Friday, May 1, 2015

May Updates... LOTS of Updates!

Well, April turned out to be an exciting month!

First, my team crossed 900 miles for the year! How awesome is that? 900 Freaking miles! We are almost halfway there. I am proud to be a part of the trio!  Jeni and Kathy, GREAT WORK!

Second, I am officially into the Chicago Marathon. A little lighter wallet now, but it will be worth it when its all said and done. There were over 70,000 lottery entrants, so to get a spot was really nice (53% chance to get in off the lottery this year)!

In addition to running the marathon, I am going to work on fundraising. Those who know me, know that I brought a 9/11 Heroes Run event to Springfield last year (more on that in a moment), but the race is associated with the Travis Manion Foundation. Another leg of the foundation is Team Travis and Brendan. I have raced before with the shirt, but this time I will officially be fundraising. My lottery entry does not require me to raise any money, $0. However, I feel that its a small gesture to be able to run with their gear and raise money for a wonderful organization. I am fortunate to have a good friend who served with Travis and is committed to honoring his legacy. Interested in helping out? Go here - https://donate.travismanion.org/fundraise?fcid=452630. If every one of my Facebook friends donated $2.50, I would meet my goal instantly. I can also tell you, the money raised goes DIRECTLY to help the foundation support its programs that help veterans, families of veterans, widows, etc. The organization is truly one of the best out there for honoring those who give all and gave all. I would LOVE to have a huge impact on this organization!

Speaking of the 9/11 Heroes Run, it is coming back to Springfield. Follow this link - http://www.travismanion.org/tmf_911run_race/911-heroes-run-springfield-il/ to stay up to date on race details or find us on Facebook. Registration will open VERY soon. We are hosting our race on 9/11/15 this year, at 630pm, in Washington Park (same place as last year). There is a chance it will be a little bit later, but as of now 630p sounds good. We felt that with the anniversary of 9/11 as a possible date, it was fitting to have the run on the date. It was definitely a special race last year, and we hope to have even more than the 250 runners we had out last time! We already have more sponsors and more dollars rolling in than we did last year! That means more dollars stay here, directly supporting our local benefactor!

Happy Running!
Jeff


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Chicago, here I come... For Real!

Well, the month long wait is over and I was selected to run the Bank of America Chicago Marathon! I was really excited to see the notification pop up in my email and even more excited to read "Congratulations..."

In all honesty, I was okay if it said "sorry, you were not selected", but now that I am in, its a good feeling! So now the "real" training begins. I already had a plan pre-populated in the event I did get in, so my first run was this morning. It called for a "jog" which in my mind means "slow". (If you are easily offended about pace, speed, etc, don't read any farther) Today's pace was 10:40-11:20 minute miles. My normal runs are around 9:00, with race pace pushing 7:50-8:00 (on my best days). So when I saw that target pace, I was honestly concerned I could not go that slow. YES, I realize very quickly that pace is fast for some people, so it is not meant to offend anyone, this is just my pacing. The nice thing about it was forcing myself to slow down. One of my biggest mistakes in distance races is getting out too fast and paying for it on the back half. Or hills, hills suck too. Either way, I feel really focusing on pacing will help tremendously as I tackle the training for my first full marathon.

On a side note, many people know I run for Team Travis and Brendan. I plan to keep that going for this marathon and also plan to do some fundraising. Look for a link soon. I host a local race for the Travis Manion Foundation and am really proud to be a part of the organization. The work they do for our veterans, first responders, and survivors is amazing. Check out their site here - Travis Manion Foundation. I am fortunate to have a good friend who served with Travis and serves on their board. So anyone looking to donate to a good cause, anything you can give would go to great work.

Happy Running.
Jeff

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Boston and more...

Hats off to the Boston finishers! Whether you were first or last, you finished. Such a huge accomplishment on the biggest stage in the world for Marathon running! I would love to think someday I can do that, even better qualify to do that! I guess knocking out my 26.2 would be the first step!

The Lottery has officially closed for Chicago and now we all wait till 4/28! I am still hopeful I get in, but not 100% certain that I will end up running! VERY short window to decide once you are notified!

The other thing I am REALLY excited about is finalizing our date for the 2nd 9/11 Heroes Run in Springfield! I was fortunate to bring the race series to Springfield last year. We had a wonderful turnout, almost 250 runners, a hundred or so supporters and we had the privilege of having a friend of mine, who also serves on the board of the Travis Manion Foundation, as our guest of Honor. He was also fortunate to know and serve with Travis in the Marines. Additionally we had great sponsors from Heartland Credit Union, Memorial Health System, Scheels, RW Troxell and Hy-Vee. We already have more sponsors lined up this year and we are barely out of the gate! I am thrilled. To work with an organization that I am passionate about makes it all so worthwhile and so fulfilling! So if you are local or regional and want to run, volunteer, donate, sponsor or just cheer, follow this link 9/11 Heroes Run. Race registration is not open yet, but you can stay on top of news. Also be sure to look for us on Facebook, as we will post lots of updates there as well.

As far as my own running, I have settled into a good routine of strength training and running. I have new soreness, that I had stopped getting after time with running. To me, that tells me I am working new muscles and building ones that are there. Hopefully, sticking to this plan helps with my next race and maybe helps shed a few pounds while I am it! I have crossed over 50 miles for the month (after the huge slow down) but I am hopeful to still get near 80 over the coming days.

