Friday, December 28, 2012

2012 year in review

Holy cow has it been a long time since I have been here. I guess sometime we do not feel like we have much to share or that we just feel like people do not care what we have to say. Either way I am back to review the my 2012 year. Now you might be saying to yourself man that seems like a lot to cover. I will give you the cliff note version.


This year like every year before it has had a soundtrack to it. Music in my life has always been very important, it's fill's the gaps. Cursing in my car, sitting by the computer, or gliding along during my runs. Music is a big part of it. That being said this is my top 10 album list for the year.

10.) Of Monsters and Men-My Head is a Animal
9.) The Avett Brothers- The Carpenter
8.) The Gaslight Anthem- Handwritten
7.) Silversun Pickups- Neck of the Woods
6.) Jack White- Blunderbuss
5.) Django Django
4.) Trampled by Turtles- Stars and Satellites
3.) Alt-J- An Awesome Wave
2.) Snow Patrol- Fallen Empires
1.) Linkin Park- Living Things

What can I say Linkin Park never fails to deliver for me from album to album. That being said it was a great year in music and picking my favorite 10 was no easy task.

Running and Races:

It was another ok year in running for me. I did have some fun and epic type runs but just overall a so so year. I think having my achilles being such a problem all year did put a damper on a lot but that being said all running is good running in my book. Some highlights would be...

*Watching my wife Sonya battle back at Fans 24hr for a great finish
* My winter trail miles with Paul, fun stuff in the snow
* The RV trip with Adam and Paul to Arkansas for Sylamore 50k
* Running solid at Chip 50k even though my foot was on fire
* Fun night run with Nick at Afton then the 40 miler in rain with Paul and Brian
*Pacing my friends Adam and Maria at SHT 100 miler ( Maria's first finish! )

So as I put a cap on 2012 I look forward to 2013 with the hopes of many more miles and experience with my great friends. As simple as it sounds I just need to keep putting one foot in front of the other and good things will happen!!

I will leave you with this fun video about Mike Foote. Man this might be a good way to live huh?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Why we run?

Lot's of us run. Lot's of us run races. Why do we run? The list could go on and on with reasons. I think the best part of running is that it is so simple and straight forward, it is pure. Here is two examples of what I mean. In one video we see the adventure of running where it is not about speed. In the other we see the racing at it's best. Man vs. man with 3 olympic medals on the line. Both beautiful in my mind.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Endless Summer from VPMedia on Vimeo. Check this out and then come join me next Wednesday Aug 1st for race number #2 for the Endless Summer Trail Series.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The never ending trip

My buddy Nick who is "real big" into traveling this world sent this to me and I thought it was worth sharing with you all. Enjoy!!
Back in 1989, as the Berlin Wall fell, Gunther Holtorf and his wife Christine set out on what was meant to be an 18-month tour of Africa in their Mercedes Benz G Wagen. Now, with more than 800,000km (500,000 miles) on the clock, Gunther is still going.
The German former airline executive has travelled the equivalent of 20 times around the planet in the vehicle - which he calls Otto. He says he has never had a serious breakdown. Recently in Vietnam, Canadian-born photographer David Lemke joined Gunther on one section of his epic journey.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Wow two posts in a week

Crazy huh, two blog posts in the same week. So I have been trying my best to take my own advice and do the little things besides running to try and get back. I have done my extra core stuff 3 times this week as well as got some blood work done today to just be safe. I am happy to report that I have run everyday this week so far and have felt real good overall. Not that I am running far each day or fast that matter. Just getting out and trying to have fun! We will see what the weekend brings me but I will give it a shot.

So did you miss the videos? Here is a good one.....

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Asleep at the wheel.

