Category Archives: Inspiration

Chicago Marathon – Team Salute

Running for a Good Cause

For this installment of Running Down a Dream 23 I’d like to call out a friend of mine, Dennis Wright, who is running the Chicago Marathon on October 7th which also happens to be my birthday, but that’s beside the point for this post…I like gifts having to do with running & Disney by the way. Dennis is running as a member of Team Salute.

What is Team Salute?

A team formed by SALUTE, INC. SALUTE, INC., passionately pursues meeting the financial, physical and emotional needs of the military service members, veterans and their families. They strive to raise awareness of their sacrifices and provide a safety net to ensure every military family is treated with honor and dignity.

About Dennis

Dennis is a runner and duathlete in the Greater Indianapolis Area who is crazy enough to follow me on long trail runs occasionally and who continually motivates those around him to be better…he does it nicely…most of the time.  🙂

So yes, I’m asking you to support Dennis with whatever you can spare!  Just click on his name anywhere in this blog post to go to his donation page. If we all gave $5 then wow, what a difference we would make for those people who protect us every day with their own lives.

Thank you in advance for your donations! I appreciate it, I know Dennis appreciates it as well, and most certainly the veterans and their families appreciate it most of all. Again, thank you!

Happy Training,


New Disney Marathon Course for 2013!

Ok, so there I was sitting at my desk and an email hits my inbox from a friend of mine who is a fellow “runner of the world”.  The subject line of the email…”new wdw marathon course!”  Really?  I mean REALLY?!?!!? First, it’s the 20th anniversary of the Disney marathon and now runDisney tempts us with a new course as well???  Oh, come on!

Sorry….my fit is over now.

See the video of the new course!

And here’s the 2013 map!

A couple of cool additions to the marathon course AND a 20th anniversary medal!

Happy Training!


3 Runs

This past week was a good one for recovery after a brutally humid Indianapolis Mini Marathon on Cinco de Mayo. After the mini marathon my left foot was hurting a little on the bottom so I’ve taken it easy and am letting it recover well so I can start training for my first ultra marathon a week from now.  This past week I had three runs that were fantastic for different reasons. The first run was neither long nor taxing. The next run wasn’t that long either, but introduced me to a new type of running. The final run was by far one of the most enjoyable runs of my recreational running career to date!

Run #1

This run was over lunch and was a whopping 1.32 miles in length on a comfortably warm day. I don’t point out this run because it is significant, but to get back to the roots of my blog which is about being fit.  I see other bloggers and Facebookers say how they didn’t get to do their 10-miler today…blah blah.  Okay, why not an 8-miler, 5-miler, or a 1.32 miler? Get it in where you can!  I had a similar run on Saturday when i was waiting on my running partner to arrive.  I had an extra 10-15 minutes so instead of sitting in my car and waiting I ran 5 minutes in one direction and then turned around to come back to the car. A couple minutes later my friend arrived and we did Run #2! The point is I didn’t waste that 15 minutes sitting in the car. I took that small amount of time to add an extra mile to my day.

Run #2

For run #2 my friend and I went fully off road for the first time. Up until now I’ve been a user of the “Rails to Trails” areas of Indiana. These areas used to be literally where a train track once was and now they have been redone to have pavement or other type of foot path for runners, walkers, bikers, etc. Connected to a favorite Rails to Trails area are several shorter dirt trails that run along or near Eagle Creek in Zionsville. We started on these and did a couple of dirt trail miles. I even started breaking in my trail shoes  on this run which I’d been waiting to do for a few weeks until after the mini marathon. We finished up on back on the main trail and I stopped before reaching 7-miles total as my left foot started to feel a little sore and I didn’t want to push it. 6.5 miles was plenty for me for the day!

Run #3

Run #3 happened a few hours after Run #2. I had the great honor of running the Rookie Run with my 4-year old niece. Two exhilarating blocks of competition! It was so much fun to run with my niece in this awesome event.  The organizers of the run do a great job on this event. The bibs for the kids have a tear away number on it which the parent (or other family member) get so when the child finishes you can’t have the kid unless you have a matching number.  Even though I went the entire distance with her I was asked by no less than five different security people to show them my number to make sure I had the right kid.  Security was awesome!  Also, the rest of the event was top notch too. There was entertainment the entire afternoon. I can’t say enough about the event!

All in all it was a great week. I have one more recovery week before my official ultra marathon training schedule begins and I’m looking forward to it!

Happy Training!


Visiting Mecca

Ok so yes, my training has been a bit lackadaisical the last few weeks and yes, I had to Google how to spell lackadaisical correctly but both of these facts are neither here nor there to the subject of visiting mecca.

If you are ever in a training slump and if you happen to be a long distance runner then I have the cure for the common training woes. Visit running mecca. That’s right. Go to Boston, MA and try not to run. My experience there? In a word, phenomenal! Why you ask? Wait…why are you asking why? You said a minute ago that you are a runner.  Never mind I will explain. Wait again, there’s too much.  I will sum it up.  Have you heard of a little road race called the Boston Marathon?  Hardly anyone goes, but a few people seem to like it (SARCASM).

Here’s the gist. The Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon and ranks as one of the world’s best-known road racing events. It is one of five World Marathon Majors. Also, there is this little issue of needing to qualify for this race. To do so here’s what I would need to do in the future (too slow right now) at an official Boston Qualifying race (another marathon, FYI).

Effective 2013, for my age group and gender I would need to be able to run 26.2 miles in 3:10:00 (3 hours & 10 minutes flat). If I hit 03:10:01…..I need not apply because I can’t.

Regardless, running where the elites “stretch their legs” is inspiring and I’ve hit the gym nearly every day since last week when I stopped by Boston for a quick out and back where I got lost and of course found “Heart Break Hill” in the process.  Lucky me!

Hopefully this post finds your training right on track and going strong for the upcoming season.

Happy Training!


Goals and Getting Started!

Welcome and thanks for reading my blog!  In time I will discuss all sorts of things related to my fitness journey such as exercise, strength training, walking, running, diet and hopefully the motivation to keep at it!  Happy reading!

Where to start?  Perhaps a little about me.  I started my fitness journey back in December 2009.  Last December I wanted a change so I made a plan.  I decided the only way to keep training was to have a reason to do it.  At the time I was +/- 75 pounds over weight weighing in at close to 245 pounds.

That’s me on the right weighing in at 245 pounds.

So I signed up for a 5K in March and a half-marathon in May.  I put the cash down and actually registered.  I wanted to give myself a reason to really go for it and not slack off so I added a second half-marathon in May just two weeks after the 1st one.  Looking back maybe I was a little too ambitious.  But darn it, I wanted results!

I was afraid that I would train a bit, eat healthy for a few weeks, finish the second half-marathon and stop training like I had in the past so I started to look at running events later in the year.

This is the time I should let you know that I am a Disney fan.  I had heard of the “runDisney” series and started looking into the race Disney puts on in January that goes through all four Disney parks.  Considering I had a year to train I decided to register for the full-marathon and put down the cash.  I figured if I was going to run that far I might as well run the 26.2 most magical miles on Earth!

Still, I was worried.  There is a lot of time and great BBQ weather between May and January. What if I slacked off after the May events?  What if I lost focus later in the year?  Or worse, what if I saw all that time to spare and decided I could afford to be lazy again and started to regress?

So I decided to add one more event later in the year to get me through.  I looked for another half-marathon and found a small local event in early September.  This would keep me training through the summer and I’d be set to push through to January and my first ever full-marathon.  My running schedule was set or so I thought.

As luck would have it I received an email from advertising a half-marathon in October called the Disney Wine & Dine Half-Marathon.  It was the inaugural race!  I couldn’t resist!  It was Disney after all and it was to be the kickoff event to Disney’s Food & Wine Festival!  So I registered and wondered if I could handle four half-marathons in one year!  At this point I had barely ran a single mile for my first half of the year!  My friends may have started to doubt my sanity.  🙂

Fast forward to present day.  I am happy to say that I completed all four half-marathons and even did three 5K runs in total including that first one in March.  I have lost 45 pounds and I am approaching my goal weight slowly but surely.  I’m in no hurry.  Progress comes slow at times or stops all together when I hit a plateau.

So what’s the point?  A blog post should have a point right?

Goals.  What’s yours?

My goal is to enjoy life as long as I can.  My goal is to earn a PR (Personal Record) during an event every once in a while.  My goal is to be fit so I can do more.  My goal is to combine my love of travel with my new running habit!

Your goal could be to look good for a friend’s wedding, it could be to lose 10 pounds for your 20 year high school reunion, it could be that your doctor told to get active “or else” or your goal could be to be around to see your children grow up.  These are all goals, but I encourage you to find a goal that is all yours and no one else’s.  Remember though that this is when it’s okay to be a little selfish and do it for you.

I run for me.