My Marathons

2013 Shamrock Marathon

3:17:16

2015 Wineglass Marathon

2:59:49

2017 Kauai Marathon

3:32:02

2019 Erie Marathon

3:16:01

2013 Baltimore Marathon

3:40:20

2016 Boston Marathon

3:11:11

2018 Shamrock Marathon

3:17:24

2014 Shamrock Marathon

3:04:17

2016 Marine Corps Marathon

3:24:36

2018 Boston Marathon

3:11:29

2015 Boston Marathon

3:02:44

2017 Boston Marathon

3:14:35

2018 Erie Marathon

3:22:54

Leveling Up in the Coaching Game – RRCA Level II Coaching Certification

Leveling Up in the Coaching Game – RRCA Level II Coaching Certification

I am proud to say that I am now officially an RRCA Level II Certified Adult Distance Running Coach and RRCA Level II Certified Youth Coach! For the past year I have been working to complete the course work to obtain those distinctions and have learned a lot through the RRCA’s coaching education program.

“The new curriculum outlined for the RRCA Level II Coaching Certification enables Level I coaches to become officially designated as RRCA Level II Certified Coaches. In contrast to the generalist nature of the current Level I Course, Level II will provide a more sophisticated understanding of the scientific, psychological, competitive, and managerial aspects of community-based running and working with individual clients.”RRCA Website

The Level II certification requires a two-day in person session with 8 hours per day and an exam at the conclusion. Upon passing the exam, there are a minimum of 15 online modules that must be completed and passed – each has an exam at the end – within a two year period after the in-person qualification is met.

I took the in-person training in April of 2018 at the RRCA National Convention in Washington, DC. The convention was a lot of fun and I definitely learned a lot in those days full of classroom activities. My business partner in Runner In Training, Becky, wrote up a great recap of the Convention. Read it here.

The 15+ modules I completed included:

Applied Physiology for Coaches
Anatomy for Running Coaches
Injury Prevention and Recovery
Strength Training for Runners
Yoga for Runners
Coaching Running Form
Coaching Using the Galloway Method
Coaching for Trail Running
Coaching Youth Runners (K-6)
Coaching Youth for Performance (7-12 grade)
Coaching the Sub-Elite Athlete
Coaching for Ultra Runners
Overview of Sports Nutrition Trends
Disordered Eating and Addictive Behaviors
Ethics & Risk Management

I also completed the SafeSport training that, combined with the two youth coaching modules, earned me the RRCA Level II Youth Coach certification.

It was a lot of time, effort and money to complete the training, but I know with what I learned, I can be the best running coach possible.

No Ninja For Me

No Ninja For Me

Remember that time I said “After Boston, what’s next? American Ninja Warrior?” If not, here you go:

“It all started as a joke. Connor and I were watching American Ninja Warrior and I told him I wanted to tackle the obstacles and be on the show. He of course believed me. He also believes that I will someday be the quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles. Aren’t kids great? He’ll figure out I am full of crap one of these days. READ MORE”

Since then I have done Boston several more times, tackled and conquered a 100 miler … line ’em up, I’ll knock them down. I got a little taste when I did a Spartan race with my wife not long after the 100 miler. I realized monkey bars, rings, and ropes were tough. But it was muddy and slick. Surely that was why I struggled. It couldn’t be getting old or having no upper body strength. Nah, I’m a hundred miler. I can do anything.

Fast forward. Cole has started taking Ninja classes at a local gymnastics facility – East Coast Gymnastics. He has great instructors and has enjoyed working his way through the obstacles. We even had his birthday party there and I was able to run up their warped wall and grab the bar (not the top one, but still …) on the first try. 

This past weekend we went back to Garrett County, Maryland to visit my mom and show Cole some of the sites up there. New to Deep Creek Lake is a Ninja course they installed in the Deep Creek Marina building. Perfect! Off we went to swing and jump and conquer that wall. We signed in and went to work on the obstacles. Cole and Connor breezed through. There are 4 lanes, each a different difficulty. I went to #3. There were some hanging challenges, some grip strength and some balance. I struggled but got to the end. Lined up at the warped wall and dug my heels in to race up it. Boom! I take off, dig one foot into the wall, the other, leap upward to the top and … miss. Down I drop and catch the bottom curve of the wall. Snap! My ankle gives way and I roll across the floor. Of course I spring to my feet like I meant to do it, but I knew something was not right in that ankle. 

