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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:

http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Jim-Hites-50-Steps-to-a-Healthier-Future/137410703001962

My email address is jhite81@sbcglobal.net
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.

Jim

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:

http://www.childhome.org/helpkids/help_us_help_kids.htm

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:

God,
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...
FINISH LINE...
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...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Taper and a Boost: A "Good Luck" Card from Over the Pond

The training has been going fine the last couple of weeks. Physically I feel good and ready to do the 50 miles. The spirit side of me of maintaining a positive attitude is another story.
Sometimes maintaining a positive outlook is harder than the physical activity. I know negative thoughts are leaking in when I question why I’m running 50 miles. Fortunately, no one is home to hear me whine. Oh yeah, except the parakeets. They don’t count because they don’t care if I whine - they’re just happy to hear a human voice.  
Enough of that. Here’s some great news! I received a...

Friday, September 30, 2011

Injuries and Doubt

The past two weeks has been an emotional ride and I know that it’s affected my blogging.
It began more than two Saturday’s ago after I ran a long run on 9/11. I knew by the end of the day that the next day, when I was supposed to run another 4 hours, was going to be a struggle. The outside of my knees were sore and my Achilles hurt. The knee soreness was not related to the knees. It was my iliotibial bands (ITB), the tissue that runs from the hips to the knees on the outside of the legs. I knew what the problem was since I had a history of similar episodes. Both the ITB and Achilles issues were from overuse; too much too soon. It’s always a delicate balance between under and over training and it appeared that my body was revolting.
I got out at 4:00 am on Sunday, my usual time, and I...

Friday, September 16, 2011

Worst Foods in My Fridge

WebMD is a great Website for nutritional and health information. They recently published an article in their newsletter: Worst Foods in Your Fridge.
Instead or rehashing the article, I’ll give you my spin on this and which of these are in my refrigerator.
Keep in mind, I’m not a nutrition expert. Remember the word “moderation” as you read this.
Here are ten unhealthy foods in your refrigerator according to WebMD and whether or not they are in mine:


1.       Mayonnaise
Yes, this is in my refrigerator. I don’t like the flavor of low-fat mayonnaise so I get the regular kind. In our house we use mayonnaise in tuna and chicken salads. Occasionally when I want a change from mustard, I’ll put a thin layer on bread for a sandwich. Keep the quantities low and don’t eat it everyday.

2.       Soda and other sweet drinks
We avoid these drinks at all cost. These culprits are one of the reasons for obesity in children. We have 1% milk and water in our refrigerator. We do have apple juice sometimes, but it has apples and ascorbic acid – not sugar. I noticed that ginger ale has 26 grams of sugar. Keep it below 10 grams per serving.

3.       Alcoholic beverages
We do have a bottle of wine in our refrigerator. Once again, moderation. Don’t have alcohol occupying a shelf or a chiller drawer, taking away space from fruits and vegetables.

4.       Processed lunch meat
I was buying pre-packaged meats for awhile until I read the sodium content. Lately we’ve been eating tuna and I make chicken salad from baked chicken. If I buy any cold cuts, it’s turkey. I avoid ham and red meats. The ham is too high in sodium and the red meat is higher in fat and the body has a harder time absorbing the protein from red meats.

5.       Hot dogs and sausage
Yuck! Especially hot dogs. I read an article in Discover magazine about how they are made and it turned my off. I was eating the no fat hot dogs until my wife noticed white material inside. What is that white stuff? Nasty!
Here’s the Discover article:



A hot dog toaster. Are you serious! Toss it!

6.       Whole milk products
We don’t stock whole mild products. 1% milk and we eat light cheese when we are in the mood for cheese and crackers. We love sliced European Cucumbers, tomatoes, or red onion with our cheese and crackers. Every Friday is pizza night. We make our own pizza using part-skim mazzorella.

7.       Gourmet ice cream
I do love the occasional ice cream and I do have a full fat ice cream in the freezer now. We don’t eat it regularly and sometimes it’s in there so long that we need to toss it due to freezer burn.

