Monday, February 16, 2015

Joe Cain Classic (300.5)

This year was the 25th running of the Joe Cain Classic, a 5K that takes place in Mobile AL.  This race truly is a gem.  It is billed as an ugly race.  It passes a correctional facility, a garbage dump, condemned houses and even has sections of cracked and broken pavement.  In other words, this race has character!  It is also a very flat course, perfect for a PR attempt if you are shooting for one.  Many people are not aware that Marti Gras actually got its start in the United States in Mobile, not at the much larger and notorious party held in New Orleans.  I could go into a large divergent rant about who Joe Cain was, but all you need to do is google “Joe Cain wiki” to read all about him.  But for short, he is widely credited with getting the modern Mardi Gras celebration going while the Union Army was occupying Mobile during the Civil War.  Each year, the Sunday before Fat Tuesday is celebrated as Joe Cain day in Mobile.  And the day’s celebration begins with the Joe Cain Classic before the parades start.  


The after party alone to this race is worthy of your registration.  This year’s participation netted you a Joe Cain Classic / Bay Area Runners wind breaker (special for the 25th year), a finishers medal, typical finish line amenities (bananas and water galore), and entry to the block party.  The block party is held each year on the street where Joe Cain’s home was and has a great vibe.  This party has great door prizes (the guy in front of me won $120 Nike shoes…), 2 full beer pours (not the stingy pours you get sometimes), sandwiches, chips, amazing cheese grits (while supplies last), and Domino’s pizza.  There is a DJ for kids and adults alike to dance in the street and an award ceremony to follow roughly 2 hours after the race starts.   


I give this race a 5 out of 5.  It is a true treasure and makes for a great weekend trip to Mobile to celebrate Mardi Gras.  If you are anywhere near this race you owe it to yourself to check it out.  We have made it a family tradition and drive more than 4 hours each way!  Even though we go for the whole Marti Gras experience, everyone who has to hear my blab on about running all the time knows this is definitely the highlight of the weekend for me.  I cannot wait until next year to hopefully improve my finish time.


Sunday, February 1, 2015

284.34 (sickness strikes)

After spending a week and a half of getting through family wide sickness, it's nice to start getting some miles again. Nice, but not easy. 

It was a week ago from last Friday when I told my coworkers that I wasn't going to be meeting up after work to watch the Atlanta Hawks continue their unbelievable winning streak because I needed to be home to help my wife with our sick son. But this wasn't just any sickness, at just over two years old it really was his first. We have been so fortunate to have a kid that really never got sick, but after almost 25 months of being a parent, it was the first time in a long time I truly felt like a new "first time" parent all over again. By the end of that weekend we had a high suspicion his sickness was strep throat. By Monday, his Dr had confirmed it. 

Over the course of the next week we all got sick to some degree (me with a short lived fever, the wife with a sore throat) my miles dropped from 25 in one weekend (my last post) to only a few over the next 10 days or so.  

By the start of this weekend, all 3 of us were finally started to feel better again. My interest in running while remaining at an all time, wasn't enough to get my butt up and go for some reason. Saturday morning was beautiful here. It was unseasonably mild and the sun was out in full force. Yet still I did not go. I had a serious lack of motivation. I did go to the gym Saturday and planned to run after, but I just went home when I was done. 

But today I finally snapped out of it. After reading so many posts in the google+ running community about people out on their run this morning, I tied my shoes and hit the road. I ended up having a great 5k at near personal best. 

I'm so glad to have all members of the family back in good health and be over the hump again. Now I must find time to get my miles back up. My next real 5k is in 2 weeks!!!  I really want a PR for this one and it's such a cool race. 

Lincoln first getting sick over a week ago

My run this morning. Very happy considering I didn't feel like going...

I can tell this boy is feeling good since he is mimicking my rediculous expressions again.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Chicago (270.14)

With this blog I here by declare my intent to run the 2015 Chicago marathon. With that sarcastically dramatic opening statement out of the way, Iets talk about the marathon and what it means to me. 

Over the last few years, I cannot count how many times my running and non running friends have asked me: "Have you ran a marathon?" or "do you want to run a marathon?".

The answer is no and yes, respectively.  After roughly 5 years of off and on running (mostly on except for the months leading up to and after the birth of my first child and also an injury that sidelined me for about 6 months), I think I am ready to take on the race distance. Do I think I could have run one before now?  Absolutely, probably 3 years ago. But I didn't want to run my first marathon with the goal of just finishing it (an admirable goal by the way), but I wanted to be confident I could not only finish but also tackle a goal I set for myself. 

With the race not until October and entry not guaranteed, I'm honestly not sure right now what that goal will be. My knee jerk reaction is less than 4 hours and I would be thrilled, but maybe that is too open ended. I will have to decide on what that goal will be when it gets closer to the actual training program to begin.  In the meantime I will just keep my training simple and try and increase my level of fitness between now and then. 

