I am excited to post this race report because of who wrote it.  I 'met' Matt through Twitter or Blogging or Facebook or Carrier Pigeon, but either way I am thrilled to have met him.  He is such a positive influence to all those that he comes in touch with.  I read his tweets to others and they are chock full of great advice and is always there to provide a slap on the back as well. Matt is out there training for his first full Iron-distance race this year and it's been awesome to follow his journey and see how he takes to the training with his wife Heather.  Great people, doing great things. Thanks Matt for letting me post this. ===========================

Cleveland Marathon Race Report

Not sure where to start.  I have been a tease with every race report so here is the important stuff.  Distance: 26.2 miles (a lot more according to my Garmin). Time: 4:10:31 Place: no clue, they were idiots with their results. So, Friday... well Heather went out and got her run in, I was a crabby patty and came home and slept.  This taper really messed with me at the end of the week.  I was eating everything in site and was exhausted.  I think my body is used to this and knew what was to come haha. After I woke up, Heather had made one of our favorite salads with strawberries, almonds, chicken, spinach, romaine, and blue cheese with a raspberry vinigerette.  Put me back into a happy place.  We didn't pack anything we just relaxed and took it easy. Saturday: Well, I had other plans on my agenda but it was raining all morning.  I couldn't get my landscaping accounts done.  So I worked some more on our chicken coop, I am building a run for them outside of the coop so they can flap around and eat more bugs.  My wonderful wife (reluctantly) came outside to help me lay it out and get all the netting on the run.  It is almost done but we had to get inside and get our stuff together. Heather had pretty much everything ready for us by the time I put all my tools away and cleaned up.  So it was a quick shower and we were off to the expo. The expo was about 20 minutes away from the race... decent location but it was a torrential downpour and the parking lot was pretty much full. Got in and made our way through the expo and it was pretty good.  A lot of vendors.  I will throw a complaint out here (as you know I keep it real, don't piss me off haha).  Second Sole had a booth set up.  I wanted another pair of compression socks for my achilles and calves to keep them "warm" and happy (per my Dr.'s request).  So we went to their booth, they had the best selection and at $50/pair hey, that is like 20% off retail. So I go there and the dude looks at me and says you are a size M-IV (4 for the un Roman literate ;)  ).  I said, well I was sized by Fleet Feet and they have me at a M-III (3) and they fit me very well and are tight enough.  Well Deuschbag proceeds to go off on a tangent about how he knows what size I am and he will measure me and prove it blah blah blah. So I sit down and he measures me and he goes, you really should be in a M-IV but you are on the borderline. Blah blah blah. We went back and forth a bit and I told him I don't care what you say, I have an achilles issue and I want my "compression" socks to COMPRESS.  So as he was getting the stuff together for me I saw a bin of gummy bears.  Mind you this is a running expo, tons of free samples right?  Well I go and grab one and D-Bag grabs my arm and yells at me.  THOSE ARE NOT FOR THE SPECTATORS!  Honestly I thought he was going into a Roid-Rage right on the spot and I turned defensively ready to throw down on the spot... yes, over a flipping gummy bear. I proceeded to drop it back in "his" bin.  He proceeded to "explain" to me why those are his and not for spectators. ... Alright, I have gone to Second Sole for years through high school and college.  GREAT people.  Great store.  This D-Bag realllllllllllllly pissed me off.  Because of HIM, I don't care to shop at second sole again.  I am sorry, your employees are a direct representative of your company.  If you have a D-Bag employee, I assume you are a D-Bag company. Onward.  Heather claimed that I was in the wrong for just grabbing a gummy bear.  They were out in the open and the lid was not on his container... you be the judge haha! We went to the hotel after that and checked in. Relaxed for about an hour or so and then her Mom came up.  BDD had met H's mom at the Portage Lakes Triathlon last fall and we had an awesome time.  BDDwas a bit sad that she wasn't at the Glass City race this spirng to cheer us on... she is an AWESOME cheer leader :) We got her settled in the room and we headed on down to the inspiration dinner for Team in Training. This is our second event with Team in Training.  Nike Women's marathon was our first. We realllllllly enjoy the group of people we train with and the coaches are really cool and fun.  Last fall we trained every week with the Team.  This year, we went to 1 run with them.  We were both injured all year and since we were so late in the plan, I decided to follow our own plan that was more adapt to our lack of base mileage.  Luckily a lot of people we already knew were running the race too so we still knew a lot of the runners. At the inspiration dinner they told a story of a 23 yr old girl with ridiculously awesome credentials and graduating at the top of her class from Duke had passed away in February from Leukemia.  She was an alumni.  It was really sad to hear the story and that everyone knew her.  Her parents were at the dinner and it was honestly tear jerking.  It really solidified why we do this and that there is more to running and racing than JUST the medals (and free shirts). All in all we had 92 participants doing either the 26.2 or the 13.1 in our chapter.  Out of those participants we have raised over $118,000.00 for this event alone!  It was a great success. We chatted afterwards with some friends and we were up to our rooms for bed. Sunday: We were up at 4:30am.  About typical race day wakeup haha.  Actually both got a GREAT sleep.  I have had GI issues since Glass City (and during that race).  So I got desperate, I cut out all coffee and beer last week. I was 99% positive that the coffee was causing too much acid in my stomach which would get me sick. So I was hoping today would be problem free. Saturday before the expo, we stopped at Wendy's for some Bowl Movement gurantee... or some cheeseburgers haha. To my despair, it was not full proof.  No BM Saturday at all and none Sunday morning.  Alright, I was in panic mode haha. I had 1 pop tart for breakfast and started stretching and getting my gear together. My key trick was to take a hot shower and stretch in the shower.  The heat loosened up my achilles really nice and allowed me to get it loosened up perfectly. We got our gear on and headed down to the lobby for a team picture. Heather and I were getting a little panicked that they weren't heading down to the start line.  It was not raining but was a bit chilly, upper 50's so we headed down to the start line without the group. We went to Brown's stadium and found the bathrooms.  This was my last chance for a successful 2-day backed up download. Believe it or not, it was almost perfect.  Got up to the stall, got settled and had a major success. I thought about the whole pre-race deal.  All last year I had pre-race jitters and was so nervous.  This year, I don't care.  I don't get upset or nervous.  That nerve stuff would cause the downloads in the past... so I am kinda screwed now I think haha. Afterwards met up with H and her mom again and we headed to the start line.  Got settled in at the 3:45 pace group (give me time to explain this) and we waited for the start.  5 minutes later, anthem.  5 minutes later, start. So, why did we seed ourselves with the "faster pace group"?  Something I get pissed off about all the time that others do? Because that pace group was not even doing 10min miles for the first few miles.  Walkers were up there.  People were gasping for air up there (before mile 1).  I was furious.  We were dodging people left and right.  We had a plan to stick to and we had to execute. The race starts out going up a hill... I actually really enjoyed that haha. As we were going we heard someone yell out for us, it wasn't until after the race that I found out it was Rachael from MissFit_Island! There were too many people that I couldn't find her in the crowd (sorry ! ) Our Plan.  Run the first 3 miles then walk a minute.  This was to get through the crowd of people and hopefully have things thin out a bit.  This was more for our safety than anything because we did not want to start walking by the beginning and get run over or cause an accident.  After that it was run 1 mile, walk 1 minute.  SIMPLE plan. First few miles were great.  Felt awesome, I was pushing the pace a bit but at the start of every race its all adrenaline.  H called me out a few times though and I had to respect that this was her race more than anything so I would back it off. Mile 4 I had to pee, badly.  I hopped in line for the port a pots and as usual chose the wrong line.  Told H to stick to the plan and stay on the right, I would catch up.  Well after that pee stop, I proceeded to catch her with a 6:30 mile split... that might have cost me the race with my achilles.  NO SPEED WORK MATT! (idiot). I felt good though and had a few miles to get the legs warmed up, from then on it was SMART running. We stuck to the plan, the first half of the course was awesome.  If anything, I would definitely run the Cleveland HALF marathon again ANY DAY.  It was a very fast course, heck, H ran her 13.1 in 2hrs flat almost which was essentially what she ran at Glass City this spring! It was actually through really nice neighborhoods, along the shoreway of Lake Erie, and GREAT crowd support.  I was really impressed with this part of the race. Nothing really eventful except that a Team in Training coach was dressed up as a gorilla and I proceed to stop and dance to the music with him at mile 7.  They were playing the Tanto Jump On It song.  You bet your butt I was doing the ride the pony dance while running.  People were going nuts laughing their butts off hahaha.
