Monthly Archives: October 2010
I know, I know…when you think of running clubs, you think of skinny guys who eat nothing but protein bars and run 5:30 miles to warm up! They are fast and strong…and intimidating. But it doesn’t have to be this way!
There is a new club in town. It’s bold, it’s bad and you don’t have to be a serious runner to be a part of it. No dues, no fees..just fun!
It’s called the Mud Mafia. You can find more details on it and upcoming events here: http://themudmafia.blogspot.com/ Watch the volume on your computer! Carrie, the founder of the group, has some tunes playing when you get there. Just wouldn’t want to catch you off guard at work!
The first gathering of the “family” is this coming weekend at the “Beer and Bagel” Run. You can register here
Remember, I search so you don’t have to!
My good friend Carrie (Leaving a Path…) is writing a blog that has been quite inspirational for me lately. In a recent post, she shared the story of Ben from the Ben Does Life blog. Ben promised his grandmother on Christmas Day, 2008, that he would “get a grip” on life and actively work on his obesity, depression and life. At the time, we weighed well over 300 lbs!
Three years ago, I weighed about 240 lbs, struggled with high cholesterol and never considered myself to be a runner. Today I have finished 3 marathons, ran more than 20 races this year alone and am down to a lighter 215. I connected with Ben and his journey…hope you will to.
The story of my journey is contained in the posts below this one. If you are new to the blog, take a second to scan through them.
As you watch this video, remember this…
1. You never run to lose weight…you lose weight to run.
2. There is more to life than running…but running will bring you more life.
3. Start small (maybe walk first?)…but dream big!
Thanks for the tip Carrie!
October 3, 2010 – If I have one thing to say about the weather in Nebraska, it’s generally crappy. However, every race that I participated in this summer / fall sported excellent conditions. Race for the Cure was no different. A beautiful Sunday morning with 15,000 people, all dressed in pink, all out to support the fight against breast cancer. With it just being a 5K and just coming off of 26 miles the week before, the run seemed very short. I ran at a 10 minute pace, finishing the race in just under 30 minutes. A good day of training and recovery.
It did mark the first time that I parked at Gallup and ran to the downtown area to get a race started. At the end of the race I ran the mile back. Call it a 5 mile day!
October 9, 2010 – 3 years ago, a new race was launched that took the idea of a “relay” to the next level. Someone thought it would be a good idea to put together 6, 7, or 8 person teams and run all day from the Old Market in Omaha to the Haymarket in Lincoln. XX miles total. They just call it the Market to Market Relay.
This year, race consisted of 245 teams, 4 different starting flights (we were last at 8:15 am), 21 different exchange points and 84 miles. Costumes were not required but encouraged. Flights were set up so that the slower teams started first and the fast teams had the chance to catch them. Only rule…all team had to be done by 8:00 pm. Sounds fun? It was.
Our first runner started promptly at 8:15 and was up against some of the fastest runners in eastern Nebraska. Even running the first leg at a 6:55 pace wasn’t enough to keep up with most of the flight. No worries however, it wasn’t long before we started catching the flights ahead of us. Each exchange point got a bit more busy and bit more crazy. They went something like this:
The team (who had just dropped off a runner and sent them off) would pile in the van (our minivan) and check the map for the next stop. We would drive 4 or 5 miles, find the exchange point, find a place to park, make our way to the runners exchange point and wait for the runner we had just dropped off. Cheer one runner in, cheer the next runner out, repeat the process – 20 times! We had a team of 7, so each runner ran 3 legs. The first one was okay. The second one was hard. The third one was just gutting it out. Made for a tough, but fun day.
The team gathered one more time at the Haymarket in Lincoln as we waited for the last team member to finish the 21st leg. Then as a team, we ran the short distance over the bridge and to the finish. The goal had been to complete the entire race in under 11 hours. We finished at 10:59:36. Another successful race.
Reflecting back over 2010, I did a lot of running. Starting with the State Farm 10 mile back in March and finishing with the Market to Market, I ran more than 15 races. By the end, my body was tired. For the first time in 2 years, I wasn’t really excited about my next run. So for now, it’s time to rest. Next scheduled run is the Groundhog 10K in Kansas City in late January.
September 26, 2010 – There couldn’t have been a more perfect morning for a marathon. It was just short of 50 degrees at the start of race and almost no wind. After a long summer of 5 AM runs with warm and humid conditions, it felt great! This was going to be a good day of running.
