Two milestones!

Just realized that two milestones coincide with this post… the first being that this is my two hundredth blog post.

[brief fanfare, golf clapping]

Second, all those weeks of training paid off & I completed my first 5k race on Sunday. I wasn’t first – evidently my young daughters were upset when the first runner crossed the finish line & it wasn’t me – but I wasn’t last, either. To celebrate, I bought one of those 5k oval stickers you see on car windows. Hey, I earned it! 🙂

Made a rookie mistake by starting too fast. In training, my running pace was around 10:45 – 11:00mi. Not so on Sunday. Jen & I ran together at the start… yeah, my wife the marathon runner. Suffice it to say I kept up with her for the first mile at a 9:30 pace – set a personal record for the mile, but beat myself up for the remaining 2/3rds of the race. UGH!

As I approached the finish line, with volunteers & spectators cheering us on, I have to admit that I got a little teary. All that time, hard work, runs in the dark, in the rain, etc…

…or maybe the watery eyes were due to the 25mph southerly winds. All I do know is that I dug in for the last 50 yards & sprinted faster than I thought possible. May have even growled a little. 🙂

35 minutes 44 seconds

Jen asked how I felt when we reconnected near the finish line. I smiled & said it didn’t feel real, so I’m gonna have to do it again.

Next 5k: November 25th


Why I run…

Good morning, readers… been over a month since my last post, so I figured it was about time to end this drought. If you haven’t figured it out by my twitter/ Facebook status updates, I’ve been running for over a month. I think it’s sticking this time – enjoy the feelings of accomplishment with each new PR (“Personal Record”… learning the lingo :-)), getting closer to my first 5k event & beginning to realize I may actually be able to do this. I’m even starting to entertain thoughts of going further… 10k, half marathon? Why not?

So, why do I run? I was mulling this over as I approached mile #2 in the rain last night (running gives you lots of time to think.) Here’s what I came up with:

(1) Personal health. I want to be around for a while. I want to actively play with my girls as they grow up, walk them down the isle on their wedding day, play with my grandchildren. I feel good when I run. Plus, some of you may be familiar with my family health history. To borrow from Dave Ramsey, Jen & I want to change our “family tree” in this area. I love the fact that regular exercise is a normal part of our everyday lives.

(2) Personal accomplishment. “Whoa, wait a minute. don’t you bike?,” you may ask. Painful honesty moment – in actuality, I’m probably closer to being a “poser” cyclist. Sure, I’ll hop on my road bike & pound out a 45mi ride, but I didn’t really train for it… and my body protests for days afterward because of the abuse I subject it to. There’s no coasting in running, you either move or you stop. To do this, I had to start at square one, and I’ve had to kick & claw for each milestone. It’s actually those achievements that have spurred me to keep going.

(3) Inspire others. There’s no bragging here, no “check my twitter feed for last night’s run stats [‘cuz I’m AWESOME]” intent. Social media makes my running “public” and adds to the accountability. Not so easy to drop off the radar just because it’s “hard.” People comment because I’m running, pretty sure they’ll comment if I stop. Don’t want to see my stats? Block my status updates, unfollow me, etc. You won’t hurt my feelings because I’m not doing this for fame & glory. First & foremost, I’m doing this for myself & my family. For others, I hope my running updates simply show that a 43 year old sedentary guy with 40-50lbs to lose can actually do something like this. Only four weeks ago, as I was chugging & gasping during 90 second running intervals, the thought of running several minutes was crazy to me. Tomorrow night’s longest run interval is 9 minutes, and in 3 weeks I’ll be running my first 5k. That’s crazy… BRING IT!

DAVE RUNNING FUN FACT #1 – You may notice my run posts are almost exclusively made at night. Nike+ refers to me as a “Night Owl.” This is intentional, because it’s colder at night (I am preparing for a winter series, afterall), helps me unwind at the end of the day, but was originally chosen because it was harder for others to see me gasping, snorting, and struggling during those early weeks. 🙂

Gear Review: SLXtreme iPhone 4/4s Case

Ok, this thing picked the perfect day to arrive. I helped fund this product on Kickstarter several months ago. This thing is a dream for outdoors folks who use technology in remote settings. Today, I was able to make weather-related decisions for our activities without fear of damaging my phone.

The SLXtreme case is waterproof (I shot video during a downpour today – it works), shock resistant, has a 2000mAh extended battery… AND it's got a solar panel on the back so you never run out of juice!

I believe retail for this cool case will be around $150.

Gear Review: Edelweiss O-Flex 10.2mm Rope

Ok, more accurately, this is a review in progress. A few ropes manufacturers have been coming out with new core designs that help the rope maintain its roundness, avoid soft spots, sheath slippage…

Could this be the answer for high usage programs?

This spring I decided to put their claims to the test. Besides my usual spool of gym line, I put an Edelweiss O-Flex rope at our climbing tower and high ropes course (approx. 7000 and 4000 participants respectively each year.) Five months into my field test, the difference is clear. My usual ropes have all been serviced to some extent – trimming off stretched sheath material, rolling and “milking” ropes to firm them up and round them…

The Edelweiss rope? Besides washing them, they're practically as firm and round as the day in April when I put them in service.

My verdict? There's still several months left in my fiscal year before I buy more rope, but I gotta say, the new Edelweiss rope is high on my list. It is more expensive on the front end, but being nearly maintenance free, plus saved labor makes up for it for me. As a bonus, it's available in bulk by the spool, or in 30m lengths, perfect when you just need to pick up one rope and don't like the waste of cutting a longer rope down to climbing wall or course length.

Where were you?

September 11, 2001… I remember I was pulling into camp, listening to my usual morning radio show. The hosts were bantering back and forth when they suddenly stopped with breaking news out of New York that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. For several minutes, notes of concern were mixed with quips of “how did they not see the building?” when things went silent and they announced the second plane crash, that something was going on, and that they’d stay on the air as long as they could before network news & official communications preempted them.

We had school groups that day. Belaying at the climbing tower, the blue skies were eerily silent as all air traffic was grounded. I imagined it like this when Wisconsin became a state… no contrails, no aircraft sounds, just birds & crickets chirping, breeze blowing…



My baby girl's first day of kindergarten. Jen and I are already racking up parent points… we knew we were in the wrong place when Olivia's teacher started her class, we looked around and realized we were the only parents still in the room.

Oops. We'll be leaving now…

I know an endless stream of dads have been in my shoes, so my experience is far from unique. It'd be easy to worry… will she make friends, will she be teased, are the adults surrounding her trustworthy? The list is practically endless. I want to be there for my girl. I want to share in her new experiences, as well as protect her from harm.

With tears in my eyes, it's hard to articulate how precious she is to me. I'd do anything to shield this little one who hugs me tight and whispers, “I love you, daddy.”

As much as I'd like to, I know realistically that I can't. Over the course of her life, it's impossible for me to spare her from every illness & injury, every family crisis, every bully, every careless driver, etc. Last night, stroking Olivia's hair as she slept, I asked God to watch over my little girl. I know He loves her, delights in her more than I'm capable of understanding.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT

Have a great day at school, sweetie. Your daddy loves you so much!


C25K – Redeux

Ok, remember those posts months ago about me training for running a 5K? Many months ago?

Remember that?

Yeah, that didn't go far. Ok, that's not completely true & discounting over a month of running progress. Last spring I was slightly more than halfway through the training regimin, then I hit my wall & learned a few valuable lessons…

  • Treadmill running is NOT like running on the road.
  • Don't eat & drink like a fiend before a run.
  • Even weeks into a regular training schedule, the temptation to quit is still there. Habit, bah! Decide to push through!

So… there ya have it. This morning I hit the road again, square one of my training program. First event of the Winter Series is November 11th. I will run all six. I will earn my sweatshirt!


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