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?
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!
They say that goals are just wishes unless you write them down. I wanted to share a few of my 2013 goals with everyone.Become Faster: This is going to be a fun goal to achieve! I want to eventually qualify for the Boston Marathon. I am not giving myself that lofty goal this year, I just want to improve my marathon time to sub 3:30. My current marathon PR is 3:47 and half marathon 1:39. I will have to work hard to accomplish this goal but if all goes well when 2014 comes around I should be under 3:30 for a full marathon!Help People: The reason for InsaneMarathon.com is not so that I can brag about what races I have ran, the places I've traveled, products I have been lucky to try out, or how INSANITY and other workouts have changed my life. InsaneMarathon.com was created to help motivate others to never underestimate themselves. Anything you set your mind to is possible and if sharing my story and knowledge can help just one other person get our the door for their first 5k, complete INSANITY, or run a marathon using one of our free training plans this mission has been accomplished. One of the things I am going to be doing this year to help motivate more people is starting a run club in Tampa, FL for runners of all abilities. I will also be running free fitness and health challenges throughout the year. I want to motivate people to start something new to better their health and wellness. By the end of 2013 I want at least 30 success stories from people that were inspired and motivated through the work of InsaneMarathon.com!Keeping Organized: One thing I have always thought about doing but never acted on was keeping an organized calendar. This year I have started doing this and I am going to continue to add to it and follow it all year long. I have set up multiple calendars for different tasks (personal, work, fitness, fun) and synched them with all of my devices. The hard part will be adding, editing and following the calendar. But I am pushing myself to stick with it! Promote Myself: One of the amazing things about working for yourself is that you have the ability to promote yourself. My 2013 goal is to promote myself to a "Star Diamond" level. I will accomplish this goal only when I succeed at helping people - the more people I help the better chance I have at achieving this goal. Get Out: I want to get myself out to more events. If there is a local business event that sounds like I could learn something, I am going to attend. If there is a social run, motivational speaker, fitness club, whatever - I am going to get myself out and attend more events in 2013!
Read: I will ready one motivational / business / personal growth book a month and post it on InsaneMarathon.com or social media (Facebook, twitter, instagram). This month I have already finished - Maximum Achievement by Brian Tracy. 11 more to go!What kind of goals have you put in place for yourself? Can InsaneMarathon.com help you achieve any of them?
We have made it easier than ever to download one of our InsaneMarathon.com INSANITY marathon or half marathon training programs. To download a training program click on "Free Training Programs" using the links above or CLICK HERE. You can read about the programs and then download them immediately. No more waiting for us to e-mail you back with the file! Enjoy the training programs!Also, remember to join us for the 60 day INSANITY fitness challenge starting January 21! Contact us for more information!
Another week of training. Another half marathon. More ab / core work. New PR!
That is how my post Space Coast Marathon week went. After running my 16th full marathon I took the day after off from training. I had to travel to Fort Lauderdale on Tuesday and was able to get in some nice recovery running in along the beach and Las Olas Boulevard. Tuesday I ran 3.75 miles along A1A and Wednesday I ran 6 miles down A1A and Las Olas. Thursday and Friday I did RevAbs. Friday I also threw a fast 3 mile run in after My RevAbs core work. I did the first 2 miles at a 7:30 pace and the last mile at a 6:58 pace. I took Saturday off of training to prepare myself for the Brandon 1/2 Marathon on Sunday.
I felt like there was a chance I could PR at the Brandon 1/2 Marathon. My training has been going well. My legs felt very strong after coming off of the Space Coast Marathon. The weather wasn't going to be cold, but it was not going to be scorching hot - which always takes a toll on my racing times. I wanted to run a sub 1:40. I figured I would need to keep around a 7:30 min/mile pace for all 13.1 miles. The Brandon 1/2 marathon isn't scenic, it's not a large race & it doesn't have the bells and whistles most major 1/2 marathons have. It had an accurate course & water stops around every 1.75 miles. That's all I needed. I pushed myself harder than I ever have for a race. I was running around a 7:35 min/mile pace and at mile 10 I was still on track to run under 1:40 if I didn't slow down at all. I finished the race at 1:39:53. It's crazy to think that I was only 7 seconds away from missing my goal. That's one walk break, or just about half a second a mile.
My overall physical fitness has never been better. I know that it is because of INSANITY and RevAbs cross-training that I have been incorporating into my marathon training programs. I also continue to use Results & Recovery to refuel & heal my muscles after intense workouts and Shakeology to improve my overall health & nutrition.
This weekend I am running the St. Petersburg Jingle Bell Run 5k on Friday night and the Florida Holiday Halfathon (1/2 marathon) on Sunday. I will also be participating in the 12-12-12 Half Marathon of Sarasota. The following weekend I have the Color Run 5k in St. Petersburg 12/15 and on Sunday 12/16 my target PR marathon race - Jacksonville Bank Marathon.
If you want to get your training INSANE start using one of our FREE training programs today!
After my New York City non-marathon experience I was really disappointed & changed my training plan from my scheduled INSANITY marathon training to a RevAbs / running hybrid. The first week after the failed NYC marathon I did RevAbs all week and ran 8 miles on the weekend. The next week I did RevAbs 3 days & ran 7 miles two of the days. That weekend I ran the Women's 1/2 Marathon in St. Petersburg, FL.
The Women's 1/2 Marathon was very interesting. Obviously I knew it was a race catered to women. I signed up to run it because of the great feedback my friend Mike had from leading a pace group the prior year. Jackie was running it too & I thought it would be a great race close to home & possibly a new 1/2 marathon PR. Little did I know that they corral the men that register for it in the last corral no matter their expected finish time. Also - it was quite obvious that the race organizers weren't thrilled to have men running their race. If that's the case, they should do what the IronGirl Clearwater race does & not allow men to register.
