https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/c5/Bostonmarathonlogo.jpg

The Boston Marathon. Since I first decided to give this whole marathon thing a shot, The Boston Marathon has been my goal. It may not be the hardest race to qualify for when considering the time requirements, but it is without a doubt the holy grail of the major marathon circuit. I have wanted to qualify and run this majestic race since day 1.

This week was the first on the schedule for solid training. If you read about my push for Boston last year (read about the failed second attempt here) you know that I had a great training cycle for the Sugarloaf Marathon last year, but fell short of qualifying for Boston by approximately two minutes even though I ran a PR of 3:07:18. The feeling after the race was majority elation for having run such a great race, but slight disappointment for having come so close.

This year I am back at it and heading back to Sugarloaf with my wife and her father to shoot for a BQ once again. This year I aged up and will need to run 3:10:00 (actually something around a 3:07:30 to solidly lock in my chance) to make it to the big stage for the marathon. My training is just slightly behind last year’s, but my fitness base is better this year coming into the training cycle so I feel I will catch up to last year’s results in a shorter amount of time. My big hurdle this year has been motivation and making time to get out and train. The “run to work, run home from work” cycle has started, which helps immensely with getting mileage in both fresh and fatigued, which I feel is a massively beneficial addition to a long-distance training regimen. This is just week 1. There is plenty of of time to make gains and move toward my goal!

Come back weekly for updates on how training is going for Sugarloaf and my BQ push!

I love to hear your thoughts and comments about blog, so please comment and share what you’re thinking!


Pace:Junky is feeling froggy, so we decided to jump! We are running a flash sale for the next 48 hours, giving anyone who makes a purchase 20% off!!! Use code “pj20off” at checkout to get your discount. Treat yourself to something nice for St. Patrick’s day!


Ahoy Mateys!
Pace:Junky will be heading to the @Gasparilla Distance Classic 2017 at the end of February to start the season off with a fun, flat, fast 13.1. I will be running along with my wife and her father. To make this race even more fun and add a little Pace:Junky flair, we came up with some AWESOME pirate themed singlets for the event. The event is going to be HUGE and looks like it will be a blast! Check out the digs we will be sportin’! If you will be in the Tampa Bay area, come join Pace:Junky for a fun race!

 


Recently I spent just over two hours with some very friendly mud, rocks, cliffs, trees, and a gurgling stream. Why is this worth writing about, you may be asking yourself. Over the month of December, my wife and I normally take time away from running and cycling to let our bodies recover from the training of the previous year and allow ourselves to relax and enjoy other aspects of our life. This year, that break was especially needed and lasted slightly longer than usual. This past weekend I got out for my first long run of the year, a glorious 15.8 mile trail run in the amazing Wissahickon Park (TOTALLY worth checking out when you are in the Philly area!). This run reminded me why I love running, beyond the superficial things like being competitive, racing myself and the clock, and wanting to always be faster. My run among the trees refreshed my love for just being out there. When I run, I do not have to worry about politics, work, money, or anything outside of what I am doing and where I am. Being out on the trail allowed me to focus on how absolutely beautiful the trails were. I could watch the stream rise and fall below me as I gained and lost elevation. The birds scurried about as I came by. I was truly in the moment and loving it. For a lasting moment, reality fell away and the world around me became a playland of sorts, where I was able to lose myself as a child does when they are playing.

This is why I run.


A whole new year is upon us! Where did 2016 go? What does 2017 have in store for us? We have NO idea, but we are certain we are going to everything to make it an awesome, fun-filled year here at Pace:Junky.

What fun things are YOU getting into this year? Have you signed up for that big race you have been eyeing up for years? Or, have you decided to finally take the plunge and tackle your first triathlon? Maybe you don’t have a race in mind this year, but you are eyeing up a new mileage goal? We would love to hear your goals and aspirations for 2017 in the comments below! LET’S HEAR IT!!!


Tomorrow, November 26th, Pace:Junky will be having an absolute BLOWOUT of a sale. If you shop on Saturday November 26th and use the coupon code smallbiz16 you will receive 40% OFF YOUR ENTIRE ORDER! That’s right… not 20%, not 30%, 40%!!!! This sale is only on IN-STOCK items and is only valid Saturday November 26th from 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. The quantities are limited, so get shopping while your size is still available!


