Sunday, June 28, 2009

Fairfield Half Marathon Report

Splits: 8:54; 9:02; 9:01; 9:13; 9:23; 9:03; 9:30; 8:30; 8:51; 8:54; 9:02; 8:84; 8:42; 2:32

I had a plan...I didn't follow my plan. I had a goal...please read my story to see how I fared.

As I sit here typing this, I have goosebumps. I ran the toughest race I have ever run, even though it was a half marathon. It was more difficult than my three previous half marathons, and yes, more difficult than my two marathons.
My goal was to finish the half marathon in under two hours. Miles six to seven were the most important miles of any race I've run.
I woke up at 4:45, knowing that I would procrastinate eating breakfast, getting dressed, programming my TomTom, etc. Of course my main objective was to eat breakfast early enough so that I could use the bathroom if necessary before I left. It was a 42 mile drive from my house to the race, according to TomTom. Honestly, who wants to use a public bathroom or a portapotty?! Even thought the race was starting at 8:30, I left home at 5:45. There were 4000 registered runners, 2600 for the half marathon, and limited parking, so as I did last year, I allowed myself plenty of time to get there with the hope of getting a good parking spot. (WARNING! Potty talk ahead!) About halfway there the stomach cramps started. Yup, the kind that tell you they're not going away unless you take care of business. Luckily I-95 had a rest area with a Mickey D's. Having taken care of that problem (Geez, I only ate dry toast for breakfast), I arrived at the parking lot at 6:45. It was already about half filled. My "good" parking spot was being told to park on the wet grass instead of blacktop, even though there were still a lot of spaces left on the blacktop. Oh well. It was overcast and "blah." The race starts and finishes near the beach, and it certainly wasn't beach weather at that point. After getting my bib, technical shirt (I love when you get technical shirts), and a "Chrono Track" disposable timing tag, I still had an hour and a half to kill. I searched through a sea of purple "Team in Training" shirts, looking for and finally finding Carlee, who lives in the same town as me (her blog: I also decided that putting on sunscreen was a good idea since the skies were now blue and the sun was shining. At 8:10 I headed towards the starting line, deciding that wearing my mp3 player on what was now a hot, sunny day would not be a good idea. At about 8:13 I noticed a LOT of runners with their ipods, and decided that I was a moron thinking I was going to be able to run for 2 hours without my music. So I jogged to my car (the "good" parking spot was nearby)and retrieved my music. Looking back, I don't remember most of the songs I listened to. For the most part the music helped ease the pain of all the hills on the course.
My original goal was to implement what I've been training to do when I run the NY City Marathon-Jeff Galloway's run-walk-run program. I had planned on running around an 8:40 per mile pace to and from each of the eight water stations, and drink and walk for a minute while at the stations. If all went well, I would average about a 9:09 pace, and I would run a two hour half marathon. Like any race with thousands of runners, the starting line was crowded. I moved myself to a point that was about 50 yards from the start. It still took me 54 seconds to reach the starting mat. I started my Garmin at that point, since I wanted to know my actual splits and time while I ran. There were a lot of obstacles (slow moving runners) to get around, but I was pleased to reach mile 1 at 8:54. I was already ahead of my goal pace, and feeling great...except that (WARNING: more potty talk!) my bladder was telling me the three previous pee breaks before the race weren't going to be enough. At mile 1 1/2 was two portapotties, with a line of people waiting to use them. My bladder was going to have to wait. I was scolding myself for forgetting to take the list I had of water break and restroom locations. By now there was running room, and I was able to relax and run a comfortable pace. I stopped at about the 1 3/4 miles point, and grabbed two cups of water, walked and drank, and was off. I certainly didn't walk for a minute, but because I was feeling great, I decided to "cheat" a little. Mile 2 was a 9:02 split, which I knew meant I was about 22 seconds ahead of my planned two mile time. At mile 2 3/4, another two cups of walking and drinking water, and running before my planned walking rest time of a minute. Mile 3 split was a 9:01, so now I was about 30 seconds ahead overall. In my mind I had already abandoned my pre- race strategy of running as close to an 8:40 per mile pace to and from all eight water stations, and walking for a minute at the water stations. My not so smart reasoning was that it was hot, it was hilly, and I was feeling great. Because of the temperature and the hills, I felt that I couldn't run an 8:40 pace to and from every water station. I believed that since I was feeling great, I would just keep running at what was a comfortable pace and walk for as long as it took me to drink 2 cups of water. After all, I was already doing better than expected after 3 miles. Mile 4 was a 9:13 split. Uh oh. I was starting to lose my mojo, (WARNING: even more potty talk!)and my bladder was reminding me it still had issues. I came upon the last portapotty at about the 4 1/2 mile mark, and wasn't surprised to see a line. My stubbornness took over. I didn't want to waste valuable time waiting on a line that could last for a few minutes. My only option left was going to be bushes or trees, which is an advantage of being a male runner. At mile 4.99, there were several males using the woods as a bathroom. Perfect! My Garmin beeped as I ran out of the woods, and showed a 9:23 split. WTF! Even though I was still about 12 seconds ahead of my goal pace, in my mind at that time I was behind. I took advantage of a downhill part of the course, and passed mile 6 at 9:03. Yes! But two things were a problem. First, my Garmin was beeping my mile splits about a half