Happy New Year

2012 is right around the corner and it’s time to set my goals for next year. I accomplished my main goal for 2011 and that was to run 1,000 miles in the calendar year. That was such a huge accomplishment for me and I am extremely proud of myself for running each and every one of those miles. 2012 should be a great challenge for me. I have a few things planned out and a few things that I need to hammer down.

This is what I have going on so far for 2012:

  1. Lean Out Challenge – This is a 60 day challenge that I’m participating in through CrossFit. It’s all about nutrition, my main issue when it comes to being fit. I will not be drinking or eating any sort of fast food for 60 days.
    1. Each meal has three positive or neutral values:
      • -2 cheat meal: not Paleo quality, not Zone quantity. (-10 possible per day) +0 paleo meal that includes dairy
      • +1 paleo meal: all Paleo rules apply (5 possible per day)
      • +2 zone meal: all standard Zone rules apply (10 possible per day)
      • +3 Paleo/zone meal: paleo quality in zone proportions. (15 possible per day)
    2. “Rule of 5” bonus points:
      • +1 5 meals per day (1 possible/day)
      • +1 fewer than 5 hours between meals (1 possible/day) -1 more than 5 blocks per meal (-5 possible per day)
    3. Exercise:
      • -10 fewer than 3 WODs/week +0 3 WODs a week
      • +10 4 WODs a week
      • +20 5 or more WODs/week
    4. Bonus points:
      • +1 64oz of H20 in a day
      • +1 8+ hours of sleep
      • +1 if half of carb blocks are from veggies
    5. Deductions:
      • -1 for each alcoholic beverage. (-5 possible per day) -1 for no PWO meal (before leaving the gym)
      • -1 for less than 3 grams of fish oil/day
      • -1 for each carbonated beverage

  2. By the end of 2012 or December 21st, I will be in the single digits of fat percentage… meaning I am not now.
  3. Train and complete Ironman Louisville.
  4. Run/Bike/Cycle 2,012 miles for the year. I don’t think this one will be hard especially since I will be completing 7% of that all in one day on August 26th.
  5. Have my credit card balance down to zero by March 1st. This has been lingering for some time now. Something about traveling all last year and going out of the country twice in 3 months…. the only downfall of #whynot.

2012 should be an interesting year. I’ll keep you updated throughout each of my adventures this year. My race schedule is still pending but the only one that I am officially registered for is the Ironman in Louisville, KY. I’m sure there will be more to add to that. What are your goals for the new year??

2011: Year In Review

2011 was an amazing year for Ryan Doonkeen.

I rolled my ankle. I skied in Wolf Creek, CO. I dated. I celebrated Mardi Gras in St. Louis. I went with a friend across the pond to London. I was in Dallas at the only victory for the Thunder in the Western Conference Finals. I did my first triathlon. I got to hang out at Lake Tenkiller on Memorial Weekend.

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I vacationed to Turks and Caicos for an amazing wedding where I met some really awesome people.

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I was able to spend time in Stillwater, OK. I was in California for the birth of my niece, Kinsey. I visited friends in Milwaukee where I had some really good beer. I saw a Brewers game up close. I saw one of the ritziest places in the state of Wisconsin, Lake Geneva. I learned to surf in California when

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I visited for what I thought was the last time in August. I saw a walk off home run at a Dodgers game.

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I went to my first Razorback football game. I rode the EL and ran a marathon in Chicago in 3 hours and 27 minutes. I saw a walk off grand slam at Rangers Stadium in Texas. I was in Kurtis and Becca‘s wedding. I burned bridges. I went as Mega Man for Halloween where those friends from Wisconsin were able to experience Oklahoma.

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I went to OSU’s homecoming. I was heart broken in Fayetteville, Arkansas as my Cowboys lost to Iowa State. I turned 27. I made friends.

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I won money and ran another marathon in Las Vegas in 3 hours and 19 minutes. In between all my travels, I spent what seemed like every other weekend running with the proverbial bulls alongside Cole and Bo. 2011 was an incredible year. 2012, you better bring your A-game.

I believe I either have or will complete all my goals that I set for the year 2011… well, maybe not all of them completely.

  1. Run 1000 miles – I have 19 more miles in this challenge. I will finish this week.
  2. WHYNOT – I won this one without question. Look at the only paragraph… #WHYNOT
  3. OperationLOBP – This was my mission to get in shape in time for the wedding in Turks & Caicos.
  4. stop drinking coke – I did and then I went right back to it. Snap.

A big THANK YOU to everyone who was involved in making 2011 so great for me!

#TeamRefule

After I read a few Las Vegas Rock N Roll Marathon recaps, I found one specifically that said she was sponsored by chocolate milk. Being the inquisitive person that I am (I’m not), I did some research and found out about ‘Team Refuel.’ It’s a team fully dedicated to sharing the importance of chocolate milk being used as a recovery drink. I’ve read several articles stating that it’s a perfect post-run/race/marathon drink to give you what you need for a quick recovery.

I dug a little further and found out that any average Joe can be sponsored by Team Refuel because they offer grants to athletes all around the nation. I signed up, wrote my biography (which I didn’t realize would be posted in its entirety) and now I have a chance to win a $250 sponsorship to be put towards my next event, gear, training, fuel, etc. This would be huge for me since I just signed up for an expensive Ironman race.

So get out there and vote for me by going to TEAM REFUEL’S WEBSITE! You may have to scroll through the people up for the grant in order to find me, Ryan Doonkeen!

Ironman Louisville

Why an Ironman? Why a 2.4 mile swim? Why a 112 mile bike ride? Why a 26.2 mile run? Why all those three in the same day?!?

When I first started running two years ago, I jumped into it head first. I had never ran a marathon. I had never ran a half marathon. I had never ran a 10k. I had not ran a 5k since Cross Country in my senior year in high school in 2003. I put up the money for the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon not knowing what I got myself into. I’m doing the same this time around for the Ironman in Louisville, Kentucky.

After completing my fourth(!!!!) marathon, I wanted to mix things up for 2012. I needed a new challenge. I know I wanted to continue running, but did I just want to do that? I thought about focusing on just running and potentially aiming for the stars to knock off 14 minutes off my marathon time for that coveted 3:04:59 marathon. I thought about maybe focusing on trail running and doing a few races here and there to see how that treated me. I thought about doing smaller triathlons to get my feet wet and see where that took me in hopes for the bigger ones. Naaaahhh. Let’s do this.

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I had been researching for several days and thought I found one just far enough into 2012 to be able to train for it. I sent out a few text messages to my sister, dad and a friend asking what they thought? They all said the same thing, “Go for it!” They all agreed that I could do it if I went about it the right way. I was terrified. I knew if I had enough time to train, I could do it. I sat down at the computer with credit card in hand. I watched a ton of YouTube videos for both knowledge and inspiration about the Ironman Louisville. After blacking out, I came to realizing I had just signed up for the most grueling day of my life, August 26, 2012.

I knew that I would need to work on things. Swimming that distance and cycling for that length of time were the big questions when signing up and they still are. Running is of course my best discipline. I’m average at swimming but know I can eventually do it, especially with the time trial start (starting one swimmer at a time a few seconds apart rather than a wave start where everyone goes at once). I need to really work on building my strength for this leg of the race. Cycling is another huge question mark on my end. I’m not a strong cyclist. I finished towards the end of the cycling leg when only doing 13 miles for my sprint triathlon. Just 99 more miles and I’m there!! I have 9 months to work on that. I bought a indoor trainer and will be knocking the miles out on it until I can get out on the road on weekends and mornings that aren’t blistering cold. Nutrition is another big question mark. I eat relatively well throughout the week. Weekends… not so much. I need to pay closer attention to everything I’m taking it before and after workouts and when I’m resting. So all together, I need to do better because after I read this stat, I freaked my bean,
According to Suzanne Girard Eberle in her book entitled “Endurance Sports Nutrition,” “Ironman competitors expend 8,000 to 10,000 calories or more during the race.” These numbers are staggering compared to most human’s daily calorie needs of 1,500 to 2,500 calories a day.

I have spoken to the people that I do CrossFit with and one of the ladies up there has actually completed several Ironman. She has trained for them using strictly CrossFit Endurace. I’m looking into that but will still feel the need to get out and do long runs, long bike rides and long swims. I have no idea what I just signed up for!!

Wish me luck over these next 36 and a half weeks!

“Ryan Doonkeen, from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, you are an Ironman,” is all I want to hear by 11:59pm on Sunday, August 26th, 2012.

Lake Don Draper

This past weekend, I attempted what was my first trail run out at Lake (Don) Draper in southeast Oklahoma City. I have been on a marathon training plan for roughly the last 7 months so I haven’t really thought about mixing it up with trail runs. I have wanted to try it for a while but I didn’t want to run the risk of injury so I just never went out there until now.

