10 Questions With…

In an effort to post more and to help share with the rest of the fitness community; I came up with the idea of a 10 question series to spotlight fellow fitness fanatics. This is the first installment of the 10 Questions With… This week I am highlighting Bethany Roley from Bethany’s Bikini Fit Camp in Evans, GA. I’ve known Bethany for a couple of years now and have seen how hard she works to empower other women to get fit and stay fit.


Bethany is a wife, mother of 4 children (ages 13, 10, 8 and 21 months), Health Coach, group fitness instructor, personal trainer, and owner of Bethany’s Bikini Fit Camp in Evans, GA.  Bethany’s Bikini Fit Camp is a 6 week outdoor fitness and lifestyle program for women.  The goal of Bikini Fit Camp is to help women to discover their full potential, to teach women to believe that they can do anything they set their mind to,to help them get fit, and change their lifestyle habits in order to live long, healthy lives.  Bethany wants to empower women to make healthy women, to inspire others, and to teach their families how to be healthy.  We are much more than an exercise program.  We want to change your life. You can find Bethany and her instructors at Bethany’s Bikini Fit Camp and on Facebook.

On the course of the Augusta Half Marathon and 10k

On the course of the Augusta Half Marathon and 10k

Q1. When did you start Bethany’s Bikini Fit Camp?

I started my very first Fit Camp, although at the time it was called Bikini Boot Camp in May 2007 with 11 girls and 1 location.

Q2. How did you come up with the idea for BBFC?

I knew a lot of women were intimidated by the gym.  I wanted to show women that you do not have to be in the gym to get a good workout.  And I knew women love group fitness.  At the time there were no other outdoor fitness programs in the area and there was nothing for only women.  I was tired of seeing women put every else first, tired of seeing them believe that they were not worthy of being healthy, and tired of seeing them not believe in themselves.  I wanted to change that for them.

Q3. Since starting BBFC, roughly how many women have you seen transform their bodies, their personal image, and self-esteem?

Easily close to 1000 women.

Q4. One excuse we have all heard before is not having enough time in a day to do everything. For all the stay at home moms out there, how do you manage to get in your workout time, instructing classes, and family responsibilities?

My workout time is not an option.  It is not something that I plan to do if I have time at the end of the day.  I schedule it in like any other appointment.  It is a priority to me, not an option. I suggest carving out 30 min – 1 hour out of your day to exercise.  You are not too busy to take care of your health.  You will be a better mother, wife, friend, employee, etc if you take care of yourself. I also believe it is extremely important for mothers to model health and fitness to their children.  It is one of the greatest gifts you can give them.

Q5. Beyond the Fit Camp, what other fitness/health related ventures are you doing?

I run in races, especially mud runs, training now for a half marathon.
I’m also Health Coach.  Every 12 weeks I run a life transformation program, I teach women how to change their habits and how to eat well.  We meet as a group every other week.  I am also in the process of creating another program hoping to launch this summer, more details coming soon on that.

Mud Pit at the Ft. Gordon Marine Mud Challenge

Mud Pit at the Ft. Gordon Marine Mud Challenge

Q6. There are so many fitness related news articles, reports, and experts. What do you tell the women in your classes about the variety of different sources of information that they can read or hear?

Information is power.  I recommend researching everything you read.  If you hear about the newest and greatest thing,research, find out all the info on it.  Do not believe everything you read, a lot of things are targeted directly at women to get your money.  I always tell them, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  Do your research.

Q7. These days we see so many people wanting to get “skinny,” in your opinion, what is the difference between “skinny” and “fit?”

Oh boy, this is a big pet peeve of mine. Skinny does not mean healthy and you can be skinny fat.  Just because you are skinny does not mean that your body is healthy on the inside.  Skinny is focusing on how you look from the outside.  Getting skinny is not going to make you happy.  I hear all the time,  “When I get to 120 lbs I will be happy…”  No you will not be, women are never satisfied.  You will continue to point out every flaw that you have. Women need to change their focus of I want to be skinny, weigh a certain weight, etc to – I want to be FIT! Fit both in the mind and body.  Fit changes your quality of life. It allows you to do things that you never thought were possible.  Fit helps you feel better about yourself.  Fit gives you goals to work for.  Fit helps your body to work in the way that you were designed to work. Fit helps ward off diseases like Type II diabetes,  heart disease, and obesity.  You need to lift weights.  Ladies, stop believing that nonsense that you are going to get bulky.  You are not going to get bulky!  You need to eat healthy, avoiding processed foods, sugars, etc.  We are talking bout your LIFE.  We are talking about the only body you are going to have.  Treat it right, nourish it the way it should be nourished, move it, lift weights. Your goal should not be to get skinny! Your goal should be to get fit, both on the inside and out.

