Monday, October 15, 2007

Denver Marathon Recap....Soaked.

The Denver Marathon was quite an experience. I'm not sure if you saw our weather, but let's just say it wasn't ideal. The temp at the start of race was 36 degrees and it had been raining all morning.

So there I began with a $2 Target poncho for raingear and an old pair of socks for gloves. My plan was to peel these things off and toss them once the rain stopped. Unfortunately, the rain and wind never stopped. My poncho did come off, but my sock gloves were needed to keep my hands from going totally numb. Sadly, the rain soaked them through, so they did have to come off around mile 15.

Overall, the race went great despite the weather. I had planned on hitting the wall early, so I tried to maintain a slower pace for the first 20 miles. Well, for some reason, the wall never came. I got a second wind at mile 21 and picked it up for the remaining 5.2. I crossed the finish line at 3:38:17 and promptly made my way to my car to change into the dry fleece shirt & pants plus slippers waiting for me. The dry, warm clothes were great, but my car's seat warmers were better and had never felt so good.

Thankfully Tanya & the girls did make it out to the race and caught me a few times. Although, the cold, wet weather finally won and Zoe began to meltdown forcing Tanya to take the girls home instead of to the finish line.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Team Continued...

Continuing where I left of yesterday...

JIM: He was a whistle-blowing, cowbell ringing, bag of lymph node fluid carrying machine! Pretty cool that he had lymph node surgery one week and was out on the course cheering for me the next. I've thought a lot about his melanoma. It's very easy for me to think about "what if it was me". I don't believe there is a manual out there that explains how to process all the thoughts, feelings, emotions & ramifications that come with finding out your have cancer. If it was me, I think I would want to handle it the same way I have seen Jim take it on.

It reminds of the "David & Goliath" story from the Bible. David was an optimist. There is no human explanation why, as a young teenager, David was able to take down a giant who could have crushed him in an instant. Jim is an optimist. He knows the seriousness and difficulties that lie ahead, but also knows that his optimism flows from a Source of strength, resources & power that is far beyond human explanation. I like that about him. God is good.

Keep running the race with perseverance Jim!!

PS: I would be remiss not to thank Tanya & Anne for hanging at home and taking care of the kids so the rest of us could share in this experience. Thank you!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The Team...

I have to shout out some thanks to the team...

LAUREN & DANA: Both girls played a key role during the race. Whenever I came to one of their cheering locations, they ran up to me with some Gatorade and followed me until I finished my drink and took the bottle back. They were great and such an inspiration to have their cute little faces greet me all along the course.

MOM & DAD: Mom was a master photographer which was great until I found she had taken about 50 photos of me getting the post race complimentary massage! She was also the master worrier...what else could a mother do?? So when eight people gather all wearing the same t-shirt, people are bound to wonder what is going on. Dad mingled around with Java by his side and answered all those questions shedding light into what Team Ehrlich was all about.

CHRIS: She was by far the most vocal on the team! I don't think she stopped shouting and cheering for three and half hours. Even when she drove past me chartering the rest of the team in their mini-van, she was hootin' & hollerin' out the window. She also made a huge "Go Woody" banner with two tomatoes for the O's in my name. What's with the tomatoes? I hate tomatoes and her girls love calling me Uncle Tomato! I love it too!

WES: Around mile 19.5…Wes hopped on the course and ran with me for the last 6 miles. I felt chatty for about the first mile of our run together and then I fell silent for the remainder. Even so, it was a special time for me to have him run by my side…a wonderful parallel for what he has done for me my entire life. He was definitely the strong tugboat pulling me with a mental rope to the finish line.

JIM: Check back tomorrow...

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

NH Marathon Recap...

Well…marathon number two is in the books. It was a perfect day in so many ways. I’m typing this post on the plane as I head back to CO. So many thoughts and emotions swirl around my head. I’ll share of few of my thoughts & experiences this week.

Let's talk about the race first. I had heard the NH Marathon was the best “small town” marathon in the country. They certainly lived up to that designation as far as I could tell. The weather was perfect and the course was ideal for running.

Putting those things aside, the team you see above was by far the BEST support team a runner could ever desire! I talked a bit about my motivation for this race last Friday. It was amazing to see my family rally around supporting that cause. They all appeared at many places along the course and were by far the loudest & craziest fans around. You know that’s true when other runner’s start shouting….”I want to be Woody”. Imagine running through the shoot towards the finish line and having everyone in the picture above waiting & cheering for you steps away from the finish. It was simply amazing and I’m grateful. Something I will remember for a long time to come.

