Tracking

Sunday, February 28, 2010

March Madness

It's almost time. Time for the absolutely greatest month of the year. March madness, the changing of the seasons, St Patrick's Day, spring break, my birthday, and daylight savings times. I mean, honestly, what month could possibly be better than March?! I am really looking forward to the calendar turning in a few hours. March will bring my first race of the season and will also usher in much better weather for training (hopefully). My only complaints about spring are my allergies and the wind. It's inevitably going to be windy and it sure makes training a little less enjoyable. Other than that, I welcome March with open arms. I will also have news on some local fundraising events in March soon. Stay tuned!

Today was family birthday lunch. My mom's side of the family meets every month to celebrate birthdays together as a group. This time around we met in Midwest City for a little Santa Fe. After lunch, my parents, my little brother, and I went downtown for some Thunder basketball. It was nice to take the family to a game and let them enjoy tickets from work as well. They had a great time and the Thunder won so it was a great Sunday outing with the folks.

Before the family festivities I also got in a nice 4 mile run in the neighborhood. Tomorrow is a rest day so I will take the opportunity to catch up on laundry, go grocery shopping, and write thank you notes for my recent donations. To that end, I need to send out big thank you's to Chad Hledik (Edmond, OK), Michelle Morris (McAlester, OK), and Jim and Sharon Russell (McAlester, OK) for their donations today. Thanks again everyone!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Spring, is that you?

Amazing Saturday weather here in OKC! I definitely am catching spring fever after a great workout at Lake Hefner today. I loved all the snow this winter, but I am ready for something new. It's time for some good outdoor weather so I can get in some workouts on my bike.

This week has been pretty hit and miss for me on the workout side of things. I did get in my Tuesday bike workout at the gym, but our Wednesday group swim was not on the schedule this week because the OCCC pool was being used for the Mountain West conference swimming and diving championships. Thursday was our work party for being named the #34 best company to work for in the US by Fortune magazine. Free drinks, free food, and hanging out with work friends sure did make up for missing my workout though. Plus, my Achilles was pretty tender after running 8 miles last weekend so an extra day or two off wasn't a bad thing. Pretty good timing actually.

Today was our group workout with TNT and we went out to Lake Hefner and joined forces with our cycling friends for a group ride. We started at 11 AM so that meant I got a much needed day of sleeping in and catching up on my ZZZs. The weather was nearly perfect which was good because I ran off and forgot my buff headband, gloves, and tights. It was a bit chilly at first, but after we got a few miles into the ride I was doing pretty good minus the cold hands. The ride was pretty easy because the trails were so busy that you never could push yourself and get out and run. It was definitely nice to get out and make myself more comfortable on the bike and continue building those relationships with my Team members. After our 18-19 mile ride, we hopped off and changed shoes and hit the trails for a quick 2 mile run. We are slowly getting our legs used to running after biking to mimic the triathlon. All in all, a great day at the lake and I can't wait for even nicer weather. It's time for spring, March Madness, and my birthday! March is a great month :-)

I also need to extend a big thank you to Melissa Masters (Bixby, OK), Sharon Guthrie (Chickasha, OK), and Harvey Nye (Norman, OK) for their donations the past few days. With those 3 donations we have now raised $1400! Great job team! Let's keep up the great work! I also will be adding 3 race-day honorees to my list after receiving a very sweet note from Sharon Guthrie listing 3 of her friends who have been affected by blood cancer: Cole Tilley, Kay Rasmussen, and Julia Ridge.

Thank you to everyone for a great week. Now it's time to finish watching my O-State Cowboys dismantle Kansas on the hardwood. Hopefully we can pull off a big upset victory at Gallagher-Iba Arena. Go Pokes!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Back on the Bike (Kinda)

Hello gang. It's been a few days, but that's not to say I haven't been doing anything. I have been sticking to the routine and making you guys proud. Sunday was another crappy weather day so I stuck to the stationary bike at the downtown Y and then hopped off and ran a half mile just to get used to the transition. All in all not too bad considering it was pretty rough dragging my butt out of the house Sunday morning.

