Monday, January 30, 2012

Why Do Drivers Want To Kill Us Poor Runners?

I am always amazed that no matter where I run, or when I run…I almost always have an “Close Encounter” with a (insert anything with four wheels and weighs a lot more then me).  What is it about these 4000 pound monsters that they are attracted to us lightly armored runners?  Can it be something in our high performance cushioning shoes?  Could it be something in our sweat that draws these 4 wheel battle tanks to approach us?

I’m pretty sure it has nothing to do with us the poor runners.  I mean I follow all the roadside/sidewalk, and curb running rules that I’m aware of:

I make visual (eye ball to eye ball) contact with the driver, when their not texting
I run wearing reflective clothing, if running at dusk or near night time hours
I run WITHOUT ear phones, so that I can hear death before it kills me
I make my intentions known when we meet at an intersection
I always keep an eye out for all movements in the driveways
I run the majority of my runs in and round housing areas
I wave and give a thumps up to drivers who are courteous
I run with a hand held flash light when I run after dark
I do not cut corners at intersections
I face traffic and run defensively
I run as far off the road as I can
I do not run on busy streets

And yet, with all those precautions, some how these land sharks are drawn towards me and I have to take some type of evasive action to avoid getting hit.

Here are a few of my best Close Encounters:

There was the time when a women decided to cut a corner and nearly took me out….she never even slowed down as I jumped into a yard to save myself.

I once had to stop short crossing a parking lot intersection, when looking right into my eyes the driver pulled out in front of me….hope I did not scratch his car when I “Dukes of Hazard” slid across this hood avoiding impact.

Then there was the driver who actually moved over towards me to give me less room on the side of the road, as I spun around to avoid contact, I swear there was less then 12” between me and the side view mirror.

Then, there are the members of the Driveway Drag Racers (DDR).  The DDR is made up of drivers who get into their cars, vans, trucks or M1A1 tanks then buckle up, start up and pull a hole shot, that would make Don Garlits proud, backing out of the driveway, NEVER LOOKING at what may be behind them.  I’m sad to say I see this way to many times in our housing area.

But the best one of all was the driver who passed me cleanly, turned around to approach me from behind yelling at me that I was taking up to much of “her roadway” and that I should be running in the grass/broken up side walk.  I could only chuckle and wave as she pulled away eating one of the many Krispy Kreme donuts on her front seat.

Be safe people…’s crazy out there!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Did you know David (of Goliath fame) was a Runner?

My Pastor Stu Hodges ( gave a talk on upgrading your life.  Part of his illustration was how he could buy all the cool running gear, and without ever taking a step, we would not be a runner.  This parallels how most Christians are viewed, we say we believe in Christ yet never follow his examples.  I’m guilty as well.

This got me to thinking about my life following Christ and also my running.  Am I serving GOD and am I attacking my running plan?  I got the message on being a better more complete follower of my Savior, but how does this affect my running?  Then Stu told us that he believed David was a runner!

Little history on David, he was the youngest of four brothers and his roll in the family was that of the Shepherd, he took care to the families sheep.  At the time the Philistines and Israelites had gathered their forces for war.  David’s brother went to join the battle, David was left at home as he was smaller then his brothers.  One day, Jesse David’s father wanted to send supplies to his sons, he sent David.  Pastor Hodges cites that if David had not been a runner, he would have not been able to make the trip as reported in the Bible. 

1 Samuel 17, 21

David and Goliath
21 Israel and the Philistines were drawing up their lines facing each other. 22 David left his things with the keeper of supplies, ran to the battle lines and asked his brothers how they were.

You see the Bible says that David, “ran to the battle lines,” he did not stroll, he did not power walk, and he did not ride his segway, he ran.  In those days, the battle lines would have been a far distance off and if David’s body had not already been conditioned to run, by running, he would have never been able to run to the battle lines.

Are you meeting life’s challenges, or your next race with a condition body up for the task?  If I want to qualify for Boston, I can’t just show up for the next qualifier marathon and run it.  I have to condition my mind and body for the task.

Once David got to the battle lines he did not collapse like Philippeadse of Marathon fame and die.  After arriving at the battle and seeing the giant Goliath taunting the Israelites armies he reported to King Saul and offered to go to battle.  This tells me that although being smaller in size, David was in shape and fearless.  Saul initially refused to allow David to fight Goliath but after David’s persistence he sends the young boy into battle.  Now I’m not sure about you, but unless I was 100% confidence in my abilities as a warrior….I might take my time going up against a giant, but not David.  With the Lord behind him he RUNS into battle with Goliath and wins!

1 Samuel 17, 48 -50

48 As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. 49 Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.
 50 So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.

