This Sunday will be my first test in running marathons 2 weeks apart. I’m anxious to see how my body fares after this. I took it pretty easy in Springfield, and it felt great with rested legs (and new shoes!). I ended up meeting up with some great Maniacs and a brand new marathoner. It was so much fun to share in that adventure of her first marathon. It sometimes feels like that was so long ago.
Running a marathon on my birthday was a great gift to myself. It was a great way to celebrate all of the wonderful things that have been behind me and to start the year off doing the one thing that I know will continue to bring me joy and happiness for the year to come. Even if life has twists and turns, I know that the road will always be there for me.
Every once in a while, I get an idea that won’t let go. No matter what I do to shake it, it sticks around and pesters me until I give in.
Well, I’ve had one of those.
As some of you may know, I ran my first Ultra-marathon last fall. It was the Pumpkin Holler 50k, and it was a blast!
If you ask why people enter ultra-marathons, it’s usually because it’s a challenge like they’ve never had before. Each race is a little different, and each distance is a new adventure. For me, it was something new, and I loved it. The environment, the people, the support, the beauty, and the challenge all were things that I had not found in races in the past. I had grown tired of overcrowded, commercial races along industrial areas and on long stretches of asphalt. This race was exactly what I needed at that time.
I’m not a fast runner, but I’m not a slow runner. I’m one of those in-the-middle runners that just frankly enjoys being out there. For a long time, qualifying for the Boston Marathon was what I thought I wanted more than anything. But the more I think about it, the more I really believe that it’s not for me. That doesn’t mean that I don’t want to keep improving my marathon time. I will continue to train to be a better marathoner. But I don’t really have any desire to work for an artificial goal set by somebody else that allows me to run another hugely commercial race that, oh, by the way, I can buy a bib into if I raise enough money for a charity. I don’t need the approval of Mr. Boston Marathon Race Director to feel like I’ve made accomplishments in my running career.
Do you think Steve Prefontaine was any less of a runner because he never ran the Boston Marathon? I doubt that Usain Bolt really spends a lot of time thinking about having not done Boston while he’s shining his Olympic Medals. Yet it seems like, especially where I live, if you don’t have the goal of running Boston, you just can’t be a good runner. And I think that’s sad. In fact, I can’t imagine having the the main dream in my running career to run Boston, because what happens after you’ve ran it? It seems like kind of a let down.
My goal has always been to challenge myself. I may not run the fastest marathon, but I’m going to do the best I can and judge it against my own standards. I may not run the fastest 5k, but I’m not going to worry about what someone who has never lived in this body thinks about how fast I should run.
So what is my next major challenge? This is where I think I’ve lost my mind.
My goal this fall is to run the Pumpkin Holler 100k.
To answer your questions:
- Yes, I realize that is 100k nor 10k.
- Yes, I realize that is 62.13 miles.
- Yes, that is twice as long as I’ve ever ran at once.
- Yes, I realize that I will start the race on one day and probably finish it sometime in the wee hours of the next day.
- Yes, I know that’s a long way.
- Yes, I know I will get tired.
- No, I don’t know how to train for it, but I’ll learn
So there you go. The race is October 20-21, and I know I have a lot of work to do to get there, but I’m really excited about it. I may change my mind around mile 50, but I know I can do it!
This has absolutely nothing to do with fitness or working out, but I wanted to share because it was a great time with me and my #1 son.
He had a project for the 100th day of school where he was supposed to find 100 of something, collect it, and find a creative way to display it and this is what we came up with!
What did it take?
- 100 Crayons – We used 2 of the 64 count boxes and one of the 24 count boxes, throwing out all the browns and grays and blacks.
- 1 Canvas – this was an 18×24. 100 crayons will NOT fit across a 24 inch canvas. We liked the way it looked with the crayons at the bottom.
- Glue Gun
- Heat Gun (optional, but sure was handy)
- Paper or plastic backdrop (it WILL splatter)
After you get the crayons selected and put in order, the rest is easy. Simply glue the crayons onto the canvas with the points facing the direction you plan to melt. If you do it like this, you will put 52 crayons across the top to fill the whole canvas, and the remaining 48 along the bottom.
Because we used the two 64 count boxes, we placed one of each color on top and bottom so there were two full “rainbows.” The extra ones went up top. My recommendation – lay it out before you glue!
