Endorsed by Brooks!

Thank you, thank you – autographs at the end of the presentation please.  I decided to adopt an official sponsor and seek endorsement deals for the 2017-2018 racing season.

I’m happy to say that Brooks Running has decided to endorse me this season, their support has been fantastic and a welcome addition to the KenStandsOnThings Raceteam.

I’ve been running for the last two years and have had my share of running shoes.  I started out with Nike, and found them to perform very well.  The Bike running community is pretty strong and was happy to follow other Nike Runners. Always looking to change things up, I switched to New Balance.  My New Balance shoes were a breath of fresh air, and did me well through a handful of 5 and 15Ks.  The New Balance community was a little more uptight, and I felt welcomed in a weird “this is my cousin tagging along with me” to your popular cousin’s friend’s party.   After the New Balance stint, I jumped to Mizuno running shoes.  I fell in love with my Mizunos, they were light and airy and packed a powerful punch when I had to dig deep. But noticed that they lacked the sense of community that I felt with my other running shoes.

Fast forward to Brooks Running Shoes. The sense of community is strong from Brooks and they are all too happy to reach out and be a part of my running experience.  Not to mention the Launch 4’s I picked up super awesome and a great running shoe. The Launches feel light and springy and during my runs I can still feel the ground beneath me. Since I need a neutral running shoe I’m super picky about groundfeel and cushioning.  If a shoe is too soft or lacks ground control I end up injuring myself, so when I laced on these Brooks and hit the road, I was pleasantly surprised.  So, now that I’m endorsed you probably are thinking about striking a deal with them as well – head on over to The Big Endorsement Deal

Anyway, what shoes do you prefer? Let me know in the comments and share your reviews! I’m always interested to see what other people are running in these days.

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Half Marathon Training!

I’ve neglected to update this poor blog, so in an effort to maintain some level accountability here’s an update on training.  I recently discovered Matt Fitzgerald’s book “80/20 Running” and have taking stock in adopting the principles of slower running.  In a nutshell 80% of my training will be dedicated to slow run, like really slow running.  Running so slow that I’m slightly embarrassed to post my 5K runtimes in the 40 min range slow. Buuuuuuut, if it means I can crank out a Half Marathon under 2 hours, I’ll take it.

Speaking of a half marathon finish under 2 hours, will it happen in a few weeks?! Not sure, yet.  I have been maintaing weekly averages in the 10-15 miles range, and only as of lately strayed to scale things up.  I’ve got 4 more weeks until the Hershey Half, so I’m not going to get too strung out if I don’t hit my under 2 hour goal.

Week 1 (6 weeks until the half)
Training consisted of two (2) 3 mile runs during the week and ending with a 6 mile run on Sunday.

Week 2
Training consisted of one (1) 3 mile run, and one (1) 4 mile run during the week, ending with a 6 mile run on Sunday.

Week 3 (current week)
Training this week included one (1) 3 mile run durig the week, one (1) 5k Pumpkin Run Race this Saturday, and ending out on Sunday with an 8 mile slow run.

Next week’s training (week 4) will include 3 mile runs during the week and another repeat 8 mile slow run.  After that (weeks 5 & 6) will include light 3 mile runs during the week and then my long runs will increase from 8 miles to 10 miles on Sundays. The follow Sunday (week 7) is the Hershey Half and will end the week with a 13 mile run.

Training Ruts are for Losers

I’ve got some catching up to do. First things first, let’s talk Training Ruts and how to break them – mostly because I’m in one, I’m a loser.  More importantly I need to break out of it and ditch this loser status.  It would help to establish what leads us down the path of a training rut? Maybe it’s the lack of progress that slips us up (I know this is a major factor in my training), maybe it’s lack of motivation? The mornings are my preferred times for training, but it’s been really hard to leave my comfortable bed – and as I lay there knowing I should be running, it all goes away as soon as I close my eyes. Just another 15 minutes.

So what’s your downfall? Mine is a combination platter of the slight lack of progress and motivation.

On Lack of Progress
I love technology, and I love my running tech, I know I’m not the only one guilty of this – but for the love of God give it a rest!  I was glued to my fitness tracking Garmin, if I didn’t get my steps I became cranky, irritable, and would load myself up with doubt.  If my run time was falling behind, or my heart-rates were out of control it would lead me further down the rabbit hole.  So what did I do?  I left my Garmin on (physically on my wrist), and let the battery run out. It was painful and as my Garmin gasped for power and alerted me that it’s battery was low as I pressed on without it.  Can I tell you something?  After about a week of not being constantly reminded of how many steps I took, or any metrics from my workouts, I found myself de-stressing.

But seriously though, I charged up my forerunner after the week and it was like a breath of fresh air.  I still apologize to it now and again.