So what is your Goliath?  To get moving, to lose a few pounds or to run a 5k, 10k race?  Maybe a bigger challenge. Run a Half Marathon, Marathon or an Ultra?  Today fight your Goliath with the spirit of David, have faith in your Lord and confidence in yourself!  And run!

If you have a Goliath other then your fitness, your heart is hurting, you need something more out of life…or you’re simply not where you want to be.  The same GOD who gave David his strength can strengthen you.  Visit your church and learn about my Savior Jesus Christ, he loves you and so do I.  If your in the 757 look up for service times.  

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Great Marathon Debate...

The Great Marathon Debate:

Completing a marathon is a major accomplishment, one very few people in the world can claim.  Even fewer people run and complete two or more marathons.  So the term “Marathoner” is often up for debate.  What criteria earns you the  “Marathoner” title compared to being a runner who ran a marathon.  Is it the number of marathons?  Or is it the time between marathons?  In the spirit of Jeff Foxworthy here is my attempt to settle this debate once and for all.

1.  You Might Be A Marathoner, If you look forward to a new and improved flavor of GU

2.  You Might Be A Marathoner, If you can remember the first time you rubbed your nipples raw

3.  You Might Be A Marathoner, If when you hear people talk about “The Wall” you break into a cold sweat and start to cry

4.  You Might Be A Marathoner, If you can tell your running shoes apart by their personalities

5.  You Might Be A Marathoner, If the cup holder in your car is loaded with safety pins

6.  You Might Be A Marathoner, If you buy Body Glide in the three pack

7.  You Might Be A Marathoner, If when you see someone wearing a Boston Athletic Association shirt/jacket, you wonder did they buy that or EARN it?

8.  You Might Be A Marathoner, If your dog is named Pheidippides

9.  You Might Be A Marathoner, If you think a bloody sock and missing toe nail is the price you pay for a good long run

10.  You Might Be A Marathoner, If you can drink, blow your nose, spit and run all at the same time

You Might Be A VETERAN Marathoner, If you can do number ten and not get any of it on you

Friday, January 20, 2012

Running Photos...

Running Photos…
Who does not love them?  You know the event photos taken by the local Sports Photography Company.  We all love them.  Almost as much as we can’t wait to see our finishing times in print, we all can’t wait for the photos to be up-loaded from our most recent race.  And we love scanning the thousand of pictures hoping for a really nice full frontal picture or at least just hoping we catch a glimpse of ourselves.  Right there, is that my ankle?”  AND if truth be told, if they were more reasonably priced I may buy a few. 

Whether a 5k fun run or a full Marathon the photographers are out there and if you want a good photo, you’ll want to be ready.  Once you spot their location AKA “the kill photo zone” you better know the drill.  Strategically placed along the course normally at the toughest parts of the run, you only have seconds to make a lasting impression.  Once you spot the lenses of that digit weapon, even if you’re dying inside, you’ve got mere milliseconds to pull from all your inner strength reserves to pose for the money shot.  A second ago you were dying, but now wide eyed and smiley faced “this 26.2 ain’t got nothing on me” you look right into the lenses and smile.  If you are really skilled and can muster the strength you may pose with a hearty thumps up, or maybe do a cart wheel and Click click…’s over!  Then as soon as you’re safe from the shutters stare…safe in your own little world of pain, you return back to the “Wholly Batman… this is killing me” reality of the world us runners live in.

I love the Photo zones….yes I’m vain, I like to see myself as a runner….doing what I do…Running!  But try as I might, a veteran of 11+ years of running, I still take some of the worst event pictures on the planet.  Maybe even of the galaxy!

I thought I would share two of them with you….my two “favorites.”

My NOT so favorite:

Okay in this one I look like an 80+ year old man about to win or maybe lose the speed shuffling contest at the local “retirement” home.

My favorite:

This one I like to call “AIR TIME” I look like a real runner…..look out Ryan Hall!

Do you love or hate the “Photo Zone?”  Post a comment to let me know….Run on people!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Running Mind Dump

Running Mind Dump - Random thoughts that enter my mind while running down the wooded trails of life. (borrowing format from

Un-Running Related:

-- Food recommendation: had a survey on his blog about which fast food joint served the best French Fries…my vote is What-A-Burger…nothing beats some good old fashion wrinkle cut fries!

-- Movie recommendation: “The Descendents” with George Clooney (to my best knowledge Mr. Clooney has not run a marathon and after you witness the running scene in the movie, you’ll understand why)

-- Cookie recommendation: How do you eat your Oreos?  Do you dunk them, do you rip the tops off?  I eat them whole, and eat as many as I can before drinking any milk.  Record: 2 complete rows…without a drink = My dentist loves me!

