www.BodyProtection.com is now LIVE!

It has been a whirlwind of travel since my last race on the Big Island of Hawaii. We flew to Phoenix to view the final cut of our new Body Protection DVD, traveled to Atlanta for an interview, then to Sarasota to see a couple of clients. After traveling about 30,000 miles on The Isles Mile Challenge, I am writing you now from Istanbul, Turkey as we came here for a celebratory trip and to see a city that we have not visited yet. It has been great to unwind a bit and stroll this old city. We will move onto to NYC for a couple of days of the US Open tennis and then be back in Sarasota for the start of September.

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Last Friday, www.BodyProtection.com went LIVE and you now have the opportunity to pre-order the DVD and not pay any shipping/handling costs (if you purchase the DVD before September 15th). Please check out our new site and let us know what you think of the cool layout. And don’t forget to LIKE us on www.Facebook.com/bodyprotection.com.

Running Hawaii

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After days in Oahu and Maui, we finally reached The Big Island of Hawaii. This island is the home of many different climates and changing landscapes and is our favorite Hawaiian island. We stayed near the race course on the hot, arid northwest side of the island in Waikoloa. We drove just an hour more north to lookout over the Pololu Valley and the weather changed dramatically with rainy conditions at the higher elevation.

Our race course is part of the Ironman bicycle course. Surrounded by volcanic rocks on each side of the road, I raced on Route 19 just outside the Kailua-Kona airport. I had a lot of difficulty in this race breathing the dry air. I know I breathe like a locomotive train when racing the mile anyway, but this was different. You can hear me wheezing on the video throughout the race. I gutted out a 4:44 mile and successfully completed the 2012 Isles Mile Challenge finishing 7 island one-mile races, in 7 different time zones, in 7 weeks – all under 5 minutes. Thanks to our Big Island driver, “T,” keeping me protected throughout the race.

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This was an amazing and intense tour. Next weekend back on the mainland, I will summarize the items we experimented with in 2012, the things we learned on our travels, and where we go from here. I turn the big 50 next April. Many people have been writing in letting me know what they think I should do for a 50th feat. Please feel free to let me know your ideas and thank you all for your continued support and prayers, it is much appreciated.

Maui Jim Sunglasses

Aloha! After a couple of days on Oahu, we flew to Maui to visit one of our longtime sponsors at www.OneMileRunner.com, Maui Jim Sunglasses www.mauijim.com. It was our first time visiting the location where Maui Jim began in Lahaina. Even though Maui Jim moved its headquarters to Peoria, IL after purchasing RLI Vision in late 1996, the Hawaiian culture and way of life that Maui Jim promotes dates back to its roots here in Lahaina.

Having an opportunity to meet the owner and CEO of Maui Jim, Walter Hester, and his entire Lahaina staff was a treat for Sekyen and me. We felt the warmth, hospitality, and care that Maui Jim prides itself in everyday with its superior customer service and employee relations.

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(Sekyen and I with Walter Hester)

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(Bill Haywood and Jen Williams with me at the entrance of the Lahaina location)

Being a Fitness Ambassador for the Maui Jim Team http://www.mauijim.com/teammaui.html called ‘Ohana (Hawaiian for family), I was asked to test out a new pair of sunglasses called “Hot Sands.” Even though “Hot Sands” will not be available for purchase until later this year, you will see me testing out the model during the last leg of The 2012 Isles Mile Challenge on the Big Island this Saturday.

Sekyen and I wanted to say a special thank you to Ruthie Belden, Executive Assistant to CEO, who took the time out of her busy schedule to show us around the facility and share with us the values of Hawaiian history. Mahalo!

Running Fidalgo Island

I had no idea where Fidalgo Island was located before I began The 2012 Isles Mile Challenge. However, we are pleased to learn about this wonderful getaway just about 80 miles northwest of Seattle, WA. We had a chance to see Deception Pass, a strait between Fidalgo Island and Whidbey Island, and walk/jog across the bridge built over the Pass in 1935. We stayed in Anacortes, the main town on Fidalgo Island, during its busiest weekend of the year as they hosted their annual Arts and Crafts Festival in historic Downtown Anacortes. And we enjoyed the special hospitality of Matt McKay at the Nantucket Inn.

