Saturday, December 29, 2012

Why no kids race or fun race?

     I have been to many 5ks with separate kids' races.  What I see happen most often is kids are not ready for the "i didn't win".   You end up with some kids not happy and at least one kid crying. 
     I originally decided not to add a kids' race because of the added detail and confusion to planning it.  I wanted to keep the 5k simple for the first year.  However, I start paying close attention to the kids' races when I was at other 5ks so that I could be able to plan one.
    What I ended up doing at my 5k is:
  • Letting the parents decide if they wanted their kids' chip timed
  • Allow the kids and parents who were not timed, to turn around at any point
  • All kids received a medal when they finished (regardless of how far they did)
    This worked, at least for my race.   I did not have any tears or hurt feelings.  The kids were able to do the best for their ability and age.  If they wanted to race the 5k, they could.
     Every kid got to get outside and participate.  Every kid got a medal.  Every kid had a smile.   That's a win in my book.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Year in Review

     As the year comes to a close I realize that 2012 will be hard to beat in respect to running.  I ran my first half marathon and 10k, directed my own 5k, and ran a crazy 37 races. 
  • 3-half marathons
  • 1-10 mile
  • 2-10ks
  • 2-5 mile
  • 29-5ks
     Next year will see me trying my first marathon in March.  I have run in 70 races and never not finished one.  Hopefully I will keep that tradition going for a long time.  My goal is 40 races for 2013, so I plan on getting an early start.
     If you are looking for a good race in 2013, here are some of my favorites from 2012.
-Run For Alex 5 Mile.  The race starts in Bentleyville and is all country back roads.  Mostly flat with a big hill at about mile 4.  No medals here, custom pottery as awards.
-Groundhog 5k.  This race is awesome because it is held with the town's Groundhog Festival.  Food, rides, and a great run.
-Farmer's Inn Half Marathon.  Everyone should do this race once.  It is difficult, challenging, at points it just sucks, but when you finish you know that you did something great.  Forget the Warrior Dash, go for a 13.1 mile uphill-most-of-the-way run through a mountainous state park.  Plus there is an all you can eat buffet included. :o)
-Any YMCA Kittanning race- These folks have got the art of racing down to a science.  If you like flat courses, these are perfect.
-and of course the Boston Harvest 5k

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Break

     All year long I have been racing, trying to break last year's record of 30 races.  After doing 3 races in one weekend I am currently at 36.  I decided to take the rest of December off.  Since the other races were on the 1st and 2nd this seemed perfect.
     I have been putting in more training miles since Sara convinced me to do a marathon in Mid-March.  This Sunday I went with her, some friends, and their friends for a long run in North Park.  The most that I have ever run is 13.1 miles.  Most of them were planning on running at least 15 miles.  I was shooting for 10.
     The night before, Sara and I went out to eat.  We ended up at Quaker Steak & Lube.  I had never been there before but the place we wanted to go was too busy.  I was going to order ribs and fries, but at the last minute, with the waitess taking the order, I changed it up.  I ordered wings, 30,000 on the hot scale.   Sara said "Why did you do that?".  I have been eating buffalo sauce, I can take it.
     When the wings arrived they smelled more like car parts than food.  I dug in.  1 wing, 2 wings, 3 wings...  HOT!!!!!    "Excuse me, could I get some water?"  I swear the waitress took 5 minutes to bring it back.  I ate a few more and then said, "That's it. I'm done."  
     I think that I learned my lesson.  Needless to say my stomach was not a happy camper.
     We got to North Park and waited for the rest of the group.   I started out with the guys at a 7:30 minute per mile pace, which shouldn't have been a problem.  However, after a mile or 2 of shaking my stomach I needed a break.  I finished the rest of the first 5 miles at a 8 minute pace, restocked at the car and then headed back out.
     I was running alone, again.  Three miles later I saw Sara and Scott P. running the loop backwards.  I turned around and ran with them back 3 miles.  I was tired of running alone even if they were running slow.  Back at the parking lot Scott P. finished at 10 miles.  Everyone else was done with 10-15 miles, so I decided to run 5 more with Sara. 
     Mile 12 was good, mile 13 was not.  The other 3 miles were me complaining, "This is going to hurt tomorrow."  But I did it.  I finished with a total of 16.5 miles.  Then Sara and I went to get ribs and steak.

