Five Favorite Things About Running

Five Favorite Things About Running

Now there are to many things I like about running to count.  The simple act of getting outside, putting one foot in front of the other and going a little farther and faster then I ever dreamed is full of favorites.  Below is a list of five of my favorites.

In no order of importance…

th(thank you for all the memories)

1.  Friends –  I could never list all the great people I’ve met while running.  Whether I ran one race with them or trained for a marathon or ultra.  I felt a special connection with everyone I’ve had the pleasure of logging a few miles with.  I wanted to post a picture but I don’t want to leave anyone out…so if we ran together image your face in this post.

2.  Balance – The world tends to over load you with routine, responsibilities, concerns and burdens.  In the hustle its easy to forget about yourself.  Running has reminded me that I must tend to myself, my body, my mind and spirit.

fatface(me and my fat face look)

3.  No Fat Face –  Since turning 30 just a few years back (20 to be exact) I noticed its harder to keep my weight in check.  At a whopping 5′ 7″ when I gain weight its noticeable.  There was one distinct day that I noticed where this weight had accumulated.  On me the first place it collects is on my face.  During these heavy periods, I hate looking in the mirror and seeing a fat face looking back at me.  Running helps me keep my weight in check and helps that guy in the mirror look just a little bit thinner a healthier.

Medoc Rock(no fat face and my MEDOC 50k+ rock)

4.  Bling –  Sadly I did not “letter” in high school.  In the sports I did play, I did not win any trophies or win any races.  During my motor head years I did collect a number of “best in show” trophies, but to win a athletic trophy has always been more important then gaining one for having the prettiest car.   Each marathon medal means a lot to me, and scoring a 3rd place award, a beer stein for the a monster hill climb, my MEDOC 50k+ rock or My Umstead 100 mile Belt Buckle…my running bling is my favorite.

Umstead100collection(100 Miles at Umstead)

5.  Feeling Like I Can Do Anything – Although loving the game of football, I got kicked off my J.V. team for not being able to run a full mile.  That’s right ONE mile.  Although fast at the 50 yard dash I did not have the endurance or the mental toughness to stick out running one mile. My second running career has proved to me I can do anything….1 mile……I’ve run nearly 14,000 miles and I ran 100 miles in 22 hours 51 minutes and 05 seconds.  Take that J.V. football and Jeff Lane!

What is a favorite thing about your running?

Throwback Thursday – Cleveland Browns Edition

To celebrate the beginning of the 2014 Cleveland Browns training camp I thought I would share with you our trip from 2008.  Anthony and I drove up to Cleveland and where the first ones in line when camp opened.  Anthony and I where the first at camp three years in a row, even getting noticed by an camp reporter and scoring a write up on the Browns official web page in 2010.

uaatcamp(2008 Browns Training Camp and One of My Fat Face Periods)

The Firsts of Camp
By Matt Florjancic, Contributor to ClevelandBrowns.com
Posted Jul 31, 2010

With Browns Training Camp practices opening Saturday morning and afternoon, there were a lot of firsts for the season.

To be the first is to be the No. 1 in a competition, line or event and people take great pride in being the first.

On the day when Browns Training Camp opened and players and coaches began to prepare for the 2010 season, the team and fans experienced several firsts before the two-hour session came to a close with a breakdown of the team’s huddle.

With a handful of autographed memorabilia from The Locker Room Sale tent, Anthony Burk and his father Brian celebrated being the first fans through the gates in Berea. They left home in Virginia Beach, Virginia on Thursday and got to the Browns’ training facility at 5:15 am Saturday morning.

While the Burks settled into their favorite spots to watch the team practice, they experienced a lot of firsts that they shared with all of the fans decked out in their Browns best.

Ultra Runner David Clark – A Blog Interview About Recovery and Badwater 135

A Blog Interview with David Clark – Ultra Runner
(a giveaway for a signed copy at the end of the interview)

In 2013 a friend of mine ran the Leadville Trail 100 mile endurance race and recommended I watch the movie 1hundred.  As I watched the camera crews following you and three other runners during the 2011 version of the Leadville Trail 100 two things happened.  #1 – I became enthralled with running Leadville.  #2 – I marveled at your story about overcoming the addictive forces of drugs and alcohol.  You see I’ve had people in my life who have never been able to break that bound.  You not only turned your life around but also thrive in ultra-endurance running events.

davidclark

Q.  Without stealing too much “thunder” from your book…when was the first time you thought, “Oh this is not good (the addiction).”  And a second part, when was the first time you went for a run and thought, “Oh this is GOOD?”

