November 6, 2010


Do I have a story for you! This race recap is for my benefit, but if you're interested about all the trials and tribulations of a marathon, then read on...

Let's start with Friday. I wake up to find a sign in my front yard compliments of the Yorktown Running Club (YRC)! Love the potential future for this group!

When I got home after packet pick up, I found quite the display from my kids and family. They been such huge supporters! The inside of the house was filled with posters that the kids had made, as well as the balloons that Molly sent me at work.

After a long evening volunteering at WIPB telesale, I was home and in bed by 10. Of course don't think I fell asleep until well after 11:30. So much on my mind. And I think I checked the alarm clock 3 times "just to be sure it was set right"

Alarm was set for 5:15. Of course I watched the clock click to it from about 4:45 on.

I chose to wear my lycra shorts on the bottom, and my loose gym shorts on top of them. Loaded my pockets with two powerbar gel packs in each pocket, and of course my ipod. I also wore sweats over them. On top I wore my sleeveless wicking shirt as the base, a short sleeved cotton tee over that, and a long sleeved cotton tee over that. I pinned my number on that shirt, so there was no plan to shed layers from that. I wore a heavy sweatshirt with a hood over all of that. I wore an ear band, and a pair of cotton gloves.

We met up with a caravan of Yorktown runners, and I discovered that my wife had used some window markers to write on our vehicle...of course I shared the love by writing on all the other cars too!

We arrived safely and got parked with no trouble and found a nearby hotel to use the facilities one last time. Ted had given me the idea to spell my name on my shirt with tape. This way people would actually be yelling "Go Chris", and it makes it so much more personal and means that much more. Made sense to me, so I agreed and we taped away! A few more photos and we took the walk to the start line!

Stopped off for one last stretch session in a tent (blocked the wind) and got pumped up! I took off my sweatpants, and decided since I had only ever run in shorts that I was going to stick with that (even at 27 degrees!)

Pete and I entered the field from the start line, and tried to make our way back to the signs that said 10-11 minute pace, but we only made it as far as the 9 minute groups before we were stopped by the gridlock. It was shoulder to shoulder in the staging area, but was nice and warm.

The countdown from ten was on, and off we went.

First let me say that Pete set his goal pace as 10:35 on his tracking device, and I knew I would never hold that for 26 miles, but I wanted to run with him and help him do as well as he could. Read on to see how that turned out...

Mile 1 - Started off West on Washington Street, and a Right turn South on Illinois as we went under the Arts Garden was a great way to start. Another right onto South Street, and a quick left onto Capitol had us going by Lucas Oil Stadium where the Colts Cheerleaders were out front "cheering" us on! As we came to that first mile marker, I heard my Garmin click off early (this happened at every mile all day) that we had just run our first mile in 10:15. "Hey Pete! I think we might be a little fast!" It's easy to get caught up in the excitement and we felt for a moment that we could run the whole thing at that pace.

Mile 2 - We turned left on McCarty and felt good making jokes about jumping into Shapiro's for a sandwich, etc. We turned left to head North on Delaware and witnessed the first of many impatient drivers who were being held at intersections while we passed. We turned left back onto Senate and finished mile 2 in 10:36 (much better)

Mile 3 - We turned right onto Meridian and started one of the neatest stretches of the race as we were heading straight toward the monument. As we got closer and closer, the crowd got thicker and thicker. I began to shed my sweatshirt so that I could throw it to Molly as I expected to see her in the crowd, and if I didn't I would just throw it on the curb where they were being picked up and donated to charity. As we came up to the monument, I spotted Molly standing with Pete's wife, Amy, on the steps to the monument, they spotted us, and I threw the sweatshirt where she could get it, blew her a kiss, and continued halfway around the monument continuing North on Meridian. We then turned right to go East on New York Street where some hip hop dancers were performing and clicked off 3 miles in 10:52. We were right where we wanted to be!

Mile 4 - Apparently the heat building between my sweatshirt and tee shirt were enough to cause the tape to peel off. At this point I had H-R--S left on my shirt, so I just peeled the rest off. The course turns North onto Alabama where a younger middle school drum line was "performing", before we turned East briefly onto Michigan, and than caught the diagonal road of Massachusetts Avenue! This is a long angular stretch of road with some interesting scenery that I wasn't crazy about. At the end of the Mass Ave, we turn back West onto 10th Street, and it was neat to look over my shoulder as I made the turn to see the sea of people behind me! We completed mile 4 in 10:40, Excellent!

Mile 5 - We headed North on Central Avenue, and the crowd was much more sparse through this neighborhood. I took my first gel pack just prior to a water station at about 4.5. There were some very nice families that were set up in their front yards with fire pits, breakfast, etc. cheering us on loudly. At 16th Street we turned back East and finished mile 5 in 10:43, Fantastic!

Mile 6 - We turned North again on Pennsylvania Avenue, and went past some "interesting" dwellings. This was a tough stretch for me mentally, thinking about Pete peeling off on the half course soon. But we maintained our pace at a steady 10:42.

Mile 7 - We picked up Fall Creek Parkway and followed it Northeast. This is a road that I travel often when going to downtown Indy, and I usually drive it very fast, so I knew it was very winding, and only a few small hills. However, at the first sign of the course splitting, I actually got a lump in my throat. The thought of losing my running partner was far more daunting than I imagined. I was so pleased to have this opportunity, but going alone would challenge my mental abilities like never before. As we neared the split in the road, we bumped fists one more time and told each other how proud we were of each other. Just as we were about to split, we look up and THERE'S MOLLY AND AMY! They had gotten in the car and found their way through the heavy traffic to that point. *TEARS* This mile clicked off for me just after we split at 10:21

Mile 8 - I still had another mile on Fall Creek and focused on maintaining the pace. I wasn't sure how long I could do this, but surely I could do this one. 10:31. Excellent!

