How did I get the name theBrainrunner?

Well it's a long story but I'll keep it breif. On November 3rd, 2008 I was getting ready for work and passed out in the shower. Luckily, my wife was home at the time and ran upstairs to find me and after having trouble reviving me she then called the paramedics. After an ambulance ride, followed by a CT scan, then a helicopter ride to another hospital I ended up having surgery to repair a ruptured Brain Aneurysm. 5 months later I had two more aneurysms clipped. I was thankful to be alive, as 40% of ruptures are fatal, and 66% suffer from some permanent neurological deficit. I use to be a runner in High School, and after I had recovered from the surgeries I wanted to be healthier than I had been at that time so my wife and I started running again. Every time I run I'm thankful to be alive and able to be outside doing what I love. Thus, theBrainrunner was born.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Planning for the Carmel Marathon

Shortly after the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon that I ran in November, I began looking ahead to the next one. I decided to stay local again and run the Carmel Marathon in April of 2013.

Social media is a great thing, and I'm able to gather opinions and resources just from logging in to my account and reading for a little while. On one such day @ghein83 tweeted about setting up his next marathon plan and how he used Runner's World Smart Coach. Having met him before and knowing that he is fast I decided to take a similar approach and check out the smart coach program. I figured if it worked for Glenn then it could work for me as well. So I've decided to share my plan with the blog-o-sphere if anyone's interested. Also if you'd like to check out Glenn and Lindsey's blog you can at "Out for a Run"

As of this writing I've already completed the first five weeks and everything is going well with the plan.

WEEK 1: 31 Mi
Mon Nov 12 Easy Run Dist: 6 Mi @10:08
Wed Nov 14 Tempo Run Dist: 7 Mi, inc Warm; 5 Mi @ 8:44; Cool
Thu Nov 15 Easy Run Dist: 6 Mi @10:08
Sat Nov 17 Long Run Dist: 12 Mi @10:08

WEEK 2: 33 Mi
Mon Nov 19 Easy Run Dist: 7 Mi @10:06
Wed Nov 21 Speedwork Dist: 6 Mi, inc Warm; 3x1600 in 8:03 w/800 jogs; Cool
Thu Nov 22 Easy Run Dist: 6 Mi @10:06
Sat Nov 24 Long Run Dist: 14 Mi @10:06

WEEK 3: 34 Mi
Mon Nov 26 Easy Run Dist: 6 Mi @10:03
Wed Nov 28 Tempo Run Dist: 7 Mi, inc Warm; 5 Mi @ 8:39; Cool
Thu Nov 29 Easy Run Dist: 5 Mi @10:03
Sat Dec 1 Long Run Dist: 16 Mi @10:03

WEEK 4: 27 Mi
Mon Dec 3 Easy Run Dist: 7 Mi @10:00
Wed Dec 5 Easy Run Dist: 7 Mi @10:00
Thu Dec 6 Easy Run Dist: 6 Mi @10:00
Sat Dec 8 Easy Run Dist: 7 Mi @10:00

WEEK 5: 36 Mi
Mon Dec 10 Easy Run Dist: 6 Mi @10:00
Wed Dec 12 Tempo Run Dist: 7 Mi, inc Warm; 5 Mi @ 8:36; Cool
Thu Dec 13 Easy Run Dist: 5 Mi @10:00
Sat Dec 15 Long Run Dist: 18 Mi @10:00

Now I'm into week 6 and I've decided to make a few changes to my training plan. I'm going to add in an extra run through the week similar to my easy runs. I'll be adding these runs on either Sunday or Tuesday depending on my work schedule and if I get my long run in on Saturday or Sunday. This extra run isn't listed on the plan outlined below but it will be there when I do it. Also on Speed Wednesday's my pacing will and has been faster than outlined.

