36 Days Remaining – Race For The Cure with Kids

Today I woke up the trio early to get them ready for the Race For The Cure. They have grown used to sleeping in a little bit longer than 6:45. Amanda is in Chicago for the weekend with her friends having some time away from the daily grind and I decided to register the kids and let them experience the race atmosphere.

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Ava ready to run…

In some ways this was nice to share this with the kids. However, I won’t lie and tell you that placing the bib on my shirt and the timing chip did not make me flip my competitive switch. I would have liked to give this race a go to see where I am at in terms of pushing the limits. But, I had a great time with the kids.

It was great seeing so many people out supporting those who have battle cancer especially breast cancer. As I stated on FB this morning when you stop to think about everyone affected by cancer it is scary and alarming. Right now there are a lot of people in my life both in family, friends, and teaching circles that are battling cancer themselves or have a child battling cancer. It makes me stop to appreciate my health and give these fighters much credit for not giving up hope and staying strong. When I am sore from a long bike ride I really should not complain when I stop to think about how lucky I am.

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Ready to Race!

This morning it became hot fast. LIVE UNCOMMON had a great turnout and the new shirts were SWEET!

When we finally got there we had quite a walk to the LIVE UNCOMMON area. I think that was about half the race. We hung out for a bit and then made our way to the start. We were way in the back which I am not used to. It took forever for us to get to the starting line. Ava was in no mood for the stroller as she was tired of looking at butts and wanted me to carry her so she could people watch(like her mamma).

Here is the view from where we were

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After we finished we ate some cookies, popsicles, and of course found the jumpers for the kids. We met many people and I even met someone who is looking to jump in a and train with us in the mornings. I love these crowds and these people who are all about making themselves better in whatever pursuits they have.

IMG_3239So far I have survived The Solo Adventures of Hanging with Dad. Below is a slide show of pictures from the weekend so far. I will continue to add to this throughout the weekend. I can assure you that the best is yet to come.

All in all I bet we walked close to 3 miles between walking to and from the car, the one mile race(Ava was in no mood for 2 more miles), and just walking around. Addy came home and crashed for a 3 hour power nap. Ava slept about 2 hours and during that time I sanded the deck. Aiden lost a tooth.

For lunch Ava decided to put ravioli in her hair(pictures coming soon to the album) and I am trying to pick up the house a little bit before Amanda comes home.

Here is the slide show of the weekend so far. More will be added throughout the weekend.

Trying to rest as much as possible the rest of the day. I have a 13 mile run to get in tomorrow night and then a recovery week in my half Ironman training leading up to the QC Tri and then things get crazy as I cram in a major week of training in four days before I leave to party and dance the night away with the Dave Matthews Band for three days. By the way, I have a ticket available if anyone is interested in one wild weekend where anything can happen. One ticket is open and one spot in the Tailgate Beast Van.

Alright, back to meeting the demands of my girls…….

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54 Days Remaining – Live Uncommon Staff Breakfast, Busy Morning = No Run

This morning Chad and Katie really took charge to organize a staff breakfast this morning. I was included in the mix, but I will be honest and cannot take much credit besides helping out this morning. Chad and Katie did all the backwork to get it ready. We hosted a breakfast for our staff here at BMS and took donations to help us reach our Live Uncommon goals of trying to raise $700 each. I know it sounds like a lot to raise, especially with money being so tight for so many people, but the money goes to some amazing charities. We have an amazing staff that really came early this morning, grabbed some coffee, juice, donuts, eggs, pancakes, etc. and gave a little of their hard earned cash to help. It was another reminder how AWESOME are staff really is. Nobody can doubt or question how strong of a staff we have here at BMS when it comes to helping students, each other, and the community. It was a nice start to the day seeing staff come down and enjoy the breakfast and start the day right.

