Saturday, March 31, 2012

17 marathons in 17 days (1,598 miles in 2012)

MILE 1... 39 degrees, overcast, light breeze. Legs tight from yesterday, feet a little sore. Otherwise great...

...MILE 2... Thursday night's storm got me looking for my Gore-tex rain gear from my golfing days. Now I just wish I could find a way to run and blog and golf at the same time...

...MILE 3... And yes, if I won $640 million in yesterday's lottery, I would still be doing this today!...

...MILE 4... The only difference would be that Instead of running ALL 365 marathons on the route of the LaCrosse Fitness Festival Marathon, every few weeks I would run my 26.2 in other cities, which in turn would allow me to reach more people...

...MILE 5... Louisville, Kentucky in April, all over the midwest in May, June in San Diego and Seattle, July in San Francisco, August in Wyoming, September in Colorado...

...MILE 6...Chicago in October, of course New York in November, Vegas and Hawaii in December, Orlando and Miami in January, New Orleans in February, and Washington DC in March...

...MILE 7... Internationally I would be running in Berlin, Cape Town, Cairo, Hong Kong, London, Madrid, Moscow, Munich, Paris, Prague, Rio, Rome and Tokyo for starters!...

...MILE 8... With the momentum of the consecutive marathons would come significant global media exposure allowing me to motivate and inspire millions of people to adapt a new thought process of consistency over quantity...

...MILE 9...Millions would be reminded to make each day count, that all that matter's is what we do TODAY, and once today is gone, it is gone forever, we never get it back. But most importantly, that one day at a time we CAN do just about anything...

...MILE 10...I got so caught up in thought that I forgot to eat! Now I am REALLY hungry (oops)...

...MILE 11...And another thing, aside from continuing my marathons everyday even if I won that lottery, I would of course be debt free and have my own Falcon Tri-Jet 7X to get to these places. (I already know what pilot to hire!). Freedom to me is to go where you want, when you want, with who you want....

...MILE 12...Shoes! I would probably have more than two pairs of shoes! Just think, by Monday I will have put almost 500 miles on these two pair in just under three weeks...

...MILE 13...I am including this perspective in today's blog because I realize that I am incredibly lucky to know that I am doing exactly what I would be doing if money was not an issue. I'd just be doing it in more places and thus be reaching more people...

...MILE 14...Peanut butter and banana sandwich with coffee at working it's magic now. Life is good...

...MILE 15... Good time to remember that the day will come when I am unable to do this. Today is not that day. (Thanks Kevin - that thought has stuck!)...

...MILE 16... Where the fun begins...

...MILE 17... The hills - the rest of today's run will be fueled by determination - feet feeling it, but there is ALWAYS a reason not to do it!...

...MILE 18... The temp is now up to 45 degrees and still overcast, now if I could only be done in four hours! That may be why my feet hurt more than I am used to. Patience is the key...

...MILE 19... Starting to slow down a bit. Respecting the feet. Aside from sore feet, I feel fantastic...

...MILE 20...One foot on front of the other...

...MILE 21... Getting hungry again! Imagine that!...

...MILE 22... Still in the forties but I am getting a little warm now. How is that possible?!...

...MILE 23... Just maintaining a nice slow jog at this point....

...MILE 24... I got this!...

...MILE 25... Even on the 25th mile I can say with absolute certainty that I would still be doing this if I did win the lottery!...

...MILE 26...ALMOST THERE (must have been all the extra gear I was wearing all day with the cool temps - going on seven hours!!!)...

...FINISHED - Map and stats

Friday, March 30, 2012

16 marathons in 16 days (1,572 miles in 2012)

MILE 1 - 37 degrees right now and a high today of 55! Last night we had extremely high winds, rain and lightning so I was mentally prepared for anything today. To see that we did not have the same thing this morning was a bit of a relief. Just the idea of running in those kind of conditions made my mind shift gears back to the idea that this is simply a matter running one mile at a time. One step at a time. There is nothing more powerful than a made up mind. Clarity is power. Here's to staying dry!...

Pettibone Lagoon
MILE 2 - Perspective IS everything. All that I need to do is remind myself that right now I could be running in weather like we had last night and each mile feels like a bonus -even if it is 37 degrees...

MILE 3 - I am just realizing that these conditions are perfect for a run....

MILE 4 - Heading into downtown and I this is another moment I feel very lucky to be doing this, which is funny because that is not what I was feeling when I woke up this morning!...

The Mississippi river as seen from Riverside Park
MILE 5 - I remembered yet another reason why I continue to run a marathon every day... Because the time will pass anyway! That is a great reminder for anyone who is questioning whether they should put in the time to achieve just about any goal...

MILE 6 - I could do this all day (at least that is how I feel NOW!...

MILE 7 - Why IS more important than how and I believe that the greatest WHY for all of us is because we can...

MILE 8 - Still a perfect day. Life is good...

MILE 9 - Thought I would try something radically different today and not even think of the clock. Why is it that when we do this things seem to be easier, more relaxed and even more enjoyable?...

MILE 10 - Cannot believe this is the 10th mile - there just might be something to this blog running!..

MILE 11 - Another thing that I have noticed is that the blogging forces me to keep a nice smooth, easy rhythm...

MILE 12 - I must say, I really do love when there is no wind. What a difference it makes...

