Monday, October 29, 2012

Marine Marathon

My Seventh Marathon
The 37th Marine Corp Marathon
Washington D.C. 
28 Oct 2012

This was my seventh marathon, and my first big city marathon.  To be honest I was a bit nervous of the sheer size of this event.  The Marine Corp Marathon (MCM) is the US's fourth largest marathon, just getting to our starting corral was a challenge.  With 25,000 other runners and this little unexpected guest named Sandy, I did not know what to expect.

Mile 1:  10:39
Mile 2:  13:33

I was really happy with the opening mile I felt strong and knew I ran a good pace, but the second mile I have no idea what happened, I got lost in the run.  I have no memories of the second mile and my pace suffered.  I need to stay more focused, although with the large crowds it was easy to get trapped behind a group of slower runners and walkers...even this early on that lost time hurt.

Mile 3:  10:00
Mile 4:  10:00
Mile 5:  10:21
Mile 6:  10:01
Mile 7:  10:43

This opening section went by pretty fast.  This section was a bit tricky navigating the crowds and tackling the rolling hills.  I knew I had lost a little time to the clock, but felt good and knew I could make it up during the middle section.

Mile 8:    9:24
Mile 9:    9:47
Mile 10:  9:29
Mile 11:  9:42
Mile 12:  9:35
Mile 13:  9:38
Mile 14:  9:47

It was some where in this section of the race that I was so focused in the run keeping up a good pace and rhythm that I forgot where I was. At some point, I looked up to get a lay of the land and noticed Washington monument off to the left, "Oh yea, I'm running in Washington D.C."  Awesome place.  Then it was back to the grind...

Mile 15:  9:42
Mile 16:  9:23
Mile 17:  9:50
Mile 18:  9:40
Mile 19:  9:31
Mile 20:  9:25
Mile 21:  9:32

This middle section brought me 14 miles of sub goal pace and the next thing I knew I was past the wall.  My marathon experience told me that you could be feeling invincible on mile to only have the bottom fall out the next.  I was with this caution that I tried to run in control...

At mile 22 it happened...

Mile 22:  10:53

At this point in the run I hit my wall, it was not a life stopping impact but out of the blue I went from feeling great to feeling the effects of a major energy drain all within one stride.  It was at this point...I had to feel focus and keep the legs turning, it was a bit of a struggle.  But just as fast it hit me, I felt a second wind.

Mile 23:  8:35
Mile 24:  9:02

During these two miles (23 and 24) I felt strong and I knew I was running fast, I was passing a ton of people, but the miles took forever.  I think I need to work on my mental game...because as easy as it was to was that hard to keep my mind focused.

Mile 25:  10:47
Mile 26:  10:31

Just a fast as this second wind hit me, it left.  At this point, I was just hanging on...

(Michele found me at mile 26 
and took this nice picture)

The last .02  6:39

4 hours 26 minutes 9 second..8730/23,515 in the top 37% of finishers and top 51% of my age group...Mission Accomplished!

Finisher video, I'm near the very end (6:53), on the screens lower right side, wearing black shorts , a red shirt, a black hat and I lift my arms giving thanks to the Lord at the end.  Can you find me....

Another first for the MCM was that I was blessed to share this run with two great friends, Jason K, and Susan C.  We all met our goals this day...and we had a great weekend!

(Before: Happy Runners Going To The Expo)

(After: Three Happy Runners Marathoners Back Home, 
We All Owe Thanks to Tiffany and Michele)

Friday, October 26, 2012

26.2 Miles in a Hurricane

Five Ways to Run 26.2 Miles in a Hurricane…

 #5.  Attach things that will float to your running gear…a well placed kiddy float might just save the day and your personal record.


#4.  Anything you don’t want to get wet…."Wrapped in Plastic…It’s Fantastic" and it might just work another day. 


#3.  Know your “Escape Plan” aka your marathon route…what’s worst then running 26.2 miles in a hurricane…..running 26.3 miles in one. 


