July 31, 2008

Dick Beardsley Foundation "Run for Your Life" 5 mile race

Race Start

Love the pink waterstop!

Getting blasted with water! Perfect way to cool off

Yakking about something!

What a wonderful time I had back in the Fargo, ND/Moorhead, MN area over the past few days! I left early Monday morning for Fargo, but, of course first I had to get my run in, so I was up at 2:30 and out the door by 2:45 for a nice 7 mile run. I know what you’re thinking, "Is this guy nuts!" To be honest with you I really don't mind getting up that early, I've always been like that. You never know what the rest of the day will bring and with me traveling and speaking so much, at least I know I got one run in any way!

I was heading to Fargo to take part in the First Annual "Run for Your Life" 5 mile road race to benefit the Dick Beardsley Foundation. In April of 2007, I, along with partners Greg and Stephanie Hammes, Tim and Shelly Richard, Wade and Kristen Erickson opened up the Dick Beardsley Running Company, the first running specialty store in the whole state of North Dakota! It has been a huge success, not because of me but because of the above mentioned partners along with our new partner Greg Liebl (Junior, as we like to call him) and his soon to be wife Dani, along with the great staff we have there!

A month ago, Greg Hammes who is one of the Directors of the Dick Beardsley Foundation, suggested we put on a race with proceeds going to the Foundation. I thought, my gosh, can we pull it off? We only have a month to get ready for it and let area runners know about it. It was a smash!

After Stephanie picked me up on Monday afternoon, I went back to their place, took a nap, and then headed out for a nice 11 mile run. It was 80 degrees, but that was 20 degrees cooler then it has been in Austin, Texas where I live and it felt great!

Monday evening I spoke at our store to the men's and women's store racing team that is sponsored by the New Balance we handed out new team uniforms, everyone was very excited and it was so nice for me to meet all of our team members!

Tuesday morning Greg and I were up bright and early for a 6 mile run then it was onto the store by 5 am. The local NBC station KVLY was setting up from our store to do some of their morning programming from there. Steve Poitrus was the on-air personality and did a great job and gave our store, the Foundation and the race lots of great airtime.

Tuesday evening I spoke with members of the different training groups that meet every Tuesday evening at the store, and then we all went for our workouts.

Wednesday morning Greg and I were up for another early run and then off to a couple of local radio stations to get interviewed and talk about the race and the Foundation. Later that morning I did an interview with the Fargo Forum newspaper. Afterwards, I helped where I could in getting things ready for the evening’s race.

I still get excited to race and for this race I was as excited as ever because of what the race was all about! Junior had laid out a beautiful 5 mile race course and now it was time for the big show!We had close to 150 runners show up, now some of you might be thinking that’s not very many runners. I was ecstatic! To have that many runners come out on a Wednesday evening on such short notice, I was very much touched by it all!

The race started right at 7 pm and one younger runner and myself took off together, by a half mile he had opened up about a 25 yard lead on me. I can't go out real hard like I could in my younger days, I have to sort of ease into it a bit. By the mile mark he had about a 75 yard lead, but I never let him get any further away. At 2.5 miles I thought I might be closing the gap just a bit, by 3 miles I knew I was and that was really giving me some life back into my legs! I was fortunate to catch him at about 3.5 miles and was able to come in with the overall win in a time of 29:30. It’s not many times that happens for me anymore! I changed out of my racing gear and put on my training shoes and did a cool down going back on the course and cheering the rest of the runners on to the finish line.

************Race Pictures Galore!************

I can't thank our staff at the Dick Beardsley Running Company, the sponsors, volunteers, and all the runners that came out to support this race and the Foundation to make it such a wonderful event enough!

The fact, because of events like this, that raise money for the Foundation, we will be able to touch the lives of people with chemical dependencies and help them get their lives back, it’s beyond words on how that makes me feel and how much I truly do want to thank each and every person!

Please believe me when I say, you have all helped so much in so many ways, for that I will be forever grateful!


July 25, 2008

ZAP Fitness Adult Running Vacation Camp

What a place! Those were my exact thoughts when I arrived at ZAP Fitness Camp, just outside of Blowing Rock, NC on the afternoon of July 22. I was the invited speaker at one of five summer running camps they have for adults. Owners and facilitators Pete and Zika Rea are some of the nicest and most knowledgeable people you will meet when it comes to running!

