Thursday, December 22, 2011

December Training


Talk about an interesting month. The weather can't seem to make up its mind. One day it is in the 60s and humid, the next we're running in 28 degree weather and have ice build up on our clothes and faces. During our group run, Jerry wore shorts and had ice build up on his knees. No need for BioFreeze. :) The rain has moved in now so, I have been hitting the treadmill when I can. Things at work are hectic. The bad guys can't seem to get along with each other and my work week gets extended to three weeks in a row.

No races on the calendar until March. The 10th anniversary of Little Rock's marathon. Should make for a great race. Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a great New Year. Really glad 2011 is coming to an end. Hasn't been the greatest of years for me.

St Jude Marathon

Ok, Ok, I know I've been neglecting my blog but, this has been one hell of a month. Work has been crazy!! So, time to get caught up.

All our group runs, early in the morning runs, and overall training sessions came into play on this cool December morning in Memphis, TN. Deb, Amy and I were up before the chickens. Loaded into the van and headed out to pick up Holly. After dragging her out of her house, we were on our way to Memphis. We had several Muckas running in this event. Deb was running the 5K and was sure to put on a great race. Brandon and his wife, Marcy, along with Mark were joining her for the 5K. Holly and I were running the full marathon.

We arrived in Memphis and got our same parking spot that we had last year. Right on Beale St and Main. This was a great spot as it allowed the girls to see us run by twice. Well, we headed down to Beale and 3rd, to meet up with some of our friends from Dailymile.com. Once we got there, we had to make a pit stop inside the FedEx Forum. The lines were ridiculous. We were in there so long, we almost missed the start of the 5K. We got in a few pics and then Deb was off. She got stuck in the back of the pack and had to weave her way through the slower runners and walkers. She did that so much that her Garmin showed her at 3.17 miles instead of 3.1 miles. She still did great. Finishing in 28:33, 6th in her age group, and 85th out of over 700 females. She rocks!!!

After that, the full runners set off. They start the corrals off in stages. Two minute intervals. We were in the 4 hour pace group. I was trying to pace Holly and help her get her first sub 4 hour marathon. We weren't even a quarter mile into it and we were trying to dodge walkers. What I'm trying to understand is why there were walkers so far up in the corrals. Oh well, what can you do. There are so many runners that I'm sure they have a hard time enforcing that. As we ran down along River Front, we came upon my buddy from Memphis, Houston Wolf. He was attempting a sub 4 hour race as well.

Along the way, as in most marathons, we were able to see various costumes and some quite interesting folks. We saw faries, Elvis, Santa, and just some strange looking individuals. One guy was running along with what we thought was a sweater. Turns out, he had no shirt on at all. It was all back hair. And he was sporting quite the combover as well. :)

We were crusing along at a pretty good pace, even hitting the 6s as we ran by the Pyrimad. Way to fast. However, when we ran through the St jude campus, you couldn't help but run faster. The children and cheering parents helped motivate you greatly. We were able to pull in front of the 4 hour pace group and stay ahead of them for some time. Once we came back through Beale Street, just past the half way point, I saw Deb and Amy in the van, waving to me. :) We turned down Main towards the second half of the race. This is where the hills started getting bigger. Holly started cramping up shortly after this. I told her that we had to make it to the next aid station and she could walk through it. Around mile 20 is when her back and calves started locking up on her. She let out an "Oh No!". I asked her what was wrong and she said, "There they are!" The four hour pace group caught us and passed us.

We kept on pushing. Even hit a shot of beer at one of the aid stations. Gotta recarb you know. :) As we ran past the St Jude campus again, I saw a young child, wearing a mask, waving to the runners. I waved back and found more energy to push on to the end. As we came to the last hill, I told Holly the 4:10 pace group was catching us. We picked up the pace for the last .2 miles and finished in Redbirds Stadium at 4 hrs and 10 mins. Not the goal we had in mind but, another marathon in the books and for a great cause. Now to train for Little Rock. Bring on the hill training.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

2 1/2 Weeks

Here we are, 2 1/2 weeks out from running St Jude. Looks like we will have three Muckas running the full and around 5 - 10 running the 5K. Looking forward to having a great run as I try and build off my PR time at MidSouth. Recovery time, since MidSouth, has been pretty good. Times are good. Just dealing with a nagging pain in my right foot. Seems that whenever I pick up my pace and run under an 8-minute pace, it starts to hurt right on the top, above my arch. Not sure what I did but it all started during the MidSouth race. Now, this is the same foot I injured during the Jonesboro marathon, back in May. But, it wasn't really an issue while completing my training runs. I'm wondering if, by switching to Brooks, that had something to do with it. It seems that my right foot has been having issues ever since switching over. I did, however, switch back to Adidas. And, if Santa is nice to me, I will have some new Adidas for Christmas. :) Late for St Jude but, just in time for Little Rock. I do have a pair of Adidas that still have some life in the tread. Enough to get me through St Jude.

After getting my PR at MidSouth, I'm planning on helping Holly get her time under 4-hours. She came in at 4:09 at MidSouth and is determined to break that 4-hr goal. It always helps when you have someone running with you, to help push you along. Espcially when you start getting past the halfway point. We ran together for the first 16-miles of MidSouth before she started to fall behind. If I had stayed with her, I may have been able to push her. I've got my sub-4, now it's time to help others. :) I think she'll get it.

Now, on to our 5K folks. My Wife, Deb, is running the 5K this year. Now, she tells everyone she is not competitive. Let me tell you, that woman is a closet competitor. :) She has been training her butt of for this thing. She has been running with me and getting faster and faster. I keep telling her we'll run whatever pace she wants to go. She blames me for going too fast but, I'm following her pace. So, who's to blame?? LOL! I love the fact that she is doing this. She wants to "Do well" and by well, she means kick butt and have a great time. One of her most recent 5K training runs had her at a 8:18 pace. Smokin!! She is going to rock this race!!!

Post race reports to follow on Dec 4th. :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

MidSouth Championship Marathon - DONE!


This year's race was not near as cold as last year's. Last year we started off with 29 degree weather. This year, we were a little closer to 40 degrees. We had 11 Muckas running in this year's event. Five running the full and 6 running the half. Some running new distances for the first time. There were 191 running the full and 228 running the half. This event continues to grow, year after year. Heck, you can't beat the price. And the small town, friendly atmosphere makes for a great experience.


As we all met at the starting line, we had the opening prayer given by William Zahler, from Panama City, FL. This was a blessing as this gentleman had run the full marathon in 2009. As he came across the finish line, he collapsed, suffering a heart attack. Medical staff quickly rendered aid and rushed him to the hospital where he recovered from his heart attack. While at the hospital, the MidSouth race committee presented him with his trophy. Two years later, Mr. Zahler returned to run the half, and thank those that saved his life. Amazing!

Once the starter's pistol went off, 419 runners took off down Lemons toward Hamilton. Not even a half mile into it and people started stripping their clothes off. One man tossed his shirt off to the side of the road and continued on his speedy pace wearing nothing but his gloves, American flag shorts (Short-shorts) and his running shoes. Every now and then his tan line would peek out from the top of his shorts. LOL! As we cruised up the slight incline of Hamilton, we were greeted by many supportes along the way. At the corner of Hamilton and Killough, the elderly lady, who lives there, was out in full force with all her support signs! She's there every year.

Rounding the corner and heading up 64B, we fastly approached our first real hill. Brandon, James, Jerry and Jody were up ahead. Holly, Kevin and I made our way up the hill. I think running in a pack, with the adrenaline of the race pushing you, helped us blow right through the hill. Further down 64B, we started running into some thick fog. That was pretty cool, looks and temperature wise. Kevin was still hanging with Holly and I. Now, this was Kevin's first full marathon. His training was not consistent so, he was worried about completing this race. He stayed with us through the first 10 miles. Then the hills started taking their toll on him. His pace slowed but, he was never too far behind. We saw the first full marathoner coming back as we approached mile 11. Then, just before mile 12, a larger group of full marathoners were coming back. None of them looking winded at all. Oh, to be that young and in shape again. LOL!

As we came upon the turn-around point, we saw Jerry walking in the other direction. This was his first full marathon as well. He went out strong but, something was wrong at this point. As we ran back past him, I asked him if he was ok. He said, "No." and he was going to talk to medical at mile 14. Holly and I pushed on. We saw Kevin and Tim running towards the turn around point, looking strong. At mile 16, I started to pull away from Holly. We were hitting the aid stations every mile now, as the temps were warming up. Running to each station and walking through each one. There was an older gentleman running ahead of me. I decided I would keep up with him. We spoke briefly while we were running. He told me he had a goal to be under 4-hours. At the pace were running, and where we were at on the course, I told him he shouldn't have any problem doing that.

