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Run Mark Run

"...the faster you run...the faster you are done"

Updated: 2018-03-05T22:23:07.926-05:00


Post marathon running


So as of today I am twelve days since Philly and Im feeling really good still. The post marathon glow has started to wear off a bit. Looking back at the Philly weekend - I still cant believe how much fun I had and how strong I was able to run (and that I got to break in a un-used porta-potty). Ive run six times now since is a recap.

Thursday Nov 25 - GMAA Turkey Trot 5k - VT
Very low key race - no bibs, no timing (unless you are the first man or woman to finish). I ran this with my sister. Kind of nervous on how I would feel 4 days after Philly. Kept things nice and slow - (minus when I had to catch up to someone to tell him his shoe was untied). Finished at 29:07 (9:15 pace)...legs felt pretty good. After the run - went back to my sister's and had my first beer (and Jamesons) in a long time.

Saturday Nov 27 - Long run with Paul
Met up with my friend Paul in VT for a nice long slow run. Cold and windy - but overall great. Post marathon running worries are definitely gone after this run. Nine miles at a 9:08 pace - did a little pick up near the end to see what the legs could do. (Also picked Paul's brains about ultras - maybe someday.)

Tuesday Nov 30 - Back in CT
Did some speed work with some pickups at 5k effort. Things felt really good - legs felt fresh and the pickups were surprisingly quick. November over - total miles 111.6. Yearly miles to date 1503 - which is only 19 miles off my total miles last year.

Wednesday Dec 1 -
Weather sucked - very windy and rainy. But I like running in the rain - its fun the looks you get from drivers when you are out there. Three miles.....

Thursday Dec 2- MT DOOM RUN
Ran to the top of Mt Doom (aka East Rock)...such a satisfying thing to do. Nice big hill. The road to the summit is already closed off to cars. Minus a couple bikers I had the place to myself. Must remember to run up to the summit more often - such a great view.

Friday Dec 3 - Run with the Doc
Doc Leah gave me a ring this morning wanted to know if I wanted to join her for a run. Since most of my training runs are solo - I couldn't pass on running with someone. We hung around East Rock and ran some loops - (I was waiting for the oil company to come out and get heat back to my place so I didnt want to stray too far from home).

So - almost 2 weeks post marathon and I feel good. No major injuries/tweaks. Couple minor things here and there - but nothing some stretching and rolling (and a beer) doesn't take care of. I have decided for sure not to race the last big race around here in December (Christopher Martins 5k) - and will just get myself recovered more, start ramping up the speed work a bit - and get ready for Chilly Chili run on New Years day.

Three days post Marathon


Legs are feeling good, I'm still smiling and still eating everything I can find.

Philadelphia Marathon Race Report (long)


After my run on Friday:I finished work on Friday and knocked out the laundry pretty quick. However after finishing the laundry I dropped my work laptop and broke it. Although I did not need it for my weekend in Philly – it was not the way I wanted to start my race weekend. I packed up all my running gear- double checked I had both pairs of Kinvaras with me (my yellow ones would have been lonely if I left them home), had a nice dinner and then went to bed.Sautrday:Alarm went off at 6am and I was up and having my coffee within 5 minutes. My family and I were out the door by 7. We made a quick stop off at Panera for breakfast (didn’t seem right not to start the race weekend without an orange scone) – and then we were off to Philly. Very quick drive down with no excitement (even through New York City) – which was nice. Got to Philly around 11:30 and headed over to my in laws for some lunch.After lunch I walked over to the expo to get my bib and such. The expo was really nice –lots of people there. This by far was the biggest expo I had ever been too. I walked around a bit picked up a couple things. At 3pm I met up with some fellow Milford Road Runners that were down to run the marathon as well. After a couple pictures we all went our separate ways. I was amazingly tired for it being only 4pm. My way was to the hotel (Thomas Bond Bed and Breakfast) to check in – then back to in laws so I could eat. After a nice dinner at the South Street Diner (which ended up being on the race course) – we went back to the hotel so I could get ready for the race – and more importantly sleep.Sunday:RACE DAY!! – After a decent (not great) night of sleep – I woke up 5 minutes before the alarm went off (which I’m sure my family appreciated) and was getting myself together. Had my morning bagel and a diet soda to pep me up. Slowly I got myself into race gear and in my throw away clothes and headed down stairs for my cab. The lady that worked at the bed and breakfast had coffee ready when I got downstairs and a bagged breakfast for me with scones and other pastries in it (she had others for the other racers too – such a nice touch). Cab showed up right on time and after a five minute drive I was staring at the art museum at about 5:30 in the morning. It was pretty cold still and the moon was shining bright right about the museum (wish I had my camera with me). After christening a fresh porta potty – I worked my way over to the fleet of UPS trucks to check in my bag. By the time I had that all done- the sun was starting to peak through and the numbers of runners and spectators started to increase like crazy.I found the green corral and the 3:40 pace leader – and tried to just stay warm (I had shed my throw away clothes already). There was a definite excitement in the air – announcements over the loudspeakers, friends chatting, perfect strangers introducing themselves….it was great. I talked with a couple people, – (one was a girl named Penny from Brooklyn who ran a 3:37 and qualified for Boston!) - which is not in my nature as I am usually quiet and shy at races. Philadelphia has a wave start – which was great. When it was time for our corral to go – it was still very busy but I cant even imagine if everyone went at the same time.As I started the 3:40 pace balloons pulled away from me and I lost site of them. I didn’t really worry too much as I was only going to use the pace group as a guide (although I would have loved to stick with them the whole race). Streets were pretty narrow and running room was at a premium. A runner next to me, we’ll call him Doc as I cant remember his name – just that he was a Doctor at Temple, starting chatting with me. We realized we both wanted to run with the 3:40 pace group and since we both lost sight of it decided to just run in a pace group of two. In between miles two and three we caught sight of the balloons up ahead – but decided it was in our best interest to not chase them down[...]

