Tag Archives: marathon

Tattoo You – thanks to a long lost friend

I’m primarily writing this today to show off my new tattoo!  But I will have some insight into cadence training as well.  But first, the tattoo!

Running Man Tattoo

Many years ago (like 18) I was lured into running by my desire to impress a beautiful woman while I was on a work trip to Hawaii.  I was mesmerized by this incredibly cute & smart woman with whom I was working on installing and testing software.  We were both flirtatious as hell and one day she asked me if I wanted to go for a run with her.  In those days I was a smoker, not a runner, but I would be damned if I was going to let that get in the way of going for a run with this angel.

We were staying at the Turtle Bay Hilton on the North Shore so there was plenty of open space where we could run.  So early Saturday morning I put on my cargo shorts and cotton tank top, laced up my Merrell mid-height hiking boots, and off we went.  I can’t tell you now which was worse; running through the sand in hiking boots, or thinking that my burning soot covered lungs were going to collapse – all I know is that it was, to this day, one of my most memorable runs because of who I was with and the relationship that started that day and lasted a fleeting yet glorious 3-years.

I quit smoking cold-turkey that day and started my running quest.  The following year I ran the Marine Corps Marathon.  Though we’ll most likely never meet again I owe my love of running and my being cigarette free for 18 years now to her and, even though she’ll probably never read this….thank you!

I returned to Hawaii again in 1998, the year I was training for the MCM, and while wandering around the shops at the Aloha Tower Marketplace I stumbled on a print of a Hawaiian petroglyph entitled “Running Man”.  I’ve kept it on my wall ever since and thought that one day it would make a cool tattoo – and it does!

So last night I finally got the tattoo.

I look forward to adding 5 half hashmarks and 4 full hashmarks at the end of this year.

Now to the useful portion of this entry – Cadence Training:

The other day I bought a small, portable metronome that I could use to try improving my cadence and boy was I impressed!  If you’re struggling with trying to create music playlists that have songs with 90BPM that you can use to optimize your cadence training let me tell you – this is FAR, FAR better.

Take a look at my Garmin Connect training entry from that day and you can clearly see the benefits of using a metronome.  I was on the treadmill which made it very easy to control the training and optimize the use of the metronome to achieve the cadence I was looking for.

Bottom line – if you want to incorporate some cadence training to improve your efficiency then buy one of these.


Thinking about the spot where half marathon finishers medal #6 is going to be I realized that I’ve been giving short shrift to the “Six Halfs In a Year” headline.  At the completion of the MetroPCS Dallas Half next Sunday I will have completed a major running event each month for the last five months, more of an accomplishment than I’ve been considering it to have been.

Granted, there are probably thousands of runners out there that complete an organized half marathon event every month so in they eyes of the world my accomplishment is far from earth shattering.  But for me it’s a great achievement considering where I was at the beginning of the year.

On a whim I decided to fly down to Austin to run the 20th annual 3M event (it was brutally cold here in Omaha so why not?).  I hadn’t really been training for a half, hell I don’t even think I’d actually put in any more than a handful of miles of actual “running”.  Truth be told I’d only been working on my fitness since mid-December.  I didn’t even run Austin, I “Wogged” it – a word I came up with to describe my walk/jog approach.

I had no grand expectations, I just wanted to finish in 3:00 or under.  I met my goal with a 2:51.  In a galaxy far, far away I had run the Baltimore half in 1:54, so that 2:51 kinda pissed me off even though it was what I deserved in light of my lack of training up to that point – but the gauntlet was thrown.

I came back to Omaha on a mission, not to run six half marathons in 2014, but to prove to myself that I could get back to being able to actually RUN the entire course without any walk breaks.   To motivate me on this mission I registered for the Revel Rockies inaugural, the Omaha Half, the Des Moines half, and a couple months later the Richmond half.  Dallas didn’t even enter into the equation until after I’d finished Des Moines and then realized that I couldn’t finish the year with an odd-number of finishers medals; it’s a left-brain thing.

I felt redeemed when I finished the Revel Rockies a full 23 minutes faster, and that with a pulled muscle in my right leg that manifested itself at mile 7.  My 2:16 in Omaha a month later quieted the naysayers in the back of my mind telling me that Revel was a fluke because it was all downhill.

My daughter Kelly, with whom I ran the Richmond event last month (I the half, she the full) has challenged me to PR for the year in Dallas with a 2:10.  An ambitious challenge to be sure, but considering what I’m running Dallas in support of – challenge accepted!  I already have my race day shirt packed, I’m running for a cause and so I’ll cross the finish wearing my Navy Seal Foundation shirt.

I’m just unhinged enough that I’m considering a run at 12 medals next year.  I’m already registered for Grandma’s Marathon in June, with the Ogden half slotted in May on my training calendar.  Now I’ve got myself thinking that I should run a half each month leading up to Grandma’s, then a half in each of the next five month’s and cap off the year with a full in December.  Major undertaking, but I think it’s possible.

Just a drop in the bucket(list)

This race is on the top of my list of most scenic marathons that I want to complete.  I’m seriously considering adding this to my race schedule for 2015 and am going to have to weigh the pros/cons of whether I want to run the full or the half, considering I’m running Grandma’s Marathon in June.  I really don’t see where it would be an issue running another full 3-months later.  Yes, it will be a challenge wrt training.  But if that dude, whose name escapes me, can run a marathon every weekend for 74 weekends then I can certainly challenge myself and run two in a course of three months.  I’m only here for a finite period of time, and there are far too many extraordinarily scenic marathons that I want to run before that time is up – considering I’m a late bloomer.  Okay, I just talked myself into it……now, if only I could convince just ONE of the Richmond group to join me – now THAT would be EPIC!