Monday, December 3, 2012

And two more makes three!

     The alarm clock went off at 5:45am.  I got up, coughed up a lung, and then thought, "I don't want to do this".  I got dressed and headed out.  I started this and I needed to finish it.
     When I got to the race there was only a couple runners and the volunteers.  I was a little bit early.  I walked up to Michelle F and got my bib and tech shirt.  The timing company was not there yet, so I sat down to wait for the timing chips.  Michael T walked in and talked with me for a bit.  Once the chips were ready, I got mine, and headed out to the car to be sick.
This was my 3rd Trot for Tots year.
     I'm not sure where the next hour went to.  I downed a few GU's then changed from long to short sleeve shirts and back again several times.  It was warm outside but I was freezing.  I decided on the long sleeve.  I went at 20 minutes til and stood around coughing and shaking. 
     The first race was the 5k.  I got in the middle of the pack as I didn't want to get pooled into running fast.  I needed to save my strength for the 10k.  I did okay.  I kept at a 8 minute pace, however the course was short at 2.7 miles.  I got a time of 21:01!..LOL
     After the race I hit the head, downed a bottle of water and another GU, plus changed shirts AGAIN!  Then I headed to the start to wait.  Once the crowd showed up.  I got to talk to Michael T, Mitch R, Charlie W, and Mallery S. 
     For the first three miles I was good, 7:30 minute miles.   But I couldn't hold on to it.  The sick got the best of me.  I stopped at the water station.  After that I ran slower, and walked a few times.  I just wanted to finish.  I got 50: something.
     I went to look at my times, ate some soup and a cookie. (I took a cookie for the girls too) Then decided to drive to North Park where Sara was doing a training run.  We ate at the North Park Club House.  Sara likes it.  I think the wait staff is stuck up and the food,well the meat, is always over cooked.
Recap... Jingle Bell Run 5k, Trot for Tots 5k, and Trot for Tots 10k, all in one weekend.

First of Three

     My plan was to run the Coldman 5k this weekend.  It is now called the Jingle Bell Run because of a new sponsor.  The weather was looking great (for winter!) and I was training good.  So I thought about doing two races this weekend.  Then one morning it hit me, I could do three!!
     Let me explain.  On Sunday is the annual Trot for tots race in Oakdale.  They have a 5k and 10k that start at different times.  So you can, if you want, do both.  The only problem with this plan is that Sara and Ash have been sick.  So has Thursday came around I started to get it.  By Friday night I was in the midst of a full blown cold. 
     Last year I said no more two plus hour drives to 5ks. Saturday morning I was driving two plus hours to Oil City. (Will I ever learn?)  When I got there the parking lot was pretty empty.  I was hoping the other race that day in Volant pulled most of the fast runners.  I was right.  Sort of...  The field was full of two area cross country teams.  Out of only 83 runners I came in 15th with a time of 21:46.  12 people were 20 minutes or under.  Damn!
     As the race was getting ready to start I saw Doug B was there.  If you run in south western pa you have seen him.  He is at like every race.  He wear bright yellow or orange shoes and runs like a duck.  Which reminds me.. right before the start, the race director Steve Hinds said, "If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, sounds like a duck, it's ICE!".  He was referring to the black ice on the trail.  I also got the privilege of seeing and talking with the great Steve S.  If you follow Sara's blog you know him as "Mr. Annoying".  He really is a nice guy.  He just thinks he knows about everything and has to tell you about it.
     I ran the race in shorts, no gloves, hat, or jacket.  The race was along the Allegheny River and it was really cold.  I should have at least worn gloves. 
     Was it fun? Sure. The only thing that I did not like was the cardboard bibs. Mine riped was I was running. I did not like the two plus hour drive though.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Everyone Has One

     Everyone has a vise.  Mine is caffeine.  I do not drink coffee.  I go for the ice cold refreshment, called Pepsi.  I started drinking Pepsi pretty heavy in my later teens.  A few weeks ago I decide enough as enough.   I need to get healthy.

     No I did not quit cold turkey or swear off caffeine altogether.   What I did was to decide to slowly  cut back.  Two weeks ago I had taking one liter and a 6-pack out of my weekly diet.  This past Saturday was my first full day without caffeine.  What about Sunday??  I tried. I made it a few hours before I caved it.
     The great thing about running is that when I run, I don't have the I need caffeine feeling.  My end goal is to have less caffeine.  I just want it to not be the first time I have to have everyday.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Dude was that a turkey on a bike?

