Sunday, November 18, 2012

November 17. Success

Change of Plans:
What a whirlwind of emotions November turned out to be.  The event that I trained so hard for so long was cancelled due to one of the cities worst natural disasters in their history.  A once in a decade storm decimated the great city of New York.  In all honesty, I do not think that the event organizers, the upper  part of the city, the mayor, or myself had any idea how bad things were down in Staten Island.  The natives were, rightfully so, very upset that the mere idea that this event would be held when these folks were grasping for hope and trying to rebuild their own lives.

Re Focus:
That said, I had a very hard time letting all of the months of dedication and hard work go to waste.  On the night that the NY Marathon was cancelled, a friend of mine, Nichole Roadcap, made me aware of the Charlotte Thunder Road Marathon just down the road from me in two weeks.  Emotions took over and I jumped at the idea.  I didnt even look at the map or elevation chart.  I was all in.  The following morning I went out for a grudge run (a run in which you are mad about stuff and wanting to take out your frustrations on the pavement).  This was not a good idea.  I went out, mad, upset, emotional, etc... and struggled MIGHTILY to run 12 miles.  I probably walked a good .35 - .50 miles through a course in which I normally have no problems with.  When I got back to the car, Mr. Marathon Man himself Bryan Timmons had sent me a text stating "lets do this" in reference to the Charlotte Marathon idea that I brought to his attention the night before.   At that point the countdown was on.  The two fellas from Wi-Sa/J-Vegas who were stoked about the NY Marathon had now turned their attention to the Charlotte Thunder Road Marathon.  Those fine folks from Thunder Road even gave the NY Marathon folks a break on the registration fee.   It was time to regroup.  The next two weeks proved to be two of the most relaxing and rewarding weeks of running in many many months.  No more pressure to run the biggest running event in the world was like lifting a million tons off of my already tired shoulders.  

This cant be happening:
These two weeks did start to create some damage on the knee.  A few nights after running I was unable to put hardly any pressure on the left leg due to the significant knee pain.  It was worrisome but I refused to let this creep into the equation.  I saw an article that advised you to taper your runs on a treadmill to save unneeded stress on the joints so I decided to join the YMCA.  The odd thing about this was that my last "long run" of the post NY Marathon training plan was sensational.  A 9:30mm over 12 miles was something I didnt think was possible for this 36 year old body, but it happened and it happened on a VERY hilly Elkin course.  This run would have been VERY encouraging had I been able to walk the next day.  That knee pain kept getting worse and worse but I figured if I can run on it for 26 miles I can deal with the inability to walk for a few days afterwards.   3 very short but very painful treadmill runs would be my final tune ups before Charlotte.  I was ready (I think)

Welcome to Charlotte!
I had to take Friday off.   Mentally.  I used the excuse that I needed to pick up my Running packet on Friday, which was 100% accurate, but the truth of it was that I simply would have been 110% completely useless at work thinking only about the task at hand.  I used Friday to lay back, have lunch with my daughter and yes, go pick up my race packet.  Doubles Timmons arrived at the house about 2:00 pm and we were off.   We made it down to Charlotte around 3:00 and checked into the magnificent Blake hotel which turned out to be about 300 yards away from the finish line, that we could see from our hotel window.  We finished up our week long carb load at an amazing Italian restaurant in the parking lot of Time Warner Cable Arena.  Baked Clams, Spaghetti, tons of bread and some free Garlic Knots courtesy of Foursquare would be my last dinner before the run.  "Nervous" didnt even begin to describe my feelings on this day.  I couldnt sleep, couldnt think, and couldnt focus on anything except the next day. I think I paced the room for about 45 miles that night, repeatedly looking out the window, envisioning what would hopefully be a triumphant cross over the finish line.

The green flag was scheduled to drop at 7:45am, however we decided that we would wake up at 5:30.  I heard (Herd) Timmons up and rustling way before that I so just layed in bed pretending to be asleep.  I dont know if it was the baked clams or the bundle of nerves, but my stomach was TORE UP.  I was thinking to myself "Please be port a johns every 30 feet, please please please."  As it turned out, it was nerves as it only took 3 trips to the potty and I seemed to be good to go.  Timmons was even kind enough to share a bagel with me for my pre game run.  Off to the starting line we go at 7:00am.  WOW it was cold.  WOW it was windy.  I think the wind chill factor was probably -65 degrees.  Even without the wind it was a solid -45 degrees or so.  Cold enough to flash freeze ones vital organs, that was for sure.  We werent 100% sure exactly where the start line was but it was easy enough to follow the masses.  Thanks be to the city of Charlotte for opening up their convention center for us to chill out/warm up in the moments leading up to the race.  Also thanks be to the gentlemen who pointed us in the direction of the hidden restrooms.   That proved to be clutch.  It was time to down the pre race gu and head to the starting gates.  Have I mentioned yet how nervous I was?  Yes.  Yes I was.  NERVOUS.  BT was composed so I just tried to lean on him to regroup.   We lined up nearest to the sun we could find so we didnt freeze to death.  Then we heard a very odd sound of a race car reving up its engine. WHAT DID THAT MEAN? WHAT WAS HAPPENING?  At that point I saw the masses start moving up tward the city.  It was gametime!! 

