Don't set your limits...go out and find them.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Go to

All further posts will be at
Please go there for all information about the challenge and personal blog posts about my training.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Saturday, December 11, 2010

New Snow Run

Got out early this morning (6am) to meet up with Kevin for a few extra miles before meeting up with the Stewie Striders. Picked up Lee at his house at 7, then headed to the school. No one showed up there, so the 3 of us headed back out on our own. We must have received 2 inches of snowfall during the time I was out, with a forcast for 10-12 more by morning. I have always loved running in a good snowstorm. Great run in the fresh snow and not too cold out today! 12 miles for me.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Changes for Mr. Parry's Endurance Challenge 2011

So, I have decided to change things up a bit for Mr. Parry's Endurance Challenge 2011.  The last 2 years I have finished the challenge up with a 24 hour run around my hometown of Stewartville, MN.  I completed 96 and 100.68 miles in 2009 and 2010.  I am proud to have covered that distance and hope to do so again soon, but an interesting thought crossed my mind a couple of weeks ago.  I wanted to come up with a serious challenge...another way to go "all out" and to be able to include as many students and others as possible.

So...on the week of May 23, I will be running 7 marathons in 7 days.  I will start that Monday after school, running a marathon each evening, through Thursday that week.  I am planning on running Friday's marathon during the school day, so I can get by both of the elementary schools in town to run with the kids there again.  Saturday's run will also be during the day.  I will finish up Sunday by running the Med City Marathon in Rochester, MN.

Come join me if you are able!  Run as much or as little as you wish...multiple days are good too!  I am hoping to find some inspiration myself again by running with some people who are challenging themselves.  I would love to run with someone doing their first marathon!

Next, planning on doing the 17 hour treadmill run for the Rochester Area Family Y's Strong Kids Campaign again next summer sometime.  No date picked out for that yet, but hope to have one soon.  See posts below for more information about this worthwhile cause.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

17 Hours...67.5 Miles...$1550 Raised

On August 3, I ran on a treadmill in the lobby of the Rochester, MN Area Family Y for 17 hours to raise funds for the Strong Kids Campaign. My family was able to take part in Y programs when I was a child because of this scholarship program. We would never have been able to afford those opportunities without the generosity of others. This run was called Mr. Parry’s Endurance Challenge for the YMCA and is one way I feel I can give back.

My run at the Y was an extension of another run I have done the last 2 years in my hometown of Stewartville, MN. I am a 6th grade teacher there and Mr. Parry’s Endurance Challenge has been an effective way for me to motivate and inspire my students, the school staff, and others in the area to get out and be active. The end of this challenge culminates in me running for 24 consecutive hours, doing a 4 mile loop repeatedly around Stewartville. Last year I completed 96 miles. This year I was able to make it 100.68 miles.

Even though my run at the Y was only 17 hours, it proved to be at least as difficult as 24 for several reasons. Boredom, body temperature control, needing to be able to visit for the entire time, and the repetitive nature of running on a treadmill all took their toll on me.

The plan was to have 2 treadmills set up in the lobby of the Y – 1 for me and the other for anyone else who wanted to show up, contribute to the Strong Kids Campaign, and run or walk for a while. The Y had put up and advertized a schedule to get people to sign up for running/walking on the other treadmill and by the day before the run, every last one of the 15 minute time slots was full! Local businesses and individuals contributed prizes for an hourly drawing. The goal of raising $1000 was set and I was off. I was not concerned with the pain that might come later in the day. I just didn’t want this fundraising effort to “flop”.

I began my run at 5am and had a phone interview that played on several area radio stations a couple of hours later while the miles comfortably passed by. Soon afterward, the phones at the front desk started ringing with people wanting to come in and run with me. One call after another I heard them say that they were sorry, the other treadmill was booked for the day, but they could come in to contribute and see what was going on. People were stopping by to see if they could run or walk with me too. The decision was quickly made at that point to pull out a third treadmill from the fitness center to allow more to participate in the event.

