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Finishes

2010 Cincinnati Flying Pig Half-Marathon
My first official half-marathon was the 2010 Cincy Flying Pig (I ran two unofficial half-marathon distances during training).  This is an extremely well organized and fun event.  The route takes you through some breath taking views!  We started off at Paul Brown Stadium, home of the Cincinnati Bengals, and then proceeded South across Central Bridge into Northern Kentucky.  We crossed back into Southern Ohio on C.W. Bailey Bridge and snaked our way around downtown Cincinnati.  This is definitely a race that I will be signing up for hopefully for years to come....

Unfortunately, I was unable to meet my training goals prior to the race (for my son's medical reasons) and I didn't perform as well as I planned.  Also, it rained the entire day and I developed two blisters on my left foot (which slowed me down considerably).   I was happy that I finished but I was about 10-15 minutes off of my goal. 

Route (Garmin 305)
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Route (Google Earth)
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Finish Time
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2010 United States Air Force Half-Marathon
Another race that I completed was the 2010 USAF half-marathon.  This was my second official half-marathon for 2010.  Another extremely well organized and fun race!  This event starts on the lawn  of the National Museum of the Unites States Air Force (NMUSAF)!  The course weaves it's way through Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB) and finishes back at the museum grounds.....  As the race organizers say, "this course is flat and fast!"  I'd agree with the flat part up until OH SR 844!  

Anyways, this course is well planned out is virtually a historical tour of WPAFB (my current employer)!  This race is in my "backyard" so I have to "represent" the base and USAF!  I arrived here at WPAFB back in 2009.  I watched in awe as the thousands of runners took off down the course.  I had volunteered  to work the event (for  flight safety) since I was about to have my second knee surgery only a month later.  I made a promise to myself that I would be back for 2010.....  And I was!  

Route (Runkeeper)
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Route (Google Earth)
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Finish time
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Again, I wasn't too thrilled about my finish time for this race either.  I was unable to satisfy my training goals prior to this race as well (due to family medical issues and increased responsibilities and time spent at work).    I suffered a calf strain at various points along the race (between miles 8-11).....  This was a historic injury that reared its ugly self again.  I finished six minutes slower than my Cincy finish time (but was hungry for more).

2011 Wright-Patterson AFB St. Patrick's Day 10K Fun Run
This was my first official event of the year.  I registered for the 10K and it conveniently fell on a maintenance training day.  I was able to prepare well in advance for this event.  The race promoters (WP Services) put on a great event!  There were t-shirts, water and fruit!  I finished with a 10K PR of 52:33 (8:27 pace).  I had fun and will register for this event again next year! 

Route (Garmin 305 & Google Earth)
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2011 Harrigan's Tavern St Patrick's Day 5K
This was my second official event for the year.  Harrigan's Tavern is a locally owned and operated establishment located in Kettering, OH.  There were slightly over 1,000 race entrants.....  This event is in it's 10th or 11th year and will continue for many years to come!  The race was sponsored by Brooks, Up and Running, Speedy-Feet, and many others.....  I highly recommend this event if you are ever in the Dayton-Kettering, OH area during St. Patty's Day!  Link: http://www.harrigans5k.com/  I finished with a 5K PR at 24:07 chip time (7:50 pace)!   

Route (Garmin 305 & Google Earth)
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2011 Cincinnati Flying Pig Half Marathon
This was my second consecutive year running the Flying Pig and I was more than ready for it!  I used the same training plan that I incorporated for the 2010 Flying Pig but accomplished 100% of my plan this year (vs. roughly 40-45% last year), including an additional 43.8 miles (see training plan below)!  As some of you recall, it rained throughout the race last year in 2010.  Well, guess what?  It rained for about an hour this year in 2011 too…..  I was prepared though, having accomplished over 7 training runs in the rain (some with winds in excess of 20-30mph).  
Initially I set my sights on a new personal record (PR).  I didn’t care what that time was three months ago, but that changed about a month out from the race; I envisioned breaking the 2-hour mark for the half marathon!  I modified my goals and trained towards achieving this milestone (trying to maintain an 8:30-9:00 min/mile pace overall).  In the mean time, I was able to set 11 separate new PR’s throughout the course of my training! 
New PR’s set during training:
#1  5K PR (24:41)
#2  10K PR(53:25)
#3  10K PR (52:53)
#3  5K PR (24:15)
#4  10K PR (51:59)
#5  Monthly Mileage PR (108.5)
#6  Yearly Mileage PR (still counting)
#7  Weekly Mileage PR (30.2)
#8  10K PR (50:51)
#9  5K PR (23:53)
#10 Monthly  Mileage PR (109.4)
#11 Half-Marathon PR (1:58:12)
#12 Not getting severely hurt during training!  < which I think is a first

Training Plan
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Map (Garmin 305 overlay onto Google Earth)
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Finish Time
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Finisher's medal
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I am so blessed and thankful for my accomplishments thus far and I only want to strive to do better!  Until next year, Cincinnati Flying Pig!  Maybe I’ll try for the full marathon….. 

