Monthly Archives: January 2014

Last Week In Review: ( Jan 6 – 12)


Last Week In Review: ( Jan 6 – 12)

Monday: 0 Rest Day From Weekend 50
Tuesday: 0 Rest day From Weekend 50
Wednesday: 7
Thursday: 10.2
Friday: 8
Saturday: 15.25
Sunday: 7.2

Total: 47.65 miles and I’m still WINNING against Diet Dew

I'm not running with the bulls, but got a 100 Mile in front of me.

I’m not running with the bulls, but got the Umstead 100 Miler in front of me.  Could it hurt?

After Last weeks 50 mile training run, Monday/Tuesday were planned days off.  And as the weather would have it, this was very good timing, we had two of the coldest days on record in the 757.  Lucky me, I got to stay inside.

Wednesday I got back on the horse and ran with Michele on Fort Lee, was still pretty cold, but we got our miles in.  Thursday and Friday, back into training mode.

Saturday I ran with my good friend George and his daughter Rebecca.  Great running friends and long slow miles…does the body good!

I’ll take a little break from my normal running chatter, to tell you about a simple date night I put together for my wife.  It was my turn to arrange a date night for Michele and I.  I had this idea of a “Mystery” date.  All week my wonderful wife tried to get the details of our date out of me, but I did not give up the goods.

We went out to a local sea food restaurant we had been wanting to try, Surfrider in Hampton, Va.  Michele had the fish tacos and I had the crab cake dinner, oh it was sooo good.  After dinner we began the “Mystery” part of our date.  Michele had no idea what I had planned, we headed to an English pub for drinks, Michele learned about a drink called a  Snake bit while we were stationed in England, and this local English bar makes them to her liking.  We had a nice time talking (no phone rule) while we enjoyed out drinks.  Michele really got excited about our Mystery date when walking to the pub she noticed I had a tote bag carried in my hand.  Mmmm what could it be? During our talk, I made a mystery reference and finally pulled something out of the bag.  First came out a little cute bear…Michele eat that up.  Then  after 5 minutes or so….  I pulled out coloring books and crayons.  Our mystery date was going to be sitting together, enjoying our drinks together and coloring.

mysterydate2

When we first met Michele told me about how she enjoyed coloring and I figured it was time to go back to the past.  It was a big hit, we colored our pictures and even convinced our waiter that he was going to be our mystery judge and would pick the winner.

Michele won and for her efforts was awarded a special winners, “I love you” coffee mug and her selection of where we would go for our after dinner snack.  The night was a big hit.

mysterydate3

Sunday, I had planned to take a day off, but after some crazy weather Saturday night, we were greeted by a mild morning and I figured I should take advantage of it.

Another solid week and another week closer to Umstead, second training run will be 3 laps on the race course, sometime in February.

How was your week, leave a comment and tell us all about it.


Why Do I Doubt? – Faith


I’ve never understood why “doubt” is part of my life and especially my walk of faith.  And in fact it has challenged me, downright discouraged me, and if I was honest almost beat me.

jesus

How could I consider myself “saved” if I had this cloud of doubt hanging over my head.  I believe in GOD “The Creator” and his plan for our salvation thru his son JESUS.  I have no “doubt” that our world and the heavens were created by a supernatural force, by a creator GOD.  And I have no “doubt” that GOD came to this earth in the form of a human in JESUS of Nazareth, Yet at times, when the latest news channel publishes another shocking news story, or when something closer to home backs me into a corner, my brain works on my faith…is this all true?

When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.  Matthew 28:17

In prayer I have asked GOD to relieve me of this doubt, “take this lack of faith away from me.”  Yet from time to time my mental capacity likes to challenges my heart and my faith in our GOD.  I’ve wondered why I was so weak in my relationship with GOD.  Why am I so weak in my faith?  Was I another Thomas?

Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”  John 20:27

I would like to report that in a marvelous act, in a moment of clarity all doubt has been removed from me, but that has not happened, yet something even more powerful has confirmed that doubt, is a clear sign that GOD is working in my life and his Salvation is secured for me in CHRIST JESUS.

While out on a run and in prayer it all can to me.  Could it be that the fact that I have doubt proves that powerful dark forces, yes Satan is still alive and well in the world.  If there was no Satan, my faith in a higher power, in the creator GOD would not be challenged.  If our Christian religion was empty, no opposing force would counter its rightful place in the center of our lives.  If JESUS was just a crazy man telling wild stories, no force would try to prove my faith in HIM, wrong.

The very fact that at times I (we) face challenges of faith, is proof that Satan is waging a war to try and separate me (us) from our GOD.  And this doubt proves that GOD is real, that Salvation thru “GOD’s plan” is true.  If this was not the case then no “force” would attempt to sway us or destroy our faith.  Doubt proves the point that GOD is real and Satan is attempting to fight for your soul.

