Category Archives: Amanda Stevens

2013 Season Ending Review…. Come and Get It 50!

2013medals

Looking back on 2013 I feel really pleased with the way it all went; there were highs and lows, but certainly more highs than lows. It was a great year of progress and learning too; some things gracefully and some things not so gracefully. It was a year with three pinnacle events and milestones; experiences that deserve a story all to their own. I wanted to finish out this year before my 50th birthday living life as fully as I possibly could and I have.

When I attended the Redman Triathlon in September of 2012, I left wishing I was on that line and doing that race. I knew that 2012 was a year of progress, but while I was satisfied I knew I had more in the tank to give and more progress to make. I remember coming home last fall and registering for the Ironman Lonestar 70.3 and knowing that this was a “stretch event” for me physically, emotionally, and mentally, but somewhere in my mind was that old saying of “if you can think it or dream it, you can do it”. As many of you knew, swimming was a bigtime issue and had been for my entire life. Getting to the point of being able to even visualize swimming 1.2 miles was probably the biggest hurdle of the year, the second biggest was actually doing it. I was fortunate to get the chance to do some work with Amanda Stevens, who was to become my coach for the year. She worked with me at workshops and a few private lessons then helped me to stretch out my distances and eventually get to my goal. While swimming had its own unique set of challenges for me, so did running. When I started out the year I had never done anything beyond a 5k, and that wasn’t what you could even begin to call a great base to begin with. Over the course of the season I was able to finish four Half-Marathons and eventually my first Full Marathon in Chicago. That was the perfect end to a full season!

When I first started cycling four years ago none of this could have ever even been on my “radar of possibility”. After finishing the first Hotter Than Hell Hundred in 2010, it left me really high with a feeling that the sky was the limit! True, but what I learned about that sky was it wasn’t going to be as easy a trip as that beginning enthusiasm made me think it would be. There was to be much hard work along the way. Sometimes the progress has seemed so slow too, but it always came if I kept to the work. Endurance sport is so honest; what I mean by that is that there are no short cuts to take. The work you put in determines the outcome you get; and when the work is short-changed, the outcome is too. That was a humbling lesson I learned this year. I am proud of finishing the two Ironman 70.3’s but, I also know that I had the ability to do more physically if I had done a more consistent job of training. The cool thing about that, I know that next year has the potential to be another year of progress for me. I know that I will gain more strength and physical ability this next year, but I also know that will be as much about changes in mental toughness maybe more than my physical changes.

So looking back on the 2013 Season there were three pinnacle events for me: Ironman Lonestar 70.3, Ironman Buffalo Springs 70.3, and the Chicago Marathon. Each event was special for different reasons. The Lonestar 70.3 was an awesome experience of accomplishment for me; it pushed me on all levels of my being. Right from the very first jump into Galveston Bay, it was an endurance fight for me. Being able to gut out the swim and make it onto the bike was huge for me. I know that when that was over that was the biggest physical challenge I had even met, it was an unbelievable experience. The Buffalo Springs 70.3 was a different event, my coach encouraged me to go when I wasn’t sure I could. Again, I didn’t get the follow through that I wish I could claim in preparing for the race but Amanda encouraged me to just do it! So I did, my swim was much improved over my Lonestar effort! That was a huge deal. Then there was the bike, wow. This course had some climbs that were tougher than any climbs I had ever done to that date. Driving the course I told my wife “I’m not sure I can make those climbs”, so when I made it through the bike portion I was really feeling satisfied in what I had done. The run was pretty damn tough too, but I knew I could gut through that with run/walks and get to the finish line. The final pinnacle event was the Chicago Marathon. It was probably the most enjoyable event of the year, just an awesome feeling doing something with over 44,000 other people. It was the perfect way to top off the year.

