Thursday, January 18, 2018

12 Marathons in 12 Months

   

     In 2017, I promised my then fiance that I would not run in an ultra race in 2018.  She wanted a year off after doing my first 50 mile race in 2016 and attempting my first 100 mile race in 2017, both of which where in Leadville, Colorado.  Julie Anne said, "You can do any marathons you want, but just give me one year of not crewing an ultra."

Does anyone else see a loophole in that statement?

Late in 2017, I decided I would try to do as many marathons as I could within the state of Ohio.  Being a born and bred Clevelander, of course the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon was #1 on my list.  I've run it, or the half marathon, 8 times before and I've always taken pride that it is my hometown race.  It is a well organized race that has only gotten better since my first race in 2010.  The course, the aid stations, the crowd support and even the expo have all made marked improvements, which is tough for a race not nearly as iconic as Boston. The Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon team has done great work to make this a race that is as good as any other out there.

As of right now the biggest difficulty I see in this challenge is ensuring that I have enough time of of work to make it to the races.  Pharmacists, like myself, work weekends and various shifts.  There are a few races I signed up for that are actually on my weekend to work.  The Glass City Marathon (Toledo, Ohio) is one of these races. This means I will have to drive to Toledo Friday night, run the marathon in the morning, shower, and drive back to Cleveland for 8 hours of work later in the day.  Needless to say that Sunday will be a bit of a rest day for me.

I will definitely do my best to get out a timely race report for each of these races, comparing them to the other races I've done in the past as well as the other marathons in Ohio.  Ohio is not a state that emboldens itself to running year round.  With our summer heat and our frigid and snowy winters, most of the marathons we have are crammed into the Spring and Fall months.  Back to back weekends of marathon racing will need to be done to complete this challenge that I set for myself. I'm in no way Dean Karnazes but challenges like this are what keep running fun for me and keep me motivated.

As of this moment, here are the races I plan on doing.  Some of them you might have heard of (did I mention I'm an ambassador for the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon) and some you may not have:

Run for Regis - 1/20/18
Old Girlded Grit - 2/24/18
Glass City Marathomn - 4/22/18
Pro Football Hall of Fame Marathon - 4/29/18
Flying Pig Marathon - 5/6/18
Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon - 5/20/18
Youngstown Marathon - 6/3/18
Mohican Marathon - 6/16/18
Air Force Marathon - 9/15/18
Akron Marathon - 9/29/15
Buckeye Trail Run - 10/6/18 (Maybe)
Towpath Marathon - 10/7/18
Columbus Marathon - 10/21/18
Cleveland Fall Classic Half Marathon - 11/??/18 (Victory lap, if done by then)

(Reference site for all marathons in Ohio)

These races cover all of the biggest cities in Ohio and some of our awesome trail systems we have.  I'm by no means planning on winning any of these races, or even finishing high enough to brag about it.  This challenge is about consistency, proving to myself I can do it and showing how far an average runner can push themselves with some proper dedication, hard work and time sunk in.  I'm a firm believer that everyone needs people to help hold them accountable of their goals, this blog (and Julie Anne) will should help lock me in to keep training. I will post occasional workout logs and training when I can/I run out of new ideas to write about.

As a challenge to any blog readers I have out there, are you going to join me for any of these races?  Nothing beats showing up race day and seeing the faces of friends running with you!  If you aren't running but plan on going to the race to support others, any and all of your support is appreciated. The crowd and volunteers are what makes these races great and possible!  I'll gladly take a selfie with anyone helps cheer me on!  Sweaty hugs are also free.  I'll save the sweaty kisses for my wife. ;-)


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Favorite Running Books


If you are looking for something to read in your down time between runs, or some motivation to run, here are some books I recommend or are super looking forward to reading.


