Poland Springs 5 Miler: Not Even A Potential Hurricane Could Stop Us!

Apparently Hurricane Sandy and Frankenstorm thought it could stop a bunch of runners from racing. HA!!  Not so much.  The Marine Corps Marathon went off without a hitch in DC and in NYC, we were all set to go to kick off NYC Marathon Week with the Poland Spring Marathon Kick Off.  All last night and this morning, I was checking social media and NYRR for the possibility that Frankenstorm would cause the Park and Recreation system to pull a quick one and cancel the race.  I woke up around 7 and changed into my gear, ate a greek yogurt and headed out around 7:30 (I really like 8:30 starts when it doesn’t take long to get to the race).  8:05 comes around and I was able to make my way in to Central Park with a bunch of other crazy runners.

Normally, love the NYRR volunteers.  Today, the volunteers were yelling at everyone they could it seemed like if you weren’t running the trail.  They were yelling at people to get to the side walk if they weren’t running or to turn around.  Kind of obnoxious, not going to lie.  I went to the grassy area where Poland Springs was handing out water and free gloves.  Since it wasn’t cold enough to wear them, the definitely ended up stuffed in my capris (yeah, you couldn’t notice I promise).  Went I went back out to the trail, more yelling by the volunteers to get to the sidewalk when 50 feet later, other volunteers were ok with runners being along the corrals and ducking in. Oh well.

At 8:30, the gun went off and 5 minutes (ish) I crossed and off we went.  The race started on Central Park West’s side around 69th street and we headed towards the 80s/90s.  The first mile was really congested.  People had jumped to higher corrals (I can’t complain because I did too), but we had slower runners ahead of us which made for a slower, frustrating first mile.  After we passed the first water stop and mile marker, you knew you were with your right pace of people which is always a plus.  I had 2 clowns in front of me and a few other costumized people.  I kept a steady pace and was able to make up some time from the first mile.  At some point after mile 2, we turned and headed towards the east side of Central Park.  After the mile 2 mark, we had a water stop and then a quick turn- that was not what I wanted to see.  Put the water after the turn! Oh well.  Onward past miles 3 and 4 and I could tell we were almost done.  And that I should have had my yogurt earlier than I did.  We cut across to the west side of Central Park and after a few tenths of a mile, you could see the finish.  I was picking off people (woohoo!), but I was feeling the dry heaves come again. Blah!  All things aside, I finished in 47:39.  Not a bad run for my first post Chicago Marathon race.  I’ll take it.  My legs were stiff for whatever reason.  Afterwards, I found out on Twitter someone had quoted a tweet of mine in an article!!  Go take a look, I’m FAMOUS!  Ok, not really but it’s still pretty cool.

But hey, Hurricane Sandy didn’t win!!  I got back to Philly around 3:15, picked up  a few things from the store and headed home.  The sad thing is, I have to leave for my next rotation tonight 2 hours north of Philadelphia.  Finishing a load of laundry and off I go.  Please stay safe everyone!!

NYC Poland Springs Run Type of Weekend

Oh (hurricane) Sandy, why would you try and threaten my birthday weekend?? Yesterday, I decided I wanted to come out to NYC for the Poland Spring 5 Mile Run by NYRR. $32 round trip on megabits and a cheap hotel later, hear I am. I was able to still sign up at NYRR (woot!) and pay all of $23 due to my NYRR membership. Hopefully, Sandy will be nice and the Parks System won’t pull a quick one and cancel the race tomorrow AM. NYC Marathoners, I’m warming up your last few miles for you! Enjoy some race swag while you enjoy your Saturday afternoon college football 🙂

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Money Mondays

Saving money is always a good thing, so take advantage!

  1. Rock n Roll Chicago (7/2013): $65 through 10/23/12, a $20 savings
  2. New Balance: Living Social deal $25 for $50 worth of apparel, shoes, etc.  Buy through 10/22!
  3. JDRK 5K Run to Cure Diabetes: $17 for a $35 entry. Race is Sunday, October 28 2012.
  4. Schocktoberfest Zombie Run: $39 for 1 entry, $75 for 2 entries (down from $125/$250) in Windsor, New Jersey on 11/3/2012

Explore America’s Top 10 (ish) Marathon Courses

Ever want to explore the course of a huge marathon before signing up for it?  Here’s a nifty tool posted by Ryan Hall last week.  Go check out the likes of Chicago, NYC, Seattle, Miami and The Marine Corps marathons.  It’s a cool little site by Innovation for Endurance.

  1. Chicago Marathon
  2. New York City Marathon
  3. Marine Corps Marathon
  4. Boston Marathon
  5. St. Jude’s Country Music Marathon
  6. ING Miami Marathon
  7. Chevron Huston Marathon
  8. Rock n Roll San Diego
  9. Rock n Roll Las Vegas
  10. Rock n Roll Seattle

Freaky Friday Deals

Who’s up for some early Halloween deals?!

  1. Gone For a Run: Free shipping with CHICAGO12 through 10/15/12
  2. Running DVDs [Building a Better Runner]: 20% off with STRENGTH through 10/20/12
  3. Running Warehouse: 15% off Clearance with FB15D
  4. Al’s Sports: 10% off Garmin items with GOODTIMES

Enjoy!

10 Commandments of Running

I found this on I ❤ To Run’s facebook page and thought how true it is!!  Personally, #4 is always my downfall. Enjoy!

Chicago Marathon Rewind

36 hours ago, I was just over an hour into marathon #4 that was the Chicago Marathon. Now that the dust has settled and I’ve had a chance to digest the weekend, here’s the race that was!

Friday
I left for Chicago Friday morning. This month, I could make my own schedule for work, so I decided to to take Friday off. I changed my flight and flew out Friday morning. I landed in Chicago around 10 am and headed out to the race expo at McCormick Place, luggage and all. Once you get to the expo, it’s officially race weekend! I picked up my bib (#13957), and my shirt, I checked in with ACS at the DetermiNation tent. Not hard when you have an ACS arch to look for. They were impressed I came right from the airport! I ended up staying to volunteer at packet pick up for a few hours. At 4:10, I left and was to my friend’s house. The nice thing about having friends in Chicago means I have a couch to sleep on while in town. Later that night, we headed to Lake Forest for a bonfire and some fun.

Saturday
Woke up and headed back to the expo for some retail therapy. A pair of shoes, a long sleeved shirt, a pint glass, a sweatshirt, a bibfolio to hold my bibs and a few other things. I was a happy camper. Any good runner grabs carbs for lunch, so I headed to The Italian Village. Good food right there! I stopped in Nike after lunch and met the one and only Paula Radcliffe. She was giving a talk about marathon day and what to expect. She reflected on setting the world record at Chicago 10 years ago. Shortly after, she signed my bib for me, a touch of good luck! After stopping at my friend’s apartment, I got my bib on my ACS shirt, pinned on my in memory of and in honor of ribbons. Later that night, I headed to dinner with my friend and his girlfriend. Of course, there was some OSU football watching as well (of all nights for them to have a night game). With all my stuff laid out, I hit the sack around 10pm.

Marathon Morning
Only crazy people run marathons, that’s for sure. I woke up at 4:30 am. I felt like I was on a surgery rotation! I changed into my white base running shirt with my ACS shirt on top and red capris with some black mixed in. After getting my stuff together, I grabbed my luggage and headed to a downtown hotel where family friends were staying. They were kind enough to let me leave my stuff at their place and shower there afterwards. A group of 8 ish of us headed towards Grant Park. Once we got there, the group of 7 went to the CARA meet up while I hustled around to find the ACS tent. I dropped my stuff off around 7 and used the bathroom (no lines!), grabbed an orange and dashed to the start. At 7:30 the gun went off and the Kenyans and Ethiopians took off. About 9 minutes after the gun went off, I crossed the start. It reminds me of the scene of the start of the Marathon in The Spirit of the Marathon. The temperatures were cool, perfect of running at 42*, an indication of good things to come. People were hanging over bridges cheering us on and waiting for us under underpasses. Mile 1 and all cylinders were working well. I found a good pace and went with it.

Come mile 3, I detoured for a quick bathroom break. Oh hydration. The crowds were out in full force and that is always a plus. Come mile 7, I had hit the 10K mark in just under an hour and was looking for my friend N who let me crash at his place, but we missed each other. Running through Old Town, Boystown, Lincolnwood reminds me of my undergrad days. At the halfway point, I was running about 9:57 miles and was at 2:08:12. Less then a mile later a saw my friend K’s husband. He recognized me because of my crazy pants and was impressed how well I was doing. Just after that around mile 14, I saw my boss from undergrad. A quick hug and a ‘go go go’ of encouragement and I was off again. I had been chilly the whole race and after mile 14 I threw on my arm warmers. I then hit the charity cheer section and was greeted by a group of DetermiNation cheerers who cheered loudly for me! Mile 14-16 and I was still under 3 hours. I had the Just keep running montra in my head. Through Little Italy, Chinatown, passed UIC and their marching band. The don’t stop was in full effect. 10 miles left and I was beginning to think if I could PR and by how much.

Mile 18, 19 and 20 came and went and I was in the mindset of just a 10k left. I also realized I was still under 4 hours and by a good amount. I started thinking this was going to a decent PR. However, my hip flexors, quads and feet were aching. I had to walk a few times just to work the issues out. At mile 23, I was at 4 hours and that kept me going because there was going to be a PR.

Mile 24 brought more cheers stations. I saw a DetermiNation coach and then passes Mister DetermiNation himself DPTurtle. 1.2 miles later, we hit one mile to go. The point of where you’re almost done is welcome. After the 800m sign, we turned a corner and had to deal with Mount Roosevelt. After getting through it, I ended up with a bout of dry heaves. After making the last turn, we hit the last straight away and there was the hallelujah, we’re there phase. After 4:32:53, I crossed the finish line. I PRed by TWENTY MINUTES. My goal was for 4:45 and I went well below that. My friend N called me right in the chute. After collecting my medal and some food and headed to the exit.

I headed back to the ACS tent and got a much needed massage. 2 pieces I pizza, a hot dog and cake later, I began hobbling back to the hotel for a shower. Once i got a good pace, I just went with it. A warm shower does wonders, let me tell ya! Before my weekend came to a close, I got lazy and took the bus 3 stops to Nike to get a finisher’s shirt and my medal engraved. It was a good weekend all and all with a wonderful ending and PR!

Chicago Marathon Check List

5 Days until the Chicago Marathon! Not that anyone’s counting or anything.  Or that me and 44,999 other people are in taper mode. or that some of us have already been checking Chicago weather since Sunday.  What do you need to know for this weekend?

Confirmation Packets

  1. You should have them. They were mailed out a week ago
  2. Can’t find it?  Check your email.  the Chicago Marathon sent out emails where you can pull up a mobile link that’ll scan at packet pick up.  You need the confirmation packet or the mobile link
  3. Curious to read the runner’s packet? Head over here

The Expo

  1. Takes place at McCormick Place Convention Center (North Building, Hall B1 2301 S. Martin Luther King Dr)
  2. Friday, October 5 from 9 am-8 pm and Saturday, October 6 from 9 am to 6 pm
  3. Bring your confirmation packet with you!
  4. Yes, someone can pick up your packet for you if you can’t make it to the expo. They need a note from you, you’re confirmation packet/email and they need to show their ID
  5. Free Transporation: 
    • Downtown: Hilton Chicago, 720 S. Michigan Ave. (8th St. entrance)
    • South Loop: CTA Red Line Stop serving Red, Orange and Green lines, State St. and Roosevelt Rd.
    • Magnificent Mile: Nike Chicago, 669 N. Michigan Ave. behind the store to the east on St. Clair St. at Erie St.
    • Millennium Park: Fairmont Chicago, 200 N. Columbus Dr., Columbus Dr. 1 block south of Wacker Dr.

Volunteering

  1. We love volunteers!!!  I try and volunteer at least one race a year
  2. Head over to the Volunteer webpage to sign up or to see what’s available

Fans and Spectators

  1. You are needed and loved! I’m looking forward to the DNation fan areas this year (hey, I’m partial)
  2. Yes, the Chicago Marathon has a go to guide of places to go and how to get there
  3. Print me out!

Runner Tracking

  1. We all know that parents, grandma/grandpa, husband/wife, sister/ brother, friends, aunts, uncles and your best friend’s dog will want to know how you’re doing
  2. Track up to 3 runners with runner tracking this year!
  3. Head on over here to track yourself, your mom, your friend and your friend’s dog!
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