The Final Four!

I’m so excited to say it…The Final Four Races!!  Early on in this adventure I thought I’d fail for sure.  The injury bug came to visit early and often during the first couple months.  With some good workouts, a great massage therapist (Becky at Massage Works) and of course Dr. Odeh at Genoa Medical I’ve made it this far!

The Final Four are as follows:

10/11/15 http://runtoledo.com/macqueens-run-for-your-life-10k-5k/ The MacQueen’s Run for your life will be tomorrow morning in Holland, Ohio!  Run begins at 9 a.m.

10/17/15 http://www.davesraces.com/ The Trick or Trot 5K and Zombie Walk!  This one starts at 9 a.m. also and will be at Fallen Timbers Mall.

11/8/5 http://www.monroehalfmarathon.com/  The Monroe Half Marathon!  My favorite running distance and just a stone throw from the Toledo area.

11/14/15  The Big Race #30!!  http://www.davesraces.com/  The 48th Annual Churchill’s Half Marathon!  One of the oldest races in the area and of course…13.1 Miles of Awesome!  I felt that the last race had to be a good one and I wanted to stay local for the finish!  This race has always been a challenge.  It will start at Perrysburg High School at 9 a.m. and finish at Fallen Timbers shopping Mall!  I invite anyone and everyone to come on out!  I would love to see Zombies all over the course with smiles, cheers and maybe a cow bell or two!  I do run faster with the sound of a cow bell…just sayin!

Please feel free to go back through some of my blogs throughout the year.  I’ve done this a few times to reflect!  I’ve also gone through my Facebook page Run Zombie Run.  So many pictures of the things I’ve seen and the places I’ve traveled through the year!  All of the amazing support I’ve received!!  I can never thank my friends, family and co-workers enough!  All the funds that have been raised for Mobile Meals of Toledo!  I’ll get together a grand total at the end of the year along with some fun stats on how many miles I’ve covered racing, how many miles (approximately) I’ve run in training and some of the challenges that I’ve faced through the year.

The past couple of races have been fantastic!  The Smoky Mountain’s Half Marathon in mid September was very hilly and beautiful!  My sister Patti and Karla both ran this one and had a blast!  I posted a much better time this year on the course at 1:58:30.  I was super thrilled with it due to the hills and humidity!  Mid 60’s and 95% humidity!  I was soaked all the way through by the finish line!

The next Half marathon was in upper Michigan.  The Sleeping Bear Dunes Half!  Outstanding course!  Seriously!  If you ever get the chance to run this race or just go and visit the area…do it!  Cool temperatures with a touch of wind at the start of this race.  My sister and I both felt really good and kept a positive attitude the whole way through!  It paid off!  1:51:47 was my time and a new PR!  With the conditions and the hills in the race…I was just floored!  My sister broke into tears after coming across the finish at 1:51:51!  Not only was it a huge jump in time for her but she scored 3rd place in her age group!  So proud!

So here we go!  The Final Four!  The Big push to reach the Finish!!  I need all the help I can get to make this!  The time for Zombies is now!

I’ll see YOU…on the road!

~Zombie~

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Build up to the “Big Race”

(It's true.)

(It’s true.)

Well here we are in the middle of April already and I’m wondering how we got here so quick!  The races have been coming fast and furious!  11 are now completed and number 12 will be this Saturday in Grand Rapids, Ohio.  The Run to the Rapids 5K!  I may schedule one last long run on the day following that race.  Prep and build up for The Glass City Marathon/Half Marathon!!  I’ll be running the Half…because running a full with all the things I have going right now would be…well….just crazy!!  I really enjoyed the Glass City last year.  Beautiful course, hometown and a wonderful party after the races are complete at the University of Toledo!  I urge anyone and everyone in the area to please come out for this event!  I’d love to see “Zombies” out on the course and signs are encouraged!  All runners love having people line the courses with cheering, clapping, noise makers and signs!  It helps to make the miles go easier and is always a mental boost! The following link has all the course maps if you’re interested in coming out! http://glasscitymarathon.org/glass-city-marathon-race-info/glass-city-marathon-course-maps/

As I stated before, my sister Patti will be running the half and my other sister from Florida is coming in to do the Half as well.  My wife Karla will be running as part of a team from her work called the “unfortunate soles!”  lmao!!  My sister Gini might be there doing the 5K with her besty!  So you see…you all need to be there and see just how much fun this event really is!