David: I had a night when I was literally throwing up out of my truck window while driving down the road. I was barely able to hold off the impending unconsciousness that was coming as a result of the painkillers I swallowed earlier as I left the bar. Somehow I made it home without killing myself or anyone else. I realized I was in a fight for my life when I woke up the night day. 

There were a few OH My God, moments… Good and bad, but I really remember running this loop around the recreation center by my old house- it was about 8/10 of a mile track and it had a small rise where the sidewalk went over a hill. After months of dreading this little 20 foot section of path, I sped over it one day. I couldn’t believe the extra energy that seemed to come from nowhere- I felt like a runner. 

I love the movie 1hundred, I’ve watched it a ton…I toss it in if I’m stuck working-out indoors.  I’ll pop it in the DVD player when there’s nothing good on late at night and the night before an ultra.  I must confess I get all jacked up every time I see the four of you finish.

Q.  How did the movie 1hundered come about, did you know the other runners prior to filming?  Do you keep in touch with them?

A friend of mine told me that there was a documentary being filmed at Leadville in 2011 he also told me they were looking for athletes to be featured. I decided in an instant to send in a video of me telling my story- I am very thankful to Kevin Morris for selecting me for the movie, it was a huge honor. 

I didn’t know either of the other runners before the film although Abby and I were both born in Rochester, NY and worked for the same company at the time. We found out later after the film that we had a lot in common. She is a dear friend today. 

There were two people in the movie that played a large role in your story, your brother and Emily.

Q.  How are they and how did their lives work out after Leadville?

My brother Chase is sill a huge part of my life. He is an amazing guy and one of the truest humans I have ever met. I am sorry to say he is still Out There struggling. The most amazingly difficult thing about recovery is accepting it’s unpredictable nature- you never know when it’s going to come or if it ever will. It is so important for people to know that if they have a loved one struggling no matter what that person may say, they may be on the edge of a break through moment or it may never come. The only thing you can do is love them in the moment and stay out of the way. Any help you give the struggling addict can only prolong the agony- as addicts we must fall and break before we can put things back together.

Emily and I had an amazing love affair. It was like a dragster tethered to a rocket ship. The love we shared was very profound and deep, but in the end we found it difficult to find a peaceful place together. We split up as a couple but we are great friends today and I think she is one of the most unique and exceptional people I have had the pleasure of knowing. 

You’ve run Badwater, Leadville and Hardrock plus countless others

Q.  What’s your favorite training run/race?

davidclark3

Badwater has always been the pinnacle of what I have been looking for in my life as an athlete and seeker. It’s an extreme and spiritual journey like no other. Your phones don’t work in Death Valley and there is no support from anyone other than your own crew. There are harsh conditions, climbs that break you down and a long road that seems to never end- you are disconnect from everything other than the task at hand. You must find your peace to complete Badwater, there is nothing there to help you or ease your comfort. I think it’s as close to a near death experience as you can have in every way.

davidclark2

I actually dropped at Hardrock this year after only 9 hours of running… I was going to try to complete Hardrock and Badwater on back to back weekends, but after my feet had been wet for over 8 hours I had to make a very tough call to save it for Badwater- It was a horrible choice and I don’t know how it will turn out next week- but I wanted to make sure I was ready. 

Q.  If you could go for a run with just one person, who would that be?

The Buddha or Jesus Christ, but I don’t think I could keep up with either of those guys so I’ll go with Will Ferrel. 

When people find out I run long distances, after the crazy you’re not sane look, I get the same two questions, so I’ll ask you.

Q.  What do you think about?

The whole time I am out there is a conscious effort to not think. As I always say “You must be out of your mind to run 100 miles” If I can’t clear my head in a moment I try to focus on a powerful thought like “I am a Champion” or “I am a machine” 

Q.  Does it hurt?  And if it hurts for you like it does for us average runners…at what point does it start to hurt and how do you deal with it?

It does hurt. And the faster I go the more it hurts- the good news is that the race is over quicker though.  

