Thursday, November 27, 2008

7 Mile Trail Run Turkey Trot

First, Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Now, it's been a few days since the marathon, and the legs felt almost back to normal.
Funny, after running 5 days a week since July, I kinda missed it the last 3 days.
I got an email earlier in the week, from Bill, a running buddy who I ran the PDR with back in Sept. He had a group of runners that were going to meet and run on Thanksgiving morning, an out and back on the trails in Mercer County Park. He assured me it was going to be a nice easy run, around 10 min miles.
I felt good on Wednesday, and decided to meet up and run. They had planned it to be about a 6 mile run, which was fine with me.
I met the group at 6:45am , and there was a couple of runners who had just did the 1/2 marathon, and one guy who did New York, and he did it in 3:18! It was a nice mix of runners.
Before we took off, the group did some push-ups to warm up the muscles. Most did 50. I stopped at 25. Memo to self... need to work on the upper body.
We headed out and ran parts of MCP that I didn't know about. I never knew there was a dam, but I do now. We attacked some hills, and even did 2 wind sprints up a hill around the marina. I wasn't expecting this type of run, but it felt good.
It was a great run, everyone pulling each other along.
When we got out of the trails, at the end of our run, we had about 1/2 mile of asphalt paths to run, and our "leader" said open it up and see how you do, so I stuck around the front of the pack, and it was fun. I'm sure if it was any longer, I would have faded nicely.
It was a nice relaxing run, FOR FUN!!
I think I will be fine to run a 5k race next Saturday morning, with Shoreturtle.
1:06:44 6:86 miles (9:43 min/mile pace)

Mile / Time
1 10:08
2 9:49
3 10:11
4 9:51
5 9:57
6 9:32
.86 7:13

Monday, November 24, 2008


Here are a bunch of pictures from the marathon.
Hope everyone enjoys them. Bart Yasso, autographing my book for me, at the expo.
Here is the start from my vantage point.
Here we are, about to start! What a mass of humanity! You can see the 3:50 pace group on the left.
Game on!
Just past the 1 mile mark, you can see Team Bill, in Orange!
Here I am, Blue Sleeves, black vest, getting ready to hand off my camera to my wife.

Away I go, in front of the yellow w/black jacket guy, on the right. You can see my blue sleeves.
Random runner shot.

The back of my wife, with my brother in law along side of her.
The back of my brother in law's shirt! Love the Flyers logo!
Even Rocky dressed for the occasion!
Here is the finish area.
Here I am a few yards away from becoming a Marathon Finisher!
I'm waving to my adoring crowd! How I had the energy to raise my arm at this point is amazing.
I'm DONE! Getting some warm dry clothes on!
Here's a great shot of my wife & I. I couldn't have done all of this without her support!
Here's the whole crew! Ya gotta love their George Costanza puffy jackets.

There ya have it, a bunch of pics from my 1st marathon!
It was a great day, and I couldn't have done it without the support of my wife, boys, extended family, friends & the blogging community. It was awesome of my brother & sister in law to come in from Boston for me!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Philadelphia Marathon 2008! ASPHALT KICKED!!

First, Congrats to all who finished today! Awesome, just awesome to have accomplished this feat.

