Night Time Running – Survive The Run – Race – Training

Because of my work day commute and day light savings time…..my fall/winter running is done after the sun has gone down.  I’ve been running in the dark for the last few years and although I DO NOT prefer this…I continue to stick to the routine to get my training run in.  The one thing, other then a ton of miles, during this time I have learned the six survival lessons of Night Time Running.

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#1 Be reflective…I wear as much light reflecting gear as I can.  I also wear a white shirt over any dark tops I may choose to go out in.

#2 Provide your own light…I carry a LED flash light or my knuckle lights in my hand so that I can ensure on coming traffic, fellow runners, wild dogs and Batman can see me coming.

#3 Run on roads you know like that back of your hand…I hate running loops over the same roads night after night like anyone else, but in the dark is no time for a new adventure, no night time trips down the yellow brick road here.

#4 Be ready to hurdle kids toys left in the road at a moments notice…my parents would have
beat my butt.

#5 Be on guard for pets who are free roaming or off their leash…Why is it pet owners can’t seem to understand that dear old “SPOT” needs to be on a leash no matter how friendly their 100 pound bulldog is. I’m a dog person, love man’s best friend but pets need to be on a leash/under control.

And most importantly…….PROTECT yourself…people just don’t understand how much damage a 4000 pound car, even moving slowly, can do to a 154 pound runner in his Nike Air Pegs.

Enjoy the run, and survive the night.

Motivation – Running – Training – Life

Motivation is defined as the process that initiates, guides, and maintains goal-oriented behaviors. Motivation is what causes us to act,  to continue to act or to act in ways that may be new to us.

But what really compels you to move?

Is it a coach who highlights your potential, or one who declares your failures?

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Is it a tangible goal, a reward, a trophy on the shelf or notch in your belt or the personal satisfaction of achieving a previous goal.

According to psychology.about.com/ “There are three major components to motivation: activation, persistence, and intensity.”

For us runner these three components manifest themselves in obvious way.

Activation: The act of running, it near impossible to train for a race or a new distance goal without putting in the miles.  You have to put the time in on your feet running, moving and growing.

Persistence:  Getting out the front door once or a handful of times is normally not enough to shave minutes off a Personal Record or to add miles to our long run.  Reaching our goals as runners requires continued action to stretch ourselves over time, improve our perform and raise our potential.

Intensity:  “No pain no gain” To get faster, to run longer distances, and to achieve new goals takes a level of effort that is higher then what you have done in the past.  A runner who thinks they will get faster running the same training plan, pace or distances is only fooling themselves. To run faster, or longer…you have to train faster and longer.

As I write this post and prepare it for my Monday blog post, it’s dark (3:55 am on a Sunday morning), it’s cold (14 Dec its 28 degrees) outside and I’m sitting in my easy chair.

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Comfortable, warm and happy….what will I do?

I’m going running!

Bucket List, A Look Back – Olympic Stadium -Super Bowl – Arizona Memorial

The Bucket List post is a common post on most Blogs.  I’ve posted one with a few updates myself.  If you’re not familiar with the thread, a “Bucket List” is a list of experiences people would like to do, see or accomplish before their time on this planet expires.  This concept was made popular by the hit movie of the same name, where Two terminally ill men escape from a cancer ward and head off on a road trip with a wish list of to-dos before they die.  More information about this movie can be seen here.

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During a recent long run, It occurred to me, that maybe we spend too much time looking forward and not enough looking back.  One of my thoughts turned not to what I want to accomplish, but to what wonderful places, things, experiences and truly great people I’ve come into contact with during my first 50 years.  As I post this list, it’s not a “look at me” list.  But a reflection of how I’ve been truly blessed by our creator God, who for some reason has shined favor on me and put in some truly remarkable places.

brian@stadium(During a 2005 trip to Athens)

During a family trip to Athens, Greece, I got to stand at the entrance of Olympic stadium and walk among the ruins of the Acropolis.

on field 11(Sideline passes with Chomps)

With the last few Browns Backers raffle tickets we purchased, our numbers were pulled.  My son, Anthony, and I got to be on the sidelines pre-game for a Browns home game.