26.2 miles
My goal was to maintain about an 11:15mm for the 1st 7 or so miles, and then start shaving a second or so off each 5 miles or so.   That didnt happen.  At all.  I busted out the gate at about a 10:30mm.  I literally couldnt slow down.  I tried.  I tried so hard but I physically could not make my body slow down any slower.  That..and it was downhill.  I kept thinking back to my 20 mile training run, which SUCKED, in which I ran about 16 miles at a 10:00mm pace, but the last 4 miles at bout a 12mm pace.  I figured that I could probably just keep this 10:30mm pace for 22 miles maybe and then walk the last 4 and still finish in about 5:20 or so, which would still meet my goal.  So thats what I did.  I settled into my 10:30mm pace through the great city of Charlotte.  I saw some AWESOME sights.  2 buses full of kids stopped in traffic were screaming their heads off FOR us around mile 4.   I loved that.  They were really into it.  Other runners ran over to the busses to give high 5's.  I was too locked in to get off of my course so I just stayed straight.   I saw several runners in their bare feet around mile 5 or 6.  BARE FEET!  Earlier you heard about the arctic like weather that had overcome the city of Charlotte.  Dang barefoot runners...dang.  I reached mile 11, still hanging onto that 10:30mm pace and strangely enough, feeling as strong as I did in mile 1.   Not sore, not tired,  nothing.  A mile later though was something that was a bit odd.  The 1/2 marathon folks took a right while the marathon folks took a left.  For every runner I passed for the 1st 12 miles, I was passed by 15 other runners, so by mile 12 I was all by myself when the 1/2'ers broke off.  That was surreal.  It was time for ear plugs.  It was also time to pick up my pace by about :45 seconds per mile.  From mile 11 through mile 19, my pace went from 10:30 to 9:58.  I have no idea why this happened or how.  All I kept hearing and reading was that at mile 18 I would hit this awful wall.  That didnt happen either.  By the grace of God I continued to get stronger as the race progressed instead of getting more and more tired.  Sure, there were some nagging injuries, such as my right ankle that locked up on me about mile 4, and the blister the size of a bar of soap on that same foot was growing and growing.  Mile 20 I did start to feel it a little.  I was still thinking that I could walk some and meet my 5:15 goal, but only if I had to.  Then, out of nowhere, came the most amazing street party I have ever seen in my life.  It was the NoDa community!!!  The ENTIRE COMMUNITY was outside ON THE ROAD screaming their completely drunk heads off in support of the full marathoners.  I was 2 hours behind the winners of this thing but they were STILL in full force when I crossed through.  It was AMAZING.  They even built this huge wall that they put in the middle of the road that said "BREAK THROUGH THE WALL" or something like that.   I give credit to these folks for getting me through the next 6 miles  They pumped me up at mile 20 just as much as I was pumped at mile one.  I love these people so much.  From there, it was all me.  6 miles to victory.  So many different thoughts kept going through my head.  Thoughts about all of the sacrifice over the past 10 months.  The bad runs.  The good runs.  The suckers who told me that I couldnt do it.  The suckers who refused to acknowledge that I was even doing it.  But mostly what went through my head was all of the support I had received from my friends, co workers, clients, wife and church family who told me that I CAN do this. By mile 23 it was obvious that I was not only going to meet my goal, I was going to crush it.  I was in pain, I was tired, my feet were killing me and I was pretty sick to my stomach from some sort of gummy bears a complete stranger gave me at mile 20.  That said, you would have to have chopped off my feet at this point to keep me away from that finish line.  I did not walk one inch the entire way, not even through the hydration stations, not even up those hills, or the 90 degree hill up mt everest at mile 20.  I couldnt wait to tell Timmons that I was finished.  I couldnt wait to surprise Jana that I finished in an hour before I told her I would.  And then as I turned right onto the finish line strip at mile 26 with only 2 tenths of mile left, all of that hard work paid off 10 fold.  There it was.  The finish line that I stared at for hours the night before.  This was the victory lap that I had read about over and over.  And there was Jana, screaming her head off for me just shy of that line.  And then, just as quickly as this whole thing started for me on December 10, 2011 with the worst running effort of my was over.   I had just run a full marathon.  26.2 whole miles.  There were no words to describe this feeling.  I was too tired to be emotional.  This was the greatest physical achievement of my entire life.  I tried to downplay this thing for the last 10 months, but running a marathon is a big frikin deal.   A HUGE deal even.  Doubles even surprised me with the 26.2 car magnet that I was craving so badly this entire time.  This moment was glorious.  

Exactly 50lbs of weight loss from start to finish.
Between Timmons and Myself (Mostly Timmons), we raised $5150 for breast cancer research!
Training runs in only three states..North Carolina, South Carolina and Nevada!
Only 12 miles run on a treadmill.
Almost 900 miles from January through Marathon.
Best Run: The Charlotte Marathon, Duh.
Worst Run: Probably a tie between the 20 long run and an 8 mile training run that saw me wreck my car, get bit by a dog, walk 4 times, run face first into a sign and dang nearly pass out from heat stroke.
Shoes:  3 pair of shoes.  Started in brooks pure performance, then to some Asics Gel Nimbus 13 and then some Gel Nimbus 14 to finish up.
Most impressive piece of gear:  Compression shorts.  Changed the dynamic of every run dramatically.
Revelation:  KT Tape.  I wore it once...DURING the marathon.  Guess who had NO KNEE PAIN THE ENTIRE TIME?!? THIS GUY!!!!  KT Tape...the stuff.
Best Motivators:  Chris Freak Nix and Bryan Timmons.  For 6 months we had a daily email string talking about successes and failures in our training runs.  Nix trained for a marathon but had a baby instead.  

