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A song for these times December 19, 2016

Posted by Brian in Brian Kelley, Music, NJ, SoundCloud.
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Don't want to be a pest...but I still need your vote!I wrote “Get Back Into Line” in 2013 and quickly recorded a demo-grade version of it in GarageBand on my MacBook. I hadn’t written anything politically or socially charged in ages, but I was angry about what was going on with Congress at the time and this came together fairly quickly (and includes a couple of choice “adult” words). Musically, it was inspired by Midge Ure (of Ultravox and Band Aid fame), who I had seen live in Philly in January 2013. The sparse intro was influenced by the Ultravox classic “Vienna,” as is the buildup toward the middle of the song. There’s also some art/prog-rock touches thrown in.

Anyway…here, now, at the end of 2016, not only has a certain group of people not found the passion to care for all of its constituents and the world in general, but they have found a new leader who amplifies, endorses and empowers all the worst elements of this nation.

As the Electoral College casts its votes today to send this nation into a very dark chapter, I felt it was appropriate to share this song again. I recently started to reimagine it a bit, focusing more on the piano, so maybe I’ll record a new version of this soon.

Back in Training: 2017 New Jersey Marathon August 18, 2016

Posted by Brian in Back In Training, Brian Kelley, New Jersey, NJ, running, training, weight loss.
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Running in the 2015 Trenton Half Marathon

Running in the 2015 Trenton Half Marathon

Hi there…I know it’s been awhile. Although I haven’t posted here much lately and haven’t published a series of “back in training” posts in quite some time, I have very much been in training for a few weeks now — most of which is chronicled on my Instagram account.

What am I training for, you ask? Well, once again, I will be running in this year’s Trenton Half Marathon and a few smaller races before that. However, a couple of months ago, I decided that I was going to target 2017 as the year I run in my first full marathon. And I recently decided which marathon I will make my first…

It’s the 2017 New Jersey Marathon on Sunday, April 30, 2017!

Novo Nordisk New Jersey Marathon

Novo Nordisk New Jersey Marathon

I grew up at the Jersey Shore and it seems the logical place to do something I never dreamed of doing until the the last two or three years. And this way, I hope family and friends and can see me accomplish this.

My primary goal is to, of course, finish. My secondary goal is a bit ambitious…I want to complete the marathon with a sub-4 hour time. To do that, I need to run at about a 9:10-per-mile pace. My training times have been kind of all over the place recently, but when the weather is just right and I’m feeling good, I’m right around that pace—or better. In a chilly rain back in early May, I completed Philadelphia’s 10-mile Broad Street Run with a 9:11-per-mile pace. Granted, that’s 16.2 miles short of a marathon, but I’m fairly certain I could have run another five miles, at least, at that pace on that day. I don’t know if the crappy weather inspired me to run faster than usual, but I felt extraordinarily good running that race.

Currently, I am carrying a few extra pounds (15 lbs. or so, to be precise) that I’m hoping to shed by April 2017. Obviously, it would help if I could reduce the load my legs are carrying for a 26.2-mile run.

Of course, I’ll see how I do in the Trenton Half Marathon in late October and adjust my marathon goals accordingly. With very little training last year, I finished the race in 2:15:43 (10:21/mile pace). In 2014, when I was doing much more training, I finished the Trenton Half Marathon in 2:07:12 (9:42/mile pace). I’m looking to finish this year’s Trenton Half in 2 hours or less and, based on my 9:11/mile pace in the 10-mile Broad Street Run earlier this year and my more regular training/conditioning runs, I strongly believe this is possible.

Stay tuned…

Get my results from the Hightstown Triathlon on Sunday, Sept. 13 September 12, 2015

Posted by Brian in Brian Kelley, Hightstown, NJ, training, triathlon.
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Despite my summer training getting derailed by a broken left hand for most of July and August, I’m still competing in the Hightstown (N.J.) Triathlon on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015…and you can follow along:

Brian Kelley’s 2015 Hightstown Triathlon Result

I did this sprint-distance tri last year as a warm-up to the Atlantic City (International) Triathlon a month later. Both were my first triathlons at those respective distances. I actually medaled at Hightstown as I finished at the No. 3 male newcomer, but I didn’t expect to medal and didn’t realize there was such a medal until two weeks after the race when I happened to read it on the event’s web site so I never received it. Thankfully, this year’s organizer allowed me to take one of last year’s medals when I explained what had happened.

Anyway, because I’m not in the greatest shape and didn’t get in as much training as I had planned, I don’t expect to do all that great. I’m thinking the 500-yard swim will be around 15-17 minutes, the 11.2-mile bike ride will be around 40-45 minutes, the 3.1-mile run about 30-32 minutes, and my two transition times about 6 minutes each. Add that all up and you get somewhere between 1 hour, 37 minutes and 1 hour, 43 minutes. I finished in 1:34:05 last year and that was with a longer bike ride (about 15 miles).

In fact, I hadn’t done an open-water swim since Atlantic City a year ago – until I covered about 500 yards in a practice swim while picking up my race packet today (9/12) in Hightstown. It was rough, but I didn’t die so I have that going for me.

OK…time to get to sleep and get ready to swim, bike and run.

New Brunswick, NJ’s trail of terror…and/or shame September 4, 2015

Posted by Brian in New Brunswick, New Jersey, NJ, pathway, recreation, running, trail.
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Scary segment of Delaware and Raritan Canal trail between Route 27 and Route 18 (marked by distance ruler) in New Brunswick, NJ. (Google Maps)

Scary segment of Delaware and Raritan Canal trail between Route 27 and Route 18 (marked by distance ruler) in New Brunswick, NJ. (Google Maps)

Since I started working in New Brunswick, N.J., a little over a year ago, I have tried to squeeze in some running two or three mornings a week before my work day actually begins (usually depending on which train I catch).

So far, I’ve found three routes (each approximately three miles) that have suited my needs. Recently, I became aware of a park – Buccleuch Park – about a mile away from where I work and saw on Google Maps that one of the paths I use – the one that runs along Route 18 and through Boyd Park – actually extends beyond Route 27 to an area near the Route 18 overpass where someone can access the pathway that goes around Buccleuch Park. I thought this would be great for a longer run.

I tried it this week…it wasn’t great. In fact, it was frightening – even for 9:30 in the morning.

