Saturday, December 28, 2013

countdown to the Donna 26.2

26.2 traning 12/28/13

This week I met a friend at the gym at 6am on Monday.  It was rainy, but we still ran outside because it was "warm" for winter.  I learned that it is important to run outside unless it is truly too bad outside.  The conditions that I won't run in are basically just ice, or thunder storms.  We'll see if this changes.

Tuesday I made it to spin for a Christmas Eve class.  It was excellent to make it as I always enjoy it as cross training.

Wednesday, Christmas Day I made it out for a 5 mile run before my family Christmas celebration.

Thursday I did not get up early enough to make it to spin, but I was able to leave work early and I did the elliptical.  Any workout is better than no workout :-).

Friday is my day off from training.

Saturday, today, I did 6 miles per Jeff Galloway's to finish marathon training.  This included a Magic Mile (MM) where I ran as fast as I could for a mile as a part of this run.  Today my MM was 8:36.  I was hoping that it would be under an 8 minute mile, but that wasn't meant to be today.  I'm not sure if it was because of the cold, but either way I will use that time to determine the pace of my next long run of 23 miles.

I'm very excited to run this marathon.  For me this isn't about getting a personal record (although I'm pretty sure I will).  This is more about raising money for breast cancer research for the 26.2 with donna at the

If you want to join my team please stop by my fundraising page.  Remember this isn't about me or my goals, it's about the goal of finishing breast cancer. 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

26.2 training 12/21/13

This week I got my midweek runs in on Monday on the treadmill (ice), and Thursday before and after spin class.  On Thursday I did 10 minutes on the treadmill before spin and then 20 minutes on the treadmill afterwards.  I felt great both times.

The primary winter condition that I won't run in is ice because it is very dangerous.  I'm not willing to risk getting injured just to say I got my run in.

Today I had 6 miles on my Jeff Galloway run/walk/run schedule.  Jeff's philosophy of long runs is that they are to be long, slow runs.  These are focused on getting the distance at a slower pace than maybe I could do if I was trying to race that distance.  He has much detail about this on his website which is  I'm so excited that this method has allowed me to have strategic walk breaks from the start and I'm have gotten faster too. 

There isn't much to report from this run today.  There were still several sidewalks that were not shoved (either they are abandoned or for whatever other reason).  I tried to stick to the road as much as possible.  I used a 2:1 ratio and it was comfortable.

What did I learn from this run?
1.  what I eat during the week makes a difference.
2.  wearing shorts in December is awesome.
3.   wearing shorts when it is in the lower 40's isn't necessary a bad idea.  I did this today and my legs weren't cold.
4.  listening to music on longer runs is a good distraction, but on shorter runs I like to run without music.

If you don't know what to do for Christmas for someone you could donate to the marathon to finish breast cancer through my fundraising page.  It's

Saturday, December 14, 2013

20 miles - Marathon training

This week was a struggle on the weekday running and weekday workout.  I have no good excuse.

Today however was my 20 mile training run for 26.2 with Donna.  I chose to wake up at 4am and I was out the door by 4:30am.  For most of the run it was about 32 degrees out (according to the bank displays).

I did the majority of the run in the dark which made it go quickly.  I used a 2 minute run/1 min walk for the first 16/17 miles.  I then changed it to 1:1.

Noteworthy things:
1. I saw a skunk on the way out and back on front street.
2.  All but one of the runners I saw were on front street
3.  The coolest thin happened mile 18/19 when I saw a fellow crazy runner an I said "high five" for the crazy runner!
4.  All the runners who were out there today were willing to say hi even if they had earphones.  This is not always the case.
5.  Music makes the time go quicker.  I'd rather run with people  by if I can't and I'm out there for more than 2 hours its nice to have music and podcasts to keep me company.

I love running and it is so much better for me with run walk run.  So grateful for being able to do this and still live my life.

The biggest help for this run was from my "extra mile" community Amanda.  She was doing a 29 mile training run.  We were both able to send texts to encourage each other.  So cool that the online running community is so supportive!  Even though I was "alone" out there on the roads I had some really solid support and I'm so grateful for that!  I couldn't have done it without this support.

Also, this is the second time I've run a 20 mile training run, but the first time ever that I've done a run this long when it's was this cold.  So thanks Amanda!

Starting super early 4:30am is hard but worth it.

#runhappy; #rundonna

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Marathon Training week 12/7/13

I was sick the first part of the week so I missed my first run on Monday, but I was able to get in a 3 mile run on Wednesday evening.  I had a time crunch or else I would have gone further.

For the most part I'm not worried about how fast I'm running, just as long as I'm having a good time and I'm getting the distance in that is on my schedule the best I can.

My run this morning went fairly well.  It was a 6 mile run that was on my Jeff Galloway to finish Marathon schedule.  It was to also include a magic mile.  My magic mile this time was 8:12 which is slower than it was in the warmer temps.  I'm going to check with coach Chris about what that means for my long run next Saturday of 20 miles.  I want to adjust it because I do believe that I'm probably running too fast for my long runs.  Right now my ratio is 2:30 running and 1:00 walking.

I'm excited about the 20 mile training run because I've done it only once before (2012 for MCM).  This is my first time doing it with run/walk/run.  I anticipate still feeling really good after it.  I will report back with all the necessary details (plus more).

I'm so glad that I have the 26.2 with Donna in Feburary because it gets me out there went I would rather sleep in.  I know that I'm doing this for a cause greater than myself and that motivates me more than most anything else.

Do you you want to help me by donating?  No amount is too little.  Here's my fundraiser page:

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Marathon week 11/30/13

On Monday morning I headed out for my early run and it was about 19 degrees with a real feel of 10 degrees.  I used a 4:1 run/walk/run ratio.  The only thing to report is that this was the first time in a while that I got out for my run before work on Monday.

Thursday was the Turkey Trot in New Cumberland.  This will be my fifth year in a row running/walking this run.  I don't race this run, because it's more fun and I like to get my wife involved.  This year we had my wife, 2 1/2 year old daughter, and my wife's friend.  I was planning on sticking with my wife, but they told me to just go ahead and run with our daughter in the stroller.  Well this was an interesting experience because she was not happy at all to be in the cold.  It was very windy and overall cold.  I pushed my daughter and since she was crying and making a racket people generally moved to the side for me.  I wasn't running the race to be competitive, but I did pass several people with and without strollers.  I had a good time and we'll do it again next year.  Hopefully my daughter will enjoy it more next year :-).

Today I ran a "nice and easy," but cold 5 mile run.  It was what I had on my schedule from the Jeff Galloway training book.  Next week I have 6 miles with a magic mile and then the following week I have 20 miles.  I'm looking forward to the 20 mile training run and I hope that there won't be any rain/snow for that run.  I found that even though I ran in temps below 20 degrees this week it wasn't so bad on the days the wind wasn't very strong.  The wind and precipitation is what makes it more difficult.

I am excited and somewhat nervous about running long distances in the winter.  This is going to be the first time I've really kept up with the longer distances throughout the winter.  My race schedule next year is going to be simply 26.2 with Donna in Jacksonville Florida in February and the Bird in Hand half in September.  As of today I am officially registered for Bird in Hand in September.  Bird in Hand was my favorite in 2013.

Thanks for reading!  If you want to support me in my journey to 26.2 with Donna you can go here:

#runhappy, #rundonna

Saturday, November 23, 2013

17 mile training run: Marathon Training

This week was very interesting as I did not get my weekday workouts done when I wanted to, but they are still done and I count that as a victory.  I ended up doing Monday's run in the evening.  This was a VERY windy day (15+MPH winds).  It was great going out, but coming back was interesting.  I saw two other runners out that night.   My Thursday AM workout consisted of a run of about 3 miles in the morning and then spin class.  I was proud of myself for getting both in since I've tried this several times in the past and it hasn't worked out like I wanted.  Typically I would say or plan to do both and actually do neither.  For some people going for a run and then spin class wouldn't be a big deal, but for me it is a huge deal :-) especially since that meant I need to leave my house by 4:45am!

Today I had a 17 mile run on the schedule.  This is the third longest training run I've ever done so I was excited about it and curious how it would be different this time since it's the farthest I've run using run/walk/run.  I am happy to report that I feel good after this run.  During the run the last few miles were a little rough.  I think this is because I haven't adjusted my ratio yet.  I used the same ratio as I did for the half-marathon (2:30/1) for the entire run.

Here's where I am truly converted to the Galloway run/walk/run.  Before when I did long runs I was out of commission for the day.  Today it was clear that I needed an ice bath and not just a cold water bath.  After the 10 minutes in the freezing cold ice bath I felt much better.  I haven't had any issues walking up stairs or doing what I need to do today.

Today was the first time in over a year that I brought music and podcast along for the run.  Don't worry I used only one headphone and I did not have it very loud.  I also used my knuckle lights so I could see where I am going and so that I could be seen.

This whole process has been amazing.  I was able to be contemplative during my run and I appreciated that I had over three hours to think and just enjoy being outside.

This marathon that I'm training for is not about getting a personal record (I likely will, but that's not the point).  The point is running for those who can't.  My mission has not changed because whether I'm raising money for breast cancer research or for leukemia/lymphoma I'm still raising money for those who can't and I'm still making sure I am keeping in mind how important it is to #runhappy

More on my journey next week!  Thanks for reading and feel free to give feedback.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Marathon Training week 11/16/13

I went on vacation to NC this week to visit family, but I still stayed focused on my running goals.

I wanted to go longer on these first two runs, but I kept it short and simple.  On Monday I did a run where I ran a total of 4 miles.  This was a fun run because I ran 3 miles to Krispy Kreme doughnut store and had two "hot now" original doughnuts.  I then ran a mile back to the house.  The cool part is that this last mile was my fastest mile and I actually had a negative split for this run.  I used 4/1 ratio.

The second 45 minute run was supposed to be on a greenway, but I took the wrong part and ended up on ECU campus so I had to go the other way.  It was cold and I did not have the proper clothes (just long shirt and shorts, but no gloves).  I never did warm up from the run and it was icy on the wooden bridges for the greenway.  Overall it was a good run.  Used a 4/1 ratio.

Today I was back to my normal route.  I had a 5 mile run including a magic mile on the schedule for today.  I ran the first 4 miles at an average pace of 10:56/mi.  I ran it like a normal long run so I used 2:30/1 ratio.  The last mile was my magic mile and I ran it in 8:06 which I'm pleased with since I haven't run anything fast since the Hershey Half marathon.

I'm still working on "resetting" my training and focusing more on endurance than on speed for the marathon in February.  Again, I'm not so concerned about a specific time goal for the 26.2 with Donna.

I spent some time during my vacation to focus on my mindset so I can overcome any obstacles to my training.  One of my big goals this training cycle is is to make sure that I get as many of my runs in the morning as I possibly can (because this helps me at work and also helps me have more time with family in the evening).  Also I'm going to make it a huge priority to make sure I make it to spin class and/or spend time in the pool doing water running.

The greatest blessing lately has been seeing my two year old daughter starting to get into running in the house.  Can't wait til she can run her own races :-)!

#runhappy #rundonna #runwalkrun

Thursday, November 14, 2013

26.2 with Donna

Dear Friends,

By now you know that running has become a major part of my life.  Not only is it a coping skills to handle stress in my life, but it also allows me to help causes that I am passionate about.  In 2012, I raised funds for the Leukemia, Lymphoma Society (LLS) and trained for my first marathon with Team in Training (TNT).  I was so empowered by this experience that I knew I would run a marathon for a specific cause again soon.  Well, that "soon" is now.  It is one thing to run races to get a personal record (which I did in 2013), but I find it much more fulfilling to run for a cause greater than myself.  This reality will help me get up at 4:45 AM when it is cold and windy.

On Sunday, February 23, 2014, I will be joining thousands to Celebrate the Finish at the 7th Annual 26.2 with Donna. My goal is to cross the finish line of the marathon event, and feel great that 100% of the race proceeds and EVERY PENNY of funds raised will go to breast cancer research and care.

26.2 with Donna is the only marathon event in the country dedicated to finishing breast cancer. 70% of the funds go to bench top research at Mayo Clinic. What does this mean? Bench top research is high risk, high reward research not traditionally funded by typical methods. With marathon funds, Mayo Clinic has established a Translational Genomics Team that will change the protocol for the treatment of breast cancer. WOW! The remaining 30% of the funds go to The Donna Foundation, serving the critical financial needs of those with breast cancer today.

So even though I am not required to fund raise, I want to support this important work that is saving lives and helping those who need it the most. That is why I am asking my friends and family to contribute.

Please make a donation and let’s finish breast cancer together!  My goal is to raise 2,620.00 for the cause.  Crazy goal right?  But I know I can do it with your help.  

My personal fundraising page is:

I would be honored to have your support.  Thanks!  Again, I'm doing this for those can't.

Nate Wagner
"A river cuts through rock, not because of its power, but because of its persistence."--Jim Watkins

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Transition week 26.2

Transition week

Today I had an awesome 14 mile run that started at 5:30 am.  I like the sound of that :)!

This week I transitioned from the half marathon training plan to the full marathon.  As I'm sure you are aware I am training for the breast cancer marathon in February in Jacksonville Florida.  I'm very excited about this because running for a cause makes the miles go by so faster.  It's bar to roll over and go back to sleep to an extra 60-90 minutes when I know there are people suffering from in this case breast cancer.  I am honored to be able to raise money for this awesome cause.  

Back to my training.  I ran 30 minutes both Monday AM and Wednesday PM.  Both runs were great and were certainly therapy runs for me.  I ind that if I miss my Monday run completely it throws off my week.  

My priority for this week while I'm on vacation is to make sure I get both Monday and Wednesdays run in the morning.  I'm not sure what ill do as far as cross training but ill be sure to do a bunch of walking with Emma and Cindy and just with Cindy.

So why a marathon now?  Why 26.2 with Donna now?  Why not continue working to get under two hours in the half  marathon?  Great questions!  For one going for a time goal takes a lot of the fun away from running.  There is a place for speed work and getting faster and I am doing that.   I am working on endurance and building my running base.  Why 26.2 with Donna in Florida?  Primarily because of Jeff Galloway, Chris Twiggs, Donna Deegan, and Kevin.  I was introduced to this marathon through the extra mile podcast.  Also the pace groups use run/walk/run.  This really excites me because that will take the guesswork out of my training.  The biggest reason why I want to run this marathon in 2014 is because of the awesome cause and that it is the only marathon that focuses completely on breast cancer.  100% if any donation goes to research and patient care.  It doesn't get any better than that!  If you want to donate please go to my fundraiser page.  Thanks for reading and considering a donation.

Sent from my iPod

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Recovery week and 26.2 with Donna

This week I my 5 mile recovery run at an 11 minute pace.  This was very easy for me and I had to hold back, but it felt REALLY good.  Amazing like I typically feel after a long run :-).

I found during these past two weeks that I was very lax on getting up in the morning during the week.  I'm not proud of this, but it's something that's been a habit that I'm trying to break.

I have the ultimate way to break that habit because I'm officially registered for the 26.2 with Donna on Feb 23, 2014 in Jacksonville, Florida.  Our hotel and flight are both booked (thanks to my super supportive wife)!

This training cycle is going to be different than any other.  First, this will be the first time I follow up racing a half marathon (that was my goal for the fall) and transitioning to the full marathon.  Also this is going to be different because I'll be running with a Galloway run/walk/run pace group in Jacksonville Florida.  I'm SUPER excited about this because I will have people that are running my same pace and using the same method.  That was the biggest thing that was missing in Hershey this year.  I know I would have pushed myself a lot harder if I had others who I knew around me (not making excuses... I just know myself as a social runner).

In a lot of ways this marathon will be different than the Marine Corps Marathon.  For one, I am not sure I'll have someone who I know that will run most of the marathon with me.  But as I mentioned above, I will have lots of people in the pace group who I can talk with during both the running and walking.  Something else that's different is that we (meaning my wife) had to take care of the details of how we were getting there etc.  Also the biggest thing that will be different is that I'll be doing some significant long runs in the cold weather.  I know this is going to be a challenge, but I'm up for this challenge since I already know I can do the distance (with proper training).

