Imerman Angels

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Things I am not liking right now

I thought about making the title of this blog more dramatic, but I thought that might scare some readers; haha. Anyways, since the marathon ended, there have been a few things that I have not liked. This blog post(obviously) will explain some of those things.

Number one on the list: the fact that I haven't been  able to run

After the marathon, I took a week off and felt  good. I went to work on Sunday(10/20) and thought I would run the  next day. Unfortunately, my plan  did not work out. My clumsy self decided to walk into some metal pole. I am still not sure what I walked into, but I thought nothing of it and thought it would just be a bruise or temporary pain.

My knee did not even hurt on the walk to the train station. However, the pain came  when I sat down and had  my knee at a 90 degree angle. I thought straightening would help it, but that only made it worse! I atill thought the pain would not last long, but it continued to hurt when I tried to stretch later that night.

Ten days later, my kneecap/patella/whatever I hit, still hurts. The one positive is that today is the first day I woke up actually being able to bend my knee. Lately I have been icing and taking ibuprofen for the pain ann I hope it is helping. Anytime, I think  I  am getting better, the pain  shows up again.

I forgot to mention that a doctor that I know thinks it is just a bruised kneecap. I am  hoping this gets better before I have to go see a doctor. It is definitely my style to get an injury that is not running related.  I would love to get crutches so I do not have to walk on it at all, but that might be a little dramatic.

Number two on the list: my water consumption

This may seem like a minor complaint, but it is really frustrating me. Up until a few weeks ago, I drank a least 100oz. of water everyday day. Lately it has been pretty awful. I have been trying to figure out why this has been the case and I can only blame myself.

The water consumption has been better today than it has been in a while. I am about halfway to my goal and hope to make it a consistent goal. My body definitely feels better when I get a lot of fluids in it. Hopefully this is something I am not complaining about in the near future.

Number three on the list: My eating habits

Boy, have they been horrible since the marathon ended. Normally, this is not something that I  would complain about because of my running. I think I ate pizza everyday last week due to work related functions. I love pizza and carbs in general, but when I am not running, I need to a little more health conscious. With that being said, I am having pizza for dinner tonight!

Thanks for letting me complain a little. It is not something that I like doing a lot, but it is ok every onee in a while. Hopefully the next too at will be about my first run since the marathon.  Thanks for reading.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Marathon recap part II

I think I mentioned in the last post that I had a pretty big cough and head cold leading up to Sunday. I have not had to use my inhaler in a while, but I definitely used it a few times leading up the race. That combined with my horrible run the Sunday before the marathon, made me nervous. Vitamin C and I were best friends during the week. I rested up Saturday and tried to get ready for the big day.

Imerman Angels before the race
My 4 a.m. alarm came quickly. It felt more like a quick nap instead of getting some actual sleep. With heightened security at the marathon, charity village runners had to be at charity village a little earlier; charity village closed at 6:15 a.m. I ran with Imerman Angels and I really enjoyed meeting fellow runners who I had never met before. We hung out there, took a team picture and walked to the corrals, which were about a mile away;ugh(more about this later).

On the way to my corral, I ran into a couple friends of mine; Natalia and Maria.

We were all excited and nervous about the race for various reasons. It had been Natalia's first marathon and she seemed very ready to go. I chatted with both for a while and then rushed to wait in my corral. The wait seemed like forever because it got a little chilly and windy. While the National Anthem played, a cool thing happened. The sound system had been acting funny and going in and out, so people decided to sing it themselves.  I really enjoyed and smiled while others sang. Once that got done, we waited for others to go off and got ready to go. I could not figure out why people wanted to run before we crossed the start line. We were already about to run 26.2 and people were trying to run me over. Anyways, time to get going! 

The first half of the race went great and I could not complain. The cough did not bother me, I saw a few friends and I stayed with the 3:30 pace group. I could not have asked for a better start. I made sure to check my pace tat after each check point. I did not want to make the mistake of coming out too fast. I thought about dialing it back, but I felt really good. 

When I got to 18, this is the first time I really felt somewhat tired, but I kept it going. During mile 20, I walked a little bit to try and gain some energy back. My legs were starting to feel like jelly but I stayed with my pace group. I avoided going to the bathroom until mile 22. I thought about skipping it altogether, but I figured I am walking a little at this point and should just go. I went quickly and got running again. Up until this point, I had no cramps and thought I would avoid them. 

