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OP: February 05, 2023, 07:56:45 PM
Today I ran my 10K for the 2024 NYC Marathon. I arrived early and just waited in my car to stay warm and then walked to the usual starting location at 102nd street. However, there was no one there when I arrived so I knew immediately something was wrong.

I was told that the starting location for this particular race was on 69th street so I had to run 2 miles south as the race was already commencing at 8am.

The runners first started to pass me at 82nd street and I knew I was in trouble when I saw the walkers. The announcer was kind as she said there were a few more stragglers approaching the start line at 8:15am but I think it was really only me.

The starting line was already being dismantled so I just cleared the electronic mat in time as I was quickly adjusting my runners bib. I should have read the course description as I just assumed it would be the same start as the one in January.

I had to fight through the crowd of 4800+ runners but that's what happens when you start late. I had even been elevated to the F corral for this run as I have slowly been moving up from I, H, and G. I think the corrals goto L.

So it ended up being my 2nd fastest 10k and I was only 21 seconds off of the one I ran in January. This was the 3rd race of nine needed to qualify for the 2024 NYC Marathon. I have all nine races scheduled already and I will serve the volunteer requirement at the 2023 NYC Marathon working the starting corrals.

I had to run afterwards because the 10k, plus those 2 miles I ran to the start, oh those count lol, were not enough miles for me to acquire on a day off from work. So I added another 7.5 to bring me to 16 miles for the day which I ran at a much slower pace.

Next Sunday I have a 4 miler and I already checked the course description to ensure it starts at 102nd street. This is the start of week #7 at 40+ miles and I think all the hill running is making a difference so far.
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#1: February 06, 2023, 12:33:21 AM
Today I ran my 10K for the 2024 NYC Marathon. I arrived early and just waited in my car to stay warm and then walked to the usual starting location at 102nd street. However, there was no one there when I arrived so I knew immediately something was wrong.

I was told that the starting location for this particular race was on 69th street so I had to run 2 miles south as the race was already commencing at 8am.

Don't you just hate it when that happens?

At least you were there, did it and , yes, got the T-Shirt...  ;D
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#2: February 06, 2023, 09:16:37 PM
I'm impressed that you still pulled that off showing up at the wrong location!  Wow!   8)

And getting in more running later?  I would have been a limp noodle at that point.  But then in my wogging (walk jogging) I've only ever done 5k's so my running stamina is completely non-existent.
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#3: February 10, 2023, 05:10:45 PM
Hi UrsaMajor, FaithWalker,

I think I would have been disappointed if the start line had been closed by the time I arrived. I ran a 7.5 min mile for those two miles which I never do so I was a bit gassed by the time I began the course. I fumbled away pinning my bib to my shirt as the course immediately ran uphill but I was able to slow my breathing and gain my proper race composure.

Today we had 60 degrees with 24 mph wind, so the running conditions were not great for a 11.5 mile run. I closed out the week with 44 miles and reached the target goal for 7 straight weeks. I think I counted I will have 16 complete weeks prior to running London Marathon.

I still have Zach Williams concert rescheduled to July from last November. IDK why it was canceled originally. I have Morgan Wallen in May however at an outdoor stadium venue so I'm not sure how that will sound. Leaving that particular stadium afterwards is a traffic nightmare so it's not my favorite venue. I just purchased Disturbed in August at an outdoor amphitheater which is a great venue on a summer night. I think Land of Confusion was the first song I liked. I know Stupify and, of course, The Sound of Silence. However, I really want to hear Down With The Sickness in person and that was my original motivation. Eric Church is also in the mix, but that is a divorce requirement in New Jersey. If Jason Aldean, Luke Combs or Eric Church come my way then I have to go according to Family Court. It's in the MSA.

Thanks






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« Last Edit: February 10, 2023, 05:12:20 PM by Watcher »

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#4: February 10, 2023, 10:45:50 PM
Watcher,

Very impressed at you running 2 x 7.5 min / mile before even starting the race! That’s quite a pace as a warm up.
Your training for the London marathon seems to be progressing fantastically. I’m a long way behind you in my running endeavours but I’m following the London marathon beginners training plan now. Thursday I did a 7 mile slow run and will do a similar distance tomorrow. 
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#5: February 12, 2023, 09:19:02 AM
Hi Biscuit,

Fortunately this Winter has been mild and thus far there has been absolutely no snow. I had 11 weeks at +40 miles heading into Berlin and now my motivation is to take 16 weeks at +40 miles into London to set a personal best.

I'm looking forward to running over the Tower Bridge which is at the midway point. That has to be a similar feeling as to running under the Brandenburg Gate.

There was no continuity with my first 3 marathons because of covid. Now I'm still on the same training cycle as Berlin and New York City. So 2022 and 2023 are the same training cycle for me whereas 2019, 2020, and 2021 were stop and go and starting anew each year.

This is also my first opportunity to run a Spring marathon and establish that Spring/Fall marathon axis. I ran Philadelphia in the Fall of 2019 and then covid wiped out the Spring marathons until now.

This morning I ran a 4 miler which celebrates the Super Bowl and was race #4 for my 2024 NYC Marathon entry. There were 4800+ runners again and the temps were 43° with no wind so I should have worn shorts since I heated up quickly.

I ran this course in 2020 and took 5 minutes off that time and set a personal best for me at 4 miles. This course was all hills so the results continue to look good as I am running well on it.

The Rome Marathon passes by the Colosseum and that looks pretty cool, lol. Well I would only attend that one if I ever run Tokyo first. My next race is a 5k on March 5th. I didn't plan any other races, and many are not even scheduled this time of year, because we are usually buried in snow.

Enjoy your day
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#6: February 15, 2023, 01:29:47 AM
Have you considered visiting Lindisfarne, Watcher? Not far from Hexham/Hadrian’s Wall, unique history, wonderful walks (and Northumberland breakfasts lol) and a rather magical island where the sea covers the road in so you can only access twice a day at low tide.
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#7: February 16, 2023, 04:22:34 PM
Hi Treasur,

That is actually a very cool suggestion. I did not know about it until you mentioned it. There is also a castle on Holy Island. I was also reading there is a pub on the island just in case one gets stranded.

There are 65 days until the marathon. My goodness that has arrived quickly. The finish line looks cool with all the Union Jack's on display. My hotel is at the finish line and the start line is a 50 minute train ride I believe to Greenwich Park.

Today I was finalizing my hotel details. I got dinged in Berlin because I inadvertently reserved a room for two people. I also had to make modifications at Bath and York.

I wanted to fly out at Edinburgh however there was a surcharge for a connection through Dublin. The only other non surcharge connection was to fly to Lisbon which made no sense to me. So I will have to enter and leave via Heathrow since those are the only direct flights I could find.

I just need to purchase my rail pass and have to decide whether I want a paper ticket or download it to my phone. I purchased the paper ticket for Germany and then they had a Summer sale and knocked off $200 from the price which I missed out on because paper tickets have to be ordered ahead of time.

Anyway I believe I can use the mobile ticket immediately whereas I had to find someone to endorse the paper ticket before I could use it.

I am just finishing week #8 at 40+ miles and I already have to make hotel reservations for the Marine Corps Marathon in October however that will be just a 4 day event for me in Arlington, Virginia since I can drive to it.

So I was also reading not to refer to the Scots as being English. Apparently they don't like that and the same article said I would have a hard time understanding the Scots. I believe they speak English but maybe that's also a no no to point out, lol.

Enjoy your day

Thanks
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« Last Edit: February 16, 2023, 04:23:47 PM by Watcher »

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#8: February 16, 2023, 10:49:06 PM
Watcher,

All of the countries that form Great Britain like to be referred to as separate to England (apart from England of course!). Each of the 4 nations have very strong identities and distinct culture.
The regional accents around Britain can be a little tough to understand for non Brits. Rest assured that despite what it sounds like most people will actually be speaking English. The accents can change really drastically over a fairly short geographical distance too. I’ve always been fascinated by this!
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#9: February 16, 2023, 11:21:04 PM
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dfsjVgujCMY

You’ll be just fine, Watcher....as Biscuit says there are lots of different accents in Britain given that we are a pretty small country, a function of history really, but most are pretty recognisable lol. Like the difference between say a strong Jersey accent vs a big Texan twang  :) but just in case, here is a wee (Scots for little  :)) overview!
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« Last Edit: February 16, 2023, 11:25:24 PM by Treasur »
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#10: February 25, 2023, 02:55:27 PM
Week #9 has concluded with 45.5 miles run bringing me to 342 miles on the year. February being a shorter month will probably have me at 170 miles.

This morning was a cold 27° and three of the other run days were impacted by winds of 20+ mph and one run day was cut short due to hail.

The London Marathon wanted to know if I preferred a finishers medal or did I want to forego receiving a medal and have a tree planted instead. 🤔 That was a tough decision. Plant a tree or receive a medallion ? LOL....

Yesterday I was at the NYRR run center and I was looking at the 2022 London Marathon medallion and I didn't like the design. Hopefully the 2023 design will be nicer. Both the Berlin and NYC medallions from 2022 were nice. Sometimes they just miss on the design.

I also found myself at The Dakota yesterday where John Lennon was killed. The building and entrance way are unchanged. The entrance way definitely has a haunting feel to it. Someone was singing one of his songs in Strawberry Field on a sunny but rather cold day.

I signed up for a 5 mile run in NJ which host's 10,000 runners in May and finalized my reservation for the Marine Corps Marathon in October.
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#11: February 26, 2023, 03:26:16 AM
Watcher,

Sounds like you’re in fantastic shape for the London Marathon, getting lots of miles in!
I’m following the London Marathon beginners plan, it’s a mixture of long runs and more high tempo shorter runs mixed in with walks etc. I’m sticking to it pretty much! Did 8 miles this morning in the cold and the sun poked out her / his head for the last couple of miles. It’s a glorious day here in London, if conditions are like this on the 23rd of April then we’ll be fine!

Not long to go now!!
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#12: February 28, 2023, 12:16:05 PM
Hi Biscuit,

Yes I cannot wait for better weather. I had snow for the first time today so I took a running break. I just moved my short run from 8 to 12 miles this week and the long run to 16 miles.

My 12's are fine as I ran them back to back on Sunday and Monday. Tomorrow I will see how the 16 goes and then I will finish the week on Friday at 12. I have a lot of rain scheduled in the forecast this week. So I have 12 miles at 3x a week and 16 miles at 1x a week for the next few weeks until I can jump to 12 and 20.

I have a 5k on Sunday which is the 5th qualifier for the 2024 NYC Marathon and I will treat that as an off day. I think London is going to be here rather quickly. It hasn't hit me yet. Maybe in April.

Enjoy your day
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#13: March 05, 2023, 08:56:56 AM
I closed out week 10 with 52 miles run. The 16 mile run on Wednesday went fine but the 12 mile one on Friday was a bit labored. I am at 400 miles for the year.

This morning I began week 11 as I ran a 5K which was race 5 of 9 for the 2024 NYC Marathon. I forgot that I am also working to gain entry to the 2024 NYC Half Marathon at the same time which is a big deal around here at 25,000 runners.

They announced a max capacity of 6,000 runners for this one. I last ran this one in 2020 right before the covid shutdowns. This was another hilly course and I took 3 minutes off of my 2020 time. It was a cool 41° so we are still inching closer to Spring.

The London Marathon had me plan my itinerary for the Saturday prior to the race. I decided to just stay with the group for the day. The organizers will bring me to the expo in the morning, then there is a 3 hour city tour planned, and then a buffet dinner.

