My Lovely Wife saw this shirt in the store and had me take a picture.  The saying isn’t new, but I like the “perspective” that the picture gives.  Look at the NO!

In my life I am trying to make excuses rare, especially where running is concerned.

  • I am not giving into weather.
  • I’m not giving into pain (normal pain).
  • I’m not giving into my head telling me to stop.
  • I’m not giving into a difficult day.

I know that there are people “out there” that have a much harder life, more pain, harsher weather, overall difficulties that I am blessed at the moment not to have.  I am healthy. I am running. I am eating. I am sleeping inside.  I have a home, a family, a car, a Lovely Wife and great kids.

NO.  I am going to make excuses a thing of the past.  I may run till I drop, but I will make my goal.  If I have to crawl, I will make my goal.

Running is cheap.  It is simple.  My time outside isn’t that much fun, but I have to do it and I have to run and I have to run outside.  This is my life.

I honestly don’t know if I will make it to Boston or not.  Sometimes I wish I didn’t create the URL 278toBoston.com.  It seems to mock me sometimes.  I run 4 miles at a 10:00 pace?  That isn’t getting me anywhere.

But no excuses.  I will get there, I will keep going.  I will put on my running shoes everyday.  I will go out of the house and RUN.

Boston or Bama.  Whatever.




Running again and it feels good

Yesterday was the first day of my new running life… I hope!

I am going to try to get back into some type of training.  I don’t have a race picked out yet, but I need to get my base back up so that I don’t get injured again.  I feel that if I take it easy, listen to my body and do the things I know I need to do, I’ll be back in the saddle soon.

My run yesterday will be my staple for a while.  I am going to run 3 miles and then walk the forth.  Yesterday I ran my 3 miles in under 28 minutes and walked for a minute and then ran my forth mile in 10:28.  Just a slow mile home.

All in all I feel pretty good.  My hip is a little sore today, but nothing big.  I really feel I need to get back to a daily run, even if isn’t long or fast.

Boston… Here I come… Well maybe in a few years!!!

My Run Plan

Today is the first day of my marathon training…

Just kidding.

In a way I feel like that is the case though.  I haven’t run much since my marathon on September 8th.  In fact I have only logged about 50 miles this month (and 26.2 was in one day).  Today I can finally hit the pavement again.  I hope to run 3 miles today and 6 with @BigBigGeek tomorrow.

My plan for this next month is to build back up to about 50 miles a week.  I’ll start at about 30 – 35 miles next week and add 10% each week until I get back to 50.  I hope that eventually I can make 50 miles a week my benchmark.  Personally, I would like to be up in the high 50’s on average, but I want to take my time building back up my mileage.

With Fall approaching and cool weather less than a month away, I hope my training will pick back up.  Another goal for this Fall is to get my pace down to 8:00 per mile.  Last winter I was comfortably at 8:30 pace, but during the summer and marathon training my average pace has dropped a bit.

On a final note, many congratulations to those who have gotten into Boston.  I got a nice comment from  RunningBostonAndBeyond yesterday and read her blog post about getting that email.  It is a great post.  If you have time, read it HERE. Very exciting.

Gotta go.  Have a great weekend and enjoy your run!

Running goals – Looking forward!!!

Since I can’t run until Thursday or Friday, I’ve been enjoying hanging with my family and doing family things.  We had a great weekend together and I must admit it was nice not to have to wake up early to get my run in before doing weekend chores.

I was thinking today of my goal.  Last March when I made my running goal to qualify for Boston, I honestly didn’t know what I was in for.  I thought to myself that I made my half at BQ pace and so it shouldn’t be hard to get in a whole marathon at that pace.

Um – Not!

Knowing what I know now, I have a lot of work to do to make my goal.  My pace for my one and only marathon wasn’t great, but I’m fine with it.  I finished that race in 4:14 and I have to finish in 3:30 to BQ.

