Looking ahead?

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Inaugural running 2014

As goals for next year start to swirl around in my head…. I try hard to think and plan, but also stay focused on completing 2013 with a vengeance.

I have run 117 miles so far this August, and have one day left.  Depending on the weather, I may opt to run my next long run on Monday or Tuesday, because I am off from work those days.  I may run it tomorrow though.  We will see how the legs feel tomorrow.

Four weeks from right now, I will be settling in from a 4 hour drive and a trip to the Asheville Marathon Expo.  Having had a nice carb loading dinner, I will be relaxing in a beautiful cabin outside of Asheville that I just booked.  Letting my mind wander and ponder about racing the following day.

Maybe what will help, is instead of stressing about the race will be to look forward to it, to savor every moment.  To think about goals, and what has been accomplished this year, and maybe even have fleeting thoughts about what I may want to accomplish in 2014.  So I put this photo above, sort of as a reminder to myself that although we train and run for today, and have short terms goals coming to term, that we must also focus on long term goals.  For me that includes a Birthday running of the Rock n Roll Raleigh next April.

I love our sport of running.  So many options for racing, and keeping ourselves healthy.

Happy Running everyone!  Have a great Labor Day weekend!

Running is……

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The open road

For me running is many things.  Thinking about how running has changed my life, I wanted to put together a list, a personal reflection, if you will, on what running means to me.  Yes, it is all very personal, so feel free to comment on what running means to you!

Running is….

Freedom

Solitude

Beauty

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Running is….

Exhilarating

Healthy

Fun

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Running is…

Therapeutic

Graceful

Powerful

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Running is…

Energetic

Peaceful

Awarding

Fantastical Fall Racing

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The merry go round continues

With less than 5 weeks to go until the Asheville City Marathon, training continues along the right path, and sometimes feels repetitive like riding a carousel.  Last week was a shorter distance week for my training plan.  This week cranks back up a bit.  I managed 4 runs with a busy schedule last week.  I ran 24 miles total.  That was following a long run of 15 miles that concluded the week prior.  Today will start out with a 10 miler, and the week will end with a 17 miler over the long weekend.  Overall mileage for the week will likely near 40.  I am ready, I feel pretty good.  Except the the nagging corn on have on the base of my pinky toe on my right foot.  That thing is annoying as hell!  I have to dig it up, and cut around it with nail clippers at least once a week.  I just don’t think it will truly go away until I take a few weeks off.  That is not happening anytime soon.

My mileage for the month of August so far has been right where I want it to be.  Following 108 miles in July, I am on track for about 130-140 this month.  Before today’s 10 miles, my mileage stands at 94.  It makes me feel pretty confident in being able to knock out this extremely busy Fall schedule I have lined up.  It all begins with a Half Marathon on 9/21….

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Yes, the Johnson Lexus Half is now just 26 days away.  This is my next race, and final warm up to my first marathon of the Fall season in Asheville.  Thanks to some odd luck, and maybe the planets aligning just right, I am able to spend a few extra days enjoying the mountain city of Asheville on my upcoming trip.  Originally I planned on driving up on Friday, hitting the Expo, getting a healthy dinner, waking up the next morning, running the marathon, and then driving the four hours back home.  Now the plan is to find better, and more relaxing accommodations, and stay the weekend, returning home on Monday.  These plans are still up in the air, trying to nail them down in the next day or two.

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Be good to me Asheville!

Once returning home from Asheville, I will have less than a week to prepare for RunRaleigh Half on 10/6.  This is a great course in downtown Raleigh, using nice portions of the greenways.  Last time I raced this course, I finished in 1:40:21.  Pretty sure I won’t be able to crank out that speed the week following a marathon, but I’ll give it a good go!

Two weeks after that is the Bull City Race Fest.  This will be a first time race for me, and should be a lot of fun.  This event also includes a Food Truck Rodeo afterward, so how could I pass this one up?  Plus, I signed up for this race months ago when it was ultra cheap!  I’ve heard the course is pretty hilly, so it should be right up my alley.

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I hope they have bumper stickers to give away!

Just a week later is another Half Marathon in Wake Forest.  Another hilly race, and fun because it is Halloween themed.  Last year I ran this race injured, PF flair up, and I am looking forward to running it healthy this year.  The racing calendar closes out for the year with a bang!  A real one, two punch!!!  Two marathons, in 14 days.  The Raleigh City of Oaks Marathon….on 11/3.

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Hometown run

…..and then the last minute addition to my 2013 calendar, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon on 11/17!

