Tuesday, June 25, 2013

5 seconds

5 Seconds

What is 5 seconds in the big scheme of things?  Most would say not much...hardly any amount of time at all.  But to a runner 5 seconds can be the difference between world records, a personal best time, or qualifying for Boston.  And 5 seconds can be the difference between life and death.

On an ordinary run though my housing area, I was moving along enjoying the afternoon and in the middle of a good stride when I sensed something coming up from behind me.  I don’t run with an Ipod or anything to cloud my senses so I’m pretty aware of my surroundings.  Something was approaching me, approaching me kind of fast.  My feeling also told me that whatever “it” was, it was going to catch me.  I also gathered by the sound that it was a car or truck.  Then almost before I could process it, a car passed me on my right side and turned in front of me.  It appeared this car was pulling into a driveway, a driveway right in front of me, about 6 feet way.

I’ve got to admit I was pretty surprised when the driver pulled in front of me and a bit ticked off, but I figured I would cut behind the car and get out of the way.  Clearing the street with a quick look over my shoulder, I turned to move behind this passing/turning car.  Then my senses kicked in again, something was moving at me a SECOND time.  The car that just passed and turned in front me was now in fact backing up into a driveway across the street. My attempt to get out of the way put me right back in the path of this 4,000 pound monster.  Luckily my awareness served me well allowing me to avoid being run over yet again by this person.  Most startling was that the driver gave me the stink eye…why was I in her way again?

5 seconds…  5 seconds would have been all it took for this driver to slow down, allowing me to get out of their path.  5 seconds could have prevented all the juggling between the both of us.  5 seconds and the stink eye could have been avoided.  But I guess those 5 seconds were important to her; Home 5 seconds earlier, Checking your mail 5 seconds sooner, or Tuning into the last 5 seconds of your favorite show.  Those 5 seconds really are a big deal after all.

To me those 5 seconds nearly took me out…not once but twice!

And that stink eye…a work of Art.  Is it really to much to ask, give me 5 seconds, PLEASE

Sunday, June 23, 2013

My Faith

My Running Life is the subject I blog about the most, but it is not the only thing that is important in my life.

Why do I blog about running so much?  I guess it's something I feel "qualified" to write about.  I run, I race, I run marathons, and I've run Ultra-marathons.

Why do I not write about my faith more?  I guess because it's something I do not feel qualified to write about, I'm not a preacher, I've not studied theology, I'm just a regular dude.

Then it hit me...that makes me perfectly qualifed to talk about faith, my faith.  After all Jesus did not come to the world to be with the preachers, the educated in faith, or the ordained.....he came to be with sinners, with regular people who were lost...LIKE me!  

My Faith in my Savior is more important to me then running, and the love of my family is next...

Many have asked me about my faith and what I believe in.

I believe in GOD the Creator
GOD the father
GOD the son
and GOD the holy spirit.

And I believe in GOD's plan for each one of us.

 (Is this what Jesus looks like, I have no idea, but this is the picture
that I like the most and the one I have know the longest)

JOHN 3:16
  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

   Today I have a daily relationship with our LORD and Savior JESUS CHRIST….my thoughts are never far from him or his plans for me and my family.  On 14 March 2010 Michele and I were baptized as new CHRIST  followers…and our life has a whole new meaning for us.  My life has a new meaning for me.  I’m still Brian, I still have my cars, my Browns and my toys, but now all I do I try to center it on my relationship with CHRIST and my family, first.

  I’m by no means perfect and may never be, but I’ve repent from my old ways, I’ve turned from my sinful desires and if I do fall short I ask for forgiveness.  I believe a life in CHRIST is not about being perfect or better then someone else.  I belief what JESUS said during his short time witnessing to us.

Mark 16:15-17
  And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.  16He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
 JOHN 14:6 
  Jesus told him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me."
ROMANS 10:9 
  For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
  In this short time JESUS has showed me he does have a plan for my life and he does answer prayers.  He has moved in my life and the life of my family…  If you feel a need to have CHRIST in your life…the time is now.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Top Tweets

Tweets this week that made me laugh...

@rUnladylike  I slept in my clothes so I wouldn't be tempted to hit the snooze button. Bike and here I come! Who else is sweating early? @TrisnTrees  Anyone get the tag number to the truck that ran over me while I was sleeping? Good gracious am I sore this morning. @Drakee_YMCMB  sincerely regret every nap I passed up on as a child
@BruceVH  The greatest weakness of most humans is their hesitancy to tell others how much they love them while they're alive. - Orlando A. Battista @TheRunnerProbs  I really regret that run... -Said No Runner Ever @RunningMoose13  Is it weird that I had to blow my nose before my run so I waited so I could power snot to save a tissue? @live2runbfree  "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop to look around once in a while, you could miss it" ~ Ferris Bueller @DepressedDarth  If they don't like Star Wars, put them in the Friend Zone. @Blunderbum  I've had to change my t-shirt because I can't eat spaghetti properly. I'm 32.” And the NUMBER 1 Tweet of the week.....

From: @stevenhswan  Aaron Hernandez claims he's just following the offseason training program recommended to him by Ray Lewis.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


In keeping with this series, Bridges I would like to run...

Navajo Bridge

Those traveling across the country on Highway 89A between Bitter Springs and Jacob Lake AZ arrive at two bridges similar in appearance spanning the Colorado River. These two bridges, one historic and one new, represent one of only seven land crossings of the Colorado River for 750 miles (1207 km).

I've never been to this bridges but if I'm ever out that way...I'll be lacing up my shoes and will give it a go.

How about you, got a favorite bridge?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Little Running

Do I run a little or a lot?

If you asked that question to my family and friends, they would most likely answer, A lot.  Not sure anyone other than my wife knows for sure but I’m sure they would tell you I’m a serious runner.  And if truth be told, I like to think of myself as a serious runner.  If you were to ask them how many days a year I run.  Many would tell you it seems like every day.  Again if you were to ask me how many days a year I run?  I would have replied “a lot, at least every other day.”  But when reviewing my running log, I was surprised to find I average around one third of the year. 

That’s right, over the last 13.5 years I’ve "only" run on average one out of every three days or 120 days every year.  This was a total surprise to me, but when looking at the numbers it’s true.  THE running log does not lie.  Now it is also just an average.  I've had three years where I ran in excess of 180 days with a high of 204.  Some years I've been a very busy runner, some, not so much and yes I've been lazy.  But finding out I only averaged 120 days a year made me think.

Do I need to run more?

Do I need to run less?

One of my golden rules while running has been:  Rest when you feel like resting.

Although I admire “the Streak Runners” very much, I have never been one to run every day.  The toll on my body is just too much.  If something does not feel right I take a day off.

Is more less or is less more?

I’m also not one to just pound out the miles…  I try to make the miles count, although I’m also not one who is glued to the stop watch. I try to turn in quality miles.  Each run is important to me and each mile is building to another goal.  Over these years I've averaged 854 mile per year, with four years surpassing the 1,200 mile mark (I’m on track to make it 5, with 3 straight years over 1,200).  

My Goal this year is to run 1600 miles which would be a bench mark year.

This being mid-way thu the year…I’m right on track now.

I just have to run as much as I think I am.

Friday, June 14, 2013

2013 Running Plans Update

The one sure thing about my running life is I have got to have goals, races to look forward to or it is so easy to order a Dairy Queen Blizzard and just get LAZY.

With the beginning of 2013 I had a pretty good plan laid out for the year and had reasonable hopes of sticking with it.  But then life gets in the way, demands for our time increase and the flexibility of life, well, flexes.  So without further ado...  

Here is my updated 2013 Fall Running Plan:

Aug 2: Medoc Meltdown 50k Fun  Run

Sept 12: 12-HR Adventure Trail Run

Oct 28: Niagara Falls Marathon

Nov 16:  Richmond Marathon or Half Marathon

Dec 21: Sea Shore Nature Trail 50k

I'm sure their will be a 5k / 10k tossed in there for good measure and I hope / will plan another sub 4 hour attempt at Niagara Falls.  

Will the fall of 2013 find me as the Gazelle or the Lion?  I have every hope of finishing off the year well and sticking to this updated plan...but you just never know.  One thing for sure...You'll find me running!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Run that bridge

I always enjoy running across bridges...

Do you have a favorite bridge you enjoy running across?

