Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Little Background...

I often get quizzical looks when I tell people I went to college on a full scholarship. The looks are even more quizzical when I tell them I'm an Evans Scholar Alumni.

This article pretty much sums up what I went through in December of 1990***.

***edited to the correct year, 1990...simple typo.  It was December 1990.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A 26.2 Mile Journey Begins With a Single Step

Health Update:
Left hammie/glute are feeling much better after the second ART treatment.  Now that things are working like they are supposed to, the left leg is telling me I really need to strengthen it just a bit.  So I am trying.

Official Announcement

Training for the Glass City Marathon (Toledo, OH, 4/26/2009) began today.  Well, it officially kicked off yesterday but since that was a scheduled off day I thought I would announce it today.  I'm again venturing into this marathon training following the Pfitzinger 18 week, 55 mile plan.  So while the plan called for a week that looked like this:

Monday - Off
Tuesday - 7 miles with 10 strides
Wednesday - Off or cross training
Thursday - 9 miles
Friday - Off
Saturday - 4 miles
Sunday - 12 miles

I thought that easing back into it might be a bit more reasonable so I'm going with this:

Monday - Off
Tuesday - 5 miles (no strides, not sure how to do those on the TM)
Wednesday - 6 miles
Thursday - 5 miles
Friday - Off
Saturday - 4 miles
Sunday - 12 miles

And according to all available weather information it looks like I'll be running inside until maybe March.  There is currently approximately 18-20" of snow on the ground (so far Grand Rapids in just December has received over 40" of snow) and a nice mix of sleet/rain/ice coming Christmas eve.  Yay.

So wish me luck over the next 18 weeks and keep checking in to see how things progress.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

But It's A Good Hurt

Remember this post?

Well off/on since then I've been having some left hip/glute/hamstring issues.  Finally broke down and decided to see someone about it, because it had gotten to the point that I was having to stop 5-6 times every run to stretch and then after the run I would have a lot of achy pain in that leg.

Had my first session of ART yesterday.  I did my research and it's legit.  Hell, if I could figure out a way for my employer to pay for the cost of the lower extremity course ($2190.00) I would attend one and acquire the certification/skill myself!

It took about 30 minutes for him to work on my glutes, adductors, and IT band and at one point I thought I offended him with my colorful language as he was digging into my glute/piriformis and asking me to move my leg.  But, the relief was almost immediate.  Driving home no discomfort that I normally get.  Sitting around the house last night no discomfort that I normally get.  My leg feels better today and I'm actually looking forward to my next appointment because I really think this is going to work and get me back running like I was last spring.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Yet Another One Has Past...

I started year #37 at 2:41 a.m. EST this morning. I actually looked that up too.

What a year #36 was...

I learned a lot about what truly makes up friendship.

I made some new friends, and there were some friendships that didn't make it.

I realized that none of us is getting any younger, and that scares me a bit.

I realized I need to work on making relationships better - including the relationships (or lack of one) with my siblings.

We bought our first house.

I ran two marathons.

I'm in a much better place starting this revolution around the sun than I was when I started the last one 366 days ago.

I've got good things on the horizon and I'm really looking forward to what year #37 holds for me, and the people I care about.

Speaking of people I care about - be you friend or family: Thank you for helping me be the best person I can. Without your presence and help, this journey wouldn't be possible, or nearly as much fun.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Breaking Tradition

I normally don't discuss things of a Christmas theme until later this week, but thought what the hell this would be fun to post.

From Kris's blog...also saw it on Maria's:

Holiday Meme

If you want to play along copy the questions on to your blog, post the answers, and then leave a comment here so I can go read yours.
  1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper all the way.
  2. Real tree or Artificial? I'm a purist.  Real trees and only real trees in this house.
  3. When do you put up the tree? No earlier than December 11.
  4. When do you take the tree down? Sometime before January 1.
  5. Do you like eggnog? Not really - but like Maria, I think the taste improves tremendously when you add a bit of whiskey.
  6. Favorite gift received as a child?  The ones that stand out are group gifts to all of us, like the Atari 2600.
  7. Hardest person to buy for? Easy...Mom and Dad.
  8. Easiest person to buy for? Tonya.
  9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes.  It doesn't get displayed often, but we have one.
  10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Snail Mail.
  11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?  A leather wallet.
  12. Favorite Christmas Movie?  National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.
  13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Around November 1.
  14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Nope.
  15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Buckeyes.
  16. Lights on the tree? Of course!
  17. Favorite Christmas song?  Blues Traveler's Christmas...It is on A Very Special Christmas, Vol. 3
  18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay at home this year, but usually travel.
  19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? Not sure if I could or not...haven't tried.
  20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Growing up,  Not sure.
  21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Again, purist/traditionalist here, Christmas morning.
  22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? The blatant commercialization and the people who won't even acknowledge that Christmas is celebrated when it is might have something to do with a pagan holiday.
  23. Favorite ornament theme or color? Actually a light - Mom has some antique bubble lights she puts on their tree that are my favorite
  24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? If it's Christmas with my family - anything Mom makes.  If it's with Tonya's family - her mom's fudge.
  25. What do you want for Christmas this year? To have friends and family around us to celebrate with.


Four run scheduled last week for a total of 16 miles.

Four runs completed last week for a total of 16 miles.

One day, one week at a time.

Only 20 weeks until the next big race.

Friday, December 05, 2008

It Only Took 865 Days

An interesting thing happened last night.  Something that happens with regularity for most people.

T and I had dinner with friends.  That's right, you heard me correctly, I said we had dinner with friends.  Plural.  More than one.  People that actually live in the same city that we can see/hang out with on a regular basis.

Finally after struggling to connect with people here in the mitten (you can page back through previous posts for the specific details) I think we've finally turned a corner.  In the last two months we've met people that are really fun, and evidently either the deal with the devil is working or they genuinely think we're fun as well.

Maybe there's hope for us yet?

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Safe Haven

I had some time to kill today...see, I had to be at work from 10:30 until around 12:30-1, but then I had a break until 5 pm when I needed to be here for the game tonight. So I had lunch with a friend. Great conversation. I had an errand to run, but that would only occupy about 15 minutes tops. So I needed some place to kill about an hour or so...

I chose to go to a place I always feel at home in, and killing an hour isn't the problem - the problem is being able to pull myself out of there in just an hour. Where is this magical place?

A bookstore.

Just roaming the aisles, pulling the occassional book off the shelf and reading a few pages before moving on to the next item that caught my attention. Not feeling any pressure to buy - not that I'm allowed to buy anything for myself, house rule: no buying anything for yourself before you birthday - but just browsing, losing myself in the myriad options and escapes that are before me.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


Just finished 3 miles on the treadmill this morning and the amazing thing is that it didn't suck and I didn't feel like I was going to die.  Slowed the speed down and watched part of "Spirit of The Marathon" for inspiration and the amazing thing?  I ran those 3 miles continuously, which hasn't happened on the treadmill for me in a long time.

A word about my last post:
I was only lamenting the number of miles I ran in November because that was the fewest miles in a month I've had since July 2006 when we moved across the country and I couldn't run for two weeks, and because the only limiting factor last month was the lack of motivation, not injury.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

And We're Finished With That

Last day of November today...not sure where the month went but it's on to December tomorrow.

Oh, and I'm hopeful that whatever robbed me of my motivation in November stays in November.

42...that's right, 42 miles.   What an impressive grand total of mileage for November.

I really, really hope December is better.

Worth A Thousand Words?

T and I before the Gobble Wobble Fun Run Thursday morning, and yes the hat got quite a few comments.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

We Have A Winner...

nice job EC.

7 Weeks Will Do That To You...

Just looked at the calendar:  this is the 7th week since Chicago.  The 7th week that I've pretty much done nothing.  The last 7 weeks has seen all of that fitness I had over the summer vanish like a virgin on prom night (bonus points to anyone who recognizes the movie).

