July 13, 2009 Marathon Training Update

This one is for Honoree Alexa Brown who is in Hospice.  Please support the fight against cancer by donating at:

Another great weekend of running!

Sunday July 12, 2009

Got in my long run for the Oil Creek 100 training.  Needed to get in 30 and did just that and went a little faster than last time.  David paced me for the first half and that helped me get into a decent rythim.  He was encouraging along the way and had to go after 11 but he got me off to a great start.  Run felt good all the way to the end.  Jim logged 18 miles and had a good run as well.  The morning was cool and not as humid as two weeks ago and yesterday.  Lots of runners out this morning!

Had a couple moments of “I want to stop,” but got through that with a breathing technique to get my head straight…not that running 30 miles is exactly having your head straight…LOL.  Breathe in thinking “calm,” and breathe out thinking “relax.”  Works well in just a few minutes to clear your mind especially of any negativity and self-defeating thinking and easy to do even while you are running.  The mind and the body relax so they can do what they need to do.  Couple that with the positive thoughts of our Honorees, especially Alexa Brown who is in Hospice now, and a few prayers, and the mind and the body gets stronger.  “We can do this, we will do this.”

I was running alone for the last 12 miles and getting tired.  That’s when the doubt creeps in.  It gets hard to keep up the pace and keep moving.  Your energy just seems to drain from you and it’s as much mental as it is physical.  There is no one to watch you, encourage you, or hold you accountable so you have to find it from within.  You dig deep to find your mojo and you think about your Honorees.  Then you just know that when you are tired and alone they are there running with you.

Saturday July 11, 2009

TNT Team met at Farnsworth park for a long run.  Most everyone needed about 10 miles for the day and this is a great park to do it.  It’s an out and back along the river and just great scenery.  Thunderstorms were in the area but they seemed distant, mostly north of us.  In spite of the possibility of rain, everyone showed up.  We headed out around 8 a.m. and the rain started around 9…it wasn’t too bad except for a few minutes of heavy downpour.  Everyone still did well and didn’t complain about the weather much, it was even fun.  Apparently, Dayna was jumping in the mud puddles!  The fun stuff certainly makes it easier even if you are running farther than you’ve ever run before.

David and I logged a moderate tempo run for 15 miles.  Wanted to run hard to have heavy legs for Sunday’s long run at OO.  It worked especially with the rain and getting waterlogged…shoes felt like they weighed 5 pounds each!  Legs were definitely tired.

July 10, 2009 Marathon Training Update

Birthday today.  20 years ago, I would have never imagined running marathons and training for these races this fall.  People often look at me when they hear I signed up for the Oil Creek 100 and they say, “That’s just crazy,” and I have to agree with them.  It is crazy…but I’m doing it.  I have to now since I signed up, paid my money, and told everyone I would…it’s the challenge to see how far I can go physically and mentally…the adrenaline rush…but more importantly, it’s to raise money to help fight cancer.

It forces me to look inside myself.  At times, I wonder what I’m made of…I keep hitting milestones: ran my fastest 1/4 in 1:22 today, Thursday actually, and that was after a set of 800’s, ran my longest day ever at 32 miles, ran my longest week last week at 72 miles.  I feel great inside and out.  I feel so good it makes me wonder what I’m missing…hmmm…

Thursday July 9, 2009

Ran 7×800’s at 3:10 pace with 90 sec rest.  Felt pretty good even with the 80 degree temp.  David ran at 3:00 pace and Don joined us to run at 4:00 pace.  Everyone is running well.

Tuesday July 7, 2009

Ran 19 today, broke it up by running 9 with Rachel, 5 with David who actually showed up late so I was done when he was getting started, lol, and ran 5 with Don.  It was a perfect day for running.  Warm but with a cool breeze and lots of sun.  I just kept wanting to get out there and run more!

July 6, 2009 Marathon Training Update

Good week of running!  Clocked 72 miles last week through Saturday.  The bulk of that was the long run of last Sunday June 28th.  This week is feeling pretty good too.  Will keep the mileage on the low side to do another long run next Sunday.  Feeling confident about being ready for Oil Creek which is just 14 weeks away.  It’s still hard to imagine going that far but I never imagined doing 72 in a week before either.  The milestones keep coming. I hope they never stop!