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Sunday, September 30, 2012

September 30 - And the time is here

September was  chaos. PURE CHAOS.  The month started with my family going back to school and promptly receiving the most disgusting, violent stomach virus I have ever seen.  Somehow/someway, I did not get this, however right about the time they settled back into some decent health, I became overwhelmed with runners burnout.  I didnt want to run.  At all.  Ever again.  For that one week, my times were the suck.  My feet hurt, ankles hurt and most of all, my desire hurt.  Then I was introduced to a new track...a track named Salem Lake.  I go out and absolutely KILL 16 miles (by my standards).  A sub 10 minute per mile time was nice, but the fact that I felt amazing at the end was even nicer.  This was the fire I needed for this month.  From there, it was on.  I was dropping sub 9 minute miles like I was on a scooter.  Hills were no problem.  NO PAIN!! The pain in my feet has almost completely disolved!!  September may have started out as the suck, but it ended with a renewed mindset that I so desperately needed.  The last run of the month just so happened to be my longest run of my life.  An 18 mile run through the Jonesville and Elkin streets at 5:00 in the morning.   That run included some of the most amazing lightening and thunder and rain and winds that I have ever seen during my training.  All I could do was pray to God that He would kinda just let me finish and not kill me with lightening.   I am thankful that He took care of me because I started to get some of those early September feelings about 8 miles in and was flat out ready to quit...because it would have been easy to quit in these conditions.  18 miles in the books!!  Its pretty much all downhill from here as we lead into November 4th in New York City.  I have an official 1/2 marathon in Greensboro on October 6, then on October 20 I hit my big 20 miler.  I'm crazy nervous about both.  From that point, its taper time.  Mileage goes south to allow the body time to heal from 8 months of strenuous training.    If I am not ready now, I WONT be ready.....I'M READY.  LETS RUN 26!!
Also of note, we are still a ways outside of our $5,000 goal for the Sloan Kettering Breast Cancer Foundation.  Not that short, but still short.  One fundraiser left to go...wii bowling tournament on October 20th!!  COME TO THAT!!!!!

Friday, September 7, 2012

September 7 LET THE PAIN BEGIN!!

Looking back, I was whining about July like I am whining about September.  August however, was AWESOME.  I beat pretty much all of my personal records.  3 miles?  Killed it.  5K?  Heck yeah.  4 miles?  indeed  5 miles? of course.  14 miles?  crushed by 7 minutes.  13.26 miles?  beat down by 7 minutes.
And then came September.   The pain in my left foot has intensified fairly significantly.  On top of that, now my RIGHT foot is hurting, along with some back pain, two thighs, and yes, frikin Andy Bernard syndrome.  That one, thankfully, might have just been a glitch.  or 5.    Already this month my entire family has been stricken with one of the most violently disgusting stomach viruses I have ever seen.  My entire family....except for me.  Not sure how I avoided this mess, but I did.   I'm not sure what to blame my first 5 runs being pathetic on, however the fact that I gained 10lbs (Seriously) and lost those same 10 lbs (seriously) all in the span of 7 days, 3 of them at the beach.
Well there are some pretty big runs coming up in September so I gotta fix my mindset now.  Tomorrow in fact is a nice 15 miler...which equals my personal long distance.  Then comes 16, 14 and 18.
This week I am going to try to take 2 consecutive days off from running prior to the long run...we'll see how that goes.
Oh, and by gosh!  We are still dang near 1,000 bucks away from our 5,000 goal for the Think Pink Rocks/Sloan Kettering Foundation for Breast Cancer Research!  Not a lot of time left here so yeah...fingernail bitting time.
Hey has anyone ever tried to roll a golf ball under their foot to fix the achilles tendinitis?  Well it doesnt frikin work.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

August 22 - Records and Insults

August has gotten off to a fast start, so to speak.  In the span of 7 days I beat my own personal record in the 3 mile, the 3.2 mile and the 13.26 mile.  As a matter of fact, I CRUSHED those records.  It feels tremendous to see the hard work paying off.  I've been making a habit of running with some pretty awesome folks in some pretty awesome places so far this month.  I've run with the living softball legend Chris (freak) Nix through Tanglewood and through the downtown streets of Wi Sa.  I've run with 3 of the legendary Herd icons, Rose Ket, Sac and Hien "Clutch" Lewis.  SAC and Clutch are also in the process of training for their very own 1/2 marathon, have mercy!
Today's weird scene comes from the prestigious Salem Park in Wi Sa where some fellas thought it would be crazy cool and funny to stop their car in the middle of a high traffic area and yell "Run Fat Boys Run" at us whilst almost causing an accident with the SUV directly behind them.   As Freak Nix so eloquently put play.
The next few weeks see a substantial increase in mileage as we build to the final 20 miler in Mid October.  This weekend will be a 14 mile run in the heart of North Myrtle Beach.  If I can get somebody to come pick me up, I'm going to just run from the condo to Ripleys I think.

 I'm ready.  I tired...sore...delusional and other words, but I got this.  Fat boy got this.
Here are some pictures from Sundays run through Jonesville/Elkin.  Also, this is the run that saw the demise of my iphone 4 as it lay shattered on the hard concrete.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

1st Week of August - About Eliminating Doubt

The 1st week of August is in the book which means LESS THAN 3 MONTHS TO GO BEFORE GAMEDAY!  July sucked so bad, but August is starting out pretty dang tremendous.  Its still hot, but I'm feeling so much better both mentally and physically.  This month I have signed up for a 1/2 Marathon in October as part of the training regimen.  In hindsight, probably not the greatest idea as the track is all roots and sticks and leaves.  Whatever.  I pwn.  I like to look back on weird things that happen during my runs.  Tonight, August 7th was the semi finals of the women's beach volleyball olympic tournament thing.  To celebrate this, a girl decided to dress up like Misty May Traenor and walk slowly around the elkin the dark 9:30 at night.   I dont even know what to say.

