Sunday, December 28, 2008

Smokin' Hot

You know I'm not talking about myself!

Today, we're talking weather! And 75 degrees is NOT smokin' hot during the summer, but for a long run on December 28th, that's pretty frickin' hot!

Races just didn't line up too well during the Christmas season and there was just too much time between the Thunder Road Marathon on December 13th and the Frosty 50k on January 10th. So, I needed to do a long run. Unfortunately, I chose today!

Couldn't bring myself to get up too early, so I headed out at about 9:30 am. Actually I felt really good for the first 14 miles or so. Winds were really high and I knew it would be easier to be heading into them to start . . . but they where to my back for the first 4 miles. But after about 9 miles and heading back to the southside of the lake, I still felt good. Winds were bad across the Eaton's Ferry bridge and the hill up was tough. But I was keeping a fairly good pace.

Once to the top, I picked up a bottle of Gatoraide I had dropped and headed over to Eaton's Crossing and those hills! They kicked my ass. Then, into another subdivision and I was dragging. Survival shuffle back to Eaton's Ferry Estates and my house.

We all have good days and bad days. Clearly, this wasn't a good day! But the question is why wasn't it? I had had two weeks rest from my last marathon. Should be plenty of rest. Was it the temperature? Maybe . . . but 75 degrees isn't all that hot!

Still . . . 18.7 miles. Done. But not a very positive run leading to the Frosty 50k January 10. But I keep telling myself the temperature was a big factor . . . Guess we'll see come January 10th.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Some days are just great!

Let's face it runners . . . some days are better then others!

We've all had them. You're feeling good, weather is nice, but for some reason, it's not a great day. Other times, you're not all that excited to start, but the run ends up being great. Today I was really excited to run, as I had to miss the last three days. Weather was perfect for me, overcast and 45 degrees or so. Was expecting rain but it never came. But for some magical reason, everything felt perfect. I limited myself to only 13 miles, but I wanted more! I felt great from start to finish. It's days like this that keep me going. Suffer through the hard days and enjoy the good one!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Done . . . Goal Achieved!

I did it! 12 marathons in 2008. A marathon a month. It was a good goal . . . achievable, simple to state, understand and remember. And it sounds hard.

But when you get down to it, it's really not that bad. All it really takes is a desire to do it and a little luck on the injury front. Heck, a friend of mine, Doug Dawkins, just finished his goal . . . running across the US from Atlantic Beach, NC to Mission Beach, California. 122 days covering 2,700 miles. That's averaging over 22 miles a day and he didn't run every day . . . he took some days off!

So a marathon a month really isn't all that much. But considering work and everything it wasn't bad!

The only really hard part was deciding to still try for the goal after getting sick. On August 8th I got sick (night before James and Cheryl's wedding) and couldn't start running again until September 27th. 7 weeks is a long time and I lost a lot of fitness due to both the lack of running and the sickness. When I started back, 2 miles was a struggle . . . but I built back up and decided to attempt the OBX marathon November 9th and see how it would go. If I remember correctly, my long run was 15 miles in preparation.

While I did struggle, things when fairly well, so I started thinking about the goal again. The next weekend was the Richmond Marathon, and I decided to give it a shot. While I worried about "back-to-back" marathons, it really proved to not be a factor all. Did "back-to-back" marathons again December 6th and yesterday . . . again, not a problem at all.

So . . . where were they?

1. First Light Marathon – Mobile, AL January 12, 2008
2. Bi-Lo Myrtle Beach Marathon – Myrtle Beach, SC February 16, 2008
3. Rocky Mount Marathon – Rocky Mount, NC March 14, 2008
4. Ellerbe Springs Marathon – Ellerbe Springs, NC March 28, 2008
5. Country Music Marathon – Nashville, TN April 25, 2008
6. Capon Valley 50K – Yellow Spring, WV May 9, 2008
7. Boogie Marathon - Ellerbe Springs, NC June 14, 2008
8. Sweaty Butt 50k - Raleigh, NC July 5, 2008
9. OBX Marathon – Kitty Hawk, NC November 9, 2008
10. Richmond Marathon – Richmond, VA November 15, 2008
11. Medoc Trail Marathon Re-Run – Hollister, NC December 6, 2008
12. Thunder Road Marathon – Charlotte, NC December 13, 2008

My favotite? Hard to say. Loved Boogie, Capon Valley, Richmond, Medoc and surprisingly Charlotte. Looking at them, they either were a unique / different event (Boogie, Capon Valley and Medoc) or well done with an interesting course and good support.

