The Race I Love To Hate!

Ahhh yes…the Dave’s 10 Miler!  “The Race I Love To Hate”!  This is the third year that I’ve made the long trek across town to Delta, Ohio where they hold the annual Dave’s 10 Miler.  It’s a good 40 minute drive from our home, but for some reason, I keep returning to this one.  27164524_10213380004768256_277112797574721187_o

The first year I ran was in 2015 and OMG!!  Quite possibly the worst running conditions you could ever ask for!  Blowing and drifting snow/sleet, big swirling winds and just enough cover on the roads to keep you from strapping on Yak Trax!  That being said…I made it through the entire 10 miles (Frozen facial hair and all).  This race is always run in the mid part of January and in NW Ohio, that could mean anything for weather.

The 2017 run was a complete turn around from 2015.  We had 64 degrees and sunshine!  What the hell?!  While I enjoyed the temperatures and running in shorts, I kept thinking back to the 2015 run and was just blown away.  You really can get just about anything for weather at this time of year.

2018…the conditions looked to be pretty good going into the week prior to the event.  They were calling for a chance of rain and about 40 degrees on race day.  As it turned out, we did get 41 degrees, but also received a monster FOG!  Holy Hell!  Lining up for the race I just had to chuckle and told my wife, “every time I come out for this run I’m handed something unique!”  There was very little wind and with the temperature being basically perfect, we knew it was going to be a good run.  Both of us had been fighting the “Ohio Cruds” in the weeks building up to the race.  I was able to get out once just a week before to try to get my running legs back.  So, the idea of setting a new P.R. were tossed out the window and we both just decided to make it a training run and survive.  I paced with Karla for the first 6 miles and it was pretty wonderful.  We don’t often get to run together and sometimes that’s alright…lol!  Just kidding honey!  We clipped off the miles and enjoyed the thick haze out in the middle of no where!  I wore a High Viz Orange shirt due to the conditions.  I figured if I’m running on a country road and the speeding locals are not aware there’s a race going on, I’d like to be seen before getting run down…lol!  Most of the miles went pretty easy and my breathing was much improved from the week prior.  I did however have a small equipment problem with my shoe and sock combination.  The shoes I chose had a shift with the insert and it started to rub the side of my foot something awful.  I thought for sure there’d be a huge blister once we got home.  No blister but a bright red pinch mark.  All good now!26730829_1984847188210913_1541023208032878146_n

The end result was a 9:39 pace for the 10 miles.  Not what I’m used to but, like I said, this was a survival run.  Karla did awesome and was just a few minutes behind me.  I think she placed in her division!  She always claims to be slow but for some reason has no problem placing in her division…time and time again.  The shirt and bling were totally fun!  They hit the mark when they came out with that design!  I was planning on skipping the run this year and then the bling came out…damn you Dave’s!  All in all it was a good time.  We survived another strange weather event and finished a 10 mile training run.  Just one step closer to California and the numerous other fun runs!10155836_10201807798138634_1189736724_n

As I stated on my Run Zombie Run Facebook page, I’ve signed up for the http://www.hennepinhundred.com/.  The 50K (31 miles…32.7 for this course) is now on my list of things to do this year!  This will be my first Ultra Marathon and I just can’t wait to get it on!  I’ll be running with a guest Zombie, but I’ll reveal who that person is at a later date.  I will tell you that it’s a female and she’s been wanting to run an Ultra for a very long time.  This is her ultimate bucket list run and I’m very excited to run it with her.  I’ll also be raising funds for RA (rheumatoid Arthritis) in honor of my sister Gini Feller who suffers from this debilitating disease.  There’ll be more blogs as the year goes about my sister’s numerous struggles and how she finds ways to keep going.  She’s much tougher than I!  A career nurse, she still works full-time and manages to do so much more, even when her body tries to stop her.  I’m honored to be able to run for her!25311286_1934138480180051_6468389338526585126_o

So, the first organized run is in the books. Training needs to start cranking up and “there are miles to run before I sleep”.  I’ll continue to stay after my blog and keep everyone updated on what’s going on next!  I’ll fill you in on upcoming races, training and I’d like to do a sit down (question…answer) session with my sister Gini about her struggles and what she’d like all of us to know about RA.  Stay Tuned.

I’ll see you…on the road!

~Zombie~

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2018…The Year We Turn Everything Around

Well, I know it’s been a little while since I’ve sat down and knocked out a Blog entry.  I never expected to go into the new year with a serious case of the Ohio Cruds!  I can almost always roll right through a cold and not miss a beat, but this one was a WOW!  I’m just now starting to feel like myself again and I know I’m improving because I’ve become stir crazy and focused on getting back out on the road again.   My very first run of 2018 was just a few days ago and only about 4.5 miles, but damn it felt good.

Let’s take inventory on what I’ve signed up for so far and some of the highlights to start out the 2018 running calendar.

The first organized run of 2018 will be the “Race I love to hate”!  The Dave’s 10 Miler out in Delta.  January 21st at 2 p.m. is the start time.  This race has been celebrated for numerous years now and is known for giving you a full on Ohio Blizzard (2015) or as we got to enjoy last year, 64 degrees and sunny!  The insanity of it all!  In 2015, this race almost broke me with the terrible conditions.  It seemed that at every turn the wind was blowing directly in your face and there was a combination of snow/sleet coming down.  I did a blog entry shortly after the 10 Miler that year…titled “Digging Deep.”IMG_20150322_080725328_HDR

The second race that I’ve not signed up for yet, but totally plan to is the Great Scott 25K. (February 18th) This is a double loop road run done on property of Oak Openings Metro Park.  This is a Toledo RoadRunner only event and once again, can be a serious challenge.  I’m always a little rusty during the first couple winter months and throwing a 25K or just over 15 miles into the training schedule is usually cause for laying in my recliner for the remainder of the day…lol!  It’s a nice event and a good tune up for the races ahead in the spring.  Besides, it’s an excuse to run at a cool park and grab an Awesome sweatshirt for signing up!  Love my Swag!

March 17th will bring the Black Swamp Festival of Races.  I dig this run mostly because of the “Memory  Mile”.  The last mile of the race is covered with signs that have the names of loved ones that have left our world.  It takes everything to get through this mile when you’re reading all the names and just feeling all the love these runners have for their family and friends.  I struggle with my breathing and usually have tears during this stretch.  I fell apart the first year I ran this after the passing of my Mother.  Seeing her name brought such a rush of emotions.  Believe me, these are all good things and I love that they do this each year.  I’ve asked that both my Mother and Father’s names be posted on a sign for this years run.  Love you Mom and Dad!  I just know they’ll be looking over me as I come across the finish line.

Alright, onto April.  April has a double whammy!  First is the Glass City Half Marathon on April 22nd.  This is the 10th Anniversary of this event and it’s the Home Town, so that makes it a must run!  The course is super scenic and the finish is inside of the Glass Bowl at UT (University of Toledo).  This race will be a training run for our big trip to the West Side of the Country!  April 29 The Big Sur International Marathon…for which we will be running the 21 miler this year!  (We wanted a different medal to add to our collection) They call this “Running the Ragged Edge Of The Western World”.  Every step of this course is just breathtaking!  I fell in love with California last year and feel the desire to go back and try my best to tame the course.

May 20th brings the Ann Arbor Half Marathon!  I’ve run this for the past few years and really enjoy the course.  It’s an Ass-Kicker!  Lots of hill challenges and one big mother of a Hill at just the right time to make you scream!  My sister complains each and every year about signing up, but she keeps right on going back with me…lol!  It’s a love/hate thing!  This year will be a touch different because they’ve changed the month from March to May.  While it’ll be much warmer running weather for us, it could prove to be more taxing on the system if we get some serious heat.  Time will tell!  Stay tuned!

June 17th I’ll be running the Towpath 10 miler. This race will be in the greater Cleveland, OH area and will be my first go at this one.  The H.R. direct at my workplace told me about it because his wife is the organizer of the Trilogy of race in the area.  I thought, Cleveland, Summer heat, 10 miles…WTF…I’m in!  I always get excited about trying out new destination runs even if they’re just a short hop down the Turnpike to get to!

I don’t want to jinx anything, but the next big event that a group of wild and crazy runners are working to organize for Mid-September is….wait for it…. Going On A RAGNAR RUN!!  Ragnar NH for the 20th Anniversary!  https://www.runragnar.com/event-detail/relay/reachthebeach Two Vans, 12 runners, running some 200ISH miles NON-STOP!  I went absolutely crazy after our first Ragnar and told everyone that it’s a life changer.  That’s for real!  Nothing but fun and raw emotions throughout the entire trip!  I highly recommend that anyone reading this consider doing one in your lifetime.  It’s a bucket list thang!  I’ll keep you up to date as more details become available on this run.

So there’s a look into Run Zombie Run 2018!  I’m running again this year to continue to help .  I have plans to get a new Run Zombie Run 2018 shirt together…not just for my races, but for you all to purchase and enjoy!  I’ve asked my favorite Tattoo Artist (Sailor Woody) at http://www.iatattoo.com/  to draw up a Zombie Dog for the front of the shirt.  Once we get that together, I’ll go to the fine folks over at https://www.jupmode.com/ to get the printing and such underway!  More details on this will be coming very soon.15823162_10208205482236738_934814482490240172_n

So, you know the drill from here!  Keep moving, go run, walk, pump weights, but do something!  We were meant to be moving!  The human body demands that we exercise to keep it happy!  Go rescue a dog and walk it at the park!  I just happen to know numerous fuzzy critters that would love to have a forever home…lol!  Seriously…look up blackjack and enjoy the sweet pups!  I’ve been out for a bit, so please like my Facebook page RunZombieRun and share it with all your pals!  I want to build things back up so that we can raise awareness of all the pets that needs love and homes as well as find new and exciting ways to stay in shape.  I’ll hit you up in the coming days with another entry…probably just before and/or right after the Dave’s 10 miler run.  I’m sure I’ll have something to say about that one…lol!  Take care of yourself and be good to one another!

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

Trying to keep it all together

March is looking to be my craziest month thus far and I continue to challenge myself!  Tomorrow will be the run for PI!  3.14 is the official race distance but we all know the story there…it could actually keep going!  (Math nerd moment)

Next weekend will be back to back runs.  A 25K on Saturday and a 7K Sunday morning.  Hoping to get together with family on Sunday and just relax after all the running.  I’ve scheduled a massage for Monday!  I know it’s the smart thing to do after such extremes.  I’ve been out on the road pretty much everyday and hitting the gym 3 times a week!  The weather has forced me to run more than I had planned.  No complaints…I’ve enjoyed the temps and the sunshine, just need to keep the body going for the long haul.  The foot has been behaving and the hamstring is a little tight, but still moving!

I’ve signed up for the Ann Arbor Half marathon on the 29th of the month and now…I’m thinking of going ahead and signing up for a 5K on the 28th before we leave for Ann Arbor!  If I do, I’ll have knocked 5 races in 1 month…Woo Hoo!!  Another massage has been schedule for the day after the Ann Arbor Half as well! 🙂

The first two weeks of the gym weight loss challenge did not go well for me.  My eating was still a bit sloppy and I had a small melt down over it.  (Ask my wife and sister…lol!)  I’m on track now and have been doing much better with my eating.  Finding the balance to be able to maintain some muscle, lose weight and still be able to perform at the level I want during races is an interesting task.  I’ll keep on that!

Looking ahead to other races and dates!  So many races I’d like to do and so little time!  I think my sister and I have agreed on a big challenge in October.  We’re talking about doing the Sleeping Bear Half marathon on Oct 3 and then traveling south a little bit to Frankenmuth and doing a Half Marathon there on Oct 4th!  Back to back big runs!  I think we can kill it…no problem!

September will bring the Smoky Mountain Half Marathon and it looks as though Karla will be up for the task this year!  Going to the mountains is a must…each and every year!  Might as well run a fun race while there…right??

