#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!

10 Day Token

If you know who is pictured above, please contact me at ryan.doonkeen@gmail.com because I would like to take you out for a nice seafood dinner. That’s Phil Hartman playing the Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer on Saturday Night Life (pre-murder).

Everyone knows by now that I am on the Paleo Meal plan (I refuse to call it a diet). It’s going back to the caveman days of human history and eating like our ancestors ate. Lots of meat, vegetables, and fats that your body is supposed to have. It’s January 10th and I have had zero cheat meals and have started to notice changes. My weight is down a considerable amount. I have plenty of energy throughout the day and I’m never really hungry hungry during the day either. I’ve also become quite the cook in the past 10 days too.

I have found several websites that have made this transition easier. My favorite so far has been the 30 Nights of Paleo Crockpot cooking. I received a crockpot for Christmas and have put it to good use. I’ve tried my hand at the Jalapeño Roast and the Stuffed Peppers with Spanish “Rice”. I cook plenty each time since it is just me so that means I’ve been having these items as part of every meal since Sunday. Last night for dinner, I had the chicken that I had leftover in lettuce wraps with guacamole and salsa. They were great. Tonight, I’ll probably be doing the same with the roast.

Another site that I just found today is paleoblocks.blogspot.com. Nothing fancy in terms of the site but it does list some great recipes that I am hoping to try out. I also really want one of these…. A NorCal Margarita: tequila, lime, soda water.

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It’s been 10 days without any sort of alcohol. I need a token.

This past weekend was my first “long” ride of my training schedule too. It was one lap around Draper Lake which is almost 15 miles. There was a pretty brisk north wind and a lot of the time I was riding north, there were some pretty solid hills.

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Just after I was done with my ride, I went over to my parents’ house to check up on their dogs and on my way home, I saw all sorts of news vans and police cars. They found a body of some girl that went missing for a month after meeting up with someone on Craigslist where she solicited her services. Pretty heavy stuff and pretty nuts that I was right there. I have also noticed I have given Oklahoma City a pretty bad name the past two posts. Expect one in the future featuring all the good things about OKC.

Only 34 more weeks of training!

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!

2012: Year In Review

2012: The Year of the ?uestion Mark.

In a nutshell, I:

  • road tripped the California coast following the Thunder on a West Coast swing.
  • sold the first house I owned.
  • moved in with my sister and niece.
  • drank coffee on the beach daily.
  • swam with seals and dolphins in La Jolla.
  • held Kinsey for an entire night when she was sick.
  • commuted in LA.
  • found my way to Austin.
  • watched friends get married.
  • worked 3 days a week.
  • trained 7.
  • hitchhiked.
  • became a psuedo-hipster.
  • had an awful awesome mustache.
  • fell in love… with food trucks.
  • discovered how a city “runs.”
  • finished 140.6 miles in under 12 hours.
  • recorded the fastest time ever to sell everything in a room and move cities: just shy of 32 hours.
  • grew my hair out.
  • drove across the United States… CA-OK, OK-SC.
  • spent, regrettably, too little time on my Halloween costume.
  • watched Blake Bell ruin Oklahoma State in person.
  • had a total of 6 roommates, 5 of them being women.
  • celebrated my 28th birthday with pumpkin pie.
  • met new friends.
  • became a Crossfit Endurance coach.
  • determined karma may be a real thing.

The only thing that was for certain in 2012 was uncertainty. Looking back, I had an incredible year of adventures, journeys and enough time road tripping for hours and hours of self-reflection. Thank you to everyone who made 2012 quite an amazing year. See you around the bend, 2013.

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.

3:27:39 – A Doonkeen Dot Com Exclusive

I have no clue what Chicago looks like.

You would think that a 26.2 mile tour of the city of Chicago would take you through every district that the city offers. You’d also be correct in that assumption. Running the Chicago Marathon gives you a unique vantage point of such a great city that not many get a chance to experience….. I think.

