Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas my friends!  I hope you, your families, and friends are having a great holiday season.

It's wonderful to share time together.  Life and even these holidays can be hectic and stressful, so it's important to smile, relax, and be thankful for all of our blessings.  I hope you are enjoying some great conversations, activities, and just the simple pleasure of being together.

We are visiting my wife's parents in Missouri and soon will be visiting my parents in Chicago.  It's not easy on the kids or grandparents when we live so far apart, so savoring these moments when we can be together is extra special.

I wish each of you the very best.  Thanks for running with me!

Here are some pictures from this week in Missouri at my wife's parent's house.














Merry Christmas!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

2010 Marine Corps Marathon


This was an epic experience.  There were the Marines, Washington, D.C., monuments, the Potomac, Virginia, runners, flyovers, the Pentagon, perfect weather, the Dixie Liquor store, Georgetown, Hains Point, the Mall, Lucy, pep bands, the Bridge, Iwo Jima, shouts of encouragement from friends all over the world, and my great friend Adam Tinkoff!  This was not just a run or a race, it truly was a memorable moment that I won’t forget and I was blessed to share it with Adam.

While this was his first marathon, it was my sixth marathon.  Nonetheless, I had been undertrained and was concerned prior to the race start that I may be in for a tough, physical event.  In addition, I had never run with someone else for this distance nor had I ever run a 30 second run / walk cycle for such a long run.  Yet, everything worked out perfectly.  It was awesome to help Adam in his first, but at the same time, he really helped me.

After waiting forever to go to the bathroom, we strolled over to the starting area probably 15 minutes after the race started.  We were amongst the very last runners to start the race.  Adam and I took pictures.  The crowd was laughing and yelling at us to start.  We finally crossed the start line with a police escort right behind us, bringing up the rear of the MCM and bringing up our rears!


No sooner had we started when Adam’s Gym Boss beeped to signal us to walk.  The 30 second interval was very short and hard to get used to at first.  By mid-race, I was easily comfortable with the 30/30 and welcomed the familiar beep as if it were a Pavlovian association.  Believe me, the frequent walks did wonders for this race.

As we ran through Rosslyn, we caught up to and passed the rescue buses for fatigued runners.  These were the buses that we had to beat by the time we got to Mile 20.

We saw many runners in Halloween costumes.  There were the Ghillie camou runners.  I brushed by one and said “Sorry, I didn’t see you.”  He replied, “That’s OK, just don’t piss on me!”  We saw Elvis (of course), two gasmask runners, tutu skirt runners, and other goofy outfits.

We also saw and admired the many men and women running or marching in full gear while carrying the American flag, USMC flag, or other service colors.  Combined with the backdrop of Washington, D.C. and the monuments, this race was a stirring tribute to the many patriots who have or are serving our country.  Adam and I both thanked as many of these heroes as we could.  We were both overwhelmed by their sacrifices.

As we dipped down the hill of the Spout Run Parkway, we saw the Potomac shimmering in the sunlight and the Cathedral of Georgetown University looming up on the hill across the river.  We were taking in the sights as best possible.  This whole course was a brilliant tour of DC.  We could not be more excited.

After we crossed Key Bridge, we both noticed the Dixie Liquor store and made sure we snapped a photo on our way back.  This area was rowdy with the crowd, a fife & drum corps, and a pep band.


The way north along the Potomac was serene with Teddy Roosevelt Island on our left and minimal crowds.  Upon reaching the turnaround, we climbed up a hill and came to the reservoir and the incredible views of DC below.

As we ran through Georgetown, we were amazed at the crowds and we both commented on the familiar sights from our trips past.  It was so cool to think that on previous trips to DC we had frequented all these places and yet now we were running a marathon along the same pathway.  If only we had known back then.  It just goes to show you that you never know what will come and that the sense of place and time can be so cool to compare as we “run” through life.

