I am running for my Dad who died of lung and bone cancer last year. Although I live in Australia I was working in the UK last year so I was fortunate to be with him in his last few months, but it was a terrible time. The effects of the cancer reduced him from a once strong, confident man to a mere shadow of his former self. His pain must have been immense and the bone cancer meant that his ribs were permanently broken, so laughing and coughing were agony for him. To his eternal credit he rarely complained and his stoicism and courage will inspire me for the rest of my days.
So, until 25 February 2013 I was a confirmed non-runner, I didn't see the point and it all looked too painful. Then by a quirk of fate I found out that the Sydney Half Marathon is to be run on my Dad's birthday this year, so I decided to run the race on 19th May and I am raising money for the Cure Cancer Foundation Australia which is an innovative charity that sponsors individual cancer researchers in the quest for a cure of this awful disease.
Research is the key for me. I have a fairly international persona in that I have strong personal links in Australia, the UK and the USA and supporting successful research will ultimately benefit everyone, no matter where they live! The sooner we can rid the world of this terrible disease and reduce the suffering of the many who suffer, the better!
As far as running is concerned I have seen the light! I have really enjoyed training for the Half and it has encouraged me to sign up for a 10km race in July and the iconic Sydney City to Surf Race in August which last year had 85,000 runners - awesome! All of this is just the beginning, I've also secured a charity entry to the 2014 London Marathon and I'm absolutely stoked about that. Along with the sheer physical challenge of running my first marathon, I'll also be taking on a new fundraising challenge as I run for the Association for International Cancer Research. It is the perfect charity for me, staying with the search for a cure for cancer and with an international focus.
Would you like to be the next featured charity athlete?
Send me an e-mail with the following:
The most passionate responses will be featured on the Insane Marathon blog, social media sites and newsletter!
- Your "why" - Why are you passionate about this charity? Tell us your story.
- What does this charity mean to you?
- How can others help or get involved? (if you have a donation link this is where you would provide it to share)
- What race(s) are you training for?
WOW! An Olympic distance triathlon (sort of...) COMPLETE! It has taken me some time to post a recap of St. Anthony's Triathlon but with work, supporting my challenge groups and preparing for Ironman 70.3 Florida I have been BUSY!
On Saturday April 27 it all began.. I headed to Downtown St. Petersburg for athlete check in and the St. Anthony's expo. Triathlon packet pickup is unlike running because at some of the larger events they require you to drop off your bike and transition gear the day before the race during packet pickup. St. Anthony's is one of those events.
Due to recent security concerns stemming from the Boston Marathon bombing incident all of the transition gear needed to be placed in a clear plastic bag that was provided by race organizers. I did not find this to be an issue because I had nothing to compare it to. Some athletes are used to using their own bags and did not like this added precautionary measure. Athletes were allowed to use their own transition bags but were subject to a thorough search.
Once my transition area was set up I headed home and waited until Sunday morning when I would be completing a 5i50 series Olympic distance triathlon for the first time.
My bike in transition on Saturday afternoon.
Running out of the water during the 2013 St. Anthony's Triathlon
On Sunday morning they announced that St. Anthony's would be allowing the use of wetsuits. I thought that was great news -- but once I got to the swim start area announcers were talking about how the rough water and that informing spectators that the swim would be VERY difficult, especially for the age group category participants.
I was in the novice male category which placed me in the last wave start. The only good part about starting last is that I was able to watch the professional triathletes swim and the rough water was pulling them way out the the pie preventing them from being tight with the buoys. Since the swim was this difficult for the pro's I knew that I was going to have an interesting time out there.
The officials made a judgement call after the pro swim waves to shorten the swim. They cut the swim from 1500m to 0.5 mile swim and then had a 0.5 mile run to transition. Once I was up and ready to go I started swimming like I wanted. Slowly... but covering the distance.
Out of nowhere my right calf started to cramp BAD. It knotted up and was pulling down in the water. This made swimming incredibly difficult. I knew I had to get out of the water and that there was no option of quitting. For half of the swim distance I pushed through the cramping made it out. I was hoping that the cramp wouldn't stay with me during the bike or run.
The rest of the event went smooth. I covered the distance on the bike and finished the run strong in the 11am Florida heat. My finish time was 2:50:56 and that is right where I wanted to be. For my first Olympic triathlon I am happy. I did something that I never thought I would do.