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Friday afternoon, my Dad and I began our long trip to the Windy City. 847 miles later and a really impressive stay at a Super 8 hotel, we pulled into the parking lot of the Health Expo at 11:56am on Saturday. Those who have ran marathons before know and for those who haven’t, the health expo before a race is really really exciting. Everyone is ready. Everyone is trained. Everyone has their wallets/purses out. I was no different. I picked up my packet with my bib and d-tag, received my swag bag and proceeded to check out what the expo had. I went to “Nike Town” where I bought an awesome shirt and that’s also where I found my name on the wall. Next stop, creep on Alex Morgan, the USWNT soccer player. I’m not sure what love is, but I think I found it…. while being roped off, 30ft away. I found my dad finally and that guy did work. He had more stuff than I did and he wasn’t even running. I don’t think anyone working a booth had the heart to tell him, “no, you can’t have this free stuff because clearly, you aren’t running.” Good for him.

We arrived at the hotel close to 4pm. This is when I started to become really really nervous. My dad wanted to try and find pizza for dinner and honestly I was fine with that even though I knew it probably wouldn’t be a good idea. Whatevs. After eating the delicious, delicious pizza, I immediately felt regret and knew I should have gone with some other carb to load up on. Too late now. Just hope for the best. After the really early dinner, I went driving around and found a Panera Bread and grabbed a bagel for the morning. 8:30pm – Lights were out (Thank you, Rangers for scoring 2 before I actually had to go to bed).

RACE DAY

4am came rolling around and I woke up from a great night’s sleep. This is now two marathons in a row where I have had an amazing night the night before where most find it incredibly difficult to sleep. I got to the train station at 5am where I waited for 30 minutes and ate my bagel. Other runners joined me and you could just feel the excitement on the train. People were ready to get going. I, too, was ready and excited and nervous… wait, nope… I just needed to find a restroom. I got to Grant Park at 6am with everyone no one else. It was pretty desolate at that time, completely different than the NYC Marathon. The bathroom lines were non-existent. Water cups were just now being poured. It was a different feeling for sure and definitely not what I was expecting. I waited around until 7am and found my way to Corral D. I talked to a few guys around me and got the email from one of the writers for the Chicago Sun-Times. [I emailed him after the race and found out how he did. He is now sending me a copy of Monday’s paper that has all the finishers’ names printed in it. It was his first marathon and he finished in 4:04 which is amazing! Congratulations to Andy!] 11 months of mental preparation since my last marathon, 18 weeks of serious training, 847 miles of traveling to get to this point…. 7:15am. I’m ready. Let’s do this! OWN IT.

This is how I experienced the running of the 2011 Chicago Marathon.