It was, by far, the most harrowing run I’ve ever been on. Basically, once you go under the Route 27 bridge separating New Brunswick and Highland Park, you are cut off from the world with a graffiti-faced barrier wall on one side and overgrown, trash-filled brush and weeds on the other. Sure, you’re running along the Raritan River, but you can barely see it through the vegetation. Holes in the fence along the river bank had me thinking dead bodies were being hidden back there, so you’re not really inclined to look in that direction in case those suspicions are correct.

The one saving grace was that I was alone – at least, at first. But then I realized if something happened to me, I might never be found. The path didn’t look like it had been patrolled or maintained in any significant manner since…well…forever.

At one point (and I kid you not), a black cat literally walked across the path in front of me, which had me really freaked out – and that was before I noticed dozens of plastic bowls, once presumably filled with cat food, placed there by a person (or persons) caring for the feral cats of the forsaken trail (at least someone was paying attention to something back there).

Anyway, about halfway between the Route 27 and Route 18 bridges, I did come across some people on the pathway. One was a semi-passed out individual on the steps leading to a pedestrian crossing over Route 18. There were two more people riding bikes, but they certainly didn’t look like they were doing it for fitness or even recreation…and they appeared to be waiting for someone (make of that what you will).

So, despite the heat and the fact I haven’t been running much lately after breaking my left hand in early July), I picked up my pace and just kept running.

As I neared the area where Route 18 curves and goes over the river, I knew the path would be ending soon. But, according to Google Maps, there appeared to be a way to get across (or even under) an exit ramp so you could connect to the nearly adjacent Buccleuch Park. Well, I soon found out this was not the case, meaning that this path just ends…and, after the experience I had running that stretch of it, I realized the only fitting destination for that path would be a dead end*. I had to run on a somewhat busy exit ramp with essentially no shoulder or walkway for a good 1,000 feet or so before I could safely cross and get to the pathway in the park.

(* – There very well may be a point to cross on that exit ramp to reach a path that leads to a crossing into the park, but it’s not marked for trail users to see. There definitely wasn’t a designated crosswalk. Google Maps not only shows this “mythical” connector path, but satellite view shows something that appears to be some kind of path on the other side of the exit ramp.)

It’s an embarrassment that a city like New Brunswick can’t even do the minimum to maintain what should be a key recreational path connecting Boyd and Buccleuch parks. The path is also part of the Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park Trail**, which means the state of New Jersey hasn’t done anything for this stretch of the path either.

(** – The path is also part of the developing East Coast Greenway trail network spanning Maine to Florida.)

I’m not sure what can be done at this point, as the pathway has reached such a state of disrepair that it would likely cost millions of dollars to clean up and refurbish. And that’s not even factoring in some kind of redesign that would allow users of the path to be less isolated for security reasons. But it’s a shame that the only recreational trail linking Buccleuch Park to downtown New Brunswick is in such a sorry, scary state. If anyone in the area feels strongly about this issue and has any ideas about what can be done, please feel free to include them in the comments below.

Princeton Ironman 70.3 canceled and it’s not surprising April 13, 2015

Posted by Brian in Brian Kelley, New Jersey, NJ, opinion.
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2014 Princeton Ironman 70.3 at Mercer County Park in West Windsor, N.J. (photo by Brian Kelley)

The inaugural Princeton Ironman 70.3 triathlon was a huge event held in Mercer County in September 2014. Nearly 2,500 athletes competed and the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce estimated the economic impact on the area was between $3 million and $6million.

However, the 2015 Princeton Ironman 70.3 has been canceled because it could not secure a satisfactory bike route in the area. Here is what was included in a recent e-mail sent to participants:

We regret to inform you that the 2015 IRONMAN 70.3 Princeton triathlon will not take place this September. IRONMAN is responsible for securing a race course which meets the high standards of our brand and provides our athletes an unparalleled race experience. Race courses must also be approved by the local authorities. Unfortunately, after numerous attempts, we were not granted the necessary approvals for the bike course.

And that bike course is where last year’s Princeton Ironman 70.3 was ridiculously problematic and NIMBY-istic.

The problem is that, despite the name and the fact that both the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce and Princeton Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau were the driving forces behind the Ironman coming to the area, the Princeton Ironman 70.3 had absolutely nothing to do with Princeton.

The event started and finished in Mercer County Park in West Windsor, N.J., roughly two miles away from the southernmost tip of Princeton. The 1.2-mile swim took place in the park’s lake and the half-marathon component was a double loop within the park and on adjacent roads and properties.

The 56-mile bike ride also started and finished in Mercer County Park, but that didn’t even go into Princeton. In fact, the course went in the opposite direction of Princeton, heading south into the Mercer County communities of West Windsor and Hamilton, and the western Monmouth County municipalities of Allentown and Upper Freehold before looping back toward Mercer County Park.

This meant that there were a number of road closures in these locations — again, NONE OF WHICH were in Princeton. Yet, the event was marketed as taking place in Princeton and by Princeton-based marketing entities. Excuse the language, but that’s pretty much bullshit.

If Princeton wants to reap the economic benefits of an Ironman event so badly, it should at least accept some of the logistical burdens of staging such a major event, such as road closures and expenses.

Now, without any knowledge of what actually went down, I’m guessing the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce convinced the municipalities involved that the course selected in 2014 was simply the best fit for the Ironman 70.3. And I’m guessing these municipalities decided to give it a try and see if they saw any economic benefits from hosting elements of the event there. What probably happened is that they didn’t, and when they were approached about the 2015 bike course, they justifiably declined to have their residents and businesses inconvenienced for nothing.

The truth is, Princeton has a lake for a swim course, and they have plenty of roads for a half-marathon (in fact, Princeton hosts a half-marathon every year) and part of a bike course. If Princeton wants to host an Ironman event, it should actually host it instead of imposing on neighboring communities, businesses and residents.

Back to the 80s: My 2014 live music recap December 29, 2014

Posted by Brian in Brian Kelley, concerts, links, Music, NJ, Philadelphia, video, WXPN, YouTube.
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Tom Bailey of Thompson Twins

Tom Bailey of Thompson Twins performs “Hold Me Now” at the Keswick Theatre in Glenside, Pa., on Aug. 22, 2014. YouTube screenshot courtesy of user Steve Vitalidol.

Although my concert-going days have been limited since 2012, when my first son was born (and another one coming in early March 2015), I still try to make it to shows in my area—especially if it’s a band or artist I REALLY like and haven’t seen before or in a long time.

It wasn’t really by design, but many of the concerts I attended in 2014 were acts known more for their activity in the 1980s—Johnny Clegg, Gary Numan, The Fixx, Midge Ure (of Ultravox/Rich Kids/Visage/Band Aid fame), Howard Jones, Tom Bailey (former leader of the Thompson Twins), China Crisis and Katrina Leskanich (of Katrina & The Waves fame).

