Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dreary Day

I swear, Mother Nature needs to make up her mind. I thought all this crappy weather was getting behind us. Guess I was wrong. Waiting until 4:00 pm to come along so I can get my "after work" therapy done. I know I said I hate running after work but, it beats not doing it at all. And lately, stress relief has been the order after work. Thankfully, the treadmill at work is working and usually not in demand. With that being said, I can get in there and knock out my run pretty quickly. Looking to do a 7-miler today. Been out playing in the rain with our DCT boys (and one girl) today. Figured I'd come inside and get some other work done and dry off for a bit before I take on my run.

Still up in the air about this marathon in Jonesboro in May. Doesn't appear that folks are siging up for it. Hopefully they're all not doing what I'm doing and waiting to see if folks sign up. That would be kind of screwed up. All of us waiting to see what happens and then no one signs up. Doh!! :) I think I'll give it another month and see where it's at. I'll continue on with my training. That way I know I'm ready. I am continuing my maintenance program but, all that means is I was already at marathon level. Now I'm just maintaining that status.

Well, until next time, happy running everyone.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Change of Plans

The next marathon I had on my schedule was going to be the Jonesboro Marathon in Jonesboro, Arkansas. However, monitoring the registration progress, only three people have signed up for the marathon, and one relay team. Not looking good for this race to get off the ground. This is a little upsetting because I really wanted to hit another marathon, in the local area, before the Summer heat arrives. This would have been perfect for several reasons. Local race equals no hotel expenses, and I get to run with friends. We're still two months out from the race so, we shall see what the outcome will be.

With all that being said, I am starting to change my training plans and go into a maintenance mode. If that happens, I may run a few half marathons here and there. Other than that, my plans are to run the Tupelo Marathon in September. Hoping some of my fellow Muckas will join me in this race. Will keep you posted.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Rubinos Pizza

Rubinos is a pizza place located in Bexley, Ohio. This place has been in business for about 50 years. Generations upon generations have been working at this place. It has stayed in their family since the beginning. We grew up eating there. This is my fovrite pizza ever. Everytime we go back to Ohio, we stop in and catch up with the family and enjoy some awesome pizza. The last time we were there, it was October 2010. This was my reward for completing the Columbus Marathon.

Mom used to take us there as kids. One time, we rode our bikes to Rubinos, which at the time was roughly 10 miles away. I can still remember Frank answering the phone by slapping down on the end of the receiver, popping it into his hand and saying, "Binos!" Tom always had the hippie look and would always let me sneak some pepperoni and cheese from behind the counter. Mark was closer to my age and we would always kind of hang out while there. Great bunch of people in Rubinos. Looking forward to our next visit there.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Mucka Run

Had a great run with our Muckas Running group this morning. We had about 13 members show for the run. Several new faces out there. Hoping they will stick with it. Temps were in the low 50s with a cold, stiff wind out of the North. James took off in the lead (He's only like 23 and no body fat). But, he took a wrong turn and was too far ahead for anyone to change his mind. We never saw him again. I think the coyotes got him. The rest of us (Ranging in age from 20s to 70s) continued on down Killough. Brandon was in the lead at this point. However, he decided to turn around and come back to the biggest pack of the group. This left a new member in the lead. One problem with that.....he didn't know the course. So, Brandon and I picked up the pace and caught up with him to make sure he didn't get lost. No one took the hilly part of the course today. We all stuck with the flats. Which was good.

Bradon and I finished the 3.5 miles with a sub 8 minute pace from mile 2 on. Then we went back to run in with the others. Everyone finished strong. While standing around, talking about upcoming races, Deb said she was ready to go home and get on the bike. She's an animal I tell you. She's a great motivator though. Now I have to get off my butt and knock out some P90X. Have a great day everyone. The Muckas will be running again next Saturday. Same Mucka time, same Mucka channel.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Miles Upon Miles

Well folks, you all are starting to get what you've been asking for. The temps are starting to heat up. Yet, the miles continue to add up. I am less than 150 miles from breaking the 5000 mile mark. Everytime I hit the next 1000 miles, I get re-energized and excited about going even further. Kind of like running a marathon. Everytime I finish, completey exhausted, swearing I won't do this again, I start wondering what my next race will be. I guess it is an addiction. Guess there are worse things to be addicted to. :)

We have our first Muckas run of the Spring. Really looking forward to getting our group going again. Hoping more of them will continue to run with us throughout the year. Always more fun when you have someone to run with. I know I thoroughly enjoy my runs with Deb. She really helps keep me motivated in some of these trying times.

