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Would you call me crazy if I asked for seconds?

Would you call me crazy if I asked for seconds?

 That’s all I could think of as I was bent over a park table upchucking whatever food I had that day…  four miles on the bike and I am coloring the pavement different colors…    Would I be officially crazy if I wanted to do this for a second round? 

 Prior to the trip I called every bike store in a 70 mile radius looking for a road bike.  Every store but one only had mountain bikes to rent (give you a good idea of the type of area I am in). Right after I dropped my GF off at the airport I made a beeline for some small country store in the middle of nowhere.  As I walk in I see the only road bike they have for rent sitting atop the shelf.  It almost had a heavenly glow about it that was drawing me in…  saying pick me, pick me!!!

 The second I sat down on the bike I knew instantly it was to small… but running short on options I fork over the cash on a pay-by-day basis and happily take it out of the store.  I threw the little frame into the car and take off for another 40 miles before I find the place that I want to ride.  

 Now a smart person would pick an area where you can spend a few miles getting warmed up and getting acquainted,  but I am not here for the pleasantries…  I am here for another reason. Go hardcore or go home. I start at the bottom of the hill and take off.  Quickly my 20+ mph turned to 17, then to 16 and then to 15 (maybe lower) and I was able to hang around that for a while. The first 2.75 miles wasn’t too bad. Nothing that I haven’t done before… (it was still 95% up hill) but the real climb starts right now. 

 I start jumping up out of my saddle, pounding away inch by inch. I can feel the temperature starting to drop as I am gaining elevation and my ears are popping. My seat saddle sways back and forth and all I could think about was the water fountain that’s at the top. I looked at my Garmin and it’s somewhere between six and seven miles per hour. At this point I am starting to think that running this would have been a FASTER option, but I came here for this hill and this hill alone.  

 The worst part of the climb is the last .5 miles to the top. I am now at a combination of sitting for two revolutions and out of the saddle for three or four. It’s the only thing that could keep me going..  my legs were on fire, my chest was burning, but I couldn’t let this hill beat me. My Garmin is flashing 3 MPH and I all I can do is laugh to myself and think how STUPID I am to voluntarily put my body into situations like this. But each push gets me closer and closer to the top. Finally I reach the crest. OMG it felt soooo good!! But only for a second.   

 Four miles on a bike = 25-26 minutes = almost a 2000 ft elevation gain over four miles

 That second of joy was quickly killed as I instantly felt sick.  I got off my little angel that took me up to the clouds and set her against a  tree as I made it about 10 steps to a picnic table before I started to lose my lunch for the day…   and all I could think of… I think I want to come back for seconds tomorrow…

 Afterthoughts:  I didn’t ride to much further that night, I was sick to my stomach.  I really need to look up why that happens to you when you work your ass off… but anyway. The ride back down was crazy fast. I rode the brakes down that steep part and still hit 40 mph..  but looking back at that ride… it was worth it!  I love the challenge, I love the burn, and I love to know that I go and do what others might think is crazy.

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Hangovers

Either social or solo you can never turn down a goodnight…    you could be ripping them down one by one or slowing enjoying and soaking it all in for what it is… the pain the morning is still the same.

 The second I roll out of bed and hit the floor I know that I am paying for last night dearly.  I can’t believe I forgot the IB Profin when I went to bed.   Maybe I didn’t get enough water… who knows, but I feel it as I stumble and almost come crashing to the floor during my first few steps.

 I HATE YOU PLANTAR FASCITIS…  you’re a horrible hangover from last night’s good run!

 Whether its my fun social runs or I am ripping intervals up around the track!   You still make me pay dearly in the morning.

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TBT Beer Dash

 After taking almost a week off from my crazy day of pain and plantar fasciitis  (20 miles of running in hills of San Antonio with the last 10 miles at a 6:38 average and then hopped on the bike and rode for 30 miles) I decided to grab my shoes and hit up the local TBT Beer Dash.. 

 

After getting our race delayed by almost 30 min because of some silly bike race they kicked us off.   All I have to say is that 3K HURTS.    It was 3 laps of pain on the Crit course in downtown Tampa.  It was tons of fun but the only pain point I have is that by the time we rounded out the first lap and started the second we were dodging people walking and jogging.  

 All in all I finished 4th place overall and I was happy with that after almost a month without speed workouts and a week without running due to a nagging injury!  (the race winner ran a 4:03 mile last year… so I am ok with losing to him.)  If you would like to look at the rest of the pictures of the race click here.