Good god has it really been a few months since my last post? Well I am sorry. You know it there has been many reasons for my lack of blogging. In the end I guess none of them really matter. A lot has happen since the last post but I will quick update version. Well as you might remember I got hurt back on Easter weekend. My Achilles never has gotten 100% even after all that time. Do not get me wrong it is much better but over all still a pain in the butt. I did do a few races. I ran the Chippewa 50k back in April. What a super race to say the least. I look forward to running this one many more times. Sweet single track all over!! I did run much better than I thought I would. I ended up 19th in 4:35. I also lined up a few weeks ago for the Black Hills 100 mile. This was not to be my day. I felt not so great going into the race but was looking forward the trip and the day in the woods with friends. Race day it was very hot out. It got up to the mid 90's very early in the day, not very much fun for running. Then I had this wicked superman fall early in the race at 18 miles. After the fall my body felt like crap and was never the same. I ended up dropping out at 39 miles. Dropping out was not a easy thing to do but was the best thing to do in many ways. It still eats at me that I did not get it done on that day but do not know what else I could have done. I was not up to pushing my body and mind that hard for another 61 miles. There are other battles to fight. Plus not being totally crushed made sight seeing with my family a much more fun time.
After just a few days at work I was off to the 2012 USA Olympic track trials in Eugene,OR as a guest of Nike. Man what to say other than Track Town USA is the place to be for something like this!! I was out there with my buddy and boss TC Running Company owner Adam and we had so much fun. I will be back in the future that is for sure!
Since the trials it has back to life as I know it. Working hard at TCRC, trying to be the best husband/dad I can be for my family, and trying to run some. Running has not been easy as it has been real hot outside most days. I also have felt real run down so I am going into the doctor this week to get some blood work done just to make sure. I guess better safe than sorry. Not sure what racing has in store for me this year. I hope to do something this fall, but if my body does not come around then I will be happy just doing what I can to have the best 2013 I can. Frankly I am very tired of all the crap the last few years and truly know I need to make some changes if I want to get back to the runner I once was. So here is to a great late summer of running and bring on the fall time baby!!!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Trying the MOTOACTV

As a running store manager and just plain old running geek I love being surrounded with cutting edge products designed to make my run just plain better. About a month ago the nice people over at Verizon wireless here in Minnesota aloud me to use one of the new MOTOACTV by Motorola to see what I thought. They paid me nothing, just let me use a unit to see what I thought. This is my findings so far.

My Overview:
To start the watch has a nice look to it. It is not to big but yet it is big enough to make the readouts on the watch the perfect size. The band on the watch is very comfortable which means a lot to me as being a ultra marathon runner I have my watch on for many hours at a time.

The battery time on the watch is pretty good. Much like the many other GPS watches I have tried the more stuff you have running the shorter the life of the battery. All in all it is on par with the other options out on the market as of now.

The music player is very easy to use. I found moving music from my iTunes library to the watch to be smooth and easy. In fact I love how I can not only have tunes on the player but different play lists no different than my iPod.

You have the option to remove the watch/ music player from the wrist unit and put a clip on it so you can wear it on your shorts much like a iPod shuffle. This was a pretty cool option I thought since I am not the kind of guy who likes the arm band option which you can also do. Now you could still listen to it while wearing it on your wrist but when running I think that is no good since I for one tend to swing my arms pretty good. I could see if you wear biking how that would work.

I thought the GPS signal loaded up pretty fast overall. Like other GPS watches I tend to just set them outside and let them load while I tie my shoes and stuff to I am not freaking out while looking at the watch wanting to run that very second. I did do many runs using this unit on one wrist while using a different company on the other wrist to compare the readouts on distance. On the roads the MOTOACTV was every bit as good as many of the other competitors, but on the trails I seem to always have it reading a shorter distance than what I was also using.

The post running run info on the MOTOACTV is very nice. With in seconds of ending the run you can see all your info, even every mile split!! Also the online info once downloaded is nice as well.

Do I think it is a good watch? Yes most differently a solid GPS watch. Would I by it? Yes without question I think it is worth buying, especially if you do not have a iPod yet. To me that is the biggest selling point on the MOTOACTV. To have everything in one unit is a big plus and something to think about. I look forward to seeing what the next version is like but at the time it is one heck of a watch/ music player.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Pushing On

So lately I feel like I have had allot of people asking me "how do you feel"? That is a good question I have been thinking. In allot of ways I have been feeling good about my overall foot speed. I have been running most of my daily runs at a pretty good clip, but when it comes to my hill strength and overall long runs I have been feeling like I need much more work to be done. Now maybe over the last few weeks that has more to do with me fighting off this respiratory illness. I guess the cure is going to be a steady diet of hill training and some real solid long runs over the next few weeks!!

