Saturday, March 20, 2010

I get paid to watch FC Dallas Games

fc-dallas3 OK, I won’t be watching the games, but working as an Usher/Ticket Taker. I’ve been trying to sign up for this gig for the last couple of years. I finally made it to a Job Fair and made the cut.

I’m looking forward to be a part of the FC Dallas Experience! Tonight’s my first game to work a game and the forecast looks pretty nasty.  Chance of snow on the first day of Spring? I thought I was living in Dallas!?!

While working, I cannot Tweet, FaceBook, or blog… bummer! I’m sure that I’ll go through withdrawals.  I’m sure that I’ll survive.  :)

This cool part time job will feed my enjoyment of running in races.

Make sure you come check out a game! We play our rivals in our home opener on March 27th – Houston Dynamo!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Race Photos

Evan-Pilchick-Race-for-the-Roses I try not to vent too much through tweeting and blogging, but I’ve just got to get this off of my chest.

Ever since I’ve started running a couple of years, I thought it was super cool that that there were photographers out there snapping pictures of us ordinary Joes running in a race.  However, I’ve always had sticker shock every time that I’ve gone to the photographer’s website to view the pictures.  For example, check out my pictures from the last race at the Dallas Rock n Roll Half Marathon.  $34.95 for one digital image or $64.95 for all digital images.  Gee whiz!  Yes, I understand that it costs a lot to have the photographers all over the course and for labor to tag all of the photos.  But, I really believe that there would be more photos sold if they were reasonably priced.

I would consider purchasing photos at $10 each or $30 for all available photos. If I did this and several other thousand people did than I’m sure that you’d make more money currently from the few hundred photos that you sell.  OK, I’m making up my own numbers here, but you get my point.

By the way, the Dallas Rock n Roll Half Marathon had the most photographers that I’ve seen at a race.  Yes, I look for them! My running sister, Denise taught me to look for them and to SMILE!  As well, they went above and beyond and had a video of the Finish Line.  That was way cool to see me hightailing across that line!

I was as well impressed with how quickly the Dallas Rock n Roll got the pictures.  I got an email on the next day that they were available for viewing.  That’s crazy fast!  Most other races they’re usually posted by Wednesday or Thursday.

Here’s some other blog posts that think race photos are too expensive:

Come on photographer dudes and dudettes, I’d really like to purchase race photos, but it shouldn’t cost as much as the race for a photo or two!

What are you thoughts on race photos? Why aren’t the photos cheaper? I feel like the photographers are just leaving money on the table.

OK… back to positive tweeting and blogging.  :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Rock n Roll Half Marathon Rocked my Birthday

This last weekend was an awesome birthday weekend!

Rock n Roll Half Marathon Expo

My son, Cairo went to the expo with me on Saturday.  I love having him come along as we always make an adventure out of whatever we do.  For example, when we drove down there, we didn’t want to pay $8 or $10 for parking so we walked a few blocks when we parked on the street.  Bummer thing is that we needed $3 worth of quarters for the parking meter.  We walked over to McDonald’s to purchase an order of fries.  It was a great excuse to share some fries and get change for the meter.

There were a lot of people at the Expo on Saturday, but it wasn’t too bad.  There were just about right the number of vendors.  Two highlights of the Expo…

2010-03-13 12.50.46_Dallas_Texas_US 1 – I got to meet John “the Penguin” Bingham as he was moderating and guest speaking.  He’s the author of one my favorite running books: No Need for Speed: A Beginner's Guide to the Joy of Running.  I was given this book when I started running and have also given it to others starting out.  If you’re remotely interested in running,  RUN and get this book!

2010-03-13 13.06.18_Dallas_Texas_US 2 – I finally got to meet Lee & Isis affectionately referred to on Twitter as the @runningcouple.  I have gotten to know them over the past few months on Twitter and love their positive attitude about running and building relationships.  They are a must follow for Twitter.  Check out their blog at

My First TweetUp!

I finally got out and "lived a little" as I went to my first TweetUp.  What is a TweetUp?  A TweetUp is where you actually meet with people that you've been communicating with in Twitter in real life.  Yikes - scary!  It was fun!  Everyone was very cool.  I got to meet @runningcouple @seekrisrun @asingulargirl @JenZenator @jenn_if_er @bemadthen @TriBoomer @Kimberlyrunner @acmedragon337 We met at Campisi's in Dallas.


Before the race, I met with Twitter and Dallas Running Club (DRC) friends.  I found Steve Griffin and we lined up in the back of Corral 3.  Before I started the race, Felix found me and wished me a Happy Birthday which was super nice.  After we started the race he took off and knocked out a killer time - 1:42.  I'm so proud of what he's done from losing 70 pounds to getting faster & faster!

I LOVED the start of the race.  Normally when the gun goes off in a race, everyone goes, or at least they try.  However, in this race, they held off so many people at a time, for exampled Corral 3 was broken into two groups.  They would let the first group go and then held the next to wait.  Why did I love this start?  For a couple of reasons:  1) We got to start like we were the elites... they brought us right up to the starting line and we had our own count down.  This was way cool as it really built the excitement level up!  2) This made it so that we weren't right on top of people in front of us.  We were pretty well evenly spaced out and didn't have to weave in out of other runners.

