Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A quick 6 in the park.

I got out of work and headed over to Veteran's Park, to get 6 miles in.
I didn't feel as sore as I thought I would, after the Chilly Cheeks race. I was expecting to be sore all over, but I really wasn't.
The weather was not bad, overcast, little wind, and temps in the low 30's.
There weren't many people out in the park. I saw one other runner, who must have thought it was summer, as he was in shorts, a tech t-shirt, and visor. Crazy..
Anyway, I just wanted to get out, and put in some miles.
Nice thing is I think the ankle injury is behind me. I survived that insane trail race, pain free, and really haven't felt anything in the ankle for a few weeks, so hopefully the tendinitis is gone.
It was nice to get out and run a relaxed pace.
The rest of the week looks like a park run on Thursday, trails with the group on Sat, and meeting up with Ted & Progman, and running part of the NJ Marathon course with those guys.
I think Shoreturtle is joining us also.
6 mile 51:38 (8:36 avg.)

Mile / Time
1 8:41
2 8:26
3 8:46
4 8:35
5 8:30
6 8:35

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Chilly Cheeks 7.2 Mile Trail Race Reading,Pa.

What an experience!

Fourteen of us trail running weekend warriors drove 1-1/2 hours to run the Chilly Cheeks 7.2 mile Trail Race.

Now while I have run 7 miles+ numerous times, I have NEVER, and I mean NEVER ran a harder 7.2 mile course in my life! This course was insane!

First, let me tell ya, this race director has had a few too many German Ginger Ales in his life! He has some wit and it was evident from the pre-race emails, to his pre-race speech, and his markings all over this course.

When the race started, it started much like any other race. After about a 1/4 mile, you realized, this wasn't your normal race. Check out the picture below, and you'll see what I mean!
We hung a right, and climbed up a hill, that there wasn't any clear cut trail! I was thinking"Oh brother, what have I got myself into??!!".

There were times in this race, that you had to walk. The incline and foot traffic was soo much, you had no choice but to walk. Again, this was a first, hundreds of "runners" walking, because you had too! Most of this course, was next to impossible to pass other runners. It seemed as soon as you got your legs & wind back, and started to get into a running flow, a nasty hill forced you to almost a stop, and you were walking again. This sure wasn't a course you would set a PR at, that's for sure.
Around the 4-1/2 mile mark, in the middle of nowhere, there was the 2nd and final water stop, and it wasn't just water... you had cups of Yuenling beer available! I passed on the beer, but did grab a water, and a picture.
There were times that I wanted to rip the camera out and take some pictures, but you needed you hands to grab onto trees, branches, rocks, whatever would help you climb up an icy, snow covered trail. I think they were trails!

Well, when we passed a big orange #6 spray painted on the snow, it was a welcome site. I knew it wouldn't be long, but I tell ya, it felt like forever, kinda like the last few miles of the Philly Marathon. OH did I mention there were more hills to climb?

Check out this picture of the last hill.

I hope that picture does this hill justice. It was steep, and you had a crowd cheering you on, from above. I swear it sounded more like they were laughing at us, bunch of loons running, or more like climbing!

When I got to the top of this hill, I was wiped out. I thought it was the end, but quickly realized I had about another 100 yards to go, to the finish.

It was a great experience. I will probably do one again, but I found it hard to get a rhythm going. Congrats to all who ran and finished!

Here is my time, according to the garmin. Again, this really wasn't about a time, it was more about the experience, and finishing.

1:20:20 (11:55 min/mile)

Best I could figure, I finished around 160th out of about 400+ runners.
** The results were up on the Pretzel City website, and they had 495 people register, 470 start, and 462 finish. I was 161st.**


Thursday, January 22, 2009

7 mile run after work at MCP

I got my new orthodics on Monday, and tried them out yesterday. I only ran 2 miles in them. They just didn't feel right. They felt as if I was running in high heels, and it bothered the ankle & I felt a bit of shin splints.
Guess I will be talking to Dr. Foote, and getting them tweaked.

My 7 mile run was back to the old inserts. Better safe than sorry. I ran an out and back in Mercer County Park. It was downright balmy out, compared to the last week or so. The temps had to be in the mid 30's.
I had wanted to get a 10 miler in this week, in preparation for the Chilly Cheeks 7.2 mile trail run this Sunday. Well, I guess a long run of 7 will do.
I did a google search for the Chilly Cheeks run in Reading,Pa. and as much fun as it sounds, it's going to be tough. It seems to be rather hilly!
The shins were bothering me a bit, guess it was a byproduct of yesterday's run. I felt good, but can tell the drop off in the wind & legs at about 3 miles in. While I am faster, I need to gain back the endurance I have lost.