That brings me to my next point.  Every 5 or 6 miles they had live music or a DJ.  It was honestly awesome!!! The first half had such energetic crowds and music it was seriously awesome.  Mile 12 had a live band of what looked like 8 year olds playing Guns and Roses Paradise city.  As we were running by they were doing the guitar solo part and it was REALLY good.  I was shocked these kids were that talented yet alone knew that song haha.
Well we told Heather's mom to meet us at mile 13 and then head back to the finish and wait for us haha.  She was having a BLAST! She had her cow bell ane we saw her about a quarter mile out and we started screaming.  She went nuts, I felt so bad for everyone around her ;)
I guess there were some guys that were really fit running without shirts and she was giving them cat calls haha. I am so glad that I fit in with her family ;)
Well at this point it had been misting lightly for the whole race.  The winds were really not horrible and for the most part we had a tail wind for the whole stretch from mile 5 - 16!
The back half... now there were virtually no crowds.  The back half was the road I drove every day to go to college for 5 straight years.  It was honestly weird running on the road that I had driven for years.  If anything it was nice and was essentially a gradual down hill the whole stretch to mile 18!!!
Now, here is where crap started going wrong.  Heather had a bad cramp at mile 12... she was able to fight it off and get control of it.  She got another one at around mile 14 or 15 or so.  She started drinking solely water at this point and no more Powerade or Infinit.  She was taking GUs anyways so she didn't need the additional nutrition.  Well as we were running down Chester Ave. they did not have cops at every intersection.  The East side is pretty much more or less approaching Cleveland's low income Ghetto.  My college was right at the border of the ghetto and we NEVER ran East.
Well these people could give two shits about the marathon.  They were speeding through the intersections with no guards and the people in front of us at one intersection had to stop and jump to the side to avoid getting clipped!  I screamed and cussed out the driver but obviously they didn't care.  This was one of my BIGGEST complaints on the course.  Honestly, I was pretty scared for the other runners.  If they hit me, I would have done more damage than a deer would to a car haha, so trust me, they would have missed us!
We kept up with our plan.  Mile 14 the achilles acted up.  Minor pain but it was there.  I have run on it with a lot more pain in training so I knew I was still alright.
Mile 20.  Well this was along the lake, dead fish skeletons and fish heads every where.  It was so pungent of stanky fish smell that we were trying to hold our breath haha.  This is also where I was starting to panic.  10k left and I couldn't get started after the minute walk breaks.  The achilles was seizing up on me big time and it took a minute of trying to run to loosen it up.  I told H it was time to change the plan... I said I need a 30 second walk from here on out because otherwords this thing might completely seize up on me.  Every mile from this point on was more intense pain.  I was hopping on my left foot at points to try and give my right foot a break.  Mile 25.  Rain started to pick up a bit.  I had a smile from ear to ear.  We were CRUSHING this race for H and we both looked at each other here and said we feel AMAZING! (aside from my flipping achilles).  I was kind of hobbling through the next mile (although you couldn't tell at mile 26 below).
Typical MattyO fashion. Pumping the crowd up.  The lady on the right LOVED
my energy and was going nuts as I was trying to pump the crowd up.  H is
right at my side... well, trying to avoid all the attention at least haha.
We had 0.2 miles left.  The pace just kept picking up and picking up!  I gave my typical yell at the crowd that was just STANDING THERE WITH THEIR THUMBS UP THEIR BUTTS!  "I DIDN'T RUN 26 MILES FOR SILENCE LET'S HEAR IT!!!!!"
I proceeded to go from side to side getting High 5's from the crowd and getting them pumped up too.
We finished at 4:10:31 and it was truly awesome.  H got to the TNT tent and started to shiver horribly (as she does after every marathon) so we got her warm clothes on and put some panchos on her to keep her body heat in.
Some of our friends, H with her popsicle, me with a plate
of food, 2 burgers, hot dog and mac and cheese :)
(Fatty Pig Fatty, hey, I just ran 26.2!)
So, Our Afterthoughts...
Now Heather and I talked a lot about this race afterwards.  This running plan was our plan for the Ironman race in September.  We wanted to try it out and see how our bodies accepted the walking and the starting and stopping.  Granted, the achilles was seizing up on me big time and I was actually really afraid of tearing it from the amount of pain I was in.  I am hoping that 2 weeks of recovery will allow this to be a thing of the past.
Minus the achilles issues, this plan is honestly gold.  We both felt 100% amazing.  Our quads were a little sore at the end but that was obviously, heck, do anything for 4 hrs straight you are gonna feel it.
H was the real gage for this plan though.  I typically run faster than her, so my fitness level was different than hers. And all in all we planned on doing the Ironman together as well.  So we needed something that worked for both of us.  Now, a lot of people thought we were nuts and asked, isn't it hard to start up after you walked? NO.  At San Francisco we had some issues starting up because we were dead, we did not practice a run walk and with this plan this time around we practiced the run/walk technique for any runs that were over 13.1 miles in distance.  Everything less than that we ran the whole length.  This was something we decided together and wanted to stick to.
In my own opinion, I do not think I will ever run a full marathon without walking again.  I used to hurt severely from marathons for like 3-4 days.  I am walking fine today, even the achilles backed off and aside from the enormous knot in my achilles (going to doc next week to get it worked out) my quads don't hurt, IT Bands don't hurt and everything feels AMAZING.
Am I on cloud 9 right now? YES, this is my 5th marathon.  I don't hurt at all.  We both felt really good for the rest of the day yesterday as well, albeit sore quads yesterday.
Did we stick to our plan?  100%.  We had to make a couple adjustments due to issues that came up.  We took an extra walk break for Heather's cramp and we shortened the walk breaks at the end due to my achilles.  Both of us could adapt to the changes, but we STUCK TO THE PLAN.  James, you would have been proud of me for finally getting over my Meat Headedness and listening to you for once ;)
Lessons Learned:
The way you train, should be the way you race.
Running races with friends/groups is awesome. Huge energy surges when you see them.
There is NOTHING WRONG with yelling at the crowd for not cheering.
Run/Walking (RULK) you can kick ass.  We passed people the WHOLE race.  How? I don't really know. The whole last 10k, we passed people LEFT AND RIGHT. That was a great feeling and another solid identifier that we trained properly and our plan was excellent.
Coffee causes GI issues in my stomach while running.
We raised over $560 over the minimum fund raising goal :)
Heather bought a SPI Belt at the expo and it worked EXCELLENT for her during the race.  It was slim and she didn't notice it while running.
Yet again, I was Heather's sherpa for this race... since we practiced that way, I guess it was only fitting LOL! I filled up my bottles with water so she always had water when there weren't water stops during our walk breaks.
When a race has 3-5 port a pots at every water station, I will have NO GI ISSUES at all.  When a race has ONE SET of port a pots halfway through, I will end up shitting in the woods and suffering a fate worse than death for miles.
I don't really care to ever run a stand alone marathon again.
Heather got a PR by over 27 minutes. TWENTY SEVEN folks.  That is huge.  How? By walking during her race.  Explain that to me hahaha!!!
To sum up the day. Excellent.  I love that I am able to experience these things with my wife at my side, she is my best friend and the best training partner I know of.  I wanted to thank all of my Twitter friends for really helping me by sending me positive vibes and being super supportive (even through all your TrashTalk LOL).  I also want to send a HUGE congrats to Beal.  He is the newest member of the 26.2 club.  It is a club that you can NEVER get kicked out of ;) Great job man, wish we were able to see you finish, but H was going into convulsions lol.
Picture Dump:
We woke up with this on our door. Total PMA all day. (Positive Mental Attitude)
At home recovering and icing achilles.
Of course the bling! The guitar spins in the middle of medal!!!
My Canada hat I got during the House of Payne 5k.
Two TNT 26.2 pins now!
Heather ready to go home after the race.


