Sunday, November 26, 2017

Weekly Running update: November 26th, 2017

Hi everyone!

How's everyone's training going?!

Marathon recovery week: (if you haven't heard by now, I did my first full marathon on the 19th. race review here. 

My "recovery" week: 

Monday: 1 mile, one for the streak, day 667. Had the day off work, woke up at my normal time, but took my time moving around. Out for my mile around 7:30. Some overall soreness, but felt much better than expected! Shortly after my run, did a few hrs of yard work. I neglected yard work during my taper week, don't think i can do that for my recovery week as well. So many leaves! 3+ hrs yard work. 11k steps.

Tuesday: 2 miles. Still some overall soreness. Another day off from work. I love year end "random" vacation days to burn! Slept in about 30 minutes, 7 am. Took my time, coffee, couple shows, head out around 9. Feeling it a bit more sore than yesterday, but got it done. Plus another 2 hrs of yard work. 12k steps

Wednesday: 3.11 miles. My work from home day. Before running, still feeling a little soreness in my left ankle and my right hip. Toes are still a bit sensitive. The run itself felt fine at first. My quads were feeling it a bit later on in the run. There were some cool skies for today's run, but wasn't really able to capture that on my cool down afterwards. There were spots of sun on one side and dark clouds and wind on the other. 

Thursday 3.11 miles. Thanksgiving day, gobble gobble! I definitely enjoy doing a Turkey Trot, but thought it would be wise to decline doing a race during recovery week. Still did a 5k though, at my own pace. Didn't set the alarm. Slept in a few minutes later than usual. It's a bit chilly out, took my time getting ready. Had some coffee, worked for a few minutes. When I eventually did head out, wind chill 27! Threw an extra layer on. Probably didn't need it. Did another hr of yard work after my run. 12k steps.

Since it was Thanksgiving, would like to thank you all for your support. Already feel blessed in my personal life, but in running as well. Not everyone has the ability/opportunity to run, it's not to be taken for granted. Thankful for the opportunity and support from family, friends, followers, and online communities.

Friday: 3.11 miles. Black Friday, but had to work. Saw several posts throughout the day how unusually warm it was. On my way out from work, my car said it was 50. Not sure what the wind chill was, but should of had my gloves and/or hat to start. Got chilly, had to use my sleeves as gloves for a bit. lol. Warmed up mid way. I don't get many nature pics on neighborhood runs, but got one of the sky just before nightfall.

Saturday: slow moving in the morning. Will probably be a trend when it's cold out. lol.  Had my coffee, worked for a few minutes. Got to my trail (Pennypack Creek) shortly after 8. Not sure if it was the neighborhood hills, but being back at the trail felt great! Haven't been there in a couple weeks, definitely missed it! Saturday would typically be long run day, but in recovery mode for the week and not doing a training plan for another few weeks. Felt good to go to the trail and do whatever I wanted! My trail is 5.25 miles. I park in the middle, did one half and back. Did the side with more gradual incline. Started out faster than planned, but felt good and kept with it. The incline eventually slowed me down, but had a great time out there!

Saw my pic was a bit blurry, but it's steam! took a vid:
remnants from when the trail was used trains: 
Sunday: 1 mi. rest day, one for the streak. Streak day 673. Woke up early, couldn't sleep. Coffee, light chores. Out by 7:30. Wind chill 38, not bad, was properly dressed. Still some light soreness in my left ankle and right hip, but able to get through it. I don't have to yard work today, hasnt gotten bad since Thursday. Which is a good thing, but will probably have to by mid-week, but cant until next Sunday, so that will drive me crazy. Will take it easy today.

Overall for the week, still some light soreness. But to be honest, experiencing light soreness since week 15 of marathon training. Doing yard work didn't help, but not much that I can do about that. Will continue to monitor the pain, and cut back if needed. 