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Downtown Vegas neon

I am so excited for each and every one of these races!  I am very pleased with how my body has held up this year with all of the training, and distance racing I have already done.  If all goes according to plan, I will wrap up 2013 in Vegas, with 9 Halves, and 5 Full’s.  That will exceed my 2013 goal of 13.  A real cause for celebration, and a great lead in to 2014.   I have my sights set on a few races already in 2014.  A Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon here at home on my 44th Birthday, another crack at the Blue Ridge Marathon, and a beach Marathon early in the year.  The rest will come into focus soon enough.  My concentration now has to be the successful completion of a great year of running for me.

How are you coming along with your 2013 goals?  Will you meet or exceed them?

Two Marathons in 14 days!

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I’m training hard for my Fall racing season.  In fact, I am heading out on a 7 mile, hill run in just a little while.  Lots of things to consider while I am out on my run today.  I don’t listen to music when I run, so it’s always me time.  Time to think, contemplate, reflect.  I have a lot to think about today.

Things happened to work out for adding a race into the mix this Fall.  I recently posted that I have signed up for the Rock N Roll Las Vegas Marathon, as I was able to get the time off from work, and everything worked out perfectly schedule wise.  So I am registered, with full details of the trip reserved and booked.  I am there!

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Here is the kicker, and the topic of debate for my inner thoughts today while running.  I have yet to sign up for, but planned on running The City of Oaks Marathon, here at home in Raleigh.  Our areas premier marathon event, one that I have yet to participate in.  Last year I opted to drive to the coast and spend the weekend at The Outer Banks, and run the OBX Marathon.  The year prior to that, I had to work on the day of the marathon.  Prior to that, I never thought I would run a marathon.  I told myself earlier this year, that I would run this event.

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So, now I have to decide.  Do I play it safe, and run the Half Marathon, as a warm up to the Full in Vegas, or do I go for broke and register for the Full, and possibly qualify to become a Marathon Maniac by completing these two marathons in 14 days?  Wow!

Questions I have to ask myself…..

1.  Can my legs, feet, body overall hold up to two marathons in two weeks?

2.  Am I crazy?

I guess that’s really all the questions I have for myself.  Do you have any thoughts?  Positives, negatives?  Let me know what you think….

Asheville or Bust!

Image With only five weeks left until the Marathon, things are looking good.  I finished almost a 40 mile week yesterday with a planned 15 mile long run.  I’ve now only got two long runs left before the big day.  I am planning a 17 miler, and then a 20 miler in the upcoming 3 weeks.  Then it will be taper time, and a Half Marathon warm up a week prior to the event. I am already starting to get those race day nerves starting to work themselves into my runs.  I am looking forward to running this one because I have a better plan, and have followed it really well.  Not having any injuries along the way helps tremendously!  So, my expectations are higher of myself, and thus, the nerves creep in. I’ve got plenty of time to get nervous, it should not be starting now.  Maybe I am just getting excited.  It’s been since April since toeing the line for a marathon, so maybe my body is just saying it’s time.  I like feeling strong, prepared, and mentally ready for the challenge again. Image This will be my first time running the Asheville City Marathon.  It will be my 3rd marathon of 2013, and my 6th marathon overall.  It should be an incredible weekend in the mountains of North Carolina, and I could not be more excited for the remainder of my training, and heading to Asheville on September 27th. Will you be running in Asheville?  Where is your next Marathon?

Rock ‘n’ Roll me!

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The decision is final!

Tickets and reservations have been made!

Registration for the Marathon in complete!

I am running The Strip at Night on November 17th, 2013.

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The adult playground is about to become the location of my 8th marathon, and I couldn’t be happier.  Already looking forward to the glitz and glam, the neon lights, the people!  Runners will take over Las Vegas in a few months and rock the famous Las Vegas Boulevard.

Blue Ridge Marathon Photo Collage

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I am an official blogger for the Blue Ridge Marathon in 2014.  I ran this marathon earlier this year, and need to SCREAM out loud about how great it was!  I am sure 2014 will be even more fantastic!  Stay tuned for more blog posts about this beautiful race in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

I took some photos from the event this year and wanted to share them, sort of as a tease for what is to come.  When you see the following sign, you just have this feeling like things are about to get real, and fast!

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Nervous excitement?  Oh yeah!  When you pick up that Bib, and race shirt, doesn’t it make you feel a mixture of emotions?  Especially when you are about to run America’s Toughest Road Marathon…….

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As you toe the line, you have to remember why you are there.  To challenge yourself, perhaps to a higher level than ever before.  To run an absolutely amazing race in some of the most scenic surroundings you may possibly ever run.  The views, the vistas, the mountains, will challenge you and leave you breathless in more ways than one.

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Wow! Just Wow!

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Mill Mountain Star

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View of Roanoke on your run.

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Breathtaking views abound!

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One of many, uphill climbs

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Bart out of breath? Not!

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L-R… David, Amy, Bart, Janie

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Me and my medal. Proud finisher of the marathon.