Published in Race Reports
Sunday, 08 May 2011 12:40

Have You Seen The Sunrise? (Repost)

By the time you read this on Sunday I will have been out on the road putting in an hour and ten minute run staying in the aerobic state.  It will not be my first run at the crack or before crack of dawn and it won't be my last.  I love running in the morning before the world wakes and below is a post I wrote regarding that. Thank you for stopping by and reading my post. ==================================== Welcome to the new site for Jason Bahamundi and the Life of An Aspiring Triathlete.  You can see that there have been 'some' changes around here.  In the past two months or so I have truly been chasing my passions.  My passion for cooking and my passion for a healthy lifestyle through training and racing.  I decided to put them together and came up with this site.  I did not do this all on my own.  With a lot of help from Rita Barry at Fitblogger and Blog Genie this dream has become a reality.  It is terrific because the post for today was going to be based on the sun rising.  Well the sun rose over me today when Rita sent me an email that said the site was (almost) ready except for a few things.  I could not contain my excitement anymore and decided to launch it and will fix up a page or two along the way.  Thank you Rita. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [caption id="attachment_333" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Pic courtesy of noelkingsley.com"][/caption] As a runner we are often asked: 'Why do you run?' and 'Why do you run so early?' For me the answer is very simple.  I run because it is my time.  It is my time to getaway from the everyday.  It is my time to let my creative juices flow.  It is my time to examine who I am and how I want to be better.  It is my time to dig down deep and push myself to the next level.  It is my time. And during that time I have seen some of the most amazing sunrises.  I have run pre-dawn in cities like New York, Maui, Dallas, Jackson MS, Cozumel, Miami, Philadelphia, San Antonio, Austin, Healdsburg CA, and Charlotte to name a few.  It is the same sun everywhere I have been but it is a different and amazing feeling because each city, town, village is different. I have seen my breathe in Jackson MS in October on a 16 mile run.  I didn't have any idea where I was but as the sun started to rise and my feet met the pavement a warm sensation came over me that can never be replicated.  I felt free at that time.  I had a 7 hour drive back to Dallas ahead of me and at that time it didn't matter.  I was alone with the world and at the same time I was one with the world. I have had sweat pouring off my forehead in Cozumel while running side by side with my wife.  We didn't talk, we just ran.  We didn't have to talk as we knew what the other was feeling.  The sun was beating down on us but to our right was crystal blue waters.  A sight like no other.  Yes, the water in Maui was crystal blue as well but in Maui I had beaches before that water.  I had the smell of pineapple in the air.  Fresh sushi was on tap for lunch and well Maui was different that Cozumel. This is the beauty of running.  The ability to see the world from a different perspective.  Have you ever seen the sun rise?  Have you ever seen the sun rise while running?  How about seeing your city?  You drive through it everyday but have you ever run through it and seen it  from a different perspective?  Have you truly opened up your eyes to your environment. For me this is what running is all about.  It is the Social Studies class they never taugh in school.  They can tell you about the capital of Texas being Austin, but they can't tell you how it feels to run down Congress Ave with the capital building ahead of you and the hundreds of people going to their many destinations. I love running and it is my lifestyle.  It brings me joy and happiness.  It brings out my creative problem solving skills.  It bring out the best in me.

Have you ever seen the sun rise?

