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Claim your journey!

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Earlier today I posted a blog on the ICEdot Athletes page bearing the same title. In that post I talked about how we take for granted how far we've come. It's important that we celebrate our victories no matter how small. Where do you want to be? Are you going with the flow or have you claimed your journey? To read the post in its entirety and see a nice video, click on the link: icedotathletes.com/2012/06/30/claim-

SparkPeople is a place that has many success stories and journeys. Do you consider yourself to be a success? I sure hope so! You may be going through a rough time or recovering from injury, but you must claim your success! If you haven't, this is the perfect time!

I will be sad to see June go. It was a special month for me. I celebrated my 2-year Runiversary, volunteered at 3 races including one on National Trails Day, enjoyed National Running Day with friends, ran my first race in Louisiana, and became President-Elect for my running club on my birthday. What a month!

They say I was preaching on National Running Day

Crossing the bridge

Hell's Hills Half Marathon logo

Representing Team MARATHON Bar with Andrew

This is what I'm talking about! (after Hell's Hills)

Ready to cheer on people at the Go! Mile at packet pickup

I'm rockin' a skirt at the Go! Mile! You got to have fun!

Taking in the view on a nice trail run

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOPPY_ 5/25/2014 3:19PM


* Accomplishments.
* Prose
* Pics
* Viewpoint

Nice! emoticon

Lee emoticon

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SHEAINTPLAYIN 2/14/2013 10:44AM

    So inspirational, you have reminded me of why I chose to put myself and my health first finally after so long. emoticon

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LDRICHEL 8/12/2012 8:40AM

    I need another Nick blog!!! Stat!

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SANDYB223 8/10/2012 7:47AM

    Great blog!!!!! I love all your photos!


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GEMINIGEM6 8/1/2012 10:06PM

    Love this blog! :)

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NARNIAROSE2003 7/11/2012 5:22PM

    Wow! I just ran (albeit with the Wii Fit) for the first time in YEARS yesterday - 2.88 miles in 20 minutes. It felt amazing!! Thanks for being an inspiration.

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ON2VICTORY 7/10/2012 9:13AM

    That's my buddy, rockin the skirt!.... Lol.... Dude, way to go on the pres elect....

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CATIATM 7/7/2012 2:56PM

    I love the photos - congrats on your awesome progress and many successes!

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MBSHAZZER 7/4/2012 12:39PM

    Happy Runniversary!! June was a fantastic month for you!

I was out of town with friends over the weekend. I was feeling badly b/c I only had time to squeeze in 10 miles on Saturday before our day started. Everyone else was impressed. So, it's all about perspective!

Happy 4th!

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LINDAKAY228 7/3/2012 9:55AM

    Wonderful month it sounds like! We each do have our own journey and we do need to claim it and remember it and cherish it, even when there are ups and downs, because the journey is what shapes us and the roads we pick into the future is what shapes the journey. It's a beautiful thing!

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GETFIT2LIVE 7/2/2012 6:44PM

    We do need to claim our journey! Life truly is an adventure, and you exemplify that to me. WOO HOO for a great month--make July even better!

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GODIVADSG 7/2/2012 3:32PM

    Inspirational! emoticon

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WOLF-SPIRIT 7/1/2012 10:59PM

    Wonderful accomplishments and great memories. Am happy for you and wishing you a great July, 2012.

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DRB13_1 7/1/2012 6:33PM

    Congrats on being president elect of your running club - they know quality when they see it!
Hope your birthday was ESPECIALLY happy!
Keep spreading the run gospel.

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JANETRIS 7/1/2012 4:57PM

    So much progress and victory for you to claim! Great inspiration here...thanks!

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NATPLUMMER 7/1/2012 9:08AM

    Looks like June was a fabulous month!!
Excellent article :-)

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SBNORMAL 7/1/2012 8:40AM

  Wow!! Looks like fun!!! I would love to run, but I am working on walking first.

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BTWCOACH 7/1/2012 8:32AM

    I love your perspective on life. I hope that stays with you for a very long time!!!
Congrats on your run in Louisiana! Did you write a blog about it?

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GOODGETNBETR 7/1/2012 3:09AM

    emoticon and emoticon on a great month. May July be just as successful.

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LUCKYDOGFARM 7/1/2012 12:38AM

    Woohoo Nicholas! Great photo bloc and success story.

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RUN_BAKE_BLOG 7/1/2012 12:24AM

    Too cute...seriously.

