What can I say? I love to run. I've run 4 full marathons and 6 halfs. But I love God more and I'm determined to run this race of life for Him to receive the ultimate prize of Heaven. I'd like to share my thoughts with you. You can agree or disagree. Comment or don't. You can read or not read. But it's here if you want it. Enjoy! .

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Got My Corral


I know it's still over 7 months until the Chicago marathon but just a quick post to say that I got my corral assignment already. If you want to get into one of the first five corrals, you have to submit proof of time. I knew I couldn't get in corral A but thought I might could make corral B by submitting my half marathon time. My marathon time was 3 min. too slow to make it but my half PR was one minute lower than the minimum. So I faxed the results from the 2008 Country Music Half Marathon hoping it would get me in. And it worked. Just 3 business days later, Corral B showed up next to my name when checking the registration. So I'm good. I also reserved a hotel room close to the airport. This was much more cost efficient and just easier. I will only be there one night anyways.

Not much else is happening. 15K relay in 2 weeks. I think I'm doing the 2nd of 3 legs. More about that later.

Trying to convince a few folks to go to Chicago and/or Disney with me. We'll see if anything pans out. Hope everyone has had a good week.

Keep runnin',

Sunday, February 21, 2010

C.I.T. - Carter in Training

9:43 PM

I'm really tired. I stayed up all night Friday night chaperoning a youth lock-in. I made it to 5AM - the longest I think I've every gone. I'm too old to go the whole night. I got about 45 minutes from 5-5:45. Then I got just three hours on Saturday. And I haven't caught up yet. I slept hard last night but woke up at 4:30 to do my long run. So I am going to bed right after I finish this post.

I did 12 this morning but you'll notice my total for today is 13. That's because I ran a mile with my 8 year old son, Carter. As previously mentioned, he is training for his first ever 5K and I couldn't be a prouder dad. Is prouder a word? More proud? Who cares. It's about 8 weeks until the 5K and my wife wrote out a training program for him after looking online. Not sure why she didn't consult the running expert in the family. (That would be me by the way) But I have to admit it's a pretty good training schedule. He ran four half-miles last week but today was the first mile. He's run several miles before. He did 26 last Spring for his school's participation in the Country Music kids marathon where they do the marathon one mile at a time. But it's been a year so I was curious to see how he'd do today on his first mile in a long time. Needless to say, he did great. I was hoping to run somewhere in the 10 or 11 minute range. We have a goal of running 27 min. for his 5K or 9 min. per mile. I thought at his age that would be doable. We've told him that wherever he finishes in his age group for this first race will be great. Just finishing will be the victory, but of course he would like to finish strong and place as high as possible. So we put 27 min. as the tentative goal thinking that might place well. I'm proud to say that we ran a 9:30 mile today - on our first one! I was very impressed and proud of him. It reassured me that we will be able to do 27 min. for this race. I'll keep you posted on our progress.

By the way, I've started some slight strength training with my running routine. I hard from one of my podcasts about a website called hundredpushups.com. The goal is in 6 weeks doing push-up reps 3 times a week, one can do one hundred push-ups without stopping. So I thought I'd give it a try. They also have a "200 sit-ups" page. I thought about doing both at the same time but then reconsidered thinking that might be a little much. So I'll do it after I finish the push-ups program. I am starting week 3 and it's going well so far. It's not easy but I'm keeping up with the training and I can tell a difference.

Finally - I reserved my room for the Goofy Challenge next January. I'll be staying at the Pop Century hotel. I'm very excited as I've never stayed there. I figured since I'm going alone I would try a new place. Can Not Wait for that trip but I don't want to wish it here too quickly.

My next race is less than three weeks away. My first relay. It's going to be a blast, plus a little getaway for my wife and me. OK, I'm off to bed. Have a great week!

Keep runnin',

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Not One But Two!!! Registration Squared.


Got all bundled up this morning. Figured it'd be freezing when I went out for my 12 miler. 2 shirts, hat, gloves. Opened the front door. Didn't need it all. Now granted, it was cold, but it was mid to high 30's so the extras weren't necessary. But I wore them anyways. I don't like having cold hands while I run and I would've had to keep them inside my shirt for the first few miles.

Ok, exciting news!! I registered for not one, but two races this week. Two!! I'm so pumped.

