2010 Detroit 1/2 Marathon

2010 Detroit 1/2 Marathon
Doing Work!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Las Vegas 1/2 Marathon

Jen and I travelled out to Vegas to celebrate our 10 year anniversary and to run the 1/2 Marathon also. I had never done a Rock and Roll event so I was quite curious what it would be like. I was intrigued by the idea of a night race on the Vegas strip. Also, it was a requirement of my Marathon Bar sponsorship and with the stress fracture, this was the latest one that I could do and fit it in my schedule. Because the race was starting at 5:30pm, it was the equivalent of 8:30 in Michigan. We tried to lay low on race day by eating a big breakfast, watching some football, and taking a nap.

I left the hotel to go meet my Marathon Bar teammates to take a few pre-race pictures. I said goodbye to Jen and headed 2 miles down the Strip to Mandalay Bay. I was able to meet about 10 teammates and discuss where everyone was from and what our goals were for the race. I headed to gear check and dropped my bag off at 4:30. One more stop at the bathroom and out the door I went. I jogged about a mile to start to get loose. Then, I ran into Joe Laframboise and Joe Lasceski from back home and we talked in the corral. With about 15 minutes to go, I had to pee again and the porta johns were not an option. I figured it would go away once the race started. Shows what I know!

After the National Anthem, they counted us down and the race was underway. Much to my surprise, corral 1 consisted of all types of "athletes". Needless to say, I was pissed when the gun went off and I was having to weave around walkers and people who were supposed to be 15 or 20 corrals back. That was my first beef with Competitor on race day. They had no one organizing the corrals so the corral on your bib really didn't matter. As I hit the first mile, I checked and was at 5:43. A little too fast for the 1:20 I had hoped to run. I went through the 5K at 18:17 and my legs were feeling great but the pee issue, had not gone away. I even tried to pee my shorts at mile 2 but couldn't seem to make it happen.

I was shoulder to shoulder with folks through the 10K where I hit a 36:47. I was feeling pretty good still but the temps had dropped and knew on the way back, we would be headed into the wind. I decided this was the spot I was going to grab a drink to last me through the race. As I grabbed a cup of water and was about to raise it, I noticed volunteers pulling water from a trash can. I immediately dropped the cup and was pissed again. Apparently, they filled the cans with water from the fire hydrants, something that Competitor did not have approval to do. I tucked in with one other guy and we ran stride for stride until mile 9. At that point, we got chicked and he decided to go with her. I knew she was going faster than I could with 4 to go so I held back. At mile 10, she apparently was going too fast for him as well as I went by him and tried to get him to hang with me before I pulled away.

I hit mile 10 in 1:00:17. At this point, I allowed the thought of a sub 1:20 to creep in. I remembered Jen telling me that once we were at our hotel, The Flamingo, we had 2 miles to go so I figured that would be where I would start to push. The problem was, my tank was on E! I felt like I had cement shoes on the rest of the way. My legs, which had felt great up until this point, became very heavy. I was stalking a pack of 6 and they weren't getting away from me which I felt was odd. I couldn't believe as much as I had slowed, they had too. At mile 12, I heard my coach yell at me from the median to get up and run with that group. I believe he also said something about using my arms, which he confirmed post race, but I was so focused on reeling in the group in front of me I didn't hear the second part of the instruction. I got to the group and went by them. To my surprise, no one fought back. As poorly as I had run the last 5K, I only got passed by 1 person that I remember.

I crossed the finish line and the clock read 1:20:07. I was disappointed that I let the opportunity to break 1:20:00 slip through my hands but knew that my goal was 1:20 and I had accomplished that. My watch read 1:20:00. Spot on and pretty good considering I was 6 weeks back from a stress fracture in my tibia. As soon as I stopped, my calves cramped and I immediately looked for a couple bananas and some bottled water. I headed inside to grab my checked bag and get some warm clothes on. The temp had dropped from 45 to 38 and with the wind chill, we were below freezing. Winds were up to 12-16mph.  I walked into gear check with a kid who discussed his race with me. He went through the 5K at 16:47 and the 10K at 34:40. He said he ran a 33 something the week prior so he was expecting a 1:15 but he blew up.