My least favotite?
Country Music by far. Though it was really neat running that race with James as his first marathon. Really surprising since this is one of the Rock 'n Roll events. Lot's of areas they should do MUCH better (parking, shirt, medal, finish area, and the second 1/2 of the course was terrible!)

Best medal / award?
Guess I'm biased somewhat (!) but I think the Medoc medal is #1 followed by Charlotte. For me, this is a good place to show creativity and spend a little money.

Least favorite medal / award?
Well, Capon Valley gave nothing at all! Nor did the Sweaty Butt 50k. But the Boogie marathon gave a ceramic coffee mug . . . with the race info scratched on the bottom! Totally worthless! I think a marathon deserves a medal. Period. No mugs, No glasses, no belt buckle. Medals. (Guess "fat ass" races like the Sweaty Butt get a hall pass here, since these are put on by one or two individuals and there is no entry fee.)

Best shirt?
Capon Valley, Medoc Charlotte and Boogie were all really great designs. Just wish race directors would forget the technical shirts and go back to 100% cotton. And a fall marathon shirt needs to be long-sleeved cotton . . . no exception. But, Capon Valley wins! Very different and no ads!

Worst shirt?
No competition here at all! This shirt was by far the WORST I've ever seen or heard of! Myrtle Beach . . take a bow as the race with the worst taste!

So, this goal is over. How about 2009? I need a goal. Been thinking about some . . . we'll see. Stay tuned.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Re-run was a blast!

To me this is what running is all about!

Probably 35 folks showed up on a cold Saturday morning to participate in the Medoc Re-run. For those of you that don't know, this run was a chance for those of us that worked on the Medoc Trail Races to earn a medal by doing either the 10-miler or the marathon. Also, anyone else was invited too! If you just couldn't make it to the real race, or just later decided to come. Anyone was welcome!

Probably 30 folks opted for the 10-miler and five of us chose the marathon.

The first part was truly crazy . . . soooo many people got lost &/or turned around. I met probably 6-10 folks going the wrong way! Passed Brad Wiesner and Kevin Boudreau probably three times!! And they were trying to do the 10-miler!

The whole day was social . . . not a race at all! The five of us doing the marathon met up after each lap, just having fun, taking pictures and trying to keep warm! William, Levi, Tom, Dave and I had a BLAST!

Tom twisted his knee a little and so he and I just cooled it . . . running some, walking some and talking a ton! Heck, we ventured off the route to explore! No time worries at all!

Running was tough with all the leaves. I took 5 falls . . . one I got a 9.7 for style, but the rest were just thuds!! Hard falls but not cuts! Just each time it scrambled my brain a little!

But I finished and that makes 11 completed and one to go!!

Oddly enough I'm really sore after Medoc. I'm surprised! Actually when I finished the 26.2 I considered going for another lap (34-35 miles) but I was just too cold and the last lap had taken too long. So why am I sore??

My plan is to do the Charlotte Thunder Road Marathon this coming weekend for 12 marathons in 2008. Hope the soreness diminishes before then. Otherwise, it would be the Jacksonville, FL Marathon the following weekend. A long drive!

We'll see. But the Medoc Re-run was a blast!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving is behind us and the Re-Run looms!

One week off work. Way too much to eat. Not nearly enough mileage last week. Sounds perfect for a good Medoc Re-Run marathon next weekend!

The Medoc Mountain Re-run (for anyone reading this that doesn't know) is a chance for those of us that worked at the October 4th Medoc Trail Races to do either the 10-miler or the marathon and earn the medal. I'm planning on the marathon. That gives me just one more marathon before the end of 2009 to average a marathon (or longer) a month during 2009. My 2009 running goal. Right now I have two more marathons to go . . .

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Richmond Marathon - Great!

First I did a little better here . . . ran a 5:33 and felt really good, in spit of doing OBX last weekend. Quite frankly I had absolutely no ill effects from the marathon last weekend . . . go figure!