I ran 4.2 miles with T on Thursday in the Gobble Wobble fun run (no numbers, no timing) and it about freakin' killed me.  We ran with some new friends and I felt really bad because I know that T and I were the anchor that slowed them down.  Then today we went out for an easy 4 mile run - intentionally chose the flattest route we could and we still only managed 3.6 before we were both ready to throw in the towel.  Did I mention that my heart rate was over 160 at one point during today's run?  I haven't felt this out of shape or struggled this much running in awhile...

so long in fact that when I got home I pulled up my running log from 2007 to check something.  Yep, I haven't felt like this sine June of 2007 after running the HM at the Flying Pig and struggling in a 5k here.  I didn't start making progress that summer until I slowed down and actually built some aerobic base - running easy paced runs between 11:00-11:30 per mile.  Runs that felt like a complete and utter struggle.

Well, guess what?  I'm back there so I'm going to try the same strategy, because I need to do something different to try and get back into the swing of things.  Training for Toledo/Glass City (still not sure if it will be a full or a half) starts on 12/22.  Need to get my ass in gear.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Winter Wonderland

The first significant snowfall of the year hit yesterday.  Nothing more than 1.5" but it made for interesting driving conditions in the morning.  I just hope it melts and we can see what little greenery there is left before the true winter hits.

More importantly that 1.5" of snow on the ground meant that in the short term running, for me at least, was forced in doors due to the fact that not everyone is as diligent as we are about shoveling/clearing the sidewalk.

Three ugly miles on the treadmill.  Not that I'm surprised they were ugly - I've run a whopping 8 times for a grand total of 34 miles so far in the month of November - but it always takes me a few runs to get used to running on the treadmill again.  No matter how ugly the miles were, or how hard they felt (I'm not even thinking of posting my pace) the important thing was I wanted to run this morning which felt really good.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Long Day

The desire to run has resurfaced.

I finally completed all of my scheduled runs for the week, after many, many, many weeks of trying. I only ran 20 miles this week, but every one of those 20 miles felt good.

I ran today with T...and no matter what the pace may be when we run together, I love running with her. It gives us the chance to talk...or not talk and just be...together.

My mood has improved (even T commented on that today while we were running) and I'm finally starting to feel like myself again after Chicago. It's only taken a month.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Another good one

6.27 miles this morning.  Luckily the crappy weather hasn't hit yet so it was only cool and windy instead of snowy.  Felt good running...feels like I'm rounding back into form a bit more with each run.

Did my exercises as well so I'm good for the rest of the day - and thankful that I don't have to stand outside at a soccer game!

Friday, November 14, 2008


*****Warning, the following post is rated R due to explicit language*****

When I ask a goddamn "Yes"/"No" question do not answer: not really, sometimes, maybe, sort of, kind of, etc. I want you to say "Yes" or "No". I will then ask more questions.


Easy workout this morning...just did my hip exercises and stretched.  No run.  Unfortunately today maybe the last decent day to run for awhile.  Forecast for the weekend and much of next week:  highs in the 30s and maybe an inch of snow before tomorrow.

Love the midwest weather.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


6.3 miles this morning, and finally a run that felt good.

Leg circuits and everything else after work and before the cleaning of the house begins tonight.  T's father and his wife are coming for a visit this weekend.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Now that T is done with her latest addition I need to find the time to go see Jay about my next project.

I don't want to reveal too much, but this one will be a more traditional style pin-up. Hopefully I can have it done over Christmas when my work schedule isn't as hectic.

Oh, and the next time I decide to drink that much on a Tuesday night would someone please slap me.


Too many beers last night to run this morning...

I did, however, do all the other things on my workout schedule, I just pushed the run back to tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Don't Want To Jinx it...

Two days in a row.

4 easy miles which felt much easier than the run on Sunday.  My leg didn't bother me hardly at all and even the strengthening stuff afterwards felt easier.

Wow...imagine that, things actually paying off?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Workout? Check

Saw the Mrs. off to work and then got my workout done.  That fifth time through the leg circuits wasn't fun, but I did it.

Oh, and it snowed last night.  At least it's only on the grass and cars, but still...fucking hate snow.

Sunday, November 09, 2008


Ok...I know people read this (or at least they point Firefox/Safari/IE7 towards this, if they actually read it or not who knows) so I'm enlisting y'all to hold me accountable, because it's become evident that holding my own feet to the fire hasn't really worked out all that well the last 2-3 months.

So, here is my workout schedule for the coming week.  My plan is to do as much of it as possible in the morning before I go to work (that way it limits the amount of procrastination) and post on here that the day's workout has been completed.  It shouldn't take me more than 20-30 minutes to do everything besides the runs.  If you don't see something by noon, feel free to fire away with the comments indicating I'm a slacker.

Mini-band hip routine
Leg circuits - week #2 of the cycle.  5 circuits.
Foam roll and flexibility

Hip exercises
Mini-band hip routine
Foam roll and flexibility
Running - 4 miles

Hip exercises
Mini-band hip routine
Foam roll and flexibility
Running - 6 miles

Mini-band hip routine
Leg circuits
Foam roll and flexibility

Hip exercises
Foam roll and flexibility

Mini-band hip routine
Hip exercises
Foam roll and flexibility
Running - 4 miles

Mini-band hip routine
Foam roll and flexibility
Running - 6 miles

Total planned miles for the week = 20


I think I've found one of the things contributing to my crappy mood lately, my feeling of stress lately...

I haven't been running.

Viscious cycle: no motivation so I don't run, I don't run so it kills my mood/energy level, I'm in a crappy mood so I don't have any motivation to run.

Plus, by not running I'm missing my favorite time of the year...the cool-almost-cold, grey sky fall days.

Must do better this week. MUST.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


I am pleasantly shocked by three results from election day yesterday:

- the state of Michigan voted to approve the medical use of marijuana.

- then the state of Michigan also voted to allow stem cell research.

These decisions by the people of this state gives me hope for the mitten.

The big shocker to me though, and an action by voters that just reinforces that the people of the Pacific Northwest might actually be more with it than the rest of the nation...the state of Washington approved a death with dignity initiative  becoming the second state to allow terminally ill people to control the end of their days.

Okay...enough election stuff.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Three Words For You

Dear State of Michigan,

After waiting in line, filling out the appropriate paperwork, having to tell the lovely older lady volunteer that the address on my voter card did indeed match my drivers license (the state issued sticker was placed on the back per the instructions), then waiting to use one of the four voting machines - which I ponder, is it really a voting machine when all it is is privacy screen with a Bic ballpoint pen for me to use?  I actually got a giggle out of the sign in the voting booth "Only used provided special pen"  - I would like to suggest you take a cue from 33rd state to enter the Union and allow us to vote by mail.

Send me my ballot in the middle of October, I'll fill it out, put it in a sealed envelope and return it no later than election Tuesday.  No line.  No confusion.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Clean Slate

What a difference 48 hours makes...

Friday:  I got to experience Halloween in our neighborhood.  Probably 125-150 kids/teenagers/adults at the door.  Enough people that we ran out of candy (6 bags T bought) and had to resort to handing out individual bags of fruit pieces we got at Costco, and then ran out of them!  Best costume?  Kid who was maybe 8-10 years old dressed as skunk.  Hilarious.

Saturday:  a lovely day of no responsibility.  Spent the day with T - had a leisurely breakfast, went to the mall, browsed a book store for a good hour, had lunch and then just relaxed around the house.

Sunday:  repeat of Saturday except after reading the Sunday NY Times/coffee we went for a run.  Felt great even though T ran me into the ground.  Followed that up with some simple stuff around the house, grocery shopping, and a nice quiet dinner here at home.

We may not have accomplished much (I know I didn't touch the grading I've got to get done by tomorrow) but I don't really care.  It was probably the best weekend I've had in a long time simply because I got to spend it with T.

the most recent addition...for Chicago.

and a phenomenal t-shirt that T bought for me:
That's right...Save Second Base.  It's a breast cancer awareness t-shirt.  On the back it says "If You Love Them, Check Them".  A great cause to support. 

Friday, October 31, 2008

Under the weather...'s the last day of October and wow, do I hope that November is better!

Running update:  uh, there really isn't one.  Ran a whopping 55 miles in October (and 26.2 of those were in Chicago) and I'm now 25 miles behind my goal of 1500 for the year.  Not sure if I can make that up or not, but we'll see.

