Long Overdue Year in Review

Once again life has gotten in the way of blogging. My year 2009 review numbers are as follows:


New Jersey Marathon
Turkey Swamp 25 k (PR)
Asbury Park Marathon
Philadelphia Marathon (PR)
Thunder Road Marathon

Total Miles Run = 1912

My two main goals for 2009 were to run 2009 miles and to run a sub-4 marathon, so I wound up with a big fat FAIL on both. So my two main goals for 2010? Yeah, at least 2010 miles and a sub-4. So far I am targeting a Fall marathon as my ultimate goal race, since I know I will be able to load up on miles over the summer. I still hope to run at least 2 in the spring though. I am getting ready to sign up for the Ocean Drive Marathon in March, just because it’s so damn close and I’ve never done it before. As far as a Fall marathon I have reserved a room in Minnesota for the Twin Cities Marathon in October. Registration opens February 2nd so I have a few days to decide if I want to change my mind and do something else (it’s supposed to be a great race though so I will probably stick with it). And I’ll probably do the Philadelphia Marathon again, just because that is such a fun local race. So that’s it for me – curious to hear what everyone else is thinking for races.

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Holiday Miles Challenge

Several of the marathoners on the Marathon Race Training forum of Runners World Online have started a Holiday Mileage Challenge. This is actually the 3rd annual Holiday Mileage Challenge, so there is already a loyal group of runners participating (most of whom will smoke me in miles). The challenge this year is from December 24th through January 3rd (last Sunday of the holiday weekend) so there is an 11 day window to try to max out your mileage. I decided to throw my hat in the ring. I should still probably be trying to recover from the Thunder Road Marathon, but I have been eating Christmas cookies like the world is going to end tomorrow, so the challenge sounded like a good idea. Between running in bitter cold weather, and pulling doubles on my treadmill, I’m pretty sure I can start the new year with an overuse injury – woohoo!

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Marathon Maniac #2050

The Thunder Road Marathon was my third marathon in 3 months which makes me Marathon Maniac eligible, so I am now officially Maniac #2050 (how’s that for a nice round number?). I qualified for Bronze, their lowest level. Their are 8 levels above Bronze, topping out at the Titanium level. To qualify for Titanium are you have to do one of the following:

1. 52 marathons or more in 365 days

2. 30 marathons in 30 US states, countries or Canadian provinces in 365 days

3. 20 countries in 365 days

How’s that for crazy? Don’t think I am qualifying for Titanium any time soon. I may have a shot at Silver next year though, if I run 6 marathons in 6 consecutive months or do at least 8 within 365 days. I have already come to the conclusion that speed is not my thing, so I don’t know if qualifying for Boston is in the cards any time soon. I think running a whole bunch of marathons is a whole lot more realistic of a goal for me, and will hopefully provide an eventual path to Boston.
I’m very curious to know what races other people are looking at for 2010. I’ve got a rough idea but would like to know what other people are thinking…
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Thunder Road 2009

I ran the Thunder Road Marathon in Charlotte, NC Saturday. I was on the fence about doing this marathon but jumped at the chance once the airfare dropped a couple of weeks ago. I’m glad I did – I thought it was a well done race and I had a great time. I flew down on Friday and got to met up with NJShoreRun (aka Steve) .
My main goal for this race was just to run it easy since I ran Philly 3 weeks ago. That’s a little hard to do in a race that has roaring engines at the start when the guns go off. I ran the first half a little faster than I should have but still had a decent race. I managed to meet up with Steve a couple of times during the race which was cool. We actually ended up running it in together at the end.

I really liked this race. I stayed at a hotel that was six blocks from the expo and start/finish line so it was super easy to get in and out (and never saw the inside of a Charlotte porta pottie), plus the airport was only about 15 minutes away. I’m always amazed at some of the criticisms people write on MarathonGuide.com (too hilly, too cold, a waitress was mean to me, blah blah blah). I thought this was a great race and would definitely do it again.

Finish time = 4:13:36

At the expo

Start Line

Somewhere around mile 14? (thanks to P Kay)
with NJShoreRun at the Finish

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Post & Pre Marathon Wrap Up

The Philadelphia Marathon uses EnduraFit for their marathon shirts. EnduraFit apparently designs their shirts based on stick figures wearing them. I have a shirt from the half marathon last year and the marathon this year and both shirts are very tight in the shoulders & arms. I have seen this talked about on the Philly forum of RunnersWorld online so I know I am not alone with this complaint. So in a shameless act of capitalism I put both shirts on eBay this week. I will never wear either shirt since they fit so crappy so I figured I would use them to fund upcoming race registrations. So check out my booty from two race shirts:

Not bad considering I started the auction at $20. I checked the Marathon race results this year for the name of the person who won the auction and didn’t see them on there. I thought that was interesting, not sure what it means, but I hope someone ends up being happy with these shirts. I really hope EnduraFit steers clear of any of my future marathons – it really sucks to get a shirt from a race that you can’t even wear.

So what should I do with that hard earned thirty six bucks? Not sure if there are any good marathons coming up – surely it would be stupid for me to run one so close to running Philadelphia.

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2009 Philadelphia Marathon

Today broke the streak of crappy weather marathons for me. The weather couldn’t have been better for this year’s Philadelphia Marathon. Last year the weather was 22 degrees at the start. This year it was a balmy 44 degrees and would rise to at least 50+ by the end of the race.

This is a great race. I was signed up for the marathon last year but had to run the half marathon due to an injury, so I was already familiar with the center city portion of the race. The second half runs along the Schuylkill River and up to the town of Manayunk before it turns around to return to the art museum. I loved the second half – the crowds in Manayunk lived up to their reputation. Also being able to see the lead runners on their return leg was very cool.

The gorilla in the room for me right now is a sub-4 hour marathon. I didn’t feel 100% confident going in to this race that I had it me but I planned my race around it anway. I purposely took the first half of the race very easy and crossed the half at 2:03:17, hoping that would leave me enough gas in the tank to negative split the second half of the race. Today wasn’t the day however; the hills in Manayunk took their toll and I had a hard time once I hit 21 miles. All things considered, I am still happy with the race I ran and will take the 2 minute PR. My chip time was 4:09:16.

Mrs. Progman came out with me for this race and was awesome in the role of crowd support. An added bonus to this race was being able to hang out with Mr & Mrs Flyers26 on race eve. Flyers ran a solid race and shaved close to 10 minutes off his PR. Some pics from Mrs. P:

Finish Line

Art Museum

Coming into the finish

The most awesome spectator on the course

Post race under the shade of the ugly yellow hat

With Flyers post race

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NYC Marathon Lottery

I entered the 2010 NYC Marathon Lottery this morning. This will be my third year in a row entering the lottery so if I get turned down I am guaranteed entry into the race for 2011. This year the NYRRC is drawing the lottery in March which is very cool. They used to do it in June which left everyone scrambling for a Fall marathon once they got turned down in the lottery. It will be interesting to see how fast Fall marathons like Philadelphia and Chicago fill up now that NYC will draw it’s lottery in March. I always have mixed feelings about this lottery – I want to run the race, but I dread the fact that the logistics will be a nightmare. Oh well – I’m sure I won’t have to worry about it until Nov. 2011.

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Philadelphia Taper Time

The Philadelphia Marathon is a mere 12 days away. I have been more or less indifferent to this marathon. Life has been really crazy for the last couple of months so I have not spent a lot of time obsessing about the usual marathon related things. HOWEVER, I have still been running like a crazed idiot, and that familiar excitement of an upcoming marathon is starting to creep up on me. It is time to catch up on some obsessive marathon related blah blah:

I have always done the 3 week taper thing. Three weeks seems like such a long freaking time, and I am relatively injury free. I capped off my training with 18.5 miles on Sunday and am going for the 2 week taper.

This will be my 4th marathon and the first 3 all involved rain. I’m not obsessing too much about the weather this time, I am just assuming it will be raining.

It was like 22 degrees at the start last year when I ran the half marathon at Philly – that was cold. I would really like to run this thing in shorts. As long as the temperature is above 30 degrees I am thinking shorts and running jacket. New Balance on both counts.

It’s Tuesday, I just ran 18 miles on Sunday, and I still feel like I’ve gained 20 pounds in the last 15 minutes. That’s the taper for you, it sucks. I am really going to try to focus on my diet during the taper. Enough about weight.

Hydration Strategy
I have resigned myself to running with a 12oz handheld and carrying some pretzels. That’s it. No gels, no electrolyte pills, no shot blocks. Way too much to think about. I will refill the handheld at the occasional water station and go with the flow. Philly is too crowded to rely soley on the stations early on so the handheld should work fine.

Goal Setting
This is the tough one. I signed up for this race a week before starting a new job, so I originally figured I would be happy just to run across the finish line and pick up another medal. However, I have been feeling pretty good and logging a bunch of miles, including knocking off the Asbury Park Marathon three weeks ago, so logic would dictate I’ve got a PR in me. I’m not very logical though – I’ll probably decide on a goal somewhere around the 5 mile mark.

Thats about it. I will probably end up posting a list of changes next week, but I think I am good to go. Go Philly!

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Neon Brooks Boy

So a couple of weeks ago I snagged a Brooks Nightlife hat on eBay to replace my ugly yellow RoadRunnerSports hat. In an instant twist of Karma, right after that I saw the Brooks Nightlife half zip on sale at RunningWarehouse.com so I pounced on it. In my elation I ended up bragging to BrooksRunning on Twitter who was kind enough to send me a complimentary pair of Nightlife gloves. So my early morning outfit is now pretty complete – if BrooksRunning is reading, I seriously think you guys should be making Nightlife themed shoes. The Adrenalines would rock in neon.

As it stands now, I think my shoe of choice for the Philadelphia Marathon will be the Brooks Ravenna. I have been sporting the Adrenalines pretty religiously but I think the Ravennas have a little more fore foot cushioning in them than the latest breed of the Adrenalines (although I have been trolling eBay hard for a pair of the older Adrenaline 8’s). This is the pair I ran the Asbury Park Marathon in – I think they have another marathon in them.

Congrats to Meb Keflezighi, first American man to win the NYC Marathon since 1982. I got home from a 16 mile run on Sunday just in time to turn on the TV and watch him blow by Robert Cheruiyot coming into Central Park. Awesome race!

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Asbury Park Race Photos

Since this was an 8 loop course, the photographer had excellent opportunity to snap enough pictures of everyone, especially the dopes that were doing all eight loops. One of these days I am going to actually buy an official race photo. Considering the price of race photos usually rival the cost of race registrations, I have never come close to pulling the trigger on one. Here are some of the official race photos, including one I poached from a friends Facebook page:

At the Start

Mrs. P bringing in the first loop

Coming in the transition area

Flyers, Colleen,Sarah & I

Scott about to lose his hat

Sandy getting the transition

Somewhere around the 7th loop

Finish line

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