My Training, My Goals, My Races and Other Random Topics
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The Broad Street Run is the last of the classic Philadelphia races. It is a 10 mile race that runs, as the name indicates, straight down Broad Street. It has also become the biggest race in Philadelphia with over 40,000 runners thus making it a bucket list race for many.
With such a large field this race does have a crazy start. The start area is seeded by time but even so it is nuts as this course was first run was less than 1,000 runners 35 years ago. The folks that day could not have imagined a start that looks like the photo below.
If you look closely in the image you can see me, Bill Gould and Andy Cherry all together near the from of the pack just left of the center.
Going into this race my expectations were quite low. I had just run Boston 13 days earlier and quite frankly was not only tired physically but really not all the psyched to be racing again so soon. My original plan was to try and hang with Bill Gould but as he was shooting for sub 57 I thought the better of that. I knew that was not in me. I have not trained to run that fast as my marathon pace was no where near that. I decided if I broke 60 that would be a solid effort considering everything.
I met up with the Bucks County Road Runners crew at our meet up location at Lowe’s at 5:15am and we were headed to the finish by 5:30am. That is how this races works. Park at the finish, take the subway (Broad Street Line) to the start. We got to our parking area early and they have shuttles from the parking are in FDR park (where BCRR has the post race tailgate) to the subway station. As we get on the shuttle bus I see my brother-in -law Alan and my niece Ari! How cool was that. So we took the subway together to the start where Bill Gould and I headed for the elite tent.
I spent much of the pre race time with Bill as we both had seeded bibs. This helped with all the craziness. It gave us a place to put our stuff and a much lest crowded porta potty area which was reserved. I guess there are benefits to getting older!
After warming up with Bill Gould we both headed to the start area where I saw teammates Joe Warwick, Neill Clark and my old running pal Andy Cherry. Andy have seen each other at the start of this race for well over 20 years. We usually finish close to one another alternating over the years as to who wins. I asked Andy what he was looking to run as he was hoping to break 60 as well so we decided to run together.
After the gun went off we were able to find a decent pace and run together. Bill Gould went out faster and we ran 5:45 for mile one. It felt easy as there is a good downhill in mile one but we both new we were not going to hold 5:45 pace. Joe Warwick was with us as well but as Joe has not been training I could tell he was working to hold pace. He didn’t look like the Joe Warwick from last year for sure. Joe started falling back and by mile two Andy and I were together and Bill was pulling away with Joe falling back.
By mile three I knew I was not going to have a great day. If felt like a strong head wind (it was more on that later) and Andy slowly began to pull away. By mile 5 Andy was 11 seconds ahead and I could not see Bill. The strange thing though is that I actually felt I was in a better position than last year despite running about the same pace.
I felt strong but was surprised to be running just over 6 min pace. By mile 8 I noticed I was staying with Andy’s pace was started to pass back people who had passed me a full miles earlier. By mile 9 I knew I was catching Andy and I saw Bill up ahead. At first I was not sure it was Bill but by mile 9 I was fairly certain it was him. By 9.5 miles I was ready to pass Bill and had made up ground on Andy. I pulled past Bill and was running strong but just did not have another gear. Bill kicked past me right at the tape and Andy ended up 5 seconds ahead.
It is amazing how you can see the three of us basically together in that crazy start photo and then again at the finish. Overall not a great race as I did not break an hour but the field was significantly slower than the past few years. This was likely due to the headwind. I looked up and saw the 50th runner (and 50th female) were about 1 minute slower than last year and the previous year. This seems in line with the lower times winning age group awards. In the 45-49 Andy was third, Bill was 4th and I was 5th. Bill and I were both on the winning Masters Club team as well running for the Greater Philadelphia Track Club (GPTC). This is the third year in a row we have been on this team and the third year we have won!
So again, not the best race but not the worst either. Now a time for a break from racing!
It is hard to believe but the 2014 Boston Marathon has come and gone. What a great weekend it was!
The weekend started out on a down note as the train from Trenton NJ, to Boston was delayed over three hours. Rather than wait we made the decision to get our money back for the train tickets and drive.
That said the drive was quick and next thing you know were arriving at the hotel. (OK, almost 5 hours of the kids singing the soundtrack from Frozen was tough but..)
Once in Boston you could just feel the energy. The entire town was BOSTON STRONG!
We quickly checked in and made our trek out to the EXPO. On the way to the EXPO we were able to get a family selfie at the finish line!
