Friend Making Monday

Song – Fun We are Young (didnt like it at first, it’s growing on me)

Drink – Coke Zero (and off brand equivalents)

Physical feature of the opposite sex – Breasts (hey, honesty right?)

TV Shows – No cable right now, but I like White Collar and Game of Thrones that I am missing.

Actress – Zooey Deschanel

Books – Song of Fire and Ice series by George R R Martin

Form of communication – text message or email

Exercise – Running

Food – Turkey Burgers

Quote – The story of barbecue is the story of America: Settlers arrive on great unspoiled continent, discover wondrous riches, set them on fire and eat them. ~ Vince Staten




Travel Log

One of my long term life goals, bucket list item if you will, is to travel to all 50 states.  Sometimes when I think about where I’ve been it helps me to make a list.  Eventually I want to get a map on a corkboard and stick pins into the places I’ve been.  Catalogs sell them, I will probably make my own.  So I decided to make a list and share with my friends and readers where I’ve been.  I will list the state and some of the major cities I’ve been too.  Starting with where I’ve lived my entire life and then in no particular order:

North Carolina (Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, Winston Salem, all over)
South Carolina (Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Camden, Bluffton/HHI)
Virginia (Williamsburg, Petersburg, Virginia Beach, Willis/Floyd Co.)
West Virginia (Too long ago, don’t remember)
Georgia (Savannah, Augusta, Atlanta)
Alabama (Huntsville, Montgomery, Birmingham, Dothan)
Maryland (Baltimore, Thurmont)
Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, Gettysburg, Harrisburg, Hershey)
Ohio (Sandusky, Columbus)
Michigan (Detroit, Dearborn, Ann Arbor)
Mississippi (Gulfport)
Louisiana (New Orleans)
Tenneessee (Mountains, Pigeon Forge(?), Natahalla River area)
Wisconsin (Madison, Wisconsin Dells)
Florida (Orlando, Tampa, Daytona)
California (Anaheim)
Washington DC

All told, 16 states plus DC, well over 1/4 of the country.  I’ve mentioned before Alaska and Hawaii will be hard due to travel, and some places will be hard to find something worth the trip (ND, SD, Idaho etc).

Bonus:  Places I’ve visited by airport only (which doesn’t count, but just for fun) – Chicago, IL,  New York, NY, Manchester, RI, Denver, CO.

The Accidental Coach

Today was supposed to be the second 5K for my friend Kim, but unfortunately the event was scrubbed thanks to our lovely deluge (part of the course was under water) so we hung out for a while but I didn’t get to watch her run and cheer her on, but something occurred to me after pacing Jennifer through her first 10K, although I consider myself still a newbie, I have some other running friends who look up to me for inspiration.  That’s a little humbling.  I don’t offer them advice or try to “correct” them, I merely offer encouragement, but sometimes isn’t that what a coach is good for? After the teaching and training is done, to just clap and say “You can do it!”

The New Years race was Kim’s first and we stayed together step for step the whole way (well, except that little part where she ran off and left me, but I caught up later).  It wasn’t Jennifer’s first race, but I believe it may have been her second? (She will correct me I’m sure if I’m wrong).  Kim didn’t need much encouragement from me as she rocked the race, but she said she wouldn’t have done it alone, having a friend there made it worthwhile.  I wasn’t running in her race today but I promise to come up and watch and cheer so I was bummed the race got scrubbed.

The 10K two weeks ago was Jennifer’s first and although she had covered the distance in training, as I had mentioned she struggled, but I stuck with her and coached her through it and she did awesome.

Now my friend Gray is slowly starting the transition from walking to running and wants to go up to the mountains for some trail running, which seems daunting even to me, but if he’s game so am I.

It’s amazing and humbling to have people watch what you do and then want to do the same or similar.   Kim and Jennifer are both already contemplating their first half marathons and I will be there at least in spirit to cheer them on.

St. Leo’s School Road Races 10K – March 17, 2012

This blog post is a little late since I had a shortage of internet at home which is now thankfully rectified.

On March 17 I participated in the St Leo’s Road Race with my good running buddy Jennifer.  This was to be her first 10K, and her first race longer than a 5K (the slightly longer 5.5K from New Years doesn’t really count).  Ironically this was also my first 10K, although it’s coming 2 weeks after my first half marathon, so I have covered this distance, both in training and in a race.


Jennifer has got on her green for St Paddy’s day and she is ready to rock!

So there was a little bit of confusion at the start and a little bit of mismanagement, so I was a little worried, but it turned out to be OK.  The races consisted of both a 5K and a 10K with the 5K starting 10 minutes before the 10K (personally I think it would have made more sense to start the longer race first, but the 5K was a much larger crowd, so maybe that was the reason).  The start line was a chalk line on the pavement, and although our bibs had tags on them, there was no timing mat at the start, only readers at the finish.  The 5K was off and then we got lined up to start the 10K.