-Lazy Runner

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Where it all began (running that is)

Everything went dark and when I mean dark, it was pitch black.. I could hear everything that was happening around me with incredible clarity but my eyes just would not work, it felt like I was trapped and locked away and unable to escape this prison no matter what I did, but within a flash I was back at the party…. Wow. There is a huge crowd in the corner of the yard by the fence, so I walked over to check out what the commotion was about.. It’s party so there is always something interesting. When I walked only to find a kid sitting against the fence with his eyes rolled back into his heads and 2 people slapping him across the face yelling and doing anything to get him to wake up… Then I realized that the kid was me. But once again I had that trapped feeling, I somehow couldn’t make it through the crowd of people and no one could hear a word I was saying, but I could hear everything the girl and they guy were saying as they were shaking me and slapping me across my face. The final thing I saw and hear was them say, “dude, I think he is dead.”

What felt like a split second later the sun was shining down my face and I was in a random house, that I knew wasn’t my buddies house. Somehow I awoke early enough to stumble 2 miles down the road to the church that my parents were supposed to meet me at for Sunday morning service along with a ride back home. All I could say is that I didn’t spend that much time in the service because I spent most of the time in the bathroom vomiting the deadly cocktails I had the night before. After 2 solid days of being sick I finally wondered back outside to the real world to hang out with my friends. One of my buddies pulled me aside and told me that he ended up at the party and found me outside against the fence.

“When the cops came to end the party, the debate of the night was either to you to a hospital because you were past the point anyone should be or to hide you because in letting you go to the hostpial it would be a guarantee that people would be arrested for letting you get to that point along with certain substances that were in the house.”

It’s an easy guess to see what happened. He told me they drug my body to a neighbors house so the cops wouldn’t find me and hopping that I would pull out of it by morning. I don’t know if it’s true or not but he said that he also sat next to me for a few hours just to make sure I was still alive before he took off himself for the night. Before saying goodbye he told me one last thing. “Hope that night taught you one thing. You really need to figure out who your real friends are, everyone that you thought was your friend left you there to die when they were faced with the choice of helping save you or saving themselves from getting in trouble. And If you keep hanging with these people you will become these people.”

And I think that was the last conversation I had with him, and come to think of it I don’t think I have ever seen him again.

I am sure my parents were on to something by this point, because shortly after the school year ended they sent me off to Arizona to go work for my uncle and aunt on their ostrich ranch. Seventy five percent of the time I was on a the ranch I was left there by myself to take care of everything. Everything from long hot days digging ditches in 118 degree heat to tilling fields for planting. But it gave me a lot of time to think… All I knew is that I had to change something, somehow.

After a long hot summer of ostrich ranching, school started back up in Cocoa Beach, Florida. It was on day two, a group of the soccer girls came up to me as I was leaving for home and started their sales pitch on why I should run cross country this year:
• The soccer team didn’t win a single game last year. Anything you do in preseason can help the team fair better this year.
• It will be good for the extra exercise.

And my response included these things:
• Runners are dumb idiots that run around without a purpose and without goals.
• Who the hell wants to wear short shorts like that?
• Runners are so stupid I throw things at them (karma keeps coming back to bite me in the ass on this one, I am still searching for the punk that nailed me with a open beer bottle at 55+mph during one of my 6am runs)
• Running is just plain stupid!

So that night I went and I thought it was settled. Running was dumb and I was never going to do it.

I didn’t expect what was going to happen on Day 3. The girls came back over to me and brought part 2 of their sales pitch, “Just run behind us” and being an adolescent teen driven by hormones along with Cross Country having all the hottest girls in school on the team… I was sold right there on the spot!

Looking back on everything that happened, running came into my life at the right time. Robert Frost says it best that when he came across the 2 different paths in the woods, taking the road less traveled would make all the difference. And it truly did…

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Miami Update:

Its official!!! My bib has been transferred from the full Miami Marathon to the half Marathon. The whole purpose of the switch is because I thought that it would be easier to take 8 minutes off a half marathon than 8 minutes off a full marathon. It’s actually almost 9 because my last half marathon PR is 1:30:54. I’m trying to qualify for the NYC Marathon before the end of the month.

But just wait!!! I know what you’re going to say… With the Marathon you can spread that out over 26.2 miles rather than 13.1, and I do agree with you that in a typical situation it would be doable along with smarter! But my training from MCM, late Oct to the beginning of Jan, consisted of only a few miles a week.