Because I am INSANE -- I signed up for the Florida Ironman 70.3 May 19 in Haines City, FL.... I have been PUSHING my training hard in preparation. I need to make sure my legs to not cramp. I have been covering 2000-2500m every time I am in the pool. Last weekend I got in a 60 mile ride and this weekend I will be heading to Haines City to do the bike course.
Two months ago if you would have dropped me in the ocean a half mile away from the shore and left me alone I do not know what would have happened. I couldn't even swim 100 meters.
I have have wanted to do a triathlon for a few years and he only thing holding me back was the swim. I first learned about triathlons in college, started talking about tri's during my first round of marathon training in 2008 & actually contemplating trying a triathlon in 2012. I signed up for St. Anthony's Olympic Triathlon two months ago because that is the only way I knew I would get myself to learn to swim. I have been working with my swim coach, Pete, multiple times a week perfecting form and swim endurance. Last weekend I completed a mock triathlon (un-timed but with transition areas) that was put on by the American Running Company (big THANKS to Chris and the American Running Company for putting on this FREE event. It was great triathlon practice & was essential to my success at Fort DeSoto this weekend).
I am happy to report that I completed my first 'official' triathlon on Saturday - the Escape from Fort DeSoto triathlon - 0.5 mile swim, 10 mile bike & 4 mile run.
When I arrived at Fort DeSoto I was in a state of shock. They marked my body with my race number and age, I set up my transition area to the best of my ability - learning from the mock triathlon to have my running shoes untied and cycling shoes un-velcroed. I put on my wetsuit and headed to the open water. WOW - it looked rough. There were big waves. The course looked HUGE! I went in the water to get acclimated to the temperature and actually thought about just going home. The swim still scared me. I couldn't go home now though, I wasn't about to quit after all the training and hard work.
The swim started off in waves. I wore this sexy silver swim cap and waited around for the 25-29 male age group to be called off. Once I was in the water I knew I had to get to the finish. It took me 19 minutes in the water. That time is considered slow for most triathletes. For me it was a miracle. Like I said at the beginning of this post, I couldn't swim 100 meters a month and a half ago. I just swam a half mile in rough water in 19 minutes. I wasn't last getting out and I had the bike and the run to make up my time.
After a strong bike and run I finished the triathlon in 1:25:20. Below are my splits..
BIB: 817 AGE: 28
SWIM: 19:15 77:00/M
BIKE: 29:24 2:56/M
RUN: 29:12 7:18/M
TOTAL TIME: 1:25:20
I need to focus on improving my transition times and strengthening my swim. I can't wait for St. Anthony's Olympic distance triathlon in two weeks. Then I have my Ironman 70.3 Florida race next month.
If something has been holding you back from accomplishing a goal, don't let it. If you want some help - ask. If I can help you at all -- contact me.
Are you ready to earn your summer body? As you know I am currently in triathlon training mode. I just completed a round of INSANITY with my challenge group. I am about to start ASYLUM Volume 1 with a new challenge group on April 15. I also plan on throwing in some BODY BEAST workouts to gain some additional muscle mass in the weight room!
If you do not have a game plan, you need to get one NOW. There are two options Insane Marathon is recommending for serious results in time for summer! I will also coach you - for FREE throughout the process.
- Burn up to 9x more fat and calories than traditional cardio with high-energy, intense cardio conditioning, kickboxing drills, and choreographed moves set to heart-pumping beats.
- Have fun in the lively class setting with hot music mixes— it feels like a party in your living room. How TurboFire works
- Shed fat faster with High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) known as Fire Drills, short 1-minute bursts of maximum effort.
- Burn calories at a higher rate for up to 24 hours after the workout with the Afterburn Effect.
TurboFire is for:
- Anyone who wants to shape a lean body, sexy legs, toned arms, and tight abs, FAST.
- All workout levels – although TurboFire is considered an advanced program, there are special new features to help beginners stick with the program.
- Anyone who enjoys working out to music and is a fan of kickboxing and intense cardio.
It also has features to help beginners i.e. In the Fire Starter Class, Chalene teaches the moves and combinations so newcomers can start off on the right foot and experienced Turbo users can perfect their form.
- Transform your body in 60 days with the hardest workout put on DVD.
- You’ll push yourself to your limits with this extreme cardio challenge. No weights or equipment required, just the will to make it through.
How INSANITY works
- Get into shape in record time with Max Interval Training. You’ll perform long bursts of high-intensity exercise, followed by shorter periods of rest—the opposite of traditional cardio methods.
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INSANITY if for:
- Anyone who is ready for a fitness challenge and wants to get into the best shape of their life.