I lined up in the 1st corral - with the 1:45 pace team & was told by a race official to move to coral 5 & that it didn't matter my goal -- it was a women's race & I needed to start last. So I start walking back, but the corrals were packed and I only was able to walk to corral 2 before the National Anthem was being performed & I stopped to get ready to run. I started off the race strong and ended up catching up to the 1:45 pace team. Ran strong with them until mile 11 and then fell slightly back. The course was beautiful through Downtown St. Petersburg. I especially enjoyed running inside Tropicana Field, home of the Tampa Bay Rays. My finish time was 1:45:44. Not a PR, but I'll take it.
If you are a woman looking for a beautiful course in a great city - I would definitely recommend the Women's Running 1/2 Marathon - St. Petersburg, FL. You can't beat the weather & scenery for late November!
After running the Women's Running 1/2 Marathon I went back to my RevAbs / running schedule although it was pretty much just RevAbs. I ran the Tampa Bay Times Turkey Trot 10k on Thanksgiving. Almost 18,000 people were out there running. Turkey Trot races are great to get the metabolism going before a big Thanksgiving meal. I didn't want to run the race too hard because I had the Space Coast Marathon coming up Sunday. I ran the 10k in 46:30.
The next run after Thanksgiving was the Space Coast Marathon. This would be marathon number 16 for me & I really didn't know what to expect. I had originally planned to run NYC for fun & use Space Coast for a training run / practice for Jacksonville Bank Marathon. My goal all year has been to PR my marathon time at the Jacksonville Bank Marathon. The night before the marathon I had dinner at the Apollo/Saturn V center at the Kennedy Space Center. The keynote speaker was Bart Yasso & if you haven't read his book "My Life on the Run" pick it up. He has many great running stories to tell & it is definitely worth the read. I decided last minute I would run with the 3:45 pace team at Space Coast & see what happens. The weather for the marathon was great. I felt strong starting off the race - however - my stomach had other plans. I ended up making three costly pit stops during the marathon. This caused me to lose the pace team and run my own race. No PR. But I was still able to finish in 3:55. So 3 put stops, mental torture and only a loss of 10 minutes & still sub 4 hours? I'll take it. I'm definitely looking forward to running the Jacksonville Bank Marathon December 16. I hope to run around a 3:40 marathon.
Now I'm back in training mode. It looks like I'll be running 1/2 marathons the next two weekends. Then back to the marathon distance with Jacksonville Bank.
I'll continue to mix INSANITY & RevAbs into my training. Let me know if you would like any of the FREE INSANITY marathon training programs
In case you were looking to run a 5k, 10k or 1/2 marathon in February the "Best Damn Race" has kindly created a $5 off discount code for InsaneMarathon.com. Use the code "INSANEMR" when registering to receive your $5 discount.
CLICK HERE to register for THE BEST DAMN RACE. The race takes place in the Tampa Bay area (Safety Harbor, FL).
With the race over 60 days away- make sure you get your copy of INSANITY for some INSANE 1/2 (or full!) marathon training! If you are interested in INSANITY - click here to purchase (New Years resolutions are right around the corner!)
Best Damn Race - save $5 on registration with promo code 'INSANEMR'
My INSANE marathon training for NYC came to an end last week. I was tapering down for the NYC marathon and couldn't have been more excited! The last 4 years I have been dreaming about running the NYC marathon and this was going to be my year. Well, we all know the end result of this story by now. Obviously life had other plans and my dream of the New York City marathon is on hold. Living in Florida I definitly understand the effect a hurricane can have on a community. I live right on Tampa Bay, and if a hurricane hit Tampa I am sure it would be devistating. My only gripe about NYC before I move on is that it should have been canceled before Friday evening. I received notice about the cancelation from friends and family via facebook and text messages as I was leaving the NYC marathon expo with bags and bags of souveniers, my bib, etc. It was very dissapointing to find out as soon as you are walking back to your hotel after being at the expo and getting pumped up for the event. I would have much rather had them cancel the event as soon as the hurricane hit. That way I could have been able to re-arrange my schedule, get refunds on most of the travel arrangements and use that towards running the NYC Marathon in a future year. The New York Road Runners do not have any answers as of now to what will happen next year. Will they open up the race to all 2012 runners? Will there be fees associated? Who knows. All I know is that my next marathon distance race will be the Space Coast Marathon on November 25, 2012 in Cocoa, FL. After that I have Jacksonville Bank Marathon and then Disney Goofy Challenge. I might sign up for the Clearwater Marathon, but I do not know for sure as of today. All that this means is INSANE marathon training has resumed!
One of the reasons I was especially bummed out about the canceleation of the NYC marathon is because I have already committed myself to the Berlin Marathon next year. Another World Marathon Major event held September 29, 2013. If I did NYC 2013 that would be two major races back to back, vacation, travel.... and who knows -- possible cancelations! I am excited to run in Germany. The Berlin marathon sounds like an amazing event and I am looking forward to running the 40th anniversary Berlin Marathon.
I purchaced another workout program recently to mix up my INSANE marathon trianing routine, RevAbs. I just started using it a few days ago and so far I have enjoyed the workouts. Some of the catch phrases in the videos seem a little cheesy but the ab workouts are no joke and I really want to concentrate more on my core area. A strong core creates a strong runner! I am going to incorporate RevAbs into my training from now until Jacksonville and will be updating this website with my review/results!
I wanted to leave this post with some photos of my NYC trip. On "marathon sunday" Jackie and I ran a 1/2 marathon around Central Park with thousands of other displaced runners. Enjoy the photos and if you have any interesting NYC Marathon stories feel free to leave a comment below with them!