Monday, April 20, 2009


That's all that really needs to be said. Boston. Today was the day of one of the most amazing races in the world. It was great to watch the battles that the elite men and women waged against each other. The pace was incredible. The emotion was sky high. The effort was out of this world. Congratulations to all participants whether you were in the elite group or one of the runners that qualified to run in the most famous marathon in the world. It is a memory that you will always have.

When I ran the 111th edition of the marathon in 2007, there were a few interesting twists. The weather being one. But now as I look back, the weather becomes less important and the actual experience becomes the most vivid. And yes, the hills are that steep. They mean what they say about the Newton Hills and Heartbreak Hill.

Today as runners lined up at the start. I could feel the tension, anticipation, eagerness, race strategies running through each head, eyes focused on the road ahead, and the thought that you had finally made it to Boston. It was exciting!

Yes, I know there are some that qualify each year and to you I say congratulations. But there are still some of us that hold the marathon as one of the most important running events that we can ever do. I have been fortunate this year to run two qualifying time races and will run it for the second time in 2010. I got goosebumps today when the race started. My emotions were strong and my eyes were focused on the computer screen. It was time for Boston. The marathon. The tradition. The epic running battles. We saw tears of sadness, and tears of joy and accomplishment.

I look forward to meeting the challenge again. This time, the hills are mine!

Forward we go! may your roads and trail be happy and safe!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Running Here and There

Thought I would talk about a few things in this post that are product related.

Ran today in the new Brooks Infiniti 2 shoe (Check out the website). It was an amazing feel and really had a great response. One of the things that I like about Brooks shoes is that they are ready to go right out of the box. Not the "break in time" that some other brands would require. Many times I have thought that I would feel ok running a race in a new, right out of the box pair of Brooks. They just get it right! The Infiniti 2 gives you a firm comfortable feel with just enough support to let your feet and legs do the work they are meant to do. It is so important when "shopping" for shoes that we consider not only how the shoe feels on our feet but how it supports all of the bones and muscles that lead to the feet. Can't wait to get the second pair out Saturday for the run.

Hammer Nutrition has introduced a couple of new products in the supplement area that I have been taking the past few weeks and I wanted to share with you a little about them. The first one is the Endurance Amino caps. The Endurance Amino caps help build, maintain, and repair lean muscle mass. They also are a powerful support to the immune system. I take them before, during, and after training runs. The other new supplement product that Hammer has is called AO Booster. AO Booster provides an arsenal of powerful fat-soluble antioxidants to help the immune system even more. It helps reduce muscle soreness and inflammation, and enhances
fats-for-fuels utilization. Two great new products! I have really noticed their effectiveness.

The Eugene Marathon is next up for me on May 3rd. Looking forward to the trip out to one of the most significant running cities in the world. I plan on taking in all of he history that surrounds the legendary city and also run in a great marathon on a fairly flat course. Not planning on tapering much up to the race and will plan on getting the training started right after the race for the next marathon on June 7, The Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon in Deadwood, SD.

I have been communicating with many of you about your upcoming races. It's great to hear from you and please know that I wish you all the best and hope you achieve the goals for the race that you have set. I'd like to hear from you about your race schedules and your running plans in general. Just drop me an email at

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

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Brew to Brew Ultra Race Report

Last Sunday (4/5) I ran in the Brew to Race from Kansas City, MO. to Lawrence, KS. Wow! What a day! Race day for the 44 mile Ultra-Marathon started with a 3:00AM wake-up alarm (actually we set 4) and lots of anticipation. With the support vehicle already packed and ready to go, I dressed for the race and around 4:00AM ate my pre-race meal of oatmeal and soy milk with Hammer Soy Protein, and Hammer Heed Drink. Berta, Kelsey, and I left shortly after that to make the short drive to Kansas City. We met Andy,Katiy, and Monk (Andy's dog) at the race starting area and as they discussed the different mile stops they were going to meet me at for food and drink I did my stretching and made a quick porta-potty stop. Starting areas before an ultra are just different than other races. It's hard to explain but as you stand there ready to toe the line with others that will be running a race of that distance, stories and strategies are shared in a matter of minutes with others that you might know or have never met. Everyone forms a common bond of friend and competitor.

The race started at 6:00AM and the weather for the day was going to be a challenge. Temperatures started out around 44 degrees but the forecast called for falling temperatures and rain, sleet, and snow as the day progressed. The forecast was exactly right. It was almost perfect for the fist few miles as far as the weather was concerned. The rest of the race was run in constant rain, sleet or snow. Also, very high winds out of the North and Northwest were constant.

This picture is early into the start of the race after it got light and before the weather hit.

The race is run on a combination of river levee trails, highways and gravel country roads. It really puts you through a test of running surfaces. There are several major hills but also some rolling hills and some great flat stretches. Aid stations are set up for solo runners and they are supplied with basic needs, but I think that it is always important to bring along your own food and drink that you have been using in your training. Not a good time to switch. The volunteers on this incredibly harsh weather day were fantastic. They were out there longer than many of the runners. Spirits ran high as you approached each stop. They really made an effort to make sure you were doing ok. A big thank you to them.

I had fantastic support crew. Berta, Kelsey, Andy, Katiy, and Monk took very good care of me and made sure that I had everything that I needed to run the race. The support vehicle was loaded with clothing (Brooks clothing and Brooks Infiniti shoes) and food choices that even the most elite runner would marvel at. Berta worked so hard to organize everything and I really appreciate that!

Here I am at one of the stops getting refill on my Hammer Perpetuem or Heed. Berta used a cleaning tote to keep all of the things we had planned for at each stop. One of the most important parts of my race strategy is to carefully plan what I want at each stop but also have a plan for back-up items that I might want to change to. At many of the stops, the whole crew was standing out in the wind, rain and/or sleet waiting to help. Throughout the race I drank Perpetuem, Heed, Hammer Supplements, and water. I ate peanut butter, honey, and sliced banana on whole wheat bread sandwiches. I also had ginger chews which taste very good during a race. My energy level was outstanding and again I really feel that my Hammer products really made a huge difference.

As I neared the last few stops and asked what time it was I started to notice that my time was quite a bit faster than it was a year ago. I really dug deep to have a strong finish and was very happy with the results. As I have stated in my blog posts many times before my strong faith plays a vital part in my training. I was also very pleased with my training schedule and nutrition plan. I felt strong both mentally and physically coming into the race and finished in the same way.

Arriving at the finish was great! Even in the bad weather there were lots of people there to cheer finishers in. Finish time was 7:31:25. (Last year I ran the race in 8:54.) I was really happy to cut that much time off of the race last year. It was a challenging, but great race and I can't wait until next year which I will run right before the Boston Marathon.

Although the finish line was exciting, there was something even more special at the conclusion of this ultra adventure. There waiting for me at the end were family and friends. What more could you want. To Berta, Andy, Kelsey (Not in the picture because she spent the day taking pictures), Katiy, Joel, Jenny (Helping me down the slanted walkway), Maggie, and Monk I say a big thank you for meeting me at the finish and helping to celebrate the ultra accomplishment. It was great to see you there and I sincerely appreciate all that you do for this crazy runner.

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