I’m back. A lot has changed since my last post. I’m a dad now! This little 3-month old angel (sometimes and angel) is Norah and she’s my running buddy. This picture was taken today after our 2nd run together. Until last week, I’d only run once since Norah was born on January 7th. I’m starting to get back into it now and I’m pumped. Terese and I got a Bob running stroller (not a jogging stroller, I don’t jog…) so that I could bring Norah along. It makes running much more convenient for the fam. I’ve got a half marathon in Indianapolis in 3 weeks, so hoping to get out 4-5 times per week until then. Life is much more unpredictable now though!

The break I had from running was definitely needed while we adjusted to life with a baby. I was a little burnt out after the running streak I did from Thanksgiving to New Years, so the break was needed from a running perspective as well. After the break though, I’m ready to go!

2013: My Year of Running

Total Distance: 1,273
# of Runs: 195
Distance Raced: 173
# of Races: 10

Nine states, one 50K, two marathons, one 30K, 5 half marathons, and a few PR’s.

My first ultramarathon, first trail race, first back-to-back weekends of racing, my longest running streak, and many new places.

Favorite race: Sweetwater H2O 50K
Favorite city I traveled to for a race: Little Rock, AR

I have a feeling that, when I look back in 20 years, this will be the wildest year of running I had. Living in 2 different regions of the US provided me with the opportunity to travel to a number of places to run. Being away from friends and family, we didn’t have many weekend commitments. This made the decision on whether or not to travel for races easy almost every time. We were able to travel all over the place just for a night or two (and sometimes, just for the day). I was able to knock off nine states on my 50-state challenge.

Along with my sister and and brother, who live in different parts of the country and world, I completed a 35-day run streak. Now, it’s break time. Terese and I recently welcomed our daughter Norah into the world and running is taking a back seat for now. I’ll be back at it soon, but for now I’m enjoying to more important things in life and thanking God for blessing me with a beautiful daughter and a beautiful, adventurous, and supportive wife who goes along with all this craziness.

Well, the half marathon streak ended after 2 days. Definitely not what I was aiming for, but it was fun while it lasted. My legs actually felt pretty good. It was more of a time issue. A 6:30 AM start to a long day of travel and a Christmas party left little time. I did a 1-miler at 10:30 PM, after the Christmas party, to keep my run streak going. Maybe down the road, I’ll try it again.

HM Streak Day 2

Today’s Distance: 13.1
Today’s Time: 1:59:46
Total Streak Distance: 26.2
Total Streak Time: 3:52:53

Starting temp: 70 F (inside on the treadmill)
Things learned: 2 (I can run and Christmas shop at the same time. The 2nd is more of a confirmation than a learning…I hate treadmills)

Up early, in all my gear, and I walk out to 40 F and rain… Nope! I hit the treadmill for a warm and dry 13.1. After a couple hours of running/tv/christmas shopping, day 2 of this streak was done. Legs feel pretty good, but tomorrow’s run is going to be very challenging to fit in.

HM Streak Day 1

Today’s Distance: 13.1
Today’s Time: 1:53:07
Total Streak Distance: 13.1
Starting temp: 25 F
Things learned: 1 (my new favorite piece of gear is my buff)

In the middle of a running streak and knowing I have some down time coming up soon, I thought this was a pretty good time to start a half marathon streak. My goal is 7 days. I have no idea if I can actually do this but I’ll give it a go.

Today’s run was in the town of Denton, TX, most of the miles coming in a couple of parks not far from where I’m staying. Many many icy spots, but I managed to stay on my feet. Found a section of dirt trails which was awesome (would have been more awesome without the ice). Day 1 is done.

I received a text from my sister the other day saying she was doing a run streak from Thanksgiving to New Years and asked if I wanted in. Heck yeah! My sister, brother, and I, spread across 3 time zones and 2 different countries, have managed to make it a competition of course. Loser cooks a 3-course meal next time we’re all together.

For me, the timing couldn’t be better. Since starting a new job, I’ve struggled to fit running in regularly. I’ve also have no races on the calendar, which hasn’t been the case for a while so I’m a bit lost. With a baby due in January, I’ll be taking some time off from running. This I exactly the kick in the butt I need to have a good month+ of running. I might try to throw in a streak within a streak, but it’s fairy ambitious idea so we’ll see.

4 days in. 10 miles down. 1 fall on the ice.