Post race, I met back up with Joe Laframboise and I waited for my wife and he waited for his girlfriend to finish. I headed to family meeting letter X to meet Jen and she got there about 5 minutes later. I asked how it went and she ran a 2:13:xx. I helped to get her warm stuff on and she immediately started complaining of feeling sick. It was only later we learned of all of the other folks being ill as well.

We headed back to the hotel and hooked up with Coach (Gary Brimmer) for some dinner. He got Jen to take a Dr. Pepper for her stomach and she started to feel better. We had a great time talking with Gary about family and training schedules. After a couple beers, Gary headed to his hotel and we headed up for the night.

All in all, I had a great time with my wife. As for the race, my result was about what I expected pre-race. Competitor Group and the Rock and Roll Series left a lot to be desired. For the $130 per entry we paid, the race left a lot to be desired and I don't have a desire to run another one of their events any time soon.

Time to focus on running a PR in the half in 2012!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

What's Next?

There are lots of things that this title could mean to me at this point. After the Coach Cole Memorial Race, I ran a duathlon in Sanford where I ran a PR by 2:30, and still got beat! After that race, I knew something was definitely wrong with my leg so I finally caved and went to have an x-ray. That led to an MRI where it was determined I had a tibia stress fracture. Number 4 in the right leg. I ended up completely shutting the running down for 4 weeks. This also meant that I would no longer be pacing the 3:10 group in Chicago for Nike.

I made the call to Paul, my contact at Nike to let him know about my stress fracture and we both agreed there was not enough time for me to be ready for Chicago. I also told him that I was going to start running fairly soon and he offered me the opportunity to run with a Charity Team. I agreed but didn't know exactly what this would entail. Come to find out, I would be a part of a Charity relay with 13 people, each with an amazing story and raising funds for great causes, 2 ladies running as pacers for the full marathon for our team, 2 other escorts in addition to myself and then 3 US Women's Soccer players, Hope Solo, Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan. My job as an escort, go anywhere Hope went for the day. What a rough job! I had a great time with the entire team and the event was a lot of fun but, honestly, I really wished I was running with the 3:10 pace group, a job that fell squarely on the shoulders of my buddy, Kris James, who I travelled to Chicago with. He was spot on and was within 1 minute, on the good side of getting his team to their 3:10 goal. It was great to see him finish! I also got to see Lanni and Adam before the race started, shook Ryan Hall's hand pre-race, see Jackie run her Olympic Trials qualifier, Scott run his new PR and celebrate as soon as he finished, and see Rich clip another marathon in the 2:40's. It was awesome!

2 days prior to leaving for Chicago, I started in a new shoe that was part of a trial. BIG MISTAKE. I ran 6 miles each of the 2 days prior. I then ran another 6 on the Tuesday when I returned. Each time, my right heel/achilles hurt worse than the time prior. Needless to say, the shoes went back and I opted out of the trial. I have been dealing with the pain even since.

Last weekend, I went out to run Sunday Service with James and Jeff. Things were clipping along just fine until James started to press the pace at about 9 miles. He put 30 seconds on Jeff and I pretty easy. At 11 miles, I told Jeff I was going to try and run him down. I dropped a 6:38 but gained no time and my heel was killing. I backed off the pace, watched Jeff go by and I dragged my carcas in. 3 days off to follow.

This week was started on Thursday when I felt pretty good. We hopped on the treadmill and I was able to stay on my midfoot for the 5 miles. Felt really good during but was pretty sore after. Friday, a 6 miler at about 7:17 pace, nice and easy. I took Saturday off in preparation for our Sunday Service. James and I started out with the expectation to roll 14 comfortable miles. We went through the first mile at 6:31, looked at each other and laughed. We talked about backing it down because surely, I can't handle this pace. Last weekend, I couldn't run a single mile that fast. Mile 2, 6:36. Guess we are going to just see how it goes. We went through 7 at 45:36 and I was feeling pretty good. So was James. Mile 8 and I felt like we were bleeding time. My quads were tightening and I was pretty sure the blow up was about to begin. 6:23! We actually got faster. We went through mile 9 and James reminded me that was where he pulled away, in a way meant to motivate me. By mile 10, the quads felt great and I was ready to roll. We ended up going through 13.1 under 1:25 and averaged 6:29 pace. James and I both walked away with a lot of confidence.

