Returning in Early November

I will be on vacation for the next two weeks in Nicaragua and will have extremely limited access to Facebook, MySpace and the Blog, so please allow me to direct you to some blogs that I frequent and enjoy. Until I return: Run Strong, Finish Stronger.

Marathon Mama: An extremely talented (and fast) runner. Her blog has been featured on the Rock N Roll Marathon Newsletters, specifically the recent San Jose Rock n Roll Marathon. She has a huge following, and rightfully so.

In Steph's Shoes: The Road to 26.2: Recently completed her first full marathon in Detroit. An avid runner and a great writing style. If you are looking on how to prepare for your first full distance, her past posts will help. Heck, if you are looking to complete any distance, they will help... she debuted with a sub 4-hour time. 

Between the Miles: The thing I enjoy about this blogger is the efficiency in the posts. I tend to ramble, I know. But this one is perfect — quick and to the point, but with the right amount of useful information.

Run Faster Mommy: You would think I am a mother with the blogs I read. This site is packed with useful information and a touch of day-to-day humor. Great site with another huge following. be sure to check out the comments section for each post, there is some great insight from the community.

Girl Who Loves to Run: She hasn't been posting as much lately, but when she does, I enjoy them. A recognized author and excellent blogger. A blend of family and running. The balance we all try to reach.

Runnrgrrl's Blog: Fresh off a Boston Qualifier, with no Garmin, and the Pace Bunny passing her... Great blog, Great accomplishment.

Dean Karnazes Blog on Runner's World: Dean Karnazes... enough said. Ok, for those of you looking for more. This man is a running icon. He is known as the Ultramarathon Man for a reason. I highly recommend reading the blog and learning more on his website.

There is a short list of what I read online. Of course there is more, but maybe I'll save those for my next vacation. If you have a blog and want to share, be sure to put a link in the comments section for others to enjoy.

I'll see you in two weeks and good luck to all runners in events coming up.  New York is coming up. GOOD LUCK PATRICK, LORI AND CHRIS. You guys are going to do great!


Recent Runner's Deaths

After participating in the San Jose Marathon it was troubling to find out two people had died during the race. The news is now covering yesterday's Detroit Marathon where three people died. We all know that running a marathon tests your strength, will power, endurance and physical prowess. But are you putting your life at risk? I'm not here to tell you that running a race will cause you to die, but at the same time, you are not 100% risk free. It's a physical endurance sport and should not be taken lightly.

Although statistically, you are safer running a marathon than driving a car, you should always listen to your body when running. There is a difference in running through fatigue or pain and continuing to run when you are doing physical harm to yourself. It's a fine line and it may be de difficult to tell the difference. This being said, we runners are stubborn: 

"We can run through it." 
"We've done it in the past." 
"We didn't train for 3 months to give up at mile 18." 

These may be the thoughts we want to think... but we need to know that there is always another race to finish and another day to run. Every runner should get an annual physical from your doctor or a routine check up to help prevent forseeable tragedy. But understand this: DOING THIS DOES NOT MEAN THIS CANNOT HAPPEN TO YOU. This can happen to any runner. The three runners that died in Detroit yesterday were described as "healthy" and were avid runners.

I've seen numbers that say deaths occur 0.8 per 100,000 in marathons... Those are pretty good numbers, all things considered, but that also (again) states you are not 100% risk free.

Runner's deaths during races always seem to be reported (and rightfully so), but let's not forget the accomplishments that are reached out there. In a given race, you are looking at 5,000 plus runners and larger races such as New York, up to 37,000. If a quarter of those people are finishing their first marathon and another couple thousand PR, those are amazing feats. Individual achievements cannot be reported or receive National coverage, but accomplishments are reached by thousands of people at every race. First timers, PRs, sub 4 hours, Boston Qualifiers, placing in your age group, marathon number 10, alphabet marathon series, 50 state marathon club, etc.

When you take a moment of silence to acknowledge the loss of a fellow runner, remember that runners support each other and although we all feel the loss of an individual, we must celebrate and encourage each others feats and continue to strive for greatness for ourselves and those that can no longer run with us.


An Easy 10 with Brandi Rubio

Fresh off a PR last weekend at the Chicago Marathon, I would like to introduce Brandi Rubio.

Name: Brandi Rubio
Location: San Antonio, TX
Race History: 10k: hmmmm... I don't know if I've ever completed an official 10k but I've done a few 5Ks
Marathon Relays: Corpus Christi 2006 and 2007
Half Marathon: 6 (PR 1:44:13) Austin, Houston, Helotes (2), San Antonio, Carraba's
Full Marathon: 7 (PR 3:35:15) Blackhorse Marathon, Austin (2), Boston, SA Rock n' Roll, Houston, Ft Collins Colorado and Chicago. I'm registered for SA Rock n' Roll in November, and then Houston again in January and that will make 10!!!!
Triathlon: It's on my life list
Ultra marathon: I want to do a 50 miler someday but nothing more than that... ugh!
I started running... in high school. I fell in love with Cross Country and just found my "chi" running... It was and still is my way of feeling good about myself. I've always struggled with self esteem issues and running gives me a sense of pride and accomplishment and gives my sweet tooth a justification... Running makes me feel thin.
When I'm not running, I... am playing around with my 6 year old daughter Angelina, working at a fitness center teaching cycling, step aerobics, kickboxing, or strength training, hanging out with good friends, or painting. Oh and I also think about running when I'm not running too...

