Upcoming Race Schedule – Winter/Spring 2013

As I’m wrapping up a 2012 year that will have seen 15 finish lines by the time it’s all said and done, including my first half marathon (with 2nd and 3rd the last two races of this year) and at least one race for each month of the year, I told myself I would take it a little easier for 2013, but man, the dance card just fills up so fast.  Here’s a look at the possible lineup for the first 4 months of 2013.  The two January races are registered for and booked, the rest are tentative.

Jan 1 2013 – Running of the Lights 5.5K – Once again, we get the year “off and running” with the midnight run through the Tanglewood Christmas lights.  Hopefully several of my running friends from last year will be returning as well.

Jan 12 2013 – Walt Disney World Half Marathon – Can’t wait for this run.  A nice leisurely 13 mile jaunt through the house the Mouse built.  Everything I’ve read points at this being an awesome race.  My whole family will be there as the race weekend becomes a mini-vacation for us all, and last but not least, this race will be my 3rd half in less than 90 days to qualify me for the Half Fanatics.

Feb ?? 2013 – Fitness, Friendship and Fun 5K -Kannapolis NC – Don’t know the exact date for this race yet, but I gotta go back and help out my running friends the Landis family, and defend my 2nd in Age Group from last year (maybe go for first?) The JP Runner Girls is a running group for elementary school aged girls, similar to Girls on the Run, but local to Jackson Park Elementary.

March 16th 2013 – St Leo’s 10K – Winston Salem NC – I’m looking forward to tackling this course again, it’s a very very tough course.  My work friend Carmen will be running the 5K and maybe Jennifer will join me again for the 10K, we shall see.  Also the spaghetti and beer dinner the night before is a MUST!

April 20 2013 – Tar Heel 10-Miler – Chapel Hill NC – I was bouncing around several spring races including the Flying Pirate Half Marathon out on the Outer Banks, but finally settled on the TH 10M for several reasons, my sister and her boyfriend (who ran it last year) are moving back to Chapel Hill and will be living there by this time, the race runs through UNC Chapel Hill’s campus, which of course is the rival of my Alma Mater NC State, but they have a very cool “crash the party” option where you register under another school in the ACC and the top three get custom bibs (Last years top three were Duke, NC State and Wake Forest, so I’d say it’s a safe bet for the custom bib) so to run through UNC’s campus, with a Wolfpack bib and rep NC State while I’m there? Heck Yes! Sign me up.

April 27 2013 – Kings Mountain Half Marathon – Clover SC – I just found this race very recently, but it quickly became a must run.  The fact that it falls the weekend after TH10M is serendipitous since the weekend before a half I’d be running 10 miles anyway.  The race takes place entirely on the Kings Mountain Rev War Battlefield park in Northwest SC, right outside of Charlotte.  It’s a very small event (less than 200 runners for Full and Half combined last year), with a local friendly feel, and the registration is only 35$.  Half marathon race, and half marathon perks (shirt, medal, counts for Half Fanatics) for the price of a 5K? Sounds great! It may not be the Chickamauga Half Marathon, but it should still have cannons!

Weekly Recap 10-22-12 to 10-28-12

I missed my Saturday run this week, which if you may have noticed from my last post was because I was playing an extra in a movie.  Was supposed to be a runner in a race scene, wound up as a spectator instead, but that was fun as well.  I’ve completed my training for the Rex Healthcare Half Marathon next weekend with my 10 mile run this morning.  I have two more short runs and a lot of resting to do as I coast into my taper week and get ready for race morning.  I’ve hit 20 miles or more the last 5 weeks in a row, and as Indiana Jones will tell you “It’s not the years baby, it’s the mileage”… I’m glad this is race week because I could use a break and I have a few minor tweaks to get healed up before race day, this will be a welcome break.

Starting weight – 240 lbs
Monday – REST
Tuesday – Run – 5 miles
Wednesday – Spinning – 50 minutes
Thursday – REST
Friday – Run – 5 miles
Saturday – Rest – Movie Production – Several miles of walking
Sunday – Run – 10 miles + Yoga – 60 minutes
Total Mileage – 20 miles
Ending Weight – 237.2 (2.8 lb loss)

A big loss this week which kinda surprises me, but I’ll certainly take it.  The first two weeks of the month were a washout (1.8 gain, 1.8 loss) so this brings my total loss for the month of October to 5.2 pounds, which is lower than August (6.6) and September (7.2) but still pretty good.