Race Report: Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon 2013 (Columbus, OH)

·         Date: 10/20/2013

·         Goal: 3:17

·         Time: 3:14:20

·         Overall Place: 361/5512 

·         Age Group Place: 59/432 

 

As wonderful as it is traveling to different places for a race, it is also wonderful to run a race in your home city. Sleeping in your own bed. No long days in the car. Having a normal schedule. This weekend, we had that. Terese and I headed to the expo on Friday night with our minds only partially there and our hearts 750 miles away. Earlier that day, our good friends Nic and Molly lost their daughter, Evelyn, only 12 hours after she was born. The news was a shock, as you could imagine. With there being nothing we could do to help, we prayed for them. Nobody deserves the pain of losing a child. Thankfully, they have each other and they have God.

 

We left the expo, got dinner, and relaxed. The only thing on my agenda for Saturday (other than some stuff around the house), was a shakeout run. After that run, we got the typical pre-race meal (pizza), and turned it in early. It was finally race day. I’d put in a lot of work for this race. We got ready and Terese drove me to the start line. If you’ve read my previous race reports, you know that time management is not my forte. I’ve made a habit out of having to run to the corral for the start. It seems that each time I get to the starting area early, I stand in a massive line for the porta-potty. My last two races have started with me waiting in that line, but getting creative and finding somewhere else to go. This time, I wasn’t wasting any time. Half a block from where Terese dropped me off, I turned onto a small, vacant street and ducked in beside a dumpster. It wasn’t until after I got back to the main road without seeing any police cars that I felt any relief.

 

Now at the starting line with plenty of time to spare, I positioned myself where I wanted to be in the corral and re-tied my shoes a couple times (as always). After a few words from the race director, the Mayor of Columbus, and the CEO of Nationwide Children’s Hospital, it was time for the National Anthem. Some well-timed pyrotechnics made parts of the anthem (rockets red glare, bombs bursting in air) a visual experience. It was pretty cool. After the wheel-chair participants took off, it was our turn. “Oh crap, I need to start my Garmin!” As I’m acquiring satellites…

 

BANG. We all took a few quick steps ahead and then nearly ran over each other as everything came to a massive slow down. Everybody who has run a couple races is familiar with this phenomenon. Why it happens, who knows. I crossed the starting line and started my watch about 30 seconds afterward (damn satellites). I had a plan for each mile of this race. Two 8:00 miles, twenty-two 7:30 miles, and the final 2.2 in 7:15 pace. I ran the first one right around that 8:00 pace and decided to forego the second half of my slow start, settling in at about a 7:30 pace. I quickly decided to shed the t-shirt I had on under my long-sleeve. The temp at the start was 39 F, so it was a bit chilly. It turned out to be perfect racing weather. I saw Terese for the first time around mile 2.5 and was able to hand the shirt off then.

We continued down Broad St. for a bit and then turned off to do a “lolli-pop” on some smaller residential roads. I was having a bit of a tough time keeping things around 7:30 pace. I felt good and my legs wanted to go faster. Thankfully, I had the presence of mind to stop myself from going too nuts. Miles 4, 5, and 6 went by in 7:16, 7:24, and 7:15. At some point during those miles, I saw Frankie Hejduk cheering with a group of people decked out in Crew gear. I would later find out that he was with one of the Miracle Mile Patients. That’s awesome. Right around mile 7, as we turned back onto Broad St., I saw Terese cheering and taking pictures. I provided some camera material by putting both hands in the air and giving a big smile (I know, I’m wild and crazy) before making my way over for her to hand me some Gu. Mile 10 brought us into German Village, one of the most historic parts of the city. We passed some familiar places and actually ran some of the same path as one of my long training runs. Thinking back on that training run and knowing I’d put the miles in preparing for this race gave me some confidence.

 

I had broken this race out into 5 sections, the first 4 being 6 miles long and the last being 2.2. I made a pace band with my splits, total time, and the name of the Miracle Mile patient at the end of each section. The first 6 were for Addie. Now, I was coming into mile 12: the Angel Mile. This mile in the race is dedicated to all of the Angels who are no longer here with us. As I ran, I prayed for all the Angels and their families and friends, especially for Evelyn and her family. Terese really wanted to see this mile so she was there as well. She yelled as I went by but I never even saw her!

