Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 - My Year In Running

Running is gift. Enjoy it.
We've reached that point in the calendar when we look back on the past 365 days.

To say 2014 was a roller coaster would be an understatement. There were plenty of highs mixed with a number of lows.

Here were my goals for 2014:
  • Sub-4:35 marathon
  • Run an ultramarathon
  • Sub-2 half marathon
  • Post a 200-mile month
  • Run 1,800 miles for the year
Guess how many I accomplished? None. Nada. A big-fat goose egg.

Does that mean the year was a waste or not a success? Absolutely not.

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Blessing Of Getting PF - Did I Just Say That?

On Nov. 15, I signed up for my first ultra - a 50K on Jan. 3.

On Nov. 16, I experienced sharp pain going from my foot up through my ankle during my run, turning the planned- 8-, 9-miler into 4.5 miles.

Spent next 48 hours icing and resting my foot. Said foot felt better. Attempted a 7-mile run on a treadmill, which was going well until I hit the 1-hour mark. Pain returned, and my suspicions were confirmed.

I had plantar fasciitis. The dreaded PF.

Training for a 50K which was less than 7 weeks away instantly got interesting. And to be able to complete the 50K, I knew I was going to have to act fast and to replace running with some other cardio activities.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Sometimes You Just Have To Say What The Heck

By now, you've read or heard how rough marathon No. 5 was. It wasn't a pretty race. It drained me, and running was not as much fun as it used to be. While I took it nice and easy during the race and enjoyed the journey, that marathon took a lot out of me physically.

Coming back from Greenville, S.C., I was looking forward to recovery and taking a break from running. Not running for a week really appealed to me at the moment.

In fact, I ended up taking nine days off.

And it was glorious.

It was rather nice to run without any pressure of a race coming up. Just lace up the shoes and run for fitness and for the enjoyment of it.

But then, something changed.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Spinx Carolina Marathon Race Recap - AKA How To Regroup & Enjoy The Run

(Yes this recap has taken me five weeks to write. What can I say? Life happens. In any case, please enjoy.)

Happy to have Marathon No. 5 in the books!
This race did not turn out to be what I had hoped and planned for it to be.

At. All.

The Spinx Carolina Marathon was to be my flat (or at least flatter) marathon. I was supposed to PR. Not only was I supposed to PR, but I was to smash it as I aimed for a time between 4:30-4:35.

But alas, none of that was to be.

The Spinx Carolina Marathon was my worst marathon time-wise, so no PR by rather a PW by nearly 26 minutes. The course wasn't as flat as I led myself it to be.

Yet, in spite of it all, I made the most of it and enjoyed the run.

After all, how could I not? It was a GORGEOUS day for a run. The scenery along the course was beautiful. And I had the best support crew (a.k.a. my lovely bride Genople) waiting for me at the finish line.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Getting My Mojo Back One Mile At A Time

Evidence of my solid run this morning.
There's no denying it. I was in a running funk.

There wasn't just one thing that caused it but rather a combination of a number of factors which conspired against me.

After posting an incredible 9-minute PR at the Knoxville Marathon in March, things went south for me the following months. Part of it was due to recovering from the marathon, a job change at work was another culprit, tons of travel for work didn't help and the normal course of everyday life factored it.

In fact, the funk had been so bad and lasted so long, I was seriously concerned about things as I began this new training cycle in preparation for the Spinx Carolina Marathon.

Yet, three weeks into training, and I've got my mojo back.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Changing Things Up From The Original Plan

Sometimes life gets in the way of our plans. When this happens, all we can do is reassess, adjust and move forward.

No need to get bitter or upset over it for I don't see a goal denied as the end of the road. For me, a goal denied is merely a goal delayed. Just because I won't be accomplish something right now does not me I won't be able to compete the task somewhere on down the road.

All year I had been saying 2014 was the year I'd become an ultra marathoner. I even went as far as finding a race to get baptized into the ultra world: the Triple Lakes Race - a 40-miler in Greensboro, N.C., in October.

Yet, after number of changes in my life, I am having to put this dream on hold. With my new job and unsure what all it will entail and encompass, I wasn't sure I'd be able to train properly for this race. Also, the 40-miler is a trail race, and I usually can't get on the trails around here until October and November.

