Archive for the ‘Running’ Category

30 Miles Training Run – Yeti 100

March 15th, 2018

This is my story of 30 Miles, Rain, and a VW Bug that wants camera time
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If the only thing that I ever learn from running is how NOT to quit, I will have learned a lot. – Reist

(**Please Watch and Subscribe to my YouTube Channel**)

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Posted in 100 Miler, Experience, Inspiration, Marathon, Run, Running, Training, ultra, Ultra Runner, ultramarathon, VLog | Comments (0)

“22 Chilly Miles in California” Yeti 100 Long Run #3

March 6th, 2018

On a 2.3 mile loop, Long Run number 3 was run in Palmdale, California. I watched the town of Palmdale wake up…and look at me like I was crazy.

Music –

You Can’t Stop Me – Andy Mineo Modum

Kai Engle URL: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Kai… http://freemusicarchive.org/

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“The Shirt Froze” Run – Yeti 100 Long Run #1

February 21st, 2018

The day after battling through the sign up for the Yeti100. I set off for a cold run. The first of many long runs, as I get ready for my first 100 mile ultra marathon.

 

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The Agony and Joy of the Sign Up – Yeti 100 Endurance Run

February 21st, 2018

Signing up for the Yeti 100 mile race was the beginning. It was an interesting morning, as I outlasted the internet.
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#runhardalwaysfinish
#yeti100 #yetiarmy
#zumbro50 #rundonna
#EffortOnTheRegular 🏃Effort is inspiring 🏃‍♀️
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@orangemud the journey begins…

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Posted in Experience, For Fun, Run, Running, running log, Starting Out, Training, ultra, VLog | Comments (0)

25 – Mailbox – Write Your Own….We are Runners

May 1st, 2017

You have it within you, I know you do.

#runhardalwaysfinish

runhardreist

 

Run to the mailbox……#runhardalwaysfinish www.runhardalwaysfinish.com

Posted by Run Hard – Always Finish on Sunday, April 30, 2017

 

 

 

Excuses are used to make doubts seem justified. Don’t let doubts outweigh your confidence -Reist

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50 Miles: Alligators and Potato Chips

April 16th, 2017

 

Friday – Andrea and I flew down from St. Louis to Houston.  We drove to the Brazos Bend Park in Needville, TX to pick up my packet and listen to the RD Rob Goyen give his pre-race talk.  There was quite a bit of instruction about how to avoid, and more importantly, how not to get eaten by the many alligators that lived in the park.  It was at this time, that we met Nicole.  Nicole lives in Houston, and has followed RunHard-AlwaysFinish for years.  When I had put out that I wanted to try and run a 50, she wrote me and told that that Brazos Bend 50 was the one I needed to do.  I talked it over with Andrea and here we were.  Nicole has had a lot experience with Ultra’s and she was very prepared and let us know what to expect on Saturday.  We all went for dinner and I was in bed by 9:30pm.

Race Day

3:15am –  I rolled over and looked at my phone and as the alarm wailed on, my mind was already thinking about the run.  I got up, showered and as Andrea finished packing the last few things for the day, I put my gear together and we headed out.  We had a drive that took us nearly a half hour to get to the park.  It was a quiet ride, Andrea dozed as I drove, my mind still wondering what lay ahead.

4:30am – Arriving at the park, the first thing I noticed was how calm the starting area was, there was no loud music, bright lights, announcers talking, nope….it was just runners, getting ready to run.  We found Nicole and she was setting up camp right before the start/finish line, we had our own little RunHard-AlwaysFinish aid station prepared.  I ate some, used the restroom and pretty much just kept off my feet.  I met another runner named Chris, he was very cool, giving me suggestions and advice for what lay ahead, I still wasn’t sure what was going to happen.

5:50am – After an hour of sitting, talking and eating, I realized it was really going to happen and my nerves set in, I hugged Andrea, high 5’d Nicole and got ready to run.  Again, there was no big fanfare, just the race director counting down the beginning of the race, and we were off.  As I ran past Andrea at the start line, I looked at her and said “what am I doing?”

