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Category: Road Race

Philadelphia Marathon Training

The Philadelphia Marathon is almost here.  This will be my second time running the race and with a previous time of 3:48 I hope to improve.  If you are new to the marathon, training for it can be brutal.  Many people see the marathon as such a great accomplishment because of the sacrifices you have to make.  Not only will your body be complaining, if you have a wife, kids, or a dog they will all be spending less time with you.  I started with a different strategy this year, instead of doing my longer runs on the weekend, I decided to start running to and from work.  I know this isn’t an option for most but if you live outside the city, where I am located, there are some different routes you can take to downtown Philadelphia.  If you live in the Plymoth Meeting and Conshohken area, the Schuylkill River trail provided an excellent scenic route.  Most of the terrain is flat, but you can park at different train stations to vary your distance in to the city.  This has provided me with an ability to run early in the morning, then take a train ride to get home.  The other part of this is having a job that provides a shower to use when you get to your destination.

The biggest issue I have had this year seems to be dealing with cramping and pains I experience in my legs.  I have been trying to take in different foods and always make sure that I drink plenty of Gatorade, but it doesn’t seem to help.  I think I just need to put in more miles to get my body accustom to the abuse.  This always seems to happen near the 20 mile mark, I’m beginning to think it’s more of a mental hurdle rather than a physical one.

I still can’t seem to figure out why I would want to do something like this again.  Maybe it was the fact that I had to walk last year during the race.   Maybe it’s the fact that I know I can run a faster time then 3:48.  Whatever it is that keeps you running it doesn’t matter, as long as you have fun and you enjoy it.  I think anyone that attempts a marathon should already have love affair with running, but it will break that relationship.  Once I cross that finish line I’ll hopefully say it was all worth it, until then I just need to keep enduring the pain.  Don’t do your next marathon until you’ve forgotten your last one, Bill Rodgers once advised. I would have agree with that statement somewhat, but that’s what got me back here.  I can’t forget all the joy I felt when it was finally over, I want that all again…  Just faster than I did last year.

Sloppy Cuckoo Half Marathon Trail Run – Pennypack Park

My new love affair has been trail running, the only issue is that I can’t seem to find enough races to participate in that take place on trails.  Enter the sloppy cuckoo trail run, when I first found out about the race, I was excited, because I was familiar with the trails from mountain biking there.  I knew the terrain couldn’t be too technical and it was very similar to where I do most of my trail running.  They pride themselves with the largest starting line in PA, which I would have to agree with.

The race director was late getting to the start, because he was out on the course setting up the additional aid stations.  After he returned, the race started promptly and was off to a frantic start.  It didn’t take much time for people to get into a line, because you quickly had to form a single line to cross over the bridge and head to the opposite side of the creek.  The aid stations had both water and Gatorade.  The course was well marked, which I was concerned about it being my first trail run.  Most of the time I spent running the trail alone, only occasionally getting passed (17 people total).  If I had to run this race again, I would have prepared better with longer distance trail running. Since at the time I was only doing a mix of half trails with hills/half flat trail.  The race director had stated that the course was mostly flat, but that wasn’t what my Garmin had shown.

The food at the finish line was exceptional.  They had: cookies, soda, sausage sandwiches, beer, chips, pretzels, and all the types of bad food you want after running a 13 mile race.  If you missed out on this race, they are having another half marathon trail race on October 31, which is the “October Lauf Fest”.  I hope it is the same course as the last.  There was only one stream crossing that you had to deal with, which you could almost jump over.  I didn’t make it to the other side, and one of my shoes did get wet.  Had there been more rain, the course would have had a few more of these little streams to cross.  I ended up finishing 5th in my age group, so I just missed an age group award.  Hopefully I’ll do better in the Oktoberfest race.  I did receive a nice wooden race whistle that is very useful for annoying my dog.

This race was so much fun that I will be sure to enter it every year.  If you live in the Philadelphia area, it’s definitely worth the trip.  Odds are you will be near that mileage anyway if you had done the Rock and Roll 1/2 Marathon in Philly.

Sloppy Cuckoo 2010 – Race Results

Race Website: Uberendurancesports

18 Miles of smiles LBI, New Jersey

If you wanted to find the flattest, longest course to run in New Jersey this would have to be it.  The readout from my Garmin watch shows a straight line for the elevation.

I thought because of how flat the course was I would have an easy time running a PR for my half marathon.  This turned out to be far from the truth as I didn’t get enough time to train at the distance for this race.  I only had a chance to do one run that was 20 miles a week before the race.  It was my first time running this distance in a race so at least I know what to expect for next year.  There was great support from the community and the water stops were plentiful.  Timing and photos were provided for this event as well.  This was a great race and I look forward to doing it next year, the only thing I could complain was the ugly brown color of the cotton t-shirt they gave you.

Results: http://www.compuscore.com/cs2010/october/lbi.htm



Time and Pace = 2:15:46.95  7:32