Thursday, December 30, 2010

Keep it Fresh

Some of you may remember but back in August I took a class to become a certified personal trainer, well it has been difficult to pursue any type of plan with that. However I will say it has opened my eyes to an area of my life that is very important to me. I plan to discuss that in the coming days.

Soon I will be starting a new job, a job that I am excited about. No I was not unhappy with my current job, I was just becoming comfortable and complacent and I am so happy that this opportunity came along. Having only been out of college for 3.5 years I was struggling to figure out where I was headed and trying to do so on my own. Fortunately I have a stronger, more educated, advisor making those decisions for me.

My thought today is do whatever you need to to do to keep things fresh. Does that mean you should take a new job every time you become complacent? NO. But stir things up in your life. We weren't designed to live as robots. Step out and mix up your life today!

"Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom" Ecclesiastes 9:10

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Sites

Trying to establish a running routine lately has been challenging, considering the move we just made and the Christmas travel it has been less than desirable to get back out on the road. Today I did just that, I stepped out the door and pounded the pavement. As I mentioned in previous post I enjoy my running in the early hours of the morning, I feel as though it helps me generate my day in a good direction.

However there is not always a lot to see along the dark miles of morning, although today was very nice. I came across a new dog...(he was interesting), ran by the city pool....(considered jumping the fence for a dip), and the coolest part of all I ran through the town square that was all lit up with Christmas lights. It was a great run to start the day!

Open your eyes and enjoy the view along your runs!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

New Steps

So I am trying to get back into a routine of running. After the marathon I was pretty disgusted and was looking forward to some time away from running. But for the last few days I have been staring at a new Runner's World magazine that my father-in-law past along to me to read a specific article.

But every time I look at that magazine it makes me feel like I am missing out. Missing out on good winter month miles. Megan is encouraging me to train for the Cow Town marathon this February in Fort Worth, TX. I need to seek some encouragement to get myself going again.

I almost feel as though I am learning how to take first steps again (as if I actually remember that the first time). Anyone have any advice?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sudden Change

So the other day I was out on my first run since the marathon and I was trying to capture everything that has taken place over the last few weeks and suddenly I started thinking about hockey, now I am not really a hockey fan, but what I mean is I started thinking about how a hockey game can literally be in full action and a coach can decide to make a solid line up change as the puck is in play. So you could literally have 3-4 guys in the middle of play, climb over the wall to their bench as replacements are climbing onto the ice. A sudden change you might say.


Okay, that is a horrible explanation at an attempt to be clever as well. So let me just explain. About a month ago Megan and I decided it was time we start listen to God as he was calling us to move to Perry, OK. Yes I did say Perry, and yes I know it is a small town, just hang with me. So we started looking and found a couple of houses we sort of liked but not absolutely. Well one day while Megan was attending to her barista duties, Santa Clause told her that he had found a house that screamed "MEGS HOUSE" so we went to take a look and fell in love. Naturally I was convinced it would be well out of our meager budget, wrong......it was exactly in our budget.


Fast forward, we are on our way to our closing appointment, Megan and I both look at each other and say "are we sure this is what we want to do?" as if we really had an option at that point. But we both knew this was a road we needed to go down, why? we don't know. A week or so before the house closing I was contacted by a company about a job that I was interested in, which would be based in Perry, crazy how all this was coming together. That afternoon after closing on our house I was called by the company and offered the position.

Let's just say that Megan and I were quite overwhelmed with so much change at one time, it was hard for us to make a decision. Let's just say we both shed a few tears, mostly out of nervousness and anxiety. After a few days of emotion we were able to come down to reality and understand that this was a good step of faith for us. So I accepted the position and on January 5th will become a Sales Rep for Henderson Coffee Corp.

Life has happened so fast lately, things are changing, I can't believe Christmas is this Saturday and I can't believe I will have a child in April. To be honest I feel very blessed, life happens fast but thankfully we have a God who promises eternity. Hope you enjoy the life that happens around you.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Full of Emotion


207 days ago I signed up for the Williams Route 66 Marathon, 207 days ago I started my quest to qualify for the Boston Marathon, 207 days ago I set out on a mission to truly establish myself as a worthy long distance runner, 207 days ago I set out to make a statement to myself as to who I am, a runner.




The past several months I have been on a journey to try and define who I am, and what I do. It seems as though that is what I am suppose to do. I am suppose to establish goals in my life, make all the proper choices, align all of my experiences to reach said goal. We are encouraged to define our life, our purpose in this world, our reason for existence. We are influenced by money, by opportunity, and by status.


Yesterday I was reminded that my purpose is not defined by what I do or who I am. My purpose is not to be known as a good long distance runner. My purpose is not to bask in my glory. My purpose is to exude the glory of God. I think for the last several months I was making things about me, about what I can do, and about what I wanted to be known for doing.


Sadly I fell short of the goal I set for myself for the marathon. The conditions were tough, and I believe all runners experienced setback(funny because I talked about that in a previous post). My time suffered because of the weather and my body gave out on me. I was not able to reach my goal time of 3hrs 10mins to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Although frustrated, and full of emotion I still was able to put up a good race. I am not done with marathons, I have many goals in mind, but I desire more than anything to use this gift I have been given to bring Glory to God.


Thank you so much to all of you who supported me through my training and definitely who have been reading my posts. I am not done running, nor am I done writing.








Friday, November 19, 2010

Patience is a Virtue.....What?


So I have never really been a very patient person. Standing in lines at an amusement park drive me crazy, there is nothing amusing about that. Sitting at a red light when there is no one else at the intersection is painful. Standing 4 people deep at the grocery store check out line while someone digs through all their possessions for 5 cents just floors me. Okay so you get my point, here I am two days before my race and the minutes seem like hours, the hours like weeks. Come ON!!!


(Note to self.....become more patient).....which is very funny because a strong tactic for running a long distance race is patience, understanding your body and when to make your adjustments. Trying to establish your pace and your body mechanics is a very time demanding challenge which requires.....Patience.....so why am I so horrible at this minor challenge?


I think I am simply excited. I have been out of the sport for almost three years and I am eager to jump back in. Also I am attempting a new personal record, bottle that all together with fear and anxiousness and that is my situation as I write. It's okay to be impatient and excited at this point, considering all the work you put into training.


Are you an impatient person?


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thats a Wrap!!!


On August 2nd I began my 16 week training schedule that I had created during the summer months. First of all let me just throw in a quick word on the importance of developing a training schedule if you are planning to attempt any kind of long distance race. This is a great way to create a visual goal and allow yourself to see your progress along the way. I will be honest training can be fun if you make it fun.


Now I digress in saying that sticking to your training schedule is another issue. I designed my schedule to be pretty intense with some speed work being the consistency of my midweek workouts. I would be lying if I said that is exactly what i did. Again, by throwing in a spring tri, a 5k, and a 15K my training took many shapes and forms throughout it's duration. However I am happy to say it is complete, as of 6:42 this morning I logged my last training mile.


If you are just beginning to run or maybe your are still considering this sport, your training is something that can become another relationship in your life. In my case, I do my training in the early morning hours, so this tends to be the start of my days. For so long it because natural to wake up to a dark room, lace up and head out the door. For others it can be known as your lunch hour, or your free time after the kids go to bed. Training is very time demanding but can be an incredible time in your journey.


Training can also be frustrating and tiresome. 16 weeks is a long time, especially when you go through season/weather changes. Some days your are more than excited to pound the pavement, others you just force yourself to knock out some miles. I guarantee the whole way you will learn things about yourself and what you are capable of. I will be honest I am so happy today was my last training day. Now the I just get to have Fun on race day!!


Do you have a great Training Story?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Run for Fun?


For those of you who don't know, the best movie trilogy of all time ended with a salute to the old west. I am talking about Back to the Future. In the final of the three films, Marty (Michael J. Fox) has to go back to 1885 to save Doc Brown (Christopher Loyd) from being shot by Bufford "Maddog" Tannen (Thomas F. Wilson).


