Atlantic City Marathon, Atlantic City, NJ

The Atlantic City Marathon in New Jersey was Day 2.  The second marathon for our double marathon weekend.  2 Marathons.  2 Days.  2 States.  Totally normal, right?  Maybe not, but this was an easy double if you ever want to try one.  We picked Atlantic City because it was a short 2 hour drive from Dover, DE where we ran the Monster Mash Marathon the day previous.  The drive was so short that we even detoured thru Philadelphia to fulfill a childhood fantasy of running up the Art Museum steps like Rocky Balboa!  Super exciting.  Then hey, stopped over to see the Liberty Bell too!

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Some people thought we were crazy for actually running up the steps.  It was fun!  There were only 72 steps and it probably loosened us up after running the Monster Mash Marathon!  Good news, we weren’t the only crazy people, some even had the Rocky Theme song playing.  Obviously, we weren’t too serious about this double.  Its not our first.  We just go, run, have fun and keep things light.  As for the steps, had to do it.  Who knows if I’ll ever get that close to Philadelphia again.  No regrets, right?  I would have regretted not running up those steps!

On to Atlantic City.  Packet pickup was at Ballys.  We parked in the garage.  Posted parking fee was $22; however, they reduced the fee for runners to $5.  Thank you!!  Small expo.  Easy in and out once we figured out where to go inside the hotel/casino.  Dinner in the hotel/casino.  Checked into our hotel by 8pm.  Tip:  We stayed at the Sheraton by the Convention Center.  It was about a 10 min walk to/from the race start/finish.  No smoke. No gambling.  No hoopla.  Less $$.

Race started at 8am so we got to see the sun come up while we were waiting to start.  It was steamy.  Humid.  Warm.

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As we awaited the race start, it was different than most races I’ve ran.  There was a start line and a gated corral.  The pacers were inside the corral.  Alone.  We were all crowded outside the corral wondering what was going on and when they would open the gates.  They opened the gates right at 8am.  It was a mad rush for some to get in where they wanted to be, others were climbing over the fence. Most just lined up as they entered the corral.  Somewhat chaotic.  Not an issue for us since we were planning a leisurely race but I certainly see that it could have been an issue for some.  Eventually, we were all in and ready to run. 

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We started the race heading north on the Boardwalk for a short distance, then a quick left on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, then a quick left on Bachrach Boulevard.  Mile one.  Decent sized race.  Some spectators.  Decent Streets.  Views of the water at every glance.  First the Atlantic, then various bays & channels.  So many that it was hard to keep up with which body of water we were crossing and/or passing at any given time.  Foggy morning due to the heat and humidity but not so hot that we were miserable.  Just warmer than most prefer. But it was beautiful.

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Soon we entered a long tunnel.  There were lights so it wasn’t dark.   Runners were whooping and yelling to hear themselves in the tunnel.  Kinda cool.   Thru some neighborhoods, up a couple highway ramps, then back to the Boardwalk, this time heading south around mile 7.75, passing the strip of casinos. 

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Aid stations were spaced about every 1.5 miles.  Lots of volunteers.  Police.  Bicycle escorts for the winners.  Well marked course with plenty of course marshals enthusiastically directing runners. 

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We ran south on the Boardwalk til approximately mile 13, then turned off heading South for an out and back on Atlantic Avenue.  Busier road on the inner side of the Casinos.  Sloped because we were running on the side.  Lots of shops and restaurants and beautiful homes.  Took Atlantic Ave until it ended in Longport at the Great Egg Harbor.  Awesome aid station in that area that had mini Swedish Fish.  Yes! 

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What I can’t stress enough about this race are the water views.  Even when we were running in neighborhoods down seemingly normal streets.  If you look to either side at a cross street, you’ll see water.  I enjoyed it.  Not beach front running per say but the area is surrounded by water.  Atlantic Ocean to the left in the pic below.

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Beautiful homes, buildings, churches.

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Thru the streets and neighborhoods until mile 23 when we hit the Northbound Boardwalk to finish the race.  Start and finish were both in front of Ballys.  By the end, I didn’t love running on the Boardwalk.  Softer surface, yes.  But the lines of the various boards made my dizzy.  I tend to put my head down and “just run” when I’ve had enough.  And yes, I was ready to be done by mile 22 and in the head down mode.  Once I hit the Boardwalk, too many lines.  Too much motion.  Too much heat.  And I was “almost” tired.  We had more traffic on the Boardwalk to dodge since more people were out and about.  I was happy to finally see the finish!