Yesterday was a rest day and I took the opportunity to write my next batch of thank-you cards and update my address book. I have been extremely happy with the progress so far and I thank everyone sincerely for their donations. My hope is that all of those who have donated can continue to follow along on here and stay a part of my journey.

Today was another bike day. I tossed around the idea of taking my bike out to Lake Hefner but I was running a bit behind leaving work today and I didn't think I could get in a full hour before the sun went down. I opted instead for a stationary ride once again. One hour on the stationary bike isn't the most fun thing in the world, but it was actually one of the better bike workouts I have had in quite some time. I busted out 17.53 miles with a nice assortment of rolling hills and maintaining my cadence around 100 rpm. It felt great, but definitely looking forward to some nicer weather and longer days so I can get outside.

Big thanks to Bryan and Kelly Clem (Tuttle, OK), Dick Kincheloe (Cedar Park, TX), Kevin Conneighton (Naperville, IL), and Theresa Branney (Houston, TX) for their donations the past two days! Welcome to the Team everyone!

All of my local folks keep your eyes out for news on benefit nights at Hideaway Pizza and Midtown Deli in the very near future. Have a good evening everyone. Press on!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Stepping It Up Again

Slowly, but surely I am making my way up the mileage ladder once again.

Yesterday was my final doctor visit for my Achilles tendonitis problems that arose late in my marathon training. I hadn't officially been cleared to do my full training schedule yet, but as we all know, I am a few weeks into my triathlon training and have already started back to running at least 2 times a week. The doctor visit was productive and I told the doc I had already been running, swimming, and biking and he smiled like he never expected anything different from me. He had me do some stretches, flexes, and pressure tests to see how the Achilles would respond. All in all, he said that the abnormalities and tightness had healed up nicely except for one area on my upper Achilles where it attaches to the calf muscle. He told me that if it wasn't bothering me during my training that I could proceed as planned, but the minute it started hurting I needed to stop all running. He told me to be smart, only increase mileage slowly, and don't try to increase speed for the time being. Hopefully it's the last time I have to see him for a while.

Yesterday was also swim day again. I went over to the CHK Fitness center and got in a decent 700 meter workout. It wasn't quite as smooth as Wednesday, but I didn't have my lane buddies with me like I do on group swim night. I still am working on the breathing and trying to perfect my kick. I still try to kick from my knees too much, but I am making progress. I also finally remembered to buy ear plugs which are going to be a very welcome addition to my swims.

Today was my next step up the mileage ladder. Our tri group opted for a group run today instead of a bike because the weather was less than ideal. It was a cold, wet run but one that went off without a hitch. The body felt great and my legs felt strong. I took it fairly easy today and have really been trying to adopt the philosophy of just running and having fun. I am trying to not obsess over mileage and pace so much this year. I took a few breaks and chit-chatted with some of the other TNT runners at the water stops and just generally had a good time. I definitely realize time and time again that running is definitely my favorite of the triathlon disciplines.

Another big thanks to my mom and dad. They sent a check in the mail in response to my fundraising letter. I now have a total of $1086 raised for my Team-in-Training campaign. Thanks again Team! It's a bike day tomorrow if the weather cooperates. Otherwise I will be doing the stationary or going to Schlegel's for a trainer workout. Good night everyone!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Shorts and a T-Shirt Kind of Day

What in the heck was that?!? I actually made it out to Lake Hefner today for a run after work and was able to wear shorts and a tech tee! Wow, it's been a while since that has happened for sure. It felt great to get out and run at Hefner again. Hefner was my buddy, my pal for many months last year. Hefner and I will become real close friends again over the next few months so if you see me out on the trail be sure to wave and say hi. Is it obnoxious to wave at passing runners? I always wave and smile but I have noticed that most people don't return the gesture. I think it's odd, but I am a small town Oklahoma boy where you wave at everyone when you drive by or see them in town. I may live in the city, but part of my heart will always be in the country.

