Loss and the road ahead

Robert W. "Bob" Neeley, December 1, 1936 - August 6, 2015

Robert W. “Bob” Neeley, December 1, 1936 – August 6, 2015

On August 6, 2015 my Father, Robert W. Neeley passed away.  A strong-willed and passionate man passed these very same traits onto his children.  The words “I can’t do it” were not allowed in our home.  While we didn’t always see eye to eye over the years, I admired his drive and wanted so much to be noticed by him.  During the last weeks he was alive, I was able to have some good conversations with him and found that he was a fan of the Run Zombie Run campaign.  He asked how I was feeling and was I looking forward to getting all 30 races completed.  I told him of the many obstacles I had faced over the past months: the hamstring, the groin and several different foot issues.  He kind of chuckled and said…”You’ll be fine and you’ll finish this because you’re my son.”  That was an amazing moment for me!  My Father was never very good at telling you how proud he was of you.  He had no problem telling others all about your accomplishments, but to say them to you…very rare.  I was kind of choked up and said, “Wow!”  He chuckled again and told me to just keep running and he’d be proud to see me finish the 30 races.

Well, he decided to leave before the big party for the 30 races.  I’ll be at #24 next weekend.  He may not be here to share in the festivities then, but he’s with me now as I run every mile!  I’ve been challenged to run 100 miles during the month of August by my good friend Brian “Monk” Taylor.  I decided to take on that challenge and dedicate the miles to my father – the man who has given me the strength to always push, never quit and to be the very best!  Dad may have had a hard time sharing his feelings but I know in my heart that he loved me and was proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish thus far in my life.

I’m over 70 miles for the month of August and just 7 races away from completing the 30 races I’ve set out to run.  I know I’ll get it done… my Dad told me so and I won’t let him down.  I’ll continue to have my chats with him on the open road.  We all know that’s where I find my serenity.  Strength, drive, passion…yeah…that’s my Father.

For my friends at Mobile Meals of Toledo…I’ve got your back!  I’ll get this done and continue to raise awareness of the many needs you folks have.  To those that are fighting and surviving cancer…I’ve got your back as well!  I’ll carry you on my skin, on my clothing and in my heart. For you Dad… I’ll never quit!

See you on the road…

~Zombie~

Training, Racing, Planning and looking towards #30

Sorry for the long delay!  There have been several events going on in my life and of course work just loves to suck the life out of me!  Training has been going very well!  I’ve been maintaining my once a week-long run and an assortment of distances throughout the week.

July 2nd was the Woodville 4th of July celebration 5K!  Although I worked during the day, I managed to hold onto enough energy to get through the 5K and also managed to stay in my wheel house on time. (24:19) was my Garmin time!  I’m finding comfort in the mid to lower 24’s for 5K’s these days and enjoying that!  My best was at the National Running Day run at a full minute below that!  23:19 was Garmin time for that one!  I’ll try to muster a lower time somewhere along the way but again, I’m more focused on the long haul and getting all 30 races done!

team zombieThe Woodville race was a lot of fun!  Beautiful sunshine and moderate temperatures helped to make the run quite special!  That along with the fact just a few days earlier, Woodville suffered a huge flood putting the entire set up (tents and all) under water!  6 plus inches of water hit our entire area and caused major flooding issues everywhere!  That being said, Woodville pulled off an excellent celebration in spite of Mother Nature’s smack!  Way to go Woodville…I’ll be back next year in my Pink socks to run that one again!

During this week I was able to get an address for our Pink Warrior Valory Newton!  I mailed a Run Zombie Run tank top to her so that she could feel the love that we Zombies have for her and know that we’re carrying her on every run!  Keep Fighting Valory!

Friends Tom and Dianna rock the limited edition "Run Zombie Run" tanks.

Friends Tom and Dianna rock the limited edition “Run Zombie Run” tanks.

I also managed to get a few tanks out to just a few running friends!  Don’t feel slighted if you didn’t get one…there will be a huge Long sleeved T-shirt event as we get closer to the magic #30 race!  Stay tuned on that one!  Anyway…I only had 20 of the tank tops and decided to switch the lettering to Pink in honor of all those fighting or surviving Cancer!  I called this my limited edition tank and added TeamValory on the back just below my Mobile Meals logo!  I’m so happy when I see these tanks on people and the smiles they have wearing them!  Thanks runners for helping me keep this show going!

