Wednesday, November 9, 2011

It's Time to Move On

After several weeks of figuring out what to do with this blog site, since the purpose was to provide updates for the run, I have made a decision to discontinue posting to it. It was a great ride!

That does not mean that I have vaporized or crawled under a rock. You know me, I'm too driven for that. If anything, I'll pull the rock behind me while running. Instead, I'm physically and mentally preparing for the next chapter. I don't know what it is, but I'm working on it while I'm running.

If anyone is interested in following me, you can continue through my Facebook page:!/pages/Jim-Hites-50-Steps-to-a-Healthier-Future/137410703001962

My email address is
Twitter: runforfun85 or Jim_Hite

The runforfun85 is strictly for running and the Jim_Hite is for work-related, although my approach to work and running lives are similar.

I hope that you will join me.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Mission Accomplished

Well, I successfully completed the 50 mile run on my 50th birthday for the Children’s Home and we raised around $10,000 for the kids. Yes!

Please continue to donate:

It was a spectacular day. The morning was clear and it was 44 degrees. The forecast was for rain-free weather with a high of 60 degrees. Purfect for running.
My son, Evan, setting up for the day.
Jenn and Evan helped me get my day’s supplies together. Some of it was prepared the night before. I took four peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, a box of Nutri-Grain Bars, and 5 bags of GU Chomps. I also packed a change of shirts and hats. Jenn and Evan will be my pit crew for the day. Based on the training, I planned to run 50 miles between 9-10 hours.

I'm ready!
I was off and running just after 7 am.
The run consisted of a 1.6 mile loop. I needed to do 31+ to accomplish the goal. The first loop was easy. I wonder if I’ll feel this good on lap 31. Yeah, right! I knew how grueling 38 miles was when I was training.
As I was running, people were joining in, walking for the cause, which was really appreciated. Whenever I chatted it took my mind off of the run – something runners need to do for mental diversionary reasons. In other words, "to keep me sane."  Not helping with my sanity was this dead possum in someone’s front yard. The wind was blowing over the carcass and up my nose. That will certainly wake me up 31 times.

Cindy, Sally, and Carolyn. I really wanted those donuts!

Cindy and Garry (Children's Home CEO).
Garry and Sharon
Pastor Scott and his wife, Robin (Hilltop Covenant Church)

Nice T-Shirt! Thanks Sharon and Cindy from the Children's Home.
I passed one of my neighbors at mile 21 and she asked how far I had gone. She said that I looked pretty good and I did feel good.
So, the first half was uneventful and I was feeling strong. My pace was faster than planned. I went through mile 25 in 4 hours 25 minutes (10:34/mile pace). At mile 29 the Garmin watch died, which was to be expected. Fortunately, I had the trusty Timex Ironman. After this, the run got interesting.
Miles 30-37 were the hardest. My pace was consistent, but it was mentally exhausting. Fortunately I had the pep squad upon finishing each lap. There was a clock on one road in front of the post office which was driving me nuts. It only reminded me of how much more time I would be going. I would pass the clock wondering when some friends of mine were going to get here. I tried doing calculations in my head to take my mind off of the run and I knew that even though I was alone, I was not. God was with me. He is always with me. So onward.
Miles 37+: Peter and Alene are great friends who live on the other side of Connecticut. They are both accomplished marathoners who were planning to come and hopefully do 18-20 miles. The only reason it was “hopefully” was because Peter was working until 1:00. That, plus drive time, was putting them too far into the run. At 1:00 I looked at the annoying clock on Main Street and thought it would not be long before they get here. It could not be soon enough. I needed a boost. My feet were getting numb and my left knee was sore, but I kept the pace.

The good news: They did get there before 2:00 when I had about 13 miles to go. Thank you God! Seeing them lifted a weight from my shoulder. They jumped right in and started talking to me. Happy was an understatement.

Friends: Peter and Alene

At mile 43, Jenn must have seen me either stagger or lose form. When I stopped for water she softly asked if I wanted to stop. I never gave that a thought and continued. As much as she was looking out for me, I’ll be darned if I’m stopping with 7 miles to go, even if I did feel woozy or sloppy at times.
That must have been the push I needed. The last three laps (4.8 miles) was at a 10:26/mile pace – faster than my first half per mile pace. The second 25 miles was at a 11:45/mile pace – certainly slower, but that’s okay with me. I finished it – my goal. I finished strong!
The finish was surreal. As I approached the finish line, I threw my hat in the air, stopped, did some jumping jacks, and some back pedaling, breaking the ribbon that Peter and Alene brought in 9:18:48. The second 25 miles was done in 4:53:48. Thanks to my family, neighbors, church, the Children's Home, and friends for sharing the moment with me and persevering through all my craziness. To them it was probably like watching a science experiment.

Pre-jumping jack's finish

Let's do jumping jacks

Upon crossing I said, “I feel like Forrest Gump. I’m tired, can I go home now?” And, “this is like Christmas. All the preparation and it’s over in a day.” At least I had a sense of humor. Shortly after, I received a welcomed great stretch from Grace, a sports message therapist.