Personal update:  wouldn't you know it but T brought home some sort of virus and now we're both feeling less than 100% - yet another reason I'm hoping November is better.

Lastly...Here is a link to one particular post of a blog I read (feel free to poke around and read her other stuff, it's quite entertaining!) that I think makes a pretty damn good point.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Not The Best Start

Tuesdays aren't a favorite here...T has an 8 am class which means a 5:30-5:45 am wake-up.  Normally I get up with her, but for some reason I stayed in bed this morning and forgot to set an alarm for me...

I'm not going to be late for work or anything but I didn't get my arse out of bed with enough time to run this morning.

Great way to start that new training plan.

If things go well today though I might make it home early enough to get the run in on the treadmill before dinner.  Maybe.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Regrouping is done.  Toledo, here I come.

I've got a plan in place and part of that plan is to address some holes in previous half marathon/marathon preparation attempts.

The real question is will it be like previous attempts or will this one truly be successful?

I'm hoping for the latter.

Monday, October 20, 2008


I've taken this past week off from running completely.  Zero miles.  Helped some people have a great weekend/race here in Grand Rapids, but besides that I have pretty much been a lazy slug since Chicago.

And it's what I needed.

I looked at my training log and I think I can safely say that a fall marathon was probably not my smartest move.  My training seemed off after Grandma's and I struggled to hit the same paces that I was cruising at before June.  Then I got sick which took another chunk out of my training.  I struggled all fall to get my feet back under me, plus I still haven't addressed some areas that will show dividends in if I improve in:  such as flexibility, core strength, etc, etc.

So I'm closing the books on a less than stellar few months and putting it behind me.  Time to look forward and build a solid foundation so I can get myself ready for the next big race.  What will that be?  I'm pretty sure I know when it will be, but not what distance yet.

Monday, October 13, 2008

A warm one...

The weekend started out great thanks to Oache’s hospitality – nice dinner once we got to the Chicago area and great beer, always great beer. 

Headed into downtown on Saturday to hit the expo and meet up with everyone else.  We managed to see our friend Jessica who was running her first marathon with Team In Training at the expo, snap a few quick pictures and then headed in to get my packet/goodie bag.  Holy big crowds in the Nike portion. 

Biggest challenge at the expo was figuring out how to get to the restaurant where we were meeting the rest of the 30s gang for dinner.  Managed to make it almost on time…fabulous food and great company.  We personally got to see Voodoo try and regain his Clydesdale status with one meal.  Said our good-byes and headed back to the train station to make our way back to the ‘burbs, only we had to wait for an hour for the next train.  Finally made it back to Casa Oache with enough time to get my stuff together and get some sleep. 

The train ride in to the city was uneventful and provided quite the opportunity for people watching.  We walked over to the hotel where the rest of the crew were staying and then headed over to the start area…Holy mass of humanity. 

It was interesting to see people next to us in the open corral with bib’s that indicated they were supposed to be way up ahead with the rest of the speedy folks.  It was also interesting to see the jackass sitting down in the middle of thousands of people – I know he was trying to stay off his feet, but how he didn’t get trampled as people tried to move forward is beyond me. 

Last words of encouragement were exchanged between Maria, her brother and sister, and I and then we were off… 

I missed the first mile marker but I felt pretty good.  Made sure not to go out too fast.  I followed the advice of Baggs and took a bottle of Gatorade with me and I’m really glad I did.  The first two water stops were a madhouse of people, plus the race was still congested from the start but I was able to somewhat navigate my way through – one guy cut in front of me so hard I actually stepped on the back of his leg and almost went down…about five strides later another person did the same thing but I was able to miss them.  I blurted out pretty loudly “SERIOUSLY?!?!” and a woman moving past me on the right looked around.  I said “not you” to her and her reply?  “I know, I saw the other guy as well!”  The one thing both of those asshats had in common?  Wearin’ their iPods. 

I was still making good progress through about mile 9-10.  I was starting to feel the heat though, and made the mistake of not drinking enough water at mile 10 when I took my second three shot blocks – all the Gatorade and the blocks, and the heat made my stomach less than 100%. 

I saw T, Brandy, and Maria’s family at mile 12-ish, stopped for a few minutes and then pushed on.  I crossed the halfway point in 2:18:56, well off the pace I’d hoped.  It was about this point that the sun really started bearing down on us.  I was doing the best I could but could tell that I’d need to slow down a bit more to make sure the wheels didn’t completely fall off. 

Around mile 16 I noticed that the “Moderate” warning level had been changed to “High”.  I walked a good portion of mile 17 then tried to push on from mile 18-20.  From there I pretty much alternated running a mile and walking a mile and I was trying to figure out in my head which miles to run/walk so that I’d run the last one in to the finish. 

As I approached mile 26 I got ready to push to the end.  See I wasn’t going to walk any of mile 26 for one reason:  the name on my bib.  As a tribute to duckgeek’s nephew who tragically lost his life last week I inscribed “Mitch #10” on my bib, and since the race didn’t put the runner’s name on it I only had “Mitch #10” on there…every time someone from the crowd or aid station would look at me and say “doing great Mitch!”, “going strong Mitch”, or “Almost there Mitch” it would push me on a bit more so there was no way I wasn’t going to finish simply because I wasn’t just running for me, but I was running for Mitch as well. 

About a half mile from the finish I saw T and Brandy again and they gave me the update on Baggs and Maria and then I pushed on to the finish. 

It wasn’t the day I’d hoped for, but the fact that I was able to persevere and finish is a big accomplishment. 

Thanks to everyone for the texts/emails/phone calls checking in…it meant a lot.

I'm planning on taking the next day or three and breaking down yesterday and my training leading up to it so expect to be bored with all of that.

Our tribute to Mitch...

Thursday, October 09, 2008


2 Days, 11 hours...

I've been trying to do this post for the last two days, but due to internet issue (damn Team in Training website) I wasn't able to get the link until now.

This webpage is for a friend of mine.  She's running Chicago this weekend and it will be her first marathon.  In and of itself that is a big deal...but what she is trying to accomplish is an even bigger deal.

I know times are tough but if you're reading this and your life has been touched by that goddamn scourge of cancer do what you're capable of...

it's touched us all in one way, shape, or form.  I'm really looking forward to watching her cross the finish line and join the club.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


Days to race day (well 4 days + 23 hours according to the website) and 4 miles this morning.

Perfect conditions this morning...great temp, nice sunrise, all in all a good run.

More incessant weather checking:
now the forecast is calling for a low of 60F overnight and a high of 77F on race day.  Uh, forecast people?  I liked yesterday's better.

Monday, October 06, 2008


And it begins.  Just checked the weather for Chicago on Sunday.  Guarantee it won't be the last.

Currently says:
Saturday overnight low of 46F with a late shower possible.
Sunday high of 60F, rather cloudy with a bit of rain.

We'll see what it says tomorrow.

Time to make the lists.

Sunday, October 05, 2008


Things are steadily moving towards race day...was supposed to run my last double-digit run before the event today, but as for most of the week that uhm, didn't go according to plan.

I did run though, and like I told someone a few days ago, the hay is in the barn now.  I can only take away from my preparation in the last week, not really add to it, because as an astute Kickrunner friend mentioned not too long ago - there is no cramming in running.

I did get the chance to put the shirt I'm wearing on Sunday through a practice run and it is going to work perfectly.

Oh, and to those of you who struggled through the Twin Cities Marathon today (Brandy, Dom, and Cindi especially) great job...oh, and Cindi?  Welcome to the club.

Friday, October 03, 2008


8 days and 15 hours as of right now (according to the Chicago Marathon website) until the race, and let me tell ya it's been a stellar week in KP-land.

Between real life getting in the way and a dark cloud of lethargy settling in over me it's really put a crimp in my running plans.

Look over to the right there...see that running log? Anything stand out? That's right! Even if I had gotten around to log the run I did on Wednesday then it would list one run this week. That's a taper alright.

The only positive thing right now is the shirt that I ordered arrived yesterday, so I'll be able to give it a test run on Sunday when I get my last double digit run in before the big day.

This weekend has to be better.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Ugh...hate Tuesdays.