Q8. Being such a fitness minded person, what do you do to stay motivated?

I look at my family.  I want to be around to enjoy them for a long time. I look at older people and the health problems that they have, most of them are lifestyle problems that they have created by choosing to abuse their bodies over and over. I want to age gracefully, I want to live life to the fullest, I want to still be able to do my normal every day activities when I am older. I want to live lift to the fullest.  It is the only life I will ever have.  I am not going to waste it.

Q9. If you could give just one piece of fitness advice to people, what would be the advice you give?

Move,  Every day move.  Find something you enjoy doing and move your body.

Q10. What are some of your personal fitness goals for the rest of 2013?

Complete my first Half Marathon
Complete 10 pull ups
Run a 23 min 5K

One of many class options that BBFC offers.

One of many class options that BBFC offers.

Thanks Bethany!

If you would like to be highlighted, please send me an email at dnancejr@gmail.com

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Harbison 50K – Race Report

The 2013 Harbison 50k was held this past Saturday on January 5th, 2013. The race had 146 finishers with quite a few of them being first time finishers! Awesome accomplishments to the first timers and welcome to ultra-running! This was my 3rd time running this race, each of the past two times were fun and I learned something about myself from the race.

The weather for this event has been something. The first year, we had wind and cold/cool temperatures. Last year, it was unseasonably warm. This year, we saw 26 degrees at race start and mid-50s as the day progressed. About as perfect running weather as it can be. I stayed in my long sleeved shirt for the first half and then just kept it on with the sleeves pulled up for the second loop. I saw several running friends prior to the race start, all hanging around the bonfire. I did miss quite a few people that I’ve met through the years of running that I knew were there. Several of them had great races, congrats guys and gals!

My buddy Brannon and I drove up the morning of the event, about an hour away from Augusta. Brannon was one of those first time 50k runners to attempt the distance. A large tasty bowl of Wheaties was my fuel source for breakfast. We get to the race with about 45 minutes to check in, use the rest room, prepare our drop bags, and the many other rituals that are customary to the pre-race time. I quickly found my buddy Michael F., the Kilted Runner and took our traditional pre-race photo:

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Pre-race photo of me, Michael F., and Brannon B. Photo courtesy of Michael F.

We receive last minute instructions from Race Director, Dan Hartley and the playing of the National Anthem, Slash style from Dan’s son on his new guitar. Shortly after, the group of runners moved to the start line. This year saw a change in the course (more on this later) and aid stations, There would be one less aid station on the course (which was fine by me). We lined up in the same area as previously but in the opposite direction of the previous two years.  Since this was Brannon’s first 50K, I decided to stay with him the whole race, I wasn’t really worried about my time; rather I wanted to see him finish! We lined up near the middle/back of the pack since we knew we wouldn’t be the speedsters. Final words from Dan and WE’RE OFF! The front runners broke away down the ¼ mile straight away, mostly downhill, which is always fun to start with. We make the first turn and try to find a smooth pace to keep since we had a long road ahead of us. Within the first mile, someone from behind us saw a part of the course that was labeled for later in the race and thought that was the turn. Almost everyone went that direction with the guy yelling “I’M IN THE LEAD!!!” we made it about 5 steps in and someone yelled out that the turn was wrong and we needed to go back.

We cross the road to the Lost Creek Trail section of the course. Here is where the new course direction comes in. After running the race the past two years, I had a feeling for this section of the course. Rather flat, very runnable for the first loop and a great chance to catch your breath and recover some on the second loop. When the course changed, it threw me for a little loop. At first, I didn’t really like the new course; it was a little hillier that I expected. I wanted the old flat course! During this section I saw Ray K on the course taking pictures like he has the past two years. This man is a great guy, a great ultra runner, and has been running ultras for longer than I have been alive. He snapped these pictures of Brannon and me.

Brannon B.  on Lost Creek Trail. Photo courtesy of Ray K.

Brannon B. on Lost Creek Trail. Photo courtesy of Ray K.


Me on Lost Creek Trail. Photo courtesy of Ray K.

Me on Lost Creek Trail. Photo courtesy of Ray K.

Within the first 3 miles, I was feeling a hot spot coming up on my right foot, just below the big toe. Not good. We made it to the first aid station roughly at the 6 mile point. I took a moment to pull my shoe off and inspect my foot. No appearance of a blister so I slathered on some Auqaphor and went on. The next section of the trail is my favorite by far and I was glad to see no changes were made to it. I can’t really explain why I like this section, I guess it’s because of the peacefulness I sense while there. This section goes by pretty uneventful for the most part. As we neared the next aid station, I could really feel the hot spot increasing in intensity. I knew by then it was a full on blister. We get to the aid station and I see the ultimate slacker, Andy B. hanging out, drinking a NOS energy drink. I asked if he already dropped from the race (hamstring issues), he said no and that he was waiting on someone. I told him about my foot, he recommended Hike Goo and said that it got him through Pinhoti without a single blister. Must. Get. Some.