Dierks Bentley is coming back to New Jersey this Summer and I cannot believe that it's already been 4 years since his last visit.

Tomorrow I am back to running 16 miles.
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#14: March 06, 2023, 05:02:29 PM
My 16 mile run went fine again today which was followed by kickboxing. I ran a bit slower then the first 16 mile run last week. Yesterday was only a 5K however it's run at a faster pace so my muscles were a bit sore.

I tried this new Science in Sport (SIS), Isotonic Energy Gel, and it's more liquidity then the GU ones that I usually use so I'm happy with this new find. I think I was given one during a recent 10K and I liked the way it easily went down.

I'm also a big fan of Gatorade Fit at the moment, as well as, my GU hydration tablets. I need to find some electrolyte packets now that I'm running longer. I'm about to try Blueberry Muffin Whey Protein Isolate so I will see how that flavor tastes.

I think I made unique choices with my United Kingdom hotels. I stayed in a 300 year old hotel in Regensburg for example. Today the hotel from York emailed me as they gave me some basic information.

They gave me a door code and upon entry I will find my welcome letter and key. Right there I wondered what type of hotel I picked. Apparently it's a B@B. My first thought was to bail on it.

I think I will stick with it because they said we hope you don't change your mind, lol.  I stayed in one once in Cape Cod. IDK if I'm a big fan of that type of place, however all the English Tea and hot beverages I want. I hope that means English Coffee.

I had to Google Breakfast Hampers and Breakfast Baps, York sausage, English bacon, lol. Anyway it was highly rated and that's why I chose it initially and it offers views of the medieval city walls.

I wonder what awaits in Bath. I know it's old and historic. London I did not have a choice. It's near Buckingham Palace and I never would pay that for a hotel if it wasn't for my running a marathon excuse. Edinburgh turned out to be an apartment/hotel and that's a couple hundred years old itself.

Then I finish back in London. I guess that's part of the adventure. So a surprise awaits at each location. I had three hotels in Germany and they all turned out fine. This time I have five hotels. Bath, London, York, Edinburgh, London.

I have to finish out this week on Friday as I need to rest on Saturday for a half marathon that I have on Sunday. So I will try to attempt 20 miles for the first time on Sunday in conjunction with the half marathon. I think I can run 20 at the moment based on the two 16 mile runs.
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#15: March 12, 2023, 07:49:29 PM
This morning was the half marathon. The sun was out but it was cold enough for breath to be seen. I ran this course in 2020 and it traverses through rolling hills in equestrian country.

This race had 500 runners and the course was labeled as being hilly and difficult. I had more room to maneuver on this course so I was a bit aggressive and ended up recording 8+ min miles for each of the 13 miles.

There were many hills and I just attacked each one while shaving 16 minutes off from my 2020 finish and set a new half marathon best time for myself in the process.

All of my hill running appears to be paying off at the moment as I ran relatively easy. Afterwards I ran 7 miles to reach my 20 mile run goal and was just surprised with the overall results.

The additional 7 miles was run at a slower pace however I was surprised there were no negative effects from running 20 miles. So I will just study the run to see why it appeared to be easier than I would have imagined. I believe I could have run the full marathon today.

It was much easier running the half marathon with people as runners tend to non verbally push each other. The additional 7 mile run was a slower pace because there was just no push.

I will now take 2 days off and get back to running on Wednesday as week 12 has gotten off to a good start. I have rain in the forecast this week and my next 20 mile attempt will be next Sunday for the start of week 13. I have half marathons planned for weeks 14 and 15 to help with the 20 mile runs like today. I am in the neighborhood of 460 miles so far in 2023.
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#16: March 17, 2023, 03:02:17 PM
Week 12 has concluded with 48 miles run bringing me to 485 miles in 2023 and 533 miles overall for the London Marathon. The temps are still cold and there were 20 mph winds on Wednesday.

Daylight lasts until 7pm now so we continue to inch closer to better weather and longer days.

I have a 5K followed by a 15K on Sunday and then I will add 8 miles afterwards to bring me to 20. They already sent out an email saying there will be no water for the 5K because it's anticipated that it will be frozen. I've been running in 30° so I don't see it as an issue and I wouldn't stop for water anyway during a shorter race.

This course is advertised as being flat and I have never run it.
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#17: March 19, 2023, 07:53:02 PM
This morning was the coldest day of the year for me at 28° for a 9am 5K start. My feet and legs were frozen and they warmed up about a mile in. There were probably 400 runners for this race and I kept each mile in the 8 min range.

The 15K was run afterwards and probably had the same amount of runners but I could tell it was mostly a different group based on their bib color. So not everyone ran both races. Again I hit each mile in the 8 minute range.

Afterwards I ran 7 miles to bring me to 20 in the 9 minute range but the winds were miserable by then at 25 mph. It was a sunny day but just cold and windy overall.

This race was held in the vicinity of Lord Stirling's property. He was a General in the Continental Army. The home is long gone so I'm not sure why the property has been preserved as I have never been there and I wasn't exploring it today.

I had to research this Lord connotation since that is British. His name was actually William Alexander and he claimed to be the heir to the title Earl of Stirling in Scotland. The Scottish Court denied his claim in the 1700's, however he still called himself Lord Stirling nonetheless.

March can be a miserable month with this weather. It really needs to start warming up already. 20 miles is looking good after two attempts. The wind was really miserable during that final 7 mile leg.

The pattern pretty much repeats again this week and then it's back to 20 miles on Sunday with the help of a half marathon challenge which is actually a separate 5K and 10 miler which I have run two previous years.
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#18: March 20, 2023, 04:24:41 AM
Watcher,
Sounds like you're getting the miles in recently!
I pulled my calf muscle yesterday on a 20 mile run, so need to rest it properly and hope it is better in time for the marathon in 5 weeks. I'd be gutted to miss it.
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#19: March 20, 2023, 06:17:45 AM
The Scottish Court denied his claim in the 1700's, however he still called himself Lord Stirling nonetheless.

Good to know, Lord Watcher!

Sincerely,

Lord Bravo
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#20: March 24, 2023, 08:51:10 AM
Hi Biscuit, JohnnyBravo.

We are down to one month now as of yesterday for the marathon. I was knocked out from a stomach virus for 2 days this week after attending a family gathering so running has been a bit laborious. My VO2 Max plummeted from 48 to 43.

I will finish out this week in the 46-50 mile range. Sunday the sun will be out and temps will start at 50° for the half marathon challenge as the weather finally begins to turn favorably. Hopefully there will be no wind.

I've run this course before and it's through farm country with accompanying rolling hills. This is a separate 5K and 10 miler race. It's offered as a half marathon challenge and I think the concept is to give people running options with the three choices. They also get more people to register by offering options.

March will be the 4th time I reach 200 run miles in a month and I will have 185 after Sunday so I am pretty close to my high of 211 from last August.
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#21: March 26, 2023, 07:50:13 PM
This morning the sun was out in full force and there was wind so running conditions were ideal. I didn't have to wear a sweatshirt for once however I did end up with noticable wind burn.

Both courses were rolling country hills. The 5K launched first and I set a new record for myself while finishing at a 7:50 minute. I was surprised to learn after the conclusion of both races that I had medaled for my age group.

I also set a record for myself on the 10 miler and alternated between 8 and 9 minute paces. After the 2 races I finished out the day at 19 miles.

The pace of the 5K and the hills from the 10 miler probably took their toll on me today so there was no point in pushing myself past 19 miles at that point.

I am up to 550 miles on the year. I believe I'm running good at the moment but won't really have a feel for it until I'm in the marathon. There is a huge dropoff with the training miles from the races.
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#22: March 31, 2023, 01:27:46 PM
It has been cold and windy this week. This morning I ran 13 miles to finish the month of March with 212 miles run to set a new high for myself.

I have a half marathon tomorrow in the wind and rain to finish out week 14 with 61 miles run. On Sunday I have a 4 miler for the NYC Marathon which will be race 6 of 9.

I updated my Garmin Connection and they have added a new category for ascent. I climbed 6,200 feet in March and 18,000 feet since I started running hills in January. Previously I had been averaging about 1,500 feet in ascent per month.

I made a slight alteration for my trip and decided to just extend my stay at the marathon hotel as I don't want to deal with a train ride right after a flight. I ordered my train pass weeks ago and it arrived in one day. I also went to the bank and ordered some Pounds which cost a lot more than Euros.

Everything is set however I really haven't thought about the trip because I still have 2 more weeks of running. I probably won't be excited until I'm sitting on the plane come the 17th. My running times even look really good but I'm ignoring them because I don't trust them yet, lol.
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#23: April 01, 2023, 05:10:47 PM
There was steady rain and wind for the half marathon this morning along the beach which had 1800 runners. The first mile was overcrowded before it finally opened up through mile 8.

The temps were 61° with 15 mph winds so I actually was able to wear shorts as it was comfortable. I wore a wind breaker but IDK if that helped or not. I was rather drenched when I was finished.

It took me until mile 6.5 to pass the 2 hour pacers so I knew I was in control at that point. Miles 9 through 11 were extremely narrow with the course resembling a bicycle chain at that point with the lead runners coming right back your way.

It finally opened up again for the final 2 miles on the boardwalk. This was not my favorite course as I'm not a big fan of being forced to run single file until something opens up. I did shave 17 minutes off of my time from last year.

Aside from the opening mile I'm still hitting all 8 min miles which continues to surprise me. I had no fatigue and could have continued.

Tomorrow is a quick 4 mile run in NYC and I'm not doing any additional running this weekend. I have one more 20 mile run to try during the week before I begin to slow the long runs down.
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#24: April 04, 2023, 10:54:23 AM
The sun was out on Sunday however it was windy and cold so the chill of Winter still lingered in the air. There were 7800 runners for this 4 mile run.

I've run this hilly Central Park course many times at numerous distances so I was able to maneuver past people on the hills. Otherwise the course was crowded and narrow. Four miles doesn't leave much room to create separation.

There are 12 pens at NYRR races and I'm currently in number 6 so hopefully I continue to move up so I won't have to fight through the crowd so much. I think pen 4 would probably be the highest I could go. These races also help determine ones wave assignment for the marathon.

I'm back on this course in June and look forward to wearing Summer clothes finally. This was another 8 min mile run and I finished 12 of the 14 races in 2023 at the 8 min mile range.

The London Marathon will be the next one up as I just have to finish out weeks 15 and 16 with these training runs.
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#25: April 08, 2023, 04:20:18 PM
No race today so I had to run 20 miles on my own. My watch pings at each mile and I just ignored it until the end while keeping a consistent pace. I hit each mile objective so I believe London will be my fastest time.

Week 15 ended at 54 miles and I now have 648 miles on the year with one week left for scaled down training. I will receive my corral assignment and starting time on the 14th.

I finished with 4x 20 mile runs for the London Marathon and this was my best one yet. This morning was 39° with no wind and the running conditions were ideal for shorts.
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#26: April 11, 2023, 04:50:41 PM
The weather actually looks good for London next week straight thru to the marathon with running temps hovering between 58-63° on race day which will be similar to my Berlin run.

Hopefully the temperatures won't climb any higher. I received my starting information from TCS London so I guess that running organizer was not a scam. I will start on the blue line. I always get blue on these majors.

The waves start at 10am, go to 1130am, and I landed at 11am. I started Berlin at 1045am and NYC at 11am so more of the same. I'll be able to sleep a bit later and eat breakfast before hopping on a train to the start, off at Blackheath station. With NYC I was already on the road to the race at 4am because that's how they do things.

