Monday, December 10, 2012

1,000 Miles!

A little over 18 months ago, on Memorial Day, I decided that I was going to try and run 1,000 miles in military combat boots to raise awareness for The Boot Campaign. I am overjoyed to say that yesterday at the BCS Marathon I ran my 1,000th mile as I crossed the finish line.

 I don’t know if it was the humidity or my worn-out boots, but this was one of the toughest runs I have completed in the boots. I was doing awesome and staying right on my goal pace for the entire first half of the race. I had to stop to use the restroom at mile 6, and my legs were just not interested in running after that. By mile 10, almost every muscle in my legs was cramping, and at one point I was “running” so slowly that I got passed by a speed-walker. I was very excited to finally get to the huge hill that led down to Dartmouth, and I just sort of stumbled down the hill and turned to go down the homestretch. When I turned I heard the crowd cheering and finally spotted my friends and family and got one of the best surprises ever when I saw that they had made me a huge banner that said, “1000 miles, We Love You JP.” That is exactly what I needed to get myself to the finish line. It wasn't my best finish, but in the end I didn't really care anymore. I was glad to be done, and I was so happy that I had finally reached my goal.

Four half-marathons, a 10k, three 5ks, and all the training in between brought me to my 1,000 mile goal. It has been an incredibly humbling journey as countless blisters, a stress fracture, and Bryan/College Station heat and humidity caused me to take about 6 months longer than I had originally hoped.

I could not have done it without the immense support of all of my friends and family, especially my wife, Mary Joy. She has put up with me waking up super early, or as she likes to say, “in the middle of the night,” she has been my personal assistant when I could barely walk (like yesterday and today), and she has been at every single finish line that I have crossed, including the one I crossed most often, my front door. I couldn’t have done it without her.

I also what to thank everyone who has supported me in my other goal: to raise $1 for each mile that I ran. While we have not quite reached $1,000, we are very close and I think we can get there. The Boot Campaign is an awesome organization that provides much needed support to our veterans. If you are able to, please consider donating, and even better consider getting a pair of your own Boot Campaign boots so that you can have a tangible way of showing your support for our troops. Don’t worry though… you won’t be required to run 1,000 miles in them. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

3 Weeks

I am now down to only 3 weeks until the BCS Marathon and Half-Marathon. Yesterday, I joined the BCS Marathon crew and ran 10 miles along most of the course of the Half-Marathon. I finished close to the time that I wanted and although I am very sore, I still managed to run a couple miles today. Thanks to everyone that has been supporting me, especially my wife. She has had to put up with me being sore or hurt, and she has been very patient with me on those days that I could barely walk. Thank you very much, your support means so much!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Veteran's Day

This weekend I was out of town celebrating my 5 year wedding anniversary in San Antonio. I found out Friday evening that by coincidence the Rock & Roll Marathon was going on in San Antonio this weekend. I very seriously considered running part, or all of it as a bandit. I really needed to do a good long run this weekend, but I have also always wanted to be a bandit because it sounds kinda fun. Unfortunately, the excessive celebration of my anniversary and the Aggies upsetting Alabama (whoop!) on Saturday night completely ruined any chance of me being able to run on Sunday morning. I did have an awesome run in the rain on Sunday night when I got home from out of town. My bandit experience will have wait another day. 

More importantly today is Veteran's Day. Veteran's are the entire reason that I am doing this, so this day is incredibly important. President John F. Kennedy said, "As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." Putting up the American flag, or wearing a yellow ribbon are great ways to express our gratitude for our veterans, but there is so much more that we can do give back. The Boot Campaign, Wounded Warrior Project, Gameday For Heroes, and The Lone Survivor Foundation are just a few ways that you can get involved to live by the words of saying thank you to our military. Thank you to all of our Veterans.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Five Weeks

It is now only five weeks until the BCS Marathon and Half Marathon. I am really looking forward to another awesome race day in my Boot Campaign combat boots. I am very close to reaching my goal of raising $1,000.00 for the Boot Campaign, if you are able I would really appreciate your support. You can also support The Boot Campaign by purchasing Boot Campaign combat boots, and you can have a tangible way to show your support for our troops.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Gameday For Heros

Last weekend my wife and I got to attend the A&M vs. Auburn football game in Auburn, AL. It was a fun trip, but what made it extra special was that we got to tailgate with Gameday For Heroes. It was also Military Appreciation Day at the game. 

