Archive for December 7, 2012

Race day is upon us once again and little Landry is pretty psyched.

At breakfast this morning as I was eating my traditional peanut butter bagel and a Cliff Bar, Landry with a mouth full of blueberry muffin looked me in the eye and said, “I’m going to run slow tonight Daddy.  You are going to run fast.”

I smiled at her and asked, “Why are you going to run slow tonight Landry?  Don’t you want to race fast like Daddy?”

She seemed to think about that for a second or two and replied, “You are going to run fast tonight Daddy …. and Landry is going to run fast too!”

So there you have it, I guess my 18:19 time from last year is in some serious trouble tonight as Landry has made it clear that I’ll be laying it down tonight at the Ronald McDonald House Lights of Love 5K.  Truth be told, I think it is going to be awfully hard to match last year’s performance.

The race was 4 weeks after the New York City marathon, where I had just run my marathon PR by 6 minutes and 52 seconds.  I took two weeks of recovery time and was just ramping my mileage back up.  I was sound, rested and coming off of a week where I had only run about 30 miles.

I have already run 31 miles this week, and I haven’t run since Wednesday morning.  Last week?  80 miles.  Highest mileage ever.  On top of all that mileage the weather tonight is not going to be very cooperative with temperatures around 70 degrees at 7:00 p.m. and some sticky humidity hanging around.

Last year was a cool, damp evening that was near perfect for racing.  Tonight?  Not so much, but it will be a great night out at the event for all of the families who are there to take in all of the sights, sounds, events and activities that go along with this race.  Tents, face painting, food trailers, lots of kids, doggies to pet and play with and of course Santa and Ronald McDonald will be there.

Pretty awesome.

So, from a racing perspective.  We’re just going to go out somewhere around 5:45 pace for the first mile and take it from there.  Last year our splits went – 5:43, 6:10, 6:04.  Only that middle mile was a mild disappointment as I would have rather been around 6:05 or so – but all in all, it was a great performance just :07 off of our 5K PR.

Tonight, I’d like to put myself in a position to match last year’s time, but the closing two miles, especially that dreaded 2nd mile of the 5K is going to be a tough one.  It always seems like that is where I am fighting my legs as they want to relax off the gas a bit and float until the closing mile.  It is something that every runner has to deal with in the 5K.  I am waiting for that race where I just hammer through that float mile and push through to the finish.  It is going to take a performance like that one of these days to break through that 18:12 mark, which truth be told is a pretty fast time for a 45 year-old distance runner to try to take down.

We’ll see, as you never really know what is going to happen on race day.  Sometimes those breakthrough moments come at unexpected times like the IBM Uptown Classic in the fall of 2011 when I was just a month out from the NYC Marathon, worn down by training and showed up hoping to run a fast time.  Without any indicators that a big performance was coming that weekend, we ran our 10K PR of 37:30 (6:01 pace) on our way to NYC.

Interesting that we are now 5 weeks out from Houston and in a similar position.

The big news tonight however isn’t so much the racing, splits and times that will be posted.  It is the race beneficiary that is the story – the Ronald McDonald House here in Austin.  RMH is a place where families can stay together, at a suggested daily donation of just $10, and receive a welcoming home environment, meals, access to laundry, toys for the kids, and an exceptionally warm and caring environment for their family as they are dealing with all of the stress and fear of having a sick child cared for at one of our area hospitals.

For our friends Bea and Jay Smith, Caleb’s Mommy and Daddy – the Ronald McDonald House stepped up for a big way for them when they were in Cincinnati during Caleb’s surgeries and procedures for his condition.  When the Smith’s needed to extend their stay after Caleb’s surgery, they truly did not know where they were going to stay or how they were going to afford it.  But the Ronald McDonald House made all of that possible and more for their family as Caleb battled like the little warrior that he is.

2011 was a tough year for the little man.  Caleb was born with a condition called VACTERL association – he had problems with his spinal cord, was born with no anus, had minor cardiac issues and very complex kidney/bladder problems.

In the last 12 months Caleb has had:

1 NICU stay.

4 surgeries.

6 hospitalizations.

4 ER visits.

12 months of difficult times.

So tonight Landry, Dawn and I are there for Caleb and his family – part of “CALEB’s ARMY” – which as of this morning is the top fundraising team with $5,875 raised.

Landry is sitting in third place in the entire fundraising effort which has right now raised more than $225,000.

Last year Caleb’s Army was number 1 overall as was Landry.  Third place is nothing to be ashamed of out of thousands of fundraisers.  But I think my little girl has her eyes on something a little bit higher.

There is still time to help!  If you can, please click HERE:

Or visit:

We all thank you for all that you are doing to help families like Caleb’s this holiday season.

As for the race – 7:00 p.m. tonight.  Boom goes the dynamite.Dad-Landry-Ronald Mc