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We were blessed with great weather for the race as Fidalgo Island is in a rain shadow as mountains block the rain producing systems that keep Seattle so moist throughout the year. The weather even in Seattle this weekend was beautiful. I ran a 4:43 on a tranquil country road that typifies the area and was protected at all times by Mert and his taxi service.

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We are traveling to Hawaii on Sunday for the last leg of the The Isles Mile Challenge for www.OneMileRunner.com. We are planning on racing on the Big Island next weekend after seeing the great waves of the North Shore of Oahu, touring the Maui Jim sunglasses office (one of our sponsors) on Wednesday, and then racing on Saturday on the Big Island near where the IronMan triathlon takes place. It should make for a great finish to an unbelievable tour.

Running Bermuda

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You would think with an island’s highest point being only about 260 feet above sea level that it has flat terrain, but Bermuda is an up and down island making Race #5 on The Isles Mile Challenge my most difficult race yet. Bermuda is a British overseas territory located in the northern Atlantic Ocean off the east coast of the United States. In my opinion, it has one of the world’s most beautiful beaches in Horseshoe Bay and is a leader in off-shore finance.

We raced just outside the capital city of Hamilton on a warm morning. I ran a 4:49 mile on the sometimes dangerous course, but was well protected by driver, Jack Mungal.

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After five weeks on the road, we were pleased to board a plane soon after the race to spend the weekend in Sarasota before venturing west to Seattle at the beginning of the week.

Running Mount Desert Island

Stop #4 on The Isles Mile Challenge is the largest island off the coast in Maine – Mount Desert Island. With its rugged and rocky beauty, Mount Desert Island is the home of Acadia National Park and the quaint town of Bar Harbor. We arrived on Saturday with Charlie Olbrias and Scott Boucher from The Last Mile Racing Management LLC. Charlie and Scott measured the selected course and prepared us on the particulars of the race on Sunday.

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I awoke at 4am to begin my warm-up for the race. The sun rises early this far to the east, so a few minutes after 5am the sun appeared. We had dry and sunny conditions, around 65 degrees, with strong winds. It was a great day to race. The race course was in Acadia National Park and was one of our most picturesque routes to date. Check out the beautiful views in our 2 minute video below:

It was very special to have Charlie and Scott from The Last Mile Racing Management LLC (www.thelastmileracing.com). They use the My Laps system to get the precise computer time with the “chip” being attached to the back of the bib number, so when your chest crosses the final mat, the clock stops. I ran a 4:39 and was happy to have my old crew with me.

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We are traveling on Tuesday to Bermuda and Race #5 will be at the end of the week. We have crossed the halfway point of our tour…

Running Santorini

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I have wanted to go to Santorini for many years. We visited many Greek island in 2007, and then ran on the island of Symi in 2010, but never made our way to Santorini. On the 2012 Isles Mile Challenge, we came to Santorini and it did not disappoint. I think it is one of the most beautiful places in the world. You are situated high up on the volcanic cliffs overlooking the giant caldera (which was created by one of the world’s biggest volcanic eruptions in 3650 B.C. toppling Minoan civilizations). Spectacular sunsets, a famous red sand beach, and archaeological digs that are still in the process of being excavated. Santorini has a variety of things to do and see, but the sights are breathtaking. Take a look at the sunset from our cool hotel room or see Santorini from our boat cruise in our short video. You will get a sense of the island’s beauty and my heavy breathing during the middle of the race.

Situated up so high on the cliffs, there is a lot of wind to keep you cool in the summer heat. We did not even have to use the air conditioning, just left the windows opens in our high perched room creating cool breezes all night. We awoke on race day at 4am and raced about 6:15am as we tried to beat the traffic on one of the busy roads of Santorini. Thanks to our trustful driver, Leftoris Poulis (pictured below), we were able to remain safe on the race course.