Obviously, not all of you reading this were able to make the breakfast. I know I have posted information about LIVE UNCOMMON and helping to raise money before, but I will throw it out there again. You can help out in many ways. Feel free to offer whatever you can to my donation page. I honestly don’t care if it is even a dollar. Every penny helps out someone in need and we are supporting all types of charities to help all types of people. I really believe in what I am representing when I wear my LIVE UNCOMMON gear to all my races and training sessions. I am proud to be part of an amazing team of people who are striving to meet their own goals while working even harder to raise money for others in the community. I still have a long way to go in my fundraising so I thank you in advance for any support you can provide.

Here are the races along with links to what each race is raising money for.

The Series Causes
CASI – Center for Active Seniors
5K
March 17
Davenport, Iowa

Run for Renewal
5K
April 21
Davenport, Iowa

Live Uncommon Torchlight Parade
3 Mile (untimed)
June 2 – 8:30 PM
Davenport, Iowa

Race for the Cure
5K
June 9
Moline, Illinois

Moonlight Chase
4 Mile
July 14 – 9:00 PM
Eldridge, Iowa

OUCH Half Marathon
HALF MARATHON, 10K and 5K
August 18
Bettendorf, Iowa

Quad Cities Marathon
Half Marathon, Marathon Relay
5K
September 23
Moline, Illinois

With all that being said, my training is a little off. I did swim yesterday, but that was all I did for the rest of the day. I ate however I wanted so that meant ice cream and a blizzard. It was my last day of gorging. I felt like I needed one more day of eating whatever before getting serious again.

The plan that I have laid out is a 8 week half ironman plan that builds upon my Olympic distance training plan that I just completed the last few months. It is a sequential type builder where the Olympic plan ends and this one continues on. The problem that I have is that I don’t know how long of a recovery I should take. This is all new territory that I am treading. I am constantly reading and researching and adapting things based on my body and needs.  I cannot wait too long as my 70.3 Racine race is now less than 8 weeks away, but I don’t want to push too hard too soon and risk bad training or a possible injury.

So, I took it as a sign to not run this morning with the 6B46 group. I needed to be at school early so I opted to stay home and make sure I had the kids ready to go as Amanda had to take the kids to the babysitter this morning and this is out of her way. She is awesome! Thank goodness for Amanda.

My body is feeling back to normal. I have no soreness. I still feel a little tired, but nothing out of the ordinary from training, and being the last week of school. My plan calls for a 9 mile run tonight with some track work mixed in. I don’t know that I will do the track work, but I do plan on hopefully getting out for a run later tonight if things go according to plan.

By tomorrow I do plan on being back in full swing with my training. I think my body is ready. My mind is ready and I know that I have some serious work to do in order to be ready for a 70.3 Ironman race. I am not ready physically or mentally right now for a race of this size. I have goals and expectations for myself even though this will be my first one.

I feel weird not running this morning. I missed my group of CRAZIES. I will be ready Thursday to join them. I am ready to get back into full swing of training. The nerves of my big race have me ready to get after it. After racing Sunday, I know that I have some weaknesses that need to worked.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for helping out my fundraising efforts if you can. Thanks to everyone who continues to offer advice and keep me in check through my training. I really appreciate it all.

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85 Days Remaining – Saturday Morning Live Uncommon Race For Renewal 5K

Woke up this morning with thoughts of running one 90 minute loop prior to the 5K race today. I decided to sleep in until 5:50(that is sleeping in for me, especially when I was asleep before 9 pm). I decided to skip the long run and go for it during the 5K today. I did not want any excuses. As much as I told myself I did not care about breaking 20 minutes on this race……I really did. I really wanted to come in under 20.

Last night we ate at Texas Roadhouse and I ate like a pig. Pull pork dinner with jack cheese and mushrooms, rolls and the butter, loaded baked potato, and some fries from the plate of my son with a big beverage to wash it all down left me feeling full and bloated. Not sure why I ate so much, but I did. Tacking the calories it was more calories and fat consumed in this one meal then everything I ate throughout the entire day. I eat a lot throughout the day, trust me.

This morning I had some coffee and two waffles. This is just standard ritual. I was still hungry, but I did not want to eat too much. I knew from the dinner last night that I had enough in me to be fine. I relaxed for about an hour, showered and then headed to the race.