2011 AF Marathon (26.2 miles)
This was my 1st ever attempt at a full marathon.  I never thought I’d be able to finish 26.2 miles but found the courage and strength to at least try.  Upon reaching the final weeks, I thought that I’d not make it…  I missed about 190 miles throughout the course of my training plan and only had one long run at 20 miles with additional runs at 18, 16 etc…

I managed to set 7 new PR’s during the course of this training:
#1 10K PR                  0:50:20            27 June, 2011
#2 Dist PR                 14 miles          6 August, 2011
#3 Dist PR                 16 miles          13 August, 2011
#4 Dist PR                 20 miles          28 August, 2011
#5 Dist PR                 26.2 miles        17 September, 2011
#6 Weekly PR            32.2 miles        11-17 September, 2011
#7 Marathon (1st)        4:53:02            17 September, 2011

AF Marathon Map
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Finish Time
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New PR’s
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With Tyler and Brandon
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AF Marathon Training Plan (Phase 1)
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AF Marathon Training Plan (Phase 2)
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Thanks to those who have followed me along this journey!  I may never run another full marathon again…  Seriously!

2011 Nationwide Columbus Half Marathon
This was my last big race for the year.  I sprung right into training immediately after the USAF Marathon but only completed half of the training plan mileage.  I finished with a 2:05:25 (9:28 avg pace) and was happy.  No half marathon PR this time, but there’s always more! 

Avg Splits:
#1  8:39           #8  9:27
#2  8:38           #9  9:21
#3  8:47           #10  9:51
#4  8:58           #11  10:24
#5  8:45           #12  11:00
#6  8:51           #13  10:44
#7  9:25           #14  10:38  (the infamous .1 mile)

13.1 @ 2:05:25 (9:28 pace overall). 

2011 Nationwide Better Columbus Half Marathon Course
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Training plan
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Finish’s medal
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Finish time
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2012 USAF Half Marathon (Deployed Location)
I was deployed this summer to an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia where temps hover around 125f in the day to just above 100f at night.  I signed up for the race in effort to obtain a USAF Deployed Location finisher's medal.  Little did I know, the heat would prove to be brutal.  My longest run of the year prior to race day was 10 miles (ran on 6 July 2012).  I pretty much ran this race "cold turkey" but managed to finish and received my medal (and survived the heat).

Avg Splits:
#1 10:01           #8   11:46
#2   9:51         #9   12:11
#3 10:22          #10 12:39
#4 10:29          #11 12:35
#5 10:40          #12 13:08
#6 11:25          #13 13:52
#7 11:13            #14 10:10 (the infamous .1 mile)

13.1 @ 2:31:36 (11:30 pace overall).  Not my best, but definitely not my worst either.

2012 USAF Half Marathon (Deployed Location) Course
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2012 USAF Half Marathon (Deployed Location) Finisher's Medal
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2013 Livestrong Austin Half Marathon
My next race took me to Austin, TX, merely an hour from my hometown.  I had high expectations for this race; I hoped to set a new Half Marathon PR.  I missed my typical events in 2012 (due to work) and this race was the first of four (or five) events for me in 2013.  Timing for this race was ideal, because Texas February's are typically my kind of run-weather (40-50f degrees) and it was about two months after our move (from Ohio to Oklahoma).  Training got off to a slooooow start due to a rib injury (I fell and bruised my ribs in December prior to our move) and getting back into the saddle was a bit frustrating.  For those of you who have experienced this injury before, you know what I went through!  Unfortunately, I was out for approximately five weeks.  

Well, I started training in Oklahoma and immediately began logging miles.  My endurance suffered quite a bit from the lack of running.  Plus, Oklahoma's weather was so unpredictable (varied from 20f-80f in Jan/Feb including everything from sun, rain, snow and winds).  Training began to pick up and I was able to squeeze in a couple of long distance runs at 10.5 and 10 miles before I suffered my second injury during this cycle; a high ankle sprain.  I was out another week for the ankle sprain and missed a planned 11 mile run.  I hopped back into training with a 12-miler and it was very ugly (pace/time).  That's when I gave up hope for a PR...  