Lets Run.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July- Minimal Progress is still Progress

Oh the wonderful month of July.  I guess July marked the 1/2 way point of the training depending on how you look at it.  As awesome as I felt on the final run of June, the big 15 miler, I felt equally as BAD in July.  I mean I hate to blame stuff that is out of my control on what seems to be an entire month of regression, but I'm going to anyway.  July saw 11 days of 100+ degree temperatures.  The humidity was awful.  And on top of that, I obtained a sinus infection and a double ear infection.  Enough complaining though!   I did manage to log 97.23 miles this month and I stuck to the plan.  Well actually, I said screw the plan the last half of the month and started adding mileage to it.   Once I started adding mileage to the plan I actually started doing a little better.   July also saw a brand new pair of pumped up kicks, courtesy of Fleet Feet.  The Asics are nice, but they def. do not feel as awesome as the Brooks I had until mid July.  I'll probably roll Asics until Marathon day, then bust back out the Brooks for the big day.  July saw me hit a wall as far as weight loss goes.  I entered the month at 171 lbs and ended the month at 171 lbs.  I was crazy hungry this month though.  I cant complain too much, as I'm still down 50 lbs since last December.   July saw an EPIC fundraiser at Foothills!  We raised about 800 bucks that day for the Team Timmons and Team Swaim Think Pink Rocks charity for a Cure for breast cancer!  With a company match, we are still a combined 1600 short, although Team Timmons has raised about 2K more than Team Swaim.  Kudos to him.  Great effort indeed!  If you are reading this and feel sorry for me due to my lack of funds raised, fix that by clicking HERE 
This month on the trails I saw some pretty crazy stuff, not least of all the Elkin PD pulling his car behind mine and getting out to chase down a perp on foot.   I was also befriended by a Pitbull (everywhere? Everywhere!) in Jonesville that I was initially confident that he was going to eat my face.
Up next:  August.   Game day is in sights.  Only 3 short months remain.  I'm getting pretty dang nervous.  Actually, I am VERY dang nervous.  Nervous enough to have nightmares about the horrible possibilities of game day in November.   3 Months.  Lets do this.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

July 1. /end program

After approx 6 months of grueling, painful, hot, cold, up, down, etc... runs, I have completed my pre training schedule.  I've had some awful runs and some great runs.  I've learned a lot, saw a lot, sweat a lot, but mostly, I've run a lot.  Since December 16, I've put in dang near 400 miles.   At times I honestly thought that there would be NO WAY I can make this happen, but as I wound down my last run of this pre training schedule I've never felt more confident.  In this post I'm going to put some best and worst of's of the last 6 months, along with some lessons learned.
Pre Run:  Prayer and 5 minutes of stretching
Worst Run: June 23rd 8 mile.  This started out with me backing into my mom's car. I was chased and bit on the shoe by a dog.  I tripped over the broken concret.  I had to walk TWICE.  I ran into a phone pole.  I was run off the road by a van.  I got started 3 hours later than normal and ran in the heat of the day.
Best Run: June 15 10 mile.  Wow I was busting tail on this one.  I ran on a Friday (not normal) and at night (not normal) and pretty much exclusively up hill (not normal) but somehow I managed to average a 10 minute per mile pace.  This was awesome and the day before I left for a 2 day bus trip to see 2 Braves Game.
Most Heard Statement:  26 miles?  You think you can do that?
2nd most Heard Statement:  I wish you put as much effort into this house as you are this training!!! (touche'   I will, just hang with me for a bit long.  It'll be all over soon, I promise)
Best Advice:  Dont over do it.  You dang idiot
Worst Advice:  Shoes dont matter.   Ok that was some bad advice.  ALL Gear matters!!  Srsly, if you dont have good shoes and a moisture wicking shirt, you wont be able to do this in this crazy 300 degree heat.  Or at least I cant.  
Most Awesome Place that I ran:  Las Vegas Nevada!  Sure, it was on a treadmill...but it was in Las Vegas.  Come on, thats awesome
Pre Run Meal:  Usually just a banana and some Gatorade
Worst Weather to Run in:  1:  Wind.  2: Heat
Most Extremen Weather I ran in:  35-40 mile per hour gusts, torrential downpour, extreme lightening all in the same run. 
Craziest things I saw:  The Pothead family.   A close 2nd would be the skunk that ran for about 1/2 mile with me.
Worst place I ran:  Jonesville track. That thing is awful.  
Most Run Course:  From FBC Jonesville, zig zag through downtown, up to 268, down by Lowes and the Hosipital, zig zag again through downtown and back up to Church
Best Pump Up Song:  All the Things that I've done by The Killers
Best Pump Up Group:  The Black Keys.   EVERYTHING gets me going
Well thats it I guess.  Over the next 7 days I will be "taking it easy" as I'm on vacation.  After that, its the OFFICIAL training plan for the 2012 New York Marathon.  One thing that needs to be said and realized is this:  

Philippians 4:13

New International Version (NIV)
13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Amen to that.  NO WAY I could do this without God.  


Monday, June 11, 2012

June 11. Its been some kinda week

WOW!  Talk about a chaotic week.  My pre training was cut a bit short last week due to a business trip to Las Vegas!  That trip has def. inspired me to try to get the spouse to run the full marathon out there next December, but thats a thought for a different day.  Over the last week or so I've put in some decent miles and broken a few barriers such as a sub 9 mi average over 4 miles.  That was awesome!
As far as everything else goes, its a bit of a rut time right now.  I'm tired.  I'm sore.  I'm burnt out a little.  That said, i'm still 100% focused on the goal and thats to get in shape to run 26.2 miles in under 5 hours and 15 minutes.  Nothing eventful has been happening on my runs...staying around elkin/jonesville, bla bla bla.  I can literally feel myself getting stronger though, so thats a plus.  One thing is for certain, its going to be very important to stay hydrated in the coming months.
Fundraising has GOT to pick up.  I'm getting the big denial on my febale attempts lately.  I'm only at 455 bucks.  That SUCKS for me.  A Foothills fundraiser is coming up though, maybe we'll score some bucks.
Here was my last "long" run this past saturday.  I didnt eat breakfast.  Otherwise this time would have been MUCH better.