After they’re glued, this is the fun part. We used a heat gun that you can find in the scrapbook section of most craft stores. You can use just the hair dryer, but that seemed to take a long time. We started by simply melting the first few colors without the blow dryer. As you can see, the colors just run straight down.
Once you’ve got a bit of color run to work with, start using the blow dryer to help guide the colors. The key is to use quick, back and forth movements to help mesh them together.
In all, the entire melting process took about 30 minutes. But we were very pleased with the results! Happy 100th Day of School!!
I look back and realize that it’s been a long time since I’ve written on here. 2011 has been a difficult and challenging year for me, and I got into a slump with my running and working out and really had a hard time knowing where to go.
At first I thought this blog was going to be my way of inspiring and helping others. As a coach, that’s supposed to be my goal. However, I realize now, more than ever, that even coaches need to remember the struggle and fight that we’re all facing. We need to remember that it’s a journey. There’s no stopping point.
So 2012 is going to be a little different for this blog. I’m actually going to document my journey. My weight has crept back up, and while the medical community here tries to figure out what on earth is going on, I’m not going to stop my fight.
So what is my New Year’s resolution? I’m going to reinvent my moving streak. Last year, I thought I wanted to do a running streak, and actually kept it up for quite a while, until I got sick and the jerks at the “official” running streak association informed me that if I run a mile, but have to stop halfway to barf, it doesn’t count. Well, I’m sorry sir, you are a jerk and I really don’t need your validation to make me feel good about myself.
So every day, no matter what, I’m going to do 10 minutes of moving activity. Now, I am going to quantify that this cannot be activities that I already do. Sweeping, doing laundry and raking leaves do not count, as those are things that I do anyway. This has to be a conscious decision to make my body stronger. Running, weights, elliptical, cycling, even 10 minutes of ab work will count. But I promise to give myself 10 minutes minimum every day to work on my physical side.
I also promise to give myself 10 minutes every day to my mental health. It could be writing in this blog, meditating, just sitting and thinking, or stopping to listen to a few great songs. I am going to make sure I take what I need to keep my head as healthy as my body.
So there you go. It’s been a while, and I have missed writing, but I needed refocus and now I have it.
Oh, and yes. For those who have asked. I am running races this spring. The Little Rock Marathon and the Oklahoma City Marathon. I’ll talk more about my goals in a few days!
Last Saturday, Geoff and I made a decision to run the OKC Memorial Half Marathon. Yes, that’s right, 8 days before the race we thought that would be a good idea. Keep in mind that my longest run prior to that date had been the Rock ‘n’ Roll Dallas Half Marathon 5 weeks prior. I had attempted to run 8 miles a few weeks ago but got tired and decided that I wasn’t in the mood.
We decided, well in advance, that this would simply be a 13.1 mile training/fun run with a medal at the end. The OKC Marathon has a special place in our hearts because we are both from the OKC area and had close ties to the Murrah Building Bombing. It’s one of those races that we just don’t miss. So, since I hadn’t trained at all for a full, the half seemed like a logical decision. We toyed with the idea of running the relay as a 2-man team, but when we saw that the cost was almost $250, we decided that 2 halves were better than 1 full-relay.
Now, I say that, but there was a small (very, very small) part of me that actually considered the idea of switching to the full at the expo. What kept me from making that lovely decision? The fact that I had left my fuel belt at home and while I can run a half without a belt, attempting a full without it was out of the question.
Dear God, thank you for making me leave my fuel belt at home!!!!!
The forecast for race day was cool with a 30% chance of rain. 30%!!!! That means…..
We got to the start area around 6am and noticed that there were a lot of people huddled under shelters. We trudged our way to the start line to find out that the start time had been delayed from 6:30 to 7:00. I realized that many of these people huddling were those that rode the shuttles to the start and had nowhere to go. We made our way back to the car and took a 15 minute nap. Yep, this was a very laid back race for us.
Just before 7, we headed back to the start. I was on corral A, so I had an easy job of getting lined up. Geoff was in corral C and had quite a walk to get to where he was supposed to be. I found the sign for 9 minutes/mile and got adjusted. We’ve made it a habit to take trash bags to long races and this was one day that I was so glad we remembered that little detail. I had on my Brooks ID uniform that doesn’t provide much coverage, so the warmth and protection from rain was quite welcome!
