Motivation Monday: You Are What You Eat

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The silhouette should probably be a little plumper, right?

The silhouette should probably be a little plumper, right?

I struggle with this concept more than I should.  If I burn 3,000 calories, why can’t I consume 3,000 calories throughout the rest of the day?  I gained weight while training for the WDW Marathon, and I have not lost any of it since the event in January either.  In fact, I have gained some more weight since then despite running in as many have marathons in 2014 as the rest of my life combined!  Why?  I have not focused on my diet like I should.  There have been too many trips to Muddy’s for cupcakes and a reemergence of fast food into my diet.  I have always struggled with keeping a good balance in my diet.  If I log the miles, I should see the results.  Or at least that is what my food obsessed brain thinks.  I need to focus a little stronger on this idea moving forward.

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USMC Fitness Boot Camp Enlistment

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I have been talking about my need to do more cross-training and focus on my total fitness for a while now.  And today I finally did something about it.  I have enlisted in the USMC Fitness Boot Camp here in Memphis.  The schedule does not conflict with work or school, it is near my house, and the cost is great enough that my cheap ass will go just so I did not waste the money!  This last reason honestly worked for me when I first started to lose weight and when I started training for my first half marathon.  By paying for a training group, mentally I could force myself to go on the training runs even when I did not want to (which was often).

USMC Fitness Boot CampMy first class will be at 5:30 am tomorrow morning.  There is a class tonight, but I do not think that I will be able to make it there in time.  But maybe.  I really do not want to start making excuses this early into the process! The website said that I need to bring the following items:

  • Exercise mat
  • Water bottle
  • Dumbbells (at least 10 lbs for men)
  • Running shoes
  • “Can do” attitude

I have three of the five items already covered, so that is a start, right?  I probably should have started this during a cooler month, but oh well.  It is too late now! Bring on the sweat and pain!

Disneyland Half Medals Revealed

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This morning runDisney released what the medals would look like for the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend.  Last year the 5K and 10K had an Alice and Wonderland theme.  This year the them for the 5K and 10K is Lilo and Stitch.  Some people are very excited about the change, some are sad, I am honestly indifferent.  The Dumbo remains the same and half marathon medal is tweaked from last year’s event.  Here you go with what the medals you be earning in August will look like.

2014 Disneyland Half Weekend Medals

2014 Disneyland Half Weekend Medals

What do you think? Yay or nay or meh?

Navy Ten Nautical Miler Race Recap

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Running races with unique distances and/or themes is always tempting for me.  For one, these races stand out when reflecting on other events and another reason is that your first attempt at a new distance is a guaranteed PR!  Sunday was the Navy Ten Nautical Miler race at the naval base in Millington, TN, which is just north of Memphis.  Ten nautical miles equals 11.5 miles, so the race was just short of being a half marathon, but still significantly longer than a 10K.

At first, I wished the distance was a bit longer so it would count in my Half Fanatics stats, but after the opening remarks for the race, the distance of 10 nautical miles is clearly not an arbitrary distance.  Rather, it has some significance from the Battle of Midway.  The Battle of Midway was a major victory for the US Navy in WWII, and marked the first naval defeat in almost 100 years for the Japanese Navy.  The battle was between June 4 and June 7, 1942.  And since the battle was in early June, the race is likewise held in early June, despite the heat and humidity this time of year in Memphis.  As was stated at the event, if the US Navy had won the battle in October, the race would be in October.  Thinking about the race in the context of naval history gives it new perspective.

The race organizers did an excellent job of organizing the event, from the race expo to sponsors to race day management, everything seemed to go smoothly.  I honestly did not know what to expect from the race, but they certainly know what they are doing.

