2017…the new challenges!

I just wanted to touch base with everyone and let you know that I’m still holding onto my 30races.com blog and will be doing regular entries over the 2017 racing season.  The main focus this next year will be my love for the Dogs!  Blackjack Animal Rescue has grabbed my heart with the wonderful work they do finding homes for Catahoula Leopard dogs along with numerous other breeds.  Some have been surrendered, many are from high kill shelters that just don’t have the space to keep them and then there are those misplaced souls that have lost their owner and need love for the rest of their lives.

I feel as strongly about helping animals as I do about helping the elderly!  Mobile Meals is still a wonderful outfit and I continue to donate funds on a regular basis to them.

stellastella3Blackjack Rescue is a small non profit organization that’s based in Tennessee but has strong networking all across the country.  I know this as my latest addition to our family is Stella.  Stella is a full blooded Catahoula Leopard dog that was found running on a busy expressway in TN.  She has become the love of our household and I feel the need to help others find these wonderful creatures and see just how much love they have to give.

I’ll be doing my best to raise funds through donations to http://blackjackrescue.org/ and also looking into selling more of my Run Zombie Run t-shirts this season.  I’m hoping to do a big push before I run my last Full Marathon in April of 2017!  Karla and I will be running the Big Sur Marathon out in Sunny California!  This race is listed as a bucket list run and one of the top 5 marathons in the country.  I can’t hardly wait!  My focus is strictly to finish this run!  I want to keep my body intact and come home whole!  lol!!

stella2So stay with me and by all means share Blackjack’s page on Facebook or jump on and give a couple of bucks!  Be sure to tell Sharon that Zombie sent you!  She’ll be thrilled to get the boost!

I’ll see you on the road!


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!


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!


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!


2015 Is Game Time!

I’ve been enjoying all the running over the past couple of years more than ever.  I’m not sure what brought the whole thing to such a high, but I’m really enjoying the ride!  Lifting and running have always been a favorite for me.  I’ve described in past blogs how I came to be a runner.  It’s no secret to those who know me that I would rather run than lift any day of the week!  I have, however realized that the two really do go hand in hand.  In order for me to maintain my happy running and stay injury free, I need to keep my strength up.  All runners need a good strong core in order to keep going during the long grueling runs.  The beating that the body takes during a half marathon or a full marathon can be intense!  I’ve also learned that the body is an amazing machine and will respond when you ask it to.  Feed it properly, keep it moving and take the best care you can.  The reward, many happy years of activity!

Now back to the build up.  I pushed myself towards the end of 2014 to see if I could hold up by doing 5 half marathons over 8 weeks.  Not only was I able to complete the task, I felt wonderful!  I knew I wanted to challenge my body again for the upcoming year and was thinking; I’ve been running for 30 years, why not run 30 races!?  To add to that, I decided to take the focus off of me and put it on something even more important.  People in need.  I contacted Mobile Meals of Toledo and asked if they would be interested in helping set something up to help raise money for them.  After a couple emails and a sit down, the runzombierun.net website came to life!  This blog (30races.com) was started with the help of my wonderful cousin Marilyn Matevia.  In short order, things seemed to be falling into place.  I couldn’t be more proud.  Along with that, a small amount of stress.  The stress is placed upon myself to succeed!  Not just to run the races but to make a serious difference for the charity that I’ve chosen to help.  Mobile Meals of Toledo is a great outfit that really takes a tiny budget to do great things!

So…It’s Game Time!  2015 is coming up quick!  My body is ready to go!  I’ve cut down on my eating, picked up on my gym workouts, kept my running at a steady pace, I think I’m good to go!  I plan on being a very lean and well oiled machine by the end of the adventure.  I have great hopes and dreams of doing a good thing in my life.  Making a difference!  So stay with me people!  Enjoy this adventure with me…because 2015 Is Game Time!


Holidays, running and the challenge!

We’re about to start a line up of Holidays that can cause a few issues.  Over eating, good old stress, of course the lack of sun due to time change and weather!  I say again…”Keep Moving!’  I plan on getting out both today and tomorrow for some nice runs.  Today because the wind is light and work is crazy busy!  I come to work in a better mood and better frame of mind after a nice run.  The plan for Thanksgiving is to get up and run with my sister for our weekly long run.  We have a set goal of no less than 9 miles on our long run day.  Hoping to go 10 miles + tomorrow!  It’s easier to consume a few extra calories when you’ve gone out and burned some 1,000 to 1,500 calories first thing in the morning.

We get through the Thanksgiving hangover only to go right into shopping mode for the Christmas season.  Everyone loves to cook and bake during this season and I won’t lie, I love me some cookies!!  While Christmas is always special and I enjoy seeing family that at times I may only see once a year, I still like to find my time to get some running done.  This year will be even crazier because of this plan I’ve come up with to run 30 races during 2015!