The last section of the trails is by far the toughest, a lot of downhills and equal uphills on the Spiderwoman section of the trail. I told Brannon to conserve during this section since we have a second loop to go and that he was going to need it to climb some of the hills then. As we enter the “Interior Loop,” which is a .75 mile section of trail that seems to be all uphill (I think Dan only added this section because he’s a little on the masochistic side, am I right Dan?), we were caught by Augusta locals and running friends Glen J. and Tina S., both are attempting their first 50K as well. Glen, Tina, and the other two runners with them (I suck and forgot their names) stayed with us during this section based on my recommendation to conserve. By now, my foot is really killing me but I’m not expression it. We stay together to the next aid station, which is a welcome sight since it’s roughly 3 miles to the half-way point on the first loop and 3 miles from the finish on the second loop. What I love about this race is the fact that I see the same faces at the aid stations year over year and they remember you as well.

As we progress towards the Lost Creek aid station I let Brannon know that my foot is hurting pretty bad and that I’m going to need to attend to it at the next aid station. As we get to the aid station, I asked a volunteer if I could use their chair to check out my foot. I grabbed my drop bag and yanked off my shoe and sock. Sure enough, a blister. A big one too! This thing had to be about 3 inches long by 2 inches wide. I lanced it and used my towel to wipe it dry. I packed some athletic tape just in case and I’m glad I did. I dried my foot off and proceeded to wrap my foot covering the blister. Ahhh, relief!! I coated both feet in more Aquaphor, changed socks and was ready to go. All-in-all, I spent about 20 minutes at the aid station with Brannon patiently waiting for me. The second lap around was pretty fun, we talked more, walked more, and just soaked it in. I realized by the time we made our way back to the Lost Creek aid station that I actually liked the new Lost Creek section of the course! By the time we hit the last aid station with 3 miles to go, I was excited knowing that Brannon was about to finish his first 50K! I knew he was fading, tired, and legs were fighting him so I had to help push him when I could. We got to point where we had about 2 miles to go and checked our time. I told him if we pushed; he would have a sub-8 hour first 50K. IT WAS ON THEN! We ran more and when Brannon wanted to walk, we walked for a few seconds and started running again. The final push is uphill (again that masochistic side of Dan was coming out) and we just kept saying to each other sub-8, sub-8. We made the turn for the finish, which was a roughly 100 dash through the woods, hopped over the log and came upon the finish line. I slowed down a few steps and let Brannon savor his first 50K finish line before I crossed the finish line myself. Finishing time of 7:56:02, a sub-8 for his first 50K! Not bad, not bad at all!

All smiles at the finish line. me on the left and Brannon on the right. Photo Courtesy of Brannon B.

All smiles at the finish line. Me on the left and Brannon on the right. Photo Courtesy of Brannon B.

The food at the finish line was well received and enjoyed by all. The volunteers are exceptional across the board. The locals out enjoying their trail system, whether on mountain bike or foot, were very nice and encouraging. Dan puts on a great event and I look forward to running many more of his events. Thanks to the all the companies that donated supplies for the event; especially GU for being awesome (as always) and sending Roctane for the aid stations!

Brannon taking a well deserved nap on the way home.

Brannon taking a well deserved nap on the way home.


The only negative thing I have to say about this year’s event, this is in no means a reflection on Dan or his events, is the amount of trash on the trails. I realize that we have a surge in 50k popularity and many people are crossing over from road racing marathons to trail racing 50K’s but the amount of trash on the trails was ridiculous! It may seem acceptable to throw your trash on the road during a half or marathon, but that’s not the case on the trails. Never has been, nor will ever be! I’m not talking about the stray cup/GU pack near the aid station; those happen. I’m talking about the empty GU packs just thrown by the wayside along the trail. This cannot become the norm in trail racing. It is getting harder and harder to get permits from state and federal forestry officials to run these types of events and the last thing we need is trail trash to keep us from being able to run these beautiful trails. Quite frankly, it pissed me off to see this much trash on the trails. The person(s) responsible for this can be glad that I didn’t see them doing this; I would have given them an earful! I picked up as much as I could stash on me. We saw Ray K. running with a friend and stopping to pick up trash as well, Thanks Ray!