As I’ve said before…I don’t have the exact date set yet for the 30th race.  I’m guessing by what I have (kind of) planned that it should hit somewhere in the late October or Early November time!  Fall is my most favorite time of year and I can’t tell you how awesome it feels knowing that I just might hit this 30 races target!  I’m forever thinking about when this started, how it started and how absolutely grateful I am for all the help and support I’ve received to make it just this far!  From the people who keep me held together physically…Becky at Massage Works…Doctor Odeh at Genoa Medical center, my lovely bride Karla Neeley…they’ve all been a huge part of my success!  Then there are all of you!  The ones that follow me on here and Facebook.  The wonderful people who believe in what I’m doing and have donated so much to Mobile Meals!  I just can’t believe how well this is going!  I promise to keep this going and never disappoint you!

I’ll get back with you after this Thursday’s race in Sylvania.  (The Ohio/Michigan 8K) I’ll post up my thoughts about the race, how I felt, my time and of course some pictures before and after!  More to come this month!  A couple of back to back runs in late July and then rolling right into a busy August!  This Summer is flying!

Be well my friends!  Keep moving and enjoying the sunshine!  Keep Valory in your thoughts and prayers!  We want her healthy and happy!  Keep following the Zombie and I’ll…See you on the road!

~Zombie~

Running for others

While I always go out and enjoy each and every run, I feel even better (before, during and after) when there’s purpose!  I’ve found that my celebration of the 30 years I’ve been running has been one of the most fulfilling times in my life thus far!  I teamed up with Mobile Meals of Toledo to raise funds and awareness of hunger and the need to help feed those in need.  Along with this, I’ve had numerous people in my life come upon hard times.  Sickness and health issues seem to be hitting many that I care for.  While I’m unable to assist in their recovery first hand, I can bring attention, show compassion and care for them as a person.  I can let them know that they matter and that others think of them.

Valory Newton, from her public Facebook page

Valory Newton, from her public Facebook page

I’ll be running for a 9-year-old little girl this weekend and probably for several other races.  Valory Newton is fighting bone cancer at this time.  She’s lost a leg but continues to be a positive and loving little girl.  I want nothing more than for her to be able to feel better and live the life that so many of us enjoy.  My sister Gini Feller shared her story with me and asked that I dedicate some miles to her.  I will do so with great honor!  I’ll throw some pink into my wardrobe, place her name upon my arm and carry her as far as I possibly can!  Thank you so much Gini for bringing this to my attention and for asking me to share in her recovery.  Again, I’m honored.

Valory…I want you to focus on getting well!  I want you to stay strong and overcome this illness that’s come into your body.  I also want you to know that I care!  I want you to be able to dance again one day soon!

For those of you out there that run or walk, dedicate some miles to this beautiful little girl.  Visit her Facebook page:  Valory Fighting Dancer.  I think you’ll agree, she’s worth our attention!  I look forward to running this Sunday and just know that by having this young lady’s name on my arm I’ll run well!  I continue to run with purpose!  I will also continue to run for others!  My message today is simple…look beyond yourself, think of Valory, think of my friend Ann who continues her journey to become healthy again.  They need us and it’s our duty to help!

So get out there and run for others and I’ll see you on the road!

Zombie

Such a perfect day!

Having to work until the wee hours of the morning can be a challenge when it comes time to roll out of bed for an early morning race.  This morning was one of those days.  I woke after about 4 1/2 hours of sleep to the most beautiful morning!  Cool temperatures, soft breeze, sun climbing up in the sky and a 5 mile race waiting for me in Bowling Green, Ohio!  A quick protein shake and a bit of caffeine!  Off we went!

mike_may 24The Falcon Five Miler was an excellent run!  The course was on the campus of Bowing Green State University and again, the day was picture perfect.  I was hoping to run the 5 miles in around 42 minutes.  My wife Karla and my sister Patti and I all discussed what we were hoping for and how amazing the day was.

The end result was finishing an amazing 39:51 for the 5 miles!  I was blowing through the miles and just felt…well…wonderful!  Karla took first place in her age group and Patti was just behind her to scoop up second place!  I took the 2nd spot for my age group and was just pleased as punch!