7 miles 56:48 (8:06 avg.)

Mile / Time

1 7:55
2 7:54
3 8:08
4 8:18
5 8:15
6 8:18
7 7:54

Sunday, January 18, 2009

What a difference a day makes!

Yesterday was about as cold as it gets in these parts.
Today it was downright balmy, when I got out for my 8 mile run around 1:30pm. It was 28deg, with little wind. I wore 3 less layers of clothes.

I ran an out and back to Mercer County Park. No trails on this run. I'll have enough of them next Sunday in the Chilly Cheeks run. I just want to get a few runs between now and then over the 7.2 miles that the Chilly Cheeks run is.

I will say, for an overcast 28deg day, there was quite a few people out in the park, walking, walking dogs, biking and running.

I felt pretty good, I can tell how much endurance I have lost since the marathon. I do feel that considering the weeks of not running, I am in better shape at this point of '09 as compared to where I was at this point in '08.

I'll take Monday off, and run on Tuesday & Thursday. I'm thinking of trying to squeeze a 10mile run in on Tuesday, and taper a bit on Thursday & run a few easy miles on Saturday.

FYI.. my male beagle, Austin was glad I was home and enjoyed my stinky running clothes!
8.11 miles 1:06:05

Mile / Time

1 8:07
2 7:56
3 8:22
4 8:18
5 8:08
6 8:08
7 8:09
8 8:10
.11 :42

Saturday, January 17, 2009


The Devil made me run today! As you can see by my indoor thermometer, it was 66.6 inside my kitchen, and a warm -1.3 outside at 6:30am this morning!
When we hit the trails this morning, I can honestly say it wasn't fun... at first.
My fingers & toes where instantly numb! The toes felt as if I hit them, they would just break off.
This had to be the coldest run I have ever done. The local weather numb nuts say this is the coldest it's been in 5 years.

While it was damn cold, it was a beautiful sunrise over the lake.

We ran to the dam and back. When we got to the dam, it was filled with Canadian Geese, and I swear , with the racket they were making, it sounded as though they were laughing at the 8 of us, out there in the frigid tundra of Mercer County Park.

The garmin had us at 6.2 miles & 1 hour for the run, but I must have hit the button, and missed at least a 1/2 mile of trails. We ran this a bit faster then usual. I guess Nate wanted this over quickly.

I don't know what is harder, running in the humid summer's here in NJ, or this bone chilling weather.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

5 Frigid miles in Veteran's Park.

It was a cold 20deg, when I went for a run in Veteran's Park today. There was a wind, which made it feel even worse. I ran a modified Hangover 5 mile course.
The forecast for Friday is even colder, so I wanted to get this run in today.
I have started a routine, running Saturday on the trails, Sunday, and Tuesday & Thursday during the week. I don't have any set mileage amounts for the runs, I am just going how I feel.
As our buddy Beachy says, I'm just logging base miles.

I don't know if you can tell in this picture, but the 2 people are walking 2 basset hounds. Having 2 beagles, they are cool looking dogs.

This is one of the cool paths in the park. They built a boardwalk, in the woods, in an area that was "swampy". While it's not the Wildwood boardwalk, it's still fun to run on. I was having a race with a little sparrow, who was flying under the boardwalk. FYI... it was a tie.

Here are a bunch of Canadian Geese, enjoying the cold water of the lake. It was about 1/2 froze. I remember skating on the lake a bunch as a kid. Hopefully the cold weather will continue and it will be good for skating.
Anyway I ran the freezing 5 miles in 40: 00.

1 7:56
2 7:52
3 7:52
4 8:11
5 8:00

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tagged !

My NY buddy Beachrunner tagged me, so here we go...

Four favorite memories from 2008:
1. Philadelphia Marathon! Just awesome!
2. this could be #1a.. Say it with me.. WORLD F*CKING CHAMPIONS!!
3. Philadelphia Distance Run
4. Week vacation in Wildwood with the family

4 favorite movies watched in 2008

I didn't see one movie in the theaters, so I'll pass on this one.

4 of my favorite foods in 2008

1. boardwalk pizza
2. porterhouse steaks on the grill
3. cold chicken my wife makes for the beach
4. my homemade fettuccine Alfredo

4 places i loved in 2008
1. Wildwood
2. Philadelphia (sporting events)
3. Washington DC/ Virginia
4. Boston

4 events i loved in 2008
1. Phillies Parade
2. Philadelphia Marathon
3. Fireworks after Phils game in July
4. watching my oldest son play baseball/street hockey/ soccer

4 things i liked in 2008
1. starting this blog
2. marathon training
3. going to the beach w/ the family
4. Watching the Flyers & Phils playoff runs!

