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?
There isn't much that hasn't already been said about the tragedy that unfolded this year at the Boston Marathon. My heart goes out to all of those affected by the horrific bombings. I know that there is not much we can do to make things better. In the future we all need to be aware of everything going on around us and report anything suspicious - even if it seems ridiculous. Lets error on the side of caution.While on Instagram one of the pages I follow @pavementrunner organized a worldwide run - one week from the Boston Marathon. Insane Marathon is proud to be the organizer for #BostonStrongTampa.If you are in the Tampa area - please join us for a run Monday April 22 at 7:00pm. We will meet at Hyde Park Village in Tampa near the fountain (across from Lululemon).
Facebook Event Page
You can run or walk any distance. Just your presence would be appreciated. I look forward to having you join us. Lets show Boston that Tampa is thinking about them through this tragedy. If you do not live in Tampa - click here - to view all of the other #BostonStrong events going on around the world. If your city is not listed, create an event like this and share with your community. Below is an excerpt from pavementrunner.com:
"I feel like I need to do something. Something more than a donation. Something more than a blog post or a photo or a graphic. I’m inspired by the community and how we have come together and shown our support, shed our tears and expressed our fears. With a simple look at your Facebook page, a refresh of your twitter feed or scroll through Instagram and you can SEE the love.
But I want to FEEL it. I want us to embrace the community in a REAL and HUMAN way. I want us to do what we do best.
I want us to run…together. I’m organizing a global event: #BostonStrong<city>
A run for us to unite and show our strength.
A run for those that were unable to finish.
A run for those that may never run again.
A run for us to try and make sense of the tragedy that has forever changed something we love."
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!
I needed new running shoes. I have been running in the Newton Motions since November 2011. Before that I ran in the Brooks Adrenaline. I did not have any problems with those shoes, but I was looking to try something new.
Meb Keflezighi, the 4th place finisher at the 2012 London Olympics and USA athlete is sponsored by SKECHERS. How funny does that sound? Sketchers makes running shoes? Thats what I thought at first. I looked into it and they have come out with running shoes that provide a "natural" mid-foot landing. This sounded similar to my Newtons so I was intrigued.
Meb Keflezighi - Olympic marathon runner (4th place London 2012) - Fastest current USA marathon runner.
Runners World magazine and some online blogs were giving SKECHERS GoRun running shoes favorable marks so I thought about purchasing them last year. I didn't.
Well, my current Newton Motion shoes are about done and I was walking by a SKECHERS store so I went in. I tried on the GoRun Ride running shoes and they felt great. I could get 2 pairs of them for less than one pair of Newton Motions so I decided to try them out.
The two pairs of Sketchers GoRun shoes I purchased.
I ran the Insane Marathon Bayshore Run Club 6 mile route using them and they worked out fine. I had a little rubbing on my right foot, but it seemed to be a sock problem more than a shoe problem. I decided to run the Gasparilla 15k with the new SKECHERS GoRun Ride shoes. They seemed to work fine, although they held water more than other shoes and got heavy fast (it was hot and I was dousing myself with water while running). I did not get any blisters other than the rubbing I already had on my right foot from the group run so I wanted to give them another shot with the Gasparilla 1/2 Marathon. BAD IDEA.
During the Gasparilla 1/2 Marathon around mile 2 I started to feel my left foot burning. I though to myself that I couldn't be getting a blister on that foot. By mile 3 both feet were screaming. I knew I was getting some really bad blisters on my feet from the new shoes. I have never had a problem with blisters before. It was the most painful half marathon I have ever ran. Every step felt like a knife was digging though my feet.
Moral of the story. I will never stray away from a product that works for me. I will be returning my SKECHERS GoRun Rides and getting myself a shiny new pair of Newton Motions.
Hopefully these blisters don't rip open again this weekend...
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!
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!
Are you looking for a fun running challenge this year? My friend and RRCA Coach, Debbie Voiles, has started a 13 x 13 in 13 challenge. What does this challenge entail? You will commit yourself to running 13 half marathons in 2013 (a marathon counts as 2 & virtual races do not count).
If you are interested in joining this challenge, join the 13x13in13 Facebook page. If you are on twitter or instagram you can use hashtag #13x13in13. She even has awesome looking car magnets and t-shirts to let everyone know you are a half marathon running machine!
More information about the challenge can be read on Debbie Voilies blog, Mojo For Running.
I am already in the challenge. By the end of January I should already have 4 or 5 1/2 marathons in the book!
Comment below or on the InsaneMarathon.com Facebook page if you are committing yourself to 13x13in13!
Have fun with this!
We have been wanting to reach out into the local running community and as of today InsaneMarathon.com is more than just a website - we will be sponsoring a local run club in Tampa, FL every Thursday night at 7:00pm. When I first moved to Tampa from Chicago back in October 2009 I found a running group on meetup.com called "Bayshore Runners" I met a lot of my current running friends from that group. Sadly over the last year or so the group had slowly dissolved and last week I was notified by e-mail the group would be disbanded unless someone stepped up to take it over. I decided that InsaneMarathon.com can give life back into the Bayshore Runners. Too many of the running clubs in Tampa Bay are centered around bars & booze. That is great for socializing, but Bayshore Runners - InsaneMartathon.com Fitness Club is about HEALTH & FITNESS. Our group will be about achieving goals, running, and healthy socializing! If you would like to join us - you can meet the group every Thursday evening at 7:00pm, Hyde Park Village, Tampa 33606. We will be meeting by the water fountain near the Lifestyles / LA Fitness and across from the Lululemon. For more information see our event on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/insanemarathon) or on our meetup page www.meetup.com/insanemarathonI look forward to meeting everyone at the group run!