2010-03-14 10.08.12_Dallas_Texas_USIt was a joy to run with Steve.  Our race plan was pretty much the same - start at about a 8:50 pace, maintain, and then do negative splits toward the end of the race.

I felt great during a majority of the race.  Felt my legs getting a bit sluggish during the end of the race, but pushed through it.  I was so happy to hit my Birthday PR with a time of 1:53:02.  My previous Half Marathon best was 1:55:21 back in November.  It's a pretty awesome feeling to knock off 10 seconds per mile with an average pace of 8:38 per mile.

My Results

Age: 43 Gender: M
Distance HALF MAR
Clock Time 1:58:06
Chip Time 1:53:02
Overall Place 1475 / 9244
Gender Place 1048 / 3454
Division Place 163 / 539
Age Grade 55.9%
Pace 8:38
Ttlrace 9244
Ttldiv 539
Ttlsex 3454
5 Km 27:39
10 Km 54:58
7 Mi 1:01:56
10 Mi 1:27:23


stacy-1 After the race, I met up with my DRC friends and shared our tales of the last 13.1 miles.  A highlight was the Lettuce Wraps provided by P.F. Chang's.  Thanks to my friend Stacy for honoring my birthday by wearing a special shirt for Jeff and myself.



A couple of weeks ago, we purchased a used 2007 PT Cruiser.  Pretty darn happy with it so far.  Seeing how we only got one key, I set out to get some additional keys.  On Saturday, I bought some valet keys since I didn't want to pay big bucks for the remote keyfob. It was my understanding that the valet key would unlock the driver's door and ignition, but not the trunk, glove box, or other secure storage areas within the car.

Well, we found out the hard way, that wasn't the case for the PT Cruiser. It actually only allowed the car to work for a short period of time. 

I went down early to the race riding on the DART from Plano.  Ursula and the kids were going to meet me at mile 6 and then the Finish Line.  Well, mile 6 and then the backup plan of mile 8 came along and I didn't see Urs and the kids.  I was then hoping to see them at the Finish Line. But didn't see them there either.  After I finished, I saw 3 texts from Ursula explaining the problem with starting of the car.  Ugggghhhh!!  She and the kids were bummed about not being able to make it to the race.  They welcomed me home with decorations and yummy cupcakes.

Dinner and a Movie

After chilling at home, had a wonderful dinner with the family at Razzoo's Cajun Restaurant in Plano.  After dinner enjoyed checking in Alice in Wonderland in 3D.  The movie was what I expected in the zaniness department.  The 3D affects were way cool.  I haven't seen a 3D movie for a long time and I was very impressed.  Briana giggled the whole way through the previews and she loved the 3D affects during the movie.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Track me this Sunday at the Rock n Roll Half Marathon

dallasrnrrunner_track-rnr I’m super excited about this Sunday’s Rock n Roll Half Marathon.  What better way is there to spend your birthday?  A band at each mile, thousands of my running friends, and a 13.1 mile scenic race.  I’m sure I’ll fit some cake and ice cream in there somewhere. 

For all of my family & friends, you can sign up for text alerts to see how I’m doing as I run this race.  Click here to sign up

My Half Marathon Personal Record (PR) is 1:55:21.  I’m hoping to beat that time.  It’ll be challenging as that was a 8:48 pace.  I fell confident that I can do it after running well this last weekend at the DRC Trinity River Levee 10K race.  That was one challenging race!  I PR’ed the race, but unfortunately, my time didn’t show up with the official results.

If you’re going to be at the race, please let me know so I can look out for you!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Fellowship Technologies is Set to RUN!

fast-runner-blueI got the opportunity to share my joy of running with the company that I work with on Friday. At the quarterly Fellowship Technologies All Hands Meeting, I shared who and what got me into running and why we should all run.

Fellowship Technologies is an awesome Christian based company in which we try to not only grow as a company, but as individuals.  The company has a Get Fit program in which promotes a healthy lifestyle.  There have been several of these programs since I’ve been a part of the company.  I won the Biggest Loser challenge two years ago.  At the same time, I was training for my first 5K.  Nick Floyd who ran the Biggest Loser challenge was a great motivation to me.  I hope I can be as inspiring as he was/is.

As a company team, we will be running the Susan G. Komen 5K race in Plano on June 12th.  We will be running in honor of Jennifer Cunningham as she battles through breast cancer.  She has touched us all as she has braved through this period of her life.  Check out her blog to learn more about this inspiring young lady.

At the meeting I shared that I went from hating and dreading running to actually loving it.  It’s my hope that others will catch my passion and enjoy running.

We will be using the Couch to 5K program for anyone that has not been running.  This is the same program that I used 2 years ago.  It gradually moves you from sitting on the couch to being able to run a 5K in 9 weeks.  Simply put – it works!

I cannot wait to be a part of this program and to share my passion for getting fit and running.  I want to be used by God to share the same joy that my sister Denise shared with me.

Minutes before I presented at the All Hands Meeting, I was given this note:

Mark, thank you for continuously modeling a servant’s heart!!  Thank you for your example of your commitment to running and health!  It’s inspired me to start walking.  I’ve gone from none to over 10 miles in the last two weeks.  Thank you for the ways that you inspire me and others.  God bless you!  Joe Watts

I was very much touched by this note and had to share it at the meeting.  It’s an incredible feeling to positively impact someone else’s life.