Black Friday Deals

Happy Black Friday and early cyber Monday! Hurry and enjoy:

1. Omega Sports 20% off with coupon or until 1 pm 11/23/12

2. Philadelphia Marathon Endurafit free shipping with PMBF-FREIGHT 11/23/12 ONLY

3. National Running Center: 15% already reduced prices

4. Running Warehouse Women’s and Running Warehouse Men’s Black Friday deals (more deals after midnight and on cyber Monday)

5. Gone For A Run: 20% off and a free Gone Running Magnet through 11/26/12 with BF20

6. Mizuno: Free shipping with ATHLETE

7.Caeser Rodney 1/2 Marathon: $45 for registration with BF2012; race is 3/17/13 in Wilmington DE

Occupying Asherton Drive while Running for Seconds

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Here in Charlotte, we’re enjoying ourselves Occupying Asherton Dr (my uncle’s neighborhood). Last night, we spent some time setting up some decorations:


To boot, we had race shirts that a good 20 of us wore this morning to the Charlotte Turkey Trot 8K/5K!


The good thing about having the race close, is we could leave at 8:33 and park by 8:42. The race started at 9 sharp and off we went. The first mile was congested like always, but I did a 9 min mile. The race was a lot of neighborhoods, especially miles 2-5. We had some downhill through ,Ike 2, but heading through mile 3, I felt kind of crappy. Reason? I don’t have a good one. After passing through mile 4, I realized on of the hills had been taken off course (score!! I’m all for removal of hills from races.). We hit some of town after passing mile 4 and started heading toward the finish. We hit some more neighborhood and got rid of the hill at the very end (even better!!!). We came around a corner and the finish magically appeared. I was expecting a crappy time, but the clock time was 46:34. Chip time? 46:11! A good 90 seconds better then last year. A good way to start the day before enjoying some friends, family and good food!!

Black Tuesday Deals!

Why wait until Friday for some savings when you can start now!

1. City Sports: 20% off 1 non sale item if you’re a City Sports insider (10% to nonmembers) with RUNPHILLY through 12/18/12
2. Sparkly Soul: 15% off your order with PHILLY through 11/27/12
3. Nike: an additional 25% off clearance items with BLUERIBBON starting on 11/22/12
4. Brightroom: 25% off through 11/28/12 with CYBERSALE2012
5. Gone For A Run: free shipping with PHILLY12

I’ll add to this list as more come in!

Philadelphia 1/2 Marathon

You know it’s Thanksgiving Week when The Philadelphia Marathon and 1/2 Marathon is run. Normally, this would be prefaced by the OSU-M*ch*g*n game, but that unfortunately was changed.  Anyways, we’ll do this race review bullet style!

  1. Saturday: headed to the expo on 2.5 hrs of sleep to pick up my bib.  I had to work call on my rotation so I was up from 5:30 AM Friday AM to about 9 AM Saturday AM with about a 30 min nap while at work and 2 hrs of sleep before driving back to Philly.  After picking up my bib and some retail therapy, I stayed and volunteered for a bit (mainly for the free long sleeved shirt, but also because I think runners should volunteer at races every once and awhile.  I ended up with a 930 PM bedtime and missing Standford upsetting Oregon in college football (of all weeks, right?).
  2. Sunday Pre Race: wake up at 5:30/ 5:45 AM.  You would think that would be enough time to get ready since my race stuff was out and just had to be put on, hair pulled back and teeth brushed.  But when you don’t leave until 6:15 for a 7 AM major race with 35,000 people, you forget about parking and road closures.  Slow downs on 76 before I got off at 30th St Station slowed my down.  I parked in a lot by 30th street station at 6:39 AM and hustled to the start.  Hustled as getting to the Ben Franklin Parkway as the National Anthem was being sung and in my corral as the wheelchair athletes pushed off.
  3. The Race up to 10K: You know the saying that you should get a good night sleep 2 nights before a race because you don’t sleep well the night before?  Keep that in mind.  Less then a mile in, I saw some guy wearing a tutu.  I guess it’s not just the ladies who like to wear these things.  The first 4 miles I felt like were really congested.  In Philly, we have the narrow historical streets which seemed more of an issue this year (why, I don’t know).  My mile 2 pace was something around 11 minutes (thanks congestion).  After mile 4, one of my favorite sites was some Philly guys who had a sign hung that said “You say ‘Philly’, we drink” so we had a few people shout Philly and these guys yelled back and drank (why aren’t there more drinking games like this during a marathon?).  At some point, I also saw a volunteering penguin.  Once we hit Chestnut street, the road started to widened and us runners spread out.  After mile 5, my foot hit a pot hole and i gracefully prevented myself from falling on my face and breaking my nose. I hit the 10K mark at 1:00:06 (I run a slower 10K when I have longer races)
  4. The race: 10K onward.  I love the Philly Marathon because it’s (mostly) flat.  I made it through mile 7/7.5 with no problems really but then we started having the 1-2 hills of the course.  Perfect timing for me to start to fade because of not enough sleep.  We hit Drexel and the lives college students have today.  standing outside cheering runners with alcohol, in sweats and banging on pots and pans.  Hill #2 came around mile 10. Yeah, I was beginning to crap out as I put it later.  We ended up on MLK Drive and you pretty much know you have a little over 2 miles left.  And a dancing unicorn before mile 11.  I had one of those just keep running and don’t care about time mantra.  We split from the Marathoners the last 1/4 of a mile or so and turned towards the finish.  I got a shout out from Bart Yasso (also fun) and was just glad to be done
  5. The time: 2:11:41. I’ll just have to be ok with it