Near the Kennedy Center, we spotted what has to be the best candidate we have witnessed so far for the role of “Lucy”, our admiring and excitable fan on “Shock of the News”.  This girl had the smile, face, hair (purple wig), and the boobs (yes I said boobs) that she flaunted to us as we ran by.  I quickly reminded Adam that it was a walk break!  Lucy laughed and we had a renewed sense of energy!

The route south would then take us all the way down to Hains Point, the halfway mark of the race.  We had a hard time believing it was 13.1 miles since the run so far was easy.  We made an iPadio report and I checked messages on my phone.  I couldn’t believe all the well wishes from folks all over the world!  The Twitter, Facebook, email, text, and phone messages were so encouraging.  I can’t tell you how happy it made us to feel so much support from our friends.

Last year, Hains Point was a difficult area for me.  I was pretty tired and a little overheated then.  This year, it was so enjoyable with a nice breeze and a perfect temperature.  The sights were amazing with the Potomac, the marina, the admiralty houses, and the monuments coming into view.

The 30/30 cycle turned out to be a life-saver.  We flew through the first 17 miles or so without any significant effort.  Our bodies and spirits were doing fantastic.  It was incredible how we caught up and passed so many runners.  Mind you, we were not trying for a pace or overall finish time.  We just ran our race.  Now, our run depended on the 30/30 method alright, but the experience was really about enjoying every step.  We yucked it up just like we do on Shock of the News.  We laughed so many times and chatted away about every element we could observe during the race.

Rounding the Tidal Basin of the Jefferson Memorial, we began the trek around the Mall, which gave us our first fatigue test.  We were getting a little tired.  The wind was not so breezy here so we started to heat up just a bit.  By this time, we had caught up to so many runners that we were a little unused to navigating amongst all the people.  Previously, we had more or less owned the course and had plenty of room to do the 30/30s.  At the same time, we enjoyed the runners and the crowds cheering along the Mall.

When we left the Mall and headed down toward the 14th Street Bridge, we knew we had the finish within reach.  We had beaten the Bridge.  No bus would pick us up for a DNF.  Unlike last year, the Bridge was not littered with fatigued bodies.  The weather really helped this year.

However, the Bridge did take its toll on us.  The length and multiple rises of the Bridge portion of the course zapped our strength quite a bit.  We were so excited at Mile 20 (you can hear it in our voices on the iPadio cast) that we were rudely reminded by the Bridge that we still had some serious work left to finish.

We walked through the aid station heading into Crystal City, watching the runners heading north to the finish as we headed south deeper into the city.  The crowds here were great but we were pooped.  We trudged back into the 30/30 routine and gutted it into and out of Crystal City.

As we were leaving the city, we saw the rescue buses heading south into the city with a lone runner right in front of the first bus.  He was an elderly man struggling to take another step.  He was in tremendous pain.  We cheered for him and the whole crowd was clapping in salute of his remarkable effort and accomplishment so far.  Later, we wondered if he had made it to the finish.  I sure hope he did.

As we rounded the western border of the Pentagon, Adam began to feel more pain in his quads.  He had been feeling a growing discomfort since the bridge, but now it was getting worse and was quickly beginning to impede his running.  He was getting brief cramps, so we started to walk.  Despite a few attempts to re-start the 30/30s, it was clear that to safely make the finish, we decided it was smarter for us to walk the last 2.5 miles.

As we passed the starting area, we could begin to hear the crowds of the finish at Iwo Jima Memorial.  The turn into the last stretch was within sight.  Adam was grimacing from each step but we both knew we would make it.

With about 100 yards to go, we trudged up the last hill in a trotting type of gait.  The Marines lining the sides of the course were cheering loudly.  Adam’s legs started to give out just as we reached the top of the hill.  With the finish line now in sight, Adam had to walk to the rail on the side to brace himself.  His legs were really locking up.

We walked to the finish.  The crowd was cheering.  The Marines were cheering.  I was shaking each of their hands and thanked them for their service.  The Jumbotron screen had us well in focus.

We crossed the line at 6:23:45.  Adam crouched down and kissed the finish line!  We had made it!  We hugged and smiled.  We had left no man behind!  We ran this one together.