MILE 13 - Coffee, a peanut butter and banana sandwich and a pocket full of Cheetos! Imagine what I could do if I had proper fuel!! Though it really is hard to beat Cheetos!...

MILE 14 - I actually feel about the same as I did at mile one! This is a very good sign of things to come. Looking forward to the day I can say that at mile 26!...

MILE 15 - Breeze is picking up but I found the Tootsie Rolls in my other pocket, thinking that will offset the breeze I am running into!...

MILE 16 - Here come those wonderful hills. At least there is still no rain...

MILE 17 - OK, now the feet begin to hurt, and when ever that happens I find it good to remind myself of those that do not have any feet and my internal complaining ceases almost instantaneously. Doesn't mean the pain goes away, I just accept it as part of the process...

MILE 18 - This is where the fun begins for me. Time to suck it up and dig a little deeper knowing that one day even this point of the run WILL get easier...

MILE 19 - Technical difficulty with blogspot app on i-phone does not make the 19th mile any easier!...

MILE 20 - App was freezing up. Had to log out and log back in while watching for cars. There's another way to take your mind off running twenty miles into the run!...

MILE 21 - "Slow but steady wins the race!" (at least that is the theory!). Time to keep on keepin' on...

MILE 22 - Slowing down (if that is possible)...

MILE 23 - Suddenly feel an unexpected second wind coming on, experience has taught me to not push it and see that it lasts as long as possible...

MILE 24 - I feel like walking but I am going to keep on jogging...BECAUSE I CAN!...

MILE 25 - You know you're hurting when it takes you at least a half mile to catch the people walking ahead of you!...

MILE 26 - Who ever it was that said inch by inch, EVERYTHING is a cinch was not on their 26th mile of their 26th marathon in 16 days!...

FINISHED - About six and a half hours. I really tried not to think about time at all today. I just wanted to run literally one mile at a time regardless of time. The most difficult thing for me is the feet getting sore, beyond that, I feel great. All things considered!

Map and stats of today's run

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

15 Marathons in 15 Days (1,546 miles in 2012)

MILE 1 - Sunshine and 39 degrees. Most importantly there is not much wind. An ideal day to attempt a 15th marathon in 15 days. I decided to start a little later today. Ideally I would love to run at the same time, and 9 a.m. seems perfect. As much as I would love to start at 5 a.m. and be done well before noon, rest is just as important as the running itself. Today's goal is to start around nine and finish around three. More importantly, to practice living fully in the now as much as possible...

MILE 3 - "Light and easy" is all I keep repeating to myself and I let the words work their magic. It is cool but beautiful out here!...

MILE 5 - Blogging and Tweeting while running may sound crazy, but the miles go by in the blink of an eye...

MILE 6 - Actually ahead of schedule, just keeping a nice comfortable rhythm. Must be the fact that I am trying not to think, just to be...

MILE 7 - One nice thing about the runmeter app I use to track my running, I am able to pause it. Just saw a good friend I haven't seen in at least seven years and was able to chat for a little bit...

MILE 9 - Breeze picking up a little, but so is the air temp...

MILE 10 - Legs feelin' a little tight, feet a little tender, but I am definitely noticing an improvement on how I feel at this point of the run now compared to previous runs...

MILE 11 - Is it lunch time yet?

MILE 12 - Was just attacked by two dogs! Fortunately they only weighed about 5 pounds each! They were going after the ankles! That's one way to get me to pick up my pace! Or at least provide for a good laugh...

MILE 14 - The breeze has picked up considerably over the last three hours, but now it is at my back...

MILE 16 - Hills! They are always so much bigger 16 miles into a run. I found my self feeling the effects of 16 miles then looked at the clock and realized I still have almost 2 hrs and 20 minutes to hit the 6 hr goal, which equals 140 minutes divided by 10 miles which equals 14 minutes per mile. And there we have the secret to succeeding at virtually anything - break it down until you can say with absolute certainty, "I can do THAT!" - and it does not even matter if you do achieve the goal in the end, but you at least tried. You at least gave yourself a chance. So much of achievement is in the mind. So simple, yet so simple to forget...

MILE 19 - For the record this is usually the part of the run where I begin to ask myself why would I do this to myself everyday?! I have no sponsors, I have no money, so I work evenings to pay the bills, I may have sold ten books so far! So why would I continue this madness that makes it hard for me to walk each time I get up?! I continue to do this because I believe we do create our own self-imposed limitations. I continue to do this because there are people out there that tell you I can't do it! I continue this because I really do believe one day at a time we can do just about anything, if we just make each day count. I will continue this because I know that in life, we don't regret what we have done nearly as much as what we haven't...

MILE 22 - So what have I learned from this so far? Patience - if you build it , they will come! More importantly, if what I am doing right now motivates or inspires someone else even a little, then my time has not only not been wasted, rather, well invested. One mile at a time, one person at a time.

Mile 23 - Now the feet are feelin' it - time to dig in!

THE FINISH - 5 hrs 56 min 49 sec was my official run time - here is the link to the map and stats to today's run!! I am very happy with that. Though my feet are not! That's alright, they'll get over it! Little by little I am noticing that these marathons are getting easier. Microscopically, but easier nonetheless. Not to be confused with easy. This is still a physical and mental struggle everyday that takes everything that I have got. I actually have caught myself saying (in a Scottish accent); "I'm givin' her all she's got captain"!!! (True story)

The view from about 3.3 miles into today's run

Thanks to all of you who kept the feedback coming, it is most definitely what keeps me going.

