core

This is my first blog so forgive me if I don't have everything perfect. I figure if you haven't read any of my DailyMile updates, you probably wont read this so no point in reliving how I hurt my hip. While at the expo for the Cleveland Half Marathon, I spoke to the Medical Director and she believes my core is slightly week and the pain is coming from my hip muscles over working to support my leg and hip. I don't have any issues during a race, but the next day I will be tender. I made an appointment with the local chiropractor who is also a runner and had him work on me. I feel better than what I did but I'm still not 100%.

 2011 Detroit Free Press Marathon
Finishers Medal

I first visited with Dr. Dan on Monday. On Tuesday, my first run after Cleveland, I ran 4.5 Miles with my friend Deb M. The next day, I was sore, really sore. I have been working out and focusing on my core this week and have many sore muscles. But hopefully if I don't run for 2 weeks and keep working out, I can start picking up some miles.

I need to get healthy soon because my plan is to run in the Detroit Marathon in October. Prior to running in Detroit, I will probably run in the Air Force Half Marathon in Dayton in September. In case you don't know much about marathons, they are 26.2 miles. A half marathon is 13.1 miles (tricky huh). I have been asked why I am running in a marathon. The answer is quite simple. There is no other time you can run down the middle of a freeway and not have to worry about becoming a permanent speed bump.

Why run in Detroit when Columbus is closer, on the same day as the Detroit Marathon and I can run with friends? There are actually a few reasons.

  1. I have never traveled to Canada and the Detroit Marathon is partially run in Canada.
  2. The Detroit Marathon is the only marathon that I know of in which you run in a tunnel under a body of water.
  3. The Detroit Marathon medals look way cool.
  4. The hotel I am planning on staying at, is right by the starting line.