Tuesday, March 29, 2016


If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all…At least in a public forum.  I always try to remain positive within the confines of my blog, but I just don’t like this race.  Although the start is literally ten minutes from my house, the course goes through South Coral Springs.  Since this is my “hood,” I would obviously prefer if we ran through the north part of town.  This race is very pricey, and you would expect the shirt and the medal to be of higher quality.  With all my negativity and lofty expectations now out of the way, this run is for a great cause, and I always will continue to support hometown events.  Besides that, I am grateful that after more than one year, I’m physically able to compete two consecutive weeks.
Unlike most half marathons, the Race for Women’s Wellness takes place on Saturday.  The Church of the Glades dominates the traffic patterns on Sunday mornings, but I’m not bitter at all about that.  Additionally, this race starts at 6am, which I actually prefer.  I woke up early, and made my way to the Sportsplex at Coral Springs.  It is extremely easy to get to, and lots of parking.  I met up with Christina, who is the Manager of the Runner’s Depot in Coral Springs.  Besides being a real sweetheart, she is also a coach for FIT (Friends in Training), and would actually be running with a group slower than me!  Is that even possible?

As I made my way to the starting line, there would be 470 runners participating in this event.  Even at 6am, the temperature was over 30 degrees warmer that last week in Atlanta.  On a positive note, no hills. I felt great right from the start, and made sure I stayed hydrated the entire time.  A good portion of this race consists of roads that I run on during my training, which is why I yearn for North Coral Springs.

The highlight of the race for me takes place around the ten-mile mark.  This is where I run past my house, with Glenda and Rachel cheering me on.  Rachel got some good in-action photos, and Glenda hooked me up with a Coke Zero (I’m sure they were not that thrilled to get up so early).  I finished strong, and the knee felt great.  I don’t have anything else on the schedule until the end of the year, but I’m hoping to do some virtual runs this summer.


Friday, March 25, 2016


As hard as this may be to believe, I have never competed in a race outside of the Sunshine State.  The Georgia Marathon & Half Marathon has always been on my radar, especially since I have friends who live in Atlanta.  When Betsy and Mark invited me to their daughter’s wedding on March 20th, who knew the race would be the same day?  With the future of my knee “hanging” in the balance, I decided to go for the half marathon.  As my knee pain totally disappeared, I actually contemplated super-sizing to the full marathon; with no training for the additional distance, I decided to play it safe.  Glenda was not able to fly up with me, as we were in New York the previous week for my cousin Aidan’s Bar Mitzvah.  She is over-the-top busy this time of year, so I took Rachel as my plus-one.

We flew out at 5:40am, and the highlight of the flight was a girl who puked her brains out as soon as we touched down.  After 15 minutes of very loud spewing, she comes out of the restroom and says to the flight attendant “I’m sorry, I threw up in there.”  Ya think?  The whole plane started laughing when she said that.  It was quite the symphony.  I booked a room at the Omni Atlanta At CNN Center, since it was literally a stone’s-throw away from the start of the race.  Our room was not ready when we arrived, so we grabbed a quick bite to eat in the CNN food court.  The race expo was right next door at the Georgia World Congress Center, which was a gigantic building.  We took a walk over, and I picked up my race packet.  Mizuno was the official sponsor, which was a first for me.  I picked up a race jacket to add to my collection, as well as an Atlanta Track Club jacket and shirt.  We had plans to meet up with my friend Susan to visit the College Football Hall of Fame, which was also conveniently located outside our hotel.  This exhibit actually exceeded my expectations, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who loves college football.  After we said our goodbyes to Susan, I dropped Rachel off at a friend’s house, and met up with Betsy and Mark for dinner.

We slept in on Saturday, and took a quick walking tour of some of the more historical buildings in downtown Atlanta.  Rachel made plans to see more of her friends for lunch.  After I dropped her off, I went to see Betsy and Mark at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta Perimeter at Villa Christina (where the wedding would be taking place).  I hung out in the hospitality suite with them until I got the call from Rachel to pick her up, and we then took a quick stroll through Centennial Olympic Park.


Race time on Sunday morning was 7am, but of course I woke up at 5am.  It was 43 degrees, but absolutely no wind at all…Perfect running weather!  There were 7,324 participants for this event (1,381 for the full and 5,943 for the half), and I was totally impressed how organized the start of the race was.  There was no pushing and shoving, as each corral started three minutes apart.

I was very lethargic for the first four miles of the race.  The knee felt great, considering it was not the usual flat running I’m used to in South Florida.  That being said, the race was not as hilly as I was led to believe.  There were lots of ups-and downs, but no killer hills like Gainesville.  The original forecast for the weekend was rain, but there was not a cloud in the sky!

After the four-mile mark, I was really starting to hit my stride.  The course was very scenic, and we ran past both Georgia Tech and Georgia State University towards the end of the race.  Of course, I had to stop and pee several times, but what else is new?

As I crossed the finish line, I had plenty of energy, as Rachel snapped several photos with my new Nikon D7200.  The medal was just okay, and the race shirt was nothing to write home about.  That being said, I would definitely do this race again.