For me the pain is usually the worst early on around mile 30 as the body and mind try to reject the concept of continuing all day. I hear runners say things all the time like “I never thought about quitting” but that’s not me. I am always tempted to quit almost every time I run- In fact even in some of my best races I had to really suck it up and make myself keep going. And I am always afraid before a race because I know that my head will catch me at some point. But as a former addict, I know the value of telling yourself to shut up and go to work. The pain and the dark place is where my light learns to shine the brightest. 

I noticed you ran with some folks who attended the Leadville running camps

Q.  What’s the biggest mistake you see Leadville rookies making?

Going out too fast is always a biggie here at high altitude, it’s easy to dig a deep hole and find yourself in a world of hurt. The problem from that point is some folks blame it on a bad day or lack of preparation and call it quits. The bottom line is you have to believe you can do this, it’s not enough to say you won’t quit, you have to know you’ll make it or your body won’t allocate the resources to get you through the lowest points.

Q.  What can us sea level/work a day runners do to get ready for the high elevations of Leadville?

I always suggest you train to your weaknesses no matter what, and focus on what you CAN do. Yes it’s great to train at altitude, but if you can’t do that, make sure every other part of your game is ready. Show up as fit as possible, fuel perfectly and fight it out. 

I experienced this with Badwater. I can’t train to run in the heat like others can, so I just go to work here as best as I can. 

Looking into the future.

Q.  Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I would like to think that I will continue to evolve as a person, a musician, a business owner and as a father. I don’t know if I will still be running or if I will have moved on to something else. But I would hope that no matter I do, I will try to do it as well as I possible can.  

It is also very important to me that I continue to grow spiritually and to help as many other people as possible. I know that serving others  makes me more happy and more peaceful than anything else can. 

Q.  If someone happens to be reading this blog and they are at that critical junction of their life.  Asking, Do I take the next drink, snort or shot…..or tie my shoes and go for a run.  What words would you offer them?

I would ask them if drinking or drugging has ever made them more happy? I think it’s important to be very in touch with how bad your life is with substance abuse in it. When the pain of staying where you are is bad enough- you’ll change. Even if you can’t see the way out yet. Some times the best way to see the way out is to run blindly in any direction. I would also invite them to reach out to me if they wanted to talk. 

davidclark1

Thank you very much for taking the time to appear on my blog.  I’m inspired by your story, your recovery, your life and your running.  I hope one day to make it to Leadville and I hope we get to go for a run.

You can pick up a copy of David’s book here.

A short video from David himself about his book.

Thank you…

You can win a “Signed” copy of David’s book By entering the giveaway below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Scare of a Lifetime – Runner Dehydration or Cancer

Two weeks ago for a brief second time stood still and my life seemed to be at the junction in the road where one path lead to happiness and the other to despair.  All I could do was stand there and listen to the sound of my own heart beating.  Once the proverbial clock on the wall began ticking again I had the scare of a lifetime…

After a hot and muggy Friday night run I had dinner with my wonderful wife.  The run in truth was tough but not out of this world challenging.  After dinner we had a few drinks, I did my social media stuff and then we went to bed.  Even thou I was very excited for Saturday to arrive, we were adopting two mini schnauzers, it was easy to fall asleep as I was very tired.

Around 10:30 p.m. I woke up from a pretty solid sleep to go to the bathroom for a routine middle aged potty break.  Stumbling into the restroom I went about my business pretty quickly.  In a state of being half awake/half asleep I got the shock of my life.  In the toilet was a mixture of dark black urine with what I thought were traces of blood.  Standing there staring down at the poisonous appearing mixture in the bowl I was for moments speechless. The air felt virtually removed from my lungs but some how I managed to call for my wife asking her to come and take a look.  Michele was a bit taken back as I woke her from her sleep, you see I’m kind of a shy bathroom business guy.  Coming on to the scene, she instantly knew that if I was summoning her from the bathroom something was up.

Michele was immediately caught off guard.  She confirmed what I had seen.  There was a real toxic looking mess in the toilet and it was not normal.

Urine_Chart(the true darkness and vial appearance of what we saw is not on this chart)

We considered going to the emergency room, but after a few Google searches we decided to hold off and see what my next bathroom visit brought.  With real fear and concern gripping me I chugged a bottle of water and some juice as Michele read off things like bladder/kidney infection, cancer and a thing called Runners hemturia.