Sunday July 5, 2009

Ran 20 with David for his first real long run for the season.  Weather was perfect and we cruised right along for an 8:03 pace.  Great run considering Island View the day before!  We were getting tired in the last two but stayed with it and David kicked the last 100 yards or so to hit the finish first.  The man has speed.  I’m jealous!  :-)

Saturday July 4, 2009

Ran with TNT at Island View park in Rossford.  Great for the hills.  Cranked out 13 laps with David, Frank and Monica throughout the morning.  Most at a 7:50 pace which which felt great and the last two were with Monica at her pace which was a real nice and tough workout.  Going the slower pace with Monica, who cranked out 9 laps herself!, works the muscles differently which is not an easy thing.  The team is doing great, everyone is having fun training and they are right on track with their fundraising.  They are inspiring.

Breakfast afterwards at Bob Evans was fun.  Sometimes breaking bread with friends after a good run is the best part.  Talking about our kids, age 2 and up, and the books we’ve read recently, and sharing training stories and support and encouragement, just makes you feel good and connected. 

Have to remember Kimberly’s Smile/Frown Face Reward System.  Sometimes, the simplest tools is what works best, even for adults!  Train well…get a smile face.  Goof off…get a frown.  It works for her kids.  For us adults, the smile/frown face is not the motivator as much as what your kids say to you when they see your performance… it’s their response that can keep you in line.  Set a goal, tell everyone…make it happen!

David and I did intervals at the track on Thursday July 2, and it turned out well.  I ran 7 x 800’s at 3:15 or better and David ran 7 x 800’s at 3:05 or better.  We kind of lost count though due to oxygen deprivation so we did an extra quarter for good measure which allowed me to run my first ever 400 in 1:27.  Felt pretty good except for the burning muscles and bursting lungs!  Woohoo!

Fundraising for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and TNT is going well with 76% of my $5,000 goal posted to the website.  I’m hoping that with your help, we can reach and exceed the goal.  If you haven’t already, please consider a donation to support the fight against cancer and honor a loved one.  Each and every one of us knows someone with this scary disease. 

Learn more and donate on-line at:  

Thanks for supporting the cause!

June 29, 2009 Marathon Training Update

Sunday June 28, 2009

Sunday morning, 70 degrees, sunny and just beautiful.  Ran 28 miles this morning.  Plan was for 30 but it got hot and I was losing my zest for it so I let the last two go.

Started with 11 miles at 7:20 a.m., running a bit late, and hoping to get them in before Team in Training member Kimberly and friend Kathy arrived for their long run.  Forgot my gel packs.  Not good.  I like having those handy but we’ll just have to do without…

Passed a deer on the side of the trail at the outset as I was walking to the starting point.  She just looked at me, didn’t move except she turned her head to watch me as I watched her.  She was a bit nervous but she stayed still as I passed by and just kept turning her head and neck, must have been bent around about 240 degrees.  It made me think of an owl as I watched her.  I kept going and she relaxed and went back to foraging for food.  She was a pretty girl to see and that just made me feel even better about being out early in the morning.

Met up with Frank in the last mile or so and we stopped in for water and to meet up with the others, 8:40 pace so far.  Definitely tired from Saturday’s tempo runs which was part of the plan.  Learning to run on tired legs is a necessity, not much fun but necessary.  Ran a lap with everyone at about 10:30 pace which was a good time for Kimberly.  Frank and Kathy paced each other just a bit faster.  It was a good lap.

Everyone took off and I continued my long run.  Put the headphones on and tried to enjoy some tunes.  Didn’t really work.  Should have went without.  I think I needed to just run and listen to nature some more and stay relaxed and run easy.  Then Jim arrived near the end of that lap, and he paced me through another short lap, 25 miles now.  Getting tired and it’s getting hot so I walked/jogged one more short lap, 28 miles total.  Jim ran a long lap and met me back at the end.  Might have stopped at 25 if Jim hadn’t been there.  Makes me wonder about my mojo.  Am I going to have it or enough of it at Oil Creek?  I think I need to work on the Honoree list…good miles and good friends.  Can’t beat that.

