Catching up…at 88 miles per hour!!!

This is going to be a quick and rapid catch up as I can only use the ‘Wayback Machine’ for a short time.

With all the training that I was doing for my July half iron distance triathlon I let the blog updates sit on the back burner for a while. Something about the 3am wake ups and two a day work outs that finished around 9pm made me avoid logging on late at night. Strap in tight…this is going to be a very quick update.


Garmin Connect – June 2017

This was by far the biggest month of training for my half iron distance triathlon. I logged 398 miles (107 running/279 cycling/12 swimming).

Back in early June I ran in the Freedom Mortgage 5K. I was right in the middle of my triathlon training so I was feeling fit. Given that I had run this event well last year I was looking forward to returning. Also, this is the event that my wife was the race director for. As was the case last year I came down with the boys and my father in law. The race course was certified this year (it was long last year). I ran hard and ended up running the exact time as my previous 5K PR (from back in 2012). I was really pleased. I placed 1st in my age group and 15th overall. I earned my donuts that day.

My finish time for the 5K

We made it a family affair again this year.

At the end of the month my wife finally convinced me to participate in The Color Run. I have been hesitant to participate in these races although my wife has run the past few years. I only agreed to do this as we were going to run as a family. At the end of the day it was a fun time and my kids had a blast…until we got home and we had to scrub them clean in the shower.

Running through the Phillies stadium during The Color Run

In the midst of it all…

I guess this says it all

June was a really intense training month for the triathlon and I was more than happy to start my taper at the end of the month.


Garmin Connect – July 2017

The above calendar tells quite a story. In the end I logged 157 miles for the month (32 running/121 cycling/4 swimming).

July was my big event month. I had been training hard for the Rev3 Williamsburg triathlon and was looking forward to having the whole family down with me in Williamsburg for the weekend. As you can read here, the race didn’t really turn out as planned but it definitely was a memorable experience.

The rest of the month was pretty much me being sidelined. I ended up having to cancel my race entry to this year’s New Jersey State Triathlon. I had to rest my body as best I could. I tried running late in the month but I was a little too ambitious. I had to dial it back. However, I found a good compromise by using a sling and slowing my pace down…. a lot!!!

How I felt getting started again

End of July sling running


Garmin Connect – August 2017

Albeit very slowly, I logged 143 miles this month. Running only. It will be a while before I’m back in the pool and I’m staying away from the bike for now.

My actual training plan for this year’s Philadelphia Marathon began in the last week of July. By August I was just getting into the early stages of the plan and struggling a bit with pace. I would still be wearing my sling and by the end of each run I would be hot and tired due to the heat and humidity. I still gutted it out though. We had our family vacation in Myrtle Beach, SC during the third week of August. I was up early to beat the heat every day (not that you could really escape it) and despite my lack of pace I was able to pretty much stay on my training plan. By the end of the month I was running without the sling. Taking it easy still but getting back to form.

Free winging it


Garmin Connect – September 2017

This month I logged 182 miles of running.

September primarily consisted of buckling down to marathon training. I had chosen Hal Higdon’s Intermediate II training plan which is slightly higher mileage than the Intermediate I which I have mostly used. I thought following all the triathlon training I would be in a better position to do the higher intensity training. I hadn’t planned on my accident back in July and so hadn’t gone back to update my annual training plan. I figured I could do a couple of extra miles here or there. My mid-week runs are higher than on the Intermediate I plan and coming up in October I will be doing three 20 mile runs vs two which would be my usual training for a marathon. September therefore had pretty high mileage.

It was a very warm month with no break in the weather that one would expect for early fall so my pace was slower than would normally be.

During the month my wife and I participated in the Philadelphia Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon. This year however we didn’t immediately sign up for the 2018 race so we shall see if this will be on our plan for next year.


Garmin Connect – October 2017

This was the big month of training as I get ready for the 2017 Philadelphia Marathon. I logged 203 miles of running.

I spent a lot of time on my feet running around. This month included the three 20 mile runs I mentioned earlier with three 50 mile weeks out of the month. I didn’t have much time to sit back and relax but all in all I was glad to get through the month uninjured and ready for the taper.

One change that occurred this month was that I finally changed out of my regular shoe after 6 years in the same type (Brooks Adrenalines – I’d worn models GTS 11 through GTS 17). I had been struggling a while in this shoe and the last two iterations (the GTS 16 and 17) just didn’t have the same fit and feel. However it takes a leap of faith sometimes to try something new.

I read a review about the updated Saucony Omni 16 and decided to give it a go. I took them out on a 5 mile run and they felt fine. I was already experiencing difficulty in the Brooks shoe and to some extent my feet were feeling some pain points at the end of runs. On the day of my second 20 miler of the month I had run about a half mile before I had to turn around and go home. There was pain on the top of my foot from the Brooks overlays. I took a risk and ran in the Saucony’s after only wearing them for 5 miles the day before. They came through the challenge as did I. The shoe profile is slightly different (there is a lower drop in the Saucony vs the Brooks) but the stability was there when I needed it.  Needless to say I return the two unopened boxes of Brooks and replaced them with the Saucony’s. Fingers crossed this is the right move for me. So far so good. I ran the rest of the month in them including the third and final 20 miler.

Thanks for sticking with me on this. Time to hand the Wayback Machine to its real owners and get…


2016 Hightstown Triathlon race recap


On September 11th I returned to compete in this year’s Hightstown Triathlon. This was my third triathlon of the year and final one of the season. I did the races in the reverse order than I probably should have – Half Iron, Olympic and finally a Sprint. Maybe next year I’ll figure it out.

I enjoyed competing in this event last year and was interested in competing again. My brother-in-law had recently purchased a bike and we talked about this event as this year they were offering a duathlon as well as a sprint triathlon. We signed up and made plans to travel to the race together. I also had planned to meet up with a couple of colleagues who were also competing in the event.

