April 17, 2016

Carmel Half Marathon Recap

Carmel Indiana was ranked the #1 place to live in America by Money Magazine!  And they had no shame in sharing this fact with us in the opening ceremonies!  More on that later...

I must begin by giving credit where credit is due - I would not have raced in Carmel if it weren't for the generous support of Dr and Mrs Jeff and Kari Schoonover from Indiana Vein Specialists!  Thanks so much to them for my sponsored entry!  It's a very special feeling to be sponsored by someone; not once; not twice; but now three times!  Thank you!

Carmel marathon weekend is a special place for me.  It is still my marathon PR course from when I ran in 2013.  And since I've never raced another 8k, it is also my 8k PR from the 2014 race!




Race morning was pretty uneventful - up at 5 a.m., shower to wake up, gear on, toast with peanut butter, banana and out the door by 5:40 - no traffic all the way and right into the parking garage at 6:30.  The plan was to meet up with other Indy Mini Ambassadors for a prerace photo at 7 a.m. at the start/finish line but only a few of us made it.



Checked my gear, one last potty stop and I'm in the corral for the opening ceremonies.  The Mayor opens with the above fact, some kids rattle off the names of every country represented in the race, sing the banner, pray for safety and countdown to the gun!

And we're off - straight into the sun - blinding!  You start on a slight incline, (which means you finish on a decline), but it's challenging to see much other than the road in front of you.  Not complaining though!  It's a beautiful day!  Already high 50s, no wind, clear blue skies, and it's only going to get warmer!

First 3 miles are mostly headed East on 126th street and I really felt quite strong.  The full and half run together during this time and that probably helped keep me moving with purpose.  Always trying to latch on to someone who appears to be running the same pace and not get caught up in the speedsters zigging and zagging by - still faster than I probably should have been, 10:12, 10:11, 10:20.

The next 3 miles were a gradual settling in as we work our way north toward 146th street.  10:29, 10:35, 10:49 - mile 6 was about what I expected my pace to be for the first 6, so I was well ahead of pace.

Between mile 7 and 8 the marathon leader caught me - the energy provided by the lead moto and Jesse Davis running a 5:30 pace by me helped to pull me along, but as that energy quickly faded and we weaved our way through the Hagan Burke trail I could feel my legs getting a little heavy.  The plan for the day was a 10 mile training run and then see what we had left.  I was able to run non stop through mile 10, but it started to get ugly toward the end.  Miles 7-10 were 10:36, 10:24, 10:44, 11:16.

Mission accomplished on the 10 mile training run - right around 1;45 at that point which meant I could virtually walk it in a a 15 minute pace and still manage to hit my bogey time for the day.  Prior to the race, I said I could probably manage a 2:30 race based on the training I have had to this point.  That reality felt really good, and other than just feeling tired, I was doing pretty good.  The back didn't hurt too bad and the legs were not interested in doing any hills, but could handle the flats without much strain, so might as well give it a go.

It was getting warm by now - well into the 60s and pushing 70 degrees!  Last 3 miles were a good mix of run, walk, jog, and just keep moving forward.  Didn't worry much about the clock, so brought it home with a 11:43, 12:04, 11:57 - and then of course, the last 0.1, which on my watch was actually 0.2 with my apparent inability to correctly run the tangents - but I proved to myself I had the legs left at the end by running in at a 9:10 pace to hit the finish line at exactly 2:23!  7 minutes better than what I expected!

And the best part - I still felt great!  Walked through the recovery area collecting food and drink - straight to get my gear where my phone was already blowing up with texts and comments on the automatic facebook posts that the race provides!  Of course, with the sponsored entry, I get VIP access, so headed up to collect more goodies there!




All in all, another very good day for the first race of 2016!  It gets me excited about running again and I'm ready to get out there and see what I can do for my next race - in just 3 weeks - at the INDY MINI!!!  



April 15, 2016

Indy Mini Blog

By now you probably know that the Indy Mini selected me as one of 33 Ambassadors for the 40th running of the Indianapolis 500 Mini Marathon!  It's been a huge honor and I'm so thankful for the dozens and dozens of folks who listed me as their referring ambassador!

Because of this I was given an opportunity to share my story and was today featured in the Indy Mini Blog!

Check out the link here


Thanks again to everyone who has followed and supported my journey over the years!  Tomorrow I toe the line in Carmel for my 19th half marathon!!  Wish me luck!

March 19, 2016

I WON THE LOTTERY!

Just a quick update to let you now - it finally happened!  I won the lottery!

No, I did not match all 5 numbers, let alone the powerball, but my name did get drawn!!

NEW YORK CITY MARATHON!!!
NOVEMBER 6
AND I AM IN!!


Seriously, over the moon about this, and so relieved that my plans are coming into focus for the year!

As a result, I will take another year off from triathlon so that I can focus on marathon training in the second half of the year!

It's going to be an epic year for sure!  Check back often for more updates...


January 24, 2016

21 day fix

In my last post listing my 2016 goals, I mentioned that I was going to spend the first 6 weeks of the year focusing on eating better and working out on a schedule.  3 weeks later I wanted to share how it's going.

For the last year I had heard lots about Beachbody, Shakeology, and "fix" workouts.  I never really took the time to look into it because I didn't think I really needed it....and I'm stubborn.  Last march Molly and I met Doug and Michelle on a work trip.  Doug works for Edward Jones also and his wife and Molly connected quickly over the topics of healthy lifestyles and extreme weight loss.  Turns out their success came largely from following this plan.

Fast forward to the end of the year and our friends Dan and Christine are also getting results from the plan and are about to begin a "challenge" with it.  Molly expressed interest, and so I decided to do it too...ya know...just to support her...cause, I don't really need it!

So, step 1 - weigh in and take measurements -
rut roh!  Turns out I do need it!

Yikes!  That's 40 pounds that I've slowly added since 2013!


Let me be the first to say - for as proud as I am that years ago I lost 100 pounds, I'm equally disappointed to have gained almost half of it back!  No one to blame but myself.  I own that, and I'm doing something about it!  I KNOW I can do it, and I will!

Step 2 - go shopping - the 21 day fix is all about clean eating.  With Molly in my corner, I knew we could do this because she does the majority of the shopping and cooking so all I had to do was eat whatever she told me!  Easy enough!

I chose not to use Shakeology, so I can't speak to that component, but I knew that if I was committed to the eating and working out, I would see results.  Speaking of drinks, I should also mention that I did NOT give up my diet soda.  I continue to drink it daily, but because the plan suggests that I have 16 cups of water per day, it was tough to drink much else if I was to get my water in!

Step 3 - plan the workouts - for me this was easy.  In prepping for a return to triathlon, it only made sense to get back in the pool and on the bike.  2 mornings a week of swimming.  2 days a week in cycling class.  Treadmill, Elliptical, and any other form of exercise on the other days with an effort to get an a.m. and p.m. workout on most days.  5:00 a.m. became the norm again!

I chose not to use the "fix" videos that come with the plan until day 20.  It was a great workout, but working out at home in front of a TV is tough for me.  I thrive on the atmosphere at the gym!

So here's how it went...

Was I hungry?  No way!  At my weight I was "allowed" to eat more food than I needed.  Turns out portion control isn't my biggest issue - quality food control is my biggest issue!  I can eat lots of food, I just need to eat lots of the RIGHT food!

Was the food good?  Are you kidding me?!  It was great.  I forgot how much I LOVE fruit and most vegetables!  Lots of chicken - lots of eggs and LOTS of Salad!!  (And yes, for the last 3 weeks I've been eating the Dole lettuce that just got recalled)

As part of the challenge, we were asked to post pics of our healthy food choices and workouts daily - check out this yumminess I've been enjoying!












So what is missing from these pictures???  SWEETS!  My sweet tooth has been twitching!  That's been the hardest part for sure.  I suppose I will probably treat myself with a concanon's donut tomorrow morning, but I do plan to continue to eat this way for the next 3 weeks leading up to our vacation!

Now for the big reveal!  Total weight loss....


17 pounds in just 21 days!


Wow!  I expected great results, but this FAR exceeded my expectations!  I will admit, I was obsessed with this process.  I never cheated.  NEVER.  Not even once!  I tracked every drop of food and was faithful with my workouts!  I also took measurements today, but they didn't seem as significant.  That is disappointing, but I'm not done, and by summer I'll be back to the beachbody I had 3 summers ago!  24.8 pounds to go!

Final thoughts!  I could NOT do this alone!  The group challenge works!  Accountability works!  But for me - having my wife with me every step of every decision of the day was the ONLY way I am able to do this!

Shout out to Team Navy!!

December 31, 2015

#2016GOALS

Sometimes I kid myself into thinking that I write these posts because other people want to read them. While I do hope a few of you will read this entry, I continue to update this blog for my own personal motivation and reflection.  I share it for the accountability.  And 2016 should be no different...for the most part.

So here's what's on my mind...

A week or so ago, I shared my early thoughts for 2016 with my wife.  Afterall, if I don't have her support, it could be a LONG year!  I've learned!

