Monday, April 30, 2012

April A Look Back…

(Michele and I at Saint Charles Event) 
If you have been following my blog you know my goals for 2012 are as follows:

- three marathons
- 1500 miles this year
- a 20 miler once a month
- a 24 hour run with 75 miles
- a race at least once each month
- all of my scheduled training runs and not have more then two days off in a row without a really good reason (i.e. marathon or ultra recovery)

And the biggest goal, get my friend Susan C. thru her first marathon.

If you have not been following my blog, shame on you, but I forgive you.

So four months into the year let’s see how we are doing.

Run 3 marathons:  One down two to go…. With the Shamrock marathon behind me, my marathon focus will now shift to the fall, my second marathon of 2012 will be the Marine Corp Marathon on 28 Oct in our Nations capital.  And my third marathon will be Norfolk’s Freedom Marathon 11 Nov.  Can I run two marathons within 14 days?  This will be a real test for me, I plan to run the MCM as a long training run for two reasons:  #1 to conserve my legs for the Norfolk Marathon and #2 to enjoy and experience the MCM with the sights and sounds of running though our capital city.  I can’t wait…

Run 1500 Miles:  In April I ran 148.12 miles over 13 days, exceeding my goal for the month by 23 miles.  I originally wanted to push my monthly total to a new record with a chance at reaching 200 miles, feet took a beating from the 24 Hour Ultra and to avoid long term injury, I took some time off towards the end of April.  To reach my yearly goal I need to average 125 miles per month, and four months into the year I have 541.78 in the bank.  I’m ahead of my target, so far so good.  April’s miles also carried me over the 9500 mark.

April’s runs included two races: I ran in the Saint Charles Running Festival (10 miler) setting a new personal record by nearly 6 minutes and the 24 Hour Ultra Marathon covering 75 miles (also a record) in 20 event hours/17.5 running hours.  To get my 20 Mile Run in the books, I began the Ultra with a 22.5 mile opening segment.  I did go more then two days in a row missing some time to recover from the Ultra (that’s a good reason in my books), but compared to how I came out of this event in 2009/2010 I fared much better.

I’m going to start new feature on my monthly look back, My favorite Blog Post:

April’s Favorite Blog Post Is:  8 tips for running when you don't feel like it

You can follow me on Twitter @cledawgs

I have a question…in tracking of my marathons, in the past I only counted 26.2 mile events.  But do you consider running an Ultra Marathon and event in excess of 26.2 miles in your marathon count?

Friday, April 27, 2012

Ultra Marathon, Lesson Learned...

24 Hour Run For Cancer Ultra Marathon

This would be my fourth Ultra marathon.  The difference this time is that I would not be running this event alone.  Some how I managed to talk five friends into running with me.  I’ve leaned so much about running in the 12 years I’ve been a distance runner, and I’ve learned a ton more about Ultra running since my first adventure down the extreme distance road.  I thought it would be interesting to discover what each of my friends learned during this event.

To generalize everyone’s thoughts into one statement, that one statement would be:

Philippians 4:13 - "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength."

Jason:  I learned that heroes are all around us, I ran this race as a wonderful way to give back to the women who have gone through the pain and suffering cancer has caused.  A big shout out to Joyce Chapman, Pam Kloiber, Melissa Horton, Amy Carlin, Beverly Pitts, Kimberly Clemmens and my new friend Susan, running for you was an HONOR! Thinking back through the evening, I could have hydrated a bit more. With the temperature going down and the sun disappearing from the afternoon sky, I was not drinking as much as I should/could have.

Susan:  If less than 1% of the people ever complete a marathon, how few ever even attempt an Ultra?  Sharing this experience with friends, both those I have run with many times and those I got to know during this run made this a memorable event.  When I think about the fact that I ran my first half marathon (something I said I'd never do), less than a year ago, I remember I’m “unstoppable.

Lloyd:  I learned that even when the devil tries to get in your head and tell you to quit that you are stronger, and you can push through. I personally had a blast realizing that you shouldn't cut yourselves short, set a goal and don't stop until you get there. The devil is going to try to de-motivate you and take away our glory but GOD has already promised that we have won!

Kim:  I learned that surrounded with supportive people we would steer each other in the right direction.  Through this experience I have gained a friend, someone who truly cares about me and my well-being.  Kelly and I lived in synch for 24 hours…we ate the same things at the same time, we moved together whether it was walking/running or stretching, we even slept for the last few hours together.  We met incredible folks along the way; we noticed the sunrise, the bull frogs that sang to us each time we passed the creek, the beauty of the path we were on, how wonderful chicken tastes , the reflection of the moon on the lake…all because God blessed us with these things.  I also learned (again) how AWESOME God is.   Because God is AWESOME!  I told Him that if I had to carry Him (or anyone for that matter), I wouldn’t make it 50 feet, yet He carried me happily for 50 miles!

Kelly: It was an amazing challenge, and I'm so glad I was able to be a part of this!  I think I may lose two toe nails, lol, but other than that and a little join pain in my knee, I'm doing well. My muscles, however, are recovering remarkable well. I am so thankful for that!  Thanks again for allowing me to be part of the team, I can't say I enjoyed it, but I am definitely glad that I did it! :)

And what did I learn? That I will purchase a pair of Gaiters before my next trail race.  I can’t tell you how many little stones I had to wrestle out of my shoes.  I would get my shoes cleared and within a step or two I would have another rock in there.  I finally just decided to put up with them and I’m sure my adjusted foot strike is to blame for my blistered feet.  

I’ve run 9500 miles since 2000 and I came down with more blisters on this one run, then ALL of my previous miles/racing combined.  Their lasting impression will take me a few weeks to recover from.

The REAL lesson learned, running this event with friends, seeing them accomplish their goals…well that is what running and life is all about!  Some ran this event to win and some ran to best a previous distance goal, but this weekend realizing I had a lot of time in front of me I ran to be part of the community.  I enjoyed chatting on the trail and getting to know a few people along the way.  On top of my 75 miles, I met a fine gentlemen who has run 209 marathons, got to exchange pleasantries with two nice ladies who always gave me a big smile as I said hi when we passed.  I was able to run briefly behind a young son who came out to run a lap with his dad.  I shared one of the last laps of the night with Allie and her son Thomas as we both navigated the dark portions of the trail.  And finally I got to share my last lap with our race director, George.

The Headlines will read…Five people did 100 or more miles, 15 people did 75 or more, and 49 people did 50 or more! The men's winner brought home 113.75 miles with the women’s winner totaling 100 miles.  BUT truth be told…I WON, WE WON and if you were out there….YOU WON!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

24 Hour Ultra Marathon

VA 24 Hour Run For Cancer-Ultra Marathon

5 friends and I all tackled this Ultra and came away beat up...but happy with our experience.

(Jason, Susan, Lloyd, Kim, Brian (me) Kelly)

Jason = 63.75 miles
Susan = 52.5 miles
Lloyd = 52.5 miles
Kim = 52.5 miles
Kelly = 52.5 miles
*My wife = walked 7.5 miles (2 laps)

75 miles for me, total event time 20 hours, running time 17.5 hours 14 minute per mile pace. 9375 calories burned, @ mile 60 I was still turning laps at near 45 minutes, lap counter told me, "you look stronger now, then at lap 10..."  Then my feet left me...

Song stuck in my head for 75 miles "Made for you"

Warning ugly toe picture:

A full report will be posted soon.

Thank you to our outstanding race Director George Nelsen, Check the event page

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

24 = 75

24 = 75, Darth Vader and Voldemort

Coming soon to a time not so far in the future (this weekend) six brave run hardened and slightly crazy souls will do battle with the forces of good and evil.  The battle will be staged at Sandy Bottom Nature Park AKA the 24 Hour the Empire, an Empire set to crush the will, determination, strength and spirit of any would be competitor.