In the past I had heard of runners in extreme endurance races having blood issues in their urine, but that did little to comfort me.  My run was only 7 miles, nothing like Hardrock, Leadville, Western States or Badwater.  With a lot on my mind I laid back down and tried to get some sleep.  An hour or so later I felt “the need” and with much concern I stumbled my way to the restroom again.  When things began to  flow I looked down to see “what was going on” again I was shocked at what I saw.

My urine was clear…  The rest of the weekend I settled into a routine of drinking water/Gatorade and hoping each trip to the bathroom was routine.  More specifically a release of clear or normal urine color.  Yet in the back of my mind, I wondered what was going on inside me.

Tuesday brought a doctors visit and I hoped an answer.  The doctor examined me and listened to my history.  After finding out that I was a runner he asked about my running distances and events then reassured me that in his opinion it was good that I came in but he was sure it would be running related.  Taking no chances, he ordered a full series of tests and sent me to the labs.  After giving blood and urine there was nothing to do but wait and pray.

More information on blood in urine and what you should do.  (#1 don’t ignore it.)

Then the phone call came.  “Hello, Doctor T. has reviewed the tests and asked me to relay to you that all the tests came back negative.”

Negative results Sign

That was the best news I had heard in………maybe my lifetime.

Motivation – Running Farther, Faster, and More Often Then Ever Before

Running is my talent?

I used to look at painters, singers and people who had unique artistic talents and think…what about me?  I often wondered why I did not get a “talent” like that?  Although I lacked the skills they had, those people with the talents they were given by God inspired me to look for my gift.  Sadly, I never found it with a pencil, guitar or chunk of clay.  At times I felt sorry for myself, why was I not given a gift which could inspire?

I never saw running as a talent.  Running for fitness I did out of routine.  It was a way to stay in shape and pass the yearly Air Force P.T. test.  Nothing more, nothing less and it certainly did not inspire.  Then one day running took me beyond the normal “let’s try not to get to fat” distances.  Once venturing out on longer and longer runs, running took me where it wanted me to be.  Free from the “normal,” the “standard” I was no longer bottled up by the uninspiring routine run.  I found I could do more, then something unexpected happened.

Could be it that maybe I found my talent?  I hope my running inspires you to find yours.

These people have inspired me this week.

timscott(Tim, near the end of 314 miles)

Timofei Szkatulski fresh off completing the Vol State 500k (314 miles).  Yes that says 314 miles and Tim did that without a support crew.  The race director offers two options to run this race, he calls them “crewed” or “screwed.” As Tim describes his run:  A 500k run that touches 5 states with a start date of July 10th, 2014 in Dorena Landing, Missouri. Finished in 6:12:30:40 (average of 48 miles per day) at Castle Rock, Georgia.  Tim race this race completely on his own.  Tim inspires me.  More info on this race can be found here.

I’ve only known Tim for a year. The first time I met him he came out to support me during a 50 mile training run for Umstead.  I can’t tell you how inspiring it was to have someone whom I had never met offer to help me in such an unselfish way.

And

trifinish(Andrea #431 Finishing her second Tri)

Andrea Shippritt McHugh, I’ve only known this amazing, inspiring and caring runner, no wait triathlete for a little over a year.  In that time Andrea has gone from being a 4+ hour marathoner runner to breaking the 4 hour barrier, becoming a ultra-runner, and now a triathlete.  Of all those amazing accomplishments, that is NOT what inspires me.  Below is a snippet of a conversation which was posted on Facebook.  This is what inspires me, she is the mother of two girls, one she calls Super M…and she is inspiring them. (I hope she does not kill me for using this, ha ha)

Andrea: While putting the girls to bed, Super M asked me if I was really scared to go “swim with the big fishes in the ocean” during my first open water tri this weekend. I told her that I am really nervous but I have been training for this for a long time and I think that I will be ok. I told her that sometimes we have to do really scary things to prove to ourselves that we are stronger than we think.

Super M: You know, Mom, you are right. We have to be brave and do scary things some times. Yesterday when there was a spider on the wall I was really scared but me and Goldie (her stuffed goldfish) took some toilet paper and smushed him and I realized that I don’t have to be scared of them anymore! I can just be brave and smush them whenever I want.