I am hoping that I am starting to turn the corner. The stress fracture gave me no pain and the heel/achilles was very minor. We will see what tomorrow brings. I still have 2 races to run for Marathon Bar this year. One will be Rock n' Roll Vegas so I will probably hit a local race in mid-November to get back into the swing of things. Here is to hoping the injuries are behind me.

Run Happy!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Coach Bob Cole Memorial

Well, it has been a while and basically because my running has been hit or miss. I have been dealing with minor tendinitis in my left foot/Achilles and a sore right shin. I took another 9 days off running but it forced me to start riding my new Felt bike, which I love now!

After my camping trip over the week of the 4th, my Achilles started to feel better so I started to run a little again. I ran between 4 and 6 miles all week long with no Achilles pain by the end of the week. The shin was still sore but tolerable. I decided I would give the Coach Bob Cole Memorial a try. I truly had no clue what to expect based on all the time off I had recently. I was joking with Coach's son that it would be a battle between the 2 of us just to break 18.

Saturday morning I got down to the ball diamonds early to give everyone a hand setting things up before the race. I went for a 2 mile warm up with Kris, Nick and some of Kris' team that he brought from Breckenridge. Just before the race started Ryan Cole shared some great words with all of the participants. I went over and found Coach's wife and gave her a hug before the race. We shared some words and I got a little choked up. Right after that, something clicked. I didn't feel any pain in my shin or Achilles. The horn sounded and we were off. I went through mile 1 in 5:25 and was sitting 6th. I never looked at the watch again the rest of the race. It didn't matter. We were on familiar turf where I had run many miles in high school during mile repeat days from Coach's old house. I moved up throughout the race and as I turned the corner, I saw the race clock. I figured there was an error for sure when I saw 16:30 on the clock. I finished up the best I could (I have NO kick). 16:52!! I was really quite pleased with the time and the 3rd place finish but that was way less important than the reason we were there.

That one was for Coach! I think about him during every run and know he is proud!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

New Sponsor and Healing Foot

I received an opportunity today to join the Marathon Bar team powered by Snickers! How can you say no to that! These things are awesome and good for you too? Very thankful that I was selected as part of the Active Ambassador's program.

This good news came on the same day I was able to run 6 miles nearly pain free. After the Eident Half Marathon in Rhode Island, I came back and took a week completely off to allow for the tendinitis in my left foot, 3rd and 4th metatarsals to heal. I started back last Monday and I am easing back. I only ran 47 miles last week. Today, I decided to push a little bit the last couple miles of my 6 miler and was able to go 6:04 and 5:54 with no pain! I am still planning to take it easy. I have deferred my Half Marathon entry for Bayshore to next year, instead only running the 10K. I have also had to drop out of the Great Lakes Relay. I couldn't be the slug on my team this year dragging those guys down. I will return to the Thundering Pickles next year though.

Run Happy!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Update on the past month

Running has been hit and miss over the last month. I developed what I thought would be a just a minor pain in my left foot just prior to the St. Patrick's Day 8K. I ran the race as the pain was minor and ended up running a PR 27:20, good for 2nd place, though I was never in contention to win the race. I continued to run the week following the race and by the following Thursday, the pain was so bad, I knew I needed some time off. We went on a cruise for spring break and I only went to the gym 2 days, biking 45 minutes each day.

When we got back from break, I was feeling quite a bit better so I decided to go run with the boys during Sunday Service. I made the mistake of going 15 miles. I took the next day off and was able to tally 48 miles for the week, including a 1/2 marathon that I won running a 1:18:36, good for 1st place by 5:30 minutes. I was a little sore but ended up putting in 58 miles the next week, including a 14 miler for Sunday Service. Again, this flared up the foot. I took Monday and Tuesday off and even went for an x-ray. I ran 8 Wednesday with Jeff. The foot hurt so bad Thursday, I took the day off. The results of the x-ray did not show a stress fracture as I suspected but they did encourage me to see my regular doctor and request a MRI. I ran 2.5 miles Friday and then against my better judgement, raced on Saturday. I ran a local 5K in 17:00, good for 3rd place (damn young kids).  For some reason, while racing, I am able to block out the pain but when training or just walking around, the pain is very noticeable.

