Last Half of the Year

During the past 6 months, Jim and I have stayed focused on training and ran 3 half marathons. Our last scheduled race of the year, Gettysburg Blue-Gray Half Marathon, was yesterday. We ran it and got our best times of the year.

We may drop into a few races over the winter because have been frustrated with being snowed out of winter races in the past. We will not preregister for anything until Spring but will continue with a less intense training schedule over the winter.

Do go out to Run Pennsyltucky and give a listen to our 25 minute podcast that covers the 2016 Gettsyburg Blue-Gray Half Marathon.img_6615

In the Shadow of Winter

Shadow9This past weekend, we had planned on running the Groundhog Jog in Punxsutawney, PA. One of the many winter storms that marched through the area made us decide not to chance the 2 hour drive there to run to Gobbler’s Nob and back, We had enjoyed the run a couple of years ago and were really disappointed to not get to run with such great people again.

I doubt anyone is missing my weekly updates like I did last year. I have been running a lot less this winter. My work has sapped my energy and I am taking on as much of it as I can to help pay for my tuition for summer school. Yes, I have committed to going back to school, for a week. This time for the the interest and focus I should have stuck with in the first place, the arts. I will be spending a week in Vermont for an intensive on making comics and cartoons at the Center for Cartoon Studies.

The comics on this page are a few from what I drew on February 1 as part of a challenge to draw a comic every hour you are awake. It is called Hourly Comics Day and I have been wanting to try it for years. I ended up drawing 18 different panels and of course it had to be the day the storm cancelled our trip to Punxsutawney. As you will see at the bottom of the page, we swapped the 4 mile race for a nice 8 miles around the neighborhood as the winter storm set in.

I can say I really enjoy a break from the added commitment of making time to write, it has allowed me to try some new things and shift my focus. Obviously we are still running and one of the new things is a monthly, podcast style recording of running in central Pennsylvania called Run Pennsyltucky. For those of you who are interested, there is a week to still enter our contest that gives away an entry to Harrisburg’s Capital 10-miler. Listen in on our most recent recording as we run along the first half of the course in Harrisburg and describe the race.
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We didn’t get to see the groundhog. The next morning Punxsutawney Phil, in the middle of the winter storm, still saw his shadow. Not early spring for us but we will try to make the best of it here in central PA.

Nittany Valley Half Marathon 2014

NVH_panJimmyNVH_2014Jim set another PR yesterday at our local half marathon. He shaved off about 5 minutes from when he ran it 2 years ago and 4 minutes from his PR he set about a month ago! I interview him at the beginning of the December 2014 recording of Run Pennsyltucky podcast then jump right into talking to runners who were tackling their first half marathon. Their enthusiasm was inspiring!

My running has taken a back seat as I have been catching up on so many things I had put off while marathon training. I look forward to catching the running bug again soon but am still not quite back to it. I decided not to run the local half when I was resenting the training, not a good thing.

Color Run & Trit-Trotting Around

photoHave you ever wanted to join me on a run… without running? You can do that by listening to my third recording of Run Pennsyltucky (a podcast about running in Central Pennsylvania).

Even better is the interview with my neighbor Jess who ran the Penn State Color Run. Listen to what a good time she had and consider signing up next year.

Lastly, I list a few local Turkey Trots that have a lot of character.

Step Down Week

#52toNYCmarathon
Week 44/52 recap

5 EZ – 5 EZ – 8 EZ

NevermoreShirt_OL_smI am setting this to publish as Jim and I are out taking an easy 8 mile run before meeting some friends for a picnic. This past week has gone really well. I am recovered from my 20 mile run last Saturday and had some nice easy runs this week. I got in all of my cross training (15 mile bike ride and 2 days of a LOT of core work/yoga/PT).

That might sound like a lot but it actually freed up some extra time for me. I also didn’t schedule any extra work at PSU because I wasn’t sure how I would feel after the long run. I had enough energy to start to look forward to October 2015 to tentatively start planning a letterboxing camp out in Poe Valley. Maybe the one morning during that camp out I will also hold a loosely organized Poe’s Nevermore Half Marathon®.

RunPennsyltuckySign-1You can tell I had more energy and down time if I am planning huge things like that. I also published a second recording of the Run Pennsyltucky podcast. It focuses on the second annual Mt. Nittany Marathon. Jim and I spent a big part of the morning cheering the runners in the rain. I then took some interviews with the winners and other finishers this year. I edited those recording with my own impressions of the course and how the race has improved since last year. The sound quality is uneven but it has been great fun learning Garage Band and hopefully each time I make a podcast it will get better.

Never fear, aside from my physical training, I spent loads of my extra time still preparing for the NYC Marathon. I found a really well written blog post on Running and the City that focuses on tips for running the NYC Marathon. I will heed her pacing tips and really liked the ferry tip she suggested, “”… you can hop on ANY of them, but don’t go too early or you’ll wait out in the cold unnecessarily. Get on the ferry that leaves 2.5 hours from your wave start (10 am wave, 7:30 am ferry). As soon as you land in Staten Island, go to the bathrooms in the terminal, and stay in the terminal if it’s too early.” Great tip as I was uncertain which ferry to book without knowing my start time and may have booked one that was too early. This lessens that worry of mine.Screen Shot 2014-09-06 at 8.56.37 AMScreen Shot 2014-09-06 at 8.56.06 AM

Last week’s long run of 20 had me dipping way into my playlist since I am currently slower than I was in 2012. I was hearing songs that I didn’t want to be hearing until I was well after 20 miles so I needed to add some. My playlist, as Jacob Marley might call it, “is a ponderous thing.” Unlike Marley or Scrooge’s chains of penance, this grand list of songs will link together my miles and lift me gloriously. Stare upon the 5+ hours of songs and know I will be bless them, every one of them.

As per his request, I made Jim a series of maps on how to get around Manhattan during the marathon and where I will be expecting to see him. I highlighted exactly the corners on which I will be looking for him and showed him where to catch the subway to get around without needing to cut across the marathon course. I know he won’t be alone walking from 1st to 5th Avenue along 110th St. Those sections fall just where runners need family support. It is easy for spectators to cheer for their runner just before they get to mile 19 then scoot over to where they can see them again just after mile 22. A simple half mile for spectators to walk as runners start getting to their harder miles in the Bronx and down through Harlem.

To make it easier for me to pick him out, I am coming up with something that will make him stand out from the crowd. Balloons might be problematic if it is windy so I will wait until close to race day to make that call. I think I have time to go shopping for a really big silly hat for him to wear. I like step down weeks, I have so much time and energy. to do things like this.