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Jan 31, 2013

January Recap

3 miles on the schedule today.  Done!  I believe winter is back!  Yikes another very cold(20's) and windy(20-45mph) run today made for a REALLY cold run.  I hate running in wind but I'm happy it was dry outside.  Had to watch the little puddles because they are all frozen over and made for a little trickier run.

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It's really hard to believe that January is over.  Really?  Already?  Anyway, I think I had a pretty decent month considering I'm not even training for a marathon these days.  Here's how the month looked:

Click to enlarge
Miles run:  102 miles!  Wow.  I didn't really even think I'd be close to that.

Races:  1 - Freeze Your Franny 5k.  First race I've ever done in January.

Mile biked:  Zero!  Nope; not into it yet since my hip could not take this AND running.

Strength workouts:  10; the most I think I've done in the last year.  I'm really trying to keep up with this to help keep up my overall fitness.  These have also helped improve my hip strength.

Yoga:  4 sessions.  I just started this in Mid January and I am really enjoying it.  It's not as easy as I thought it would be.  Just still doing this at home but I'd like to try a Yoga studio still and have a couple picked out when I'm ready.  My goal is to do Yoga at least once per week.

How did your month go?

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

Jan 29, 2013

Injinji's new Performance 2.0 line giveaway

4 miles on the schedule today.  I'm getting awfully temped to use the treadmill but I ran 4 miles outside in the pouring rain.  I hate to break the streak since I'm almost at two years of no treadmill.

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So I'm really excited to do my first giveaway of the year and it's for a product I have come to know and love and believe in.  It's for the new Injinji Performance 2.0 line of toe socks.  I've run in most everything Injinji offers except I have not tried the Yoga toesocks.  Given that I'm getting into Yogo, they may be next on my list.  Injinji's are one of my "goto" brands of socks especially for running. I received four pairs of their new socks to test out and I'm already testing them out for a complete review forthcoming.

Check out this cool video that Injinji made:



Their new campaign is these are great socks for any shoe.  I could not agree more.  Not just for road and trail running but for biking and any other sports along with everyday use.  I even wore mine to work all day last week as well.  They are so comfortable and I don't even own a pair of Vibram's Five Fingers.  You can wear them with any shoe.

Here are some facts according to their website:

They come in all difference weights and lengths.  My favorite are currently the light weight, micro length for summer and the mid-weight mini crew length for winter.

So how would you like to try their new line of toe socks?  The winner will have an opportunity to get four pair - YES, you heard that right, four pairs of their new Performance 2.0 line.

Here's the rules:


  1. Go to their new website(HERE) to check them out and tell me what you like about Injinji socks on this post.(1 entry)
  2. For an extra entry, go onto their Facebook page and leave the following message:  "Check out the Injinji giveaway from www.detroitrunner.com OR go onto Twitter and leave the following message:  "Check out the giveaway from @Detroitrunner1 for 4 pairs of @Injinji new toesocks!"  Come back here and let me know you posted on Facebook or Twitter so I know you did it(1 entry)

It's that simple!  Contest will end on Tuesday, February 5th at Noon and a winner will be announced on Wednesday, February 6th.  Good luck!

Oh, and may sure you follow Detroit Runner on the blog, Facebook or Twitter for future opportunities to win stuff!

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




*Note:  I receive four pair of Injinji's Performance 2.0 toesocks in exchange for this giveaway.  All opinions here are my own and I was not required to endorse them.

Jan 27, 2013

Freeze Your Franny 5k Race Review


Short Version:

Finished in 23:48(Official chip time) 7:41 pace; No PR
Overall place: 83/950(top 10% - yeah me!)
Age Group(M40-44): 5/44

A fun race.  A cold race.  Actually the coldest race I've ever run before.  It seemed fitting give this was the coldest week I've ever run in as well.  The race was well organized, friendly volunteers, lots of people, and great finish line food.  A great race to start off the year.  Thanks to Renewal by Andersen of Detroit who sponsored me for this race!  Check them out on Facebook(here) for your chance to win a race entry.