Once I made it back onto 64B, I was feeling confident of finishing under 4-hours. The only issue I was having was some pain in my right foot, right above my arch, leading up into my ankle. This is the same ankle I hurt in Jonesboro. But, I pushed on. About 3 hrs and 33 mins into the race, my Garmin watch decided to shut off on me. This was at mile 24.15. Not knowing what my time was anymore, I tried to push harder. Coming down the last large hill on 64B, onto Killough, my right calf cramped up! Talk about bad timing. Walked for a few seconds, then took off again down Hamilton. Making my approach to the football stadium, the announcer called out my name and got me pumped up. Once in the stadium, rounding the track, I could see I was at 3 hrs and 53 mins. My current PR was 3:53:39. I crossed the finish line at 3:53:26!!!!! Deb was waiting there for me and gave me a huge kiss for my reward. :)



We had four Muckas place in the top 3 in their age groups. Everyone completed their race with a new PR as well. Jerry found out his problem was an allergic reaction to something in the air and is doing well now. Kevin completed his first marathon and is motivated to run another one. Holly PR'd and is wanting to break 4-hours now. Great job all around. Next up, St Jude!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Almost Here

We are almost ready to toe that starting line here in Wynne, AR, for the 13th Annual MidSouth Marathon/Half Marathon. At 8:00 am, this Saturday, approximately 450 runners will take off at the sound of the starter pistol. This will be my third consecutive year running this race. One half and two full. This one seems a little more special. When I ran this race in 2009, there was an older gentleman running the full with his daughter. As he crossed the finish line, he collapsed. Suffering from a heart attack. The quick reaction of medical personnel saved this man's life. Two years later, he is back to thank those who saved his life and to run the course again. Amazing.

Everyone who runs has their own reasons in why they do so. Some run for health, some to celebrate an event and some just to remember. Me, I started running to lose weight. It turned into a challenge to see how far and fast I could go. Then, it turned into a race to help fight various illnesses. Currently, I am attempting to raise money in the fight against cancer. In this current race, I have managed to raise $400 for the Dana-Farber Cancer Research foundation. Although not much, it is a small contribution from those who have suffered the most. Friends and family who have been affected by this dreaded disease in one form or another.

As I complete my tenth marathon tomorrow, I will take another step forward in helping putting an end to cancer. Thank you to all who have supported me.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Almost Taper Time

With a 16-mile long run scheduled for Saturday, I look forward to it's completion as we start the wonderful 2-weeks of that lovely word all runners know as "tapering". This is where you cut back on your mileage to help give your body the much needed rest prior to running a marathon. I am meeting with some fellow Muckas to run the MidSouth marathon course to help better prepare ourselves for the race. Another great thing about having a marathon in your own backyard. :)

The taper couldn't start at a better time as I am in Denver next week for Hostage Negotiation training. My running tends to slow down while traveling. However, the taper mileage scheduled for next week is easily attainable while in Denver. Looking forward to the training, the runs in Denver, then getting back to my girls. When I return home, I'll be a week out from running my 10th marathon. I'm feeling good about my training so far. My speed has picked up greatly. I just hope my endurance is still there. I've been running with Deb quite a bit, during this training cycle, and she has stepped up on her game. She pushes me when I need it most.

In fact, she is joining us in Memphis, this Dec, to run the 5K. And let me tell you, she is going to smoke this race. I wish I was running it with her. I am so proud of her for doing this. Hoping she gets the bug. :) love my runs with her. Who knows, I may have to be her pit crew. :) Next thing you know, Amy will be joining us. A family affair.

Happy running everyone. Stay safe out there. Oh yeah, I finally took the plunge and joined the Marathon Maniacs. Looking forward to meeting more Maniacs.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Columbus Marathon

One year ago today, I set my PR at the Columbus Marathon. This was one awesome experience for me as I came back to run a big race in my home town. My girls, Deb and Amy, were with me. My Sister-in-law, Karen, was with them to cheer me on. I got to meet my Dailymile friend, Tony Brake and his wife Sherry. The big part was actually having my mom, dad and sister there to cheer me on as well. This was not my first marathon but, the first one they were able to see me run.

Since mom was in her motorized wheel chair, I thought it best they not come to the starting area. She would have issues getting through the 20,000 plus runners and spectators there. In fact, I thought it best that they wait forme at Schiller Park. This was a couple miles from their house and made it easier to navigate. As I made my way into Schiller Park, I didn't see them right away. Then, as I was coming up on an aid station, I saw my sister. I was almost in her face before she saw me. She had water in one hand, her phone in the other. She yelled, "There he is!" I gave her a sweaty hug. Then I saw dad hanging onto a pole and he high fived me. Then, there was mom. She didn't see me until I was in her face, hugging her. She almost fell out of her chair from surprise. I handed her my sweaty gloves, told her to hold onto them, and ran off, leaving her with a sweaty hug, gloves and a smile.

After the race, I went back to my sister-in-law's house to get cleaned up and rest. For dinner, the girls and I met up with my family at our favorite pizza place, Rubinos, in Bexley. Mom couldn't stop bragging about my race. You'd think I won the marathon. Far from it but, she was proud. Who knew this would be the last time my parents would see me race. My mom's health deteriorated to the point we lost her almost four months later. Dad went six months after mom. I will never forget th look of pride in my parents eyes after that race. That will always hold a special place in my heart. As I run each race, I dedicate them to my mom and dad, in hopes that I can continue to make them proud.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Getting Close

Well, we are now officially four-weeks out from running MidSouth. Really looking forward to this race for several reasons. One, it's right here in the town we live in. Two, I am running this race to raise money for the Dana-Farber Foundation. Three, this will be my tenth marathon. Finally hitting double digits on the marathons.

Also, we have several Muckas running in this race as well. Joining me in the full marathon is my race partner from last year, Barrett Burns. Also, my race partner from the Tupelo Marathon, Holly Cook, who will be completing her second full marathon. Tim Haltiwanger will be joining us as well. Several Muckas are running the half. Jody Hodges, Sherry Rogers, Brandon Boger, Kevin Baxter and James Whitaker. James will be done before we hit the 10-mile mark. :)

This is going to be a great race. Just hoping the weather is close to what it was last year. Nice and cool and no wind. Loved it. Now if we can just get them to take out those darn hills. :) Happy running everyone. Stay safe.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Fall Weather

Man, I am loving this cooler weather! Makes my runs seem so much better. The temps have been perfect. Deb and I have run three times this week and neither of us had any trouble. Deb seems to be getting faster. Not sure if it has anything to do with the weather or if she's just been holding out on me. Either way, she's rocking these runs. We ran today and the third mile with Deb was in the high 7s. I went on to run another three miles and my last mile was a 7:09. I would have been in the high 6s had I not been held up by traffic. I was feeling pretty good, which makes me feel real good considering we just ran a 20-miler on Friday.

Speaking of my 20-miler, I was actually a week ahead of schedule for that run. Can't believe I got off schedule like that. Oh well, just means I need to repeat the week. Who knows, might just use this as an experimental mileage week. Don't want to get to crazy because we are getting close to MidSouth. Want to be under 4 hours again. Last year's run was a 3:53 time. Just missed my PR by 19 seconds, which I had run in Columbus just three weeks prior. Tupelo was rough but, have had plenty of rest. Another reason to be under 4 hours is my Garmin watch shuts off at 4 hours. Need a new one. Maybe Santa will be nice to me. :)

Ready to get this racing season under way. Deb is looking at racing in her first 5K at St Jude. Really excited about that. She's going to rock that race!! :) Happy running everyone. Stay fit and safe!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

No Guts, No Glory



As I prepare myself for my 10th marathon, I sit back and think about the journey I took getting to this point. Here I was, fat and out of shape after our SORT team was disbanded at El Reno. Most of the guys on the team just laid down. None of us were really working out, or even the slightest bit motivated to do anything. Then, several of us decided enough was enough. My eye opener was when I realized, while lying on the bed, my stomach would lay next to me. Quite embarassing. We had a group of about five that started hitting the weights and running. One mile was good, two miles was a stretch. But, we kept pushing each other. Two miles would turn into three miles, and so on. The most we would run was eight miles.

As we maintained these types of workouts, the weight was starting to melt away. One problem though, I wasn't eating right. Matt and I went out for a run. When we got back to the fitness center, everything started going dark on me. Deb was on the treadmill and could tell something was wrong. I pretty much passed out when I laid down on the sit-up bench. Next thing I knew, Deb and Matt were standing over me, with Deb putting a cold wash cloth on my head. Lesson learned. To burn calories, you have to have nurishment in your system or your body will shut down on you.

