Saturday, December 27, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Prior to the race I saw Maddy and Shirley in the crowd.
I have a couple of weeks off until the Jacksonville Bank half-marathon on December 21st.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Within the group we had two runners who had never attempted to run a marathon. It would be the goal of Kim and I as leaders to help guide Aileen and Tom through 25 weeks of training. Both of them trained very hard to reach the start line of today's marathon. I could see the anticipation in their faces and their moods as it became time to test themselves on the road.
The day began slightly overcast, but very blustery. There was a wind of about 15-20mph, with gusts even higher. During the race these conditions continued. We trained for many different scenarios, heat, cold, humidity, but never wind. I have never run on such a windy day.
I was positioned near the finish area in Riverfront Park awaiting their arrival. First it was Aileen, then Tom a short time later. To paraphrase a line from the Master Card commercial, the look on their faces "PRICELESS!" It was a wonderful achievement for them to complete the marathon.
This is what running is all about. Sharing the achievements of your group, your "team". Being part of and sharing in a moment Aileen and Tom will never forget. I don't recall who said it about running your first marathon. "Nobody can ever take that away from you"!
CONGRATULATIONS to Aileen and Tom. It is runners or more importantly, people like you who keep me going. Thank You!
Monday, November 10, 2008
I saw Tim and Susan on Saturday morning and Tim wanted to talk about marathons. On Sunday, another friend and marathoner Raymond, took Tim out for a walk in his wheelchair. Tim wanted to go to Cady Way Park where our training group meets for our weekend runs.
In my other blog "The Pink Bandanna", I close with "Prayers & Love". To all of you and to Tim and Susan, my "Prayers & Love".
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Friday, July 4, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Thursday, June 5, 2008
On Saturday, June 7th, I begin another session as a "Group Leader" for the MarathonFest training program here in Orlando. The program is administered by the Track Shack Foundation. This will be my sixth session of helping to train and motivate runners to new goals and achievements. It is a lot of fun and very rewarding. I get more pleasure out of seeing a runner finish their first marathon than I do finishing mine. So many times I have heard a runner say, "I can't do that." My response is simple, "Yes you can."
I have chosen to run the Mohawk-Hudson Marathon in Albany, New York, on October 12th. It is a small race with a capacity of 700 runners. Most 5K's here in Orlando surpass that number twice or three times. I am looking forward to the marathon which is run almost entirely on a paved bike trail. The first 3 miles is in the City of Schenectady, then onto the trails along the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers. There is another point where you exit the trails, but in total 18 miles are run on the trails. October can be a beautiful time of the year in that area of New York. The fall foliage hopefully will be in full color as we run the course.
Our own Shirley has run this race several years ago and was struck by the beauty of the fall foliage. I will take a hint from her and be sure to carry a camera with me. The race is a Boston qualifier, maybe not this year for me. It is described as a downhill course with a net elevation drop of 370 feet. I will tie this event into a visit with family in the Syracuse, NY area. I am looking forward to October.
In 5 weeks, I will be headed to New York to run the Utica "Boilermaker" 15K. I did a post on this race back in May. The "Boilermaker" is sponsored by the Matt's Brewing Company of Utica. The company, originally Utica Club and founded in the late 1860's suffered a devastating fire two weeks ago. One of the original buildings, used for canning and bottling was destroyed. The finish of the race and the post race party, with all the free beer you want, is at the brewery. The last I heard is that the fire will not have an affect on the festivities.
Now all I have to do is get my photos ready to add to my blog and I'm back in business.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Saturday, May 3, 2008
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Friday, March 21, 2008
"Dietary requirements for proper health and development." That's how the dictionary defines nutrition. I might take issue with that, but the dictionary has been around longer than me.
There are not too many of us who don't love to eat. Now comes the tricky part, what should we eat. I'm not going to attempt to tell you, as each of us have our own diet and knows what works best.
I would like this post to be interactive and have each of you give me a short list of what foods you prefer while training. They can be entrees, side dishes, snacks and yes, dessert. Nothing technical, no details, such as calories, fat, carbs, etc. If you enjoy it, that's good enough for me! My list includes; broiled or baked chicken breasts, black beans and rice, baked sweet potatoes, frozen yogurt in place of ice cream. I eat "Trail Mix Crunch" a Post brand cereal. It's good as a cold or hot cereal and also as a snack.