  • 7:15am – National Anthem. I got chills. 40,000+ people all here at the starting line to accomplish the same feat.
  • 7:30:04 – The horn goes off, Bruce Springsteen’s Born To Run blares over the speakers and every single person cheers as the 2011 Chicago Marathon is officially under way.
  • 7:34:41am – I cross the starting line. I have a huge smile on my face. I start my RunKeeper Live and my watch and I’m off!
  • Mile .3 (yep, point three) – Uh oh. I thought those were nerves… nope, I needed to find a bathroom. “Hey look, there’s a wall under a bridge. Bingo.”
  • Mile .4 – Let’s do this!
  • Mile .4 to Mile 7 – I have no clue what just happened. I’m nearly an hour into my run and my watch was already messed up. That happened because I spent too much time under the bridge and my watch lost signal. I know we ran through a bunch of tall buildings and there were tons and tons of people lining the streets. I read all the signs. I remembered none of them. I took a Clif Shot.
  • Mile 8 – Hey, there is Emily… I girl I met in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin at a wedding reception of the family I met while in Turks and Caicos for a wedding that I was actually attending. Yeah, good luck with that one. I was already too far beyond her to stop and get her attention. I had no idea that I would randomly see someone I knew at that point in the race. I checked my phone and had a few texts from people following me on RunKeeper and getting text updates from the Chicago Marathon website. A few were to tell me to slow down and a few were to tell me where people would be to look for them. You know how hard it is to text during a jam packed marathon? Really hard.
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  • Mile 8 to 13 – Seriously?!? Halfway?! What is going on?!? I don’t remember anything. I felt great. I wasn’t really paying attention to my splits on my messed up watch (that was .6 miles ahead) but knew that I was keeping within myself. I was calm, relaxed, hot and just kept going. THERE’S POPS! It was great seeing him even though I have no idea how I saw him. We were headed west now.
  • Mile 13.1 to 17 – OH MY GOSH! I think I keep blacking out. It’s really hot by this point in time. I have taken a gatorade, water and dumped a cup of water on my head at every station since the 4th one. I still feel good. I just keep chugging along. Nothing is hurting. I’ve taken 3 Clif Shots by this point but that is what I was planning to do.
  • Mile 17.5 – THERE IS MARISA AND KYLIE! They came down from Milwaukee to watch me (for the 4 seconds I saw them). I gave them both hugs and was on my way. Those who have ran this far know that if you stop, you aren’t starting again. I had to keep my legs moving. I’m so glad I saw them because I needed a little boost and seeing people you know gives you such great feeling. It helps more than most would think.
  • Mile 17.6 to 21 – I stepped in puddle and hoped that it was water and not gray water or something else that I am 85 percent sure it was.
  • Mile 21 to 23 – I keep passing people. I see people dropping left and right. Whoa! There’s my right calf. Just a little cramp. Knotted up for a second but decided to calm itself. Thank goodness.
  • Mile 24 – SIDE STITCH!!!!!! I had never experienced one of these during any of my previous marathons or training runs. I’m not sure if it was because I had taken in so much gatorade and water or not enough. I didn’t know what caused it but it made me slow down in a heart beat. Wow. That was incredible.
  • Mile 24.5 – CRAMP. My right calf reared its ugly head yet again. This time, it decided to stick around. Three steps in a row, it knotted up on me. I had to walk for about 20 seconds. I was getting upset. No way do I go this far only to be stopped by a ridiculous cramp in my calf. I pushed ahead and picked up running again.
  • Mile 26 – Andy, the guy for the Chicago Sun-Times told me there was a hill at the end of the race. He WAS NOT lying. 400 meters before the finish line, a huge hill. “What in the world?! Who puts that there?! Why is it so steep!? Really?! This?! Now!?” That is what I was thinking as I “ran” up this hill. Once I topped that hill, there it was, the finish line.
  • Mile 26.2 – The ended wasn’t nearly as excruciating as the end of the NYC marathon even with the hill. I’m not sure if it was the training or what, but I did it. I DID IT. I broke the 3:30 mark after never breaking the 4 hour mark in a marathon before. 3:27:39 was my final time, beating my previous PR by more than 32 minutes. The feeling that overwhelmed me was incredible. I had pushed myself so much during the previous 18 weeks, I did it. I don’t remember anything, but I know I did it.
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    splits

This marathon is the first that I had taken serious. My training runs were crucial and I HAD to do them all summer long. I made myself do them. I got made fun of by my friends and I missed out on a few things, but I am so glad that everything I had gone through for 4 1/2 months finally paid off. My dad and friends were there to see it all happen and so many others were there with me following me on twitter, RunKeeper and getting texts through the website. One of the things that honestly kept me going was knowing that people knew my goal time. I told a few that I was pushing for 3:30. I didn’t want to disappoint them. It really helped me knowing that other people knew what I was shooting for.