I can tell you this for sure too; none of this is possible all on my own. First and foremost without the Spiritual life that has been spoon fed to me throughout my life and my coming to find God in a way that is special to me, this never happens. Frankly the last 25 years of life wouldn’t even have happened and those that have known me throughout my life know that is truth being told. Right behind my relationship with God is my family; my wife and daughter are always an inspiration to me. How can you not be inspired by watching someone come out of a battle with cancer to do her very first marathon 14 years ago and in Chicago of this year qualify for the Boston Marathon. If that’s not enough inspiration, how about this: she is also a polio survivor too! My daughter Cynthia is always the most encouraging and sweetest young lady that I know; she and her mother will have accomplished doing 12 marathons in 12 months! I believe they call that true Marathon Maniacs. My Spiritual support community, my training friends and my coach were all a big part in this too. No great achievement is ever done truly alone. On the starting line of all these events was my grandfather Cunningham whose last words to me were encouraging me to stop smoking, as he said ” the damn things got me Mark”. So every race I started with him and took him with me.

So it was a great season. Farewell 2013 Season, you were a good friend to me. You have taught me some valuable lessons along the way this year. You will always have a special place in my heart, you helped me put a perfect crescendo on this year leading to my 50th birthday. When I look back on the year I see the places for improvement but, I am proud and satisfied beyond what I could have ever dreamed even a few years ago. I hope all of you get the chance to experience a year like I have. Thanks everyone, I love ya all !!!

Hmmmmm…. and a tune to end…. wouldn’t wanna short change ya!

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It’s An Inside Game

light_of_hope__1This morning it was COLD outside at 7am ! I was so tempted to roll over and go back to sleep and wait until later in the day to do my run. When we do Landrunners Becky usually leaves before me to pick up Cynthia, they usually do a little more than I do,  and then I leave a little afterwards. It was so tempting to just get back under the warm covers when she left, but I didn’t. Now that it is 3:30 in the afternoon I am glad I didn’t do that, but it was so tempting.

My running workout today was to be a 90′ run, mostly in Zones 2 and 3. I stayed pretty true to the plan, there were a few times that I would get out of Zone, but for the most part I held myself within Zone 3. My top heart rate in Zone 3 is 160 bpm. I did notice after the run I had downloaded the data off my Garmin that my pace within those Zones has improved, so that’s a good thing. I got a little down about my slowness a few weeks back. I think the testing last week and then some of the intervals made me see that I can and will improve, it just isn’t an over-night deal. One thing I am reminded of is the fact that “fast changes” in life rarely translate into sustainable longterm change. So what it takes is just what it takes! I did notice that my legs felt pretty shot afterwards. I think some of that might have been the night befores bike workout that I didnt finish until 10pm, I did that workout “out of order”. I was actually suposed to have down a 200o yd swim yesterday, but I wasn’t sure I could get it in on Friday with work so I switched it with the bike.  Amanda sent us (her clients) an email and it talked about keeping workouts in the order because they were designed that way for a reason, I’ll do better next week. 🙂

I also added stregth training this week. I am to do two workouts per week. Today I did the one that I needed the weight machines, it went just fine. It was a set of 6 or so workouts to be done in 3×10 set, actually 2×10 and 1x 15 this week. I thought of doing the other set at the same time, but I held back and saved that set for tomorrow. I can do those execises at home, so I will knock that one out in the morning before the afternoon ride.

My attitude is doing better today. I still need to get better at doing a setting meditation EVERY day, it just makes such a difference. Getting that time to let things “settle”, even when it doesn’t “feel” like it is doing anything at the time, always makes my days go by better. A little time with the Creator goes a long way. Ya know, how can you have a relationship with someone if you don’t spend time with them? Or like one of my mentors used to say, “how you going to know what God’s will is in your life if ya never spend anytime with God asking him?” Good point, huh?