Philadelphia Marathon Official Results


Bib: 4560
Div: M 30-34
Age: 34
Chip Time: 3:46:29
Pace: 8:38
10k Time/pace: 51:02 / 8:12
Half Time/pace: 1:48:54 / 8:18
30k Time/pace: 2:35:40 / 8:21
Overall: 2587/8942
Place M: 1959
Place M 30-34: 338

More taper runs, craziness, DailyMile meetup


So - taper runs #9-12 are done with two more planned runs before the Philadelphia Marathon. (AAAAGH 5 more days! - phew I'm better) Here are the runs:

#9 - 5 miler - 4 easy miles with a MP last mile ->
#10 - 8.24 miler with Milford Road Runners ->
#11 - 5 miler - with blah blah blah ->
#12 - 3.1 miler - with fast last 1/2 mile ->

Now some of the crazy taper stuff that I hope usually happens ->
1) I woke last night with maybe a pain in my leg (I may have been imagining the whole thing). I did get up and walk around the house at 2am or so to walk it off.
2) Restless sleep last few nights (see #1)
3) The need to make sure things are clean/put away - not normally in my nature.
4) Packing/re-packing my bag that I'm going to check at the race
5) Quick and sudden freak outs
6) Been on the Philadelphia Marathon website all the time -but for no apparent reason
7) Dream of winning a random contest for something (i cant remember what it was for) from IronBrandon (if you dont listen to his podcast - you should)

The DailyMile meetup for the Philadelphia Marathon is going to be at 5pm at the Clif Bar Pace Team booth. If you don't know what DailyMile is - you should go check it out. But in short its a social network site for runners, swimmers, cyclists and any other type of exercise you could think to log. You can post workouts, friend other people, comment on their workouts......Its good fun and is a great motivator.

Speaking of Clif Bar Pace Teams - I ended up signing up for the 3:40 pace group. Not sure what to expect but we'll see how long I can stay with them.

Taper Runs #7 and 8, Pace Groups


Last two taper runs went grand - the first of the week (Tuesday) I decided to run this one a little harder. Each mile was a bit faster than goal marathon pace with the last one being at my current 10k (or 5k after a 5.8 mile warm up) pace. Today's run I just went very easy. I even broke out the ipod to run with for the first time in a long time. I let the easy listening sounds of Tool help and keep me relaxed on this run. Oh and I probably should pick up some Bodyglide - the new shorts all of a sudden seem to allow for some chafing.

Tuesday's run ->

Today's run ->

The big taper question that I have been going back and forth on - is to join a pace group - or not. I've talked to some runners with varying degrees of expertise/experience in running for opinions and things seem split. For new and non runners - races will bring in people to lead groups to get people across the finish line in a certain time. Common finish times for pace groups are 3:10, 3:20, 3:30..etc etc...sometimes going all the way up to 5:00. At the Philadelphia Marathon - Clif Bar will be running the pace groups and I'm torn.