Peddie Lake - the location for the swim and the transition areas

Peddie Lake – the location for the swim and the transition areas

Race packet pickup was on Saturday before the race at Peddie Lake in Hightstown, NJ. I traveled up to the race with my boys to pick up both mine and my brother-in-laws race packets as we were meeting him later that afternoon. It was a very hot afternoon and that bode well for the water temperature for the next day. I didn’t have a wetsuit for this race (it was a short swim and I didn’t have one!) and I would be racing in just a tri suit (or as my son calls them “pajamas”).

Me and my little guys at packet pickup.

Me and my little guys at packet pickup

Packet pickup was quick and simple. As we got there they were still setting up the transition area for the next day and people were taking practice swims in the lake. It was a really beautiful afternoon.

Easy and efficient packet pickup

Easy and efficient packet pickup

Setting up transition

Setting up transition

My boys appreciated the frisbees in the race bags...they aren't angels!!!

My boys appreciated the frisbees in the race bags…they aren’t angels!!!

We left transition and headed back for a family afternoon. It was to be an early start in the morning.

My brother-in-law met me the next morning around 5am so we could rack our bikes to my car and set out early to get a spot in transition. I remembered from last year that we had to park in a lot a few minutes away from the transition area. Hightstown is about 45 minutes away so we made sure we had plenty of time to get there, unpack, transport our gear to transition, get body marked and then set up.

Yes, it is still early enough that it is dark. I had my headlamp on to get to transition

Yes, it is still early enough that it is dark. I had my headlamp on to get to transition

If places are unassigned I like to set up right at the end of a transition so I have a little extra space on the side to set up my gear and also that I will only have one person next to me (I’m not anti-social, I just like space at races!).

My 'personal space'

My ‘personal space’

My brother-in-law and I set up next to each other (it was his first duathlon) and coincidentally we set up in the row next to my colleagues. Nice to see familiar faces at races. I also recognized a member of the Bucks County Tri Club setting up and had a quick chat.

With my colleagues Bryan and Steve

With my colleagues Bryan and Steve before the race

With my brother in law Mike

With my brother-in-law Mike before the race

After a quick pit stop, transition closed around 6:45am and we headed over to the staging area to hear the National Anthem and get race instructions. The duathletes would be running 1.2 miles as the triathletes swam 500 yards. We headed over to join our swim waves. I was with Bryan in the same swim wave.

There was about a 15 minute delay at the start of the race as the entrance to the water was blocked (the railing had to be removed so that swimmers could enter). Once the water entry was cleared the first couple of waves headed out. The swim starts in the water. This involves climbing down into the pond and treading water until the start signal. The steps in were a little slippy and slimy so I was not very sure-footed on my way in. Also, there are plenty of lily pads at the edge. I felt like I was trying to escape a net while starting to swim, I even had some strands of the lily pads attached to me until around mid race.

Looking a little awkward in my green swim cap

Looking a little awkward in my green swim cap

The swim was nice. I wasn’t going out too hard and just kept a steady pace. I was doing fairly well and my sighting was good. I got to the turn just as the fast women swim wave came upon me. At this point I got fairly well beaten up, kicked and stabbed by long finger nails. Needless to say I slowed down a little just to swim out of everyone’s way. Ultimately I got stuck behind a slower male swimmer ahead of me and whenever I tried to move around him he seemed to anticipate it and moved in that direction. Grrr…

The swim leg in Peddie Lake

The swim leg in Peddie Lake

Nevertheless, unlike last year, I got out the lake without falling over and grazing my knee. Success!!! Unfortunately I forgot to stop my watch so I wasn’t sure of my exact swim time and now my transition time was messed up. My watch said 14:15, my official swim time was 12:47.

I quickly dried off and got my feet into socks and my new bike tri-shoes. (I had recently upgraded my pedals and this was my first ride outside with them). Then just as I was putting on my helmet the strap came away in my hand. NOOOOOO!!!! With adrenaline running through my body my hands were shaking as I was trying not to rush and delicately thread my helmet strap back through all the loops in order to get my helmet back together. Ugh. Eventually I got out of transition and onto the bike.

Out on the bike

Out on the bike…finally

The ride was fairly none eventful and enjoyable. I wasn’t killing it but I wasn’t going slow. My average speed was around 17.9 mph according to my Garmin for a time of 37:40. My official time was 37:43 at a speed of 17.8 mph.

The ride leg of the course

The ride leg of the course

Interestingly I saw Mike as I was heading back for the last few miles. I thought it strange that he was so far behind me. It wasn’t until later after the race that he told me there had been a mix up on the duathlon. There was nobody at the turnaround on the first leg. While the duathletes were supposed to be running 1.2 miles they actually ended up running the full 5K course for their first leg. Oops. That would explain the distance between us.

Heading back to transition at the end of the bike course

Heading back to transition at the end of the bike course

Jumping off and re-racking my bike I quickly headed out onto the 5K course. My luck was continuing from the transition. This time my race belt came apart as I started my run. This was going well!! A quick fix (while running and not tripping over) and I started out on my run. Thankfully it wasn’t as warm as the day before. Last year I had run with a water bottle and I had mentioned to my brother-in-law that it might be a good idea to run with water as I remembered only one water stop on the 5K course. I was right about the one water stop. Unfortunately I didn’t follow my own advice and forgot to bring a handheld bottle. Thankfully it was just a 5K and was fairly flat and not too sunny at that time of the morning. It would warm up for later runners.

Feeling good out on the course

Feeling good out on the course

The run was the final leg of the race

The run was the final leg of the race

The run felt good. It wasn’t anywhere near my 5K PR and I think I ran slower than last year’s 5K leg but I came in at 27:19 according to my watch with and official time of 27:15 for combined total sprint triathlon of 1:25:10. This was a couple of minutes slower than last year. Maybe it was down to the bike helmet issue but I think all three of the legs were 10 to 15 seconds slower. Nevertheless I was happy with my finish and proud of my 3 triathlons this year.

