Monthly Archives: June 2014

Monday Motivation – Keep the Lebrons, I’ll Look Up To The Real Role Models


The world wants to lift up “the Lebrons” of the professional side of sports.  I’ve got to admit these elite athletes do some amazing things.  BUT…they don’t do it working regular nine to five jobs, while raising kids, being a military member or while on a shoe string budget.

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The real heroes are those who tend to life’s everyday responsibilities and still accomplish their goals.  Those goals may be to run the Western States 100, coach a local high school team, host races which give back to charity or qualify for Boston or the Olympic trails.  Or simply to run a marathon no matter how long it takes.

These are the true inspirations.  Check out a few blogs I found inspiring last week.

Just a Mom Who Tries: a very inspiring blog by Amanda, @Momwhotris

Hampton runner a Informative blog by Eric, @hamptonrunner

Inspiring story of Overcoming, by Stephanie, @Rangemom1

Who inspires You? Let us know by posting a comment below.

 


17 Marathons = 17 Lessons Learned


Since my first marathon in April of 2005, The Shakespeare Marathon, I’ve learned a lot about running a marathon.  One could question, what can you learn about running a marathon?  You simply put one foot in front of the other and continue that process for 26.2 miles.

Nearly 500,000 Americans finish a marathon every year, in view of the popularity it might seem simple enough.  Did I mention you have to continue running after your body has run out of fuel. You have to continue moving while chaffing in the most outrageous places. You have to keep up the forward progress when every natural instinct tells you to stop, to quit, to just give up.

Not so easy is it?

I’ve learned a lesson with every marathon I’ve run. I thought I would share with my:
The Marathon -17 Lessons Learned.

Lesson #17. 2016 Medoc Mountain Trail Marathon:  No matter how you feel, it will all be over before you know it.

medoc-2016-finish

This is an old lesson, one I think about often, but one I re-learned again at Medoc.  No matter how bad you might feeling during a race.  No matter if the race feels like the miles are dragging on and the finish line is off in some distance galaxay.  If you just keep working, if you keep the wheels turning, before you know it, your sitting in your car thinking….wow that was not so bad.

Lesson #16. 2016 Tobacco Road Marathon: Anything and everything that can go wrong, just might. 

Friday night before this great race a slight tickle in my throat turned into an all out sinus infection that nearly took me out.  In the face of a high temperature and blocked up sinus I did not give up on the idea of running this race.  Saturday night I felt a ton better and on race morning I felt fine, at mile 20 and 21 I thought the world was going to end.

Lesson #15.  2015 City of Oaks Marathon:  Be Ready For Anything. 

If you have ever run a marathon, you know anything can happen over the course of 26.2 miles. I found out at City of Oaks that anything can happen at the start as well.

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My wife asked to recommit our wedding vows, with our son a good friends present….oh and a marathon crowd.  I said Yes…..

Lesson #14.  2015 MEDOC Trail Marathon:  Lift Your Feet.

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Lesson #1 for the day, Rocks, Hills and Roots over a 8+ mile trail marathon get harder with each successive lap.  Lesson #2 watch where your going…keep your eyes on the trail. I’ve never crashed during a race and only once in training. I credit much of that with my natural ability to keep my eyes on the trail. This trait was first brought to my attention at my first military duty station. As I was walking from one hangar to another, an old wise (?) SSgt gave me the jollies because I always walked with my head down. I did not debate with him but I wondered silently inside how would I keep an eye on the surface I’m walking on if a daze off into outer space.  Back to MEDOC and during lap three I took my eyes off the trail and the next thing I knew I was in full Superman mode flying to the ground.  Lucky only my pride was hurt and “only” a few layers of skin were removed.  Watch where you’re going….

Lesson #13.  2014 Air Force Marathon:  Read ALL the reporting instruction e-mails.

AF marathon bling

Lets just say that I thought I was some veteran marathoner, that I knew what to expect come race day.  The drive to Wright-Patterson AFB (home of the marathon) went well, the expo went well, dinner the night before was awesome and I got a good nights sleep. The next morning the drive to the Air Force Museum even went off without much of a hitch.  Then we hit the parking mess and was informed we had a disseminated parking area. “Ahhhh what?”  In the final reporting instructions for the marathon I was sent a color coded parking pass and without that I could not park on the marathon/museum grounds.  We were left to sneak parking off site…  Lucky we found a spot (a mile away from the start) and hoped our car would not get towed.  Lesson learned read all of those e-mails!

Lesson #12.  2014 Windamere Marathon:  Don’t be a Jitterbug.