A few people I run with say pace groups are great - and highly recommended joining one. Said they have run with them in the past (not Clif specifically) and thought it really helped them get across the line at their expected goal. Others say they had a tough time with the group. Ive read online in places basically the same thing.

Part of me would love to join so I can
a) run with a group of people with the common time goal
b) have someone pace the beginning where my adrenaline will probably kick
c) help assist in the later miles with motivation (as some pace leaders do)
d) get the 3:40 Im hoping for

But the other part -
a) afraid that the 3:40 is too ambitious and will get discouraged later in the race when the pace group pulls away from me
b) afriad that a 3:40 is very doable and maybe faster and will feel like I left too much out there staying with the group (highly unlikely)
c) Not sure if anyone is still reading this - but taper has clearly started to affect the brain
d) would like to run "my own" race and just do what feels right and natural and have fun

As of this second - I'm leaning toward not joining a pace group. But I'm sure my mind will change 100 more the next 5 minutes.

11 Days to Go!

End of Taper Week 1


First taper week is done. Phew....Got some good runs in this week. I even ended the week with a long run with a 5k race in the middle. The one negative for the week is I spent Friday with either a stomach bug or some food poisoning - either way I definitely expelled more calories on Friday than I could take in. Also by the end of the day was extremely dehydrated (any fluids I took in got deposited into the porcelain throne as well). Saturday I spent the day refueling and re-hydrating so I could try and run on Sunday.

The race went well - I was able to maintain a comfortably hard pace and run a 7:36 pace. Far from a PR - but with the 5.8 mile warm up we did and being sick I will take it.

This coming week Ill be cutting back my mileage a bit more and start to make my Marathon checklist (which is right up my alley - gotta love making lists). Things to look for - places to eat near the convention center, a quiet family friendly place to get dinner on Saturday, look for some throw away clothes for the start, look at Philadelphia weather and figure out what to bring with me, buy Gels and other food stuffs.....Im sure there are many other things to list out - so feel free to remind me of things I should bring.

Total runs: 6 (include the long run on Sunday broken into 3 segments)
Distance: 29.02 miles
Time: 4:14:45
Pace: 8:46

Taper illness - blerg


So not how I planned to spend my Friday - I was hoping for a five mile tempo run. Instead I spent a majority of the day with either a stomach bug or some sort of food poisoning. Woke up at 4am with what I thought was really bad heartburn....boy was I wrong. I was in the bathroom every 40 minutes or so reliving my dinner from the night before.

So after a day of losing many more calories than I took in - I am going to rest today too. Take the day to rehydrate and refuel. Im craving some fatty foods - but Ill try and refrain from going too crazy on the refueling part. Then tomorrow join some friends for a long run which will include the Platt Tech 5k in the middle of it.

Fifteen more days to go....

Taper Run #3-


The plan today was to go slow and not do anything dumb (step on an acorn, trip on a curb, slip on leaves). Mother nature actually helped out with the rain and the wind - and really I kind of like running in the rain. I put on my new digs that I hope to wear at Philly and went out for a slow and wet four miler. For the first time on a run I never looked at my Garmin. I just counted the mile beeps so I knew when to stop. Felt kind of nice to just be whatever about a run. Some people when they do "naked" runs they go without the watch - but I still like the post run numbers and stuff to obsess over. I did throw a picked up pace mile at the end of the run that just happened to be at 8:23 (which is right around goal marathon pace). My poor Kinvaras are up on my makeshift drying rack now - to hopefully be worn tomorrow.

Total distance: 4 miles
Total time: 36:36
Average pace: 9:09
Splits: 9:15 / 9:09 / 9:48 / 8:23

The new shirt and shorts seemed to work out fine. First pair of shorts with a liner in it. I was always hesitant to get this kind of short for some reason - but it wasn't all that bad. I'm going to wear the same thing out on my long run this weekend to make sure everything stays where its supposed to on a longer run....and to see well if there are any chafe points.

Taper Run #2 -


So far taper hasn't started to drive me crazy yet - but its only early in the first week of it. Talk to me midweek next week. Todays run went well - did fifteen 100meter pickups with 100m recovery then did some running around Yale to fill out some mileage. Felt good - and the cooler weather has been great. Ive been having to shed the gloves and arm warmers though mid run as I do get warm pretty quick.

