Monday, February 21, 2011

Race Recap: Run Toto Run

Scott Lee and Chris Thomas ran the 10 mile trail run at Wyandotte County Lake known as “Run Toto Run”.  We ran the “easy” race, as they offered a 10, 20, and 30 mile trek.  This was our first trail run as TRR and while enjoyable, it was very demanding.
Scott and Russ
I had read on line that trail running can be like running double for road runners like us. I could not believe that a 10 mile run would really feel like 20 miles.  I quickly changed my mind on mile 7 when I started to cry, by mile 8 Scott’s legs were locking up and the last two miles we ran like zombies.  We were mumbling, bouncing off trees, each other, while knocking down other runners.  It was awesome.
The race day started out around 7:00 am leaving Overland Park to get out to “the Dot” for our 9 am start.  Jaime Davis-Thomas was an awesome co pilot, she volunteered at the race and took video/photos for TRR.  With 6-8 inches of packed snow on the ground and 25 degrees when we left the house it was definitely a different element than we had ran a race in prior to this. 
The race had a good crowd, 500-600 runners; we got to chat with Ben Sigle.  Ben runs the Manhattan Running Company, and if you don’t shop there you should!  MRC is very helpful and knowledgeable.  We are lucky to have them as part of the KS running community.  Oh yeah, Ben got 4th place, he is fast.
All in all, the race was a great learning experience.  We realized how tough it was to pass people, hopping through snow.  We fell down.  We fell up. We cussed hills.
I am pretty sure there is more trail running in our future. Lastly, shout out to Ben, Sophia, and the Trail Nerds for putting on a great race. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Official TRR Playlist #1

I finally figured out how to make a playlist in iTunes!! So I think for my inaugural list, I'm gonna put together a TRR running track. But I want your help. Play along and submit your TOP 5 FAVORITE running songs. I'll try to make the list about an hour long (10 miles for me! HA!).


Monday, February 14, 2011

A New Adventure Begins

A few members of TRR (Russ & Jaime) are dipping their toes into the shallow end on bikes. Having recently purchased two bikes to gear up for the spring, we've go a lot to learn about the world of cycling.

Feel free to join us for the ride!

Anatomy seems a good place to start

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Groundhog Recap- By Joshua Holloway

January 30, 2011  (Ed note: written by my 8 year old nephew, very proud of him)

TRR Groundhog Team
Today I ran my first 5k with my Uncle Chris and my mom.  I was wearing my new Thunder Road Racing shirt (TRR rocks).  We ran in an underground tunnel, which was like a small city.  It was a Groundhog Race – there was a 5k and a 10k.  My Uncle Chris, Aunt Jaime, and Scott ran the 10k, too.  It was my Aunt Jaime’s first 10k and she did a good job.  On the way to the race I set some goals with my Aunt Jaime helping me…my good goal was to finish the race, my better goal was to finish in 45 minutes, and my best goal was to run the whole race or finish in less than 45 minutes. 

Groundhog 2011

I think it was 65 degrees and it was kind of dark.  We saw a lot of businesses that I recognized like:  Fed Ex, the U.S. Postal Service, and the Hallmark Warehouse.  There were a lot of people – 3,500 people running the races.  It was kinda scary in the beginning when we started the race.  I held my mom and Uncle Chris’s hands until we found some space to run.  We ran 20 minutes before I needed to walk.  We had two water stops in the race.  At mile number two my mom ran to the finish line by herself – leaving me with my Uncle Chris.  Uncle Chris and I dumped water on our heads at the second water table.  It was one of my favorite parts of the race.  Uncle Chris told me, “We will finish this race together!”  We started to run and then the finish line came quick.  At the end we ran our fastest to cross the finish line…it felt good to cross the line and hear them say my name over the speaker.  My dad, mom, crazy sister, Sophia, and Uncle Chris all hugged me.  Then Scott, Suzy, Rachel, and Aunt Jaime all said, “Congrats!”   I did finish the race in 45 minutes.  It was a fun experience! 

Steph Holloway, Chris Thomas, Joshua Holloway
I was tired after the race.  I fell asleep on our way home from KC.  I need to train more before I do another 5k, but I am going to do a mile fun run with my mom and sister in Emporia in March.  It’s a benefit for Girl Scouts – “Thin Mint Sprint”!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

That Was Then, This is Now

As always, I would be remiss if I didn’t send a big THANK YOU to all the people who read the blog, email, Facebook, or face to face share comments on how happy you are, how proud, how inspired by the lifestyle changes I have made. It truly is humbling to realize the cheering section out there!
Chris Thomas-2002
I wanted to share my experiences from this week.  As many of you know I have been in software sales for 10+ years. This week was the 2011 kick off meeting in San Francisco. It was a tremendous experience and a reenergizing event…but let me provide some context.
These events while enjoyable for the camaraderie and spirit can be a wreck to your health, especially if you live like this guy --->
Remember, my 400 lbs was attained by a lack of self control and bad habits around food, drink, and sleep.  Now picture me at these events…Vegas, Orlando, New Orleans, San Fran, food of all kinds on buffets at all times, a bar (very often an open bar), any guess what happened?  You got it, I went after it like it was the last time I would see food and drink in my life.
I shared with a friend this week…a guesstimate for an event for the “old Chris”
  • Breakfast Buffet-Croissants, eggs, bacon, more bacon- 1200 calories
  • 10 am break- Cookie (or 8) and soda pop- 300 calories
  • Lunch Buffet- Everything X2- 1800 calories
  • 2 pm break- ICE CREAM!!!!- 400 calories
  • Happy Hour- 2-3 beers and 6 dirty jokes-400 calories
  • Sit Down Dinner with Dessert (duh)- 2000 calories
  • Close Bar- 11 drinks, 4 rude comments and a partridge in a pear tree- 1100 calories
  • 2 am Room Service- Wings- 800 calories
  • No physical activity- the only thing I could say no to!

By my math that is a day of roughly 8000 calories, enough for a small village.  I am still not sure why I used to feel so bad at these meetings J
Fast forward to this week with the “new Chris”…connecting with friends via email to line out running not drinking, packing running shoes and running maps, a plan for food and drink.  Can I share my Monday?
  • 4:30 am- 6 mile run with Shana- a nice young lady from the Omaha area, she was in town for a work event as well and she didn’t look comfortable running by the homeless people by herself at 4 am so I invited her to run with me, I guess I was a safer option that the homeless J  She is a career woman, a triathlete, and a great mom (daughter is a swimmer and she does the swim leg with her mom during the tri’s in support)…super good run.
  • 7:00 am- Clear head, eggs and coffee for breakfast- 500 calories
  • 10 am- snack- banana and bran muffin- 400 calories
  • Lunch- Chicken and salad (skipped potatoes and desert)- 600 calories
  • 2 pm-Break- Kind Bar- 200 Calories
  • 5 pm-Protein shake- 200 Calories
  • 7 pm-Share my story on 5K Company run with CEO and 2010 Hawaiian World Champion Ironman Chris McCormack
  • 8 pm Dinner- Salad and Seafood- 1000 calories
  • 9 pm- 2 sips of wine and in bed by 10:30 pm

I ate less than 3000 calories (not optimal as my daily goal is 2300, but I will take it). I ran 9 miles out in the great weather, a PR for the 5K (26.50 min).  Oh and did I mention I ran with a World Champion Ironman?
Our key note speaker on Monday was Chris McCormack, he shared a truly inspirational story about leaving his finance career in his 20’s to go train to be a professional triathlete.  He struggled with his body breaking down, lost his mother to breast cancer, but continued to push and persevere to become the only person to do 4 sub 8 hour ironman’s (2 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and 26 mile run). Look for him on a Wheaties box this Spring.

Chris and Chris- Taleo 5K
Our company in a great effort to promote a healthy lifestyle sponsored a 5K run, Chris asked to join us and he came down to the race.  As we are running our 1 mile warm up to the start line I am next to Chris, he tells me the Nike Free’s I have on will revolutionize running…I told him to stay out of my head…I was out to win (kidding). I shared with Chris that I picked up running 7 months ago, ran 2 half marathons, started a running club and lost 50 lbs in 2010 to bring my total weight loss to 180 lbs in 8 years.  He was very supportive, our CEO was running in front of us and heard me mention my story, thought it was great and I then held Q&A with our CEO and the current Ironman World Champion about my lifestyle changes.  Can’t believe I just typed that...what a surreal moment.  I will remember it forever; up until the moment Chris pushed me up against light pole so he could pass me (kidding again).
In all seriousness, a really special day/trip, connecting with a GREAT support network I have that are more friends than co workers, sharing with Mike, sharing with Chris…having control of my life, happy and healthy, not a bad way to start the 2011 work year.  Will see many of you at the meeting next year, I WILL be at my goal weight of 200 lbs, down a total of 205 lbs…half the man I used to be!
My best-
Chris “I ran with the World Champ” Thomas

Friday, January 21, 2011

Four Steps to Sustainable Peak Performance – Do More and Feel Better with Scott Peltin

An article so good, we stole it:

Four Steps to Sustainable Peak Performance – Do More and Feel Better with Scott Peltin

You can't build authentic, consistent relationships when you feel like $#%$. I know this well, which is why I eat right (veggies and meat) and make sure exercise is a part of my schedule almost every single day.

Scott Peltin, author of Sink, Float, or Swim, teaches companies and their employees how to think differently and take better care of themselves. Typically he finds that only 5 percent of any given company are sustainable high-performers who know how to maintain their peak over time.

Recently Scott lead an Relationahip Masters Academy masterclass around creating new habits in four key areas – mindsets, nutrition, recovery, and movement – so that brain and body can stay at their maximum capacity.

Peltin points out that you make 1000 choices a day and each of them either increases or decreases your brain’s performance. Many of us make bad choices out of habit; Peltin’s goal is to shake that up. Here are four ideas you can put into practice immediately.

1. Mindset: You have over 60,000 thoughts a day. Reframe thoughts that drag you down. Instead of thinking “I’m overwhelmed, “ think “I am present.”

2. Nutrition: FORTY PERCENT of how you feel right now is due to your last meal. Did you eat a meal that set you up for success? Make sure that every meal you eat fuels you properly for your activities of the next three to four hours.

3. Recovery: Take breaks! Plan small downtimes during the day. The brain can only work for about 90 minutes without needing a break. Plan your schedule in 90 minute blocks, and take a break at the end of every increment.

4. Movement: Add more movement to your schedule. It doesn’t need to be hard-core exercise, just anything that increases your body’s range of motion. For help, download 10 simple “daily prep” movements, all tied to breathing exercises, at

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Choosing a Shoe

Out of all fitness attire and equipment properly fitting shoes is the very most important thing for an athlete (that's you!) to choose correctly. There has been a lot of advancement in the last few years in shoes. There are many aspects that you should realize when selecting which shoe to buy, but one major aspect is what type of activity are you going to do with the shoe. Many types of athletic shoes are better than your average sneaker, but athletic shoes have their own categories.

Walking shoes are manufactured in such a way that supports your foot more stiffly. Of course it can be worn for most other activities but walking shoes have a lot more cushion on the inner soles. Walking shoes are meant to be supportive while walking.

Many people ask what the difference is between running shoes and walking shoes. Running shoes have become quite the different shoe. They come in different widths and have different types of soles to help the runner out. Many running shoes have springs, air bags, and gels in them. Running shoes can vary from weight and the lightness of the material used. One of the huge differences you will see in running shoes will be the price range, which many of them can go into the hundreds.

There are many types of specialty shoes these days and the most popular today is the Shape-up type of shoe. These types of shoes create a definite curvature at the bottom of the shoe which allows the stress of each step to work out the hamstrings and calf region of the person's legs. Many people see this as a plus so they wear them in their daily activities which can give them a good work out.

Cross training shoes are a cross between running shoes and a good durable walking shoe. One of the biggest differences in these types of shoes is how it maintains its rigid structure. It will be useful when weightlifting, running, and general fitness. Most people often choose these types of shoes due to the fact they offer great comfort and are not as pricey as the top of the line running shoe.

The bottom line is that you should find a store that hires people who use the types of shoes they sell. For example, a Kansas City favorite Garry Gribbles' Running Sports (now in Lawrence and Topeka!) only hires runners. Although we don't endorse one store over another...we do try to keep it local. Members of TRR have had great experiences with the staff at Gribbles'. They evaluate your stride, let you take them for a test-run, and don't try to sell you the most expensive shoe on the rack! Best of all, they are always willing to share advice about running. 

PS - TRR is a registered team with Gribbles, so we're eligible for a discount day... coming in the Spring!