Published in Race
Friday, 01 April 2011 17:34

Cupcake Marathon Winners Announced

  The winners of the Cupcake Marathon were selected through Random.org. We had close to 200 total finishers with over 130 racers in the Marathon distance.  Needless to say this was a success and with that we are announcing that we will be hosting a Fall Cupcake Marathon. In addition to that we are investigating a Mini-Cupcake Marathon in the summer that will be geared toward parents getting their children off the couch as we try to fight childhood obesity. Secondly, we are also investigating hosting the Pizza Triathlon.  This one may be a little harder to produce but we will be doing our best to find out how we can host it.   All that being said you came here for one reason and one reason alone.  That is to see if you were a lucky winner.  Here is the list of winners and their prizes. Please contact me via this form with your information so that I can pass it along to the sponsor of your winnings.    
Marathon 1/2 Marathon
Sugared Bakery - Marathon Julie Julie
Sugared Bakery - Marathon Melissa Preast
Sugared Bakery - 1/2 Marathon Allison McClendon
Sugared Bakery - Marathon Cookie Katie Burkart
Sugared Bakery - 1/2 Marathon Cookies Fawn Gold
HoneyMilk - Marathon Elayne Canterbury
HoneyMilk - Marathon Jennifer Neumann
HoneyMilk - Marathon Melanie Mueller
HoneyMilk - Marathon Darlene Cardillo
HoneyMilk - 1/2 Marathon Marcia Kadens
HoneyMilk - 1/2 Marathon Michele Coccaro
HoneyMilk - 1/2 Marathon Jessica Corson
HoneyMilk - 1/2 Marathon Jeri Light
Bondi Bands - Marathon Julie Curtis
Bondi Bands - Marathon Paula Powell
Bondi Bands - 1/2 Marathon Janice-Fitcheerleader
Road ID - Marathon Danielle Sterling
GU Sampler - 1/2 Marathon Elisabeth Comeau
HydraPak - Marathon Dana Ogle
No Meat Athlete - Marathon Tiina Lunning
No Meat Athlete - 1/2 Marathon Jeremy Ellis
Thistle Dew - Marathon Melissa Barnett
SPI Belt - Marathon Anne Ryerson
SPI Belt - 1/2 Marathon Laura Muise
FFunClub - Marathon Nancy Capen
FFunClub - 1/2 Marathon Skinny Sushi
FitChickExpress - Marathon Christina Noble
  Thank you so very much for participating and making this marathon viral.  I received emails from those wanting to get in even after registration closed and others looking for help on hosting a virtual race. You all made this so enjoyable and inspired and motivated me.   Thank You Jason and Christel
Published in Race
Do you remember Kristine Concepcion?  Yeah, the total rockstar from the Gasparilla Half-Marathon.  Well, she was at it again but this time in a half-iron distance triathlon.  Check out her places in the Age Group as she goes from the water to the bike to the run.  She had a plan, and she executed it to perfection. I can read Kristie's blog all day long because she is full of fire and inspiration.  She is a competitor but knows how to balance life as well.  I have learned quite a few things from her over the course of the past year that I will be applying to my half-iron distance race in two weeks. Thank you Kristine for letting me use your race report again.  Please keep on inspiring and smiling.  
Gator bling i just realized that i really dread writing up race reports because i’m not sure where to begin, so i’ll stick with my “keeping it simple” approach and start with a quick rundown of saturday and then move on to race day stuff. this was my first 70.3 race so it was all new to me so to speak. on saturday we made the hour drive to sarasota and went straight to the running store to register. that went very smoothly and as soon as we were done with that, we headed to our hotel to check in. once we got settled in, we hit the nearest supermarket, Albertson’s (not one of my faves but it worked out fine). i think we were the youngest one’s in the entire store. we picked up a few things to eat, went back to the hotel and ate. i ate about 1/4 of the j-man’s turkey sub and then 4 small peanut butter cookies. i felt like an overstuffed shamu. once we got done feeding our faces, we headed to the race site to drop off Mandy (the badass q-roo) for her sleep over. you could rack your bike anywhere, first come, first served, which i thought was pretty cool. as always, it was tough leaving Mandy behind and after tucking her in a couple of different places, i finally found the perfect spot for her and got her all settled in for the night. we went back to the hotel for the rest of the evening/night …or so i thought. around 8:30pm as i was gathering up stuff for the next morning, i realized that i had forgotten something very important and had a meltdown for a split second. i may or may not have forgotten my TRANSITION BAG with my wetsuit, goggles, and bike shoes!!! yeah, some pretty important things. dumbass move on my part! first thing i said, FML! second thing, we gotta go back home now. first let me say, i am married to a man who is nothing short of a saint and second, thank goodness we don’t live that far away. i know you are wondering how the hell did i forget to bring my transition bag and the only thing i can say is i thought the j-man grabbed it. it was completely my bad and all the way home that night i was so pissed off at myself but i decided that i wasn’t going to allow this to mess with my head and to just let it go, so i forgot all about it. we got home, i grabbed the bag and we headed back to our hotel. i was in bed by 10:45pm. perfect! plenty of time to sleep and sleep i did until the alarm went off at 5am. 5am race morning: my nutrition strategy was very simple. i took what i did in october at the 140.6 and divided it by 2. got that? sounds too easy, right? well it is and it worked once again to perfection. in a nutshell, for breakfast i ate fig newtons and cheddar cheese, on the bike i ate 2 and a half powerbars and 2 powergels, i also drank 2 aero-bottles of water and 1 bottle of powerade and nuun mixed. on the run, one hammer gel that i grabbed on the course and water at every water station (at each mile).  those of you who have been reading my blog since the early days and who have known me for years, know that i hate to complicate training and nutrition.  personally, for me, it just isn’t necessary and it takes the fun out of the whole experience.

the swim: 1.2 miles – 40:06 – 6/8 AG

Untitled 0 00 03-11i’m the one with my arm out of the water

it was wetsuit legal but i saw some big boys who had enough natural insulation and opted for no wetsuit. more power to them but i’m taking advantage of more buoyancy when i can.  the swim started in 2 waves. men first and then 30 seconds later, the women. it took me a good quarter mile to feel comfortable, settle down, and get my breathing right. once i did, it was like i was in the pool, except when i got kicked in the ear. other than that, the swim was good and i was 5 minutes faster than my first 1.2 mile loop at the great floridian, so i guess i’m getting a little faster.

T1: 3:03 – 5/8 AG

the bike: 56 miles – 2:48:12 – 3/8 AG

Bike finishmy favorite part, the biking! not much to say about the bike except that it was flat and fast. great roads with very little debris. hit some head wind early on for about the first 25 miles then got some good push coming back. chicked a lot of boys out there in the last 10 miles who passed me early on. it’s all about pace and riding smart.