At a later point in the film, Doc is idled up to the bar at the saloon explaining the future to a table of gambling townies and he is describing the future form of transportation as being automobiles. The townies ask him, if everyone drives one of these automowhatsies then does anyone walk or run? Doc replies with "of course people walk or run but for recreation" towny replies "Run for Fun?"


I laugh at this scene because that is the reaction I receive from so many when I get excited about running. To those of you who have not experienced a foot race such as a marathon or smaller, I promise you there is nothing quite like it. The feeling of accomplishment, the welcoming into that elite group, the camaraderie of the sport, and the battle to succeed. I honestly get excited the more I write about it.


I am so giddy and excited about this weekend. Some people golf, some fish, others may even hunt. I RUN!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

GU,Bandaids,Peanut Butter, & Vaseline...

What do these have in common.....usually not much, unless you are a runner. This is the beginning of Race Week for me.

On April 29th was the day that I purchased my entry into the 2010 Williams Route 66 Marathon and in less than 6 days on Sunday the gun will sound. So this week I am going give you my thoughts on race preparations and also alot of random thoughts I have leading up to this weekend.

As I was out on an early morning jog last week, I reminded myself that it has been 2.5 yrs since I ran a marathon and I am trying to increase my speed? That is crazy considering I turned 26 last week as well. So I naturally got a little nervous.

More than anything I am excited, I am so ready to get back into the marathon. I honestly feel like a kid on Christmas morning (like the reference to this time of year). Call me sick, call me absurd but I love this sport and I can't wait for that gun to sound on Sunday morning.

Now remember today is just Monday!!! We will see how things are come Saturday.

What is something that gets you overly excited?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Losers say What......What?


So I will just blatantly admit it. I am a horrible blogger. Yes for those 5 of you who follow my blog it has been 44 days since I last published. I apologize.....to say that I feel like I always have something clever to say or even share would be absurd. But I do admit I enjoy trying to contribute something to these passions that I talk about in my life. So I will just progress as if no time has lapsed. Deal?


Well I am 9 days away from my marathon, my training has taken many different forms and surprises. I through a sprint triathlon in there as well as a 5K, and a 15K. So to say that I have been solely focused on 26.2 miles would be a lie. Although I do not recommend interrupting your training with multiple events, I would not have had it any other way. Preparing for the triathlon was one of the most exciting experiences of my life. Certainly running in some smaller events is always a blast as well.


To those who are considering running, my advice is to jump in. This sport will provide you with more joy, frustration, anger, fear, loyalty, success, and love than any other outdoor event I guarantee. I am always excited to hear about people who ran a 5K for the first time or those that are training for their first marathon and how they completed it.


Keep up the good work and I promise to not be such a stranger to those who are reading.



(Meg.....it's going to be a blue cake I promise!!!)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Give it a Tri


Two weeks ago I completed my first triathlon event. Thanks to my more than encouraging wife, I decided about 2 months ago that I wanted to give the sport a tri. So I thought about what I would do to start training, not really having any kind of knowledge besides that of my friend who is into the sport I just literally jumped in.




I started swimming 1-2 times a week, biking when I could and of course I was already running on a regular basis. I invested in some basic triathlon equipment and told myself I would do it. Having ran marathons and multiple 5Ks, 10Ks, and even a 15K I figured I was where I needed to be cardiovascular wise.....until I hit the pool, my lung capacity was not where I thought it was.




After doing several weeks of training and preparing myself mentally the day came. I remember stepping outside that Saturday morning and realizing it was about 58 degrees, my first thought was...."I wonder how cold the lake is?"


After completely the event, I was sold on the sport. To all the triathletes out there you are true athletes. I look forward to my next event. And I look forward to training for it as well.


Fall is officially here and the weather is great to be out training in, so lace up, layer up and head outdoors.




Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall......


"Absence makes the heart grown fonder" isn't that how the phrase goes when you haven't seen someone for a long time or maybe it is when you are trying to avoid someone and that is what you tell them when you run into them at the supermarket...I am not sure.


Anyways I was informed by my beautiful, pregnant wife that I have not posted in a while and I needed to. So here we are in the last week of Summer, thank God....I am so ready for the changing of the seasons, and not just the weather but the changing of seasons in life. I am not sure about you and your life but it always seems like the changing of the weather seasons usually brings a change of season in my life.


Fall is quickly approaching as in this weekend, this is my favorite time of year leading up to the Christmas season. I love the changing of colors in the trees, the leaves that change from solid green, to yellow, to gold, to orange, to brown and then fall on the ground and whirl around in the wind. More than the colors changing I love the smells of fall. It seems like there is a natural smell to the changing of the plant life around us.


More than all that I enjoy running during this time of year. I can add a few more layers on in the morning due to the cooler temps, I can see my breath as I breathe. I can even smell frequent fireplaces burning, and it makes the morning ,post-run, coffee all the more tasty. I also feel more energized throughout the day considering I didn't sweat out half of my body weight before the sun came up.


What do you enjoy about the Fall Season?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Pace, Patience, & Pattern


In reading several articles as well as other premier runner blogs, I have learned that to be consistent with your results means you have to be disciplined. I am bothered that so many people who aspire to lose weight and change their health expect things to drastically change overnight. Just think about it this way, there is no way you could have got that big promotion at work just for showing up on the second day of the job. There is no way you could graduate college with a bachelors degree but just filling out the entrance application. It takes time and discipline.


When training for a race you typically want to establish a finishing time goal. I have met so many people who tell me their goal is to finish, well I agree but I also know deep down they too have a specific time they are shooting for. Second to achieve that time you must establish your pace, this refers to the amount of time you need to run each leg or the race. If you are wanting to run a 5k in 24 minutes, then you want to aim for just under a 8 minute mile, you get the idea. It takes patience to train for a race, don't' expect yourself to be able to go out on the first day and meet your race goal and if you can, then you need to bump your race goal up tremendously. Last of all you need to establish a pattern with your workouts so that your body can start to adjust to all the changing that you are doing to it.


This can be applied to any type of workout that you are participating in, whether it is biking, walking, yoga, pilates...etc. Whatever you are implementing into your life to reestablish your fitness take into consideration these factors and keep having fun! It's worth it.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Yoga anyone?


"Who would ever do yoga?" "I mean only crazy people who like to hum to themselves do that" that is exactly what I used to say to myself when I first heard of yoga and definitely when I first saw people who were doing yoga. "You do all these hmmm's and bend and shape your body, why would you do that?"


I have to say that I have changed my thinking of yoga. I actually did yoga this morning and strongly recommend it to all runners who aren't doing yoga. I am probably one of the few runners who hasn't been doing yoga. I promise it is weird at first but it will definitely improve your flexibility and your overall posture and body strength.


There are many great ways to find out about yoga, I recommend going to runnersworld.com and learning about runners yoga. I have been doing the Yoga DVD from P90X but it is pretty tough and time intensive.


so get out your old workout tights and ditch those shoes for some barefoot yoga!!! it's worth it I promise.


let me know what you think?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Not Feeling it....


I am sure we all have days when you wake up at 4:30am to the sound of your dog throwing up and you realize you have to get up in a few minutes to go run? What? that hasn't happened to you....well that is how our morning started off this morning. Luckily the dog did not throw up but was just coughing heavily. (There is a point I promise)


This morning as I was getting up preparing for a speed workout. I was definitely not feeling it, I was tired, had a lot on my mind concerning work and just not feeling it. Well I kissed Megan good bye for the day and headed out on my mile warm up. Got to the track to do my speed work and it was closed to the public, so I was even more upset and even considered heading back home. I didn't.


I fought through and decided to do the same workout I did on Monday and actually finished with a great workout. So my point today is even though you may wake up and your mind is telling you "Stay in bed" get your butt out of bed and surprise yourself. The hot weather will soon be fading away and the morning runs will be sublime.


Ran 5.15 miles in 39:55

Friday, August 6, 2010

Never too old to run in the sprinkler.