4 things i am looking forward to in 2009
1. running another marathon or 2
2. summer in Wildwood
3. coaching my oldest in baseball
4. opening day / nite for the Phillies

4 people I tag
1. Shoreturtle
2. Progman2000
3. Ted
4. Marcy

Game on Boys & gal!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

5-1/2 miles of trails

I went for a trail run by myself today. It's not quite as much fun, as it is with a group.
I ran a lot of the same trails we do on Saturday's.
There was a little action on parts of the trails. My goal was to run out to the dam, but I got a bit side tracked. I came up on what I think is a new "whirly twirly" trail. This trail even had a biker on it. I let him pass, thinking he was going to be flying along the trail, which by the way, was maybe a foot wide! I was wrong.

It was tough for him to turn, so I hung back a bit.

When I got out of the whirly twirly, I ran up on some deer.

You can see the white of his tail. There was about 4-5 of them, that I saw. They took off as soon as they saw me. Bunch of chickens.

Anyway, I felt good, no ankle pain, so maybe the worst is behind me. I have my fingers crossed on that one.

I did a quick 4 mile run on Sunday, and had no pain, and that was after the ankle roll on Saturday.

5-1/2 miles 54:21 (9:52 avg.)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

11 miles on the trails, in the flurries.

I went for a run today with the Hamilton Area Trail Runs group.

There were 6 of us out in the woods of Mercer County Park.

Shoreturtle was the 1st there, and he went for a quick warm up run, and had 3 foxes run by him, barking and chasing each other. Pretty cool.

There was a good omen for the run, when I checked the temp outside, my digital thermometer read 26.2. I know.. I should have got a pic of it.

We ran 6.4 miles on the trails, and Progman(Paul) joined us today. I made him a deal, that if he ran with us, I would run the balance of the 11 miles he had to do.

I almost got out of it, I rolled the right ankle about 2 miles in. Yes, the "bad" ankle. Luckily, after a few minutes, it felt good. It was tight when I started,kinda felt like a rubber band was tightly around it. When I rolled it, it loosened up, and was fine.

We ran out to the dam and back.

We did an Indian run right before we hit the dam. The last person in the single file line, had to run to the front, ect.. It was a nice little speed workout, right before we ran up and down the hill at the dam.

I committed a Shoreturtle mortal sin today. I didn't have my camera charged, and the battery died. I was able to take a quick group shot, before it died.

We ran 6.4 with the group, and the rest of the 11 miles, Charlie & I ran with Paul (Prog), helping him get the mileage in.

11 miles 1:45:29 (9:35 avg.)

1 10:33
2 9:46
3 10:06
4 8:57
5 9:25
6 9:46
7 9:32
8 9:32
9 9:35
10 8:55
11 9:13

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Where did I run 4.2 miles today?

I went for a 4.2 mile run today, and guess where I ran?

I ran 4.2 miles, for my wife, who's birthday it is today. Yup she shares a Birthday with the King of Rock, Elvis Presley.. and the queen of rock, David Bowie.

FYI.. she's not 4.2 yrs old.. I won't say anymore.

Well back to where did I run...
I ran into a head/cross wind, that was whipping off a body of water.
The ankle gave me no problems.
I ran an out and back.
I averaged 8:20 min miles, and kept a steady pace.
I have run this course before, on longer runs.
I ran this in 35:04
Other than the clues I have given everyone, I took one picture, to help figure out where I ran.

When I saw this statue, I thought it appropriate, since it's of a mother & her children.

Well... the winner gets a pat on the back, and an attaboy!

Good luck!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Dr. Foote & the 2nd Opinion

I went and saw Dr. Foote, and got the 2nd opinion on my ankle.

I swear that is his real name, Dr. Foote.

Anyway, the visit went good, and since I am pain free, I can run, but was told to take it easy. If the pain flares up (it's a burning feeling), I might need to get an MRI,to see if there are any tears in the tendon.


I'm BAAAACK !!!!!!!!