I have a 1/2 Marathon in Providence this coming Sunday with Kris and then plan to take some time off to let whatever the problem is heal. As much as I would like to run through it, I am going to listen to the opinion of Steve and Sue, 2 runners I have a great deal of respect for. I know they are right! I also plan to contact my Dr to see if he feels an MRI is needed or if we should go the route of rest first. The next race planned is Bayshore at the end of May and that may have to be deferred to 2012 if this pain doesn't go away.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Back from Vacation

It has been a while since my last post so I figured I was due! Over the past couple of weeks, I have had a myriad of slight tweaks. I had a mysterious pain show up about 3 weeks ago in my right foot. As quickly as it came, it left 6 days later. About a week later, a similar pain invaded my left foot. This was 3 days prior to Bay City's St. Pat's Day race and my first 8K in almost 20 years. I ran through the pain and competed in the race, running a 27:20 and good enough for a second place finish. I continued to train through the pain up for a few more days and finally the pain had caused me to change the way I was running and flared up my SI joint on my left side. That was all it took. I shut down for 9 days. I only biked for 2 days, 45 minutes each day. The break did nicely coincide with spring break for my kids and a family vacation via Carnival cruising the Western Carribbean.

We flew out on Friday from Detroit to Miami. We got in about 11pm and headed to the hotel. The next morning, my son could barely contain his excitement to get on the cruise ship and I wasn't far behind him. The cruise stopped in Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios. This was the first vacation in my 14 years as a professional that I did not have a work cell phone or computer with me and it was wonderful! We had great weather, great food, beautiful ports and most importantly, my family and I were having a great time! It was hard knowing that this would probably be the last time we would travel as a family of 4 with my daughter graduating this year.

We returned home last night at 8pm. We had a great trip and began the fun of unpacking. I couldn't wait to log in and see how bad my e-mail was from one week (407 messages, are you kidding me?). I was also excited as I knew it was going to be time for Sunday Service in the morning.

I met up with Badge, James, and Nick shortly before 9am and we headed out. They asked how far I was going to go and it totally depended on my foot. I figured 8 miles would be good. We got to the 4 mile mark and I felt good so I continued. At 5, Badge asked if I was going 15 with him. I sort of laughed and thought there was no way I was going to be able to do that. As we continued, I felt ok so I continued with them. I ended up going 15 in 1:43:35 and the best part was I felt ok at the end. I definitely could tell I hadn't run in 9 days but my lungs seemed fine, legs a bit heavy.

Next up, a 1/2 Marathon next weekend that will be treated as a long run rather than a race!

Friday, March 11, 2011

No Doubles this week!

After racing a 10K last Satuday and then running 16 more on Sunday on snow and ice, I woke up very sore on Monday. My quads were torched like I ran a down hill marathon. This was supposed to be the 4th week of a 6 week test of doubling 3 days a week. After a conversation with Coach on Monday, we decided to cut back. By the time Thursday rolled around, I felt like I had some good pop back in my legs. I cruised through the first 3 miles of an 8 miler at 6:22 pace and felt great. I decided to start running a cut down and ended up finishing the next 5 in 28:39. Today, cruised another 8 miles. Looking at the weather, we should have some decent footing Saturday and Sunday so I'm looking forward to a couple longer runs.

Next weekend, St. Pat's 8K. The last time I ran one of those, I was a senior in high school and ran a 28:47. I don't think a PR from '92 counts any longer so here is to setting a new PR next weekend. Best of luck to all my friends running Corktown and the upcoming St. Pats races. Also, Kris out in Maryland. DO WORK!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Recovery Sock Sponsorship

Today I returned home to some great news. Recovery Sock, a product I have used and loved for the past year, offered me a sponsorship opportunity! Needless to say, I am thrilled! I was told by them, "Anyone that races as much as you do and is as fast as you do certainly deserves sponsorship! We at The Recovery Sock would be happy to sponsor you!"

With this sponsorship, I am able to provide a code to be used at their website, www.recoverysock.com, to give friends a 15% discount on all regular and sale items. The code to use which will be active by March 3, 2011 is jl001dw.

If you have never tried a compression sock, this would be a great opportunity to do so at a discounted price. These socks have definitely improved my recovery time by reducing the amount of lactic acid in my legs. Please let me know if you have any questions about the product. Thank you Recovery Sock Team!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Meridian High alum runner dedicates season to missing coach

EDENVILLE TWP. — For the last six years, Jason LaFave is a runner that has pounded out thousands of miles on the roads and competed in road races and marathons across the country.