Miles 1-5 There was a little over 100 of us running the 50-mile race and we were all together tight on a small path at the start, but unlike so many other races, there was no jockeying for position or elbow’s flying, everyone just seemed to work together.  I was back in the pack, this is where I tried to find the pace, that I felt I could run for 50 miles. I knew that this would be a race of trial and error.  It was peaceful those first 5 miles, the out and backs created a spectacle of bobbing headlamps against the blackness of the park.  I was amazed at the pace of the leaders as they headed back on the trail, each one of them yelling “good job” to the runners that had yet to make the turn around. I watched the light from my lamp guide me, and I kept running.

Aid Stations– I had my first experiences with an Ultra Marathon Aid stations.  I am used to little cups of water and Gatorade being handed to me and getting out of everyone’s way quickly.  Not here, these people treat you like you were the only runner that they were going to see.  Filling my bottles, offering me food and if needed there was always an ice-cold sponge waiting for you.  It literally looked like a buffet of the best food ever.

Miles 5 – 16.8 Each mile ticked by and the sun was slowly rising.  I had seen Andrea and Nicole at mile 6 and it gave me a boost as I headed out into the back section of the run.  I stayed even paced and as the packed had thinned out I settled into my run, with my head on a swivel as I looked for alligators.  I felt comfortable during this first loop, it hadn’t sunk in yet, what still laid before me.

Miles 16.8 – 33.6 I arrived back at the start line, Andrea and Nicole were ready with fresh bottles and a dry shirt.  I told Andrea that my stomach was causing me problems, that aggravating, mildly twisting stomach.  She handed be a bag of potato chips, told me to eat them and sent me on my way.  That one simple act, changed my race.  (more later) I continued to run very comfortable for the next 8 or 9 miles.  I enjoyed the sights, the other runners, the awesomeness of the aid stations.  At mile 26.2 I stopped, I had never run further than a marathon, I never thought myself able to run Ultramarathon distances.  I have watched so many Ultra videos, (shout out Billy Yang), but didn’t think I could enter that league, yet here I was crossing that line, and so I kept running.  The sun was out strong now, and all though so much of the course was shaded, the heat was beginning to wear on me.  At the final two aid stations, I took my time, eating potato chips, getting a quick ice bath and filling my bottles.  By mile 30 I was doing Galloway Intervals and trying to just run the mile I was in.  The 2nd loop was coming to an end and I was so happy to see Andrea.  I changed my shirt and my shoes.  The shoes were purely a mind thing, as my other ones were fine.  I just wanted red shoes….after 33 miles your mind is a scary place.

