Monthly Archives: February 2014

Throwback Thursday – 10k Racing

I wish I had some “old” pictures from early my running career, I ran track in high school and ran my first 10k in 1988, unfortunately I have no photos from this time.  The oldest running/race photo is from 2001.  I got back into running in 2000, while on a United States Air Force remote tour to Thule Air Base, Greenland.  I trained from Aug 2000, thou the end of my tour in 2001.  During my mid-tour visit home Michele and I went to Vegas where I ran in my third career race ever.  I was very excited about this race as most of my training had been in the arctic north and indoors.  Throwback Thursday!  How about them shorts…



Ultra – Marathon Training, Last Week In Review: (Feb 3 – 9)

Last Week In Review: (Feb 3 – 9)

Monday: 10.2
Tuesday: 8
Wednesday: 7.8
Thursday: 7.8
Friday: 7 – Happy Birthday Alaina Michele – My Granddaughter
Saturday: 21 #MEGSMILES
Sunday: 0 REST DAY

Total:  61.8 miles – YTD Total: 302 miles on 29 Running Days

Alaina Michele(My daughter Jessica, with Alaina Michele)

Solid training week and feeling pretty good about the big races coming up, Graveyard 100k and Umstead 100 Miler

Monday/Tueday: Routine night time runs around our housing areas.  Wednesday/Thursday I ran on Fort Lee in the day light, had some nice temps on Weds allowing me to go out in shorts!  Thursday it was back to cold weather gear, 33f but is that really “cold” compared to the rest of the country?

Friday was routine housing area run.  But the Best News was the birth of my Granddaughter Alaina Michele, my second Grandchild.


Saturday, 21 mile long run with George N.  We ran the same loops of Noland trail that I ran for my 50 mile training run, 5 miles of trails and 5 miles of road. Cool morning, the trail was in good shape took it nice and slow.  And guess who wiped out, first time I’ve fallen in years.  Took my eyes off the trail to look at my GPS for just a second, and caught a root, next thing I knew I was sailing through the air and rolling on the ground. No damage done, this was mile 8 or 9 so we kept on motoring along. #megsmile

The week ahead is going to be a rest week, while chatting with George he commented that I have not had a down week since Oct.  He highly recommended that I take a rest week.  I’m going to hate entering a goose egg in my running log, but the weather forecast is for a cold week, so I guess it’s good timing!

When It Gets Tough

When It Gets Tough

No matter how well trained, it happens to all of us.  At some point in a hard race, our drive and determination give way to doubt.  It’s natural it’s a part of pushing your body to the limits, but how do you overcome that doubt and press on?  I’ve asked a few of the runners that I follow and admire on Twitter.

How do you keep going when things get tough?
(in no particular order)

nathan(50k Ace and smoothie maker…Nathan)

Nathan Maxwell, @socialshark  I think about a previous run that hurt worse. And realize I’ve had it worse before, and I survived that time, suck it up and keep going….

paul(Ultra machine….Paul)

Paul Starlings, @pstarlings  My go to thought is from a book called “Run Because You Can”. The main character passed from Hodgin’s Lymphoma. He wanted everyone to run because they could. So I go to it often – I run because I can, when others can’t.

cropped-hollierunning(Hollie, racing to another win!)

Hollie, @FueledbyLOLZ  I just try and remember that running is a journey not an individual moment. You have ups and downs!

steve(Steve on the Leadville 100 Trail)

Steve Spiers, @britishbulldog  This might sound dumb, but each time I had a rough patch, I used the “Ain’t so bad” mantra.

lisa(Lisa, Running it FAST)

Lisa Gonzales, @runlikeacoyote  Usually try to remember that it can’t get any worse & will most likely get better & just keep going. Even if I have to walk for a while.

kris(Kris, rocking the races around the 757) 

Kris Lawrence, @Kris_Law  I always think “I wanted this moment, I am willing to fight for it.” Sounds corny but I love racing, so I have to remember to live in moment.

Next time you hit a rough patch in a race, consider some of the thoughts that keep these guys/gals running and push on!

The Cost of Racing

Do you race once a month, once a week or once a year?  Whatever your race schedule looks like everyone could agree, whether it’s a 5k or 100 miler the cost of racing can get a bit expensive.  In the world where everyone is looking for a bargain where do you get the best bang for your buck?


