Sunday, January 29, 2012

11 Random things about me....

Thank you Jessica from Mojama2  for tagging me on this blog chain.  You are given 11 random questions that you post on your blog.  Then create 11 questions of your own that you tag other bloggers.  So, here are 11 random things about me...that you may not have known. 

What are you wearing?
I'm wearing a Cleveland Indians t-shirt, blue jeans, and CEP compression socks.  

What is your dream race to run?
I don't have a dream race.  I have a dream ride and that would be conquering the 21 switch backs of Alpe D'Huez 

Where is your favorite vacation spot?
Anywhere warm with an ocean and a beach.

What was your last dream about?
I haven't remembered any of them lately.

Would you rather be too hot or too cold?
I definitely would rather be hot. 

If you had to listen to one song on repeat forever what would it be?

Blackened by Metallica

What was your favorite school subject? (Do not say recess)
My favorite subject was Economics. 

If you could go back to school would you study the same things or pick a different major?
If I went back to school I would probably become a teacher.  I would enjoy only working 9 months a year.  Before I offend all you teachers.  My dad was a teacher and a coach.  I have the utmost respect for the people who educate our youth. 

Are you an Apple fan or Android fan?
Apple all the way.  Currently I have 2 ipods, 1 touch, 1 MacBook Pro, and an Iphone 4.  So, I have a Droid free household and will never own a PC or windows system again. 

Any tattoos or piercing? Are they visible?
I have no tattoos or piercings.  I'm not in to that kind of thing, but I will get a tattoo when I do an Ironman someday. 

Favorite alcoholic beverage?
Duh, Christmas Ale. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Ready, Set, Snow?

January 16th is an important day.  It marks the beginning of the 18 week training period for the Cleveland Marathon.  To date our winter has been a runner's dream.  Temps have hovered in the 40's and it has been surprisingly dry.  As this big day approaches, Mother Nature has sought revenge by dumping snow on us all weekend and dropping the temps to single digits.

I faced a tough decision this morning.  Do I brave the cold or spend my time on the treadmill?  The temp here was 6 degrees and I do not even want to know what the windchill was.  I made the decision that just a few miles outside would still be better than a treadmill run.  I lucked out as it wasn't too bad and still got my planned 6 miles in and at a faster pace than was planned to boot!

During my run.  I started thinking about some things I learned through last year's training that I thought I would share:

I am a huge supporter of outside runs over treadmill runs.  I know there are a lot of treadmill supporters out there, but its not for me.  I think I get more benefit out of road running.  My goal this year is to do my long run each week outdoors.  Last year, I did my long runs on a treadmill for the first couple months and had built a base of up to 18 miles.  On my first long run outdoors, I struggled to reach 13 miles.  I had felt really good about my training until that point, but that run made me realize.  I was behind.  I never ran indoors again during last year's training and spent the following month trying to catch up.  This year I don't want to make the same mistake again.

So, in 2012 I will be doing the following differently.

  1. Long runs will be done outside. 
  2. I will try to run my weekly runs outside whenever possible.
  3. When I am left with no other choice.  I will run the treadmill with a varying incline between .5% and 2% to closely mimic wind and road conditions. 
I think these guidelines will help me in this year's race and the base we build during the winter months of January and February will pay dividends on race day.  I also want to do a much better job this year with my diet.  One of my goals this year is to run the race about 35 pounds lighter than I ran it last year.  

One of the biggest joys of running this race is the journey to race day.  I hope what I have learned will help you with your training.  Also, don't worry about the cold.  With the right clothing, you will stay warm.  Even with its 6 degrees out. 

 I invite everyone to share any tips they may have in the comment section.  Other runners are a great source of information and I know I still have lots to learn.  

Good luck everyone with your training!!


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Hello, I"m the one the call Beal. (A re-introduction)

Hey everyone!  I have been lucky enough to have been selected as an Official 
Cleveland Marathon Blogger for the 2nd straight year.  Since some of you may 
be reading my blog for the first time and many have joined in the past year.  
I thought it would be good to re-introduce myself as I have quite the story to tell.

I started this blog back in December 2010 to help share my experiences in weight loss, running, and cycling.  I should first apologize for two things. 1) I suck at writing and most of these may be boring or not very "bloggish"  2) I'm not an English major, so expect grammar mistakes. 

 I'm the one they call Beal.  The main contributing factor to who I am today is a result of one day, August 5th 2007.  I was a baseball pitcher all my life and was fortunate to have an opportunity to play in college.  I suffered a career ending shoulder injury at the end of my junior year and spent the next few years feeling the effects both mentally and physically.  Graduating college and working in business led to a lifestyle change.  Transforming from a college athlete to a spending everyday seated at a desk.  As the years went by, my weight continued to balloon.  I was never really happy with myself and dealt with it by continuing to eat more and more.  I found comfort in avoiding mirrors, pictures, and a social life.  In letting myself go, my weight ballooned to 330 pounds.  That brings us to 8/5/2007.  

This is me at my heaviest in 2007

August 5th just happens to be my birthday and that year I was attending my now brother in law's bachelor party.  We were celebrating on a large lake and had access to jet skis.  I had never been on a jet ski before and was excited to give it a try.  The adrenaline rush was intoxicating as we raced around the lake.  It started with jumping small waves then bigger ones.  Then without warning I flipped mine.  I wasn't injured so I started to swim after the jet ski.  As I swam and swam, the waves continued to push the jet ski further and further away.  Within minutes I tired myself out and began to drown.  By the grace of God, I was pulled out of the water just as I was going under for good.  I will never forget that moment.  Being so out of shape that I couldn't even save myself was the wake up call that I needed. 

     Shortly after that day.  I joined a Biggest Loser Contest at work.  I still remember my first trip to the gym.  5 minutes on the stairclimber.  Over the next 4 months I lost a total of 55 pounds and finished 2nd in the contest.  I realized that an active and healthy lifestyle is what I wanted, not comfort gained from pizza and beer.  I've continued to evolve over the past 4 years losing a total of 130 pounds and coming within 10 pounds of my college weight.  Durning my journey I have become addicted to cycling and most recently infatuated with long distance running.  In 2009, which was my first year of cycling.  I road a total of 4,883 miles and completed my first century ride.  In 2010 I competed in my first duathlon, road 150 miles in one day, and completed my first half marathon.  I had so much fun I did another half marathon 4 weeks later PR'ing my time by 14 minutes to break the 2 hour barrier at 1:55. 

The New me.

In 2011, I was fortunate enough to be selected as a official blogger.  I competed in 23 races that included 8 half marathons, several 100k bike tours, and my first ever marathon!!!!  I ran 1,346 miles and road 4,086 miles to cover 5,432 miles during 2011.  I couldn't be happier with my active lifestyle and my successes achieved this year.  

     There is a lot more too this story than what was written here, but I have to save something to write about in the future...right?  Thank you for reading and please come back.  I have big plans for the future Cleveland Marathon posts.  So, subscribe to my blog, follow @Beal88 on Twitter, and become a member of the TEAM BEAL nation of fans.  Thanks again for reading and have a great day.


Friday, January 6, 2012

My bike is the solution for.....

My bike is the solution for....our growing obesity epidemic.

My bike is the solution for....heart disease

My bike is the solution for....diabetes

My bike is the solution for....high gas prices

My bike is the solution for....traffic congestion

My bike is the solution for....stress

My bike is the solution for....finding happiness

My bike is the solution for....our struggling economy

My bike is the solution for....experiencing this great planet.

My bike is the solution for....making friends

My bike is the solution warming

What is your bike the solution for?