When I arrived it was cold. I missed the kid race as I was pinning my bib on my shirt, but ran a short .5 mile run with Chad to warm up. He was ready to go. I could tell. I ran up one hill one more time and then it was ready to rock.

There were a ton of LU people running today. It was sweet to see all the shirts and gear. We really overtook the race and it was a cool site.

My goal for the run was to run 6:30 for the first two miles and then try to hang on for the last. I did not check the course ahead of time. All I knew was that there were two hills somewhere and one was tough.

We started the race and I was near the front(it was a small race so it was not hard to get up towards the front). I started off and felt good. My body just fell into a good pace. My knee pain went away for the most part once I started moving. We hit that first hill and I just tried to maintain without going all out. It had my HR going for sure and I was running around 7:20 pace up the hill. Once we got to the top I tried to regain my breathing and slowly work back down to race pace. At mile one I thought I was right around 6:30 and I was at 6:34 so I was in a good place.

I really did not feel like I had picked up the pace the second mile. It felt nice and relaxed. At 1.5 miles was when I decided to make a decision to hit 20 or not. I felt that I could based on how I felt and my time. However, once I finished with mile 2 I began to think I was not going to hit my mark. I don’t know what I was thinking, but in my mind I thought I would be over. Mile three proved interesting running down a steep hill. I had so much momentum that there was no stopping this body. I just prayed I would not trip. Because of the hill my time for the third mile was real good.

I was able to pass one guy on the last stretch to the finish and I think I took 4th(I honestly don’t know). My watch read 19:13 and the clock read 19:09 so I going with the clock because it looks better.

I am very happy with this time and the race. I did not feel exhausted afterwards. If I had to rate my effort I would put it around 85%. I finished with the feeling of having more in the tank. That is a good feeling. I am glad to not be exhausted. This is a new PR for me. About 11 months ago I ran the Wild 5K and ran 21:27. To see my time drop over a minute and not feel completely drained is a great sign that the training I am doing is working. I need to continue to work hard on my swim and bike and make sure I get those Yasso 800’s in each week. I think I can continue to drop some time off my run which will help me in these races and more importantly in my triathlons where I feel most confident on my feet.

Great job to everyone who came out today to help in raising money for Project Renewal. It is a great organization and this was a great race. I liked the course and it was well ran and operated. To all the LU people I look forward to hearing about how you felt you did. It looked impressive seeing everyone finishing strong on the course.

When I am able to snag some photos I will upload them, but I am now off to hang with the kids, find time to get a ride in and go from there. Enjoy your weekend and keep GETTING IT DONE!

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Picture of LU Early Morning Running Crew

Just wanted to update with a picture(thanks Jen) of the amazing group of runners this morning. This is motivation every Saturday morning to get up early to run. Each person is super AWESOME! with great information to share about life, running, and whatever else comes into mind while running.

Don’t forget to note the sweet moped Jay came cruising on at about 25 mph this morning over speed bumps and all. His intro to the morning group is going to be hard to beat. I  still laughing visualizing big Jay bouncing over that speed bump and his infamous line, “This isn’t even my good moped!”

Who is up to top the entrance next weekend?

And on a side note, Curt S. you were definitely smaller.

Like I said, you never know what will be said among a long run. For inquiries about the issues of Curt compared to Katie, you must seek them out!

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Have……….

YOU?

And don’t forget to help me raise money to help out this charity and organization.

I still have a long way to reach my $700 goal. Every single penny counts. This is the next race in the LU REVOLUTION series and I would love to raise money to help them out.

Click here to help me reach my goal

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102 Days Remaining Part 2: Meeting LU Members and Late Night Ride

Wednesday was a busy day. After getting in some Yasso 800’s and a good swim workout this morning I tried to make sure that I was doing my duty as Road Coach for the Live Uncommon Revolution. I was asked to help out with some awesome people out at Vanderveer Park at 6 pm. I had my kids and decided to go ahead, bring them, and see what I could do.