tenth earlier than the mile markers. Second, I was not feeling strong. I had a little more than half the race to go, and I was starting to struggle. The course had a lot of small, gradual hills, and they were starting to affect me. I knew that the one and only GU Gel station was up ahead, and I was hoping that it and more water would help give me a lift. I had GU Chomps in my pocket, but even though I had chewed some of them, they didn't seem to be helping. The halfway point, and there was the Vanilla Bean GU Gel. I quickly grabbed three of them (Yeah, greedy, I know), and opened one, walked, sucked down the gel, and made sure to drink enough water to wash it down. I was counting on this helping me get back on track physically and emotionally. A half mile later, my Garmin beeped. My mile 7 split time was a shocker: 9:30. Had I really taken so long consuming the gel and drinking the water?? I was mad. Madder than I've ever been in a race. Looking at my watch, I did a quick calculation in my mind. I figured that if I ran the last 6 miles at a 9 minute pace, I was not going to break two hours. Looking back, I was only 3 seconds behind overall at mile 7, and didn't need to run sub 9 minute splits for the last 6 miles. I took off like a man possessed. I was cursing the hills, manuevering around the runners walking the hills, passing the runners dying on the hills. I was feeling stronger than I did at the start; stronger at any point of any race I've ever run. Maybe the GU Gel was kicking in? Mile 7 to 8 flew by, and Garmin beeped at mile 8, showing an 8:30 split. Freakin' right I nailed that mile!! I was feeling GREAT! I had goosebumps, I was actually choked up, and I was really enjoying the supportive crowd. People were banging on pots and pans, cowbells, and spraying us with their hoses. I passed one of the three bands along the course, and they along with lots of clapping people were giving me energy. I was feeding off of their energy. Mile 9: 8:51; mile 10: 8:54; mile 11: 9:02. Shortly after mile 11 I realized that I hadn't "low fived" any kids. The woman running to my right must have been thinking the same thing. She glided to her right, followed by me, and we both low fived several kids. I could see her face light up after she did this, as did mine. I was having fun! I hit mile 12 at 8:40, checked my watch, and knew I was still going to have to push it in order to break 2 hours. At this point Gamin was beeping about 1 1/2 tenths of a mile sooner than the mile markers. Talk about frustrating...My quick mental math calculation came up with me having just under 12 minutes to run about 1.2 miles. A sub 2 hour race was certainly within my reach. My quicker running was catching up with me however. My left leg was starting to cramp. It was the same feeling I had in the Providence Marathon just before my leg cramped so bad that I thought I was going to have to crawl. Fortunately in the marathon it quickly went away once I slowed down. I slowed down a little, talked myself through it, and continued on almost as fast as I had been running. Somewhere around this time I was running with "Barefoot Man." Barefoot Man runs in just about every race I do, and never wears shoes or socks. I don't know how he does it. I wish I could remember his name, because up until the last 1/4 mile, we were neck and neck. I don't know if I passed him during the last 100 yards on the gravel (Ouch, Barefoot Man). Mile 13 split was an 8:42 split, and a quick check of my Garmin showed a 1:56:45. I had to run what I thought was just another 2/10 of a mile, and I still had 3:14 of sub 2 hour time to do it. As I headed down the street leading to the beach, I realized that I had longer than 2/10 of a mile to go. I still had to reach the end of the road, turn left, and run about another 100 yards on the road, up over a curb, and across some gravel to the finish line. As I watched the seconds tick away on my Garmin, I went into sprint mode. Just before I reached the end of the road, my leg let me know it was close to cramping. I slowed down, checked my time, and now had less than two minutes to break 2 hours. I turned the corner, kept a steady pace, and the leg cramp disappeared. The finish line was in sight, and I suddenly realized that we were being cheered on by lots of clapping spectators.I could see the time clock, and hear the announcer. He was shouting out the time, and encouraging us to beat the 2 hour time. I watched the clock counting away the seconds, and watched it change from 1:59:59 to 2:00:00 while I was still 150 feet from the finish. Instead of being upset, I laughed out loud. Anyone near me must have been wondering why I was laughing. Heat stroke? Just as I was crossing the finish line, I looked up and saw 2:00:12. I stopped my Garmin, and congratulated myself. According to my Garmin, I had just finished running 13.31 miles. I accomplished my goal. My nettime was 1:59:18; as I said earlier, it had taken me 54 seconds to get to the starting line, which was when I started my Garmin. My official finishing nettime is indeed 1:59:18. I actually ran the last six miles almost two minutes faster than my first six miles. My first six miles: 54:35; my last six miles: 52:39. Why? I think it's a combination of things. The GU Gel and the extended walk break miles 6 to 7; taking it easy the first half and conserving energy... I have Jeff Galloway and some of your blogs to thank for that strategy. Most importantly, I found out that I can push myself. Instead of accepting that I wasn't going to break 2 hours, I instead got into a running "rhythm" and opened up my mind and ears. I started to enjoy what was around me: the beautiful houses, the wonderful cheering spectators, my fellow competitors, and the fantastic sunny day with its blue skies. I guess I put everything into perspective. I love to run, I'm fortunate I am able to run, running is fun, and pushing myself to be a better runner without losing the "fun" perspective is what it's all about. I hope I never forget that.
Overall: 1119 of 2597; 59th out of 115 finishers Men’s 50-54 category.

