Saturday, October 31, 2009

Last Post Before NY City Marathon

NY CITY MARATHON WEATHER FORECAST UPDATE! WCBS NY: Early sprinkles, ending before the start of the marathon. High of 57.
WNBC NY: Doesn't mention sprinkles, no rain, high of 59. Marathon temperature at 9 a.m. is supposed to be 52 degrees. WOO-HOO!! I'm such a wuss. Every time I see a story on the NY news about the marathon, I get all emotional. I'm afraid I'm going to break down and cry running through Central Park to the finish line. Won't that make a nice race pic?!

I'm ready. I better be ready, huh?! I haven't run since Monday, because the weather didn't cooperate. It was pouring rain on Wednesday, so I didn't get to run my scheduled last run before the marathon. It's not a big deal. I've been carb loading since Thursday, which I always did before my previous three marathons. Pizza, bagels, yogurt, and other carbs have been my main foods. I believe carb loading works, at least for me. In short, here's what carb loading does: "In the case of a marathon, carb loading is a must during the week of the marathon, particularly in the final three days before race day. Our bodies have the capability of storing large amounts of glycogen which is converted from consumed carbohydrates. By consuming more and exercising less (your taper period), your body is able to store more glycogen. As you run during the marathon, your body will burn glycogen. When glycogen runs out, your body will transition to burn fat as the primary source of fuel. The object is to store and replenish enough glycogen so that you do not run out before you reach the finish line. Carb loading is a method that will lessen the likelihood that your tank will run empty." Sounds good to me, so that's why I carb load.
I downloaded 13 of your suggestions into my mp3 player for tomorrow. The 13 I chose were based on my listening preferences. Please don't be offended if I didn't choose one of your songs. Remember, I was born in 1956, and my music taste for the most part still goes back to the 70's. That being said, these 13 songs, plus 90 more, will be with me as I run the five boroughs of New York. I'm getting goosebumps just typing that...
* Don't Stop Me Now: Queen
* I Gotta Feelin': The Black Eyed Peas
* Poker Face: Lady Gaga
* Nobody's Fault But Mine: Led Zeppelin
* Viva La Vida: Coldplay
* Beautiful Day: U2
* All Fired Up: Pat Benatar
* Gives You Hell: All American Rejects
* Let it Rock: Kevin Rudolf
* He's a Pirate: Klaus Badelt
* Born to Run: Bruce Springsteen
* I Feel the Earth Move: Carole King
* Black Betty: Ram Jam

In addition, my son suggested All the Small Things by Blink 182; as well as December by Collective Soul. My wife's suggestion: Train Train by Blackfoot.
My day today will be busy. I will be getting my son up at 8 a.m., get him showered and dressed, go buy a lock for my suitcase, finish packing, have my wonderful wife drive me to the New Haven train station, take the 11:55 a.m. train to Grand Central, get a cab to my hotel, check in, go to Javits Center a mile away to get my race packet, return to hotel, go to Carmine's Restaurant a mile away for a free dinner and meet the other 125 Autism Speaks runners, then back to my hotel. From 5:30 p.m. on I should finally have time to relax(?) and then at 8 p.m. watch the World Series. Sunday, marathon morning, I don't have to get the bus until 7:30 a.m., which is good. Autism Speaks is providing the bus transportation, and we have two private buses. The bus pick up point is a half mile from my hotel, but that's ok. I should be at the drop off point by the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge by 8:00, which means I'll have to wait about 2 1/2 hours before I'm able to start. It's a staggered start, meaning 14,000 runners run at 9:40, 10, and 10:20. Each half hour starting time has runners lined up in one of seven corrals, with about 2,000 runners in each corral. This way there isn't 42,000 runners starting at the same time. Television coverage is at 9 a.m., and NBC channel 4 out of NY is broadcasting from 6 a.m. until about 12 noon. So that means that I'll have about 1 1/2 hours of possible tv time. Also, I'm wearing bib # 44355, and I'll be wearing a light blue colored Autism Speaks tank top, with my name (Rick)on the front in big white letters. I'll be a running billboard I guess! My wife and daughter are meeting me at the finisher area, and I've told them to bring nose plugs. I'll have a change of clothes, but won't be able to shower until after we take the train home. Ewwww. I'm hopefully going to be able to meet Lindsay, of Chasing the Kenyans blog. She's already in NY City, and we've exchanged cell phone numbers. I'll have to find her today, or prior to 9:00 marathon day, since she's a speedster and starting at 9:20. Before I end, I want to once again thank all of you for your support. Back in June, when I was upset that I wasn't accepted into the marathon, I decided with your help to join team Autism Speaks. Raising $2600 to be a part of the team was a challenge, but with your donations, and donations of friends, family, and co-workers of mine and my wife's, I surpassed the $2600 goal. For five months I have had your and their support. Now, with 15 1/2 hours to go, it's hard to believe it's nearly here. I am going to be running my fourth, and last, marathon. Why my last? This 53 year old doesn't like the six months of training before the 1 day of running. It gets stressful, I get more aches and pains, and it gets in the way of my family life at times. The NY City Marathon. It doesn't get any better than that if you're a runner. I will run-walk-run smart. I will stick to my training plan. I will not run stupid. I WILL finish. Will I run a PR of better than 4:22:19? Who knows. I'll see how the first half goes, and adjust my pace accordingly. I'm getting emotional again. Yes, I'll probably be crying tears of joy as I cross the finish line tomorrow. I am such a wuss...LOL.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Rain?! No, I Don't Want it to Rain! More Music Too

WCBS NY says: Sunday...Mostly cloudy. A chance of showers in the morning. Highs in the mid 50s. North winds around 10 mph. Gusts up to 25 mph in the morning. Chance of rain 30 percent.

The Weather Channel: Occasional showers possible. Highs in the mid 50s and lows in the low 40s.

WNBC NY: High: 55 Low: 43
Few Showers
Few showers. Highs in the mid 50s and lows in the low 40s.

OK, three forecasts that are the same. Note to self: Pack black plastic trash bags.

Update: I'm compiling a song list from your recommendations. I have to be honest...I grew up in the 70's, and don't like hip-hop or rap. I cannot lie and say I'll download your song(s) if they're that type of music. Therefore, please feel free to suggest alternate rock type songs. Examples are Viva la Vida by Coldplay and All Fired Up by Pat Benatar. I do like Gives You Hell by All American Rejects, I Gotta Feelin by the Black Eyed Peas, and some of the other songs you have recommended. Even Poker Face by Lady Gaga was good. To be honest, ELO (Electric Light Orchestra) was my favorite 70's band! Elton John, the Eagles, Allman Brothers band too. So anything similar that's from this era works for me.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Last Chance to Give Me Your Favorite Running Song(s).

