Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The St. Jude Marathon 2011

What an experience.  A sport I've chosen because it really fits in with my need for solitude on a regular basis.  For 26 years I have managed to run solo 99.9% of the time.  I can tell you, by name, the running partners I've had in the past.  Greg, from Cleveland, ran with me once in Chicago 1991.  His legs started cramping less than a mile in so I had to help him walk back to the hotel.  Kristi Webb, my former sister in law, held onto the tail of my shirt as I ran the Murfreesboro Country Club perimeter at Christmas 1988.  More recently, Nick Stiles has run with me a couple of times on the trails behind the old Walmart in Germantown.  5 miles both times.  Then comes the St. Jude Marathon this year.  26.2 miles that I have been training for since June, the week after my 50th birthday.  I feel strong for 4 months and three weeks.  Knocking out countless 5, 6, 7, 10's, 13's and a 15+ or two.  Every time stronger than the last.  Then comes the weekend before the Marathon.  My right Hammie goes to crap.  A slight tear, but painful none the less.  Then My left lower back decides, he wants to make his protests known and he starts shouting too.  Sunday, 6 days out and I am stressing out pretty bad.  I make plans to go to the Chiropractor three time for adjustments. Now it's Friday.  I feel fairly relaxed.  The adjustments have made a difference.  I'm, maybe 80%, but it's better than Sunday.  At least I'm not willing to chuck it all and give my bib to the nearest trash can.  I go to the weekend expo.  I meet up with a few of my Daily Mile friends.  It's really a new experience to even talk to another person in a running venue.  It's pretty cool.  Then Zach, my #2 son calls and asks if I will try to get him a bib for at least the 1/2 marathon.  Actually, he asked specifically for the 1/2.  I laughingly tell the group I'm with of his request, and  BAM...  Kelly, one of Greg H.'s buddies from Columbus / Tupelo pulls out a 1/2 bib his Secretary can't use 'cause she sprained her ankle.  Pretty exciting stuff.  I get so pumped at the prospect of a first half pacer that I start buying up merchandise.  I head back to the house with my swag and get ready for the big day.

We rise at 5:30 AM the morning of.  Oatmeal and infused  water are the fuel of this champion.  We head out about 6:15 to our destination RUN!  No nerves.  Just relaxed fun and pics with family and our new friends from Columbus and Wynne.  Zach and I head to our starting corral.  ...and we're off at 8:14 AM.  We really have a good time.  I am guaranteed the next 2 hours with my son.  I have a running partner.  He asks for my advice about hydration and replenishment.  We talk about pacing and pain / discomfort, (mostly his), I feel very relaxed.  Then entire 1 hour and 50 minute time together is exhilarating for this old man.  So much so that I can't wait for our next running project.  Anyway I think about those sorts of prospects and the first 2 hours of my day for the next 2 hours and 30 minutes or so that it take me to complete my Marathon.  Excited to be finished.  But more to experience my son's first 1/2 with him.  We have bonded over this.  I can feel his pull back into the nest over this.  He is maturing into, morphing into, becoming the man I saw in him when I held him that first time, with his head in my hand and his body up my arm.  7 lbs of pure dependence.  I am a Marathoner.  I am a DAD!!

I love my wife and what she inspires me to be.  What Next?!?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Different Way of Living

So many people worry about things, that in the end, don't really matter.  No body ever lay on their death bed and said, "I wish I spent more time at the office".  At least I've never heard of that happening.  Now that I'm fifty, I feel the need to do more non worrying things.  Just this week I took some time to help my son figure out what his job for the next few years will be in the Marines.  I am so proud of his decision to take a definite direction in his life.  Do I worry?  Of course I think about the risks, but the Lord has a plan for each of us.  Following our hearts in seeking His directions enables us to jump in with faith and the knowledge of His protection for our Eternal selves.  ...and after being so proud of the maturity of his mindset from earlier this week, he and his younger brother came in tonight sounding like to kids.  They were headed upstairs for a night of Xbox and movies.

