Saturday, January 30, 2016

From 330 to 3:30

After my first marathon this fall I was kind of in shock. What do you do after you kill your first marathon?  Do you push harder or be content?  Some people would die for a 3:48.  Some people just dream of breaking 5 hours or 4 hours.  For a few weeks I didn't know what to do or say.  I remember when I ran my first half over a year ago and I was so happy for a 2:21.  I remember saying to myself, "if I run a marathon my goal is 5 hours".

Then I remember in April of last year I asked to run with these crazy marathoners who I just met.  We met up that Saturday and we ran 12 miles at 8:47 pace.  Amy and Kim laughed when we finished and saw our time.  I was shocked.  From that point forward I ran with this crew every weekend.  Then came my training for my first full.

Each week I kept getting stronger and stronger.  I remember my first 20 miler on vacation in South Carolina running an average pace of 8:45.  Then came my second 20 miler before my race I killed my run and had an average pace of 8:37.  But running with my friends kept making me stronger and stronger.  Sometimes when you run in a group the miles are shorter the temps or cooler or hotter and the time is shorter.  Not only was I lucky enough to find the J&A training team but I was also lucky to find a group of friends to grind with when the runs are tough.

Last Sunday, I had to do a long run by myself while all my teammates got their runs in on Saturday.  I was lucky enough to be able to run with one of my friends and teammates, Ashley.  Not only did I have a killer partner, she killed the run.  Even though it was a bit slower than my training pace, running with someone for 18 miles in cold and wind is way better than running by yourself.  You can't buy company on a run.  You can't buy good teammates or friends.

This morning I had my first 20 miler scheduled.  Not only did I kill it but I felt strong.  I felt like I could do a marathon right then.  My last 11 miles were averaged under 8 minutes.  In the back of my head I keep thinking what should be my next goal.  Should I go big or go home?  So today I decided I would announce my goal.  Sometimes you need to write it down.

So my goal is 3:30ish.

I said it.  There it is.  That is my ultimate goal.  And the reason this number is so important is because when I started my weightloss journey I weighed 330 pounds.

As with any race I will be content just finishing and feeling good.  And if I just squeak past my first marathon time I will be happy with that.  But I have a goal.  And I know I can do it.  I put in the work.  And if I have the perfect day, perfect run and everything works out then I will nail it.

So Bring it Shamrock.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Thankful for Life

This week was such a crazy week.  Between a crazy deadline at work, running, and oh, this thing called a teenager and 20 month old, it's been a fairly busy week.   Add in a memorial service at Arlington National Cemetery and Lori's work schedule, we have had fun.

But today on my run with the Ryan Conrad, I was thinking about how thankful I am for all the things I have in my life.

Tuesday at the Memorial Service it was a bitter sweet day.  Lori and I took Avery with us because we know my Grandma Joanne would love to see her again.  Avery got to also spend some more time with her Great Aunt Nancy and Uncle Dan.  Uncle Dan was very thoughtful and got Avery a plate full of whip cream.  It was also a sad day because we finally laid my Aunt Linda to rest.  But rest assured, she will be where she belongs.  With all the other great men and women who have served our country.  Watching a service at Arlington is very different than any other service I have been to.  It is a very beautiful site.  I am very thankful to have such wonderful family like my Aunts, Uncles and my grandparents.

Thursday and Saturday was filled with great memories with #trainjanda.  Thursday, Lori ran with her running partner, Becky.  These two keep each other going when they want to quit or cut it short.  Saturday was a wonderful morning.  So many people had new accomplishments.  Lori and Becky ran their farthest run together and finally got to the water stop.  Stephanie, Bianca, and many others ran their longest runs ever.  Dennis, a 65 year old navy vet ran the farthest he ever has, most of #teamawesome including Julie, Debbie, Jackie, White Keisha, Elizabeth and Ashlee all killed their run and had dominant negative splits.  Watching my team grow is what I love about pacing.  Watching them do what they think is impossible makes my job so easy.  All this is what I am thankful for.  It motivates me.  It makes me happy.  I couldn't be more proud of being part of watching this team grow.

I am also so thankful for my wife.  She puts up with me.  She loves me for me.  And she supports me.  I can go on and on about things I don't have but I would rather talk about the things I do. I never thought seven years ago I would have a home to call home, a loving wife, a family and two wonderful kids.  All the things I have in my life are amazing.  I have amazing in laws and my family is amazing too.

Today I ran the best run I had in a while mentally.  I had some really great conversations with Ryan.  Sometimes all you need is a beautiful 65 degree day in January at the beach and a good buddy to run with. It refreshed my training. So Thanks Ryan.