But have no fear, I have a race all lined up.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

3 Race Recaps In 1? Sure, Why Not?

Chugging along in the Panerathon EXPO 10K
Yes, it has been forever since I posted an update. What can I say, life's been crazy. But just because life's been going a mile a second doesn't mean I have not been running.

I had some slow going following the Knoxville Marathon, not really logging the miles I'd like. Apparently, the marathon took a lot more out of me than I had realized at the time. That's OK. I PR'ed so the tradeoff has been worth it.

Over the past couple months, I did run 3 races. Nothing spectacular but fun nonetheless. I had a pair of 5Ks and a my first-ever 10K. (Yes, I know I've ran 8 or 9 half marathons and 4 full marathons. Guess I like to do things out of order.)

The first race was the Ultimate Climb 5K on May 3, while the 10K was the EXPO 10K on May 24. Lastly, I ran the CoSIDA 5K on June 10. All 3 were very different races, but all 3 were fun experiences.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Slow Road Back

All I want to do is run.
On my running bucket list is to run back-to-back marathons. Perhaps not back-to-back weekends, but I'd like to run marathons within a month of each other.

Just seems like something fun to do.

However, if I am to ever do this, something will have to change because I struggle bouncing back following a marathon.

I have great respect and admiration for those who are able to run marathons, even ultras, in such close succession. I'm in awe of your fitness, grittiness and awesomeness.

Hopefully, one day I can join you.

Friday, April 4, 2014

A PR, Fun With Friends & Another Fantastic Marathon

Haylee and I right after I crossed the line.
It's official. The Knoxville Marathon is my race.

It's the race I want to do every year.

I love it.

After running it for the third year in a row, Knoxville has become THE race I must do. Every year. And I mean: Every. Year.

There are a variety of reasons why I love this race. For one, it's in my backyard. As long as I can remember, I always enjoyed going to Knoxville, and I spent the better part of my college days at nearby Carson-Newman in the city. Secondly, it is a fun and challenging course. Hills. Love the hills. Next, it is so well supported. Every year, it seems more people come out and cheer on the runners. Nothing like a place embracing an event like this.

But the biggest reason I love this race is all the friends I've made in the Knoxville running community. Each year, I've made more friends, making each trip back like a homecoming of sorts. I saw and caught with so many people this year that I would hate to list them all because I know I would forget someone.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Basket Of Nerves: Do You Ever Feel Ready?

Ready to line up under the Sunsphere!
It feels like forever since I last posted. Nearly 2 months seems like an eternity.

A lot has gone on with work and life, preventing me from posting here. But as I make final preparations for the Knoxville Marathon, I have the overwhelming need to write because I have so much swimming in my head lately.

To say it's been a wild and wacky training season would be an understatement. So much has happened to try to disrupt things, not the least of these being the wonderful winter weather we experienced. Granted, winter here in Kentucky was not nearly as bad as other parts of the country. Still, it wasn't the norm and made things interesting trying to get my runs in.

But work has been crazy with three week-long road trips interspersed over the past couple of months, making trying to figure out when I can and can't get a run in very interesting.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Life's A Lot Faster At Sea Level

Myself, Judy and Blake before the 5K.
Had the fortunate luck of getting to go to San Diego a couple weeks ago. If you need an escape from your wintertime blues, I highly recommend going to San Diego in January.

The weather was perfect. Highs in the 70s and lows in the 50s with clear blue skies.

While I was there, I was able to get in some running. 20-plus miles to be exact. And it was wonderful getting to run along the marinas and take in the beauty of a new area.

In addition, there was a 5K as part of convention I was at, so naturally I had to take part.

Since the race was on a Thursday, I really wasn't sure how I do. I am in the middle of a marathon training cycle, and trying to switch gears midweek to race does not compute to me mentally.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Looking Forward To Big Things In 2014

Not going to lie, I've really struggled with what my goals for the new year would be.

If you remember back to November, I shared with you how at a loss I am in this. And really, here on Jan. 3, I still am in a bit of wonder.

I've had some lofty goals in the past. Well, lofty for me. Some I've reached. Some it took me a while to accomplish. Some I need to work on. While I love running and want to run every day, I still need goals to keep me motivated.

"Motivated for what?" you ask.

Motivated for life.