8.       Creamy salad dressing
There is one bottle of creamy in there now, but it is light. Generally we eat light balsamic vinaigrette. If you want creamy, try light. Even if you use light, measure it until you get used to a serving. You’ll be amazed how much you put on without measuring.

9.       Stick butter or margarine
We eat butter. I do not like margarine. When I do eat butter, it is just enough for flavor. Don’t put so much on that you wear it when eating. You won’t see it dripping from the sides of my mouth when eating toast. We only cook with olive oil, not butter.

10.   Frozen french fries
Not good. We love potatoes, but we don’t eat French fries unless they are homemade and baked. Our potatoes are either roasted with some olive oil, baked, or mashed. Try roast potatoes with malt vinegar. Pass me the malt vinegar my dear.

By using some common sense and educating yourself a little, you can be in better shape. The shape you want to avoid is round. Add some activities like walking, and you’ll be golden.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

September 11th Weekend

It was a weekend of remembrance. We are and shall always be free.
On Saturday I completed my four hour run. The weather was just right - 58 degrees and clear. I was under a time crunch, but it wasn’t to see how fast I could run. See, I agreed to help with a 5K race in my hometown in the morning.
The race director was nice enough to put the “50 Steps to a Healthier Future” brochure in the runners’ packets. Getting out at 4:00 am will allow me enough time to get to the race, so there was no time to waste.
The night before, I asked Jenn if she was willing to take some pictures of me running. It’s been awhile since I’ve added any new photos. I promised that it would be at the end of the run so I would not drag her out of bed too early. We agreed on 7:30.
Less than a mile into my run, I attempted to get some fantastic pictures of the moon. Unfortunately, my phone takes cruddy pictures so they were not worth keeping. Pictures would not have done them justice anyway. There, I feel better about not getting them. 
As I stopped to take moon shot – the one in the sky that is - a car stops at the intersection behind me and just waited. That’s bizarre, I thought. There’s no traffic and the car was not moving. Shortly after, it slowly came up from behind. I felt strange....


Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Push Week

This week has been a push week - pushing too hard that is.

I’m sitting at home eating a bowl of oatmeal for a snack with an ice pack on my Achilles after a job interview this morning, and a before-lunch tempo (moderate pace) run. Yes, an ice pack. I can feel some strain on my lower body from running and the brain after the interview. Maybe I should throw some ice on my head, too.

After the hills on Tuesday, which I did more than usual, I noticed twinges in my left upper thigh and I could feel aches in my Achilles. I’ve been fortunate to avoid overuse strains for many months. The way my training has been going, I can be sore after a hard run, but I’m usually feeling better by the end of the day or the next morning. Recovery has been...

Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy Labor Day and Post Week 8

Happy Labor Day!
Well, the legs and feet feel good after the two long runs over the weekend.
I successfully completed the second half of my two-day long runs: 31.3 miles Saturday in 5 hours followed by 24.5 miles in 4 hours yesterday. It’s hard to determine what was the better day. I went out faster Saturday than Sunday, which was a mistake, especially when I need to run 4 hours on Sunday. Because I never ran back-to-back really long runs, I was concerned. Would I...

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Halfway Through the Most Challenging Weekend

The first half of my hardest training weekend went well. The training calls for a 5 hour run on Saturday followed with a 4 hour run on Sunday. Today I completed 31.3 miles in 5 hours. The goal is not about how fast I can run; instead it’s about time on my feet. If you recall, I have trouble holding back.
I was up at 3:00 am so I could be out the door by 4:00. I like to start early when it is cooler and so the run does not cut into family time too much.
My day began by eating a banana and bread pudding, chased with a cup of coffee. For any other training I would begin fueling 2 hours before, but I am not getting up at 1:00 am. Now onto the training mat for my daily back stretches, crunches, and leg raises. I’m fanatical about...

Friday, September 2, 2011

Eating Healthier Doesn't Need to be Complicated or Costly

We all have a dietary Achilles Heel. I’m a carbohydrate junkie and I love desserts, if you remember my Oreo Meltdown blog. So I need to make sure that I get enough protein and watch my sugar intake. Fiber is not an issue because when eating carbohydrates, I try to eat complex carbohydrates, which are higher in fiber.