The view near mile marker 16 on today's run

14 marathons in 14 days (1,519 miles in 2012)

About midway through yesterday's run it dawned on me that I could actually blog while I run.  I have been tweeting as I run for some time now.  It really is not that different.  It actually makes sense.  My mind is clearest when I run.  I feel the most inspired when I run.  I also think it is amazing that I am able to blog as I run, tweet updates every mile that can be received by anyone around the world and the feedback that I get is almost instantaneous.  It does not matter if the feedback is coming from Arizona, Florida, Texas or Washington, or even Brazil, Germany, India or the UK (to name just a few).

To undertake something this grand in scale is only made possible for me from the feedback that I get.  I am running 6 hours per day (on average), seven days a week and I do that while the kids are in school.  This is how yesterday looked for me;

6-8 a.m. Family time / get the kids to school
8:30-2:30 p.m. Run a marathon / Blog
3:30p.m. Pick up the kids from school
4:30-9p.m. Go to work (this part I am hoping to replace with family time! - THAT is the dream)
9p.m.-midnight -Family time
Midnight -6a.m. REST

Enough of that, back to the running. Around mile seven I will pass 1,500 miles for 2012 and it is a perfect day for it. 48 degrees at the start and a high of 57. Winds seem to be much better than yesterday. The goal for today is to nail the six hour mark...

MILE 6 - The wind is not very strong but it is very cold. Then when the sun pops out it feels warm. One minute I am very cold, the next minute I'm sweating, which of course makes the cold colder a moment later. More importantly, the feet and legs feel good...

MILE 7 - 1,500 miles logged running SO FAR in 2012 and to quote Sinatra, the best is yet to come...

MILE 13 - About a mile behind where I should be right now. Feeling sluggish and ready for a siesta - 12 yr old has ear infection - not much sleep last night - so at this point if I finish in six hours, great, if not, I will just try to keep it as close as I can. Right now the sun is shining and the birds are chirping, so I will focus on that and let it effect my energy. Right now, time does not exist...

MILE 15 - I am tired and here come the hills - time to put on "Don't stop believin'" by Journey

MILE 18 - Catching myself actually yawning and feel like I need toothpicks to keep my eyes open, the wind is still very cold. Aside from that, I am great!...

MILE 20 - refueled with pizza, cheetos and coffee, oh yea, and a couple tootsie rolls - that's sure to wake me up!...

Mile 23 - Should be done by now! Way off the 6 hr goal but it is turning out to be a beautiful day! I am tired right now, I have been on my feet for six hours and I have a little over three miles to go, but I know that RIGHT NOW millions have it way worse than I do....

MILE 25 - Now it is turning into a beautiful day...

THE FINISH - Now THAT was a long day and though I felt tired throughout the entire run I am noticing that my legs and feet don't hurt near as much as they did at the beginning or even last week for that matter. That is really saying a lot considering that we are more likely to experience these things when we are tired.

So for the record today's marathon was completed in a blazing 6 hrs and 45 min and the miles logged running so far in 2012 is 1,519!!!

As I build momentum with these marathons, wonderful people have inquired how they could support the cause, for those of you that want to support the cause, buy the book, "The 365 Day Challenge" (which is not about this marathon challenge - that book is still being written).  "365" is about the fact that you can do just about anything ONE DAY AT A TIME. 

And for those that really, really want to support this cause, buy extra books for anyone you know who is serious about their goals.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

13 marathons in 13 days and 1,493 miles logged in 2012

Today's goal/motivation; beat the rain! Last night's forecast for this afternoon was rain. It is usually something simple like that that keeps me moving.

As I began this run I was met with high winds, which of course made me realize just how good I have had it. One particular gust almost stopped me right in my tracks, and I was less than a quarter mile into the 26.2 mile run!

Just before mile 13 I was able to head back to the north and now the wind is at my back. The sun is even making an appearance. Life is good!...

Miles 13 - 16 were uncharacteristically enjoyable. Nothing like the wind and sun on your back with only ten miles to go...

Mile 19 - The peanut butter and banana sandwich my son brought me at mile 11 is losing it's effect! My legs still feel good though I can definitely feel the effects of running into a stiff wind the first 13 miles. The feet are just starting to feel the pain, but feel significantly better than yesterday.

Mile 23 - Now that I have another banana I should easily have enough fuel to finish off these final miles. After the last few days, I decided to try to make today's 26.2 miles as easy as possible. Six hours, start to finish. As I write this on mile 23 I am exactly where I need to be to comfortably achieve today's goal. For a lot of you this may seem real slow, but do try to remember, I am not an athlete, I am just the guy next door who happens to be driven by a strong sense of purpose and motivation. If I were an actual athlete I probably would be knocking these out in four hours. As for me and as for today, six hours is just right!

THE FINISH LINE - My official finish time was 6 hrs 3 min 59 sec - as far as I am concerned, right on. More importantly, I feel better than I have in days. I just might do this again tomorrow just as a little reminder to the world, one day at a time, we can do just about anything.

