Showing posts from April, 2016

2016 Rock 'n' Roll DC Half Marathon Race Report

It's about time I blogged about Rock 'n' Roll DC from back in March. Scot did the marathon while I ran the half. We don't run a lot of Rock 'n' Roll races but this one's local and we can get an early bird discount by registering a year in, why not? I was registered for the full, but after my bad experience at the Tokyo Marathon, I needed a simple victory. I dropped to the half rather than worry about finishing the full in the 5:30 time limit. I know, many people cross the finish line of this race after 5:30, but they are re-routed by course marshals and don't get to run the full 26.2 miles. I needed a successful half marathon rather than a less than full marathon. So I made the decision to drop to the half and ease the pressure on myself to perform.

Scot and I met up with other Marathon Maniacs and Half Fanatics for a pre-race picture on the National Mall before everyone dispersed and got into their corrals. The corrals lined Constitution A…

My Trials with Meal Delivery - Part 2: Sakara Organic Prepared Meals

In Part 1 of this post I compared four meal kit delivery services. These companies send pre-portioned ingredients and recipes that you cook at home. This approach saves time that would be spent on meal planning, shopping and meal prep. The cost per meal is about the same as take-out from a decent restaurant (not fast food). I enjoyed experimenting with these services, and they made meal prep easier, but they didn't improve my diet, something I felt I needed to work on.

So, I decided to try something remarkably different, and if you want to try it too,  there's a link to a discount code at the end of the blog. 
On two consecutive weeks I tried a 3-day organic meal program from Sakara. The concept is ready-made (no cooking necessary), plant-based meals (they may use honey so they're not strictly vegan). The recipes use whole foods that are high in nutrients, superfoods and water-dense fruits and vegetables. Sahara recipes use grains, but no gluten, no dairy, no soy. Breakfast …

Asbury Park Half Marathon Pacing Gig

I paced another race on Saturday: the Runapalooza Asbury Park Half Marathon, which took place on the New Jersey shore. I was part of the Marathon Maniacs/Half Fanatics pace team. My pace group was 3:00 hours, which equates to a 13:44 minute mile. I paced 3:00 hours previously on a hilly course in Atlanta; this time the course was mostly flat.

I drove up to New Jersey on Friday and met up with other pacers at the small race expo. Then pacer Will and I went to dinner with Peggy (my local Maniac friend who was not pacing, but ran the full marathon relay). We had local beer and great pizza at Pete & Elda's Bar/Carmen's Pizza. I had been eating mostly healthy food for two weeks, so the pizza and beer felt like such a treat. After a fun dinner, Peggy and I said goodbye to Will and drove back to her place and got some sleep.
I needed to be up and at the Asbury Park Convention Hall early because I had the pace team signs and t-shirts for a couple fellow pacers. About 15 minutes be…

My Trials with Meal Delivery - Part 1: Vegetarian Meal Kits

Runners talk a lot about food. We love it. We carbo load before races, then we celebrate with a post-run beer. If we have an aggressive fitness or time qualifying goal, what we eat (or don't eat) becomes very important. I have blogged about what I eat before, during and after a race (link used to carry way too many gels with me), and I've also written from time to time about nutrition goals within the context of other running and fitness goals. But I've never written a post exclusively about food.

I've been a vegetarian for all of my adult life, which is probably more years than you think. And while I've never adhered strictly to a vegan diet, I have monitored and reduced my consumption of dairy at times. I've been a vegetarian longer than I've been a runner, and I never imagined resuming consumption of meat to fuel my running. That will never happen. It's absolutely possible to be an endurance athlete, and even a competitive one, on a pl…

Why I'm Running for Migraine Research Foundation

I briefly mentioned in my last blog that I'm going to run the 2016 NYC Marathon for a charity called the Migraine Research Foundation. I was rejected by the NYC Marathon lottery five years in a row. Scot was selected this year, so the only way I could join him is to run for charity. It's been a while since I raised any significant amount of money to run for charity. I did this for the 2005 Mardi Gras Marathon, the 2005 Dublin Marathon, and the 2006 Marine Corps Marathon. Since then, I've always just entered races as a regular participant, registering before the deadline, or being lucky enough to be selected in the race's lottery. But now I had to select a charity if I wanted to run NYC Marathon this year.

After receiving my lottery rejection email, I looked through the listing of NYC Marathon charity partners. There are so many! Some are big, well-known organizations, and some are smaller charities. And they have differing fundraising commitments, though the minimum se…