Great after party.  I saw lots of beer flowing if you like a beer post race.  There was a band.  Gender specific, long sleeve tech shirt!  My favorite!!  Great medal. 

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Good race.  More runners thank the day previous but still small.  832 half marathon finishers.  609 marathon finishers.  Flat other than a few bridges.  Good double with Monster Mash because both were flat and not to physically taxing, other than the mileage.  Bling from both days is below.

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Next Up, Indianapolis Monumental Marathon on November 4th.  My 4th appearance at this event.  Its definitely one of my favorites.  Crossing my fingers for cool, crisp weather and a fast race!

** Happy Running, All ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

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Flying Pig Marathon (or Half) FREE Entry Giveaway – 2016

Year after year, there are a few races that I hear about time and time again.   It’s not because they are fast & flat and everyone crushes their PR.  It’s because the race offers more than a course of 13.1 or 26.2 miles but also an EXPERIENCE.  Flying Pig is one such race.  I’ve been asked a 100 times if I’ve ran Flying Pig.  My answer has always been, “no”.  But that’s about to change, because I’m headed to the Flying Pig Marathon for 2016 and I want YOU to join me!

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The 2016 theme is “Oinked For Life” where we are encouraged to fly with the pigs cuz they put the “fun in run”.  Flying Pig is known for a fun filled weekend with events for the entire family.  It’s also a big fundraiser for local charities hosting the Piggest Raffle Ever & Pig Drop to start off the weekend in style!  Can’t wait, I’ve never been to a Pig Drop!

They’ve also joined a fast growing trend where races offer some sort of “challenge” which results in extra bling, swag or rewards for participating in more than the main event.  The Flying Pig is all about getting everyone involved in the activities in and around the community for the entire weekend.  This year, there will be both a 3 Way Challenge (10K, 5K & Half Marathon) and a 4 Way Challenge (10K & 5K & Marathon).  Or you can do either Challenge “with Extra Cheese” and toss in the Little Kings Mile on Friday Night.  As an added incentive to walk or run the Little Kings Mile, the Pig Drop is at the Little Kings after party and I know you don’t want to miss that!  Additional details from the website below:

3-Way / 4-Way Challenge with Extra Cheese

You’ve asked for a new challenge at the Flying Pig, so we’ve come up with a new, fun series within Flying Pig weekend: The 3-Way and 4-Way Challenge with Extra Cheese! It combines the Skyline Chili 3-Way (Toyota 10K, Tri State Running Company 5K and the half marathon) and 4-Way (10K, 5K and full marathon) with a twist—the Little Kings Mile on Friday night of Flying Pig weekend!

Skyline Chili 3-Way and 4-Way Challenge with Extra Cheese finishers will receive additional premiums for their great achievements, including a 3-Way/4-Way finisher’s shirt, an additional 3-Way/4-Way Challenge finisher’s medal, and a plaque to display all five event medals. Start your Flying Pig experience a day early, and be one of the first to sign up for the 3-Way or 4-Way Challenge with Extra Cheese!

So if you are in it for the bling and swag, then sign up for the 3 or 4-Way Challenge “with Extra Cheese”!  I’m certainly looking at my schedule to see how much fun I can fit into one weekend!   I’ll definitely be running the marathon, hopefully one of the challenges too. 

The 2016 finishers medal has not yet been unveiled but here is the 2015 version for marathon finishers.  Cute!

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It all sounds super cool, right?  Okay, let’s get you set up to win a FREE entry into the half or full Flying Pig marathon on Sunday, May 1, 2016.    If you are interested in being entered into the drawing, please comment below (one point).  If you REALLY want to win, then you can get additional entries by jumping thru a few hoops (listed below).  Just let me know in the comments what actions you preformed so I can allot you the proper amount of entries. 

