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!

Just announced today, Ironman has partnered with Women For Tri to add 200 female age-group slots to the 2017 70.3 championships. While this is not by any means a solution to the problem of the gender inequality at the top end of the sport, it is a big step in the right direction. Check out the article on the Ironman page, here. If you are curious and want to read more about the movement behind the goal to get gender equality in the sport of triathlon (namely in Ironman), you can check out the Tri Equal page. They have a wealth of info on their site and they explain the push and the idea behind it.


Hilly Road
They hurt.  They are never as short as they look. Hills. Whether you love them or hate them, we have all been ON them. Most races or training runs contain at least one, even if it is small or short. While most people will admit they hate hills and wish they could run for the rest of their life without having to deal with one more hill, I am fortunate to have loved hills since day one. I have always been a proponent of adding hills into a training plan, regardless of the goal race course, because of what hills have anecdotally done for me through the years. If you have ever wondered what the benefits are or why you should be doing hills, there was a great article on it from Bicycling.com. Check it out here! The article approaches it from a cycling standpoint, but the science and concepts are true for running as well.

Moral of the story: Hills will make you a stronger, better athlete. Embrace them!

If you are interested in some good hill workouts, shoot us an email and we can provide some solid workouts!


INCOMING!!!

Montco Runners is a local-to-Pace:Junky running group (an AMAZING running group, of which I am a member) who is also sponsored by Pace:Junky. We just finished up the first order of their tanks and they came out AWESOME! We ventured out to a fantastic local race called the TexMex 5k (www.wvwa.org/texmex5k) to drop the tanks off to the group. They were a huge hit at the race with hundreds of other runners commenting on the bright, unique design; mentioning that the group could be seen from a mile away (literally!). Check out some photos from the event!


We headed out to show their support for the Superhero Showdown Race on Saturday June 18th. We teamed up with the race organizers to be a sponsor for the race, which was awesome! The day went off fantastically well and we got to meet the namesake for the event, Taylor, who is an inspiration beyond words. We learned a lot about MAST Cell disorders and what it means to be part of the amazing running community in the Philadelphia area. We knew the people would come out to show their support for this event, but boy were we surprised to see the first year event go HUGE! In all the race had almost 500 runners spread across 4 races; 1 mile fun run, 5k, 10k, and 15k. There were activities for before and after the race for both runners and spectators. And there was SWAG galore! If we had to pick one word to sum up the day, it would be FANTASTIC!

This was our first event as a vendor so we were a little unsure of exactly what to expect. Boy did you all bring the interest! We had a steady stream of interested runners and general on-lookers taking a peek at our apparel, asking questions about the brand, and just generally being interested in Pace:Junky. It was a GREAT success for our first event and things are looking bright!

Check out some photos from the day!