I'm not going to the expo until the Saturday prior to the race with my group organizers and I'll probably be impatient all week because that's cutting it close for my bib, lol.

Cleopatra's Needle is at mile 25. There are only two in the world I believe and I have run past the other one many times in NYC's Central Park. I still have 4 more days to run this week at 8 miles each and then I'm ready for World Major #3.  ;D

OMG, can you imagine if that Tax Offset Unit did something to my passport, 😂
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#27: April 12, 2023, 12:37:50 PM
Wow that sounds like quite a trip! How long are you going to spend in Europe? Hope you have some time to take in some sights.

Disturbed puts on a great show. Sand I saw them a few years back. They played for nearly 3 hours. So many songs over the years. Totally worth going.
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#28: April 12, 2023, 08:03:40 PM
Hi Gman,

I believe I will be there 17 days and I have to dedicate two of those days for the marathon. So I will have plenty of time to sight see. I already know what I want to see in London as everything of importance is along the marathon route and pretty much in walking distance from my hotel.

My number one destination must see is Caerphilly Castle in Wales. I will also stop in Cardiff. I'm visiting Bath for the Roman history and after the race in London I will be in York to walk out my marathon legs for a couple of days.

I am going to Edinburgh and have excursions scheduled for Loch Ness, Hadrian's Wall, and Holy Island. I'm leaving prior to the Coronation. Maybe I should have stayed longer however I don't believe the date had been announced yet while I was making my plans. Anyway it probably will be crowded.

There is a Little Ben. I'm taking a picture of it and telling everyone that is really Big Ben, lol.

I'm looking forward to Disturbed. I've never seen them before and they just look and sound like a great concert show. I also have Godsmack. Both of those tickets were low cost.

I have Zach Williams which is Christian and then my country trio of Morgan Wallen, Dierks Bentley and Eric Church. I got orchestra for Dierks Bentley with Jordan Davis so I'm really looking forward to that one.

I was reading today that the blue start line is the hardest of the three routes because it has a two mile incline.

I'm apprehensive about the trains. In Germany there was the ICE train. It was easy to pick out. There are many different lines in the United Kingdom. Well I know the Western line that takes me to Bath and Cardiff. That should be the GWR. Well I hope it actually says GWR, like ICE, on the train.

I have to learn the Northern route lines but my brain is overwhelmed if I try to plan it out.

So one step at a time. Land in Heathrow then take the train to Piccadilly Station, transfer somewhere, and then take the train to Victoria Station to my hotel. That's my first objective.
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#29: April 12, 2023, 11:59:16 PM
Watcher,

Get the Piccadilly line to either Hammersmith or Earls Court and then change to the District line to Victoria….can’t think of a quicker way.
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#30: April 13, 2023, 01:14:27 AM
Transport for London (tfl) has a pretty good website/app that lets you plan your journeys....includes buses, trains and tubes (underground trains) and gives you pretty accurate times too. And buses can be quite a nice way to seeing day to day London with signs that tell you what/where the next stop is!

No need to worry about train confusion, Watcher, between London and other places eg GWR. As a historic legacy of early Victorian train entrepreneurs lol, the big stations in London basically work like wheel spokes and serve different directions. So, for instance, trains to the West/southWest of London go from Paddington, trains to the East from Liverpool St etc. Once you get yourself to the right Big station, it’s pretty easy to find the right train for Bath or York etc.
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#31: April 14, 2023, 01:45:46 PM
I would to the advice above grab the CityMapper app for best options for getting around town and do not ignore the bus suggestions they are clean, safe and much more reliable than the US ones. The data is live from same TFL feed and accounts for walking and interconnect times.
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#32: April 16, 2023, 08:24:32 PM
Hi Biscuit, Treasur, Marvin.

I downloaded the apps that you suggested and I had time to make train reservations for my hotel destination cities. Now it looks like rain so I will hold off on making any train reservations for day trips. I was on Quora and Dover Castle popped onto my feed. ;D There is also a Roman Lighthouse.

We had a pair of 90° days this week and the past two days have been filled with dripping wet August humidity. The weather is so strange. So I'm not opposed to overcast with a spritz of rain. I'd prefer not to run in any humidity on Sunday.

I have a couple of options from the airport. I can either take the Heathrow Express to Paddington Station or the Piccadilly line to Green Station or the one prior to it near Wellington Arch. That would be a 5 minute walk to my hotel.

My rail pass says the trip on the Heathrow Express will be free. I still have to pack and I've been too busy this week so it still hasn't hit me yet.

I was looking at Rome, Paris and Dublin for future potential running locations if Tokyo makes me wait for years. Rome would be a cool spot.

So Dover Castle is listed as the best castle in England. Caerphilly is the best castle in Wales and obviously I'm going to Edinburgh Castle but Scotland really seems like it's far down the road.

Thanks for the help
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#33: April 17, 2023, 08:08:50 AM
Hello,

Just wanted you to know that this Sunday will be my birthday so as you plow through the 26.2 mile course, I will be home eating cake.

Have a great day,

((((Ready))))
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#34: April 18, 2023, 06:49:46 AM
Hi Ready,

There was a 1 hour delay at the airport. Someone must have gotten sick and we had to wait for a cleaning crew. Meanwhile the offending person departed with the cleaning crew. Maybe that person should have left immediately while we were waiting.

I had emergency door responsibility which has better leg room. I'm supposed to help out in case of an emergency but I think I'm down that shoot as soon as it deploys, lol.

I stopped for coffee at Heaththrow just to gather my thoughts. I found the underground and took the Piccadilly line to Green Station. The train was packed. I made the connection at Green to the Victoria line which was pretty empty. I was only on it for 1 stop.

I was off at Victoria Station and wandered around a bit because my GPS blue icon does not show my progress while walking. I think I just circled Victoria Station to my hotel eventually.

I already saw Little Ben however I wanted to dump my bags and didn't realize it until now that I passed it. It's cold here. This maybe too cold for the marathon and I only brought shorts. The sun was out over the airport so it does exist here.

A few weeks ago the hotel sent me an email update and they said it would be nice if the sun made an appearance while I was here, lol.

So I'm off to Buckingham Palace and Big Ben since they are just down the road and I will stumble upon Little Ben again while finding something to eat.

Enjoy your bday and cake on Sunday.
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#35: April 18, 2023, 06:55:34 AM
Welcome to England.... Welcome to London - one of the best cities on the planet!! So much to see and do.

It's actually fairly warm for the time of year - yesterday was glorious weather, the sun was out, which means lots of people are out.

Hope you enjoy it here.
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#36: April 18, 2023, 06:42:41 PM
Hi Biscuit,

The most notable adjustment has been crossing the street. In NYC , and probably elsewhere in the U.S., we look left while stepping into the street because our right side is safe. Well I've still done that at every crossing without realizing the right here is now my dangerous side with bicyclists and cars.

They are already preparing the finish line at Buckingham Palace. I remember the Tiergarten was off limits and I never did get to see it so I walked both Green and St. James parks.

Buckingham Palace is massive and I like the different gates representing the Commonwealth and the various monuments in the park like the Wellington Arch. There's a cool looking duck throughout the parks. It looks like a Canadian Goose but just replace the black with orange patterns.

My lower back was knocked out from the plane so I walked it out until it just had enough. I did see Westminster Abbey and the Palace of Westminster which is the Parliament. I knew it was the House of Parliament. I didn't know  Palace of Westminster was it's proper name.

Both buildings are just ornate and massive beyond description. I didn't know Big Ben was a part of the Parliament building. I saw that London Eye. It's really just a ferris wheel 🎡, lol, just saying. However if it lights up at night then it must look good.

I did see a lot of people running but I'm going to fight the urge to partake. It was mostly a gray day but the blue came out around 8pm. I have a nice photo of Little Ben with the Victoria Palace in the background all lit up. So I may have to explore at night to see what else lights up because the gray today really took away from the beauty of those buildings.

Hopefully my sleep will adjust to English time tomorrow night.
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#37: April 19, 2023, 12:28:57 AM
Glorious morning today in London Watcher!!

Sounds like you’ve taken in some of our lovely architecture already!

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#38: April 20, 2023, 01:38:16 AM
Yes it was a nice day yesterday Biscuit. I visited the Tower of London in the morning and saw the changing of the guard. Obviously I also viewed Tower Bridge and both structures are wonderful sites to visit.

Afterwards I jumped on the southeastern train for Dover Priory. The castle was a 25 minute walk from the station. The walk up has left my calves sore as its a steep climb. Dover Castle is beautiful. The sun was out without a cloud in the sky however it was windy. It had to be around 30mph and even the castle walls did not help with hiding from it.

I saw the Roman Lighthouse from 1 A.D. and the castle has served medieval, WW1 and WW2 time periods. There is a church on the grounds from the 13th century I believe.

Afterwards I walked to the National Trust White Cliffs. I think it was about 30-45 minutes. The wind had subsided a bit however the walk and scenery were very nice along the chalk path.

I didn't intend to walk the 50 minutes to the lighthouse but I missed the stairs to climb down to the beach. At one point I came across a group of cows grazing right along the path with no barrier. Tea is served at the lighthouse.

It was hazy over the water so I could not see France even though my TMobile welcomed me to France at one point.

On the way back I found the stairs but decided not to venture as I was thinking the climb back up would be arduous. It's built into the cliffside and resembles a wheelchair ramp that zig zags its way to the beach. I would imagine it's tight quarters if it gets crowded.

There were a lot of people at both locations with some on school trips but no takers on those stairs. Both locations were worth the trip. I logged 20 miles yesterday so I'm going to try and do less today.

I am on the GWR currently for Cardiff. The castle is only a 10 minute walk from Caerphilly Station. Today is a beautiful day.

I still see a lot of people running and it's hard to break from my training pattern. I keep looking at the weather and I am not looking forward to running in the rain on Sunday.
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#39: April 21, 2023, 12:54:26 AM
Caerphilly Castle was definitely worth the visit. It's a typical 13th century medieval castle with some wear which adds to it's appeal. It's well run and organized and sits in a park setting. The town itself is small and very nice with only a 10 minute walk from the train station.

I didn't know there was another language spoken until I was on board the Transport for Wales. There is also an affinity for dragons. The castle had an interactive dragon display and many shops along the route sell dragon items.

Fish and Chips, with a Guinness, in a courtyard overlooking the castle on a rather sunny day.

Cardiff is a larger town and the walk from the train station to their castle was about 20 minutes and it meanders through a nice downtown section of restaurants and shops which are also filled with dragons.

Cardiff Castle is pristine just like Dover Castle. This castle was privately owned so it's a bit different. The casement walls are intact and one can walk the entire perimeter. They also have a beautiful Keep which is surrounded by a moat.

A Roman Wall was discovered in the 1920's and it is rather impressive. So the castle was built upon a Roman Fort.

The private residence was probably from the 17th century and that's where it deviates from a typical medieval castle.

Paddington Station was a mess last night when I arrived back. Both the District and Circle lines were out so I walked back to Victoria.

Today I am staying in London because I have to meet with the run organizers. I also have to check out from my personal hotel reservation and check into the run group reservation. So I will just leave my bags with the hotel as I have to change rooms since my personal reservation was higher end apparently.

The environmental protestors are descending upon London this weekend so we will see if that becomes an issue.
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#40: April 21, 2023, 01:34:56 PM
I saw a story where the most problematic ones, extinction rebellion, has struck a deal with organizers to NOT disrupt anything as they view the event as net positive. So that is a good sign.
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#41: April 21, 2023, 02:50:20 PM
Definitely a positive event...