Mile 9 - We cut through a side street which spit us out on 38th street. Wow! This was an incredible amount of stopped traffic on this stretch. I witnessed people honking, cursing at runners, and in one case, getting out of their car and going toe to toe with an officer, telling him that he "HAD to let her go" ..stay classy Indy! This stretch was also a mile long and I held onto my pace with 10:50.

Mile 10 - We made a turn North (again) onto Washington Blvd. This was a very difficult part, as I thought about continuing to run AWAY from the finish line, while my friends were nearly finished back downtown. As I followed the road, I actually came upon a familiar face. A couple, David and Gina Rawls, are from Muncie. I had met them last month at a 15k race on the Greenway, and overheard them discussing the marathon. They were walking through a water station when I caught them. They had told me that their plan was to walk 1 mile for every 6 that they ran. They shortly passed me again and disappeared into the crowd ahead. I paced this mile at 10:39. Still got it!

Mile 11 - This stretch of road on Washington Blvd seemed to go on forever or at least another mile. Just more of the same, but I it became much tougher to hang on to this pace. I have always run with an ipod, and spent a lot of time creating a specific playlist of songs just for this race. I was aware of the music the entire time, but since Pete left me, I really was in tune with the songs. Shortly into this mile, a song spoke to me like never before. Matthew West is contemporary christian artist and his song Motions took on a whole new meaning for me. The first verse is:
This might hurt, it's not safe
But I know that I've gotta make a change
I don't care if I break,
At least I'll be feeling something
'Cause just okay is not enough
Help me fight through the nothingness of life.
After the Chorus, the second verse continues:
No regrets, not this time
I'm gonna let my heart defeat my mind
Let Your love make me whole
I think I'm finally feeling something
'Cause just okay is not enough
Help me fight through the nothingness of this life.
This song helped me hold onto my pace at 10:52 and there was no way I was walking until the halfway point.

Mile 12 - 20 blocks later, we turned East onto 58th street for a hilly but short trip to over to College Avenue where I finished that mile at 11:16. I knew I would pace over 11 eventually, but I was okay with it.

Mile 13 - We turned North onto College Avenue, and this was a neat stretch as we ran into Broad Ripple. The crowd thickened up again! We had some very entertaining signage and a few that I had seen a few times. My favorites to this point were, "Even Chuck Norris can't run a marathon", "Your feet hurt because you're kicking so much butt", and my new all time favorite, "26.2...because 26.3 would just be crazy!" As I neared the 13 mile marker I knew I was slowing, and started to debate walking for the first time, so I ran to the sign and paced that mile at 11:26.

HALFWAY - 13.1 As I crossed the 13 mile mark, I slowed to a walk that lasted all of 5 steps as the course reached it's furthest point North and turned back to the West onto 66th street, I could see a significant marker for the halfway point. An inflated arch that said 13.1 and a timing mat. I immediately kicked into a run again and finished the way mark at 2:22:27 (a 10:53 pace)

For the record, the fastest official half marathon race I had ever run was in 2001 when I ran 2:33:42. I know I'm in much better shape this time, but I wasn't sure that going 2:22 was the best idea. If I were to break 5 hours, I'd have to go roughly 2:37 on the back!

Mile 14 - Once the excitement of the halfway mark wore off, the pain of the halfway mark set in. I knew I was going to have to walk some, so my plan was to pick a phone pole in the distance and run to it and then walk for 2 minutes. Then if I saw a water station I would run to it and walk through it. I kept this strategy most of the back half. The course turns Southwest onto Riverview Drive and I managed to pace this mile at 12:32.

Mile 15 - The course turned South onto Meridian, and it was refreshing to think we were headed back toward Downtown. The next two miles would take us by some beautiful homes including the Governor's mansion at the end of the stretch. I continued to walk when I had to and fought hard to keep my pace under 13 at 12:45.

Mile 16 - The traffic was very thick. They had us in the far right hand lane which had Southbound traffic down to one lane all the way back to 38th street. That intersection must have been a nightmare. I found myself moving faster than traffic many times, and that says a lot because I had to do a fair amount of walking. The largest hill on the course was on this stretch and dropped my pace to 13:18.

Mile 17 - The course turned back East onto 46th street, and then South on Illinois, and then again East onto Hampton Drive which took us right into the heart of Butler University. There must have been a football game as I saw a couple students in band uniforms heading toward the stadium. Otherwise, campus was pretty dead. This mile didn't have as many hills and I paced it a little better at 12:53.

Mile 18 - I found this to be a very difficult mile for me. The pain my back was growing from being hunched over too much as my core was getting tired, and my right ankle felt like it could just break at anytime. I had a pain in my left big toe that felt like all of the blood in my body had pooled in the tip of it and with every rolling step I was about to explode the tip of my toe right off much like a tube a toothpaste when you're trying to squeeze one more week out of it! Hampton Road curves to the South and becomes Haughley Avenue. Where Haughley meets 42nd, we turn back to the East. At this point, I located, for the first time, a port a pot that did not have a line. Nature calls! I jumped in and did my business. 42nd street turns into Woodstock Blvd, and it is a very long stretch with woods on the left and some business looking complexes on the right. I forced myself to run the rest of that mile to avoid a big number on the clock, but it still paced out to 13:48. Not bad for stopping to pee!

Mile 19 - Once I crossed over Michigan Rd, the course winds through the Indianapolis Museum of Art property. There are trails cut out that lead you to the main entrance. This was one of the most beautiful parts of the course. I found it quite inspiring. As you come off of the property you are back on the busy 38th street still heading East, all downhill! The downhill leads to an exit ramp that winds around a large family picnic/playground area where you can see lots of other runners as you curve around 270 degrees to end up going under 38th street. I've not said much about the pace groups, but there was a 4:30 pace group that passed me somewhere around mile 10. And there was a 5:00 pace group that I briefly considered running with from the beginning. I crossed a timing mat at the 30k mark in 3:33:48 and did the math in my head to realize the 5 hour group would probably be catching me soon. No sooner than I realized it did I check my shoulder and there they were. Right on pace. I decided I had to go with them no matter how bad it hurt. I jogged the rest of mile 19 with them for a 12:24 pace on that mile. Much better!