P.S. Everyone that completed the half marathon got some cool bling. Unfortunately I'm not smart enough to post a picture of it. If Carlee posts a pic, I'll let you know!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I Learned!

Temperature 77 degrees. Splits 9:23; 9:27; 9:26; 9:44; 9:00; 47:00 total for 5 miles; 9:24 per mile pace.

Today I wore my "tool belt." For those of you who don't know, my wife and kids refer to my water bottle belt as a "tool belt," since they say I look like a "tool" running with it on. So maybe I can blame their intimidation tactics for me being dumb and stupid the last two runs and not wearing it?! I was not motivated to run today. I spent quality time with my wife during the morning car shopping. She's finally admitting that she needs and deserves a new car since she now drives a 1997 Mercury Sable. She wanted to look at Nissans, and a long story short two test drives and three hours later we were home. She likes the Maxima, so sometime in the next week she will probably buy one. That being said, I was tired and hungry when we arrived home. I ate a small lunch, and made a deal with myself that I could buy a Monster Low carb energy drink before running to help "pep" me up. What I really wanted was a nap, especially since for the first time in about a week it wasn't raining and the temperature was rising. Instead I ate a couple of blackberry GU Chomps, drank the Monster energy drink, and parked at the Linear Trail. I wasn't running on the trail today, but I usually have the parking lot there as my starting point. I find that for the most part running close to home psychs me out, and I whine more to myself. I set out on my random run, figuring I'd run for 2 1/2 miles, and turn around and run back the same route. I also had an uphill route planned for the first mile, figuring that the initial torture would be a nice downhill finish. What I hadn't planned was for Patton Drive, the 150 foot downhill part of my run between miles 2 and 2 1/2, followed by an uphill run of 175 feet from miles 2 3/4 to 3 3/4. I was amazed that my mile 4 split was 9:44. That was followed by my reward of the last mile being a 100 foot decline in elevation overall, resulting in a 9 minute last mile. Overall, my training schedule had me running between 45 and 50 minutes, at a pace of 9:40. I ran for 47 minutes, and averaged a 9:24 per mile pace. My splits were consistent, with the exception of my last two miles, but obviously the crazy elevation affected that. I didn't even use my GU Chomps during my run, instead relying on my water in my tool belt. I did notice a BIG difference having the water. Plus after the first half mile or so I tend to stop complaining to myself about the extra weight I'm carrying with the tool belt plus two bottles of water. If you've ever run wearing a water belt, you know what I mean. I'm thinking that when it starts hitting 90 degrees here that I'm going to stash water in my car, and run out and back loops to my car, rather than dragging along the extra weight. Or stash some cash on myself and stop at a convenience store or two along the way. P.S. I'm up to $567 raised for team Autism Speaks. I need to raise $733 more by August 17 in order to avoid having my credit card billed for the difference. My wife's company picnic is on Friday. I'm hoping to get donations from her co-workers after they're fed, drunk, and happy!