My next race is scheduled for May 28 in Jonesboro, AR. Another marathon with hills. The nice thing about this race is, it is the inaugural race. That means we are the first. Looking forward to this!! Several Muckas and I are running in it. Some in the relay, which is a lot of fun.

Ok, it's heating up, stay hydrated my friends. Til next time.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Month

It's been a month since you left us to take your place in Heaven. I miss you more and more every day. I love you Mom.

"Our hearts still ache with sadness, and secret tears still flow. What it meant to lose you, no one can ever know."

After the Rock

I have had two runs since running Little Rock. Suprisingly, I'm feeling pretty good. Went for a run this morning with Deb. She's always great at helping me loosen up. Normally, she takes it easy on me but, today she wanted to run a little faster. First mile was in the mid 9s. After that, she was in the high 8s. And all this with 12 - 16 mph winds. The weather was very nice today. 58 degrees at the start of our run. But, like I mentioned, there was some windy parts of the course.

Ok, I'm on a mission. Looking at the pictures from the Little Rock Marathon, I realized just how much weight I've gained. I've let my core fitness completely go. Gonna change that. Current weight was around 192. I have a goal of 180 pounds before I run the Jonesboro Marathon on May 28. Gonna get that core back into shape. P90X will be my new hated friend.

Looking forward to another great race with all my Mucka friends. Hoping a couple of them will join me for the full marathon. Since there is no half at this race, many of them are doing the relay. Either way, I get to run with friends. Looking forward to it.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Rocked it in Little Rock

This was a race where my goal was to just finish. My training was off, the hills loomed ahead, and my legs were tired. I fully expected this to be my longest marathon time to date due to those facts. It turned out not to be the case at all.

We arrived in Little Rock a little later than planned, due to an emergency at work. After taking care of that emergency, I got back home and we loaded up. We met Sherry and her family at the Citgo and they followed us to our hotel. Got checked in, met up with Brandon Boger and then took a walk to the expo to pick up our packets. The expo wasn't as big as most expos we've experienced in the past. No biggie I guess. I was hoping to find a "26.2 Little Rock" sticker to add to my collection on the Monster Mazda. Oh well. After that, we went to Pizza Hut, right by the hotel, and carbed up. The service was terrible, the food was all messed up, and we had to get our own refills and silverware. Still had fun though. Got back to the hotel to get settled in for the evening. Amy made a new friend in Sherry's daughter, Summer. They watched Twilight, talked, laughed and just had a great time that night.

Well, race day. It was in the 30s with a slight wind. Of course, making it feel colder out there. We walked from the hotel to the start line. Now there are signs everywhere telling folks not to park their cars on the race route or it will be towed. Guess some ole boy didn't get the hint. His car ended up getting towed from Corral B. We met up with Ethan and Holly, took a few quick photos, stretched as best we could and got into our corrals. Holly and I were in Corral C. Kevin was in there somewhere but, I never saw him. Speedy Barrett and his friend Todd were in Corral B, just a hair outside of Corral A. They might just be in there next year. Ethan, Brandon, Sherry and Donna followed behind in Corral D. Muckas everywhere. :) Glad I got my good luck hugs and kisses from Deb and Amy. I have the best pit crew around. The gun went off and eventually we made it through the start area. I hung with Holly for about the first mile, dodging in and out of various runners. Just before we hit the mile mark, she was gone. Never to be seen again by me. That was the last I saw of any Muckas for the rest of the race.

