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Tuesday, November 9, 2010


It has been a few weeks since I did the Columbus Marathon, and I have been racing constantly. This week, my first weekend technically off from a race and I am going to rest to the fullest.

Good news, I am going to be doing my first track workout since 2007. This will get very interesting and a lot of fun at the same time. I have been training with two other gentlemen who are running very well, training for different events but that's okay, it makes us a very diverse group of individuals.

Josh is a Sophomore at Mount Union and this year completed his first marathon because I convinced him that he was ready to accomplish the feat. Ever since finishing the marathon, he has been itching to get back onto the running scene. He is planning on coming to beautiful McDonald, Ohio to do the Feed the Need 5k. Should be a good race to be honest.

Andrew is a Junior at Mount Union and a very avid biker. He has completed numerous triathalons and is built like a triathlete! Andrew completed his first Marathon at Columbus and is going to be consistently training for the Ironman in a few years. He will do very well, and I expect him to place very well among the other athletes. This guy is the real deal.

As for me, I am going to continue training. I am taking about a month to recover and then I am back into the higher mileage for the rest of the year. I can't wait to start logging consistent 70 mile weeks again, and hope to hit my second 100 mile week. I plan on doing either another 50k and a marathon or a 50 miler and a marathon/50k. My legs don't want to stop and neither does my mind. I will push my body to the limit.

Also, next semester is Student Teaching for me, ahh yes the lovely Teaching. I can't wait to do it! I love teaching right now in the school that I am in, and can't wait to make even more differences in students' lives when I begin teaching.

With teaching, comes the attempt to coach. I want to try and coach track, but if I can't get a helping position then I would run on my own. I would like to show the athletes in middle or high school that they can accomplish the feats they set ahead of them.

Let's get it!

Monday, September 27, 2010

First Ultra Race Report and After!

On September 17th, 2010 I ventured over to home. I was going home for the night because I had quite a trek in the morning and wanted to get a lot of sleep (and carbs!). This trek was going to test my body to a limit it has never seen before. This was going to require a lot of motivation and spunk as my high school coach used to say.

The night before the race was relatively weird for me. I had been very tired all day and figured there was no way that I was going to be able to race in the morning. I decided to go up to the high school cross country practice and see how the guys were practicing. I found out the next day's meet was going to be at Boardman and I wished the guys luck as they were up some stiff competition. I noticed Jerry Dugan had been in pain the past two days and was battling a possible stress fracture. He was pedeling relatively hard on the bike and creating a nice wind for myself.

Then, I saw my good friend Steve Bada and talked to him about the upcoming Akron Relay Marathon and we traveled over to Dicks Sporting Goods to get some fuel for the next day. He was telling me of past stories of races and even last years Akron Relay.

Then, I get home. I'm starving. It's 6:00PM and I hadn't eaten since 11 that morning. I decided to eat some pizza, but not just any pizza...Ianazone's 14" Pizza, White Pizza!! I ate all but two peices and it was very good! The, it was around 8pm, I popped in one of my high school dvd's from cross season and decided it was time to motivate myself.

At 10PM I hit the hay and decided I needed to get a lot of sleep for the next day.

I woke up, was groggy all morning and was not feeling like doing 31 miles. I decided I'll make some tea and get ready for this thing. I boiled the water, poured my tea, which felt like an eternity but it was my morning routine. I also incorporated a shower that morning to wake myself up.

Then, it was time to head out the room. Oh crap, I forgot my breakfast! I went to Sheetz, saw a few runners, got a banana and breakfast bar. Then, it was time to go to Mill Creek Park.

Arriving to Mill Creek, I had a few volunteers stop me and say, you must be Taylor Sowers and I have heard a lot about you. I was impressed but I just said a friendly "thank you" and "I hope it was all good things..." It was. My race then was about ready to begin. I popped in my iPod and got ready and in the zone!

Race gun goes off, which was more of a yell, and the steps now pluttered on the pavement. Getting to the first staircase I was doing well, running with one of my buddies, Jon Bolha. It was good to have someone join me for the first few miles. I had the African music beating as my heart was beating in my chest. It was so worth it and great to run to. It will definitely be a future choice.

I really don't remember anything before mile 15, so the rest was just a blur...

The next 15 was going to be a long one. I was ready for it and determined to finish. My legs hurt, my mind was beat, cramping then kicked in, powergel was then in store. My body started to gradually feel better and then I was in the grove again.

