Monday, June 4, 2012

New Favorite?

I ran the Rothrock Challenge 30K on Saturday.  I had heard a wide variety of reports about this event from how completely un-runnable the course was to how tough the elevation gains and losses were.  I would have to agree that the course was tough, but not nearly as bad as I had expected.  As far as runnable - I was VERY pleasantly surprised to find so much terrain suited to trail running.  Hats off to Eric Marshall for designing a truly amazing course.  If you've done the MegaTransect, imagine it without the road at the beginning and end.  That would be the Rothrock.

I tried something completely new at this event and started from the very back of the pack.  Although I am not very competitive, it was still an effort to wait until everyone had crossed the start line before I began to move forward.  I even waited until someone who had come out of the bathroom after the start got ahead of me.  There may have still been someone else in there, but I didn't go and check :)

The Rothrock begins with about 3/4 of a mile on a gravel lane, paved road, dirt road segment before it turns onto a sweet uphill single track that keeps everyone in line.  If you are really concerned about time, you need to get to this trail before many of the participants.  If, like me, you are just there for a challenge and fun, it isn't too much of a problem to just wait out the Longbarger trail until it opens up near the top of Tussey Mountain.  A couple of industrious souls did try to pass and make up time, but were easily swallowed up before the top.  The extra effort simply isn't worth it to the mortals who aren't going to finish under 3 hours.

The 2+" of rain on the night before the race really added to the adventure with ankle-sucking mud and knee-deep water holes to traverse.  The rocks in most of the trail were stable, but the water/muck mixture really provided some excitement in a few spots.

I had checked out the results from the past couple of years and thought that I could place in the top 100 if I averaged under 15 minute miles.  Frankly, I wasn't sure what to expect and didn't have a lot of confidence that this would happen.  It just seemed like a good "A" goal to set.  I feel I ran smart race and finished strong passing several runners in the last mile.  I passed a pack of 5 or so with 3/4 of a mile to go and ran both to try and catch the Death Race Diva (that's what her water bottle said) and avoid losing it and getting caught from behind.  I didn't quite catch the diva, but no one caught me either.

I made my goal of averaging under 15 minutes per mile, finishing in 4:36, but that put me in 125th place out of the 343 finishers.  I am not disappointed in the place because I can not change how others run.  I am pleased with everything about the way I performed and I'm looking forward to next year's event.  I will definitely be signing up again.

The after race gathering was awesome with plenty of food and drinks.  Pork and chicken barbeque, subs, pizza, and a few choice selections from Otto's Brewery.  The soak in the pond and then a double team massage took care of soreness.  My family came out for a picnic to make the day complete.  What a treat!

My only real regret is that I didn't get to meet Bryon Powell fro  I saw the iRunFar bumper stickers at the La Sportiva booth, but I didn't open my mouth to ask about whether Bryon was there or not.  Of course, on the race website today there is a blog entry/ race recap from Bryon.  I've read Relentless Forward Progress and I've appreciated the insight.  I don't have to make all the mistakes myself!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Tough Time

The run has come and gone.  I had a really tough time and I deserved it.  I did not do the training I should have done, and it is pretty hard to do a decent hundred miles without the base.   I did do 85 miles and I am pleased with how things went with the exception of about 3 total hours of the venture.  Two of these were together from 9 to 11 PM Friday, and the other was really a series of events that took away from the flow.  Once you stop, it easy to stay stopped.   I’ll say a bit about the hardships, and then move to more enjoyable aspects of the run. 