I was able to finish out my last week of training and maintained proper nutrition.  I admit, I gained about 5-7 pounds from Jan/Feb due to the inactivity, and at 175 pounds, I was heavier than expected for race day (planned/ideal weight was around 168-170 pounds).  Oh well, I was eating and keeping hydrated and continued the use of Gu Energy gels (I'd consume one Gu gel at the 5/6 mile point for half marathons).  Additionally, I was fed like a King while visiting family (special thanks to my Mother-in-law for her award-winning lasagna and also to my Sister-in-law for an amazing bacon-wrapped chicken plate)!  

The race expo was obviously suffering from a lack of sponsorship.  Previous venue-expos were phenomenal  and I can only imagine that the economy had its affect on race sponsorship in a negative way.  There were some local vendors but a LOT of empty space (both at the convention center AND on the back of the race-sponsored jersey).  Either way, the venue was very well organized and traffic in/out of Austin for the expo and race was light (as compared to typical Austin traffic).  We paid $7 for garage parking adjacent to the expo center and my wife dropped me off/picked me up on race day with ease.  

Race day: Everything re-aligned on race day (weather, health, and spirit).  I had not reviewed the course, partially due to my extensive knowledge and experience on Austin streets...  I didn't study the track until the night prior (which is not a good idea).  One thing's for certain, I did NOT accomplish any hill training during my training plan (Oklahoma is pretty flat).  The hills weren't that bad though.  The course boasts a scenic tour of downtown Austin.  We bottle-necked at the bridges and on turns.  The traffic was moderate-to-congested from start to about the 5/6 mile point.  My actual pace suffered (from goal pace of around 8:30 min/mile).  The pack started to thin out though after 6 miles and I began to make up some time; mile #7 was by far my best (good ole' lucky number 7)!  

I periodically glanced at my Garmin 610, keeping in mind overall time and pace.  I managed to keep with a decent group running at a moderate pace.  I took advantage of the descents and increased my stride (something that I found to be very effective, despite having short legs at 5' 10").  I crossed the 12-mile mark at 1:47:07 and was averaging a 8:55 to 9:00 min/mile pace (thus, providing me with the hope/potential for a new half marathon PR).  I crossed the line with a gun time of 1:59:08 (chip time of 1:56:43).  I stopped my gps and glanced down, surprised to see it had stopped at 1:56:44 (previous half marathon PR was 1:58:12).  

Conclusion: I have regained confidence (after 6 weeks of downtime from two injuries), reasserted myself that I can run faster (despite my old age and previous injuries), and will always keep faith and never give up until I cross the finish line...  I'm striving for a 1:55:00 in April during the Oklahoma City Memorial half marathon, and Austin proved to me that I can do it (I just need to remain injury-free).  

2013 Livestrong Austin Half Marathon

Training Plan

Finisher's Medal


Final results

2013 Texas Half Marathon (Dallas, TX)
I registered for the Texas Half Marathon (Big-D) because it fell on my OKC Memorial Half Marathon 12-mile training run day...  I figured, "why not run for anther medal?  I ran a PR pace up until mile #10 (that's where I bonked hard).  The race was one of the smallest venues that I've run to date and I am not so sure about running this event again in the future (see why here).  Overall, I was pleased with the fact that I finished and wasn't injured...

2013 Texas Half Marathon (Dallas) course

Finisher's Medal

2013 Oklahoma City Memorial Half Marathon (28 Apr 13)
This race was created to honor those that were affected by the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.  The race is in it's 13th year and continues to grow!  This is my all time favorite venue for these reasons: the course is nice and semi-flat, offers up a scenic tour of Oklahoma City, the cause in itself is reason enough to run this race, but the volunteers were AMAZING!  This was truly a Run To Remember!

Unfortunately, I left my Garmin GPS at home and didn't have gps map/pace data (doh)!  Well, that's probably why I ran so carefree, I just did what I felt right!  Honestly, everything aligned for this day.  I suffered bruised ribs last Dec 12, a sprained ankle in Feb (prior to Austin) and shin splints prior to Big-D (Dallas).  Thankfully everything healed up! I always knew I could run a 1:52 (I just needed to get out there and do it).  I'm probably going to sign up for the full marathon next year (we'll see).

Training Plan

Finisher's medal

Finish time

Results

Course Photos: