Posts Tagged ‘race’

Jumping back in

Holy smokes!  I just looked and the last time I wrote here?  Over a month ago?!  Where the heck does time go?  I’ve been super busy with preparing for the big move.  As I mentioned, I am in the process of buying a place over in Brooklyn!  That’s right – I’m moving to that far off land of Brooklyn:-p I’m super excited and now wait for my board interview then the check writing exercise also known as the closing;)    So it looks like sometime in mid/end of May I’ll be a homeowner! Woohoo!

Running wise.  I signed up for marathon #6.  I’m heading back to the scene of my best marathon: Marine Corps Marathon in Washington DC.  October 25.  I’m finally getting back into the running thing as I’ve just been swamped at work and dealing with the apartment stuff.  I also was burnt out from last fall.  But now it’s time to go back in and get focused.  I don’t think a time needs to be mentioned on where I’d like to be as I cross the finish line;-)

I ran a couple of races in the past few weeks: Mudders&Grunters and Cherry Blossom 10 miler.  I didn’t race either. My time for Cherry Blossom was a respectable 8:19 pace.  I never felt like I was hurting and had someone come up to me at the end and say “Great race, thanks for pacing me.”  See, even when I don’t mean to I’m a pacemaster!

I’ve got the Brooklyn Half coming up on May 30th!  Hopefully it’ll be a real short commute to Prospect Park;-)

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So I missed a couple months here.  It’s been a little hectic with the job, life, etc.  Don’t worry I haven’t forgotten and things have occurred.

Anyway, today was the Cherry Tree Race for the Hardcore – 10 mile relay.  This is my FIFTH year running this race.  Wow.  Seriously has it been that long already?  Yep, Team Whippet, Speedy Beagles x 2, Will Run for Eggs and Cheese and finally – The Gossip Girls this year.  I teamed up with Mandy and nyflygirl as we looked to have a good time.  And that we did!

We met up at 8:30am on the UES to head to Brooklyn.  All of us were excited for the race and the chance to leave the confines of Central Park. On the train the order was decided: Mandy, myself, nyflygirl to anchor.  The weather held up which made it much more pleasing.

So the race?  Oy, HARD.  I always forget how long 3.3 miles can feel in Prospect Park.  That mile 2 is a killer – not so much the monstrosity of the hills but the way it just continues.  I didn’t wear a watch so I have no splits but I ran til it hurt.  So I suppose that’s good?

After the race, I headed with Mandy to a neighborhood in Brooklyn to go to some open houses.  Let’s just say I loved the neighborhood I went to;)  The prospect of becoming a first time home owner?  Exciting, yet frightening.  TBD.

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Another 26.2 in the books.  Hard to believe it’s #5.  How the heck did that happen?  So, as I mentioned in my quick post prior, 3:48:48 was the result.  And you know, I’m OK with it – for now.  Given everything this year, I’m happy to redeem my performance from Chicago.  That’s not my running style.  So onward to the report.

One thing about Philly is it’s my hometown.  It makes a difference for many reasons.  For one, the home bed advantage.  Not enough can be said to staying in my parents house/my apartment as opposed to a hotel room, home cooked food and just the atmosphere.  I’m much more relaxed than when on a destination run.  Saturday I headed down to the expo with my mom to pick up my #: 3336.  The slogan: Kick Asphalt.  Freakin’ awesome.  I hope Philly keeps the slogan because it’s just so damn cool.  Anyway, Saturday was windy and brutally cold.  That did not help the nerves settle for Sunday’s run!  I spent the remainder of the day resting up and watching PSU book their ticket to Pasadena:-) YAY!

Sunday morning – woke up at the dreadful hour of 4:30am.  Gross.  Even for me!  The attire?  My brooks “fast as flash” tights, blue long sleeve technical top with a turtleneck, psu singlet, gloves and a hat.  I also started with a running jacket and hand warmers to stay warm.  No need to waste more energy pre race! The weather was similar to highs on January 22nd, the coldest average in Philly. Oh, it should be mentioned I forgot my watch in NY so I essentially went by internal clock.  Since my mom drove me down, I was able to head to the start about a half hour to the start which was nice!  The corral was nice since the masses kept me warm:-p  Once I arrived at my corral, I turned around and see a paw print on someone’s shirt.  Turns out one of my TRD teammates was directly next to me!  We shivered and waited to head out.  I hadn’t read all the directions and apparently we were on a wave start which meant a certain amount of people released every 2 minutes.  Each time, the song Gonna Fly Now blared over the speakers.

