Tuesday, November 22, 2016

A Runner's Thanksgiving Toast Cheat Sheet: 2016

We are all within a couple days (or hours depending on when you read this) of sitting at the dining room table and most likely one of the elders (could be me,) will start the conversation with, "what are you thankful for?" For all my running readers, I've done the hard work for you and prepared a "cheat sheet" for this Thanksgiving holiday. UPDATED for 2016.


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(A special thanks to my wife for turning me on to Ms. Lilien's blog for the inspiration and apologies for plagiarism) 

Friday, November 11, 2016

The Runner's Run Vegas Guide

This weekend Las Vegas welcomes the Rock n' Roll Marathon to the city of sin and the Vegas strip. It also happens to be National Run Safety Month. It seems like an unlikely marriage in the city more known for debauchery versus healthy living, so the question comes to mind, how do you blend the two experiences?

I've got several Rock n' Roll Marathons and halfs to my credit and Vegas happens to be one of my favorite getaway spots. I got married in Vegas (as did my sister and brother,) and

celebrated (or rebelled) a previous divorce. 

So  given the above credentials that makes me the Celine Dion (or Rodney Dangerfield) of running in Vegas. I've had some amazing adventures in Clark County, Nevada which I've parlayed into the runner's "Run Vegas Guide." 


Vegas happens to be one of the many places I've traveled around the world (Moscow, Singapore, Dublin,) and I run everywhere I go. That can present challenges (like stray dogs in New Delhi, India) for a runner, but where there is challenge there is opportunity. 



The good news is that while there are likely characters that are "dogs," I've never seen a wild dog chase down a runner in Vegas. Point being, if I can log miles in all these great places, anyone can fit in their healthy options AND have fun in a city like Las Vegas. With that, my suggestions to maximize your run (or fitness) weekend in Las Vegas.


Planning

I posted a video blog this year on "Travel (something I also know a bit about with over 1.4 million miles on United) Tips for Runners. One of the things I talked about is planning. If you have an early "tee time," a spa date with your significant other, or a night of gambling, you're going to need to plan ahead, or your scheduled workout will fall off the calendar. This really isn't any different than the planning you would do in a regular week at home. If you have a long run (or you're racing the marathon on Sunday,) you need to plan around it.
Running the strip early morning

For me personally, on destination races, I try and book extra time on the back end of the trip to celebrate my run and take in what the city has to offer. Having just completed the New York City Marathon this last weekend, I heard something I hear at most expos. Limit your activities and "time on your feet" prior to the race so you have fresh legs on race day.

That might mean, booking a "wing man" for your spouse or significant other so they can take in the sights while you dial it down a bit. 

Once your race is done, go crazy! You earned that burger, night of gambling, or yard(s) of beer. You just ran 26.2 frickin' miles!

Where to Run

This is an ironic section heading as many people flock to Vegas to "get away" or figuratively run away. That's not the kind of running I'm talking about. Just like the surreal setting of walking up Broadway this last weekend at 5AM to get to the start of the New York City Marathon, one of my favorites is to get up early (takes planning!) and run the strip. Yes, you will get strange looks from strange people, but head out early enough and you'll beat the heat, beat the crowds, and see a few late night/early morning stragglers strolling the sidewalks with their volcano drinks in hand. Bring your cell phone and snap that selfie in front of the Welcome to Vegas sign!

Just like any other city you may be visiting, use sites like MapMyRun to find run routes that others have used and posted. Google is also an amazing thing...typing in "run routes in Las Vegas" turned up a great article from Competitor.com that lists a number of other routes a short drive outside the neon glow of the strip including Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and one I want to check out next time; the River Mountains Loop trail that boasts 32 miles of trail and includes seven train tunnels--sounds cool to me (pun intended.)

