Life, like running, is putting one foot in front of the other

Howdy all!

It’s been months since I have posted and I should have dropped a line about progress and overall my feeling of my social media presence.

Obviously I’ve been taking a break from most of my social media and its been pretty rewarding not having to think about it. I’ve been spending a lot of time with my family and have had a few flops here and there with running, but I think its time to get back to it!

Highlight of the year:
Ran the Dick Beardsley marathon in September – Learned a lot from it, even though I ended up bonking pretty hard at mile 20. No marathon seems to be the same! You can check out my strava here

I don’t have anything lined up for 2018 yet, but as always I’m sure I’ll be chasing that BQ. I’d like to keep it to shorter distances, but brains are not something that you can predict.

Hope all is well with everyone! I will be updating more frequently from here on out.

Don’t forget to follow me on my other profiles!

Life, like running, is putting one foot in front of the other

Marathon Training in 2017

So as the time looms a little closer(about 3 weeks~ until I start training for the marathon) I really need to put in perspective on what I’m trying to accomplish and what I’ve done in the past to self sabotage myself from accomplishing goals. I’ve compiled the four biggest culprits that have really prohibited me from reaching what I want. In no particular order:

  • Lack of a proper sleep schedule – This is always something that seems to bite me in the ass. I typically get around six hours of sleep a night when I’m busy, and this is honestly due to me just not going to bed. How am I supposed to recover fully if I’m not sleeping to build everything back. I need to designate a specific schedule to adhere to, even if it means, “I need to go to bed at X time to get X amount of sleep”
  • Over training – I am fairly certain this is something that happens to me a lot more than it should and I’m knowledgeable enough to know when I am over training, but I still seem to do it. I think sometimes I get way into the numbers of things and see 5 miles on the schedule, and I need to hit those 5 miles. I need to listen to my body and not my schedule!
  • Lack of proper diet – Diet Diet Diet. The saying you can’t outrun a bad diet is 100% accurate. I recently went 130+ days restricting sugar out of my diet and got to my lowest weight I’ve been in a couple years. I got back on that train pretty hard and gained about 4-6 pounds back, which I need to drop. Diet is one of those hard things to do, because once I start putting in ALL the miles, I want to eat ALL the things
  • Lack of Strength Training – I did incredibly well with 3x strength training last year for the marathon…until about half way through. I think this went along with being over trained and not wanting to put an extra 5-10 minutes in 3 times a week to essentially make me a better runner. If I’m already logging 5- 7 hours a week running, whats an extra 30 minutes to make me a better and stronger runner?!

I think there are a few other things that hold me back, but these four seem to kick my ass every time. I need to come up with a system to keep myself accountable in all of these during training, whether its just actively monitoring them or actually tallying at the end of the week whether I was able to accomplish these and if I wasn’t, what can I do to change?

I’m shooting for a hefty goal again, try to BQ, so I think seeing this as the big goal and then sub setting them with smaller goals might be my best option.

Does anyone else suffer(or previously) from any of the above? Whats your plan of action?

Don’t forget to follow me on my other profiles!

Marathon Training in 2017

Grandmas 2016 – Week 3

Monday – Strava link here

3.1 miles, 8:38 pace, 142 avg HR + 10min strength

Tuesday – Strava link here

DRC Tuesday – Ran with Cory and Thom and didn’t really have anything planned. Ended up running here, there and a little of everywhere. Nice and easy does it!

6.3 miles, 8:25 pace, 148 avg HR, 437 feet of elevation

Wednesday – Strava link here

Had to sneak this one during two meetings a work so ended up pushing a bit harder than I wanted for an easy day, but got the miles in!

3 miles, 8:21 pace, 146 avg HR
5x Hill sprint + 10 min strength

Thursday Strava link here

First set of Yassos! Got it done nice and early before the sun came up with some of the DRC. I actually woke up from a dream that I was doing a race and couldn’t speed up, so I’m glad to say that I was able to keep pace with these, although my legs were a little tight.

4x Yasso – 2:56, 2:54, 2:54, 2:52


Every year at one of the local high schools indoor meet they have a an open mile for adults. I wasn’t planning on it this year because of focusing on the marathon and it was sandwiched between two workouts…but it got the better of me.

I was thinking of taking it easy and shooting for 7-7:30…but it got the better of me.

Ended up holding back quite a bit but really kicking it in the last 200m(indoor track is a 200m) and blasting off. Clocked in at a 5:59 while keeping it relatively easy. I would have liked to see what I could have done, but I have to focus!

Saturday – Strava link here


Well, finally had my first struggle on this cycle. Work this week was a bit off balance and Allison had conferences so I was full time Wednesday and Thursday with Finn. I ended up skipping out on lunch both Thursday and Friday and had a lot of other stress going on.