Although it was not my team, I was on the sidelines/press boxes for the Washington Redskins vs Denver Broncos Superbowl in Jack Murphy Stadium.

micheleandbrianonbeach(Michele and I on Omaha Beach)

Had the honor of paying  respect, to the greatest generation, with visits to Pearl Harbor and the Arizona memorial and the Normandy landing locations including Omaha Beach.

At first it was an remote assignment I did not want to serve, Thule, Greenland, 900 miles south of the North pole. While standing on the edge of a fjord watching massive sheets of ice break free from the seaward side of glaciers giving birth to new Icebergs, I thought….how many people get to see this.

Northern-Lights04(Northern Lights Over Norway)

On a cold dark night while in a frozen northern country, as I walked back to my dorm room a colorful band of green lights danced above my head…”wow the Northern Lights.”  Words can’t explain the mystery and elegance.

And so many little things, I’ve tasted whale, seen but not played Saint Andrews, walked among ruins of the civilizations of Rome, Greece and Northern Iraqi. I’ve met Lance Armstrong (before his fall), Robin Williams, Frank Gifford, Bernie Kosar, Don Shula and Kid rock.  I’ve worked on a SR-71, supported a Space Shuttle launch and moved troops into Northern Iraq to take down a dictator.

It has been a wonderful first 50 years….now on to that list.

Umstead 100 – Graveyard 100k – JFK 50 – Comparing Ultras

Last year was an epic running year for me.  I achieved a lot of firsts and added a lot of awesome races to my running resume.  On top of 10 other races, I ran my first 100k at the Graveyard, my first 100 miler at Umstead and my first JFK 50.  When all was said and done, and as I had time to sit back, kick my feet up and reflect on each “first” I realized each race offered it’s own unique and very personal challenge.  Each had it’s own personality.   There were parts of each race that I liked, I hated and parts that exposed portions of my running soul.  Since a bunch of you have asked about each race I thought I would take some time, to write a short comparison of each.

In order of when they were run.

GRAVEYARD 100k – a 63 mile point to point race run along the Outer Banks of the Eastern Shore, North Carolina.  I ran this race as a training run as preparations for the Umstead 100.  This was the first point to point race I’ve run of any significant length.

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Finishing time : 14 hours 36 minutes 16 seconds

The course is fairly flat traveling along the paved highway on Bodie Island and Hatteras Island covering much of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore via historic Hwy 12.  There is only one true change in elevation, when crossing the 2.5 mi. long Bonner Bridge (49 ft.) spanning Oregon Inlet between Bodie Island and Hatteras Island.  From the stand point of elevation it was fairly easy.  Being a point to point race there was no issues/challenge of running repetitive laps, you simply ran until you reached the finish line at the end of Hwy 12 and the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum.  This made parts of the run fun and difficult all at the same time.  During the course of the run I said numerous times, “I’ll never have to see that gas station, sand dune or house again” and I also wondered to myself out loud, “is that the last gas station, sand dune or house or do I have 100 more of them still in front of me.”  In the middle of the night the seemingly endless features lining the infinite route haunted you.

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I choose to run this race solo.  Without a support crew I would only have access to the race provided support at the aid stations spaced roughly 20 miles apart. This offered up a big logistics challenge, anything I needed in-between would have to carried in my race vest.  The aid stations were well stocked, supported and up lifting….they were a true oasis in the middle of the run if not in the middle of the night.

The most challenging part of this run was the lonely miles in the middle of the night.  With the long open road stretching out in front like an unbroken ribbon, at times I wondered if I was getting closer to the finish…or was I one of the last lone runners on the face of the planet.

You can read my race report here:

UMSTEAD 100 Miler – a 100 mile race held on a looped course within Umstead State Park in the Raleigh/Durham area of North Carolina.  This would be my first attempt at the 100 mile milestone, and my main goal for the year, everything I did in the early months of 2014 focused on success at this race.