My friend Jeff Denney's son had a ski accident out in Utah a few weeks ago and lost his one leg below the knee. Jeff has been saying what a great attitude his son has had about it all and to me that is not shock to me as I think Jeff himself might be the most positive person I know. Running with him today we talked about feeling lucky that we have each day. Jeff is correct and I plan to think of his son as I train for this 100 miler and remember to always try to be happy for what I have and to remember to keep on pushing. It is sad that at times we need stuff like this to put it all into view. We are lucky to be alive on our planet.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sonya wins marathon!!

Yesterday my wife Sonya won the Modesto marathon. I am very proud of her as she is the hardest worker I know of. Going in her goal was a sub 3hr run as it has been a few years since her last sub 3 run but a win is a win!!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Bleeding for my sport

( Love his attitude towards the sport )

Where to start? Sorry for the long break between blog post. Things have been super crazy around home and the store. You can tell spring has hit and track season is underway. Crazy amount of people rolling in everyday, but hey that is why I love my job. The day in day out interaction with runners of all ages is what make my day.

I guess I should start with a little re-cap of the Sylamore 50k race some 4 weeks ago. Hmm well the trip was a perfect way to spend 3 days with my buddies Paul and Adam. Nothing like rolling along the highway in the TCRC RV listening to great tunes and talking, talking and more talking.

After the 12 hour drive we got all settled in at the Sylamore creek campground across the street from the start/finish area we got some grub and settled down for the night. Nothing big to report.

We awoke in the morning to a perfect day for a 31 mile trail run. It was like 38 degrees outside with some cloud cover. As we lined up at the start I saw my friend Mike Rush the owner of Rush running in Arkansas who I met a few years ago in France on a Salomon trip, it was so good to see him. I also saw Nick Lewis who I met a few years ago out at Leadville 100. He was second that year and was my pre-race favorite to win this race.

I was so happy to be back here in Arkansas and it was great to be back at this race after such a long time between visits. I knew I would not be as fast as the last time I ran here, that was ok with me. Being back here reminded me of coming to this race the first time with my then girlfriend Sonya before we where married. Good thoughts pre-race.

The race director said go and we took off and within like 5 mins Adam was gone and Paul and I wondered if we would see him later? At mile 1 we hit the creek crossing which always opens up the eyes with it's cold water that is almost waist deep. If you where not awake you are after the creek! Paul and I made our way down the trail together during the opening 10 miles or so. I was feeling super good and strong. I was seeming to pull away from Paul on the climbs but I knew Paul would always be right back with me. After the second aid station at like 11 miles or so I started to pull away from Paul and made my way to the turn around at 15.5 miles. I saw Adam coming back on the trail at 14 miles or so. He looked strong and when I reached the turn and saw that he had like 20 min's or so on me and that most likely the next time I saw him would be with a beer in hand at the finish line. Things can happen as I well know but I thought that was a safe bet.

On the way back to the finish after the turn I tried to be strong and pick off a few people along the way. While I did get some folks I also felt like I could not push as much as I liked on the rocky area's. That was going to be my downfall. Unlike me Paul is great on that type of ground and with like 2.5 or 3 miles to go he was right with me and pulled past with like 1.5 miles to go. My first thought was when I got back to the creek I could hammer and catch back up. When I hit the creek and did lower the hammer but I was to far back and finished 1 min behind him. My last mile was 6:30.

While I was slower than I hope, it was a good day. A good day with friends on a great trail! Still much work to do before the Black Hills 100 mile at the end of June. I will be there and ready to go. This was just one step in the process of getting there as I love this sport and will always bleed for it as long as I have a heart beat in my chest. Happy trails!

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Finish Line (Please Read)

We all know what it is like to push like never before for that finish line. But do you ever think about what is the finish line, and how do we get there? Or why do we want to get there? In my opinion the reason we seek the finish line is because it something we just have programed in us as humans. Now for each of us the"Finish Line" is something different but I feel this video does a great job of showing to me what it is all about. Enjoy!!

The Finish Line from Evolve Digital Cinema / IMG on Vimeo.