Miles 33.6-50.4 This is where the race actually started for me.  I wasn’t racing other runners, I was racing my own fatigue, and I was relying on my will to finish and not give in to my want to quit.  Runners were allowed a pacer the final loop, and I welcomed the company as Nicole joined me on the trail.  She had brought a neck scarf that could be filled with ice and I gladly wore it, embracing the cold bite the ice had on my skin as I ran.  It was at Mile 35 where things turned dark.  I became very aware of the fatigue in my legs, fatigue that is the pain you feel at the end of a marathon and I wondered how I was going to be able to run another 15 miles.  Several times during the next 5 or 6 miles I told Nicole that I wanted to walk for a mile, just to rest and recover a bit, but I never did. I would walk for a minute and then run and repeated this cycle over and over again.  Each aid station, Nicole would make sure I had my bottles filled, support staff would ice me down and feed me my chips, then we would head out again.  I had been warned about the “hurt locker”, the “dark miles”, but until I was in that place, there is no way to prepare for it.  It was at mile 40 that I started to come out of the funk, I had broken the run down into 4 parts and I had already completed 2 of them.  The 3rd part was an out and back with an q-tip head on it.  It was hot and felt like it went on forever.  But I was prepared for it, and all though it was uncomfortable and the longest stretch between aid stations, I kept continuing my cycle.   Run –walk – Run – Walk- over and over.  My only times that I would stop, would be at aid stations and the few times I had boulders get lodged inside my shoes, Nicole had told me to stop and get rid of them right away or I would pay for it later, so I did. (really, they were pebbles the size of a pin head…but they had to go!!)  As I finished the 3rd part of the run, it began to dawn on me that I was in the final part of the race, and as I approached the aid station at 43 miles, those final 7 miles still seemed like another marathon was left.  We stopped and iced down, Nicole forced me to eat a bite of PB&J, then we took off on the 2.9-mile trek to the second to last aid station.  This section was not shaded, it was hot, I was tired, but I realized my legs didn’t hurt any more than they did at mile 35, they had reached their pain limit and this was AWESOME. Knowing that the pain wasn’t increasing, was a good thing and gave me confidence.  I decided to compartmentalize the pain and just go, so we did.  We reached the aid station, I ate chips, filled up with ice water and moved on.  We were at mile 45.9 and I was excited, I had less than 5 miles to go and I wasn’t dead yet.  There was more running than walking, (to be clear, my running was at times was no more than an exaggerated shuffle, but I felt like I was flying) I was smiling and my goal was to get to that last aid station.  We reached the last aid station, I loaded up on potato chips, filled my bottles and that is when I heard Nicole ask how far we had left, the answer…1.79 mile…. less than two miles.  I looked at Nicole and said, “Let’s go”.   We “flew” down the path, across the road and past the alligator infested swamp.  We followed the twisting path to the main road, and as we turned to the home stretch I still had this weird fear that I was going to cramp up and not be able to get to the finish.  I looked at Nicole with ½ mile to go and we high-fived, I was very grateful for her pacing me for the last loop, and my excitement to finish was mounting.  With a quarter mile to go, I heard, but couldn’t see Andrea, she is my biggest fan and she was screaming my name, I removed my Orange Mud and my second fuel belt, and took off running.  I ran as hard as I possibly could, pumping fists and pointing at my beautiful wife.  I ran through the finish line, and when Rob handed me my medal, I didn’t feel anything except joy. When I crossed the finished line, I expected to break down and cry. But there was just too much joy, all I could do was smile.  I was happy to not have to move, I was happy that I finished with power, I was happy to be an Ultra marathoner.  I was happy.

Potato Chips/Fuel – I struggled throughout my training for this race, finding the correct fuel.  I was excellent at finding the ones that would make me hurl, but I never dialed it in 100%.  I had finally settled on using my Heed from Hammer for calories and lots of water.  I ate plenty of watermelon and oranges during the race, but it wasn’t till Andrea handed me those chips at mile 17 that a switch was flipped.  It was a game changer, because up to that point my stomach just wasn’t right.  They calmed my stomach, seemed to give me energy and the salty, crunching texture tasted unbelievable.  I kept up with my Heed (aid stations had Heed which was a big help), made sure to continually take water in, and ate those chips…. lots of chips.

 

Training – This was my first experience with running an Ultra.  I trusted my coach Jon Sinclair and each week was an adventure as I completed some of the highest mileage weekends ever. I started training in November 2016 and missed only 3 runs of my schedule.  I logged 840 miles during the training period, and every mile was done with a purpose. These miles were completed each week as I traveled the country.  I ran in 11 different states, a cruise ship and couple of Caribbean Islands, in snow, rain and blazing hot temps.  I learned to embrace the long slow run.  My longest runs were Saturday’s with 24 miles in the morning and 6 miles in the afternoon, followed by Sunday’s with anywhere from 6-10 miles.  When I entered those dark miles between 33 and 40, it was then I felt the benefit of all those long miles.  Although I hurt, I never quit, and I had strength that was unknown to me.

 

Pain and Achievement – I have never had to dig so deep to finish a run as I did this day.  I learned more about my ability to deal with pain and fatigue in that final loop, than I have in all 16 of my marathons.  I was happy, because I had set a goal, worked extremely hard and achieved it.  This is the lesson that running teaches you, that can carry over into your everyday life.  Set a goal – Work Hard – Achieve it and be proud.  I had made many deals with myself during the race.  I told myself, that I needed a break from running, I agreed with the pain and decided that Half Marathons would be the longest that I would race moving forward.  But unlike other races where, you reconsider after the run when the pain subsides, I began to reconsider within the dark miles.  I realized that I was battling through them and that I could do better next time.  I don’t know if 100-mile race is in my future, but I am not ruling anything out now.  Listen, I finished a 50 mile Ultra Marathon…..what else can I conquer?