Monday, June 22, 2009

When Will I Learn?

Linear Trail: Temperature 72 degrees. Splits 9:12; 9:32; 9:41; 9:54; 9:52; 10:08; 9:55; 9:15; 1:17:29 total for 8 miles; 9:41 per mile pace.

When will I learn? Today's run was my "Long One" for the week. I got a break since it was only scheduled as an eight mile run, with one minute walk breaks after every mile I ran. So I was careless, and for whatever reason once again I decided that it wasn't necessary to wear my "tool belt." You'd think I would have learned after last Friday's run. At least I remembered to drink about a quart of water prior to running, and I had a Hammer Gel and a package of GU chomps in my pocket. Plus I knew I had two water fountains I would be running by. I started strong, and the first mile flew by. I almost skipped my walk break, but decided to stick to the plan. I was still feeling strong at the two mile mark, and my split was a 9:32, with a one minute walk break included. Again I considered not walking, but again stuck to my plan. Although I was still feeling strong, my splits for miles three and four were slower, with a 9:41 and a 9:54. I was sucking on the GU Chomps, and knew that the water fountain between miles three and four would be my savior. It was out of order. The only other fountain was about a tenth of a mile from where I was parked, meaning it was five miles away, at mile 7.9 of my 8 mile run. I was mad at myself for not carrying money, as I had thought about doing since the trail goes by businesses just passed, you guessed it, the broken water fountain. Even worse was the chocolate Hammer gel that I had just eaten and now had nothing to wash it down with. I reached the 4 mile turnaround point, and shortly thereafter, between miles five and six took an extended walk break of about two minutes. I decided that I needed the extra time to "recharge." It worked. My legs felt stronger, and I skipped my walk break for the last mile, and ran a 9:15 split. Lesson learned. From now on, I wear my tool belt.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

*^%##@ Humidity

Linear Trail: Temperature 78 degrees and HUMID! Splits 8:41; 8:54; 9:17; 9:12; 9:30; :47; 46:21 total for 5.1 miles; 9:06 per mile pace.

Yesterday's goal was to run my 5 miles at an 8:40 per mile pace. I gave up that idea after the first mile. Dumbass me didn't wear my "tool" belt, so I had no liquid nourishment available. Honestly, I was so excited that the school year was over, and that I had a party to attend at a co-worker's house that I had absolutely no common sense. All I knew was that I was not going to be in any shape to run today, so I had to get my run in yesterday. My theory proved to be correct. It's just as humid today, and drinking (I think) 9 beers yesterday would have made today's run nearly impossible. Yeah I know, way to train for the NY City Marathon Rick! Week 7 of 26 weeks of training is complete. I can't be happier at how well it's going. I have a "short" run of 8 miles scheduled for tomorrow (Thank-you Jeff Galloway training schedule), and a half marathon a week from tomorrow. I'm going to do the run-walk-run for the half marathon, with a goal of 2 hours or less. It will be a good test to see how run-walk-run works in actuality (Is that a word?!). Fundraising for Team Autism Speaks is progressing. I have about $550 raised so far. Since I have about a week and a half off before I start working summer school, I'm going to be setting up some fundraisers. Anyone have any ideas?!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Quick Update