Me and my running partner have managed to raise £10k between us to benefit disadvantaged kids and for kids and their families who are enduring childhood cancer.... and there are thousands of people running for charity....

Plus what more eco friendly way of getting around is there than on your own 2 feet (or one foot, or wheelchair for that matter).

I support the eco cause but I hope Sunday isn't spoiled by protests.... go and protest outside the Shell oil building on the South bank please!
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#42: April 21, 2023, 05:37:20 PM

Me and my running partner have managed to raise £10k between us to benefit disadvantaged kids and for kids and their families who are enduring childhood cancer....

This is phenomenal, Biscuit.
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#43: April 22, 2023, 08:11:06 AM
Great job fundraising Biscuit. I would say the protestors have encamped at Trafalgar Square and the Parliament for the past two days. Yesterday I saw the cavalry along St. James Park in red robes and gold helmets.

Someone said this was the King's Guard. Later on I saw the changing of the horse guard at the Household Cavalry Museum.

This morning we had a 2 mile run ,roundtrip, to Buckingham Palace for a group photo and then we boarded an old school double decker red route master and they drove us to the Excel Center for our bib pickup.

There was a nice little history tour along the route as we passed through old Roman London. The repurposed docks look very nice. They dropped us off at Borough Market for lunch which was incredibly crowded on a Saturday.

We passed by Sweeney Todd's old barbershop haunts.

The trip back felt long as many roads were already closed and the vehicle traffic was slow. I just have a carb loading dinner at the hotel tonight left on my schedule.

The weather has cooperated the past two days even though rain had been forecasted. I've taken it easy because my legs are still recovering from Castle Dover on Tuesday. I have one quad left that still needs to stop being sore.

Initially it was both quads, both calves, and shins. It's supposed to rain tomorrow but I'm holding out hope the weather will change. I really don't want to wear rain gear because it's impossible to stay dry anyway and a running jacket will just trap body heat.
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#44: April 23, 2023, 03:15:09 PM
Watcher,

How did you get on?

It was pretty brutal starting in the rain!  I've never run more than 18 odd miles and didn't realise also how brutal the last 5 miles or so would be!
I finished though and was greeted by a huge group of our friends (including kids and W) and we had a couple of beers at the finish line.... what an amzing day out. I loved it.
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#45: April 24, 2023, 12:07:48 AM
Congratulations Biscuit.

We were stopped on board the train for awhile because of congestion on the tracks. So when I arrived at Blackheath it was already raining and I had to get to my start quickly. Maybe 20 minutes of standing around in the rain in total for me.

I went into my lorry with one on each side of me and I thought we were preparing for D-day with the open green grass and gray clouds. The lorry started moving and the grass eventually turned into pavement and you were sucked into the marathon like a vacuum. The starting line was just there and you had to go, lol.

The volunteers standing at each speed bump in that opening stretch were funny. "Turn back, only pain lies ahead", "don't do it" amongst other warnings.

The English sang "Sweet Caroline" to perfection but those people may have been drinking since they were outside of a bar. I remember hearing The Killers "Mr. Brightside", this Spanish song "Bombelero" which I knew, and the YMCA.

There were a few Caribbean bands and I remember one band with those large drums that I also saw in Berlin. There were people running in costume which is always amazing. I saw a man running in ladies undergarments around mile 25. Someone was dressed as an eagle and kept flapping his wings.

I think they announced 47,000 runners. I thought the course was crowded. I never had a chance to break free and find space of my own. I spent a lot of the run moving sideways and it was a bit narrow at times.

This course had a lot of turns. I wouldn't say hilly however there are definitely many inclines. Berlin is flat. This course is not equally as flat. The crowds were great and the highlight for me was turning onto Tower Bridge.

I think it rained for the most part with a few breaks. My clothes were drenched and I don't believe it was from sweat. I would have to say those were the best running conditions for a marathon. I didn't even come close to overheating.

I took my gels at miles 8, 12, 16, 20, and 24. They handed out water bottles made from recycled plastic and I thought that was great. I probably used 4 bottles while running. I wore this running belt for the first time where I was able to keep my gels and candy that I brought from the hotel.

Having the bottle allowed one to carry the water with them and drink it at their leisure which I thought was great. Meanwhile the bottle size was perfect for carrying.

I crossed at 4:21:00 so that is my new best marathon time. It took about an hour to exit the park as my hotel was south of Buckingham Palace and I needed to cross a bridge that was put up over the race route.

All the majors are the same way at the end with the exiting being a long endeavor. I took a hot shower as hypothermia was hitting me as soon as I took off the wet clothes. It was a wonderful marathon. So now I am off to York.
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#46: April 24, 2023, 12:40:56 AM
Amazing amazing time Watcher!!
Fantastic.
It really is quite the event, so many people lining the street and sound systems playing booming music. Drag acts singing songs, loads of people in pubs screaming words of encouragement… could smell weed through certain parts of London too…. It really is a whistle stop tour through all the cultures and diversity which makes this city great!
I saw people dressed as Rhinos, a garlic dip (???) a granny.
I wore one of those camel packs with my water and gels in and it really bashed my ribs about… I’m going to buy a belt for future runs.

I’m glad you got your PB. Enjoy York, it’s a wonderful city! I’m going tonYorkshire next week for some nice country air and a party at a pub that serves amazing ale and amazing Thai food.

Biscuit x
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#47: April 24, 2023, 12:58:42 AM
Congratulations, Watcher  :)
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#48: April 25, 2023, 12:18:28 PM
Thank you Biscuit and Treasur.

It was very windy in York when I arrived yesterday so I was thinking how wind would have made the marathon miserable and we dodged that one. People online were talking about the puddles. I remember a huge crater filled with water and the race came to a complete stop as everyone passed it single file.

I started this morning on the city walls walk. It's an actual walking path so many people were on it. These 2 ladies pointed out this red fox laying below and we watched as her four cubs emerged from the high grass. Many of the gates/towers are now coffee and tea shops so I stopped at one around the midway point.

The walls are mostly medieval and there are a few spots were the Roman sections are pointed out. I remember the tour guide in London saying the Romans were known for using red brick and whatever stone they could find. Medieval stones are more blocky.

One can see where the medieval walls were built right on top of the Roman ones just by design.

There's a lot to see. York Minster is massive. Even St. Mary's Abbey ruins are massive. Destroyed by a fire in the 1200's and the ruins are incredible.

The York Castle Museum, Yorkshire Museum, King's Manor, where Charles I and Henry VIII stayed, and countless other churches and architectural good looking buildings await.

It was a little cold for me however when the temps are right this must be the spot to stroll. I did walk 18 miles today so it's not like the temperature dissuaded me much.

So far I highly recommend visiting the White Cliffs of Dover, Caerphilly Castle and the city walls of York.

I did see the Guy Fawkes Inn. He was from York. He is famous for plotting to blow up the Parliament back in the day. Anyway they caught him and they attempted to Hang, Draw and Quarter him however he made sure he broke his neck quickly.

I had a history professor tell me once this is where we borrowed the idea of celebrating with fireworks since the English celebrate Guy Fawkes Day with fireworks. That's the only reason why I remember Guy Fawkes. He's the inspiration for fireworks, lol.

The other day there was this bar near the Tower of London. It was called the Hung, Drawn, and Quartered. So our tour guide was very animated. She said the guilty party would be hung but just to the point of death.

Then they would be disembolwed and forced to eat their parts, which I really find hard to believe.

Then a rope would be placed on each limb and tied to a horse. That's the quartered part. Then if the person were still alive after all that then the head would be chopped off and placed on a pike which would sit on London Bridge.

So Guy Fawkes knew this already and he made sure he leaped to break his neck immediately is how the story goes.

This did turn out to be a B@B with seven rooms however it was very nice. I had my first bap this morning with tomato chutney. Tomorrow I'm going for the caramelized onion chutney. Both days ended up being sunny.

Tomorrow I head to Edinburgh.
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#49: April 26, 2023, 12:52:21 AM
My church choir from Frankfurt sang an Evensong in York Minster many years ago. That place is really imposing and has amazing acoustics....
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#50: April 26, 2023, 05:13:42 AM
When i was a small child, so late 60s & early 70s, we didn’t do things like Trick or Treating or even Halloween  really. Bonfire night, the 5th of November, was Guy Fawkes Night and the big event. Kids would sometimes make a vaguely human figure and go round asking ‘Penny for the Guy’ and the figures would usuallu be burnt on top of a bonfire. Most people who had gardens would have their own bonfire, your Dad would set off small fireworks bought at the local newsagents (some of which would fail to go off lol) and your Mum would make soup and sausage rolls and toffee apples. Even us kids vaguely knew about the story of Guy Fawkes trying to blow up the Houses of Parliament, if not the details  :)

As an adult now, it’s remarkable how little we worried about health and safety issues, other than keeping kids back from the fireworks or trying not to set your neighbours fence on fire! And tbh nowadays I find myself wondering if Guy Fawkes was entirely without merit lol....

It comes with global media I suspect but imho it’s rather a shame when any country loses some of its connection with some of those old particular stories and traditions that are passed on from one generation to the next. Having said that, i’m not sure I would want to set off Catherine wheels in my own small garden by nailing them to a stick in the ground as I remember my Dad doing  :)

If you liked York, Watcher, I am confident that you will love Edinburgh  :)
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#51: April 27, 2023, 12:09:40 AM
I think initially fireworks were adopted by the English authorities to mock Guy Fawkes failed attempt Treasur. Now they are pretty much just celebratory and some scholars believe the US borrowed that same tradition on the 4th of July.

The gunpowder became too damp I believe as the plot was originally scheduled for the Summer, however there was a plague going around London and Parliament was not in session because of it.

There were also a couple of Catholic conspirators in the Fawkes group and their Catholic guilt led them to tip off the Catholic Parliament member in advance because they did not want him killed, lol.

The tour guide in London pointed out that King George III did claim we would be back one day, lol. I guess he was right about the marathoners at least.

She had also mentioned the naming of Green Park. King Charles II was caught picking flowers for his mistress by his wife Catherine in what is now Green Park. So she ordered all the flowers dug up and removed, hence Green Park.

A lot of the park was closed off for the marathon so I couldn't confirm if flowers grow there or not. Anyway he had a multitude of illegitimate children so picked flowers should have been the least of her concern, lol.

North of Hyde Park their is a plaque marking the site of the embassy of Texas which England recognized as an independent nation.

A lot of sheep farms on the train ride up. The young lady next to me at dinner tried Haggis and she seemed brave about it as she took photos for her dad. However, I think she was really struggling with her choice as each bite was followed with a gulp of her pint.

Arthur's Seat is beyond impressive however I will not attempt to climb it. My walking legs recovered immediately after the marathon and this is the fastest recovery ever but I'm not attempting any climbing or running. I was reading it's a 2 hour hike roundtrip.

Edinburgh Castle is just beyond massive and I will visit it today.

UrsaMajor I don't believe we could even come close to replicating the York Minster or many other of these medieval structures today. They really are pieces of art each one. Edinburgh has St. Giles Cathedral. It also demonstrates the power of religion in the medieval times.
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#52: April 28, 2023, 01:29:29 PM
Yesterday was spent walking 19 miles touring Edinburgh Castle, Calton Hill, Holyrood Palace, Arthur's Seat, Princess and Queen Streets Gardens, etc.

I did decide to climb Arthur's Seat which is an extinct volcano. I probably should have worn shorts because I did feel the climb somewhat. It did begin to rain at the summit.

The weather is a mixed bag. It's cloudy and the sun makes appearances in spurts. Sometimes there is a drizzle however I haven't felt cold in Edinburgh. York has been the coldest stop thus far and the sun was in full bloom that day, lol.

