Monday, March 31, 2008

Runner's World doesn't have this training plan

My first ultra-marathon is less than a week away. Many people need to be thanked for getting me to this point and the past 16 marathons that I have run. None more than my wife Berta though. I would like to thank her with all my heart for all that she has done to support me in my training and the many group runs that we have had. You see, I am a very lucky runner. I don't have to go out hours early and place my bottles of Heed, Perpetuem, and water. I don't have to carry Hammer Bars and gels with me when I train. That's because for years Berta has met me at a variety of distance markers to fuel me, encourage me, and generally just help support me in whatever new adventure that I have taken on. From the sidewalk chalk messages on the streets and sidewalks of our city to the managing of pace charts, she has been there in all kinds of weather and all times of day and night. She has given up many Saturdays and Sundays and I know she will continue to as I find new adventures to run. The other day she actually told me that she enjoys it. You know, I think she really does. As I have tried to copy as much as possible the exact stops of the Brew to Brew Ultra, I have missed her at mile markers that she would have been at before. Berta, you are amazing! Runner's World doesn't have a person in their training plans like you. I'm the lucky one. Thank you for now and many more training runs in the future!

Forward we go! May your roads and trails be happy and safe!

Power of 10- The Group

First of all, you've got to imagine 10 people doing their pre-run stretching around the same traffic signal pole on a Sunday morning. It's become a tradition. Traffic slows. People stare. Then they just smile and say,"Oh, it's the Group". This comes on the heels of another debated tradition...the dreaded half-mile walk to the pole to warm-up. I think that I am the only one in the group that needs it. But everyone just goes along with me and puts up with a walk that can sometimes be very challenging going into a north wind. Months ago, several runners started a common adventure. Training for a marathon(s) and/or other races. We started gathering at my house on Sunday mornings to start the group run. Our numbers are different each time. Some can make it. Others choose to wait for another opportunity, perhaps another Sunday down the road. This Sunday my son Andy, Wes, Brett, Joel, Leah, Maria, Chris, Tai, Caroline and I took off on our first group run in quite a while. It was great getting the group back together! One of the people missing is our friend Larry in Dallas who has run several marathons with many of us in this group. We miss him! Doing most of my training solo, it is great to have company over the miles we travel. On this day, we are all running different distances getting ready to run the Brew to Brew Race this Sunday (April 6th). The group will swell in numbers to form three groups. Brew to Brew is a 43 mile relay race made up of teams of five runners taking different stages of the race to run for their respective teams. This day is special though, at least for me. I will be running the race solo this year and this is a taper run for me a week before the race. But it doesn't stop there.

This incredible group of friends will be running along with me as I take on the solo adventure of an ultra for the first time. I can't thank them enough! Their support will be very important for me as I journey down the road. We have laughed together, shared many stories, hurt together, raced together, and have been there for each other for a variety of reasons. I feel blessed to have such a great group of friends to run with and to be with me this Sunday and many more to come. Thanks "Group" for your support and friendship! Forward we go! May your roads and trails be happy and safe!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Under Construction

March 26- As I sit here at the keyboard today starting my first entry into the world of blogging, I am really feeling "under construction" due to the fact that there are so many things to get done on my blog page. However, I am encouraged about the posibilities that present themselves in the blogging world. I have learned so much from other blogs that I will try in mine to have conversations with you about a wide variety of things associated with running, cycling, and other outdoor adventures. I love to run and enjoy talking to others about running and also a new experience for me, riding the road on a bicycle. I have run races ranging from 5K's to marathons (16 and counting) and now new adventures, ultra-marathons and trail runs in the near future. In the coming blog entries I will get a little historical on the how and why I started all of this because I think that it is important that people know that you can accomplish anything with a goal and a good plan of action. Sometimes entries will be short and some I am sure will be long. I will share information and feelings with you about training, nutrition, races, and just what I really think about some topic areas.

I am at the tapering stage right now of preparing for my first ultra-marathon that has a distance of 43.3 miles. It is time to taper now so my body is saying thank you I am sure after several weekends of 26 and 30 miles runs. Today I will venture out for a 5 miler. A short run for me but for some of you it might be your own marathon, which is cool! The weather here has turned cold again after a few days of relief and it will be back on with the tights and heavy shirts. But, forward we go! May your roads and trails be happy and safe!