- It’s an advanced program that’s meant to challenge even very fit athletes. But anyone can go at their own pace until they’re ready to meet this ultimate challenge.
During the entire month of April you save $90 on an INSANITY challenge pack. This is the best deal they have ever ran for INSANITY. If you are interested in INSANITY marathon training (or half), doing the full 60 day challenge - or just getting that shredded summer body you can order INSANITY here and save $90! You cant pass this promotion up! Let me know if you have any questions!
You can do this!! I am here to help every step of the way!!! You will have no excuses not to succeed!
Now that the LA Marathon is over my focus until the end of May is triathlon training. I have never done a triathlon before and if you frequently read InsaneMarathon.com you know that I jumped right into the sport of triathlon last month.
Swim training has been going good. I have been averaging 2x a week swim instruction + 2 times a week self instruction/swimming laps. Every time I am in the water I complete a minimum of 1500m - although I stop for breaks. It's not that I get tired while swimming it is the fact that I am still not 100% comfortable breathing under the water. My body does not like the fact that when I exhale my face is in the water. That creates a situation where I don't exhale enough, therefore I don't inhale enough. Which compounds until I need to stop and regroup my breathing. My focus from here on out is going to be improving my breathing.
Tomorrow, April 6, I will be jumping into the open water for the first time at a mock triathlon being held by a local running store, American Running Company. It will be a .25 mile swim, 10 mile bike and a 5k run. This should allow me to feel what a triathlon will be like on race day, practice transitions and really get the feel for my Olympic distance event (St. Anthony's). I will also be doing the Escape from Fort DeSoto sprint triathlon on April 13 as a tune up. I really need to get myself into the sport completely and see how it goes. I want to do well at St. Anthony's and IronMan Florida 70.3.
Spin classes have been my only training so far on the bike. Averaging around 25-30 miles a class. I bought aero bars, new pedals and new tires for my road bike and then went out for a challenging ride in Clearwater Beach over the bridges. Sadly I experienced my first fall due to the clip in pedals. Luckily It was only a scrape on my knee (and ego). It's time to get serious!!
The past weekend I was in Las Vegas NV. I was able to practice my swimming early in the morning at the hotel lap pool... I also ran a 1/2 marathon in Laughlin, NV on Saturday morning. It was a fun 13.1 miles along the Colorado River in the desert. I love signing up for local races when I am traveling!
I will be doing all my triathlon training while still completing the INSANITY: The Asylum 30 day fitness challenge with you! Remember registration closes for the fitness challenge at 11:59pm tomorrow! The program starts on April 15. I can't wait!Use this direct link to get the challenge pack for ASYLUM - as soon as you order the program I will e-mail you with information on how to get involved with our support group!
The Los Angeles Marathon was great. I couldn't have asked for better weather, a more entertaining course or a better group to travel with. There is one thing I did learn in LA though, it doesn't matter how hard you train or how much sleep you get -- if your body doesn't agree with something its going to hold you back from your goals.
Sadly, my body does not agree with GU gels anymore. I have used them to fuel for marathons since I started running them in 2008. Although there have been times when my stomach did not agree with them after the race, nothing has ever made me stop at the restroom until the past year. At first I though it was just a fluke. Now I know I need to switch up my nutrition during full marathons.
I was right on track for my 3:45 marathon until mile 16 when I HAD to stop for a restroom. It was disappointing. There was nothing I could do about it. It killed my time. I will not have that happen again.
Some of the products I plan to try and use to replace GU include Hammer Gel and Honey Stinger Organic Gel. I am also going to use the Honey Stinger Waffle while fueling on my bike for my upcoming triathlon races.
Let me know in the comments if you have had any experience with gels/nutrition during your training.
Hopefully it helps!!
Don't forget -- if you wanted to join myself and others for a 30 day INSANITY: The ASYLUM fitness challenge - fill out an interest form and I will get back to you ASAP. Registration closes April 6 at 11:59pm!
The Gasparilla Distance Classic weekend in Tampa has always been my favorite event to participate in since I moved to Florida in late 2009. The first year I lived here I ran the final Gasparilla Marathon. The next year I ran every event offered (15k, 5k, 13.1 & 8k) which is called the Michelob Ultra Challenge. Last year I only ran the 15k and this year I registered for the 15k on Saturday and the 1/2 marathon on Sunday. My goal for these races was just to run it tempo speed as I have been focusing on staying injury free and preparing myself for the LA Marathon on March 17.