Quick comments at 4:44 a.m. EST: Running continues to go well. Tuesday's run was 5.1 miles with a time of 47:17. I heart my new Asics GT-2140 running shoes. I was supposed to run at a 9:40 per mile pace. Without much of an effort I averaged a 9:17 pace. Perhaps the ridiculously cool for June temperature of 64 degrees helped. Or maybe forgetting to bring my mp3 player to the trail and instead listening to the sounds of nature did the trick.
Yesterdays run was a scheduled 3 1/2 miles at an 8:40 or better pace. I did a "random run" as I like to call it around the local streets. I averaged an 8:22 per mile pace, finishing in 29:13. Another day in the 60's-it was only 69 degrees. Normal daytime temperature is supposed to be around 81 degrees right now. Great to run in, bad to tan in (not that I'm a tanner!).
Overall, I'm the most comfortable and "at peace" that I've ever been while I run. Reality has set in that I'm actually training for the New York City Marathon, and I'm excited. I've made the decision, with everyone's help, that my time in the marathon will not matter. Although I will continue to train to finish in four hours or better, I don't care if I don't. God willing, I will enjoy the experience of my last marathon. After the marathon, I will still continue to run for as long as I'm physically able to, and for as long as I enjoy it. Hopefully until age 100! Fundraising for team Autism Speaks is progressing. I have received almost $300 in donations from my co-workers. I had a pizza fundraiser yesterday and raised $150. I've raised about $500 of the $1300 needed by August. My fundraising involves raising $1300 by the middle of August, and $1300 by the middle of October. If not, my credit card is billed for the difference both times. OUCH! I also purchased autism bracelets to sell for $5 each. If you can contribute to my fundraising efforts, please click on the Autism Speaks link to the right. By the way, tomorrow's our last day of school. I will be using my extra time to catch up on everyone's blogs, among other things.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Takin' it to the Streets

Temperature 67 degrees. Splits 9:06; 9:39; 9:54; 9:52; 10:25; 10:06; 9:18; 12:10; 9:29; 9:54; 9:25;.52; 1:50:10 total for 11.1 miles; 9:56 per mile pace.

I debated whether or not to take the easy way today and run on the linear trail. I really wanted to dog it and not run on the streets. Then the reality that I'll be running 26.2 miles on November 1st on lots of streets brought me back to reality. If I'm training to run a marathon, I need to train properly. Training properly means not being a wienie, and running 11 miles on the streets. I decided that Garmin and I were going to be best friends today. I mixed up some Hammer Strawberry flavored Heed into 24 oz. of water, and stashed a package of blueberry GU Chomps in my pocket. I left the Heed at home, because if I was "Takin' it to the Streets" (Doobie Brothers: 1976), then I was going to run loops out and back from my home. This strategy proved to be great in theory, and bad in actual running, since the three times I arrived home my bladder decided to act up. So me being anal about my one mile run, one minute walk training program decided to run for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 miles before taking a walk break the last 3 plus miles to make up for my potty breaks. Good, because I averaged less than the 10 minutes per mile pace I was hoping for, and bad because it wore me down quicker and I wasn't as refreshed after my walk breaks as I should have been. Sometime in the next 4 plus months I'm hoping that I will admit to myself that the 4 hour marathon time that I'm training for isn't realistic for the NY City Marathon. I don't think that running with 40,000 other runners through the streets of NY City will allow me to accomplish it. If you live in NY, or have run the NY City Marathon, please correct me if I'm wrong. That being said, my real goals for running the marathon are to raise the required $2600 for Team Autism Speaks, be healthy enough to run the marathon, have fun, have more fun, and complete it in whatever time it takes me, providing I've made my best effort. Assuming all this happens, then no more marathons for me. The time and commitment required to train for a marathon, plus the wear and tear on my 52 year old body are my reasons for saying this. Besides, won't running the NY City Marathon as my last be a great way to end it?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