Monday, June 10, 2013

Running Myrtle Beach

Camping and Running Myrtle Beach 2013:

Nearly a year ago, my wife mentioned she wanted to go camping with friends to Myrtle Beach, I was all over the idea.  We have never been to Myrtle Beach except our day trip to run the Half Marathon in 2007. We always enjoyed the beach and the entertainment that goes along with a tourist town.  So what the heck, we started planning our trip. Then as the months passed the idea of finding running routes started to haunt me. Where was I going to find a route where I could get in the miles I wanted, one where I would not have to drive forever and one which would be easy to find? After all Myrtle Beach is a “Beach Town.”  Well finding some place to run was not a problem, in fact all I had to do was step out the door of our 5th wheeler.

(Michele and I ran this town Campground)

Our campground of choice was Ocean Lakes Campground…and this place offered the perfect beach camping and running environment. After running everyday…there are still streets on the camp “community” that I did not get to explore. To say this is a big campground is an understatement, yet it still features a family environment where the roads are safe to run / walk, take your doggies out on a stroll or take the family out on an ice cream date night. And I’m surprised not one of the teenage crowd yelled “Run Forest Run”…come to think of it I’m kind of hurt. Don’t I look like a running geek?

(When not running, we were hitting up the shows)

Running was not the only avenue for entertainment during our week away from the world.  When we were not on a shopping outing, My wife and I also took in a show with our friends, Fred and Susan H.  We went to a show called Good Vibrations, featuring performers covering the hits of the 1960s, 70s and 80s.  These performers are a very talented troop…at times I forgot they were not the real performers.  The Beach Boys, Beatles, Tina Turner, Eric Clapton, Mommas and Pappas and the other rock and roll hit makers.  I believe the original stars would have been proud the way this show covered their tunes and projected the imagine of classic rock.  There are countless other shows to take in as well.

Even thou we were on vacation, Michele and I got up every morning to run / walk the camp ground.  I was able to log over 50 miles (59.3) in seven days and my bride got in over 25 miles.  We used some creative ways to see the campground and log our miles.  One day we would run / walk all the internal roads that ran east/west and the next day the north/south roads.  Then to mix it up we ran the perimeter road (3+ miles per lap) clockwise one day and counter clock wise the next.  On days that I needed something extra, I ran fartleks using the perpendicular roads as my speed sessions.

(310 Acres, with plenty of safe and easy running routes)

To keep up the running we had to eat.  Our dinning out featured a local favorite and a Brazilin steak house.  The sea food at Drunken Jacks, Merrill’s Inlet, was out of this world, I had the crab cake dinner (two pure lump meat crab cakes) and it was “good to the last lump.”  I’m so glad I can run to help keep my diet in order, because it was really tested at Rioz Brazilin Steak.  This steak house offers 15 different cuts of beef, pork, lamb, poultry & fish served the traditional Brazilian way and is pure sinful dinning.  The meat was served to us in such rapid sessions that my plate was full, emptied and full again before I knew what I had done to myself…but oh was it worth it!

The only downer to our trip was Tropical Storm Andrea.  Once it was determined that we would survive the storm a more central concern was losing a run day.  But have no fear, I only had to delay my run a few hours with Michele choosing to ride her bike over walking.  The sun broke around 1 pm, and the rain stopped as well, but the wind…that had not yet subsided.  This eight mile run featured some great “wind sessions” where running into the up wind legs turned into a great speed/wind sessions.  

(The storm turned the seas angry)

It wasn’t long ago that a rainy day meant I would cancel my run, but since reading Dean Karnaze’s books…I’m determined to run no matter what the terrain, weather or time of day. 

 (Our home away from home during the day)

(and at night)

When we were not hanging out at camp, we also took in a few rounds of gold, which reminded me why I took up Marathon and Ultra running.  A real highlight was “Fireworks Thursday,” although beach fireworks could be seen nightly.  Thursday night was our time to act like little kids and blow a few things up, of course in an controlled and safety approved way.  “it’s lite Fred…RUN!  Zip, boom, and crackle…..Oh.  Awww.  Pretty. 

(Running on the beach, need to do this more)
But all good things must come to an end and Saturday morning Michele and I took our last laps are the campground, I finished with 8.5 miles with a closing mile and half run down the beach  I highly recommend Ocean Lakes Campground for your family’s next running camping outing.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

National Running Day

Why Do I Run?