Reist – Nicole – Andrea

 

Thank you:

 Trail Racing Over Texas put on a spectacular race.  Rob Goyen and his staff understand how to give a “pure” running experience.  Volunteers were top notch and the day was memorable.  Brazos Bend State park was a wonderful venue and the park rangers were coolest.  (no one was eaten by an alligator…)

 

I am thankful for Jon Sinclair and his patience with Clydesdale runner, that asks a lot questions.  His confidence that I could run 50 miles and his plan to get me there was awesome.

 

Thank you to Nicole Berglund, for suggesting this race.  Being there for Andrea and myself with the preparation and running that last loop without pressuring me, but always being an encourager.

 

Most of all thank you to my wife Andrea.  She supports all my outlandish dreams, has confidence that I will achieve them and is always the loudest at the finish line.  We are a great team.

 

50.40 miles

10:59:29

Brazos Bend 50

Needville, TX

 

 

Connect with me:

Twitter – RunHardFinish

Instagram – runhardreist

 

 

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Posted in Marathon, Race Recap, Run, Running, ultra | Comments (1)

AFTERSHOCKZ SPORTZ Titanium Headphones Review

February 19th, 2017

There is no doubt that I like buying gear for running.  No category is really safe; I am forever on the quest for the next best thing.  So, when BibRave gave me the chance to hook up with AfterShokz and try out their Titanium headphones, I jumped at the chance.  Aftershokz headphones are very unique, due to the fact that the earbuds don’t go in your ear, but rest near your temple on the jaw bone.  Sound then travels through the skull (!!!) and leaves your ears open to hear the surrounding environment as you run.  It is different and innovative, but is it effective?

The following are my Pros and Cons with the AFTERSHOKZ SPORTZ Titanium Headphones:

Pros:

  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • The ability to hear and listen for traffic at the same time
  • Safe for those who sweat a lot. Sweat proof
  • They stay in place as you run, very little bounce

Cons:

  • This style is not Bluetooth, so you are fighting wires, but they do provide bluetooth options
  • The sound is thin but very clear.  (ask me if that doesn’t make sense)
  • Bass will vibrate your jaw, takes some getting used to while wearing
  • Headset is not adjustable

The AFTERSHOKZ SPORTZ Titanium headphones are innovative and for the most part worked well for me.  You are able to listen to your music, and hear the world around you.  You have to be understanding that the sound is traveling through your jawbone and not your ear, thus giving a different hearing experience.  I listen to books when I run, and the AFTERSHOKZ worked excellently with this type of usage, but with your music you have to be prepared for your jaw to feel the vibration when the bass drops.  The fit for me was good; I really liked the fact that they were lightweight and did not bounce as I ran down the road.

 

Try them, write me and let me know what you think.  I believe that it is a great idea and why it might not be for everyone, everyone should try them at least once.

Some info and places to learn more about the AFTERSHOKZ headphones:

2/21 – Join us on Twitter at #bibchat and talk all things running.  There will be many BibRavePros available for questions about the headphones.

Ask me how you can get this cool water bottle from AFTERSHOKZ

Check out AFTERSHOKZ:

website: https://aftershokz.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AfterShokz/

IG: https://www.instagram.com/myaftershokz/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/AfterShokz

 

 

 

“Disclaimer: I received AFTERSHOKZ SPORTZ Titanium Headphones to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

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Traveling Runner – The Stories

November 23rd, 2016

img_1382I see the world as a big neighborhood.

When you lose the feeling that traveling from one coast to the other is not unusual, but ordinary, your perception of our nation becomes…..that it is almost small.  In any given week, I will spend time in 2-3 of the time zones, except when I go to Arizona, because they don’t believe in the whole daylight savings thing and it completely messes up my TV viewing…. when is the 6 o’clock news on…..7 o’clock!

