Thursday, January 28, 2010

Quad Cities Marathon - Featured Speaker

Four year ago, when I was nearing the 3/4 mark of my 52 Marathons in 52 weeks, I found myself in the Quad Cities running the Quad Cities Marathon.  I got to meet Patti Catalano Dillon, a true inspiration to all runners male and female.

A few hours later, after listening to Patti speak at the pasta dinner, I was asked to hop up on stage and tell people what I was doing that year.  Taken completely aback by this wonderful gesture by the race director Joe Moreno, I gladly obliged.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine Article: Not Because I HAVE To

My latest installment of "Running Matters" is now up and ready for reading on Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine's website.



Sunday, January 24, 2010

Carlsbad Marathon Recap

A Runner's Ramblings: Volume 5; 3rd Edition
78.6 miles raced in 2010

Race: Carlsbad Marathon
Place: Carlsbad, CA
Miles from home: 734 miles 
Weather: 30-40s; sunny

In my 10th official pacing of the 3:10 group and third of that time at the Carlsbad Marathon, I figured there would be very little surprises.  But I knew that while the surprises may have been few, the great stories would not be so limited.

The days before the race were filled with trepidation as myself and many runners were both greatly inconvenienced (sometimes for hours upon hours) by uncharacteristically awful winter rainfalls in the Southern California area as well as left wondering if we were going to be running in a downpour.  However, the forecast called for a clear but chilly morning come race day so the focus of the expo was to meet as many people as possible, listened to their stories and fill them in on what I would be doing the next day.

Having run a 3:09:50 and a 3:09:52 as the 3:10 pacer the past two years, I would once again be filling that role for the Running Center Pace Team here.  Joining me was another pacer name James who was planning on just running the first half and then letting me take over as a solo pacer from there.  We both informed our group of how we would be running and what we would do to help them meet their goals.  As the chilly air cut through our pack of lightly dressed runners, anticipation was high.  I was ready to begin running my 111th lifetime marathon and those around me were just itching to take the first step of the Carlsbad Marathon.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Three Months to go until 204 Solo Mles

Wait.  Seriously?  I only have 91 days until my solo running of the 204 mile American Odyssey Relay?  How did that happen?  It seems like it was just last week when I announced I would be eschewing the typical 12 person relay and taking on the biggest running challenge of my life.  Some have said the 52 Marathons in 52 weekends was a bigger running challenge but I have to say that it was more a luck, logistical AND running challenge.  This 204 miles of straight running will be unlike almost anything I have ever attempted.

Sign up and mention you saw the AOR form my page and every team member gets a free hat!

And I don't mind saying I am a bit nervous.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Interview with Joe Henderson

I first had the pleasure of meeting Joe Henderson at the Des Moines Marathon in 2006.  We spoke for a small bit of time at the expo and I could tell Joe had forgotten more about running than I knew.  As the former chief editor of Runner's World magazine this makes perfect sense. When he cheered for me pacing my 3:10 group through the race the next day and told them they were running with a guy who knew how to pace I was beyond flattered.  I most assuredly have gotten much better at doing that and also at learning about how the sport got to where it is today, more often than not by picking Joe’s brain.

Joe currently writes for Marathon & Beyond magazine and since 1982 has penned a weekly column entitled "Joe Henderson's Running Commentary".  Born in Peoria Illinois, the 66 year-old runner now coaches others in Eugene, Oregon to succeed at their own pace.

I recently sat down with Joe (virtually) and asked him a few questions.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Going back to Cali. To Cali. To Cali.

OK, I wrote that title and had a little comment prepared about how sad I am that people aren't as aware of this awesome LL Cool J song as they should be.  I was going to say, "Come on, it is only X years old".  Then I realized it was released right after Christmas... OVER 21 YEARS AGO.  Wow, I am getting old.

