Sunday, October 25, 2020

Weekly Running Report: October 25, 2020

Hi Everyone!

Hope you are all doing well! 

How's training going? Any races (IRL or virtual)? Enjoying the fall weather and scenery yet?

This week was up/down as far as rest goes. Tired, sore, and keeping an eye on possible shin splint.. On the opposite leg as over the summer. lol..  

Reminder, if you're just skimming my blog, lol..  reminder that I also have gear and race discount tabs/pages to check out as well. :) #BibRavePro

My Week in Training: 

Monday: 6 miles. Sunday, participated in SundayFunday beverages. Hydrated, but could of done better. Up slightly past my bed time, not ready for the weekend to be over. :(  Not a good night's rest. Up before my alarm. Coffee and decent workout done since I had extra time. Out the door by 6. Legs a bit sore still from the weekend. Decent start, but shins and calves not feeling to good. Slowing down before my midway hill, and shins (stiff and hurting) and calves overall soreness, hill was rough! Wincing a bit from the shins. Slowing down even more in the two hills before the end. Will need to keep on eye on things and focus on recovery.
Tuesday: 5 miles. Monday, attempting to get a good night's rest, well.. Work call at 3am! Not on-call, but had to assist the one that is. :(  Worked until 3:30. Back to bed, but up. Gave up on sleep by 4. Got another decent workout in. Out the door a few min early. Usually do 1mi-5k on Tues streak day, but since I was up and had time, going to do 5, if my shins are up to it. Felt slightly better than the day before. Still sore, but moving along. Did an epsom salt bath after work as well.  
Wednesday: 5 miles. Tues, a much better night's rest than Mon/Tues! Up just before my alarm, but a little groggy. short workout done. Out the door by 6. Wed, usually do 5-7. Figured since I was sore and already did more than planned yesterday, will keep today at 5. Shins still a bit tight, but not as painful. Pacing a little better for a bit, but could feel it. A little pain and tighter stride, but able to push through my hills a bit. Weather was a few degrees warmer today, foggy, misy, humid! 
Miscellaneous cardio: .75 hours yard work.
Thursday: 3.11 miles. Wed, decent night's rest, that's two in a row! Up just before my larm and ready to go! Workout, stretch. and out the door by 6. 5k day, trying to do speed work at least once a week, but feeling shin pain recently. On/off, manageable. Going to give it a whirl! Took a few minutes, but off to a decent start! Got pacing down to 6:50's for a bit. Just over 7 for 1 mi. But hills starting at 1.2 Tried to keep with it, but losing steam through the hill. 7:teens. Tried picking it up again as it leveled out, not much doing. Calves still sore. 7:20's by mi 2.  Well, more hills around 2.3 repeat, another hill 2.7. Faded to 7:30. Was hoping to keep it around 7:15, but calves and hills got me. Still happy with how it went. Made my top ten 5k's.
Friday: 5 miles. Thu, participated in Thirsty Thurs, and stayed up late watching football. And even when the game was over, did't go to bed right away. Was still amped up from the crazy game. Well. that didn't help this morning. lol.. Tired. Calves sore, shin a bit. And definitely lacking enthusiasm. Workout done. Out the door by 6:10. No energy to push. Pace started out 8:30ish. Fading as each inline added up. 8:45 before I even got to my worst hills. Backed off at each incline as it was rough. 99% humidity didn't help either. Was in a F it, let's just relax, get more comfortable to get through this. It didn't help that I wasn't in the mood to go to work either. Left work yesterday knowing a few things were waiting for me that I wasn't looking fwd to. Turns out, work was a smooth day after those items. Attitude adjusted midday. Ready for the weekend. Hopefully my legs are. :)
Saturday: 13.1 miles. Friday relaxed, epsom bath, carb loaded, stayed up just a few minutes late. (9:30) Watched a horror movie earlier and wasn't tired just yet. Too exciting. lol.. Up just before my alarm. Briefly thought about snoozing, but up. Coffee, routine, and over to my trail by 6:15. Usually shoot for 6, but routine needed just few more minutes. My trail . Park in the middle, Welsh and Terwood Rd. Doing the more gradual incline side first to Rockledge Park. Pace: started out a little fast, but could tell it would be a struggle to maintain there. Backed off. Fading to a more comfortable 8:30's. Headlamp for the first few miles. Peaceful. At Rockledge, left the trail for a bit. (entire trail back and forth is 11, going to add a few in a nearby neighborhood and main street. Starts out with a real steep hill. Up and level, then turn to main street. Turned off the headlamp when I left the trail, well lit over here. Turned around when I hit 3.9 mi. Pace around 8:40 as I returned to the trail. Pushed a couple times, but hanging comfortably. Fueled at 1 hr. Hydrated at my car at 7.8 Ditched the headlamp. Off to the more wooded side to ByBerry Rd and back. Slight incline and hill just before ByBerry. On the return tried to split on the way back, nothing doing. Comfortable and enjoyable today. Trail is looking great as the fall colors are changing. Very peaceful.
Miscellaneous cardio: 2 hrs of yard work. 
Full pics on Facebook
Sunday: 1 mi. Rest day. One for the streak. Run Streak Day . Saturday, tired and sore after 2 hrs running, 2 hrs yard work. Epsom bath, foam roll. As tired as I was, eventually regained alertness/energy. Stayed up late, almost 1 am! Watching baseball, finally able to stay up late enough to catch a World Series game! Slept in today and felt refreshed. Coffee, taking my time. Out the door around 9. Energy to start initially. First pace alert slower than expected, but picked up as i moved along. Left shin pain a bit. Stiff and throbbing, but manageable. Pace 7:30, somewhat comfortable, not much more push avail to bring it down further. Maintained through the hill and incline. And the brisk air was nice, but can tell breathing will take some adjusting at first when the temps really drop! lol..  
Weekly Summary:
Miles: 38 miles completed 
Strength Training: Goal 150 minutes, 172 minutes completed. What type of strength training do I do? Core: crunches, planks, leg raises. Weights: biceps, triceps, shoulders, chest. 
Hydration Goal: 
Foam Roll:   
Miscellaneous Cardio: 2.75 hrs yard work
Training Plan: Not on a plan at the moment, but use the below:
marathon training plan
Image from Coach Jenny Hadfield
Race Schedule: 