The gun goes off and we are off and running.  We start out at a slow but steady pace, neither one of us wanting to burn our too quickly.  We slowly fade to the back of the pack, which is fine with me.  The course is very hilly and while well marked, there is some confusion about where the turns are. It’s a 3.1 mile out and back course, so there are arrows pointing in both directions and also places where the 10K and the 5K split off from each other, but we manage to stay on course.  It seems to take a long time to get to the turnaround point, although we bested Jennifer’s best 5K time in the process, and I don’t remember the exact time.  By this point we have realized we are in fact the last two people in the 10K group.   Somewhere after the turn around we pick up a police motorcycle riding behind us to keep traffic off of us as there were a few cars on the course (thank you winston salem PD).  Jennifer is struggling a little bit at this point, but she is determined to finish and so we soldier on.  With about a half mile to go to the finish the policeman and then a race official told us we would have to finish on the sidewalk, but that there would still be someone waiting at the finish line for us.  I didn’t realize we were under a time limit, but apparently it was around an hour and a half.  We finished up the race, and the people at the finish line were as happy as if we were the first two and not the last two.  I backed off the last couple steps and let Jennifer cross the finish line before me so she wouldn’t be dead last (she didn’t notice this until I told her later).

We did it.  We finished.  We survived.  I knew we would, I had no doubts, I think Jennifer was just happy to still be alive.  (Admittedly the race was harder than both of us anticipated).  As a reward for surviving, we managed to both win door prizes.  There weren’t too many people left at the after party and they had a bunch of prizes to give away, so they kept calling names until someone who was in attendance could claim it.  I won a 25$ gift card to Fleet Feet Sports, which will certainly go to good use, and Jennifer won a 30$ giftcard to Dick’s Sporting Goods which should also come in handy.  We missed out on the big 100$ grocery prize or free dinner at such and such place, but we both got something that will help us in our running so that’s good.

Our finishing time (by my Garmin, ironically ours were not the same) was 1:38:10.  Just a little bit over a 15:00/mile pace.  Jennifer was hoping to finish in under 1:45, so despite being last to finish we still beat her time goal.


2012 Rock and Roll Half Marathon – New Orleans LA

The day had finally arrived.  My first half marathon.  On Thursday I drove down to Montgomery Alabama to my friends house, the McQueen family, who were also running in New Orleans.  I went out with Amanda and ran 2 miles (while she ran 4 in about the same amount of time) which was my last training run before the race.  Hung out in Montgomery for the night and then Friday morning hit the road for New Orleans.

Saturday was the expo and so I went to pick up my gear.  The gear pack came with my bib, a gear bag and a nice Brooks technical T-shirt.  I requested a single XL for the shirt, which is a little tight at the moment but hopefully will fit soon.

Sunday morning came bright and early and I suited up and headed out to the starting area.  Managed to find the Alabama gang in the huge crowd which was a bit of a surprise.  But that was good since I managed to get some pictures.

Me pre-race.

Me and Amanda pre-race.

I walked around the block what seemed like 2 miles to get to my corral, and then waited for the start.  The first corral went off right at 7, and they sent corrals off every 2 minutes or so, so it was about a 40 minute wait for those of us way back in corral 23. So I waited and waited and waited and then finally it was my turn to go.

I felt pretty good starting out, and I jogged all of the first 3 miles, up to the 5K point, which was about 40 minutes in.  I decided at that point to take my first Gu, so I slowed to a walk and took my Gu and some water and then I noticed that my thighs/hips were kinda hurting as I was walking so I started jogging again and then realized that I needed to keep jogging because it felt worse to walk.  I saw Amanda along St Charles avenue where the course doubled back on itself, but I didn’t see anyone else from our crew.  I didn’t carry my camera with me along the race course, so I don’t have any pictures from along the route, but there were the live bands as promised and the water stations and aid stations were well located.  All in all I thought the race was very well orchestrated.  I don’t have another race yet to compare it to, but for my first one at least it wasn’t a disaster.  The course was well marked, I didn’t get lost or anything like that.  I was feeling pretty good until somewhere between mile 10 and mile 11 when I pretty much hit the wall.  I had to really struggle to the finish, but I managed to finish in 3 hours, 11 minutes and 18 seconds.  Here were my split times.  12:40, 13:10, 12:31, 13:54, 13:47, 14:03, 14:44, 14:25, 14:40, 15:22, 15:04, 16:45, 17:37, 14:31 (0.2).  You can see where I hit the wall in the 12th mile.  I managed to pick up the pace a little bit with a jog to the finish.

I was hurting pretty bad by the time I finished, so I didn’t have that overwhelming since of joy and accomplishment that I expected, I was glad to be done and walked through the finish portion pretty much in a daze, grabbed a bagel a banana and a Gatorade, ate that and chugged down the Gatorade, hung around for about 5 minutes of the after party and then caught the shuttle bus back to the hotel for a much needed shower and lunch.  By the time I finished the rest of the Alabama crew was long gone since they had finished well before me.

This is what I got for my troubles, and very nice (and heavy) medal.

Up next, some much needed rest and the the St Leo’s 10K in two weeks.

  • About Me

    I am a recent graduate in Food Science (NC State, 2009) and I work for a major food manufacturing company. I love food, but I can no longer eat anything that crosses my path. About 24 months ago I begin a serious struggle to get my obesity under control and reduce my chances of developing Type II diabetes. Since September of '09 I have lost 50 pounds and I still have a long ways to go. I've started eating better and exercising more, including taking up running.