We were medaled in front of the Iwo Jima Memorial and made our way to a nearby fence to sit down and rest our backs against so as to relax and take it all in.  Steve Runner gave us an uplifting congrats call.  He shared that folks all over were exchanging news of our side-by-side run through DC and yelling their support for us to make it to the finish.  We read the cheers from friends that had been streaming in from all over.  We were so happy and satisfied.




The 35th MCM was in the books.  We admired the medals around our necks.  We felt like kids.

The only problem was how to get up and back to the hotel!  Just like kids, we felt like: “Carry me!”

We straggled to the Metro just as they were closing the entry gates to regulate traffic.  The ride back into DC felt good now that we were sitting down.

After getting cleaned up at the hotel, we wished for a victory beer together, but I had to make my flight home.  Adam drove me to the airport.  We had the best weekend together and a run we shared that was memorable and joyous for each step.

I can’t thank enough all the friends who provided such good cheer to us both.  I can’t thank Adam enough for his friendship.  I know I am blessed and I am deeply grateful!

Next up is our Mojo Loco relay in December.  We promised a MCM victory beer together then.  We also agreed to pick a race in Michigan to share in 2011. 


So, the Shock of the News duo ran the 2010 MCM.  While the race is now in the books, the experience will remain in my heart forever.

Semper Fi!

ipadio: Eddie Marathon - 14th phonecast

ipadio: Eddie Marathon - 13th phonecast

Saturday, September 18, 2010

2010 Air Force Half Marathon

Eddie Marathon - 1st phonecast | ipadio | Talk to your World

Air Force Half Marathon


See my Air Force Half Marathon Picture Album








video


B-52 Flyover


It was a great day for a race with perfect weather, B-52 & F-16 flyovers, and a perfect venue!


With my training off, my goal here was to just listen to my body and have a safe and fun run. The start line was very congested with many, many walkers who had started way up front. It was difficult to get around them. Nonetheless, my pace was a little too fast. I was feeling good and I guess I let it throttle up a bit. 


We ran down a tree-lined narrow country road into the Huffman Prairie Air Field National Historical Park. The trees offered some nice, cool shade. Once we exited the trees, we were exposed to the sun as we ran for a few miles in some open areas. I spotted a Wright Flyer overhead. Very cool.


I was feeling pretty good but I needed to hydrate better. The aid stations were a little sparse on the water and Gatorade rations. In several cases, my cup had only about two tablespoons worth of liquid. I took a couple of Endurolytes. They really helped as the temperature and my sweat rate began to rise. 


At around mile 10, my heart rate was getting a little too high so I used a few walk breaks. I then got a second wind to help finish the race. There was only one hill of note and it was really not a hill, but an overpass into Fairborn and then into Wright State


The aid stations in the last few miles were entertaining with "Music from the '80s" and "Revenge of the Nerds" themes, for example. The crowd support was better during last few miles as well since we were just outside the base. Our bibs had our first name printed on them so it was fun to hear someone call out my name. At one aid station, a small girl yelled out "Way to go Ed!". It was funny coming from such a small fry. 


As we finished mile 12 down a small hill, the sounds of the finish line and the announcer could be heard. This motivated everyone to pick up the pace. Having run this race last year, I held back, knowing there was still a ways to go. In fact, the last mile is in sight of the finish, which makes it hard since the finish appears closer than it really is so that many runners put the afterburners on too early. The runways leading up to the finish at the Air Force Museum are very long. You have to be patient in running to the finish. 


As I rounded the last turn and headed into the finish chute, the large crowd was cheering all of the runners. It was thrilling. I crossed the finish very happy and was proud and honored to be medaled by an Air Force officer.




I then grabbed some food and water and relaxed on the grass when I then saw my friend Mike Federle. We had originally met earlier this year at the Flying Pig. We have kept in touch via Daily Mile. We also got together at the Expo on Friday. Mike's a great guy and we enjoyed sharing our race stories. We then drank a free beer to celebrate the race.