My Weekly Update

I'm baaaaaack! It's been a crazy week, and I apologize to anyone whose blog I've neglected. I really do make an effort to read and comment on everyone's posts.
This past Sunday was the MS (Multiple Sclerosis) Bike Ride. I rode on a team called Simione's Ridemonkeys. My wife works for a company with Simione in its name, and they sponsored the Ridemonkeys team this year. Last year we got cool Ridemonkeys t-shirts. This year we got Ridemonkeys beer mugs. I know Lindsay and "Irish Creme" are jealous! I was psyched because I didn't get the wicked ass ache riding my bike like I did last year. I refuse to buy spandex shorts with built in ass padding. It just isn't right for this 52 year old man. I ride wearing the same clothing that I run in. Also, wearing my Garmin I discovered the "25" mile ride was actually just under 28 miles. Guess how much swearing I did as I reached mile 25, nearly out of water, in the hot sun? Overall, a great experience, and I finished in about 2 hours and 10 minutes.
Tuesday's run was a scheduled 45-50 minutes at a 9:40 per mile pace. I ran for 5.25 miles, and averaged a 9:23 per mile pace. Wednesday was a warm-up of six "Acceleration Gliders" (AG), followed by a 3.6 mile run at an 8:21 per mile pace, which was 19 seconds per mile quicker than necessary. Maybe my new running shoes helped?! I am now wearing the Asics GT-2140 running shoes. They're the first running shoes I've worn that aren't for runners who overpronate when they run. I was mistakenly believing that I overpronated when I ran. My podiatrist told me that I don't, so after three years I'm finally running with the right type of shoe. I really don't notice much of a difference, but I will say my new shoes are very comfortable. Plus the price was right: $76 total at Kelly's Running Warehouse, including free shipping. I wanted to buy the Asics Gel Kayano 15, but $125 was out of my price range. Today's run was a tough one. We had our (almost) end of the year staff party, and of course I drank too much. My training schedule required me to do four to eight AG's, so of course I dogged it and did four. I decided I needed to conserve energy, since my goal was an 8:40 or better per mile pace today. I'm very happy to say that despite sweating large amounts of Coors Light I completed 5 miles in 42:46, for an 8:33 per mile pace. Perhaps I should contact the Coors Brewing Company and see if they'll sponsor me. Hey beer has carbs, right?! By the way, I received 2 different six-pack samples of the Clif Shot Bloks at the bike ride. One was Black cherry, and one was orange. Both are soft and chewy, and tend to stick to my teeth. Both flavors tasted like Jello shots. I felt as if I was chewing on alcohol laced chews. So I won't be buying any Clif products. I'm still loyal to Hammer products, and as I've said before, if you order any of their products, please click on the link to the right, and we both will receive a discount. I must also say that I'm still addicted to the blueberry flavored GU Chomps also. Nice thing about them is they dissolve quickly, and don't stick to your teeth.
**Team Autism Speaks update: I received my first e-mail from them. Check out what I'll be wearing: "We are working with Asics for our team apparel. It will consist of a runners singlet/tank to be worn the on race day as well as a long sleeve unisex top to wear before/after the race. The singlet/tank will be customized on the front with your FIRST name unless you state differently. We place your name across the front so spectators can cheer you along, by name, on race day and the Autism Speaks logo will also be on the front and back." SWEET! Plus I get a free Team Autism dinner the night before the marathon. They also have 2 private buses to take all 125 of Team Autism Speaks runners to the starting line. My fundraising is going well so far. I have raised $40 online, with $15 of it being my own $$. The teacher I work with gave me $50 cash, a co-worker at Weight Watchers contributed $5, and I made $60 at my company party last night by having a 50-50 raffle. So far, I've raised $155. Not bad for my first week. Next Wednesday I'm hosting a cookout at lunchtime at the school I work at, and am selling hot dogs, hamburgers, and soda. I'm hoping to raise $100. If any of you want to contribute, the link is to the right. Just click on it, and it will bring you to my fundraising page. If you would rather mail me a check, e-mail me at and I'll give you my address. Also, if you can, please forward my info. to any friends, family, co-workers, fellow bloggers,etc. that may be willing to contribute. Thanks again everyone for your kind and supportive words. OK, time to catch up with what everyone's been up to.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

OK, Everybody...PLEASE Support Me!

Since its inception, Autism Speaks has committed an unprecedented $128 million in new research funding through 2014 to uncover the cause(s), prevention, treatments and cure for autism, making it the nation's top private funder of autism research. Since my job involves working with students with Autism, I have joined and will run with "Team Autism Speaks" in this year's New York City Marathon on November 1st. This will be my third and last marathon, so I want it to be my most memorable by raising the required $2600.00 in support of Autism Speaks. Please donate to this worthwhile cause as generously as possible. Thank-you in advance for your donation. Rick UPDATE: I'm 52, and no longer wish to spend 6 months of my life training for marathons. Therefore, assuming I run the NY City Marathon, I'm done running marathons. It will be a great way to end it, don't you think?! However, God willing, I will continue to run half marathons and shorter races.