Heading home

Heading home

Enjoying my finish

Enjoying my finish

Another fun race

Another fun race

A special medal to commemorate the day

A special medal to commemorate the day

The finish line was on the main street of Hightstown this year, different from the prior year and a much more fun finish. I felt good. I was a couple of minutes behind Bryan who was waiting by the finish line. We grabbed some refreshments and headed out to wait for Steve and Mike.

At the finish line with Bryan and Steve

At the finish line with Bryan and Steve (you cannot see it but were were standing on the podium….before the real winners arrived)

I went back out to cheer in Mike and watch him finish.

Mike heading in

Mike heading in (note that he has a water bottle!)

Happy with our medals

Happy with our medals

After grabbing some refreshments we headed back to transition to pack up our gear. As I was cleaning up I found all the missing pieces to my helmet and thankfully I was able to put everything back together for real. My helmet is good. It will live to ride another day.

It was another fun race at Hightstown and a nice end to my triathlon season. Mike enjoyed his first duathlon and mentioned that he would definitely do another next year. From now through the end of the year I’m pretty much into marathon training. I have the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon also in September, the Mohawk Hudson River Marathon in October and the Philadelphia Half AND Full Marathon (The Rocky Challenge) in November.

Thank you for reading.

March 2016 – Month in review


Nike+ Summary – March 2016

My total mileage for the month was 200 miles. Although my Nike+ summary says 150.5 there seems to be an error in the site 😦 as the total running actually adds up to 163. I managed to knock out 1.6 miles from the limited time I spent in the pool this month and I put down 36 miles on the bike (unfortunately indoors on the bike trainer only).

This was a big month for marathon training for the upcoming New Jersey Marathon on May 1st. Although I still have one long run left in April before the taper, March saw me crank out three long runs of 17, 18 and 20 miles. I’ve managed to wear down two pairs of shoes so I’m getting ready to break in the new shoes for the marathon soon, taking my last two pairs of Brooks Adrenaline GTS 15‘s out. Post marathon I’ll be looking to do some more runs in the Altra Provision 2.0s and looking to move up to the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16’s. The Brooks has really been my ‘Go To Shoe’ (GTS) since I started running marathons back in 2011.


Breaking out the last pairs of Brooks Adrenaline GTS 15’s to break in for the marathon.

At the beginning of the month we found out the results of the New York City Marathon lottery. My wife was accepted but for me it’s another year with no entry. I actually had signed up for the Princeton Half Marathon on the same day prior to entering the lottery but now that my wife is running I will forego the race so I get a chance to travel, support and cheer for her on race day. I’m looking forward to going and I’m planning how I can crisscross the subway system to see her as many times as possible. I will probably look at the lottery again for another year.

3-8-2016 4-01-46 PM

Maybe next year.

With not getting into New York City this year I looked to a Fall race that my wife and I had discussed as a backup plan. We are now going to be heading to Albany, NY in October to run the Mohawk Hudson River Marathon. My wife will be running the half marathon that day as it fits nicely into her training plan for New York City. We have family up there so are planning to take the boys and making a weekend out of it.

With my calendar now all confirmed for the year (plus signing up again for the 2016 Philadelphia Marathon when registration opened up on April 1st) I was able to update my training plan for the year. You can follow the link to my insanity here.

This month I finally got fitted and took ownership of my new road bike for the upcoming HITS Hudson Valley Triathlon this July. The folks over at Guy’s Bicycles near me were really helpful in finding the right bike for me for the right needs and at the right price I could afford, a 2015 model Scott CR-1 30. They took time to explain the different options available and they fitted me for my specifications on the bike swapping out any components that needed to be adjusted to fit me just right. I’m looking forward to getting outdoors on this once the weather improves and I have enough early morning daylight hours to ride outside before work.


The fitting process included adjusting the seat height, angle of the seat post/saddle and the reach over the frame. They did replace the saddle….


See? I did leave with a saddle.


Ready to roll. Yes, my license plate does say 007.


Back home and ready to ride.

Mid month I had to take a trip down to McLean, VA to do some work out one of our offices. It was an opportunity to run outside again as it was a little warmer down there. The office is on a very large corporate campus near Tysons Corner, VA and my hotel was right next door. I planned out my routes and each and every day and still I got completely lost. It was only the sight of my office building (beautifully lit from the outside) that I was able to locate my hotel each day. Headlamp running does have its drawbacks, especially for the geographically challenged.


This was my guiding light home every morning. Easy to spot and much more impressive when seen for real.

Also this month I ran the Philadelphia Phillies Charities 5K with my wife. She has run the event every year since it began and this was a first time run for me. It was a chilly morning but it was a fantastic run. We ran together and hit a pretty good pace. The swag from the race was impressive with each of us getting a shirt, a medal and two tickets each for a pre-season game, one of which we were able to swap for a later game in the season. We also got a chance to get onto the field to take a few pictures after the race. We earned our pretzel that day.


Pre race. Trying to keep warm and wearing as much red clothing as I could manage. Go Phillies.


Medal, schmedal. I got a pretzel!!


Happy with our pace. We ran step for step together.


And finished with a fun photo opp.

I got a package late in the month from my buddy, fellow Mickey Miler and host of The Marathon Show, Eddie McCoy. In addition to all his training, work, life and other activities he has managed to plan for and provide team shirts and jerseys for our running team the Mickey Milers. Looking forward to wearing my new long sleeve jersey (although hoping for warmer weather to so I don’t have to wear it too often).


Hmmm….wonder what this is?


Yup. They got that right. Mickey Milers purple and yellow.

Earlier in the month I was invited to participate in a recording of the ‘Let’s Run Disney’ podcast to discuss my ‘Goofy in a Day’ experience from last May. The podcast was released at the end of the month and you can get to the link from here. It was fun to talk about the experience and it was nice to be a part of the show.