And finally we were off! 

Miles 1-7:
Very similar start to the PDR.  Headed down the Ben Franklin Parkway towards City Hall and by the Constitution Center and Liberty Bell.  Instead of heading back to do the loop of the Kelly Drive we took a brief tour of South Street and Chinatown as well.  Before heading away towards University City I saw my parents, brother, and mom’s friend on Chesnut Street. I threw my jacket at them and sped away. I still felt a bit rusty as I generally do at the beginning.  It was also a bit disheartening to hear someone shout “you’re almost there” at mile 4.  Sheesh, wait til I’ve past 6.2 so there’s less than a 20 mile run left;)  There wasn’t a huge crowd until we hit Chesnut Street (heading back towards the start area).  It was definitely odd.  Not a bad thing but weird. 

Miles 7-14:
This part has the only true inclines/hills of the course.  I knew about them so it wasn’t as scary as it was for anyone that thought “oh there’s no hills in Philly!”  We ran by 30th Street Station and I waved to a couple NY Flyers guys cheering on the sidelines.  I think one of them snapped my photo.  University City was fun as there was one frat house that had guys banging pots and pans.  Not sure I’d want that in my ear after a rough Saturday night;)  Then it was off to Memorial Park which is the only true hill of the course.  Fortunately, marathoners and half marathoners were all together for this so it helped to have the company.  I was ready for this since my mom had run the course and she told me “there’s a couple inclines then the HILL.  Don’t be deceived.”  After getting up the hill, I started to hit that zone.  It gave me a sense of relief to know that I had made it 11miles and the stomach was holding up.  Good news. I also saw people dressed up as cows cheering on the sidelines – umm, interesting. We headed back towards the Art Museum and here the half marathoners went to the left and the full kept right on going.  Fortunately, we could not see the finish line for the half!  But, you could still see people doing the half getting excited to be done.  I yelled “see you in another 13.1.”  Hey, you gotta be positive!  I saw my parents again and yelled “see you at the finish line.”  As I headed down the Kelly Drive evidently shoreturtle saw me too!  YAY!  Thanks for being out there!

Miles 14-20:
The Drive brought isolation.  The half marathoners were done and we were on our own.  I saw Mozzer pass on the other side as I was heading towards Manayunk.  He looked strong:)  As we headed to Manayunk the aches started.  There were more inclines and the mental games started.  Ya know, the ones where you tell yourself “come on we’re in single digits to go.” 🙂  Manayunk was a splash of relief as there were people EVERYWHERE.  There was the obligatory beer station.  At about mile 20 we hit the turnaround to head back towards the finish.  That was definitely a big relief!  At this point, I saw my TRD friend again just seconds ahead. 

After the turnaround I knew the game I had to play.  First, get to the Falls Bridge.  That’s your territory.  I had just done my 18 miler a few weeks ago: 2 8.4 loops of the drive plus an extra run up the incline at mile 26.  At this point, since I was off of no true watch and the wave start ruined any ability to have a clue what I was running, I knew I was ahead of the 3:50 pace group.  That was very exciting for me.  I also had my TRD teammate to help pull me along.  We traded spaces back and forth.  At a couple water stands, I walked to get the water and then picked up the pace to sub 9 again.  I think that was really key to keeping me from a bonk.  It also was essential as the water stands were an ice skating rink!  (My dad one up’d that when he told me one of the Philly marathons it was 14 degrees and the water actually froze!)  As we headed back, once we hit Boathouse Row I knew we were soooo close.  This was my town.  It gave me an extra boost of energy for the final 2.2.  I actually finished with one of my fastest splits of the race: 8:31 pace. 