We continued on with our runs. Entering various races, from 5Ks to 10Ks. Matt approached me and said we should run the half marathon for the Oklahoma City Memorial race. Being new to running, at that point, I asked him what the distance was on that. When he told me it was 13.1 miles, my response was, "You must be out of your f'ing mind if you think I'm running 13.1 miles!" Needless to say, that is not the issue anymore. I have come to grasp distance running as my therapy for the things that stress us out in life. Some races don't go as planned, just as some training runs. However, runningn has opened my eyes to new things, to include a healthier lifestyle. It has also opened my eyes to ways that I can help others. I continue to run for charity. Currently working on raising money for the Dana-Farber Foundation, which is for cancer prevention.

I guess what I'm trying to say, as some of you already know, it takes guts to take that first step. It takes dedication to continue on with the quest.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Friends in Need

Times are hard all around. However, we all have a friend on here who has had more than his share of rough times this year. Many of you know Peter Arborgast out of Central Ohio. Here is a blog post and the link to an event benefiting Peter's wife, Deb. If you can't attend the event, please go to the web page and help out.

Attention Central Ohio Runners! Please consider running the Deb Arbogast 5k race in Marysville, OH on Oct. 29th, 2011. The race is in honor of Daily Miler, Peter Arbogast's wife, who is facing her second bout with breast cancer. You can read Deb's personal story and register for the race at The Deb Arbogast - Outrun Breast Cancer 5k. Costumes are encouraged & there is also a kid's race. Here's your chance to meet up with lots of fellow Daily Milers in Buckeye State while showing your support!

Taken from the blog: http://techandtraining.blogspot.com/2011/09/appeal-to-all-runners-who-live-in.html

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Motivation

This is unfamiliar territory to me. Lack of motivation!! I am completely lacking this vital part of a runner's life right now. Everything that has happened this year, coupled with all my travels for training, has left me drained. My goal for the year was to complete five marathons. I've completed three, with two still on the schedule.

We have the MidSouth marathon coming up the first weekend of November. I am running this race to raise money inter fight against cancer. This is my motivation and I need to remember that! The next one is for St Jude. Another great motivator. My fellow runners, on Dailymile, are great motivators as well.

Ok, I'm over it. My pity party is complete. Let's get it on. And to my fellow Muckas.... YOU ROCK!!!!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

One Month

Just one month. That's all it has been since I watched my Dad pass away. Since that time, I have run a marathon in Tupelo, MS, attended training in Dallas, TX, and trained Disturbance Control Teams in Ft Sill, OK. My training has been thrown off. My time with my family h as been limited. It is official, the year of 2011 officially sucks! I have lost both parents in a 6-month timeframe. I feel as if I have no energy right now. I feel like I have neglected my family and have felt nothing but sorry for myself. My youngest daughter keeps asking why I'm gone so much. What can I tell her other than Daddy has a job to do. I'm getting to the point where I should have been a long time ago. Family first. That's been neglected for to long.

I run marathons to raise money for charity. Time to do something for my girls who have always been there for me. They say time heals all winds yet, I can't get past the fact my parents are gone and I played a major part in that. I was responsible for the decisions in both DNRs. My family supports me but, I can't get past the fact I made the decision and neither are here now. How do you deal with that??? If someone knows the way to get past it, please let me know.

Like I said though, I have my girls and they support me. That, coupled with my running, may be my saving grace because this is truly taking it's toll on me.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Tupelo Marathon



We came, we ran, we got soaked!! Tropical Storm Lee pounded us a bit as we were running in Tupelo yesterday. I can now officially say I have never been wetter during a race. My shoes are still drying out in the laundry room. All in all, it was a great race. We started the race at 5am. Now, most races have a starting mat that let's you know when your time starts so you can also start your watch when crossing it. Most races also have an announcer calling out to everyone over a PA system, telling them to "GO" or getting everyone pumped up. I'm guessing by the lack of the PA system, they were trying not to wake up the people in the houses right by the start line. The lack of the starting mat confused several runners as to what their official starting time actually was.

We had several Muckas running this race. Brandon, Jody and Sherry ran the 14.2 miler. Holly and I ran the full. This was Holly's first full. We also had Tony Brake (Indiana) and Houston Wolf (Memphis) running the full with us. My Pit Crew, Deb and Amy, were still fast asleep back at the hotel. As we set off, the road was lit up by runners with glow sticks, lights on their hats or shoes and some even had blinkers on their backsides. Now that was funny. :) As we ran, we watched the police car, who was leading the elites, disappear over the hills. We ran through the dark for about 8 miles. We also ran through light rain for most of the race. Just prior to the 8 mile mark, I heard a voice behind us calling out, "Go Muckas!". Turned around and realized Jody and Brandon were right behind us. Then they passed us and never looked back. I hung with Holly up to around the 10 mile mark. Then a case of the "Bubble Gut" got the best of me. Not trying to be gross or anything but I had to peel off into some woods and take care of business. Thankfully, I always carry TP with me on long runs.

Up to this point, Holly said our average pace was 8:52. I knew we were going too fast, at least for me, as we were encountering hill after hill. These weren't major hills but, they never stopped. Just as you would finish one hill, you would start another one. By this time the rain was coming down a little harder. As I was approaching the turn for the turn around point, Holly was already heading back in the other direction. I lost Tony somewhere in the initial darkness. Half way through the race and my energy seemed to be zapped. August was a rough, and sucky, month. I saw Sherry as I was heading back. She was close to finishing and had a big smile on her face. She rocked that 14.2 miler.

At this point, I took on the plan of walking up the hills and running the downhill side. Flats were fair game but, there weren't many flat parts. The rain really started coming down a little harder. By now it is daylight and you can actually see the sights we missed while running in the dark. There were some beautiful homes out there. Not to mention several road kills along the way. As I was approaching mile 20, I thought I could see Holly not to far ahead of me. By mile 21, I caught up to her. I could tell the wall smacked her right in the teeth. She was having cramping issues with her legs. Right as we hit mile 21, the skies opened up and the rain just poured down on us. I kept giving Holly different goals to reach during the run. Told her to make it to a certain house or sign before she could walk. In doing so, it took my mind off my own pain and lack of energy. By mile 23, she started to fall behind. I pushed on at this point.


One more hill to go over before turning into the parking lot where the finish line was located. As I rounded the last corner, I gave it all I had left and pushed across the finish line. Just before the finish line, I could see my girls (Deb and Amy) standing there, cheering me on. That alone gives me a great sense of accomplishment. Having them out there, supporting me is awesome. :) I finished in 4:22:10, placing 88th out of all males running the full, and 121st overall out of 300 runners. Not my best run but, not my worst. And I was in the top half so, I'll take that anytime. :) Cheered Holly into the finish line. Then hung out with the Brakes and the Cooks for a bit while we all tried to recover a little. This makes my 9th marathon overall, and 5th state completed. Two more marathons to go in 2011. Great job to all my fellow Muckas for completing new distance goals in this race. There was one fatality in this race, that I know of. My iPod took a fatal blow from the rain and died on me. We are attempting reviving techniques but, the outlook is bad.

Monday, August 22, 2011

To DNR or not to DNR

I hope no one takes offense to this posting, and some of it may be a "poor me" attitude but, I am venting right now. My Mom passed away back in Feb of this year. She had been battling health issues for years. Her body was filled with different infections that it couldn't fend off. The doctors told us her chances of recovery were pretty slim. Sis was against a DNR (Do Not Resucitate). Dad and I felt it was at the point where Mom needed to rest. We went with the DNR and Mom passed within weeks.

Here we are, six months after Mom's passing and Dad is in the hospital, fighting for his life. His body filled with the same infections Mom had, plus two more. Since I am Dad's next of kin, the hospital called me in Arkansas and said I needed to come home. Upon arriving to the hospital, I saw, for the first time, the condition my Dad was in. :( The hospital said all medical decisions were in my hands now. How can you expect family to make that decision when they first walk through the door? I just lost my Mom back in February. Not trying to lose my Dad too. Dad also said he wanted all measures taken to bring him back. He was scared. You could see it in his eyes. I told the doctor to use all measures to bring him back if he codes. That's my Dad. The only parent I have left. I'm selfish and want to keep him around for a while.

