Hi Running Buddies!

It's hard to believe that it is time for our next installment of the RunGingerRun Buddy of the Month! This month we have my fellow Ginger, Ty Godwin from Colorado. Ty and I "met" on Twitter during #RunChat a while ago and have been following each other's blogs ever since. Ty recently had a racing accident and now that he is getting back on his feet so to speak, I thought it would be a good time to share his story with all of you. Hopefully one of these days, we'll end up at the same race and be able to say hi in real life!

1. Tell us a little about yourself!

I am that rare breed they call the "male blogger." I started SeekingBostonMarathon.com as you might guess by the name as a runner looking to run in the most elite race in the world, the Boston Marathon. I figured no better way than to hold myself accountable to the entire internet to pursue my dream. I have a busy life as a runner, husband, dad to three kids, and a traveling job which has provided some fantastic material for my blog running in some really cool places around the world. Growing up I wrote and was an artist so you'll find a lot of that come out in my sometimes sarcastic and (hopefully) comedic writing style. I illustrate many of my posts. One of my favorites was "A Run With Runs is No Fun." 

2. In 140 characters or less, tell us how you got into running.

I started running late in life never having run in high school or any level. Like a lot of people, I kind of tripped into it as I was going through some life changes and wanted to get in shape. Since starting my blog in 2009, I have qualified and run Boston four times. I will be running my fifth this coming April.

3. It looks like you travel a lot for work. How do you manage to train
while on the road?

I find that most runners and certainly the faster ones all have one thing in common and that's discipline. Travel adds a whole other layer of complexity especially if I'm in the middle of a training plan for a race. I ALWAYS pack my run gear and plan my schedule around the work day. The down side is quite often the alarm clock goes off extra early if you have a breakfast meeting at eight and an hour and a half scheduled run that day. Dinner that night? Then you're getting up early. The upside is I've been able to run in Paris, London, and Barcelona to name a few. One of my favorite training runs was San Francisco to Tiburon. A bucket list run for everyone! The furthest away my Garmin registered miles? Taj Majal in India.

4. Besides running, working, and blogging, what keeps you busy?

Did I mention I travel, and have a family? Add in running, and blogging and there's not much time left. I love spectator sports, movies, dining, and traveling with my wife.

5. You had a pretty bad accident this summer during a Tri. Can you give us a short overview and recovery update?

Sore subject (pun intended.) On the bike leg of a sprint triathlon in July, I took the wrong angle on a downhill corner and hit a traffic cone. I thought I had the whole road and only had half. It was a one bike accident and I was determined to get back on my bike and finish the race. I rode another two miles to the transition area and knew I couldn't complete the rest of the bike course. I broke four ribs, collapsed a lung, separated my shoulder, and tore my labrum. I thought I'd spend two days in the hospital and it turned into eleven with one life-threatening night. This was four months ago and I have only begun modest training in the last few weeks. By far, this is the biggest challenge I've had to overcome, but I'm determined to build up my conditioning to start training for Boston in December.

6. What does 2015 look like for you?

Considering my injury, I haven't set my race goals or calendar yet for 2015. My sole focus at the moment is Boston in April. I usually set goals in December or early January.I plan to resume triathlons in the summer as cross-training.

7. What is your favorite destination race you've traveled to?

Wow. Good question and too many to mention. Boston (consistent theme) is right up there, but Chicago might be the other one that ranks right up there. I'd like to eventually race in all the "majors."

8. What PR are you most proud of? Brag a little!

I love speed and evolving into a better short distance runner than the full marathon. I set my 5K PR in 2014 with a 19:21 at the Lucky Laces in Denver. My half marathon PR (my favorite distance) is a 1:29:18 at the Slacker Half Marathon in 2013.  I want to break 1:29 if I get back to where I was as a runner in July 2015.

9. How can we connect with you on social media?

Running Buddies! Be sure to leave a comment and tell Ty GOODLUCK on his recovery and his next Boston Marathon! 

Hi Running Buddies!

It's time for our next installment of the RunGingerRun Buddy of the Month! Today I have my buddy Jeremy Heath from Arizona for you to meet. He's a super fun guy and I'm pretty sure we have the best (read: hilarious) side conversations during #Bibchat :) While we have never met in person, yet, we both have a great time being #BibRavePros together. 