Right now I am reading three books; Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time by Marcus Borg, Living Buddha, Living Christ by Thich Naht Hahn, and Body Mind Mastery by Dan Millman. I have really enjoyed all the books by Thich Nhat Hahn, they helped me find some new tools for life and some new perspectives that in some ways I had never had, but in some ways I had always had. The Borg book is kind of challenging for me, actually it feels kind of like my struggle with learning to swim. I am going to just push thru it and see what happens with it. The Millman book was a gift from my daughter for Christmas, Phil Jackson is a big supporter of this book, that endorsement alone makes it worth giving a read.

Well I am going to cut out, it’s 4pm and I am thinking its about dinner time. 😉

Just found this song today, Caught By The River by Doves. Really like it too, reminds me of spending time at the park watching the ducks and squirells when I was going through some tough times. 🙂    

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Keeping The Dream, Moving Forward With A Rest Day

JaniceDreamcatcherChristieECWith the day being so unseasonably warm; it was almost a shame to not be outside running or riding a bike, but I managed. Today was a rest day, so rest I did. The highlight for my training was getting a nice evening visit with my coach. We went over my test results from last week and just had a good visit about how I felt about my progress. I like that she re-enforced looking at how far I have come the last 3 months and even for more of a measurement where I was one year ago. I really like how thourough she covers my workouts and looks at my progress.  This will be our last “regular” call, we will be using Skype while  she is in Australia competing.  So join me in rooting on Dr. Amanda Stevens, my coach and fellow Oklahoman,  as she leaves for Down Under to start her 2013  Ironman season! Go get your dreams too Amanda!

Tonight I am pretty much speechless. So for music I will go with an Enid, Oklahoma artist that we lost way to soon; Micheal Hedges and Follow Through.

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Inspired And Inspire

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I don’t know if any of you ever follow and read what some of the professional triathletes are doing in there training, but I enjoy seeing their posts on Twitter. I have enjoyed watching them begin thier season in camps and getting ready for the new year. It is kinda cool to pick a few and follow them. I used to follow the cyclers more, but this last year it has shifted over to triathletes. On Twitter someone had posted and article about Sir Lindley, who was a World Champion triathlete and is now one of the top coaches. It was a cool read getting the feel for how positive a peron she is. She was one of the triathletes that I have followed on Twitter and she is pretty active too. One thing that I notice about the people that she works with, they all seem so excited to be working with her. Another thing that I found really cool to was that she is the coach of my coach, Dr. Amanda Stevens. I her excitement and positive way of working with people is passed along well too. Amanda has that same positive spirit when she talks to me or when we did our swim lessons. So until someone tells me I shouldn’t do this, I think I will claim Siri Lindley as my “grand-coach”! Hey they say if you want to do great things, extraordinary things; you need an extraordinary team supporting you. For the last 10-15 years I have had such a great group of mentors and teachers!

Today I had two workouts: a “hills” run and a “build” bike ride.

This afternoon after work I was able to squeeze in a nice 45 minute run at Mitch Park. The Landrunner’s, an Oklahoma City running club, uses this park to do their hills training when they are thier marathon training runs. So I loaded up and went out there for my run. It was a really good run too. The weather was really nice, just a little cool but not quiet jacket cool. There was a good gentle breeze too, but not “Oklahoma windy”. One thing that I noticed on this run was the smell of all the cedar trees, it kind of reminded me of the time I was doing the motorcycle tour through Colorado and noticing the scent of all the pines. It just had that strong a presence today. Now about the running, it went pretty good too. I was to stay in Zone 1-3, and I did a pretty good job of doing that. Occasionally I would get a little out Zone 3 on some of the hills, but I stayed pretty true to the plan. I still hope to get faster, but it wasn’t getting in my head in a negative way like the other day. I just keep reminding myself “trust the plan, trust the process, and trust your coach”.

