Monday, April 30, 2012

Ishnala Neighborhood, Palos Heights

Running with the group from Running for Kicks. Nice 6mi run overcast and cool. Another good month I finished the month with 141mi, 1mi over my monthly goal! Four solid weeks of weight training three times a week. I feel ready for the start of marathon training which starts in June for the October Chicago Marathon, bring it on! Just RUN!

Oak Lawn Patch

My wife has been working hard to promote my 2012Run12 campaign to raise awareness for Neurofibromatosis.  She has been all over facebook putting posts on media pages, race pages and her own page.  She took something I enjoy and why I am doing it and turned it into a brief story.  On Friday, she put a post on the Oak Lawn Patch wall and within minutes she received a comment from the Oak Lawn Patch’s editor Lorraine Swanson that she wanted to write a story about me and my running.  The Oak Lawn Patch features online news and events throughout the community.  You can only imagine the excitement in my wife’s voice as she was leaving me a voicemail because I was at lunch doing my cross-training workout!

I would have never thought one day that I would be interviewed because of my running.
When I called Lorraine, she immediately began asking questions about me, my running and Neurofibromatosis. We must have talked for almost half an hour.  Then came that dreaded next question, “When can we get together for some photos?”  Turns out the next day Lorraine was going to be at a local Earth Day Celebration and we made plans for a few photos.  When the interview was over, my wife said to me “Why don’t you see if John can make it too.”  John is the person who has inspired me to use something I enjoy and turn it into something that can benefit others.  John is 22 and has had Neurofibromatosis since birth.  I first met John when he was in 7th grade.  He was a student in my religious education class.  Last year, we did the Great Steps for Neurofibromatosis at the Naperville River Walk in his honor.  

Each of the four half marathons that I have already run this year, my wife has managed to plan something that we have never done before.  Like in January we went to the Rodeo in Fort Worth, Texas.  February we drove the Apache Trail, starting in Apache Junction, Arizona.  March we went on a tour of the Anheuser Busch Factory in St. Louis, Missouri.  April we took a tour of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway which included a lap around the track.  And now in my home state for my fifth half marathon in my 2012Run12 campaign to raise awareness for Neurofibromatosis, I’ve had an interview for the media!  As soon as the story is available on the Oak Lawn Patch I will share the link.  Special thanks to Lorraine for your time.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Post Marathon Sports Massage

When I was training for the 2011 Chicago Marathon, I wanted to follow all the recommended steps to try and prepare for the marathon.  I read that a pre-marathon sports massage and a post marathon sports massage would make a difference.  I dreaded the thought of a massage and I contemplated as to whether or not it could really make any difference.  But then again, I put a lot of miles on my body and it sort of made sense and since it was recommended that weight training and cross training would also be a big benefit of my marathon training and I was seeing the results of both it seemed pretty clear that a massage was in my future.  The marathon training program I was using had me averaging almost 40 miles per week.  Not to mention that running 26.2 miles on the streets of Chicago leaves you tired, sore and stiff.  I decided to take a chance.

There are many different types of massages, and I needed to find someplace that was experienced in a sports massage.  A sports massage (also referred to as a deep tissue massage) helps increase the blood flow to the areas of focus, removing metabolic wastes, and improving soft tissue mobility. It is most beneficial approximately 4-7 days prior to marathon. A good deep tissue massage should help promote flexibility, help prevent injuries, improve endurance, remove fatigue,  and prepare you to compete at your best. After doing a lot of research and talking to others that ran a marathon I was convinced. Based on a running friend’s recommendation, I set up an appointment for a massage the week before the Chicago Marathon.  As I walked into the salon, the first thing that I noticed was that there were only women there that were getting their hair or nails done, so I really felt out of place. I informed the receptionist that I had an appointment for  a “sports massage” (I wanted to be clear that I was not there for any of those other salon treatments) and sat down waiting for the massage therapist. She paraded me past all of the women getting their hair done to a room in the back for my “sports massage”.

My first thoughts were, wow this therapist was got some strong hands! I wasn’t sure if she was using her hands, elbows, knees or a 20lb bowling ball? I felt bordeline discomfort almost on the verge of pain which was expected, I just didn’t think that she packed that much force. The therapist explained that I might be sore for a day or two and that was normal. I did feel a little sore but definitely looser.  Not the type of massage that I would look forward to again, however if it helps me complete a marathon, it would be worth it.

