#MedalMonday- Yiasou Greek Festival 5K

This week I am talking about the famous Yiasou Greek Festival 5k. This race is part of the six pack series that Run For Your Life sponsors. Its one of the six medals I got last year. The food is as good as the race. It also happens to be the latest 5k in Charlotte.

That morning I found my way to the race with the usual signs of a contestant. I had to pee like I do with all races and like always, you have to wait in line. The lines for the bathroom are always long at these races. I think it is due to the fact that they sell out fast.

After using the bathroom and chilling before the race, it was time to line up and get going.

The race was run and the course was fairly easy. I remember all the cars parked in the street and how some people were running into them as they were trying to pass people.

The race was short but it was a 5k so what do you expect. Once I crossed the finish line I got my medal and had a beer under a tree. I stayed a while and ate some really good greek food before heading home.

If anyone is looking for a simple, flat, and fun 5k in Charlotte then this race is for you. It is nothing fancy but a lot of fun.

Happy Monday! Lets get this week!

 

#MedalMonday- 2016 Charlotte Half Marathon

This was one of those races that did not end very well for me. We all have these types of races. When we wish we did better or if there was something we could have done differently to prepare. I actually never talked about this race on the blog before but better time then today.

I got my stuff ready the night before like I do with any race. I got up and got dressed and headed to the train station. It was a cold November morning but the closer I got to Uptown the more excited I was getting.

This was my last race of the 2016 season before I took a break. It was my 10th race of the year overall. I was ready to be done before it even started. The truth is that the Charlotte Half Marathon is my favorite course ever. The beautiful neighborhoods of Myers Park, Dillworth, and then the home stretch through South End. It is also challenging with the big hills.

One of the cool things about this race was all the people on the sidelines cheering you on. That was incredible.

I was doing fine. Running at a steady pace. I stopped at the water stations and got some Gatorade. Nothing was going to stop me. I was going to finish this race.

Everything was fine from miles 1 to 11 and then it took a dark turn. When running through South End my legs started to cramp. I never had this happen to me before. It was the most intense pain I have ever experience in my legs. So here I am on mile 12 limping to the finish line.

I made it and I was so glad. It was a good race all things considering. I even got another medal for completing this and the Rocktoberfest Half Marathon but we will talk about that one later.

I love this race as it holds dear to my heart. I did the complete marathon the year before. If you are looking for a fun race in Charlotte in November then sign up for The Charlotte Half Marathon cause it will not disappoint.

Happy Monday Guys!

 

#MedalMonday- The Walking Day 5k

So I really have been in to virtual races lately. Last year I signed up for so many races that I was traveling on Saturday out of the month to compete. It became very busy and I hate being away from my family. So I had a friend mention he was doing a virtual race and I asked him what they were. His response was that there are races out there that do virtual races in order to raise money for a specific cause. You run the require distance on your own time. They ship you a medal and a race bib and you post your results online.

Once he told me that I had to check it out. Sure enough it was a real thing. Soon I found myself signing up for all sorts of races. How cool was this? You can still compete and train and you don’t have to travel to do it.

One of the races I signed up for was The Walking Day 5k. I just completed this race this week and got my medal. It really looks like the logo from the AMC show The Walking Dead which by chance happens to be one of my favorite shows.

I have a lot more races coming and I also just found out that there is a virtual race series from Disney so you know I am signing up for that one.

Happy Monday guys!

Morning Runs Are The Best

The alarm clock goes off in my room, it is pitch black outside, the cool air and the sounds of the morning fill my ear. Then I hear three…two…one…GO! I start at a slow pace to get my rhythm and then I start to speed up thinking of how I am going to take this day down.

The past couple of weeks I have been getting up and going for a little 3 mile run in the morning and I have to say it has made my day a lot better. Not only do you get around thirty minutes of cardio in but you also burn around 500 calories early in the morning which starts your day off right. I feel better after my run. I feel like I can take on the world.

On another note I have started carb cycling and I have no idea what I have never tried this before. It is working out great. I am not hungry anymore and I am eating good food. I also found a little trick that is amazing for burning fat and boasting metabolism. I will share that on Friday.

Happy Thursday!

Meal Prep Wednesday, A Run, And A Monsoon

IMG_3155So today ended very crazy for me. I have never been more on the go then I was tonight. I really did experience the whole “not enough hours in a day” tonight as I scambled to get some many things done in so little time.

