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!

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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Three Keys To Any Training Plan

We’ve got a guest post today from my running coach Denny Krahe. Denny  is a Certified Athletic Trainer and Running Coach specializing in helping runners prevent common running injuries and experiencing the joy of running pain free. He also hosts  “Diz Runs Radio”

Denny Krahe Headshot

Officially getting into the workouts on your training plan for your next race is an exciting time.

You’re no longer running just to run, you’re running in the pursuit of a goal that is 16ish weeks away.

Whether you have downloaded a training plan online, are putting one together on your own, and have purchased a training plan from a good coach you now have a plan to help you get from where you are currently to where you want to be on race day.

So all you need to do is follow the training plan, right?

Not exactly…

3 Keys to a Successful Training Cycle

Honestly, is there anything in life that ends up being as simple as it sounds on paper?

I didn’t think so.

Here are 3 keys that I stress with all of the runners that I coach and that I stress in my upcoming book Be Ready on Race Day. I would strongly encourage you to keep these tips in mind as you dive into your training plan and start preparing for your race.

  • Your Plan is NOT Set in Stone

If I were only going to give you one tip to be successful in your training, this would be it!

Your plan is not set in stone. It is not gospel.

If you need to change something in your training plan because of factors beyond your control, that is fine.

The kids are going to need something that will screw up your plan for the day. You are going to have to go into work early/stay late which will cost you a run. The weather might take a turn and you might be too stubborn to even consider running on a treadmill.

(Maybe that last one is just me…)

The point is, at some point in your training cycle the odds are that something will pop up and conflict with your training plan.

No worries.

Be willing to adjust your plan as needed because I can almost guarantee that you’re going to need to.

  • No Single Run is “Do or Die”

When life happens and you’re forced to miss a workout, how do you react?

Whether you turn to hysterics, break down and cry, or give up on your training altogether I have news for you: the sun is going to come up tomorrow.

Meaning, when you miss a run life keeps going and you need to as well.

I promise you, if you only miss one run while you are training for your race, you will still be fully prepared for your race.

Think about it, how many miles are you going to put in between now and race day? Probably a few hundred? Do you really think that missing one run is going to undo all of the progress you’ll have made during this training cycle.

Please.

When you miss a run, let it go and move on because that run isn’t going to cost you a thing.

You know what will cost you? Missing a run and then trying to make up for it the next day and you end up with an injury.

Please, don’t make that mistake.

If you miss a run, do your best to simply brush it off and move on to the next day.

  • Listen to Your Body

Our bodies are amazing.

The things that your body allows you to do, the amount of information it processes every second of every day, and how it adapts to the demands that you place on it are astounding.

When something isn’t right, our bodies know about it right away.

And, for the most part, it does a great job of letting us know that something is going on that needs to be addressed.

We, however, tend to do a terrible job of listening to our bodies.

We may notice that there is something that doesn’t feel quite right, but since we are training for a race we keep grinding and try to ignore the pain.

Has that ever solved anything? I didn’t think so.

What happens instead is that the problem gets worse in order for us to accept that there is a problem and do something to try and fix it.

But here’s the thing: if you listen to what your body is telling you and act accordingly, you can often prevent it from getting worse while you continue running. When you wait until it gets bad enough that you have to address it, you will likely need to take time off for the body to do the necessary repair work.

Learning how to listen to your body and adjust your training appropriately is a skill that takes some time to learn, but it is invaluable if you plan to make running part of your life for many years to come.

Perfection is Impossible

In a perfect world you’d get your training plan, follow it to the letter, and nail your goals on race day.

This is, however, a far from perfect world in which we live.

As you begin your training plan to prepare for your race, remember that perfection is impossible.

You will not adhere to your plan perfectly.

So when life happens, and it will, keep these tips in mind as you continue to prepare for your race.

Weekly Wrap: 1/9-1/15

Yesterday was a Federal Holiday so please excuse the tardiness…The start of the year means new opportunites for us and this week we received word on two more excellent opportunities. First, we learned we were selected as Ambassadors for Wiivv. To be able to get Custom Fit 3D Printed Insoles from the comfort of home is technologically sophisticated and frankly, quite amazing.

Travis runs up to 2,000 miles a year and lives in work boots the rest of the time, so his feet could use a break from the daily grind. Wiivv insoles are designed to reduce plantar fasciitis pain, joint discomfort and general foot fatigue and help you #KeepGoing day and night. We look forward to working with Wiivv throughout the year.

We also recently received word that we will be representing Nuun as Ambassadors for a second year! We both have been using Nuun products for the better part of three years and have noticed a major improvement in our hydration when Nuun is included on a daily basis.

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Not familiar with Nuun, that’s okay. It’s simply an electrolyte enhanced drink tablet designed for an on-the-go lifestyle. packed with electrolytes, light flavor, and made from clean ingredients, nuun is the perfect sports drink for any of the activities you do. Drop a nuun tablet into 16oz of water and you’re good to go.

The electrolytes found in nuun (sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium) will help alleviate cramps, help muscles function, communicate and burn energy efficiently.

So with that, lets get to our recap.

Jen: It was good to get a solid week of runs in last week leading up to vacation when the running might end up being a little bit lax. I’m not sure what our resort will have in the way of a gym/path outside, so the plan is to just do what I can, when I can.
Since my injury, I’ve switched things up a little and added in an extra rest day on Tuesdays. It doesn’t seem to be affecting my training at all and my body appreciates the extra day off before speed work on Wednesdays. During my long run on Saturday I started to feel the aches and pains that can only mean one thing…time for new shoes! The Brooks Ravennas I have been running in were way over their mileage and I was definitely starting to feel it.

Monday: 3 miles easy

Tuesday: Rest Day

Wednesday: 1 mile w/u, 3×1 mile with 400m recovery, 1 mile c/d

Thursday: 3 miles easy

Friday: Rest Day

Saturday: 7.5 miles

Sunday: Rest Day


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– It’s been weird the last 7-10 days for me. We had company in town from the 8th – 10th and of course I always feel guilty leaving friends and family to get a run in so I missed some days. I did okay during the week until this past weekend when I developed a severe blister on my right foot during my long run. The blister urged me to take it easy for two days while it healed.

I have some new shoes arriving this week with just under 500 miles logged on my current shoes. Hopefully my new Wivv custom insoles arrive soon and I can start fresh in both! My messed up week finished as follows:

Monday: Skipped

Tuesday: 8 Miles @ 7:19 pace

Wednesday: 6 Miles @ 7:34 pace

Thursday: 9 Miles — 1 mile w/u, 4 miles marathon pace, 1 mile easy, 2 miles marathon pace, 1 mile c/d

Friday: Rest Day

Saturday: 9 Miles @ 8:27 pace

Sunday: Skipped

Linked with HoHo Runs and MissSippiPiddlin for the Weekly Wrap

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Friday Five 2.0 1/13 – Dream Winter Vacations

Happy happy Friday! Is it just me or do the last few weeks/days leading up to a vacation seem to take forever to pass? That’s where we are right now. A week from tomorrow we’ll be headed to Punta Cana for a week of relaxing in the sun. There’s still a million things to do between now and then but there’s light at the end of the tunnel!

This week’s Friday Five is all about vacations! We live in a winter climate (although looking out the window and seeing grass in January, it seems a bit strange) so it’s fun to daydream about all the warm places to visit during the cold months. Here are five places we’d love to visit in the winter!

  1. Lake Placid, NY- This is one of our favorite places to visit. Neither of us ski or snowboard but Lake Placid offers a lot more than that. For those that do ski or snowboard there’s Whiteface mountain. There’s also a bobsled and luge experience, ice skating on the Olympic Oval, dog sled rides on Mirror Lake and an adorable downtown.dsc01307
  2. Hawaii- This one is pretty high on my bucket list of vacations. I’m not even sure where I’d want to begin. Maybe just island hop for a week?
  3. The Dominican- This obviously makes our list. Punta Cana looks gorgeous and the weather is shaping up to be perfect. We’re staying at an all inclusive resort but have some off site activities planned like zip-lining and snorkeling.
  4. Disney- Winter and spring seem to be the best time to visit Disney. You don’t have to deal with the Florida summer heat and park crowds are a little thinner. Almost all of our Disney trips have been during winter months and the temperature has been perfect!img_1763
  5. Alaska- I think this was one we mentioned the last time we talked about vacations. Travis lived in Denali for a summer when he was in college and always talks about what a great experience it was and is dying to get back sometime soon.senior-year-photos-024

Tell us, what’s the best vacation you’ve ever taken?

We’re linking with Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five 2.0

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