After I changed clothes, I toured the Air Force Museum. I love this museum. They have done a great job. Since I started my career in aviation, it brought back a lot of memories in checking out these historic aircraft. It was a great way to cap off the day before I drove back home. I loved this race and venue. Thank you Air Force and all those who helped make this a great day!



Saturday, July 31, 2010

1st Annual Undy 5000 5K Race, Royal Oak, Michigan


Back in 2003, I was diagnosed with colorectal cancer.  It was a life-affecting moment to be sure.  I was very fortunate to get through this troubling episode with the help of Dr. Steve Priest (pictured left), my family, friends, and lots of prayers.  I consider myself very much blessed by the whole experience. Of course, I would never wish to repeat that time or wish any disease upon anyone, but I grew quite a bit from those troubling days.  It helped immensely that by 2008 I was regarded as "cured".

As I was being wheeled into the OR for my first surgery, I decided right then to commit to running a marathon.  I thought it would help reset my outlook for a goal about something I had aspired to do previously, but like many other goals, remained undone.  This time would be different.  I would carry through to the finish.  In addition, I thought it would be a transforming means to help me live life more fully and thankfully.  I don't say this as if my earlier days were lived less so or as depicted in some made-for-TV movie.  Rather, I thought it could simply help create a better quality and joy of life.

When Steve let me know of this race, the very first under the umbrella of the Colon Cancer Alliance, I was thrilled to participate. The race itself was run on a course predominantly on Beaumont Hospital grounds, an appropriate setting and also the hospital where my kids were born and I was treated back in 2003.

I ran a 28:28, which is pretty fast for me.  I was especially happy considering that I have been focused on distance and endurance, not speed.

The crowd today was filled with people who are currently suffering from colon cancer or who have survived this dreaded disease.  There were also many runners and walkers who were dedicating their efforts today in loving memory of someone close who did not make it.

Awareness, education, and fund-raising can help combat colon cancer. Please make sure you talk to your doctor.  Please make sure your family and friends do so as well.  This can be a preventable and treatable disease.  It can be beaten!

This was a short and fun race but it also called to mind a flood of memories.  I wondered about those running alongside of me.  What was their story?  What was their race?

I am thankful in so many ways to celebrate today's victory lap.  I am also grateful for all my friends in the running community who have helped motivate me on a healthy and positive way forward.  I am really blessed by all of you.

Make sure you take full measure of your steps.  Each one is important.  Each one is a part of a journey.  Each one is to be dedicated and celebrated during our "race".

Thanks my friends.  Now go and enjoy your run!

All the best,

Eddie





Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Medals4Mettle


I was touched beyond words today when I shared the experience of giving race medals to the kids at the University of Michigan's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital. The real endurance race was run by these brave children. Thanks to Joe Burns of Medals 4 Mettle and all the volunteers who provided their race medals to this wonderful organization. As a result, I hope these kids and their families were able to share a smile and some joy in their fight for a healthier and painfree day. For Kevin Green, Mike Croy, Todd Powers, and myself, we met incredible children who were fighting extremely tough battles due to various head traumas. I was moved and inspired by these kids, their familes, as well as my fellow runners and volunteers. The entire experience helps reset some fundamental life perspectives. I am so thankful for this experience and hope and pray for these children and their families. May God Bless each and every child. They deserve the world.


Monday, May 3, 2010

2010 Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon


Had a great time in Cincinnati at the Flying Pig Marathon! I drove down Saturday morning with my wife and kids. We went right to the Expo where we met up with a ton of great guys (see the Facebook photo album plus also not pictured: Mike (Morgan859) & Jason Zacher. It was great putting names with the faces and sharing a lot of laughs together.

Saturday night, a bunch of us met up in the Marriott Rivercenter lobby bar to yuck it up. Seems like most of us were staying at the same hotel. We had a good time but wished we could stay out longer but couldn't given the 6:30am race start on Sunday.

