Sunday, June 30, 2013

Half Way There - 2013

Holy cow!  How did we already hit the half way point of the year?

At this point every year, I like to take a look back at my goals I made at the beginning of the year and check in with my progress.  Let's see how I'm doing.

Stay below 230 pounds
YES!  I hit high 200's just before my marathon - then after a month of not exercising I hit the 2-teens, so now I need to get back on track.  Still working on that part, but still well below where I started the year.

No McDonald's or Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
Done.  And easier than I thought.

Run a race every month
So far so good!  The 2 1/2+ year streak may come to an end, but we'll see how the next few months go.

Run a marathon
Done!  June 2nd was such an incredible day!

Run under the following times:
5K: 26:00  10K:  57:00  Half Marathon: 2:00:00
Not sure if I'll hit any of these.  Probably won't go for the half (best time was 2:15), but if I work my butt off I could at least make an attempt at the other two.

Run 3 destination races
Moab, UT - San Diego, CA - 

Visit 5 new places
Not many new places, but road trips to Moab, RMNP, and a few local treks, moving to Gunnison, and a trip to San Diego.

Read the Bible
did well for a while, but then fell off of consistency.  Some chunks here and there, but not doing the best.

Increase savings accounts to undisclosed amount
Staying pretty steady, but not seeing some of the growth I was hoping for!

Have zero balance on my credit cards
Still working on this, but have a long ways to go.

I've volunteered at a couple individual events (races, church, etc.) but not was I was aiming for.

Discover/Rediscover a creative outlet
Did some art early on, but need to keep finding some fun things to do.

Smile and laugh a lot

Monday, June 17, 2013

What now?

What now?

That's the question that so many people ask themselves after completing their first marathon.  After months of training, it's customary to fall into a lull.  To fall off track.  To lose some of the edge.

Since my race two weeks ago, I have eaten like garbage.  I have gone running once - yesterday's The Color Run.  I've stopped caring about health and fitness.

And that's ok.  At least it was for a little while.  I know I need time to regroup and recharge.  But how much is right?  A week?  A month?  I'm not sure if I know the answer.

All I know is I'm starting to feel the itch again.  Not to run another marathon any time in the foreseeable future, but to get back on the active and healthy train.

So now, I need a few new goals to boost me in the right direction.

Running Goals
-Continue to run races every month, continuing my streak that started in Dec. 2010
-Run a 5K in 26:00 and 10K in 57:00 (2 of my goals from the beginning of the year - now it's go time!)

Weight Goals
-Be at 209 lbs by Labor Day (75 total lost)
-Be at 199 lbs by the end of the year

Active Goals
-Find a consistent weight regiment and schedule
-Consistently play a sport, recreationally or competitively (swimming, volleyball, badminton, etc - I'm ready for some variety)

Time to reassess and continue to find healthy ways to live my life!

What do you like to do to stay active?  What keeps you motivated?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

What Support Looks Like

I'm still basking in the glow of being a marathoner, but now that the dust has settled, when I think about that day, I think about the love and support I got from so many people.

My favorite display of support I received came on the tail end of a fundraising incentive I did for people who donated.  For those who gave at least $25, I made a handmade purple bracelet, and asked them to wear it on June 2nd when I ran my race.

That day, via text, email, and Facebook, people sent me pictures of them wearing their bracelet that day.

Here's a sample of what came flooding in to me while I was in San Diego:

I'm a pretty lucky guy...

Thursday, June 6, 2013

26.2 Reasons To Smile

On Sunday, June 2nd, I became a marathoner.

I arrived in San Diego on Thursday with my family, and I had a couple days to explore and do some site seeing.  As the team flew in from Colorado over the next few days, the excitement was brewing.  Race weekend was here, and after 4 months, it was finally time to conquer 26.2 miles.

On Saturday night, we attended a special event that TNT races put on called Inspiration Dinner.  This was the typical pre-race meal, and featured all 1,500 TNT participants racing in San Diego.  After a few people gave some remarks, we were entertained by the keynote speaker, John Bingham ("The Penguin").  The night concluded with a father speaking about his son's diagnosis, and how thankful he was that 10 years ago it would have been a death sentence, but that is not the case today.  Lots of inspiration, lots of excitement, lots of smiles, and lots of tears.

After dinner, I got the last few items ready and gave a bag to my family to have to meet me along the race route.  We had figured out that they could see me at around mile 9, 17.5, and at the finish line.  I said good night to them, laid out my race gear, and it was time for bed.

3:30 came, and we were up.  We met the team in the lobby at 4 and took the shuttle to the starting area. We had plenty of time to kill, so we just sat and chatted as the time crept closer and closer.  Finally, it was time for the marathon to start!

I was in Corral 8, so I had a little while to wait.  Wave by wave, the runners got started.  Finally... the countdown... 10...9...8...7...6...5...4...3...2...1... GO!!!

Basically, the race was split into 4 sections for me, so I will recap all of them and save the mile-by-mile recap.