I learned some very important lessons while racing in the rain. First, street paint and manhole covers are very slick when wet. I noticed quite a few runners falling in the first mile or so from the lines painted on the road and manhole covers. I also learned that it is quite funny to watch newer runners during the early part of a rainy run try to keep their shoes dry. Also, I learned around mile 5 that if you take a corner on a brick paved street too fast and lose traction, your trash bag becomes a redneck slip and slide. After stopping to make sure that I hadn’t broken anything and that there was no blood, I got back and gear and decided I was ready to be out of the rain.
Due to the fact that I had held my trash bag down to stay dry and warm for the first 9 miles, I wasn’t able to see my Garmin most of the race. My iPhone kept me relatively updated with where I was and pace, but it’s often quite inaccurate, so at mile 10 when I lifted the trash bag to cool off a bit, I was quite surprised to see that I was just a bit slower than PR pace!! Of course, right after I checked that, the rain came pouring down even harder and the sounds of thunder filled the air.
I decided to just keep a steady pace. The last thing I wanted to do was get hurt on the slick pavement. In the end, that turned out to be a wise move. I came in at 1:58:40, just a minute slower than my PR!! I’m super happy with my sub-2 race considering that I hadn’t trained for the race and that I had just registered a few days prior and the fact that I must have been carrying at least 5 pounds of wet clothes with me most of the race.
Once again, I am glad I ran OKC. It’s my favorite race, and this year proved it again. Even with the rain, hail, thunder, and lightning, I still found a soft spot for the OKC Memorial Marathon.
I was so excited when the FedEx man came the other day, because I knew he was bringing me new goodies! As most of you know, I’m a member of Brooks ID, which means they like me and I think they are awesome. I had ordered new shoes and a new skort and pair of shorts. So, since I’m impatient and impulsive, I had to go run in them.
But this is what we faced today
Disclaimer – I didn’t take that photo – my awesome friend Kim posted in on facebook, and since she’s cooler than I am, I stole it.
But since I am a bit of a diva, I was not going to get my new shoes wet on their first outing. They’re too pretty. See – and yes, I wear boy shoes. Shut it.. they match my uniform.
I am testing out the Ravenna 2 shoe, which is only a tad bit different from my Adrenaline 11′s that are a bit worn out. At first, it was a little strange. The Ravenna is definitely a more “forward” shoe for me, which is good considering I became a human pin cushion today for the first time. More on that later. But I need to work on making my strike more under my center of gravity, and this shoe really facilitates that so much more than the Adrenaline. Don’t get me wrong, the Adrenaline is an awesome shoe, and I will probably alternate the two.
I also tried out this super cute skirt. It’s the Epiphany skort and I have fallen in love!
Now, one thing I learned about this skirt. Ladies, if your significant other suggests that you go down a size, do it! I love the skirt and the way it looks, but I’m glad I ordered another one a size smaller. It fits a little loose on me, but it has a drawstring so it’s not terrible, but if you like things a little more fitting and you’re on the cusp between two sizes, go down. Plus you’ll feel better because I know that you know that even though we say that clothing sizes don’t matter, they do.
So, as I mentioned, I became a human pin cushion today. I went and saw a new doc about my “leg issues,” and it turns out it’s all about my running gait. Lovely. It seems that I’m overstriding and that is causing me some major heal striking that is literally jarring my back out of sync. So, after a wonderful adjustment and a session of acupuncture, I actually felt pretty darn good. I’m a big fan of trying options other than medication to deal with physical issues, so it was nice to see results almost instantly!!
So on tonight’s little 5 miler, I made it my goal to stand taller and keep my feet underneath me. Funny little thing happened, I was able to run a bit faster with less effort. Part of that was the change in gait and the other part was the poor gal on the treadmill next to me who was really struggling to figure out the treadmill and the headphones. She had special needs, and it seemed that nobody else would pay attention to her, so every mile or so, she’d need help, so I’d jump and go help. I’m sure the breaks really helped the run seem easy.
Mile 1 - 10:00 warmup Mile 2 - 9:20 Mile 3 - 9:20 Mile 4 - 9:20 Mile 5 - 9:42 (half at 9:20 and then a quick cool down)
All in all – great training day. Stuck to the nutrition plan, didn’t overeat, and had a great run. Tomorrow is a strength day, and I’m worried.. I skipped my last 2 strength sessions with my trainer. I hope he has mercy!
It’s been a long time since I’ve posted. I have to admit, I have slacked. But, let me say this, I have kept my streak going. I have ran a minimum of a mile every day since January 1st.
How is that slacking?