23.5 hit and here came the cramps came out of no where. The first cramp hit my left quad and I stopped on a dime! It hurt quite a bit and I tried to walk it off as much as possible. There is no way I wanted to quit at this point and tried my best to push through. Once I thought they went away, I tried to run again, but then they hit both legs. I really wanted to hit 3:30 as my goal pace time, but I told myself that I would not kill myself to get it. It is hard for runners to dial it back, especially during races, but it had to be done. The next thing I will have to do is to figure out how to avoid these cramps. That is the one thing that has been going through my head since I finished last Sunday. My friend Rob found me at this point and helped me work through them. 

Running towards my sister, niece and brother-in-law
We decided to finish the last two miles together. He saw some friends, I saw some family and we pushed towards the finish. He said his knee had been really bothering him and we just tried to keep each other motivated since we were so close. We had one challenge left; Roosevelt "Hill."

Rob and I were doing alright but his knee kept bothering him and he decided to walk while I kept running. The finish never looked so good and I finished strong! It felt soooo good to be done. Seeing a few people look dead and throwing-up after I got done, reminded of how lucky I had been to finish relatively healthy. I am lucky man that cramps were the only thing that hampered me. I ended up with a time of 3:47.40 and could not have been happier. This is a huge improvement over the first marathon I did and finished happy. 

I mentioned earlier how far charity village had been from the corrals and this is the part I feared the most. The only thing that made this walk after the finish ok is that I knew it would be coming this team. I remember finishing my first marathon and not expecting this brutal walk and feeling like I would die. I did not enjoy this walk, but it felt so good to reach the Imerman tent and get rolled out by a PT.

A fellow Imerman runner and I.
Normally runners who complete a marathon are unsure if they want to try another marathon, but I am pretty sure I will be ding another one. Chicago is so great because the atmosphere is fantastic. There were certain points during the race that I had to stop and smile because I felt like such a celebrity. Thank you to all the mostly random strangers who came out cheered all of the runners. Our "fans" keep us going. 

I am not sure what is next, but I am already ready for a race! 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Marathon weekend Part I

Wow. Those 18 weeks sure seem like they went by quick after race day is all over. It is funny how that happens. I will do my best to keep this relatively short, because I am sure I could write forever on marathon weekend. I will start with the expo.

Race Expo

I decided Friday would be the best day to go to the expo. There is no chance I wanted anything to do with Saturday and all that craziness. Some runners and I had a hard time figure out the shuttle bus from the south loop. We potentially could have been part of some joke someone decided to play on runners. Whatever the reason for the confusion, we all ended up there somehow.

The expo for the marathon is always exciting because it makes the marathon real. In the back of your head, you know the marathon is coming, but walking into the expo, it smacks you in the face. I have been to plenty of expo's, but it is still overwhelming a bit. There is so much to see!

I figured that I would be there for 30 minutes or so and get out of there;oops. I ended up spending close to two plus hours walking around and talking to people. There were a ton of Fleet Feet people everywhere and I made sure to say hi to them. I ended meeting Sara from Sara runs at the CEP booth. She is really nice and we chatted for about five minutes. Soon after that I ended up at mini Niketown, a.k.a the store at the expo.

They had quite the set up of marathon gear and fun toys to check out. It always impressive to walk through and see how things work. There were tons of people walking around the store and buying things. If anyone reading this went to the expo, it is easy to see that BRIGHT is in. While personally I am not of fan of BRIGHT colors, I can understand why it is popular. Nike did extremely well at the expo. 


Once I got done at Niketown, I walked around for who knows how long. It always fun to see the excitement of people at an expo. A lot of people there are running there first marathon and are extremely nervous and excited at the first time. It is always important to take it all in and enjoy it. I told a lot of first timers to just enjoy it. On the bus back to one of the shuttle stops, I said that to a guy who sat next to me on the bus. We chatted for about five minutes about races, the marathon and shoes. That is one of the cool things about running. This guy and I could have very little in common, but we were both about to take on a huge challenge and shared a small moment. The only thing that I did not do is get his name. I wish I had so I could have seen how he did.  I also told him to not change his routine too much and to get some sleep.

