Race Review- Caeser Rodney 1/2 Marathon

 

Today I ran my first half marathon of the year- the Caeser Rodney 1/2 Marathon in Wilmington, DE.  This particular half has been running for 48 years, the longest in Delaware (I’m not sure however, if someone has actually run all 48 years).  I registered a few weeks ago because I knew I needed a half to help with my marathon training for May and I have issues doing longer runs on my own (I mentally lose interest!).  I’ve heard about this race before on Races 2 Run when I signed up for a race last year through the site.

Since the race has been going on for so long, they have things figured out.  You could pick up your race gear the Thursday-Saturday before at Delaware Running Company or morning of at the starting line.  The race organizers have something set up with the Wilmington Center YMCA so you can use their lockers to keep stuff in AND use they’re showers if you choose after the race (more on that in a bit).  I picked my stuff up Thursday but could of (and should of with how early I was) picked up my stuff today.  Like many races, the timing chip was attached to the Bib (I was 485) which is nice (although the bib could have been a little more fun looking).  The race benefits the American Lung Association of Delaware (or Mid Atlantic Region- I can’t remember).  You also have Sen. Tom Carper of DE running the event (for the 29th time).  The event also has a 5K that starts before the half marathon (in my opinion, start the 1/2 marathon and then the 5K).  Start time: 9:30 Am! you don’t have to wake up ridiculously early to get there which is nice and a parking company opens up 3 of their lots for free for runners!

The first half of the race was pretty flat (I was in an unmotivated to run mood which made today tough).  After the 6.5 mile mark (and having the top 10-15 male runners pass us as they were almost done), we got some major hillage in as we went into some random Delaware park that led to some residential areas, more hills and more parks.  At least most of mile 12 was downhill.  The bad news? the last 1/4 of a mile or so was somewhat of an uphill.  Once I saw the finish, I was able to gun it to the end because I just wanted to be done so badly.  2hrs 15min 33 seconds which should be more like 2hrs 14min 33sec due to a bathroom run 2 miles into the race.  Afterwards, I headed back to the YMCA where my stuff was tucked and locked away and hoped into one of the showers. Not having to drive home in cold, sweaty running clothes and all salty was a huge plus!!  And, it was right across the street from where I parked which was right by I95 which is how I head back to Philly.

Overall a good race.  I wish it had been warmer than 33 degrees outside (I had a base layer long sleeved shirt, 2 other long sleeved running shirts and arm warms on).  I will say though that the time clocks were randomly placed.  I think I saw them at miles 1, 2, 9 and the finish (I think they said miles 1,5,10 and finish).  If you forget to check your watch at the start, that’s an issue.  Also, pizza at the finish?  Not the first thing I’d have in mind (though they did have bananas, bagels and some other runner friendly treats).  Also, get some bottled water or something- we’re thirsty!! I will say, I enjoy the cannon ball start (as oppose to the typical gun start)- sure got your attention!

This might be the race to do once just to say you’ve done it (unless it’s close or you need a training run).  Happy running!

Running Warehouse- Every Runner’s Favorite Website :-)

Like any normal person on a Saturday night, I’m sitting on my apartment floor next to my mini heater since it’s suppose to get into the 30s at the end of March.  Upon occasion, I take a peak at some of my favorite running apparel/ shoe websites.  Tonight is one of the those occasions.  I moseyed my way over to Running Warehouse to see if they were running (no pun intended) anything special on my favorite pair of running shoes since my version is going out of stock since the next version recently came out.  My favorite pair of shoes are the Mizuno Wave Inspire 6s.  I’ve never had an IT Band issue with them and they treat my feet well.

Anyways, Running Warehouse typically has really good deals on clothing and shoes for runners

My favorite pair of kicks!

in addition to the other needed materials we so require (gels, gel blocks/chews, hydration/water bottles, running books, bags and heart rate monitors).  Currently my shoes that are typically $100 are being sold for $47.88.  That’s a 53.22% savings (or $53.22 off).  This weekend especially, I’m tempted to do some Running Warehouse damage since my OSU Buckeyes lost and Butler won (OSU bread, attended Loyola Chicago of the Horizon League and was tortured by Butler for 4 yrs).  I’ve gotten running shorts for 40% off and a bulk box of my running chews for a good price.  What’s better?  Free Shipping.  No limits on how much you have to spend, you just have to be in the continental  US (sorry Hawaii and Alaska!).  My orders have gotten to me within the 2 days they say they will (unless it’s a late Friday night, I give them through Monday since lets face it, the US Postal Service isn’t up and running on Sundays).  And, if you have to change your order?  No problem! I’ve had to email to change a shoe size and they’ve made the change on the same day and even noted on the receipt that I called to make a change which is a plus- it shows they pay attention!!