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Registration/Packet Pickup
Since I was sponsored by Renewal by Andersen of Detroit, I did not have to register but you had two choices.  You could register by printing out a form and mailing it in or you could register online.  I noticed that the website and the registration was done by Hughesware Computer Services, a local company that seems to be doing more and more for local races in the area. They did an excellent job on the website and online registration.  It looks similar to some other race sites they have done and they are very user friendly.  I happen to know one of the owners of Hughesware and they have done a great job supporting the running community.

Packet pickup could not have been more convenient.  There was a packet pickup the Thursday before the race at one of the sponsors locations, HealthQuest, located at 22 mile & Hayes which is just around the corner from me so it worked out great.  There were plenty of volunteers there helping and I was in and out in less than two minutes.  They were quite organized.  There was also an option to pick up your packet race morning which was also very easy considering the packet pickup was right next to where you parked.  You could easily pick it up that morning and put everything in your car(shirt, etc)

Start Area
The race started at 11am.  It's a first for me to start a race this late in the morning.  It was really strange to be able to sleep in and then go to the race.  In addition, the race was nice and close so I didn't leave my home until 9:45am.  I will say it was nice not to have to get up at 4:30 or 5am to get across town but I probably would have liked to see a 9am start time.

As soon as you got to the race, which was located in Stony Creek Metropark at Eastwood beach, there was an information booth.  A great idea!  Not that it was hard to find anything but if you had questions, they were right there for you.  This is also where you could find your race results after the race as well as where race volunteers checked in.
Information/race results(warming tent behind)
They also had warming tents.  I had not run this race before so I was really concerned how people would stay warm before the race.  Fortunately they had two very large tents that people could come into to stay relatively warm before the race.  This worked out great.
Warming tents - a savior!
The race also provided port-o-potties in the start area. There was a pretty large line before the race but I believe there were enough there to get everyone to the start on time.
Lines for the bathroom
Right in the start area was also Renewal by Andersen of Detroit's tent and poor Brandon had to sit there freezing for several hours.  It was windy off the lake too.  We were able to get a great picture before the race of the team except for Dawn.
Brandon and the Renewal by Andersen Race team
After our team picture, I was able to meet several local runners. Some who actually follow my blog - I'm flattered and was very happy to meet them.  Sherri and Alexis are going to be training for Bayshore Marathon this year for their first marathon. Awesome ladies!!!  It's a great marathon!
The ladies of Detroit Runner.....I kid!
Sherri, Alexis, ?, Dawn, ?
Sorry ladies - I forgot two of your names
Course
The course was located in Stony Creek Metropark in Eastwood beach.  This is the park where I do all my long runs in the winter and also run many times throughout the year.  It's my stomping grounds and I'm very familiar with the park and the course we raced today.  The course is a simple out and back course that goes out on the road and comes back on the trail. For those of you concerned with snow, you don't need to worry about it since the park does a great job clearing the roads and running path.
A bit slow at first due to the crowd
Map of race per Garmin
The elevation is flat as you can see from the elevation map per my garmin.  There are some slight hills but really nothing to worry about.  Stony is a rolling hills area but most of this race is flat here and a great 5k for any skill level.
Elevation per Garmin
It really is a great area to run.  Of course, I'm biased given it's my training grounds on an annual basis. A couple minutes before the start time and we headed to get in line.  They did the National Anthum and we were off.
On your mark, get set....
The start was extremely slow.  As you can see, it does not look like like I'm that far back from the start. I probably should have moved much closer, though, since I had to do lots of running around people for the first quarter mile.   I probably would have saved myself 30 seconds.  I had anticipated there being many more faster runners(at least faster than me) so I moved back from the start a bit.  The race was not something I planned on racing since its so early in the season so it did not bother me but I suggest moving very close to the front if you are racing and are fast.
Waiting to race!
The crowd started to thin out a bit here once we got onto the parks main road. I love the shirt on the runner on the left.  It says "I don't do winter." Ha!
A little less crowded