I have often said that there are times I feel like you could use a passport as you travel the U.S.A.  Leaving the Mid-West and traveling to either coast can be a culture shock if you are new to those areas and of course there is always Texas.  Texas wants no part of the title Midwest, Southwest, or West, Texas has its own identity and really good food.

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How does this all play in to an article about running?  Because over the last 15 years I have traveled on average 150 nights a year and in the last 6 years – that travel has included my running.  There was a time that my night ended at the hotel, with extensive snacking, sodas and laying around.  Those days are gone, the hotel room is now, no more than a launching pad to whatever run is on the schedule for that night.  I have run in all parts of this country, Central Park in New York, Miami Beach, Lubbock Texas, Hiram GA, Lacey WA, Sunnyvale CA, Peoria, AZ, Boulder, CO and there is a great story about Gillette, Wyoming, the list could just keep on going.

But it was a short run in 2011 that I allowed the title of Runner to be connected to my name.  I wrote about it one time years ago and it happened in a town named Kearney, Nebraska. I was early into my running and still was trying to figure out what the heck I was doing.  I awoke very early in the morning with a 3 mile run planned and it was pouring rain outside.  I sat on the edge of my bed in the dark having that all too familiar fight with myself, that all runners have, trying to convince myself that I needed to get out there and run. (The argument was not internal, but out loud and I am sure the room next to me thought I was crazy).  I did run that day, in the pouring rain and cold wind blowing, and I loved every moment of it.  I got back to my room, which was still dark, and I was on cloud nine.  I had no idea what was going on, but I felt like the king of running that morning and I couldn’t stop telling everybody that I came in contact with that day.  The server at the restaurant, got a 10-minute breakdown of the run before I ordered my lunch, the young guy I was training had a full day oimg_8419f me giving him a second by second recap of the that epic 3 mile run.  I would later learn that I was seriously hopped up on endorphins and the cashier at the gas station did not care about the negative splits that occurred during the run…she said she didn’t care…. twice.Time has passed and there have been epic runs and epic failure runs, but what is consistent is the joy of running all over this country.  I have seen downtown L.A. like you can’t see in a car and felt the serenity of western Iowa’s peaceful countryside.  I’ve run the trail that halfway circles Lake Murray outside of San Diego, not forgetting to punch the red dot on the sign at the turn around.  Took off for a run in Flagstaff, Arizona and wondered why I was out of breath so quick, only to find out I was higher up in the air than even Denver. By the way, I may have looked ridiculous gasping for breath in the hotel parking lot. Circled the town of Key West, enjoying the beautiful scenery of the ocean, making sure to reward myself with a pancakes from the Blue Heaven Restaurant, and then Key Lime pie. (it’s ok, I earned it) I once went for a run in Ashville, NC.  It was to be a simple 3 miler, but sometime into the run, my contact popped out of my eye, I could not see signs or my Google maps and well…..to make a long story short.  I ran 10 miles that night and here is a fact, Asheville has got some hills.

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This is an introductory article to what I plan on sharing with you all.  It will be stories of this amazing country seen from my running shoes.  I have met so many people in my travels and their stories are interesting, sad, and funny.  I have had skunks chase me (Nashville) and Grandmas high5 me as I finished a run (Utah).  I have gotten lost (more than once) and ended up in a race by accident (Central Park).  Running has challenged me, helped me find my competitive edge again, and allowed me to experience our country (and maybe a Caribbean Island or two).  I want to encourage you all to do the same.  Stories are coming, but for now why don’t you go for a run and experience your own story?

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The Day the Music Changed – A Runners Story

November 16th, 2016

There was a pounding in my head each time my shoe hit the asphalt.

I already knew that the wheels were coming off and as the 16th mile marker came into eyesight, my spirits slowly drained through the pores of my skin leaving me with the hollow feeling of defeat.  My mile time hadn’t decreased yet, I was still on goal pace…….. but I KNEW.

19 weeks of training had been a great teacher.  It had brought me closer to my body and understanding how it would react under just about any situation during the run.  So although the times were still good, and a smile was still on my face for each photographer, under it ALL was the heart of a defeated man.  The miles droned on and my mile 16 prediction of disaster began to show it’s true self as I passed mile 19.

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It was a small crack in the armor but focus was disturbed.  The effort to remain at pace went from “marathon uncomfortable hard” (which those that choose to run 138,336 feet have prepared for and already accepted), this was not the “beautiful pain” of the marathon, it was just wrong.  I went deep inside for a little while, I played out every day of training, a cycle of training where I only had missed one run the entire 19 weeks.  It wasn’t making sense, why was this so hard?  This wasn’t my FIRST marathon, it was number 14 for goodness sakes.  How could I still be this bad at running 26.2 miles?  What did I do wrong this time?

My thoughts pounded in my head and became the harmony to the melodic sound my feet made as I continued on.  But now the music had gone from a song with energy, to a slow jam that would have made Luther Vandross proud to sing over.  I was rewinding back to mile 13 where it was simply a party in my head.  Math was still coming easy at that time and I was laying out the game plan for how this run was going to end.

In my head……..

  • Mile 21 was going to be the jump off point, I was going to find a gear that was going to propel me to the finish line and straight to the pancake buffet, where my medal was sure to be admired by all
  • My 21 mile warm up was just a prelude to the real story of this race, the EPIC FINISH. None of this played out in that way, I passed the 21-mile marker and there was no gear to be found, in fact I down shifted to a gear that was both painful and sad

There is so much talk about THE WALL, but when you hit it and I mean really smack your face against it, you are instantly humbled.  So here I was shuffling along, having those thoughts about how much I love 5K’s and how I loathe this race of 26.2 miles.  I dug out my phone and turned it on to call my wife.

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  • By mile 22, I should have already crossed the finish line and I did not want her staring down the road, wondering if the next person to turn the corner was going to be me, because I was not turning that corner. I was still fighting one difficult step after the next.  So many thoughts rush through your delirious brain at the end of a marathon, but it is so hard to keep them in order so that they make sense.

Think of a word jumble, you see all the letters but you have to concentrate and search in order for the letters to form a word.  Experience has taught me to just focus on something simple in order to just get me to the finish line.  I chose to focus on my yellow shoes and the design they made in my blurred vision as I took each step.  Over and over I watched my shoes until I started to realize something was different, I was sure it was a snake on my shoe, nope…….it was just untied.  I slowed to a stop and just stared at the untied shoe, stared like a man who knew what needed to be done, but had no idea how it was going to get done.  My foot was so far away and I was scared if I knelt to tie the shoe, because there was no way I could bend over and do it, that I wouldn’t get back up.  So right there on the course, I performed some kind of Yoga maneuver, one we will call “Tall Bald Guy Shoe Tie” and tied my shoe, I high 5’d myself.

By mile 23.5, I shuffled on and a ball of energy headed right towards me.  My son ran up to me and looked me in the eyes and told me that he was going to finish this run with me.  I was excited, happy and revitalized.  I showed all of this emotion with a really exaggerated nod of my head, and a grunt, maybe a smile.

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We ran that last 2.5 miles together, he never stopped talking, he used sayings and slogans that I have yelled at him as he runs his Cross Country races, he talked to me about the highlights of his homecoming dance, and I am pretty sure we talked about how bad I was looking. The music had changed again, to a comforting melody that didn’t pump me up, but left me relaxed and resigned that I was going to finish, let’s call it a “smooth jazz finish”.

He left me just before the finish line, and I crossed with hands raised as I am sure the winner had done.  My wife met me as I crumbled to the ground, reflecting on what I considered a failure, but she just looked at me and asked “What did you learn?” and promised that I was still getting pancakes.

I will run again…I am a runner.

