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May 31, 2011

More about the marathon...thank you's

Rest day first run will be Thursday this week.  An easy 2 miler.  I'm still following Hal Higdon's plan for four weeks after the marathon.  After that I'm lost but I'm sure I'll figure it out soon!


I first want to start off by thanking all the people that helped support me during my training and races:

My wife and kids - for supporting me through all my training, long runs, time away from family, running on vacations, talking about running, races and living and breathing running and really the only one that will continue to hear about it now and into the future.

My running buddy T. - for being there for the long runs and at races.  It's always nice to have someone at races that you know and keep you motivated.  I can't wait to get back into the long runs again with you (but only up to 16 miles for the rest of this year!) Haha!

My friend P. - She has always been very supportive of my running and even has gotten into it herself.

My brother in law - for helping me get into running even though he cannot run himself anymore.  He's now into biking which is perhaps my next pursuit. Du?

My parents - for helping babysit during the race, following races and coming to races.

Bloggers - of course, all the supportive running bloggers that are on here.  It is amazing what a wonderful support system it is for people who don't even know me personally.  I feel like I know some of you so well even though I have not met most of you!

Fellow marathoners - for helping push me to the limit.


Here's a couple pictures of the race shirt we got at the Bayshore Marathon.  I'll post a full set of pictures once the professional pictures are posted.  I also have many from my running buddy T. too:

Great blue color

only 2 sponsors!
I thought the shirt design was really nice and minimalistic.  Also, only two sponsors on the back of the shirt.  Finally, a race shirt that I don't feel like a walking billboard!  One is Brooks and the shirt is a brooks so almost really only one sponsor and it's a local running store!

We also got a great pair of running socks!  Again, finally something that I can USE after a race!  Sorry for the sock drawer pictures but you can see how nice these socks are and everyone will know I ran this marathon!  Haha!

Back of the sock!  Sweet!

Race logo on the front
The other thing I forgot to share is that my running buddy T. got me a new sticker for my car!  I had planned to get one so it was a really nice surprise!  I have the 13.1 magnet(which is still my favorite race) but I moved it to my wife's car.  Of course, I had to have this 26.2 on my car for bragging rights!  As you can see, I still don't have my license plates in yet.

Love to brag about it!

The other thing I did yesterday was finally put together a display for my running medals.  Now I know that I don't have that many like some of you but I continue to build my collection.  It's really great to have something to keep forever to remember about the race.  What do you think?
Displayed in my home office
A little closer!
Only $10 bucks to make this!!!  Not bad eh?  I know some of you have some great displays of your medals but I thought this would do for now.  Figures it would take me running a marathon to get around to putting this together.

Do you display your medals somewhere?

Have a great day and.....Keep Running!!!!!

May 30, 2011

Bayshore Marathon Race Report...

 Race report - Bayshore Marathon 5/28/11 7am start

Short version:

Stats:  4:12:17 finish time
1/2 split:  1:53:38(8:40 per mile pace)
Second half split:  2:18:39(10:34 per mile pace)
Pace:  overall 9:38 per mile
Place:  800 out of 1,462 finishers
Ranked:  589 at the 1/2 mark
Ranked:  884 at the second half(that means a lot of people passed me!)

Long version:

Wow....what a race weekend it was.  We started off on Friday by driving up to the cottage.  I had a half day off work so we could get up there a little early and beat traffic.  That was a good decision!  We had a nice dinner at home.  I didn't want to eat out that night just in case I ate something that did not agree with me.  It was six of us that went up including my Brother-in-law, Sister-in-law to come and cheer us(my running buddy and I) on along with his wife and my wife.
our awesome dinner the night before
I did not end up getting into bed until 10pm and we had an early morning getting up at 4am!  I think I probably slept 4 hours total since I was tossing and turning all night.

We got up at 4am and I did my usual routine of foam rolling and eating a half banana and a granola bar to get me started along with some water.  My running buddy made some oatmeal for himself and took it along when we left but he forgot to eat it so he had no breakfast before the race!!!  Holy cow!!

We left about 5am from the house and it's a little over an hour drive to Traverse City.  We got there a little after 6am and traffic was starting to build up.  My running buddy picked up our packets the day before so he knew the best place to park.  It worked out great because we were really close to the race start and also did not have much traffic where we parked.  This was one of the great things about running in a smaller marathon.  On the way over, it really started to rain hard but stopped when we got to the race.  Unfortunately, a few minutes before the race it started raining again.  It was not a hard rain but a misting rain.  I tried to stay under a tree until the race started.   Because the race was a small one, only 2200 marathon runners max, I was able to jump into the race start at the last second and off we went!