 

We continued down High Street, now moving more into my neck of the woods and I was clicking off miles right around 7:20 pace. We hit the Ohio State University campus and made our way to the Horseshoe (Ohio State football stadium). We ran in one corner, along the end zone, and out another. This is probably a bigger highlight for OSU fans, but it was pretty cool for me as well. The place is massive. Shortly after this, I saw Owen and his crew. Owen is the Miracle Mile patient for this section of the race. Each patient has a mile, but Owen represented miles 13-18 for me. Miles 18-20 brought us back over the Olentangy River and provided some elevation change that slowed me down a bit. I still felt pretty strong though. My pace picked back up as we ran through Upper Arlington and Grandview Heights and miles 21-24 average 7:17.

 

Mile 25… it was time to pick up the pace. We were about 2 blocks from my house… things couldn’t have been more comfortable. I was wrong. We turned onto Neil Ave. and followed my main daily running route, running down Neil and along Goodale Park. Here I was, running the most difficult part of the race on a route I’ve done many times. This was awesome. The 3:15 pacer had been in my sights for a long time, but I tried not to push it just to catch him. As I closed in on him, I knew I was running out of territory. He was looking back, motioning for those close enough to catch up and pass him. Despite feeling like I might vomit, I kept up the pace and passed him, finishing the last half mile at 6:20 pace. My final time was 3:14:20.

 

Shortly after crossing the finish line, I hear “Jeff!” coming from the side. I turn to see my wife (who is in her third trimester) standing on a garbage or something so that she can see over an 8 foot fence and yell, “You did it!!!” Haha. As always, thanks to my wonderful wife for supporting me through training and the race.

Race Report: Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon 2013 (Virginia Beach, VA)

·         Date: 09/01/13

·         Goal: Sub-1:30

·         Time: 1:31:20

·         Overall Place: 100/9853 

·         Age Group Place: 20/511 

 

Terese and I headed out of town on Friday night. We stopped in Staunton, VA, which we found out the next morning is out favorite small town in the world. We roamed the historic downtown for a bit in the morning, got coffee, and bought a few old books (like we try to everywhere we go). We ran into a guy who owned a shop there and happened to be a huge Harmon Killebrew fan. We chatted for a bit and moved on. We arrived in Virginia Beach the next afternoon, hit the expo to get my packet and check things out, and then headed to the beach. After some beach time, a stroll down the boardwalk, and some pizza, we headed to the hotel for the night.

 

On race morning, Terese dropped me off at the race and I had quite the debacle finding a bathroom. After waiting in two porta-potty lines, I found the closest gas station and jogged over (good warmup…). I jogged/walked back to the start during the National Anthem, stopping for the last few seconds. Then I was off to find the corral. It wasn’t long after I got into the corral that the next wave was off (the one I went with). You know, I spend a lot of time preparing for races, but maybe I need to spend a little time planning pre-races… I’ve had some close calls.

 

Time to run. After a couple of quick turns and a half mile, I saw Terese for the first time. Two miles into the race (two miles that I ran faster than planned), we were on Atlantic Ave. and I saw Terese for the last time until the finish. Right around here, I passed a guy dribbling two basketballs as well. It was pretty incredible. I found out later this guy runs races all over the place and is some sort of basketball dribbling guru.

 

About 3 miles in, we hit an overpass that was one of the only real hills on the course. My heart rate, which was already a bit high, climbed even more. I was around 180 consistently after this hill, which I felt was high and I didn’t know if I could maintain it. What did I do? Kept running at a good speed (around 6:50/mile) and watched the heart rate stay around there… I’m a little new to using my heart rate to train and pace.

 

As we ran on, things got progressively harder but I continued to maintain a solid pace. I got the dreaded side-ache around mile 6 and grew quite acquainted with it over the next 3 miles or so. We hit what had to have been my favorite part of the course, a narrow road with dense forest on both sides. I’ve become a sucker for the woods. I was trying to break the race down at this point and was trying to focus on getting past mile 9. “Get past 9, then focus on getting past 11, then take it in from there”, I told myself.

 

Now starting 10, I had taken my last my last gu and focused on getting past 11. I was having a tough time maintaining pace and had started to slow down a bit. It’s always so hard looking back and thinking, “I wish I would have just pushed a little harder and maintained my pace”. I don’t feel it’s a reflection of the effort I give, but part of the process in which I can’t completely understand what I felt like then. Regardless, I’m looking forward to the next race in which I look back on without any of that feeling.

