Monday, April 30, 2012

Random Thoughts For A Monday

Some random stuff to start the week...

- So I have a marathon coming up. Gulp.

- I've heard some good things and some bad things about OC. Good: great views for 1st half, flat course... Bad: boring second half, crowd support wanes at times during race. I'm not sure how much of the scenery matters to me. I mean, I ran the Diamond Valley Lake Marathon where the view is of the lake, it's on your right the entire time. It was a very pretty view but it was the same view the whole time, you know. I think that race helped me deal with things like zero crowd support and static scenery.

- Still, I think I want to make a really good playlist and start it around Mile 10-13ish.

- I'm not 100 percent mentally into this marathon or my training right now, if I'm being honest.

- Proof: I updated my dailymile this morning for the first time in more than a week.

- More proof: I find myself looking for excuses not to run.

- But I ran with my running buddy Dean yesterday and he said the same thing, that he's not 100 percent mentally there either.

- This happened last year after Surf City, when I ran DVL on fumes. It's not quite the same - last year I was fried and needed a break. This year I'm not taking any breaks. I will attack this last week before OC head on, will run a good, strong race and then will gather myself for what will be a busy summer.

- I have the San Francisco Marathon at the end of July to keep me focused. That's a race that I will want to train all-out for, to enter with a full head of steam, and I have faith that I will be 100 percent mentally into it.

- And then I have the Loper season starting in late August, and *then* the Long Beach Marathon on Oct. 7. I have a full year of running, and this little mental obstacle is but a mere speed bump.

- I think I diagnosed my own problem there. This OC Marathon I'm doing for me. The SF Marathon I'm running as part of a team and am running to represent somebody else. For Lopers, I want to set a good example for others. When I do things for me, it's easy for me to just go through the motions. But when I'm doing things for others - whether it's for my family, fellow runners or just others - I tend to put more energy and more desire into it. It's like, I can't let anybody else down but it's easy for me to let myself down. I guess that's just one last character flaw that lingers from the days when I weighed 300-plus pounds.

- I'm doing OC because I can and because I want to run No. 6 and because I want another medal. That's pretty much it. I am physically capable of running a marathon right now, there will come a day when that's not going to be the case so I don't want to cheat myself out of any memories or experiences. I got tired of doing that. My 20s are filled with cheated memories because I was too timid or too scared to try anything worthwhile. So I sat around and got big. I don't want to do that anymore. I'm going to go for this marathon and even if I finish with my slowest time, even if I cry and I have to crawl to the finish line, even if I'm not 100 percent mentally in it, I'm going to do it and I'm going to cross the finish line and get my medal. Plain and simple.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Five Things Friday: Final Verdict On OC And More

1. Done Deal: I finally signed up. I took the plunge. On May 6, I will run the OC Marathon. I will taste glory for the second time in 2012 and the sixth time ever. Yup, number six on the sixth. I had to hammer out the latest detail and I did. Although I've had my eyes on this race for a while, it does seem like... well, maybe not last-minute but it feels like I have to kind of quickly gather my thoughts. The good thing is that I already prepared for it. Since running LA, I've had runs of 16 and 20 miles and I ran a half marathon. I'm ready for the pounding once more as my body is plenty prepared for the trauma that is a marathon.

2. Four For 2012: Now that I will run OC, I will run - fingers crossed - four marathons in 2012. I've run the LA Marathon, will do OC, and then I will have the San Francisco Marathon afterward, in July, followed by the Long Beach Marathon in October. So, I will have run four marathons my first two years of marathoning, and then four more in my third year. That also means that I might be able to see off in the distance, and that marathon number 10 - which will be a special one for me - may wind up being LA next March. (don't tell anyone but I'm thinking about a return to Surf City for the full :) )

3. Haircut: So I got a new haircut recently. What do you think?

It's not the first time I cut my hair that way. I used to do that maybe once a year, pretty regularly, but lately I've not done it. I don't know, always come up with one reason or another but I finally just did it. I like it. It feels good. It may not look great but it does feel good. And you can rub my head for good luck :)

4. Haircut Part Two: The only picture of me from the Run Through Redlands half.

For some reason the event did not feature any shots. Maybe nobody was buying them.

5. Giveaway! I will have a giveaway next week. I do believe it will be the first-ever giveaway I've had on this blog. I've been blogging since 2008 and have never done one so you know it has to be good, right? It's also San Francisco related so that means its doubly good. Anyway, check back for more details as I will have lots to give away. Yeah, I will have a first and second place finisher, I've got so much to pass on.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Cabbage Rose

I teased you last week with this and now I'll present you with the post in its entirety.

