Posts Tagged ‘reflections’

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

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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Posted in Experience, Marathon, Product Review, Run, Running, Training | Comments (0)

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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Training 2.3 – The “Rest Day”

June 14th, 2015

Training 2.3 – The “Rest Day”

Date – 6/10/2015

Runners always get asked how and when they started running and there answer almost always starts with, “I never thought I would be a runner”. I am no different, but how I started was a bit stupid, I was a bit stupid.

The Beginning 
In 2010 my sister in law up and decides she is going to run a marathon in honor of her mother, who has beat breast cancer twice, at the 26.2 with Donna Marathon in Jacksonville, FL. When she finished this race, she was very clear to challenge her unsupportive brother in law (me) to try and run a marathon. I accepted the challenge and then I didn’t train very well and when I stood at the start line in my cotton socks, no band-aids and never having run more than 8 miles, I figured I was ready.

Here are some things that happen to an unprepared marathoner:
-You don’t eat or drink because you are afraid to stop and use the porta-john (as if time was an issue!)
-You are confused why people keep offering you Vaseline; I figured it out in the shower later.
-I started with a banged up foot, I ended up with 2 displaced fractures and a broken toe, Nice.
-Medics followed me from mile 23 begging me to quit and when I finished, they  put me in a wheelchair while calling me names. (Deservingly so)
But guess what, I was hooked. I finished in 5:43:44 and I made the loud proclamation that I would be back and I would break 4 hours. I subscribed to Runners World, I went to the running store and got the correct shoes, I trained my butt off, and I was doing it right this time. And when I returned one year later, I ran 3:59:10.

2012 Finish 3:59:10

p 2012 Finish 3:59:I knew I had found something that drove me to set goals and then work to accomplish them.

I have run 10 marathons up to this point and my desire for the finish-line never wanes. What I didn’t know was, what an unbelievable community that we as runners are a part of and I wanted to try and make it better. I travel over 200 nights a year all over the U.S. and I get to run in so many different states and towns. I have been able to see all types of runners, fast, slow, big, or small and they all have one thing in common, they run. I am part of a community that survives on support from others. I started a page for my family as we all started running, to help encourage each other and at times talk a little smack. That page has grown into something I could have never imagined and it is so inspiring. Runners that I will never meet find and give encouragement through the page. Nobody cares who’s fast or how far they run, because all runners deserve a high-five! The page name came from my wife as I ran that first marathon. She stood on that course all day and found me at so many mile markers and screamed “Run Hard, I know you will Finish.” She believed in me and I figured I better believe in myself, so I finished.IMG_1920
What drives me to run? I want so badly to qualify for Boston. My marathon PR is 3:41:42 and my qualifying time is 3:25:00. It seems like a stretch, but I believe I can do it. So I keep pushing and I keep running. I run because I want to encourage others to keep fighting. I want everyone to experience the finish line at least one time. It can be that one time that sparks a fire. Running has shown me that I am tough and that I have a little bit of awesome inside me; I just need to believe it.
Quotes that help me:
Let effort, not speed define you as a runner.
You are STRONGER than you know.

The “Rest Day” is done

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Training 1.1 “The Pacer” Run

June 5th, 2015

Training 1.1 “The Pacer” Run

Date– 6/4/15

Time – 6:15am

Location-Santa Clara, CA

Distance – 6.21 miles

Duration – 53:55styk

Recap:

It was anything but warm this morning in Santa Clara.  The chill was just enough to make shiver and wonder if I should have dug around my suitcase for my gloves, but that would just be crazy, it is June. I set off on the familiar path that I have been running for the last month while working in California. The first mile borders a busy road and is very nosy, and then it angles back into neighborhoods and is surprisingly peaceful amongst this busy city. The path was busy today with bike riders commuting to work and retirees out for morning walks. I was scheduled to run 6 easy miles for Day 1 of training and I was doing a 3 mile out and back from my hotel. The first 3 were a bit uncoordinated and I could find no real rhythm.. As I was approaching the turnaround point, I passed another runner coming towards me and I recognized the familiar Boston Marathon Finisher shirt she had on, the shirt I so strongly desire to earn one day. I waved and made my turn and proceeded to fall in behind her about 75 to 100 meters back and we ran. I say “we” ran, but I don’t think she had any idea I was behind her. Her pace was so even and her stride so smooth, I began to feel my own run smoothing out. I followed her for 2 miles, until we hit a crosswalk where I caught up and to be honest may have freaked her out when she saw a 6’3” Clydesdale rolling up behind her. She slowed to the side and gave me an odd look, so I smiled and said “nice run” and kept on going, she waved smile back and said “Thanks!” I noticed she then fell in behind me for the remaining of the path, then headed into the neighborhood. Little did she know how she helped me on this run, I am grateful to my “Pacer”

 

For all 10 marathons, I have trained almost every mile by myself. I wonder what it would be like to run with a group. Being on the road 200 nights makes this difficult, but I think there should be a way.

Who has a suggestion on how I could find running partners as I travel the U.S.?

