Thursday, August 21, 2014

Don't Be Cruel, Read This Race Report

August 16th is the alleged death date for the King of Rock N Roll Elvis Presley. So what is more fitting than to go out and run 5K race that starts at the gates of Graceland (which is basically In the Ghetto now)? The Elvis Presley 5K is now one of my favorite races and I think everyone reading this should go race it. I really have no excuse as to why in my 13 years of being a Memphian and a lifetime of being an Elvis fan, that I have never run this race before, but I guarantee it will be on my race list every year going forward.

**Fact, did you know that Heartbreak Hotel is actually at the end of Lonely Street in Memphis?

Em in front of Graceland
 This is one of the bigger 5K's in Memphis. This year there was 1,122 runners on the course. So naturally, I was not looking for a fast time or a PR. If you have read my blog before than you can imagine that I was concerned about following one of my race rules. Rule #2, No one in a costume beats me. There were plenty of people in Elvis hair, Elvis sideburns and Elvis gold glasses, so even though I was using this as a training run, I needed to keep the rules. My wife, Emily also ran with me and our main goal was just to stay together, which is so hard in a big race. But I am getting ahead of myself.

As we arrived to the race site that morning, the weather was great, there was no chance of a Kentucky rain comin downnnn, and I was shocked at how easy parking was. They had guards directing us right into a spot. One thing I hate about some races is simply finding a place to park. Once the car was parked, we walked right up to the race site and visited real bathrooms, not porta potties! Score!!!! We then just kind of strolled around looking at the sponsors booths and getting our picture taken!

We decided to roll up to the gates of Graceland and take a picture when they opened the gates! We got to walk up to the house, take pictures and visit the alleged grave of Elvis Presley and family. It was amazing to see all the flowers and mementos that people from around the world have left at the gravesite. You have to remember that this was the end of Elvis week, so there had been thousands of fans in town all week! So after paying respect to the King, we made our way to the start line, but first we had to get a picture with an Elvis, which left us All Shook up!
We lined up about a third of the way back from the start line. We did move up to pass the approximately 100 NAVY men running in formation carrying a flag. That was actually pretty cool to see. So before we knew it, the gun sounded.

Now many people started running, but we weren't close enough to the official start line that I had to hold Em back until we crossed the timing mat. Once we hit the mat, the watches were started and we were on our way. Like I said earlier, my main goal was to finish under 30 minutes and to stay with my wife. We are running pretty well, and we finally find that line where you do not have to dodge people anymore and we get into a good pace, and then we see him. There is an Elvis impersonator running in a full Elvis jumpsuit, wearing Blue Suede Shoes. He was throwing out Thank you very much and telling every dog that barked in the neighborhood he was nothing but a hound dog!

My wife was running great. She has come a long ways with her running. She will tell you I pushed her, but That's Alright Momma, she also pushed me. At one point I looked down my Timex and we were hitting around an 8 minute mile! We got in a great pace and held on. She did not wear her Garmin, so she only knew what I told her regarding pace, and I purposely did not tell her much. So much for my training run! I felt great also during the entire run. Once we hit mile 2, I knew we were heading for a good time. We ran on the last stretch, we knew it Was Now or Never and Emily said Little Less Conversation, Little More Action as we hit the final stretch to the finish line. We turned in a 27:25. Emily hit a new PR! I was very proud of her and she was stoked for herself! It's funny, you have one midset pre race, then it shifts and you have another mindset during the race! Here are some race shots.

As we crossed the finish line, we got a cool finisher's medal with the iconic "TCB" on it, which stands for Taking care of business, which Elvis was famous for saying. Gotta admit, it is one of my favorite medals.

Love Me Tender, Love me some finishers medals!

Next we spent some time at the booths, cause the warden threw a  party at the county jail (Jailhouse Rock Reference!) ate some donuts (seemed appropriate) and then we hit the results table for our official times. It was not a Heartbreak Hotel for either of us! Our official results were that Emily finished 7 out of 90 in her AG 216/1122 overall. I finished 24/90 in my AG, 215/1122 OA and our time was 27:25.

I know, a Hunk, a hunk of Burnin Love right there!

"Elvis Presley has left the building"

Sunday, August 10, 2014

I Love Me Some New Shoes!

