Saturday, June 28, 2014

First Annual CorNfield CorNfield 10k

Proud to be a sponsor of the 1st annual BRIN CorNField CorNfield 10 k at Werner  Park in Papillion. Humid and hilly, but a great race!!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Updated map

I crossed off the biggest state! Three more to go!!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Pictures from Mayor's Midnight Sun Marathon

#50--Mayor's Midnight Sun Marathon

Anchorage, AK
June 21, 2014

This was my 50th marathon total, NOT my 50th state.  Nevertheless, this one felt like a milestone.  FIFTY MARATHONS.  It doesn't seem possible.

The name implies that this marathon is run at midnight.  Although possible with the 22 hours or so of daily sun this time of year, this race is not run at midnight.  It starts in the morning and is run on the Saturday closest to the Summer Solstice each year.  This year, it happened to fall on the longest day of the year.

This is obviously a destination marathon and one that I have looked forward to for a long time.  The biggest challenge, logistically, was arranging coverage for our 3 small children while my wife and I made a mini-vacation out of this race.  Thanks Mom & Dad, Tracy and Mike!

Secure in the notion that our kids were well taken care of, we left Omaha Wednesday afternoon.  Getting to Anchorage was relatively easy, with a flight from Omaha to Seattle, a brief layover, and then on to Anchorage.  Each flight was a little over 3 hours.  Arriving in Anchorage a little before midnight, with the sun still shining, was disorienting to say the least.

The weather was perfect in Anchorage, mid 60s and sunny.  We rented bikes and spent the first half day biking around town and along the coast.  We logged 30 miles or so on the bike, probably not ideal 2 days before a marathon.  I picked my race packet up later that afternoon, a task that only took a few minutes thanks the the small expo.  From there it was back to the hotel for R&R.

The morning of the race, there was a steady rain.  I didn't come real prepared for in-climate weather.  I grabbed an extra trash can bag from the hotel and turned it into a poncho.  I boarded the shuttle to the start of the race at Bartlett High School.  The gym was open, so we didn't have to stand in the cold rain for 2 hours, thankfully.

The starting gun went off at 8, and the thousand or so runners began to run through a steady, cold rain.  I didn't really hear anybody complaining, not that it would do any good anyway.  I didn't really know what to expect out of myself on race day.  I had done very little running since my double a few weeks ago, and although I hadn't had any IT band pain in my knee for weeks, I was more than a little worried about that, particularly on this hilly course.  I settled into an easy, 10:30/mile pace and tried to avoid other runners.  The first stretch of the course is on a trail similar to the trail along HW 2 for the Lincoln Marathon, fairly congested.  The pack thinned out some and I watched the miles tick by.  At mile 6, the rain had let up and I discarded the home made poncho.  The course then turned into an army training area, with miles of old muddy tank tracks to run on.  With my recent trail running experience, I found this to be the funnest part of the race.  The course was scenic, but the clouds and fogs obscured the mountain views.  I ran the first half in about 2:25.  From there, my pace quickened some and I was able to come in at 4:35, running a "negative-split" marathon for the second straight time.  I finished in the top half of all marathoners.  I grabbed some recovery food at the finish and then boarded a bus back to the hotel.  For a change, I didn't have to leave right away, so I was able to take a long, hot shower and actually relax and enjoy the accomplishment of finishing my 50th full marathon.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Musings from the Mayor's Midnight Sun Marathon

-Just when you think you've done something special, you realize you haven't really.  I sat next to a guy who has completed over 100 marathons and 100 ultra-marathons, and has WON races in 12 different states.

-Ironic that on the longest day of the year, with 22+ hours of sunshine, the race is run mostly in the rain, and the sun didn't peak out once all day.

-Early on in the race, a lady turned to me and said, "We are running through Alaska!  How cool is that?"  Answer: very cool.

-I didn't see a bear or a moose.

-Part of the course was run through an Army base.  When I saw the models of Afghani or Iraq towns with bombed cars and buildings, "training" took on a whole new meaning.

-The marathon doesn't really get the attention of the locals here.  Besides the Iditarod, the biggest race in Alaska is the Mount Marathon race held every July 4 in Seward, Alaska.  It's not a marathon, but is a ~3.1 mile hike/sprint up and down Mount Marathon, 3,000 ft above see level.  The race is treacherous and leaves runners bruised, bloodied, and sometimes worse.  A few years ago the last runner up didn't come down, and has never been found.

- I am so glad I am not running another marathon tomorrow!

#50 in the books

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day

Many, if not most, dads spend father's day golfing or glued to the TV watching the US Open.  Me?  I usually run.  Today was no different, with an easy 8 mile run, my longest run since my double marathon 2 weeks ago, and my longest run until I do a 3rd marathon next weekend in Alaska.