I left work today to with every intention to go run by the hospital to see mom before heading home. Well the weather has other plans. Not only did it pour down rain, but it was windy also so my umbrella could not save me as I got pelted with rain from all sides.

I actually ended up taking an Uber back to my car that was parked a half mile from the building. This was my first Uber ride and it was pretty cool to be on the other side of it. By the time I got to my truck to take me home, I was soaked from head to toe. So I dedcided to skip the hospital and head on home.

When I got home I played with my oldest daughter and ate dinner quick. i knew I had some solid meal prepping to do and I needed to hurry. This week I wanted to do something different cause I was getting burnt out on broccoli and brown rice. I spent a couple of weeks looking at other people’s meal preps on Instagram. I decided to try red cabbage instead of broccoli and use avocado instead of brown rice.

So this weeks protein was taco chicken, ranch turkey burgers, and Montreal seasoned STEAK!!!

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This weeks veggies were red cabbage and broccoli and this weeks starches and healthy fats were avocados and brown rice.

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I am actually really excited about this weeks meal prep. I love trying new dishes.

After meal prepping, I still had one thing left to do and that was RUN! I missed crossfit this morning cause I wanted to help my wife with the kids and I was hurting from the Extra Filthy workout. I managed to kill 3.50 miles in under 32:00 minutes. I got that Greek Festival 5k next week and I need to keep my legs warmed up.

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Now it is time for this blogger to head to bed. Goodnight Web!

Finding Your Way Back To the Grind

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After a rollercoaster of a weekend, I needed some cuddles with this little cutie!

So this weekend has been rough. There is not an easy way to say it. I feel like I have been on a crazy ride of emotions the past three days. One minute I am happy, then sad, then scared, and then angry. Its not always in that order but the intensity of emotions varies.

This morning I decided to go for a run. The one thing I know that makes me forget. It keeps me in check. It is the time in my day where I think the most clearly and I am the most relax. I think it is the runner’s high. I managed to complete 4 miles. I would tell you the time but I was not watching the clock. This run was just for fun.

I got a call before stepping in the shower from my brother. He told me that my mother’s condition had gotten worse and that I needed to come to the hospital ASAP. I jumped in the shower and threw my clothes on and headed up to the hospital in a hast.

I was told that my mom’s brain had swollen and we only had two options. One was to do surgery and allow them to drill a hole in my mom’s skull to let some of the pressure out or to let nature run it’s course. After a long discussion with my brother and stepfather, we decided to honor my moms wishes and to let nature run it’s course.

I spent the rest of the afternoon coming to terms with what was decided. I knew this was the right decision. This is what she wanted.

I never thought I would have to decide someone’s fate like that. It is a strange feeling. The closest I have ever came to this was when I had to sign the papers for them to extract my deceased child out of my wifes womb. As tramatic as that was, this was different.

On a brighter note, my mom was talking today. She would come in and out as she was trying to regain her conscious. She told me she wanted a Pepsi and a chicken biscuit. I had to explain to her that the nurses said she could not have that as they feared she would choke. She would sometimes ask strange questions. She asked to get her phone so she could call her mom. My grandma has been died for over 10 years.

When I go home my wife gave me a hug and told me that everything was going to be fine. I knew she was lying but I appreciated the attempt to make me feel better. She did surprise me with a new desk. It was just what I wanted to complete things for the gym and to keep blogging.

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Now its time for bed. I have 75 burpees waiting for me in the morning. Goodnight guys!!!

Back With A Vengeance

IMG_3050 (1)So the last you heard I was recovering from my gout incident. I have to say  that was painful but now my leg is back to normal. I felt better and ready to hit the gym hard.

My car ended up being totaled and now I am in the process of getting my Dad’s truck put in my name. I have been very lucky to have my brother who is letting me use his truck until we solve all the legal matters.

Now when my foot was feeling better I  came back to the gym angry. Angry cause not only was I put on my butt for a week and missed so much, but I have a race coming up soon and I need to get my strength training in sometime.

So not only did I kill it in the gym but I managed to get four PRs in a two week period.

1 Mile Run- 7:10
Back Squat- 295
Squat Clean- 215
Snatch- 105

Now it is back to getting ready for The Greek Festival 5k and doing a lot of running, which I have ignored cause it has been way to hot these days.

NOTE: I will be doing more blogging then ever before. More great post coming your way so stay tuned.

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Oak Island Lighthouse Half Marathon Recap

  
Well the third time is a charm as they say. I have to say that the highlight of my spring is heading down to Oak Island in April for a weekend with the family. Not only is this run very fun and challenging, it’s a great first half marathon for anyone wanting to try it. 