Umstead-buckle

Finishing time : 22 hours 51 minutes 05 seconds

The course covers a rolling 12.5 mile loop around Umstead State Park, which you run eight times.  Many find a “repetitive” type course a mental challenge which can become mind numbing.   Myself I don’t mind them, and liked the loop course for my first attempt at this distance.  The loop course helped me countdown to my goal, it helped me maintain my pace and it helped me stay focused.  The eight laps were comforting in a weird kind of way.  Although at times I did get tired of seeing the same old rocks, trees, bridges and hills over and over again.  The 100 mile course offers if not steep, some truly challenging climbs….they might not be challenging on lap one, two or three…but they will surly add up.  Each lap provides a change in elevation of 1000 feet, which after eight laps offers up a pretty respectable 8000 feet. If these hills were not a challenge early on, by lap eight you’ll be happy to never see them again.  Running eight times around the course you had 40 climbs to conquer.  In the middle of the night on lap seven I came up with the most appropriate question related to the hills at Umstead.  Would you rather get punched once or twice by Mike Tyson or 40 times by the local tough guy?  That’s how I some up the hills at Umstead.

umstead Hills

With the looped course you were never far from aid or the emotional up lifting energy of a smiling face.  For my 100 mile race my wife was crewing for me.  She set up camp on the Headquarters spur which provided two opportunities to see her and take on any needed hydration/food or adjust any gear.  The two manned and one unmanned race provided aid stations were awesome.  The food tables were well stocked, and the volunteers extremely supportive. I got the feeling that each volunteer wanted to personality ensure my success during this race.

The most challenging part of this run was the hills…after eight cycles around this course I hated each and every hill with a passion.  On my last lap I called them out by name..”Hill number 1…I’ll never see you again!”  “Hill number 2…go suck an egg.”  You get the idea.  It was kind of fun to count down the hills on the last lap and I’m sure I offered up some late night entertainment.

You can read my race report here:

JFK 50 –  The Granddaddy of all ultra marathons and the countries longest running ultra, the JFK 50 is more than a race it’s a happening.

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Finishing time : 10 hours 06 minutes 27 seconds

Although another point to point race this 50 mile challenge offers up three different race conditions in one outing.  Beginning in downtown Boonsboro, the race starts off with a bang and a climb.  The first challenge of the day was the nearly 1200 foot climb to the highest part of the race at the start of the AT section (5 miles).  The next 10 miles are spent on a rather difficult single track trail section that offers up some of the more technical trails along the AT.  This section provides a constant hammering on the quads as runners spring from one rock section to another.  This AT section runs along the ridge of south mountain and ends on a series of rapidly descending switchbacks (1000 foot) that lead the runners to Weaverton and the beginning of the tow path.  The flat and endless C&O canal tow path (26.3 miles) strolls the crowd thru the towns of Harpers Ferry, Antietam, Shepherdstown,  and Taylor’s Landing, Maryland.  At the end of the C&O section the race course joins the paved roads at dam#4 following the rolling country roads (8 miles) that bring the race towards the town of Williamsport, Maryland and the finish line.  Each section of this point to point run…was different and challenging in its own right.

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Running solo, I carried extra food and hydration items in my race vest.  In fact I did not need to carry any extra items, the race provided aid stations were plentiful and never further then 6 miles apart.  These aid stations were sponsored by local running clubs and each one attempted to out do the previous.  This paid off for us runners as there was plenty of food, drinks and positive energy at each aid station.

The most challenging part of this race was the start of the race to the very beginning of the AT section.  I normally start all of my runs with easy opening miles, allowing my heart rate to increase gradually.  The JFK opening miles had my heart rate rising from the first step.  The climb out of town and the technical trails took a lot of life out of my legs.  Upon exiting the AT I felt like I had just run 30 miles and completed 10,000 squats.  My legs were trashed and I had 35 miles to go.

You can read my race report here:

IN CONCLUSION, each race is uniquely its own.  Each course offers up its own brand of challenges.  I’ve been asked many times and If I had to rate which one was harder I would list them in this order, JFK 50, Umstead 100 and Graveyard 100k.  No matter which race you decide to run, all are well worth the entry fees, training time and the logistics effort to get there.

