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Oct 31, 2011

Wicked Halloween 10k

Rest day today!!!


Short Version:  Ran a new 10k with a new PR of 46:41. A 2:01 improvement!  Yahoo!


Yesterday I raced the Wicked Halloween 10k race.  This was a race in Plymouth, Michigan that started and finished in downtown Plymouth.  This is not around the corner from me but it looked like a fun race and since I decided to skip the Detroit Turkey Trot this year, I went to this race instead.

It was an early start to the morning as I had to get up at 5:30am to get ready.  I did my usual race routine including bathroom, eating, foam rolling and headed off.  It took me about an hour to get there which really is a long way for a 10k race but it was worth the drive.

I got there and went to check in and get my bib and shirt.  Here's a picture of the shirt:

A really great looking shirt and I like the fact that there are two colors on the shirt.  Great logo design as well in my opinion.  I was able to get a parking spot just a block from the start line which was nice so I took the shirt back and waited until closer to the race.  It was FREEZING outside!  The temps were in the low 30's.  I think it was colder for this race than the Turkey Trot last year.

Once it got closer to start time, I headed back to the race and waited in line for the port-o-potties.  That was also really quick as well.  There were tons of people that were dressed up for Halloween as I expected.  I went as a runner.  Ha!  No costume for me.

I got to see one of the guys I went to school with at Central Michigan so we got a picture before the race.  He was there with his wife and daughter.

I also got to see Megan and Ryan and their gang from Watch MeGo Run along with meeting Megan and her husband, Kevin from On the Road Again.  We got a quick picture of the gang but I forgot to get a picture with Megan and her husband from On the Road Again.  Oops.  Megan #2 was doing the 5k since she's 29 weeks pregnant!!!!  Holy cow!  Awesome!  Here's our picture:
That would be me, Megan, Ryan, Runnersis and Runnerbro!
The race had a little Michael Jackson Thriller dance before the race and then the
national anthem and we were off!  The first 1/2 mile was LOTS of weaving in and out of people.  I was shooting for a PR on the 10k which was difficult but was able to do a 7:19 first mile even with the crowd.  After that the crowd thinned out pretty well and I didn't have to run around people anymore but still continued to pass quite a few people.  I saw Meagan's husband in front and tried to keep up with him but after about 2 miles, I lost him.  Dang, he is fast!!

Because it was so cold outside, I really did not warm up until mile 3.  My hands and feet were freezing until then but I was able to keep a pretty decent pace throughout the race.  I was really worried about all the turns on the course but when we got out there, it was not bad at all and really enjoyed it.
Coming back at the end of the race, there were people cheering you on at both sides of the street which was nice for the finish.  There were also some residents out cheering us on as well during the race.

At the finish, you went through the finish shoot and there were volunteers there to give you your medal and direct you towards the food.  Sweet medal!

I was really happy with my time given the fact that I just ran a marathon 2 weeks ago.  Check out my splits.  Yes, I like to call myself Mr. Consistency...well...except for forgetting to shut off the Garmin at the end - Crap.
The food was great.  They had Rice Krispie treats from Noodle Co., small Wheaties boxes, candy, bagels from Panera Bread, bananas, granola bars, energy bars and water.  Here's what I grabbed:
Candy - can't go wrong for a Halloween race!
Overall, I felt the race was very well organized.  It's put on by the same people that did the Solstice 10 miler so I figured it would be well organized.  There was 1,150 10k runners registered(but results for 1,264 so they must have added more) for this inaugural race.  Amazing!

After the finish, I was also able to find Rose from Hacker Half marathon and get a picture with her, Megan and Ryan too.  Rose, Megan AND Ryan had a PR today to so go congratulate them!
Me, Ryan, Megan and Rose - The 10k PR team!
I also looked and looked and looked but I could not find Ken from Eastside Stony Creek TNT Coach.  I'm sure he was there but could not find him before or after the race.

Overall, I was very happy with my race and a new PR for the 10k.  Yeah!  Of course, I'm a complete idiot for not turning off my Garmin at the end of the race.  What's the point of the Garmin if you can't remember to turn the damn thing off!