#2.  Prepare for the hurricane, just as you have prepared for the marathon.  Take this time to get your mind and your body ready for a butt kicking from Mother nature…26.2 miles is tough but 26.2 miles in 30+ mile per hour winds, pouring rain, flying monkeys and tidal currents…that is going to be a battle.


#1.  The best way to survive a hurricane of a Marathon, is to never give up, never doubt…go a little slower, but keep on moving!  The finisher bling and epic stories you’ll be able to tell will make it all worth it!  “Sure you ran the Marine Corp Marathon, but I ran it in the middle of a HURRICANE!”


This post was inspired by:  ‏@jackwbruce and his post, Hurricane Sandy is Coming!  Tips for Running a Marathon in a Hurricane. 


This is all in fun, enjoy your run, enjoy the marathon but be safe and take cover or whatever is needed to be safe and survive!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Five Favorite

My Five Favorite Running Things:

1. My Nike Air Pegasus Running Shoes:
And no I’m not a Nike sponsored runner (But I am available….hint hint hint).  I’ve been running in Air Pegs for over 12 years…I’ve run in every model since 2000 AND love them.  The way they fit my feet, it’s perfection.  The ride is smooth, easy and cushioned.  For my feet, I truly believe there is no better shoe on the market.

2.  My Race Ready Long Distance Shorts:
How to carry all that GU/Power Gel and the little things you need during a long run?  Race Ready Shorts, manufactures of high performance technical running apparel.  I love their running shorts w/pockets, the best solution for carrying nutritional products on long distance runs.  Not only are they functional but also very durable…I’ve had my favorite pair since 2005 and I have worn them on all long runs and six marathons, would not run a marathon without them.

3.  My subscription to Marathon & Beyond:  
A friend introduced me to Marathon & Beyond, after my first marathon in April 2005, and at the time I NEVER thought I would run anything longer.  But after reading the stories and commentary in M&B the miles beyond 26.2 did not seam so daunting.  In 2008 I ran my first Ultra…and I’ve loved every issue of M&B ever since.  When I open my mailbox and see the latest copy of M& inner Ultra runner does a happy dance!

4.  My Social Media Outlet, Twitter:
Social Media can be a gigantic waste of time…or it can be a great way to connect with a community that shares a common pursuit.  I enjoy the real time news and sports feed on my time line but I really stay on Twitter for the connection with fellow runners.  I’ve tried other outlets, forums, mail groups etc, but none has been as inspiring as the runners on Twitter.  Where else could you connect with, have “one on one” tweets with, or receive a “shout out” from World Class Marathoners, Olympians, and local runners who lift you up.  Follow me on Twitter @cledawgs  

5.  My Race Bling:
Yes I am a sucker for the shinny and sparkly.  Yea I know that does not sound very Manly Man…but have you walked down the tool isle at Sears.  All the chrome plated wrenches/socket sets…oh I think I need a cigarette.  But the bling is where it’s at.  I may not win an Olympic gold, but give me a finisher medal the size of a hub cap and I’m signing up.  My Name is Brian and I love the bling!  Please don’t judge me…embrace the bling. Check out this site: 26 Point 2 Medals 

Bonus Favorite Running Thing:
Strawberry Smoothie Powerbar…oh wow...that is good stuff right there!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

MCM week 12

The Marine Corp Marathon is one week away…

 Week 12 Mileage
Monday            6 (8) 
Tuesday         off
Wednesday      6 (5) 
Thursday          6 (5)
Friday              off  
Saturday         12 (10)
Sunday           off 
Total 28 miles

My training cycle for this marathon has been unlike any before.  12 weeks ago my goals was just simply to get back to running.  I was just coming off a forced “running break” after a one and half month battle with tendonitis.  I wanted to get to running, let alone the marathon.  And now that I’m on the doorstep to my seventh marathon, I’m like a greedy little kid who wants more.  I know I can finish the Marine Corp Marathon, which at one point was my ONLY goal, but as marathon day approaches I want to run it in under 4h 30m.