Posted in Race Report, Running, Ultra | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,


No, I’m not going bananas; although some may think I’ve been there for a while now. I’m talking about uses for your bananas. Not the green ones you just bought. Not the yellow bananas that just about everyone likes to eat (Really, are there people that don’t like bananas?). I’m talking about these bananas:

Photo Dec 30, 6 09 52 PM


You know the bananas your kids won’t eat because the “look” bad. The brown bananas that everyone skips over in the fruit bowl because they look pathetic.

***Money Saving TIP***

Many grocery stores will discount these bananas to keep from having to toss them out and writing them off. If your local grocery store doesn’t do like my local Kroger does (wrap them with a new SKU # as pictured above), ask your produce associate if they will make them down. I generally save 35 to 65 cents per pound this way!

Here are just a few things you can do with these bananas:

  • Cut into chucks, bag in freezer bags, and freeze for smoothies.
  • Use them to cook with.
  • Dehydrate them to make sweet banana chips.

I love to use frozen bananas in my smoothies. They act at the “ice” to get the smoothie really cold and are a great filler to make the smoothie thick and tasty. My favorite smoothie recipe is:

  • 1 scoop of Chocolate Whey protein powder (I use BSN Syntha-6).
  • 8 oz of milk (can be substituted with water, soy milk, almond milk, etc.).
  • Roughly 1/2 of a frozen banana (more or less depending on your liking).
  • 1 Tbsp of peanut butter.

Blend until it reaches your desired consistency. enjoy.

You can bake with them, the sweeter taste will enhance the foods you use them in. A stand-by favorite for me is banana bread. A variety recipes can be found HERE. I’m a big cereal eater, not Fruit Loops, but Wheaties (Team Wheaties shout-out!). These bananas go great sliced up in a bowl of Wheaties!

What I’ve been toying with here lately is making banana chips. I LOVE to munch on them while I’m at work for a sweet tasting treat with no added sugars. This keeps me from going next door to the sub shop and getting a cookie or two. I’m also looking at using them as fuel during races. I will be attempting this on Saturday at my race, the Harbison 50K. I’m hoping this can replace some of the not so good for you treats found at many ultra race aid stations.

Photo Dec 30, 6 18 45 PM

Photo Dec 30, 6 38 48 PM


The bottom picture is 10 medium sized bananas sliced and spread out over 4 trays of a dehydrator. I slice them roughly 1/4″ thick and dehydrate them for 7-12 hours depending on the crunchiness I’m going for. While running, I tend to like them a little chewier than when I’m at work.

So, don’t throw away these bananas just because the peel is ugly, use them! Brown bananas taste better and retain just as much nutrients as a bright yellow banana. If you use brown bananas, what are some of the ways you like to use them?

Posted in Bananas, Food | Tagged , , , ,

2013 Goals

As 2012 comes to an end, it’s now time to make new goals for 2013. I like making goals and not resolutions, because simply, resolutions are so… resolute. To me resolutions are for people who are looking to achieve that specific resolution and then stop. Goals are something you drive for until you reach them, granted you find out more about yourself along the course of attaining those goals. Most of the time, you typically exceed your goals.

A quick look back at 2012 and some of my accomplishments:

  • Exceeded my goal of 1000 running miles for the year (1056.61 to be exact).
  • Became a member of Team Wheaties.
  • Completed my first ever 24-hour event (SCTNow.org 24-hour run with Stephen M.). 
  • Successfully ran the 24-hour event, 2 50k races, 2 half marathons, a few 5k races.
  • Lead not one, but two coach to 5k style training groups and started a 3rd group at the end of the year.
  • Last, but certainly not least, built a stronger bond with my wife and daughter this year.

My 2013 goals:


  • 2000 running miles.
  • Successfully complete at least two 50k, two 50m, and one 100m event.
  • Attempt MMTR again this year and make up for my DNF from two years ago.
  • Successfully Direct my first race, FATS 50K.
  • Continue to build my relationship with my wife and daughter.
  • Blog more consistently.
  • Continue to build on the fitness gains I’ve made this past year.
  • Cut out sugars and processed foods as much as possible.

2000 Miles – This will be my biggest task. Logging the miles is easy, finding the motivation at times is the hard part. This goal comes down to 167 miles a month minimal.

Complete races – Harbison 50k 1/5/12, going to attempt to register for the following: Promise Land, Cremator, MMTR, and a 100 mile race yet to be determined. I had to DNF MMTR two years ago due to a calf injury, I want to go back and finish this course!

Directing FATS 50K – 2012 saw the announcement that Terri H. was no longer going to be putting on this great event at the Forks Area Trails System trails here in the Augusta area. I asked Terri for the rights to the event so I could continue to hold this great 50k in October.

Continue to build relationships – My wife and daughter are the most important things in my life. far greater than work, running, racing, etc. I want to continue to be the husband and father that they expect me to be. What does this mean? To me it means making it less about me and more about them. If I have to skip a race to spend time with them, so be it. If I have to put off friends for their sake, so be it.

