Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011: My Year In Running

Man, what a year!

Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever thought I'd take to running like I have.

2011 was my first-full year as a runner, and it was a good year to say the least. I set out the year with four goals and reached all but one. (The last remaining will be crossed off the list in the coming months, however.)

I've got a long list of goals for 2012. But before I share those with you, I want to take a moment to look back at the year that was 2011.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

So I Went On My First Trail Run ...

A trail running we will go!
For the past year, I've heard so many tails about trail running. 

"There's nothing like trail running."

"Just you wait. You'll love it."

"Trail running is the best."

Those are just some of the things was told over and over and over. From more than one person, and from more than just from my local running group - the Falls Road Runners

So, this past Friday, I met up with seven others from our running group and hit the trails around Levi Jackson State Park in London, Ky. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

C'mon! Let's Race! ... Virtually

Looking for a fun race to participate in? Well, you are in luck because I've found the one for you!

Last week, fellow runner and blogger Doug Cassaro posted he was holding a Twitter Road Race!

If you're like me, it can be difficult to find a race to run in January. Oh, there are races out there, but you usually have to travel, and the cost of registration fees plus travel can add up ... quickly.

Enter Doug's #TwitterRoadRace!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Who Inspires You? Tell Them 'Thank You'

It's sooooo true!
Had an awesome run this past Saturday ... and it had nothing to do with the sub-10 minute per mile pace I posted for my 7.65 miles.

Saturday was a gorgeous day, and I had the opportunity to run later in the day so I got the rare chance to sleep in. (BONUS!!!) So I headed out around 11:30 for an easy seven-mile run.

Midway through my run, I stopped for a water break when another local runner was finishing up his four-mile run. I had seen him before but never had the opportunity to meet him before.

But he knew me thanks to seeing me running around town and Facebook.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

My Road to Becoming a Half Fanatic

A few months ago, my lovely bride asked me what I wanted for Christmas. I'm not one who wants for much. I mean, I have a loving family, a roof over my head, food on my table and am healthy enough to run. What more does a guy need?

Yet, there was one thing I wanted. Money for membership in Half Fanatics!

My Bride: "Half Fanatics? What's that?"

Me: "It's a running club for people who half marathons and run so many during a certain about of time. With the three I'll be running in seven weeks, I'll qualify."

My Bride: "I think you're fanatical already."

My bride is wonderfully supportive of my running, but I know she thinks I'm nuts when I start rambling about running and all the races and distances I want to run. But she still loves me anyway. :)

Ever since I learned of the existence of the Half Fanatics, I longed to become one. I NEEDED to be one.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Whole Lotta Ho Ho Hos - Santa Hustle Smokies Half Recap

Knew it would be a good race when my
race bib number was 816 - same as my
anniversary (August 16).
So, I ran yet another half marathon this past Sunday. My third one in seven weeks, qualifying me to become a Half Fanatic!

While I'm super stoked to join the Half Fanatics (member No. 1684!), a blog post on that will have to wait for another day.

Sunday's race was the Santa Hustle Smokies Half Marathon, and I was excited about it the moment I found out about it in a Groupon. Yes, I said Groupon.

Nothing like opening an email and finding out you can register for a race for HALF PRICE!!!

When I got the email, I was already signed up to run the Iron Horse Half and the Secret City Half. Those two races wouldn't alone wouldn't qualify me for the Half Fanatics since they were four weeks apart. But add in the Santa Hustle Smokies Half, and the three in 50 days did!

The fact I could become a Half Fanatic had me excited about this race, but add in the fact all runners would receive a special Santa tech shirt, a Santa hat and beard to run it, and I couldn't sign up fast enough. Hundreds of Santas on parade in East Tennessee!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Nearing The End

The finish line is in sight, and I can't be happier.

Because I'm tired.

There I said it.

I'm tired of training. That's what my life has been since July when I began preparing for my stretch of half marathons. But all of that will be over come Sunday when I complete the Santa Hustle Smokies Half Marathon in Sevierville, Tenn.

In all honesty, I didn't know what I was getting myself into when I signed up for three half marathons within seven weeks time. I had no clue what toll it would take on my body, how I would feel after running a race and then turn around a few short weeks to run another ... and then another.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Sooooo ... I've Signed Up For This Race

So looking forward to April 1!
This past Wednesday I signed up for a race. But not just any race.

I am now registered for the 2012 Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon!

Oh ... and it's only MY FIRST FULL MARATHON!

Can you sense all the nervous excitement? What? You can't feel these vibes I'm sending through the Internet? Anywho, I AM STOKED! I can't wait for this race!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Battle That Raged Within - Secret City Half Marathon Recap-Part 2

Enjoying some Gatorade at the halfway point.
In spite of the overall wonderful experience I had at the Secret City Half Marathon, there was one thing I really struggled with. In fact, I wrestled with this issue for a few days after the event.

I had no clue on how I should approach this half marathon.

All along, I viewed this race as a 'fun' one. Just one to enjoy the scenery, clock 13.1 miles, collect another t-shirt and medal and just have fun, in large part, because my kids were also running. I wanted the day to be more about them. I, after all, had already run three half marathons and this was their first race ever.

Confusing me even more was the fact that this was the second of three half marathons I running in within a seven-week stretch. On Oct. 23, I ran the Iron Horse Half Marathon in Midway, Ky., the Secret City Half was on Nov. 20, and I'm running the Smokies Santa Hustle Half on Dec. 11 in Sevierville, Tenn. I had never participated in races so close together before. Not even 5Ks.

But someone wants to become a Half Fanatic, so I registered for these three races.