Jim’s Blog has moved!

Posted: December 21, 2011 in Jim

As I continue to blog more, the requirements for the platform on which I blog on grow and change.  I recently moved this blog to another site, but you have arrived here due to some kind of old link or post.  No worries, just follow this link, http://theaverageguy.me over to the new site and you are as right as rain.  If you had subscribed to his blog with a feed reader or RSS reader of any kind, you will need to update your links. 

Thanks for reading and I look forward to seeing you at the new site!



scan0018July 2, 2011 – I’m saying this right now, the Lincoln Marathon broke me!  Going back to my last post almost 2 months ago, I think I made it sound like a good day.  It wasn’t.  I left the road beaten down and worn out.  Month of preparation, hundreds of hours and miles of training and thought behind me and a perfect race day built up my expectation of a sub 4 hour marathon.  I REALLY WANTED THIS ONE!  It didn’t happen.  The race beat me.  I was broken.

In the weeks since the May 1st race, I have avoided the road.  About 20 running miles in 8 weeks and not very many good workouts.  I just didn’t want to be there.  The thought of running made me sick.  I was at the bottom.  I needed something to pull me out of it and quickly. 

Today Q125 5K was a race that began to pull me out of the funk.  The 4th Annual Dodge Q125 5K in Dodge Nebraska was a perfect place for it to happen.  Beautiful morning, early start, short distance and 250 runners, small town atmosphere and a omelet feed right after the run?  Who wouldn’t love to run on a day like this?

I was joined this day by my running partner, podcast co-host and Gallup Trainer, Jamie Eikmeier.  Jaime had invited me to run the race a couple weeks ago.  She said it was cheap ($15) and I was almost guaranteed to win an age group medal.  Who could turn that down?  Her running has been coming on strong over the last several months and she was excited to be back in her home town for the event.  With an 8am start, we met on the city parks baseball lot and prepared for the run.  At one point, I asked Jamie if she wanted to warm up?  She looked at me and said, Dodge G=Q125 Route“Nah, the run will be enough!”  Okay, then to the race it was!

Promptly at 8am, the race director (who was kind enough to podcast with us later in the day) started by telling the crowd of 260, that this was the largest race to date.  He thanked the crowd, shed a tear and started the runners with a whistle.  I barely had enough time to start my RunKeeper and my watch!

2011-07-02 09.10.51Jamie bolted out in an attempt to complete the race in 21 something.  I figured that if I could keep up with her most of the way, I would be okay.  She got about 20 years ahead of me and gave me a target to reach.  By the end of mile one, I had caught up to her and felt good about it.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to sustain the pace for long, so I said good-bye and she moved ahead.2011-07-02 11.03.34

In the end, Jamie finished just shy of her goal with a 22 something, and overall  and I finished just south of 24.  The good news is that for the first time in while, the mojo is back.  I feel good about the road and am looking forward to some summer mile ahead.  Thank God!

Jamie finished with the overall female first place trophy and I finished 2nd in my age group.  I had breakfast with 2 other of Jamie’s sisters and Jamie’s husband Jeff at the first ever Omelet feed.  It was $3 and huge omelets!  Love a small town.

So it’s back to training.  There are a few half marathons to shoot for in the fall.  Grand Island and Omaha.  Let the training begin!

scan0017It was setting up as one of the best race days of the year.  A very cool start, cloud cover for most of the race and a light breeze blowing out for most of the course.  With 10,000 runners ready to go at 7:00am and an enormous crowd that would support the run from beginning to end, it was looking to be a good day of running.  I had hoped it would be a day that brought that sub 4 hour marathon time that I have been training to complete, but it would not be this day!

The conditions did provide me the best 20 mile time I have run to date.  It was the typical issues that took me down at 19 and kept me down for most of the last 10K.  Jamie Eikmeier joined me at about mile 22 and ran/walked me into the finish.  Thanks Jamie!  I know it was hard to track me down.