For those of you that really want to support the cause, buy the book linked on the right side of the blog. And if you really, really want to support this cause, buy extra books for anyone you know who is serious about their goals.
Mile 5 with the Mississippi river in the background

Monday, March 26, 2012

12 Marathons completed in 12 days and 1,467 miles logged so far in 2012

5:15 p.m. yesterday I began marathon number eleven and 3:05 p.m. today I finished my 12th marathon in 12 days. So for the first time and hopefully the last time I finished two marathons within a 24 hour period.
Since I am not Dean Karnazes, today's run required a little mixture of run/walk/run in the final third of the run.  By mile seventeen, my feet felt as if that had been beaten with a paddle for 24 hours straight.

Mile 5 before the rain came
This is really saying a lot, because I take pride in the fact that I run very light.  I am a mid-foot runner and for the most part you cannot even hear my feet hit the ground.  It does not matter if I am running a sub-ten minute mile or a slow and easy 13 minute mile.  I am definitely still feeling a residual effect of transitioning from treadmill to street which up until the 2 marathon in a 24 hour scenario, has been making significant improvement daily. 

The other major fact for today's run was the weather.  The temperature started around 39 degrees and by the end of the run was at a balmy 36 degrees.  Not that big of a deal, except for the fact that from mile-marker nine until mile-marker twenty I was running in a light but steady rain.

Since I do not have the luxury of corporate sponsorship and my means are quite limited, I do not exactly have the right gear for these kind of conditions.  In other words, I was wearing four long sleeve shirts that got soaked through very fast and the same with the hat and gloves.  I found that they got so cold, due to the air temp and them being soaked, that I was better off without them. 

Eventually my twenty year old son, a.k.a. my supply guy, a.k.a. the guy who brings me the protein bars and coffee, a.k.a. the guy who works evenings with me so that the bills get paid while we make this dream a reality, a.k.a. my wing-man in this adventure showed up with a windbreaker and pants that kept the wind at bay, but eventually got just as soaked.  The recurring thought that kept repeating in my head today was; "Without challenge, there is not achievement".  For some reason, the greater the adversity, the more we tend to appreciate the achievement.  Remember that the next time things get a little more difficult.  Life IS, after all, always what we make it. 

For the record, today's official run time was 6 hrs and 47 min (Don't want to make a habit of that!)

11 marathons completed in 11 days and 1,441 miles logged so far in 2012

The view at the start of Mile 2
Thought I would attempt an evening run just to see if it would feel any different on my legs and energy levels.  The weather was ideal for this because the warmest that it got was 64 degrees and during the run it was in the upper 50's with a light breeze.  In other words it was perfect.  My mind was in the right place because all that I was thinking about at the beginning of the run was what if you defined success (at running) as how you felt after the run.  In other words, how much pain would I be in?  That simple little question automatically put me into a nice little rhythm where I felt like I was not even trying that hard.

 My goal was not to achieve a specific time or to even survive completing my 11th marathon in 11 days.  My goal was to feel as good as possible after the run.  Immediately after the run, two hours after the run and even the next morning.  This thought process out me on autopilot.  Does this mean that I felt no pain at the end of the run?  No.  But I will say this, I enjoyed the run much more, and I wasn't feeling the severe pain and discomfort until around mile 22 or 23.  Whereas I was experiencing the same discomfort around mile 12 only a week ago.  Did the weather affect this?  Maybe.  But I do know this;  Whatever we focus on is exactly what we experience and whatever we focus at any given moment in time will always be our reality.

For the record, I began this evening's run around 5:15 p.m. and finished almost exactly at 11 p.m.  (I pause the runmeter for bathroom breaks) my official running time was 5:29:36 with an average pace of 12:34 (and that is a good number for me that will only improve over time).  

Marathon number twelve will begin about nine hours after number eleven and that will indeed be the ultimate test for me.  I plan on taking it easy and expect a little more discomfort than normal, but still plan on enjoying the run - after all the forecast is perfect - high of 48 and rain!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

10 marathons completed in 10 days and 1,415 miles ran so far in 2012

Today's plan of attack was extremely simple.  Sleep in with no alarm set to go off at any point.  I knew that I would get up mid-morning at the latest.  Then I would make the morning pot of coffee, get my supplies together for the run and do some easy stretching while waiting for the coffee to brew.  Then I would be off to run regardless of the weather.  Fortunately the sun did not come out until about five minutes after the run was completed.

The plan for today's run was to see how many miles I could put together at a nice comfortable 11-12 minute mile.  My hope was to be able to do all 26.2 miles without having to slow down because of some extreme discomfort in my legs.  Maybe it was the fact that on and off throughout the run I was in a light rain and the sun never showed during the run and the temps were in the 60's most of the run, either way, for the first time, I did exactly what I set out to do.  It may have taken ten tries, but I got it today.  Not fast.  Not slow.  The legs felt a little tight and the feet felt a little sore.  But nothing I have not already experienced and definitely not as extreme.