But last week, he said he lost motivation.

"Running didn't have a purpose," said LaFave, 36, of Sanford. "I could have cared less."

LaFave, a past runner of Bob Cole, the Meridian High School cross country and track coach that disappeared last week while searching for his daughter's dog, said he broke down after hearing the news last Wednesday.

A search for Cole is now in its eighth day. Search crews have covered more than three miles of the Tittabawassee River in Midland County's Edenville Township, using divers, air boats, helicopters and sonar technology. A ground search has given police officials evidence that Cole's body is in the river.

For LaFave, who is sponsored by Brooks, Hammer Nutrition and Runners Performance of Bay City and Saginaw, hanging up his running shoes became an option. In his personal running blog, he wrote that he was filled with mixed emotions.

"This situation just seems so unfair," LaFave wrote. "I had actually thought about hanging up the shoes, even as important as it has been to me."

But it was during a 10-mile run this past weekend that he felt his coach's presence.

"It was exactly what I needed," said LaFave. "Coach wouldn't want me to quit."

Now he's dedicating this year's running season to Cole. He wrote in his blog that he has never dropped out of a race in his career.

"...and the 2011 season is a race," LaFave wrote. "I had a great year running last year and that will be nothing compared to what I plan to do this year. Here is to you Coach Bob."

Going into high school, LaFave had his heart set on playing basketball. But Cole saw more potential in him.

"Maybe it was because I was 5'-3", 110-pounds and couldn't shoot," said LaFave.

Cole told him to come out for cross country so he could condition for the basketball season. LaFave said his coach asked guys from all different circles of the high school to join the team. 

And in the beginning, it wasn't pretty.

"I looked for every way possible to get out of running," said LaFave.

But after training a summer with Cole and his teammates, which included weekend workouts typically followed by ice cream provided by Cole, LaFave said his 5K time dropped by more than 3 minutes. As a sophomore, LaFave decided he could have success in running and it was Cole's motivation that made him feel that way.

In his senior year, LaFave helped lead his team to its first appearance at the Michigan state cross country championship.

It was his junior year, however, that LaFave remembers most vividly. After failing to qualify for the state championship race, Cole asked LaFave and his athletes to compete in a half marathon in Williamston the next weekend. Little did LaFave know that a half marathon meant 13-miles of racing.

"The most I had ever done before that was 8 miles," he said. "It was the worst expeirence of my life, I was sick, I was so ticked.

"It was raining and sleeting, my feet were soaked, my skin was rubbed raw under my armpits and my chest; it was just miserable."

But after the race, Cole ran up to LaFave with a smile on his face.

"He asked me, 'Well, what did you think?'" said LaFave.

And LaFave thought to himself, "I need to do more work."

"I'm not sure if that was a lesson that coach was trying to make to me, that more work needed to be done," said LaFave, "but that's what I walked away with, and that's what I'm going to walk away with forever."

Article from the Bay City Times by Andrew Dodson on 2/16/2011

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Bob Cole - Meridian Cross Country and Track Coach

I am writing this blog with a heavy heart. Bob Cole was my high school coach I referred to in my first blog. He was my Geography teacher when I was a freshman in high school. Every day Coach would try and talk me into coming out for the cross country team. I was a scrawny 13 year old freshman who ran track in junior high but was never very good and quite honestly didn't like to run cause I didn't like to hurt. Coach made it sound appealing enough to convince me and a couple other guys to join the team and I really didn't even know what I had agreed to but I thought if it involved Bob Cole, it was going to be enjoyable. As they saying goes, you get out of it what you put into it. I didn't put too much in the first year and that was what I got out of it. Didn't matter to Coach though. You couldn't tell I wasn't doing well because every time I ran a PR he was as excited for me as he was for every other athlete we had. Coach had a unique was of pulling a group of "misfits" together. I definitely fit into that category. I improved by about 3 minutes in the 5K between my freshman and sophomore year and started to have fun with the sport. It didn't hurt that we had a great leader who was actually making running fun and a great group of friends. Coach had truly created a team. By the time we were seniors, we felt like we could do big things. Coach led us to a Midland County title and the team qualified for the state finals for the first time in school history. I still remember looking at his face in the Ogemaw High School gym, smile just a beaming for what we had accomplished.