1. Tell us a little about you and your background. Do you have any cute pets named Janie? :)

PictureJeremy and Janie!
I'm a runner, blogger, and adventure seeker living in the desert!  My passion for running extends beyond just getting outdoors and logging the miles.  I've created my own running group of AZ runners with a social media addiction. (http://runeattweetaz.com/)  

I run to meet new people, learn from others, and help guide those who need it!  Also, I run to keep my baby girl, Janie, happy!  She's my pup but she's also my speed coach! :) 

2. In 140 characters or less, how did you start running?

I started running when I got into college as a way to lose the Freshman 15.  I lost that PLUS some!  But as I started running more, I realized that I had finally found my passion!

3. I see that you recently got to meet and run with Bart Yasso! How did you manage that and how was it?

PictureJeremy and Bart Yasso!
I entered an instagram contest with the San Francisco Marathon for a chance to win lunch with Bart Yasso.  Before the lunch, there was a shakeout run with Bart and everyone was snapping their pics with him.  I had tweeted him days before that I wanted to get a RUNNING SELFIE with him.. he actually remembered me and recognized me, and said "lets go take it"!  And thus my running "bartie" was born.  He really is an awesome guy and it was an absolute on honor to meet him. 

4. How did you come up with your blog name and what  made you want to start blogging?

I wanted to start blogging b/c I have a lot of friends and family ask me questions about my running. I thought it would be a good way to tell my stories and share my experiences so others could learn along the way. But it's ended up teaching ME a lot too!  I wanted to focus on the "everyday" runner, b/c I am by no means an "elite".  Thus I came up with the name "Confessions of an Amateur Athlete".

5. What's your favorite race or PR of all time? Brag a little!

Hmmm... I've loved ALL the races I've done, but my favorite PR was 3:46 for the Phoenix Marathon.  I had been trying so hard to break 4 hours and when I finally did, I was fists in the air triumphant and felt like a rockstar!  That's what tackling your goals can do. Leave you smiling and crying at the same time.

6. What's your favorite race distance? 

Most people will tell you their favorite distance is the half.  Mine's the FULL.  I know, crazy, but I guess I just love the torture!

7. You run and train in Arizona, do you have any special tips for running in the heat?

Early morning runs, salt tablets, stay super-hydrated.... and I'll wet a mesh hat and throw it in the freezer before my run.  
Helps to keep my head cool for a while.  Also, I'll make Popsicles out of Cocogo or Gatorade to cool myself down post-run. 

8. What's next for you running wise?

I've got a couple of other half marathons the rest of this year, but they're mostly "for fun".  My next running goals are to PR in the Rock N Roll AZ half-marathon in January and 3:30 for my next full marathon.  Fingers crossed! 

9. How can we connect with you on social media?

You can connect with me via 
Twitter: @runblogaz
Instagram: runner_blogger_az 
FB:  https://www.facebook.com/ConfessionsofanAmateurAthlete?ref=br_tf

You can also connect with my fellow AZ runners with a social media problem by searching for @runeattweetaz

Thanks and Happy Running!!! 

Leave a comment and tell Jeremy Hi! Also - have you been able to run with anyone famous?

Hi Running Buddies!

Can you believe it's already  been a month since my last and also first RunGingerRun Buddy of the Month blog? This summer is flying by! Today I want to introduce y'all to my buddy George Okinaka. I first "met" George on Twitter but then in April 2014 we got to meet IRL (In Real Life) when the Hubbo and I went to Las Vegas to run the Mustang 50th Anniversary Half Marathon. George is actually the one who told me about it and we ended up running the last 10 miles of the race together. 
You all need to get to know George because he's so sweet and encouraging, always has something nice to say and I swear he's Twitter Famous! 

1. How did you get started into running?

Well, I actually ran track for a year way back in high school. I ran the mile, and I hated it. Haha. I also ran a few 5ks after high school, but I can't remember what those times were (so much faster than now). Anyway, fast forward many years until 2012. I had several things going on in my life back then (including turning 40.....#gasp) but I wanted to get off of my butt and start working out again. What really got me back into running was when I found out that the Tough Mudder was coming to the Las Vegas area. I had some friends who did it elsewhere, and I really wanted the challenge. So, I asked around to see if anyone else wanted to do it with me, and a colleague and good friend of mine, Jeb, said that he would. So, we trained by hiking/trail running out at Mt Charleston and went several times before doing the Tough Mudder. #ItsTimeToPutOnTheOrangeHeadband

Then after that I started to add a 5k or two here and there, some fun runs, and more and more races. Then in June 2013, I read the book Born to Run which completely changed my outlook on running and my running style. So, I actually wanted to go out to run just to run, and I switched from being a heel striker to landing on my forefoot/mid-foot.