Friday, February 10, 2012

TC Running Trail Team page

As if I do not have enough stuff to do I started a new TCRC trail team blog page. So check it out.... I will be doing intro's with each runner on the team over the next few weeks as well as with any luck doing fun trail video's and who knows what else. Here is the link.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Mr. Decker you are late

Why yes I guess I am late. That is late in putting a currant blog post up. I am sorry I guess the time has gotten away from me. So what has been going one with me, Hmm? Well for one thing I have been enjoying the craziest non snowy winter that I can remember in my 40 years on this planet.

In some ways it has been so great to get out the door on most days and have no care in the world about looking for ice and such and getting on some real dirt trails for workouts in early January. On the flip side in a weird way it has made getting into a grove a little harder for me. In a way running those long slow miles in the snow each winter helps set a tone. I guess it is a give and take. That being said I am looking forward to my Sunday long trail run this weekend. I bet it will even be muddy go figure.

Not much to report on the training front. I have been overall getting in some OK weeks as well as trying to keep the pace up a few times per week. I had a super solid weekend last weekend with a fun run Saturday with my little brother Kraig. Man it had been to long since we had run. Then Sunday I had a super trail run with Paul and Mike and Jason out at Lebanon Hills. We had about a inch or two of snow on the trail with super temps and a nice bit of sunshine. With Sylamore 50k just 2 weeks away from this Saturday I have been trying to get in some more hills as this has been lacking post North Face 50 mile. It might be a light to late overall for that race but I need to remind myself that this 50k has never been about pushing all out, but more to break up the winter and keep the drive towards Black hills 100 miler in late June going. All in all I feel OK about where I am. This weekends long run will tell me allot I think.

Oh yea last weekend I also had the pleasure of watching my wife Sonya run a great 1/2 marathon at the St Paul Winter Carnival. Heck she was 2nd overall even! Well until next time take care and happy running to you all!

** Here is a little video about Hal Koerner from the North Face. Good luck to him this weekend at Rocky Raccoon 100 miler.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Olympic Marathon Trials Picks

I guess it is that time to make my final picks before I hit the hay and get ready for my very early long run. This is one of the hardest years that I can remember for me to come up with my picks. Well here you go and enjoy. Good luck to all running!!

1.) Dathan Ritzenhein
2.) Ryan Hall
3.) Brett Gotcher
4.) Jason Lehmkuhle
5.) Matt Gabrielson ( call me a MN rube but I cant help it on the last two guys )

1.) Desiree Davila
2.) Shalane Flanagan
3.) Katie McGregor
4.) Amy Hastings
5.) Kara Goucher

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Hello New Year, What's Up?

Kind of crazy that it is the start of a new year. It seems like not that long ago I was getting in some great long runs and rocking the indoor track in EP to get out of a everyday in the snow. Well this year I am still running the dirt trails. Yes I said dirt trails, and yes it is Jan 5th in Minnesota.

I think I had one of the best closes and starts to a year for me in sometime. On new years eve I met up with Paul and a ton of the guys for a little run down by the Mpls lakes. Some guys where doing a 31 mile run. Paul and I did the 16 mile option as we hoped to run longer the next day on the trails. The run was great and we had lot's of good conversation about the year that was passing and what some of us where looking forward to in 2012. Plus you got to love a run where the turn around in at the Melo Glaze doughnut shop! After the run Paul and I got some coffee then met a few others over at Paul's house for a little Unbreakable movie showing. Little did Paul know that after the movie I was taking him to his surprise 50th birthday party. He had no idea and seemed to love it. Sonya and the kids met me at the party and we ran in the new year.

To roll in 2012 Sonya and I put together a little fun run out at Lebanon Hills on what was a little snow covered trail running. People went between 7.5 to 31 miles. I had a super 21+ mile run. I felt so strong over all but did not want to push it to much. As I sat around and waited for Sonya to finish up I thought about what I was going to do different in the new year. I guess the answer I came to was to keep putting one foot in front of the other and let that love of my sport grow in my heart day by day and mile by mile. Keep challenging yourself people as who know where you might find yourself.

So watch this kid climb. Crazy and free