Mile 20 - Maybe you've heard others talk about THE WALL that everyone hits at mile 20? Well I was determined not to hit that wall. Now traveling South again on White River Parkway, I had a nice view of the River to my right and crossed under I-65 still with the pace group. White River Parkway turns into a neighborhood of duplexes, and as I'm starting to fade from the pace group, I witness the marathon strike pain into another competitor. Only this time, it was a key participant! Of all people, I watched the pace group leader of the 5 hour group drop out of her pack. All of the pacers in the group continued on while looking over their shoulder to see if she was okay. She darted to the other side of the road and hunched over as if she were about to vomit. A couple of competitors stopped and ran back to her to check on her, and she limped back onto the course holding her side, and yelled at them, "Keep going! You can do it!" As I passed her, I could see she was in tears and visibly in pain. To be a pace leader you have to have completed a large number of marathons, and be able to easily maintain the pace for the group you are leading. Today was obviously not her day, and it showed me that ANYONE could go down at anytime. I remember seeing another sign that said "Trust your training!" I knew I had done the miles to be ready, but after witnessing that I wasn't sure how much longer I could hold on. I finished mile 20 with a struggling 13:11 pace.

Mile 21 - Remember the wall I mentioned? FOUND IT! After watching the pace leader go down, and thinking through my own pains, I began to walk more than ever before. And I couldn't powerwalk like I had done in previous miles. Everything slowed to a point that I could never imagine. We passed the Naval Armory, and it was difficult to hear people at the water station yelling "You're doing great!" as I can barely walk by them to get my next drink. The course turns back East onto Bursdal Parkway which is an older neighborhood with very little traffic, and some very unkept lots. There was no inspiration for me at this point. Many people were walking, each water station had at least two people in a medical tent. It was at this point that for the first time, I briefly considered quitting. I did the math in my head one more time and knew that 5 hours was out of the question given the pain I was in. I was beat both mentally and physically. I finished that mile with a 14:43 pace.

Mile 22 - Looking down and seeing that pace click off was defeating enough, but as I continued down this road, the pain intensified, and every time I would try to get a jog going again, it would only last 3 steps. I was becoming quite emotional thinking about how hard I had worked, and how lonely I felt. It was the longest mile of my life. And I believe with all of my heart that God knew how I would be feeling and he performed nothing short of a miracle. My wife (God bless her) had been traveling the West Central side of Indianapolis for who knows how long, trying to find a place where she could see me again. She got so lost that she saw the Indy 500 track! But God brought us together, and there she was standing at the 22nd mile marker waiting for me! *TEARS* I did all I could to trot to her, and as I met up to her she ran briefly with me and told me I could do it. She is the only person in the world that could have pulled me out of the self defeat I had just experienced for the last half hour. The pace for this mile was my worst by far, an embarrassing 15:47.

Mile 23 - With my new found hope, and trying to block out the pain, I tried to run a little more than before. The back pain was tremendous and my right ankle felt like it was already broken. Bursdal finally turned into Fall Creek Pkwy at some point as I crossed under I-65 again, and I began to recognize a few areas, and could see the downtown skyline in the distance. I knew I was getting closer, and there was no quit in me now. Just after turning South onto Meridian I realized that I was on the same road that the half marathoners had been on as they were finishing. I paced this mile at 14:42. A little better and my goal became to improve each remaining mile.

Mile 24 - As I continued down Meridian South, the skyline was getting closer and closer, and I could nearly see the tip of the Monument in the farthest distance. I still had to walk as much or more than I ran, but with some gut wrenching determination, I was able to improve that mile slightly to pace it at 14:11

Mile 25 - As I finished mile 24, I found another familiar face. Matt Stinson is a runner in Yorktown that I've not really gotten to know well, but he was part of the large group that had gone down to run the half marathon today. He was in street clothes, and looked refreshed. He jumped out on the road and asked if he could run me in. I was encouraged to have someone to run with and push me home, but I kept asking about everyone else. How was your race? How did Ted and Melanie do? Do you know how Pete finished? Matt kept me focused. He'd say, "one stop light at a time, let's get to the next one", and when we did he'd say it again, "your goal is to get to the next stop light". As I'm coming up on that next stop light, I hear "GO CHRIS" and find Ted and Melanie waiting for me (duh, they rode down together), Matt jumped off with his congrats, and Ted jumped in. At this point I'm BEYOND emotional. The support that these friends have shown me well exceeds my expectations. Ted has been my mentor and coach through much of this training, and I trust him more than anyone when it comes to running. He immediately says, "I know you hurt, I've been there. Don't worry about your time, and in fact don't even talk, just listen!" His motivational words were so well timed. Ted says "Did you know that less than 1 percent of all Americans will ever attempt a marathon in their life! You are in an elite group of athletes" "Your wife is so proud of you, your kids are at home waiting for you, and you are their hero!" At this point, I'm convinced I have to walk. I told him just get me to the interstate (I-65 overpass was just another block ahead), and then let me walk for one minute; just one minute, don't let me walk for more than one minute. Ted would never tell me what to do, but he encouraged me in a different way. Instead of telling me I didn't want to walk, he said "All those hours, all those miles, all those early mornings before work, all those Saturday mornings away from your family...THIS is where that pays off *TEARS* You can do this. Finish this the way you started it. Once you reach mile 25 keep the legs turning!" Seconds later, Ted said, "I've got to go". NO!!!! Don't leave me! "You've got this, you can do it, go get 'em!" and just like that he was gone! THANK YOU! He and Matt helped me pace that mile at 12:49, I hadn't done that since mile 15! Wow!

