Sunday, September 28, 2008

Running in the Rain on a Sunday Morning

Boy am I glad we had the bad weather today, and not last Sunday, for the PDR. It would have sucked to run that 1/2 marathon in sticky, rainy/misty, humid weather.

I got out of the house around 8:30am, and had to run a 7 miler. It wasn't really raining at the time, just that kinda misty crap.
Today's goal was to just run a nice comfortable pace. Try and stay around the 9min/mile pace.
I ran a different course to Mercer County Park, just to break things up a bit.
By the time I hit the park, at about the 2+ mile mark, the mist turned into rain, and lasted for about 15 mins or so. It stopped for a bit, and picked up big time, for my last 2 miles.

There where a few runners out and about, and I have one complaint/question!

I got stuck in the back draft of some 20something guy, who had bad nightclub cologne on,and later on, an older guy, say in his early 50's with your father's bad cologne on. It sucks to get a nose full of that crap, all that before 9:00am, and in the rain to boot!

This is going to be an easy week, until next Sunday.
Here is my schedule:
Today 7
Mon. off
Tues. 5
Wed. off
Thur. 6
Fri. off
Sat. 4

1:04:19 9:10min/mile avg.
1 8:53
2 9:08
3 9:24
4 9:34
5 9:13
6 9:09
7 8:51
.01 :03

I also should mention, that Saturday, I did nice easy 4.15 mile run in 38:21 a 9:14 min/mile pace.
And lastly, my condolences go out to BEACHRUNNER411..

Saturday, September 27, 2008




Thursday, September 25, 2008

Trail Running before the rain

With a storm on the way, I decided to stay out of the wind, and do some exploring.

My last few times running in Mercer County Park, I saw some trails that looked inviting. I really haven't run on "trails", since my cross country days.

My shins have been a bit on the sore side the past few days, so I thought getting off the asphalt, and running on dirt, would help a bit.

It was really cool to run in the woods. You really need to keep an eye out for roots. There sure where enough of them, ready to jump up and grab you. I had an eye to them, and one looking out for the low branches.
I will say, the trails I ran on, were very well traveled. The brush was back off the trails nicely, and every so often, there were either blue or red reflectors on the trees, marking the route. There were even some nice man-made bridges, across a few creeks.

The route I took, winded around to the boathouse at Mercer County Lake.

My training plan called for a 6 miler, and when I got to the boathouse, I was around 2 miles. One of the local prep schools, Peddie, had their crew team practicing on the lake.

I added on by running out of the park, and towards Mercer Oaks, our county golf course.On my way back to the lake, the girl's crew team, was running in pairs, with the oars. It looked pretty tough, since the oars looked to be about 10' in length.

It was a cool run, something different, and since the shins were hurtin', I glad I chose the trails. I will definitely be running them more.

6.01 miles 56:18

9:22 min/mile avg.

Mile / Time
1 9:19 min
2 8:57 min
3 9:02 min
4 9:33 min
5 9:37 min
6.01 9:47 min

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

In need of something to motivate me to run tonite!

After coming off the "runner's high", that was the Philadelphia Distance Run, I needed something to motivate me to run my scheduled 6 miles. I mean having just run with 15,000 runners, cheering crowds, live bands, Cowbells, you could see how I would have trouble getting up to go out for a 6 miler.
Well, I thought of just the thing to get me going... ANOTHER RACE !
While this one won't have crowds & cowbells, it will have bragging rights.
A race of Epic proportions.. the return of the RUN TO SWIM!
Yes, we re-up'd the boys for swim lessons that run weekly until Dec., so I have a chance to redeem myself, and beat the boys today! The past few Tuesdays, I have only had to run 5 miles, so I haven't run to swim since August.
Well, GAME ON!
I got out the door about an hour before they had to be at their lessons. I told the boys that I would win this one, and that VENGEANCE would be mine.
As I was running down Nottingham Way, I passed a car that honked at me. To my surprise, Shoreturtle recognized me. As I read on his blog, he was headed to the track for a speed workout.
I felt good running, no post race hangover or soreness. It sure was different, back to the solitary training runs.
I ran my usual pace, which I was fine with.
When I got to the swim class, I didn't see the wife's minivan, so I knew I had win in the bag!
Well, about 5 mins after I arrived, so did the boys. Both came out at me, saying that I cheated by leaving too early. I told them that maybe they where running late, and that I ran faster, so I win!
Guess this story isn't over just yet...

