Weekend in the City

In the blink of an eye, the TCS NYC Marathon weekend is over and with it, our entire 2016 season. It was a fun filled weekend so let’s begin our recap. 

We left home Thursday night after dinner to begin our drive down to New Jersey. All was going well until a bad accident in the mountains caused us to get rerouted a hour out of the way, creating a long night. 

On Friday we woke up and hopped the train into the city. We started by seeing the finish line in Central Park and checking out the marathon pavilion. After some photo opportunities and exploring the pavilion for a while, we decided to start making our way across town to the marathon expo.

 As we were leaving Central Park, Jen became excited and starting tugging on my shirt saying, “Travis, look!” To our surprise, there was Meb Keflezighi standing on the sidewalk. We approached, giddy, and asked for a photo.

While we only took two or three minutes of his time, Meb seemed genuinely nice and gracious. He didn’t have to grant the photo opportunity, but we were sure glad he did because it made our weekend, and possibly our year. Watching him win the 2014 Boston Marathon the year following the horrific bombings inspired both of us to begin running. Many people may not know who he is, but in our house, he has motivated us. We have enjoyed watching him race the last few years and are excited for him to retire on his terms where it all began for him, in New York City in 2017.

When we arrived at the marathon expo, we both needed to collect our bibs – Jens for the Dash to the Finish Line 5k and mine for the marathon. Then it was time to enjoy the expo. With hundreds of businesses, merchants and races represented there was plenty to see and buy. A highlight for Jen was getting the opportunity to meet and talk to Kara Goucher at the Sketchers booth. 

We also had the opportunity to meet up with someone special we met last year in Chicago, Chis Beck. Chris (@irunforowen), an Abbott Six Star finisher, ran as part of Team Up with Autism Speaks for all six races last year and ran again this year with them for the NYC Marathon. We joined up for the afternoon finishing up the expo and had an excellent dinner together along with our close friend Brandon (@BLTCUBS).

The next morning came early as we had to travel back into the city for the  Abbott Dash to the Finish Line 5k. After a one hour bus ride, twenty minutes on the subway, and a short walk we arrived at the start for Jen. I quickly gathered her belongings and made my way to 42nd street near Grand Central to watch the race. Chis joined me again as the race began and shortly thereafter Jen was running by.

Chris and I then took a subway to Columbus Circle and walked a short distance to the finish line area. We were able to catch Jen as she passed by shouting about a new PR. She finished her race pain free and with a new PR, so she was very excited.

Following the race, we found a spot on the upper west side to have breakfast and then walked around Times Square till around one. We decided it would be best to get back early to relax and we left the city for our train ride back to New Jersey. I won’t get into the logistical nightmare of he NJ Transit Authority doing track maintenance during marathon weekend, but suffice it to say we ended up on a city bus to get home.

It was a good two days and all that was left was the running of the five burroughs. Stay tuned to see how it went!

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


Weekly Wrap #29: 6/13 – 6/19

Welcome back to Tale of 2 Halfs and also welcome to the official first day of summer! Life has finally settled into a routine again after a busy few weeks. That’s not to say we are not busy though.

Last weekend we took Parker to an event with one of the characters from Paw Patrol. He totally loved it!

Peyton enjoys going to Parkers T-Ball practices. She’s picking up some skills herself!


Both kids think the snapchat puppy filter is the funniest thing!

Travis: This was my first week of training for the 2016 Chicago Marathon after two full weeks of rest following the Buffalo Marathon. Technically, I skipped the first week of my 18-week plan and enjoyed the period of rest. So I started with week two and it was good to back into the routine.

Monday: 5 miles @ 8:47 pace

Tuesday: 7 miles – 2 Mile Warm Up, 3 Miles Tempo Pace, 2 Mile Cool Down – 8:11 pace

Wednesday: 5 miles + Strides @ 7:31 pace

Thursday: 7 miles – 2 Mile Warm Up, 3 Miles Marathon Pace, 2 Mile Cool Down @ 7:37 pace

Friday: Rest Day

Saturday: 11 miles Long Run @ 8:06 pace

Sunday: 5 miles @ 7:53 pace

Total Weekly Mileage: 40 miles

Jen: Week 2 of Chicago training! We’re still working out a balance between both of us training and new work schedules, so, in the meantime I’m being flexible and doing what I need to do to get my workouts in. This week, that meant both of us doing our long runs in the evening when it was extremely hot! I normally don’t wish away warm weather, but yesterday I was definitely missing cooler temps! I also swapped my speed work from Wednesday to Thursday.

Monday: Rest Day

Tuesday: 3 miles

Wednesday: 3 miles

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

Friday: Rest Day

Saturday: 3 miles

Sunday: 12 miles

Total weekly mileage:  27 miles


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