During recovery am trying not to think to much about upcoming races.. as I sip from my #LoveRunPhilly mug. 🍵😉

Future races registered for/considering:
  • 03/24/18 - Phillies 5k. Have never done races back to back, already registered for the Love Run, but would hate to miss the Phillies 5k. "Free" baseball tickets!  2017 review here!
  • 03/25/18 - Philadelphia Love Run half marathon. Love the love run! Check out my 2017 review here. 
  • 04/07/18 - Hot Chocolate 5k/15k. Still debating on this one, will let you know!
  • May, 2018. (Date TBD) Broad Street Run!  Assuming I win the lottery! My 2017 review here. 

What is everyone currently training for? Signed up for a race? New to running, or maintaining until a race peaks interest? Whatever it is, good luck to everyone with their training, keep kicking butt!!

If you do any races, please remember to review them on ! Your opinions help other runners decide what races to run!  Follow me on BibRave: Joe G

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Weekly Running Update: November 19th, 2017.

Hi everyone!

How's everyone's training going?!

My week in review:

Taper week, Philadelphia marathon this Sunday! Marathon training "long run" progress also tracked here!

Monday: 5 miles before work. woke up early, a week later and still not completley adjusted to daylight savings. Did some ST, and got ready to head out. Light rain, was a bit chilly. Invigorating for most of it. Wore proper layers, was warm in some places, and cold/stingy in others. Glad I got it done before work, was able to catch a movie after work, Thor!

Tuesday: rest day. 1 mile after work for the streak, day 661. Running in the dark is inevitable. Since it was just one, had some time to get my hair cut after work! 
Wednesday: 4 mi. work from home day, lunch run done. Scheduled for 30 min, did a few extra min to get 4 in. 
Thursday: 1 mi. Rest day, one for the streak. Streak day 663. Woke up just a few min early for work. Was ahead of schedule getting ready and decided to head out. Since I got my run in before work, was able to run errands after work, yay!(sarcastic yay)
Friday: 3.11 miles. Scheduled for 20-25 minutes. Did just beyond that to get a 5k in. Woke up a few min early. Was a bit chilly. Questioning my outfit for Sunday a bit less. It may warm up closer to noon, but its going to be cold enough for long sleeves for a while before that. May remove the hat and gloves at some point, but rather have them just in case. 5k went well!

Thought I may be a few min late to work, not concerend since i have so much overtime, but nope, on time!

Saturday: rest day. One for the streak, day 665. Woke up early, had some coffee, took my time getting ready since it's rest day and just one. Logged into work for a few minutes to clean some stuff up. Head out, was chilly. Definitely no longer questioning my wardrobe for tomorrow's run! The one miler felt great. Started a little faster than expected, should of pulled back a bit more, but it felt good. I am looking forward to tomorrow's run, can't wait! Ready to get the anxieties out of the way! Also ready to have a few weekend's in between training plans to mess around at my trail. 

Sunday: The "Big Day"! 26.2+ miles around Philly! Philadelphia Marathon. Had a blast today. Tight towards the end, but I think that's to be expected. Will have more details in my race review in a few days. Race review can be found here.

Future races registered for/considering:
  • 11/19/17 (today) - Philadelphia Marathon, my first full! Track my training updates here.
  • 03/24/18 - Phillies 5k. Have never done races back to back, already registered for the Love Run, but would hate to miss the Phillies 5k. "Free" baseball tickets!  2017 review here!
  • 03/25/18 - Philadelphia Love Run half marathon. Love the love run! Check out my 2017 review here. 
  • 04/07/18 - Hot Chocolate 5k/15k. Still debating on this one, will let you know!
  • May, 2018. (Date TBD) Broad Street Run!  Assuming I win the lottery! My 2017 review here. 

What is everyone currently training for? Signed up for a race? New to running, or maintaining until a race peaks interest? Whatever it is, good luck to everyone with their training, keep kicking butt!!