Injury update.  I’m still nursing this hamstring injury and my guess is I’ll continue to nurse it as I don’t have the time to stop and let it completely rest/heal.  I’m doing my best to keep my strides shorter, using the foam roller and have scheduled massages after each long race.  Once I’ve completed 30 races…I’ll take a little time off and let the body heal completely.  For now…it’s full speed ahead!  My original plan was to lose a couple of pounds (and I have) work on my speed and try to PR at the Glass City.  My best time to date was in Florida where I turned in a 1:57:29!  I was hoping to meet or beat that time here on the home turf!  I still plan on giving it a go even with the hamstring issue.  I feel that if I keep my stride short and keep pushing, I can best that time!  I’ll take most of the week before the race to rest.  Just a couple very short hops in the morning to keep things moving.  Send that positive mojo!!

Coming into the warmer months the races tend to get shorter in distance.  Probably going to do a few 5K races in May!  I’ll post more information on those as I get signed up.

On a sad note, I was just reading an article on my running groups page the other day about a 32 yr. old Mother of 3 that passed away just steps from completing a half marathon.  Every time I read stories like this, it reminds me of how lucky and blessed I’ve been to be able to enjoy this sport for so many years.  I take something from each and every run and hold it in my heart.  My thoughts and prayers go out to this young mother’s family.  I will continue to run and carry those people who can run no longer.

Nice weather is upon us so get outside and enjoy!  April 26th is the date of the “Big Race” here in T-Town! It will be the Lucky #13 race!! Come on out and enjoy the party!  Cheer on these athletes that have trained for months to cross that finish line!

I’ll see you on the road!

Zombie

One busy weekend after another

Well this last weekend was one hell of a challenge!  The 25K on Saturday proved to be a tough run…physically and mentally.  The cool breeze turned a bit colder and a little sprinkle started right at about 10 miles.  To go with that, the last 5 miles were on a very straight trail, with a headwind and nothing very exciting to look at.  Ugh!!  My sister and I marched on through and finished averaging just under 10 minute miles.  That’s right where we wanted to be.  Especially knowing that we had another 7K race the following day!

The field for this race and the race the following day was just loaded with great runners!  I’m always amazed to watch others that can run with what appears to be little effort and just fly!  Props to them for being Awesome!!  We kept our pace and finished and that’s what was most important!  My hamstring decided to tighten up first and then the calves got ugly just past the 13 mile mark.  I was grateful for the after care people doing the massages!  Rubbed out the worst of it and I relaxed most of the day on Saturday.

Sunday’s Wearing of the Green 7K was chilly but the wind was nowhere near as bad as last year’s run.  The sun was shining and that’s always a bonus!  Started out easy and picked up the pace right after the first mile.  Turned in a 35:51 and grabbed a medal for being one of the first 61 runners to cross the finish.  Nice little bonus!  I looked over the results of my age group and wow!  Placed 8th out of 12 runners!  The competition in the 45-49 group was…well….just WOW!  The first 3 in the group were all below 7 minute miles!  Such speed!  Again, humbled by the talent level.  I never feel bad about myself though.  I know what I’m capable of and I know that there’s room for improvement…and I will.  The main focus this year and pretty much all the time with me is to enjoy running!  No matter where I run in the pack…I’m happy!  I always keep my focus on that.  I don’t want to get caught up in being faster than everyone else…for me, I just lose focus when I do that and it becomes more of a chore than fun!