I’ve run a total of six full marathons.  My first marathon I ran in 4:13.  The second, I improved and ran it in 4:10.  Unfortunately, it has been a downward trend ever since.  My third, fourth, and fifth marathons were run in 4:43, 4:54, and 4:47 respectively.  I give myself a free pass on number sixth which I paced a first time marathoner to finish in 4:52.  My second goal for the MCM is to buck the slower finish trend.

My new Goals for the 37th running of the Marine Corp Marathon
#1. Finish
#2. Reverse the trend of 4:30+ marathon times
#3  Come home injury free

Finally my Marine Corp Marathon will be to honor one of our Heroes,  I Run For Blake,  Marine Hero:

When the Howitzer goes off at 0730 Sunday morning 30,000 runners and I will begin a 26.2 mile journey towards our goals.   

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Top Tweets

Top Ten Running Tweets:
(Some funny, Some motivational, Some just plain crazy but all worth a second glance.)

10.  I love when people ask, "So what place did you finish the marathon." I tell them 23,000 and they ask why didn't you run faster. Really !?!   @dr_foucault

9.  Those shorts are scandalous! ;)  @Kris_Law

8.  soooo today looked the rain and storm clouds in the face and said screw you I’m running anyway 3 miles and soaked clothes later,I’m happy I did  @runnergrl1979

7.  I woke up for the Chicago Marathon, curled my hair & did full makeup, then realized I need a bigger challenge  @trafficjamjen

6.  Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.  @punchfork

5.  Obnoxiously bright shirt...check. Crazy fun running buddy...check. Headlamp & blinky...check  @CaraHendrickson

4.  I just melted with joy.. @aHappyPace. . "I think I caught the running bug, what's a good long term goal for me?" -  @mrhappypace

3.  Vote for me for President and Ill put massive fitness centers in every airport.  @ryanhall3

2.  Haven't taken a shower since Saturday and just went on a run during my layover in Portland. My apologies to whoever is sitting next to me.  @ryanhall3

1.  Does running late count…unknow

Bonus, not running related but will help you in life:  Oh no, reseachers discover that bacteria doesn't follow the 5 second rule!  @AndyStanley

Thursday, October 18, 2012

10000 Miles

10,000 Miles

Prior to Aug of 2000, I've had a couple of short term engagements with running, but when I arrived at Thule Air Base, Greenland 20 pounds over my idea weight, out of shape and on a one year remote military tour…I decided to become a runner.

Oct 17th 2012 I ran my 10,000th mile, so I thought I would take a look back.

Over the 147 months since Aug 2000, I've covered 10001.6 miles as of today.  During that span my best running year mileage wise as 2005 when my total miles reached 1554.  The best year for shear number of running days was 2007 I was able to run on 204 days.  I've been able to exceed the 1000 mile mark four times in 2005, 2007, 2011 and 2012. My average miles per year hovers at 833.  My best running month was 176 miles with an average month near 68 miles.  Over nearly 13 years, it was easy to get distracted.

Some of the years were good running years, some were not so good. For some I was a member of the United States Air Force 2000-2008 and some were after I retired and took on a civilian job 2008-2012.  The early years I ran before work (much easier) the later years I ran after getting home.  The majority of the years running was my priority but others I got side-tracked. One year (2008) I ran a low of 192 miles.  I ran while at home, I ran while deployed, and I ran while on vacation. 

I’ve run all over the world.  I ran on the top of the world (Thule, Greenland) and in the south pacific (Hawaii).  I’ve ran in combat zones and at the base of volcanoes.  I've run in 14 different states and six foreign countries Crete, Iraq, Sicily, Greenland, United Kingdom, and Qatar.  The one place I visited but never ran was Athens, Greece and I regret that…the birthplace of the marathon and I did not run. 

