Category Archives: General Updates

BQ for Ron


Let Run Home Ron!

Who is Ron? Ron was my co-worker at university hospital in food service for many years. He pass away back in April this year in his sleep. Why I am writing about Ron on a running blog because he play a role in helping me to BQ.

Ron, was always cheerful guy never really saw him mad. He love to smile and joke around. He was a very good cook at the hospital. He knew I was a runner because he saw me running downtown in Louisville. He would always ask me how is your running going Marcus? I would say find Ron!

Right before the Derby Festival marathon in Kentucky I talk to him about my upcoming race and told him about running to BQ. He say I hope you do this bro and be sure to represent the food service team at university hospital. I say I will do this Ron.

I was at home on a Thursday and reading my Facebook post and saw my co-workers start to post RIP RON. I thought to myself what happen to Ron and then I text my boss she told me they just found him dead in his sleep. I was like man we just talk about running. He was not that old about 47 years old. She told me I don’t know what happen but his girl friend find him dead in his sleep.

One guy told me at work he went home early because he was not feeling good. Ron love to work he would at times pick up a shift taking food to patients when we was short on the line.  Just make you think how short life is you can be here one day and gone the next. This is why I want to smile and just make other people happy this is what Ron did everyday at work.

I decided to dedicate my marathon to Ron and told all my coworkers and friends. I knew this run was going to be for him.  Running even most of the race until I hit the wall this mean my pace slow down and I could feel my body getting weak. I knew my BQ goal was still there just had to finish strong.

About mile 24 I told myself to run mile 25 slow and try to save the rest on my energy for the last mile. At this point my mind was like man this hurts can I do this? A runner behind me say this is too hard and drop off. Ok!  One mile to go for the BQ can I do this Marcus? I say Ron let’s run home  let’s run home Ron!!! I just started to sprint and people was cheering me on and my mind was so focus on my BQ. I kept saying let’s Run home Ron let’s run home Ron. I heard the announcer call my name out as I approach the finish line. I think he say go Marcus go Marcus!

When I cross the line I look at my watch and the time was 3Hrs 8 min. A guy gave me a high five. I was like  finally! It took me years to BQ but hard work and Inspiration help me this day. I was still a little nerves because the time clocks on the course was out because of a storm early that morning. I did not know if the clock was going to give me a different time. When I got home and saw my time my goal was accomplished baby! I told all my FB friends about what just happen and how Ron help me in the last mile.

This BQ was for Ron! RIP Ron “Big Rizz” 1971-2017- I love you!!!

How to fix your life?

This may sound like  a self-help post but the goal is to show how running can fix your life. I was at work  on a Thursday listening to a podcast call Run to the Top –  she had to runners on the  podcast that founded the Running to the edge.

They talk about how you can use running to help in other parts of your life. The same principles you apply to running is the same principles you can use to fix your life. They didn’t really used those words but you get the point.

I was thinking about my life and career how could it be better? Yes! I have became a very good marathon runner taking myself from 4hrs 5 min to 3hrs 8min and BQing  this year. My career on the other hand has not seen that type of progress.

I have been working two Jobs for many years that take much of my time and energy. The Jobs are all in food service and don’t pay that well. I make about $30,000 a year working 40 plus hours.

Now don’t get me wrong here I am thankful to be working and providing for my family my dear Mother. (no wife are kids) One Job is at Texas Roadhouse in Louisville, Kentucky and the other one at University hospital. These jobs pay the bills for now.

I want to fix this  because number one my passion has really never been in food service. The long working hours with little pay. I have been doing this type of work since 1999 the year I finish high school.

My dream is to have a business coaching runners just like me who love the sport and want to improve on their running hobby.

The same mindset and principal that made me successful in running marathon and getting the red carpet treatment this year aftering BQing. Must be the same principal used to fix my career.

Now you may have a great career and that’s great! What about others thing in life you can fix? diet, relationships, family, fitness. We all need to look at are life and start to examine me( meaning you) to see how I can become the best version of myself each day.

This tool we can used is call running and we can make ourselves into the type of people and runners we want to become. Follow me as I go through my journey of using running to improve my career. Write a comment to tell me about how you going to improve you life with running.


Your Dream Marathon

Dream big

My dream marathon would be 2hrs 35min and top 5 finsher at the derby festivatil marathon. This would top my BQ performance last April when I was so excited to hit that goal. I believe everyone should dream big and forget about the critic inside of you telling you to stop dreaming.

