TransRockies report part 2 – Stages 3 & 4

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Here is part 2 of my 3 part TransRockies race report.

Day 3: “I breathe the air of faith and pain And hear what they say”…. “Back to the Sheep!”

The longest stage of the race was upon us, my partner needed the day off to try and shake the altitude sickness.  I would be going solo, during the first three days of TransRockies, you had the possibility of going solo.  If your partner needs the day off in the last 3 days, you need to partner up with another team to continue running.   For those that wanted a shorter version of the six day staged race, they had the option of running the first 3 days.  This was the Run3 race and stage 3 would be their last day.  Some of them decided to stay and run the whole 6 days though.

Let's get this party started

The crowd was excited as we piled into the chute in Leadville.  We would get a little pavement running to start off, we had a controlled start as we ran on the longest length of pavement for the race.   I paced the first place 80+ women’s team for the first 3 miles as we left pavement and started the climb of Mt Zion.

I liked the climb and I started making some good time, it felt good to let the legs go and run.  I saw people with tow ropes, I had never seen this before.  Pretty much, the stronger and faster team member will have a rope attached to the slower partner and they will help keep them on pace and get up the hills.  I later talked to one of the towers and he said that it can be taxing, not only running but pulling up the weight of the other team member.

PULL

Soon I reached the top the climb, just under 11,000 feet.  I then started picking up speed heading down the hill.  About half way down, there was a videographer, he had a camera set up in the middle of the trail.  He said jump over the camera, I did, and almost ate it, but I continued on down the hill.  Soon, the hill evened out and I rolled into the first check point.  I didn’t really take much, I hadn’t taken in too much on my camelback, so I was good to go.

It was hard regaining momentum, but I soon got into a comfortable pace.  I reminded myself, that I wasn’t going to place and there was still 3 days left after today.  So, I continued on enjoying the scenery and the stage.    There was a short water crossing on the stage, it was merely puddles compared to what we would see in the next stage.   Some runners had fun with the water crossing and used it as a chance to keep their shoes dry.

I must keep my shoes dry!

I had chosen to wear my other trail running shoes, and let my Nike Trail S+ have the day off.  I think I paid for it a little bit by the end of the day as my toes had been a little sore from the distance.  The shoes were a little stiffer than my usual trail shoes.  I continued on, the path between the first check point and the second was a 4WD road, nice to run on, but lacking in the adventure of the trail system.

I pulled into the 2nd checkpoint still feeling really good, another lady was taking off her shoes to tend to blisters, so I considered myself lucky to have my feet feeling good.  I refilled my camelback grabbed a couple things and was off again.  There was a fork in the road and another runner pointed me in the right direction.  We were off downhill soon leaving the 4WD road and entered the great trail system of the Rockies.

Follow the leader

The trail zigged and zagged and provided that adventure that I love with trail running.  Not knowing what was around the next corner.  It turned into some great single track and I fell into step behind some people as we trekked across an open prairie.  I was hoping to use the “Back to the Sheep” phrase, but never got a chance.  Soon, we were going up the bank and crossed Highway 24 and ran back into the trees and cover of the Continental Divide Trail.

Running with the smell of Pines

After more running, I came to the final check point.  Some of the volunteers asked about my partner and hoped that she was doing well.  Soon after that Dean came out of the cover of the trees and had a group of runners with him.  I continued on, but soon he caught up to me.  I could hear them coming up behind me chatting away, so I decided to step aside and let them pass.  We were 21 miles into the run, and I was still taking it relatively easy.

The familiar gravel road finish

Soon the trails gave way, to my dismay to the usual gravel road that signaled the end of the stage was near.  This was the final 3 miles of the stage all on that gravel road.  I plodded along for about a mile and then the 3rd place 80+ women’s group caught up to me.  For the last 2 miles I paced them to the finish at Nova Guides.  The place nestled in the mountains; we would end up spending two nights there.  It was very chilly in the morning, and the tents were situated in a field that wasn’t as plush as the 2nd day grassy field or the 5th day grassy field.

So refreshing, I can't feel my legs

A couple hours after rolling into the finish, I took a 7 minute sit in the IcoolSport ice bath.  Wow, first 90 seconds was shocking, then when everything went numb it felt good.  The quads felt great after that, I will definitely need to look into that next year at TRR 2011!