This shirt is one of my new favorite shirts. I've only run in it once but already I can tell it can stand up to any other shirt I own.

This is just one of several shirts for sale at The Cabbage Rose, an Etsy store you can visit here. The shirt above is also found here. Now, if you visit the store and use the coupon code "RunnerLuis" you will get 10 percent off your purchase. Not bad.

Now, you might be wondering why I'm blogging about this. I don't normally provide advertising per se but this store is my friend Willoughby's store. I've known her for a while now, we've been blog buddies for, what?, three or four years by now. She lives in Michigan and I live in Cali but I know one day we'll grab lunch and meet face-to-face.

Anyway, Willoughby's shirts are quality. I know because she sent me this one too.

Zoe (run zoe run), Kerrie (Mom vs Marathon) and myself

That's easily one of my favorite t-shirts, and now the "Peace" shirt is atop my running list. So if you're in the market for a new running shirt (and aren't we all?), visit The Cabbage Rose and see what Willoughby has to offer. There are shirts for men and women.

I mean, you could go to Sport Chalet or Big 5 or whatever but I'd much prefer to support a small business than to go to some big chain store and drop my money there. If you're worried about quality, don't. I ran six miles in my new awesome shirt and I was smiling from the start because of how good the shirt fit me. I felt strong and fast... actually, the run was my first run after my 20-miler. I ran six miles in under an hour just two days after running 20 miles. Yeah, my legs had something to do with it but I'm convinced the shirt put me over the top.

Anyway, go check out her collection. There are running shirts and regular t-shirts there as well. It's growing and hopefully with the support of the online running community it will continue growing. And remember, use the code "RunnerLuis" and you will get 10 percent off your entire purchase.

* I wrote this of my own free will. If the shirt would have sucked, I'd have told you so... or maybe I just wouldn't have written this post... but the shirt really is awesome

Monday, April 23, 2012

Run Through Redlands: No Sub-2, No Matter

In March, I ran the LA Marathon without a watch or music... naked if you will.

On Sunday, I decided to do it again.

Now, I'd just run 20 miles on Tuesday so I wasn't quite sure how I would do in terms of time. So instead of worrying about keeping a pace or whether I was running too slow or perhaps too fast, I just tossed my watch aside and just ran. Now, unlike LA I chose to run with music. I was by myself this time so music was pretty much a necessity.

At about 7:30, when the 10K began, the sun was already bright and shining up above. This was no surprise - I'd braced myself for a warm run, and combined with the hills I knew this would be a challenge. I waited near the spot where the 10K began for the half to start when a group of runners took off. I wondered 'Oh, what race is this? Oh, this is the half marathon. I guess I'd better go start.'

I wasn't any worse off for the wear since my time didn't begin until I crossed the start line. I was composed though, not freaking out or anything. Right away I saw one of the runners from my pace group who was unable to do the LA Marathon because of a knee injury. She said she was going to have surgery on her knee in two weeks and would be out for three months, so why not get in a half marathon before then? Spoke like a true runner.

I bade her farewell and continued on my way forward. Since I'd started pretty much behind everyone else, I figured I'd be passing people here and there and that was certainly the case. I passed two good friends, including Angie, whom I'd seen before the race began. Then I saw another Loper, who had been in my pace group until she opted to run with the 12s to better suit her needs. She finished LA and was running Redlands and will be running the OC Half Marathon in two weeks. I told her how excited I was that she'd caught the bug and wished her luck.

The course was hilly and right away I remembered how challenging this race had been for me in 2009 and 2010. The sun was also warm and I made sure to drink water and Gatorade early on.

Up ahead I saw yet another from my pace group, Chris, one of the three runners whom I'd run LA with. Actually, Chris fell behind in Mile 21 so I didn't get to run all of LA with him. I was excited to run into him. He said he'd not been running lately, had taken two weeks off from running and had only returned on Friday. He said the 10K sounded better then (we were at about Mile 4) and told me to not stay with him because he was going to be taking it easy. Again, I wished him luck and off I went.

I ran up another hill. The course was mostly uphill at this point, a few flat parts and no downhills. Another runner approached me and said he'd recognized me from the Lopers. We chatted briefly about the course and the Bears. He said he'd noticed me wearing Bears gear once and then told me he was from Chicago, so we talked about Walter Payton as well as our high hopes for next season. He dropped off and wished me luck.