See, the other half teaches an 8 am class on Tuesdays which means a 5:45ish a.m. wake-up.  It seems like here lately I haven't been getting home from work on Monday's until around 8:00 p.m. so by the time I eat, unwind from the day it's 9-9:30 which means I don't have a lot of time to prep for the class I teach on Tuesday morning if I want to get a decent amount of sleep.  So I end up doing the prep in the morning, which makes it hard to get my scheduled run in, etc, etc, etc.

Plus I just finished grading the first exam from said Tuesday class, and I'm not sure I'm reaching everyone in the class.

So, thanks to me being a lazy-ass and not getting prepared over the weekend I have to shift my running schedule around again this week.

At least I have firm housing arrangements for the marathon weekend.

Monday, September 29, 2008


Busy week at work, especially this weekend since it's Homecoming but thankfully things are easing up in the training plan.

Starting to take care of some of the logistics for Chicago, verifying that the offer to stay with friends is still valid being at the top of that list.  Plus the week after Chicago is the Grand Rapids Marathon weekend and some friends are coming to stay with us so we kind of need to get the house in order.

Oh, and I'm hoping the fall like weather we're starting to experience sticks favorite time of the year.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


So I'm sitting here with 13 days until Chicago...

last week's running looked like this:
Monday - off
Tuesday - 8 miles with 5x600m at 5k pace (8.1 miles in 1:19:37)
Wednesday - 2.6 miles in 31:02 with T at the end of a busy day
Thursday - off
Friday - 4.3 miles in 44:44
Saturday - 8-15k race/time trial (5.5 miles in 48:18)
Sunday - ran 8 miles with T.  Was supposed to do 16, and I planned on doing the first 12 with her and then finishing up on my own, but she developed a blister at 8.2 that prevented her from running so ended up walking the 4 miles we had left home.

For the week that is 29 miles.  Plan had called for 39 so I was a bit off but at this point I'm going to Chicago with the training that is already in the bank.

The upcoming week has a workout in it that really has me scared: 3x1600 m at 5k pace.  That's 3 mile repeats (okay so a mile is 1609 meters but that is just splitting freakin' hairs dude) with 2 minutes recovery.  That is going to kick my ass.  But the saving grace is this - that's the last hard workout before race day, so I just need to suck it up and get it done.  Wednesday morning.  I'll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Trend Maybe?

Every time I turn around this same workout is on my training plan (Damn you Pfitzinger!!!!): 8 miles with 5 x 600 m at 5k pace. Today was the fourth time I've completed this workout, so here are my paces for the 5x600 for each of those, keep in mind that my goal pace is between 7:40-7:50:

7:38, 7:38, 7:46, 7:48, 7:44

7:43, 7:33, 7:40, 7:46, 7:55

7:33, 7:48, 7:42, 7:46, 7:56

7:48, 7:48, 7:44, 7:50, 7:41

Much more consistent effort/paces today. Maybe this training thing is paying off?

Oh, and to all of you out there (although probably not reading this) that added to my level of frustration yesterday? Thanks. 'Cause I think it fueled today's run, but next time I'd appreciate it if you'd stay the hell away from me. Okay?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Simple Things

It took maybe 5-10 minutes but going through my contacts and cleaning out the ones I don't need anymore (e.g. people previous jobs, people I haven't talked to in awhile, don't need to talk to anymore or more importantly want to talk to anymore, old email addresses that have been updated) really did make a difference.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


101, 376.  That is a big number.  What is it you ask?  How many feet I ran yesterday.

19.2 miles x 5,280 feet/mile gives ya 101,376.  Sounds impressive, right?

Last 20 miler...okay so I stopped short yesterday, extenuating circumstances!...before Chicago, and now I have some what of an idea for a goal time/pace for that race.  But first, yesterday's run:

I got started a bit later than I wanted to, but the delay was worth it because I got to run the first 5 miles with T.  

12:50 (bit of a walk break in that mile)
First 5 miles - 11:28 avg (which is exactly what she is shooting for, I think, for the Grand Rapids HM)

She turned around for home and I kept going north on the trail:
Average pace for those 10 miles:  10:33

Now I started running into some difficulties.  Remember me saying that I started later than I wanted?  Well, as a result with 5 miles to go it was after 12 p.m. and the temp was over 70F and the sun was beating down on me.  Last 5 miles:

13:16 (bit of walking)
10:57 (ran out of water here)
13:05 (more walking...called the run off shortly after this mile)
Average pace for the last 5 miles:  11:20

All together I ran 19.2 miles in 3:35:07, which is an 11:11 pace.  Now, my goal for the run was to keep my pace between 10-20% slower than my marathon goal pace.  IF my math works out that means I should have been between 10:27 and 11:24.   Yep, met that goal.  So that means yesterday's run, while there were things I should have done better/different (and I will on race day) it was a unqualified success, as was the whole week of running.

Friday, September 19, 2008

You Decide

Read this first.

Just another athlete who can't deal with the passing of time and their career?  Or is it a man trying to draw attention to a scourge that has changed so many lives in a way that only he can?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Almost Afraid To Say It...

A wonderful morning for a run today.  Low 50s when I started and the sun just peeking over the horizon.  Ran the hilliest route I have - South from the house, turn East into downtown...all the way through downtown, past work, turn north until I hit Leonard St. and then due west until I get back to the house.  10 miles total.

Some big uphills, some big downhills.  Managed that 10 miles in 1:41:14 (10:07 pace and a 142 average HR) which is a damn good time/effort considering everything I've been dealing with here lately.

That's three great runs this week.  Almost afraid to talk about because I don't want to jinx myself.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Big steps today:

1) I ran. In the morning. Second day in a row.
B) I did the workout my training plan called for.
III) The workout felt great.

10 miles. Now I just need to get my ass to work. I have a class to teach in an hour.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Quickly Approaching

26 days...not a lot of time.

This is the last big week of mileage for me and the last 20 miler before Chicago.  I think I finally have a handle on things in real life enough to get into a routine of running, work, home, etc.  Just wished it would have smoothed out about two weeks ago.

I'll use this week as feedback so I can start setting some goals for the race in Chicago.  As soon as I get those figured out I'll be sure to pass 'em along.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Good luck to a fellow runner and blogger tomorrow. She's running the Maui Marathon and going for a BQ time.

Kick ass Frayed Laces.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

About Freakin' Time!!!

Today was the first day I've enjoyed running in about a month...really enjoyed it.  It didn't feel like a struggle to get out the door, I didn't keep finding things to do to delay leaving...

Created a playlist of some of the band from San Francisco and took off.  And it was a quality workout - 5 x 600m and it felt good to run hard, run fast.

Now I just gotta see if I can carry this over to tomorrow.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Four Weeks, Five Days

33 days to Chicago.

Hope to god this one goes better than Grandma's!  And yes, I'm starting to freak out a bit.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Two In A Row

Take that motivation!!!

Wonderful run with T after work tonight.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Fine, I'll Show You

Yet another fun, frustrating day at work on Wednesday, and another day without a run.

So I'm standing at the field waiting for the soccer game to start and I call T to fill her in on my day...while we're talking I decide that for dinner I wanted to go and eat completely unhealthy bar food and drink beer. Then I made the following comment to her:

"You know what, if my motivation and body are going to betray me, I'll just look 'em in the eye tonight and say "Fuck You"...wings and beer it is and I'll get up and run tomorrow."

And I did...nothing like eating 10-15 boneless chicken wings (various sauces) and drinking two large draft Oberon's and getting up and running. I might not have run far or that long (3.5 miles in 37:29) but I ran.

If, no when I run tomorrow that will be two days in a row. Add that to a run on Saturday and I've got a streak going.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Lost, Please Help

Motivation to run.

If found please contact me on this blog.

Thank You.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Recapping a Wonderful Week

Can you detect the sarcasm there?  Okay, so it wasn't that bad...

Ended last week on a high note, a great 20 mile run, so I was hopeful that this week would build on that...well as evident in my last post, uh, not so much.