Day 4: “Keep on running when you feel like dying Keep on laughing while you’re crying Keep on fighting while you’re broken And you’ll make it anyway”

Every day, I followed a regimen for my own nutrition.  I started each morning with a Shakeology shake and added my amla to it.  Then I would have a hearty breakfast that was prepared by the TRR staff.  I was then fueled for the run.  During the run, I kept fueled at the aid stations, usually I didn’t take too much, but an occasional piece of watermelon, peach, or chocolate bar tasted great.  On some of the longer days, I also had a cliff bar or two.

So many choices

After my run, I would pull into tent city, rehydrate, have a results and recovery drink and a peanut butter and Jelly sandwich.  This would usually hold me to dinner, but there were cliff bars a plenty along with other snacks to be found.  Soon it would be dinner time, and another great meal was laid out for the runners.   For a full report of the daily meal check out – http://transrockies.com/transrockiesrun/transrockies/race_food.htm

The fourth day had a chilly morning that greeted us, this was a shorter stage today, but still had some good climbs.  The thing I was looking forward to most though was the river crossings!  The stage preview had boasted at least 6 crossings toward the end of the stage.  Plus the stage ended at Mango’s in Red Cliff, the home of fish tacos and more.  Sounded like a great day of running to me.

Home Sweet Home

We started at Nova Guides and ran down the gravel road for a couple miles.  Then we turned on the 4WD road and started to climb.  It was steep in places and the going was a little slow. I fell into place with another team and paced them up to the midpoint of the hill.  As I climbed I heard a muffled noise, and my imagination pictured a moose far off.  Then I realized I had gotten a cell signal and my phone was delivering a couple days of messages.  I took a couple seconds to see what the outside world had to say.

Climb

“When you see the blue sky, you are almost there.”  The previous night’s festivities told us to look for blue sky to signify that the climb was almost over.  Finally the blue sky peaked through and we literally popped out of the trees into a wide vista with great views.  This was literally just over a quarter of a mile from the first check point.  I spent a little time here snapping pictures for people and met up with Team Silver Bullet.  These two ladies were from Phoenix and running through the Rockies, the home of the silver Bullet.  Over the next couple days, I would flip flop with them and capture a few photos for them.

Success! The top!

The first check point was soon upon us.  This was the checkpoint that always had an island motif.  They were a party crowd, and the main guy at the checkpoint sported a flamingo hat and was always helpful on getting you exactly what you needed.  I soon was donning the hat and taking a picture and getting a flamingo put onto my camelback.

This hat makes me look fast...

The aid stations were always top notch.  They had your assortment of anything you could want, water, GUBrew, soda, GU, fruits (peaches tended to taste very good), bars, chips, Vaseline, sun block, salt tablets, and a host of other things.  The people manning the stations always were helpful and full of energy and vitality.  It was always a welcome site to see a check station in the distance.  If not for a refueling station for the body, it was a refueling station for the mind.

I'll have a little of that, and a little of this

Soon after the check point, the course headed downhill, my feet protested a little as I headed down.  The trail wasn’t too terrible, but try telling that to toes that are bunched up and being pushed further into the fronts of the shoes.  Again, I was not wearing my Nike’s but I knew that with all of the water at the end, I wanted to keep my shoes dry for the last two stages.  Soon, the first water crossing came into view.

Refreshing!

There is a great feeling in plunging stinging feet into icy water, I really enjoyed this last part of the stage running through the stream.  The trail kept crossing over the stream, I think there was six or seven crossings.  We even ran down the middle of the stream.  Great stuff all around, I had been looking forward to the water crossing since before the first day, and I wasn’t disappointed.  With the last water crossing behind us, we ran across a bridge and stopped at the final check point.

It was about 2 ½ miles of that gravel road again until we reached Mango’s in Red Cliff.  We were soon on our way and I saw a sign that said don’t contaminate the stream, it is the city’s water supply.  If they knew that I was running through it, they might have told me to skip the water crossings.  Before we knew it we were rounding a corner and Bam, there was a city all of the sudden and paved roads.  Then we were there, at the finish, at Mango’s and ready to dine on some tacos.