So if you’re addicted to running stuff, head on over.  Like them on Facebook or their blog– they might do a top secret deal for you in addition to the deals they already have going on!

Until next time, I’m off to hide my pain in running shows and hit the sack early.  Half Marathon in Delaware tomorrow and an Idea of what I might quite possibly be doing on November 6th, 2011 to come this coming week!

Get Your Rear Into Gear 10K

The Get Your Rear Into Gear 10K.  I had every intention of running the NYRR half this past weekend but wasn’t selected through the lottery.  I found this race instead about a week and a half ago so I signed up for it in order to keep my running motivation up for the Cleveland Marathon in May.

So after my whirlwind of a day last Saturday in getting to DC, watching some March Madness Basketball and not getting back to Philly until 3:10 AM and my apartment at 330, I woke up  around 815 and knew it was going to be a long run due to exhaustion.  I thought I left with plenty of time to park (around 855 AM) but the city is already shutting down one side of the River (Kelly Drive) and the other side of the river was detoured due to all the crew people rowing around.  So not only was parking almost non existent, you had to go around and about just to get to the race.  Spots just opening up.  By 9:25 (the start was literally a 7 minute drive from my apartment, 10 if you include actually being able to park on a good day), I figured if I don’t find a spot in the next few minutes, forget it.  At least the money I paid was going to a good cause.  i finally found a spot 1/2 mile from the start and was running to get there…

I got to the start (with some other late comers due to parking) 8:30 after the start of the 10K and 5K (there was a 2 mile walk that was getting ready to start).  I ended up just going with it and starting late.  I managed to make up some good time though and caught up with the 10kers eventually.  What was kind of a bummer was on the way back, we ran into the 2 mile walkers and trying to work through them wasn’t fun when they take up 2-3 lanes of road.  I made it to the finish in a little over an hour by my watch (1 hr 9 minutes by the clock).  Unfortunately, they never took the 8:30 off of my time officially.  Not like I was trying to win a prize or anything but still!

The best part was I got a 7.5 mile run when I was aiming for 6.2 miles and they had volunteers after the race walking around handing out water (very much appreciated).  I even was able to find a good picture of me from the event which I will be ordering since it’s so difficult to get a good picture of a person (especially me) running.  Good event, good cause, just gotta remember spring in philly means less parking since more people are out 😦 .

Side note, they have Get Your Rear Into Gear races all over the country

Side SIDE note, if your over 50, get a colonoscopy….it’s not worth getting colon cancer because you’re scared of not eating for a day in order to have a tube un through you…

The Madness that is March

March is bitter sweet all in one….lots of college basketball on, but at the end of the month, it’s all over.  Yesterday morning, I made the spur of the moment decision to go to DC and watch the Pitt-Butler matchup that send home the first #1 seed of the tournament and part of the UConn Cincy match up.  Both teams I was cheering for (Pitt and Cincinnati) lost :-(.  As an Ohioan, I cheer on all Ohio schools unless they play OSU in which OSU gets my vote.  Anytime anyone plays Butler, the team who is not Butler gets my vote.  I went to Loyola Chicago of the Horizon League for 4 years and Butler was not a fun game to be at as we lost most of the time to them.

I hopped on the Amtrak around 335 and was to DC by 6.  2 quick stops on the red line metro had me to the Verizon Center and there was little wait at Will Call to pick up my ticket.  After I got into the arena, I of course took part in the purchasing of merchandise- a long sleeved shirt for me (and later a Cincy 2011 tournament shirt) and a Pitt shirt for my cousin who is a senior there.  I was in the nose bleed section next to a lady and her family.  The lady was cheering for Butler but couldn’t clap at the right time for them.  Needless to say, it was a good game and Pitt (as a friend of mine put it) found a new way to lose or it was just a straight up heartbreaker.  There were some no calls that should have been called (as a friend of mine said, what were the refs thinking?!) and calls that shouldn’t have been.  What really stinks of seeing live games is that we get little instant replay as opposed to those watching on TV :-/  I will say, sad day for me and my Pitt friend supporters. (I’ve promised my cousin I’ll quit attending games in March involving Pitt).  How the last few minutes of the game ended?  Take a peek

I only got to see the 1st half of the UConn Cincinnati game which started around 10pm.  Cincy I will say kept it close in the first half and from what I hear, even through the first 15 minutes of the second half (I think it was 53-50 at one point).  With all my years living in some sort of city with a subway, you learn the later it gets, the less subways/metros run so I had to make sure I had enough time to catch the Megabus back to Philly (which left at 11:59 pm 5 blocks away from Union Station in DC).  I could only half nap on the way back since we stopped in Baltimore before Philly and the bust was continuing on to NYC.  When we were getting back to philly around 245 AM, a car decided to break down on the exit we needed to get off at which added another 15 minute of wait time (apparently double decker buses and bridges aren’t friends so we couldn’t go an alternate route).  By the I finally got home, it was 330 and I didn’t fall asleep till after 4….and with an 8/815 AM wake up call for a 10K, needless to say that race took place with one very tired me

Tomorrow: how the Get Your Rear into Gear 10K went

Chicago Marathon Pep Talk- Bart Yasso Style

On 10/10/10, I ran the Chicago Marathon for Ryan Hall’s Charity The Steps Foundation in an effort to raise money for running programs for underserved, high risk kids and to raise money for clean water supplies to be sent to Africa.  The night before the marathon, we had a team dinner where Bart Yasso spoke.  Nicest. Guy. Ever.

Race Spotlight- NYRR Emerald Nut Run

One of my favorite races I go back for every year is the New York Road Runners Emerald Nut Run.  Every year, the race kicks off the year (literally) in Central Park.  It’s a New Year’s Eve –> New Year’s Day Race that begins 12/31 around 10 or 11 with a concert and costume contest in Central Park.  Granted, I never go for the concert or the costume party, I’ve seen tetris characters, Fruit of the Loom fruits and some other wacky New Year’s costumes.  Generally, me (or we if my family ends up coming out), start heading to Central Park around 1115-1130 depending on how close we are to Central Park and the start.  When the race starts, it starts at midnight with fireworks…

NYE Fireworks Kicking off the Emerald Nut run

and people celebrating the New Year without being in Times Square with a few million of their closest friends.  Honestly, spending NYE with runners is the way to go!  The race itself is a 4 mile loop that wraps around Central Park, roughly 72–>103 (or 109), over to the west side and then back to the start.  At the 2 mile mark, there’s “Sparkling Champagne” (which is really juice, but that’s ok) and water.  I do remember one year running it where the water was frozen solid because it was so cold outside.  The bibs are super cool for the race and, as always, you get some goodies.  Long sleeved shirts, nut treats and some sort of gift.  This year, it was socks, but there have also been coffee mugs and other fun things.  Even before and after the race, they’re handing out foam hats with the year on them (I have at least 4, maybe 5 of them), food, and a straight up good time.

Hotels are expensive, but what do you expect for NYE in NYC.  It’s always a good time since we try and see a show or just enjoy NYC itself.  And for what it’s worth, it’s your fastest race of the year (even if it only lasts until Jan. 2nd).

IMO, I’d go running in NYC on NYE any year and is a race to do if you’re looking for a good time and a long weekend

The Not My Mom’s Apple Crisp

The good Catholic I am, for Lent I decided to give up eating out and the general crap I noticed myself eating since I have such a sweet tooth.  I figured the Ben and Jerry’s had to take a hiatus.  But I still had somewhat of a sweet tooth and googled recipes last night on something that I could possibly substitute and I found Mom’s Apple Crisp.  I figure if it only has 5 ingredients, someone like me shouldn’t have any sort of problem with it (ie how hard should it be?).

What you need?

  1. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  2. 1/2 cup flour
  3. 1/2 cup quick oats
  4. 1/3 cup margarine
  5. 1 tsp cinnamon
  6. 4 cups apples (sliced)

What to do?

  1. heat up the oven to 375*F and spray non stick spray into an 8×8 pan.  I used a foil one because I was feeling lazy and wanted one less thing to clean once the apple crisp was gone.
  2. While the oven is warming up, mix brown sugar, flour and oats together in a bowl with the cinnamon
  3. Rub margarine in bowl with fingers
  4. Cut and peel apples (or be like me and by the pre sliced apples because I wanted less work) and put into pan
  5. Put sugar mixture over apples and cook in oven for 30 minutes

If you’re like me, this is what mine turned out to look like (and I have no idea if it’s correct)

Finished Apple CrispI think I enjoyed it too much when I made it last night if you know what I mean 😉 Hope you enjoy!!

McRunner

One of the Tweeps I follow on twitter is Chicago Tweet.  I admit, I like to know what’s happening in my former stomping ground.  One of their tweets caught my eye: “‘McRunner’ trains for marathon by eating only McDonald’s”.  I thought there was no possible way this could be possible.  I know when I run, I like my bananas, pasta, greek yogurt-not big macs, fries and Coronary Artery Disease on a plate.

I head over to the “McRunner Trains for Marathon Eating Only McDonald’s” and for 30 days (until March 20th when he runs the LA Marathon), sure enough, 3 meals a day at McDonald’s.  Granted, he’s running for the Ronald McDonald Charity Foundation, so it seems only fitting, but I’m getting flashbacks to the  ‘Supersize Me’ Documentary of a few years ago.  He claims that he can do it since he runs 100 miles a week, but there has to be some sort of dietary component missing to his diet…

Not only is he doing a McBlog, he also has a McRunner Facebook page.  Kudos to him for running for charity, but it makes me nauseous just to think about it…

What To Do When You’re Bad At Tracking Miles

I admit it, I’m horrible at writing down the miles I run in any sort of bound book.  Every time I try, it fails someone.  The past month plus, I’ve been averaging over 30 miles a week and not once have I remembered to write it in my running log.  Because I know I’m bad at it, I started using Daily Mile last May after I ran Broad Street.  It’s an online site where you can log workouts- running, swimming, spinning, elliptical, core, whatever.  I’m an internet type of person.  I get on to check facebook, email, things for school and for whatever reason, it’s just easier to remember to go to my account and put in my miles.

Why do I like Daily Mile (or DM to those of us  who use it) you ask?  It gives me a chance to connect with other runners.  When I ran the Chicago Marathon last year for The Steps Foundation, it gave me a chance to connect with other people who were also running for the same organization.  I’ve used the miles I see other people to guilt trip myself into a run when I don’t feel like it or to run further.  I also like seeing other races people have run so I can see if there’s one that I want to sign up for. It also keeps a running weekly and overall cumulative track of my miles

(for example, I know I’ve run 246 miles this year and 1207 miles since I started using it last May).  I can put in the routes I run so I know exactly how far I’ve run (or if you’re a biker, where you biked).  It tracks calories burned, what the weather was like and whatever fun, technological stuff you like to use (Garmins and so on).

And, guess what, there’s an app for that!  Us iPhone/iTouch users can download the Electric Miles App from the iTunes store for free so it’s easy to input your workout after you complete and not be forgetfullike me and actually remember to write it down.  When you’re training for something (say a 1/2 or full marathon or a triathlon), that’s a plus!

So take it as you will, but Dailymile is worth your time!

Quakertown Rotary Run for Youth 10 Miler

My first 10 mile race since Philadelphia’s Broad Street Run last year, I wasn’t sure what to expect with the Quakertown 10 Miler.  My legs (more so my calves) have been sore the past few days, and a massage I got last week didn’t go well at all, as it didn’t loosen me up that much.  Anyways, this was a 9 AM race about 45 minutes away from Philly.  I arrived around 8:15, picked up my number and shirt (which they didn’t have me down for but gave me anyways) and got situated before the start.  They had a pretty good selection of race registration forms for upcoming races in the area (5Ks, 4-5Milers, 10Ks and half marathons in addition to some trail runs) and a book of races with the registration forms from the NJ track and field people.

The race was a smaller race and you had the option of 4 or 10 miles, with the first 1.5 miles or so run together.  I almost made the decision to run the 4 mile route, but I needed a double digit run.  The course itself was incredibly hilly, with rolling hills about 95% of the race.  What I wasn’t a fan of was there was no shoulder to run on and some of the hills were blind meaning you couldn’t see if anyone was coming the opposite direction until you got to the top of the hill.  There really wasn’t anything marking the race (signs, cones, etc) with the exception of some volunteers.  There were also some intersections that told you where to go was only spray painted arrows on the road.  There were only 2 water stops, one at 3 miles and at 6 miles.  I felt like I was dehydrating towards the end because 2 water stops for 10 miles is really not enough.  There were definitely points (ie most of the race), where my goal was not to finish last.

At the finish, there was water and food which was race appropriate and appreciated.  The race wasn’t chip timed so I came in approximately 1:49:15 or so.  Overall, definitely not a race I would do again.  I wasn’t a fan of it and thought it could do a bunch to improve.

Quakertown 10 miler route

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