The official time run time was 5 hrs 11 min and 30 sec (A new Personal Best I hope not to regret tomorrow, but the fact that I had no miles where I really pushed, I might be OK)

Here are the splits that I was so motivated to accomplish.  The word for today was consistency:

Mile 1 - 11:23 / Mile 2 - 12:01 / Mile 3 - 11:09 / Mile 4 - 11:09 / Mile 5 - 11:26 / Mile 6 - 10:59 / Mile 7 - 12:32 / Mile 8 - 11:51 / Mile 9 - 12:11 / Mile 1 / 0 - 11:58 / Mile 11 - 12:06 / Mile 12 - 11:31 / Mile 13 - 11:36 / Mile 14 - 11:34 / Mile 15 - 12:14 / Mile 16 - 11:25 / Mile 17 - 12:01 / Mile 18 - 11:55 / Mile 19 - 12:00 / Mile 20 - 11:39 / Mile 21 - 11:53 / Mile 22 - 12:20 / Mile 23 - 12:24 / Mile 24 - 12:42 / Mile 25 - 12:31 / Mile 26 - 12:34 / Mile 26.2 - 12:29 pace

I don't know if I could more consistent than that!
For those of you wondering why I would take the time to manually type in these split times, my Runkeeper app is a wonderful app, when it works!  It has managed to work flawlessly on my i-phone, but, yesterday on the Runkeeper site, it stopped around mile 16 and today around mile 9.  Both days it did not post an end of run update with map link and today, it did not post one at the start earlier.  Since the route I run loops the first mile and a half I almost started the run over because of the app until I realized how stupid that idea was.

If any one out there in the running world knows of an app to track running that actually works more than a week, please let me know.  I have yet to find an app that functions more than a week.  And it can be extremely frustrating when this is my way of sharing what I am doing, which just happens to be the greatest personal challenge of my life.

Thanks a gazillion for all the feedback I have been getting from both Dailymile and Twitter, it is truly my fuel, especially knowing it is coming from all over the globe.  

Friday, March 23, 2012

9th marathon completed in 9 days and 1,389 miles logged so far in 2012

Mile One
Today's run started at a fast pace.  At least fast for me.  The goal was simple.  I wanted to see how many miles I could complete under ten minutes.  Single digit miles was the mantra.  By time I had eleven miles behind me I felt amazing.  For a lot of people, 9-10 minute miles is slow.  For me, that is a comfortable pace, that I can feel like I am floating along at.  I am looking forward to the day when I will be able to complete all 26.2 miles at a smooth, comfortable sub ten minute mile. 

After eleven miles my new mantra was just finish the 26.2 miles.  In the end, is was a very long day but I was happy enough with how the run started and to be able to finish the miles injury free.  The map, statistics and pictures from today's run can be viewed by clicking here.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

8th marathon completed in 8 days and 1,363 miles of running logged so far in 2012

8:43 a.m. was the official start time of today's marathon and the official finish time was 3:10 p.m.  which means that today was an extraordinarily long day.   A pattern is beginning to emerge with these daily marathons.  I have noticed that one day my legs will feel fresh and strong (for at least 20 miles of the run) and the next day, the legs will feel extremely tight and heavy.  

Today was the latter.  I started the run with a nice consistent eleven minute mile thinking that by not going quite as fast, I could find a nice middle ground that I could maintain for the entire 26.2 miles.  It may also have been the fact that it was sunny and 75 degrees or the fact that I completed my fastest marathon yesterday, either way, it did not work.  I was dragging by mile fourteen.

Up until recently I have been working in the evenings to pay the bills, but running a marathon every day can tend to leave one a little drained by the end of the day.  Needless to say the electric bill still has to be paid so trying to figure out how to run a marathon every day, while respecting and enjoying my time with my family in the evenings and trying to figure out how to still work to pay the bills has added more difficulty to the running than the running itself.  Which is saying a lot!  

Aside from all that, everything else is fantastic!  The feedback has been helping more than anything.  Please keep it coming.  And if you know anyone who reads books on personal growth - tell them about "365", the feedback on that books has continued to be outstanding.  

Map of today's run

Dailymile run log including feedback 

Thanks again to those of you who have picked up the book already. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Day 7

7 marathons completed in 7 days

Another day and another approach to getting the 26.2 miles completed.  After the early start yesterday, I decided to go for the mid-morning run instead.  Either because of the later run time or because I was able to get caught up on rest, or who knows, maybe it even was because of the ice baths I have been enduring after the completion of the marathon.  I felt excellent at the beginning and was able to maintain a comfortable ten minute mile for the first ten miles and I had 14 miles in within two and a half hours.

Up until mile 23 I felt incredible.  Then my legs got extremely tight and suddenly felt as if each leg weighed 75 pounds.  With three miles to  go I had no choice but to keep it slow.  I attempted to pick up the pace, but the legs would not cooperate, so I just attempted to keep moving.  If I could have maintained even a twelve minute mile for the last six miles I would have finally finished well under the five hour mark.

Given how strong the legs felt for the first 20 miles, considering that today was my seventh marathon in seven days, today was a great confidence builder that the day will come when I can run all 26.2 strong, light and easy at a comfortable ten minute mile. 

For the record, the official start time was 9:53 a.m. and the official finish time was 3:13 p.m.

Total run time 5 hours 20 minutes

Dailymile link with the feedback that keeps me going

Map link of today's run with stats

1,336 miles now completed in 2012

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Day 6

6 marathons completed in 6 days

Yesterday's run went so well that I decided to attempt the same strategy except almost two hours earlier.   Great theory except that as soon as I started the run, each leg felt like I had ten pound weights on my ankles.  I do not know if it was because it was my earliest start time yet (6:20 a.m.) or if it was because Monday's marathon was almost two hours faster than Sunday's.

The reason did not matter.  No matter how much I desired to increase my pace, my legs felt like lead, so I went with the flow and reminded myself that my primary goal was the completion of 26.2 miles and staying injury free.