Come Saturday I had 1 up, 6 at marathon pace, 1 down. My legs were already tight from Thursday and Friday so the warm up was a little iffy, but once we started the MP miles I could tell it was going to be a struggle.

The first 3 miles weren’t bad, they are slightly on a decline, but coming back I started having some issues. I was out of steam, couldn’t breath and was just not in the best mindset. Mile 5 and 6 were pretty bad, but I kept up SOME speed. I need to focus up on this week to make sure I get back to normal.

6 at MP – 6:42, 6:46, 646, 6:49, 7:02, 7:17

Glad to get this one mental struggle early on to know it can only get better!

One plus is that I got my Simple Hydration team pack! Can’t wait to get some nice weather and sport that tank! If you’re interested in them and would like to get a discount code, email me!


Sunday – Strava link here

Glad to have this week be my down week. I set up a hillier 8 miler for Shannon, Dennis and myself.

With just enough hills and spaced out it was challenging with tired legs, but a good route.

Took our local coffee shop, One Mean Bean, hostage after the run and Shannon snapped this photo of Finn and me.


The little dude helps me through a lot of tough mental spots during runs and races. Even if he doesn’t end up loving running like his parents, I know he’ll see our dedication and put forth effort into what he likes.

8 miles, 8:41 pace, 145 avg HR, 632 feet of elevation


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Grandmas 2016 – Week 3

Grandmas 2016 – Week 2

Rather uneventful week so I’ll keep most of the post short.

Monday – Strava link here

Nice and easy today after the race on Sunday. The best part about this run was the fact that Cory and I saw a cat squatting in a front yard…didn’t even move when we ran by it.

3.1 miles, 8:30 pace, 142 avg HR + 10min strength

Tuesday – Strava link here

5 miles, 8:29 pace, 151 avg HR, 392 feet of elevation

Wednesday – Strava link here

3 miles, 8:41 pace, 145 avg HR(monitor being goofy)
4x Hill sprint + 10 min strength

Thursday Strava link here

Tempo today was a little rough. Did 10 min up, 15 @ 6:29 pace, 5~ min down. We got a lot of wind on the first half of the tempo and it beat me up. HR monitor was goofy again, but from the good parts of it, seemed like my HR was where it needed to be, even though I felt terrible during the tempo portion.

Friday – Rest day, 10 min strength

Saturday – Strava link here

DRC Saturday! I was running a little behind like usual, but when I pulled in I was amazed to see how many people showed up!


I’m so proud of how far the Dubuque Running Club has come since Allison and I started this in 2012. We are rounding on four years come May and considering we had about 5 people(mostly family) that came, seeing this makes me happy!

The run was an easy 5(glad it wasn’t a marathon pace) and I felt a bit winded. Turns out the tree pollen is extremely high right now, which could be an indication of why I felt the way I did for the tempo Thursday.

5 miles, 8:11 pace, 166 avg HR(more likely around 155~)

Sunday – Strava link here

Sunday long run with Cory and Dennis. I’m route master for this time around, which is generally a good idea as I keep things interesting. We ended up hitting a lot of elevation and with the pollen, I was having issues breathing still.

We topped off at around 850 feet of elevation gain and I was wondering why I was so tired off this since I’ve done 22 milers with the same amount…and then I realized that 11 miles less stretch for that gain is a little more intense and closer together.

Regardless, its great to get out and get these long runs in again…and it was even 45-50 degrees on the run! Glad to have my Simple Hydration bottle with me!


Week 2 down, 16 to go!

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Grandmas 2016 – Week 2

One last easy week!

Monday will mark the start of my 18 week cycle for Grandma’s Marathon so I am just taking this week easy. After coming off the 5k cycle I took a week off to give myself the recovery needed.

I’m excited to start training again and really excited to help out and “coach” two people from the DRC. One is their first marathon and the other is to PR and get under 4 hours.

I’ve also created a facebook group “18 week accountabuddies” that I’m planning on having any of the DRC members join if they’d like advice, motivation and accountability throughout the 18 weeks.

If Allison and I had the resources that are available because of the club our first marathon would not have been a 4:46…our second wouldn’t have been a 4:35.

I’ve come a long way in so many regards of my life that my personal running is just one small bit of it. Overall running has been a big factor in my life for the past 8 years and as the DRC keeps growing, it is good to see so many lives changed because of something small that Allison and I started.

I hope to actually get certified as a coach from the Road Runner Club of America at some point, but the classes are always much too far from where I live and they sell out SO FAST. But I am keeping a steady eye on that because it really is something I am passionate about.

I’ll probably keep posts this week to a minimum as my runs don’t have much impact and are just keeping it nice and easy. Next week I’ll be in full swing though!

I have been posted more to instagram and twitter lately, so feel free to follow!

Happy running!

One last easy week!

Iowa Games 5k

So completes the 5k cycle that I am on!