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I ran the mile course in 4:45. I felt a bit fatigued from this third race in a couple of weeks, but was happy to complete the European leg of the Isle Mile Challenge. We now head back to the eastern time zone in the United States. We will make our way up to the state of Maine where we will meet up with one of our sponsors – The Last Mile Racing Management based out of Connecticut. The Last Mile Racing Management is the Official Timer of all our events. You probably remember Charlie Olbrias and Kyle Dunnack of The Last Mile Racing Company as they established the New England Marathon…One Mile At A Time in 2009 and followed me throughout 27 New England cities. Charlie will be measuring, timing, and protecting me in the next race at Mount Desert Island on July 22nd. We look forward to returning to the States for Race #4 before moving onto to Bermuda for Race #5.

Running Iceland

After our race on the west coast of Ireland, we boarded a bus to Galway city, switched buses to travel across the country to Dublin, boarded a plane to Amsterdam, and then made the flight late night to Iceland. It was a long day of travel, but it was still light when we landed around midnight (as the summer months have just a few hours of darkness each day).

 

 

We had a bit of jet lag to get over, but we had a chance to train and take in a few of the beautiful sites around the capital city of Reykjavik. Thingvellir National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage site) is a very cool place as it is the junction of two tectonic plates on the mid-Atlantic range. The division between the North American continent and the European continent is most visibly seen here in Iceland. The break in the continental divide stems over 3 miles wide and increases 2 cm. every year. We also had the opportunity to see the incredible waterfall at Gullfoss, the faithful geyser, Strokkur, and finally soak in the thermal glacier baths at the world famous Blue Lagoon. If you have not visited Iceland, please put it on your list. You will feel like you are on another planet as the natural landscapes do not disappoint.

 

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We raced just outside Reykjavik on our first sunny day since we left the US. It was nice to race in the sunshine and I finished race #2 in 4:42. Our crew in Iceland was very friendly, especially our enthusiastic driver, Arne Thorolevison from Hveragerdi.

 

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We continue across Europe tomorrow as we overnight in Amsterdam. Fly to Athens and then onto the Greek  island of Santorini on Friday.

Running in Ireland

We have seen the sun for just a few hours since our arrival in Ireland, but this is why this island country is so green…

The Irish people are extremely friendly and they make you feel right at home. Our Irish host from Clifden, John Wallace, is a typical Irish bloke full of love and Irish humor (and his favorite Guinness). Here’s a photo of Sekyen and John in front of beautiful Kylemore Abbey:

 

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Our first race in Galway county mixed a bit of wind, rain, and slippery roads, but it was a good start to the tour. I ran a 4:49 and was very thankful for another part of our Irish crew – driver Lukas Pietraszewski who kept me protected the whole way. Here is a photo of Lukas after the race:

 

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We fly to Iceland on Sunday ready for more rain next week. We will miss the picturesque countryside of Connemara and the warm Irish folks who have made our week here a very special memory.

Running: 5 Steps to Run A Better Time Trial

The last part for my speed preparation is a time trial. Just me against the clock. Unfortunately, some of my races are just like a time trial (in some of my strange locations) with no other competitors. It is I vs. the clock – that is how my time trials are set up. It does not have to be that way – you can have competitors at a time trial, but for me to properly measure my training and my shape, I prefer to run a time trial solo. I do this to build my mental strength. This is why I find time trials much more difficult than running against other competitors. In a race, you can draft, pace, and use other competitors in your event. In my time trial, I am alone and want to feel that loneliness over a measured distance.

We have set up a half mile time trial on the roads behind my house that I run every year before my tours begin. It helps me build confidence in my body, mind, and spirit. I do not run this time trial all out, instead I use it as a dress rehearsal for my mile race. I warm-up the same way and put my toe on the line just like it is my first race. I want to “feel” what the first half mile should feel like in my mile race. I practice my strong start, my first quarter mile, and then run my second quarter just as I would like in the mile – smooth, relaxed, and rhythmic. I should be around 2:20 for the first half mile.

I ran time trials the last two Saturday mornings running right around 2:20. This practice allows me to race with confidence next week. Here are some points to remember for a good time trial:

1) Warm up fully
2) Race solo or with others – your choice.
3) Choose the same course in order to measure improvement
4) Have a purpose – what are your performance goals?
5) Reflect and repeat the following week

All the best with your speed workouts to help you better prepare for your racing distance. We are off to Ireland on Monday for our first race. Let’s hope the rain will stop just before I put my toe on the line…