Hey isn't that Triumph the insult comic dog?

All in all, stage 4 was a fun stage.   Ending at Mango’s was a small treat, and as we ate, teams continued to stream in.  We were then transported back to Nova Guides for another restful night.  The evenings at the TransRockies Run always gave it that summer camp feel.  After dinner, awards, videos, pictures, and previews came the camp fire, s’mores, & songs.

Relaxing

People would huddle around the campfire roasting marshmallows, sipping hot chocolate, or enjoying a Michelob Ultra.  Every night we were led into song by the guitar player.  He had a bag of percussion instruments that he passed around to compliment his guitar and voice.  On Wednesday night, he actually recorded a video of his own song, so there may be a music video highlighting an evening at a TRR campfire.

Here is the stage 4 recap video… this version doesn’t show Gary and the streaker though…

Stay tuned for the final portion of my 3 part TransRockies report coming soon!

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TransRockies Report Part 1 – Stages 1 & 2

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TransRockies Race Report:  Days 0 – 2

The Gore-Tex TransRockies Run has come and went.  I was excited but a little nervous about this run.  Until this race, my longest run week was 75 miles, now I would be adding an extra 40 to that number.  I had done a couple trail races, but nothing longer than a 10K.  With all of that I was super excited for the challenge.
This adventure would cover more than 115 miles over 6 days.  The run started in Buena Vista Colorado and made its way to Beaver Creek.  Each day we would start as a group and run that days stage.  Over the six days there would be close to 25,000 feet of gain and we hit an elevation of 12,500’ at Hopes Pass on Stage 2. The TransRockies crew took care of everything from catering, setting up tents, transporting gear, providing shower and medical facilities, and taking the guesswork out of everything.  All we had to do was show up and run.

It's looks shorter on paper

To title the days, I will use the awesome song that the TransRockies used every night to start the awards Banquet, and every morning to get us pumped at the start.

Gore-Tex Keep On Running

Day 0: “I know I will always make my way, Wherever it will lead me”

Gary Gets around

I pulled into the small town of Buena Vista Colorado and stopped at the Museum to do race check in.  I had just recently found out that my partner would be a day late due to an unexpected trip.  A stand in runner was scheduled to meet me, but I didn’t have any contact info, and was unsure when he would check in.  I proceeded up the stairs of the old museum and signed the necessary waivers and got my credentials and huge bag to tote my gear for a week of running in the Rockies.

The TransRockies race doesn’t skimp on Swag.  By the end of the race week, I had collected the following: HUGE duffle bag, Gore-Tex jacket, Timex watch, shoe drier, Trail running book, Tech Shirt, Running hat, ceramic mug, gloves, blanket, hand held water bottle, various nutritional samples, & finishers shirt.  Whew!  I actually then proceeded to transfer my gear from an over packed duffle bag to the TransRockies duffle, and still had room left over.

I then met up with Robin & her sister, the Monkey Posse.  We snapped a couple pictures with Gary the Gnike Gnome and we made our way to the start dinner.  After chowing down, we got the info on what to expect for the week, along with the course fly over for stage 1 and the weather.  The weather for the week couldn’t be any better for runners, but we didn’t have a chance to use our rain gear for the week.  When the presentation was over, I made my way to Salida, to get ready for a week of running through the Rockies!

Day 1: “Afraid of future I don’t know A hammer strike that hits me”

Looking down the Main street of Buena Vista, you would see an odd sight of people dragging, hauling, pushing, and teaming up to bring to rest Red, Blue, & Black duffle bags.  I’m sure some of these bags may have been well over 50 pounds.  To be ready for whatever nature throws at you for 6 days of the unknown can make for a heavy bag.  My bag alone, had 6 days of running clothes, 2 pairs of shoes, nutrition, and dry clothes for evenings, along with things to cover whatever might happen.

"Take out the kitchen sink"

I snapped a picture of Gary, and then was going to stow him away.  One of the volunteers, said, “Maybe he would like to ride shotgun.”  Little did I know that this was the start of one of Gary’s biggest adventures.  Of which, I have only heard rumors, but I’m trying to locate the pictures.