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TAMPATINK67 7/1/2012 12:01AM


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Run to Overcome

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?!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GYMRAT_AT44 1/20/2013 10:44PM

    Just finished reading it - great book. Was most impressed by the book, Meb and his family and the fact that the book had questions to ask yourself that followed the book - pretty cool.

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LUCKYDOGFARM 6/21/2012 7:05PM

    what a nice blog and the video is so impressive. MEB makes it look so easy to run a marathon!

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ON2VICTORY 6/21/2012 11:43AM


You may want to check the video on the icedot blog...embedding is not working...

Comment edited on: 6/21/2012 11:45:35 AM

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RUN_BAKE_BLOG 6/20/2012 9:54PM

    Thought you might like this...

"I run because itís so symbolic of life. You have to drive yourself to overcome the obstacles. You might feel that you canít. But then you find your inner strength, and realize youíre capable of so much more than you thought." - Arthur Blank


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BUTTERFLY-1976 6/20/2012 12:17PM

    Thanks for sharing. I'm going to have to check this book out.

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MBSHAZZER 6/20/2012 11:10AM

    LOVE Meb! Will have to check this book out. I run to overcome stress and depression! Running is the one thing I truly enjoy and how many people get to say they can do something they enjoy practically every day?! Before the sun comes up, even?!

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LDRICHEL 6/20/2012 8:32AM

    Great blog, Nick! I am adding this to my list of about 15 books I want to read, like...yesterday. Lol. Thanks so much. I'm on a running book kick right now. And, God knows I am obsessed with the Olympics!!! Haha. Sounds like a perfect book for me!

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DRB13_1 6/19/2012 11:59PM

    Meb was at the Tar Heel 10 miler this spring, but I didn't realize such an accomplished Olympian was going to be the guest starter! Wish I had met him.

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GODIVADSG 6/19/2012 10:42PM

    I run to overcome my self doubt and I like who I am when I run!! I love MEB!!! Need to read his book. Run happy!

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KKINNEA 6/19/2012 1:56PM

    I'm right there with you - I want to inspire and change lives as well!

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NATPLUMMER 6/19/2012 1:15PM

    This is on my Kindle. I'm hoping to get to it soon.
I didn't get to the finish line of the San Jose RnR half marathon last year soon enough to see him win. I had to sit it out but my husband ran.

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RUN_BAKE_BLOG 6/19/2012 1:00PM

    I am running because all my friends run and they sucked me into their weird runner world...
Does that count?!

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War Eagle TailTwister Trail Runs

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.

My sanctuary!

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

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LUCKYDOGFARM 6/21/2012 6:55PM

    what a great event and so nice that you were able to volunteer for it. nice bling too!

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CATIATM 6/19/2012 12:09PM

    That is beyond cool!!!!

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GODIVADSG 6/16/2012 3:15PM

    How cool!

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JSTETSER 6/14/2012 5:27AM

    I love the medalian. Great work!

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BUTTERFLY-1976 6/12/2012 4:30PM

    The Trail Looks Beautiful!! Cool looking medal also.

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NATPLUMMER 6/12/2012 10:44AM

    It looks like a beautiful trail!! You are doing a wonderful thing by volunteering.

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LDRICHEL 6/12/2012 9:59AM

    Cool medal. I am still deathly afraid of trail runs...with the ankle and all. Maybe someday I'll have enough strength to run them. Who knows? Never say never, eh?

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JANETRIS 6/11/2012 10:14PM

    Great pics AZ. How nice to volunteer and give back to the sport you love so much... way to go!

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BTWCOACH 6/11/2012 8:03PM

    Very cool Nicholas!

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GETFIT2LIVE 6/11/2012 6:03PM

    Beautiful place to run--thanks for giving back to the running community by volunteering!

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DRB13_1 6/11/2012 6:02PM

    love the pictures. wonder how many people feel like Native Americans on a hunt when they trail run? Cool bling.
Have to put both National Trail Running Day and National Running Day on the calendar for next year.

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MARATHONDAD 6/11/2012 5:47PM

    looks gorgeous wish i had more trails to run where I live

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MBSHAZZER 6/11/2012 4:59PM

    Wow, Nicholas, that looks GORGEOUS!!! So glad you volunteered, too!


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My second Runiversary

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!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SBNORMAL 7/1/2012 8:47AM

  Love the blog, real inspiration. Run RUN RUN!!! emoticon emoticon

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MATTERJT 6/19/2012 2:18PM

    Wow! I'm so amazed at all the races you've participated in. I'm hoping to do my first Half Marathon sometime this year. The most I've ever run is 6 miles.