Running on Air
     This book is pretty technical but goes into great detail about running mechanics and how breathing can affect your running form and endurance.  I first stumbled into this book after DNFing the Leadville Heavy Half.  It must have been speaking to me from the small bookshop on Pearl Street in Boulder, Colorado.  With my heart heavy from my first every DNF in a running race, I bought it and clung to every word as I tried to learn something from my failure.  A must read for runners!




Advanced Marathoning
     This book was great for helping me make the jump from 5ks and an occasional 10k to full marathons.  If you don't have many friends who are runners or are looking to get advice from a true professional, this book is worth a read!



50/50
     This book was the first time I had ever heard of someone doing something this absolutely absurd!  I thought for certain this could not be done!  50 marathons for a career is a lot, but to do it in 50 days and in all 50 states!  No way.  Needless to say, Dean Karnazes is a best and a legend and this book is a pretty fun read.


Born to Run
     This book!  This might just be my favorite book of all time. The amazing story Christopher McDougall tells is amazing.  The story of the Tarahumara Indians and how Scott Jurek took his talents to them is awe inspiring and makes for what I can only hope will be, one day an epic running movie.  This book brought ultra running to the masses as well as barefoot or minimlist running.  On top of that, this book is what inspired me to try to visit Leadville, Colorado and attempt even a 10k at 10,200 feet above sea level.  Ever since then I fell in love with Colorado and that mountain town.  This book is a great read even for non runners!



Eat and Run
    Scott Jurek (my personal running idol) has a great book about running and nutrition.  As a pharmacist, I know nutrition is key to many things and feel Jurek has a lot of great points that many people can learn from.  While I do not follow his fanatical idea of diet, I probably should take some notes.  Jurek is after all the GOAT of ultra running.



Running to Leadville
    This is the only fiction book on my list.  I stumbled upon this book at the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon Expo when Brian (the author) flagged me down while I was wearing a Crossfit 10-2 shirt that clearly displayed Leadville, CO on it.  This book was a great story about a man, his loves and his running.  Sadly, I did not get to finish the final 3 chapters of the book as one of my dogs decided to read it himself.  It ended it tatters.  Brian, I need to buy another copy from you so I can see how it all ends!

(Side note: Brian Burk is running the Leadville 100 this year!  I know he is going to kill it and this is my own plea that if needs a pacer or crew member for any of it, I'M DOWN!  Would love to watch his dream unfold!)




Books I’m looking forward to:

North
   Scott Jurek's sophomore book is about his attempt to set the fastest known time to complete the Appalachian Trail.  I loosely followed this online as he did it and was enthralled for the entire time. How anyone can run 2,000+ miles in about 46 days is simply amazing.  I can not wait to read all of the details!



Ultra Mindset
     Travis Macy personally gave me this book at the Leadville 100 pre race expo!  I've listened to him on podcasts and have followed his advice in training for races, so it was surreal to have him hand me a book despite me not having any cash on me.  Travis, I have not read your book yet, as I was saving it for this winter.  I'll happily post my thoughts on it after I read it!

Natural Born Heroes
    Chris McDougall can not possibly out do what he did in writing Born to Run.  That being said, I can't wait to read this and see what he has put forth.  I only hope it's 10% of what Born to Run was, that'll still make it amazing.

Running with a Police Escort: Tales from the Back of the Pack
    I just recently heard of this book and find the title HILARIOUS!  I can only imagine what it is about, but it's on my short list, and love that it embraces that fact that we all aren't super humans.  This book will probably hit much closer to how I actually feel running than how I want to feel, but I love that there is a running book not written by a super human and with some humility.



Did I miss one of your favorites?  Please leave comments below, I'd love for more reading material myself!



Monday, January 15, 2018

Winter Running Tips

   

     One of the least fun parts of living in Cleveland, Ohio and being a long distance runner is the winter.  Winter here can be brutal with the negative wind chills, lots of gray clouds and of course the wonderful lake effect snow.  Below I've constructed a list of winter running tips I use to help make the winter a little more bearable and run-able, because when you're a runner cabin fever and irrational irritability from not running are real.


