Friday Five 2.0 1/6 — 2017 Goals

It’s that time of year again! Along with just about everyone, we’ve set some goals that we’d like to accomplish in the upcoming year.

 

Jen: for the most part I’ve decided on making general goals rather than specifics.

  1. Read More: reading is one of my favorite things to do and yet I never seem to find the time. My goal is to read at least one chapter of a book each night before bed. I’m starting off the year with Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. I’ve started a running list of books that I’d like to read on Good Reads, so I’ll happily take any suggestions you might have!
  2. Consistency: I’d like to do everything that I can to avoid injury again this year. So one of my goals (this actually might be my main goal for the year) is to be consistent- consistent with running, consistent with cross training and consistent with prehab and everything else that can keep my hip happy.
  3. PR in the half marathon and 5K distances: I’ve been working towards a 2:30 half for a while now and I’d like to keep chipping time off towards hitting that time. I’d also like to finally hit a sub-30 5K at some point this year!
  4. Fundraise $3,000 for Autism Speaks. Ok, this one is specific. I’d like to double what I was able to fundraise through Team Up! last year. In addition to our Piece By Piece 5K in June which is the main fundraising event for the both of us, I’ve got a few fun ideas in the works. I’m currently planning a paint and sip class as a fundraiser and am in contact with a local Zumba instructor about doing something with her as well.  Autism is a cause very close to our hearts so it is very important to me to raise as much as I can and bring as much awareness as I can.team-up
  5. Run a full marathon: This is a carry over goal from last year. My hip injury prevented me from running Chicago last fall, so hopefully this is the year!

 

Travis:

  1. Run 2,000 Miles: This is by far my toughest goal this year. I ran 1,916 miles in 2016 but I am having surgery this March and will out of commission for a minimum of 8 weeks. My mileage before and after surgery will have to be high.
  2. Increase Our Charity 5k Participation to 150 People: For that last two years we have had 131 and 132 participants. I would like to hit the 150 mark this year!
  3. Finish House Projects: Owning a home means a never ending to do list. This year one of my goals is to at least get semi caught up on some of the projects that have been sitting on the back burner- like staining the decks and the new fence.
  4. Grow My YouTube Channel: A while back I posted a series of YouTube videos on the Garmin VivoActive HR. I really enjoyed doing the videos and it’s something I’d like to explore a little further this year.
  5. Run a Sub 3:15 Marathon: I’m not sure if this one will be possible given that I’m having surgery, but I’d like to PR at the marathon distance. I’ll need to take 12 seconds off to hit 3:15, so we’ll see if I can make it happen!img_0150

 

 

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

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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!

Chicago Marathon Weekend — Before the Race

Preparations for our Chicago trip were in full swing for most of last week. One of the most important things that had to be done before we left was a haircut. During the course of fundraising for Team Up! a friend had told me he was willing to make a sizeable donation this year, but I was going to have to earn it. An idea was thrown out and when another friend caught wind of it he agreed to match the donation. For a $400 donation, I had agreed to shave something into the back of my hair and it had to remain for the entirety of our trip.  This is the result:

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It’s a 13 hour drive from Upstate New York to Chicago, so to make it easier on the kids we left at bedtime on Thursday night. Within the span of a few minutes both kids were snoring in the back seat leaving us able to drive a solid chunk of the trip without having to stop. Traveling this way has it’s pros and cons – the kids sleep but that leaves us staying up the entire night driving – it’s exhausting!

Our first stop was at O’Hare International Airport to pick up our back up for the weekend – Grandma! She flew in from Michigan for the weekend to help us out with the kids while we attended the various activities that we had planned. Poor timing on our part left us stuck in early morning Chicago traffic. Once we left the airport it took us nearly an hour to get over to the expo.

Once we arrived at McCormick Place and walked what seemed like a mile to get to the actual expo it was time to pick up bibs! The kids were a little overwhelmed with the amount of people so they hung out with Grandma outside while we visited some of the vendors and did a little shopping. We also stopped at the Nike pace booth to sign up for a pace group for Sunday.

After the expo we were all pretty hungry so we checked into our hotel and set out for food. After dinner we were all pretty exhausted from traveling all night so it was an early bedtime.

On Saturday morning we were up bright and early as I had registered to run the Chicago International 5K.

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 The first International Chicago 5k began at Daley Plaza, where the Chicago Marathon starting line was many years ago. It was a great event and great start to the weekend. The course ran along Lake Michigan and finished a short distance from the marathon finish line. It was a timed event but I was using it as a shakeout run, so I just enjoyed the views and went for a three mile jog. 

We had plans to take the kids to the Shedd Aquarium so once the 5K was complete we picked up the kids and Grandma and made our way back across town.  We also had something extra special planned for the Aquarium. Parker was going to get a chance to meet his IRun4 buddy who flew in from New Orleans to run the marathon with Team Up! We were all very excited to get the chance to meet Rachel and her boyfriend. They spent the morning with us while we checked out all of the exhibits. Both kids had a blast – they especially loved the penguins!

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After several hours at Shedd it was time to head back to the hotel to get ready for the Team Up! Chicago team dinner. Just like last year it was held at Maggiano’s Little Italy. We got a chance to meet some other team members who would be running the next day. I also had the opportunity to speak and share a little bit about our family and our reasons for choosing to run with Team Up!

 

After spending a couple of hours at the dinner it was time to head back to the hotel to get ready to tackle 26.2 the next morning!

 

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.

 

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Travis’ Look Back at Nine Weeks of Training

Good morning and welcome back to the Tale of 2 Halfs.

This week I began the back half of my training plan for the Chicago Marathon and am currently only 57 days away from the start line. I thought this would be a great time to recap how my training went over the first nine weeks and look ahead to what’s in store over the final days.

I began this training plan by taking the entire first scheduled week of runs off as I had just completed the 2016 Buffalo Marathon and was still recovering from that hot and humid race. I picked up at the start of week two and haven’t looked back since.

Here are some stats:

Number of Runs: 49 Activities
Distance: 375.12 mi
Avg Run Distance: 7.66 mi
Total Time: 49:01:52 h:m:s
Elevation Gain: 7,487 ft
Avg Speed: 7.7 mph
Calories Burned: 36,650 C

Over the course of eight weeks of running, I missed one scheduled run as part of a two-a-day and had to alter three other runs for various reasons. In total, I missed 7.75 scheduled miles – by far the fewest miles missed during the first half of a training plan and definitely an improvement over my last training cycle for the Buffalo Marathon. However, this week and next will be a challenge to get my runs completed with traveling and such, but that’s for the second half recap.

Over the next two months, I hit the longest of my long runs at 22 miles and have one final tune-up half marathon on September 10th at the Lake Placid Classic. Fundraising for Team Up! with Autism Speaks is complete, with hopefully a little more trickling in over the last days.

I’m looking forward to toeing the line in Chicago and going for a PR.

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.

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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

WeeklyWrap

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