08.01.2018 Today was the first time I’ve left the house in the rain, to run in the rain, knowing that it was going to rain the whole time. What started as light sprinkles soon turned to light showers, and stayed that way for the duration of my eight mile run. I brought, and used a poncho. It was the same unopened poncho I had found on the side of the road – ironically – just minutes after being caught in a heavy downpour several weeks ago. It worked well and kept me dry, especially my iPhone and Bluetooth headset. However, upon returning home and some reflection, I think I will just run in my normal raincoat whenever I know it’s going to be wet.
This is very much a season of firsts. With seven marathons now behind me, I’m no longer a novice. However, I’ve set my sites on bigger challenges and look forward to my first ever 26.2 miles training run just one week from tomorrow.
07.16.2018 With my marathon just eight days behind me, I decided to go out for another long run, 16 miles to be exact. Normally, I’d take a good two weeks to fully recover and then start building back up to distances like that. In addition to the distance, I added a slightly more challenging element to the run. Normally, I run out and back, and for distances longer than ten miles, I’ll do a double out and back from my own front door. Today, I geared up with a hydration vest and my twin bottle hydration waist pack and ran 5.7 miles to Choccolocco Park, three times around the lake and then home for the sixteen mile total. I brought 3-liters of Gatorade, three Nature Valley bars and two Gatorade energy chews. There was a restroom at the park. As I prepare for longer self supported challenges, this kind of training will prove invaluable. In other news, I finished editing my marathon race report, bundled it into an episode of my Runway, and you can watch it here:
RUNWAY Ep.111 Burn Your Half Off Race Report
07.09.2018 Well, I’m glad I was up and out the door early. I thought for sure Chattanooga was in the Central Time Zone. It is not, and instead of getting there with and hour and 20 minutes to spare, I pulled up, got my bib number and started running shortly after. It was actually pretty ideal. Like I wrote yesterday, I knew I was better trained and better prepared for this race than any other previously, so there was no nervousness, but still, I didn’t sleep great. I was up every hour and a half or so, and finally woke up at 2:30. The Burn Your Half Off had 5K, 10K, half and full marathon, and 50K options. The course ran alongside the Tennessee River, and consisted of two out and back loops each about 1.5 miles out in each direction. This meant the centralized aid station was every 3 miles. The race director is an ultra runner herself and did a great job keeping morale and food up. There was a big spread and I found myself hitting the liquids hard with several energy gels and miscellaneous high calorie snack foods. At my request, there were even Smarties! The best, THE. BEST. thing was the shots of pickle juice. Turn your nose up if you will, but when you’re running a marathon in 85 degree weather, you’re sweating pretty hard and your body needs the salt. The weather certainly could have been hotter, but it was partly cloudy all day with a nice breeze most of the time. It was as ideal as it could be for a Summer race in the South.
I’ve been running for over 12 years, and at this point in my life, it is all about the fun and the challenge of whatever I’m running. I do not run for time or speed, and I certainly do not compete. The Burn Your Half Off is so laid back, you actually keep track of your own miles. When I finished, I actually forgot to check the time, but think I finished somewhere around 5 hours and 30 minutes. This may be my slowest marathon, but again, I run for fun, not for speed. After the two and a half hour drive home, getting out of the car was a struggle, but within 20 minutes, I felt good, and could have gone back out and run 10 more miles. That was surprising, and also a testament to the thoroughness of my training. Even this morning, the day after, I’m a little sore, but feel good. I’m going to spend a few more days recovering, but start will start building up again for Challenge 2. I will run a 26.2 mile training run. This will be the first time I have run that distance outside of an actual event. Thanks for reading. Have a great day, and go live your own great adventure!
07.08.2018 it’s 2:50 AM and I am up early getting ready to run my marathon. It is the Burn Your Half Off (double half) in Chattanooga, TN. This will be my fifth marathon (seventh if you count the 50K and 40M), and I am better prepared for it than any before it. I have also carbo loaded more thoroughly, so I’m interested to see what kind of difference that makes. It’s about a 2:20 drive from my home here in Oxford, AL, so I should be done and back by mid afternoon. I’m not going for speed. I’m going for fun…That sounds like a new tag line. I’ll have to remember that one.
06.25.2018 This week a co-worker told me about about a cardboard boat regalia coming up in about a month. After giving it a little thought, I’ve decided to give it a go. I started collecting boxes at work and have a general idea of how it will work (functionally), and look aesthetically. Stay tuned for updates!
06.24.2018 After close to thirteen years of running, I’ve successfully conquered two running conditions I had until late, avoided at all costs. Running in the dark, (read early morning), became a necessity as my longer training runs required me to be finished by mid-morning. I solved that with a very good headlamp i bought on clearance from Best Buy for $5. It’s got a high and low beams and a steady or flashing red strobe. I use the flashing LED’s and it’s amazing how vehicles will move over when that’s all they can see coming at them. The other condition is rain. Having ruined a iPod several years ago, I’ve avoided running in the rain to preserve my technology, but also to avoid the discomfort. Now, the other morning, I rolled the dice and went out for five miles knowing there was a storm front moving in. Sure enough, I got caught in it. The two Ziploc sandwich bags did a good job protecting my phone, and my Bluetooth headphones are water resistant. Knowing that I wasn’t going to have to replace either of them, I ran in the rain, and enjoyed it. From here on out, as long as the temperature is agreeable, I won’t avoid the rain. However, I did step up my tech-protection. A few years ago, I bought a thick plastic, triple sealing Travelocity brand cell phone carrier. It’s 100% waterproof and is far superior to plastic sandwich bags, and, it too, was bought on clearance – apparently for such a time as this.
06.20.2018 Do it Yourself As Much As Possible…I’m spending some time today looking for recipes for DIY sports drinks. I go through quite a bit of Gatorade and if I can save a buck or fifty, I’m interested. I’ll keep you posted on my findings. Have a great day! (9 miles this morning).
At this point, all my longest long runs are completed as I begin tapering for the Burn Your Half Off Marathon in Chattanooga, TN the first week in July. It’s been strange not running as many miles, but enjoyable. As my Challenges develop, I have decided that after the marathon, my next challenge will be a first for me – to complete a marathon distance, 26.2 miles in training. Stay tuned, and have a great day!
Check back often to keep up with all the latest developments on my projects and challenges!
Right now, I’m preparing to take the Stand Up Bottle Board out to the lake at Choccolocco Park. Stay tuned for updates!
Stay tuned for new content coming soon!