September 2014 – Month in review

September 2014 – Nike+ Summary

September 2014 – Nike+ Summary

147 miles for this month.

As the month ends my Wife and I are less than three weeks away from the Baltimore Marathon. Most of this month was taken up with the peak of our marathon training. We got quite a number of long runs in over the weekends and various other available times. The end is in sight and the race will be the reward.

This month we ran the Philadelphia Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon for another year. Although it wasn’t our best performance together it was by no means terrible. We put our performance down to fatigue from the marathon training and the surprising heat and humidity on the day which seemed to have impacted a few other folks too. It was a fun day though and also an opportunity for my Father-in-law to join us in an event as he ran his longest distance in many years on that day. That weekend also provided me the opportunity to meet up with some of my Mickey Milers team mates who came in for the race. It was a great weekend all around.

With my Wife and Father-in-law

With my Wife and Father-in-law

Post-race with the Mickey Milers (Janee, Brittany and Joe)

Post-race with the Mickey Milers (Janee, Brittany and Joe)

The last weekend of the month was the time for my last 20 mile run of this current marathon training plan. The fact that I was attending my future Brother-in-law’s bachelor weekend notwithstanding, I got up early after about 3 hours sleep and headed out the door for what was planned to be 20 miles. It was strange walking through a casino in Atlantic City, NJ in my running gear knowing that most of the folks on the floor still had not gone to bed from the night before. I started out on the Boardwalk and went up and back a couple of times and ultimately ran through 4 towns (Atlantic City, Ventnor, Margate and Longport….and back) and certainly earned my breakfast buffet at the casino. I ran a couple of miles longer than planned (22 vs 20) but the weather was fantastic and the terrain was flat and so I felt I could do a little more. I timed my run perfectly, arriving back in the room as everyone was still getting ready, hopped in the shower and was down for breakfast within 30 minutes…I almost ate all the calories back that I had just burned. Needless to say I had little else to eat for the rest of the weekend.

Wlaking through Harrahs Casino in Atlantic City, NJ at 4:30am

Wlaking through Harrahs Casino in Atlantic City, NJ at 4:30am not quite fully awake yet

Atlantic Ocean sunrise

Atlantic Ocean sunrise – Mile 7

Lucy the Elephant in Margate, NJ - Mile 9

Lucy the Elephant in Margate, NJ – Mile 9

At the end of the road in Longport NJ - Mile 11

At the end of the road in Longport, NJ – Mile 11

Atlantic City Boardwalk - Mile 19

Atlantic City Boardwalk – Mile 19

Happy to be done - Mile 22

Happy to be done – Mile 22

As the month ended we started thinking about next year’s running events. I had wanted to run the Pittsburgh Marathon for the last two years and it clashed with the New Jersey Marathon in 2013 and the Broad Street Run in 2014. Entry for the 2015 race (held May 3rd) opened up on September 30th and so I coaxed my wife into the idea of visiting her old university town for perhaps the Half Marathon and she actually agreed to sign up with me for the Full. So there you have it, next May we are running the 2015 Pittsburgh Marathon together 🙂

There is a lot to look forward to in the coming weeks/months. In addition to the Baltimore Marathon on October 18th we have a family wedding in November as well as family vacation with my folks who are coming in from England for the wedding. This means that I will be down in Florida for Thanksgiving and will need to hunt down a new Turkey Trot this year. Then shortly after in January we have the Goofy Challenge where we are running for Autism Speaks.

Our fundraising is now kicking into high gear. I recently achieved my fundraising target so now I am working hard to help fundraise for my Wife. The good news is that the charity is allowing us to pool our fundraising together so whatever extra funds I am able to raise over and above my initial target will count towards my Wife’s goal. If you would like to help, please use this link to reach my fundraising page. Thank you.

Also, don’t forget that October (I extended the date by a month) is the last month to sign up and run for one of the virtual races to help raise funds for Autism Awareness and this counts towards my fundraising goals for the year. There are still some great prizes out there to be won as well as some awesome looking medals (although I am slightly biased). Click HERE for the link to the ‘Going Goofy’ 5k and HERE for the ‘Secret Agent 005K’ event.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to next month’s recap as well as a review of the upcoming Baltimore Marathon.