To be honest I was not sure who exactly I was looking for. I knew that five LU members showed up last week and therefore I was in pursuit of a small group of people. When I arrived I walked in the wrong direction so by the time I walked all the way around the park Amy and Nicole were already well on their way in their training. I did not want to disrupt their running so we just casually said hi and on they went. I know how it is when you are in the middle of a workout. I hate stopping and trying to get going again.

While they ran I kept looking for other Live Uncommon shirts, but did not see any. My kids and I just hung out and had a lot of fun. When Amy and Nicole were towards the end of their workout we were able to meet up and talk. These two ladies are awesome! They were out there pushing themselves and putting themselves in uncharted territory(The Pathless Path) by doing sprints and things they don’t normally do. They did not need my help. They had each other. They had themselves and the were kicking butt.

It was great to meet up with some more LU Revolution people. I have met so many already through the morning runs and the Saturday runs. It is great to get a chance to speak with others. Amy and Nicole are going to hit their goals this year because tonight they were GETTING IT DONE!

After leaving the park and heading home I still had to get in a bike ride. Around 8:30 when the kids finally crashed and Amanda went to bed(she is sick and battling a cold) I made my way to the basement to ride. I really just wanted to go to bed. I put a movie on my Mac(Horrible Bosses) and started my ride. My goal was to push my legs by working a cadence of over 80 and shifting my gears from medium to difficult to tax the legs. I need to learn to work through the fatigue. It is mental. I pulled a Curt S. and when I knew my wall was coming up I just cranked it out as hard as I could and pushed past the barrier. I ended up with a good ride.

Time for my nightly PB&J sandwich and glass of milk before hitting the pillow. Up and at ’em tomorrow morning for another run..

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The Pathless Path Part 2: YOUR Pathless Path

Yes, I am still only about 15 pages into this book, but I feel the need to share another passage that I literally have read about 30 times in the last 24 hours. I keep thinking about it and I need to apply it to my life, but I will admit that I am not perfect at this despite how much it makes sense in every way.

The way has no map, the way is not charted, the way is not such that you can follow somebody and find it. The way is not like a superhighway; the way is more like a bird flying in the sky – it leaves no markers behind. The brid has flow but no marks are left; nobody can follow. So the way is a pathless path….It is not ready-made, available; you cannot just decided to walk on it, you will have to find it. And you will have to find it in your own way; nobody else’s way is going to function……….

You are you, a unique individual. Only by walking, only by living your life, will you find the way…….

If you have the courage, the risk is there – it is risky, it is adventurous.

So there are some parts from three little passages in the first 5 pages. I think they all flow together quite nicely. This speaks to me on my levels. In general, life is to be lived and they only way to live is to get out there and live it. There is not a manual on life that will work for everyone. You make the choices and you live with the results. Only by living can you find your way in life. Along the way you will make mistakes. I make mistakes. I make them all the time, but I have the courage to risk it and find out what life is all about. It is not about being perfect, but just enjoying what we have while we have it.

In terms of training you have to listen to your body and know when to push and when to adjust. There are a thousand different training plans for this and that. I think I own about half of them. Over the course of my training for Ironman 70.3 Racine, I have adjusted big time two times. I started with one plan, it did not quite work or fit who I was so I adjusted. I went with the adjusted plan and that did not quite work with my mental frame of mind and an injury. I adjusted again this time taking bits and pieces from my minimal experience in training and listening to others and created a new plan. This plan is working. It is my way. It is my pathless path. It may not work for you. That does not make the plan better than yours or worse.

I always read and follow up on Jeff Paul who is not only a friend, but someone who has provided me with much inspiration and someone to look up towards. He is a machine. He is one of the mentally toughest people I know. His training plan would kill me. I could not follow it. Most people could not follow it. But it is his. He talks in his last post about the risks he takes with this training. I cannot think about his training and this passage. He has the courage and is willing to take the risk. The payoff could be huge. He could achieve unbelievable things. The only way to know is to try.

