Saturday, June 30, 2007

Day 7 - 27.93 miles

Almost 200 miles!!! I am .4 miles away! Today was sort of like the other 7 days, early start, lots of time on the feet and a strong finish. Tonight I am at my Grandparents house (Dad's side) just outside of Osage (my hometown!) Liz and I talked about what it would be like to go to my 10 year class reunion. It's hard to believe that I've been out of high school (and Osage) for 10 years now.

The road was a little nicer, the drivers just a bit more crazy! I saw a semi passing a big Winnebago while cars were coming the opposite direction. The semi pulled in just in time...nuts!

We are just 4 miles west of Osage and will be going through the town probably around 6 - 6:30am. I have a feeling I'll be pretty slow tomorrow. My legs were getting a little tired, my feet were a little sore. I didn't get in my regular routine, and it's already 9:20pm. Each day is a new and different challenge, isn't it?

Happy last day of June!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Day 6 - 28.79 miles

I don't know if you've noticed, but the miles are coming out higher than planned! Today was suppose to be 28.24 miles, but ended up an extra .55 miles. One might think, what's the big deal? What's .5 miles more?
Ugh! is all I can say to that. I've noticed that everything seems to flow fairly well (well, as well as it can when jumping off the blacktop road onto the soft, gravel, sloped, tractor treaded shoulder 30 times each mile)...until about mile 22 - 23. Right in there seems to be the point at which it's time to dig deep and find the strength to finish the day out. I start figuring out different time scenarios in my head based on the number of miles I have left. Once I get it all figured out, I start shuffling to the next aid station. But, then it all comes crashing down once I find out that it's going to be an extra .3, .5 and 1 mile. Then, time to pick myself back up and shuffle along to the next aid station.

Day 6 started out a little chilly, 53 degrees. Quite a bit different from previous mornings. It did get warm up to around 75 or so, but with the blacktop road, I think it's another 5-10 degrees warmer (depending on the sun and time of day). Things got a little harder today. My feet are getting tired, my legs a bit sore. Seeing corn field after corn field after corn field, starts to blend everything together. It's nice to go through each town to break things up a bit. People give me a smile and wave...I think they wonder, who the heck is this guy and why doesn't he just get a bike or something?
I passed the halfway mark today with 171.6 total miles. Hard to believe I've run that far.
It's been slow going each day. Every so often I'll kick it up and start to run my normal marathon speed (8 minutes per mile) but then quickly remind myself that I still have 5 more days to go.
I'll be back on my computer soon so I'll have some pictures up. Liz has been taking a lot of video also, so that'll be fun to get out for people to see.

Happy Running!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Day 4 & 5 DONE!

I don't have access to my computer right now, but wanted to let everyone know that yesterday and today is done!
Yesterday was 28.85 miles and today was 28.03 miles. The weather was finally cooler today and was able to run much faster. Though, I'm not sure if that was a good idea, I'll know tomorrow when I'm running.
It sounds like tomorrow's weather will be cool too!
Hopefully I'll have some more pictures tomorrow or the next day.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

After 85.9 miles...

I guess I'm not smart enough to turn the picture right now! ;)

Day 3, 28.0 Miles

We started the morning around 5:30am. Here you can see the sun rise among the many windmills. Today started out warm and VERY humid..71 degrees and 90% humidity! It felt like I was swimming through the air. My left leg was still pretty sore from yesterday so I decided that today would be just a walking day. I felt defeated thinking that I would only be walking today, but I thought at least I'm not giving up!
After 2 miles, I noticed my feet shuffling body started jogging along before my brain knew what was going on. The shoulder seem to flatten out and the road wasn't very busy, so I was able to run on the side of the highway.
About mile 12 I really was feeling strong, though it was getting hotter and hotter. By 10am, it was 85 degrees. I weighed myself a few times during the run and only lost 3 pounds. I really made sure that I was taking in fluids!
At mile 23, I was really starting to feel the miles on my legs. I was going in and out of "I can do it" "I can't do it". But I reached deep down inside and was able to make it to mile 25. Once I realized that I only had 3 miles left...I knew I could do it, even if it meant walking.
I hope all of this makes sense...I really tired today and looking to do a few more stretches, eat and go to bed. Tomorrow is officially the longest day, 28.55 miles. We'll see how far it really is!!

Oh and the most painful thing...the poison oak on my chest!! I think that hurts most of all!

