Monday, December 23, 2013

Weekly wrap-up Dec. 15-21

Well, it was a pretty quiet week, nothing all that exciting.  We got quite a bit of snow here in Northeast Ohio and the temperatures hovered in the teens for much of the week.  Nevertheless, I tried to get a good amount of miles in anyway.  Running in the snow isn't bad at all, but when it's mostly ice, it makes things a bit more difficult.  Had to run on a treadmill a couple times, which for some reason wasn't as terrible as I remember.  Ended up getting a new pair of shoes too.  The new New Balance 890v4.  I'm going to do a review of them soon, stay tuned, so far so good.  I'm deciding that I want to get a little out of the "minimal movement"  I think there is a place for it, but I wanted to get some shoes with a little more padding in them, and I think the 890v4 fit the bill, at least as the logical step into more traditional shoes.  

Dec 15: 9 miles in the snow.  Kind of a tough run, ran around Lakewood, mostly in the streets because the sidewalks had a ton of snow and ice on them.  Felt good however, and went a little further than I was planning on doing. 

Dec 17: 5 miles on the dreaded treadmill at the YMCA.  The weather just was not cooperating at all, so I decided to face my fears and run on a treadmill.  Was happily surprised that I didn't hate it! (If you can't tell, I'm not a huge fan of treadmills...) 

Dec 18: 7 miles on the treadmill again!  Weather sucked, back to running inside.  Today was the first day I ran in my New Balance 890v4.  Out of the box, 7 mile run, not a bad first impression, more on that in a future post. 

Dec 20: 7 miles Ran my normal 7 miler around Lakewood.  At about 4 miles I picked up my buddy Josh and he ran the last 3 miles with me.  Josh isn't a runner, but every once in a while will run a couple miles with me.  Josh could be a great runner if he wanted too, he's super athletic.  He's more into cycling, but I'm going to work on him and get him running with me a little bit, especially on the trails.

Weekly total: 28 miles. 

Pretty straight forward, boring week.  Actually didn't get on the trails at all this week, it would have been pretty tough with all the snow.  

"Don't be afraid to fail.  Be afraid not to try."

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Weekly wrap-up Dec. 8-14

So I've decided that now that I am out of "marathon race-mode" and back into training I'm going to start putting up a post every Sunday night and recap this past week.  My weeks of training go Sunday-Saturday.

As some of you may know, my next scheduled race in March 8, 2014.  I am going to be running my first ultra marathon, the Green Jewel 50k down in the Cleveland Metroparks.  The race starts at the Marina near Lakewood/Rocky River and ends in Brecksville.

I'm super excited about this race, and I am not in ultra marathon training mode.  I gotta admit, it's pretty tough with the super low temperatures and snow, something that we usually don't have this much of so early in the winter.  Nevertheless, I'm going to stay consistent and persistent and make this a strong winter.

Last Saturday, December 7th I was keeping track of The North Face 50 miler in San Francisco minute by minute.  Just hugely inspired and motivated by Rob Krar who I think had one of the best ultra marathon seasons ever.  He's amazing!

December 8-14

Dec 8:  11 miles.  This was an interesting run today, it was almost ice skating rather than running.  Roads were very slippery so I decided I'd run from my house down into the Cleveland Metroparks, get on some trails down there and then come back up and make my way back home.  Pretty cold as well, probably about 15 degrees or so.  Good run though, actually went at a decent pace considering how much I was slipping.
Shoes: Brooks Pure Grit.

Dec. 10: 7 miles.  This run didn't exactly go as planned.  Wanted to go about 10 or so down on the multi-purpose trail of the metroparks.  Ended up going a little short.  Was a great time though, my brother Tim rode his bike next to me and took pictures of me which was cool and will be useful.  Follow him on Instagram @ohio_runs.  Another cold run, and I felt bad for Tim riding his bike, but got it done.  This is one of the pictures he took, just awesome.

Dec 12: 8.5 miles.  Ran from my house down to Second Sole where my brother works to try on some New Balance shoes as their sales rep was at the shop.  Ran in the 890v4.  I loved them, plan on getting them after Christmas.  Ran with Bill, the owner of Second Sole (great guy) and one other guy whose name I can't remember.  Great run, ran from the shop down into the Metroparks.  I love talking running with everyone at the shop, something I wouldn't mind doing the rest of my life.

Dec 13: 5 miles.  Nice run with Chris down on the Bridle trail of the Metroparks.  It snowed a ton the night before so the trail was basically full of snow making it a pretty tough run, but we got it done and had a good time doing it.  I really like running with other people once in a while.  I definitely and a loner when it comes to running, and I like that, but it's nice once in a while to run with other people. 

Weekly total: 31 miles. 

A good week, and just about where I want to be right now with mileage.  I really haven't put in a ton of weekly miles in a couple of months because of all my racing.  This was my second week back consistently running, and I want to keep this up.  

Till next time. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

2013 Pan5Can/Race wrap-up

Well, I can finally say that I am done racing for 2013.  I may still do a 5k/10k or something like that, but the big stuff is done!  What a year it was,  when my brother and I decided to do our Pan5Can project, we didn't realize at the time that almost all marathons/half marathons in Northeast Ohio take place in the fall.  With that being said, this meant we would have a very busy Fall, and boy did we!  I did have a couple half marathons in the late spring/early summer though.  I wanted to write a post just to put share my thoughts about this past year.

My first half this year was the Cleveland Half Marathon in May.  I gotta be honest, I wasn't really trained at all for this race.  I basically took January-March off of running completely, gained a bunch of weight, and just wasn't doing much.  I decided in April that I should probably get going because it was going to be a crazy year!  This race came before I knew it, and although I wasn't really in great shape, I did a little better than I thought and ran 2:06, not very good but I was happy with it.  Not a bad start to the season, but I really wanted to get in better shape for the coming races, and this helped get my butt in gear!!

My next race was the Columbia Station Half Marathon in late June.  I felt better about this race going in, I had a good late May early June training and was in better shape when it came to race again.  This course however was a mental game to say the least.  The course ran through Columbia Station, and if you aren't from around here, it's basically all country.  Well it sure enough was, and with a small field of runners, it was running alone through rolling hills on asphalt, which isn't my favorite.  Felt good however and ran 1:57,  good enough to place 1st in my division (shows how small the field was!)

Next up was, after quite a break was the Akron Marathon.  I'd run the Akron Marathon in 2011 so I knew what to expect, and I liked the course, so I was looking forward to this race.  Felt good leading up to this race and was ready to go!  Race morning my brother and I drove down to Akron, and while on our way I was sipping on Yerba Mate hot tea, something I do almost every morning before work.  Well, this isn't the best pre-race hydration, at least not for me!  The first half of the race was spent in the port-a-potty (sorry)!!  After mile 13 or so I started to feel better and negative split (obviously).  Ended up running a 4:36 which is alright for me at the time.

A week later I was racing again, this time it was the Rock and Roll Cleveland Half Marathon downtown.  I was pretty concerned about this race because I had never run back to back races like this. I've done back to back 5ks, but nothing longer.  Went into this race wanting to finish, that's all!!  Was an awesome course and a ton of bands were playing, definitely a race I want to do in the future when I don't have a ton of other races going on.  Legs held up somehow, and ended up running 1:59, not my best, but I survived.

Crazy as it may sound, my next race was the following weekend, this time in Fairport Harbor for the Northern Ohio Marathon.   I really went into this race with a weird mindset.  When I got to the course race morning, I really didn't even feel like I was running a marathon,  not the best mindset to be in.  This course really didn't help much either.  This course basically just ran on residential streets with traffic.  This race really was tough for me mentally.  Surprisingly, my legs felt fine even though I'd run a half marathon less than a week earlier, and a marathon the week before.  Ended up running 4:38 which I can honestly say was because of my brother Tim running about the last 10 miles with me.

The next race was 3 weeks later, the Towpath Marathon in Peninsula, Ohio in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. I was pretty excited about this race actually for two reason, the first was that it was the Fall and I got to run through the National park, the other was that Tim was running the whole race with me!  What a race it was!! The course was amazing, Fall foliage was amazing, ran completely on the towpath (no asphalt), everything went great.  Tim really pushed me along, and I ended up running 4:01, a PR by 16 minutes.  I honestly could not believe I ran this well considering my past few weeks, and Tim honestly was a HUGE reason for that! BEST RUN OF MY LIFE!!!