I went into this race knowing that mile 3 started on a hill that spanned about 150~ feet. That being said I was giving myself a little buffer and knew that I couldn’t match my BYOBib 5k time.

I was shooting for a 19:30 and ended up hitting 19:25!

Warm up

I started the day off with a warm up “Priming” with Cory. I’ve tried this tactic before but always forget about it and I want to say it definitely helped today. This consisted of running easy for 3 minutes, picking up the pace for a minute and repeating those two steps again. The point of this is to get your body used to that speed so it can utilize oxygen efficiently by the time you start the race.

The first speed up I was feeling a winded(6:34~ pace) but by the second one I hit a 6:04 pace feeling good.

Mile 1

I started out the race jockeying into position – as per usual I ran out the gate pretty heavy but adjusted accordingly after the about .25 miles. Seeing my watch at a 5:30 pace, I knew I would be in trouble if I kept it up so I slowed it down to around a 6:05 pace.

The hill on mile 3 was also the downhill on mile 1 so I actually ran the hill smart and posted a 5:58 for the first mile. I tried focusing on my breathing and letting gravity do the work, but I still feel like I used too much energy and need to work on it.

Mile 2

The hill still continued for a little bit on the second mile so I used that to my advantage as well but turning off the street to go to the turn around was another smaller incline so it took me down a bit.

At the turn around(I do not like pinpoint turns around cones!) I tried to get a little boost as there was a person in front of me I was trying to catch and another person behind me that I didn’t want to catch me.

I started to head back up to the hill and immediately I could feel my pace dropping. There was about .1 of the 2nd mile going on that hill. 2nd mile was a 6:13.

Mile 3

Mile three was where the real struggle would occur. Already winded and knowing I had to hike up this hill I tried to keep calm. I glanced down at my watch and saw I was sitting around a 7:30 pace and knew it wouldn’t do so I tried picking it up a little bit, I ended up cruising up the hill at about a 7:10 pace, which OK as I could use the rest of the mile to get back on track.

I have stressed a lot in the past couple years that you should never stop at the top of a hill you just ran up because it is better to do a race day situation where you wouldn’t and teach your body how to recover…and I did just that.

I quickly hopped back onto a 6:20-6:30 pace and maintained it until I we started rounding to the 3 mile mark…that person was still ahead of me.

.1 and the “Hinton Kick”

Trying to gauge the guy ahead of me I kept thinking, “If this guy is in my age group and beats me to get a higher place medal than me, I won’t live it down”. With that I started kicking it in with the last .1 left.

I started slowly gaining on and then I went into full fledged BEAST MODE! As I was passing him I let out my grunts as I pushed as hard as I could. I ended up beating him by 3 seconds and guess what? He was in my age group.

My last .1 posted at a 4:46 pace topping at 4:05 pace at the final kick.


Post race

After I finished I was beat. I knew I pushed my hardest and probably couldn’t have done too much better and I am more than OK with that.

After cheering all the other DRC members in Cory and I went for an easy mile cool down and we waited for the awards to start.

We ended up with 5 medals and had the top male finisher as well!


Snagged 2nd place with 19:26…and got a new toy for Finn


Glad to be able to take a nice easy two weeks coming before the marathon training starts. I think I’ll start off by taking this next week entirely off 🙂

Happy Running!

Strava link here

Iowa Games 5k

Weekend Runs!

Saturday 1/9/2016 – 1 up, 5 “fast” at 6:48 average, 1 down

Know whats fun? When it rains/snows the night before a workout and the temps drop just enough to freeze!

Just kidding. That isn’t fun.

Regardless, I was able to get my “Fast” miles in even if the effort level was extremely high due to the loss of traction. Averaging a 6:48 on this run was great to see, but man my hips felt it after! Between the traction issues and how stressed my body was this week, my HR was higher than it should have been but I’m not that concerned.

The good part? I came home to another box from Honey Stinger!


5 “fast”. 6:48 pace. 173 avg HR. Strava link here

Sunday 1/10/2016 – SundayRunday – Subzero run!


SundayRunday is here again and this time with subzero temps and 15-20MPH winds!

I used to “take a running break”(read as quit running) after October until usually March and always expected to come back as fit as I was…which never happened.

The first year I ran through winter I noticed that keeping my fitness up was the only way I would keep progressing. Now I’m running in subzero temps in shorts and able to keep saying that I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in when the year starts.

I’ll quote my brother, “its only cold if you’re not moving!”

Who braved the cold this morning and got some miles in?

75~ minute run. 9.36 miles. 8:07 pace. 152 avg HR. 600 feet of elevation. Strava link here

Weekend Runs!

2016 Goals


2015 was a big year, but it’s time to think of my 2016 goals.