 

Near end of mile 11, we hit the largest hill on the course… awesome. Now through mile 11, this is where I make my move and add to my negative split. Yeah, turns out I don’t have a 6:40 and then a 6:30 in me. I struggle through the 12th mile, with a little help from Drop Kick Murphy’s and head into 13. Half way through 13, we hit the boardwalk with nothing but the beach and the ocean on the right. I can sincerely say, I was in no frame of mind to appreciate this view. I forced one glance over in an attempt to appreciate it. The finish line was in sight and each time I looked up at it, it was still a ways on the distance. I kept pushing and finally hit the finish. I knew I was short of my goal, but didn’t know by how much. A bit of a watch malfunction led me to believe I was only a few seconds short of my goal. I was bummed. I staggered over to get my medal and a whole slew of good and drink. I finally found Terese and she offered the encouraging words she always does. After a while that day, I started to become happier with the race, despite my missing my goal.

 

The rest of the day consisted of laying on the beach, body surfing, renting and riding bikes along the boardwalk, the pool, and dinner. The further I get from the race, the happier I am with it. Racing in all different areas has given Terese and I the opportunity to do a lot of exploring and a lot of fun stuff in different areas. This trip was definitely near the top of the list. Staunton, Virginia Beach, and driving through the Appalachian Mountains… yes, please.

 

 

Race Report: New River “Gorge-ous” Trail Run Half Marathon 2013 (Minden, WV)

·         Date: 08/24/13

·         Goal: Not race/Use this as a training run

·         Time: 1:50:14

·         Overall Place: 15/39

·         Age Group Place:  3/6

 

West Virginia and the Appalachian Mountains, here we come. Terese and I took off after work in Friday, after a fairly ridiculous construction delay, made it to the campsite at around 11:45pm. We got the tent up, settled in, and went to sleep. The next morning, our dog (Walton) decided he wanted to get up early. Some convincing (and maybe letting him crawl in between us) enabled us to get another hour and half of sleep. Luckily, I had until 9:30 to pick up my race packet, so we had a little time in the morning. After a little trouble finding the starting line, we found out that the packet pickup and pre-race meeting were no more than 200 yards from our camp site… After the meeting, Terese, Walton, and I chose to walk the 3/4 mile to the start as opposed to ride the shuttle. We waited for a while and then it was time to go. I stepped up a little further into the starting corral…

 

And we were off. My plan heading into this race was to not race. I have the RnR Virginia Beach half next weekend and I’m shooting for a PR (my previous attempt to PR in a half 1 week apart was unsuccessful). I planned on going hard for 2 miles, going easy for the majority, then running the last 2 or 3 hard again. This was not my first attempt at not racing, but I hadn’t ever been successful in doing that. Literally 1/10 of a mile in, I started thinking, “Maybe I’ll race this…” I had REALLY been craving a race the last few days. Maybe it was my self-control or maybe it was the fact that my heart rate was approaching 180 1/2 mile into the race, I chose to stick by the plan and use this as a training run. We were in a gravel road for 1/4 mile or so and then hit the trail. Once we hit the trail, we started going up. I was huffing pretty good for those first couple miles (especially the first). It was time to slow down. For the next couple of miles, runners passed and I couldn’t help but think they were thinking “Heh. This guy went out too fast now he’s hurting”. However, I doubt that was the case. Many people would say “Nice work” or something along those lines.

 

I decided after a while that I would try to keep my HR under 150 if possible so I didn’t work too hard and beat my legs up too much. While it was impossible to do this on the climbs (even though I hiked/walked the majority) and I, by no means, used this as a hard and fast rule, it was really helpful to have a number to aim for. As far as this trail goes, it was beautiful. I took a number of pictures (most of which were very blurry) and even stopped for a few. For a portion of the race, we had a large downhill on one side, which led to the river, and a large uphill on the other. We were surrounded by fairly dense forest. We ran plenty of double-track and some awesome single-track. There were a few parts that were pretty technical, with a lot of rock. It was fun! Some downhills that were technical as well, which might just be my favorite part of running trails. Bordering on being out of control, barely enough time to plan your next footfall… I love it. We did hit some gravel road for a bit, but the vast majority was trails in through the forest. At one point, I ran past what looked like a turtle in the middle of the trail. I thought, “I’m not in a huge hurry”, so I went back thinking it might be only a shell (aka, a keepsake). However, I looked inside and saw a face! I took a quick picture of the little trail buddy, set him safely off the side of the trail, and kept running.