Twenty one days out from the St. Jude Marathon:  57 miles this week on the bike and running.  Tomorrow will be a long run in the AM when I get off from the hotel.  I have my gear with me and my replenishment stuff. (GU, Shots, Clif Bars and Camel Back).  15 miles minimum.  I'm going to take my camera with me too. 

This is a picture from the National Forest Mary and I hiked in Ashville, NC. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

A week of running

I ran three times today for a total of 9 miles.  Three miles on the treadmill at The Peabody when I got off work, 1 mile while doing the cardio stress test at Stern, and Nick Stiles and I ran 5 miles on the Germantown Greenway, behind the old Walmart property.  Great Conversation and catching up.  It's amazing how easy a run seems when you are running along side someone.  There doesn't have to be a lot of conversation, but the side by side thing is really easy.  The weather was clear and breezy, so that made it nice too. 

There are 22 days till the St. Jude Marathon.  That's two full weeks of training with high mileage, and then the final week of relaxation leading up to "THE DAY".  I know I've done this before, but not since the Heart Cath / Ablation.  I had the Stress test today so Dr. Otten would have a baseline going into my higher level of performance.  I am really looking forward to this milestone.  More than the first.  ...and then next year, I want to do 3 marathons and an ultra (the distance to be determined based on travel).

For now, 22 days and we'll go from there.  Later! 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Last month of Training leading up to St. Jude Marathon 2011

Last Monday was my biopsy.  Dr. Baker got a higher than desired reading on one of my tests during my physical.  Then Dr. Walzer got a higher than desirable reading on the specialty tests that he ran.  So, just to be overly cautious and thorough, a biopsy was ordered.  Well that came back clear.  So I'm OK!!  But I had to take a couple of days off.  Not really what I wanted to do 6 weeks out from the St. Jude, but hey, not much of a choice.  The week prior was an Awesome week of running, with 54 miles, and another 33 miles on the bike.  I had a 13 miler, a 14 miler, and a 17 miler.  2 3's and a 4 thrown in there for good measure.  My Bike ride was 33miles in one day, Wednesday.  My legs were like rubber after that.

Then came the biopsy on Monday this week.  I felt terrible the rest of the day.  Even though I slept most of the day.  You see I worked the overnight at the hotel 11 PM to 8 AM the night before.  Actually I laid around for two days.  Then on Wednesday I felt pretty good.Just put one foot in front of the other.  Two days of rest did make me feel pretty energetic, I must say.  Wednesday and Thursday I knocked out a 7 miler each day, then Friday and Saturday, 8 miler each day.  All 4 runs were on the TM (treadmill).  I felt the need to be in a controlled environment, having so recently been violated and still experiencing bleeding way out of the ordinary.  I am not going to give anymore details than that.  Suffice to say, I felt comfortable being close to home.

Now it's Sunday morning.  The seventh day following B'Day, as we will call it, and I am wrapping up a 10 hour shift at the hotel.  I am planning on going home, showering, going to church, running to the Martin's after, eating, probably, then FOOTBALL, NASCAR, more FOOTBALL, then maybe get a nap in there somewhere.  I am hoping to finish the week with 40 miles on the road, but I would be happy with 35 given the circumstances.

  Here is a picture taken on the GreenLine last week.  It was 13 miles of my 33 mile bike ride on Wednesday.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Father Son Runs

Running with Zach!  That's a new one.
I remember when we were in Tampa and he HATED the idea of running. 
Now he's running in the morning afternoon and evening.  We went out yesterday for a 4.5 mile run and he smoked me the last mile.  Today I ran 3.5 and he did his 1 mile intervals.  He's pretty awesome.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Leaving for Florida in the morning

Mary and I are headed to Florida in the morning.  We are looking forward to some R & R.  Hope you like the photos and stuff along the way.