Marathon Training – Week 13

Week 13 Training

Week 13 Training

Week 13 is now complete. 5 weeks to go. Only one more 20 mile run to go in a couple of weeks and then the taper begins. The race is now in sight. This week’s training went well. No ill effects or major fatigue. Yesterday’s 5 miler was a nice tempo run at a good pace. I hope I can sustain that for the upcoming Benjamin Franklin Bridge 10K run in 3 weeks time. That would be great.

Today’s 20 miler went well. I felt a little tired around mile 14 but got my second wind (or maybe that was the caffiene laced energy gel) and the last 3 miles felt great. My time was nothing spectacular but this was not designed to be a pace run just an endurance run. I came back and soaked in an ice bath (actually a bath filled with water from the cold tap only) for about 15 minutes or so to reduce any inflammation and then hopped into a nice hot shower. All being said I had run 20 miles was showered and ready for the day just after 9am today. Not bad.

In our house we are juggling two people training for a marathon at the same time. I started my long run today at 5am so I could be home in time for my Wife to get out and run her 18 mile run and not have our whole day disrupted. Mission accomplished. My Wife and I ran 38 miles combined today and were back at Sesame Place for their Halloween Spooktakular in the early afternoon. Actually this was our second visit of the weekend…in costume.

Fun times at Sesame Place this weekend

Fun times at Sesame Place this weekend

It seems many of my friends were running in marathons this weekend (Baltimore, Atlantic City, Hartford and Chicago) and/or will be running in the next few weeks (Marine Corps and New York). It’s getting to the exciting part of the marathon season when all the big races are being run. I have to wait patiently a week or two longer until Philly. It was really great following everyones posts and see their pictures on Facebook this weekend and I am really happy for all their successes.

Fall is definitely here now. I actually had to head indoors for a treadmill run this week. It was my first treadmill run since early August. I’ve been pretty lucky weather wise. Now I’m running through fallen leaves and routes lined with scarecrows and the temperatures are getting cooler. Good for running in the mornings but sooner than later it will change to the colder side. I remember last year at Philly it started around 40 degrees and I wore my gloves all 26.2 miles. I’m ready for it. I’ve got enough gear.

3 weeks until the Benjamin Franklin Bridge 10K

4 weeks until the Trenton Half Marathon

5 weeks until the Philadelphia Marathon

13 weeks until the Dopey Challenge.

An exciting few weeks ahead and I’m full of anticipation for some fun times. I’ll be running Trenton and Philly with my Wife. It’s great to be able to share this with her.

Thanks for reading.

2013 Philadelphia Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon race recap

2013 Philadelphia Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon

2013 Philadelphia Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon

Yesterday my wife and I ran the 2013 Philadelphia Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon. This was my 10th half marathon and it was the third time I have run this event. I first ran this back in 2011 and this was the first half marathon that I ran under 2 hours. Last year this was the first race that my wife and I actually ran together as a couple (we were practising to see if we could stick together as we were training for the Walt Disney World Marathon). We looked forward to this weekend having signed up early.

This was the old Philadelphia Distance Run, a race that I never got a chance to run in. There have been many changes to what was a very famous race and there seemed to be quite a bit of bad press recently about this in the local media. As an average runner who is fairly new to the running I was unaware of the history of the event and reading some of the local stories and their viewpoints I learned quite a bit. Nevertheless, for most runners in the field this was a day to run a half marathon, the weather was perfect and people went out to run their own race.

Race Expo

Race expo and bib pickup

Race expo and bib pickup

I attended the race expo and bib pick up early on Friday afternoon. As usual it was at the Philadelpha Convention Center. Brooks is the big sponsor here so took up a lot of area on the floor. Brooks does a good job of entertaining the runners in attendance and this year was no different. They had a lot of space provided to the official race gear although I didn’t pick up anything for myself this year. They did have some shoe advisors there and I spoke briefly with one of their ‘shoe experts’ about my shoe wear pattern. He provided some advice (he said my shoe wear indicated I had tight hamstrings…more on that later).

