Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Dallas Marathon 2012 - Videos & Photos by Leave Tracks

2012 Dallas MarathonIt’s been almost 10 days since the Dallas Marathon.  I’m sure most are still reminiscing about their experiences – good, bad, indifferent.  I cannot wait for my next big event… Cowtown 50K in February.

Well, if you’d still like to relive the Dallas Marathon, check out the great videos and photos that a group called Leave Tracks created.  They took them at the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and Mile 19.

To the right is my picture on the bridge – very cool to find it.  They’ve made it pretty easy to find yourself.  First, figure out what time you started and then what your time was at about 3.3 miles.  Add these together and then view the video for that time frame.  For me, I crossed the start line at 8:07am and then my 3.3 mile time as 28:30.  So, I started looking at the video at about 8:35.  I’m actually in sight at 8:39.  The video is at the end of the bridge.  In the video below, I’m at 2:50.

Do the same kind of math for Mile 19.  I’m at 3:30 in the video below.

I purchased the picture at the top of the page for the reasonable price of $1.99. This pretty much covers their cost for providing the photos and videos.  I’ve been told that this is not a replacement to the official race photographers, but another avenue for capturing race moments.  The people at Leave Tracks have a passion for taking video and race photos.  Their passion definitely shows by the quality of the videos and photos.

Hopefully you can find yourself in the video and photos!  Thanks to Leave Tracks for providing this as another option to relive the Dallas Marathon!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Dallas Marathon 2012 - Too Many Positives

Yep, us runners are going to complain about the weather again! Last year it was too cold – this year is too humid. We just cannot be happy, right!?! Well, despite the weather conditions, I really enjoyed this marathon.  There are too many positives!

Marathon Expo

I had a great time with Cairo, Jeff, & Felix at the expo. It had about the normal amount of expo stuff. The only bummer is that it was so hard to find the Dallas Marathon merchandise. It was not prominently displayed like at usual marathons.

I like expos because I get to see a bunch of friends and I get to act goofy before the race. Goofiness allows me to get rid of some of the nervousness.  Below is a video of Felix and I getting goofy for a Metro PCS video.

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Cairo and I got to meet Panda Ross from XFactor. She was digging the Marathon Expo environment.

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Felix and I are ready for what’s to come on Sunday!

Race Day

imageThere was so much written about getting down to the race by 6am so that’s what we pretty much did.  I usually get to a race an hour or little over an hour.  The time usually goes by a little faster for an hour. 2 hours definitely crawls, but we got to hang out in the Dallas Convention Center.

My plan was to run at even splits of an 8:20 pace and have a 2-4 breaks with family/friends.  By my math that would put me at an average of 8:35 getting me to my big hairy goal of a 3:45 marathon time.  I really should have thrown this plan out the window when I knew the forecast and then experienced the humidity for the first few miles.  No exaggeration… it didn’t rain Saturday night or that morning, but the roads were slick and wet because of the humidity.

I did well with keeping the pace up to about mile 19/20.  Mile 11 was a bathroom break and mile 16 I got to see Ursula and Cairo.  It was so great seeing them.  I counted on seeing them at that point to split the race up in smaller chunks – get to mile 16 see family, get to Dollies, and then a 10K to go.

399307_10151267621639318_1902372680_nWhen I got to the Dollies, I was looking for Erik and couldn’t find him.  I asked one of the other dudes/dollies and he told me that he was relieving himself in the bushes.  I saw him over there, so I yelled, “ERIK, I love you!”  He zips up, I mean drops his dress and runs over to me, saying I was afraid that was going to happen.  He ran me up and around the hill.  It was so cool to have my own personal Dollie.  He said all the right things – How do you feel? You look great!  Keep going?  Keep faking it!  It was such a boost as I was started to get down on myself.  Thanks Eric!

It was great to see Frisco Running Club peeps cheering everyone on out there.  I love this group!  Even though they weren’t running the race they were down there supporting everyone.

A positive side effect of the weather… it was spectator friendly! There were so many people out on the course and sitting on their front lawns rooting everyone on. There seemed to be a lot more spectators this year than last.

Seeing how my daughter and money go to Texas A&M, I used Aggie spectators on the course.  Whenever I was feeling low and I saw an Aggie shirt, I’d give a thumbs up and yell, “Gig ‘em!”  It was so cool to get the “Gig ‘em!” or “Whoop!” back in response.  Those yells… not cheers of encouragement really helped.  I thought about Briana whenever that was happening. 

424876_10151195251208481_2038512906_nAfter the Dollies I got to see Corina and her cheering crew.  It was great see them.  I started to whine a little bit joking that I wanted a ride home.  Corina smacked me on my ass and told me to get to running as it’s a race!

I loved seeing so many friends out there cheering.  For the last few miles, I stopped and had a quick 30 second chat with everyone.  Once I knew that I wasn’t going to really kill my time, I was OK with it and wanted to just enjoy the race more.

One of the best friend moments was when I saw Chris and his whole family at mile 25.5! It was such a huge boost to see them at the end.  At that time, I was right along beside/behind the 4:00 hour pacer.  I was willing myself to stick with her.  When I saw Chris and family, I couldn’t help but to stop and give Chris a big hug.  Yep, I like to hug!  I thanked them for coming and I said there goes 4:00 hours.  Chris told me to get it and catch them.  It’s crazy to think that I got it by 2 seconds!  It’s just icing to the day.