  
Packet pickup last year was at the Chamber of Commerce building. This year they decided to have it at the airport. It was a little hard to find for any out of town runner like myself but I found it. My wife has a great sense of direction.  The T-shirts this year are way better this year then last. They fit way better. I actually ordered a 2X cause I thought it was going to be like last years tight fitting shirts. 

  

I was a little worried going into this race cause I had pulled a muscle in my back on Wednesday and then pulled it again on Friday morning at crossfit. So I was in pain. I took some anti inflammatory pills and was feeling better but was I feeling 13.1 miles better? 

The morning of the race I was feeling confident. This was my third year running this race. I was a seasoned vet at this point. The race moved locations and now no longer required you to run over that big bridge but now required you to run to the NC Baptist Assembly and then turn around and come back. 

  
The buzzard went off and the race began. I kept a slow pace to the mile one marker as always so the crowd would start to thin. So many people this year. This race has grown so much in popularity over the years. Then I moved to my 8 minute pace and stayed there. I could feel my body getting comfortable with my pace. I smiled and I knew at the 3 mile marker that this was going to be my race. 

I ran faster and stronger then ever before. I stopped at ever water station and walked as I drank my water and then resumed my race like a boss. Soon I coming close to the turn around at mile 7 and it felt like forever for me to get there. Finally I reached it and I knew that now was the last phase of this race. I had to keep it together. 

  

On the way back I saw all the people I passed. They looked tired as I felt. I cheered them in as I passed them. Soon I was back in the residential area around the end of mile 8 and I knew I was almost done. Residents crowded along the streets with signs and yelling for us to have a great race. I was having the best race of my life. 

Soon I was on the way back to the road closest to the beach. I released I was on mile 12 and this was most over. I texted my wife and barley said “1mile left”. That was how it looked. They say the last mile is the hardest in any race and they are right. It seemed that mile took forever. 

Soon the finish line was in sight and I made it. My wife and kids greeted me and they handed me my find her medal which was a huge margarita glass. 

  
I loved the new course and the fact that I walked away from this race with a new PR for a half marathon. The medal is not an ideal finisher medal but great for a Jimmy Buffet themed race. 

  

  
  
After the race I changed clothes and we grabbed some taco and rode to Carolina Beach and got donuts at the magical place called Britt’s Donuts. 

  
Great weekend and a great race! 

Now on to the next race…The Mother’s Day 5k! 

Seeing Green- The Shamrock 4 Miler Recap

So it’s the second race of the season and I had one goal in mind. That was to beat my time from The Super Run. I knew it was going to be hard but with a lot of effort it could be done. Night after night and a few early mornings, I went out in my garage and got on my treadmill and just started running at 7.0 mph and then worked my way up to 8.5 mph. The Wednesday before the race I got on the treadmill for the last time before tapering began and I finished in a record-breaking 30:31. Although that was great I knew I was not going to make it at that time during Shamrock. I would have been happy to finish between 32:00 and 36:00.

 So it was the big day. I pulled up to the race excited and nervous. The Shamrock 4 Miler was a very packed out event. There were people everywhere. They had booths set up from Chickfila, Running Works, and State farm, which were all giving away freebies to all the runners. You all know I love free stuff. I felt alone walking around. My wife had made plans prior to my registration to go to a mega kids consignment sale. I was not mad but I knew my biggest cheerleader was there in spirit.

It came time to line up. Like all my other races, I started to get nervous as I watch the clock countdown the last-minute and then the anticipation grew as I watched the volunteers getting the finishing medals ready. Then I looked up and the clock had ten seconds left. No going back and no stopping me now. Then I was off…


I started at a 8:00 minute mile pace. Pushing my legs while trying to reserve my energy. People were passing me but I still kept my pace. This was my race and not theirs. We turned on Elm Street, which was mostly downhill and I could feel myself starting to breathe hard. It was rather foggy and there was a lot of moisture in the air. When I turned on Ballantyne Commons Parkway, my legs were moving faster as I sped down hill reaching the 1 mile marker that read my time was 8:06. I started to smile as I pressed onward.
 The journey to mile two was all downhill. I kept getting faster and had to put the brakes on a few times cause I did not want to be that runner who falls flat on their face in the middle of a race. I started to see some of the people who passed me as they had already made it to the turn around at John J. Delaney Drive. I was not worried but just glad to be reaching the turn around spot. When I finally reached the 2 mile marker the time said 16:39. I knew then I knew then I needed to hurry.