With Team Ehrlich behind me every step of the way, how could I not have my best run ever?!? My ambitious goal was to finish at 3 hours & 30 minutes. I’m please to say I came across the finish line at 3:29:11.

Friday, September 28, 2007


I wanted to talk a bit about my motivation for tomorrow's race.

My brother in law, Jim, was diagnosed with melanoma about two months ago. The journey with cancer has already been long and hard on their family. There are still hard days ahead with chemotherapy looming on the horizon.

Jim & Chris have been amazing to watch in how they've handled this challenge. There are no quick fixes or easy answers, yet they stay positive & strong. Despite bad news and discomfort from surgeries, they press on.

I think about this when I run. My training over the last two months has given me plenty of time to think & pray. I'm inspired by their perseverance and I intend to use their inspiration to push through the adversity of the race.

My marathon will be over in about three and a half hours (hopefully!)...while their marathon will continue much longer than that. I'm proud to be on their team and help cheer them on to the finish!

A big thanks to Tanya for designing t-shirts for me and my whole family to wear tomorrow.

Go Team Ehrlich!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

NH Marathon

Flashback to Fall of 2003....Tanya & I did this hike while visiting my parents in New Hampshire. The lake below is Newfound Lake and the munchkin on my back is Megan.

Flash forward to this Saturday....I'll be running in the NH Marathon which actually encircles this lake and some. It should be a beautiful course with the Fall foliage approaching its peak. The current weather forecast for Saturday is perfect...partly cloudy with a high of 66.

I'm really excited for this marathon. I feel much more prepared and hopefully have learned a few things from the last one.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Fun Memory

While in SB, Tanya & I awoke early a few times and went running together along the waterfront. It was fun to run along the ocean, but even more enjoyable getting the chance to run together.

Our third outing on Thursday found Tanya on the bike with me chasing her from downtown SB all the way out to Camino Real Shopping Ctr in Goleta. For those SBers out there, you know about how far that is. For the was just over 18 miles.

It was the one day of our vacation I was so thankful for the morning fog that lasted til noon. I was even more thankful for the fact that located in the shopping center was Anna's bakery. I don't think I've ever had donuts taste so good! Nana and the girls met us out there for a sugary breakfast to celebrate!

If you want to see the route we took, click here:

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Not my ordinary jog...

This is Mt. Elbert. He lives just to the south of Mt. Massive.

On Saturday afternoon, I thought I'd go for a jog from our campsite. There was a trail that left our campground and went all the way around the lake. Seeing that would have been about 12+ mile run, I opted to run along the north shore of the lake to the next campground over...about an 8 mile round trip excursion.

It was one of the most enjoyable runs I've ever been on. The solitude and scenery were awesome. The challenge of running on a trail was a nice change from the pavement or treadmill running I've done previously. Although, I couldn't get the thought out of my head that I was one misstep away from a nice sprained ankle. The altitude was a killer. The campground was situated around 9900 feet. This is about 4000 feet higher than I'm used to running at and there were plenty of ups and downs that had me sucking wind.

I recently got a GPS watch to help me keep track of my running workouts. It's pretty cool to see what kind of data it collects. Check out the link below to see my run in more detail. Switch the map over to "satellite" view and zoom out a bit to see the mountains (Massive & Elbert) that we were right up against.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Error Extends Colfax

Not to keep bringing the marathon up for discussion, but there was an interesting piece of news that came out last Thursday. Seems the officials made a mistake in setting up the course on race day. A few misplaced cones routed the runners an extra half mile out of the way in City Park! No one noticed the mistake until runners with GPS watches crossed the finish line to find out they actually ran 26.7 miles!
Yet, another funny memory of my marathon experience. They promise to adjust everyone's times to reflect the additional distance, so it looks like my time may drop to 3:54! Here's the news story:

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A big thanks goes out to...

I would be remiss to not thank a couple people who were a big part of my marathon journey...

Tanya & the girls: They were amazing throughout my entire training and on race day. They were so supportive and encouraging to me...even lil' Zoe. At one point during the marathon, both girls were ready to hand me some Gatorade as I ran by, but I didn't see them in time and grabbed some from the water people instead. That was probably a good thing since every time I grabbed some at each station, at least half of it sloshed out of the cup and hit the person handing it to me.