Official chip time:  46:41 (A new 10k PR by over 2 minutes!) 7:32 pace
Unofficial Garmin time:  47:09
Overall:  109 out of 1264
AG Place(M 40-44) 16 out of 90

Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!

Oct 30, 2011

Shutterfly review

Raced the Wicked Halloween 10k run today.  Full post coming soon!


Rosalyn over at Shutterfly was kind enough to send me a code to order some cards.  I figured I would give it a try to see how it all worked.  Wow, you could spend hours on their site.  They have so many choices of things to pick from, it's amazing!  I figured I would order some holiday cards for Christmas.  Getting onto the site was easy.  You basically sign up for a free account, download your pictures onto their site, pick a card and pay for them.  It's really that simple!

The hardest part of the whole process is deciding what to purchase.  I decided to pick a card that allowed for several pictures of my family to be on the card.  This way we could show some of the things we have done over the past year.  I even got in a picture of my first marathon in there.  Haha!

The site has all kinds of other options too.  You can purchase prints, cards, stationery, calendars and all kinds of photo gifts showcasing your favorite photos.  

I could see putting together a running photo book showcasing my running races.  That would be fun!

Here are some links to some things you can do:

When you sign up for a new Shutterfly account, you can also order 50 new pictures for free as well.

* I received 25 free cards in exchange for this review.  I was not required to give a positive review and all opinions are my own.

Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!

Oct 29, 2011

Got my new running stuff!

Cross training today.  I did weights today.  Yuck!


So this week I told you that I ordered a new pair of shoes and they came a couple days ago.  Here they are:
Brooks Glycerin 8

I already ran 3 miles in them.  Not bad.  I want to get more miles in them before I purchase another pair.  I think I'm still partial to Saucony Ride.  In addition to the shoes, I also got a free running hat.  Not too bad, huh?

Brooks running hat


I also got a reusable shopping bag as well.  I like it!

I have my next and last race this season tomorrow.  The Wicked Halloween Run 10k.  It should be fun.  

Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!

Oct 28, 2011

Icebreaker GT Run Tracer Jacket review

3 miles on the schedule today....done!  I thought yesterdays run was cold.  Low 30's on my run today.  Ouch.


The kind people over at Icebreaker sent me an Icebreaker GT Run Tracer Jacket to review.


This jacket is made with 98% merino wool and 2% Lycra and comes from a farm in New Zealand(the wool that is).  The Key is the GT Technology - it's high performance fabric, no stink and fast drying.  In fact, after you wash it, you line dry it and it's ready to go the next morning for your next run.

As I have discussed in the past, Merino Wool is naturally anti-bacterial to resist odor, highly breathable and helps regulate temperature.  Wool is one of the best material to run with and keeps you nice and cozy.

I have had the jacket for a couple months but just recently started using it.  It's made of high quality.  You can see how nice the zipper is sewn to the material above.  One complaint I do have is I wish that the zipper had a "garage".  You know, the little extra piece of material that keeps the zipper from hitting your chin as you run.

This is a great jacket not only for running but also to use on a daily basis.  One thing I have a hard time getting used to though is the way the zipper is.  It's backwards - at least for us in the USA.  I assume because it's made overseas, that is how they make the zippers.  For men, the zipper is on the opposite side of the jacket to zip up.

It's also nice to have two front pockets in the jacket which is great to store anything you need while running or anything you need will not running for that matter.  As you can see, for safety features, it had two reflective logo's both on the front and on the back to help keep you safe(but still use your headlamp please)

You can also get free shipping from their website if you spend over $100.  This jacket retails for $170 on their website.  It's a great jacket for when it's a little cold out but not too cold.  I would use it from 30-50 degrees when running.  Sizing is true to size.  I got a medium and it fits perfect.

The great thing about the Icebreaker company - they care about the animals they work with, the suppliers they do business with and the environment.  They worry about more things than just profits since they have high ethical standards.  It's nice to do business with companies such as this.

Another really cool thing that you can do when your purchase something from Icebreaker is you can Trace back where the wool was obtained.  Here's what I got from their website when I put in my unique code on my jacket.  You really to get to see the whole area of where it originates:

So if you are in the market for a new running jacket(or anything else you might need to be outdoors), check out Icebreaker.