I walked around a bit, feeling kind of nauseous and nervous. That stupid wall. Once I got the stars out of my eyes, I did as any smart dad would do. Rack it up as a loss and walk away.

WRONG!

Back to the wall I went. I made it this time. Yeah! In your face Wall! Evened the score.

Warped Wall 1 / Dad 1.

But as I sit here typing this, I have not run in a week and have been icing my ankle daily and wearing a compression sleeve on my ankle. I even had it x-rayed and fortunately it is just a bad sprain. No breaks.

So I think the wall got the best of me.

This time.

My days of dreaming of gracing the TV screen on American Ninja Warrior are over. For now. I will have to live vicariously through Cole. That little bugger is getting better and better at his Ninja skills!

I hope you had a Goodr Easter!

I hope you had a Goodr Easter!

I received a really cool package on my doorstep the other day. As soon as I saw the shipping address, I thought “this is going to be AWESOME!” Inside the box were four Easter eggs. Each egg – or as they called them, “Flamingo Eggs” – had a pair of the new Easter Bunny Sunnies style sunglasses from Goodr in it. They sent these fun eggs to their brand ambassadors all over the country. Our job: hide the eggs on our favorite running trail. They also requested us to be creative and share photos on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. We just had to hide them Easter morning and hope runners would find them.

 

So I got up early, dressed in my Easter finest and hit the trail with my wife, Jen, in tow on her bike to capture the shenanigans. I deposited all 4 eggs and returned home in time to hide Connor and Cole’s eggs inside and outside of the house before they awoke. Pictures started to come in from all of the ambassadors participating in their egg hiding adventures and of the lucky runners that stumbled upon the eggs.

 

 

Local runners Becky and Katie were lucky enough to snag two of the eggs I hid. The other two eggs were not there when I went back out later in the day for a run, but I have not heard or seen who the fortunate runners were.

 

 

What a fun way to start Easter and share the awesomeness of Goodr running sunglasses and then have fun with my family!

 

Next up – Yeti 100 miler. Yikes!

Next up – Yeti 100 miler. Yikes!

have been holding off on posting much about the big race I have coming up at the end of September. I just finished running the Kauai Marathon on the 3rd. I didn’t want to overshadow that race with a race of mythical proportions; the Yeti 100 Miler.

I saw the Yeti 100 pop up on my newsfeed one day and thought, “A 100 miler. Sounds fun! And crazy.” I shared the race shortly after and got a response of “If you do it, I will, too” from my buddy Josh. Would I really do it? Let’s check out the registration. Closed. Darn. Maybe next year. Sorry, Josh.

Whew.

I was a bit relieved. I mean, seriously, 100 miles. Crazy. 50 miles hurt bad enough.

Well, maybe I am a little crazy. Let’s email the race director and see if I can get Josh and I at least on the waiting list. I didn’t want to let Josh down, right? Although he did admit he, too, was relieved when he found out it was closed. What harm would it do to get on the waiting list?

A week later, an email arrived with a link to register. Jason, the race director, had pushed us through and we could run the race.

Horray!

Oh, no!

We are in … yikes.

So here we are with the Yeti looming in the bushes, waiting for us on September 29th in Abbingdon, Virginia.

Like most ultra marathons of the 100 mile variety, a belt buckle is the coveted prize. The Yeti buckle is adorned with a hairy sasquatch, majestic unicorn, a rainbow, pot of gold and a train. It can’t get much cooler than that.

Buckle photo

Unless …

… you “call your shot”. If you publically announce that you will run the 100 miles in less than 24 hours, you get a special hand-painted buckle. If you finish in 24:00:01 or slower, you go home empty handed. No special buckle. No regular buckle. No participant ribbon. Nothing.