The photo is the aftermath of a pre-marathon dinner in Chicago 2006. A group of us went to Trattoria Roma, 1535 N. Wells, for an incredible Italian dinner. Thank you Renea for finding the restaurant. I PR'd the next day, so whatever I ate worked!
Saturday, March 15, 2008
OK, so there is no "Ironman" tattoo yet. If the "Ironman" is the pinnacle of achievement for triathletes, I'm somewhere below "Aluminium Foil Man".
It all started when I was trying to convince my friend Sheri to do a second marathon. In a moment of weakness I said, "if you do another marathon, I'll do a triathlon." Little did I expect her to say, "yes." Now what do I do? I do a triathlon, that's all. Easy to say when you don't even own a bike! From what I understood that is a key piece of equipment necessary to compete. I also learned that there were triathlons called "Sprint" distance that do not require double digit hours in order to complete.
So, I purchased a bike and all the equipment. I'm a runner where all you need is a good pair of running shoes and a pair of shorts. So with the help of Sheri and Bob aka "Sponge Bob", I was ready to begin to practice. It is correct to say you never forget how to ride a bike. However, I'm a "Geezer", I grew up with a one speed bike that weighed 43 pounds! My problem wasn't riding or reaching speeds I barely do in my car, I had a problem stopping. More accurately, staying upright after stopping. Foot or feet must be firmly planted on solid ground. How many of you remember Arte Johnson riding his tricycle on "Laugh In", remember how he always tipped over? Maybe I watched too many episodes.
In May of 2006, I entered a "Sprint Relay", I'm no fool, I did the run. In August of 2006, I participated in my first solo, the "Babes & Bums Triathlon". Now to confuse me more about this sport, they reversed the order of events. We started out running, then cycling, then the swim. When all was said and done, I finished 2nd in my age group! (There were only two "Geezers") I did the "Babes & Bums" in August 2007 and placed 3rd in my age group. There were actually five competitors this time!
So, I will be dusting off my bike and getting ready for at least two triathlons this year. Maybe I can finish this year at least a "Tinman".
The photo is of Sheri, Bob and I after a duathlon, they canceled the swim due to rough seas in the ocean. Don't pay any attention to my left knee, it was just an "Arte Johnson" moment. Thank you Sheri and Bob for all your help and staying far enough away that I don't crash into you. I think Sheri owes me another marathon.
I really hope my friend and blog buddy "Humble Triathlete" is too busy training for her "Ironman" that she misses this post :-) In case she reads it, thank you Shirley!
Monday, March 10, 2008
This month marks the 4th anniversary of my return to running. As I mention in my "profile", I had no long term goal in March 2004. I joined an introductory running group presented by a local running store, the Track Shack.
I showed up to find the two coaches, Bob and Jim, eagerly welcoming the new participants. Several were returning from a previous training session so they knew the system. Surveying the group I saw that it was comprised of all age groups, fitness levels, ethnic groups and about a 4:1 female vs. male ratio.
I had arrived early, that's my nature, always on time. We acknowledged each other as we awaited the start of the session. As we were brought together by the coaches, I met a lady by the name of Lena. I remember two things, she was from New York and she kept telling me she ran like a duck. I can only tell that now because 4 years later Lena and I are still very good friends. We were directed to run around Lake Eola, situated in a beautiful park in downtown Orlando. Someone mentioned it was about one mile around the lake back to our location. The group of about 25 quickly spread out. Lena and I teamed up and made it about one-quarter of the way around the lake. I remember stopping with her and wondering what in hell I was doing out there. I was exhausted after running, no jogging, 400 yards. We walked maybe 100 yards and ran a little more. We finally made it, we finished one complete lap of Lake Eola! That's when the coaches told us to do it again. I don't have a recollection of the second lap, by then I was exhausted. You hear about hitting "the wall" but not in a one mile run.
As the weeks went on, Lena and I became quite proficient. I'm not sure which week it was, but we made one lap without stopping! At this point I had also befriended Winston, a jovial man in his late 60's. He was from New Jersey via London via British Guyana. He and I still run, he is now in his 70's.
What I gained from the 10 weeks of training was the ability to move on to the next level of training. The group was now discussing doing a 5K run on the 4th of July. There was also a whisper of "half-marathon" in the group. What had happened to the group of novice runners who showed up that March evening? We were turning into runners. We had the proper running shoes, we wore "technical" shirts and used Body Glide.
We passed the test on our first 5K. With the help of the Jeff Galloway Training Program, we were slowly becoming distance runners. In December, less than one year into our training, we ran the OUC half-marathon in Orlando. As they say, "the rest is history." Today I am pleased with the progress I have made. I never thought about one marathon in March of 2004, let alone the eight that I have completed.
