Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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Off season?

I’ve noticed, at my wife’s pointing out, that I tend to go in a cycle with racing. I will find a race, I’ll obsess about it and think of all the training I can do for it, I’ll beg Marnie to let me race it, she’ll grudgingly say yes, then I’ll half train for it until the last few weeks before the race and I’ll bust my butt to put in some miles so the race doesn’t suck as bad as not doing anything at all. Just about the time I start putting miles in I find another race and I start the cycle over again.

This late-summer/fall I am working on a couple new things. Being tired of beating myself up on races that I am not prepared for I spoke to my friend, Jason Restuccia, who has qualified and run the Boston Marathon twice. I approached Jason for help because I have not been great at following training plans once they start taking longer than an hour or two for runs. Jason agreed to coach me for a race that he told me about when we initially met two years ago, the Icebreaker Indoor Marathon. Jason knows my typical family/work schedule and has been great at scheduling training around those. He also knows how to goad me into meeting him at the local YMCA for a workout at night, which has been good because sometimes getting out in the morning after I’ve been up for a couple hours with Genevieve.

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Unexpectedly, an opportunity to be an ambassador for Enduropacks arose, thanks to my friend Nicole. She brought to my attention that they would be starting an ambassador program and suggested that I put in an application. I heard back from them less than a week later and setup a phone interview. About two weeks letter I got the official invitation to join their ambassador team. This was part two of awesome news! Another arrow in my quiver to keep me on my path to a fast marathon time without quitting halfway through the training.

So, in a time that has people usually putting on a few pounds and taking the training off in lieu of a much easier work load I’ve been working on balancing family, training and work. It started off well and the first month and a half saw me earn two PRs on back to back Saturday’s at the half marathon distance, one of them including an age group win. Since then it’s gotten a bit rocky. Genevieve has been having a habit of waking up around 630 when I would normally be getting out for a run and my nights have been getting more packed with longer work hours and homework that has been piling up for my two classes.

Enough with the excuses, though. Tomorrow morning will start with an FTP test session with The Sufferfest and TrainerRoad followed by a long run at the YMCA. Time to start getting used to long miles on the dreadmill for the many weekends leading up to the Icebreaker Indoor marathon weekend.

excuse

Thanks again to Marnie for letting me get out at night for runs and workouts at night, to Jason for coaching me and goading me into getting good workouts at night, and a huge thanks to EnduroPacks for the great opportunity to be a part of their ambassador team. Here’s to a great “off season” from here on out!!

Two Saturdays, two half marathons, two PRs and Enduropacks

A little over a month ago I happily announced that I was chosen to be an ambassador for EnduroPacks. I’m writing this as a 30-day review and will be incorporating two race reports into it.

Firstly, what is EnduroPacks?

EnduroPacks, as I’ve discovered through use, is not a supplement to fuel you through longer workouts. They are more of a recovery based line of supplements. The products they provide are EnduroMulti, Concentrated Electrolyte Spray, Essential Amino Acid Recovery Patch and Glutamine Recovery Complex.

EnduroMulti:
This is the multivitamin of the nutritional set. A huge mix of vitamins, minerals and other wonderful things that you may or may not be getting in your diet. Even if you are getting a lot of them, there are probably some of these that you’re missing. This fills in the gaps to help your body keep well maintained and working. Not only that, but it tastes freaking awesome, too. Remember those Flinstones vitamins you would eat like candy as a kid? Well, this is exactly like it, only in a liquid form so you still maintain that adult look.
Concentrated Electrolyte Spray:
See all those Gatorade, Powerade etc sports drinks that you can buy at a gas station, grocery store and

everywhere else under the sun? Basically they’re all just Kool-Aid marketed with a different label. And personally, I think you shouldn’t be able to purchase sports nutrition at a gas station. I’ve always preferred to bring just a bottle of water or two while I ride without all the sugar, my stomach and taste buds don’t like all the sweet anyway. This is the fix. Squirt 5 pumps into your normal water bottle and go ride. All the electrolytes you’re losing while working out will quickly and easily be replaced without you even noticing. Only while I’ve used it after a run workout have I been able to notice the slight change in flavoring that is not unpleasant. It adds a slightly salty taste that reminds me of a hint of lemon.

Essential Amino Acid Recovery Patch:
Amino acids are the basic building blocks of life. They help break down proteins in order to help

grow and repair body tissue. So why would you not want to have more to facilitate faster and more efficient recovery!? Especially when the little patch, once on the skin, is hardly noticable. I’ll admit, at first I was fairly skeptical of this. So I tried it for a week which included a hard speed workout and a fast long run. Being used to feeling pretty drained the next day and ending up taking the day off after each workout that’s exactly how I expected to feel. When I woke up the next day I was ready to do the speed work again, only harder this time. Now, after a few weeks of doing any workout and using this patch afterwards I continue to feel great day after day. The only catch with this is that you look like you’re wearing a nicotine patch. This is something that a couple of the ambassadors from EnduroPacks have addressed, but all in all it isn’t really a detractor. I find that where I place it isn’t inconspicuous and therefore haven’t been asked if I was quitting smoking.

Glutamine Recovery Complex:

Along with the Amino Acid patch, these glutamine pills are another great recovery tool. Glutamine is
a naturally occuring amino acid in the human body and under normal conditions the body is able to generate enough to recover the body from the day’s activities. When you are working out and training for anything the body is put under more stress and takes longer to recover (obviously). The Glutamine Recovery Complex is another tool to pick up the slack that your body cannot produce. I can wholeheartedly tell you that with the Glutamine Recovery Complex my joints have felt better than they have ever felt while training for an event.

EnduroPacks simply works. They have all the medical research jargon on their website and you could read it and get all sorts of feel goods, but what it all boils down to is that I can train hard then get up the next day and do another hard workout without feeling like your muscles and joints hate you. I’ve always been a bit wary, so for those of you who are wary of claims put up by companies I understand where you’re coming from. This stuff isn’t a false claim. Enduropacks will help you push to higher levels of performance by easing the recovery. I’ve proven this to myself over the two hard races that I did last month.
Pricing: $75/mo for 1 mo – $69/mo for 3 mo – $63/mo for 6 mo – $59/mo for 12 months
The pricing is the only thing that I was a bit shocked about. It does run a bit steep. BUT, it’s worth it. Trust me, even if you are just training for your first half marathon or going for the overall podium, the value provided by the help in recovery is worth the price.
Half marathon #1
Prairie State Half Marathon – 12Oct2013 1:40:20 6/41 AG 66/892 OA PR!
So, I’ve been training for a full marathon in January and my coach told me that of these two half marathons I could pick one to race. I chose this one since others from my recruiting battalion were going to be running it and I wanted to make sure I beat them! 
I started off comfortably around 7:00-7:15 pace and held it there. Talked to a few people along the way until they got too tired to keep talking and then I moved on. The course was great. I was expecting it to be a road half since I didn’t pay attention to the race details online. It was a nice surprise when we made the turn onto the crushed limestone trail. And this is one of the few things that I’ll give Illinois props for, their trail system is pretty incredible. The race was an out and back with 95% of it being crushed limestone, only times it wasn’t was when we crossed under a bridge or on a wooden walkway. Once I hit the turn around I started pouring on the suffering to better my position, which may have ended up hurting my time in the end. about 2 miles to the finish the wheels started to fall off. I started walking a bit and some of the people I had been with at the beginning started to pass me up. Once I was within .5 mile I had to start running again, you can’t walk across the finish line! I knew that I would PR with this race because in the past I hadn’t been training at all and just ran the half. I was shooting for a 1:38, but wasn’t too sad about the results.
After getting my first PR

Coming off of the race my coach had me do a really light week. I was just expecting an easy half, but after I told him how I was feeling leading into the race thanks to EnduroPacks he told me to race it, but faster this time. I was a little nervous about it because I hadn’t done hard weekends like this in the past. 
Half marathon #2
Des Plaines River Trails half marathon – 19Oct2013 1:35:38 1/14 AG 5/250 OA
I started with a very slow, easy 2 mile warmup before we started the race and timed it to be completed within 15 minutes of the start. I’d been at the race since 0545 since my friend, Jeff Clinton, was running the 50 mile and I told him that I would drive.
The first mile was a lot faster than I planned on, 6:50. The three of us that were leading the race mentioned to each other that we were running too fast, but added “Where are all the fast people?” haha. Starting with a 2.3 mile loop south and then heading north through the trails to the half way. Two of the three passed me around the 3 mile mark and the overall winner came bounding by and crushed everyone. This race I tried a new fueling plan and I think that it helped out when I started to feel the drain about 5k from the finish. I had a gel 4.5 miles in and then again at 9 miles. Considering that I had done an extra 2 miles before the race I was very happy when I surpassed the 10 overall mile mark and then again when I was 5k from the finish. I could tell that I was walking the line between doing my best and blowing up, so I pulled it back a slight bit. My goal was to not run above 8:00 on any mile and I did just that. I kept it down below that mark. Like any race, when I came within the .5 mile mark I picked it up to push it across the finish. I didn’t want anyone sneaking up on me to pass me at the last sprint. I had originally thought that I was sitting somewhere around 7th overall and had no idea where I was sitting in my age group, but when I crossed the line they told me I was fifth overall!! And when I checked the race results at home I had a good feeling about my age group, with the overall out of AG standings that meant that I had taken my first age group win!! That’s what I call a GREAT race!!
AG winner!!
After I finished I had a quick bite to eat, got changed into my cycling kit and rode my bike on course to find my buddies, Jeff Clinton, Jon Kettley and Marcella Martinez. After finding Jon and Marcella (Marcella ran her first half marathon!!) I took off to find Jeff. I found him at his 31 mile mark, he was looking good. Overall it was around 40 miles on the bike. When I got back to the finish line I got back into warm clothes, put on my EnduroPacks Amino Acid Recovery Patch and took a nap. By the time I woke up I was already feeling good again. Good thing, too, because I had a little over an hour drive back home.
Overall thoughts on EnduroPacks and the races:
I’ve been running competitively for a few years now and I’ve always gone in a cycle of feeling great, training hard, body starts hurting and taking time off to recover. This “off-season” has been some of the hardest training that I’ve done since I started racing. Training for multiple half marathons, and the end season goal of the IceBreaker half AND full marathon on Jan25/26 and the Tour of Sufferlandria, also starting on the 25th has put my schedule full to the brim of hard work. Without a doubt in my mind I have been able to push hard continuously thanks to EnduroPacks. I wake up feeling refreshed even if I got my speed work done the night before and haven’t had a full day of recovery quite yet. These races proved to me that the recovery assets provided are helping me to push harder and reach further in my athletic career. And this is only the beginning…
Good:
-Two PRs!
-EnduroPacks really works and keeps me feeling great after hard workouts!
-AG win and 5th overall! Plus, I didn’t get chicked!
-Figured out a better fueling strategy
Bad:
-Price is a bit high, but well worth it.
-That’s really all that’s bad!!
A huge congrats to my friends, Jeff Clinton, Jon Kettley and Marcella Martinez. Jeff finished his first 50-miler 6 days after running the Chicago Marathon, Jon did both half marathons with me and Marcella completed her first half marathon!
A huge thanks to my coach, Jason Restuccia, for helping me believe that I can push hard even when I feel like giving up. To my wife, Marnie for watching my little girl while I train and race. And to EnduroPacks for supporting my recovery and racing. Without them this would be a whole lot more painful!!
Check out the following link for 10% off any order from EnduroPacks and to see how they can help you achieve your next goal!