Lincoln MarathonIt was great to have Sarah out there for the entire race this year.  It’s always a big help when someone crews for you.  She carried all my extra stuff, made sure I was okay at the halfway mark and cheered me into the finish!  The best part was that she could drive me home when my legs would no longer work.  I snoozed the entire way back to Bellevue.

This years race once again finished on the 50 yard line in Memorial Stadium.  This year I remembered to look up at the big screen and see myself finish.  What I treat that was!  I then walked a few yards and collapsed on the turf.  The same turf that the Huskers play on.  It’s always a big deal.  About 2 minutes into my rest, someone came by and kicked me off the field.  Guess I wasn’t supposed to rest there, but some place else.  It was still worth it.

As I sit here and write this out, I don’t look forward to the next couple days of recovery.  I really pushed it hard this year and my body is going to feel it tomorrow and Tuesday.  Good thing I am taking some time off and not running another one of these silly things until at least 2012. It’s time for a much needed break.  Besides, there are family things to be done.  Josh graduates from HS in the middle of May and Phil’s wedding is in early June.  I think I will just lay low and let the body heal.  Sounds good from here.

Thanks for joining me on this adventure.  There is more to come, just a bit later.  The fall brings a couple of half marathons in Grand Island and Omaha.  Half Marathon?  Sounds good about now!

From http://www.mtecresults.com/race/show/289

Lincoln Results

Lincoln 2011 Omaha 2010 Lincoln 2010 Kansas City 2009
Finish 4:27 4:19 4:33 4:56
20 Mile 3:07 3:10 3:13
25K Split 2:22
Half Split 1:59 2:03
15K Split 1:24
10K Split 56:14 58:27 58:00
5K Split 28:32


It was only fitting, that on the eve of the Lincoln Marathon, I receive a package in the mail.  It was from the organizers of the 3rd Annual Eagle Fun Run that contained the race t-shirt and my numbers from the race.  The race was two weeks ago and had been on my calendar as a prep race for Lincoln, but it was very cold and windy that day and for the first time ever, I opted to stay home instead of run.  It felt kind of strange to not show that day, but none the less, I missed it. 

I did make it up the next day with a 14.5 mile run by my self (which at points I hate more than anything) and ended up running 5 more than was on my schedule.  It’s all history now, but it was a difficult weekend back then.

Eagle 10K 2010I’m still not really sure why, but this small town race holds a special place in my heart.  While I ran it last year and set a new 10K PR, the small town feel and the friendliness of the folks working it really made an impression on me.  I really thought that after missing the entire race, my shirt would get given to someone else and that would be that!  Not so.  To the race director – Thank for making the special effort to mail it out to me when you didn’t have to.  You can rest assured that I will be signing up for the 4th Annual Eagle Fun Run in 2012!  In a era of sold out mega-events, no waiting lists, no returns, no race day registration and no switching bibs, this was a breath of fresh air!  Congratulations.  You have a runner for life!

Miles per month since December 2010

Running Graph

Tomorrow morning sets me up against the elusive sub 4 hour mark for the completed marathon.  3 times I have attempted it (Kansas City 2009, Lincoln/Omaha 2010) and 3 times I have fallen short.  My finish in Omaha is my best so far at 4:19.  I have trained more, ran harder, lost weight, put in the extra time and done everything I could do to put myself in a position to get there (see my training plan below – click to enlarge).  3:59:59 is staring me right in the face.  The journey begins tomorrow, 7:00am CT.  If you want to follow me on line as I run, use this link: http://www.mtectracking.com/Mtrack?raceid=21  I am bib 1288.

The Training Calendar since January

Click to Enlarge

Many thanks to my trainer Ryan Wolf and my running trainer Jamie Eikmeier for the endless hours of commitment and dedication it took to get me this far.  Also a big thanks to Carrie Adams who ran many of those miles recorded above with me, including the logging of well over 50 in just 3 runs in the month of April!  To guys like Jeff Wilbur, David Seevers, Ed Muller and Dave Cihal (Ed and Dave are both running their first marathon tomorrow!) who encouraged me on a daily basis and kept me honest! 