Happy Birthday – Runaversary – Running – Bloggers – Fitness

Thanksgiving weekend is a great time to sit back, reflect on the year and count our blessings.  I’m thankful for so much…including this blog.

happy 4th birthday

Thanksgiving weekend is also my Blogs birthday, it’s 4 years old this weekend…and I can’t believe all the truly OUTSTANDING things that have happened thou this blog.

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I’ve made great friends, they have touched my life.  They have inspired me, pushed, and challenged me.

I’ve made an impact with others.  My most cherished accomplishment with the simple words that I write here, I’ve been told that my running and my blog has touched the lives of others.

I’ve run races I only dreamed about, and some I never truly imaged running, but the runners I follow inspired me to stretch my goals.

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This blog has had over HALF A MILLION viewers….and over 450,000 since I moved it to my personal domain.  This simple parking spot on the web, has opened many doors for me.

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When I hammered out my first post, I wondered if anyone would read it.  4 years later I have two signed contracts for my written works to be published in a National Magazine.  And I have nearly finished my first novel, a story of Life, Love, Loss and Endurance Running.  It’s a fictional story but based loosely on my life.

Thank you to all my followers, friends and virtual running partners.  We may never get to run together, we may never met in person…but we have shared a great deal of my running and life together.  I look forward to the next four years and beyond.

 

 

 

Race Day – JFK 50 – Ultra Marathon – Trail Run

JFK 50 – Seems like only yesterday I was filling out an application by hand, writing my name on an envelope, applying a “Forever” stamp and mailing in my request to run the oldest continuously run ultra marathon in the U.S.   Now as you read this I’m sitting back trying to collect my feelings about my finish and this race.  I’ll start off by saying this was an awesome event.  I found the race very organized, well supported and everyone I came into contact with was very welcoming.  I also found this race more challenging then I had anticipated.

My JFK 50 plan and goals were previously posted here.

JFKstartboonsborosignThe Start
(Photo by 
Joseph Stretanski)

Bottom Line, I finished my first running and the 52nd running of the JFK 50 Mile Endurance Race in 10 hours, 06 minutes and 27 seconds.

JFK50Tow path profile and narrative from local newspaper

The Start and the Appalachian Trail section:  Race morning began with a pre-race briefing in the Boonsboro high school gym and then a short walk to the center of this historic town.  Up to this point this felt like any other early morning race, even with the chilly (19f) temperatures.  Once standing in the center of town, listening to our national anthem, things got real.  All of a sudden it hit me, I’m running the granddaddy of all ultra races.  This thought barely had time to sink in and the gun went off.  As we made our way out of town, I remembered I had trained hard, was in good shape and happy to be finally running this great race.  In the early steps of the day, I believed I was ready for anything.

Myself along with the pack of nearly 1,000 runners made it’s collective way out of town.  It wasn’t before long that I noticed that the road began to rise.  What I was not ready for was the opening miles running uphill on the roads leaving Boonsboro and approaching the AT.  Some how I missed planning for this <sarcasm> “easy” </sarcasm> section.  I knew it was very early in the day and with the excitement and the increase in elevation my heart rate was going up faster then I expected.  I soon began to worry about burning out to early.  Wanting a tapered start I choose to fast hike some sections of these early miles, reasoning that any time I lost here I would be able to make up on the flat/tame tow path.  Little did I know what shape I would be in when the tow path came around.

jfk50JFK 50 unofficial map

Timing Mat #1, Start of the AT, 30:37:  Honestly I had no idea what to expect from the AT section.  I knew there would be some climbing, I knew there would be some down hills and I knew the footing would be challenging.  Once on the AT, I was ready for the challenges I’ve previously mentioned.  I was not ready for them all at once.  I was also not ready for the narrow passing lanes.  I’m not trying to imply that I’m a fast trail runner, but at this point I was ready to make up some ground.  Even with the challenging footing I felt like I could run a quick if not steady pace.  The only problem was the single track trails made it difficult to get around people.  I lacked the confidence to pull out of the single file lines to make any forward progress.  At times I also felt like I was holding people up.  The footing on the AT was much more technical then anything I had run on before, this slowed down some of my progress early on.  It was only when I was able to link up and tag along on a fast moving train of other runners was I able to make up some time.