However, what really supercharged my running is when I signed up on Twitter in July 2013. Joining Twitter was one of the best things for me.....it connected me to a wonderful & supportive running community that pushed me to run more and to run longer distances than I ever dreamed that I would be running so soon!

2. What's Your Favorite Distance?

As of right now, it's a tie between a half marathon and a relay race. Ok sure, I know that a relay race isn't an actual distance, but after doing a Ragnar Trail and a regular Ragnar (on the road), I've found that I haven't had more fun in any race as compared with the relay races. As for the half marathon distance, I love how I've been able to get my training up to the point where running in one isn't such a daunting task as I know that I can run one (I've run in six half marathons so far with several more planned this year). But with the half marathon, you don't have to devote quite as much time to your training as compared with a full marathon (by the way, I'm currently training for my first full right now) but you still get a strong feeling of accomplishment when you finish that half marathon!

3. What Races Do You Have Planned for the Rest of 2014?

Well let's see....so far I've run in 16 races this year including 5ks, 10ks, half marathons, relay races, a Spartan Super and a sprint duathlon. For the rest of 2014, I've got the following planned (at least):

- 8/10/14: E.T. Full Moon Midnight Half Marathon (near Area 51.....cool, huh?)
- 8/22-23/14: Hood to Coast Relay (w/ Nuun Hydration)
- 8/29/14: Disneyland Family Fun Run 5k (I'll be running this one with my son)
- 8/30/14: Disneyland 10k (Dumbo Double Dare)
- 8/31/14: Disneyland Half Marathon (Dumbo Double Dare where I might wear a costume)
- 9/7/14: Ventura Half Marathon (where I'll get to run with Sarah again!)
- 9/21/14: Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation 5k (I don't usually travel for 5ks, but this is for the Dodgers!)
- 10/5/14: Twin Cities Marathon (my first full marathon that I'll run with @corgimamarunner)
- 11/16/14: Rock N Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon (so many cool people are running in this race)
- 11/22/14: Trails of Glory (distance is TBD)

Yeah, I know that October is kind of light on races, and in December I don't have any races planned yet....but have no fear, I will be adding at least a few more races to my schedule!

4. How Do We Connect With You On Social Media?

You don't. Haha, just kidding! You can find me at:

- Twitter: @GeorgeOkinaka
- Facebook: George Okinaka
- Instagram: GeorgeOkinaka (I just rejoined, so pardon me for the lack of photos on there right now)

Yeah, lots of originality with my names on social media, huh? Oh, and don't don't invite me to any games on FB.....sorry guys, I don't play them. #YepNoCandyCrushSorry 

5. Do You Have Any Long Term Running Goals?

Well, one easy answer is to qualify for the Boston Marathon someday. I know that I'm not that fast right now, but eventually I think that I can qualify, if I put in some serous training for it. And no, I don't think that I'll have to wait until I'm 65 to be able to qualify. #HopeNot

My other long term goals are all about ultra marathons as I'd like to run a 12 hour race (maybe this year or next), a 24 hour race, and 50 and 100 mile races as well. There are no specific races in which I want to achieve these goals at.....except I know that I will never, ever want to run at Badwater. One of my races a few weeks ago was the Poker Run 10k which was at 6pm at a park here in Las Vegas. The temperature at that time was 104F! I don't know what I was thinking because I don't like to run in that kind of heat (or anything really close to it), and I'll be passing on that race next year because it's just too dang hot! So yeah, no thank you to running Badwater. Even though I was born in Las Vegas.....I still hate the heat. I just tolerate it. :) #BringOnTheAC

One last long term goal of mine is to run with as many of my friends on Twitter as I can! This makes traveling to races so much more fun when I can meet up with my friends from twitter, don't you think?

Everyone be sure to leave a comment and tell George hi! Also, what races are left on YOUR calendar for 2014? Running any of the ones George is running?