Vegas Vacation, Running the Strip

vegas7I had no idea what to expect when we signed up for the 2012 Vegas Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon. I read all about the debacle of the 2011 race. Runners were dropping like flies and vomiting all along the race course, blaming tainted water served straight from fire hydrants and held in garbage cans. The race had multiple bottlenecks and was overcrowded, resulting in runners getting trampled or not being able to run on the actual course. They ran out of medals, t-shirts, and food. That certainly isn’t the rave review that makes me want to sign up for a race, but I had a feeling the race organizers would be focused on kissing up to the 2012 participants to restore their reputation.

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The Best Marathon I Didn’t Run

After the NY Marathon dust has settled, I’m finally sitting down to write a little about my NY Marathon experience, the future of my marathon career, and some very exciting news that happened at a race I didn’t run.

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The Sandy Marathon Dilemma

Since I got word that I snagged a lottery spot in this year’s NYC Marathon, I’ve been counting down the days til the race. I’ve trained for months, changed my eating and sleeping habits, and scheduled my life around my running. Aside from the physical efforts, I’ve also sunk a big chunk of money into transportation and accommodations for the big day. It’s pretty much all I can talk or think about. Just ask my friends– I’m sure they’re sick of hearing about it. Now Hurricane Sandy is putting a big wrench into the race and many are calling for a complete cancellation.

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My Favorite Part of Training: the Taper

We’re just 16 days out from the NYC Marathon! I just got my official race handbook in the mail yesterday. While I’m super excited for race day, I think I’m equally as excited to taper. When I started training for my first marathon last fall, I read every blog and website there was about training schedules and preparing for your race. I came across a lot of articles about tapering, but every one seemed to suggest something different. The basic idea is to start tapering your runs as you get closer to race day, to give your muscles a break and start the marathon with fresh legs. On the one hand, it makes sense. On the other hand, I was quite concerned about how much stamina I’d lose without doing any super long runs for the last few weeks of training. Despite my trepidations, I followed my plan last year and discovered tapering is the best thing ever.

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Running for a Cause

More than ever, I’ve packed my race calendar with lots of events this fall. But one I had to squeeze into my  calendar is the Multiple Myeloma Race for Research. This will be my fourth year running in the Philly MMRF event. The Race for Research Series has raised over $17 million world-wide, with over 90% of proceeds going directly to research and patient programming. Multiple Myeloma is a highly fatal form of cancer than infects your plasma. My uncle passed away from this disease a few years ago, and I am honored to run this race in his memory. I hope you’ll consider supporting the cause by donating here.

While there are lots of shorter races coming up this season, the big one is less than 5 weeks away!

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NYC, Here I Come

The wait is finally over. On Wednesday, through a very poorly managed “announcement” on the part of NYRR, I found out I got accepted for the NYC Marathon!!! As I am certainly not fast enough to qualify for guaranteed entry, I was stuck entering the lottery, and crossing my fingers. I heard this year’s entrants had a 6% of getting selected. I still can’t believe I was lucky enough to get a spot. But as I got closer to the announcement, I couldn’t help but think how badly I wanted to run this race, this year. Being part of a huge city race is a completely different feeling from any other marathon. And New York is the biggest and baddest of them all. While watching the live Marathon Opening Day webcast (which was supposed to be the announcement of lottery winners but ended up being an hour of fluff and interviews), I learned this race draws 2.5 million spectators! Nearly 50,000 runners will complete it this year, which is 20,000 larger than any race I’ve run. It’s the world’s largest single-day sporting event. I get chills just thinking about running through those streets in that huge of an event.  Continue reading

The Ankle Saga Continues

Last time I wrote about my injury, I had just been diagnosed with a torn muscle in my ankle, ordered to wear a brace for one month, and told not to do any physical activity putting weight on my foot. It was a long month. I tried to follow the doctor’s orders as best I could. I didn’t run, aside from two 5ks and a Half Marathon since I had already signed up for those and I am stubborn. My foot has been feeling fine and I haven’t been wearing the brace the last week or so.

I finally had my follow-up appointment on Wednesday, and the news wasn’t what I wanted to hear. Dr. K basically discussed what I need to do moving forward. He wants me to get custom-fitted orthotics for my shoes, which I really want to avoid. I have also been ordered to do six weeks of physical therapy, three times a week. I am still not allowed to do physical activity and have to wear the brace, unless my physical therapists evaluate me and determine otherwise. Continue reading