Blog more – I will be the first to admit, I suck at writing and finding things to talk about. But I want to grow in this aspect and the only way I can see growth is by doing the uncomfortable.

Build on Fitness gains – 2012 was the first time that I started working out with a personal trainer. What I found was that while I was doing the weights workouts right, I wasn’t doing them in a manner that lead to visible results.

Cut out sugars and processed foods – While I realize that cutting sugar out entirely is almost impossible, I can limit the intake as much as I can. Cutting out processed foods, can be just as tough but manageable. My motto for this process “More on the outside aisles and less on the inside aisles” at the grocery store. Outside aisles: Produce, Meats counters, dairy/frozen foods. Inside aisles: Think cardboard boxed items.

So there you have it, my 2013 goals. Tell me, what are your 2013 goals?




Posted in 2013, Goals, Running, Team Wheaties, Training, Ultra | Tagged , , , , , ,

Retail and Running…

Like many of you, I’m busy gearing up for the holidays. This time of year is always busy with events, family, friends, and food. This blog kind of took a back seat for several reasons… The biggest of which is work. I work in retail and this time of the year is our “Super Bowl” so to speak.

November and December have always been a tough time for me to find my running mojo. I have a planned 50K this January (Harbison 50K) that I’ve ran the first two years that Dan Hartley has hosted the event. I’ve barely ran in November due to small injuries, work, and other family obligations. I would even chalk up the lack of running to the extremely early colder weather we have experienced here in the southeast; I’m a whiner when it comes to running in the cold. I will train up for Dan’s race and hopefully be ready to actually break my course and distance PR this go around. I’m very close (30 miles) from hitting 1000 miles for the year. This is a goal that I’ve attempted the last two years but failed to get there due to working extra hours and a severe lack of motivation. This year is not going to end in me falling short of this goal!!

So my question to you is: How do you find time to run during the holidays while spending as much time as possible with family and friends?

I would especially love to hear from those who also work in retail!

Posted in Holidays, Running, Training, Ultra | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

First Run After Injury

Last night was my first run back from injury and I was…nervous. I’ve taken breaks from running before. During the summer of 2011 I stopped running at the end of May and didn’t run again until the end of August. That time off was for personal reasons and was a much needed time of reflection. But this time was different. This time was my first time taking more than a few days off to recover. I knew it was in me to be able to run but I was unsure if my foot would cooperate. I knew that I would not have lost that much endurance after taking just a couple weeks off, especially since I’ve hit the gym pretty hard during this off time.

As I prepped to start running, I honestly had butterflies in my stomach. Was it because I was scare that my foot wouldn’t be ready? Was I just defeating myself before I even tried? Not really sure. I do know that having the two runners I am coaching to their first half marathon and my buddy there took some of the edge off. I was able to talk to them about what they needed to do prior to starting. Maybe that helped. Having them there helped me mentally.

What I do know is that for the first lap around the track, I was holding back, being very cautious. The second lap, the tension eased up. By the time I hit the third lap, I was ready to open it up. The third, forth, fifth, and sixth laps I was doing some fartleks. I would easy run the turns and blast the straights. I ran the 1.5 miles in 13:30, an average pace of 9 minutes flat.

I’m glad I got that first run out of the way. Now I can’t wait to run again!

Posted in Running | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

The Three Ws… an eye opener

Some may have noticed, maybe not. I noticed and that’s what truly counts. I have been rather absent from most social media for the last week or so. Sure, I still posted to Facebook and made the occasional tweet. My Facebook fan page, my friends on twitter, dailymile and this blog was left alone. Why? I’m not sure. I think I was mentally unprepared for what happened last Sunday at the FATS 50K. 23 miles into the race I rolled my right ankle for the fifth time. This time was different from the first four times… IT HURT!!! I knew right away something was not right. I walk/ran the next two miles to the final aid station where I removed my shoe and addressed my foot pain. No visible signs of swelling or anything broken. I had a decision to make; drop there and record a DNF or push through the pain and finish the final 8 miles. Since the event is a grassroots style event with no cutoff times, I decided to push through, painfully. Aside from the first 1.5-2 miles, I walked the entire Great Wall loop. I finished with an abysmal 8:22:46. The result after consulting my friend, fellow runner, and podiatrist Kent… We believe it’s a stress fracture of the 4th metatarsal. Great…

Sure… I’ve had injuries before, but never one that was going to require me to not run for such an extended period of time. I wasn’t sure how to handle this. Most of my twitter friends are runners/athletes and the conversations usually revolved around the subject daily. My dailymile account is chock full of runners, triathletes, swimmers, etc. who post their awesome workouts. My fan page is about running. This blog is primarily about… you guessed it, running. I did not want to talk or think about running…until yesterday.