I headed to the Gasparilla "8 on your side" expo at the Tampa Convention Center Friday night with a group of friends. We grabbed our race packets and walked around the entire expo. I was disappointed that Nike is no longer sponsoring the event and the official merchandise was very generic. I enjoyed the excitement Nikes presence brought at the event and expo. One other thing I missed was the wall of names. Nike used to have a wall, like at the Chicago Marathon, where all 27,000 runners names were listed. It was fun trying to find your name as well as the names of your friends!
After the expo my friends and I headed to Spaghetti Warehouse for a "carb up" dinner. It was great. After it was over I went home and fell asleep.
The 15k didn't go as planned. I tried to run it fast. That didn't end up working as it got hot, I was not used to the shoes I was wearing (more on that later...) and I felt run-down. I did not eat anything or drink a lot of water before the race which might have caused this to happen. I finished the 15k talked to some friends and then went home to get ready to pick up my friend Maureen who was arriving from Chicago.
Maureen was coming down to run the Gasparilla half marathon with me on Sunday. I wanted to run the race under 1:50 and Maureen was looking to PR (something under 1:50).
On Sunday the race started at 6am which made for a very early wake up call.
When the race started something didn't seem right. It was pretty humid (100 percent humidity was reported) and I couldn't get my breathing down well. My pace was suffering even though my legs felt strong. It was warm out I didn't want to drag Maureen back as she felt good so I told her to run on. I ended up getting two huge blisters one on each foot due to the new shoes I had been wearing and each step felt like a knife stabbing me for 11 of the 13 miles. This was the most painful race I have ever done and I felt like quitting SO MANY times. However, I pushed though the pain (even though I was pretty sure I was bleeding though my shoes). My biggest fear was that I would injure myself for the LA Marathon. I had my worst 1/2 marathon time in years because of the breathing, heat and blisters. You can't win them all I guess.
The half marathon medal was awesome. Maureen and I went to the after party for and enjoyed the day rest of the day!
Hopefully next year goes better for me at Gasparilla! Maybe they will bring back Nike as a sponsor too!
One of the problems with living in Florida is that our racing season is in the winter months. You can run 100+ races every weekend from November-April. As I mentioned in my previous post, I'll be running the LA Marathon March 17 and my training is a little abnormal.
What does my LA Marathon training consist of?
5 days of INSANITY + 2 days of running
Really? Yes! The only 2 runs I am doing each week are the Thursday night Bayshore Run Club 6 mile route + a race every weekend. I'm following the INSANITY training program with my challenge group and only modifying the Saturday INSANITY workout, replacing it with a 1/2 marathon or comparable race. Two weeks ago I raced the Best Damn Race 10k on Saturday. Last weekend I raced the St. Petersburg 1/2 Marathon & today I raced the A1A Fort Lauderdale 1/2 Marathon. Next week is my "20 miler" all marathon training alumni are familiar with. I'm actually racing two races. The Gasparilla Distance Classic in Tampa - 15k and 1/2 Marathon - 22.4 miles over two days.
I've got another 1/2 lined up following Gasparilla & then am planning on a 5 mile or 10k race the weekend prior to LA Marathon.
Mixing in this much INSANITY with marathon training is INSANE! The training plans we use on this website are more structure like a 'typical' training program. Check them out!
I actually received this comment on the InsaneMarathon.com Facebook page today - "I just have to say I am so thankful I found your flyer at the Lululemon in Hyde Park. Your advanced half marathon plan rocks! I have never run so well! Training for Rock n Roll DC in March and have been participating in smaller races the last month or so. Did a 10 mile trail race this morning and finished Top 25 females! Biggest achievement for me yet. Feeling very confident about my half marathon performance. Thank you, again." - Jennifer M.
Jennifer, thank you for the kind words. I am ecstatic that our training plans are helping you achieve your goals! I hope I can help many more people do what they once thought impossible!
Three sentence summaries for my past three races:
Best Damn Race - Safety Harbor, FL: An amazing inaugural race put on by local runners. Scenic course ran along the bay with a beautiful sunrise. Well supported, great t-shirts, medals & a fast flat 10k course.
St. Petersburg Rock & Roll 1/2 Marathon - St. Petersburg, FL: A fun, fast & flat course that captures the most of the city of St. Petersburg. The weather was much warmer than it was last year. Sadly the post race concert featuring Sean Kingston wasn't as awesome as last years Flo'Rida concert.
Fort Lauderdale A1A 1/2 Marathon - Fort Lauderdale, FL: Cold, freezing 45 degree race. Last year I ran the full marathon & it was 87 degrees! Beautiful scenic course ran through Las Olas and along the beach on A1A with a great sunrise!