I will be adding your songs to my mp3 player tomorrow (Friday). If you've already given me more than one song, that's OK! If you want to add another song, that's OK too!! Thanks, and love you guys! P.S. I'm starting to freak out in a good way about the marathon...details and what will be my last pre-marathon post in a day or two. If I'm not commenting on your blogs lately, I apologize.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I Want Your Songs...NOW!

I said I would do this several months ago, but never did. This time I will. I want your song recommendations. Leave a comment to this post with the one song, yes ONE song that gets you pumped while you're running. I promise that I will put your song in my mp3 player. I'd love to have a song from all 27 followers to listen to. You guys have supported me through this blog, now's your chance to musically support me as I run 26.2 miles through the five boroughs of New York City this Sunday. What are you waiting for?! Go post your song NOW!!!!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Still Consistent...One Run to Go

Today's Run: Temperature: 64 degrees. Road: 3.36 miles; splits: 8:56; 8:55; 9:03; 3:07; 30:01; 8:56/mile pace.

I was scheduled to run for 30 minutes, so I overachieved and ran for 30 minutes and one second. It was another perfect day to run, with a 64 degree temperature and a slight breeze. The run was also perfect. Everything felt great. I'm so ready for NY. Speaking of NY, here's the forecast, according to WCBS Newsradio88, NY: Sunday...Mostly sunny. Highs in the lower 60s. OK, so just to be sure, I have another opinion. says: Sunday, Nov 1
High: 63 °F RealFeel®: 62 °F
Nice with plenty of sunshine
I couldn't ask for a better day. As it gets closer, my excitement grows. There's a record number of runners: 42,000. Crazy, huh?! Thank goodness we're going to be in chutes (like cattle?!) and released at different intervals to reduce crowding. Having read everyone's comments so far, I'm starting to think I may go for a PR. I don't want to run-walk-run anywhere near as slow as I did in Hartford. As I've mentioned previously, Hartford was a test marathon for NY. The test went well. I know run-walk-run works for a 4:45 pace. It also will work for a 4:22 or better pace if I push myself. Do I want to push myself? Yes and No. Yes, because I'd love to end my marathon career with a PR. No because I don't want to go too fast too soon, and hit the wall, or feel like crap when I'm finished. So here's the deal I've worked out with myself. Stick to the run-walk-run training plan that I've been using the past six months. When I run for my four minutes, I will run faster than I do now on my training runs (that's ok), and I will walk a little faster than I have been on my training. I will start this from mile one, not mile seven like I did at Hartford. That is the way the plan works: save energy early on, and if I have enough energy anytime during the last ten miles, I can modify the running to a longer distance with less walking, or best case scenario, no walking at all. Logical thinking left brain will like this, since it involves walking "rewards" every four minutes. Another change of plans for me involves not staying over in NY the night before. I'm seriously thinking about having someone driving me down the morning of the marathon and dropping me off. My pick up point is at the Meadowlands in NJ, and there's buses running nonstop from 5-6:30 a.m. to the starting line dropoff area. I'd have plenty of time since my starting time isn't until 10:20 a.m. It's not any longer of a bus ride than if I was going from NY City to the starting line area. Problem is, to make a very long story short, I may not be able to get a ride down to NJ the morning of the marathon. I still have 6 days to problem solve. To be continued...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Two More to Go

Today's Run: Temperature: 61 degrees. Road: 4 miles; splits: 9:04; 9:00; 9:00; 8:44; 35:48; 8:57/mile pace.

Two more runs to go before the NY City Marathon. #44355 is starting to get nervous. Reality is setting in that it's now less than a week away. I ran my scheduled 4 miler today, and it's nice to feel as comfortable running as I did prior to the Hartford Marathon two weeks ago. I ran splits of 9:04, 9:00, 9:00, and an 8:44. Looking back over my runs since Hartford, I have had average split times of 9:30 (6 days after marathon), 8:56, 9:04, 8:57, and 8:57. My last two split times prior to the marathon were 8:56 and 8:57. Get the idea? Over the course of a short four or five mile run I'm very consistent. If only I could run that well over 26.2 miles...I'd be a sub four hour marathon runner. It's times like this that I need to remind myself that if I run "stupid", I will crash and burn in NY. I will not run "stupid," and will follow the run-walk-run training plan as good as, if not better than I did in Hartford two weeks ago. I have a realistic goal of a 4:30 nettime for NY. It's not my best marathon time (4:22:19), but that's ok. My goals for NY are simple: Finish, have fun, and enjoy the experience of my last marathon. If I can run-walk-run at a 10 minute per mile pace and finish with a 4:22:11, I'll have a new PR. If not, so be it.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


I REACHED MY FUNDRAISING GOAL FOR TEAM AUTISM SPEAKS!! Yes, I've raised $2627.45. Unbelievable!! I was able to achieve this with a lot of support from you guys out there in bloggerland, and of course with support of family, friends, friends of friends, and my wonderful co-workers. THANK-YOU everyone for your support. Back in the beginning of June, when I was bummed at not having been chosen in the lottery drawing to run in the marathon. I posted that I was thinking about joining team Autism Speaks, and you guys encouraged me to. As promised, you helped me raise the money needed to run through your generous monetary and also with written support. With 8 days to go before the marathon, I no longer have to worry about the fundraising part of it. Number 44355 can now focus on running a few more times, carb loading, and then heading to the Big Apple in a week in preparation for next Sunday's marathon. Yes. I'm number 44355. I haven't yet figured out how that number relates to anything in my life, lol. Also, I'll be starting my run at about 10:20 a.m. EST that morning. Of course I'll be repeating all of this in a post or two closer to the marathon. Thanks again everyone for your support.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Short Run, No Fun

Today's Run: Road: 2.8 miles; 70 degrees: splits: 9:04; 9:00; 7:02; 25:06; 8:57/mile pace.