Of course, two minutes after the announcement of the “Call your shot” challenge, Josh and I were messaging back and forth, “If you do it, I will”. Sounds a lot like conversations I had as a kid that ended up getting me grounded for a month.

We accepted the challenge.

Then this past week, I doubled-down on the “shot called”.

PIC of facebook post

Training has gone well. Our plans of doing 50+ mile training runs, 24 hour practice runs, sleep deprivation practice and night runs never came to fruition. We did manage to squeeze in a 30+ mile training run. We didn’t die or kill each other, so that counts as a success. And I have broken my record for most miles in a month these past two. So we are at least kind of prepared.

I think.

I hope.

My wife and Team Running Dad are coming along to cheer Josh and I on and help pace us for the long out-and-back-and-back-out-again course. The race runs along the Virginia Creeper Trail, named after a train that used to meander through Abbingdon, Domascus and White Top. There are over 100 trestle bridge crossings along the way. The surface is a mixed gravel and packed cinders substrate. Not technical like portions of the JFK 50 that I have run the past couple years. Hopefully this will be conducive to a sub-24 hour effort on our parts.

100 miles. Yikes. But that buckle …

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The Yeti 100. What the hell were we thinking?

The Yeti 100. What the hell were we thinking?

I have been holding off on posting much about the big race I have coming up next week. I just finished running the Kauai Marathon on September 3rd. I didn’t want to overshadow that race with a race of mythical proportions; the Yeti 100 Miler.

I saw the Yeti 100 pop up on my newsfeed one day and thought, “A 100 miler. Sounds fun! And crazy.” I shared the race shortly after and got a response of “If you do it, I will, too” from my buddy Josh. Would I really do it? Let’s check out the registration. Closed. Darn. Maybe next year. Sorry, Josh.

Whew.

I was a bit relieved. I mean, seriously, 100 miles. Crazy. 50 miles hurt bad enough.

Well, maybe I am a little crazy. Let’s email the race director and see if I can get Josh and I at least on the waiting list. I didn’t want to let Josh down, right? Although he did admit he, too, was relieved when he found out it was closed. What harm would it do to get on the waiting list?

A week later, an email arrived with a link to register. Jason, the race director, had pushed us through and we could run the race.

Hooray!

Oh, #%!&! 

We are in … yikes.

So here we are with the Yeti looming in the bushes, waiting for us on September 29th in Abingdon, Virginia.

Like most ultra marathons of the 100 mile variety, a belt buckle is the coveted prize. The Yeti buckle is adorned with a hairy sasquatch, majestic unicorn, a rainbow, pot of gold and a train. It can’t get much cooler than that.

From Yeti Trail Runners Facebook page. Note the different buckles …

Unless …

… you “call your shot”. If you publicly announce that you will run the 100 miles in less than 24 hours, you get a special hand-painted buckle. If you finish in 24:00:01 or slower, you go home empty handed. No special buckle. No regular buckle. No participant ribbon. Nothing.

Of course, two minutes after the announcement of the “Call your shot” challenge, Josh and I were messaging back and forth, “If you do it, I will”. Sounds a lot like conversations I had as a kid that ended up getting me grounded for a month.

We accepted the challenge.

Then this past week, I doubled-down on the “shot called”.

Training has gone well. Our plans of doing 50+ mile training runs, 24 hour practice runs, sleep deprivation practice and night runs never came to fruition. We did manage to squeeze in a 30+ mile training run. We didn’t die or kill each other, so that counts as a success. And I have broken my record for most miles in a month these past two. So we are at least kind of prepared.

I think.

I hope.

We have a great support team coming along to cheer us on and help pace us for the long out-and-back-and-back-out-again course. The race runs along the Virginia Creeper Trail, named after a train that used to meander through Abingdon, Damascus and White Top. There are over 100 trestle bridge crossings along the way. The surface is a mixed gravel and packed cinders substrate. Not technical like portions of the JFK 50 that I have run the past couple years. Hopefully this will be conducive to a sub-24 hour effort on our parts.

100 miles.

Yikes.

But that buckle …

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