I started out googling a “trail running oklahoma city” and found a circuit of trails 2 miles south of where my parents live. I had no idea these trails even existed. I might have gotten into trail running and/or mountain biking before now if I had done a little research and wasn’t addicted to Taco Bueno and not exercising.

I got out there close to noon and headed out not knowing really how long I was going to go or if I’d get lost. Roughly a half mile in, I found a map posted and found out there was a trail that was 4 miles long so I decided to do that one. I didn’t want to make a wrong turn because the trail that was connected to this one went out for 12 miles and I DID NOT want to do 12 miles.

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The 4 mile “loop” was so amazing. There were so many turns on this narrow trail and so many places that you could lose your footing that it made for an exciting 30 minute run. It was a little wet and slipping was an issue a few times. I wasn’t running in any specialty shoe because I didn’t own any trail shoes so I was concerned a few times that I did slip. The biggest difference that I noticed from road running to trail running, 4 miles seem like forever. When on the streets, I can typically look down the road a mile and see the stop light, so I run to it. I don’t pay attention to my foot placement or anything on the road. I get in the zone and run to the next stop light. On the trail, having to pay attention to every step, the miles seem to go by slower.

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After getting done with the run, I went over to my parents’ house in hopes to play with the babe (my niece Kinsey) but they weren’t there so I just chit chatted with my old roommates for a while. My mother asked me what I wanted for Christmas Holiday and I told her some trail running shoes and possibly help with a race entry. What’s wrong with me?!? Anyhow, she gave me some cash and told me to go buy my gift and then bring them back before Christmas so she can wrap them. I came out with these bad boys!

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I want to continue to mix it up with the trail runs and I may have something mapped out for the future (2012 Race Schedule). So I’d like to see if I can get out there on Saturdays and squeeze in some trail running. I’m a fan.

Cookie Dough Sport

Today, I have watched all of the Gatorade: Inside Endurance series. I am now in a pickle because everything I want to do, I want to do badly. I want to do so many things and I can’t figure out which one to go for. The bad thing is each thing that I want takes significant take and effort to train for and do so I can’t pick several to just try.

Marathons – I don’t have 2012 race schedule planned out yet which I usually begin to do around this time of the year. This last run in Las Vegas gave me hope to better my time if I train like I should and begin focusing a little more on my end goal. I’d like to do at least 1 for sure in a different state. So far I have New York, Nevada, Illinois and Oklahoma marked off the list. Maybe I go for this in the fall.

Trail Running – I have looked into this quite a bit. There are several races here in Oklahoma in the month of February. I’m actually going out on Saturday to run a trail close to my parents’ house. It will be my first experience running real trails so I’ll let you know how it goes. That will be a big determining factor in what I choose to pursue in the future.

Triathlons – I did a Sprint Triathlon last summer and am planning on doing the same one this summer to see if I can improve. I’m thinking that if I do that, it may be a training race leading up to another one… potentially a 70.3 Half Ironman?! The negative of this is the money situation. I would need to upgrade my equipment or lack there of. There is one in March out where my sister lives in Carlsbad, CA but I’m not sure if I’d have enough time to train for that especially the bike ride which is 56 miles long. Training rides in the Oklahoma winters would be tough to squeeze in.

XTerra Triathlons – These look awesome. If you took a look at the website I linked to at the beginning, these are just triathlons… but on trails rather than roads. A mountain bike would be a necessity and I don’t have one so there is that hurdle. These also have an amateur championship you can compete for!

What would you vote for?

The Hope Furnace

Hope Furnace

I’m with you. I don’t know what this thing is either. Apparently, it was a big deal in 1874 so get off my back! According to its wikipedia page,

“The Hope Furnace is a historic blast furnace in the southeastern part of the U.S. state of Ohio. Located along State Route 278, approximately 5 miles (8.0 km) northeast of the village of Zaleski, it is one of two extant iron furnaces in Vinton County. Between 1854 and 1874, the furnace was used to smelt iron ore, using coal or charcoal for fuel. It is a rectangular structure, built of sandstone and shaped like a truncated pyramid.”

So there you go. You learned a little something about the area around Zaleski, Ohio.

The reason I bring this up is because I am so close to my 2011 goal. My goal at the beginning of the year was to run 1,000 total miles in the 2011 calendar year which would put me right in the middle of Zaleski, Ohio. I took a few days off after the Las Vegas Marathon to rest and got back out there today for a 6 mile run at lunch. It was a great day to run too as the weather was perfect. With this 6 miles today, I am now only 33 miles short of reaching my goal and it’s only December 8th! Currently, I am right in between Piketon and Beaver, OH nearing Zaleski, Ohio.

