Thursday, April 26, 2012

THAT Distance/Race Should Be EASY For You

There are a lot of well intentioned non-runners out there.  I love them and want to motivate them to join me. :)  There are funny things that they say, that they don’t really think about.  For example, if you’re an ultra runner or a marathoner and you tell them that you’re going to race in a 5K, 10K, etc., etc., or a Half Marathon.  Inevitably, they’ll say, oh that should be easy for you.

I’ve completed 7 marathons and 16 half marathons over the last 3 years.  I’ve also run every race distance in between a 5K and a full marathon.  I’ve found that the first time you race a distance, it’s for completion.  The subsequent races are to better your time.  The second holds true unless the race conditions are unfavorable or you aren’t up to better your previous time.

scottyYes, a 5K is suppose to be “easier” than a half marathon or marathon because it’s shorter.  However, it’s not always easier, it’s just a different type of effort to maintain a faster speed over a shorter period of time.  It really does remind me of that famous Star Trek line that Scotty said… Captain, I’m giving it all she’s got!  During a 5k, I’m giving it all I’ve got for those “short” 3.1 miles.

The distance might be easy, but the pace and effort is cranked up a notch or two or three.  For a great example of this, check out Michelle’s latest blog post.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Cumulative Value

I love the teachings of Andy Stanley.  He has a great way of putting biblical messages into today’s practical applications.  A great friend of mine, turned me onto a message series of Andy’s called “Time of Your Life”.  The message series helps you understand about your time on earth, setting priorities, and where the value of your time is.

I highly recommend that you listen or watch the entire series, but my focus is on the 3rd part.  Now, before you tune out or close your browser, because this is one of my religious blog posts… hang with me.  This concept applies to everyone no matter what your belief.  Below is the guiding principle of this message:

There is a cumulative value to investing small amounts of time in certain activities over a long period of time.

Sounds pretty deep, complicated, and all consuming, but the bottom line is:

  • You have to keep praying.
  • You have to keep doing the little things to grow your marriage.
  • You have to keep pressing play on that Insanity, P90X, or any other workout video.
  • You have to lace up and run those training runs.

There is a huge payoff (cumulative value) if you stay on track of any of the above.  It’s not just one installment, it’s the multiple installments that add up.

There is no immediate benefit to any single installment of time.

The above is what kills America.  A majority of Americans are sold on the quick payoff and want the quick fix.  Continually working toward a goal is counter to what culture influences us. I’ve heard people over and over say that they cannot run a Half Marathon or a Marathon.  It’s not the race that is most challenging, it’s the daily commitment to getting to the starting line of the race.  Most can run the race if they were committed to the daily deposits of time. 

There is no cumulative value to the random things we opt for over the important things.

This is one of my favorite things he said.  The random time wasting things that we do don’t add up to anything of value.  The time that we’ve wasted watching mindless TV could be spent with family, God, exercise or anything that you deem most important.  Who cares about celebrity dancers, if we ignore our children dancing in front of us?

As well, we cannot just make up for the lack of daily investments.  There is no way that we can compact all of the missed single daily activities into one big burst activity to make up for it.  It takes a commitment and an understanding of what our goal is to stay on track.  The payoff will be huge by making these continual investments of time into any of the valued areas of our lives.

I really hope that you take the time to listen to this message.  It’s impacted my life on a daily basis.  I know that it will do the same for you if you open your heart and mind to it.

Be very careful, then, how you live - not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is.  Ephesians 5:15-17

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Teach Them to be Givers

2012-04-15 08.32.24Don’t you love those race volunteers that help selflessly!?!  Where do they come from???  They come from me, you, our friends, our family, and complete strangers.  I’m really trying to teach my kids life lessons before they fly the coup completely.  One of those lessons is to give of themselves selflessly. 

Last weekend and this morning, Cairo and I volunteered at racing events.  Last week we help setup at the DRC Tal Morrison race and then this morning we had the honor of handing out medals at the Big D Marathon & Half Marathon.  Cairo was not overly excited about getting up early for these events.  However, on the ride to Big D, I said thanks for going.  In return, he said, “I get it, Dad, we have to be givers, not just takers!” This is something that I’ve been telling him over the last few weeks leading up to these volunteer opportunities.  It was cool to hear it come out of his mouth!

