As many of you may know Cleveland is home to the house used in A Christmas Story movie. This year is the 30th anniversary of the release of the movie and as part of a celebration for the anniversary a race was setup. The race will become an annual tradition from now on. The funds will go towards keeping the house maintained and for the museum by the house. A worthy race for a movie that everyone knows by heart and celebrates yearly.
“It’s a blue ball.”
The race was Saturday, December 7, 2013 at 9:00 AM. I registered for the 10k, which they had a 5k race as well, because I prefer the 10k distance. The race started at Higbee’s, where Ralphie spies the Red Ryder BB Gun in a display window, then weaves its way to the house in Tremont (5k ended at the house) then loops back to finish at Higbee’s. Honestly I had no idea how well I would do at this race since I hadn’t really trained much over the past couple of months, but at that distance (6.2 miles) it really isn’t too taxing for me. I was running around 11-13 miles a week which was fine. Everyone complains about Cleveland weather, but I absolutely love this kind of weather. Temperatures were on the cold side, but still manageable for this guy. Since I didn’t have a costume to dress up in, which I hope to next year, I did a little flair running with a scarf much like what the boys wear in the move. This race was so well received that it sold out quickly. There were so many people in Public Square and Tower City before the race. I loved seeing people dressed up in Aunt Clara’s bunny pajamas, to bandits, to Flick with his tongue stuck to the flag pole and on and on. Awesome spirit pre-race.
The race started right on time. I was concerned about the roads being slippery since there was a little snowfall the night before, but roads actually were in great shape with the exception of a couple of side roads had not been salted, but it wasn’t too bad. I placed myself by the 8:00/mile pace runner, but realized they were moving way faster than the pace they were supposed to be setting. This race was impressively well organized so far. I was feeling great and kept pushing my pace further. We got to the house and the crowd there was awesome! Lots of people. Then it was time to loop back through the course which then became a cluster. Since only part of the road was blocked off for the race the 10k runners had to weave their way back through those still running/walking and since there was limited space with lots of people (I believe it was 5,000 people total?) this made for difficult running. It was like running against 4,000 Mike Tomlin’s in your path. This is one of the gripes I have with this race which was they needed clearly defined separators for the course. I ran into one person! It hurt. I was moving along at a 7:30ish/mile pace and bam. Luckily, I did not fall or get hurt. There were several other times I had to divert my path. Once we got the Carnegie bridge happens to be my only other gripe. On the way to the house we ran on the road over the bridge, but on the way back they made us run on a dedicated bike path on the bridge which sounds fine, but it was completely ice covered! This made for dangerous running. I understand that the path is there for this purpose of not needing to close traffic down, but they should have at least salted the dang path! It certainly slowed my pace a little. Oh well. This was their first organized race. I ran better than I thought I would and I had fun. I finished 93rd overall out of 1,581 in the 10k and 13th out of 94 in my age group. Race results here.
I also earned my major award. Nice touch by the organizers to have Ralphie’s favorite beverage of Ovaltine post race too.
All in all. A great start to a new tradition in Cleveland and I look forward to it next year. Hopefully I get my butt in gear to dress up better and recruit more friends.
Ho ho hooooo….
Twelve years ago this October 2013 Kate and I brought home from the Toledo Humane Society a big furball mutt named Flick or Slick, they were unsure of his name. They didn’t know his exact age, but assumed he was 2-3 years old at that time based on his mild demeanor and calmness. They had had him for some time at the center, but not sure why. He did have ear infections and other allergy issues which may have attributed for the lack of interest in adoption. When we visited with him at the center we immediately knew he was the one. We both wanted a dog (we had just moved into our first house and only married just over a year) and he met the criteria we wanted; big, not a puppy and a rescue. In the room with him he could care less we were even there, but he was calm and happy to be out of the cage clearly. We were sold.
We sign all of the adoption papers and soon he was ours or rather he would own us. Packed him up in the car and drove home. The most memorable moment, humorous in ways, was he walks right into his new home and poops right on the dining room rug. We immediately wondered what the heck did we just get ourselves into. After that moment nothing like that occurred again.