6.4 miles 55:36mins. 8:41min/mile avg.

1 9:23 min
2 8:46 min
3 8:45 min
4 8:47 min
5 8:28 min
6 8:13 min
.40 3:11 min

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Philadelphia Distance Run Sept. 21, 2008

OH MAN! What an awesome day! Great Weather, great competitor's, and I had a great time & results.
I will say, that in the days leading up to this run, I was on the nervous side. I mean, running alone is one thing, but being surrounded by 15,000 is something else.
I want to thank a running friend of Shoreturtle's, I met back in July, Bill. We kept in touch via emails, and carpooled together to the race. Sure was nice to have a buddy there, to talk to, and keep the nerves at bay.
I got on the road around 5:15am, picked up Bill, and headed to Philly. We were in Philly and walking to the starting area at Eakins Oval by 6:30am. It was a cool morning, a total 360 from last Sunday's Heat & Humidity! The runners where just starting to arrive, and I was lucky enough to hit the port-a-pots without a line..(more on that in a bit!).
We headed up the steps of the Art Museum, to relax, look for some Runner's World discussion board runner's I post with in the marathon training page. I didn't meet up with anyone, until right before the start. I wanted to hit the bathroom one last time, before heading to my corral start, when Progman2000 , recognized me, from my Flyers visor. I never saw him after that, and hope he did great. He was well at the end of a long line for the port-a-pots. Well, needing to go myself, and not wanting to wait in those lines, I found 2 with no line, inside the ING VIP section! SO, I hopped the makeshift fence, designed to keep us regular Joe's out. I was spotted by other runners, and next thing I knew, there were about 10 runners or so, hopping the fence to go. A ING rep, went to get security, I think, and I was lucky enough to get into the potty, before she got back.
The start was amazing. I was in Corral #9, I guess almost a 1/2 mile from the starting line. It was quite a site, to see the mass of humanity in front of me. They started the wheelchair athletes 1st, followed by the elite runners, and then us. I would guess it was almost 4 minutes or more, from the gun, to the time I actually crossed the starting line. It was stop and go for the first 1/2 mile or so, and it started to thin out after that.
I took the advise of Progman, and others, and ran the race without my Ipod. For the most part I was glad I did. The crowd was amazing, the cheering & cowbells sure pumped you up. It was also pretty cool, to have a different type of band around most mile marks. There were your typical cover bands, to the big band lounge acts, to one's playing only original music. Again, it was very cool, and kept ya motivated.
I thought it pretty funny, to be running along side a runner in a Steeler's Rothlesberger jersey as we passed the Eagles pep band around the 2 mile mark.
I was checking my time, and noticed I was moving along at a pretty good clip. I ran mile 1 in 8:41, mile 2 in 8:48, mile 3 in 8:24 & mile 4 in 8:10! I wanted to be closer to 9:30/miles in the early going, but felt good, and again, the crowd got you moving. I was a bit nervous after I saw my 4Th mile split. I sure didn't want to burn out early. I was really shocked at the 4Th mile, I knew I was moving, but sure didn't want to be going that fast. Oh boy.. I was sure I would pay for this fast pace.
The 4Th - 7Th miles, where I think the toughest of the race. By the 5Th mile, the course took you away from the crowds. You ran along a part of the course, where the Schuykill river was on your right, and the Schuykill Expressway was on your left. This is where I could have used my trusty Ipod. Not many spectators, and I was sure the early pace would catch up to me here. I did slow a bit, but still was keeping a good pace. Mile 5 8:31 & Mile 6 in 8:41. There was a slight uphill in the 7Th mile, and that got you back into the crowds a bit. Mile 7 was the slowest of my run at 8:48.
I was still feeling really good, and the thought of doing this race under 2 hours, was starting to become a real goal.
Miles 8 & 9, I kept the pace steady, rolling off 8:36 & 8:42 miles. At the 9Th mile, I was thinking how fast this run was going, and I just had to hold it together for a little more than 4 miles.
My goal before the run, was to try and stay at a steady 9- 9:30 min mile pace, until around the 10Th mile, and push it the last 5k, and see where I end up. That strategy went out the window after the 1st few miles. I did push it the last few miles, rattling off 8:29 for the 10Th, 8:21 for the 11Th, and 8:16 for mile 12.
With only 1.1 miles to go, I gave it all I had, and killed it, with a 7:58, for mile 13. I knew I was moving, but had no idea it was that good, until I checked the Garmin after the race.
Coming up to the finish, they crowd was so amazing, it was indescribable, how it pumped you, and got you to move. When I hit that 13Th mile mark, and turned the corner, and saw the finish, it was amazing.
The clock time read 1:57:28, and I knew my chip time had to be under that!
My Garmin read 1:53:19 for 13:37 miles, and after checking the website, my official chip time was 1:53:13 ! 8:39 min/mile avg.
I finished 4211 overall, and 3013 in the men's, and 437, in my 40-44 age group.