I feel like I am doing the same, but just at a much smaller scale. I am taking risks by tackling triathlons. The end of last year I could not swim one length of a pool without stopping and being gassed. I know can crank about 3000 yards in an hour. It was a risk. I had to go outside of my comfort zone. Sometimes we have to leave our comfort zone, we have to take a risk to find out what we are really capable of. It is scary, but necessary if you want to find out who you really are. His path is his path. My path is my path. Your path is your path.

I think there is much to be taken from this no matter who you are.

One thing that is not mentioned that I do think is important is to get with others and learn from where they have been and where they are going. I think that in order to go into that uncharted darkness of the unknown to find yourself you sometimes need to connect with others who are doing the same to learn how to cope. Our 6B46 running group and weekend long group runs are perfect examples. We are able to connect, challenge ourselves and learn that we are all capable of great things. Surrounding yourself around people tackling their own pathless path allows me and I am sure you to gain inspiration and knowledge to go back out there and test yourself. Even though we all have our own paths in life I think they do tend to cross paths and there is nothing wrong with that.

If you are not sure if you are on the right path to success, then the only way to find out is to keep going, GETTING IT DONE, and discovering your own way to accomplish great things. Embrace the fear and uknown because the result could be one of the greatest things in your life. The only to find out is to do, there is not try.

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106 Days Remaining Part 1: Long Run in the Morning….AMAZING!!

Here I am at 6 am on  Sunday reflecting on my training yesterday when I should still be in bed sleeping. My dumb dogs worked their way out of our room and so my day has begun.

I was trying to figure out how to make sense of my training yesterday. I have mixed feelings of satisfaction, frustration, angry, and humor.

To start the day off we had our schedule long run Saturday. I sent out a few emails letting people know that we would be meeting at Crow Creek to run starting at 4:30 am and looping back at 6 am and 7:30. My plan was to run the first two loops. After a terrible night of sleep of Addy waking up with an earache and Ava wanting to get up three times I skipped the 4:30 run for some extra sleep.

At 5 am I consumed my routine two waffles and syrup and prepped for the run. At 6 am there was a large group of runners. Chad, Katie, Rick, and John were returning from the first loop.

To start the run at 6 am we had(I hope I don’t forget anyone): Chad, Katie, Rick, and John, Curt, John O., Anne, Jen H, Jay, Josiah, Katharine, and Brett(sorry I got the name wrong), and myself.

We headed towards the Duck Creek Bike Path. It was a nice run. My legs felt fresh and the run felt easy. I was glad I did not ride the night before because I know for sure my legs would have felt tired. We covered 10 miles in the first 90 minute loop(2nd loop for those that started at 4:30). This is a good pace and looking below it is nice to see the time drop each mile and knowing it felt easy each mile.

When we returned to Crow Creek Jane had her PV girls cross country team show up. It was awesome to see so many amazing runners waiting for us to get back so they could get running and get started. The parking lot was loaded with cars. Jen P. also joined us for this last loop. I think she took a picture of all the cars so if I come across that I will share it here.

For the third loop I ran only 60 minute to save my legs for my long ride. I ran mostly with John B and Curt. We really picked up the pace the last few miles. It was a great run.

I was amazed by everyone who came to run. It is SO cool to see all the people who are willing to wake up early and make themselves better. LIVE UNCOMMON is really helping spread the word about what it takes to be UNCOMMON. The group continues to grow and I think everyone walks away from their training feeling so much better about themselves. It is not about speed or how far one can run, but simply to just push ourselves a little bit more each week. This group is going to kick some serious butt this year in races as we all are seeing improvements while having fun with what we are doing. You guys are AMAZING!! Thanks to Jane for bringing her runners. Seeing all those girls is motivation that we are all capable of great things. Great job everyone!

Lastly, if you want to know more about LIVE UNCOMMON and the REVOLUTION for 2012 be sure to check out the site. Find out what it means to LIVE UNCOMMON. It is a great cause doing so many great things while improving yourself.

Also, if you would like to make a donation to my cause as I am working to raise $700 for the various charities and causes you can always check out my page to see what I am all about and you can make a donation of any size.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of my training from yesterday when I snag my first flat tire on the road. Nothing like going from a great run to hitting a flat tire in the middle of nowhere.

