2017 Ohio Michigan 8k

It’s done. I registered us for the Ohio Michigan 8k.
This will be the longest race that Chad has ever run and my fourth or fifth time running this race.

It is always hot and humid and while I want to hate it, I love this race SO much. Since I started running six+ years ago I have always made a point to fit this race in my calendar. While the scenery is typical Ohio Michigan farmland-type action, the after party is what makes the evening truly fun.

I couldn’t run the race last year due to only being 2 months post-op, but I’m back this year and ready to PR. I haven’t run this race since I started my new heart medication in December of 2016 and started running around two minutes per mile faster, so I have no clue what I’ll be able to accomplish. Of course, I have a goal finish time in mind and I’m going to do everything I can to hit it.

Do you have certain races you love to run every year?

The Power of the Schwartz – Knee Surgery #6 Status Report

One year ago today was knee surgery #6 (all on the same knee). It is always a struggle to get back to pre-surgery shape with that leg and this post-op experience was no different. The biggest pain in the ass is strengthening my quad since I lost 3″ in it right after the surgery. It happens within the first 24-28 hours and it is a huge obstacle to overcome every time. Please google quad atrophy after knee surgery and read up on why this happens so drastically and quickly. There are a lot of big words that explain it and ain’t nobody got time for that in a post.

Here is a bad ass picture of the issue with my knee last year. I thought it was my tibia chipping off in that area, but it was only a meniscus tear.


This is where it gets fun
. My femur had tiny cracks in it when I first injured it at 15 years old and it was smoothed out and essentially as good as new. Then it started to chip during marathon #1 in 2012 and it was smoothed out again. It needed to be smoothed out yet again one year ago today. It is normal wear and tear for a knee like mine and will essentially continue to be normal for me.
I think these pictures are amazing and I love to see the issues that are fixed. Maybe it comes from a family with a strong medical background? Maybe it comes from a fascination with the inside of my knee? Who knows.

One year later I am still running and lifting. I am building my quad muscle and have gained around 1.5″ back, which isn’t too shabby I thnk. I have work to do, but I always will.

I will continue to need maintenance surgeries over the years to come, eventually leading to a total/partial knee. I am putting that off as long as possible of course.

A Big Thank You

I am still decompressing from the Mercy Health Glass City Marathon weekend.
This race always holds a special place in my heart as it was my first half marathon and my first full marathon.

In 2014 I was lucky enough to join the marathon race committee to oversee a team of race Ambassadors. My eight Ambassadors for 2017 were fantastic and I am proud of each of them for running such fantastic races, some even had a great PR!

I’m already looking forward to the 2018 race and the exciting things that the Mercy Health Glass City Marathon race committee has in the works.
Did you know that 2018 is the 10th anniversary of the Owens Corning Half Marathon? Keep an eye out for some exciting information about the celebration of this anniversary!

What did you enjoy most about the race this year?

Mercy Health Glass City Marathon Restaurant Discounts

What is one of the most important things to a runner? Aside from shoes, clothing, and hoping for some great weather, FOOD!
When it comes to racing, a runner needs to be sure to fuel properly pre and post race. What you eat can make or break a race sometimes.

Runners of each of the Mercy Health Glass City Marathon races will receive a 20% discount at the restaurants listed below on Saturday, April 22 and Sunday, April 23! Just make sure to wear your 2017 race shirt or your 2017 race medal for the discount.

I have been to each of these restaurants, and while I most definitely have a favorite (or two), they are all a fantastic place to carb up to run an epic race.

Spaghetti Warehouse
Manhattan’s
Bravo! Cucina Italiana
Blarney Irish Pub
Mancy’s Italian

What is your favorite pre and post race meal?

Six Weeks Until Race Day

First of all, if you haven’t registered for your race at the Mercy Health Glass City Marathon, hop to it! The fields are filling up fast and there is no guarantee how much longer there will be room. Register before March 31 and you will be guaranteed your shirt size, a personalized BIB number, corral placement and you’ll beat the next price increase!
My training for the Owens Corning Half Marathon is still at a stand still, and has been for months now. I am starting to think I might have to drop down to the Medical Mutual Glass City 5k. My schedule may be changing in the near future and I’m not sure how many Saturday races I’ll be able to take part in. Adulting: the struggle is real. I have six weeks to train for the half and I know that I could get it done, BUT, I’ll be off of running for one week due to a surgery. And unfortunately, there is no running at all during the initial recovery.

Have your registered?
How has your training been going?

Volunteer Your Time at the Mercy Health Glass City Marathon

It is a little known fact that without volunteers, the Mercy Health Glass City Marathon wouldn’t happen. The expo wouldn’t be set up, packets wouldn’t be stuffed, the kid’s marathon would be mayhem, there wouldn’t be any race signage, the relay checkpoints would end up with errors, and the races themselves wouldn’t have extra help in directing them on the race course.

Volunteers make the race what it is. It takes over 1,000 people giving their time to orchestrate and support the events on race weekend. There are a few new ways to volunteer where runners and non-runners can help make the 41st year of the race, one of the best yet, especially those who are making Toledo their first race.

Saturday

This is a great opportunity for those of you who are running one of the races to help give back to your favorite race! Wouldn’t you love to help us in setting up signage for the races? Saturday calls for a lot of work in Lot 10 (where the after party takes place), inside the Glass Bowl (the finish line), and some of the signage for the start line.

Sunday

If you are an experienced runner who isn’t running a race this year, but still wants to take part in the race day atmosphere, we would love your help at the start line with corral assignments. Making sure runners start in their correct corral makes the start of the races less stop-and-go.

If you aren’t a runner and have always wanted to know what running a race is like, one area where we can always use more help is out on the race course as a course marshal. Course marshal’s have a dual job in my opinion; make sure the runners are following the correct race route and cheering on every runner as they pass, letting them know that they have fans, even if they’ve never met! This is also a great area for our experienced runners to volunteer for. Again, we can never have too many course marshals to ensure the safety of our running family.

We do have other volunteer opportunities available, but these are our newest areas that need help this year. Most volunteer jobs require four hours or less of your time and you also receive a Mercy Health Glass City Marathon volunteer shirt! When you give your four hours or less, it makes a direct impact on the race itself. Every volunteer counts regarding the success of the race.

If you don’t want to volunteer alone, sign up a friend or family member and share the fun and energy of race weekend!

Can’t wait to see our volunteers on April 22 and 23!

Sometimes Things are Both Physically & Mentally Painful

I tend to eat better and exercise more often/with more intensity when I have an end goal. Sure, being healthy is a great end goal but blah blah blah. I need a ‘tangible’ end goal. When I trained for my bodybuilding competition in 2014, I had an end goal, one that put me up in front of a lot of people in a tiny competition suit. That was all the motivation I needed. I don’t have an end goal right now and my mind doesn’t kick into beast mode without one. I am running the Mercy Health Glass City Marathon in just over two months, but I am confident that I’ll be fine for the race. I am struggling with my weight and with the injuries that are taking their toll on my body. I need an end goal. I need motivation. Most of all, I need my body to cooperate with me.

In 2016 I battled a sixth knee surgery and with my heart condition. I slowly made a return to running over the fall and as of November I felt ready to take on a full running program to train for a half. Then it happened. I was sleeping and woke up with back spasms from the disc I slipped in early 2014. The best part is how I initially slipped the disc…by losing 40 pounds. Yeah, losing weight hurt my back. The short story, my back was used to being ‘hugged’ by my excess weight and when I lost it, my spine wasn’t ready for it.


Three weeks later and I’m still sidelined with this back injury. I ran twice and both times I could feel my disc, but didn’t feel pain from it. I lifted once with light weights and it strained my back as well. I am relatively in shape (but overweight for my height and body type) and I try to take care of myself, but I can’t get around the injuries that are never going away. My knee will always have issues. My heart will always have issues. My back is stupid and will have issues (unless I have surgery). I am not comfortable in my body when I look like this or feel like this. Changes are on the horizon.

I feel like I’m being cheated out of the fun parts of my spare time. Instead of run with my running family or spend time at the gym, I couch. My couch and I are pretty good friends now, but I need this friendship to take a break. I am antsy and I am feeling angry about these constant setbacks. Mentally, I am defeated and I won’t feel much better until I can run and lift again. I feel broken and none of this is fair. But, life isn’t fair so I can’t complain much.


Yes, I can get through this.
Yes, I can overcome anything.
Yes, I am strong-willed.
Yes, I know this will all pass and I’ll be even stronger after it ends.
Even though I stumble, I will not fall, but these damn setbacks are KILLING me.