Yes, I got new shoes this week. They actually were delivered to the house while I was in Atlanta. For the past three years, I have been running in Brooks Glycerins. I currently have 4 pairs of them, but they have all hit their mileage mark with me, and it was time for new shoes. I could tell. there are a couple of ways I can tell when I need new shoes.

1. My feet hurt after running. Simple right? Well sometimes I just figure that my feet should be tired and sore after a long run, but then when you have a new pair of kicks on, the feet feel great.

2. My knees hurt. I have been having some issues with my right knee. Almost to the point of wanting to see a doctor about it, but after getting in my new kicks, the knee pain is slowly disappearing.

3. Mileage- I am on of those guys that tracks the mile of each run and on the shoes, so I know when my shoes hit about 300 miles, then I need new shoes.

So after reviewing these three factors and placing a check by each one, I order some new Brooks running shoes. I ordered the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 14 shoes.

So far I nothing bad to say about these shoes. They are a more supportive shoe, even more than the Glycerin I think. They feel great and my feet feel a ton better after a run. I do not think you can ever discount the importance of a good shoe when running!

What's your brand of shoe? and how many of them do you have?

P.S. My wife and I just registered for the Elvis Presley 5K here in Memphis! I am all shook up about this and can't wit for that race report to be filled with Elvisisms!!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Shirt I Hardly Wear...

I have a lot of race t shirts. More like a ton of them. there are some I wear on a regular basis and there are some I have never worn once. Some are great looking and some are horrible. Some fit me great and others don't, but there is one shirt that I really thought I would wear alot and I don't...

My Redman 140.6 Finisher shirt.

Mine is white with red letters
I bet you I have not worn that shirt more than 5 times since I completed the course. I started thinking about this the other day when I wore it to church on Sunday night. I really like the shirt and it fits well. I am also very proud of my finish, but for some reason, I just do not wear it often.

And I do not really know why. Every race I go to, I see IM finisher shirt, visors, jackets, you name it. Yes, even at kids triathlons. I wear other race shirts alot, but for me, this one is special I guess, or maybe it's not special. I don't really know. Many people have said that they like my shirt and want to get one, which I tell them this shirt was not given to me, but that I earned it. They can't just go pick one up!

Maybe it is something that I am treasuring and don't want to wear it out. It's weird and as I am sitting here in the ATL airport typing this, I am struggling to come up with a good answer or even figure out if there is an answer?

I think part of me thinks I know I could should have done better, maybe I am not happy with my time? Maybe next year when I go back to conquer Redman 2015, I will crush my old time and then I will wear that shirt with more pride.

Or maybe I need my plane to board so I can go to sleep!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Cheat Meal? I wish!!!

As a runner that is wanting needing to lose about 10 lbs, I have really been focusing on my diet. Right now I am about 193 lbs, and I should be around 183, so I can either lose weight or I can focus on being a Clydesdale next year when I take on Brad D at Redman (might make it fair huh?) Just today in my Triathlete magazine it had an article that says when someone loses 10 lbs, they can expect  their marathon time to be 10 minutes faster!! (At least that is how I read it, I did not read the whole article, just the chart to the side) So that told me I was in the right mindset.

Dieting is hard.

Eating right is harder.

During the week I feel I do better than the weekend. My wife usually cooks fairly healthy meals for us, so I can only blame her for the 10 lbs I picked up. Just kidding. The weekend is usually where I stumble. (Sidenote: while laying here in bed typing this, she literally just offered me a piece of Belgium chocolate!  No lie!!) So anyways, as I was saying, the weekend is tough for me. It is easier to eat out, their are usually donuts at church, I work in the yard so I feel I can justify it, and I could go on and on.

So eating right is tough and I know about cheat meals. In fact, I support cheat meals, and maybe even cheat days, but I had a cheat weekend last weekend! My wife and kids were out of town, so I was a bachelor all weekend. And, I ate like a bachelor! I went to the store and here was what I bought (and I am not proud of this!) I bought steak sauce, Fruity Pebbles, Double Stuff Oreos, cream cheese (for a dip I love), tortilla chips, a 6 pack of Reese's peanut butter cups and a Dr. pepper 2 liter.