The next day we spent all day with Dad. He slept a lot. But, he knew we were there. Went home that night and visited with family. The next morning, I was heading to the cemetery to visit Mom. I got a call to go to the hospital. When I walked in, Dad's medical team was at hi room. One doctor pulled me to the side and explained that Dad had gotten worse. He had an episode during the night where his lungs quit working an his heart acted up. They had him on forced oxygen and the "crash cart" posted in his room. Once again, I was faced with the DNR question. It was time. :(

They kept trying to keep Dad fighting. Medicine and air. Unfortunately, It wasn't enough and Dad lost his battle just after 4:00 pm that same day. I truly believe Dad missed Mom and wanted to be with her. He's with her now. They're fishing together in Heaven. I'm sure they are arguing like old times but, that's how they showed their love for each other. I miss you Dad. I'm glad you're with Mom again but, I wish you were both still here.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Early Morning Run

3:30 am, alarm goes off. 4:00 am, take off on my long run for the week. 20-miler from the house to work. Clear sky, full of stars and a full moon. Teamps were in the low 70s, which is a much welcome degree of temps with what we have been dealing with for well over a month now. Humidity was still at 97% but, tolerable. It took about four miles for my lower legs to loosen up. Once they did, it was smoothe sailing from there. Today's run was less stressful than my 20-miler two weeks ago. I'm guessing it had something to do with the temps, and getting a decent night's sleep. Legs felt fine after the run. Surprising as usually they feel like I can barely move them. Maybe I'm getting better, maybe I didn't push them as hard. I did come in five minutes faster this time so, I must have pushed a little harder.

While knocking out this early AM run, I saw three different shooting stars. That was really cool. Almost like I had my own fireworks show going on. And yes, I did make a wish on all three of them. One for personal reasons, two for someone else. Right now, we'll take all we can get with so many tragedies taking place all over.

With just three weeks to go until the Muckas invade Tupelo, I'm feeling good about this race. I feel like a possible new PR taking place. Keeping my fingers crossed that my training will pay off, and my legs stay injury free. I know my right calf keeps trying to cramp up on me. I'm fighting back with bananas, salt and water. I think I'm winning. :)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Another 1000 Miles

Another 1000 miles in the record books. I think this is the fastest I have ever hit that mark in a year. I am also on track to break the 6000 mile mark, since Jan 2007, before the end of the year. This has been one up and down year. Through the rough times, I have been very fortunate to have my wife by my side. She has helped me through one of the toughest times I have ever faced. That being the loss of my Mother. I was also lucky enough to have my friends and family there to help me through it as well.

One thing that helps with most of my stress is my ability to get out there and run. When the stress gets to be too much, lace up those shoes and head out for a run. You can literally feel the stress melt away. I look back on how running came into my life. Back when I started, I couldn't imagine how much it would help me. It all started when a bunch of us felt like we were getting lazy and getting fat. SORT guys who no longer have a SORT team, sometimes fall off the wagon and get lazy. That was us. Getting back into the running was hard. Running two miles almost killed me. Then I was making it up to eight miles for my longest run. Ran my first race, which was a 10K. Took second in my age group. My buddy, Matt, tells me, "Let's run the half marathon at the Oklahoma City Memorial race." I asked him, "How far is that?". "13.1 miles.", he responds. Ok, brace yourself. This was my response to him, "You must be out of your f'ing mind if you think I'm running 13 miles." We both look back on this and laugh.

Like I said, almost 6000 miles later (Recorded miles that is), I can't imagine not having running in my life. And now, Deb is running with me, and getting faster. I can't imagine not having her in my life, or not having her run with me. Pretty dang awesome I think. :) Happy running everyone!

Monday, August 1, 2011

WOW!!! IT IS FREAKING HOT!!!!


Ok, when the weather alert people on Facebook post a picture of the USA and the heat warnings, along with the words "JUST STAY INSIDE", it is hot!! Today's heaet index was 112 degrees, followed by a predicted 110 tomorrow. This heat thing is putting a damper on running outside. Treadmills are boring, yes, but I would much rather be bored, cooler, and get my runs in than attempt to make it through my runs alive, outside.



Last week, Barrett, Holly and I set off at 4:00 a.m., for a run from my house to work. That's a 20-miler folks. Water was depleted rather quickly on this run. With 94% humidity, this quickly turned into a sopping wet run. At one point, after the sun came up, we could follow Barrett by his wet footprints left on the road. I believe we all lost roughly 4 pounds each on this run.

One thing I learned, and learned the hard way, staying hydrated is extremely important. However, water is not the complete answer. I have learned that salt and electrolyte intake is just as vital when completing endurance runs. Now, I'm trying to explain a lot of this to Holly as we are running. This being her first 20 mile run. You see, Holly is training for her first full marathon, in which we will be running in Tupelo, MS on Sept 4th. Fortunately, this run starts at 5:00 a.m. Unfortunately, it will still be September. So, it will most likely still be very hot and humid. We also have several others, from the Muckas Running Club, running the 14.2 miler that day as well.

I'm hoping all our runners are preparing themselves by hydrating properly. Take advantage of the somewhat "cooler" temps in the early mornings. Avoid running in the open where the sun will beat down on you. Carry identification and a cell phone (wrap in plastic because again, I learned the hard way). You never know when you may have to call for help. Electrolytes and salt tabs seem to help me quite a bit.

Stay safe on your runs folks. Cooler temps are right around the corner. Fall will be here soon. :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Mental Status


What does it take to be a runner? Though not the fastest of runners, I do consider myself to be an endurance runner. The longest run I have completed was an ultra marathon consisting of 31 miles (there were some .000333 miles in there as well. This was the El Scorcho race in Ft Worth, Texas, which takes place in the Summer heat of July. It took me 5 hours and 29 minutes to complete this race. I would say that takes some endurance. I would also like to think it is a mental toughness as well. Others would just call it plain "Mental". Hence the picture for this posting.

I have heard many people make comments as to the pros and cons of being a runner. I've been told, "All that running is not good for your knees." Others say, "Unless someone is chasing me with a gun, I'm not about to run that far. And even then they'd be lucky to get me to go that far." These are just a few of the negative comments I've heard. To them I respond, "My knees are feeling much better now that I have been running and lost so much weight." And, "If someone were chasing me with a gun, they better hope I can't run and get mine too because it's on then!!" :)

I hear many compliments to being able to run and complete the distances I do run. I have completed 8 full marathons (this includes the ultra), 4 half marathons and numerous 10K and 5K races. Not to mention several Mud Runs. I am grateful for those compliments as they help keep me motivated. Even through some of the rougher times in life.

So, back to the title of this post. Mental status.....I guess in a sense, it takes someone with some strong mental will to maintain as a runner. It also takes someone witha mental imbalance to want to go out there, time and time again to put their body through the pain of completing so many miles. Another way to look at it is, running helps clear your mind of the daily stress put on you from the daily grind. All in all, in my mental opinion, running helps build you, mentally and physically. And in some cases, spiritually.

Stay safe everyone.

Friday, July 1, 2011

4th of July



Here we are, the 2011 year is half over. We are about to celebrate the independence of our great country. Having served in the military, I take great pride in this celebration. I am proud to live in this country and proud to have served her honorably. Not to mention that I continue to serve her in my current line of work.

Most folks use this day to take it easy, BBQ, set off some fireworks, have some beers and just plain relax. Personally, I plan on doing all that as well. However, before I get to all the easy things I have planned for that day, I am going to get my run on. I joined a challenge on Dailymile.com that calls for running 4 miles on the 4th. The speed of this run is not a priority. The completion of those 4 miles is just one more way to celebrate our freedom.

What are your plans for the 4th? Whatever they may be, please stay safe and enjoy it with the ones you love. If you have little ones, educate them on the reason for the celebration. Have a great 4th everyone.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Almost July


Here we are, 25 days into June and the temps are doing nothing but going up. With that comes all the humidity. If you are not familiar with Arkansas, we have a large agricutural area of rice fields here. Rice fields are flooded to help the rice grow. With the floodwater comes the humidity and mosquitoes. But, we chose to come here so, we shall tough it out and overcome.

Went out for our group run today. The Muckas Running Club started off just after 7:00 am with five members. Several of our regular runners are recovering from minor injuries, or were unable to attend due to prior commitments. Deb and I ran together, which was really nice. Normally, she runs with Sherry and they really enjoy their run. Sherry was MIA today due to a muscle strain in her leg. Mark and Jody ran together for the first couple miles, then split up. Rhonda, who was making her first appearance with the Muckas, hit the track for her "Couch to 5K" routine. Really glad she made it out. Hoping she continues to come. Holly was stuck at home since Ethan had to go into work early this morning. She has her treadmill though and ran in spirit with the Muckas.

Well, it was 77 degrees and 79% humidity. The humidity is really taking its toll on our runners. I know Deb and I were sweating like crazy during this run. We finished our 3.5 miles together, then I took off for another 1.7 miles back to the house. Next scheduled run is tomorrow and consists of 18 miles. Gotta get out there early and get hydrated tonight. My plan is to try and stick to the neighborhoods where there are many shade trees. Once I get out on Highway 1, I lose that cover and get that exposure to the sun. That's where I struggle. Gotta run smarter, not harder.