About the name, I was set on calling him Mac (yes it is after my favorite computer). He never responded to the other names the humane society thought it was. They didn’t really know much about him. He supposedly grew up in a house with cats and he loved hot dogs. That was really it. Early on he was very particular with his food. Didn’t like lamb and rice foods. Really didn’t like dried foods we bought. We tried lots of diets, but none clicked. Also we would soon discover he had food allergies of corn and wheat which makes up most pet foods. He was our high maintenance boy. He was eating better than us with special salmon based food. It was worth it though. He was also still getting over ear infections when we brought him home as well. We got to know the vet’s office really well the first few months after adoption.
To say Mac and I clicked would be an understatement. I would walk him daily in our historic Old West End neighborhood. His mutt pedigree is part shepherd and part labrador which he lived up to the fullest with traits of each. He could use his paws really well with holding bones (which labs are known for) or his favorite rope toy and his ability of guarding the perimeter (shepherd) of his property was uncanny. A squirrel, mailman or just someone stepping foot within an inch of the yard he would know immediately by perking up and investigating which often times if he saw the very perpetrator would lead to a very deep intimidating bark. I’m still amazed how he could detect someone coming within his perimeter. He was really great at telling squirrels who was boss of his land. He was swift and good at hunting down squirrels while also being patient too. He would lay down next to a tree and wait till hopefully the squirrel would come back down. On one of the daily walks a squirrel dared test his skills. He caught it, but then realized he had no idea what to do with it. He let it go. The squirrel raced up the tree squawking not knowing what to make of this. I think this highlights so much about Mac. While looking intimidating with long black hair, 70-80 pounds of stocky girth, dark staring eyes and a deep bellowing growl and bark he was still the sweetest dog. In playing with him he was so gentle in his bite. Never biting or clamping down. He was a gentle giant. We had a visit from our 6 month old niece where it showed us how much of a caring guardian he was. The niece was laid down on a blanket and immediately he came over and laid right down next to her. It was touching.
He was self obedient in that he never bolted or went further than 2 houses away from his home. He only barked when necessary, again the mailman was priority one, never chewed on anything he wasn’t allowed to and just all around the perfect dog. He would get up on a couch to sleep, but we let it slide mostly. He would also tend to believe he was a lap dog with me which I was fine with for the most part. It was our bond.
He loved the snow so much. Being in Toledo where the snow wasn’t as prevalent as it is here in Cleveland he would certainly take advantage of the snow. First thing he would do is bury his head in the snow. He’d bite at snowflakes coming down. He’d do his own version of a snow angel rolling in the snow. He also had a happy “insane-o” run where he would run laps around with his butt close to the ground. Almost like watching a border collie rounding up the sheep. So amusing to watch. So full of happiness. He certainly enjoyed the move to Cleveland and the wonderful snowbelt back in 2007. The first winter produced back to back days of 17 inches of snowfall which was funny to watch the black furball trudge through, but he was happy. Like I said he loved snow, but he hated water including rain! Even though he was part lab he avoided water like Superman to kryptonite. Forget about baths because I ended up more wet than him. When it rained he always would make it the quickest and most direct pitstop. I never forced the issue nor minded.
2006 with the birth of our daughter he seemed to take it all in stride. Again he was guardian to her even though he was garnering less attention. I still would take him on walks around the block to keep him happy and exercise, but clearly he was becoming second fiddle to the child. I always strived to make time for him. Luckily he had an independent streak about him that helped with the new person in the house. He wouldn’t get jealous or act up over it. The only time we saw a “slight” was when we would go out of town on vacation where we couldn’t take him like to Hilton Head. We’d drop him off with dear friends of ours for these trips. Whenever we’d return he’d give me the “stink eye” or display some dissatisfaction over the temporary abandonment. I say abandonment because that’s what I picture he thought it was. We could never take him to a boarding kennel because I think the long period of time at the humane society really messed him up with cages. He hated going to places with cages. We never put him in a cage because of that. He never showed any reason to do that. It’s not like he never got to take trips because we certainly did take him places. He even made a long 8 hour journey up to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan once. He loved that trip a lot. Very memorable to me since on a hike there he came out of the woods covered in burs and briars. He was always a fixture at family events. He was family.