For the first 15-16 miles I ran with a RICHMOND native that was QUITE an inspiration! Tim Samulson was one of the nicest guys I've met in quite a while. Tim lives just south of Richmond, is married with twin 5 year olds. But Tim has had to deal with TWO seperate bouts with cancer. One testicular cancer and the other was a lump of cancer in his neck. After the last fight he promised himself he would run a marathon if he survived.

I can attest that Tim has survived and he finished his marathon with a 5:20 (he ran off and left me at about mile 15-16). Tim . . you made my day, I was impressed with everything about you. Wish I knew your wife and family . . . I'm sure they are GREAT too! Thank you for letting me run with you for a while!

Good to see and talk with Don Garber again. Don is a prince! Hope he comes to the Medoc Re-Run

Richmond changed their course just a little . . . bypassed a really ugly section near the end! Much better!

My Richmond Marathon complaint was I didn't like their shirt . . . AGAIN! Please give me a long-sleeve cotton short and forget the tech shirts . . . ESPECIALLY short sleeved tech shirts!!

All in all , , , A GREAT DAY!

Monday, November 10, 2008

OBX Marathonre super

Overall a really good time!

The OBX course is nice . . . the first 13 miles were really fantastic! Neat neighborhoods, unbelievably good crowds (don't know where all the people came from!) and great views of the sound. And that half ended with a 2 1/2 mile section on a trail through the woods! Perfect!

The second half was not quite a great, but it was still very nice. Had to have stretches along US158 (the main highway), but crossing the bridge to Manteo was cool, the views od the sound and Pirates Cove marina and subdivision were excellent . . . even if it came around mile 23!

Going in, I knew my preparation / training was sub-par so my expectations were not high. And my performance pretty well equaled what I put in. I'm not disappointed in my 5:51 but I should be 51 minutes faster if I work at it. Just not sure I want to do that.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Ahhhh . . . a good day!

The weather was perfect and Andy, Brad, Joe and I headed out today for our "Nooner" run. Brad had run a hard 5.5 yesterday so he and Andy ran the around Talbot Park (aka Tom Stith Park)but Joe and I headed on around MLK. Didn't keep time but we ran a solid pace for the 4.3 miles and I felt GREAT at the end. Joe and I always have a good time together and today was no exception. Just a really fun day! Cool days ROCK!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Running is a funny thing.

Good days . . . bad days. Who can tell what is going to happen? Sometimes it's easy!

Like when your stretching out your long run. You know those last few miles are going to hurt. Or when the day is hot and humid . . . nothing good ever happens on days like this. But sometimes an totally unexpected day happens.

For me, today was one of those days. Last two weekends I ran 17 miles a did fine. Today the weather was nice and cool, I was going to only run 10-13 miles so I was expecting a "cake walk" of sorts. But what a struggle! I know my training is far from what it should be to do a marathon in two weeks, but I never expected this!

After about five miles a started to struggle. Walked some . . . more than I should have! Oh well . . . I can't do anything about it now. And I've got to remember the exact opposite happens too.

Next weekend is fishing with Michael and James. Going to Morehead City and going out flyfishing for false albacore! I haven't done much saltwater flyfishing so this should be great, going out with a flyfishing guide. We'll learn something for sure! Plus have a ton of fun!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I love being wrong!!

Forget my last post! I said I was going to take another week or two off and see how the ankle healed.

Well, today I couldn't stand it . . . the weather was perfect (50s) and my ankle wasn't hurting, so I decided to try it out anyway. I promised myself if it started hurting at all I would quite immediately.

Well . . . it never hurt so I ended up going 16-17 miles!! Guess it wasn't a stress fracture after all !!!!

So OBX is a go after all!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Give me a break!

Last weekend, while in Tennessee, I ran 17 miles and felt fairly good, last four were tough but still not bad at all. I was encouraged and sure I could at least complete a marathon.

Took the next day off as a rest day and was ready to run Tuesday. Ran a moderate 3.1 mile run and felt really good. That afternoon I flew to Toronto for business and no problems at all.

But when I woke up Wednesday morning to go for an early run, my left ankle hurt. Figured I had somehow slept on it wrong so took the day off. It hurt all day long. Next day I decided to not run again . . . still hurting. But better.

Here it is Saturday and it's still hurting. Not to walk, but if I cross my leg while sitting it hurts. Something is obviously really wrong!

