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


Travis
– 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

WeeklyWrap

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!

 

It’s Officially Chicago Marathon Week!

Good morning everyone and welcome back to the Tale of 2 Halfs. It may in fact be a dismal and rainy Monday in New York but it’s an exciting week as we leave for the 2016 Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Thursday evening.

It’s been a long and difficult road for both of us this summer and unfortunately, only one of us will make it to the starting line. As we’ve already mentioned, Jen suffered a hip injury this summer that is preventing her from running her first marathon. She still struggles with the reality and disappointment of  not be able to race after months of training and I know it will be hard on her all weekend. She worked her butt off this summer and as her husband, I could not be more proud of what she accomplished before her injury. She proved to herself that she could reach new heights and push herself, mentally and physically, to places she had never been.

Inside I pray Jen comes back strong and healthy and has even more passion and determination next year to accomplish her goal. If she does, then she truly will “Own Chicago” in 2017.

As for myself, my 18 weeks of training is concluding and the last few weeks have been crazy busy. Unfortunately my days don’t slow down before we leave. I’ve missed some runs and a lot of sleep and my body is letting me know! I’m exhausted and sore. I’m trying to remain positive, trust my training and envision a strong race.

I’ll finish this last week with a total of 791.2 miles of training. This is 34.94 miles less than last year’s total of 826.14 but with one huge caveat. The 2015 Chicago Marathon was first marathon of the year, thus my marathon training didn’t start till June – although I had been running all year. This year, I ran the Buffalo Marathon over Memorial weekend and had already trained for 18 weeks starting in late January and logged 794.46 miles during that training period. Minus my two weeks of rest following Buffalo in early June, I’ve mostly been training since January and have logged 1,585.66 miles!!

A lot of sweat goes into preparing for these races, for myself and everyone who trains. But something I like to remind myself before each event is this: The race is the reward after months of training. The hard work is over. Enjoy the moment! 

See you from Chicago!!!

Lake Placid Classic Recap

Last weekend I ran my only tune-up race before the 2016 Chicago Marathon in gorgeous Lake Placid, New York. The Classic, in its 46th year, is known as “The Original Lake Placid Half Marathon.”

The race is known for its gorgeous views and challenging course profile. This was my second time participating in this race, as I ran back in 2014 when I finished 18th in a time of 1:37:50.

We left early the morning of the race and traveled the approximately hour and half to Lake Placid. We arrived in plenty of time and picked up my bib, race shirt and commemorative pint glass. The family hung out on the Olympic Oval that hosted the 1980 Winter Games where Eric Heiden won 5 gold medals and set four Olympic Records and one World Record in the process. Jen and I have had the opportunity to skate on history — many years ago pre-children. Parker and I completed some warm-up laps, took some pictures and prepared for the race.

The course begins right out in front of the Olympic Oval and makes it way through town, around Mirror Lake and out of town past the Ski Jumping Complex before making it’s way out to River Road and gorgeous scenery.

The race went about as well as I could have hoped and I was running on pace through the first 10 miles. However, the last 3 miles I just didn’t have the legs to power through the hills and fell behind my pace. I crossed the finish line in 1:29:40, beat my personal course best by 8:10 and finished 1:02 short of my personal best. I love races where my son, the avid runner, can cross the finish line with me; it’s a special moment for both him and I and I love seeing the smile on his face.

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I finished in 4th place overall, 3rd male and first in my 30-39 age group. For my efforts I received a nice rustic plaque (although a new one is being sent because the manufacturer made an error and printed 5K on them rather than 13.1), a $50 gift certificate to a local running store, wonderful medal and the confidence heading into Chicago that my next goal is within reach.

 

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.

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