Now what to do with that doubt?  Before this doubt would eat at me, discourage me and separate me from my GOD.  At times this doubt was the perfect wedge in my life edging me to turn from my faith and return to the world, return to where Satan wanted me to be…..away from my GOD.  After realizing that doubt proves there is a war for our souls, for MY SOUL….doubt now comforts me in that GOD has a plan for me.  That a Christian faith is true, is real and is the basis of my (our) lives, lives centered on GOD.  Doubt in me, challenges me to trust in GOD’s hold of my life, not my hold on him.  Upon accepting JESUS as my Lord and Savior, my name has been written in the book of life, written with JESUS’s blood and nothing can erase that, not my doubt, my failures nor my weak mind.

The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels.  Revelation 3:5

Don’t let doubt beat you, let it comfort you that you’re on the right road…the road to our GOD.


Ultra Runners are a community


Why Ultra Runners are a different breed:

runninggroup

“Ultra runners are a community. We push each other, stick together, and understand the commitments needed more than any other group of people. We’re probably the only athletes who cheer on our competition harder than ourselves, because we like to see people do what they once thought was impossible.”

This statement was made by Tim, who before my 50 miler I had never met but after two 10 mile loops I feel like were best friends!

THANK YOU!


50 Miles at Noland Trail


With a date with the Umstead 100 Mile Endurance Run in April, I wanted to get in a few LONG runs to build my endurance and confidence.  The first of which was run on 4 Jan, a 50 mile run at the Noland trail.  And before I get into all the details of the run, I must take time to thank everyone who came out and ran with me.

noland50(Rolling down the Noland Trail)

I knew 50 miles at Noland was going to be tough, and I really did not want to be out there all day by myself.  In hopes of countering this I set up a Facebook event and invited everyone on my friends list.  Most of my friends commented that I was nuts.  A few people commented that they would be coming out to support me, then I noticed some people I did not know also commenting they would be coming.

I am truly humbled by the number of people who showed up and HOW supportive they were. Some I just met that morning.  The ultra running world is AWESOME!

THANK YOU…
Cheryl and Claude,  Kimberly, Tim, Seko, Jon, Alan, Kat, Rachel, Andrea, Hank, Kimberly, Jack, Kelly, Danny, Steve, Jamie, Cassandra and my wonderful wife Michele

20140104_134202(Kimberly, Jamie, Seko and I)

And now on to some of the details.

The loop I planned out would take us thou Noland Trail at the Mariners Museum, and the housing area just north of Lions Bridge.  Once in the housing area we would zing zang a few of the housing streets between Country Club Dr and Riverside Dr.  We would finish up coming back down Riverside Dr to get back to the trail.  Then we would close out that lap back on the trail returning to the parking lot where it all started.  This loop would clock out right at 10 miles.

noland50mapI arrived at the parking lot around 0630 and was greeted by 20f temps and a decent forecast.  The morning hours promised to be cold but with hopes of bright skies and plenty of sunshine.  I set up a makeshift race HQ and got myself ready.  Still not really sure of who may show up to run with me and with it being so cold I thought many might have a better idea.  0655 I got out of my car to get rolling and what do you know…five people came walking over to run with me, I was so touched.

Lap 1 went well and was pretty much what I expected.  It was cold and the trail had some ice on it, but everyone kept the conversations going and the miles clicked off pretty fast.  My only surprise came when we got into the housing area.  When I mapped out this loop I did not pay much attention to the elevation profile and assumed it was pretty flat.  WRONG…the streets in between Country Club and Riverside Drive offered a few nice rolling climbs.  Once back down Riverside Dr we got back on the closing 2 miles of Noland Trail.  Ending the lap and rolling our little running convoy back to the parking it lot it was nice to see a few more runners standing by to join in.

12:14 / 11:27 / 10:46 / 10:01 / 10:10 / 09:53 / 10:46 / 09:57 / 10:50 / 10:14
Lap 1 (10 miles 1:46:11)

Not 100 feet into lap two I got my second BIG surprise and almost disaster of the day.  Almost instantly after leaving my pit stop where I had downed a GU and an apple sauce my stomach did flip flops while I ran down the trail.  I thought for sure I was in big trouble, I got a few major cramps and pressure on the back side, if you know what I mean.  In my mind I was laying out plans to turn back to the out-house or hit a near by tree.  Thankfully as fast as it came on it left and I was able to motor right along.