Last .2 miles
The incline?  What incline?  There were so many people mobbing the finish area within the last .5 miles that it made you feel like you were in the Tour de France.  There were no boundaries so it dropped down to one lane for the final .2!  As we turned the corner by the Art Museum I pumped my arms in the air knowing marathon #2 of the season was in the books!  I also knew I had kicked Chicago to the curb.  While I didn’t achieve my ultimate dream, it was a huge boost from the debacle of Chicago.  I crossed the finish line and it was such an awesome feeling.  It brought back that feeling of why I run.  If anything, this is up there with MCM.  I just went out there and had fun.  No true expectations.  Oh, and Philly wouldn’t be Philly without a soft pretzel at the end!  They had a whole food tent!  YAY!  NYCM, you listening?  FOOD!

My thoughts:  The race was great!  I would consider doing this one again!  The weather? Non-factor.  If you dress right, it’s actually quite perfect.  Loved the slogan: Kick Asphalt.  The shirts are 100x better than Chicago’s sponsor crappy one.  They should have been better prepared at the water stops with salt but it’s easy to play the game after the race.  The half/full turnoff should have been better manned as one of my friends running the half ran an extra portion of the marathon before figuring out she was in the wrong race!  She had a monster PR until that.  She still PR’d by 2 minutes but it would have been closer to a 7 minute PR!  Philly definitely has it’s own style and I like that.  It doesn’t try to be NY or Boston, it’s just Philly and that’s how it roles. 

So, that’s Philly ’08.  I think this was a redemption race and a rebirth of sorts for me.  I’m excited to run again and I think that’s a great sign for ’09.  The no watch thing?  GREAT!  I think it helped me just run my race! I managed to pull my second fastest marathon 6 weeks after a dreadful 26.2 march. I’m planning to take a week or two off from running.  It’s been a long time since I’ve given my body a rest, not to mention my mind.  I’m pretty beat up.  There’s time to figure out what to do in ’09, for now it’s time to party it up for the month!  

Oh yeah, not too much rest! I just booked my flight to Florida in January – the ING Miami Half Marathon.  Don’t worry this will be more of a tune up then a race;)  Plus, I’m looking forward to warmth and sun!  Don’t worry, I”m not marathoning so it won’t be raining or some other weird weather phenomena.

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Just figured I’d post since some of you may wonder how today went. I’m satisfied with the effort today but don’t worry, I’m not done knocking on that 3:40:00 door. Just for now – I’ll be back in 2009.

Oh and I’ve decided, if you’re not into extreme weather running, give me a shout out before signing up for a race. I have a feeling now that I’ve covered extreme heat and cold that rain may be in the forecast next time…

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Wow I’ve been a bad blogger.  Things have been pretty busy around here but here we go.  Last weekend I ran the Philadelphia Distance Run strictly as a marathon tune up.  Unlike 2 years ago, there would be no attempt at shattering the PR today.  One cool aspect of this race is my dad’s friend has run the race every year since it’s beginnings (31st year in a row!).  As such, he gets VIP treatment for himself and friends.  We were able to hang out in the area with the elites before the race and have our own personal baggage check!  Sweet!  I ran into nyflygirl at the corrals and AH was there too.  I told nyflygirl that she should finish way ahead of me today;-)  I was looking to run 1:45-1:47.  The national anthem started and all of a sudden it was like “wait, those aren’t the words.”  Whoops!  Finally we were off.

Immediately, within the first mile, my stomach started to give me issues.  I just thought it was nerves or something and just needed to run it out.  By mile 4 I was still feeling pretty uncomfortable but continued to ignnore it.  As we got to the Park Drive I started to look for a pit stop as I knew there was no way I could finish this half without stopping.  It was that BAD.  Finally just passed the 10K point I made my pit stop for 2.5 minutes or so.  I felt a bit better and knew I’d be able to finish the race.  Given the stopping, etc I made my new goal sub 1:50. 

I started back up and ran a very controlled 8:10-8:15 pace.  Final time: 1:49:21 with the pit stop.  Not too shabby.    The photo is from the Ben Franklin Parkway – just another walk in the park home;)  I’ve started to utilize the hat again as a repellent from sweat in the eyes.  I’m thinking that will happen for the marathon too.  Yellow cap anyone? ;-p

Since the last time I’ve also finished up two more 20 milers and a 55 mile week.  One twenty miler is shown on the left.  We ran from Columbus Circle, around the tip of Manhattan, over the Brooklyn Bridge to Prospect Park, a lap of Prospect Park before heading back and ending on the LES.  As usual, a training season would not be complete with me wiping out somewhere.  I managed to wipe out on a sidewalk in Brooklyn and now sport a lovely wound on my left knee (good job by the photographer not to get that knee in the photo!).   It was nasty humid with essentially 100% humidity as when we got to the tip of Manhattan you could not see Brooklyn!  It was eerie as a cruise ship was coming in it looked like it was coming from nowhere out of the fog.  Surreal.  Finished that run in a shade under 3 hours. 