Oh man, what a day!
It started out cold, 25deg at the start, but thankfully NO WIND!
I got to the start about 15 mins before the gun, and settled in to a corral (not my assigned), a bit behind the 3:50 group.
We took off in the 2nd wave, behind the elites. The stagger start was awesome. It freed up the 1st miles, so you weren't tripping over runners. Much better start than the PDR back in Sept.
The nite before, I sat down in our hotel, and went over the best places to see my wife, her sister & husband. I had them set up at the 1st & 6th miles, around the 14-15th mile, and the finish.
I took my camera to the start, and handed it back to her, when I saw them at mile 1. I also saw Shoreturtle just about a block past them!
The start was quick, and I hooked up with the 3:50 pace group at about the 2 mile mark.
This was very smart on my behalf, because I felt like passing them, and knew if I did, it would kill me later!
I hung with them for the majority of the race. Let me tell ya, Pacer Dan was awesome. He encouraged us at just the right time, held us back at the hills, and on the downside of the hills. Hanging with that group was a good call! The 1st half seemed like it went by really quick. One scary part, was down around South St, when we had to run on cobblestones! All I could think of was turning an ankle.
Another scary part of the course was just about every water station. With the cold temps,and the majority of the stations in the shade, they were very icy. I saw workers throwing down rock salt, to help us out. Luckily I saw no one go down.
It was awesome to see my wife around the 6th mile mark, just like we planned. I started the race, with a sleeveless jacket, and handed it off to her. Just before I saw her, I saw Turtle cheering us on!
The course was on Chestnut for quite awhile, and as we headed past the Drexel frat houses, it was cool to see those maniacs cheering us on, while pounding the beers.
This course was pretty flat and fast, but there were a few hills. There was a nice hill around the 10 mile mark, in Fairmount Park. Again, it was great to run with a pacer & group, to pull you up the hill. There was one nutty spectator, who was loud and full of energy, cheering us on! Man I wish I had his energy. I saw him again on the 2nd half, and he was just as loud!
We cruised into the Art Museum area, and the 1/2 marathon point and Dan was telling us to relax, and not to let the crowd speed you up. It was hard to do, because the crowd was awesome. It felt like the Phils parade, only this time I was in it!
As we exited the museum area, we had another hill to climb, around mile 14-15. This was a tough one!It was long and curvy. We killed it, and settled down to knock off the miles before we hit Manyunk! What a awesome crowd they had! When we 1st got into Manyunk, there was a table set up on the right side of the road, what looked like a water station, but it was actually a Yuengling beer station! I'm sure runners where stopping there, but honestly, it smelled like bar, like spilled beer on a cement floor, not very good.
It was very tight, with runners on both sides of the road, coming and going. The music was jamming, and I can't tell you how the crowd helped push us along.
There were regular spectators offering us orange slices, and another spot had brownies.
At the turnaround point, mile 20, I started to feel it in the legs, soreness, and a bit of tightness in the hammys. At one of the water stops, I had come out right next to our Pacer, so I felt the urge to crack a joke, from the movie Forest Gump, I said Lt.Dan you have legs! He probably thought I was an ass, but that's what I do best. Stupid jokes at the wackiest times. I tell ya, I needed a new pair of legs at this point.
Sticking with the 3:50 group was getting harder and harder, and I finally let them go at mile 23.
The legs were failing, and I couldn't hold on to the 8:36/37 pace they kept. I fell back to a 9:00 mile, and knew I would be ok, if I could hold that for the last 3.2 miles.
I kept thinking back to my training runs, and picking runs of that mileage, to convince myself of how little I had left to go.
Mile 24, the legs were really starting to die, and I ran a 9:31. I could feel them cramping. I kept saying only 2.2 miles to go, thinking about how easy a 2 mile run is. Well, it's not easy after running 24, I am here to tell you. I had to walk a bit. Mile 25 was a killer, the legs wanted no part of going any further. To top it off, I was running into a bit of headwind, coming off the river. It was also one of the coldest parts of the course, with the shade and breeze off the river. Mile 25 was in the books at 10:15. Ouch! Only 1.2 miles to go, a run around my neighborhood I was telling myself. Again, it was a walk/run mile for me. You could see the crowd growing, the closer I was getting to the finish.
I have never felt pain like I did for this mile. It seemed like an eternity.I mean the muscles on my shins were cramping, the thighs & hamstrings where cramping. I saw people around me dropping like flies, walking like zombies. One runner collapsed, and the spectators covered him quickly with their jackets, until medical personnel arrived.
I saw a spectator with the BEST SIGN:
"Quitting is not an option, unless you are the NY Mets!"
Sorry Beachrunner, it was an awesome sign!
Well, I got mile 26 down in 10:50, and let the crowd carry me to the finish.
It got real narrow past mile 26, and they were right on top of you. I needed that to finish.
When I turned the last corner, and saw the finish line, it was an awesome site. I first saw my sister in law, and a little past her, I saw my wife & brother in law!
I raised my arms as I crossed the finish line. I had done it! I had completed a marathon.
After I crossed, they were handing us cups of water, which I grabbed, and headed over for a victory hug from my wife. It was an awesome feeling, even as bad as I felt.
What started back in May, when I signed up, was over! I knew from the clock time, that I had finished under 4 hours, which was my goal I kept to myself. For most of the marathon, I thought that a sub 3:50 was possible, but those last few miles dashed that!
Funny, my garmin had me running 26.5 miles! Guess I should have cut a few corners.
I have a ton of pictures that we took, that I will post later.
The legs are still real sore, and I walk like Fred Sanford.
I have a nice blister on my left heel.
I'm sure I'll sleep good tonite.