I was scheduled to run for 20 to 25 minutes today. Talk about, I can't remember the last time I ran that short of a distance (2.8 miles). It was 25 degrees warmer today than it was 6 days ago. Living in Connecticut in October always means a big fluctuation in temperatures. I was tempted to run farther and faster, but didn't. I've followed my Jeff Galloway training plan for six months, so I've certainly earned this thing called tapering. What exactly is tapering? I really didn't know an official definition, so I Yahooed it and found this definition at
Many runners fail to realize that one of the most important aspects of marathon training is the taper phase. Reducing weekly and long run mileage during these final two weeks is vitally important so that you will be fully recovered from previous workouts while at the same time, be completely rested for the big event. For the sake of the discussion that follows, we will assume that marathon is scheduled on a Sunday. Furthermore, we will refer to the taper period as the time that spans the two-week period prior to the marathon right up to Saturday night (the day before the race). They add: Physical Preparation

* Cut back on the distance and intensity of your training runs during the two-week period prior to the marathon, eliminating long and hard efforts. You will need to make a decision whether you wish to take either/both Friday or Saturday as a complete leg rest day(s) on marathon weekend.
* Listen to your body. Remember, there are no workouts the week prior to the marathon that will enhance your preparedness for the race. An important rule of thumb is "Less is Best", particularly if you are feeling either physically or mentally tired and/or your leg muscles are fatigued/achy, etc.

OK, so now that I've read this, I now officially know that along with running a marathon 12 days ago, I have officially completed all the tough stuff required to kick ass at the NY City Marathon in 9 1/2 days. From this point forward until the marathon, I will continue to follow the remainder of the Jeff Galloway training schedule that I have been practicing and preaching about for the past six months. I will not do any more dumb things like running like a madman who has a craving for Good and Plenty and a Slurpee. I will gladly accept the fact that since I am tapering, that I can dog it and run as slow as I want as long as I run for the scheduled number of minutes. I will also try to make my posts about my slow and short runs as exciting as possible in order to avoid having my followers/supporters fall asleep while reading them. Is everyone still awake? I hope so. OK, end of boring, I mean exciting, post.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Visions of Good and Plenty and a Slurpee

Today's Run: Temperature: 67 degrees. Linear Trail: 5 miles; splits: 9:33; 9:25; 9:23; 9:06; 7:56; 45:23; 9:04/mile pace.

Today's scheduled run was for 40-45 minutes at a (hopefully) 9 minute per mile pace. I was looking forward to my run since I had a successful run yesterday, I was running the Farmington Canal Trail, and it was a perfect 67 warm degrees. Warmer temperatures again also meant shorts and a short sleeved shirt again. Woo-hoo! I arrived at the parking lot, and was surprised that it was nearly filled. Apparently I wasn't the only one who wanted to get out and enjoy the warmer temperature. I started slowly since I wanted to see how well my legs had recovered from yesterday's run. It quickly became evident that yesterday's run had taken more than I had hoped out of me. I was once again in lead legs land. It usually takes me about 40-45 seconds to get to the a small bridge near the start of the trail. It took me 50 plus seconds today. Not only that, but my stride was off. When it's happened before, I've compared it to a race horse being off stride. The first mile was a joke. Off stride, in lead legs land, and just not feeling it. I looked at Garmin, and he wasn't helping. With about 9/10 of a mile run, I was already closing in on the 9 minute mark. My brain urged my legs to move faster, but legs just weren't responding. Mile 1 passed, with Garmin displaying a 9:33. Wow, that was ugly. I was hoping to loosen up around that time, since that's what happened during yesterday's run at around mile 1.2. Mile 1.2 came and went, and my stride was still off, and things weren't getting any better. Mile 2 arrived, and Garmin ticked me off again with a 9:25 split. Now I was beginning to feel as if 5 miles might have been too ambitious. Wait, I now needed to shut up left brain. No logical thinking allowed. I was also being bothered by the sun shining through the bare trees along the trail. As I ran, I kept going from sun to shade, and the sun being deflected by the bare branches was acting like a strobe light on my right eye. From mile 2 to the turn around point at mile 2 1/2, I was finding it nearly impossible to run between my stride being off, lead legs, and disco strobe light sunlight in my right eye. I almost stopped and walked, but didn't. I just wanted to get to the halfway point so that I could turn around and run back to my car. After what seemed like an eternity, I reached the halfway point and turned around. At that point I was thirsty and mad at myself for not properly preparing for the run. I didn't bring gels or anything with me. I wanted and needed water ASAP. The water fountain was 3/4 of a mile away. The sun was no longer an issue, and my stride was slowly getting back to normal, so I picked up the pace. I wanted to get to the water fountain ASAP. I also had a strange craving for Good and Plenty. Yes, Good and Plenty. I would have sold my soul for a box of Good and Plenty at that point. Obviously I was dehydrated and delirious! I reached mile 3: 9:23. Faster than miles 1 and 2, but still a disappointment to me. I still had 3/10 of a mile to go to the water fountain. My stride had returned and I was feeling like the water would be the cure all. 3/10 of a mile is forever when you have mega cotton mouth. Fortunately no one was using it, and I drank for about 30 seconds, and resumed running. I should have drank more water, but dammit I still had 1.65 miles left to run, and I wanted to go buy my Good and Plenty...and a Slurpee. If I was going to go buy Good and Plenty, then I was also going to buy a Slurpee. Talk about a sugar fix. I guess it was a dumb move on my part not bringing any GU Gels along with me. With my stride now back to normal and water inside me, I was feeling a lot better. At that point, I was trying to find a way to get through my still present lead legs. Time to thank a fellow blogger again. Today's award goes to Lindsay, from Chasing the Kenyans. Here's the advice she gave me yesterday while commenting on another post: "when my legs felt like cement not long ago, i found that picking up the pace helped more than slowing down, strangely enough. have you ever tried doing a couple strides? or even pushing yourself for 20 seconds here and there during a run? maybe that would help shake your legs loose without straining yourself too much (as it wouldn't need to be but for 10-20 seconds)." I remembered her 20 seconds suggestion out of all that. I told left brain that I was going to bust my ass for 20 seconds, then slow down again. Left brain agreed that it was a VERY logical idea since it would only be for 20 seconds. My entire brain liked it because it knew the quicker I finished, the sooner I would be eating the what we decided at that moment would be a LARGE box of Good and Plenty and a LARGE pina colada slurpee. Yes, I wanted and needed a sugar fix BAD! I waited until I crossed a road, and with 1 1/2 miles to go, I was off and running like I was being chased. I tricked left brain into allowing me to continue to mile 4, and Garmin beeped and I saw a 9:06 on it's screen. I had run a 9:06 split with about 30 seconds added in for drinking water. My brain loves math, and quickly realized that I had just run about an 8:36 split. With a mile to go, and visions of Good and Plenty and a Slurpee in my mind, I threw caution to the wind. Left brain and what was left of lead legs were going to have to deal with me running as fast as I could as far as I could. If I needed to slow down, I would. But dammit, I wasn't going to slow down because Lindsay said it would work and I was going to be writing this post and be held accountable if I wussed out, and I wanted my freakin' Good and Plenty and Slurpee NOW!! Across another road, and a slight downhill, and I had 8/10 of a mile to go. Legs were moving, and moving fast. Up ahead in the distance, I spied a familiar sight. The Cheshire High School girls cross country team was heading towards me. I've seen them the past week or so at that time. Now I couldn't slow down, or I'd look like a wimp in front of a dozen or so of them. I continued to run all out. As we passed each other, I had about a half mile to go. I said hello to all of them, told them good job, and got a chorus of "thanks" in reply. Awwww, how sweet! I turned a slight corner, still in an all out sprint. Less than half a mile to go, and I could see the end of the trail....and more cross country runners. There was no slowing down now until I reached the end. I didn't want or need to slow down anyhow. My legs were feeling the best they've felt in a long time (Thanks again, Lindsay), and I had some great music blaring in my ear. I greeted the "stragglers" as I passed by them, and started scolding myself to keep running fast. I looked around, and seeing no one nearby with 3/10 of a mile left, turned into a male version of Jillian from the Biggest Loser. I was yelling at myself to run faster, push harder, hurry up, and don't you dare slow down. I felt great. I reached mile 5, Garmin beeped, and I pressed the stop button. My run was over, and I felt exhilarated. I knew my last mile was good, but was astonished: 7:56. Damn! I guess I've discovered the key to me running fast: Good and Plenty and a Slurpee. By the way, if anyone's interested, I found the actual old commercial for Good and Plenty on YouTube:
P.S. I did indeed buy Good and Plenty and a pina colada slurpee afterwards...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Welcome Back, Legs