On Motivation
It’s easy to give into temptation of just laying in that comfortable bed, or saying “I just don’t have time for this today”, or coming up with an excuse not to train.  Excuses are easy, your Lizard Brain (more on this later) doesn’t want you to train. Here’s how you can beat the lizard brain.

Step 1:
Just Do it (picture 
Shia LaBeouf yelling in your ear).
Sounds easy and cliche, but when you are thinking of excuses to not train – take this moment to recognize these excuses and make a mental note that these excuses are negative thoughts. Not only are these thoughts negative, but they aren’t productive. Just Do it.  Force yourself to be productive, get moving.  As soon as your lizard brain rears its head, beat is back with the willpower to just do it.  Bonus points if you run in Nike Shoes.

Step 2:
Change it up and Make it Fun.
If you find yourself slogging through the miles in agony, time to re-think your training.  Make it a point to change things up – I get into a rut where I run everyday on the same treadmill, at the same time, listening to the same songs.  I’m putting myself to sleep just thinking about it.  Time to add in some cross-training or *gasp* taking the run outside.  If you are entered in an off-road race with hills and obstacles, then train off-road on hills and obstacles – what’s the treadmill preparing you for?

Real life example: The Hot Chocolate 15K, in Philadelphia, is relatively flat so the treadmill is perfect for training for this race.  On the other hand the Hard Cider Run is off-road, through the hills and fields of a local winery, the course weaves in and out of the orchards – nothing a treadmill can prepare you for.  By the way, shameless plug for the $5 OFF discount code for the Hard Cider Run – KENNYB5

Also, if you haven’t done a Virtual Race before, I suggest giving one a try.  There are a TON of virtual race apps out there (we use US Road Running), but all of them are pretty straight-forward. You can register for a race, record your times via the app and receive some cool swag. I’ve done 4 virtual races this year and found they were perfect for making some of my longer training runs fun.

Step 3:
Reward Yourself.

Seriously.  After my morning training session I come home and make the biggest, peanut butteriest, plant-powered-proteiniest, thickest, super smoothiest protein smoothie in the entire world.  I use this super smoothie as a reward for getting up and training and putting in the work.  On the days I don’t train, I don’t deserve such a reward, so I just have a bland smoothie that makes me sad.  Okay, not really, but I don’t reward myself for hitting the snooze.

Annnnd like I mentioned above, if Virtual Races sound cool to you, maybe some of the Virtual Run Metals and Swag can be used as a reward for all your work.

Anyway, enough of me yammering on. I just need to get up, just do it, and then reward myself for being such an amazing athlete.

Muck Fest 2017

This seems to be the year of new things for me… and new races!  On race day, it’s amazing to see the crowds of people that turnout for the event.  Not only will we (mostly I) be running in the Hot Chocolate 15K on April 1st, also signed up for a 1/2 Marathon the following weekend, then the Hard Cider 5k at the end of April – but now we’ve added on Muck Fest! (Use code: TAKE15OFF to save $15 on your registration – expires April 3).

The greatest thing about all these wonderful races (aside from the bling and swag) are the charities they support!

MuckFest® MS is the fun mud run in support of a world free of multiple sclerosis. The run is pure athletic hilarity on a muddy course full of outrageous obstacles. MuckFest MS is something that must be seen to be believed.

Support Me and the National MS Society with a Donation
The “MS” part of MuckFest MS stands for multiple sclerosis, an upredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that interrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body.  Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, and MS affects more than 2.3 million worldwide. This is the reason we come together: to rally friends in support of people living with MS in our community. That’s why 100% of your donation benefits the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

You can support me by making a donation HERE

It’s greatly appreciated!

This Week in Running

Running Log Monday March 13th through Sunday March 19th
Miles Run: 15

This past week was a low mileage week – mainly for two reasons:
One, I am being extremely lazy (haha) and finding it very difficult to wake up in the mornings.
Two, my 15K is rapidly approaching, and the week after that is my 1/2 marathon, so I’m trying to dial back my training to not over do it and to hopefully keep injuries at bay.

Also, I’m in denial that I’m in a “runner’s rut” – for while I was pushing some good weekly miles, but lately I’m losing steam. New running shoes, new running clothes, all these thing “help” add motivation – I just think I need to see some sun.

Relay for Life

I am pledging to cover 50 miles for the Lancaster Relay for Life in honor of my family members that have been lost due to cancer.

I will be walking for Freemasons for a Cure in honor of the following Masons:

    • Kenneth C. Gowton- Member of C. Grant Brittingham Lodge F&AM No. 788, Woodside, Pa
    • Richard Barr- Member of Pine Grove Lodge F&AM No. 409
    • Matthew J. Barr- Member of Virginia Beach Masonic Lodge No. 274 AF&AM

I will also be walking for my family members who have passed away from cancer:
Aunt Gloria, Cousin Shana Geary, Aunt Gail Emmonds, and Richard “Pop” Neumeister (and I’m sorry if I forgot anyone)

Please feel free to donate any amount: Donate Here