This morning was so awesome giving out the medals to the finishers.  I felt like I was a taker as I part of their race experience.  At times it took a bit to hold back some of the shared emotions with the finishers.  It was great to see the first time finishers, the challenged finishers pushing through pain, running couples, and parents finishing with children in their arms.  When the parents finished with the kids in the arms, I would put the medal on the child.  The parent and the child both loved it.  It was great to see so many running friends finish the race as well.

Both Cairo and I have such a bigger appreciation of volunteers!  I always try to save enough breath to say thanks at water stops, the finish line and other volunteer posts.  These people are giving up their time to make the race happen.  Give them a shout of thanks, a smile, or at least a head nod!

P.S.  Be a Giver, volunteer at a race.  You won’t regret it!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Medals–How do you display them?

Getting the race t-shirt is one thing, but getting the finisher’s medal is the crowning achievement!  So, how do you display them? 

First, before displaying them to collect dust… if it’s a Marathon that I just ran, I might wear that sucker to dinner.  I want people to know why I’m walking funny and have a huge smile on my face.  I also bring it to work the next day to show a couple of friends.

2012-03-28 17.44.30I’ve seen the display racks and hooks that are sold at marathon expos, but wasn’t crazy about them.  While shopping at IKEA, I found some interesting glass pieces called Noticeboards.  I came up with the idea of placing 3 of them next to each other and then hanging my medals from a very thin curtain rod above them.  It turned out pretty well.  The noticeboards come with big paper clips.  I use them to hold onto my favorite bibs, newspaper articles, or anything else that motivates me.  This display is actually right above my desk in my office.  I would show a picture of my desk, but it’s a bit of a mess.

A special note, the first medal on the far left is from my very first race.  It was a 5K at the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon in 2008.  I was hooked ever since.  It was the only race that I ran in that gave out a medal for a 5K.  I’ve only seen a couple of other races that give them out.

2012-03-28 17.46.08Here’s another picture to give you an idea of how big the display is.  It hangs from above the height of the office door. 

What’s up there?  The medals are in order of race distance and then date… with one exception. The 2 red-white-blue ribbons are from 2 DRC races that I placed at. :)  1 – 5K medal, 16 – Half Marathon medals, 1 – 25K medal (El Scorcho), 2nd place AG – 5K, 3rd place AG – 15K, and 7 Marathon medals. 


2012-03-28 17.48.00Here’s Cairo’s display.  I was inspired by Elaine as she framed her bibs.  I did this for Cairo’s 16th birthday with his bibs from last year.  He has medals displayed on the left and right of the bibs.  His display has 4 Half Marathon medals and 2 AG awards.  The kid has only been running for less than a year!  I didn’t get the bibs to look as nice as Elaine’s, but Cairo was still super stoked about it.  Make sure to check out Elaine’s blog to see her display of bibs.

I’m looking forward to placing my next medal up there… the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon medal!

Each of these medals tell a story.  I know yours do also, display them proudly!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Love me some Chocolate Milk!

I’ve been drinking chocolate milk as a recovery drink for a couple of years now and swear by it.  A friend of mine from the Dallas Running Club recommended it to me after I complained about recovering from long runs.  I definitely noticed a difference and it’s been in my recovery routine ever since.

Recently at the Dallas Rock n Roll Half Marathon expo, I was able to give an impromptu commercial for chocolate milk.  Check it out, here.  It’s definitely not my best performance, but, hey, it was impromptu!  Please vote for my video submission and $1 will go to the Challenged Athletes Foundation.  It will also make me very happy!  :)  The contest runs until the end of April.  You can vote once per day… so, please do so.  Put on your calendar as a reminder.  Winners of the contest get some cool stuff.  I really want cool stuff!

Besides tasting awesome, Chocolate Milk replenishes what your body is lacking after strenuous activities.  Check out the science behind Chocolate Milk!

Even before this contest, I’ve been reaching for chocolate milk, check the videos from the last couple of my marathons.  The first thing that I want to drink is a chocolate milk.  :)

Yep, I get emotional from running a marathon, but I’ve got to have my chocolate milk.  Above is when I finally conquered the Sub-4 hour marathon and below is from the challenging 2011 Dallas White Rock Marathon.

If you haven’t tried Chocolate Milk after your long runs, you’re missing out!  It’s definitely a lot easier than Ice Baths!  :)