19:23 (includes pit stop end of lap 1) / 10:37 / 11:24 / 10:09 / 09:52 / 09:56
09:53 / 10:05 / 10:21 / 10:52
Lap 2 (20 miles 3:39:03)

By now it was turning into a great day, this lap I ran with Jon and we where chatting about lessons learned at previous Ultras and his 100 mile event successes.  I was enjoying the conversations and the miles went by fast.  Once in the housing area we both noticed we were running low on water.  With the temps going up we knew we had to come up with some water or we might be in some trouble.  Plan A was to find someone outside and ask to top off our bottles, plan B was to find an empty house and hope the outside faucet was still running.  Lucky for us we found a gentlemen working outside, we asked for some water and he was super helpful by inviting us in and topping off our bottles.  When asked what we were doing, Jon told them I was running 50 miles today, that sparked a good conversation and questions.  I was thankful for the help and interest but had to excuse myself to keep moving or I would have laid down to take a nap.  Making our way back to the car, it again was so uplifting to see a big group of people waiting on me.  I was so touched by the people I had never met before offering to spend part of their day with me.  It got emotional for me at times.

18:38 (includes pit stop end of lap 2) / 13:40 / 12:40 / 10:56 / 10:38 / 12:15
26.2 Miles in 4:47:50, not bad for being right in the middle of a 50 mile run.
10:34 / 11:14 / 11:37 / 14:36
Lap 3 (30 miles 5:45:55)

I was very tired at the beginning of this lap, but within a quarter mile the pit stop food kicked in and I felt my energy levels pick up.  I felt like I had pushed off the fatigue of the previous 30 miles and was able to hold off any decline.  My plan was working, my pacing was working, my running friends were lifting me up and it was a perfect day.  Although very tired I rolled thou miles 30 to 40 and felt like this run was going to be over soon.  When I started this adventure I had fear that maybe this loop might turn into a version of the walking dead.  I might have been near death, but I was the running dead.  My hats off to Kimberly, she ran the first lap with me and came back for more.

20140104_151159(getting ready for the last loop)

20:25 (includes pit stop end of lap 3)  50k in 6:06:20
14:05 / 12:30 / 12:54 / 11:31 / 11:22 / 11:13 / 10:47 / 13:14 / 14:04
Lap 4 (40 miles 7:58:05)

The last lap was run with Seko, I’ve seen Seko at the 24 Hour Run at Sandy Bottom park, but other then a few friendly hellos exchanged on the trails, we never talked much.  He stuck with me during lap 4 and carried over into the last lap.  AND I’m so grateful…I can’t express my thanks enough to him.  Much like lap 4, I kept on my plan and turned in the best times I could.  Forward progress, I kept telling myself…keep on moving.  I felt like Dory from Finding Nemo, Keep on Swimming, Swimming, Swimming.

JustKeepSwimming

At one point on the last run on Riverside Dr. a couple was out walking and I don’t know why but when we passed I called out, “I’ve run 47.5 miles today and I have 2.5 to go.”  I think they thought I was nuts, but offered up some encouragement and this lifted my sails.  With a few encouraging words I was able to pick up some of the pace and motor my way back to the trail.

I made a deal with myself that no matter where I was when my GPS hit 50 miles I would stop, but when that time came…I had to make it back to my car and the unofficial start/finish line! And I did…and it was very emotional for me.  I’ve run 50 miles before, in fact my best is 75 miles, but as I told my wife, every time I toe the line on one of these crazy adventures part of me wonders, can you really?  And when it’s all done, and you have pushed yourself mentally and physically, your striped to the core…it bares your soul.

19:38 (includes pit stop end of lap 4) / 13:17 / 11:22 / 11:03 / 10:33 / 11:50 / 10:38 / 11:01 / 12:40 / 12:14 / 9:55
Lap 5 DONE

I must thank my Lord and savior JESUS Christ.  Without him I could not do this and in fact I might not be here.

FINAL STATUS:
Miles Run: 50.08
Time: 10:03:15
Avg. Pace: 12:03
Calories: 5481


Last Week In Review: (Dec 30 – Jan 5)


Last Week In Review: (Dec 30 – Jan 5)

Monday: 5
Tuesday: 5
Wednesday: 0  Happy New Year – 2014
Thursday: 0 rest day
Friday: 0 rest day
Saturday: 50.08 – 1st Umstead training run
Sunday: 0

Total: 60.08 miles

End of last week I came down with a sinus issue,  fighting with it early in the week. Planned short runs for Monday/Tuesday.

It was strange taking three days off, but coming off the sinus thing…it felt good to try and get my body right.  Friday a big storm rolled in on the east coast, everywhere north of us had snow and brutal temps.  We got cold and high winds, praying it would not last over night or into Saturday.

Saturday Morning I woke up at 0400, it was 19f with calm winds.  I had three big pancakes and two high carb breakfast drinks, geared up and was in the parking lot of Noland Trail by 0630.