Given how it developed (slowly) and given the time after my long run (three days) I'm pretty sure it's not a ligament or tendon injury. That leaves a stress fracture.

I had a stress fracture years ago and this feels much the same. No need to spend $ going to a doctor to confirm. There is nothing they could do to speed the healing along anyway. So I'm just going to take two weeks off . . . no running. So I'll try it again November 3rd. I may wait and simply go to OBX and try it out on a marathon! That would be three weeks off!

The other option is to start back around Nov 8-9 and then do Medoc Dec 6th. That would give me a chance to get some running in between the 9th and Dec 6th.

I'm leaning to going to OBX . . . it's my only chance to achieve my goal this year (average running at least a marathon a month in 2008).

But even if I can't 2008 has been a pretty good running year!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

98% Correct . . .so why do I feel so bad.

Saturday we had the Medoc Trail Races. ~250 runners, 57 doing the marathon and the rest doing the 10-miler. Most everything went quite well for a first marathon . . . but two things happened that ruined everything else.

First, we had four marathoners make a wrong turn and shortened their run significantly. One leading, and three followed I went back to where they made their mistake and I've got to say it was well marked. I see how they missed the turn, but we had 2 signs that were obvious if you were looking . . . but it was a "rooty" section and if they were focused on their footing, they could (and did) miss it. But the leader didn't miss it. And neither did the rest of the marathoners and all the 10-milers. So I believe the error was on them. But the guy who made the mistake didn't see it that way and made quite a fuss. Two of the other three also were quite angry but with Michael's Forrester's help, they ended up seing the mistake was really their own.

Second, we had a bunch of confused volunteers at the main aid station where the marathoners finishing their first small loop, met with some 10-milers just entering the trails. They both came from the same direction. But the 10-milers needed to bear right and enter the loop the marathoners were finishing. The marathoners needed to stay left and enter the big loop. A few folks ended up going the wrong way. But we were able to correct these by getting the runners to "make up" what they missed.

I feel really bad because the course and aid stations were my charge. Originally we had the 10-miler starting closer to the marathon start, but I suggested to the group we move the 10-miler start back. My mistake.

I also marked the course, so when people go off course I feel bad. Guess I'm not cut out to do this. Feel like I let everyone down.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Every Day Can't be Great!

Good news about Laurie and her wierd symptoms . . . not MS and not a brain tumor. Now they just need to determine what it is! For some reason I was never very concerned, but both Connie and Laurie were beside themselves with worry. This is giving them tons of relief.

Struggled through a humid 8 miles this morning. Just didn't have it! Oh well! Ran the lonesome Road . . . south from Vaughn. Just a few houses but mostly nothing, One "good" hill 1 mile long. A good training run, but for some reason every time I run it I have a bad day. Guess I just should pass on that route!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Medoc Mountain Marathon

Haven't talked about this much, but the Rocky Mount Endurance Club is putting on the Medoc Trail Races - a 10 mile run and a marathon. This is a big deal for our little club and the result of a whole lot of work by our race committee, but especially for club president Michael Forrester. Michael is a unique guy with tons of ideas, energy and the ability to actually execute on things . . . so often the idea guys aren't worth a crap at actually DOING stuff. Not Michael. we're lucky to have him.

We've got about 180 10-mile runners and 55 marathoners . . . a great first race turnout.

Lots of little last minute details, but overall we're feeling good about where we stand. Stay tuned.

Running is going good. Feeling much better but my doctor tells me I've got quite of few kidney stones, now broken up that will be passing through sometime soon. His recommendation . . . keep your pain pills with you at all times! Probably good advice, but none needed so far (of course no stones have passed yet!!)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Is that OBX I see ahead?

Like I said yesterday, cooler is better! Back when I was in my 40s or earlier, I loved cold weather. And I do mean cold. Below zero? Sounded good to me then. I even loved to backpack in that kind of weather.

But things changed a few years ago. I first noticed the change on a backpacking trip, in the fairly deep snow in SW Virginia on Mount Rodgers. Though I had adequate gear to keep me warm, I stayed cold . . really cold. No more cold weather backpacking for me. But that doesn't mean I like hot weather! I still love cold weather. It just invigorates me. My body operates better when the weather cools off. Today is is a great example.