But the good thing is, as old as I am getting (33, thank you very much) the sport of running is still wide open to me.  And as such, I am able to continue to give back to it as much as possible.  One way to do tha is to offer my services as a pacer which I will do for the third straight year at the Carlsbad Marathon this upcoming weekend.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine Article: It's a Start

My latest installment of "Running Matters" is now up and ready for reading on Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine's website.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

First Light Marathon Recap

A Runner's Ramblings: Volume 5; 2nd Edition
52.4 miles raced in 2010

Race: First Light Marathon

Place: Mobile, AL
Miles from home: 2040 miles 
Weather: 20-30s; sunny

How is it possible that it was four years ago that I was last here in Mobile at the First Light Marathon, running my second marathon of the 52 in one year?  Kids who started college when I ran that marathon have now graduated (well, hopefully.)  A presidential term has passed and so has an Olympiad. I am far removed from my 20s.  Holy mackeral. And wasn't it supposed to be warm here?  It is the South!

I cannot say I was not prepared for this weather.  Besides the wonderful new invention we have called the internet which allows you to see things in far away lands, the nippy teensies I had run in the day before in Jackson, MS at the Blues Marathon had forewarned me to my forecast for this morning: cold.  Not so cold you cry but cold enough that you whimper.  But as I mentioned to those who were running the First Light Marathon (and those in Jackson the day before), it is the extreme weather marathons that make the best stories.  Everyone remembers Chicago from 2007 and 2008.  Why? Because the weather sucked.  As such, we were here making memories.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Mississippi Blues Marathon Recap

A Runner's Ramblings: Volume 5; 1st Edition
26.2 miles raced in 2010
Race: Mississippi Blues Marathon

Place: Jackson, MS
Miles from home: 1803 miles 
Weather: 20-30s; sunny
For the second year in a row, I got to be the guest of the Mississippi Blues Marathon in Jackson, MS.  Spending time running and chatting with Bill Rodgers, who was also present as a guest of the race, is always a wonderful way to begin the New Year.

Another way was helping lead a fun run from the local Fleet Feet store in Jackson which has to be one of the nicest running stores I have visited in this country.  Along with that was meeting some super nice runners from the greater Jackson area.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Marathons number 109 and 110

This weekend has me attending marathons in both Jackson, MS and Mobile, AL.  And while other are lamenting the potential cold weather in Jackson for the Mississippi Blues Marathon (high of 32 and sunny) I am focusing on a few other things.  First of all, I will take chilly over muggy which is what we had last year at the event. Second, I look to the fact that the course has been changed to take out some of the less enticing strips and remove last mile hills.  Less sweaty in humid weather on an easier course!  Now that is positive thinking!  (Mobile's weather for the First Light Marathon the next day is slightly warmer with calls for the same warming sunshine.  I actually think that sounds mighty fine for a marathon).

What I am looking forward to this weekend is testing myself.  Having never run back-to-back-marathons, this will be something new for me, which gets harder and harder the more marathons you run.  And when I was thinking about what number of marathons these would be, I realized I was running  my 109th and 110th lifetime marathons on 1/09 and 1/10.  That is definitely something I hadn't even tried to plan and thought the coincidence was quite without cans.  (Or "uncanny". Your call.)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Friday, January 1, 2010

Beat the New Year 5k and 6 Hour Run Recap

A Runner's Ramblings: Volume 4; 27th Edition
665.6 miles raced in 2009

Race: Beat the New Year 5k
Place: Salt Lake City, UT
Miles from home: 2 miles 
Weather: 20-30s; dark

The crux of this race report has much more to do with what I did before it. My big way to end the year was by running a 6 hour run at Liberty Park, then doing the 5k right before midnight.

The night before NYE I had a little trouble falling asleep. The 6 hour run was something I was looking forward to doing and I had the pre-race jitters. I finally fell asleep and slept peacefully.  The morning broke and I was quite please to see beautiful sunshine and much warmer temperatures than I had been dealing with recently. Twenty-three degrees is what awaited me as I stepped out the door for the first of 3 separate 2 hour runs.