     Last weekend I was deciding between a 5k, a half marathon, or no race at all.   I picked no race.  This gave us more time to spend as family.  Saturday we did the shopping and ate dinner out.  Sunday we went to the museum.
     Now on to Thanksgiving day.  I picked the Cranberry Turkey Chase this year.  First, because it was easy to get too.  Second, because it was a first year and I hoped for a lower attendance.  No chance on the lower attendance though.  Last year on Thanksgiving we did the New Castle YMCA Turkey Trot.  This was a very fun race, however on the way home we had an issue with a drunk driver so I picked somewhere closer to home.
     The race started off with a negative.  There was not enough parking for the number of folks that had come out.  But that happens, so Sara's jeep "made" a parking spot.  We headed down the path to the registration.  While we were getting our shirts and bibs, the lady asked us how the parking was.  We laughed.
     Next came the trip the bathrooms.  Why is this important?  You'll see.  I walked in and stood in line.  About a minute later out the stall comes a turkey, or rather a guy in a full turkey suit.  Someone in line asked him if he had lost a bet.  He replied, "we all have to do are part?"   What??
     We waited a bit, talked about putting me a real training plan for the marathon.  Oh yeah, i forgot to tell you.  Sara signed me up for the Shamrock Shuffle Marathon in Virginia Beach.  Anyways... We starting walking around looking for the start line.  About then the crowd started moving, so we followed.  The guy in the turkey suit was now a bike.  Apparently that was the "chase" part.  Poor guy.  That had to be hot and miserable.
     The horn went off and the crowd started.   I went out at a 6 minute pace.  I quickly slowed it down.  As we entered the half mile mark I saw someone I knew, Mitch R.   Mitch has done 2,000+ races.  We see him at alot of races.  He runs a little bit faster then me, so I tried to keep up with him.  He warned me about the hill coming up.
     As I rounded a corner I saw a guy with a Team Aquaphor jacket on.  That's the "sponsor" team the Sara runs for in her bigger races.  I said, "Hi, I'm Sara's husband".  He was having some trouble and I ended up passing him up in the second mile.  The rest of the race was rolling hills.  It always seems like there is more ups then downs.  Somewhere near mile 2.5 or .6, a voice behind me said, "Hi Shane, I read your blog every week".  How cool is that?    At mile 2.8 I was done. The course started up hill and I wanted nothing to do with it.  I finished it 21:39.  Could I have done better?  Maybe, maybe not.
     All in all a good race.  Would I do it again?  Sure.   

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Kittanning 10k and Mangler Marking