If you do any races, please remember to review them on ! Your opinions help other runners decide what races to run!  Follow me on BibRave: Joe G

Philadelphia Marathon: my first full!

Philadelphia Marathon, November 19th, 2017.

Hi Everyone!

If you haven't heard, I completed my first full marathon! Still don't know what i was thinking when I signed up, I had plenty of self-doubt leading up to it!

Here is a link to my marathon training if you'd like to check it out, my race day review  and day leading up to it is below!  

Day before the race: plan was to take it as easy as possible. Which is mentally tough for me to do on a Saturday, I'm usually running and doing several chores before having any fun. I did end up taking it easy; a couple of light chores, played some PS4, watched a couple of shows and had my go-to pasta dinner for carbo loading.

Went to bed early but found myself doubting everything..."what if I did something totally wrong during my training", etc. so it took a bit to fall asleep and I woke up several times throughout the night. Set my alarm for 3:30, but was up before that. Had my coffee and a light breakfast, which is typically PB and Nutella or Fluff.  Had a crazy idea, both of them on the same sandwich, great combination!

Chafing: during training I experienced chafing in a couple places. Lessons learned, prepared properly. No chafing! May do a review on the one preventative measure, probably won't on the other. lol

Parking: Public transportation is highly encouraged but I chose to drive. The Philadelphia Marathon's web site lists all of the road closures but it is still possible to locate parking.  The exit I usually take to park was closed so I had to take the next exit up and head back. Left my house a few minutes after 5, parked by 6 am. If you need a good place to park within walking distance to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, please send me a direct message. I would post it, but don't want it to go viral and lose my favorite Public Parking lot to overcrowding.

Hopefully you can't figure out where my parking garage is where I snapped this skyline pic. ;)
It rained overnight and was still raining when I got there, although my app said it was supposed to stop by 6. The one thing I don't have on my checklist, a poncho. Adding poncho to my race day check list going forward. Got to the security checkpoint, maybe 30 people ahead, moved very efficiently. 

The rain cleared up around 6:30, some cool skies pre-race. 

Pre-race selfie:
The race scheduled start time was 7 am. The MC/DJ didn't start up till around 6:30 am. I thought that was odd, but maybe due to the early start time they aren't able to due to noise ordinances? The race started on time. Corrals were lined up on both sides of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, and were managed very efficiently. I started by 7:24 am. 

The first few miles leads you towards Penn's Landing. As you pass Chinatown's Friendship Gate, there was a Chinese festival dragon! After that you pass Ben Franklin's grave. Head down to Penn's Landing along the Delaware river and back by Independence Mall. Since I stopped studying the map, I didn't realize we'd be on South Street for a bit! Very different to be on South Street with no cars on it! After that we go by University City. Everything was going fine for me thus far. A bit faster than I planned, but wasn't slowing down yet. On my mind was the upcoming elevation. 

Elevation: I tried not to study the map too much, the first time I checked it out I started freaking out! Thought it would be best not to over analyze, but glad I saw the elevation profile. Ran the first few miles faster than expected, but was still pacing myself for worst of the hills. Knew the course would be taking us by the Philadelphia Zoo (which I know has hills), and another hill or two after that before heading back to the museum (mile 14). The hill by the zoo (mile 8) wasn't that bad. Ironically, just before passing the zoo, I passed two runners in costumes! A zebra and a butterfly! Was there to witness the zoo's cheering section's reactions to the costumes, some good laughs! The next set of hills, Fairmount Park and the Please Touch Museum (the curve around Please Touch is pretty wide, you see Please Touch from three different angles. The inclines are noticeable, but not bad.  You pass Strawberry Mansion, but don't have to go up that nasty hill that some half's take you up. 
Usually for a half, I use up my speed/energy way too early and the last couple miles to the museum are rough. But, I was feeling fine as I passed the museum at mile 14! Miles 15-19 do have some crowds in clusters, but the stretch past Boathouse Row to Manyunk is not that exciting. Once in Manyunk, it's a freakin party! Huge crowd's and parties cheering us on. There was even a beer station for runners! Not sure if that was managed by a fraternity or what?! Saw some runners partaking, but I declined. That would definitely be something new on race day. Once out of Manyunk, we hit that stretch back to Boathouse Row again. Few clusters of fans. Probably because it would be hard for them to park anywhere along that stretch. I could feel myself slowing down after mile 20, but was still running. 23-25 a much slower pace. As we get closer we start to see the city! Still off to the distance, but there's hope! It took plenty of will power for me to not turn my slow run to a walk, managed to cross the line before that happened! 