Yesterday, for my final long run I joined a group for the bridges run.  The first four miles I realized it was definitely going faster than I needed to be at.  I was running closer to MP then LSD pace! I dropped back a group and feel great today.  Ran another solid 7 today.

Two weeks to go.  Unbelievable.  So far the weather is good but we all know what happened last year in Scranton and Chicago (both turned into Steamtown Marathons literally!).

Sunday, Oct 12
High: 53 °F RealFeel®: 49 °F
Mostly sunny
Sunday Night, Oct 12
Low: 42 °F RealFeel®: 34 °F
Clear to partly cloudy

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NYC Half 2008

After a hellish week at work which included an end of the week trip to Rhode Island, I was not in the mindset to PR.  Add to it a super sticky Sunday and yes, this has turned into a long training run.  Expensive training run but still fun.  According to NYRR, the starting temp was 70 with 90% humidity.  Awesome:)

So the run.  I got to the race around 5:45 since corrals shut down at 6:30am supposedly.  As I left, thunder clapped, lightning lit up the sky and rain fell.  Just what you want to enjoy at an absurd hour on a Sunday. Hmm…  As I arrived, police were directing people away from trees since there was serious lightning in the area.  Little did I know these storms had killed several people in the tristate area!  Once the storms left the area, I headed to my corral and ran into RK and JS.  We stated our goals and for me, I intended to run well within comfort zone.  I also got to briefly meet Quinto Sol! Comfort zone to me is 1:48-1:50 on a normal day but today humidity was going to have fun with us:-p

Central Park meant rolling hills for the first 7 miles.  It doesn’t matter how well you know the park those hills still play havoc with you.  The most exciting part was exiting the park and POOF Times Square just was there!  So cool.  I saw flygirl on my first loop of the park and the TRD folks were manning a water station on 57th and 7th.  I stopped to grab some gatorade and get a quick chat in.  As we turned on 42nd street I had to stop to allow a stretcher to go through with a guy hooked up to an IV:(  That would be the first of several people I would witness being taken away or attended to due to the heat/humidity. 

The west side highway meant zone out time.  I definitely didn’t feel great but crossed the finish line feeling OK.  However, my stomach was killing me today for some reason:(  Sadly I wasn’t able to enjoy the free jamba juice:(  I ended up running a 1:54:09 (8:42 pace).  My garmin did say I ran 13.32 miles which I attribute to running the outside lanes in Central Park, instead of the usual inside portions.  My legs must have been OK as tonight I went out and did 6 at a sub 9 pace.  This mileage plan must be working!  I’m looking towards the Philly half to hopefully race! I did end up with a battle wound: the bottom of my left foot sports a lovely blood blister.

After the run I headed uptown and to my new office to unpack.  Definitely weird to go to a new work place after 5 years of doing the same routine.  Who knew I’d move office locations before moving my Manhattan apartment??? Amazing!

Up next?  54 this week!  Whew!

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Best in show

Training like a mad woman I got peer pressured (not really;-)) to run the race yesterday.  A 5 miler run by the Front Runners New York running club as part of their celebration of Gay Pride week.  In an attempt to show our “pride,”  LS, MS and I dressed in the colors of the rainbow.  Well, at least we attempted to.  I looked more like a commercial for McDonalds or perhaps a sampling of ketchup and mustard?  You be the judge.

So the race.  With between 6 and 7 put in Friday afternoon and another run for Sunday, I knew this was not going to be an all out racing attempt for me.  The conditions were less than optimal (and that’s being nice!).  It says it was 80 with 67% humidity at race start but I’d be willing to say it was warmer.  I ran to the start at the 102nd transverse and was dripping in sweat by then.  Yikes!  LS and MS met me by baggage and we all started together.  I figured this would be good so I wouldn’t be tempted to race.  Plus, our fun colors went together!