So tell me, do you carry any water with you on the long runs? I don't see anything attached to you. I thought that on long runs, you need to have something to drink or else you'd heel over. LOL!!!

Just trying to figure out what I need for the Half Marathon so I don't forget anything.

I love to travel, so hopefully, sometime in the future, we can meet up at a race. Then you can add me to the list of fellow sparkers that you have met. :-)

Awesome accomplishments! You are so inspiring! :-)

Have a wonderful day!

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    Way to go on all you have accomplished! Can't wait to see what's in store for you this year:)

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DROPPINOS 6/6/2012 1:38PM

    awesome pices & blog! Congrats emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JSTETSER 6/4/2012 6:18AM

    Watching the transformation in the photos is amazing.
You have come a long way in 2 years of running!

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MISSLISA1973 6/3/2012 12:38AM


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TDONOVAN41 6/3/2012 12:34AM

    Well, I am truly impressed! emoticon

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SHERYL_B 6/2/2012 10:35PM

    What a great look back!

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JENNYDJENNY 6/2/2012 9:49PM

    awesome!!!!!!!!! VERY INSPIRING !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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KAREN_NY 6/2/2012 7:23PM

    Happy runiversary and HOLY WOW!!!! Just.... WOW.

Thanks for sharing such great pics - that Tupelo medal is evil.... in a good way. ;)

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ERLYWA 6/2/2012 12:23PM

    LOVE the blog! The pictures are awesome! I have another goal for you for 2012: SMILE in more of your pictures! LOL It's a great smile, you need to show it more!

Congrats on your successful second year of running. You are an inspiration to many, keep it up!


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DRB13_1 6/2/2012 10:39AM

    Now THAT's what I call a BLOG!!! emoticon
Love all the pics and YES, You are a Superman!
Badwater, here he comes!
emoticon emoticon

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LAURIE5658 6/2/2012 10:25AM

    Nicholas, you are a prime example of awesomeness. Seriously!!!

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NATPLUMMER 6/2/2012 10:12AM

    Great races, great times!! :-)

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SEABREEZE65 6/2/2012 8:22AM

    What a great blog and all the photos are fantastic. You much have a "good" photographer following you from race to race!!!!

You are one strong runner!


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LDRICHEL 6/2/2012 6:33AM

    You crazy crazy fellow geek! Boy, do I look up to ya!

Thanks for welcoming me into your family and always always encouraging, motivating and lifting up. Said it before and I'll say it again...you have a God-given gift. For running and for loving others.

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JMERLAU 6/2/2012 6:09AM

    SO proud to call you my Brother! I'm proud of you on many level Nicholas!

Keep inspiring the people!


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WONDERWOMAN 6/2/2012 12:14AM

    What amazing accomplishments in such a short time. Slow down. emoticon

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ON2VICTORY 6/2/2012 12:03AM

    Thanks for the honorable mention! It was a pleasure to meet the superhero!


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FRECKS96 6/1/2012 10:43PM

    AWESOME!!! You amaze me with all you do, congrats on reaching so many achievements this past year and good luck to all of them on the horizon!

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LUCKYDOGFARM 6/1/2012 10:25PM

    to heck with Jesse being Awesome, You are the Awesome one!
Congratulations on 2 great years of running, learning and most of all being fit! keep on going!

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RUN_BAKE_BLOG 6/1/2012 9:48PM

That's all I got.
Fav pic...
And where is the pic if you sleeping your way through Green Bay?!
Just wondering...

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BRENDA_2012 6/1/2012 9:41PM

    emoticon Blog!!

emoticon on all of your accomplishments!

You are a great inspriation to me and I am glad that I got to meet you!!


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LOGOULD 6/1/2012 9:34PM

    WHEW!!! I'm tired just perusing your adventures of the past years - but what incredibly rich experiences they all were. You are truly a God-send to our running family and I, for one am blessed to know you! You personify the title Maniac --- GO GO GO #4893!!!

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JANETRIS 6/1/2012 8:48PM

    I love it....what a great 2 years! You've created so many memories and so much great progress! You make me want to love running....um...kinda!! Here's to the next 2 years!! emoticon

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JETERSGAL729 6/1/2012 8:48PM

    Yay! Hopefully we'll get to meet again and get a much better picture together! One were I look half way decent! Was great to meet you for sure!!

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MYLADY4 6/1/2012 8:19PM

    Over achiever!!!!!!! Good for you though and glad you have made many new friends and had so many great adventures.