I went to the gym beside my store where I work out with a great group of trainers who are passionate about fitness and nutrition. I decided to do some bicep work since I can’t really do much with the legs at this point. While working out, a guy from the gym was talking to me. He gave me these words of advice: “Remember these three Ws. Worship. Work. Workout.”

Worship – Spend time daily in prayer.

Work – Put in a full day’s work that you can be proud of.

Workout – Take care of the one and only body you have been given.

I’m not really sure why this struck a chord in me but it did. Maybe it was the combination of the three Ws together with the emphasis on the workout W. I could have continued to sulk about my foot. But really, what good is it going to do? NOTHING! I realized that this was time to focus on the rest of my body while my foot heals. I will come out on the other side stronger than before.

Now, I’m looking forward to interacting with everyone again. I look forward to talk to others about running. I look forward to my next gym session while I patiently wait for my foot to heal.

Posted in Running, Training, Ultra | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

SCTNow 24-Hour Run Report

When it comes to race reports; I’m not the greatest writer simply because my mind is focused on the run itself and not so much about the memorable moments along the run. I’m focusing on one foot in front of the other over and over again. If you’re looking for a bunch of pictures from the run, unfortunately you’ll be a bit disappointed. Again, I tend to focus on the run and forget about the other aspects like taking pictures. Something I know I should try to work on.

Our morning started out with all of us meeting at In Focus Church in Evans, GA. to gather the crew, ensure we all have the supplies needed, and to pile into two vehicles to make the roughly two hour trip to Hart State Park in Hartwell, GA. Once we arrived at the park, everyone took a moment to take in what we were about to embark on. We prepped our gear, applied sunscreen, used the bathroom (several times), took pictures, posted to social media, said a prayer of safety and made our way towards Augusta. I said the first to ask “Are we there yet?” within the first few hundred feet just for fun. Shortly after, I was already stopping because, apparently I didn’t learn how to tie my shoes properly as a child.

The first 3 miles were spent trying to level our pace out and find a comfortable groove. Thankful for the cloud cover at this point; but we knew it would be getting warm quickly once the clouds burnt off. Our goal was to run a 11:30-12:00 minute pace and take short quick breaks throughout. My personal hydration plan was to down a 16 oz bottle of Gatorade every hour and adding additional carbs every hour and a half. The first 10 miles was nice and easy and we were slightly ahead of pace. SWEET!

Once we got out of the city limits we started to encounter some of the hills we knew we would be running/walking. At this point; the sun finally burned off all the clouds and we were under the direct sunlight with a few passing clouds. The temps were rising pretty quickly at this point. The three of us were still going strong and holding our own. Around mile 16 and then again at mile 18 on some of the longer hill climbs towards Elberton, I started feeling the affects of the heat and started cramping up. We get to the town of Elberton and stop at the Walgreens to rehydrate and I go into the store to try to get rid of the stomach cramping that I’ve got going on (Do I really need to paint this picture?). I catch back up to the runners and stick with Matt. Matt is showing signs of some slight pain with a hitch in his stride. His hip and left groin is hurting him bad. Steve is still going strong; actually leaving us far behind. Matt and I make the decision to hop in the car and catch up to Steve. We catch up and eventually hop back out and run with him for a while.

Around mile 25, I’m really cramping up and stop on the side of the road and essentially lay out in the fresh cut grass. My crew stops with me to ensure that I’m alright. I get up. I change shirts, visor, socks, shoes. I feel better. I grab a lo-carb Monster out of the cooler, fill my water bottle with Gatorade and take off…slowly. I’m sipping the Monster and chasing it with the Gatorade. I eventually decide to just pour my Monster in my Gatorade. On a side note, not sure if it was because I was just that thursty or not but Lemon Lime Gatorade and lo-carb Monster mixes fairly well together. I finish the bottle off in about 30 minutes. My crew calls ahead, the other two runners are about a half mile ahead of me. They gave me the option to hop in and catch up… I decide to keep running thinking that I will catch up when they stop. Right around the 26.5 mile point, my cramping gets so severe that I’m on the side of the road hunched over in pain. My body is locking up and at the same time I’m dry heaving. Talk about painful. One of my crew members is an EMT and suggests that I get in the car to cool off and ride ahead. I listen…

While in the car, I feel like I’m about to explode and I tell them to ride ahead and find a gas station that mat have a restroom to use. We past Steve running strong; we let the other crew car know that we are driving ahead to find a gas station. We get to the gas station right at the mile 30 marker. I jump out and rush tot he restroom…nothing. I can’t do anything. I come back out the the car. We make the decision to stay here and wait for the others to meet up to us. We pull over the the side of the lot and I grab a beach towel out of the car and lay it on the ground. I’m starting to lock up everywhere, hips, knees, quads, back, everywhere. I lay on the towel for what seems like forever and eventually the cramping goes away and I feel like I need to attempt to use the restroom again. I go and the only thing I can manage is number 1. I come back out and I see Steve run by and the crew car trailing behind him. I catch up to him and run with him for about 4 miles before my quads lock up.