I didn’t train enough.  My long runs were not nearly long enough and there were not enough of them.   I have had a downturn in my running ever since the JDRF 30-hour run 2 years ago.  At that time, I had a stress-fracture at about 40 miles into that run, but was really well prepared to do the distance.  I kept on, because this is event is not about me.  It is about going beyond what is “normal” for those we love.  I’m not exactly sure whether it was the physical lay-off that caused me to lose my motivation or if it was the emotional intensity of the whole project and then the let down afterward.  I do know that I have never quite returned to the same level as I was.  I feel pretty poorly about that, but it is certainly time to get over it and move on.
In between 9 PM and 11PM, I really hit a low point.  I thought that I certainly had issues with the same place on my leg where I had the stress fracture.  This worried me a lot because I don’t want to be sidelined as I was 2 years ago.  I am also registered for the Rothrock Challenge on June 2, and I don’t want to miss it.  However, the biggest reason that I was scared because I would let everyone down.  There have been so many supportive people around, I needed to get this job done.  I very nearly just sat down and cried in frustration.  I felt that there was nothing I could do to go further.  Then, I put on a neoprene ankle brace, new socks, and new shoes an voila`,  I felt amazingly better than I had much of the day.  It was pretty smooth sailing through the end.  Walking instead of running, but at a pretty good pace.

Now for the good stuff.  The generosity of the people who supported the 100-miler and the M&M team is amazing.  Even after the walk, people are continuing to come forward with donations.  It’s a good thing.  The long distance effort would not be possible at all without the encouragement and kind words that are given freely and liberally. 

The people who travelled alongside me for portions of the 85 miles included, Pete, John, Brian, Jeff, Cody, Riley, Alex, Andy, Mike, Neil, Bob, Heath, Jeff, and Bruce.  I literally would not have made it through the night without these guys. 

Lauren and Colin, Kathy, John, Amy and Caleb, Alice, Rachel, Mary Ellen, Allison, and Heath:  you are so helpful and encouraging.  It is so much fun to see you and I am so thankful that you were there to lift me up.

Special thanks to Kathy for all of the great drinks and eats.  Yumm!

Jeff, I am so glad that you brought the pizza!  I’ve never eaten pizza on a run, but since reading Ultramarathon Man by Dean Karnazes, I’ve wanted to do it.  It was awesome!  I’ve got to say the salt, fat, and carbs were a great mix and the taste was a bonus.

Most of all, I want to thank Molly for her support, encouragement, occasional exhortation (?) to go a little further or faster.  I can’t ever truly know how you feel dealing with this every moment of every day.  I hope that I am not a hindrance to your progress and success.  I love you as much as there is.

So, all in all, another great adventure.  Thanks so much for helping.

Titus 3:4-7

New International Version (NIV)
But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared,he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done,but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirshaving the hope of eternal life.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Stick Around.

What a great day today at PFMS!  Lots of kids showed their generosity, and maybe just a touch of mischievousness, by duct taping several teachers to a wall during lunch.  Thanks to all of those kids and teachers who were so giving of their time, attention, and money, to help raise money in the search for a cure.  You can check out the photos on the PFMS homepage until I get some pictures uploaded.  Thanks, especially, to Poppy for organizing and directing the whole operation.

I visited the chiropractor today to get everything into alignment. There is no point in starting in a bad way.  After that, it was to the grocery store after school and loaded up on eats and drinks for Friday and Saturday.  It is amazing how much stuff I put into the cart, but it is all great junk food - excuse me, energy replenishment and electrolyte replacement resources.  I'm sure the boys will take care of whatever is left :)

Thanks to BestBuy for the donation of a new armband for my iPod.  I know that it is not directly helpful to JDRF, but it helps me make the miles go.  Somehow, the old stuff wears out after many miles.  Go figure.

I'm spending the evening packing and going through the checklists.  I know that I will be near stores, and so I will be able to get most of what I need, but I really don't want to have to think about it.  Tomorrow night will be a blur, so if it is to happen, it had better happen tonight.

The weather looks even better than it did earlier today.  Instead of high 70's, it is expected to be in the low 70's.  I am excited that several students have signed up to share part of the morning with me and they've done a great job raising support for JDRF.

I really appreciated an email from John Fegyveresi this week.  He had a really tough run at the Massanutten 100.  A huge attaboy to John for his ability to keep going when he didn't have any reason to stick with it.  Can you say inspiring?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

I would like to wish all of you who are mothers a most wonderful weekend.  Being a parent is an incredible blessing and the bond that is formed between mom and baby is beyond special.