The next thing I remember, is at a mile stop. I got back to the Covered Bridge and asked the gentlemen there if they had known what mile it was. They claimed 28 and I had 3.25 to go. I thanked them for all their work and continued on my way. During the next three miles, I walked, in agony and thought to myself, I came to run, and run will be the way I finish. I walked for two miles and then ran the last mile, off and on too. It was good to finally see the finish and see where my run would then be completed.

I got to the finish, my parents were there and I was glad to finally be able to sit down. I grabbed a beer from one of my friends, Jeff Musik and then met with my mom and dad. I was so excited and was bound to have a nickname. My dad exclaimed "I don't know if I am of high order to give you a nickname," but I wanted one from my dad. I am now known as Tiny Tronk, or TT for short.

For the next week, I got Bronchitis and was unable to run, until today and today begins a trek towards another Marathon. I will continue the races because the line is only subjected to one race, in my mind, there is no finish line and the races will still pile on. Good night everyone. Happy trails in the morning, I will be hitting the roads bright and early.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Final thoughts before tomorrow.

Let me start off by saying, that I feel like I am in the best physical shape of my life. I have been running for hours nonstop and doing it rather early in the morning (starting time is typically 5:45AM). I usually run between one and two hours on a constant basis, and have been doing this for the past month for preparation for the 50k and the Columbus Marathon in October.

That being said, my physical shape has also been great because I ran the most amount of miles in one week, and that was last week. I ended up doing 100 miles in seven runs and am now mentally tough for this 50k set ahead of me tomorrow morning.

All of this added in, is allowing my mind to flow freely back between "Am I ready or not?" I feel that I am, I know that I am, but I'm not so sure my legs will be 100% tomorrow in order to run for the distance that is ahead of me. I guess it's the typical back and forth motion that exists in every runner, especially when there is a new distance at hand.

Tomorrow = 8AM start. 31 miles. I hope I got this.

"It's not that I had the guts to finish, it's the fact that I had the courage to start."

Monday, September 6, 2010

The countdown begins.

This week marks less than 2 weeks before my first ultramarathon. Right now, I have mixed emotions about it. I hope I can do it! I know that if I put my mind to it like I have been putting in my training, then I should be doing alright. I also decided that I am going to do the Akron Relay Marathon the Saturday after YUT-C and then do the Columbus Marathon on Oct. 17th, and finish up with a 5k the following week. It's going to be brutal, but hey that's what running is for! Mentally challenge yourself and great things will come from them.

Also, I am set on this triathalon stuff. I am going to end up training for it after Columbus. I have four guys up at school that are into it, one's hardcore training for it, so I will have someone to motivate me through it. That's all for now.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Return to the Wheels

Yesterday, I ran in the morning for a good hour and a half. I felt pretty tired after it was all said and done, then I had to go up to school to get some extra help before this weekends Praxis Test for school. I ended up staying up there til about 2 in the afternoon and then came home to study more. Before I got home, my dad and I were making plans to possibly get on the bike trail in Mineral Ridge to do a little biking. This was going to be an adventure for me, because I haven't gotten on a bike in nearly four or five years.

We arrived at the Mineral Ridge Bike Trail right by the Ice House Inn Bar and parked Elle (Dad's Element). Then, got the bikes out and put the shoes on. I then had a little trouble with the clips going into the straps on my shoes. This was going to be a challenge for me. I then decided that I should circle the parking lot to try to get the shoe in the pedal. After circling the lot once, I finally got it, a sure sign of how the ride will be.

On the bike trail, we did the first mile and a half fairly easy, probably about 15 miles per hour just to loosen up. Arriving near the Mahoning Avenue Bridge, I saw someone pass my dad and I. My dad, who normally hates to be passed, sped up a little to catch up to him, I slowed because I was new to the bike and knew it was going to be a longer ride than anticipated. After crossing numerous roads and ending up in cornfields, my dad and I started chatting about triathalons and biathalons. I told him that if I were to bike and swim more, then I would love to try and do the YMCA Triathalon in Youngstown next July. We will see if that happens. We both agreed that my running is there, swimming--eh not so much, biking is only 10 miles, yesterday we did 22ish, so I should be alright.

I'm excited for this new style of training and hope that it will show benefits in my running. If not, heck its good cross training for myself. I also thought to myself that this year I am doing the YUT-C 50k, Akron Relay Race and the Columbus Marathon all within a Month of each other. It's going to be a tough challenge, but I like things like this to be a challenge.