As a kid I remember specifically one summer day, my brother and I were stuck at home to entertain ourselves. It was a very hot & sticky day, we didn't' want to be stuck indoors and we as any other young kid knew that the solution to our entertainment involved "Water". Now we did not have a swimming pool, unless you want to count our 10K gallon feeding trough. So we decided to set up our slip-n-slide. Yes all was right in the world! So we played and played in that slip-n-slide until we had made a nice mud patch in our neighbors yard....needless to say mom and dad weren't so happy. The next day we were signed up for day camps..haha


This morning as I was out on my short run, even though it was a much cooler morning than usual I was still quite hot and sweaty. I happen to run upon a restaurant that was watering their grass. The side walk that I was running on happen to be drenched with water and I was noticing the path of the sprinklers were going to cover me with water as I kept running, all of a sudden those memories of growing up during the summer came back to me. I ran through those sprinklers, got a little wet, cooled down and continued on my way.


August is hot!! If you are out running in it I recommend detouring off your planned route to find some yards being watered. Staying cool and hydrated is very important. I also recommend running early in the mornings. If you do decide to run through a sprinkler, be careful not to soak your shoes, you definitely don't want to get blisters......oh and don't wake up your neighbors!


have fun and keep running!!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My alarm clock is ringing and I can't move...

Have you ever been so sore that you can't hardly move in the mornings. Or you know your feet are on the ground but you can't really feel them. Or how about when your alarm clock is sounding off, screaming at you to get out of bed but for some reason you can't really move your body to turn it off? That was me this morning!

As the alarm was going off, luckily it was music so not so annoying, I tried to lift my arm up to turn off the alarm but for some reason it would not budge. See usually I have no problem turning off the alarm pretty much the instant it begins, not today. Long story short, I managed to work my way to turning off the alarm, woke Megan up and we shuffled our way out of bed. This morning I had a tempo run that I needed to perform and I was dragging at the start.

Shortly after Megan left to head to the coffee shop I headed out on my 5 mile tempo run. Starting was rough, I was stiff and sore, and well I will just admit still asleep. Today I had a hand-held water bottle to keep me cool (Thanks Bill!!) and I used it quite a bit to splash me down and to wake me up.

My run ended well, I got the time that I needed, and ended the workout with a nice cool quarter mile walk back home. My advice today is ice down your knees, thighs, and calf muscles shortly after you complete your workout. I know the ice is painful but just think of the nasty heat outside. I promise if you do ice for 15-20 minutes your recovery will be so much better. As you can tell I did not ice two days ago and it bit me in the butt today.

Keep up the good work!!

God is Good!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

16 Weeks and Counting.....Day 1

After computer issues and writer's block, and well I will just list several excuses that could possibly make me not look so bad since I have not posted in a long time. Anyways through all of that jibberish I am saying that I am back, my posts will resume.

Today starts my 16 week training plan for the Route 66 Marathon that takes place on November 21st. Over the last few weeks I have been planning my training schedule, mapping my routes and preparing for bad weather days. So yesterday I was getting very excited looking forward to waking up at 5 and heading out the door.

It's funny how excitement for each of us is different, usually when I am excited I can't sleep and that is just what happened last night. I last remember looking at the clock at 12:05 thinking wow...this is going to be fun in the morning!!...great attitude huh?

So as I stumble around this morning getting ready to head out for my 6 mile, easy pace run Megan is getting ready to head to Perry to volunteer at a coffee shop. She is very excited to be doing that, she has been talking about it all summer long, and today is her day. Meanwhile I am trying to wake myself up to make sure I can squeeze out these 6 miles.

I say goodbye to Meg, watch her drive off and then start following the road leading to my start point. I am doing great during the run, the sad thing is I can still feel heat coming off the asphalt at 5am (fall can't come sooner). Around 3 miles, I start to get into a good feel of things, I made one stop to stretch and then continued on. Well at around the 4.5 mile mark I came upon an older gentlemen probably in his mid-late sixties. He was running too, I strolled up next to him and gave him a few words of encouragement and we actually ran together for a while. He had a shirt on that read "Running Challenge" after a little conversation he told me he was training for a local 5k coming up. I was encouraged by this man, beyond me in years but still pounding the pavement with great effort. Shortly after that I ended my 6 miles. Cooled off and started my day.

Marathon Training Checklist
1. Shake the Nerves and Excitement........check
2. Get plenty of sleep.....................working on it
3. Drink lots of water.............................check
4. Have Fun!!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

"Tri"ing new things

So my lovely wife has been encouraging me for the last 6 months or so to try a tri...by that I mean participate in a triathlon. Well I kind of joked at the idea, for several good reasons. 1 being I had only been on my road bike for a short time and had not had many opportunities to log very many miles. Well excuses right...you all know the saying "they are the same as ______ everyone has one and they all stink". So my second excuse was that I am a horrible swimmer, that though is fact. I am able to swim, I do not drowned but my skill is not anywhere near Micheal Phelps, actually I am probably more like a stick drifting in the water, whatever happens happens.

Well she did it, she broke me. I am going to attempt my first triathlon on September 25th. I am excited, nervous and worried altogether. I am very nervous about the swimming. I know I can do the biking and am the least worried about the running. However I am worried about the swimming.

If you have any advice I would appreciate it.

Second of all I have decided that I am going to pursue my personal training certification, once again thanks to my beautiful bride. Megan seems to think I would enjoy assisting people with their fitness goals and healthy lifestyles.....I think she is on to something.

I am excited about it. I enrolled in a two day course at the end of August and at that point will take my certification test and hopefully pass. Megan and I hope to be able to work with couples who want to pursue a more active and healthier marriage as well as lifestyle through group fitness sessions.

I will be talking more about this I would imagine, also my training for the marathon is coming up. August second is my start date.

Have you participated in a triathlon before, or do you hope to?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Random Two!!


I wanted to follow up with something from my last post. I wasn't really sure how well it would go over but I think it went pretty good. So I wanted to share this with you as well. Last week I was walking out of my building on campus headed to drop a letter off at the post office, as I was walking back into the building I noticed two gentlemen sitting out on the porch of the building. they were both facing each other and one was obviously interviewing the other. There was a camera there as well to capture the conversation. Then I noticed a bicycle next to the two and on the back of the bike was a sign that read http://www.fightobesityride.com/. So once I returned to my office I took a quick minute and checked out the website.


Scott Poindexter is a Chiropractor from Denver. He has lived quite an active lifestyle and has promoted that amongst those he is around. Now he has taken it a step further and is in the middle of a Summer long campaign to prevent childhood obesity. He is riding his customized bike 3500 miles across the country to raise significant awareness and hopefully change when it comes to fighting childhood obesity. I don't want to tell you too much about him, I think you should check out his site for yourselves, but he started his ride in San Francisco and will end in Washington D.C. He plans to meet with political leaders at that time.


Check it out, click on the link above.


Second thing: My wife who desires to run with me and participate in races has a minor set back in her training, she has a rare situation where her legs all of a sudden start itching and itching uncontrollably. I have seen it make her scratch her legs until they are raw......My reason in mentioning this is to see if anyone knows what maybe causing that and if there is a solution.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Weighing in so young!!

So today I want to apologize, this post is not going to be about my training routine, or about a workout that I came across and would like to share with you. It's not even going to be about running as a primary topic. Today I want to share with you something that absolutely breaks my heart and continues to do so every time I come across it. So you might just say I am standing tall upon my soapbox.

I will start by sharing a story with you that happened last Sunday afternoon. My lovely bride Megan and I decided to spend an hour at the swimming pool we like to splash around in. We had been there for probably 20 minutes when all of a suddenly the pool was overtaken by a group of about 200 teenage boys. Apparently there was a camp taking place in the area and they had all decided to spend the hot summer afternoon thrashing around at the pool, understandably so.

Megan and I were watching as these teenage boys just continued to file in one at a time, we made a couple comments and laughed mainly about how awkward those days were, I recalled to her some of my strange happenings as teenager. Well just as the group was dying down, these four boys trailed in, they were definitely a little different than the rest of the group. Then I noticed the one in the back of the group. He probably weighed no less than 300lbs, my heart just sank. I just looked at that poor kid, who had to be no older than 15. His life is already headed towards the grave and he is only 15. He struggled to get around, I was surprised when he took his shirt off and stumbled into the pool.