Mile 26 - There was a water station just before I started this mile, so I walked through it, and once I started Mile 26, I DID NOT WALK AGAIN! I knew I could run the last 1.2 miles, and nothing was going to stop me. At this point I'm coming into Monument Circle and the crowd is thickening up again. The folks that have already finished are finding their ways back to their cars, and are yelling encouraging words all the way. They're holding up their medals and saying "there's one of these waiting for you". I don't recognize anyone. The people I had been commiserating with in the earlier miles were left behind thanks to my friends pushing me minutes ahead of them. I take the quarter loop around the Monument and spit out on the West side looking squarely at the Capitol building and knowing that the finish line is just on the other side of that building. The course squares off around it going North on Capitol Avenue for two blocks and West again on New York for 3 blocks. I clicked off 26 miles with a pace of 13:18 and my tank is all but empty!

26.2 - THE FINISH. The course was measuring long all day, my watch was clicking off miles earlier and earlier so I knew my watch was going to have me going more than 26.2. Maybe it was because I was weaving through people too much early on, or maybe it really was long, either way, I was going to finish! As I near the end of New York, there he is...IT'S PETE! I was so worried that he wouldn't be there. He had tickets to a Broadway show that started at 2:30 and it was 1:15. He waited for me! *TEARS*. At this point, I'm running so slow that he can walk with a long stride beside me. He's telling me about the spread that's waiting for me, he's showing me his medal, and of course he's already had a shower and a cheeseburger. He leads me to the next to the last turn which is South on West Street. At this point, I see another familiar face. Remember David Rawls from Muncie that I saw around mile 10! There he was! I caught him. I looked over and saw his wife on the sidewalk, cheering him on. He was walking gingerly and clearly in pain. I yelled up to him "Is that you Muncie?" I passed him at the finish and said "WE DID IT!" as I turned into the finish chute which is an amazing tunnel of Government buildings, I let out a loud "WOOOOO HOOOO" and it echoed off the buildings! I pumped my fists in the air and kept yelling "YES!", I could hear David behind me saying, "I'm gonna get you Yorktown!" I spotted Molly and Amy on the sidelines and Pete was still running along side me outside the gates! I DID IT! It ended up measuring 26.43 miles and a very proud 5:21:54 which is a 12:10 pace. The time on my watch matches identically to my official time on the race website. It also tells me that my time on the back half was 2:59:28 which is a 13:42 pace. My Garmin watch also calculates some interesting data when I wear my heart rate monitor: My average heart rate for the entire race was 165 BPM, and I burned 4,487 calories!

When it was done, they gave me my finisher medal *TEARS*, a foil blanket, and filled a bag of food for me with bagels, cookies, bananas, apples, and bottled water. I paused to speak with David who told me he cramped badly and had to walk the last 6 miles. His wife had finished around 4:40, and with parting congratulations, I went to hug my wife!! We took some great pictures together with the Capitol building behind us, and parted ways with Pete and Amy.

Molly and I made our way to the car (slowly) and found our way to Olive Garden! She had not had lunch yet and I was STARVING! We took our time and ate well. We finally returned home at nearly 5 p.m. and I couldn't wait to get on facebook and read all of my posts and comments of congratulations.

I've had AMAZING support from so many friends during this entire journey. And for those who were there with me on raceday, I don't know that I can ever repay you for your infinite display of generosity! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

November 2, 2010

It's not a sprint....It's a MARATHON!

This is my last blog post before I take on the ultimate running challenge. The marathon has become a metaphorical event for my life. The pain, the struggle, the dedication and commitment, and ultimately the joy, satisfaction, and victory of accomplishment. I CAN do this!

...but first...a look back.

As I blogged many months ago, I have been down this road before. I completed five half marathons between 2001 and 2005. I only trained for the first one, and just walked the other 4. From 2005 through 2009 I let my health take a back seat and ballooned to 310 pounds (picture above 07/2007) when my son was born in November 2007. For the next 2 years, I yo-yoed my way around to 285. (picture below 10/2009). Since I'm so tall, I have always carried this weight well, but I was hiding in 2XL and 3XL clothes.

The first turning point was the completion of the Yorktown YMCA. Upon becoming a charter member, I, along with my wife became regulars at spin class, and as I began to feel stronger, I knew it was time to set a goal.
The goal needed to be HUGE, and it needed to be DISTANT. In my mind, I wanted it to sound impressive, and yet, I wanted to have plenty of time to make it a reality. I searched the internet for days before deciding on the Monumental Marathon.

The date of the Marathon is November 6. As I looked at a calendar to see where that fell, it occurred to me that this was the last day of Daylight Savings Time. The real irony of it all was that the upcoming weekend was the beginning of Daylight Savings Time. ****HERE'S YOUR SIGN!**** It was a voice in my head saying, "it's time for a change! -- we're changing the clocks, you're changing your life!"

...and so it began. We changed the clocks on March 14, and I started to change my life.

While this blog is primarily for me to revisit my progress, I hope it may somehow inspire you. If you're doubting yourself, I believe you can change your life as well. Look at where I started, and study how I progressed. From March 15 to June 20, I did the exact same workout every single week focusing only on my ability to increase my pace and run each distance nonstop.

Monday - rest
Tuesday 3 miles
Wednesday 4 miles
Thursday 4 miles
Friday - rest
Saturday 3 miles
Sunday 6 miles

- 47 Miles - I ran only inside on the treadmill
First 3 miles = 48:00 (16:00) - that's 3.6 on the treadmill, and that's all I could do!
First 4 miles = 65:00 (16:00) - occasionally I'd bump it to 3.9, but not for long!
First 6 miles = 100:00+ not sure I even walked it all!