The bike ride ended, my legs felt fine. When I got home they weren't in bad shape, just a little sore on the upper shoulder area. Went to bed around 9 and slept till 7 the next day. It was a good nights rest.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Today's Run

Today, my friends Aaron and Mitchell ventured over to Cuyahoga Valley National Park to do our long run. We knew the weather was going to be iffy during the run, so we decided to make it an easy day. The run started at the Boston store (Now called Trail Mix?? At least that's what the sign said...) then took a route near Brandywine Falls, to Carriage Loop and around to Buckeye South, and back to Boston Store..or Trail Mix.

The run started out fairly well I would say. Brandywine Falls was really muddy, or so we thought. We suggested that since it is the trail at the lowest level, that most of it would be underwater or heavily concentrated with mud. We were right with that suggestion. Then we went back on the tow path, and my lips were really dry. Thankfully, I had brought my chapstick/beeswax with me for the run. It helped, but quickly became dry again.

Part 2 of the run included Carriage Loop. This run starts out brutal, the hill is one that I would consider a fairly tough hill for CVNP. We got to the top, took a small break and continued down the path. During this trail run, there are three bridges that you have to cross, I can't really remember the names of them, but you have to cross them to get to the other side of the trail. All three were closed, we thought because they were wet, and they didn't want anyone to slip and fall. So, I made the call to jump the steel bars that were blocking the entrance, and keep on going. We did and finished that part of the run at a fairly good clip.

Part 3 of the run, included Buckeye South Trail. This trail, is rather hard, the opposite way. The way we went was backwards (to us) and it too was really muddy. The run had mud everywhere for a good seven miles. About halfway through the run, you have to cross a small creek, usually has rocks to step on, and get to the other part of the trail. During this attempt, all the rocks were covered, so I jumped right in and stayed in the water for a few minutes. It felt like an ice bath, and very refreshing on my legs. Then I continued down the trail to the finish.

Thoughts about this run:
Even though it was at a very slow time, I am okay with it because it is time on my feet and I had a great time doing this. Hoping next week to do another 70 mile week, although Saturday I have to go to two weddings, so it might be a stretch but I'll work something out.

Miles for the week: 76
Miles for the year: 851.80

Looks as if I am starting to feel better with my longer runs just as I did in High School. Today's run was a little slower, but overall the week was perfect and I couldn't ask for a better week to train.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Long and Winding Road

Today, I was done with class early and decided that I would eat Lunch right after and relax at home for about an hour, then travel to Mill Creek Park for a "good run". I got home, and was feeling highly motivated from the numerous videos I was watching about Bart Yasso and his quest for the Comrades Marathon (56 miles in Africa).

You can follow Bart on:

Then, I was driving to Mill Creek and I just knew that it was going to be a solid day with the heat and humidity. I started my run doing the YUT-C 50k first loop and was feeling pretty good. The worst part about this run had to be the first and second loop around Newport as it felt like it lasted forever. What also didn't help was that my iPod was on a good mix, one that I use for long runs. This one wasn't so good. The Beetles Long and Winding Road came on, and this felt like the run dragged on forever. The sun was beating down and the sweat felt like it was pouring out of my pores. I looked over to my left to see that Newport, as dirty as it is, looked so nice to jump in. I then shook my head and remembered that I was feeling good on the run and that jumping in the water, as fun as it sounds, would only delay in this process. I continued to put one foot in front of the other and finished the two loops. I was still feeling pretty great so I added on a good five miles to end my run. The run ended with one hard all out stride. Couldn't have been a better day for a great run.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Nice week to train

Throughout the course of the week this week, I have been trying to gradually increase my endurance. This increase comes as I am training for the 50k in September. I am hoping to run it at a "comfortable" pace and then three weeks later try to bust out a hard Columbus Marathon. Anyway, here's my weekly mileage with some additional thoughts in there:

I was out the door tonight when it was pouring down rain. Five minutes into the run, the rain ceased and the steps kept on going. My body physically felt fine, mentally, I am stronger than I feel like I ever have been. These runs, which are giving me more motivation to continue the long runs are very beneficial to how my running is going. The schedule that I set aside for this week is looking good and I hope I can do more that I scheduled.Tomorrow, the plan is to get out for a 4 miler or so before leaving for Mount for class. Then once class is over, I am heading home and doing a seven miler or so, with the possibility of doing more. Hopefully a good weekend is in order for running as well.
8 miles

15 miles. Did 5 miles in the morning and then went over to Meander Reservoir and had a "comfortable" 7:00/mi pace run around that. This run was a negative split 5 miler and I enjoyed running it with Aaron. We hammered the last mile or so, and half of it was all up hill. Gotta get in good tip-top shape.