Right now I have no answers. I don't know my target pace, I don't know what my training plan will be, how I should change my current nutritional habits (pretty clean now, but not great), I've never been to Chicago and I don't even know if I will get picked in the lottery. But there is one thing I do know; if there is a chance I only run one marathon, Chicago is the one I want it to be. That and I know I'm ready. 

As the year and my training progress, I look forward to all of the tips and comments from you runners out there. I particularly look forward to nutritional pointers and travel tips from those who have made the trip to the race before. 

Happy running everyone. 

Monday, January 19, 2015


Last week and weekend was amazing. My boy turned 2. We had a awesome playground delivered for him to grow in to. We had a great party for him that was a smashing success. And I almost ran a marathon (kind of.. not really). Let me explain. 

I knew that with the long holiday weekend came parties, NFL Championship games, and questionable eating habits. So I set a goal going in to this weekend to do all of that stuff, and all the work to get ready, plus run a marathon. Now mind you not all at once, just log the distance between the beginning and end of the 3 day weekend. Well, I didn't quite make it. I ONLY ran 23.12 miles this weekend. To be honest I'm quite ok with that. There is no defeat in that. My only goal was really to stay very active during a very busy weekend and I managed to do both quite well. If another 2.98 miles meant that much to me if would go get them tonight (the holiday isn't over yet). But I can sit back and be content with the accomplishment. I'm running great right now. My knees and feet feel great, my legs feel light and I feel ready to take that next step toward a new level. But I know slow progress is the best (and safest) progress. I think 2015 is going to be a great running year.


Just like not getting the Christmas tree discarded before New Years, my running blogs are getting published a little behind schedule as well. At just over 200 miles in to this blog, we have found ourselves in the midst of Christmas season. The eve of Christmas to be exact. I came up with the idea to dress up like (slim) Santa and and run my usual short route around our small town. It was a real hit!  Definitely a Christmas Eve tradition going forward. While never missing a good opportunity to make a complete idiot of myself, I donned the fake beard, put on my ugly running Christmas sweater (free gift from Brooks this holiday season) and hit the town. 

It was a huge hit!  Running down the main road I must have gotten 20 honks. On smaller streets kids stuck there heads out rolled down windows to wave and cheer me on. People at local businesses that were open that day laughed and gave me waves, thumbs up and cheer. There were a few people that looked at me like I was a lunatic, but they must have been a Scrooges. 

All in all it was one of the most fun runs I had all year. It wasn't particularly fast or scenic and I could hardly breath under that beard but it was so nice to see strangers in the Christmas spirit. Afterward, my neighbors who spotted me leaving brought over some homemade tamales wrapped in banana leaves to share with us. It was so nice to try someone's traditional food and those are the true things that make Christmas so special!

Friday, November 7, 2014


Starting our destination wedding adventure right with a first morning beach and bridge run in St. Petersburg FL. I never thought I would be one of "those people", but running without hills is extremely doll. Running on the flat is like a constant hill that never ends because you have to continually push yourself forward without end. Without a big hill to tackle and a good recovery coming down, running is nowhere near as much fun!  Florida is not the best running vacation location. 

But... What they lose in challenging hills, they make up for with awesome bridges stunning scenery! I made this bridge the mid point for my morning out and back, so I stopped for a few minutes to take some pictures during the run. This something I love to do when running out of town. I'm on vacation, it doesn't always have to be about negative splits and good mechanics (although I did have negative splits on the way back haha), it's nice to stop and take in the sights. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014


The 100 mile mark for the blog has been passed!  Even though I haven't posted lately, my running has really been progressing.  I had taken a long break from running (more than a year). It has been really hard to get back in to it again. All of the milestones that were fun crossing the first time are just bland and treacherous the 2nd time around. It was hard to get excited about anything. Add to that a couple months of knee pain which I had never had before (which actually turned out to be caused by running in the wrong shoes), I really think I am almost back to where I was when I was at my best 2 years ago.  Maybe not for long distance pacing. But I'm definitely feeling faster at shorter distances

Last weekend I had a personal best 22:21 5K and 1st place finish for my age group.  The course was very hilly. On a more forgiving course I think could have easily broken the 22 mark. The race was called the Leggin' it for Literacy 5k. Despite the hilly route, it is my favorite in town race each year. My company was the main sponsor for the second year in a row. They also paid for a small team of 10 runners to compete. As a group we did great taking 8 medals!

We were also happy to have our good friends from Kentucky visiting that week. Our friend Greta even took the prize for 2nd overall female. 

Greta looking strong at the finish line

Me sucking air at the finish line. Did I mention this race ends atop a huge hill??  Who designed this course?!

My beautiful wife Kristina finishing with grace as usual!

This race was so much fun, now I'm getting the bug to start running longer distances. Perhaps a fall half marathon?  To be continued....

More pictures from the weekend.