So, as always is the case, TJ has helped me come up with a plan (thank you TJ).  I have just under 6 months before the next marathon.  I hope to run the Shamrock Marathon in Va. Beach on March 16, 2014.  I have to save some money as TJ and I will need to fly there, run and fly back over a long weekend, but at least I can stay with family so I don’t have to pay for a hotel or meals (thanks Jeff).

Right now we are in a planning stage.  On the horizon is the Vulcan Run 10K with @BigBigGeek, The Mercedes Half Marathon and various other 5K’s and races to keep us motivated.

Back to my goal.

To be honest I like to put myself on the line for what seems impossible.  It helps with motivation and builds character.  Also since I put my goal in the name of my blog, I have no choice but to work hard toward it.  I don’t say this in a negative way, honestly!  I have learned over the past two years that pushing myself in positive ways is immensely important.  I have to move forward or I will move backward.  So why not push myself in a positive way to achieve something I never thought I could?   If I don’t try, I’ll never know what I can accomplish!!!

Stay tuned.  The saga continues.  🙂

Reflections of a running blogger

I love running!

I love the fact I’ve lost a lot of weight!

I’m excited every time I realize I ran a marathon!

I can’t believe how much my life has changed since I started running in March 2012.

I began this blog so that I could write about my running since people would get a glazed look on their face when I would try to tell them about the benefits and the joys of running.

I began writing this blog in January with 2 goals:

  1. Write everyday if possible.
  2. Respond to every comment because every comment deserves a response.

Now, 253 posts later, I have kept to my goals and have gotten a lot more in return.

  1. I have found a blogging community that is supportive, encouraging and inspirational.
  2. Although I have never been “into” social media relationships, I have found that there are great people and new friends I’ve made because of this blog.
  3. The amount of support I’ve received via this blog and all the awesome people who follow it has been amazing.  My marathon wouldn’t have been half as fun and successful if it weren’t for all of you!
  4. I’ve had a lot of fun.

I guess I am in a reflective mood today.  It has been a great 9 months on this blog and I hope to have many years with this blog.  One day I may even take my posts and turn them into a book about my journey.  That would be a lot of fun.  I guess I should get to Boston first – no need to get ahead of myself.

Have a wonderful day!!!

20 mile run – The good, bad and ugly

The Good

I did it!  20 miles.

Last summer I was amazed to to 6-8 miles and yesterday I made 20.  That is a milestone that I had to reach yesterday for my own knowledge that I could make those miles.

I got out before dawn to try to beat the heat.  I’ll be glad when training is over and I can actually sleep in past 4:00 on the weekends.  🙂

I don’t know if it was my body or my GPS, but my pace was way down.  Saturday I ran 6 miles at 8:35 pace and yesterday, early on in my run, it was hard to get below  a 10 minute pace.  I have been told not to worry about pace on my long runs, but psychologically it was confusing.  I decided to let it go and just run.  I ran 4 mile loops and drank water and ate GU at the end of each loop.

The Bad

I’m trying to figure out what exactly happened, but I really hit a wall at 16 miles.  Last week I ran 17 miles pretty strong and the last mile was close to a 9:00 pace.  Yesterday I ran 16 miles okay.  I ended up running/walking miles 17 – 18 and just walking the last two.  I really don’t know what the difference was yesterday from a week ago.  In fact, I started earlier, so it wasn’t hot and I kept to a 4 mile loop which should have helped.

When I finished, my shoes and clothes were soaked.  My feet were pruned and had some blisters.  I did mess up in one area.  I started with a new pair of Saucony Fastwitch shoes last week and put them on for my run yesterday.  So I ran 20 miles in shoes that only had 11 total miles on them.  That could have been an issue.

I wonder, if I can barely get to 20 miles and my marathon is 4 weeks away, do I even have a chance?  Boston qualification is not in my mind at this point.  My goal is to finish my first marathon.  If I can do that, I’ll be ecstatic.  Boston will have to wait for another day.  Sort of sad.

The Ugly

Me after a 20 mile run.  🙂

From the Chiropractor to a 6 mile run

It was a good run yesterday. Actually, probably the best run I’ve had in the past couple months. I was surprised it went so well as I had been dealing with sore muscles since our 5K on Saturday and even as I started the run I could feel the pain of the 5K still affecting me.

The day began with getting up early for work, then after work I headed to the Chiropractor. He was running late and I ended up being there for 90 minutes or so. He is still adjusting my hip, which I think is almost fixed. I still notice it sometimes as I begin a run, but for the most part it seems to be on the mend.

I got home and went for my run. There were dark skies with storms looming and rather than running in my neighborhood as usual, I thought I would go down to the high school track and run so that wouldn’t be far from the car if a storm struck. In the end, the dark luminous clouds never amounted to anything, so I just ran in circles. I ran in circles. I ran in circles. Over and over and over.

It was great.

Here are my splits and a screenshot from my Nike app. Lots of green. That is a good sign!

Great run

Great run

Pretty cool looking

Pretty cool looking

The nice thing about my run yesterday was it was on a level track. My neighborhood is very hilly and the marathon we are going to run is very flat. In fact the website says that if you are used to running hills, it would be good to run flat areas to prepare. That makes sense since running on a flat area means you need to use your own energy to propel you and not rely on going down a hill. Yesterday it was all me and that is why I was so encouraged. I am still not where I need to be for the Lehigh Valley Marathon in 7 weeks, but I am a little encouraged.

If I can get up to 20 miles in a run, I’d feel much better. I have only a few weeks to get there before we begin to taper. Nothing like taking this down to the last minute. However if I do run the marathon and finish (hopefully in 3:30 – Boston qualifying time) I will know that I can really do anything I set my mind to do.

Honestly running has changed my life in just about every way. My confidence is up, my weight is down and after each run, I get to have the feeling of doing something and giving it my all.

I do love running.

Good runs + less pressure = more fun

I had another successful summer run yesterday.  Two great runs in a row.  Wow.

My app has really helped slow me down as it speaks to me, “Slower” when I run too fast for the preset pace.  This had enabled me to run like I used to before the summer heat hit.  I have cut my weekday runs to 5 miles for now and am working on rebooting my training for our marathon.

I am so encouraged by my runs this week.  Negative splits have changed my summer runs from dreadful to… maybe not exciting, but at least something to which I look forward.

As I ponder the Lehigh Valley Marathon in 8 weeks, I have come to realize (with TJ’s help) that the pressure of wanting to keep an 8:00 pace for 26.2 miles has really gotten to me.  It has made my running a burden and no longer fun.  So I have changed my attitude toward the marathon.  I would love to qualify for Boston in September and hope that I will, but I am no longer focusing on that as my primary objective.  It is an accomplishment in and of itself to finish my first marathon and I may surprise myself and run at my desired pace.  But I am going to relax, enjoy and make this an experience to remember.

So I feel that I am in a much better place now.  I have had a couple really good runs this week, even in the heat.  I have taken the pressure off of myself as to my expectations for the marathon.  I am more positive and enjoying the journey rather than obsessing about the destination.

Life is good!

8 miles closer to Boston

It was a hot, humid, lonely run yesterday.

I really enjoyed it.

I enjoy climbing mountains.  Well, actually, I enjoy the top of the mountain.  The finish.  The results.

So, to be honest, I didn’t really enjoy the run itself.  I ran well for about 4 miles and then got a phone call.  That really affected my momentum.  After that I ran/walked the rest of the 8 miles, which is unusual for me.  I think it was a combination of the heat, humidity and that I didn’t get my day off this week since I need to take Friday off.  Also, this is a record mileage week/month for me if I get it all in.  So I am trying to be wise and still get my full running in for the week.

To continue where I started, I really like setting a goal and then reaching that goal.  This is probably why I am trying so hard to qualify for Boston this year if at all possible.  It is my ultimate mountain to climb.  It won’t be the end of life as I know it if I don’t achieve the goal I have set, but I will do all that I can do to achieve it.

People ask me why I don’t wait another year to try to qualify.  I guess it is the thrill of doing something few have done in a way that few have tried and succeeding.  It may be my midlife crisis, but it is ultimately cheaper and has many more benefits than a new sports car. 🙂

It is hot and humid today.  At 4:30 AM on my way to work it was near 80 and near 100% humidity.

I can’t wait to climb another mountain this afternoon!

I may not get my chance to qualify for Boston this year

Yesterday was a bit difficult the whole way around.

I did run in the morning and got in my 10 miles.  That put me at 37 for the week and 145 so far for the month.  That is exciting to me as I was working toward my marathon in September.

Then I was told news that might change my plans of running the Lehigh Valley Marathon…

I messed up.  When I looked at the location of the marathon, somehow I thought it was in Altoona, PA.  An old friend who was reading through my blog noticed that I had said Altoona and it is actually in Allentown, PA.  Ugh…

Altoona is 1 hour from my mom’s home. My plan was to visit her which I do each Fall and then run the marathon with TJ (RS is too young) and then head back to her home afterwards.  Allentown is 3 hours away!  My plan no longer works.  The race starts at 7:00 AM.

I have been thinking over my options all day yesterday. I just can’t make this work, at least at the moment.

So, Boston may have to wait for another year.  We may go to Jacksonville in December and run that marathon, but then if TJ and I qualify we will need to wait until 2015.

I like to set goals for myself and work hard to achieve them.  This throws my goals into chaos.  I know people will say, “you probably need another year anyway”, and that may be true.  But I had a goal and this just makes it hard.  It is one thing to try and not make it, but to not be able to try… Oh well.

Life goes on.  There may still be a way to qualify for Boston before September registration.

Never say never.


How many pair of shoes does it take to get to a marathon?

I love my running shoes.

I wear Saucony Fastwitch 5 and they are the one shoe that has gotten me through my achilles problem and allowed me to keep running.  Saturday I put on my old Kinvara’s and after 2 miles was in a moderate amount of pain.  So I went by the house and switched to my Fastwitch and felt much better and finished my run.

All that to say, I just bought 4 pair of Fastwitch 5’s from Running Warehouse. Being more of a built up racing flat, I can only get 200 – 300 miles out of them and my current pair feel like they are getting worn.  So I did the math and 4 pair will get me through my marathon in September.  I wanted to make sure I got them so that I would not be having to use a different shoe by the time of the marathon.  They were $38 a piece at Running Warehouse (after discount)  so all in all I got 4 pair of shoes for $150 and they are sent 2nd day air for free!  Tomorrow will be like Christmas!

As I pondered getting all those shoes it makes my marathon become more and more a reality.  It is like I am on a path to Pennsylvania and it is a straight path, an unalterable path.

Last night TJ said he really believes that I can run the Lehigh Valley Marathon and qualify for Boston.  That was the first time I can remember him saying that to me so directly.  I have  also had  bloggers say the same thing, like Runningtoherdreams said yesterday, “I have no doubt you will rock the Lehigh Valley Marathon!”.  I am going to print that statement out and put it on the wall of my office so that I look at it everyday!  Many other bloggers have given me encouragement as well over the past few months.

Each day I wake up, work, run, see the family, eat dinner and go to bed.  Some of this has gotten a bit tiring to be honest.  But I have a goal.  I have to do all within the power that God gives me to make it to my goal!  Now that I have 4 new pair of shoes, it has become more real.

This week is a little break in my training.  I am cutting back 25% on my mileage to give my body a break.  TJ has helped me with my plan and I am thankful as I couldn’t figure this out on my own.  So now I am running 5.25 miles a day rather than 7.  That will be nice.  And this week is supposed to be cooler than last week.

Gotta run (literally).  Have a GREAT day!!!