Winter Running Tips:

1. Run in trail shoes - Until I ran my first ultra (Silver Rush 50 Miler, Leadville, Co). I never realized the huge benefit of trail shoes. After that race, I broke down and bought a pair.  Trail shoes are amazing compared to most regular or road running shoes when it comes to running int he snow and ice.  The have a great deal more traction and are better made for various terrains. Personally, I love my Brooks CalderasHere is a site for some quick comparisons.  I highly recommend visiting you local running shop as most of those store owners and employees can give you great advice, particularly about your local running elements, terrain and runner experiences.

2. Run in layers -This is common sense but it must be stated.  Don't layer to heavily or your will become extremely sweaty very fast and sweat will only make you cold if it is frigid out there.  Usually a thin, close to the skin base layer works break, with slightly thicker wind resistant layer over top.  This works for legs and upper body.  Check the weather and wind chill before going out and adjust based on your past or recent experiences.  You will NOT get this right the first or second time out.  You might not get it right on race day either.  This is always a little bit of a guessing game, but after some practice you'll have a good ballpark of what you need.

     Side note - As it warms up this can still be important.  If there was a lot of snow on the ground and it suddenly warms up to 60, like it is known to do in Cleveland, you will be much er colder running through the snowy areas.  Thus the layers will be needed!

3. Gloves - Gloves are super important in the cold, particularly if you have Raynaud's Syndrome, like I do. I generally recommend a wind resistant mitten type of glove, to help hold heat in and keep your fingers heating each other as much as possible. I use SUGOi mittens and they are amazing warm, even when the weather is in the teens and the windchill is around zero.

4. Use a balaclava - I highly recommend running with a balaclava when it gets frigid out there.  You don't want to hold too much heat in, as heat can lead to profuse sweating and eventually colder body temps.  At the same time, a balaclava is nice to help protect your face and keep it warm. You can stretch most of them down as well in case you can stand breather through the usually small filter hole they have, and pull it back over your face as needed. Some quick reviews here.

5. Sunglasses - Most people forget how bright snow can be when the sun is out.  This can definitely impact your vision, so proper protection is a must.  Sunglasses also provide a physical barrier to shield your eyes from wind, snow and ice.  This might sound like common sense, but over the years I have forgotten my sunglasses a far deal only to have the wind whip snow into my eyes and that is not a pleasant feeling.  The frozen eyelash look might look cool, but it is not fun or good for your eyes.

6. Keep your hydration pack under your outer layer - This won't effect you unless you are running long distances, but keeping you hydration pack under your outer layer is a great way to use your body heat to help keep the hose, and possibly bladder, from freezing.  If you hose freezes and your half way out on a 15+ mile run, you'll sorely regret not doing this.

7. Respect black ice - Your neighbors might be great people who always keep their sidewalk clean and free from snow, but when ever you are transitioning from snow to what looks like a clear spot to run be wary.  Many times, in my excitement, I see a nice clear patch of sidewalk and think, "Oh boy! I can add a little speed right here!" or "Finally, a clear spot!" only to not see the black ice on the side walk or road and end up busting my rear or knee in an awkward 5 second long flailing fall.

8. Slow down/short step for turns - This follows the idea of respecting black ice, be careful with turns. Many times in turns a runner will subconsciously lean when running, as it is the natural thing to do.  This will shift your center of gravity to one side and not directly over you feet. This shift will in turn put you in a spot that is very easy to fall and end up landing sideways.  I try to short step turns and slow down so my center of gravity is always directly over my feet.  Setting a new Strava PR for a segment is something you can do in the Spring or Summer, not in the winter.