The official start time was 6:20 a.m. and the official finish time was 1 p.m.

Map of today's run with a few pictures linked here

1,310 miles now completed in 2012

Monday, March 19, 2012

Day 5

5 marathons completed in 5 days

Barely slept last night, feet were sore.  They actually itched on the inside if that makes any sense.  The original plan for today was to run in the afternoon but around seven in the morning, the weather was beautiful and the forecast for around noon was a forty percent chance of thunderstorms and a fifty percent chance of thunderstorms after one in the afternoon. 

This forecast gave me just the motivation to attempt to shorten my run time.  My goal the last few days has just been to get my legs used to the distance on concrete.  Unfortunately, the slower and easier I took it translated to me being out pounding the pavement for much longer than was necessary.  In effect it was defeating the purpose of taking it slow and easy. 

So with the motivation of a potential thunderstorm and the incentive to significantly reduce the amount of time pounding the pavement, I made up my mind to pick up the pace.  My legs have hurt way more than normal in the last four days any way so I felt I had nothing to lose. 

The result was I finished the run a full hour and forty five minutes faster than Sunday.   That meant that I spent much less time on the street.  Tomorrow I have another strategy,  I am going to attempt to finish up my run even two hours earlier than today's... I am going to attempt to start two hours earlier! 

Tomorrow's all day forecast ;  RAIN (at least I won't overheat!)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Day 4

Four marathons completed in four days.

That also puts my miles of running so far in 2012 up to 1,258 miles!

It seems that with each consecutive marathon that I complete, each one takes longer than the day before!  I am hoping that this is one of those things that just gets worse before it gets better.  The good news is that I am completing the 26.2 miles, the bad news is that it is taking way to long to complete.  I am  respecting my legs though, because they are great for the first ten miles, but beyond that, they are extremely tight and sore, still adjusting to the street running. 

My number one goal is to complete the miles, but I would love nothing more than to be able to complete the 26.2 miles in under five hours, and eventually around the four hour mark.  That is my goal in the next year.  In the meantime I will keep the main thing the main thing and keep reminding myself the primary goal is to complete the 26.2 miles.

Another factor that might have been effecting the pace is the temperature.  As much as I love 81 degrees and sunshine, I also realize that is not ideal running weather, but it is wonderful if you live in Wisconsin!

Taking it one day at a time,

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Day 3

Three marathons completed in three days. 

The run started excellently and the legs were tight but I felt good about the run.  The weather was beautiful.  70 degrees and sunshine.  The more that I ran though, the tighter the legs felt.  By the time I reached mile 16 my legs did not want to run anymore.  So I did what I did not want to do and I mixed walking and running. 

Between miles 16 and 18 I began to think that this idea was crazy.  But, I have way to much time invested, so I simply reminded myself that the legs are supposed to feel this way with this kind of mileage and I pushed them to run even when they did not want to. 

So one minute I am thinking how frustrating this can be because instead of getting easier day by day, it seems that earlier and earlier into my run my legs do not want to go any more.  Then, once I accept the fact that I am doing this, and this is what my legs are supposed to feel like, I force them to keep going and I ended up running much better in my final seven miles than I did yesterday.

Needless to say, I am reminded that what ever we focus on magnifies. 

I capped off the evening with my first ice-bath.  That was more difficult than the final mile of the run!  But definitely worth it in the end.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Day 2

1,207.4 Miles ran so far in 2012

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I ran the exact same route as yesterday, but my runmeter app turned itself off a half mile into the run and I did not notice it until mile marker two.  So I made sure that even though I ran the same route as yesterday that I had registered 26.2 miles through my runmeter.  But, for the record I completed 27.2 miles today.

As far as how today went.  I truly believed that it would have been slightly easier than yesterday.  I was wrong.  Transitioning from treadmill to the street has proved to be way more difficult than I anticipated.  If you ever plan on completing a marathon I would suggest doing every mile of training on the street where the marathons take place.

My legs were extremely tight at the beginning of the run.   I figured as long as I kept the pace nice and easy that I would work out the tightness with the miles.  By mile 13 I was in  pain.  It was a good pain, but I was definitely feeling some pain.  I just pressed on.  Somewhere around mile 16, which happens to also be the hilliest part of the route I decided that I would walk for a little bit around each mile marker hoping to loosen up the legs a little more.  I do not think I will ever do that again. It may work for some people, but as for me, every time I did that and commenced running the legs would hurt a little more than the previous mile.

Until between mile 21 and 22 that is.  By then, my left leg did not want to bend at all.  I could run, but it wasn't pretty.   So I decided not to force it and reminded myself that I am in this for the long haul.  Staying vertical and staying mobile is my primary goal.  I told myself around mile 23 that I would crawl to the 26.2 mile mark before I quit and knowing that, I finished the final miles, then proceeded home to make the kids and I some wonderful peanut butter and banana sandwiches.

As far as tomorrow goes (Day 3), I am going to do exactly what I know how to do.  I am going to take it one mile at a time, and when necessary, I will take it one step at a time. 


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Day 1

1,180.2 Miles ran so far in 2012

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5 hrs 47 min 58 seconds was my official run time to complete 27.2 miles.  (I ran an extra mile just to be sure that I had the distance covered).  But, if you look at actual clock time, since there are no restrooms set up every two miles or so and I must deviate from the course to an occasional gas station, then proceed back to the route, it took almost seven hours to complete.  No wonder my feet are a little tender!