Friday, January 2, 2009

2008 Year in Review

Well, I guess it's time for me to do my year in review.
While I didn't keep track of my mileage for the first 3 months of 2008, I know I put in mileage, because I was training for the Ocean Drive Marathon/10 miler. I do remember a few bitterly cold runs, in preparation for the 10 miler.
The year started out good, with a PR at the Hangover 5 miler, and I followed that up with a PR at the OD 10 miler. Hey, when your times aren't that good to start, it's easy to PR.
I ran a new local 5k, put on by a High School senior, in April, and it was a well organized event. Again another PR, at 24:05. I would spend the next few 5k's trying to break the 24 min barrier.
I would have done it at the Run for Dad, but I had the shoelace issue.
Backing up a bit, it was after the OC Drive run, that I gave serious thought to running a marathon. The determination of the marathoners that day, was awesome. To run 26.2 miles is one thing. To run it in a 20mph headwind is sick!
In June, I started to bump up my weekly mileage. On a warm Sunday, I ran to Veteran's Park, entered and ran a 5k, and ran home. It was quite an accomplishment.
I met some great runners, who have made me a better runner. I am indebted to them for making my first 1/2 marathon & marathon a success.
I finally broke that 24 min 5k I wanted, in July at the RWJ 5k stride for strokes.
I started my marathon training at the end of July, and pretty much went injury free the entire time. There was the one fall I had in Cape May.
I ran the Philadelphia Distance Run in Sept. It was my first 1/2 marathon, and it was awesome. I can't wait to run it again this year.
Fast forward to November 23, 2008. This was a day I'll never forget. My first marathon. It was incredible. I enjoyed every moment of it, even the painful last 2 miles. I had a great time, and it was made more special by being able to share the experience with my wife, her sis & husband.
Following the marathon, I ran my last local 5k of the year, and set another PR, of 22:02, and placed in my age group (another first).
Also through running, I started to run on Saturday's with a group of runners, on the trails of Mercer County Park. They are a dedicated bunch, and I love running with them.
Looking back, man is going to be tough to top the success I had in 2008, but I'm off to a great start, if the ankle holds up!

Here are the stats:

1125 miles (that does not include Jan - March)
5k 22:02
10 miler 1:30:42
1/2 marathon 1:53:13
Marathon 3:54:32


We have a new member of our running blogging community!
The group that I trail run with has started a blog, to get the word out about their running and upcoming races.
Check out their site, and if you are in the area, meet up with them for a run!


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Hamilton Hangover 5 miler 2009

Well, I was pre-registered, so what was I going to do, just pick up my shirt, and not run it?

I had my Dr. tried to scare the hell out of me, and it worked... to a degree.

I haven't run in almost 2 weeks, and was following his instructions to the "T", until today!
I ran the Hangover 5 miler.
It was a cold windy day, high around 25, with 15mph winds. It was nice and sunny, and would have been a perfect day, if not for the wind.

I met up with a few of the Trail run group. It was nice to be in a group, and talk running.
When the gun went off, I took off. Man I felt good! I had my new orthodics in my shoes, and I warmed up the ankle with my bio-freeze, and put the compression sock on. No pain!

I weaved in and out of other runners for the first 1/2 mile, before it settled down in to a mostly single file race. I hit the 1 mile mark at 7:34. My 1st thought was that was too fast. So what do I do? I did the 2nd mile in 7:24! Oh boy.. I am going to pay dearly for this fast start, or was I??

I was! Around the 1/2 way mark, I could feel it in the legs, not having run in almost 2 weeks.
I hit the 3rd mile at the 7:39 mark, and oh boy I did I feel the legs dying. My wind was even starting to struggle, which I haven't really had that problem. I was thinking back to the Marathon, and those last 2 miles, which were hell, thinking, I was about to revisit them.

The 4th & 5th miles had hills, which I wasn't looking forward to. The 4th, had along windy hill, which, when you got to the top of, you had to go downhill, heading out by the lake, and right back up a hill. Oh boy what a killer! I did mile 4 in 8:11. It was around the 4 mile mark, when you had to go back down and up the hill, that you just did about a 1/2 mile ago. I had my buddy Bill Y. pass me at this point. I was just holding on. When I got to the top, my legs & wind were gone.

I pushed and plowed along, and when I saw the finish line, I saw I that I had a chance to break the 39 min. mark. I just missed it, finishing in 39:02. The last mile was in 8:13.
While I was pleased to PR, knowing I had knocked off 2 mins from last year, I was left to wonder what I would have run, had I been healthy the last 2 weeks.
I was glad to have run it. I escaped it injury free, and I am going to get a 2nd opinion on my ankle.
Hope everyone has a great happy, healthy & prosperous 2009 !

Here are members of Trail Run group, that I run with.

39:02 (7:49 min/mile avg.)
Mile Time
1 7:34
2 7:24
3 7:39
4 8:11
5 8:13