Boston Marathon Preview

BostonHeader

THE 118th BOSTON MARATHON

It is unfortunate that it took an act of extreme violence to put a spotlight on our sport. With that being said, this year’s Boston will be special. Not only that, a premium elite field, a cloudy day, moderate temperatures and a SSW wind will make for fast running. Here are a few athletes to watch:

Ryan Hall

Ryan Hall – The Comeback Kid

Ryan Hall

All eyes will be on Ryan Hall. He hasn’t finished a marathon in a long time. However, he claims to be in great shape and injury-free. While nobody can discount what Hall has already accomplished, this will be a defining moment in his career. Who is going to show up for the race – the Ryan Hall who ran under 2:05 in Boston in 2011 or the Ryan Hall who has struggled to finish races for the last several years? I’m betting on the former. In the past, Hall has been impulsive at Boston. However, he is older now (and presumably smarter). He will be in the mix late and I expect him to snag a podium spot.

Meb Keflezighi - The Ageless Wonder

Meb Keflezighi – The Ageless Wonder

Meb Keflezighi

Meb ran a 1:01:23 half in Houston in January and a 1:02:53 half in NYC in March. You can count on Meb giving a 110% effort and he will run a typical Meb race. In other words, don’t expect him to go out with the lead pack and don’t expect any 14:30 5k splits in the middle of his race. With that being said, he will be solid, and even at 38 years young, he still has a shot at being the top American.

Shalane Flanagan - The Hometown Hero

Shalane Flanagan – The Hometown Hero

Shalane Flanagan

There are 15 women in the race who have run a faster marathon than Flanagan – she needs it to be a strategic race. If the women’s race goes out at 2:20/2:21 marathon pace, which is possible, Flanagan will have to make a really quick decision: Go or stay back. As Mo Farah learned in London, when you elect to stay back, you just might become a spectator.

Shalane has taken the weight of the world on her shoulders with this one. She needs to be smart and stay focused. Her 10,000m/half marathon speed is comparable to the other women in the race. If she is in the mix late, she will have a legitimate shot at a podium spot.

Mike Wardian - Ultra Boston Strong

Mike Wardian – Ultra Boston Strong

Mike Wardian

Mike Wardian just turned 40 and will be competing in the Masters Division at Boston. Mike is best known for… well, I guess it depends who you ask. He has a 2:17 marathon PR. He has run 6:42 for 100 kilometers. He is a former world record holder for the marathon while pushing a jogging stroller (2:42:21). He is a former world record holder for the treadmill marathon (2:23:58). He is also a former world record holder for the marathon while dressed as a superhero (Spiderman: 2:34:56).

Better yet, check out his racing schedule from March 2008:

March 2: 2:55:05 USA 50-K Championships
March 9: 2:34:46 Lower Potomac River Marathon
March 15: 2:24:55 Shamrock Marathon
March 29: 2:24:59 SunTrust National Marathon
March 30: 2:29:49 Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon

Team Hoyt - A Final Hurrah

Team Hoyt – A Final Hurrah

Team Hoyt

Dick and Rick Hoyt have done over 1100 races together. They ran their first Boston Marathon in 1981. Dick is now 73 years old and he has said this will be his last Boston. The goal this year is to finish. Rick isn’t done yet. He will complete in more Bostons with another member of Team Hoyt. Rick said, “[His decision] was not surprising at all. My dad is getting older. My dad has meant a lot to me because he was always willing to push me and never said no.” Team Hoyt is as tied to Boston as Bill Rodgers and Joan Benoit Samuelson. Even when they’re not at the starting line together, they will always be part of the race.

The 315ers

The 315ers

The 315ers

Sure, it’s not exactly Boulder or Flagstaff, but Central New York can run! Here are five local guys headed to Boston:

Jared Burdick Bib No. 43
Fred Joslyn Bib No. 105
Chris Raulli Bib No. 213
Nick Bedbury Bib No. 272
Juan Martinez Bib No. 464

Could Syracuse/CNY put five guys in the top 150? Stranger things have happened!

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There is still time to enter my Boston Marathon Prize Giveaway!!

Do you know people racing on Monday?

Have a great weekend!!

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Indecision.

WhichSinglet

I’ve always been very indecisive when selecting running shoes. I’ll take weeks or even months to search for the perfect pair. I thought my indecision was limited to shoes… I was wrong.

