March 24, 2013


Week 14 of marathon training is in the books, and so is the official start to the 2013 race season!

The 44th annual Sam Costa Half is held in Carmel and a small portion of the course is shared with the Carmel Marathon.  Since this weeks training run was scheduled for 12, I figured this would be a great race to get the year going.

The race offers a Half and a Quarter marathon distance, and attracted over 1000 competitors for both races.  The 9 am start time is much appreciated from a traveling competitor like myself.  Easy to find, plenty of parking, and quick packet pickup.

The day was a good one, just a little windy and mid 30s to start.  The course is primarily residential neighborhoods, and a couple trails/paths that allow plenty of room for passing.  There is one really bad section where we are on country roads that run around a stone quarry and a landscpe company specializing in mulch perhaps?  The road was crowded with semis and dump trucks.  Throw in a few vehicles fighting through the course and is was a 2 mile stretch of "chicken" with these vehicles!  Not the funnest running conditions.

I had made up my mind ahead of time that I was not running for a PR.  I've not done the speed work to really go for a 9:09 pace to go sub 2 hours.  I wanted to focus on the marathon pace, and the ability to go longer and stronger.  Coming off of the stomach bug last week and only getting a couple short runs in this week one of two things were possible, either I would fail as a result of being "off my game"; or I would thrive as a result of being well rested and fully recovered.

I went out targeting 9:40s and hoping to negative split the back half.  Long story short, I locked in on my pace for 10 straight miles.  And while I wasn't able to negative split, I was able to hold on within 10 seconds of the pace, and pass many more people than what passed me.  I could not be happier with the pacing, and the strength of endurance I was able to maintain.  The uphill finish sucked, and I really struggled to climb any hill all day.  There are certainly more hilly neighborhoods than I realized.   Pleased with the 9:37 pace.  This was my 12th official half marathon, and my second fastest official half marathon time.

Decent aid stations.  Good post race food (meijer ultimate cookies are my favorite).  Good race shirt.  But no finisher medal.

Today I enjoyed a short recovery run, and tomorrow we load the bus for Florida/Disney.  This could be a challenging week as far as running, workouts, and food, and the real challenge will be returning on Saturday before Easter Sunday and staring a 20 mile training run on the calendar.  Will just keep taking it one day at a time!

March 17, 2013


No really...I do!  99.8 to be exact!  After a week of reduced miles to prepare for this weekend's 20 miler, I woke up Saturday morning as sick as I've been in quite some time!  Body aches, chills, fever, knotted stomach pains, etc.  As the day wore on, and I had only eaten one banana all day, I knew I didn't have the fuel required in my body to tackle the long run today.  I managed to eat some mashed potatoes for dinner, and was in bed by 7:45!

13 hours later, I finally emerged from bed.  Still with a fever, still with the body aches, etc., but after some Gatorade and ibuprofen, I did start to feel a little better.  Managed to eat a sandwich for lunch, but still have no energy.  Feeling much better at the moment, and am anxious to get out for a run, but know that would not be smart.  Will debate what to do tomorrow based on the weather and how much fuel I can take in for dinner.

Missing the 20 miler is not the end of the training by any means, but it does set me back quite a bit.  Pete got out and got his miles in, and while I'm happy for him, I feel all the more depressed and deflated over it.  Next weekend is the Sam Costa Half Marathon in Carmel, and then we're off to Disney for a week - just one more reason to be concerned for the training.  Supposed to hit another 20 upon our return, but not sure how well that will go after riding on a bus for 20 hours! 

March 15, 2013

YOU ARE (registered to be) AN IRONMAN

When an email from "Ironman" shows up it usually is just a promotion for their next race, but it's a good thing I didn't delete this one!

"You've been invited to sign up for VIP registration at 100% off for 2013 IRONMAN Louisville..."

Jaw...Floor!  O. M. G.!!!!

This is really happening!  By the generosity of my sponsorship with Got Chocolate Milk and Team REFUEL I have been given the gift of a lifetime!  A genuine dream come true!