6am: 62 degrees, 90% humidity
10am 73 degrees, 66% humidity
1pm 77 degrees, 49% humidity

Monday, June 25, 2007

Day 2, 28.63 miles

What a day! We got up nice and early today and were going by 5:15am. The first 9 miles flew by very quickly (ok, more like 2 hours), but it didn't seem to take much time. Then things got worse. Semi trucks and more semi trucks!! The blacktop shoulder got smaller and the gravel sloped down steeply. Very steep! My left leg really started to feel it!
There was one point where the was an oversized load semi and another semi going towards each other. The only options was to go into the ditch. Not fun! I think I spent most of my time dodging trucks. It really wore me out.

My mom and my sister's fiancé showed up with 4 miles left. It was nice to see both of them! Though I was really started to feel the road affecting my left leg, I decided with 3 miles left, I was going to walk. My left leg was starting to bother me and I just have to far to go!

Tomorrow looks like it will be another warm one tomorrow (and very humid!)
6am: 72 degrees, 86% humidity
10am: 87 degrees, 70% humidity
1pm: 90 degrees, 67% humidity

At least it will be a little breezy!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Day 1, 29.3 Miles

Today started with an early wake-up call in Sioux Falls, SD. The breakfast at the Super 8 wasn't suppose to start until 6:30am, but Liz was able to talk the night person in to starting breakfast at 5am. She was a lot of fun to talk to. She kept saying that I must be crazy and I should know better since I was a farm boy, not a city kid.

We made it to Rock River on the border and started going a little after 6am. It was very humid, but the temps were not too bad! There was a nice breeze and we took off as the sun cleared the horizon.

Lots of farms with cow/calves, horses, and pigs. Mostly fields of corn and soybeans. (It's Iowa after all!)

I was bouncing around pretty quickly until about 12 miles. Then things slowed down. Should have slowed down at the very beginning! I was a little surprised near the end when I got to mile 28, and Jackson Ave was nowhere to been seen! It was another mile down the road. Today was suppose to be 28.24 miles, but ended up being 29.3 miles. That last mile I walked. I was tired and thought, I'll finish at Jackson Ave, but just couldn't get my legs going!

29.3 Miles
7 hours, 5 minutes

Tomorrow, 28.21 miles

Saturday, June 23, 2007

At the river

Here I am at the South Dakota/Iowa Border. Tomorrow will be the first of 11 days!

Destination: Sioux Falls, SD

After over 12 hours of traveling, I made it to the motel in Sioux Falls. What a day of travel!!

My dad and sister Liz are here with me. We drove the first 9 miles of tomorrow's run. VERY Hilly! I'm not kidding.

Tomorrow's forecast:
6am start: 68 degrees, 82% humidity, 6 mph winds Sunny
11am finish? 82 degrees, 57% humidity, 13 mph wind, Sunny

Will be an interesting first day. I got about 30 minutes of sleep on the plane. My knees were in the back of the seat in front of me and then the guy reclined his seat. ARGH!

Tomorrow's game plan: Go out slow and keep it slow. Lots of fluids & eating.

Happy Running!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Almost on the plane

Just waiting for the dryer to finish and I'll have everything packed!

I just realized that I have Poison Oak...again! What I thought was chaffing where my heart rate monitor sat (across my chest) is really a little section of poison oak. It's at the blister getting ready to get gross stage. I washed down the heart rate monitor strap and myself down with Technu. I think I have a bit of the stuff in my vehicle somewhere. That's about the only way that I think I could get it. Too bad there isn't a black light test sort of thing for poison oak. Urgh! Very uncomfortable. Especially when it's going to be hot and humid!!

Today I had a great 30 minute session with Aundi Mevoli @ Innersport ( She had stopped by the EastBay Frontrunners Saturday run and was planning on doing demonstrations of Active Release Therapy, but it was very cold. I was talking to her about my little run across Iowa adventure and she invited me in for a free 30 minute session. EXCELLENT! I'll be seeing her in July.

Weather report:
Sunday: High 92, Low 72, Hot and Humid
Monday: High 94, Low 68 Hot and Humid

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Closer & Closer...

Almost...almost! I leave late tomorrow night. That's hard to believe! I've been working out some last minute details with my family. My parents and my sister Liz have worked really hard to help me get to where I'm at! Thank you!

I also want to thank many of my friends from the various groups I am associated with! Thanks! With their support, my hotel costs have been covered and one pair of shoes bought! THANK YOU!!

Before a board meeting last night, I went for a nice easy 3 mile run. I thought about the task that is before me. Is 300 miles in 11 days something I can handle? Will I be able to handle the heat? Even if I slow to a walk, will I be able to get up the next day and walk again? Will my IT Band cooperate??