The new website will be going live, I’ll still be working on getting sponsors and blogging of course.  Then there is the matter of setting up the race schedule.  I’ve started a list of some of the local runs coming right into the beginning of the year.  Here are a few that are on my list:  The kick off race will be the Midnight Special 5K.  It’s held on New Year’s Eve and runs through the midnight hour!  I thought that would be kind of cool!  I don’t drink or party, but I do run!  That will be the kick off of the 30 races!  I’m looking into doing the Dave’s 10 Miler on 1/25/15.  I may find time to get one more in January.  Also looking to travel to Florida in February to visit my sister and run the A1A Half Marathon down there!  Sunrise at the beach…yeah…I’m there!  That’s 2/15/15.  I will for sure be running the Black Swamp Festival of races on March 21, 2015.  I fell in love with this race last year because of their “memory mile”.  Runners are given the opportunity to list names of love ones they’ve lost over the years.  The entire last mile of the race is covered with signs showing  the names and a message on them.  I was in tears the whole way in last year…so touching!  I will of course plan for the big one in Toledo, The Glass City Half Marathon on 4/26/15!!  Once the website goes live, I’ll list any and all races on a calendar right on the site for all to check and hopefully follow!  Busy but in a good way!

Don’t forget to be kind to one another through the Holiday Seasons!  It doesn’t take much to make someone’s day!  You never know what they might be going through and you could be the difference…and really, don’t we all want to make a difference?!

Keep talking about my 30races.com to anyone and everyone!  Talk about Mobile Meals of Toledo and the fine work they do!  Keep following and buy a Run Zombie Run T-shirt for a Christmas gift!  It all goes to Mobile Meals of Toledo…nothing for me but happiness knowing they we’re making things better.  https://www.booster.com/mobilemealsoftoledo


Treadmills OR Dreadmills?!

When the weather gets to the point of ridiculous, like today.  One needs to seek other forms of cardio, of the indoor version.  Now most runners can step right up to a treadmill and go without any issues.  Me, it’s a whole different adventure!  I hate to even look at the damn things!  I don’t trust them, I don’t like the way they sound and I really hate looking at myself running in a mirror!!  (Thanks Snap Fitness for that!)  Did I mention the close proximity of other people while you’re trying to run on this torture device??!!  I just may be one of the sweatiest persons on the planet when it comes to running.  If you’re parked on a treadmill next to me, yeah, you may get overspray on your machine…sorry. 😦

These machines are discussed by runners all the time.  The best brand, how far can you run on them, do you go to a gym to use or is it at home?  That kind of stuff.  My take has always been, I will run outdoors every single change I get!  It has to be God awful outside for me to get on the Dreadmill!

The other issue I have, I can’t do long distance on one.  Mental block of some kind, but I just can’t do it.  Today after doing my weights, I walked over to the “yuck machine.”  Maybe muttered under my breath for a moment or two and then climbed aboard.  I was able to get 2 miles worth of sprints done and a very mild “runner’s high!”  I did get it done though and I’m happy for that!

So I’m curious, your take on these machines.  Do you love them?  Do you hate them?  Love to hear stories!  Maybe I’ll share some of my adventures another day of the many mishaps I’ve had on the Deadmill!  My reasons for such distrust…lol!  I can laugh now…but it wasn’t so funny at the time!

Happy Tuesday all!  Get up and get moving!


Running alone or with others…it’s all good!

I went out this evening and ran my weekly long run with my sister Patti.  9.5 miles in the cold and yes…SNOW!  While the conditions were less than favorable, the scenery and company were spectacular!  Running with my younger sister has given us a special bond.  While we are siblings, we are runners and that, in it’s self is a special bond.

Running together gives us time to discuss our wonderful jobs. (slight bit of sarcasm there!)  Time to discuss family, friends, upcoming runs, holidays…just about everything.  As the miles pass by, you kind of get in a zone.  You might continue to talk or sometimes just have moments where you’re just taking it all in.  Chatting or in silence, it’s truly special time together.

Several years back I had the opportunity to train with my older sister Gini as well.  This was a unique challenge.  She wanted to do a full marathon!  The catch…we were going to walk instead of run.  Due to physical issues, my sister is unable to run but has the iron will and drive that I felt could carry her through the training and eventually over the finish line.  We trained for an entire summer together and wow…what fun we had!  When the day came for the marathon (The Dayton Air Force Marathon) I told her to treat the day like any other training walk.  I gave her heads up on all the strange and exciting things that she would experience during the miles ahead…including the dreaded “WALL” at 20 miles!  Oh buddy did she hit that…lol!  To this day we still talk about that walk and I still beam with pride whenever she tells stories about our summer of training.

I’ve spent many miles out on the road alone.  I find the peace and quiet to be special, but special in a different way then when I’m with my family or friends.  The time doesn’t always pass as quickly as it would with a partner, but I can just focus on my training, my problems, my victories…just focus on me.  I can plan out my day, think about upcoming races, even day dream about Corvettes…lmao!

There is no right or wrong here.  There are many wonders to discover…both alone or with friends.  I’m a big believer in when someone ask me to run with them, I run their pace.  I refuse to leave my partner behind…ever!  If I’m special enough to be invited into someone’s world, I want to leave them with good memories and happy thoughts!

So get out there!  Walk, Run, Bike!  Go on your own if no one else will go!  If someone invites you, take them up on it and be the best running/walking/biking partner ever!  If you find yourself in need of a run, call me up, I’ll be more than happy to meet up with you and I’ll never leave your side…I promise! 🙂