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MARATHONDAD 6/1/2012 6:32PM

    50 races in 1 year is nuts lol way to go buddy!!! You should come to winnipeg in Canada to run a half with me and my wife lol how do you join the marathon maniacs thats my kind of club lol. keep on running buddy!! I love to read your blogs and pick your brain for advice!!!

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MBSHAZZER 6/1/2012 6:01PM

    FIFTY RACES in ONE year?! Dude, I've been running since 1996 and I don't think I've done 50 races since then! You are AMAZING!!!!

Happy runniversary, just in time for National Run Day! Can't believe it's only been 2 years, you are truly a natural! CONGRATS!!!

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    Great blog. I can't even imagine all that running at this point.

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STARLIGHT615 6/1/2012 5:25PM

    Amazing!! Congrats on all ur races!

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NANCYRUBIO 6/1/2012 5:10PM

    emoticon emoticon on all your hard work. Love the pictures, thanks~

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LINDAKAY228 6/1/2012 5:10PM

    Congratulations on 2 amazing years and the lessons learned along the way! May you have many many more running years ahead!

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ABILUCHA 6/1/2012 5:05PM

    Whew! What a year! You, sir, are just a teeny bit nuts! :)

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Cellcom Green Bay Marathon pt. 2

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.

The medal

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

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CATIATM 5/29/2012 6:22PM

    You are beyond awesome! Congrats on your "marathon plus"!!!

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CHIFANG130 5/29/2012 11:47AM

    Awesome pictures and what a fun time you had and even taking a nap during the run. You are such a hoot... Way to go!!!

Comment edited on: 5/29/2012 12:19:13 PM

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FUCHSIAGAL 5/29/2012 8:19AM

  So glad everything worked out for you. Stay safe out there!

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SHERYL_B 5/28/2012 9:24PM

    Wow! What an adventure!

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HEALTHDUDE 5/25/2012 2:48PM

    Hey Nicholas!

I think Lisa is correct Low Electrolytes!! The high heat index and demanding physical drain of a full marathon will zap your electrolytes through excessive sweating. This causes an electrical imbalance in the body resulting in mild and serious health problems. Heart attack, kidney failure, blackouts.....

I love running in the heat, for me the hotter the better. We're getting to 90 degrees this weekend, plus the heat index could make it feel like 100!!! Bananas before I run and gatorade during and after. Bananas and G will keep your body supplied E's.

Nice run Nicholas!!!!

Good call Lisa!


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LISAINMS 5/25/2012 12:08PM

    Yikes! You may have had an electrolyte imbalance that caused you to knock out like that. It happened to me after I finished a really hot long run. I blacked out when I arrived back home -luckily not in the park. I felt fine once I had a bite to eat and cooled off, but it has made me more cautious about plenty of fluids and electrolyte supplementation. Sounds like this was a great road trip with lots of fun and terrific people! Congratulations on finishing despite the course closure!

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RUN4FOOD 5/25/2012 6:53AM

    Quite amazing. I know a lot of marathoners, but not one that has said they took a nap in the middle of their run. Hope your training and your next runs go well.

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LUCKYDOGFARM 5/24/2012 10:13PM

    HI AZ! leave it up to you to take a nap during a race that has been cancelled! glad that you were able to finish and stay healthy! i must have missed, what was the temperature? i will have to go back and re-read.


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POKEMOM2THREE 5/24/2012 6:46PM

    Amazing! Nap and all. lol. You are an inspiration! emoticon

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TYKXBOY 5/24/2012 12:20PM

    Oh my goodness! Your hour and a half nap scared the crap outta me! Lucky for you that you didn't wake up in a hospital! Very surprised nobody woke you up or called for medical aid for you. I've closed my eyes while running during a race, before, but never actually stopped to lie down. Does sound refreshing, tho! :-P I hope you are proud of yourself for finishing and surviving. Glad you made it through!
emoticon emoticon

Since you've been training for the heat, you should come out and run with me the end of June. Running w/the Devil 5k, 10k, half, full, and 50 miler. Not only will they run the race regardless of the weather, they are expecting and planning for extreme heat. That's the whole idea of the race. I'll be doing the half. That's the longest distance you can do without a written and accepted cooling and hydration plan...

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FITNESSMONSTER8 5/24/2012 12:13PM

    Way to go!!!! emoticon

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JCP1979 5/24/2012 11:32AM

    Congratulations! You are an inspiration to us all. Thank you for sharing!


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WONDERWOMAN 5/24/2012 11:10AM

    Well, I had no idea what you were in store for when I saw you! That's one of the most amazing stories I've heard. Glad you had a good nap - lol - but I can't believe nobody bothered to check you out all that time! I thought that was Dave Mari when I saw him snapping pics, but then figured I was hallucinating; thanks for confirming for me. Great meeting you in person - hope we meet up at another race someday.