WEEK 6: 37 Mi
Mon Dec 17 Easy Run Dist: 5 Mi @9:57
Wed Dec 19 Speedwork Dist: 7 Mi, inc Warm; 4x1600 in 7:56 w/800 jogs; Cool
Thu Dec 20 Easy Run Dist: 5 Mi @9:57
Sat Dec 22 Long Run Dist: 20 Mi @9:57

WEEK 7: 39 Mi
Mon Dec 24 Easy Run Dist: 8 Mi @9:54
Wed Dec 26 Tempo Run Dist: 7 Mi, inc Warm; 5 Mi @ 8:31; Cool
Thu Dec 27 Easy Run Dist: 8 Mi @9:54
Sat Dec 29 Long Run Dist: 16 Mi @9:54

WEEK 8: 31 Mi
Mon Dec 31 Easy Run Dist: 8 Mi @9:51
Wed Jan 2 Easy Run Dist: 8 Mi @9:51
Thu Jan 3 Easy Run Dist: 7 Mi @9:51
Sat Jan 5 Easy Run Dist: 8 Mi @9:51

WEEK 9: 41 Mi
Mon Jan 7 Easy Run Dist: 7 Mi @9:51
Wed Jan 9 Tempo Run Dist: 7 Mi, inc Warm; 5 Mi @ 8:28; Cool
Thu Jan 10 Easy Run Dist: 7 Mi @9:51
Sat Jan 12 Long Run Dist: 20 Mi @9:51

WEEK 10: 43 Mi
Mon Jan 14 Easy Run Dist: 10 Mi @9:49
Wed Jan 16 Speedwork Dist: 8 Mi, inc Warm; 4x1600 in 7:48 w/800 jogs; Cool
Thu Jan 17 Easy Run Dist: 9 Mi @9:49
Sat Jan 19 Long Run Dist: 16 Mi @9:49

WEEK 11: 44 Mi
Mon Jan 21 Easy Run Dist: 9 Mi @9:46
Wed Jan 23 Tempo Run Dist: 7 Mi, inc Warm; 5 Mi @ 8:23; Cool
Thu Jan 24 Easy Run Dist: 8 Mi @9:46
Sat Jan 26 Long Run Dist: 20 Mi @9:46

WEEK 12: 35 Mi
Mon Jan 28 Easy Run Dist: 9 Mi @9:43
Wed Jan 30 Easy Run Dist: 9 Mi @9:43
Thu Jan 31 Easy Run Dist: 8 Mi @9:43
Sat Feb 2 Easy Run Dist: 9 Mi @9:43

My easy runs have been run in the low 9 minute pace although I've been trying to make sure they feel easy to allow me to recover from either the long run or the speed work. After January is over I'll begin to add marathon pace onto my long runs. I'll be starting with the last 25% of the long runs at MP and ramp it up to just over 50% as I get into late March and early April.

WEEK 13: 46 Mi
Mon Feb 4 Easy Run Dist: 11 Mi @9:43
Wed Feb 6 Tempo Run Dist: 9 Mi, inc Warm; 6 Mi @ 8:25; Cool
Thu Feb 7 Easy Run Dist: 10 Mi @9:43
Sat Feb 9 Long Run Dist: 16 Mi @9:43

WEEK 14: 48 Mi
Mon Feb 11 Easy Run Dist: 10 Mi @9:40
Wed Feb 13 Speedwork Dist: 9 Mi, inc Warm; 4x1600 in 7:41 w/800 jogs; Cool
Thu Feb 14 Easy Run Dist: 9 Mi @9:40
Sat Feb 16 Long Run Dist: 20 Mi @9:40

WEEK 15: 50 Mi
Mon Feb 18 Easy Run Dist: 12 Mi @9:38
Wed Feb 20 Tempo Run Dist: 11 Mi, inc Warm; 6 Mi @ 8:20; Cool
Thu Feb 21 Easy Run Dist: 11 Mi @9:38
Sat Feb 23 Long Run Dist: 16 Mi @9:38

WEEK 16: 39 Mi
Mon Feb 25 Easy Run Dist: 10 Mi @9:35
Wed Feb 27 Easy Run Dist: 10 Mi @9:35
Thu Feb 28 Easy Run Dist: 9 Mi @9:35
Sat Mar 2 Easy Run Dist: 10 Mi @9:35

WEEK 17: 51 Mi
Mon Mar 4 Easy Run Dist: 11 Mi @9:35
Wed Mar 6 Tempo Run Dist: 10 Mi, inc Warm; 6 Mi @ 8:17; Cool
Thu Mar 7 Easy Run Dist: 10 Mi @9:35
Sat Mar 9 Long Run Dist: 20 Mi @9:35