There's beautiful volcanic rock at the summit and I did see my first pheasants. I had to look it up. I saw some runners actually running up Arthur's Seat. That's some workout. I think it's part of Holyrood Park and there are many trails. The summit is just one trail.

Green grass, yellow bushy flowers, and reddish volcanic rock.

Today was an all day organized tour to Loch Ness. We stopped at Callander for coffee however this was also a Roman camp site and there is an archway they built that remains.

Next we stopped at Glencoe and discussed the Glencoe Massacre of 1692 which I'm all too familiar with already. We made a 3rd stop at the Commando Memorial.

We had all types of weather today but I think that's the norm. The Highlands are absolutely breathtaking. The sun came out and the grass is shades of brown and white for the eye to see and mountains everywhere. I thought the grass looked yellow but the tour guide said it's white.

There's absolutely nothing out there but mountains and space There's a bench marking the spot where Ian Fleming used to sit.

Loch Ness was fine. Look they had the sonar working and something was approaching the boat but then the captain decided to turn around because of dense fog, lol. I mean, Nessie is obviously in the fog. The Scots are never going to find her if they keep running away.

We had all types of weather again on the water. We stopped at the Creag Meagaidh Nature Reserve and met a herde of what I thought were hybrid Wooly Mammoth's 🦣. However they were Highlander Cows and they looked gorgeous.

I also saw red deer, 5 billion sheep, and goats just parked on the side of mountains. Amazing how they can climb. We finally stopped in Pitlochry for whisky 🥃 ice cream.

Of course the sun was out in Edinburgh at 8pm when I arrived back and it's really difficult taking good pictures, lol. That Edinburgh Castle was just mocking me as I passed it and the sky was clear. I'll just keep my gray photos.

I have a quick turnaround for Holy Island. I don't believe it should be as long. Loch Ness is some hike however I did think it was worth it.
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#53: April 29, 2023, 12:06:15 AM
Reminds me of that old joke....why don’t Scots complain about the Weather? Bc if you wait 5 minutes, it’ll change  :) Sounds like you are having a fine time, Watcher.....look forward to hearing about Holy Island!
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#54: April 30, 2023, 01:43:32 PM
Hi Treasur,

Yesterday started off at Alnwick Castle and I did not know it's history. We passed Holy Island in the morning and the North Sea was covering the access road during high tide.

Alnwick Castle was Hogwarts from Harry Potter. It also was featured in Downtown Abbey and Robin Hood Prince of Thieves. So this was not my favorite visit.

There were people attempting to play Quidditch on broomsticks in one of the courtyards. Meanwhile this was also a private residence as the Duke of Northumberland lives here. So there were no access areas.

Alnwick itself was a nice little town as I walked around a bit.

As we crossed the causeway onto Holy Island you could see how much of it was covered by the North Sea during high tide because there was just mud on both sides of it as far as one could see. The causeway was actually a pretty long drive.

It was cold and windy. Lindisfarne Castle was beautiful as it sits on a rock overlooking the sea. This was also another National Trust location so it's on par with the White Cliffs of Dover IMO.

There was a rather large old lime kiln that must have had multiple furnaces in operation. The beach along the North Sea has huge flat rocks in the water and then there were these large smooth "pebble" rocks that people have stacked on top of each other to make designs. I did like these rock formations.

There was a sandy beach in what must be a lagoon. There was a farm adjacent to the castle and it had sheep. It probably is a nice little seaside spot during the Summer as there were small shops with places to eat and shop. There was also an old church ruin.

Today we first stopped at Jedburgh. There was the ruin of the Jedburgh Abbey and there was a home where Mary Queen of Scots visited and it contained her death mask. Some of these stops are made just for a coffee break or to stretch ones legs or use a restroom etc ..

It rained a lot today. Afterwards we went to Hadrian's Wall. We first stopped at Steel Rigg which was a huge rock formation where the wall ran up and over. The rock was impressive because it was surrounded by farmland. So I climbed Steel Rigg and it was just beautiful.

We then stopped at Vindolanda Roman Fort and Museum which is also an active archaeological site. The project started 50 years ago and they believe they will still be digging for another 200 years. They have pulled a lot of artifacts out of the ground and the museum and site were excellent.

I did see a lot of people hiking along the wall which must be a cool adventure. A lot is gone as the Romans did leave in 410 and it wasn't until the early 1900's when some people began to realize that they needed to protect what remained.

We stopped in another nice small town called Moffatt afterwards for a break on the way back.

I would love to explore the wall on my own one day along with checking out the trails along Ben Nevis which also looked amazing.

Traditional Scottish pies at Decon Brodie's afterwards. He was a respectable character during the day and thief at night so he was hung eventually, lol.

Tomorrow I am heading back to London as this trip winds down.
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#55: May 01, 2023, 07:47:12 AM
So jealous of all your adventures. Sounds great!
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#56: May 02, 2023, 01:01:04 PM
Hi Madluv.

This morning I set out for The Tower of London and that was definitely worth the price of admission. Afterwards I had to have lunch at the Hung, Drawn and Quartered Pub. Time period photos of the execution gatherings are framed on the wall downstairs on the way to the bathrooms.

Inside the Tower of London there was a section of Roman Wall. So it got me thinking about tracing the wall myself. I already knew there was a second section outside the Tower Hill tube. Low and behold I read a marker that states there were 21 locations.

So I found 3, 4, and 5 rather easily. Site #4 is actually in a building that also houses a cafe and it's easily accessible. Marker #6 drove me nuts because I couldn't find it.

I read later on that many of the markers no longer exist. Anyway location 6 was inside a subway at Aldgate that has been permanently closed so that's why I couldn't find it.

Another location was accessible from inside of a parking garage.

I found #7 and then it grew cold until #15 and the author of this article later explained all those markers were gone. Anyway I made it all the way to the London Museum and found many sections of Roman Walls.

Apparently a lot were revealed due to the bombings during WW2.  I couldn't figure out when the wall went south. Later on I read that there are four sections at a financial institution, a historic city jail and the Blackfriars train station as the wall ended at that location.

So I wouldn't have found the southernly route of the wall on my own. I think it starts at Old Bailey from London Wall Street and meanders to Blackfriars train station.

I went south and looked at St Paul's Cathedral where I believe Charles and Diana were married. I found Cleopatra's Needle and walked Whitehall Gardens.

There was a heavy police presence at the Parliament with many road closures as preparations are under way for the Coronation. I saw a military band performing and marching and that would have been a good reason to stay and watch the ceremony in person.

The Greylag Goose is the bird at St. James Park. There is another one that escapes me at the moment. I checked. It's called the Pochard. The Union Jack was flying in abundance along Waterloo and Oxford Streets.

The Ravens make an incredible sound at The Tower of London and they are such an intimidating bird. They used to house wild animals. There was a polar bear that was chained and allowed to swim in the River Thames. Lions, elephants, baboons, etc ...

I think I walked 19 miles today from the Tower of London to Paddington just enjoying the sun and taking in the sites. It was my last day so that's it for me.
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#57: May 08, 2023, 12:20:52 PM
Heathrow Airport was a pleasant experience. The United States is one of eight privileged countries that get to skip the traditional customs line. I posed for facial recognition and I scanned my own passport and I was in. Departing was even easier.

I think the trip home kicked my butt for four days and I'm finally coming out of my malaise. I went to kickboxing on Saturday and everything was sore afterwards, as if, I've never worked out.

Today I kicked off the Marine Corps Marathon campaign with a 10 mile run at the beach. Oh I found the sun and apparently it resides in New Jersey, lol.

For Berlin I had 13 weeks of training at 40+ miles and with London I had 17 weeks of training at 40+ miles. So I will have 20 weeks of training for the Marine Corps Marathon which has roughly 20,000 runners. Theoretically I should be able to improve on my London time.

I did enter the 2024 London Marathon lottery the day before the current one just in case things went bad. It may take me 10 years to get back.

My current marathon priorities are Chicago and Tokyo lotteries and they each can also take me years to win. Dublin also has a lottery system and I think I'm going to enter that one as it would give me an excuse to visit Ireland.

Rome and Paris have open marathons however they both require doctor approval and that seems to be a negative with some runners. I'm not quite sure what that approval entails.
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#58: May 13, 2023, 10:22:58 AM
Catching up on your recent trip and it sounds fantastic.  I definitely have the travel bug in me and hope to trace some of that same path someday.

No marathons in my future though.  I hiked a lot in April with my D20 and my niece, but now I am having planter fasciitis so here May is half gone and no hikes.  Bummer.
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#59: May 15, 2023, 06:41:58 AM
Hi FaithWalker.

I've been taking turmeric with curcumin daily for 2 years now because I had both arthritic pain in my ankle and that heel pain associated with plantar fasciitis. No issues since. Knock on wood, lol. Hiking steep uphills and kickboxing are my usual culprits.

Yesterday was absolutely beautiful. This is the weather to get outdoors. I had a 10k race at the beach. I had to get extra miles in prior to the race because 6 miles would be a little short for my training so I parked my car in a different lot and jogged to the package pickup location.

I thought I was 1.5 miles out but actually ended up being 3 miles from the start location. So I ran the 3 miles, picked up my stuff, ran back to the car and then back to the start for 9 miles.

I timed it perfectly with 5 minutes to spare and then proceeded to run within 12 seconds of my best 10k. So I think I just have the running down pat at the moment. I ran through a pine tree section and the smell was just incredible. Plenty of deer as usual along the route.

I have a 15 mile bike tour scheduled for Sunday and a solo hike on Saturday. I don't bike much and I made an appointment in June for kayaking since it's the season. All it takes is one beautiful day to encourage further outdoor activities.

Morgan Wallen canceled his concert so I will ask for a refund. I've never been to a stadium performance and have had my reservations about going to this particular place due to congestion upon leaving. I prefer the smaller Summer outdoor concert venues.

I hope you enjoyed your Mother's Day yesterday, as well as, all the other moms on the forum.
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#60: May 15, 2023, 03:09:46 PM

It comes with global media I suspect but imho it’s rather a shame when any country loses some of its connection with some of those old particular stories and traditions that are passed on from one generation to the next.

I suspect it's that, commercialism, globalism, urban creep and so forth.

When we moved here in '88, it was a small town with its own 4th of July parade, hot air balloon festival and there were only 3-4 highschools.

It wasn't exactly a one street light town, but it was small enough to know someone who knew someone.

Now, what used to be open land is apartment buildings, neighborhoods, strip malls and every 1/4 there's a highschool.

I miss the home town style events and how everything used to be family oriented. All there is to do here is buy over priced food off a truck, drink lousy "craft" beer and get a free keychain from a bank or car dealership.

I really have no desire to do big holiday blow outs anymore.  Maybe once I'm a grandpa! I'm fine waiting until then.
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#61: May 19, 2023, 07:56:38 PM
Hi Gman.

The other day I was at this bagel shop and there was a lady standing next to me with a baby in a carriage. The baby really had big beautiful blue eyes and she wouldn't stop looking at me, as if, she were in a trance.

Her mother kept trying to get her attention and just laughed as the baby did not break her expressionless stare. Finally her mother apologized and said she must think you're grandpa.  :o

OMG. I have never been so insulted in my life and I'm absolutely never going back to that bagel shop, lol. She must have said grandpa like 4 or 5 times. I mean once was bad enough but she kept hammering home her point. Ok lady, I think everyone heard you already. I may have to go back to therapy for that trauma.

