The world lost an incredible mother, wife, daughter, friend, attorney, underprivileged advocate, and community member suddenly and unexpectedly on October 16, 2013. In honor of my late wife, Holli Wallace, I am training for the Hallucination 100 mile trail run and raising money for the Children's Grief Center of the Great Lakes Bay Region.

My training progress

Monday, April 30, 2007

16 miles

Well, if I can run this far and just do it three times I'm just about there. :) Ran in Fort Wayne this weekend and realized that it is becoming increasingly difficult to find space to run in a suburban development.

I'm a little frustrated that the initial flurry of donations have dried up. If you're reading this and haven't donated--donate! If you have already donated, please send an email or ask a friend or family member to donate also!

Here's my new hackneyed plan. I'm going to contact Scott Sigler and see if I can get a plug for donations on his podcast. In exchange, I'm going to offer him advertising space on a shirt that I'll wear during the race. If you listen to his podcasts you woud realize that this isn't as strange an idea as it sounds. I'm still waiting to hear back from the running store who is sponsoring the race, which is too bad since I think that I'll need to pick up some business donations to get near our goal.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Loopy


Hmmm... 8 miles yesterday. It didn't rain, but the wind was enough to get my hands pretty cold by the time I was done.

After a frantic couple of days trying to clear my schedule, the family went down to Indiana for a funeral. So, the last couple of days have been a bit of a drag to say the least. It's nice to have Elliott around since he is still young enough to be cheerful about everything.

The run was a nice break although I think its sort of funny that my route turned into such an apparently random winding one. Part of the reason is that I was in a development with various sideroads and walking paths between and around houses. I kept coming to these turns that I led me in unknown directions. Needless to say, I doubled back on myself more than once, but it all adds up the same.

I'm supposed to do a long run of 16 miles this weekend. I was going to try it today, but I might wait until tomorrow after we get back home. We'll see as I usually don't feel like running after getting home from a trip, especially a somewhat emotionally intense one.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Regular Run

Did 8 miles on Tuesday. It was the last good day before it cooled off and we've gotten some rain. Elliott went the whole way, which has me wondering if I should try and take him farther.

I'm experimenting with mixing gatorade with protein powder. It sounds sort of gross, but with vanilla protein powder it takes sort of like a Mr. Misty Freeze from Dairy Queen. Er, if you have no idea what that is I recommend them. Anyway, I think the protein is helping me recover faster and, at the very least, it is buffering the Gatorade so it doesn't give me heartburn as it has on occation.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Shiawassee

14 miles yesterday. I went running with a colleague yesterday at the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge. We've gone running there a half dozen times in the past year and yesterday the weather couldn't have been better. The area we went to has very well groomed trails and a nice 5 mile loop, which we did twice. There were still a lot of geese hanging out in the area so you sometimes had to watch where you stepped and had a few squak at us, but, hey, its their refuge. I took Casey and Elliott for a little run before going to Shiawassee to get the appropriate mileage. The new shoes were a little soft in the sole for the gravel road section, but I didn't develop any blisters or have any other problems so it wasn't too bad. I might switch back to my Frees next time I run there.

The place was pretty crowded, but it was nice to see so many people out enjoying a walk. Perhaps Elliott will join me there one of these days--especially once the semester is over. Unfortunately Casey, they don't all pets.

Later that night Holli asked me how far I ran so I told her 14 miles. She looked over at me and said, "14 miles? I didn't even drive that far today."

I'd been planning on taking my training runs up to 40 miles, but my colleague, who did a 50 miler a number of years ago, said that he never trained farther than 25 or so. I might go to only 30 or 35 and plateau for a while. We'll see how as it will depend on how the longer mileage feels.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

More nice weather


Another 8 miles today. Elliott enjoyed a nice nap the entire time and Casey burned off some energy during the first half.

I confess that the technical geek beat out the purist in me a couple months ago. I bought a Garmin Forerunner 301. It's a small GPS and heart rate monitor that records time and distance and links directly to a computer. I'm not sure how useful the heart rate stuff is, but I do like getting an accurate measure of how far I've run even when I am wandering the country roads north of our house and don't really know where I am.

I also have an interest in maps and its been a kick to examine satellite photos of where I've been. As I figure this blogging thing out, I'm going to try and post the occational photo of where I've been (see above). Our house is by the flag.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Is it finally spring?