Last up was the Fall Classic Half Marathon in the Cleveland Metroparks.  I really wanted to do well in this race, and possibly PR.  I had a couple weeks off and was feeling good, but well, things happen. Had some digestive issues around mile 6-8 and it really took me out of the race.  Just wanted to finish after that, did not have a good time which sucks because the course was awesome! Ended up running 1:53, which isn't bad, but I know I could have gone about 10 or so minutes faster.

All in all this was the best running year I have ever had.  I had many lows but many more highs! I really learned a lot about myself this year.  I realized that I have a lot more in me than I thought, I really never thought I could do very well running, and although I'm not the fastest runner, I love it!  I'm never going to win a marathon, but I can recover quickly after a race and be ready for the next one quick.

I want to take a moment also to thank everyone that has supported my brother and I as we completed our Pan5Can journey.  Pancreatic Cancer sucks, all cancer sucks, and we appreciate all the help and support you gave us/pancan!

I'm ready for you 2014......

Ultra-Marathon............HERE I COME.......

Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Marathon is for Anyone.

So the other night I was talking to my friend Josh.  Josh is a super athletic guy, he was the athlete of the year at our high school and is MVP in my phone.  We were talking about running, and more specifically marathons.

Josh told me that running a marathon seems so distant to him, but something that he may be interested in later on.  He said that it just seems almost untouchable.

Marathons, I feel are very "touchable." For anyone that knows me, I am not some elite type runner.  I didn't run in high school or college, I actually hated running.  I'm not your stereotypical marathoner.

One of the problems, like most sports, is most of the time a "non-runner" only sees the elite runners of a marathon on the news or wherever.  They don't see the 55 year old man, who isn't exactly skinny, who's stumbling along, but finishes his marathon in 6 hours.  He ran just as far as the elite runner who took 2 hours and 10 minutes.  However, this doesn't make the news, but for this man, it probably changed his life forever.

A marathon is simple.  You run a marathon by running.  It seems so simple, yet hard to grasp.  If you want to run a marathon, go out today and run/walk a mile.  Then the day after tomorrow, do it again.  And then in 3 days, do it again.  Next week, try a mile and a half.  Then try doing a whole mile without walking.  Soon a mile seems pretty easy, so run 2 miles.

When you look at a marathon from far away it seems "crazy." Runners get this all the time, "you are crazy for running that far, I don't even like to drive that far!"  This is a quote I have heard a lot! But are we really crazy?  I don't see it as crazy.  A marathon is nothing more than dedication and consistency.

If you run consistent, you will be able to run a marathon.  I can say this confidently.  If you make the decision that you want to run a marathon, and you start slow, but stay consistent, you will finish a marathon!

There is ONE way to run a marathon, go out and RUN!

Josh can run a marathon, anyone can run a marathon, it's just a matter of getting out the door and deciding that you want to do it!

P.S. I will run with anyone at anytime!  Just ask, I'll go!

Josh and caption needed

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Today Was A Good Day.

I haven't done this yet, but I wanted to just take a couple minutes to recap the marathon I ran today, with my brother Tim pacing me the ENTIRE way.

I went into my run today with one thing in my mind, FINISH.  That's really all that mattered, I just wanted to finish the race.  With the PAN5CAN project going on, I've been doing a ton of running, so it's been tough to really care about the time, I just wanted to finish.

Today was bit different though.  After 13.1 miles (Half Marathon) I realized that I had run faster than all but 2 half marathons that I'd done in the past.  Not half marathons as part of full marathons, but half marathons where I stopped after 13.1.  Looking at my watch, I thought today might be something special.

The last couple weeks have been tough, as I've said with Elissa's grandma passing away, and just a lot of things going on, family coming in, a few tough days of work, etc. I was a little worried about today.

After that 13.1 time, I wanted to see what I could do.  I knew Tim was going to push me, and I wanted to see if I could keep up with this push.  A lot of the time, when he does this I break, and can't do it anymore.  Today was a good day though.  I kept going, I felt strong, and Tim pushed just enough to keep me going.  The weather was perfect, the course was flat, and the scenery was beautiful.

