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Dec 31, 2011

2011 year in review

9 miles on the schedule today.  Did 8.5 with a hill workout.  Good last run of the year with my running buddy, T.


Here's quick recap of what I accomplished during 2011.

12 races including:

-- 2 marathons(including my first)
-- 3 half marathons
-- 2 10 mile races
-- 1 11k race(virtual)
-- 2 10k races
-- 1 mud run

I got a PR in every distance this year!  Can't say that will happen in 2012.

I ran a total of 1,563 miles and biked 364 miles.  That's the equivalent of going from my hometown to Flagstaff, Arizona!  Yikes!

Have a great day and see you in the new year.....Keep Running!!!!!

Dec 30, 2011

Zipfizz review....

Cross training on the scheduled today....decided to rest today.


Zipfizz recently contacted me to ask if I wanted to do a review of their energy mix.  While I have to admit, I'm not a huge fan of these types of things, I figured what the heck, I would test it and see what it was like. This is what I received from them:
Wrapped so nice!
A bottle to put it in.
6 flavors to try.
A zip drive with additional information
It came with six of their flavors including a limited edition of their Orange Cream.  It also came with a water bottle to mix the drink together.  Note to self:  Do not shake a bottle when the top is not on properly otherwise it will go everywhere....oops.

I started with the Orange Cream flavor.  I LOVED IT(and frankly was not expecting to) and this was my favorite!  Oh my gosh!  It tastes just like an orange creamsicle that we got from the ice cream man when growing up.  You know, those push pops?  The drink also has a little zip to it, hence, the name Zipfizz.

I also tried all the other flavors and they are great tasting as well - especially pink lemonade.  All with that zip to them.  There is caffeine in these but I really didn't notice after drinking them but I also drink coffee daily and they are not as strong as coffee.  Here's what's in it:
Click to enlarge!
As you can see, it has LOTS of B12 Energy to perk you up along with Caffeine but it also has antioxidants, electrolytes and sweeteners as well.  Bonus:  It's only 10 calories AND no sugar!

Here's some of the key benefits according to Zipfizz:
Click to enlarge!
Interested in getting some?  Learn more about them:

Website:  Click HERE

Facebook:  Click HERE ; like them on Facebook for a $1 off coupon.

Twitter:  Click HERE

You can also get them at Costco - $24.99 for 30 tubes.  Not bad when you compare what the competition costs.

As far as energy drinks go, I think they are one of the best choices out there currently.  My preference is to have something with little calories and no sugar(which is quite difficult to find) so this fits the bill perfectly.

** I received the Zipfizz packet for free in exchange for a review.  All opinions are my own and I was not required to give a positive review.

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

Dec 29, 2011

When pigs fly!

3 miles on the schedule today....done!


So I did exactly what I said I was not going to do....I just registered!  Two marathons next year.

Ok, so technically this will be marathon #3(May 6) since I already registered for marathon #4(Oct 21).  This one looks like one fun weekend.  Which one am I running?
From Flying Pig Marathon website
I can't wait to run this.  It's going to be a great weekend.  The race is notorious for rainy weather but my luck is going to change that and we are going to have a perfect race weekend!

I'll be starting to train for it January 2.  What a great way to kick off the year!  The only thing I'm worried about is a frickin huge little hill from mile 5 to 8(see below elevation).  Other than that, it looks pretty good!
Great/challenging course
Check out last years medal!
Interested in running it?  I'd love to meet some other bloggers at this so if you will be running it, let me know!
Check the Flying Pig Marathon out at their website:  HERE

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

Dec 28, 2011

Tough run=satisfying

5 miles on the schedule today......

I don't always talk about my daily runs but this was a good one, believe it or not.

So last night, like every night, I go onto Accuweather to check out the morning's weather.  It was predicting in the high 20's with a "feels like" temperature in the mid teens.  The reason it was going to be so cold?  18 mile per hour winds......crap.