The Dawson's: Keith, Clare & Heather have been in our home group this past year. They all came out to cheer me and Clare's brother-in-law on. Keith seemed to pop up about every 3 miles along the course cheering me along. He even ran next to me for about 50 feet! It was awesome.

Scott & James: They both tackled the half marathon and kicked butt. For James, it was his first and was amazing running on 3 hours of sleep after having to work the night before! My cousin Scott placed 82nd out of 1695 participants!! It was great knowing those guys were out on the course at the same time, albeit 13 miles ahead of me! All our families enjoyed a pre-race "carbfest" dinner the night before.

Wes: My brother is a huge reason I ever got into running. He paved the way by running in two marathons a couple years ago. He was my running expert as he patiently answered so many of my questions and sent me what I called my "Runners Bible". It was a guide to running that really helped me train and prepare. His encouragement was unending. Thanks Wes! Best wishes as you tackle #3 in a few short weeks!

Monday, May 21, 2007

CO Colfax Marathon Recap

The race is over and I finished! My original goal was to finish under four hours. Well, I like to cut things close, so you can see just how close I was. My chip time was actually 3:59:03.

The race began with me following the "3:30" pace leader. If you follow this guy (or gal), he'll guarantee to get you across the finish line within a minute or two of that time. It was perfect. The pace (8 min/mile) was very comfortable and it remained that way until mile 18. I felt a little fatigue and dropped my pace a bit, but then at mile 19.5 came the infamous "Wall". I went from an 8 min/mile pace to about a 12 min/mile pace in just one mile.

I had to walk at least a mile of the remaining six, which happened to be all uphill. I was very bummed about that, but at the time I didn't care. My body was in chaos and couldn't move the way that had come so effortlessly the previous two thirds of the race. My brain was in a complete fog and my legs were screaming at I walked on.

At mile 25, I looked at my watch and saw I had 10 minutes to make it under 4 hours. So I started my jog and ever so slowly, made it across the finish line.

Hey...check out the Denver Post article! It was on the front page of our Sports section today. Scroll down a bit and look for a familiar face.

Friday, May 18, 2007


My time has come. Sunday is the day of my first marathon (no, I'm not running to Yellowstone). Have you ever wondered what it takes to prepare for a marathon? Probably not. I’m going to share with you what training for this marathon has cost me. I officially started training on January 1, 2007…so 139 days later I’m now going for it! Since I’m like many other running nerds out there, I logged everything I did during this time.

My marathon training cost me:

1 – lost toenail

1 – bad blister

2 – pairs of running shoes

9 – gallons of sweat (gross I know, but it’s true! There are sweat calculators out there. I’m sure this is a modest guess since I’m a sweat-making machine)

48- 20 oz bottles of Gatorade

83 hours of actual running time

$90 entry fee

602 total training miles

I was curious just how far 602 miles is. From Denver, the closest I could get to something notable was Yellowstone Nat'l Park. It is 586 miles from Denver. Don't worry, I don't plan on making that trek anytime soon. Maybe I would if I could accrue 139 days of vacation from work!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Snowman Stampede Recap

Instead of posting a picture of me running (okay, actually we don't have any)...I thought you might rather see Tanya's snapshot of the post race festivities.

After two hours and forty-six minutes of running, I crossed the finish line...made my way home...and then found this comfy position to recuperate.

Let's back up a bit. Fortunately, the snow forecasted for the morning stayed out East, so there was only an inch on the ground by race time. The first 4 miles were not much fun because although there was only an inch of snow on the ground, there was a thick layer of ice on the road. The sun was trying to poke through the clouds at the beginning, so it was only a matter of time before it melted. About an hour into the race, the road were all clear. The biggest challenge of the day was not the ice, but the wind. It was crazy. At times I felt like I wasn’t moving forward at all.

12 weeks and counting til marathon day...

Monday, January 15, 2007

Twenty-six point two...

About a year ago, I was thumbing through the newspaper when I came across an ad similar to the one shown above. That was the seed that inspired me to sign up for the Colorado Colfax half marathon last May. That race led to me running in the Denver half marathon in October.

Well, many of you also remember my complaining after each race and several comments to the tune of I would never do it again. I also said I would never...never run in a full marathon. Turns out my statement about not running in a full marathon is similar to Nick Sabin's claim that he would not leave Miami. That's right. I am going to shoot for the 26.2 miles this May. I've got lots of time before May, but that will be much needed to prepare.

This year's Colorado Colfax is going to be a lot of fun because two friends are running the half...James & Kacey are going for it. Any other takers out there?