I passed the marathon point in 5:30 – not fast, but I had been expending too much effort and concentration on keeping my body temp down. I would run until feeling way too warm and, at times, nauseous. I would then walk for several minutes until things calmed down again. I had no breaks planned, but did allow myself to use the bathroom from time to time. I ate while walking or running in order to get in as many miles as possible.

Both complete strangers and friends came and went, telling me their stories, contributing money, and thanking me for what I was trying to do. Some had very inspirational stories about how running had changed their lives. I always love hearing stories like that! While some of the camp counselors at the Y ran with me for a few minutes, the kids in their groups cheered us on. A local TV station came by and filmed a story, which aired several times that evening. They would later call for updates on how I was doing. All was going well at that point, with not a whole lot of pain in my feet or legs.

By early evening, I was told that the $1000 goal had been met. Good. That pressure was off. I hadn’t wasted their time! By 8pm I suspected that I would be ready to be done at 10pm. By 9pm I was certain! The last hour was difficult, but my wife was there to reassure me that things would be ok. The problem was that I could see more concern in her face than reassurance.

10pm – done! 67.5 miles. Not the greatest performance, but I will take it, considering all that happened that day. We raised $1550, which will be used to provide scholarships for needy kids to attend Y camps and programs.

Very cool! Some of the discussion during the day was about planning to do it all again next year!

By the way, incase you are wondering…the pair of Brooks Launch shoes that I wore performed beyond my expectations. I regularly experience foot blistering in a run of this length. 17 hours, 67.5 miles, no blisters!

More information about Mr. Parry’s Endurance Challenge can be found at

Here is a link to the KAAL TV 6 story that aired about the run.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Brooks ID

I received an email yesterday from Brooks Running telling me that my application to the Brooks ID Program had been accepted and that I am in!

From their website:
Brooks I.D. Program

Brooks I.D. stands for Inspire Daily. These two simple words guide the principles of the program. Brooks I.D. is made up of over 800 members who are active in their running communities and share a passion for the Brooks brand. They are runners who are winners in their own right: Winning their age divisions, accomplishing their personal goals, pushing their own limits, and, by extension, encouraging others to do the same. They are coaches, mentors, and leaders.

What We Look for

Brooks I.D. athletes members use their athletic talent to help carry out the Brooks mission: To inspire people to run and be active. We look for athletes who have a passion for Brooks, race and train in Brooks' shoes and apparel, and enthusiastically evangelize the brand.

I am very excited to have the opportunity to represent Brooks Running!  Check out their website at

I ordered my team uniform last night.

And the Brooks Launch

Houston, we have an honor! Runner's World has awarded the Launch "Best Debut" in the Winter 2010 Shoe Guide in its December 2009 issue, on newsstands Nov. 4, 2009. With an incredibly flexible outsole and seamless transition, this lightweight neutral trainer will get you from start to finish, whether for a tempo run or in a race. Add to that the lower-profile midsole and minimal upper, and it's 3, 2, 1 . . . blast off!

Midsole Height: Heel (22 mm), Forefoot (10 mm)
Outsole Height: Heel (3 mm), Forefoot (5.5 mm)
Heel-to-Toe Offset: 9.5 mm
Tooling Height: Heel (25 mm), Forefoot (15.5 mm)
Weight: (M's) 9.3 oz./(W's) 7.5 oz.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

YMCA Strong Kids Campaign 17 Hour Treadmill Run

Mr. Parry's Endurance Challenge for the YMCA
Come in and support Mr. Jim Parry on Tuesday, August 3rd. Jim will be running from 5AM-10PM (17 hours!!) on a treadmill in our lobby to raise money for our 2010 Strong Kids Campaign! You may have heard of Mr. Parry's Endurance Challenge in Stewartville a few months ago. Mr. Parry teaches 6th grade and he is interested in raising awareness about the importance of exercise for youth and everyone in the community. During his 24 hour run in Stewartville, he completed 100 miles. Jim used to work at the YMCA in Rochester and so did his father. Jim shared, "My family was able to take part in Y programs when I was a child because of the scholarship program. We would never have been able to afford those opportunities without the generosity of others." So Jim is giving back on Tuesday, August 3rd from 5AM-10PM at the Rochester Area Family YMCA: Visit for more information.
You can help Jim out by:
1) Running along side Jim. We will have a schedule for people who can run with him on a 2nd treadmill in the lobby.
2) Pledge Jim efforts with a donation to our Strong Kids Campaign at
3) Spread the word. Share this information and invite others to participate by visit
4) Volunteer to help organize this effort by emailing
Brenda Kulow-King
Rochester Area Family Y
709 1st Ave SW
Rochester, MN 55902
507-287-2260 ext. 305
507-287-2499 FAX

Visit to find out more about the Y's annual Strong Kids campaign. 

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Garmin 305

I got a new Garmin 305 yesterday and love it so far.  Lots of data to analyze, but I doubt I will use all of it most of the time.  It will be nice to use the heart-rate monitor once in a while too.  It is a far cry from the old Garmin 101 that I have been using the last 3 years.  Here is a screen-shot of some of the data from this mornings 5 mile run with Lee.

Monday, May 24, 2010

2010 Challenge Completed

The 2010 Mr. Parry's Endurance Challenge was completed on April 30th with my 24 hour run around Stewartville. The challenge began 10 weeks earlier, encouraging the students and community of Stewartville to get out and be active. Participants were asked to log their exercise during that time in order to hold themselves accountable. 200 people signed up this year for the challenge! My end of the deal was a bit more difficult. From 8:30am on April 29th - 8:30am on April 30th I ran/walked a 4 mile loop around Stewartville, completing 100.68 miles. During last years run, I was only able to log 96 miles. This was one of 2 areas of focus about challenges for my students this year. What do you do when you try to accomplish something, but don't quite accomplish it? The other being, what do you do when things get tough...quit? Both lessons would be severely tested this year.

There were 2 overall themes from this year that defined the run. The first was suffering. The second was leaning on your friends and letting them help you. In many ways, my run this year was much more difficult than last year. The 2 biggest obstacles were the weather and stomach issues. Without my friends and the support of others, including complete strangers, I would have never completed my part of the challenge this year.

There was a 25-35 mph wind from the south for most of the 24 hours. That alone is bad enough, but after working against the headwind each lap, I then ran with it, making me realize how warm it really was. Temps got up to 80 or a little more during the day and it continued to be warm and muggy during the overnight hours. On top of that, several lines of thunderstorms threatened us beginning at 10pm, with a direct hit at 2am or so. With my feet completely soaked at that point, I could not avoid blistering. The entire front of both feet blistered, making forward movement difficult at best.

The stomach issues began at mile 51, after several miles of heartburn and dizzyness. I threw up the first time with an audience of about 40 students and others with me to help me along after school. No one said a one asked me if I was ok...everyone simply knew that I needed to get it over with. They understood before my run that there would be suffering and they were willing to let me deal with it as best as I could. During each of the subsequent laps I had bouts of an upset stomach, with the next big round of puking not happening until 12:30 am. This time the audience was much smaller, with a few adults and just 2 students present. The 2 young ladies still with me at the time eventually completed 12 miles, saying that they want to run 16 next year! They were amazing and looked strong the entire way!

I am not really sure why I had stomach issues. I have never had problems with eating and running. In the week or so after my run, I realized that I may have been ill, as my family all delt with fevers and vomiting for hours at a time. I realized within minutes of the start of the run that I was not feeling right. That's ok I kept telling will pass in a couple of hours. It didn't. 2 hours into the run, I was tired...really tired! That is not at all normal for me. So abnormal that I had to deal with it the only way I know how. I turn to myself and ignore everything around me, letting the time pass by. This worked for small chunks of time. But...I had promised to run by each of the schools in town and high-five the kids or run a few laps with them on their playgrounds. This really broke up my concentration and the time I felt that I needed alone with my thoughts. I really needed this time to myself to deal with the pain that I knew would come later in the evening.

So by 5pm I was spent and unable to take in any significant calories. By this time I was desperately waiting for my friend and former coach Mike Russell to show up. I knew that he would understand what I was going through. It was his plan to do all of the thinking and tell me what to do. He was going to get me to 100 miles. Sometime around 8pm, all of a sudden, he was just there at my side, asking how I was doing. Mike kept me moving much more quickly into the late evening hours than last year. Still, by midnight, I had enough. He still pushed. By 3am, I was ready to quit. He still pushed. He figured that we were going to be very close to getting in 100 miles. By 5am, I was unsure I could keep moving forward for another 4 mile loop, let alone 3 1/2 hours! He still pushed. At one point, we were behind pace by about 15 minutes. Still, he this point literally. A couple of teachers from my middle school took turns hooking me by the arm, pulling me along. Without the help of others, I would not have made it.
I did feel better after having some toast a little before 6am, and the return of light helped a little. The unwillingness of others to let me quit is what kept me going. I know I looked horrible, but I knew I was physically ok. I just couldn't find the energy to deal with anyone or anything, from talking to climbing up or down from a curb.

I am not sure when I realized that I would finish...probably not until the last 1 1/2 miles, at which point Gold Cross medics stopped me. I had to refuse treatment to continue on! I had to get in 100 miles! I promised! After walking most of the last 1 1/2 miles with an Olmsted Co Sherriff's car as an escort, I ran the last few hundred yards to finish in front of my school, with the entire student body out to cheer me on. What a thrill! 100 miles!!! Still, I was too tired to enjoy it. I needed to get home to bed.

Incase you are wondering, it took me 2 days before I started thinking about next year.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Media Coverage

6/23/10 Endurance Planet Hour podcast on
5/4/10 Stewartville Star
4/29/10 - 4/30/10
WCCO online story
Fargo, ND TV 6 Story
Rochester Post Bulletin
Endurance Planet . com podcast
4/27/10 Stewartville Star
Rochester Post Bulletin
2/23/10 Stewartville Star Article
2009 Coverage
KAAL TV 6 stories
Stewartville Star articles

Thursday, May 6, 2010

100 miles

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Endurance Challenge T-shirts

T-shirts are in and ready to order.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod Touch

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sloppy Streets

I got out for 6.5 miles tonight, but it was slow because of so much snow left on the streets from last night. We are looking at t-shirt designs for this year's Endurance Challenge. They should be simple, but pretty cool. I will post a pic when I have a finished design. Hoping that the streets are clear of so much loose, sandy snow soon.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod Touch

Friday, February 12, 2010

Mr. Parry's Endurance Challenge Kick-off

We announced the Endurance Challenge on Thursday during an assembly at the middle school. We also began a contest, where SMS students can guess how many miles I will cover over the 24 hours. As of tonight, 54 have signed up!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod Touch

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Endurance Challenge NING

For info on Mr. Parry's Endurance Challenge, go to

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod Touch

February 10, 2010

Got out for 5 miles tonight while Jack was in religion class. I love the feeling of running in the snow, but hate the cold that comes with it. I am announcing the 2010 Mr. Parry's Endurance Challenge tomorrow afternoon during an assembly at tge middle school.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod Touch

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Big Words

So last night my little girl says "I know what perseverence means Daddy. It means never giving up".
I hope she never forgets it!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod Touch

Friday, December 11, 2009

Stewie Star

Here is the picture that ran in last week's Stewartville Star. The kids had a blast at the ECFE Daddy and Me Night!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod Touch