Bring on Raleigh.. I am ready!!

Packing my bags for Hollywood….

Ok, so not really, but I did have a very unique experience today that has a surprising running tie in.  I received an email earlier in the week from the Twin City track club that a local movie production needed runners of all types for a “race” scene.  I looked into it and thought it sounded fun and replied to the email with my name and contact info and got back a quick reply with instructions for Saturday.  I was going to be in a movie!!

The movie is called “Goodbye to All That” and is directed by Winston Salem native Angus MacLachlan (screenwriter for Junebug).  The IMDB page is HERE Although there’s not a lot of info on there since this is early in the production which just started a couple weeks ago.  Today’s scenes involved male lead Paul Schneider, who is also a North Carolina native.


I think “good and valuable consideration” is movie-speak for “You get to hang out on a movie set all day and tell your friends you are in a movie” since we certainly didn’t get paid (not that I expected to).

The day started out with a good bit of “hurry up and wait” which of course is always expected.  We got our clothing approved by wardrobe and then headed out to the set, then they picked the ones they wanted and the rest of us went back to the community center (“holding”) to change clothes.  I was smart and brought street clothes with me since although I had signed up for a “runner” I had a feeling they may also need me as a “spectator”.  For the first scene I ended up as a spectator.  By the time we got back to holding, it was time to break for lunch, so we stayed there and ate lunch, then they decided to film a scene with the actor by himself (which took several hours) so we basically sat around and cooled our heels and wondered what was going on.  Then we finally got back out to the set to start shooting our scene.


Our first scene involved the finish of a race, where our hero is going to win the race.  Those of us who are spectators were lining the course and cheering for him and he came by and then cheering for the next two or three guys who were coming after him (who were extras like us who got picked as “runners”).  It was a pretty fun scene, and of course as you would expect, we went through the scene 10 or 12 times.  3 times from one camera angle, 3 times from another camera angle.. a couple times with a close up of him and his daughter etc etc.  Was fun though.   The camera was pointed right on me as the scene started, so there’s a good chance I’ll actually make it on screen.


After they wrapped up this scene, then we had to hustle back to holding to change clothes quickly for a different scene.  In this one I got to be a runner! But I didn’t actually run.  For this scene (which was a different race) the dejected hero is moping back to his friends after not winning this race (although he had a medal).  For this scene, I’m in the background with the female who won the race and we are celebrating with her big trophy.  So I know for SURE I’m in that shot since we’re definitely supposed to see the winner behind him.  I’ll be interested to see how this plays out in the movie, if this is before or after the race he wins.   Even if I’m out of focus in the background I’ll still be there.

It was certainly an interesting experience, even though it’s small, uncredited, unpaid parts, it’s the background extras that make the scenes realistic.  As we were celebrating with the trophy in the parking lot, there were people walking through the parking lot as if going to a car, and then on the road behind us a couple of women who were runners were still running (or finishing) the race.  So really three layers of “background”.  Adds a lot of depth.  For the first  scene the only background was us spectators, but that’s a more controlled environment.

I may try to do that again! It was actually pretty cool.  Now I can’t wait for the movie to come out!

Weekly Recap 10-15-12 to 10-21-12

Changed things up a little bit this week.  I had a hard time finishing my spinning routine last Monday after a 8 mile run, so I knew not to try it after a 9 mile run, so Monday has become a rest day.

Had a 10K on Saturday which was originally planned to be a half marathon tune up, but I decided I wanted to set a new PR, and I did, by over 7 minutes. This was probably a good idea (rather than running the 10K at 12:30 “half marathon” pace and not setting a PR) since it really pumped my up and listed my spirits.  The last several weeks of 20+ miles has been taking a toll, but Saturday was a HUGE boost.

Starting Weight – 242.4
Monday – REST
Tuesday – Run – 5 miles
Wednesday – Spinning – 50 minutes + Yoga – 60 minutes
Thursday – Run – 5 miles
Friday – Weightlifting – 30 minutes
Saturday – Race – 10K
Sunday – Run – 4 miles
Total Miles – 20.2 miles
Ending Weight – 240.0 (2.4 pounds lost)

Very happy to see a loss this week, not that I thought I would gain, since I didn’t have any big dinners or anything like that.