We are now 70 days out from running Tupelo. So looking forward to this race. Gonna enjoy the weekend away. Hope you all are enjoying your weekend. Happy running and stay safe.

Friday, June 17, 2011

HOT!

Alright already!! Only half way through June and I'm ready for Summer to be over. This heat and humidity are putting a huge damper on outside activities. It is definitely true, you can't expect to run the same pace in the heat as you would in cooler weather. Dehydration and exhaustion set in quicker. I've tried running inside to help get the miles but, stay in a more climate controlled area. Well, that hasn't been working out to well. The air conditioning in our gym has not beenworking for several months now. In fact, it is probably hotter in the gym than outside. The only difference is no sun beating down on me.

So, why run inside you may ask. I figure, if I fall out, at least there will be someone there to help me as opposed to falling out on the road. The coyotes might get me then. My plan is to start getting my butt out bed earlier in the morning, and running outside. I need to quit being lazy and get out there and do it. I used to do it in Texas. Need to suck it up, man up, and get out on that road again. Our race in Tupelo is drawing near and I want to do well. This race has a 5am start. This is great since this will be the first weekend in September. Really excited about this race. Several Muckas will be running with me that day. Loving the fact our group travels well together. Not to mention my awesome pit crew will be there.

Well, I hope you all are getting your workouts in with no issues. Stay hydrated my friends.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Mucka Run



Had a great run today with the Muckas. We moved our start time up to 7am, as opposed to the 7:30am start we had been doing. This was an attempt to beat the heat and humidity. But, come on, we live in Arkansas. We should know better than this. Yeah, it was a little less warm and humid but, not much. Oh well, comes with the territory. Just heed the advice of staying hydrated and you should be fine. :)

We had six Muckas show up this morning. Brandon, Deb, Donna, Holly, Sherry and myself. After a quick stretch and several discussions on what route to take today, Deb and Sherry started us off. Impatient I tell ya. LOL! Brandon quickly shot out in front. Holly and I were a few steps behind him. Deb and Sherry stuck together, follwed by Donna. I caught up to Brandon and asked him, "Feeling fast today?". He smiled and nodded. We completed the first mile in 7:58. Then we started getting into the hills and the pace slowed slightly. Not to mention the heat was climbing.

Holly disappeared on her own route, as she was running 6 miles today. Deb, Sherry and Donna ran Mucka Alley. Deb and Sherry are getting faster with each run. They compliment each other very well on their runs. Donna is just getting back with the group and still running strong.

So looking forward to the Tupelo Marathon. Several Muckas are already signed up. This promises to be a good time for the Muckas. Happy running everyone. Stay safe and stay hydrated. The Heat Miser is upon us.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Add a State

Well, we are currently in Greenville, Illinois for some work related training. Fortunately, I am lucky enough to be accompanied by Deb and Amy, which always makes for a great trip. After driving for roughly six hours, we made it to the hotel, checked in, ate dinner and checked out the area. After our dinner settled, we knocked out some swimming at the hotel pool. I swear, I think Amy is more fish than human. :)

Unfortunately, the nights sleep was very restless. I seem to always have this problem in a hotel. Went to training, re-certified as an instructor, then shot a bunch of rounds. Always a good training day when you get to play with the toys. Afterwards, made it back to the hotel, where I found Deb and Amy in the pool. Go figure. Changed and jumped on the treadmill. Hotel treadmills, in my opinion, suck. Only found one that I have enjoyed running on, and this was not the one. It was loud, couldn't get comfortable on it, and just plain hated it. However, I finished a four mile run. I can officially add Illinois to my list of states I have run in. Eventually, I will knock out a marathon in this state.

Liking the weather here as well. Maybe one day we'll get out of the heat and humidity of the South.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Sweaty Hot

We had our group run today. We started at 7:30 am in an attempt to beat the heat. Needless to say, we didn't miss it. We had temps in the 80s, and the humidity was kicking. Seven Muckas showed up. Deb, Brandon, Holly, Sherry, Kristen and Donna. This was Donna's first run with the group since Little Rock. We've missed her. She told us, this morning, she had run a 5 K last weekend and an "old man" beat her. She said it was time to get her running legs back. :)

Well, we started off and Deb and Sherry took the lead. They run well together. They seem to hel push each other, which we all know is a great thing to have help. I think we were all pretty soaked in sweat before we hit the first mile. I was running with Brandon and Holly. We decided to run the four mile loop. As we ran past the high school, we saw Donna plugging away. We weren't sure where Deb and Sherry were. I thought they were running faster. Holly said they probably followed us on the four mile loop. Once we hit Lemons, by the elementary school, things really heated up. Unfortunately, there's not a lot of shade on that street and we all struggled through this section. As the three of us finished our run, we walked back dowager the stop sign and saw Deb and Sherry rounding the corner. Followed by Donna. No Kristen. We continued to backtrack the course to find her. After a mile, and no sightings of her, we started running again.

By the time we got back to the church, we saw Kristen there with the rest of the ladies. Everyone was accounted for. Holly and I finished out at six miles. Once we finished, the sweat puddles grew. The gnats continued to hound us. We all stood around, dehydrating, trying to cool off, and planning out our trip to Tupelo. Looking like we're going to have a great Mucka showing in Tupelo. Let's go Muckas!!!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

How do you view Memorial Day? Do you think of this day as another day off of work? Is this just another day to you? Being a veteran myself, I see a lot of people thanking veterans on this day. I truly appreciate your thanks, even though I feel like I didn't do anything other than serve my country. We celebrate Veterans Day for that. No, this day is for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

During my five years in the Air Force, I lost two very close friends. During Desert Shield/Storm, my friend, Dom Ghiloni was exposed to radioactive material. This was said to have caused a tumor in his brain, to which ended his life prematurely. I first met Dom while we were stationed in Balikesir, Turkey. I had just returned from Germany, after having knee surgery. Dom came to me and asked if I was the one from Ohio. Of course, I was. Columbus, Ohio is my hometown. Dom was from Newark, Ohio, and a huge Buckeye fan. Needless to say, we became instant best friends. We traveled around Turkey together, watched the Reds sweep the As in the 1990 World Series, watched Buckeye football games, all in the early A. M. hours due to the time difference. We were inseparable. Then came the time for me to transfer back to the States. Dom went on to Italy after that. I lost contact with him but, later made contact with his family in 1998. The voice on the other end of the phone said Dom had passed away. I was floored. I cried for a while. I lost one of my best friends ever.

In 1991, I was stationed at Hill AFB in Utah. I was a member of the Peacekeeper Challenge team. This is a team of Security Police who compete against other bases in firearms, fitness and combat readiness. Brett Kinton was one of my teammates. He was also a great friend. We worked many posts together. At the young age of 18, he was pretty mature. Not to mention a hell of a pistol shooter. We competed at Edwards AFB in California that year. We represented well. Brett had told me how he lost both his parents earlier in his life. His family had been through a lot already. I remember coming back to the base and talking to the officer at the Southwest Gate. She asked me if I had heard about Brett. Then she said I needed to get to the dorm because he had passed away. When I arrived at our dorm, I saw an ambulance and several of our patrol cars there. Brett was found, by his roommate, dead in his bed. He had passed away in his sleep.

My Father-in-Law was a retired Security Policeman as well. He served in Viet Nam and received the Bronze Star for saving lives during an attack on his base. I always looked up to him and, it wasn't until his passing that I learned about his heroism. Great man. I miss him very much.

All of these Airmen were dedicated to their country. They served proudly. To me, this is what Memorial Day is about.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Tupelo Marathon


After just finishing the hardest marathon I have ever run, I am already planning out my training schedule for my next marathon. With that being said, I am now 14 weeks out from the Tupelo Marathon in Tupelo, Mississippi. We have several of the Muckas Running Club who are planning on running either the full or the 14.2 miler. Looking forward to this race as it will give me my 9th marathon, and my 5th state.