So this weekend I ate steak or cereal for meals and I had Oreos, Reese's, ice cream and chips and dip for snacks.

There, I feel better that it is out, so now that the food is gone, or close to being gone, I can get back on track!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

2 Signs I am Training Again

I almost hate to type this for fear of the dreaded jinx, but I can say I am back in training mode. It is very evident to me when this occurs. I mean, I have been running some, but I honestly can't say it was training. So what is the difference you may ask? Well, there are two definite signs with me that tells me I am training again.

A #1 guard to the dome!

Yes, a haircut. I like to have my hair short. I like a #1 guard. This means I do not have to worry about my hair. It dries faster. I do not have to use "product". It is cooler and another very important reason is this, really short hair makes me feel faster.

Now I have never really had long hair like you might think, but lately, it has been longer than it has been in years. I even went to a barber to get it cut a couple of times, yeah I spent money on a haircut. Now I really did enjoy the hair washing that came with the cut, but I always felt weird. So the other night, I buzzed it short. Now for reason #2...

Early morning runs!

Now this has nothing to do with a late night Taco Bell run. This has everything to do with getting my butt up for bed and getting out. There is something special to me about getting up to train. I have said it before, but rising early to train makes me feel like this is something I want more than just running when I feel like it. And I think that is important for me. I have not been "wanting it" lately.

Having not raced a lick this year has had an effect on me and I admit I have missed it. So I am ready, and I want a new PR. That is my goal, and I have a plan. I will not be doing any triathlons this year, just run races, and I am actually excited about it!!

So let's go running...

Sunday, July 20, 2014

MY 1st DNS

Saturday I was registered to run the Mighty Mite Sprint Triathlon in Forest City, AR. This is a really great race and one thing that sets it apart from other races around here is that it is a point to point race. Meaning that you swim to the bike, you ride the bike to the next transition and then finish, so you never come back to the same transition area.

So fees were paid and plans were made. In all honesty, I was not as prepared for the race as I should have been, but I was still anxious to see how I would do. This was going to be my 1st race since Redman 140.6, so I was intrigued. My bride also had signed up since she was coming off her first ever sprint triathlon in May. We were both looking forward to racing on July 19, 2014.

But we forgot one thing...

If you read Daily Trainings much, then you know I have three boys. A 14 yr old, a 13 yr old and a 5 yr old. So we are always involved in something it seems and normally we do a great job about scheduling around the boys stuff, but this time we failed somehow. Our older boys had been planning to go a the church Summer Music Missions Project (SMMP)for months. They were heading to New York for a week! A great opportunity. Well for some reason, one we can't figure out how we missed it, they were required to be at the church at 11 AM. Our race started at 8 AM and was a minimum of an hour drive (if all went well). This meant there was absolutely no way for us to race and make it back to them in time. So I recorded my very first DNS of my triathlon career.

So I admit, it kind of bummed me out most of the day. I really did not want to dwell on it, cause what my boys had going on was way more important and I wanted them to know I supported them, so I would have made the same choice every time. But it was weird, and stupid me, I went to the website to look through the results and hated, HATED seeing my name with no times. It was embarrassing because they had my team's name out to the side of all those zeroes!

So what did I do?

I went for a run that afternoon and started focusing on whatever is next. I know I have a half marathon I am signed up for in Dec, but nothing else, so I am thinking that I am really going to work on my running for the remainder of 2014 and then 2015 will beat the year a I crush Brad's dreams at Redman when we go head to head. So maybe me missing this race is a good thing, it has just added to me resting up and preparing for next year!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

3 Things of Many Topics...

I know it has been awhile since my last post, but things have been busy. There are a lot of things I could write about. I could tell you about our wonderful vacation in Florida that we had as a family, or I could tell you about our mini van blowing a transmission on the drive home from said vacation and how we had to purchase a new car in Byron GA in order to get home. I could write about those things, but I am not going too. Not because they aren't worth writing about, but because this is a blog about training and racing, and I really have not been doing either one consistently very much. So instead of talking about the above things, I want to write about 3 things:

1. Mighty Mite Triathlon
2. Women's Run Walk Group of Memphis
3. St Jude Marathon

1. The Mighty Mite triathlon is a great race I have done many times, and it is alot of fun. I had actually signed me and my wife up to race this on July 19th and paid the registration fees. I was a little worried about the bike course, but felt confident about the swim and the run. We also had made travel arrangements since it is about an hour away, we were going to ride with a another Warriors teammate. So I had decided that I was racing this race for fun, not time. Well last night, my wife and I realized that our boys were leaving on a church trip that leaves on July 19 at 11 AM! (I thought they left on Sunday) There is no way that we can get to the race site, run the race and get back in time to get them to the bus. They (my boys) have been so busy this summer that I feel like I have not seen them much and I just can't make a case for me not being there when they leave for New York. So Mighty Mite, enjoy our race fees and my wife and I learned a valuable lesson about scheduling.

2. Every summer, the Memphis Runner Track Club puts on a running clinic for women. They train for 8 weeks and then have a graduation 5K race. My wife has advance from the beginners class to the advance class this year and always enjoys this group. In the past she has always thought that I should help coach but I was always training for something and it never worked out, until this year. So I am assisting with the Intermediate 1 group this year. I am really looking forward to see how this group works so I can take somethings back to the groups I lead at church.

2A. One of the other coaches in the group was someone I thought I knew, so I finally asked her name and once she said it, I instantly knew her from her blog. I met Cecilia from I found this blog when looking for local races around Memphis. It was cool cause she also read my blog. It is really kind of weird to meet people that you do not know that actually read what you write!

3. St. Jude Marathon, or the Half marathon, cause that is the race I am doing. I feel like due to my lack of racing this year, that I should really focus on this race and really go for that PR. My half marathon PR is 1:56, which is respectable, but with a flat course, and let's face it, I should be well rested, why not shoot for that PR. A 1:40 would feel really good. I have never run the half course before so it will be something new for me. I need something to focus on. I am still planning on doing a 140.6 in 2015 and I know my run sucks, so I need to run it.

So there ya go, three short topics for one read. I really plan on blogging more in the future, but it has been crazy with work lately, I am actually having to work all day! LOL

Monday, June 23, 2014

What Does Vacation Mean to You?

I can guarantee when the word vacation is mentioned, meaning people are thinking about relaxing on the beach, drinking beverages and eating lots of food. I would even bet that many people expect to gain weight while on vacation and do not really think twice about it. Well, I have a different take on vacation.

To me, it means long runs on the beach. It also means long swims in an outdoor pool or better yet, the ocean. It means eating fresh food, straight out of the ocean and it also means drinking lots of water and Gatorade. You see, that is my mindset for the next 2 weeks while on vacation in Florida. And I can't wait to get it started.

See we left Memphis Saturday afternoon after we ran a 5K race that morning. We drove to Macon, Georgia or about 7 hours and then we got up and drove the rest of the way to the beach Sunday. Monday was a sleep in day (and I sort of tweaked my back loading the van), but the rest of the days are going to involve running on the beach and swimming.

I am normally not a huge fan of swimming in the ocean, but being able to swim and swim and swim without turning around at the wall is going to be awesome. I have my GPS packed so I should be able to get a good distance marker measured. I would like to run one day and swim the next and just alternate this daily. And I think I will. Plus I should be able to work on my tan while I am doing it.

To me, this is a vacation. No work to get in the way and no fast food, cause there really isn't anything close by! Win/Win/Win!!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Flabby Armed Spanking Machine...

I feel ya K-Man!

I have to admit, it is tougher and tougher to get to the pool these days and to get a single lane because there is more and more going on! Swimming lessons are starting and swim team is happening all the time, I used to be able to expect my own lane at the pool, but it is no guarantee any more.

I know part of the issue is this. I am not getting up as early to swim as I was when I was training for Ironman. Swimming a max distance of 1500 yards is so much easier to work in than say 4000 yds! So I have been enjoying my sheets alot more than in the past. It seems that during the school year, I always have a lane to myself on the morning. Now that it is summer time, they have the younger swim team practice in the morning and the older swim team practice in the afternoon (after work), and nothing sucks quite as bad as getting hosed by a 10 yr old in the pool. I try to tell myself "he's resting after every lap", but in all honesty, he is probably swimming alot more laps than I am. Then I tell myself that I would totally whoop him in open water, which may or may not be true (I know I'd get that little sucker on the bike though)

I have tried going during lunch, but then you battle swimming lessons. Now the swimmers don't take up a lot of lanes, but the parents all sitting around the pool kinda weird me out. They sit there reading magazines or something and in walks a 40 something year old dude to swim. Kinda weird...

But the worst group are the people I affectionately call the "floaters". You know these people right? About 70 years old, bathing suit from the 60s and they hog an entire lane floating along going the speed of melted cheese?? God Bless them for exercising, but c'mon man! Then you have the old lady group that does the water aerobics who want to complain about the water temperature everyday. Again, Bless them for getting some exercise, but do they have to act like they own the pool?

I guess I should be grateful that my workouts are shorter and do not take me as long to do, but I sure do not remember these issues last season.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

EnergyBits Review and Giveaway

So I tried a new nutritional product this week that I want to share with you. I will say this, it was not what I expected when I got the sample and checked it out. I was expecting something more along the lines of a 'chomp", and what I got was so not like a chomp, it was better!! Let me explain.

About a week ago I got a tweet from Energybits asking if I would like a free sample of their product. I guess they know I am a sucker for free product that I said yeah, I will even do a review on my blog about them! It was a match, I sent them my address and waited for the delivery.

So once my package arrived int he mail, I immediately opened it. It contained two plastic packages and a lot of information. Here is the first thing I looked at and read.
found on the Internet

So my first thoughts on this product were:

1. Man, that's a lot of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and I am not sure what they do!
2. 100% Spirulina, which I had no idea what that is
3. Dosage: 30-40 tablets before a workout. Say what????
4. Algae? it's algae???

Now I will admit, three of these four four things gave me pause. SO I had to keep reading to find out exactly what this stuff is.

From the information provided:
"ENERGYbits have the highest concentration of protein in the world and deliver a steady stream of energy all without sugar, caffeine, chemicals or stomach distress" ENERGYbits are the only protein in the world that also contain natural antioxidants and Omega 3 which reduce muscle inflammation, iron which prevents fatigue, chlorophyll which builds the immune system and electrolytes which replenish mineral imbalances, all for just one calorie per tab. No other protein offers all this.

Sounds good so far, now what is this algae stuff?

Algae is a food, not a supplement. FACT THAT I DID NOT KNOW!
ALGAE is a crop that is grown, like all other foods found in Nature! BOOM FACT DELIVERED!
Supplements are made in a lab, Algae is not. BOOM ANOTHER FACT!

"Taking ENERGYbits is the nutritional equivalent of having a great night sleep, a natural cleansing and an invigorating workout all at the same time" So, I decided it was worth a try...

My Thoughts:

When I first opened the package, there were a lot of tablets in that package. Knowing I was suppose to swallow them all at once was concerning, plus it did not smell that great. I really thought about only taking a few of the tablets, but I did manage to take all the dosage at once (OK, in three drinks). They really went down very easy and I did not taste them, so I can't report on that. So I went for a run and felt great. I came home and mowed the yard and felt great. I never got that 2 P.M. "James needs a nap" feeling. I also noticed that I did not have that "snacky" feeling all day, but one of the most important things was that I never had any stomach issues or burp issues (which I kind of expected) and we all know that this is very important to endurance athletes! So what is my overall opinion of ENERGYbits?

Run went well
No stomach issues
Felt energetic all day
No crash late in the day

Dosage amount
Cost ($115 for 1000 bits)

I am probably not doing this justice, but it is definitely a product I would recommend. So one lucky Daily Trainings reader can win their own sample of ENERGYbits. (Unfortunately it is only open to the U.S.A.) And I am going to make it easy for you. Here are the requirements to enter yourself in the drawing. 1. Leave a comment 2.Become a follower (If you already are a follower, just mention it) So two ways to enter. The winner will be announced on Monday.

ENERGYbits are only available at, and Jonathan (their Community Manager) has shared with me that he'd be happy to connect anyone with a current ambassador to share a discount on a bag of bits, or more info on their sample program - you can email him at ENERGYbits has also generously is giving a 10% discount for Daily Trainings followers. Simply type in the word "BLOG" into the coupon box!!!