Took today off to recover.

Solid day today. Couldn't have picked a better day to go out and run. First, ran in Mill Creek Park for the "first" 13 miles and ran this mainly on trails for a good workout and awesome hills. The run was great, and fairly fast.When I got back, my toe was bleeding and my legs were covered in mud. That's when you know the run was perfect.Then, I got home from Mill Creek and Kyrsti was saying how she didn't have anyone to run with so, I went out and ran an extra 3 miles with her. My legs are beat now, but I am going to elevate my legs and take an easy day tomorrow. 4-6 miles in the morning with my high school cross coach. Should be fun.
16 miles total. Lovely.

4 Mile morning run, nothing major to say.

10 miles with my iPod. Just trying to get my mental toughness back in gear. I felt like I have lost some of this in the past few years, but running around town with my iPod with the adrenaline pumping music definitely brings it back. No giving up.

Played a round of golf with my Cousin. Didn't shoot too bad, probably about a 45...okay maybe it was a little worse than that, but I didn't lose any balls and had a great time.
Then ran after...about 3-4 miles.

As for the conclusion of this week, I think this was a good starting base. I am going to run the runs this week a little slower and a little longer to gradually increase the base. I think one run this week, possibly Thursday, will be a long run in Mill Creek. This run may consist of an uptempo run and hoping to make it the first 20 miler of the summer! Maybe more if I feel good!!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

One way or another.

This past week I have devoted myself to pressing on my running and never quitting, no matter how bad the pain is. Before every run, I watch a YouTube video some on races, some on inspirational stories, thinking to myself, if they give everything then why can't I? I have been recently looking at the Team Hoyt stories, and have become really intrigued with these two gentlemen. I have read the book, "It's Only A Mountain" and highly suggest it to anyone out there who needs a good story to get themselves motivated to run.

Anyway, this past weekend I ran roughly ten miles every day this week. I ran ten miles on Monday, ten on Wednesday and six on Thursday. Friday ended up horrible weather and there's no excuse, but I just didn't run. I figured I wanted to rest up my legs for a good 13 miler on Saturday with my two running friends from McDonald, Aaron and Josh.

Saturday's run had many emotions going through my head. First of which started out right before the run. All three of us were tight or sore in some area of the body. I was sore in my quads, which rarely happens for me. But, I did a few plyos before we got going and hoped it would loosen up. We ended up running the 13.1 Mill Creek Distance Classic Half Marathon course and we went at a decent pace, talking the whole time, especially about high school cross country. Around mile eleven, Josh had to use the bathroom, but we found a creepy guy who seemed to be following us for quite some time. Josh was nervous and thus pressed on as we continued in our journey for a good time. After a few more steps, Josh's instinct was to find a bathroom as soon as possible, and found a perfect tree to do so. Aaron and I continued on, stopped at a steel post and stretched, only hoping to loosen up. We then talked about the upcoming 50k in Mill Creek and how I was excited to see that both of us would be running it, and Aaron claimed he wants to do the 25k and "Go for the Record." I said that is fine and I wouldn't be backing down from this milestone. The 50k is going to be completed, one way or another.

By this time, Josh's break was up and we continued to press on, heading over to the infamous "Steps Hill". This is a series of three, what I like to call "Mini-bursts" of hills that will test the willingness to push through pain of any runner. I started to lag behind a bit, thinking to myself, these three hills are going to test my legs physically and my mind mentally, and I just need to stay positive and push through all the pain possible. Step one, completed and slow. Step two, looking pretty good and feeling like there is strength left in my legs. Step three, feels like I'm in first place, and I'm powering through this thing. Aaron looks at me and says, we can do this, and we're not giving in. He looks at me, as I stare off into the distance and says "do you think we can break 1:40" as we are approaching the final hill into the finish. I claimed, "I don't know but it's going to be close...[later reassuring to Aaron and myself] I don't think so, it's a pretty long hill." We eclipsed the 1:40 mark and finished around 1:39:57.

These are the training runs I have been longing for in three years. I have been looking for guys that are willing to run for a longer time, and do it comfortably. I'm glad I can still look to my high school teammates as runners looking to strive to another level. I think these type of runs one day a week are going to be beneficial to me for the 50k, and other future races that I do. I can't wait to get back into the racing scene and start having fun running fast.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Houston, we have liftoff

So on Sunday, I was in Houston, we (as in my friend Tom and I) and we ran the marathon. There was a lot of people there, yes about 15,000 in our race and roughly 30,000 people applied so it was nice to run with a ton of people. During the race, I was constantly looking for Jeff Van Gundy (The Houston Rocket's Announcer and ex-coach). I never found him. But that's okay, I still wasn't going to let that stop me.