I've read many race reports of fellow runners attempting their first 50k, 50 mile and 100 mile runs. The reason why I use the word "attempting" is because it is just that. Giving it your best shot. That's what I'll be doing, starting Sunday. Giving it my all to run 300 miles in 11 days. Will I be able to do it, maybe...maybe not. But how will I know if I never try???

Packing up my gear,

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Thank you EastBay Frontrunners!

A big thank you to the East Bay Frontrunners!! They made a generous donation and several members also made generous donations also! What an amazing feeling of support!!

Only a few days left before I'm off! Today I went through my running supplies. A couple of more things to buy and then I'll be ready to go. Liz and my parents got together today in Iowa and starting putting everything together. Looks like we are almost ready to go!

I've been watching the weather forecasts. One day it's says 80 degrees then next it says 92. I think my best bet will be to start as early as possible and go until it gets too hot!

Get closer!!!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

And then things come together

I've been sort of stressed out lately. With Cabaret getting ever closer (June 17th!) and organizing a run 1500 miles away, I've had little sleep!
What amazes me is how things come together! My small group, Otto Voci (I feel a close father-like relationship to this group, even though I'm the youngest) has put in a lot of extra practices and hardwork the past few weeks and we are sounding great. Brandon, our interim Artistic Director of OEBGMC has magically brought the chorus together in also a short period of time and we have 4 songs ready to go. Dan S. has been putting in countless (and sometimes I'm sure thankless) hours to have this event come off without a hitch. THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU!!!
RAI 2007 is becoming more and more of a reality. My parents and my sister Liz have done sooo much work in Iowa to make sure I have everything I need during the run. Also, all of my friends in the EastBay Frontrunners & Walkers group have supported me.

Thank you, thank you.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Getting in Motion

I have this strong urge to want to help people. From life changing to something as simple as giving directions to the courthouse (that seems to be the location everyone is looking for in downtown Oakland!)

While looking through various blogs, I came across this blog Runner's Lounge
There are not very many running blog/sites in Iowa and was excited to see that there are a few people out there among the cornfields!

Then this morning I was reading Amy's entry and was really touched.

I guess something as simple as writing down thoughts can make a difference!

Happy Running!

Monday, June 11, 2007

13 more days!!!

Wow, only 13 more days until I start my journey across Iowa!! This past weekend I did 9.5 miles with the East Bay Frontrunners on Saturday (3 times around Lake Merritt) and 11 miles with the AIDS Marathon Training Program on Sunday.
I had some great conversation around Lake Merritt and had a great time with the pace group at NAMTP.

The AIDS Marathon people were on their 23 mile run Sunday. What an awesome accomplishment!! I can't remember the name of the pace group, but I do remember the 2:1 walk/run ratio! If you ever feel like you can't run more than 3 miles because of the multiple available excuses, volunteer at the AIDS Marathon Training Program! I spent most of the second half of my run talking with this woman (I'm sorry I don't remember your name!!) but she chose that now would be the time to complete a marathon. She had always wanted to do so, but as we all know, family can sometimes delay our other personal goals. Now with her children older (and with the few pounds that having children give women (and those were her words...not mine!!), she got out a pair of running shoes and started going! She was awesome out there!! She pulled through the low points during the run and had a strong finish!! I was starting to feel a little tired near my mile 10 and I realized that she was on mile 21! No room to complain from me!

Running with that group gave me the boost of excitement and inspiration that is needed to run Iowa. If they can run 23 miles (and I know 26 miles soon!) I can go out there and do my run!

If you are not familiar with the National AIDS Marathon Training Program or you are, but never thought you could do it...go out and volunteer (OR JUST SIGN UP!) You'll be glad you did!

Happy (taper) Running!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Fourth of July Party (RAI 2007)

From an email that I wanted to share with everyone here (in case I don't have your email address!)

Hi everyone!
I want to invite everyone to Bill & Vicki McGee's cabin in Harper's Ferry on July 4th to help me celebrate my Run Across Iowa (or my attempt to run across the state!)

My last day of running will start at Waukon and finish along the Great River Road into Harper's Ferry on July 4th. I hope to be running into Harper's Ferry around 2pm.

But come earlier...stay even later!!

There will be a grill, stove, refrigerator, etc for making the day festive! Please bring your coolers and lawn chairs. If anyone is interested in staying the night (I WILL BE!) bring a sleeping bag (and a tent if you have one!).

And if seeing me wasn't enough reason to come, remember Bass Camp?? We'll be having a campfire complete with s'mores and music (The Lion (won't be) Sleeping Tonight!)