Below was THE coldest part of the race.  It was incredibly windy out there today.  I thought my face was going to freeze off.  I was Freezing my Franny!!!!  Seriously, though, it was crazy cold and I should have known since I'm out here on a weekly basis.  The temperature was in the low 20's for the race.
The coldest section of the race - windy!!!
The wind around this bridge can get pretty brutal and this day did not disappoint. As I passed runners, I could hear all the heavy breathing everyone was doing from the cold.  Regardless, I really enjoyed the familiarity of the course.
Road by the bridge
By the time we hit this part of the course, the wind was blowing like crazy and I was happy to be dressed warm for it.  To the far right is the lake but the winds were coming from the left which is unusual for here.  You can see the faster runners are already on the running path on their way back.
Coming up to the turn around
Once you got back onto the trail after the turn around, the winds died back down and it was not so extreme.  Did I mention it was still cold out?  Haha!
On the running path
The bridge seemed to help keep the winds in check because I didn't really feel them any further.  Also, I was starting to warm up too.  It's difficult to tell but there are ice fisherman on the lake way out there.  Also notice that the path is fairly clear with some puddles and slushy parts as well but overall cleaned off good enough to race if you wanted to.
Running next to the lake
This is the last stretch of the path near the boat launch and really where the first hill is. Nothing big at all but it slowed me down just a bit.
Almost there! Slight hill
We finally rounded a corner and headed back into the parking lot where the finish was right where the start area was located in Eastwood beach.  I would also like to note that all pictures taken on the course were taken by me and that I don't stop or slow down on the course.  I run my regular stride so I don't interfere with other runners.  Some pictures come out and some don't.
Finish line - my Running Buddy Kevin in red finishing
Aid Stations
There was one aid station at just over mile two.  A couple really brave volunteers sticking it out for us runners.  Wow - now that is a committed volunteer for sure!  Hats off to them.  They only had the one station since it was just a 5k race.  I realize that most 5k's probably have two stations but can certainly understand things are a little different when you are talking these extreme temperatures.
The aid station - sorry for the blurriness - I was racing after all.
Finish Area
The finish area was also well organized.  The first stop for me was the soup station.  The race had two different kinds of soup available to try and they were delicious!  It's a great idea to have hot soup at the finish with these temperatures.
Soup!
Next I went through the beverage and food line that was also heated with these propane heaters.  The race also offered hot chocolate, hot Starbucks coffee and water.  In addition, they had all kinds of goodies including bananas, chips, granola bars, Rice Krispy treats, pretzels and candy. A great food spread for a 5k race and once again the volunteers were awesome.
Heaters and food line
Amenities
Included with your race packet, you got a bag for your shirt to go in that was given by a sponsor.  You also received a long sleeve tech shirt.  I like the design and its grey which is a color I don't have so it will be a nice addition to my collection.  In addition, the park police closed part of the streets and the race was timed with a B-Tag style bib.  This along with the great finish food.  If you were lucky enough to place first or second in your age group, you could have received a medal too.  One minor thing that I thought was odd was that they did not have a medal for the top three in the age group like most other races.
Bag from sponsor
The race shirt is a unique design.  While I like the design, I'd prefer not to have as much design on the shirt.  What I mean is, if you look at the shirt, the blue part is quite large so you can feel that through the shirt.  I like when the design of the shirt is minimal.  The shirt is also a tech shirt which is great considering the cost of the race was only $20 if you registered early so a really great value for this race. One of the best values I've seen for local races.
Front of shirt
Back of shirt
Another thing I received but was not from the race but from Renewal by Anderson of Detroit, was their company Buff.  See below.
Renewal By Andersen Buff
The Buff is a cool thing that is great for runners.  You can use it as a beanie, a Balaclava, a neck warmer or even to look like a old lady running as I look below.  Haha!  It was one of the best freebies I've received at a race and I know I'll put it to good use this winter.
You can make the Buff a beanie
or act like you're an old lady - haha!
Organization
The race was well organized.  The layout of the start/finish area was great and well thought out for a winter race.  The volunteers were helpful.  The course was well marked with volunteers to help.  There were plenty of signs to get you there if you had not been in the park before.

