Monday, August 26, 2013

Welcoming Julbo - Sponsoring my Eyeballs

I have been working with Julbo in many different capacities for a few years now. Too have them back my endeavor from Dane to Davenport is even more wonderful.

I recently wrote a review of a great many of their sunglasses here. In fact,I have had more than a few people mention I seem to always have sunglasses on. Granted, I am not Jack Nicholson cool enough to wear sunglasses indoors but I do indeed find myself covering my eyes as much as possible.  I remember when I failed my first eye exam.  Hated it.  Felt like I was a failure. Like my eyes were imperfect and there was nothing I could do about it. Well, lo and behold ways to fix your eyes came around and in 2005 I got LASIK.

First off, I can't believe it has been 8.5 years since I got the surgery. That is just weird. Second, when people asked me if I could tell the difference the most important thing I could tell them was I could see the clock when I woke up in the middle of the night.  Second, opening my eyes in a ppool and not losing a contact was a wonderful thing to do as well.

What does this have to with Julbo? Well, with vision corrected to 20/10 I protect my eyes as much as I can. I don't wear sunscreen as much as I should and my diet could be a little better (lean beef is about my only saving graces some times) but I will be darned if I am not going to do what I can to keep my peepers protected. And if they are stylishly protected, well then that is even better.

So, if you don't see much of my eyes during the Dane to Davenport it is because they will be covered along the way. When we are safely out of harm's way I will let you stare into them dreamily.

But stand in line and don't shove.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

When in Davenport...

One of the many reason I chose to run my Dane to Davenport was to have it be involved with one of the most top-notch marathon weekend events out there - the Quad Cities Marathon. I can't sing the praises enough of not only the cities that are involved with this race, but is event organizer, Joe Moreno and all the people who go unnamed but make the entire weekend a smash success. It was at the Quad Cities Marathon back in 2006 when Joe asked me to make an impromptu speech about the 52 Marathon I was running that year.  I had nothing prepared, didn't really think I deserved the honor but got up and did so anyway.  To say I was honored would be an massive understatement.

I joined the Quad Cities Marathon again in 2010 where I helped unofficially pace the 1:35 half marathon group. Bruised battered and beaten from doing the Warrior Challenge in Maui the week before (a 5k, one mile and marathon all in 24 hours) my spirits were buoyed by the fact that I had something even more to do after the race.

 Pammy's Team named after a Moline runner and cyclist who died earlier that year following a three-year battle with colon cancer. Pammy's Team is comprised of all Ironman finishers who each took turn pushing a developmentally challenged child through one of the various portions of the Quad Cities Marathon.  With five legs each and two teams, 10 children got to experience at least one leg of the course in special racing wheelchairs pushed by various finishers of Ironmans across the country.

I got to meet Alyssa, a precocious little 5 year old who my friend and local massage therapist, Laurel Darren had pushed earlier in the race. Alyssa took a shine to me and I got to be so honored to be the one who got to carry her across the finishline later in the day.  You can see Alyssa, wearing the Disney Hat Laurel herself wore in a marathon and being all smiles (and a little bit of chocolate on her hands and cheek) in the picture to the right.

This year, as I am again the featured speaker at this fantastic race I know I will be elated to have finished my 165 mile journey and will have many more stories to share.  One of them will probably be how I cannot possibly believe that I thought it was a good idea to race 26.2 miles the day after completing a 150 mile stage run. But if there is one place that I am happy to be doing it, it is the Quad Cities Marathon!

Monday, August 5, 2013

6 Weeks Out - Adding Challenges

Hard to believe it is August already which means my little jaunt through the midwest is just next month. When I originally planned this adventure, I felt it would be challenging but doable.  Then I got a bad case of staph infection in my foot (MRSA) and wasn't sure when or if I would be running for the rest of the year.

I have been extremely fortunate to have had excellent care take of me and am feeling as spry as i have felt in years.  The foot is far from healed (signs of the staph keep rearing its ugly head) but it hasn't stopped me from slowly but surely getting the miles up again.

An opportunity to present as the keynote speaker at the GSSI (Gatorade Sport Science Institute) in Ecuador arose a few weeks ago. I would be presenting about some of the running I have done, how I have tackled challenges and why nutrition pays such a huge roll in those endeavors. I jumped at the opportunity and began the planning.  Then I noticed that I will be getting back around 11 p.m. on a Sunday.  I leave to start the Dane to Davenport around 6 a.m. the next day. So after being out of the country for a few days, I have approximately 4 hours to get my stuff together and go take on the D2D.

I won't say I wouldn't have it any other way as that would be a lie. But I do like the fact that given what I have put behind me in my past that I know lots of long flights preceding a 165 mile stage run which precedes a speech at the Quad Cities Marathon which preceded what will be my 146th lifetime marathon is something I can handle.

That's the difference between confidence and being cocky.  Knowing what you can do based on past experiences is simply acknowledging that you are able to put your best foot forward because something in your past shows you will probably succeed. The unknown portions are what make it exciting.