Ah, today was the first day that it really felt like spring time. The whole crew went the first couple miles and then Elliott and I finished out a 8 miles run. Elliott slept pretty much the whole time although he woke up as soon as we got home. We tried a few new roads and it looks like they finally got around to patching the many potholes in the country roads just north of our house. It's still sort of a bumpy ride, but Elliott didn't seem to mind.

Thanks to some beautiful weather I had a great run, but I've been kind of dragging the rest of the day. I think that I'm just looking forward to the semester being over. I only have a week and a half left before finals week. Of course, there is plenty of grading left to be done, but at least there is an end in sight.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

New shoes, long run

The weather was great the last couple days--sunny and cool. Yesterday, Holli, Elliott, and I went to Birch Run to do some shopping and I bought a new pair of running shoes. I found a pair of Vaporflies on sale at the Nike outlet. I found out after I got home that they are actually racing shoes, which is why they are crazy light. I got them to replace the Nike Frees that I'm quite enamored with. They are meant to simulate running barefoot and since I've been running in them I've avoided the knee problems that bothered me during my first ultra. I've been running in the Frees for over a year with several runs over 10 miles. I know you aren't supposed to run that much in old shoes, but they don't have any padding to compress and, frankly, I've been too busy for most of last year to prioritize shoe shopping.

Put 14 miles on the Vapors today and must say that I am pretty impressed so far. There was no knee or joint pain and I really liked how light they are. I don't know how they will stand up in terms of durability, but they only claim to be usable for 300 miles so I won't be disappointed if they start breaking down after a couple months. Hey, they were half as much as the other pair of shoes I was considering so it still works out.

I never really thought I would spend this much time thinking about running shoes.

I just started listening to Scott Singler's new science fiction novel podcast, the Rookie. It's a bit of a change from his previous novels, but pretty good so far. I'd recommend him for those of you who like action oriented science fiction.

Holli, Casey, and Elliott joined me for the first 4 miles of the run. Holli rode her bike while I pushed Elliott in his jogging stroller and Casey trotted along beside us. Well, Casey trotted after spending a half mile urgently trying to get us to go faster. It was actually pretty warm out so Holli and Casey headed home after 4 miles and Elliott stuck with me for another 2 miles or so. He was awake the whole time and quietly taking the scenery in. It's nice to have training buddies.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Cold, but sunny

Seven miles yesterday. Casey went with me for four and Elliott went the whole time. I timed the whole thing pretty well with Elliott's morning nap and he slept the whole time. There was a pretty strong wind that slowed me down, but I had the windshield up on Elliott's stroller so he stayed nice and warm. I was a little worried since we were gone for about an hour, but he felt warm whenever I stopped to check on him.

I'm looking forward to the weather getting warmer. Casey gets overheated easily so I'll probably have to limit his runs to a couple miles, but it will be nice to just put on a pair of shorts and a T-shirt and not to have to spend so much time bundling up Elliott.

I will say that they are both really good motivation. Casey just gets restless after a couple days without running and Elliott, well, he's just always looking for something new to do and someplace new to go.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Donate Here!

It seems remiss not to include websites with additional information.

The race that I will be runnning is the North Country 50 mile Trail Run. It is September 15, 2007 and you can find more information at: http://www.stridersrun.com/races.htm

To prepare for this race (other than running, haha) I'm raising money for the Lupus Foundation of America. To donate money or to find out more information, you can go to: http://www.firstgiving.com/brianthomas

First Post

Well, Holli has inspired me to try out this blogging thing. If its good enough for angry politicians and alientated youth, its good enough for me.

Seriously though, my hope is that this will create a little real world saliance that will help us raise money for the lupus foundation. You can come here to keep track of how my training is going or isn't going.

I officially sent off my registration last week and we've now started contacting people so I guess I'll have to follow through. Actually, it does provide some good incentive and we've already raised $300 so I guess I'll have to keep it up.

Ironically, last weekend was the first time that I missed my long run since I've started training. We were travelling back from Adrian so I just didn't quite have the time. The time management issue is no small affair. However, since the weather is warming up (er, despite the winter storm watch that was in effect and led to evening classes being cancelled yesterday) and I can take Elliott with me more it is easier to make it out. He's gone up to 8 miles--not bad for someone just over a year old.

Also, we are just three short weeks away from being done with the semester. That will leave me with some much anticipated free time after an entire year teaching full time, trying to get that dissertation done, and operating as program coordinator for a state grant. I'm looking foward to not having anything to think about except for hanging out with Elliott, Holli, and Casey and training.