Wednesday, July 1, 2015

1386.96... So Far...

Well, we made it to Utah... 1386.96 miles into our journey. My team is rocking this 2015 in 2015 challenge!  Not that I had any doubts we would get there, but now the question is how much father will be go past 2015? Time will tell!

I have personally crossed 500+ miles, but have recently slowed down a bit. My lower leg is really bothering me and its at that point where rest is the best option, unfortunately. That does NOT mean I am happy about it and I do not know where this puts me as far as the Chicago Marathon training. But I will be there at the starting line, it just means I may need to change my goals around the race. We shall see.

The 9/11 Heroes Run is coming together nicely! 9/11/15 in Washington Park, at 630pm! One of only a couple night races for the 9/11 Heroes Run series and one of only a few night races in Springfield! Its going to be awesome! Sign up here.

I am also raising money for Team Travis and Brendan while I run the Chicago Marathon. Please go here to learn more about Team T&B and my race! TMF does so much good work for our veterans and their survivors. It would mean a lot to help this organization out!

I plan on being better about my updates, its been a busy few weeks!

Jeff

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

My First Placement Bling!

Well this was NOT expected! I ran in the Springfield Race for the Cure, almost a month ago and knew I placed second in my age group. I did not expect a medal, at all! I got an email yesterday saying I had not picked up my award, but I had to do so by the end of the week! I am a fairly competitive person, so this is something I am really proud of, and its my first age group or any placement really, for that matter! Either way, its good motivation to keep pushing harder. I PR'ed which I was really happy with and had I not received a medal, I still would have been thrilled with my time - remember that whole 23 turns on a 5k course!

Anyways, Life has been busy, but the miles keep coming. I am somewhere around 500 for the year, which is well off pace for my challenge, but my team is rocking it, BIG TIME! So I feel I am doing my part to help us out!

Work is still being done on our local 9/11 Heroes Run and we have some cool, new, exciting changes for this years event. You should run it, what better things do you have to do on a Friday night, on the anniversary of 9/11? Exactly :)

Happy Running!
Jeff

Friday, May 29, 2015

I'm back...

It's been nearly a month since my last post, yikes! I can't say a whole lot has happened since then, but there have been some developments.

I ran my first 5K. Yes I know that sounds really weird since I am training for a marathon currently, but its true. Somehow, with all the races I have entered, I have never actually entered a 5K. Short distances are "troublesome" for me as far as races go. I have ran several 2 mile events and I always go at it like a sprint. Probably not the best way. I had actually been fighting some calf/Achilles tightness for a few days prior to my 5K and figured a good steady pace would be okay. I actually went out and felt great about it. I came in 10th place overall, 7th male, and 2nd in my age group. My time was 22:50. To say I was happy would be an understatement. I feel I actually would have done better if I had known the course a little better, because it has 23, yes 23 turns. But for never running a 5K, I will take that as my first ever. I actually enjoyed the distance. I am right in the middle of my speed building for the marathon, so it worked out nicely to have the 5K thrown in. I can say that even at a 7:20ish pace, I know that is not a sustainable pace for me over a longer distance, but that would be incredible to maintain for say 13.1 miles!

All in all, May has been a good month, slight injury and all. My mileage for the 2015 in 2015 is a bit far behind, but as a team we have been good. Here's to a great start to summer!

Jeff

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