APRIL - 84.1 Miles - YTD = 131.1 Miles - I started doing my long runs/walks outside
Best 3 miles = 34:00 (11:18) - first time I ran the whole 3 miles nonstop
Best 4 miles = 46:00 (11:35) - also first time I ran it nonstop
Best 6 miles = 73:00 (12:10) -
HIGHLIGHT - COMPLETED MY FIRST 5K RACE IN 34:15 - (but had to walk a little)

MAY - 77.1 Miles - YTD = 208.2 Miles - I got my Garmin on May 20 - still can't imagine running without it!
Best 3 miles = 31:25 (10:28)
Best 4 miles = 44:57 (11:14)
Best 6 miles = 72:00 (12:00)

JUNE - 66.72 Miles - YTD = 274.92 Miles - Officially began the 20 week training plan on Father's Day, June 20
Best 3 miles = 29:53 (9:58) - first sub 10 pace run
Best 4 miles = 42:49 (10:41)
Best 6 miles = 69:36 (11:36) - first time I ran it non stop

JULY - 83.1 Miles - YTD = 358.02 Miles - Started adding the longer distances
Best 3 miles = 29:49 (9:56)
Best 5 miles = 53:24 (10:41)
Best 6 miles = 69:07 (11:30)
Best 8 miles = 1:42:00 (12:45)
Best 10 miles = 2:13:22 (13:20)

AUGUST - 54.2 Miles - YTD = 412.22 Miles
training. - Subbed my 12 and 14 milers for additional training with Swimming and Biking workouts
Best 5 miles = 53:10 (10:37)
Didn't improve any of my measured distances, but got MUCH stronger!

SEPTEMBER - 105 Miles - YTD = 517.22 Miles
Subbed my 16 miler for the Sprint Triathlon On Sept 4
Best 3 miles = 28:36 (9:32)
Best 6 miles = 64:54 (10:49)
Best 8 miles = 1:37:50 (12:13)
Best 10 miles = 1:53:55 (11:23) - nonstop
Best 18 miles = 3:33:29 (11:51)
(8:31 SWIM, 50:03 BIKE, 42:00 RUN)
COMPLETED A 15K RACE IN 1:34:29 (10:13)

-128.4 Miles - YTD = 645.62 Miles
Best 3 miles = 26:32 (8:51)
Best 4 miles = 38:42 (9:40) - first sub 10 pace over 4 miles
Best 5 miles = 49:25 (9:53) - first sub 10 pace over 5 miles
Best 8 miles = 1:24:25 (10:33) - though still not as fast paced as last months 15k
Best 10 miles = 1:47:35 (10:45)
First 20 miler = 3:53:55 (11:41) - ran every step of it!
Best 20 miler = 3:48:32 (11:25) - ran every step of it...FASTER!

NOVEMBER -26.2 Miles remaining!!

I said all along the goal was simply to finish the marathon, but the perks would include weight loss, increased energy, and improved self-confidence. All of the perks have far exceeded my expectations. I will run this marathon at 235 pounds. 75 pounds less than when my son was born, and yet probably still one of the heaviest men in the field...and I'm okay with that!

On my initial blog, I said I wanted to do complete the run in under 6 hours. On my registration, I said I expected to finish in 5:15:00. I still believe I can achieve this, but run, jog, walk or crawl, I WILL FINISH!


October 24, 2010

Monumental Marathon Play List

This is my Play List for the Marathon...what do you think?

Miles 1-7 "RUN THIS TOWN"

Run This Town Jay-Z ft Kanye West & Rihanna
Beautiful Day U2
Lose yourself Eminem
Airplanes (Feat. Hayley Williams) B.o.B
TiK ToK Keisha
Bad Romance Lady GaGa
Cooler Than Me Mike Posner
Hey Soul Sister Train
I Gotta Feeling Black Eyed Peas
Clocks Coldplay
The Way I Are Timberland
Dirty Little Secret All-American Rejects
Down (Feat. Lil' Wayne) Jay Sean
Fergalicious Fergie
Fireflies Owl City
Waking Up in Vegas Katy Perry
Glamorous (Feat. Ludacris) Fergie
Glitter In The Air Pink
Please Don't Stop the Music Rihanna
Hot 'N Cold Katy Perry
Mighty To Save Hillsong United
In My Head Jason Derulo

Miles 8-14 - "DANGER ZONE"

Highway to the Danger Zone Kenny Loggins
Always Building 429
Check Yes Juliet We The Kings
I Will Rise Chris Tomlin
If You Only Knew Shinedown
The Kill 30 Seconds To Mars
Leave out All the Rest Linkin Park
The Motions Matthew West
Usher ft Will I. Am
Shattered OAR
Vertigo U2
Your Love Is My Drug Ke$ha
Low Flo Rida ft. T-Pain
So What Pink
Teenage Dream Katy Perry
Dynamite Taio Cruz
Let It Rock Kevin Rudolf ft. Lil' Wayne
Teenage Wasteland The Who
Viva la Vida Coldplay
Addicted Saving Abel
Girlfriend Avril Lavigne
Living on a Prayer Bon Jovi
The Words I Would Say Sidewalk Prophets

Miles 15-21 - "I'M NOT AFRAID"

I'm not afraid
Pocket Full Of Rocks
By Your Side Tenth Avenue North
Just Dance
Lady Gaga Ft. Akon
Hearts On Fire Rocky
Kings And Queens 30 Seconds To Mars
Live Like We're Dying Kris Allen
Numb Linkin Park
Something Beautiful Needtobreathe
Stronger Kanye West
Sexy Chick David Guetta Ft. Akon
Uprising Muse
The Great Escape Boys Like Girls
When You Were Young The Killers
What I've Done Linkin Park
Use Somebody Kings Of Leon
Imma Be Black Eyed Peas
Whatcha Say Jason Derulo
When You're Gone Avril Lavigne
Welcome To The Black Parade My Chemical Romance
According To You Orianthi
California Girls Katy Perry
Boom Boom Pow Black Eyed Peas

Miles 22-26.2 - "HOW FAR WE'VE COME"

How Far We've Come
Matchbox Twenty
Everlong Foo Fighters
In The End Linkin Park
More Matthew West
Shake It Metro Station
Skater Boy Avril Lavigne
U + Ur Hand Pink
Shut Up and Drive Rihanna
All The Small Things Blink 182
Evacuate The Dance Floor Cascada feat. Carlprit
Four Minutes Madonna Ft Justin Timberlake



Just a quick update! Things are going great.