WEEK 18: 53 Mi
Mon Mar 11 Easy Run Dist: 12 Mi @9:33
Wed Mar 13 Speedwork Dist: 10 Mi, inc Warm; 4x1600 in 7:34 w/800 jogs; Cool
Thu Mar 14 Easy Run Dist: 11 Mi @9:33
Sat Mar 16 Long Run Dist: 20 Mi @9:33

WEEK 19: 55 Mi
Mon Mar 18 Easy Run Dist: 14 Mi @9:30
Wed Mar 20 Tempo Run Dist: 12 Mi, inc Warm; 6 Mi @ 8:12; Cool
Thu Mar 21 Easy Run Dist: 13 Mi @9:30
Sat Mar 23 Long Run Dist: 16 Mi @9:30

WEEK 20: 57 Mi
Mon Mar 25 Easy Run Dist: 13 Mi @9:27
Wed Mar 27 Tempo Run Dist: 12 Mi, inc Warm; 6 Mi @ 8:10; Cool
Thu Mar 28 Easy Run Dist: 12 Mi @9:27
Sat Mar 30 Long Run Dist: 20 Mi @9:27

WEEK 21: 30 Mi
Mon Apr 1 Easy Run Dist: 6 Mi @9:25
Wed Apr 3 Speedwork Dist: 7 Mi, inc Warm; 4x1600 in 7:28 w/800 jogs; Cool
Thu Apr 4 Easy Run Dist: 5 Mi @9:25
Sat Apr 6 Long Run Dist: 12 Mi @9:25

WEEK 22: 30 Mi
Mon Apr 8 Easy Run Dist: 8 Mi @9:24
Wed Apr 10 Tempo Run Dist: 7 Mi, inc Warm; 3 Mi @ 7:54; Cool
Thu Apr 11 Easy Run Dist: 7 Mi @9:24
Sat Apr 13 Long Run Dist: 8 Mi @9:24

WEEK 23: 36 Mi
Mon Apr 15 Easy Run Dist: 3 Mi @9:23
Tue Apr 16 Speedwork Dist: 4 Mi, inc Warm; 2x1600 in 7:26 w/800 jogs; Cool
Thu Apr 18 Easy Run Dist: 3 Mi @9:23
Sat Apr 20 Marathon Race Day 26.2 Mi @8:10 Time: 3:34:13

The plan as it was written by RW smart coach will log 900 miles not including race day. In adding an extra run I'll pick up an extra 150 miles, for a total of 1050 miles prior to race day. This is a large increase over the miles that I completed in 2012 but I believe that with my current fitness level I'll be fine. I just completed a 15.5 mile run last week and I didn't have any negative effects. In fact I felt fresh after the run.

So this is my plan that will put me well below the 4 hour mark for 26.2 miles. In fact according to smart coach they believe I should be able to finish in 3:34:13. I guess I'll find out when I get to Carmel.

Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below, or give me a shout out on twitter @thebrainrunner

Now get out there and get your run in!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Monumental Marathon Recap

The alarm was set for 5:00am yet it was a couple of hours before and I was awake. I rolled over and tried to go back to sleep, which I think I did at least for a little bit. At a quarter till five I turned on the television to catch a glance of the weather for the race. I knew it was going to be in the 30's at the start of the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon but there was a chance of rain so I wanted to see if that was going to happen at the start. Thankfully it looked like it was going to hold off. I ate breakfast, took a shower, got dressed, and met Matt who was running the race with me. All four of us, Tammy (my wife), Matt, Jody (Matt's girlfriend) and I headed down to the start line.

Matt and I said our goodbye's to the girls, who were going to ride their bikes around the course to see us, and headed off to where Back on My Feet were going to have a group prayer before the race. We got there right as they were starting, and while they were giving the group prayer I said my own. Then it was time to go over to where we would meet up with the four hour pace group. The coral was crowded but we were close enough to the group that we could easily see them and catch them once we started. I took a gel and took off my throw away clothes.