At this point, I’ve realized that if I want to be able to continue to run and finish at the 5k Saturday morning, I needed to plan a new running strategy. I decided the best way to handle this would be to run with Steve for a few miles and then ride for a few miles. I usually cycled between 2 miles runing with 2 miles riding. We are nearing the 38 mile mark and the time frame that the 5-6 om crew would be joining us. We cross the first of many bridges over the J. Strom Thurmond Reservoir and the replacement crew is on the other side waiting for us.

The next few miles were fun with the fresh crew keeping us entertained with lines from comedians and TV shows. Once the sun started to go down, the temps started to cool off. What a relief. Somewhere around 9 pm, the group is running along shortly after one of the crew members said a prayer for everyone when we heard horses in the field to the right of us. We all turn our heads to the right and shine our headlamps on the horses running towards the fence line to greet us. Once all of the horse made it to the fence line, they turned and ran the fence line with us. Not ahead of us, but with us. What an amazing sight to see. I only wish it was bright enough to have recorded some video of this.

The crew arrives in Lincolnton right around 11 pm and Steve was met by a large crowd of supporters who drove to us to to cheer him/us on. Steve being the machine that he is kept right on running. I was in the car at this point so we stayed back to chat for a few minutes with everyone. Sundy Goodnight from SCTNow was there and she led us in an awesome prayer that even had one of the local Lincolnton residents join in with us.

The trip from Lincolnton to the Columbia County line was fairly uneventful with me doing my ride/run cycle. While I was in the car, we ended up having to advance one of the crew members forward to find a restroom facility and then again to find some medicine for upset stomach. Each time we drove back to Steve’s location and I ran with him for a while. The second time, we come back and Steve has made it to the Lincoln County/Columbia County line. The next crew arrives and relives the second crew. The road/bridge in this section is fairly narrow so Steve, Will, and I get out to run the bridge and make the cars go ahead since this section was an issue last year. Since I had a flashing headlamp and a reflective vest I ran in front so the cars could notice me in hopes they would slow down and move over. All of the cars that passed us did. Thankfully. While on the bridge, I happened to look up and saw millions of stars in the sky. Three times as many stars as I have ever seen. I was in awe. Knowing that each star was placed in it’s exact spot for a reason. We make it across the bridge and I decide to rest the legs some more. We are still about 45 minutes ahead of schedule.

About an hour later, my brother in law, who has been with me from the very beginning starts to show signs of fatigue. I make the decision to drive him home and come back. While on my way back to crew, my stomach finally decides that it wants to cooperate and I rush to find a restroom. At this point, knowing how far ahead of schedule Steve was and the time I knew he should be arriving at In Focus church within 30 minutes. My buddy Brannon arrives to run the last leg with us. We chat for a few minutes prior to Steve’s arrival. Still determined to finish together, I stop at the church and wait for him there. The church is 12 miles from the finish. I calculate that if I finished from there I would have well over a 100k in and that I was happy with that effort. I grab my phone and post a few tweets and a Facebook status. Man the response I received was exactly what I needed to finish strong.

Steve arrives at the church after having a rough time on the hills leading into Evans still determined as ever to finish. We get to downtown Augusta just in time to see the 5k start. We see Miguel blazing his way as the leader. The entire group decides to just walk the course. We cheer on the runners at the same time they are cheering us on. Whatever pain I was feeling was gone at this point, my spirits were lifted. We get close to the finishing time and make our way to the finish line. Amidst cheers and applause we run to the finish line together as a team. I spot my beautiful wife waiting for me just past the finish line. I give her the biggest, sweatiest hug I can. The group comes back together to finish with a group prayer before we head to the finishing ceremonies.

In hindsight, I know now that the cramping issues were due to dehydration and that my one 16 oz bottle per hour plan didn’t work because of the heat, lack of shade, and the blacktop reflecting the heat right back onto me. I was so wound up that I slept for about an hour and a half when I got home, watched the South Carolina/Mizzou game and stayed awake until about 8 pm. I was awake by 8 am Sunday morning and to my surprise; my legs felt okay. Slight soreness but manageable and able to walk without having to stop regularly. I went to church and came home and then the tiredness hit me. I slept for about 5 hours that afternoon. Lessons learned for the next attempt. Maybe next time we will find a route that has some shade and a few less hills…

I’m truly thankful for every person that volunteered their time to be a part of the 24-hour run that we completed. We could not have done it without each and every one of them.