 

We hit a couple of aid stations along the way, just water and a few volunteers. Nothing else needed for a race of this length. We had just come down what was apparently a loooong downhill (It was about a 700 foot drop in a mile and half - average of about 9% grade) and with about a mile and a half left, I put the music on and picked up the speed. I pushed a bit in the flats and ran some of the uphills. I caught a group of guys on the final long uphill that would take us into the finish and hiked hard. When I saw how much was left, I started running and took some speed into the finish. We hit up the burrito lunch and started the recovery process for next week.

 

Had I raced that, it would have been brutal. I hadn’t seen an elevation profile for the course and it wasn’t until our drive up Friday that I realized how much elevation change there would be. It was a tough course for sure. I’d love to run in that area again some time in my life.

 

Now that the race was over, it was onto the important part of the weekend. Terese and I are expecting our first baby in January and we had brought with us a couple of cupcakes that would reveal the baby’s gender! We found a beautiful spot down by the river (at the bottom of the gorge), looking up at the New River Gorge Bridge, and stationed ourselves on some large rocks on the bank. We waited for some rafters take on the rapids in front of us and distracted Walton with a peanut butter Kong. We had the perfect setting to find out the gender of our baby. We sat down, carefully unwrapped our cupcakes, and simultaneously bit into them. It’s a girl! (They were filled with pink frosting). We are going to have a little baby girl. We celebrated and enjoyed the moment.  Eventually, we started talking about names and everything else. It was amazing. I couldn’t be happier. I can’t wait to meet my daughter!

 

After another night of camping (and a lot of s’mores), we packed up and went on a hike to a lookout spot for a great view of the bridge. It was a beautiful hike and a breath-taking view at the end. Apparently, Walton was unimpressed as he literally started snoring as we sat and enjoyed the view. Finally, it was back up to Columbus with a couple of stops along the way (including lunch in Charleston). West Virginia was absolutely gorgeous. But not as gorgeous as my baby girl will be J

Race Report: Rogue Running 30K 2013 (Burnet, TX)

·         Date: 05/02/13

·         Goal: NA

·         Time: 3:08:36

·         Overall Place: 7/70

·         Age Group Place: 6/24 

After my first trail race in April, I was really excited to run another. I hadn’t put in a whole lot of miles since the Sweet H20 50K and was trying to get into a training plan for my next ”A” race, the Columbus Marathon. I figured maybe I’d use this as a long training run, not taking it really easy but not going all out either. Terese and I headed out on our Journey on Thursday night and spent the night in Houston. We took off the next morning for Austin. Austin was awesome! We walked around the city, went to some great restaurants, spent some time at Barton Springs Pool, and geeked out at the flagship Whole Foods…twice. On the way to College Station, we stopped and did a little exploring at Hamilton Pool Preserve, an awesome area to do a little hiking swimming. We got back into the car (the afternoon before the race) and started looking for a hotel. I suddenly realized the race wasn’t near College Station, but Burnet (137 miles away from each College Station)! Luckily, we were only an hour or so from Burnet, but that meant our drive home on Sunday was going to be a couple of hours longer than planned. Only an extremely laidback person like myself can really appreciate the fact that I didn’t realize this until the day before. We got a room in Burnet, ate, and I got my stuff ready. We drove to Reveille Peak Ranch the next morning, where the race was located and got checked in. When we asked about places where spectators could see the runners, the response was, “Do you have a jeep? My jeep can make it part way to one of the aid stations…” Haha. This trail was going to be awesome. We walked down to the lake, finished getting ready, and stepped into the starting area.

        Loop 1 (miles 1 – 6.7): The course started us on a gradual uphill on some jeep road for a while until we hit the single track. This single track was cool, a lot of small ups and downs and never really consistent. After a while, I settled in behind another runner and pretty much just ran his pace. I felt this was a little too fast, but just stuck with him. So much for using this as a training run… I knew that wasn’t going happen anyway. The trail led us over a creek and onto mostly solid rock. This wasn’t crushed rock or gravel, but solid rock like a mountain. The course was marked fairly well, but it was tough to navigate in certain areas so I was happy to be behind somebody. We rolled into the first aid station pretty quickly, so I filled up my bottle and kept moving. The course was a “lollipop” course, meaning it’s an out, a loop, and a back (the out and back portions going against each other). The majority of the climbing is done during the first 3 miles of the loop, taking us up to 1280 feet. The back half of the loop is a lot of downhill. The footing wasn’t great overall, but I was able to open it up quite a bit and take the downhills fast. Now on the “back” portion, we crossed the stream and hit the single track again. The final stretch is more jeep trail and a long, gradual downhill. I took advantage of the downhill and let my legs go. Loop 1 came in at 59:22.