Fans: there was plenty of fan support throughout the city! Tons of fans cheering us on. Great signs, costumes, plenty of good laughs! Once outside the city, there are some spots where there is some less crowd support, but understandable. That goes same for crowd DJ music/bands. 

Weather: the rain cleared up before the race. Sure the rain stopped and Sun was out, but yeah, I stomped in some puddles. So much for dry feet! I like my current compression socks, but now have blisters, not sure if it's due to the puddles or sweat. The day's forecast called for temp of 48, wind chill of 40, with wind of 20-30 mph! Started the race with my hat and gloves. Ditched the gloves early. Wore the hat most of the way.  Could feel the sun a bit more towards the second half, did eventually remove the hat. The wind was a factor at points. There were some hills where the wind added additional strain. Would definitely say there were very few points where the wind actually helped with a push from behind. lol

Pace: My half pace is just under two hours, I didn't want to be too aggressive with training for this. Trained for 4.5-5 hrs. I started the race right by the 5:00 pacer. Felt good through most of the race, passed the 4:45 and 4:30 pacer. Feeling better than expected through 20, but expected to slow down. And I did. The 4:30 pacer passed me, I tried a few times to catch up, but just wasn't happening. I am very pleased with my 4:32:56 time. But also have a bar to beat next yr! :)

Aid stations: plenty of water and Gatorade stations. Don't think I've realized this before, but Gatorade may be sticky?! At one point my shoes were sticky, was wondering what I could of stepped in. But after several stations, I figured it out! lol. Guess that much Gatorade being spilled adds up! There were also a few Gatorade gel stations. I declined. I packed ample fuel, and wasn't going to try something new on race day. At the finishers area, there was water, juice, pretzels, soft pretzels, bananas, mixed fruit, and chicken broth.

Fuel: took my GU gel's every 50 minutes as scheduled. (I am not an ambassador for GU, but they have served me well thus far) Taking the first one is usually the hardest to remember on my normal runs. Usually don' think about them until it's too late. Made a point to set a timer for every 50 minutes and followed it. Well, except the last one, don't think I needed it for 1 mile to go. Maybe I should have? Hydration: I skipped the first few water stations, but after that, I made a point to hydrate at every station.

Portable toilets: at the starter/finisher area, there is ample amount of portable toilets. Got in line with about 10 min till start time, maybe 20 ppl in each line. Was a little slow moving, saw some impatient people go behind tents, hope they weren't food tents. Race started, but was back in line before my corral started. During the race, there were portable toilets every few miles, each had a line of 5-10 people or so. Saw a few impatient people run off behind bridges, etc. Post race, most portable toilets were out of paper. Pack accordingly. 

T-Shirts/Swag: Just wore the shirt recently, (day after the race), it's very comfortable. It is slightly loose for it's size, but comfortable. 

The bling:
Overall: had a blast! I enjoyed the training. Each new longest run was a challenge, after each one, would look back at the previous and say this is doable. Sure there were times I thought this was all crazy. Of course I had anxieties, but to be honest, I have anxieties over just about everything. I am one of those people that lose sleep over scenario's that are very unlikely to occur. So many people I have spoken to along my journey have all said the same thing. Trust your training. I am now a firm believer! I definitely intend on doing at least 1-2 more full marathons and going from there. 