Chip Time: 3:54:32
Clock Time: 4:01:04
2701 out of 7230 finishers
1984 out of 4245 male finishers
272 in my age division.
Garmin Time: 3:54:25 (8:50 min/mile avg)
Mile Time
1 8:15
2 8:28
3 8:35
4 8:46
5 8:29
6 8:33
7 8:31
8 8:41
9 8:31
10 9:01
11 8:33
12 8:32
13 8:41
14 8:37
15 8:52
16 8:48
17 8:47
18 8:17
19 8:37
20 8:36
21 8:37
22 8:36
23 9:00
24 9:31
25 10:15
26 10:50
.50 5:14

Friday, November 21, 2008

Philadelphia going the distance to track this weekend's marathoners

Here's an article from the Philadelphia Daily News.
FYI.. if you want to try and track me, my BIB# 4869 !

Philadelphia going the distance to track this weekend's marathoners
By FRANK SERAVALLIPhiladelphia Daily News
Long-distance runners travel long distances to compete in road races. Some travel halfway across the world just to participate.
Thanks to maybe the most technologically advanced road race in the country, loved ones of those running in Sunday's Philadelphia Marathon will be able to both watch and track their favorite runners on the Internet.
More than 18,000 runners will flood the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in front of the Art Museum for the 7:15 a.m. shotgun start. But thanks to SAI-Timing, many more will tune in online.
Using a new live-stream technology, an innovative tracking
system will use satellite signals
stationed every 5 kilometers on the course to transmit the
image and time of the runners
to the Marathon's Web site (
"This is the next-best thing to having a live television sponsor," said Deputy City Representative Margaret Hughes. "In a lot of ways, it is better because you can view a runner as they cross a specific checkpoint instead of trying to guess where they are."
The Philadelphia Marathon, which is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, is one of only 10 races with the new streaming technology. This year will boast the largest field of runners ever in the race's history - and registration closed more than a month ago. More than 2,000 volunteers and 45,000 spectators are expected to be on hand.
To cope with the grueling race and chilly conditions, 26 cheer zones will be set up throughout the course as a way for residents to mingle, cheer, and watch the passers-by. Coffee, food and entertainment will be available at each zone, in addition to the Marathon Fan Pass that will be given out. The pass is good for a 15 percent discount at more than 100 area stores on race weekend.
"The great thing about the marathon is that all of Philadelphia gets involved," Mayor Nutter said. "We get so much help from local residents, families, the corporate and nonprofit communities and so many volunteers."
But on Nutter's "top 10 reasons to love the Philadelphia marathon," cheer zones were high on his list.
"No. 5: You can run past any of the 26 cheer zones for spectators and never hear a boo, unlike any other Philadelphia sporting event," Nutter said.
No race would be complete without a charitable aspect. Among the many groups running on Sunday, the Caron Center, a nonprofit addiction-treatment center based in Reading, will have a group running. Caron is no stranger to marathons, though.
Linda Quirk, a 55-year-old running enthusiast, has raised $241,000 for the Caron Center by attempting seven marathons on seven continents in 1 year. Her last race, in Antarctica, will take place in March.
She has passed along some tips for runners trying to recuperate for work on Monday. "Keep walking after the finish line," Quirk said. "It keeps the blood circulating. Make sure you elevate your legs: This is the easiest way to get the blood flowing back to your heart from your legs. Also, I've found that submerging your legs in a cold bath with a couple bags of ice or an Epson salt bath will cut down on the swelling and pain." *

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Final Four !!