Our Heroes:
Brian “Yea it was my idea”
Susan “Cancer can kiss my marathon”
Jason “I’m Aiming High”
Lloyd “There is heaven in these shoes”
Kim “I’m the slow one”
And Kelly “I’m pacing the slow one”

This group of road/trail warriors will attempt the unthinkable…push their bodies and spirits beyond what they ever dreamed possible.  But together they will bond, joke, laugh, cry and utter comments like…”are those really your feet”  “Someone here stinks” and the forever remembered “who’s idea was this really.”

From the highs of the starting line rush to the lows of when the sky turns dark this adventure will define a movement.  A movement for some will be a high water achievement for personal strength and resolve.  And for others a nightmare only to be recalled in the darkest of hours…like when asked to participate again next year. 

Some think “The Mudder” was tough, was Spartan enough.  But the Empire known as Sandy Bottom; has the mud, the roots, the trees, the rocks, the snakes, a few ghosts, low hanging branches and the zone of terror know as “Puppy Corner.”   “Puppy Corner” where no man or beast comes out the same.  Sandy Bottom laughs at the Mudder.  “10-12 miles of obstacles, ha…we won’t even change our shoes until after 20 miles…ha ha ha.”

Sure some will cry, but no one will whine.  Sure they will fall, but no one will remain down, and someone may be broken but their comrades will lift them up and continue the struggle.  Our fleet footed warriors will be on the go…some completing a short run, (who calls a 20 mile run short, really).  Others working for the 50 mile goal…and some will redefine simple math…24 = 75, 80, 90 or even_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _.  In the Spirit of Vader and Voldemort, We dare not say, We dare not speak the n1u0m0ber!

And in the end, Good will conquer evil, LOVE will win and our heroes will remain friends, forever linked by the experience on a dusty trail in the middle of Hampton Roads Virginia.

Follow us at #VA24HRRUN

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Running, Blogging and Life…Why do I do it?

Running, Blogging and Life…Why do I do it?

Running, Why do I run?  Really an interesting question…for the exercise, kind of.  For the health benefits….sure.  For the competition…well there’s really not much competition in the middle of the pack.

I run because it is simple.  Everyone can run, everyone has run at some point in their life.  And just like when we were kids, when the perfect run comes together, running is so simple.  It’s during these runs that I understand why I run, my leg turn over is near effortless.  The perfect cadence of my foot strike, the near zero effort it takes to roll my foot backwards and push off for my next stride.  The natural swing of my arms expanding my chest as fresh air is draw inside.  The endless road open before me as my eyes stare to the horizon and the near empty thoughts as my mind gets lost within the moment.  Yes I run because the act itself….is so simple.

Blogging, Why do I blog?  I’m not really sure myself.

If pressed for an answer, I blog so that with you, a relative, a long time friend, a general acquaintance or a complete stranger; I can share, my life.  I can take you the reader with me as I make my way thru a day in my life.  As you read my blog you can experience training for a marathon, running an Ultra or simply we can go for a run over my favorite trail.    And by blogging although I’ve never met you…we can become good friends.  By blogging I can share with you my experiences or my opinions.  I think I started blogging…to share.

Life, well that is a bit tougher of a question.  Why am I alive…well cause my parents decided they wanted another child.  Not sure I can add much to that.  But the real question here is why do I LIVE?

I live because I do not want to be a passenger of my own life.  I want to experience life, I want to do and see things, and I want to be active.  GOD has given us a wonderful gift of life, and I mean that in the true sense of a creator GOD.  Life is a gift.  My idea of living has changed since being saved.  In my past life…I wanted things, I wanted toys and I wanted my desires.  Today I want to LIVE…with my family, with my friends and with others by being an example of GOD’s plan.  I want to LIVE by helping someone else.  I want to LIVE by BEING.   And I want to LIVE by being more then just a partner to my wife.  I want to LIVE by her feeling like we LIVED together.