Official race gear (Brooks are the main sponsor)

Official race gear (Brooks are the main sponsor)

Official race gear area

Official race gear area

At the side of the race gear the Brooks team had set up some fun areas with games, rides and a gait analysis ‘submarine’. As you can see from these pictures there was quite alot to entertain visitors and plenty of Brooks themed giveaways.

Ride the 'Shoe'

Ride the ‘Shoe’

The Brooks 'Submarine'

The Brooks ‘Submarine’

I visited the Brooks gait analysis (I’ve worn Brooks Adrenaline shoes 2011) just out of curiousity. I ran on the treadmill while they took video and analyzed my gait. Luckily they came up with the Adrenaline’s as the best fit for me (phew…I have 2 pairs on the go and 1 in the box waiting) and also said I could look at the Brooks Trance (more cushion) or the Brooks PureCadence (less shoe) as an alternative stability shoe. Good to know at least.

Get a 'check up'

Getting a ‘check up’

Going to the expo early on Friday afternoon before the mania of the weekend race day meant that the expo was pretty empty. I’m used to expecting to work my way through heavy crowds and so I kind of breezed through the expo fast.

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Vendors at the expo

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Vendors at the expo

Without the heavy crowds I was able to stop at a couple of booths and ask questions. I had a couple of questions for the Garmin folks about my new Garmin 310XT and I was able to stop by a few booths of races I was interested in. I’m pleased to say that the picture of my wife and I is still used on the backdrop of the Atlantic City Half Marathon (my 15 minutes of fame). I saw the folks at the Trenton Half Marathon and checked out the medal we will be running for. I also stopped by the ‘Hot Chocolate Run‘ booth…just because. That is a 15K I will definitely be signing up for 🙂

Hot Chocolate 15K booth

Hot Chocolate 15K booth

Chocolate fondue...enough said

Chocolate fondue…enough said

I couldn’t leave the expo without a little Rock and Roll picture opportunity…sorry for this one.

Elvis has definitely left this building

Elvis has definitely left this building

Race Day

I set up my gear the night before as usual. We were starting in Corral 8 with a 2 hour time goal for this race. Both my wife have I have half marathon PRs in the low 1:50s and so we pick this time as an average run time for half marathons and are usually in the same corral.

Ready to roll with my Team runDisney shirt

Ready to roll with my Team runDisney shirt

My wife and I were up early and out the door, picking up my sister in law Rina and her boyfriend Mike at 6.20am. Thankfully there were no traffic incidents on the way down (this is Philly…it can be bad any time of day) and we were able to squeeze into a really small parking space in the Art Museum district. The race starts and finishes by the Philadelphia Museum of Art (as does the Philadelphia Marathon in November). If you are not familiar with Philadelphia these are the steps that Rocky famously ran up in the movie back in the day. The statue from the movie ‘Rocky III’ sits at the base of the stairs and makes an ideal photo opportunity. Here we are with Rocky ‘rocking’ our ProCompression socks.

'Eye Of The Tiger'

‘Eye Of The Tiger’

Bag check wasn’t a problem. We were given clear bags at the expo to check gear and the race instructions advised that no other type of bags would be accepted in bag check. I guess this is now the new normal since Boston. We had no difficulties pre race as there were plenty of porta potties and the lines were no longer than typical for a race of this size. Around 7:45 we headed to the corrals (for an 8am start). There were no announcements telling everyone to get to their corrals and none of the volunteers were checking bibs for the correct corral placements (I guess I am spoiled by my runDisney races). There were not as many announcements from the stage as there were in prior years as I recall. This may be due to the recent news that the sponsors cut appearance fees for the elite athletes a few weeks before the race (see my earlier comments) so I don’t recall hearing from anyone famous at the start line as in prior races. After the National Anthem the countdown for the race began.