Things that will be similar are that I will be running for a cause.  Last year, I ran with TNT and I raised money for LLS (Leukemia and Lymphoma Society).  This year by just paying my registration fee I am raising money for breast cancer research.  I will also be raising money.  My plan is to have a few events in addition to using letters and social media to raise funds.

Here is more about the 26.2 with Donna.  This is a direct quote from the marathon website
 "26.2 with Donna The National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer is the only marathon in the country dedicated solely to breast cancer research and care. 100% of funds raised by runners and all donations benefit bench top breast cancer research at Mayo Clinic and to help meet the critical needs of women in need with breast cancer through The Donna Foundation. Thanks to the support of our fundraisers, donors, runners and sponsors we have raised more than 3 million dollars since 2008.
We sincerely appreciate your contribution and support – your partnership to the cause is paramount.
It starts with a run.  It only stops when breast cancer is finished."

I would be honored if you would contribute to this cause.   My fundraising page is: 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Week 16 and what's next!

I'm sharing with you my email to Coach Chris.  I didn't really write anything extra today, but there's some good stuff at the end... you'll want to know what I'm up to next :-)
I had a great recovery week.  I did not get up early to do my weekday runs.
On Tuesday I had my daughter and we did 10 seconds running and 50 seconds walking.  This worked as good as could be asked for a run with a two year old :-).  I'm starting her young!
I ran Thursday for about 40 minutes at 9:54  per mile.  It felt great to run 4 miles with no pain from the race on Sunday.  I used 4:1 ratio.  Here's the info:
Today I ran 5 miles using the 2:30/1 ratio.  I kept in mind what you said about this being a recovery run.  I was able to keep it to an 11 min/mile overall pace.  It felt really great considering I raced less than a week ago.  Here's the data for this!
I love run/walk/run.  As I said in a previous post/podcast I have been converted to the "dark side."  I'm also trying to show how others can join me as well.  They are having trouble wrapping their brain around how they can run faster by using strategic walk breaks.

Just a few reasons I love run/walk/run:
1.  I was able to run two runs the week after the race and I felt great during and after.
2.  The day of the half-marathon I was able to live my life normally.  I did NOT have the issues that I had in previous half marathons.
3.  I used walk breaks and I got a 3 minute and 31 second PR.  This one speaks for itself!
4.  I got to have awesome coaching from Chris Twiggs, and have been able to participate in the Galloway Extra Mile podcast-Half Marathon edition as a contributor.
5.  I now have a tool that will help me run until I'm 100.
6.  I am planning to bridge my training so that I can train for the 26.2 with Donna in Jacksonville Florida.  I will start up the marathon training soon.  :-).

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Race report: Hershey Half Marathon: 10/20/13

I'm happy to report that I now have a new PR at the Hershey Half Marathon.  Officially my time is 2:15:09 which is a PR by 3 minutes and 31 seconds.  Not bad considering I used Jeff Galloway's Run/Walk/Run method :-).

Last time I ran this race was in 2011 and my time was 3:21:23... so this year's time cuts over an hour off my time.  Now that's awesome!  I will say that in 2011 my wife just had our baby girl and so I wasn't ready for the race, but I still cut over an hour off my course time.

Here's the update:
My new PR is 2:15:09 at the Hershey Half Marathon.  I did not get under 2 hours as predicted, but I did cut over 3 minutes of my previous best.  On a hilly course I will definitely take it.

The weather started out a little chilly, but otherwise the day was perfect.  I kept myself warm for the start and then ditched my outer layer.  I lined up with the 9 minute mile pace group, but I did not have a chance to talk with those around me to see if 9 minutes/mile was realistic or if they just lined up there.  I held myself back at the beginning because I wanted to make sure I had enough in me to conquer the hills.  I watched the video of the course and it did not seem nearly as hilly as it was in reality.  I felt pretty good for the first half of the race.  I was using 4/1 ratio and sticking to the plan.  I did not allow the hills to frustrate me and they really weren't all that bad at the beginning.  My biggest miscalculation was that I thought that after I made it to the 10K mark that it would be fairly flat.  It wasn't.

Here are my splits.

Mile 1: 9:24
Mile 2: 9:12
Mile 3: 9:28
Mile 4: 9:43
Mile 5: 9:29
Mile 6: 9:58
Mile 7: 10:16
Mile 8: 10:24
Mile 9: 10:47
Mile 10: 11:04
Mile 11: 12:01
Mile 12: 11:12
Mile 13: 10:45

More data about my race than you'd ever want to know:

I'm pleased with the first 5/6 miles, but I'm not sure what happened during the last 6/7 miles.  I think my legs were tired because of the hills.  At some point near the 10K mark I realized that it was not likely that I would finish in less than 2 hours as I was struggling a little bit.  On my slowest mile (11) I switched my ratio to :30/:30 so that I could get a better grip of where I stood with getting a new PR.  I knew that I had to finish in a time faster than 2:18:40 seconds because I needed a PR today (using walk breaks).  I knew that I had to kick things into gear.  When I saw the Hershey Park Stadium I went for it.   According to my Garmin it was an 8:12 during the last .18 miles.  I past several people on the way to the finish line and had my hands up at the end.  I believe I #ranhappy and had a smile on my face for most of the race.

Things I learned running the Hershey Half Marathon:
1.  The most important thing is to do my best on that given day.  Specific goals may not happen, but it does not mean that I wasn't successful.
2.  It helps to have a running buddy.  I didn't have this and I felt the difference.
3.  Run/walk/run is my preferred method of running.  I was able to get a PR on a challenging course while using walk breaks.
4.  I love running and run/walk/run makes it even better.  I was able to enjoy my afternoon with my wife.  We had a date Sunday afternoon.  I was able to walk and go about my business as though I didn't just race 13.1 miles.  Good stuff!
5.  I look forward to my next race and giving it my all.  I'm going to take things fairly easy and just enjoy running for what it is and use conservative walk breaks.
6.  I love and appreciate my TNT friends and those who were out on the course to cheer us on to the finish.  It was awesome to see so many faces and also for those perfect strangers who yelled my name in encouragement.  It's the best.
7.  I love run/walk/run and I'm thankful for my e-coach Chris Twiggs who helped me get to the finish line with a smile on my face, upright, and ready to do it again.
8.  I appreciate how much sacrifice my wife and daughter have made for me to do things like this.  She got up at about 5am this morning to help me get to the race early enough so that we could be relaxed.

So what's next?  Well I have a 5 miler in November along with Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving.  Nothing else is officially on the schedule, but I'll sign up for another half in a moments notice.  I would like to do the breast cancer marathon (26.2 with Donna) in FL in February 2014.  We'll see if I can convince my wife that it's a good idea to go to FL in Feb.

Anyways, I look forward to writing more.  I plan to still blog once a week during the slower time of the year.  You better believe that I will continue using run/walk/run and I'll see you out there!

#runhappy, #runforthosewhocant, #runwalkrun #hersheyhalfmarathon

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Pre-race thoughts 10/19/13 Hershey Half Marathon

It's race weekend!  I've already picked up my race bib.  My number is 4039.  I've put a lot of thought and effort into this race.  This race seems different than any others even though I ran the Hershey Half two years ago.  The reason this is different is because I'm using the Jeff Galloway Run/walk/run method of running.  So far this has helped me come back from some foot issues and has helped me get faster.

I know that the bottom line is that I am racing against myself and that when I cross the finish line at a time faster than 2:18:40 then I will have a PR.  I can't remember the exact point where I decided in my own mind that my goal was going to be 1:59:59 or faster, but over a month ago I shared that with the listening audience of the Galloway Extra Mile Podcast - Half Marathon edition.  I have been one of the Guinea pigs receiving e-coaching from Chris Twiggs.  This has been an awesome experience and I have learned so much through the process.

The part that excites me the most is that I'm physically healthy and I'm faster than I was before I started AND I use walk breaks.

I am slightly nervous about a few things and I figure if I post them that will help me process things.

1.  The narrow parts of the course - It looks like there are a few spots that will be fairly narrow.  I'm going to overcome this by sticking with the plan and not slowing down too much but not worrying if my pace slows a little bit due to being congested.

2.  Hills - not worried about this because "Hills are my friends."  I will be saying to myself "I love hills and I eat hills for breakfast."  Whatever I can do to stay positive :-)

Even though I did not specifically race money for TNT I'm still running for Luke and for Jeff.  I will be wearing my TNT jersey with my name on it.