The Final Four! or as Philly Phans would spell it.. The Phinal Phour!
No not college basketball, or any of the many conference finals, it's the last 4 mile run, probably my last run before the Marathon on Sunday.
Can Sunday get here already, please!
For the most part, in the weeks of training, I have been fine. Nice and calm, very businesslike in my approach to running. Find a training plan, and adhere to it. Smooth sailing for the most part, until this week! It's been hard to sleep, concentrate at work, did I mention hard to sleep? I feel like my kids the week before Christmas, all anxious and crazy,waiting for Santa to come.
Well, the wait is almost over. I have gone over just about every part of the course in my head. I know when I want GU's, water, gatorade, ect. I know about the pace I want to run.
I went to AAA yesterday, and picked up a street map of Philadelphia, and hilited the course. Marked every mile, and even marked where Shoreturtle planned to be. I will sit down with my wife, her sister & husband, on Saturday, and place them where I think I will be able to find them on the course. If all goes as I figure, they will be able to see me around the 1st mile, 6th, 13th & the finish!
Well as far as today's 4 miler went. It was right on with what I have been running. It was cold, but I felt warm with what I had on, and should be fine for Sunday. I got out the door a little past 4:30pm, and it was about 35deg out, but no wind!
I am done training! I might go and run a mile on Saturday, if I feel like it.
It's hard to believe that I made it through the training, and all that's left is the race itself!
Off to the Expo tomorrow!

I did the 4.08 mile loop in 34:21 (8:25 min/mile)
Mile / Time

1 8:35
2 8:14
3 8:25
4 8:28
.08 :38

Old Running Shoes

I got this email from the Philadelphia Marathon, asking for used running shoes.
I have a pair or 2 to donate, and will drop them off at the expo.
If anyone is going to the expo, this is a pretty cool thing to do!
Gotta keep the good Karma going.
"Pay it forward!"

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Quick 6, in the COLD !

Man it felt like winter tonite. The temp here was around 40, but with the wind chill, it was closer to 32deg, when I left for my run around 4:30pm.
Six miles was the scheduled run, and I breezed thru it. My right ankle feels a bit tender, I think it's in my head.. Phantom tamper pains.
As of 7:30pm, the weather for Sunday was Mostly Cloudy & 43deg.
Not bad, just please NO WIND!

Sunday can't get here quick enough! I am ready, and the nerves are kicking a bit.
One last 4 miler on Thursday, and 1-2 miles on Saturday, if I feel like it.

6 miles 48:17 (8:02 min/mile pace)

Mile / Time
1 8:05
2 8:15
3 8:14
4 8:00
5 7:51
6 7:48

Sunday, November 16, 2008

10 mile runnus interruptus by cyclists

If ya couldn't figure out, from my post yesterday,who I was meeting for the last long run prior to the marathon, it was Shoreturtle! We planned on a 7:30am start time, at the local Dunkin Donuts. I was hoping all nite, that Turtle picked DD, to just hang and have the breakfast of champions, DONUTS! I was wrong, he actually wanted to run.

We hit the road and headed to Mercer County Park.The weather today was more like what it will be like next Sunday,for the marathon. It was in the 40's, partly sunny & windy. Hopefullyit will be without the wind. We discussed what pace to run at today, and I wanted to keep it around 8:45 - 9:00min miles. The firsts few miles where fast. I didn't mind it, and Charlie even said you run as you feel. With all the training, I have the built up energy, and I've been letting it out the last few runs. We were moving along at a nice comfortable clip, and headed into the woods, which will take us along the lake.When we got past the lake,and headed out towards the Marina, we ran into a road block!
We ran smack dab into the US Grand Prix of Cyclocross! What the heck is that?

As you can see in the above photos, we needed to cross that bridge, and that we did! We crossed the bridge, and where on their course for a few minutes! Luckily none of the cyclists where on course warming up!

Let me tell ya, Shoreturtle & I are fancy men, and we need to be informed of such events, when they take place in the middle of our 10 mile run! I mean these cyclists even posted signs to keep us out, but we ignored them!

Well, we had to navigating thru some of the course, to get back on track.
They tried their best to keep us out, but it did not workLook at the effort they put in, to keep us off track!

We got past this roadblock, and where back on course.. nice smooth sailing for the Turtle & I !

After our turn around, at about the 6 mile mark, we were headed back to the cyclocross track.

Do we turn to the right and head back to the cyclists, or do we stay to the left, and avoid the chaos? You guessed it, we turned right, and ran back! We were not to be denied by some nutty bikers, out for a Sunday stroll in the mud!

The goal of the run was 10 miles, but with the Cyclocross blocking part of our course, we settled for 9.62 miles. It was nice to run with Charlie. The man's a wealth of information about running, and what to expect on marathon race day. He gave me some great tips for my wife and her sister and husband, as for the best places to see me FLY by!