This may sound complicated and a royal pain, but it’s easier than you think. Learning how to eat healthy in a fast food world is a learning experience and takes time, similar to learning various running training routines, such as intervals, fartleks, hills, and distance.

When I began running again, I naturally began making healthier food choices. First, I stopped eating a bag of...

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Storming Through 30 Miles

It’s great to be blogging again, enjoying a cold drink after a strong run. After a hiatus due to moving, visiting family, and just plain good old summer activities, I’m ready to dig in and write about my progress.
Having family visiting from England was great and the timing perfect. I was on a recovery week from running so my relaxation meter was high. We vacationed in Boothbay Harbor for several days. I love the Maine Coast. The salt water smell, tranquility, and...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Seven Hours and 49 Miles

The end of week 11 was challenging. Before going into Sunday’s training, I was worried.
Saturday’s run took three hours and fifteen minutes (21 miles).This was fifteen minutes longer than goal. The run was quite uneventful. I’ll take uneventful once in awhile.
The sky was clear and the temperature was a comfortable 58 degrees, unlike the previous sultry weekend. Yuck! It’s amazing running early in the early morning darkness. Experiencing the blazing red sky at sunrise, which transitions to...

Friday, August 12, 2011

50 Steps to a Healthier Future Website

Registration and donation information for the "50 Steps to a Healthier Future" 50 mile run is available at https://www.childhome.org/events/50%20steps.htm

Support the children!

Week 11 and a Crazy Sub-Culture

Week 11 and I’m still on target for training.
Other than missing a shorter weekend run, some daily body kinks, and tenderness on the pad on the base of my small toe on my left foot (if you can follow that), I’ve been running healthy.
Before I get into how the training is progressing, I need to mention an early morning runner’s nemesis: The newspaper deliverers. This is a vibrant sub-culture that is not as wicked as...

Monday, July 25, 2011

Longest Training Run

There was cause for celebration yesterday. I completed a 26.7 mile training run in four hours. I have never run this far nor have I ever run for 4 hours. Unofficially I completed an ultramarathon. I say unofficial because it was not officially measured. Any run over 26.2, a marathon, is ultra. This was also my first long run in the Kinvaras.
I was up before the alarm at 3:40 am. Because I have a projection clock, I rolled over in bed like usual, looking at the ceiling with one eye closed to see...
what the temperature was, hoping for it to be at least in the 60s. Oh yuck! 79 degrees and of course the humidity is higher in the morning. That was not what was forecasted. Oh well, stop moaning. Get a cup of joe and begin eating and stretching. The pre-run food included two slices of toast, two Fiber One toaster pastries, and a Clif Bar. Clif Bars have 44 grams of carbohydrates per bar. I consumed 160 grams of carbs before running.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Runner's High and Bird Food

Even though there may be many explanations as to what defines a runner’s high and how does one know when it is experienced, I don’t believe there is any one definition. Some runners claim they feel euphoric while others claim it’s a feeling of relaxation or being energized. And, they go as far as saying it leads to an addiction. Oh my…! That seems extreme. I know for certainty it was the complete opposite of what I felt running 12 miles last Sunday in the heat.
Last Sunday was one of those days when I was begging for a cloud to pass by to block the suns relentless rays. I realized how bad it was when a bird...

Friday, July 15, 2011

I'll Discard the Shoes and Keep the Feet

The other day I realized how many months I have been running in my Mizuno Wave Rider 14s. I asked Jenn, my lovely wife, if I purchased them right after Christmas. She said, “yes.” Yikes! I have never worn a pair of running shoes so long. Because I log my miles, I immediately went back and calculated how many miles I put on these bad boys. As it turned out, they experienced more than...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Week 15 Training

This week is a recovery week after a 24 mile run. The long run on Sunday was very good. It was at the right pace (3:32 or 8:51/mile). The weather for training has been kind so far. Although it has been on the warm side with higher humidity, it has not rained much during my runs. The heat and humidity is to be expected; it’s summer after all. The early morning runs are the most enjoyable. It’s so peaceful during the early hours, plus I get to see...