During the race, it was the first 3 miles and I was going to take it a little easier and run with Tom. I ended up running with him and we crossed the 3 mile marker at 27:27 and when I had already gotten the gatorade that I needed, I kept on going. Looking for Tom all over the place, I couldn't find him. So, I assumed that he went to the bathroom or was walking a bit. I trodded along and kept a relatively good pace.

After about 10 miles, I decided that I was having fun and running a very decent pace, but I wanted to look around more instead of focusing all on the race. I looked around and there it was Rice University. It was so nice to see their stadium, and see how many times the University of Texas has come in there and destroyed them. It was a good feeling and kept me going. After about 15 miles, I was experiencing a "Runner's High". I was smelling Bengay and never once did I smell it at all during the previous runs. I felt like I was in an "out of body" experience and it was the weirdest thing ever, but also one that you really can't explain to anyone else.

Then the finish was coming along, I loved crossing that Finish Line. It was another milestone in my journey and I can't wait to start training for my next race, which will be a half marathon.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The snow never quits.

Today, I was off work and decided that it would be a good idea to head over to Mill Creek Park with my friends Aaron and Josh. They both ran at McDonald with me and it was a good run. We ended up running 10 to 11 miles down there half on roads and half on trails. It was snowy but it was an amazing workout. I loved every minute of the run and this run will help me out when Houston comes around the corner on January 17th. Can't wait to be done with that Marathon.

Also, can't wait for the Longhorns game. I am a "die-hard" Longhorns fan and am hoping that they don't disappoint me this evening.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Day 6. Ugly and Cold.

Today's running was a little cold out. In the morning, I woke up and was going to go running. I checked my phone, and it said that the temperature felt like it was 8 below zero. I quickly returned to my heated bed and slept for a half hour longer. Then, I decided that it was time to get up. I then got out of bed to see that it still didn't warm up. So, I decided the smart thing to do would be to wait until the afternoon to go run. So, I did.

After I ate lunch, I went over to my Grandma and Grandpa's to help them take down their Christmas decorations. After about twenty minutes, we were all done and I was going to head out for a good run, that was, until my Grandpa had volunteered me to help take down the Nativity scene at Our Lady of Prepetual Help Church in McDonald. I didn't mind and was happy to help some of the members of our church to take it down.

Then, I thought I would finally be able to get out and go for a run and be home just in time for the Cowboys game against the Philadelphia Eagles. I was wrong once again, and ate some Wedding Soup and had a Grilled Cheese with my mom during Halftime of the game. I thought to myself, once the game is over, I will go for a run.

All this procrastination, and I still managed to get out for a run, it wasn't long and it wasn't that warm, but I still got one in and was glad that I did. I was also glad for the Cowboys winning the last game of the regular season and beating Philadelphia twice in the regular season, hopefully we can pull through for another week next week.

Day 6 of running (3 for the New Year), and it's already starting to look like I may be getting another "streak" in.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Haven't done this in awhile...

Well, I haven't posted on this in awhile so I figured I would. These past few semesters have been pretty brutal on me, and I have been running a lot and studying a ton as well. I have the Praxis test coming up in a few days and I have been putting my energy into that. Also, the week after that, I am running the Houston Marathon so I have been training for that as well, along with seeing my girlfriend, working, and also seeing some friends from school. It has been a pretty good break, but I am ready to go back to school and get these last 3 semesters over with. I know it's not wise to wish away college, but I want to start making a salary!!

As for my running, I am starting something new this year. I had made a few New Years Resolutions this year. Some involve school, and there are several that involve running. The ones that I am going to include are as follows:
  • Finish the YUT-C 50K this year
  • Finish the Houston Marathon
  • Finish the Mill Creek Distance Classic Half Marathon
  • Run of the Mill 1 miler
  • Akron Relay Race (whatever leg I can finish)
  • Any 5k
  • Turkey Trot 5 miler
  • Peace Race 10k
  • 2 mile race

These are my Resolutions for 2010, and the reasons I chose these ones, are because it is a race at every distance. I am going to try and be more well rounded in my racing, and I feel this is the way to do it.

As for now, this is all I am going to write. I am going to go run now, as my streak for the New Year has also started!! 2 days..we'll see how long this one stays up.