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

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

100 Mile Dilemma

Well, my goal to at least hit 100 miles a month, has reach a fork in the road. I kind of assumed this would happen this month as I reach and passed the 2 week period before my first half. I know I need to taper my mileage to prepare for the half on 4/4, but part of me wants to push to get to 100. The other part of this is the fatigue I can feel on some runs, not all runs, but some. I was hoping to set a new PR, but right now I feel finishing at or near my previous mark is probably okay. Training has been decent, but the weather has not cooperated and I have not pushed myself near as hard as I wanted to, in order to break that PR mark... time will decide that, literally I guess!


In other news, now that the lottery period is open and I wait for my results for Chicago, I am exploring other cool ideas for a first marathon... Chicago would be nice, but it's not the end of the world in the vent I am not selected.

I am also close to big news for the 2nd Annual 9/11 Heroes Run for Springfield. If you are not familiar with the event, go here. This was a wonderful event to be a part of last year and I have even higher hopes for it this year. Our local benefactor looks to be the same from last year, the Local 37 of the IAFF - Supporting our local Springfield firefighters. More details will come soon. be sure to follow the Springfield, IL 9/11 Heroes Run Facebook/Twitter pages for all the updates!

Happy running!
Jeff

Friday, March 20, 2015

Product Review!

As a runner, don't we have plenty to think about? I know for sure I do. Even with all the running related things, the non running related things I think about during runs is plenty!

Well, let me help! I am NOT being paid for this either - just a really happy customer! Check out the Mino. This amazing product goes under your insole, near the heel and tracks the life of your shoes. It measures the compression and impact of your foot strike. If you run in more than 1 pair shoes (not at once, don't be silly) then keeping track of the miles is kind of important to remain injury free.

They are a fairly low dollar investment that adds value to your shoes really. I know the running shoes I pick are not usually cheap, so I want to maximize the life span of them. This helps there too!

Check em out!

Jeff