Running Related:

-- Good run thought:  You know you’re having a good run when it feels like your running shoes are part of your feet not something on your feet

-- Training thought:  Best after run drink, Yoohoo….I’m telling you a ice cold Yoohoo after a long run, little slice of Heaven right here on Earth

-- Political thought:  George W. Bush has run a marathon, (3:44:52) current guy has not 

-- Race thought #1:  No matter what race I enter, some old person beats me…#congratstothem!

-- Race thought #2:  I have never finished first in my age group, but I have been dead last…although I did run 1.5 miles longer then race length to get in marathon training miles, but I WAS LAST! 

-- Bizarro-World thought:  In their body building, Pumping Iron, Hulk raising prime, who would win in a marathon Arnold Schwarzenegger or Lou Ferrigno?

-- Night time running thought:  If I fall no one is going to see me anyways?

-- Vain running thought:  Does everyone sweat this much?

-- Running food thought:  My favorite food before a race = Pizza, it’s just my favorite food for any time, pepperoni and easy on the cheese pls!

Jan 2012…where do the years go? Y2k+12

Saturday, January 7, 2012

9000 Mile Milestone!

First run Aug 5 2000 (age 36) 2 miles, 9003 miles on Jan 7 2012 (age 47) a 16 mile run

Inside The Numbers:
6.5 miles per running day/2.15 miles per calendar day
20 Pairs of Nike Air Pegasus running shoes
40+ races, best finish 3d overall.
66 miles per month over 136 months
796 miles per year over 11.3 years
1388 running days/4175 calendar days
1500 running hours (figuring a 10 min mile avg.)
1,147,500 calories burned (figuring 127.5 cals per mile, RW source)

Just how far is 9000 Miles?
1.  I could have returned an NFL kick-off for a touchdown, 158,183 times
          (Pro Football Hall of Fame material for sure)
2.  I could have ran to the top of the Empire State Building, 32,282 times
          (King Kong would have nothing on me)
3.  I could have rode Space Mountain in the Magic Kingdom, 14,848 times
          (Not sure how many times I may have……barfed?)
4.  I could have ran to the top of Mount Everest, 1636 times
          (Well except for maybe that thing called oxygen)
5.  I could have ran the Daytona 500, 18 times
          (Richard Petty move on over)
6.  I could have ran the Alaskan Pipeline, 11.2 times
          (And still had to pay over $3.00 for a gallon of gas)
7.  I could have ran from Los Angeles to New York City, 3.2 times
          (Nope would have stayed in Southern California)
8.  I could have ran the Great Wall of China, 1.6 times
          (Sweet and Sour Chicken Hong Kong style to go!)
9.  I have ran 3% of the way to The Moon
          (3…..2…….1 and were off)
AND finally, I could have ran 2903 5Ks, 1451 10Ks, 687 Half Marathons or 343.5 Marathons
          (And maybe I would have won my age division, just once)

Why do I track all this?
Because I have some monster ego, No, that is not it at all.  I find that when I’m not logging/tracking my miles I’m not really into running.  My running MOJO is off.  All of my down turns in training can be traced back to a period when I stopped logging my mileage. Without the daily ritual/reward of tracking my miles, my runs became just another run.  While I am tracking my miles, my runs have purpose; my runs are stepping stones to my next goal, my next race or the next milestone.  Keeping a log and watching it change day by day, mile by mile and race by race, helps to keep my running MOJO going.

Some Final Thoughts:
9000 miles…at this pace and with a blessing of good health from the LORD, I hope to reach 30,000 miles before I turn 69.  Where’s that Excel spreadsheet… 

Thanks to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, you saved my life.  I never thought I had a gift.  I can’t sing, I can’t paint a picture and I’m not an all-star QB, but now I understand running is just as much a gift as anything.  GOD gave me the gift to run.  This gift allows me private time with GOD, what more could I ask for.  Thank you Michele for supporting me, you’re always there for me.  My kids…love you guys, Thanks Judy, your support over all the years means a lot to me. 

Run on people!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Ten things I LOVE and hate about Running

1.  I LOVE the feel of a new pair of running shoes, I hate getting little stones in my shoes.
2.  I LOVE the feeling of a second wind, I hate the first few steps of just about every run
3.  I LOVE watching my mileage totals go up during the month, I hate the first day of the month/year when my total is a big fat zero.
4.  I LOVE standing at the starting line of a race, I hate the congestion at the aide stations
5.  I LOVE my Garmin 201 GPS, I hate accidentally hitting the off button during a run
6.  I LOVE a well marked course, I hate trying to figure out where the next turn is, especially after 10 miles
7.  I LOVE trail runs, I hate the hills
8.  I LOVE it when my wife is there for the long races, I hate it when she does not go to the shorter ones….
9.  I LOVE talking about running/racing, I hate it when non-runners call every race a marathon
10.  And most importantly, I LOVE my wife, I hate it that a bum knee keeps her from running with me
What do you LOVE and hate about running, let me know.

My full running blog can be read here: