Sunday, January 26, 2014

20.2 mile training run 01/26/14

To summarize my run in one word I'd have to go with "cold."  The first 12 or 13 miles went great because I had a bunch of stops at gas stations, a Rite Aid, and the Midtown Scholar.  Looking back I realized that it would have been a smart move to go back to my house after the Midtown Scholar stop just for a few moments to "re-set and refuel."  I didn't do that because I wanted to make sure that I didn't stop my run sooner than I should.

I ended up doing an out and back that made my run 20.2 miles.  My core was too cold and my hands were freezing so I made the wise choice and stopped running.  It wasn't because I quit... rather it was me being smart.  I recognize the only person who is going to give me a hard time about not running the last 6 miles is myself.  My wife actually commented that she was proud of me that I chose to be smart and stop rather than stubborn.  It took a good 30 minutes to get my core warmed up.

The awesome things about this run.
1.  I ran from Hershey all the way to Harrisburg and I even went well beyond my house and ended up going to Linglestown Rd & N 6th St and then ran home.
2.  I had several people texting me and and providing encouragement.  This was essential for me to get as far as I did :-).
3.  I was able to stop along the way and warm up at Rutters, Sheetz, Rite Aid, and Midtown Scholar.  It was fun trying to find as many places to stop as I could that had WiFi.
4.  The important support that my wife and daughter provided on the route.
5.  The reality that I did 20.2 miles in the very cold by myself (with support of my wife, and my virtual support from several friends).
6.  What I did today officially makes me prepared for the 26.2 with Donna in Jacksonville Florida.  The weather today for Jacksonville Florida was a high of 60 degrees.
7.  I was able to go out for dinner this evening hand had some very yummy food that I typically wouldn't have.
8.  This is probably the biggest and most important point:  That I'm running for something greater than myself.  I ran today specifically for those I know about that have either fought a battle with breast cancer and lost or who are currently fighting breast cancer and are winning.  They are the ones that provided the extra encouragement and motivation to get out on a 10 degree morning to run 20 miles.  This is what makes every moment of it worth it.

So far I'm running for these people.  I still have several miles left.  Please let me know if you have someone you have either lost to breast cancer or who is fighting it now.

People I am running for on Feb 23, 2014.  Let’s #finishbreastcancer

1.     IN HONOR OF: Mary Catherine H (Mom of Chris H)
2.     IN HONOR OF: Laura G (Co-worker’s wife of Chris H)
3.     IN HONOR OF: Joan (friend of Kathryn H– TNT)
4.     IN HONOR OF: Connie (friend of Kathryn H– TNT)
5.     IN MEMORY OF: Vivian (friend of Kathryn H– TNT)
6.     IN HONOR OF: Vicky (Aunt of Francis M)
7.     IN HONOR OF: Debbie C (Friend of Diana K – TNT)
8.     IN HONOR OF: Lori W (My mom’s friend)
9.     IN HONOR OF: Ann S (My mom’s friend)
10. IN HONOR OF: Rita (Mark B – Beth Ann’s mom)
11. IN MEMORY OF Kathy R (Michelle S friend)
12. IN MEMORY OF Barb E (Michelle S friend)

Those are twelve huge reasons why I ran today.  Will you help me #finishbreastcancer ?

100% of the money you donate goes to breast cancer research and to help those who are going through the treatment of breast cancer.  Will you join my team?  Thanks!


Saturday, January 25, 2014

prep for 26.2 mile cold training run

I typically blog on Saturday, but my training run this week will be done on Sunday.  I've been thinking about this run ever since the 22 mile training run I did 3 weeks ago.

I am using my experience and what I learned from that run to make this run a little bit more pleasant or at least use my resources a bit better.

Here's what I'm doing different and hopefully better than before.
1.  Activating my hand warmers when I don't need them yet, rather than waiting.
2.  Having gas stations laid out as places to seek shelter.  I have a Rutters at about mile 3 (after a rather large hill).  Also a Sheetz at about 6 miles or so.
3.  I will be able to have Cindy and Emma meet me at about mile 9 or 10 (or whenever they get out of church) to provide me with a refill of water.
4.  I'm doing more of a point to point route which will be much more interesting.
5.  I'm starting the run at about 8:30 or earlier in Hershey so that I won't need to run in the dark.
6.  I won't have anyone to run with this time, but I'll have virtual support (thanks Amanda!) and I'll be listening to the Extra Mile Podcast as well as many others along with some of my music.  Don't worry I will only have one ear bud in while I'm running.
7.  I want to make sure that I do the full 26.2 miles, but I know that I want to "Live to run another day" and that if I think it's not safe then I'll cut the run short.
8.  I will still do a cold water bath after the run (once my core temp goes up).
9.  We will be going out for a nice dinner after as a reward for my accomplishment.
10.  This run will be much more mentally and physically challenging then the marathon I will be running Feb 23.
11.  I wouldn't even consider running this far on Sunday if it weren't for the fact that I'm running for a cause greater than myself.  I want to #finishbreastcancer

I'll give a full report when I get back.  Feel free to send me texts (I'll get them right away).  And actually with this run for the first 10k (6.2 miles or so) I'll have wifi when I go into the gas stations.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

26.2 training 1/18/14

My weekday run consisted of a 3 mile run on Thursday.  It was truly a therapy run for me as it was a stressful week.  I used a 4:1 ratio.  The more runs I use run/walk/run the more convinced I am this is the way to go.  No spin this week.

Today, I met up with my TNT buddies.  I am very grateful for this run with friends because I've done a lot of runs solo.  I must say my friend Linda is the one that ran with me on my last long run of 22 miles (for about 8-9 miles), but other than that I've run solo.  The cool thing about running with TNT is that they have a purpose rather than "just running to run."  We all run to find a cure.  Currently I'm running to find a cure for breast cancer, but that doesn't mean that I'm not also running to find a cure for blood cancer.

The most memorable things about this run were:
1.  Being able to run in the snow for two miles before I met up with TNT as the only footprints on the Greenbelt (there was a bike that went through before me).
2.  Meeting up with friends I haven't seen in a while.
3.  Running with a friend who was using 3/1 ratio and catching up.
4.  Getting to talk with my TNT coach from last season at the meetup afterwards (alumni).
5.  Talking with a friend who ran the Dopey in Orlando Florida and seeing the cool shirt and medals (6 total)!  Way to go Todd!
6.  Running on this kind of snow is refreshing and easier on the body.
7.  Running a 12 minute pace using a 3/1 ratio for me was very comfortable and relaxing as I was able to talk and truly enjoy the run.
8.  Cancer is cancer in my book and I want to kick cancers butt... regardless of what kind it is!

If you want to help me do this you can go here: 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

26.2 traninng 1/11/14

This week it was COLD!  I missed my workouts Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  I decided to draw the line in the sand on Thursday.  I woke up without my alarm at about 3:50am or so.  I was determined to get to the gym to do an early 5:15am spin class and then run a 5k on the treadmill.  I did this and it was much easier to get up than I thought.  I posted on Facebook that I was doing this and asked for accountability.  Basically I would buy a hot beverage ($5 gift card) for the person who "called me out" if I missed.  I knew that was the little extra that I might need to get me out the door.

The 5k treadmill run after the bike was obviously much more challenging than just a typical run, but it felt good and I ran the last .5 mile at a fast for me pace.

Today, I had 6 miles of run/walk/run on the schedule.  Overall it was a simple run.  Got up again without my alarm (not sure how, but I guess I'm starting to get better at this).  I had to be very careful out there because there was still a lot of ice (some I could see and some not so much).  I'm thankful I was able to stay safe out there.

The coolest part of this week in regards to running was that my story was published on a blog that is read by many other readers.  This was exciting for me :-).  This blog is

I'm also raising money to finish breast cancer.  Would you help me reach my goals with fundraising?  My goal is to raise $2,620.  So far my amazing support has brought in $353.60.  Will you help me get closer to this goal? 