Gameday for Heroes is a not-for-profit organization that sends wounded and active duty military personnel to college sporting events, focusing mainly on football, basketball, and baseball. Gameday For Heroes accepts monetary donations, unused tickets from season ticket holders, donations from university or college athletic departments and ticket offices, and in-kind donations. Just this past weekend over 900 military attended various college football games with tickets donated by various college football fans. If you ever have extra tickets please consider donating them to Gameday for Heroes.

Because it was Military Appreciation Day at the game, there were several special events at the game including an F-16 flyover and a demonstration from U.S. Special Operations Para-Commandos. There were also some very special honorary captains for the game including my childhood friend Josiah Greene. You can read more about the special captains experience here. Overall, it was a great experience and another great way to honor our troops. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

8 Weeks

The countdown to my next race, The BCS Marathon, is winding down. I only have 56 days, and I am getting excited about doing a race again.

It is no secret that our soldiers do some pretty awesome things, however putting their lives in danger to protect our freedom is not the only cool thing they do. While Felix Baumgartner was breaking the sound barrier yesterday by skydiving from space, there was another person that was breaking the sound barrier over the Mojave Desert.

General Charles Yeager was the first man to ever break the sound barrier on October 1, 1947. General Yeager was a WWII Veteran who flew missions out of the UK, and on a single mission he was able to shoot down 5 German fighter planes. He was shot down over France, but was able to escape into Spain and eventually back to the UK. At the young age of 89, General Yeager once again broke the sound barrier 65 years after he was the first to do it.

After landing the F-15 all by himself, although he did have an escort pilot with him, General Yeager was asked what he thought about Felix Baumgartner. He said he was not impressed, saying, "Joe Kittinger did that years ago. He's not doing anything new." General Yeager was referring to the U.S. Air Force Capt. Joe Kittinger, who, in 1960, skydived from 102,800 feet and reached the speed of 614 mph.

Thank you to General Yeager, and all of our soldiers who are doing awesome things.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Courage, Bravery, Sacrifice and Love

7 American Soldiers lost their lives this morning when their helicopter crashed in the Kandahar Province of Afghanistan. 3 Afghan soldiers and 1 Afghan interpreter also lost their lives bringing the total to 11. 

As you only begin to start your Thursday please keep the families and friends of all those lost in your hearts and prayers. These men paid the ultimate price so that we may be able to live free. There is no greater courage, bravery, sacrifice or love than that of an American Soldier. 

"I know in my heart that man is good. That what is right will always eventually triumph. And there's purpose and worth to each and every life." - Ronald Reagan

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Worried Wife

I had a good run this morning that was longer that what I have been running during the week. I carry my phone with me to track my distance and I got a worried phone call from my wife. She said she was calling to make sure I was alive. I was alive as much as one could be that was finishing a 5 mile run. I usually let her know in the morning where I am running and how long I will be out. However, I have found that it is usually useless because I get a mumbled response that is more of a "don't bother me it is still the middle of the night, and I am still trying to sleep," than an "OK, see you in a while."

Despite worrying my wife, it was a good run, but I have been experiencing an annoying tightness in the outside of calf muscle. It isn't painful, but it is distracting. I have been rolling it and trying to stretch it as much as I can, but I just can't get the tightness to go away. It is also very difficult to stretch since it is on the outside of my calf. If anyone has any good tricks, they would be appreciated.

Clarification: My wife gets up early with me most mornings, but when she gets to work at home she likes to sleep in.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Back to Hills

I ran 10 miles this past week. I am doing great with my training schedule. Tomorrow I am planning on doing my first hill workout since early spring. My legs are still sore from my weekend run, but I am still looking forward to the hills. I also officially signed up for the BCS Half-Marathon on December 9, so there is no stopping now. I have 355 miles left until I reach my goal of 1,000 miles in the boots. If I want to cross the finish line at the Half-Marathon with my 1,000th mile then I will need to run a little less than 3 miles per day on average. If I stick to my training schedule then I should hit my goal.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Brazos Running Company

Although I am not in need of a new pair of running shoes, I am excited about a brand new running store in town called Brazos Running Company. I haven't been yet, but I have heard that it will be a great addition to the community. They are doing lots of cool things like group runs and group yoga. Check out their Facebook page here to like them and see what's going on in the store and when they are meeting up next.