I registered for one Thursday night. My wife and I went out for Valentine's Day. Melting Pot. Holy Cow - best restaurant ever! But I decided while we were being all Valentinesey and romantic that I would pop the question. No, not that one. But this one - "what would you think about me running Chicago in the fall, baby?" I had been waiting to ask her at just the right time, and I found it. I knew she wouldn't mind me doing something but I hesitated on Chicago because of the expense. So I was at least expecting a debate or some questions. But no. Her answer - "Sure, go for it." I love my wife. I even told her I would drive the 7 hours to save on a flight but she told me that was ridiculous and I was flying. Again - I love my wife. So you better believe I came right home from our "date" and registered. So I'm running Chicago in October. I am so excited. This is a dream race for sure. There are already 19,000 registered so I'm glad I went ahead and got mine in. I still have to figure out hotel and flight, but I'm good to go on the race. So I have my fall marathon. Another 2010 goal accomplished.

The 2nd race I registered for this week was a total surprise. Somehow on Friday, the family got to talking about running. I'm not sure how. Maybe we were talking about my 8 year old doing the kids marathon again this year. Nashville has a program where elementary kids run 26 miles - one mile at a time. They do their last mile the night before the Country Music Marathon and they do it downtown on the marathon course. My 8 year old did it last year and will do it again this year. But somehow we started talking about him doing something bigger. 3 miles straight. A 5K. My wife got really excited about it and started looking for a race. Before I knew it, she, my son, and myself were signed up for the Purity Daries Moosic City Dairy Dash 5K on April 10. It's also run here in downtown Nashville. We are really running it to pace our son and let him get a taste of his first real race. So I won't be running it for time, but I'm thrilled to have another 5K on the list.

So it's been an awesome week - running wise. I'm very excited about both these races. More info. to come for sure. I filled out my registration for the Huff 'N Puff 15K relay this morning so I think I'm good to go on that. That's my next race which is one month from yesterday. Hope everyone has a great week.

Keep runnin',

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Albert vs Al


Like I said last time, there's not much different going on in the present world of running. My next race is still over a month away so there's not much to talk about. So instead of the present, I thought I might talk about the past. I thought it might be interesting every once in a while when I have nothing new to say to instead write of something old. Sound like fun? No? Well too bad, here goes. If nothing else, I'll read it and cherish the memories which will now be forever saved on this blog.

So here's the first one. It's my earliest running memory. The details are very sketchy or foggy or whatever the word that means I can't remember exactly when it happened or all the facts, but I do remember his name. Al Batson. I know I was in elementary school but I don't remember what grade. Let's say 3rd. We were having field day where everyone participates in events: running, jump rope, tug of war, relay race, etc. We had a day each year where we competed in these events for ribbons. Ribbons? Come on private school, spring for some hardware. But a prize was a prize and I wanted a ribbon. Now it's important that you understand that I was not an athlete. My entire grade of classmates and my family would agree with me here. I lacked coordination in basketball, baseball, soccer, ok sports. That just wasn't in my genes I guess. I tried the sports, but I was that kid where the other parents on the team cheered but secretly rolled their eyes whenever I got the ball or came up to the plate. You know the type. But running was my saving grace. I could run or at least I'm assuming I could based on this story.

It came time in field day for the 50 yard dash. Everyone knew that Al Batson was going to win. He was the runner in our class. Actually, he was the all around athlete in our class but everyone knew he was fast. He was the free play football champion because he'd score all the touchdowns. He had skills. He probably worked out in the gym each day because he was pretty cut for a 3rd grader (or whatever grade we were in). So back to the 50 yard dash. My goal was to get a ribbon. 1st, 2nd, or 3rd. Well, I knew Al was getting 1st, so I was hoping for 2nd or 3rd. We lined up at the start line and the teacher fired the start gun. (Actually she just said "go." We were 3rd graders for crying out loud, but I'm making this story more dramatic.) Now it was just a 50 yard dash. That takes what? 10 seconds. But in my mind it was in slow motion and took several minutes. I got off to a great start. I had my eye on the finish line and that ribbon waiting for me. My form was good. I was getting good traction in my velcro sneakers. And I was moving. About halfway through, I remember looking over and seeing Al right next to me.

By the way, I need to point out that this post is called Albert vs Al. Not Al vs Al. My name is Albert. I don't like being called Al. That's my dad's name. Sorry dad, but Al sounds like an overweight trash collector. No offense to any "Al's" that are reading. Back to the story.