    This was one of those mornings that I felt like staying in bed.   It was cold with a light on and off rain.   No motivation to run but like a trooper I went out.   Mostly because I had already paid.  I guess that is motivation. 
     I arrived there early and got my shirt & bib.   I looked around and did not see anyone I know, so I headed to the car.  I listened to southern bible thumping music, aka southern gospel, on some low frequence station.  It was not bad, a lot of four part harmony.  As I sat, I noticed a lot of non runner types, maybe I could win for once.
    The start of the race was two distances, a 5k and 10k.  I had no idea who I was racing against.  When it started I held back. Normally I try to get to the front and then I get tired.  I saw some guys that looked faster than me and tried to stay behind them.
     A little boy was ahead of me.  He would run fast, stop, walk, and repeat.  With in the first mile I was passing him.  I yelled for him to keep running.  I was still behind the pack of fast runners, when the guy in the back said, "He's not going to make it like that, Sir".   I said, "you don't need to call me sir. You're older than me, I think.".  Then I asked him what race he was doing and where the 5k ended.  He told me they all were in the 5k, so I soon bolted in front of them, passing the first water stop, and someone yelled, "good luck".
     I am so used to running a  5k that it was weird not seeing people coming back already.  It was not until mile 2.7 or 2.8 that I saw the leaders.   The person in front of me was a dot and the folks behind me were not very close.   The turn around doubled as the second water stop.  I grabbed and kept going.  I tried keeping up my pace but I kept turning around to see if anyone was closing in on me.  I told runners their position as I passed them.  A good way to keep a count.
     Closing in on the last mile I started upon the last of the 5kers.  First was a little boy and his dad.  When I raced by I said, "Good job little guy".  As I was going away I heard this dad ask him "What do you say" and he said "Thank you."  Then I got to the "We have to walk four across" walkers, the type that does not move out of the way and looks shocked and scared as you fly by them.
     I only had a few more tenths of a mile when I passed two ladies, just as I go by they turn and look at me, one of them says, "nice", the other laughs.  I couldn't help but feel creeped out.  The end was in sight when I passed two kids, a boy and girl.  I said to them, "The end is near, run, go!".  The girl shook her head no.  The boy asked her, "Do you want to race?"   They started running.  I and a small crowd at the finish line cheered them on.  The rest of the 5kers were in the shelter awaiting results. 
     148 people in the 5k, 19 in the 10k.  This was a fun race, well organized.   The YMCA races always are.  I have done four YMCA races at three different locations.  (Wilmerdin, Kittanning, and New Castle)  I think the YMCA must have a secret play book for putting on races.
     My official time was 45:40.  5th overall, 4th male overall, 1st in age group, which means I got a medal! So quick recap:   Flat course, well organized, fun... Yes Sir, I will be back!
A welcome surprize, Tech shirt!
       After the race I headed home and stopped at a Wendys.  I was in running clothes, including shorts.  I ordered one of this, one of that, and kept on going.  I ate quickly. I needed to get to North Park and the people behind me would not shut up about me.  Yes, I can hear you and maybe if you got off your couch you too could be thin and wearing running clothes.
        In North Park I found two of Sara's trail friends, Mike & Michelle, cooking for their race the next morning.  I had volunteered to come and help them with whatever they needed.  I was to mark part of the course for the race.  I got a map, some flags, and my marching orders.
       I drove to the front of the park and met up with a guy named TJ.  He and I were to mark the last 7 miles of trail.  After a quick introduction we were off.  It should be noted that he had heard of me.  He knew someone that I knew in the past.  How weird is that? 
       On the trail I saw deer, mountain bikers, hikers, dog walkers, more deer.  The trail was getting a lot of use with the warm weather.  At one point I looked back down the hill and saw something.  I said, "We are being followed. I just something running up the trail!".  TJ laughed, then he saw it.  It was a coyote.  I yelled, "There it is!" and it ran off.   I have never seen one of those before.   I thought they were only in the deep woods and mountains. 

 Can you spot the deer?
    We finished the trail marking and headed back to the ice skating rink, aka the start.  Mike and two helpers were trying to put up a banner.  The three of them were hanging out windows from the second floor.  First the string broke.  Then the second try with ratching straps broke one of the gromits.  I was looking for a way to hang it up there when I noticed screws sticking out about 8 feet up.  I flipped over a metal trash can when TJ and Mike came outside.  I told them my idea and said that it would at least work for now.  I climbed up and slid the gromit over the screw.  A few move screwed lined up with the holes, when Mike remembered he had brought a staple gun!  So much easier.
     I told Mike that I would be back in the morning and that I might run in the 8k.  They had an 8k, 25k, and 50k! I went home, pigged out, and then passed out at 7:30.  Unfortunely I forgot to set an alarm.  Without Sara and the girls to wake me, I slept for 12 hours. :o)

Thursday, November 8, 2012


     What training plan do I use?  Well, honestly.. I do not use one.   With my work schedule and the kids, I run when I can.  I normally always run in the AM before the kids get up except on the weekends when I normally race.
     When I first started running, probably  for six-eight months, I ran in jeans.   Yes, jeans.   I would do one mile.  I did not get any faster or better.  Then I moved up to running 1.5 miles, in jeans.   Then I finally bought shorts in run in. 
     Almost a year later I told Sara that I was not getting any faster.  She said I needed to up my miles.   A few days later we were at the Apollo Fight for Life 5k, a pre thanksgiving race.  After the race we sat in a crowd church at a table with some of Sara's trail friends.  One of them, Phillip, said that the only way to get faster is to up your miles and change your training.  I didn't need to be told twice.  Okay, well... kinda I guess I did...
     I started running two miles, then 2.5 miles.   I added more running days and by spring I was doing a long run on the weekend.  Soon I was running 3.1 miles five days a week with either a race or a long run on the weekend.  STOP!   What's a long run?  Good question.  A long run for me was six-ten miles.  And tt still is!  I was hitting between 18-30 miles a week.  Why the difference?  Because life would not always let the run time in.
     I have not being running as must as I should since late September.  I decided after over racing the last few weeks that this week was go time!   I upped my run to at least 4 miles at a time.   I need to work on endurance.   I did not want to be tired and out of breath from a 5k.
     See you at the races!