Website:  Click HERE

Facebook:  Click HERE

Twitter:  Click HERE

* Note:  I received a Tracer jacket at no cost in exchange for this review.  I was not required to give a positive review and all opinions are my own.

Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!

Oct 27, 2011

A new reality....

5 miles on the schedule today.  Done!  It sure was cold out there though.  I hope my fellow Michigan runners are keeping up in this weather.


So if you have not been living under a rock for the last 10 years, then you know, that pretty much everything(ok, most things) on TV are related to reality TV.  It all started with the success of Survivor and Big Brother.  I mean, we've got shows out there now, that I have no idea who watches or why they are watching them.  I guess people just like to watch other people doing things even if they are not famous.

So my idea is a new running reality show.  The basic idea is to take "middle of the pack" runners like many of us out there are and turn one of them into an elite athlete.  I would define middle of the pack as a running running 8-10 minutes/mile on average.  Of course, this would be done through famous coaches, visits from famous runners with their advice, trainers to help keep you going in the gym so that you can propel yourself from a middle of the  pack runner to one of the best.

Now many of you believe that you must have natural ability to be able to run as fast as the elites and I would likely agree with you.  I do think, however, that there are people out there, given the right direction, coaching, nutritional advice, training and of course, time, could take themselves from an average runner to one of the best runners.  I'm also not saying that they are going to be competition for Ryan Hall but an elite nonetheless.  There are many elites out there that we have never even heard of that are extremely fast runners.

The grand prize?  A $1 million contract with a major athletic company such as Nike, Brooks, Saucony, etc.  You get the idea.  I think it would be great PR for the sponsors as well.  Bring some reality into it.  I don't necessarily pick my brand based on the athlete that wears them but if they can help turn an average running into an elite runner?  That's powerful for them.  Think about what Jared did for Subway?

Given the recent popularity of half marathons and marathons, I would think you would have no issues being able to find 20 people who want to try.  Each show you could eliminate people based on criteria the show sets and use famous judges to help with that.  Wouldn't it be cool to have Hal Higdon, Ryan Hall and Deena Kastor judge the contestants or some other combination?
Another thing that would attract people to the show is to attend the major marathons around the world where contestants can compete(well maybe not all of the marathons) - London, NYC, Chicago, etc. with the final show being at the NYC marathon!

Perhaps it's a dumb idea but I think that it would help promote the awareness of running and living a healthy lifestyle and the costs would be minimal compared to some TV shows out there.  It sure beats watching episodes of Jersey Shore.  Seriously, who watches this crap?
Have a great day and.....Keep Running!!!!!!

Oct 26, 2011

Deal of the day...

3 miles on the schedule today.....done!


Yesterday I went shopping for some new running shoes.  Who doesn't always need a new pair.  I have had a difficult time finding a pair of Saucony's on sale - my "go-to" brand so I decided to try on a new pair of Brooks Glycerin 8 at DSW Shoes.

WOW!!!!  These things felt great....but....they were still $80 and that was on sale from $130!

So I went online and checked out Running Warehouse.  They had them on sale for a little over $60 on closeout plus I had a 15% off coupon from Facebook.  Final price.....$52 bucks!

Not only that but I got a free Brooks running hat and a free reusable shopping bag!  Ka-ching!

I can't wait to run in these in two days.(free 2 day shipping)  I would have bought a few more pairs but I really want to run in these 50 or so miles before I decide I can stick with them.

Question of the day:  What deals have you received for running stuff?

Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!!

Oct 25, 2011

Should you run when sick?

5 miles on the schedule today....done!  It was a nice morning for a run.  About 1/2 hour after I finished it started raining out.  Perfect timing!


So the big question today is:  Should you run when sick?

My personal thoughts(and many others) is that as long as you just have a cold from your head up, you should be fine to continue your exercise/running program.  I would not start anything new but if you have been used to exercising, it should be fine.  For me personally, when I have a cold(like I do now), running actually loosens up everything in my sinuses and helps clear them up.  At least while I am exercising, I seem to feel better.

Now if you have a cold and it's in your lungs/chest area, I would suggest scaling back the running and try and take it easy and get yourself back in shape before heading out there.  I should not even have to say it but if you have a fever, you should not be exercising.  It's a sign your body needs to rest and recover just like any other part of your body that needs to recover.