As hard as the AT trails were I enjoyed the challenge as it kept my attention the majority of time.  The few times my mind/attention did wander off I was abruptly called back to reality by a miss placed step or a toe impacted right into an awaiting rock.  I caught myself from falling a number of times but never made contact with the very jagged and hard rock surface of the trail.  I did witness a few other runners who were not so fortunate.  The miles on the AT passed relatively fast as there was not a lot of idle time.  Exiting the AT would offer up one more opportunity for disaster.

Approaching the exit stage of the AT, “Weaverton Cliffs,” a course marshal was posted at the beginning of the infamous switchbacks.  This section was fast, steep and required all of your focus.  The very attentive marshal offered up some words of warning.  “If things are going to go bad for you, it’s going to happen here and it’s going to happen FAST.”  And he was not lying, the switchbacks were fast and had very little room for error.  One wrong foot placement, one miss step or rolled ankle and you would have been tumbling down the AT trail with a resting place among the trees, rocks and potentially on a landing surface 100 feet below.  During this section my eyes were glued to the trail and the shoes of the runner in front of me.  A crash on this section would have been bloody and ugly.

NOTE:  It was reported that one unlucky runner met such an unfortunate fate.  I heard after the race that a JFK runner tripped on these switchbacks and in the fall the gentlemen suffered a busted lip, banged up nose and swollen face.  Reports had him tripping on the switchbacks and going face first down the side of the trail and slamming into a tree.  After first responders patched him up, he proceeded on to the C & O Tow Path and ran another 36 miles.  Witnesses said it was very bloody, later I was glad to read this 68 year old Vietnam/ Marine Corp veteran finished his 26th JFK, but had to dig deep after the fall.

jfk50weaverton cliffsWeaverton Cliffs
(Photo by 
Joseph Stretanski)

Timing Mat #2, Weaverton, 3:23:03

The Canal Path:  Approaching the Weaverton aid station I could finally divert my attention to something other then foot placement.  At less then a third of the race distance, at 15 miles in, I could not believe how compromised my legs felt.  My thighs/quads were wasted, it felt like I had just completed 10,000 squats.  My legs felt heavy and weak, just when I needed them to come alive.  I just could not believe I had 35 miles to go.  My legs were a complete mess.  In my initial planning for the race I had a goal of getting off the AT in under 3 hours.  I came off the AT much slower and in much worse condition.  I knew this section was going to be challenging after all we have nothing like these conditions around the 757.  To counter this I planned some training time in the mountains, but these got cancelled for logistics and support reasons.  Knowing all of this I hoped that surviving the AT I could make up some time on the tow path.  But with the state of my legs I had to settle into a 10 minute run and 2 minute fast walk pace to gain some recovery for my beat up wheels.  This was very humbling, but at the same time just what I needed to rebound.

jfk50towpathThe Tow Path
(Photo by Joseph Stretanski)

The next 27 miles of tow path running were spent playing mental games within myself adjusting my running/walking routine to pick up the pace to gain back some time that I felt I lost on the opening sections.  Slowly life came back to my legs and my spirit.

The support along this section was outstanding, the majority of the miles were very lonely with limited crowd support but when you did come across an aid station the energy and enthusiasm propelled you over the next few miles.  I found all of the volunteers very supportive.  I also came across some very interesting characters along the way.

10372331_10153334361249746_6720876840098663274_nEveryone was there to cheer you on…

I missed out on the red velvet cake, at the 38th mile aid station.  I was battling with my stomach just a bit and although this cake looked wonderful, I just could not bring myself to try any and risk upsetting my stomach along the trail.