Thanks for taking the time to read my month in review. I appreciate you stopping by each month. March was very busy but there is plenty to look forward to this year with the upcoming New Jersey Marathon coming sooner than later.

As a reminder, I will be participating in the HITS Hudson Valley Triathlon this July and raising funds for Autism Speaks through this event. If you would like to sponsor me you can get to the sponsorship page here. I appreciate your support.

Autism Speaks

January 2016 – Month in review

January 16

January 2016 – Nike+ Summary

My Nike + Summary shows 121 miles. There was no cycling or swimming this month. Not sure why but probably because of travel, weather and general fatigue and no races I took it rather easy. Still, managed to knock out 121 miles.

We had just returned from our Florida trip when I had to fly out to Arizona. I think the drive time from Florida to Pennsylvania and the transcontinental flying finally caught up with me combined with the change in temperatures (winter finally arrived) sending me to my basement treadmill for my runs.

I think the major ‘funk factor’ in this was the fact that this was the first Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend I have missed since 2012. I had to live vicariously through all my friends and fellow Mickey Milers team mates Facebook and Twitter posts. I was itching to be there so bad this year but the logistics of home life, work travel and also costs just made it an impossibility this year. Sad, but there will be other times. I’m focusing on my first half ironman triathlon distance this year so really cutting back on racing and focusing on the training plan…boring…but hopefully fruitful come July 🙂


Trying my best to not feel left out…with my 2015 Half Marathon shirt and my extremely overpriced 2013 Marathon coffee cup

With the weather forcing me indoors I actually have the opportunity to try transitioning to Altra Zero Drop shoes. I would have liked to try this previously but there is a 3-6 week adpating period where you wear the shoes progressively more and more each run but switch back to your regular shoes mid-run. Generally when I am running outdoors I am not looking to carry a spare pair of shoes everywhere with me. Indoors at least I can put the shoes next to the treadmill and easily switch mid-run. We shall see how this goes. I am trying to transition  from my Brooks Adrenaline GTS shoe with a 12mm drop (from heel to toe) to the Altra Provision shoe with a 0mm drop. It will take time I’m sure and I will probably have a few strange aches and pains during transition. We shall see how this works out. So far I’ve managed to get up to 6 miles. A way to go if I’m going to be into these shoes before the New Jersey Marathon on May 1st. The key is to getting to the start line injury free. If it isn’t working out I’ll be running in the Adrenalines.

So, as I’m saying that I will be registering for less races, I did manage to sign up for 2 first time races for me this year. The first is the Philadelphia Phillies 5K race at Citizens Bank Park on March 26. I figure a 5K during the marathon training will be a good time to see how my speed is going. Not sure it will be a fast 5K given the nature of the race but I will see nearer the date. Also, I signed up for the Princeton Half Marathon in early November. My wife ran this race last year and I was really jealous of her ‘squirrel’ medal so it’s my turn this year! It’s in November after my triathlon season so I can get away with my previous comment about running less and concentrating on the triathlon 🙂

One day the squirrel will be mine...

One day the squirrel will be mine…

Oh, I almost forgot, I registered again for the Rutgers UNITE Half Marathon. It fits nicely into my training plan and it was a nice race for me last year.

My wife and I registered for the lottery for the New York Marathon. We will find out if we get in together in early March. I figure if either one of us gets in we should run it regardless of whether the other does or doesn’t. It is such a big race and the lottery is just that…a lottery. Who knows if we will get selected. It’s a big race but it’s definitely a bucket list one. I figure it’s a one and done type of race because of the size of the field and the logisitics of the weekend just sound a bit too much for me. I’m sure it will be fun and I am hoping that we both get in. I’ll let you know 🙂

Both my wife and I are in training for the New Jersey Marathon on May 1st. The weather has driven us both to the treadmill unfortunately. Looking forward to getting out whenever we can but making sure to be sensible and safe. No point in running in the cold and icy conditions if we don’t really have to. Better to be safe inside. The conditions in May will not be replicated in January that’s for sure.

We had the first big snow of the year…and it was big. On top of my long run that day (11 miles on the treadmill) I was outside shoveling snow for over 4 hours. Quite a workout but I prefer swimming and biking as my cross training!!!

My youngest in the snow. Reminiscent of Hoth...

My youngest in the snow. Reminiscent of the planet Hoth…I think he is looking for his tauntaun.

I hit another personal milestone this month as I made it past the 8,000 mile mark since I started recording my workouts back in September 2010.

January 19

I’d been running about 5-6 weeks using a ‘Couch to 5K’ program before I started logging my activities so this is pretty much from the beginning. So now I’m onto the next milestone. In that time I’ve completed 19 half marathons and 14 full marathons and countless other events. I’m feeling pretty proud of how far I’ve come. I think this is also going to be a big year for me and January was a good start to 2016’s adventures.




Washington Crossing Revolutionary Run 10K – Race recap


On July 4th this year I signed up on the day and took part in the Washington’s Crossing Revolutionary Run 10K. This was quite a change for me as I usually don’t do many races last minute. I’m quite the planner when it comes to my race activities (see here). This is also the location where I did the Bucks County Duathlon and the ‘Chasing The Unicorn’ Marathon.

On the day before the race I saw a message from a friend and Mickey Milers teammate saying he would be in the area for the weekend and was looking to see if anyone was interested in running this race. For the last few years we have always been away for the holiday weekend and in the years prior to that I wasn’t a runner so this race was never on my radar. So, my wife gave me the ok and I was all set to go. I mentioned it to my father in law at dinner the night before the race and he said he was interested in joining me. Ultimately my friend had a very long day in New York City and decided that he wasn’t going to be there so my father in law planned to go if the weather cooperated in the morning.

The race start was 8:30 am and was a 20 minute ride from my house so I got to sleep in a little. Hey, it was a holiday weekend. The rain early in the morning stopped around 6am and we decided to make a go of it. We arrived early enough to register and saw that there were plenty of same day participants. The parking was down the street from the start/finish area in Washington Crossing Historic Park but was easily walkable. It was a much more crowded event than I had anticipated.

