Monday, January 30, 2012

Welcome to Miami!

The Miami marathon is over... But this blog will live on. I will continue to write about my training, upcoming races & other running inspired events.

Right now I am contemplating running Miami again - tomorrow morning the Miami Marathon has a registration blitz & you can sign up for the full marathon for only $45! The only conflict is the Gasparilla pirate parade that is held in Tampa. Gasparilla is pretty much the largest party / fun weekend in Tampa all year and it is the same weekend as the Miami marathon. Did I really miss out on it this year? No, because I had a great time in Miami. But do I want to miss Gasparilla again?

Now for the Miami marathon recap... I didn't PR & wasn't even close. I could blame it on a number of things - but I won't even bother. I enjoyed being in Miami. I liked the expo, the vibe & all of the international runners. Was the weather ideal? No. I went out pretty fast for a warm day- my first 1/2 was 1:54. The 2nd half... Not so fast. I finished the marathon in 4:13. The best parts of the marathon were running through the chute of people around mile 10-11 (the energy was awesome!). I also enjoyed running through the Coconut Grove neighborhood. For some reason I do not remember much of the Miami Beach portion of the race. There was never a clear view of the ocean and once we were on Ocean Ave. I felt like we turned and headed right back downtown. I also somehow missed the Cuban coffee aid station around mile 22. My time was shot already so I was going to look for it and enjoy some café!

The Miami Marathon also had an interesting product on course called 82go - which is an 8oz portable packet of water. They were handing this out in addition to the traditional cups of Gatorade and water. I drank the cups of water & then would grab a water packet and use it when I needed a GU or to spray on myself like a sprinkler when I was getting hot. I really enjoyed having those on course and hope other marathons start to have them as an option (not as a replacement) for on course water.

At the Miami Marathon expo I also register for ANOTHER MARATHON, the Fort Lauderdale A1A Marathon on February 19! I am going to let my body recover from Miami by only training with Insanity. I also will be running the inaugural St. Pete Rock & Roll 1/2 marathon Feb. 12. I am curious about the St. Pete 1/2 because the only other Rock & Roll race I have done is Las Vegas & that was a disappointment. We will see if my feelings change about the the Rock and Roll series after St. Pete!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I'm Goofy!!

I know that these posts have been delayed- and I will still blame 90% of that on the app I have been using to update this blog. However, I am almost caught up with my recent running adventure and ready to share more of my progress.

After the Jacksonville marathon I kept up running through the holidays, putting in lighter miles & speed work to prepare for the toughest running event I have ever signed up for - the Disney Goofy Challenge. For those of you unfamiliar with this event it is a 1/2 marathon (13.1 miles) on Saturday and a full 26.2 mile marathon on Sunday for a whopping 39.3 miles in 2 days. Both events started at 5am so the alarm was set for 3am both days.

For the 1/2 marathon I did not know what to expect. I was placed in the A corral based off my predicted finish time and once the race started I was in the zone and running TOO FAST. I decided that I would not look at my Garmin watch & instead run based off of effort. I didn't want to run too hard because the 1/2 was only a small part of the 39.3 mile challenge. I still looked at the Garmin every mile marker and slowly the miles started ticking away all under 8:00 min/mile. I realized that at this rate I would PR the 1/2 marathon. Was that a good idea? PR a 1/2 marathon the day before I running a full marathon? I was about to find out. I was keeping up that pace while stopping to take photos with some Disney characters! I didn't plan to run the 1/2 marathon serious because of the marathon...I was even wearing Mickey Mouse ears as a joke... Finally the finish line was in sight--- I crossed in 1:43 and had a new 1/2 marathon PR! Wow! What a fun race.

Top 4% of all 1/2 marathon finishers!!



After such a strong 1/2 marathon I didn't know what to expect for the full. I basically did the exact same routine, eating, etc. that I did on Saturday for the 1/2. Once the alarm went off at 3am I was ready to get the marathon over with.

At the start line I was able to talk with Mike & Galen - both local Tampa runners that I train with. Mike and I also met another runner, Jason, who was at Disney doing his first marathon --and doing it as part of the a Goofy Challenge!

I was in the A corral again and decided to start running at a 3:45 finish pace. Jason decided he was going to stick with me for as long as he could. I was cruising right along at the 3:45 pace (8:35 min/mile) -- ran into Joe Taricani from 'The Marathon Show' podcast (if you have never listened to his podcast check it out!!). Joe interviewed me for his show while I was running - I committed myself to a 3:45 finish time on his show and then kept running along. I made it through the 1/2 mark perfectly on pace for 3:45. Jason actually PR'd hiss 1/2 marathon time DURING THE MARATHON!! I lost Jason around mile 15 -- he just disappeared.

Around mile 16 my stomach wasn't feeling right. I didn't know what the problem was but it was bothering me and I noticed my pace start to suffer because of it. Around mile 19 I realized that I needed to find a bathroom. Luckily I was able to do so just before mile 20. The bathroom break really set me back on my goal time. I was angry at first--but soon realized my finish time would still be respectable even with the stop (especially as part of the Goofy Challenge). I also was stopping along the course to take photos with the Disney characters.

I finished the full marathon in 4:02, and I am ok with that. My overall pace for the 39.3 miles was 8:40min/miles. I couldn't have been happier. I was also able to see my friend Mike cross the finish line right at his goal of 3:59. I also looked up Jason to see how he finished -- 4:07. He was right behind me and finished his first marathon in a very respectable time. I wish my first marathon would have been 4:07!

The Goofy Challenge was a great event. I would definitely run the 1/2 or full marathon again.wired planning to run one of the events next year. As far as the Goofy Challenge goes, I will probably not run that event another time (we will see). Not because I didn't enjoy it, but because I would like to be able to focus my energy on one race without the worry of all the 'what-ifs'.

Goofy Challenge medals & bib

Buzz & I

Running through the Magic Kingdom castle!

Beast & I

Mike G. & I - finish photo

My next marathon is this weekend-- Miami. It looks like it is going to be a hot one. I am also considering the Fort Lauderdale A1A marathon in February.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Another marathon? Jacksonville Bank!

After a very disappointing Las Vegas marathon my motivation was crushed. I needed to run a sub 4 marathon again. I trained so hard During the hot summer months in Tampa only to race my target marathon in unorganized Las Vegas.
The week after I ran in Las Vegas I took a trip to New York City & ran a 6k Jingle Jog in Brooklyn. I was nice not have to run long distance & after I returned to Tampa my goal was to increase my speed for a popular 10k race in Clearwater Beach, Say No To Drugs Holiday Classic 10k. During the week prior to the 10k I cranked up the speed for 3 workouts. I then raced the 10k race Saturday December 17 just a few seconds short of my 10k PR. My legs felt good & I was excited about an article I read in runners world a few weeks earlier.
Runners World magazine listed the top marathons in the country to run for speed. One of the marathons listed was the Jacksonville Bank Marathon. The only problem was that this marathon was Sunday, December 18-- the day after my 10k and only 2 weeks after my last marathon attempt in Las Vegas (December 4). I decided at the last minute when I got home from the 10k to book a hotel in Jacksonville and run the marathon Sunday morning.

Runners World Article

The weather in Jacksonville was perfect. On Saturday in Tampa it was around 80 degrees. Somehow in Jacksonville, FL the temperature Sunday morning was around 47 degrees at race start. I had on a sleeveless shirt & shorts, my mind was set at going out for a 3:45 marathon (very high expectation since my previous marathon PR was only 3:59 and that was at Chicago, October 2009). I clicked along at under 8:35 min/miles for majority of the race. I only started slowing down around mile 23. I somehow finished the marathon with a huge PR finishing at 3:47! I couldn't have been more ecstatic!

Finishing the Jacksonville Bank Marathon!

I still had the Disney Goofy Challenge (39.3 mile run) and Miami marathon coming up and needed to rest my body between Jacksonville and Disney. The dismal Las Vegas marathon was only a memory now... I was definitely experiencing a runners high! Can it get better than this?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, January 6, 2012

Las Vegas...

Las Vegas was supposed to be my BIG EVENT! Time to hammer down and PR at the marathon. It was strange waking up, hanging out & waiting until the evening to run a race. But everything was working out as planned. Fatally it was time to race the marathon and I was at the start with my friend Mike who I planned on running the entire marathon with as we trained together For this event and both of our previous marathon PR's were 3:59. We started the race and wanted to run the 1/2 half at a nice easy pace. Finish the 1st 1/2 in 1:59 -- which we did... EASY! Right on target and ready to kill the 2nd half of the marathon. What we didn't expect was the nightmare waiting for us at mile 13.1.

Once we turned onto the Las Vegas strip we ran into 36,000 1/2 marathon runners packing the streets. Rock and Roll / Competitor Group had placed 1 foot high cones on the left side of the road giving in theory about a 3 foot wide lane to the marathon runners. However, who pays attention to 1 ft high cones when there are 36,000 runners trying to move down Las Vegas Blvd?
Slowly our pace started suffering & not because we were lacking the endurance or energy. We were literally fighting our way through 17 min/mile 1/2 marathon participants trying to keep pace for a marathon PR. Jumping on curbs, whistling at people to politely move, whatever we could do to keep running ahead. Finally after the turn around heading back south on Las Vegas Blvd I realized unless I grow wings and fly to the finish there was no way I was going to PR at Las Vegas. This was a very disappointing realization for me because it wasn't under my control. I had the energy, I wanted to run faster and harder. I couldn't do it with the crowds. I mentally gave up and just ran whatever pace I could without fighting the crowds. Mike tried to continue to fight along. I finished Las Vegas in 4:14. Mike finished in 4:06. Neither of us received our PR. Very disappointing. I knew I had Disney coming up... Could I PR there after running the Disney 1/2 marathon the day before? Probably not... What about Miami? Who knows coming off of the 39.3 mile Disney Challenge 2 weeks prior.
I needed a marathon PR bad!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


So many running related events have happened since I ran the Chicago Marathon as a training run and my iPad blogging app decided to fail. I was in the process blogging about my training for the Las Vegas Marathon, Disney Goofy Challenge and Miami Marathon... Unfortunately some interesting things happened and I was unable to share them! The first of those was the 11-11-11 Marathon of Sarasota! The weekend I was supposed to run my last 20 miler before the Las Vegas Marathon I found out that someone dropped out of a race I had applied for the lottery for and I was allowed entry of I wished. The Sarasota marathon was a unique opportunity because it was a 1/2 mile loop course with only 66 runners! I decided that 6.2 miles extra was no problem as long as I just used it as a training run. I met some amazing runners, had the most fun I have ever had at a marathon and finished with a time of 4:05.

The entire 11-11-11 Marathon of Sarasota field!
The best part of the 11-11-11 Sarasota Marathon was meeting the other runners. The amazing pasta dinner, race, and post race party were all very social and fun. Many of the runners were marathon maniacs like myself and 50 state club members (which I have not yet qualified to join). I look forward to running this event next year! - Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Chicago Marathon (19.5m)!

***This post was originally written on 10/11/11. However, the program I write my blog with was not compatible with iOS5 and I have been unable to update my blog accordingly. Tonight the program has been fixed & I have a ton to update everyone on. Please enjoy this 'old' post & I will write more soon!!***

This past weekend I traveled to Chicago to run the Chicago Marathon for my weekly training run. I was hoping for cooler temperatures but once again Chicago decided to have a heat wave come though. The temps rose to around 77 degrees. I originally was going to jump in the race at mile 7 (I had a bib) and run until the finish. However, with the high energy that Chicago brings I decided to start the race and run either A) until mile 19 or B) finish the race if I was on track to PR at mile 19 with no nagging pains, etc. I started running with the 3:55 pace group and planned on staying next to them the entire way, but they started running FAST - 8:14 miles, 8:20 miles. The 3:55 pace is 8:58 so this took a toll on me. I stayed on target up until mile 16 and then started drifting back. I continued running and never let the 4 hour pace group get ahead of me. I wasn't going to PR so I pulled out at 19.5 miles in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago.
The Chicago Marathon is an excellent race, I have been a part of it for the past 4 years and my marathon PR was ran there. I can't wait to run the Chicago Marathon again, hopefully it will be cooler when I decide to race it again!

On another note: I received an email from the New York Road Runners Association. They have decided to change the way that you are guaranteed entry to the New York Marathon. At first I was afraid that it was going to prevent me from running it next year, but luckily that is not the case. They are removing the rule where if you get denied 3 times you are guaranteed entry the 4th year (next year is my 4th year so I am guaranteed entry) But they are doing this on a rolling basis. So if 2012 or 2013 is your 4th attempt you are in the clear, 2014...sorry you are going to have to join the lottery every year. I am looking forward to being a part of the New York Marathon next year, even though I hear that I won't PR in NY, it looks Ike an amazing course.

Training this week:

Tuesday I ran a speed workout 5k
Wednesday I ran 6 miles with the Nike Run Club in Atlanta
Thursday I will be running 7 miles along Bayshore Blvd. in Tampa

This weekend I am supposed to get in a 20 mile run, because of some local races the 20 miles is being split up as follows...
Saturday @ 5:30am - 9.5 miles on Davis Islands
Saturday @ 8:00am - 3.1 mile race at University of Tampa
Sunday AM - 15k (9.3 miles) race Aces Wild in Clearwater
Total weekend miles 21.9

I am looking forward to cutting back the mileage next week. Training is still going according to plan & I currently have no nagging pains/injuries to report.

I am ready for Vegas, Disney Goofy & Miami!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, October 13, 2011

iOS Blogpress / London Rejection Letter

I typed up a recap of my training and Chicago Marathon long run on my iPad using the BlogPress app & then updated my iPad to iOS5.. now BlogPress will not open.  I am hoping that they update the app ASAP so that I can post my entry tonight or tomorrow.. in the meantime I will let you read the nice e-mail I received from the London Marathon regarding my 2012 entry.

If BlogPress won't let me open the app by tomorrow I will write a new update to share.

"Dear Entrant,

We regret that we have to advise you that your application to run in the 2012 Virgin London Marathon has not been successful due to massive over-subscription.

However, if you still wish to run please click on the link below where there is a list of tour operators in your country who may be able to help you enter the 2012 Virgin London Marathon.

Yours Sincerely

David Bedford
Race Director"