Timing Mat #3, End of the Canal Path: (No Time Reported)

The Road to Williamsport.  Coming off the tow path it was refreshing for my feet to impact and run on pavement.  The level surface was welcoming, it made my legs feel fresh and alive…unfortunately that only lasted a short time.  These finishing miles are run over very rolling terrain that normally I would be able to power up and accelerate down.  In the closing miles of the JFK, after a beating from the AT and the droning of the tow path, I had to settle with fast hiking up anything that looked, smelled or may have been an uphill.  I was able to run the flats and down hill sections, pleasantly surprised that I was able to keep up a solid 9:00 mile pace while  averaging my mile splits right at 12:00 miles.

As the miles clicked off I found myself struggling with being able to put the hammer down.  I tend to run conservative not wanting to burn out.  As I neared completing this run with only single digits left I could not mentally sell out.  I ran mile 45 and 46 continuing to conserve my legs and lungs to guarantee a finish.  Although I was well ahead of a cutoff, I still feared not having enough in the tank to complete this race.  It was not until mile 47 that I finally sold out and ran as fast a pace as I could muster.  The final right hand turn provided an awesome sight seeing the finish line within grasp.  Then it hit me….an up hill finish.  “Who in their right mind finishes a 50 mile race with a up hill….you got to love this.”

Crossing the JFK 50 finish line can only be compared to crossing the finish line at Umstead.  At the end of this race I truly felt like I had accomplished something, not simply ran another race. Maybe it was because the course was a true challenge in every essence of the word.  Maybe it was because the JFK 50 felt like a right of passage for me as an Ultra-Runner.

jfk50brian2JFK 50 – Finisher

Whatever the reason I’m very proud of my finish, 415 out of 912 starters, 10 hours 06 minutes and 27 seconds.  I toed the starting line hoping for a sub 10 hour finish…without truly understanding the challenge the JFK 50 offered up.  I crossed the finish line knowing I met every challenge throw my way.  At points I wish I would have done better, wished I had been better prepared but knowing I gave it my all.  Will I come back for a rematch….I said a number of times that this may be a race where I’m one and done.  But the JFK 50 offered up another challenge, can you do better?

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Will I be back…..you bet ya!

THANKS to…

As always my loving wife for supporting my crazy adventures.
Chris and Brad for the ride to the High School….Congrats on your finishes!
Brad and Vickie for the ride back to the hotel…Thanks so much!

The Videos will be coming soon…

jfkwithgoproJFK with a GoPro

 Other JFK 50, 2014 Race Reports:

Steve’s Race Report  JFK 50
Pat’s Race Report  JFK50
AJW’s Race Report:  JFK50

Running – Weight Control – Dieting – Fitness- New Life

Running Has Helped My Weight Control.

Contrary to a published report on the HuffingtonPost, (Sorry but I have a hard time taking anything with the name Huffington seriously) on running and weight-loss, I do believe running is idea for weight control and in fact I offer my 5 ways running has helped me lose my unwanted pounds.

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1. The Long Run. During a typical long run (15+ miles) I’ll burn anywhere between 1,500 and 2,000+ calories. I average two long runs per month. I don’t care who Huffington is…that equals weight-loss. Now you have to be smart about it…you can eat your way through your long run with just one visit to whopperland, but if you stick to a sensible diet, sensible portions and work on getting in your long runs…you will lose weight.

2. I no longer view food as entertainment. Since changing my view of myself as a runner, (Ultra-marathoner) to an athlete I now see food as a source of fuel and recovery. I need fuel to power the machine and heal the body. In the past a cup cake was a good snack…or a whole meal, today I balance what I eat to build a fuel supply for my next run/race or recovery from a hard work out. And when I’ve been a really good Ultra-runner…I sneak in a cup cake here, an Oreo there. You got to enjoy life some.

3. I eat better. Gone are the days of living off Pizza, Pop Tarts, Fritos and full strength Pepsi. Today I balance my meals for nutrient. Being a picky eater most of my life, I resisted the attempts of others to get me to try food that was “good for me.” Today the runner side of me has opened my world to a wider choice of things to eat. I’ve tried new foods, new dishes, new styles of food, just because they were a good food source for an athlete.