A good friend of mine, (Veteran ultra runner,) George N. and I discussed this during a recent 20 miler, without the facts at hand we still concluded that the best bang would be from the longer races.  But with the power of the internet at our fingers tips…let’s see how the facts line up.

I polled some local events and here is what I found out.

Average cost of a 5k, $32.50 ($10.48 per mile)

Average cost of a 10k, $45.00 ($7.25 per mile)

Average cost of a Half Marathon:  $95.00 ($7.25 per mile)

Average cost of a Marathon: $125.00 ($4.77 per mile)

Average cost of a 50k: $90.00 ($2.81 per mile)

Average cost of a 100k: $165.00 ($2.66 per mile)

Average cost of a 100 Miler: $180.00 ($1.80 per mile)

Not only is the cost per mile a bargain at the longer races, but the time spent on the course is also in favor of the Ultra races.  The average 5k finish is 22:00 that offers the racers a value of $1.59 per minute.  The average cost per minute of a marathon (4:37 finish) is $.45 per minute.  The average cost per minute for a 100 miler figuring a 26 hour finish is  $.11

What does all this mean to you, the bargain race shopper?  The best value per race dollar is surly on the side of the longer races.

Friday’s Favorites

It’s Friday, and I’ll one some of my Favorites!


A friend of ours introduced me to Brookside Dark Chocolate Acai and at first I wasn’t so sure about these.  THEN I tried one….WOW, these are awesome.  And the dark chocolate offers some health benefits as well.

Dark Chocolate is Good for Your Heart

Dark Chocolate is Good for Your Brain

Dark Chocolate Helps Control Blood Sugar

Dark Chocolate is Full of Antioxidants

But most of all these are just super as a small reward snack after a hard run or workout. Enjoy!

What is a favorite of yours?

Virginia is for Lovers 14k 2013

Virginia is for Lovers 14k
A Valentine’s Day Race

PRE-RACE:  Last year for whatever reason, I missed out running this race…a lot of my running “couples” friends ran this, and it bugged me for a full year that Michele and I missed out. Once the registration opened “WE” decided we were not going to miss out this year. Michele is a walker and it is great when we can participate in events together.  The 14k offered a near perfect distance for a challenging walk/run for the both of us.

BCqOWcYCcAEOzvY.jpg largeNearly as soon as we decided to run this event we also decided to stay the night in Va Beach, after all, it is Valentines Season.  Michele and I left work and headed for the expo, foregoing dinner until after we got to our room.  The Virginia is for Lovers 14k expo was kind of small but adequate and housed in a local sports complex.  Picking up our race packs went off without a hitch and everyone was very helpful.  Our pre-race meal was a Pizza and I’ll tell ya since we delayed our dinner time, we put a serious killing on that pizza!

pizzaPre-race for me offered up two pleasant surprises. The First, I would be starting in corral #1 (did I miss type my projected finish time?), I never start up front.  And second, the finish was indoors…finishing on a soccer field equipped with field turf.  Finishing indoors with the weather forecasted for race day (40’s with a 20 to 30 mph gusting winds) made me very happy for a warm finish.

Race morning was cold and crisp, with bright skies and a gusting wind.  When we arrived at the race site Michele and I settled in and waited on our starting time.  I like getting on location at least an hour early.  This drives my bride crazy, but today we were not the early birds as the parking area was already pretty full.  Part of our plan was to meet up with a friend (Jill) from our housing area who was also running the race.  I went about texting Jill that we were on site and waiting her arrival.  She replied back that she had also arrived, looking up from my phone, I found Jill standing right in front of my car.  Totally random and with zero coordination she somehow managed to park right next to us.

Somehow in the excitement of race start…I forgot I was starting in corral #1 and lined up mid-pack in corral #2.  The start of the race went off with each corral having it’s own starting time approx. 3 minutes apart.  As corral #1 ran away from us the Race Director offered a challenge for corral #2 runners to catch up with corral #1.  Well I could not let that challenge go.  Michele would start with Corral #4.

As the starting gun for my corral went off (the wrong corral, mind you) I followed the pack trying to navigate the normal race crowds at the start.  A pass here, dodge there and I made my way into a good pace and in a good position where I did not have to work too hard navigating the pack.

Mile 1 / 8:35
 – With what I thought was a slow start, I was very surprised when I looked at my GPS and saw I was right on my goal pace of 8:30.  I was even more surprised how easy this pace felt.  Over the last month of marathon training I really felt like I had picked up an extra gear and today the pace was feeling effortless, but it was early.

