50 State Challenge Map

50 State Challenge Map
States completed

Friday, August 24, 2012

Philadelphia Half coming up

Philadelphia Half is on September 16.  It's going to be great.  I also just got the good news that my sister Maria and brother-in-law Rich are once again coming along to be my cheering section.  Two Halfs in a row!  Now that's pretty awesome.  I discovered in Rhode Island that Maria takes some damn good photos on my iPhone.  She keeps a steady hand and has a good eye.  I was thoroughly impressed.

I also found out that my good friend Jill (also a colleague at work) will be running the Half too.  She's going to be running the ING NYC marathon (full) in November so this will be a good training run for her.  It'll also just be nice to hang out with her in Philly before race day Sunday.

As with Rhode Island, I'll be coming up to NJ and staying the night before heading out Saturday for packet pick up. This is not my first time to Philadelphia but it has been a long time.  I was here in 2006 on a business trip.  I found I really enjoyed it.  It's got a lot of great neighborhoods, and being somewhat of a history nerd it's fun to walk around and see the sites.  I'm also going to have to get a shot on the iconic Rocky steps.  I mean no trip to Philly is complete without one. 

Updates as the weekend gets closer.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Rhode Island race day

A great Half Marathon yesterday, Providence!  Not only was the course a lot of fun but the weather couldn't have been better (sunny 60s)

Start time was at 7 am in front of the State Capitol.  My sister Maria and I headed out from the Biltmore at 6:15.  It was a good turnout.  The headcount of runners came in at 3,574.  The route went throughout downtown Providence, had nice scenic water views along the final mile of the course, and the finish line ended back downtown in front of the Capitol building with a post-race concert.  It was a lot of fun.  There were also great crowds along the course with bands performing at every mile.  A nice job, Providence.  Also, unlike recent races, I had no issues with my Plantars.  I did switch sneakers recently and have been icing it more so hopefully no issues moving forward.

Overall, I placed 299 out of 3,574 with a finish time of 01:41:30.  My pace came in at 7:45.  I completed the 5K in 23:40, 10K 47:24, and 10 mile in 1:16:18.  

I found Maria and Rich after the finish and headed back to the hotel to pack up.  We had brunch at Joe's which is along the finish line mile.  It was nice to cheer some runners on while enjoying my steak and eggs.  From there we checked out and headed to Newport.  I posted some great pics of downtown Newport and views up on the cliff along the beach.  We left as the sun was coming down to get back to NJ before it got too late.  I'll simply let my pictures do the talking.

In the end, this was not just a fun Half to run but also a great weekend overall.  Big thanks to my sister and Rich for coming with me to be my cheering section.

Up next:  Philadelphia

Rhode Island race day pics

Walking to the State Capitol Building

I found some fans

Run up to the finish line

Brunch at Joe's cheering on runners

Big chair

The Wave sculpture

Streets of downtown Newport

The Seals sculpture

Red water (red seaweed)

Dinner at The Clarke Cooke House

View from dinner

Time for dessert


Leaving Newport, heading home

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Rhode Island arrival

I had a fun commute today with my sister as copilot and Rich keeping me entertained from the backseat.  He may ask a million questions a minute (a lifestyle thing) but he sure is funny about it.  

So we headed out from Elizabeth around 10 am.  Like yesterday, today was a travel day filled with traffic.  New York was not bad.  It was Connecticut and Rhode Island that was a constant stop and go.  What should have been a three hour drive turned into a five hour drive, with us arriving at the RI Convention Center around 3:30 pm. 

We picked up my packet, walked around the Expo, and took the obligatory photos in front of the course map and Rock n Roll sign.  From there we headed over to the hotel (Providence Biltmore) which was just one block away.  Very convenient.  A nice hotel and close to the start line.  We checked in, dropped off our bags, and headed to dinner.  The front desk lady recommended a few restaurants in the Federal Hill area after I told her I wanted some good pasta to carb up for my race.  It's a short walk from the hotel so we headed out.  We ended up at Cassadrino's.  Considering we had not eaten all day (except for a banana for me) we were ready to go.  We started with the crab ravioli with a wine sauce and peppers.  Delicious.  My meal was the lobster ravioli with a lobster cream sauce.  Of course my sister could not finish her Frutti di Mare (sauteed shrimp and scallops in a tomato sauce over linguini pasta) so I did what any good brother would do and helped her out.  

From there we walked over to Waterplace Park and found a Bolivian festival taking place.  A lot of good Bolivian food in the air and dance performances taking place.  We walked toward the Financial District and came across the first Baptist Church in the United States (erected in 1638).  I took some great photos.  It's a beautiful church.

At that point I was feeling a bit tired so we decided to walk back towards the hotel.  We came across the WaterFire show that was about to begin.  This is actually a sculpture and work of art installed on the three rivers of downtown Providence.  It consists of over eighty bonfires, the scent of aromatic wood smoke, firelight on the arched bridges, torch-lit vessels traveling down the river, and international music playing along the paths of Waterplace Park.

Unfortunately, I had to get back to the hotel to get some rest (and of course put this entry in) so didn't make it to see the show. 

The Half begins at 7 am.  Maria will be walking with me to the start and her and Rich will meet me at the finish line.  It should be nice temps in the morning for the race. Weather is saying 60.  

After the race we plan on heading to Newport to see the sites and take lots of pictures.  A post tomorrow evening to go over the race and events of the day.

Rhode Island commute and arrival photos

Ready to go

Now we can go

My brother-in-law Rich

My lovely sister

This made me chuckle

Almost there

The obligatory Welcome to (state) sign

Expo at RI Convention Center

Funny guy

Arriving at the hotel

Nice lobby

Downtown Providence


Crab ravioli

Lobster ravioli

Bolivian festival

Walking towards Financial District downtown

Gandola ride

D&D actually has a car

First Baptist Church in the United States

WaterFire show

Ready for the show