When Was The Last Time You Did Something For The First Time?

I love the Tough Mudder series of runs. The motivational warm-up has stuck with me since my first TM last year

When was the last time you did something for the first time?

When was it? How long has it been between firsts?

This spring it became apparent that our May and June was going to be intense. The Bayshore Half Marathon that we signed up for in December was the Saturday of Memorial Day, and the very next Saturday would be Tough Mudder Michigan. 23+ miles of racing in the span of a week. We signed up for a tune-up 10k the Saturday before the half marathon.

When was the last time you did something for the first time?

The 10k was a bit slow and there were walkers all over the route, but it was such a beautiful day out we didn’t care. The Bayshore Half went well, and the wife and I both finished with a smile. The Tough Mudder was awesome as usual, and our entire team finished with big smiles. The next Saturday, though, nothing was planned. No running, no OCRs, nothing.  We were free to do what we wanted!

Saturday was pretty lazy. Relaxed in the hammock for a while, played with the kids, then decided to go on a bike ride. Never run a marathon (it’s in the cards!) but I bet I could get on the bike and knock 26.2 miles out!

50k later…

metric half jun 10.jpg

My first metric half century. Using the heart rate monitor I was able to keep the pace in a range where the primary training effect was aerobic base building. It seems like biking is easier to dial in a specific heart rate compared to running, so it’s definitely getting added to the base-building training schedule. So…

When was the last time you did something for the first time?

Just the Start

It’s raining. Has been the entire run. Every bit of me is soaked. My waterproof jacket is apparently only waterproof for an hour and a half. Doesn’t matter, the rain feels awesome! I’m feeling a bit tired, and the green tea Kit-Kats aren’t a good substitute for proper run fuel, but they gave me the boost to get over the 9 mile mark. The water fountain downtown is thankfully operational, and the water is welcome. A little while later and I’m on the home stretch.

12.3 miles. 12.4 miles. 12.5 miles.

12.6 miles. POW. Knee pain. Snap. Stop running. Can I do high knees? No no NO! That hurts. Can I do anything resembling bounds? Not even close. This is knee pain akin to what I felt on my 30th birthday last year.

Half mile to go. Stop and stretch the quads, do some leg swings. Walk a bit. Yup. I can move. Just keep moving. Go back to the dreaded J word: JOG. It’s almost like running, but my legs aren’t really moving like they should. My head is yelling “FINISH STRONG, KEEP RUNNING!” but experience is telling me “STOP!” It’s alright though, I’ve felt this pain several times before, each time when I pushed myself too hard during training, amping up the miles too much. The best course of action: don’t push it. Just walk.

13.0 miles. So close.

I see our house. The urge to sprint through the front door rises. The knee pain isn’t sharp, but it’s present nonetheless.

13.1 MILES. My first half marathon!

My Garmin actually reads 13.5 miles, due to forgetting my jacket at the beginning of the run. The next week will consist of a lot of stretching and icing so the tight muscles and tendons that cause this pain fall in line and I can continue training for the Bayshore (one month away!). Probably no running until Friday or Saturday.

The moral of the story? Be smart, don’t add too many miles too quickly, and if you do find yourself hurting on a run know that you shouldn’t feel compelled to try to overcome it by going fast. Oh, and I RAN A HALF MARATHON!

Run happy!

First Half Marathon - April 30 2017



A while back, I received an email inviting me to sign up for a group run with one of our company’s VPs. The group run aspect was really all I needed, but on top of that the VP has run the Boston Marathon multiple times. So…my name went on the list pretty quickly.

The downside to the group run? The VP has run Boston multiple times. He’s fast. The other folks in the group? Also fast. “Conversational pace” to them was a good 1.5 minutes faster than my conversational pace. Nothing that I couldn’t keep up with, but trying to speak intelligently with the group…not great.

In the end, the run was great fun, with good conversation (by others!) and I set several PRs (5k at 27:38 and 2 mile at 17:32).

Run happy!