My year of live music kicked off in March with synth-rock legend Gary Numan at the Trocadero in Philadelphia. Numan’s “Cars” was a childhood favorite of mine (it was released in late 1979, when I was 8) and led to my picking up various Gary Numan/Tubeway Army records, cassettes and CDs over the years. When I saw he was playing in Philly and could get the evening free, I took advantage of the opportunity to see a legend who influenced so many electronic/pop/rock artists I love, including (most obviously) Nine Inch Nails. Here are a couple of YouTube videos from this show:

Gary Numan – “Are Friends Electric?”
Trocadero, Philadelphia, Pa., March 23, 2014

Gary Numan – “Cars”
Trocadero, Philadelphia, Pa., March 23, 2014

Later that month, I was at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia for one of the greatest concert experiences of my lifetime. Since I first heard “Cruel, Crazy Beautiful World” by Johnny Clegg & Savuka in the late 1980s, I have admired Clegg’s music and mission. Also, he’s one of the most interesting human beings in the world. You can check out his Wikipedia entry for details, but very few people can claim to be a singer-songwriter/French knight/professor of anthropology/Zulu dance master/political activist/human rights champion…AND performed on stage with a dancing Nelson Mandela in front of thousands.

Recently, I had been thinking that Clegg’s life and music would be a perfect fit for a stage musical and was thinking of how to connect with some people I now work with to explore that possibility. Well, according to Clegg’s Wikipedia entry, he is already working on one. If Johnny Clegg somehow sees this…if you complete the musical and would like to bring it to the United States, I might be able to convince a prominent theater in central New Jersey to take stage it there.

Anyway, here is an excellent write-up on the show, which also included Johnny’s son, Jesse, as the opening act. What was cool about this for me was that “Cruel, Crazy Beautiful World” was written as a pre-emptive farewell to Jesse when he was a young boy, at a time when Johnny was under threat of assassination due to his part in the fight against apartheid in South Africa.

I’ve only found one YouTube video from the show I saw in March, but it’s a good one. Here is Johnny Clegg performing “Giyana”…

Johnny Clegg – “Giyana”
World Cafe Live, Philadelphia, Pa., March 30, 2014

In July, my family tries to spend at least a few hours at WXPN’s annual XPoNential Music Festival in Camden, N.J., since there are always acts we enjoy–and this year was no different. We managed to see Ingrid Michaelson (to whom my wife and I first danced as a married couple), Nicole Atkins, Diego Garcia, Strand of Oaks, Lake Street Dive and Commonwealth Choir, among others. Unfortunately, the last time I looked, there weren’t any videos from the three-day festival on YouTube that I could find.

My 80s-themed concert-going experiences continued, though, in August when I went to Jenkinson’s on the boardwalk in Point Pleasant Beach, N.J.–right next to my hometown of Brick Township–to see The Fixx, who I hadn’t seen since a May 1991 at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, N.J. My wife and I brought our kid to the boardwalk about two weeks before the show at Jenk’s (as it’s colloquially known) and I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw them listed on the concert schedule. I decided I had to go and I’m really glad I did, because they freakin’ rocked. I mean, this isn’t frontman Cy Curnin with some replacement guys. While not the original Fixx lineup, it’s still the classic version of the band that had a string of hits in the 1980s like “Saved by Zero” (now, a staple of car commercials promoting 0% financing or no money down gimmicks), “Red Skies,” “Stand or Fall” and “One Thing Leads to Another.”

There are a few YouTube videos of The Fixx in action at Jenk’s, but most are just parts of songs. Here is a full version of Cy & Co. performing “Deeper and Deeper,” which is pretty awesome…

The Fixx – “Deeper and Deeper”
Jenks Club, Point Pleasant Beach, N.J., August 5, 2014

Later that month, I put an exclamation point on my 1980s-themed concert year when my wife and I attended the RetroFutura Tour show at the Keswick Theatre in Glenside, Pa., on August 22, 2014. This show featured sets by several artists who many consider as “80s acts” like Katrina Leskanich (who has left The Waves behind), China Crisis (whose “Arizona Sky” is one of my all-time favorite songs), Midge Ure (one of my all-time favorite artists who I also saw in January 2013 and in June 1989), Howard Jones (this marked my fifth time seeing HoJo, another all-time great in my book) and Tom Bailey of the Thompson Twins, who was returning to the stage for the first time in 27 years.

I put together a playlist of YouTube videos from that memorable night, but below is the show’s finale…Tom Bailey performing an extended version of the Thompson Twins’ classic, “Hold Me Now.” This was the second night of the tour and on the previous (opening) night in New York City, the song just ended on the final drum hit. But the next night, something kind of magical happened–and I was proud to be part of the audience (which redeemed itself for being pretty lame for most of the night). As Bailey and his band played out the final measures of the song, the standing crowd was singing the chorus. But when the music stopped, the crowd kept going. Obviously moved, Bailey brought his all-female backing band to the front of the stage to sing along with the crowd…FOR ANOTHER THREE CHORUSES!

I was so happy to witness and participate in this…it still brings chills when I watch the video.

Tom Bailey (of Thompson Twins) – “Hold Me Now”
Keswick Theatre, Glenside, Pa., August 22, 2014

What’s even more awesome about this video is that if I pause it just before the end at the 8:27 mark, I can totally see the backs of our heads near the bottom of the video window.

I actually saw a few more live acts at a special WXPN donor party celebrating 10 years at their home adjacent and within the World Cafe Live complex in Philly. The event took place a couple of hours after I ran in WXPN’s first-ever 5K to benefit its Musicians on Call program, so I cleaned up a bit, changed clothes and–after some walking around University City–came back to watch up-and-coming Icelandic singer-songwriter Asgeir and one of my favorites, Mike Doughty (formerly of Soul Coughing, back in the 1990s). Again, though…no YouTube videos from that event.

With another kid on the way, getting to some live shows in 2015 is going to be a huge struggle. Sure, we might try to get in a few hours at the XPoNential Music Festival again in July, and I’m going to try to get to a Kasim Sulton show at Tin Angel in Philly in late January (and I just saw Sophie B. Hawkins is going to be there a few days later on January 31…I’m going to have to choose). The recently reunited Spandau Ballet is going to be at Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, N.J., on February 10, but I’m not sure about that one. Midge Ure is returning to World Cafe Live in Philly on February 24, but unfortunately that’s way too close to my wife’s due date (although I would really like to see Midge three years in a row after not seeing him for nearly 24 years).