ZAP Fitness was built with the focus of helping post collegiate runners continue their running by offering them a place to stay, train, work, and hopefully helping them to continue their desires to make National and Olympic teams.

They also have running camps for the everyday runners who are pursuing their running and trying to attain goals for themselves. Set in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina, it is a true runners paradise! I gave my talk Tuesday evening to around 30 campers and we all had a wonderful time. Over the next couple of days I was able to run and spend time with the campers and it was great fun had by all!

Did I mention the food? Chef John does a great job providing all with wonderful meals and lots of it! Running on the nearby carriage trails in Moses Cone National Park is breathtaking!

For me it was a nice get away from the hot Texas heat! The weather there in Blowing Rock is warm during the day and great sleeping weather at night, what a great combination!

Thank you Pete and Zika and all the campers for making my stay such a wonderful one, I can't wait to get back in two weeks! It's my wife's birthday and I've been invited back to speak at their Marathon Prep Mini Camp, so I'm bringing her with me as a treat for both of us!

July 15, 2008

Couples Tri

Transition is all set up!

Right before the start!

We did it! My wife Jill and I were "Team Beards" at the Couples Tri held at Walter E. Long Park in Austin on Sunday. Jack and Adam's Bicycles put on the event and what a well run event it was! They had close to 500 teams competing.

Jill and I were in the "Married Couples Total Age Over 70" category. Our wave started the swim at 8:20. We got into Decker Lake and it was very warm, this would be my longest swim ever! I started near the back when the horn sounded and off we went. I think because of my low body fat or perhaps because I just plain don't know how to swim very well, it felt like I was always struggling just to stay floating! I did the crawl the whole way, got passed by other waves of swimmers, even had a couple of folks swim right over the top of me, welcome to the world of triathlons Richard!

I finally got out of the water about 29 minutes after I started, I slipped on my Crocs and headed for my bike. I have to admit, I was very slow in the transition area! After drying my feet, I slipped on my helmet, my sunglasses, and my New Balance racing shoes. I don't wear bike shoes as I'm still not comfortable clipping my shoes into the pedals! Plus, I figured after the bike I would just take off my helmet and off for the run I could go without changing shoes.

I had a fantastic bike that Jack and Adam's loaned to me. The bike course was a very challenging 11.2 mile hilly course. I pretty much held my own, even passed some people! After completing the bike, I got to the transition, put my race number on, my New Balance cap, took a few Clif Blocks, got a drink and off I went! My legs actually felt good right from the get go on the run. It was a 5K XC course they had set up. I felt good on the run and was fortunate to be able to pass many people along the way, now I was in my element and it felt good!

For the bike, I averaged almost 18mph and on the run, about 6:20 pace per mile.

When I finished I quickly had some fluids, changed into my training shoes and ran back on the course to find my Jill. I found her just past the two mile mark and she looked GREAT with just a mile to go! I ran into the finish with her and we both had huge smiles on our faces, WAY TO GO SWEETIE, I'm very proud of you!!!

My first love, fitness wise, will always be running, but I have to admit, swimming and biking has also become quite enjoyable for me!

July 14, 2008

Mr. Mizel

My wife's friend does wildlife rescue, injured or misplaced birds, squirrels, things like that. Jill was at her house last week and looking at some of the birds that she is working with. In with the injured ones was a racing pigeon with a broken wing, that won't heal properly to allow him to fly. He's got a number around his leg, and the owner was called and they didn't want him anymore because he can't fly.

Now he's been added to our ever expanding furry family. Meet Mr. Mizel. He is three and likes to be petted. Not like dog petting, but gentle petting. Mr. Mizel coos.
P.S. One of the finches that we have (we have eight) has a baby. :-)

July 11, 2008

My first bike time trial!

My experience on a bike has never been real pleasant. One of my best friends since college is Mike Dunlap, Mike is a former 2:18 marathoner back in the early 80's, then a knee injury forced him out of running, he gave biking a try and the rest is history! Mike is one of the best 50+ age group riders in the country, he has always told me I should give it a try. I just recently did my first duathalon and did the ride part of it on a mountain bike, but I had a ball!