After depositing the bag at the moving van, and seeing Gary off, I headed to the start line and waited with that same butterfly in the stomach feeling that I feel right before most races.  I knew that I wouldn’t be running this race at full speed or in a competitive outlet.  More than the butterfly feeling, was the excitement of adventure that I could feel.

Fresh and clean at the start.

Five minutes before race time, my partner stand in showed up, which surprised me, I had gotten in the mind set of running the stage solo.  Soon we were off down the road, the start of 115 miles of running was underway.  Over the next 6 days most of our running would take place on trails and dirt roads, very little pavement would be felt, and that was an awesome thing.  Soon we crossed a bridge and entered a narrow trail that made the pace slow to a walk, looking back showed Buena Vista and mountains.  Those mountains were a glimpse of what would be coming.

Stage 1 was an introduction to the week, and was the flattest of all the stages with an average grade of 4.8%/-4.7%.  The course ended up being just short of 21 miles and a day that warmed up.  The course had the lowest average elevation of all stages.  The views were more desert like, but still had some great trails.  A lot of the stage was on 4WD tracks and gravel roads, but there were a couple short corridors of trails.

"CHARGE!"

I ran ahead here and there to open the legs, but made sure I let Steve catch up to me.  This run would be the furthest distance that Steve had ever run.  His usual runs were around 10 miles, and a few years back he had run a 15 miler.  The first aide station of the race came into view, and I waited for Steve to catch up.  He really did a great job over the whole stage.  Dean Karnazes pulled into the first aid station soon after we did.

Fuel up

Dean was doing something a little different with this race, he had decided to run each stage with a different runner.  He was going after getting a different experience and giving back.  Instead of leading the whole weekend, he opted to run the pace of whoever he was paired up with for the day.  At the end of the weekend, he told us that it was a much different and difficult task.  Some days, he was out there on the course much longer than he was accustomed to.

After the first aid station, we flip flopped with Dean, he caught up to us at each aid station until the final station where he pulled ahead to the finish.  After station 3 Steve was starting to feel the heat and affect of running the distance.  We passed through some tunnels after the last check point.  The last few miles of the stage were on a gravel road, we ended up walking some as we brought it near the finish.  We then ran the last of the distance.  Steve’s wife and kids met him at the finish.  He had a blast and was ready for a couple cold ones that he had waiting for him in the cooler.

Running through the mountain

Overall, Steve had a great time, and still felt good after the run.  It was great to help someone run a new distance and achieve a personal goal.  I was able to get some running in myself, snap some pictures, and have a good time.  Stage 1 was complete, I hopped on the shuttle and made my way to Tent City.  The first night of festivities was about to begin.

After a refreshing shower and a full belly, I waited for my partner to pull into tent city.  She had flown in that afternoon, Steve’s wife was driving to pick her up.  She arrived around 9 pm, tired and drained from travels and the altitude.  Day 2 was coming fast.

Day 2: “Up to God and down to hell In never ending mountains”

The rickety bus made it’s way down the road toward a start in the mountains.  We all sat wondering what was about to happen on the biggest climb day.  Stage 2 was completely different from the first day.  We had a day of inclines and declines.  With an average climb and declines of 10% and altitude topping out over 12,000 feet, this was the heart of TransRockies.

How did he get up there?

At the start, we saw Gary hanging out at the top of the Start sign, so that is what he was doing.  People piled into line and crowded the 5 porta johns and the one outdoor stall; definitely not enough for a group of over 400 runners.  Soon though, we were off and down the road.  Less than 2 miles down the road we turned and headed up the mountain, passing the last aid station until over the summit.

Climbing, up, up, up

The trail soon got narrow and made it difficult to pass.  It wound through trees and slowly made a rise toward the summit.  It was a great trail that hugged the hillside, every so often we would bust out of the trees and see glimpses of mountains.

Is that a shortcut down?

Soon the tree line ended and the trail turned to switchbacks as we made our way to the summit.  My cardio still felt great, I know that my Insanity workouts had helped raise my mountain endurance.  We were well over 11,000 feet now.  The going was slow as we single filed up the mountain.  I did take an opportunity to do some running to the summit.  Then I was at the highest point of the weekend at Hope’s Pass and 12,534 feet.