What I am most excited for, from a musical standpoint, in 2015 is the long-awaited release of the new Tears For Fears album, which Roland and Curt have been working on for close to a year now. That’s supposedly coming out late in 2015.

Happy New Year!

Update No. 18 – Back in training 2014: Trenton Half Marathon result November 10, 2014

Posted by Brian in Brian Kelley, links, New Jersey, NJ, Philadelphia, running, training, weight loss.
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Trenton Half MarathonWell, with my completion of the Trenton Half Marathon this past Saturday—my first-ever half-marathon—this year’s series of “Back in Training” posts comes to a close. I finished the Trenton Half Marathon in 2:07:12, and my 10-mile split of 1:34:03 bested my 10-mile time in the 2014 Broad Street Run (1:36:21) by more than two minutes. The course through Trenton, N.J., and Morrisville, Pa., is fairly challenging, with a decent number of inclines. There is one uphill road in Morrisville that kicked my ass when I ran the 10K race last year, so I was determined not to let it get the best of me again. This year, I eased up just a bit as I approached the turn onto that street and hit it hard. I blew by quite a few people at that point and, honestly, I felt great when I reached the top of that hill. It was totally the right way to go.

BK with Trenton Half Marathon finisher's medal

Me…after finishing the 2014 Trenton Half Marathon.

But…there were plenty more climbs, especially right after mile 8 on the approach to Cadwalader Park. Within the park itself, there were a few hills and dips. Between that and the fact that I had only run longer than 10.1 miles once before, this is when my legs started tiring. You can see in my splits that I ran a 10:39/mile pace between miles 10 and 13.1—nearly a full minute slower than my pace over the previous five miles and 1 min., 22 sec. slower than my pace over the first five miles of the race. But the important thing is that I finished without ever having to walk. I may have slowed to a very slow jog at spots, but I never walked. I know there’s no shame in walking for a bit during a long-distance race, but I went into this event thinking it might be the only half-marathon I ever run so I didn’t want to have any regrets. And a lot of my training this year was about finding a pace that would allow me to complete running events without having to walk. It would have been disappointing to me if I had done so.

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Video of my finish… Here’s a quick recap of the other three major athletic competitions I competed in this year:

Now, I also had a background goal this year to get down to 168 pounds. Well, I wasn’t able to hit that one, but I am down to around 177 so I’m still within 10 pounds of that goal. The important thing is that I physically feel the best I have in, well, my entire adult life. I would love to continue doing these events, but 2015 is going to be busy for me as my wife and I will be welcoming into our lives our second child in three years. And my transition from a work-at-home/freelance position to an office gig back in August has severely curtailed any time I would have for training. So I seriously doubt I will be doing a “Back in Training” series in 2015…but check back in 2016. – BK Note: See the January 18 update and original post below for background information…and please see the Training Tracker below to follow my major training swims, rides and runs.

1/18/2014 UPDATE: Earlier this month (see original post below), I wrote about training for my first half-marathon, the Trenton (N.J.) Half-Marathon taking place Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, and my other goal of reaching a target weight of 168 pounds. Well, when I wrote that, I was also eyeing another ridiculously ambitious goal…competing and finishing in the Atlantic City International Triathlon on Sept. 14, 2014. However, I was still waiting to hear back from the organizers regarding a question about my bike. Well, I was given the information I needed and have officially registered for the event, which includes a one-mile swim, a 20-mile bike ride and a 10K (6.2-mile) run. I’ve never done an official half-marathon before, but at least I’ve run 13.1 miles in training  so I know I can do it. I have completed a swim of around a mile, have ridden 20 miles on a bike many times before and have 6.2 miles several times. However, I am in no way ready to do all of these in sequence at one time, but I’m learning as fast as I can how to get myself trained and conditioned for it. So I must revise the 2014 fitness goals I listed in the original post. They are now: 1) get weight down to (and stay at/near) 168 pounds, 2) complete the Atlantic City International Triathlon, and 3) complete the Trenton Half-Marathon. Wow…when you write it all out, it looks daunting. What was I thinking? Oh well, nothing to do now but to get in shape and ready to compete. At the bottom of each of these posts, you will find a training tracker so you can follow my progress.

Original Post – January 9, 2014: Last year, I tracked my training for the Trenton 10K, which took place Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013. It was the first organized race I have run other than a 5K. I finished the Trenton 10K with a chip time of 59:46.399, and my goal was to finish in less than an hour…so mission accomplished. But as I watched the half-marathon runners start their race that morning, I regretted not being more ambitious with my running goals. After finally shaking off a persistent head cold I came down with the day after the race, I mapped out a route and completed a test run of 13.1 miles in 2:27:27—and, admittedly, that included about a half-mile of walking. Now that I know I can do it, I want to announce here that I have registered for the 2014 Trenton Half-Marathon, taking place Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014. I also want to use this opportunity to finally get into the proverbial “best shape of my life”— a sports cliché used by so many aging veterans heading into training camp. The holidays and two bouts with colds have basically put me back to square one as far as conditioning is concerned, but next week I’m going to start getting serious about working out everyday and tracking my caloric intake. And, of course, I’ll be tracking my training runs here on the blog. In addition to training for the half marathon, it is my goal to finally get down to 168 pounds, which means losing about 23 pounds. I had lost 35 pounds back in 2006 after a false heart disease scare, but my weight-loss efforts stalled at 173—leaving me five pounds shy of my goal. Unfortunately, I gained nearly all of the weight I lost back again within the following year and have only been able to lose about 10-15 pounds a couple of times since then. So…those are my two main goals for 2014: 1) complete the Trenton Half Marathon, 2) get down (and stay at/near) 168 pounds.