Today's Run: Temperature: 58 degrees. Road: 3.1 miles; Splits: 9:16; 9:03; 8:40; :47; 27:46; 8:56/mile pace. I NAILED THIS RUN!

Bye-bye stone legs and stomach cramps. Hello, running legs. Welcome back from your well deserved 9 day vacation. Hugs and kisses for Irish Cream for helping me get back on track. I'm back. My legs have regained their mojo. My stomach has decided to quit cramping, hopefully forever.
Since running the Hartford Marathon, I've been fighting a stomach virus. It started the day after the marathon, disappeared Tuesday to Thursday, and reappeared Friday night and Saturday. A trip to the doctor on Saturday along with some medications has hopefully taken care of the virus permanently. I wasn't thinking left brain logically at all lately. Fellow blogger Irish Creams' advice of "stick with what the man says. After all, Galloway has seemed to work very well for you thus far! Why change anything?" made sense. Yes, I still have a two week taper plan of Galloway's that I will follow. I've committed the past six months to it. Why would I change anything?! Also, more Irish Creme advice: "Because wasn't the reason you ran the marathon last weekend because he prescribed a 26-mile run-walk-run?" Ummmm, yeah I kinda had forgotten that! I did run the Hartford Marathon as part of the Galloway training plan. Thanks Irish Cream for setting me straight. So since it was pouring rain yesterday and I was still not feeling 100%, I did my scheduled 5k run today. It was 58 degrees, but with the sun shining it felt a lot warmer to me. Definitely warm enough for my summer running attire of shorts and a short sleeved shirt. I was short on time, so I reluctantly decided to do a road run that was 1.55 miles out and back, and GASP, starts with an uphill run. I walked outside my home into the crisp fall air, squinted into the sun, took a deep breath, started my Garmin, and off I went. A minute or so into my run, things felt bad. My legs felt heavy. My stride was off, and my breathing not right. I was running into a slightly cool breeze, and my upper body was cold. I trudged up the hill, reached the top, and still wasn't feeling so confident. I did a quick mental calendar check, and realized I still had 13 days until the NY Marathon. No time to panic yet, I was thinking. Almost two weeks to get back my mojo. Five minutes later, Garmin beeped, and displayed a 9:16. Not bad...I was expecting worse. Then around mile 1.2, things changed. I was warmer, running smoother, breathing easier. I was feeling good. Even though the wind was in my face, it actually started to feel like I was gently being pushed. Weird, but true. I had regained my rhythm. Mile 2, 9:03. I was disappointed that I hadn't run a sub 9 minute mile, but encouraged by how easily I was now running. It really felt effortless, and I know I could have pushed myself to go a lot faster had I chosen to. Mile 3 split was an 8:40, to which I reacted to by yelling out "I'm back" as Garmin displayed it. (Yes, my neighbors probably think I'm nuts if they heard me). I sprinted the final 1/10 of a mile, and I was home. Final time was a 27:46, for an 8:56 per mile pace. I was expecting to run a 9:15-9:30 pace. Yes indeed, I'm back. Now I just need to stick to the Galloway training plan to the end, and throughout the NY City Marathon. All of you will remind me of that, won't you?!

Countdown Clock Wanted

Anybody know of a good website to get a countdown clock for my blog? Please keep in mind it has to be ridiculously easy for me to add to my blog...I'm not to good at doing these things! Thanks! UPDATE: Thanks, Meg!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Cold and Sloooow

Today's Run: Temperature: 45 degrees. Linear Trail: 4.1 miles; splits: 9:23; 9:31; 9:35; 9:34; :54; 35:44; 9:30/Mile pace.

