Looking ahead to the Syracuse Half Marathon

Whew! Happy Friday! Between a hectic schedule and trying to prep for another race weekend away, this week has gone by quick. Travis has been doing local travel for work nearly every day this week and we’ve also had two registration nights for baseball. We’re coaching mini tee ball again this year and Travis was also asked to be the commissioner for the league. He’s going to be traveling for a month at the end of April so I’ll be taking half of the season as coach and he’ll take the other half.

 

We’ve also kicked into high gear in terms of preparation for our annual Piece By Piece 5K. We finalized the medal design early this week and couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. We’ve also secured some great sponsors confirmed. It’s shaping up to be another great race! If you’re not local to us and would like to participate, there’s a virtual option available. As always, all proceeds from the race will be donated to Team Up! with Autism Speaks. You can click HERE for our race website!

We’re headed out first thing tomorrow morning for Syracuse. First stop will be at Fleet Feet Sports for bib pick up and their #bantheblizzard party. We’ll grab an early dinner and then we’ve got evening tickets for the traveling production of Wicked. I”m beyond excited about this! I’ve been dying to see it on Broadway, but every time we’re in the city we’ve typically got the kids with us so it hasn’t been a possibility. They’re doing a 10 day run in Syracuse that matched up perfectly with the race weekend so we jumped at the chance to see the show.

In terms of the race, in true North Country fashion the weather is looking pretty miserable. Thankfully, unlike last year we’re not looking at blizzard conditions…but temps in the 40’s and a 70 percent chance of rain. I’ve never run more than a few miles in the rain, so I’ll take any tips you have! I’m planning on bringing several options just in case the weather decides to change

On Wednesday evening, the Syracuse Half announced that starting this year they would now be a fall race. This means that there will be two 2017 races. The one this weekend, and one in November. We’re considering signing up for the fall race as well! Bad weather seems to be a given with this race, so we’ll see what the date change will bring!

We’ll be posting on Instagram/Twitter all weekend, so you can follow along if you’d like! Have a great weekend!

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United Airlines NYC Half Marathon ’17

Welcome to spring!

We hope everyone really enjoyed their weekend. This past weekend saw me travel to New York City for the United Airlines NYC Half Marathon while Jen stayed home with the kids.

After 10 straight days of work, I was ready to get on the road Thursday afternoon after working all night. The trip down took longer than it should have following Winter Storm Stella as many areas were still clearing roads properly. After arriving I went out for a late dinner with my friend and enjoyed some of the First Round of March Madness.

On Friday, we decided to take our time in the morning and ran a few errands before boarding the commuter train into the city. Once we arrived we headed straight to the NYRR Run Hub to pick up my race bib. Unlike the TCS NYC Marathon, this was quite a subdued affair with very little to do, see, or spend money on. There was a race gear section, a few photo opportunities along with guest speakers – that was it.

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Sporting my TCS Marathon shirt — classy!!

We spent the rest of St. Patrick’s Day doing our best to avoid the crowds of inebriated individuals with little success. We hunkered down and played some old school video games, like NBA Jam and Ninja Turtles while catching more March Madness along the way.

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Saturday was a relaxed day, with more arcade games at Dave and Buster’s and a nice home cooked meal. I was worried about the weather on Saturday as they were calling for 2-4 inches of snow in the afternoon through race morning. Luckily, that did not materialize although is did snow lightly.

The biggest difference between this event and the two NYC marathons I’ve run was transportation. Due to a lack of buses or trains and the early race start, my friend was forced to drive me into the city from New Jersey. Thankfully, traffic was minimal and hassle-free.

Once I arrived, I proceeded to get myself ready for the race, check my bag, use the restroom and proceed to my corral. Along the way, I picked up someone’s discarded heat sheet thinking I would be nice and place it in the trash or recycling. I quickly learned my good deed would help keep me warm in the cool weather and 18 mph winds.Their loss, my gain!

Although cold and windy, the morning view from Central Park was stunning. The heat sheet only protected me from the elements for so long and by the time the national anthem was over, I was shivering. When the gun sounded and I started running, it took three miles before I could feel my feet.

