Marathon Training – Week 15

Week 15 Training

Week 15 Training

Week 15 is now over. This included the last long run of the training program (20 miles).

As I started this week my training plan (Hal Higdon Intermediate 1) said “This is the peak week of your training. Rather than fear it, you should greet it with near the same enthusiasm you will greet the marathon one month from now. But, for the time being, take it easy.”

As you can see from my running log this week I actually ran 5 days in a row without a rest day on Friday as per the plan. That is because there are two people in our house training for the same marathon and we have a rule that our training does not get in the way of family time. We certainly know how to entertain our boys. Thankfully we have the stamina to do so. Our weekend was as follows:

Saturday – I was up at 3:30am to head out for my 20 miler (in nice 31 degree weather). I ran with enough time to get home to enjoy an ice bath before we had to all be out the house by 9am for the boys activities. After that we took the boys to the Kid’s Castle in Doylestown, PA for a mid-afternoon event and the over to Sesame Place for a Pass Member party which ran until 8pm. A long day for sure.

Sunday – My wife was up at 5:45am for her run. My boys actually let me sleep in until 7.25am (what a luxury on a weekend…they are never up that early on a school day). Once the second ice bath of the weekend had been taken (luckily not mine this time) we headed downtown to the Philadelphia Zoo for their Boo at the Zoo event.

Zoo time

Zoo time

A busy weekend (of many). Both my wife and I feel good and accomplished our goals this weekend. The boys seemed to have a blast and no one complained about being tired (although the boys fell asleep in the car…it’s as if they were worn out or something).

Now the taper begins. I’m looking forward to it actually. I know my mileage will be decreasing but I plan to maintain the schedule of 5 days running in the week. I actually set out my gym clothes for some cross training tomorrow. I will be up early to do 30 minutes on the stationary bike to keep myself loose going into the week. Ok…there is another reason I will be cross training and that might be my need to earn a few extra calories in the bank before our trip to Hershey Park next weekeend (planning ahead). This year during the taper I actually have 2 races planned. I have never done that before but the mileage doesn’t seem to impact my taper much. I have a 10K next week (after whatever I eat at Hershey…it’s all good carbs) and then a half marathon the week before the marathon. I will be running this nice and easy with my wife as we focus on form not pace in our final semi-long run before Philadelphia. The half marathon is on a Saturday so I will figure a couple of extra rest days going into the final week of training for the marathon.

This week the biggest change for me was the weather. I had to get all my winter gear out to use. My last three runs this week (Thursday, Friday and Saturday) saw me running in tights, a jacket and a beanie with progressively warmer gloves on each run (I still have the mittens for the really cold days). Fall is definitely here. I may have to say “so long” to the shorts for a while. That being said, the skies have been clear and the moon has lit my way (as well as the headlamp) during these last few runs. It has been refreshing.

This weekend was also spent cheering on my friends (via Facebook) running the Marine Corps Marathon. Next week is the New York City Marathon and I will be cheering everyone on knowing well that my turn is coming up a couple of weeks beyond that. I’m already looking forward to putting my 2014 schedule together for a couple of marathons in the Spring and the Fall. I have a little time and a couple of marathons to get through first.

1 week until the Benjamin Franklin Bridge 10K

2 weeks until the Trenton Half Marathon

3 weeks until the Philadelphia Marathon

11 weeks until the Dopey Challenge

Thanks for reading.

One More Mile – ‘Comfort and joy’

I’m very particular in the type of running gear I wear. If I find something I like I tend to stick with it. I find something that fits me well, is comfortable in a range of temperatures and is durable and then I buy it in a range of colors so I can ‘mix and match’ according to my mood (or whatever is not in the laundry basket).

The vast majority of my gear consists of Nike Miler t-shirts and Nike 7″ Essential shorts and practically all my socks are Drymax medium thickness from Roadrunner Sports (I said I was particular). For long sleeve shirts I tend to stick with the Roadrunner Sports branded shirts as the sleeve length is just about right for my longish arms (I’m not Mr. Tickle but I do wear a ‘Long’ jacket).