What has happened to our youth, why are we just sitting back and watching them kill themselves. Why have we let our lives become so busy that the best option for dinner is the drive-thru. Why have we let video game units, 3-D movie experiences, home theater systems, and On-Demand TV keep us from riding bikes, playing catch, going to the Zoo, or having a picnic at the park. Why are we allowing our future generations to kill themselves before they have a chance. .

(Good Read http://dean.runnersworld.com/2010/07/the-great-outdoors.html )

Last night we made a quick trip to Wal-mart (as if that can really happen) to pick up a couple of things, Megan had stopped to pick up some fabric that was discounted and I was standing there observing people around me when a middle aged woman walked by pushing a cart in which a young boy was riding in. The boy was probably 6 years old, and I am not going to exaggerate by any means to make this more dramatic, but I would almost guarantee that he weighed between 140-150lbs. I was in shock, my stomach was in knots and my heart dropped. The worst thing about it the boy was sitting on a 24 pack of Coke. Come on lady, why are you doing this to your kids!!! That is what I was silently screaming at the lady.

Our nation is in a huge situation, no pun intended, if we don't work to change. Like I ranted on earlier, we have to get away from being a fast food nation, and we need to get our active lifestyles back. Please encourage those around you and your loved ones to change their lifestyles if you see them in a deadly situation.

I would love to hear thoughts..Sorry today's post is longer but it is such a sad situation for so many youth. We have to do something about it.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Setbacks....they happen

My 4 month training start date is quickly approaching. I am starting to put my training schedule together and mapping out my distance runs as well as putting together my plans for cross training and bad weather days. If you are training for the first time or looking into running a race, these are good things to have in mind so that when you are getting started you have no question as to what you are to do on a specific day and also how to handle days that the weather won't let you be outside.

So I have a day in mind when my training will begin (August 2nd) and I am starting to get my schedule put together. I am getting really excited because this race will allow me & Megan to travel to Boston next April if I qualify. I am getting anxious, nervous and excited all at the same time.

Just a couple of weeks ago we found out that my cousin is engaged and plans to get married in early November, we are so excited for them and look forward to adding to our family. They are a great couple and will do some amazing things for God throughout their marriage. Lately I found out they are looking to move the date due to some of the bride's friends who cannot attend the original date. Now it looks like the date they are planning on getting married is the evening before my qualifier. I was so excited to hear they are getting married and then felt very torn in my stomach about what we should do.

I am still having a difficult time determining what Megan and I should do. A large part of me wants to be at the wedding because my cousin means so much to me. However my selfish side says this could be your only chance to qualify for the Boston. So today my post is not so much advice (if I truly ever give advice) but it is more of me putting my thoughts down.

I believe there are many times that we put plans in place and we work to achieve something that we desire, however our desires and God's desires are rarely the same. I encourage you to look at maybe some setbacks in your life not in disgust but in true curiosity, and start asking God what it is he is using that setback to teach you.

I know we will make our decision and life will go on, but I truly believe that sometimes setbacks get thrown in front of us for better and not just to ruin our plans, but possibly to better them.

KEEP TRAINING!!!! GOD BLESS!!!


Have you experienced a setback?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Am I sweating or is that the humidity?

So yesterday morning, I set out on a quick little before church, jog. No real expectations in mind, just planned on running a few miles and calling it a decent workout. Well half way through the run, I had to stop for a a minute or so I was gasping for air but all it seemed I was getting was moisture. By the time I got back to my house I knew I was sweating but was not sure how much of the moisture on my body was sweat and how much was the humidity.

I can't stress enough how much water you need to be drinking during this type of weather. If you are training or running on a regular basis, your body is using more fluids than you normally would and therefore you need to replenish.

With our Staycation at a close it was tough to go back to work today, What an amazing week Megan and I had working on projects at home and spending time with our friends at their new coffee shop they are now running. It is truly amazing to me how God works and how he places people in your life that you have no idea will be such an influence on you. I hope to be that way for others.

Happy Monday and welcome back to training if you took the weekend off.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Staycation....more like GOcation!!

So I think when Megan and I decided to have a staycation this summer, we assumed we would sleep in late every morning, have these incredible workouts at the gym, go to the pool everyday, see a movie or two, spend time with our friends at a coffee shop, cook some good food at home, and maybe even read a book or two......Haha....reality check!!

So far our staycation has been very busy and almost a GO GO!!! feel to it. We were able to spend a great day in Canton, TX digging through flea market treasures in the rain. We also had a good fourth of July with my family and some good home cooked, Mom food. Other than that it has felt like we have been going and going and going. 

Today we volunteered at the coffee shop that our friends are operating, it was a blast we helped with the lunch shift. I was in charge of the guts of the sandwich while Megan, in her designer fashion, was responsible for dressing up the sandwich and making it presentable. It has been a lot of fun. I really do enjoy being able to get away from work while also being able to enjoy the things in my everyday life that I don't get to spend as much time doing. 

My prayers lately have been for God to reveal to me a way to pursue the things in my heart and for me to be obedient to his timing. I have a lot of expectations and anticipation towards the marathon that I am training for but I am asking God to use me in a new way while training to reach those who need his grace. Sounds strange I know, but I feel as though I have been blessed with a passion towards this sport but not for my own benefit. 

I want to encourage those of you out there who are looking at planning a staycation, it will be tough at times to see the vacation part in it, you may overwhelm yourself with plans that you want to accomplish, I strongly encourage you to make sure and take some time for rest. Allow God to speak to you, and have fun!!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Going on a Staycation.............day 21


Where do you want to go on vacation this year? Well we could go to Hawaii, or we could check out Myrtle Beach. I heard that Bora Bora is really nice, or what if we just went back to our place in Italy? Okay so this was a dialog that took place in a dream of mine one night. See I love to travel but more times then not I am left to my imagination such as this dream.


Being newly weds and living on a minimal budget, Megan and I are left to being quite creative for our vacation this summer, or "We could just have a staycation" as quoted by my beautiful wife one day as we were driving back from church. You might be asking yourself what is a staycation? Well it is just that....you stay where you are and spend some vacation time together. It's cheap I know but how many times do we go on vacation only to return more exhausted than before.


What do you do on a Staycation? Well we are actually going to my family's 4th of July celebration this weekend, but we are also going to Canton, TX for the "First Monday Flea Market" (Meg's idea).....should be fun!! But the rest of the time is really up in the air, probably lots of time in the swimming pool, and of course training. Most of all catching up on sleep, remember what I said about sleep and training, hopefully I can catch up over the next 9 days.


I will be posting throughout, because I definitely want to help with ideas & experience on what to do while on vacation. Stay Fit!! Also I want to highly recommend the staycation if you are on a minimal vacation budget. Make plans to do stuff locally, it can also help you stay in your training routine.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I Can See!!! day 20

A good friend of mine just completed a half marathon back in April where he blew his PR out of the water by more than twenty minutes. Now some of you who are runners may say wow, that's not bad and some may even say so what. But here is the kicker, he is not a consistent runner and had not been training. That is what grabbed my attention. See my friend is starting to train for Sprint Tris and does more biking and swimming than running. So this gave me an idea to start doing just that. Well I started swimming a few weeks back, however I did not have any goggles, and I also found out that I am a horrible swimmer.

I remember being in the pool the first day doing some warm ups, and in walks this woman and man. As they lower themselves down into a lane she pulls a rolodex of laminated work-out cards from her back pack along with a cap and nicely protected goggles. Then before I can even get a good look at what her goggles even look like she is under the water and gone. Quickly moving to the other end of the 25 meter distance she quickly goes under, twists and heads back towards the starting wall. As I sat there gathering my breath, and I will admit my strength back they both hammered out 200 meters which I can only assume was a warm up.

Needless to say I was put in my place. I am not a swimmer, I love being in the water, however I believe my technique is nowhere near competitive. My intent is to build lung capacity and give my legs a good workout in a non impacting fashion. With that being said I have to share some of my excitement today. I decided I needed some good goggles to wear in the pool, so thanks to swimoutlet.com and Megan's permission I found some good quality goggles for a cheap price.