As the race started I told myself to stay calm and stay with the pacer, especially since I have a tendency to go out too fast. We headed out through the streets of downtown Indianapolis on this 26.2 mile excursion. Just after mile 3 we saw the girls and I blew Tammy a kiss. I was feeling good and strong at this point which I should be.
1-3 splits: 9:02, 9:39, 8:57
Soldiers and Sailors Monument

We then head north, away from downtown toward our northern most point near Broad Ripple on 66th street. But on the way to that point we went through the art district on Mass Ave where I took my first gel. At near mile 5 I felt like I needed to pee so I started looking for a pit stop. I thought I found one but after waiting for 12 seconds realized the line was to long and decided to go ahead. I saw the girls at mile 6 or so and waved and wondered if they thought I dropped Matt or if he dropped me. Then I caught back up to Matt who wondered where I went, and when I told him he laughed at me and said he needed to go as well. So we started to look for a pit stop without a line. We finally found one at mile 10 that still had a small line but neither of us could hold back any longer so we waited a little bit and did our business then headed back out on the course.Trying to do math and figuring out how far behind the pace group we were, how long it would take us to catch them if we ran 8:55's proved to be more than either of us could do at that point so we just went with it.
4-10 splits 9:02, 9:09, 8:53, 8:54, 9:21, 9:29, 10:49

We ended up catching the pace group near mile 12. Wow! We were pushing it, because by my calculations they had about a minute plus lead on us. The problem was now that I needed another pit stop, my stomach started to become sour, and churn. I told Matt I was going to try and put some distance on the pace group so I could use the rest room again. I wished him good luck just in case I didn't see him again, and he did the same. I took off on my own out in front of the group. Other than the stomach urgency I was feeling good, my legs felt great, but holy cow my stomach was not cooperating. Just after crossing the timing mat at the half way point there was another pit stop, without a line. I ducked in to my disgust, and quickly realized that wasn't happening, so I ran on with stomach urgency.
11-13.1 splits 8:47, 8:34, 9:46

Oddly enough my stomach subsided and I kept running smoothly. I thought that the issues might come back so I planned to run an even pace (even though I'm typically not good at that) and see where that left me. Somewhere in the 16th mile my issue returned, even worse this time. There wasn't a pit stop in sight....
I even half seriously contemplated going off course into a wooded area. But thankfully that didn't have to happen. Just a little bit after the 16th mile marker I saw another pit stop and quickly made my way inside, did my business which seemed to take a long time. But upon exiting I felt so much better. I said a quick prayer that I'd seen the last of stomach troubles.
14-17 splits 7:54 (this was only .9 miles), 9:02, 8:25, 12:51

Now that that was behind me I tried to figure out where I was. As we made a turn I looked back and didn't see any pace group signs. Then I found a runner who I remembered seeing with us earlier and asked if the pace group was ahead or behind them. Unfortunately they said they were ahead by a couple of minutes. I knew I was behind my pace, but I wanted to try and stay smooth, and strong. I went through a mental check list. Feet-Good, Calves-Good, Legs-Good, Stomach-Good (thank goodness), Breath-Good, Mind-Real Good. So I pushed on.... Just before mile 18 there was a gel station, where I grabbed two gels. Unfortunately an overzealous volunteer had already opened them. I had planned on carrying one and taking one. Instead I took one and dropped one, then tried to lick the gel off of my hand. That's not as pleasant as you would think considering all the sweat. We ran by the Butler University campus where I had run my very first race after my brain surgery with Tammy. Then we made our way toward the Indianapolis Museum of Art and ran through some of their grounds. That's when I caught up to Matt. He said he was feeling a little tired and was having some cramping issues and I should go ahead if I could. I waited for a little bit since I'd been pushing for a while to try and catch up to the pace group. Then we fist bumped, and wished each other good luck and I headed off again.
18-20 splits 8:42, 9:30, 8:46

Mentally I had split this race into 6 segments, 4x5 milers and 2x5k's. I was now into the short segments. It was starting to get tough, but my legs felt good considering. At mile 22 the temperature seemed to drop quickly and then sleet started to fall. This can't be good was my thought. I knew that at mile 23 I needed to be at 3:30:50 which I didn't meet. I needed to run a fast 2nd 5k, I figured this was not going to happen, by my calculations. I could see in the distance to the south Methodist Hospital where I'd been airlifted to exactly 4 years earlier to the day with a ruptured brain aneurysm. I almost lost it right there and had to hold back the tears. I'd come so far from then. I then saw the girls up on the next corner and gave Tammy a quick kiss, and told them Matt was behind me a little ways. I also told Tammy that I thought 4 hours was out, but she encouraged me, saying I was doing great and that it would still be a PR from Chicago the year prior. Off I went!
21-23 splits 8:52, 9:27, 9:28