9.  Run on marked trails or sidewalks - This might sound obvious but when a sidewalk isn't shoveled, it can be tempting to run in the road with cars.  I avoid this as most people tend to gawk when they see a runner outside in the freezing cold, which leads to them: A. Being nervous, B. Not focusing on the other lanes, C. Swerving toward you as people tend to drive towards what they are looking at and D. Acting out some entitlement of road rage.  All of these scenarios end badly for the runner.  Besides, a snow covered sidewalk is tough running.  Consider it a building up of your fortitude for when it is nice out and you can sail through the same spot.  Also, stay on marked trails. Snow is great at camouflaging larger obstacles that could lead you to fail, sprain an ankle or be stranded if you need help.

10. Enjoy it - Running in the winter is tough.  Running in the winter also makes it way easier to run when it is nice out.  Enjoy the pretty winter scenery, go down a street just to watch the Christmas displays (Fairview park has some great ones just west off of West 210th street, north of Mastick road out of the Metroparks) and revel int he fact that you will be a better runner for keeping your stamina up and slogging through it.

BONUS!

11. Running with dogs - Some people love to run with their four legged running partners.  Winter can tricky for these furballs, too.  Ensure your dog is adequately adapted to the cold and running and/or consider getting them a jacket.  Often Winter is a good time to run with them as us runners have to slow down too, which means we won't over exert them trying to make them keep up with us (or in the case of my dog his inability to pace himself and longingness to keep up with me).  I highly advise doggie booties to protect their paws.  Also, be sure to check their paws, if they start limping.  Dogs can step on ice and it hurts, which is why the booties are important.  Avoid sidewalks and roads that are salted as this can be bad for their paws (if not in booties) and can be toxic to them if they start to lick it.  Be sure to towel them off well when you get home, too.  You always shower after a long work out, which can also help warm you up.  Don't leave your pupper all wet and cold!

Any other winter running advice is encouraged!  I hope others can provide some great ideas!

Eric


Saturday, January 16, 2016

Training Partners and Motivation

It's a pretty well known fact that training partners are great to have when running.  They push you physically, mentally and emotionally.  They are so important that there is now an app for them  I can say without hesitation that my running would not be where it is today if it wasn't for running partners to keep me in line and hold me accountable.  One of them stands out above the rest.

My half marathon time in 2011 is actually not my time.  Rather, this time is actually the time of my long time running friend Victor Granger.  I forgot to pickup my packet that year because my grandmother had just past away the week prior and let's just say I wasn't concerned about the race as much as I usually was.  This race was unique to me because it was no longer my goal to run my best race.  My goal was to help Vic run his best race by pacing him as best as I could.

The 2011 Rite-Aid Cleveland Marathon was pretty miserable for most.  It was overcast and rainy the whole race with temperatures in the 50's.  Vic and I love these kind of conditions because it keeps us from overheating and really separates the runners who love to run from those who are just doing it to show off to others.  It was also special to me because the weather embodied my emotions from the week prior, dreary, depressed and a slog to get through it.

Around mile six, Vic took off ahead and yelled to me, "I'm really feeling good, let's push this!"
I disapprovingly said, "Let's keep it steady so we don't burn out.  That last thing we want to do is die out at mile 10."  Vic ran a great time, 1:43:26 is a respectable half marathon pace, especially given the elements (let's face it no one likes wet socks).  We were soaked but had the great feeling that we couldn't have done it without each other.  Vic thanked me several times for holding him back at mile six to keep him on pace.

Next year, 2012, Vic was attempting his first marathon at the Rite-Aid Cleveland Marathon.  It was a brutal race due to the bright sun and record setting temps in the mid 80's.  This was a great day to run, just not a great day to run a marathon.  This year was very difficult for me to train for the race.  I had a new role at work that required more time, a longer commute and was constantly traveling for personal fun and was in a long distance relationship.  Needless to say, the only motivating factor that kept me from not doing the race was seeing Vic finish it.  I attempted running the race and realized by about mile 7, this race wasn't going to be my best.  By mile 10, I could feel my lack of training.  Vic was leading me and prodding me to come along, which had never really happened before.