I did meet one other blogger after the race. After I got my bag I checked, I ran into Fllij, who keeps up the Philly Marathon posts on the RWOL discussion board. She also recognized me from my FLYERS visor. It was nice to meet her.

It was just a great day/run and I would encourage everyone who runs to try one of these large races. I am sure you will have as great an experience as I did.

I can't imagine I can run this pace for 26.2 miles, but I have 9 more weeks of training to get me to the finish, and that's my main goal for the marathon!

2008 Philadelphia Distance Run Pictures

Here are the pictures I was able to take of the Philadelphia Distance Run. There was no way I was going to run with my camera.

Here is a shot of the front of my T-shirt, bib number, and finisher's medal!
This is a shot of the Finish Line in the distance.

Here is a shot of the family reunion section. Just a mass of humanity.

Here is another shot of the Family reunion section.

Here was the table with the winning trophies.

This is a shot from the Art Museum steps at 6:30am, as the runners started to arrive!

Friday, September 19, 2008

2008 Philadelphia Distance Run this Sunday

Here is an article from the Philadelphia Daily News, about the PDR race this weekend.

2008 Philadelphia Distance Run this Sunday
By Frank Seravalli
If you hear the sound of someone blaring on a megaphone at 7:45 a.m. Sunday and a stampede of footsteps, don't worry. It's just the 2008 Philadelphia Distance Run kicking off in Center City.
The 31st annual half-marathon begins and ends at Eakins Oval, and the course includes some of the city's most famous sites.
In all, the "fast, flat, and fun" course measures 13.1 miles. Water, sports drinks and energy supplements will be available throughout the course.
"We already have approximately 15,000 registered runners as of Monday," race spokesman Dan Cruz said. "Last year, we had nearly 14,000 run in the event."
Many of the runners are competing with a charity in mind. The event itself has linked up with Team McGraw, former Phillies pitcher Tug McGraw's foundation, in a fight against brain cancer.
The race caps off the 2008 Health & Fitness Expo, which begins today at the Convention Center. Runners who have not yet registered can sign up at the Expo from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. today or 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow. The cost is $75.
Sunday's race has something for everyone. With a wheelchair race and age divisions that range from 12 to 80-plus, no time or ability will be unrepresented. There are also options to make Sunday a family affair: Six different races of various lengths for children ages 3 to 12 will begin about 9:30 a.m.
If running isn't your thing or you're out of shape, 13 bands and various vendors will be scattered along the course. There will be a different band each mile.
"There are a ton of things to do on race day," Cruz said. "At the very least, you can come out and hear great bands, support a charity, or cheer on your favorite runner."
Numerous professional runners and Olympians will compete. The field is headlined by Catherine Ndereba, who took the silver medal in the women's marathon at the Beijing Olympics. Ndereba, who trains in Norristown, has won the Philadelphia Distance Run five times.
Prizes will be awarded to the top five men and women finishers, with $3,500 going to each individual champion. In addition, the first male and female finishers from Philadelphia will receive $1,000.
What: Philadelphia Distance Run, 13.1 miles
Where: Start and finish at Eakins Oval, Benjamin Franklin Parkway
When: Sunday, 7:45 a.m.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