It feels like winter here in Connecticut. Yesterday it snowed and fortunately none of it stuck to the ground around here. However, some parts of our state got almost 2 inches of snow. Today's high temperature was in the 40's. It was cold and breezy when I arrived home from work. The outside temperature was 45 degrees, with a "feels like" temperature of 42 degrees. I didn't want to run, even though I knew I had to. So I decided to dress warmly, meaning my winter running apparel of long sleeved top and long running pants. That was my bribe to keep my logical left brain happy. Left brain doesn't like to be cold, and doesn't think it's a good idea to run in the cold. Since the marathon last Saturday, I walked 3 1/2 miles on Tuesday, and walked and ran 3.85 miles on Wednesday. I've been trying to get back into some kind of a running groove, since in less than 16 days I'll be running the NY City Marathon. So I have next week to regain as much mojo as I can, then I'll be back to tapering and carb loading two weeks from now. So today I knew it was time for a short run without walking. It was a struggle. The extra clothing made me feel heavier...a lot heavier. My legs were like stone. Even my breathing the first few miles wasn't quite right. I considered taking walk breaks, but pushed myself and reminded myself that I would be writing this and didn't want to say I wimped out. A mile seemed like forever today. I felt as if I had regressed three years to when I first began running. I was glad I had chosen to run on the relatively flat trail, and not the road with hills to conquer. My splits were 9:23, 9:31, 9:35, and 9:34, and 54 seconds. Very slow for me, but also fairly consistent. I guess I was in denial that it would take some time to recover between marathons. Well, I have two weeks. Hopefully by taking it easy and doing some running, I'll regain my stride for NY. As much as I'd like to shut it down until then, I think that would do more harm than good. I'm looking for some help here, Lindsay and you veteran marathoners. Your opinions, please.
A few random thoughts. I'm about $100 short of my $2600 goal for team Autism Speaks. I sent the remaining balance to them, since the deadline is tomorrow. I'm still having pizza sales at the school I'm working at, so I'll reach my goal about a week or so late. That's ok though, because as I said, I already sent the balance due, and will reimburse myself the $100 that I put in once I raise it. Thanks again to everyone who contributed.
A few more post marathon thoughts. First, thank-you to all nine of you who left such positive and inspiring comments. As I said, I'm a wuss and do get emotional very easily. I've read your comments over and over again, and words cannot express how much they mean to me. Hartford was my third marathon and by far my best marathon. I followed my training plan as best as I could, and with the exception of what I reported in my marathon race report, followed it through during the marathon. I was amazed at how many people I met were also using some type of a Jeff Galloway run-walk-run marathon plan. Run-walk-run works. Over the course of the last 10 miles or so, I was passing a great deal more runners than were passing me. The 4:45 pace group had mostly first time marathon runners, and over the course of the last half of the marathon, most of them couldn't keep up and eventually dropped back. With run-walk-run, I played "cat and mouse" with them, and then felt strong enough to go ahead and stay ahead of them. I encountered a lot of runners walking the last 5 or so miles, and I still was going strong, even up hills. Also, as I mentioned in my race report, I had negative splits from the beginning to the end at the timed checkpoints.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Hartford Marathon Report

Garmin thinks I ran 26.56 miles. Splits: 10:28; 9:57; 10:42; 10:45; 11:15; 10:53; 10:54; 11:24; 10:19; 11:15; 10:41; 10:41; 10:45; 10:51; 10:50; 10:34; 10:31; 10:35; 10:47; 10:49; 10:17; 10:43; 10:07; 11:00; 10:35; 10:41; 5:02. Official nettime: 4:43:21; 10:48 per mile pace.