I finished week #2 of training and the calendar actually says there will be 24 weeks of training so I may have to make some adjustments since I started early apparently.

I was looking at marathon alternatives for the Spring of 2024 since I won't know about Tokyo until October. In September the charity applications open up for Boston 2024 and that's probably the only way I can get into that one.

I think I would be satisfied just to get Chicago in 2024 as my 4th major. People say Tokyo is too long of a flight and I say that's why I would go with business class to be able to lye down, lol.

I saw this Hadrian's Wall Challenge today and I would so do that one if I lived in England. I was reading the time to visit England is from June to September, lol. That Steel Rigg was beautiful and it was raining while I was there. I can only imagine how it looks in the sun.

I was looking at the Edinburgh Marathon course because I'm inundated with everything Edinburgh for some reason in my feed. The main criticism about that marathon is that not enough of it is actually run in Edinburgh.

It's a really flat course though and thus is the number 2 marathon in the United Kingdom. No lottery for this one. I have the Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach as a backup plan for the Spring 2024 if things don't work out with a major and Grandma's in Duluth. I was supposed to run both in 2020 as half marathons.

The Buddhist's have a marathon in August and I have to fight the urge not to run it, lol. August is too hot and I may foul up the Marine Corps one. They also have designed a 3 mile laps course. Usually I go through a malaise period and now I just want to run another, lol.

No running this weekend since I hit my benchmarks already for the week. Rain tomorrow anyway.
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#62: May 20, 2023, 12:32:29 AM
Watcher,

The weather is absolutely lovely in the UK just a couple of weeks after you left! The sun is out and it really does feel like summer is on its way.
It’s cool enough in the morning and evenings to run still though.
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#63: May 22, 2023, 12:38:55 AM
The other day I was at this bagel shop and there was a lady standing next to me with a baby in a carriage. The baby really had big beautiful blue eyes and she wouldn't stop looking at me, as if, she were in a trance.

Her mother kept trying to get her attention and just laughed as the baby did not break her expressionless stare. Finally her mother apologized and said she must think you're grandpa.  :o

OMG. I have never been so insulted in my life and I'm absolutely never going back to that bagel shop, lol. She must have said grandpa like 4 or 5 times. I mean once was bad enough but she kept hammering home her point. Ok lady, I think everyone heard you already. I may have to go back to therapy for that trauma.

Get used to it.....

Right after ABD and after I had my own apartment, I was with my kids in a local supermarket and the cashier (probably in her late 20's), who I had seen often there, made a comment about how cute my grandkids were..... I just looked at her and she turned about 50 different shades of color, alternating between beet red and "on the slab in the morgue for a week" white..... She then looked at me and squeaked out "Oh.... those are your kids, aren't they?" I just nodded and tried my best to look offended and not laugh at her discomfort..... I didn't go back to that store for a while but after a while I did and I never did see here there again....
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#64: May 22, 2023, 02:10:17 PM
Hi Biscuit, UrsaMajor.

I receive photos from the sunny United Kingdom everyday mocking me, lol. The photos from Edinburgh are just stunning. People online were saying to bring a coat to Ireland even if it's August, lol. I'm also receiving photos from Galway, Ireland for some reason. See Dublin is calling me to run.

I don't know how I missed Greyfriars Bobby. I also missed the Heidelberg Bridge Monkey when I was there and visitors are supposed to touch it for luck.

Edinburgh has the David Hume statue all colored like the Statue of Liberty, however, I did notice the big toe was bronze so I believe one was supposed to also touch that one but I did not since it was a toe after all.

Today the Abbott Organization contacted me and they saw that I still needed to run Chicago to complete my 6 stars and asked if I wanted an entry to another lottery shot at 2023 so I replied, of course, lol. So that will be announced in June along with London 2024.

It's always important to keep a potential world major on the back burner.

Saturday was a wash out so I didn't hike. Yesterday I did partake in a 20 mile bike tour. They claim cycling is easier on the legs than running however I felt it in my knees.

I already know my legs look good while running but yesterday I noticed they look just as good cycling so I'm kind of a dual leg threat I'm thinking, lol. I also formed that opinion prior to the port wine shots they were giving out.

So Chicago is now in play for 2023. We shall see what happens. It would also be nice if the Abbott's sent me an email saying they noticed I'm still missing Tokyo and Boston, just saying.
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#65: May 27, 2023, 11:37:13 AM
This morning I had a 5 mile race at the beach along the Atlantic Ocean to kick off the Summer. The weather was beautiful. This run had 12,500 runners and it was my first time. Registration opened on Super Bowl Sunday and it sold out within 5 days.

That's a lot of runners for a 5 mile race. I positioned myself up front because I didn't want to expend energy fighting my way through the walkers. It's always beyond baffling how some people clog up a course.

For instance, at the London Marathon, I had never seen so many people walking during the first 5 miles. That means I had to run sideways a lot. I wasn't doing that today. Plus there were no assigned corrals anyway so it wasn't a starting issue today.

I finished with a 7:55 pace and shaved 5 minutes off of my previous best for a 5 mile. So I have broken my personal best times at each distance during 2023. I have now accumulated 830 miles and should surpass my high of 1,400 miles from 2022.

The after party looked real nice but the man is making me work today.
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#66: May 29, 2023, 02:59:59 PM
Hi FaithWalker.

I've been taking turmeric with curcumin daily for 2 years now because I had both arthritic pain in my ankle and that heel pain associated with plantar fasciitis. No issues since. Knock on wood, lol. Hiking steep uphills and kickboxing are my usual culprits.

I will try that as it is ridiculously out of control and I want to enjoy vacation in just a few weeks and I know we will want to walk and hike a lot.
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#67: June 04, 2023, 02:01:16 PM
Today I ran my 39th half marathon in the rolling hills of farmland. This was a smaller venue with a cap of 250 runners which afforded me plenty of space to run. This was also the beginning of week #5 of training for the Marine Corps Marathon in October.

I usually run without music only for marathons but I've been running naked ever since London and just listening to nature as I go. I hear the woodpeckers when I'm training during the week for example.

This was a challenging course. It was advertised as having two difficult hills and I counted four. The last one around mile 10 was steep and brutal. Probably the steepest climb I've come across so far while running.

I finished at an 8:41 pace and just two minutes off from my best time with this one now being my number two half marathon overall. Without the hills I probably would have broken it. I am around the 890 mile mark currently for 2023.
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#68: June 07, 2023, 11:56:09 AM
I was informed today that I won the 2023 Chicago Marathon lottery.  ;D I need to start playing the money lottery. It complicates my Fall running schedule a bit, however this is a World Major and it has to have priority. So this will be World Major #4 of 6.

Had I just dropped that rope sooner I would have already completed my mission. However, I decided to jump rope with that rope, double dutch with that rope, play tug of war with that rope, and swing from the trees in the jungle like Tarzan with that rope.

Old MacDonald had a farm syndrome, interpret this, interpret that, here interpret, there interpret, everywhere interpret, interpret, interpret......

When I stood at the starting lines at Berlin, NYC and London, I felt complete satisfaction. Never look back. I met a guy from Cornwall at the starting line in London and he said, you came all the way here to run this, and I replied absolutely.

So I will have run 4 consecutive World Major Marathons in 12 months. I have a week to accept the lottery invitation.

I was hesitant with pursuing London at the time because I thought it was too soon after Berlin. However, my coworker told me to seize the opportunity while it was being offered. So I did.

Well Canada is trying their best to destroy the planet this week. The state of New Jersey is brown with smog and choking on their out of control wildfires. IDK, maybe try throwing some water on it. That may help matters.
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#69: June 07, 2023, 04:56:37 PM
Watcher, I would accept it!!
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#70: June 08, 2023, 08:36:14 PM
Hi Biscuit,

Yes I accepted it. I just had to wait for the Chicago Marathon organizers to verify that I won the Abbott's organization lottery which only had 250 slots available.

I'm not sure how many people with 3 majors under their belt still needed Chicago ,however, it's a pleasant surprise since there were no guarantees when I was ever going to win Chicago's general marathon lottery. I only applied and lost once previously.

The Tokyo lottery opens in August and I have also lost that one once so far and the Boston charities open in September and I have never applied previously. I figure these last two marathon entries are going to be difficult.

Both Tokyo and Boston are Spring Marathons and it's going to be a long wait each year if I get neither. People have been waiting 10+ years to win Berlin and London and I have been fortunate to find my way into 4 majors rather quickly.

I have to say ,though, I thought today how it seems to be coming at me fast. Chicago will be on October 8th while the Marine Corps is scheduled for October 29th.

Chicago is to be treated as the last "20 mile" of a training session leading the way into the Marine Corps. Those are the leading theories on how to approach 2 close marathons anyway.

I had 6 weeks between Berlin and NYC. I applied that same theory , however, the oppressive heat was an issue at NYC and I was also getting hammered legally at the time. I recognized the heat issue too late into that NYC Marathon.

Running Chicago now also clears the way for me in the Fall of 2024 to concentrate on my rematch with NYC since I am almost finished qualifying for that one. I like the idea of pairing that one with Montreal in September 2024.

Chicago is 12 hours from me and I believe I'm going to drive and break it up over 2 days. These October Marathons are not going to be vacations. I have 5 days for Chicago and 4 for Marine Corps since that drive is much shorter at 5 hours for me.

I was sitting on a bus waiting to go back to my hotel after the Philadelphia Marathon 2019. This woman sitting next to me said she had just run Berlin and she was chasing the Abbott's. That is where my chase of the Abbott's was born, lol.
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#71: June 09, 2023, 02:57:02 AM
I’m going to try and do Tokyo too!
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#72: June 11, 2023, 06:53:36 PM
Hopefully Lady Luck will be on our side come August Biscuit. I finished week 5, On The Road to Chicago, with 42 miles on Friday. I had to change the title from, On The Road to the Marine Corps Marathon.

I wanted to free my weekend from running and kickboxing, which I don't talk about much, but I'm still there 4 days a week. Saturday I went hiking because it's been awhile.

For hiking in NJ one must be on the road early for parking. So if the sun is shining through your morning blinds then you're already running late, lol. I was on the trail by 7am and enjoyed the early morning cool mountain crispness.

This was the 3rd time I've done this course and it was challenging as the ascent was a workout. The summit views are worth the hike as they overlook the Delaware River.

As I walked I could see two deer running through the woods as I stood still on the path. They exited the woods and basically stood right in front of me and allowed me to take a photo.

Today I went kayaking on the Mullica River and the water levels were low since there has been no rain here so I may have been a bit frustrated with being caught on so many exposed fallen trees in the water.

I did see a humongous snapping turtle which was sunbathing however it took the plunge as I approached. That turtle was just massive and did not want to be photoed.

Someone did point out a Northern Water Snake posing on a log and that one had no issue with photography. My shoulders were tired after 5 hours of paddling.

Mountain Laurel was exploding at both locations. The guide today said we were just past peak season by about two weeks.

Back to the grind tomorrow to kick off week 6 for Chicago.
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#73: June 16, 2023, 06:37:18 PM
Week #6 for Chicago will close out tomorrow with 42 miles and roughly 960 miles overall for 2023. I have a 10k race in the morning prior to work. I will have 21 weeks of training, at 40+ miles per week, for the Chicago Marathon I noticed.

This week was kind of a slog for running. A lot of just get it done. I'm also closing in on my next benchmark of 1,000 classes at kickboxing.

On Wednesday night I ran a 5k with about 600 runners. I've run this course now 4 times with the first being in 2018. It's a relatively flat course with one hill and I set a new personal best with a 7:45 pace.