So now all I'm thinking until I went to bed was how miserable this run is going to be.  The morning then plays out like this:

4:45am - Alarm goes off.  I can hear the wind howling outside.  The weatherman was correct :(
4:50am - my wife says to me, it's really windy out there
4:55am - wondering if I should run today
4:55am - get up and get ready all the time thinking I should not run
5:05am - my wife comes out when I'm ready to leave to again tell me how windy it is....thanks dear.
5:10am - I'm outside ready to run...which way should I go - this usually determines my distance that morning.  I go right - my short route and plan to only do 3 miles.  It's too damn cold and windy out.
5:20am - This wind is killing me.  I don't even have a marathon planned right now.  What am I thinking?
5:25am - I should have ran on the treadmill today(you know it's bad when I'm thinking this)
5:33am - Ok, I'm almost done.(at 3 miles)  Thank God since it's so windy out.
5:35am - I'm about to turn back into my subdivision....but...I can do more.  Don't be a wimp.
5:51am - I did it.  5 miles.  I made it through it.

So the actual running of the five miles was not hard but getting through this run given the wind was tough mentally. I kept trying to wimp out and not do what was scheduled but I got though it - quite fast, I might add.

I would put this run in one of my top runs this year.  Why, you ask?  Because for those of you that have run a marathon(or even if you have not), this is how you second guess yourself when you are at the end of the marathon(at least I do).  While it was only 5 miles, I pushed my mind ahead and kept going which makes it a very satisfying run.  I came home feeling like I really accomplished something today - a very satisfying run.

Question of the day:  Have you had a tough run you pulled yourself through?

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

Dec 27, 2011

Marathon(s) in one year?

3 miles on the schedule today....done!

Running in the spring!  Love it!
I remember last year when I was training for my second marathon, I was thinking, "Why am I doing this again in the same year?"  I had felt like I was burned out but I still enjoyed running.  Over the last couple months, I have probably averaged 25 miles a week.  It seems like a good base for me but I'm already thinking I want to do another marathon.  While I'm signed up to do the Grand Rapids Marathon in October, I'm now contemplating what I did not think I would do -- signing up for a marathon in the spring/summer which would mean two marathons again next year.  I remember saying to myself last year, "Remember you were crazy for doing two marathons in a season" so I don't do that again but I can't help it.  I feel like I'm ready to get back out there more again.

Perhaps it was the couple months of reduced mileage that helped?

Perhaps I'm just ready to start training harder for something again?

Perhaps I like doing the marathon training schedule(most days)?

Perhaps I just want to be like Jim at 50 after 40 or Skinny Runner who do many marathons a year and sometimes even back to back marathons in a weekend!

Perhaps I'm just crazy to be thinking this?

Perhaps all these things.  All I know is that I feel like I need to start increasing the mileage and giving myself another challenge during the year.  Who knows, I might be regretting it come October but that's unlikely once it's over.

Question of the day?  Are you up for more than one marathon in a year?

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


Dec 26, 2011

Marathon #3 - registered!

Cross training on the schedule; decided to run today 5 miles instead since I have the day off and could run in the daylight.


I gave myself a Christmas present yesterday.
their logo-sweet!

Registration in the 2012 Grand Rapids Marathon.  It's a smaller race(3,000 in the marathon and 2,500 in the half marathon) located on the West side of Michigan.  The race director has the world record for finishing 7 marathons on all seven continents -- 25 days, 18 hours, 10 minutes.  He's also run 229 races of at least the marathon distance!  Incredible.  You can read about it HERE.  I can't wait to meet him.

This looks like an awesome marathon.  Small enough to PR(hopefully), large enough to have a little crowd support(which I don't really need).  This one starts and ends in downtown Grand Rapids.  It will be the first marathon I have done that I need to sleep in a hotel the night before the race.  The course also looks incredible:

300 days and counting!!!

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

Dec 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!!!

8 miles on the schedule today.  I ended up doing 10 miles.  Was feeling pretty good so I figured what's a couple more going to hurt.  It was my early Christmas present to myself.  It was also the first snow on the ground at Stony - it looks so beautiful that time of year with fresh snow.  I also got to see 9 turkeys cross right in front of me.  I wish I had brought my camera.


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

Dec 23, 2011

Favorite winter run...

3 miles on the schedule today....done!  Feels like temperature of 17 degrees.  They say you feel like a bad ass running in tough weather.  I say I just don't know better.  Yes, I do have a treadmill.  No, I will not be using it unless I have to.