Jack Murray, owner of Jack and Adam's Bicycles in Austin came to my rescue! You will not find a nicer person and one who has so much knowledge about endurance sports as Jack! This past Wednesday Jack got me all fitted properly on a brand new bike he was letting me test ride, I had no idea there was so much to know about getting fitted and how to shift the gears and what not!

My friend David Wolfe, who is a awesome rider, told me his club was having a 9 mile bike time trial this past Wednesday evening outside of Pflugerville and invited me to come. My wife Jill and I loaded up our bikes and away we went. Jill got me all registered while I was out doing a warm up, I didn't feel like Lance Armstrong, not even close, but my warm up went well until I got back to the starting area and stopped to talk to Jill. I had forgot that my feet were in those little cage things on the pedal and when I stopped, I fell right over on my right side, I got my first road rash and hadn't even raced yet!

We started in 30 second intervals, I was quite excited! We had a nice tailwind at our back and I was tooling right along, that is until we had to turn into the wind and hit the uphills!

I finished 2nd to last and had a ball! I averaged a little over 18 mph and the bike Jack loaned me was incredible! I have to admit though that some parts of my body that stay on the seat were a little sore when I finished, but I'm excited already about the next time trial!

If you are a beginner like me or a expert and are looking for a new bike or gear, stop at Jack and Adam's in Austin, I promise they will help you out!

Owner Jack Murray and the staff emphasize customer service as their first priority. With a wide selection of triathlon and cycling gear, unmatched customer service and industry knowledge they aim to make your experience at Jack & Adam’s second to none.

The official results to the time trial are on Violet Crown website.

They are off to a great start - plenty of competitors and plenty of wind and hills to make this really challenging.

July 7, 2008

Howdy Du

Stacey, (world's best cheerleader), Jill, and Laura

WOW! You talk about fun! I did my first Duathalon on Sunday and I had a ball! My wife Jill is a triathlete and has been trying to get me interested in biking and swimming. Last week Laura lent me a mountain bike and I gave it a try. The last time I was on a bike and tried to ride it fast was over 20 years ago, the results were not pretty as I ran into the back end of a guys brand new Cadillac!

In my debut on the mountain bike I was worried about my "hinder" getting real sore, so I borrowed some biking shorts from Jill. I did 12 miles and ave. 15.4 mph and was quite pleased and to be honest with you I kind of enjoyed it!

The Howdy Du was held at a beautiful county park near Georgetown, Texas. I was a little nervous as I was doing my 2.5 mile warm up. They had two wave starts, one for folks 39 years of age and younger and then one for 40 and over. The youngsters started 3 minutes before us. I didn't want to run the first 3 miles to hard, I averaged just over 6 minute miles for the 3 mile run. I had a heck of a time in the transition getting my helmet strap to snap, that finally done, I jumped on the bike and took off for the 16.65 mile bike.

What a beautiful course! It was two loops through the beautiful countryside. It did not take long for many of the folks I beat on the run to catch up with me on my mountain bike. I rode as hard as I could knowing I still had a 3 mile run after the bike. My ride went well and was very pleased as I averaged 16 mph. I got off the bike and thank the good Lord I was holding onto the bike, I started running towards the transition area and my legs collapsed! The bike was the only thing holding me up!

I got my bike hung up and then started my last 3 mile run. The first half mile I felt like I'd never run before! The last two miles though I felt real good and had my running legs back and was able to finish strong!

Jill and Laura also did very well and I was so proud of both of them! A big thanks to our friend Stacey Conley for coming along and being our cheer leader and taking some great pictures!

Will I do another Duathalon? You betcha! In fact I really enjoyed my time on the bike!

This weekend Jill and I are doing the Couples Tri. If I don't drown in the lake, or run into another Cadillac, I will let you know how things go!

I can tell you this though, my wife Jill has turned me onto a whole new form of endurance training and racing and I'm absolutely loving it. Thanks honey!

During the first 3 mile loop

Finish Line

Running a loop with Laura and Jill

The Runner's Cookbook

Check out The Runner's Cookbook which includes 100 recipes submitted by some of the world's greatest distance runners. The book contains recipes that can be used for maximizing performance and recovery, as well as recipes for simply indulging yourself after a hard training session. All of the proceeds from this book will be donated to the Ryan Shay Memorial Fund and the Jenny Crain "Make It Happen" Fund.

I have my French Toast recipe in it. :-) It's quite tasty after my long runs