So today I jumped in the pool ready to knock out at least a half mile......ok maybe not, I probably felt like I could but I was only able to anguish through 550 meters in 40 minutes....No Laughing No Laughing.....it's pathetic I know....but I am going to get better. I have already summoned Michael Phelps for personal training, I just don't think he responds to Facebook messages. With all that being said I think my point today, I am not sure, is get you some good equipment for whatever you are training for, there are plenty of great sites out there to buy good stuff for lower prices, see below.

www.swimoutlet.com
www.runningwarehouse.com
www.rei-outlet.com

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Shared Effort......day 19

Okay, so I have completely failed on this 365 effort. I would try to verbally vomit some kind of lame excuse to make up for my inconsistency but it would be just that, an excuse. I am going to try to stay committed to this. It totally slipped my thought process yesterday. I apologize!!

So I was thinking about what to write today and I realized thanks to other blogs that I have read that it is nice to share information from articles to those who might share the same goal or interests. I also realize that although my mom thinks I am a good writer not everyone shares the same thought. And there are great articles out there to share. So I think at times here and there I will share links to other articles that I have read that I think are good to pass along. If you totally hate this idea please let me know.

I completely enjoy sharing my thoughts and encouragements to others but also understand that my realm of knowledge is not quite mature as many others, so I should pass along information that I gain while reading. So today please enjoy this great article found at MSN's health & fitness page.



http://health.msn.com/fitness/running/articlepage.aspx?cp-documentid=100244519

Friday, June 25, 2010

I could use some rest......day 18

Training in the summer heat is totally new to me. I have usually ran early spring races which naturally force me to train through the winter. However I have chosen a mid autumn race so I am experiencing totally new struggles when it involves the weather conditions. Running in the early morning has been the most efficient option for me yet it is still very humid and warm in the morning.

The problem I am facing more and more is just being dawg tired.....I believe I am eating the right stuff, and staying well hydrated. I drink more than enough water throughout the day, still I am so exhausted and worn down lately. My body is even hurting more than normal. Have you experienced the same thing? My solution........REST!!! I think I am starting to understand why some of the great runners like Ryan Hall, Meb Keflezghi, and Josh Cox usually only run 2 major races a year.

Are you sleeping 7-8hrs a night? I am definitely not sleeping that much, which is probably adding fuel to my exhaustion fire. So what is important when taking rest? Like I mentioned earlier you need to make sure and get some good sleep. Keep hydrating like usual, eat right proportions, do some stretching routines (approximately 20 minutes a day) and allow your body to regroup. It is so easy to get wrapped up in our daily routines but also try to get some intense training in that it actually starts to work in a negative way. So my advice today is if you are feeling a bit sluggish but are still training fairly hard, maybe you need to take some good R&R......Enjoy this Friday evening!!!

Have a good weekend, see you Monday!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Indulgence or Sweet Reward?.......day 17


"That chocolate chip cookie looks so good, or I could have the key lime pie. Or if I wait until lunch I could have some ice cream. but I probably shouldn't it's not part of my training." A few years ago I found myself in this tough situation as maybe others of you have too. I was on a cruise with my family and the entire time I was surrounded by unbelievable food choices, at all times of day too. I constantly had conversations like this with myself. Usually ending up with me eating something and being frustrated. Here I am training for a specific goal and I ruined it by eating this dessert. I am sure you can relate with this at some point as well.




I read an article recently about Chris Carmichael, Chris is the long-time coach, nutritionist and friend to Lance Armstrong. Of course Lance being the 7 time Tour de France Champion. In the article Chris talks about the significance of a close relationship between diet and training he says "Diet and training are so closely intertwined, they can't be separated." Basically, to succeed in your training, and to hit your goals you need to be just as focused on your diet as you are your training.




Chris goes on to mention breaking your training up into "periodizations" (you break your training year into "periods" with different goals) which should also include what is on your table. He recommends that as your training demand increases your percentages of carbs and proteins should adjust as well. He recommends a ratio of 1 part protein to 7 parts carbohydrates. It's not about eliminating one food over the other, it's about choosing the right foods and right portions.




But what about the sweets?




Chris goes on to say that even his nutritional strategy leaves room for indulgences. He himself spoons into some Ben & Jerry's on occasion and Lance can't pass up an apple fritter. I myself love to indulge in a blueberry bagel with PB&J from my favorite local bagel shop. My wife, Megan, has a hard time passing up on some homemade ice cream and chocolate syrup. Being consistent with your training schedule is crucial and maintaining the right diet is just as important, but you should definitely allow some room for indulgences or as I tell myself.... sweet rewards for a hard workout.




What is your indulgence?






Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Transformation, Initiation.......

This word has been in my head today, probably because it was majority of the conversation between a good friend and myself last night. We were talking about Community Transformation. Looking at what can happen when certain parties join together and start working for a common goal. With a mission in mind and a powerful force of people, message, and resources a transformation can take place.

Referencing my post yesterday about Kevin and his goal of breaking 3:00 at the Richmond Marathon, at some point in Kevin's life he had to make a decision to become a dedicated runner, not just in his schedule but in his lifestyle choices. Kevin mentioned also in the article about his father being an avid runner and running in over 30 marathons. Obviously this is something that Kevin can recall very vividly and probably initiated a trane of thought in his mind to make him in some fashion want to follow in his father's foot steps.

I remember when I went to college, I quickly decided I wanted to pursue a healthy lifestyle. You always hear about the freshmen 15, well I had fully decided that was not going to happen to me. As I have spoken in previous posts, running soon became a comforting part of my life. Along with deciding to start logging miles, I had to adjust certain things in my lifestyle. My diet, my sleep schedule, my social time, attitudes, and perceptions. All of this that was my lifestyle had to be transformed.

Becoming a runner is not just being able to say you laced up, pinned on a bib, calibrated your chip, and crossed the finish line. There is a transformation that consumes you when you become a runner. From the first few excruciating, introductory miles, to the finish line banners time after time. You become part of something that is almost beyond words. Runners are a breed of community driven, health conscious, extremist who endure the pain for the sake of pushing themselves beyond what their minds will allow to them to comprehend and understand. Running is a community, and it has an open door policy. Always accepting applications and always encouraging growth. Start your transformation now!!

Today I swam for 40 minutes.....I was exhausted!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Smarter = Faster..........day 15


Recently I read an article in Runner's World titles "It's About Time". This article is part of the RW Challenge, which is a subscription you can sign up for to get personalized training plans, coaching advice, diet plans, and motivation from RW editors and contributors. There are also a number of national marathons in which some of the RW staff will be present and you can rub shoulders with them or wrestle them for a cup at the water stops.


Anyways this article showcases several, everyday runners like myself and what their personal goals are along with what they are doing to train for their PR (personal record) date. Along with their info, they are receiving recommendations from professional coaches and athletes. So I decided I would check it out and oddly enough the first showcase was a gentleman named Kevin, Kevin has been a marathoner since 2006, about the same time as me. He has ran 14 marathons since then with his PR being 3:02:37, and his goal being to break 3:00


I was really anxious to read about Kevin's training and his work as he prepares for the Richmond Marathon. As I was reading I saw that he was averaging 85 miles per week and on four occasions had over 100mile weeks. I thought that was a little extreme, for my first marathon I over trained and did not get the results I probably could have, although I broke my goal, I still had a very weak goal for the shape that I was in. Kevin favors progressive runs where he picks up the pace for the remaining 10 miles of some of his runs. After a race in Phoenix he actually ended up in the hospital, only to find out he had not been consuming enough calories and his body was not being refueled properly.


Preparing for a race, regardless of what the scale maybe you need to make sure you are getting the right kind of calories. That is different for everyone, but make sure you are getting plenty of protein. Staying hydrated is key as well, not having enough liquid can cause your muscles to over work themselves and cause fatigue early on.


The advice that was given to Kevin was to lower his weekly miles, also not to over exert himself. Also do some research on what kind of workout you can do to change up your pattern. Also stay hydrated, eat good calories and be smart about your running, you know your body better than anyone else.