Overall
Overall this is a race that I would certainly do again.  You could tell the race organization has put this together before and their experience shined throughout the entire race process.  It's also a great price.  It's a bonus that the race is close to home(for me) as well as an opportunity to start your year off with a race in January.  This is the first race I've ever run in January.  Thanks again to Brandon and Renewal by Andersen of Detroit for allowing me to race with your team again and so I could Freeze my Franny!

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

Jan 26, 2013

Freeze your Franny 5k

23:48 official time. Cold race - Duh. Full race review tomorrow.

Jeff
Detroit Runner

Jan 25, 2013

Diet and exercise - no secret here.

9 miles on the schedule today......done. Wow, it's been quite awhile since I've done that much before work.  My mind kept playing with me but I got through it.  Long(er) run today since I have a race tomorrow - Freeze your Franny 5k at Stony Creek thanks to Renewal by Andersen of Detroit.  Looking forward to my rest day on Sunday.  I ran everyday this week.

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It's amazing but exactly two years ago today I started training for my very first marathon, the Bayshore Marathon. I was freaking out and had no idea what I was getting myself into. Four marathons and twelve half marathons later and numerous races in between and I'm still going strong. Ha! Ok, well maybe not strong but I'm still going and I'm still enjoying the training and racing even if its not for a marathon at this time.
Bayshore Marathon 2011
My first marathon
I think back to when I was first starting out exercising. Believe it or not, It was my 40th birthday, June 2009, and I had recently tried to get some new life insurance. I didn't get turned down for it but I was in the highest risk category -- THE HIGHEST RISK. I went to the doctor(who happens to be my brother-in-law) and he gave me two choices. Take pills the rest of my life for high cholesterol or eat better and exercise. Obviously, I chose to eat right and exercise. It was a wake up call for me. I wasn't going to end up like many in the world. Overweight and continuing to get worse and not caring about the future with the poor eating habits I developed. Also, I never exercised until this point --- EVER! It's crazy thinking about it.
June 2009
So my first choice was to eat better.  I took out the unhealthy snacks that I ate after dinner(cookies, ice cream, chips, candy, etc) I replaced them with fruit.  It was hard.  Really hard but after a few weeks, I made it through and lost much of the craving for those things.

Of course, I still get cravings for things but I have pretty good will power and I don't miss them that much. Another trick that worked for me is to not give up everything.  For example, I loved eating Snickers but instead of eating the entire candy bar, I cut it up into five pieces and allowed myself one piece per day.  I even still do this today even though I don't eat it everyday.  It gave me control.  I could still enjoy little things without feeling deprived.  I felt it was important to not go cold turkey since its about a lifestyle chance and not a diet.  You can't give up everything.  Who wants to eat salads the rest of their life - Nobody.

The other thing I did was started eating breakfast on a regular basis.  I never miss it, ever, and it helps keep me full.  When I do get hungry before lunch, I have a banana and it tides me over.  Finally, at dinnertime, my wife cooks using the American Heart Association cookbook and we rarely went out to eat.  If I didn't know what I was eating, I was not eating it.  I since relaxed a bit on this but still try to make good choices when out at restaurants.  The cookbook is a low fat, low cholesterol, low sodium book and the best part is the recipes taste great.  I didn't feel like I was giving up anything but I really was.  We still use this cookbook frequently.  It was one of the best things we did.

Next came the exercise. I started with what many people start with - walking.  I walked for about 3 months.  In fact, I never ever even thought about running.  I just wanted to lose weight.  I started with walking outside and then on the treadmill.  Then I purchased a Bowflex and lifted weights three times a week.  I was able to lose 30 pounds doing this.  I hit a wall and knew I needed something more so I thought I would try running. Haha.  I think you could call it that.