The Omaha Marathon starts down at Rick’s Boatyard, just a quarter mile or so from the Gallup parking lot. I arrived at Gallup by 5:45 am and beat most of the crowd and hunkered down in the Fitness center for the next 30 minutes getting mentally prepared for day and taking in some calories. They say that running is 90% mental and the other 10% is mental. So I sat calmly and watched a little HGTV while I waited for the 7 am start. By 6:30 I was ready to make the walk down to the starting line. It was still a little dark. I ran into Ronny and Jen Miller, who were preparing to run the half. I hung with them until the race started.
While the Omaha Marathon is still an up and coming event in Omaha and attendance is growing each year, they still have some work to do on how they get the race started. There were no visible pacers and walkers who trying to start the race in the front. The street is narrow and will not be able to handle the amount of runners that they could get in the future. Once I got past the start line and weaved around a bunch of walkers in the first mile, things settled down to normal pace. I was shooting for 9 minute miles the entire day.
The course route loops around downtown and north Omaha for the first 10K and returns runners back to Rick’s Boatyard. While not setting any land speed records, this loop was what I really needed. At 58:27, I was feeling warmed up, on pace and ready to focus on the next 10K. I also took a strategy of breaking down the race into four 10K races with a 2 mile finish at the end. For me, it’s easier to think of it that way as opposed to one long 26.2 mile race. I crossed same place we had started just an hour ago feeling great. First section down…oh, and did I mention that I was doing live updates to Facebook? I made the first update at this point (see above).
The next section of the race takes you south, through the ConAgra campus, under the railroad tracks and up one of the longest hills on course. To be honest, the hill seems a lot tougher last year when I was just running the half. I think it was perspective. At the top of the hill, the halfers turn right on Hickory and those running the full head straight on a path to the Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo. The next two miles were mostly down hill (which is always bad because you know you have to come back up those hills!) and easy. Just before the South Omaha bridge, the course turns back and it’s a 3 mile trek back to Downtown. Some where in there (I think back at the ConAgra Campus) I crossed over 13 miles and finished the 2nd 10K (updated Facebook too!). Sarah was there throughout this leg to greet me (like she had been all morning) as well as several very dedicated friends from Gallup. So dedicated, that at a very steep hill just after the Zoo, Stacey (one of those cheering me on) jumped out and ran with me up the hill! Very helpful. Thanks Stacey.
Once you pass the downtown and the new stadium for the College World Series, the halfers make a right turn to go in and the rest of us head up into north Omaha. It gets very lonely and very quiet during the 3rd 10K. From mile 15 to mile 20, it’s a very flat run through some very old neighborhoods in Omaha. At 16 I had some lunch that Sarah had brought me and took a second to update Facebook from my phone. At both mile 18 and mile 20 (because the course double backs) there was very good crowd support. By this time, my body was beginning to feel the effects of running for 3 hours. My 20 mile time was 3:10:44, the legs were tight and hips were giving me some pain. I’d come this far. If I could just run the final 10K in less than 50 minutes I would have a sub 4 hour marathon.
Like in Lincoln in the spring, I had some very amazing friends join me running during the race. If you have never run this distance, you have no idea how helpful it is to have someone running beside you. This race was no different. At the 20 mile mark, Stacey (who had run the hill with me an hour earlier) and Yvette (both Gallup friends) joined me and would run the next 6 mile with me to get in. There was lots of encouragement and some painful running. Thanks gals!
Traditionally, the last 10K has been a disaster for me. In Kansas City last fall, I ended up walking the entire final 6 miles. In Lincoln last spring, I really struggled with 22 to 26. I struggled in Omaha, just not as much. In fact, we recorded a 9:45 mile for the 22nd. With good training, I had moved the wall from 16 in KC, to 20 in Lincoln and now 23 in Omaha. It was good to see that all those early morning runs were paying off!
The race gets a little fuzzy right at mile 24. It was everything I had to make it to the finish…but what a finish it was! At just over the 25 mile mark, Jamie, the other Gallup fitness trainer, joined our small group of runners and encouraged me all the way to the finish. Interestingly enough, the last mile loops through the Gallup campus and provides an excellent reminder of why I do all this running. The course also takes you under the new Bob Kerry Pedestrian bridge and to one of the most scenic finishes I have ever done (only second to Mt Evans of course!) The gang dropped off a few hundred yards before the finish and it was solo to get it done.
I will admit, I walked a bunch in the last 2 miles. It was just that hard. However, once I saw the crowd and heard the screaming voice of Ryan Wolf cheering me in, there was no more walking. In fact, I even found some speed left to use across the finish! It was amazing. Officially 4:19:28 was the entire morning and mission accomplished. The entire gang that had been encouraging me throughout the race was there to see me finish. Top 10 moment in life for sure. Worth it!