Training Tracker I’ll be posting updates on my progress here every so often. The table below includes my swim/bike/run distances and times during this training period. Items in bold are personal records or other milestones. Also, I finally reversed the order of the table so that the most recent activity is at top…
Date Swim/Bike/Run Distance Time
11/8/2014 13.1 miles (run) 2:07:12 (personal best half-marathon, personal best 10-mi. time of 1:34:03)
10/26/2014 3.1 miles (run) 26:26
10/26/2014 10.1 miles (run) 1:36:28
10/18/2014 8 miles (run) 1:16:42
10/5/2014 5K (run) 23:04 -WXPN Musicians On Call 5K (results) – my Nike+ only registered 2.84 miles instead of 3.1
9/28/2014 6.5 miles (run) 58:16 (includes personal-best 10K time of 55:11)
9/21/2014 4.9 miles (run) 48:52
9/21/2014 5.5 miles (run) 50:27
9/14/2014 5 miles (run) 50:20.80 – 2014 Atlantic City International Triathlon (results)
9/14/2014 20 miles (bike) 1:08:52.80 – 2014 Atlantic City International Triathlon (results) [Transition 2 time – 6:45.20]
9/14/2014 1.0 mile (swim) 52:16.80 – 2014 Atlantic City International Triathlon (results) [Transition 1 time – 6:18.20]
9/7/2014 6.27 miles (run) 57:08 (56:39 10K time – personal best)
8/30/2014 0.5 mile (swim) Approximately 25 minutes
8/29/2014 3.15 miles (run) 26:14
8/17/2014 3.1 miles (run) 26:01 – 2014 Hightstown Triathlon (results)
8/17/2014 15.3 miles (bike) 50:16 – 2014 Hightstown Triathlon (results)
8/17/2014 0.25 miles (swim) 10:24 – 2014 Hightstown Triathlon (results)
8/9/2014 2.34 miles (run) 19:40
8/9/2014 600 yards/0.34 miles (lake swim) N/A…first time swimming in a lake in a wetsuit…had to “float” frequently during swim and rest for about 15 minutes between the two 300-yard loops.
8/8/2014 3.11 miles (bike) 27:22
8/8/2014 15.55 miles (bike) 52:48
8/6/2014 3.12 miles (run) 27:12
8/6/2014 14.99 miles (bike) 49:32 (in a bit of rain)
8/4/2014 3.11 miles (run) 29:05
8/4/2014 14.42 (bike) 51:19
7/31/2014 19.55 miles (bike) 1:06:54 (tracking was a bit off toward the end of the ride due to device issue)
7/29/2014 3.11 miles (run) 26:17
7/17/2014 3.11 miles (run) 30:42
7/16/2014 3.11 miles (run) 28:36
7/16/2014 20.03 miles (bike) 1:09:05
7/10/2014 3.1 miles (Nike+ recorded 3.19 miles) (run) 26:47.15 (RWJUH Strides for Stroke 5K) / 27:14 (Nike+)
7/10/2014 20.05 miles (bike) 1:09:45
7/8/2014 2.01 miles (run) 18:28
7/8/2014 10.04 miles (bike) 33:59
6/30/2014 5.00 miles (run) 48:02
6/27/2014 6.2 miles (run) 59:51
6/27/2014 20.08 miles (bike) 1:07:31
6/23/2014 3.30 miles (run) 31:15
6/23/2014 20.03 miles (bike) 1:06:44 (20-mile personal best)
6/20/2014 3.12 miles (run) 28:20
6/20/2014 15.01 (bike) 51:08
6/17/2014 3.11 miles (run) 26:09 (included personal-best mile time of 7:33)
6/16/2014 4.06 miles (run) 41:37
6/16/2014 20.28 miles (bike) 1:08:34
6/10/2014 6.22 miles (run) 57:02 (10K-distance personal best)
6/6/2014 3.12 miles (run) 26:43
6/4/2014 4.54 miles (run) 52:46
6/4/2014 20.24 miles (bike) 1:08:27 (20-mile personal best)
5/29/2014 6.21 miles (run) 1:02:37
5/29/2014 16.6 miles (bike) 58:48
5/29/2014 4.67 miles (bike) 17:39
5/27/2014 3.12 miles (run) 27:42
5/25/2014 6.21 miles (run) 58:57 (Brigantine, NJ)
5/23/2014 3.12 miles (run) 27:15
5/20/2014 6.23 miles (run) 57:16
5/19/2014 2.35 miles (run) 20:02
5/12/2014 5.01 miles (run) 46:18
5/9/2014 3.11 miles (run) 25:58 (5K-distance personal best)
5/4/2014 10.0 miles (Nike+ recorded 10.2 miles) (run) 1:36:21 – Broad Street Run (10-mile personal-best)
5/2/2014 3.1 miles (run) 28:15
5/1/2014 3.1 miles (run) 26:23 (5K-distance personal best)
4/28/2014 4 miles (run) 35:44
4/24/2014 10 miles (run) 1:39:04
4/22/2014 5.02 miles (run) 50:18
4/21/2014 5.02 miles (run) 46:38 (5-mile personal best)
4/13/2014 3.1 miles (run) 26:57 official chip time – Barnabas Health Lakewood BlueClaws 5K
4/9/2014 3.14 miles (run) 26:52
4/2/2014 3.11 miles (run) 26:51
3/27/2014 10 miles (run) 1:45:49
3/21/2014 15.25 mile ride followed by 6.21 mile run 59:25 (bike)/1:05:14 (run)
3/11/2014 18.46 mile ride followed by 3.11 mile run 1:10:09 (bike)/30:40 (run)
3/6/2014 6.21 miles (run) 58:45
2/21/2014 6.21 miles (run) 1:01:34
2/11/2014 3.11 miles (run) 30:55
2/10/2014 1.02 miles (swim) – 72 laps (25-yd pool) approx. 40 minutes
2/6/2014 1.02 miles (swim) – 72 laps (25-yd pool) approx. 40 minutes
2/4/2014 0.57 miles (swim) – 40 laps (25-yd pool) unknown
1/31/2014 1.14 miles (swim) – 80 laps (25-yd pool) approx. 1 hour
1/29/2014 1.02 miles (swim) – 72 laps (25-yd pool) approx. 50 minutes
1/27/2014 0.71 miles (swim) – 50 laps (25-yd pool) approx. 40 minutes
1/24/2014 0.37 miles (swim) – 26 laps (25-yd pool) approx. 30 minutes
12/5/2013 13.12 miles (run) 2:27:27

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Update No. 17 – Back in training 2014: Preparing for a half-marathon November 1, 2014

Posted by Brian in Brian Kelley, links, New Jersey, NJ, Philadelphia, running, training, weight loss.
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Trenton Half Marathon
Broad Street Run
Hightstown Triathlon logo
Atlantic City Triathlon logo

So…this is looong overdue. Work and family life have kept me incredibly busy recently, but I have managed to get a few training runs in for my last athletic event of 2014–the Trenton Half-Marathon on November 8.

On Sunday, October 26, I completed a 10-mile run in 1:35:51–a new personal best at that distance, eclipsing my 2014 Broad Street Run time of 1:36:21. Unfortunately, my Nike+ kept going for a bit after I stopped so it wound up recording a little more than 10 miles at 1:36:28. The week before (October 18), I ran 8 miles in 1:16:42.