The course wound up through some neighborhoods, carving a wicked uphill path. I trudged along, at times shooting up, other times slogging up. My pace seemed steady for the most part but my legs would lose their steam every now and again.

We were at mile... hmmm... I wasn't sure. I hadn't noticed mile markers very much (I'd seen only Mile 3 and Mile 5 signs at this point) but I thought we were around Mile 8. I saw another Loper ahead, greeted him and asked him what mile we were at. He couldn't quite tell on his watch but we were at either 8.2 or 8.8. I thanked him and went ahead. Soon I saw the Mile 9 sign and was encouraged. I was running downhill at this point and certainly taking advantage. There was a lady running in front of me, in a blue top, and we were trading jabs. I'd surge ahead, she'd surge ahead, I'd go in front, she'd go in front. I blitzed downhill at one point and got ahead of her but when the course straightened out, she went ahead and stayed there, getting smaller and smaller with each step.

I was gassed. I'd seen the Mile 10 and Mile 11 markers and that's when I felt Tuesday's 20-mile run the most. My legs were shot. I was still encouraged though and figured that I had enough in me to give it a good one-mile kick. I alternated between slow and slower at this point and kept an eye out for the penultimate mile marker but never saw it. I knew because of the songs playing through my phone that I was already on the last mile and a kind stranger confirmed for me that I had about a half-kilometer remaining.

I felt an instant bounce in my step. Far up ahead I could see the final turn. This street I'd been on had been a neverending one, much longer than I'd remembered it from 2009 or 2010. Now, though, there was a light at the end of the tunnel.

Someone shouted at me "seven more blocks" and I gave them a thumbs up. I must have looked exhausted or something, but I welcomed the news. Then, I saw one of my Loper buddies who had been a pace leader of mine from the first year. He did not run the race but was there to pace people in. He hit my pace pretty quickly and helped guide me along until the final turn. He said to run it in strong from there, so I did.

I had also caught back up to the blue-clad runner from earlier. I was on at this point, running with everything I had. I passed up Mrs. Blue but she was not about to let me get past her. She took off and hit an even faster gear than I had. She was a few steps in front of me, getting further ahead, while I was stalled behind. I had a smile on my face, though. If I helped her shave a few seconds off her time, then I was happy.

I crossed the finish line still with a smile on my face.

Later, I'd find out my time - 2:00:23. I had wanted a sub-2, had thought I was in good shape considering the downhills and my strong finish but knew that Mile 10-11.5ish had done me in.

What probably had also affected my time was having slowed to chat with all of my Loper friends. And if that's the case, then I will keep my time because having crossed so many paths and having talked to so many other runners and friends was far more worthwhile than getting a sub-2 was that day.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Redlands Half

Well I finished my half marathon. The course was tough and the sun was warm but I ran a 2:00:23. I didn't wear a watch and had no idea what I was doing in terms of a time but I felt good nonetheless. I did just run 20 on Tuesday so I'm more than pleased with my time.

I will have a full recap hopefully on Monday. Until then I'm going to try to stay upright. So tired!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Oh Yeah, I Have A Half On Sunday

I've been so focused on training for OC and getting in and through my 20-mile run that I have overlooked something important.

I have a half marathon on Sunday. I'm running the Run Through Redlands for the third time ever on Sunday and am looking forward to it.

This race will always be special for me. In 2009, the Run Through Redlands was my first ever half marathon. I ran it again in 2010 and broke the two-hour mark for the first time, finishing in 1:56:58. It was a tremendous race, made more spectacular because I ran it with my good friend Angelina (formerly of Angie Eats Peace). We both broke two hours for the first time and it was so exciting to have someone else fighting and clawing and working towards the same goal. I remember that race vividly, particularly around Mile 10 when we both knew we were going to break two hours and her telling me "We're gonna do it!" I remember not wanting to get ahead of myself but we were under 1:30 at Mile 10 and even if we'd have crashed out with three 10-minute miles, we'd have done it.

After my 2009 race, I was so proud of myself, so happy with what I had done. I mean, it was the pinnacle of my solo running days. I trained for this by myself and ran it alone. Of course, that came with its minuses (I didn't use GU, no Gatorade) but I knocked out a half marathon all alone. And more importantly because I finished I gave myself the confidence that I could go a little further and run a full marathon, which I eventually did in February 2010.

Anyway, my goal for Sunday? Tough to say. I know I won't PR - Redlands is a difficult course, a hilly course, and the race starts at 7:30 a.m. which means that it will get warm and the sun will play a factor in the race. Also, I just ran 20 miles on Tuesday so I'm not sure how sore my legs will be. I don't want to put my upcoming runs and races in jeopardy by trying to PR when I'm not in optimal conditions to do so.

Having said that, I do want a sub-2. I know that much. And I think I can get it. I just have to be smart. I will have quite a few friends out there. I hope to see Angie out there again, and Dean and Kuuipo from my Lopers running group will be there as well. Since it's so local, quite a few Lopers will turn out, so I'm hoping to see a lot of friends and hoping that it will be an enjoyable and memorable day.

If you are new to this blog or haven't been reading/following since mid-2010, here are some links to my previous Run Through Redlands experiences (of course if you have been following since then, it's also recommended you click on here, :) )

2009 - my first-ever half marathon recap

2009 - I wrote a motivational post the day after, few words actually, just let the pictures do the talking

2010 - the tale of how Lois... I mean... Luis ran a 1:56:58 in Redlands

TTT: Deals, Codes, OC

1. Exciting Stuff: I wanted to share a few things, but not really share them yet. Did that make sense? Good. Anyway, there are two things I've got in the works and just wanted to give you a heads up about them.

The first...

... and the second...

One involves a giveaway, the other is a great deal on some quality stuff. More details to follow, but I know you will be excited.

2. Run Pics: On Wednesday I shared my epic tale of my 20-mile run. In short, I started late, ran alone and it was warm. Here are some pictures I took before, during and after the run.

My fuel. Should have had more. Roctane flavor was awesome!

I think I was three miles in at this point.

This looks like about Mile 7.

Pretty sure I was 11 miles in.

14.5 miles in. This paved trail is for runners/cyclists/etc., no cars

Right after I got water at park, around Mile 16.

Right after the run. Check out the Real Feel. Yikes!


3. So... So did I register? Um... next question please. Oh yeah, well, um... not yet. Dammit. See, if I register it means it's gonna happen, right? No, actually I guess I'm only 98.37 percent sure and I said that I wanted to be 100 percent sure of running it. And there is one minor detail I need to hammer out thought before I commit. Believe me, if I don't end up running OC and I ran that 20 miles for nothing, I'll commit myself to a mental institution. Not about to have run 20 miles in the heat for nothing.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

For 20 Miles I Fought The Heat, And I Won

Having planned a long run for a Tuesday, everything leading up to it was not like usual. For starters, I had to run when I was able to, not when I wanted so that meant starting the run after 8 a.m. As it was supposed to have been warm, starting at around 5 a.m. and finishing sometime after 8 would have been ideal but I couldn't do that.

So I went about my routine Tuesday morning, went about business as usual. I ate a big breakfast, my usual pre-long run fare of a bagel and something else. This time instead of a Clif bar I opted for oatmeal. Got dressed in a sleeveless and a light pair of shorts, got my GU and Gatorade together. I was ready.

More importantly, my legs were ready too. I can feel my legs sometimes kind of itching to run, itching to be stretched. I certainly felt this way on Tuesday and I took that as a good sign. Last week I'd run 10 miles and that was such a chore. I did not want to repeat that.

When I started off on my run, it was already sunny. It wasn't quite warm but it was sunny and it was only a matter of time before the heat started to become a factor. I was at my favorite trail, the Santa Ana River Trail behind Mt Rubidoux, and had intended on running a simple out-and-back towards San Bernardino. Instead, decided to run it in the opposite direction. I'd intended on running 2-3 miles and then turning around and possibly finishing up near Fairmount Park, where there's a lot of shade.

I stretched out the distance, instead of going 2-3 miles out, I figured I'd try for five. And the I decided on six. And then somehow I talked myself into more and figured 'Why not run all 10 miles now and then just go back?' Sometimes, I play these types of mind games when I'm out on a solo long run or if a run is somehow challenging. It certainly kept me going, kept my mind engaged.

Unfortunately the path was not accommodating. While the Santa Ana River Trail continued further, I must have taken a wrong turn somewhere and my portion ended in a parking lot when I was nine miles in. I decided to turn back there and just head straight back. I could have made up the distance there so I would be done when I got to where I started but there was one thing that I needed from my truck.