Thanks!   #runhappy #rundonna

Sunday, January 5, 2014

22 Lessons from 22 miles

22 lessons learned from my 22 mile run
1.  YakTrax are awesome.
2.  Running 8.5 miles in a few inches of powered snow with Yaktraxs is much easier than running farther in regular shoes on snow/ice/and pavement.
3.  Having friends who are willing to text during the run is a huge help.
4.  Trying to respond to the said friends via text is difficult when it is very cold.
5.  When planning to start at noon it is important to actually start at noon for a long run because otherwise the sun goes down and it is much colder.
6.  Having a mix of podcasts and music is helpful when running by yourself.
7.  When my typical running route is changed significantly it is important to make more specific changes prior to the day of the run.
8.  It is OK to run at least 8.5 miles with Yaktrax without having any difficulty... it would have probably been better to run the entire 22/23 miles with them.
9.  When running in the cold and wind it is important to use the hand warmers that you can buy for a buck at Dick's Sporting Goods.  My only regret was that I waited way too long to try this and it took a while to get hot.
10.  Meeting a friend to run a portion of the run is an incredible help.  Not only does this help me stay "out of my head" it also makes it more enjoyable.
11.  Since I enjoy running with other so much it very clear that I am a social runner and that I enjoy running with others.
12.  There is no way that I would have done this run if it was just for me to accomplish my own goals.  I run for those who can't!
13.  Having a second pair of shoes to switch out after 8.5 miles helped keep my feet warm.  Didn't have any issues with my feet getting cold.
14.  Being able to see the amazing sunset made it worth it.

15.  Having my wife and daughter meet me at mile 18 to give me my Knuckle Lights was very encouraging.
16.  Placing my car at a convenient place really helped to make sure I was able drop off things I didn't need and pick up things I did.
17.  For the first part of the run (8.5) miles I wore at least one layer less than I thought I would need.
18.  I could have used that layer that I did not need for the first part for the last 4 miles.
19.  The hardest part of the run was getting out there.
20.  The next hardest part was pushing through when I was alone and in the dark.
21.  Lights don't work very well in the bitter cold.  I think my Knuckle Lights are defective so I'm having them send me new ones (hopefully).  Otherwise they work great and I recommend them.
22.  I am totally OK with cutting my run a mile short.  I did this because it was dark and my family was worried about me.  This run was a success and I'm proud of myself for doing this.
Bonus:  when I run my 26 mile training run in three weeks I hope that the weather is not like this, but if it is I will start earlier and I will make sure I take note of all the lessons I've learned.

Again, I'm running to finish breast cancer.  My fundraiser page is:
#runhappy, #rundonna, #runforthosewhocan't

Saturday, January 4, 2014

22 mile training run 1/4/13

Today I had 23 miles on the training schedule that I'm following from Jeff Galloway's book.  If you are in the northeast and have been outside you know that it is been COLD.  This is by far the coldest weather I have EVER run in let alone running more than 20 miles in it.  All of this wouldn't be a huge deal, but there was snow on the ground on a lot of places.

I broke down and bought Yaktrax pro on Friday because I knew I'd do a lot of running in the snow.  I ran the first 8.5 miles in the snow and I had absolutely no issues.  I actually wish I would have kept them on the entire time because that would have made the rest of the run a little less difficult.  During these first 8.5 miles I was in a great mood as the sun was out and it was not nearly as cold as it got later on in the run.

I left my house to drive to my start place at about 12:30pm.  I didn't get home until sometime after 7.  I ran for just over 5 hours, but there were stops in between things.

The biggest challenge for this run was the cold combined with the snow.  This wasn't a problem when the sun was shinning, but as the sun went down it got much colder and the primary place where I was cold was my hands... and a little bit in my face, but that was manageable.

I had a friend run about 8 miles with me and that was a tremendous help.  I remember running with her for her first mile when she was making her comeback and she returned the favor today.  That was SUPER helpful and much appreciated.

Things I learned:
1.  I made this way too complicated because of the snow.
2.  Snow and cold makes it really hard to respond to texts.
3.  Trying to run in the dark after already running more than 18 miles is challenging at least.
4.  Having support makes runs like this so much "easier."
5.  I would have postponed this run til next week if I wasn't running for 26.2 with Donna and raising money for breast cancer research
6.  Having music helps a lot when you're running alone.
7.  Marathon training impacts family and it is important for them to know how much it is appreciated.
8.  The sunset was amazing today... absolutely incredible and made it worth it.
9.  I may not always run marathons, but I truly want to run until I'm 100 years old.
10.  The only way I was able to do this was through using strategic walk breaks.  I started out using 2/1 ratio (2 min running/1 min walking).  Ended up at 1/1 which means (1 min running/1 min walking).  If I were to do this again I would have gone to :30/:30 because that would have kept me moving more.
11.  Having the correct equipment is huge.
12.  I appreciate my wife so much for all that she did to make today happen.

Remember why I'm doing this.  It is all about raising money so we can finish breast cancer.  I run for those who can't.

#rundonna, #runhappy