I did my bike workout on the trainer this evening. I waited until about 8:30 or so to do it. This workout was and hour long, I did two sets of “build” drills. It went well too. I just got into the tunes and worked at keeping tunes would have been straight off the Ellen showbetween 150-155 bpm on my heart rate for the “build” portion of the workout. I love listening to tunes while I do my bike trainer work. Tonight I ended up with Rick James Radio on Pandora, I got to laughing at myself thinking about how I swear the tunes sounded like something the DJ Tony from Ellen Show would have played. So Ellen, if you are out there, you could have Tony do my tunes mix for my workouts on my “Road To Galveston”! The ride itself went pretty well, towards the end of the ride, I wanted to get that one more mile finished. It’s that slow thing again. I know, I know; stop that stuff right? Maybe it isn’t a bad thing though, maybe it is that burr in my ass that will keep me going to get better.

Attitude, attitude attitude; actually it was pretty good today. Now the dissatisfaction deal, I was reading one of my favorite authors the other day, Thich Nhat Hahn, and he talked about just smiling and saying “hello negative feelings, I hear you.” Just acknowledge them instead of trying to make them go away. It is like so many things in my life; the harder I go against them, the stronger they get. One thing that makes all the difference in the world is getting good quality meditation time too. I promise, it makes a major difference in my attitude. Hey, if I’m this crazy with meditation, do you really want to see me without it? 🙂

Tomorrow is going to be another good day too. I am switching my Sunday bike ride and my Friday swim to take advantage of the weather.I took the day off work to go on a 3 hour ride with Brian and Jason. We will head out for a good ride to the Jones/Choctaw area. I did hear that the wind might be a little stout but that will be better than a mid 30’s ride on Sunday.

Think I will throw a little Freak Power out today. They make me smile, sometimes a little music to make ya smi

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The Fitness Lifestyle Reveiw For 2012

2012There was much to be happy about fitness in the year of 2012. In looking back over the year I will tell you about some of my favorites. From the OCCC SuperSprint Triathlon, Hotter N Hell Hundred, new bike, swimming, and doing a couple half-marathons. It was a full year with ups and down, detours unexpected, even frustrations to overcome. But looking back and taking the year as whole, it was very satisfying. If you put it on a 10 year plot, it is off the chart of posibility. So here are a few highlights.

OCCCtriThe big goal starting off the year was the OCCC SuperSprint Triathlon. Starting off the year I was not able to run or jog at all, not even 50 yards. And if my running was at zero, then my swimming was a -100. So it was a challenge. I had inteneded to train with Team In Training, but didn’t really get a good understanding of when they trained before I signed up. That was a problem beacuse the swim training was on Monday nights and I have another commitment on Monday that kept me from being able to swim train with them. I had started raising money, so I had an obligation to do it. I wanted to keep that commitment. I never did get where I could swim with my head in the water, I just did the ‘tarzan swim’ for the 500 meter swim. I hadn’t progressed enough to even jog the entire 5K either, I had to just do a jog/walk. The only thing that I really was ready to do was the bike, and that went fine. I did this event with my two friends Jeri and Jason Lundsford. We had a good time too. At the end of the day it was a start of something that I would have never believed possible. I was a little surprised by how out of shape I was and didn’t realise how much work it was going to be, but at the end it felt good to complete the event and it was fun doing it with the Lundsfords.

HHHLife is about relationships and shared experiences with friends and family. So there was nothing better than training and doing the Hotter N Hell Hundred this year with our daughter Cynthia. It was fun getting out on the bikes with Cynthia. We got to spend some good times working out hard and visiting together too. We road a many miles from our house out to Jones/Choctaw and back. She even got to witness my Rottweiler crash and burn too. It was a great feeling to be on the starting line with her and 13,000 of our best cycling friends. I also had a good time also riding with my friends Brian Johnston and Jason Lundsford too. I will refrain from saying what order the three of us finished. 😉 Humble, I am. haha As fun as it was starting with Cynthia, it was really cool getting to take our picture together at the finish line too. It was an awesome weekend.

