Monday, February 24, 2014

26.2 with Donna #racereport #rundonna part 2

So much happened during this marathon that I wanted to make sure I did a second post (24 hours after the race).

26.2 Lessons learned
1. If I'm not running a race with someone, it is cool to run in a pace group.
2.  Running in a pace group is great - practice running through the water stops (this was a challenge).
3.  It would have been helpful to have music with me during a few of the miles toward the end (this wasn't actually a problem because I talked with a bunch of different people while I was walking.
4.  The Galloway method is my chosen way of running marathons (or 1/2 marathons).
5.  Felt great during most of the race, but as the the weather got more severe it was difficult to keep up with my original pace (lost the 5:15 group).
6.  Having friends text is effective, but I need to give them more feedback about how I am really doing.
7.  The spectators at the #rundonna are incredible (like none other that I have experienced).
8.  Next time I have a race with a dramatic climate change (either way colder, or way hotter) I need to change my goal accordingly.
9.  It is important to make sure I stick closer to the plan and make sure that I don't skip the mid week runs (I missed more than I would like to admit and I think that made a difference).
10.  I want to stay in really good shape for life and be able to run a half marathon with short notice.
11.  I'm more of a "half-marathon" type of guy, but this race was incredible.
12.  I will run this race again in the future and I want some of my friends to come with me next time :-).
13.  The beach portion was fun and that was when I talked with a couple different people.  I wouldn't do anything different here. 
14.  I really enjoyed seeing all of the different communities and how they really support the race.
15.  This is a world class event.
16.  It was so cool to meet Donna and Tim Degan before the race (at the VIP reception) and being able to finish the race with them.
17.  I also saw Dr. Perez (Mayo Clinic) and I finished with her (in addition to Donna and Tim).
18.  Meeting Joan Beniot Samuelson at the VIP reception was surreal.  I asked her "what would you suggest for someone who is young like me to focus on for my running."  She responded by suggesting that I focus on 5 and 10k races and then go back to the marathon.  I told her that I recognized her from the Spirit of the Marathon.
19.  I met the Marathon Man and he gave me his business card.  He said something about not making excuses, but we didn't run very long together (I hit the "bite me zone" a little bit before that, but it was still very cool to meet him since I've heard about him before.
20.  The "bite me zone" does exist but it can be overcomed by sending a text to Facebook.  I felt better after that.
21.  The rain really wasn't that bad and that wasn't what made the last 6 miles so difficult.  The humidity was what made it so challenging.
22.  There were a few very emotional spots for me.  The biggest surge of energy I got was at the end when I joined up with Donna, Tim, and Dr. Perez, but the other big surge was when I ran past a band that was playing along with a fairl large crowd.
23.  There were so many police involved in this process and I thanked as many of them as possible.
24.  Using the run/walk/run was so helpful to me and is the only way I'm going to run marathons going forward.
25.  Future plan this year is to run the Bird-in-hand half marathon in September.  This is the only race I have on the schedule, but I still plan on running 5-7 miles (at least) on Saturdays.
26.  I'm moving a little slow today, but if I would have run continully I wouldn't be feeling as good as I do now (from my experience from my first marathon - MCM 2012).
26.1  Raising money for a cause I believe in makes it all worth it.  I love the running community.
26.2  I am blessed with my amazingly supportive wife and without her there is no way I could have accomplished as much as I have so far.

#rundonna #FinishBreastCancer

Sunday, February 23, 2014

26.2 with Donna #racereport #rundonna

I had so many amazing experiences related to this race.  I think the most memorable is what happened at the end of the race.  I had been walking (with no run breaks) for about two miles or so.  I saw that the weather was getting bad very quickly with the storm.  It was NOT ok for them to call the race and me not finish (especially since I raised of $1,000.00 and because I was running for 27 different people.  Even though I felt like I couldn't run anymore (due to the nasty humidity) I sucked it up and started running again at a 1:1 ratio.  It ended up that Tom and Donna Degan and Dr. Perez (a few of the top players in starting the race in the first place).  It was made more amazing because I was able to keep up with them running a 2:30/1 ratio.  I believe this is because I strategically used walk breaks from the start.  I finished strong during those last 2.5 miles with a smile on my face.

Another memory that happened just before the experience with the Tom and Donna was that a fellow runner asked me how I was doing.  I said "not so good, but I'm finishing."  We talked for about a mile.  I found out that she's a counselor (school counselor) and we talked about things that made it so I could not think about running for at least 10-15 minutes.  This was very helpful.

I truly felt great for most of the race.  I lost the 5:15 pace group somewhere after the midway point (14-15?).  I did my own thing for a little while and the 5:30 pace group came up.  At this point I knew there was no PR, but that's when I changed the goal from a possible PR to making it a memorable experience. 

The spectators were amazing!  I thanked them for being out there and they thanked me for running the race.  So many people are "all in" for this race as supporters.

Also I have so super great friends who texted me during the race.  You know who you are and I thank yo uso much!

I will come back for this race.  I have a lot more to say about this race, but it will need to wait for another post.

Lastly, I want to give a huge thank you to my amazing wife for all the sacrifice she has made for my running and for coming down here to Jacksonville, Florida.  It was a much needed break from the weather.  Even though it's raining a lot here, it's WAY better than the snow.

Plan for the near future: keep up my running.  I will probably do about 6-7 miles on Saturdays.  I look forward to hopefully getting back into training with TNT.  Running for a cause is a life-changing experience. 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

7 days until 26.2 with Donna

I'm really excited to head to Florida on Friday (2/21).  I have wanted to do this marathon for several years (before I had even ran a marathon I knew this was one I HAD to run). 

This week was very difficult on the running front.  I have to admit that I didn't get any of my runs in this week.  Some of that was the weather, some of that was not wanting to get up in the morning, and some of it was me getting sick.  This will be the first long run that I missed completely which was 6 miles and I intended to do it today.  We have a "fair amount" of snow (in some places it's over a foot).  I think I have a cold so I'm taking it easy today.  If I feel a lot better tomorrow (Sunday) I'll go ahead and get a few miles in, but I"m not going to push it.

I've thought a lot about taking things easy and not wanting to get injured.  My attitude about the race is that I've done the work (even though some of my runs were not as good or as long as I wanted them to be).  I still did two runs of 20 miles or more.  I am ready and maybe my legs will be refreshed rather than sluggish. 

I am looking forward to this race on so many levels.  First, my family and I get to take a vacation to Florida.  I get to run the National marathon to finish breast cancer #runDonna.  I get to meet Chris Twiggs my e-coach from last year.  We get to get away from the snow.  I should be able to meet some amazing people while we are down there.  We get away from the snow.  The coolest part of this race is that finishing the marathon will be the second most important thing I did that day.  More important than any of this is the reality that I have raised about $700 to finish breast cancer.

I am staying focused on the positive and making sure that I take care of myself this week.  I remember that the week before MCM 2012 I was sick and I was very strong for the race.  A little cold isn't going to keep me from having an awesome time.

I am mostly keeping my specific goal to myself.  Depending on how I feel I may go for a more specific goal, but I have been reminded that whereas this is a fast course it is one that I want to "soak in the sights."  I also will be running a little bit over two miles on the beach and I'm pretty excited about that :-).

#FinishBreastCancer #runhappy

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Close to Goal!

I just wanted to send a quick note to let you know you can still help me accomplish my goal.  :-)  Thanks again for your support.
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 (26.2 miles!) 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!


Your donation is 100% tax deductible and 26.2 with Donna will send you a tax receipt.


Here is my personal fundraising site.


If you would rather write a check you can make it payable to “26.2 with Donna” and give it to me by February 19th.


Thank you so much for sharing the joy of helping such a wonderful cause.  No amount is too small.  So far I have raised $694.80My goal is to raise a total of $1000.


  “There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” -Nelson Mandela

Saturday, February 8, 2014

15 days and counting... #FinishBreastCancer

This winter has been ROUGH.  I have had difficulty getting to the gym when it wasn't advisable to run outside.  I have gotten in all my long runs, but my weekday runs have simply been difficult.

Yesterday, Friday, I went for my 6 mile taper run.  It went extremely well as my legs were quite fresh.  I ran a little faster than I my plan suggested.  I ran without music and I ran on the roads near my house.

It is hard to believe that my second marathon is coming up in 15 days.  By the time you read this it will be 14 days and counting.  I am very excited and I know that I am ready to run this race.

I'm not going to focus on my time, but rather have an enjoyable time taking in the sights.  I will likely still get a PR just because I'm in better shape and by using run/walk/run I am generally faster. 

I look forward to going to Florida to run this race.  I will meet my e-coach from last fall Chris Twiggs and I anticipate also being able to meet Donna Deegan as she is 2-3 time breast cancer survivor.

I plan to wear pink as my race singlet.  The only trouble is getting a pink singlet that will fit me.  I also plan to write all of the people I'm running for on the back of my shirt.  I won't typically wear pink, but for an amazing cause I will do it!

Will YOU help me reach my goal of raising $1,000.00?  It would mean so much to me.  As your reward for me accomplishing my own personal fundraising goal (I am NOT required to raise funds, I'm doing this because I believe in the cause) I will wear pink the first day I get back to work.

Here's my fundraising site.  I only need $300.00.  I KNOW my friends can do this :).  No pressure, but it would be awesome to play a part in #FinishingBreastCancer


Saturday, February 1, 2014

26.2 training 2/1/14

This week I was challenging mentally for me.  Due to the way things worked last weekend for my long run I felt "off" all week.  I did not do any of my weekday runs due to having a difficult time getting up early in the morning.

Today, Saturday 2/1 however, I had a great day.  The forecast was for much warmer temps (20's) while I was running and then later in the day it was to be around 32 or so.  I was tempted to run in my shorts, but I decided against it since I ran most of the run in the dark.

It was wonderful to get back out there this morning.  I feel great after the run.  It was interesting to think of a 7 mile run as a distance that I don't really need to break up into pieces (other than go out 3.5 and back 3.5 miles.

The most memorable thing about this run is that I really was the only runner out there this morning.  I wasn't out all that early or for that long so that was a little weird for me.  Also I didn't see anyone riding a bike, but did a see a few people walking their dogs.  So yeah, it wasn't super memorable other than that I did it :-).

So how do I feel about the taper?  Well since I didn't run at all until today it has been difficult being in the taper.  I felt like 7 miles was pretty much a warm up (since I just came off such long runs recently).

As of typing this post it is 21 days and 19 hours until the race!

So far I have raised $629.80.  Will you help me get to $1000.00?  Any amount makes a huge difference.

Also here at the people I'm officially running for on Feb 23, 2014 who have been impacted by Breast Cancer.  Some are winning the battle and a few lost their battle.  Would you let me run for your loved one (honor of/memory of).  It would be a huge encouragement to me when I get to mile 20 of the marathon to know that what I'm doing is more than finishing my second marathon... i'm running for something greater than myself.  Thanks!  Please either post here, post on facebook or email me at natewagner08 at gmail dot com