One time when I was on a long run... I really had to go to the bathroom... So I squatted behind some trees... I was so scared someone would see me... but I was all by myself. A friend of mine told me that I wasn't a "true runner" until I went to the bathroom outside... I pulled up my pants and felt victorious, I wanted to yell out: "I AM A RUNNER"!!!!!

I choose to run without... a buddy. Well, most of the time. I like to run alone. Maybe it's because I'm selfish or maybe it's because I don't get a lot of "me" time.. but it's nice being just me and I'm usually just competing against myself anyways. I want to be better, faster, stronger.. And it's also nice to not have to run someone else's pace... I get to run mine.
The question I am asked most about running is... Why do you do that to yourself? People tell me that I'm going to be crippled when I'm 50 if I keep running... and I say well at least I'll be crippled and fit and hot too!!! You never know what will happen. Why should I let fear of hurting myself keep me from doing something I love. I could also become crippled by driving my car or walking down the street. You never know... but Running is how I live.

After an event or tough run, I... get really sleepy... I need to take a long nap. and most of the time I'm sick to my stomach... it sure is lovely.
Running is... one of my best friends...Challenges me, supports me, makes me a better person, and is always there when I need him or her.

When I'm on the road... I daydream.
I wish other runners would... get in their right pace corral at the start of the race... It's those darn people who are so anxious to get started with the wrong pace group and then they start walking right in front of you and then you almost trip and then so does the person behind you... and it makes me wanna scream!!!

If I could run 3-miles with someone famous, it would be...Deena Kastor, cuz Damn she's fast and if I could keep up with her for 3 miles than damn I would be fast too!!!!

* * * * * *
Thank you Brandi. Great job last weekend in Chicago and congrats on the new PR. Recover strong.

If you'd like to be a part of "An Easy 10 with..." please email me at pavementrunner@gmail.com.


Smooth Runner

When I realized that I wasn't going to do the San Jose Half Marathon for time, the idea of running in a costume came to mind. Most races, I'm so focused or obsessed with a goal time that I rarely get to truly enjoy the race. Don't get me wrong, I love race day and look forward to the distance, but to run an event free of care was a different experience.

With the passing of Michael Jackson earlier this year and his music being a huge part of my childhood I thought it would be an opportune time to pay homage to the King of Pop. I was able to piece together the costume fairly quickly and reasonably cost friendly. The only purchases I had to make were spray paint glitter for an old black shirt I had, a black hat, silver aviator glasses, $1 white glove and sequins to decorate it. Everything else I already had in my closet.

This was my third time running the San Jose half and in the early miles, no one really said much. There was a guy on the sidelines around mile 2 that said "Go Michael Jackson" but it stayed reasonably calm until mile 5. After that I think people eased into their pace and relaxed from early anxiousness. After that it was "Nice Costume," "That's awesome!," high fives and lots of "MICHAEL JACKSON!" yells. What was interesting was seeing the look of kids faces on the sidelines — I don't know if they were confused that I looked so different or intrigued to see MJ running. Some parents pointed m out to their kids with a "Look! It's Michael Jackson."

With this being part of the Rock N Roll series, there were stages for bands every mile and if the song was right, I would slow my pace and 'bust a move' (ha). Around mile 11 there was a volunteer dancing, so I stopped and danced with her. She was around her mid 40s, had white gloves on and was enjoying herself. It was fun. I did have one person ask to take a picture of me mid-run. I hope it came out OK since we were both still running.

Anytime someone shouted something at me or cheered me on, I would let out a "hee hee" or an "owwww." Everyone in the general vicinity would laugh. That was a good feeling. How often do you get to laugh, smile and have a childhood memory mid-run during a race? Good times.

I finished at 2:17 (within 20 seconds of my time in last years race when I was recovering from IT issues, weird). I didn't moonwalk across the finish line for a couple reasons:

1. I can't moonwalk and even if I could, in running shoes on a road over a time chip bump didn't seem like a good idea. 

And 2. I didn't want to stop turn around and go slow and inhibit a runner behind me from PR'ing or have them run into me. But I would have loved to if I could. I did put my head down and spread my arms (see photo) across the finish line.

Overall, I had a blast. It wasn't that difficult to run since most of it was running clothes already. My head got warm from the hat and I'm used to running in glasses, so that wasn't too bad. I did have glitter all over me from the shirt, but what's a glitter to the King of Pop?