I ran the Chase Charlie 5k, and ran my fastest 5k in just over 26 minutes.

I continue to run with Pete, and we really push each other well.

My second 20 miler was last weekend, and I went 11:25 pace, just as I planned.

With that tapering officially began. Yay!

Today was 8 miles, and we paced it at 10:32. There's nothing more than 5 miles between now and race day.

The game plan for race day is start with the 4:45 pace group (10:52/mile) and hang with them through the 13.1 mark. At that point, I'll decide how long I can hang with them. If I need to start fading, I can fade at a rate of a minute per mile and still finish ahead of 5 hours!

The goal of course is just to finish, but to go under 5 would be the icing on the cake!


October 10, 2010

Ready or not, here I come!

It's been a month since my last post, and it's only another month until the marathon. It's been a good month. All my times are faster, all my paces are more consistent, and my body feels like it's ready.

I ran a 15k race 2 weeks ago on the greenway and surprised myself with a 10:13 pace finishing 3rd in my age group.

Last week my long run was 20 miles. It was fun to run from home to Prairie Creek and halfway back to the downtown Y. Pace was 11:41 which is :14/mi slower than where I need to be, but it was a freezing cold morning and rained on me 8 of the 20 miles.

Next weekend is another 20 miler and I think I can go 11:25 or better.

Today was a great 10 miler with my friend Pete. He has even agreed to sign up for the half marathon and travel down with me. We think we can even run together for the first 7 miles until we split courses.

After next week, I start tapering back gradually. Long runs are 12 miles and weekly runs never go over 6.

I've decided my goal is to break 5 hours (11:27 pace)...and I'm ready!


September 4, 2010

My First Triathlon / Ambulance Ride

I expected to finish my first tri, but I never imagined it would end in the ER! We'll get to that...

The day started off well. I'd gone to bed early the night before, and was wide awake at 5 a.m. Had a banana and some toast, drank a bottle of water, and got dressed. Molly got the kids ready, and we were out the door by 6 a.m.

It was quite windy and only 55 degrees on the way there. The kids stayed in the car while I set up my transition area. The crowd was growing, and my nerves were building.

Previously this week, I had not felt well. I stayed home from work on Friday with some pretty nasty G/I issues. My stomach was still not settled, but I assumed most of that was nerves. I had not eaten well the day before just a bowl of soup and some spaghetti. But this morning I felt pretty good.

We headed down to the beach and I found a familiar face, my friend Brian Riggins was doing his second race, and I thought I could trail him on the swim and feel pretty good. I was right. Got a strong start, felt pretty good. The water wasn't bad at all. In fact they say the water temp was 74, and that was much warmer than the air temp.

My swim split was 8:31, and which was 49th out of the 69 finishers.

Spotted the fam on the way to T1. And felt great.

Only spent 2:19 in transition, and I was off on the bike.

The wind was strong, and the temps never came up much, so I was pretty cold most of the time. I was getting passed by many most of the way, but I didn't let it bother me because I knew there were multiple events going on at the same time. Sprint Tri/Olympic Tri/Sprint Du/Olympic Du/Aqua Bike, so I just went as hard as I could. I only passed a handful of people on the bike, but my splits were what I was expecting. The bike course goes right past my good friend, Chuck Reynolds' house, and they were outside watching, so when I yelled at them, they went crazy cheering me on! I got a huge boost from that. Shortly after that, another friend of mine, Terry Glidden, doing the Sprint Du caught me and I went hard to chase him, but then...

THE CHAIN CAME OFF! I was shifting the big gear before the biggest hill on the course and it jumped right off. I unclipped and got off to fix it. I know at least 8 people went past me while I was working on it, and where that mile would have been a little over 4 minutes for me, it ended up being over 6. I was fired up at the top of the hill, and ran my fastest mile at 2:58.

Finished the bike with a split of 50:03, 63rd of the 69 finishers.

Into T2, I spent 2:12 changing my shoes, and somehow found a slow jog to get me out on the course.

The run was painful to say the least. I ended up walking far more than I ever imagined. I saw many of my friends running back in while I was on my way out and they were all so encouraging. Each time I saw one, I could go just a little more, but when I got to the turn around, I was about ready to quit. Another friend, Josh Shirey, that I've met through training caught me. He was doing the Sprint Du, and had had bike trouble also. He jogged me in for a bit, before I let him go. I had pretty bad lower back pain and abdominal cramps at this point, but when I got to the bottom of the last hill, I could hear my kids cheering for me. I found it in me to jog up the last hill and to the finish line holding hands with my girls.

Run time was an embarrassing 42:00, 66th of the 69 finishers.

Final time was 1:45:41. 66th overall. My goal was 1:45:00 so I know without the chain incident, I had it. And even with that 2 minutes, I would've only improved one placing.

Upon getting my finishers medal and hugging the kids, I sat down on the ground and started to eat a banana, but within 3 minutes something very bad was happening.

