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Once a padawan, now a freaking Jedi. I run really far, I write a bunch, and have super powers that allow me to grow amazing facial hair.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Plugging Away

Well, there is not exciting news as I had promised, I had an idea, but it didn't really come to any fruition.

In other news... let me tell you that the new DNA cushioning system Brooks has developed that adapts uniquely to the shoe wearer, is awesome. Lots of people out there think that a pair of shoes is, well, just a pair of shoes. But honestly if you run as much as I do, you can tell the difference between good and bad, old and new, etc. I was beginning to feel a slight case of tendonitis coming on, which my new kicks seem to correct pretty well, and just putting these shoes on and standing in them I could tell the cushioning was superior to anything else I have warn. Check it out at your local running store!

Training is going well, and I am pretty happy looking back at this month. I think that the hard work I am putting in now, will have exponential results when the warm weather comes and I compete. My goal for Pittsburgh is to finish under 3:30, which isn't incredibly ambitious, but the marathon distance won't be my priority until the Fall season when I try to qualify for Boston. This bitter cold sucks to run in, but every mile counts, and these difficult ones now will pay off.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Good Start...

So far so good in 2010. I think all the planning and work I have put into the Memorial 100 event has kind of lit a fire under my ass for training. When you tell people you are going to run 100 miles and want them to donate money on behalf of what you're doing, it's probably a good idea to make sure you are able to follow through with your end of the deal. January is only half-way done and I'm looking at some serious mileage, I should surpass 200 miles this month pretty decisively. The first week of the month saw my mileage distributed closely to how I had planned it out, but this past week because of an injury scare (turned out to be nothing) it was all good mid-distance runs and a couple shorties. Either way, I feel really good so far, and I am really excited to race here in a couple months. Right now Pittsburgh is my first of the year, but I have a feeling I am going to get too antsy to wait that long. I'll keep you posted on any change to my last post.

Two pairs of my running shoes are on their deathbed... which is really bittersweet. I love getting new shoes, but I am attached to my current ones. Both pairs of Brooks I had been running in for most of 2009  are quickly approaching 500 miles and are noticeably being worn down from the heavy use. I have 462 miles on my Adrenaline 9's and 412 miles on my Cascadia 3's... both have served me well in the past year. I think I might switch models for my road shoes and go with the Trance 9 on my next purchase... I have had so many pairs of Adrenaline's that I have lost count, but I think it's time to expand my horizons.  Trail wise, I'm going to stick with the Cascadia and just upgrade to the 4th generation (which is definitely the best looking one to date). I remember getting the 1st generation shipped to me while I was in Iraq... which I will tell a story about in a future post.

That's all for now... BUT I have some exciting news to share in my next post, which may come early next week. Stay tuned.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Race Schedule for 2010

May 2, 2010              
Dick's Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon           26.2 Miles

May 29-30, 2010        
The Memorial 100+ Endurance Run                        100+ Miles

June 12, 2010            
The Laurel Ultra                                                         70.5 Miles

September 11, 2010    
Dances with Dirt- Hell                                                 50 Miles                          

October 17, 2010      
Nationwide Better Health Columbus Marathon       26.2 Miles

November 6, 2010    
Mountain Masochist Trail Run                                   50 Miles

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

2010, The Year When Dreams Come to Fruition

I have been running since early in high school, when I found that my speed and endurance were the only ways I was going to be able to be competitive in soccer, as I lacked the finesse to make creative plays and score goals. It soon became something that  I loved to do, and was a habit that I would continue to develop. Though many people would say I was crazy with running back then, I wasn't exactly Scott Jurek. I remember my friend Matt and I running 12 miles once, and we bragged about it for months afterwards, as it was our shining moment in running glory. That distance seems kind of insignificant now as it's not even a half marathon, but at the time you would have thought we broke some sort of record. Nowadays things have become a bit more serious in my running adventures, a bit more crazy, and never as much fun. 

I had first heard of ultrarunning as a senior in high school, when my friend Alec and I had hiked the Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail in Pennsylvania in three days, which a few park rangers had told us was unrealistically fast. We accomplished our goal of three days and I wanted to know if I could find someone who had done the trail faster... and to my surprise, lots of people had done the trail much faster than us. The Laurel Ultra is the first race I had ever heard of that was longer than a marathon, a distance of 70 miles, which I had no idea was even possible for a human being to run. The man who holds the record, Courtney Campbell,  did the entire trail in 10 hours, 43 minutes, and 34 seconds. I was in complete disbelief... it struck me so much that I have never forgotten his name or the time he posted... even though I forget half of my own race times. I began to be obsessed with the idea of being able to run that far, and my own running schedule showed an amateurs effort to be elite. Five years and many setbacks later I began running competitively, and having never even run a half marathon, let alone a full, I ran my first competitive race since I was on the distance team for high school track, the Holiday Lake 50K on Valentines Day 2009. I followed it up with my first marathon in Pittsburgh, then a back injury kept me off the racing circuit for most of the Summer. I wouldn't race again till November 7th for the Mountain Masochist Trail Run in Virginia, which is my proudest accomplishment in running to date. 

This year is different, I don't need to see if I can do it anymore, because I already know that I am capable. This year, I'm out to see how much better I can be, and how I can use my abilities to help others. I have two companies that believe in me enough to let me run under their banners... Brooks, who have accepted me into their Inspire Daily program for the year and Nuun who I will be sponsored by for the entire course of 2010. I also have some events that I am quite excited about being a part of, none more than an event I am co-anchoring with some fellow Marines on Memorial Day Weekend when we attempt to run over 100 miles from Richmond, VA to Washington D.C.

Stay tuned for more on this exciting year of running and racing.