Thanks Grace! I hope I can get up.

I love you honey!! 
I never “hit the wall” - Words to describe the depletion of glycogen (energy) stores in the body often experienced by marathoners. If a runner depletes glycogen, the body taps into fat stores, which is inefficient and results in lactic acid buildup. When that happens, the body shuts down and no matter how much will you have, the body wins and you can no longer run. Needless to say, my physical and nutritional habits for 20 weeks paid dividends.
In hindsight, my woozy feeling was from a lack of water. This dawned on my during my last pit stop and the decrease in pit stop frequency. The well-hydrated body excretes straw-colored urine. If it’s darker than that, you need more water. I won't talk about urine anymore.
Based on the Garmin for the first 29 miles and then estimating forward, because the blasted thing died, I burned 5988 calories. I ate 4 bags of GU Chomps, 1-1/2 PB&J sandwiches, and 4 Nutra-Grain Bars.
What’s the next adventure? The only plan right now is to run without a training schedule. I’ll run, instead, to maintain. The next training begins in January for the 2012 Boston Marathon. Peter will be running this, too. I have a feeling that I’ll need to train hard for this to keep up with him.
Let me end this journey with a runner’s prayer because I could not have achieved my goal without God’s presence:

Give me courage to run the race.
Help me to persevere as you taught us.
Grant me the strength to finish strong.
Honor me with your presence on my journey.
Allow me to be a Grace Runner this day.
Oh, Lord...
One more breath...
One more step...
One more mile...
This is my prayer.
I can do all things through
YOU who strengthens me!
Amen.  ©

Thursday, October 20, 2011

50 Mile Run Training Ends - A Bittersweet Feeling

I completed the last run of my 20 week training this morning – a bittersweet moment. I’m so looking forward to Saturday, but I will miss the build-up to the day - the challenges and how bad days are followed by better ones.
It’s hard to believe how fast time has flashed by. Maybe I ran right through time. Like any training, I’ve had my moments of physical, emotional and spiritual stresses, but I persevered. Here it is by the numbers:
20 weeks of training summary
  • Total miles run = 843.2 – The distance from Hartford, CT to Columbia, SC
  • Number of training days = 76
  • Average miles per week = 42
  • Average miles per run = 11
  • Number of times running greater than 26.2 miles (a marathon) = 7
  • Number of times running further than 30 miles = 3
  • Longest single run = 38 miles
  • Most miles in two days = 55.8
20 Week Training Chart
Tomorrow I'll get my supplies together - food, clothes, first aid supplies, and my mental faculties. No, I don't plan to get run over by a car. The first aid supplies are for any blisters.
I’m very happy with my health and what I’ve accomplished so far. The next challenge: Completing the 50 miles after I turn 50 tomorrow.
I know that I’m not the fastest or that I can run the farthest, but I can run and I’ll always strive for a personal best – I’m thankful for that. And, I’m thankful for the support from my loving wife and son – my family.
I’m glad that I can give through my running. Whatever gift God has given to us, we should share that gift. God has given each and every one of us a gift - we all just need to find it.
"To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift. – Steve Prefontaine (an inspirational and elite runner)"

Enjoy your journey.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Run Promotional and the Weather

Being a weather geek as well as an avid runner, I thought having Joe Furey, a runner and meteorologist, mention the run this morning on the news was great. It is also listed with the Southern New England Weather Conference which is way cool.

Joe lost 70 pounds in 7 months.

I'm hoping that the forecast for Saturday remains the same. 38 degrees in the morning, up to 60 degrees in the afternoon with bright sunshine. Fingers crossed.
Joe Furey on Fox News. Joe lost 70 pounds in 7 months!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Getting Lost

Jenn and I went to the Taste of Cromwell last night. The Taste of Cromwell is an annual Children's Home fundraiser event. It was their 8th year and they did a great job! We met Pastor Scott Jones and his wife, Robin. Pastor Scott is our pastor from the Hilltop Covenant Church. The food and wine were superb and the company made it relaxing.
This is the last weekend of running before the 50 miles.
After I started running this morning, I looked at the horizon and noticed that the clouds were puffy and dark. The sun was just below the hills. The air was cool and there was a breeze. What a glorious morning. It reminded me of running on a winter morning in South Florida. 53 degrees was a pretty chilly morning down there.  When I was running along the beach, there was always a breeze so it made it feel chillier than it was.
Thinking of South Florida reminded me of the time I got lost while running. In a previous blog, I wrote about running aimlessly, without timing myself. Just remember the golden rule of running aimlessly: Know where you are in relation to home. Well, I guess I missed that class because I failed.
See, I had just moved to Florida and my family was in Connecticut. I went out for an evening run. It was supposed to be an easy, short three miles. It was 80 degrees out, but because it was short, I did not take water, money, or a phone.
Being routine and planned, I had a route in my head. I should have kept to it, but I was in a “not caring” mood.  As I was running past a road, I thought, “that neighborhood looks interesting.” So off I went down an...