T2 – not recorded in the race results.

the run: 13.1 miles – 1:40:30 – 1/8 AG

Untitled 0 00 19-07 i was mentally prepared for the heat and obviously, physically prepared too. my strategy going into the run was to use each and every water station …grab 2 cups, 1 cup of water on my head and the other to drink. i was surprised that i felt as strong as i did and this was good and bad. the way i calculated my projected finishing time put me at best 5:30 and at worst 6 hours so the bad part was that the j-man was nowhere to be found at the end to video the good part which was my 5:11:50 finishing time.  i finished 2nd in my age group and i was very happy with that. thanks for reading and i leave you with a video from the race …enjoy!
if you’d like to see the official race results, you can go HERE. much love and peace out!
Published in Race Reports
[caption id="attachment_1443" align="alignleft" width="236" caption="E is for Electrolytes"][/caption] I have recently finished the book The Runner's Diet and it was chock full of information regarding carbohydrates, proteins and fats.  Or to use one term:  macro-nutrients.  There were chapters dedicated to these macro-nutrients and rightfully so as most people seem intent on focusing on these three, but as an endurance athlete there is more to being prepared than consuming a balanced diet of 55%-60% carbs, 15% protein and 20%-25% fat. There are electrolytes to worry about.  What is an electrolyte?  Electrolytes are the bodies salt which will help maintain fluid balance in your organ systems.  They are important in maintaining the integrity and function of your body.  Your next question is what are the normal names by which I might know what an electrolyte is?  The answer to that question is sodium, potassium and magnesium. There have been discussions, that I found online, about the need for electrolytes  and there are many interesting questions and points. Too much or too little? What is right for you? Are there dangers to watch out for? These are all valid; but the answers varied.  Endurance sports results in a lot of sweating which obviously results in a salt loss as well as water loss.  Your body does have an automatic process by which it balances salt and water concentrations.  Similar to water consumption guidelines, there is no hard and fast rule for replacing electrolytes.  Replacing electrolytes will vary depending on the climate you are in (hot temperatures are different than cold temperatures for water loss) as well as the intensity of the activity. From what I gathered there is no need to replace electrolytes immediately if the exercise lasts less than 3-4 hours.  Since most of us will be on the course for a half-iron distance, and certainly Iron distance race longer than 4 hours electrolyte replacement becomes an issue.  So how do you replace or avoid having to replace a lot of your electrolytes?  I read this on ultracycling.com and it made a lot of sense to me:   A plan to avoid the problems First of all, you can reduce your tendency to lose sodium by what you do when not training or competing. You can reduce the amount of sodium in your daily food. That will increase the level of aldosterone so that your body retains sodium better. Choose less salty foods. Use Morton Lite Salt in your salt shaker. That will reduce sodium and increase your potassium intake ( as will eating fruits and vegetables ). If you expect to compete in the heat, get heat acclimated as soon as possible. That will reduce your sweat rate under hot conditions. While you train, stay cool so that your sweat rate is lower. Wear light clothes, keep your jersey wet, and/or put ice on your neck. To satisfy your needs in a hot event you can take sodium in different forms. The simplest is table salt (a pinch per hour ). If an aid station has salt and boiled potatoes, you can dip a potato into the salt before eating it. V-8 and tomato juice are also good sources.Consume supplemental salt or electrolytes during the event. Most sports drinks have sodium levels that are fine for shorter distances, but inadequate for longer distances. Most gel products have insignificant amounts of sodium. You can use an electrolyte replacement supplement, but check the sodium content. Some riders take salt tablet such as Thermotabs. Some athletes use Stamina Electrolyte Tablets but those are not a good source of sodium or potassium (they are a good source of calcium and magnesium ). Some athletes use SUCCEED! Buffer/Electrolyte Caps that are formulated specifically for ultradistance athletes such as cyclists, triathletes and runners to supply sodium, buffers and sufficient amounts of potassium. As always, you need to drink. Don't wait until you are thirsty; the human thirst mechanism is too slow and inaccurate. As the adage goes: Eat before hunger, drink before thirst. When you finish a long training ride or event, you will usually have a deficit of water, calories and sodium. You will have a much smoother recovery if you replace all of those promptly. Soon after finishing, you can take an electrolyte supplement, 200 calories of carbohydrates and drink water until you are no longer thirsty, and are urinating again. In the days that follow, you will probably find that you have more energy and fewer aches and pains if you have promptly replaced water, carbohydrates and sodium after your long ride. [caption id="attachment_1441" align="alignright" width="248" caption="Water or Gatorade?"][/caption] And while it made sense to me I don't enjoy Gatorade because of its taste.  There are other reasons as well but in the end taste trumps all and I don't like how it tastes.  I use Accelerade from Pacific Health Labs on the bike.  It has the proven ration of 4:1 Carbohydrates to Protein and it also contains 180mg (8% of your daily value) and 55mg of Potassium (2% of your daily need.)  It contains only 60 calories per scoop in 12 fluid ounces.  Very good numbers especially when you compare it to Gatorade, which has 275mg of sodium in 150 calories for a 20-ounce bottle. You could eat a mini dill pickle and get 290mg of sodium with only 5 calories, but try eating that on the bike after you've been riding for 2+ hours.  Want some celery on the bike?  Well, it does have 100mg of sodium in only 20 calories but again the thought of pulling that out of your bento box just doesn't add up. I will gladly consume the Accelerade and the PowerBar Harvest bars that I have been training with.  I am consuming 1 PowerBar harvest bar every hour by cutting it into 4 pieces and eating every 15 minutes.  They have approximately 220 calories per bar so that meets my needs, and include 150mg of sodium and 240mg of potassium.  During my training I have not had any hunger pains running off the bike so I know that this works for me and I will not be changing it this close to race day.  

What do you drink or eat to replenish your electrolytes?  Did you know a banana has 422mg of potassium, but only 1mg of sodium?

Published in Train
Like many of you I receive Tweets, Facebook updates and direct email from Active.com.  Like many of you I got into endurance sports for one reason or another and have found out a myriad of other reasons as to why this lifestyle is great for us.  I got into running because my ex-wife asked me to (not the reason she is an ex-wife by the way.)  I started out with running a 1/2 marathon and it was such a great experience in getting to the starting line (the race was horrible for me) that I wanted to continue to do more.  I raced with reckless abandon at first, but it  was much more fun to train. The adrenaline rush on a daily basis was second to none. After a few years of running I gave triathlon a whirl.  This burst of adrenaline has morphed into a lifestyle.  One of training, watching my food intake, perception of my body as more than a bag of bones to get me from point A to point B.  It has changed my mindset and what I perceive as difficult.  Life is no longer hard when you thin about pushing your body to the level that you push it to on a daily basis to achieve your goals. In the end I am a triathlete but I was first a runner and with that this email from Active.com forced me to think.  It was a list of 10 reasons why running is good for you.  I have changed running to endurance sports and added my own commentary to it:  

10 Reasons Running Is Good for You

Runner's World Scientists have discovered the fountain of youth—it's running. Studies continue to find that hitting the roads improves health and well-being. "The biggest benefits come from vigorous exercise like running," says JoAnn Manson, M.D., chief of preventive medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital. Here are the latest reasons to lace up.

Look Ahead

People who run more than 35 miles a week are 54 percent less likely to suffer age-related vision loss than those who cover 10 miles a week. I wish I had started running in my mother's womb because I have worn glasses or contact for as long as I can remember.  I will say that I am capable of seeing things today that I know for a fact I would not have seen previously.  I will also add that I believe it is because I am more aware of my surrounding and not 100% sure it has anything to do with vision loss.  Then again I will never know the difference because I plan on carrying out this process throughout my life.