10.22 mi
Avg Pace
10:38 min/mi
Activity Type:
1,255 C
Elevation Gain:
1,200 ft
Event Type:

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

May 29. Some Rest and Running

I literally could not lift my legs the day after the 13.2 miles on Sunday so I took an unscheduled day off.  Have mercy I needed that.  I can only imagine how my body is going to feel on nov 5 if it hurt this bad after 13.2.  Well I got my run back on monday and busted off a 4.5 mile run.  I hurt pretty bad but I finished it in a respectable (by my standards) time.  Today, tuesday was a "speed" run along with my 1st weekly 5 mile run.  I wanted to impress so I did break off a nice solid pace and finished it in about 48ish minutes.  This was an obstacle.  Overcoming a fair amount of pain and mental exhaustion.  Its still May.  The race is in November.  Ugh.

Distance:5.00 mi
Avg Pace:9:30 min/mi
Elevation Gain:353 ft
Calories:626 C

Saturday, May 26, 2012

May 26. Lets just do a half real quick

Sleeping on the couch doesnt provide much comfort for a long run the next day, but that was the case as I seem to wake everyone up at 5:00am otherwise.  Well that sucked, because everyone was up anyway.  Whatever.  My goal today was to just frikin run.  I didnt care how far how long or how far, I just wanted to run.  Today I saw an awesome dude in my youth group going to graduation.  Just a great kid.  I didnt see much else, other than the same group leaving for carowinds.  I had no gummy gu's today.  I only had some gatorade and a banana before the run but have mercy the energy was limitless.  I'm pretty sure I could have run another 10-15 miles before I just passed out, but I stopped. I stopped at 13.19.  Thats a 1/2 dang marathon.  I can put a 13.1 sticker on my car now, no?    2 months ahead of schedule.  Not to shabby for a 220 lb dude who couldnt run a 5k in under 46 minutes 5 months ago.  I think I'm going to start tapering these runs off a little now.  I've gained the confidence I CAN do this, now I just need to keep the feet and knees able.

Distance:13.19 mi
Avg Pace:10:55 min/mi
Elevation Gain:899 ft
Calories:1,498 C

Monday, May 21, 2012

May 18-21 CHAOS

Since we last spoke, TONS has happened in the quest for 26.  Thursday, the Mighty Mighty Purps were destroyed, again, however the beatdown did allow me to runa bout 42 miles in the outfield.  So tired.  Friday, I tried something different.  I took the day off.  It.  Was.  AMAZING.  Saturday Was the big scheduled 9 mile but hoping for 11 mile run.  Beautiful day, but I accidentally woke up the girls.  That did not go over well at all.  My bad.  Saturday was the 1st time with the new watch on a long run.  It was cool, except it cut off on me.  Twice.  That sucked, however it caused me to run 12.24 miles instead of 11. I felt great though! WOW did I feel good.  I wasnt even remotely tired after that run.  Sunday, 4 miles in under 39 minutes.  New record.  Monday, day off but I also paid for the NY trip.  On a credit card though.  Give me money.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

May 17. Whats that smell?

so 2 days in a row I've had SIGNIFICANT pain in the balls of my feet.  It hurt so bad I dang near stopped running tonight.  Also a trend is that if its humid, I suck.  Shirt was drenched about 2 miles in on top of the foot pain.  Then at the end of mile 2 I ran all up on a dang skunk.  A SKUNK!  I didnt know if I should pass it or run behind it or what. The skunk was running only about 10-15 yards in front of me and ended up going the same route I needed to so I had to cut my 2nd mile on the track about 300 yard short to avoid the skunk.   Stupid skunk.
2nd day in a row that I refused to hydrate or eat well prior to the run.  This pain is concerning though.  Unlike the old ankle pains, this one gets worse as the run progresses.  I may take 2 days off before my big 11 miler on Saturday.

Distance:4.01 mi
Avg Pace:9:45 min/mi
Elevation Gain:113 ft
Calories:556 C

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

May 15. Stupid Watch

I tried out my super fantastic new garmin gps watch today.  I was too dang focused on that stupid thing instead of the actual task at hand.  Its a neat little doodad though, plenty of stats and such.  I did bust off 4.5 miles in under 44 minutes though, which is better than a 10 minute mile.  I was not hydrated and had not eaten anything and that is a definite no no.  I struggled.  Mightily.  Probably could have hit a 9.5 mm had I properly prepared.  The realization is starting to set in on how overwhelming this whole thing is though.  Despite the fact that I have dang near 6 months left to train, I'm starting to get really nervous.

Monday, May 14, 2012

May 14. It was a good day

Day off today but I got LOTS of positive donations to my Crowdrise Donation site today.  LOTS. And I am grateful.  Also, my garmin gps watch came in today.  This should help me keep a better pace and know how far I've gone and such.  Saturday was a disaster avoided only because I had no idea how far I had gone at any given time.  No more!  The watch should help.
Also of note, my ankle barely hurt at all today.  That was nice

Sunday, May 13, 2012

May 13. Its raining its pouring

Not ideal weather today as it was pouring down rain.  That and I'm still pretty tired from yesterday wasnt the ideal situation for the last run of the week.  Still I knocked it out in about 40 minutes.  Just a long day. Not a good day. Here's to next week being less stressful.
Weather:  Rainy
Time 41 minutes
Distance 4.06 miles

Saturday, May 12, 2012

May 12. Mixed emotions

It was cooolllldddd this am.  45 ish degrees.  I had mentally prepared to the best of my ability to move into the double digits today.  Despite the scheduled 9 miles, I wanted 10 and I wanted it in 2 hours. Banana/honey for breakfast and a gatorade/gummy gu and I'm off.  The initial pace was crazy slow, dang near 12 mpm but I knew it was going to be a long morning so I wanted to keep the pace right at 11mpm.  The only initial obstacle was this huge frikin hill there next to the school  It was physically painful but I nailed it and kept on my way.  From that point forward I felt amazing...until I made the realization that yeah, I'm going to get 10 miles in today and I'm going to feel great but a marathon is 26.2 miles.  Thats 16 more miles than  ran today.  Sixteen.  That means I would have to do the same course I did today, TWO TIMES, and then run 6.2 miles on top of that.  That has me thoroughly depressed today.  Plus I'm tired.  I need to go to bed now.
Time:  5:45
Weather:  Cold. Clear
Distance 10.06 miles
Pre Game food: banana, honey, 1/3 power bar, gummy gu, gatorade
Time:  1 hour 50ish minutes.

