My story starts July of 2015. I ran cross country in high school and graduated in 1993. I often told my wife I had run enough to last me a life time.
Little did I know what lie ahead. My wife, Marti, had knee surgery in the spring. She finally got full release from the doctor to return to walking. I had recently been laid off from work. I'm a union electrician so layoffs are expected when the work is done. I decided to go to the track with her instead of sitting around home. So, I started running.
I found a program, similar to a C25K program. I would run 1 minute, walk 2. Do this 10 times, each day for a week. The following week run 2 minutes, walk 1. After a few weeks I decided to see how far I could run without stopping. I got to 1.5 miles. Then 2 miles. Then 3! Once I got to 3 miles it seemed easier.
I ended up going to Michigan for work but continued to run. In Holland, Michigan they have some great trails and a heated loop of sidewalks for winter running! October of 2015 I signed up for and ran my first 5k tail race. I finished in 30 minutes. So, the question was what next? I set my sight on a 1/2 marathon.
I searched the internet for a 1/2 marathon. Found the Amish 1/2 Marathon in Berlin, Ohio, Thanksgiving weekend. They had a time lapsed video of the course and it appeared to be flat. I had a brain fart though. Berlin, Ohio is Amish county. That means hills! I was hoping for a 2 hour 1/2 marathon, but after driving the course I told my father - in - law it would be more like 2:20! I finished my first 1/2 marathon in 2:11. Again, what now?
I signed up for the Cleveland Marathon for the spring of 2016. I started training January of 2016. Things were going well till March. I completed my 16 mile long run and came down with shingles. That threw me for a loop. I backed down to the 1/2 marathon. As you can see from three pictures I embrace the snow and winter weather. The Cleveland 1/2 Marathon was around May 21st. We had rain, hail, sleet. I loved it! I ran the 1/2 in 2:02.
I met a friend of mine at our Memorial Day Parade. She thought I would enjoy running an ultra marathon. When I'm confronted with a challenge I ask myself this question, "Do I want life as normal? Or a while new experience? " This question has been part of my life ever since I was confronted with the challenge to be a University of Akron Cheerleader in 1996. Yes. I tried out and made the team. When I'm confronted with a new distance, a new race I ask what's the worst that can happen? I don't finish? It's life as normal. I complete my goal, is a whole new experience. So, I signed up for Eagle Up Ultra June of 2016. I completed my first 50k in 13:10. We had record high temperatures that day so I ran 15 miles by lunch. Took a break. Went swimming with my daughter. Slept, ate, drank, and went back out in the evening to complete the 31 miles.
2017 rolled around and I wanted to get the first road marathon under my belt. I signed up for Cleveland again, in May. But also the Canton Hall of Fame Marathon. I figured I'd shoot for Canton and if anything happened Cleveland would be my back up. Again winter training was going fine till I stained my calf muscle in early April. 3 weeks before Canton. My calf healed, I ran Canton. Again record high temperatures. I finished in 5:28. It left a bad taste in my mouth. I know I'm better then that. I ran Cleveland 3 weeks later in 4:38. And just completed the Erie Marathon with a time of 4:34.
In June of this year I ran my second 50k. Again at Eagle Up Ultra. My goal this year was to run the 31 miles consecutively. I used the run walk technique. Run 15 minutes, walk 5 minutes. I completed the 50k in 6:07 and I was 13 of 108. I was surprised!
I have one more 50k on November 11th of this year, then my focus will be on 50 mile runs next year. I love the Ultras and eventually want to do the Mid-West Ultra Grand Slam. It's a series of 5 100 mile races.
I love winter running. I also run for Team RWB. We did the Burning River 100 mile Relay this past July. I also do dualathons with my sister, Virginia. She rides, I run.
That's my story. Any questions just ask. So glad to be part of the Run, Heifer, Run family and hope to inspire as I have been inspired.