2016 TCS NYC Marathon Recap

So, yeah…it’s been three weeks and I haven’t posted my race recap. Most might not be interested anymore, but I’ll write it anyway. 

The New York City Marathon is quite literally unlike any other marathon in the world. The size of the field, the number of volunteers and the logistics involved make this race absolutely unforgettable. I was lucky enough to receive my entry through the lottery on my first try (sorry to those who’ve been trying for years) and this was my second year in a row after running for Team Up with Autism Speaks in 2015.

It was great to know what to expect this year which left me able to enjoy the day more without worrying about the fine details of when, where, or how. One of the best experiences of the race is the start village. This year I was assigned the orange corral and when I arrived I was greeted with an amazing sunrise.

The weather was about as perfect as possible for early November and the few hour wait in the start village wasn’t bad. I met up with Chris before the race and we wished each other good luck before I headed to the start corrals for my wave 1 start.

What I think New York does better than anyone else is the start. The introductions of the elite runners, the singing of the National Anthem, the boom of the cannon signaling the start and then the playing of “New York, New York” as you begin your journey of the five burroughs is truly a sight to behold. If this race is not on your bucket list, add it!

Now, on to the race. It didn’t go well. I wasn’t expecting to run a PR after a good run in Chicago weeks earlier, but I was hoping for better. Unfortunately, the week leading up to the race I injured my groin at work and wasn’t 100% healthy when I lined up on the start line. I tried to run a fast race but by mile 11 I knew it wasn’t possible as the pain began to get worse. 

I understood there was more to the day than the time at the finish so I continued on. I first saw my wife right at Mile 17 on First Avenue in Manhattan. It was exciting to see her since she wasn’t able to come along last year, to have her there to share the day with, and because she had pain killers! After stopping for medicine I was back on my way, albeit way off target pace. 

Although I was in a decent amount of discomfort, I took in the sights and sounds of the final miles more than I remember doing last year and I took my disappointment and tried to encourage others as they passed me. Jen was waiting for me just before Columbus Circle with about a 1/2 mile to go. I ran over and gave her a sweaty hug and big kiss – thanking her for supporting me this year as I began to get emotional about the day, the disappointment of the race and everything I did this year.

For the first time ever in a race, I took my phone out near the finish line and recorded a short (and very shaky) video. I crossed the finish line in 3:31:23. Although I know this is a respectable time, it was disappointing to finish over 16 minutes slower than Chicago. Despite the time, I received my medal with the biggest smile on my face. 

I know I’ve written a lot about how running has changed me. The reason for frequenting this topic is because running does change you. The changes aren’t just physical, but mentally and emotionally as well. Every time I train for and run a marathon, I learn. I learn to ignore the naysayers and the self doubt that all to often creeps up. I learn about discipline, dedication to something, and most importantly, I learn that hard work has more benefits than a time on a clock. 

I watched as my family supported me, as my children wished me good luck every time I went for a run, and as I ruined shoes and some clothes along the journey to the Finish Line in Central Park after running over 1,900 miles this year. Now, I’m watching as the calendar creeps toward 2017 and as my body continues to recover from injury preventing me from running. I look forward to the next chapter and where it takes me and wonder what I’ll learn along the way.

On your mark…

It’s that time of year everybody – race season! Tomorrow begins a stretch of 3 races over the next two months. I begin with the Lake Placid Classic (a half marathon tune-up), followed by the Chicago Marathon on October 9th and close out the year with the New York City Marathon on November 6th.

Lake Placid Classic:

I last ran this event in 2014 and finished  a respectable 18th overall in 1:37:50, my best time at this point in history.

I hadn’t trained then nearly as hard as I have the last two years and since this race in 2014 I have lowered my half marathon time to 1:28:50. I have ambitions to best this time tomorrow, giving me a large boost of confidence as I begin my taper for Chicago. I’m realistic that this may not happen and I’m just hoping to enjoy the event and finish healthy.