Friday, July 8, 2011

50 Steps to a Healthier Future Update

Alex at the Children’s Home made significant progress this week, trying to nail down the date and location for the 50 Steps to a Healthier Future event. Her persistence paid off.
The date will be October 22, 2011, beginning at 7:00 until I’m done. The start and finish will be at the Edna Stevens Elementary School in Cromwell, CT. At this time I’m projecting it will take 9 hours to complete. Here is a map of the 1.6 mile loop:
1.6 mile loop of the 50 mile run
I’ll need to circle this more than...

Monday, July 4, 2011

Hiking and Bloodthirsty Critters

We never got to go kayaking today. We’ll save that for another day. Instead, we went for a day hike through River Highlands State Park in our town. The weather was sunny and warm. After plenty of rain recently, the bugs were enjoying our presence. I swear, mosquitoes and other DEET-resistant, blood-sucking critters wait in the woods for the next victim to enter their trap.

The picture painted was probably worse than...

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Family Time

I’m tired. My day began with cereal, a cup of joe, and then out the door for 7.2 miles. My tiredness could be a result of being in the hot sun canoeing with Evan, followed by a walk at Dinosaur State Park. The sun even got to Evan. He claims that he saw a...

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Children's Home Update and Tempo Summer Runs

Another awesome New England day! Warm, but not humid.
We had a planning meeting at the Children’s Home yesterday and thanks to them the fundraiser is on track. Our only glitch is getting the Cromwell Schools to commit to us using the track. Once we confirm the date of October 22nd, we can move forward with the advertising. Hopefully Alex can get an answer tomorrow.
The event planning team will need to expand once we get confirmation, so I’ll be out there recruiting volunteers to help with various tasks to pull this off for the children. The run, after all, is for...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Running Spontaneity and High School Memories

Trying to beat the summer temperatures can be challenging. This morning, I dropped Evan off at camp and then headed straight to the track. I was not following the weekly schedule, but I didn’t care. I say buck the schedule once in awhile and do what you want. Being as inflexible as I am I can’t believe I considered the notion. Jenn, my wife, in her infinite wisdom about life, taught me the concept of spontaneity. I love her for that. See, today was supposed...

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Running: A Good Friend

Towards the end of my 20 mile long run this morning, I wondered why I voluntarily get out of bed early Saturdays and Sundays to run, especially when it does not pay the bills. Am I insane? Normally these questions would not be on my well-rested mind. Sheer exhaustion was tainting my attitude.
My family and I enjoyed a night of socializing at a party. Most of the people at the party were not runners, but...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Jim Hite's 50 Steps to a Healthier Future Campaign

Hi Everyone,

Please join me in by either donating, walking, or volunteering to support the Children's Home in Cromwell, CT. I plan on running 50 miles on my 50th birthday to support the Children's Home.

Where Does My Contribution Go?
The Children's Home hosts many underfunded or non-funded activities that go beyond what is required by agencies that refer children into their care. These include summer education and worker preparation projects, religious education, summer camps, field trips, cultural events, recreational activities, and social and life skills activities. Moreover, private funding ensures both the future and character of The Children's Home to provide the finest facilities, equipment and opportunities for our kids. Your support keeps the "Home" in The Children's Home!

Physical, emotional, and spiritual health leads to healthy souls.

The fundraising page is now ready for you to access:

http://www.crowdrise.com/50stepstoabetterlife/fundraiser/childrenshomeofcromw#top

https://www.childhome.org/donation_form/donation.php

For Donations:
Please consider donating to support the Children's Home in Cromwell by using the links above. Children are our future. They need our physical, emotional and spiritual support.

"No contribution is too small"

To walk/jog/run:
If you want to join me and walk/jog/run from a 1/4 mile to 50 miles and enjoy the great outdoors, the tentative date for this outstanding event is October 22, 2011 in Cromwell, CT. More information to come.