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BUTTERFLY-1976 5/24/2012 10:58AM

    Great blog!! I can't believe you took a nap & nobody checked on you.
The treats look yummy!! emoticon

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LAURIE5658 5/24/2012 10:34AM

    Congratulations and job well done!! Your perseverance is amazing. In the words of Robert...RAWK!

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RUNNER4LIFE08 5/24/2012 8:59AM

    Wow.... what a race experience you had. I have never heard that one before, a runner falling asleep during the race. Sounded like the heat was getting to you and you needed the rest. Great job finishing!!!

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MARATHONDAD 5/24/2012 8:55AM

    wow thats a crazy story cant believe you fell asleep lol. I started using a fuel belt in the last few races it does help thats forsure. glad you are ok

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MBSHAZZER 5/24/2012 8:31AM

    Oh my, I am lol at your nap!! Thank you for making me chuckle on thse bus this am! Congrats on a successful marathon. Also I did not realize you were alredy a maniac, I thought this was your first for some reason. Sounds like you are prepared for the next big adventure! Enjoy the recovery

Edited to correct my typos - do not Spark on the bus, it's very dangerous!

Comment edited on: 5/24/2012 9:09:39 AM

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STRIVER57 5/24/2012 2:44AM

    maybe you were breathing so evenly that it was clear you were fine? that's what i'd like to think anyway. yes, next time hydration would probably be nice. way to go!

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PASTAFARIAN 5/24/2012 12:24AM

    That was quite a race report! Was the finish line still set up when you got there? Cannot believe no one investigated to see if you had heatstroke. Wow!

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MYLADY4 5/23/2012 10:34PM

    Wow, I just had a good chuckle about the nap on a bench. Nobody bothered you?

So glad that you still got your medal, saw them and they looked really neat.

I don't think it is suppose to be as bad as it was last weekend plus Madison is another GREAT city and great people and the route goes right by our capital. It would be a great place to run. IF you get a chance afterwards take a chance to explore the city. My hubby went to school down there so I was down there a bunch and love the city.

Can't wait to hear about your next half.

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THINGETTINOUT 5/23/2012 8:07PM

    Wow great run and a great blog. Well done .

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RHONDALYN10 5/23/2012 7:56PM

    Holy cow - and no one checked on you! Crazy!! But, it sounds like great race and well put on.
Congrats on the Bling!

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ON2VICTORY 5/23/2012 7:46PM

    Leave it to Nick to add 5k to a marathon simply because he is in beast mode... Always going the extra mile ...lol....

Buddy, I really enjoyed my time with you and the late night fruit run :)

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DOJORAT 5/23/2012 7:22PM

    I loved this blog!!! I cant believe they let you sleep with so many being taken in for heat stroke! Your probably the only person ever to have taken a nap while doing a marathon!! lol! I'm so happy you were able to finish !

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GETFIT2LIVE 5/23/2012 7:04PM

    I too can't believe no one poked you to make sure you were okay! Glad you were able to finish it in spite of everything, even if it was more of a marathon+ along the way. The treats were well earned, sir!

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EMILY1244 5/23/2012 6:59PM

    Wow, that was quite the adventure! I love that the volunteers/spectators helped you finish! I had heard that they shut the race down because of heat, and can understand why! We were doing a half in Iowa on the same weekend and it was 87 degrees by the time we finished the Half and felt every degree! But I cant imagine starting the race and then having to be told to stop! Congrats on finishing what you started, even if it was a bit on the foolish side! emoticon

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RUN_BAKE_BLOG 5/23/2012 6:56PM

    Nice of your fellow racers to allow you to sleep...
I would have stopped and poked you, just in case you were dead.
But I am not a runner and apparently...
I am nicer!
Crazy runners!
Good thing I love you guys!

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LEN_VERSION32 5/23/2012 6:47PM

    great blog! Can't believe you slept that long! emoticon

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NATPLUMMER 5/23/2012 6:37PM

    Congratulations on finishing your Ultramarathon!!
It is funny that nobody woke you up.
I'm glad you got to meet up with Sue :-)
The treats look fab!

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  You are a trouper! emoticon

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LDRICHEL 5/23/2012 6:31PM

    Oh my goodness! I was laughing out loud in so many parts of this blog...and I really mean that. You are hilarious.

And a BEAST on the course!!!!

Great job, buddy!

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