Once I finished sharing, and she finished digesting, she shot back with, "why does the race always have to be the goal?...why can't it just be about YOU and your HEALTH?...isn't that why you do this?"

Dangit!  I hate it when she's right!

At the end of the day, it became clear that the Boston Marathon no longer made any sense!  The ONLY reason I wanted to do Boston again was 1) to improve my time and 2) oh yeah, it's Boston.  Boston is not cheap and if I'm going to spend that kind of money, I want it to be a new and exciting "bucket list" type of experience...more on that later.

So, what am I going to do this year?  Get Healthy!

It starts with the first 6 weeks of the year!  Increase water, reduce soda, eliminate alcohol.  Increase fruits and veggies, reduce carbs and ultimately LOSE WEIGHT!   This effort will still include a daily workout including at least one strength session each week.  Molly and I are going into this year side by side sharing this weight loss goal!  And together, we WILL be successful!  (Biggest Loser starts next week)

Once we get back from New Zealand (yeah, you should be jealous), I will begin a disciplined training schedule for two races while maintaining healthy eating habits.

May 7 - Indianapolis Mini-Marathon - Mega Mini Challenge
As an ambassador for this race, I hope you'll join me and be sure to select my name as your referring ambassador when you register!  I'll be doing the Mega Mini Challenge which is both the 5k and the half marathon, back to back!  It's a great added challenge for veteran half marathoners!  I'm not putting any pressure on myself for a PR, it's all for fun and health!  Should be a blast!







July 9 - Ironman Muncie 70.3 
Yep!  After a 2 year hiatus from triathlon, it's time to get back to swim, bike, run!  As I reflect on the last 5 years, I was the healthiest and in the best physical condition going into this race in 2012 and 2013.  I am absolutely convinced that the cross training required for triathlon will get me back to where I want to be, and that's why I'll be back in the pool for the first time in 2 years starting next week!  I have not officially signed up yet because I want to be sure my health, fitness and weight goals are met first (price doesn't go up again until May).  But yes, I want to PR - under 6:15!




Beyond that we're going to leave the second half of the year to chance - I will enter the lottery for the NYC marathon (for the 4th time) and if it's meant to be, then I will gladly put the work (and money) in for this bucket list race - The lottery drawing is March 8.  If I don't get selected, then there will be no full marathon in 2016!  And I'm okay with that!

My sponsorship with Team Chocolate Milk continues in 2016, but I have not been granted any races yet.  I did request RnR Las Vegas again though, so If NYC doesn't work out, hopefully I can make a return trip to Vegas!

2016 is going to be another great year!  What are your goals?

December 6, 2015

RnR Las Vegas Race Recap

I'm quite late in posting this recap, but honestly, I don't know that there is an abundance to report.

Unlike so many of my other races, this one was all about having a GOOD time, without worrying about having a good TIME!

Molly and I traveled out on Wednesday and checked in at the Wynn late.  Enjoyed a few days there taking in some great meals and the gorgeous views and pool for about half the cost of a normal stay at the Wynn (thank you Red Card)


Meb
On Thursday Molly won tickets to a show Friday night and we walked to the expo and took in all the free goodies!











After the show Friday night, my friend Tim flew in and we stayed up late in the casino before relocating to the Luxor on Saturday.









Saturday night dinner with Tim, his girlfriend Rita, and our friend Chris who I've raced with here last time we were out for this race!  Then we all hung out dropping pennies into random machines - something they call...gambling?...never heard of it





 Strip at night is an evening race that closes the entire strip from 2pm - 10pm.  Great to sleep in, but hard to manage prerace routines.  Brunch Buffet breakfast and time to get ready.  The pre race concert was Kid Rock and was visible from the hotel room.



But the concert view was even better from the VIP area!  Thank you Team Chocolate Milk!!




 And then...it was race time!  Chris and I worked our way to the starting corral!  It was dark, very windy, and then...sprinkles!  It was getting colder by the minute and it was a solid hour from the time we left the concert until the time we started the race!

I love this race and this course.  South past the "Welcome to Vegas" sign was straight into the wind before doing a 180 and heading North - Mile 1 was slow into the wind and Mile 2 was my fastest of the race with the wind at my back!

Molly was waiting for me by the obelisk at Luxor and by the time I got there, the rain was becoming heavy and I really expected her to have sought shelter, but nope...there she was!!  Couldn't believe she stood in the rain just to literally watch me run by!