We had a great run, and with the vote of confidence I got from Charlie, I think I might just be ready. Just between us, I think he's a little nervous about yours truly, beating his time for Philly. His chip time was 3:53:01, while not impossible for me to hit, finishing is most important for me.

Well, that's it, the last of the Sunday long training runs! By this time next week (1:25pm EST), the marathon will be but a memory... hopefully a good one!

9.62 miles 1:22:25 (8:34 min/miles)

Mile / Time
1 8:36
2 8:21
3 8:15
4 8:43
5 8:11
6 8:35
7 8:47
8 8:47
9 8:46
.62 5:19

Saturday, November 15, 2008

4 on the floor, or is it the street!

Today was a very warm & windy day here in NJ.

My thermometer read 70deg, when I went for my 4 miler at around 2:00pm this afternoon.

I waited out the rain, and was glad I did. It was really warm & windy, gusty winds up around 25mph, if I had to guess.

I ran the 4 miles in a quick 33:04. I really wasn't aided by the wind. It was kind of a cross wind, for the most part.

Here are the stats, as the countdown to the marathon is at 4 runs to go.

Sunday is the last 10miler, and if things work out, I might have a guest former marathoner along for the fun. Hmm.. wonder who it could be??
Mile / Time
1 8:21
2 8:31
3 8:18
4 7:53

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Center City Philadelphia & 5 miles after the rain

I was around City Hall in Philadelphia today, and guess what I saw?

That's right.. they have the banners hung for the Philadelphia Marathon! That was cool to see today.

When I got home, the rain had finally let up, so it was time to get out and run. I had a 5 miler on tap, and decided to run out and back to Mercer County Park. I felt really good today, and was anxious to get the run in. It's funny, after running so much, at distances over 6 miles, this seemed like a nice short, quick hit. It felt like I was just getting started, and there I was turning around and headed back home. I was surprised, with the weather having just let up, that I actually passed another runner. Boy, we are a dedicated bunch.

Well, with only a few runs left before the marathon, I ran a comfortable pace, much like I have over the past few weeks. It was quicker than I have ran over the last month.

I did the 5 miles in 39:07, which averaged out to a 7:49 min/miles. Again, I am just running how I feel, and for some reason, my times have been dropping. I did push the last mile, doing it in 7:26, my fastest mile split yet. I want to get that feeling, when I know it's the last mile, to try and make it my strongest. Hopefully that will be the case in Philly.

One thing I have changed recently, is in my running gear. I have started to wear compression shorts, under my running shorts. Maybe this has helped with the quicker times. I have worn them the last week or so, to get a feel for them, since I will be using them for the Marathon. I needed to make sure they wouldn't rub in certain areas, and with the tightness I have felt in the hammys, it sure couldn't hurt!

Anyway, another run, over and out.

Only 4 more training runs left! Boy has time flown by!

39:07 (7:49 min/mile)


1 7:53 min
2 8:03 min
3 7:50 min
4 7:51 min
5 7:26 min

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Grande Finale Run to Swim!

Today was the finale, the last run to swim of the year.

The boys have 1 more week to go, and I only have to run 6 miles next Tuesday and I will probably just run in the park after work.
I took the camera along, to document the end of a long season of run to swim!As you can see, I started out on a nice sun drenched QuakerBridge Rd., around 4:30pm. It sure is nice to run in the daylight.
As I went along, I turned and headed down Nottingham Way, towards the Shoreturtle Estate.(rumor has it he lives in a mansion, and has a yacht)!

I passed by the little church that Shoreturtle take pics of all the time.

Today, their sign spoke volumes, in 3 little words.Thanks to the Veteran's, I am able to run free!

The next really cool thing I ran across was a BLACK squirrel! I have heard of them before, but never remember seeing one. I tried to take a few pictures of him, but the darkness and the little flash, it didn't turn out as good as I had hoped.If you look real close, in the middle of the shot, you can see his eye, and maybe you can make him out.Here is the other black squirrel picture. This one you can see he was checking me out. That's him in the top left of the picture.

Moving right along, I passed by St. Greg's church. This church puts on the best local carnival & has a huge 50/50 in June. They just remolded it a few years ago, and it looks great.
Nottingham Way merged into Rt.33, and I ran it hard, until I hit Rt.130, hung a right and headed towards Bordentown. This is the scary part of this run. Rt.130 is a very busy road, with a speed limit posted of 50mph, but I can tell ya, people are cruising at 60+ most of the time.
The worst running violation I do on is on this part. I run with the traffic, not against it.

