50 State Challenge Map

50 State Challenge Map
States completed

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Thank you, 2012

You were a great year 2012.  A kickoff year to my 50 state challenge that saw me visit 13 states and run a total of 183.4 marathon miles (this includes DC).  Many of these states I visited for the first time and many I got to enjoy with friends and family. 

So a quick recap.  2012 kicked off running Austin visiting my very good friend Jodi, then taking to the streets of DC on a tour of our nation’s capital, followed by a road trip with Carla to Wilmington, then taking to the skies traveling to Albuquerque for a race with my good friend Doug, then back to my home state of New Jersey, followed by a trip to Cleveland for a fun wedding and my first “hangover marathon,” then keeping it local in the Midwest with a trip to the Land of 10,000 Lakes, before switching gears and heading to the beaches of Fairfield for the hilliest 13 miles to date, and then to Chi-Town where I saw my very good friend Amanda, then up to Providence on a road trip with Maria and her husband Rich, only to see them accompany me again to run through the historic streets of Philadelphia, followed by another historic run over the hills of Antietam, then being joined by hundreds of NYC marathoners  in Manchester after a cancellation due to Hurricane Sandy, before finally capping the year in historic Annapolis.

The challenge continues through 2013 where I will be crossing the halfway mark by year’s end.  I hope everyone keeps up with the journey!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Maryland race day

I think I may have discovered my new pre race formula for 2013.  It involves making sure I get three hours sleep, consumption of lots of beer, an intense week of happy hours,  and little to no stretching.  Apparently it's a winner because on it I was able to close 2012 with a 1:38:44 marathon time.  Success!

Friday night my very good friend Susan had her annual holiday party, and like every year it was a great time.  The kind of fun night with friends that you never want to end.  But, with 13.1 miles awaiting me in the morning, I made the effort to get to bed at a decent hour.  Decent hour = 1:30 am.  Wake up time:  4:45 am. 

I was meeting my friend Teresa at the race.  She's among the fastest runners I know and incredibly modest about it.  She had a great race finishing in 1:42 and FIRST in her age group.

This was a fun race.  It was foggy morning so we couldn't really get that many views of the Severn river when going over the bridge but got to see all parts of Annapolis running through downtown and by the Naval Academy.  I finished with a 7:32 pace, 26 in my age group, and 207 overall.

Not a bad way to close the year. Up next:  New Orleans

Early and cold

Start/finish line

Me and my good friend Teresa

The obligatory steak & eggs

Friday, November 30, 2012

2013 calendar

I've finalized my 2013 race calendar to include all Rock n Roll races available.  For now I'm keeping it as is.

Link to all races:  http://runrocknroll.competitor.com/tour-stops

If there's a race on the RnR site that I do not have on my calendar below, it's only because I've already completed that state.  If I should come across a state/race and some extra time (and money in the budget) to squeeze it in, I'll go for it.

My races:

February 24 - New Orleans, La.

April 14 - Outer Banks, North Carolina (Flying Pirate Half)

April 27 - Nashville, Tenn.

May 19 - Portland, Ore.

June 22 - Seattle, Wash.

October 27 - St. Louis, Mo.

November 9 - Savannah, Ga.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Back-to-back running weekends

This past weekend was Thanksgiving weekend.  It involved the usual turkey and stuffing but was followed by a first for me with a post Thanksgiving charity run.

The concept was great.  A friend of my buddy Mike set up a virtual online team to benefit some of the charities providing relief to those impacted by Hurricane Sandy.  Friends and family were encouraged to donate.  However, this came with a twist.  If as a team they could raise over $5,000 by Thanksgiving, he would run a full marathon on the track of his former high school.  That's 105.5 laps!

For support, Mike and I joined him on the track on Friday.  By the end of the day, I ended up running nearly a Half with a total of 50 laps.  It was also a gorgeous day (see photo)

Oh, and the team ended up raising $17,379.

Mike and I (top two) running the track

As for this upcoming weekend, Maryland is up.  The Annapolis Half starts at 7:10 am on Saturday, so it's going to be an early morning to get there, park, and run my final Half of 2012.

If you've never been to Annapolis, it's great.  You can basically pull it out from the most important pages of American history.  It's where the Treaty of Paris was signed (officially ending the Revolutionary War), served as the nation's first state house, was where George Washington resigned, and the Naval Academy is located.  It's got a quaint downtown area and is located right on the Severn River.  I'm looking forward to taking some nice pictures.  

Carla will be joining me and I'll also be meeting up with my buddy Byron from work.  He lives in the neighborhood so I basically told him he's required to hang out post race.  A special guest appearance will be my niece Lexi (short for Alexandria).  She is currently in Annapolis attending the Naval Academy.  Yes, she's pretty awesome.  So part of the day's itinerary must include getting some time in with her.  I'm thinking after the race - per the usual - we'll all get some brunch so that'll be a good time for everyone to get together.

After Annapolis I won't be running another Half until February (New Orleans).  I decided to take January off to let the body rest a bit.  I think that's a good idea.  Stay tuned for pictures and details this Saturday.  