It has been some time since the last post went up! To say we have been busy would be both an understatement and a lacking excuse. The summer was a crazy busy time between getting the brand going a bit more, racing, training, and of course the general shenanigans we love to be a part of. The big update since early August is that I (Jason) had a planned attempt at going for a BQ. The attempt was to be on September 11th at the VIA Marathon in the Lehigh Valley. Well, needless to say the attempt never really had a chance! The summer heat was oppressive and my motivation was severely lacking (“see: “How do you stay motivated?“). To make a long story short, I decided to still do the race even though my training was not where it should have been to make a run at a BQ time. I ran the race (which ended up being my slowest marathon of the five I have done) and can say I truly enjoyed it. It was hard. It was grueling. It was beautiful. It was everything I hadn’t experienced in the last three marathons I had done. I noticed the trees, the other runners, the volunteers, and the actual course. I had never really paid attention to what I was running in previous marathons, only that I was running. The decision to still run the race was to keep my training up(ish) for the Rough Trail Ultra we are competing in come November. It worked splendidly in that I learned a new level of suffering during this race. One where I was able to push through levels of fatigue and exhaustion that I had previously only experienced once; and that singular occurrence years ago ultimately resulted in my ending up in a medical tent for well over and hour. Side Note: I do not recommend the medical tent at a marathon to anyone. Ever.

So, to sum things up, the race was a success. I learned more about my body and abilities, which will only help as we continue on!


The Olympics. The biggest stage for all of sport to show who is the best. That is not what I am going to be writing about. I am going to write about the stories behind the games. It won’t be long-winded, political, ego-driven, or even medal based. What it will be, is a location to find some uplifting and heartwarming stories coming from the Olympics displaying what the Olympics are truly about!

The Kiribati Shuffle
David Katoatau shows his moves for a good cause.

A Helping Hand
A true show of sportsmanship on the track during the women’s 5,000m.

A True Champion
Bolt shows his true character during a post-win interview.


The 2016 Musselman 70.3 race was a TON of fun! The course proved to be very scenic and much more on the rolling side of the spectrum, than the flat side of the spectrum. The race organizers and volunteers did a fantastic job with setup, course marshaling, and post-race throwdown. The food was phenomenal!

Here are my thoughts as they pertained to my performance and take on the day as it unraveled, which is exactly how it felt at one point.

For starters I was not trained as much as I would’ve preferred, but hey life happens and we make the most of where we are and what we have, so race I did! The morning started well. Normal early bird call to drive the roughly 30 minutes to the starting line. We did a REALLY good job of getting organized the night before (big kudos to my wife on this!!) so we could catch an extra bit of shut-eye and get out the door just a little later. We hit the starting area at the PERFECT time, FRONT ROW PARKING!!! We unpacked the bikes and our respective kits and headed to transition.

Transition setup went much smoother than usual. I think I am finally getting a routine of both action and placement in my transition area. Of course I double, triple, and quadruple-checked it, but who doesn’t (every single other racer, maybe)?! Off to the swim start!

I was good on nerves until my feet started to get wet as we entered the water. I gave my mother and father-in-law a quick wave (making sure to look super collected…haha riiiiight) as I began to wade farther into the water. Mid-thigh, I’m ok. Waist-high, I’m ok. Chest-high, ummmm, convince yourself you are ok Jason! Diving in to cover my whole body, I realized I was feeling very odd. Nerves were on high alert. I was NOT mentally ready for this swim. HOOOONNKK!!! The pack took off and I was in last place in my wave in what felt like :05, but in reality was probably :30-:45. I started to panic around 200m in. No idea why. My body was NOT having this whole swimming thing. I broke into breast-stroke, regained some composure, and resumed my swim. Fast-forward to about 1 mile into the swim, where I FINALLY felt like my stroke was normal and didn’t feel like an Pterodactyl trying to fly through yogurt. I made sure to follow all the instructions I had been given to not step down until I was ON the unloading dock to make sure I did not cut my feet on the mussels. I made it!!! Transition, here I come!

T1 went well. I kept it under 4:00, in and out. Not amazing, but I was happy with it.

