Tuesday, June 19, 2012
That sounds like a good title to a book doesn't it? That's because it is. It's a book written by Meb Keflezighi. I've read a few running books and for me the key is getting to know the runner as a person. I already know they are a great runner. I want to know what it took to become that runner. How was their life affected by it is a question that I typically wonder.
I posted my review of the book on another blog almost a week ago, but even now I find myself asking the question, "What do I run to overcome?" Running does improve my health and it makes me feel alive, but is that it? Do I want to inspire others to run? Of course, I do, but that's not the only thing. Is inspiring others enough? As my bro, JMERLAU once said, "I don't do this to just inspire others. I do this to change lives!"
As I embark to change lives, other lives are changed as well. It's like a domino effect. Being positive makes me feel good, but it spreads to those around me and I would think it spreads through them to others.
I recommend "Run to Overcome." My review has a video clip that many of you may have seen before. After reading the book, how you feel about that moment changes. Instead of watching and wondering what Meb is thinking, you know.
What do YOU run to overcome?!
Monday, June 11, 2012
I know many of you were aware of National Running Day being on June 6, but how many knew about National Trails Day on June 2? That day is equally as important to me. Iím a road runner, too, but trails are my sanctuary.
What did I do? Did I do a race? Surprisingly, I didnít. I volunteered at the Hobbs War Eagle Tailtwister Trail Runs. Go ahead and say it out loud. It can be a tongue twister, too.
It was the second year for this event. With the way it was organized, you wouldnít have known. It was my first time on the pristine trails of northwest Arkansas. Iím looking forward to hitting them up again sometime soon. Good times were had by all and I liked there was a 10k option for those that may be interested in trails, but not quite ready for the 25k or 50k.
I volunteered at a few places and was more than happy to be of service. Iíve said it before that I love running, but itís something about volunteering that drives me to want to do it more. I already know that next year Iíll be running. I could possibly run the 25k and still volunteer. HmmmÖ I have a little time before I make the decision. Either way Iíll be there next year.
For a more detailed account and a video clip of the start, check out the article I wrote about it for Arkansas Outside.
I'm sure you're thinking the same thing I was when I saw it.
Those runners should be here by now! Where are they?
Cool start and finish line
50k Finisher Award
Friday, June 01, 2012
It's been 2 years!? Time does go by fast when you are having fun. It has indeed been a very exciting year. I went from 6 races in 2010 to 50 in 2011. Don't worry, I'll never do 50 again.
This second year of running has not been without hard times. I think I ran too much. Yes, it's possible. I was too stubborn and myopic to stop. I did learn though, so it wasn't in vain.
There is more to come as I travel and run races and meet more people. I love meeting Sparkers and other awesome people. I enjoy helping others reach goals. Seeing my family members start to run brings joy to my heart. I love this family and I will continue to inspire and motivate the masses! More adventures to come. You never know where I'll be next.
Here is a snapshot of some of the crazy things that happened this past year.
2011-12: Going the Distance pt. 2
- 43 races
- Finished the remainder of the Arkansas RRCA Grand Prix Series races (21)
- Ran my first ultra (Full mOOn 50k) - July 16
- Finished the 3-3-3 (3 races, 3 days, 3 states) - AR, MS, TN
- Became a member of Marathon Maniacs (#4893), Run it Fast (#116), & IRC
- Part of Team Marathon Bar and ICEdot Athletes
- Volunteered at more races than ever! Woohoo!
- Started writing articles for Arkansas Outside
- Joined Pace Per Mile as State Reporter
- Awarded Rookie of the Year
On to the photos! Woohoo!
Looking at this picture makes me hot! Sheesh! Mt. Magazine 15k (06/04/11)
Carmel Half Marathon (06/11/11)
About to kill myself at the the Go! Mile (06/18/11)
Yes, it was hot at the Malvern Brickfest 5k (06/25/11)
My buddy Jarrod and me after the Firecracker 5k (07/04/11)
I'm about to do whip my hair around after Tomato Festival 5k. Watch out! (07/09/11)
With Mark "Superman" Cato and his niece after Dam Night Run 5k (07/30/11)
Watermelon 5k (08/13/11)
A cool medal I snagged during my 3-3-3 fiasco (09/05/11)
You have to see the back, too!