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During the start of most races, your bound to run upon some slower runners.  This happens a lot during the start when all the runners are so tightly packed together and some do not line up in the proper starting corral. This is a very frustrating time, your trying to establish your running rhythm, yet you’re log jammed behind slower traffic.  Don’t let this frustration turn into a drain on your energy reserves by Jitterbugging your way around the slower runners.  Take your time moving around the pack…any time lost will be minor compared to the time lost if you burn out early.

Lesson #11.  2013 Niagara Falls Marathon:  Be Ready For Anything.

1382906069320(And in the end, it was my first sub-four marathon)

We train for months. We log the miles. We practice pacing and we fine tune our refueling/water stops.  We do all of this so on race day everything goes along as planned. At mile 20 your feeling great and then you see a young smiling face along the course with their hand raised waiting to give you a power boost with a well timed high five.  As you approach this youngest out of now where a group of cheerleaders jumps into the road, right into your path, and begins to give out a cheer.  To avoid the on coming collision, you break out your best pirouette and avoid contact.  Now your right hamstring is about to explode.  Anything can happen during a marathon, be ready for it.

Lesson #10.  2013 Cleveland Marathon:  Strike up a conversation.

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(Parts of this race, I wished I had someone to talk with)

26.2 miles is a long way to run.  It is a long time to be alone.  Running a marathon you’ll find you have plenty of time on your hands (unless your racing for a PR or Boston). To help pass the time, find someone your comfortable pacing with and strike up a conversation.  Ask them why they are running the marathon, which marathons they have run in the past etc.  You might meet a new friend and the time and miles will roll on by.  Run a marathon and start a conversation.

 

Lesson #9.  2013 Shamrock Marathon:  Have an “After” marathon plan. 

Shamrockfinish20(Taking on Shamrock again)

After all the training miles have been put in, after you’ve run the good race, after you have scored that PR…did you have a plan for meeting up with your family?  Do you know where you parked your car?  Where are you going to meet your friends?  Don’t let a poor “post race” plan spoil a great day.  Plan your race, and plan your “After” marathon.

Lesson #8.  2012 Norfolk Freedom Marathon:  Don’t forget the supporting crowds and volunteers.

105706-234-021f(My 8th marathon and my 2nd run within 7 days)

On race day there are a lot of things the marathoner must remember to have a successful race.  The marathoner must mind their choice of race gear, breakfast foods, timing of using the porta-pottie, starting corral placement and running the correct pace.  Awash to all of these important items, the marathoner must not forget about enjoying the well wishes and vocal support from the race day crowds.  To have a successful race and to fully enjoy the day the marathoner should embrace the crowds, read the signs and high five the little kids standing alongside the race course.  A sub four marathon is awesome, but remembering the high five you gave the six year old Boy Scout or the sign that read “Run faster I just farted” will make you smile for years to come.  Run the marathon according to your plan and high five all the kids along the way!

Lesson #7.  2012 Marine Corp Marathon:  Run for someone else.

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Sept 11th 2012, I noticed a tweet on Twitter from a father who lost his son.  His son was around the same age of my son and his son was, his hero.  Christopher Blake Rodgers was a U.S. Marine.  That tweet called to me for days, I thought about it when I went to sleep, when I drove to work and when I ran.  Months earlier I had signed up to run the Marine Corp Marathon on Oct 28th in Washington D.C.  With a heavy heart I asked Christopher’s father if I could run this marathon in his son’s honor.  The marathon is a moving event, Run for someone who can no longer run for themselves.

Lesson 6. 2012 Shamrock Marathon: You need to run but you also need to glide. 

finish5shamrock2012(my 6th marathon finish)

Constantly moving for 26.2 miles puts a lot of stress on your body.  I’ve found thru my 12 marathons that unless you have zero body fat and are of the perfect build parts of your body are going to rub.  This simple chaffing, after nearly four hours on the go, can become as tender as a shot gun blast to the face.  If you have ever had chaffing in “manland” well….you don’t want to.  Body glide is your friend.

Lesson 5. 2011 Richmond Marathon: Put your name out there and be known.  

316389_305007182843778_100000034959277_1206763_136580650_n(Happy Birthday to me)

Today most marathons feature outstanding crowd support.  Spectators get up really and line the streets to watch and urge on family, friends and the anonymous other runners.  The well wishers are nearly as much of the event  as the people running the race.  Take advantage of this good will and energy, put your name or some other meaningful slogan on your bid, race shirt or some place visible.  This will enable the cheering crowds to call out to you by name.  At mile 22 nothing can be more up lifting then hearing a perfect stranger cheer you on by name “Come On Brian You Can Do It.”  Or as I did for the 2011 Richmond Marathon, run on my birthday.  Instead of my name I had “Birthday Boy” emblazoned cross my chest.  During my time on the course I had 100s of birthday well wishers cheering  me on.  Put your name out there and be known.