So I keep breaking all my times here in 2023. Tomorrow is a NY race which usually has 5,500 runners. However, this is one of their marquee runs so maybe closer to 10,000. This will be my first time running this qualifier for the 2024 NYC Marathon entry.
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#74: June 18, 2023, 06:21:09 AM
Yesterday there were 11,500 runners for a 10k. The course was crowded and narrow and was run in a park setting with temps in the 60's on an overcast day. The overcast helped however I was still drenched since the humidity was most likely high.

I still don't understand how I am coming across walkers whom are placed in a higher corral then me. I really shouldn't be coming across any walkers since our corral assignments are based on previous runs. So some running on grass was required to get around those folk.

I just went with the flow of the crowd and felt comfortable throughout the race while breaking my previous 10k best time by two minutes. I knew the other night that I would not be able to maintain that 7:45 pace. I opened that first mile at 7:30 and I really felt that exertion throughout. I felt incredibly heated.

Yesterday I was comfortable finishing at 8:30. I hit a couple of low 8's and could have easily maintained that pace if it needed to be extended to a half marathon which would have equated to a 1:44:00 half. There was really no way for me to push into the 7's since the field was so crowded.

So that leaves me with needing 2 more races and 1 volunteer spot with NYRR to qualify for the 2024 NYC Marathon. I have a 4 mile race next Sunday with NYRR so it should be in the 10,000 runner range again.

I also have Zach Williams rescheduled concert that night. I don't want to make a long day of it however I also don't want to commute twice to NYC on the same day because weekend traffic is really horrendous if it's not 6am, lol.
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#75: September 21, 2023, 06:33:57 AM
I wonder if the walkers lied about their previous times to get put in a higher corral....

How's your running going anyway?
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#76: September 21, 2023, 09:31:25 AM
Hi UrsaMajor,

One year ago I landed in Berlin and today is also the Berlin Marathon Expo 2023. The year went fast. I am on the Chicago Marathon countdown at 17 days left to go with the Marine Corps Marathon to follow at 38 days.

Well the Summer was hot and humid and we finally have cooler running temps with some days shockingly in the 50's. I think I've dropped close to 20lbs over the Summer which I wasn't looking to do.

I am currently sitting around 1,575 miles run thus far in 2023 which is a new record for me and I also set a monthly record in August at 225 miles.

I just finished my last 20 mile run on Saturday which was all kinds of boring however I followed it up with a 10 mile race on Sunday and finished with my best 10 mile time amongst 13,000 runners so I think I'm ready for Chicago on October 8th.

That Sunday race also guaranteed my entry into the 2024 New York City Marathon. I just have to complete my volunteer spot at the 2023 NYC Marathon.

I applied to the 2024 Tokyo Marathon in August and will know sometime in October if I have been accepted. Meanwhile, the Tokyo Marathon also has a virtual half marathon competition for entry into the 2025 Tokyo Marathon.

These are a series of 8 virtual half marathons of which I have completed the first two. I figured I'm already doing the mileage anyway. So after each race there are 50 winners selected via lottery and they each win an entry for the 2025 Tokyo Marathon.

I did not win the first time and I will find out the results for race #2 next week. Worldwide there are only 2,200 participants so I like the odds of 50 runners winning entry.

Once I complete Chicago Marathon the Abbott Organization will enter me in their separate lottery for both Tokyo and Boston so this will become a third avenue for me.

I also applied for two charities thus far for Boston 2024 and I'm awaiting their decision. I may apply for a third however it's recommended to stick with two because then it looks like you are shopping for an entry which I'm obviously doing anyway, lol, so I don't get the recommendation.

Anyway I placed two good bids and hopefully one will be accepted. I have to be aggressive with Boston because this will be the most difficult one for me to get into, if I can even get into it. Their fundraising is insane.

I cannot make any Spring Marathon plans until I hear back from Tokyo and Boston which are run in March and April. Maybe I will apply for Berlin again. Their lottery should be opening soon for 2024.

I saw Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, Godsmack and Disturbed. I've seen Dierks and Eric Church 3 times now and all four acts are really must see. I was completely blown away with Godsmack. I would see them and Disturbed again.

I'm only going to be in Chicago over the Columbus 4 day weekend. They say it could be anywhere from 40° to 80°. I have an 8 am start so it should be cooler temps for me. All of my other marathons started roughly at 11am. I've never been to Chicago so we will see if I can figure it out.

Enjoy your day
Thank you
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#77: September 22, 2023, 03:17:04 AM
Chicago in the last week of September can be anywhere between -20 and +90  I think... and windy.... I went to Navy Boot Camp in Great Lakes (about an hour north of Chicago) so got to experience the weather.....

Good Luck on the Lotteries...
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#78: October 03, 2023, 10:31:38 PM
Good luck on the upcoming marathon Watcher!  You are very inspiring.  I'm still dealing with planter fasciitis, so trying to figure out what kind of exercises I can do has been tough.
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#79: October 05, 2023, 05:54:20 AM
Hi FaithWalker, Ursa Major

The temps are going to range between 45°-55° with the sun out so those are ideal running conditions for Sunday. There will be 47,000 runners and someone will be the one millionth Chicago Marathon all time finisher.

The Chicago Marathon Expo opened today and I probably should have went sooner but I don't depart until tomorrow. I just have my usual apprehension about the train system but I'm sure it will be fine. I'm going directly to the expo to get my bib from O'Hare Airport. Getting the race bib is always anxiety issue #2.

My hotel is four miles away from the expo and I may just walk back and sightsee along Lake Michigan and thru Grant Park as the temps will be in the 60's. I'm confident about finding the hotel so no concern on that one. I also can take the Red Line if I so need.

With the race bib secure I can then explore on Saturday, ala Sanssouci Palace, just without the Sanssouci Palace, lol. Next time 2 days in Potsdam Watcher.

Or like Hadrian"s Wall. No Hadrian"s Wall in Chicago I think. A vandal chopped down the Sycamore Gap tree. Very sad to see. I did get to see it when I went last Spring. Next time I will do Hadrian's Wall on my own.

My hotel is two miles away from the start line at Grant Park so I think I will walk to it Sunday morning as a warmup.

I have more time to explore after the race on Sunday and most of Monday before I return. I did finish 20 weeks at 40-50 miles run per week and the last two weeks I have been tapering with just 30 miles run in total.

I ran a half marathon in the heat on Sunday and did very well and now I am just ready to finish the marathon.

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#80: October 05, 2023, 07:55:49 AM
Best of luck Watcher, I'm sure you'll smash it
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#81: October 10, 2023, 04:36:40 PM
Hi Biscuit,

Things ran smoothly. I went to the expo straight from the airport and had no issues with the train. Luckily I ordered my pass ahead of time since the lines were long to purchase one. The expo was crazy crowded and I would have rather skipped it however that was the only way to get your race bib and shirt.

Race day was a cold 46° with no sun at all. I wore a winter hat and gloves. My walk to the start line was 2 miles from my hotel at 6am and the walking crowd grew as we walked down the Magnificent Mile.

I went through security and was in my corral by 7:15am so I had plenty of time for my 8am start which had a 7:45am corral closure.

I believe 48,500 runners were announced. The course was wide and I never felt crowded. They did use water cups at this race and I believe I liked the London water bottles method instead. If one did have a bottle then the volunteers were able to fill it.

They also had Biofreeze stations. Most of the stations had large bottles , sort of like hand sanitizer, and one applied it themselves. However, around mile 22 they had an actual pitstop where they just sprayed your legs down and that felt so good.

My stomach was acting up in the 20's. Maybe I had too much sodium intake between the gels, Gatorade, and these sodium gummies that were handed out at the expo. I barely was able to eat a banana at that point.

The official results had me 8 minutes ahead of my London time through 35K. I knew I was running too fast. At one point my Garmin read 24.75 miles run and I was excited it was almost over. However, I then noticed my first mile marker and it read mile 24 and I was like WTF.

Apparently the Garmin screwed up because I replicated the problem the next day while walking. Some people say the tall buildings run interference. Anyway I was deflated because here I now had another mile to run. So the final 3 miles had me finishing 8 minutes off of my London time.

It probably took me an hour to walk back to my hotel and I was cold. The usual hypothermia set in after I took off my wet clothes and my stomach emptied itself out. Something about taking off wet clothes and the air hitting exposed skin.They do act as a barrier against the air until taken off.

I did walk 25 miles on Friday and Saturday so I was indoors by 2pm on Saturday because I thought I walked to much. I ended up with 40 walking miles over the weekend.

Downtown Chicago was very nice, as well as, the Navy Pier, Grant Park, Wrigley Field, Soldier Field, Buckingham Fountain, Millennium Park and McCormick Place.

So 4 World Majors are completed and I have to wait on the final two for acceptance. I am walking fine and just have typical leg muscle soreness and my right ankle needs to adjust itself.

I have the Marine Corps Marathon in 3 weeks so hopefully I will be healed up and ready to go.

Thanks
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#82: October 11, 2023, 12:42:07 AM
Your Garmin was a victim of what is called "Multi-Path Interference".... It is, as you were told, caused by GPS signals bouncing off and between large buildings in big cities giving an inaccuracy to GPS positioning by up to about 1 km spherical. It is a real pain in the "sit bones" with respect to navigation unless GPS is combined with Mapping. One way to minimize it is to have devices that use other SatNav systems (like Galileo) in conjunction with GPS as the frequencies of the systems are different so that the reflection/refraction characteristics are different and can be used to "correct" each other....

Your Rocket Science lesson for the day <snort>
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#83: October 24, 2023, 09:23:40 AM
Hi UrsaMajor,

Runners had similar Garmin complaints about London with the satellite interference. My Garmin stats did not save for London while Chicago clocked me running at 36 mph at one point, lol. I wish.

This weekend is going to be too hot for the Marine Corps Marathon. I think this is going to be a repeat of the NYC Marathon in 2022 with the heat and humidity. So I believe I will be running slow.

I have an 8am start with temps at 62° and 91% humidity. Temperatures will rise to 77° and humidity will level out around 70% by noon so that doesn't sound good. People have also commented on how there is absolutely no shade on this course.

I started NYC at 11am so hopefully the 3 hour earlier start will help. The start/finish is in Arlington, VA and that's where I am staying while the expo is in Maryland at the National Harbor so I have to figure out how I'm getting to it. The trains look easy enough actually.

The train to Eisenhower Station with a free shuttle to the expo seems to be the way to go. I have to plan my logistics before the expo on Friday. I prefer to knock it out Friday and have an easy day Saturday.

I'm driving to this one since it's only four hours away for me. The 2020 medallion had Iwo Jima sand in it and this one opens up and has dog tags inside. Very cool looking in military green.

This is not a World Major so I can only guess at 20,000 runners participating. IDK, maybe I will be surprised by the turnout.

I didn't have much time to plan for this one. I ran two weeks at 30 miles each and my legs feel fine. I probably went to kickboxing 8 or 9 times since Chicago in addition.

I will be around 1,750 miles run after this one and I may try to reach 2,000 miles to finish out the year.

I was also reading that I am grandfathered in with these 6 World Majors so I will not have to worry about chasing any new ones that are added in 2025 like they are planning. I'm still working on Tokyo and Boston so I have no Spring Marathon planned yet.
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#84: October 24, 2023, 02:05:18 PM
8am start sounds good!

You’re not driving the 4 hours the morning of the race I hope?

Best of luck!
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#85: October 31, 2023, 05:14:59 PM
Hi Biscuit,

On Friday I arrived at the National Harbor in Maryland for the expo to retrieve my race bib. It was a very nice location.