More pictures to be posted as they become available.

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An Easy 10 with Annie Shannon Burke

Let's start Monday off with an excellent runner among us... She has Chicago coming up this weekend, so let's all wish her luck...

Name: Annie Shannon Burke
Location: West Palm Beach, Florida
Race History: 
Full Marathons:
Palm Beach Marathon, ING Georgia Marathon, Chicago Marathon (Boston qualifier) this weekend
Half Marathons: (I know I am forgetting a couple here)
Miami Tropical 3X's, Palm Beach Marathon, 2X's, Boca Pal Marathon (PR: 1:50), Ft Lauderdale A1A Marathon, Disney Marathon (half)
Several local races, approx 18 in the last year alone.
Long Island 5K - 3rd place, Fit2Run 4 miler, 2nd Place

I started running... in 1985 to lose weight so I could qualify for the police academy. I weighed nearly 180 lbs at 5'2" and I did not pass the height to weight requirement. I changed my diet to vegetarian (which I still practice today) and worked to running 5 miles per day. I lost 60 pounds in approx 6 months, qualified for the police academy and performed at the top of my class.

Since then, I have run off an on sporadically over the course of 24 years. In early 1998, I endured some traumatic experiences in my life and returned to the sport I loved that never failed me: running! I began to seriously run again in May 2008. I decided I wanted to run a full marathon and joined the Palm Beach Roadrunners, a running group located centrally in West Palm Beach. I met some amazing runners who carried me through the tough times - when I dropped down to 88 pounds from the stress and anxiety brought upon be professionally and personally. They were there for me. I have since gained back 15 pounds and feel great!

Months later, I took second place in the Fit2Run 4 Miler (in mid August in West Palm Beach) with PR of 31:15. I was so excited that I jumped into every local race I could find, including the Boca Pal Half Marathon. My time was around 1:51, but I knew I could improve, and I did. Since then, I have had an incredible running year!

When I'm not running... I am currently running approx 45 - 50 miles per week, which leaves me little time for recreation.

When I do find time, I enjoy spending time with my girlfriend Sarah  (pictured below), my grandson James (yes, I had a grandson and another on the way!), resting, and reading on average one book per week. Oh, yeah - I also work ;)

Next year I plan to go back to school to complete a PhD in Business Administration.

Currently, Sarah and I thoroughly enjoy wine tasting events and food shows, whenever we can find them locally.

One time when I was on a long run... Where do I begin? I have the strangest running adventures !!!!!

Most recently, on a short 6 miler, I chose to run a path that lined the roadway for about a mile. A guy in his 20's driving a black pickup truck in the opposite direction, turned his head to look at me (several times), drove off the road, over the concrete median, into a tree. We were both stunned for a moment. As I ran over to check on him, he backed from the tree and sped away, appropriately embarrassed, I hope.

A few months back I was running and texting (always a bad idea) and ran straight into a concrete light pole. That was classy as well.

I choose to run without... Because it is hell fire hot in South Florida most of the year, I usually run wearing just a sports bra and shorts. So, I choose to run without regard for what others think as many drive by and yell out the window or lean on their car horns. I listen to my music or an audio book, especially on the 2 to 3 hour long runs, and I disappear into my own world. Running for me in sanctimonious and the only thing I do for me and only me.

The question I am asked most about running is... I am asked this question on a daily basis over Facebook and locally: "How do I get started" or "How can you run for 3 hours?"

The answer to both questions is slowly, with dedication and patience.

After an event or tough run, I... ALWAYS fuel properly. Post run fueling is the key to recovery and running success. I will consume a protein drink, usually no more than 20 grams of whey protein, hydrate and eat a quality meal with carbohydrates. So important..........

Running is... my sanctity, cathartic in every way.

When I'm on the road... I ALWAYS take my running shoes, several changes of running clothes, my iPod, a couple tubes of Glide and a course in my head :)

I wish other runners would... There are two behaviors that really tend to irritate me every race I run: #1 is screamers. I LOVE that people are excited to run. Holla! Okay, now get over it, get serious and don't stop to SCREAM at people you know along the way, over other runners. This also applies to the runners (usually women) who run in packs and for some reason need to yell their conversation back and forth - usually about make-up and how their running shorts tend to "ride-up." We all don't need to hear this, people!

#2 is people who SPIT! This is usually men, I must admit. I have been spat on so many times I've lost count. I understand that when you are running and working hard fluid tends to come out of everywhere, usually undesirably. But, if you MUST expel it, do it by the curb or at least look around you!!! Yuk!

If I could run 3-miles with someone famous, it would be... Kara Goucher (left) or Lolo Jones (right)

* * * * * *
Thank you Annie. Good Luck this weekend in Chicago... in honor of the windy city, may your feet be as light as air. 

If you'd like to be a part of "An Easy 10 with..." please email me at pavementrunner@gmail.com.