I ended up running a Personal Record by 16 minutes.  16 FREAKING minutes! I ended up running a 4:01:43.  For those of you that are reading this maybe as non-runners, or runners just starting out, a 16 minute PR is pretty good.  I was extremely happy, and forever grateful to Tim.  Who once again was a huge inspiration.

This Pan5Can project has really changed things with me.  Running especially. I am beginning to realize that I can do more than I thought.  If you would have told me that after running a Full Marathon, Half Marathon, and another Full marathon in 2 weeks, take a couple weeks off and then run another Full Marathon, and do it faster than I'd ever run, I would have laughed.  Things like that weren't in my mind.

Things are changing though. I'm starting to believe more in myself.  It's funny really.  This whole Pan5Can project is to raise money for Pancreatic Cancer research and to honor my Aunt Julie, who died at 38 to this terrible disease.  My Aunt Julie was one of the strongest and most confident women I'd ever met my whole life, people adored her.  It's interesting that this project is making me a more confident person, especially with running.

Check out Pan5Can on facebook if you are interested in our project, it's been an awesome year, and we aren't quite done yet!

Thanks for the Support.  Thank you Tim for running at a "tortoise" pace, and Thank you to Elissa and Kristen for cheering us on at the finish!

Like I said before,

 Today Was A Good Day.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Game Changer.

Today was a game changer.

Today I witnessed my first ultra-marathon and trail marathon.  My brother ran the Run with Scissors Double marathon and marathon in Hinckley, Ohio.

Today was quite an experience.  I was just in awe for the 4 or so hours I was a spectator at this race.  It seems crazy to think, I've been pretty obsessed with the ultra-marathoning community for a couple of years now, but I never have witnessed one, and I still have yet to run one.

Everyone at this event, the runners, the race director, the volunteers and spectators were amazing.   Everyone was just in the moment and seemed to be loving every second.  This is quite a community, and a community I MUST become more involved with.  Happiness is the best word to describe the attitude today, even the runners who were 39 miles into the race were smiling.

I think today is a game changer, and I think things are going to change.

It's time for me to start seriously thinking about running an ultra-marathon soon.  I've been thinking about it for a long time, (I started a blog for crying our loud) but I've never really gotten the push I needed.  I think today was a game changer!

My brother is truly an amazing runner.  Tim by far is my biggest running inspiration.  Tim had never run a trail race, much less a trail marathon, he went into today with pretty tired legs, with our Pan5Can project going on, and some Achilles problems as well.  So he goes out, and comes in 2nd overall, simply amazing. Tim is so humble about it too, he doesn't realize how much of an inspiration he is to me, and today was a game changer!

I'm going to try very hard to take running seriously from now on, I've messed around long enough with it, I've put in a few thousand miles the last few years, but it's time to see what I can do.  I'm 28 years old, it's time to see what's possible.

I want to get serious about this blog as well, I want this to become a source for the normal guy to find out what it takes to become a marathoner and ultra-marathoner.  Like I've said in past posts, there is nothing special about me at all, I work in restoration all day, and try to run as much as I can, I didn't run in high school or college, and I'm not really that fast.  BUT i want to see what I can do, and where running can take me.  It's time! Let's do this!
Tim crossing the line today in 2nd overall. He's incredible. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Frank Medrano -This Man Does Not Eat Meat....

enough said.

I. Am. A. Normal. Person.

I want to explain a few things before I start really getting into this blog.

I am not some super athlete, super vegan chef, or anything like that.

I am just a normal guy who tries to run as much as he can, and eat healthy.

I have a normal job, I work in construction/restoration. (I shower after work, not before.)

I do eat a vegetarian diet, and am trying to transition into a vegan diet, but I don't have all the answers, however, as this blog evolves I hope to have at least a good amount of answers.

I really didn't start running at all until college.  I ran a couple times a week on a treadmill my sophomore year of college just to keep in shape.

I didn't run a race of any length until I was 22 years old, which was a 5k that I ran in 24 minutes.

 I played soccer, basketball, and baseball in high school, and as cliche as it is, running was my sports punishment.  I didn't like to run, I played goalie on the soccer team.

I started to begin to enjoy running in 2009.  I began to run more for fun and a way to stay in shape, rather than solely as torture to keep my weight down.