Mile 2 / 8:12
Mile 3 / 8:07


Mile 4 / 7:57 –  This race being at a “weird” distance, all my normal race day math was taking a hit.  I was running well; I was able to keep up the pace; and my foot fall felt better yet.  I was making my way through the pack with little extra effort but my race day math was taking a beating…I had a hard time trying to figure out my negative split times.  There are two things I fear worse then death…#1 doing math in public and #2 trying to do math while running in public.

It was somewhere between mile 4 and 5 miles when I realized I had ran my way right into the middle of corral #1.  I reasoned I was either a very fast corral #2 runner or these were very slow corral #1 people.  No matter what I had met the Race Directors challenge.

Mile 5 / 7:56
 – With my inability to do math on the run the only way I could figure out how to run a negative race split was to keep running faster.

Mile 6 / 7:51
Mile 7 / 7:58

Mile 8 / 8:09
 – Mile 8 was by far the toughest and not just because it was the last mile. This section of the course had multiple switchbacks which had us fighting the wind head on for what felt like forever.  By this time the conditions were brutal, it was cold and the winds were heavy.  There comes a time in every race where I just want to be done and today this was it.  I was so sick of the wind, the cold, and the turns that I only wanted to finish inside the nice warm field house and get my “finishers medal!

Finish Distance 14k (8.69 miles)

My Finish Time: 1h 10m 06s

My Avg Pace: 8:04

Michele’s Finish Time: 1h 53m 0s
Michele’s Avg. Pace: 13:04


After I had finished, I collected up my medal, some gatorade, two bags of pretzels and headed back outside to see if I could find Jill and “My Special Valentine Walker” Michele. If I was cold before….the chill really sank into my bones when I stepped back out into that wind.

It was not long before Jill ran by, she looked like she was running well and would be happy with her finish.  After spotting Jill I walked to a point where I could see multiple sections of the switchbacks and began looking for my honey.  I stood in the wind and cold for about a half hour when I spotted that familiar power walking stride.  I worked my way out on the course so I could “walk” in with my Valentine…and to be honest I could not keep up.  I had to divert to a slow run to pace with her. 



The Virginia is for Lovers 14k was a fun race, well thought out, well planned and one we will do again.  The organizers at  J&A Racing, Virginia Beach put on a great event…now they just need to work on the wind.

Five Favorites

My Five Favorite Running Things:

1. My Nike Air Pegasus Running Shoes:


And no I’m not a Nike sponsored runner (But I am available….hint hint hint).  I’ve been running in Air Pegs for over 12 years…run in every model since 2000 AND love them.  The way they fit my feet, it’s perfection.  The ride is smooth, easy and cushioned.  For my feet, I truly believe there is no better shoe on the market.

2.  My Race Ready Long Distance Shorts:


How to carry all that GU/Power Gel and the little things you need during a long run?  Race Ready Shorts, manufactures of high performance technical running apparel.  I love their running shorts w/pockets, the best solution for carrying nutritional products on long distance runs.  Not only are they functional but also very durable…I’ve had my favorite pair since 2005 and I have worn them on all long runs and six marathons, would not run a marathon without them.

3.  My subscription to Marathon & Beyond:


A friend introduced me to Marathon & Beyond, after my first marathon in April 2005, and at the time I NEVER thought I would run anything longer.  But after reading the stories and commentary in M&B the miles beyond 26.2 did not seam so daunting.  In 2008 I ran my first Ultra…and I’ve loved every issue of M&B ever since.  When I open my mailbox and see the latest copy of M&B…my inner Ultra runner does a happy dance!

4.  My Social Media Outlet, Twitter:

Social Media can be a gigantic waste of time…or it can be a great way to connect with a community that shares a common pursuit.  I enjoy the real time news and sports feed on my time line but I really stay on Twitter for the connection with fellow runners.  I’ve tried other outlets, forums, mail groups etc, but none has been as inspiring as the runners on Twitter.  Where else could you connect with, have “one on one” tweets with, or receive a “shout out” from World Class Marathoners, Olympians, and local runners who lift you up.  Follow me on Twitter @cledawgs