Me: That is true. I have been afraid of doing this for a long time and it is finally time to prove to myself that I can get it done. I even think that it might be fun!

Super M: I want to do something brave and scary! I want to give you my blankie tonight. I am a big girl and I don’t need a blankie to keep me safe. I want you to take it, Mom. I want to be brave like you! Can you keep it cozy for me?

Me: (No words. Just tears. And lots of hugs.)  They are always listening. So proud my brave girl for giving up her blankie on her own. Her blankie that has been in her life since birth. The McQ girls can do scary things. Do you think Blankie can keep me cozy and safe in the water this weekend?!

Who inspired you this week?  Tells us about it!

Our Schnauzer Adventures – The First Week

Our Schnauzer Adventures, The Week.

We have had Emmy Lu and Carly for just about a week now.  Everyone is getting settled into their new home.  The four of us are adjusting to the new routine and we are getting used to having a dog again.  Oh wait TWO dogs!  Over the past seven days Michele and I have noticed a few things about our two wonderful fur faced Schnauzers that make them uniquely them.

thepair(On the ride home, we travel well)

Emmy Lu:  She is two years old and a petite little girl.  She is a bit shy and a little timid.  She warms up fast and has bonded well with us but when introduced to something new she takes her time checking it out.  She loves to cuddle and is the “lap dog” of the two.  Once she climbs onto your lap she is there for the long haul.  Emmy loves to sit next to you and makes some of the sweetest noises when she yawns.  Her idea of playtime is pushing her head up under your chin.  She also loves to pat her front paws while encouraging you to play along with her.  At first she did not have much of an interest in toys, but she has begun to chase them across the room and when she can beat out Carly she brings it right back for another round.  The one trait that stands out is that Emmy Lu is a girlie girl, she does everything petite and neat.  She is a wonderful dog to have around.

emmy lu(Emmy Lu found a comfy spot)

Carly:  Six years old and full of fun. She is a bit shorter and stockier than your average schnauzer.  Rambunctious, She is a barrel of fun.  Whereas Emmy Lu likes to approach you slowly to get her cuddles, Carly runs you over in the process.  Not only does she come at you full speed, her tongue is licking at 100 mph.  A bit protective she keeps an eye on the world around us and is sure to tell us when someone new approaches.  Carly enjoys cuddle time and sitting on your lap but unless she falls asleep she is not there long.  It’s the funniest thing when Carly does fall asleep.  She flips over on her back with all four feet in the air while out cold.  When Carly plays it’s all out warfare on the toy or you.  Her idea of cuddling is power cuddles.  She will run up to you with her head lowered making sure you know she is there.  Carly loves big, from her hugs to her kisses to the way she gets her new toys.  Carly is going to let you know she loves you in a big way.

Carly(Carly sitting behind my chair watching the world go by)

Both dogs are very smart as well as house/crate trained.  They respond well on the leash and have not fought the harnesses at all.  Michele and I plan to work with them to teach the basic commands.  From what we see it won’t take long.

lovingmommy(Both dogs loving on Mommy)

Both dogs seem to really be enjoying the one on one time we offer them.  We believe we are bonding well.

We have so enjoyed our first few days and we are looking forward to many more to come!

Hydration – Ultra Marathon Racing, Running, and Training Essentials

REHYDRATE Before You DEHYDRATE (DIE)

CaptureDRINK2

Replacing fluids lost during sickness, outdoor activities, and working hours is the best way to prevent heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Thirst alone may not be enough for proper hydration.

Allow yourself time to become acclimated to your environment.

HYDRATION - is the process of adding an adequate amount of fluids, primarily water, to body tissues. Our bodies need proper hydration for metabolic processes such as:

• Blood Pressure
• Fluid/Blood Volume
• Controlling Body Temperature
• Heart Rate
• Lubrication
• Maintaining a Healthy Metabolism

CaptureDRINK1

DEHYDRATION - means the body does not have as much water and fluids as it should. The body is very dynamic and always changing. This is especially true with water in the body. We lose water routinely when we breathe, perspire, and urinate or have a bowel movement to rid the body of waste products. In a normal day, a person has to drink a significant amount of water to replace this routine loss.

