Sunday, May 31, 2009

Trail runs & the Fabulous Feat 5k

As May comes to an end, it also ends my goal of running at least a 100 miles a month for the year. With the rains we had here in NJ, and the start of the 5k season, I ended May at 78.21 miles. Not bad, but I need to get back to my long runs on Sunday mornings.

I ran with the Trailrunsgroup this past Saturday morning. We met at Clayton Park, and while it wasn't a long trail run, Bill Y. came up with the idea of doing "ladders" on the long hill.

These were hard, and it something I wouldn't do on my own, so I was glad to do them. I want to make sure I continue to do this type of workout into my marathon training later this summer. I have never been good at hills, both up and downhill, and I can tell I am getting better, since I started running the trails.

It was nice to be back with them, since I missed the past 2 weeks, being downashore.

Sunday, there was a nice little local 5k in Veteran's Park, the FabulousFeat5k.

I ran into Jess who was there with her son, ready to run. Gotta give her credit to run a 5k with a stroller. I also ran into an old family friend who runs all the local 5k's. He's a good guy, who's still running at 64! Hopefully I'll be able to run at that age.
It was perfect weather for the run. There was a little over 100 runners, so it was a nice crowd. I was worried about being a rabbit at the start with the smaller crowd. I kept that in mind when the race started. I didn't get caught up at the start, and settled into my own pace. I tried to keep the same pace from last Sunday's 5k. I did that for the most part.
It was nice to run a "home race", as I run many miles in Veteran's Park. The hard part of the 5k's there, is the long uphill around the 2.5 mile mark! I knew when I hit the 2 mile mark, I had a chance at a PR, but that uphill would tell the tale. I attacked it the best I could, and felt pretty afterwards, and when I saw the clock, I knew it would be close. I didn't have much left for the last .10, but I managed to cross at 21:59, .03 off of last weeks PR. I was glad to break the 22 min barrier again.

I did get 2nd in my age group which was cool.

Here are some pictures from the run, Jesswith her son in the stroller & the Deacon at the finish line, and Deacon & I getting our 2nd place age group medals.

21:59 (7:05 avg.)

1. 6:58

2. 7:07

3. 7:09

.10 :45

Monday, May 25, 2009

Running downashore & The Turtle Trot 5k !

What a fun time we had downashore these past 5 days! Time really flew by, but I did manage to run twice & fit in a 5k race.. more on the race in a bit.
I got up early to run on Friday & Saturday. Both days I got out a little later than I normally do, around 7:30am. I try to get out before 7:00am, but I wasn't planning any long runs. The weather both days was nice and comfortable, highs in the 60's, with an ocean breeze. I did a run out to North Wildwood, and back, running the boardwalk the last 2 miles. It was a 7 mile run, and I didn't feel that great during the run. I did the 7 miles in 1:00:44, for an 8:40 avg.
Saturday, I also did "feel" the run. I ran better than I did on Friday, but just didn't have that light on your feet feeling, or wind. I ran on the boards again, for the last 2 miles of the 6 I ran. It was a packed boardwalk, compared to Friday. It had summertime written all over it. I did the 6 miles in 49:37, for an 8:15 avg. I know the pace looks great, but I sure didn't feel great.

That leads me up to the TURTLE TROT 5k, that I ran on Sunday in Stone Harbor.

It was a nice morning for a race, slight breeze, and comfortable temps. I met up with the Joyrun family. They made the trek south to do the race. She brought along JoyHub & JoyNephew.

I found this race while surfing around for any local runs while I was in Wildwood. There were aprox 450 runners/walkers in this event. There was a local Tri, on Saturday, so a bunch of them were entered into the 5k.
With the added competition, and the way my recent runs had felt, I had no thoughts of a PR or placing in my age group. I went into the race, with the thought if I could hold on to 8min miles, and try to finish around 24:00, I would consider it a success. I even mentioned to Joy & her family, how the last few runs stunk.
I walked to the start with the JoyFam, and wished them luck, and told them I was going to move a little closer to the start/finish line. As I was getting the Garmin & Ipod ready, I kept repeating to myself to relax & don't go out like a rabbit. It did work, instead of a 6:39 mile, like I did at the Footrace, I ran the 1st mile in 7:04. It was at that point, I felt pretty good, and said "self.. relax and do it again". I was running alongside a few runners that seemed to have a nice pace, and I hung with them. As I hit the 2 mile mark, I heard the beep of the Garmin, looked down and saw I ran Mile 2 in 7:06. Now I am thinking, have I gone out too hard, am I going to implode. I just kept the pace, locked into my own little world, occasionally looking at the passing street signs. The finish was at 95Th Street, and started to count them down, a block at a time from about 115Th. I battled and kept thinking..21 and change... you can do this! I heard the beep of the Garmin at mile 3, but I didn't check the time, since I could see the clock at the finish, and it was 21:30. I had the last .10 mile to run, and did it! I finished in 21:56 ! A new PR! I had ran mile 3 in 7:08. Unbelievable... as bad as I felt the past 2 days of heavy legs and no wind, were wiped away with this run! It just goes to show you, ya just never know with this sport.
I was able to get a bottle of water, and see Joy Nephew finish in the 24's, and Joy in the 26's. Both PR's! And I can't forget JoyHub. I got my camera from the car, and just got back to see him finish around 31mins.
It was a great time. It was cool to run again with Joy & her family, who were headed out for breakfast afterwards.
I did check the finish board before I left, and I finished 50th out of about 450, and they had my time at 21:56
Garmin time:
1. 7:04
2. 7:06
3. 7:08
.10 :35