10NMSign

As I prepared for the race, I was very concerned with the heat and humidity that I would have to endure.  Especially after the West Tennessee Warrior Run two weeks ago and the brutal temperatures throughout the prior week.  And then, there were several thunderstorms over the weekend, so the chances of terrible weather seemed like a certainty for the event.  Luckily, we dodged a major bullet with the weather.  The temperature started at 70 and was only 75 when I crossed the finish line!  And throughout the course, the humidity decreased from 100% to 86%, and the dew point dropped 6 degrees as well!  This, coupled with the fact that the sun remained behind the clouds for the majority of the morning, led to a much more pleasant run than expected.

About halfway through the race, another runner approached me and asked if I had run in the Germantown Half Marathon.  After I affirmed that I had, he told me that he thought it was me, and that I was running much better at this race than that one.  He went on to tell me to keep at it and we parted ways.  I ended up finishing the race ahead of him and while refueling he approached me another time to congratulate me on a strong run and reaffirm the improvement that I had made since March.  It was a nice gesture, I thought, and I certainly ran a much stronger race here than in Germantown.  In fact, if this race was the 1.6 miles longer, I would have finished within a couple of minutes of a PR!  I guess my runs in the extreme humidity the last couple of weeks really helped!

All kinds of swag

All kinds of swag

Swag: A+:  This race provided one of the better goody bags that I have ever received.  All runners received a good-looking tech shirt, hot/cold race logo pack, financial book, race decal, KT Tape sample, race logo plastic cup, as well as some other promotional items and race literature.  Finishers received a fantastic finisher medal that was a heavy-duty anchor on a navy and gold cord.  It is an awesome finisher’s medal and certainly stands out on my wall.

Excellent finisher's medal

Excellent finisher’s medal

Course: B+: Mostly flat course with some rolling hills that serpentines through the naval base and a brief stretch of country road.  There were water stops at each nautical mile and good crowd support along the way.  From the guys handing out cold beer at nautical mile six and the kids with Super Soakers spraying runners right before nautical mile 7, the spectators helped make the race even better.  Also, all the yells for my new Green Lantern tech shirt were appreciated.  The only downside was that the course between nautical miles 7.5 and 9 incorporated a track around the barracks/family living units on base.  It was a boring stretch of the course.

Overall: A:  Great race, with lots of support and excellent swag.  I love that there is a reason why they host the event and amount of support from the community as well as the naval sailors and officers.  This is a must run the race for those in the Memphis area, and it will certainly be one that I return to in the future.  And I am certain that next the weather will be brutal, but I am still looking forward to getting another anchor medal!

WWII Veterans Honored at Airport

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I was out-of-town last week at a work conference (more on that in a later post) and on my return trip, I witnessed one of the greatest moments of my life.  I was at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport changing flights when it was announced over the PA system that a group of World War II veterans were landing at gate C7.  I luckily was in the area, so I headed over to the gate.  As it turns out, so did the rest of the passengers in C terminal, and what happened next was truly amazing.  As each vet exited the plane, they were greeted to a standing ovation and a series of thank yous.  One by one these men were warmly greeted by the crowd as they went on to their next stop.  The looks of gratitude on the faces of the vets as well as the crowd was truly inspiring.

Thank You

Thank You

The whole process lasted for about 20 minutes, and hardly anyone left from start to finish.  The best exchange of the entire event happened between a young boy and one of the USO workers.  It went, as follows:

USO Employee: Have you ever met a hero before?

Kid: No.

USO Employee: You have now.

The airport got quite a bit dusty at this point for almost everyone within earshot of that response.

This is a little blurry, but this is one of the vets exiting the plane.

This is a little blurry, but this is one of the vets exiting the plane.

This was one of the few times in my life that I have been able to see a WWII vet in person.  My own grandfather served in the army, but he was not quite old enough to serve in WWII, but he did serve in Korea and Vietnam.  I remember in grade school having some vets come to school to talk about the war, but I do not think that I truly appreciated the gravity of what they did at that time.  Soon, none of us will have the opportunity to see or speak with any of these incredible men.

Gratitude

Gratitude

It was very humbling to shake hands with these men and thank them for what they did.  This chance encounter will stay will me for years to come.