As I passed under 195, I thought for a moment of hopping on, and heading to the Jersey Shore. From here it is less than 1 hour to Belmar.

I am only maybe a mile from the finish of the race. Gotta push it that final bit, be careful around the exit ramps, and finish strong!

I make it to the swim class, no sign of the wife & kids.. that means I WIN !!

YES Victory is MINE!

Of course I am called a cheat because they said I left too early (they might be right....)

The run was great. I ran the 7 mile course in 56:23, a 8 min/mile pace.

Since I have never trained for a marathon before, I have no idea about the "taper". During this time, should I be slowing down, taking it easier, or do I just run how I feel?

It was a great time, doing these "races", made the time go by so quickly, and it was fun for the boys.

Maybe in the spring, if we put them back in this swim program, I'll have the occasional run to swim again.

It's an off day tommorow. I'll sure miss the 8 mile Wednesday runs... NOT!


1 8:06
2 8:16
3 8:22
4 7:58
5 7:55
6 7:49
7 7:37

Sunday, November 9, 2008

14 miles out and back down Edinburgh Road

Instead of getting up early and doing my run before the family gets up, I didn't run until about 3:00pm. My wife had made plans to go to Englishtown Auction, to sell some of our old kid's clothes. She was up and outta here at about the same time I usually do my Sunday morning runs. She did really well selling and had a great day with her father. I had the day with the boys, putzing around the house, raking leaves, playing soccer, and enjoying the nice weather we had today. All in all, we both had a really nice Sunday.
OK, back to my run. Since it was 3:00pm, when I was leaving, I decided to run an out and back down Edinburgh Rd., I didn't want to be running in Mercer County Park at dark. With a 14miler on the schedule, I knew I would be finishing in the dark.
I have had a bit of a head cold & sore throat lately, so I wasn't sure how I would feel running. The 1st half of the run, I had a nice wind pushing me along. I would estimate it at between 5-10mph, sustained. It didn't feel like much, when it was at my back, but it sure did for miles 8-14!
Here is where I say the usual, I wanted to start out slow, blah blah blah... You've all heard it before here.
What felt like a nice leisurely pace, for the 1st mile, was a nice wind aided 8:23. So, after seeing, mile 1's split, I wanted to see if I could stay around an 8:30 or under pace, until I turned around at mile 7. I did that, staying between 8:20 - 8:30!
When I turned around at mile 7, boy I could feel the difference! The wind was pretty strong, and I wanted to stay between 8:45 -9:00 min/mile pace.
I did just that, actually staying under 8:40 pace.
I hit the 10 mile mark at 1:23. When I saw that, I thought back to running the OC Drive Marathon 10 miler, in late March, and remembering my struggle with the wind, and finishing in 1:30. With only 3.2 miles to the 1/2 marathon marker, I was pumped to see where I would end up. Check it out.. 1:52! That would be about a minute quicker that I did the PDR, back in Sept!
All that with not feeling too good. Guess it's my inner Micheal Jordan. Didn't he always have his best games under the weather?
Well, I finished strong running my fastest mile for my last, at 8:19.
There ya have it, if you don't feel too good, get out the door and run. It might just be your best run! It's funny, being thisclose to the marathon, I think the nerves are starting to kick in. A little less sleep, head cold, nervous about lower mileage, that I might not be ready. You get the idea. It's crazy how the mind works. I've run a bunch of different races over the years, even in the occasional playoff and championship games back in my competitive street hockey days,so this shouldn't be a big deal, but it is!

Here is the rest of the week:
Mon. off
Tues. 7
Wed. off
Thurs. 5
Fri. off
Sat. 4

14 miles 1:58:36

Mile/ Time
1 8:23
2 8:30
3 8:27
4 8:26
5 8:20
6 8:22
7 8:23
8 8:24
9 8:30
10 8:36
11 8:39
12 8:37
13 8:32
14 8:19

Friday, November 7, 2008

Running the marathon for a cause.