PLEASE follow the link on the right to visit my personal web page and help me in my efforts to support Autism Speaks. Thank-you in advance for your support...Rick

It's Official!! WOO-HOO!!


You have been selected to be a team member for the 2009 ING NYC Marathon with Team Autism Speaks On November 1, 2009 in the city that never sleeps. We are so excited to have been chosen as a charity partner once again this year marking our third year of Running for the Cause. This year we are fortunate to have been awarded 125 positions for the 2009 ING NYC Marathon to be used for fundraising and awareness.

As a runner on Team Autism Speaks you will receive:

· Guaranteed Entry position with Team Autism Speaks in the ING NYC Marathon

· Team clothing – singlet to run in on race day and long sleeve top

· Training shirt to raise awareness while you train for the big race

· Pre-race private team dinner on October 31, 2009, for you and 1 guest, location TBA

· Customized fundraising page for your usage to raise money online

o If you already fundraise for Autism Speaks your login and password will remain the same

o If this is your first time fundraising for Autism Speaks a login and password will be emailed to you

· Bi-Monthly team emails to help motivate and keep you on track for fundraising.

· Discounts from our team sponsors including Modell’s Sporting Goods

· Message boards to talk with other team members regarding training

· Online coaching from our Official Training Partner “Train4Autism”

· Fundraising Tips and Opportunities

· Dedicated Autism Speaks staff to answer questions you have and assist

Fundraising required

· All Team Autism Speaks runners are required to raise either through fundraising or direct donation a minimum of $2600.
· All monies are due by race day, no exceptions.

As soon as I have a fundraising page set up, I'll let everyone know. Let the fun (draising) begin!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

I Joined Team Autism Speaks

OK, you guys win! I joined the team!! I'll post details about how and where to donate later. I'm nervous and excited. Also, I've created a Facebook page, just because I've decided to be "hip" and "cool!" Please feel free to check it out and add me as a friend. "Rick Held" P.S. Since there's lots of people with my name, look for the picture of a guy wearing a grey shirt and a Garmin watch and holding a water bottle.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

I Love You Guys

Linear Trail: Temperature 74 degrees. Splits 9:43; 9:51; 9:53; 10:25; 9:55; 10:03; 9:58; 10:07; 9:58; 9:50; 4:39; 1:44:22 total for 10.5 miles; 9:56 per mile pace.

WOW! I didn't expect the support that I received after my post on Thursday. Thank-you so much for your words of encouragement. I'm probably going to join Team Autism Speaks and raise the $2600 needed to be on the team. The scary part about joining is this:
"On August 17th I am expected to have $1,300 raised. If I have not raised $1,300, I authorize Autism Speaks to charge my credit card for the difference between $1,300 and the amount I raised. On October 17th I am expected to have raised the minimum of $2,600. If I have not raised $2,600, I authorize Autism Speaks to charge my credit card for the difference between $2,600 and the amount I raised. All accounts must have reached the minimum, $2600, the day prior to the race, October 31st." I have a few contacts at work that may be able to help me with the $2600. My goal is to not only enter the NY City Marathon and support "Team Autism Speaks," but also to then have people pledge $$ per miles that I run in the marathon, and give the proceeds from that to ASCONN, which is the Autism Society of Connecticut. So it's a win-win situation.
Perfect day to run. Since I had a 10 miler scheduled, and had too much fun yesterday at Happy Hour, I decided to run the linear trail. I did learn something about drinking and running. The last time I had too much fun at Happy Hour, I was punished with Sam Adams beer burps as I ran the next day. My beer of choice yesterday was Guinness, and guess what? No beer burps! So, now I know to drink Guinness beer if I'm going to be running within 24 hours. I guess that's one tip you're all writing down right now, especially you Irish Creme. I must once again comment on how much I like Jeff Galloway's marathon training plan. Today I was scheduled to run either 9 or 10 miles, at a pace of about 10 minutes per mile, and take walk breaks every 4 to 6 minutes. I tweaked it so that I ran for a mile, and walked for a minute for the entire 10.5 miles. Even by walking, I still averaged a 9:56 per mile pace. As I did my last long run a week ago, I felt great the entire time. I tried the Blueberry Pomegranate GU Chomps that Lindsay recommended, taking one every 20 minutes. They taste great, and I believe they helped. Also, I've always used "Hammer" products, and today I had a Hammer gel prior to running, and also drank the Hammer Heed while I was running. If you're interested in trying Hammer products, click on the link in my blog. As I said a week ago, it's a "win-win" situation, since you save 15% off your first order, and I get a 25% credit in my account for whatever you order. Please use referral number 128750. Thanks in advance if you order!
Tomorrow I won't be running. Instead I'll be riding my bike for 25 miles, in support of MS (Multiple Sclerosis). Thanks to the generosity of friends and family, I was able to raise $225 for MS. Oh, and I'll also be catching up on all your blogs.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Another Way to Run in This Year's NY City Marathon