I'm looking forward to continuing my racing and INSANITY schedule! Lets hope it continues to go well!
Do you ever sign up for races on a whim? I seem to do this often - out of nowhere I will be running a marathon, 10k, half marathon, or other distance that I had no idea I would be running only days earlier. Some of my favorite examples of this are the Grand Rapids Marathon in 2009 (which qualified me for Marathon Maniacs!) and the Melbourne Beaches Marathon in 2011.
Well for the past three years I have tossed around the idea of running the LA Marathon but it never worked out with the flight from Florida, hotel, work... This year I brought up running the LA Marathon with my friend Larry who runs LJayHealth.com and he said he would run LA too if I was serious. After some research on flights, hotels, and entry fees I knew this would be the year to run the LA Marathon!
It ended up working out perfectly. Direct flight from Tampa to Los Angeles, my friend Sam, that I ran the Georgia [Atlanta] Marathon with last year, decided to join us. We also ended up finding a great charity to run with "The Peacock Foundation".
The Peacock Foundation supports the provision of animal-assisted interventions (AAI) and activities (AAA) for at-risk youth by partnering with mental health practitioners, public service agencies, and community organizations.
If you would like to donate to The Peacock Foundation please click here. Any donation would be appreciated. Anyone with a pet understands the feeling of love that you experience. Sadly, for some children the people who should be important in their lives have let them down too often. These animal interventions allow children to experience love and companionship in a way that they otherwise do not experience at home.
If you haven't looked at the course for the LA Marathon take a look at it here. The course starts at Dodger Stadium and runs 26.2 miles through Los Angeles, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Century City and finishes though Santa Monica ending at the famous Santa Monica Pier!
Some of the amazing landmarks you pass on the route include Dodger Stadium, Chinatown, Capitol Records, Hollywood & Vine, Hollywood Walk of Fame, Chinese Theater, Rodeo Drive and the Santa Monica Pier! AMAZING!
This will be my first marathon in California, marathon number two for 2013 and the last marathon I will run (that I currently know of..) before Berlin in September.
Have you ran the LA Marathons current "Stadium to the Sea" course before? Are you running the LA Marathon this year?
I will be sharing my LA Marathon training regimen on my next post. Its going to be a little different than anything I have done before! Stay tuned!!
The 2013 Walt Disney Marathon Weekend is over. Once again I ran the 39.3 mile Goofy Challenge. I never know how to prepare for the Disney Goofy event and this year was definitely going to be a challenge. I had a national meeting that lasted until 10:30pm on Friday night in Delray Beach, FL. Somehow I needed to get to Disney World to run the 1/2 marathon by 3am (to board the shuttle busses).
I made it work!
Left Delray Beach at 11pm arrived in Orlando at 2am, changed clothes, got on the shuttle bus at 3am and headed to the start of the 1/2 marathon with ZERO hours of sleep! Not the way you want to start off running a 39.3 mile challenge!
The weather was forecasted to be in the 80's. I was tired. So I decided to enjoy the race, take photos and have fun!
I sure did.
I took photos with every character I could. Somehow I still finished with a time of 1:59. I was happy!
After the 1/2 marathon I went back to the hotel, cleaned up, had breakfast at the Polynesian Resort and went to the expo at ESPN Wide World of Sports. The expo was packed, the merchandise was picked over and I was exhausted. I waited in a couple lines to have my photo taken with green screen backdrops and then headed back to the hotel to nap. After passing out at the pool for a couple hours I had some pasta dinner at the hotel and went to bed before 8pm!
Day two of Goofy went well. I knew I was going to have fun with the marathon and I sure did! I stopped EVERYWHERE! I took photos with all of the characters and not just with the professional photographers, I used them as well as my iPhone. After taking photos I would post them online so everyone could see my Disney Marathon journey. I finished the marathon with a time of 4:26 - which isn't bad considering how many lines I waited in, photos I took, tweets I tweeted and so-forth! Hopefully you follow InsaneMarathon.com on instagram, twitter and Facebook!
I am also excited to be starting the 60 day fitness challenge tomorrow, January 21! There is a very dedicated group of us doing INSANITY, Shakeology and following strict nutritional guidelines for 60 days.
I was thinking about running another marathon this weekend; either the Clearwater Marathon or the Bahamas Marathon. However, I decided not to run either of them. I decided to run the St. Pete Beach Classic Duo (5k & 10k). I also decided to volunteer at the Clearwater Marathon.
I'll be posting about those events next!