Few things I didn’t know before this weekend:

  1. Snoop Dogg will be playing at the Buffalo Run Casino in Miami, OK on October 27th. Chance he misread that contract before signing it?
  2. Super 8 hotels, give me all $45 worth of that!
  3. Gatorade Recover, the one with the protein in it… absolutely terrible.
  4. “HTFU.” I’ll be making this sign at the next marathon I cheer for. That was the best sign I saw. Runner up: “Don’t Shit Yourself.”

I will never forget the Chicago Marathon… what little I remember from it.

California Love

Here I am in Oceanside, California… and I really don’t know when I’m going home.

I decided to pack and fly out to San Diego. I didn’t really tell anyone. I caught the 6:40am flight out of OKC and at noon Pacific time and $7.25 dollars later (a bus ride from the airport to the train station and a train ride to Oceanside), I had to make that phone call to my sister to ask her if she’d pick me up from the station close to her house. Luckily, she was around and not at the zoo with Kinsey, my niece. She was very surprised even though we had been talking about me coming out here for some time, I just never knew when I would actually do it. The fun thing is… I don’t have a return flight booked at all.

Once arriving, I got to see my niece and we went to the beach on base. They live on Camp Pendleton because my brother-in-law is a Marine and is stationed in Japan right now. My dad has been out here since the beginning of January to help out. The tide was incredibly low and we got some great pictures.
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Afterwards, I fell asleep on the couch at 8:30 and did not wake up until 8am this morning.

Today has been a busy day. Not busy in the sense that I was on the go, but I did what I would normally do at home… just with a scenic backdrop. I went to a 24 Hour Fitness close by and shot some baskets. Then I did my CrossFit Endurance workout. I broke a sweat to say the least.

Once I recovered from it, got some niece time in as my sister ran errands, I headed to the beach to get my run workout in. 2x5k with 5 minutes rest between followed by 8 rounds of 20 second sprints and :10 rest.

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Turns out, I even ran part of the course for tomorrows Carlsbad Marathon in a town just down the road. I contemplated running in it to get my California marathon out of the way but I only found out about it on Monday so I was in no shape to actually run 26.2.

I’ve been having trouble uploading my run, but once I do get it uploaded, I’ll post it.

So here I am in Oceanside, CA… and absolutely loving it so far. Also, I suppose this is an open invite to go steal anything and everything at my house.

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?

Emergen-C

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011…. 4 days until the Chicago Marathon.

I’m getting pretty nervous for Sunday. It’s either that or I really am getting sick. The past three days I’ve had a unsettling feeling in my stomach. I woke up Monday morning with a sore throat and a slight headache. I’ve been popping pills left and right in hopes that I catch whatever it is I’m catching before I catch it. Monday night, I got out and ran 6 miles and felt fine when running, but yesterday, I was tired ALL day. I got home and as soon as it got dark,

chiweather

I was in my bed watching TV. That didn’t last too terribly long because I had turned the TV off and was fast asleep at 8:25pm, sleeping until 6:30 this morning. I needed that sleep in a bad way. I woke up this morning with a slight headache still but no sore throat so that was a good sign. Fingers crossed that I feel much much better by the time Sunday rolls around. 17 weeks of training only to get down with the sickness would be bad!

Pops and I will be heading out Friday afternoon. We’re driving 791 miles to Chicago. We plan to drive until we can’t on Friday, staying wherever we end up on the road and then finishing the drive on Saturday morning. In total, it will take 12 hours and 35 minutes according to Google Maps. Once in Chicago, the only thing I absolutely have to do is go to the expo and pick up all my stuff including my bib (#10343). (You can track me by receiving texts on Sunday by registering HERE and I’ll be using RunKeeper live and will be tweeting out the link on Sunday HERE.) I will be going to bed early on Saturday. The race officially kicks off at 7:30am so I would like to be heading downtown no later than 5am. I’d rather have too much time hanging around than not enough. In NYC, I was there 3 hours before my start time which made for a great time trying to stay warm (in the port-a-potty) but I don’t want to be any more stressed than I already will be. Once the race is over, we’re loading up and heading back. It’s going to be a quick trip and I’ll have a recap for everyone once I get back and am able to make it from my bed to the computer.