Today's run I would easily classify as the most difficult run I have ever completed.  I have run this distance before and even completed a 40 mile run.  But I ramped up my training on concrete back then.  I had no choice since October but to train on a treadmill.  If I could go back and do it again I would have ramped up my running to at least 35 miles per day on the treadmill.  Then the concrete would have been more tolerable because of the significantly shorter distance (9 miles is a pretty good difference). What I experienced today was a lot of good pain.  The burn we feel when we have pushed our muscles to failure.  But fortunately there is nothing more powerful than a made-up mind. So, I just kept moving.

One of my all time favorite quotes comes from Ralph Waldo Emerson: "Whatever we persist in doing becomes easier, not that the nature of the task has changed, but our ability to do has increased."

So it is with thought in mind that I continue this journey of attempting to become the first American to ever run 365 marathons in 365 days, tomorrow will be day 2.

I actually believe that this idea applies to pretty much anything, the more we do it, the easier it becomes.  This is such a powerful distinction to make because the greatest obstacle to success is fear of failure. 

The moment we accept the fact that anything we persist at doing actually becomes easier all fear of failure is automatically removed. (Take a moment and let that thought sink in!)


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

WHY is more important than HOW

On November 9th, 2005 I was convicted of mail fraud and sentenced to 87 months in Federal Prison.  After serving over 6 years in the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, I was released on March 2nd, 2012.  

Why did I plead guilty to mail fraud?  Because in the process of building an agency selling life insurance and annuities I wrote promissory notes and was unable to keep up with the payments resulting in me having to borrow more money from other people to pay the pre-existing promissory notes.  

The lesson; NEVER borrow more money to pay pre-existing debt.  

My case was extreme, but at the time I believed my business would succeed, I was recruiting nationally and personally earning a substantial six figure income.  Failure was not an option for me as the notes were written through family and friends of mine.  I was buying time.  The price paid was the money that would not have been borrowed had the people known it was to pay other debt as well as six years of a wife with no husband and four children without a father.

While in prison I realized that I would leave prison with court ordered restitution.  Simply put, the more income I earn after prison, the more restitution that I am able to pay the people that I am indebted to, the people that at one time put their faith and belief in me.  

I could go home and find work and support my family but the debt would never be repaid or I could use the time in prison to prepare myself for a career where I at least had the potential to earn a six figure income as I did before or even potentially a seven figure income and who knows at least have the possibility to repay the restitution in full.   This time could be used to create a platform for a book that I spent years working on that was ultimately my greatest gift.  Motivating and inspiring others always came naturally to me.  

While in prison, I was inspired by authors Timothy Ferriss, Dean Karnazes, Harvey Mackay and Terry Hitchcock to name few, and realized that I could use the time in prison to do what most people did not have the time to do.  I worked seven days a week, studying, reading, editing, strength training and running.  From Jan 1st, 2010 until the fall of 2011 I logged over 5,000 miles running.  Then on home confinement in January and February of 2012 I logged another 1,000 miles on a treadmill to stay conditioned.  

Beginning Thursday, March 15th, of 2012 I will put all of the 1,000’s of hours and miles to use and attempt to become the first American to ever run 365 marathons in 365 days.   In doing so, hundreds, then thousands and maybe even millions will hear my story.  Some will think twice before making the same mistakes that I made, some will be inspired by a person who did not just give up, and some will get the book and benefit from the motivation and inspiration that it contains.  But, most importantly, in the end, millions will know who I am, a living example that one day at a time we can do just about anything, we really have no idea what we are capable of, life IS what we make it, and most importantly, no matter how many mistakes we make in life, or how many times we fall down, what matters most is how many times we get back up. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Mark this day in your calender

I did it.  As impossible as it may seem (at least for me), I took the day off today!  I chalked it up as a recovery day (for my feet).  Just to be clear, I still did my 340 push-ups and 340 pull-ups (I am not going to break a streak that goes back to July 6th, 2007 - at least for the push-ups, the pull-up streak only goes back to March 31st, 2009).

There are three reasons for the rare recovery day; 

#1 - My feet hurt!  Transitioning from over 1,000 miles on the treadmill to street running at 23 miles per day.  

#2 - I am going on vacation with my family on Thursday and already planned on taking a miniature 5 day sabbatical before beginning the marathon streak beginning in ten days, which leads to...
#3) - My goal of running a marathon every day beginning on March 15th.  No matter where I am at today, March 15th will be Day 1 for me.  That is when the fun begins.

With all that being said, my running will be very sporadic between now and the 15th.  I feel good about where I have gotten so far.  Since January 1st, 2010 I have logged over 6,000 miles.  Over 1,100 of those miles were ran in 2012.  The forecast for tomorrow is almost 60 degrees and sunny here so I am planning to attempt a 24 mile run using the route of the La Crosse Marathon.  I also intend to take it nice and slow and enjoy each and every mile.

Thank you to all of you who have been buying the book "365" and giving me the wonderful feedback on what you are getting out of the book.  The book after all is what originally inspired the running.  I firmly believe the message of the book applies to so many people.  After all, the book is about improving consistency, and who doesn't need to do that?