Been thinking about nutrition strategy for race day and this is what I have so far...

- 2-2.5 hours before race (4:30am-5am ugh) - eat bagel and have a cup of coffee (where I am going to find coffee at that time of the morning I dont know yet)
- 1 hour before race - some sort of granola bar - preferably with around 140 calories
- 15 minutes before race Gatorade G1 Prime
- Mile 5 Gel
- Mile 13.5 Gel
- Mile 20.5 Gel

At the three gel times drink water - then try and alternate water/gatorade as much as I can throughout the rest of the race.

Picked up some shorts tonight at Sports Authority to race in and my shirt from Running Warehouse should be here tomorrow. Will be trying them out on my long run this weekend with the Milford Road Runners (WINTER COURSE!! WAHOOO - believe me its so much better than the summer course).

Still have had only the two marathon dreams and those were a few weeks ago. Waiting to see what my brain does to me over the next few days while I'm trying to sleep.

Taper Run #1 -


Wahooo Taper is here! For your new (and non) runners reading this - (Sidebar Seems from my last post I have more than one reader here - Hi Jon and Jess - sorry I missed you in my last count...sidebar over) - taper is the period where you start cutting back in distance and intensity of training runs so you can start getting the body recovered from the day to day grind of the past weeks of training. Since I was injured and took some time off and already had to cut back some runs - this week will be a quasi taper before the real taper starts next week. Taper is also the period where one starts to go a little crazy - things like following start to happen (feel free to leave comments on what happens to you during taper).
- You start to think "Did I do enough training to really run 26.2 miles?"
- Mood shifts from - glass half full - to holy crap I lost the damn glass.
- You put on weight - and start to worry about it.
- My legs get really twitchy on rest days
- Stress dreams start to happen about race day (I'll get into these sometime later during taper)
- Every little ache or twinge in your legs freaks you out.

Now for today's run -
Went out for a 7 miler with hopes of adding some speed work in. After a mile warmup I started to do 1/3 mile on's and off's with the "on" segments being at 5k pace/effort. Normally I would go by pace - but it was super windy today which made holding the pace difficult. Ended the run with what should have been a Marathon pace (8:24) mile - which was an 8:08 mile.

On more specific Marathon news - the marathon beard is growing in nicely (unless you ask my wife). I have to talk with my facial hair coach to see what our plans should be for race day. I also ordered my race day shoes (Saucony Kinvaras) from the running store in my area - they should be here next week, which means as soon as they come in all my runs will be done in those shoes to get them gently broken in before race day.

Neglected Blog


So its been since Week 9 of Philly training since I last posted - and today marked the start of week 16. I apologize to my reader (Hi Dad).....First the weekly break downs of since week 9

Week 10
I ran 3 times that week with one of the runs being the Niantic Half Marathon. My ankle had started to give me troubles during week 9 and wasnt getting much better. So I decided to do a mini taper heading into the half marathon. That morning things didnt feel much better so I decided to just take it easy and not push too much out there. You can read about my race at DailyMile - short of it is I ran very well and strong even with ankle issue. Total mileage for the week 22.5 miles

Week 11 (Sept 27 - Oct 3)
Monday I woke up after running Niantic and I could barely walk. I knew I was going to need some time off after the race - but I ended up taking 5 days before I attempted to run again. Spent the week icing, elevating, ibuprofen-ing and trying my best to stay off my feet. Thought about getting some crutches to keep pressure off when I had to move around - but decided against it. Total mileage for this week was 8.75 (which was done on Saturday with Milford Road Runners). At this point I was starting to get really nervous about Philly and my training. I felt that 3:40 was slipping away - and that Id be lucky to do a 4:40.

Week 12 (Oct 4-10)
Things started to feel a little better but still not 100%. Ran a total of 4 times that week - some good some bad. Long run of the week was 12 miles. Ended the week nervous that I could even do the 26.2. Total mileage was 27.5 miles. At this point I decided to toss the Pfitzinger plan out the window. There was no way I was going to try and "sneak" back into the plan after the past 3 weeks.

Week 13 (Oct 11-17)
This week things actually felt almost normal again. Had some good runs and a couple bad ones - but thats normal whether you are healthy or not. Actually got 5 runs in during the week - one being an almost 20 miler (19.6) with Alecia and Brian. Even though that long tired me out and I felt miserable (and hungry) for the mile or so - it did give me the confidence back that I had been missing. But then I did something dumb - I went for a 4 miler the next day. I never run the day after a long run - its ALWAYS my rest day. I wont make that mistake again - as even though I had good company for it - that run sucked. Total mileage - 40.6 miles.