Kevin Gwin of the Extra Mile Podcast made arrangements for my wife and kids to help out in the finish area passing out food, mylars, and medals. After sending me off at the race start and cheering me on at two different spots early on in the marathon, my family helped out at the finish. They were honored to help out!

The race started with thunderstorms but staedily let up on the rain as the race went on. It was warm (60s?) and the light rain later felt refreshing.

There were plenty of hills early on. I ran all of them up and down. Big mistake, especially having run down the hills quite fast. The hills took a lot of energy out of me. I was happy to finish the major hills.

All was well until my left hip flared up at around the half marathon point of the race. From there on I had to really concentrate on good form to minimize the pain. From mile 17-20, I was starting to feel quite tired. I managed to trot along and then got my second wind at around mile 21. From there I settled into a steady, but quicker pace and finished the race to the pure joy of seeing my daughter greet me at the finish and drape the medal on me. My son and wife were right there too and we had the best family hug. It was the best marathon moment ever! I can't thank my family enough for being so supportive as well as Kevin Gwin for making it possible for them to volunteer at the finish and greet me as well.

After the race, I received a text message reporting my official time as 5:18:11. I couldn't believe it, it was a PR! With the fatigue, rain, hills, work stress, missed breakfast, and lack of sleep I was very pleasantly surprised! The time was 9 minutes better than last year's Marine Corps Marathon and 15 seconds better than my previous PR at Chciago 2004! I was so happy! What a great race and weekend.

I would love to plan a race where runners from all over can come and get to know everyone. Facebook, Twitter, Daily Mile are all great examples of connecting with fellow runners. However, meeting folks in person is the best! What a great group of friends we all have. I am very grateful. It would a blast to hook up each year in person and run a race together. Stay tuned for more cause I think this idea will get some legs!

It's good to be back home now. I'm very happy with the weekend and I'm glad to have had such a great experience. I will savor it for a long time!

Thanks to everyone for the encouragement before and congrats received after the race. It means so much to me. I am very appreciative. I hope wherever you are, that you have safe, happy, and rewarding running adventures as well.

From the 2010 Flying Pig Marathon,

All the best,

Eddie
 

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Ready for the Flying Pig!

Well, it's time to go to Cincinnati and run the Pig!  I have not trained as much in April as I would have liked, but I feel ready anyway!

The weather is supposed to be warm with thunderstorms.  The marathon course is a hilly course.  With the weather, it should be a challenge.  It should be an adventure no matter what happens!

This is my 5th marathon but 1st Pig.  I can't wait to get it going.  The Expo on Saturday should be a lot of fun as several runners from our running community are planning a get-together at 3pm at the Gu booth.  Come and join us if you are racing or just happen to be in the area!

I'll share the weekend events and a race report when I return back to Michigan.  Thanks to everyone for the kind calls, Tweets, emails, and Facebook messages.  Also, a special thanks to my co-host partner in the podcast Shock of the News, Adam the Zenrunner for all his support and great cheer.

I'll see you at the finish!

All the best,

Eddie

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

It's Official: The 2010 North Country Trail Run 50-Mile Ultramarathon


I'm thrilled to announce that today I officially registered for the 2010 North Country Trail Run!  This race is a 50-mile ultramarathon held each year in Michigan.  This year's running will be held on August 28th.

I've been considering an ultra for several years.  However, my half and full marathon races have been run too sporadically over the years to count on a good enough base.  Last year, I committed to making a more consistent running lifestyle and have planned some multi-year goals for motivation.  The Cincy Flying Pig Marathon and the NCT Run are key events this year to help me focus on keeping in motion.

I'm really thrilled to make it offical with today's registration.  It's a big step for me: one that I've looked forward to for a long time and now feel is the right time to make.  I know it will be an incredible experience!

I decided to run reasonably close to home.  I considered some races out-of-state that follow some spectacular scenery, but I decided to instead focus on a more local venue that by it's own right has some fantastic terrain.  It's also a lot easier to travel across state with my family than it is to fly across the country!