Calendar is clear till next year!

Be sure to check out my Race and Gear discount pages. #BibRavePro ;)

Good luck to everyone with training! Kick some butt! 

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

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Weekly Running Report: October 18, 2020

Hi Everyone!

Hope you are all doing well! 

How's training going? Any races (IRL or virtual)?

It's been two weeks since my IRL race, Valley Forge Marathon, check out my review, here! I seem to be getting back to "normal". A little sore here and there, but not bad. Yet. Will be sure to keep an eye on things.

My Week in Training: 

Monday: 10 miles. Day off from work, trail day, yay! Participated a bit in SundayFunday beverages, and stayed up slightly past my bed time. Sleeping in, and felt oh so good! Dark and rainy helped! Up around 7, coffee, got a good workout in. Swear those weights get heavier over the weekend! And over to my trail around 9. Usually do 5-7 on Monday's, but with the day off, figured I'd get a double digit in. My trail Pennypack Creek. Park in the middle, Welsh and Terwood. Doing the gradual incline side to Rockledge Park first. 
Nobody's here today! (rare even for a Monday). Wind chill 41 and a downpour may do that! I knew the forecast was calling for a full rain day and was looking forward to it. Once you acknowledge you're going to get wet, embrace it, have fun with it! Invigorating! 
Pace was 8:15 ish for a bit, but the soggy shoes, incline and tired legs slowed things down a bit. 8:20's by the mid point. Skipped hydrating as I passed my car. Off to the more wooded side to ByBerry Rd. Trying to hang in the 8:20's, but feeling more fade coming. Legs also got a bit stingy/numb. Worked on breathing, trying to split on the way back from ByBerry, nothing doing. Faded slightly more before the end. Wanted 8:30, slightly tougher than expected, but enjoyed the rain run! 

What's on your rainy day list? 

ziplock bag for phone
old shoes 
backup headphones
protect chafing areas
no glasses 
towels and change of shirt for after
Anything else to add?
Full pics on Facebook
Tuesday: 3.11 miles. Monday, was in bed on time, but tossed and turned for hours. Maybe over caffeinated, and wasn't ready for bed. and up at least once overnight. Woke up right at my alarm. Tired! Coffee, workout (slowly, but got my sets in), and out the door by 6. Somewhat brisk and misty, helped somewhat. Pace was slightly better than expected. Was comfortable. 8:10's before my worst hill, faded to about 8:20. Pretty much maintained there, with a slight split before the end. Tired, and a little stiff, but not bad. Was sure to foam roll/stretch before bed!
Wednesday: 5 miles. Tues, in bed early! Tossed/turned a bit, but not as bad as Mon. Slept until my alarm, but much more well rested. Still felt some tightness in my left shin/calf as I went down the stairs. Coffee, 30 min workout, and out the door by 6. Nice and brisk, and no rain! Pacing was pretty comfortable today around 8:10 before my hills/ just below 8:20 after. Thought about doing more at the end, but also have chores to do after work, will be at least a little sore tomorrow, sticking with 5 this week. Could feel my left shin/calve a little bit, but not that bad. Felt it a bit more after my run. Will be sure to monitor to try to make sure it doesn't go full splint on me. This was the good shin over the summer when my right one was acting up. lol.. 
Miscellaneous cardio: 1.5 hrs yard work.
Thursday: 7 miles. Usually my streak to 5k day? Well.. trying to make a valiant effort to get rest. In bed on time, maybe even a few min early. but... work call at 1:40 am! on-call for work this week if 3rd shift has any escalation items. Worked with them a few minutes. back to bed.. Tossed/turned, never fell back to sleep :(  Gave up shortly after four. Grabbed my coffee, got a good workout in. 45 min, out the door by 6. Surprisingly energetic (for now), going to try to have a decent run. First couple minutes felt good, but pace alerts a little slower than how I felt. Picked it up a notch and worked on breathing, foot strike, etc. That's more like it. Pace in the 7:40's. Didn't expect to keep it there long, but kept with it. Felt the inclines add up a bit, fading back/forth a few seconds. 7:50 ish before my first major hill midway. usually lose up to 10 seconds here. Lost a few, but still sub 8. 7:55 ish. Couple more hills later, trying to hang. Felt good till the next set of hills, legs definitely felt it, but done under 8. Second best 7 miler! Knew it may be in my top, didn't think it would be that high. My neighborhood hills definitely play a factor, wonder how I could do at my trail. :) Although I rarely do 7 at my trail, usually a bit more. ;)
Friday: 5 miles. Thu, was sure to make an effort to get better rest. In bed early and ready for sleep. Definitely didn't toss/turn as much. Up just before my alarm, but still groggy. Coffee, short workout helped a bit. Stretch and out the door by 6. Could tell early this was going to be a little tougher than yesterday. Took a few minutes to pick my pace up, somewhat comfortable, but slower than yesterday. Tried a few times to pick it up more, not happening. Feeling the inclines early, way before the hills. Pacing 8:20ish before the worst hill midway, just under 8:30 after. Got it back down a few seconds, but the next couple hills put it back up. Hung in there barely through the last hill to maintain at 8:30. Tired, legs heavy and feeling the hills, but done!
Saturday: 12 miles. Friday, broke routine the night before long run day, actually went out to dinner. Carb loaded, did have a couple drinks which I normally wouldn't do on a fri, but did hydrate. In bed on time and got a decent night's rest. Up before my alarm, waited a few before getting up, but still early. Coffee, taking my time, and over to my trail by 6.My trail Pennypack Creek. Park in the middle, Welsh and Terwood Rd. Doing the side more gradual incline side to Rockledge Park first. 6 am, still pitch dark out. Headlamp time! Pace, settled in the 8 teens. Early into my run, I see a set of eyes to the side! Point my headlamp over a bit more, deer! Slightly further down, several sets of eyes! The first set startled me, but was fine. Don't think there's anything out there besides foxes. Pace went up/down slightly up the incline, but maintained. Slight hill around the dog park at Rockledge. Back to the parking lot, picked up the pace slightly. Hydrated at my car, avg pace 8:12 at 5.5mi. Bumped into a couple of my buddies there, one joining me for a bit. Off to the more wooded side to ByBerry Rd and back. Comfortable remainder of the way, pace backed off a bit, trying not to stress, lowered the volume on my pace alerts. Great catching up with my buddy. Finished the remainder of my run with them.  
Full pics on Facebook
Sunday: 1 mile. "Rest" day, one for the streak. Run Streak Day 1730. Saturday, full day of running around. Doing local tourism! Cool to check out areas nearby that you don't often get to. Doylestown nearby. Checked out the Mercer Museum, and a narby castle. Topped with stopping by a winery and then a brewery. ;) Hydrated early, could of done slightly better later on, but not bad. An excellent night's rest. Cool outside, haven't turned on the heat yet, comfy in bed! Coffee and taking my time. Doing outdoor chores right after, dont want to get out too early. Perfect excuse to dilly dally! lol.. Out the door around 8:15. Brisk, but sunny! Pace was a little slow to start, tried pushing it a bit. Picked it up. 7:20's, but wasn't really comfortable. 7:30 ish overall. Saw some frost along the way! Checked the weather app after, 37! Sun felt nice though. probably could of started with gloves, but not bad. 
Miscellaneous cardio: 45 minutes yard work. Trying to keep up with the leaves (for now). Ice bath after. May participate in SundayFunday, will be sure to hydrate along the way to be ready for tomorrow!
Weekly Summary:
Miles:  43 miles completed 
Strength Training: Goal 150 minutes, 164 minutes completed. What type of strength training do I do? Core: crunches, planks, leg raises. Weights: biceps, triceps, shoulders, chest. 
Hydration Goal: met 5 days
Foam Roll:  5 days 
Miscellaneous Cardio: 2.25 hrs yard work
Training Plan: Not on a plan at the moment, but use the below:
marathon training plan
Image from Coach Jenny Hadfield
Race Schedule: 

Calendar is clear till next year!

Be sure to check out my Race and Gear discount pages. #BibRavePro ;)

Good luck to everyone with training! Kick some butt! 

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

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Valley Forge Marathon - Race Review

Race: Valley Forge Half and Full Marathon
Date: October 4th, 2020
Location: Phoenixville, Pa

Hi Everyone! Hope you are doing well! 

I'm here to recap the Valley Forge Half and Full Marathon (I ran the full). My first IRL race of the year!

Background: mid summer (July 13-14th to be exact), the writing was on the wall that my fall races were going to be canceled. Big city races, no way that's going to be "normal", yet.  (Chicago and Philly marathons), well, just a couple weeks before that, this popped up into my fb feed. Hosted by Schuykill River Runners, they already had recent success with a couple small races, and more lined up. Chicago cancels, which I was somewhat relieved since I may of had some reluctance about flying through Philly and Chicago. The next day, Philly cancels. Philly is not as big as NYC/Chicago, but 20k+ ppl over the two days.  Chicago canceled on July 13, Philly July 14th. Literally within 5 minutes of Philly canceling, I signed up for this race! 

Course Scenery/Elevation: "Flat and Fast" paved trail along the Schuykill River that enters the Valley Forge Historic National Park. The course is an out and back for the half, out and back x2 for the full. Overall ascent for the full marathon, 231 ft!

Race is all trail, max 250 people between both races, employees, and volunteers combined.

Crowd Support: not allowed around the finish area to ensure social distancing. Friends/family are permitted along the course as the trail is open to the public. 

Aid/hydration: unmanned water/Gatorade bottle stations every two miles. Bottles to eliminate human interaction between people, cups, and runners. 
Portable toilets: more than adequate amount at the starting area. Some along the course, but I didn't notice, but did notice a full bathroom off the course in a parking lot. 

Expo: Packet pickup day of race. No mail option. An option was provided to pickup at Valley Forge Running Co on Saturday 3-5 pm. Well... I get there right when it starts. A long line. No prob, no plans today except relax and carb load. Wait in line, get my nice shirt, but.. no bib! Bibs weren't available to pickup. The event was listed as packet pickup, and there was no communication that they weren't available. They did apologize, kinda. Sounded like they were supposed to be there, but weren't. Would of been nice to know! Wish I didn't spend 1.5 hrs+. (driving + waiting), and I know some ppl that spent more time than that. Would of been nice to have my bib ready for the race. Some slight anxiety briefly. The line on race day did move efficiently though, and only redid my pins a couple times. lol.. 

Parking: .7 miles from the race! The race started by a small restaurant by the trail, not enough parking. A couple parks/parking lots along the course, but they are for normal trail use. Parking was at a nearby business complex. No big deal pre race, was a nice warm-up down to the start. But a bit of a hike up a hill after 26.2 miles! But no biggie, it's all good. lol..  

The uncontrollable variable, Weather: The day before the race it stated 44 degrees and clear at start time, which is perfect! Well, as I driving to the race, temps went up just a few. Maybe 47. Still great, but will be warming up during the race. Would of loved one more hour of briskness. Can't be picky, have seen much worse. 

My race: 
Leading up to the race (for those who don't follow my blog/training): May to July, I was in between plans, and ended up participating in the #GVRAT1000k challenge. Was a great challenge, and a bit crazy, most miles in a month for me, 3 months in a row. But towards the end I was very sore, tired, and ended up with shin splints. Focusing on recovery after that, followed my marathon plan to a T, respecting rest days. Summer training kicked my butt as well. Definitely some hesitation. My first 20 miler was exhausting. Continue to follow the plan, recovery, and then seasons began to change, second 20 miler, my best ever! Crazy how things can change in just two weeks. Week after that, my best 10 miler ever (for the Broad Street Run (virtual)). Last month of training had plenty of positives. Time to forget that grueling summer. At least for a bit. Still some anxiety, but not as much. 

Week of the race, was sure to focus on recovery, hydration, some carb loading, no alcohol, proper rest, and no extra miles. Also thankful that I wasn't on-call this week for work. No work interruptions overnight!

Race day: 

Pre Race: 
Packet pickup starts at 6. Race starts at 7, half marathon starts at 8. With the rolling start and the half not starting 'till 8, I can take my time a bit. Still want to start early, but won't feel as rushed. Up just before my normal alarm. Was able to watch the end of the women's London Marathon! (just the last 5 min). Coffee, morning "routine", light breakfast, and on the road before 6. Slightly more traffic on the turnpike than I expected, but everyone flying. Parking lot by 6:30. Short line for my bib. back to my car to get my shirt/bib just right, and head down to the start. Speed walk to get the blood going. Race starting as I get there. Got in line for the other queue. lol.. 

My race: 
Off to a quick start! First mi was way ahead of pace. Continually pulling myself back for a few. But was very comfortable. Enjoying the views. The race was along the river. Clear views across. Was cool to watch the fog/steam lift off the water(sorry, no pics, in a zone, lol..). Entering the valley Forge Historic National Park, meadows on either side, short section with highway 422 on the one side, some slight noise, but not bad. There was one hill around 2.7 mi, a ramp up around the highway. Not bad. Back into the woods, small creek, with a few buildings on the other side. Timing mat at 1/4 marathon, and then turn around to head back to the beginning for the first half marathon. My first half marathon was at least 5 min ahead of goal. Not trying to bank time, but still feeling great/ and not over doing it. Second out and back, really trying to focus on comfort. Didn't hydrate at all, yet, was sure to grab a Gatorade at the half. Didn't see trash cans for a while, held that bottle longer than expected. Saw three deer early in the second half! Pretty close too! Sorry, no pics. Temps were great in the first half. Starting to feel the sun, especially in the meadow portion in the second half. That hill felt fine the second time through. Pace was more relaxed/comfortable, just ahead of target. But at the 3/4 turnaround knew it may get rough at some point. 22 miles, knew the wall was approaching, but saw my wife! A nice boost! Wall around 5k to go. Some negative thoughts kick in, but kept telling myself to think of it as just a tough 5k, you can do a tough 5k, right? lol.. Lost pace in that 5k, but hung in there for a PR! Still room for improvement, but making progress with that darn wall! 

Post race: 

Met up with BibRavePro,, from Miami! People want to race and are willing to travel! Passed by mult times in the race, was sure to meet up after! 

Also met up with a social media follower, louamerica, IRL! Always great to meet people you interact with on the web!

After my post race lunch/drink, met up with another BibRavePro, lacey timony, (not pictured). Great people, and they twisted my arm to head over to a nearby brewery. :)


Lunch! Sorry, no pics! The race started/ended in front of "The Fitz". They had a smoker going and it smelled great! Lunch was a nice sized BBQ sandwich, cole slaw, baked beans. Grilled corn also available. I need some time after running before I eat, but once I was ready.. The sandwich was fantastic! 

Beer: one "free" beer! There were two options from Brothers Kershner Brewing Co. There was an american pale ale option, and a hefe option. I went with the Porch Ale. Nice hops and very refreshing.

Shirt: Red tech shirt. American flag: stars section containing '76 with stars rounding it. Soldier. Over the stripes to the right, there is a  circle with Valley Forge Marathon written around and containing trail/highway paths within the circle.  Bottom left of stripes, Schuykill River Runners written and their logo. 

Medal: no medal, yet. It will be mailed. Race management was sure to communicate this ahead of time. Will be sure to update once received! 

Race Management: the race was well put together, and provided proper safety measures. Am very appreciative of them in these unprecedented times. The two cons.. Communication regarding the Saturday packet pickup. The other, which is also on the runners.. There was plenty of litter on the trail. Masks, water/gatorade bottles, etc. Rude of the runners to discard items, but one thing I did notice, trash cans were only by the hydration stations. If you grabbed your bottle on the run, you're responsible to either consume/discard right there, or carry for two miles. Could of used more trash cans. Maybe every .5?. But again, runners need to be responsible as well. Two small items I would definitely not hold against them. Again, I am very appreciative of the opportunity to do this race. Would I do it again? Schedule permitting, yes! 

Let me know if you have any questions regarding the race! 

Site and Socials:

Be sure to to check my blog site tabs for Race and Gear Reviews and Discounts!

Good luck to everyone with racing and 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! #BibChat Follow me on BibRave Joe G 

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Valley Forge Marathon - Race Review

Race: Valley Forge Half and Full Marathon Date : October 4th, 2020 Location : Phoenixville, Pa Hi Everyone! Hope you are doing well!  I'...