Friday, May 11, 2012

May 10 and 11 HERD UP!!

I'm starting to get lazy with this blogging thing.  Lets see, May 10 was consumed with the revitalization of the Mighty Purple Herd!  Read about that HERE.  I did get in about 2.75 miles behind my place of business.  Cars dont care.  They drive right at you.  Cars dont care!  This was the 3rd day in a row that I was averaging a sub 10 minute mile.  Thats my new goal for my weekly short runs in hopes that it will make my longer runs more tolerable.
On Thursday I did the 4.5 mile "crawl" where the goal was to run a slow easy approx 11 minute mile for 45 miles.  I did feel tremendous but i'm getting pretty tired of the potheads taking over my starting gate.  Thats frustrating.  They should go elsewhere instead of a park where kids play.  /endrant

Tomorrow (Saturday) is a HUGE day.  I'm only scheduled to run 8.5 but I really want to bust off 10.  5:30 in the am.  I feel ready.  If my left ankle will hold up I got this.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

May 8 and May 9...Lets go fast(ish)

Coming off the day off I'm usually slow, out of breath and sad.  NOT TODAY SUCKERS!  I was burning rubber or what not.  Felt great, only a slight pain in the ankle and heel.   The weather was even humid.  Then a repeat of that the following night (tonight) but it was a little chilly.  Here are some things that I've seen in the last 2 days:  A van that I outran on foot down mainstreet. A family of 4 smoking pot at the bridge.  A tree reach out and grab my iphone OUT of my arm band.  Two guys stopped in the middle of the road in a strong warm embrace.

May 8:
Run Time: 40:18
Stopped Time: 0:00
Distance: 4.07 miles
Average: 9:55 /mile
Fastest Pace: 9:06 /mile
Ascent: 104 feet
Descent: 90 feet
Calories: 624

May 9:
Run Time: 32:30
Stopped Time: 0:00
Distance: 3.53 miles
Average: 9:12 /mile
Fastest Pace: 8:26 /mile
Ascent: 45 feet
Descent: 34 feet
Calories: 541

Monday, May 7, 2012

May 7. Oh the sweet relief rest brings

I will say this..i'm NOT enjoying days off right now.  Running is my crack.  That said, the ole heel and ankle needs this pretty bad.  Jana made some 'sketti.  Its so good.  I've gained 5.5lbs since Friday.  Thats not good.

May 6. Nothing Special

Not much going on today...Church in the am then run when Jana gets home. It was the last day of the run week and I got in over a mile more than the projected goal. The heat turns up a little bit next week. Lets go!
Weather: 83 degrees but not humid
Time: 2:30
Pre Game Meal: Tomato Soup and some turkey/cheese/pickle/bananapepper sandwiches
Clothes: MW socks, MW shirt, Hat, Shoes
Course: Elkin Downtown
Stats: Run Time: 35:25
Stopped Time: 0:00
Distance: 3.58 miles
Average: 9:53 /mile
Fastest Pace: 8:39 /mile
Ascent: 88 feet
Descent: 87 feet
Calories: 616

Saturday, May 5, 2012

May 5. Busiest day EVER

5:00 am was the wake up call for the longest scheduled run to date.  I was SO dang jacked for this.  I picked up a new pair of moisture wicking socks and a moisture wicking shirt at Fleet Feet.  Out the door by about 5:30am but no gas stations or Food Lion open! what?  I did find a quick stop open and hooked myself up with a gatorade and a banana for breakfast. Delicious.  I also decided to park at the church this day for a whole new route.  This route was AWESOME! It was ALL up hill except for the two monster downhill stretches.  I popped in a Gu Gummy at mile 2 and mile 7 and I gotta say they worked.  I felt better this run that the last long run.  Coulda probably ran 5 or 6 more miles to be completely honest, but we had a trip planned to Carowinds today so I cut it off at 8.67.  Let me say this, running this early in the am is majestic.  Running while the sun rising is nothing short of amazing.  Its awesome be up this early running while God starting his day.
Weather:  68 degrees and perfect
Pre Game Meal:  Banana and a gatorade
Clothes:  MW socks, MW shirt, Hat, Shoes
Course: Jonesville Chruch through downtow, up through speedy chef, back
Stats:  8.67 miles in like 1.5 hours.  I'm slow.  Whatever

May 4. Relay for Life!

My gps got all jacked up so I got like no stats for today, but more importantly the night was all about Relay for Life.  Our small Elkin town raised 40K!!! thats pretty dang awesome.
I ran 4 miles in about 40 minutes at 10:30pm.  Big run tomorrow!!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

May 3. Day "off"

No running tonight, for the Herd stole the show.  The Herd lost, but I ran a lot, mainly due to trying to remedy the errors I made in the field.  We now reach a stretch where getting a run in is going to mighty difficult with the relay for life tomorrow and carowinds saturday.  I'm thinking 5:00am will be happening this weekend.
Run on.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