I work with students with Autism, and this sounds like a great team to join. Raising $2600 won't be easy, but it's guaranteed entry into this year's NY City Marathon. I'll have to sleep on it...

"Autism Speaks" is proud to be a part of the NYRR Charity Partner Program, and as such, we have been awarded 125 entries to this year's race. We are the only official autism charity recognized by the ING NYC Marathon. In exchange for a marathon number, participants must pledge to raise a minimum of $2,600 to support Autism Speaks.

To receive a guaranteed entry into this year's marathon, Autism Speaks invites you to join a very special group of people who will band together to make a difference. As a part of this commitment, you will be asked to raise funds to support Autism Speaks and its mission to raise awareness and funds for autism research and programs. Currently we still have a limited number of spots on Team Autism Speaks. Please fill out the attached form and send it back and someone will be in touch with you regarding availability.

I'm So Freakin' Bummed...

Thank you for applying for the ING New York City Marathon 2009. Unfortunately, you were not selected in the lottery drawing.

I have automatic entry in 2010....that doesn't even matter to me right now. OK, I'm done whining.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Tomorrow's the Day...Am I the Chosen One?

Temperature 62 degrees. Splits: 8:22, 8:35, 8:18, 47 seconds. Today's goal: Run between 25 and 35 minutes at a pace of 8:40 per mile. Ran for 26:02 at a pace of 8:23 per mile. (3.1 miles) SUCCESS!

From the official website of the ING New York City Marathon: "ING New York City Marathon Lottery Results"
"Lottery results for U.S. residents will be available on Thursday, June 4, at noon."

I've got the butterflies. I want to run in it SO bad. Lindsay is running in it. A woman I work with at Weight Watchers is running in it. Laura will also be running it. It's the last marathon I want to run, and call it quits as far as marathon running. My next marathon will be my third. At age 52, I still feel as young as you guys out there who read this. But my body knows I'm 52. It reminds me quite often with various aches and pains (none serious) that I'm 52. If I don't get chosen to participate this year, I have guaranteed entry next year, since it will be 3 years in a row I was turned down. I don't want to wait another year. I could run for charity this year, but that involves raising about $3000 in order to run. Maybe I can find 3000 people willing to donate a dollar towards my cause?! OK, I need to stop. I need to log in at 12 noon tomorrow and see if I'm chosen. If not, then I'll go to Plan B. There, I'm better now. Time to go read your blogs. P.S. My next race: Dear Rick,
Congratulations! You are now registered for Stratton Faxon Fairfield 1/2 Marathon. (June 28)

Running is EASY!

Linear Trail: Temperature: 77 degrees; Splits 9:31; 9:28; 9:35; 9:03; 9:12; 46:49 total for 5 miles; 9:21 per mile pace.

Yesterday's goal: Run between 45 and 50 minutes at a pace of 9:40 per mile. Ran for 46:49 at a pace of 9:21 per mile.

Perfect day, perfect weather, perfect run. Is that possible? Yesterday's run, especially the last half, was effortless. True, I was scheduled to run at a slower pace, but who's complaining? I don't have anything amusing or inspiring to report...sorry! So, that's all for now. I'll be catching up on everyone's blogs later today. Happy effortless running everyone.