Mac was also a creature of habit. You would know when it was 10 o’clock. He was a walking breathing clock. Never failed even up to the last day that at 10 o’clock he was ready to go outside for his end of day potty. Amazing to me.
Why did I write a eulogy for a dog, my dog? It felt like something I had to do. For Mac was more than a dog to me. He’d been my companion and shadow for 12 years. I never had a dog growing up, but always wanted one. The first moment and opportunity to have a dog panned out to be more than I could have ever imagined. Our pets have personalities and feelings just as much as we humans do. They’re there in good times and bad times. They comfort us. They entertain us. They care for us just as much as we care for them. He provided safety in our house for 12 years. I never doubted that the sight of him prevented our homes from being burglarized. In the past 2 years we’ve seen the decline in him. Last March 2012 was the first true warning sign. He had a seizure while I was away on a business trip. That was the first moment of realization that he’s not going to be around with us much longer. He would go on to have occasional seizures after that, but nothing the vets were to overly concerned about. When he started not being able to get up or would fall down while standing was the next signs that the end was arriving. This past Thursday, September 26 upon me arriving home from son’s swim practice we happen to walk in when he was having a seizure. That was when I knew it was time. Typically he’d want to walk around to get his bearings back, but this time he just wanted to lay there. I talked to the vet the next day and then took a visit Saturday. We decided his quality of life is not there anymore. It hurts to think you’re taking your companion in to be killed, but realistically he’s suffering. In respect to him and all that he has given us it’s time to end his suffering. He’s not the same anymore. He barely moves and in his final week I’ve got canned food and hotdogs to feed him. His last supper so to speak. Today, October 4th is his goodbye.
I’m going to miss him so much. I’m going to miss my shadow. It’s going to take time for my healing, but I have a great family that will make it easier. Here’s to the best damn mutt I’ve ever known.
May you find your best buddy Kilmer somewhere out there.
Goodbye old pal.
Last year after my miserable foot/ankle injury that prevented me from running a marathon for my 40th I would look for a race that would get me back on track soon after recovery. I found that race in the Perfect 10 Miler which is a great residential neighborhood winding race through South Euclid and Lyndhurst starting and ending at Brush High School. A beautiful shaded course with some minor hills and one long gradual incline along a boulevard. For an August race you would think typically that the weather would be on the warm side, but since it is a well shaded residential course with lots of older trees the sun would be a non-factor anyway. Besides that a 7:30 start time is a pretty decent time to complete 10 miles before the baking sun becomes a factor regardless of the shade. It must be fate because the same as last year this year’s weather was perfect. Starting out in the 60s with partial clouds and cool summer breeze. I will say last year was a little bit more muggier, but it was manageable. Since I enjoyed this race last year I decided to run it again this year. My running partner also decided to join in as well and for once we were both injury free to run together. He is just way faster than me, but that’s okay with me. I just love running and as long as I finish I am happy. With training this year I would say I’ve been way more casual and less dedicated so coming into this race I thought for sure I would be way slower. Also, considering I had experienced a minor calf strain at some point after my 25k race in Grand Rapids, MI I had no idea what to expect when pushing it a little during a race. I also decided to not wear earbuds or listens to music either which is only my second time doing that for a race. I did better than expected. The first 3 miles I ran about a 7:45 pace then settled in about an 8:10 pace afterwards. On the long stretch through Belvoir Boulevard I ran with a group of 40 somethings and just started chatting it up. I love talking during runs just so you know, but often times other don’t seem inclined to do that. Finished the race just 2 minutes slower than last year (2013 - 1:21:09 — 2012 - 1:19:11)! I was stoked about that considering the lack of hard training leading up to the race. I did have great long distance runs the prior 2 weekends before the race, but didn’t think that was enough. Obviously my body was more prepared than I thought. I felt great after this race. Later on the race results were posted and I was stunned to realize that last year my overall place was 157 and my overall this year the same at 157! What are the odds of that occurring considering I was 2 minutes slower than last year? Last year for my age group I was 21st and this year I moved up a spot to 20th! Unbelievable. I guess, if anything, I am a consistent runner. Have a look for yourself on the results:
2013 Results (in the 40-45 group)
On Saturday, May 11th I ran my first ever 25k race in Grand Rapids, MI where the weather ended up being great for running. Prior to the race the Grand River had flooded leaving mud on the roads along the course. Luckily they got that cleaned up in time because I was told the alternate route was hilly. The course was already deemed hilly, but I’ll get to that in a minute. A running friend, Larry Smith, that I met on Twitter and lives in Holland not far from Grand Rapids said it always rains on this race. He even sent me a graphic showing the past ten years showing that. The week leading up to race day looked like it would not be out of the ordinary, but this year it was dry! I feel it’s because I was there. It was in the chilly 40s, but for this runner it was perfect conditions. I drove up Friday to meet Larry at the expo and to pick up my packet. I was going to stay for the pasta dinner at the expo, but the place was a madhouse. Did I mention that this is one of the largest 25k races in the country? Close to 23,000 runners for all of their races combined (25k with over 5 thousand runners) including 10 and 5k distances. So after quick hellos with Larry it was off to Grand Haven where my wife’s cousin lives. I tried to find a pasta place, but the closest thing I could find was a little hole in the wall pizza place called Fricano’s Pizza. It was hysterical in that it was like sitting in someone’s living room which technically you are since it is in a converted house. I sat at the bar and the menu was on the placemat as explained by the bartender which made perfect sense since the only thing they sell is one size of pizza with seven toppings to choose from. It was absolutely incredible. That’s all I can say. Great fuel the night before the race.
Larry on the left and me on the right.
I got to bed at my usual time around 10 and I slept like a rock. Even woke up before my alarm at 5:40 AM. Got my breakfast of a Stingers chocolate waffle and also their peanut butter energy bar. I love their honey powered foods. Not full of crap that you’ll burn through quickly. Check them out if you haven’t heard of them. I also had their cherry cola chews to have during the race. A cup of coffee later and we hit the road just before 7 for a 8:20 race time. Grand Haven is about 30-40 minutes northwest of Grand Rapids so not a bad commute.
6:00 AM “game face.”
Many roads were already blocked off when we arrived, but found a close place to get dropped off. I walked through a plaza and right next to the starting line is a parking garage which provided shelter from a brisk breeze. Nice since I was sporting shorts sleeves and shorts. Did my yoga like pre run warmup stretch in the garage. I can only imagine how I look doing that while others were doing their typical stretches or sprints up and down the road. I then get a txt from Larry trying to track me down. What was comical is that we were literally in the some area right across from each other, but we it several minutes to meetup. Now let me say this I respect Larry for his dedication to running. I’m dedicated, but he’s on a whole other level. He’s fast. Like seriously (he finished it in 1:45 for 15.56 miles). We shook hands and he went towards the front while I stuck with the 2 hour pace group. I planned on finishing anywhere from 2 to 2:15.
And we’re off. Sort of. The slow walk to the starting line timer strips may be annoying, but with 5,000+ runners it has to start slow. I stuck with the 2 hour pace group for the first four to five miles. We hit the stretch along the park that was covered in mud which was quite pungent, but I understand it was just covered in a swamp just a couple of weeks before. The water stations were perfectly placed, well stocked (thanks volunteers) and plentiful. We hit the bridge to cross the river where cousin Ben was standing passing out donuts! He’s such a hoot. I’m glad him and I have become great friends. Similar personalities and always looking for the next laugh. Donuts halfway on a 25k race is a riot. And BTW I was informed that several runners did take a donut from him. That is awesome. Anyway. This is where the “hills” start. I will say I am so glad I train on hills because it pays off every time. Passing other runners up a hill is kind of fun. After awhile I noticed the 8:00/mile pace group which I hung with them for the next sixish miles. At the halfway point I used good old Siri on my iPhone to tweet “Halfway there” which was kind of a funny thing to do.