BTWCOACH & FLBEACHBUM14 after Chick-fil-A 5k (09/06/11)
My first RnR race. I was in St. Louis and I met LOGOULD (10/23/11)
Pacing was fun. I'm doing it again this year at Soaring Wings Half Marathon (10/29/11)
World's Highest Hill 5-Miler in Oklahoma (11/12/11)
Dallas White Rock Marathon with JMERLAU (12/04/11)
Became Marathon Maniac #4893 after Mississippi Blues Marathon (01/07/12)
Ironman award for running all 21 Grand Prix races (02/04/12)
Marathon Maniac/Half Fanatic group pic at Little Rock Marathon (03/04/12)
Helping FLBEACHBUM14 finish his first half at Germantown Half Marathon (03/18/12)
Watching my step at Hoof It For Heifer 20k (04/14/12)
Finishing strong at Carmel Marathon (04/21/12)
Another pic from Carmel.
Kicking it with Gumby after RnR Country Music Half Marathon (04/28/12)
I got to meet Sparker JETERSGAL729 in Nashville at RnR CMM.
Helping a great guy in at Jesse is Awesome Half Marathon (05/13/12)
Me and the awesome ON2VICTORY2 at Green Bay Marathon (05/20/12)
Madison Half Marathon with NBMA (05/27/12)
Just a tad intense, eh?
I calmed down and met BRENDA_2012 at the Brat Fest while in Madison.
Run It Fast #116
Idiots Running Club...Some of this stuff I do is downright idiotic!
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
I was up and ready to tackle the frozen tundra. Too bad it wasn't frozen on the day of the race. Robert was excited and so was I. I was testing out PocketFuel Naturals for the first time at the marathon distance. I hope it works!
Picture of me predicting what the race would be like at the expo the day before.
This is the real picture of what I'd feel like. I guess Robert was going to have a good time though!
The race organizers knew it was going to be a hot day. They had sent out numerous e-mails about the heat leading up to the race. They also added medical personnel, increased the aid stations on the course, and stocked the stations with ice. There were 11 aid stations for the half and 22 for the full.
Before the start I met Henry Rueden, who had run his 799th marathon at Fargo the day before. I read a story about him and hoped I'd get to see him on the course. Little did I know, seeing him at the start wouldn't be the last time I saw him. The link to the story I read about Henry.
After listening to the national anthem and watching the flag wave atop Lambeau Stadium, the factory whistle blew to start the race! Are you fired up? To add to the excitement "Jump Around" by House of Pain was played to set the stage. This is not a song foreign to those in Wisconsin. However, that had to be the first time I've heard this song at an event and I didn't see people jumping around vigorously. I guess everyone was conserving their energy for the race.
Listen to it! I'm typing this blog while listening to it!
Pre-race with Annette while Dan photo bombs it!
Now, for the relaxed picture...Dan!
One last picture before the start with Robert
A fellow Arkansan, Arland, wanted to try a smart pacing strategy. With the conditions we had, this would be a good time to try out something different. Surprisingly, although hot, we ran in the shade for the first couple of miles through residential areas. In addition to cheering, the community was out to support the event armed with their water hoses and sprinklers. We saw the infamous, Dave Mari on the course taking pictures fresh off his Geist Half Marathon the previous day in Indianapolis.
You don't know Dave?
Sue (WONDERWOMAN) came up behind and we chatted for a while. I love meeting Sparkers. She was sporting a nice Half Fanatic singlet. Woohoo! I saw runners on the side suffering from the heat. I was feeling great in terms of pacing. Around mile 10, Arland, told me to go ahead and I said if he happens to see me on the side of the road a few miles up, don't be surprised.
I went on and pushed through, high-fiving and interacting with the spectators. There were a few Marathon Maniacs in the crowd, too. You could tell people were affected by the heat. Race participants couldn't refrain from running through sprinklers. Many were grabbing two cups and ice. One cup was used to hydrate and the other was used to pour on their heads. The sound of ambulances was not music to my ears.
As I made it to the half marathon/marathon split, the number of marathon runners was dwindled. The race organizers sent out an e-mail explaining if one signed up for the full, but didn't feel good at the split, a "game-day decision" could be made without any penalty. Not sure how many did, but I'm sure some cut it short and with good reason. You do want to be safe.
Not far from the halfway point, I got word the course had been closed due to the heat. What? Are you serious? It was at that moment that my ambitions for the race deflated. We were told there would be no aid or medical support on the course. We were to go to the next aid station and there would be a shuttle to take us back.