Had a great workout on Tuesday (8 miles with 5x600 m at 5k pace) but evidently that effort emptied the tank, or I need more time to recover now (probably the latter), so I ended up skipping the 11 mile midweek long run scheduled for Wednesday.  Managed to eek out 4 miles on Friday then had a great time with T on her long run (8 miles) aside:  she is totally going to do great on 10/19 when she runs the Grand Rapids Half Marathon and I can't wait to cheer like a madman for her when she crosses the finish line...and then set out to do 17 today.

Someone remind me not to eat only protein the night before a long run...and to drink more than 8 oz of water if I'm going to be standing outside in near-90F heat covering a soccer game.  Not my two best moves before a 17 miler.  But, I did manage 10 miles today.

So in summary for August that's 143 miles.  Third highest monthly total for 2008.

For 2008, with four months left I'm at 1064 miles for the year (at this point last year I'd logged 723 miles and I'm only 58 miles less than I ran all of 2007) and 60 miles ahead of the pace I need to meet my goal of 1500 for the year.  So I probably shouldn't complain too much.

What I am going to do over the next 6 weeks as I get ready for Chicago is scale my mileage back a bit:  I'm focusing on the quality workouts - speed workouts/intervals/tempo runs and my long runs and everything else is going to be in the 6-8 mile range and run at easy paces so that I give my body a chance to recover.  I'm also revising my goal for that Sunday in October, but I'll save that for another post.

Happy Labor Day to drink some beers!

Friday, August 29, 2008


Remember this post?  Well I left out a part.  Seems that in addition to the blood work being positive for strep it also showed a reactivation of the Epstein-Barr Virus, better known as the virus that causes mono, that could have been a result of the strep or just an appearance on its own.

But, see the thing is, I've never been diagnosed with mono.  So after long conversation with my Doc, she thinks I either had it and went undiagnosed or I've been exposed to it through work...I am around a lot of sick kids through out the year after all.

It fits with the other pieces:  feeling worn down, feeling constantly tired no matter how much I sleep, need extra days to recover from runs, etc.

Now I just gotta figure out a way to successfully train for Chicago with this, 'cause I can't get a refund!

Or maybe I'm just looking for a reason why my running has fallen off here lately...not sure which.  All I know is it feels like for every step I take forward I end up taking two backwards and it's really starting to frustrate me.

Monday, August 25, 2008


First day of classes so my schedule is back to normal: teach Mon/Thurs/Fri at 10:50, be at work Tues/Wed by 11:30-12:00 pm. Arrive home sometime between 6:30-7 pm.

August hasn't been the best month for my Chicago training, although I have managed to still run 113 miles with this week to go, with being sick and crazy work hours. I did, however, complete my 20 mile long run yesterday!

So, I'm taking the chance to reset, ctl-alt-del if you will, and get back on to solid ground with my running, 'cause I've only got 7 weeks until race day.

Also using today to start over on the 100 Push Up Challenge (the link is over on the right). We made it to week three before things sort of went sideways so we redid the initial exhaustion test on Saturday and started Week 1, Day 1 today. Initial exhaustion test I did 30. I'll keep you informed how I do at the end.

Hopefully now that things are back to normal I'll finally be able to get some of the things posted on here that have been bouncing around my head for the last two weeks.

Have a great Monday folks.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


To CO and EC for chiming in on my last post.

Guess I've grown weary of the US media hype machine and what it is doing to Phelps - not trying to diminish or detract from his accomplishment at all.

Plus, from my own personal experience, and that includes being around some of the best swimmers in the country and others while I was at Auburn, for the majority of swimmers you taking 'em out of the water equals total disaster. They do not do well on dry land.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Thoughts, Discussion, Controversy?

I'm still a bit behind from work ramping up from zero to 100 mph in the span of 2-3 days but I wanted to finally get this posted.

For discussion:

Here is a great article/opinion piece by Amby Burfoot about the Olympics and the topic du jour: Michael Phelps and his amazing medal feat.

Here's my opinion - Phelps is a great swimmer. Swimmer. Is he the greatest Olympic athlete? Not a chance in my book. Who might be? I'm sure everyone could offer forth suggestions, but see Mr. Burfoot's blog entry above about "the real games".

One person I suggest? Emil Zatopek. 1952 in Helsinki he did something that will probably never be repeated. He won the gold medal in the 5000, 10,000, and the marathon. In one Olympics. Google him and read about how that marathon in Helsinki was his first, and how he decided to run it at the last minute.

Feel free to discuss. I gotta get back to work.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

At Least I Know Why Now

After struggling through the last week to 10 days feeling tired and unrested no matter how much sleep and struggling through quite possibly the worst run I've ever had on Saturday I at least now know the reason for my malaise: streptococcal pharyngitis.

So no wonder running as been so difficult least it's better than the alternative. After the rapid strep test came back negative did a blood draw to do a more thorough strep test and a test for mono. Had it come back as mono that pretty much would have ended any chance of running Chicago.

Just need to take care of myself the next few days and take my antibiotics.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Reason #45,721

My wife may be the coolest ever. She did this to commemorate my first marathon:

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Saturday Recap

Streets of Fire 8k

First time ever running an 8k race so no matter what my time, it's a PR.  Sure.  Right, Im claiming that performance as a PR.  Worst race I've ever run.  Not sure if it was the heat, time of day (race didn't start until 6:30 pm), course, or me but that was not a good race.

Mile splits:
Mile 1  7:48
Mile 2  9:21
Mile 3  9:20
Mile 4  9:00
Mile 5  9:07
Total time:  45:18  (which is over 9:00/mile)

As you can see from the pic the course was hilly.  Those hills from just after mile 1 to almost mile 3 drained me.  Then on the way back (course was an out/back) on the downhill my left hip started to let me know it wasn't very happy with me.

The schedule had a 20 mile long run on it today but after getting up and taking about three steps I realized that running 2 miles might be a challenge let alone 20.

Only bright spot of today is that since we're doing pre-season physicals at school I'll be able to have our team doc look at my hip.

Friday, August 01, 2008

The Challenge

No, not Seinfeld's The Contest or this, but I have challenged myself to see if I can do something during August.

I've challenged myself to spend no money, zero, zilch, nada, on non-necessities and things that are not already budgeted.  I mean, the bills do have to be paid after all.

See I'm quick to buy a magazine to read one article, or to grab that book that I've been meaning to read instead of seeing if the library has it (and we have a library branch about 0.25 of a mile walk from the house), or wait that shirt is on sale it's a good deal so let's get it.  So I'm trying to exercise some self-control this month.

I'm not sure I'll be able to do it.  The first few days will be easy but not sure how week #3 or #4 will go, but I will give updates as the month progresses.

Two Forward One Back

Another good run yesterday.  More leg soreness last night and today.  Different leg, different location but still same result; missed run.  The same run I skipped on Wednesday gets skipped today so I can be ready for the 8k race (instant PR since it will be the first 8k I've ever run) tomorrow night.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

End of the Month

Where the hell has 2008 gone?  July is over as of today, and with it, my time off for the summer.  When the calendar flips over to August it means back-to-work time for me.  At least I have almost two weeks to ease myself back into it before preseason soccer starts on the 13th.  Classes start on the 25th.

So, July.  Not a bad month running wise really.  Thanks to the trip to Cincy and my inability to stay on my feet last weekend I missed 6 out of 22 scheduled runs for the month, which means I completed 73% of my training plan this month.  Not great, but not horrible either.

I ran a total of 137 miles this month.  That is 921 miles for 2008.  Only 579 miles to meet my goal for the year.

I'm actually looking forward to August.  Last year August was the month I ran the most miles in while dealing with all the aforementioned back-to-work/school issues.  Hopefully this year will be similar.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Little Things Add Up

Dear Left Hamstring/Glute complex,

I'm sorry I've neglected you over the last few weeks.  I know I've been asking more of you since we started strength training again and the mileage for Chicago has increased and you've been trying to tell me in your own way that you were being neglected but did you have to make such a scene today?  All I wanted to do was run an easy 6 mile recovery run.

I promise that the stretching I did today won't be a one-time thing.  I'll do my best to pay more attention to you and stretch, foam roll, warm-up even if you'll just calm down and let me run tomorrow.



Tuesday, July 29, 2008

...and He's Back!

I ran an uneventful 12 miles this morning and the ankle/shin was not a problem - in fact didn't bother me at all.

