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.

Monday, August 12, 2013

A thr33 month update

I know it's been a while, three months to be exact, but things have been out of routine with the summer months. The girls were out of school which throws the entire routine off. Since we last spoke I've run a couple of races and set a new PR at the 6mile distance. More about those in a minute, but I've also been training for a fall marathon which I've yet to sign up for. Training has been a little spotty as of late. I'm not sure if it is the lack of routine, motivation, or flameout? Time shall tell. I did have some really tough but fun runs when I was on a business trip to Florence, KY. More elevation than I'm used to, but supper fun at the same time. Maybe I just need more change of scenery on my runs. Maybe I'm getting bored seeing the same sights all the time on my normal everyday training runs. Hmmm?

July4 2013 and it's time for the Firecracker 6! This is a six mile loop course through downtown Indianapolis. Goal sub 48 minutes; I just missed this last year. I also wanted to be top 100 overall and top 75 males (because top 75  of each gender get a cool mug). 
It was a beautiful day and looked to be a fast day with the weather. I pushed hard but tried to stay consistent, yea I have pacing problems. 
Splits: 7:10, 7:50, 7:30, 8:13, 8:00, 7:04 official time 45:47. I feel a little bit robbed with that 8:13 there was a bad water cup handoff and I had to stop, turn around, then start again. Overall pleased with the time, finished in place 100 overall, and 77th male. Dang! No mug, maybe next year. 

I just ran the Jeremy Wright 5k, super humid and coming off a decent week of training with tired legs. I didn't get an official time and I stopped my watch late but I think it was about a 23:30. Nothing great but it was for a good cause and honored a fabulous runner and person.

So, as of late my training runs have been up and down. Sometimes I feel great and other times I just want to stop and be finished. Hopefully this will pass! I feel like I need to do something mentally to better engage or prepare, I have the endurance in the legs but the mind has been weak. 
Do you struggle getting your miles in sometimes? 

How do you cope?

Playlist additions:
What It's Like, Everlast

Anastasia, A Silent Film

You've Got Time, Regina Spektor

Pompeii, Bastille

Inbread Evil, Boondox

Now get out there and run!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Sometimes you got it, and sometimes you don't

Right after my new PR for a half marathon at the Sam Costa I became sick. Most of the time I push through this and just grind it out. But this one hit hard, I ended up taking two days off from work which is extremely rare for me. This sickness lingered for almost a month.

The morning of the Carmel Marathon arrived and I didn't feel very much of the sickness left but I had taken almost a month off from training.I wasn't sure how this was going to go but this was supposed to be my "A" race this year. So I decided to go for it and hang with the 3:35 pace group.

Everything started fine when we headed out. We were clicking off 8:12 miles like no ones business. At mile six I started to feel a little fatigue in my legs and fell off the back of the pace group. I stayed calm and slowly reeled them back in within a half mile. By mile 8 I could feel the weight still in my chest from being sick. I started coughing up the remains of my lung. Then my right calf started to get tight. I could still run but I started to slow. Somewhere between 8 and 9 I lost my pace group, and had the 3:40 group pass me. Things were going down hill fast. I continued to cough up the lung and by the time I saw my wife and kids at mile 10 I felt like I'd already run a full marathon. I continued on and muddled through the next mile before I really lost all motivation and will to continue. I battled through not wanting to quit but thinking it may be the best thing. I was so discouraged, disappointed, and generally pissed off.

At mile 12 when I couldn't stop coughing up the lung I decided it wasn't my day. I called Tammy and told her to pick me up. This was the hardest decision I had made about running, and one I hope to never have to make again. It is still disappointing even after a couple of weeks have passed. It's even hard to sit here and type this out. I felt like a failure. My children were there and I was worried about what kind of example I would be setting for them.

Since then I've tried to come to grips with my decision and I think it was the right one, even as hard as it may have been to make. Some runs are up and some runs are down, sometimes you got it and sometimes you don't. The key is to try not to dwell on the negative, but focus on the positive and keep getting out there to do what you love. In my case I'll run...

Have you ever had to drop out of a race or DNF'd? 

Playlist Additions
1. Synthesizers by Butch Walker and The Black Widows
2. The Boxer by Simon and Garfunkel
3. Tourist by Yuna
4. No Wow by The Kills
5. Down By The Water by The Decemberists

Now get out there and run.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Pop Quiz

This has been the longest training cycle I've ever undertaken. I have had some fluctuations throughout and as such early on I had planned to have a couple of test before "A" day. That is the A race, the Carmel Marathon is on April 20th.

The Goal
This was the Sam Costa half marathon, a similar course to the Carmel Marathon with lots of turns and some quote, unquote rolling hills. My goal for Carmel is a 3:35 marathon. What I wanted to accomplish in the Sam Costa was to maintain an 8minute mile pace throughout. But I wanted to do this and not have to push hard to get it done. I knew it wouldn't be an easy pace, but I didn't want to feel as though I was out of control and giving everything I had to accomplish this. I also wanted to make sure I could keep an even pace, not going out to fast and possibly even or negative split this thing.