I was still feeling great. Continued to control my breathing. Heart rate was higher than I wanted it to be, but that was from the fast 7:30/mile pace for the first four miles (the two hour pace group was moving too fast IMO). I would say for 95% of the race I felt great. Once we got to the one mile left ar I felt I had to take it down a notch. I was pushing it too much. Glad I did because on the final stretch up the hill to finish line I felt better and strong. Done. 2:07 for 15.56 miles. I was spent. Pushed myself and happy with the results.
After the difficulty of finding each other before the race, after the race it was as if it was planned because down the walkway I see Larry.
Post race smiles.
I love Grand Rapids. It’s a great artsy, clean and a craft beer drinkers delight. It’s a perfect place for post race rewards. Craft beer. Congrats on Grand Rapids for being voted as Beer City USA again. We hit up Hopcat for lunch. Their food is outstanding. Then Ben and I hit up Grand Rapids Brewing Company since it’s right next door to Hopcat. We got our samplers then headed to a newer brewery called Harmony Brewing Company. Oh my, this place is awesome. They have bacon nuts! Got a growler of their grapefruit shandy to bring home with me. Love it. The last stop on our brewery crawl is my favorite GR brewer, Brewery Vivant. This place is stunning. Love their Belgian ales. That’s all I can say.
All in all. It was another fun race. Meeting new people and pushing myself is what I love about running. There is a runner’s high you feel after you’ve accomplished something so great so intense. This is why I run. To push myself. It will be a repeat race, but not next year since I will be running Flying Pig 2014. More to come on that.
I was sore for maybe 2 days max after the race. Used rollers and it’s now time to do some recovery runs.
My race results. (This is a PR since it’s my first 25k right?)
I’m a, self admitted, tech junky. To be more accurate an Apple tech junky. I had the first iPod back in 2001 and then in 2007 I had the first iPhone. So coming up later in 2013 I have had many white corded Apple designed earbuds including the recent redesigned version for iPhone 5, Earpods. I haven’t just stuck with Apple’s earbuds either. I’ve bought, as my wife can attest, numerous ones over the years. Since I’ve gotten back to running I’ve looked for the perfect running earbud. Apple’s default model just don’t fit right constantly falling out plus they are not the greatest in audio quality. While for safety when running you still want to have some surrounding ambience filter in, but I think you can have the best of both worlds. The Apple Earpods are very well designed with pretty good audio quality and while they are better for running they still are not completely perfect. I’m also concerned about ruining decent earbuds and typically use an old pair when I go out for a run. Sweat can easily destroy them let me tell you. I ran the Flying Pig Marathon with decent earbuds which with the rain and sweat shorted out halfway through the race.
That’s where a simple “why didn’t I think of this before” adapter comes into my life. Earhoox. These are the simplest silicon adapter that “hooks” attaches to the earbud and then “hooks” right into your ear. It’s brilliant. It’s stupidly simple and magical. I’ve been running with them a lot lately and they are absolutely incredible. No slipping even when I’ve been in humid running conditions and sweating profusely. No hand reaching up to push back into ear. It works!
*Disclaimer. I received a free pair in a giveaway from from Earhoox, but it was not required or requested that I create a post to talk about them. I stand by why I say regardless of receiving them as a gift.
I just got back from vacation and this month’s StrideBox was waiting for me to open. This service just gets better and better every month. Here is this month’s score:
Last but not least was a surprise. A light up/reflective wrist strap was included in the last moment before shipping the boxes according to an email sent from StrideBox. My wife certainly likes the idea of me wearing something like this when it is dark. I must admit little extra safety measures doesn’t hurt for sure.
If you haven’t signed up for this $15/month subscription service I don’t know what you’re waiting for?