I thought about it and remembered I had some cash on me. It was the first time I've carried cash during a race. I stopped at a gas station right off the course and picked up a gallon of water. I downed a full container of PocketFuel and said it may not be official, but I did not come to Wisconsin to start a race, but to finish one. I'll walk the rest of the way if I have to.
At each aid station, I continued to hear you have to stop here because the race is over. The volunteers were still out and people were still cheering us on. I had no idea that carrying the water jug would take a toll on me. Oh, it did, and I was reduced to a walk. I eventually had to give up the jug at mile 19.
The community and volunteers were supplying those that continued cold water and ice. Medical personnel were checking on us and police officers seemed to be patrolling the course on motorcycles. No one made them stay, but they did. This is evidence that without volunteers races would fail. I loved seeing their smiling faces and acts of benevolence.
A wall was constructed over Mile 20. After pushing through "The Wall," I was happy with a 10k remaining. There was a big group of people out cheering as I went through. What would happen next was not part of the plan.
I started to feel weak between Mile 21 and 22. Since it didn't matter at what time I finished, I decided to take a seat on a bench and enjoy the view of the water. I got up and started back only to feel like someone had drained the life out of me. What was going on? Was I about to pass out?
I stopped at the next bench and then thought lying down would be better. You won't guess what happened next. Well, 1.5 hours later I woke up. No, not in the hospital. In the same place I was. I felt rejuvenated! I looked around and was happy I didn't stop my Garmin. Hmmm.... I guess I should go ahead and finish, eh? I do find it strange that no one woke me up. Surely there were runners that passed by.
I saw Henry Rueden and Evelyn later and I bet they wondered how come they didn't see me before. I was taking a little nap. Kristin and Chris were on the course giving support to Henry and in turn giving me support, too. I had seen them earlier on the trail, but it wasn't until I saw them the second time that I realized they were out supporting Henry. Their efforts propelled me to my eventual finish.
Apparently, the mile markers were being taken up, so the last one I saw was Mile 24. I should've known something was wrong when I didn't see Henry anymore. I followed the markings on the ground hoping it would get me back. I looked at my Garmin and I was well past Mile 25. I kept going until I saw where Mile 4 was. Uh-oh! I think I'm doing the course again.
I saw a woman in her yard, so I asked her which way was Lambeau Field. "Oh, it's in the opposite direction in which you are going." Thanks! I headed in the "right" direction. When I made it to the finish, I saw Henry and he took me down and showed me where Mile 26 was and we went around. Unlike some, I was able to go through the finish chute. His family was there cheering as if I was him. I was speechless.
They took good care of me. I ate an entire container of watermelon. It was delicious! Recovery starts immediately after the race. #stayhydrated
Which way to Lambeau?
They put the medal around my neck, but as you have probably figured out I did this for me. In the end I ran 28.71 miles according to my Garmin. Last year, the course was a tad long because of measurement issues, but I went out and made it long this time all by myself. What a way to end the race. It was my honor for Henry to bring me in. That would've been his 800th marathon.
The finish line
What did I learn from this race besides to bring a pillow next time? I may need to start doing races with a hydration pack of some kind. Had I had one, I wouldn't have slowed down due to carrying the jug. Also, I probably would've finished before the sun got to me had I had the pack. Never underestimate yourself. Before the course was closed, I was having a great race and the conditions were not optimal. The training is working and I'll continue to run in the heat as preparation for me my future events.
It should also be said that I understand the race director's decision to close the course. There has been much debate about it being unfair that those that were prepared to be punished. I can't put a value on anyone's life. Yes, I traveled from Arkansas to do this race, but signing up for a race is always a risk. There will be other races. At least I survived to run another one. Kudos goes out to the community and volunteers. They made the race a success.
There are no more marathons on my schedule this year until Dallas White Rock. Oh, I'm sorry, they just changed the name today to the Dallas Marathon. That's in December. The 50k is in July and the 50-miler in September. I need to train harder!
I'm supposed to be back in Wisconsin this weekend for the Madison Half. Looks like the temperature is going to be hot and they are thinking about cancelling the full. I'm looking to have fun and if any Sparkers are in the area, please let me know.
We had just as much fun on the way up as we did going back. We even got homemade treats! Absolutely best cheesecake I've ever had. Ummm....!
On to the next adventure...
Just in case you missed part 1
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