Thursday, July 31, 2014

July mileage

January: 65
February: 131
March: 173
April: 201
May: 237
June: 146

And July:

170 miles for July.

In order to hit 2,014 miles this year, my monthly quota is 168, so I just barely made it this month.  Hopefully I can keep building slowly like I did in the spring as I move into fall's marathon season.  I'm trying really hard to avoid any injuries this time around, especially since I'm streaking, so the slow build is important.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

10 miles

Trying to take advantage of the reasonable temperatures lately, so I knocked out 10 miles this morning, then took a picture of myself in our new backyard:

  • Temps in the low seventies, overcast, and a nice breeze.  I still got soaked in my own sweat due to the humidity.
  • I'm trying to forgo Gatorade and just drink water with the occasional chocolate milk to rehydrate after running.
  • I'm looking a little more feral with each passing day.  I hate shaving so typically during the summer, when I don't have to look professional, I just let it grow.  I'm lucky that I don't need to get a summer job and can just hang out looking like a shipwreck victim instead.
  • It's one of the great tragedies of my life that I can't grow a decent beard.  It's one thing I have in common with Ashton Kutcher and James Franco.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Who's Up?

Big night at the weekly group run with Haddonfield Running Company.  First of all, there were about a thousand runners there tonight.  In the summer a lot of local high school coaches send their athletes to join in on the run, so the number of runners swells to epic proportions.  I feel bad for anyone trying to navigate the sidewalks on a Wednesday night in Haddonfield.

One of the guys in Who's Up just had his first baby, and volunteered to bring the beers. Playing on the tradition of fathers handing out cigars to celebrate their newborn child, he brought along a few sixpacks from Cigar City Brewing.

I'm not big on IPA's but damned if that brown ale wasn't one of the best beers I've ever had.

It was also another guy's birthday, so his wife brought in several pizzas and cupcakes.

She failed to bring the forklift to get me out of the building.

One of the guys joked that we'd have to go on a second run to burn off all the crap we just ate.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Summer 2014 No Frills Just Thrills Race #4

I missed race #3 two weeks ago (a sort of choose-your-own-adventure race with one loop or two) because I was too busy at the Irish Mile watching the World Cup and stuffing my face with gross bar food.

Tonight's race was a one loop prediction race.  At registration, runners had to write down a prediction time for the 3.65 mile loop.  Then, instead of the fastest runners taking home prizes, the runners who finished closest to their prediction times would win.

I love this concept.  It gives such a unique spin on racing and forces you to concentrate on pacing instead of speed.

I decided to write down 32 minutes for my prediction, which would be just under a 9 minute pace, allowing me to run a leisurely sunset loop and still have a chance at winning.

Just before we started, they checked us for watches.  Runners weren't allowed to use any watches or even MP3 players.  Everybody was forced to run "naked" tonight.

Guy who took my picture: What are you trying to fight the camera?
Me: No, it's to show that I'm not wearing a watch.
Guy who took my picture: Oh... ok.

Well, as it turns out my internal pacing clock needs some work.  I ran what I thought was a nine minute pace but ended up finishing in 29:39, an 8:07 pace.  I was 2 minutes and 21 seconds under my prediction time.  For reference, the winner of the race was in his sixties, finished about eight minutes after I did, but only one second away from his prediction.

So while I didn't get to take home another pint glass tonight, I still loved this race and can't wait to try again next year.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Running in Ocean City

Stevie and I drove to Ocean City today for a surfing competition at the 7th Street Beach. Neither of us are quite at the point of competition, so we just watched from the beach.  I had brought all of my running stuff with me and before long I headed out on an 8 miler.  Some notes:

  • Weather was near perfect.  Cloudy and temperature around 70 degrees.  Very humid so I still got pretty sweaty.
  • I like to run barefoot on the beach, but not for 8 miles.  So I brought my shoes and ran mostly on the boardwalk and sidewalks.
  • At the start of my run I came upon a man in his sixties.  I tried to pass him, but when I sped up, he did too.  On my third or fourth attempt to pass him, he yelled, "your pace is killing me!"  Apparently he often tries to keep up with faster runners when out running because he's too lazy to keep up the pace on his own.  After about two miles together, we parted ways, and he thanked me for pacing him.
  • After running I went to the boardwalk and got two slices of Manco and Manco pizza, a birch beer, and funnel cake.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wednesday night Who's Up?

Another 7 sweaty miles with Who's Up? over at the Haddonfield Running Company tonight. The guy who normally takes pictures for our Facebook page was not there, so I stepped up as photographer.  It was also my turn to bring the beer.  

Last time I brought two six packs of German beer.  Tonight I brought a whole smorgasbord of random beers taking up space in my fridge.

During the school year I have to get up at 6am for work, so I normally cut out after one beer. But seeing as I'm off in the summer and have nowhere to be in the morning, I stuck around a little longer tonight.

After hanging out at the store for awhile, a few of us who remained went to a local Mexican place for burritos.

Another great night of running and beer.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Running in Minnesota

Just as I sometimes find myself in Florida on account of Stevie's family, so do I sometimes make it out to the Gopher State to see my sister where she lives just outside of the center of St. Paul.  I don't get out here enough to see her or my nephews, so it's nice when I'm able to make the trip and get in some family bonding time.

It's been an action packed weekend filled with a trip to the Summit Brewery, time at a massive playground called Chutes and Ladders, relaxing by a lake, and watching the World Cup final.

Of course there was some running, as well.

Scenes from this morning's run:

Cathedral of St. Paul with the State Capitol in the distance.

19th century brewery recently renovated into artist lofts.

Schmidt's Brewery

At my sister's house.  Summer beard making a comeback.

8 gorgeous miles in and around St. Paul, retracing some of the steps of the Twin Cities Marathon I ran here in 2007, but mostly just exploring Kirsten's neighborhood.  It was an amazing morning for running: 60 degrees with a light wind and no humidity.  And tonight it's back to the unbearable heat of running in New Jersey.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Runner's World Cover Contest

Runner's World is running a contest to find one male and one female cover model for their December issue.

I've often thought that if teaching didn't work out, I could fall back on a modeling career.  So I decided to take the time to enter.

All entrants are required to answer, in 100 words or fewer, the following questions:

  1. How did you start running?
  2. What is the personal running accomplishment you are most proud of?
  3. Why is running important to you?

I obviously enjoy writing and consequently enjoyed the challenge of trying to summarize my thoughts on these three questions.

I know the whole thing is a longshot, but it can't hurt to try.  The winners will be determined mostly by a panel of Runner's World editors, but the general public can also peruse the candidates and vote for their favorite.  There are some pretty cool stories from inspiring and athletic people.

If you'd like to vote for me, click here.   Voting ends August 15th, and you can vote every day until then.  Unfortunately it seems you need to be hooked into the Matrix have an account on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook in order to vote.

If you're a runner and want to enter yourself, click here.

Happy running, friends, and thanks for reading/voting!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Summer update

Stevie and I are moving from our apartment above the fire extinguisher shop to a duplex.  It's about a mile away and in the same town.

This has involved lowering our couches out of the living room window, which the patrons of the coffee shop below filmed with their smart phones just in case something went spectacularly wrong.  I'll miss living on the main street of our town.

Meanwhile, we've officially become regulars at the Irish Mile as the waitstaff all know us now. We've been there for every single USA game as well as several others, including yesterday's Germany-Brazil smackdown.

Tomorrow I'm headed to Minnesota to visit my sister and her family.  Hopefully it will be a little cooler there and I can get some more running in.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th, y'all

Rooftop cookout at sunset to celebrate the 4th.  Dill pickle soup, burgers, beer, and fruit with cool whip for dessert.  Perfect view of our town's fireworks at the end.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Wednesday night

Another group run with the local chapter of Who's Up?  One of the guys likes to document the weekly run to post to our Facebook page, so we get a picture of the beer and a group picture each week.

Tonight Bane decided to join us for the run:

Actually that's a guy who is training for the World's Toughest Mudder in November.  The mask simulates the difficulty of breathing at altitude, and for tonight's run he had it set to 15,000 feet. I think this was also his third run of the day.  And people say marathoners are crazy.

He finished 74th last year out of several hundred competitors, and is aiming to finish in the top 20 this year.

There was a time when I was thinking of trying to qualify for the World's Toughest Mudder.  But now they've done away with qualifying so that anyone can sign up, which strangely eliminates the appeal for me.  They've also moved it from NJ to Las Vegas which would make it much more expensive for me.  The third nail in the coffin is that it is now the same weekend as the Philly Marathon.

Guess I'll stick to marathoning.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

2014 running goals update

We're now halfway through the year, so let's check in on the resolutions I made for 2014 and see how I'm doing.

1. Run 2,014 miles.  In progress.  I'm a little under 1,000 right now, so technically I'm behind, but I think a few more 200 mile months should do the trick.

2. Make more running friends.  In progress.  I've joined both the South Jersey Athletic Club as well as a Wednesday night running and beer group and am slowly getting to know everyone involved.

3. Run a Tough Mudder with friends.  Uncompleted.  I'm kind of over mudruns for the moment, so this one is looking unlikely.

4. Run a spring marathon.  Uncompleted.  Had my eye on the Providence Marathon but in the end I just wasn't able to make it happen.

5. Run my first ultra.  Completed.  Ran the Dirty German Endurance Fest 50k right here in Philadelphia on May 18, 2014.

6. Run across the state of NJ.  Uncompleted.  I probably should have done this last spring when I was at my highest mileage, but I didn't get it done.  Hopefully this fall.

7. Run a sub 3:00 marathon.  Uncompleted.  If I am to do this, it would be this fall at the Philly Marathon.

8.  Run a beer mile.  Completed.  Good time and relatively easy as it took less than an hour out of my day.

9. Complete my first triathlon.  Uncompleted.  Dropped the ball on this as I missed all of the spring triathlons.  Hopefully I can find one later this summer.

10.  PR my half marathon time.  Uncompleted.  If I am to do this, my best shot would be at the Rock n' Roll Half in Philly in September, but I am going to a wedding that weekend.  I'll have to find another one this fall.

11. Streak 2014.  In progress.  Haven't missed a day yet.

And how are your running goals going?
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