Every Dream Starts with Vision

I think every person that has made it big in life start with a big dream and than start seeing themselves living the dream. This is what vision means to me you dream than focus your mind carrying out the dream. People that don’t dream don’t have vision. Seeing yourself in a better state help you to chase your dreams.

Your Dream is your Dream:

My dream is my dream not your dream are my boss dream. This is my dream so I have to nurse it and treat it with care and stop expecting others to feel the same way about my dream. I think people will spend their whole life dreaming other people dreams  but never dreaming their own dreams.

What if the dream don’t come true?

There is always a possible that your big dream will not come true. Does this mean you should not dream at all? At some point in life you going have to say to yourself I don’t care if my dream come true are not. I will dream big and work hard and the rest leave to God. Dreams are made to keep us alive and to give us hope.

Dream killers want you:

Dream Killers are people that tell you stop dreaming because dreams are for kids and adults should think real. Dreams are for only lucky people in life and not you. Maybe you are your own dream killer. Stop letting people take your dreams!

How do big dreams come true?

Big dreams come true when you take small steps toward killing the dragon. If you try to kill the dragon all at once than he will kill you. Start with a smart goal than a plan without letting fear get in your way!




I believe more in myself after running six full marathons. The marathons has taking me from a back of a pack runners to being in the front with the fast runners. This gave me the belief if I work hard and dream big than anything is possible.

The marathon has show me how to focus on setting goals in life and coming up with a plan to fulfilled them. Marathon runner has giving me a name when people see me they say I seen you running downtown today. My co-workers  know I am a runner.

Most of all the marathon has help me to start to think more about my diet and know changes need to be made. We become what we eat and do. Eating bad can hurt you down the road and this is not what I want.

Marathon running has taught me to push through the pain and get the reward for hard work. Stay patience and don’t ever give up on your dreams. Every person was giving something special and the key to life is to find your gift and share it with others!

Marcus is a lot more stronger today than I was seven years ago I know that the only limit is the one we set for ourselves. Life is a marathon that we must run everyday to reach our purpose until God calls us home!

Green smoothie experiment: Part Two


fail to BQ over and over and it hurt!

2016- I was so close 3hrs 15min fail apart in the last 10K.

2015- Stay with the 3:10 pace group most of the race but fail apart the last six miles.( 3hrs 31 min)

2014- Felt good most of the race but just could not reach my goal of 3hrs 5min ( 3hrs 20min)

2013- Was my second marathon I thought this was going to be easy after I train hard boy was I wrong only 3hrs 33min

2012- My first Marathon I had no goal to BQ just want to prove my boss wrong and finish.


My friends and family must have got sick of me talking about boston and running a BQ. Even my co-workers at both Jobs know what a BQ is now! I thought to myself what will work? after all my boston dream is still alive and I have PR in all my Marathons except but one. What could help me to get over the hump and BQ. I knew that the problem was always the last six miles. My legs always just gave out and could not give me the power to finish strong!


I started my training  a little early this year the last week of December my goal was to get in a little more miles. I have never been a 50-60 miles per week runner  have run very low weekly miles 30 to 35 per week. Just don’t have time to put in a 60 miles a week when you have two Jobs and a mother to take care of. I went to strength runner a very popular blog about strength training and sign up for his team. Why not be part of a running group I thought.


I decided to use one of his running plans for moderate marathon runners.( that are very busy people)  He tells his team you don’t have to follow it to perfection but just 80%. This was just a good blueprint to have without having a coach. I know how to train for a marathon after all every year except but one I have PR.


I knew the green smoothies movement was big because of JJ smith book ten day green smoothie cleanse and the simple green smoothies blog. My goal was to start a side coaching business so I did a lot of research on green smoothies. One day I came across a website powered by green smoothies and he talk about how he use green smoothie to do a experiment of some endurance athletes to see if green smoothies could help their performance. This caught my attention because it was a documentary.

He put them through this six week experiment where they could not change their diet but just drink a quart are two of green smoothies for six weeks. He conduct more tests with his medical team. After six weeks the runners who follow his green smoothies plan all was able to run light on their feet and break through the wall. I thought to myself maybe this will help me to run strong the last six miles of my marathon. This was the only reason that kept me from BQing in the past.


I than send him an e-mail and told him about my goal on trying to run boston and my experiment of following his plan. He say it’s simple just drink one are two quarts a day and this will help you to feel lighter on your feet. Why not give it a try I told myself?


My goal was to find the most cheapest way of doing this experiment without having to invest a lot of money in a high price blender. I don’t know if this going to work and spending $200 on a blender is not in my budget right now. I was in walgreens one day and saw a blender for $29.99 call the Magic Bullet Mini. I than went to amazon (same price) to look at some of the reviews and it was perfect for making smoothies. This is what I need! Great for a newbie green smoothie maker.



The next step was finding recipes he has several recipes that he gives you in an e-book. I really did not used them because I could not find the ingredients at save a lot. I did used one recipe from the ladies over at simple green smoothies about how to make your first green smoothie. All of my ingredients that I used doing this experiment  came from save a lot. The store has fresh spinach, Kale, frozen blueberries, strawberries, pineapples, unsweet almond milk, walnuts. This is good for a newbie smoothie maker you just need some green leaf, fresh fruit, water, blender to start.



My first smoothie I made came from the simple green smoothie website. They call it the beginner luck green smoothie.


6 to 8 oz of water

1 cup of fresh spinach

1 peeled banana

1 mango

.5 pineapples



Only 5 weeks left in my training my goal was to drink at least two cups of green smoothies a day. I did not have no specific time on when I drink the smoothies just made sure to drink two before the end of the day. I drink my first green smoothie on a saturday right before a 18 mile long run. I felt good after the finish there was no running cramps like in the past.  Early on in my training I would get legs cramps on my long runs and had to slow down.



I drink two a day so my PH level went up after testing with PH Test strips. My long runs was getting more faster and I did not have dead legs at the end like in the past. There was one 20 mile long run I was able to pick up so much energy in the last 4 miles. Now I still felt sluggish from not getting sleep working two jobs. I always say nothing will give you more energy than rest. Sleep is important and your body needs it big time!


My worst long run of the year was when I hit the wall and could not finish a 23 mile long run.  I have learn when my body is rested it can do some amazing things. I will give a full recap about the race in a post call Marcus 2017 spring marathon recap.


I will started with the last six miles which is the wall for most runners. I have run even throughout the race and felt a lost of energy for the first time. I look at my watch and saw my pace had went down big time from 7:05 to 7:34 miles. My self critic was saying here we go again the wall is going to defeat me.  My race goal was set high so the BQ goal was still alive. My focus was to calm down and re-think my plan. Option A was 3hrs 4 min was out. What about option B of running 3hrs and 10 0sec which is my BQ for my age group. I knew this was still possible but I need to get my pace back up from 7:34 to at least 7:13 miles.


Since I focus on running a time goal fastest than my BQ this was money in the bank. (Still a little ahead of 3hrs 10 min time) My legs was not as fatigue like the past years. I know after 24 miles my next mile had to be a gamble means run it slow and try to preserve energy for a strong finish. This could have work against me it very hard for a non-elite runner to turn over his miles by almost a min this late in a race. Mile 26 would have to be run at least faster than 7:54 my last mile pace.


The last mile was run on inspiration from co-worker that died the week before and the energy I got from the green smoothies experiment. I say to my friend Ron let’s run home Ron let’s Run home Ron!!! I just push through the pain and the voice in my mind saying slow down to run my last mile 6:59. Everybody was shouting because it look like I was     trying to win the race by my sprint at the end. I cross the line and look at my watch 3hrs 8min and pump my fist baby!!! Two guys gave me hi-five and I was pump after five full marathons Marcus has BQ! I told my friend Kevin you just got finish running the half I BQ baby!!! He say yeah!!!!! I could not wait to share this with all my facebook friends who have heard me talk about this for a long time.


This day I felt like a champion from FB likes to getting a free meal at Texas Roadhouse to getting a picture of me on the derby festival facebook page. Some people at one of my Jobs at university hospital say I saw you on that page. Wow baby!! I feel like a celebrity now. One hot nurse was at the race cheering on her boyfriend even took a picture of me and could not wait to tell me at work!


I felt so good and even forgot about my mother and dad being at mile 3 in the rain cheering me on! This was my day and my hard work payoff. Yes! If you put in the training believe in yourself and don’t give up dreams can come true. Most runners can only dream about running a BQ I did on April 29, 2017 – In Loving Memory Ronald “Big Rizz” Strokes.