I’m going to try to get in one more short training run before the half-marathon.

Oh, I also ran in the in the inaugural WXPN 5K Run for Musicians On Call on October 5 and completed that in a personal-best 5K time of 23:04 (although I’m 99.9% sure the course was not measured out right, as my Nike+ app registered that run as just 2.84 miles instead of 3.1).

To recap the other three major athletic competitions I competed in this year…

  • I completed the Atlantic City International Triathlon on September 14 in a total time of 3:04:33.90 (52:15.80 1-mile swim/6:18.20 T1/1:08:52.80 20-mile bike/6:45.20 T2/50:20.80 5-mile run), which is pretty much what I expected. (Full recap)
  • I finished the Hightstown (sprint) Triathlon on August 17 in a total time of 1:34:05 (10:24 .25-mile swim/4:26 T1/50:16 15-mile bike/2:59 T2/26:01 5K).
  • Completed the 10-mile Broad Street Run in 1:36:21 on May 4.

Note: See the January 18 update and original post below for background information…and please see the Training Tracker below to follow my major training swims, rides and runs.

1/18/2014 UPDATE:
Earlier this month (see original post below), I wrote about training for my first half-marathon, the Trenton (N.J.) Half-Marathon taking place Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, and my other goal of reaching a target weight of 168 pounds.

Well, when I wrote that, I was also eyeing another ridiculously ambitious goal…competing and finishing in the Atlantic City International Triathlon on Sept. 14, 2014. However, I was still waiting to hear back from the organizers regarding a question about my bike. Well, I was given the information I needed and have officially registered for the event, which includes a one-mile swim, a 20-mile bike ride and a 10K (6.2-mile) run.

I’ve never done an official half-marathon before, but at least I’ve run 13.1 miles in training  so I know I can do it. I have completed a swim of around a mile, have ridden 20 miles on a bike many times before and have 6.2 miles several times. However, I am in no way ready to do all of these in sequence at one time, but I’m learning as fast as I can how to get myself trained and conditioned for it.

So I must revise the 2014 fitness goals I listed in the original post. They are now: 1) get weight down to (and stay at/near) 168 pounds, 2) complete the Atlantic City International Triathlon, and 3) complete the Trenton Half-Marathon.

Wow…when you write it all out, it looks daunting. What was I thinking? Oh well, nothing to do now but to get in shape and ready to compete.

At the bottom of each of these posts, you will find a training tracker so you can follow my progress.

Original Post – January 9, 2014:
Last year, I tracked my training for the Trenton 10K, which took place Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013. It was the first organized race I have run other than a 5K. I finished the Trenton 10K with a chip time of 59:46.399, and my goal was to finish in less than an hour…so mission accomplished.

But as I watched the half-marathon runners start their race that morning, I regretted not being more ambitious with my running goals. After finally shaking off a persistent head cold I came down with the day after the race, I mapped out a route and completed a test run of 13.1 miles in 2:27:27—and, admittedly, that included about a half-mile of walking.

Now that I know I can do it, I want to announce here that I have registered for the 2014 Trenton Half-Marathon, taking place Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014.

I also want to use this opportunity to finally get into the proverbial “best shape of my life”— a sports cliché used by so many aging veterans heading into training camp. The holidays and two bouts with colds have basically put me back to square one as far as conditioning is concerned, but next week I’m going to start getting serious about working out everyday and tracking my caloric intake. And, of course, I’ll be tracking my training runs here on the blog.

In addition to training for the half marathon, it is my goal to finally get down to 168 pounds, which means losing about 23 pounds. I had lost 35 pounds back in 2006 after a false heart disease scare, but my weight-loss efforts stalled at 173—leaving me five pounds shy of my goal. Unfortunately, I gained nearly all of the weight I lost back again within the following year and have only been able to lose about 10-15 pounds a couple of times since then.

So…those are my two main goals for 2014: 1) complete the Trenton Half Marathon, 2) get down (and stay at/near) 168 pounds.