This was when I changed my game plan.  Vic needed to do this race by himself, just like I had in 2010.  I dropped at the half marathon marker. The arch of my left foot hurt because I had inadvertently tied my shoe too tight.  This, combined with the fear of long term injury, and lack of training made my decision to drop easy.  I told Vic I'd see him at the finish and that I was dropping. Vic prodded some more but could see I was done.

Dropping from a race is never easy, it hurts.  It hurts your pride, your sense of being and really makes you just feel awful.  With this admitted defeat and a sore foot, I trudged back to the finishing corral so I could have a good spot to watch Vic finish.  I waited there for probably 30-45 minutes, downing a chocolate milk while waiting.  At this point my foot no longer hurt and I felt as if I could have tackled the second half of the marathon.  I was increasing frustrated with myself for dropping and not realizing it was my shoe all along.  I did the only thing, I could do, I started walking and intermittently running the course backwards.

By running the course backwards, I eventually caught sight of Vic around mile 23.  He was struggling with his pace and may have even been walking.  What I told him next was that an ex girlfriend of his, who we caught cheating on him (I should link here her but I won't), was ahead of him.  A tirade of profanity followed and Vic picked up the pace.  I paced him in the rest of the way, with some walking worked in for rest.  Vic finished the race and even killed my marathon time in the process.  It wasn't until after the race I told him that his ex was actually behind him and I never saw her.  Although he never admitted it until later, that was probably the best motivation I could have given him.

Last year, at the 2015 Rite-Aid Cleveland Marathon, I was on the back stretch of the race coming down Route 2.  This is a sneaky little part of the race as almost the last 4 miles of it are a slight uphill grind that really wears on runners.  The sun was out and the humidity was up because it had lightly sprinkled off and on earlier.  I had tried a different training method of doing almost entirely CrossFit with just the once a week or so run mixed in.  Although CrossFit, did do a great job for me, I hadn't logged nearly the miles I needed to prepare myself for this race.  I had the Cleveland Skyline in my sights.  My legs were sore, my hips hurt and my paced was now an 8:00 pace when running and a slow 18:00 pace when walking.

At the very juncture in which I needed it, I saw Vic standing on the race course with his running shorts and shoes on.  I don't distinctly remember what Vic said to me, I think it was "Do you mind if I join you for the finish?"  I was exhausted and elated.  I was tired and happy.  Most of all, I was thankful to have a friend and running partner who knew how much it meant to have someone lead me to the finish, all while hearing me bitch about the pain I was in, the course, the weather, the lack of training, all of it.  Don't get me wrong, I loved seeing a bunch of my fellow Birdtown CrossFitters at mile 7 or 8 but nothing beats having that one true friend who is willing to lace up their shoes and carry you home when you need it most.

As I was running earlier this week, I was running down Detroit Road in Cleveland on a 10 mile rehashing the 2011 rain soaked marathon in my head.  The snow and ice mixed with the wind and 16 degree temperatures were making this run a little brutal.  I was sweating just slightly under my layers which I knew would eventually make me colder.  My thighs were sore and I knew this wasn't my best run, if anything it was just a run to get some miles on my legs and really feel the challenge of pushing distance a bit. I was somewhere around mile 4 and I still had 6 to go.  As I passed a great local Irish restaurant called The Harp, I saw some graffiti on a building.  UR WORTH IT


This simple bit of motivational writing lifted my spirits.  It reminded me of Vic meeting me at mile 23 of the 2015 Cleveland Marathon.  It put a smile on my face.  I could see it and I could see the Cleveland skyline in the background.  It had me picking up the pace and grinning.  As I ran by, I gave it pat with my right hand, silently thanking it for the motivation right when I needed it.  

It's the little things like this that I LOVE about running.  It's having a bad day and that one little comment or thing someone does for you that turns the whole thing around.  It's the reason I love spending months training just to get a stupid medal.  It's about others cheering you on, no matter how good or bad you've done because in the end you did your best and left it all out there, for better or worse.  It's knowing that after all the hard work you put in, there's someone there for you.  That's why training partners are so important, they provide you the motivation to do it.