So the odds are against me to get a 1:22 Half:

  • I don’t have time to pick up the mileage to something crazy to get in shape without the increase of injury
  • My best half marathon is a 1:30:54
  • Less than a month of training
  • 2 long runs over 10 miles in the last 3 months
  • Packed on some additional weight (dang double stuff Oreo cookies sitting in my work drawer)
  • You can’t really reverse engineer your BQ time down to a half marathon… some people say the math just doesn’t work out
  • My coach is already predicting a meltdown halfway through the race
  • I have a history of taking off too fast and burning out (not fading) it’s so bad the running group calls it “Pulling a Ben”
  • Might be a little too focused on having fun for this trip

But there are some positives that I am pulling from:

  • Ran 10 miles this week in Clermont on the hills and averaged a 6:40 pace
  • Had a great track workout this week: 400, mile (5:24), 800, 800, 400, mile (5:18) and an optional extra mile of 5:36
  • Ran 15 last week and kept the first 10.5 at a 6:59 pace and hammered the last 4.5 to make it an overall average of 6:47
  • I am reading a running book to help with the mental game “Running the Edge”
  • I starting to embrace the pain feeling of running again!
  • The desire to run with one of the runners I look up to! He is also running NYC!
  • I have recently had a mental shift during the track workouts where I am starting to control effort through different types of kicks at different places during the workouts (Still suck at holding a pace, but I know how to hold an effort level)

So feel free to start putting wagers down for what Lazy Runner will run at Miami! Will it be NYC quals or Bust??

On another note, I live in Tampa and there are tons of social runs all over the city! But there are none in Brandon so I decided to start one! I have the info below if you would like to come and just hang out with a bunch of other runners. (You don’t have to run if you don’t want to!!!)

I would like to invite you and whomever else you would like to bring to Run and Wine (they also serve Beer) event on Thursday Feb 2nd at 6:30 pm over at the Cork and Olive in Brandon.

I know that all across the Tampa Bay area there are successful social running events, but nothing really in the Brandon area so I was hoping that this would be a great trial run.

Date: Thursday February 2nd
Run Time: 6:30 pm
Social Time:7:00 or 7:30pm – whenever
Location: Cork and Olive
2086 Badlands Drive
Brandon, FL 33511
Run Location: Brandon Parkway (The path is lit up)
Facebook Event:
http://www.facebook.com/events/#!/events/302861949750500/

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Most Excellent Christmas Gift EVER

I just want to give a shout out to my GF who went through the thick and thin to find my pics from my first marathon!  

Super Quick Race Recap:  MCM 2009

Pre-training

I vowed never to run a marathon until at least my 30s because I didn’t want to be one of the crazy….  Wait.. I really just didn’t want to, so please pick an excuse for me and we can utilize that one.   But I knew when I decided to take up the challenge, I would start with the Marine Corps Marathon.  So in the spring of 2009 some cute girl that I knew from college shot me an a message…  “you should run MCM with me..” and being the dumb single guy, I signed up, and in the following weeks she found a boyfriend.

Training

So let’s fast forward a few months I have run absolutely 0 miles in training for my first marathon, when my friend Capt C introduces me to some red head that needed a training partner for a few runs.   My entire training regiment for this marathon was 3-4 runs a month and I only ran when I was running with Red.  There are tons of fun stories here but I will save for another time…  This is also where I picked up the nickname “Lazy Runner.”

The big day

This being my first marathon, I decided to bring a camera with me to capture all the moments that I thought were cool during the race (I really used it as an excuse because all my friends were running sub 3 hour marathons and I quit running after college.)   The first 10 miles were amazing, I stopped and took pictures of everything that was cool and somehow at that point I was still ahead of the 3 hour group.  Shortly after that my lack of training started kicking in, but my spirits were soaring.  The next 16 miles were split up with a lot of walking and picture stops (rest stops), and all smiles.  I could not keep the smile off of my face.  There was so much excitement, thousands of people cheering you on, I was giving out hundreds of high fives, stopping to thank the Marines at different mile markers for their service and their support.  Overall I stopped during the race 62 times for Kodak moments, had an amazing race, and finished with a 3:49…  And then took 6 months off of running… 

Pictures during the race

It was 26.2 miles of all smiles! 

At the time I ran for the Lockheed Martin F-35B Marathon Team, which was awesome.  Having crowd support throughout the race and being able to show off one bad ass fighter jet!  Stuff like this makes me glad that I am hanging out on the American side of any battle.

Last note:  Who are you cheering for this weekend for the Oly Trials?

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Have a fun weekend!!!

15 or 16 on deck for the morning!!!    How much do you have one deck!!!

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