Start - Mile 11:  The first few miles I made sure I started at a pretty slow speed - rule #1 for people running a marathon.  I got into a rhythm, and I felt good!  There were so many people running that it took a few miles for people to really position themselves.  The course looped through Balboa Park then downtown, so it was a great tour of the city.  Once I got to Little Italy, I started getting excited because I knew I would see my family shortly.  The course ran right by their hotel, so they got to watch me pass from the front gate - I swapped some water bottles and sports beans and continued on my way, still feeling great!

Mile 11 - Mile 16: Once I hit double digits, I started feeling a little worn out.  My breathing was still great (thanks to my training in Denver), but my legs started feeling heavy.  I started feeling the humidity.  I knew that the easy part was over, so now it was just about staying focused.  I hit the halfway point and got excited to be on the back half.  I still felt strong, but I was fading.

Mile 16-22:  Then, it got hard.  Once I saw my family at mile 17.5, I made another switch of water and sport beans, and they gave me words of encouragement.  This stretch is when I had to start taking a few walk breaks, but kept trudging on.  At about mile 19, I saw my coach Chris, and he ran alongside me for a few blocks, seeing how I felt.  I told him I felt fine, but my legs were fading.  He said a lot of people were feeling that way because of the humidity.  He told me to keep hydrating, keep eating lots of salt, but the last 6 miles are just about getting through.  I hit mile 20, and that's the first sense I got that this was actually going to happen.  My legs started cramping at this point, going through stretches where they'd feel fine, then immediately start tightening and cramping to the point where I couldn't run. This repeated for about a 6 mile stretch.

The worst part of the race was a hill we had to go up at about mile 21- it lasted almost a mile, and it was death.  By the time I got there, nobody was able to run up it - people would run in spurts, but after a few hundred yards, would slow to a walk again.  It felt like it went on forever, but finally, I made it to the top.  I knew it would be just about all downhill from there.

Mile 22-Finish:  By this point, I just wanted to be done.  But the more I would start running, the better I would feel.  I kept drinking water, but I knew that nothing would really help any more - adrenaline was the one thing that was going to get me through to the end.  Mile by mile passed.  23... 24...  I started getting closer to downtown, and started picking up the speed a little.  25...  I knew I was reaching the final stretches, and I was eagerly awaiting when I could finally see the finish line.  A Team in Training coach spotted me and ran alongside, explaining that there were just 2 more turns, then a complete straight path to the finish line.  My pace quickened and my stride strengthened.  I was almost home.  I finally reached the 26 mile marker, and there it was... the finish line.   I bolted toward the end, raised my hands in the air, crossed the line, and became a MARATHONER.

I got my medal, gave a quick kiss to my girlfriend Kristen, gave my family hugs, and immediately went to find a place to sit down.  I was tired, beat up, and beyond exhausted, but words can't describe the feeling I had.  After 4 months of training, 2 1/2 years of running, and most of a lifetime of battling weight issues, depression, knee surgery, and several things that should have prevented me from ever reaching this day, all I can say is... I did it!

This post I made shortly after the race sums up my thoughts:

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Marathon Outfit

For those curious, here's what I wore for my marathon.  I wanted to share this with you mostly because of what was on the back.

Front - nothing fancy, just the race shirt that dons our Rocky Mountain chapter logo.  This is where the bib also goes - this helps with identification for the thousands of people running the race.  You also see my shoes, which I bought a couple weeks before the race.  The red strap is the timing chip - when my shoe crossed the checkpoints, that's what measured the official time, and was able to send texts to a few people and post on my Facebook.

Back - Here is the section where I ran with the people who donors mentioned they were supporting in honor or memory of.

I ran this race in memory of:

My Grandpa Audley Maxwell Jones
Sharon Spillman's dad John Donald Dvorak
Kevin Smith's uncle Greg
Shawn Brackett's friend Angela
My mon's cousin Kathleen

and in honor of:

Nate Tatarek, a long time neighbor and family friend
Kevin Smith's uncle Brian
Alicia Acker's dad Ted

These people were with me in name and in spirit the entire way.  Thanks for sharing their stories with me.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

I Dedicate This Mile...

As a thanks for people donating at least $50, I am dedicating a mile to these people.  I will find a way to have this list with me when I run, so that each mile I run, I will think about these people cheering me on.

1-  Audley Jones - I am dedicating the first mile of the race to my Grandpa - a role model and inspiration for me.
2-  Diane & Tim Madden
3-  Betty & Bob Myers
4-  Tom & Anne Jones
5-  Jim & Gail Bach
6-  Jim & Trish Robbins
7-  Jim & Sharon Spillman
8-  Mary & Paul Olson
9-  Randy & Kathy Oppelt
10-  Mary Satterstrom
11-  Cathy Garvey
12-  Kathy Hart
13-  Peggy & Bill Kloepfer
14-  Wendy Kuntz
15-  Tom & Melonae Kunz
16-  DJ Courtenay
17-  Tim & Naomi Tatarek
18-  Megan Currier
19-  Natasha Nightengale
20-  Team in Training Teammates & Coaches
21-  Adam Rainville
22-  Shannon Madigan
23-  Becky Talpas
24-  Amma Marfo
25-  Kristen Watson
26-  Marilyn, Rick, and Michael - the best family anyone could ask for.
.2-  Me - the home stretch will be my time to say goodbye to the old me.  Who I was is long gone.  When I cross the finish line, I am stepping out of my past and into my future.