I began shaking, shivering, convulsing uncontrollably. Molly got me a blanket, but it didn't help. She thought my blood sugar was low so she tried to give me some M&M's, but my mouth was so dry I couldn't eat them. Others began to take notice of my condition and volunteers were quick to assist. I was taken to a pick up truck where the owner had turned the heat on full blast while I awaited EMT's. Molly was wonderful and strong, but I think the kids were terrified about what was happening to daddy.

The EMT's loaded me pretty quick into an ambulance and covered me with blankets and heat packs while they checked all my vitals. I was in extreme pain, particularly in my lower body as all of my muscles were tight and locking up while I was flexing them with every passing shiver. The official diagnosis was HYPOTHERMIA with DEHYDRATION. My body temp was 96.1 and my Heart Rate remained over 130.

They started and IV, and called for transport. Yep, I was going for a ride. Couldn't believe it. Have never had an ambulance ride in my life. They moved me from one ambulance to another, and Molly rode shot gun with me. I finally stopped shivering about the time I we arrived at the Hospital.

With my body calming and the first bag of IV nearly in me, I became very tired and exhausted, nearly falling asleep. But once I got into the ER room, I was very aware of what was going on. The reality of it all was setting in. Where was my bike? Who has my kids? HOW MUCH IS THIS GOING TO COST ME?

My physician, Derrick Williams, is a great friend, and showed up to check on me as they started the second bag of IV, they ran some blood tests and everything came back normal. I was already feeling better, and my body temp had warmed to over 100, but they wanted to put a third bag of fluid in me just to be sure.

We were checked out shortly after 1:00. And then I get the rest of the story.

My bike and all my gear were picked up by volunteers. A volunteer drove one of my vehicles with my kids in it to the hospital to meet my mother-in-law there so she could take them. My other vehicle was stranded at the reservoir with a dead battery.

It's now 4:00 and I feel great. The boy is napping. The girls are playing. My wife got a ride to the reservoir, got the vehicle started and is on her way home. It's a pretty day outside, maybe I'll go for a jog! ;)

In sticking with my I ADVISE U blog...


June 13, 2010

It's the Y Team! And it's my fault??

Motivation breeds motivation!

Yesterday was another 5k race at the reservoir as part of the Muncie Multisport Tri/Duathlon series. Unlike last time when I ran alone...this time I had the Y team with me! Who is the Y team? Well, I'm not sure to be honest, but here's a picture of us...

By now, you know I motivated Molly to sign up for the Triathlon. But did I mention she motivated a friend of hers (Tracey) to join her. Well they both thought this 5k race would be good for their training since the race is on the same course as their triathlon. Well Tracey motivated her Husband and 2 sons to join her today. And they motivated another friend, who motivated another friend to join us. And since we're all from Yorktown and work out at the Yorktown Y...we're now the Y-team!

So proud of Molly yesterday. She crushed her own expectations! I also was very pleased with my efforts. Under 10:00 pace had me at 30:48, and first in my age group! It was only the second time that I paced 3 miles under 10:00 pace. This week I also paced 4 miles under 44:00 for the first time.

The distances are still the same, but only for a couple more weeks, then we start cranking them up!


May 16, 2010

Feels like I'm running in circles

And that's because I am! Molly and I decided we could do our runs together today if we went to the high school track. We let the kids play in the infield (or the sand in the long jump pit) while we ran. I ran my fastest 6 miles, and Molly finished a very strong 4 miles. But, running on that track is BORING!! I'd rather run on the treadmill than on that track.

Yesterday was a great day. I participated in a 5k as part of the Muncie duathlon/triathlon series. It was my fastest 5k on a hilly course near Prairie Creek Reservoir. The next race out there is June 12 and I'm hoping Molly will go with me so she can run the 5k course and also so she can witness the atmosphere of these elite triathletes!

May is half over, and soon I'll be increasing my distances, and I think I'm ready for it!


May 9, 2010

Mini Envy

Yesterday was the Indianapolis Mini-Marathon. I'm nowhere ready to do that right now, but I was really wishing I was. Many of my friends participated. Some in under 1:30 and others over 3:30, but they did it, and I was envious. I know my day is coming, and patience is not my strong suit.

I continue to impress myself with stronger and faster runs. I've played around with my pace and know how fast is "too fast". Yesterday, I pushed the limits just a bit and ran my best 3 mile in 31:23, better than a 10:30 pace! I know I've not done that since high school!

I also continue to impress others. So much so, that I've motivated two others to join me at the Monumental. Jason Linke is a friend of mine from high school, that I literally have not seen since graduation (18 years ago), but I can see on facebook that he's stayed in shape. Also, Del Brinson, who is a new friend of mine in the last couple of years from church has committed it as well. Del ran cross country in high school, but this will be the first full for all 3 of us.

And apparently, I've motivated my wife to go beyond her comfort zone. She has committed to a Sprint Triathlon here in Muncie in just 11 weeks! I'm concerned for her safety with such short prep time, but she's getting good training from her friend, Jason Roberson. And in turn, she's motivating me!

I filled in a calendar with what my running assignments are for everyday between now and race day and it's a little overwhelming, but I'm still on schedule.

Happy Mother's Day!


April 25, 2010


Check me out!

The weather didn't hold so I had to hit the treadmill at the Y. As it turns out. I was able to run the first 4 miles of my 6 without stopping in just under 46 minutes. (see previous post where I thought I was 2-3 weeks from being able to do this) That's the good news...the bad news is I had to crawl the next two miles for a finish time of 1:13:30 on the 6! Still my quickest 6 so far! Yay me!


Who's that fat guy running on the greenway?

That would be me. This afternoon I will do 6 miles (outside if the weather holds) for the 6th time. Today completes 6 weeks of training and I'm happy to report I have not missed a single day of training. It's not been easy as there have been countless times that I wake up at 5:50 a.m. and wonder why I'm doing this.