Before you know it you will be setting your PR and blowing your times out of the water.


Today I ran 3.11 miles.

Monday, June 21, 2010

IN a rut, and no sight out.......day 14

So I want to start by apologizing for being so many days off. I was out of town last weekend as well as this weekend, and my attempt at this 365 quickly has failed, but I have decided I am going to stay focused on what my ultimate goal is through this blog, and that is to voice my thoughts, my frustrations, my advice, my questions and my passion towards the sport of running while I am training to qualify for the Boston Marathon.



The last few days I have been doing research on other races to run, I have been planning to qualify this November at the Route 66 run in Tulsa. However I read a story last month in RW about a guy who qualified for the Boston in July but waited til November to register for the race only to find that he had been closed out. The Race has grown tremendously in popularity and they cap it at around 26K participants. Which really kind of frightened me when I read that, because I am putting a lot of pressure on this one race in late November which is less than 5 months from the gun in Boston.



Megan recommended that I start looking for other races, earlier races. So I did just that, however being in Oklahoma there are not very many marathons in driving distance. So my frustration is mounting, my training is going as well as I think it can for late June, however I am very frustrated with the idea that I could possibly qualify at this race in November but not be able to run Boston in April.



I am feeling very much in a rut, I am very passionate about running and the possibilities that it can provide. So I would say I am very much in a rut, Megan is feeling the same. So I am sorry but today I don't have any great advice and actual on the opposite I am seeking some good advice. I am looking for some recommendations from anyone who may come across this post and can offer some words of motivation or advice. Thank You!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

I Can't Train, what can I do?......day 13

This weekend I have not been able to do much training, Megan and I traveled with her parents to San Antonio to visit her brother, his wife, and their son. I love San Antonio, this is a great place to vacation if you are deciding on places. Our hotel has been full of families who are swim suit dressed and I assume either headed to a water park or Sea World. It has been a great trip, Jeremy pitched last night and we got to spend some good time with them this weekend.

However on trips like this when you are unable to spend time training it can get make you feel as though you have been set back. However on days that you are unable to train I recommend focusing on other aspects of your fitness, primarily your diet. Just like during the holidays, long weekends with no caution to your diet can really have a negative affect on any ground you feel as though you have gained during the week. So I would recommend writing down what you are eating and keeping track of the calories you consume, that will help you adjust your training once you get back into your routine.

Also choices are crucial when you are not able to do your normal training routine. I recommend always taking the stairs if you can. or if you are going to go shopping, park in the back of the parking lot and get a few more steps in. Also get the family out and go for a long walk together, therefore no time lost together. Be creative on your days that you are not able to train.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Firsts.........day 12

I still remember the first time that I played basketball, the first time that I got in trouble with my parents for lying, I remember the first fight I had with my best friend, and I certainly remember my first date that I had with my wife Megan.

There are so many firsts that we experience that either we look back on and smile or we hang our heads in embarrassment or shame. I remember the first cross country race I ran as a Junior High kid. it was on a course that was mostly grass and mud. I remember the excitement I had leading up to the gun, and nerves that were running through my body and the game plan I had running through my head, "Don't slow down"...haha...I wasn't much of a tactical runner yet.

I started off running at my normal pace but quickly learned that most were hitting it considerably harder than I expected so I picked up my pace as well. Eventually to gain some ground on the leading pack. Right before the 9K mark we entered into a football stadium, where the final stretch was on a cushioned sprint track and I decided that's exactly what I will do. So I picked up my pace tremendously and notched out the final 1000 meters in a heated sprint crossing the finish line with my chest protruding dominantly before the rest of my body to nudge out several others in which I claimed 9th place. I will never forget that day, that being the day I fell in love with running.

My first marathon will always be a day I will remember. I was more than excited, motivated and anxious to start. Throughout the race I remember each turn, each street I went down. There were so many people along the streets screaming out in support and and every now and then someone would spray us with their water hose to cool us off. There were bands playing at different locations, the hydration stops were in perfect locations, the food was even quite enjoyable, as much as food can be during a race. I remember my family and friends meeting me at different locations to pat me on the back and cheer me on. I remember the people I met along the way, others who were running their first marathon as well. I definitely remember the last stretch of the race as well, taking out my headphones just in time to hear my name called out as a first time marathoner....and then crossing the finish line and breaking down in tears like a little child.

I will never forget that day, as well as the emotions and excitement that went along. I want to ask you what are some of your first that you remember and what are some first that you are looking forward to? I am looking forward to finishing this next marathon in a qualifying time and then making my trip to Boston.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Time For Everything.......day 11

A time for everything......so today I have been reading from Ecclesiastes chapter 3. Some of you might do as I did when I started reading it and find yourself humming the words to The Byrds song "Turn Turn Turn". Read it and see if you do.

Anyways I find it interesting and this may sound like I am going to deep into the subject but God definitely has a season for everything under the sun, There is a time for every activity of our lives. Nothing that we do has been put before us to just shrug off, although I do sometimes.

Every action that I do whether good decision or bad has been carefully plotted by a power much greater than me, God is in our every move and every thought, however there are different factors or our life that sway us one way or another.

I believe my passion towards running and being active is for a greater reason than my small little mind can understand. I believe my reasoning for having such a desire and strong pursuit or running the Boston Marathon is not for my own good, or for my own satisfaction but for something predetermined and planned way before I even ran my first mile.

I believe I can use my running knowledge and enthusiasm towards the sport to do better things for those around me. I want to encourage you to look at the passions that are in your life and what are ways you can use them to help or encourage those around you. Share what you have been given.

today my training consisted of a spin routine and StairMaster. I have been absent for a few days and promise to make up my lack of posts.

Friday, June 11, 2010

GOALLLLL!!!!!!!!


Okay, so I am more than excited about today. For those of you soccer fans out there, you probably too can join in on my excitement, as today marked the first kick of the 2010 FIFA World Cup from South Africa. I just got done watching the host team South Africa play a great match with Mexico which ended in a draw. The World Cup is such a fascinating and infectious event, I believe even if you are not a soccer fan or even a sports fan in general, this single event has the power to draw you in. The game of soccer has such an outpouring of support and emotion attached to it. This one event probably more than the Olympic games has the power to draw nations to United and stand together. Anyways I hope you will try to check out a game or two over the next month it always promises to be good sport. Besides the US Club is playing England tomorrow which is receiving probably more hype than the Chicago Blackhawks.


I recently was keeping up with Bart Yasso on Runner's World.com, Bart is a longtime runner and RW contributor. He has had the privilege and advantage of running all over the world through out his lifetime. Most recently though he checked something off his "to-do" list that he had been eyeing for years. The Comrades Marathon in South Africa. The Comrades is a 56 mile event that delivers exactly what the name says, camaraderie. This is a run that runners all over the world can make reference to. More than Bart finishing the race the part of the story that struck me most was the statement he said "Usually I consider the starting line to be my end result, it's always been about making it to the starting line of a race, but for Comrades it's always been about the actual finish line" I love that statement. I think a lot of runners decide they want to be a runner for the experience of running and not necessarily the experience of the race.

Bart talked about everything that he experienced along the 56 mile stint. He described the smells, the noises, his pains, the screaming support along the way. Being a runner has so many characteristics and personalities to it. Some people run for fun, some run for health, others run to say they accomplished something. For Bart, Comrades was about not only finishing but experiencing everything it had to offer. I can't tell you much about the races I have ran besides my time, and who was there to support me. I look forward to my next race and being able to open my eyes a bit more to really experience what that particular race has to offer.

I want to encourage you to do the same, I know I have discussed goals but goals aside I want to encourage you to observe your surroundings the next time you are out for a jog, see what people you pass, what smells are around. Enjoy what running truly was meant to be.....Leisure!!!


My training today......3.5 Miles on the treadmill and Ab Ripper X core training.


I will be absent for a few days but will catch up when I return......Thanks for reading!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Put down the fast food!!

So I knew this would be more of a challenge than I expected. What I am saying is I forgot to post yesterday. I got wrapped up in several things and managed to forget my commitment to this blog.