Also a big thanks to Sarah, who has supported me the entire way!  She doesn’t get grumpy when I wake her up at 5:30am on a Saturday asking for my running gear.  She has been an tremendous support to me in every phase.  She even puts up with me when I complain about how sore I am all the time!  Thanks Sarah Jane!

More tomorrow, and hopefully an hour with a 3 in it!

HeartWalkI am once again a team leader for Gallup as we support the 2011 Omaha Heart Walk.  It would be great to have you on the team!

You can “walk with me” by making a donation online.  Click on the link below and you will be taken to my personal donation page where you can make a secure online credit card donation. The American Heart Association’s online fundraising website has a minimum donation amount of $25.00.

amaIf you like to actually “walk with me” in the Omaha event or help me raise donations, please join my team by clicking on the link below and you will be taken to my web page.  On my web page, click My Team Page and Join our Team to register online!  You can use the online fund-raising tool to email your friends, family and colleagues to ask them to support our team and our cause!  The more people we have working to defeat heart disease and stroke-the better, so please join me today.


Thanks for considering.


Here are some quick links for those who are looking
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ni-Bthaska-Ke-Trail-Run/176146602425914
Results: http://www.teamnebraska.com/new/?page_id=33
Race Photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/teamnebraska/


April 2, 2011 – Tough course!  Hands down hard!  I thought it was going to be a hilly run, but nothing could get you ready for this.  Nice course selection Ivan.  You killed us!

The day started out with a goal of doing 12 to 13 training miles that were on the schedule.  Last week’s 19 were but a distant memory and next week’s 22 are looming, but for this week, a step-back week (marathon training term), there was just a half marathon on the schedule.  I was excited.

204328_198134003560507_176146602425914_513659_567204_oAnytime I can get some training miles around an event, I take it.  The Ni-Bthaska-Ke Trail Run (organized by Team Nebraska) was this weekend and it looked to be a good distance.  With the longer of the two legs being 7.4 miles, the thought was to get 5 or 6 ahead of it and complete the day with the race.  Sounded like a good plan on paper anyway.

The day started with an early wake up and a 7:30 carpool with the newly named, “The Fab Five!”  That would be Bob, Erin, Michelle, Sarah and Javi.  Running friends and partners over the last two years, we all made the trek south to the Platte River State Park, arriving early so some could help with the race set up.  Michelle and I dropped our gear and started off on the early 5 or 6 that needed to be done before the race.  What I didn’t realize was how hilly the park would be. Platteriver State Park

The good news is that most of this run was paved roads and very clear.  This becomes important later.  You can see some of the elevation in the map to the left.  Click on it for a larger picture.

While Michelle and I tried to keep a fairly even 10 minute pace, the hills were some of the best training I have done in a while.  I told Michelle that I would have to come back to the park another time just to train for Colorado.  While you cannot simulate the lack of oxygen, you can work the legs like no place I have run in eastern Nebraska.  5 turned into 6 and we finished with about 6.1 under our belts and about 30 minutes to the race.  We headed to the lodge for some quick fluid and fuel.

This year’s race saw a doubling in attendance from last year.  Some 500 people showed up to take on the pain of trail running.  I had talked to Ivan earlier in the year and he had mentioned that he was changing the course to add some additional challenge and he wasn’t kidding!  The race started promptly at 10:00 am and most of the 500 were off into the woods.  Then the fun began.

StartMost of the trail consisted of a single lane path that moved through the trees.  From time to time you would hit a road or a wider path that would enable you to pass, but that was not the norm.  In the early part of the race, when people had energy, runners bunched up on the downhill slopes.  Some of these hills proved to be a challenge to navigate both up and down.  For me, the first half of the race went well.  I got around a few Clock Blockers by passing them on the up hill portions and then found a train of runners to join on the trails.  It was quite fun!