Monday, January 11, 2016

It's Official!

IT'S OFFICIAL!

Today I offically registered for the Blueprint for Athletes Silver Rush 50 Run in Leadville, CO!


Here is a map of the course along with a elevation profile of it.


With that note (and the realization that this is actually going to happen sans Water World becomes reality), I'm off to the gym probably followed by a few miles of running in the snow.


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

So It Begins...

So It Begins...

Welcome runners!

My name is Eric Geyer and many of my friends consider me to be a crazy runner.  I would consider myself a slightly above average runner but no where near the crazy or elite class.  This blog dedicated to fitness and running mainly to help hold myself accountable for my upcoming training for the Cleveland marathon and hopefully my first ultra marathon, the Leadville Silver Rush 50.

This is by far and away the biggest physical challenge I will have ever tackled in my life and feel a blog like this will help keep me honest, focused and on track with training. Over the past year, there have been many stories of runners who have been caught cheating (example 1, example 2, example 3, read 1, read 2) and rather than play to this negative light on the sport I thought it would be fun to show how a basically average distance runner tackles the tremendous hurdle that is ultra-running at high altitude.

I'll try to update this blog weekly with training logs, some motivational reads or podcasts I've heard, music that I love to run to and whatever else I find that helps push me along this 7 month stretch to transform myself into the best distance runner I can be (while still maintaining a sense of normalcy by keeping my job, friends and dog happy).

As this is my first blog, I want to share a personal story of why I run.  I ran track in high school, which was a blast, but distance didn't really enthrall me.  The 2 mile race seemed like it took forever, was pure boredom and the fans only cheered for the last eighth of the race.  What an overexertion for such little fan fare!  I'll stick to the 400 and 800 meter runs where people are constantly motivating the runners and the race isn't over in 12 seconds.  Those were the best distances!

After finishing high school and going to college, my grandfather was diagnosed with kidney failure due to the long term effects of diabetes.  Seeing the toll diabetes and end stage kidney disease takes on someones life made me vow to never let myself get morbidly obese and minimize my chances of going through the same circumstances my grandfather did.  Preventative exercise would now be a mainstay of my life.

For several years, basketball and weightlifting were my main forms of exercise to keep myself in shape. The competition in basketball has an appeal to me comparable to that of a bear to honey.  With classes getting in the way of peak rec center times, I would occasionally go for a run on a trail near campus just to keep in shape.  I found this greatly enhanced my stamina on the court so I stuck with it, running 2-3 days a week with a max of 10-12 miles a week.

If there are three things in this world that are guaranteed they are: death, taxes and sports related injuries.  In my 4th year of college, I developed a quick flare up of De Quervain's tendinitis.  This tendinitis made it painful even hold a pen, let alone a basketball.  How was I supposed to lift weights when I can't even attempt a push up?  This left me one option to stave off weight gain and boredom (mostly boredom): running.

Over the course of several months I began to realize I was a strong runner and started to compete in local 5 and 10K's, as my college budget would afford.  One 10K in particular helped me really set my sights on running a marathon, it was a fall race in downtown Toledo, OH.  As I positioned myself in the front 1/4 of the race, with dreams of headlining the local newspaper with my win, a Kenyan runner got off of a bus seconds before the race was about to start. With his late hustle to the front, the gun shot echoed and he was off.  I forget the name of the race, the winner and his time but I remember seeing he finished somewhere in the 5 minute a mile time range and thought how slow my 45 minute plus time was.  From that race on I felt the need to get faster and run farther to see how it felt to be that good.