I know I wrote in my race recap about the 10K, but I’m so pleased with my performance, not only setting a PR, but feeling like I had more in the tank at the end, I could have kept going if I needed to.  This is such a huge confidence booster getting ready for the half marathon.  The double runs (Sat and Sun) has paid huge dividends as well as the long runs.  Logging 13,14,15 miles per weekend has been a huge boost to me.  My training plan for this Raleigh half marathon has been aggressive because it needed to be, but it’s working!

RHABA Fast and Flat 10K – Rural Hall, NC – 10-20-12

I believe I had this race on my schedule before I decided to run Raleigh, but when I realized it was two weeks before the half I decided I would treat is as a half marathon warm up.   I was going to run this race at my projected half marathon pace, which is slower than my 10K PR pace.  Well, the last few weeks as my pace has improved, and I’ve become less and less worried about my finish time in Raleigh, I knew I could have a chance to set a nice PR at this race, so that’s what I set out to do.  I’ve been running some fairly quick tempo runs on Saturday’s and they haven’t seemed to have any ill effect on my Sunday long runs, so I knew if I pushed for a PR I wasn’t going to risk doing any serious harm to my half marathon training, this basically became a 6 mile tempo run.

T-shirt rather than a tech shirt, but it’s nice and it fits.  Add another single XL to the collection, which I don’t have very many so that’s a good thing!

This is an interesting course, beginning and ending at the Mayflower Restaurant in Rural Hall, just off Hwy 52.  It starts off with two loops through a couple neighborhoods, which this section was anything BUT flat, both up and down.  Mile 2 started with a steep downhill, which I actually let myself accelerate down it rather than hold back, which was fun, and nice to see I still had control.  Mile two finished with a pretty nice climb, and then mile 3 had a BIG climb.  138 feet of ascent for mile 3 was about 3 times any of the other miles which were all around 40-50.  After that, we hit out on Hwy 65 down to the Rural Hall City Hall, which was the 4 mile point for a turn around, and then took 65 all the way back to the finish, we did not loop through the neighborhoods again on the way back.

Happy pre-race photo (not that I was un-happy after the race).  I cannot get a bib on straight to save my life.

I’m pretty happy with my pacing for this race, but I still have a little work to do before the half, although I’m almost to the point now where I get what I get and I have to just be happy with it (but I’m worried about going to fast, and wearing myself out, not too slow).  The first mile felt good, although I knew it was too fast (10:25), miles 2-5 were up and down timewise (11:11, 11:34, 11:01, 11:06), but it seemed like every time I looked at my watch I was holding steady at an 11:03 pace, so I was pretty happy with that.  Mile 6 sped up a little bit as we came in for the finish (10:59, which was also my total average pace, I swear that happens EVERY race), and then I turned the corner and kicked in the afterburners to the finish line running the last 0.23 miles at a 9:35 pace.  My finishing time of 1:08:29 is a good 7 minutes faster than my previous 10K PR (1:15:34) and actually, the pace is faster than my 8K PR from September (58:50, 11:45 pace).

Pics or it didn’t happen…

Starting and finishing in a parking lot was nice since it gave everyone plenty of room to walk around and stretch and I did something I normally don’t do (but should) and jogged two warmup laps around the restaurant.  I also made sure I kept walking after the finish as a cooldown which is something I also forget to do most times.  I need to remember this for Raleigh.

I posted my time in the Runner’s World training calculator I mentioned a while back and now it says my half marathon time should be 2:30 (11:45 pace).  I’m not sure if I can hit that, but I may start with that pace group and see how it goes.  I was originally shooting for a 2:45 finish, but I don’t know if I want to start with the 2:45 pace group since I’d like to run the first couple of miles faster than 13:00 pace (without killing myself too early).  I can’t believe I’m changing my goal for the Raleigh half marathon two weeks before race day and adjusting it FASTER and not slower…. Yikes!


(medal photo posted on the Raleigh City of Oaks Marathon Facebook page).


One Year on MFP

Today marks the one year anniversary of when I joined the MyFitnessPal website.  First off, man has it flown by… I can’t believe it.  And what a year it’s been.  Here’s a look at what I have accomplished in the last 366 days (leap year ya know).

Weight Loss:

First and foremost, the reason I joined MFP was to help me lose weight.  Counting calories can be a chore, but it really helps you stay accountable.  Even only after a few days, I would look at the 400 calorie Mr Goodbar on the grocery store shelf, think about what a percentage of my daily total that was and then put it back.   To date, I’ve lost 66 pounds from 308 where I started down to my current weight of 242.  My total loss from my heaviest weight of 355 is now 113 pounds.