I slept well the night before. No weird dreams and no tossing and turning. I woke up at 4:45, showered, drank my morning coffee, and tried to eat an english muffin. I changed my mind halfway through when I realized that for the first time in three days, my carb loaded stomach was behaving. Since I wasn't hungry anyhow, I tossed the remainder of the bagel outside for the birds to enjoy. I checked the weather forecast, saw it was 58 degrees outside with a high temperature expected to be 68 degrees, and knew that shorts and a short sleeved technical/wick through shirt would be my apparel of the day. I gobbed vaseline on my toes, put on my running shoes, and was out of the door at 6 a.m. for the half hour drive to Hartford. I arrived there at 6:30, and was able to park in my favorite parking lot which is a 1/4 mile from the starting line. Even though it was 1 1/2 hours until the start of the race the parking lot was filling quickly. I grabbed my cell phone and waited for my son's friend Christine to call. She's 23 (I think) and was running her first marathon. I had talked to her the night before about the "do's and dont's" of running a marathon. She didn't have enough GU gels, so I was meeting her to give her more. Plus we had agreed to start the race together and run until I started taking my walk breaks. After that, she would be on her own. Fast forward to 8 a.m. We're at the starting line, back in the area designated for the 4:30 finishers. It was a good goal for her, and I knew that 4:30 was too fast for me since this was a training run for NY in 3 weeks. Before you say anything, no one was heading back to the 4:45 pace area. Finally the race began, 10 minutes late. It took us about 5 minutes to get to the start. We ran alongside each other, and I told her that once I took my first walk break, which would be after 4 minutes, she was on her own. Well, I was feeling good, of course, and enjoying running with her, so I decided to tweak my run-walk-run plan and run a mile, then walk for a minute. I knew that a 10:50 (actually 10:52) per mile pace would get me my goal of a 4:45 finish. Mile 1: 10:28. I was feeling great, so I decided not to take a walk break. I continued to run with Christine. Mile 2: 9:57. Not good. Why? Now I knew I was running way too fast. I told Christine I was taking a walk break starting with mile 3, gave her some last minute reminders, wished her Good Luck, and at mile 3 parted ways with her. The walk break felt good. I was talking to spectators, and taking in the entire marathon experience. After a minute of walking, I was back to running. At that point I was still being stubborn. I decided to run for a mile, instead of 4 minutes, and walk for a minute. Mile 4 was a 10:45. Ha! I was feeling cocky. I was ignoring my pre-race strategy of running for 4 minutes and walking for 1 minute, and I was ahead of my planned pace of 10:50 per mile. Mile 5: 11:15. Bathroom break, so I lost time. Mile 6: 10:53. Mile 7: 10:54. WTF? I was slowing down. My stubbornness was hurting my times. I decided to go back to my original plan. Run for 4 minutes, walk for 1 minute. The run-walk-run plan is also designed so that if I feel good towards the end, I can increase my running time, or completely eliminate my walking breaks. So of course I needed a bathroom break before mile 8. Mile 8: 11:24. Somewhere around this time I passed by and said a quick "Hi" to Christine's father and sister. I was quickly falling behind my 4:45 goal time. Then came a vision. A neon green vision. A woman ran by me with a small group of runners following close by. Her neon green shirt had a large 4:45 on it. I WAS on schedule. All I had to do was keep her in view as I did my run-walk-run. I quickly caught up and passed her. As I passed by, I thanked her for being out there to help us. I also found out that there were 4 or 5 first time marathoner runners with her. I ran ahead, stopped and took my walk break. They quickly caught up to me, and passed by while I was walking. I resumed running, passed by them again, and Garmin beeped and displayed a 10:19 mile for mile 9. Nice! At that point I knew I was good. I had ran and walked, and still did a 10:19 split, which was 30 seconds faster than I needed. Between miles 9 and 10 I saw Christine heading towards me. There is a turn-around point at mile 11 1/2. I asked her how she was doing, and she responded she was doing fine. I reminded her about taking her GU gel, and she held up one she was holding and said she was.Unfortunately keeping myself properly hydrated took its toll again, and another bathroom break before mile 10 gave me an 11:15 split. After exiting the porta potty, I asked some runners if they saw the 4:45 girl. They pointed ahead, and I saw her about 50 yards away. Damn! I increased my pace, and caught up with her, just as my walking break was due. I reluctantly stopped running and walked. By mile 11 I had caught up again, and a 10:41 split was why. I then started passing her while I ran, only to have her pass me as I walked. Mile 12: 10:41 again. Mile 13: 10:45. Mile 14: 10:51. Mile 15: 10:50. Neon green girl was keeping us on pace. Along the course I was consuming my Vanilla Bean flavored GU Gels every 45 minutes, plus supplementing it with pieces of a Wild Berry PowerBar. I knew that I needed to keep my blood sugar level up in order to help avoid hitting the wall. I was also stopping at all the water stations and drinking. At mile 15, I was feeling great. Left brain wasn't thinking any negative thoughts. Actually, left brain behaved himself the entire marathon. For those of you who don't know about left brain, that's the part of your brain that sometimes tries to talk you into giving up or doing things that allow you to wimp out. It's the logical side of your brain, and sometimes we need to trick it into shutting up so we can accomplish our goals, like running 26.2 miles, which left brain certainly doesn't think is logical! The sun had finally come out, so to be safe I took the Hammer Nutrition Endurolyte pill that I had, which helps prevent cramping. I have had left leg cramping issues for a short time during previous long runs. Miles 15 to 16, I was feeling invigorated. The walk breaks I truly believe were the difference. My mile 16 time was 10:34. I looked behind me during my walk break, and the 4:45 woman was a green speck in the distance. I was encouraged by that. My well feeling continued, and mile 17 was 10:31. Miles 15 to 18 I felt so well that I ran for a longer time before I walked. I don't know exactly how long, but it was close to a mile. Mile 18: 10:35. Uh oh, maybe I had been too ambitious. Mile 18-19, I was starting to feel a little blah. My mouth was suddenly dry as can be. I apparently was becoming dehydrated. I finished the remainder of my Powerbar, and also drank extra water. Mile 19, 10:47. Perfect! All I needed to do was run 10:50 or better splits for the last 7.2 miles, and I would beat my 4:45 goal time. Suddenly, out of no where, I felt the familiar pain in my left thigh area. I was beginning to get a cramp! Usually when I slow down and think good thoughts (to distract left brain), the cramps go away. I stopped to get some water, making sure I drank extra. Instead of decreasing, the pain increased. OK, so I now knew I had to run through it. I slowly resumed running, and told my brain that the Endurolyte pill was going to make the cramp disappear. Success! The cramp was gone just as I reached mile 20. 10:49...I had gotten a cramp, walked, ran slower, and still did one second better that I needed to. Six miles to go, and I knew I had this. I was feeling great (thank-you 3 days of carb loading!). Mile 21: 10:17. Holy sh*t! I was strong. An uphill, and then a 10:43 mile 22 split. I was WAY ahead of neon green 4:45 woman. I was running downhill, still feeling great, and decided to skip my walking breaks for the mile. The result? A 10:07 split for mile 23. A tortuous uphill for mile 24. No one around me was running up the hill. I ran. No freakin' hill was going to slow me down. OK, I lied. it did! An 11:00 mile 24 time. The good thing about the difficult uphill run was the easy downhill part afterwards. I waited 5 minutes before walking, since I certainly wasn't going to walk downhill. Mile 25 was a 10:35. I had 1.2 miles to go. Reality was setting in. I could see the tall buildings of Hartford. I could hear the people cheering up ahead. As usual, I got goosebumps and choked up. I'm such a wuss like that! At that point I had a mile to go. I was passing through a street lined with cheering spectators with cowbells and signs. I turned right, Garmin beeped, and a quick glance showed a 10:41 mile 26. All I had left to do was run the perimeter of Bushnell park, turn left, and finish under the arch. Last year at this point I was dead tired and didn't enjoy the experience. This year I made sure I did. I looked at faces in the crowd, looked at the beautiful sky, listened to them cheering for me and everyone else, and listened and heard the finish line announcer calling out names of finishers just ahead. I reached the top of a small hill, which meant all I had left to do was turn left and run about 100 more flat yards to the finish line. As I turned left, I took a quick look around, and realized that no one was close by, either in front of or behind me. I had the total attention of the crowd and the announcer. I heard him announce that "Here comes Rick Held," which was followed by an increased noise level as people cheered. Yup, I was again choked up and had to fight from crying at that moment. Told you I'm a wuss! I sprinted to the finish, all the while scanning the crowd and again appreciating all of them for still being there and cheering on the slower finishers. I crossed the finish line, stopped my Garmin, and it was over. What an experience!! I walked and received my "bling." I'm going to ask Carlee to post a pic of it. It's awesome. I also was helped into the foil wrap (What are they called??)that helps warm you up, which was good since there was a cool wind blowing. My last present was a finisher water bottle, which came in handy since they don't have bottled water there. They have water fountains and water coolers to get water from. Shortly thereafter I saw Christine. She finished in 4:28. Fantastic time for her first marathon. I'm so proud of her. Of course I'm proud of myself too. After some early stubbornness, I stuck to my plan. I'm thrilled at how well my training plan worked for the marathon. I don't have to tweak anything before the NY City Marathon in 3 weeks. I actually had negative splits: 10:55 10M; 10:53 half; 10:52 20M; and 10:48 end. Now, If my two purple and red gross looking blistered toes recuperate I'll be all set. Overall, I feel good today. Even my gross toes look better today. Thanks again everyone for your support. Later on today or tomorrow I'll be posting some random thoughts and observations about the marathon.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Official Hartford Marathon Time

It's official: 4:43:21. I was going for a run-walk-run of 4:45 or better. Mission accomplished! Run-walk-run is my newest BFF. WOW, does it work! I ran-walk-ran faster for the second half. Details later. Right now I'm going to go soak in the whirlpool, and attend to my two toes that were destroyed today.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Attention Stalkers!

