Sunday, September 21, 2014

I Love Memphis...

You may have heard a lot of bad things about Memphis. Our crime stats, a dangerous city, racial divide and other bad news comments about my adopted city. You see, I am not originally from Memphis. We moved here almost 13 years ago, and I honestly can't imagine living anywhere else. Yes I love Memphis, and check out this video of why...

There is a change coming to Memphis, so get ready to start hearing  good things!

Friday, September 12, 2014


I see a lot of my racing buddies already mulling over the 2015 race schedule for themselves. Many are looking to run IM's and some are looking to Boston and some are spreading to other type of races. When I see this conversation get started, it only leads me to start thinking about what I am going to race in 2015. I already know I am doing Redman again, but what else am I going to do to help me do better at Redman?

One of the main reasons I want to do Redman a second time is due to the run. My run sucked. I did a 7+ hour marathon. I know I can do better than that, and without going into excuses of why I was a 7 hour plus marathoner like blisters or whatever, I want to beat it. I know that if I can somehow have a good run, I could be closer to the 14 hour mark instead of the almost 16 hour mark. So that has really played into my thought process of 2015.




Guess what I am going to focus on? RUNNING!!!

So here is my proposed schedule, which has not been approved by my bride.

December- St Jude half
January- Winter Cross Country series 3K and 5K
February- Fort Smith Half and Winter Cross Country 10K
March- Germantown Half and Little Rock Half
May- Memphis in May Sprint Triathlon
July- Mighty Mite Triathlon
September- REDMAN

So I know what you may be thinking, that's a lot of halves in there and no marathon, I mean if you want a better marathon, shouldn't you run a marathon? And to your thinking I would say "meh".

I really do not like training for marathons. I also think that a strong start to the year of running will fit in nicely to the IM training I will start in May, right after Memphis in May. I will have to find the right plan or coach maybe, but I think it is totally doable and will have my running base further ahead than ever.

I know I can do better than 15:53 and I know it all depends on my run, so that is my focus!

And I wanna beat Brad

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Random Thoughts on a Tuesday...

Time to blog and I really do not want to try and make it all formal like (and Yes, I do try to make them easy on the eyes), so here are the things I am thinking about:

  • Half Marathon training has been going well. I managed to get in 60 miles in the month of August, but I am already behind this month due to work commitments. Overall, I am pleased with where I am, and I think if I ran it today, I could easily finish in 2:05, so there is time to get that under 2 hours.
  • I just found out that my hometown of Fort Smith Arkansas is having their first ever marathon/half marathon in February!  I am actually really excited about this and I am looking forward to running it.
  • And just so you know, my 2015 rival Bradleyd3 is also looking to run to some half with JFord early in the year, probably want to scout me out and figure out a way to beat me, but I know his game... (notice the labels at bottom)
  • Already got some trash talk texts from him, going to be a long year and I have a post in mind for all his jibber jabber
  • I started toying with a race schedule for 2015 and it is taking shape. looks like I can do some long runs, a sprint triathlon and a full in 2015.
  • It looks like another run at Ragnar TN is in the works
  • I turned 43 on Sunday, which isn't a big deal cause I stayed in the same age group...
  • On one hand I really like Memphis, but on the other hand we have some problems. From kids beating up people at Kroger to people shooting their girlfriends in parking lots, it is just crazy. So much bad going on in this world, almost makes me want to cancel my TV stations, at least then I would not hear about it as much!
  • My Razorbacks had a huge win this week! 73-7!!!  WPS
  • I got a Keurig for my office and I love it, actually thinking a getting a cup of Joe right now!
Bday present form the family!!!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Bella Girl Sept 3, 2014

It was a sad week at the house this week as we had to put Bella girl down. She was our watchdog, protector, friend and family. We goy her for Jake when he turned 5 and all he wanted was a dog. I remember that we selected her at the shelter and Em brought the boys home. I later snuck Bella into the backyard to surprise the boys! It is not the same backyard anymore without her!  Rest in Peace Bella girl!  You will be missed.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

4 Years Ago???

This happens to me a lot. When people learn that I am doing a race, or realistically when I tell people who don't really ask me that I am doing a race, one of the first questions I am asked is this? What is your goal time? Normally it is not a big deal and without hesitation I always fall back on my PR for that distance. But lately, I have been asking myself, How long can I hang on to the PR?

For those of you that might not know, PR stands for "personal record". It is the fastest time that one has raced that particular distance of a race.

I started looking back at my PR's. While they are not that impressive to many, here they are as best I could locate them (who am I trying to fool, every runner/triathlete KNOWS their PR's better than the kids birthdays right?)

5K-   23:43  March 2012
10K- 52:26  February 2012
1/2 Marathon- 1:56 March 2010
Marathon- 5:01 December 2012

Olympic Triathlon- 2:47 May 2012
Half Ironman - 6:09 Sept 2012
Ironman - 15:53 Sept 2013 (1st one is always a PR)

So here is my question. Can I still claim a PR for something 4 years ago? And if I can, how depressing is that? Maybe I should just change it to PB (personal best) and forget the whole 4 year old personal record. I know the old saying that records are meant to be broken, but 4 years ago I was 4 years younger than I am now! :)  So is it fair to hang on to it?

I know in the long run, this does not matter, and it shouldn't really I guess. This is just something that crossed my mind and got stuck. So let me ask you blog reader, how long do you claim your PR??? 


 I think I want a new PR...

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...