Lesson 4. 2010 Shamrock Marathon: Run The Shortest Course

61524-1737-016f(2010, Shamrock Marathon)

Marathon runners need to learn something from NASCAR and it’s not turn left, left, left and left again.  Marathon runners need to lean how to run (race) the shortest distance around the 26.2 mile course.  When the race directors measure out the marathon distance they mark the shortest tangent around the turns.  And if you watch any average marathon you will see runners running wide turns around each turn on the course.  That little extra adds up over the famous 26.2 miles.  Your goal should be to run the inside tangent of each turn and run the shortest 26.2 possible.

Lesson 3. 2009 National Marathon: You can’t fake a Marathon

2009nationalmarathon(2009, National Marathon)

I thought I was training, and it felt like I was training.  I was just not getting in the number of miles I needed.  Between 2005 and 2009 life changed.  My interests changed.  I was still running but nowhere near the quality miles I needed to truly be in marathon shape.  I barely managed a single 40 mile week and that came just three weeks before the big day.  Standing on the starting line of the National Marathon I figured I could fake it. After all, I looked like a marathoner.  I talked like a marathoner.  In all the excitement of the starting line, I even felt like a marathoner.  At mile 16 my inadequate training showed up and revealed who I really was.  Not a marathoner.  I finished but I was exposed.  I had not logged the miles I needed to be a marathoner…and I could not fake it.  At 26.2 miles, you can’t fake a marathon!

Lesson 2.  2005 Richmond Marathon:  Have a plan and Run YOUR plan

9568-154-005f(2005, Richmond Marathon)

  During the course of marathon training, you’ll undoubtedly come across numerous training and pacing plans for your race.  No matter what plan your following or your goals, once you select a training schedule or pacing plan stick with it.  Don’t let some new training fad distract you in the middle of your plan.  Don’t get caught up in the excitement of race day and decided to run a time that you had not planned or trained for.  I’m not saying don’t push yourself but there’s a fine line between pushing yourself to run faster and trying to run a finishing time you have not trained for.  Have a plan and RUN your plan.

Lesson 1. 2005 Shakespeare Marathon:  You Need Rest

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(2005, Shakespeare Marathon)

  Running a marathon for most of us is a daylong affair. For the majority of the 500,000 annual finishers you’ll finish around the 4+ hour mark and for some it may take a bit longer.  This means the marathon will take up a good part of your day.  On marathon morning you’ll be waking up around 3 hours prior to race start to fuel and get ready.  Including the time spent on the starting line and running the race, the time on your feet could be anywhere from 4, 5 or 6 hours. Once it’s all over, and the medal is around your neck, even if you head right home there’s another hour. If you hang out for any of the after race parties, showing off your bling, add a hour or more. Your marathon day could be anywhere from an 8 to 12 hour event. Lesson number one, you need your rest.

 


Smoothie – Ultra Runners Berry Blast


For most of my running career, I ran good, but eat bad.  Not sure I would call myself a junk food junkie, but…pizza you bet, hamburgers oh yea, top it all with fried potatoes I’m game.  Over the past two years I’ve really changed my approach to the food I eat.  I’m proud to tell you this new outlook has allowed me to drop approx 20 pounds.

How did I do that?  No easy fast fix or quick acting pills.  I’ve simply found other food items to eat.  I have cut back on eating out and I no longer eat to get stuffed.  AND…Michele has introduced me to the wonderful world of smoothies.

Since purchasing a Ninja and tasting a few of her creations, I’m hooked.  To help my diet I no longer have fast food or left overs for lunch.  I pack a smoothie, a yogurt, apple sauce cup and swap out my diet dew for water and the pounds have come off.  Best news is I feel satisfied, they taste great and I truly feel healthier!

This creation I spun up this weekend, I call it “Ultra Runners Berry Blast.”

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2 cups of kale

2 cups of berry mixture (raspberry, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries)

2 bananas

2 cups vanilla yogurt

1 cup almond milk

1 scoop protein

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Makes approx.  4  12 oz servings.

Freeze overnight…and enjoy.

Do you have a favorite smoothie blend?  Post it here and share.