Speaking of sleep, Sara told me I should get some. She mentioned that 48 hours before the race is the most important day to get some sleep. Finally, I left the expo and went home. It would have been easy for me to go out for bit on Friday night and hang with friends, but  I actually took her advice and stayed in on that night. I had a goal in mind and wanted to get as healthy as possible. I forgot to mention that I had all sorts of ailments last week (i.e. a head cold, a big time cough, allergies and so on). I probably the most orange juice I have ever had in a week. There is no way I would let some cough/cold stop me from completing something that I had work so hard for. 

Up next: the big day!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Marathon playlist

Marathon playlist

These are the songs that came on during my run today. That does not necessarily mean I could hear them, but they played; haha. I will have a post up on how my race went shortly!

Lil Webbie-bad bitch

Dr. Dre-bitches ain't shit

50 Cent-Ayo technology

MJ-wanna be starting something

Xzibit & Jelly Roll-Saturday night live

Fitz & the Tantrums-news for you


Young Gunz-set it off

T.I.-big things poppin

Hall & Oates-maneater

The Pink Spiders-Hollywood fix

G.o.o.d music-mercy

Thin Lizzy-jailbreak

Kids these days-bud billiken

Nelly furtado & Timbalad promiscuous

All time low-let it roll

Killers-miss atomic bomb

Jc Brooks & the uptown sound-howl

Yin yang twins-say I yi yi

Ok go-Louisiana land

Jagged edge-stunnas

Sleigh bells-comeback kid

Fitz and the tantrums-out of my league

Fall out boy-rat-a-tat

Doobie brothers-Black Water

2 PAC & Snoop-ain't nothing but a gangsta party

Boo & Gotti-ain't it man

Jason mraz-the remedy live

Royal teeth-my Donna

New Politics-tonight, you're perfect

Walk The Moon-quesadilla

Bun B-who need a bitch

JC Brooks-Rouse yourself

Fall Out Boy-hum hallelujah

Kesha ft. Andre 3000-get sleazy

Postal service-Such Great Heights

Lupe Fiasco-superstar

Brand New-Jude law and a semester abroad

Pharrell & Kanye-number one

Walk The Moon-Anna Sun

Walk the Moon-drunk in the woods

New politics--fall into these arms

Daz Dillinger ft. Rick Ross-On some real shit

UGK-Int'l Players Anthem

Shakira-Hips don't lie

Justin Timberlake & Three-6 Mafia -Chop me Up

Currency-Where Da Cash At

2Pac & K-Ci & JoJo-How Do U want it

Fall Out Boy-young Volcanoes

Chevelle-Send the Pain Below

Mariah Carey ft ODB-Fantasy

M.I.A-Paper Planes

Kanye West-All of the lights

Pusha T-I Still Wana

Royal Teeth-Wild ( My phone died right about here)

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Am I ready?

That is the question I have been getting all week. The answer to that question is, I do not really know. I always tell people I am because I want to think I am. The truth is, I do not think most runners know. It is not really a question we can anwer until race day.

Like in other sports, you can train and practice for whatever period of time, but you just have no idea how things will go until game day. There are so many factors that can change your day that you have little control over (I.e. Injuries, the weather, bodily functions).  It is something that drives a lot of runners crazy. It  corms with the territory iof being a runner.

If you say  you are not ready, more questions come;  what do you mean? Did training not  go well?  And so on. Now, I am not annoyed when people ask me about my running,  I love to  answer questions. I am just trying to explain the diificulty of answering that question. All runners would love to say, yes! We are and we going to dominate . Runners hate failing because many of them putt so much into training. Card could probably be fueled with the amount of nervous energy in race corrals.

With race day quickly  approaching, runners should also thank those people who are asking them if they are ready. The majority of the time, people are rooting for you and want to  hear that we are going to dominate.  I would rather get the question than not get it at all. It' is really nice of people to take a few second s and ask about my training.  It may be tough, but answer the question with a smile and thank a person who has asked you this question.

On that note, thank you to everyone that has supported and put up with me over the last few months . A lot goes into this and some of you have played  big parts in helping out with that.  I really appreciate the support and words of encouragement I have received.  You guys are awesome!

Fellow runners running tomorrow,  let's go dominate this thing!