Wanted to do 30 miles but I said to Jim, “28 miles is enough for today.”  I felt spent.  He laughed and said he was writing that down to quote me back to myself at Oil Creek when I’m trying to figure out how to do 100 miles.  He’s a funny man… absolutely correct.  My goodness …is kind of how I feel when I think about what’s to come.

Finished the day with a 5 mile walk/run with Rachel.  Her knee is getting better and today she discovered how to change her stride a bit to take the pressure off of it, seemed to work well, pain went away for the most part.  She did good being self-aware enough to adjust her stride like that.  Now she just needs to continue to build her leg strength.  She’ll be ready for Akron, that’s for sure.  She’s a runner.

Saturday June 27, 2009

Met up with TNT’ers this morning, Obenga, Don, and Jenny and alumni Frank and David.  Ty showed up to drop off stuff for our fundraisers and run a few miles with us.  Going to miss Tracy, who just recently left the TNT staff.  It sure won’t be the same without her.  Jenny rode her bike in for 15 miles one way and then her run and then a ride back.  That’s a good workout!  Monica, Rachel and Dayna and Kimberly all out of town or busy.  Dayna doing a tri today!

I ran with David for 11 miles.  We did basically 2 tempo runs with a 2.5 minute break in between, and a couple walk breaks.  Overall average pace was 7:30, near race pace.  I think we hit a few 7:00 and 7:15 miles in there.  Felt good and very tiring.

Passed Frank and Don in the last half mile.  Started to hear footsteps and wondered who was catching us as we were starting to kick it in.  It was Frank’s footsteps I was hearing!  Couldn’t believe it, he was catching us and trying to pass us.  I had to turn it on to stay in front of him for the last quarter.  We must have hit a 6:00 minute pace at least.  It was David that took it to the line though and zoomed past both of us.  He can fly!  It was a great finish, lots of fun!!

Been a good week of running, speed work for Dayton but otherwise light miles to get ready for Sunday’s long run, 39 miles total for the week through today.  Sunday should be interesting.

June 23, 2009 Marathon Training Update

Tuesday June 23, 5 Mile tempo this morning at 7:00 pace with a couple more at 8:00 pace.  Felt pretty good, hot day.  Left kneecap slipped a little so I lost a minute until it slipped back…pain in the butt…

Sunday June 21, ran 17 at 8:00 pace with David.  Good run on a great morning, bit humid but not too bad overall.  Jim came out as did Polly and everyone had a good morning.  Gotta love it. 

Spent the afternoon at the Toledo Zoo with Christopher for Father’s day so I actually had almost 7 hours on my feet…tired, sore and getting a bit grumpy…and I’m thinking I want to run a 100 miler in October…?  How am I going to do this?!  I have a lot of work to do!  Planning on a long run this coming Saturday…30-35, we’ll see how it goes…makes me a bit nervous though I don’t know why since marathons are fairly “normal” for me and this is just a bit longer…just a bit. 

Fear sometimes comes in a little that good or not so good?  I should read my previous post…

Saturday June 20, ran 6.6 hill workout at Island View in Rossford, then Happy Trails 5K at Wildwood park, then 5 mile tempo with a long break in between each, about 15 total.  Good morning full of running. 

The 5K was with Rachel and Elizabeth and it was Rachel’s first ever 5K.  She did great with about a 10:00 minute pace and she kept it steady the entire distance.  Woohoo!  Elizabeth took off ahead of us with a 9:20 something pace.  A great job in spite of the heat and humidity and crowded conditions with over 800 runners!

Rachel and Elizabeth just joined the TNT team and are doing great.  Everyone is doing great.  It’s a good team.  Just eight of us but everyone is working hard.  They are inspiring!  More on TNT team soon…

What’s Holding You Back?

