Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas from the Keebler clan, and we hope that you all have a blessed and happy 2013!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Funny Conversations

The other day as I was walking Anna into school we had the funniest conversation that really kept ringing in my ears for the rest of the day.

Dad, you talk funny like PawPaw used to talk funny. You know he made me laugh, because he was a funny man. I miss him.

Yea he was funny, and I miss him to. He got called home so Jesus and him could have some laughs.

Your the funny man now Dad. Love you.

Love you to Anna.

My passion is helping others find the motivation to want to be healthier, but like everyone else that passion has to be shared with a million other things. Since a lot of times a passion doesn't pay the bills, and what time or energy left over isn't much. After looking back over my life up to this point I know that too many things have happened to me for me not to be here to help others, but even as optimistic as I can be I get tired.

I wonder if I am really helping anyone?

Then I have this simple conversation with Anna, and it reminds me that the core of who I am is to try to be the best husband and dad I can be for my family. I know that I am blessed with bad genetics, and if I don't do the things I do my chances to see my girls grow up has a strong possibility to be very limited. My time with my family will always be less than I want it to be, but doing what I do I know I am at least giving myself a chance.

Life is going to be rough, tiresome, unknown, and even tragic. It is also going to be happy, funny, wonderfully unknown, and blissful. I want to have the years to see all of these things. If along that way a few words on a blog can help others to look at their years differently, and they find a reason to be healthier while they can then so be it. We never know how much we impact others with our words, but we need to always remember that words are a powerful gift that can easily hurt or harm others. I just want to try my best to do as little harm as possible, and cause a few more folks to smile.

Anna thanks for reminding me to be the funny man!


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Since the last race of the season for me I have stepped back and taken some time to recharge. It has been nice to not think about my workout schedule, and to factor in some family time. I do my best to not let training affect our family much, but we are both wanting to be healthy and fit. To do that, other things have to give. So other hobbies and hanging out with friends usually gets dropped first. Here are some of the things that has happened over the last few weeks:

1. A few workouts
2.  Played guitar some
3. Ate a lot of food
4. Caught up on depleting my beer collection
5. Started using myfitnesspal.com to track what I eat - Translation: I eat a lot of crap and drink a lot of beer
6. Went out with friends which turned out staying up to late - Translation: drank too much
7. Friday night hurt turned into Saturday night stomach virus
8. Two days later finally over that nonsense
9. Two days sick meant I caught up on all of the DVR crap that we never end up watching
10. Found out we as a family love Duck Dynasty (maybe a triathlete can still retain some redneck capabilities :)
11. Took my nephews out shooting guns, cue the redneck side of me.

Now Susan and I are going to head out on our yearly long run through Snyder, and then our second Thanksgiving meal this evening. We wish all of you the best Thanksgiving, and if you can't think of at least one thing to be thankful for remember to be thankful for your health!

                                                           Sam and Trey (The Nephews)


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Hap Happiest Runner

Considering that my last post went on forever and a day I forgot about one of the funniest things that popped into my head to motivate me during the race. To understand this you need to know that when I race no matter what I always try to encourage others, or at the very least put some good vibes out on the course by saying "hi" to everyone just to keep myself going. Well on that last loop at the point I was hurting the most I remembered something that my Mom said about my last race in Snyder. Her friend told her that when she saw me finish the race that I was the happiest runner she had ever seen. I couldn't ask for a better compliment! During that 3rd loop I was nowhere near the happiest runner on the course. Then Chevy Chase's rant from Christmas Vacation got into my head. Granted I know I am a little off, but long distance running took me to a new level of off. Well just watch it below, and I think that you will understand why it was perfect for someone in pain just trying to fake being hap hap happy :)

**WARNING** Don't watch with your kids!

I might have felt like I was near the threshold of hell, but at least I was going to be happy while on the journey.


                                                                 Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Palo Duro Canyon 50k Trail Run Race Report

It has taken me a little longer than normal to write this race report.  I  really needed a few days to soak in the reality of running a 50k. I am really not sure if this reality has even set in. I guess the best place to start is at packet pickup. It was at the West Texas A&M campus in Canyon, and after finally finding the email on my cell we figured out where to go. Walking up I was pretty sure we were in the right place since I had more fat in my right butt cheek than the entire crowd had in their whole bodies. To say we could tell the difference in this race than others would be an understatement. Most of the races we go to are with super anal type "A" folks. I am sure there was plenty of it there, but it was expertly hidden by a very laid back vibe. Since we were going to meet our friends Donna and Matt for dinner at Macaroni Joe's we decided to skip the dinner and head out to the park to take a drive through the area after getting my packet.

Susan and I thought that we had been to Palo Canyon State Park before, but as soon as we pulled in we knew we hadn't. In all honesty my parents had taken me to see the show,Texas, but it was so long ago I didn't remember what the park looked like. As soon as you pull through the gates the canyons offer up some of the most beautiful views I have ever seen. This is also when I realized I had left my camera in Lubbock, and so all of our pics are courtesy of our good old phones.

We drove all of the way down to the race site to make sure we had an idea of where we would be going in the morning. As we pulled up we ran into an official looking guy named Rodney on his mountain bike.  He answered a lot of questions for us, and gave us comfort for the next day. Then Susan noticed his jersey and asked him if he had known Judy Austin.  Immediately the super powers of Judy was there to connect us with someone new again. Rodney mentioned that when Judy was fighting cancer she had come to official their race, and they all loved her so much that they had her a trailer down at the race site so she could rest during the day. Jurgen can correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that it was her last race that she was able to official. It is still funny how much love Judy put out into the world, and to this day it still peaks it's beautiful head out when someone needs it. I knew then a little bit of Judy would be there to help out the next day.

After our tour we we got back just in time for our reservations with Donna and Matt, and for those of you that visit Amarillo you have got to try out Macaroni Joe's. It was a great atmosphere and it could not have been a better way to relax the night  before the race. Thanks again Donna and Matt for the great evening.  You helped out more than you can imagine.

Back at the hotel we got all of our things ready for the next day so we could leave at 5ish. I made sure that I had my water bottles mixed with just the right amount of calories and threw them in the fridge to be cold for tomorrow (this will be important later).

As keyed up as I have been for this race I was surprised that I slept great, and woke up feeling really refreshed that the day was finally here. In record time we were packed and out the door to get in line for parking for the race. Rodney mentioned that we should be there at least by 5:30am before the gates opened at 6:00 so that we could get a good parking spot.  We were a little later than that as we pulled up to the gates and a line had already formed.

We didn't wait long before the gates opened early at around 5:50am, and everybody dropped into the abysmal dark of the canyon. I describe it that way because it was what I would imagine driving into a black hole would feel like in space. I mean NO light! I was really glad that we had driven in the night before to see where we were going. This was going to be an interesting run start.

After getting parked and grabbing our stuff to walk down a somewhat steep incline it pops into my head that I have left my perfectly caloric measured water bottles in the fridge of our hotel. I commenced into a little bit of freak out (major freak out), and then Susan says, " Ok that's over now. Just adapt and overcome you can't do anything about it." One more kick of the dirt and we formed a plan with what we had in the car. Even though I knew the race had plenty of water stops I like to use what I train with.  So we searched through the car and found a couple of water bottles that I would just have to carry instead of having straps to hold them. Adapt and overcome, crises averted!

Before we started Susan and I started to notice one big difference from the folks I usually race with to this group. No one really gets in a hurry. They are all just laid back and chill with just a few minutes before the race starts. Such a good different for me to be around. Even though I am very open about racing for many reasons other than competition I still can't help but to get caught up in it. It was really cool to feel like I was just going for a run with a bunch of folks I had just met for nothing other than the journey.

Here are a few shots Susan got of the start of the race.

Loop 1 - 6 miles

Before we started they had bag pipes playing and that added another layer of cool weirdness to the beginning. When the horn started us off I tried to stay in the first quarter of people. I knew things were going to get interesting when we got out of the race start lights.  The crappiness of my head lamp I found in my garage was evident. Luckily I was with a group that were wearing head lamps that could signal the International Space Station. Even with some light, the trail was already beating up my ankles, and I hadn't even gotten through the first mile. After about 30-40 minutes the canyon was lighting up, and it was like a curtain slowing being lifted to reveal a painting that kept changing as more light was added. One of the many times during this race I knew I was meant to be there just to see and feel that experience. Susan and I had decided that on the first loop I would only carry a gel, and just get water on at the water stops. So as I am coming into the first water stop I come on a couple of huge bearded dudes from Amarillo. One of them resembled some of the guys off of Duck Dynasty just fitter. We ran and chatted took in the sites and kept things somewhat easy until they peeled off right before the end of the first loop for their camp site. I never saw them the rest of the day, but Susan was pretty sure they were drinking beer before noon. My kind of racers!

Loop 2 - 12.5 miles

I peeled off my gloves and head lamp in exchange for a water bottle and shades and was off again. The trail was still relatively packed since the 20k runners had gone off 30 minutes after us. Funny thing was 2 minutes before they went off Susan was in the bathroom with 2 of the runners and she asked them if they knew there race was about to start. They were like oh I guess we better head over. As I said no really hurry! 

The second lap I was able to see a lot of what I was running in the dark for the first time.  So it was like a whole new trail for me. It was still cold for the first few miles of this lap, and I was starting to regret leaving my gloves behind. Even with being able to see better the trail was pretty technical in parts, but I kept reminding myself to take a look around and take in this awesome place. 

After I passed the first aid station the trail opened up, and we were not only joined by other runners but a ton of hikers.  I did my best to say good morning to everyone I saw to put out good vibes on the trail.   I could hear laughing from the famous, Dos Locos Senoritas aid station, long before I saw it. I really thought that a runner was already flipping out, but after getting to the aid station I knew it was two of the coolest ladies. This station being 6 miles out in the middle of nowhere was an oasis for most of us.

Not long after leaving here I was on another technical section, and this guy in front of me pulled over to let me pass. I looked up at him to see this older guy with cuts and scraps all over him plus a small stream of congealed blood that was plastered down the side of his head. I stopped and asked him if he was ok, and he just smiled and said, "I'm good!" We shook hands and parted ways. That is when it started dawning on me that if you have issues back here you don't quit, because that isn't an option you have to keep moving forward no matter what. 

The run from here was barrenly beautiful with huge rocks formations and openness. I was thinking that as I could feel it heating up this part was going to be fun with no shade on the third loop. Right before the next water station you get back into some trees then descend a cliff that has  large steps cut into the side opening into a picnic area. I never stayed long at each station, but just topped off my water bottle, took some salt tabs, and drank a little coke. To this point I was feeling good, but I felt like I had a little air trapped in my stomach. 

Coming out of the next aid station I was on familiar territory, and was kind of zoned out when Susan comes up the trail and yells, "There you are." I didn't realize how good it was going to be to see Susan, and get to run with her some. 

Coming into the finish area it came to my attention that I was well beyond my know running distance at 18.5 miles. Before coming to PDC I had never ran more than 13.8 miles. I had always heard of people hitting the marathon wall around 16 -17 miles, but here I was feeling great at 18.5. So I sat down changed out my socks, t-shirt, and water bottle. 

Loop 3 - 12.5

I was still feeling good for the start of this third loop, but right off it was very noticeable that this loop was going to be less crowded.  The first few miles were good except I took one slight wrong turn, and stopped to look around when a guy called out to me from the cliff to go back 20 feet. Thankfully for him I didn't get off track long, but I could feel it getting harder to concentrate. Then about mile 22 I hit the wall with full force! It started to get harder to turn my legs over even on flat areas, and even small inclines were mountains. 

During any race I always have a point that I feel my Dad with me, and I swear I felt him with me during the 2nd loop. I even remember thanking him for coming along for a run with me, and I would need him sometime today but just not right then. It was during these 3-4 miles by myself cussing and talking about how bad this sucks that he kept me going forward. Then I made the turn to see the oasis called Dos Locos Senoritas! Those ladies had so much fun attitude that you couldn't help, but absorb some of it. As I was filling my water bottle one of the ladies poured some cold water down my back, and I moaned to have some relief from the heat. Then she said, "I love it that I can make guys moan!" My pops would have gotten a kick out of both of these ladies. 

As I left I was passed by a couple of people that I decided to try and stay with for a while. It was during this time that I remembered that I was about to finish my first marathon. Knowing that was coming was another big push for me. As I was watching "Carmin" my Garmin roll over to 26.2 I stopped pointed up, and did a very Keebler jig. Not long after this I caught up to the lady that I had the conversation with in the last blog. Which I would like to answer her question of who the hell picks a 50k for their first marathon? That would be Keebler!

Getting back into the trees I knew we were getting close the the cliff stairs, and yes they were hell getting down this time. I was still having problems keeping myself going for long stretches running, and I was getting a little delusional. This is probably why I skipped a stop at this aid station thinking I had enough water. Not a bad mistake but I was needing a drink coming into the last aid station. 

Then rounding the corner in despair there was Susan ready to run with me again. As last time it was such a relief and boost to see her. I knew I was going to make it, but now I knew I would do it feeling good. Here are a few pics from this last part of the trail.

Coming into the finish was one of the best feelings that I have ever had at the end of a race. 

This race was everything that I had hoped it would be for the end of my season. I have spent the last week really still trying to believe that I finished my first marathon and a 50k trail run.  I got so much more out of this than I think I could ever give back to this world. It came from the atmosphere of a great race and great volunteers, and for me a renewed spiritual feeling, raised money for a great organization, ADA, and running with my best friend and wife. This is what fighting for your health is all about!


Finish Time 5:52:06
4th in Age Group
17th Overall

Sunday, October 21, 2012

50k done!

I just wanted to send out a quick update and let everyone know I made it through the 50k yesterday. It was an unbelievable experience. My finish time was 5:52, and I will do a full write up once the official results are out. Let me leave you with one funny conversation I had with a fellow runner near the last few miles. Not long after I had hit the 26.2 mark I caught up to this girl, and we started chatting.

Me: Is this your first 50k?

Her: Yep. You?

Me: Me to. As a matter of fact I just had to do a little celebration when I finished my first marathon back there.

Her: Congrats!

(a few minutes pass)

Her: Who the hell does a 50k for there first marathon!?

Talk to you soon,


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Nearing the end

I guess it must be the end of the season, but this taper week is effecting me way more than usual. I think some of it is race stress and life stress, but some of it is trying to stay chill and not workout. I used to look forward to some time taking it easier, but somewhere along the way my body got used to being pushed a little farther every week. So backing off of that means that I start to feel like crap.

Then there is the fact that 3 days before the race I am thinking of everything that can go wrong. Best example is that I walked into a room today and this guy was obviously under the weather, and I had to force myself not to bolt from the room before I instantly fell over sick.

I am trying to get more rest, but I have had issues sleeping the last few nights. I am sure that it is me worrying about this race, but the good thing about me is that I have a break point where my mind finally says,"oh well, what the hell ever. It is what it is" I am getting close to that point, and it is transitioning to excitement in running my first, and maybe only, ultra marathon.

Well this is a short post, and I will try to get another one in before the race. If not I hope to see you guys on the flip side!


P.S. I was just finishing this when I looked at my American Diabetes Donation page, and was completely humbled to find out that we had reached our goal, and had gone over. I will do my best to honor your support of the American Diabetes Association by running the best that I can, or at least I will try and not embarrass any of you :)

I sincerely think all of you for your support in so many different ways!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

7 Days and Counting Before my First 50K

I have been in this position a few times where you are getting near the end of a season, but you still have one more race you want to put down in the books. Another thing about where I am right now is that I am right at the edge between breaking down and peaking. I have 7 days left, and I am feeling the last few weeks of training. Actually, I am starting to feel the whole seasons worth of training. It made me think a lot of where I was last year.

 Every year that I have spent training for endurance races I have learned a little more about what my body and mind can and can't take. Doing these kind of races you want to build up to the edge of what you can take and still stay healthy. Last October I had gone over the edge and was trying to convince myself that I could race, Austin 70.3, tired and sick. After that race I felt bad physically, mentally, and spiritually. Susan was really the only one that knew how much I was doubting whether or not I would ever be fit enough to race the 70.3 distance and if I was just wasting my time. It was one of those times where I was thinking that it would be nice to not have to schedule workouts all the time, and go back to my chicken wings and beer diet. Just go to work, come home, hang with family, have a beer, and eat whatever I want when I want. I wanted to go back to "normal" old Keebler where all I had to worry about was being fat and happy.

Then a few days went by and I started getting that urge to move again, because I had learned that I don't feel right when I am not active. Even if it was just a walk with the kids anything was going to make me feel better. I had ran myself into the ground, but I also now know what that feels like. So knowing what it feels like I now can tell when it is coming and adjust to keep it from happening.

One of the first things that Tim asked me before he became my coach was why are you wanting to do this. My answer was to help and inspire others and hopefully still be doing this in 20 years. When you look at your health it looks different if you look farther down the road then just this week. Instead of I need to lose 10 lbs to fit into this or that, or I need to lose this much so the doc doesn't give me bad news this year. Without not knowing what is coming, who might need us, or what adventure is out there your health can be the deciding factor on it all.

As I said earlier, I am again at the same part of the season, and about to go into a race that is beyond anything I have ever run. This year I know a little better how my body and mind react to the stress they are under. I know I can't handle this level of training for much longer, but I also know that I can dance right here at the edge for a few more days.

I have to mention that I am so appreciative for not only the donations to my American Diabetes Association donation page, but all of the support I have been getting for this run. I wanted to share a text from a friend to show you what I mean.

Jerred: It isn't that far. Just like running from Lubbock to Lorenzo.


Jerred: With hills and snakes and mountain lions and honey badgers

Me: I forgot about the honey badgers!

Have a good weekend,

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Racing, Family Time, and Saying Goodbye to a Friend

I finally had a chance to get back to Snyder this weekend, and of course the initial reason was to race. It was the weekend of the White Buffalo Bike Fest, and the White Buffalo Stampede 5k. Since Susan and I first raced this race in 2009, I haven't  been able to fit it into my schedule.  It is a fun rolling hill race that will keep you challenged all the way through, and this year Mother Nature decided to throw in some cold weather. It was just me and the girls this time, because Susan stayed to run with her run group at the Komen Race for the Cure.

After getting to Snyder Friday I was doing a little pre race run, and could feel a little fatigue from the last few weeks. I was thinking that night that it was crazy that I was even trying to throw in this race while I am preparing for my 50k in less then 2 weeks. Not to mention that even after 3 years since losing my Dad my girls and I still end up talking about how much we miss him when we are coming into town. As much as I love to come home, for one reason or another, it can still be emotionally hard at times.

The morning of the race I went out for a short warm up ride. It got a whole lot shorter once I felt how cold it was.  I quickly figured that I would warm up at the race. One of the best things that I forgot about this race was getting to see all of my old friends from growing up. Some were there with their kids, some were helping with the race, and some families were racing.

I would like to mention as a side note that a lot of the folks from the new fitness and wellness center, Kinetic Coop, were out to support and work this race. I know a lot of these people are working so hard to help Snyder be healthier. I am really hoping that it works out, because it is such a great thing for my hometown. If you happen to be in town please drop by for a class and check it out.

Now back to the race. I still wasn't feeling great right before the start, but I decided to at least sneak up to the front to try to go with the front group for as long as I could. Might I mention that when you are at a race that has a shotgun start don't stand next to the shooter. I was paying more attention to my watch when the shotgun went off. Needless to say my heart rate instantly skyrocketed. It did get me going, and I got right behind the front group. After getting through the first hill I settled in, and honestly just tried to keep my pace steady. Near mile two I was passed by a guy that I knew was putting down too fast of a pace for me to hang.  After he passed me I got into no man's land and was too far back to catch him, but I didn't have anyone right behind me. As I came up on the finish I just knew that the clock had to be wrong, because it said 20:33. I told my Mother-in-law that I was hoping to come in around 21:00 or 22:00, but I never imagined on this course that I would run my fastest 5k ever. I ended up with 1st in my AG and 6th overall. Even though I was excited with my best 5k result the best part of this trip was getting to see family and friends I haven't seen in awhile.

Since this is a family affair I need to add that Susan also ran her fastest 5k time, 27:28, at the Komen Race for the Cure on Saturday. I am sure it helped not having to take care of us three the night before :) All kidding aside we are proud of her!

As soon as I could I loaded up the girls and we headed back to Lubbock to tailgate with my in-laws at the Tech game. The game ended up horribly. I was glad that I started the day with family, and it was good to end the day with family.

                                                  Everyone trying to stay warm!

So after a busy Saturday I got up and rode the trainer for a couple of hours, and rushed off to Church for a little fellowship. Then we grabbed a quick lunch, and I got on the road back to Snyder for the funeral of a great lady, Elois Pruitt. I found out Friday that she had passed away, and couldn't believe that a lady that epitomized the essence of life could be gone. My mom and her had worked together and were friends for many years. To me she was one of the many ladies that helped raise me at the Courthouse where my Mom worked. I will miss her mischievous grin, and I hope to honor her memory by making others smile. Goodbye Airhead.

Remember to tell someone today that you love them,


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Sometimes you just have to be Creative

When you decide that being healthier is part of your lifestyle you have to start ignoring all of the excuses that you used forever to not exercise. Instead you have to begin to look at your week like a chess match trying to figure out how you can balance your family, your work, and your workout schedule.

For example, one of my workouts was to do 100 sit ups, then ride my trainer for 30 minutes, then do a 100 crunches, that was workout number one. Workout number two was a 30 minute trail run. I don't consider either of these really time intensive, but to fit them into my day it took some planning. Since I work downtown near the trails it only makes sense to change down there. Well in the spirit of efficiency what else would you do, but wear your running shorts under your work clothes. Yes you get some funny looks pulling off your pants in the parking lot, but normally people just shrug it off and go on their way. Other weeks I have showered at the Tech pool more than I have showered at the house. In short you just do what you have to do to fit in your workout. Forget the excuses just get creative, and find someway to get it done so that everything stays balanced.

When you have picked a race that you want to complete, depending on your goals, you find that you have to do some level of consistent work or readjust your goals. This is where determination comes into the picture. During your journey you will have to find something that helps you keep going forward no matter what. A couple of great examples of this came from our workouts this weekend.

Susan's run club, which is coached by the great Leigh Cordes at Cardinals, is one of the most dedicated groups that I have ever seen. The core group of about 10-15 has consistently trained together straight for a couple of years. A lot of you that are around these type of groups know how rare it is to see that type of dedication. All of that being said even that group has a faulty Saturday sometimes, and this Saturday it was raining and nasty and the group had every right to skip. It ended up being Leigh with her baby Carson bundled up in a stroller, Susan, and Theresa. Susan told me that Leigh said that she forgot to add on the schedule that no matter what they run (except maybe lightning). You never know what your race conditions will be, and it rarely is perfect conditions. So there are days like this past rainy Saturday that you have to go through in order to reach the finish line. As soon as Susan got back from her run I went out on my long run, and just made sure that I wore my old shoes. The option to not go was never there.

When I first started training for triathlons I remember one really cold snowy winter day. It was around 5 am and I was not being very quite with my objections about not wanting to go run, and then I hear from under the covers, "Will you quit being a such a girl and just go run!" So I did. Susan was probably not trying to encourage me as much as she was trying to get me to leave so she could go back to sleep. Either way she got me out there, and it was so calm and quite running through the snow. That was the first time of many that I was glad I went out instead of finding that easy excuse to stay in. It sometimes has seemed that the worse the conditions the better I feel at the end. We all will have those weeks that are bad, but you just forget it go to the next one.

Now I am three weeks out from the big race, I am feeling a little fatigue from another long weekend of training and life in general. Tim has really been focusing on back to back workouts on tired legs, and making sure that I am working on turning my legs over no matter how tired I am.  This race is so out of my element that the only thing that is keeping me from freaking out is that after 3 years Tim knows how  I will react to this kind of stress better than I do. So here is to another week of just putting in the time, because I know in the long run it will be worth it.

                                           This is why even on vacation I was glad to run.

Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What the hell have I done?

I have needed to post something about this for quite a while, but I wasn't sure if I could get my mind wrapped around it. I have signed up to race a 50k trail run in Palo Duro Canyon on October 20th. As always with me there is a long story, but thankfully here is the short story instead. As my Dad would say I let my mouth overload my a**. That's it! That isn't always a bad thing, and as far as Tim is concerned I think that he is excited about putting me through another level of discomfort.

To make things even more interesting I decided to try to use this race as a fundraiser for our local American Diabetes Association. After I met the director, Martha Atwood, and saw the level of commitment this woman has to make our community healthier I couldn't not help out! If you feel inclined to donate here is the link to my donation page. I would greatly appreciate it!

Keebler's Donation link for ADA

I would be lying if I said I was't nervous about this endeavor.  To be totally honest I am beyond nervous! I know physically I can do the time, but the distance is what is overwhelming me. Over the next 26 days I will do my best to chronicle what it is like training for this distance, or at least how moronic I am. There might be a little less mention of beer for the next few weeks, but rest assured it will only be temporary.

“If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

― Martin Luther King Jr.


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Panhandle Half Marathon and a Return to Speaking

Going into the weekend I was feeling tired and ready to rest, but as usual it wasn't in the cards. I had a 3 hour bike on Saturday, and Tim wanted it at a high cadence for the whole three hours. Which means in the normal world is that I looked like a hamster on a wheel going into the wind. Since Susan and I were both racing the inaugural Panhandle Half Marathon we both tried to take it easy for the rest of the day, but that was not going to happen. Either way we got up and met our great sitter, Amanda, so she could watch the kids while we were racing (not sure how much sleep she had from the night before, but she beat us there.) I didn't expect much for this race, but actually it went exactly as Tim had wanted for me. I ran around a 1:46, and considering how I went into the race I was happy with getting there. Thanks, to the guy named Kyle that pulled me in the last few miles, I doubt I would have kept that pace without him. My proofreader has asked that any mention of her race be redacted until further notice. I will mention that she got out there and did it! Some races are good and some are bad, but we each need to remember how blessed we are to get to race.

                                                                    Ready to race.

                                                        About to high five the girls!

                                                        Susan saying hi to the girls!

Last week I had the opportunity to speak to a great group of people with the Caprock Ambucs  of Lubbock. Thankfully, Mike Massengale, was able to look past me getting choked up in Sunday School from telling some of my story and asked me to speak to the Ambucs. To this day speaking about my story and my Dad still gets me emotional, it feels like I am pulling off a bandage. Anytime I speak to a group my hope is that I can inspire someone to start working on being healthier. This day was a little different for me, because I was the one that was inspired. One of the ladies came up to me at the end to thank me for speaking. As we spoke she told me about one of her family members health issues. This family member has no control over some very serious issues, but the family does everything that is in their control to stay healthy.  We all look around and realize that a majority of people have health issues that can be prevented, but choose not to do anything. It doesn't take much. This week choose to fight for your health while you have the opportunity!

                                                      Speaking to the Caprock Ambucs

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Cotton Country Sprint

This last weekend was the last triathlon of the season for me this year. It is a great race that is put on by Dee Dee Odorizzi at South Plains College called the Cotton Country Sprint. Since I have started triathlons I have always tried to make this race, because not only is it a fun reverse triathlon, but it has great food and live music at the end.

The reverse triathlon, for those of you that don't know, is set up as a 5k run, then a 14 mile bike, finished with a 400 yard swim. Just like last weekend it was short, fast, and intense. One of the best parts of the race was getting to meet, Sean Monroe, the guy from last weekend that I raced to the nearly puking finish at Tech.  This weekend I am glad to say that Sean won. Good job Sean!

Overall, I was really happy with how this race went. My run was good and steady, and I think it was the fastest 5K I have ever ran. The usual headwind we have on this race came on the second half this year, but gladly I was able to hold my speed. The first group of riders were far enough in front of me I couldn't see them, and the second group far enough behind me that I couldn't see them either so I was in my own lonely world for the biggest part of the bike. Once I got to the swim the closest guy was two lanes in front of me, and I was lucky enough to close the distance to half a lap. Unfortunatly, that wasn't enough and he still beat me. So at the end of the day I ended up with a 2nd place age group finish and 8th overall. So until next year my triathlon buddies!

This next weekend brings the American Diabetes Association walk in Lubbock on Saturday, followed by a 3 hour ride, and then on Sunday the first Panhandle 1/2 Marathon race. I have a feeling I won't be setting any personal records for that one.

After that I am heading to Snyder on October 6th for the White Buffalo 5K Stampede, and then one more race that deserves it's own blog coming soon. Have fun, stay active, and please if you drink beer, drink good beer!


Since we forgot to take the camera this year how about a pic of me racing and my support crew from 2008 :)

                                   That face means that my heart rate is somewhere north of 190!
                             Not much has changed Allie sleeping and Anna fighting to stay awake!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Full Day of Racing for the Keebler Family

A lot has been going on the last week or so, and I didn't realize how bad I needed to get back to racing. Today's race was the Texas Tech Rec Sports Triathlon. A fun and fast race that is 400m swim, 12 mile bike, and a 2.5 mile run. If any of you are ever interested in trying out triathlon I can't recommend this race enough. The Tech staff puts on a great race for competitive people, and they even have a shorter distance that is the recreational distance. It is always a good time.

In years past I have seen so many new people trying out triathlon for the first time just for once, and sometimes it has been the first step in a new lifestyle. Then other times I have overheard some of the kids in complete disbelief when there friend showed for the start with no sleep and possibly still drunk. That one made me miss college. Today I heard an older guy mention that he has only swam twice in his life before the race, and that was last week. No matter he was still there this morning to start. I was really glad to have met him this morning.

Today Jerred and I decided to ride to the race, about 45 minutes, then race, and then end it with another 1:45 minute ride home. Needless to say I was good and warmed up for the start. The swim felt ok, but I  was in a bunch of folks at the end and couldn't get around them. Even with that my swim was still on track even a little faster. 

I pushed the bike the first lap, and then tried to keep that pace throughout the four laps. After the first lap I could feel my legs starting to ache, and was really worried that I was pushing it too hard. Near the end of the bike the winds were picking up, but I was still keeping my pace even with legs that were filling like lead.

Going into the run I knew that I had a couple of guys right behind me, and I was going to have to push it as hard as I could. The first half one guy stayed right behind me until the turnaround, and then he made his move. I was able to stay right behind him, but we were pushing a hard pace for me. I wasn't sure if I was going to have anything left to try to go past him again. Near the end of the run is a small hill that I thought was as good as any place to go for it. When I passed him all I heard was, " Oh hell he has some kick left." I was going all out when I passed Susan, and she said, "uhmm you might want to push it he is right behind you." He wasn't at that point, but  she does have a funny way of motivating me. It was a lot of fun even if I was really close to puking at the finish. 

After the race Jerred had talked me into going for a ride before we got back to the house. That turned out to be about an hour and forty five minutes of me trying to hang onto the back wheel of someone a lot better at cycling than me. To say the least I was hurting and am still feeling a long day of good pain. 

We were able to finish off the day with Anna running in a  great race put on by Leigh and Nick Cordes called the Cardinal's Mud Run out at the Spirit Ranch. So it has been a great day of racing for all, and now time to get ready for the week. Another couple of races coming up  and big news, but more on that very soon!

                                                     Anna and her friend Loren running

                                                            Anna in full race mode!

                                                   I think she is going to need a bath!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Wicked Beaver Recovery Method

We had a great opportunity today to get to welcome our friend Sabine back to Lubbock. We were so graciously invited (we might have invited ourselves) by the Howells to a small gathering at the Wicked Beaver Brewery in Wolfforth, TX.

 This is a new microbrewery that is really producing some new great beers, and we are proud to say from right here in the greater Lubbock area. I will have to say I was really liking the Timber Ale, but the Midnight that had been aged in an oak barrel nearly took my breath away. Keep your eyes out for their beers on your local supermarket shelves, and make sure you don't pass them up. Here is their website so you can check them out.  Wicked Beaver Brewing Thanks again Michael for letting us hang out with you and the family for awhile this afternoon.

As always with good beer the best thing is seeing good friends and getting to know some new ones. Here are a few pics to prove that it isn't always about training and eating good. After a hard week of training finishing up with a 2 hour run Saturday, then a couple of hours on the bike Sunday before Church. I am beat up mentally and physically. Nothing recharges me better than a little fellowship with friends over a cold beer.


                                                As always a good box makes a great toy!

                                                           Martha, Jurgen, and Sabine
Keebler and Jurgen
                                                              Allie "helping" clean up
The Wicked Beaver always points the way!
                                                  Keep an eye out for the Wicked Beaver.

Until next time,

Friday, August 24, 2012

Who's Keebler?

I am sure that some of you that are reading this have wondered, especially those of you that knew me from way back, who the hell is Keebler. The short story is that Keebler is me and I am Keebler. Well as these things go sometimes it came from a quick little comment from one friend to another that started the ball rolling. It might serve well to show a few pics from the old Keebler days to put things in perspective. You know those days where I hadn't quite learned if you eat and drink whatever you want and sit on your ass you tend to expand. Turns out the shorter that you are the quicker the expansion tends to happen.

(Side note: As I was loading this picture Anna, my oldest says, "Not to be rude, but I don't like that shirt. Uhmmm, and not to be rude, but your head is kind of big." She tells it like it is!)

Happier than I was earlier!

Anyway on with the story. So my neighbor was talking with another one of our friends, Scott, when I came up and Scott tells Jurgen that I am just like a Keebler elf short and always happy. Now later on Jurgen added to it that I was always short, fat, and happy. As soon as I heard it I knew that it fit me well. Now I didn't know at the time that I was going to go from 50lbs overweight to a slightly deranged triathlete, but over the years this nickname that was given to me from two great friends has gotten me through a lot of crap.

We all get labeled in some fashion or another over the years, but instead of letting labels define us why can't we redefine the labels. I am still the same vertically challenged happy person I was 6 years ago, I just have a little less to carry around now. The reality is still the same no matter how tough a day is, how bad a race is going, or how much pain I am in, someone can call me Keebler and it makes me smile. Then when I smile I feel I can pass along a little bit of that happiness to help someone else. Sometimes our road is rough, but as long as we can go forward we are good. To quote my Father-in-Law, Jack, no matter how bad it is, it is always better than the alternative.  

                               Fun times at Vineman 70.3 with the best cheering section ever!  

So raise a glass, eat some good food, and remember that if a vertically challenged, formally fat West Texas guy named Keebler can change then you can too!!!  Good Luck and all the best from mine to yours.




Sunday, August 12, 2012

Back to the Beginning

 I know that it has been a long break between posts, but this one has been harder to write than all of the others. As usual I am doing this backwards. I figured it was time to go back and explain what J.D. 's Heart is all about, or at least try to put it into words for the first time. It is really hard for me to put my thoughts down on something that I'm not sure what it is, or what it is going to be but you feel passion for everyday.

J. D. or Jimmy Don is what most people called him, but my Sister and I called him Dad, my Mom called him her husband, the Grandkids called him Pawpaw. If I could sum him up in one sentence I would say that he was a quite man that was more prone to laughing than talking.  He tried to teach me many things that now I wish I was listening to a little closer, but the one thing that I was listening to was that I should never quit something I start.

The reality is that I can look back over my life, and see many chapters that God put in front of me that have led me to where I am now. The essence of JD's Heart might have started with my good friend, Jurgen, telling me that I was too young to be as fat as I was then, or it could be said that it started when I knew that we were going to have Anna. All I can say for sure is that when my Dad passed away on my birthday in 2009 I knew that this cycle had to end with me.

I titled my testimony and my website J.D. 's Heart, because it is about the affect one man's heart can have on so many people. We as individuals selfishly believe that how we take care of ourselves doesn't matter to those around us, but in reality we each can be the biggest forces of change in our families and communities.  No matter if you are young, or been around a few years, you have to work hard to stay here. It took me having kids and losing my Dad to see the truth that if I want to be here for the future I have to make changes now. Unlike how most of us wait until we lose someone, or a doctor tells us we have no other choice. We each are blessed with one body, and we should respect it. Trying to lead a healthier lifestyle doesn't guarantee you won't get sick, but it at least gives you a little bit more of a fighting chance. We don't want to believe it but our lives can change in the time it takes for a red light to change. Instead of believing that if you aren't sick your healthy. Try to look at your health as something that you have to fight for everyday even it is just doing something small.  Then when the time comes that you have to really fight you might just be in a much better place to keep going.

What I put my body through is not for everyone, but I promise you that you would be surprised at what your bodies can take, and in some cases want. Every time that I think that I have reached my limits I wake up the next day to find that those limits are not where they were the day before.

This drive I have now was developed because I want to always be striving to be healthier spiritually, physically,and mentally for my family. Along this journey for myself if I can help inspire others to look for their own reasons to be healthier then those people will have more of a chance to fight. No matter how each of us leave this world we will only have one last heart beat. To this day in my mind I hear my Dad's last heart beat echoing, and helping others find a reason to be healthier helps me to keep hearing it. As long as I can I want to keep helping other's to find their reason to fight. 

Ask yourself when your heart beats for the last time will it echo or will it fade away? That is what is behind JD's Heart. 

Thank you Dad.



Monday, July 16, 2012

First look at the new JD's Heart T-Shirts

Here is the first look at the new JD's Heart t-shirts! Thanks Sarah Collins for the great art work, and House of Ink for the great job on the shirts. Those of you that got yours with the first order send us pics that way we can put them on here. Here is the first, very beautiful, model of our first ever JD Heart t-shirt. Hopefully, someday when you see this symbol you will know it is someone that is trying everyday to make a difference in their health.


                                          The little blond gremlin found her way into the pic!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Buffalo Springs 70.3 Race Report and a Few Other Things

I know this has taken a long time to get to, but I have been doing what is best for recovery, family and friend time! Before we get to that I want to send all of our love and prayers to our dear little friend Noah Hurst, who broke his leg yesterday and just got out of surgery, get well soon our little friend!

I am sitting here typing this while watching the 7th stage of the Tour de France, and trying to recover from a very nice long trail run this morning with Susan's running group from Cardinals. Thanks for letting me jump in with all of you here and there.

I was thinking back this morning about Buffalo 70.3 and was trying to remember the pain that I know was there, but the funny thing that keeps happening after these races is that it fades quickly. I will try my best to get it right, but as usual I try to remember the good things rather than the bad. It could also be the fact that if I remembered how painful these races can be I would question the sanity of my friends and myself!


I was nice and warmed up for the race start which is really rare for me. I usually am talking too much to everyone around to remember to get in even a little warmup ( I know that is a surprise to most of you). When the race started I had a hard time right off getting in a good position running into the water, and this was going to stay the same throughout the swim. Before the first buoy I had been kicked in the head, I hit someone else in the head on accident, and choked on nice lake water twice. Not to mention I couldn't find a clear area to swim long enough to feel good like I was making any sort of headway. Coming out of the water I was really glad that was over, but expecting that I was way off of my normal time. I came out with a 31:12, which is where I am normally. A very good surprise, but considering that  I have seen my some swim improvements lately I had really hoped for a little better time.


Normally not much to say here except this time I decided to go on the wrong side of my bike rack. I guess a first time for everything. One good thing was seeing my friend Ron volunteering on the bike out. Friendly faces always make a race much better.



Lucille and myself were really feeling good on the first half or more of the bike. I was keeping a higher pace than normal for me in a race, and was really hoping to make up some time on the bike for once. As usual for me I had many of the fast people pass me like I was standing still, and really all I could do was keep it steady and limit the damage. The bike is still where I need the most work but that takes time. After coming out of the back canyon and turning west I hit a strong headwind that really knocked me back for a few miles. As I was getting closer to the park I started passing people again, and that was making my legs feel better to get a few spots back in the overall. Coming up on the last climb I could feel that I had pushed my legs harder than I had in previous races, and as the climb started the insides of both legs started cramping from top to bottom. To be brutally honest I was trying to not panic, because trying to climb with both legs cramping could have shut me down where I was at for more than I wanted. Luckily, I made it to the top and when the pressure came off the cramps let up. Crisis averted!


                                           It was Keebler time on the 4th climb of the day!


I would love to tell you that I went straight to my back rack, but yes I went to the wrong side again! Susan might say at this point that once I hear a loud pop it means that my head is out of my butt. I hadn't heard that pop yet!



Part of my race plan was to push as hard as I could to get to the run sooner rather than later hoping for cooler temps. I could tell on the first 2 miles that I had pushed hard, and my legs felt worse than they had in a long time for a race. Plus the temps might have been cooler than later in the day, but they felt hot to me! Before the first hill I was starting to get my legs back, and started to pick rabbits (people) in front of me to start trying to close the gaps. I was passed fewer times on the run, and mostly by people that were crazy runners. I did find that if I could stay steady up the hills I could make some good headway. Only on the 2nd climb did I have some issues with my right hamstring, but thankfully it went away before the midway and I was able to keep going. Another thing I did on this race was take my time at each water stop, and make sure I could get cool and keep hydrated. I also found that if I dumped water and ice down the back of my jersey it cooled me off better, but that is probably due to my head being in my butt :) Coming back into the park I was feeling good and started picking up the pace a little. I stayed this way until the last mile, and to my surprise I had enough to put in a strong finish. Besides a little stitch in the side it was one of my best feeling finishes.


Finish - 5:28:44
Overall - 213/832
Age Group - 42/97

After looking back at this race with a couple of weeks gone I am very happy with it. I was 10 minutes faster than my race in April, and from when I raced Buffalo 2 years ago I was 20 minutes faster. This was my second fasted race in much rougher conditions than Vineman last year. Susan noticed the biggest difference. I am finishing and not feeling like I am going to die, but instead recovering quicker from the races. Some of that is due to my conditioning, and some of it is due to getting off of statins. I will always have an issue with my cholesterol, but with this healthier lifestyle and working with my docs I will keep fighting to do what I can. It is just that I don't want to solve one problem while causing others. I know there has to be a balance, and I will keep searching.

Now time to enjoy some good drinks, good food, good workouts, and most of all good times with family and friends. Over the next few weeks I will figure out what races are next, and will get some of the pages updated.

                               Nothing like finally making it to "The Spot" on a good trail run