5.  My Race Bling:

Yes I am a sucker for the shinny and sparkly.  Yea I know that does not sound very Manly Man…but have you walked down the tool isle at Sears.  All the chrome plated wrenches/socket sets…oh I think I need a cigarette.  But the bling is where it’s at.  I may not win an Olympic gold, but give me a finisher medal the size of a hub cap and I’m signing up.  My Name is Brian and I love the bling!  Please don’t judge me…embrace the bling. Check out this site: 26 Point 2 Medals


Last Week In Review: Jan 27 – Feb 2

Last Week In Review: ( Jan 27 – Feb 2)

Monday: 10.3
Tuesday: 7.2
Wednesday: 5 #snownado2014
Thursday: 5 #snownado2014
Friday: 7.8
Saturday: 19 #MEGSMILES
Sunday: 0 REST DAY –  Super Bowl Sunday

Total:  54.30 mile – Jan Total: 240.2 miles – YTD Total: 240.2 on 22 Running Days



What a week, Monday it was 60f and then ANOTHER winter front moved into the 757 area and by Wednesday morning we had 8″ of snow.

Wednesday I went out and ran around our housing area, on the un-plowed roads, and got in a hard 5 miles.  Some of the cul-de-sac had 8″ inches which made it feel like I was running up hill the entire time. Thursday night after work, I hit the HOA roads again and although I did not have to plow thru the snow, my footing was questionable at best. A slow slog was best I could do.

Friday night ran 7.8 miles at 8:23 pace on Fort Lee, three figure 8 laps, around my wives work area. After cautiously running the past two days because of the snow it felt so good to get the legs opened up.

Saturday met up with the Corner Stone Striders run club, ran a nice 19 miles in 2hrs 55mins, with a nice push at the end.

Umstead here we come!

umstead 100 buckle


Raven Run 2012

My Raven Run From 2012:

My wife and I booked a KLOVE “Friends and Family” Christian music cruise out of Miami Florida a year ago.  During the course of the year I looked forward with great anticipation to the great music and fellowship but also to run in a new city.  When thinking about where to run, it hit me.  About three years earlier I read a story in a issue of Marathon and Beyond, from Nov/Dec 2009 about a guy who has run on Miami’s South Beach for 37 years straight, never missing a day.  Not only does this guy run every day but he runs 8 miles every day…come rain or shine, broken bones or hurricanes; The Raven Runs!


After a quick internet search and re-reading the article I just had to meet up with The Raven and run.

Super Bowl Sunday my wife and I headed to South Beach and planned to be at the 5th street life guard station at 4 p.m. and at a little after 4 p.m. Raven showed up.  At first I was a bit stand offish, but once I introduced myself Raven greeted me and talked as if we were old friends.  Raven is a character, but also one of the nicest people I’ve met.  On this day 8 runners showed up to run with Raven, 6 repeat runners and two newbie’s, Roberto S. and I.  Once everyone was ready to roll, Raven got us running on the North route.  We started at the 5th street life guard station going south to the Pier then we turned north ran back up the beach to 47th street and back south to 5th street.

Raven has run with over 1500 different people during the 37 year streak and it is uncanny on how he remembers the details of everyone.  As we headed south to the pier Raven began his roll call.  For each runner he gave a 20 second introduction ending with their “Raven run” earned nickname.  For us new people he introduced us to the veterans by name and asked a few questions to help him give us nicknames…if we earned them by finishing the 8 mile run.

During the run Raven told some interesting stories, 37 years on South Beach allowed his path to cross with a lot of locals and a few celebrities.  My favorite story was about Muhammad Ali and The Beetles.  Raven told a story about when Ali met the Beetles for the first time back in the day, he was then Cassius Clay, and the Beetle a little known English band, Ali commented to his trainer Angelo Dundee after meeting them “Who where those four wimps”…Raven said I’m sure Ali knew who they were a few years later.

Running on the sand was a bit taxiing, but after talking with a raven run veteran “Hitter” we picked up the pace and logged a few extras blocks as we finished ahead of the group and ran back to finish 8+ miles with Raven and the rest.  When all was done Roberto earned his nickname “Ballpark” and after a little prompting from my wife Raven named me “Cledawg”….a fitting name just the same.  I was the 1,531st runner to run with Raven, I hope with good health, and GOD’s blessing Raven will be going for a good long time.  I plan to be back and run again with Raven.

If you’re ever in Miami go run with the Raven.  And tell him Cledawg sent ya!

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 NIV