The Ohio State Highway Patrol has a safety belt campaign that’s basically, “What’s Holding You Back?”  The idea being that if you aren’t wearing your safety belt, you put your life and safety at risk in an auto accident.  So, in this case, “being held back,” is a good thing.  When it comes to individual performance and success though, it’s not so good!

However, “What’s Holding You Back,” is a good question we should ask of ourselves from time to time as individuals and as an organization.  Most of us could achieve much more than we do if we could ask ourselves this question more often and act accordingly.

There are things we can and can’t control that impacts how well we do.  Too often, people come to me with performance issues and want help in fixing their situations or their environments, both personal and business.  We forget though that most of the time, it’s not what is outside of us that needs fixing, which are things usually beyond our control, but it’s what’s inside of us that needs fixing.  The outside things such as a tough economy, irritating co-workers, or stifling organizational culture are often things we can’t change or things that take a long time to change.  The inside things we can change today!

The thoughts, feelings, and attitudes we carry around with us directly impacts our performance.  If we are being negative, are scared, or keeping a minimalist mentality, we will behave negatively, hide, and hoard our resources which will cause people around us to behave in a similar fashion.  However, being positive, facing our fears, and being generous will allow us to behave positively, accomplish more, and share our resources which will in turn bring us more opportunities as people around us reflect what we display.

So, asking ourselves, “What’s holding me back,” and taking an honest look at what we are thinking, feeling, and believing can allow us to make great strides in our performance.  If I’m thinking, “I can’t do it,” and realize I’m doing just that (and possibly not even trying,) then I can change my thinking to, “I can do it,” and act positively and get better results.  It’s our choice.

If we can’t ask ourselves this tough question, which is often the case, (otherwise we would already be doing better,) we need to get outside, honest, objective help.  A coach, mentor or confident that can say it like it is, straight to your face, can be a huge factor in your success.

June 18, 2009 Marathon Training Update

Paced Rachel through a 5 mile tempo.  She was aiming for a 10:30 pace and ended up running a 9:57 pace.  It was a hot one today too.  She didn’t like it much but she did it, got past some negativity, and she kept it moving.  She finished!  Way to go Rachel, Woohoo!!

Next, I did my own 5 mile tempo at 7:00 pace on the nose.  Felt pretty solid except for a couple moments when my pace slipped up or down.  Had some of that negativity of my own that Rachel had and that made me think about how I’ve been doing and how I cope today.  Looking back, I used to let the negativity get the better of me quite often.  I think I’ve learned to focus more on the positive when it gets tough, I mean really focus like a laser…1) I’m running!  2) I can easily get back on pace  3) It hurts, it’s hot, it sucks, but I’m still running!  4) When I’m done I can say ‘I did it!’  

Been blessed in more ways than one including running with great friends… thanks Rachel!

Been doing fairly well sticking to pace and mileage needs for the Oil Creek 100 and qualifying with a 3:15:00 in September.  40 miles so far this week and should end up with about 55.  Tough part is trying to keep up with work, volunteer, and social activities and I’m sure it will get tougher as mileage goes up every few weeks.  Trying to keep up the speed work with the mileage increases is going to be tricky….little nagging feeling…but feeling positive and optimistic for the most part.  I expect David will keep me on track, his speed work has been good.

That being said…ran intervals yesterday, 6/17/09…hot again and humid…ran 4×800 at 3:15 with 90 second rest, and felt the left leg tighten up a bit even though I was holding back and trying to stay close to the scheduled pace.  Tendency is to push it too much, the adrenaline gets you going and all that.  Think the heat was getting to me, little dehydrated.  So, I ran the 5th and 6th interval back-to-back in 6:48…just to be done with it.  Happy with that!  Man, I hate intervals (there’s that negativity again) …but it’s so good when you are done!   :-)

Marathon Plus!

Started training to run the Oil Creek 100 Ultra-marathon on October 10th along with the Akron Road Runner marathon on September 26th to support the fight against cancer and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. 

The fundraising goal is $5,000 and if you can donate, please do at:  Thanks for your support!

Started the training two weeks ago and am just now getting the blogging going.  Running and blogging eat up a ton of disposable time, who would have thought…?!