I had a brief moment where I thought maybe I could. Maybe if I could just run a 25 minute or even a 26 minute 5k I might make the four hour time. I gave it everything I could but mile 25 was rough. I walked for 30 seconds during this mile, but it seemed like it was longer than that. With only a mile left to go one of my inspirational songs started playing from my playlist. It was like I timed it perfectly for when I was feeling low. The song, by Eminem 'Till I Collapse, the opening lines say: "Sometimes you just feel tired, you feel weak, and when you feel weak you just want to give up. But you gotta search within you, you gotta find that inner strength and just pull that shit out of you and get that motivation to not give up not be a quitter, no matter how bad you wanna just fall flat on your face and collapse." That was what I needed to get running again I didn't want to be a quitter, I'd go until I finished or collapsed. My legs were tired, I was about finished, then it happened.......I crossed the finish line!
23-26.2 splits 9:19, 9:39, 9:18, 1:51(for the .2)

I couldn't hold back the tears any longer. One of the volunteers who was at the finish line, said to me "It's ok! You did it!" I gave it everything I had on that day and even though I didn't make my four hour goal I know that I have that in me. I just need to get the stomach issues under control. I'm proud of this finish!

Total time 4:03:30.3

This won't be my last....I love this race distance!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Marathon Anticipation

One month from Saturday, I'll be running my second marathon. The first was painful as you may have read here, or part 2 here. I'm cautiously optimistic about this one.
The starting line.

I was looking at my training and comparing the two training cycles with each other yesterday and found something that really boosted my confidence. In the training leading up to the Chicago Marathon in October of 2011 I had one 20 mile training run. That run was completed with a pace of 10:18 per mile with an overall time of 3 hours, 26 minutes and 59 seconds. Going into that race I was nervous and wasn't quite sure what to expect. This time I've completed one 20 miler thus far and have another scheduled next week. This time my 20 miler was completed in 3 hours 1 minute, and 22 seconds, or an 8:57 pace. That's a minute and twenty one seconds faster per mile. I'm feeling good!

This time I'm not nursing a severe injury, although I have had some issues with my ankle it doesn't keep me from running and it is getting better. Last time I was having pain on the bottom of my foot, which flared up during the race. I know there will be pain during the race it's expected this time. I'll feel tired, I may want to stop, but I'm in a better place, I've done more miles, and more quality.

Can a year make that much of a difference, I think yes. The race plan will be the same plan that I was going to try and implement last time. I plan on sitting right on the shoulder of the 4 hour pacer which is a 9:10 per mile split. I'll let them guide me, and take me to mile twenty. Then I plan on gradually increasing my speed, and finish under a four hour marathon. I feel confident that I can do this. Now, when I run at that pace it feels easy, and well within my means. I do have a specific time that I want to hit, but I will keep this close to my vest at this time. Why? You may ask. I'm also running this marathon, the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon, with a friend of mine. We are evenly matched, and I don't want to give away what my exact plans are, because it is a race. However, I hope he does well, it's his first marathon, and I want him to be successful. I don't want him to feel as though he has to try and go with me. We will be toeing the line together, both with the four hour pace group and we are both planning on staying with them until 20 miles is hit, but then it's up to each of us after that point.

My nutrition is nailed down, as good as it can be with my experience. Last time I consumed too many gels which led to some minor stomach issues. This time I have a better defined plan on my nutrition. I'll eat breakfast three hours before the race, to give me enough time to digest. Then I'll take a gel 10 minutes prior to the start. I'll only carry one gel with me and pick up the rest on the course. I'll take gels at the following mile markers: 5(the one I'll carry), 10.5, 14, 18, 22 (I'll grab 2), 24. I'll drink at every water stop, and where Gatorade is available I'll have a half cup followed by water, until later in the race when I'll switch to a full cup of Gatorade and a half cup of water.

This race, I feel confident in! I'm hoping for temps in the 40's to start then reaching up to the mid fifties. These temps are right in line with the averages for this time of year in Indianapolis. I'm hoping we won't have the 26 degree temps we had when I completed the half version of this race. But if it's to be I'll adjust my clothing selection. If the temps are where I hope they will be I'll be in a singlet and shorts, with a pair of throw away gloves and hat. Any colder than 40 and I'll go with a sleeved tech shirt.