Everyone is invited! Bring your favorite dish to share, some meat to grill, some drinks to drink, and lots of fun to share!

Please pass this around to anyone I may have missed!

See you all in 19 days!!

Monday, June 04, 2007

20 + 20 = a long time on the feet!

Got it done! 20 miles on Saturday (Thank you Jen & Jane!) and 20 miles on Sunday. On Sunday I ran into the coaches for the AIDS Marathon Training Program (SF Marathon). It's a lot of work to coach and I want to say Thank You to both of them! NAMTP is what got me started running marathon!
Some lessons learned over the weekend:

Rain jackets keep just as much moisture in as they do out!
One glass of wine is one too many after that much running.
Keep slow and steady.
Get plenty of sleep.
Ice, ice, ice.

20 days!
Happy running!

Friday, June 01, 2007

23 days and counting!

Wow! It's only 22 days before I'm in Sioux Falls & 23 days before I am on the South Dakota/Iowa border, ready to run! I talked to my dad last night to continue the planning of this adventure. I've been thinking about the support vehicle (or lack of one!) He told me that he found a topper for the back of his truck and that I could use the truck. Then I found out that he was planning on crewing me with Liz for the first few days! I thought he was only able to see me off on the first day, but he'll be there for additional 2-3 days! He said that he was going to bring his fishing pole and hoped to do some fishing along the way. We'll see how much time he'll have! I'm very excited that my dad will be able to be a part of my journey!

I made the last of the hotel room reservations. It's a good thing that I went with the more expensive 2 queen beds instead of 1 queen bed! There will be three of us now in the room! I have rooms in Sioux Falls, Sibley and Estherville (2 nights). I might be able to drop the last day in Estherville since we'll be close to my parent's house. I just need to let my other relatives that I'll be staying at their homes! ;)

I also started to look at possible paces and daily schedules. If I run around 11 min/mi, then I'll be done ~5:10, 12 min/mi = 5:38, 13 min/mi=6:06. I'm going to have to be careful about going out to fast the first day or two. I think I may make myself run only 12:30 - 13 min/mi the first day. Plus, the weather may be VERY HOT & HUMID!! Yikes! On those hot days, I might start as early as 5am. For the most part I want to start running by 7am. That gives me time in the morning to eat and wake-up before running, while finishing by early afternoon. Just in time to hop into an ice bath, eat and prepare for the next day! I was sort of worried that I would have a lot of time on my hands in between runs, but I have a feeling I'll be plenty busy!

I've been asked a few times if I'm running for charity. Well....I was really worried that none of this would happen and I would never even make it to the start! But, I will be making it to the start (now getting to the finish, that's a whole other story!) and it has been on my mind a lot. There are sooo many causes and great charities out there. Many of my past runs have been to raise money for AIDS & HIV research, I've done cancer walks and numerous entry fees to other races go to support various causes. I've also thought that people in Iowa might not be interested in raising money for people in SF Bay Area and visa versa. So, what is one to do?

There are many issues I would like to bring awareness to: LGBT-issues in Iowa, obesity, suicide, AIDS, cancer, hunger, homelessness, poverty, housing assistance, energy efficiency, environmental stewardship, Marriage Equality, depression...these are only a few that have affected my life and probably yours.

Here's what I came up with...As I'm taking 11 days to run across the state of Iowa, why not take a few days and make a difference in someone's life and your own! Give to a suicide helpline, give a bag full of food to a foodbank, change your incandescent lightbulbs to compact fluorescent, volunteer at your local school, visit the elderly, take a child to the zoo, pick-up trash at your favorite park, pick-up trash at your least favorite park, smile at a stranger, pay someone's bridge toll, hug someone, recycle, print double-sided, walk instead of driving.

These are only a few things that you can do to make the world a better place. One person can make a difference and that one person can be you! I know I've inspired a few people to try and run a 5k, marathon and even 50k's by just telling my simple story. "Never was the "sports"-type, smoked a pack-a-day for 7 years, decided I had enough and went for a run" (that was only two years ago!) We all have stories in us that can make a difference! Share them!

And if you are feeling especially giving, I'm looking for some financial assistance along the way. Fortunately it doesn't cost much to start running, but it does get a bit more expensive when you run 300+ miles! If you are interested in helping me out, whether it's a few packets of Gu, a 20% off coupon, gatorade powder, shirt or cash, send me an email. Anything that is leftover will go the AIDS Marathon Training Program.

I can't wait to get started! I'm getting more excited each day! Oh for this weekend. Early start tomorrow morning for a 20+ mile run and then Sunday another 20+ run. Nice & slow!! ;)

Happy Running!