Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Army Ten Miler Weekend

Army Ten Miler Weekend

          31 December 2010 the MisFits woke up like any other day in Kandahar.  Lace em up go out run early ,change go visit the local population while on patrol and guard what was FOB Wilson.  One MisFit SGT Michael Beckerman had gone on to his Sapper brothers and was on patrol.  By mid-morning that day he was taken from us and we all were changed. 


     People say time will bring closure and that is true for some not for all.  It has been nearly three years and I know many of the MisFits and our extended brother hood still think of him regularly.  This year I finally virtually met his mother Ms. Lisa.  She is a very proud and strong Mom.  She reached out for us to help get people to run or donate to the Missouri Military Memorial Foundation.  I immediately spread the word and signed up.  The only issue was I had already signed up for the Army Ten Miler.   It was quickly settled I along with many other MisFits would run via satellite for the 5K and dedicate our weekend to SGT Beckerman. 


     When you start running it is hard to imagine making it more than the dreaded 5K you are working towards.  Then you complete a couple of them and feel the need to expand to bigger races.  You try the 10K, the ½ Marathon is the next step then of course the true test the Marathon.  Along the way you make a list of races you want to run, your bucket list.  I think most people will put down the NYC Marathon, and Boston Marathon as the ultimate bucket list races. 


     In 2011 I signed up for the Navy 10 Nautical Miler just outside of Memphis.  I ran for team Fisher House.  I wanted to run the Army 10 Miler (ATM) but missed registration due to being overseas.  So my Military Services Bucket List was made,  I already knocked out the Navy Race, I now needed the ATM, The Marine Corps Marathon (MCM), and the Air Force ½.  By the end of this month 1 will be ¾ of the way through that list. J

     On Saturday 11 October I drove down to DC.  Went to the Expo at the DC Armory, right next to RFK Stadium, met some pretty cool people and saw a pretty good display of what the Army brings to the field of battle.  The swag bag with a long list of sponsors left a bit to be desired with not much in it. 


     It was on to the Hotel after.  I met up with the rest of the team from my Unit and we were given shirts donated by the Chemical Corps Regimental Association (CCRA), and others.  We had a large group with us and it was cool to be a part of it.  We went to Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner then back to the hotel for pre-race rituals. 

    Woke up early showered shaved got dressed then it was team meeting time (well picture time).  Drank a couple bottles of water and walked the mile to the starting area.  The Pentagon provided the backdrop for the starting area.  The waves were set up with arches of balloons to identify with your color bib.  Four of us decided to linger at the fourth wave and start there. 

     The Golden Knights parachuted in, the colors were posted and the National Anthem was performed by a Soldier.  The crowd of 35,000 runners were all psyched up and started the slow moves forward as the cannon fired for each wave.  As we got close to one of the overpasses the two bottles of water wanted to be released.  Luckily for us the magical line of porta johns was right there.  Of course the lines were huge and our wave was passing us as we waited.  We got in and out quickly then ran to get to the back of our wave just in time to start. 

     At the start we were down to three staying together weaving in and out of traffic.  With that many runners on a ten mile course weaving would be done all day.  Every two miles there was a water / Gatorade point.  This broke the race down to 5 two mile runs which was amazing.  Without training in over 30 days I was nervous but confident about the run. 

    At mile 4 one of the guys on my team fell just ahead of us I stopped and helped him to his feet made sure he was good and it was back to business.  At the 6 mile water point a man fell just in front of me on the water soaked cups on the ground.  I side stepped him as the volunteers swooped in to help him.  It was in here that runner comraderies came together as we were running next to the oncoming runners.  Lots of high fives and awesome encouragement sped up my next miles. 

     The final two miles consisted of the awesome I395 onramp and bridge back over the river.  It was the longest stretch of the race but as you descended you could see the Pentagon there to your front right.  A few turns later and we were in the long finishing chute, with huge crowds yelling for us.  Step two of the bucket list was complete in 1:33.  Not a bad day after all. 

I was glad to complete these 10 Miles for SGT Beckerman and it is on to the next. 


What is on your run bucket list? 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Tri to Tri

     Journeys take you where you let them.  When I first got hooked on endurance events I did not know where I was headed.  I thought the 5K was a daunting task (even though I had been doing that distance and more forever).  When you are new to the actual sport of running and hear 5K, you tend to over think what 5000 meters could be. 


     Once that distance is conquered you want more.  Some jump straight to the half-marathon (my favorite distance), while others take the natural step to 10K.  Now with the addition of 8K and 15K races there are more steps a runner can take along the way of their Journey. 


     My Journey has been written here before so I will not bore you with it again.  I have not mastered the Marathon yet but will keep tinkering with that distance as I grow as an athlete.  Having been on “Teams” through @ActiveAmbassadors I have met many awesome athletes.  I noticed that many of them were not just runners but, they were multi-sport athletes.  I only tried multi-sport a long time ago so I was intrigued again. 


     I started working out at the Arena Club earlier this year.  I met an awesome trainer Kathy Wise who pointed me in the direction of their Splash/ Mash/ Dash in March.  I signed up and went and tried to tri.  I was hooked on the rush of the challenge of three events.  While at a Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) Soldier Ride in Atlanta I heard about the WWP Triathlon team.  I checked it out and was accepted. 


     I picked three events which I thought fit my crazy schedule.  1 fit perfect the Tri-Rock Asbury Park, NJ one August 24th.  I figured why not do my first open water tri in my home state.  The date was circled and training amped up.  I was swimming whenever possible running as usual and biking on my mountain bike,   Once again being MisFit I was trying to do the training my way not the way. 


     On the weekend before the race I was visiting my family in Tennessee and my mountain bike failed me on hills.  I was frustrated but kept on trucking.  Four days before the race I made the leap and purchased a Giant Defy 5 road bike.  Wow what a difference.  I say that because my Cannondale F7 was what I thought to be great.  This just eclipsed it. 


     Race day came and nerves were a bit more than normal for a race.  I was not nervous about completing the event.  I was nervous about transition.  You can practice going from one to another all day but once your gear is intermingled amongst hundreds of others in tight quarters.  At first I was looking at my Bike and thinking not too crowded should be easy, then in a blink of an eye it was full and the butterflies started churning. 


     Weather caused havoc on the race as Rip currents were in the surf.  The water portion would be canceled and a second run was added.  Change does not bother me so I was ok.  I took my pre-race drink at the approximate time before I thought I would start.  The weather did not just change the race it changed starting waves.  It was over an hour after my anticipated start I took off.  I walked up to the start line which they were doing in wave + wave fashion.  Each wave was broken down into 4 competitors at a time.  It was weird but finally I was running.  The first leg flew by and here I was turning into the feared transition.  I ran through to my row pulled my bike jersey over my head placed my helmet on my head and ran with my bike to the mounting point.  I got on and took off.  About a half mile in I finally strapped my helmet on.  I thought I was crawling but then I was passing a lot of people from the wave in front of me and confidence grew along with speed.  10 miles flew by.  I headed back to the dismount point and into transition.  Ran with my bike to my row to find someone had put their bike and gear on my rack.  I guess the crazy stickers with numbers were hard to understand. 


     1:39 later I was running again but much slower this time.  I should have learned the art of the brick workout!   (printed out the workout today).  I finished and danced with the announcer at the finish line.  Disappointed in no swim and really feeling like a full tri-athlete but felt great to have done it.  Cannot wait till the next events. 
Where is your Journey taking you??


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Pirate Fest 5k Lock house Museum

     Saturday morning July 12, 2014 a muggy yet cooler day than the race day last year. The pub crawl by the pirates went smoothly on Friday night, and the pirates in the encampment along the bank of the Susquehanna River, were just arising when the runners started to show up. Runners from all around were arriving as the 400 registered were assembling. 

     The proceeds of the race go to the Lock House Museum. Keeping a piece of History up and running is important to the community. The Susquehanna Museum at the Lock House is a historic home located on the banks of the Susquehanna River in Havre de Grace Maryland. It has a rich history, and tells the story of those who used to live and work in the house as well as of the City of Havre de Grace through exhibits, events and programming.

     There were a good amount of runners who came dressed in Pirate outfits bringing more fun to the event. The female winner sailed through the course in her Boat (stroller). 

                                            even had a bear walking the plank Aargh

     The Havre De Grace PD were leading the way for the race and controlled key intersections. This race had a substantial amount of Volunteers and ensured all runners made the right turns along the course. This year the water stop was not taken by pirates and was refreshing as the humidity was getting up there. 

     All runners and walkers made it to the finish including many first time runners. That is always a good thing to see. A first timer smiling as they accomplish their first goal of a 5K. Awesome!! This race will be te start of my race pack leading up to my fall race schedule. 


                                                I was ready but slowed by my bad hoof.


Great event I recommend it to all who are in the area next year!!!





Monday, June 23, 2014

Haley's Team Twilight Event

June 21 , 2014
     The team starts preparation for this day as soon as clean up from the last event has ended.  You would think a year is enough time to plan and execute and event which you have done seven times before.  Those 365 days fly by and life also gets in the way.  Before you know it you are 90 days from the event starting and you think you have nothing accomplished.

     Welcome to Haley’s Team.  We go through this every year.  The planners go their separate ways hours after the finish line and awards ceremony have ended.  The priorities are set for the next year and they drive off into the sunrise.

     This would be a horrible situation for many Teams but for us, it just works.  Some like to operate in total control, we thrive on organized chaos.

     In 2007 three friends Randy Bright, Cal Seales and Rich LaMonica put their heads together and came up with an idea for a 5K race to be a fundraiser to help in finding a cure for Cystic Fibrosis.  Randy’s step-daughter Haley had the disease along with Rich’s friend Kirk, and the trio hatched a plan.  They needed advice so they contacted the Anniston Runners Club.  With the help of Brooke Nelson and Jon Moore the idea of the Twilight race was born.

     Haley’s Team Twilight 5k became an annual event starting in 2007.  The race has had its share of fast runners, course changes and thunderstorms but has persevered.   From the first year with less than 100 runners, to a steady 220 now this team is hungry for bigger nights.

     This year as the course was set up and the bulky start finish line scaffolding was erected the Team felt good as they were ahead for a change.  Then Mr Murphy showed himself again.  A storm came through.  The volunteers rushed to save the finish line, tables and signs.  Again the needed chaos was there.

     As the Haley’s Kids 1K was about to start things were still getting set up.  The kid’s race is the fun spot for all the young runners.  They get to be like their parents and gain a story to tell at the dinner table on Sunday.  This year the Team was honored to have a lot of volunteers who lined the critical turns of the 1K and cheer on the up and coming runners.  This portion of the event will be renamed in honor of Kirk Hill who passed away in June 2012 due to CF.  The race will now be called Kirk’s Kids 1K.  He was passionate man who gave his all in everything he did so now the kids will give their all in his honor.

     The time approached for the 5K and the team had some more technical difficulties.  The 1 mile and 2 mile clocks malfunctioned and the volunteers stepped up to cheer on the runners and yell out times as they came by.  The runners shot out at a good pace.  Steven Miles pushed the pace in the hunt for the trophy.  He just missed the podium last year, and was determined for redemption.  He showed that setting goals will get you where you want to go.  He won this year in 18:54 a minute and a half ahead of his nearest competitor.  Great work Steven!
     In the Female division a young lady tore up the course as well.  At the age of 13 she set the pace for the ladies.  Abby Nunnelly came in @ 21:15 to take the top of the podium.  Great Job Abby.

     We also had the honor of hosting a number of first time 5K runners.  Hopefully we gave them a good show, they had fun and will continue their running journey in the future.

     Thanks to all those who supported us this year and in years past.  Without you it would not be possible to put on such a good event each year.

     Next year the 9th Annual Event will be on June 20th 2015 with the Kirk’s Kids 1K starting things off followed by the kid’s award ceremony.  Once that is complete the Haley’s Twilight 5K will start and be followed by its award ceremony.  We look forward to seeing you next year.

   Registration opens June 30th 2014 for next years event!!https://runsignup.com/Race/AL/Anniston/HaleysTeamTwilight5k

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Alexandria Running Festival

Alexandria Running Festival

     After a couple months away due to an extremely busy time at work I am back.  I started training for what will be a pretty busy fall for me.  I will start with a late summer Triathlon in Asbury Park NJ.  The TriRock event on August 24th.