I later had the opportunity to coach with him for 2 years and I learned a lot from him. We were fortunate enough to have some great athletes and actually even had a state champion mile relay team. He and I were a great team because he was always open to what I had to say and those that know me, know I often have a lot to say. This past year, I was asked to write a letter of recommendation for Coach to support his Midland County Hall of Fame nomination. Coach was inducted into the Hall with the Class of 2010. An honor he definitely deserved. The outpouring of support from this unfortunate incident shows just what kind of man he was and how many lives he has touched.

Over the past few days, I have had a lot of mixed emotions. I really have not been motivated to go out and run. This situation just seems so unfair! I had actually thought about hanging up the shoes, even as important as it has been to me. Today, while I was out for a 10 miler and it hit me. The last thing he would want me to do is quit. I have never DNFed from a race and the 2011 season is a race. I will dedicate this season to Coach. I had a great year running last year and that will be nothing compared to what I plan to do this year. Here is to you Coach Bob!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Long Run

So today was my first long run after the marathon last Saturday. We ran into 5 of our other local crew, Lisa, Heather, Deb, Jason, and Jen. As we were all going different distances, we all got started. Kris, Jeff, James and our newbie Nick decided we were going to go 16. I originally planned on going 12 today but as we got to the 6 mile mark on the trail, it was not as bad as expected so we pushed through the snow. As we came up on the mile and a half mark, a woman walking her dog that snapped at us, started yelling at us that we needed to give her and her dog more room. That didn't sit well with any of us and we started yelling back at her as we were running. The frustration led us to running a 6:42 mile, a lot faster than we wanted at that point. At mile 7, Nick decided to turn and go back. I thought about going with him to keep him honest but decided to stick with the group instead. As we hit 8 and turned around, I was feeling ok but was definitely noticing the snow in my hips and lower back. By the time we got to 14, I was really wishing I had only gone 12. Rather than slow or give it up, Kris, Jeff and I decided to do what had to be done, we picked up the pace. We dropped 2 sub 6:20 miles and were done! I felt better at the end of the 16 than I did at 14. Funny how that worked out and glad the boys dragged me the extra 4 miles today.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Miami Marathon

In the week leading up to Miami, we had some bitter cold temps. I decided to go attempt a 6 mile run on Saturday. Wound up spending most of Sunday and all day Monday sick and in bed. As the week progressed, I steadily felt better. By the time I boarded the plane to Fort Lauderdale on Thursday, all I had left was a slight cough and some chest congestion.

Upon getting in to Fort Lauderdale, Kris picked me up and we went to the apartment to crash for the night. We got up and knocked out a six mile run. We hung out in Fort Lauderdale for the day before heading down to Miami to the hotel for the next 2 nights.

Saturday night after I ate dinner, I headed back to the room to crash early and that is exactly what I did....at 7pm! I woke back up at 10:45, 11:45, 12:45, 1:45, and 2:30. At 2:30, I had enough so I got up and started watching some Sportscenter. I started into my prerace meal, showered and headed down to American Airlines Arena, where the race would start.

We had a slight delay at the start due to the course not being closed on time. Once we got underway, I was getting passed left and right like it was a 100 meter dash. I checked my watch and went through the first mile at 6:08. A little fast so I slowed down, or so I thought. Mile 2 was a 6:00. I forced myself at that point to get back to 6:13-6:15 and I did successfully for the next couple of miles. I was feeling real good and at mile 8 some of the half marathon carnage started to come back to me. Just beyond the 10 mile mark, Kris jumped on the course and ran with me until the 11 mile mark. He gave me some positive words of encouragement, asked how I was feeling and told me he would try to meet up with me again at 20. Just before the 13 mile mark, I had a guy sprint up to me, catch me, look over and say, "Holy shit, you are going that fast and running the full?" Nice to hear at that point in the race. As the split occurred on the course, it became very lonely very quick. I saw 2 guys running about 45 seconds up on me and that was it. I steadily worked to bring 1 of them back, running a 5:55 13th mile and a 5:50 14th mile. This would come back to bite me later in the race. I passed this guy at about the 16 mile mark and was completely solo. I could not see the other person he was with and didn't see anyone real close to me. I just continued to click the miles off. I got to 20 and the clock read 2:03:10. AWESOME! I thought if I could just hold back to back 20 minute 5K's, I had a 1:30 PR! Sounded pretty easy at the time.