I tried running first on the treadmill and just seemed to poop out in minutes.  I could not understand why so I asked my doctor brother-in-law who was also a runner.  He told me to slow down.  It was probably one of the best pieces of advice I received and I started to slowly build up my time running.  I had gotten up to five miles walking per day so I started to replace more time with running and less time with walking until I could get up to three miles of running at one time. My first run outside was the length of one home - about 80 feet. Ha. Then I went to two homes, then three until I got to 3 miles.  I was able to lose another 30 pounds this way.

This is when racing started.  I don't even remember why I decided to start racing but it sounded interesting.  My first race was the Corktown 5k in Detroit in March 2010 with over 4,200 runners.
My first race
Corktown March 2010
My goal?  To not be last and not look like an idiot.  I was freaking out!  Haha!  I think every new runner worries about that at their first race and frankly, even if you are last, who cares?  I finished 687 out of 4,204 in 24:30.  It was a great experience and I was hooked.  I ended up doing 10 races that first year including my first half marathon, the Brooksie Way.
My first half, the Brooksie Way, with my Brother-in-law
I got to meet Frank Shorter!
Finished in 1:45:55
Fast forward 3.5 years since I started exercising, 60 pounds, and over 30 races and here I am today still doing it.  I'm a living example.  If I can do it, anyone can.  Just get out there.

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

Jan 24, 2013

Rock CF Rivers price reminder

3 miles on the schedule today.  I ended up doing 4 miles.  We are going on the third day of crazy cold weather with a wind chill of minus 1 degree at the start of my run but it should be getting better by this weekend....in the 20's.  Ha!

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I wanted to let everyone know that there will be a price increase on the Rock CF Rivers Half Marathon on February 1 so if you are considering running this race, sign up before this date for the lower price.  You have a little over a week to decide to commit.  Come on! - get signed up so you are committed to the training.  On the plus side, it will get you out to run on mornings like this!

Also, if you are thinking of staying down in the area the night before the race, the race has arranged discounted hotel pricing at the Holiday Inn Express in Woodhaven.  I've not stayed at this hotel before but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express the night before the Grand Rapids marathon and it was a great hotel at excellent prices - especially when races offer discounts.

As a reminder, you can follow the Rock CF Rivers Half Marathon on Facebook(HERE) so you don't miss any new information.  You can always go to their website as well(HERE).  Next month I'll blog about my previous experience in the race and will be running the race this year as one of their Race Ambassadors and will have one of my detailed reviews on the race after as well.

I hope to see you down there for this years race.  I already know lot's of people that will be joining me this year.  It's a perfect primer to a full marathon in the spring or to just start out your season with the area's first half marathon.

If you didn't know it, Emily Shaller, the race director for Rock CF Rivers Half Marathon, was also the race director for the Inaugural Auto Show Shuffle 5k that was just completed last weekend so she's already had a very busy year!  Let's get out there to support here and this great cause again!

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

Jan 22, 2013

Coldest run ever!!!

3 miles on the schedule today....done!  This was my coldest run ever.....yes, ever!

Take a look at that Wind Chill
My cutoff for running outside typically has been 10 degrees regardless of wind chill.  Today's run was 5 degrees with a wind chill of 16 below.  I decided I didn't want to give up my no treadmill streak so I went outside.  Please note, you must have the right gear to run outside in these conditions.  If you don't have the gear, please don't go outside and chance getting frostbite.  Leave the outdoor running to us professionals. haha!

Here's the list of what I wore:

Synthetic underwear
Compression shorts(UA)
Two pairs of cold weather tights - one compression, one regular fit(UA cold gear)
Winter socks with wool(Experia)
A winter synthetic shirt(UA cold gear)
Ibex wool long sleeve running 1/4 zip
Headsweats Toaster Beanie
Balaclava(UA)
Manzella - Warmest Gloves with Mitten pullover
Salomon running shoes with Goretex

No exposed skin except for my eyes.

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

Jan 21, 2013

I have a dream today!

Happy Martin Luther King Day!!

I think it would have been amazing to be there.

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

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