Monday, November 5, 2012


     When I decided to take on planning my first 5k,(with only five months) I knew that I would need money.  Money for timing, insurance, medals, water, etc.   I somehow thought I could do it with $1,500.   But the more I planned, the more I needed.  I wanted not to have just some "run of the mill" race, but something people talking about and came back to.  In the end I was $200+ in the hole.
     I got it in my head that I wanted to do custom medals.  Not the stickers add to a medal, but the kind that you would get at a marathon.  A one of a kind, almost coin like medal.  That set the race back a bit.  But it was worth it.  The medals were beautiful.

     I had set up the sponsorship form so that there was no minimum.  A business could give whatever it could.  From a gift card or t-shirt all the way up to $500.  It must have worked as I got over 70 businesses to sponsor the race.  I was worried that no one would take the top level.  However Vista Metals, a local company stepped in.
Barrel of Apples Sponsor Level- $500
Business name on back of t-shirt in large print & on any ads & banners as “presented by”.
Pumpkin Patch Sponsor Level- $250
Business name on back of t-shirt & on any advertisements
Corn Stalk Sponsor Level- $100
Business name on back of t-shirt
Leaf Sponsor Level-Donation of item or gift card for raffle (under $100)
 Business name on sign on race day
     I googled "sponsorship forms" when I was making mine up.  It helped me get ideas and a feel for the layout.   One of the things that I noticed was a lot of the races had high sponsor levels in the thousands of dollars.   I could not wrap my head around a company doing that for a 5k.  I guess that is why most races have only a few sponsors.
     I got one sponsor for every twenty that I asked.  I will leave you to do the math.  It was a lot of hard work.  Especially getting stuff like food items picked up before the race.  I ended up taking a week off of work just to do the finally planning and pick ups.
    This year I started early.  I have been trying to focus on new sponsors.  The idea being the hopefully a lot of the old sponsors will return.  Now that I know what I am doing.  The race planning should be alot easy.
Did you have a business and want to sponsor the Boston Harvest 5k/10k in 2013?
Would you like to be a volunteer?  (yes, you get a shirt)
Email me at 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Dirt Monster

     Well let me start by telling you that I am now a half fanatic.  Member number 3085.  I did two half marathons in 16 days.  That is a huge acompishment!  (okay, i'm done patting myself on the back.)
      Now on to the race.   Sara had done the dirt monster two years ago, so she filled me in on the course details.  Maybe I should have listened closer. :o)  The race started in a field with a hill, followed by a hill, followed by a huge ever ending... yup you guessed it, a hill.   I of course took off too fast and burnt out.
     My legs were still bet up from last so I know that I would not be running as fast as normal. If you familiar with North Park, we started at Wildwood Drive and went up to the pool and back via Parma, Ohio. Okay, so maybe not since it was just a 5 mile run.

        Maybe it's me.   But I like the graphic.  I went to this race for the shirt.  But what do I get, a purple shirt.  Well, it's blue-ish purple, or at least that is what I keep telling myself.
Sara and crowd at the registration.
     The race was not as muddy as it could have been with all the rain from Hurricane Sandy, so that was good.   All in all a fun run.  Sara got a medal for third in her age group.  One bad thing.  No water at the finish. No water bottles.  You had to go to the registration table and pour water from a gallon jug.  They did have hot soup!!  So, that makes up for it.

Freezing after words
     One interesting note.  I saw someone that won a door prize at the Boston Harvest.  So, that was pretty cool.  Especially since I had picked out that prize personally. 