My wife and I pre-race

My wife and I pre-race

Looking towards the start line from Corral 8

Looking towards the start line from Corral 8

Looking back at all the corrals behind us waiting for the start

Looking back at all the corrals behind us waiting for the start

The temperatures were great for the race. High 50s going into the low 60s. As the gun went off we set off with me doing my regular run-walk intervals and my wife running ahead a little. I would catch up with her after each break and she would take every 3rd or 4th break with me. We were just about a half mile into the race when the lead runners were already coming back to us at mile 4 on their way up the Parkway. We were about 12 minutes behind the gun time when we crossed the start line.

One thing we noticed on the course was a lack of water stations. The first water station was fine but there was a long break before we reached the second. When we got there the tables were empty. No cups, no water and no volunteers. That was not fun. It was near mile 3 and I could have done with some water. There was a stop just ahead but no volunteers were there to let you know that. It was a little disturbing until I knew that. The road at the first station with Gatorade was awash with spilt Gatorade and you could actually feel your feet sticking as you ran through. A very weird situation. As usual there were bands along the route althout not all were in the Rock ‘n’ Roll theme.

Mummers play along to the crowd on the route in the city

Mummers play along to the crowd on the route in the city

Once past mile 4 we were out of the City and up by the river. This is a really nice part of the course. It is the 8 mile loop which takes in East River (Kelly) and West River (Martin Luther King) Drives. You run out along Boathouse Row, cross the Schuylkill River at the Falls Bridge and run up West River Drive back up to the finish line in front of the Art Museum steps.

Running along Kelly Drive around mile 6 or 7

Running along Kelly Drive around mile 6 or 7

The run along the river is very calm and relaxing. It is quite shaded so this made it very enjoyable. There were a couple of bands out along the river to entertain us. Not much water again. The first water station was on the left side of the road which I didn’t see until almost too late and I made an awkard dash across all 4 lanes to get some water. Not what I like to do but I needed some fluids. There was a water and Gu station at mile 8 just before we crossed the river.

Making the turn at the Falls Bridge

Making the turn at the Falls Bridge

Running up the West River Drive gave a good view of Boathouse Row. It was fun to watch some of the crews out training on the river.

Boathouse Row

Boathouse Row

This is the same area where the City runs many races in Philadelphia including the Philadelphia Marathon and the Philadelphia Tri. Although there were some bands along this side of the river too (inlcuding an incredible bag pipe rock band…yes, you heard that right) it was pretty quiet and peaceful. There were quite a few high school cheerleader squads out to cheer us along which was nice. I have to admit that I feel the crowds in November at the Philadelphia Marathon are deeper and louder.

West River Drive starts to camber severely to the left and then suddently severely left as you run up towards the finish line. It is a slight uphill but you could definitely feel the lean to the sides more than the hill up on the way back in. Around mile 12 the shade of the trees goes and it is a run up the hill towards the finish line. We were looking at a finish time around 2 hours as we reached the last mile but we kept the pace easy and decided not to sprint to the line as we are half way through our marathon training for Philly and already a little achy. We crossed the finish line holding hands and finished in 2:02. Not a bad time and 3 minutes faster than last year so we were both pleased.

Our results.

Our results.

Showing off the hardware

Showing off the hardware

Showing off the hardware

Showing off the hardware

As we crossed the finish line the temperatures had risen and it was getting hotter. We grabbed a couple of bottles of water each. We remembered from the year before that once you left the finish chute you couldn’t get back in and there was no water outside of the finish chute. So this year we made sure to grab extra. In the finish chute there was so much food and as we remembered from last year we barely were able to carry everything out. This year we wised up and grabbed and empty box by one of the food tables and used it as to grab what we needed and carry out the finish area.

For some reason the soft pretzels and bagels were hidden under plastic sheets and there were no volunteers handing them out. Had we not seen someone helping themselves we would not have known it was there. I need my bagel post race. Next up, chocolate milk. I’ll run extra miles for that. Yum. As you can see we got our fill.

Our box of post race goodies. I refueled well.

Our box of post race goodies. I refueled well

We sat at the finish area, stretched and waited for Rina and Mike to finish their races. We caught up on Facebook and shared some photos. The tip from the Brooks shoe guru about tight hamstrings had me stretch quite a bit before the race and I noticed I wasn’t scuffing my feet so much. Thanks for the tip. I recognized Jennifer from ‘The Final Forty‘ blog at the finish line and said a quick hello before heading out to gear bag pick up.

We didn’t have to wait too long for Rina and Mike as they made good time and finished around 2:50. A great run for both. It was also Mike’s first half so that was a great to celebrate with him.

The whole crew with our medals

The whole crew with our medals

Overall it was a fun day. Would I do it again? It’s a local race, the weather seems to cooperate and I always like running down along the river. However, I may look to mix up my Fall schedule next year and run some new races and places.

Thanks for reading.

Marathon Training – Week 7

Week 7 Training

Week 7 Training

I cannot believe this was the last week of summer. I guess I made the most of it.

I missed my planned cross training workout on Monday as I wasn’t feeling so great (my wife warned me to stop eating the Johnson’s Popcorn but I didn’t listen) so my first workout for the week was on Tuesday.

I typically run early in the pre-dawn hours so I can get my workout in before I have to leave for work. On Tuesday I was working from home and decided to run in my lunch hour. I only had 4 miles planned and thought I could squeeze that in the time. Usually running early in the morning I haven’t taken in any food or coffee, just a few sips of water and maybe a gel if I am running more than an hour. On Tuesday I had eaten breakfast early but I had drunk at least 5 cups of coffee. In addition it was about 20 degrees warmer than my normal run time weather. I went out way too fast considering the conditions and I had drunk way too much coffee. I paid for it. My heart rate spiked after two miles and I basically had to walk/jog back home. Not the most pleasant run I’ve done for a while. Lesson learned. Ugh.

We had a family wedding this weekend in Atlantic City, NJ which meant we had to be out of town so I moved my Saturday run back to Friday as I knew we had a busy schedule ahead. I did however pack for two days of running…just in case.

This weekend was the Disneyland Marathon out on the west coast and the inaugural Dumbo Double Dare (the 10K on the Saturday and the Half Marathon on the Sunday). Following all my Facebook friends as they were planning for the event and following them on their travels was great. I decided I would attempt an east coast ‘Double Dare’ as best I could.

Wearing my ‘Team runDisney’ shirt I ran a 10K distance on Saturday in Atlantic City for the first part. On Sunday I was up early (before sunrise as it was getting humid) and ran a 14 miler (as per my training plan) which had me run from Atlantic City through the towns of Ventor and Margate and just into Longport and back. Although it wasn’t a ‘Dumbo Double Dare’ I still got my elephant theme on the run with a quick run past ‘Lucy‘.

Saturday run wearing my Team runDisney shirt

Saturday run
Wearing my Team runDisney shirt

Sunday run A quick visit with Lucy

Sunday run
A quick visit with Lucy

 

I wore my Pro Compression Marathon socks for this and they felt fine. I was worried that they were still thinner than I preferred but they held up well and there were no after effects. I like to run in compression sleeves for runs over 10 miles but I appreciate the compression around the foot, particularly around the arch, as I run which these socks offer over just running sleeves. I will keep trying these socks on longer distances to see if I feel comfortable enough to run a full marathon with them.

With the extra day of running (on Saturday) I planned to make the next week start of with a rest day as it is Labor Day and a holiday. I plan to sleep in as long as my kids will allow. Once they go back to school I’ll be back on track with the Monday cross training.

Here’s to another good week 🙂

2013 Atlantic City April Fool’s Half Marathon recap

‘An elephant, a purple tutu and an unintentional PR’.

This weekend my wife Shari, my sister in law Rina and I headed down to Atlantic City, NJ to run the Atlantic City April Fool’s Half Marathon. Shari and I had run the inaugural race in 2012. It was a fun weekend and so we signed up again together with Rina which was to be her second half marathon after Walt Disney World this last January.

We don’t really have a choice ‘NOT’ do to run in this event, after all we were part of the advertising campaign for this race which we discovered at the expo for the Rock & Roll Half Marathon in Philadelphia last September.

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Shari recreating her pose

Shari recreating her pose

The weather this weekend finally was seasonal and so we headed down early on Saturday to get our race packets (packet pick up was at the Revel Casino and Hotel) and then headed over to Ocean City, NJ so that the boys could have some of their own fun at the amusement rides on the boardwalk. They had a blast. I on the other hand broke my own rule about fun fairs (which is that Mummy does the rides and Daddy holds the bags). Let’s just say I never want to see a ‘Tilt-a-Whirl’ ever again. Not a good idea to lose your sense of equilibrium the day before a race. Anyway, once everything seemed upright we headed back towards our hotel with a carb-loading stop at one of our favorite Italian restaurants before heading in for a reasonably early night.

Tutu's and Jester hats available for race day during packet pickup

Tutu’s and Jester hats available for race day during packet pickup

We had booked our hotel (Marriott Courtyard) when we signed up for the race as it was close by Bally’s Casino and Hotel which was the start/finish line last year and what was on the initial information we had. The start/finish line was moved back about a mile to the Revel Casino and Hotel so this called for a walk of just under a mile to the start line early Sunday. It was a little chilly as we left our hotel and we were all worried we were not dressed appropriate but better to be too cold than too warm when running. We huddled into the lobby of the Revel with all the other runners to stay warm. One advantage of such locations is that there are real bathrooms available pre-race and somewhere warm to stand.  A nice luxury on a chilly morning.

Shari and Rina wrapped up before the start of the race

Shari and Rina wrapped up before the start of the race

Warmth and marble bathrooms pre race at the Revel Hotel and Casino

Warmth and marble bathrooms pre-race at the Revel Hotel and Casino

As we shuffled out to the start line with the rest of the runners we bumped into our friend Mayela who we first met at last years race. She looked like she was dressed for summer and made us even more concerned we were dressed wrong with our multiple layers. Oh well, too late now.

Mayela, Rina and Shari at the start line

Mayela, Rina and Shari at the start line

Following the singing of the National Anthem the race started promptly and off we went. My plan for this race was to take it steady and run easy as my goal was to use this as a training run with the New Jersey Marathon just 4 weeks away. I didn’t want to overdo it. The last time I had run with Shari was at the Walt Disney World Marathon back in January and we had previously run the 2012 Philadelphia Rock & Roll Half Marathon and Hershey Half Marathon together step by step from start to finish. I thought we would be doing the same and was looking forward to doing so as last year we both ran our own race here (and both PR’d). What I didn’t expect was my little red head in a purple tutu to go off the start line like Lightening McQueen!!! What the heck?!?!

This was unexpected. I wasn’t quite prepared and I spent more than half the race just trying to keep Shari in my sights. Luckily she was easy to spot all in purple with a tutu. I felt good running and was monitoring my heart rate to make sure I wasn’t exerting too much effort. It was a nice sunny day and so I settled into a good rhythm and got my head in the game. Once we left the Boardwalk in Ventnor, NJ we headed through Margate, NJ past Lucy the Elephant to the turnaround just inside of Longport, NJ. The course is pretty flat, in fact the only ‘hill’ was the ramp up to the Boardwalk at mile 8.5 on the way back into Ventnor. On the way out, I would say I was around mile 5, I saw the leaders running back towards me. I tried to kid myself that they must have been running the 11K race but no, they really were that much faster than me.

Lucy the Elephant (Margate, NJ)

Lucy the Elephant (Margate, NJ)

During this race I was still experimenting with my run/walk ratio ahead of the NJ Marathon. I had gone from 5:00/0:30 which I used for almost all of 2012 and through Disney to 4:00/0:35. However during the race my Gymboss interval timer malfunctioned and I had to fix it on the run. Delicately handling the device so not to lose the battery I removed and replaced the battery and reset the device all while moving at a consistent pace. I am not sure how long I was running but probably missed a walk break. I moved the interval to 4:00/0:40 so I could have a little more time to bring my heart rate down during walk breaks and soldiered on.

I saw Shari after the turnaround heading in the opposite direction and later saw my sister in law who yelled that Shari was beating me by a lot (thanks for the support Rina). I finally caught up to Shari just before we turned back onto the Boardwalk. We pretty much were close together until the last half a mile when annoyed by my constant chit chat she told me to go ahead. We finished within seconds. I ran 1:52:43 and Shari ran 1:52:54. I had PR’d by just over a minute and Shari PR’d by over 5 minutes. Awesome stuff. I looked at Shari’s splits after uploading her run to Garmin Connect when we got home and she was consistently within a few seconds of 8:30 a mile all through the race. I had a negative split (maybe my first) and that is the only way I was able to catch up with Shari.

We had told my in-laws that we would probably be around the 2 hour mark but thanks to the purple speed demon we were ahead of plan. At around mile 12.5 I passed my in-laws coming to the finish line with the boys. I gave a quick yell so they could see me but I was a green blur to them. Luckily they were able to catch Shari just as she ran past as a purple blur. We crossed the finish line and again bumped into Mayela who finished about a minute or two ahead of us. We quickly grabbed some water and food and headed to see the boys. They were so excited to see us and I think more excited that we brought them food. Everyone seemed to be having fun while we waited for Rina to finish.

We did it!

We did it!

Finish line fans

Finish line fans

We were all full of soft pretzels, bananas and Gatorade (and Micah was full of ice cream….before 10am) as we waited for Rina and cheer her on to the finish. After a couple of false alarms (we saw pink in the distance but the runners were not pink) Rina came into view. Everyone was excited for her, no more so than her Mom and Dad who came down with the boys to the finish line to watch. We cheered here on in all her pink tutu’d glory as she PR’d by almost an hour in only her second Half Marathon.

Rina sprinting to the line

Rina sprinting to the line

Great weekend, great race and a nice start to our race season. I am very proud of Shari for her run yesterday. She kept me on my game. I wish she was my official pacer for the NJ Marathon next month as I actually go for an intentional PR (no pressure). I am sure we will run races together again the whole way and look forward to running the San Francisco Half Marathon in July with her. Very proud too of my sister in law Rina. I guess I’ll have to get my own tutu for upcoming races. It seems it’s a necessary accessory for fun and fast races. 🙂

Sisters rocking the tutu look

Sisters rocking the tutu look

Planning ahead

We decided to sign up for the April Fool’s Half Marathon in Atlantic City on April 7th. Shari and I ran this last year at its inaugural race. I guess we are obligated to do this again after all our picture made the cover of the brochure for the 2013 race and we are also on the marketing banner which we saw on display at the Rock and Roll Philadelphia and Philadelphia Marathon expos. You would think they may offer us a free place this year for our continued uncompensated representation. LOL.

This actually fits in well with my training for the NJ marathon. Not quite sure yet if I want to race this event and try to beat my PR which I got in the race last year. It is a nice flat course along the boardwalk in Atlantic City and then out and back through Ventnor, Margate and Longport. The temperatures last year were ideal. I think it was one of my first outdoor runs in 2012 when I was able to wear shorts outside again.

Last year Rina came down to babysit the boys but with her recent achievements at the Walt Disney World Half Marathon she signed up for her 2nd 13.1 race. Good for her. We will be heading down with Shari’s parents who will look after the boys this year. We are going to make a nice weekend out of it as we don’t generally make it to the Shore in the off season. I’m already planning my meal at Jo Jo’s on Saturday night. No doubt the ladies are planning more towards Caesar’s Pier and the outlets 😉

Discovering ourselves on the promo banner while visiting the Rock and Roll Half Marathon Expo in Philadelphia

Discovering ourselves on the promo banner while visiting the Rock and Roll Half Marathon Expo in Philadelphia

Shari recreating her pose

Shari recreating her pose

AF poster 2013