So the race was pretty uneventful.  I never dipped into 7 min/mile pace and stopped for water whenever possible.  Fortunately, there were several people out there with hoses which was a touch of heaven.  The finish had ice pops waiting for us!  I think they should have this at every event:) 

Final time: 41:29 (8:17 pace) – Considering I had run the day before and a tough speed workout on Wednesday, not too shabby!  It was right where I wanted to be – I figured somewhere around 8-8:30 pace. 
We stayed around to wait to see if we would win the raffle for free airfare.  While none of us won that, it turns out the TRD women finished third in the race!  That meant $100 for the team!! YAY!  Had I not come out to run, we may not have won 3rd. Pretty darn exciting!

So this morning I woke up hoping to get my 14 miler in but I should have thought better knowing the tough workouts I had put in since last Sunday in hot/humid weather (trail half Sunday, speed work on Wed, and a race (even if it wasnt all out) on Sat).  My body caught up with me and my right quad cramped up badly after just a few miles:0(  Rather than risk making anything worse, I stopped and came home to rest it.   October is my goal, not getting miles in for the sake of miles.  I still managed 33 miles this week and did I learn anything? Yeah, the body is not invincible.  Tomorrow is another day:-D

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Hardcore? Check.

A few weeks ago after a night out with some teammates,  I got asked if I wanted to participate in a trail run/race.  Looking at the ole’ marathon schedule, I noticed 13 was on the schedule for that weekend and hey, that’s perfect as thee was a half marathon distance!  Oh boy, I should have realized what I was getting myself into when the race doesn’t even really have an official name (see website). I also should have noticed this: “The hand made awards for the top 3 in each age group are worth the pain and suffering.”

Considering the longest true trail type run I had ever done was M&G I knew this was going to be a tough test.  However, my goal?  Finish in one piece and have a good time out on the course.  There were maybe about 40 people TOTAL for the 10K, 1/2 marathon and marathon (yes, there were people even nuttier than I!).  We all lined up and with a simple “go” we were off.  As we turned left and the 10K people turned right, it was the first instance of “what the heck am I doing here?”  As I ran on, a lot of people passed me but I knew there were still a lot behind me.  

A couple miles in, I settled into a comfort zone with another woman, Julia for the rest of the course. However, at mile 3 I stopped for a cup of water and she kept going:-(  For a couple miles I was completely alone which was rather creepy.  Our bibs had our ages as how old we turn this year, not at this point.  The joke was that this was so they knew how old you were when they actually find you out in the woods:-p  Ha.  To add to the experience of running alone in the woods, mother nature thought it’d be awesome to have a huge rain storm!  Since it was nice and tree shaded, I didn’t get rained on until a few minutes into the storm.  And at that point, wow did I get rained on!  At that point, I walked portions of the course since I didn’t have true trail shoes and falling flat on my face was not on the agenda.

Around mile 10, my legs started to tire.  Unlike road racing where you dont have to worry about picking your legs up, in trail racing it’s essential as those rocks and various other things in the ground will get you (not to mention tree trunks!).  Anyway, I was running with Julia when all of a sudden my leg didn’t pick up enough and I caught my foot on a rock.  I fell with a pretty good thud and managed to scrape up my left leg and brush my right forearm.  It sounded a lot worse than the damage produced.  At this point, Julia wanted to make sure I was OK to which I responded “heck yeah, let’s finish this thing.” 

As we wound our way to the finish, it was a  pretty awesome feeling.  13.1 miles on the rugged trails in somewhere called Pleasant Valley, NY.  Normally a plus two hour half marathon would not be an achievement to me but in this case, huge accomplishment.  Winning times were in the mid to upper 1:30s for the men!  I managed to pick up first in my age group which was cool and unexpected.

My body is sore, my leg looks like a cat went a little nuts on it, but what an experience!  The scenery was amazing and the camaraderie that goes along with trail running is amazing.  This completed a 38.5 mile week.  The up climb on mileage continues…

As you can see from the elevation, it was a constant up and down course.  The middle of the course – which consequently was when mother nature dumped on us – was the highest climbing section.   

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5:30AM…do you know where your running shoes are?