      I have gotten into the Marine Corps Marathon and the Army 10 Miler both in October.  I just need an Air Force run now to complete the services. 


     The end of March I competed in the Splash Mash and Dash Triathlon at the Arena Club in Churchville, MD.  To my surprise I did pretty well with a 4th place overall finish (2nd Male). 


     My travels then took me to North Carolina for an 18 day business trip.  The day after my return I ran a local 5K the Bunny 5K.  Had fun and realized I was making speed gains finally. 

     A week later I was in Atlanta riding a Trek bike with fellow wounded warriors on a Soldier Ride.  It was a great time and now have great memories and new friends. 



     Another field exercise and yet another trip to Fort Bragg got me to the ending of May and Memorial Day weekend.  This time I had an entire day between arrival back and race day.  Deciding to stay in Alexandria the night before I had to find a hotel fast.   This caused me to stay at the Red Roof Inn there.  A move I do not recommend to anyone ever.  It could be the lack of security, the pubic hairs in the microwave or the people smoking all around the 100% Smoke Free facility hard to pin down why I do not want to stay ever again. 

     Ok back to why I went to Alexandria to begin with.  I was going to run my first Half of the year.  The Alexandria Running Festival ½.  They had a packet pick up option for Saturday and Sunday morning before the race.  Saturday was my choice so I could pick up my packet get dinner and go to the room.  The room was not appeasing so I did not get much sleep.  This did not stop me from going through my usual pre –race rituals.  I showered ate then drove to the venue.  The website said they would have parking available and it would be free.  They chose not to put signs out to lead you there so the GPS was a must.  Parking complete I changed into my race clothes had a shot of Hammer Gel and moved out.  I located my friend who I was going to run with and we got ready for the 0730 start.  This 0730 start did not occur until 0800 so pre-race fueling was thrown out the window. 

     The race site gave details of the course and race etiquette.  This site said it discouraged headphones for safety reasons and because they wanted you to meet people on the course and they would have spectators cheering throughout.  I am glad I wore mine since spectators were few and far between.  The course was advertised as fast and flat with multiple surfaces to be visited.  This was true.  The only two hills were the first mile over the highway and the same hill on the way back at mile 12 ish.  The volunteers on the course were awesome.  These were the ones cheering for us and giving high fives.  The winding course took us through a very large area of a park on paths where you could easily cheer on another runner, give high fives and rock on. 

     Once out of the park and trail it was about a two mile jaunt to the finish.  There were volunteers there to hand out the medals in small ziplock baggies.  Then others to take your timing chip off our shoe.  The ending was kind of blah.  The snacks were back in the building along with restrooms.  This is miniscule but it makes things a little less streamlined at the end.   Not sure yet if I will take on this event again, if I do I will be ready for the heat and all challenges involved. 


Monday, March 3, 2014

Team MisFit

Proud to say with the help of Raymone Byrd we have started Team Misfit. 

Design by: Lexie LaMonica Designs


It is a group of runners who do not or did not fit the perceived mold of a runner when they started.  They have a drive for success and camaraderie amongst each other.  The vision for this team began with just three Soldiers running in the high desert of Afghanistan in 2010.  Those early days were a struggle for us all as we were in the heat of a big fight with the Taliban as part of the Surge into the region.  This enabled us to forge a team which has grown into an extended family for all of us. 

                "We Run These Towns Together"

Our mission is to persuade others to attain a healthier lifestyle through fitness and nutrition.  We continually encourage our team to attain their goals especially when walls come up. 


Our goal is to ensure we push each other to new heights no matter what we are trying to achieve. 

 We share workouts that have helped us, gear that works for us and of course fueling choices. 

We have started an apparel line to show our pride in the Team. 



We are not just runners so if you are training in other areas for example: Cross fit, Swimming, Cycling, Kettle bells we welcome you to the team. 

We have a resident Kettle Bell instructor on the Team if you need workouts.    http://www.fullbodyworkoutsystems.com/


If you want to become a member message us on FB https://www.facebook.com/groups/193648904123384/

Or e-mail MisfitRunner