Under a week to go, and it is getting exciting!  I had a great run up and down Mount Nittany last weekend.  Bruce was taking the SAT, so I took advantage of the time and did a few ascents at a brisk walking pace.  Once I reached the top, I ran a couple of miles exploring the interweaving trails, then ran hard down the mountain to the trailhead.  Once I got there, I turned around and repeated the process.
I was going to quit after 3, but I felt like challenging myself, so up I went again.  I didn't intend to go all the way to the top, but each time I got to the place I thought I would turn around, I was able to go just a bit beyond.  before I knew it, I hit the top.  I decided to pay special attention to my footing on the way down because I knew that I was tired.  As you can guess, as soon as the rockiest parts were over, I bit the dust.  The good thing is that I had thought a lot about how to fall, so I tucked and rolled.  I'm really glad that I had my CamelBack on because it absorbed a lot of the shock.
I just laughed once I realized that I was still in one piece.  Sunday did bring some soreness that was noticeable for a few days, and then Molly pointed out that my shoulder was black and blue.  I knew it hurt, but didn't realize I had a battle scar.  Cool!

Yesterday, I ran a nice quick 5 miler in the woods.  It felt great and was one of those runs that I never wanted to end.  Runs like that are a confidence builder.  It makes for good feelings in the final few days.

The Centre Daily Times, the State College newspaper, ran a nice article about the State College JDRF walk.  The story provides a look into the life of a diabetic through those closest to her/him/  Thanks for putting this article together, Heather.

Several friends have been signing up to keep me moving on Friday night and Saturday morning.  More room is available, though.  Don't be afraid to join in the fun for an hour or two.

Monday, May 7, 2012


The time is drawing closer with each day, and everything is getting into place.  The logistics of the run are the primary focus now.  When will I get to Park Forest?  Who will be running/walking with me while I am there?  What will I be eating? When will I eat?  Weather concerns?  Clothes changing?  Shoes?  Socks?  Skin lubrication?  Hydration?  Electrolyte replacement?  These are all questions that need to be answered and contingency plans considered.

I want to thank the many generous folks who have donated to JDRF over the past few weeks.  I've sort of fallen down and not shown them the gratitude I feel.  Thanks Stef and Matt;  Brian, Vicki and Lynette; Laura, Eric, Kaitlyn, Ryan, and Cassie;  Dawn, Jack, Andy and Emma; Sue and Joe;  Pat; The Steckleins; The Baughmans;  The Smiths;  Marla and Dave;  Sara;  Matt and all the folks at EnergyCAP, Inc.; The Jacobsons;  and Jackie.  I am sorry that I haven't gotten most of you a personal thank you, yet.  Please know how wonderful you are and how much you are appreciated.

If you want to spend an hour or two walking/running with me, let me know. It is a great time.

I'm really excited because Molly, Jeff and I have been working to get ApologetiX, a Christian parody band, to come to the State College Alliance Church for a concert.  It looks like it might come together for June 8.  More info on that later, but if you like rock and roll, you will love ApologetiX.  Amazingly, they can sound like everyone from Led Zeppelin to Huey Lewis.  AC/DC to the B-52s.  They are great musicians and a lot of fun.  Oh yeah, they are great witnesses for Christ as well!   I love to listen to their albums when I run because I can listen to rock and roll, hear some scripture, and get a wide variety of music genre to keep my mind occupied.

Colossians 3:23-24
New International Version (NIV)
23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Friday, May 4, 2012

2 Weeks Away

I am so incredibly blessed.  I have so many amazing people around me to encourage and support me.  I wish that I could be that supportive of Molly and help her with dealing with the unknown and unexpected effects of her diabetes.  Sometimes I think that offering a suggestion is a good thing, while at other times it really seems as though it would be callous of me to even mention what I think might be beneficial.  So many factors influence blood sugar levels, and the same application of insulin to carbohydrates can vary dramatically based on these variables.  And that is why it is important to find a cure.