THANK YOU GOD for saving me and Thank you for allowing me to LIVE.

WHY do you run?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

March A Look Back…

March A Look Back…

If you have been following my blog you know my goals for 2012 are as follows:

- three marathons
- 1500 miles this year
- a 20 miler once a month
- a 24 hour run with 75 miles
- a race at least once each month
- all of my scheduled training runs and not have more then two days off in a row without a really good reason (i.e. marathon or ultra recovery)

And the biggest goal, get my friend Susan C. thru her first marathon.

If you have not been following my blog, shame on you, but I forgive you.

So three months into the year let’s see how we are doing.

Run 3 marathons:  One down two to go….My friend Susan C and I ran the Shamrock Marathon, on 18 March.  This was Susan’s first and my 6th marathon; we kicked butt, meeting all of our goals.   I also was one of the lucky ones who managed to refresh their browser fast enough to registrar for the 2012 running of Marine Corp Marathon (MCM) in October.  The MCM sold 30,000 available online entries in 2 hours, 41 minutes, besting the previous registration record of eight hours.  I feel very fortunate to get in on this years race.  And for my third marathon I’m considering running Norfolk’s Freedom Marathon in November.  Can I run two marathons within 14 days?

Run 1500 Miles:  In March I ran 120.5 miles over 17 days, coming up just short of my monthly goal.  To reach my yearly goal I need to average 125 miles per month, and three months in I have 393.6 in the bank.  I’m on target, so far so good.  March’s runs included two races, the Marathon (26.2 miles) and the Monument 10k (6.2 miles) in Richmond.  Although tampering for Shamrock, I did NOT go more then two days in a row missing a planned run nor did I miss a scheduled training run.

Monument Ave 10K: A huge success…the race was great, the event was great and the organization was the best I have ever seen.  And on top of that, I ran my fastest 10K in 10 years 48m49s…Happy Dance. 

24 Hour Run, I survived Shamrock and I’m signed up for the VA 24-hour Run For cancer in April.  I hope to have three other runners and support crew with me this year.  My goal is to run the entire 24 hours with a goal of 75 Miles.  Stayed tuned

You can follow me on Twitter @cledawgs

Did you meet all your running goals for March?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Monument Ave 10K…

Monument Ave 10K…

My wife, Michele and I decided a few months back we wanted to experince the Monument Ave 10k.  This is one of the capstone running events around our area and we wanted to see what all the excitement was all about.

Going into this race I had very low expectations.  Coming off a successful running of the Shamrock marathon two weeks prior and having a 10 mile race in two weeks, follow by a 24 hour Ultra, I did not want to push myself very hard.  A conservative run was what I had in mind, in my mind I would have been happy with a 50 or 51 minute run.  And that plan was solid until…the gun went off and I got sucked into the hype…and ran my best 10k in 10 years. I crossed the finish line at 48m49s…and Michele speed walked her way in at 1hr 30m, and what a good experience we had.

This was our first Monument Ave 10k and it won’t be the last.  A reported 41,000 people ran/walked or took part in this 10k and not an issue (not that I could see)!  I was a bit nervous going into this event, figuring the monster crowds would be hard to navigate.  But I am happy to report that we had no issues finding parking, no issues getting around to the start and we had no issues at the finish.  One real surprise was the expo feel in Monroe park, just a few yards from the finish.  We were very impressed with the execution, support and overall experience, we WILL BE BACK!

A far cry from just other 10k, the Monument Ave race is known for their fancy dress costume contest.  While I did not have time to look at the costumes while running, but after I did enjoy seeing all the fancy dressed runners.  I’m very proud to report, from the best that I could tell I did not get beat by any running hot dogs.  My personnel favorite and group winner, (a team entry of a co workers daughter) was a state fair roller coaster.  Check them out at @rvacostume on Twitter.

All in all The Monument Ave 10k was a huge success both for the organizers, city of Richmond and Michele and I.

When was your last PR, tell us about it...leave a comment below!