There are still slots available for the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon, the half and 5k if your interested. Hopefully I'll see you out there. If not, wish me luck as I embark on my journey to break 4 hours in the marathon. Gods Speed!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Hoosier Hospitality is Dying.....

Hoosier Hospitality: Is the genuine friendliness associated with those from the Hoosier State. However I won't get into what a Hoosier is or how the word came to be.
Along the trails, both paved and dirt I've noticed a disturbing trend recently, and that is Hoosier Hospitality may be dying. On almost all of my runs I pass several other people, and I'm assuming that they are from the state of Indiana. I am a friendly runner, if I see you I'll give a wave, a head nod, or say "Hi" or "Good Morning." More times than not however I'm greeted with an empty response of nothingness. Many times the others that I'm passing will not even make eye contact with me, let alone say "hi" in response.

As a fellow runner we have a duty and obligation to look out for our fellow runners. Part of this responsibility is to acknowledge that we are each out on the "road" trying to improve our bodies and make them better by engaging in physical activity. Is it to much to ask of ourselves to respond in kind to a fellow runner. I can understand if someone is out for a hard tempo run to maybe only get a quick flick of the hand, or a nod of the head, but when it's obvious they are just out for an easy or normal run and I receive nothing it leaves an empty feeling in my gut, almost to the point of frustration.

All I'm asking of you as runners is to show a little respect and acknowledge your fellow runners out on the "road" and say "hi." It won't kill your time, it may even make your run better knowing you aren't alone out there trying to get your miles in. Smile, let the others know you are enjoying your time outdoors in nature getting your run in. Wave, head bob, say "hi," "hello," "good morning" make it a peaceful day where we all feel the joy that is running.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Catching Up

Since I last wrote many things have happened and I'll bring you up to speed on all that's been going on.

500 Festival Mini Marathon
I ran this race as a fundracer for Back on My Feet Indianapolis and had a lot of fun. It was a very humid day and ended up being hot as well. So, Hot and Humid equals a slower pace. Which was what happened I was able to finish in just under two hours. I also got to run with some friends for a little bit throughout the race.

Firecracker 6
This race is run on July 4th and again it was a hot one! The race is a 6 mile race in Indianapolis with a patriotic theme. My goal going into the race was to run it under 48 minutes. I ended up finishing it in 48:17. Although I barely missed my goal I was pleased with my performance. I was especially pleased with my last mile split of 6:48:41.

Marathon Training
I'm currently training to run the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon which will be on November 3rd 2012. This course takes you through many different areas of Indianapolis and is a lot of fun. I ran the half two years ago and really enjoyed the course and experience. Training is going well and I'm hoping to have a much better run that Chicago of last year.

Personal Update
I've been trying to secure a new job for quite some time, and have recently accepted a new position with a different company. This should allow me to have more time with the family and have a more consistent schedule for some fun stuff like running.

I hope to not have such a long break between my next post and this one in the future, but I've been focusing on securing my new job which as some of you may know takes up a lot of time.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Giving Back, it's Time

After my aneurysm ruptured, I don't remember much from the time in the hospital before my surgery. But, I do remember thinking that if I was to live past the current predicament that I was in I would make sure to "give back." Giving back can be exemplified in many different forms, you can donate, volunteer, start a non-profit, etc... I started a company, and one of the founding principles of the company is that a portion of the profits would go to different charities that I wanted to support.

As I began running and got more and more involved in the running community by attending races and expo's, as well as being involved on twitter, etc. I came across a nonprofit that really resonated with me. You may have heard of Back on My Feet before, but I was introduced to them via twitter and thought that it was a very neat concept.

Back on My Feet Indianapolis, at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, Indianapolis IN
Here's the basics of BoMF from their website: Back on My Feet (BoMF) is a national nonprofit organization that is dedicated to creating independence and self-sufficiency within the homeless and other underserved populations by first engaging them in running as a means to build confidence, strength and self-esteem. The organization does not provide food nor shelter, but instead provides a community that embraces equality, respect, discipline, teamwork and leadership. Back on My Feet’s approach focuses on the very profound and innate desire for all of us – regardless of age, race, socio-economic status – to feel recognized, appreciated, valued and important. Through dedication and hard work, Members earn the opportunity to create a new road for themselves by advancing to the “Next Steps” phase of the program where they gain access to educational, job training and employment opportunities, as well as financial aid. In short, BoMF focuses on changing the direction of people’s lives by changing the way they see themselves.