Temperatures were in the mid 50s when I headed out for my run this morning. Planned on trying 10 miles. My longest run so far in my recovery has been 4.6 this last Wednesday and I felt good. Today was the same . . . I just felt good! Good frame of mind, legs strong . . . just plain good. As I neared home, I still felt good so I tacked on an additional two miles. 12 miles!! I'm excited! Of course, I maintained my normal race pace throughout: 11:30!! I feel like I'm back!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Cooler is better . . . much better!

At noon today the temperature was probably in the high 70s! How nice! I decide to to run 4.6 through MLK and really felt good. Could have done more! Guess I'm a little afraid to get too excited, but maybe I'm turning a corner. Plan to try 10 miles this weekend. This is as long as the temperatures don't get into the 90s!!

The Medoc Mountain Trail Races are coming along really well. October 4th is coming fast! I honestly feel good about where we are given the time till the race. At the race committee meeting today, we seemed to have most everything well covered. The key is always the volunteers that show up to help. We totally depend on them. Volunteers rock and we ann need to take our turns at helping on a few races.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Progress . . .

Volunteered today at the Ford's Colony 5k & 10k. Michael and Scott did a really fantastic job in both planning and executing this event. First time event and it went off without a hitch.

After an afternoon nap I went for a 2 3/4 mile run and it went fine. Temps were probably in the high 80s and I ran all the way!!!

May try 5 tomorrow . . . got to start pushing it if I'm going to be ready for the OBX marathon November 9th.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Saga Continues

Monday I had lipotripsy for a 1.5 cm kidney stone. No pain at all (I slept through it thanks to some wonderful drugs!) Minor pain that afternoon and evening but no pain at all since. Hope it worked . . . but the Dr says he won't know until he x-rays in another week. Far as I know, I've not passed any fragments, but maybe they could be really small and I wouldn't know??? Hope so!

Dr put me back on antibiotics after the procedure but told me I could run all I wanted to! Unfortunately, I've got zero energy!! Was going to run 3 miles with my friend Andy, but had to walk after only 1/2 mile!!!!!!! Bet I walked 7 times during the 3 miles. Hope this is due the the antibiotics. Finished them Thursday night and plan to try again Saturday afternoon (helping with the Ford's Colony 5k - 10k Saturday morning.)

Stay tuned . . . things HAVE to get better!!

Sunday, September 7, 2008


Ran 4 this morning and could have gone further. Probably a 10:15 pace or so. Progress! Not sue if I can be ready for OBX by early November . . . but I'm trying!

Tomorrow is the big day for me . . . having the kidney stone "blasted." Can't wait to have it behind me!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Holy Crap!

Am I ever sore. Feels like a finished a marathon, not a four miler . . . okay 3+ miler! Took yesterday off but went for a run after Hanna passes us this morning. Sore but I did another 3 miles. Hard to believe I've lost this much fitness so quickly.

Will go for another run Sunday but then I'll be taking at least 1 day off for my ESWL on my kidney stone. Hopefully this will put a halt to my bleeding. Not looking forward to this. Guess I feel like my luck recently has been less than steller, and I need this stone to "dust." Not looking forward to passing any sizable pieces!

Libby and I have a new roommate . . . Luke. Luke is a black mostly (maybe even all!) lab. Luke lived up here a few years ago until he and Doobie decided they really didn't like each other. So Luke went back to Connie and Libby came up the the lake. I believe Luke and Libby will get along real well. We'll see.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


It seems like it's been forever! But today I finally went for a run . . . my first since I got sick. I had no idea how much fitness I had lost. Turns out quite a bit! I ran 4 miles tonight . . . well, I ran 3 miles and walked/ran one! Still, it could have been worse!

I'm guessing my fitness will return fairly quickly. But I will need to lose the extra pounds I added by continuing to eat as if I was running normal miles! I'm just really glad to be back running!!

It's been awfully quite around the house the last few days. Connie kept my dog Libby when I went to Clemson to see Michael. And she felt like I should let Libby stay with her other dogs for a few days. I asked Connie to pick out one of her dogs to come stay at the lake with Libby and me and see how that works out. Should help Connie . . . AND Libby and I would both like another dog now that Doobie is gone. We'll see which dog she chooses! I just reserve the right of refusal!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

On to more happy times!

I'm excited! Tomorrow is my last day on Levaquin!! All right!