Back during the summer, I spoke with my neighbor, Kelly Rouba, a 28yr old, who has had juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA), for basically her entire life. You would never know she has this ailment, with all she does, and has accomplished in her life to date. She has done many thing to bring attention to her ailment, and is currently writing a book about herself, and living with JRA. She was just recently Miss Wheelchair NJ, and has spoke to the local elementary school about JRA.
Here is a nice article about Kelly:

We got to talking about my running the Philadelphia Marathon, and I told her of ways that the running community raises funds for different causes, and that if she was interested, to let me know if I could help her in any way.
Well, she got a hold of an organization that she is heavily involved with, the Arthritis National Research Foundation (ANRF). This foundation uses .91cents of every dollar raised towards their research. I don't know many places that have that type of commitment to research. They contacted me, and we spoke about my running, and I decided to offer my assistance to Kelly's cause.
She has gotten us some press, in one of the local papers here in Hamilton, and on a website for people with Arthritis, called Creaky Joints.
I have been pretty low key about this, here.
Here is a link to the article on Creaky Joints.
Feel free to check it out, and there is a link to the ANFR, in the article, if anyone is interested in donating.

I figure if I am fortunate to be able to run, why not try and help out those less fortunate.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The last of the Wednesday 8 milers....

The countdown is on... Since I began training for Philly in July, my Wednesday's usually contained an 8 mile run.
Here is the breakdown of my last 15 Wednesdays:
8 - 8 milers
3 - 7 milers
4 - rest days

That is pretty wild when you look at it. If I look back, I'm sure that most of the 7's & 8's where over the scheduled mileage. I might just have to look that stat up at a later date.
My run was again in Mercer County Park. It was around 60's deg, but with that misty dreary rain. I tried to go slow, and relax, since I pushed it a bit Tuesday nite. Yea, right.
I guess with where I am at, I want to run around a 9 min mile pace, and try to, believe me. I don't want to burn out, with less than 3 weeks to go.
I started out right on pace, a 9:07 first mile. Perfect, now just keep it up for another 7, and cross this run off the plan.
Well, I picked up the pace, and ran between 8:45 - 8:36 min miles between miles 2-7. I know so much for slowing down.
When I hit the 7 mile mark, I had just run a 8:36 mile, so why not see how fast I could run the last mile. To quote Forest Gump "Stupid is as stupid does.". I blew out mile 8 in 7:30! Why I needed to do that, I have no idea. I felt great, and just went for it.

OK, now for my daily soapbox item...
In Mercer County Park, I run on an asphalt trail, that winds through the park. It takes you along the lake, thru woods, ect..
This is a picture from the Run for Dad. You can see the asphalt path.

It is a very popular course, with many runners, walkers, cyclists. Many even walk their dogs, so if they walk their dogs, why the heck can't they pick up after them? I must have narrowly avoided 5-6 piles of dog crap during my run. I mean come on people, if your dog goes on the asphalt, pick it the heck up! I know it's dog poop, and not other animals, having had dogs since I was 10, I know dog poop when I see it, or almost run thru it!
It just amazes me the inconsideration of some lazy people. I have seen owners pick up after their dogs on this path many times. I have walked our dogs here, and picked up after them, and that was when they go in the grass, so I would love to know why someone wouldn't pick up after their pets on the pavement? It just makes no sense to me. OK, I'm done ranting now.

Anyway I feel really good about where I am at psychically, and just keeping my fingers crossed to maintain, as Nov 23rd grows closer everyday.

Another 6 miler on tap today. Hopefully the rain will be over before I run tonite.

8 miles 1:08:42

Mile/ Time
1 9:07
2 8:43
3 8:45
4 8:39
5 8:37
6 8:41
7 8:36
8 7:30

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

6 miles in the Dark

Man, you get out to run at 4:30pm, and next thing you know, BAM.. darkness! Getting dark at 5:00pm sucks!

I did a 6 mile run, and saw Shoreturtle pass by, driving off to some adventure. It's amazing how many people you recognize when you are out running on the streets.

The legs, a bit sore at the start, quickly woke up, and I felt really good throughout the run.

I had one scary moment, when running, these damn people coming out of their developments, they just don't stop at the stop signs. They go right thru them, rolling right up to the main road, into the cross walk, not paying any attention to myself, just wanting to make the right turn quickly to beat traffic. Well, I gave this guy an earful. I pointed out to him where the stop sign was, and explained to him that is where he is to stop. This type of situation happens all to frequently for my liking. People just need to slow down, and take a second. I know, since I have had kids, when I leave our neighborhood, I drive a little slower, and take the extra precaution, because kids don't look where they are going. Worst are the kids, walking or biking, either text messaging, or listening to their Ipod. They don't look or pay attention to their surroundings.

