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Monday, July 9, 2018

Mad Marathon - VT

So here I am….under 10 marathons to go and Vermont makes state number 42!! This is
marathon #3 and new state #2 for the year.

The weather wasn’t looking too well for this one as the summer weather has swept the
country. The goals were the same as it has been for years: #1. Finish the race #2.
Shoot for under 5 hours. But I’ve had a #3 for the last 2 years that I could not muster
to add to this race which was PR….NOT in the cards.

Flight out was late Friday night with a stay in Boston area then a drive on Saturday to
the race area. The drive was nothing that exciting. Drove through New Hampshire with
a couple stops along the way.
New Hampshire's View

Once I got into Vermont I headed for the Capitol for lunch. Great pub and eatery with
a wide selection of beers.
Welcome to Vermont

What a cute little building. LOL
Off to Waitsfield to pick up my bib and shirt.


The area was nice and they were in the process of setting up the finish line and having
the kids races so I snapped a few photos.

Kids Run

Finish line setup
The race had arranged for the Sugarbush Inn to be open for runners that wished to stay
just for the night in the area and I was grateful for that because most of the B&B’s in
the area required a 3 night stay. The Inn had a continental breakfast available for us at 5:30
on race day even!!! Thank you!! Additionally the Sugarbush Inn is part of the bigger
Sugarbush Resort and that allowed access to the clubhouse so that I could grab a shower
Sugarbush Resort
Morning of the race the temp was 55 (YES!!!) but the humidity was 85% (D’OH!!!). After a
small breakfast I made my way to the start line. I love the small town feel of this race and was
excited to see so many (but not too many) happy faces on race morning.

The gun went off at 7 am and it was on.

Okay -- So over the years when I pick my races I always check the course online to be sure
that there are no surprises and what I have come to realize is that the elevation charts are
ALWAYS off. Either the chart is flawed so that you don't realize just how hilly the course is or
the reverse they make it out to be so much worse than it really is. I decided to ignore their
elevation chart and go with the comments I read (rolling hills). I have to give this race credit --
their elevation chart IS NOT to be ignored, it was spot on!!
Not a misprint!!!
After the first hill at mile 1 I was already sweating my ass off with the humidity where it was.
By mile 2 I realized that goal #2 was going to be a stretch. So I just sat back and enjoyed the

This course is gorgeous and I understand now why runners have rated it the most beautiful
course….because so many of them (myself included) walk the hills and look around unlike so
many other courses where you just run and not look.
1st out and back

Cows and a view
Look at that hill!!!

Little cow said hi to the runners
Other than the mountains in the background (which made the views amazing) I felt like I was
back home as I ran past many farms with cows and cattle at every turn. Surprisingly, even
though there were lots of signs for horses I only saw a few of them….I even counted them!!!
LOL! I saw 15 horses in the 26 miles...the last one was being ridden by a woman that was
obviously training...they were both “dressed up” rider with her riding crop and all!
Enjoying the shade

Horse and a view!
“The Dip” as the locals call it was no joke...quarter mile down, very steep, with a quarter mile
up….not as steep but taller. Lets not forget Had to do “the dip” twice as it also was at mile 21!!
Thankfully the aid station coming back had ice so the water bottle got filled with ice rather than

Plenty of alone time on the course even with the marathon relay going on. Met a few nice people
out there and even got a recommendation for a Massachusetts marathon now.

By mile 13 the humidity had dropped, this is both good and bad...Good in the fact that the temps
were rising (mid 70’s) but bad in the fact that the sweat had now dried and signs of chafing had

There was a beer stop -- officially sanctioned too!!! -- around mile 23-24. Decent local beer that
I of course can not remember the name of.

The last mile is slightly uphill (of course) but it ended at “the barn.” Drank about a quart of water
and then found some of the best tasting apple cider around. YUMMY!
Headed off to the clubhouse for a nice shower before the drive back to Boston.

Would I recommend this race? Yes!! But beware of the hills and come prepared for them!
Aid Stations? Plenty of them but some needed ICE for us back of the packers
Does this deserve “Most Beautiful” course in America? Don’t know, I’ve only done 42 of them….but it is in my top 3!!
Traffic to Boston was too much -- needed a treat!!

Post run dinner!!!

Dinner with my swag

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Ocean Drive Marathon - New Jersey

At the urging of a friend who started reading my running blog recently I will attempt to put
my thoughts down on my marathons again (and try to recap the ones I have missed in
the past few years - no promises on those however!)

To start 2018 off we (the runracine crew) went back down to Disney to do the Dopey
Challenge. Since I already have Florida, the marathon didn’t count as a state but did
work well for training. I set my sights on New Jersey for a spring race. The race didn’t
look too big but would be celebrating its 20th running of the marathon so I thought that
combination alone was enough to consider it.

The combination of expensive flights and New Jersey in the spring time lead to me
traveling to this one alone. Even my friends had no interest in coming out to the Jersey
Shore in mid-April….at to be honest who could blame them. As it turns out the Jersey
Shore area reminds me a lot of Door County….meant for tourists and in the meantime
NOTHING that you might want to go too (including bakeries) are open until May when
people come to the Shore.

Lucky for me this didn’t impact me much (other than the bakery thing...ugh!) I was able to
find a brew pub that was open and a pizza joint for the night before the race. Both were
good and other than wishing for a bit of company I had no complaints. Okay thats not
completely true….what kind of pizza joint DOES NOT SERVE BEER!!!???? (or any
alcohol as it turned out)

I flew out Friday on what was supposed to be an early flight out...delays made it a midday
flight instead but I had some entertainment so I was fine and in no hurry. Once in NJ I
find that the rental car place sucked!!! Will NOT be using that one again ever!!

The 2 hour drive wasn’t that eventful….found a few radio stations and sang my heart
out while driving. Talked on the phone a bit during the drive as well - thank you Bluetooth
-- the time went by quickly and I was at the hotel. Nice little place within 2 blocks of the

I got my 2 mile run in before heading to dinner which was just a short walk from my hotel.
That night was nothing but a video chat with the family, some repeats on tv, and facebook
the entire night - lucky for me I was able to stay in contact with people back home.

Saturday - up early run and then look for bakery/coffee shop………NOTHING OPEN!!!!

Ended up at a local breakfast restaurant….good food!

Off to the ‘expo’ -- I get to the convention center and it is BUSY!! looking around I don’t
see any runners -- lots of cheerleaders?!? Walk into the convention center and was
greeted by someone asking what I was looking for…’um...the marathon expo’ ‘huh?
Marathon? This is a cheer-a-thon!’

WTF?!? No one knew about any marathon. So I walk around for a bit and I find a door to
the admin offices. I go in and then I see a handwritten sign pointing down the hall and into
a small conference room. There are 5 tables set up - number pick-up; bag pick up; a table
for registration; a table selling past marathon t-shirts; and a table with flyers for other local
races. WOW - big expo!! LMAO! So - number in hand…..back to the hotel.

NOW what?!? MASH and Rosanne repeats on TV, reading a book, calling a friend, texting
running partners, doing a little work, and looking for pizza for tonight's dinner. The day

I drove to the start area to scope out parking options for race day -- found two pizza joints,
all good. Decided to grab dinner... the first joint was more of a take out place so I headed
to the one across the street. Order my meal and then find out that they do not serve beer
(or alcohol) and that it is BYOB! Damn!! Oh well. I order a salad and pizza -- looks like I
ended up with 2 salads!! LOL

Grabbed some ice cream for desert and headed back to the hotel.

Packed everything up and got out my running gear for race day -- ALL SET!!


Most marathons have an early start -- this one was a 9:00 am start -- HUH?!? That is like
LATE! Usually I’m halfway done by then...oh well. Ate breakfast, packed the car, and drove
to the start/finish area. Was there early enough that I was close and there was a bathroom
nearby. Took a 30-40 min nap in the car before heading to the start.

Marathon and 10 miler start at the same time and follow the same course (obviously the
10 miles turn MUCH earlier than us!) which with the exception of 3 bridges is flat as a
pancake! The weather was perfect for race day; light wind (8 mph) from the north, 45
degrees, and slightly overcast to sunny.

The out (13.1 miles) was fantastic! Was feeling really good and had to hold back a few
times from just running the tires off. Hit the halfway at 2:02 and decided it was time to start
picking people off. Slowly but surely I started catching one person at a time.Tried hard not
to push the pace and with it being as flat as it was it was pretty easy to see the next target.
Things were going well. The aid stations were well manned and stocked. There weren’t
many spectators (see my comments about being a vacation community above for the
obvious reason) on the course but the houses were nice to see.

Then I hit mile 18.5 or so...a wave of heat and nausea swept over me and nearly stopped
me in my tracks. Heat stroke? Really? It wasn't that warm!?! The feeling passed within a
minute or so but it was enough to knock me off my stride. I thought about my friend about
to run her first 5k and I sucked it up and continued….I’ve been here before and will be again.

As I approached mile 20 I decided that with the course being as flat as it was I would try to
push it - hell it is only a 10k! That mile was back to what I was doing at the beginning….but
it didn't last long….Mile 23 everything fell apart. The nausea hit me again and this time it
didn't leave quickly. I reviewed everything I had done and I wouldn’t change a thing. Kept
moving forward and about a ¾ to a mile later it passed and then I could sort of jog a bit.

I kept in the front of my mind:
The fact that completing this state would mean single digits!!!
Knowing that there are people that can't do this and I can so I shouldn't whine about a little
That Dianne would be doing her first 5k next week
That my family is proud of my accomplishment
My kids LOVE the bling!

Finished the my 42nd marathon (41st state) in 4:41:45 making it my 5th fastest marathon.

Drove back to the airport after the race….and well…..did not fly back until Monday afternoon
-- but that is a whole nother story! ;)

Next up: Mad Marathon in Vermont - July 8th!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Well I actually got up this morning and went for a run!!
Luckily the little guys slept through most of the night and my wife was kind enough to get up at 3:30 and take care of everything.  When she came back to bed it was time for me to get up!
Got to Kristin’s at 4:45 and she tells me that it will just be her and I (DAMN!!! She is going to kill me!) so I tell her I need to take it easy since Lighthouse is on Saturday.
1st mile we clock at 8:50, mile 2 at 8:09, mile 3, with my walking in there, 8:58, and mile 4 at 8:05…dear God!!!
The weather was nice so there are no real complaints…I need to pick up my pace and Kristin will make sure I do.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The baby had a decent schedule last night therefore after the 1:30am feeding the wife asked if I was going running…I told her probably.  Reset my alarm to wake me up but as it happened the baby woke up right at the same time.  My wife is great she took the baby and said "have a good run".
I got to Kristin's house and as I was driving up I saw that she was already out running.  Oh no…looks like it is going to be just me and her and I have not been putting in the runs that she has…this is going to hurt.
I got out of the car just as it starts to rain.  The temp is perfect, around 55* and there is very little wind.
We took off heading toward "Bill's Hill" a simple 4 mile out and back.  Kristin set the pace…mile1 @ 8:45ish…mile 2 @ 8:30ish.  I got to walk at the turn around…THANK GOD!!!
As we started back the rain was coming down a little harder.  Mile 3 was a little lighter or at least it felt that way after the walk, but by 3.5 miles Kristin had and idea.  "No walking for the remainder of the run…we will do fartleks between poles…and you can call them".  What was I to say?  I'm the one that pushed them to do the hill workouts and interval training, I agreed.
We pushed it quite a bit until the end…mile 4 was in the bag @8:10.
Finished the run and felt good…but I'm sure I'll pay for it later.  4.16 miles in 36+ minutes.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


I know that I have not been doing the best to keep up with this so I’ll try to do this again and see how far I can get.
Today I did not get up when I was supposed to…thankfully my wife realized I had not left and said “I guess you’re not running today.” 
To which I replied “why?”
“Because it is 4:45.”
That began the frantic dressing ritual that I rarely do anymore!
Got to Melissa’s house (rather than Kristin’s – since I was that late) and everyone was still there!  YEA!!
Ran 4.4 miles at a 9:26 pace…wind out of the north and a little humid but not too bad.
Still walking too much so I’ll really have to work on slowing the pace down and maintaining an even pace so that I can run the entire distance.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Should have looked at the weather before heading out this morning. I always tease Kristin about looking at last night's weather and it burned me this time.

The temp was about 20*F with a light 5 mph wind…I dressed for sub zero wind-chill and paid for it.

Nice "loop" (or square if you prefer) 4.1 miles at a 9:07 pace.

Off to work!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Well I doubt that I will get in the allotted 20 miles in today…I just have not felt it. My wife joked about going into this marathon without running a 20 miler and that just might be the case!!

The temps were -7 with the windchill (a solid 10-15 mph NW wind) but I still made it to the location on time…holy crap there are a lot of people here for 6 am!!! There were 7 of us to start off with and more came once we had left.

Simple out and back to the south…which meant that the run back to the car was horrible!! Got in 5.5 miles before we met up with the rest of today's runners.

7am we headed out again this time down the frontage road…over to Stuart and up to Old Spring Road. Normally we would turn back here but we were all interested in extra mileage today so we headed down to the Oakes trails. I did a complete loop before heading back.

All in all I got in 12.51 miles and did it in under 2 hours…looks like my 13.1 mile goal of sub 2:05 is well within reach!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Really did not want to get out of bed...does that really surprise anyone?
When I looked outside and saw the dusting of snow I thought that it might not be too bad a day. The temp was about 24 degrees with a wind chill of about 13. A firm 5 mph wind from the south. We got out there and got 4.1 miles in at about a 9:27 pace.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

When the alarm went off this morning I thought about not getting out of bed…that will never happen.  I got up and got ready.  I was curious so I turned on the TV to check the weather…not to bad this morning: 8 mph NNW wind, 19 degrees, wind chill of 8.  All in all a decent morning for a run.  Got to Kristin’s and we headed out only to turn around a block later to pick up Jodie.  Now that we are all together (wife is at home in bed…bad calf cramp in the middle of the night) we head out on a nice run.  The first mile was a nice 8:53 pace…a little too fast for me first thing in the morning but I am running with the girls.  Mile 2 there was little let up on the pace…my only saving grace was that at 2 miles Kristin said she needed to catch her breath so I recommended that we walk a little bit.  Once we turned around we got right back on pace but with the walking the 3 mile pace was 10:33.  Jodie and I teased Kristin about her pace…”I’m so tired”…but then she is 20 feet out front pushing the pace.  We started out the fourth mile at an 8:45 pace and it only got faster from there.  We ended mile 4 at an 8:18 pace!!  Total for the day was 4.17 miles at a 9:05 pace.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Well the usual Saturday morning run…met a few people early and got just under 3 in before the remaining group got there at 7. The weather was COLD!!! A good 5-10 mph wind out of the NWN kept things interesting on the Towers run. Ran a total of 8.7 miles at a 9:05 pace. Coffee and fun at Dunn Brothers afterward.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Friday, January 1, 2010

Okay this wasn't a new year's resolution but I've decided that I have got to get better at updating this site…so you can expect to see 2 new race reposts (marathons only…I'll let the turkey trot fall by the wayside this time) from last year and all of my running!!
Today being the first day of the new year we decided that the running group had to get a few miles in to start the new year out on the right foot. The temps were low (single digits!) but we got out there and did it anyway. 4 miles at a brisk 9:03 pace!!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Felt horrible yesterday…the pain of the trainer was nearly too much to handle so I ended up not running.
This morning I really didn't want to get out of bed but I managed to pull myself up even when my wife said she needed more sleep and was not going to run this morning.
Got to Kristin's house to find out that Melissa wasn't joining us either so it was just the two of us…that spells trouble for me since she is a faster runner.  She asked how far I wanted to go and I told here 5-6 so we opted to do our "regular run" - Newman to 3 mile to Emertsen - but in stead of turning on Sandy we turned on Potomac and made our way over to Newman for the run back.
Only a short walk at the 5k point…Kristin kept me moving and talking.  I'm grateful to her for slowing down a bit and running with me since it is always nice to catch up on the run.  We ended the day with 5 miles exactly at about a 9:09 pace.
The nearly full moon was in the sky, temp was around 55-60, virtually no wind, and very low humidity…what a beautiful day for a run!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Well the girls got me up to run again.  After 4 weeks away I knew I was going to hate today.
It was a struggle to be up and running but I did it.  Was able to stay ahead of my wife (which is odd) and ahead of the pain from the trainer the night before.
Got in 5.25 miles at about a 9:35 pace.  It was HUMID!!! But otherwise nice out, clear skies and a light breeze.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thursday, June 18, 2009

If I keep my head into my running the way I envision it I’ll have a good day. Get outside and boy is it humid. We run from Kristin’s to Melissa’s and the decision is made that we are going to run through Johnson’s today (which means some hills). I quickly fall behind the girls but they are faster so I let them go. I’m doing relatively well at focusing on a nice even pace.

We get out of the park and my wife decides that with the race only days away and the IT band still not 100% she is going to head back and see us there.

I keep moving following the other two girls but I’m still losing ground. I walk for a small portion of Sandy Lane only to catch my breath…that hill gets me every time! I power on and see that the girls have turned into the neighborhood at about 4.4 miles…I’d like to get in 5 so as I approach the turn I do not see them (they were about 2-3 blocks ahead of me!) but I decide that I’ll get the 5 in and that they will most likely try to find me at the ‘normal’ meeting spot. I get there and no one is there…maybe they are gabbing. I get back to the car and no one is there…they must be looking for me. I see Kristin and my wife making their way back to the house and they inform me that Melissa headed back down the route to see if I was alright!

I feel bad that Melissa ran the extra mileage, I feel insulted that they thought I’d be THAT FAR behind them, and I feel good knowing that I have a group of running companions that care that much for me. Melissa declined a ride home and she estimates she ended her day with 7-7.5 miles.

For me I ended the day with 5.25 miles in about a 9:15 pace. The day was 64 degrees, light NE wind (5 mph), and overcast.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

With the wife’s IT band acting up I had told her that she wasn’t to run today so she opted to stay in bed when I got up this morning – I thought that Kristin was going to have her ride a bike but maybe I was mistaken. :\

So I met Kristin and find out that Melissa isn’t going to make it either so Kristin and I set out…I had a rough mile and a half. I could not breathe and my legs were burning! Kristin was trying to keep her normal pace and I was trying to hang in there for a while. After a short time I bailed on her and let her go ahead. She did it twice…both times coming back to get me. We finished up the run with 4.25 miles for me in about 41 min. It was 58, no wind, and slightly overcast.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Monday, June 15, 2009

No running today, just the personal trainer. She did a great job moving us through a number of upper body exercises that just kicked my ass! 60 min workout with a warm up and cool down.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sunday, June 14, 2009

I still do not know why I mentioned that I want to do intervals to Kristin, Melissa, and Jodie. I now have to do it!!

So here is what we did…1 mile warm up (9:22 pace)…4 x 1/2 mile speed work with ¼ mile rests (pace 7:46, 7:41, 7:41, 7:19)…1 mile cool down (9:23 pace)

Total mileage for the day 5 miles at 9:17 pace.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The mileage for the say is 15. It is rainy, humid, and about 51 degrees at 5 AM when I meet Kristin and Rick. We start out at a decent 9:08 pace and I was able to maintain it for about 2 miles. At this point my legs felt like they were getting shorter! So I stretched and tried to catch up. I met up with them again at Kristin’s house (4.5 miles in) and then we headed back out, the long way, to meet the rest of the group. I had 10.5 miles in once I got to the group. My wife and I headed for Case’s track to put in a few laps (in honor of those we know with cancer and to remember the founding of our running group 7 years ago) but I realize shortly after getting there that I need a bathroom break. Once relieved I finish my laps and head back to the trail. A lot more walking that I should…just a bad day! 15 miles at a 10:39 pace

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday, June 12, 2009

So if you’ve looked at the schedule to the right of these posts you probably noted that it is different than what I have been doing for the past 4 years. The NY Marathon site offered a number of training programs and seeing that this one had a few more 20 milers and a 22 I thought this would be a much better program to follow.

All that being said I have been short of my weekly mileage for the past 2 weeks and it looks like this week I will be to but I didn’t want to be 6-8 miles short just 1-2. So when my wife got up to exercise I decided that it would be best if I got out and did a few miles.

Simple out and back for a total of 4 miles at about a 9:20 pace. Sunny and cool (48) hint of a breeze 3 mph NE

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Really did not want to be up this morning. What was just as bad was that my wife didn’t either! But we were good got out of bed and drove over to Kristin’s. Found out that Jodie wasn’t going to be there so we went straight away to Melissa’s. My wife has been complaining about a bad knee so has been resting it but Kristin convinced her (very easily I might add) to run to Melissa’s. Now I always end up behind them so this was no surprise what was interesting was that they were losing me and I was at an 8:45-8:50 pace!! I thought she was having knee issues. ;^)

Once at Melissa’s we got caught up on the daily events in our lives and ended up walking a bit farther than normal before we set out running. I started my watch toward the end of the walk just to record the mileage but even that is off by about ¼.

My pace was strong for a morning I didn’t want to be out here: 9:20. When I got near Kristin’s I realized that I would be short so a little out and back and I ended the day with just over 4.5 miles. Factoring in the walking I was about at a 10 min pace…ignoring it closer to 9:15. Overcast cool (52) slight wind out of the NE 8-10 mph

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I think that I overdid dinner last night.  I was up at 3 am not feeling well.  Sweating, nauseous, and cramping…not the thing you want to wake up to. 

Up at 4:15 got ready but still was not feeling well.  The wife and I met Kristin and Jodie.  Steph and Jodie walked…Steph is nursing a knee injury so she walked with Jodie.

I started out okay and it got worse.  The grocery store was not open so I had to hold it a while longer.  There was some pressure that after a short time passed and I was able to run again.  Even with all of that I finished the 4.1 miles in 44 min…not great but could have been much worse.  Beautiful morning…overcast, 58, with a light East wind.