As it was July 4th I was prepared with my INKnBURN ‘Sam’ Tech Shirt. Yes, as long as I kept my mouth shut, no-one would be the wiser that this incarnation of Uncle Sam was originally from Great Britain. I guess there is some irony in me wearing the shirt. Anyway, I was there representing all naturalized US citizens so I could get away with it….just. I don’t think my father in law was too impressed but I think he knows me well enough now that nothing surprises him anymore 🙂

Uncle Sam...or Sam I Am?

Uncle Sam…or Sam I Am?

Who wore it best?

Who wore it best?

Yes...he's probable pretending he doesn't know me right now

Yes…he’s probable pretending he doesn’t know me right now

There were 3 races, a 1 mile fun run, a 5K and a 10K. All were timed at separate intervals of 15 minutes between each start so we had time as the earlier races moved to their designated points.

We didn’t see the 1 mile fun run go off but we headed to our designated starting line (the one spray painted on the road outside the park) and waited in the corral/crowd with everyone else.

The 5K crowd was lined up just ahead of us.

The 5K crowd was lined up just ahead of us

We waited another 15 mnutes at the 10K start before it was our turn

We waited another 15 mnutes at the 10K start before it was our turn

Ready to go

Ready to go

So…when you are at Washington’s Crossing Historic Park on July 4th you tend to see a lot of Revolutionary War reenactors and today was no different. We were actually lined up next to an area where they were setting up a period style outdoor camp for later in the day. The race director gave out instructions for the 5K ahead of us and said to wait for the ‘go’. He didn’t mention what the ‘go’ signal was, or if he did we didn’t hear him. We were chatting away in the corral when there was the most incredibly sharp BANG! Yes, the starting gun was a Revolutionary period musket. We both jumped as we were not expecting that. Okay, we knew what the ‘go’ was now for the 10K but again where we were in the crowd for the 10K start we didn’t hear the race director’s instructions for our turn to go and again we were caught off guard when the musket was fired again. I can only imagine how my heart rate spiked at that point. Funny though. You’d have thought we would have been a little more aware. Maybe my shirt was distracting people 😉

The course itself took a small loop inside the park and then there was an out and back for about 5 miles on River Road (Pennsylvania side) which was closed off for the occassion follwed by another half mile loop around through the park to the finish line. It was a fairly flat course with the only elevation towards the turnaround. There were adequate water stations on the course which was good for it is was a hot and humid morning. For the 10K I wore my daily use water belt so I didn’t really have to stop as I had an 8 ounce bottle with me.

10K course along the Delaware River (Pennsylvania side)

10K course along the Delaware River

As I wasn’t really planning to run this event I had no expectations on time or any planned pace but I just went out and ran how I felt. Since I’ve been experiencing a back issue for the last couple of months (in fact I had already visited the chiropractor twice in the last three days) I wasn’t sure what I would feel like.

Well, I guess I just got all caught up in the excitement of it all. It was very crowded at the start so I skipped my usual Galloway run/walk interval but settled in soon after that and managed to hold a good pace. As the course was relatively flat it was nice and easy to maintain my pace. We ran in the shade of the trees alongside the river (although it was overcast) but it was still a hot and humid day.


I managed to complete my 10K in a time of 52:34. Not close to my PR from a couple of years ago (I don’t run many 10K’s) but respectable enough for me based upon my recent form.

Race Result

Race Result

After the finish. The shirt was a hit with the spectators.

After the finish. The shirt was a hit with the spectators.

My father in law came in just after the hour mark and he seemed happy too, especially as it had suddenly become much warmer towards the end of the race.

My father in law in action

My father in law in action

I was pretty happy with the result and pretty happy with the slices of fresh watermelon at the finish. It was a sweet reward for a last minute race. After that we headed back home and spent the rest of the holiday with the family at the pool before catching some fireworks later in the day.

Hope you all had a very good 4th July holiday wherever and however you celebrated.

Thanks for reading.


April 2015 – Month in review

April 2015 – Nike+ Summary

April 2015 – Nike+ Summary

148 miles this month. Also a little late in posting but better late than never.

I think at this point we can all agree that spring finally arrived. There were a couple of days where I may have taken my run indoors to the treadmill but that is because I couldn’t get my head around pulling out my winter clothes again. It wasn’t going to happen. April…it’s spring enough for me.

April was the peak of the training for the Pittsburgh Marathon and the start of the taper. The race day is May 3rd so the plan is to get to that start line rested and healthy.

The month started with me signing up for early bird pricing for this year’s Philadelphia Marathon. This was my first marathon back in 2011 and is essentially my hometown marathon. I have done it every year except last year when I was in Florida at that time. I love the crowds and the course. If you haven’t ever run this race (the first have of the course is different from all the other half marathons that Philadelphia hosts and the second has great scenery) I highly recommend looking into it.


With only a couple of weeks left until the Pittsburgh Marathon, and two of us in the house training for it, we had to do a bit of juggling to get our final long runs in without interfering with our weekends and our boys’ schedules. I ended up doing my last 20 miler on a weekday before heading to the office. Yup, up at 2:30am and out the door before 3am. Still managed to get the boys to school and be in the office on time. I will confess that I did drink an excessive amount of coffee that afternoon and I slept like a baby that night. Long run done. Bring on the taper.

Just a couple of days later I ran the Rutgers UNITE Half Marathon. It was perfect weather for running and my performance was really something I was proud of considering I’m coping with a slight injury. You can read my recap here and listen to the recap with my friend John on his podcast, the ‘Runner of a Certain Age‘.


The next day was a time for recovery. After a 20 mile run and then a hard pushed half marathon I took a rest day from training. I also took a day off from work to volunteer to chaperone a school field trip for my son’s class to the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. So, looking after four 8 years…totally relaxing!!!