Training Tracker
I’ll be posting updates on my progress here every so often. The table below includes my swim/bike/run distances and times during this training period. Items in bold are personal records or other milestones. Also, I finally reversed the order of the table so that the most recent activity is at top…
Date Swim/Bike/Run Distance Time
10/26/2014 10.1 miles (run) 1:36:28 (includes personal-best 10-mi. time of 1:35:51)
10/18/2014 8 miles (run) 1:16:42
10/5/2014 5K (run) 23:04 -WXPN Musicians On Call 5K (results) – my Nike+ only registered 2.84 miles instead of 3.1
9/28/2014 6.5 miles (run) 58:16 (includes personal-best 10K time of 55:11)
9/21/2014 4.9 miles (run) 48:52
9/21/2014 5.5 miles (run) 50:27
9/14/2014 5 miles (run) 50:20.80 – 2014 Atlantic City International Triathlon (results)
9/14/2014 20 miles (bike) 1:08:52.80 – 2014 Atlantic City International Triathlon (results) [Transition 2 time – 6:45.20]
9/14/2014 1.0 mile (swim) 52:16.80 – 2014 Atlantic City International Triathlon (results) [Transition 1 time – 6:18.20]
9/7/2014 6.27 miles (run) 57:08 (56:39 10K time – personal best)
8/30/2014 0.5 mile (swim) Approximately 25 minutes
8/29/2014 3.15 miles (run) 26:14
8/17/2014 3.1 miles (run) 26:01 – 2014 Hightstown Triathlon (results)
8/17/2014 15.3 miles (bike) 50:16 – 2014 Hightstown Triathlon (results)
8/17/2014 0.25 miles (swim) 10:24 – 2014 Hightstown Triathlon (results)
8/9/2014 2.34 miles (run) 19:40
8/9/2014 600 yards/0.34 miles (lake swim) N/A…first time swimming in a lake in a wetsuit…had to “float” frequently during swim and rest for about 15 minutes between the two 300-yard loops.
8/8/2014 3.11 miles (bike) 27:22
8/8/2014 15.55 miles (bike) 52:48
8/6/2014 3.12 miles (run) 27:12
8/6/2014 14.99 miles (bike) 49:32 (in a bit of rain)
8/4/2014 3.11 miles (run) 29:05
8/4/2014 14.42 (bike) 51:19
7/31/2014 19.55 miles (bike) 1:06:54 (tracking was a bit off toward the end of the ride due to device issue)
7/29/2014 3.11 miles (run) 26:17
7/17/2014 3.11 miles (run) 30:42
7/16/2014 3.11 miles (run) 28:36
7/16/2014 20.03 miles (bike) 1:09:05
7/10/2014 3.1 miles (Nike+ recorded 3.19 miles) (run) 26:47.15 (RWJUH Strides for Stroke 5K) / 27:14 (Nike+)
7/10/2014 20.05 miles (bike) 1:09:45
7/8/2014 2.01 miles (run) 18:28
7/8/2014 10.04 miles (bike) 33:59
6/30/2014 5.00 miles (run) 48:02
6/27/2014 6.2 miles (run) 59:51
6/27/2014 20.08 miles (bike) 1:07:31
6/23/2014 3.30 miles (run) 31:15
6/23/2014 20.03 miles (bike) 1:06:44 (20-mile personal best)
6/20/2014 3.12 miles (run) 28:20
6/20/2014 15.01 (bike) 51:08
6/17/2014 3.11 miles (run) 26:09 (included personal-best mile time of 7:33)
6/16/2014 4.06 miles (run) 41:37
6/16/2014 20.28 miles (bike) 1:08:34
6/10/2014 6.22 miles (run) 57:02 (10K-distance personal best)
6/6/2014 3.12 miles (run) 26:43
6/4/2014 4.54 miles (run) 52:46
6/4/2014 20.24 miles (bike) 1:08:27 (20-mile personal best)
5/29/2014 6.21 miles (run) 1:02:37
5/29/2014 16.6 miles (bike) 58:48
5/29/2014 4.67 miles (bike) 17:39
5/27/2014 3.12 miles (run) 27:42
5/25/2014 6.21 miles (run) 58:57 (Brigantine, NJ)
5/23/2014 3.12 miles (run) 27:15
5/20/2014 6.23 miles (run) 57:16
5/19/2014 2.35 miles (run) 20:02
5/12/2014 5.01 miles (run) 46:18 (5-mile personal best)
5/9/2014 3.11 miles (run) 25:58 (5K-distance personal best)
5/4/2014 10.0 miles (Nike+ recorded 10.2 miles) (run) 1:36:21 – Broad Street Run (10-mile personal-best)
5/2/2014 3.1 miles (run) 28:15
5/1/2014 3.1 miles (run) 26:23 (5K-distance personal best)
4/28/2014 4 miles (run) 35:44
4/24/2014 10 miles (run) 1:39:04 (10-mile personal best)
4/22/2014 5.02 miles (run) 50:18
4/21/2014 5.02 miles (run) 46:38 (5-mile personal best)
4/13/2014 3.1 miles (run) 26:57 official chip time – Barnabas Health Lakewood BlueClaws 5K
4/9/2014 3.14 miles (run) 26:52 (26:35 personal best 5K time)
4/2/2014 3.11 miles (run) 26:51
3/27/2014 10 miles (run) 1:45:49
3/21/2014 15.25 mile ride followed by 6.21 mile run 59:25 (bike)/1:05:14 (run)
3/11/2014 18.46 mile ride followed by 3.11 mile run 1:10:09 (bike)/30:40 (run)
3/6/2014 6.21 miles (run) 58:45
2/21/2014 6.21 miles (run) 1:01:34
2/11/2014 3.11 miles (run) 30:55
2/10/2014 1.02 miles (swim) – 72 laps (25-yd pool) approx. 40 minutes
2/6/2014 1.02 miles (swim) – 72 laps (25-yd pool) approx. 40 minutes
2/4/2014 0.57 miles (swim) – 40 laps (25-yd pool) unknown
1/31/2014 1.14 miles (swim) – 80 laps (25-yd pool) approx. 1 hour
1/29/2014 1.02 miles (swim) – 72 laps (25-yd pool) approx. 50 minutes
1/27/2014 0.71 miles (swim) – 50 laps (25-yd pool) approx. 40 minutes
1/24/2014 0.37 miles (swim) – 26 laps (25-yd pool) approx. 30 minutes
12/5/2013 13.12 miles (run) 2:27:27 – longest distance run

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Update No. 16 – Back in training 2014: My Atlantic City International Triathlon results September 15, 2014

Posted by Brian in Brian Kelley, links, New Jersey, NJ, Philadelphia, running, training, weight loss.
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Atlantic City Triathlon logo

Well, I completed the Atlantic City International Triathlon on Sunday (9/14/14) and finished in just a tad more than three hours, which is pretty much what I expected.

Before I get into my exact time and splits, I just want to share my thoughts on my first–and likely my last–international triathlon experience. While the weather–clear and cool at around 60° F–was perfect for such strenuous activity, it was a bit on the windy side for the bike ride with winds out of the north at approximately 17 m.p.h. (with 20 m.p.h. gusts). While the Atlantic City Expressway–where we rode, for the most part–is considered an east-west roadway, the section near Atlantic City has more of a northwest-southeast tilt so we were getting a lot of that wind in our faces for when we were riding away from Atlantic City.

Also, at the second turn of the one-mile swim, I suddenly noticed I was going against a rather strong current. I was about 50 feet away from the turn buoy and it seemed like I had taken several strokes. Each time I came up to sight, the buoy just didn’t seem to be getting all that closer. I swear, it took me at least 3-5 minutes just to cover that 50 feet and get around the buoy. Of course, I was probably going against that current for about 25 minutes at that point, but I hadn’t really noticed it until I realized how long it was taking me to clear that buoy.

Anyway, there was now only about a quarter-mile left in the swim at this point, so I took a minute to recover after struggling to get around the turn buoy when the strangest thing happened.

Normally, during these types of events, staff will offer encouragement along the way…telling you “good job” or “you’re almost there.” Well, in the boat near the turn buoy happened to be the most honest race staff member ever. There I am, floating in the water and trying to recover for the home stretch when the guy says this to me:

“You’ve got a looong way to go, buddy.”

Gee…thanks for the pep talk.

Anyway, I made it back to the dock and finished out the triathlon. Oh, and by the way, in a bit of a last-minute switch, the organizers shortened the international’s run component from a 10K (6.2 miles) to 5 miles. This was due mostly, we were told, to traffic concerns regarding the road closures–especially in a city that was hosting the Miss America Pageant a few hours later. They felt they could get the roads opened 20-40 minutes sooner by shortening the run.

A couple of logistical notes. The triathlon is held in conjunction with Atlantic City Seafood Festival at the long-closed Bader Field airport. That means when you go for packet pick-up and bike drop-off on the Saturday before the Sunday morning race, you have to sit in line for parking with all the festival attendees. If possible, it would be nice if the organizers could arrange for a separate area near the entrance for athletes to park so they don’t have to wait 15 minutes in a line to park like I did Saturday afternoon. Sure, the athletes might wind up farther away from the transition area, but at least they can get out of our vehicles and start walking there sooner.