The reward for the climb... Straight down

I soon found myself at the top, and charged down the other side.  Now this is where you have to be careful.  Not only is the downhill steep at -10%, but there is also a lot of loose rock.  My stride was short, but the pace was quick.  We headed down to the check point to prepare for the downhill and trek toward the finish.

A little while later, I was thundering down the path.  It was a great downhill, padded trail and not terribly steep.  Good enough to get some good speed going.  With all downhill trails during the week, branches would sneak up from the floor and try to trip.  One of the things I love about trail running is that it creates an alertness and excitement.  Attention must be given to the trail, unlike road racing, it is all about shuffling to the end, rarely does the mind have to watch where the feet are moving next.  It is like interactive running.

Running along the stream, why do I need to go?

As I rushed down hill, there was a stream to the left that provided a few good camera shots.  Soon, the downhill ended and we broke out into a trail along the twin lakes reservoir.  To the left was water as we hugged the trail that ran along the shores.  This portion of the stage was new this year and added an additional 3 miles that was a great compliment of the inclines and declines.

We passed by an old historic village that was in the process of being restored.  The establishment was at one time the stomping grounds for the rich.  After the dam was put in, fears of Malaria, caused the once pristine village to fall into ruin and abandonment.

A haunted cabin?

Soon we entered the gravel road, it was a commonplace for stages to end on or near these gravel roads.  Before long we were done with the 2nd stage and the highest elevation of the week.  Some of the finishers made their way down to the water to soak, soon we were boarded on the bus and headed to a new tent city that was set up on the grounds of a school in Leadville.

Each night ended with an awesome catered meal, usually by Cowboy Tom.  After eating we then celebrated the top 3 finishes for each category.  The winners would then receive a prize for their finish and a monetary award.  Then the top finisher in each category would then be awarded a leader jersey.  If you were fast enough out of the chute, you would then have a rabbit to chase if you were striving for first place in your division.

Little did I know that night would be the last cell service for a couple days.  I had a good conversation with Theresa; it was good to hear her voice.  I also had sent a text to Jerry about the possibility of teaming up for TRR in 2011.

Nightly Awards presentation

After awards we would then get a preview of the next day’s stage along with weather and what to expect on the next day.  Then the evening was finished off with a stage review in pictures and video.  On each stage, there were strategically placed photographers and videographers.  They would capture the feeling of the stage and the funny moments of the trail.

Before we left for the night we were told that there may be sheep on a couple of the stages.  Along with sheep would be sheep dogs, and you didn’t want to come between a dog and his sheep.  We were warned, to shout at the dog “Back to the sheep!” and all would be good.

Preview of stage 3 and an average morning for the TRR crew, including Gary.

Find out what’s inside…Outside

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Here are a few stanzas recapping my 6 day journey through the Rockies.  I covered over 115 miles through awesome trails in the Rockies.  My full report will follow in the coming days.  The report is long, and I’ll break it up into 3 pieces.  For now enjoy a shorter, lighter version of the race report 🙂

“Find out What’s inside… Outside”

Six days of adventure started, we lined up and ran
As a group on a mission of over 115 miles
Up hills and down hills we conquered the land
Following trails here and there and surpassing trials

Each day brought another amazing sight
Mountain vistas, cold streams, and hidden trails
Always something exciting to recap each night
Videos and pictures told of the day’s tales

Stages were split by well stocked check points
Each a welcome sight along the way
Excited volunteers catered the runners needs and joints
And provided treats that made the runner’s day

Showers, food, and relaxation were had at tent city
A metropolis constructed at the finish each day like magic
Resting in streams nearby were often tired legs and knees
While others had their feet taped and tended by the medic

After an awesomely catered meal everyone would chill
While we honored those that were amazingly fast
TransRockies was a week full of excitement and thrill
And everyone was a winner from the first to the last

TRR crew, staff, & volunteers made the event a success
As they tended, toted, gnomed, constructed, and made runners comfy
All we had to do was sleep and run, what we all do best
Letting us worry only about the day’s stage and what we’d see