I’m too sexy for this kilt. Too sexy for this kilt. Too sexy…
March 16th the eve of St. Patrick’s Day where fools become Irish and the Irish become annoyed. Even though I am not Irish, but love to run I had circled St. Malachi race on the calendar at the beginning of the year as one I had to run. I’ve heard it was a fun race and frankly a post run beer opportunity is something I don’t want to miss. A few weeks before the race in another one of those fun light bulb moments I thought wouldn’t it be fun to wear a kilt. I quickly began to search for a kilt especially one that would be light in material and not traditional wool. They are expensive! Luckily there’s eBay which is where I found a light fabric model that was easy on the wallet. I had even investigated in sewing one with tartan print tech fabric, but time was running out. I was set. I got my kilt. I just wanted to have fun and just get some laughs.
While the course is not my favorite it’s still quite scenic to be running through downtown over the mighty Cuyahoga and up to the lakefront around Browns Stadium. The hill along Browns Stadium is rough and this from a guy that loves hills. I train on lots of hills all of the time, but this hill just gets my goat for whatever reason. The weather report leading up to race day did not look very promising. Waking up and looking outside it certainly lived up to the report even though I did not expect as much snow that was on the ground. It was big flakes. Got the kilt on and headed out the door. It was snowing hard. Temperature wasn’t too bad. I took the train downtown so I could get a mile warmup run in to St. Malachi Church. I was also running with friend from the Cleveland Running Co. group which also took the train. Usually heading towards downtown the snow lightens up and is completely different than the east side. It got heavier this time. It was crazy. Running across the Superior Bridge was the omen of how crappy the course would be. It was a slushy slick mess. The snow stopped and then sleet came. Then rain. Then little hail like pellets. Then snow again. Some form of moisture just kept coming down. It was crazy.
Wearing the kilt was fun. I wasn’t cold too much because the wind wasn’t bad at all. I got lots of stares and laughs from other that were just as festive in their attire, but there was only one other gent wearing a kilt. Odd. His was a true wool Scottish kilt which was great. The 5 Hour Energy people had a booth and requested a picture which I gladly obliged. There were a lot of people. Lots. I was looking forward to meeting people, but it was difficult to navigate through the crowds who were all trying to seek shelter pre-race.
There were 2 races, a 2 miler and the 5 miler which I competed in. The race was to start at 9:45 and began with a bagpiper. Nice touch. It took awhile to get moving and the roads were one sloppy slushy mess. You were soaked immediately. The worst part was the turnaround lane through Burke Lakefront Airport. It never got salted and was just a mess. My feet were so wet and cold, but I moved on. Once you got through the turnaround it was great to see all of the people behind you. There were 3,310 runners to be exact. What a turnout. My final climb up the Superior Bridge was strong which was part of the last half mile. I turned it up thanks to hill training me thinks. I passed at least 10 runners on the last stretch. It felt great, but with how wet and cold I was happy it was over. I claimed another PR for 5 mile race. I improved by 3 minutes over my previous 5 miler. Very satisfied with the results. Hope this is a precursor to the upcoming 25k in May.
Afterwards headed to the bars close by for a pint (or two) and yes still wearing the kilt. Overall a great day.
|Age Group (40-44)||Overall||Time||Pace|
The full 2013 St. Malachi Race Results.
The 5 mile course.
Photos from the race (Facebook).
In years to come March 13, 2013 will be looked upon in history as a significant day. Not because of a new Pope being selected no, but because of the massive freakout started over Google’s announced ending of life for Google Reader.Just look at what people are saying on Twitter.
Two weeks of no Pope: baby cured of HIV; breath test for cancer; saltwater found on moon of Jupiter. Day One with Pope: Google Reader dies.
Dear Google: I’m not “very sad” that Google Reader is being retired. I’m damned irritated.
To me it’s typical overreaction to technological changes and advances. Google is a corporation. They must answer to their shareholders and the bottomline. Google Reader was impossible for them to monetize and they knew it. That’s why they are moving on. You should too. Google never owned or controlled RSS which is what Google Reader uses to provide your feeds in a manageable collection. Yes they gain data by us adding our feeds to Reader, but they couldn’t control ads consistently which is where their real motivation is. Google shelled out lots of money for the development of Google+ which people are really not grasping. I think this tweet sums that up completely:
As tech junkies we scream for the next big thing and when the next big thing appears we react negatively. We are afraid of change in our routines no matter what good it brings. This only spurs innovation. Just look at the alternatives out there. The little guys can now show their innovation. I credit Google for letting others take this content syndication over. Take a deep breath people. All is well. You’ll be okay.