It was almost a "ready, set, go" kind of start instead of a gun and big hoopla.  We started right next to the high school track and wound around the streets in the college campus there.  There were a few turns to start us out which was good to keep our pace a little slower starting.  I saw Ken from TNT Coach Ken and while I did not have time to talk to him much, I assume he was there supporting all his runners with the TNT.  You could not miss him with his red and white polka dot hat and since he is tall, he stands out.  He was doing a bang up job pumping up everyone!!  He asked me how I was doing and I said good and that I would let him know in about 4 hours!  He said I'd be drinking a beer by then!  Haha!  Ah, my goal of four hours.  I'll get back to that one.

So there we were, starting the longest race I have ever the rain.  All was not lost because at least the weather was in the 50's and it was not really windy either so it could have been much worse.  I chose to wear short sleeves, shorts, arm sleeves and light gloves.  It's a good thing I wore the arm sleeves because with the rain, it helped keep me a bit warmer.

The view was really nice.  There was a water view almost the entire run up and back from the peninsula.  There were also some really nice homes to look at as well so the view helped keep my mind off running.  As far as the crowd support, it was good in pockets.  There were several spots, especially the water stops, where people were cheering.  One spot in particular was really crowded(several hundred people) I think around the 14-15 mile mark.  I love when there is a crowd that can help keep me going.  I pumped my arms up and the crowd went wild!  The first half of the race went really well.  I ran it in 1:53:38 which ranked me 589 through the half.  Unfortunately, that was too fast as you see from my final time.  I should have dialed it back just a notch.  I think that 10-15 seconds per mile slower would have been better for me in the long run.

The course was an overall flat course with some rolling hills thrown into it.  The only real hill was at the end of the split and even that was not that bad.  One thing I did not like was the way many of the road were slanted to one side.  In my opinion, it made it much harder to run instead of being on a flat surface.

On the way back was the same great views since the course was an out and back course.  I was really doing great but the rolling hills started to feel much tougher than they did when we ran the first half and really this was a flat course.  It's funny how that happened!  The plan was to have my support crew(wife, brother in law, sister in law and running buddy's wife) meet us around the 19 mile marker.  I got to mile 19 and nothing!  This really put my mind into a stir thinking, jeez, no support at all, they missed me.  I was thinking that about three quarters of a mile when I turned the corner and there they were!  That made all the difference in the world.  I needed that pick me up after running almost 20 miles!
Part of my cheering crowd!
My wife, running buddy wife,sister in law
Photographer, brother in law
A little blurry but me at mile 19 smiling and waiving
My running buddy at mile 19 looking strong and throwing
his jacket to his wife.
My wife said they almost missed the shuttle bus to get there but they were able to get there and only waited about 10 minutes for me to run by.  My running buddy was also about 3 minutes behind me at that time.  Before that my running buddy and I ran probably at least 16 miles together when I got my second wind and picked it up a little so we got separated for a bit.  I'm really glad that they did not miss us so we got some support when we were starting a really difficult part of the race.

One thing I would have liked was a little more crowd support after the 20 mile mark.  It was fairly scarce the last six miles except for the last half mile of the race.  I can say this, the supporters that were out there were troopers.  Since it was raining much of the time, it must have been miserable to be out there.  Probably the worst cheer I heard was "you're almost there".  As many of you know, when you are at mile 16, you are NOT almost there so tell your support crew not to say that to marathoners looking at 10 miles more to go.  Haha!

So as I continued to run, I was starting to slip on my times each mile beginning with mile 17 where I ran a 9:01 mile but I was able to keep it under 10 minute miles through mile 22.  I figured if I could at least keep a 10 minute pace, I would meet my four hour goal.  Unfortunately, when I got to mile 23 I ran out of gas and started walking.  That got me at 13:09 mile for mile 23.  I knew after that point, I was not going to make four hours.  At that point, I was just telling myself to keep going.  I walked some and ran some and walk some and ran some.  I kept going.  I even got back to a quicker mile of 12:51 at mile 25 but really struggled at mile 24 and 26.  In the last half mile, my calves started cramping up and I could not run.  Then.....I saw Ken again!!!!!  My leg was really cramping and Ken said WOW, I can see it moving!! Haha!  I said, yeah, I can feel it!! Haha!  He pushed me and helped me get going again and I was able to pull out running to the finish line.  I also saw my support crew again just after Ken and my wife got a picture of this too!
I was completely out of it at this point at about 26.1 miles!
My running buddy at 26.1 miles!
The announcer announced my name which was a nice finish and said, you are a marathon finisher!  We finished on the high school track.  Garmin time - 4:12:55(forgot to turn off my garmin)  Official time:  4:12:17; placed 800 out of 1462 finishers
Really flat and slowing pace at end!  Oops.
The last four miles of the race were the hardest thing I ever did physically.  It was incredibly hard to finish but I just kept my mind to it and kept going.  It did not help that I saw a kid being taken into an ambulance at about 22 miles(hopefully he was ok).  Also, right at the end, just as I was entering the track, I heard a supporter say "that guy looks bad".  I wished I had the energy to say something but I kept on going!  My brother in law did say afterwords that I looked beyond tired!  From mile 23 on, I kept thinking of my #1 goal - finish, just finish and then my #2 goal, finish in 4:30:00.  So that is it, I was able to meet two of my goals but not the four hours.  Given the rainy conditions and that it's only my first marathon, I'll take that automatic PR and be very happy with it!!  Here are my splits:

Great until mile 23!
My running buddy finished about six minutes behind me so we practically ran the entire race together.  I'm really glad that I was able to train and run with him as it helped keep me motivated throughout the process.
As you can see from my brother in law, it's still raining after the race!
After the race, they had all kinds of food....cookies, chips, pretzels, ice cream, bananas, oranges.  They also had a place to get a massage but the line was too long to wait for it.  My running buddy and I brought a change of clothes so we took a shower after at the Phys. Ed building and went to lunch with everyone.  It was nice having that shower available after the race.  My wife asked me if I would do another one and, at that time, I said I could not make that decision so soon after finishing.
Marathon completed, check!
Moomers ice cream!
My wife and I!
My running buddy and his wife!
The pub we went to for lunch was crowded with all the racers and so many people were wearing their medals, including me and my running buddy!  I ate like I've never eaten before.  I also drank more water that day than I have ever drank before.  My body just soaked up the water and continued to ask for more.  We also stopped at the local running shop, Running Fit and I bought myself a hat.
Waiting for food in Downtown Traverse City!
Having a beer that evening!
Gotta show off a little!
Finishers Medal
Overall I thought it was a really great, well organized race.  While I would recommend it and would do it again, my thought is that I want to train for my next marathon during summer so the next one will likely be a fall marathon.  Yes, that's right folks, I've decided I WILL do another one next year.  I've got to get under that 4 hour mark!  God help me!

More pictures to follow once I get them from my running buddy and the race photographers.

Have a great day and.....Keep Running!!!!

May 29, 2011


4:12:17 ; will post a full race report soon!

Have a great day and.....Keep Running!!!!!

May 27, 2011

Lots of sleep

Hi everyone - rest day today.  I got 8.5 hours of sleep last night and I'm really glad I did because I know it will be difficult to sleep well tonight.  I feel well rested and ready to run.  See you at the finish line!

Have a great day (and a great weekend) and.....Keep Running!!!!!

May 26, 2011

2 days...

2 days!!!!

Rest, rest and more and tomorrow!

I'll post sometime Sunday or Monday.  Have a great Holiday weekend everyone!

Have a great day and.....Keep Running!!!!!

May 25, 2011


3 miles this morning; done!!! Zero training miles left.  The next couple days are rest days.  Higdon's schedule shows 2 miles on Friday but I'm planning on skipping that since it's just a shake out for your legs.....26.2 Saturday!

I'm also going to have to change the top of my Blog.

My life as a runner and a journey to becoming "???????????"



a multi marathoner?

Ultra marathoner?

Half Ironman?


A faster runner?

What do you think?  I'll decide after I run this one and see how I feel.  Haha!


I ordered a new license plate for my car.  What do you think?

I think it's pretty cool.  Or really geeky?  Either way, I like it!

It' won't be here for 30 days but I can't wait to see the real thing on my car.

I'll get back to WTF Wednesday next week.

Have a great day and......Keep Running!!!!!!

May 24, 2011

4 days...

I had 3 on the schedule today but I did 4 miles.  I'll move my 3 miler to tomorrow and that's it.  That's all she wrote.  No more running except for a little race on Saturday!


Back to my weather obsession.  Here's what were looking like for this Saturday's weather.  Not to jinx myself, but I've run in 13 races with only one sprinkle and that was only for two miles and it was hot so I enjoyed it:


Local news forecast

Weather underground

Yikes!!!  I'm praying for Accuweather to be accurate!

We still have a few more days so hopefully it will continue to improve!

Have a great day and.....Keep Running!!!!

May 23, 2011


Wow.  Rest day yesterday.  Cross training today.  I'm bored.  I need a good run in.  3 miles due for tomorrow and 4 for Wednesday and that's all I"m doing for the week.  It's amazing how much time you have when you're not in the height of marathon training.  I even went to get DQ with the family on Saturday night -- oops, I know I'm supposed to stay away from that but Snicker's Blizzard(Mini) is my favorite!

I'm starting to look at the weather for this Saturday and it's driving me crazy.  Some sites say 65 and sunny for a high, some say showers.  Jeez, I shouldn't look until about Thursday.  I should be fairly confident with how it's going to be two days before.