Today I am really craving a good run. Lately I have been wrestling with God on several things and I could use a great run today. My race is not for another 5 months but I am really anxious for a race. I may have to look into a 10 or 15K between now and then.

So I was thinking about what to talk about today and the thing that is on my mind and something I am very passionate about is, obesity. I look around at our nation and how fast paced we have become and how much we desire quick response. Which means fast meals, quick service, no time wasted. But on the opposite I see the lack of effort in some areas and it bothers me to think that this will be the environmental norm when my kids are growing up.

One of mine and Megan's favorite TV shows is "The Biggest Loser" it is such an amazing, and emotional show, to see people who weigh so much and feel as though their lives are near the end be able to lose massive amounts of weight and gain a whole new life. Each season brings new people and larger starting weights. I told Megan that I fear that people could potentially be gaining weight just to try and make it on the show. But I would rather not assume that.

I really do feel for people who struggle with their weight and who can't seem to understand why they can't lose weight or why they are the size they are. There are so many people these days who have horrible diets and don't bother to pay attention to what they put in their mouths or even the amount they put in their mouths and that bothers me. Also there are those people who are very cautious but still can't seem to win the battle.

This is why I am a strong supporter of teaching active lifestyles at an early age, of course there is youth sports leagues and the local YMCA but I believe we need curriculum within our schools and even as a part of college degree plans. I know I am way off subject today, but this is weighing on me heavily, no pun intended. I believe everyone deserves the opportunity at a healthy life, but they need to be educated.

This is why running can be such a united experience for many, running allows you to vent your frustrations, to scream out about your unhappiness with your body, but at the same time it allows you to peel away those layers of unhappiness and start to experience a new skin, a new lifestyle, a fresh breath of clean air. Not everyone is meant to run marathons, or chalk up 100 mile training weeks. However I almost guarantee after you lace up and fight through those first few miles or first few kilometers you will suddenly feel a change come over you that is addictive and life changing.

My training today consisted of light weight training, and 300 meters in the pool. I am a horrible swimmer but I love it.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Hydration Calories


Although Terrell Owens has long been seen as a somewhat par wide receiver with a showy, self indulged demeanor. There is one thing that can not be denied, he is a very well sculpted athlete who cares tremendously for his fitness and health. I can't say that I agree with T.O. on much but I do respect him in huge part when it comes to taking care of his body. While reading an article not so long ago that described some of T.O's training he does on a regular basis as well as healthy "choices" that he makes I read something that really caught my attention. The question of carbonated beverages came up, such as Coke, or Pepsi products and T.O.'s response was definitely one that I could relate with, he said "I Like food, I like to eat all kinds of healthy food, but why would I drink my calories?" and I agree, now I will admit yes I do drink several calories. However I strongly recommend avoiding "soda" or "pop" which ever you like to call it.


Especially if you are trying to shed a few pounds and can't seem to figure out what is keeping you from doing so. Guess what? Even if you are still drinking diet soda that will keep those pounds from moving, except maybe up. I know personally of an individual who stopped drinking pop and within 3 months lost 25lbs. Lifestyle changes are what I am talking about, not diets or seasonal experiments, REAL CHANGE. So my rant for today is put down that fizzy cup of suffocating sugar and start drinking some cold, fresh, filtered water. I also recommend finding a low sugar sports drink that works well with your stomach. If you are a coffee drinker that is okay, just stay away from the double shot, super frothy, mocha, carmel machiato and stick with black coffee with little cream and sugar.


In all seriousness, really start looking at what you are putting into your body and think about your hydration because that is key in refueling for a run. Food is essential, but proper hydration can really effect how your body functions. So bottoms up on your transparent, pale green colored Nalgene bottle and keep drinking that H2O.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Why I Run....

Today I have been thinking that starting this blog could be more work than I anticipated, but I really do enjoy talking about running. This is something that God has blessed me with and I love sharing and encouraging others.

So I decided today I would talk a little about motivation and why I chose to become a runner. I believe everyone has their own motivation, their own reasoning for doing things. No two stories are exactly alike and no two situations are similar. However I believe there are common goals that people share and common attitudes that we possess.

I decided early on in my life (when I was in junior high) that I wanted to be considered an "Athlete" throughout my life. I knew I would never win an MVP award in the NBA or even come close to carrying home the Lombardi trophy from the Super Bowl. Still I knew that i did not want to give up on athletic competition in life. My family has had a battle with weight and I wanted to do everything I could to keep myself from that. I ran Cross Country in Junior High and even ran at some track events in High School. However it wasn't until college that I became addicted to running.

During my first year of school I went through many character changes, I went through some personal battles that started making me question myself, my integrity and who I desired to be. I got into partying a little bit, but figured out that wasn't me. I dated different girls, but that wasn't the time for that. So I turned to God and to running. I remember very vividly going out for late night runs around 11:00, sometimes even past midnight. Even for a college campus those were some of the most peaceful and solid times that I would spend in prayer and worship with God. Although I had been a believer for years I was not very solid. Some of my best runs were even during the winter when the temperature was in the teens, I would get some good runs in and spent some great time in prayer.

Still to this day I honor those moments. I definitely don't go on late night runs as much, not sure Megan would like that, but I definitely enjoy the peace and focus I get with God during my morning runs. Running has always been a great sigh of fresh air for me, no pun intended, but it has. It means something for all runners, some just enjoy the thrill of pushing their bodies further and further. Some enjoy the camaraderie of running, it truly is a "close nit family" of people. If you have never ran a road race, I strongly encourage you to lace up and do so, it will be one of the most emotional and encouraging events in your life. Each race that I have ran has left me emotional in their own separate way.

I want to encourage you to seek out that motivation, what is it that makes you want to set out and compete for roadway with crazy drivers, heat waves, and odd smells? I would love to hear what it is that motivates you.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

104 Degrees, and I need to run how far?

Today has been a crazy day for us, however I managed to wake up this morning and get a quick 3miler in. Megan and I go to a church in a rural town just north of where we live here in Stillwater. A couple from our church is part of a missions group going to Uganda for a month and we had a send off party for them as well as prayer session. God is going to do amazing things through and in that group of four people. 

We are also very blessed to be friends with so many great people who motivate and influence our lives in more ways than they know. One of those is a lady who attends our young, growing, but powerful church. She has been on a quest for the last few years to lose weight and change her health. And she has done just that, losing over 100+ pounds, however her final goal is still just ten pounds away. So I mentioned running to her and said it would definitely take care of those final 10. So I put together a running plan for her and a few tips to get started. Well today she asked me a very good question and it really made me think, because I didn't want to give just a simple answer i really wanted to help her out. She asked me "What do I do now that it is so hot outside?". 

That is a great question, for those of us who see running not simply as exercise or a means to stay fit, we see running as part of our lifestyle, a way of coming down from stress, or just a way to cut loose on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Still though for those of you who maybe trying to start running because you want a new challenge in life or you are looking for a new hobby, or maybe you are trying to lose a few pounds and a gym membership is just not in the budget. I want to hopefully give you some encouragement and motivate you especially since it is getting hot outside and can become very frustrating. 

It is difficult to train during the Summer months because of the high temperatures and humidity, it can be very dangerous as well. So I first want to caution you, don't over exert yourself or push yourself more than you should. If you are just starting out, I recommend doing speed walking with short 1 minute runs intermittently. If you are able to get into a pool regularly I recommend doing some swimming during the summer. There are great water workouts online for runners as well as training for triathlons. I would also recommend while in the pool doing water running, which is just what it sounds like. Running while in the water, this is usually done for rehabilitation but is still a good workout and tremendously safer than running in the sun. I would also recommend looking to change up your schedule if you are able to, if you are able to wake up earlier and get your runs in before the high temperatures set it I would do that. Or even the opposite if you are able to do your runs at 10 or 11 at night I would do that too. 

Don't let the summer heat keep you from getting in your runs, just allow yourself to be a little more creative. Also if you have an old bicycle out in your garage you can dust that thing off, pump up those tires and do some biking, also a good way of training if you don't feel like pounding the pavement. Lastly I want to encourage you to look at what your motivation is why are you running, what do you want to accomplish and what are your small goals along the way. Running is an incredible lifestyle to adopt and it is open to any and all. I encourage you to push yourself this summer and find a good workout that fits you.  