 

Run 1.1 is done

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TV Reruns and Marathon Training – Intro to the season and the recaps

June 3rd, 2015

I love watching a good TV series.  Spending the time watching a show, seeing the story develop, and getting excited for the finale at the end of the season. What makes this even better, is when the season finale lives up to expectation and leaves you wanting more.  The other side of this scenario, is the off-season, the season of reruns.  Yes, I love the show, but I have already seen these episodes and it just doesn’t have the same effect on me, I struggle and I often don’t watch the rerun, the thrill is gone.  This is how I feel about my training in between marathons.  I love running the marathon, it is my favorite distance, (don’t ask me if it is my favorite at mile 22), and when I am in between races, my running has always felt like TV reruns.  I love the run, but it just doesn’t have that same pizazz as it does when I am training for a race. (I used pizazz in a sentence….solid) I have always thought that everyone needs some sort of motivation or goal to that inspires them to run.  Mine just happens to be, running 26.2 miles, getting a medal and eating all the food.  But this year after running my last marathon in February, I made a choice to look at the “Rerun season” with a different attitude and mindset.  I was going to put a plan together to train for the training.  And I tricked my feeble brain into being excited about my running during this time of no suspense, no new plot line, but what did happen, a new character was being developed for the upcoming season, me.  I started on February 23 with my “train to train” program designed by me.  I increased my runs each week by 1 mile until I got to 9-10 miles a run 4-5x a week.  No pressure, no time goals, just running….and I got stronger.  I started eating better, which means I stopped snacking all day long and lost 15lbs, and most importantly I was engaged and motivated to run.  I can’t wait for the season premier and for the story to unfold, because the finale is going to be EPIC. beepic

Now here we are, starting another cycle of marathon training and I want you all to be a part of it.  I will write a recap for each run, and publish them for you, these recaps will include:

  1. Location of the my run
  2. Short description of the run
  3. Attempt to be humorous
  4. I will go on and on about how much I love running

I will also be doing video blogs, because frankly, I am much better at talking then writing.  I might even be inclined to start a Podcast…I don’t how but it sounds cool.

Here are some facts about me and my running you may or may not care about.

  1. Shoes – Brooks Adrenaline GTS15 Size 12 / I have 5 pairs, all different colors. 3 are in rotation now, with the other 2 being moved in during the summer as the others mileage out.  (usually at 350 miles)image1
  2. I wear a belt for my phone. It is the same belt I have run with for the last 4 years.
  3. I rarely listen to music anymore. No reason, I just stopped one day.  I do like to listen to books or podcasts on really long runs.  But every so often, I can be found jamming along roads of the U.S.A.
  4. Favorite Artist to listen to while running – Andy Mineo
  5. 5489781D-DF60-47B5-99D8-27B8B5EC70A3GPS – Garmin 10…..for now
  6. Training plan – based on the Hanson
  7. Wednesday will be my rest day
  8. If you have questions, just ask

And finally:

Where/When: 10/5/2015 MO’Cowbell Marathon – Saint Charles, Missouri

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Goal:  BQ (it is a stretch, but hey I am a dreamer) It is a stretch because my PR in the marathon is 3:41:42, my BQ is 3:25:00…stretch.  But I am up for a challenge, and I know my running family will cheer me on.

If you see I am running in your town, please let me know if you want to go for a run!

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Let’s get started.

Reist

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Posted in Experience, For Fun, Inspiration, Marathon, Training | Comments (1)

Running with the Nieces and Nephews (Hot Wife Post)

April 4th, 2015

Here is a cool little story:
Yesterday we traveled to Gastonia, NC to spend Easter weekend with my family. During the afternoon we all went to the park and my hot wife and I went for a run. I had finished my run and was sitting with everyone while Andrea finished her run. As she passed us on the path, every niece and nephew took off running to chase her and ran the last half mile with her. They all wanted to beat Aunt Andrea. ‪#‎coolrunningmoment‬

Running with Aunt Andrea Running with Andrea

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I’ve Changed (and I blame running!)

November 22nd, 2011

change-same2This is a home week for me from traveling, and an off day from running.  I decided it was a good day to organize my closet and running gear (maybe I was encouraged to do so by my wife).  As I was putting things away, it got me to thinking about how running has changed the way I view things.  So, I have decided to share a few:

 

  • I was at a stoplight the other day and saw a girl running towards me.  Her gait at best was a bit awkward with very small steps and almost no arm movement.   I am sure in my BR (Before Running) life; I would have had a sarcastic comment ready to fire as she passed me.  Instead I yelled out the window “your stride looks great, run hard!!”  Who am I??
  • In my BR life if I saw a runner on the road instead of the sidewalk I would give him the “get off the road that is what sidewalks are for” glare.  Now as I run on the road I give the drivers the ….wait I don’t give them any look, I run on the curb till they pass.  In my head though, I am glaring.  On a side note, who knew sidewalks are so uneven and so easy to take a biter on, especially at night.
  • I can honestly say I think motivational running quotes are cool, such as this one:

Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows that it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve.   It doesn’t matter whether you’re a lion or a gazelle when the sun comes up you’d better be running. 

Ok, come on – that’s a cool one.

  • I think green shoes are cool. Nothing else really to say.
  • For my birthday this week, my wife gave me a GPS watch that tells me everything I can possibly need to know while I am running.  I believe if I move that Bezel fast enough it will tell me this week’s Powerball numbers.  My wife is awesome, by the way.
  • I preach the awesomeness of Body Glide.  Just say “amen” and move on.
  • I have begun writing a blog about my experiences with running. (https://runhardalwaysfinish.com).  Dude, I wouldn’t even write a term paper in college and now this…
  • Here is one last thing.  August 14, 2011 I barely was able to finish 2 miles, on November 12, 2011 I ran 20 miles in 3:13:24 9:39min/mil for my week long run.  Now that is a BIG change.

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