Volunteering:
If you want to volunteer during the event click on the below link and select "Join the Team" button.

http://www.crowdrise.com/50stepstoabetterlife/fundraiser/childrenshomeofcromw#top

PRIZES! PRIZES!

* BRAND-SPANKIN' NEW iPAD 2: Donate $26 or more between now and June 24 (THAT'S TOMORROW!)to be entered for a chance to win an iPad 2 with a special thank-you video from Crowdrise co-founder Edward Norton. Norton is fundraising for the Johns Hopkins Department of Neurosurgery. (Official rules on the Crowdrising Website)

* TRIP TO OREGON: The person who raises the most money by June 30 will win a spot on the Bart Yasso-coached Runner’s World team at this year’s Hood to Coast Relay! The race is August 26-27 in Oregon. (Official rules on the Crowdrising Website)

* OTHER FREE STUFF: We’ll give our fundraisers highly coveted Runner’s World schwag at random, and for winning mini contests.

* FIVE THOUSAND BIG ONES: Runner’s World and Rodale Inc., the publisher of Runner's World and Runnersworld.com, will donate $5,000 to the charity that raises the most money through September 5.
(Official rules on the Crowdrising Website)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Oreo Meltdown

OMG! I just ate some of those new Fudge Cream Oreos. The post-lunch five were inhaled in under a minute. Guinness should have been there. Five is almost two servings. Okay, okay, I’ll round up to two servings instead of trying to minimize my guilt. I immediately regretted eating them just like I used to after...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Off-Roading Like a Kid

My left hip was sore after Saturday’s run, so I decided not do my long run on Sunday. Unfortunately this was the most important run of the week to miss, but then again it was a recovery week. Oh well, it’s best to not create a long term injury due to my lack of patience.
Today I thought that I would try a flat surface and stay off-road, so I went to the high school. I ran on the rubberized track, grass, and then diverted into the woods that the cross country team follows. I took one wrong turn, but who cares. We turned around and got back on the trail.
Now that Evan is out of school, he came along to ride his bike. Evan’s not into running...

Monday, June 20, 2011

More to Ultras Than Bodily Functions - My Schedule

There are some humorous ultramarathon quotes out there. I thought I would share a couple before talking about my training schedule.

"eat, eat, eat, eat, drink, drink, drink, drink, pee, pee, pee, pee, run, run, run, run" 
- Simon Mtuy, Tanzanian ultra runner

Here’s another one I found, but I don’t know the author:


I could follow Mtuy’s quote as a basic schedule for an ultra or subscribe to the “put the right foot in front of the other” plan as another option. These are probably too vague for me. I’m more structured than eat, drink, pee, and run, even though that’s what one essentially does during an ultra. I’m like a fish out of water without a schedule.
18 weeks until the 50 mile run. Today I thought I would share my schedule after being pampered on Father’s Day.

Okay, here is my disclaimer before I go on: The schedule is subject to change. Afterall, I've already made several changes. My schedule is a mixture from several sources:
·         Hal Higdon, a well-respected coach
·         Runner’s World Magazine
·         A book called “Run Less, Run Faster”
·         Me
I have run up to 23 miles during marathon trainings so I will also draw upon my experience.
Don’t always be a follower when training. There are many well-respected coaches we can listen to, but also have confidence in what works for you. You are your own coach. There are too many variables to consider. We are unique…
West Hartford Reservoirs: One of my favorites places to run.
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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father’s Day!
Before the sun was up this morning I was supposed to be out running 13 miles, but instead I decided to take a day of rest. Not because it was Sunday or Father’s Day. If anything, I really wanted to get out and experience the beauty of an early Sunday morning when there are few people out an about and I get to see some of the wildlife. When I see rabbits on the side of the road foraging, I consider asking them in a Dr. Dolittle way, if they are up to a running challenge like...