Me, the boy and the T-rex

Me, the boy and the T-rex

I had another work trip to Atlanta during the month. The weather wasn’t looking great and it was hot and humid. There was a pretty big storm one day but it picked up in the afternoon and I couldn’t waste the opportunity to go out and run. I took a 5 mile run after work along the Chattahoochee River Trail. It was great. A perfect end to a busy day…plus earning a few extra calories never hurt.

Along the Chattachoochee River Trail

Along the Chattachoochee River Trail

After my little work trip to Atlanta I got the chance to bring my eldest son to work for our ‘Bring Your Kids To Work’ program. He had a great day and I was able to show him around the office. He managed to find a certain picture on display in the buildilng. Looks familiar don’t you think?

He fits in quite well

He fits in quite well

He recognized this Dopey fellow

He recognized this Dopey fellow

Towards the end of the month we finally had a free weekend. When I mean a free weekend I mean not totally overloaded. My wife encouraged me to go running in Tyler Park. I hadn’t run there in 10 months so I was really glad to get out in the sunshine. I wore my new INKnBURN ‘Run or Die‘ shirt and it felt cool and fit great. Truly a fun afternoon with no timetable. Perfect.


A great end to a busy month. Lots to look forward to in May. WIth the Pittsburgh Marathon at the beginning of the month (we are making a mini-vacation out of the weekend with the boys) and my attempt to run ‘Goofy in a Day‘ for charity, it’s going to be quite an adventure.

Again, sorry for the delay in posting but life gets in the way sometimes…in a good way. I’m not complaining.

Thanks for reading.


March 2015 – Month in review

March 2015 – Nike+ Summary

March 2015 – Nike+ Summary

So as you can see from the Nike+ summary I managed to get in 140 miles this month but if you look at the tail end of the month you will see that I actually had a week break. I’m nursing a sore back/pelvis as a result of all the snow shoveling over the winter. I managed to tweak my pelvis out of alignment. Ouch. Time to get my 8 and 4 year olds out to shovel the snow…or move to Florida. I think the move may be easier.

The weather did not deter my training for the upcoming Pittsburgh Marathon however it did take my running indoors for some of the long runs.


My run from Sunday March 8th.

My run from March 14th.

My run from Sunday March 14th.

The gym can be a lonely place on a Sunday morning in winter.

The gym can be a lonely place on a Sunday morning in winter.

However, shortly after my indoor 20 miler I was lucky enough (well required) to take a trip to Scottsdale, Arizona for work. I went from running in sub 20 degree weather (sub zero with wind chill) to running in the low to mid 60s for a week. It was beautiful and flat. I wore shorts again!!! Yes, my legs saw the sunshine albeit at the end of the run as these were still early morning hours. What amazed me about running in Scottsdale was how clear the air was. As I was running I could smell the flowers, bushes and other landscape smells (nice smells) as I ran. I don’t think I’ve had much of a chance for that recently. Also it was flat. That helps alot. I’d been on a treadmill for more than a month so it was great to be out there.

Beautiful place to run

Beautiful place to run

Citrus trees and the smells in the air were incredible

Citrus trees and the smells in the air were incredible

Yes....yes it was

Yes….yes it was

Desert running is pretty cool

Desert running is pretty cool

I discovered where Iron Man keeps his horses

I discovered where Iron Man keeps his horses

Lots to investigate

Lots to investigate

Mind you, I got a rude awakening when I flew back to Philly. I arrived back to 4 inches of snow…ON THE FIRST DAY OF SPRING!!!! Ugh. My back still hasn’t recovered. Nothing like having to dig your way into your house around midnight. Luckily though that was the end of the snow. It warmed up a bit after that and I was able to run outdoors locally again.

Woo hoo!!!

Woo hoo!!!

During this month as I have been preparing for Pittsburgh I have been trying out some new gear. Last year at the Philadelphia Rock n Roll Half Marathon Expo I was recommended to try Injinji toe socks. They look a little weird and are a little tricky to put on but I have always had an issue with my toes rubbing together and usually use some vaseline to prevent blisters. Anyway I thought I’d give these a try and see if they were as good as they were presented.

Actually, they are pretty good. I’ve since bought a couple of pairs in various thicknesses to see how they differ but so far so good. I am using them almost exclusively right now. I cannot comment on the longetivity of the product but from a comfort perspective they seem good and from a blister prevention perspective they absolutely hit the spot. I’ve been using the Run 2.0 sock.

Injinji Run 2.0

Injinji Run 2.0

Finally this month I’m happy to share that both my wife and I were successful in the lottery for the 40th Marine Corps Marathon later this year. We are so excited to be able to run this event and especially excited because of the special anniversary year. It is sure to be a great event and memorable to all who run.

We're in!!!

We’re in!!!

In the coming weeks I have the Rutgers UNITE Half Marathon in Piscataway, NJ. This will be my first event since running the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend races. It will be fun to get back into race mode. Also, I’ll complete the training and start my taper for the Pittburgh Marathon. We are looking forward to the marathon weekend and hope we have enough time to take some sights in with our boys.

Don’t forget that I’m doing other crazy stuff for a change. I’m running the ‘Goofy In A Day’ for Give Kids The World a couple of weeks after that. If you feel like you can make a donation that would be really appreciated.

Thank you for reading.

August 2014 – Month in review

August 2014 – Nike+ Summary

August 2014 – Nike+ Summary

I ran 144 miles this month, although that is not the full story.

August was the month I ran the ‘Chasing The Unicorn’ Marathon that I had been training for all summer. It didn’t quite go according to plan but overall I had a great experience and came out feeling good. I couldn’t ask for more than that. I learned a lot about digging deep that day.

Happy to be with my family at the finish. The best cure for a bad race.

Happy to be with my family at the finish. The best cure for a bad race.

I also celebrated my 4 year ‘runiversary‘ and had time along with the marathon I ran to reflect on how far I have come and the great times I have experienced through running. I guess it’s like a 4 year runner’s high at this point. I am still motivating myself everyday and looking forward to planning my 2015 calendar.

Most of this month was taken up with tapering for the marathon, getting the boys ready for back to school and then taking a few days with them to have a last few vacation days. We took trips to the Philadelphia Zoo, to the New Jersey Aquarium and seemed to play lots of mini golf. The boys had a blast. They wore me out more than the marathon. That is a good thing.

Finally, I ran the Bucks County Duathlon over Labor Day weekend, setting a new PR in the process. I was very happy with my running performance that day considering all the training I have been putting in. Some days I feel pretty tired but it seems to be paying off.

A good day for a PR as I headed home.

A good day for a PR as I headed home.

Looking ahead I have the Baltimore Marathon (or should I say ‘we’ as I am running this with my wife Shari) coming up in mid-October. There will definitely be some long runs coming up in September. We also have the Rock and Roll Half Marathon in Philadelphia and are on the hunt for a race in the Sarasota, Florida area for Thanksgiving this year. I am looking forward to running my next two races with my wife. All this training and hard work is fine but I do enjoy running with company from time to time, and she is the best company I have 🙂

photo 5


July 2014 – Month in review

July 2014 - Nike+ Summary

July 2014 – Nike+ Summary

As I end the month of July I am just over a couple of weeks away from the ‘Chasing the Unicorn‘ Marathon. This was a month of buckling down and get my training runs in. This month I managed 194 miles as I keep up the training plan I chose this time around. In hindsight, training for an August marathon is probably not my wisest decision based upon the heat and the training plan I chose (Hal Higdon’s Intermediate 2) but there has been some cooler weather so all the runs were manageable and I’m feeling good and confident of my goal for the race.

I took part in one race this month, the In24 Midnight Madness 8 mile run. This was more of an event than a race and I ran a pretty decent time considering the time of day and how many hours I had already been up at that time. It was fun and you can read my recap here. I got to try out some new gear (Noxgear Tracer360) during this race which was fun and did draw some positive attention. I’ve subsequently run while wearing this during my early morning runs when it wasn’t part of the night run…not sure the attention was as positive…more strange looks, especially from the wildlife in the park where I run. Literally I know what ‘a deer in the headlights’ really looks like close up 🙂

Wearing my Noxgear 'Tracer 360'

Wearing my Noxgear ‘Tracer 360’

As this was a holiday month and we didn’t go away for our usual week of vacation for July 4th we have taken advantage of our weekends. I gave each of my boys a special day during the month. With my youngest we went to the Bucks County Children’s Museum and with my eldest we spent a day in Philadelphia celebrating ‘Benjamin Franklin’ and visiting all places related to the Founding Father. We also as a family spent two days in New York City. We had a great time and took the boys to the top of the Empire State Building and also to the Statue of Liberty. We also got to eat at the Peanut Butter Company Sandwich Shop. I would recommend it as a place to visit if you are ever in Greenwich Village.

Family time with 'Thing 2'

Family time with ‘Thing 2’

Family time with 'Thing 1'

Family time with ‘Thing 1’

Lady Liberty with Things 1 and 2

Lady Liberty with Things 1 and 2

I received my Mickey Milers team jersey this month. It’s great to be a part of a running group even though everyone is spread out across the country (and beyond). I have managed to meet up and run with a couple of team members so far and we will be having a group meet up at the upcoming Philadelphia Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon in September. The team’s goal is to raise funds for the ‘Give Kids The World‘ Village in Orlando, Florida.

Mickey MIlers team shirt

Mickey MIlers team shirt

Also this month I was invited to join the INKnBURN Ambassador Program. I am very excited to be a part of this team as I really like the products they make. I mentioned last month that I had wanted to try this brand for a while and when I did I really liked how they looked and performed. Now I am proud to have been chosen to ‘spread the word’. I will be doing a detailed review in the near future and will be able to share a special discount code with everyone. I’m excited to see some new products and look forward to sharing my impressions of them and wearing them in some upcoming races.

This month I am continuing to promote my two virtual runs to raise funds for Autism Speaks. If you haven’t yet checked them out please do so here. I have some great medals and great prizes which were donated from some leading running gear providers. Also I am continuing to fundraise for Team Up for Autism Speaks as my wife and I both run for their charity team for the 2015 Walt Disney World ‘Goofy Challenge’. If you would like to support me please use this link here. A big thank you in advance.

'Going Goofy' 5K medal

‘Going Goofy’ 5K medal

'Secret Agent 005K' medal

‘Secret Agent 005K’ medal

Upcoming I have the ‘Chasing the Unicorn’ marathon on August 17th and I just recently signed up for the Bucks County Duathlon on August 31st (I participated in 2011 and 2012 but missed last year due to a family wedding). A lot of things to look forward to and a goal to achieve in August.

Thank you for reading. I hope you had a good July and have a great August.


in24 Midnight Madness race recap

At the weekend I ran my first nighttime race, the in24 Philadelphia Midnight Madness. It is a mid-distance race through Fairmount Park and is run on the 8.4-mile loop around Philadelphia’s Schuylkill River. It was definitely unique. I even got to live out some of my ‘TRON’ fantasies from my childhood.


It was part of the in24 Philadelphia weekend raising funds and awareness for ‘Back on My Feet’, a national organization that uses running to help those experiencing homelessness to transform their lives. The weekend included an urban Ultra-Marathon, relay challenge, the Midnight Madness event and a 5K.

in24 Philadelphia 2014

in24 Philadelphia 2014

I mainly train in the early mornings (I’ve been known to get up at 3am to run – not counting runDisney weekends) so this was a bit of an adjustment for me in terms of being on my feet all day and figuring out what and when to eat before the race. It was an interesting experiment in time management for sure.

I have 4 weeks left until the ‘Chasing the Unicorn’ marathon and so I have been piling on the mileage recently. This left me a little tired going in, especially with a 12 miler that I had run the previous day (I was up at 3:30am in the morning) before work. Luckily I almost got to sleep in a little on Saturday morning as my wife took my eldest son to do ‘The Color Run’ down in Philadelphia. I was able to relax a bit with my other little guy and we watched a lot of Disney movies in our pajamas.

The Color Run - Before

The Color Run – Before

The Color Run - During

The Color Run – During

The Color Run - After

The Color Run – After

I spent the afternoon with the whole family and after putting the boys to bed I got myself ready, said goodnight to my wife and headed downtown to Philadelphia. The race was at midnight and I arrived around 10.30pm. I hadn’t been able to pick up my race packet the day earlier as logistically it was difficult for me to get to the host running store before it closed on Friday. I figured if I needed to return to my car to drop off stuff this gave me time. Thankfully there was bag check at the event.

Getting ready - wearing my Noxgear 'Tracer 360'

Getting ready – wearing my Noxgear ‘Tracer 360’

Getting ready - wearing my Noxgear 'Tracer 360'

Getting ready – wearing my Noxgear ‘Tracer 360’

This was the look I was going for...

This was the look I was going for… Not quite the same.

As I drew up to the start/finish area at Lloyd Hall on the banks of the river it looked a little like a tented village. In addition to the race tents and sponsors areas, many of the ultra-runners and relay teams had set up tents and camped out for the 24 hour event (10am Saturday through 10am Sunday).

Check in was pretty simple and after pinning on my bib and getting my reflective gear on I checked my bag and waited with everyone else around the start line. Next to the check in table was a table of night running gear and glo sticks which were free to take and provided by the organizers. These included some reflective arm/leg bands, glo sticks and I think there were a few blinking lights available for runners.

Check in area

Check in area

Runners were encouraged to wear headlamps in the race instructions and most people did that. In addition to the running awards (top finishers) there was also a prize for best illuminated. Some people went to great effort and were innovative in their use of glo sticks. I saw a glo stick tutu, baseball cap and glasses as well as other uses.

A glo tutu

A glo tutu


Dressed up and ready to run

I myself wore my new Noxgear ‘Tracer 360’ light and reflective gear. In addition to standing out it was very lightweight and provided much entertainment it seemed for the other runners. I have since had another early morning run wearing it (10 miles) and it is comfortable and stays put and is a little cooler to wear than my usual Brooks Nightlife running vest. In addition I wore my Petzel Tikkina headlamp and my Road ID Supernova lamp at the back of my hat (see my blog post about this gear here). People could certainly see me coming.

Can you see me now?

Can you see me now?

The Tracer 360 stands out

The Tracer 360 stands out

Around 11:40pm the starter called us to the starting area and gave a few instructions. As there was another race still going on (the ultra) we were running anti-clockwise vs the ultra-runners going clockwise. The roads were not closed to other traffic so we obviously had to be aware of our surroundings and although I saw some people wearing headphones their use was not recommended and most runners did not.

The starting area...all a glow and ready to run

The starting area…all a glow and ready to run

The starting area...all a glow and ready to run

The starting area…all a glow and ready to run

The starter made reference to the ultra-runners who had by that time been running almost 14 hours and still had about 10 more hours to go. He said they will look bad and smell even worse so we should give them every encouragement as we pass them by. I had been watching some of the ultra-runners run past while I was in the waiting area. They looked a mix runners going strong and some struggling but they kept it going no matter how hard it looked. Kudos to those guys.

The Ultra was not a fixed distance of 50 miles or 100 miles but was how many 8.4 loops you could fit into the 24 hour period. The winner was a 49 year old runner from Maryland who completed 17 x 8.4 mile loops (143.82 miles) in 23 hours 42 minutes at a sub 10 minute per mile pace. Wow…just wow!!

Midnight came and off we went. It was still quite warm (around 70 degrees) and was a little humid but not too unbearable. All the runners stayed on the sidewalk so it was a little bunched up for the first couple of miles but it soon broke open and spread out as we progressed through miles 3 onwards. The street was fairly well lit with the street lamps alongside the river and other than a few shaded places and underpasses where you needed your headlamp it was fairly okay to run. They had about 4 water stations out on the course and the volunteers were very cheery considering the time of day.

I used my usual run/walk intervals and pretty much stayed with the same group of folks from mile 2 through the end. I felt comfortable with my pace although I did slow around mile 6 and 7 but picked it back up at the finish. The course was pretty flat with the only real climb coming up from West River Drive up to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It is easier doing it as part of an 8 mile race than it is during the end of a half marathon for sure.

Course map

Course map

My splits

My splits

I completed the loop in a time of 1:14:33. Good enough for 49th place (25th overall male) and at an 8:49 per mile pace. I’ll take that. The winner ran the distance in a time of 45 minutes flat. He was 8 minutes (yes 8 minutes) faster than the runner up. That’s quite a gap for such a distance race. Almost a minute per mile faster than the other runners.

My results

My results

Every runner received a finishers medal as well as some post race refreshments.

Finisher medal

Finisher medal

My reward for the night

My reward for the night

By the time I had finished it was 1:15am. I grabbed a bottle of water and ate half a pretzel. I just wanted to get home and go to bed at this point. It had been a long couple of days and I needed to catch up on my sleep ahead of my last big week of marathon training before the taper. I listened to the results of the races being called and no, I didn’t win most illuminated. As I walked back to my car there were still some runners out on the course doing the Midnight Madness and also many still running the Ultra.

I got home and crawled into bed at 2:33am. Guess who’s kids decided to get up early when it wasn’t a school day? Two boys on full throttle on a Sunday morning. I’m one lucky guy 🙂

It was definitely fun and worth doing and I would recommend it for someone to try something different. I am not sure I would rush back to do it again unless I was running with a friend and I would have the ability to sleep in late the next day. All in all I had a great time running this event and I am just in awe of all those ultra-runners.