May 2. Painfully Drenched

I got a surprise donation today to the Think Pink team from bff Beth Holt! That was pretty neat. Todays run: As soon as I stepped out of the car I became overcome with the tremendous amount of humidity that was present in the evening hour. The stench from yesterday was absent but the humidity was 10 fold. Also I think today I was more aware of the pure unadulterated pain that both of my feet were under. These are the kinds of things that one must just get over if one is to complete 26.2. That said, Ima wimp. Big time. Somebody hold me.
Weather: Warm and Humid
Time: 8:30pm
Pre Run Meal: Flat bread, banana, peanut butter, honey:
Clothes: shorts. Shoes. 2 T-shirts. Hat
Course: Elkin Downtown
Run Time: 31:16
Stopped Time: 0:00
Distance: 3.04 miles
Average: 10:18 /mile
Fastest Pace: 7:51 /mile
Ascent: 54 feet
Descent: 138 feet
Calories: 486

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May 1. Humidity is not a friend of mine

Have mercy it was humid tonight. Coming off the day off has already proved to be a huge obstacle, but throwing in about a 110% humidity on top of an area that smells like 40 hells and today is asking for trouble. All things considered though, I dont think today was that bad of a run. For some reason my alarmingly slow pace has gotten alarminglyer slower, but I'm feeling better and breathing better. Eh. It is what is is. All that said, I have never written on this blog a thanks to God who for has answered my prayers and provided me with the motivation and strength to do this thing. I CAN do all things through Christ, who strengthens me, because I sure know that I couldnt do this on my own. I also want to thank Jana who is sacrificing a TON to allow me the time to go down to Elkin to run every night/morning. She has been crazy supportive and I srsly am grateful to her for this.
Weather: Warm and Humid
Time: 7:15pm
Pre Run Meal: Flat bread, banana, peanut butter, honey:
Clothes: shorts. Shoes. T-shirts. Hat
Course: Elkin Downtown
Run Time: 42:51 Stopped Time: 0:00 Distance: 4.16 miles Average: 10:18 /mile Fastest Pace: 8:55 /mile

Monday, April 30, 2012

April 30. Humbled

Running day off today.  I kinda needed this.  Got home today, put the baby girl in my lap, sat in the recliner and fell asleep.  At 6:30.  For the month of April I ran 87.16 miles.  I can say with pretty much 100% confidence that this total FAR eclipses any monthly total of my entire life, counting high school.  
My wife however has really put me in my place.  The woman just went out and ran 6 miles in one hour.  I havent touched that.  I'm desperately trying to convince her that she NEEDS to be in this thing.  She has a talent that I'll never have.  
One observation...I'm really hungry.  Like REALLY hungry.  I read that this will happen.  But srsly, I'm hungry.  I also need about 2200 more bucks for the Think Pink team

Sunday, April 29, 2012

April 29. Crossdressing

No goal today other than to just get in a 30 minute run to wind down from the long run yesterday. A few observations from today are that my clothes are too big. My draws were falling off inside my shorts and then my shorts started falling off. Add that to the fact that the sweat was making my t shirt fall down to make it look like I was wearing one of those moo moo's from Mama's family. On top of the wardrobe malfunctions, my ankles are starting to chafe and I am in desperate need of some gold bond. Other than that, it was a beautiful Sunday afternoon!!!
Weather: Warm and clear
Time: 6:30pm Pre Run Meal: Garlic bread, Lasagna, Salad Clothes: shorts. Shoes. 2 T-shirts. Hat
Course: Elkin Downtown
Run Time: 37:29
Stopped Time: 0:00
Distance: 3.57 miles
Average: 10:30 /mile
Fastest Pace: 9:26 /mile Ascent: 108 feet Descent: 102 feet Calories: 554

Saturday, April 28, 2012

April 28. Tremendous

Today was my 3rd "long run" of the pre training. I'm having a hard time sleeping the night before these longer runs so I decided to get to bed a touch earlier than I normally do on Friday nights. We went out for some dinner on Friday and I had something called Egyptian bread which is completely sinful. On top of that I put down a vegetarian spaghetti to do the whole carb loading thing. Gameday--I got up "early" and went to my usual spot at the Elkin park to stretch and such. It was chilly and I found myself a touch tight. I did however make a quick pit stop at the Shell to grab two gatorades. Oddly enough I had never tried to drink gatorade pre run before. I had set my sights on 7 miles through the vast metropolis of Elkin city today. There were already several other runners out at the park when I had arrived. To be honest, while I no way/shape/form consider myself a runner it was still good to see others trying to better their health. Its almost like we are all part of the same fraternity or something. Everyone was nice and smiling as I ran by. I had no idea the path I was going to take today, all I know is that I needed to get in 7 miles. As I prayed for strength this morning, I also asked God to put some wings on my feet becuase I knew that today was going to be a challenge. From that point forward, I felt AMAZING. I hardly even broke a sweat and my breathing was incredible. I didnt even reach for my asthma inhaler once! I consider that a major accomplishment. I tried to focus on running up some pretty gruesome hills today and even those heels (woops) couldnt slow me down. 8.25 miles and 1.25 hours later, I completed my "7" mile long run for the week. This is what its all about right here!!!!
Weather: Chilly and overcast
Time: 7:30am
Pre Run Meal: Toast w/ natural peanut butter w/ honey drizzle
Clothes: shorts. Shoes. T-shirt. Hat
Course: Elkin Downtown-Jonesville Cherry-FBC Jonesville
Distance: 8.22 miles Time: 1:25:06 10:20/mile

Friday, April 27, 2012

April 27. My wife makes me sick

Jana disgusts me. Thoroughly disgusts me. She goes out for a solid 4 mile stretch, comes home and looks like she just got back from the beauty parlor. I go out and run THREE miles and come home looking like I've been in a 3 hour bar fight, gasping for air, begging for oxygen and willing to drink water straight out of a septic tank. Up hers. That said, today was my last 3 miler before my long run tomorrow. Not a lot of food was to be had today, for I worked from home. Have mercy I felt amazing. Almost all of my ankle pain is gone and my calf also seems to be healing. One of the things I'm enjoying most about this running stuff is the scenery. For example, today right before I ran by a broken sewage line, I got to see two crack heads run from the police, only to be caught right in the middle of downtown! Tomorrow is the big 7 miler. We'll see how that goes.
Weather: Clear and Mild
Time: 6:300pm
Pre Run Meal: Some pringle type potato chips Clothes: shorts. Shoes. T-shirt. Hat
Course: Elkin Downtown
Distance: 3.10 miles Time: 30:25 9:49/mile