Saturday, June 5, 2010

One Year Ago Today.....


Standing in the sand as the water, in steady sequence washes over my feet. Watching as the empty beach kept it's usual schedule regardless of the crowd. It's amazing how some repetitive noises will annoy us but others, such as waves crashing are considered soothing. Laying in a lounge that morning was different, I knew that by the end of the day  my life would be different. For you see a year ago today my wife Megan and I were married on the beach in Destin, Florida....with no looming oil spill residue in sight...

Megan and I have had one amazing first year of marriage, she has been in school and I have maintained my status as Staff member at OSU. but what is great about our journey is that it all started several years ago as casual acquaintances. However the day that things really changed for us was in May of 2008. I had just ran the OKC Memorial Marathon which I bettered my PR by 20 minutes.  A few days after the race my friend Jeff sent me a link of pictures from the race. As I clicked on the link the first image that popped up was of Megan in a pink Under Armour compression top and black Nike running shorts. I just sat back for a minute looked down at the picture count and it said there were well over 150 images and her picture was the first that appeared......All I can say is Thank You God!!!

My first thought was....."Wow she is a runner" of course I was suddenly more attracted to her. And then as any good guy does once they have a crush, I put her first name in front of my last name to see what it would sound like, sounds great to me....

Anyways in a few short months we were seriously dating and within six months we were engaged. It's funny how fast this year has gone and how fast our time has been together but how excited I am about the future. Looking back over our one year of dating/engagement and one year of marriage we have been blessed in so many ways it is not even fair. We have been on two  mission trips to Rome, Italy. We have helped two of our good friends start a church in a rural town near by, we have welcomed a nephew into the family, most of all we have kept God at the center of our lives. 

I know today's post is a little off subject of the Boston Marathon, but I would not be writing this each day if it was not for the encouragement from my beautiful wife. Megan has encouraged me every single day we have been together to follow the things I enjoy and she knows how much running motivates me and excites me. So thank you Megan for being my #1 supporter and my wife. I love you, Happy Anniversary 


Friday, June 4, 2010

MMMM....Pasta!!


One of my biggest challenges throughout my training is determining the right diet. As my runs become more consistent and I even lengthen my distances naturally my metabolism will increase and I feel as though I will need to fuel my body more than when I am not training. Makes Sense.....but what should I fuel it with?


When I first started running, pizza was my training food, although it was exactly what I wanted it severely lacked the fuel and nutrients my body needed. So as any good educated person would do I went to Google for answers. I started to research "running diets", I also started looking at what professional runners were consuming and comparing my diet to theirs. The problem I did run into is most running editorials were preaching "organic" which I thoroughly agree with however as a poor college kid, my grocery budget did not always allow for that to happen.


But I have definitely changed the way I eat and the way I look at eating, because trust me I love food, and Pizza is still one of my favorite indulgences. One of my favorite stories is of Dean Karnazes, Ultra Marathoner, was out on a 50miler and ordered a pizza. The place delivered it to him and he carried the box under his arm while he ran.....Dean is crazy but incredible. Maybe one day you will see me running down the highway with a pizza box under my arm. Now days I have learned how to fuel my body and when it needs refueling. I have gone to were I eat almost every two hours while I am awake but in smaller quantities and more nutritious items.


Eating right is very important when training for a race or just maintaining your conditioning, I have people who tell me all the time "Hey your a runner you can eat whatever you want"....somewhat true, but I don't recommend it. You will be able to tell a huge difference between "eating whatever" and eating the right things.


I will share with you some of my recommended items to add to your shopping cart if you are training. I love Almonds and could probably eat more than I am suppose to but a good handful of raw almonds is a good snack throughout the day. Cage Free Eggs, you can never eat enough eggs when you are running they have great protein in them. Canned Black Beans are a great way to get the lycopene your body needs. Whole Grain Breads have good fiber. Steamed Vegetables not canned. I always have an Orange as a snack at lunch...load up on Oranges. Milk (add some chocolate syrup for a great post run drink). Sweet Potatoes are a great side dish with your meal. Whole Wheat Pastas are a better choice than regular. I recommend adding Oatmeal to your diet as well. Yogurt and granola are a regular breakfast for me as well. And for a sweet tooth craving I recommend Dark Chocolate. Last but certainly not least drink lots of WATER....Dehydration is miserable!!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Why Boston? Why Now?

The Boston Marathon has been something that has been a goal of mine for a while now. I have been a casual runner for the majority of my life and have really only been into long distance for about 5 years now. However after running my first marathon I was hooked and wanted to accomplish much more. I manged to better my time and really wanted to push myself. Obviously when you think of marathons there is one that comes to mind that even the least of runners can recall and that is the Boston Athletic Association Marathon...which is the oldest annual run.

I decided to set my sites on qualifying for this race, and in doing so I would need to tally a qualifying time of sub 3:10:59. For those who may not know, qualifying for the race is determined by your age as well as a current official race time from an official qualifying race. For my age the above time is what I would need to secure from my qualifying race. Well this year I plan to do just that at the Route 66 Marathon in November.

From those that I have received advice and coaching from have recommended that I should maintain my time and just wait until I get older so that my qualifying time is a bit broader. Which probably makes a lot of sense but I don't want to do that. I want to go to Boston soon, and I know I can qualify so that is what my focus is.

My running goals are really to run in as many major marathons as I can over my life. NY is on my list as well as Disney, San Diego, Rome, London, and maybe even some ultras. We will see. Please join me on my journey

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Ascending the Chicago Spire.....kind of


In 2005 in Chicago, Illinois there were plans in place to build one of the world's highest and freestanding structures at 2000 ft and consisting of 150 floors, called the Chicago Spire. Primarily to be leased out to businesses and developed as high rise condominiums. Well today I climbed every single staircase in that building.....no lie I really did, and let me tell you what a view from the top.......Okay maybe I do lie.....the Chicago Spire is still in concept and is yet to be completed. However I did climb every single stair in the building...I just wasn't in that building, I was on a StairMaster.


For my cross training this morning, I climbed 150 floors of stairs in 35 minutes. This may sound sick but I thoroughly enjoy the stair climber......if there was a piece of workout equipment I would want to own, it would not be a treadmill, it would not be a hip shaker, probably wouldn't even be a Bowflex, I would be climbing Mt. Everest on the stair climber that's for sure.


I have learned that mixing up my cross training is crucial when training for a race. My first marathon I did I just primarily focused on running and I assumed that's what I needed to do. I had a running plan in place and I stuck to it, however I was not eating right or even eating the correct stuff and so I dropped weight tremendously which is actually not a good plan for running. Maintaining a healthy weight is what you want to do. With that being said you still need to do some weight training as well as cross training....and to be honest I think cross training can be defined in whatever terms you want to use. I like to do some low weight high repetition weight workouts, elliptical workouts, ride my road bike, do some swimming, and of course hop on the StairMaster.


There are many great cross training workouts out there, I recommend checking different ones out. Everyone is different and every one's body will react differently as well.


Today was day two for Megan and I to get up early and go workout, this will be a good pattern for us to get into. Tomorrow I plan to get in the pool, morning swims are my favorite.


Let me know if you have a favorite cross training workout.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

365.....Commense

Today I am starting a 365 day challenge.......my goal is to create a series of blogs with one being written each day for the next year. I have been thinking for a long time about what I could possibly write about every single day for a year.....with much thought and a lot of influence from my wife I have decided to blog about my journey towards qualifying for the Boston Marathon and then hopefully my participation in the run next April.

I will be looking for an opportunity to put my struggles, my successes, my good workouts, my bad workouts, my pains, my thoughts down in words as well as hopefully hear back from anyone who might come across this blog. I will also be sharing some spiritual motivation along the way. And would be looking for the same in return from those who might read this. I am very excited about potentially running one of the most notable street races in all history and am so thankful that God has provided me the healthy body to do such a task, I would like to share my journey through this blog.