On to the next challenge…

Oh, I might want to add the pictures. All photos except for finish line photos are from my Kodak Playsport camera. The finish line photos are courtesy of my wife.

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Friday’s Playlist

This past Thursday I asked friends on Twitter, Facebook, and in-person for playlist recommendations for my 100 mile attempt this coming friday. I received quite a few suggestions. Some songs that I agree with. Some songs that I’ve never heard of and kind of like. Some songs that I just flat out don’t understand how they could be good songs to run to. Nevertheless I complied all of the suggestions here for everyone to view.

Twitter: By far the largest variety came from Twitter followers

What’s the Frequency Kenneth – REM

Rocky Themes (Gonna Fly Now, Going the Distance, The Final Bell) All three.

Til I’m Gone – Eminem

Eye of the Tiger – Survivor

Now You’re Gone – Basshunter

From Paris to Berlin – Infernal

Run to the Hills – Iron Maiden

More – Usher

More Human Than Human – White Zombie

Relax – Portable Playback

Block After Block – Matt and Kim

Now or Never – Outasight

Rompe – Daddy Yankee

Shoot to Thrill – AC/DC


The entire soundtrack from Rock Of Ages

Boy George – any song

Final Countdown – Europe

Crazy – Aerosmith

Song 2 – Blur

Let’s Get Rocked – Def Leppard

One Step Closer – Linkin Park

In The End – Linkin Park

Get Back Up – TobyMac

Kryptonite – 3 Doors Down

Where the Streets Have No Name – U2


Alive – P.O.D.

Don’t Stop Believing – Journey

Party Rock Anthem – LMFAO

Hemorrhage – FUEL

Save Me – Shinedown

Come Again – Staind

Mudshovel – Staind

So Far Away – Staind

I Walk Alone – Saliva

Click Click Boom – Saliva

Life is a Highway – Tom Cochrane

Rock You Like a Hurricane – Scorpion

Personal: These are songs that I like and want on my playlist

The End is Where We Begin – Thousand Foot Krutch

Let The Sparks Fly – TFK

I Get Wicked – TFK

Courtesy Call – TFK

War of Change – TFK

Lose My Soul – TobyMac

Hurt – Johnny Cash

I Will Not Bow – Breaking Benjamin

So Cold – Breaking Benjamin

Diary of Jane – Breaking Benjamin

Game On – Disciple

Dear X, You Don’t Own Me – Disciple

Remedy – Disciple

Invincible – Adelitas Way

All In – Lifehouse

Awake and Alive – Skillet

Hero – Skillet

Monster – Skillet

Comatose – Skillet

Better than Drugs – Skillet

Rebirthing – Skillet

Whispers in the Dark – Skillet

Send the Pain Below – Chevelle

Take My Life – Jeremy Camp

Frontline – Pillar

Sandstorm – DJ Darude (crowd hype music for the Gamecocks).

B.O.B. – Outkast

I’m sure more will song will find their way onto this playlist before I hit the bed on Thursday. Any songs that I may have missed and you want to recommend? Comment below, please!

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Phone App that You Can Benefit From

Along with my running um, shall we say “habit,” I’m also a bit of a technology junkie too. Especially phones. It doesn’t hurt that I work in the phone sales industry. I’m always surfing the Google Play store on my phone for cool new apps to try out and pass along if  I happen to like it. The other day I came across a cool app called “Water Your Body.” Water Your Body is designed to provide you accurate tracking of the water you drink in a day as well as provide you hourly reminders to drink water.

Water Your Body

The cool thing about this app is that you set it but inputting your weight and it automatically calculates the amount of water you should be drinking each day. As you add your intake, it will give you a running total. Another cool feature of this app is the hourly reminders to drink water and where your current level is compared to what your daily need is. Is it 100% accurate, no. But it’s pretty darned close. The reminders can be adjusted to start and stop at a certain time of day and you can turn off the annoying “water filling” sound bite that is preset for the hourly reminder. personally, I think it sounds like a guy is using the bathroom on your phone. Other than setting your weight, I noticed that the fluid ounces of the drink icons are not your normal sizes. It took me a few minutes to adjust the bottle sizes to the standard bottle sizes we see here (16.9, 20, 24, 32, etc.).

Here are a few screen shots of the app on my Android device

You can find the Android version HERE and the iPhone version HERE. Android is free, iPhone is $.99

My final take.

If you’re like me, you almost always have your phone on you. If you know you need to drink more water but get busy throughout the day and forget to drink the water your body needs. If you get that false hunger that is more likely your body craving water. Then this app is a great tool for you to use as a reminder for you to drink up.


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