As I said earlier, I'm bib # 2381. If you want to stalk/follow me, go to and select the ING Hartford Marathon event. Less than 11 hours until race time!! Good luck to everyone else who's running a race this weekend.


My number for the Hartford Marathon tomorrow. Weird...I was married on May 23, 1981!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I'm Done Running...Time to Carb Load!

Yesterday's Run: Temperature: 65 degrees. Road: 4.1 not-so-easy miles; splits: 9:00; 9:03; 8:50; 9:00; :50; 35:44; 8:57/Mile pace.

Yesterday's run was a "Lead Legs" run. Yup, I wasn't feeling the love that I had felt the day before. My splits were about the same, but I didn't have the relaxed and easy feeling. So, because of that and also the strong winds today, my Hartford Marathon training is complete. Today would have been an easy 5 miler anyhow. So I'll rest my left foot which has decided to remind me the past 24 hours that it still has Morton's Neuroma. (I know you're doing a Google search right now!). It's not really a big deal, but this is one of those times that it bothers me enough to be noticeable. My left foot feels like "A feeling that something is inside the ball of the foot, or that there's a rise in the shoe or a sock is bunched up." Thank-you for allowing me to copy and paste that. In less than 2 1/2 days I'll be run-walk-running the marathon. A few years ago I did an internet search and found some fantastic carb loading information. (Update 10/8: I used this method for my 2 previous marathons, and believe it helps). Here's the important information from it: **The first day of loading (TODAY!)is the most important. Begin with a big carb breakfast, such as pancakes or French toast. This is the day (Wednesday) for the traditional pasta dinner of spaghetti and bread. Try to stuff in as many complex carbohydrates as possible in these two meals (breakfast and dinner).
•Taper off bulk and switch to more *simple CHO's as the days progress. Do not load on large quantities of fruit or any other foodstuffs that you don't normally eat.
•The last major meal (Friday night) should be 12-15 hours before the race (between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.) and should not include too much bulk. It should be easily digestible so that it will pass through your system before the race.
So needless to say, Bruegger's Bagels were my BF today. I've consumed 4 or 5 or 6 (I lost track) of them today, along with a big slice of BLT pizza for lunch, yogurt, and lentil soup for dinner (Thanks wonderful wife Kathy). Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice Cocktail has been my beverage of choice. I'm stuffed. I'm done eating and drinking for today.
The weather for the marathon is looking good. WFSB says: "Saturday: A chance for showers in the morning then partly sunny and quite breezy. Low: 54. High: 71."
WTNH says: "SATURDAY: Possible early shower, then clearing. Windy with falling temperatures. 60s early then falling through the 50s later in the day." I think I like WFSB's forecast better. They are closer to Hartford, and their temperature prediction is warmer.
I've decided to change most of the music on my mp3 player. Most of it is 70's hits, which is fine. I'm tired of listening to the same songs, and feel that a new playlist will help get me through the Marathon. So tomorrow one of the students in our classroom has the assignment of legally downloading a list of songs for me. I've done it at home before by myself, but it's always taken me forever to do, and I haven't done it in so long that I'm not sure if I still remember how to do it. Plus I always used Limewire, which everyone that knows anything about downloading music has told me NOT to use. Too many viruses I guess. So I'll do it the proper way, and also know it will be done faster and better by the song downloading expert student in our classroom. Worse case scenario he deletes all my songs and can't download any new songs. Then I'll just have to run music free. Just the thought of running 26.2 miles without my 70's tunes scares me. Maybe I'll wait until after the marathon to have him do it. But then again, I've always been a person willing to take chances (Hence 2 marathons in a 3 week period), so I'll probably have him do it. "Tune" in tomorrow to see how it went.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Final Countdown

Yesterday's Run: Temperature: 64 beautiful perfect for running degrees. Road: 4 easy miles; splits: 8:51; 9:02; 8:52; 9:00; 35:44; 8:56/Mile pace.

Fun run, nothing else to say, except it's "The Final Countdown" to the Hartford Matathon. 4 days, 2 plus hours to go, as of this minute. The cheesy song from Europe keeps going through my mind. WARNING: Do not listen, or it will echo through your brain cells for god knows how long. You will find yourself singing it at inopportune times...OK, I warned you!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A Perfect 10.1

Linear Trail: Temperature 59 degrees; Splits 9:45; 9:30; 9:38; 10:05; 10:10; 10:12; 10:02; 10:29; 10:37; 9:59; :56 1:41:23 total for 10.1 miles; 10:02 per mile pace.

I decided to get in one last long run before the Hartford Marathon a week from today. I chose to run on the linear trail because I wanted to take it easy and not worry about hills and traffic. I also knew that it was supposed to rain, and the trees on the trail would help shield me if it did rain. My goal today was simple: to run 10 miles at an easy pace, without taking walk breaks. I downed a Vanilla Bean GU gel before my run, and two more during the run. Good thing I ran by two water fountains during my run, since taking the gels without water left me with gel mouth. Yuck! It was a lonely run on the trail. Not surprising, since it was only 59 degrees, and the skies looked like they were going to open up at any moment. As I sit here typing this, it's pouring. It's been raining since I completed my run. Overall, a great run. I ran comfortably and pain free. I didn't take any walk breaks, but as you can tell by my splits, I took water and "other" breaks. I'm ready for Hartford. As long as I constantly remind myself to treat it as a training run for the NY City Marathon, I'll be fine. I have a great carb loading plan that I've used successfully prior to running my two other marathons. It starts Wednesday, with me stuffing as many complex carbs into my body as possible. Bruegger's bagels become my favorite breakfast, with 73 grams of carbs in their whole wheat bagel, for example. Tomorrow will be a day of rest and quality time with my wife. We're going to see the final game of the season for the Mets. Yes, I know they're bad this year. My wife wants to see their new stadium, so who am I to argue?!

This One's For Carlee

In order to help her accept her "Over the Top" blog award, she's chosen me to answer the following questions using only one word. Here goes...

answer the following questions with only one-word answers:

1. where is your cell phone? table

2. your hair? wet

3. your mother? Deceased

4. your father? Deceased

5. your favorite food? burger

6. your dream last night? weird!