This race has a 5am start time, which is great becuase this race is scheduled for September 4th. WE're down South and it is hot around these parts. The 5am start helps beat some of the heat, not to mention we have time to go back to the hotel and rest a bit before having to check out. Usually we are scrambling to beat the check out time so we aren't charged an extra day. Crazy stuff. You'd think the hotels would work with the runners as it brings business to their area. Oh well, that's how they make their money. :)

Hoping my ankle will not be an issue soon. After twisting it in the Jonesboro race, it is still sore and a little swollen. No matter, we will push on and complete another race. Not going to let this hold me back. :) Well, happy running everyone and stay safe.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Jonesboro Marathon




What can I say.....This course owned me. Very tough course. So many hills, I had to check the elevation chart to make sure there were some flat spots in the course. And even with that, I'm calling BS on the flat spots. :) Met up with several Muckas at the start line. I was running the full. Kevin, Holly, Brandon and Jody were running the Co-ed relay as Team Mucka. Barrett was running with another team, who initially signed up for the all male division. They had an injured runner and swapped him out for a female runner. And she was fast!!! Barrett's team took first place in the Co-ed division, followed by Team Mucka, who were only a minute or two behind them. Not bad having Muckas on the top two teams. :) And we had Sherry and Mark running the 5K. Sherry took 3rd overall female, and Mark took 5th overall male. Two more Muckas representing.

I felt strong through the first 10-miles. I started off with Barrett but knew I couldn't keep a sub 8 minute pace for too long. I told him he needed to quit letting me hold him back and that was all he needed to hear because he was gone. I hit the huge hill around the 9.5 mile mark and charged through it as best I could. Hit the water station (I asked for beer but they said no) at mile 10. About 100 yards past the water stop, I had a close encounter with an oncoming car. He wouldn't get over and forced me to the edge of the road. There was no shoulder either. I caught the edge and twisted my ankle. Now, like I said, I just passed the 10-mile mark. I had another 16-miles to go, and many more hills. This was not good. I had to utilize the run/walk method. I was still going at a decent pace. Then I started feeling a popping at the back of my ankle. Things slowed down rather quickly.

Going through Craighead Forrest was nice due to all the shade I had from the trees. Tough hills in there as well. Continued with the run/walk method while the temps continued to heat up. The humidity was zapping me pretty good. After coming out of the park, the shade disappeared. Pushed on through. At mile 20, I had some help waiting for me. Barrett was waiting there for me. He had already finished his leg of the relay and came to help push me through the last of the race. Not far past that, I had more help waiting for me. Holly and Kevin were there, ready to run along side of me. I had three Muckas coming to my aide. Now that's teamwork. :)

At this point, my ankle was killing me. I did more walking than running through the last 6-miles. As we were coming back into downtown Jonesboro, I could tell something wasn't right. I looked down at my hands and they were extremely swollen. Dehydration was taking over, and I was out of salt tabs. Kevin ran ahead and found some salt and brought it back to me. That really helped out. Once we got back to the ASU campus, the rest of the Muckas were waiting at the top of the last hill (Not at the bottom mind you! LOL!) and ran with me to the finish line. If it weren't for my fellow Muckas, this may have turned out a lot worse. Then, as I came into the finish line area, I saw my AWESOME PIT CREW, Deb and Amy. Talk about coming in to a beautiful sight. :)


Like I said, this was not my best showing. In fact, this was my worst marathon time, 4:32:39. It is also a completed marathon and goes in the books as that. I have now completed eight marathons, en route to my goal of completing 50. Thanks to everyone who has been supporting me. You all are great.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Lae Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics




This was a great run for a great cause. We had Federal, State, County and City police working together to complete this run. We all set out from the State Trooper station in Forrest City, and headed towards Wynne. We were concerned about the potential for rain today, as the storm fron that hit Oklahoma was making its way towards us. We had just over 20 runners, three squad cars, one 15-passenger van and two pickup trucks to help carry out this mission. Everyone hung tough for the first couple miles. Some hung on longer than we all thought they would. Not sure if it was pride, stubborness, or just plain determination that got them through it but, these guys really pushed their limits today. There were many familiar faces running with us again this year. There were also some new faces out there. This is awesome. These guys are really grasping the wholel idea of fitness and its benefits in our line of work. Not to mention they were there to help the cause.

Normally my running partner for this event is Barrett Burns. However, Barrett was in training today and could not attend. He did come wish us well before we left the institution. Last year, three of us ran the entire way from Forrest City to Wynne. Barrett, Holly Cook and myself. I wasn't planning on running the entire way since I have the Jonesboro Marathon in three days. But, I was convinced to go ahead and do it. We were running a very easy pace. Three of us made it the whole way again. This time, it was Holly, myself and Kevin Baxter. Kevin has come so far in the last year. This guy has shed over 50 pounds and is running half marathons like they are nothing now. Overall, we had many of our runners in double digit mileage for the day. A lot of pride and accomplishment was felt today.

Well, we dodged the storms for the most part. However, the little dustin gof rain we did get, only increased the already high humidity out there. Luckily, the high winds that were pounding us, were doing so at our backs. That was a great feeling. Once we hit Wynne, all runners were in formation, singing cadences, and taking in all the cheers and honking horns as we came into town. Then we turned the corner and the Special Olympians were cheering and clapping for us as we came in. Always a great feeling. WE posed for a few pictures with them and had to load up and meet the runners coming in from Marion, AR. Drove out to Earle, AR and joined them. From that point we still had roughly 20-miles to cover to finish the run. WE decided to break it down in to 1-mile increments for each runner. This worked well except for when it came my turn to get my mile in. Just happened to fall on the largest hill of the run. Powered through it, jumped in the back of the truck, went another mile and then joined everyone in the file run into Mazzios for our lunch. 16.02 miles overall. Even with that, I wasn't the most mileage this year. Usually Barrett and I share that. Holly took the crown this year. 18.5 miles. Great job to everyone. Can't wait to do it again next year.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sunday Run

This was supposed to be my last long run before the race on Saturday. Only calling for an 8-mile run. However, storms have rolled into the Mid South again. Thus, preventing me from running outside at the moment. I know, a little rain never hurt anyone but, when there is lightning involved, I draw the line.

The extended forecast is calling for a high of 79 on race day. Lows being in the low 60s. Hoping it stays true to that, maybe even drop several more degrees during the race. Everyone's biggest concern is the heat and humidity that come along with living here in Arkansas. So, going to spend most of the week ensuring I'm well hydrated. :)

Got our group run in at Village Creek State Park on Saturday. We had 7 runners show up. Again, storms had rolled through the night before so, I think that scared a few of them off. Well, we fought long and hard with the bull gnats out there. They were ridiculous. Like Jody had said, we were lucky we weren't carried away by them. Still, got in a great 4-miler with Deb. She ran a sub 9-minute pace for the 4-miles. Her first at sub 9. She's getting faster and faster.

Well, have a great week everyone. We have the Law Enforcement Torch Run this Weds. I don't think I'm going to run the whole thing this time. Especially with it only being 3-days out from the race. Should have a good showing from SORT and DCT though. Always a good time.

Monday, May 16, 2011

More Weather

Wow! We go from heat to storms to cold again. But, if this cooler weather hangs around until the 28th, I will be very happy. I love running in the cooler weather. Maybe not so much the below freezing weather, as I really haven't figured out how to dress appropriately for it. The cooler weather is so much easier to run in. Maybe I'll convince Deb to let us move up North when we get closer to retirement so we don't have to deal with the heat of the South. :)

I just ran my last big long run yesterday. I ran 20-miles and now have entered the much coveted taper zone. I love this portion of my training because it means I am really close to completing my goal of completing another marathon. It wasnt that long ago that running 1 - 2 miles was not a thought to me. Completing these runs without walking seemed so far away. Now, after one ultra marathon, 6 marathons, and several halves, 10k's and 5k's, I love being able to run the distances I do. Being looked at as a mentor in this area, and helping raise money to find cures for cancer and heart disease.

I'm not the fastest guy out there but, give me a challenge and we'll give you a run for your money. See, you thought this was just about the weather. :) Happy running everyone. Stay safe.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Today's Run

My goal for today was to run 7-10 miles. Knowing I have a 20-Miley scheduled for Sunday, I had even contimplated not running at all today. However, this being the three month anniversary of my Mom passing away, I needed to do something. I know, some folks say, "Let it go." Unfortunately, I can't let it go. I've dealt with a lot of tough situations in my life but, I'm having a hard time letting her go.

My Mom passed away at 12:05 am on Feb 13th. I was driving back to my Sister-in-Law's house when I got the call. We knew Mom didn't have long as she was in a hospice during that time. Still, you're never prepared for that call. I got off my butt and went for a 12.05 mile run, in memory of my Mom. During this run, I thought of different things with my Mom. I remembered the good times and some bad. Mom has always been there for me. She always did what she thought was best, and whatever she could do.

Mom, we love and miss you greatly.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Fund Raising Update


I set a goal of $1000 for the Jimmy Fund Foundation, in the fight against cancer. To date, I have reached just over 1/10 of that goal. I wanted to take a moment to thank those who have laready given to this cause: Tony Brake, Anita Ford, Monica Johnson and Steven Town. You contributions will help in the race to find a cure for this deadly disease.