Six days of running and the week came to a close
Through the final finish line the runners went
Time to get a shower and put on some clean clothes
Happily they traveled, pleasantly spent

Clean and full, everyone sat at the final dinner
As the final TRR theme played, everyone watched the slides
Everyone who ran one day or all was a winner
And found out what was inside… outside

Starting P90X/Insanity Hybrid on Monday

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It is  just over 90 days until the Pikes Peak Marathon!  Where is 2010 slipping off to?  I am going to gear up for training and surviving this monster of a marathon.  This beast of a race has 7901′ feet gain in the first 13 miles and then it is back down the hill.To work on my cardio, core, & endurance, I’m going to complete a 90 day mixture of P90X & Insanity with some extra goodies thrown in.  I had great results with P90X & Insanity and shaved 30 minutes off my marathon time.  To me, the cardio workouts in Insanity make it feel like you are running at altitude, so that will help my endurance on the lesser oxygen miles of the race.

I am looking forward to this program and seeing how it helps me with this race.  I really don’t have too many expectations on time.   I put 5:30 hours on the registration, but the average tends to be around 7 hours for men, so I’ll see what happens.  Here is a link to the Virtual Race by predicted finish times.

So, I’ll see what happens with my training and how it will help me prepare for the Insanity of Pikes Peak.  I will post my training schedule next week.  If you want to join me in the fitness journey you can visit my Beachbody site at BringTheFit

You can also pick up P90X Here and Insanity Here.

Decide. Commit. Succeed.

Together we can reach our goals, achieve new heights, and go places we never dreamed.  Will you join me on this journey?

When winning a race isn’t winning

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I just saw a story on the San Francisco Chronicle about the fastest time in this weekends Nike Women’s Marathon.  24-year-old Arien O’Connell, a fifth-grade teacher from New York City, ran the fastest time of any of the women.  The only thing, is that she didn’t state that she was an elite runner and started 20 minutes behind the elite wave of runners. 

In the end O’Connell finished 11 minutes faster than any other racer.  She finished with the only sub 3 hour time with 2:55:11 which was a 12 minute PR.  The winner of the race ended up with a 3:06 winning time.  O’Connell was told by Dan Hirsch, the race director “If you’re feeling like you’re going to be a leader, you should be in the elite pack.”

I think that if you have the fastest time on the course you should be declared the winner.  I have previously wondered about this outcome in a race and how it would be handled.  Everyone should start at the same time to eleviate something like this happening. 
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/10/20/BAUC13L3GQ.DTL

I also saw a story from the Chicago marathon that there was a runner who ended up 4th in the race, but didn’t receive the prize money.  Due to the same issue of elite runners starting earlier, Wesley Korir, a Kenyan native and track and cross-country runner at the University of Louisville, ended up 4th in the results, but didn’t receive the fourth place prize money of $15,000. 

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/chi-081012-wesley-koirr-chicago-marathon,0,36016.story

Maybe in the future we will see everyone that runs the race sign up as elite, for that just in case moment that they place in a race.

Run on Friends – 5 running questions

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I was tagged by one of my running buddies – Chefsy– to answer a short running questionnaire.  So here are my answers to the 5 questions posted, I got a little poetic on question 3.  Oh, and here are the rules of the Tag…

Copy the rules (or your version of them) and the set of questions onto your blog post, provide your own answers and then tag at least 5 new people. If tagged, you’ll find your name at the end of this post.

To be sure everyone tagged knows they’ve been invited to play, go to their blogs and leave them a comment notifying and referring them to your blog for details.

Lastly, once the chosen have answered the questions on their own blog, they should come back to yours to tell you.

I didn’t really tag anyone, so if you are reading this and you have a moment — TAG! 🙂

1. How would you describe your running 10 years ago?

        I really started running in early 2005.  10 years ago my running was very limited, maybe 10 miles per week.  I still got out for early morning jogs though.


2. What is your best and worst run/race experience? 

        I have had many good and bad experiences in races ranging from hitting the wall at 20 to winning my age group in a 10K. 

 

        My best would be running the 2008 Relay in California.  I met new Nike+ friends and we ran a relay.  I ran some of my fastest times and overcame some mental barriers dealing with hills.