7. your favorite drink? beer

8. your dream/goal? marathon

9. what room are you in? computer

10. your hobby? running

11. your fear? quitting

12. where do you want to be in 6 years? here

13. where were you last night? beerfest

14. something you aren't? quiet

15. muffins? cinnamon

16. wish list item? shoes

17. where did you grow up? warwick (ny)

18. last thing you did? shower

19. what are you wearing? jeans

20. your tv? big!

21. your pets? cats

22. your friends? awesome
 (stole from Carlee!)

23. your life? Excellent (Ditto!)

24. your mood? invigorated

25. missing someone? nope

26. vehicle? maxima

27. something you're not wearing? shoes

28. your favorite store? none

29. your favorite color? green

30. when was the last time you laughed? yesterday

31. last time you cried? september

32. your best friend? flanagan

33. one place that you go over and over? work

34. one person who emails you regularly? none

35. favorite place to eat? home

Friday, October 2, 2009

Registration Complete!

Your registration is complete!

You will receive an email in the next few minutes confirming your registration.
Purchased at: October 02, 2009 01:48 AM

Event Name: ING Hartford Marathon
Date & Time: October 10, 2009 08:00 AM

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Short Run in Long Sweatpants

Today's Run: Road: Temperature: 53 degrees; 4.1 miles; 35:44; 8:42 per mile pace. Splits: 8:54; 8:46; 8:42; 8:36; .46.

I gave in to the cooler temperature today and wore sweatpants and a long sleeved top. Until today I was in denial that it's fall. The 53 degree temperature I guess was my wake-up call. I had a Vanilla Bean GU Gel before my run. Yeah, they're definitely better than Swedish Fish for a run. I actually impressed myself by running negative splits. From an 8:54 to an 8:36 over the 4.1 miles. Go figure. I felt "blah" yesterday, considered taking today off, wore sweatpants, felt "blah" for my first mile, and still had negative splits. Around the 1 1/2 mile mark I got a burst of energy, and the running from that point on was fun and effortless. I was thinking that my sudden energy was from having an energy drink before running. But then I remembered that I hadn't had one, but had eaten the GU gel a half hour earlier. As I've said in previous posts, I love the taste of the Vanilla Bean GU Gel, plus it always seems to give me an energy boost. I guess I'll have to fill my pockets with them for the New York City Marathon on November 1st. REALITY CHECK: It's exactly a month from today. Yikes! I still haven't signed up for the Hartford Marathon. The online registration ends tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. If I miss that, then I'll have to drive to Hartford the day before the marathon to register in person. That's not a big deal, since I only have to work a half day that day (Unless we have a workshop after school), and I will have to drive to Hartford to get my race packet even if I register online. Tune-in tomorrow and see if I register. FUNDRAISING UPDATE: Because of the generosity of my wife's co-workers, I'm just $200 away from my goal. I still have 16 days left to raise the money, so keep your fingers crossed for me.

Swedish Fish Instead of GU Gel

Yesterday's run: Linear Trail: Temperature 54 degrees; Splits 9:05; 9:01; 9:02; 9:17; 9:05; 8:53; 54:23 total for 6 miles; 9:03 per mile pace.

Tuesday's Run: Road: Temperature: 63 degrees; 5.1 miles; 45:40; 8:57 per mile pace. Splits: 9:02; 9:14; 9:10; 8:59; 8:31; .44.

Yesterday I was a desperate man. I was out of GU Gel (my order arrives today), and I wanted something to have while running. Enter Swedish Fish. I decided that they would be a suitable substitute since they met my minimum requirements: 1) Easy to chew and suck on; 2) Have 36 grams of carbs; and 3) easily fit in my pocket. I loaded my pockets with about ten of them (Hey, they're small), and drove to the linear trail. It was cold. Cold enough to wear a shirt over my technical running shirt. Not cold enough to stop me from wearing shorts, however. My goal was to run 6 miles at a 9 minute pace. I didn't. It was a "blah" run. I never really felt like I got into a rhythm. I felt some minor pain in my left heel, which hasn't bothered me in a while. My splits were consistent at least, except for mile 4, but that's due to me slowing down and turning around on the trail at mile 3. The Swedish Fish didn't help me either. Now that I think about it, they probably did more harm than good. Oh well.
Tuesday's run was also a "Ho Hum" run. Nothing exciting, just 5.1 miles on the road. I had decided to take it easy since I had run the 17 miler 3 days earlier, and am in a taper period. After 4 miles, I was 25 seconds over a 9 minute per mile pace, and decided that was unacceptable. So I picked up my pace, ran a 9:15 last 1.1 miles, and finished averaging an 8:57 per mile pace.
Last night I was one click away from entering the Hartford Marathon. It was the last day to enter before fees went up another $10. So with only 9 days to go, I'm still not entered. I'm procrastinating for a few reasons. First, it's going to be a training run for me for the NY City Marathon. My Jeff Galloway Run-walk-run marathon training schedule has me scheduled to run-walk-run a 28 miler the day after the Hartford Marathon. I already know that won't happen unless I enter the Hartford Marathon. I will find every excuse in the world to either cut the run short, or not do it at all. I don't have the desire or motivation to run that long and that far by myself. It's a pain worrying about carrying nutrition and water, and as I've whined about before, I hate running long distances by myself. That being said, the Hartford Marathon would take care of all that. Second, I'm competitive, and not sure how well I can refrain from over doing it if I enter the Hartford Marathon. Ideally I should complete it in about 4:45-5 hours. Realistically, my pride and ego are standing in my way. Do I want to tell people it took me that long to finish it, and then go into the disclaimer that it's a training run for NY? I'm so anal about this that I'm actually thinking about having a shirt made and wearing it with a disclaimer on it to the effect of: "I'm walking and running for a reason, and this is just a training run for the NY City Marathon so my time doesn't matter and I just want to complete this marathon without dying or injuring myself." But I think all that's too much to put on a shirt. My third and last reason for not yet entering is the weather. I'm keeping an eye on the extended forecast. If it's supposed to rain heavily, then I probably won't enter. Yeah I know-what a wimp. But I'm off from work for that Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, so I could always run another day instead. (Which is bull, as I explained in my "First" above.)
AUTISM SPEAKS FUNDRAISING UPDATE: $300 to go, 16 days to go!! It's not too late to donate. Click on the link to the right if you are able to donate some money. Thanks!!