OK, off my soapbox, the only other situation I had, that could have ended badly was when I hit a rut in the grass, where I was running and rolled my right ankle a bit. When I did it, I thought the worse, but I was OK, and continued on. I had no swelling when I check it out. It was fine this morning, so I dodged another bullet.

Today is my last Wednesday run, in the training plan. Hopefully I can get the 8 miles in before the rain.

6 miles 50:04

Mile / Time
1 8:34 min
2 8:36 min
3 8:37 min
4 8:25 min
5 7:57 min
6 7:52 min

Sunday, November 2, 2008

22.62 mile run!

Today was the last of the 20mile plus runs! Thank GOD!
While it has been fun leading up to this point, I am glad they are a thing of the past. It is quite an accomplishment, to be able to run for almost 3-1/2 hours, but I'll be just as happy to run a nice comfortable 6-8 miles!
It was a bit windy at 5:00am, when I left, and about 42deg outside.
My goal for this run, was to see if I could run at marathon pace, to gage if I could do this in the 4 -4 1/2 hour range.
I also planned the same basic route I did for my previous 20+ mile training runs.
The wind was a kinda cross breeze for most of the run. There were the few times, I had to run into it, and also benefited from having it at my back.
It was a pretty uneventful run, from the standpoint of not have a rotty chase me, or having cyclists come up out of nowhere. I did have a deer scare the crap out of me, around where the rotty came from. The deer came from the woods, on my right, about 10-20 yards in front of me, and ran right into what was a corn field the last time I ran past it. Man those deer have some jump in their step!
I hit the 13.2 mark at almost exactly 2hours. I felt really good, and was hoping that by running the 1st half at a pretty good clip, I wouldn't bonk the last 9 miles.
During the last 9 miles, I felt the hamstrings tighten up. Any tips on how to avoid this? I always seemed to have had this problem, in my longer runs, when it's cooler out.
When I got closer to home, I took a little longer way, because I felt decent, hamstring issues and all, and probably added an extra 1/4 mile or so. It might not seem like much, adding a 1/4, but after 22 miles, I figured it would only help my confidence race day, knowing I had run over 22-1/2 in training.
It's hard to believe, that this journey, to run a marathon, that started back in late June, is just about over. From deciding to do it, putting in some base mileage, picking a training plan, and actually starting the training in late July, it's amazing how far I have come.

3:24:39 22.62 miles (9:02 min/mile avg.)


1 9:04 min
2 9:12 min
3 9:20 min
4 9:19 min
5 9:17 min
6 9:11 min
7 9:06 min
8 9:04 min
9 9:05 min
10 8:57 min
11 8:57 min
12 8:48 min
13 8:49 min
14 8:42 min
15 9:04 min
16 9:01 min
17 8:46 min
18 8:51 min
19 8:48 min
20 9:05 min
21 9:11 min
22 9:10 min
.62 5:42 min

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Here I am, at the ballpark, awaiting the raising of the 2008 Championship Flag!

I was in a sea of RED, at the corner of Broad & Walnut for the parade.
It took planes, trains & automobiles after the parade passed, to get my brother & I back to Citizen's Bank Park for the finale, but we made it!
Thanks to the brother & sister from Michigan, who gave us a lift from 12th & Washington, to the ballpark!

A random crowd shot from our vantage point at Broad & Walnut.

The best mascot in the business... The Phillie Phanatic!

Pat Burrell leading the parade, riding on the World Famous Budweiser Clydesdale's.
Hall of Fame broadcaster Harry Kalas, with Jim Jackson, host of the Phils pre & post game radio shows, and Play by Play announcer of the FLYERS!
Former Phillies President, Bill Giles.
That METS fans is the WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP Trophy!

Chase Utley
Here's a METS fan's Public Enemy #1, Jimmy Rollins with his Mother.
Jayson Werth
Back at the Ballpark
Charlie Manuel, and the trophy. This picture was taken from Phanavision.
Brett Myers
NLCS & World Series MVP.... COLE HAMELS !

The team & their families, ready for the final ceremonies to begin.

Well, there you have it. A few of the many pictures I took on a long, warm & sunny day in the City of Brotherly Love!