Motivation Monday – My Daughters First 5k and Some Great Links


To start the week off right…check out my daughter Jessica’s FIRST 5k at the Color Me Rad 5k in Spokane and these motivating blogs.

Could a Daddy be any prouder?

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 Is this Charlies Angles or….?
(Jessica and her friend Amanda)
Love my girl!

Not only did Jessica complete her first 5k but she did this tending after two wonderful kids, (Aiden and Alaina, my grandkids) while keeping up the home front, and being the puppy mommy for Cassie (my grand-doggie).  Michele and I are so proud of her!

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  Keepin up the pace!  If I was to do this I’d blow a Hammy….love it
Congrats Jessica and Amanda, next year 50k?

Proud of both of you girls!

Other inspiring runners from last week:

Great story “One triathlon and you’ll be hooked” by Katerina

One utra runners thoughts on the “5 Thoughts on Failure” by Fast Cory

Seven-day Sahara marathon was ‘life-altering’ Jeanne Posey, from Canada

Braves Country 5k by Runladylike

AND my pal Steve is going to run the famed WESTERN STATES 100, check out his blog Run Bulldog Run

Have you read an inspiring blog?  Post a link here…

 


To Retweet or Not


Should you Favorite or Retweet?

That is the age old question.  Well at least it has been for me for the past few years.

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If I like a post and Favorite it…should I not Retweet it as well?

I guess it depends on the content of the Tweet.

If someone I follow posts something funny, inspiring, or educational, I favorite the post to show them that I liked it, and found it interesting.  I also Retweet the post to share it with my followers.

If someone is replying to content I posted or carrying on a conversation with me, then I favorite their post to indicate that I received/read the post or that I agree or like what was posted.  I would not Retweet this type of content.

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I also Favorite tweets to show the poster I get what they are saying.

I do believe with great Favorite/Retweeting power comes great responsibility.  I do not Retweet content I find on the verge of Spam.

 

Favorite/Retweeting it makes the Twitter world go round…What do you do?


Camp, Ride, Run, and Ultra-Marathon Training


To Run Is To Live…

After the Windermere Marathon, I decided to give my legs a break.  After all it was a very busy spring.  April I ran a 24 hour run where I logged 75 miles in 17 hours, The Umstead 100 Mile Endurance Run where I ran my first 100 miler in 22hrs 51mins 05secs.  March I ran The Graveyard 100k running point to point down the Outer Banks.  Prior to all this the long training runs (38 and 50 miles) leading up to these three epic ultras.  For June, I’m taking it easy…

A week into my down time Michele said “lets go camping.”  I’m in…

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(Bad camp picture, but here we are….relaxing)

A couple phone calls later and were going camping with friends.  Michele chose the Chickahominy Riverfront campground.  This is a great full service campground right on the river, near Jamestown settlement and within easy driving distance to Yorktown battlefields and Colonial Williamsburg.

After a week of monster thunderstorms, the weekend proved to be awesome.

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 (Burn baby burn….can’t deny or confirm that a
few marshmallow where hurt at this campfire)

At home or camping Michele and I are earlier risers.  Before 9:30 we had our Walks and Ride in and were ready for the day.  Yes I rode instead of my typical “run” for my workout.  Sticking to my recovery plan I jumped on Michele’s road/trail bike and pedaled my way to 17.7 miles on Saturday and 20.12 miles Sunday.  

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 (Took the same route both days,
but added a short extra loop to make it 20 miles)

How did the ride go?  I had not ridden a bike in 10 years so I was not really sure what I was getting myself into.  Figuring if it worked for my runs, I followed my pre-run routine including Race Primer, Body-glide, Gatoraid and headed out.  That hardest part of the ride (other then my sore butt) was trying to figure out pace and tempo.  I wanted to get in a good workout but I also did not want to burnout.  The route I choose was part of the Virginia Capital Trail system that lead me to Jamestown settle.  

10441364_826119310732560_3459042625066419594_n(Race Primer by @runnerehighntr gives me a little extra kick)

After our workouts were done and without an agenda we simply hung out with Coastal RV friends Ken and Sherrie.  Ken skunked me in bean bag toss, oh my pride.  We had a great #goRVing and #camplife day.  What was/is a great day you ask?  For us a Great Day = RVing, bike (run), walk, nap, cook, dinner, fire, drinks, friends, marshmallows, S’mores, stories, and just RELAXING.  There was also a Mini Schnauzer sighting….this warmed both our hearts.  We miss you Hanna.

Thank you for the Fathers Day wishes….love you Jessica and Anthony.