After finishing college at the University of Toledo, I found running was a great way to vent frustration and deal with stress after a dealing with patients all day.  January 7th, 2010 was the day I signed up for my first marathon.  My roommate at the time, Victor Granger, thought I was a little nuts but kept pushing me to do it at the same time.  I'm never forget that race.  It was a warm day, upper 70's, with a glaring sun for almost the whole race.  Strong head winds and a lack of fan support on the second half made it a brutal slog for me.  Somewhere around mile 19, I had what I can only describe as a delusional Indian vision that was induced by severe dehydration and overall fatigue.  Through it all, nothing beat the feeling over coming down the home stretch on Lakeside Avenue in front of the Cleveland City Hall and seeing my family there to greet me. It was brutal, it was awful, it was exhilarating and it was addicting.

Since then the rest is history, but I would like to say thanks to my old roommate Victor for starting to run with me even though he was not much of a runner to start.  Eventually, Vic beat me in a few marathons and still has the best two times between us.  If it wasn't for Vic pushing me, I would not have finished the Leadville marathon in 2014.  Thanks to Troy Bratz for turning me onto the CrossFit Endurance program which I plan to do roughly 2 full times, in addition to other training, and tweeking along the way.  Also a big thanks to the two owners of my local Birdtown CrossFit gym (I refuse to use the term box), Tricia Tortoreti and Jillian Neimeister.  These two women run a great gym in Lakewood and helped me run the 2014 Rite-Aid Cleveland Marathon in 4 hours and 18 minutes in very obscure weather, while only running once to twice a week.


With all of that being said, here is some of my running and fitness background (please don't consider this to be be bragging but rather setting a benchmark for myself and for others who may want to follow me or try this on their own):

Marathons:
2010 Rite-Aid Cleveland: 4:11:05
2012 Rite-Aid Cleveland: DNF (foot soreness)
2014 Leadville: 6:51:28
2014 Gore-Tex Philadelphia Marathon: 4:00:34
2015 Rite-Aid Cleveland: 4:18:27

Half Marathons:
2011 Rite-Aid Cleveland: 1:43:26 (failed to pickup bib due to grandmother's death but paced Victor Granger to the end)
2013 Rite-Aid Cleveland: 1:49:13
2014 Rite-Aid Cleveland: 1:39:43

5K:
2014 Freedom Fest 5k, Rogers, AR: 19:18.4
Too many others to bother trying to find and list so my PR is all I am willing to list.  Most of them are in the 20-23 minute range

Mile:
2003 MAC Conference Finals: 5:03

Other Races:
2008 Men's Health Urbanathlon, Chicago: 1:33:34
2010 St. Malachi 2 Mile: 12:46.44
2010 St. Malachi 5 Mile: 36:04.91
2012 Leadville 10K: 53:14
2013 Leadville Heavy Half: DNF (altitude related dizziness)
2014 St. Malachi 5 Mile: 35:23.76

14ers Summitted:
Mount Elbert: 2014, 2015
Mount Sherman: 2015

Crossfit:
Annie: 8:58 (single unders)
Barbara: 34:43 (4 rounds)
Cindy: 14 + 17
Coe: 5 + 13
DT: 11:43 (115lbs)
Fran: 7:07
Jerry: 27:40
Josh: 16:31
Kelly: 32:49
Murph: 52:40
Wittman: 26:18
Crossfit Total: 735
(Social WOD tracking)

Personal Records:
Back Squat: 295
Bench Press: 225
Clean: 215
Deadlift: 335
Front Squat: 265
Press: 125
Push Press: 185
Snatch: 145
Split Jerk: 225
Thruster: 205
(Social WOD tracking)

By now, I think you can get the gist of what kind of shape I am in.  Clearly my race times show that I am no world class athlete here.  I'm just a your normal want to be fitness junkie who isn't afraid to step in the ring and think I can box.  Please feel free to share some of your own stories, add advice, critique my training or just share motivational thoughts.  This is going to be a very arduous journey filled with highs and lows, but the Holy Grail here for myself is to finish this race and call myself an ultra-runner.

Thanks for all of your support in advance!

- Eric