IKEshopHave you ever seen a kid not smile when he gets a new bike? Hell no and you can bet this big kid was smiling too when I went to get my new tri-bike, “Ike”! Ike is a Cervelo P-4 decked out with Sram Red, Zipp 404s, and a CycleOps power meter. I am a gear nut. The picture is Marty and Steve at Schlegel Bicycles getting it all rigged up, they even stayed late to get me hooked up and fit. It was a great time! I promise you one thing, my parents are glad we didn’t have a Schlegel Bicycles in Seminole when I was growing up, that place is my adult equivalent of a “candy store” !

swim Notice that in this picture I am at the pool and almost smiling! Yes swimming makes my list of 2012 highlights. After struggling all year long something finally happened in November and I started swimming freestyle with my head down in the water! Sounds simple enough, right? Well for most it would be, but with my water-phobia this was a big damn deal for me. After starting to get that down I eventually went to a swim clinic that Amanda Stevens did at The Lighthouse Fitness Center in Oklahoma City, that was a blast too. Now I have had a few extra lessons with her and she is coaching me for my triathlon training this year too. Getting that swim deal down was huge though. It opens up a whole new realm of posibilities for the coming year and beyond, starting with the Lonestar 70.3 !

484971_4839303948589_1502879578_nProbably the biggest highlight was the Tulsa Route 66 Marathon and Half Marathon. It was the perfect combination of family and achievement. My wife and daughter did the full and I did my first half-marathon! As I wrote previously, getting to actually go to the starting line with them as a fellow participant was so cool. I have taken them to many marathons and wished them well as a supporter and spectator, but who would have ever thought that I would be lining up with them? It was an awesome day, I enjoyed ever minute and ever step and stride of the run. I took it all in like you should always do, I soaked up the whole experience! Then getting to take the picture with the girls at the finish line was a proud moment for us all! I suspect there will be many more in the future too!

So to say I have had a full fitness life this last year would be an understatement! Who would have ever thought when I bought that bicycle three years ago and went out to ride that first 10 mile loop around Lake Hefner that eventually I would be doing all of this stuff? Not me, and I bet non one else that knew me! No way, no how. So thank you all my family, friends, and supporters for a truely blessed 2012.

Close out tune for the year will be Michael Franti’s Say Hey (I Love You) ! Happy New Year my friends!

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Water Works !!!!!

“Baseball is ninety percent mental and the other fifty percent is physical” ~ Yogi Berra

dolphin-278x225Those that have been following my blog on this adventure to the Lonestar 70.3 Ironman in Galveston know and have read of my swim “issues”. From my earliest memory of sinking in the pool as a kid, to struggling to learn to swim as an adult has damn sure had its ups and downs. It was a summer of struggle and I almost gave up, then going out to support my friends Jeri and Jason I just knew i had to get back in there and keep trying! As with so many things in my life about the time I realise I am going to have to show a little humility and get help, a break though happens. I had been “cross-blogging” with our blogging friends The Water Blogged Triathlete and they had suggested searching out area Master’s Classes as a way to find a good coach in the area. One of the places in Oklahoma that was on the site to search for classes was The Lighthouse in Oklahoma City. I was getting ready to put a call into them when I saw a twitter post by Dr. Amanda Stevens announcing a swim clinic in Oklahoma City at The Lighthouse! So it was time to get a move on my coach search!

After going to The Lighthouse to inquire about the workshop, I checked out the facility and they hooked me up with Brian Kidd who is over the aquatics center. So leading up to the workshop I had a few sessions with Brian to get a little more of a handle in my breathing work. Brian was really good in getting me going and giving me some good early direction that helped me move forward.

I signed up to do the Workshop on November 28th, what an awesome experience! Here are a few of the highlights for me: 1. It put me in a setting with other people that had the same interests and I quickly realised that I wasn’t alone in my “water struggles”. 2. Doc Amanda is not only a premiere triathlon swimmer, she is a great coach too.