Product Review – Running and Cycling Gear from Brianstorm Gear


…To explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly stand out in a crowd of runners.

To accomplish that mission, Brainstorm Gear provided me with their new Star Trek running hat to test drive and to giveaway.

Right out of the box I loved this new hat.

star trek hat

The stylish design, and light weight fabric make this hat easy to wear.  Once I put this on my head I fell in love with the feel.  In fact once out of the box I placed it on my head, adjusted it, and left it on while I checked my Twitter feed.  When my wife came home from work she said “You don’t wear hats indoors, what are you wearing?”  I had forgotten I had it on.  I really like the feel of this hat.  Crafted in the traditional Starfleet command colors (red, blue and yellow) this hat stands out and is an outstanding product.  Combine that with the bold and reflective Star Trek Logo on the front, sides and bill of the cap; not only is this a great fitting hat, it just may save your life.  I chose the security staff red for my test drive.

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How does it do on new planets and with other runners.  Well I got tons of comments, from “beam me up to Scotty” to “there’s no new life here, let’s run some miles.”  If you’re looking for something unique, hip and out of the norm.  Brainstorm Gear has a ton of great options. They make available premium Running & Cycling Apparel featuring Star Trek, Ghostbusters, Seame Street, M&Ms, Nerds & more.

 hat 1  hat 2
 No, I’m not from Iowa. And I Don’t work in outer space.  But this hat is comfortable…and that’s Logic.  This hat was “out of this world” comfortable to wear and I notice no Klingons bothered me during my workout today!

Now you can get one of their Star Trek hats just by entering my contest.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Winner (selected by Rafflecopter) will receive one Star trek Running hat of their choice (yellow or blue).  Overseas winner must pay for shipping.  Winners will be notified by Twitter/FB/E-mail (whatever it takes to get a hold of you).  Winners have 48 hours to respond, a new winner may be selected if winner fails to respond within 48 hours.  Brian’s Running Adventures and Brian are not responsible or liable for any damages as a result of this contest, this blog or the Star Fleet Academy.  Entrants enter for their entertainment purposes only.

Check out Brainstorm Gear’s web-site

Follow Brainstorm Gear on Twitter

Like Brainstorm Gear’s FaceBook page

The opinions expressed above are 100% my own.


Can You Really Make Friends Via Social Media? – Ultra Marathon Running


All over Twitter/Facebook you’ll see tons of hashtag posts: #FF #FollowFriday asking followers to “follow” other members.  Not only can this practice increase your follower-ship it can also help you make “real world” friendships.

Can you really make friends via Social Media?

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My answer is…it can help.

Case in point, I can point to no less then a dozen friendships I have made from a connection on Social Media.

Social Media interactive groups like #runchat have been a great place to connect with people of similar interests.  On occasion I’ve been able to run some races with people I follow and who follow me in return. During the course of those races we hit it off, ran together, hung out, kept in contact and continue to keep in touch to this day.  In fact we have planned some future runs together.  I’ve also been introduced to a few of their family/friends whom I now keep in touch with by Social Media. 

Social Media has allowed me to develop relationships with local runners.  It’s hard to make a connection on race day, everyone is in their zone.  Posting about a common race we ran I’ve made some good connections with folks I may have had limited interaction with before.

What do I see are the keys to making good friends on Social Media.

#1  Be real,  Be yourself, don’t hide behind a fake profile or unreal accomplishments.  Just like on the dating sites you’ll be found out.

#2  Take a genuine interest in your followers.  Now you can’t be deeply involved with everyone on your Time Line.  Invest in those who you have a real connection with.

#3  Share in their success.  Celebrate and be as happy for their PR, new long distance mileage or wedding/anniversary as you would be for your family.

#4  Be honest with your posts.  Now I’m not saying post intimate details, but if your having a bad day, be honest.  If you disagree with an opinion, or a post, be respectful but honest.

#5  Don’t be needy.  Social Media should not suck the life out of the reader of your post.  If you need help ask for it, but don’t be a constant drain on your followers.

#5a (Maybe the most important)  Don’t compare yourself to your followers or your friends.  Some of the friends I’ve met via SM are way faster then me, way better looking, have much nicer hair and may make more money.  AND I’m glad for them…but I’m the best @cledawgs I can be.  Sure these guys/gals push me but I’m not racing them…I’m racing me.

And if you have an opportunity to meet in person, be safe about it and be yourself.

Thank you to all my SM friends whom I’ve met in person.  You have added great value to my life and I hope to see you again real soon.

Brian