I met the Communications director of the Indianapolis chapter at the Carmel Marathon expo in 2011 where I was running their half with my wife for her first 13.1 miles. We talked for a little while there and have kept in touch via twitter. After running the Chicago Marathon I had heard of others running for charity but didn't know exactly how it worked, but I thought that it might be a fun opportunity to do that at some point.

This brings us to real time where I will be running the 2012 edition of the 500 Festival Mini Marathon for Back on My Feet's Indianapolis charter. I'm raising money for them to continue to do the great work that they do everyday. I would love to be more involved with them and run with their groups, however the time that they meet doesn't match up with my work schedule so I'll have to be content with helping in this manner. Maybe at some point in the future I could do more with them but for I'll work to raise money.

I'm committed to raising a thousand dollars to run the Mini Marathon for BoMF, although I'd like to reach a higher dollar amount. Eighteen hundred is the amount that it takes to get a participant through the entire program which I think would be great. I'm telling you this not to brag or say look at me. But I'm telling you this to hopefully inspire you to do something you've not done before and get involved to give back.  If that means donating to something I'd love it if you donated to me. But if it means doing your own fundraising program, then I say what are you waiting for? Get started now!

If you choose to donate to my cause here's the link, I thank you, but there is no pressure.
My Fundraising Page

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Winter Trail Half Marathon

It was a cold January day, with temperatures in the low 30's at dusk and a stiff wind driving the "feels like" temperature into the 20's. I was about to toe the line of my first trail race of any distance. Before I signed up I was contemplating doing the full marathon but someone wiser than I (my wife) talked me into doing only the half since coming off an injury from the Chicago Marathon. In hindsight this was a very wise choice.
Just to give you an idea of how cold it was here's what I was wearing to try and stave off the chill of the wind. A pair of running shorts (as a wind shield) 2 pair of running tights, a compression short sleeve shirt, a long sleeve technical shirt, a long sleeve thermal technical shirt, a wind proof jacket, a pair of winter running gloves, an ear warmer, and a face screen. With all that I was still quite chilly before the start of the race.
As the race took off there was about 200 feet before the trail went down to a single track so there we waited for the bottle neck to open up a little. Then we meandered on a two loop course of trail and paved trail through Eagle Creek Park on the northwest side of Indianapolis. Some of the hills were very steep and probably topped out at a 20% grade, or so it appeared. With the headlight on and running with a friend (Matt) we were out in the woods. Everything was going well until we got to about mile 4, then the mud started and didn't let up until we were almost finished with the first loop. For those keeping track at home that's almost two and a half miles of ankle deep mud, muck, puddles, etc... My feet were frozen, and according to the race director who ran the course the day before and today it was "a lot better conditions today than yesterday" Holly Cow! I couldn't imagine it being much worse, everyone was slipping and sliding all over the trail, and I think this caused extra fatigue for me. Especially my hips which were already calling in for reinforcements. But I was having fun, and it helped that I had a friend to run it with, who was taking pity on my lack of endurance after taking almost two full months off by waiting for me when I needed to take a breather.
The second loop was much the same but I did shed my outer layer at the half way point because I had built up so much heat I was now frying. After going through the second batch of mud I was trying to save a little energy so I'd have enough left for a kick at the end. (As stated before, I'm very competitive and like to finish strong) Making the final turn there was about a 5 foot drop that I had forgotten about and I almost took a header into the mud. After barely catching myself we sprinted to the finish and in a virtual tie (Matt beat me by 7 one hundredths of a second) we had a great time and congratulated each other on finishing what I am referring to as The Muddy Mucky Winter Half Marathon.
I look forward to doing some more trail races in the future, since this was so much fun. But I think it will be more fun once I have my endurance built back up.
Speaking of endurance, I've begun my training for the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon in Indianapolis this year as you might recall from the 35th running. This year I'm running for charity and fund raising or fundracing for an organization called Back on My Feet  more to com on this in the future but if you would like to help me reach my goal of $1800.00 you can visit my fundracing page and help out, any and all amounts help.

Until next time, run fun!