Once I was on the bike, I felt comfort settling back in. I found my rhythm fairly quickly and started to settle in for the 3+ hour ride. I had a goal of 3:05 or faster to try to stay on my goal of PR’ing. The bike was flat to start, with some small rollers and false flats. The big surprise on the bike course was the very steep hill that came roughly half way into the ride. We had studied the course profile, but we had not mentally prepared for THAT type of hill. Nevertheless, I focused on cadence and ground my way to the top. Once on top, I knew the majority of the ride was downhill or flat, or so I thought. Big mistake. Again, the course profile had not mentally prepared me (or maybe I hadn’t mentally prepared for the course profile. I shouldn’t fault the course) the last 8 miles of fairly significant rolling hills. They. Were. Hard. Near to the end of the course, there was also a section of what could only be described as post-apocalyptic asphalt that had to be ridden over. It was torture after 40+ miles and I wasn’t sure if my TT bike was going to take the beating; I felt like one of Mike Tyson’s opponents from when all he did was come out and hurt you for about :13 seconds until you crumbled in agony and gave up. SWEET JESUS, there is T2!!!! My forte, the run, was next!

T2 was also good for me, keeping it just over 2:00. Again, not world-class, but it kept me in the hunt for a PR!

The run was fantastic. I broke out onto the course intentionally hitting a faster clip to start to get my legs to open up and loosen up the tightness caused from the bike leg. I had a goal of running sub 8:00 pace. The start of the run was flat and fast, running along the lake and then diving into the town of Geneva. I pushed my body after a few miles to really try to get a good hard pace going because I knew I was racing the clock, literally, for my PR. The majority of the run was “normal”, but there was one nicely sized hill around the 10k(ish) mark that definitely put a dent into my pacing. I hit the top of the hill and knew the rest was mostly downhill or flat, with a few rollers that would require a little extra kick to get up. As I hit the half way point of the run, I began doing math (thank you to my wife on this one!) to see what I needed to do to hit my goal of getting that PR. With each mile, I realized I was going to do it and continued to push the pace to see what finishing time I could pull down. I came back along the water into the last 2 miles and was loving life! The volunteers on the course kept the runners hydrated, topped off with food, and gave a TON of support right when we needed it. I came in to the finishing stretch and didn’t have anything to give for a kick. I crossed the line, felt accomplished knowing I achieved the day’s goal, and promptly laid down on the ground as fatigue began to settle in.

I regained my composure on the ground for a bit, check my time which DID end up being a nice PR of 5:49:29 (previous best was around 5:54:00)!! I found my wife’s parents and headed back out onto the course to cheer her in on what ended up being a 20:00+ PR as well!

Looking back on the race and the experience; I would recommend this race to anyone looking for a great race at the 70.3 distance without a doubt and with ZERO hesitation. The race was fun, the people were supportive, and the town was great. Who knows, maybe we will be back in the future!

If you have questions or comments, please leave them!

PS- There is a Musselman wall/mural in Geneva for anyone to sign who competes in the race. Check it out if you do the race or are in the town for other fun stuff!


mo·ti·va·tion
[mōdəˈvāSH(ə)n/]
noun
-the general desire or willingness of someone to do something
Lately I have been struggling mightily with getting motivated to get out and exercise. Historically, I have had no trouble wanting to get out and train. I registered for a late summer marathon with the intention to continue my progress from my early summer marathon and go for a BQ time. Unfortunately I have not been able to make myself get out and stay consistent with training for the last two months. I am getting mileage in, but not as much as I feel I should or at the quality I should be. I have been listening to a GREAT podcast for the last year or so (Endurance Planet) and I have learned a lot from it; the most notable and applicable to this topic being that I need to listen to my body and what it is telling me. If I am not getting excited about a run, bike, or swim workout than something needs to be said about that and I need to listen to what that might be telling me. What could that be telling me..? I might need some rest from training/racing. I might need something to get me kick-started back to loving it. I might need to get back to just doing it for enjoyment not for time. There are probably hundreds of possible reasons. I have been evaluating things over the last week or two to see where it all falls for me. I haven’t come to a singular conclusion yet, but I think part of it is that I am expecting so much of myself in this one aspect of my life, while also expecting a lot of myself in multiple other aspects of my life, and it may be that I am pulling myself in too many directions. Between enjoying my home life and time with my beautiful wife, trying to get Pace:Junky off the ground as a brand, performing well at the 9-5, and trying to juggle training and racing I may be trying to do too much and spreading myself too thin.
I continually think about this these days and I would love to hear what your tips and tricks are for staying motivated! Share your thoughts in the comments!