We looped around and went back through downtown, turning right to cross the Arkansas River. Running into North Little Rock was nice. The Mayor was on the other side of the bridge, cheering us all on. I caught up with the 4 hour pace group on the bridge and hung with them for quite some time. The pacers were awesome. Very motivating group. As we came out of North Little Rock, heading back over the bridge, I saw a man in a wheelchair. This wasn't a hand cycle. This was an actual wheel chair. Not like the hospital kind. This was a racy type but, he was sitting in it, propelling himself with his hands and slowly making it up the incline of the bridge. AMAZING!! On the bridge, I came across a guy named Clem, who was sporting a blue Mohawk. Had to get a picture of that. We had a bit of a conversation for the next couple miles. He was on his 17 marathon and was visiting from Minnesota. Pretty nice guy. He asked me the story behind the picture I was carrying on my back. The picture was of my Mom, holding Amy when she was a baby. It said, "Running for Mom 8/4/42 - 2/13/11". I explained how Mom had passed away last month. He patted me on the back and said, "Every mile for her. Never quit." That motivated me even more to get through this race.

Now, I never thought so many people would ask or comment on the picture. Especially during a race. But, I had several ask me the story, some tell me Mom was proud of me, and more just telling me to keep going for Mom. There were several points on the course where emotions started kicking in a bit but, I sucked it up and kept rolling along. Just past the halfway point, and right before the BIG hills, a woman came by and told me my Mom was proud of me. That's all she said. That was enough. I hit those hills and powered through them with no problems. Not to take away from the hills though. They are not easy. I was just full of adrenaline at the time and I think that really helped. By this point, I was quite a bit ahead of my pace group. I thought to myself, "Keep going as long as you can. You're doing great." I felt strong, and really enjoyed the big downhill that came around mile 17.

I pushed on, not walking at all, to the 21 mile mark. The bad part was the turn around just prior to the 21 mile marker. There was a barrel you had to go around and I feel like I just lost my momentum after making that 180. My quads were feeling all those hills at this point. I slowed down, quite a bit. Walked several times. Then, some of the folks who had motivated me earlier in the race, came by and told me to keep going. Keep going for Mom. That got me going again. I knew I wasn't going to get a PR but, that wasn't even a thought at the beginning of this race. However, I had a chance to come in under four hours. Had to go for it. I came in to the finish line area and didn't even realize Deb and Amy were right there, watching and cheering me on!! Amazing!! I pointed up to Heaven and thanked Mom for pushing me on.

My time?? 3:57:39. I'll take a sub 4 hour run in Little Rock any day. I will be back again in 2012. Great job to all my fellow Muckas who completed the half and got a new PR.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

One More Before the Rock

Went for a three mile run with Barrett and Kevin yesterday. All I can say is it has been a while since I have ran that fast. Barrett took the lead. He set a blistering pace heading out. I could tell he was out to punish us. We hit the 1 1/2 mile mark at 10:50. Thankfully, he slowed down a bit on the way back. We finished the run at 22:01. Not to bad I guess. A 7:20 pace is not anywhere close to what I've been running. That's why it is nice to have a running partner who is faster than you. They can push you to new limits, or make you re-visit limits you had seen in a while. I can tell you this, before our next planned run with him, I'm eating a lighter lunch.

I only have one more little run to get in this Saturday. A little two miler to get that lactic acid moving before the big race on Sunday. Looking forward to the race. Not looking forward to the hills. No matter, I chose the race, I'm going to defeat it. Will provide results on Sunday. Or maybe after I come back to life on Monday. :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Rock

Well, we are three days out from Little Rock. Almost time for the rubber to meet the pavement. Training hasn't been the most consistent but, no more excuses. The time has arrived to get it done. I'm looking forward to it. Ready to have a great weekend run, with my family and friends there to take part as well.

My fund raising for the American Heart Association went better than expected. I set a goal of $500. As of right now, I have raised $600.40. Not to bad for a first timer. Looking forward to having a group fund raiser for St Jude's. Registration opens in May. So, keep your eyes, and your wallets, open. :)

Temps are heating up outside. Actually, the weather has been back and forth. I ran the other day and it was in the 60s with over 70% humidity. The next day, I came out to my truck and had to scrape the ice off the windshield. Now that is crazy. And not to mention all the earthquakes and tornadoes we've been dealing with. Hoping those are done now. I know, wishful thinking. Well, time to get ready for a little three mile run with Barrett and Kevin. They're running the half marathon in Little Rock this weekend. There will be Muckas everywhere. :)