As I draw to a close on my 50 state goal, I am feeling a lot of mixed emotions.  I am extremely proud to have stayed committed to such an ambitious goal for such a long time.  I am also a little sad that this journey, which has been such a huge part of my life for so long, will soon be coming to an end.

Since my first marathon in 1998, a lot has happened.  I graduated from medical school and started residency.  I married the love of my life.  I joined a great practice at NOASM.  I became a dad.  It is this last title that perhaps most defines and inspires me.  The chance to see and experience the world through your children's innocent eyes and the chance to inspire the next generation.

One of the consequences of my journey to 50 that I am most proud of is the effect it's had on my kids.  To them, it is totally normal to have a half dozen pairs of running shoes laying around the house.  It's totally normal to see dad wearing sweaty running clothes, having just returned from a run, when they wake up in the morning.  It's totally normal to have shoe boxes full of racing bibs and medals.

When I started running, I did it just for me and to a large extent, that is still true.  It makes me the best me I can be.  Now though, more than ever, I do it for my family.  I do it so I can live the longest and happiest life I can with them.  I do it so I can inspire them, as much as they have inspired me.

Friday, June 6, 2014


Good luck to those running the Havelock Charity run tomorrow.  Nebraska Orthopaedics has several teams competing to raise money for the Arthritis Foundation.

Look for our team members wearing red shirts with this logo!

#49--North Olympic Discovery Marathon

Port Angeles, WA
June 1, 2014

This was the Sunday marathon of my weekend double.  Port Angeles is in far northwest Washington, so it was a 6 hour drive from the Mt. Hood area in Oregon.  Needless to say, spending six hours in a car right after a difficult trail marathon was not ideal!  My wife drove most of the way, so that at least allowed me to recline and rest a little.

We got into town around 8PM and found the hotel.  There was a great Thai restaurant right across the street.  After carbo loading, we checked into the hotel.  I laid my stuff out for the morning and then as soon as my head hit the pillow, I was out.

We stayed at the host hotel, and they started breakfast at 530 for runners.  After fueling, I walked across the street to catch the bus to the start of the race.  There, I was able to pick up my race bib.   Allowing packet pick up on race day is almost a must for doing a double weekend, and usually only done by smallish marathons.  I am grateful when they allow this.

The race started promptly at 730.  Weather was perfect.  Overcast, no wind, cool, and dry.  The course was a point-to-point run.  It was run on the Olympic Discovery Trail, a paved trail near the Olympic mountain range.  It was generally flat and fast.

I started out slow, as expected.  I felt surprisingly strong, and was actually able to pick up my pace as the race went along.  I ran the second half faster than the first, and my last 6 miles were the fastest 6 miles I ran all weekend.  The finish area was right in front of our hotel.

The hotel offered late check out for runners.  I had 15-30 minutes to shower and change before checking out.  We left the hotel right at 1PM and headed to Seattle, to catch a flight home the next morning.

I felt an unusual satisfaction after this weekend.  I knew this would be a major challenge.  With this double weekend behind me, I have only four more states to reach my goal.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

#48--Timberline Marathon

Mount Hood National Forrest, Oregon
May 31, 2014

This was the first marathon of my Pacific Northwest Double.  Just a few weeks after my trail marathon in Delaware, I was very nervous going into this because of my slow time in Delaware, my knee pain that has hampered my training, and the prospect of running another marathon the next day!

My wife accompanied my on this trip, the first time she's gone along for one of these double weekends.  It was great to have her along.  This is a pretty exclusive, very low key trail marathon.  We stayed at a mountain climbing lodge at the base of Mt. Hood.  It was a neat experience, with community meals and a dorm style living.  We were fortunate enough to have a private room with bunk beds!

There was no packet pick up until race day.  The start of the race was a little hard to find.  I did manage to make it right before the start of the race.  The first couple miles of the race were very hilly and quite technical, reminiscent of Delaware.  After that, the course "flattened" out into a beautiful two lap course around Timothy Lake in Mt. Hood National Forrest.    The course was stunning, and this was quite possibly the most beautiful marathon I've ever done.

There were only 3 or 4 aid stations along the course and these only stocked water and gatorade so runners could refill their own containers.  I expected this and brought along my Ultimate Direction water belt and bottle.  I consume a gel pack every 45-60 minutes to keep my blood sugar up.

I ran the first half of the race in 2:40, 10 minutes slower than my previous race in Delaware, but I felt much better at the half way point than I did a few weeks ago.  My pace the second half of the race slowed only a little, and I finished the race in just over 5 1/2 hours.  Given the course and my difficulties training up to this race, I was satisfied.

I collected my shirt and medal at the finish.  We drove back to the lodge and I was able to take a quick, cold shower.  I quickly refueled and we began the 6 hour drive north to Port Angeles, Washington for the marathon on Sunday.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

#49 in the books

I completed my Oregon/Washington double today, shaving almost an hour off of my time from yesterday.