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I hope to reach 1,000 miles in the next week or so leaving me plenty of time to think about 2012 and what my goals should be for that year. All I know is that those goals must be completed by December 21st, 2012.

Sidebar: I hope to update this site more frequently than I have in the past. I always get a kick and post a few times right after a race, but I hope to keep at it this time.

3:19:13 – A Doonkeen Dot Com Exclusive

Well, that was exhausting.

Before getting into the Las Vegas Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, let’s go back a few weeks and discuss how training went leading up to December 4th, 2011. After taking off a week or so after my

Chicago Marathon, I was back to training for the next marathon in Las Vegas. I figured 2 months would be plenty of time to recharge and go into the next race ready to PR like nobody’s business. What I didn’t realize was how ready I was for a Saturday off. A day where I could wake up whenever I felt, walk into my living room and play Playstation until the next morning rolls around like a normal 27 year old!

There were 6 weeks between getting going on training again and the race. This is when juggling my runs and my (relatively non-existent) social life got tricky. 6 weekends to get in my long runs, to still have a good time and to apparently travel some more. I succeeded in 2 of those. Guess which two. I did run a 20 mile training run on the first weekend in November and after that, I only completed 1 double digit run and that was an 11 miler when it was supposed to be 18. Things kept getting hairier. When it was time to taper, I felt like I didn’t deserve to taper. I’d been tapering since Chicago it seemed and I just knew when I got to Vegas it would be a train wreck. It was, but not like you would think.

Cancun Resort

I flew into Las Vegas on Saturday morning anxious to get out there, anxious to put in my bet on Oklahoma State, anxious to see how I would handle being in Las Vegas to run a marathon. I arrived at 9:30am where my Dad and Curtis (my Dad’s fishing buddy) picked me up from the airport. He lives out there and so he let us borrow his truck for the weekend to get around and do our thing. We grabbed a bite to eat and then headed to Palace Station. It was one of the smaller casinos but it was the closest to his house where we were going to drop him off. I placed a few sports bets and then played a few table games (roulette and craps) where I found myself losing money quickly. I stepped back, took a breather and downed 3 glasses of water. Yep, water… in Vegas. **Spoiler alert: I was in Vegas for 49 hours… I had zero cocktails.** We then headed to the hotel (pictured). My sister helped out with the hotel as my birthday gift so that was nice and this is where we were able to catch what was to be the greatest football game I have ever witnessed, the Oklahoma State vs Oklahoma Bedlam Game. Fin Saturday.

**ENTER NERVES**

Race Day – I woke up at 7am. Made some coffee in the hotel room and watched a little SportsCenter to hear them talk more and more about my Cowboys. The beauty about being out west when it comes to Sunday mornings…. football is on as soon as you wake up. 9am rolled around and I was getting super nervous about the race. I didn’t know what I could eat, what I should eat, when I should stop eating, etc. It was crazy to think about. I was about to run 26.2 miles at a time I’m not accustomed to at all. Typically, marathons begin bright and early in the mornings. I know what to eat the night before, when to get up, what time to have my breakfast, etc. This was completely different and it left me with quite an uneasy feeling. I grabbed a turkey sandwich from Panera Bread and an Everything Bagel for later. I went back to the hotel and decided to take a nap around 11am. I woke up close to 12:30 from that much needed nap and had my bagel. I continued to hydrate and around 2pm, Pops took me down to the starting line.

As I do with every race recap, I’ll give you a breakdown of what I was thinking as the race progressed through another 26.2 miles.