Happy Running!
Jeff

Friday, April 17, 2015

Slowing down a bit...

Well my 2015 in 2015 challenge has slowed me down some. After pushing for consecutive months of 100+ miles, April is looking like it will fall well short. I am not necessarily okay with that, but I also need a break, my body needs a break. Does this mean I am not running? Not at all.

I have shortened most of my runs by 10-20% and also am now trying to religiously strength train 3-4 days a week. I have kept getting the same results, over and over and over with little to no improvement (actually got a little worse). It took running the half marathon to help me realize I needed to make some serious changes. I know strength training is incredibly important to most all runners and I had only taken it half seriously. Not anymore.

Now, let's be clear, I am NOT bodybuilding! I am adding weights and resistance training with light weights, body weight exercises, and some other cross training type things. I also want to turn my running focus to include much more speed-work. No I am not trying to become a sprinter, but including the speed-work will break my routine of 4-5 miles at a steady pace. I hope it will shake up my routine plenty!

Happy Friday and happy running!

Jeff

Monday, April 6, 2015

Race Recap: Lincoln Presidential Half

Well, its over. That's about the best summary I can give at this point. I knew I had a small chance at a PR and I did come close, but no dice.

The weather was absolutely perfect, maybe a tad chilly at the start, but once I got moving, it was perfect. I wore my Team Travis and Brendan shirt, thanks to the Travis Manion Foundation! The hardest pre-race decision was shoes. I went with what I had put the most miles on recently, so I am not sure if that is the reason my hip hurt or not. More on that in a minute.

Great speech by Mr. Lincoln to start, then it was time to get going. I RARELY purchase race photos, but since this picture sums up the essence of the Lincoln Presidential Half, I kind of had to buy it! Anyways, I started with the 1:45 pace group, knowing that is ideally where I wanted to be at the finish. The pace felt great for about 4 miles, but I knew I needed to slow it just a bit to be able to push in the second half. I was okay with that. I dropped back a bit to the 1:50 pacers, and stayed with them for the next 3-4 miles. Somewhere after crossing Jefferson street, my hip really starting "pinching" (only way I can describe it). I worked on some specific hip stretches the days before, so maybe I just needed to leave it alone. I know my hips are always the first thing to tighten in a race, usually a few long strides addresses it. So much for being proactive. By about mile 11, I knew I needed to really slow down and not hurt myself. At one point after passing mile 12 I stopped and walked because it was uncomfortable and a guy passed me, patted me on the shoulder and said"you're almost there, good work".

I picked it back up and pushed through - 1:54:27. My personal half PR is 1:54:09 at this race in 2014, so to miss it by that little is a bit disappointing, but I finished and feel okay body wise! Thankfully, none of the aches I had turned into anything worse.

it's always great to run in your hometown and when we got to the parts of the course I run ALL the time, I felt really good about knowing when to push and slow. The benefits of running in your "backyard"!

Now I wait to see if I am in for Chicago. After this performance, I would REALLY like to set a new half PR before tackling a full, so I am torn on whether I REALLY want in or not!  Time will tell I suppose, might not be my decision! I also need to officially run a 5k, shockingly, I had never done a timed 5k, plenty of 10k's and half's but never a 5k.

Anyways, I was happy to wear my Team Travis and Brendan shirt and think its fitting in the picture in front of Lincoln's house. Knowing the sacrifice of Lincoln, Travis, and Brendan, all to make this country better is a nice tie in.

Happy Running,
Jeff

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Team Update! GO Team!

 Well, my team Worst Pace Scenario has almost hit 700 miles! We slacked apparently and did not get those extra 10.3 miles!

We have made huge strides though! We are almost out of the state of Nebraska! So we are quickly moving across the country on our "journey!

I know 2 of us are racing this weekend and the weather finally is cooperating around here! It is so incredibly nice to not have to wear layers on layers in the morning. Makes getting out the door so much easier and faster.

I would say we are well on track, which works nice with the hangover post race, and possibly tapering down to some maintenance miles! I won't lie, I am kind of looking forward to that. I am also looking forward to adding some consistent strength training into the mix! It will be hard to not want to push to get 100 miles in April, but I also would prefer to not be injured!

Happy running!
Jeff



Tuesday, March 31, 2015

On with April!

Well, I couldn't NOT cross 100, even with tapering some for my half this weekend. I barely crossed the mark, and it took all 31 days of the month, but its done.

For the year, I am at 312.3, which is not on pace to cross 2015, but I am not as concerned about that. I knew it would be a challenging goal and I will continue to push for it, even  if I know I will not make it.

I am excited to be running Saturday will be wearing my new Team Travis and Brendan shirt. If you are not familiar with Team Travis and Brendan, go here.I will hopefully be starting a fundraising campaign for the Chicago Marathon, depending on my entry, which is TBD still!

I am really glad the weather is finally looking better, although I think I have finally become accustomed to either sucking it up and running inside or layering up - consistently.

Either way, more to come on the Lincoln Presidential Half! Good luck to anyone running it Saturday!

Jeff