We left for home and again were discussing how we enjoyed the race and how perfect the day was!  Came home, enjoyed some outdoor time both sunning and working in the yard.  Days like this, I just never want to be inside the house!  After a nice shower, Karla and I sat on our patio and just enjoyed the day!  I truly believe that everything seems a bit brighter when you’re an athlete.  An athlete of any kind and no matter what the level.  There’s something special about everything you see and do.  Some people would think that getting up on short sleep and running 5 miles is just crazy!  Me, it’s just perfect!

Enjoy this beautiful Ohio Weekend!  Do something fun and/or special!  Go to the park, take a walk around the neighborhood, visit with family or dare I say it…go for a run!!

I’ll see you on the road!

Zombie

Working on the Halfway Point!

Well we’re hitting full stride and coming up on the Half Way Point in the 30 races!  This Saturday I’ll be running the Dart Frog Dash 5K at the Toledo Zoo and will mark it off as race number 15!  May is a packed month of races and I’m hoping to pick up a few during the summer months as well.

Fall is my favorite time of year for running and I have no doubts I’ll load up on the races then.  I’ve already planned on doing back to back half marathons in the beginning of October up in Michigan!  September will have the Smoky Mountains Half marathon…which will be a thrill because Karla will be back in the mix for that race!  It’ll be her first half in some time due to injury issues.  I hate to push the year along but I always get excited about Fall colors and temperatures. 🙂

I’m not sure which race will become the number 30 race as of yet.  I plan my races on a month to month basis due to work schedule and what’s available.  I really want to make it a local run so that we can all have a huge celebration!  It’s all about the party…right?!!

On the injury front…the hamstring seems to be behaving lately and the groin issue that surfaced after the Glass City has settled down a bit as well.  (Crossing Fingers!)  I have to say that finding the HOKA ONE ONE (Clifton Model) shoe has been a huge help!  Not only are these shoes ridiculously light but they seem to take the beating out of the body!  That means that I can do a long run and my hips, back and knees are feeling pretty good afterwards!  Bonus!!  I highly recommend this particular model (Clifton) by the company stated…its full name is HOKA ONE/ONE.11258480_960032267382982_4529475506016623648_n  Go out and get yourself a pair and give them a try!  Rated as a Neutral shoe, they seem to have found a market with a guy like me that usually takes a Stability shoe.  I’ve found that the less than 8 oz. weight of the shoe is amazing!  You get the benefits of a super lightweight shoe with the padding of a stability!  I love these shoes so much that I’ve cleared out a big part of my stable of shoes by other manufacturers.  Nike, Brooks and Asics have all been pushed aside for this model.  That’s huge!

The temperatures are coming back up and that means more water is needed for the miles!  Be sure that if you’re going out during hot and or humid days that you properly hydrate the body!  Anything longer than 3 miles for me and I must carry my water bottle along.  I have a hand-held Ultraspire (http://ultraspire.com/) that I bring with.  It has a pocket just the right size to bring GU or Powerbar gels. (also a must on longer runs)  Just be smart and safe when out in the heat.  Things can get ugly quick when the sweat is pouring out of the body.  That being said…it’s time for the gym and a short hop before work!  Have a wonderful day!

I’ll see you on the Road!

Zombie

I am a Runner

I’ve had thoughts rolling around in my head for some time now.  There are people in my life that don’t quite get what I do or why I do it.  No worries…it’s not my bride!  I’ve been running for 30 years now.  It’s made me who and what I am as a person, shaped my very foundation from which I build my entire life!  I live and breathe running on a regular basis and will until I take my last breath in this world.

feed your crazy_may 24While some may not understand this, I will never force it upon you.  I will never expect you to throw on a pair of running shoes and get out there on the road with me.  I ask only that you accept me for who and what I am…a Runner!  I have always kept my mind open to others choices and allowed them to do as they chose with their lives.  I fail to understand why my passion is a problem?  What is it about running that upsets some so much?  Is it the time that I commit?  Is it that I talk about running or my running gear too much?  I know that there are other runners out there that share these same feelings.  You may have an un-supportive spouse or significant other.  You may have a jealous sibling or co-worker.  These people just don’t get who we are and probably never will.