4. I don’t just run, I train. I hate to admit it, but I do just run…I don’t lift weights or do cross-fit or work on core. I want to, but my life style is so limited on free time that when I have “the time,” I Run. But I “train” while I run, if you run at the same pace, same distance every day, day in and day out, your body will get used to the effort your putting out and your weight loss will become stagnant. I vary my run, and my training. I run long on the weekends, and my week day runs are a mixture of speed, hills, tempo and recovery. I also vary the distances I run, 15+ on weekends, double digit at least once during the week and maybe twice if I have the time and solid 7+ miles the rest of the week. I average 5 to 6 days a week, covering 50 to 60 miles. I also vary the training pace of my run. Some days are fast, some days are slow…but normally every day I’m finishing at a pace faster than when I started.

5. The Competitive Edge. My body is no longer just a vehicle that drags me around from place to place…it is now my weapon of choice to prove I still have it. I’ve really focused over the last six months and lost 20 pounds. I feel so much lighter during my training and especially on race day. When I get on a scale it is not just to monitor my love handles, it is to check on the status of my racing machine.

Now I’m no fitness expert, I do not have a medical degree, I’m not professionally trained, I have stayed at many Holidays Inns, but I’m not a running expert.

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(The Fat Face of Brian)

I can only tell you what has worked for me. And that is Running, Endurance type running has helped me maintain my weight over the last 15 years. I’ve had some up and down times over these years. I have the type of metabolism that as soon as I stop running my weight control goes out the window and my eating habits go with it. When I’m running my weight/eating habits are balanced. And over the last year of focusing on Ultra-Running…I have really noticed a difference in my weight, my eating habits and my running performance.

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(The Ultra Face of Brian,
with my Honey)

It works for me!

Running-questions-fitness-distance-race-training-marathon

Why do you do it?  Is it hard?  Can I do it?  Does it hurt? 

Over the last 14 years I’ve been asked a lot of questions about running in general and specifically about my running.  Recently on a training run in Pocahontas State Park, with my GoPro filming, I thought I would answer the top five questions I’m asked about my running.

NOTE: Struggling a bit with Youtube upload quality….pls bear with me.

  1. How did I get started and why do I run long distances ?

2. How far, how often, and how fast do you run?

3.  Is running bad for your knees?

4.  Who was your favorite running partner and who would you like to run with?

5.  Where do I see my running taking me?

Thank you so much for watching my first video blog entry.  If you have the time please subscribe to my video channel on YouTube.com.  I’ve got a lot to learn about video editing…and as always THANK YOU for following my Blog and my Running!

Still Trying To Decide – Spring 100 or March Marathon Madness

Spring 100 or March Marathon Madness

Planning a race calendar is a difficult task to accomplish.  There are many variables to consider, such as: family plans, available income, vacation days, work and finally de-conflicting the race dates themselves.  Last year I ran my first 100 miler at the Umstead 100 Endurance Race.  Since then I’ve wanted to run another 100.  But when?

Umstead100collection

I first considered running another 100 towards the end of 2014, for all of the above reasons, that did not workout. The remaining months of 2014 zinged by so fast and we had other events planned, family vacations, work and other races.  I could not find the time to stuff in another 100, so I set my sights on a spring 100.  Then some where along the line I came up with the idea for “March Marathon Madness.” What is this March Madness I speak of?  Four Marathons in Four Weeks and the Monument 10k.

Now I stuck between do I run the Madness or a Spring 100.  With all my other life commitments, the targeted 100 and the marathons are now conflicting?

So the question is…should I run:

The Graveyard 100 on March 7th or

The Umstead Trail Marathon, The One City Marathon, Shamrock Marathon and The Reston Marathon? (this would include running Monument Ave 10k the day before).

Other must do races are:

Jan,
3rd, Brian’s Friends 10, 20, 30, 40 or 50 Miler at Noland Trail

Feb,

Mar,
28th, http://www.sportsbackers.org/events/monument-ave-10k/

April,
25-26th, VA 24 Hour Run for Cancer

May,

Jun, family vacation month???

Wow, making these “adult” decisions is tough.  What would you do?