Being a part of a group with people that have a common interest and cause has saved my life. So it’s no wonder when I get in settings like this with a group of people that all have a mutual interest and passion, it feels at home. Getting to just be a “fly on the wall” and listen to the people that were veterans in the sport was fun and inspiring. I love the fact that the group was made up of people from a wide range of experience. While most all there were much more advanced than I, there were others that were of a similar level to me. For some reason that kind of “lightened my mental load”. It helped me to relax and feel comfortable. If you only knew how friggin self-conscious I have been about this swimming deal for my entire life, you would know that was pretty damned amazing for me. It left me with a feeling of “hope”. I knew I could do this, when I left. And I don’t mean from a “technical” standpoint, I mean from the “mental/emotional” side of this deal. So a big “thank you” to all of the participants that were there with me.

First of all, I have to tell you I was a little bit intimidated by the thought of doing a workshop with Amanda Stevens. I mean she is only the Ironman Swim World Record Holder! Amanda is like many of the other truly gifted people that I have met; they have a passion for sharing what they love with others. She took us through several exercises in a classroom type setting for the first part of our session then we all went out and got in the water. She would break us up into several different groups and kept us all going with different drills and exercises. I really had a good time with it, even though I struggled with some of the drills. Her husband Randy also helped, great guy with a helpful attitude too! I got alot “technically” from the workshop too. The work in the water helped me to improve on the spot. It was super-cool. But again, while it was a big help “technically” it was probably an even better help “mentally”. I swear, this whole thing is as much mental as anything.

After doing the workshop I set up a couple of 1 hour swim lessons with Amanda for me and a friend. The first lesson left me feeling really good. My buddy Jason was fired up too! A great hour experience. I also have asked her to coach me at least through the next six months and through the Lonestar 70.3. I am really excited that too! So here we go The Road To Galveston is going to be a great time, no doubt.

There is still one more workshop coming up on December 15th. Click on this link to find out more!

http://dramandastevens.blogspot.com/

And yes, I wouldn’t ever blog without posting a song!

Next post will probably be about our trip to Dallas for the MetroPCS Dallas Marathon ! The girls did the full and I did my second half. Also I will be having my 1st Annual 49th Birthday on Sunday the 16th. I have a blessed life.

Keep those who are struggling in your thoughts and prayers this holiday season too. I know some really special people that are having some tough times right now. We Sure love you all.

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Positive Detours……. Road To Galveston….. Via Tulsa Route 66 Half-Marathon.

2012HalfWe had a great weekend in Tulsa at the Route 66 Marathon. Usually when we go to marathons as a family, the girls are running and I am chasing them around the course giving them support. This time was a different experience, I was running the half-marathon while they did the marathon. The experience was awesome, from the day before and packet pickup, to race day, and eventually the finish-line. First’s are always so exicting, especially when they are with family and friends. I call it a positive detour, because I didn’t do my “prescribed” training plan for the week in preparation of the event.

66packetWe arrived in Tulsa and checked into our hotel before meeting our daughter at the convention center downtown to pick up our packets. After picking up our packets we eventually went out to dinner at Tiamo’s Italian resteraunt, it was a nice meal with Cynthia and her boyfriend Matt. When we retired to the room Becky and I started getting our gear ready for the morning while watching the OU game on t.v. The game made the night just a little less than relaxing, but at least the Sooners pulled it out. Time for bed!

Getting downtown and walking to our starting corals with my wife and daughter was the first highlight of the day. There were many times that I have taken them to starting lines, but to be actually walking down to the starting line with them was a great feeling. I was proud to be with these two ladies and actually doing the event with them was pretty cool. How many husbands and dads get to experience something like that? They were in coral B and I was in coral C, so while I was alone in the coral I was just taking it all in. I didn’t want to miss anything about the moment. The air was so cool and crisp, it felt so invigurating hitting my lungs. I looked around at all the tall buildings and was just in awe that Iwas actually doing this. I remembered the first time I ever went to a marathon, it was in Tulsa and we were there to cheer on my brother-in-law. Never would it have even occured to me that one day I might be actually doing that, that couldn’t have even been a blip on the radar screen. No way, no how; and here I was. I flashed back to my grand-father and the last thing that he said to me; he was laying in his bed dying from emphasema struggling to get a breath. He called me to his side and said “Mark, I know your still smoking those damn cigarettes. I quit over 20 years ago and it wasn’t in time. They lie to you Mark, they are going to get you. Stop while you can.” My eyes welled up with tears as I breathed in that crisp air and I knew he was with me, as he always has been and forever will be. This race was for my grandfathers and my dad, I said a little prayer of thanks for their inflluences in my life and invited them to come with me!