This weekend coming will be about the same mileage but in a different set up.  We have a 10K (6.2 miles) on Saturday in Gibsonburg, Ohio.  Zip home, grab a shower and pack for Ann Arbor, Michigan!  Packet pick up there before 4 p.m. and then Sunday morning will be the Ann Arbor Half Marathon (13.1 miles).  Another 20 mile weekend!  Thank God for Becky at Massage Works!!  She rescued me this past Monday!  Thanks to her, I’m able to keep this hamstring moving and continue my journey to finishing all 30 races!

My main message today…focus on the happiness that you get from running!  Don’t worry about times so much or where you are in the pack.  If you start a race, you’re already ahead of those sitting.  If you finish…you’re a star!  Never let go of that!  We all have our own goals and I’m not knocking those that enjoy the speed.  It’s just not what drives me to run.  If I turn in a great time…yep…I’m thrilled!  It just doesn’t make or break me.  I run against myself…always!

Thanks again to my Aunt and Uncle for coming out to cheer for Patti and I this past weekend!  It’s always great to see a smile at the finish line!  Thank you to my wonderful wife for being the best supporter ever!  She keeps me grounded and I always feel loved!

I hope to see more of you Zombies out this Spring!  Be it running, walking or standing at the finish line with a big smile and a Zombie shirt on!

I’ll see you on the road!

Zombie

Moving past the setbacks

The idea of running these 30 races continues to amaze me at times.  Believe me, I’ve questioned my sanity a few times!  My main goal is to FINISH each and every race!  Spoiler alert…I may just run more than 30!  I have the mind-set and a great cause.  Mobile Meals of Toledo!  I remember the first meeting with them and saying “I just hope that I can raise some kind of money to make a difference.”  I was told then and there…anything you do will be appreciated!  They won me over with that statement!  They believed in me more than I believed in me!  How is that possible??  I can never express in words how much I appreciate people like the ones that run Mobile Meals of Toledo and all of the wonderful volunteers that help get people the food they need on a daily basis!  This includes my wonderful wife.  Always thinking of others…just amazing!  I will continue this journey through the entire year of 2015!  I will continue to do local races and even venture to a few other states!  You’ll see my bright RunZombieRun shirt in each and every run!  I’m on a mission to make a difference!  “Running with a purpose!”

The race this last weekend (Run for Super PI) was an awesome event!  Props to Tom Silva and Dianna Ashton…along with many others for organizing a top-notch event!  Without your passion for this sport…what kind of races would we have to run?!  Keep up the fine work and I’ll keep showing up!

The race was wonderful but my hamstring decided that I finished the last 1/4 mile a bit too fast.  I’ve been fighting off a couple different small injuries and the hamstring really sent a message after the PI run.  I’m here to tell you…message was received!  I have too much riding on these races and I need to keep the focus on finishing…put my pride and desire to fly in a little box for now and just keep from blowing something apart!  I keep thinking that I’m still young…lol!  The body reminds me that I’m not “that” young anymore.  The sore tendons in the foot have settled down and I’ve managed to get the hamstring loose.  Daily rolling on a foam roller and stretching have helped a bunch.  Advil and some rest are doing their part too.  I did a light 3 mile run at the park yesterday and felt pretty good.  I’m taking today off and will do another short run tomorrow.  With a full weekend of races, I need to keep it calm.  No worrying about PR’s!  Thinking of my PR could land me in the ER!  hee hee!!

So to any that want to follow this weekend.  http://www.davesraces.com/ Here is the link to Saturday’s run The Great Black Swamp Festival of races!  Patti and I will be running the 25K and expect to be on the road for about 2 1/2 hours…give or take.  A map along with the start and finish are all listed on this site.  Sunday will be the Wearin of the Green!  This will be held at Maumee Bay State Park in Oregon, Ohio!  (My backyard)  Looks to be a cold start but lots of sunshine! http://www.imathlete.com/events/EventOverview.aspx?fEID=19995  There is the link for that race.

Spring is trying to get here!  Whatever you decide to do…make sure you keep moving!  Don’t let any setbacks stop your vision or passion!  Get out and be inspired!  You never know who’s watching…you just may inspire someone else and how cool would that be?!  See you on the road!