Week 14 (Oct 18-24)
I got 5 runs in again this week - and even started to bring back some speed work to wake up the legs a bit as they had been feeling heavy and slow since Niantic. The long run this week I decided to cut back pretty far from last weeks 20 and I did a 15 miler on the hilly Milford course (thanks Al for joining me for the entire 15). Total weekly mileage 35.5 miles.

Week 15 (Oct 25-31)
This week I knew I wasnt going to get all 5 "planned" runs in as my Doctor Wife was out of town over the weekend so no running at all. Started the week by doing 8x800 Yassos for some speed work. Had a crap run mid week in which I got 1.5 miles out and had to call it and walk it back. I took Friday off from work to get my last 20 miler in. The 20 miler was great - by far one of my best runs this training cycle - and maybe top 3 all year.

Week 9 recap


Week nine is in the books.....I have a slight ankle/shin problem coming out of week nine. Recovery week is next - so I may take an extra rest day to try and recover from this. Hopefully things will feel better before Niantic Half Marathon on the 26th. Here are the totals for week 9 - half way to Philly!

Total runs: 6
Total distance: 51.25 mi
Total time: 7:18:55
Average pace: 8:33

-18 miler w/12 at marathon pace with Alecia

-stupid ankle/shin issue

Week 8 Recap


Well week 8 is over, 1/2 way to Philly....(I may go out tonight for a few miles) is how it went.

Total runs: 4
Total weekly distance: 48 miles
Total weekly time: 6:51:47
Average weekly pace: 8:34

- New Haven 20k Race on Labor Day
- 20 miler on Saturday

- Wednesdays 9.5 miler - blech
- Allergies still lingering around
- Coming up short on my weekly planned mileage (even if I go out tonight for a few)

20 miler #1 of 3


Ran again with Chuck (who I ran with Monday at the New Haven 20k)....and as usual it was a fun run. Even around mile 18 when things started to get sore and a bit painful I was glad to have Chuck would have been so easy just to either stop or mail it in and slow down to a crawl. He was running his last 20 miler before Portland (ME) Marathon - and wanted to go 22 but it wasnt in the cards for him today. Im glad to have this first 20 under my belt and kind of look forward to the next one. Today was the furthest I have run in almost a year....since the Cape Cod debacle......but we wont talk about that. Off to the Norwalk Oyster Festival....

Total Distance: 20 miles
Total time: 2:55:23
Avg Pace: 8:46

5 miler - with 1 mile on and 1 off


After a rest day yesterday, I decided to head out this morning for a whatever 5 miler. (I thought about going out after dinner - but my wife who is much wiser than me, told me I should just rest, get healthy, get some sleep and go in the morning. I knew her PhD would come in handy with my running some day).

The whatever run is what I call the - I'll make up what I do once I get out there. As soon as I stepped outside and felt the lovely cool air I felt rejuvenated and ready to run...hard. But with the first 20 miler of this marathon training tomorrow I knew I shouldnt go all out hard for too long. So I decided on one mile on and one mile offs. The first mile I held back a little just in case the On/Off idea wasnt right. From there I slowly pushed the pace on each on segment.

Overall I felt good - most of my allergy issues seem to disappear while I'm running (except for the super dry throat). I'm probably going to come up short this week on mileage - but I'm hoping the quality of my runs makes of for the missing quantity. Happy Friday everyone!

Total distance: 5 miles
Total time: 41:35
Average pace: 8:19
Avg Hr: 158
Max Hr: 179

8:03 / 147
9:03 / 149
7:39 / 165
9:48 / 155
7:00 / 176

New Haven Road Race 20k - Official Race Results


Official Results
Place: 667
Div: 137
Bib: 380
Age: 34
Gun time: 1:37:54
Chip time: 1:37:14
10k Split: 49:25
Gun Avg: 7:53
Chip Avg: 7:49

New Haven Road Race 20k - Race Report


Hello Week 8!

Today was the New Haven Road Race 20k. I had no idea how today would go since I ran 18 just two days ago and the last few days allergy-wise have been miserable. I figured I wanted to be around 8:00-8:24 per mile. Woke up around 6am - had some breakfast, got myself ready and walked to the green (~1.5 miles). Once I got there I to my number pinned to my shirt and the D-tag on to my Kinvaras. Chatted a bit with some Milford Road Runners at our tent - then off for a quick warm-up and potty stop. Once I got through the bathroom line - I had only a few minutes to get to the start.