The Boston Marathon EXPO is like no other. It it not only huge but there is just so much going on. While it may have been tough for the kids and Leslie I had a blast. At the EXPO i met up with some of my teammates from the MACCABIAH Half Marathon this past summer. It was nice to see them.
After leaving the EXPO we walked right past where the bombs went off last year. This was sobering to say the least. I did not explain too much to my kids about the significance of the location but did take a photo so we can discuss more when they are older.
The following morning, I met Pete in Boston Common for a quick 2+ mile shakeout run… It felt great to get in a run in Boston!
After the run we went to an awesome little diner for some breakfast. The South Street Diner. It was awesome. I cargo loaded on some banana walnut pancakes! YUM!
After breakfast we stopped by Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market! The kids LOVED it!!
After a busy morning I got to relax while the kids hit the hotel pool!
After that I got my stuff ready for the next day before we headed to the BCRR pre marathon team pasta dinner.
The team dinner was held at a place called Ricardo’s. The idea was a good one and they had a table that accommodated 23 of us! That said the food was basically adequate as they tried to have all our meals ready at once so much was barely warm.
The table did get serenaded which the kids loved!!
When we went back to the hotel it began to really hit me that the race was fast approaching. I woke up WAY early (4:30am) without needing an alarm and began to get ready. At 5:00am I had some oatmeal and banana with enough coffee to get things moving. :) At 5:30am I left the hotel and walked easily to Boston Common where I met Pete and Joe. Joe had met up with a really good runner who works with his son. This was great as the 4 of us took the bus together and hung out until leaving Hopkinton High for the start.
I made sure I had a mat to lay on and plenty of warm clothes that I know were to be given away. There was no bag check in Hopkington so anything taken there was either worn to the finish or donated!
At 9:05am they called wave one to the start so we started out trek to the starting line. As they loaded the paddocks within each wave by Paddock number Pete got to leave first and Joe and I left after. Pete was in Paddock 4 Joe in 7 and I was all the was in the back in Paddock 9. I was this far back as my qualifying time was the 3:12 I ran at Lehigh. I was concerned about how crowded thing would be and as it turned out I had good reason. It took me almost 7 minutes just to get to the stating line!
For the first half of the race I was stuck in traffic. I managed to hold my goal pace of 6:45 min/mile but I did it by constantly looking for holes to zip through to pass people. I tried not to panic too much and I did manage to stay relaxed but it took energy contantly looking for room to pass. Getting water or Gatorade was work as well as it was so crowded many people were reaching for the same cup and people often stopped right in from of me. Again, a lot of work to be very aware of what others were doing.
Things did open up once we hit the Newton Hills but the damage was done by that point.
I ended finishing in a time of 3:01. Not terrible but not what I was hoping for. I simply had to waste too much energy in the first half to keep from running the first half at 7:30 min/mile pace.
After finishing despite feeling good the entire race, I started getting nauseous again. So another trip to the med tent. It looked as if I was going to avoid an IV until the medical staff pushed me to drink gatorade in addition the cold water I was drinking with no issue. The Gatorade made me more nauseous and I started puking so in went the IV. I was able to get a cell phone to give Leslie a call and I waited another 1.5 hours for the IV to finish before they would let me leave. So I was walking towards Boston Common with the 4+ hour marathoners rather that the 3 hour folks with whom I finished . Oh well….
After getting back to the hotel we had time to go get a good meal at the Chart House before driving home…
Again, hard to believe it is over! At least I will have a better seed for 2015!!
So the day started on a rough note. Our 7:47am train from Trenton, NJ to Boston did not show up as planned.
There was a power disruption in Washington DC that ended up causing a 3 hour delay… so….. we got back got our money back and then we got in the car and drove to Boston.. Not the start we expected but we arrived in Boston just when we were supposed to!
After finally checking in after waiting for a room and grabbing a quick bite to eat we headed to the expo. On the way it became obviously how pumped up Boston is this year!
We even hot some great pics at the finish line!
Once at the EXPO, I was able to meet up with a few teammates from the Maccabi USA Halfmarathon team from this summer in Israel.
After leaving the EXPO we walked passed Marathon Sports and took a photo there. My kids do not understand why I wanted to do that and quite frankly I did not want to explain.
Finally we had dinner at Maggiano’s and called it a night. Tomorrow will be a more low key day with an easy early run and then getting off my feet!!
So my final training run before Boston here in Bucks County, PA is done. We soon leave for Bean-town and the big race! I believe I have done all I can to train for this. My coach, Dr. Jason Karp, put together a good plan and I believe I did a good job executing that plan. The proof will be what happens in 3 days!
After the run I went to Dr. Johnny at Advanced Sports Chiropractic (http://www.advanceddoctors.com) for my final tune up. All feels good! My daughter Ava joined my so this time should could play with the “Pheebs”. She had to after seeing my with Phebbie last time!
I am finishing up my packing and reviewing some of my final details. I will be blogging from Boston and on the train ride up and back. Let this adventure begin! #BostonStrong!
So the final fast running is in the books. Last Sunday I ran 11 mile run In Tyler State with 5 miles at “Marathon Goal” pace. The pace seemed easy even with the hills of Tyler, which are worse than the Hills on the Boston course, which is a great sign.
This morning was my last track session. This was not supposed to be too tough but remind the legs how to run a bit faster. The workout was two miles warm-up and then 4 x 1000m at AT pace followed by a one mile cool down. Of course this morning it was 29F and really windy. This is especially tough on Council Rock South Track which is in a very open area so the wind is tough even on a fairly calm day.
The good news is that I nailed the final workout running easily even with the wind. Additionally, the legs are beginning to feel a bit more lively now with the reduction in mileage. My last few marathon I have gone into with very flat legs. I am hoping that coach Karp (www.run-fit.com) has me nailing this taper. I am confident this time this is the case. I have my race plan set and my goal in my head. I just now need to relax until race day.
So just some easy runs with some striders the next few days. We leave for Boston Saturday morning via Amtrak and then this all becomes real!!
OK, so here I am writing this post again. Somehow all the text vanished and I was left with just the photos on this post. I will do my best to recreate my post from this morning.
Today’s run starting at 6:00am when it was still dark. It was cold, rainy and windy. I messed up my GPS about 5.5 miles into the run when I was trying to take off my outer layer (a long sleeve tech shirt) while not stopping… So with all that why was today a good run???
Well as I said it started at 6:00am when I met Pete L., Joe H., and Tom B. in the Fisherman’s lot at Tyler State Park. It was still dark so we put on the headlamps and I kept on a long sleeve tech over a short sleeve tech and kept on compression tights. It wasn’t raining hard but it was cold and windy with it. We started off up Agony Hill so the opening mile started slow but we built into in. We basically ran the BCRR 5.3 loop but could not cross the dam as it was completely flooded over and the water was rushing over it at that point so crossing was not an option. We went back to where we parked where Pete, Joe and Tom stopped to drop some layers. I tried to do this without stopping except to throw the extra shirt and the headlamp into my car. While taking off the LS shirt I stopped the watch and accidently hit the save button. I quickly restarted the GPS but it started at zero so I was going to have to add the mileage we had already ran to what my watch was showing. Only a GEEK like me would care about this but….
Anyway, at that point I asked Tom what his GPS said and we ran back to the dam after crossing the Neshaminy Creek on the 332 bridge. At the dam, and about 8 miles in, we picked up Steve P. For there we ran back to where the cars were and started an extended back loop which brought us back to the cars once again at 17 miles. The rain was picking up but the legs felt good.
This run was designed for me to take in carbs so I had a pack with me that had Power Gels and I was carrying a water bottle. I took the gels at about mile 12 and then again at 17. At 17 Pete, Joe, and Tom dropped off and Steve continued to run but he backed off the pace so I ran most of the last 6 miles solo. I dod one more 5.3 loop with the extra to the parking lot giving me the full 6 that was needed. At around 20.5 I took the last few gels and the stomach seemed to tolerate it well. The last 5 miles the pace seemed topic up and I actually felt the best I did the entire run which I think is a great sign. I guess the training plan from Dr. Karp is working!!
The only negative the last two weeks or so is my left knee if bugging me a bit but after some PT from Dr. Johnny Marino yesterday it is feeling better. I have ben icing down after my runs which seems to be helping. I will get more treatment Tuesday with Dr. Johnny as well.
So while the weather and hills were challenging this run seemed to fly by and now I have two 23 milers in the books for the cycle. Also, a 20, 21 and 22 miler gives five runs at 20 or over which should give me strength at Boston.
So now 3 weeks to go. I have some hard running left for sure but the volume will begin to decrease which should freshen up the legs. I just need to stay focused for the final push! I am really longing forward to what the next few weeks will bring!
So with less than a month to go I figured it was time to hit the blog again. The training has been going well in this hard cycle the last few weeks. Dr. Jason Karp's (Run-Fit ) coaching seems to be working.
I started this training cycle with the Phillies 5K. Not the best race I have run as I was feeling the hard marathon training but it was a test of toughness for sure.
The best thing from that race is the cool age group awards. So far I am 3 for 3 in leaving with cool Phillies hardware. The first two years had trophies with a Phillies Baseball signed by Shane Victorino (yr 1) and Carlos Ruiz (yr 2) I am not sure who it bill this year as the awards are being mailed as they did not have time for an awardds ceremony due to a Flyers game.
So in this cycle some of the fun workouts have included a Boston Hill Simulation workout which was basically mile repeats with the first 800 down hill to beat up the legs a bit and then the second 800 hard up the hill.
Another fun one was 1000m repeats on the track.
I of course had an AT+ run which was 2 mile warm-up 10 miles at pace and two miles cool down.. I ran this on the always slow CRS Loop so I was happy with it despite the slow pace.
Of course there have been the long runs. I have had one at 23 miles in the very hilly Tyler State Park. The pace on these have seemed easy which is good considering a comfortable time for 22 miles in Tyler usually is a good indication of what I can race for 26.2. Right now that look like low 2:50's…
The only negative is a my left knee is feeling the down hill running but I went to Dr. Johnny Marino (Advanced Sports Chiropractic> ) and will go back a few more times and I feel confident I will be OK.
Looking forward to a great experience with the entire family joining me in Boston. A fun train ride from Philly to Boston and a fun few days. Just a little more than 3 weeks of training to go…
So starting with New Year’s Day I have a new coach and a new training plan for Boston. The reasons for the change were fairly simply. For one, I simply felt like I needed a change. Secondly, Johnny Marino Advanced Sports Chiropractic while an awesome coach, is going through so much, including recovering from surgery that I wanted to take one of the many things off of his plate. I still strongly recommend their services and hope to get in for some PT very soon!
I decided to work with Dr. Jason Karp of Run-Fit. Jason is an internationally recognized exercise physiologist who specializes in endurance athletes. He has written many books and published hundreds of papers on the topic. He was also a teammate at the Maccabiah Games this past July in Israel. We both ran on the Masters Men’s Half MAarathon Team for Team USA. Please visit his site to learn more on his services. Run-Fit
So for the first month Coach Karp had me build my mileage and put in AT runs long runs with just under AT segments and Long runs with AT miles at the end. There was plenty of recovery days some doubles and some striders. He really puts the latest science into his training plans which I appreciate. As I get older I have less margin for error in my training.
I had three build weeks and then a recovery week which I am just finishing up. During week 2 I picked up a nasty bug and missed a few days but luckily this was early and I am right back on track now. Looking forward to the next few weeks which increase the mileage.
In this cycle I just banged out my first 20 miles at the end of week three. I felt great on this run. It came at the end of a hard week of training and I was able to relax through the hills of Tyler State Park..
The tough part of this cycle is that much of the time the weather has been terrible. VERY cold, VERY snowy with a HUGE ice storm that caused many to lose power and caused many trees to fall including two on my property, one hitting my house. I ran outside as much as possible but some of the quality work was done on the treadmill as it was the only way to get that quality in.
Week one had it all. It started with snow and brutally cold temperatures and ended with temperatures well over 60F. I had to decide on a new training plan and ended up asking Dr. Johnny Marino to help me once again. Johnny has been going through so much recently that I wasn’t sure he would have the time or energy to continue to coach me. As soon as he said he still wanted to the decision was made! Thanks Johnny!!
So we start the plan with rebuilding base but doing enough pace work so not lose all turnover. Training this week involved distance runs at a relaxed pace with some runs that had pickup at 10K pace. It felt good to get started!!!
Last year at this time I was going after the BCRR Winter Series but giving up Boston with the Maccabiah Games later in the year. I did not want to hurt my chances on running well in Israel with a hard marathon effort before. This year my focus is back on Boston! I am therefore not racing the full winter series. There is just no good way to race hard 11 weeks in a row over hilly terrain and be ready to give a good marathon performance two months later. This year I will be racing two to three races max prior. A few races to stay race sharp but still allowing me to focus on training for the BIG event.
Early in the week it was tough to get in decent runs due to the ice and I actually did two treadmill efforts. Later in the week I got in two runs with Joe Warwick which was nice. Then I ended the week with a nice long run in Tyler State Park.
Some highlights from the weeks are below….
So today the road to Boston begins with an easy 40 minute run. I will be sticking to a plan thus winter and not focusing on the Bucks County Road Runners Winter Series. I have learned racing every weekend does not allow me to train properly for a marathon. I am excited to see how the training goes over the next few months!! Every journey begins with the first step and today was step one!!!