Run happy!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Inching closer

I would like to start off this post by saying how thankful I am for getting to week 16 of training very healthy. The last time I ran the marathon, I had a lot of knee issues. I only ended up running a couple of times a week. My body also had been a wild card. I felt scared to run because I never knew how my body would react. Let's hope these next two weeks go great!


This is the first run I did after the 20-miler. The XC kids and I did what we call the Hazel route;it is about a six mile route that we do as our long run of the week. Not having run for a few days, I figured I would take it slow because I did not know how I would do. The run ended up going much better than expected.

My legs slowly started to warm up after the first mile and things felt good after that. The splits do not reflect that, but I am ok with that because I felt good. Runners can be a little too hard on themselves if they look at splits and it does not reflect what they think it would be. We just have to realize that this is going go happen and deal with it. If our body feels good, we should feel good.

With the Marathon coming, that is something I thought I should mention. The boys and have started this thing where we finish the run as hard as possible. It all started on accident one day when I challenged one of them to finish strong ad I ran as has hard as I could to finish off our 40 minute run. Since that day, we' have done it on  very run and continued it on this run.  Not all of them think it' is fun, but I think it will help them develop a strong kick. I am glad I got this run in because I knew I would have a busy weekend.


I have been fortunate enough to do some traveling this summer. On what may be my last trip of the year, I went to Seattle/Redmond for a wedding. Seeing as Seattle would be my first west coast trip of any kind, I had been really excited about it.
Space Needle

The next time I fly out west, I may try and get direct flights. The four hour layover is had in Denver is not something I would really care to do again. I made it out there last Thursday night and stayed in an interesting hostel . As I have wondered on other trips, I wondered how much running I would get in.

Running would not happen Friday. All of my Seattle friends were at work and I had no place to put my things. Not running that day probably ended up being a good thing. It gave me a chance to walk around and explore the city. Despite being cloudy and gray all day, I had an awesome time.

Hendrix exhibit at EMP

The EMP museum is one of the cooler museums I have ever been to. I spent at least two hours seeing exhibits and messing around on various instruments. They also had an exhibit on horror films. Even after two hours at the museum, I did not make it to that side of it. I needed all day to spend at that museum.


I woke up way to early due to my body adjusting to west coast time. Seattle had been living up to its dreary, rainy reputation. I went downstairs to check out how heavy the rain had been. It had not been too bad but I waited a little bit for a friend who said they might run with me. 

A couple of hours went by and the rain got heavier. I decided to put on my rain jacket, new shoes and got out of the hotel. I did not know if I would do 12, but I knew would do something. "Here we go," I said to myself.

The run went really well for the most part. I can only say the only annoying thing about the run is the heavy rain and wind that accompanied it. The other thing that amazed is the amount of people I saw running and walking out there! It just made me think that people that area are not afraid of the rain at all. What I heard from people is that you just learn to deal with it or you do not get anything done. The other thing that surprised during the run is the number of people that either said good morning or waved. That rarely happens when running in Chicago. I think it had something to do with the solidarity of being out in the rain together. I ended completing the whole 12 mile run. Who knows what the weather could be like on the day of the marathon. Part of the reason I decided to run is because I want to ready for anything. I wish I could have taken pictures, but I had my phone in a plastic bag due to the heavy rain. Oh! The one lesson that I did learn is that if you are using SaltSticks, put them in case of some sorts. I should have realized they would have eventually dissolved. 


I had a great time at the wedding on Saturday night. Instead of running on Sunday, I took some time to explore Seattle with some new friends I made at the wedding. We started off at the day by getting breakfast at a place called Couzin's. I had their version of pigs in a blanket. The result= so good! I would definitely recommend this to anyone. It might be the first time I looked at a plate of food and worried that I would not finish it. 

I did end up finishing in case anyone in wondering. We finished up with breakfast, packed up and headed back to Seattle to do some touristy things. Despite it raining all day, we had a great time. I wuld love to make a trip back at some point. 

Gum Wall

In front of the original Starbucks
That is just some of my trip to the Pacific Northwest. I can not believe that we are 10 days from the marathon! I'm ready and crossing my fingers I do not get hurt!

P.S.- I failed to mention I am now running in the Brooks Ravenna 4's. I decided to move from the Adrenalines. As much as I liked them, they ended up not being a good fit for my foot. Maybe the new version will be better for me. Until these running shoes die on me, I am loving them.

Run happy!