Then came the Chicago Marathon.  I did it!  I completed the Chicago Marathon!  Despite the mental satisfaction, I was feeling it physically. My quads were very sore, when I dropped my post marathon snack bag, I could barely bend over to pick it up. Stairs were a struggle.  Two days after the Chicago Marathon, I went for my post marathon sports massage, by then I wasn’t as sore so I was hoping that the post marathon massage would be as vigorous as the pre-marathon massage. As it turned out is was, and it actually felt okay. As I walked to my car, I did notice the difference, and was able to start running again a few days later.  

I highly recommend a post marathon sports massage.  This year, as the Chicago Marathon draws near, I will again have a pre-marathon sports massage and a post marathon sports massage with Liz at New Day Spa Salon in Oak Lawn.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Palos Area Chamber Expo and Health Fair

Stop by and see us at the Palos Area Chamber Expo and Health Fair on Saturday, May 5, 2012!  This free community event will be held at the Moraine Valley Church at 6300 West 127th Street in Palos Heights, IL.  Hours for the fair are from 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.  The Palos Area Chamber Expo and Health Fair will feature fitness experts, injury prevention advice, health screenings and more.  Kids are welcome to come and enjoy the magician that will be wandering thru the fair.  The fair is open to the public and is the packet pickup for runners of the First Midwest Bank Southwest Half Marathon.  We will be there raising awareness for Neurofibromatosis.  Look for us; we will be at table 48.  We will also be collection donations for Neurofibromatosis and all monetary donations received before midnight on May 5th, 2012 will be entered into a drawing to win one of three great prizes!  They are:

Running for Kicks – Palos Heights, IL
$50 Gift Certificate

New Day Spa Salon – Oak Lawn, IL
Gift Certificate for a Sports Massage

Coach Kennihan Personal Trainer & Run Coach
30 min. Run Specific Strength Training Session
 On Sunday, May 6th, I will be running the First Midwest Bank Southwest Half Marathon as part of my 2012Run12 campaign to raise awareness for Neurofibromatosis.  It is my 5th half marathon this year! I feel fortunate that I can run and there are many people in this world that are unable to run because of physical limitations like Neurofibromatosis.  I used to be unaware of the genetic disorder until about a year ago.  I found out that a former student of mine has had Neurofibromatosis since birth.  He has overcome many of life’s challenges that are often taken for granted.  He is my inspiration.
All donations collected at the Palos Area Chamber Expo and Health Fair and thru will benefit Neurofibromatosis Midwest, a 501 (c)3 non-profit, which supports families affected by Neurofibromatosis.  Donations are tax deductable to the amount allowable by law. 

The Palos Area Chamber Expo and Health Fair is going to be a great event.  We are looking forward to seeing you there!

I would like to thank Neurofibromatosis Midwest for their constant support and guidance, Running for Kicks, New Day Spa Salon and Coach Kennihan for their generous donations and John and his family for inspiring me.

Country Lane Yellow Trail

The group was scheduled for a run at 6:30AM but we canceled because of the rain. It was nice to sleep in, but when I got up at 9:00AM and saw that the rain had stopped, I felt guilty for not running.Ended up running the Yellow Trail in the afternoon, a little muddy but nice cool temps!


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Swallow Cliffs 6mi Loop

Met up with Andy to run the Swallow Cliffs 6mi loop. We enjoyed the cooler temps. I was still feeling tired from the miles earlier this week. Next week I will have to take it easier in preparation for the Midwest Bank Southwest Half Marathon. Hoping for good weather!


Minneapolis Half Marathon – 2012Run12

The month of June will bring us to Minnesota for the Minneapolis Half Marathon.  This will be my 6th half marathon this year.  So far, in my campaign 2012Run12 I've run in some pretty cool places and races.  In January we were in Dallas, TX for The Texas Half Marathon, February in Apache Junction, AZ for The Lost Dutchman Half Marathon, March in Innsbrook, MO for the Adventuremax Trail Half Marathon, and April in Carmel, IN for the Carmel Half Marathon.  It’s amazing to see the differences in the runs and yet the similarities.  To be a runner is a rewarding experience.  After a race, you stand amid other runners and look around knowing, that our race experiences all differ.  Some may have just set a new PR, or overcome obstacles to the point they thought they would never be able to complete a half marathon.  No matter which way you look at it the after race is always a celebration.