*pill popped

Fittest In Oklahoma

I’m writing this post still riding the emotional high from the Fittest In OK CrossFit Competition so forgive me if I begin rambling in the post writing run-on sentence after run-on sentence going into great detail about one of my greatest athletic moments and how I surprised myself at my first competition and how our gym, Koda CrossFit, is the greatest gym in OKC greater metropolitan area and so-on and so-on….

The WODs (Workouts of the Day) were released just days before the competition began. In CrossFit, you have to be prepared for everything when it comes to competition. I was nervous before seeing the workouts… I was even more nervous after the WODs were posted. My goal going into the weekend was to do well enough to make it to Sunday. The top 30 competitors out of 60 after the first 3 WODs would move on to Sunday. I was worried/nervous/anxious/excited/ready for Saturday to roll around and finally it was here.

WOD #1: Overhead Squat Ladder – SC men: 75#-95#-125#
AMRAP 7 min OHS ladder (1,2,3,4,5,…)
The athlete will have three 2-minute rounds at 3 ascending weights.

I actually did this workout in the days leading up to the event and I did it poorly. This is the WOD that had me concerned. I was able to watch the first couple of heats and I had a game plan going into it. Knock out as many as I could the first round with 75 lbs. on the bar without stopping. Try to do the same with 95 lbs. and then just struggle and hopefully get a few with 125 lbs. I surprised myself on this one. I completed 8 or 9 total rounds with 75 pounds, 1 or 2 with 95 on the bar, and then I was only able to get 4 or 5 reps with 125# which was 4 or 5 more than I was able to do in “practice.” I finished 11 total rounds for a total rep count of 66 which was good enough for 21st out of 58 competitors. I was in the middle of the pack going into WOD #2. Jared Muse, owner of Koda, completely demolished this workout with a total of 84 reps, which put him in 2nd place after this one. He held on the entire weekend doing solid in each event for an impressive 4th overall finish.

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WOD 2: Tabata Mix up (:20 on, :10 rest for 4:00)
Tabata row (for calories)
Tabata jump rope (single unders)
Tabata thrusters (45#)
Athlete will complete 8 rounds of each movement, and the lowest score recorded is your score for that event.

I felt comfortable in this event. I didn’t know how well I’d do because there were plenty of strong athletes at the Fittest In OK. I started off quickly on the row busting out 10 calories each time for the first 2 times. I didn’t know if I’d be able to hold that pace every time and sure enough I wasn’t able to. I dropped down to 9 calories for the next 4 rounds. That 3rd minute killed me. I got to 8 calories the next time and barely made it to 8 on the final row for a final score of 8. We had a minute transition to get to the jump rope mat and get ready. I went with a different approach to this one. I decided that I’d “run” my jump ropes rather than both feet at a time. This proved to be beneficial for me. My lowest total was 43 and I stuck with it. Next were thrusters. Thrusters are a movement where you go into the squat position and “thrust” a barbell overhead when coming up. The first round, I did 13 total reps. The judge said, “that’s a quick pace.” I agreed. Next 20 seconds, I did 11 with 3 seconds to spare. The catch on this event was that we couldn’t put the bar down. We had to rest it somewhere that was not the ground. I decided that on my back would be a good spot. So with 3 seconds left in each round, I would have just completed my 11th rep and I’d throw the bar on my back. I kept that same process the entire round of 4 minutes and finished with a score of 11 thrusters for that section. I finished 3rd overall in that event which moved my position up to 7th after 2 WODs.

WOD 3: Death by KBS
9-12-15-18-21-24-27-30-Max Effort
Each minute athlete must complete reps for that round.

I had no idea how I’d do in this event. I can do kettle bell swings, but I knew that this was a lot of them.