I lined up a ways back and shortly after I got settled in a spot - the gun went off. I took it easy for the first 1/2 mile (I really had to as it was very busy). After the crowd cleared a bit I found a comfortable pace and tried to just sit on it. Just around mile four I noticed my good friend Chuck a few steps ahead of me. From that point on we ran the race together. He said he wanted to run 8s even - but that didn't happen. We seemed to alternate each mile which of us would push the other along. At a water stop at mile 10.5 or so he decided to take a breather and drink his drink instead of spilling it all and he waved me on. As I made the final turn down Whitney I saw my wife and son in the crowd. I made a quick detour to give my son a kiss - then back to the course I went. Once back on the course I started looking for Chuck again - seeing he was only 20 feet or so behind me I held up until he caught up to me. We finished together which was great.

Overall I felt great - esp coming off the 18 miler. I figured I could have picked up the pace a little overall but running with a friend today and having fun was what it was about.

Garmin Times
3:31 (for .49 miles @ 7:14 pace)

Bad blogger, marathon training etc etc etc


Yes I've been a bad blogger as of late. I know all of you (all 1 of you) must be sad not to have been able to read about my runs here. I hope you have been able to cope for the last three weeks. The end of summer always seems to be crazy, add to that marathon training and getting my son ready for school, its a miracle I remember to put pants on in the morning (I have yet to forget to do that - wahoo!)

Training for Philly has been going well. Mother nature has tried her best to derail me -between the heat, ragweed season and a potential hurricane coming through New England -but she has yet to knock me off course (knock on wood). Below are my week totals for the past three weeks.

Week 5
Total Distance: 45.67 miles
Total Time: 6:33:44
Avg Pace: 8:37

Week 6 (Recovery)
Total Distance: 36.35 miles
Total Time: 5:12:20
Avg Pace: 8:35

Week 7
Total Distance: 50.0 miles
Total Time: 7:36:01
Avg Pace: 9:07

Highlights of the last three weeks:
1) 9 miles with 5 at 1/2 marathon pace with Mike in NY (
2) 16 miles with 10 at marathon pace (even though this hurt a bit) (
3) First run in my Kinvaras - (
4) 7 miler with strides - I felt fast that day (
5) 18 miler - getting my confidence back big time for distance after this (
6) Non running highlight - my son starting 2nd grade

Only negative over the last three weeks - ragweed. My allergies are going crazy (as they usually do at this time of the year). Hard to balance taking enough medication (benadryl) to combat the allergy symptoms but not so much that I'm all drowsy and stupid all day.

Week 8 starts tomorrow (Labor Day) with the New Haven 20k. Since I just came off running 18 miles yesterday I dont think Ill be racing this one very hard....but as my wife said yesterday "When do you ever take it easy at races?".

Long run - PITTSBURGH!


Today was the day I had been looking forward to since we planned our little road trip from FL to Pittsburgh (and beyond). I planned out a run with the help of a co-worker, MapMyRun and Google Maps (street view). My main sightseeing goal, being a lifelong Pirates and Steelers fan, was to run by PNC Park and Heinz Field.

My parents dropped my off at the University of Pittsburgh campus for me to start my run - figuring it was a good ending point we could all navigate our way back to. I wrote the route on a note card and shoved it in my pocket. First four miles seemed to just fly by - as I ran through the Strip District and then to the bike path - I could see downtown which looked awesome. I worked my way (since there was a bike path detour) over to 6th Street and then over the Roberto Clemente Bridge.

This is what I had been looking forward to - as I came over the bridge I could look right into PNC Park where my beloved (yet not good) Pirates play. I followed the path along the river to Heinz where my beloved (and good) Steelers call home. I looped around Heinz back to PNC and back over the bridge. From there I hopped on the Smithfield St Bridge to the other side of the river and along the bike path there. I ran the path until the Hot Metal bridge where I then started my way back towards downtown. The bike path is very cool there - it runs down the middle of a highway.
Then came "THE STAIRS" - I figured I'd have to walk them as they were very steep and seemed to just keep on going. If you look at my splits (elevation chart and my HR) you can see where this happened on my run. Once I finally made it up the stairs I found it hard for my legs to get going again - but eventually found a (slower) groove. The fifteenth mile was about 3/4 mile away from the pick up spot - so once 15 hit I stopped the Garmin - walked a few feet - then jogged back to the pick up spot (no data on the Garmin for that 1/2 mile cool down).