As always keep the feedback coming.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

1,129 miles of running so far in 2012

Looking forward to the days when my feet have adjusted to the street.  I know that it will get here soon, in the meantime I am just forcing myself through the miles.  As much transitional pain as I have experienced by going from the treadmill to the street I am making a point to enjoy the experience as much as possible.  As I was reminded the other day it is all about enjoying the journey.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

1,106 miles of running so far in 2012

Fortunately today's 22 mile run went way better than yesterday.  I made up my mind to start my pace slow and keep my pace slow and easy.   My thought process was simply reminding myself that what matters the most these next few days is conditioning.  My goal with each mile is to just get my legs used to running on the street again. 

Sunday I will add another mile to the run distance and attempt to complete the first 23 miles of the La Crosse Marathon.

The first outdoor 22 miler in a long time

So here it is.  As obvious as this sounds, I have come to the conclusion that running 22 miles per day on a treadmill is physically quite easy if you taper up gradually. Running on a treadmill 22 miles per day is mentally brutal, especially since I am running around a twelve minute mile and the run takes over four hours.  The reason for my slow pace is because I am running 154 miles per week.  So I treat my running, even if it is only 22 miles, as if I were running a 100 mile ultra-marathon.  Perspective is everything.  If you are comparing a 22 mile run to a 5 mile run, it is a really long run.  On the other hand, if you compare a 22 mile run to a 100 mile ultra-marathon, it is actually not that big of a deal, even if it is run every day.

Now, running on the street, even if the temperature is 36 degrees and it is overcast, is mentally easy.  The change of scenery and the fresh air, the feeling of freedom is wonderful to say the least.  Physically the running on the street, especially after running the last 1,000 miles in the last two months on a treadmill, is amazingly brutal.  The last time my legs felt like they feel right now, I had completed 59 consecutive marathons capped off with a 40 mile run on day 59!  Since then my legs have felt incredibly normal.  Until today that is.  I know for a fact that when I get up in the morning, I will have difficulty walking!  But, I have been there before and I know that I will give myself plenty of time to get loosened up and by time I start my run, my legs will get into that wonderful flow. 

The way that I look at it, transitioning from the treadmill to the street, especially at 22 miles a day is going to be torture for the first few days, and then my legs will adjust.  Of course, that is my theory.  We will know soon enough!  And as always, it is the feedback that I have been getting, especially via twitter and the dailymile that has been really keeping me going, so keep it coming and thank-you for staying with me on this adventure. 

Friday, March 2, 2012


Today I will be running the first 22 miles of the La Crosse Fitness Festival marathon as I will on Saturday.   As usual, Sunday I will be adding another mile on to my daily running goal.  Sunday I will begin the 23 milers.  Most importantly, in less than two weeks I will be running the full 26.2 miles of the La Crosse Marathon (a Boston qualifier route)  For those that want to follow my progress on the run I will be tweeting the miles and will also be using runmeter on my i-phone to track my route.  I will be running a little later in the day today, starting around noon Central Standard Time and finishing around 4:30 p.m. Beginning on Saturday I will aim for a 9 a.m. start time.  

I am frequently asked WHY?!
Why am I doing this?  Simply put, I wrote a book about staying motivated, about consistency, about constant improvement, about making each day count and I wrote the book in such a way that it is not only highly motivational and inspiring, but more importantly, easy to read.  I believe in the book so much I feel that running this kind of mileage is my way of giving the book the platform that it deserves.  I believe that as more people "get" the book, the book will reach The New York Times Best Seller list.  My job is to give the book the chance.  So I treat the running like a job and so far on my job I have logged 1,062 miles in 2012!.  It is just me going to work.  And that is WHY I am doing the running.  Now you know.  I just have to let a few million more know! 

Here is another real short book excerpt from "365" - something to think about...

"...To really accomplish what you are actually capable of in your life, you need only accomplish what you are capable of TODAY!  Today is within your reach. It is not my opinion, but a fact of life. You can do anything “One Day at a Time”.  You can eat right today.  You can have faith today.  You can learn more today.  You can break any goal down to what you do today.  Give it your full attention.  Focus on quality, not quantity.  After all, success always has been the journey and it always will be!  You build the perfect relationship today, create the perfect body today, and build the perfect career by perfecting what you do today.  Do THAT, and there will always be more!!"

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Your greatest regret...

Last day on the treadmill.  Woohoo. Tomorrow I will run the first 22 miles of the La Crosse Marathon regardless of the weather.  Considering that Wednesday was 36 degrees with rain/snow mix I am looking forward to the fresh air!  For those that want to follow my progress on the run I will be tweeting the miles and will also be using runmeter on my i-phone to track my route.  I will be running a little later in the day, starting around noon Central Standard Time and finishing around 4:30 p.m.

Here is another book excerpt from "365" - something to think about...

"Your greatest regret will probably be that you did not enjoy life more along the way.  The only reason you are not enjoying life as much as you should is because of what you choose to focus on.  Notice that I did not say that it was your circumstances.  No matter how bad you have it, there are many people who have it much worse than you can imagine.  How bad you have it and how good you have it has a lot more to do with your attitude and your perception of reality than your circumstances.  As I always say:  Life is a gift, don’t waste it.  You choose whatever you focus on at any given moment.  Choose to focus on something wonderful about life right now."

Jeffrey J. Miller 
Extreme marathoner
Soon to be New York Times best selling author

If you are interested in supporting me as I attempt to complete a full marathon every day, as well as discovering how to create your own unstoppable momentum...order the book