Mile 21 Kris hopped back on the course with me. He was saying all the right things but I knew he was just being kind. I was still running 6:17 but my stomach was in knots and had been since mile 3 when I took some Gatorade Endurance, GARBAGE!! Way too much sugar and way too sweet. He stayed with me to 22 and told me we were coming up on my favorite part of the course. In Miami there is a 1 mile out and back stretch from 22 to 24 that looks like you have to climb this huge bridge. Instead you go under it but the first time we ran the course we didn't know that. That was also the same place where I started to walk a great deal 2 years ago when I broke my pelvis. As I cruised under the bridge, I missed the hand off for water. I made the decision that the drink was more important that the few seconds so I spun around, jogged back and grabbed 2 cups. This 2 mile stretch really kicked my butt as the sunny was beating down on and I was now paying for my earlier pacing issue. Kris met up with me again at 24 and was encouraging. He asked how I felt and my answer didn't surprise him. My stride had shortened and my pace had slowed. I told him we were going to be hitting 7 minute miles from here on in. He told me not to quit and the thought never entered my head. The fact that my PR was probably safe for the day crossed my mind. As we hit mile 25, I was told the lead woman was about to pass on my left. DAMN! I thought she was way ahead of me. She went by me and then one more guy at the 25.5 mile mark. I had no fight for either of them. As I made my way to the finish, I had mixed emotions. I had given up the PR that was well within my grasp but I was still running as opposed to 2 years prior when I could barely walk into the finish line. I took a look over my shoulder, saw there was no one else close as I neared the finish and got down to Roll for Awareness for ALS. I did this for all of the Blazeman Warriors out there!

While I didn't run a PR this time, I learned a lot again about marathoning. One of these days, I will figure the whole thing out! Thanks to Kris for supporting me on the course. I know the last couple miles were painful for both of us!

Monday, January 24, 2011


So here we are less than a week from Miami and I get sick!! I believe it was because I tried to go run 6 miles on Saturday in -10 degree weather!! I spent most of the day Sunday in bed and took today off from work because I feel like garbage. The good news is that I have almost a week still before the race. I realize that all of the hard work is done and at this point, I just need to rest and get back to 100%. My mileage total will be lower than I had hoped this week due to the off day today but I remember that I had a couple days off before Chicago and then went out and ran a PR. I am not predicting a PR for Miami but I know it will be better than the 3:02 I ran there 2 years ago when I suffered my pelvis fracture!

Less than 1 week, CAN'T WAIT!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Taper Time

I am 2 weeks from the Miami Marathon and entering the time that I absolutely hate from a training standpoint. I ran a 1/2 marathon yesterday for my long run this week at 6:29 pace on a windy and snow covered course. Today I did a 12 miler today with the boys for our Sunday Service. Now, I only have one more 12 miler before Miami. What I struggle with is feeling like I am losing something by not continuing to run the 70 miles/week. I still keep the intensity up but the lack of long runs and shortening some of my normal 8's and 12's makes me start to question race day. I am open to suggestions on what others do to know they are ready when race day rolls around and what you do to still remain sharp in the last couple weeks leading up to the marathon. Even when I ran a PR in Chicago, I was questioning if I backed off too much. Any input would be appreciated!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Hammer Nutrition!!

I got some wonderful news tonight. I have been selected to be a Tier 1 Hammer Nutrition athlete for 2011. A little over a year ago, I didn't even know what Hammer was. I saw it at a duathlon that I did and tried it there but never really paid much attention to it. Then, while having a conversation with Gary, my coach, he suggested that I try the Hammer gels rather than the GU. I had always had a problem eating while going on my long runs and during marathons. He said the natural ingredients might be easier for me to digest and he was right. I can now eat 2-3 during a marathon and I have no problems! I prefer the Montana Huckleberry and Rasberry gels. I have also tried the Heed, Recoverite and Fizz products along with the Tissue Rejuvenator. I look forward to trying more of their products in the future and would encourage others to take a look at this product that may be a little bit of a secret in the running world still! Here is the link to their site: http://www.hammernutrition.com/.

26 days until Miami!!