Great run today by the way. I logged a nice little 5 mile pace run based on long term goals for my marathon. I hope to be able to maintain these paces for the rest of my training, but maintaining my health is my number one priority. I am definitely trying not to push things too fast right now. I have a LONG year ahead of me. It felt great to get out and run again. I am definitely most comfortable running. Biking and swimming are coming along, but running is definitely my bread and butter.

A big thank you to Ryan and Vicki Clem (Tuttle, OK) for their donation to my Team-in-Training campaign. They sent me a check in the mail today in response to my fundraising letter. It's like Christmas all over again when I check my mail now. I love seeing my handwriting on those envelopes when I open up the mailbox. Thanks Team! We continue to make great progress!

Also, check out my buddy Allie's blog for a great giveaway! She is giving away a Road ID which I have been wanting for quite some time now. Go check it out and show her some love. She's awesome!

Thursday, February 18th : 5.05 miles in 42:51 (8:29 pace)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

TNT Group Swim

Quick update because it's almost time for bed. TNT group swim was tonight down at Oklahoma City Community College and I was much happier with the results. I worked really hard on getting my breathing in check last Friday and it definitely paid off tonight. I felt much more comfortable in the water and felt like I was taking a step in the right direction. I actually made it through all of my sets relatively pain free, minus the odd calf cramps I get late in the swim. Is that normal?

Here is a breakdown of our workout tonight. My first 1000 meter workout!

200 meter warm-up
150 meter drills (3 x 50 meters)
300 meter main sets (3 x 100 meters with 10 sec rest between sets)
150 meter drills (3 x 50 meters)
100 meter sprints (4 x 25 meters)
100 meter warm down

That's it folks. A great night at the pool. Now back to the land where I am much more comfortable. I think I will try to get in 4 to 5 miles running tomorrow before bowling.

Also, big thank you to Mike and Laverne Copiniti (Amber, OK)! They sent me a $32 check in the mail today in response to my fundraising letter. That pushes me over the $1000 mark. Thanks Team! Let's keep up the great work! Good night :-)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

It's my birthday....sort of

One year ago on this date I made a commitment to myself. I made a commitment that would change my life. A commitment that I look back on and wish I had made even sooner. On that day, Feb 16th, 2009, I made the commitment to run the OKC Memorial Half Marathon, a decision that completely altered my life. From that day forward, running became my passion. I loved it. I wanted it. I needed it. I did it. I still can't believe where my running has taken me over such a short span of time, but I am thankful I made the leap and hope I can positively influence those around me to give it a shot too. If running has half the impact on their lives that it did on mine, they should lace the shoes up and get out there ASAP!

Running has been such a positive influence in my life. My confidence and self-belief have reached new heights. Now I don't think about "if" I can make something happen, I think about "when" I can make it happen. The discipline from my running has spilled over into virtually every aspect of my life. I am more focused and motivated than I can ever recall. I feel the need to be the best for not only myself, but for those around me.

When I started this blog, I had no real plans for it other than to keep it updated from time to time and it slowly evolved into my training journal, soap box, and a way to connect to other runners. The encouragement received from my readers and the ability to relive my experiences the past year has really motivated me to do even bigger and better things in my 2nd year of running. I am already registered for my 2nd marathon, currently training for my 1st triathlon, and have even bigger and better things on my mind for the next few years.

Thanks to everyone for the support over the last year. I look forward to continuing the journey and hope you will continue to follow along as well . It's going to be an exciting year with Team-in-Training, being a member of the Brooks ID program, and finally meeting up with some of my favorite bloggers and tweeps at events across the US. Here's to a great 2nd year!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Day of Rest

Monday is rest day so that's exactly what I did today. After work I made my way over to the monthly Landrunners meeting. It's always nice to go hang out and chit chat with a few people who are training, just ran a marathon, or are taking some time off. Everyone has their own experiences and the more I talk to other people, the more I can learn and apply those lessons to my own running. Tonight was also the awards presentation for those participants who completed the Series races for 2009. I wasn't fully aware of the criteria so I am glad I was in attendance to learn what I need to do for 2010 if I decide to complete the Series. Basically you have to complete 10 Series races throughout the year by either volunteering or actually participating in those events. It is the Landrunners way of encouraging participation in the local races and keeping everyone active throughout the year. It's a great program and if I can stay healthy all year I would like to give it a shot.

That brings me to my next thought. I have been contemplating adding a few early season races to the calendar. I wouldn't actually be "racing", but just participating to become more active in the local running scene and meet some more people. I am going to see how the training schedule looks for the next few weekends and I may add a race or two the next few weeks. The tentative plan is to participate in the Triple Crown Series here in OKC that includes a race on Feb 27th, Mar 6th, and Mar 14th.

Final thought for tonight. I want to send out a big thank you to David Kerrigan (Edmond, OK) and Randy Neal (Oklahoma City, OK) for both donating to my Team-in-Training fundraising campaign today. I am now only $10 shy of $1000. Who wants to push me over the $1000 mark?!? We are making great strides Team! Thank you so much!

http://pages.teamintraining.org/ok/txtri10/bsloan

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Snowy Run

I really wasn't expecting for today to be a first in my running career, but much to my surprise, this was my first run in snow. I have to say I REALLY enjoyed it.

I woke up at 6 AM this morning to meet up with the Landrunners for their OKC Memorial training run to get in my first long run since the White Rock marathon. Two months have passed and I was still a bit nervous about how my Achilles would hold up since I hadn't really tested it since then. I was hoping all the cross-training and light running had done it some good, but you never really know until you actually get out there and test it.

Several times this morning I tried to talk myself out of going to the run because it was dark, cold, and windy. After thinking about having the rest of the day to do what I wanted, I soldiered on and layered up for what I knew was going to be a very chilly run. Two pairs of tights, shorts, 2 shirts (long and short sleeve), Brooks Vapor Dry jacket, Brooks LSD thermal shell, Brooks Infiniti mesh hat, and my Brooks HVAC gloves and headband reassured me that I could make it through the run. I was WAY overdressed for the first part of my run, but as the snow began to fall I was really thankful I had properly layered. The north wind was howling, the snow was hitting my face, and it was exhilarating. I don't think I would enjoy running in the snow EVERY day, but it was actually quite nice. I think the fact that the roads were clear and the ground was warm enough to keep everything liquid made it a very nice run in the snow.

The downside of the morning was the fact that I was running a tad bit late and I pulled up just as the mass of runners hit the road. I didn't get a chance to get in a proper warm-up and rushed off to try and catch up with someone so I wasn't running the course alone. It took me about a 1/2 mile, but I finally caught up with a few people which allowed me to settle into a leisurely pace and enjoy the run. I definitely didn't want to push it today and the goal was to just go out, put in some decent mileage, and test out the Achilles. The great thing about running with the Landrunners group is that you always have a buddy on the course and you can count on a water stop every 3 miles or so. I hate carrying fluids with me on my runs so the water stops alone are worth getting up at 6 AM on the weekend.

The main group ran 16 miles today since they are training for the full marathon in OKC, but there were a few of us who were only doing the half marathon so we broke off from the main group and ran 7.3 miles. I ran with a fellow CHK'er the final 3 miles or so and found out she works in the same building as me. It was nice to chit-chat for a bit and meet another fellow runner from work. You can never have too many running friends in my opinion. They are the ones who drag you out of bed, push you to test your limits, and keep you motivated throughout the year.

All in all, it was a very successful Sunday run and I think the Achilles is going to hold up fairly well. I am definitely ready for a rest day and tomorrow's schedule calls for exactly that thing. I will enjoy the day off and attend the Landrunners meeting tomorrow evening. Thanks for keeping up and congrats to my friends who ran in Austin today. Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

Sunday, Feb 14th - 7.3 miles in 1:10:27 (9:39 pace)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Ouch!

So, apparently I am not the smoothest bike rider in the world! Ha, I never claimed to be good at any of this tri stuff, but I am continuing to learn. Hopefully these TNT coaches will have me whipped into shape by the time I make the trip to Austin. Lord help me if I fall on the course like I did today. Ha, it was rather funny and of course I had to do it when everyone was stopped and just hanging out. Then, to top it all off, I did it again about 5 minutes later. Yep, you heard that right. I fell down twice today. Apparently when you try to turn your bike you should have both feet unclipped from your pedals. Also, when you try to get started on a hill, you should probably shift down into an easier gear to get some momentum before trying to clip into your pedals. Both times I fell to the left and banged up my knee pretty nicely. I also managed to knock one of the handlebar end caps off my bike so I guess I need to find a replacement at some point. Apart from the two falls, the bike ride was pretty successful. I really, really need to work getting in and out of my pedals.

The bike clinic this morning was very helpful as well. We learned how to change a flat, road etiquette, and some tips on hydration. Apparently I picked a bike that had really tight tires so mine was a bit more of a struggle than I had hoped. I fought with my tire for several minutes before I finally had to ask one of the mechanics at Schlegel's to help me get it back on the rim. The plan is to NEVER get a flat in a race because it will take me forever to get back on the road again.

The rest of the day has been very relaxing which is just what the doctor ordered. I really needed a break and am looking forward to getting up early and running with the Landrunners in the morning. I think I am going to run 6-8 miles depending on how I feel. It's been a while since I have increased my mileage, but with the OKC half marathon only 10 weeks out, I really need to start getting prepared.

Good luck to everyone running Austin tomorrow morning! I sure wish I was there with you.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Busy 1st Week of Training

I can't believe it's been all week and I haven't even posted any updates. Needless to say, my evenings have been consumed with training and post-training festivities. It's been a great first week of training and only 15 more to go!

Monday was my scheduled rest day so I took the opportunity to send out thank you cards to everyone who has donated up to this point. I have been very grateful for each and every donation. Special thanks to Bridgette Hall (Mustang, OK), Richard Easterly (Edomond, OK), and Roger and Beverly Sloan (Amber, OK) for donating since my last update. My fundraising total has now reached $890 and I am very pleased with my progress. I will be doing another e-mail/Facebook/letter blitz over the next couple of weeks to update people on my progress. Hopefully I can get a few more donations between now and then.

Tuesday was a scheduled bike workout so I went to Schlegel's in downtown OKC for a Spinervals class with a few of my TNT mates and several other local cyclists. It was my first time on a trainer and I have to say that I may be hooked. I really would love to get one for my house, but with all the other expenses of the triathlon I may have to wait until after training is over. The class was a great workout and I think I will probably make it a Tuesday ritual until the weather warms up and I can ride outside.

Wednesday was another group swim night and our first real structured workout with a main set, combined with drills. I have to be honest, it kicked my butt. I really struggled in the main sets where we had to swim continuously. My breathing technique is really bad so it makes it harder for me to stay in rhythm and swim relaxed. I managed to struggle through all of my sets and drills and left the pool a bit discouraged, but determined to get better. I do see progress, but I am not where I hoped to be so I guess I need to work a bit harder.

Thursday was my run day and I got in a quick 3 miles at the CHK fitness center before I hustled off to bowling with my work friends. The run was actually really easy which was good news and the Achilles seems to be holding up really well. I am planning on trying to squeeze in a 6 mile run this weekend so I can start increasing my mileage heading into my half marathon training. My basic plan is to just substitute my half marathon runs for my scheduled triathlon runs and hopefully I can get back into running shape fairly quickly. The new Brooks Trance 9 shoes are top notch. I am really enjoying the new pair. I am hoping to receive my Brooks I.D. race gear soon and I will post pics as soon as it arrives.

Tonight was my 2nd swim workout of the week and I snuck in a good 30 minute swim at the CHK fitness center. I really concentrated on my breathing this workout and felt I made a little progress. The main sets were a bit easier and towards the end of my workout, breathing on my right side became more productive. I am still struggling with breathing on my left side, but hopefully I can master both over time.

Now, I am finally take a break and soaking in the Opening Ceremonies of the Winter Olympics. It's nice to have a chance to sit down and relax a bit. Another busy weekend ahead with a bike clinic, bike workout, and a run workout scheduled around brunch with some great friends on Sunday. I really hope everyone had a great week. I will be better at staying on top of my blog now that I know how my schedule is going to go for the next 15 weeks.

Thanks for keeping up and happy training to everyone getting ready for spring marathons. It's been very exciting reading everyone's progress. Good luck to those running Austin this weekend too. I will be cheering for you from home!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sunday Bike Ride

Finally! After nearly a month of sitting in my apartment unused, I finally took the new bike out for a spin. The weather wasn't ideal but the ground was clear so that was enough for me.

I bought a Saris Bones 2 rack for my little Mazda 3 and today was the first time I actually put it on my car. I tried and tried to get my bike into my trunk with the back seats laid down, but I finally had to break down and buy the rack instead. I contemplated getting several different brands, but after spending so much money the last few weeks on tri gear, I decided to go with the budget friendly rack for now. The initial set up was pretty simple and it was surprisingly very sturdy. I do have some concerns about the direct contact of the rack with my car. If I don't keep my car clean, it could cause quite a few scratches when in use.

After securing my bike to my car, I made the short drive over to Lake Hefner and put on the rest of my cycling gear. This was also my first time to wear all of my new cycling schwag. I used my Brooks LSD Thermal jacket as my outer layer and had my long-sleeve cycling jersey underneath it. On my bottom half I opted for my 2XU triathlon shorts so I could get used to them for my race. I also layered on some tights underneath my shorts and off I went for my maiden voyage.

All in all, I would say it was successful first ride. I managed to not kill myself, although I did come close a few times. I haven't quite mastered the technique of grabbing the water bottle and drinking on the go. I also need to get more comfortable in my riding position on the bike. Oddly enough my forearms started to ache the most during my ride. I guess it's because I was gripping the handlebars so tight for fear that I might fly off the bike at any second. The thought did occur to me that it would hurt really, really bad if I were to fall off my bike. I averaged about 16 mph for the ride, but went over 20 mph on several occasions. All I know is that a lot of skin would be left on the pavement if I lost focus and wrecked. OUCH! I don't want to think about that anymore.

Sunday, Feb 7th - 13.01 miles in 48:21 (16.01 pace)

So, another successful workout today that should carry me nicely into triathlon training when it begins on Tuesday. Monday is a scheduled rest day and I definitely could use one. My lower back is a little sore and the Achilles needs a break for a day or two. I am definitely looking forward to the week ahead. Now back to the Super Bowl as I enjoy my delicious meal :
This was my first attempt at taboule and I will have to say it's not too shabby. I think it will become another staple in my fridge.

Oh yeah, go check out Allie's giveaway over at http://thatgirlisarunningfool.blogspot.com/. She is giving away some BondiBands this week.

Also, a big thank you to Bridgette Hall (Mustang, OK) who joined me in my fight against cancer by donating today! $740 raised and counting!

http://pages.teamintraining.org/ok/txtri10/bsloan

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Brooks I.D.

As promised, I am coming back to discuss the Brooks I.D. program that I was recently accepted into and still super pumped about now. The I.D. part of the name stands for Inspire Daily and the program was created for runners who are active in their running communities and are loyal to the Brooks brand. To qualify for the program, you don't have to be the fastest runner on the block, but you do have to share the same passion, loyalty, and desire to get better that is embodied by the Brooks brand.

The process was actually pretty painless. I went to the following link and filled out an application about my running life and waited for a few weeks to hear if I got accepted.

http://runbrooks.com/brooksid

I mean, honestly, what runner doesn't like talking about their running with someone that will listen. It was a perfect opportunity to spill my guts and I didn't have to endure a gaze of uninterest or an attempt to change the subject. For me, it was the perfect avenue to an even more perfect marriage. Not only do I get to publicly claim my love for everything Brooks, but now I get rewarded for being a loyal mate. What more could a guy ask for honestly?

Even though my running career has been very brief, I have been a loyal fan of Brooks since my first step. The quality of their products is unmatched and everything I have bought from them has always fit well, looked sharp, and made me SUPER FAST. Well ok, maybe it doesn't make me super fast, but I know the Brooks gear always makes me feel more confident when I hit the road. Plus, I have always managed to find gear with orange mixed in and anyone that knows me, knows that the way to my heart begins with the color orange. Hint, hint Brooks gurus - let's make some cool running gear in 2010 that is orange!

Some of the perks of being in the program are the 40% discount off all Brooks gear and apparel, participating in the Brooks I.D. race series, a free race uniform, and probably my favorite of all is the ability to attend Brooks I.D. events designed to encourage interaction between the ID members. I remember reading Frayed Laces blog about her experience at the Brooks ID camp last year and thinking how cool that would be to be one of "those" people. Now, believe it or not, I am one of them! I still can't quite believe it!

I am not really sure the rhyme or reason for my selection, but I plan on fulfilling my role as an ambassador for the Brooks brand with the same intensity and focus that I devote to my training. It's amazing how full circle things have come for me in the matter of a year. I have gone from not running at all to completing my first marathon, having marathon #2 already on the schedule, and training for my first triathlon in a matter of 12 months. Thank you for everyone who has been following along and I hope you will continue the journey with me. I have big dreams in my head and with your encouragement and support I know I can make them a reality.

Thank you Brooks for another shot in the arm. I am looking forward to a great 2010!


TNT Superstar! Thanks everyone!

Thanks to everyone who has donated to my Team-in-Training fundraising goal already! Thanks to all of you, I was the top fundraiser for this week and had the AWESOME privilege of wearing the crown at today's fundraising clinic:

The picture quality is pretty bad, but you get the drift! As a result of the positive response from everyone, I have decided to up my fundraising goal to $4,500 for the Capital of Texas triathlon. My goal is to have this money raised by my 28th birthday on March 25, 2010. I know it's a lofty goal, but I always aim high. Why settle for less when you can work hard and get the best?

I also want to give a special thanks to Kelly Ruminer (Edmond, OK) who has donated since my last fundraising update. She donated in honor of Terri Melton, so Terri will be added to my race-day honoree list. Thank you Kelly!

This morning was also our first group run of the training schedule for me. It was nice to be able to chat with some of the fellow Team members again and take a nice leisurely jog around the Chesapeake campus. I would guess that we ran around 2 miles, but I didn't even turn my Garmin on for the run so I really have no idea. It was kinda nice not to worry about the miles and just go for a run. It's been a while since I haven't meticulously tracked my run. I also remembered how much more I love running outside. I don't think I have ran outside since the marathon! That's just way too long folks. I need to remedy that problem this week.

The 16 week training schedule starts in earnest this week so no more "freestyle" workouts. I look forward to the challenge ahead. Be sure to check back often for training updates!

http://pages.teamintraining.org/ok/txtri10/bsloan

Friday, February 5, 2010

Canceled Ski Trip

As I am writing this, I am supposed to be sore, tired, and achy from skiing all day. Mother Nature had different plans though. I left yesterday morning for Angel Fire, New Mexico, and drove right into nasty roads, thick fog, and very little cell reception. Since I told myself I wasn't going to be the story on the evening news before I left, I made an educated decision and turned the car around and headed back to OKC.

Yesterday I made it almost to Amarillo, Texas, before I made the judgment call. Driving 30 mph on I-40 that had been reduced to one lane because of the snow was not my idea of a good road trip. I still had over 300 miles to go and I didn't think the little state highways in remote areas of TX and NM would be a good place to be stranded by myself. I was disappointed in not being able to make the trip, but I am going to make the best of my time in OKC this weekend. Turn lemons into lemonade, right?

Today I went home and visited my family. I hadn't been down to my parents house since Christmas and my mom was off work so I figured I might as well take advantage of the day off. Mom helped proofread my fundraising letter for Team-in-Training and I rummaged through her address book for all those addresses I would have had if I was good about keeping up with people not on the internet. All in all, I put together 32 letters to be mailed out to friends and family as I continue to reach for my $3,000 goal. During the process I also updated the handy dandy address book I purchased last night when I got back to OKC. Now if I can just find a place in my apartment where it won't get swallowed up and lost like my last one.

I also managed to get in a pretty decent swim this morning at the Downtown YMCA. It's nice to be able to go to the gym at 9:45 when the only people there are retired people who don't care what you look like, how bad you swim, or the fact that you spit out half the pool every time you finish a lap. Yep, swimming was more of a struggle today than I wanted it to be, but the fact that I got in the water on a day when I was supposed to be on vacation was victory enough for me. Now I will settle into bed for the evening so I can join up with the TNT group for our group run. Here is my fantastic new Brooks gear that I will be donning in the morning.

I just received my new Brooks Trance 9 shoes and my HVAC mesh hat. Both are very sharp and look to be like my new best friends. If only I had waited 2 more days to order them through my new Brooks ID site!

Happy training everyone. Hope your long runs go well this weekend!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Brooks I.D. Member!!

Yes! I have been anxiously awaiting an e-mail from Brooks for a few weeks now and I finally got it today! I am officially a Brooks I.D. (Inspire Daily) member! I still can't believe it actually happened. I applied for the program because I am an avid Brooks fan and figured it was worth a shot. The worst they could tell me is that I didn't meet their criteria. Much to my surprise, I actually do meet their criteria. I will be a great Brooks ambassador. More info to come soon!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Chicago!

It's official! I am now registered for the 2010 Bank of America Chicago marathon on Oct 10th, 2010!!! 10/10/10 in the Windy City. I am very, very excited. It will be marathon #2 and I am definitely looking forward to another successful run. My friend Katie has also taken the plunge with me and we are going to show Chicago what these Okie runners are made of this October. It will be great to have a partner in crime so we can motivate each other on those days when you just don't want to go train. Plus, we will be training in the dead heat of an Oklahoma summer and this boy doesn't like heat. It will be a great challenge and one I will embrace with open arms. More details to come about goals, expectations, travel plans, training plans, etc. It sounds like a lot of Oklahoma and Texas runners are making the trip so I hope to meet up with some of my cyber buddies while we are in town.

Great news on the Team-in-Training front as well! I finally got around to sending out my fundraising e-mail to my coworkers and I had a very positive response. I was asked several questions about my training, my motivation, my sanity, and everything in between today. It was overwhelming how many people mentioned it to me at the office. It made me very appreciative of where I work and I am excited people are interested in donating and following along the next 16 weeks. Big shout outs to Doug Callaway (OKC), Curt Dewbre (OKC), Jon Terrell (OKC), and Brian and Jaime Tatro (Edmond, OK) for donating today. You helped me raise $415 and put us one step closer to a cure. I also will be racing in honor of Brian Tatro's father who lost his battle with leukemia seven years ago. Thank you once again for everything today. I feel truly blessed.

I am now headed out to Angel Fire, New Mexico, for a few days to go skiing. No blog updates for a few days, but I will return to full force next week when the 16 week countdown to CapTex Tri officially begins. The training plan is uploaded, now it's just time to perform. It should be a great few months!

Monday, Feb 1st : Ran 3.0 miles in 27:55 (9:18 pace)

Tuesday, Feb 2nd : Stationary bike for 35 minutes (10.23 miles)