Keep the Beat

Runners who log a weekly run of 10 miles (or more) are 39 percent less likely to use high blood pressure meds and 34 percent less likely to need cholesterol meds compared with those who don't go farther than 3 miles. I don't take medication for anything.  There is no Zyrtec in my system.  I don't take alleve or advil or tylenol for headaches.  I am against taking medications as my belief is that the human body is quite capable of taking care of itself and doesn't need a man made prescription for an ailment.  I know that ibuprofen has proven to help in the reduction of swelling, but guess what else does that:  TIME.  If your body is not ready to run again, then taking a pill to reduce the inflammation to go out and run again may cause more damage.  I may be in the minority on this but I don't take pills and visit (reluctantly) the Doctor once a year for a physical.

Function Well

Men who burn at least 3,000 calories per week (equal to about five hours of running) are 83 percent less likely to have severe erectile dysfunction. No Comment, but I burn that on a Saturday alone never mind adding up all the other calories on the other 5 days of training.

Build Bone

Running strengthens bones better than other aerobic activities, say University of Missouri researchers who compared the bone density of runners and cyclists. Sixty-three percent of the cyclists had low density in their spine or hips; only 19 percent of runners did. What about triathletes?  We are runners, cyclists AND swimmers.

Think Fast

British workers were surveyed on a day they worked out and a day they didn't. People said they made fewer mistakes, concentrated better, and were more productive on the day they were active. I completely and fully agree with this statement.  Simple fact is that on the off day I am thinking about how I wish I was working out.  My mind is scattered that way, and it is also focused on the next day's training.  What am I doing tomorrow?  What time frame do I want to do it in?  Everything but thinking about my job.

Stay Sharp

A study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society reported that women who were active as teenagers were less likely to develop dementia later in life. Can't really answer this as I am not a woman, but when you meet an elderly person who is a runner or endurance athlete they always seem to have it all together.  They make me want to live an active lifestyle forever, just for the knowledge they have gained by having lived so long.

Sleep Tight

Insomniacs fell asleep in 17 minutes on days they ran, compared to 38 minutes on days they didn't. They also slept for an extra hour on days they exercised. My wife can tell you that on a weekday I can be found on the couch around 8:30-9:00p with my mouth wide open and my eyes shut pretending to watch TV.  It usually ends up with a nudge that I need to go to bed and my response 'I was just watching the game and the score is 3-2 but you're right.  I will go to bed now and get the score in the morning.'

Sneeze Less

People who exercise for an hour a day are 18 percent less likely to suffer upper-respiratory-tract infections than those who are inactive, according to a study from Sweden. Moderate activity boosts immunity. Please refer to my comment about Keeping The Beat.

Breathe Easy

Researchers had asthmatics do two cardio workouts and one strength session a week. After three months, they reported less wheezing and shortness of breath. Runners asthma?  Anybody ever heard of that?  I heard this comment about a year or so ago and have never understood it.  You develop asthma as a runner?  How?  I thought it to be an excuse and this point here supports that.

Live Longer

A review of 22 studies found that people who work out 2.5 hours a week are 19 percent less likely to die prematurely than those who don't exercise. A separate study found that active people have a 50 percent lower risk of premature death. My goal is to live forever.  I know I can't live forever but I want to live as long as possible because I want to experience life.  I want to know what triathletes will be doing in 40 years from today.  How fast will they be then?  How about breaking the 3 minute mile?  Wouldn't you want to be alive to see that? Fact of the matter is that at 70.3 IMCA I saw racers with the numbers 65, 69 and 80 on their calves.  An 80 year old racing a 70.3 event.....think about that!  I want to be that guy.  I want to be the guy that shows 85.  I want to be the guy that creates a new age group qualifier for Kona.  

Why do you think running or endurance sports is good for you?  What are you looking forward to doing now that you are in better shape or a better state of mind thanks to endurance sports?

Published in Train
Continuing our race report feature on Saturday's we present to you the Tipperary Hill Race Report by Molly of I'm A Sleeper Baker.  I was on Twitter and saw that she had posted this race report and I asked if I could use it on the CTER site and she gracefully agreed to allow me to use her report.  Thank you Molly. BTW - I have a sort of close feeling toward Molly because of the fact that she lived in NYC and now lives in Central New York.....both of those happen to be the old stomping grounds for CTER. Here is Molly's race report.  Please read it fully and then comment here and go to Molly's blog and comment there and follow her as well.

Tipperary Hill 4 Mile Shamrock Run

Wow, it's snowing today. Big Surprise. But I guess I can be grateful for the fact that it wasn't like this yesterday.  Yesterday it was just rainy and chilly, with some crazy wind gusts.  But I'm happy with how my race went, as well as the time we spent post-race.
My only plan was to beat my time from last year, and to run strong.  The organizers changed the course a bit, and my fellow runners agreed, they made it harder.  The course starts off with a long stretch of downhill, goes up one hill, then down, up a second hill, with a steep downhill.  The last mile is pretty much ALL uphill, and its a doozy. I set G-unit to alert me if my pace went above 8:45. Right from the start I knew I was going too fast, and I was wasting energy trying to get around people because it was crowded, we were running city streets, but they weren't very wide, and there were cars parked along the sides as well.  It was really windy at times, several people lost their hats! This part is gross, at one point I really had to spit, so I went toward the side, and let it go......right up into a gust of wind....and into the guy running behind me!  I said "sorry Dude" then I sped up. I kept up the pace, up until about mile 2.5, which was a bit of a hill.  I was getting tired.  During the two training runs I did for this, I ran a 9:30 pace the whole time, so when I got to the end, I had enough in me to sail up the last part.  I had about .90 miles left, and G-unit said 27:00! I couldn't believe it, but I was getting tired.  Plus it was windy, and I felt myself slowing down.  For a split second I even felt like stopping, but I was like, "are you kidding me?? you've never stopped on this course, why would you do it now?!?"  So I just kept my head down, kept moving, I even chicked some younger guys (love doing that). When I saw the Stop sign at the top, I knew the worst was over, and but I had one more slightly uphill loop around the park until I got to the finish. I was so glad to be done. I looked at G-unit, and I knew I made my goal of finishing sooner than last year.  G-unit said 38:19, which matched my chip time.   The funny thing is, it's exactly one minute faster than my time for 2010.  One minute PR? I'll take it.
We headed on to Coleman's, where the husbands had scored some great real estate at the bar.  It was nice to be out, during the day no less, with the kids back home with the sitter.  We chatted away, and my friend Heather and I decided to do our own Biggest Loser Challenge.  We both want to drop a few pounds before our next race, the Mountain Goat 10 miler in May.  I think we're going to start on Wednesday, since it's Lent, and this year I decided to give up chocolate.  We have to work out the details, but I think it should be a good competition. I'm also going to do the Cupcake Challenge, over on Jason's blog.  I signed up to run 26.2 miles between March 14 and the 26th, so that should also help get me in a weight loss mode.  You can still sign up, check it out here if you'd like.  There are some great prizes, such as GU and a SPI Belt, with the big prize being cupcakes!  Which kind of defeats the weight loss purpose, but I can't say no to a fun race like that!
Have a happy week!
  Do you want to be featured in our Race Report Saturday?  If so, contact me and let me know.
Published in Race Reports
In a continuing effort to highlight those around the country that are racing we at CTER are running race reports and hopefully motivating you to get moving.  If you would like to be the featured athlete please use the Contact Me form and submit your race report.  Right now the reports are being posted on Saturday mornings and will continue to do so for the forseeable future as there has been great success in having the readers read them with their breakfast and cup of coffee. The following race report is by Kristie Concepcion of 140 Point 6 Miles of Awesome! and that is not a lie.  She is awesome.  I have exchanged emails and tweets with KC and she has helped me quite a bit.  Her biggest contribution has been to my nutrition between the swim and the bike and the bike to the run.  What is that contribution you are asking?  How about FIG BARS.  Yes FIG BARS.  And if she wins the Cupcake Marathon then Elisabeth of Sugared Bakery has offered to make her fig cupcakes. Enjoy the race report.