I ran my first marathon in 2010, the Walt Disney World Marathon in a time of 5:56:00, that's not a mis-print, it really took me that long. I ran it with my buddy Chris Miller.  I hadn't been running much for the months before the race, but was signed up, so I had to do it.

I became a vegetarian in February of 2010.  The reason I gave up meat was for a few reasons.  I wanted to try and give meat up for Lent, so the night before Ash Wednesday, I ate a chipotle chicken burrito, and 2 Chick-fil-a chicken sandwiches.  I also wanted to try and give up meat because for my whole life I had trouble eating meat.  I would choke quite often, not bad, but things would get stuck in my throat.  Two times I had the heimlich done on me, and that was enough.

I lost 20 pounds in 40 days on my vegetarian diet, and decided that I would keep it up.  Haven't looked back since.

I ran my second marathon in May of 2010 in a time of 4:48:00, a much better time than my first marathon, but nothing special at all.

I think that May of 2010 is what really changed my running life.

I've done quite a few runs since then, 5 marathons, 5 half-marathons, and a bunch of 5ks, and other races.

I'll tell you much more about myself and the things I've done as I get more involved in this blog, I just wanted to give a quick overview of who I am.

My work life. 

My running life. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

"Enjoy Your Youth and Health."

The last few weeks, especially this past week have been tough for the Kelly household.  Elissa, my wife has been watching her grandmother in hospice slip away.  Her grandmother was a very special person to her, and I could always see this.  Elissa spent a lot of time with her grandma, and I feel as though she was a second mom to her, she was very important to her. Last night at around 2 am, Grandma Jones slipped away and went to heaven, peacefully, on her own terms, the way she seemed to live her life.

Last Saturday, when Elissa's grandmother seemed to be slipping a little more, said something very profound to Elissa, who relayed it to me.  Grandma said, "Enjoy your youth and health."  This really hit me hard, as it is so true.  Here is a woman, 86 years old who has seem lives ups and downs.  She has seem good times and bad times, she was someone who grew up during WW2 and married a soldier.  What I find amazing, and it almost seems across the board, that people in their last few days don't talk about how much money they had, how big their house was, or how much they paid for their car.  When live is close to ending, the real things in life are what is important to them, and what they want to relay to their loved ones.  I have never heard someone say, "Boy I wish I could have made more money and bought that huge house."  It's always almost the opposite.  "Boy I wish I wouldn't have spent so much time working, I wish I could have been to my kids games, etc."

As a young person it's hard to grasp the subject of "enjoying your youth and health."  It's so easy to get into the "american way" of just putting your head down and grinding your way through life so you can say you have more money than your friends, or whatever.  When it really comes down to it, life should be more about enjoying your family and friends.  They are priceless. Don't get me wrong, money is important, but not nearly as important as the intangible things in life.

Elissa says that her grandma loved beautiful things, like sitting by a fireplace at Christmas time, or sitting on the front porch on a warm summer day.  THESE are the real things in life, THESE are the things that are important.  We find it so easy to brush these things aside because we "don't have time."  Well that's the thing, MAKE TIME.  Elissa's grandma did not have an extra hour a day that a normal person doesn't have.  She had the same time as we did.

Grandma Jones knew what was important in life, and really put things in to perspective with me when she said these words to her granddaughter, my wife Elissa.  "ENJOY YOUR YOUTH AND HEALTH."  Words to live by, and never forget.  Rest in peace Grandma Jones, you'll never be forgotten.

L to R. Elissa (my wife) My mother in-law, GRANDMA JONES, Kristen (sister-in-law) and Liz (sister-in-law).


Friday, October 18, 2013

So even though I've had this blog for over a year now, I've never written anything. I wanted to start this blog to show what I am doing with my running, and eating.  I am a vegetarian, and also a marathon runner who is trying to get to the ultramarathon level. I've been pretty busy lately.  I just ran the Akron Marathon on September 28, the Rock and Roll Cleveland half marathon on October 6, and the Northern Ohio Marathon on October 13.  This weekend, I am running the Columbus Marathon, as you can see I have been busy.  I want to start blogging about what I do, how I do it, and what it's like.  I'm just a normal guy, nothing special, not skinny, I'm a bigger guy.  I want to show you that seriously, anything is possible.