I'm starting to get to the excited stage when the run seems just around the corner, but there is still lots to do.  I want to avoid the bonking that can happen due to poor electrolyte balance and low energy stores.  I've been there, done that and I don't want to do it again.  I think overnight accompanists are going to be fewer this year, but that adds to the excitement and the challenge.  I know I'll have Pete, John, Jeff, Neil, Karen, Mark, and Bob at various times.  I just wish that I had "Scooter" to help me out again!  I know he is enjoying Florida, though.

Well, time to get out for now.  Donate to JDRF and come run or walk with me.  I'm not fast, I just keep moving forward.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

one month to go

One month to go until the 100 mile run for JDRF.  I’ll make no secret of the fact that I am not nearly as well trained as when I did the run a couple of years ago.  The cool thing is that I am in a great state of mind and have been getting a lot of interest from others over the past couple of weeks.  I got the approval today to have the kids from school join me for a portion of the day.  I won’t know until that day who will be able to walk or run with me, but that will be part of the excitement.  The kids are so great and they truly care so much about others.  It is such a nice thing to be able to nurture this in them. 

I’ve been reading about Dane Raushberg and his 52 marathons in a year.  What really amazes me is his ability to stay motivated.  I have a knack for being able to get pumped up about things, but then the enthusiasm wanes and I lose focus.  Dane’s efforts on behalf of L’Arche is inspirational.   

The other individual that I have been observing is John Feygveresi.  A recent post was a link to his description of the Barkley Marathon.  If you haven’t read about the Barkley, it is well worth the effort.  I’ve talked with several friends  about John’s efforts, and they have asked if I would like to try it.  I must admit that the thought has crossed my mind.  I really like the idea of seeing just how far I can push myself.  Unlike Dane or John, I don’t seem to be able to make myself go at all fast anymore.  I did 5 miles at an 8 minute per mile pace at Egg Hill and I was ecstatic!  Maybe I can use their efforts to bolster my courage to push for better speed.

My friend Andy did Boston this week.  He is such an incredible example of determination and perseverance.  The weather for Boston was horrendous, with temperatures well over 80 degrees Fahrenheit (that’s 27 Celsius for those of you reading outside the US).  He did great for the first half, and then dehydration set in.  I’m looking forward to talking with him soon about the details, but I trust him when he says that it took everything he had to keep moving forward.

So, the State College walk for JDRF is May 19 at Lubrano Park.  I’m looking forward to seeing the group.  It is so rejuvenating and so rousing to see the team shirts and walk with all the kids and adults whose lives have been touched by the effects of diabetes. 

I know that my discomfort during the 100 mile journey is nothing compared to the difficulties in living with diabetes, but I hope that you will appreciate the efforts that I am able to make.  Please help me by donating to support the search for a cure.

Monday, April 9, 2012

I feel good . . .

I really do.  The runs have been really great, if not as far as they should be at this point.  No worries, though.  I'm loving running again and that feels good.  People ask if running these long distances hurts and I have to respond that I hurt more after a couple of days away than I do during any, okay most, of my runs.

I didn't sign up for the Hyner Challenge, and I am now wishing I had.  All of the spots are filled, but if the race organizers would like to let me fill a spare one, I would love to participate.  Hint, hint :)

We celebrated Resurrection Sunday yesterday.  Christ is Risen!  He is Risen, indeed!  I really try to stress to folks that everyone gets eternal life.  It just depends WHERE you are going to spend it.  If you recognize Jesus Christ as fully man and fully God, ask Him to forgive you of your sins and, accept that he gave His Life as a sacrifice  to fully redeem you, then you will spend eternity in Heaven.  If you do not, you will spend it in Hell. Eternal life in heaven is a free gift, it can not be bought or earned.  

Questions?  Here are answers based on scripture.

Ephesians 2:8-10New International Version (NIV)

8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Lakewood's Wanderings and Scribbles....: 2012 Barkley Marathons Race Report

This is truly amazing and makes my efforts look pretty puny.  However, on my own scale, I can appreciate the effort.  An excellent recap of an outstanding event.

Lakewood's Wanderings and Scribbles....: 2012 Barkley Marathons Race Report

Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Sheetz hits the Road (and trail)

The Sheetz fundraising books are in and ready to be purchased.  Please drop me a line to pick up a few.  For every book purchased, $4 goes to JDRF to support research toward a cure.  Just ask me how to get the most out of these books.  I must say that I am really good at being cheap !