5 in the Park

I got out Tuesday nite, for a 5 mile run in Veteran's Park, not knowing how I was going to feel after that BRUTAL 20 miler on Sunday.
Boy what a difference in the weather! It was pleasant, in the low to mid 70's with a slight breeze, and NO HUMIDITY!
The legs where a bit sore in the thighs at the start, but I felt really good.
I did see a funny sight as I was running.
There was a cross country meet in the park, and I guess the runners where out for the warm-up, getting familiar with the course. Well, I came towards a black gal, running downhill on a path. (same one the cop car forced me off back around the 4th of July).
She had something in her outstretched left arm. I couldn't exactly tell what it was at first. I thought made she had some type of feathers, or headdress, who knows what. Well, when I passed her, I realized what it was. It was her weave! It must have come undone, as she ran, and she was fixing it!
It cracked me up, to see that sight.
5.01 miles 41:29
1 8:22
2 8:25
3 8:41
4 8:15
5.01 7:47

Monday, September 15, 2008

20 Miles at 5:00am in the F'n Heat & 100% Humidity!

All I can say is Holy SH!T !!
20 F'n Miles,and I have no idea how I finished the last 1+ !
It was BRUTAL !

I knew Saturday, that the weather was not going to be good, so I hit the sack early (asleep by 10:00am), and set the alarm for 5:00am. I got up a bit before the alarm went off, and was out the door a little after 5:00am. It was 72deg & 100% humidity at 5:00am!!
It was like walking into a heat curtain.
I mean I know we had an "easy" month of August, but this is/was ridiculous!
I got numerous tips to make sure I did my long run "slow". I tried like hell to pace myself around the 10:00 min/mile mark. For the better part of 15 miles, that was just what I was doing.
I mapped out a course on Saturday, an out and back run, that incorporated Mercer County Park, so I could make sure to rehydrate, using their water fountains. (very smart move!)
The first 10 - 12 miles where very good. I felt strong, even though I was soaked, like I had run in a downpour! My shoes where squishing from about the 8 mile or so on! I was as if I had run through a puddle, they were that soaked with sweat. My running shorts where stuck to my legs, just like my running tank was stuck to my body. The sweat was pouring down my back, right into my shorts, which made a certain area very irritated!
What was cool, during my run was, when I was running in MCP, I passed a fellow runner I know, from my son's school. He is also running the Philadelphia Marathon. I was a bit envious of him, as he only was running 12 miles, and I still had about 11 to go,when I saw him.
fyi.. I spoke with his wife today, and he was in as bad shape as I was, when he was done....
As always, MCP was hosting an event. This one was a heart walk. It looked like it was a huge event, just by what they were setting up. The volunteers probably thought I was some nut, as I had to run past them 3 times. Luckily I didn't need their help!
During my runs, I the thought of walking never enters my mind. This one it crept in, and took hold. I tell ya, the mind is one nasty mother! I was soo beat up from the 18 mile on, I had to do some walk/running in the last mile plus. I never had to do that before, but to finish this run, I had no other option than the walk/run.
While I am glad I did the 20 miler, I hope it was the weather that killed me, because if this was the marathon, I have no idea how I could have possibly finished the last 6.2miles!
Here are the stats:
10:20 min/mile pace
2,650 calories burned

1 9:35 min
2 9:42 min
3 9:46 min
4 9:36 min
5 9:40 min
6 9:53 min
7 9:54 min
8 9:57 min
9 9:59 min
10 9:52 min
11 9:40 min
12 9:59 min
13 9:49 min
14 9:47 min
15 10:07 min
16 10:11 min
17 11:18 min
18 11:35 min
19 12:04 min
20 14:13 min

Friday, September 12, 2008

8 days until the Philadelphia Distance Run

It's 8 days until the Philadelphia Distance Run, and when I was in Philadelphia today, I noticed that they had banners up, advertising the run. Pretty cool stuff!

I got my PDR packet in the mail earlier this week. It was loaded with information about the course, parking, the expo, how to pick up your chip & bib, ect...
When I signed up, they asked for your estimated finish time. They ask this, because they start you according to that time. I am starting in corral #9. I estimated my time to be 2:00 hours.

I have never entered a race of this size. I ran the Broad Street Run, a 10 mile race, back in the late 80's, but it wasn't as popular then as it is today.

I believe that there are upwards of 12,000 entrants to the PDR.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

5 in the Park.... Part Deux

Being the creature of habit, that I am, I did the same run as Tuesday. What can I say, I find something that works, and I stick with it.
One thing that did happen on my run today, really pissed me off. Right before I head into the wooded area of Veteran's Park, I ran up on a walker. The lady, I'll guess was in her mid to late 50's. Someone who should know right from wrong, ya think? Well, as I came up on her, she took a tissue and just threw it on the ground! Right in front of me! I wanted to say something to this lady, but I think I was in shock, as to how she could just litter like that. I mean, when I run, if I have a gel, I keep it until I find a garbage can. Some people....
Anyway, my run was good. I didn't want to see how fast I could push it today, I just found a comfortable pace, and ran.
One thing I don't understand, after reviewing my miles, was how they could all be about the same pace, but the 2nd was much slower?
It was a good run, and as I edge closer to the 20 miler this Sunday, I'm starting to get that nervous/excited feeling.... guess that means a sleepless nite this Saturday.

5.01 miles 41:39 (8:19min/mile avg.)

1 8:01
2 9:06
3 8:14
4 8:26
5.01 7:48

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

5 in the Park

This being a recovery week, I only have 2 weekday runs, today, Tuesday & Thursday.

Not being one to "take it easy", I decided to run the Hamilton Hangover course, and see how what time I could lay down.

I wanted to get the run in before more rain came. It poured here, late in the morning, with good ole Thunder & Lighting included in the show.

I have run this course numerous times this year, so I pretty much know ever nook & cranny of the course. What I was surprised to see on the run today, was about 8-10 wild turkeys, headed into the woods. When I was in the woods, I came face to face with a big doe, and a little chipmunk scurried in front of me at one point also. The deer was amazing, I never saw deer in Veteran's Park before, it must be use to people, since I ran up on it, and was close enough to touch it, before it took off for the woods.

I know.. I need to carry a camera to get photographic proof of my sightings.

Again, my goal for the run, was to see how much time I could shave off of the Hamilton Hangover 5 miler time I ran in Jan. Including the actual race, I have run this course 5 times this year, with a best time of 42:25 (8.29 avg), which I did back on Jan 1st.

I felt really good, with only the short run on Sunday. The legs felt pretty fresh.

I will say, that the longer I have gone into this training, the better I have felt. Other than the fall, and a few blisters, after weeks of actual marathon training,
I'm in good shape health wise. I probably weight what I did back in my late 20's. I lean 169 lbs. When I started planning for this, back in June, I was around 180lbs, + or - a pound. Running is a good way to keep the pounds off.

Well, back to my run... When checking my history of this particular run, the best WAS 42:25.

Nine months later.. a new best!

5.01 miles 39:14 (7.50 min/mi avg.)

I sure can tell how far I have come in my running. After doing the long runs I have, and the weekday runs of an 6-8 milers, this 5 mile run seemed like it was a run around the block.

Back in January, a 5 mile run, would seem like an eternity!

Well, I will enjoy my rare Wednesday off.

1 7:45 min/mi
2 7:58 min/mi
3 7:51 min/mi
4 7:48 min/mi
5.01 7:49 min/mi

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Running with the Turtle

Last nite, thru email, I set up to run with ShoreTurtle (Charlie).
We planned to meet at 8:00am, at Mercer County Park.
It was a nice morning to run. The humidity left with Hanna, and it was very comfortable. A big change from yesterday's soup run.
There some action in the park. A few runners & cyclists, some walkers, and a SIDS benefit walk, that was just getting set up, as we were running.
It was nice to run with someone. Charlie ran the Philadelphia Marathon, and was giving me some nice tips, things he learned when he ran it back in 2006. One thing I need to do, is get out and run park of the last leg of the marathon, so I know when I hit the 20 mile mark, I'll know what to expect for those last long 6.2 miles.
We had a nice comfortable pace. Pace was the key piece of knowledge I picked up today. Charlie pretty much said Pace is the key to the marathon. Trying to find that pace you are comfortable at, and maintaining it for all 26.2 is key. Don't go out fast, it'll get you in the end! Even taking it a bit easy for the first 1/2, will help you in the end.
It was a good run, the 1st time I have ran with anyone, since the last 5k race I did in early July.
If you get the chance, check out his blog. He does a great job with it.
Thanks Turtle!
I appreciate you running with me, I'm sure it's a bit slower pace than you run.

6.67 mile 58:42 (8:47 min/mile)

1 9:06 min/mi
2 8:31 min/mi
3 8:47 min/mi
4 8:42 min/mi
5 8:49 min/mi
6 8:40 min/mi
.67 mi 6:05 min.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

A Saturday Morning run in the Soup

Man.. was it soupy out this morning!
I can't wait for Tropical Storm Hanna Montana to come and go, and relieve us of this HUMIDITY! While all the kids might love her, I can't wait to see her go!
Brutal, simply brutal humidity from this damn storm.
While I was lucky there wasn't any rain, AND I only had to run 5 miles, boy was it a tough run.
I don't mind the heat, but this sticky humidity, making it tough to breath sucks! I mean 95% humidity is a bit ridiculous !
Well, I got out into the soup about 8:30am, and had no idea where I felt like running, so I just ran thru the local neighborhoods. Not many people outside this Saturday morning, for obvious reasons.
I didn't run with the good old Ipod this morning. Just wanted to change things up a bit. While I truly enjoy running with it, sometimes it's nice to hear the sounds.
While the legs felt good, I am glad to be heading into a recovery week. My feet are feeling the strain of the last 3 weeks of mileage. It'll be nice to have a "short" 6 mile run on Sunday, compared to the last 3 weeks of 14,16 & 18 milers!
I'll have Wednesday off, and low mileage runs Tuesday(5), Thursday(5) and Saturday(4)!
The last 3 weeks of mileage where 38, 41, & 43.
This is the most mileage I have ran since my high school cross country days. I can tell you one thing, in my 4 years of cross country, our coach never had us do any runs longer than 10 miles. That might be one reason we didn't win many meets.
Well, it was a tough run today, I beat the rain, and look forward to the "easy 20 mile" week ahead.
5.02 miles 46:07min. (9.11 avg)
1 9:06 min/mi
2 9:13 min/mi
3 9:15 min/mi
4 9:18 min/mi
5.02 9:13 min/mi

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Mid Week Runs

After a fun vacation, and a 18 mile run on Sunday, it's the 6-8-6 mile week.
It's a tough week of mileage, but I got thru it in good shape.

Tuesday, I did a 6.08 mile out and back run around 6:00pm. It's back to the heat & humidity here.
I was glad that I had no "dead legs" after running the 18miler on Sunday. The legs & lungs felt strong, and I averaged 8:32 min/mile.
My route took me past the house that had the dog run out into the street after me a few weeks ago, but it was nowhere in sight.
6.08 miles 51:56 mins.

Wednesday was my oldest 1st day of school, and he had soccer practice at nite, so I decided to do my 8 mile run in the morning. With the busy day ahead, and the August heat in September, I thought it would be best to run in the morning. A few months ago it would have been unheard of. I wasn't a morning runner, but since starting the marathon training, I have become one.
My route took me from home to Mercer County Park, thru parts of the woods, and back home.
I didn't bring my camera, but I should have. See, I passed an older lady walking her bike, on the main road. It wasn't long after that, that she passed me back, and kept on going. It was too funny to be passed by an old blue hair lady, on a granny bike.
I need to find a small camera to carry with me on the road. My camera is a Canon SD1100, it's small, but I don't have the pockets to carry it.
Anyway, here are the 8 mile stats: 8:06 miles 1:13:16 9:05min/mile
oh fyi.. the boy did great in his 1st day of 1st grade, and at his soccer practice.

Well, that brings us to Thursday. It was my typical busy day of travel at work, so it was another evening run.
I got out of the house again, around 6ish, and put the mileage in. It was a tough nite to run, with the heat & humidity back. I didn't pass any other runners or bikers out on the road tonite or Tuesday, which I found a little odd.
Honestly, I wasn't into the run, it was one of those runs that I just put the mileage in.
6.11 miles 55:16 9:03 min/mile

Well, there you have it short & sweet, a quick summary of my mid week runs.
5 miles are on tap for Saturday.. hopefully I can avoid the rain that's headed our way. Thanks Hannah!