However, I do have another brand of shirt that I like and it also allows me to show my fun side from time to time and this is the Wick-lite Diamond Knit fabric shirts from One More Mile. Many of you who have been to race expo’s will probably be familiar with One More Mile. They do a great job flying back and forth across the country appearing at all the big race expo’s out there. I first came across them when I visited the Broad Street Run expo in 2011 (my first big race) and I found the slogans on their shirts very humorous. I think on that day I walked away with a couple of gifts (probably Diva or Princess related) for my wife Shari who was new to running at that time. Shari has done well with their gear as I tend to be very generous at race expo’s.

I bought my first shirt from them in early 2012. I had just signed up for the 2013 Goofy Challenge with TeamUp for Autism Speaks and saw that they had TeamUp slogan shirts. I bought one on line and wore it for the first time at the 2012 Sesame Place Classic. It was a fairly warm day and was a 5K so it was my ‘experiment’ run to see how it felt. It was very comfortable, soft to the touch and wicked moisture away from the skin well. In fact I wore it many times over the summer. Shari has a couple of shirts from them in long sleeve that she runs in and she finds them comfortable although they are different fabrics (they have various tech fabric shirts and a style for ladies called ‘burnout’ which is kind of vintage looking finish).

Sesame Place Classic 2012

Sesame Place Classic 2012

I follow them on Facebook and as it was getting closer to Goofy they showed a Goofy custom shirt with the slogan ‘39.3 Challenge Accepted’. I just had to have that. I decided to go to their customizing site and place a special order. I got the TeamUp logo from the charity and put on my ‘philly2goofy’ address and dedicated it to my niece Sadie. It was a long sleeve Wick-lite Diamond Knit shirt and was very comfortable. Needless to say I wore it during the runDisney expo and at the TeamUp team dinner the night before the Goofy Challenge began.

Custom T - front

Custom T – front

Custom T - back

Custom T – back

I have to tell you now about their amazing customer service. When I was ordering my custom shirt on line I had a glitch on my connection. I wasn’t sure if my design/order was processed. It took a couple of phone calls to and from them and voila, the shirt was a go. They were very responsive and helped make sure I got what I wanted.

My second experience was at the runDisney expo. I saw a special Goofy related design which at the time was a special made for the weekend (see below) By the time I got to the expo they did not have one left in my size. The gentleman managing the booth gave me a number to call and told me that because it was a special for the race I could ask for one to be made and offered to waive the shipping so I would get the same price had it been available at the expo. I was taking turns to look around the expo with my wife so when it was my turn to sit with our boys I called and ordered my shirt with the custom design.

Goofy Shirt

Goofy Shirt

A week or so after returning from Disney my shirt arrived but unfortunately the shirt was printed in reverse with the punchline on the front. I know…I could always run backwards but I’m not sure how far I would manage before bumping into something. So I called customer service and they said no problem, although it was a custom shirt they would send me another together with a return envelope for the original shirt. Great. A week went by and nothing. Then another couple of days and nothing. I called back and they said they had sent it and asked me to wait another couple of days. When it still didn’t arrive I called them back and they apologized and had another shirt made and sent out to me as soon as they could. In the meantime, their customer service team kept in touch with me a couple of times to follow up to see if I had received anything yet. Finally I came home one day and there was not one but two packages. Yep….one had taken the long way to Pennsylvania. I got my shirt(s)….yeah!!! I made sure to return the original and the spare the next day. As I said earlier, great customer service.

I wore my new Goofy shirt proudly in the gym as I ran a 16 miler on the treadmill the next weekend. I would like to say that everyone thought my shirt was hilarious but seriously you don’t see many people at the gym at 4:30 a.m. on a Sunday (their loss).

I would absolutely recommend their website if you cannot get to see them at an expo. Their custom shirt service is great too if you want to go that route. They often have deals promoted on Facebook and run competitions from time to time for new slogans for their shirts. Check the site out, some of the sayings will have you laughing out loud.

I would also recommend the Wick-lite Diamond Knit fabric if you are looking for something that is comfortable to wear while running. It is nice and lightweight and works well in keeping you dry. Make sure you get a funny slogan…people need to have something to read during a marathon as you pass them!!!