Zombie

As always…you can donate on my website runzombierun.net.  It is a direct link to Mobile Meals of Toledo!  They even placed a runzombierun spot on the Mobile Meals of Toledo webpage!  Anything and everything are always appreciated!

Florida…Running with a purpose!

Well…I know I’m a little behind on my blogging, but better late than never!  The Florida trip was absolutely amazing!!  Temperatures were spot on perfect for both running and just enjoying being outside.  The lowest temp was about 45 and the high reached about 76.  Most days hovered around the 70 degree mark and I loved every minute of it!  The time spent with family was priceless and running two races back to back with them…beyond words!

The expo on Friday before race weekend was big fun!  We met a group called LifeCapsule.  They were asking for donations of blood that are then used for research.  How can you say no to making the world a better place and hopefully saving lives?!  They were all great people and we took a picture with the group.  (it’s posted on my Facebook page Run Zombie Run and on LifeCapsule’s Facebook page).  We hovered around and checked out all the newest gear, supplements and just general stuff!  Checked out some of the upcoming races around the country and just enjoyed the running community.  I was very excited about the custom Bib for the A1A Half Marathon.  They allowed enough letters for me to spell out RunZombieRun right on my Bib!!  YaY!!!!  So not only would I be wearing my Runzombierun shirt…but have a matching Bib!  All about that!!  LOL!!  We also stopped by the table to pick up our Bibs and shirts for the Fort Lauderdale 5K that would be held the day before the A1A Half.  Great shirt for that race!  I was just riding a high the entire time!

I came to Florida with another issue.  A good friend had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer and was going through the beginning of her journey.  This wasn’t sitting well with me and I hate to see such a good soul struggle and worry.  My first thought…I need to run for her!  I sent her a text and told her that I would place her name on my arm and dedicate my miles for the weekend to her.  You see, running is something that I love but also something that should be shared and celebrated.  It was an honor to run for Ann.  In true Ann fashion, she was more excited for me running the race and couldn’t believe that I would take the time to think about her.  Just amazing…thinking of me when she has this battle going on.  My words to her were “just keep being awesome and fight!”  I’ll carry you this weekend.  So carry her I did!  I posted my fastest times in both races!  Took 3rd place in my age division at the 5K and posted a 1:57:29 at the Half Marathon.  During the half…my foot became a bit sore (still fighting sore tendons) and I got a bit caught up with it.  Right there and then I thought…seriously…you have a sore foot and you’re running for someone who is fighting cancer?!  Move your ass and stop whining!  Part of the whole Run Zombie Run is to run for others.  To run for those who can’t or for those struggling.  I lace up everyday thinking how lucky and very blessed I am to enjoy this sport called running.  I will continue to run with a purpose.  I will continue to inspire and even carry others.  What would I be if I didn’t look beyond myself?

I want to take another moment to thank so many of you for stepping up and donating to Mobile Meals of Toledo!!  When I started this journey…I stressed so much that I would never be able to make a difference.  You’ve all proven that “we” can make a difference!  25 more races to go!  I know that I can do this…injuries be damned!!  I have a purpose and a passion…that makes me one hell of a serious runner! 🙂  Lace up!  Find your purpose!  Start your Journey!  But most of all, remember to think of others.  I’ll see you on the road!

Zombie

Inspire!

Along with getting out there and running all these races.  I’m always hoping to pick up a few “new to running” people!  I think while I’m working on this blog…who is reading this, how does it make them feel, will it inspire them?!  For those who might be thinking of taking up running, don’t be scared.  There’s a great program out there on the web called couch to 5K!  (C25K)  I highly recommend using this to start out your adventure and believe me, it will be an adventure!  (I say that in a positive voice!)  I said it before and will continue to say it…running has changed my life, made me stronger, given me hope and confidence!  The running bug is the best bug to have…in my humble opinion!

