Sunday, December 13, 2009

White Rock Marathon - I'll never forget this race

This morning I woke up, not sure how the race would end up. This race would conclude my 2009 marathon rally, I set a goal of running the "big 4" Texas marathons this year - Houston (January) Austin (February) San Antonio (November) Dallas (December). Houston was my best time, just under 4 hours (3:59:53). In Austin I ran with a few members of the TWC Running Club, I wanted to encourage them and be there when they needed me; I finished with Stephanie Vaughan in 4:46:42. San Antonio was exactly 4 weeks ago, I was coming off of completing the Longhorn Ironman 70.3 in Austin just 3 weeks prior (Oct 25) and possibly was not 100% recovered for the marathon because I felt like butt afterwards. It was a hard, hot and surprisingly hilly (for me) race. I finished in 4:03:27 and was a little disappointed in my performance because I really wanted to finish in 3 hrs 55 min or at least sub 4 hours.

This morning I ate my usual oatmeal with peanut butter, banana and honey (which sadly I'll have to say goodbye to beginning tomorrow because I am going to start eating paleo). I did something new though, about 30 minutes before the race started I ate a cliff bar, I tried it a few weeks ago on a long run and it seemed to work out well for me so I implemented it into this race. There were tons of people out there, everyone excited to take off. Some people were running the relay marathon, others the half and the rest were running the full 26.2 miles. The weather was awesome; it stayed around 45-50 degrees for the majority of the race. I started the race running 9 min 30 sec miles, finished the 10k (6.4 miles) right at one hour. I don't know what came over me but at about mile 8 or 9 I started running around 8 min 40 sec miles and shockingly I kept that pace comfortably for about the next 10 miles. Then, around mile 18 or 19, we hit some hills. They actually call these hills the "Dolly Parton Hills", haha, that gave me enough humor to push through them but my pace slowed down to about a 9 min mile. Then, around mile 22 I turned it back on, I said a prayer and felt a second wind....seriously, I'm not kidding. There was some guy at that point that was wearing a Luke's Locker shirt who told me I looked like I had a good stride and if I kept that pace I would definitely finish sub 4 hours. That right there fired me up, I just started running harder, I was at about an 8:15 min mile pace for the next few miles. Then, as I finished mile 25 going into my last mile, my Garmin (watch) spit out that I ran a 7:15 min mile on 25-26, WOW! I couldn't believe it. If you know me or have read my book, then you know that I am not a runner. And definitely not a fast runner, I usually train at a 9 1/2 to 10 min mile pace. I sprinted the last 800 meters as hard as I could and finished in 3:52:10. What a day.....what a race....

Friday, December 11, 2009

Dallas White Rock Marathon

I'm heading to Dallas this afternoon to run the White Rock Marathon on Sunday, please say a prayer for me and the 20,000 other runners. My goal is to run the 26.2 miles in under 4 hours. I have ran 3 marathons this year (Houston, Austin & San Antonio) and only ran one under 4....barely (Houston - 3:59:53). I'll be sure and post Monday on how the race was.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

CrossFit - What it has done for me

I figured I would share with everyone what CrossFit has done for me personally and professionally. I have been working out now for 10 years, this is consistently and not because someone is making me. I could say 15 years and count all of those workouts during high school football but I would be lying if I said it was my choice to work out and I enjoyed that part of the sport. All I really liked about football was the games, not the running, off-season workouts and especially not the practice. This is probably why I never played beyond highschool.

I heard about CrossFit in the Fall/Spring of 2007/2008. I was not 100% sure what it was but thought it would be an interesting program to look into. I had a friend (Spencer Nix) that was going to a CrossFit Level 1 Certification course in Allen, Texas in May of 2008 so I decided to sign up and go as well. The course was on a Saturday and Sunday, they crammed a lot of information in two days but I left with a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT perspective on working out and a NEW PASSION for fitness. CrossFit reinspired me as a trainer and an athlete.

When I say the word "athlete" you might wonder if I play a sport. My sport is working out, and CrossFit injected me with exactly what I needed to play that sport for the rest of my life. I used to be your typical "gym rat", I did bodypart training in the gym, would superset chest with back, biceps with triceps, quads with know what I mean. You might be one of those people, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that kind of training. I am a fan of fitness, so if someone is working out, getting stronger and challenging their heart aerobically - that is great. HOWEVER, for me, I feel that exercise only lasts if you are doing something you enjoy. And remember, I want to be playing that sport for my entire life, so I feel that CrossFit is a program that has captured my attention and kept me excited about the next workout.

I also feel that CrossFit is the best strength and conditioning program for the endurance athlete - triathlete, runner, swimmer, cyclist, etc. I have participated in marathons and a half ironman and feel that my CrossFit training has allowed me to maintain my strength and muscular endurance during each of these different types of events. I am not saying that if your goal is to complete a marathon to only do CrossFit, you must run, but I am saying that CrossFit is going to benefit you much more than the circuit workouts you will find online for runners.

To sum up what I have said, I am very thankful to CrossFit for what it has done for me. I am so happy to share it with new clients, my family and friends. I am shocked to say this but my dad is actually about to start at CrossFit Champions in Houston - I am so excited for him!