                Loop 2 (miles 6.7 – 13.4): I chose not to stop at the aid station heading into the 2nd lap. The guy that unknowingly paced me through the first lap stopped (so I thought) to get some food or something. I heard a conversation behind me between a couple of guys that knew each other (and sounded like they were both good runners). Guy 1: Just taking it easy today? Guy 2: Yeah, had a long run yesterday. Guy 1: Oh yeah? How long? Guy 2: 26 miles, trying to get in some back-to-backs. They chat a bit more and Guy 1 takes off past me. As I glance over my shoulder, I see that Guy 2 (who ran a marathon yesterday and is taking it easy) is the guy I followed the whole first lap (knowing the pace was too fast)! Wow! By now, we’re up the hill and onto the single track. I chose to settle in behind this crazy guy again and followed him through the woods, over the creek, and onto the rock. The ups were tough but I still had decent energy. I popped an S cap and focused on taking in a lot of water. We got lucky with the heat, but it could still be bad if I didn’t take in a lot of water. As we got further into the lap, I was really starting to get tired. Heading back now on the single track, we ran into a number of people and, seeing as the trail was only a few inches wide, we were all forced to run off the trail at times. As we came in to finish lap 2, I took advantage of the downhill and ran hard again, but I was dying. This 3rd lap was going to be tough. Loop 2 came in at 1:01:24.

                Loop 3: (miles 13.4 – 20.3): Terese had positioned herself on the side of the long uphill that led back out of the aid station (and start/finish area) to take pictures. As I passed her on this final loop, I said, “This is gonna be brutal.” I was able to keep running the rest of that uphill and made it onto the single track still moving at a decent pace. Some of the small ups and downs hurt quite a bit this time around. I had done some hiking on some uphills during the first couple of laps, but much more on the third. Pretty much each uphill hill forced me into a hike or a walk. As time went, I had a harder and harder time getting myself running again as the slope flattened out or turned downhill. I was out of water and dying to get more. I took a pretty good fall on a downhill around mile 16. I was moving at a good speed but didn’t get my foot up high enough on one step and I was destined for the ground. I was able to roll out of it pretty good and didn’t get too banged up. It actually energized me for a while… “Is that all you got!”, I thought. Before long though, the adrenaline from the fall was gone and I was back to the grueling battle against the trail. Still dying for water, I seemed to be looking at my watch every couple hundredths of a mile. Finally, I came into that final aid station and refilled my bottle. One of the volunteers told me there was a guy a couple minutes ahead of me. It gave me something to chase, but I didn’t have much of anything left. I pushed on, made it to the single track in the woods and finally to the jeep trail. I saw somebody just before I hit the downhill and I went wide open one final time. I passed him just before the finish and crossed the line. Loop 3 took 1:07:50.

                I survived… I stumbled over to Terese, got some Gatorade and some ice (a block of ice the size of my fist that I literally just carried around with me for while… I may have been a little out of it), and took a dip in the lake. Jumping in that lake was something I had been thinking about for a long time. It was amazing! We grabbed some awesome post-race food (pancakes, bacon, and watermelon) and a beer (Austin-brewed Pale Dog by Hops and Grain). With a long drive ahead of us, we took off pretty quick for home. I love trail races! I love Austin too! The big state of Texas, check.

September Update: Chaos

Miles: 135.3
Runs: 16
Races: 1 (Rock n Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon)

Leading into this month, I was coming off what were likely the two best training months I’ve ever had. The first day of the month, I took over 3 minutes off my PR for the half. Week 1: took it easy after my half. Week 2: a solid week of training. Then, things too a turn. 3 weekends (the first 2 in September) back to MN and 1 full week of traveling for work. I ran 3 times in the last 11 days of the month. While I wouldn’t trade in those weekends of spending time with family and friends and being able to celebrate the marriages of family and friends, they definitely take a toll on training. Oh well… There will always be more months for training.

Columbus Marathon yesterday. I was aiming for a 3:17 again after a failed attempt in New Orleans last March. The race went as planned, even a little better, and I crossed the finish line at 3:14:20. I ran with the Miracle Mile Patients, all those children who have passed, and especially Evelyn Oklobzija in my heart.