Still toying with a few ideas in November.  Might head back to Bowling Green, KY.  I really enjoyed the Half Marathon there last year.  The Churchill’s Half is in November as well.  I think my head is starting to spin again…lmao!!

I appreciate the support as always!  I love hearing from each and every one of you!  Helping me with Mobile Meals of Toledo has been awesome!!  As always…feel free to lace up and come to a race!  There are many that you can join in and just walk if you wish.  “A body in motion stays in motion!”  I usually list what race I’m running on my Facebook page…you can always come to one of those and yell at me to move my ass too!  I dig that!

Take care and I’ll see you out on the road!

Zombie

March Madness!!

Well, another month done and wow what a month!  February…I officially don’t care for you at all!  Thank goodness for the Florida break!  Two more races in the books while in Florida.  The Fort Lauderdale 5K and the A1A Half Marathon both completed on the same weekend!  I’m grateful to have knocked out at least two races during the month, keeps me on schedule to complete the task of 30 races this year.

March will be a full month on the racing calendar.  March 14th will be the Run for Super PI!  Math nerds are welcome to come out and walk, run or just spectate the madness!  This race will take place at Second Sole at Levis Commons in Perrysburg.  http://www.roadracerunner.com/re_165794/RunforSuperPi.html

The next race will be a big one.  The Black Swamp Festival of Races http://greatblackswampruns.org/.  This will be a 25K run on March 21st!  I’ll be running with my sister Patti and my sister Leanna is coming in from Florida to run as well.  Not planning on setting any records for this one as it’s 15.5 miles long.  The plan is to just enjoy the company and finish the race with no injuries!

To follow the Black Swamp up, I’ll be running The Wearin of the Green 7K run on March 22nd (the following day!)http://www.imathlete.com/events/EventOverview.aspx?fEID=19995  This was one hell of a race last year!  It’s held at Maumee Bay State Park out here in Oregon, Ohio and being March in NW Ohio…you never know what kind of ugly Mother Nature is going to throw at you!  I’ll be tired from the long run the day before and if the winds were anything like they were last year…I just want to see the finish line!

The final run for March will be the Ann Arbor, MI Half Marathon!  March 29th and will be starting…you guessed it…right there at the Big House!  Not a fan of Michigan Football but it’ll be my first time in the area and hey…It’s another race to mark off my calendar! http://theannarbormarathon.com/

So there you have it!  4 Races in one month!  Right around the corner in April will be the Glass City Marathon/Half Marathon!  I’m working on dropping weight and scoring a PR at that one!  Cross your fingers!  I’ll do an entire blog entry dedicated to the Glass City at a later date.

As a small teaser…I’ve joined a group of people from a running group and have committed to running Ragnar (Chicago 2016) http://ragnarrelay.com/race/Chicago I’ve posted the website for the 2015 relay so that you all can look through and see how much fun this is going to be.  12 runners, 2 vans, 200 miles of running from Madison, WI to the windy city!  Chi town!  This has been on my bucket list for years and I still can’t believe I’m finally going to have the opportunity to do it!  More on that later too!

Keeping up with my running and hitting the gym on schedule.  Cleaned up my eating and will continue to tune it as time passes.  Still have plans of dropping the extra pounds for my challenge at the gym.

As always, thank you to everyone for following along!  Extra thanks to all for donating to Mobile Meals of Toledo!!  They keep me focused to keep the legs moving!  Running with a purpose!  Take care and …I’ll see you on the Road!

Zombie

The Challenge within the Challenge!

The idea of running 30 races to celebrate the 30 years of running seemed a bit crazy when I first started toying with the idea.  Then, well, I just got used to it!  It seems I’m always searching for something.  Something to help relax my still slightly restless soul.

I’ve decided to take on a challenge at my local gym.  Between February 23 and April 23rd…the person to lose the highest percentage of weight could win some fun prizes!  First place is a $250.00 visa card, Second place gets $100.00 visa card and Third gets gym credit.  My hope is to take First or Second and then turn the winnings over to Mobile Meals Of Toledo!  So this means it’s time to start writing down all my foods and keeping close track of my intake.  It’ll be a little more complicated on long run days but I think I can master a plan to get through.