Freezing - that was the theme for today's run.  While it was only three miles, my feet were frozen even with wool socks on.  I think if I ran 5-6 today, my feet would have warmed up.  Plus I think everyone in the world is off today for Christmas except for me.  There was even less driver's out there today at 5am than usual.

Fortunately, for me, I get off work a couple hours early today which is nice of them to close early for us.  I'm looking forward to the three day weekend.

Is anyone running on Christmas Eve or Christmas?  I plan on being out at Stoney Creek Metropark tomorrow with my running buddy for an eight miler.  Since neither of us have family obligations in the morning, it will work out perfectly.  It will be interesting to see how many people will be there tomorrow.  While we don't have any snow just yet, when we do it's nice to run here since they plow the six mile loop around the lake for runners.  A nice benefit when you are facing a cold run outside.
Love to run here!

Question of the day:  Do you have a favorite Winter running place.

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

Dec 22, 2011

What's it worth? plus Giveaway winner!

5 miles on the schedule today...done!


The winner of the Hyland products is......Penny!!!  Penny from Pink Hat Runner!  Congratulations.  Send me your e-mail and I'll get the folks at Hyland to send you your packet.


As I continue to determine what races to run next year, I always contemplate the cost and whether it's worth it to run the event.  I know most of you race and some do an unbelievable amount of racing but I usually can't justify doing that much(I thought 12 last year was a lot so I could not imaging 50 races)  I know I've talked about this in the past but these are things that go through my mind when considering races:

1)  How far away is it?  Most of the races I have done have been within an hour drive.  You have to ask yourself how far are you willing to drive.  I'm willing to go farther for a marathon than a half marathon.  Save for a half marathon vs. a 5k.
2)  Would I need to stay overnight in that city?  I have not had that issue yet but am considering that right now.  Is it worth spending $100 on hotel plus food plus gas to get to an event.(and I know that is inexpensive)  But....I could run another couple races with those funds?  Also, there's nothing like sleeping in your own bed the night before the marathon. I was able to run Bayshore in Northern Michigan because my cottage is only an hour away - a real bonus.
I be happy to stay here before a marathon
3)  Is the course worth it?  If I think the course is going to be a good one, then I'm willing to drive farther to it.  For example, I'm running the Glass City Half Marathon in Toledo.  That will require me to probably get up a 3am to be ready for the race packet pick up.  I'm willing to do that because the course sounds really nice and it runs through a University and finishes in a stadium.  Fun!

4)  Is there a race that same day closer?  I have that issue right now.  Grand Rapids is about 3 hours away.  Detroit is my hometown(30 minutes away).  I wish they were not the same day but now I have to pick one.  I have run Detroit so Grand Rapids is attractive but it also means staying overnight(see #1 & #2)

5)  What is the cost?  That certainly plays into things.  Detroit is $60 for the FULL!  That is an incredible value for what you get.  Some of the half marathons I'm looking at are more than this.  I was surprised to see the costs of major marathons like Chicago and New York.  Everyone who runs these say it's worth it but it seems a little like being taken advantage.
6)  What's included in with the race?  What do I get for my money?  I'm sure many race directors have thought long about this one.  Medal, race packet goodies, shirt(cotton or tech? - brand?), expo or no expo, finisher certificate?, other giveaways.  I got socks for my first marathon with their name on it - cool.

7)  Have I run it before?  Do I want to run it again?

What are your thoughts?

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

Dec 21, 2011

This, and this, and this...

5 miles on the schedule today....done!
I received an e-mail asking if I would share this link.  It's from Everyday Health and discusses some fun facts about the Marathon.  I enjoyed reading it and I'm sure you will as well.

Click HERE to read it.  It looks like their website has quite a few other articles that many of you might have an interest in as well related to healthy living.
Here's a great site that I got from one of my readers and fellow bloggers(Thanks Paul).  Click HERE to see Paul's blog and to read about marathon review around the World from people that have gone to them -- go to Marathon Guide HERE.
Well, I may not be running a marathon in the spring but I believe this is how my spring is going to shape up for races.  It would get me into the Half Fanatics club(not that I'm trying to get in).