If any of you have ever had to deal with cancer, either through yourself or loved ones, you know this is something we must defeat. As my good friend Tony did, during the Boston Marathon, for every name listed, either in honor of or in memory of, I will wear that name on my running shirt as I complete the 26.2 miles of the MidSouth Marathon in November. Even after this race, I will continue in my efforts to raise money. So, help out, join in the fight. Lets beat this thing into submission.

If you care to donate, follow this link:
https://www.kintera.org/faf/donorreg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=442415&supId=316712605&extSiteType=1

Thank you.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Training


I look at the training that others conduct when they prepare for an upcoming race. I also see the training others do when they are just wanting to stay fit. I compare the two and look at the results. I see and hear the comments we all make on other's workouts. Is it wrong to be envious of another's ability to accomplish more in a week than some can accomplish in a month? I say "no", it's not wrong. However, I do think, when comparing the workouts to our own, we need to look at what each individual is training for.

I know friends who run every day of the week. They are very fast when they run as well. I wish I had that dedication and fitness level to be able to do that. But, I know where my limitations are for now. With that being said, maybe that can be a goal. The only thing is, I know I need to be careful and listen to my body to help avoid injury. I train for running marathons. If I injure myself, I suffer a set back in my training and my goals. My other goal is to raise money to help fight cancer. How affective would I be if I injured myself and not be able to live up to the promise I made to those who are donating? A good friend of mine was faced with that very scenario and completed his promise with a fractured tibia. He is an amazing man, and I do not fault him for carrying on with his goal. Put in his position, I would have tried to do the same thing.

We, as runners, tend to be very passionate about our sport. It doesn't matter if you are a Boston Qualifying type runner, or someone who runs for fitness. We all do it for a reason. The group I run with, they are a competitive bunch. This is a good thing. In good, spirited competitiveness they push each other to new goals. Some have suffered injuries along the way, worked their way back to being competitive, and carried on. Others have avoided injury all together. Either way, we love what we do and we help each other.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, we all carry a bit of competition in our hearts. We see how well others are doing and we try to best them. Sometimes, you have to listen to your body, take a break, and come back to fight another day. I'm sure your competition will still be there, waiting for you.

Enough rambling. Go run!! :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Training Update


Training for the Jonesboro Marathon is still in progress. We are less than three weeks out from the race and the temps are heating up here in Arkansas. Some locals are predicting 90+ temps for the day of the race. I know Sunday's run was in the 80s, with 77% humidity. And I only ran 18 miles that day. I was able to stay below a 9:00 pace but, it sure wasn't easy. I'm just going to continue to get my training runs in, outside, as much as possible. Next Sunday's long run calls for a 20 miler. I may have to stay close to home for this one just so I can stash cold water along my route. We freeze our water bottles to help maintain cold water. Unfortunately, this ice melts off rather quickly in this type of weather.

One good thing is the Jonesboro Marathon will be starting at 7:00 am. That will hopefully help beat some of the heat. That has been a big mistake lately. Not getting out there to run before 10:00 am. You'd think I'd be smarter than that but, nope. Dropped the ball in that area. One thing for sure, I'm on vacation this week so, no excuses on getting out there early and testing the early A.M. temps. No matter the temps, this will be my 8th marathon and my goal is to finish. I will not be hard on myself for running slower than I planned. I will accept whatever I run and consider it an accomplishment either way. Finishing is the reward. Stay safe everyone. Stay hydrated as well. Take your salt tabs if necessary. :)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Tomorrow is Mother's Day. I hope all you Mothers have a great, and well deserved day. This is a great day of celebration for all those wonderful women in the world who do so much to make our lives better. Mothers make such selfless acts to ensure their families are taken care of. Most Mothers would lay down their own lives to protect their babies. One day, in my opinion, is not enough time to celebrate all the things Mothers do for their families. But, there is only one official day to celebrate. So, make it extra special. Our family is blessed to have such a wonderful wife and Mother. Deb is tireless in her efforts to take care of our family. She's pretty awesome. :)

On another note, this will be the first Mother's Day that I will be without my mom. I have been so busy at work that it really hadn't sunk in until today. I truly miss my mom. I wish I could hear her voice again. Give her a hug and a kiss and tell her thank you for being my mom. We all miss you mom. It still doesn't seem real.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Happy Cinco de Mayo

Hope everyone is doing well this week. Sounds like the weather is finally cooperating in a lot of areas. I see some fellow Dailymile runners, up in Ohio were dealing with some colder conditions at the beginning of the day. However, the sun is shining and everyone is heating up. Gotta love the determination of our running circle. Some look outside and say, "I think I'll skip today's run. It's too hot (or cold)." I have seen pictures of our running circle involving iced over beards and ski masks to make it through a winter run. I have seen sweat drenched runners, with some really cool tan lines around their ankles, eyes, necks and the famous ipod tan line. Now that's dedication. All the while, folks driving by in their cars, looking at us like we have lost our freaking minds. Oh yeah, we can't forget those who are injured and refuse to let it stop them from achieving thier goals. Some injuries would keep the average person from going back to running while these friends did everything they could to get back on the road and complete the goals they set out to accomplish in the beginning. That's determination.

Which leads me to another issue. Runners have to take advantage of whatever area they can get to run. Some towns are without sidewalk so, we must run in the road. Now, I don't know about you all but, when we run, we stay as close to the side of the road as we can. This way, we can share the road with motorists and potentially stay safe. Some motorists are very curtious by slowing down, getting over, or coming to a complete stop until they are able to pass safely. Then you have those who feel it is funny to try to scare you, or see how close they can get to you with their vehicles. It's all fun and games until someone gets knocked out of their running shoes. Just pass on to your motorist friends, share the road please. I know plenty of motorcycle riders who share our grief. Maybe, collectively, we can put the awareness out there. More and more folks are running on our roads. Let's make it safe to do so.

I hope you all enjoy your Cinco de Mayo. Happy running everyone. Keep your eyes open and mouths closed. Bugs get in easier when you don't. :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Sun!

Finally!! The sun is out!! After relentless pounding of storms here, the weather has turned nice, the sun is out and no rain. We are loving it. Being able to run outside again is really great. We have a 5K to run this weekend, at work, in celebration of Correctional Worker's Week. This is one of those races that is done to raise health awareness, and to honor those who have fallen in the line of duty. This will be the second year in a row Deb and I have run this. Really looking forward to running it with her and our friends. Hopefully I will have some great photos to post on here after the run. Then, we get to enjoy a great picnic afterwards. SWEET!!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Job Well Done



You will never forget where you were when the twin towers fell on 9/11/2001. Over 3000 innocent victims died in this attack on America. May 1, 2011, America was able to gain some revenge. I know the Bible says we should turn the other cheek but, this was an evil presence that needed to be removed from this world. And, with the strength of our mighty military, we were able to rid the world of this evil presence.

I will go on record by saying I have not really been an Obama supporter but, I will give him his props for this mission. The real credit, however, goes out to our men and women in uniform. Our military continues to be a dominant force throughout the world and have proven, once again, they will complete the mission. I know the CIA gets a bad rap most of the time but, you can't leave them out as they had CIA operatives in this as well.

I have read several reports regarding the assault on OBL's compound. They talk of how he engaged our troops in a fire fight, used a woman as a human shield (real man) and how his security forces were able to shoot down one of our helicopters. I read how one of our commandos was able to take the shot and put two bullets through OBL's left eye. No American casualties occured during this operation. Truly amazing.

As a veteran, I am proud to have served my country. I am extremely proud of our troops today. Thank you all for a job well done. Stay safe.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Happy May

Well, they say April showers bring May flowers. If that is true, we should be inundated with a variety of colorful flowers very soon. The storms that went on during April have continued on into May. We just had one heck of a storm, currently under a tornado watch and a flash flood warning. I really hope this stuff starts to clear up soon. So many people are still trying to recover from the recent storms.

On a lighter note, we are now 27 days away from the Jonesboro marathon. Looking forward to running with some of my fellow Muckas as they tackle the relay and 5K. Praying for good weather that day. Cool temps, no strong winds or storms. This is a very challenging course but, if we always took the easy way out, we wouldn't be as strong as we are. So, onward I say. Let's conquer another race! Who's with me?!?! :)

Happy running everyone. Stay safe.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Jonesboro

We are now 29 days away from the Jonesboro marathon. The Mucaks Running CLub is having some good representation. Currently, we have Team Mucka, our coed relay team consisting of Kevin Baxter, Brandon Boger, Holly Cook and Jody Hodges. I think they are going to take the coed division. Barrett Burns and James Whitaker are involved with their respective relay teams as well and should give each other some awesome competition. I think Sherry Rogers is still planning on running the 5K. Me, I am running the full marathon as an individual runner. And, after looking at the elevation chart, am still wondering what the heck I was thinking!!! Oh well, what are you gonna do? :)

Every race I run will continue to be in memory of my Mom, Mary Wise. In addition, I want to dedicate this race to the victims of the recent storms that plowed through the Midsouth. I believe the current death toll is at 318. Hard to take it all in, just by looking at the photos on the internet. Those poor people are trying to pick up the pieces when, that is all there is, pieces. Their lives completely turned upside down. Then, to top it off, a friend (On Dailymile) was struck with tragedy on Easter Sunday when his Sister's vehicle was hit by another vehicle, killing her, her husband and twin sons. I can't imagine. Never want to imagine what it would be like to go through something like that. So, again, with all that being said, I will be including them in rememberance when I run Jonesboro on May 28.