June 5th, is National Running Day, last year on a day set aside to celebrate our love of running, I had to shut it down because of tendonitis in my right knee.  I was very depressed...it took me nearly six weeks to come back from the forced time off.

So this year to be running free again, following the lead of the National Running Organization, where they ask you to share with the world why you run...  I thought I would share with you my Top Ten Reason why I run.

1.  Running Makes Me More Balanced, Both Spiritually and Worldly. 
When I'm out on the road alone, this is the perfect time to connect with My God, Lord and savior Jesus Christ.  I have found some of my greatest connections with him while running and lost in prayer.

John 14:6

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

2.  Running Keeps Me Healthy.

I'm not one of those health food people, who eats and drinks based on the food pyramid.  I have many "sins" when it comes to my consumption of food.  But when I'm running and training for an event, I'm much more mind full of my food intake.  While training I'm much more aware that food is also my fuel and in-turn I eat so much better.

3.  Running Introduces Me To A lot More People.
By nature I'm not shy, I have no fear of public speaking, I have no fear of taking the lead and directing people, but one on one...I normally don't make the "cold call."  But when in my running element, I step right up and start the conversation.

4.  Running  Makes Me Feel Like An Athlete, Running Makes Me An Athlete.
I may not be the fastest, or run the longest but running gives me the opportunity to compete, if only with myself.

5.  Running Allows Me To Push Myself.
When I started this journey, in 2000, my only goal was to get in shape.  Maybe during my training I would run a 10k...never would I have imagined that my longest single race mileage would be 75 miles ran during an Ultra event.

6.  Running Has Allowed Me To Help Others.
I'm just a runner, not a coach or a professional athlete, but I've supported and guided a number of new runners to reach goals they once only dreamed about.  Some of my new running friends have ran their first Half, Full and Ultra events.  I've also watched as new walkers felt welcomed into the fitness community.

7.  Running Has Afforded Me The Opportunity To Help A Cause.
With the simple act of running an hour of a Cancer Hater 24 Hour Relay I was able to raise nearly $1700.00 for cancer research.  Okay maybe I had to shave my head and run in a Tutu but I wouldn't have never been able to do that without running.

8.  Running Has Helped Me Keep My Weight In Check.
I have the metabolism of a snail...a really slow snail, cookie and cupcake loving snail.  As soon as I stop running I gain 10 pounds.  Running allows me to keep the burn going. 

9.  Running Improved Relationships With Family, Friends and My Wife.
I'm a imperfect person.  Running allows me to adjust, burn off some stress and realize life is to important, relationships are to important to damage with unneeded "issues."  Running makes life simple...you on the open road is a good imaginary of life.

10.  Running Has Made Me.......Me.

My Name Is Brian, and I Run.

How about you, Why do you run?

Monday, June 3, 2013

Vacation Running

Running while on vacation.

Taking a vacation does not mean that you have to take a break from your training.  I can only speak for myself, but when on I'm on vacation I normally don’t stick to my diet.  I eat a little too much, I have a second helping of ice cream and I may have an adult beverage, or two…well maybe three.  And with all that relaxing, it’s temping to take a break from our marathon training.  But we don’t have to give up on our run.  23 hours of relaxing…and 1 hour of running can keep your training on track.

But how to sneak in that 1 hour on the road or trail?  Here are some ideas that have worked for us.

On shorter weekend trips we plan our outings around a race.  The extra intense workout that comes with a race environment will make up for the extra helping of BBQ.  And the vacation race bling will be an extra vacation goodie.

Get up and sneak in an early morning run, while the rest of the family sleeps you’ll be banging out the miles while the sun rises.  Some of the most pleasant, quit and safest runs have come when the rest of the world, streets or campgrounds are still sleep.  If you time it right…you can get back to your family with your miles in and breakfast ready and waiting on the table.

Plan one of your site seeing days to run the town you’re visiting.  One of the best ways to see a city is to run it’s streets.  Map out a safe route along the boardwalk, shopping or near the famous sites and you can run from store to store, site to site or coffee shop to coffee shop.  With the right route mapped out you may see things the average tourist never gets to witness.

Going on vacation is no reason to take a vacation from your training or your running.  Being creative will allow you to get in the miles and explore some new routes along the way.

What vacations run to you remember the most?