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Great Cape May Footrace 5k

The Great Cape May Footrace was held this past Saturday, May 16. The last time I ran this, back in 2006, the course started in the same place, outside the Beach Theatre, and ended in the middle of Cape May, in a nice commons's area. The course is totally different now, it and out and back along the beach. I liked the old course, as you didn't have to worry about the wind, which you do, running along the ocean. The wind was a tail wind for the 1st mile+, and of course, in your face the last 1+.

I was excited for this race, since it was my 1st 5k since last December. I had an idea for a finishing time, sub 22, and knew if I was around that time, I would have a chance for an age group top 3 finish.

I made it a point, when I got to the race, to do some light running, loosen up the legs a bit, and I actually stretched too. The weather was perfect, highs around 60deg. Only drawback was a wind, I'm guessing it was around 15mph sustained out of the south west.

It was a nice crowd, about 200 runners combined for the 5k & 10k. For a race that size, it was chip timed. Everyone started with the gun, and crossed the pad at the finish.

I started near the front, and took off at the start. I was flying, and I had a feeling I was going out way too fast. I was being the typical rabbit runner I am. Thank god for the pace crews in the marathon, otherwise I would blow up early!

I hit the 1st mile in 6:39! Wow.. I knew I went out fast, but didn't expect to be that quick. It is a wind aided 1st mile, but still I was 20 seconds faster than I wanted to be. At about the 1-1/2 mark, the 5k runners stayed straight, and the 10k runners hung a left. A little past that mark, we hit the turnaround point, and headed back to the start/finish line. I was counting 5k runners, and I counted around 10 in front of me, and had an idea if I held my spot, I might have a chance at a top 3 age group. One bad thing about this new course, you had to run through the 10k runners making the turn, when we were headed back. It was a little chaotic. They need to do something about that. It was at that point I started to feel the result of going out too fast. I hit the 2nd mile mark at 7:07. I had slowed down by almost a 1/2 minute! That's not good in a 5k!

I was just in survival mode at that point, and wanted to hang onto my place, and not let anyone pass me. Funny thing, I was listening to "live" music on my Ipod, so the crowd sounds had me thinking someone was right up on me. Maybe it helped motivate me to hang on.

I did the 3rd mile in 7:40! Ouch... I had lost a shot at a PR, and did the last .1o in .53 secs.

I was thinking about Ted's post here the other day, when he predicted my time of 22:12. He was close, I saw the 22:12 tick away, chuckled to myself, and crossed in 22:19.

If this was last year, I would have been thrilled with my time, but I know better today, than how I ran this race. I need to slow the "F" down at the start, and not get caught up in the excitement.

One good thing about this race, is not only can you get water, a bagel, orange slices or a banana, but you can get a beer!
Yes! 9:30 in the morning, and I had the 1st beer of the day!

All in all, it was a good time. I will learn from this, and try and run at a steady pace. If the mile splits were in reverse order, it would have been the best race, but I strive to make the last mile my best.

I did get the finish I wanted! 7th overall, and 2nd in my age group! Funny thing, the 1st overall women finisher, ran with a baby stroller! My hats off to her. She finished 3rd overall, and to do that pushing a stroller.. that's awesome.


1. 6:39

2. 7:07

3. 7:40

.10 :53

Thursday, May 14, 2009

5 in the park

I got to run 5 miles in Veteran's Park in between the rain today. It's my last run before my 11st 5k of the season on Saturday.
I did the Hangover 5 mile course. Not many people in the park, with the threatening weather today. It's been on and off raining, and at times down pouring on us. Temps were in the mid 60's with a gusty wind.
I felt good running today, but as usual, no warm up, which you will see reflected in my 1st mile time. Rest assured, I will warm up before the race!
5 miles 40:39 (8:07avg.)

1. 8:41
2. 8:15
3. 8:09
4. 8:02
5. 7:29

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Tuesday's Runs

With a 5k race looming on Saturday, I wanted to get out and run a mock 5k, to get the feel of running fast back. I went to Mercer County Park, and did 2 x 5k on an out and back route.
I used the first one as the mock race, and the 2nd was at a comfortable pace.
The park was a buzz with action, as it was perfect weather, slight breeze, warm & plenty of sun.
One thing I need to start to do, before the shorter races, is warm up. I never do anything, no stretching, or running. I just go to the start, and go at the gun. It seems to take me about a 1/2 mile to get the legs moving. That doesn't leave you much time, in a 5k race, so I don't need to waste time.
I did the 1st 5k in 22:50
1. 7:41
2. 7:14
3. 7:10
.1 :44

I know I left a little something on the table, so hopefully I can improve on that 1st mile.