On Saturday I did a walking tour of all the pertinent monuments in Washington DC. The Jefferson Memorial, the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, U.S. Capitol, Grant Memorial, WW2 Memorial and the White House, etc....

Unless one was going inside the White House to visit I would recommend not to go bother looking as it's on lockdown and no decent photo of it was attainable. I walked roughly 13 miles.

On Sunday I left my hotel at 6am for a 35 minute walk to the race. A woman outside the hotel stopped me and asked if she could walk with me and of course I said yes knowing she probably didn't want to walk alone in the dark.

She was a first time marathoner from Florida and she marveled that I was running number 8, lol. Hmm, she asked if my wife was running with me and I replied, I don't have one of those. She mentioned at some point that she had an ex, lol.

So we arrived safely at the venue and talked the entire way about running and hiking, because she asked me what other things I liked to do. She had just hiked the Shenandoah.

She stayed by my side until the start at 7:55am and thanked me profusely for walking with her and making her feel comfortable about the race while answering her questions.

She did invite me to dinner for being a gracious host with her three girlfriends afterwards but I told her she really would have to see how she felt afterwards. I told her I'm usually knocked out for a few hours easily. I think she was just being nice.

So the race started and we went our separate ways. The course was beautiful and the spectators were great as well as the Marines throughout the course.

I ran a very good half marathon and I was happy at the midway point. I did pass a Marine band playing the Halls of Montezuma and I wanted to stop and take a photo but I didn't so that was a regret. After all I'm not in any contention to win so I should have stopped.

There was a section called the blue mile. The first half of it was large photos of service members who have been killed. I don't remember any people being in that section. Just the photos. It was absolutely the quietist section of the marathon and how could it not leave its impact.

Immediately upon emerging from that half mile stood their family members cheering on the runners and waving their flags. That was the blue mile. Just an incredible stretch along the route.

So after 13 miles I knew I had to shut it down. It was incredibly hot and humid. People were dropping all around. I think I saw one runner in cardiac arrest and responders were begging for water from the runners as we passed the scene. They were just throwing water on the guy.

The race temps started at 65° and probably reached into the 70's. It was mostly cloudy but the sun opened up around mile 20 and it was just brutal. I noticed a tremendous amount of people struggling after mile 20 and many vomiting.

I struggled through the 20's but I finished. I was glad that I finished but I wasn't really thrilled about my time since I had just completed two good runs at London and Chicago.

So I had a lot of doubt about myself on the drive home on Monday because it felt like a step backwards.

However, I was reading online today how the organizers closed the marathon down early because of all the heat related issues. I didn't know that they stopped people from running and apparently I had made it through the emergency shutdown cutoff.

Some people were upset because they weren't allowed to finish the race while others reported what I had seen with my own eyes with the deteriorating conditions.

Today I am just grateful that I finished and really could care less about my time. I did have my medallion presented to me by a Marine at the finish line so it was mission accomplished.

I will reevaluate things over the next few days. The heat and humidity were brutal. I also think I ran Chicago and the Marine Corps Marathons too closely together.

Sunday will be the NYC Marathon but I'm just volunteering for that one.

So that was Marathon #8.
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#86: November 01, 2023, 03:16:09 AM
Washington, DC... where the temperature and humidity race to see which one can hit 100 first....

In those conditions, finishing can be considered a win....
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#87: November 01, 2023, 04:58:22 AM
I arrived in DC on Monday and was shocked at how warm it was for the end of October. Cold front came in at night and Tuesday was back to seasonal on Tuesday. Too late for the marathon, but I’m glad you paced yourself and were able to finish!
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#88: December 16, 2023, 07:08:57 PM
Hi UrsaMajor, Johnny Bravo.

I have been dealing with a sore ankle for about a month which I am slowly recovering from so my running has been limited a bit. I am at around 1,850 miles for 2023.

I have to think long term so I won't push onwards to 2,000 miles and will settle around 1,900+. I finished my 4th qualifying attempt for the 2025 Tokyo Marathon meanwhile I have not heard a word from this charity regarding the Boston Marathon for 2024.

So I still have no marathon planned yet for the Spring, however, I have a few back up choices. I am registered for Montreal and New York City Marathons in the Fall.

I received a letter from her real estate attorney and they want us to settle this escrow account where they withheld money from the home sale 18 months ago. They threatened to send it to family court ,minus attorney fees, if we both don't reply.

So I will either receive my share or it will just be lost money as I have no intention of going to her favored family court over it. They withheld her address because she is the victim ,of course, and they used the wrong name for me in an attempt to emasculate me because I'm male.  ::) So I replied just to ensure my name is properly endorsed on the returned monies.

The second notice I received was actually from her favored family court and it dealt with the termination of CS. Now I received a text, a voicemail and a mailed letter and it's all BS really just to poke me because ,again, I'm the male in this story.

The current order expires in March 2024 and she can re apply, and will be granted an extension, so why bother to notify me. I already know how it works, therefore, CS is really not being terminated in March 2024 as they claim.

She will get the extension and it will be terminated finally in March 2026. So I will humor the court and not be shocked when we go through this dog and pony show again in March 2024 with the court threats etc.....as what happened in Oct 2022.

Supposedly HER son should be a junior in college however it's really not about a degree for the court. It's about that magical age of 23. A degree does not matter, which I am fine with, because I'm on countdown mode to this being over for good.

The funniest remark on this court notice dealt with extending CS beyond the age of 23 if I were receptive in doing so. They would help me with filing the necessary paperwork. LMAO....

Why on earth would I pay CS to infinity and beyond ? LOL ...I have 3 marathons in 2024 and 3 marathons in 2025 and then CS is done. ;D
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#89: December 18, 2023, 03:05:31 AM
Another one for the "You couldn't make this $#!t up if you tried" file.....  ::)
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#90: January 05, 2024, 12:04:51 PM
Happy New Year UrsaMajor.

Well the escrow check was finally disbursed after 18 months. I wasn't sure who exactly held the escrow money because there were 5 different law firms involved. (2 divorce and 3 real estate) I thought my divorce attorney held it but apparently it was one of the real estate attorneys.

So now I await The Ides of March.

I finished 2023 with just over 1,900 miles on 245 runs. Apparently my ankle has been acting up like it's 51 all of a sudden. I bested my previous high of 1,400 miles from 2022 while I added 157 kickboxing classes to the mix.

I still have to pick a Spring Marathon and was interested in Virginia Beach however I don't believe I will be ready for it on St Patrick's Day weekend so I think I will hold off until May and find another one to give myself more time to prepare.

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#91: January 06, 2024, 08:08:18 PM
Wow, that is a ton of mileage!  WTG.  I hope your ankle starts to feel better asap!

I'm glad the escrow check was disbursed.
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#92: January 17, 2024, 08:02:47 PM
Hi FaithWalker.

I noticed tonight we have gained 45 minutes of daylight in the Northeast as we march towards Spring. Now it gets dark at 5:15pm. It is bitter cold at the moment.

January and February are the worse months to run. Yesterday was an ice run in the rain. I ran only 83 miles in November when my ankle flared up followed by 97 in December. I'm on pace for 125 in January so I think it's improving.

I picked a late marathon in May at Buffalo to give myself extra time to prepare for it. I have my 5th attempt at Tokyo 2025 coming up in a couple of weeks.

Montreal is in September and New York City, November, however I haven't made any plans yet for the 3 scheduled marathons.
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#93: January 17, 2024, 11:33:56 PM
We had an ice storm yesterday here too. Where I am got a little but the areas around got about 1/2" of ice...... Today, I decided to take public transport instead of my bicycle to work. It snowed last night but there are icy patches underneath the snow.....
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Me - 60, xW - 54
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
S - 16, D - 12
1 Dog
BD#1 - August 2015
Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
House sold & separated - Mar 2016
Divorce final 30 August 2019
Moved on in life

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A "friend" will not "stand by you" no matter what you do. That is NOT a friend. That is an enabler. That is an accomplice.
A REAL friend will sit you down and tell you to your face to stop being a firetrucking idiot before you ruin your life and the lives of those around you.

M
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#94: January 18, 2024, 11:16:06 AM
I continue to be impressed with your running.  Fast walking is the best I can do.  Also, biking to work. Impressive!!
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There is almost something harder about someone being alive and having to lose what you believed to be true of them than someone actually dying.

Indefatigability - determined to do or achieve something; firmness of purpose
perspicacity- a clarity of vision or intellect which provides a deep understanding and insight

Married July 1991
Jan 2018 BD1 moved out I filed for Div/ H stopped it
Oct 2018 moved back
Oct 2020 BD2
Feb 2021 Div-29 1/2 years
July 2021 Married OW
Feb 2022  XH fired
May 2023 went NC after telling XH we could not be friends
Aug 2023 XH moves w/o OWife

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#95: January 19, 2024, 09:01:21 PM
Yeah running in icy months, yikes.  I did download the Couch 2 5k app again, but then I forgot I've been dealing with planter fasciitis and I'm afraid it might flare up again.  Guess I'll start with walking and see how it goes.
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Survival Instructions for Newbies

The Apology Every LBS Deserves

My Journey

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass - it's about learning to dance in the rain."

"Don't become a container for bitterness.  It's a toxin that destroys what it's carried in."

W
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#96: January 31, 2024, 09:04:08 AM
Hi UrsaMajor, Madluv, FaithWalker.

January has been defeated and now only February remains, lol. I finished January with 125 miles on 22 outdoor runs and added 16 gym classes. My ankle seems to have responded well with the increased workload.

There hasn't been much snow yet. It's mostly been rain and ice with gray clouds and no sun. I will target 150 miles for February as I continue to increase the mileage each month leading to the Buffalo Marathon in late May.

I should have roughly 800 miles for that race. I also completed my 5th qualifier for the 2025 Tokyo Marathon and will now await those results.
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#97: February 15, 2024, 04:39:01 PM
Wow that's a lot of miles for a non-runner like myself.  Still having some on again off again issues with my plantar fasciitis, no bueno.
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Survival Instructions for Newbies

The Apology Every LBS Deserves

My Journey

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass - it's about learning to dance in the rain."

"Don't become a container for bitterness.  It's a toxin that destroys what it's carried in."

W
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#98: March 11, 2024, 08:40:34 PM
Hi FaithWalker,

Our daylight hours are now up to 7:15pm with the help of moving the clocks to spring forward. I finished February with 150 miles run and now March will be extended to 175 miles. So far I have run 330 miles in 2024.

I am 125 miles behind last year's pace as the ankle slowed me down in January to start the year.

Yesterday I ran my first race of the year on rolling country hills. This was my 43rd half marathon and I finished under two hours so I was happy with the results.

I won 9 of the 13 miles based on my own personal goals. Someone was talking to me midway during the race so I lost that mile due to being forced to be social and I slowed down considerably over the final 3 miles as the hills took their toll on my lower back.

It was cold and windy. I wore shorts but I'm still bundled up for winter otherwise and I look forward to shedding the weighted clothing soon when the temperatures finally rise.

I can run in shorts with no problem as it allows the heat to escape but I have to wear a winter hat, gloves and hoodie still at this point because that's where I'm coldest.

I finally completed 40+ miles for the first time last week and now have 10 more weeks at 40+ miles per week until the Buffalo Marathon.

I really haven't run competitively since October because my ankle started bothering me in November so yesterday was a good test just to see if I could still run, lol. Oh runners believe they can actually forget how to run. True story. So I passed that mental hurdle.
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« Last Edit: March 11, 2024, 08:45:47 PM by Watcher »

 

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