I try to keep my postings on the positive side and I’ll do my best to spin this one back around after all this venting…lol!  I share this with others so that they don’t feel alone.  I want others that run or work out or whatever it is that makes you…you, to never stop!  Don’t stop being who you are for anyone!  Believe in the power of you!  I want everyone to be strong and continue to live your lives in the most positive fashion.  Let the negative that tries to find its way in just roll off!

I’m fighting to maintain relationships that I’m beginning to believe will never be.  I’m pushed aside and made to feel that I’m doing something wrong.  Well, I’ve done nothing wrong and I won’t apologize for my life.  Running saved me!  Running saved my very soul and gave me direction and strength!  It has shown me that I’m capable of doing anything!

My head is clear now…lol!  I wish only the best for each and every one of you.  For some of you, these words may hit home more than ever!  I know others feel the same.  Take some satisfaction in knowing that this runner shares in that journey.  Know that when you go out and hit the road, you’re not alone!  There are days when I can actually see some of the words of encouragement running through my head from postings or text messages.  I hold onto the positive and let the rest just fall from my body like the sweat running down my arms.  Feel proud when you say to someone “I am a runner!”  I know that I am and when I’m out there on that road…I’m home!

Zombie

What an Amazing Journey so far!

pete at bostonI really can’t believe all the events of late.  I’ll have to back up a little here.  First thing I wanted to touch on…my brother in law Pete.  I had sent him one of my run zombie run shirts some time back and asked that he wear it to Boston.  (yes…the biggest race in the country Boston!)  I just wanted him to get some cool pictures in the city and such and then post them on Run Zombie Run’s Facebook wall.  Well he really got me!  Not only did he wear the shirt but he ran the race in it!  When I received the text from my sister-in-law showing him both during the run and after with his medal on wearing that shirt…I was brought to tears.  I can’t even describe how much emotion such a run evokes in a runner.  I sat there looking at the pictures in amazement!  Really, thank you to Pete for doing something that may seem so small but meant so much!  He’s a class act!

I was recognized at work for the work that I’ve been doing and nominated for employee of the month.  I’m not much for things like this but was so thrilled that they mentioned the whole 30 races, runzombierun.net and even Mobile Meals of Toledo!  That was huge for me!  I’ve said before and will continue to say it…”It’s not all about me.”  This is about celebration and bringing funds as well as awareness to a great outfit (Mobile Meals!)

The next big thing…contacted by the Toledo Blade to do an article about the run zombie run journey!  Wow!!  I had to step way out of my comfort zone for this one.  I did a phone interview with Taylor Dungjen and it was great!  She had a ton of good questions and shared how she enjoyed running at Pearson Park as well.  She’s currently expecting a child (congrats!) and is having a hard time with the running thing but I just know that she’ll find her way back to it.

So we had the interview and then had to meet with a photographer at Pearson Park for pictures.  I never look right in running photos!  LOL!!  The whole things took just a few minutes of me running back and forth for the shots.  It’s not like I don’t enjoy running!

When the article hit…it hit big!  Right on the day of the Glass City Marathon!  Holy Cow!!  It made the 2nd section of the paper and I was just blown away by the finished product.  I was so inspired by the article that I turned in my fastest time in a Half Marathon ever!!  1:56:00!  The day was sunny, cool and just perfect!  It was such an amazing feeling!  I then received info showing that more people had gone and donated to Mobile Meals that day!  Seriously…how can it get any better?!proceeds to mobile meals

I’m so thrilled to keep this going!  Race #14 will be this Sunday at Pearson Park…the place where I became a runner some 30 years ago!  It holds a special place in my heart and I’ve spent many hours running those trails.  Race #15 will be 5/16 at the Toledo Zoo (The Dart Frog Dash) and then the following morning here in Oregon will be #16 the Oregon Fest 5K!  5/17.  Not much more than going around the block to start that race!  Race #17 will be a little south Bowling Green, Ohio for the Falcon 5 Miler!  We’ll wrap up the month with Race #18 Race to the monument.  If I can keep this pace, I should rock these 30 races out early!  I guess that’ll mean that I have to do more…lol!

Now lets all get out there and enjoy this sunshine!  Take a walk, ride your bike, go for a run…hell…just move a bit!  Summer is just around the corner!  Stay with me and keep pushing me!  I love the enthusiasm!  Keep Mobile Meals in mind as well…we love those people!  Be good to each other and I’ll see you on the road!