Last Saturday I had a 3 mile assignment and Molly joined me at the Y. Something about knowing that she was watching me, motivated me to keep going and 34 minutes later I hit the 3 mile mark on the treadmill WITHOUT STOPPING.

I tried all week to repeat that feat, but couldn't find it in me to do it nonstop. My pace this week was consistently in the 11:45 range. Some days I would jog steadily at that pace, while other days I would run a 10:00 mile (haven't done that in 10 years!), and then walk a 14:00 mile. and then sprint to the end.

The 3 mile jogs don't seem very long anymore; the 4 mile jogs are still pretty exhausting, and as much as I want to run 4 miles without stopping, I think I'm still 2-3 weeks. The 6 mile assignment is so frustrating. I want to keep jogging, but I just can't keep my legs moving. I think I end up walking more than half of it. Usually somewhere around a 14:00 pace.

Now for my proud moment of the week....drumroll please....

Yesterday, The Cardinal Greenways hosted a competitive 5k. The last time I recall running a competitive 5k was some 20 years ago. My goal was to just run the whole thing without walking.


An old friend of mine was there and I wanted to impress her as much as myself. The format was out and back, so she hit the turn before I did and gave me the thumbs up on her way back. I struggled the last mile, but kept the legs turning, and with just a tenth of a mile to go, she met waited for me to jog me in. Pushing me all the way, she said, "It'll only hurt for one more minute and then you can throw up!" She was right, and I almost did! 34:15 doesn't break any records or even place me in my age group, but I'll take it for week 6.

The next scheduled Greenway Run is a 10k on June 19. Same goal...I just want to finish without walking.


April 4, 2010

3 Weeks Down and...

Just a little update here. I have completed 3 full weeks of training. I am doing 20 miles per week. 3 on Tuesday, 4 on Wednesday, 4 on Thursday, 3 on Saturday and 6 on Sunday.
I'm still doing cycling class on Monday nights for now as well. This will remain the schedule until Memorial Day. Then we will start increasing distance.

The first week was all walking with just a little jog mixed in. I couldn't even do 4.0 on the treadmill, more like 3.7 most days. Probably couldn't jog for more than a minute or two.

The second week I could walk about 4.1 to 4.2 and each day I could run a little more than the day before. On my 4 mile Thursday run, I ran one of the miles nonstop. Haven't done that in over 5 years.

The third week went equally as well, and everyday has gotten better and faster. My 4 mile run on Thursday was under 54 minutes which is better than a 13:30 pace. Then my 3 miles run on Saturday was under 38 minutes which is under a 13:00 pace.

Today (Easter Sunday) was the first day that I had to run outside because the Y was closed. I didn't like the way it felt when I started, but settled in fine. I did 6 miles all along the White River and my pace was very consistent with what the treadmill has been telling me.

I've been doing the weekday runs at 6 a.m. at the Yorktown Y. This is very new for me, but it's already becoming a habit I don't mind. At the Yorktown Y, the treadmills have a Nike+Ipod feature that I can plug in the Ipod and it will record my run to review at It's very cool and you can also buy a sensor for your shoe for outdoor runs.

There are some runs in Muncie this summer on the Greenway that I'd like to do, but my confidence with all of this is just not where I'd like it to be yet.

Part of that confidence problem comes from my weight. I'm still the "fat kid" on the treadmill. I know when I started this I said that losing weight was not the goal, but rather just a benefit that would come with doing this. I guess I just thought it would be a benefit that would be showing by now. THE SCALE IS NOT MOVING.

Clearly, I'm going to have to pay more attention to what I'm eating. In the past I've changed my diet without exercise and lost weight, but it is not working the other way.

I'm not giving up! I will do this.


March 13, 2010


Today marks the beginning of DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME.

To break this word down, let's think a little differently.

DAY = Chris Day
LIGHT = Needs to get light (lose weight)
SAVING = In order to save his life
TIME = And will do so by completing a marathon in under 6 hours...TWICE!!!

Let me explain how I arrived at this...

As we change our clocks, we are often reminded to change our smoke detector batteries, change our furnace filters, change, change, change...well, I've decided to change my attitude....about my health.

I refuse to be a part of any "diet program". I am not successful being held hostage by a calorie counter, or point tracker. But, with discipline, I like my chances at achieving the above goal. The goal is simply to complete the marathon in under 6 hours. The result will certainly include better health, greater endurance, and of course weight loss.

Daylight Saving time wraps up on November 7, the day after I complete the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon.

But I'm setting my training up to be ready for the Indianapolis Marathon on October 16.

...which means I'm actually planning to complete TWO MARATHONS within 3 weeks.

The training is a 20 week program that I will "officially" start on Memorial Day weekend. But I need to build up to a certain level of endurance prior to this date. I'll start around 20 miles per week and increase speed between now and Memorial Day on that schedule then I'll build to a peak of 45 miles per week before tapering off for the first race.

This will take a tremendous amount of time, but my wife says she will support my efforts. It will be a sacrifice to have to get up an hour or more earlier to go to the gym, but a drastic goal requires drastic actions.

So what happens when we "fall back" in November? Well I guess that remains to be seen, but my hope is that this becomes a lifestyle change that I can maintain for some time...I want to feel 26 again before I turn 36!

Why am I sharing this with you? Call it accountability without obligation. I expect the comments of support...and bring 'em on; but at least I'm moving.

Care to join me???


Random Facts:
I completed the Indianapolis Mini-Marathon in
2001 - in 2:33:42 - I was an ass't track coach and ran with the kids everyday! I weighed 210.
2002 - in 3:24:36 - I was a rookie broker, and sat at my desk all day! I was well over 250.
2003 - in 3:22:48 -
2004 - in 3:15:10 - I realized, at 29, this wasn't for me.

Since then my weight has flexed between 230 and 310 (when Carter was born) a couple times.
Today I weigh 280.