5587041636_1b3b1dd8c8_oAt about the half way mark, the days hills began to wear on my legs.  Believe it or not, I was finding the declines much more difficult than the inclines.  For about the last mile I ran up the hills and walked down the back side.  Toward to the end, I could hear the finish and it was nice to have it done.  I have run many races in the last two years and I am not sure I have run a day that was as tough as this one.  It took me a few minutes to gather myself at the finish line (Sarah and her sister Barb were there to greet me) and we made our way back up to the lodge for the noon festivities. 

miles graphThe last three months have been some of the best training I have done in my life.  With 106 miles in January, 114 in February and 121 in March, I have made the steady improvement that I have been looking for leading up to the Lincoln Marathon.  There is still 4 weeks to go, But I am really feeling good about a sub 4 hours marathon this year.  Each long weekend run takes a bunch out of me, but by Monday, it’s time to train again! 

The next couple weeks are all training and the start of the marathon taper.  Looking at running the Eagle 10K and 5K (will run both to get my training miles in) on April 16th and then getting ready for the big one.  Still a bunch of miles ahead.  Thanks for hanging with me!


scan0012March 26, 2011 – The 13th edition of the State Farm 10M / 5K / 1M was today in Lincoln.  I have been to this race twice now in the last two years and both years have brought terrible weather.  Last year was wet and muddy (See the post here) and a bit cold.  This year it was even colder with threats of snow flurries and a stiff head wind on the way out.  It snowed most of the second half of the race!

This year, I used the race to get in a 20 mile long run in prep for the Lincoln Marathon on May 1st.  Since the race was only 10 miles, this required a bit of creativity.  My good friend and excellent running partner, Carrie Adams, met me at Cabela’s parking lot in La Vista at 6:00am, we carpooled to the race site in Lincoln, headed out on the trail at 7:00am and had 7 miles in before the race even started.  A shot of my results from RunKeeper below.

RunKeeper SF Race (Pre)

We had about 30 minutes of a break between the time we got back and the race starting.  A trip to the bathroom, picking up the race number, visiting with a few friends, changing shoes, a drink of water and a quick protein bar covered the time and we were back in line for the next race.  This time it was for real!

RunKeeper SF Race

The run itself was fairly uneventful.  Looking at the RunKeeper charts above, you can see a few funny trends.  First, there are some times where we would speed up and then have to slow back down.  Carrie was itching to go faster than the 9:45 pace I was trying to set and a couple times we both had to say, this is too fast.  You can really see it in the bottom graph. 

Secondly, you can see the pace got quicker in the last 2 miles of the race.  There was a marked change in pace at the 8th mile and the finish line as well.  Kind of fun to look at the run through the eyes of numbers.  They just don’t lie.

State Farm Results

The race event was run very well and race results were available by 2:00pm on race day!  That is the fastest I have ever seen.  Good work guys!  They can be found here:  Super fast race results

We are now into the heart of the race season.  Next week is the 5th Annual Ni-Bthaska-K Trail Run – 12 K & 4 mile headed by the one and only Ivan Marsh.  I still need to get signed up!  What do you have coming up?

April 2 www.trailrun.digbro.com 5th Annual Ni-Bthaska-K Trail Run – 12 K & 4 mile
April 16 http://www.active.com/running/eagle-ne/eagle-fun-run-3rd-annual-2011 Eagle Fun Run – 3rd Annual, Eagle NE
May 1 http://www.lincolnrun.org/marathon.htm Lincoln Marathon & Half Marathon
May 8 http://www.bellevuenebraska.com/featured-event.aspx?27 Offutt Runway Run, Bellevue NE
May 15 http://www.papillion.org/recreation_marathon_fun_walk.cfm Papillion Half Marathon and 10K
June 12 http://www.gardentenmile.com/ Garden of the Gods 10 Mile Run – Colorado Springs
June 18 http://www.racingunderground.com/mtevans/index.html Mt. Evans Ascent
July 10 http://www.summerroundup.com/

Summer Roundup Trail Run 12K – Colorado Springs

August 20-21 http://www.pikespeakmarathon.org/index.htm Pikes Peak Ascent
September 25 http://www.omahamarathon.com/ Omaha Marathon