As always, love the Philly 1/2 Marathon and Marathon.  Maybe one of these years I’ll actually do the full…

Philadelphia Zoo Triple Threat 5 Miler

Sitting and doing nothing this weekend, I decided I needed to do something.  With the Philadelphia Half Marathon coming up in a few weeks, I wanted a race to do to keep me in some sort of groove.  Last night, I found the Philadelphia Zoo Triple Threat 5 Miler.  Besides, nothing beats finding a race that starts at 8:30 and we get an extra hour of sleep to boot thanks to Daylight Savings!  Oh, and registration included zoo admission and part of the proceeds benefited Bringing Hope Home, an organization that financially helps pay bills, etc for cancer patients who are struggling to make ends meat.

I woke up around 7:15 and my covers were trying to convince me to stay in bed (yes, one of those type of chilly days).  The zoo is maybe 10 minutes from me so even though I left at 7:40, I was there, parked and walking in by 8.  Gotta love race day registration (though $40 seems a little much for a 5 mile race).  Part of the price included admission to the zoo after the race.  An interesting part of this sucker is that there was a 3 person relay option (essentially, each person ran 1.67 miles).  Timing chips were pre D tag (you know, the ones you tie into your shoe laces) and it was a bibless race!  After a quick sprint back to my car to drop off my shirt, we headed into the zoo where we learned that we had 6 laps around one of the paths in the zoo. Great. Wonderful. Thank goodness for music.

I would say there was maybe 50 (ish) runners total so pretty low key, which is nice every once in awhile.  The start of the race entailed one of the workers from the Chester County Running Company saying “Ready, Go” over a bull horn (hey, it works).  Off we went, around some monkeys, a pond, some shut down exhibits.  I think there were some birds and some sort of reindeer looking things.  I was doing OK, but I think the 6 lap thing wore out it’s welcome.  That and you were keeping track of your own laps.  I became really familiar with some Dr. Seuss and The Lorax signs and the beeping of the mat as your timing chip crossed over it.

By the time I crossed the finish, the time read 52:10.  Either I ran horribly or the course was long.  Something didn’t reel right about it though.  It was me or them, I’m not really sure!!  Sigh. I wish I had a better reason, but I got nothing.  It was a good last minute race and hey, if you stuck around you could see whatever you wanted in the zoo.  I, however, was cold and had another 2-3 miles I wanted to get in at the gym in front of some SportsCenter.

No NYC Marathon? Here’s to Rebuilding and Volunteering

48 hrs before the NYC Marathon was set to kick off in Staten Island and travel through the 5 boroughs of New York City, the mayor’s office and NYRR announced that it was officially canceled.  Earlier this week, the Marathon was still set to take place, but a firestorm of opinion flooded in through social media against the idea.  As a runner, I see both sides.  You don’t want your training, travel plans, money, etc to go to waste.  On the other hand, boroughs are still recovering from massive destruction from Hurricane Sandy/ Frankenstorm, the NYC subway is shut down, the Staten Island Ferry isn’t working, power is out, restaurants are shut down and NYC is trying to recover from mother nature.  Was it the right decision not to have the marathon? Yes.  Was it handled the right way?  Absolutely NOT (this is a PR nightmare for quite a few people, but I’m not going there).  So what to do now?

Runners are known to be some of the nicest people you’ll meet (so for everyone holding massive grudges against us right now for wanting to run our race, hear me out).  If you’re were suppose to run in NYC or are in NYC and looking to stay the weekend to help out, here are a few places to search to see where you’re needed

  1. Donating hotel rooms: if you’re no longer traveling to NYC, but still have your hotel room, consider donating it to someone who needs a place to stay because power is out, water is off and what not.  Head to Races2Recover to learn more.  Also, if you’re a New Yorker looking for a place to stay, head over to their website to get some help
  2. On Twitter, follow Lea Ann Kish.  Runners are meeting up Sunday, November 3 at 830 AM to donate food, water, etc to those on Staten Island needing help (Meet up at the Staten Island Ferry)
  3. Looking to volunteer? The New York Observer has a continuously updated page of places looking for volunteers or how to go about it.  Head over here to see how to help.  Everything from donating blood to
  4. Volunteers can also visit the UJA Federation of New York for places looking for volunteers
  5. In Staten Island?  Head over to Staten Island Recovers to see what they need
  6. Buzzfeed has an ongoing list of different places that need help, people to take food and water up flights of stairs, etc

Were you running and don’t want you’re training to go down the drain?  Check out some other options:

  1. Raleigh (NC) City of Oaks Marathon (November 4, 2012): if you’re in NC and didn’t travel to New York, a good option to look at!
  2. Richmond Marathon (November 20, 2012): there’s limited spaces left in the marathon, so be sure to jump on it!
  3. Rock n Roll Competitor Series: offering 20% off with BIGAPPLE code for Rock n Roll San Antonio (11/11/2012) and the Las Vegas Strip at Night (12/2/12).  20% of proceeds will go to Hurricane Sandy Relief
  4. The Fort Worth Marathon (11/11/12): option for all you Texans out there!!
  5. Looking for other races in your area? Head over to Marathon Guide for some help!

If you’re in NYC, hopefully this list will help you out if you’re looking for where to volunteer at.  Here’s to something positive coming out of this weekend!

NYC Marathon or Not to NYC Marathon

This time last year, I was prepping to run the NYC Marathon.  To say that I had a blast NYC Marathon weekend is an understatement to say the least.  Fast forward 51 weeks and the East Coast is dealing with Frankenstorm and Hurricane Sandy.  Massive storms and flooding showed themselves leaving NYC and New Jersey hit the hardest Sunday and Monday.  Lower Manhattan saw flooding, Staten Island was hit ridiculously hard and the NYC Subway was shut down.  All during marathon prep week.

After the weather was done showing itself, people were left wondering this: would the NYC Marathon be moved or canceled all together?  There are things that happen on certain weekends every year (the Chicago Marathon Columbus Day weekend, the OSU Michigan football game the weekend after Thanksgiving, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, etc)- can you really not have them at all?  People were left wondering a few things:

  1. Why have a marathon and pull first responders from those truly needing help recovering from Frankenstorm?
  2. How will people even get to NYC with the amount of canceled flights from LaGuardia, Newark and JFK and route restrictions on Amtrak and the massive traffic mess with the NYC tunnels?
  3. With the amount of food, water and gatorade used, why not give it to people who are with out power and thus have no water to use?
  4. Why shut down streets when there’s already difficulty getting around and when power, etc is trying to be restored?

As a runner I can see both sides of wanting the marathon to happen and the calls to have it canceled.  After 9/11 for example, there were major sporting events and community events that went on that pulled communities together and helped with the healing process.  The NYC Marathon could bring people together to help deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.  On the other hand, there’s the issue of having 45000-50000 people taking over a city, shutting down streets and drawing manpower away from cleaning up the city.  You also have sponsors donating food and water to a race in a major city, yet people in other boroughs a few miles away have nothing.

Us runners are crazy, and yes, races are expensive.  People take time off work, pay for flights, hotel rooms, food and race fees ($250 ish for the NYC Marathon alone) and to have a major event caused by mother nature threaten something you’ve trained for 4 months for is mind boggling.  However, how do you ignore the fact that you’re running a race where people were swept away, homes came off their foundations and heat, water and power may be out for over two weeks?  NYRR has donated $1,000,000 to recover efforts, canceled their opening ceremonies and the NYRR Dash to the Finish 5K on Saturday.  They’ve also offered runners the chance to defer until next year through Saturday night and extended expo hours so people can still get in to pick up their bibs.  Mayor Bloomberg has given the OK for the Marathon to go on and NYRR has been hard at work to make it happen.  On social media, there’s a debate almost as hot as politics brewing about whether to have the marathon at all or if NYRR should cancel it.  With that said, what’s your thoughts?  Should the Marathon go on or be canceled this year?