As I stand at the starting line, so many things are going through my mind, but lately, I’ve realized that running can be so much more than crossing the finish line.  I’ve been running for over 20 years, and often times, while I am running I think of the challenges ahead, the big hill, the narrow trail with the tree roots sticking up, the mud, the puddles and yet when I am done, they seemed difficult, but what would I do if I wasn’t able to run.  If I wasn’t able to do something I enjoy so greatly.  It is for that reason that I am running the Minneapolis Half Marathon to raise awareness for Neurofibromatosis, which is a genetic disorder that affects over 2 million people.  Neurofibromatosis is a progressive disorder that causes tumors to grow on nerves anywhere in the body.  Neurofibromatosis does not have a high profile spokesperson or a big budget, but it affects someone I know, a former student of mine who is now 22 years old.  He has had Neurofibromatosis since birth, and he has such strength and determination that I find him inspiring.  He has a tumor on his spine that causes him pain on a daily basis.
The Minneapolis Half Marathon is more than just another race in another state.  It’s my opportunity to turn something I enjoy into something that can benefit others.  For whatever reason you are running the Minneapolis Half Marathon, Marathon or Relay, best of luck!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Country Lane Yellow Trail

Tough run today on the trail. After running 6 yesterday plus my workout with weights, I was definitely tired today and it showed in my pace as well as tripping on a root at about the 7 mile mark. The trails are very unforgiving on fatigued legs. Nevertheless I completed the 11 miles with some minor abrasions and bruises. When tired and the going gets tough, and you trip and fall, get up, and Just RUN!


Monday, April 23, 2012

Ishnala Neighborhood, Palos Heights

For a change of pace I hooked up with the Running for Kicks Monday night group run. There was a good turn out somewhere between 15-20 runners. We ran in the Ishnala sub-division. It was a nice 6mi run. Certainly different from the trails. Running on both trails and streets provides a good mix of terrain and surfaces, which is good because the majority of races are on pavement. So no matter what the surface, Just RUN!


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Carmel Championship Weekend

We arrived at the Renaissance Indianapolis North Hotel in Carmel, Indiana and we were greeted by Jennifer at the front desk. Within a couple of minutes we were on our way to our home for the night. The Renaissance Hotel exceeded our expectations by the hospitality they were showing to the Carmel Championship Weekend guests.
It was an unexpected surprise that they offered a Pasta Dinner buffet for the runners on Friday evening and a Grab ‘n’ Go Continental Breakfast on Saturday morning. We didn’t get a picture of Jennifer when we arrived but we stopped by the front desk when we were leaving. We got a picture of Jennifer and Hope. I’m not sure if they were smiling because they love their work at the Renaissance or because we were leaving.

We then headed to the racing capital of the world, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to tour of the Hall of Fame Museum. As you enter the property the drive takes you under the track. It is a different feeling when you are there and no race is going on. We first visited the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on May 29, 2005 when Danica Patrick made her first appearance at Indy and finished fourth and Dan Wheldon won the race while the caution flag was out. On that day, we toured the Tag Heuer Timing Room and also Pit Road.
But this trip, we did something that most people only dream of.  We took a lap around the track! Bob our driver was a great driver of the tour bus and he went around each turn of the Indy track with such skill and precision that at no time did we feel like we might crash into the wall. Oh and I should mention that thanks to Bob, we crossed the finish line in first place. Our victory lap ended in front of the Hall of Fame Museum. Well, I didn’t get to drive the track, but my wife tried to tell Stan, one of the employees of the Museum, that the guy at the front entrance told us we could pick any of the cars and take it for a spin on the track. She was kind enough to invite Stan for a lap too! He recommended the 1954/55 Mercedes-Benz Formula One car. She promised him that if we took it out onto the track that we would try not to wreck it.

Next stop was the Carmel Championship Weekend Fitness Expo and Packet Pick Up at the Monon Community Center. Since we did not have the exact address to plug into the GPS, we tried to wing in by the very tiny map I printed out before leaving home.
We toured beautiful Carmel, Indiana. The roundabouts throughout Carmel are very similar to the Indy track. I was tempted to speed around them, but the turns are not banked and I did not have racing slicks on my car.
We finally made it to the Packet Pick Up, where Taylor and PJ treated us like old friends.