My thinking is this, if I can maintain an 8 minute pace and have that pace be controlled for a half marathon then the likely hood that I can maintain an 8:12 pace for the full a month away would be greater.
Granted it's only 12 seconds off over 26 miles, but I wanted this to be a test, or a pop quiz. I guess the real test is April 20th. 

The first 7
The first seven miles was good, I felt controlled I settled into a rhythm and found my group to run with. 

Although we did have some instances where we had to run with some traffic it was a nice steady seven. Most of the turns come after the half way point as you can see.

7:28 oh, a little too fast
7:56 better, settle in
8:00 nailed it

Official 7 mile time 55:45 in 184th place.

Finishing the half
So far so good, everything was feeling fine I felt really good. I powered through mile 8 which had the second biggest climb of the day in it.  I began to pass people and or shed people from my group. I always find it best to think of the groups as mine. It gives me ownership and internal power, even though it's only perceived. :)

8:15 got clogged at the water station
7:56 + the point one.
overall 1:44:02 official time NEW PR!

I finished in 143rd place passing over 40 people the second half and negative split this race. I will say the finishing stretch was a bear as you head up an S turn hill into the finishing shoot, not cool. But it worked out well.


I'm pleased with my performance and look forward to the true test on April 20th. The nutrition went well as did my stomach, no issues!

Now get out there and run.

That's me in the red, on a side note look at all the heal strikers.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Lemons make good.

When the world gives you lemons, make lemonade. Isn't that how the old saying goes?

Well this past week I had some lemons. Mainly it was more congestion, runny nose, soreish throat etc... However it was scheduled to be a big week for my running. It should have been a total of 50 miles this past week. Being a guy (most guys are bad patients when they're sick and want to be coddled) I just wanted Tammy to take care of me. I went to work because that's what I do but was wiped out by the time I got home. I ended up with only 10 miles this week and although I'm feeling a little better now I'm glad I made the decision to adjust my schedule and use last week as a recovery week. This means that I will now have a five week build before the next rest week. That rest week just happens to be the start of taper madness.

I'd be lying if I said this didn't make me a little nervous but I shall make this final push and rely on the taper to rebuild the damage I'm about ready to do. The weather seems as though it might be starting to make a little adjustment to the not so terrible side. This will make it easier to get out for the long runs when it's not showing a negative wind chill. I'm really crossing my fingers for some good weather for the Carmel Marathon!!

This week also saw the first group run for the Hendricks County Runners. It was great to meet some of the others for a run and get to have actual conversations instead of virtual ones. I have big hopes for the group as it sounds like others do as well!

Now get out there and run!

1. Welcome to the Black Parade by My Chemical Romance
2. Echo by Foxes
3. C'Mon Let Me Ride by Skylar Grey and Eminem
4. Whip It by Devo
5. Timeless by The Airborne Toxic Event

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Crazy Schedule Calls for Crazy Training

I know some of you that read this have a crazy schedule as well, so this is for you. If you have a quote unquote normal schedule then this is for you to have empathy for those of us that don't. :)

I work retail. You know the kind of retail that requires odd shifts, a couple of nights a week. As well as days off in the middle of the week. I don't get every weekend off, in fact I work more weekends in a month than I have off. Although after switching jobs in the middle of last year to a different retailer my schedule is better, but it's still retail. Don't mistake this for complaining, I chose this profession for myself, or maybe it chose me. I'm not sure who chose who but here I am.

This schedule provides unique conflicts when it comes to training for marathons, or any running for that matter. A normal opening shift has me crawling out of bed at 5am, leaving the house at 6 and to work by 7am. As a manager I can't be late so I routinely get there a little bit early. A normal morning shift starts that same process at 11am. I get home at either 5pm or 10:45pm depending. Many times I close then open which besides being tired doesn't give much time for a run.

In my current training schedule thus far I've tried to stay consistent with the days that I run. However, I've come to the realization that this isn't feasible. So now I find myself half way through my training schedule and the mileage is really getting up there as well as the time I must allocate to this training. So I've decided to adjust my schedule depending on my work schedule. This means that sometimes I may not be able to get a long run in followed by a rest day. Instead I'll have to let my work schedule dictate the training schedule. It may sound worse than it is. I've completed two marathon training plans this way and have gotten faster at each. This time I will be even faster due to the work I've put in not the constraints of my schedule.

I'm interested to hear how you adjust your training routines based on your schedule, so leave a comment below and maybe I can learn from your experience.

Now get out there and run!

New Songs added to play list:
I love listening to music, so I figured I'd start to share some of the songs I've recently added to my playlist. With each post I'll now add the last 5 songs I've added to my playlist. If you have any good songs let me know, my music taste know no bounds.