The first 10k of the race is almost entirely in Central Park, except a small section along the north end of the park, and is quite hilly. I knew this prior to the race but was somehow still surprised by these hills. As always, I ran to fast at the beginning. I really should learn from my mistakes once in a while! Truth be told I was hoping to just find a pace and maintain it, but that didn’t work. I was all over the p(l)ace!

The course through the park and on the streets of New York was beautiful. There are only two times the whole year the city shuts down Times Square – New Years Eve and this race – so it’s an awesome perspective to be in such a busy city and have the streets all to yourself (with 20,000 other runners of course). As the race unfolded, we moved west on 42nd Ave and then south on 11th Ave. As we approached the southern tip of Manhattan, I looked out over the river and could see the Statue of Liberty. With Lady Liberty standing tall in the harbor, we concluded the event by running through the Battery Park Tunnel and finishing at the intersection of Water and Wall streets in the Financial District.

Although the race didn’t go my way, New York Road Runners put on an excellent event. I hope to one day be able to have redemption at this event, but only time will tell if my lottery luck will continue!

I hope you enjoyed and we both are looking forward to the Syracuse Half Marathon this weekend. Stay tuned here for all the happenings.

Picking Up Where I Left Off…in NYC

It’s been over four months but its nice to be able to say the words, it’s race week! My first event of 2017 takes me back to the big apple to participate in the United Airlines NYC Half Marathon for the first time.

After wrapping up my 2016 season at the NYC Marathon in early November, I took the remainder of the year off and began training for this event in early January. Sadly, training has not been very successful and has been riddled with missed workouts, poor performances and nagging injuries.

I reached out to my wife’s running coach, Denny Krahe,  to gain some insight into my struggle these past 3 months. The short answer he concluded was a lack of rest – primarily regular sleep. I have been working an overnight work schedule and getting a solid block of sleep where I wake up feeling refreshed has been nearly impossible. Unfortunately, since I can’t change whats happened, I am forced to adjust my goals for my two races this month.

Despite my setbacks, I’m excited to head back to New York City and experience the city in a whole new way. I’ll be making the trip without Jen or kids this time and staying with a friend a little outside of the city. The morning of the race is full of logistical nightmares since it’s a weekend, trains and buses into the city do not run their normal schedules and it looks like we are going to be forced to drive into the city. Heaven help us!

Stay tuned here for recap of my adventure and be sure to check out our Twitter and Instagram this weekend.

Friday Five 2.0 3/3 – Running Hacks

We turned a page in the calendar and suddenly its race month. We both have races this month with Travis first up on March 19th in New York City at the United Airlines Half Marathon and then we both run the Syracuse Half Marathon on March 26th. We’re looking forward to our races and publishing our first recaps of 2017!

But first, we’re talking Running Hacks on today’s Friday Five 2.0 hosted by Fairytales and Fitness and Running On Happy.

Track your shoe miles – You can do this as simply as writing the date of the first run in the shoes on the insole of the shoe. Other ways include using Garmin Connect, or using a device that clips right onto the shoe to track the miles on them.

Pick up last seasons model- Training for races can burn through running shoes quickly. To save money we tend to stick with the last season model of the shoes we wear. Right before the new model of the shoe comes out the last model will get heavily discounted. Sure, the color options might be a bit limited, but that’s definitely not a deal breaker. We always seem to get an e-mail from Road Runner Sports letting us know that a new model is coming and we can stock up while the sale is going on!

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Deodorant is multi purpose!- In a pinch, deodorant makes a perfectly fine stand in for Body Glide! You can also use Vaseline or Aquaphor but deodorant is less messy!

Switch up lacing to fix shoe problems: This information was just given to me a couple weeks back. No matter how loose I’ve been tying my shoes they still felt tight on the tops of my feet. Another member of the Coterie suggested lacing my shoes differently. It was an instant fix! Here’s the full article with all of the info: https://katierunsthis.wordpress.com/2011/10/04/running-shoe-lacing-techniques/

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It’s interesting to learn new tricks that can either save money, or make running easier and/or more comfortable! Tell us: Whats your favorite running hack?

 

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Friday Five 2.0 2/24 – Runfessions

Happy Friday everyone!

It’s been about a month since we have joined in on a Friday Five and we are excited to be back with you today. We’re linking with Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five 2.0. This week’s Friday Five is all about Runfessions! . Here are our five confessions – running style!

I’m in a slump – big time!!! — I’ve had a hard time returning to a fitness/running/exercise routine following our vacation last month. Runs have been difficult, filled with problems, lacked energy and downright painful. I was able to demonstrate this visually yesterday with a photo comparison of his heart rates on two different runs – one good, the other bad. We hope to be rid of this problem soon. Jen had some difficulty getting back into the swing of things after two weeks of traveling as well.

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The top is a normal heart rate chart on a previous 14-mile run. The bottom is how my runs have looked lately, including last nights 10-miler. Rough!

We’re brand snobs — We’re not trying to sound snobby but the truth is, the brands you wear matter. Personal preference has a lot to do with these choices but for Travis, its ASICS shoes and Thorlo socks on his feet, SLS3 compression sleeves, and a good mixture of Holloway, SLS3, Under Armour and Holloway for shorts and tops. He also uses NUUN to stay hydrated. These may not be your brands of choice, but for him, they work well and keep him running long miles (mostly) injury free.

Only one of us has a coach — Jen is the only one of us that has a coach. Jen uses Denny Krahe as her coach and has been with him for about 14 months now. It helps her stay accountable, gain focus and make sure she is progressing safely. Travis on the other hand designs his own training plans and workouts. Although he is still short of his next marathon goal by 12 seconds, he has successfully shaved over 20 minutes off of his marathon time in the last two seasons doing it his way. He says if he gets stuck, he’ll get a coach.

Zumba is back — Jen is back to enjoying Zumba classes after a 5 year absence. She says its been a nice change from her normal routine and looks forward to the classes every week.

Weather worries — Not going to lie, after the last few years of running the Syracuse Half Marathon in less than ideal weather  we’re a little nervous to see what mother nature is going to throw at us for 2017. 2016 brought an epic blizzard with terrible conditions and the year before was cold and snowy. We’ve been having a little bit of a warm up in Northern New York, but we know that doesn’t mean anything and winter most likely isn’t quite done with us yet. Here’s to hoping that the race Gods are kind to us this year… is 60 degrees and partly cloudy too much to ask for?

We’re holding out hope that March is much less eventful, even though we know that won’t be the case! Only 4 weeks til race weekend!

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Weekly Wrap 1/23-1/29: Vacation Edition

We were going to start the post by saying “Happy Monday” but let’s be honest, Mondays following vacation are probably the worst. Today we snapped back to reality after having a week sans kids in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

We left for Punta Cana on Saturday the 21st and arrived after one scary “blind” landing and a three hour delay while our second plane was fixed before traveling across the ocean. When we arrived, we were greeted by our friends, quickly got into our villa and began enjoying the vacation. Our wrap is going to be a little different this week, featuring mostly photo galleries and maybe a few short words. Hope you enjoy, because I know we did!

Sunday: We spent Sunday getting a lay of the resort and enjoying the beautiful weather on the beach.

Monday: We enjoyed our morning at the resort before taking our first excursion Zip-Lining above the forests.

Tuesday: More relaxing! Our friends had booked an extra excursion so we enjoyed our day at the swim up bar!

Wednesday: Guess what? We did more relaxing.  We also enjoyed our first formal dinner.

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Thursday: We spent our entire day traveling to/from and visiting Catalina Island where we got to snorkel, enjoy a massage on the beach as well as an awesome BBQ right on the sand!

Friday: Our last full day was spent doing nothing. We arrived at the beach in the morning and stayed till 5 p.m. Each one of us enjoyed naps and getting some serious pages read in our books of choice.

Saturday: We were leaving at noon, but it gave us plenty of time to enjoy the ocean, pool, and alcoholic beverages one last time.

This vacation was just what we needed to recharge. We loved not having a schedule to follow for the week and being able to do whatever we wanted. We definitely missed the kiddos though, and were happy to see them when we got home very early Sunday morning. Now, back to reality!

We’re linking up with HoHo Runs and Misssippipiddlin for the Weekly Wrap

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