I had my fuel belt and Gatorade but I knew I'd run out sooner rather than later. With the sun beating down on me, I was parched at times. I was at Mile 12 and already down to my last couple of sips of Gatorade. I realized that I'd erred. I should have gone out six, gotten back to my truck at 12 and gotten more water at that point.

Nothing I could do about it. I trudged forward. Just before Mile 16 I saw a park. Earlier, sprinklers had been on. Had they been on then, I would have gladly run through them. But the water I saw this time was even more refreshing. I saw a water fountain. I walked slowly up to it and prayed that it worked. I pushed a button and water came shooting out. Oh joy! I filled up my bottles, drank and drank and drank some water, poured some on my head and on my hat and felt refreshed.

By Mile 17 the water was all gone. The temperatures were in the mid-80s by this point although it felt warmer. While I was running, I couldn't feel it too bad because it felt breezy but when I stopped I certainly felt the heat. Plus, while I wasn't feeling the heat when running, it was wearing me down and I took a beating from it nevertheless. My arms glistened in sweat, my clothes were covered in it, my hat was dripping with it and I knew I'd lost a lot of fluids out on the course.

At Mile 18 I got back to my truck. I took off my fuel belt, grabbed a water bottle and took off. I didn't think that I'd be tempted to stop but I didn't want to linger around too long. I went out for Mile 19 in the direction I'd intended on running earlier. I was feeling okay still. Given that my last solo 20-mile run was such a mess, I was surprised how well I was holding up mentally. I was engaged still and not a blubbering mess.

Finally I was on my last mile. Every step seemed to take forever. It was probably the anticipation of seeing my truck once more, of being able to turn off my Garmin, of being able to take off my phone holder and my hate and of just being able to stop running.

I'd done well to not glance down at my Garmin every few seconds earlier but this time I couldn't help it.

19.70, 19.83, 19.88, 19.90, 19.93, 19.96...

It's as if I didn't want to run one step past 20 miles...

Then the magic number flashed on the Garmin - 20.00. I hit stop and I was done. I threw my arms up in the air, celebrated my feat and went in search of more water.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

20 Miler

I did it. I got my 20 miles in. It was warm, I ran alone and I got a late start but I did it. I know I said I would register for OC when I got home but I think a nap is in order first.

Monday, April 16, 2012

My Line In The Sand

I made an OC Marathon decision (with some help from you guys):

If I survive Tuesday's 20-mile run I'm coming home and registering for the OC Marathon.

Wait... a 20-mile run on a Tuesday? Huh? Unfortunately that's where life put me at, of running 20 miles on a stinking Tuesday morning. And worse yet, I can't start my run until 8 a.m., the latest I'll ever have set out on such a run.

And that poses a little challenge.

Okay, well maybe not that little. As you can see, the temperatures are not runner-friendly. In fact, by noon it will be 80 degrees and the temps could top out at 87 degrees on the day. Hopefully though I will be napping when the mercury rises to near 90.

I wish I could set out on my run at 5 a.m. but I have this whole parenting thing I'm kinda doin, you know, those little girls I'm responsible for. And Mrs. LB is out of town this whole week on business so that further complicates things.

Anyway, if I can get through this run unscathed - and I'm thinking that that means mentally as much as, if not more than, physically - then there's no reason for me not to run OC.

So it's simple then - if I want marathon glory on May 6, then I have to get through this challenging run on Tuesday.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

TTT: Mileage Highs, Leg Lows, Fridge Love

1. Miles, Miles and More Miles: It's not quite midway through April and I've got 587 miles for the year. I hope this weekend that I'll reach the 600-mile mark for the year. One way or another, after I run my 20 Monday or Tuesday I'll have soared well beyond the mark so I'll be there soon enough. It's great for me to have this many miles already. If I want to get to my goal of 2,000 miles I need to be halfway there by the end of June. I don't want to get too far ahead of myself but it's a good sign that I'm nearing 600 miles and we've still got quite a bit of time until the end of June.

2. Dead Legs: Running is so unpredictable. One day you feel great, like you could run all day, and the very next day you feel like the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz. I had a great speed workout on Tuesday, hit some pretty fast speeds (two minutes at 6:13 per mile at the end of it) and felt good. Wednesday I ran 10 miles and felt not good. I know what you're saying, well you ran a hard run after a hard run so that's normal.'Yeah but I felt un-awesome the whole time. Mile 5 was best mile, felt the best and it was like a 9:35 or so. The rest of the miles were blah, slogged right through them all. I guess that's why I'm not running right now and blogging instead.