1. LOW by Cracker
2. Come on Eileen by Dexys Midnight Runners
3. Sex and Candy by Marcy Playground
4. Do You Love Me by Amanda Jenssen
5. Beam Me Up (Kill Mode) by Cazzette    

Friday, February 1, 2013

Running Partner Position Opening

January is over, and typically I enjoy this first month of the year as my birth month. However, this one has been suspect. It's been a January of ups and downs both from a running standpoint and on a personal side.

In this month of the marathon training plan I was supposed to do 177 miles. But, I only did 124. Although this month had some severe weather in Indiana with the blizzard of 2012 and some drastic temperature fluctuations this didn't seem to bother me that much. What was the real problem? The problem I suspect was a couple of things. First, I began to experience some issues with the treadmill, I would get dizzy during my runs. I still haven't figured out what's causing this, although one dailymile friend suggested that it may just be a visual thing. In other words I'm not able to find a fixed point to focus my vision on and thus I'm getting dizzy. This might be the case.
In the last week of January I had some leg pain that is unexplained. Basically I have pain in the upper quad, or hip flexor area and in the glut area all on the same leg. It makes it difficult to walk let alone run. Although this is getting better with rest. So, hopefully this will take care of itself. Thankfully this was a recovery week so I'm trying to stay positive. I've also lost my running buddy. I won't get into the specifics of this because it also revolves around the personal stuff which at this time I'm not comfortable with getting into. But, it is much easier to do the 20 milers with a friend than it is to do them alone. I've tried to reach out to others to do some group runs without success due to scheduling conflicts and such but it's never fun when you lose a close friend.
There are some other personal things that have been going on that have caused this month to not be that great. Again I won't get into these things here but it has to do with family issues outside of my immediate family. I will just say that there are multiple conflicts going on that although I'm not directly involved in it's taxing from a mental standpoint. I'm not sure how it is for most, but for me I have to be in a good frame of mind to complete big runs. I just haven't been there. So, the running has suffered.
One of the ups that I've been experiencing is the fact that I've actually had a sense of closeness that I've not felt with my children in some time. I chalk this up to my level of patience and attentiveness to them. This is a good thing and I feel blessed to have them reaching out to me. I love my little girls with all my heart, but I know I've not always shown them how much I love them. I want to be a good father to them and have been making more effort to show them this love, and it's paying off.
I'm looking forward to February, as today is the first day of this short month. This is the 182 mile month in my training plan in preparation for the Carmel Marathon in April. I've officially signed up for this run so it's a go! However with the set back that January provided I may have to adjust my goal pace back a little but I should be able to tell better where I am at toward the end of the month.
I hope all who read this have a good February, and appreciate the families they have. On a side note, if you would like to get together for a run and we live near each other I'm open to that. Just reach out because I have an opening for a running partner.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Rambling's of the Snag

I've hit a snag! I'm not sure what it is or what has caused this snag but I've hit it.
Everything seemed to be going well up until a couple of weeks ago. I started to feel sick so I missed a couple of runs. Then I had an emergency dental issue. I mean who really likes the dentist? Mandatory 72 hours no exercise. UGH!
Then the winter started, it snowed. I was actually looking forward to running in the snow, which I did and had a blast. Then it snowed some more. I enjoy running outside and in the snow but it can be hard to get out and get moving when it's below freezing. At this same time I had a wrench thrown in my schedule with my girls being out of school. I love the extra time I get to spend with them but it makes my routine get out of whack. More treadmill time is required. Who likes the treadmill? Not me!
I need to  figure out how to make the TM more enjoyable. New Years! Tammy and I had plans, and went out with some friends. Recovery, seemed to take a little longer than I would have liked. Ehm! Note to self, be more wise next time.
I'm having a hard time getting back on the routine that I had been on. I've run, and had some good runs.
I finished 2012 with 1232 miles, 32 over what my goal was. I have visions of doubling that this year, but I need to get my but moving. The last couple of days have been a struggle to get anything done. I wake up, the air is dry and my sinuses are kicking my butt. Headache! Not the kind of headache that you have when a brain aneurysm ruptures, but strong enough that all you want to do is nothing.
I got in a run the other day, in the icy snow. Now I have some knee pain. Shortly after that a fellow runner posted on his twitter feed to stay off of the snow and ice as he's seen  lot of issues arise, ie... knee pain. I wish he would have posted that sooner.
It's only 3 days away from finding out if I've been selected to be an Altra Zero Drop ambassador. I can't help but be a little nervous. Hopefully I will be selected, but if I'm not I'll still use their products because they have done me well.
I started a fb running club, and hope that it will turn into something bigger at some point. It's geared to local runners in my county of residence. If your interested you can find it here.
Bottom line, hitting snags suck! But, I am at the point where I need to suck it up and push through. Make myself get out there and get it done, even if I don't feel like it. Even if I'm tired. Even if I feel bad. Even if the TM is boring. Just get it done! The fun will come back, the days will get longer, I will get to run in the sun again instead of always in the dark. I need to kick my own butt and get moving.
I hope to have a better report of things next time....