I also try and get additional sleep when I'm not feeling well and that also seems to help too.

What are your thoughts?

Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!

Oct 24, 2011

Cross training

Rest day on the schedule today.  I figured since I had the day off I would get myself back into Cross training.

Bowflex workout for a half hour and then 5 miles on the exercise bike.

Not too much but did not want to overdo it either.  It felt good to get back into this.  I really should do more cross training but I just can't get motivated to do it.

Question of the day?  How do you get yourself motivated to cross train?

Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!!

Oct 23, 2011

Cold? long run...

7 miles on the schedule today.  My buddy T and I met out at Stony Creek Park at 8am this morning.  Why?  IT WAS COLD!!!!  Holy Cow it was cold out there as in like 35 degrees cold.  It felt more like the end of November than the end of October.   There was like 3 other people there.  I guess running season is over?  I'm sure there will be lots of people there later today when it's in the 60's.

We did one loop at Stony for 6 miles today.  That was more than enough running for today.  We averaged an 8:47 pace so that must mean I'm recovered from the marathon fully now.  I'm not so sure about this running with no schedule running though.  I'm probably going to have to get something together to keep me on track even if I'll only do half marathons this spring.  Also, I don't mean "only" like it's not a challenge.

The half marathon is such a great distance - hard enough you really need to train for it but not enough to kill you.  I'm in the process of still deciding what races to do next year.  I hope to have them planned in the next couple weeks.  It still seems crazy to me that I have to decide so soon but some of them are more difficult to get it so you need to know way ahead of time.

I think I've taken the Chicago Marathon off my list for now.  I'm sure I want to do it one day but here's what I have figured for it:

Hotel stay - Friday-Monday(3 nights) about $750
Parking - $120
Race fee - $150
Gas to drive there - $250
Meals - $250
Running gear at expo - $200
Misc. - $100
Running the Chicago Marathon - Priceless!

That's an $1,800 weekend!!!!  Of course, if my running buddy T and I split the hotel and we went without our wives, we could get it down to $1,200 but that's still really pricey just to run a marathon.

I know many of you have run Chicago.  Tell me your experience with costs.  Am I missing something?  Am I too high in my  calculations?  Anyone not stayed downtown that ran it?  How's parking?  Does it make sense to fight traffic for a lower cost hotel or better to just stay downtown since we would have to get down there for the expo and the race?  Perhaps take the El from an outskirt hotel?

This would be compared to Detroit for only $80 to register plus $10 parking.

Or, Grand Rapids would be:

Hotel stay - Saturday night about $90($45 split between T and I)
Meals - $30
Race fee - $80
Gas - $125
Running gear at expo - $25-50

That's only a little over $200; a HUGE difference from Chicago!  Anyone run Grand Rapids before?  What did you think?

I could see spending the money for NYC and I know it will be more than Chicago even but darn that race looks incredible.

Question of the day?  Is it worth it to spend that kind of money to run a major marathon?

Have a great day and.....Keep Running!!!!!

Oct 22, 2011

Sneak preview...

Cross training on the schedule....sick today so I'm taking it easy but plan to run tomorrow.


Here's a preview of a detailed review I'll be doing in about a month on these running shoes:
The ECCO Biom B

Anybody wear these now?

Have a great day and.....Keep Running!!!!!

Oct 21, 2011

Marathon Pro pics vs Amateur pics

3 miles on the schedule today.....done!  Getting easier each day.  I knew when I read Kovas' post yesterday, I'd be wearing a winter hat today for my run.  Jeez it was cold out there.  His blog is a great way to find out how it will be the next day for us here in Detroit, not to mention is great reviews of running gear.


So here are my pro marathon pictures:
Not too bad -
if they would have Finish showing

Seriously?  Does the photographer have eyes?

The heel strike pose

Too bad I didn't stay with him.
This was about 20 miles in.
I was carrying the stick about a mile before this.

And here are my running buddy, T's photo's he took of me at the finish:

Free floating

So which are better?  I vote for T's pictures.  Not only are they better(he should have been a photographer) but they are free too!  Once again I will be skipping on getting any race photos from my marathon.  I guess I'll be waiting for a major marathon before considering pictures.

Have a great day and.....Keep Running!!!!!