Common causes of dehydration include: inadequate intake, diarrhea, vomitting, excessive sweating, and diabetes

Dehydration is classified as mild, moderate, or severe based on how much of the body’s fluid is lost or not replenished. When severe, dehydration is a life-threatening emergency.

CaptureDRINK

How Much Water Should I Drink?

1. Drink enough fluid so you rarely feel thristy and produce urine that is colorless or slightly yellow.

2. General recommendations of total water, from all beverages and foods:(Institute of
Medicine, 2004).

– Women approximately 2.7 liters (91 ounces) per day

– Men approximately 3.7 liters (125 ounces daily) per day

Health Benefits of Water
Water is your body’s principal chemical component, making up, on average, 60 percent of your body weight. Every system in your body depends on water.

 

Motivation -The Ultra Marathon — You Can Do It – 50k, 100k or the 100 Miler

Motivation

So You Want To Run An Ultra?

2012SeaShore(SeaShore 2012)

Well I’ll tell you, If I can do it anyone can do it.  True it is harder than a marathon.  It’s not good enough to be fit enough to run the race.  You also must be able to manage your body, your use of energy, fueling (food), feet (blisters), stomach, mental and all the logistics that go along with all of that.

If you are up to the challenge…successfully completing a Ultra-marathon is a bit different as compared to finishing a marathon.

Below are some of my choice “Ultra Marathon” race reports:

SeaShore 50k 2013

Graveyard100 2014 

VA Run Against Cancer 24 Hour 

My First 100 Miler 

Here are a couple of my friends Ultra Experiences for more inspiration as well:

Steve’s Western States 100: 

Nathan’s 100 at Hinson Lake 24 Hour:  

Krissy’s 1st Ultra 

Peachtree Road Race 10k – Race Report

PRE-RACE:  Very good friends Jeff and Kendra have lived in Atlanta for 20+ years. During that time we have visited them taking in the Aquarium, a Browns/Falcons game (Browns won), Golf and the Hard Rock Cafe.  Once running and racing took over much of my interests it was only natural that running the Peachtree Road Race would find its way on to my bucket list.  This summer our family schedules came together and Michele and I applied for race numbers through the lottery system.  It was a big day in April when we received word we got into the race.  The trip to “Hotlanta” was officially on.

PT10k8(Myself, Michele and Jeff)

Michele and I drove down I-85 with an overnight stay in Spartanburg, SC.  Up early the next morning we made our way to Atlanta and the Peachtree Expo.  Packing for an extended race weekend is always a balancing act of bring the right stuff without over packing or forgetting something.  Making this task easier this time around was that I had switched my running kit over from a cramped duffle bag to the runner inspired Performance Duffle Bag by Apera.  To tell you how awesome this bag is would take over this race report so look for a featured product review coming soon. (Hint Hint, spoiler alert, I love the bag)

Going into this race I was coming off a very busy spring.  I ran races of 100k, 100 Miles and 75 miles during a 24 Hour Race.  All of these long races took a toll on my lower body.  Especially beaten up were my feet.  After the 24 Hour Run in April, I developed a bit of tendinitis in my left foot/ankle.  I nursed this along the best I could but after the Windermere marathon on the 1st of June I had to take a little break.  Going into the July 4th classic I had not ran a single mile the 30 days prior to the road race.  With just a little bit of fear I had no idea what to expect.

ptexpo(Can’t leave an Expo empty handed)

EXPO:  The expo was outstanding.  Michele and I walked around for two hours, stashing our bags with every freebie we could get (we are not proud).  We also managed to purchase a few items along the way.  I was impressed at the size of the Expo and how welcoming everyone was.  We found a great mixture of vendors, food, running gear, clothing, exercise equipment, power drinks and local products.  Even if you’re not running Peachtree I would recommend visiting the expo for all the great deals on running and exercise related items.

ptexpo1(Favorite Vendor booth)

WEATHER:  Atlanta has a reputation for hot and steamy conditions.  Going into this race I feared a hot and muggy day.  Race morning greeted us with cool temperatures and near perfect race conditions.  The local paper reported that this was one of the coolest starting temperatures in the history of the race.

