Just a guy who found exercise late in life. I absolutely LOVE running and CrossFit. But, you'll only have to be around me for a few minutes to figure that out.

Where has the time gone?

I’ve sat down to write another post so many times. But I get lost in wanting to say too much, so don’t write anything. Then, more time passes, and I’ve got even more that needs to be said… At some point you just have to draw a line in the sand and get things going again.

The last time we saw the hero of this tale, he was within a week of his first major “A” race of the year, the Germantown Half Marathon. He was confident (probably to the point of being cocky), and had no doubts he was ready for the race. And then race day came, and he had a horrible day.

When I showed up at the Germantown Half Marathon on race morning, I was jittery like I had never been jittery at a race before. I had my game plan, and was ready to execute it. My stomach was tied in knots and I was feeling ill. But as several of my friends can tell you, for me when my stomach isn’t right before a race, there’s a good chance I’m about to have a great run. No idea why that’s the case, but prior to this race every time I feel sick before a race, everything goes calm during the race and I have a phenomenal run. That didn’t happen during the Germantown Half Marathon unfortunately. I ended up getting sick twice during the race. After it happened the first time, I was mentally shaken. I had been really positive up to that point and felt like I could have the huge PR I was looking expecting. But after I got sick, I just kept thinking negative thoughts, and things just kept going down hill from there.

At the end of the day, I still completed a half marathon. I’ve learned since the race that I need to be grateful for the gift of running that I get to experience. While there will be days where I can be happy with how fast I was, I need to not focus on the off days where the speed isn’t there. I need to remember that sometimes my “bad run” is still faster than some people have ever done the same distance.

After the Germantown Half Marathon, I took some time off from training. I had been on a constant training cycle with no breaks and several huge races for almost a year. It was time to relax a bit and give my body a rest. I ran when I wanted to, where I wanted to, and how far I wanted to. I’d call up friends and ask them what their runs were on a given day, and if it sounded fun, I’d join them. Once we got out on the run, sometimes they’d tell me I could go on if I felt good, and I told them it was their run, I was just along with them. So if we needed to slow down, it was not a problem for me. Doing these runs with friends is some of the best fun I’ve had, and probably the most relaxed I’ve been while running since I started. It’s amazing how much better I felt when I hadn’t put the pressure of expectations on myself for a run.

Somewhere in all this “free running” I was doing, I decided that I wanted to run a marathon distance training run to test myself. My previous two marathons were both run with friends, and we stayed together the entire time. I really didn’t push myself to my limits to see what kind of shape I was in. I picked a 5.25ish mile course in Bartlett, and decided I’d do 5 loops. This would allow me to run by my truck every 5 miles and refill my water bottle, take in a Gu, etc. So I wouldn’t have to drop stuff along a really long course and hope it was there when I needed it. I then sent out an email to my running friends and told them my plan. I asked them if they wanted to join me for one or more of the loops. I was pretty sure no one would be interested in doing all 5 loops with me, but if they could get in a 5-10 mile run they’d be pretty happy, and help pace me through my day. I intentionally ran the first loop by myself. I wanted to set my own pace, and get into the groove on my own and not have to worry about anyone else. My buddy Scott joined me for the second and third loops. My friend Petey joined me for loops three and four. Finally my brother Jeff joined me for the fifth loop. It turned out to be a GREAT run for me. First and foremost, probably because it didn’t matter, I relaxed and just did it. Second, because of having great friends out there on the course with me, it took my mind off the fact that I was running so far. Each time we started a loop, it just felt like we were out for a 5 mile run. By no means did I do this run at anything I’d consider to be my marathon pace. This was just a long training run. But, I ended up PRing the marathon distance by almost 30 minutes. GREAT DAY for me…

Since then, I’ve continued running, and only recently did I start back to an actual training schedule. I’ve got every day’s training mapped out from now until the end of the year. This would probably make a lot of people crazy, and seems like it would be stressful. But, I know that I’m listening to my body after each workout, and I’m not afraid to adjust the schedule accordingly to the feedback I’m getting from my body. I’ll add in extra rest days when I feel like I need it, and won’t be stressed out about the missed workouts. Also, I’ve started doing CrossFit training at CrossFit Chickasaw in Memphis. The great team of coaches over there take their time with each person that comes through the door. They make you feel welcome, and help you with your fitness goals no matter what your starting point is. I feel like I’ve already made significant gains, since I’ve started working out there. In addition to doing CrossFit, I’ve scheduled in a fun run each week. On Thursdays, I meet a group of friends for a lunch time run at Shelby Farms on the Tour de Wolf trail. It’s an almost six mile run, but while we are out there, pace doesn’t matter, we’re just some friends out for a run together. Some days it’s harder than others because of heat or whatever else we might have done that week, but it’s always fun…

Until next episode, may your days be happy and your runs fulfilling…

About Me

I'm a guy who found exercise late in life, and loving pushing myself to new limits.

2015 Goals:
Complete my first Half Ironman
Get back to sub-8 min/mile average pace for 5K

Emailed Blog Posts

Race PR

5K 2012 MayFest 5K 21:36
4-miler 2012 Cooper Young 4-miler 33:43
5-miler 2012 RRS 2nd 5-miler 38:27
10K 2011 RRS 1st 10K 48:53
Half Marathon 2012 RRS 1st Half Marathon 1:50:36
25K - trail 2014 Swampstomper 25K 3:25:49
Marathon 2012 My Bartlett Marathon 4:25:22
50K - trail 2015 Mississippi Trails 50K 7:01:50
50 miler - trail 2013 Mississippi Trails 50 11:51:33
Olympic Triathlon 2015 Memphis In May Triathlon 3:32:26
Half Ironman Triathlon 2015 Ironman 70.3 Austin, TX 8:17:42

(Ultra)Marathon Results

3/7 Mississippi Trails 50K 7:01:50
1/11 DisneyWorld Marathon/Dopey Challenge 5:13:35
12/6 St. Jude Marathon 4:55:50
9/14 Stanky Creek 50K 7:14:45
10/13 Chicago Marathon 4:44:52
03/02 Mississippi Trails 50 miler 1:51:33
02/09 Mississippi River Marathon 4:48:13
01/20 Swampstomper 50K 7:51:03
12/1 St. Jude Marathon 5:15:20
04/07 My Bartlett Marathon 4:25:22
01/08 Disney World Marathon/Goofy Challenge 5:26:25
12/03 St. Jude Memphis Marathon 4:50:59
04/09 Andrew Jackson Marathon 5:40:11
03/06 Little Rock Marathon 4:57:12