1 – The first and most significant goal of mine this year will be to get that BQ. I’m shooting for a sub 3 hour marathon time and in the event I fall short the BQ is the big picture. Funny to think that when I started running I wanted to BQ by the time I was 30, which at that time the standard was 3:15, which I’ve hit. Now to just hit the new standard.

2 – Sub 18 minute 5k shouldn’t be a big challenge. Initially I wanted to do sub 18:30 but after my performance on the BYOBib 5k, I think I need a bigger stretch on that. This will be a goal after the marathon.

3 – Sub 1:28 Half marathon is in the horizon. Maybe it will happen during Grandmas?

4 – Run a 50k is actually another thing I wanted to do by the time I was 30, which I think is not too far off. If I slowed down and just ran it and not raced, I could get there easy…well as easy as 31 miles can be.
5 – 10% increase in my 2015 mileage. I was surprised to hit over 1500 miles in 2015, but it didn’t seem like it was overbearing. I think a 10% increase is just the right amount.
6 – Continue to grow the @dbqrunningclub – the expansion from 2012 has been very organic and I’ve met a lot of great people because of it. I hope to keep this trend up and make a stronger impact in the community.

7 – stay healthy! This is the utmost important thing I have on this list. All around health will be key to my success!


2016 Goals

1 up – 5 at MP – 1 down


Working off all those holiday treats today.

Green grass and great weather in December for my workout.

1up – 5 at 6:45, 6:49, 6:43, 6:46, 6:43 – 1down

It was an average 6:45 pace with 171 average HR – 6 months and I should be set : )

I’m amazed at how well my body is adjusting to this 5k program and how my legs aren’t TOO tired after the tempo on Thursday.

Nice and easy tomorrow!

Strava link here

1 up – 5 at MP – 1 down

Reposting my Take-aways

Glad to be able to repost this one from all the lost entries…it is a significant piece to what I got out of my last training cycle.

A little hefty, but here we go!

During the marathon:

Cadence – 171 avg for the marathon. I think it was lower due to the hills but the fact that my MP runs were around 178-180 shows something. Need to work on cadence to get a quicker turnover, possibly could have felt less fatigue and breakdown in the quads

Heart Rate – Reading up on Average HR for running marathons, it should have been 88-90%(169-172) That should have factored in the heart rate creeps towards the end. With my HR actaully averaging 166 for the marathon, I think with the low temps and crash towards the end that slowed down my pace was what kept it so low. I only kept track of this until about the half point, if even, to make sure I was on track for the beginning and not overdoing it. This data is actually more to look back on to see effort and not something to be concerned about.

Nutrition – I Took in AT most 200 calories and need to get close to 750~ for the entire race. Had the homebrew but only had about 4 of 13oz at most. Possibly could have helped towards the end when I felt “cramping”.

Body check – Was really good about this on the first half. Tried to check once at the start of every mile, but as it went on I didn’t self evaluate which I think could have helped.

During Training:

Nutrition – All around. Not too concerned with the “Junk” food that I eat, but more so that I need to get enough food in my system to begin with as there were many days I know I didn’t eat enough. Need to train my body to be able to take in nutrition during the run so I don’t crash out

Strength train – Need to get out of the mindset of not having to strength train. I do a lot of hard work and spend a lot of time running, small workouts 3x a week won’t hurt. Need to look into this to see what would work best for home use, but definitely need to work on core. Really need to figure out the root cause of my achilles/heel pain and strength train to fix it

Body Self Preservation – This includes actually taking the time out and sticking/foam rolling/massaging etc I didn’t do enough of this during training and need to incorporate this more often to keep myself preserved. Goes along with achilles pain and tight calfs

Easy = Easy. Hard = Hard. – For the most part this wasn’t too hard for me. Mon & Wed were always easy enough and kept it lower HR, but Tuesdays I sometimes overdid it. Not a big concern, just need to be more mindful that I’m training for my race and not someone else’s

Embrace the morning! – Monday’s I usually ran with someone in the morning, but Wednesdays were always hard to get out of the door for my easy runs because…I could just sleep more and do it later. This always turned into something I didn’t appreciate. So I am going to not only try and hit every Wednesday in the morning but even throw in some of the Tuesday runs as well so I can spend time with the family.

Cadence – Again this isn’t that terrible, but I need to pick up my cadence and need to focus on this in order to do so. On average for an “easy” run I usually get around 170, I’d like to possibly increase this to 175 over the next cycle. It’ll take some work, but I should be able to do so.

Sleep – there were too many a night that I didn’t get enough sleep. Some was due to work, so unavoidable, but a lot was me staying up too late. Need to work on a healthy seven hours a night, any more than that I feel sluggish

Belly Breathing – This was actually something that I was trying to incorporate within the last 6 weeks in my training. I just need to practice this and have it be the natural method for me for breathing rather than taking shallow breaths from just the chest. This is a good thing to practice ANY time of day to make it a more normal behavior

Reposting my Take-aways