     I was contacted by the race director of the Dirt Monster a few day after my blog post.   She was sorry that I did not like the purple shirt and said that I should have spoke up.  In the mail today I got...
     Yup a new shirt!  Well, last years, but it's GREEN!   How cool is that?   THANK YOU ELAINE! Definitely a race Sara and I will go back to.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Black Belt in Running

     On one of Sara's marathon trips she won a free SPIbelt.  My wife already owned one, so she picked a color I would like and gave it to me.  It was all black and very small.
     I already owned a Nathan's belt.  It is reflective, wide, and uncomfortable.  I bought it with a gift card and used it once.  When I saw the SPIbelt, I thought, "What good is that? It holds a key, if that.  And it, too, is probably uncomfortable to run in."
    I have had the SPIbelt in the running drawer for months.  When I was packing for the Baltimore Half Marathon, I threw it in the bag.  I would need somewhere to put the room key.  The morning of the race I was getting dressed and I grabbed the SPIbelt to put the room key in.  When I did,  it grew!  I put in my car keys and it grew.  I put in my cell phone and it grew!! It turns out that it is made from elastic-like material.
     I ended up wearing the SPIbelt in two half marathons and a 5k.  So far it has not bothered me running.  It is really comfortable, you forget it is there.  And the best part is it does not get tight around you.
     Want one?  You can buy them at or at marathon expos across the country.

*Disclaimer:  This is my personal review and opinion.  No one asked or paid for the review.  SPIbelt did in fact sponsor the 2012 Boston Harvest 5k by donating an orange SPIbelt.


Monday, October 29, 2012

Apocalypse 5k & Farmer's Inn Half Marathon

     This weekend was the third time that I did a race both Saturday and Sunday.  I did this at the beginning of the month also.  Apparently I did not learn my lesson then. 
     The first race was a 5k on the Yough River Trail.  My favorite place to run.  It is close to home and flat...very flat.  The 5k had 51 people, most of whom were at the Boston Harvest.  Sara and I said hello to friends and chatted a bit while we waited for the start.  A few people did not talk to us and I can not help but wonder why.
     Our friend Jason said to me right before the race, "if you run a 7 minute mile, you might win this".  He was refered to the fact that most of the runners had on halloween custumes.  The horn blew and he was gone.  I took my time because I wanted to be able to do the half marathon the next day.   By mile one I was in 5th place and I passed what I thought should be a faster runer.  The next mile I pushed hard trying to keep ahead of another friend, Micheal.  At mile two he had gotten ahead of me and I was out of steam.  I walked a little bit and then ran again. 
     As I closed in on the finish line I could hear feet.  I sped up.  So did the feet.  I went faster.  So did the feet.  I thought F-it, they are not going to beat me.  I closed my eyes, and dropped all my energy to my feet.  I was flying.  Turns out there was 2 people behind me racing each other.  I beat them both. :o)  Time of 22:09. 
me, chris, and super gym dude

    Sara, myself, and nanny (my mom) all received 1st in our age group medals.  Ash and Gemma were there too, however Gemma was not into running that day.
     Sunday was an early up at 4am.  We had to drive a good ways to get to the second race.  This time it was a half marathon.  The second in 16 days!  And only my third ever.  It was cold.  It was raining.  Sara and I where both wearing shorts. Some old dude said, oh your going skins.  She did not bring a running coat, luckly I packed two. 
After the free buffet. yum.

     The race started at 9:03.  The race directors told us about the course.   Flat with some rolling hills and a moutain at mile 3. they did not say a mountain, but they should have!  In mile one I was already hurting.  The course was all downhill so far.  When mile two hit, the pain was gone and the hills had started. At mile 2.5 the mountain got to me.  I walked alot of it.
     By mile four the hills were gone, but I could not get my pace going again.  The mountain had beat me.  All I could do was keep running as best as I could.  Up until mile six I was going back and forth with other friend, Allison.   She then got ahead of me and at mile 10 I lost sight of her.  There was no one behind me that I could see.  This being alone, coupled with a weird cold wind that showed up at mile 11, almost made me quit. (note that other runners including my wife, commented about the cold wind that came in at mile 11.  Halloween Spirits maybe?)
     I looked at my Garmin and need to do the last mile in 8:30 minutes to get under 2 hours. I tried running hard to finish, but I kept stopping, walking, and running again.  I finished in 1:59:45.   15 seconds to spare.
T-shirt and finishers thropy
     After the race we all got a free buffet dinner.  Well not free, it was included in the race price.  It was awesome!  Country home cooking.  I had four plates full.
     On the way home we stopped for gas.  In front of us was an old suv with the tailgate up.  The suv was loaded as if someone was living out of it.  Then we saw the owner brushing his teeth and rinsing with a gallon jug of water.  His t-shirt said "phish" and he had a girlfriend who looked as if her hair had not been washed in monthes.  I said out loud, "damn hippes".  I can not help but think that when they saw us get out of the car in our running gear, they must have thought "damn runners".

