Category Archives: running

Passing the Baton…

After the Philadelphia marathon, the Maryland half marathon, the Annapolis 10-mile and countless training miles in the heat, rain and snow, it is finally time for the shoes to take a rest and let another pair get in the game.

Unfortunately, this particular model of gel Nimbus is no loner in production. They are from two generations ago. It took some searching but, I finally found a New-In-Box pair on eBay. Normally, one would think buying out-of-print running shoes off of eBay would be a  bad idea; but the first run this evening felt great! You don’t realize how much new shoes are needed until you finally get them.

 

New Shoes 2010

So thank you, old shoes. You did your job well.


Take It and Run Thursday – “Running Is Like…”

Today’s TIRT topic over at The Runner’s Lounge is “Running Is Like…” 

“Running is like a marriage.”

I was having some motivation issues last year and just could not get into training for my spring marathon. At that time, I had pretty much been in year-round training mode running a marathon in the spring and one in the fall. I was burned out some.

 It really got me down that I just couldn’t get into running. I didn’t find it fun. That’s when my wife told me the line above. She said if I want to keep doing this the rest of my life (duh!) then I need to treat running like a marriage and not a fling. Do what it takes to make it work and if that meant taking the spring off from marathon training, then that is what I needed to do.

It worked. I relaxed and just ran for the fun of it. No training goals, no schedule. I just ran when I felt like and for fun. By the fall, I was excited and ready to get back into training.


The Shoes Run a Half…

 
Maryland Half

Shoes Ran the Maryland Half

 I had the distinct pleasure of running the inaugural Maryland Half Marathon last week, May 31, 2009. I will say, I liked the race though the hills made a tad challenging but overall it was a pretty good event; very well organized and raised over $100,000 for the University of Maryland Greenbaum Cancer Center. Good chance I will run it again next year with the hopes of doing some actual fund raising.
Here are some things that stuck out as I ran merrily along:

“Can’t Emphasize Enough…”

 As I was getting myself ready to head out the door, I decided to check the weather forecast on WBAL’s 24-hour weather channel. I wanted to see if the rain that was falling was going to move out by race time. As I watched the rain gently fall, WBAL’s WeatherBoy was saying that there was “a slight, slight chance, I can’t emphasize enough how slight it is, of some rain this morning.” By the time I pulled into the Maryland State Fairgrounds, that “slight, slight” chance was pretty much a certainty and a deluge.
I will give him credit; it did stop by race time and actually became sunny and warm by the finish. The weather was pretty perfect for a run.

 Games People Play

The course is a loop that starts and finishes at the fairgrounds, running through Baltimore County. The first part of the race heads out of the fairgrounds and turns right onto Timonium Road. Right after mile one the course turns right onto Jenifer Road through mile two and then turns onto May Chapel for a picturesque jaunt through the Baltimore Country Club at Five Farms.

The spectators along the course were great! They were very supportive, shouting words of encouragement and handing out Swedish Fish. Right around mile two, at the bottom of a hill a very nice family brought out speakers to play motivating 70’s disco music for us. The song, Games People Play by The Spinners was blasting away as I ran by. By mile three, I was wishing for an ice pick to jab in my ear. The Spinners? Luckily, the water stop between miles three and four had a very badly needed porta john and the song left me with the morning’s Gatorade. A welcome relief, for both.

Filthy Stinking Liars

We jumped back onto Timonium off of Seminary towards the turnaround at mile six, by Joppa Road. As the course winds its way back to the fairgrounds there are two large hills, “The Hill That Wouldn’t Quit” (a.k.a. Thorton Hill) and his brother, “The Hill That Wouldn’t Quit, Either” with a bunch of “Me Too!” cousin hills. It got a little challenging along the way.

As I said above, the spectators were very supportive. But I do have a bone to pick. The top of the hill is not “just around the corner” and it is not “all downhill from here.” I know you are trying to be supportive but please, when I turn the corner and see just more hill, or a great downhill followed by a Mt. Everest climb, it doesn’t motivate. It just pisses me off and makes me call you a filthy, stinking liar and other choice words.

The Home Stretch

The finish was great. The final mile follows Aylesbury Road to cross Timonium Road and back into the fairgrounds. The last quarter mile-ish is on the horse track, finishing right in front of the grand stand. The sand was wet so it was a little like running on the beach but after first running almost thirteen miles of hills. A little challenging but the people lining the track and the crowd at the finish helped you along.
Overall, the race was pretty good for its first year. They were very organized and had ample food and drink at the end. I wouldn’t want to have that as a front or back end to a full but for a half marathon, it is a nice, challenging run.

One last thing, the fundraising lines are still open until June 30, so feel free to throw some fundraising love my way. Thanks!

My Spring Race…

I finally registered for my spring race, the Maryland Half Marathon. I was going to run the Frederick Half but decided on this one for two reasons. First, this is the inaugural race and that’s cool. Second, all of the net proceeds will go to benefit the University of Maryland’s Marlene and Stewart Greenbaum Cancer Center, very cool and a cause very dear to my heart. I’ve run an official Half before. I think it will be fun and am looking forward to it.

mdhalf

Maryland Half Marathon

I signed up to raise funds but also realize how tight things are right now. So, if you can’t, cool, but if you feel you can, feel free to donate here and thank you very much for supporting research..


That’s Motivating…

We had a day of errand running yesterday. One was to stop at our favorite shoe store, If The Shoe Fits, to get Jenny a new pair of shoes. I gotta tell you, my motivation is back after wandering around that store.

I have been in a “Winter Slump.” This is pretty normal for me.  It is post-marathon in late Fall followed by much over indulgence during the Holidays and what seems like a never ending string of colds. By about this time of year, late February or early March, I want to start back running seriously but the motivation just isn’t there.

While Jenny was getting fitted to her new shoes, I just wandered about the store looking at all of the cool running stuff. I told Jenny as we were walking out that that was exciting. I’m ready to get back to it.

My Spring race was initially going to be the Frederick Half-Marathon but I am now thinking of doing the Maryland Half-Marathon, for two reasons. First, this is the inaugural year for the race, which is pretty cool. But this part from their website really got me,

“This race is unique as 100% of all net proceeds directly benefit The University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center (UMGCC).  It is going to be an exhilarating race and a memorable day as we raise a significant amount of money for the Cancer Center!”

I found that to be very cool. I like the idea of doing something for cancer research again. I might even sign up to do some fund raising while I am at it.

From now on, I will plan a trip to the running shoe store when my enthusiasm for running starts to wane.

Motivation

Motivation


Shoes First Snow Run…

Snow Shoes

Snow Shoes

Today we had our first real snowfall and the shoes went for their first run in the snow. The tempurature was pleasant compared to the last few days, so I thought a run in the snow would be nice. I went for about 5 miles along my regular route on the trail that runs nearby. The snow was the kind that is wet and heavy and sticks to the tree branches in that really cool way.


It’s A Running Thing…

Running Thing

It's A Running Thing


Motivation…

I’ve had a few drawings sitting around that I finally got scanned in. I will be posting them through out the day.

This one just kind of drew itself. Started drawing a guy and next thing I knew there were two guys running. I liked it.

Motivation


My Running Dream…

Every Thursday, Runner’s Lounge has a feature called, Take It and Run Thursday.   In their words,

It’s our way to bring together the knowledge of all of us ordinary runners.  It’s the virtual equivalent to putting our virtual heads together.  Even though many of us aren’t elite athletes, coaches or authors, it doesn’t mean that we haven’t earned a well deserved PhD in running.   Whether you are starting out, have 50 years of running under your belt or somewhere in between – all of us have lessons learned that make us wiser and better runners.  

This week’s theme is Make a Wish, Share Your Dream. That’s an easy one. I want to start up some sort of race in Jake’s honor. It has been a topic before here, the last time was on August 7, 2008 and I have included the entire post below:

 The Jake…

I’ve talked before about my oldest son, Jake, and how we lost him in 2001 to leukemia. Jenny and I honor him, personally, by doing certain things on his birthday, July 4, and his Angel Day, August 23. 

Jake in San Antonio, Feb 2001

Around this time every year, as his Angel Day approaches, it gets a little harder to push back at the melancholy. Instead of moping and getting all depressed, I would like to turn it into something positive, celebrate Jake’s life and to let people know the awesomeness that is Jake.

One thing that has bounced around in my head the last couple of years is having a 5k or 10k in his honor and use it as a fundraiser for a cancer charity. I would call it “Jake’s 5k/10k” with the tag line, “Run The Jake.”

I know nothing about what is involved in hosting a race but I really like the idea. It is one of those, “Someday…” ideas that I would like to make a reality.

Someday…

 So, there it is. My dream for Take It and Run Thursday.


The Shoes Run a Marathon…

and were kind enough to take me along for the ride.

We ran the Philadelphia Marathon on Sunday, November 23, 2008. Their first and my ninth. Now that my legs are less sore, I can say that all in all, it was a good time. Philadelphia does a nice job organizing a race. The temperature at start time was right around 30 degrees and didn’t get too much warmer by finish. By far the coldest marathon I’ve run.

The start was very easy to find, right by the Museum of Art on the Ben Franklin Parkway. Bag check was a breeze. They had a bunch of school buses lined up on either side of a park path, each manned with two or three volunteers. My only real complaint about the start was a lack of port o’johns. I got in line at 6:30 and got back out at 6:40 after the line failed to move more than a couple feet. I, and a bunch of other guys, ending up waiting to go until we got to the expressway bridge at mile two.

The crowd was awesome. People lined the city streets and cheered us on, many with their hands out to give a high five. That part is always fun, especially when it is kids. I also like looking for family members who show up throughout the course to cheer on a runner. This year, it was Karianne’s family. I saw them probably at five or six different locations. Very cool.

You can also almost always be guaranteed an irate driver at a blocked intersection. This time, it was a gentleman by Drexel University. I don’t know what he was screaming but he was not happy. The police officer standing post just smiled.

My shoes' first marathon

My shoes, marathon finishers

The shirt we received was cool, too. It had a course map on the back so every so often I would look at someone in front of me to figure out where we were on the course. Very helpful.

We finished right back by the start line. The food tent had soft preztels and hot soup. Awesome. The medal is pretty cool, too.

If you are so inclined, I highly recommend running Philadelphia. It is run almost as well as the Marine Corps but with a lot less people.


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