Gasparilla Half-Marathon Race Report by Kristin Concepcion

all smiles at mile 4
Half marathon race result breakdown
Chip Time: 1:37:42 (garmin said 1:37:39)
Clock Time: 1:37:50
Overall: 267/4827
Gender: 50/2500
AG: 9/391
Last years race report and results can be found HERE.
There used to be a 26.2 tied in with this event, but last year, the organizers decided that 2010 was the last year for the marathon. Thankfully, they decided to keep doing the half marathon, so guess what happened this year? all of those runners that would have done a marathon had no other choice but to do the half so I noticed it was a little more crowded, but no big deal. It made for more competition that's for sure. I also want to point out that the 40-44 female age group is more fierce than the 35-39! just sayin'. Raise your hand if you agree?
mile 9 and feeling the heat ...and my legs are really pissed off at me
The weather was great for cycling but a little warm for running. Even though the race started at 6am, while it was still dark, I could feel it heating up around mile 4. I promise i'm not whining here. I train in this heat and I'm used to it but I don't LOVE running it. I do LOVE cycling and swimming in it way more. 
one of the best race sherpa's around, Angie (aka: Bella)
we pulled a McGiver and set the camera on timer and used a bike seat as a tripod

race bling - front
race bling - back
I was really surprised how well my legs felt after beating them down the day before with a 71 mile ride in the hills ...that is until around mile 10 when my legs started to feel like lead. My race sherpa, was on her mountain bike shadowing me and i told her that maybe the ride in the hills the day before wasn't such a great idea afterall. I told her I felt like I was running 10 minute miles, even though my slowest mile was mile 12 at a pace of 7:42. I focused on my music like my sherpa told me to do and just kept putting one foot in front of the other. Overall, I am very happy with how i ran and I am chalking it up as a great training weekend in preparation for the Gator Half-iron distance triathlon coming up March 20th. Mission accomplished! As usual, I am VERY sore today. My quads, hammies, and left glute (never the right) are sore but a good sore not an injured sore. needless to say, no running for me today and probably not tomorrow. I did hit the weights and the bike this morning but sitting all day at work made me get even more sore, so tomorrow it looks like a great day to swim and bike. Can you believe? February is OVER! only 249 days til IMFL. Much love and peace out!
Published in Race Reports
Tuesday, 08 March 2011 13:06

Reviewing February and the YTD

Before we review my February and YTD numbers I want to announce the winner of the Tri-Clips Giveaway.  The winner was chosen through Random.org.  There were a total of 62 entries and the interweb chose #2.  #2 belonged to Nora of Mamarunsbarefoot.  Nora email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your address and I will get it over to the fine people of Tri-Clips and get you your winnings.  Congratulations. ============================= We are a week into March and about three weeks away from 70.3 Oceanside and I took a look back at what has happened in February and what has happened this year, plus what I posted in my first post back in May 2010.  It has been a revelation of sorts to see how I have progressed from my first post to today. My training has been spot on and I feel ready to tackle this half-ironman that I don't know what to do with myself.  These next three weeks are going to be wonderful and difficult at the same time.  Tapering can bring with it madness because I am not out there pounding the pavement or making a splash to the point of pushing my body to the edge but instead letting it recover and heal in time for this race. This is my 'A' race for the beginning of 2011.  I have been contemplating racing 70.3 Austin in October but I also want to qualify for Boston in 2012.  Can it all be done?  I think so but I have to set my priorities before I just push forward into it all.  The priority is California and seeing how well I do there.  I hope you noticed that I said how WELL I do and not how I do.  I don't plan on just completing this race.  I have a time goal in my mind and I am going to do everything I can to get there. What is that time?  I won't tell, but if you follow me you can probably get a ballpark number of what I am looking to finish in. That is the racing part of this site, but as for the training let's just say it has been spot on.  I have missed only 1 scheduled session since 2011 started and when 2011 started Coach went into 'I am going to break you' mode.  She pushed my times faster and faster.  She pushed my distances farther and farther.  It seemed that the edge of the table never showed up until a horrendous 14 mile run. After that run the training moved back to aerobic capacity running and biking.  The swim kept up a good pace of speed and endurance and I have enjoyed my time in the pool more thanks to Greg Larsen.  I met Greg at the Stonebridge Ranch Half-Marathon in person for the first time but we had been tweeting back and forth prior. Greg is a great athlete but more importantly he is a great person and great dad. February Numbers:

Swim: 33,950 yards in 13:19:32 for a pace of 2:21.  These paces include rest time and I can say with pure joy that my times per 100y have gone from 2:15/100y to 1:50/100y through the training.

Bike: I rode 478.74 miles over 27:34:56 for a pace of 17.36 mph.  I was able to get outside toward the end of February and do some long rides at Texas Motor Speedway to really find my bike legs.  I also borrowed Zipp 404s from my friend Juan and that gave me a tremendous boost in speed.


[caption id="attachment_1203" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="El Diablo with Team Speed Weaponry 404s on it....can you see my name on the frame?"][/caption]

Run: I ran 129 miles over 17:51:52 for a pace of 8:20/mile.  It was over the course of the last two weeks of February that my times went above 8:00/mile but my legs feel very fresh right now.


Swim: 71,100 yards in 28:06:34 giving me a pace of 2:22/100y

Bike: 901.8 miles in 52:47:14 giving me a pace of 17.08 mph

Run: 249.2 miles in 33:57:41 giving me a pace of 8:10/mile

Total time training for the year: 114:51:29 or an average of 14:21:26/week.   Life is not all about training though and I have been taking pictures of life all around me.  I am going to post the one picture that characterizes the month it was taken in. I hope you enjoy these pictures as much as I enjoy looking at them.  