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Only $680 to go – LIVE UNCOMMON REVOLUTION CHARITY FUNDRAISING

I have not checked my Live Uncommon Revolution page for quite sometime as I was getting frustrated by constantly seeing the $0 donation page. I need to do more. However, today I checked my page to find that I have 2 donations. This made me so happy!!!!

So Happy!

I decided to create another post to please consider donating to all the great causes that the LIVE UNCOMMON REVOLUTION is helping out this year. 7 Races = 7 Charities ranging from CASI(Senior Citizens) to breast cancer. You can view all the races and their charities by clicking here.

Not only am I participating in the races, but I am raising money for all the charities, causes, scholarships for students, etc. because I believe in them. I believe in helping others. I believe that the only way to help ourselves is to help others.

http://liveuncommon.org/default.aspx?function=displayparticipant&id=247&eid=4

The link above will take you to my Live Uncommon page where you can make a donation. I can take money through check and/or cash as well if you are not comfortable donating online.

I view my fundraising like my training. I cannot do it alone. I need others to help keep me going during my training. I need your help in helping me support these causes. You probably either know someone affected by one of these causes or maybe it is even you yourself.

If you donate I will forever be happy like I am in this picture when I spent the day at school with Addy.

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I am up for any challenge so if you have something in mind that you would like to dare/challenge me in exchange for a donation I would gladly consider it. I am all for having fun with this.
The one donation option that is not available that fits me is $70.3. I am in training for my first half Ironman of a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike ride, and 13.1 run. Feel free to donate that amount even though it is not listed.
Thanks for Phil and the anonymous donor for their donations. I was so excited to see these listed on my page. I look forward to many more.
Have a great weekend.
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Hodge Podge of Loose Ends

1. Here are the photos from our long 18 mile run yesterday at the Indiana Ave. Thanks John for posting these on your blog. 

indiana ave pic 2I 80 chicago des moines Amazing to see this many people rise early Saturday morning to run in 30 mph winds and the cold.

2. Yesterday we had family come over to watch the Duke – North Carolina game(was there even a game?). Prior to them coming I had about a 45 minute window to get in a short bike ride. I wanted to get a ride in to work out some lactic acid. Not sure if it helped or not, but I had a nice short ride. Pushed the cadence and gears a little with a slow recovery.

3. Woke up this morning with some very tired legs. I am surprisingly not sore, but my legs feel tired. I just need to wake them up a little. I have my big long ride to get in today as well as a swim clinic at Augustana and also basketball tonight at 8:00. This is a big day. I am going to have to be careful about how much I actually do. This is a critical day in my training in terms of getting my final ride in as this week ends my base building phase of my training. This is my biggest workout week in terms of mileage and distance. The training starts to slowly merge to more race specific training in terms of track workouts, race pace goals, etc. I need a good stretch as my lower legs feel tight.

4. If you don’t have Spotify for your computer you are missing out. How I love listening to about any type of music I want for free. I have so many playlists. If you are on Spotify let me know and we can swap playlists!

5. Speaking of music I cannot get enough of listening to Counting Crows at home, Metallica in my car and praying that today I get all the tickets I requested to see Dave Matthews Band this summer in Noblesville.

6. Make it a great day. Last day of the weekend so enjoy every minute of it!

7. Last, but not least if you have not made a donation to the Live Uncommon Revolution which is working hard on many levels but most importantly to reward scholarships to students and provide money to several charities you can do this by clicking here and in the process help me reach my goal. I am trying to conjure up something that people can donate $ by me accomplishing things while in Jamaica. If you have any ideas, then please let me know.

Here are some current thoughts

1. Donate $XX of money per mile I swim in the ocean or run on the beach
2. Jump off certain cliffs like the one @ Rick’s Cafe. This one makes me nervous.
3. Wear something strange on the beach…maybe Live Uncommon can make me a LU speedo(that would sure ruin the beach experience for people!)

Ok, that is all I have but if you have something good let me know. I am pretty up for anything that won’t get me killed or cost me a ton of money:)

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