The 2nd 5k, I stuck around 9min miles, and finished it in 27:41.
It funny, after running the longer races & training runs,I have done so far this year, the 5k goes by in a blink of an eye... and I like it!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Back on the trails

This past Saturday, it was nice to get back out on the trails with the Trailgroup. We ran in Clayton Park. I have not run with the group in a few weeks, and it was amazing to see how green the trails have become. It seemed like just yesterday, they were bare and freezing.
Nate had his mojo flowing, as he worked us on the hills. It was a nice change of pace, getting onto the trails, and off the road.
I have busy Saturday's for the next few weeks, so I might not be back with the group until late June, so I made the most of this run, and did my best to work the uphills & downhills.
Hope everyone had a great Mother's Day!
5.8 miles 59:29

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Nice run after work.

I got out after work Wednesday, for the 1st time since the 1/2 on Sunday. It's been a rainy mess around here for the last week, and it was nice to get a dry run in.
I was surprised that I wasn't as sore as I usually am after a hard race. I did a nice out and back 6 mile run.
I didn't see any runners out, when I ran, but sure seemed like everyone was mowing their lawns.
A week from this Saturday, I have my 1st 5k race on the schedule, and hopefully I can hit the track once before the race.
I ran a nice pace, probably a little quicker than I should have, but I felt good.

6 miles 49:19 (8:12 avg.)
  1. 8:17
  2. 8:12
  3. 8:10
  4. 8:15
  5. 8:17
  6. 8:03

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Long Branch 1/2 Marathon

What a day.

It started bright and early at 4:30, when I got up to make the 1hour drive down to Long Branch.

It wasn't raining when I started, and I was hoping to get the 1/2 in before the rain came.
When I finally got to the start/finish area, it took a whopping 1-1/2 hours! The police had traffic a mess, and the shuttle buses where mixed in with the us regular Joe's. I heard people talking that some had to wait at Monmouth Park for over a 1/2 hour for a bus. That's terrible, considering they have at least 3 major horse races a year, and should have a handle on the traffic. It was so bad, it delayed the start for over a 1/2 hour.
I did run into the blog crew before the race. BommaMomma & her husband, good ole Shoreturtle, Progman, JoyRun & her husband, and the world famous Ted & his wife. ST & Ted where not running, they were here to cheer on the runners. BM's husband was running the 1/2 & Ted's wife was running the full.

Everything at the start & at the baggage check, was awesome. Everything seemed to have a nice flow. I can't blame the people running the event for the delayed start. They announced that they were waiting on the police to start the race.

I started out a little behind the 3:30 pace group. I got as close as I could. It was pretty tight, with both the 1/2 & full marathoners. When we finally started a little after 8:00am, I was ready to go. I had to fight my way the first few miles to finally catch up to the pace group. The crowd support was awesome. Some house had the music cranking, there were a couple of bands playing in the 1st 3-4 miles. I'm sure that helped the full marathoners, when they came back around.
I wasn't sure how I was going to feel, since I bonked last Sunday. The more I thought about the pace I wanted to run, I really wasn't sure I could keep up a 8:00min/mile pace, for 13.1 miles!
Our 3:30 pace leader was awesome. I believe his name was Mike, and he was great. He had the group at 15secs. under goal, for the 1st half, leaving some wiggle room, for the 2nd half.
He was very encouraging to runners we came up on, making sure they were good, and telling trying to get them to hang with him. He was also very knowledgeable, talking to a 1st time 1/2'fer about what to wear. The runner was maybe 15-16, and was wearing all cotton, and Pacer Mike told him he would knock off probably 2 minutes to his time, wearing the proper clothing.
I was feeling really strong, and left the group just past the 1o mile mark.
I didn't want to start to kick that early, but I was feeling good, and went ahead by a little bit.
By the time I hit mile 13, I went for it, and crossed the finish at a PR of 1:43:20, according to my Garmin. I did the last mile in 7:22, fastest mile of the day. I guess trying to finish strong in my training runs paid off!
13.26 miles 1:43:20 (7:47 pace)
  1. 7:57
  2. 7:33
  3. 7:53
  4. 7:51
  5. 8:03
  6. 7:49
  7. 7:54
  8. 7:53
  9. 7:46
  10. 7:52
  11. 7:44
  12. 7:47
  13. 7:22

.22 1:51

I'll update the official results, when they post them!
Congrats to all who ran today, in the wet weather!


The official chip time is 1:43:18

40/284 M 40-44


Saturday, May 2, 2009


Best of luck to all the runners out here that are racing this Sunday.
Two of the most popular races take place around these parts,
the NJMARATHON & the BroadStreetRun in Philly.
I know a few doing the NJ Marathon, so best of luck to

Denise I believe is running Broad St.

and anyone & everyone who is running Sunday!

I'll be running the Long Branch 1/2 marathon, alongside the NJ Marathoners. It might be a bit wet, but looks like the temps will be perfect for the races.