Zombie

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

March wrap up and onward!

Well, lots of challenges during the month of March as expected!  The races during the month were:

The Run for PI (3.14)

The Great Black Swamp Festival of Races (25K)

The Wearing of the Green (7K)

Gibsonburg Golden Bear (10K)

The Ann Arbor Half Marathon (13.1)

All of these races were fun, challenging and at times…down right tough!  The Run for PI almost finished my hamstring…Thank God for Becky at Massage Works!  The Black Swamp was cold, windy and gray. 😦  The Wearing of the green was chilly too but at least the sun came out to visit!  Gibsonburg…flat course but wide open to the wind…brrrrr!!  Ann Arbor was chilly but had no wind. The start of the race had everyone from the 5K, 10K, 13.1 and 26.2 starting together at the same time!

Me and my sister at the Ann Arbor Half Marathon. Did I mention it was chilly?

Me and my sister at the Ann Arbor Half Marathon. Did I mention it was chilly?

A little cramped for my liking during the first mile…lol!  The roads in Michigan sucked!  Thank goodness the sights were amazing!  I enjoyed them all and I’m excited to keep the streak alive!  My brother-in-law Pete Schwanke ran his 92nd…yep…I said that right…92nd FULL MARATHON at Ann Arbor!  He’s set to break 100 Full marathons this year!  He’s returning this year to Boston where I’m sure he’ll do well.  He was just cruising along in Ann Arbor and clocked a 3:25 for the 26.2 hop!  Always amazed by people who can just crack out miles like that and never look tired.  Amazing!  Congrats to Pete and here’s to many more marathons in your future!

Today, April 1st is the first “Virtual Race” in my series.  A virtual race is one that you at times, pick a distance and a date to complete it by, do your run, save your time on your Garmin and turn into those holding the race.  Kind of an honor system.  My sister and I will be running the RunJunkEes “Mind Your Manners” race.  I’ve chosen to do the 10K distance (6.2 miles).  The money paid goes to kidpower.  Helping to stop bullying and bring more awareness to the problem.  They’ve already sent my completion medal but I refuse to open it up until I’ve finished the run!  I’ll post pictures of it and post on my Facebook wall after the run.  Perfect day for a run today so I’m very excited about getting out there!  I may just have to go past the 6.2 mile mark and do a few extra…just because it’s beautiful!!

I’m looking at running the Run to the Rapids in Grand Rapids, Ohio about mid month and the big one…The Glass City will be at the end of April!  I’m not sure that my hamstring will allow me to push for that PR I was hoping for during the Glass city half marathon..but you can bet your bottom dollar, I’ll cross that finish line!!  Cross your fingers and send some good vibes…I’d really like to smoke that one and PR!  My sister Leanna will be coming into town to run the Glass City and my sister Patti will of course be there too!  Patti is turning into a real threat in her age division!  Her times are placing her at the top of the group in most races.  She doesn’t care so much about the times but I’m proud of her none the less!

A lot of people have asked about Karla.  She’s able to get out and run on a more regular basis!  yay!!  She’s been very good and taking it easy.  Her main goal this year is to keep away from the injury bug and run the Smoky Mountain Half Marathon with Patti and I this September.  She was so sad when she became injured last year and couldn’t run it.  I just know she’ll be good and we’ll get to enjoy the 3 musketeers once again!

I want to take this time to really thank all of you that have believed in me.  The wonderful emails and text messages have kept me so fired up!  The outpouring of enthusiasm and support for Mobile Meals of Toledo has been humbling.  I’ve asked people to give of their money for a charity that I believe so much in and you have!  I’m just amazed…Thank you so much!  I’ll keep going and I’ll keep talking about the races and Mobile Meals!  Visit their website http://mobilemeals.org/ and look through the things they do on a regular basis.  If you have extra time, volunteer!  If you want to donate to help, you can do so on their website or at runzombierun.net!  They even have a spot on their website under donate for run zombie run!  Yay!!  That way they know you were touched by something that I may have said or done.  I receive nothing for any of this (as far as compensation).  I do however get the biggest thrill knowing we’re making a difference!  That’s really what it’s all about!

Enjoy the sunshine today and 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