 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Let's Move to Good Health

Today is a rest day so I’ll take a rest from running talk and blog about something just as important.
Yesterday, our nation released the first ever National Prevention and Health Promotion Strategy (National Prevention Strategy). According the government, “this strategy is a critical component of the Affordable Care Act, and it provides an opportunity for us to become a more healthy and fit nation.”
This is an enormous step for our nation to develop a comprehensive approach to encourage health prevention and access to healthcare. Let’s be proactive versus reactive and teach people how to make affordable, healthy choices so they can make better decisions and be armed with...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Fartleking and My Trusty Kitchen Utensil

I’m getting very excited! The plans for the run are progressing well. We have not confirmed a date yet, but we are ever-so-close. Some paperwork needs to be completed in order to use the schools’ grounds and we need to find out the school sporting schedule. The High School Track area will be the base location since this will be where the two mile loop will start and finish. Parking would be available at the High School, Elementary School and Intermediate School; all walking distance to the main event. I just received an email from the Cromwell Police Captain endorsing the route as being safe and wishing me luck. The Children’s Home is working diligently with many behind the scene activities, getting ramped up to release the public relations’ and registration materials.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sunny Days are Here Again

Finally the sun is out and it was a beautiful morning for an easy run. The morning run in the sun, watching the ABC News Report, and the Kenny Rogers Seinfeld episode last night prompted me to think about sun health hazards. Yes, I am a Seinfeld fan. If you don’t watch Seinfeld, the scene is when Jerry comes stumbling into his apartment all frazzled and hyper after losing a night’s sleep because the red light from this huge neon chicken on the roof of the building next door is permeating the room where is he was trying to sleep. Jerry referred to the room as the “red planet.” So anyway, as he’s rubbing his eyes he said, “I can’t take it anymore. That red light is burning my brain.” You can find the scene on You Tube if you need a chuckle.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sugar Hangover

Wow, another dreary day today. This weather is so bizarre. Record heat, severe storms, now it’s back to being cool and damp. After an off day yesterday, back to training. In fact, I had a “really off” day. It was Evan’s birthday and I ate way too much cake which resulted in me waking up with a headache today. I actually felt hung-over, even without drinking alcohol.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Safety First

It turned out to be dreary and rainy the last couple of days. Yesterday I completed a slower paced 7 miles and today I did an 18 mile long run. Both runs went well.
Because it was a gray, gloomy morning and still dark, it made me think about running safety. Too many outdoor enthusiasts die as a result of being struck by vehicles. Keep in mind as you’re reading this blog, outdoor safety is not limited to runners. It applies to walkers and anyone who shares their paths with cars, bikes, or rollerbladers. Here are a couple of examples of recent tragedies: Triathlete Sally Meyerhoff died after being hit by a truck while she was training on her bike. And, when I was living in South Florida a young woman who was training for the Richmond Marathon was tragically killed as she was crossing an intersection during one of her early morning training runs. The benefit of running early in the day is that there are fewer cars on the road, but be aware, drivers have a tendency drive faster when there are fewer cars. In addition, they can be driving half asleep with one eye closed and even impaired after a night of having one too many. Darkness has its hazards, but being safe is not limited to the times of reduced visibility. Even safe havens in the middle of the day have their hazards.
It’s hard to find a safe place to run these days, even running paths. Here’s an interesting experience that I had: While running on a running/bike path that was “restricted to motorized vehicles” I was nearly run down by a motorized bicycle going at a high rate of speed while the rider was texting. Yikes! Can you believe that people text and ride a bike? I am challenged texting motionless let along in motion. Granted, no matter how safe you are, tragic injuries and even deaths happen, however, there are good, safe habits we can practice to protect ourselves. I call these safety contracts.
First, run against traffic. I also do not wear an MP3 player; too distracting. On long runs I’ll bring my cell phone. Added to this, I have my favorite safety gear that’s included in my contract. The safety gear I use is not limited to runners. I encourage anyone who shares their paths with cars, bikes, and rollerbladers to give these a try. The cost of the safety gear is reasonable considering what can happen to you without them.
I always wear my RoadID bracelet, no matter what time of day it is. The bracelet is really cool. You create a personal webpage with all of your pertinent information such as home address, emergency contacts, medical history, insurance, and a photo. On the back of the bracelet is a PIN. Rescuers or the hospital can access your personal information using the PIN. There is a low annual subscription for the bracelet. In addition, when it is dawn, twilight, nights, or whenever the visibility is reduced, I wear my Amphipod reflective vest and I attach one RoadID flashing light to the front and one on the back. The vest can be found in a sporting goods store or you can order any of these items online. You can find these products through my favorite websites on this page.
Hey, be safe out there. Just like you drive, run defensively