Actually, more like, 4:15AM and are you really dopey enough to get out of bed to run a 5 mile race? The answer. Yes. It was the 50th anniversary run of the NYRR!

My alarm rang out the tunes from a CD and the cobwebs shook their way out of my head and it was time to see if it was worth the pain of getting out of bed. It was pitch black outside with the sound of rain drops hitting the trees in the courtyard behind my apartment building. My mind definitely was beginning to say “screw this, go back to bed.” However, thanks to the coercion of a friend (“Suck it up, Cupcake!”
Me: “ok this better be worth it ” Friend: “Running almost always is!”) off to Engineer’s Gate I went. Leaving at 4:45AM I ran the lonely streets of the UES. I saw one homeless man and one doorman along the entire path to Engineer’s Gate! This definitely made for the sounds of “you’re an idiot” and “you’re a moron” to creep through my brain. However, since I already had made the pain start by getting out of bed and now, soaking wet, no turning back now!

As I met JR and CM we jogged another 1.4 miles to Tavern on the Green where the race would start. It began to rain harder which furthered the questioning of coming out to run. I knew this was not going to be a “race” for me as I had flashbacks of Grete’s Great Gallop from two years ago. If you recall, this is when the calf issues started and kept me out of action for 6 months! My goal? Go for a jog and cross uninjured.

Upon arrival, I stood under a tree as it began to rain even harder. Awesome. I saw ST and it worked out great because she wanted to take it easy as well. As we headed to the corral, I ran into LD as well. Mary W. gave final instructions and it was time for the insanity to begin.

The race itself wasn’t all that exciting. ST and I ran together. Shortly after we began running I saw EV who was actually all out racing and she mentioned that KP was looking for us. Oy, more power to her. Once we found KP we settled into an 8:30-8:45 pace and chatted the entire 5 miles. It was great to catch up and I made sure to thank the volunteers. I’m amazed that there were people willing to stand in the rain, let alone run. Made me feel wussy:-p

Anyway, my time was 43:16 or something. 8:39 pace I think. No injuries and 9 miles later it was time to hit the shower and get ready for work. Right now I’m ready to conk out. I think I’ll sleep very well tonight.

Finally, I’ve done another silly thing. I signed up for a trail half marathon in a couple weeks. Good thing I have 13 miles on the schedule anyway. Yikes. No 10K mini for me this weekend. Especially happy now that they are calling for 90+ degree weather. YUCK!

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Tuesday night I ran the Wall Street Run.  A 3 mile run through the narrow streets of the Financial District.  My gameplan?  Again, just run and see what happens.  I had been in Chicago the week before and had put a huge 9 mile week on the board.  Oy vey.  My day was hectic and not the best of days so this run is just what the doctor ordered. 

The start was by the World Financial Center with thousands of others ready to tackle the narrow, pothole, slick streets.  I got as far as I could up front but still managed to be stuck behind walkers!  As I started running, I remember looking around and thinking “wow, this is really cool.”  We ran by the WTC site, Wall Street, FRB-NY, amongst other heavy hitters for our American economy.  As you can see from my Garmin, it went a bit nuts.  At least it didn’t have me running in the water.  I’ve had that happen before.  However, rest assured I didn’t run onto the FDR Drive.

I felt pretty good during the race and passed RK and flygirl along the way.  I even ran into an old TRD teammate, Marco.

My splits?  Your guess is as good as mine as the mileage from my watch said I had run 3.42 miles which is completely wrong.  It was a 3 mile race.  My time came to 22:13 (my watch said 20;06 which I knew was wrong!), or a 7:24 pace.  Not too bad.  I had to slow on the turns big time otherwise there would have been a down goes uptowngirl going on.

After the race, I headed to a local watering hole for some liquid refreshment.  Good time had by all and I think I’ll make sure to include this run next year.  It’s really a lot of fun to run around the streets down there.  It kind of reminded me like a scene from Pamplona and running with the bulls, only this time it was people!

140 days til Chicago!  Official training starts June 9th.  I’m bringing the Pfitzinger book to my parents with me to start studying the plan.  I signed up for the Philly Distance Run on September 21st.  I also signed up for the 5:30AM (yes, AM!) race on June 4th.  Needless to say, I may be dragging at work a bit that day.

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