Here's a couple pictures of the view I'm looking forward to on Saturday.
A view from above
A little closer look

How often do you check the weather the week of a big race?  Too much for me!

Have a great day and.....Keep Running!!!!!!

May 21, 2011

End of the world....

8 miles today for my last long run.  Very nice day today -- sunny, warmer, 60's.  Just a little longer than one loop at Stoney Creek.  It's been awhile since I've been there.  Ran a little too fast today too.  Rest day tomorrow.  Oh, I forgot, there is no tomorrow.


Since it's the end of the world as we know it(big R.E.M. fan), I'll get back with you on future posts.  It's time to enjoy life.  See you in the afterlife!

Have a great day and......Keep Running!!!!!

May 20, 2011


3 miler today.  Wow, it's been 11 weeks since I've had such a short run in my schedule.  I know it's only 3 miles but it's a nice confidence builder to finish feeling like you just woke up.

8 days and 15 miles of training runs to the big event!


Thanks to Kerrie at Mom vs. Marathon for the running sticker you sent me!  Check out her blog!  I'm really going to have to put together all of the running stickers and take pictures to show them off.  I can certainly attest that this sticker is the truth!  My wife said, "Why would you want a sticker about a mom?"  Doh!  Haha!  As you would guess, she's not a runner(and frankly did not read the sticker close enough)


I'm thinking of breaking my cardinal rule and bringing my ipod to the Marathon.  I always train with it and I know it's a small race so I'm a little worried about those last 6-8 miles.  I do truly love running without it in races though because it does keep me focused on the task at hand.  Well, I've got a week to think about it!


Question of the day:  Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts?  Dunkin' for me - I buy it at Costco actually!

Have a great day and.....Keep Running!!!!!

May 19, 2011

Review....GU & Ryder sunglasses

4 miles on the schedule today.  Good run except for the rain.  I didn't think it was raining too hard...until I past a light post.  People sometimes ask me why I run in the rain especially when I have a treadmill.  I'm not usually one to start out in the rain but I did today because I'm trying to built up mentally for a rainy marathon.  I'm hoping I won't have one but if I do, I won't be so depressed since I have run in the rain during training.


Look what I got!!!  Scott over at Outside PR sent me some GU Chomps and GU Brew tablets to review.  He also sent me a pair of Ryder's Sunglasses to test and review!  Sweet!  Wasn't that nice of him?

As soon as I got the package, I popped one of the GU Brew tablets in water.  It only takes about 3-4 minutes for it to dissolve.  I've tried the Peach Tea so far.  Thumbs up on the flavor - tasted great!  My daughter also tried some of it as well and she really liked it too.  I'll be giving these a try after my marathon and after my training(what's left of it) Another great thing about these is that they are only 10 calories each!  That's nice because you are getting some Electrolytes back into your system without all the calories you can sometimes get from drinks.

Now I have not tried the GU Chomps yet but I will try these for my run this weekend and will post about it at that time.  Again, these are only 90 calories for four pieces so very reasonable.  I have really been wanting to try these out.  I have been using gummy bears during my training runs but these really provide a much better nutrition to help keep you going.  I look forward to giving you more information on these this weekend.  If you have tried either of these before, please leave a comment about your thoughts.

GU Brew!

GU Chomps

The Ryder's sunglasses are cool.  I think so anyway.  My daughter said I look like a dork with them but I told her they are for running and biking.  Really, though, these are great for any outdoor sports.  Check out Ryder's website at

Cool Dork!
The above link will take you exactly to the website page of the actually glasses I received which are the Tweaker SL version of their sunglasses.  Grey tint WITH mirror(I love the mirror look), Polycarbonate which are great for outdoor sports like running and cycling.  I think these will really take the beating outside well.  Of course, they are 100% UV protected which really is a must for any sunglasses.  They also have anti-slip nosepads and temple tips so that they stay in place.  Really the only thing that I don't like about them is the color.  I'm not sure I'd pick bright yellow and white but it just so happens that I have a running shirt that matches these exactly so I guess that worked out.  Haha!!!!

Now I have to be honest that I'm not usually one to run with sunglasses but I know that I should so I don't strain my eyes/face and to help protect my eyes from the sun.  These glasses were just the ticket!  They are great for running - they stay on your face and they do not bounce.  For me that is the biggest complaint of wearing glasses when running.

Also great for cycling and really for any other sport you might do outside.  Personally, I only Run and Bike but I could see using these anytime I am outside.  The glasses also come in a nice bag so you won't scratch them either.  And you can't beat the price!!!  So, if you need a pair of sunglasses, check out Ryder's glasses and you won't be disappointed.  They have a huge selection to pick from.

Sweet looking!

Nice and bright, huh?

Question of the day:  Do you run with sunglasses?

Have a great day and.....Keep Running!!!!!