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Wandering Mind

My run today was longer than planned. When I went out this morning, the only strategy I had was to run no more than 8 miles, which included refining the route for the 50 mile run. Well, the good news is that I narrowed the route down and it’s refined. I decided to reduce the loop distance from 3 miles to 2 miles. This makes the run more fun because the time it takes to run around once will take less. This is also great for relay team members who are working towards a 5K (3.1 mile) run. I also like the loop around the track idea at the end of each 2 mile leg.  A shorter distance also means less time on the main roads and fewer side road crossings, which translates to a reduced chance for someone getting injured. I attached a preliminary Google map. I have my meeting with the Police Captain tomorrow.

Back to how my run was longer than planned; I did 10 miles instead of 8. Not that this has not happened before. I would have known how far I was from home if I were thinking and planning my next turn in the road. Well, thinking was not on the menu. I was in “the zone” when wandering minds wander. Maybe being in the zone was a result of a lousy night’s sleep or I was just looking at the brewing storm clouds; there was one clap of thunder in the distance. I was not even paying attention the GPS watch which I’m usually fanatical about. I vaguely remember hearing the beeps of the GPS at each mile. The run was relaxing. It’s good to do this as a runner occasionally, especially if you’re not training for a race and you’re maintaining fitness. Just know where you are going and don’t get lost – that’s another story for later - flashback.
My feet are a bit sore this afternoon. My shoes are getting worn now from the mileage. These are the same running shoes that I used for the Miami and Boston Marathons. I’m glad tomorrow is a rest day. After Sunday’s long run, next week is a recovery week which means about 15-20% fewer miles, then another 3 progressively harder weeks. It’s a challenging cycle but I’m up to it.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A Tribute to the Ones We Love

Today is another milestone in my personal life. I am celebrating my 26th anniversary with Jenn. Where does the time go?  In celebration, I wanted to dedicate this entry to my wife, my pillar.
Jenn puts up with an awful lot. She has had to live with a person who became addicted to running. Let’s call this person “me.” We usually assign the word addiction to drugs, alcohol, gambling, etc., however whenever we become dependent on something, it can become an addiction, even good activities such as exercise. I consider myself driven. I dive head first into anything I do. I have benefited from being driven both personally and professionally. However, on the flip-side, being too driven to the point of addiction can be detrimental to the ones we care about.
Jenn has always supported my running. I began running again in February 2009 after a 29 year hiatus. I became so obsessed with running that I qualified for the Boston Marathon within 8 months. Jenn and Evan, my son, would be my pit crew every Sunday during my long runs, sacrificing their personal time so I could achieve my goal of finishing the Hartford Marathon. Jenn also sacrificed her gym time so I could go out for my evening runs before dark. I was truly blind to what I was taking from her as I became immersed. Jenn’s support was not limited to these selfless acts; there are many examples. She has always been there for me during my professional ambitions, including an opportunity resulting in her quitting a job she really liked and moving to Florida. Based on her desire to help others, when I approached her, asking if you would help with this next challenge of running 50 miles, there was no surprise that she agreed. I can only hope that I listen to my heart and do a better job at balancing my goal with the relationship.
For anyone out there who has a passion, be aware of your actions. Whether it’s running, golf, fishing, or your job, be sure you temper yourself and pay attention to the ones you care about. Note to self: Don’t become obsessed with training for 50 on 50.
Thank you, Jenn for all of your love and support.
“For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul.”
            -Judy Garland

Here is a good article on running addictions: “Confessions of a Running Addict”. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/dietandfitness/6066279/Confessions-of-a-running-addict.html

Nice slow 5 mile run today. I got out early to beat the heat.