I haven’t been challenging myself. I haven’t been pushing the envelope like I used to. And I haven’t been eating like I should.
Saturday was a day of change for me. I’ve rejoined Weight Watchers. No, my weight hasn’t gone too crazy. It still starts with a 1, but I want the second number to be smaller, and more importantly, I want my body fat percentage to drop. So I’m asking you all to keep me accountable, and I promise to be real, honest, and stead on here.
This is a photo that was taken of me about a month ago for a blog. This is my starting point.
Yesterday I have to admit I was dreading running. After an icy run the night before, I had decided to run on a treadmill in the safety of a warm room. Those that know me understand this is torture. But just before the run, I decided to see if the mail carrier had braved the ice and snow again to bring me anything and indeed, he had.
We at Diner Connection are so incredibly proud, yet humbled, to be named a Journal Record Innovator of the Year!
We were nominated for this incredible honor by Linette Patterson, an incredible talented and accomplished businesswoman and friend here in Tulsa. We are very grateful for her friendship and support of our ideas and passion. Diner Connection has been blessed by having some fantastic cheerleaders and support throughout the United States, and especially here in Oklahoma.
“In the selection process, our judges looked for unique people, products and services that distinguished our honorees from the other applicants. You and your organization met the judges’ criteria and you were selected.” Wow!
Along with other fantastic businesses, we will be honored at the Innovator of the Year dinner in Oklahoma City on April 7th at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel in Oklahoma City.
Let’s just say that this high lasted well beyond a 5 mile treadmill run and well into a celebratory dinner. At Fat Guy’s Burger Bar. The irony is astounding!
Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve written on here. Life is busy!
But should that really be my excuse? It’s not like being busy is a new concep. It’s also that I’m not motivated. Yuck. And I should be. Why?
- I have a marathon in 4 weeks.
- I have about 15 pounds that I really need to shed.
- I have a half marathon that I had planned on really racing in 6 weeks.
- I’m running slower than I have in a long time.
So what’s the deal?
Well, I think I have figured it out. I just finished a fantastic book called Rework. If you in the same boat that we are in and are starting a new business, I highly recommend it. If you work in a corporate job with a corporate manager who really likes staff meetings and status meetings, do not read it. It will make you crazy.
But the thing that I got out of this book more than anything is simplicity. So many times in business we create bureaucracy when simplicity would solve the problem. If we have a leaky boat, the best solution would be to stop up the boat and get to shore. But what do we do? We try to reinvent the boat – right there, at sea, and instead of solving the problem, we end up sinking in our own mess.
That’s what I’ve done with running. Tempo run, fartlek run, speed run, hill run, long run, strength training, max training, push day, pull day, antagonistic training, synergistic training… now we add brain training, glycogen training, VO2 Max training, and before long, you’ve made something you love into just another thing to overanalyze, compartmentalize, and sterilize. Yuck.
Someone who I really respect asked a question today about the difference between running and jogging and answered his own question by saying (paraphrase) that to be a runner you have to be training for something and that your run has to have a purpose. That joggers just go out and run and don’t worry about the pace. And at first, I got really offended – mainly because I hate the word jog. But the more I thought about it, I realized that he had it backwards.
The definition of the word jog is an unnatural, irregular jerking motion.
I would say the most regular runner, the most natural runner isn’t the one who is contorting his body and his life into an unnatural pattern. A natural runner doesn’t have the Garmin lean. That’s the lean that a runner gets when they are constantly looking down to check their pace. Some of the most beautiful, natural runners I know often run naked; no technology. No watch. No Garmin. No iPod. Their body, their shoes and pavement.
Racing doesn’t make you a runner. Your heart makes you a runner. Racing is a byproduct. If you only run to race, you’re missing out on a beautiful world. If the only reason you got out and ran today was because you had to, because some box on a calendar given to you by someone who barely knows you said that you had to run 8, 10, 12 miles, then I’d say that’s unnatural.
Why have I been off? Because I’ve been defining myself by what I’m training for. That doesn’t make me a runner.
That makes me an ego freak.
Tomorrow, I plan on going running. I don’t know how far. I don’t know how long. I don’t know how fast. I don’t care. Tomorrow I will run.
I’ll save the jogging for the slaves to their training program.
On a strange, and ironic side note – I am accepting registration for the Free Virtual 5k Program through tomorrow – Register Here!
Warning : this blog post will be offensive and possibly painful to some. It will deal with suicide and obesity. If either of those two topics are painful for you, I recommend you read no further.