Thursday, April 26, 2012

April 26. Onion Funk

2nd 4 miler of the week. Holy cow I felt GREAT going into this one. Slight pain in the left ankle and even slighter pain in the left calf but that was gone about 300 yards into this run. Downtown was a little busy today...had to stop a few times for traffic. BEAUTIFUL day, perfect running weather. I THOUGHT I had a solid pace the whole time. Breathing was excellent and and I didnt feel tired at all the whole time, but somehow I only beat tuesday by about 2 minutes. I'm not sure whats worse, feeling great and getting a poor time or feeling like poo and getting a poor time. This is an Enigma, and not the mid 90's techno group. the other kind. The kind that doesnt make me want to make out with people as they pass by me on the street. One more 4 miler and then the big 7 miler on Sunday. Back to the onions. I'm not sure they are a good idea to eat for a pre run. I didnt really feel bad, but I smelled pretty awful and had some decent heart burn. Was it the onions or the JalapeƱos? or the Hot Sauce? Or the Chipolte Southwest Sauce? My eating habits suck.

Weather: Clear and Mild
Time: 7:00pm Pre Run Meal: Subway 12" Veggie sub w/ ONIONS, JalapeƱos, Black Olives, Hot Sauce, Chipolte Southwest, Lettuce, Pickles, Banana Peppers
Clothes: shorts. Shoes. T-shirt. Hat
Course: Elkin Downtown
Distance: 4.075 miles Time: 43:02 10.34/mile

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

April 25. Running at Night is different

My daughter had dance pictures tonight that lasted until dang near 10:00pm. My wife was with her while I had my baby daughter at home. I didn't get to hit the track until 10:00. PM. Thats fine, I like to do the extreme or whatnot, however for the entire run I felt like I was in the middle of the newest version of "I know what you did last summer." Not sure if you knew this or not, but there are lots of shadows at night that follow you while you run. Also, the lights go OUT as you run by them. Why? Why does that need to happen. FWIW I'm still miffed about my poor run from yesterday. I need to set a better pace. I do feel MUCH better than the day before. 
Weather: Misty and chilly
Time: 10:00pm
Pre Run Meal: Subway 12" Chicken/Roast Beef w/ the regular stuff
Clothes: 2 pair of shorts. Shoes. Tshirt. Hat
Course: Elkin track Distance: 3.05 miles Time: 30:26 9.59/mile
I was not really out to set any track records tonight, but I did want to keep up a decent pace for the entire run. I'll take it.

April 24 Run. Pure Fail

Its cold. Its raining. I'm coming out of a day off from my 6 mile jaunt on April 22. Goal is 4 miles. NOT feeling it today. At all. Left ankle hurts. Cant breath (thanks pollen). Right ankle hurts. Stress from work. 

Weather: Cold. Misty
Time: 6:30 PM
Pre Run Meal: Piece of flat bread w/ All Natural Peanut Butter and a drizzle of Honey.
Clothes: Long pants. Shoes. Tshirt. Hat
Course: Elkin downtown
Distance: 4.07 miles Time: 44:31 10.56/mile This is over 2 minutes worse than my last 4 mile run on the same course. Gotta do better tomorrow.

And so it begins

And so it begins. Little did I know it, but I have been training to run the New York Marathon this November since December 16, 2011. It was on that date that I "ran" a PATHETIC 5K with my wife and daughter. I "finished" that 3.2 miles in just under 47 minutes. Thats right, 47 minutes. At that point I was right around 220 lbs. Pretty much the heaviest I have ever been in my life. It was that day that I decided/realized that something had to change or my beautiful daughters would be forever ashamed of their fat dad who was too tired and lazy to get off the couch and away from the delicious bag of doritos.  I also wanted to restructure my greek god'esq psychique that my adoring wife so loves and craves.   I began researching some apps on the interwebs to help me with my weight loss attempt and came across a nifty little doodad called "LoseIt." I plugged in a modest goal of 188 lbs and hoped to achieve that by sometime in June of 2012. I've never really been one to halfarse anything and this little project was no exception. Not only did I lose the weight, but I lost in about 2 months ahead of schedule thanks to cutting back on my daily caloric intake by around 2000 calories (thats right, I was busting out dang near 4k calories per day. Srsly). I also thought it to be a good idea to start moving around a little so I began running. Fast forward to April 17, 2012. By this time i've lost dang near 30lbs and I'm running pretty much every day. Not only am I running every day, but I'm talking about running every day to everyone who will listen. On April 17, my dear mother went into the hospital for a routine'ish procedure to remove a spot from her lung. She's doing just fine today. I'm sitting in the waiting room working when I get an email from one of my more persuasive friends, Bryan "Doubles" Timmons. Timmons says that I need to jump on this New York Marathon application. I laugh out loud (LOL) and say ok, sure man. SO I did, figuring that there was NO WAY IN HELLO that I would EVER make the "cut" or get any further than the $11.00 application fee. The instant I clicked submit on that application one of those preverbal "fires" began burning inside my soul. This was something that had to happen. 26.2 miles. A lifelong asthmatic. Fat and lazy for the past 12 years. 26.2 miles. A 47 minute 5k. 26.2 miles. Twenty Six point frikin 2 miles. Failure is NOT an option. To lock myself into this commitment, I have put myself on the hook for a $2500 donation to the Think Pink Rocks team for the guaranteed entry. I'm in. NO looking back now.