As we made the way around the Expo, we stopped at the Upland Brewing booth where Danny was handing out samples of their signature brew Wheat Ale and their Dragonfly India Pale Ale. It was like a mini-party at the expo.

After the Carmel Championship Weekend Expo we drove through Carmel and scoped out the morning parking. We drove through the dangerous Carmel Arts and Design District where I was afraid to stop the car in fear that my wife would jump out and shop.

After a good night’s sleep, we woke up at 5:00AM(4:00AM Chicago time) and made our way to the Carmel Championship Weekend Start.
As the minutes ticked away the excitement grew and grew. While we were walking around, my wife spotted Todd Oliver, the Race Director for the Carmel Championship Weekend. We stopped and said hello and he took a minute of his busy day for a picture with me before the race.

Special thanks to Jennifer, Hope and Crystal at the Renaissance Indianapolis North, to Taylor and PJ our Camel Championship Weekend volunteers, to Danny from Upland Brewing, to Bob our Professional Driver at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Todd Oliver. It was a great visit to Indiana and we hope you invite us back again soon!

Carmel Indiana Half Marathon

Carmel Indiana Half Marathon today. New PR for a Half Marathon. This is number 4 of 12 Half Marathons of 2012Run12 for NF(neurofibromatoses). 3 of the 4 Halfs were PRs, the 1 that I didn't PR was the Trail Half Marathon.For complete details on my experience in Carmel Indiana click HERE. Just RUN!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Incorporating Weight Training into Marathon Training

Even after being married for many years there are still some conversations with your wife that can be difficult. Well, I had one of these conversations with my wife earlier this week, and I definitely should have put more thought into what I was going to say. Starting the conversation off with "I found this girl's website on the Internet", followed by "For my birthday, could you you pay for an hour session with her to improve my performance?", may not have been the best approach.

Here is what I should have explained in detail...

Last year before starting my 18 week marathon training program for the Chicago Marathon, I worked with a personal trainer to establish a weight training program to incorporate into my marathon training program. After much research I found that there are three primary benefits to weight training for runners,

First is the upper body, when running both your legs and arms move, granted your legs do most of the work, but when running 26.2 miles that adds up to a lot of work for your arms. Upper body training will reduce fatigue and soreness in the arms and provide more energy to finish strong.

Second is your abs, on long runs your abs can become sore. By strengthening your abs you are better able to maintain your running form and stabilize your back. And it also helps on the hills.

Third is the lower body. Running strengthens certain muscles in the legs but not all of the muscles, and this can cause an imbalance. With proper weight training for your lower body you can help balance your muscle strength to avoid risk of injury and help build endurance and strength for the long runs.

So being sold on the weight training, the question is what specific weight training do I need to incorporate into my marathon training? I feel that my weight training was a significant help in my marathon training. Over the tough 18 week training program I did not experience any injuries, and most importantly I FINISHED the marathon.

Since the Personal Trainer that I used last year has moved on and is no longer involved in personal training, I wanted to enlist the help of another Personal Trainer to to review and enhance my weight training program for this year's marathon training.

When browsing all of the handouts and flyers in the goody bag from the Bunny Rock 5K I stumbled across a familiar name Meghan Kennihan. Meghan is a race director for the Waterfall Glen Xtreme 10 race that I ran last year. After signing up for the Waterfall Glen Xtreme 10 last year, runners received emails from Meghan about the upcoming race, that included "Top 10 Reasons to Run this Race" and "Top 10 Unacceptable Excuses" that were so absolutely hilarious that Meghan's Top 10 list always come to mind when hearing about the Waterfall Glen Xtreme 10. In the goody bag was a flyer for Meghan Kennihan a Certified Personal Trainer. Eureka!

I immediately checked out her web page and was impressed by her credentials and certificates as a Personal Trainer. And in addition to that she is an accomplished runner.

With my wife's permission I contacted Meghan to discuss her different programs, I have signed up for a personal training session in May. I am looking forward to working with Meghan to evaluate and enhance my weight training program for my second Chicago Marathon in October. Look for my upcoming posts regarding my personal training session and progress.