2016 Chicago Marathon:

IMG_1624My “Main Event” this fall, this will be my second Chicago Marathon in a row. This is a special event for the fact that I am a member of Team Up! with Autism Speaks and running on behalf of my son. I’m saddened to know that Jen is not able to run this race with me this year after all her hard work training and fundraising due to her injury, but she’ll still be going and participating in most of festivities.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t aiming for a PR. I have worked hard all summer in pursuit of this goal. 30 more days before I see if it was enough.



New York City Marathon:

0038tMy final event for 2016 is the biggest of all marathons. Last year I ran this event on short notice as a last-minute charity runner. I finished under 3:30 and was impressed that I even ran that fast coming back from a great run in Chicago only weeks earlier. I definitely have a lot more understanding and respect for this race course now and although I don’t anticipate aiming for a PR, I would like to improve on my time from last year.



Weekly Wrap #33: 7/25-7/31

Happy Monday! It’s not been a very eventful week here. The majority of our free time was spent on our driveway project, which is now finished! I wasn’t completely sold on why we needed new rocks…but now that it’s done I’m very glad we did it. It looks a thousand times better than it did before!

Monday was our 7th wedding anniversary. We totally failed at taking a picture, but we celebrated with dinner out. We tried a new to us place just across the border into Canada called Truffles. They served specialty burgers and fries that did not disappoint! I wasn’t overly adventurous (they had alligator burgers as well as one coated in 23 karat gold) and got one topped with avocado while Travis had a venison burger.


Tuesday we ended up spending some extra time at the doctor with Peyton. She’s been battling a nasty cough for the majority of the month that got significantly worse. Poor thing is finally getting back to normal now!

We’re prepping to leave for Michigan later this week. We’re really looking forward to spending some time with family. We’ve also got a wedding to attend this trip so we’ll get to see some extended family members that we don’t get to see often at all!

Travis: At the end of July I had amassed a total of 1,209 miles for the year and 216 in July. August should be my highest mileage month leading up to the Chicago Marathon which is now only 10 weeks away. I received my tenative corral assignment over the weekend which means it’s getting close! Just have to keep pushing through this sheer exhaustion and persevere. 

Monday: 6 miles (a.m.) @ 8:08 pace – I skipped my evening run to celebrate my anniversary. 

Tuesday:  2 Mile Warm Up, 8 x 800 meters @ 5k pace w/ 90 second recovery, 2 Mile Cool Down – 8:01 pace

Wednesday: 6 miles + Strides @ 7:27 pace

Thursday: 11 miles – 1 Mile Warm Up, 9 Miles Marathon Pace, 1 Mile Cool Down @ 7:18 pace

Friday: Rest Day

Saturday: 17 mile Long Run @ 8:03 pace

Sunday: 6 miles @ 9:00 pace

Total Weekly Mileage: 54 miles

Jen: I’ve been feeling downright exhausted lately. Most likely from training, heat, life in general…all of the above? I’ve already run double the miles that I ran last year. For our run the year challenge I’m currently sitting at 736 and July marked my highest mileage month ever with 132 miles. Its crazy for me to think that I ran somewhere just shy of 300 miles for the entire year last year and I did nearly half of that in one month alone. In an effort to tone up before our Dominican vacation in January I’ve started stepping up my strength workouts in the past week as well. Nothing like a week on a beach upcoming to provide a little extra motivation! There was a little step back in my long run this week to act as a recovery run.

Monday: Rest Day

Tuesday: unplanned rest day

Wednesday: 2 mile WU, 2×2 mile at tempo pace with 0.5 recovery, 0.5 mile CD- 7 miles total

Thursday: 3 miles

Friday: Rest Day

Saturday: 4 miles

Sunday: 10 miles

Total weekly mileage:  24 miles


Weekly Wrap #32: 7/18-7/24


Phew! This summer seems to be getting the best of us. Apologies again for a lack of posting.

