The Bucks County Speedsters is a group of runners

that meets
twice a week to work on our speed,

strength, stamina, and
overall performance. Our goal

is to improve runners of all
levels. We encourage

anyone interested in running to come
out to one of

our workouts and see for yourself that in our

community everyone is welcomed and with our

guidance and
your hard work, together we will aspire

to make you
faster. We hope that you will lace up

your running
sneakers and meet up with us someday


"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams"

-Henry David Thoreau

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Assiduous Allyson

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts."
- Winston Churchill 
Allyson, Lisa, Ella, and Cookie Monster at the Sesame Classic

          As someone who prides himself on helping runners, I have to say that I haven’t been prouder of a runner than I was of Allyson when she broke the three-hour barrier.  I know someone reading this will find that last line bias because this particular runner is my wife, but let me assure you that there is more to this than my love and affection for this amazing runner.  As you will be able to see from the chart below, Allyson has come a long way in her thirteen-year marathon journey.  The reason I’m sharing this is not only to boast about Allyson’s accomplishment (it’s always good to stock up on brownie points…), but to continue my theme of inspiring the runners that I have the privilege of working with year in and year out.  This inspiring theme can continue by going through Allyson’s marathon results from the last thirteen years. 

         Before we begin, I want to start by saying I cannot count how many times runners have told me: “I can’t run that fast” or “I can’t run a marathon.”  This drives me bonkers!  The only thing worst than those lines is when a runner retracts and they lose all their training that they worked hard to build up, all because they got lazy and took a long period of running off (this excludes injured runners).   My father used to tell me I couldn’t do anything right, he told me I was a loser countless times, he told me I wouldn’t do anything with my life, and as I got older I truly got wiser, and blocked all the negative comments and verbal abuse that he attempted to deliver me.  This eventually led me to lose contact with my father and my mother too.  I have removed all the negative garbage in my life and have replaced it with puppies and rainbows, well maybe not everything is on the level of rainbows and puppies, but you know what I’m insinuating. If not, here’s a hint, the noun I’m describing is P-O-S-I-T-I-V-I-T-Y.  My point is my life has no place for negativity and your lives shouldn’t either.

          Speaking of things that are positive, Allyson as you can see from the chart once ran marathon times in and around the 4 hour mark.  She didn’t improve overnight; she didn’t just wake up and magically become a sub three-hour marathoner.  Allyson, like any runner, had her shares of trials and tribulations with the beast that is the Marathon.  She learned that if she wanted to run the times that she wanted to run, she would have to put in the proper training.  She learned that incorporating structured interval workouts were an important aspect to marathon training.  She found out the hard way that she really needed to get those long training runs in, to simulate the feel of the many hours of pounding her legs would endure come race day.  Allyson learned to treasure those rest and easy days.  Lastly, she learned what she could eat and drink while on the course.

           I really hope this blog post offers you some resemblance of encouragement.  I want you all to learn from Allyson’s experiences and gain the knowledge that you will need to succeed not only at the marathon distance, but also at any distance.  If you’re only capable of taking one thing from this post, please allow it to be this: Don’t ever let anyone, even yourself put you down and tell you that you’re not capable.  If you put in the hard work it will pay off in the long run (pun intended).

 Till we run into each other again…


AT's Marathons:  2002 - 2014
Finishing Time
Pace Per Mile
November 2002*
April 2003
New Jersey
November 2003
March 2004
Ocean Drive
November 2004
April 2005
New Jersey
June 2005
San Diego
November 2005
November 2006
April 2007
October 2009
October 2011
November 2013
Northern Central Trail
November 2014
*First joined BC Roadrunners, first Winter Series
Did not train for…..Weekly long run did not top 10miles

Hurt…Stress fracture
Started to really train again, after a few years of not
Started doing higher mileage and speed/hill workouts with BC Speedsters


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Going All In on Race Day

               The Philadelphia Marathon is tomorrow.  This was the first marathon I did way back in 2005.  I didn’t really know much about running a marathon then.  I just knew that I wanted to experience the feeling of crossing the marathon finish line.  You really learn a lot about yourself during the months of training leading up to the event, and even more while you’re on the course.  I learned that I could run further then I originally thought possible and that my body could sustain a load of pain. 
I couldn't find a picture of me in the 2005 Philly Marathon, but here is a picture of me sprinting to the finish line of the Wine Glass Marathon. I had finally qualified for the Boston Marathon.

                   The morning of my first Philadelphia Marathon (I’ve run it twice), I over slept which is rare, as most of you know race day brings on a lot of anxiety, which usually prevents things like sleeping in.  I remember my best friend banging on my apartment door yelling.  I woke startled!  I couldn’t believe I had overslept!  I quickly jumped out of bed, let Mort into the apartment, and apologized.  He just said don’t worry about, just get dressed and get your stuff.  During the process of getting myself together I ended up putting the wrong hair gel into my hair.  During my frantic rush to get ready, I grabbed a blue hair coloring gel that I had used prior for Halloween and had planned on using on Thanksgiving for our traditional Turkey Bowl.  Aside from my hair having a hint of blue, the rest of the morning went smoothly. 

                I will say I foolishly thought that I could qualify for the Boston Marathon on my first attempt.  That didn’t happen.  I didn’t even come close!  I came through mile 20 cursing at Glenn Cohen (who was working the water stop).  Glenn was being supportive and offering me words of encouragement, but I was hating the world at mile 20, and I shared those feelings with Glenn with some unflattering words.  This was all erased as I approached the finish line at mile 26.  The next point 2 miles were the most amazing length of distance I have ever run.  To this day I have not been able to match the feeling that I felt as I crossed the finish line of my first marathon. 

                  Tomorrow regardless if you are running in the half or the full you will experience some obstacles.  You need to rely on your training.  If you trained properly, these obstacles will be overcome with ease.  If you didn’t, the obstacles will be tougher to overcome, but you have to push through these obstacles to reach your goal.  I like to compare training to poker chips and race day as the “all in moment” of the game.  The more you’ve trained the more chips you have to push forward.  If you happen to be short stacked it doesn’t mean you can’t go all in, everyone can go all in.  What matters is how good your cards are.  When the race gets difficult tomorrow you can fold or you can go all in.

Good Luck Everyone!

 Till we run into each other again…