 

        My worst experience would have to be my first marathon.  I hit the wall around mile 17 and had a hard time with the distance, I ended last in my age group, but I finished.  It was bitter sweet, I had run a marathon, so in that regard it wasn’t my worst experience.  It couldn’t have been too bad, I have ran 5 marathons since that one and shaved over 1 hour and 45 minutes off that first marathon time J.

 


3. Why do you run?

 

        There are many reasons and many motivations.  When I don’t run, the day doesn’t seem to flow correctly; an early morning run really starts the day on the right track. 

 

I run for the runners high, it is such an extreme feeling

I run for peace of mind, running is a mental healing

I run for the chance to arrange my thoughts and reflect

I run for the clarity, the thoughts, the ideas that I collect

 

I run for health, the steady footfalls keep me fit

I run for the sweat, sometimes an ounce per minute

I run for the goals, milestones, and trials yet to be set

I run for the speed, for distance, for adventure in the sunset

 

I run for the friendship, bonds I’ve built from nation to nation

I run for Nike+, the people, the challenges, the inspiration

I run for me; to maintain my mind, body, & soul

I run for them; people, charities, causes, & the world as a whole

 

I run for the feeling of achievement, one step further, one step faster

I run for the chance to push past the limit, a new challenge to master

I run for the hope it may bring, to assist and inspire

I run for all these reasons and more I run to aspire

 

My history of running…

        It was in 2005 when I got serious about running.  I was in my new job and my coworkers all ran, maybe it was peer pressure.  I was 250 pounds at the time and a bit out of shape.  So in the beginning it was more of a health & social motivation. 

        As time passed, I enjoyed running more and more.  As I lost weight, I gained a passion.  In late 2006 along came Nike+ and my love of running grew exponentially.  The aspects of Nike+ helped take my running further than it had before.  Now, normal training runs became more race-like, I met people around the world (both virtually and in person), my running took on a new form.

        In 2008 I started to train harder and lost more weight.  I joined a gym and met with a trainer to help take my running to the next level.  April was a turning point as some of my mental running barriers fell away during a team relay race in California.  May & June were banner months as I set new PRs in all 4 race distances.


4. What is the best or worst piece of advice you’ve been given about running?

 

        Best advice would be to get a gait analysis.  It turns out that I was running in the wrong type of shoes and I needed to go up one size.  My leg issues disappeared and all was well.


5. Tell us something surprising about yourself that not many people would know.

 

        I was an extra in Tim Burton’s Movie Mars Attacks.  The filming was in 1995 at Red Lake near Kingman Arizona.  I spent 2 weeks on location and was a background camera man.  It was an awesome experience and I definitely would do it again.  I have a few pictures packed away in a box somewhere, when I locate them I will post them up on my blog J

Sign up for the 2008 Nike+ Human Race

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On Sunday August 31st, the largest group of runners will meet throughout the world and run.  Nike+ is hoping to have 1 Million people log 6.2 miles with the Nike+ system.  People can run wherever they live or race in one of 24 cities worldwide.  Many gyms worldwide will host running parties and join the fun.

This reminds me of a little event called Hands Across America that took place on May 25th 1986.  Approximately 7 million people joined hands and made a human chain across America.  I was a part of the chain that spanned across Flagstaff, AZ (I have pictures somewhere).  It was a great event and it raised nearly $20 Million for charity.

Well the date is now August 31st 2008, and we have a chance to take part in something monumental again.   The Nike+ Human Race will span the globe as people show their support for the sport of running and one of three charities being represented.   Participants can choose The Livestrong Foundation, The UN Refugee Agency, or the World Wildlife Foundation as their charity that they will represent. 

You can sign up at http://nikeplus.nike.com/nikeplus/humanrace/index.jsp.  This site has a lot of information about the event.  Visit the site and see who is running, get training tips, and view more information about the charities. Watch for more exciting developments in July as products will be added and more information on how to get people to pledge for your cause.   I’m not sure if there is a Guinness Record for largest race, but it would be cool to be part of it if there was.

What are you doing on August 31st?  Why not go for a run with 1 million other people world-wide.  See you on the 31st.  Check out the video below to see Lance Armstrong talking about the Nike+ Human Race.

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