  • Comment Below – Required – 1 Entry
  • Like the TooTallFritz Facebook page HERE – 1 Entry
  • Like the Flying Pig Facebook page HERE – 1 Entry
  • Follow TooTallFritz on Twitter HERE – 1 Entry
  • Follow Flying Pig on Twitter HERE – 1 Entry
  • Follow TooTallFritz on Instagram HERE – 1 Entry
  • Follow Flying Pig on Instagram HERE – 1 Entry

Total of 7 entries available for this giveaway.  Let me know in the comments what to credit you.  Note:  it’s a freebie if you already follow me or the Flying Pig Marathon on any of our social media channels.  Smile  Giveaway goes from now until December 16, 2015 at noon CST.  Good luck!!

** Let’s Fly With The Pigs ** Amanda – TooTallFritz

 

 

 

Marathon Recovery

Marathon recovery is different for everyone but I do suggest allowing the body ample recovery time.  Regardless of whether you had a good or bad race, the itch to run is a powerful one.  I know you want to get back out there and hit the trail.  Is that wise?  Well, let’s think about that for a minute. 

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Was this marathon was an “A” race?  If a person ran hard to meet a goal, regardless of whether the goal was accomplished or not, then that person needs more rest than others.  Effort, both perceived and actual, exhausts the body and mind requiring more time for recovery.  So, did you run hard?  If the answer is yes, then you need a good recovery plan with lots of focus on nutrition, protein intake, rehabbing the muscles thru rolling, icing, stretching, chiropractic and/or massage therapy.  Take care of the body that takes care of you!! 

Take Care of Your Body

People who “race” marathons need WAY more recovery time than those of us who run but never really leave our comfort zone.  I’m frequently asked how I run so many marathons a year.  Well, I never used to run a lot of marathons.  I used to only run one per year.  But I ran harder!  Way harder.  And I was tore up afterwards for a much longer period.  Over the years, my body has adjusted to the mileage demands but in return, I never really ask it to push itself.  I run slow and try to be steady.  If there is a nasty hill, I walk up that hill.  I keep things pretty chill.  For me, the ability to keep running is way more important than my finish time.  It took me years to learn that.  While it’s not a philosophy that would make everyone happy, it works for me.  Running is one of the few things that gives me peace.  It quiets my mind and soul.  I don’t have to think or I get to think about whatever I like.  So its important to me to stay healthy and keep moving.  Now how do we keep you moving forward?  Proper recovery!

  • Take in Protein, Carbs & Water immediately after the marathon.  This serves a couple purposes in bringing the glycogen levels back up (since you depleted them!) and getting the recovery process started! The optimal carb to protein ratio for recovery is 3:1 or 4:1 depending on who you ask.  We need between 10-20 grams of protein for proper recovery, so that means we need 40-60g of carbs.  Too difficult to do the math?  Plan ahead so you don’t have to think.  Stash your recovery food/drink in your check bag.  If they hand out chocolate milk at the finish line, your golden, drink it.  I use the AdvoCare Post Workout Recovery drink so I don’t have to do the math.  Start refueling as soon as you get across the finish line, it can make a difference on how you feel not only for the rest of the day but also for the rest of the week!  Don’t let a nauseous tummy stop you from eating.  Food is what you need to start feeling better. 
  • Rehydrate.  This is so obvious but I’d be negligent if I didn’t stress its importance.  I normally chug a bottle of water as soon as I cross the finish line.  I get the water down and my recovery drink ASAP.   Less to carry.  Puts me on the recovery fast track.
  • Stretch or Roll as soon as you can.  I keep “The Stick” in my car or hotel room.  If I forget it, I borrow one.  It’s important.  The act of rolling increases the blood flow to achy muscles, tendons & ligaments.  The faster the blood gets moving, the faster the recovery process.  The blood starts working to heal those microscopic muscle tears that cause soreness.
  • Compress.  Thought compression was a joke or a object of commercialism to steal more of our hard earned $$?  It’s not.  Compression works.  If you are in a bad way, compress the entire lower body with compression tights or a compression shorts & compression socks combo. Compression does the same thing the rolling does, but that doesn’t mean you can skip the rolling.  Compression keeps the blood flowing even when you are sitting or driving home.  Compress today, feel good tomorrow. 
  • Ice.  I know you hate those dang ice baths but it’s the quickest way to handle swelling in the lower extremities.  You can knock out icing the hips, quads, hamstrings, knees, calves, ankles & feet ….. all at once.  Looks like a better deal now, right?  Sit in the empty tub, start filling with cold water, add ice once water is above hips.  Sit for 15 minutes.  Yeah, it sucks but it’s work it.
  • Stay on top of food/hydration throughout the week.  You’ll be hungry.  Eat.  Lean proteins, good carbs, fruits/veggies and drink lots of water to flush the lactic acid out of your mucles.  Try not to eat all the Halloween Candy.  But if you do, refocus the next day and start again.  I keep a high quality protein drink handy at all times.  Once again, I’m an AdvoCare user/distributor so I use AdvoCare Muscle Gain.  I also have an ace up my sleeve and use the AdvoCare Nighttime Recovery on days leading up to/away from the marathon when my legs are heavy/sore.  I’m sure there are other great products on the market, feel free to use what you like, this is what has worked for me over the last 9 years.  I mention it so that you know to look for something extra when you are struggling with recovery.  I have it down to a science at this point.  Find what works for you.
  • Light activity for the week (or more) following the race.  I avoid running for 3-4 days.  Then I just go slow and get the blood flowing.  I practice yoga, stretch, swim and cycle when I don’t run.  I never stop moving but I can’t run every day like some people, so I need to switch it up.  This will also prevent burnout from intense training plans by doing non-running things post marathon. 
  • Rest.  Sleep.  Go out for dinner & drinks with hubby.  Enjoy some free time, not related to “the run”.