3. New Fridge! So my refrigerator died a couple of weeks ago. We'd bought it like, I don't know, eight years ago maybe, longer... Can't recall but we moved it here into this house which we bought in '05. Anyway, it gave out on us last year and we got it fixed, but when it gave out on us again, we knew it wanted peace and just wanted to go home and rest (haha). So we ended its life and bought a new one. We got the kind that has the freezer on the bottom and, WOW, it's so freakin awesome. It's so nice not having to stoop, bend over, get on your knees or even sit down to get things out from the back of the fridge. The freezer is so awesome and so spacious. It fits a great deal, and I don't know if that's because there is more space since it sits below or what, but I have meats and cheeses down there and then there's a separate rack where I can fit all my breads and bagels. I love the freezer! It's just one of those things where it makes so much more sense for the bottom of the refrigerator part to be around your waist or a little higher instead of the top of the fridge part being at your midsection. Common sense but yet it seems so ingenious.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

My OC Debate

Even though I set a firm deadline for myself - March 31 was deadline day - I've gone past it and still nothing has happened.

I'm still debating whether or not I should run the OC Marathon.

I want to. I feel like I am ready for another 26.2 miles. I am absolutely ready to add another medal to my collection. But there's a little... doubt. A little fear still lingers. I'm doubting whether it's good to go right into another marathon, fearful of perhaps burning out. Now, there are no signs of the latter but I don't want to start feeling overwhelmed by running, nor do I want it to feel like it's a chore or an obligation. So far though it's not close to feeling like either.

Now, training-wise I'm plowing right along as if I am running the marathon. After two weeks of less-than stellar runs I snapped out of it. Actually, two Sundays after the race I ran 13.5 miles. Then, last week I ran 45 miles for the week, capped off with a 16-mile run. I've run 10 miles the first two days of this week and am planning a 10-mile run for Wednesday.

But now, like it or now, I do have to decide. My gun-to-the-head moment is coming up. If I do want to go through with it, I'll have to run a 20-miler soon, as in early next week. I can't run long on Sunday so it would have to be Monday or Tuesday. If I do want marathon glory then that 20-mile run is a necessity. And if I don't run the 20-miler then I guess I have my answer.

I'm planning right now of doing 20 on Monday or Tuesday. I hope that between now and then I shake off all doubts and register because I would love to get my sixth marathon medal on May 6.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

TTT: Back From LA and Michigan On My Mind... and Runs

1. Finally Back: Well, that was interesting. I had a couple of weeks worth of runs after the LA Marathon that just did not feel right. Every run was a slog, a struggle to get through and almost to the point that it was not enjoyable. I took nearly two weeks to get done but I got through that. On Sunday, I ran 13.5 miles and felt good. That was two weeks after the marathon. The next day I ran four miles and felt good. Tuesday and Thursday I ran eight miles each day and so far so good. I'm trying for 40-45 miles this week, and if I run 4 on Friday and 15 on Saturday as planned I think I should be able to get there. Most important thing for this week for me is to just get my miles up once more so I can feel like myself again. So far, so good.

2. Michigan Influence: For some reason, quite a few of my readers over the years have been from Michigan. I guess it just worked out that way. So it's kind of ironic then that one of my best running friends now is also from Michigan. He was a first-timer and part of my pace group this past year. He's from some small farming town somewhere, I forget the name. He told me before but I forget. Sorry. Anyway, Dean is in his 50s and ran his first marathon this year, in Surf City. Los Angeles was number two, and OC will be number three. San Francisco will be four and Long Beach number five. I think he's going to go for Las Vegas in December and if he does that he will run six marathons in one year right off the bat. Heck, he'd run six marathons in a span of 10 months. Amazing. We run together often, both our long runs and on midweek runs. Today we just polished off an 8-mile run, in 1:08:15.

3. Michigan Influence, Part 2: Anyway, Dean's been talking about some other marathons and how he wants to run one in Michigan. He's mentioned Detroit, Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor. The first two are in October which would be difficult for me to do but Ann Arbor is in June, which would be great (not this June, but next June, of 2012). I've not presented him with this idea but I might want to tag along to one of those races. I think it would be tremendous to run a marathon with Dean in his home state, to travel with him and experience a destination marathon with a good friend, I can't imagine a better trip. And on top of that, it would be to a place where I might get to meet some of my good blogging friends. If it happens, it would be next year which is fine with me. Gives me more time to warm Mrs. LB up to the idea... haha.