Weigh in was today!  I went in to do my leg workout and hopped on the scale.  218 lbs at just shy of 6’2″.  My ideal weight…that I’d like to reach would be just under 200 lbs.  I’d like to maintain as much muscle as possible and lose the extra layer of winter fat.  This too will improve my joint pains and hopefully my times for my races!  It’s a win…win!  What’s the worst that could happen…I could see my abs?!  lol!!  So now you’ll all have to deal with my crazy running rants along with my calorie intake, workouts and just plain craziness!  It’s for a great cause and again…I’ll be laser focused!

The plan is to get 3 workouts with weights in during a weeks time.  Cardio on 5 days of the week.  I’ll bump to 6 after a month or so.  Feel free to jump in and challenge yourself!  Get on a scale or just put on a pair of pants that might feel a bit tight and make a pledge that you’ll be wearing them in 8 weeks!  “Summer bodies are made in the Winter!”  True to form…this won’t be an easy fight!  Getting up at 3:30 a.m. and going out into the freezing cold to run or head to the gym will be tough.  I will make it happen though…you can count on me!

The big wrap up for this will be fun!  The week that I do the final weigh in at the gym is the same week leading up to the Glass City Marathon!  I will be running the Half Marathon but would love to post a new PR during that race!  It’s my home town and I have a number in my head that I want to reach.  So coming in lighter and more  fit…I should be able to put the hammer down!

Alright all…Let’s do this!  8 weeks to a leaner, faster, crazier self!  I’ll see you on the road!

Zombie

Not all pretty runs!

Today was long run Sunday with my sister Patti.  As some of you may know, Patti just returned to the running game last year and might I  add…has rocked it!  From not running at all to running her third half marathon last weekend is truly amazing!  She puts in the time and the run in return…brings her peace.  Keep running Sis!

The weather looked to be the best we’re going to get for another week or so.  That being said, we decided to hit the roads and see how things shook out today.  My initial hope was to run 13 miles or better.  (I may have forgotten to share that with my sister…lol!)  We headed out and started chatting about the week in Florida and how we wish we were running there right now instead of here!  The temperature was around 21 degrees when we left but there was really no wind to speak of. (YAY!!)  Walked out to the front of my sub-division and hit it!  Down the road we went!  Everything was going well…hit our usual pee stop at a local gas station out here in Oregon and popped open a pack of delicious GU!  Salted Caramel!  Patti’s new favorite!  This was at about mile 5.5..ventured further out into Oregon and my back started giving me fits.  I worked out at the gym the day before yesterday and was getting what is known as “the 2 day effect!”  the second day after a big work out usually brings a certain tightness to the muscles.  I decided to keep plugging away and at about mile 8.2…it was getting a bit rough.  We stopped and walked for a little and then pushed on.  I made it another 1.1 miles and knew I was just toast.  All total with our running and walking we managed 10.3 miles.  They weren’t the prettiest…but we got it done!

I’ll make the proper adjustments and make sure to keep back work outs away from my long run days in the future.  The back has already settled down…so all is well.  The idea that we can always go out there and have perfect runs is frankly…just silly!  Some days I feel like I could run for days!  Then you have days when you feel like a mile is all you can go.  I just chalk it all up as movement!  Anything beats nothing every damn day!

It looks like there’ll be another arctic blast coming for the week so time outdoors running will be kept at a premium.  I think the Stairmaster will be my “friend” for the better part of this week.  Blah!!  Training must continue!  Busy March schedule of racing coming just around the corner!  March 14th…The run for PI!  March 21st…The Great Black Swamp Festival of races!  Then on March 22nd…Wearin of the Green!  I’ll be scheduling a massage soon (Becky at MassageWorks keeps me moving!).  It looks as though my sister will be coming in from Florida for the Black Swamp and Wearing of the green!  So again, I’ll have family to keep me motivated and happy!

Hang tough everyone!  The runs aren’t always pretty, the weather isn’t always good, but the heart will carry you through it all!  Happy Running and…I’ll see you out on the road!

Zombie