I’ve been trying to pick out a new racing singlet – some of my older ones are a little worse for wear. Here are the factors I’m considering for a new singlet:

1) fit
2) function
3) style
4) cost

So this should be easy, right? It’s just a shirt, what’s the big deal?

AndyTheOffice

Is it just a shirt? IS IT?!

Anyhow, these are the three I’m considering:

The North Face Better Than Naked Singlet

The North Face Better Than Naked Singlet

Pros:
- extremely light and breathable
- flatlock seams
- nice colors

Cons:
- it fit a little big
- a little more expensive than the others

New Balance Impact Singlet

New Balance Impact Singlet

Pros:
- New Balance “Icefil” technology, which allegedly creates a cooling effect
- breathable
- the cheapest option
- nice colors

Cons:
- some chafing concerns

2XU Tech Speed X Run Singlet

2XU Tech Speed X Run Singlet

Pros:
- 2XU Ice X material, which allegedly creates a cooling effect
- flatlock seams
- nice colors
- UPF 50+ sun protection

Cons:
- I’ve never worn anything by 2XU
- there are lots of seams
- it feels a little heavier than the others

Help

I have some questions for you!

Have you ever worn clothing that is supposed to provide some type of cooling effect (e.g. Icefil, Ice X, etc.)? Does it work?

Have you ever worn anything by 2XU? How is the functionality? Quality?

Do you obsess over racing attire?

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The North Face singlet is available at Running Warehouse.

The New Balance singlet is available at Zappos by clicking below:

The 2XU singlet is available at Running Warehouse.

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Taking A Day Off

Me, On My Day Off

Me, On My Day Off

Hi, my name is Jason, and yesterday, I took a day off from running. I’d run every day since March 9th. I’m not a run-streaker per se, but I rarely take days off. Even when I know I could use one, it’s not an easy decision. However, I’d been thinking about a day off for a while and Mother Nature decided to take the matter out of my hands. Yesterday’s rainy, snowy, windy, freezing mess was the perfect excuse to take a day. The truth is, it wasn’t so bad. I went to Strong Hearts for lunch, drank a little extra coffee and did a little reading. While I was in Strong Hearts, I was reading this month’s issue of Ultrarunning. Specifically, I was reading about the Beast of Burden Ultra. At that very moment, The Rolling Stones came on – you guessed it: Beast of Burden (you can’t make this stuff up). Now, I’m not one to believe in signs, but WOW. Anyhow, the world didn’t end and I’ll be back at it today. Hopefully, my legs will be fresh and I can pick up where I left off!

Me, On My Second Day Off

Me, On My Second Day Off

Fortunately, I’ve been pretty healthy of late *knock on wood* and I haven’t had any injuries *knock on wood* – it is much harder to handle a second day off…

Me, On My Third Day Off

Me, On My Third Day Off

And a third? Let’s not even go there.

How often do you take a day off from working out?

How do you handle it?

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Altra Superior 1.5 Review

Altra Superior 1.5

This is the first zero-drop shoe that I’ve ever tried (the heel and forefoot are the same distance from the ground). However, in the past, I’ve worn several pairs with a 4mm drop and this didn’t feel that much different. In fact, I think you could adapt to these pretty quickly, particularly on a trail surface.

Altra Superior 1.5 Top

When I first looked at them, I thought they looked ridiculously wide. Rest assured, they are not. In fact, when I put them on, I found them to have a slipper-like feel that was rather nice. They weren’t too wide at all, although I’d say they are pretty comparable to a 2E width in other shoes. Also, I think they fit just a tiny bit on the small size with regard to length. I’m not sure if you would have to size up or not, I think it would depend on the individual wearer.

Altra Superior 1.5 Side

Both the heel and the forefoot measure 18mm – a zero drop.

These shoes weigh about 11.5 oz (size 10). This seems proportional to what you get with the shoe in terms of features.

Altra Superior 1.5 Bottom

There is a decent tread on the bottom but nothing amazing. It would certainly be suitable for most trail surfaces. I didn’t have an opportunity to try them on a wet surface, but I got the impression they might be a little slippery. Finally, there is a removable “Stone Guard.” This is nice, as several comparable shoes have opted to go without any type of rock plate.