I discovered today that once again, there is an Oklahoman participating in Biggest Loser. The fitness minded side of me shouted in joy at another Oklahoman attempting to change their life. The other half of me hung my head in embarrassment for our state. You see, this past year when the Biggest Loser did a casting call for their new season, they visited 15 cities, one of which is Oklahoma City because their producers have determined it to be one of America’s Fattest Cities.
These producers are not alone. In 2010, Oklahoma was named the 6th fattest state in the United states. In addition, we rank 45th in the nation for overall health of our population. But Oklahoma isn’t alone. If you look at the map of obese states, you’ll find that the Midwest is filled with high obesity rates and high rates of complications of obesity.
Now, if you look at the leading causes of death according to the Centers for Disease Control, you will find that the top 10 are made up of Heart disease, cancer, stroke, Chronic lower respiratory disease (Emphysema, asthma, etc.), Accidents, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, Influenza and Pneumonia, Nephritis (kidney diseases) and Septicemia. Currently, obesity is the #2 cause of preventable death in the United States, but that may not be for long. It is rapidly approaching tobacco as the number one cause of preventable death.
Preventable. Let’s look that one up. Preventable – able to be prevented. Prevent – to keep from occurring. So, if you have a someone who is doing something that is preventable, that means they are doing it intentionally, correct? Now, if someone is intentionally causing death to someone else, that would be considered what? Manslaughter? Murder? But what if they are intentionally causing death to themselves? Let’s define another word.
Suicide – the act or an instance of taking one’s own life voluntarily and intentionally especially by a person of years of discretion and of sound mind.
Now when most people think about suicide, they think of sudden death. And the reactions to a suicide or a suicide attempt are broad. We’ve all heard someone say that it’s selfish. That the person leaves behind a mess that they never have to deal with. There is definitively a stigma associated with those sudden, awful suicides.
But what about when the suicide is slow. A person who has been warned by doctors time and time again that their lifestyle is leading to their death. The father who continues bad eating habits knowing that it is leading him to a path of death, maybe not immediately, but eventually. Why is it horrible for someone to take their life suddenly yet acceptable for someone to do it slowly? We’ve “accepted” obesity. It’s no longer acceptable for an airline to charge for 2 seats. It’s discriminating. We see more and more lawsuits against companies who have discriminated against overweight individuals. Nobody calls them selfish. Nobody reminds them of the mess they are creating.
Now someone is probably reading this and getting offended. “What mess?” they are angrily asking. Let me tell you.
The father whose daughter has to take care of him because his legs have been amputated due to Type II diabetes brought on by his obesity.
The mother whose grandchildren’s last memories at Christmas is of her with oxygen tanks because she has congestive heart failure and can’t get out of bed.
The wife who each day prays that today isn’t the day that her husband’s heart stops because of high cholesterol and high blood pressure brought on by his obesity.
You see, with fast suicide, the mess happens after the death. But with slow suicide, you watch your family die over months and years.
And of course, you will have those individuals who are justifying obesity by using the argument that there are healthy obese people. Sure. They may be healthy today. No diabetes, no hypertension, no complications. But fast forward 10, 20, 30 years and lets see how many of today’s obese individuals have died of complications from their weight. To me, that argument makes as much sense as someone saying that they’re healthy while chain smoking Marlboro Reds.
Now, let me say this. There are medical conditions that cause obesity. But, they are extremely rare. Only 1% of obesity cases have valid medical causes, and only one disease, Cushing’s syndrome, cannot be completely treated. It effects 1 individual per million. Other causes of weight gain and obesity, such as Thyroid disease, PCOS, and depression can typically be treated or assisted. For 99% of the population, obesity is caused by consuming more calories than burned. Overeating, Indulging. Lack of activity. Choice.
And yet we’re supposed to accept it, right? Especially here in the middle of the Bible belt of the Midwest. Where we preach on Sunday that suicide is wrong, yet succumb to gluttony as soon as the service is over. When are we as a society going to wake up?
Yes, I am on a rant today. But I am sad. This hits close to home. No mother, father, child, grandchild, wife, or husband should have to put themselves through the hell of watching someone die, especially when it is self imposed, be it fast death or slow death and do nothing about it! I can’t imagine a more selfish act than to care so little about your loved ones to do nothing to keep them from that pain, yet milions of American’s, almost 1/3 of the population, have decided that suicide is acceptable.
When will it stop?