I cherish that night in March for two reasons, one of course is my improved physical health. Most importantly, I cherish the friendships that have developed from that night. Lena and Winston who were there with me on day one continue to run marathons. So many wonderful people who I have met, who make running not a tedious exercise, but a life experience. You're always afraid of leaving someone out but I must add a few more names. Friends who ran the New York City Marathon, Chicago Marathon and miles and miles of practice. Inspiration that keeps me focused and always looking to put forth just a bit more effort. So here goes; Sheri and Renea (Thelma & Louise), Wanda, Sponge Bob, Edna, Sheron & Richard, Tim & Susan aka "Big Dog", Raymond, Lorraine & Dan and more recently Jennifer and Cathy. If you have been a regular to this blog you already know about Donna!
May we all be blessed with many more years of this incredible journey.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
I was pleased to learn that my "Blog" is listed, along with several others, on the official website for "26.2 with Donna - National Marathon to Fight Breast Cancer". I consider it an honor to be included. I regard the listing as an indication that what we have done, can do and will do is going to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer.
If this is your first visit to the blog, please see earlier posts, "The Kodak Moment", "It's Not Christmas" and "Mind Over Matter."
The photo is of our running group from Orlando, FL, prior to the race on February 17th. Thanks to Fred who was our "official" photographer.
Sunday, March 2, 2008
For anyone living outside of Central Florida, this post may seem odd. In order for us to do any serious hill training, we must drive 30 miles west from Orlando, to Clermont, FL. At one time Clermont was one of the largest citrus producing areas in Florida. The citrus groves are all but eliminated, replaced by houses, houses and more houses. In tribute to the citrus industry, a tower, "The Citrus Tower" was built. It sits high atop a hill, visible for miles. My best description of it would be that it looks like the space shuttle waiting to be launched.
Many distance runners, cyclists and triathletes use the Clermont hills for training. The "National Training Center" is located here for good reason.
One of the final hills on the 7.5 mile loop we run is called "Hospital Hill." Yes there is a hospital nearby, how clever! I read a quote from Marty Stern, a coach at Villanova University. He said, "If a hill has its own name, then its probably a pretty tough hill." "Hospital Hill" is that.
So on Sunday morning, about 20 of us from our running group headed for the hills. We started our run in the darkness at 6:00am. "The Citrus Tower" was illuminated and looked more like the space shuttle. Up, down and around, up, down and around, up, down, we went, then it was all done in just over one hour. You feel a certain sense of accomplishment in conquering the hills.
Following the run we gathered at Cafe Bandoli for a hearty breakfast and to tell tales of our adventures on the hills. Soon after eating we made our way back to the "flatlands" of Orlando.
If we had only listened to U. S. Olympic marathon runner Don Kardong who said, "Hills, you entered a marathon with hills? You idiot."
Saturday, March 1, 2008
I was asked to tell this story about the largest 10K race in this area, the Winter Park Road Race.
In 2005, when I was about one year into my training I signed up to run this race. I had been following the training program of Jeff Galloway, utilizing his run/walk interval system. I learned prior to the race that Jeff would be running and leading a group at a 9:30 minute per mile pace or a 59:00 minute 10K. Wow, I can run my first 10K and I can run with a former Olympian, it doesn't get any better than this!
A group of us met up with Jeff and we lined up for the start. Off we went trying to keep up with Jeff as he dodged around runners in front of us. Like clockwork Jeff would call out our walk break after each 5 minute run segment. As we moved further into the race, I was concentrating on the fact I was running with Jeff and not paying attention to splits. He talked the entire way, answering questions or explaining how to run a hill. WOW. As we got about a half mile from the finish Jeff told us to go on ahead. At this time there were four of us still hanging on for dear life. We told him "no" we came this far, we're staying with you!
The road to the finish is a long straightaway. We were all in close quarters, trying to muster every ounce of strength and reach the finish. With about 100 yards left we were lined up across the road, Jeff was directly to my right. I don't know if I waivered from being tired, but the next thing I remember was giving Jeff Galloway an elbow to the ribs. Oh my God, I just assaulted an Olympian. I knew that as soon as I crossed the finish line they were going to confiscate my shoes and I would never be allowed run again. I apologized to Jeff for the next 20 minutes. I followed him around saying, "I'm sorry." He was a good sport about the entire incident. Did I mention I pulled ahead after the elbow incident and "beat" him across the finish line.