One lesson I did learn in my high science class was that when you run downhill you almost always have to go back uphill. Yes that is right. Almost at the beginning of mile 3 I could feel my legs start to burn as I struggled up the first hill. I could hear the runners behind me moaning in pain which told me that I was in good company. It seemed that my pace was slowing down. I was breathing harder than ever. Now this was a mental race cause I had to talk myself out of walking a few times. I pushed and I pushed and then I saw the 3 mile marker and the time read 26:10. This was a victory cause I was I was in the home stretch.

Mile 4 was even more of an uphill battle. As I passed the places I was at in the beginning of the race, I kept saying that I was a fool. You knew you had to come back uphill. This was not going to be an easy 4 mile race. Get real. When I turned back on to Elm Street, I saw that last hill and I knew that as soon as I got up that last hill and turned left, I was almost home. I pushed, and pushed, and pushed until I was there. When I saw the last turn to the finish line I ran like Forrest Gump. As fast as I could until I saw that finish line and heard that loud music.

Crossing the finish line is by far my favorite part of any race but when I get that finisher medal in my hand, It makes it all worth it. Every pain in my legs, thighs, and feet worth it.  I looked at my stats later and it said I finished in 35:33, which means I met my goal of beating my Super Run 4 Miler time!

 

 Now that this race is done, I still have seven more races left for this year. The next one is going to be a rematch for me. The Oak Island Half Marathon, which is going to be different cause the last time I ran this race it rained the entire time and I was miserable. I am going to try this again and see if I could beat my time. This will be a challenge cause due to the raising popularity of this race, they moved it and changed the course. So I can’t wait to see how I do.

Next stop….Oak Island Half Marathon!


Super Run 4 Miler Recap

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Well it was a very cold morning this past Sunday. I really excited about my first race of 2016 but not as excited to get out there in the freezing cold. BrittWhitFun and the kids came along to cheer me on which I am always grateful for.

For those who don’t know, this event is very new to Charlotte. Its only the second year they have done it and its always on Super Bowl Sunday! So the race is football themed of course which makes it more fun. So many people out there in their different jerseys makes it fun to see all the different types of football fans Charlotte has. Of course most of them were sporting their black and blue for those amazing Carolina Panthers! GO PANTHERS!

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Registration for this event was quick and easy. I knew I wanted to do a fun race in February and this one seemed to stick out to me. If you registered early you got to get your name on your race bib and have your bib match the color of your favorite football team. You also got a very nice pint glass to drink your beer later that day and a nice comfortable shirt. The race also had a nice finish medal which you can see below.

We arrived at about 8:30 that morning and got the kids out and took the big one pee cause lets face it t hat is what every parent has to do when they get some where, The start line was close to my job so we went inside there to pee. By the time we made it to the start line people were every where. Food trucks and race vendors were out selling and promoting new events, music was playing, and people were on the ground stretching. This was my kind of event with my kind of people.

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Ten minutes till the start time, we all started to line up. The announcer asked everyone to participate in the largest “dab” photo ever. it was fun. Soon the race was starting and everyone was taking off. The first mile was around Bank of America Stadium, which is a beautiful stadium. I was running full force and keep my 9:30ish pace very well. People were already starting to walk about to the halfway point. I told myself that I just ran a marathon two month ago and I should be able to handle four miles easy. Mile two took you past my Charlotte Observer office and down to Nascar Hall of fame which was mostly downhill and now it was more fun to run. I love downhill and the gentle feeling it gives on my legs.

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When you turn on McDowell street you are in Mile three and this was where people started to fade. I struggled to cause when you go downhill you almost ways have to go back up the hill. The last half of mile three and all of mile four was up hill. I was still keeping my 9:30ish pace and I was push through. Many people who past me were walking and I was just pushing as far as my legs would go.

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The hard last hill on mile 4
Finally I could see the stadium in my view and I new I was almost home! I ran past the Church Street and turned right and went for an all out sprint to the finish line and made it in 37:03! My best 4 miles ever! What a great way to start my Super Bowl Sunday with a great race and a fancy new medal!

All and all this was a fun and challenging race. Will I run it again next year? YES! I think this will be my new Super Bowl tradition besides eating a heck of a lot of chicken wings. At least now I can feel less guilty about it on Monday.

  
Shamrock 4 Miler Here I come!

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1st race of 2016 DONE!!!!