Country Lane Yellow Trail

Another run on the good old Country Lane Yellow Trail. More Garmin issues, battery died at the 9mi mark. Lot of bikers today, I really think that it is easier to run the trails than bike them.  I really don't know how they make it through some of the big dips and valleys or over the logs and stumps. But at least they can fly and coast on the the down hills. This is the last run for this week, taking two days off before the Carmel Half Marathon in Indiana. This will be number 4 of 12 half marathons in my 2012Run12 for NF! Just RUN!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Waterfall Glen Xtreme 10 Race

Just signed up for the Waterfall Glen(Argonne) Xtreme 10 race on Saturday, July 21st, 2012. I ran this race last year and had a great time despite some setbacks, I ended up running 11 miles in the 10 mile race, but that is another story. This is a beautiful USTAF certified course through the Forest Preserve. They do a multiple wave start so the trails do not get too crowed. We had run this course a few times and never even knew about the infamous Big Bertha(hill). We noticed that there were some inclines, but to us nothing that stood out enough to be called Big Bertha, so we always wondered where  exactly it(she) was. Well at least now I know, at the second water station the volunteers were saying "you made it, you conquered Big Bertha" so this year I will attack her with a vengeance! We are used to running the trails at Country Lane and Swallow Cliffs so Big Bertha didn't seem that big at all, now I think we will have to start naming all of the hills on the trails that we run!

They run a great event, it is well organized and has nice post race festivities, and I hear you get a chance to meet the best race directors in person(at least that is what the race director told me ) : )

To join in the fun, click to sign up => Waterfall Glen(Argonne) Xtreme 10

Monday, April 16, 2012


The Carmel Half Marathon in Carmel, Indiana will be my 4th half marathon in my 2012run12 campaign to Run4NF and raise awareness and money for Neurofibromatosis (NF).  I’m really looking forward to the Carmel Half Marathon race for many reasons. 

The Carmel Half Marathon could be the race for me to set a new PR (Personal Record) and with Mother Nature working hard in favor of the runners, it just might happen.  As of today, it looks like the temperature will be about 48 degrees at the start of the race, and in my opinion that’s just about perfect.  Carmel, Indiana is one of the fastest growing cities in Indiana and in 2010 it was voted #14 in Money magazine’s “Best Places to Live”.  The half marathon course boost picturesque views the country, park trails and neighborhoods.  When you put that all together, you have the reasons why I am looking forward to a great race and being a part of the community on race day.

When we were mapping out our plans for 2012run12, there were almost 40 half marathons to choose from throughout the state of Indiana.  It was the community of Carmel, Indiana that seemed very appealing and was the reason we chose the Carmel Half Marathon.  I am also looking forward to seeing how Carmel has made use of roundabouts instead of stop lights.  Now, I may have a different opinion after experiencing them, but by replacing 78 stoplights with roundabouts certainly has got to save a lot of energy, and for that, Carmel should be applauded.

So far, each of my 2012run12 half marathons has been memorable and when I cross that finish line at the Carmel Half Marathon and I am given my medal, it will be a reminder of just how fortunate I am just to be able to Run4NFNeurofibromatosis is a genetic disorder that affects 1 in 2500 births.  Neurofibromatosis does not have a big name spokesperson or a big budget.  Its goal is to support families with Neurofibromatosis, create awareness, improve treatments and promote research.

I became aware of Neurofibromatosis, because John, a former student of mine has the disorder.  John’s success and determination in facing every day challenges is what has inspired me to choose to Run4NF.

Every donation big or small will make a difference.  If you are interested in supporting my campaign to Run4NF to raise awareness and money for Neurofibromatosis, please visit my donation page.

Country Lane Yellow Trail

Nice weather for a run on the Yellow trail, since we had lots of rain the trails  were muddy, making the trail more challenging that normal. As you approach a muddy or flooded section you have to decide, do I go left, right, through it or ask yourself do I feel lucky and try to jump over it. Overall a fun trail run, too bad I didn't hit the start button on my Garmin. So I don't know the exact time or pace, but I do know that I ran the full 11mi without stopping so the important thing is that I did the mileage. Muddy trails, Just RUN!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Bunny Rock 5K Medal

Just received my second place medal for the Bunny Rock 5K. Very cool medal! I finally found one thing that is good about being older, it is easier to place in races : )  You just have to out last and out live the competition... This was not a PR for me but I will take it! Thanks to ASM for mailing out the medal!


Last year, prior to beginning my 18 week marathon training, I decided to research the benefits of a personal trainer before a marathon. My first half marathon was the Oak Brook Half Marathon in September 2010. But I knew that running 26.2 miles, was going to require a lot more training.

I’ve been running for over twenty years and I had never done any weight training. After researching the benefits of a personal trainer before a marathon, it seemed clear that weight training for your core, and upper an lower body would have great benefits for longer distance running and would improve my Marathon Training.

I did not want to hire just any personal trainer. I wanted to seek the advice from someone who had run a marathon and could offer me the best advice and a training program with the most benefits for my running. I wanted to be fully prepared for the marathon and was doing all the recommended steps for a safe race. I had a membership for the fitness center at our Park District and I knew they had personal trainers. I set up an appointment with Pam for a session. Prior to our session, Pam and I talked and we determined the areas that I needed to focus on through weight training and cross training. When I arrived for my session, Pam had structured a program to fit my goals. She provided me with notes and diagrams on how to do the exercises. By the end of the session it was obvious the benefits of a personal trainer before a marathon. Nothing compares to learning the proper ways of exercise than have someone show you how it’s done. We kept in contact throughout my marathon training and even after the marathon. She was always willing to answer my questions about the training.

My marathon training included a schedule of weight training, cross training and running. As the running portion of the marathon training took on longer distance running, I could feel the effects of the weight training and cross training and it did improve my running and endurance.

I am planning on working with a personal trainer to fine tune my weight training routine as a prepare for my second marathon this October.

I can attest to the benefits of a personal trainer before a marathon. Be sure to find someone who can help you determine the areas of focus for your weight training and cross training that will offer benefits to improve your running.

Turtlehead Lake, Palos Heights

Saturday morning run with Angelica, Maria, Shawn and Andy at Turtlehead Lake. Luckily we avoided the rain. Nice cool day for a run!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Country Lane Yellow Trail

Nice sunny afternoon run on the Yellow Trail. The trails are finally in great condition, no mud to slop around in, and the fresh smell of the spring growth. I sure do love the trails. Just RUN!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Today, I ran the Turtlehead Lake 10.5 mile loop in my new ASICS GEL-Kayano 18 that I purchased from Mel at Running for Kicks in Palos Heights. Partly sunny and cool, great conditions for a run. I thought it was a good idea to write an ASICS GEL-Kayano 18 review.

In my ASICS GEL-Kayano 18 review I should mention this is my first pair of ASICS. The shoes are comfortable, smooth, and light. The shoes seem to provide control for my pronation as well as excellent cushioning. For me the most noticeable difference over the New Balance 856 that I have been running in for years is the ASICS seem to have better shock absorption which is a major factor as I prepare for my Chicago Marathon training, which begins in June. The shoes better shock absorption will be a great benefit for the Chicago Marathon as my feet pound the pavement on the streets of Chicago.

The Turtlehead Lake trail is asphalt which provided a good trial run for the shoe. I was conscious of the new shoes for the first three miles or so and noticed the ample cushioning, but after that it was like I didn't even know I had them on, happy feet for the entire Turtle Lake 10.5 mile loop. I will use the ASICS GEL-Kayano 18 for a few more trial runs on hard surfaces. Then as begin my Chicago Marathon training I will use them exclusively for the marathon training long runs on the Chicago lakefront, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon and 9 half marathons through the months of April through December from opposite corners of the US from Alaska to Florida. I will be running a total of 12 half marathons, in 12 states in 2012. I am hoping with to raise awareness for Neurofibromatosis Midwest.

In my ASICS GEL-Kayano 18 review, the shoe has many features that include an external Heel Clutching System and stretch mesh upper for greater comfort, in addition to the Dynamic DuoMax Support System and lightweight AHAR outsole which provides a lightweight shoe, and stablility control.

I hope you found my ASICS GEL-Kayano 18 review helpful. Special thanks to Mel from Running for Kicks in his diligence in fitting me with a pair of ASICS GEL-Kayano 18. If you need a new pair of running shoes and not sure how to pick just the right pair of shoes from the hundreds of running shoes available, I strongly recommend going to Running for Kicks. Ask for Mel or any of the other knowledgeable runners that work at Running for Kicks. At Running for Kicks they are the running shoe experts!

Find a great pair of shoes and Just RUN!

Sunday, April 8, 2012


For twenty years, I have been running with New Balance Shoes. Every time I would find a new model, I would just keep buying it until it was discontinued. I was getting close to my miles and I needed a new pair of shoes and again my current model was discontinued. I wanted to make sure I had a new pair before I begin my marathon training, so we decided to head over to Running for Kicks in Palos Heights, Illinois. Running for Kicks is one of the sponsors for the First Midwest Southwest Half Marathon on May 6, 2012.

When we walked into Running for Kicks we were greeted by all the staff. We walked over to the men’s shoes and found Mel Diab, the owner standing there as if he was waiting for us. We began talking about shoes, running, and marathon training. First Mel had me take off my shoes. He asked me to walk a few feet so he could observe the pattern of my feet. His expertise was obvious. He said I was an overpronater and my ankles rolled inward. He then examined my shoes to confirm his observation. Then he measured both of my feet. Within moments he had three pair of shoes by different manufacturers in front of me.

The first pair was Brooks. He helped me put them on and we went outside for a test run. Then it was back inside to try the next pair, which was New Balance. Out the door I went again for another run. Then back in for the third pair which was Asics. If I had known I was going to do this much running, I would have wore my Garmin! After running with the Asics, Mel let me try two different shoes at once. I ended up determining that the ASICS GEL-Kayano 18 seemed the most comfortable.

Mel and I talked about the various marathons he has run and I told him I used Hal Higdon’s marathon training. Running for Kicks also has group runs on Monday evenings and as the Chicago Marathon gets closer they will have marathon training runs.

Running for Kicks exceeded my expectations and I look forward to being a long time customer. Thank you Mel and the staff at Running for Kicks!

Running for Kicks is located at 7158 W. 127th Street (corner of Harlem and 127th) Palos Heights, IL 60463. Visit their website

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Bunny Rock 5K

My Saturday before Easter started at 5:00AM to get ready for the ASM(Adrenaline Sports Management) second annual Bunny Rock 5K along the Chicago Lakefront. My wife and I picked up Andy and we arrived at Montrose Harbor just before 7:00AM to pickup our running packets along with our bunny ears and sun glasses. The Bunny Rock 5K is one of many fun races that ASM runs through out the year. The race is a  CARA CERTIFIED RACE.

Great sunny morning along the lakefront for the Bunny Rock 5K.

Andy and I rockin with Melissa and Carly from Rewind 100.3fm

Warm up run, testing out our ears!

Hanging with The Bunny!

No PR, but I finished 2nd in my age group!   75th out of 1566 and Andy finished 8th in his age group 104th out of 1566.

ASM puts on a great running event, the Bunny Rock 5K was a well run event with music and aid stations at each mile. It was great to run along the lake front again. I am looking forward to my long runs on the Lakefront trail when I start my 18 week marathon training in June. Just RUN!


Sat, Apr 7, 2012 10:57 AM Central

Swallow Cliffs 8mi Loop

After returning home, I laced up my trail running shoes and hit the Swallow Cliffs Trails for the 8mi  loop with the monster hill. What a contrast, from the smooth flat Lakefront trail to the hilly wooded trails! Both equally enjoyable and challenging. Just RUN!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Country Lane Yellow Trail

Solid run on the Yellow Trail this afternoon. Perfect running weather, 60° and sunny. What a transformation for the trails from a month ago, spring is here, everything is blooming, luscious green trails! The battery on my Garmin died at 5.7mi. I was able to calculate my time based on the starting time from the Garmin and the finishing time from my cell. This is my last run until the Bunny Rock 5k at Montrose Harbor in Chicago. I am looking forward to the bunny ears, sunglasses, and a custom Bunny Rock dri-fit t-shirt!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Country Lane Yellow Trail

Nice run on the Yellow trail. I felt sluggish but my time was consistent with last weeks run on the same trail. I have been trying not to look at my Garmin during the run in an attempt to try to get a natural feel for my pace but based on today's run I don't have a clue.