My plan per Coach Chris Twiggs:  Start out with the 9 minute milers (I found the sign for that group).  I will check with those are around me to see if this goal is reasonable for them or if it is a "wish."  If it's a reasonable goal I will make sure I don't get ahead of them (or behind them).  Also recognize that I may fall back a little bit on the hills, but to not be concerned about that because I will catch up on the down hill.  Also from the coaching call I remember Chris stated that I am to run a 4:1 ratio which is a 9 minute mile.  I will run 4 minutes and walk a minute from the start of the race.  Once I get 10 miles in I can evaluate where I am time wise.  If I'm about 1:30 I can stay the course and continue using walk breaks.  If I'm a little bit slower and I still feel awesome then I can start to pick up the pace and modify the walk breaks.  Either way when I see the stadium I will pick up the pace and pass as many people as I can on the way into the finish line.  I am grateful that I've been able to train myself that no matter how I feel I still have a kick at the end.

I just watched the clip from Facing the Giants about the death crawl and giving it my very best.  That is what I'm going to do for this race.  Regardless of my time I am going to give it everything.  Also for my confidence booster I can remember that I did 12 repetitions of 800 meters (1/2 mile).  That's 6 miles by the way and that was done at sub 8 minute miles.

Again, I'm running happy and I'm going to do my VERY best.  I will post results on my blog.  Here's where you can go to get the official time Hershey Half Marathon results and other social media.  Also, my photos will be posted on

Please check out the podcast.  It's so cool to be a part of this!  or check out here

Bottom line:  I will #runhappy.  I will run inspired and with a smile on my face.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Week 14 Half marathon training

It's hard to believe that this time next week I'll be setting out all of my gear for the Hershey Half marathon.  It has been an awesome experience.  I find that this year is a lot different than last year since I have put some pressure on myself to perform at a certain level.  The crazy part is that my goal is to take almost 19 minutes off of my previous best time... using walk breaks.  My PR currently stands at 2:18:40.  My stated goal: get 1:59:59 or faster in the Hershey Half Marathon on October 20, 2013. 
Here's what I wrote Coach Chris,

It's hard to believe that I'm in taper mode already.  Here's my update from the week.  I have recovered well from my illness and I had a good run this morning.

Here's  my update from the week.

I skipped my Monday run all together since I was still sick and I had off work.  This is when I went to the doctor and he put me on some meds.  I took it easy Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  I decided that it was best to run Thursday because I was feeling much better.  This run was interesting because I was so excited about being able to run again ... since last Friday was my last run that I completely forgot my walk breaks until I was almost done with the run... oops!  Here's the proof.  The funny thing is that my pace is slower here than when I use walk breaks.  As I mentioned I tripped (on myself) and scrapped my knee.  It didn't seem bad at all at that point, but I did not want to take any chances so I walked the rest of the way home.
This morning I did my 5 mile run with a magic mile.  I slightly changed the location of the MM due to the rain we had yesterday and the wet leaves.  I ran 2.25 miles and then did my MM.  I wanted to try to make sure I was really close to my previous magic miles since that is a huge predictor for my pace in the race.  I wanted to prove to myself that I can get a 1:59:59 or faster for the Hershey Half.  This is the confidence booster that I needed :-).
I feel good about how things went and how I recovered from what's happened in the last week or so.  I'm ready to rock it out next Sunday.  I look forward to having our conversation for the podcast on Tuesday and finding out exactly what our game plan is for the race.

Thanks for calling me back on Monday and letting me know the importance of "staying the course" and not worrying about the last long run.

That's the end of my email to Coach Chris.

I don't know exactly what my "game plan" is for the race yet, but I'll find out either on Tuesday during our podcast call or in an email in the next few days.  My guess is that I'll start out the race using my training pace ratio 2:30/1 for the first portion of my race with a target pace of 10 minute miles.  Then I'll probably go to a 3/1 or 4/1 ratio to get it down to the 9 minute miles.  I'm not worried about it because I've done the training and I have the "hay" in the barn for this race.

I never did get my "do over" run for last week, but I'm OK with that and I'm ready to kick butt in Hershey.

Here's the video for the course.  It's a fun course and it is much better than it was two years ago (at least from what I can see and from what friends have told me).  Here's the link: or


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Week 13: half marathon training

My thoughts for this week are summed up by saying "I want a do over!"

Here's what I wrote Coach Chris Twiggs about my week.


This week was rough!  I did get my first run in on Tuesday evening and I was pleased with how it went.  I had an overall pace of 9:08 and even though it was hot 77 degrees, it felt very good.  Here's the details for this run:
I just got up in time for work on Wednesday AM, so I didn't actually get in my second weekday run.  This is the first time I've completely missed a run in the past 14 weeks (typically I would have made it up on Thursday, but I had my long run scheduled for Friday).
As I mentioned in a text my long run did not go as planned.  I had been sneezing a lot in the past few days, but I didn't think much of it.  Since it was not in my chest, but in my head I decided to try my run anyway, even though I wasn't feeling the greatest.  Anyway, the first 5 miles didn't feel all that great and this was surprising to me.  I have been very fortunate in that I haven't had any really bad runs recently.

My sneezing did not cause too many issues and I did not need to use too many tissues.  It truly wasn't bothersome at work on Thursday.  During the run I didn't sneeze all that much, but I could tell that my breathing was off a little bit.
Here's the details from the run.  I do know that on a different day I would have crushed this workout.  My hope is that this will be the only bad run of this cycle and that I will do awesome at the race.
Instead of posting all of my splits you can go here to find it if you want it.   My overall pace was 14.55 for 10 miles.  I'm trying to keep in mind that everyone has off days and that this does not mean that I still won't accomplish my goals at Hershey.

Any advice?  Suggestions?  I'm feeling like I need to do a "do over" for this run.  Thoughts?  So that's the end of what I wrote Chris.  I'm going to continue my conversation with you my reader.

Have you ever had just a horrible run?  I know that the definition of a bad run is one that didn't happen, but what about those that happened that did not go according to plan.  Am I just spoiled with having this as my first real disappointing run?  I was supposed to do 17 miles and I only ran/walked 5, walked 5 and didn't do the last 7.  Part of me is concerned that because of this run I won't accomplish my sub 2:00 half marathon goal.  My mind knows this is rediculous, but it's still messing with me.  This is the first time that I've waited 24 hours to post my stats.  I'm usually doing that before I even hit the ice bath.

Anyway, I'm hoping to get some response about this post.  If you've had issues with a longer long run how did you respond mentally, physically and emotionally?  I"m having issues with this mostly because it was the longest long run for this race.  I've done on the long runs up to this point.  I know I can still accomplish my goals, but I guess I'm frustrated.  Thoughts?  Thanks!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

12 X 800 repeats: Week 12 of Half Marathon Training

This week was successful.  I'm excited that my training is progressing well.  My foot still feels really good (remember I had Plantar fasciitis in this summer)?  Good old run/walk/run has helped with that and I've gotten much faster in a safe way :-).    Today I did pace work and it went well.  It was extremely challenging, but I think I had the last laugh in the last repeat!  Here's my email to coach Chris.  #runhappy
The week I made it to all of my runs and did them on the days that are on the schedule.  Still no cross-training this week, but it was a good week overall.
Monday - I did my Monday run first thing in the morning.  I did about a 2 mile run and then did my magic mile.  The first part of my run was about a 10 minute mile and then my magic mile was 7:39.  This was my fastest mile to date :-).  Here are the details for these runs. - Regular run - MM

Wednesday - I slept in on Wednesday morning, but had a really good 5 mile run.   Average pace 9:25.  Felt good.  Used 4:1 ratio. 

Today I did my 12 X 800's.  I knew that this would be a very physically and mentally challenging run.  Things that I told myself during the run to keep me positive includes the following: relax, power, glide... I feel good, I feel great... I can do anything, I am not afraid.  1:59:59 (my goal).  Among other things.