I ran my first and second marathon in 2005, and hope to run my seventh and eight to close out 2012.  I've run races alone and part of a team at distances from 5k to a 206.83 mile relay.  I've run in all kinds of weather, from pouring rain (hurricane) to freezing and pounding snow/ice.   I've learned a lot about myself, my faith, my health, my body and the world around me by running.  I’ve met a great number of wonderful people and helped friends run their first race and complete a first half and full marathon.  I've run longer distances then I ever thought possible, 75 miles in 20.5 hours and I've cheered on others as they have reached goals that were once beyond their own reach.

I’m THANKFUL for my health, I've been injury free the majority of this time, I’m thankful to my wife and family for supporting me.  I’m thankful to all my friends who get bombarded with e-mails, Facebook and Twitter posts about my running adventures.  

AND I’m thankful to our One true GOD for saving me and allowing me to have this gift. 

Sure it’s not the Olympics…but it’s been a good long run for me.  I look forward to the next 10000.

Monday, October 15, 2012

MCM week 10 and 11

Marine Corp Marathon (MCM) Training Week 11/10 and Crawlin Crab Half Marathon +7

Week 11 Mileage
Monday          off 
Tuesday         off
Wednesday      6 (6) 
Thursday          6 (6.2 in 48m29s)
Friday              off (10) 
Saturday          6 (6)
Sunday           off
Total 28.2 miles

11 weeks into “The Recovery to MCM Plan” and it’s taper time…

Week 10 Mileage
Monday          off 
Tuesday         off
Wednesday      5 (0 delay at work) 
Thursday          5 (5 easy miles)
Friday             off 
Saturday         off
Sunday           20 (20 (7.3, then 13.1 miles))*
Total 25.4 miles
* Ran the Crawlin Crab Half Marathon in 1h 59m 14s, after 7 add on miles.

10 weeks into “The Recovery to MCM Plan” and things are clicking right along.  Week 10 would feature my 20 miler before the MCM.  I normally like to have more then one 20 miler in the books but with my condensed training/recovery plan, I just did not have the time.

Planning a 20 mile run is always a logistics balancing act, but lately I’ve planned my 20 milers to coincide with local half marathons to take advantage of the crowd support and aide stations.  This time The Crawlin Crab Half Marathon by J&A Racing fell perfectly on the training calendar for me and was a great choice.  This was the inaugural running and I found it to be a well organized event.  My goals were to turn in a conservative 7 miles before the start of the half and then run a sub 2 hr half.  The early miles were timed near perfect, finishing approx 10 minutes, before race start for a pit stop before going to the starting corrals.

I felt so good in the opening miles that I allowed myself to get sucked into running a quicker pace then I had planned.  Life was all good until mile 8 (mile 15 for me) then I started to feel the effects of the earlier 7 miles and the fast opening pace.  I had to really hang on to finish within my goal.  Braving the cold, the rain (mile 10 till finish) and a fast start (and closing hill) I crossed the finish line in 1 hour 59 minutes 14 seconds, but it was not about my time…I’m ready for the #37MCM

Read about how My Marine Corp Marathon will be more then just 26.2 miles to me….#hero

Saturday, October 13, 2012

top ten tweets

Top Ten Running Tweets:

My favorite Tweets from some of my favorite runners:

10.  I double booked for running dates LOL one this AM and one this Evening, so glad they are both short runs  @livz4running

9.  Officials at the finish, "walk ALL the way through the chute." Thanks for telling me, I was gonna turn around and run the course backwards  @DistanceGirls

8.  If you are still pretty when you're done, you did it wrong.  @Wise_Running

7.  I swear half the time I’m only running because somebody else did  @wokatt

6.  I wish I had a job that pays me to run and travel! My two favorite things  @runwithwes

5.  I'm not a useless cripple, its called I ran a marathon yesterday.  @dr_foucault

4.  "I've got very nice feet. I take care of my feet.”  @larryenscore

3.  I’m at home sitting on my big marathoner butt  @cledawgs  Yes that me!

2.  Tell me you are a runner.. Everything is funnier with a runner!  @TeamRunner4Life

1.  I thought turning 40 would put me in contention for an age group award. Apparently 40yo's are some of the fastest human beings on earth.  @26miles4fun

Follow these great people on twitter.....