Later that morning he was at a book signing and of course I had to get an autographed book. He saw me and said, "I'll sign the book just don't elbow me again." The following January, Jeff was at the expo for the Disney World Marathon. He was speaking with someone when he saw me approaching. I never thought he would remember me, but he said to the man he was speaking with, "watch out for this guy, he's got sharp elbows." Jeff is a class individual, who I have had the prividledge of meeting numerous times. Maybe he will be in Winter Park on March 29th for a re-match. "I'm sorry Jeff!"
The photo was taken in August 2007, you can see we are still friends and the elbows are in.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Monday, February 25, 2008
The first gift came from my friend Donna who, if you read an earlier post, is battling breast cancer. She was my inspiration during the half-marathon last Sunday. (She is an inspiration everyday). When I completed the race, she and her husband were waiting at the finish. We posed for pictures between the hugs and tears. What I received today from her, is a picture capturing that moment. Remember the ad, "a Kodak moment." Now I know what they meant. Or the adage, "a picture is worth a thousand words." That photograph is my "Olympic Gold" medal!
This afternoon, I received my second gift. It was an e-mail from another Donna, Donna Deegan, the founder of the "26.2 with Donna - National Marathon to Fight Breast Cancer." I and probably several thousand other participants contacted her to congratulate her on the success of the event. She too is battling breast cancer. Her kind and inspirational words have brought this event "full circle" for me. She says of the events success, "it makes me think that anything is possible."
I made my room reservation last night for next year's event, February 15, 2009. If you have never run a half-marathon or full marathon, better yet if you have never run, take the time, make the effort to start training and run next year to support the fight against breast cancer. Here is the link to the website 26.2 with Donna Please take a moment to visit the site, you will come away inspired.
I will have the photo to post soon, I promise!
"Prayers & Love"
Saturday, February 23, 2008
So what does that tell me about my conditioning? If I hadn't run the half-marathon would I have gone faster in the 5K? We'll never know. That's what I like about running, you just never know what's going to happen. Go figure!
Thursday, February 21, 2008
First, you are going to call "911" from your cell phone. Do not call the front desk and ask them what to do. (unless you cannot contact 911 from your phone). Call the front desk after you notify emergency services. This will help in directing the EMT's to the room. Do not move the person. Help arrives to take care of your injured friend, but they are still unconcious or incoherent. Do you know who to contact if a friend is injured? Remember they can't tell you who to call.
There is a program that gained much publicity several years ago, it is called "ICE". It stands for "In Case of Emergency". Everyone who owns a cell phone should have at least two phone numbers listed as "ICE". Simple to do, add "ICE" as you would enter any name, then the persons home, work and/or cell phone numbers. Emergency Responders are, or should be, trained to look for this on a victim's cell phone.
This scenario, with a few changes, actually took place recently. Thankfully the "victim" was staying with her husband and the notification was not necessary. We lucked out!
Do you have "ICE" entered on your cell phone. If not take a moment to add the numbers.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Our discussion was how the mind can control the body. Specifically, I was running the Breast Cancer Half-Marathon on Sunday in Jacksonville Beach, FL. It turned out to be a hotter than expected day with temperatures well into the 70's and no shade. I had started out with a fast pace (for me). I completed the first 5 miles in 40:38. At the turn around point I began to feel the effects of the heat and direct sun. I slowed my pace, knowing I was still below my goal of finishing under 2:00 hours. A 9:00 minute per mile pace will give you a 1:58. At the 11 mile mark I was maintaining a pace that would put the 2:00 hour goal in jeopardy. I reached the 11 mile mark at 1:40, one minute behind pace. I have a dear friend "Donna" who is currently battleing breast cancer. I was running for her, with her in my heart and her bib number was pinned under mine. She had signed up to run, but was unable.....wait until next year. I knew she and her husband would be at the finish. At that point, mile 11, I let my mind take over. My body said "NO" my mind said "YES". I completed the last 2.1 miles in 15:24 or a 7:20 minute per mile pace. That's my 5K pace, not my half-marathon pace. "WE" finished in 1:55:24.
I hope you like the photograph, I took that at an event on the Florida Gulf Coast, specifically at Crystal River in Citrus County.
The other photo is of me, "The Running Geezer". It was taken the day after the Marine Corps Marathon in 2007.
A special "thank you" to Shirley and Jim!
Look for more coming soon, I promise.