I do remember seeing Al right next to me and being surprised. He wasn't in front of me. He was beside me. I was keeping up with Al. Me. Albert. And I remember everyone else in the race was a good distance behind us. It was truly Albert vs Al. Could I actually beat Al Batson? The fastest kid in the class. I was so happy in that moment that I turned it on and sped up. So did Al.

Now, you're all going to kill me. I told you the facts were sketchy. I can't remember who won. He either barely beat me or I barely beat him. I'd like to say I won. In fact, let's just say that. I won. I think I did to be honest, but if I'm being perfectly honest, I can't fully remember. I was just very happy that day that I kept up with Al. I remember receiving many congratulations from classmates and teachers for my performance. Many (again, many in my mind, it was probably 3) were impressed that I kept up with the champ. I knew that day that I also had a few skills. Maybe I wasn't coordinated (not in the least). Maybe I would never be a star athlete (not even close). But I could run. It took until High School for me to pick up running again, but it was that day in 3rd grade (or whatever) when I knew I was born to run. I got a ribbon that day and I cherished it until I got home and apparently lost it because I have no idea where it is.

Al Batson. If you're out there and reading this, let me know. Maybe we can have a rematch some time. I'm game.

Keep runnin',

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Random Thoughts


I realize that I haven't written a post in a week, so I figured it's about time. Problem - I don't really have anything to write about. I'm kindof in a running blah right now. In other words, nothing big is happening in the world of running at the moment. My next race is over a month away so it's kindof just same old stuff right now. But there are a few random thoughts I thought I'd share.

First of all, I'm being forced to watch "Toddlers and Tiaras" with my wife right now. Actually, I'm not being forced. I could get my lazy rear end off the couch, but I just don't feel like it. Plus, I'm kindof having fun making fun of the show with my wife. It's one of those shows that so ridiculous and crazy that it's entertaining. Know the type? But I think it's safe to say that I won't be a regular viewer of that one. But I am glad little Kinley won. She was the best. Yikes. I'm showing interest. New topic.

Treadmill. I did 4 of my 6 runs this week on the treadmill. Why? I don't know. Sunday was because there was too much snow on the ground. The other three times, it was raining and I could've just gotten wet, but I just didn't feel up to it. Of my 4 runs on the treadmill, 2 were good and 2 were just ok. Sometimes I really enjoy running on it and sometimes I can't stand it. Again, I'm really glad to have it. I like that I don't have to put on a whole lot of clothes to run on it like I do if I run outside. And it's a great backup plan, but it just doesn't compare to running outside overall. I did run 5 miles on it twice this week which is more than I've ever done on it. I wouldn't want to do more than that. Even with watching TV or listening to my Ipod, it's just boring after that many miles seeing the same thing over and over.

The Wall. I was listing to a podcast this week while running on the treadmill. It was a runner talking about how after 5 marathons, he finally had one where he didn't hit "the wall". It hit me that I had never used that phrase in my two marathon reports, but it is so obvious that I hit it smack dab in my first marathon and I didn't hit it at all in my 2nd. Whatever "the wall" is, whether physical, mental, emotional, whatever, it does exist. And it was so obvious to me that I hit it the first time and not the second. I kept waiting for it during the 2nd marathon but it never came and that was such a great feeling. The podcaster's point was that it IS possible to run a marathon without hitting it and he's right. I'm hoping now that's I've done one without it, it'll be easier to avoid it because it wasn't fun.

Fall Marathon. I really really really want to sign up for a fall marathon and I plan to soon. I'm just trying to find the right one. I really want to do Chicago and I will one day. I just have to see if this is the right year. With my new coaching job, it's hard to know if I can fit it in my schedule because it would be right in the middle of my Cross Country season. I don't think it would conflict, but I'm still checking. Money is also an issue right now. I just paid for the Goofy challenge as well as a hotel in Orlando so I hate to plop down another $125 on Chicago, but I'm going to have to pay for a fall race eventually. I don't want to do nothing! I've also considered doing Memphis again. Or the Chicamauga Battlefield marathon. Or Huntsville. Any of those would be good. I've considered waiting on Chicago but a big part of me wants to do it now. This year. We'll see. I just want to decide soon. I don't like holding off.

Ok, that's about it for tonight. I'll do 12 again in the morning for my weekly long run. Gonna be another cold one. It's 30 degrees out there right now. No telling what it'll be in the morning. Have a good night everyone!

Keep runnin',