Tag Archives: sports

2013: Feb & March Races / Life Changing Announcement!!!

I wanted to make a post about the upcoming year and what I have on the horizon.
This was initially going to be one post, but if I did that it would be so big that nobody would actually read it, so I am breaking it up.

This post will cover the Feb Race already completed, and the Upcoming March race (The Philadelphia Phillies Charities 5K). Please look for two more separate posts, one on the UCP Life Without Limits 5K in April and another on The Broad Street Run in May. I’ll also touch on why I have nothing scheduled after May with a pretty amazing announcement as well. As a matter of fact, I’ll cap this post off with that news today.

First and foremost, I am picking up right where I left off and scheduling one race a month for a while.

Feb was the Chilly Cheeks. This was the charity fundraiser for the American Cancer Society and Charity Miles that I used to earn a charity bib for the Broad Street Run in May. It was a rousing success and has officially cemented my sincere interest in fundraising for Charities. Needless to say, you will be seeing more events like this from me in the future. My run was sucky as I had a full blown sickness during the race, but I was still out there and getting after it. You can check out my race recaps for the Chilly Cheeks Here and Here.

March has me running in the Phillies 5K. I ran this race last year and loved it. (Last year’s recap is Here) It’s a 5K being run in South Philly right around (literally…you physically run around Citizen’s Bank Park and Lincoln Financial Field, The home of the Philadelphia Phillies and Eagles for those non-Philadelphia readers). It’s super flat and a lot of fun. And the fact you get some awesome Fightin’ Phils swag as well as a “cool down lap” on the field inside the Phillies stadium pretty much seals the deal for me. It’s capped at 5,000 runners and it sold out within the span of a day. Pretty awesome race, and super fun. I am looking forward to it, and I am looking to take advantage of the flat conditions to try and push for a 5K PR. Time to beat is 26:52. So I need to string together (at minimum) 3 eight and a half minute miles. It can be done, I just need to get after it and get it done. Of course I’ll be back to report all about it to you. Also please note, I will be doing my damndest to high five and get a picture with the Phanatic. Because the Phillie Phanatic is awesome. This fact is not disputable.

3.1 miles of PAIN!!!
And saving the best news for last here, I have gotten a lot of questions from friends and co-workers as to what’s the deal with the races? More specifically, why the mysterious drought on the schedule for everything past May? Well, THIS happened.

Baby

We got the amazing news right around the holidays, and could not be more excited. Our little family is expanding. There are very few things in this world that I take more seriously than the focus on running and fitness, but being a father and focused on my family is one of them, it’s the number one thing for me, actually. So needless to say, Broad Street will be my big race of the year. I will still be running after that, but it will not be training for anything, more for the sake of staying active and maintaining my sanity. Rest assured, I will still be working my ass off, but it will be more in the way of getting the house and ourselves ready for the new addition that is due later in the summer. I am so excited to share this with everybody, although don’t be surprised If I don’t bring it up all that much. I intentionally try to keep this blog weight and fitness focused. This way I don’t go too off tangent and stay focused on the core intention of things. That being said, I’m not phobic of even mentioning the important people in my life, as evidenced by the usage of actual names and not just calling Jenn “J” and Tessa “T” or something like that. So if it’s important or pertains to what I’m writing about, it’ll be in here, if not, personal stays personal and public stays public. So, May 5 is the Broad Street run and will be my last big race of the year, for damn good reason. I may still try and squeak a few more 5K’s in there after Broad Street, but we’ll see how that goes.

I’m gonna be a dad again. Jenn and Tessa were the real catalyst for me to begin all of this, and I can’t wait to experience that kind of drive, determination, and most importantly unconditional love for another member of our family. Can’t wait to see how this translates into the future for all of us together as a family.

So to sum up, The Chilly Cheeks was a huge success, I have The Phillies 5K coming up in March where I’ll be pushing for a new PR, another 5K in April for the UCP of Philadelphia (separate post coming up dedicated just to this as it is probably the most important race I’ll do all year. Most important I’ll do EVERY year, in fact), and then  one last post talking all about The Broad Street Run in May. After that, I’m done the major races for the year, because I will be busy preparing for the upcoming addition to our family. All in all, I am looking a pretty damn amazing 2013. Thanks for being along for the ride with me.

Ok, till next time where I post about the UCP Life Without Limits 5K, (which will be very shortly, potentially later today or tomorrow), take it easy.

Andy

Breaking Off From MFP A Little More / Intro & Training for Broad Street / Reviews On The Horizon

Pretty quick post today, it’s a welcome breath of fresh air from my recent exceptionally long-winded posts.

Weight is still good. Nothing new on this front and no news really is good news since I am maintaining. All steady and feeling good. Seriously contemplating knocking off another day from logging and seeing how I do with that, time to continue weaning myself off of the MyFitnessPal a little more. I would anticipate the same continued success but don’t want to be cocky or overconfident, so only way to find out is to just jump in and find out. I’ll let you know.

Workouts. Oh Hell Yes. I am back in the saddle and running my ass off again. Loving it. I am just getting into week #3 of my training plan for Broad Street and feeling good about it. I am happy to report that I had my first step up in the Long run dept. (only 3 miles up to 4 miles, so we’re not talking massive miles here yet…) but that being said it was great and I’m really looking forward to working my way back up to the decent distances again. It was a great 4 mile run and I felt awesome as I did it. Yes, It was on the treadmill because it was frickin freezing outside (low 20’s and windy), but I’ll take a victory however I can get it. I have a full training plan set to carry me from now straight through to my big run of the year, The Broad Street Run. It’s a 10 miler (one of the biggest 10 mile races in the country, I’m told) that hosts 40,000+ runners and runs straight through the heart of Philadelphia in May. Broad Street is the central road that cuts through the center of the city and hosts the entirety of the race, hence the name. This is one of those truly “Philadelphia” races, and the last of my original goals from last year that I wanted to accomplish but simply was unable to do last year. Plain and simple, last May I was nowhere close to being able to run for 10 miles straight. At that point I was still trying to chase down the elusive 10K. (which I would not be able to hit until a full month after the Broad Street was run. And that was just 6 miles vs.a  10 mile race). All that said, I’m there now, and really excited to hit it and hit it hard. My very aggressive and borderline unattainable goal is to try and run it in an hour and a half. Not sure if I can string together 10 consecutive 9 min miles but I’m going to try. If I miss it, no worries, I can’t wait to experience this race. It’s supposed to be one of the most fun races you will ever run. But I always need an aggressive goal to hit, and 90 min will be the stretch goal for this one.

On a side note, looking back to my stepped up treadmill training run: along with feeling great, it was also my first run (pretty much ever, I believe) without music. Really came down to the fact that I was rushing to get out the door to get on the way to the gym and forgot to grab the ipod I had set out. It was not as horrible as I thought it would have been. Granted, I missed the extra distraction and motivation and would prefer to not run without my music again, but it is reassuring to know that I can pull it off if push comes to shove. My mind does tend to wander and I don’t even know how many odd tangents I went off on while running in my non-music run, but hey, whatever.

I’m happy to say that I will have 2 more product reviews coming up shortly. I have been provided a pair of Pro Compression brand compression socks to use and review, as well as a hydration backpack from Hydrapak. I have used the socks already and had a great experience with them, but want to try them out on some longer runs and varied conditions before I write the review, and same thing with the Hydrapak. I’ve filled it up and tried it on, but really want to put it to the test before I give an official review. It will definitely be an adjustment to be running with a backpack full of water, but then again, so was strapping a water bottle holding 24 oz of water to my hand, so I’ll try it out and see which I prefer. I’m looking forward to seeing how it holds up to the longer runs. I’ll be back to let you know the deal. Both coming soon, however.

Lastly, one more heads up. I wrote about this last year and it’s getting to be about that time again so fair warning it’s coming. Every year my family puts together a team for a local charity fundraiser 5K for the UCP Orginazation (United Cerebral Palsy of Philadelphia). We have some close ties to them as my cousin Madison has CP and has benefited from their programs/ activism /resources and as such, there is now a desire to give back and help out however we can. My next post is going to be the “upcoming races and goals” post, and a large portion of this is going to be dedicated to the UCP run.

I cannot tell you how good it feels to be looking ahead and gearing up to get deep into my training plans and chasing down some running related goals again. Here we go again, 2013 I’m coming after you.

I hope this post finds everyone well, and as always: until next time, take it easy.

Andy

Philly Half Marathon Prep

I initially intended to talk about this weekend’s upcoming Philly Half Marathon in the last post as well, but I decided to put it in this separate post after the fact, as I didn’t want to take away from what has turned into a pretty special post for me in looking back at the past year. So, I move from the last post looking back to this current post looking ahead to this weekend and the Philadelphia Half Marathon. I have gone over all this before, but I have been working towards training for this race for a long time now, and for me, even if you removed the emotional overtones that will be there due to the date and the fact that falls one year to the day from when I started this life changing process, it would still be a big day for me. A culmination of quite a bit of training, time, and effort in preparation. 13.1 miles that will represent hundreds of training miles run spanning dozens of hours, sore legs and knees and hips, and quite a bit of self doubt and subsequent surprise/ pride in completing things that I literally thought were laughable before I began all this.

 Ths race itself starts insanely early, 7:00 AM on what will most undoubtedly be a VERY chilly late November morning. So the good news is I will be done running early in the day. The bad news is that by the time the sun is up and starts to take the chill out of the air, I will also have already started, gone the entire length of the course and will be done running.

The course itself is designed to hit some of the most iconic spots in Philadelphia, running from the Art Museum past city hall and then down to Old City, along the waterfront, through center city and into university city, up into Fairmount Park and then back to the Art Museum to finish where it all began. For the most part, it’s a flat course that should be well suited for runners to settle in and run a good race. There are a few inclines when you hit the later half of the race in University City and Fairmount Park, but they do not look horrendous. Course Map and Elevation Chart attached at the bottom of this post.

 It’s exciting for me, and that is not even taking into consideration the fact that once again, I will have someone else in my corner out on the course. This will be race #2 for me with my friend Rock. (and yes, I definitely see this becoming a trend) You remember Rock from the last race, the Runner’s World 10K where she ran her first road race ever with me and completely rocked it. Well, as I have been saying, She has been training for this Half as well, and I know she is going to kick this race’s ass as well. We may have slightly different paces, but it feels good to know that if either one of us needs it, there is someone who is out there going through the same thing at the same time and we have each other’s backs.

 The training is completed! One last easy 3 mile run tonight, after which I’m resting my legs till race day, and then for the last time this year, its go time. I’m excited for it, and it’s been building so long now that I just want to get out there and show what I can do. I’ll be posting again soon with a one year anniversary post and then a post-race recap.

So the training is done, the prep is done. Gear picked out and ready. Music playlist fine tuned and loaded onto the freshly charged ipod.

Here we go, race day coming up in a matter of days (4, to be exact). It’s time to get out there and get it on.

I’ll talk to you all soon, and until then, take it easy.

 Andy