So, now I just need to wait a week or so the get it out of my system and I can start running again! Seems like it's been forever . . . bet I gained 10 pounds! Oh well, I'll get it off quickly once I re-start training. Still hoping to be able to run the OBX marathon in early November.

The Fat Ass run Cam Kelly and I put on last weekend seemed to go well. I get a real kick when someone runs a trail for the first time. For this run Amber Poole and her significant other John but ran a trail for the first time and the are BOTH fired up about it. True its harder, but way prettier and more rewarding. John about doubled his previous long run! Great job you two!

And to beat it all, Cam got in some chiggers and they have eaten him up! No good deed goes unpunished.

Monday, August 18, 2008


Today I've been thinking a lot about friends.

Don't want to get too philosophical, but what makes a really good friend? We all have friends and a few of them are friends we would personally classify as a certified "good friend." Most of us (I believe) don't have too many really good friends.

I'm actually pretty luck to have what I feel is more than my rightful or deserved share. But what is the difference between a friend and a really good friend?

As I am thinking about it, a few thoughts come to my mind.

- a friend is a good friend when there is total devotion. Someone that would do anything at all for you . . . even if you don't ask. Even when you aren't such a great friend in return, they seem to understand and "spot you one." While they would like your devotion in return, its not a requirement for them. They just simply love you. Period.

- Sometimes you need someone who just will listen and at least appear to understand. You aren't looking for them to tell you what to do. You don't need advice (or at least you're not asking for advice!). You just need someone there. With you. Listening. Even if they might not really understand.

Love - Guess this is a lot like devotion, but somehow to me it's not quite the same thing. But a good friend loves you, and you love them in return. The love is based on faith, and some magical chemistry that just seems to happen . . . all to infrequently.

No one has the right to ask for a good friend and quite frankly good friends are, in my mind, quite rare indeed. If you are married, you spouse should qualify as a certified "good friend." After all, that's pretty much what wedding vows are are all about. Except they ask for a commitment. Not so with a good friend. That commitment is just there . . . unpromised, but there all the same.

Today, I lost a REALLY good friend. One that has been devotedly by my side for six years or so. No doubt he loved me . . . he showed me his love each and every day. I just wish I had returned the favor with equal passion. What's more, I was the one who had to decide if my friend lived or if he died.

And he needed to die. Prostrate cancer had secretly progressed and just yesterday it became clear my good friend was in pain. My vet told me this morning that Doobie had cancer and there was no hope for recovery. And clearly Doobie was in pain. So, I quickly decided to end it for him. I would want the same.

But I am left with the guilt that I wasn't as good a friend to him as he was to me. I ignored him sometimes. I took him for granted. I hope he can forgive me. But knowing Doobie . . . he already forgave me. He just wanted today's love and today's attention. Dogs are like that. But Doobie was special. I'll never forget Doob.

I love you Doobie.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Good times continue to roll!

Yesterday I felt good enough to head out for a short, trial run. Planned no more than 3 miles at my usual pace . . . slow!

About 1 mile into the run, my left calf / Achilles began to burn . . . not real bad, but definitely not normal. So I immediately turned around and walked back. Luckily, I had been reading quite a bit about the meds I'm on and learned that one of the side-effects for Levaquin is that it sometimes causes ruptures in tendons! Weird huh?

My calf / Achilles is definitely not ruptured or anything but it is inflamed. So guess I'll lay off running until all this is over . . . I'll be on Levaquin for another two weeks or so. This sucks!

I'll have to think about alternative exercises . . . like biking, or swimming.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Better . . . finally!

It's taken a while, but I'm finally actually getting better. Until about 8 PM Thursday, I was in fairly serious pain when I went to the bathroom about every 30 minutes. Last night, my pain level dropped from about a 9 to a 8 and now it's all the way down to a 2-3 and frequency is every hour or so! Life is good! (Bet your glad to take your time to read about this! But hey . . . it's MY blog!)

Tomorrow . . . my first run in a week, I plan to ease back into this, so only 2-3 miles. The medicine I'm on makes me sensitive to the sun, so I'll try to get out early.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Temporary Halt to All Hurrying.

This last weekend was the weekend of my semi-son's wedding . . . a great time to stop hurrying and simply enjoy life and celebrate his happiness.