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Grand Slam!

A very nice way to close my 2012 year of Rock n Roll Halfs.  I received the below medal from my friends at the series for completing four RnR Half marathons in a single calendar year.  

I'm hoping to add to that tally and hit 10 by the close of 2013.  The Heavy medals just keep getting better and better with my ultimate goal now being to hit Rock Idol status.


Friday, November 9, 2012

Up next: Maryland

I had a little scare earlier this week when I went to confirm my registration for my December half in Annapolis.  The site did not have me as registered.

The short story is I signed up to run the Annapolis Half in 2011 but could not attend because the organizers decided to change the race date a few months prior.  It fell on a weekend I was out of town.  So I emailed them asking to defer for 2012.  I received a response saying "not a problem" and never heard back.  That was in December 2011.  So naturally I was a bit concerned when I didn't see my confirmation after I was told I had the green light. 

I decided to send a stern - but not rude - email basically saying "yo .. what's going on here??" and all has been fixed.  So we're all set.

There are a few nice things about this upcoming race (Dec. 1).  For starters, it's a quick drive from my apartment in DC.  No need to fly or drive hours to my destination.  I can literally get up the morning of and drive 45 minutes to the race.  Second, my niece is at the Naval Academy in Annapolis so it'll be nice to try to get her to come out and cheer me on.  If not, I'll try to see her after the race.  I also have a good buddy in the area so I'm sure I'll be hanging around Annapolis for a bit post race. 

This will be my last race for 2012.  It's been a great year.  There will be a recap post once the year is over and I'll also be putting up my 2013 calendar soon.  Stay tuned.

Monday, November 5, 2012

50 state challenge update

As of this past weekend, I've now completed 15 Half marathons in this challenge.

Up next is Maryland (Annapolis) which will close 2012 with a total of 16 completed. 

The 2013 calendar is coming together nicely.  I'll have a post on that soon.

Note:  if you count Washington, D.C. I've actually completed 16 to this point.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

New Hampshire race day

As I made my way to the start line this morning I was immediately struck by the sheer size of the crowds.  Specifically, those that were running.  And it didn't take long for me to realize what I was seeing.

The NYC marathon was cancelled this weekend due to Hurricane Sandy.  The thought of power generators being placed throughout NYC for runners did not sit well with many that have been without power for days.  And I agree.  It was a good call to cancel.

But, there was a silver lining for many runners who had trained for months with this happy piece of news.  The Manchester Marathon became the savior for many.  A nice Aussie and couple from Denmark I met took a greyhound up to New Hampshire just yesterday for today's marathon.  It was nice to see Road Runners and the city of Manchester pull this one out for so many.

The race was great.  Very scenic and the weather was sunny and cool.   It was really a perfect race day.

I ended up finishing in 1:45:36 with an 8:03 pace.  I ended up placing 38 in my age group and 110 overall (816 in the Half).  I wish I had taken more pictures but my iPhone was almost dead on battery. 

Runners at start line


Saturday, November 3, 2012

A New Hampshire day

A lesson learned today.  Don't be so quick to jump in the car and head out on the open road without doing your proper research.

I decided to drive out to The Flume in Lincoln only to find it to be closed.  Yep. Closed for the season!  So I took a glass is half full approach and decided to take some pictures of the New Hampshire countryside on the way back to Manchester.  I mean over an hour and a half you do see a lot.  I also took some on the way to Lincoln.

As Mike mentioned last night, the foliage isn't the best but I still thought it be pretty nice.  Enjoy.

My morning started early picking up my packet at the Expo and getting some breakfast at the Bridge Cafe before my drive. 

Heading to the Expo

The Bridge Cafe

A little eggs and salmon for breakfast

93N heading to The Flume in Lincoln, NH


The Flume lodge/visitor center

The *famous* Tilt 'n Diner

Now that's some serious biscuits & gravy

Heading back to Manchester
Spinach and broccoli ravioli to carb up for tomorrow's Half

Friday, November 2, 2012

New Hampshire arrival

I arrived to a cloudy Manchester this morning to start a marathon weekend and hopefully take some great Autumn photos.

Manchester certainly has the small town feel to it.  A friendly local I met at dinner was Mike.  He's lived in New Hampshire nearly his entire life.  As we chatted about his life growing up here and my weekend plans, I found out that most of the foliage around Manchester is over with.  He tells me the peak season is between September 15 - October 15.  I guess it also doesn't help that I'm here after the worst hurricane in history to ever hit the East coast.  Talk about bad timing.

But, then some good news.  Mike tells me it may not be too late as I could take a drive up north to Lincoln to see The Flume.  Now this can work. 

I'll be heading up there after I pick up my packet tomorrow.  Photos will be up!

Not a bad rental

Manchester is ready for a marathon

Walking through downtown

Historic Manchester City Hall

As a DC resident, it's cool to learn a Marine from Manchester is in the famous Iwo Jima Memorial

Lunch time

Dinner at Portland Pie & Co. (Mike absent)