So happy with this run - glad it lined up with a regular medium-long run day and not a Marathon Pace run. This allowed me to relax and look around and enjoy running through Pittsburgh -a city I have never called home but one I love just the same. Week 4 of Philly training - DONE!

Total distance: 15 miles
Total time: 2:16:06
Avg pace: 9:04
Avg HR: 154
Max HR: 170
8:43 / 145
9:12 / 146
8:32 / 140
8:29 / 151
8:34 / 155
9:01 / 153
8:49 / 155
9:05 / 152
8:38 / 155
8:40 / 157
8:51 / 158
9:07 / 158
8:54 / 160
11:31 / 161 (big stairs)
9:52 / 164

Ten miler in Beckley, WV


After having spent my entire rest day in a car yesterday (driving from Orlando to Pittsburgh) I was kind of excited for running today - albeit in Beckley, West Viriginia where I have no idea where to run. I did some Google searches before we left hoping for a bike path of some sorts - and was able to find the Lewis McManus Memorial Honor Trail. Our hotel was about 2.5 miles from the path which seemed perfect.

Since we wanted to be back on the road around 9am for the final push into Pittsburgh, I would have to get up early to do the run. Alarm went off (my son after having an accident) at 5:30 this morning in the hotel. I ate 1/2 a PB sandwich (mmmmm) and had a Diet Coke for a little pick me up. Training plan called for a 10 mile general aerobic ("General Aerobic" - sorry Im anticipating a good How I Met Your Mother season) run.

I mapped out my run ahead of time - and wrote down the directions and a quick and dirty map on a notecard and shoved it in my pocket - just in case I got myself real lost. I also put my phone in my water bottle holder. Nothing too crazy or exciting to report on this run - just that it was hilly, narrow, sidewalks would disappear and reappear, a very nice bike path and the people on it at 7am were very friendly. Only got slight lost/misdirected once - not too bad. Two things to make note of if you run in Beckley - 1) its hilly and at 2400 feet 2) if you come across someone on the bike path it seems customary to just nod your head as a form of saying good morning - there is no real need to actually say it (which actually works great when running). Off to Pittsburgh we go........

Total distance: 10.10 miles
Total time: 1:30:35
Average pace: 8:58
Avg HR: 158 bpm
Max HR: 171 bpm

9:02 / 150
8:48 / 158
9:04 / 151
8:53 / 153
8:37 / 161
8:44 / 157
8:53 / 158
8:53 / 162
9:35 / 164
9:07 / 161
0:53 / 160 (for .1 miles @ 8:40 pace)

Last two runs in Orlando before road trip back north


As much as I like the idea of a fall marathon - training through the summer (especially this one) has been rough. The temperature and humidity in Orlando this week wasnt much different than it was in New Haven. The heat/humidity definetly has taken its toll on my pace and heart rate.

Week three of marathon training went alright - some good runs (Moss Park Forest Run) some mediocre ones. I forgot how unrelenting the Pfitzinger plan can be - especially at the start. I remember the last time I did this training things feeling better in week five. So....only one more week of training before things fall into a groove....right?

My last two runs in Orlando seemed to go as planned. Day one of week four called for eight miles with 10x100 meter strides at 5k effort. After a two mile warm up I was off. The first three strides went relatively smooth and the heat/humidity didnt seem to bother me yet. Fourth one slipped a bit - but I was able to push out strong fifth and sixth strides. By number seven and eight I was getting hot and tired. The last two were as all out as I could do. I finished the run with an easy cool down. Recovery from this run included a nice trip to Cocoa Beach where I - relaxed on the beach, sat in the surf and a mahi mahi sandwich at a local place.

Day two called for a five mile recovery run - nothing too exciting for this one. Tried my best to keep my heart rate down but as you can tell by the numbers below, that was easier said than done.

That's it for my Orlando runs for week 4 are in Beckley WV and Pittsburgh PA. My planned long run will hopefully happen downtown in Pittsburgh and will be a running tour of the city. Ill be starting near old Forbes Field on the University of Pittsburgh campus and then weave my way around town across some bridges and taking in the sites - mostly want to see PNC Park and Heinz Field. Can you tell I'm a Pirates/Steelers dork?

Monday Aug 9
Total distance: 8 miles
Total time: 1:09:24
Average pace: 8:40
Avg HR: 158 bpm
Max HR: 176 bpm

8:34 / 139
8:22 / 148
8:25 / 153
8:35 / 158
8:28 / 163
8:48 / 166
8:35 / 170
9:32 / 166

Tuesday Aug 10
Total distance: 5 miles
Total time: 46:01
Average pace: 9:12
Average HR: 150 bpm
Max HR: 169 bpm

9:06 / 137
9:00 / 145
9:15 / 150
9:21 / 155
9:17 / 161

Long (hot) run Saturday in Orlando


Im sure today's run would have been better under different circumstances, but with last nights race which led to shortened sleep and then you add the humidity that was INSANE even at 5am (grrrr Orlando) - I had to cut this run short. I figure 11 in these conditions is fine and its more important to live another day. I probably could have "slogged" another 3 miles to get my 14 - but they would have not been quality.

Thanks to the Hunters Creek running club for letting me tag along on this hot sticky run. When I got finished - I shed my Garmin and hopped straight into my parents pool with my running clothes on. Awesome way to cool down.

Total distance: 11 miles
Total time: 1:44:52
Average Pace: 9:32

Moss Park Forest Run - 10k+5k aka Distance Dare


Marathon training today called for eight miles with four at half marathon pace. Since running in the heat and humidity of Florida is challenging, I figured if I raced this workout I'd be more likely to complete it. In doing some searching, I found the Moss Park Forest Run which was about 25 minutes from my parents place. For this race, you could choose between a 10k or a 5k - or you could do both as part of their Distance Dare. Since I needed the mileage - I did both.

My dad and I headed over around 5pm for the 7pm start. When we got to Moss Park - the clouds darkened and some thunder could be heard. The cloud cover was welcome as it was very hot - after picking up my race bib and transponder I did a quick (and sweaty) warm up. I overheard someone talking to another runner and he said that this course was a slow course and not to expect fast times and not to try to get your road times.

After listening to the 10k pre-race meeting (mostly about the course and weather updates) we were off. My goal for this was to finish the 10k in about 48 minutes or a 7:43 pace. The course was mostly packed trail/sand and very little road (through the parking lots) and was a two looper. First mile clocked in (by my Garmin) at 7:02 -- oooopsie. I dropped the pace a little to make sure I had enough in the tank to finish the 10k (and the upcoming 5k). I passed a few people and was only passed by one (the eventual overall women's winner). Finished the first loop of the course in twenty two minutes and change. Second loop was much harder as the sun came out in full force - I was able to hold a good pace and finish relatively strong. Once I finished, I had about 25 minutes to recover, rehydrate before the start of the 5k.

After some water (and a shirt change) - I headed over to the 5k pre-race meeting. By now it was after 8pm and getting dark. The knowledge of the course from the 10k definitely helped out. I felt as I just finished catching my breath and feeling relatively recovered- and they blew the horn to start. Not much to write about here - as a) same course as the 10k b) I was alone for all of it after the start and c)it was pitch very dark. A couple times I felt my foot in a pothole or on even ground and the ankle start to turn. Thank goodness no major ankle turn. I was able to finish mostly strong - and in one piece.

My dad and I hung around for the award ceremony - and I'm glad I did as I got 1st in my age group for both the 10k and 5k.

From a marathon training perspective - success!
From a race perspective - I've run better (and certainly faster) races before - but factoring in the heat/humidity and the terrain, I'll take it.

After returning to my parents place - I ate some food - and the hopped in the pool to assist in the cool down. I couldn't stay in very long as I was meeting people at 5am to run my long run with. Not sure how far Ill be going for the long run - but I plan on taking it very easy and listening very close to what my body tells me.

Pictures my dad took can be found here.

Recovery 4 in Orlando


Headed out today around my parents neighborhood in Orlando. Got out before the sun rose to try and beat the heat. At the start of the run it was 77 degrees out (76 degrees in New Haven) - It wasnt too hot - and the sweat amount was just about the same as it had been in CT. As the sun came up - my heart rate rose as well.

Total distance: 4 miles
Total time: 33:24
Average pace: 8:21
Ave HR: 155
Max HR: 170

8:29 / 141
8:15 / 155
8:22 / 160
8:16 / 166