Here's the repeats  Goal was 2:10 each lap with a total of 4:20 per 800
1.  2:10, 2:10 - 4:20 - perfect!
2.  2:13, 2:15 - 4:28
3. 2:12, 2:14 - 4:26
4. 2:11, 2:11 - 4:22
5. 2:16, 2:08 - 4:24
6. 2:11, 2:16 - 4:27
7. 2:14, 2:11 - 4:25
8. 2:20, 2:14 - 4:34 (We'll throw that one out!)
9. 2:13, 2:06 - 4:19
10. 2:11, 2:12 - 4:23
11. 2:13, 2:10 - 4:23
12. 2:09, 2:08 - 4:17
I did my best to leave it all on the track and to finish as strong as I could.  I did a decent job not allowing repeat 8 to get into my head.  I KNOW I will get a PR for Hershey Oct 20th.  I also believe that if everything lines up right I'll achieve my goal of getting a sub-2 hour half marathon.
Can't wait until my 17 mile run on Friday.  I'm moving it to Friday because I have a marriage conference on Saturday morning and I'd rather take off Friday and do it then rather than waiting until after 1pm on Saturday.
This was very challenging working this morning, but I am excited that by me doing an extra magic mile on Monday provided the extra challenging for faster times for the repeats.

I truly am converted to Run/walk/run as I am feeling wonderful.  Thanks Chris!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Week 11 of Half Marathon Training: 15 mile long run

This week started out a little rough since I did not get up on Monday morning.  I had to do my run in the evening and that meant that it happened around 8:30pm.  I completely recovered and had a solid week.  

Here's what I wrote Coach Chris and some more reflections.  My overall goal is to #runhappy and I believe that I'm almost all set for a sub 2 hour half marathon.  I am confident that if things go even close to plan I will have a new Personal Record.  Currently my PR is 2:18:20.  My last half marathon in Bird-in-Hand two weeks ago I ran a 2:20.  I used walk breaks for this last half marathon and I will do this in the Hershey Half Marathon as well.

Coach Chris,

My week went very well.  It started out a little rough with needing to get my Monday run in fairly late at night, but I got it done.  I went to spin on Tuesday.  I ran on Wednesday.  I didn’t get up for spin on Thursday.  Took Friday completely off.  Saturday, today, I did my long run of 15 miles.

Details for Monday:
Ran 3.29 mi in 29:48.  Used 4:1 ratio.  Each mile I ran faster than the last.  9:25, 9:03 and 8:40.  This was in the evening.   Specific details here:  

Details for Wednesday:
Ran 4.24 mi in 42:24.  Used 4:1 ratio.  Ran with a friend in the AM.  Average pace 10:01.  Specific details:

Details for Saturday (today):
Ran 15.10 mi in 3:00:31.  Used 2:1 ratio.  Tried to keep it at a pace of 12:00/mile average.    My actual average was 11:57 min/mi.  I very much held myself back.  The image of a caged bird came to mind J.  It was awesome to be able to go beyond the race distance and still feel wonderful.  I seriously feel as good or even better than then I did after the 11 mile run that I talked about on the podcast.  Run/walk/run is working wonders!  All the details you would ever want to know are here:  

I look forward to running my 12 X 800’s next week.  Are there any modifications?  Do you need me to do another Magic Mile?

Thanks for everything you have done so far!  Regardless as to whether or not I get under 2 hours, I will still crush my PR :-).  #runhappy

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Week 10: 10 x 800's at Messiah College

Here's the update I sent my Galloway e-coach Chris and then my reflections.
Chris, Here's my update for week 10.  I skipped the cross training this week, but nailed all of my running workouts.
Tuesday: I ran my magic mile at 7:54.  This was my best mile time since High School.  The data for this magic mile is:
Thursday:  I ran using a 4:1 ratio.  It was very humid and difficult run.  Ran 3.23 miles and my average pace was 10:47.  Data for this run is:
Saturday I had 10 x 800's.  Here's the information for this.  I do have garmin data for this, but each repeat has it's own link.
1:  lap 1: 2:12 and lap 2: 2:17 - total 4:29
2: lap 1: 2:12 and lap 2: 2:20 - total 4:22
3. lap 1: 2:11 and lap 2: 2:05 - total 4:16
4: lap 1: 2:07 and lap 2: 2:10 - total 4:17
5: lap 1: 2:13 and lap 2: 2:18 - total 4:31
6: lap 1: 2:16 and lap 2: 2:10 - total 4:26
7: lap 1: 2:13 and lap 2: 2:13 - total 4:26
8: lap 1: 2:14 and lap 2: 2:08 - total 4:22
9: lap 1 2:14 and lap 2: 2:11- total 4:25
10 lap 1: 2:13 and lap 2: 2:11 - total 4:24
Overall this was very challenging.  I did not intend to go faster than 4:24 per 800.  I was not trying to go as fast as I could, but trying to key in on my race pace.  These are the paces that I ran.  I was amazed that no one came to the track during this whole workout.  When I was on my lap after repeat 10 someone else came on the track.  I had to use all internal motivation for this.
Let me know if there should be any more modifications after these repeats.

Reflections:  This week was by far the best I've ever done the week after a half-marathon.    I can't believe that I ran a mile at less than an 8 minute pace.  I struggle with believing in myself.  I think that my mind has held me back lately.  I am trying to blast through this.  My pace work today helped me with this.  Also I'm visualizing getting a sub-2 hour half marathon.  It was really cool with my 800 repeats today because each time I cross the "finish line" I visualized that I needed to finish strong in order to achieve my goal.

By the way, my overall goal for my running is that I can #runhappy and that I will be able to run until I'm 100 years old.  I know that I'm going to give it my best shot to get under 2 hours, but I won't allow that goal to be completely the focus of all my attention.  I realized today why pace work is not included in most (if not all) beginning training.  It's super hard work!

It was a good week.  Next week I have a 15 mile training run.  Yes, I'm doing 15 miles in preparation for a half-marathon.  The following week I have 12 x 800's and then I'll be doing a 17 mile training run.  If you want to learn more about the run/walk/run training program that I'm using feel free to go to Jeff Galloway's website:

#runhappy, #runforthosewhocant

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Week 9: Bird in Hand Half Marathon

Here's my email to Coach Chris Twiggs director of the Galloway Training Programs. 

Here's my update about my training this week.

First, I did not do any cross training, but I did both of my regular weekday runs.  On Monday (Labor Day)  I ran 4.55 miles in 47 using 3:1 ratio.  It was 90 percent humidity.  Sweat a lot, but it felt pretty good.

Wednesday I ran 5 miles in 51 minutes using 3:1 ratio for the first part and then the last mile I tried 4:1.  This felt amazing as it was a wonderful temp.

Today, Saturday I ran the Bird-in-hand half marathon as a training run.  I stuck to the plan and I felt very good during the last mile.  The last mile was very close to a 10 min mile.

Mile 1: 11:03
Mile 2:  11:04
Mile 3:  10:58
Mile 4:  10:56
Mile 5:  10:46
Mile 6:  11:18
Mile 7:  11:03
Mile 8:  10:19
Mile 9:  10:39
Mile 10: 9:58
Mile 11:  10:21
Mile 12: 10:59
Mile 13: 10:03

As you can see I was kept to the plan (at least as close as I could.  I did run the first half using a 2:1 ratio.  Then ran the next 3 miles at 3:1 ratio.  The last 5K I ran using a 4:1 ratio.

All the specific details can be found here:

Overall I felt wonderful during and after this run.  I struggled a little bit on the mental side of things at mile 12, but I pulled it together during the last mile.

I am very excited to see what you have in store for me during these next 6 weeks or so between now and the Hershey half.  My overall time was 2:20.  This is less than 2 minutes slower than my PR.  Very happy about this because I definitely held back on this run.
Note about the Galloway method:
1.  I've officially converted to the "dark side" of run/walk/run
2.  We had several comments about how we were walking and we were still keeping up with people.
3.  My foot feels great after this half marathon using run/walk/run
4.  I feel wonderful after the run.

Can't wait to see what you have in store for me for Hershey.  I'm enjoying today and the accomplishment of finishing a half marathon.

Monday, I'm back at the training.