This was the one negative I encountered throughout the course of the weekend. The heat before me, someone ripped and there was blood all over the kettle bell. The judge told me not to touch the kettle bell. I was OK with that. One of the guys that was putting on the event came over with some napkins and a bottle of water and proceeded to wipe down the bell. He said it was good to go. Apparently, they didn’t have any cleaning agents in the building and thought water was good. If I’m going to contract something, I want to do it in a fun way and not at a CrossFit event from an unknown guy through a kettle bell. Some other competitor said he would use it and I switched spots with him. Away we went.

Our nutrition guru and coach at Koda, Chad Hamilton teaches a breathing pattern when doing KBS… breath in on the way up when your chest is open and exhale as the bell is coming down. I focused on this pattern the entire time as well as on a small circle on the mat ahead of me. I got through 21 just fine and 24, it began to get a little heavy. I made it to 27 with some time to spare and next up was 30. I did each round unbroken with legit reps really thrusting the KB up over my head. I was completely zoned in by this point. I kept the same pace through the 30 and made it all the way with a few seconds left on the clock. THIS is when things got awesome. I was the only one to make it through 30 in my heat and one of 3 total to do so in the scaled division. I walked over to the chalk bucket, chalked up and made my way to my kettle bell. Everyone was focused on me. I was focused on the kettle bell. I made it through 15 reps unbroken and set the bell down. A Koda teammate, Jarred, was next to me and counted me down to pick up the bell, “3, 2, 1, go!” I picked the bell up again and began to swing. My grip was done by this point but I knew I had only seconds left and kept going. The crowd was going nuts cheering for me. Most everyone in the building was watching me and yelling for me. The guy in front of me came back to cheer for me and count down the seconds. He himself made me do an extra 7 swings because I wanted to be done but I couldn’t be done until time was up. I did 26 swings in the max effort extra minute. When I was done, I dropped the bell and walked 20 feet straight forward trying to catch my breath. People were still cheering and I heard Emery yell, “Take your shirt off.” How that was the only thing I heard, I have no idea. It was incredible. At that moment, I felt on top of the world and in all honesty, it may have been a better feeling than my Ironman finish. Afterwards, people were coming over to congratulate me on my effort. I won that event and that moved me up to second after Day 1. I made the cut and moved on to day number two.

I had two dinners that night and was in bed by 10. I could have and probably should have been asleep by 8, but 10 it was. I woke up and prepared myself for the day. I knew this next WOD would be a tough one for me. I have my endurance pretty well in check but my strength needs improvement.

WOD #4: Triplet
15-12-9 of
Hang Power Clean
Ring dips (all other divisions are push ups)
Sandbag + Farmer carry shuttle run (30’)

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Being in 2nd place has its advantages. I was in the final heat along with 3 other Koda-ites, Jared Muse, Brice Collier and Matt Chandler. Jared and I were in the scaled division and Matt and Brice were Rx. I needed to post a decent time in order to make it to the next WOD. After WOD #4, the field was cut from 30 to 6. My goal was to do each round unbroken and keep a decent pace. I completed that goal but I did get No Repped a time or two on both my hang power cleans and my push ups. I ended up finishing the event in 3:41 seconds… putting me in 7th(!!!!!!) place after that event. I didn’t make the cut.
This was my first CrossFit competition ever. I had no idea what to expect or how I’d handle everything. I came out of it knowing what I need to work out. How to approach events, mentally and physically, and how I can surprise myself still. I’m not the biggest guy out there but to know that I can hold my own (in the scaled division) with really great athletes all around me is an awesome thing.

#TeamKoda was amazing all weekend long. A ton of members came out to cheer both days and show their support for our athletes. Koda had two Top 10 finishes in both the scaled individual and Rx individual. We had a team, the Sexy Exes, win the Scaled Team division and our Rx team finished 5th overall. Koda is incredible and I am so glad to be part of this amazing gym.

I may not be the “Fittest in OK” this time, but I am probably top 3 “Sorest in OK.”