PT10k1(After the 10k)

RACE KIT:
Blue Umstead 100 technical short sleeve shirt
Black Nike dri-fit shorts
Bright Orange Nike Air Pegasus shoes
8 Layer white socks
Garmin 201 GPS watch
Blister prevention by RunGoo
Red Star Trek Command Running hat by Brain Storm Gear
Race Primer supplement by Runners High Nutrition
Travel bag by Apera “Performance Duffle

RACE:  Getting to the race, like the Marine Corp Marathon was a logistics battle as the race kicked off near downtown and parking was extremely limited.  Our friends who are familiar with the mass transit system recommend we use the MARTA (subway).  This worked out great getting us to the start location 1 hour ahead of my wave A start time.  The drawback would be that we would not have the ability to get to any forgotten items once we left home.

Along the ride to the race staging area, we got to chat with a few local runners.  One interesting fellow noticed my Umstead shirt and started a conversation.  What I noticed was that this older guy was going to run the 10k in full blown firemen gear including the oxygen slung over his back.  Ii wish I would have gotten a picture of him…but I did not think fast enough.

Michele, Jeff and I walked around the starting area which had plenty of port-a-potties, photographers, and pre-race festivities.  We enjoyed our time hanging out soaking up the energy and getting into our race Zen.  Being the 4th of July this race and the crowd that ran it offered up plenty of USA themed pride.  At 40 minutes prior to start I drank my Race Primer Supplement by Runners High as we walked up to the wave sorting point.  This is a well organized race and with nearly 60,000 runners…it has to be.

I started in the A wave, Michele and Jeff started in the N wave.  The starting area was well organized but also locked down tight security wise.  Michele and Jeff wanted to see me off and watch as my wave began the race, but with all the security in place only “wave allocated” runners could get close to their wave positions prior to race start.

ptfinish4(4th of July Selfie….love my hat)

START:  Standing on the starting line I could not believe how nervous I was.  I kept thinking to myself, you’ve run a 100 mile race, you’ve run 320 miles in five 24 hour races and finished 12 marathons.  Why are you nervous?  Truth is with my left foot/ankle having an issue I had no confidence in my abilities.  I feared pulling up lame or not being able to run the race I wanted to run.

Thankfully I managed to forgot about this for a few minutes as “Neil Diamond’s “America” played in the background.  This song always takes my breath away, and with the monster sized US flag in the background I decided to take a selfie with the Red, White and Blue flying behind me.

10 minutes or so before race start a nice girl named Rachel noticed my Umstead shirt and asked if I finished the 100 miler.  I told her I had.  A few people standing around us noticed our conversation.  It was fun chatting with her (them) as she told me about a great web site “Run Bum Tours.”  After we got done talking the nerves really set in…here I’m talking about my ultra running dreams of future 100s and I’m scared that my left foot will let me down.  After the Women’s and Men’s 10k elites took off it was time for the starting command.  I could not wait to STOP thinking and just run.

MILE 1: – 8:03  The start was great. Considering the large crowd it was pretty easy to get up to speed and get rolling.  I felt great, but knew from the first step my foot issue was going to come back.  30 days only allowed the issue to calm down it did not fix it or allow it to heal.  A lot of runners passed me during this early stage.  Going into this race my goal was to run at least a 8:00 minute mile pace the whole day.  Mile one…check.

Mile 2: — 7:24  Finally settled into a nice grove mile 2 provided an opportunity for the pack spread out.  Peachtree is a inner city 10k and it was fun to look around at the sites of Atlanta and the other runners around me.  Since this was my first race in GA it was a bonus to see all the new (to me) race and club shirts as I passed them and they passed me.  The scary part of mile two was the very noticeable downhill section.  According to the elevation chart the long downhill dropped 315 feet.  This helped considerably with the pace.  BUT I also knew what went down….must come back up.  At one point during this section I remembered someone told me there would be crowds of well wishes lining the course the entire way.  I took notice of this the crowds were awesome!  Thank You Atlanta.

Mile 3: — 7:08  Just prior to mile marker 3 the road turned uphill.  This hill is affectionately known as “Cardiac Hill” by the locals.  At the 3.5 mile mark the hill crested after gaining 135 foot.  I kept up a good pace and was proud of the fact that I passed a good number of runners here.  In the back of my mind I wonder how this effort would affect me later on.  With a good mental picture of the course in my mind I knew the later miles would offer up some nice rollers right into the finish.  For an interesting report of how this hill affected the race winner click here. And from second place.