[caption id="attachment_1177" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="January's Theme - The Dawn of a New Year, New Day, New You"][/caption]   [caption id="attachment_1178" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="February - It may be dark for a bit, but the sun will shine again"][/caption]  
Published in Train

Unless you have been going through the site and found the Race Results 2011 you would not have known that I was racing this weekend as I have not spoken about it. The reason I did not speak about it is that I wasn't sure how I was going to approach this race.  Was I going to approach it as a long run or was I going to race it. When Coach C put out the schedule for the week it showed a long run on Saturday of 1 hour and 50 minutes.  I texted her and asked if I was not supposed to race and just run at that pace.  She told me to race it but didn't think I would have a PR type of race because we have been going hard for about 1.5 months and no taper.  When I say hard I am not kidding.  I have been training for 15-16 hours per week for the last 6-8 weeks.  It has been taxing on the body and so I understood what she meant by not expecting a PR type of race. On Friday night I could not sleep and decided to figure out what it would take to get a 1:39, then I figured out that my 15k run from Bold in the Cold was around 7:25/mile and what would that get me.  I used that as my gauge and decided I was going to run a 7:25/mile.  In the Bold in the Cold I felt great at the end and figured I could do the same for the half-marathon. [caption id="attachment_846" align="alignleft" width="302" caption="Temp at 630a before heading to race"][/caption] I got up on Saturday morning and got myself ready for the race by having a breakfast of a whole wheat nut bread, 2 tbs of sunflower butter and a sliced banana on top with a cup of decaf coffee.  I had about an hour before I had to leave so I decided to make homemade granola bars and take my mind off of whether or not I could hold the pace of 7:25/mile or just run.  While the granola bars were baking I made a few trips to the bathroom and I thought....uh-oh I should not have eaten so much.  I figured that I had enough time to digest the two that it wouldn't be bad.  Fortunately it subsided and I was out the door and ready to head to the race site in McKinney, Texas.  This would be about a 35 minute drive. I arrived at the race site at 7am and gave myself 30 minutes to get warmed and into my mindset.  Of course I had to pee now and so I did.  Kneeled down and went in the street as the bathrooms were not open yet.  The YMCA opened when I was finishing and I went in an had to use the toilet again and I finally felt like I had nothing left in me. I had been talking and texting with Greg Larsen whom I met on Twitter.  You need to follow him if you are not already.  Great guy with a great attitude.  His twitter handle is @tri2live.  Greg sent me his bib number and I headed to the start line.  I was headed right to the front of the pack as I made up my mind to race this event.  There was Greg and we introduced ourselves and chatted.  I told him I was aiming for 1:38 and he told me he was looking at 1:20 but with an ITB and Achilles issue he wasn't sure if he could get that number. Once the horn went off we went at our own paces.  I kept him and his bright yellow shirt in sight for about the first 0.5 miles.  I was feeling great and really cruising. At Mile 1 looked at my watch and the pace was 7:15.  I knew that I could hold this pace as I felt strong and knew that  I had banked :10 on the 7:25 goal.  Then all of a sudden I was getting passed by about 6-7 people and that included 1 chicked.  I was thinking to myself did these people get shot out of cannons?  Where did they come from?  There are quite a few hills going up and down and up and down.  The total elevation gain for the race was 491 ft and I don't recall much, if any, of a stretch of flat. The course took us through a lot of neighborhoods around the Stonebridge Ranch and was great to see the volunteers and the fans cheering us on.  I hooked up with two guys that were running at around a 7:25/mile pace and figured I would just run with them the entire time.  Soon enough though one guy started to slow down and I passed him but the other runner was looking strong.  I hitched my wagon to him and let him pull me along until around Mile 5. At Mile 5 he began to slow a tad and at the same time I noticed the woman that chicked me.  I know had two carrots I was chasing.  I got past the guy around Mile 5.5 and set my sights on the female.  It was an uphill stretch and I pride myself on running uphill. I think I am at my best at going uphill because people tend to keep their stride the same and I pump my knees so that I can get up the hill fast and I don't stop pumping until about 4-5 steps over the crest as I want to keep the momentum going. I passed her around Mile 6.5 and told her to keep up the great work and I started to speed up.  At this point I had seen miles around the paces of 7:20-7:21 and felt great. It was around Mile 8 that I came up on another runner who had the M-Dot tattoo and looked to be in great running shape and I had another carrot to pursue.  As I caught up to him I noticed him grabbing his side.  As I passed I asked if he was ok and if he need any of my water or clif shot.  He told me he had a GI issue and I said well I can't help you there and left. I then saw another guy up ahead and he was one of those that passed me at the beginning of the race.  I knew I could catch him as I felt fresh and he looked like he was struggling.  I caught him and passed him around Mile 10 and and kept on pushing.  I knew I was in good shape and told myself to run the best 5k I ever ran. This course was very winding so at turns I would look to make sure he was not gaining on me and then all of a sudden there was another runner coming up and he looked fresh.  He looked like he just started the race and he passed me as if I were standing still. I knew I could not keep up with him and so I said to myself just keep that last guy behind you no matter what.  I got to the Mile 12 marker and decided that my body could withstand anything for 1 mile and turned it on.  I heard the beep from the Garmin and looked down.  The time showed a pace for that mile of 6:48.  I thought that can't be right.  I then decided not to let up and keep pumping.  I knew that the guy I passed wasn't going to catch me and I tried to figure out what my final time would be.  Could I break that 1:41 I set back in November at the DRC Half-Marathon? I got closer to the finish line and the announcer commented on #242 Jason from Lewisville wearing his rocket red shoes.  I almost stopped cold in laughter at this but I only had another 50 feet to the finish line at most.  I crossed and looked down and the time came out to be 1:36:29 and I knew that I beat my PR from November by 5 minutes.  What a great feeling and my legs felt great and I was not fatigued at all. I hung out with Greg for a bit and then noticed the results going up so I went to check.  I found my name listed 21st and thought to myself that I would be on the podium.  As I scrolled my finger up the list the first 5-10 names were not in my age group and then all of a sudden there was 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and a 6th name within the range of M35-39.  Wow I thought.  I finished 21st overall and yet 7th in my age group.  What a fast age group.  Congratulations went up to Greg immediately as he finished in 1:28 and came in 2nd in the M30-34 Age Group. This was a great race and one that I will certainly run again.  My first two races of 2011 have resulted in one 3rd place 15k PR time and one 7th place 13.1 mile PR time.  2011 is off to a rousing start for racing. Here is the route we ran for this half-marathon: My splits for this race were as follows: 1 00:07:15 2 00:07:36 3 00:07:28 4 00:07:21 5 00:07:25 6 00:07:23 7 00:07:17 8 00:07:14 9 00:07:12 10 00:07:28 11 00:07:25 12 00:07:09 13 00:06:48 14 00:01:21
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