GoRun-BeEpic

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Starting Over – 16th Time is a Charm

November 8th, 2016

I am starting over, for the 16th time.  I have a dream and the number of times I have failed is fueling this desire to succeed instead of diminishing it and allowing me to quit.  I have run 15 marathons and still have yet to get it right.  There have been some….better than others – my 2nd marathon still remains the only one that I completed with a negative split.  Now this next statement may not seem to make sense, although my marathon times have gotten faster but my performance has gotten worse.  I have become intimate with the “wall” and proficient at the “final 2-mile shuffle”.  So here I am, coming off of two of my worst performances in the marathon and WHY DO I HAVE SUCH HOPE?  Because each time I fail, I am challenged to improve the areas I am really bad at (on race day).

Here are some of my most classic finishes:

2013 Chicago Marathon – I was crushing it, I remember distinctly crossing the 18-mile mark and thinking how awesome it was that I was on BQ pace.  What seemed like seconds later, right after the 23 mile sign you could find me sitting on the img_0096curb looking like I was fighting with an invisible alien, otherwise known as full body cramps.  I finished that day in 3:44, the goal was 3:20.

 

2014 Portland Marathon – My goal this day was to simply PR and at that time it was 3:42. I ran with my good friend Devon who is very fast and she was pacing me.  We were all good and well ahead of pace until I threw in a 10:39 at mile 24 and finished that day at 3:43.

2015 MO Cowbell Marathon (The PR race) – This race had all the makings of greatness.  I cruised through the miles with little or no stress and as I hit mile 21 not one cramp or negative thought had dared entered my mind.  As I approached mile 23, I had to double check to make sure somehow I hadn’t left the course and found quicksand to run through, because the pace had slowed and I was forced shuffle home.  I was ecstatic to have broken 3:40 but discouraged with my late race performance.  Goal was 3:30, my finish time 3:37:42 (current PR)

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2016 MO Cowbell & Marine Corps Marathon – Both races started with such promise and slowly spiraled into sadness.  In fact, at that The Marine Corps Marathon, I actually had to have a frank discussion with a Medic just to let me finish…which I did with my arms raised.

What can we take away from these examples?  It is clear that I have a problem finishing marathons at my designed goal pace.  It is even clearer, that I have serious fueling issues, as almost every race has included a point in which the power immediately goes out.  When that power goes out, it is one of the worst feelings you can have as a runner, because there is no real way to get it back and you are often so close to your goal, it literally hurts your soul.  The one thing that you read though, was that I finished each of those races, often against my own wanting to finish.  I had serious discussions with myself with all the reasons of why I should just sit down and wallow in my self-pity, but it was other runners that encouraged me, pushing me to the finish line.

So what am I doing about it?  This summer before starting my training for the last two marathons, I admitted to myself that I didn’t know what I was doing and went searching for help.  I found it in a knowledgeable, at times snarky, but always supportive running coach.  And all though the last two marathons were disasters by the clock, I was able to eliminate the things that I was doing right and feel confident in knowing that my fueling was the key.  But now the challenge remains…………how do I fix it?

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The running calculators that are accessible have simply not worked for a large “Clydesdale” like me.  I apparently don’t process glucose and fat as effectively as I need to.  In fact, there is very little information out there for runners that are on the larger size (I am 6’3” and 205lbs) that want to run sub 3:30’s.  Sure there are those runners that are just naturally gifted – but I am not that guy.  I need help with this fueling issue, I am going to keep trying until I crack the code and when I do, I am going to spread that information to the running world.  There are many of us “Clydesdales” that want to run fast, but the calculators are not designed for us.  Often the generic calorie calculators end with the range of 180lbs and up, that is very general for what is needed to effectively fuel for a race. When you finally find a calculator that includes over 200lbs and all it tells you that you are going to have to take in 10 gel packets during your race, you make a funny face and do it.  But when it doesn’t work, you go back to the drawing board.  Here I am, drawing up a new plan, looking to “crack the code” of my fueling.  I am excited to be starting over for the 16th time.

Question:

Are you a runner that has “cracked the code” of your fueling?  Whether you are a “Clydesdale” or not, I would love to hear how you figured it out.  Send me an email with your story.  runhardalwaysfinish@gmail.com

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Posted in Inspiration, Marathon, Run, Running, running log, Training | Comments (1)