So, with all that rambling, the next time you run, run for a reason. Make it meaningful. Be safe on your runs everyone. As Ethan says, "Anyone walking beats anyone sitting. Anyone running beats anyone walking. Get out there and do it." Handle up on your fitness and enjoy life.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Weather Alert


Well, I think three days in a row is enough of dealing with the bad weather. The tornados, severe thunderstorms, high winds and flooding is enough. Some of our smaller towns, here in Arkansas, were completely devastated by the storms. Vilonia, Arkansas was completely wiped out. Rumors are, the path of destruction was 3-miles wide and 15-miles long. The levee in Pocahontas, Arkansas broke and they are flooding as we speak. Memphis is getting hammered, and suffering flooding. Northern Mississippi has been hit hard as well. Reports of flooding, deaths and other devastation continues to come in. As I said in a previous post, not sure what we did to upset Mother Nature but, WE ARE SORRY ALREADY!! Please back off.

With all that being said, we all continue on. Right now the winds are pounding our area. The temps have dropped. But, our family is safe inside our home, carrying on with our daily routine. We continue to train for upcoming events, races, etc, while others are trying to pick up the pieces and regain a normal life. Those that lost loved ones will have a longer, more complicated time recovering.

As you carry on with your daily life, please take a moment and remember those who are struggling thru these rough times here in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee. As I continue to train for the Jonesboro Marathon, I will keep them in mind, and dedicate this race to the memory of those lost in these tragic storms.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Oz

I don't know why Mother Nature is mad at Arkansas but, we give. We're sorry!! Please let up!

Kevin and I set out for a run in some light rain today. That rain steadily got heavier. At about 1.4 miles into it, lightning started flashing in the area. We took it inside, as we didn't travel to far from the training center just in case. As we went inside, we were told that our area was undr a tornado warning. Well, call it commitment. Call it lack of common sense. We jumped on the treadmills to finish our run. As we were running, the storm intensified. Rain and hail started pounding the area. Well, at this point, I'm not going to try and beat the storm. Might as well finish my run as we ride out the storm. I knocked out a total of 7 miles all together. So, I am pleased with that. Come to find out, a tornado passed just South of us.

The run in the rain was cool. The lightning and tornado are not the idea conditions. But, we got it done. I just hope Mother Nature is done with her abuse of our area. The damage and flooding are out of control. Stay safe everyone.

Bad Weather


Well folks, we have been getting pounded by bad weather lately. Last night's storms swept across Arkansas and just hammered the entire state. One town was said to be completely wiped out. The storm that hit Wynne had winds up to 80 mph. As I came to work today, I saw many trees down. Fortunately, I did not see any damage to homes. Of course, I didn't go through the entire town. Still have to check out our home as well.

With that being said, runs outside get more and more interesting. Currently getting ready to knock out a run with Kevin B. The temps are at 74 degrees with 80% humidity. And, as I look out my window, the skies are looking threatening again. Well, the weather man did say we are expecting another round of storms tonight. Hoping they are not as bad as last night.

One thing I can say about the wind and humidity, this is definitely getting me ready for the Jonesboro Marathon on May 28. I just need to add some more hills to this training. Fortunately, I have a good buddy, Barrett, who is going to help pace me through the hills once he finishes his portion of the relay. He's the first leg so, he should be rested and waiting by the time I get there. LOL!

Well, time to start getting my mind into this run. Hope everyone stays safe out there. Watch out for the one's behind the wheels of their vehicles. You know they're not watching out for you.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Trying to make a difference


I've always wondered how I could help make a difference. I run so many miles, race in different races, and try to encourage others to join in on this fitness craze. Still, never felt that was enough. When Mom was battling heart disease, I decided to run the Little Rock marathon and chose to raise money for the American Heart Association. I set a goal of $500. Since this was my first attempt at fund raising, I didn't want to set my goal to high as I was afraid it wasn't attainable. Fortunately, I have some awesome family members and friends who donated and pushed me over my goal by $100. Now that rocks!!

Well, thanks to a good friend of mine, Tony Brake, I have found another way to help fight this dreaded disease. I am now signed up to help fight cancer. My Father-in-Law, Raymond Albrecht, passed away in June of 2006 after fighting cancer. He fought the good hard fight. Unfortunately, he lost the battle. Many of my friends have lost loved ones to cancer. Or, they currently have loved ones fighting the good hard fight.

Many of those fighting this fight would much rather be out running, as we do, than having to deal with this. So, for them, let's help find a cure for this and make the world cancer free. Please help me in this fight.

https://www.kintera.org/faf/donorreg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=442415&supId=316712605&extSiteType=1

Friday, April 22, 2011

5000 Baby

SWEET!!! I have been recording my mileage since January 2007. I ran many miles prior to this but never really tracked it. This gives me a sense of accomplishment to actually see how far I've gone. With today's 6-miler, I am now 3 miles closer to 10,000 miles. My goal is to get there faster than I did getting to 5000. It took me four years and three months to hit the first 5000. That is just under 1250 a year. I'm going to smash that over the next four years. I'm trying to average at least 1500 miles, or more, a year. Ok 10,000, you're mine!! Let's get it on. :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Words and stuff


This is some crazy weather right now. The wind doesn't seem to stop, and the storms keep coming through. Unfortunately, some of the local folks have had some tragic experiences. The winds picked up a double wide trailer and turned it over, killing the woman inside, and sending her husband to the hospital. Others are dealing with property damage and loss of power. Our Low component, at work, suffered some damage during last night's storm. We have been fortunate to have avoided damage so far.

One nice thing about the solitude of running is it allows you to work of the stress of daily life. In my line of work, you deal with society's undesireables. You see what they have done while in what we call the outside world. When you read some of their history, you wonder how someone could be so cruel. How someone could bring themselves to commit such a crime against their fellow man. And wonder how these criminals could think they have done nothing wrong. Almost 22 years in this business and nothing seems to amaze me anymore. But, like they told us when I first walked through the grill in Lompoc, CA.....you have to leave that stuff at work. Never take your work home to your family. So, how do you take the daily work issues and shut them off before you get home to your family? I'm one of the lucky ones I guess. I have a very supporting wife who allows me to vent to her on a daily basis. She listens to my rants, offers open opinions, or just rubs my head and tells me it will all be ok. I have an awesome wife. :)

Another way I deal with my daily stress and frustrations is to go for a run. I remember one particular run, in Texas, where I just had a really bad day. I just finished an 8-mile run and thought to myself, "Still not over it!", and turned around and ran another 4-miles. Upon finishing that run, I was tired but relaxed. The frustration was gone and I had a smile on my face again.

When I first started getting into running, I had a running partner named Matt. We worked at the prison in El Reno, OK. We would run after work and vent about the days events. By the end of the run, the frustration was gone.

I guess what I'm trying to say is running is a great stress reliever. It also helps when you have a good running partner, or an awesome spouse. I have been fortunate to have all the above. Not to mention, my awesome spouse is also my running partner now. :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Heating Up

Wow is it ever getting warm and humid. Not to mention there are no signs of the wind letting up anytime soon. It's been at a consistent 16 mph lately. Makes an outdoor run seem so much harder. But, with our upcoming race in Jonesboro, you have to be prepared for this type of weather. The thermometer hit at least 84 today. Humidity was up as well with the incoming storms. Yes, we are under another tornado watch until 2am.

After speaking with Kevin, who was considering making this his first full marathon, he came to the conclusion that he was going to put a relay team together for this race. Which is nice because it will bring more Muckas into the race. This race only has a full, relay and 5K. A lot of our running group are used to running the half. So, the relay allows for more Muckas.

My training for this race is going well so far. My legs are tired but, not tired like they were when going through my multiple race series at the end of last year. I am hitting between 30 and 40 miles a week. And this week I will surpass 5000 miles since Jan 1, 2007. Really excited about that.

Well, happy running everyone. Stay hydrated and injury free. :)