Training is going really well right now.  Bruce and I are probably headed back to Ridgway in a few weeks.  Although, if the water is like last year, we are NOT paddling.  In retrospect, in was probably not the smartest thing I ever did, but not the dumbest either (unfortunately).  I need to get the bike outside and see the world.  I have watched a lot of movies while riding the trainer, but somehow the wind feels different actually being outside.  Hmm.

I need to get my bottom in gear and hit the fundraising harder.  So, don't be surprised when I show up with my palm out.  Whenever I see or hear about the tough times that people are having because of their diabetes, it makes me want to work that much harder.  With the advances in our understanding and of technology, it should not be beyond us to prevent the neuropathy, kidney issues and heart disease that result from abnormal blood glucose levels.

Let me know how you like the new layout and format of the blog.  It has been pretty much the same for a couple of years, so I thought I would try something new.  Quite a leap when you look at my wardrobe!

Thanks to all who have provided encouragement and support.  It is easier to push through when I know I am being held accountable.

More soon!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Egg Hill and Tradition

First, what a great guy Joel is.  He noticed that the results were off for his team's classification and he went directly to the timers and asked them to correct the results.  Yes, I know, he said that it was the truth so no big deal.  Trust me.  Honesty and integrity are NEVER no big deal.  Thanks, Joel and Nick.  You truly have started "The Other Tradition".

I loved, as usual, the Egg Hill Run today.  What a wonderful group of people, and the Penn's Valley track team is a great group to benefit.  It was great to see the kids out there cheering on all of the runners. 

I'm not going to mince words.  Give to JDRF.  Now.  Today.  please !

I am really looking forward to Ridgway and doing the event with Bruce.  I am hoping for less water on the river and a more comfortable water level.  I will never do this event the same way after last year.  Praise God that Pat made it through.

I've got Sheetz coupon books on the way.  What an awesome deal for the buyer, and a great way to bring money to JDRF.

Thanks so much!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Training and Generosity

The training has been going well, and I am beginning to get really excited for the JDRF run.  I hope the middle of May holds the same weather as we’ve been having this past week or so.  With morning temps in the 40’s F (5º C) and afternoons around 70ºF (21º C), it would be a crime not be outside.  The woods are pretty dry, so the mud isn’t making things rough, yet the ground is soft.  This week, the frogs have been calling and it amazes me how many there must be.  I am really looking forward to the family taking Jorunn on a hike to hear them.  Being from Norway, she has never seen frog eggs or heard them calling.  It has been very eye opening to interact with her and learn how different our countries are.  The things that we are accustomed to are unusual, but the reverse it true as well, of course.  Last week was Dr. Seuss’s birthday and this week we watched 2 Dr. Seuss shows.  I was amazed to learn she had never heard of Dr. Seuss.  BUT, I had never stopped to think that I had never heard of the authors she mentioned, either.  Ah.  Point of view.
So the school had the annual health fair this week.  Several students from State College High School  shared their experiences with diabetes with the middle school kids.  Most of the high school kids are, themselves, diabetics.  We also began the process of getting kids involved in organizing a school walk to raise funds for JDRF.  It has been a challenge because of the immense amount of attention given to THON.  The THON events began in September, and continue through the PFMS mini-thon in April.  There are several kids who have been touched personally and so want to make the event a success.  I want to help them reach the goals that they have to help provide a better lifestyle for those with diabetes, and eventually to find a cure.

 Next weekend is the Egg Hill Run in Spring Mills.  What a nice event.  Really well organized, a great time of day, and wonderful people (especially the Bastress clan).  Hope to see some of you there!

Thanks to Carter and Ruby for their generous donation to JDRF.  Not only are they great people, but they are awesome dance instructors!  Molly and I have been learning from them.  We've gotten into the waltz, cha-cha, foxtrot, rumba.  We've gotten much more comfortable on the dance floor and I can't wait to take my wife out for a night of dancing, although I plan on it being out of town where we won't be known :)