Logged 54 miles two weeks ago.  Hardly noticed as I was pretty excited about getting started on the training for my first ultra-marathon.  Seemed really cool then, and still does, not so sure what it will feel like in about two more months…maybe even just one month… logged 58 miles last week and can feel the fatigue already.  Will stay at this level for a couple of weeks before bumping it up again.

Using a training plan outline used by famous ultra-marathoner Tim Twitmeyer and my hope is that if I even get close to that level and mileage, I can hit my goal of completing Oil  Creek in less than 24 hours.  That’s the plan!

Ran 8 miles this morning with friend Rachel and Elizebeth and had a beautiful morning for it.  Ran a 7:28 pace which is almost race pace for getting to Boston and that’s part of the goal for spring of 2010 so there’s a little more work to do there.  Logged 18 on Sunday and 15 on Saturday this past weekend and also had great weather both days.  I think someone has been looking out for us in the weather department!  Knock on wood!

The Givers Gain Philosophy

I recently attended a Business Network International, BNI, meeting as a guest.  They are a successful networking organization with chapters all across the country and most likely one in your area.  The fundamental concept is that business professionals meet on a regular basis and refer work to each other and build long term relationships.  I learned their philosophy is “Givers Gain.”  How true!

Success in all we do comes through this philosophy which correlates with “No man is an island.”  We can’t do it alone.  It takes support, encouragement, and a little kick in the butt when we need it and these things often come best from outside ourselves.  We need to have an innate ability of course but most of us give in to bad habits, procrastination, and negativity at some point and it’s the people around us that can help us get back on track.  Maybe more importantly, we need to be sure we are there for others when they need us.  That takes commitment to helping others.

We have to be committed to being available as business referral sources, mentors, or just as friends.  When people need help, and we all need help, we need to listen and be supportive in whatever way serves them best.   By providing that service, we become better leaders, better followers, better business partners, better stewards of the community.  It’s good for all of us in many ways.

It can help us build our business such as through the BNI organization, help us grow professionally and personally, and it can help us create stronger communities.  So, the question becomes for each of us… “How can I give today?”

Be Positive, Find Success

Times are tough as we all know.  People are dealing with job loss, business closings, uncertainty, fear and depression.  However, if you look around, there are some people and businesses doing fairly well and it begs the question:  How do we do well when everything seems to be so bad?

In general, there are a number of things we can look at to get us out of the negativity.

1)  Accept What Is.  This is one of the hardest things to do but it’s imperative to get us moving in the right direction.  Times are tough and we can agonize over it or we can say to ourselves, “OK, I get it.  Now what can I do?”  This question puts us in a pro-active state of  mind and gets us out of the victimization mentality that plagues so many.  We either keep spiraling down or we stop ourselves and start to spiral up!

2)  Get Busy.  Once you’ve asked the question above, it’s time to do something with it!  Being productive is key to success but it is also key in generating a positive state of mind.  Less to do means we have more time to dwell on the negatives of the past or the uncertainty of the future.  Idol hands…

3)  Change Your Environment.  If we watch the news 24/7, guess what…we’re going to get depressed!  The media reports on what people want to dwell on and what gets their attention and a lot of people are in a negative place right now.  If you want to get out of the negativity, watch the news a little less, stay away from negative people (yes, this is doable!), go do something fun.

4) Set a Goal…A Big Goal!  Getting busy is helped by having a target to aim at and the bigger the target, the easier to keep at it, get inspired by it, and find a reason to celebrate achieving it…all positives!

As an Executive Coach, my emphasis is now more on motivational workshops, presentations and coaching sessions.  Helping people find their positive energy, make a difference, and find success is what they need and what I do best.

Personally, as a runner, I’m looking at running my first ultra-marathon in October to support fund raising efforts for cancer research.  One hundred miles in memory of and in honor of 100 cancer victims and survivors.  That’s a huge motivator for me and doing something for others helps to keep my mind in a positive state which helps me stay productive.

Where’s your energy and what’s your goal?  Let me know.  Thanks! – Ernie

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