Okay, it's a fair question. In my case my semi-son, James, is a terrific young man who came to live with my family after life threw him some unfair curve-balls while he was in high school. Not adopted, but totally a part of our family.

So, we all headed to New Bern, NC for James' wedding. And the parties! Went to the wedding rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner . . . then it happened. I started getting sick. At 3am I went to the New Bern Hospital, was give some super-potent antibiotic shots and sent back to the hotel to hope I might get enough better to attend the wedding. (Seems I got a urinary tract infection from my test earlier this week!)

Turns out my attending the wedding wasn't even close. Talk about something that totally sucks!

At least the next morning I started feeling way better (I could stand!) and went to the post-wedding brunch which was real nice. Got to see James and Cheryl, his new bride.

Really thought I was on the road to recovery. My son Michael and I left New Bern and drove to Lake Gaston. By the time I arrived I was having a sinking spell. After 15 minutes I called the emergency number for my Rocky Mount urologist, and was told to get to the Rocky Mount hospital as fast as I possibly could. Son drove and turned a 55 minute trip into a 30 minute one!! He loved it!!

So I spent two nights in the Rocky Mount hospital but really feel better now! Hope the infection is totally killed this time!

Tonight I got to see the wedding pictures from my brother-in-law's camera, his daughter-in-law's camera and my camera. It was a great wedding and the pictures helped . . . some. But missing the wedding is a huge loss to me.

So Wednesday its back to work!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Boogieman 's in TN

In an earlier post, I told you about Doug Dawkins and the run across the US. ( ) Well, Doug is already in Tennessee! Doug would never ask, but I'm sure he would appreciate help . . . of any kind. E-mails of encouragement, folks to assist him along the way, or simply good, old-fashion cash for expenses. If you need his address, just let me know.

Each day, Doug is dedicating the day to someone that has made a difference to him at some point. Pretty cool idea! I imagine he thinks about this each and every day to decide. A pretty positive thing to do . . . focusing on the important gifts we all have in our lives . . . our friends and famlies!

So Doug, this day is dedicated to you! For making me think about things I rarely take time to consider. Thank you!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Two out of three!

Well . . . at least we're narrowing down the reason for the blood in my urine. And it looks like it isn't exercise-induced blood. Of the three major causes for blood in urine, I had two: 1) kidney stone in my left kidney (1.5 centimeters) and 2) an enlarged prostrate (60 grams vs a normal 20).

Going to schedule RSWL in a couple of weeks for the kidney stone (essentially blasting it apart with ultrasound pulses). Doctor suggested Advodart for a bunch of months to shrink up the prostrate. I really don't like taking drugs . . . especially over a long period of time. So I'm going slow with that decision. Will move ahead with the RSWL soon.

Doctor said I could keep on running, though internet site suggested not to. I'll run.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Catching up!

Website was having issues and I couldn't update anything for a few day. Guess I'm the only one reading this so it doesn't matter!

Big news was this past Saturday. Cam Kelly decided to do an early version of the Medoc Mountain Meltdown 50k since he would not be running on the official day. I wasn't sure what I would do. I came prepared with supplies to do the 50k too. My plan was to check my urine every 3-4 miles and stop if blood appeared. That turned out to be a really bad plan.

Cam and I met Brian and Chuck (sorry I don't have their last names!) and started to run at about 8am. We headed out fairly slow, real slow for Cam and especially Brian, but I was fine with the pace and I believe Chuck was too. We decided to use this as a test for the "turn sheet" I had written (and it turns out it worked well.) Cam took the lead and served the group well as our "spider-web buster!

Not sure the temperature at the start but the humidity was just a little worse than inside a closed hot shower after 10 minutes! Seriously, it was super humid. I was totally soaked by mile 2. My plan to do a urine check at 3 1/2 failed. Even though I was forcing fluids as much as I could, I couldn't pee at 3 1/2! Took me to about mile 6 before I could do my check . . . everything was fine . . . code yellow!! But I was really struggling. I slowed and let the group go and by the end of loop 1 I was done. Stayed to tell Cam I was leaving as he looped back by at 11 1/2 miles. Cam promised to call me as soon as he finished

I went home, showered and took a nap. Connie came up and we hung out until about 3:15 . . . Cam had estimated he would finish by 3 pm. No call. I waited another 15 minutes. Still no call. So Connie stayed by the phone and I headed back to Medoc (a 30 minute trip.) When I got there I could see Cam's stuff still on the picnic table, so I started running the course in reverse. Found Cam after about two miles. He was totally fine, just had slowed down due to the mid 90 degree temps and the near 100% humidity.