If you are short on time, or don't have the rental car to get you out of town, there are some amazing Vegas hotels  with equally amazing spa/gyms to take advantage of. I know, I know, some people loath the "dreadmill" but given the choice between six beers and a deep-fried pickle for breakfast or a nice six miler looking out over the pool. Plan, and get your six miles in! If you are short on time, get the run in and do your stretching and/or strength work in the hotel room. I have a list of exercises I do several times a week and that can be in the gym, my bedroom at home, or in a hotel room.

Keep it Safe

Regardless of whether you are running in Moscow, Las Vegas, or stepping out your front door, all runners (and other outdoor fitness enthusiasts) need to have safety in mind when you venture outside. Some tips apply at home or abroad, but here are a few I recommend or keep in mind before I lace up the shoes;

1) See and be seen. If you are taking off early in the morning and running at night, you need to wear the right gear which may include reflective clothing or some form of run light. I'm not a fan of the headlamp, but there are many options that light your path and illuminate yourself to increase safety. I like NightRunner 270s (reviewed HERE.) Run on well-lit paths and light yourself up.
2) "Cars are out to get you" and they don't see you or they're Snapchatting or looking at Facebook. Distracted driving is on the rise with the proliferation of smart phones and apps. Assume that car that is approaching does NOT see you.
3) Don't be distracted yourself. Related to the above, you need to constantly be aware of your surroundings. Whether it's looking for cars or looking for snakes on a path; keep your eyes and senses open. If you're running outside, leave the tunes behind so you can hear what's coming.
4) Have a run buddy. Sadly, there are bad people out there and this applies to men and women but women in particular.  I surveyed a few of my female run friends who offered a few more for women;

"always carry a phone"
"always carry pepper spray or some other defense"
"always let someone know where you're running"

5) Wear identification. There are plenty of options available from RoadID, but you can also have your personal information in your run belt or pocket. God forbid something happen out on the run, they need to locate your loved ones.

The Reward

I'm a big fan of rewarding yourself after a good workout. That does not necessarily mean that "deep fried pickle" I mentioned earlier. Look, and you can find healthy options in restaurants and grocery stores virtually anywhere. I found a great list on Thrillist that has the "All the Best Healthy Places to Eat in Vegas."

Your best bet for catching all that Vegas has to offer is Vegas.com. Gamble, watch your favorite sports team from a casino sports book, or catch a show. I'd highly recommend Absinthe (think cirque du soleil meets cheesy carnival that comes to town) at Caesars. Not for the faint of heart, but it's downright hilarious. When we saw the show, I was pulled up on stage to perform an (ahem) private dance for another audience participant. As they say, anything goes in Vegas; including running.


Thanks to Shannon and Melissa  (from Run, Heifer, Run) on twitter (follow me on twitter HERE) for their inputs on run safety for women. Vegas.com commissioned me to write this post. No compensation (other than good luck the next time I go to Vegas) was provided.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

A Run Dream Realized: New York City Marathon Race Recap

Some dreams are just that, others are put on hold, and some dreams are realized.

I felt a little bit of all of that over the last seven years. I didn't just want to run the New York City Marathon, I wanted to qualify for it. That took some time (and I suppose a lot of hard work.) As I've chronicled here, I finally qualified only to get the ortho "hook" one week before the 2015 NYC Marathon (post HERE.) Just as I always do, I got back up on that horse (or unicorn) and rehab'ed and trained hard to use the one injury deferral they give you.
Holding the cherished NYC Marathon bib

After overcoming two foot fractures in the span of seven months, I got out of the walking boot sometime in July ('16.) I was not in running shape and was already beyond the start date for a training plan (usually sixteen weeks.) Regardless, I had been cross-training and spent a ton of time on strength so I felt I had a legitimate shot at New York.

Everything was "coming together" and I had a "tune-up" half marathon race at the Runner's World Half and Festival in Bethlehem, PA in October. The only thing between me and New York City was my second and last twenty miler. I completed that on only four days rest (not smart) but got 'er done. Only problem was my right knee swelled up for the first time ever after that long training run. Knock on wood, I have had my share of injuries and aches and pain, but never the knee. This was now two weeks out from NYC.