A young lady I know is currently taking up this C25K and has stated that she’d like to run a 5K before the end of my 30 races this year.  Can I just say…that is one of the most amazing things anyone could ever say to me!  I welcome anyone and everyone to climb on board this crazy train at anytime.  I keep my races listed on my Facebook page at Run Zombie Run and also on the website runzombierun.net.  I have plans of doing the vast majority of the races here locally in the Toledo, Ohio area…so by all means…come on out!  If you need a boost, maybe an occasional text to help motivate you, I can do that!  Don’t worry about what pace I might be running, if you ask me to run with you, I’ll stay right by your side and run your pace.  I feel it’s only right that if someone is new to running that I help promote running first before my own personal desires.  This whole idea of running the 30 races was set up to celebrate the 30 years of running but to make it about others.  It’s bigger than me!

I have 3 races currently schedule for March.  Run for PI will be on…you guessed it 3/14/15!  This run will take place at Second Sole running shop in Perrysburg (Levis Commons).  I have a big run (25K) The Black Swamp Festival of races March 21, 2015 and the following day I’m running a 7K race at Maumee Bay State Park in Oregon!  More will be scheduled for April and I’ll be doing quite a few 5K runs (3.1 miles) during the summer months.

I’m currently nursing a very sore left foot.  It decided to be angry with me after the Dave’s 10 Miler.  Doc says the tendons are inflamed and to take it easy for a little bit.  I’ve cut down on the training mileage but have no plans to stop the races!  Florida is only 2 weeks away and I have both a 5K on 2/14/15 and then a Half Marathon on 2/15/15 scheduled!  I will finish what I’ve started…you can mark those words down now!

So stay tuned for more on all of this exciting stuff coming!  Do your part to inspire others to be happy and healthy!  Remember that I’m never more than an email or text away and will help in any way I can to promote your fitness goals!  You can do it!  Keep moving and stay healthy!  I’ll see you out on the road!

Zombie

Digging deep

I think with every race you do, you learn something about yourself.  Today was one of the most challenging races to date for me.  It was the Dave’s 10 Miler in Delta, Ohio.  I knew late January in NW Ohio would be interesting but was just blown away by what was waiting to greet me at the starting line.  24 degrees with a feel like of about 14.  Steady winds out of the NE at 22 mph and gusting close to if not over 30 mph.  To top things off, the streets were covered but not enough to strap on my Yaktrax.  This left me wearing just regular running shoes and crossing fingers for no disaster.

My gear was absolutely flawless!  Wind blocking underwear (Thanks Wife!), wind blocking running pants, double compression shirts and my trusty weather reflecting hoodie!  Run Junkee hat and mittens of course!  There were 4 overpass crossings during the run and they brought you right out into the freezing cold wind!  The snow was coming in that wind at such a clip, you could hardly see anything in front of you.  So no great scenery during this race…lol!  I have no idea where I ran or what I passed!  HA!  There were wonderful volunteers in several spots on the course and regular “sag wagons” on the look out for a runner going down or giving up.  There was a stretch that went straight into the bitter wind that I really thought was going to break me.  I couldn’t believe that I was even entertaining such a thought, but I was about to break!  I told myself to remember everyone that you’re running for!  The reason you signed up in the first place!  DIG DEEP!  Those were the words that rang through my head for miles after that.  I can’t give up…there’s too much riding on these races and I can’t stop!

I took on both GU and water during the run, was visited by Cold Miser and zapped with ice crystals growing from my beard!  lol!!  It was just the craziest race ever!  When I reached mile 9, it was yet another head wind.  I was tired but knew that I could crush a mile no matter what!  I pushed through and gave it everything all the way to the clock!  1 hour 34 minutes and change!  That’s about a 9:26 mile and I’ll take it!  Can I run faster…sure…but not in these conditions!  The race was everything that was promised.  Tough course, tough weather and a bunch of tough runners!  Props to all those that came out and ran the 5K or the 10 miles!  I was so amazed to see so many runners show up on such a crappy day all in the name of running.  Rock on Runners…Rock on!

So if you’re faced with a difficult task…dig deep!  Find that spot inside you that says “I’ll Never Quit!”  It’s there…I found it today!

Happy running!

Zombie