The national anthem was moving and then it was followed by the start of our groups. Anticipation was high and building, I was going to run with all my heart. What a life! My plan was to run the first eight miles in Zone 2, staying around 152 bpm, then do the next 4-1/2 in Zone 4 not topping 168bmp. When I got to the last quarter mile I wanted to throw it all out there, what ever was left! I also allowed for the “faster than I should have start” too. I nailed that one, the excitement of being with all those people really pegged out my heart rate on the first mile or so, that was OK. I settled into my heart rate the second mile and started to enjoy the run. I felt good, and was having alot of fun. One of the coolest areas that we went threw was a little neighborhood called Swan Lake, the houses were really cool and there was a nice duck pond that ran through the middle of nieghborhood, many of the neighbors were outside to cheer us on.

After leaving the grounds of Casia Hall schools we went into some hilly neighborhoods. I wasn’t sure how I would handle the hills, I hadn’t really trained very much on hills. Actually I had a good time running the hills, I just decided my to blow off worrying about my heart rate going up them and have fun attacking them! So I did. That was a lot of fun. I probably payed for that later. we eventually made it to Riverside drive where I finally saw my wife and daughter after they made the turn a ways ahead of me. The run along Riverside seemed to drag on after the turn back to the north. As strong as I was feeling at mile 8, I knew that I was not a full marathon guy by mile 10. Still yet, there was a sense of pride even then. At mile 10 every step that I jogged was a strp longer than I had ever done! At this point I hadn’t done any walking. I am not sure why I even slowed to a walk at mile 11, but the change in motion from a jog to a walk was ackward. I knew that I better get back to jogging or my legs were going to revolt. Mile 11-12 were really slow, and for me to say that you know it was really slow. But I really felt good emotionally, I knew I could finish it out without any hesitation. With the last 1.1 miles to go I made my jump past my lactate threshold heart rate of 169 and jammed on home. There was an old fart just about 20 yards ahead of me and I knew I had to get passed him. My ego couldn’t take having my finishers picture with him in it, much less with me behind him! So I ran with every thing I had to make the final stretch! It was a victory for a couch potato! A guy that not to long ago was 40 pounds heavier and a smoker. A guy that as little as 9 months before couldn’t have jogged a quarter of a mile! #THIS IS THE GOOD LIFE! And the gratitude I have for it is abundant.

484971_4839303948589_1502879578_nThe girls eventually came in from their marathon too. Becky, my wife, had her personal best marathon time! I am so proud of her. Marathons are her responce to her cancer recovery! A lot of time people talk about “survivors”, I don’t ever catagorize her as a “survivor”, she is much more than that! She is a true “thriver”, one who has embraced life and what ever struggles that have come her way. She is always an inspiration and encourager toCynthia, our daughter, and I.

So that’s a brief look at my training detour, if you will. I have a few more blogs that I will be writing in the next couple of days too! Stay tuned for a cool blog on my swimming progress and the awesome workshop that I did with Dr. Amanda Stevens.

I am blessed!

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Filed under Abundance, Amanda Stevens, Attitude, Bruce Springsteen, Cycling, Determination, Edmond, Fitness, Gratitude, Half Marathon, Life, Lonestar 70.3, mindfullness, Newton Running, Route 66 Marathon, triathlete, Triathlon, Tulsa