My reflections about my training:
1.  I am thrilled that I ran the Bird-in-Hand half marathon.  It was a very well done race.  A must run for all runners.  Truly a world-class event even though it has a 1400 runners.  They did an awesome job.
2.  I want to work on my nutrition for the Hershey Half.  I forgot my gel and I could have used that to finish even stronger.
3.  Run/walk/run has been very helpful to get me back in shape after my foot issues.
4.  Using a run/walk/run ratio will truly help me run until I'm 100 and that's the goal.  Getting a PR is great when it happens, but it's really about running in community and enjoying the process.

Thanks for reading this post.  More to come as I work to get under 2 hours for the Hershey Half.  This means I need to take 18 minutes and 41 seconds off my PR (That I got earlier this year at the Chambersburg half).


Saturday, August 31, 2013

Week 8: 8x800's pace work

Here's my email to Chris.  This pretty much explains what happened this week in my running world. 

Enjoy!  Feel free to leave comments!

Chris,  I wanted to update you on my week.  Overall it was a good running week, but I slacked off on my cross training.  I slept in on Monday, and then I also slept in on Tuesday.  I knew I needed to get my run in Tuesday so I went out after work.  That run went well and it was very hot and humid.  I ran 4.5 miles on Tuesday.  I ran my first mile at 10:05 using a 3:1 ratio.  The funny thing is that was just my natural pace and I was not trying to run a specific speed.  My overall pace for the Tuesday run was 10:38/mile.  It was 88% with a real feel of 90%.
You can find the stats here
I consulted with you and we decided to take Wednesday off and run again on Thursday.  My Thursday run was in the AM, but it was also super humid.  This was a bummer.  I ran my magic mile in 8:42.  Not my best, but I'll take it.  The rest of the run was rough.  It ended up being less than 4 miles for the run and it took over the 45 minutes.  I recognized that any run done is better than one I don't do.  I changed the ratio to 2:1 during part of the run.

Today, Saturday was different than the other two runs this week.  The primary thing that was the same was that it was hot and humid.  Here's how I did with my repeats.  Before I get specific this pace work went much better than the other two times.  I knew what was expected of me and this helped a lot.
1.  First lap 2:22, second lap 2:29 total 4:51.  I thought that this was because I did not compensate for walking for :30 during the second lap.  I fixed this in the rest of the repeats.
2.  First lap 2:20, second lap 2:21 total 4:41.  I'll take that!
3.  First lap 2:20, second lap 2:24; total 4:44
4.  First lap 2:20, second lap 2:20 perfect! :-)!  Total 4:40
5.  First lap 2:19, second lap 2:19 A little too fast, Total 4:38
6.  First lap 2:22, second lap 2:22; a little too slow, total 4:44
7.  First lap 2:20, second lap 2:21; total 2:41 close!
8.  First lap 2:23, second lap 2:18; total 2.41 I compensated for a slow first lap
Overall I am pleased with my efforts on this humid day.

I'm very excited about running the Bird in Hand half marathon next Saturday.  I know that I will be doing it relaxed with no pressure.  Any specific recommendations for the practice race?

As far as I can tell my game plan will be to run the first half using the 2:1 ratio.  After mile 7 or so I can choose whether or not to speed up a little bit?  I"m thinking that by mile 10 if I'm still feeling good that I'll be able to go a little faster.  Bottom line is I want to be smart about this as I would like to get a sub 2 hour half marathon for Hershey on October 20th.
Thanks for your help! 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Week 7 - 11 Miles

I'm putting in my email to Coach Chris and then I'll add some more reflections.  If you are wondering why I'm following a different training plan this year it is because I was selected to be one of the participants on the Extra Mile Podcast Galloway Half Marathon edition.  You can find the podcast at  It's been awesome because it keeps me more accountable for my training and not modifying things for my own convenience or because I want to sleep in on a weekday.  Needless to say this has been super helpful in addition to a friend of mine who is also coming back from injury who sends me text/messages to make sure that I'm getting up and getting to the gym or that I'm getting my run done.

I felt inspired and empowered by my marathon training last year, but it took a lot of time and I was sometimes tired as a result of it.  This year with this plan I'm not nearly as tired and my mood is much more positive.

Here's my email that I sent to Coach Chris:
Coach Chris, First off I'm feeling absolutely incredible after my long run of 11 miles.  I did the 2:1 ratio as you suggested.  I kept up an average pace of 11:28/mile.  Effectively using the walk breaks made the run so pleasant.  Plus I got started at 6am which helped a lot.

Let me go to specifics from my week of training. 
On Monday I ran 4 miles using a 3:1 ratio.  It felt good.  Here's the details
Tuesday I did spin.
Wednesday I ran 5 miles.  I went after work and ran in the heat.  I thought this was going to be rough, but I did really well using a 3:1 ratio.  My average pace was 10:13 which in the 80 plus degree heat I felt very good about.
Thursday I did spin.  Felt really good even though I ran the night before.

Friday - completely off
Today - I ran 11 miles using a 2:1 ratio.  As I mentioned earlier in the email I felt amazing during and after it.  I ran the first 7 miles by myself and then met up with friends from TNT for the last 4 miles.  I ran the last mile the fastest and I was ready to run more if I would have had it on the schedule.  I walked about a mile or two after the run to cool down.  I did a cool water bath (did not have time to do the full ice bath).

Very much looking forward to the bird in hand half marathon in two weeks.  I know that it is a training run, but I'll be looking for some feedback about how I should approach the race as a training run.


Ok, so now on to reflections.  I'm very pleased about how my week went.  I did a total of 20 miles which is the most I've done since I had my foot issue.  I'm feeling so strong these days.  As I mentioned I feel inspired and I'm so thankful for how the training is going.

I run for those who can't and I run happy!

Next week I have 8 x 800s and it's my birthday weekend.  Can't wait!  Until next time.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Week 6 Pace work - speed work

Here's my week 6 update.  The first part is what I emailed Coach Chris and the last part are some of my reflections about this.
I took Monday off because I did my long run on Sunday last week.

Tuesday it was storming complete with lightening and thunder so I went to spin class instead.
Wednesday I ran 4 miles with a friend in the morning.  We ran on a softer surface.  Ran at an overall pace of 11:15.  I used a 3:1 ratio the entire time.  I did have to stop to use the porta pot part way through which slowed us down a bit.  Details are here:
Thursday I missed my run in the AM, but was able to get it in after work.  My GPS location was never found, but I ran 45 minutes with a 3:1 ratio and that felt very good even though it was getting hotter.  Don't have the official details.  I ran at least 4 miles.
Friday I took completely off.
Saturday (today) I did speed work.  I did it at a different track than I did the first pace work.  This time my wife and daughter came out to the track to help me and keep the time.  This was very helpful because now I have real information that can be helpful.  Here it goes! 
1.  Lap 1 - 2:15; Lap 2 - 2:29 total for first 800: 4:44
2.  Lap 1 - 2:22; Lap 2 - 2:18; total for second 800: 4:40
3.  Lap 1 - 2:16; Lap 2 - 2:25; total for third 800: 4:41
4. Lap 1 - 2:20 (Nailed it!); Lap 2 - 2:30 (not so much); total for fourth 800: 4:50 - did not feel tired... not sure what happened other than I must have been distracted.
5.  Lap 1 - 2:27; Lap 2 - 2:12; total for fifth 800: 4:39
6.  Lap 1 - 2:11; Lap 2 - 2:22; total for sixth 800: 4:33 - I did not intend to go so fast on the first lap.  I did tell myself "let's do this" and "I feel good, I feel great" and "relax, power, glide."
Here's the information that "big brother Garmin GPS watch came up with for my pace work.

Felt wonderful afterwards and I did a bunch of things for the house after I completed this pace work :-)

What are your thoughts about this?  What can I do during this next week to improve and "dial in more" with my pace?

Ok, so more reflections.  Overall, I'm fairly happy with how this week went.  It felt a little "off" because I didn't do anything on Monday and it meant that I needed to do two running days in a row, but I have no complaints.  My foot still feels great.  I'm looking forward to the Bird-in-Hand half marathon here in a few weeks.  I'm going to attempt to run that as a 13 mile training run.  I know I'll run at least the first 10 miles that way, but I'm thinking that I'll probably want to step it up the last 5K of the race.  I believe that my training is going well enough that I have a good chance to be faster than my current personal record (PR) of 2:18.  My goal for that race/training run will be to run strong and to take all of my walk breaks from the start (even though people will look at me very strange).  The biggest difference with Galloway's run/walk/run is that we take walk breaks strategically from the start and not just later on in the race when we feel fatigued.  The best part of this is that I feel amazing after almost every run I've done.  I'm looking forward to running 11 miles next week.