I mentioned this is a post over on KR but not too long ago a 12 mile run would have been a major undertaking for me.  I would've needed some extra time to mentally prepare for the run, I would take some Clif Shot Blocks/Gus/gels/etc for some food during the run, and most likely I would have been a zombie the rest of the day.

Today I just got up, had a snack (Clif Bar, okay I like their stuff) got dressed and I was out the door.  It was just another midweek run in this training cycle for Chicago.

I guess I am actually making progress in this absurd pastime of mine.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Today's schedule 18 mile long run has been cancelled due to a mishap while working in the front yard.

T and I were cleaning out the flower beds in front of the house and planting some new things.  I had completed digging out the flower bed for the new plants, went to step out of the 5-6" hole I had dug across the flower bed and some how managed to not notice the largish vertical support for the front of the flower bed.

Landed in a heap in the front yard screaming profanities.  Neighbor from across the street came to check on me.

My left ankle/shin is bruised and sore from about midshin down to my ankle.

Luckily it doesn't really hurt to walk today, but no running until Tuesday at the earliest I've been told by my in-house health care provider.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Something To Ponder...

"A man can fail many times, but he isn't a failure until he begins to blame someone else."

Steve Prefontaine

The Dark Knight

That movie may be one of the best four or five films I've ever seen. No matter what the genre.

Ledger deserves the Oscar nomination if he gets it...and he deserves it for the performance not out of sentimentality over his death.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

So Far So Good

It's only Tuesday and I've accomplished more yesterday and today than I feel like I did all of last week. Good workout yesterday (and accomplished some things around the house) and a great run today.

Now, off to see The Dark Knight at the local IMAX theater.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Do I Have What It Takes?

The idea of self discipline generally, and do I possess it specifically, has been bouncing around in my head over the last 2-3 weeks…basically since I’ve started training for the Chicago marathon in October.

As I sat and looked back at how things were; what I did right, what I could do better, what did I need to completely overhaul, leading up to Grandma’s Marathon I kept asking myself do I really have the self discipline I need to train successfully for this 26.2 mile race on October 12.

My schedule is about to get busy again as fall sports return and classes start shortly after. I haven’t had the best results dragging my sorry ass out of bed this summer, and do I expect a giant switch to be flipped come August 13th that will magically make getting up at 6 a.m. (or earlier) to run and exercise easy in addition to putting in 10+ hour days?

So I began to debate self discipline in my head. Do I have it? Better yet what is it really? What can I do to increase it?

Maybe I am self disciplined and events of real life have gotten me off track and in a funk (no nothing horrible has happened like a death in the family or the loss of a friend – just normal things like spending most of the month of June traveling and spending most of a week in July in Cincinnati with family and friends) and I just need a bit of a kick in the pants to get myself back on track.

Then I started asking myself what that kick in the pants might be…and I came back to self discipline.

Chicken? Egg?

I’ve gotten some ideas, some new things to try. I’ll let you know how I do.

Right now, I need to go cook dinner.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

How Many Does It Take?

Question: How many trips to Home Depot does it take for a new kitchen faucet to properly installed?

Answer: Three, but only two were really needed, and that doesn't include the trip about a month ago when the faucet itself was purchased. It also doesn't take into account the trip tomorrow to return the items purchased (and not needed) during trip three today.

At least three hours after starting the project it was done, and the new faucet does look good.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Back To Normalcy

Only a few weeks left in the summer, well at least my part of the summer where I get June & July off from work. Just back from a visit to Ohio - spent Saturday night with friends in Toledo and then made our way to my family in Cincy on Sunday.

Returned to the great state of Michigan yesterday.

Now just have to get a few things accomplished before it's time to punch the ol' time clock again in a few weeks.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


To mark recent accomplishments.

Yellow one is for Madison Half Marathon.
Orange one is for Grandma's Marathon.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


a band from Grand Rapids...waiting for this song to be available for purchase. Enjoy.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Once More With Feeling...

Ever wish life, as an adult was like it was when you were a kid? Ever wish for a do-over? Or wish you could yell “car” and everything you were doing would be put on hold for a second or two until it was safe again?

Kind of how I’ve been feeling since mid-April. Thanks to a hectic spring sports season, the end of the school year, training for my first marathon, traveling to see some friends (and run a half marathon with ‘em), traveling to see family, family health issues, friends struggling with life changing issues, dealing with my own issues I just wanted to call “time-out” for about 3-4 days and just hide from the world.

Then I ran Grandma’s Marathon. Things are different now. I came out of that weekend with a whole different perspective on everything that had been weighing me down. I realized as I ran the last 1.2 miles that day that I can deal with anything if I focus and push forward. Focus and determination, and support from the people that love and care about you (another thing I realized that day – I’ve got a lot of people that care about me, some where there physically for me that day, others there in spirit) will empower you and help you accomplish your goals.

Friends are still dealing with serious issues in their lives, as I’m sure I will again at some point, and I hope that I can be like T and the rest of the 30s gang* that were there for me on June 21: screaming my head off cheering them on as they battle to cross the finish line, and even if the friend can’t hear me they will know I’m right there with them.

*the next time someone rolls their eyes, gives me the “oh-my-god-friends-from-the-internet-is-creepy” look, or says they aren’t real when I mention these people I may come unglued. Just because they don’t live down the street from me doesn’t mean they aren’t real friends for fuck’s sake. Some of them are as much a part of my life as the friends who give me those looks.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Bigger version of the photo that is on my profile now. T took this Sunday during our walk along the lakewalk in Duluth.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Coming Clean

I have an announcement to make:

I am a nerd. (Big shock to some of you reading this, I'm sure.)

I collected comic books, and not for any future monetary value, until I graduated high school. I quote Star Wars at the drop of the hat - and you'd be amazed at how philosophical it can be. I watch a lot of educational television.

So why the revelation? Because I'm about to use The Incredible Hulk as a jumping off point for a blog post.

T and I went to see it on Friday. Good movie I thought (much better than The Hulk a few years ago), Ed Norton was good, and believable, and the character development was nice. Character development...that's what I wanted to talk about, and hopefully to do so without spoiling the movie for anyone who hasn't seen it yet.

Everyone probably knows the premise of the character Bruce Banner/The Hulk, if from nothing else our generation grew up watching it on CBS on Friday nights. Banner is doing everything he can to rid himself of his alter ego, and this holds true in the current movie.

He's trying to rid himself of his inner demon that is fueled by anger/rage...sounds like quite a few people I know in real life, including me.

Due to circumstances that happen during the film, Banner undergoes a fundamental change in his philosophy of how to deal with the creature by the end of the movie...instead of trying to rid himself of that part of him he attempts to control it.

We all have aspects of our personality that we aren't necessarily proud of (I know I do) and maybe instead of trying to bury them or ignore them in hopes they won't ever surface we should confront them and try to control them. Acknowledge they exist, that we all aren't perfect, and then work on controlling those parts that tend to get us in trouble.

So yeah...I'm a nerd.

Oh, and I did something for the first time in 7+ years this weekend. Needed a clean start, a do-over, if you will after dealing with some things in the last month or I shaved. Clean. Goatee is gone (it's coming quick as it will grow). No, I'm not posting a picture, so don't ask.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Incredible Really

Christmas 2006 I gave T a Nike Imara watch. She really liked it.

June 2007 the band on it broke - and like all Nike watches if that happens it needs to be repaired by Nike. Find the service center to mail it to, send the receipt showing we'd had it less than six months, etc, and then put it in the mail.

June 23, 2008 we arrive back from Duluth, MN. There is a box waiting for us between the doors. I open it...much to my surprise it's T's watch.

On the invoice showing it was a warranty issue it says:
Turnaround Time: 366 days.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Grandma's Marathon 2008 - Report From a First-timer

Just want to start out by saying a blanket "Thank You" to everyone who PMed, emailed, texted, posted good luck wishes in the days leading up to Saturday. It meant a lot to me before I got the starting line and it really made a difference around mile 22.

Words of Caution:
1) Try not to travel around the country in the 10 days preceding your first marathon. Being in Seattle and St. Louis right before may not have been the best move on my part.