Cairo caught me finishing the race.  Just pure determination at the end.

When I finished, I stopped my Garmin and it read 4:00.  I was happy with the time knowing that I did well for the race conditions.  It wasn’t until I met up with fellow Frisco Running Club runner, Christy that I found out my true finishing time of 3:59:58.  I was ecstatic when I found out!  Too cool to hit Sub 4-hour for this race.

All in all, there were too many positives to this race to let the weather dampen my spirits! It was a great time with my family and friends!  Thanks to everyone that was out there cheering at the course and from afar!

One last note:  I tried to have RunKeeper Live tracking broadcast from my phone, but it malfunctioned because it got so wet with the humidity and sweat.  I need to do the phone in a baggie trick for next time.  It stopped at mile 5.7.  I’ll try it again at the next race.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Marathon Week - Friday Pictures - FRUNNERS

Frunners is a fun word to say… it simply means running friends.  I just love frunners!  These people inspire me, motivate me, make me laugh, keep me in line, and are just so cool to have in my life!

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Long time frunners from the 2009 DRC Marathon Training Group – Felix, Aaron, & Amy. At the recent DRC Half Marathon, we reminisced over all of the stories from the training.

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One of my first runner friends through Twitter was Corina.  She’s an Ultra Superstar that I haven’t seen for quite awhile.  Our races and lives haven’t crossed paths for awhile.

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Who cannot love TEAM K!  Michelle and Erik K are the perfect training partners!  I love seeing them at races and following their escapades.  It also helps when your frunners are foodies!  If you’re running the Dallas Marathon on Sunday, you just might see Erik at mile 19.  He volunteers his time to entertain us runners as one of the Dollies!  Don’t know who the Dollies are… you’ll find out!  :)

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Sometimes running friends are there to help you get over what could have been.  I wanted to do well in the 2011 Dallas White Rock Marathon, but the weather just wasn’t the best.  The above picture on the left is a group of us a week later running a loop at White Rock Lake.  I loved that morning so much!

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Chris, co-worker, car pool buddy, and an awesome friend has always been a huge support and inspiration to me.  If you want to know the definition of a great Godly father – Chris is it!  He balances his family with work and fun while always maintaining his priorities.  I admire this guy immensely!

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Sometimes frunners are there to push you to finish. Here’s Chris and Felix helping me finish a DRC 10K after Chris’ 5K.  I was not having a good time at this race!

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Countless Pre and Post Race photos with all of the frunners that I’ve met through running.  I love seeing them at races.  So many great running experiences!

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Mark O. seems to be at every race.  Here are the couple of pictures that I found of him with his shirt on.  :)  Mark is a speedy guy that takes pictures of just about every runner out there.  He makes countless friends no matter their ability… they’re all frunners!

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One of my biggest drivers to running success over the last couple of years has been Hamlin.  He’s been pushing me and encouraging me.  I credit the Frisco Running Club to getting me to my Sub 4-Hour Marathon time.

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Elaine has been a huge inspiration.  When I think that I’m doing too much, I just look at her DailyMile activity and see what a slacker that I am.

I’m sure that I’m missing someone, but please know that I cherish our relationship!  You’ll be in the next blog post!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Marathon Week - Thursday Pictures - Sir Felix

There has been a crazy constant in my running life… that has been my great friend, Felix.  We met when we both signed up for the Dallas Running Club Marathon Training Group in the fall of 2009.  It’s been non-stop fun since then.

Finding a running friend that you can really run with, is somewhat a challenge.  You need someone with the same speed, tenacity, sense of humor, patience, and goals.  It’s a good thing that our main goal was to always have fun.

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Early days – first DRC race and first Marathon!

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Yep, we were extras on the Biggest Loser!

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Felix has taught me to Gig ‘em over the last few years!

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Plenty of pre and post race photos.

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We talked each other into a lot… running in skirts and El Scorcho!

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We’ve been known to knock each other out!

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Crazy thing is… he now works with me at Active Network!

Just to think… if I would have kept my butt on the couch, I would’ve missed out on one hell of an awesome relationship!  Running has too many benefits to pass up… GO RUN!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Marathon Week - Wednesday Pictures - Cairo

Over the last 18 months, it’s been awesome to see Cairo, my 16 year old son embrace the sport of running.  It has been a huge way to bond with him.  He’s learned a lot about commitment and has seen the success of hard work.

We’ve shared the challenges of pushing ourselves while running and pushing ourselves to get up at O-Dark-Thirty in the morning.

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We finished the early races together until he found his speed!

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Cairo starts placing in some races.  That definitely put a smile on his face!

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Cairo runs his first Half Marathon and beats me!  :)

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Cairo and I weathered the storm at the 2011 Dallas White Rock Marathon.  He did very well running the Half Marathon.


In the fall of 2011, Cairo took a break from distance training to focus on speed, a.k.a. High School Cross Country.  It was cool to be a spectator and to cheer him on.  He made me a proud papa with his performances!

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I’m so glad to be able to share these experiences with Cairo.  I has been so rewarding!