With the wind at my back I found a great pace every single mile down the strip.  Super consistent and felt great all the way to mile 8.  My fitness level was good enough for me to really run tall and be looking around enjoying the sights and sounds.  Although to be fair, the crowds were much smaller along the course this year due to the weather.  Still plenty of crazies to keep it fun!

Miles 8, 9 and 10 are near downtown looping through some neighborhoods before you run right by Fremont Street and make the turn South back toward the heart of the strip.  The half and full are still together so the pack is thick for a good 10 miles before the fools, I mean full runners split off!

The wind was as strong as ever for the last 5k coming in and my consistent splits were now consistently 20 seconds per mile slower!  Always deceiving in Vegas to think you're closer to anything than you really are, but in this race (and with the wind), it was painful to see the finish line (or at least the hotels around it) for soooooo long before finally getting there!

With the lights in sight and the music getting louder I found another gear to finish strong!  I was within 3 minutes of my expected finish time and ran every step!


I ran with my phone, but the battery went dead during the race.  Miraculously, Molly found me within minutes of my finishing and we made our way to the VIP area!

My sponsor is truly amazing!  If you're not recovering with Chocolate Milk after your workouts, I challenge you to give it a try!  The benefits are proven, and it works for me!  Check out the post race buffet spread they set up for us!

Yes!  It does glow in the dark!
Yes!  The reels really do spin!



Final thoughts:   I absolutely LOVE this race, perhaps because I absolutely LOVE this city!  I will be back...maybe even again next year...


November 8, 2015

VEGAS BABY

Forgive my absence in the blogging community, but those that follow me on social media know what I've been up to.

I am 7 weeks into a modified "spring" training session that has gotten me stronger and rebuilding endurance.  Very optimistic about things to come.

Now the fun part -- I'm headed back to Vegas this week!

Vegas is, in many ways, where it all began!  Had I not happened upon the chocolate milk booth there and applied for my sponsorship, I may have never seen the finish line at Ironman Louisville.  Chocolate Milk has proven to be the perfect sponsor for me!

There's a lot more going on, but it's a busy week, so stay tuned for the next post...Vegas race report!

September 14, 2015

2016 Indy Mini Ambassador




Sometimes I sign up for stuff on a whim and....it just works out!  Never imagined I would get picked for this gig, but I did...AND I LOVE IT!

Such a great honor to be one of the 33 Mini Ambassadors - the first ever program for the Indy Mini!

So how does it work?  
Easy, when you register for the Indy Mini, you'll have the choice to select my name as the ambassador who referred you to register!  My goal is to have 100 referrals for this year's event!  
Will you help me out?
If we can make it happen, I will organize a carpool, prerace meetup and host a tent/tailgate afterwards

Registration is OPEN! and as I reflect on my many experiences running the Indy Mini, I decided to count down my top 10 reasons that you should should join me in May!

10  It is a landmark year! The 40th running of the Indy mini promises to be a huge celebration that kicks off the month of May leading to the 100th running of the Indy 500!


9  Chance to run inside the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and even Kiss the Bricks!




8  On course entertainment! With 100 entertainment groups and spirit squads lining the course, the Mini-Marathon has arguably the most entertainment of any road race in the world! 




7  PR Bell is back...and better than ever! When was the last time you rang the PR Bell? There's no better feeling! Will you ring the PR Bell in 2016? 




6  The start line! How can you resist being a part of this sea of inspiration?! The goosebumps of counting down to your start with the music pumping and the roar of the crowd echoing off the buildings around you! 




5  The FINISH LINE! It doesn't matter if you are the first or last across the line - either way you are a FINISHER! If you think the cheers at the start line are memorable, wait until you cross the finish line! You feel it before you hear it, you hear it before you see it, you see it...and then you FINISH it!




4  THE CHALLENGES!! www.indymini.com/p/mini-marathon/312 
Have you heard about the new challenges??
Mega Mini Challenge - Run the 5k AND the Indy Mini back to back! 
Mini Maniac Challenge - Run the Miler Series AND the Indy Mini 



3  THE VOLUNTEERS ROCK! We couldn't do it without them, and they're fabulous! If your friend or loved one is running and you are not, why not volunteer on race day? It's a great way to give back and have a front row seat of your participant! www.indymini.com/p/overview/305 




2  THE EXPO!  The Indy Mini expo is one of the largest half marathon expos in the Midwest!  And it is packed with over 100 exhibitors with great deals for you!



1  THE PEOPLE!  Your experience at the Indy Mini is what you make of it, but if you surround yourself with your family and friends - before, during and after -  it promises to be an experience you can carry with you for a lifetime!