What a day to run 31 miles . . . Cam . . you are "The Man!"

Don't know when the last time I headed out to run 31 and stopped at 8!! Guess it was the heat and humidity combined with the hills (the dreaded triple H!). At least I hope so. I have my Urologist tests tomorrow and will be releaved to get them behind me.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I'll never be a biker!

Today I went to spinning class at our YMCA. Sounded like fun and a great workout! Angela Barnhill, the teacher, is well known when it comes to making her class a physical challenge for everyone! Sounded good to me, given I can't run for a few days. Since I run marathons and ultras, i thought this would be easy! Wrong! Luckily my boney butt gave out well before my cardio but I don't think I could have "hung" for the full class!

My butt still hurts! How can you sit on those narrow, hard seats???? No way for me! Biker must be tough as nails! Not like this wimpy runner!

And this was all inside . . . in air conditioning! Add heat, humidity and CARS. No way.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Not running is hard!

Without a doubt, not running is hard! Since mid last week, I've had to put my running on hold. Believe me, this definitely was not in my plans! A friend, Doug Slater, is up here at Lake Gaston this week and he and I were going to do a run this morning. And next weekend Cam Kelly and I were going to do a 50k so we could "officiate" our Medoc Mountain Meltdown 50k on August 23 (

While blood in your urine is not uncommon for runners, it hadn't happened to me in about 35 years of running. And it didn't even start on a long run! About three weeks ago I "ran" the Sweaty Butt 50k at Umstead Park in Raleigh and did fine . . . no blood at all. But the next Saturday I ran a fairly moderate 6-7 miler and was freaked out to see blood when I took a pee. (Before this I had often wondered if I would ever really know if I had bloody urine. Believe me . . . you'll know!!!). A doctor I was with told me to force fluids and that worked! But the blood has come back twice since . . . and the last time was way worse and it didn't go away for about 18 hours! REALLY freeks me out! I may try another run late this week and see how it goes.

I have some tests in early August to rule out some very unlikely bad stuff, so hopefully this time off will help me. I probably need a little time off.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Heat Sucks!

The title says it all! I hate running in really hot weather almost more than not running at all.

Today, the temperatures at noon (when I run every weekday) were close to 100 and who knows about the humidity!

Oh . . . high humidity sucks as much as hot temperatures!

I really struggled to run 4 miles . . . probably walked at least a minute total. Come on . . . only 3-4 miles! I took a Gatorade with me and almost finished it. Okay . . . I know gatorade for this short of a run (even in heat and humidity) is overkill! But it tasted good!

Three weeks ago I struggled through a 50k in Umstead Park in Raleigh, NC (Sweaty Butt 50k where the humidity was reallllllly high . . . and temps were up there too. This is really crazy . . . we shouldn't be running long distances in weather like this! So why do we? I honestly can't explain it.

Hot / humid weather should mean treadmill or elipse machines. I'll try.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Okay . . . let's start! Slowly!

I'm a runner. Most of my friends would agree . . . if the term "runner" is used loosely. I'm definitely not a fast runner. My recent marathon times center around 5 hours 15 minutes or so . . . slower if its either hilly or hot . . . a little faster if its cool and flat. Hence, my blog name.

In my past, I used to run faster. Not fast, but at least faster. (PRs: 20 minute 5k; 4 hour marathon). But about three years ago I discovered if I slowed down, carried a camera, stop and take pictures, walk when I want . . . well I had more fun and I was fine to run the next day . . . almost no soreness. So, that's what I started doing!

My goal this year is to run a marathon or more every month. So far so good. But today I was reading a blog a guy I know (Doug "Boogieman" Dawkins) has started, to chronicle his cross-USA run. That's right, cross-USA! ( Guess I need to work on my goals!

If by chance, anyone happens to find this blog of mine, check out Doug's blog . . . and if you happen to live near his route, why don't you offer to help him in his adventure!

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Littleton, North Carolina
World's Slowest Runner . . . well, at least in contention for the honor. Just your average "below average" runner.