Glass City Half Marathon 4/22
Back to the Beach Half Marathon 5/20
Dexter to Ann Arbor Half Marathon 6/3
Ann Arbor Half Marathon 6/17

That's four half marathons in 2 months!  Good for only the Half Fanatics first level believe it or not.  It is my favorite race distance but after that many in two months, it might not be anymore.  Ha!

It would be nice to see the them spread out a little more.  I really enjoy racing about once a month.

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

Dec 20, 2011

Which to choose?

3 miles on the schedule today.  Done!

Jeez it was really cold out there today.  I hate the wind.  Why is it that when you are running, the wind feels really bad and then you look at the trees and they are barely moving?


So I'm in the process of deciding which marathon to run this fall.  Yes, I'm already thinking about my fall marathon because both marathons have discounted pricing January 1.  The two I'm considering are:

Detroit Marathon(Price unknown currently) - I ran this last year and the price was pretty good on it last year.  It's also nice that it's close to home and I personally think is a really well run race.  It has an awesome medal and my running buddy has not run this full yet.  Also, it's the 35th year this year as well.

Grand Rapids Marathon($85) - I have heard really good things about this marathon but it's a smaller one.  Very little crowd support(although I don't care about this that much)  I'd also have to stay overnight but my running buddy is probably going to do it with me too.  That would help save on costs since we would split the hotel which is only less than $100 a night.  This gas, food and hotel, this one would probably cost me an extra $100-125 which is very reasonable.  This one is about 2.5-3 hours away.  I have not ran this.  Anyone out there run this one?  Where did you stay?  Did you like it?

Personally, I wish they were not on the same day.  It would be nice to run the full in Grand Rapids and run the half in Detroit but unfortunately this can't happen.

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

Dec 19, 2011

The official start

5 miles today...done!


So today officially started another marathon training program.  I'm following Hal Higdon's Intermediate plan again.  While I'm really not training for a marathon(I'm not signed up for any in the spring yet), for some reason running on a plan gives me purpose.  I enjoy not having to think about what I'm going to be running for the week.  Those of you(most) that run on a plan know what I mean.

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

Dec 18, 2011

2011 race year in Medals

Cross Train day today....done!


So I thought I would share my 2011 year of racing in race medal pictures.  I actually ran 12 races this year and believe it or not, I received 11 medals.  I really love getting medals because it's a nice little reminder of the race and each has a different memory for me.  I have ranked the medals on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the best.  So here we go:

1) Detroit Corktown 5k - My only 5k this year and no medal for this race - great race though. - March

2) Rock CF Half Marathon - Grosse Ile, Michigan - March

An inaugural race in 2011
Great race, ok medal(3/10)
 3) Let's Move Festival of Races Half Marathon - Mt. Clemens, Michigan - April
An inaugural race in 2011
Ok race, crap medal(1/10)
 4) Bayshore Marathon - Traverse City, Michigan - May
My first Marathon ever!
Great race, fair medal(6/10)
 5) Solstice Run 10 mile - Northville, Michigan - June
Second time running this
Great race, nice medal(8/10)
 6) Alpenfest 10k - Gaylord, Michigan - July
This was the AG medal - first place for M 40-44(no finisher medal)
Ok race, average medal(5/10)
 7) Warrior Dash - Frankenmuth, Michigan - July
My first mud run ever
Fun race, ok medal(5/10)
 8) Crim 10 mile - Flint, Michigan - August
My second Crim - one of my favorite races
Awesome race, nice medal(8/10)
 9) Capital City Half Marathon - Lansing, Michigan - September
First year running this race
Great race, great medal(9/10)
 10) Detroit Marathon - Detroit, Michigan - October
My second marathon and favorite medal
Fun race, best medal(10/10)
 11) Wicked Halloween 10k - Plymouth, Michigan - October
An inaugural race for 2011
Nice race, great medal(9/10)
 12) National Veterans Day 11k - Virtual Race - November
An inaugural race for 2011
Virtual race, very nice medal(8/10)

So there you have it - my race medals of 2011.

Did you get a finishers medal you liked this year?

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