Sometimes the scale doesn’t show what you would like (such as the three months in the summer I lost a total of about 3 pounds), but there are other ways to measure success.  I didn’t start taking measurements of myself until January, but in those 10 months I’ve lost 4 inches around my chest (49 to 45), seven inches around my belly (52 to 45), and 2 inches at my hips (waist of my pants) from 43 to 41.  I’ve gone from a 2XL shirt, to a XL and even some Large’s that fit.  I’ve gone from a 44 size pant to a 40 with a belt.  My 40’s are falling off me without the belt and the next pants I buy will be a 38.  This is astonishing since I’ve been wearing size “4’s” (40, 42, 44, 46) for… well.. as far back as I can remember.


From October of last year to October of this year I have run a total of 628 miles.  This works out to 1.71 miles per day.


As part of my running, I’ve completed several races of varying distances.  Since November of last year I have completed 8 5K’s (3.1 miles) and reduced my time  from 44:12 (Nov 2011) to 34:02 (May 2012).  I have completed two 8K’s (5 miles) reducing my time from 1:02:55 (Feb 2012) to 58:50 (Sep 2012).  I have completed two 10K’s (6.2 miles) reducing my time from 1:38:10 (Mar 2012) to 1:15:34 (May 2012).  I will complete my 3rd 10K this upcoming weekend and hope to reduce my time further and set a new PR.  I have completed one half marathon (13.1 miles) with a finish time of 3:11:18 in March of 2012.  I have three more half marathon’s lined up in the next few months, with Raleigh (Rex Healthcare) in November, Mistletoe (Winston Salem) in December, and Walt Disney World in January.  The Raleigh half marathon has a 3 hour time limit and so I have been training hard to reduce my time to under that limit.  Mistletoe and Disney will not be run for time, just to finish.


I’ve met some wonderful people on MFP who support me and I can support in return, the community aspect of the website is fantastic and it really really works.  I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

What a year! And lots in store for the next year as well!

‘Cause I’m only Half Crazy

When I was in New Orleans at the Rock and Roll Marathon expo they had hats, shirts, magnets and stickers with the slogan “13.1 miles, ’cause I’m only half crazy” It’s a tongue and cheek poke at marathon runners, who are crazy and a statement that half marathoners are crazy, but decidedly less so.  That may be debatable  but I digress.

I have officially joined the ranks of the “Half Crazy”.  As I mentioned in a previous post I decided to run a local half marathon here in Winston Salem, the Mistletoe Half Marathon on December 1st.  I’ve now registered for it and made it official.  Those of you keeping score with the home game will realize that is in between Raleigh (Nov 4) and Disney (Jan 12).  Yes.. I stuck a half marathon in the middle of my half marathon training.  That’s what makes it crazy.

There is a method to this madness.. somewhat.  During a long run around the lake Laura and I were discussing different races and realized that Mistletoe would give me a streak of 3 half marathons in less than 90 days, which is one of the qualification requirements for the running club the Half Fanatics.  In fact this is the lowest, or easiest qualifications.  Other levels include such feats as 12 in 12 months, 52 in a year (one a week), 2 in two days, 3 in 3 days, and other ridiculous things.

The other reason I decided to run this race was because it’s local (no hotel, no long drive, no travel expenses), it benefits one of the local YMCA’s of which I am a member of the region (YMCA of Northwest NC, not a member of that specific branch, but they all work together), and the registration was only 45$ which is ridiculously cheap for a half marathon.  That’s only 10-15$ more than most of my 5-10K’s and it comes with the usual half marathon swag of a shirt, a medal, and (rumor has it) a kicking after party.  With all that, how could I say no?

When I finish the qualifying races and join the Half Fanatics, I will be among friends.  Not just the nearly 3000 new friends I’ll make who are already club members, but Amanda (from Eat to Live, Live to Run), who opened this Pandora’s box and got me into running in the first place, became a member in March after completing 4 half marathons in 36 days, becoming Fanatic #2040. Laura, who I run with at Salem Lake for my long runs, is a member of both the Half Fanatics (#620) and the sister club the Marathon Maniacs, so she’s crazy and a half.  I blame Laura for this… this was all her idea.

  • 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.