Wow, quite the chart: Doomed Google Reader still drives far more traffic than G+ bit.ly/YbAG9V
As you may recall I joined a subscription based monthly running goods service delivered in a box called Stridebox last month. Today I received the March box. It is great.
All in all this is a great pack for runners this month. I was just talking about about the Gu peanut butter gel after not knowing they existed. A fellow running group runner informed me of this after we were discussing our love of peanut butter prompted by a new peanut butter pie at my neighborhood pie store. It will be interesting how I react to it on a long run after my experience with the chocolate Gu in Flying Pig Marathon (gag).
The Kind Bar is awesome. I love their stuff. Not too sweet and well balanced. I can’t wait to try the Picky Bar. Sounds interesting. Can’t be wrong when it states “It’s freaking science, dude.”
The wrist pocket will be handy for short runs or races when I just want my car key with me, but on longer runs I have carrier belt that will be better for carrying items.
The frozen PowerICE bars will be interesting. Not sure about those. Might great on warm days to help cool down.
Can never have too many anti-chafe sticks so it’s nice to get another and the detergent is needed too. I have Tide sport detergent, but question whether the use scent to cover up the old sweaty runner smell as opposed to cleaning it. Can’t wait to test that out to see.
If you’re a runner a monthly service like this is great because it gives you a chance to try other things when you normally might not be privy to it. For this runner I like to try things out to see what is going to give me a great optimal run and this is one way to discover it.
3 years ago this May Kate and I watched her college buddy from BGSU days run the Cleveland Marathon. When he crossed the finish line something hit me and at that moment I said I was going to run a marathon for my 40th birthday. I was 38 at the time. Of course all went way ahead of plan when I ran the 2011 Flying Pig Marathon when I was 39 and with less than a year of training. While it was an incredible experience I felt like I hit “the wall” too early and easily. I still managed to beat my estimate of 4:30 for a full marathon by 9 minutes.
Then 2012 happened. The year of my 40th birthday. The reason why I got into this running thing. To run a marathon for my 40th. With a full marathon under my belt, adding a running partner, a mild winter & an awesome training season tragedy struck three weeks before the Cleveland Marathon. An injury occurred on my left ankle/Achilles area. Total disappointment and frustration took hold. At times it felt like I wouldn’t run again, but I came roaring back. I’ve since ran a 10 miler, 10k (recorded another PR), two 1/2 marathons (and two more PRs) and a 5k at 21 minutes and change. While the 5k was not a PR which I achieved back in my Army days when I was 18 (18:15) I am getting so close to that 18 year old runner. I feel as though the injury was a great lesson that I needed to learn. It helped me to get more mentally tough than I was which is something totally needed for distance running.
Which brings me to today. I originally thought I was done with full marathons and was settling for 1/2 marathons or 25k for now on. Training for a full marathon is a huge time drain which asks a lot of a family and as my kids get older their involvement in activities increases as well. I refuse to miss their activities ever which is more important than my running, but I have an itch. The itch is to run 1 more marathon. I feel I need to settle the score with the Cincinnati Flying Pig. This is not about me being competitive because I’m really not into that at all. This just boils down to me sticking to that original commitment even though I’ve ran a full marathon already. I also want to set an example for my kids to see what can be accomplished through commitment & dedication. More importantly this is also to fulfill my commitment I made to a little boy living with cystic fibrosis who I dedicated my Cleveland Marathon run for.
The other great factor in all of this is that I’ve met many great runners on Twitter from all over including some in the great down under of Australia. I’ve learned a lot from them in a short time like #plankaday and other races to check out. I’ll be running a 25k race in Grand Rapids, MI this May with one of these Twitter friends. Some of these friends will also be running the Flying Pig 2014 which is going to be awesome. Now to start recruiting more to run in Cincinnati May of next year. Will you join me? Let me know. I think I’ll design a shirt for the group.