On a side note: If I’m mentioning how a little 135 foot climb affected me I have a lot of work to do before tackling Leadville or Western States.

Mile 4 and 5: — 8:08/8:13  The rollers thou the city started at mile four.  I was feeling pretty good up to this point.  My pace was a bit faster then I wanted although I felt like I was running pretty well after my extended down time.  Midway thou this section it felt like we went from hill to hill to hill.  Towards the end I felt like a little zip was taken out of me.  I would guess the final miles offered up approx 400 of elevation gain right into the finishing chute.

Mile 6: — 7:43  Hitting mile 5 I knew it was time to push the pace.  In this final mile I wanted to use each runner in front of me as a mini-goal to chase down and pass.  I had hoped to catch and pass as many as I could.  That worked for a half mile then slowly I began to feel my legs come out from under me.  I chose to not run without my hand held water bottle and ran past every water stop.  Although a cool day, around this point in the race I began to feel really dehydrated.  Not wanting to give up a fairly well ran race I dug in and held on the best I could.

PT10k6(Almost home…)

Finish:49:20/6.35 Miles, I placed 3829/57171  The finish came none too soon, as I was really running out of steam.  Crossing the finish line I was so very happy to finish this bucket list race, to run a race in my 14th state and to finish under full power with out letting up because of my foot.  I did feel some slight tenderness because of the tendinitis and figure I’ll be living with this issue for a little while yet.

PT10k13(Michele and Jeff finishing strong, not sure we converted Jeff yet,
but he is consider the Richmond half)

Michele and Jeff fast walked the 10k (Jeff’s first) in 1:32:11 and 1:32:18 respectively

PT10k14(Virtual bling)

FINAL THOUGHTS:  The Peachtree road race is a GREAT event.  The Atlanta Track Club has hosted this race for 45 years including the very first running of the event in 1970.  I highly recommend this race to anyone who may be in the area and anyone who may have the opportunity to visit the Atlanta area over the 4th of July Weekend.  The crowd support was very up-lifting and the volunteer staff was welcoming.

My 72 race in 14 States…

ptfinish1(Beam me up…I’m done)

Smell No More – Product Review – Vapor Fresh Sports Laundry Detergent

Working out to maintain or improve your fitness has many great side effects.  You feel better, have more energy, and live longer.  But working out also has a few less then positive side effects…one of those is a lot of laundry.  Making problems worse that laundry does not smell the best.  Between my wife Michele and I we go through a lot of clothes.  By the end of the workout week, we have a ton of smelly gear.  In the past we washed our gear with a normal off the shelf detergent.  Although they came out clean and smelling much better I always wondered if they were 100% clean.  I mean I’m a sweatopotamus.  A few times I would be putting on clean shirts preparing for a run, I thought I smelled the remains of my latest 20 miler.

THEN…I was provided the opportunity to test drive RAW Athletics Vapor Fresh Sports Laundry Detergent.

RAproducts

Just as we had done the week before, Michele and I performed our normal weekly workout cycle and separated our gear for laundry on Saturday.  Following the instructions on the container we washed and dried our stuff.  Pulling the items out of the dryer everything seemed to be as before then upon separating my shirts I figured I would give them the hard smell test.  I was surprise to report that they smelled….like nothing just clothes.  No lingering sweat smell, no flowery perfume smell…nothing, JUST neutral clothes smell.

From their web-site:  Do your workout clothes have a lingering odor that doesn’t seem to go away even after being washed? Do your jerseys have tough stains that everyday laundry detergent cannot remove? The problem is that you wash them with everyday laundry detergent- but these are not your everyday clothes. You do not break a sweat into your nicest pair of jeans. You don’t run a half-marathon in your nicest shirt. Everyday detergents are not formulated for sports laundry, but Vapor Fresh® Sports Laundry Detergent is.Vapor Fresh® Sports Laundry Detergent is specifically formulated to remove tough sport-specific laundry issues such as dirt, grass, blood and sweat stains and lingering odors out of jerseys, athletic undergarments and performance fabrics, and is easily the best sports laundry detergent on the market.

And I believe them.

As active athletes we pay a lot of money for our work out gear, we put in the hours in the gym or out on the road…might as well look good and smell good at least before our workout and let Vapor Fresh sports laundry detergent take care of the after smell.

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