What has worked best for you for fast recovery?  Tell us!  Everyone is different and we need as many tips as possible! 

** Speedy Recovery Wishes ** Amanda – TooTallFritz

Registration Nightmare….

Up until this morning at 7am, I was absolutely certain that I was NOT going to register for the 2013 Chicago Marathon.  It wasn’t going to happen.  I wasn’t upset about it.  I just wasn’t willing to commit until I got thru the Lansing Marathon to see how my foot took the abuse training regimen.  No big deal.  Then at 7am this morning, it hit me like a ton of bricks and I started “thinking” about it.  Thinking about how sad I was last year to miss the marathon.  Thinking about how much I love Chicago Marathon weekend.  Thinking about how easy it is to just drive downtown the morning of the race, run and drive back home to my babies when I’m finished. 

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Well, I’m a better “doer” than “thinker” so by 7:05 am, I was browsing thru my old email folder looking for the alumni charity runner info that Ronald McDonald House Charities had sent me.  By 7:30, my commitment form was signed and sent off to RMHC.  Done.  Or so I thought. 

Little did I know that the charity runner registration process had changed since last year.  RMHC no longer registered me (which had to be a total nightmare on their end) but instead, sent me a registration link and a code to register.  This meant that I had to fight the fight with everyone else come noon.  Now, I was ready and waiting at noon just like everyone else.  I have a high powered cpu at work and it should have taken minutes to register but instead the link took me to a page that notified me that the site was currently “unavailable”.

image Again, and again, and again.  Sometimes, I’d get a bit of information entered, then click to the next screen to reveal the above message box.  Two times, I made it all the way to the end and entered my charity code.  The first time, it immediately took me to the “site is unavailable” screen, the second time, it acknowledged my code, then encouraged me to click “submit” to finalize my registration.  It was at that time, it took me back to the “site is unavailable” screen.  So am I in, or not?  My friend Jill sent me this screen shot which she found under the “runner’s registered” section:

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So I “think” I’m in although I have yet to get a confirmation email.  Maybe, maybe not.  I’m done stressing about it.  If it’s meant to be, I’ll be running the streets of Chicago on October 13th.  If not, I’ll go to Indy, or Detroit, or Milwaukee and run one of those much smaller but still amazing races.  Enough is enough but I’m curious to see if I’m in or not!  I truly love the Chicago Marathon.  I think its worth the $$.  Its worth the time and effort training in the summer heat.  It’s worth it for me since its in my backyard!

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How did you make out in the registration extravaganza today?  Are YOU in?

Don’t forget, you can still register for the Lansing Half or Full Marathon with the $10 off coupon code:   CHICAGO10.  They have room for you! 

** Good luck, no matter where you race! ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **