Runner’s World Half Marathon Recap 10/21/12

Immediately after finishing the Half Marathon

What an amazing weekend!!!!

Today was the Runner’s World Half Marathon, which was my first “official” Half Marathon. I went into the race with certain expectations, but most of all I tried not to get all stressed out about having to finish with a certain time. The race was not an easy course by any stretch of the imagination as you can see by the below: Continue reading

Runner’s World Meet and Greet BBQ

Tonight was a meet and greet BBQ at The Runner’s World Offices. Usually these kind of things are something you gotta do as part of work, but tonight I was excited about going! Being a runner this is one of those places that I have dreamed about going to and having the  opportunity to meet so many of the Runner’s World Staff and also my fellow FitFluential Ambassadors in an atmosphere conducive to mingling in a relaxed atmosphere.

The ride over was noisy, with everyone introducing themselves, getting to know one another (beyond our Twitter handles or Blog Names).

Then when we got to Runner’s World we were met by Bart Yasso and David Willey Continue reading

Looking at the #RWHalf Courses

I just got back from looking at the Runner’s World Half, 10K and 5K courses, which I will be running 2 of this weekend. I had been hearing rumors and innuendo about how hilly the courses are, it worried me a little. I don’t mind running hills and live in Maine so hills are just a part of living and running there, but I wanted to see how much these hills would be slowing me down.

Driving the course is not just as simple as following the map, there are different one-way streets that we will be running in the opposite direction. So I had to drive around, plus not knowing the area made it even more interesting. I am sure that they thought I was some crazy tourist from Maine – well…we don’t need to go there 🙂

Go to the Runner’s World Website for the Course Maps and a video featuring Bart Yasso.

Here are some photos that I took while driving around:

 

Looking down E 1st Street – flat and fast

 

 

Looking up towards Webster Street the first hill.

 

The Fahy Bridge

There are some hills out towards Moravian College which will get your attention, but I didn’t get a picture of, but one is in the Runner’s World video.

This is the little rise towards the end after coming off Founders Way.

Overall – they look like GREAT courses, they will challenge you, but there are a lot of flat and downhill areas, none of the hills are mountains, but they will slow you down a little bit.

It has the potential to be a challenging, but faster course than I first thought when I looked at the course descriptions. I guess that it depends upon where you are coming from geographically. If you are coming from a fairly flat area, it is going seem pretty hilly and if you are coming from an area with lots of hills, it won’t seem too bad.

I will be participating in the inaugural Runners World Half Marathon as a FitFluential Ambassador. My race registration will be provided by Runners World. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own.

Runner’s World Half & Festival Oct 20th and 21st

Runners World Half LogoI am going to the Runner’s World Half and Festival -presented by by Altra Zero Drop Footwear – on October 20th and the 21st as a FitFluential Ambassador!

You can’t tell that I am very excited about going can you? Well – I am very excited about going to this event. Imagine that, me the guy who doesn’t get too excited about too many things, being excited about this!

This will also be the first big Destination Race and Event that I have ever done. My other racing has always been done within an hour or so of where I lived.

There will be a 5K and 10K on Saturday and the Half Marathon on Sunday – click here for the full schedule.

Continue reading

Streaking – A Bad Thing

Streaking can get you in a lot of trouble up “heah” in Maine this time of year, blue balls, shrinkage and nippy nips, not to mention the blue lights and guys in uniform laughing at you. Yeah I know bad joke and I couldn’t resist!  😉

Streaking – A bad thing?

Bennie resting on his dog

Stop and think about it streaking – how can it be a bad thing?  It helps motivate you to run more doesn’t it?.

Personally, when I have a longer running streak going, I tend to focus on getting in a run in, more than how my body is feeling.

That is not, in my opinion a good thing.

We runners and exercise enthusiasts need to learn to listen more to what our bodies are telling us, not less and streaking in my opinion interferes with that.

A running streak for many people can take on a life of its own and become more important than the quality of the runs that they are doing. You get too wrapped up in ensuring that you get out there and running every day, whatever your minimum mileage need is. No matter what you are feeling like, if you are sick, what is going on around you or what the weather is outside.

You feel that you MUST complete that day’s run, even if you shouldn’t run.

My Streak

As of yesterday I had a 21 day running streak going. Until this morning, I had planned to run today, to keep the streak going. However, while walking the dog on his 3.0 mile walk and listening to what my body was trying to tell me, I decided to stop the streak.

Back in November I got caught up in the Runner’s World running streak challenge – #rwrunstreak hashtag and extended my running streak beyond my self-imposed 13 day limit. I have attempted to justify why I could or should continue the streak, but in reality streaking there are no good reasons for me to continue it.

Why stop the streak?

To be honest, I need the rest more than I need a running streak.

This streak was beginning to bug me, I felt pressured a couple of times during it, to go out and just do a run to keep it alive, instead of listening to my body’s need for rest. This is one of those things that as I get older, I do have to pay attention to and rest more often than I used to. Otherwise I am setting myself up for an injury and that is not something that I want to go through again.

Also as a streak gets longer, it gets more difficult to let it go, that is why I plan on a rest day at least every 13 days, so I don’t get caught up in streaking, yet I allowed myself to get sucked into streaking, because I was feeling good and running good.

One of the main reasons that I was feeling that way was because I was being smart and resting when I needed to. Time to get back to being smart again.

Those who do

Those of you who have streaks going – I am honestly happy for you and hope that your streak continues for as long as you want it to and that it provides you the extra motivation to keep running when you may have missed a day otherwise.

Just make sure that you listen to your body closely and when it tells you it is time to end the streak, listen to it carefully. Otherwise you may start a different kind of streak and one that you will not be as proud of  – Days Not Run in a row – due to injury streak.

I just came off one of those injury – did not run streaks and I have no interest in starting another of those.

No Streaking

My goals are to be running well 10-20 years from now, not just today or tomorrow. How does streaking fit into those plans – it doesn’t. I can’t and won’t allow myself to be caught up again by others who are streaking or endorsing others to streak, it isn’t the direction that I want to take with my running.

Fortunately for me at this point in my running life, streaking just isn’t necessary as a motivation to be out there running. I enjoy running enough to be able to take a day or two off and still want to get back to running as soon as possible.

Streaking just gets me in trouble.

Memories

Now I remember a night back when The Streak was popular…well its probably better not to talk about that night 😉

🙂 Keep smiling and good things will happen!

Originally written by Harold Shaw published at “A Veteran Runnah” © 2011 – All Rights Reserved. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Harold Shaw and A Veteran Runnah” with appropriate and specific directions or links to the original content.

 

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Choosing a new Running Shoe

Between now and January 1st, a lot of runners will be buying new running shoes.

Well at least some of us will – TheWife would kill me deader than a doornail, if I went out and bought a new pair of running shoes before the first of the year, actually before next spring, since I just got a new pair in November, which I really love.

So I will have to live vicariously through those of you who do buy shoes between now and then, when you go ahead and plunk down between $50 and $200 for a new pair of running shoes.

Have you been drooling over the newest (__ you put in the brand and style__) and all the ads, tech specs and pictures of people running in cool places, has got you sold that shoe is the one you are going to spend your money on.

Caveat Emptor = Buyer beware

Do you really know what kind of shoe you need for your personal running style or has the marketing hype gotten a hold of your soul and made you salivate over a certain shoe. So much that you just have to have it – no matter whether it fits you correctly or not. I know that I have played that game before and gotten shoes that didn’t fit quite right or were not right for the kind of running that I would be using them for, just because I got caught up in the hype about a running shoe.

My advice to you after making this mistake far too many times is to

Do Your Own Research

Before you go out looking for new shoes!

Ask yourself:

What kind of running are you going to mainly do with these shoes?

  • Outside winter running in winter conditions
  • Outside running in decent weather
  • How many miles are you running – this makes a big difference on what you really need
  • Treadmill
  • Trails
  • Roads
  • Minimalist aka Barefoot

Those are all different styles of running and might need different shoe styles

Other questions to ask yourself

  • Do you have any special requirements for your shoes?

minimalist, stabilization, light, big runner, orthotics, wide feet, narrow feet, over-pronation, supination, etc.? If you don’t know these terms most of the running magazine websites have great glossaries that give definitions of what these terms mean.

  • Do you have a brand of shoe that you have used successfully in the past and like?
  • Is your current model working for you and worn out or is it just not working for you?
  • Do you just want to try something new? Why?
  • What is the purpose behind wanting to change brands/models?
  • Has your current model been “updated” or discontinued? What are the reviews of the updated version?

Ask yourself these questions and any others that you can think of that you want to answer before going further

Write it down

I have found if I go ahead and create a word processing document and write out the answers to the questions I have. That I tend to look at what I am looking for in a running shoe a little differently or closely, than I do when just say I need a new pair of shoes and go out and get them.

Type of Running

Now that you have answered the questions and figured out how you will be using your new running shoes, you will have narrowed down your choices or style considerably. Just by having a better idea of what you are actually looking for in a running shoe. Instead of simply listening to the hype, you may have chosen the same shoe, but at least now you know why chose them and it was more than marketing magic.

At this point you should have around ten models/styles to research further.

Start Your Research

Go to some of the running magazines, Runners World, Trail Runner, Running Times, etc or their website and look through their running shoe reviews or look for blogs that do a lot of shoe reviews like The Running Shoe Guru or other similar blogs. Also looking in the comments sections for many of these reviews will give you hidden gems that you need to know before buying a pair of running shoe.

You can also do a shout-out on Twitter, Facebook or Google+ for recommendations from people who are running in the shoes you are interested in. Which can give you some very important information about the shoes you are considering.

Once you have narrowed your search down a little more, go to the manufacturer’s website of shoes that you are interested in and look at the specs and the write-up from them and compare their claims to what you have learned from other sources. Sometimes the claims and the real-world usage do not match up and it is important to know the differences.

Then go to the website of the places you plan to visit when you are going to go shoe shopping (if they have one) and check out the prices, shoe write-ups or other information. Comparison shopping is an okay thing to do. You might be able to negotiate a little if you have enough information.

Pros/Cons

Write down on your W/P document the pros and cons of each shoe from your perspective, based on how you will use the shoe. Do this for each shoe you are really interested getting, you might be surprised at how this turns out.

Are you now prepared?

If you do some of this research before you leave the house or shop online you will be better prepared and have an idea of at least 4-5 shoes that you want to look at more closely when you go looking for those shoes and what they will cost you for the privilege of running in them.

Next up what to do when you actually leave the house to shop for a pair of shoes.

Originally written by Harold Shaw published at A Veteran Runnah © 2011 – All Rights Reserved. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Harold Shaw and A Veteran Runnah with appropriate and specific directions or links to the original content.

 

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Running 1984-1988 – The Glory Years

CGAS Cape Cod 10K – 1985 //

This is a post in my ongoing series where I am looking back at over my 40 years as a runner.

In this series you will find my recollections and honest reflections about a part of my life that others only glimpse, as that “crazy guy” they see out running in all kinds of weather, after dark, during the day or even during hunting season.

This post will be about the years 1984 to 1988 and I was living in

Groton/New London, Connecticut area Continue reading