Monday, October 22, 2012

History of the shirts

     I spent the month of December, 2010, coming up with designs and ideas for the team shirts.  Originally I was going with the Brunazzi Running Team.  That is until my boss told me that when his family all did a sport they went by Team_Last Name.   He said that's normally how people word it. 
     I changed the name to Team Brunazzi and then went back to the design.  The front was easy.   I wanted the back to be cool.  I couldn't come up with anything that did not curse.  I decided on a turtle.  I got the feeling Sara did loved it.
the back
the front
     "We might be slow, but we always finish."- A fitting title, except that I started to get faster very quickly.  Sara and I sported these shirts at the Run Outta Our Mine Race where people thought the back was funny.   We raced in them again at the Belle Vernon Race for a Track where the newspaper camara guy took some photos for the turtle.  We never did find out if it made the paper.
Running Outta Our Mine-Feb. 2011
     In April of 2011, Sara's dream of having a race on the Yough River Trail happened.   The Deadman's Hollow 5k and Half Marathon.  The day of the race I got an idea.  New team shirts.  The shirts were expensive, close to $40 each.   So, I decided to get some local businesses to sponsor the shirts.   It raised a little bit of money and helped lower the cost.
     Picking the new color was hard.   I really wanted bright safety yellow or orange.   Looking back on that, it probably would not have been that great.  After much thought I went with blue.  Simple, calm and peaceful. 
Run for Hunger-August 2011

     In April of 2012, I became a Race Director.  For the race I wanted new team shirts.  Mostly because some of the team sponsor had went out of business.   I asked a local printing company to do the shirts and they said sure, 15 bucks.  My jaw dropped.  I ordered a whole bunch.  Lucky my work bonus arrived just in time to pay for them.  The new shirt has 2 big and 2 small running skeletons for me, Sara and the girls.  The back is a simple TEAM BRUNAZZI.
The new shirt!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Half Marathons

     This is my first 'real' blog post.  To see my other two posts, visit

     I ran my first half marathon is April.  The only time I had run distance was about 3 or 4 ten mile training runs.  I was signed up to run in the 5k (that's my distance), but my wife got hurt before the race.  Since she was signed for the half marathon and I hate losing money, I decided to go for it. 
     I was doing really good for the first 7-8 miles, then I started to feel it.  I was trying to go too fast.  I wanted to do the half at 7:30 minute pace.  That was not going to happen.  At mile 11 my left leg starting bother me.  I had passed two friends a few miles back and I did not want to let them win, so I pushed forward.  By mile 12 I must have looked like a rabbit hopping down the trail.
clapping with Scott P.

    As I got with in sight of the finish line, I could hear feet.   I knew it had to be one of my friends.  I dropped from a 9:25 to a 6:48.  It felt like I was flying... I had done it.  I bet them both.
 Jason S. and Kelly U. closing in.
Finish Time !

     The point of the blog post was not that I finished my first half, nor that I beat two friends.  The point was that I was stupid to run a distance race with out training first.   I screwed up my knee.  I think in that last "push" to win.  It was a month before I could run with out pain.  Of course 2 weeks after the half I was running in a 5k. :o)  You just can't fix stupid, right.   Six months later, I finally got my speed back.  A nice 20:50 and then a 21:06 in 5k's.
I won't lie, I run for the medals. :o)
     Month 7 saw me back at the half marathon distance.  This time at Baltimore.  I did not try to run as fast nor as hard.   I finished in 1 hour 49 minutes.  My left knee was good, but my left leg was not.  The upper part felt like someone was twisting it.  It has been a week and the pain is all but gone.  So, what do I do?  Sign up for a 5k on Saturday and a half marathon on Sunday.  At least I can join the Half Fanatics Club.  You need 2 halfs in 16 days.  This will be 16 days, dead on.

Stupid, Crazy, or Totally Freakin' Awesome!