  • Hour before the start: Cheap Trick is playing. Those guys definitely didn’t do drugs. I have a bad attitude because I know I’m not going to do well. I’m nervous because of my training, because of the late start and because I know we’re going to have to run the same route as the half marathoners that will be smoking by me by the time I get to mile 13.
  • Some American Idol winner/contestant sings ‘God Bless America.’ Question: When did this become an acceptable alternative to the National Anthem? Just curious.
  • The gun goes off and here we go.
  • Mile 1 – Excitement is in the air and people are anxious to get in their stride and on their pace. Things are slow going as it bottlenecks around the first turn. After that first turn… there is nothing but the industrial deserted area of Las Vegas. BORING.
  • Mile 3 – First water stop. Just outside the Hustler Club. Not sure why they didn’t have the water stop in there.
  • Mile 4 – It’s dark now. The sun sets at 4:25 in December in Vegas. I brought gloves with me not knowing if I’d need them. I ran with them in my back pocket in NYC so I knew I could do that if I didn’t use them. I used them from this point and I’m really glad I had them.
  • Mile 5-9 – Pretty boring. We did a couple of loops, crossed a couple of bridges. Some people were discussing Tebow (why wouldn’t a group of marathoners discuss Tim Tebow while running?!).
  • Mile 10 – We begin to head back towards the Strip. We make a few more turns/loops before getting back on the Strip at mile 13.
  • Mile 13.1 – HALFWAY. I’m feeling great. Nothing in my body is hurting. My pace feels right. I know I had another 7 miles until the real race began. Everyone says that a marathon is a 10k with a 20 mile warm up and in all honesty, that’s what it is. In OKC, I hit the wall at mile 19. NYC – mile 23. Chicago – 24. I didn’t know how my body would react this time around. Only time would tell. This is when I got my second wind in a way. We were back on the Strip under the bright lights. The streets were super crowded as the half marathon had gotten underway about 10 minutes previously to my entering of the Strip. This is also when things got weird.
  • Mile 13.7 – “ON YOUR LEFT. ON YOUR LEFT.” I found myself becoming a running snob for the first time ever. In the past, I had appreciated everyone who attempted to run because running is my thing now, I guess. I still am that way. Just for some reason that night as I was on my way at a pretty quick pace, the lane designated for all the marathoners was being overtaken by the half marathoners that had their own lane. It was getting rather hectic to dodge all these people. I like seeing all the sights and I know that that is why many of these people signed up for the race, but me being as competitive as I am and trying to beat my time, I needed to get by.
  • Mile 14-21 – These miles were exactly the same as I just described. All the marathoners around me (not many) were all doing the same thing. “ON YOUR LEFT.” It was getting old.
  • Mile 22 – I catch up with the 3:20 pace group. They had started ahead of me in the corrals because I did not know how I’d do. I typically just run MY race and do it on my own for the most part. As I caught up with the pace leader, I decided it would be a good person to stick with. It was also beneficial because he did all the yelling from here on out. I found people listened to him better than they did me, because he had the pace sign with him.
  • Mile 23 – We somehow convinced three bicyclist “patrolmen” to stay with us and take over the yelling. They did the dirty work for us, thankfully. We thanked them over and over again because the streets were crowded and running at roughly a 7:45 pace (by that time), we were still passing people. The pace leader yelled to the small group who was following him that he was going to slow a bit as they were ahead of pace, but I was feeling pretty saucy so I kept going… and so did one of the bicyclist.
  • Mile 24-26 – I had a “motorcade” to myself. I felt like an elite runner. It was an incredible feeling. The crowd was dwindling on the Strip but the runners were still there. The lights were bright as can be as I passed the Wynn Casino, Paris, Caesar’s, New York, New York, and finally the Mandalay Bay where we started. I was still feeling strong surprisingly. My legs were getting tired like normal, but I felt like I still had some left in the tank. I hadn’t felt the need to stop or walk at all and there were no cramps this time around.
  • Mile 26-26.2 – I kicked it into high gear. I knew I was on the cusp of my time being in the teens. I needed to hurry some. I picked it up and sprinted (I called it a sprint but I think it was just a quicker run than I had been doing the last 4 or 5 miles) and hustled across the finish line. The clock said 3:21:24 or something but I knew I had started a little later than the gun time and I knew my chip time was in the teens!
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And now it’s time for RACE PHOTOS AND AWKWARD FACIAL EXPRESSIONS!!

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I’m not sure I will enter a Rock’n’Roll Marathon again. It was overall a mediocre experience. It just seemed as if the people who put on the event couldn’t care less about those who ran the full marathon. There were very few aid stations along the full marathon route and the whole debacle along the course with the sectioned off lane for marathoners could have been done better. I know the group makes their money off the the half marathon and that’s why there were only 6,000 marathoners out of the 44,000 runners at the event but they could have done a tad bit more for those who chose to run a full marathon. I hope this doesn’t come off too yuppie, but I just wanted the full marathon to get just a fraction of the attention the half marathon got from the group that put on this event. That would have made it a whole lot better experience for me. It was frustrating.

All in all, I ran my race. I beat my PR by more than 8 minutes. I feel like I didn’t even train as well as I could have. I did a lot of lateral moving during a 26.2 mile run. I wonder what could have happened had it not been so congested in areas. I wonder what could happen if I dedicated myself to training in hopes to do better. I wonder.