I got back from Nashville Tuesday morning around 5 am. My only options for flights got me back into New York at midnight and then I still had a five hour drive home from the airport. Exhausted didn’t even begin to cover it! I had a great weekend away with my sister but was glad to get back home to the family. Here’s a few photos from my trip:


Travis and the kids had a great weekend at home as well! It was our local SummerFest, so they had some fun playing in bounce houses and getting Ice Cream and Cotton Candy.



We’ve also been working on a major outdoor project that will hopefully be wrapping up at the end of this week. We’ve currently got our entire driveway ripped apart and will be getting all new stone laid down. Between that project and cleaning up from the couple big storms we’ve had there’s been a lot of yard work this week!

Today is also our seventh wedding anniversary. Time sure flies when you’re having fun!



I think that’s about it for a catch up…here’s our workouts from the week:

Travis: It’s that time of the training cycle where I’m constantly exhausted and always eating. My body is craving a break from work also after two 10-day work stretches in a row. Despite the constant exhaustion, the body is handling the increase in mileage very well, with only a few minor muscle aches. I’m very pleased with my training times and have loved seeing negative splits on all my longer runs. 

Monday: 6 miles (planned 8) @ 8:11 pace

Tuesday: 8 miles – 2 Mile Warm Up, 5 x 1 Mile Tempo Pace, 1 Mile Cool Down – 7:37 pace

Wednesday: 5.50 miles + Strides (planned 6) @ 7:46 pace

Thursday: 8 miles Marathon Pace @ 7:02 pace

Friday: Rest Day

Saturday: 16 mile Long Run @ 7:49 pace — second half 3:15 (min:sec) faster than first half

Sunday: 6 miles @ 8:08 pace

Total Weekly Mileage: 49.50 miles

Jen: Week 8 of training for the Chicago Marathon just wrapped up! It’s crazy to think that we’re just a few short months away from the race already! Training has been going well. I’m up to 15 miles in my long runs at this point. I’ve started to try different things with fueling…I think I’ll have a whole post about that once I finish experimenting. 

Monday: Rest Day

Tuesday: 3 miles

Wednesday:4 miles

Thursday: 2 miles warm up, 3 miles @ tempo, 1 mile cool down

Friday: Rest Day

Saturday: 3 miles

Sunday: 14.5 miles

Total weekly mileage:  30.5 miles


Weekly Wrap #31: 7/4-7/10

Happy Monday!

It’s been a pretty quiet week around here. Parker’s tee ball season is officially finished, leaving us with two extra free evenings during the week.

After we got back from New Jersey both kids came down with nasty colds and they eventually passed it on to me as well so that has led to us needing and wanting to lay low and try to get healthy.

For the Fourth of July, we spent the majority of the day at home playing outside with the kids. We hit the local parade where the kids got far too much candy, but they seemed to enjoy it! We didn’t attempt to keep them awake to go to the fireworks. The thought of keeping them up at least three hours past their bed time just wasn’t appealing!

Parker started his extended school year on Thursday. He was very excited to meet his new teacher and was thrilled to find out that they will be going swimming several times during the week. I love that even though he will be spending six weeks of his summer in school that they are still trying to add in fun aspects to it for the kids.

I head off to Nashville on Friday. I’m really looking forward to spending the weekend with my sister that I haven’t seen since Christmas as well as exploring Nashville. She’s got some fun things planned for us! There’s been some talk of moonshine and mechanical bulls…we’ll see if I survive!

Travis ran a local 5k on Saturday morning in the pouring rain. Parker was really bummed that he didn’t get to race, so after the event was over he and daddy had their own race in the parking lot. Parker won!



Here are our workouts for the week:

Travis: Training is beginning to ramp up quickly now. As you’ll see below, I set a new 5K PR this week — now my third year in a row setting a new 5K PR in the exact same week of the year. I have been trying to break into the 18 minute range since last July with no success. It felt good to finally achieve that new PR and prove to myself that the endless miles are paying off. I also ran my first sub 6 minute mile since I was a high schooler, so that was exciting as well. Looking ahead I will be doing some video reviews on some newer products and the first review should be up soon on YouTube, so stay tuned.

Monday: 6 miles @ 7:58 pace

Tuesday: 8 miles – 2 Mile Warm Up, 4 Miles Tempo Pace, 2 Mile Cool Down – 7:52 pace

Wednesday: 6 miles + Strides @ 7:53 pace

Thursday: 8 miles – 1 Mile Warm Up, 6 Miles Marathon Pace, 1 Mile Cool Down @ 7:43 pace

Friday: Rest Day

Saturday: 5K Race with two new PR’s

1) One Mile PR – 5:54

2) 5K PR – 18:57

11 mile Long Run @ 8:02 pace

Sunday: 7 miles @ 7:55 pace

Total Weekly Mileage: 49 miles

Jen: It’s hard to believe that I’m already through week 5 of Chicago training. For the most part it’s been going well! My legs were tired for the first half of the week, but that was just from shifting my long run around last weekend. I’ve been dealing with a sinus infection this week and have been feeling all around miserable, but have still managed to get all of my runs in. Actually, when I’m running seems to be the only time that I can breathe easily! This weeks long run brought my first venture into anything over half marathon distance. Because of the storms we had all weekend I was stuck to the treadmill. Now, I don’t usually mind the treadmill but 14 miles was pushing it for me. I’m looking forward to checking out the greenways in Nashville while I’m there next weekend!

Monday: 13 miles

Tuesday: 3 miles

Wednesday: 2 mile w/u, 3 mile tempo, 1 mile c/d for 6 miles total

Thursday: 3 miles

Friday: Rest Day

Saturday: 2 miles

Sunday: 14 miles

Total weekly mileage:  41 miles


Weekly Wrap #30: 6/27 – 7/3

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Welcome back to Tale of 2 Half’s and Happy Independence Day!   As we sit here writing this post, we have been thinking about all of the places one or both of us has visited in the last month that represent a small portion of our country’s freedom and Independence. From Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia where the 2nd Continental Congress signed our Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.

To the Statue of Liberty –  a gift to the United States from the people of France – representing the Roman goddess Libertas, who bears a torch and stone upon which is inscribed the date of the American Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776. The statue is an icon of freedom and of the United States, and was a welcoming sight to immigrants arriving from abroad.


“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

~ The New Colossus, by American poet Emma Lazarus

And also Ellis Island where today over 100 million Americans— about one-third of the population — can trace their ancestry to the immigrants who first arrived in America at Ellis Island for inspection before departing for points all across the United States.

 These are only a few of the many iconic locations in our country’s fight for freedom and independence and we would highly recommend that each of you visit these locations at some point. Now, on to our workouts for the week:

Travis: Training has been off to a good start for me as I am prepping to tackle the Chicago Marathon for the second time. I have only missed one workout in the first four weeks and my times have been faster during the first month of training than during previous training periods. After one month my legs feel good, my new shoes are breaking in well and I’m injury free. Hopefully this trend continues during the second month.

Monday: 6 miles @ 8:28 pace

Tuesday: Skipped Workout

Wednesday: 6 miles @ 8:15 pace

Thursday: 7 miles at Marathon Pace @ 7:26 pace

Friday: Rest Day

Saturday: 13 mile Long Run @ 7:36 pace

Sunday: 6 miles @ 7:49 pace

Total Weekly Mileage: 38 miles

Jen: I’ve been doing a lot of shuffling within my training to accommodate various events and life in general but all in all everything is going well! This past week was a little lighter which was welcomed while we were traveling! I’m anticipating the next few weeks will have me heading into the highest mileage long runs that I’ve ever done.

Monday: Rest Day

Tuesday: unplanned rest day

Wednesday: 3 miles

Thursday: 3.5 miles

Friday: Rest Day

Saturday: 4 miles

Sunday: Off. This would typically be my long run day but it was pushed to today instead.

Monday: 13 miles

Total weekly mileage:  23.5 miles


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