I'll spare all the details, but my run ortho (Steadman Hawkins in Denver) was concerned enough to x-ray and MRI the knee. The good news was it was diagnosed as some arthritic cartilage damage (who doesn't at my age,) and he gave me a green light. I had an insane gauntlet of travel the month leading up to my dream race AND moved my house the weekend before NYC (the "Insanity Tour" HERE). I would not recommend this. The bad news was that my knee still felt sore a week out from the race, and my running went to zero miles to give it a rest. The knee got plenty of work moving the house, but it didn't fall into the "rest" category my doctor prescribed.
"Soaking in" the Flatiron bldg and all that NYC has to offer

Short of being melodramatic, I was ready to drop out again one week away from the "big apple" on Sunday as the swelling had gone down in my knee, but it still did not feel right. I pondered how smart it was to try and run 26.2 miles on a knee that hurt when I walked.

As I normally try to do with destination races, I like to get to the target time zone early. I had work on the East Coast (leaving Tuesday.) My thought was, either I take the train from D.C. to NYC on Thursday, or I fly home to Denver with my tail between my legs. I ran a short four miles on Wednesday night and felt, "I have come too damn far to turn back now. I'm racing!" I took the train.

Now to the fun stuff. The train was awesome. I took the Amtrak Acela Express which was quite comfortable. Inter-city train travel is not common to a midwest guy like me. I rather enjoyed the ride, got some work done, and enjoyed the scenery. The train dropped me off at Penn Station which is right at Madison Square Garden in midtown. From there, it was less than a ten minute walk to the Renaissance in midtown. I stay in a lot of hotels. Some good, some bad. This was INSANE, and would learn later it was a mere ten minute walk to the race buses at the New York City Public Library.
Grafitti tagged Kara Goucher

My wife was not arriving until late Friday night so I had the day to myself at the expo. I was literally "Charlie" walking in the "Wonka" Chocolate factory with my eyes wide open drooling over everything at the expo. Once I got my bib in hand, I actually kissed it. I know...awkward, but I embrace awkward. I was giddy as I was finally able to shop the marathon jackets. I dropped a lot of dough; hats, shirts, jacket, and even picked up a new pair of sunglasses.

The surprise of the expo was stumbling into the United Airlines booth on Friday. I wondered why they were there and learned they were selling a handful (25) of tickets to their VIP tent at the race start on Staten Island. I'd heard the horror stories of the cold and doldrums that can set in sitting around for hours waiting for the race. With only 25 available, they suggested I get there "first thing" on Friday. I was successful in grabbing a "golden ticket" (another Wonka reference,) and it was worth its weight in gold. Oh my God, it was nice. Heated tent, food, private bathrooms, and WiFi.

I was so giddy, I didn't even snap any photos except for the amazing sunrise coming up over the Verrazano Bridge. It was absolutely gorgeous. Getting to the United tent on Sunday morning was a "snap" as I'd mentioned it was a short walk to get there. Easy peasy.
View of the starting bridge in Staten Island just outside United's tent

After leaving the comforts of the United VIP tent, I made my way to the orange corral in wave one. More waiting, but there were at least porto-potties within the corral. The slight problem was that upon leaving the roped off confines of my wave one, corral "E" was another long wait as we snaked our way towards the start waiting for the anthem and howitzer gun start. I used my Gatorade bottle and Hefty garbage bag trick to subtly relieve myself. I apologize to the young woman I spoke to that didn't realize I was peeing at the same time we talked. #awkward.

Given the great half marathon I'd raced three weeks prior, it gave me the confidence to go ahead and reach for a BQ time of 3:30. Given that this was my first marathon in nineteen months (how is that possible?) I decided, I've come this far, "go for it!" As the gun went off, Sinatra belted out New York over the loudspeakers. It was euphoric! I cried a little bit as I realized this was not a dream, I was racing the New York City fricking Marathon!

I hung with the 3:25 pace group leader up through mile 15. I felt great and my confidence was soaring. I faded a bit around the steady incline of the Queensboro bridge. Honestly, the hills did not bother me too much, but perhaps the seven minute mile pace in mile two was affecting me, or more likely the fact that I hadn't run in two weeks. Regardless, as they say, as you spin out of that bridge, you hit the euphoria of first ave in Manhattan where the crowds really pump you up. Then you realize, you're at 58th, and you need to run up to 138th before you can start heading south again for the finish in Central Park.

I was happy to see familiar faces (Dustin and Jess) through these final miles and my wife at the south edge of Central Park. I had "banked" some time and while I was starting to slow down, I felt that with a surge in the last two miles, a BQ was still within reach. The monkey wrench in that plan was a wicked hamstring cramp (my first ever in a race) in Central Park around mile 24. As I looked at my Garmin splits (and the MarathonFotos) I walked for the first time in this race. The pain was unbearable, and instinct told me to keep moving, and massage it. My math was disoriented at this point, and figured the BQ had disappeared, but I wanted a faster finish than my 2015 Boston. I started to run again.

As I headed east on the south side of Central Park, the adrenaline and euphoria of the crowd had me running again. I cried a bit as the emotions of such an amazing race hit me. I was happy to see my wife along the rail cheering me with some new friends she made. We watched the 2015 NYC marathon finish from roughly the same spot a year earlier. I knew I would be finally grabbing my third world major marathon medal just as I'd entered the park. My final time was a 3:37. Respectable, but seven minutes too fast for a BQ, but zero regrets.

I'd have to say, this race met all expectations. One of my childhood (and run/triathlete buds) asked me online, how do you compare Boston to New York City? This week? I'd have to say it's my new favorite, but I will continue to chase the unicorn.
the "bling"

Footnote: Huge thanks to Jeremy at Steadman Hawkins for "patching me up" and helping me realize a dream to run the New York City Marathon and United Airlines for the fantastic VIP experience.



Friday, November 4, 2016

Insanity Tour Part III: Seeking Boston Marathon Seeking New York City

The third installment in the insanity tour or "intensities in ten cities" installment. I'm now (at the time I'm tapping on my keyboard) on the Acela Express from Washington D.C. to New York City for a little race called the TCS New York City Marathon. To say it's been a wild ride is an understatement.

One year and one week ago today, I got two dreaded phone calls within 48 hours. One from my dermatologist that I did indeed test positive for skin cancer and the second was from my ortho telling me the pain in my foot was not imagined, I had a stress fracture and could not race in the race in the race I dreamed of and finally qualified for. You know the story (from these pages.) I went to New York anyway to try and put my "happy face" on, but my wife and I both knew, I was beyond disappointed. Two walking boots and a year later, I am back on (Am)track.

The insanity part (if that doesn't make your run mojo quiver already) was the gauntlet of travel and (generally good) obstacles that were between me and arriving in Penn Station here in a couple hours. Most runners have a two or three week taper. That's generally resting the body after typically running 500-600 miles to have you ready to run 26.2 miles. I LOVE the taper and think of it as re-charging the battery and enjoying the fact that the work has been DONE.

As I wrote in the first two chapters of the insanity tour, I moved last weekend (worldwide headquarters and sleeping headquarters of SeekingBostonMarathon.com.) Who in their right mind MOVES the weekend before going out of town for a marathon? That would be be, but not before spending the previous three weekends out of town. Who goes out of town for the entire weekend, the three weekends before moving? That would also be me. Been there dumb that.

Seventy eight flights this year and the five weeks leading up to the race have included Seattle, Denver, Washington D.C., Fort Collins, Bethlehem. San Diego (to see my run buddy Liam!,) and now on the train to New York City. Whew! Okay, I lied...not exactly intensities in ten cities (SBM sticker to the first three that can name the 80's rocker whose tour name used the same moniker,) but has has a nice ring to it.

The (hopefully) last curve on the road to the five boroughs was between my absolutely fantastic half marathon in Bethlehem three weeks ago and deciding to run one last twenty miler before hitting taper. I've used a modified (bastardized) version of my coaches training plan and a Furman First plan. I say modified as I had my second foot fracture in May which sent me into a boot for a second and third time this calendar year. Those boots aren't made for running. I honestly felt there was NO way I could train in time for 2016 NYC and you only get one injury deferral. One and done.

Given that, I didn't really overly advertise I was racing New York City but as I got closer, hints of the "Big Apple" subtly crept into my social media world. Back to that decision to run "one last" twenty miler. I did it on only four days rest after an "all out" half marathon (and rewarding) effort at the Runner's World Half and Festival in Bethlehem. I'd felt a "little something" in my knee in the race in PA, but I didn't really feel any affects after the race or on the short long run a couple days later. On the twenty miler however, the wonky knee felt "wonkier" (is that a word?) somewhere in the second half.

After that long twenty mile training run the right knee started to swell. I got on a plane to San Diego that following morning to meet my run buddy Liam for the first time at his 18th birthday party. At that point, it was definitely sore, and noticeably swollen. I was thrilled to meet Liam and his family (post HERE) but just like I pretended to be "okay" last year in New York City, I was freaking out on the inside. You got to be f*cking kidding me! I worked SOOOO hard to get back to this point. My mind and imagination were running wild. Watching NFL games that Sunday I saw "this player and that" that were not playing due to "torn this and torn that." F that said the cat in the hat.
Boarding the train early morning in DC en route to New York City.

Spit, spat, shit, shat, what is up with that!

At this point, you're wondering, you're on the train to New York City, so what's up with the knee? (Are you running or NOT?) After San Diego, I went in to see the same ortho I went to last year (Steadman Hawkins in Denver,) and got the X-Ray and as I expected, "just to be safe" we did an MRI. I honestly thought, something was torn. Did I "jack it up" doing the November Project workout in Bethlehem? Did I do something really stupid by running twenty so close to a half marathon? Final verdict was a "green light" (whew!) to run New York. The diagnosis was some arthritis in my cartilage and a bit of a spur. The good news; no tears, and my ACL was strong--thanks to a ton of leg and strength work this year.

The bad news was I still had to move a five bedroom house the weekend before a marathon when my ortho told me to "take it easy." Despite the "green light," I didn't take it easy (had no choice) and seven days before the race, my knee still hurt and if I was being honest with myself, I was thinking, "there's no fricking way I can run 26.2 miles on this sore knee." But alas Virginia, there is a Santa Claus and comebacks can happen.

Over the last two weeks I honestly did not run and took my docs advise to "take it easy" (other than moving a house.) He put me on an anti-inflammatory med (take two of these and call me in the morning,) and I went through more ice than Charlie Sheen melts in his Jack Daniels over a weekend. (That's a lotta ice on the knee.) Fast forward (sorry for the long short version) to the last forty eight hours. I flew to DC for work on Tuesday and was still thinking, "I can fly home and cancel the hotel and race" if I was not "fit" to run. Last night, I put the knee to test and ran a slow (9 min. per mile pace) four miler.

Drum roll please...no pain during or after.

New York fricking City Marathon come hell or high water, snow, rain, sleet, good knee or bad, here I come. Thank God. That is insane.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Insanity Tour Part II: Meeting my Run Buddy Liam

First off, the title of this post is grossly misleading, but it's the second in the series of a calendar gauntlet that I would not necessarily recommend. What I would recommend is that if you are a runner, you need to share that gift with someone who can't. A little over a year ago, I saw a fellow runner whose social feeds kept posting daily runs for his run buddy. Intrigued over what this was all about, I found IRun4 Michael. I wrote about giving the gift of running last year (HERE) and the relationship I started forming for my buddy Liam.

Liam cannot run as he's confined to a wheelchair. He cannot see me race nor read my posts as he is blind. IRun4 largely works on Facebook as you post runs and races and encouragement to your online friend. Liam lives in San Diego and while it's one of my favorite places, my seventy eight flights this year have not included San Diego. A few months back, his Mom started giving me details about his eighteenth birthday. A special day for a kid who was not expected to see beyond one or two birthday candles. I told Joan, "I'd see what I could do."

As we approached the date, I was moving on a new home purchase, and decided I would go ahead and use my injury deferral to race the New York City Marathon in November. The insanity part you ask? Over five weekends, I would be gone four out of the five (college homecoming, Runner's World Half and Festival, San Diego, and New York City.) The weekend I didn't travel? I moved my home of eleven years. That's the insanity part.

As you can see from Liam's mom's reaction, it was all worth it. I'm tired, I'm sore, my knee is "wonky" so I don't know what to expect out of New York City, but I made the right choice. My first time meeting them both in the YouTube video below.




Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Insanity Tour Part I:The Runner's World Half Marathon and Festival

Most run bloggers suffer from writer's block every once in awhile. I've had the total opposite situation, but ZERO time to write about it. So hear we go, my four week insanity tour in one tidy little post (Part I.) Let's start with, I have been gone a LOT this year (as I type from seat 15A on United Airlines at 35,000 ft., I just double-checked and this is my 78th flight segment this year. Yeah...dats a lotta miles.) Most of that has been for work. With my current trip, four of the last five weekends have been out of town. The weekend I wasn't out of town? I moved to a new house. All of this is before my fourteenth marathon in New York City this weekend. More on that later.
The Runner's World Half Ambassadors 2016

I wrote about my race in the Runner's World Half Marathon and Festival (HERE,) but seriously had NO time to write about the fantastic experience itself. I was invited along with a handful of other bloggers as an ambassador for the race weekend. I can honestly say it might have been the best destination race weekend I've had. First off, what a tremendous honor it was to have been (I think by accident) selected to represent. I was a mere mortal among some run blog heavyweights including;

Kelly Roberts (uber famous Run Selfie Repeat blogger.) I thought perhaps she'd have some diva attitude with her blog fame, but she's super nice, super funny, and super fun to hang with. On Saturday, neither of us raced but showed up with signs and (in spirit) cowbells to cheer on the "five and dime" racers. We spent a good part of the morning taking in the revelry and stealing a dog (not really, but that made for a much more interesting tweet.)

Hollie Sick. Crazy fast and crazy nice run blogger from Fueled by LOLZ. Did I mention she was fast? Holy cow, she smoked her races!
The Bart Yasso "lair"
Jason Saltmarsh from Saltmarsh Running. We kind of knew each other online, but wound up hanging together for most of the weekend. Super nice guy and he helped me put out likely my most complete half marathon ever. Run friends for life!

Ryan Light. Huge following at Real Run Ryan. Another super nice guy. Enjoyed meeting him and his wife.

The "twins." Talk about a double bonus. Pro-triathlete Wassner twins hung out with us "regular people" and were great fun. Enjoyed doing the November Project workout with Laurel on Friday and dog-sitting their dog Maya during the 10K on Saturday (previously-mentioned "dog napping.") Again--super nice women, and wicked fast...if I could only tell the two apart!? Both nice, both fast.

Sarah Attar. Did I mention we had an Olympian in the group? Sarah was one of the first two female athletes to compete for Saudi Arabia. Very humble and friendly young woman.

Amy Dedic (Running Marathon Mom). The group would not be complete without an "ultrarunner." I knew Amy somewhat from BibRave online and the twittersphere and enjoyed getting to know her too in "real life."

Laurel Wassner, yours truly, and Hollie Sick at November Project workout
And of course, my partner in crime, Jessica Skarsynski (from Jess Runs Happy.) Jess and I were teamed up in the all weekend competition and started Thursday night out at the barbecue at Runner's World headquarters. Bloggers were teamed up all weekend in online and offline activities to earn points (and bragging rights.) We started out creating a flag for our run nation, "Runtopia." Had a great time getting to know her and she cheered me on in the half.

It was awesome meeting everyone at Runner's World; some I'd met before including the infamous "Badwater Bart" Yasso and some new ones including Kit Fox who writes for RW and grew up in my neighborhood in the suburbs of Denver (small world). Bart gave us a tour of their headquarters and his very colorful office (to go with his colorful language).

You've heard the expresssion, run like you stole something,
this is cheer like you stole a dog.
I mentioned competing in the November Project (NP) workout above. Our blog team ventured out in the dark on Friday morning for a NP workout. Our chaperone and PR dignitary, Laura Beachy told us (warned us?) the night before about what we'd experience. Brogan Graham started NP with a buddy in Boston complaining about being out of shape. They started an impromptu workout and it's turned into a global phenomenon. He is hard to describe other than, he motivated me to be a better person at everything; whether that's running, drinking beer, or hugging a stranger--he's big on that. After that, we had an ambassador sit down with Brogan along with a book signing (November Project: The Book.) Truly one of the major highlights of the weekend.
Brogan with the signature black spray paint they use to
 customize NP shirts on the spot.

Another highlight of the weekend was hanging with Golden Harper from Altra Running. I'd really only had a pair of the Torin's for a few weeks leading up to the race weekend so I'd only really had a few training miles in them, but decided to race in them. Prior to that, Golden gave the ambassadors a private session on the history and science behind his shoes. Amazing guy, amazing shoes, and amazing results. He even gave us a personal run gait analysis. The good news was that he didn't recommend a whole lot, but I literally benefited from his advice in my race (video post HERE.)

Highlight is an overused word in this post, but there were literally almost too many to mention. We had ambassador sessions with Wild Planet who cooked and served recipes from Shalane Flanagan's (and chef Elyse Kopecky's) new book, Eat Slow, Run Fast. I am a "sucker" for any book with the phrase "run fast" in it, and Shalane knows a thing or two about that.
Golden Harper talking Altra Running Shoes

The book "hat trick" was a book chat and signing with Dean Karnazes. Another in a long line of super nice people I met this weekend as he discussed his new book, The Road to Sparta. Dean shared how he recreated the legendary race to Sparta that started our sport that is the marathon. 

Once I figure out where I packed all these books, I have some great run reading to occupy my time after completing the third leg of my insanity tour, the New York City Marathon.
My new best friend, Dean Karnazes

Thanks so much to Runner's World, Laura Beachy, my fellow ambassadors and the other sponsors below for a fantastic weekend! I would highly, highly recommend this as a destination half marathon.
A bonus to my 2nd AG finish? A sweaty hug from legendary Amby Burfoot. (also shown Jason Saltmarsh)

Spending a weekend with Runner's World? It's Runtopia! (with Jess from Jess Runs Happy)

















Thursday, October 20, 2016

Altra Running: Six "Not so Secret" Race Tips

Once-in-a-lifetime races come...once in a lifetime. Last weekend, I had arguably the best half marathon I ever trained for and raced in. Thirteen months had passed since I last raced 13.1 miles or longer. Call it "comeback" or "redemption", I'm tired of all those terms...I was ready to race again. I joined nine other bloggers as "Blog Ambassadors" for the Runner's World Half Marathon and Festival in Bethlehem, PA this last weekend.

The experience of the #RWHalf was AMAZING and the bonus was an age-group podium award. Prior to the weekend, I had an idea of what it would take to get an age group award. As I nestled into the race start corral with the benefit of pace-group leaders, I placed myself (no pun intended) between my respectable finish time (1:40 pacer) and my stretch goal pace of 1:35. I ultimately passed the 1:35 pace group leader within the last mile and a half and felt fantastic. How did I pull this off? My latest VBLOG post and ultimate thanks to Altra Running for the magical shoes that propelled me to this finish.



About Me

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Average guy w/ an above average appetite for marathon racing and triathlons. Ran my 5th Boston in '15. 3:21, 1:29, 19:21 PR;full/half/5K Opinions & wit are mine