1st of three planned training runs for Umstead was going to go down.

I used my car as a makeshift run HQ, posting all my lap times for the support runners who would join me through out the day.  I would pit stop at my car every 10 miles (1 lap).

50milecarhq(Run HQ)

50milecarhq1(Run HQ with map and lap times posted)

nolandtrail50map (Run Map 5 miles of Noland Trail with 5 miles
in housing area, total 10 miles)

Full run report will be posted soon.


Not Your Regular Tomato Soup


Did I mention I’m a picky eater?

I’m not really a tomato soup fan, have not had it in YEARS…  Then I ran the Crawlin Cab Half Marathon, after my terrible finish, my wife and I went to the after race party.  And I was starving…I would have eaten a 400lb walrus!

walrustusks_main_0719-400x226

Bakers Crust was a post race sponsor, and they were offering up their Tomato-Cheese soup  in a bread bowl.  At first I was a bit turned off, but I was so hungry I gave it a try.  Oh MAN!  Was that stuff was so gooooood!

A few weeks went by and I got the taste for some more tomato-cheese soup, but the nearest Bakers Crust restaurant is a good drive away from us.  Then it hit me….use the power of the internet.

Wham, zing….I found something close:  Click here for the full recipe.

Being the picky and lazy eater I tweaked it just a bit…but oh it is GOOD!

tomatosoup5

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 Family size cans of Campbell’s Tomato Soup
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup Almond milk
1/2 teaspoon thyme
8 ounces Sharp Cheddar (about 2 cups, shredded and chopped fine)
Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Served with Wheat Crackers for dipping (optional)

Directions:

1. In large pot, heat oil over medium heat.  Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Add flour and stir for 1 minute longer.

2. Remove from heat. Add tomato soup, chicken broth, almond milk and thyme; stir together well.

3. Return to heat and bring to light boil. Adjust heat to maintain simmer, cover pot and cook soup for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to be sure nothing is sticking to bottom of pot.

4. Lower heat.  Add cheese a small amount at a time, stirring each time until cheese is melted.

5. Season with salt and pepper.

6. Place over medium-high heat and warm until correct temp to serve.  Serve topped with additional grated cheddar, plus crackers if desired. (I would love to have this in a bread bowl, maybe next time)

Tell me what you think…..enjoy!


13 Favorites From 2013


13 Favorites from 2013
(In no particular order)

1. @pstarlings @britishbulldog @FueledbyLOLZ @losingrace @allyspeirs @socialshark
I really enjoy my interactions with all my followers, but these folks I get to chat with the most.

2. The Boring Runner Blog  I always get a good laugh.

3. Candy Bacon need I say more?

4. Aging Gracefullygreat blog post, but I’m not getting older.

gobrowns

5. Twitter Marathon Betand when the Browns beat the Bills, I won, Laura ran the wine glass marathon supporting my Cleveland Browns and oh by the way her Blog Rocks.

6. 1Hundredthe movie, four runners take on the Leadville Trail 100

7. Nextag website, scored some great deals on my favorite running shoes there.

youcango

8. You Can Go The Distance, a book about running your first marathon, written for runners by a runner

9. Umstead 100, I could never get my mind around a 100 mile race, then I signed up for one.

10. Nike Air Pegasusas much as I would like a pair of flashy shoes…these are perfect for my feet.

2013 Bald tutu runner1

11. Still Easier Than ChemoI’ve never run for charity before, but something about Briana’s efforts and our names being nearly alike pulled me in.

12. #RUNCHAT, a very popular hastag groups runners together on the social media front.

24runlogo

13.  Virginia 24 Hour Run Against CancerMy first Ultra in 2009 and The first year I have fielded a team, and we WON!


2013 In Review


Without a lot of words and/or hype….2013 saw me step it up!

2013 in review

A few firsts and a few favorites:

1st 200 mile month
1st 250 mile month
1st year over 2000 miles
Most running days per year
Highest avg miles per running day
5 straight races setting a PB
1st Sub-Four Hour Marathon

First time I ran for a charity:  24 Hour Cancer HATER,  Briana, of It’s Easier Then Chemo, did an outstanding job raising $25k, her story can be seen here.  I put up my hair and a tutu run if my friends would help me raise over $1500.00, I think they love me.

2013 Bald tutu runner1 2013 Brian and Briana

Favorite Race, 24 Hour Run Against Cancer, my team Run2Live won the team competition

24hrteam

Favorite Bling:  Medoc Mountain Meltdown 50k, Finisher Rock

2013 Medoc Mtn 50k Finisher 3

AND I kicked a 12 can a day Diet Dew Habit!

gollum-can

LOOK OUT 2014…you got a lot to live up to…