In my wildest dreams I would have never imagined I would be a fully sponsored triathlete competing in a full Ironman!  The gear has been ordered, and I can't wait to put it on and picture myself finishing 140.6 miles before midnight!!

Lots of work to do...but I'm Ironman!

March 10, 2013

Change your clocks, Change your life

For those that have followed me from the beginning and know my journey, you already know the significance of this day.  For the rest of you, here is all you need to know!  3 years ago today, I made the decision to change my life, when I changed my clocks...and here is the blog post from that day...

I had already moved the scale from 310 to 280 over 2 years when I made this declaration and for those that know how this played out, I opted to only complete one of those two marathons, but the journey was real.

I share this today for multiple reasons.

1)  It's good to reflect!  As I pushed through mile 9 on today's 13 mile training run at a sub 10 pace, I used this as motivation to go faster each mile all the way home.  I smiled a few times just thinking to myself how far I've come.  And I ran faster in fear of how far I have yet to go!

2)  Maybe in some way it motivates you?  Remember "TODAY" is the day that I said I would run a MARATHON in NOVEMBER, and I did it!  And you can too!  If you need perspective about where I was, take a minute to scan this blog update I posted just a couple weeks into my journey..

3)  Celebrate your success!  I bought my first Garmin watch the following month, and have logged every step of walking, running, cycling, and swimming since!  35 months later... 5165 miles logged!  669 hours of exercise!  654,000 calories burned!  Multiple Marathons and Half Marathons.  Multiple Triathlons at nearly every distance.  And, yes, the scale has moved a lot, but I wouldn't measure my success by just that number.  I measure my success by my energy level, my lower resting heart rate, my lower cholesterol, my lower blood pressure, the way my clothes fit, the way people smile when they ask me if I've lost weight, and so on.  There is no way to know how much time I may have added to my life by improving my body, but I have no regrets....

Okay, so maybe I have one regret.  Those 669 hours were spent away from my family, in a somewhat selfish way.  Perhaps someday, my wife and children will join me to a greater degree in my exercise regimen, but until then, I do regret the time away from my family.  It is a trade off, and one that I'm thankful they support.  If I've extended my life by more than 669 hours, isn't it worth it?  My guess is I have extended my life by at least 669 days, or even 669 weeks!  God only knows, and time will tell.

I get it, not everyone wants to run a marathon, or an Ironman, or invest hundreds of hours a year into exercise, but what about you?  Did you make a New Years Resolution to improve your fitness lifestyle?  How's that working for you?  As my friend Amy F says, you don't have to wait until next year to recommit!  You can do it TODAY.  You changed your clocks today...maybe even the smoke detector batteries, or furnace filter...anything else you want to change today?   Looks like a good day to do it!

So that's my story...and as the saying goes...I'm sticking to it!

March 3, 2013

Week 11 complete

I'm not going to lie - I HURT!  The miles have taken their toll on me.  I finished the month of February with 120 miles bringing my 2013 total to over 200!  I have obviously not logged these kinds of miles since fall 2011.  Marathon training is hard enough, but with a lingering injury, it can become too much.  And that's what happened yesterday. 
Coming off of a 17 mile long run last Sunday, and getting all of my weekly miles in (5, 8, 5), My body was not fresh enough for this weekend's 18 miler.  I pushed the first 10 with ease, but the next 3 became a struggle, and by 13.5, I was done.  Decided to take a 3 mile walk just to get over 16.  The hamstring was as painful as it has been, and while it wasn't radiating into my back they way it usually does, it was too much to risk for a training run.  Not going to let it get me down though.  I am confident with what I can do on race day.
This morning the Star Press ran a follow up article on me -
While not 100% accurate, their awareness is appreciated. 
Finally, this is the last week before daylight savings time.  For those that have followed my journey from the beginning, you know how symbolic this is for me.  Stay tuned for an announcement that will be nothing short of legen...wait for it...