If you have never run a marathon and your body can take it, I highly recommend it. Yes, it hard. Yes, it takes lots of time to train for it. Yes, it hurts when you are done. However, the sense of accomplishment when you are done is incredible. It’s kind of a physical, spiritual and emotional journey all rapped up into one event. If I can do it, you can too.
This fall ended with two more amazing events here in Omaha. Watch the blog. There is more to come.
Remember, I search (and blog while running) so you don’t have to!
JUNE – Wow. It’s been a busy summer of running, both in races and lots of long distance training. It was a summer of some of the hottest conditions I have ever run in and it was a summer that included running across Nebraska (well, part of it), running across Grand Island and running not only across Omaha, but all the way from Omaha to Lincoln. Thought I would spend a few minutes recapping the major events and races of the summer of 2010 and get my times documented for future reference. Here we go!
The summer really started on June 17th, when Brian Stark (http://statesrunner.com) came running thru town and joined 11 Gallup runners us as we ran with him from the Gallup campus through downtown Omaha. He was making is way across the state of Nebraska over a 3 week period before the 4th of July. I think he was a little surprised to see that large of a group on a typical humid summer day. It was a short run that day for us, but a good one as we made our way to the new pedestrian bridge and back. The group said goodbye to Brian and sent him running another 500 miles across the state. We were all glad to hit the showers that day!
10 days later, I found myself running with Brian again as he made his way from Grand Island to Kearney. It was a 42 mile day for him, and a 17.5 mile for me. I left Omaha early AM (like 3AM!), drove out to Shelton NE where I dropped my bike. I drive the 17 miles back to Grand Island and found Brian running already. We ran out to Shelton where I picked up my bike and rode it back to the car. 35 miles total for the day with the two trips. Weather was great, company was good and the running was fun. I’d do it again tomorrow. Brian did!
JULY – During the long weekend of the 4th, my parents were celebrating their 80th birthdays in Colorado Springs, CO. As we were driving out there, we were able to meet up with Brian one more time as he was making his way to the Denver Airport for a flight back to AZ. We picked him up at a truck stop in Brush CO around lunch and drove him the remaining 3 hours to Denver, saving him about 3 days of running. We enjoyed some dinner together at the Olive Garden and dropped him off at his hotel for a nights rest before his flight. The cool part about it all was the way he was able to live blog the entire run on Facebook! During his run, we were able to keep up with him every step of his way.
AUGUST – With the weather getting hotter in Nebraska, the rest of my training was either long indoor runs on the treadmill or very early AM runs at one of the two lakes that we have near by. I cannot tell you how many times I woke up on Saturday at 4 AM to drive out and loop the lake at Walnut Creek Rec area! Assisted by several friends, the job of gradually longer and longer weekend runs got harder and more time consuming. The entire month of August was committed to 30 and 40 mile running weeks. I went thru several pairs of shoes! It was a long month.
SEPTEMBER – On September 4th, I woke up early and made the 3 hour trek out to the Grand Island Half. Not running the race for time (although I finished the 13.1 miles in 1:57:50) but for training, was new for me. I was instructed by my trainer to run at my marathon pace (9 minute miles) for the entire race and then turn around at the finish and go back out for 8 more. I had never done that before and it felt kind of strange. Some of the runners who were coming in behind me gave some dirty looks as I passed them going back out. One even said, “Hey, didn’t you get enough the first time!” I guess I hadn’t. I came back in as they were handing out the awards, again, to some strange looks. During the race portion, I was able to pace a gal in for her very first half marathon. Her goal was 2 hours and we got there! She was happy to be running with my help. That’s always the best part of running
September 19th brought the 2010 Omaha Corporate Cup and over 150 runners from Gallup to the premier 10K event in downtown Omaha. Each year this event gets bigger and each year for the last three, Gallup has sent more runners than it had from the year before. Knowing that I had the Omaha Marathon the very next weekend, I wanted to be careful not to run too hard, but being in the best shape I’ve been in for the last 20 years, I could feel a PR coming on.
Sure enough, 46:32 (that’s 7:30 miles for 6 miles!) smashed all previous PRs at this distance and got me the results I had been looking for as well as a boost of confidence going into the marathon the next week.
Gallup as a team also did very well. Congrats to both Ryan and Jamie (our Gallup Trainers) for doing a great job on both organizing the team for this event as well as training us all to be the best runners we could be! Most of the runners I talked to after the race said that they had done better than the year before. That’s what it is all about!
Well, that gets us half thru the summer and starts us into the fall and three more races left on the schedule. The big event in the Omaha Marathon, the Race for the Cure and the 3rd Annual Marker to Market relay. I will post those in the coming days, just as soon as I write them!
Thanks for following along!
Remember, I search (and run) so you don’t have to!