I miss running with my TNT friends, but it was good to see a few of them today (I wish I would have gotten to Messiah earlier so I could have seen more of those friends).  Saturdays have gotten a lot more busy for me lately and that makes it challenging.  I hope to make it soon so I can catch up with some of those friends.

One story before I finish this post.  First, while I was working on my 800's today the field hockey team was doing mile trials.  I was very sad when I saw one girl who was trying so hard and I'm not sure why she didn't/couldn't finish, but at the end she was literally sobbing... this made me sad because failure is only when we give up.  Also it was interesting that those field hockey players who did complete their mile gave each other high fives and said something like "yeah!  no more mile trials!  and I said to myself something like they are happy they don't have to do it.  This did not surprise me, but I wish that coaches didn't make running a punishment for not doing something correct.

That's all for this week.  11 miles next week.  Very much looking forward to the double digits!

#irunforthosewhocant #runhappy #grateful

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Week 5 - Negley Park

Here's the email I sent Coach Chris Twiggs so you can understand where I've been this week.

I had a great week.  I ran 45 min both Monday and Wednesday.  I sent you the link for my Wednesday run that included a Magic Mile at the end of the run (  Mile 4 for that run was 8:23 which is the fastest I've run since I've been running as an adult.

Tuesday I went to spin and Thursday I took off as that was my actual anniversary.  Friday I did the water running.  Saturday I did more walking than I should on the day before a long run (I walked around fallingwater for our night away).  Sunday, today we walked around a cavern in western pa.  We had fun :-).

Today, Sunday I did 9 miles.  Most of it was at a 2:1 ratio but at one point we must have stopped and didn't realize that we switched it so it ended up being a 1:2 ratio.  This was not intentional.  Either way I finished running the 9 miles feeling strong and I did a bunch of things around the house.  Run/walk/run is great because even though it was over 85 degrees out we both finished with a smile on our face.  Thanks Chris!

Ok, so my full details from this run is

Thanks for reading!  Next week I have pace work on the track.  If you want to listen to the next episode of the Extra Mile Podcast that I'm a part of go to this link:

Thanks for reading and remember to run happy and to run for those who can't.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Speed work: week 4

Week 4 was a little more difficult than normal.  Here's my email to Coach Chris as I'm participating in the The Galloway Extra Mile- HALF MARATHON EDITION.  I had some speedwork on the schedule this week for the first time.

Hi Chris!  Here's my weekly update.  Some of this I might have shared before but I wanted to put it all in one place.

Monday morning I didn't get up for my workout.  I don't have any excuses.

Tuesday I got my for take 2 of Mondays workout.  The weather was perfect for a summer morning.  I tried the 3:1 ratio and did my magic mile but I was very disappointed with my times.  My magic mile was closer to 10 minutes and last time it was 8:50.  I'm not going to let it get me down but that's what happened.

Wednesday I woke up sick and did t go to work.  After getting some more sleep I started to feel better.  Therefore no workout happened on Wednesday.

Thursday I decided I think based on your response to first part of the week I did a water run workout instead of trying to make up the missed Wednesday workout.

Needless to say it was a rough week in the running department.  It was also rough on the work front.  Again no excuses.

Today I bonded with the track.  I was a little worried by the fact that it as raining but I didn't let that discourage me.  I warmed up and ran each 800 at a pace that was slightly faster than what you suggested.  My last lap of the last 800 was closer to 2 min than it was to 2:22.  I finished nice and strong.

Any suggestions or changes to the plan let me know.  Look forward to recording on Tuesday with Kevin and the other two participants.  Thanks! (Ends my email to coach Chris).

As I look back at the past month I see that I have had the most difficulty getting in my Monday AM run in.  August my goal is to be 100% with Monday AM runs.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Run on the A.T. 7.5 miles (week 3)

I wanted to share the email I sent my e-coach Chris and then I'll explain more about my long run today.

I had a very good week.  My goal is to get all my running done in the AM, but that didn't happen this week.  Fortunately I was able to be flexible on Monday so I ran after all my responsibilities.  That run I did 3.75 miles in 45 minutes.  I believe I used a 1:3 ratio for the first mile and then used a 1:1 ratio for the rest of the run.  Pace was about  12:11 according to my Garmin.  Go to this link to see it.

Tuesday AM I had a great spin class.  I gave a solid effort on it.
Wednesday AM I met up with a friend for breakfast so I deferred my run until the evening.  I did it before dinner.  It was a bit cooler than it has been so I was hoping for a good run.  I decided to use a 3:1 run/walk/run ratio and that worked extremely well for me.  I was able to do the entire run that way without really slowing down at all.  It was extremely encouraging.  To see the details of this run go here :

Thursday I got up for spin again and I also had a great class.  I chose to give it a lot of extra effort even though my legs were tired from running so well the evening before.

Friday is my scheduled day off so I took it easy.

Saturday I ran on the Appalachian Trail.  Some of it was technical in that there were lots of rocks and roots that I need to look out for and therefore I ran slower and walked in places that I needed to walk.  I used a 2:1 ratio for the entire run.  It went very well and I'm very excited for the opportunity to run something a little bit more challenging.  The information from my run can be found here.

I'm open to any feedback or any changes that you need to make.  My foot feels pretty good.  I'll let you know if that changes.  It's a little sore, but nothing out of the ordinary since the trail was a little bit technical.

Thanks for your help!  Let me know if you have any questions or concerns about what I've shared.  I'm still amazing at how wonderful I feel after running 7.5 challenging miles.  I love run/walk/run :-).  That ends the email that I sent coach Chris.

It was very cool to run on the Appalachian Trail.  I've run on "trails" before, but this was a "for real" trail.  I stumbled once, but I caught myself without falling or hurting myself (or my running buddy).  I was very careful and I had a great time.

The most notable animal that we say was a rabbit.  We joked about the tortoise (Linda and I) racing against the hare (the rabbit we saw).

I'm very excited about how things are going during this training cycle.  I'm making the best of coming back from an injury and I'm coming back stronger!

If you haven't seen the podcast that I'm a part of it's The Extra Mile Podcast.  Here's the link

If you want to go directly to where you can download it you can go here:  select the most recent podcast "taking a big bite."  The part where I share how a little bit about me and my training is at approximately the 60 minute mark in the podcast.  It is full of great information.  The run/walk/run method that Jeff Galloway explains has made all the difference in the world as I make my "comeback" from my foot injury.

Thanks for reading.  Would love feedback.  Run Happy!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

I'm famous! Week 2 of run/walk/run half marathon training

I'm going to start out the post with the email that I sent my e-coach, Chris Twiggs.

I had a solid week.  Monday night after we recorded with Kevin I put in my 45 mi run walk with about a 10 min mile for the first mile and then used a 1/1 ratio.

Tuesday I made it to spin.  Great workout.

Wednesday I slacked off

Thursday I made up for it by doing 45 min on the treadmill and then most of the water running workout. (Ran out of time)

Friday off

Today did 6 miles using 2/1.  Averaged about 13 min per mile.  Did it early and finished by 730am.

So overall it was an extremely productive week.  Lessons learned:
1.  Even though it can be hard to get up in the morning it is worth it.  The days that I got up to do my workouts I did really well at work getting my tasks accomplished and my mood was very positive.  Those days I missed I had to be careful with my self-talk and to be nice to myself :-).
2.  I need to focus on my running.  Whatever cross-training I can do is great, but that can't be my focus.
3.  I love run/walk/run.  I ran 6 miles in the very humid, hot weather this morning and I don't even feel like I ran at all.  Even though I ran a lot slower today than normal I feel amazing.
4.  Being consistently consistent is way better for me than being consistently inconsistent.  This is something that I am very much working on this season.  I still will listen to my body.
5.  I can't take being able to run for granted for a second.  There are many people who would love to run, but can't because they are injured.
6.  I miss running with my TNT buddies, but I'm still getting the job done and feeling great as a result.
7.  I enjoy spin class and I also have a great time with the water running.  I've been more diligent with this for this cycle of training than ever before ... even with my MCM training last year I did not do cross-training very consistently.