Pros:

- they have a very comfortable fit
- they felt very well-made
- they have a removable rock plate
- they now come with a gaiter trap

Cons:

- this is an update to Altra’s “performance trail shoe” – with that being said, I think anything over 11 oz is too heavy for racing
- not really a con, but zero-drop does take some getting used to – therefore, this isn’t a shoe that you can purchase and race in next week

The Altra Superior 1.5 is currently available at Running Warehouse for $105.

The Altra Superior 1.5 is currently available at Zappos:

Aster at ShopStyle

Glo at ShopStyle

The Altra Superior 1.5 is also currently available at Amazon:

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Weekend Recap

The London Marathon

Wilson Kipsang and Edna Kiplagat Win The London Marathon

Wilson Kipsang and Edna Kiplagat Win The London Marathon

The London Marathon was Sunday morning. In the men’s race, Wilson Kipsang pulled away and won a race that was never really in doubt. His winning time of 2:04:27 set a course record, but missed his own world record by over a minute. The women’s race was much more exciting, as Edna Kiplagat and Florence Kiplagat took it right to the wire. Edna won by three seconds and Tirunesh Dibaba was fourteen seconds back of first. Dibaba, making her marathon debut, stopped near the 30km mark to pick up a water bottle she dropped. It may have cost her the race. When asked after the race how the marathon is different than track, Dibaba stated, “It is more kilometers.”

Mo Having Fun During The London Marathon/ Mo Not Having Fun During The London Marathon

Mo Having Fun During The London Marathon/ Mo Not Having Fun During The London Marathon

Prior to the race, Mo Farah elected to run in a chase pack. He seemed to have some difficulty with pacers during the race (they may have gotten too far in front of him) and he also had issues hanging onto water bottles. After the race, perhaps slightly humbled, Mo indicated this would not be his last marathon. He finished in 8th place in 2:08:21.

The Rotterdam Marathon

Eliud Kipchoge Wins The Rotterdam Marathon

Eliud Kipchoge Wins The Rotterdam Marathon

Eliud Kipchoge, the pre-race favorite, won in Rotterdam in 2:05:00. His hope for a course record (and a world record) were dashed early on, as Mother Nature was uncooperative. His 2:05:00 in windy conditions may have been the most impressive (and least discussed) performance of the weekend.

The Lake Sonoma 50

Zach Miller Leads/Sage Canaday, Chris Vargo and Rob Krar In The Chase Pack

I love when ultras have close finishes, and Lake Sonoma did not dissapoint. Zach Miller (winner of the JFK 50) went out hard and Sage Canaday and Rob Krar were in pursuit much of the day. With three miles to go, Zach still had a three minute lead over Sage and a five minute lead over Rob. It started to slip, as Sage and Rob also raced each other, but there simply wasn’t enough real estate and Zach hung on.

Lake Sonoma 50 Results:
Zach Miller 6:11:10
Rob Krar 6:12:14
Sage Canaday 6:12:58

As Ultra Runner Podcast pointed out, “cruise ship kid Zach Miller” is now “that kid’s a badass Zach Miller” – needless to say, he won’t be sneaking up on anyone from here on out.

Emily Harrison In Record-Breaking Form

Emily Harrison In Record-Breaking Form

In the women’s race at Lake Sonoma, Emily Harrison was also rather badass. She set the course record in 7:26:15.

Lake Sonoma 50 Results:
Emily Harrison 7:26:15
Stephanie Howe 7:33:24
Kaci Lickteig 7:37:42

Two Things To Watch:

1) Will Zach Miller run Western States? If he does, can he beat Rob Krar for a third time in a row?
2) Kaci Lickteig has dominated many smaller ultras over the last two years – and now she has finished 2nd at Rocky Raccoon and 3rd at Lake Sonoma – both in competetive fields. Is a major win next?

Did you race this weekend? How did it go?

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Must Love Jogs: The Celebrity Edition

Sometimes, people find my blog just by searching “jogs” – obviously, I had to give it a try! I typed it into Google, and sure enough, there I was (on page 5). It wasn’t nearly as exciting as I thought it would be. I wasn’t deterred though. I hopped on over to Google Images and tried again. Things. Just. Got. Interesting. It turns out that lots of celebrities jog! Let’s go over some of the results, shall we?

Chris Martin Jogs

Chris Martin Jogs

Chris Martin has been in the news a bit lately. He is in the middle of an unusual divorce, and as we all know, hitting a few miles is one of the best ways to relieve stress. Let me be the first to say, I’m not at all surprised that Chris is an Asics kind of guy.