The course is a 25-mile loop run twice, all within the Manistee National Forest and along the North Country Trail.  The NCT is a National Scenic Trail that runs across seven states from New York all the way across the northern part of the country to North Dakota.  The trail is administered by the National Park Service, however, much of it is still under construction and its completion and maintenance are very much dependent upon volunteers.  The North Country Trail Association is dedicated to this cause and recruits enthusiastic patrons and workers to help this trail remain a treasure.




The training for now is focused on the "Pig" in Cincinnati.  This should be a good "warm-up" for a healthy summer of training for the NCTR.  I know I will continue to lose weight, build endurance, and pick up a little speed along the way.

I'm prepared for some interesting training runs, including some challenging fatigue-induced back-to-back long runs.  What is also going to be unique versus the marathon training is the amount of trail running I'm going to accomplish.  Since I love the outdoors and trail running so much, this is an aspect of the training I'm really thrilled to explore.

I'll post some more thoughts and describe the training runs in future posts.  For now, I wanted to share the news.

Whether you've ever thought of running an ultra or you're an old pro, consider running this race.  It promises to be a challenging, yet satisfying experience.  Let me know if your plans include an ultra or if you've committed to this race or another like it.  It'll be great to train together!

All the best & Happy Trails!

Eddie

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Year!


Well folks, welcome to the new year!  I hope you are enjoying the holidays with friends and family.

With new beginnings, it's appropriate to consider new goals and paths to venture.  I enjoyed getting back into running in 2009 after an on-and-off 2008.  Last year I overcame a knee injury, lost 25 pounds, and I ran 2 half marathons and a full marathon.  I loved the training and joy of hitting the roads and trails.  I'm grateful to have run in some beautiful places throughout the country and I'm especially thankful to have shared the experience with so many wonderful people.  I can only imagine what will be in 2010, but I can't wait to continue the journey!

For 2010, I have thought quite a bit about my running goals and have charted a plan.  Now this plan is actually an important part of something quite a bit bigger that I'm setting for 2011-2012, but I'll save that discussion for later!

There are three major races that form the basis of my 2010 running season: 2 marathons (one Spring, one Fall) and my first ultra (Summer).  I also intend to pick up some speed and lose some more weight, but these aspects are more consequences.  I also intend to finally launch my podcast (some of you are tired of hearing this, but family and work schedules have been a little much these last few months so please continue to bear with me).

My race schedule for 2010 is listed below.  This plan is subject to change due to work and family, but this is what I'm shooting for so far.  Stay tuned for more updates as they become evident!

March 7, Mill Creek Classic Half Marathon, Wick Recreation Area, OH
May 2, Flying Pig Marathon, Cincinnati, OH
June 6, Dexter-Ann Arbor Half Marathon, Ann Arbor, MI
June 13, 13.1 Chicago Half Marathon, Chicago, IL
August 28, North Country Trail Run 50-Mile Ultramarathon, Manistee NF, MI
September 18, US Air Force Half Marathon, Dayton, OH
October 10, Towpath Half Marathon, Cuyahoga Valley NP, OH
October 31, Marine Corps Marathon, Washington, DC

I'm still debating several other ultras (I'll do only one ultra this year though).
July 10, Dances with Dirt 50-Mile Ultramarathon, Baraboo, WI
July 17, Headlands 50-Mile Ultramarathon, Marin Headlands NRA, CA
July 18, Tahoe Rim Trail 50-Mile Ultramarathon, Lake Tahoe, NV

I have begun training this past week for the "Pig."  If any of you plan on running this great race in Cincy, please sign up and join my Buckeye Outdoors Challenge.  We can help support each other through the Winter as we prepare for this Spring race.

I hope you can join me at any of the races listed above.  Please let me know so we can hook up.  Also, if you are running in Michigan at any time, please let me know so we can go for a run.

Let me know your 2010 plans as well.  I would love to hear your ambitions.

It should be a great year.  Let's go out and make it the very best!

I wish you and your families a happy 2010.  Let's run a course to remember!

All the best,

Eddie