Thanks for reading.  Remember this: a mile is a mile regardless of if it's an 8:50min/mi or 13:00/mile.

One more thing:  The Extra Mile Podcast that I'm a part of had our introductions recorded this past Monday.  The podcast is up and can be found at  Enjoy!


Saturday, July 13, 2013

Week 1 of Galloway Run/walk/Run Half marathon training

This week I started my official half marathon training for the Hershey Half on October 20, 2013.  I am being E-coached by Chris Twiggs as a part of the Galloway Extra Mile Podcast which you can find at   This means that I will finally be using Jeff Galloway's run/walk/run method.  I have know about this for about 2-3 years, but I have yet to actually use it.

This week I was off on my days, but I still was able to get several quality workouts in and I did most of them in the morning before work which is a bonus.  On Tuesday I spoke with Coach Chris and he asked me some questions about my training and about my goal race.  Originally (before I was selected for the podcast and before I had plantar fasciitis) I was planning on using my half marathon in September (Bird in hand) as my goal race.  Now, that's only 8 weeks from today so that will be run as a training run.  My prediction is that I'll still get a PR (under 2:18:40) even though I will be walking at set increments from the start.  Now my goal race is the Hershey Half Marathon which is October 20, 2013.

This week my workouts went very well.  I made it out for a 3 mile run on Tuesday night after work.  The Galloway Run/walk/Run method had me doing a "magic mile" so what I did was walk down the hill to Front Street and then ran slowly until I got to Maclay and Front Street.  At that point I took off and ran for 2 minutes and then walked for 30 seconds, ran for 2 minutes and walked for 30 seconds.  After that I just ran the rest of the way until I made it a mile.  My time was 8:50 for this magic mile.  I'm very happy about this because it was hot and I had just worked an 8 hour day and I still ran fast for me.  If you want to learn more about how the magic mile works you can go to or more specifically

Wednesday AM I went to the YMCA for pool running.  I warmed up for 5 minutes and then ran for 4 minutes in the pool at a moderate pace and then slowed down for 1 minute.  I did this for a total of 40 minutes and then cooled down for 5 minutes.  It was harder that I thought it would be.  I'm doing this to help with my foot, but also to give me more time doing the running motion as cross-training.  From my understanding this is the primary cross-training method the Jeff Galloway encourages.  I have other water running workouts that I'll be doing during this training season.

Thursday AM I went back to the YMCA for spin class.  This is the best workout that I've found outside of running.  I bought my own spinning shoes back when I was a member of LA fitness a few years ago.  It was a much better workout with the shoes and since this was the second time I used these bikes.  My plan is to make it to spin class every Tuesday and Thursday unless my coach tells me otherwise.

Friday should have been a rest day, but I had the opportunity to meet a friend at the Y to help her get in 4 miles (I was running 5).  We used a 2:1 ratio which means from the start we ran two minutes and walked a minute over and over again.  This provided an opportunity for our bodies to recover and to not put too much strain on the injuries that we both had recently.  The coolest thing about this was the response I got that day and the day after which my running buddy essential stated that she did not feel any pain and that she felt great after the run.  This is huge and a testament to how Run/walk/run can work.  I also did not feel any pain.

Today Saturday is a rest day, so I'm just chilling and enjoying a Saturday off.

Outside of the training I'm trying to be more mindful about what I put into my body.  For example, I'm trying to stay away from sweetened tea at work (and at home for the next few weeks).  Also I'm trying to chose fruits instead of some other not quite as healthy snacks.  It's been really helpful.  I don't drink more than 2-3 cups of coffee during a week and when I'm fixing my coffee I'm choosing not to put any sweetener.  My goal is not to be "restrictive" but to be more mindful and not to eat things because I'm stressed or bored.

Thanks for reading my post.  Comment or give me suggestions.  I'll let you know when the podcast is available to listen in the next few weeks.  We are recording on Monday and I'm super excited about that.  Thanks again for reading and if you want more information please go to: or

Run happy and strong!

Sunday, July 7, 2013


This morning was my longest run since I bought new shoes and started using my super feet insert.  The run went really well considering it was 72* and about 90% humidity.  I decided to use a run walk ratio of :30 running :30 walking.  I did this over and over again.  It worked well partially because my mind could  handle the idea of running 30 seconds.  I felt good after the run and my left foot also felt good.  No plantar issues which is awesome :-).

Planning to do some swimming, spinning and outside running this week.

Will post more next week.  Thanks for reading!  Run happy! 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Not your typical week!

I followed orders from the podiatrist to not run this past week (other than of course a 5.5 mile run last Saturday with TNT).  I used this week wisely because I went to the Harrisburg Inside Track to purchase new shoes that work well with my superfeet insert.

I have very cool new shoes called Brooks Glycerin 11.  I'm fairly brand loyal, but I wanted to have an open mind about what shoe would be best.  I looked at this purchase as extremely important because I'm looking to come back stronger after this Plantar injury.

I typically buy my shoes online, but I wanted to support the local running store and reward him for the time he spent helping me find a solid shoe.  I will spare you a lot of the details, but I have been running in a Brooks Adrenaline GTS 12 for the past two years (at least).  It is a "support" shoe which means it has lots of bells and whistles.  Bottom line: it's a very different shoe.  If you want to learn more about what shoe might be right for you Brooks has a cool website that you can answer a few questions and they will give suggestions.  Nothing replaces going into a specialty running shoe and trying the shoes on to see what fits best.

I must say that these Brooks Glycerin 11 fit better than any other shoe I've had in the past.  I've only run about a mile with them so far, but the fit really well.

Today I tried out my new shoes on the treadmill at the YMCA in Carlisle.  Cindy was working so I took Emma to the "Child Watch."  She seemed to really like it and the ladies that work there are mom's themselves.  I felt very comfortable having her play there.   It was a quick workout, but it's good to know that it is an option to still workout if Cindy's working and I have Emma.  The Y's website is

I've been listening to a running podcast called The Extra Mile Podcast for a couple years now.  They are doing a new podcast on the Half Marathon and I'm one of 3 runners selected to be a part of the conversation on a regular basis.  The coolest part is that I will be receiving personal e-coaching from Chris Twiggs who has been able to qualify for the Boston Marathon using the Galloway Run/Walk/Run.  I'm honored to be selected as a part of this I'm extremely excited about it.  This is even better since I'm coming back from an injury and I'll be able to get more specific suggestions to gently get me to the finish line of the Bird-in-Hand Half marathon in September.  Technically, I'm no longer trying to break 2 hours, but I predict that I'll be able to still break my own personal record of 2:18:40.  If you would like to subscribe to the podcast and see what it's all about then go here.

.  BMen's Glycerin 11
Men's Glycerin 11
Men's Glycerin 11

Saturday, June 22, 2013

WiIdwood Run 6/22/13

Today I met with my TNT buddies at 8am.  This run was my first run since I met with the podiatrist.  He taped my foot and said that I could run today.  I was originally going to run 7, but decided to cut it down to 6 instead.  Overall it felt good.  I had great company (as always).

I did some walking for a couple of reasons.
1.  I wanted to make sure I took it easy.
2.  One of my fellow TNT alumni was having a hard time so I stuck with him and helped him get to the end of the run.  This is what it's all about for me.  Obviously I want to get faster (and get a sub 2 hour half marathon), but the point for me this season is to encourage others.

This week my plan is to go to Inside Track and get fitted for the correct shoes.  I've been told many times that I should have two pairs of shoes that I'm rotating.  I'm now going to listen.  I'm going to take it easy with impact related exercise.  I hope to swim on Friday (if all works out correctly).  Also I am going to start working on my core and upper body strength more by starting a plank and push up program.  It technically started 3 weeks ago, but I'm just going to start with today as the first day and go from there.  The program I am using is taken from

Here is the plan.  I know it's going to be a huge challenge as I have very little upper body strength and my core is not where I want it to be.  I'm excited about it.  If you want to join me you could either save this photo or go to This very long facebook link

Overall, I am going to take things easy this week.  I'll work on core, upper body, stretching and overall strength.

The way that I am most successful in what I do is when I have others who are doing it with me.  Who's in?