2) No matter if you charged it the night before, check your garmin before you leave the hotel room (especially if you're leaving the key there) to make sure it some how didn't get turned on during the night and drained the battery.

Had an interesting time getting to the airport in St. Louis - still pissed at the shuttle company that despite two phone calls as we were waiting still didn't show up. $35 cab ride.

BigGahoona was waiting for us at the airport and we made it to Pizza Luce for lunch with PacerChris, Brandy, Runnin-from-the-law (and her two kids), JenRuns (and MrJenRuns), and baggio16.

Quick stop by the expo, light dinner and we were asleep early (somehow I managed to screw up the alarm clock - it went off as scheduled but it the time got set an hour ahead, so we were all up an hour early rookie mistake)

Race Day:
Waiting on the shuttle I realize that some how my garmin batter is low. I left the key in the room since I wasn't checking a bag (Tonya had all of our stuff since she would be waiting for me at the finish) so I was screwed. I hoped it would have enough to at least make it part of the day with the gps turned off.

Make it to the start, meet up with Pacer and Baggs. The look of panic on Baggs' face when I tell him about my garmin was priceless...think he said something like "that would freak me out". Flick a little grief towards Pacer's guy Linus who is shivering under a blanket (he was pacing the 4:00 group so he would at least be easy to find before the start) and then make my way to the line.

Cool flyover by the F-16s.

Turn on my garmin, turn off the gps and keep my fingers crossed. Damn thing is dead before the race even starts. Within 30 seconds of crossing the line Linus and the 4:00 group are gone. No idea how fast I was going, but as we crossed the first mile marker someone said "wow, that's a fast first mile for the 4:00 group - 8:37". I tried to run easy but easier said then done when I had no feedback as to how fast I was going. I did manage to notice that as I crossed the mat I was about 3:00 behind the actual start.

First clock is at 5 miles. I looked at the pace band and was about 3 minutes ahead of the goal pace. Time to slow down a bit. Except I slowed down too much.

Crossed the half in 2:03. Not to bad Felt okay...for another 3-4 miles or so.

About then is when it really got hot/humid. I didn't drink ultima (more on that later) soon enough and could feel myself starting to slow down.

Walked about .3 or so of mile 17.

Made our way back towards town. About mile 20 or so is when Cranegirl joined me running (she stayed on the sidewalk) and holy shite was that a pick-me-up. Saw Sage right before I started up Lemon Drop Hill.

Made it up Lemon Drop Hill, but my quads were cramping. Had to stop and stretch a few times. Walked a bit. Made it to mile 25 and it took every ounce of will I had left in me, but there was no f*cking way I was walking from that point in. Ran every single step of the way that last 1.2 miles.

Crossed the line - had no idea that all of the 30s were screaming for me from the bleachers as I crossed the line, that's how focused I was to just make it across the line.

I learned a lot about myself Saturday...still processing some of it.

Was my goal too ambitious? Maybe, but I'd decided Saturday morning that I was going to hang with the 4:00 group as long as I could, but realized that 4:15 was probably where I should have been.

Was I prepared? Yeah, but I still neglected some things: I'm never going into a race like this with an unknown...this one was ultima...that stuff sucks. I'll take my own Gatorade with me next time (think this is a big reason why I started cramping)

I'm going to make sure I have some way of timing myself.

All in all I couldn't be happier about Saturday...I'm not making excuses, but with everything that day held I did the best I could do.

Thanks to all of the 30s, whether you ran or not Saturday, for being there (on the course or in spirit) for me.

On to Chicago.

Saturday, June 21, 2008



Not what I hoped for, but with everything that was today I'll take it. More later.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Moment Has Arrived

Less than 24 hours to go...

Interesting trip getting here today - just a little pissed at the shuttle company in St. Louis - but everything is ready to go for tomorrow.

Hopefully I'll have a chance to post how I did at some point tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Off to St. Louis today.

Get to see some friends (some who we haven't seen since our wedding) and hopefully learn a few things...

Monday, June 16, 2008

Not Much Time

Trip to Seattle - check.

Had a great time, and honestly it is probably a good thing that T and I were only able to be there for four days. Being back in that region of the country just pulled on my soul (or what's left of it) and made me want to move back. On Saturday T and I were dispatched to get beer for her Mom's party. On the 15 minute drive to the store we were both caught up in how much we'd been able to put out of our minds while living in Michigan: drive thru coffee/espresso, great diversity in restaurants, mountains, etc, etc.

We started talking about it, and truthfully we are where we are for at least the next 4-5 years minimum. But that didn't stop us from agreeing that when a change of location happens we want that location to be westward.

Now I need to get my ass in gear and get ready for the trip to St. Louis.

Four days and counting.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008



Strength - moral power, firmness, or courage
Courage - the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear*; bravery

*to me, maybe it should read despite fear

I think we all strive for in life and all that it holds for us, especially those times that make us scratch our heads and say "Why the fuck is this happening to me..."

I've always been hesistant to go into details about other people on here, but I even if she never reads this I owe her enough to put this out there.

I've always had a wonderful example of those two definitions in my life and as she battles a horrible disease for the second time I need to let everyone know that she personifies strength and courage to me.

In May 2004 the Livestrong Foundation's "Livestrong" bracelet made it's debut. I bought one and put it on the week they came out (nice thing about having a Nike store in Eugene) in honor of her battle with cancer. I still have it on today.

I've run a Race For The Cure with a sign on my back in her honor.

I've donated to a friend who completed the Three Day Walk.

I've donated to a friend raising money for Team in Training.

Here lately as life has thrown me a few curveballs I've been thinking about her struggle more and more and I just want to say thank you Mom, for inspiring me. You will be with me every step of the way on June 21.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy

To answers Nettie's question in her comment to my last post...hell yeah I'm nervous!

Especially considering the upcoming 11 days:
Thursday T and I leave for Seattle.
Friday we get to have dinner with two friends from Kickrunners - looking forward to meeting Dave and seeing Maureen again.
Saturday we help T's Mom celebrate her new Master's degree.
Sunday we fly home.
- yeah, that's right...a weekend in Seattle.
Monday we reorganize/repack.
Tuesday I leave for St. Louis to attend the NATA's Annual Meeting and Clinical Symposium (that's a continuing education event and a chance to see some friends that we haven't seen in awhile)
Wednesday T joins me (she has to give a final on Tuesday) in St. Louis.
Thursday is more of St. Louis and edumacating ourselves.
Friday we fly to Duluth.
Saturday I run the race (and T runs her 2nd HM!!!!)

So if you add it up - out of the next 11 days I will sleep in my own bed exactly four nights. Lucky me.

Sunday, June 01, 2008


Last summer a friend gave me an idea to help keep myself (and T) motivated to run. T and I started an exercise reward program. We each have our own criteria (number of runs per month, or number of speed workouts, etc) as to what we need to do for the reward, and usually we pick our own reward. Been doing this almost a full year...and it's a nice feeling to go to the store and by that month's reward knowing that you've earned it.

For May, T turned the tables on me a bit. She knew I had a big month of running planned as it was the last 6-7 weeks before the marathon so she decided to give me a bigger carrot to encourage me. With my run Saturday I met the criteria to get these:

Thanks for the encouragement love.

Friday, May 30, 2008


The selfish thing? The right thing?

Either way you have to be willing to live with the consequences.

I've been told I did the right thing. Maybe if I keep hearing that enough I will eventually believe it.

And I'm living with the consequence.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Friends, Part IV

This topic is probably a bit different than my previous rants/diatribes on the subject of friends, but I have to get this out of my head before it explodes....

The hardest thing to do is to watch a friend struggle. To watch them do things that you know are destructive in nature and be helpless to intervene.

To try and intervene and you risk losing the friendship...

What do you do?

The selfish thing? The right thing?

Why does life have to be so fucking hard.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Inching Closer

Big week for T and I.

Friday we're leaving for Madison, Wisconsin, and the Madison Marathon/HM/Marathon Relay/Quarter Marathon. Yep, we're both running on Sunday. I'm running the half (pretty much as a training run, but I'm hoping to help a good friend cross the finish line in under 2 hours as well) and T is also running, but what she's running is for her to tell, not me.

Should be a fun weekend - huge meet-up of the 30s from Kickrunners and we'll have the opportunity to see some people again, and to meet some new folks. What better way to spend Memorial Day than with a bunch of your imaginary friends?

As you can tell by the log over on the right, I ran 21 miles yesterday. 21 miles. That's a lot of miles. First time I've run that long and I believe I have at least one more long run of that length prior to Grandma's (which as you can tell is about a month away - holy shit! Just one month?!?!). Still feeling good about my chances of meeting my goal on June 21. More on what that goal is when we get a bit closer.

Erin - loving the blog!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Training Does Pay Off?!?

The 5/3 River Bank Run 25k is a Grand Rapids institution, celebrating its 31st anniversary this year. Starting this year they added a 10k race to the 25k, 5k run, and 5k walk that were already on the schedule and since 10k is probably my favorite distance to race I was really excited to see the addition, especially since I could use the 10k as a quality workout and a barometer to see how my training for Grandma’s is going.

Over the last few weeks my quality runs indicated that I was probably going to really destroy my current 10k PR (58:09 set in 2006 at the Butte to Butte 10k in Eugene) but I didn’t want to be over confident because the last time I ran a 10k in July (heat, humidity, hilly course) I didn’t fair as well as I would have liked.

After reading Greg McMillan’s column in the latest Running Times I set two goals for my self based on my training of late: an A goal of 50:38 (8:10 pace) and a B goal of 51:30 (8:19 pace)– basically my A goal was what I would hope for if conditions were right and I felt good, etc on race day, the B goal a fall back that would still require me to really push it. Anything slower than 51:30 would mean I’d had a bad race.

Conditions for the race couldn’t have been any better: temp was in the low 40s F, course was relatively flat (okay sorry Nettie and Bard, I totally forgot about the hills in the last two miles), course was covered for a great portion so I wouldn’t have to worry about the sun bearing down, all in all ideal conditions to go for my A goal.

Mile 1: 7:54 – I started my watch a bit early so this one may have been off a bit, but I got out to a good start, not a huge field and having the whole width of the streets helped me not be boxed in at the start.

Mile 2: 8:02 – still feeling pretty good, and this part of the course I’d run before so I knew what to expect.

Mile 3: 8:07 – nearly got trampled by someone darting in front of me trying to get to the water at the aid station, but managed to stay on pace and at this point I was pretty sure that my A goal was in reach.

Mile 4: 8:12 – started to tire a bit and this is where the first hill showed up, but I managed to pass people on the way up and the way down (thanks for that goes to my route I run on Leonard St. near the house, lots of hills) so I was still feeling pretty good.

Mile 5: 8:13 – course flattened back out a bit and I settled back into a grove and tried to make up some time before the last hilly part just past the 6-mile mark. Still feeling pretty good, and I started thinking about if I’d have enough energy left in me for a kick at the end.

Mile 6: 8:15 – holding steady. Honestly just trying to hang on until the end at this point. Luckily there was a bit of downhill that I could use right before the turns toward the finish for a bit of a boost.

Finish: 50:35 – saw Tonya about 100 yards from the finish and could hear her cheering me on. Crossed the line (my garmin had 50:32) and tried to stay upright.

50:35. So I beat my A goal by 3 seconds, and smashed the living hell out of my PR, which was 58:39. That’s not a typo – I took 8:04 off my 10k PR. Two years ago, hell last July, I would have never thought that would be possible. It’s nice to see personal evidence that all the time spent out there running has started to pay off. This really gives me hope that I’m going to do okay in Duluth.

The question now is can I continue to lower (not by this much!) my PRs over the next few years and what kind of goal to set for myself after the marathon.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Race Day

Tomorrow I'm running a 10k here in Grand Rapids, and then T and I are hosting our house warming party...and the amazing thing? We actually have friends coming!!

Details on the race and pics from the soiree coming this weekend.

Sunday, May 04, 2008


To: Organizers of Grandma's Marathon
From: KP

RE: Racecourse Performance Drink Choice

Why does a marathon of Grandma's stature choose to have a beverage like Ultima Replenisher? After trying it yesterday to see what it tastes like (nothing, and I even mixed it stronger than the package directions and used the flavor they will be using in Duluth) and how it sits on my stomach have decided that it's horrible and I'm now considering carrying a water bottle with me that I can put Gatorade in for the race.

Did Gatorade piss you off years ago? Ultima isn't a local Duluth company - at least according to their website, so maybe one of the board of directors is a major share holder?

Seriously I'm interested in how an elite race doesn't have Gatorade the industry leader in performance beverages.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Six Word Memoir Fun & Games

First time I've ever been tagged so I guess I have to play along. Thanks to Cindi here goes:

Hard work pays off, run long.

Since I'm supposed to tag five more people to continue the game Frankie, Kris, Maureen, Mary, and Elizabeth y'all are up.


some people won't understand this post, but will in due time

To everyone who has offered an encouraging word this week, it has been much appreciated.

Thank you.


Sunday, April 27, 2008


Two great things happened today:

1) It's official. I'm a homeowner. It truly sank in today. Bought a lawnmower.

2) I ran with T today. 10 miles. Her first time running double digits (and she did it under 2 hours). Really proud of her.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Not Bad

16 miles today in 2:46:59.

I didn't die, in fact actually felt pretty good.

So maybe my outlook for June 21 isn't as bleak as it was last weekend, but I'm sure that will change again.

Monday, April 21, 2008


I just realized something. 60 days. Two months from today I'm running my first marathon. Starting to freak out a bit, especially after the craptastic run I had yesterday.

I was scheduled to do a long run of 16 miles with 12 of those miles being at my marathon pace (right around 9:00/mile). I thought everything was gonna go well, I had water, sunsreened myself up since I knew I'd be out there for awhile, ate a little something, even took some clif shot blocks with me.

What I failed to factor is was the following:
- I didn't start until almost 11 am
- I didn't realize that it was already 70F
- I failed to take enough water for how hot it was
- I neglected to put my phone in my camelbak

I finally pulled the plug on my run at 12 miles - I finished 10 of the 12 at pace (managed a 9:09 so not horrible) but I'd run out of water and I'd stopped sweating (my face was crusted with salt at that point). Thing is, I was 2 miles from home and had to walk it.

By the time I made it home I looked like warmed over shit. Felt nauseous. Drank some fluids, ate a little something once my stomach calmed down, and proceeded to lay in the floor under a fleece blanket. Finally took about an hour nap. When I woke up I felt like I'd been up all night drinking.

Needless to say, today is an off day.

I gotta do better or else I'm gonna get my ass handed to me in Duluth.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

When You Least Expect It...

I had an interesting exchange with the AD yesterday. He'd just returned from the NAIA AD meeting and he'd run into the AD at the school were I was at for my first job out of grad school.

Mind you I was there from 1997-1999, a total of 18 months almost 10 full years ago:

AD: I ran into your guy "X" and he told me to tell you hello.
Me: Really, how is he?
AD: Doing good, he told me that they've got a new athletic trainer this year and that if he really thought about it, you were probably the best athletic trainer we had.

I was a bit shocked to say the least. I'm not sure if that means I did a great job or if all the people (who knows how many) that followed me were crappy.

I'm taking it as a compliment.

Stuck in My Head...

This song has been stuck in my head (in a good way) for a few weeks now.

"Until The End" Breaking Benjamin

Chorus strikes me...

Why give up?
Why give in?
It's not enough
It never is
So I will go on until the end

This is quickly becoming my mantra for my marathon training...I'm going to go on until the end.

Saturday, April 12, 2008


I have two recommendations for you, one book and one movie.

The book: Eat, Pray, Love – Elizabeth Gilbert

I honestly don’t know where to start with this one. It’s a great book, insightful and poignant as we get a glimpse into a year in the author’s life as she makes drastic changes in her life. I’m especially fond of the part of the book that takes place in India. I’ve recommended this book to a few friends and they have agreed with me that it is a very special book.

The movie: Once

WOW! Watched that last night…I was told it was a great movie after it was already in our netflix queue but man o’ man I had no idea is was that good! The soundtrack is pretty impressive as well!