Calista Flockhart Jogs

Calista Flockhart Jogs

Calista Flockhart turns 50 this year – 50! I’m pretty sure she could still get lost in a crowd of college students… why? Because she jogs! Duh!

Claire Danes Jogs

Claire Danes Jogs

Claire Danes is great. Who doesn’t love Claire Danes? Here, she’s sporting her North Face tights and Saucony kicks. While many of these other “stars” were prancing around LA, Claire was doing her thing in NYC, polar vortex and all! Something tells me she is a regular jogger!

Kelly Ripa Jogs

Kelly Ripa Jogs

We’ve all had that awkward race photo that doesn’t come out quite right. It doesn’t matter how fast you are or how good looking you are… If you get caught at that moment, well, you get the idea.

Matthew McConaughey Jogs

Matthew McConaughey Jogs

So, this came up in the search results. I think Matt is probably still just warming up. Or something. Let’s put it this way – if they ever make a sequel to Failure to Launch, it could be about Matt’s running career.

Mario Lopez Jogs

Mario Lopez Jogs

Whoa. I was pretty amazed by this picture so I did a little research and found Mario’s morning workout schedule:

4:00 Kale/Chia smoothie
5:00 1000 pushups (on knuckles)
6:00 run 8 miles
7:00 lift weights
8:00 1000 one-armed pushups (each side)
9:00 run 8 miles
10:00 lift weights
11:00 two protein shakes

In all seriousness, Mario has run 4:23:30 for the marathon – not bad!

Rachel Bilson Jogs

Rachel Bilson Jogs

Apparently, Rachel Bilson and Matthew McConaughey have the same trainer.

Paulie D Jogs

Paulie D Jogs

This guy was on Jersey Shore, right? Does he still qualify as a celebrity? I’ve got a call in to Google for them to update their image search results. To Paulie D’s credit, his form isn’t half bad.

Russell Brand Jogs

Russell Brand Jogs

This guy is awesome. He’s funny even when he’s not being funny. And he’s a vegan – how great is that?!

Vanessa Hudgens Jogs

Vanessa Hudgens Jogs

I’ll admit it. I don’t know who Vanessa Hudgens is. But this if funny. I’m curious if Vanessa’s other “hobbies” interfere with her jogging.

Wilmer Valderrama Jogs

Wilmer Valderrama Jogs

Another bad search result by Google – Wilmer isn’t jogging. He’s running. Like he’s being chased. This guy looks fast. I’m guessing he could be a sub-18 5k guy in no time.

If you could go for a jog with one celebrity, who would it be and why?

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Windmills, Weed and… A World Record?

There has been no shortage of media covering the London Marathon – and for good reason. Mo Farah is making his marathon debut. Wilson Kipsang, the world record holder, is running. The pacers are scheduled to go through the half right near World Record pace. The Queen will be watching. David Beckham will be watching. In fact, most of England will be watching. There is no doubt it is the main event.

With that being said, just a couple of hundred miles away, the undercard has the potential to steal the show. That’s right – there’s a marathon going on Sunday morning in The Netherlands.

Windmill

Hmm, not exactly. Let’s try that again…

ABN AMRO Marathon 2013 Start Michel Butter Foto ; pim Ras

That’s better. Not only does Rotterdam have a fast course, it has a fast field. The favorite is Eliud Kipchoge:

Eliud Kipchoge

Eliud Kipchoge

He’s run 2:04:05 – the sixth fastest time ever recorded. He will face tough competition from Bernard Koech, who ran 2:04:53 in his first marathon ever in 2013. Bernard Kipyego, who has run 2:06:29, will also be in the mix. In fact, these three men have trained together for the last several months and have stated that they will work together for between 35 km and 38 km. Only time will tell if Rotterdam steals the show from London. Regardless, it should be an interesting morning of running!

- there is a one hour time difference between Rotterdam and London
- going back 30 years, every marathon World Record has been set in Berlin, Chicago, London or Rotterdam
- it is going to be about 12C and a little breezy in Rotterdam on Sunday
- the course records for Rotterdam are 2:04:27 (held by Duncan Kibet and James Kwambai) and 2:18:58 (held by Tiki Gelana)

Have you worked with other people in races?

If so, was it something you planned ahead of time?

How do you think it affected your performance?

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