It also helps to have a good support system in place. Training for a half or a full takes up plenty of time, especially on weekend's. I feel very blessed to have such a great support system in place. Friends, family, followers, online communities, and of course, my wife. 

Can't do a Philly race and not do a Rocky pose: 

Post race: made a point to eat a couple things from the finishers area. Hydrated plenty until I reached my hydration point. Once I reached my hydration point, definitely had a celebratory meal and drink or few!

If I've left anything out, or if there's any questions, please let me know!

Good luck to everyone with your training!

If you do any races, please remember to review them on ! Your opinions help other runners decide what races to run!  Follow me on BibRave: Joe G

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Product Review: Aftershokz Trekz Air

"Disclaimer: I received Aftershokz Trekz Air to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!"

Hi everyone!

First of all, I want to say I am so excited to have the opportunity to test these out! Secondly, I should mention this is my first product review, will try to be as coherent as possible. And of course, keeps it real!

Receipt of the package, was like a kid on Christmas!

What's in the box? What's in the box?

  • Charging cord.
  • Ear plugs. You can cancel out noise and still listen to music through their bone conduction technology?!
  • Pouch to carry your Aftershokz Trekz Air's!
  • Instruction manual
  • And the Aftershokz Trekz Air's of course!

Setup: Working in IT and being somewhat tech savvy, I tend to skip reading instructions initially and try to figure things out on my own. Will do the basic controls and go from there.

First thing I did was charge it up the night before my first use. Light will change from red to a blueish white when ready to go.

Before heading out for my first run, I selected the power button, I hear a pretty voice, "Pairing". At this point, go to your cell phone's blue tooth options, on my cell, when selecting Blue Tooth, it auto performs a scan, your cell my vary. My cell saw the new device, I merely had to select the new device to pair it. I did this right as i was heading out the door, took place pretty quickly and easily, did not delay my run at all.

Basic controls: Power, and volume. Hold the power down button for a few seconds, you'll hear "Welcome to Trekz Air, Connected". Once your music is playing, the power button also doubles as the increase volume button, the decrease volume is right next to the power/increase volume button. You'll hear a chime for each volume level change. Hold the power button to turn off the device, you'll hear "Power Off".

One thing I did notice, if your music isn't playing, there is no light indicator to remind you that the device is still powered on. Remember to shut down the device when you are done.

Initial run: the first few seconds you have the device on, you do feel it's presence. But once you get going, you don't even realize it's there, it is extremely light. The bone conduction technology is very interesting. You can hear the music at a comfortable level and still hear your surroundings. My first test was at my trail. Could hear my music, the gravel, the wind and leaves, the babbling brook, and of course the bicyclist saying "on your left!".

Neighborhood run: I zig-zag through the streets of my neighborhood, followed by looping around on a heavily traveled road. Definitely feel safer now that I can hear my music and my surroundings comfortably at the same time!

First cold weather run: Was a bit chilly out, wind chill of 36! Time to wear a beanie hat. These headphones are the first wrap around the back of the head style that I have worn in a long time. When placing the beanie on, had to adjust my hat to be able to cover the top of my ears. Wasn't a problem, just worth noting. 

Taking calls? I tend to avoid taking calls on my run. Running is my therapy. Will do a test call for you. Update: test completed. Participated in a work conference call on my work from home day, and later a call with my wife. I could hear them very clearly. Neither of them mentioned any issues. Would say these pass the test.

Battery life: I'm not one to live on the edge with battery life. Will use for a few runs then charge. The specs state 6 hrs. I will be giving the battery a good test on November 19th, my first full marathon. Will provide an additional update after the 19th. Update: the battery lasted through the marathon, satisfied!

Additional controls: You can pause/restart music with the side button on the bottom right of the below pic. There are several additional controls, such as: skip a song, reject a call, place a call on hold to take another, redial, etc.

Full product description and specs can be found on the Aftershokz company website here.

Overall, through my first couple weeks of testing these bad boys, the Aftershokz TrekzAir headphones are very light and comfortable. You do feel them when you place them on your head, but like glasses, they are so light, you quickly forget that they are there. You can listen to your music and still be able to hear your surroundings at a comfortable level. I can hear my crazy neighbors drive by on my neighborhood runs, or bicyclists/other passersby along my trail, great safety feature, great characteristics, would definitely recommend these.

Purchase below
Score a bonus *BIBRAVE* trucker hat with your AfterShokz Trekz Air purchase with code “TRUCKER” at

Both items need to be added to the shopping cart for the code to be applied!

Let me know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding this product. Will do my best to answer, and of course, provide honest feedback. 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Marathon Training update

Hi Fellow Runners!

A little background. Last yr after a surprisingly successful 10k, I knew that I could go further. Started looking at half plans and upcoming races. Did my first half in Sept '16 and immediately started looking for more! Going into '17, my goal was to do a yr of half's and then maybe look into doing a full in '18. I have been going through the half plan for more than a yr now and towards the end of my last round was feeling pretty decent. Made the mistake of looking up a full plan, and to see if it would coincide with where my half ended and the full Philadelphia marathon. It matched perfectly!

Rock n Roll Philly half was 09/17. Which matches up with week 11 of the marathon plan (close enough, did 14's and 15 during the last half cycle), which matches up with Philly full on 11/19. 

To credit the images, they were pulled Coach Jenny Hadfield's training plans

Hope to be holding one of these on 11/19. (Pic from Philadelphia Marathon stand at the Rock N Roll Philly Expo)

Training progress will include weekend long runs from week 12 on. Majority of my training will take place at a nearby trail. (Pennypack Creek, Huntingdon Valley, Pa). Each week's update will take place there unless otherwise noted. 

  • Week 12: Saturday 09/24. 10 miles at the trail! Had plans later in the day and knew I had to check into work for a bit before heading out. Set my alarm, of course i got up before that! lol! Got up around 5, worked for about an hr. Got to the trail by 6:45, already plenty of people there! love the running community, so ambitious! My trail is 10.5 miles. I park in the middle. Did the side with slight/steady incline first. On the way back i bumped into someone that i knew did the #RnRPhilly and ran/ chatted with them for a bit. Midway point i passed my car and passed on hydrating. To the other side of the trail that's flat with a decent incline at the end. Fueled with a half a GU gel at the hour mark and finished it a few minutes later. Stopped at the 10 mi mark and walked rest of the way. Fellow runner ragged on me for walking to the parking lot, I know i have more steps later in the day, no shame in stopping on my planned mileage. lol.

  • Week 13: Saturday 09/30. 16 miles! New personal longest run! Set the alarm for 5, woke up 5 min before that. Got up, coffee, work for a few minutes, light breakfast. Got to the trail just after 7. (Pennypack Creek, Huntingdon Valley, Pa). Did the gradual slight incline side first. Did that and on my way back, bumped into my wife's cousin Dave, who's training for a mudder. I let him know the pace i wanted to go, he backed off for me, but still a few seconds faster than my goal. I don't normally run with others, but was good conversation, and the pace didn't have me grasping for air. Passed the mid point, passed the opportunity to hydrate. To the other side. Kept telling Dave he could take off, didnt want to hold him back, to the other side of the trail and he did. Understandable. Lost track of time, didn't fuel where i wanted to, had a Gu gel at the side of the trail. Passed my car again, should of had water out, failure on my part, kept going. Did the other side and back to complete the 16 miler. Weather was good. Felt decent, definitely feel things tightening up afterwards. Water, should stretch, hopefully i take that advice. 

  • Week 14: Sunday 10/08. According to the training program, scheduled to do 8 miles for this week's long run. Well, I signed up for the Army Ten Miler, so we're doing 10! Rough day, didn't get my 10 mile race pace in, once that was evident, concentrated on the marathon pace, but was still pretty rough! You can check out my race review here! 

  • Week 15: Saturday 10/14.  New longest run of 18 miles! Philadelphia Marathon training. Set the alarm for my normal work time of 5:45, got up just after 5! Had my coffee, light breakfast, and water. Worked for a few minutes since I'm on call this week, need to make sure all is kosher before I head out for a few hours. My trail is 10.5 miles, park in middle. Placed water on my car, (I sometimes forget this simple step). Did the side with gradual incline first and back, stopped at my car for half a water. To the other side. Set my alarm for fueling, this too I am trying to get better at. Had my first gel at the 1 hr mark. On the way back from that side of the trail, someone I waved to earlier was doing about the same pace, and struck conversation with me. Asked how far I was going and what i was training for, he is training for a marathon as well! My new friend and I ran about 4 miles together. I pass my car, finish my first water. To the side with the incline again, my new friend breaks off as he finishes his 14 miler. I reach the end, and my options to add about 3 miles were to go back and do the other side for a bit, or explore a side shoot. I decided to explore a side shoot. It was a rugged trail, beautiful, but rugged and I stubbed my toes kicking rocks too many times. Passed several deer running away from me in the woods. I got lost for a min, since the side shoot had multiple side shoots throughout,  but was able to make my way back. Reach my regular trail and finish the run heading back to my car. Time to hydrate and stretch! 

The side shoot to the other park (Lorimar Park) starts with a bridge. If you follow my weekly running updates, I love trail running and have been trying to get better at pausing to enjoy nature a bit and take a pic along the way.

  • Week 16: Sunday 10/22. I usually do my "long" runs on Saturday's and rest Sunday, but I signed up to do a 5k yesterday. The Runners World Half festival has a 4 mi, 5k, 10k, and half. I signed up for the 5k a while back, had a blast. In hindsight, i could of added the 10k as well, but I don't regret not adding it because I had a blast with my friends afterwards. You can check out my race review here! 
    So I did my "long" run on Sunday. Scheduled for 10 miles, did my 10 miles at a somewhat relaxed pace. My trail is 10.5 miles, 10 miles  is a pretty standard distance for me at this point. I park my car in the middle, do one side and back, stop at my car to hydrate, off to the other side and back. Fuel around the 1 hr mark.
    Couple things worth noting, yesterday and today, at the starting time of my runs it was still sub 50 degrees out. Both days I was fine in short sleeves, but with just under month to go, it may get colder. Haven't worn long sleeves since early spring, may have to get used to that again soon before the big race.
Just as I started my run, before the 1 minute mark, I had to pause for a pic! There were a couple deer on the trail. Only got a pic of one, hope it's not too blurry. I couldn't get much closer and zoomed in.

Next week is my next scary (to me) distance. 20 miles! I'm sure I'll be nervous thinking about it until i get started. 

  • Week 17: Saturday 10/28: Another new longest run, also the longest run of the training program before the big day! Been trying not to think about this all week! But it was on the back of my mind since signing up!
Set my alarm, got up before it. Coffee, light breakfast, at the trail by 7:30. Park in the middle, set water out. It was a bit chilly to start. Short sleeves, but had hat and gloves. The past couple days, my left calf has been tight, not slowing me down, but a bit of an annoyance. It was definitively an annoyance to start, cleared up about mid way. Out and back, passing my car every 5.5 or so. Fueling just before passing my car, hydrating at my car. Bumped into my new friend a couple times who was out for a 14 miler, was good to chat for a bit. Didn't want to hold him back, but definitely helped getting me going a few times. The first 15 or so weren't bad, the last 2-3 were definitely a bit rough. Lower back/overall soreness. Will be stretching and hydrating! Going to cut back on some mid week runs, the days the plan doesn't have running, will still do some core workouts, but will be cutting back to just one and done for miles on those days. Need to recover before the big day! 

  • Week 18: Saturday November, 4th:  Last double digit run until the big day, just over two weeks! Scheduled for 10 miles. That's what I did. 
The usual. Set my alarm, got up before it. Coffee, light breakfast, worked for a few minutes, at the trail by 7:30. This morning, wind chill 36! No question about it, long sleeves, hat, and gloves! 10 miler has been my weekend base when in between training sessions. But, still feeling that 20 from last week and didnt want to push it too hard. In hindsight, should of slowed it down another notch.  
Parked in the middle of my trail, forgot to place water out. 'Doh.  Did one side and back. About a mile in started a sweat, ditched the gloves for a bit. Skipped hydrating as i passed my car on the way back, still practicing this. I need to get better at this. Good thing I will see stations along the race. To the other side and back, fueled around the 6 mi mark.  
The weather may have been chilly to start, but these are my fav days at the trail. Brisk air, leaves rustling, starting to see even more of the creek as the leaves fall. Usually start to see more deer, but not today.
Will be tapering per the schedule, hopefully i feel just a bit more fresh on race day. Will do plenty of stretching and hydrating as well. 
Mail call! Signed up for bib/packed to be mailed, just came in today! Things are getting more real!

  • Week 19: Saturday, November 11th. Six miles. But going to start with this, before heading out at 7:30 am, it was already a long day. I worked my normal shift on Friday, 7:30 am-4:30 pm. But also had to be back by 12:30 am Saturday. My team had a major software upgrade we had to support. I tried to take a nap, maybe fell asleep for 15 minutes, but wasn't able to get the 1-2 hrs I had hoped for. Coffee, energy drinks got me through it. Got home before 7:30 and had plans to head out at 9:15.  Had enough time to get my scheduled six in. It was a bit chilly out, wind chill 8! First time wearing running pants this yr. Was a bit tired, but the chill definitely helped get me through it. One i was home, had to get ready to head out, to a 2 mile charity walk! Alzheimer's walk in Philidelphia, hosted by the Phillies around Citizen's Bank Park. The walk hits home, as my wife lost her grandfather last yr to Alzheimer's. Great walk, and cause, but was supposed to start at 11, didnt start till closer to 12. Lunch with the in-laws at Xfinity. Once home, did 2 hours of raking, and that's only about half of what I need to do this weekend. Other half to be done tomorrow, which is a rest day. After tomorrow, will definitely be resting as scheduled, will hold off next weekend's yard work until after the race. Been thinking plenty abut the race, probably too much, probably shouldn't have analyzed the map a bit the other day. Freaking out, but will do my best to trust the plan! 
  • Week 20: Sunday, November 19th race day! Definitely had anxieties the night before, questioning my training and everything. They say trust your training, they aren't lying. Felt better than expected for most of the race. Did slow down by mile 20, 23-25 slower, and resisted walking that last mile. Had a blast, great crowds through most of it. Will provide more details in my race review, hope to have out sooner than later. Will add a link-back.  Link to my review here

Race day goals:

  • Complete the darn thing.
  • Slow down! Do not blow speed at the start. No matter how claustrophobic you are. (I am guilty of taking off just to get some personal space). If the race feels fast and great, slow down anyway! Miles 18-26 (probably more) will be rough. Seriously, don't blow energy early.
  • Try not to run an extra mile! For a half, I am guilty of running an extra .3-4, it may be due to weaving around people, or taking corners wide? Will try not to do too much of this. We shall see. 
  • Set reminders for fueling, follow them!
  • Have fun. May be crawling at the end, but you did put in work and paid for this. You love running. Make the most of it!

Will continue to provide updates, still can't believe i signed up for this! Am wondering if my headphones, phone, spirit, or body will quit on me first during the actual race. Hopefully none of the above!

Good luck to everyone with your training!

If you do any races, please remember to review them on ! Your opinions help other runners decide what races to run!  Follow me on BibRave: Joe G

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