I can summarize my next criticism in two (sort-of) words: more port-a-Johns. There were roughly 1,300 participants on site and there were a total of approximately 20, maybe 30, portable toilets available to them. Doubling that would be a start.

That being said, the free race photos are a huge plus (I’ll post some here when they’re available) and the tremendous post-race breakfast buffet really hit the spot. And all triathletes got $1 draft beers at the Seafood Festival next door until noon, so most had an hour or so to take advantage of that.

OK, finally…here are my Atlantic City International Triathlon results

  • 1-mile swim:             52:16.80
  • transition 1 (T1):         6:18.20
  • 20-mile bike ride:  1:08:52.80
  • transition 2 (T2):         6:45.20
  • 5-mile run:               50:20.80

TOTAL TIME:                   3:04.33.90

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My T1 time could have been a couple of minutes shorter except I forgot that I put a watch on the outside of my wetsuit and couldn’t get it off my arm until I rolled it back on to take off the watch (I know…stupid). My T2 time was extended because I wear different shoes for the bike and the run, so the switch took some time. The biggest chunk of lost time came during the run…because–TMI ALERT!–I ducked into a men’s room on the Atlantic City boardwalk for a much needed potty break, which would have taken a minute or two except I was wearing a cumbersome transition suit (which, ironically enough, is supposed to reduce transition times).

Strangely enough, I passed a guy later in the run who I had passed on the bike just before the loop near the convention center. I guess he overtook me during my bathroom break, but at least I was able to overcome that and get back in front of him.

Overall, I’m just happy I completed the triathlon. It was something I wanted to prove to myself. I figured I would finish in around three hours and I basically did that. Without a few issues in transition and that in-race bathroom break I took, I might have come in under three hours…but it is what it is.

So, now with both the Atlantic City and Hightstown triathlons behind me, I will focus on my final major event of the year, the Trenton Half-Marathon, on Nov. 8, 2014. As a tune-up for that, I will also be running in the inaugural WXPN 5K Run for Musicians On Call on October 5. WXPN is a radio station close to my heart and I’ve been a member-listener for a few years now, so I figured it would be a nice tune-up run prior to the Trenton Half Marathon. Plus, it benefits WXPN’s Musicians On Call program, which provides live music to thousands of patients in healthcare facilities around the Delaware Valley area.

Just a reminder…my other accomplishments this year include finishing the 10-mile Broad Street Run on May 4 in 1:36:21 and completing the Hightstown Triathlon on August 17 in 1:34:05.

Note: See the January 18 update and original post below for background information…and please see the Training Tracker below to follow my major training swims, rides and runs.

1/18/2014 UPDATE:
Earlier this month (see original post below), I wrote about training for my first half-marathon, the Trenton (N.J.) Half-Marathon taking place Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, and my other goal of reaching a target weight of 168 pounds.

Well, when I wrote that, I was also eyeing another ridiculously ambitious goal…competing and finishing in the Atlantic City International Triathlon on Sept. 14, 2014. However, I was still waiting to hear back from the organizers regarding a question about my bike. Well, I was given the information I needed and have officially registered for the event, which includes a one-mile swim, a 20-mile bike ride and a 10K (6.2-mile) run.

I’ve never done an official half-marathon before, but at least I’ve run 13.1 miles in training  so I know I can do it. I have completed a swim of around a mile, have ridden 20 miles on a bike many times before and have 6.2 miles several times. However, I am in no way ready to do all of these in sequence at one time, but I’m learning as fast as I can how to get myself trained and conditioned for it.

So I must revise the 2014 fitness goals I listed in the original post. They are now: 1) get weight down to (and stay at/near) 168 pounds, 2) complete the Atlantic City International Triathlon, and 3) complete the Trenton Half-Marathon.

Wow…when you write it all out, it looks daunting. What was I thinking? Oh well, nothing to do now but to get in shape and ready to compete.

At the bottom of each of these posts, you will find a training tracker so you can follow my progress.

Original Post – January 9, 2014:
Last year, I tracked my training for the Trenton 10K, which took place Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013. It was the first organized race I have run other than a 5K. I finished the Trenton 10K with a chip time of 59:46.399, and my goal was to finish in less than an hour…so mission accomplished.

But as I watched the half-marathon runners start their race that morning, I regretted not being more ambitious with my running goals. After finally shaking off a persistent head cold I came down with the day after the race, I mapped out a route and completed a test run of 13.1 miles in 2:27:27—and, admittedly, that included about a half-mile of walking.

Now that I know I can do it, I want to announce here that I have registered for the 2014 Trenton Half-Marathon, taking place Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014.

I also want to use this opportunity to finally get into the proverbial “best shape of my life”— a sports cliché used by so many aging veterans heading into training camp. The holidays and two bouts with colds have basically put me back to square one as far as conditioning is concerned, but next week I’m going to start getting serious about working out everyday and tracking my caloric intake. And, of course, I’ll be tracking my training runs here on the blog.

In addition to training for the half marathon, it is my goal to finally get down to 168 pounds, which means losing about 23 pounds. I had lost 35 pounds back in 2006 after a false heart disease scare, but my weight-loss efforts stalled at 173—leaving me five pounds shy of my goal. Unfortunately, I gained nearly all of the weight I lost back again within the following year and have only been able to lose about 10-15 pounds a couple of times since then.

So…those are my two main goals for 2014: 1) complete the Trenton Half Marathon, 2) get down (and stay at/near) 168 pounds.

Training Tracker
I’ll be posting updates on my progress here every so often. The table below includes my swim/bike/run distances and times during this training period. Items in bold are personal records or other milestones. Also, I finally reversed the order of the table so that the most recent activity is at top…
Date Swim/Bike/Run Distance Time
9/14/2014 5 miles (run) 50:20.80 – 2014 Atlantic City International Triathlon (results)
9/14/2014 20 miles (bike) 1:08:52.80 – 2014 Atlantic City International Triathlon (results) [Transition 2 time – 6:45.20]
9/14/2014 1.0 mile (swim) 52:16.80 – 2014 Atlantic City International Triathlon (results) [Transition 1 time – 6:18.20]
9/7/2014 6.27 miles (run) 57:08 (56:39 10K time – personal best)
8/30/2014 0.5 mile (swim) Approximately 25 minutes
8/29/2014 3.15 miles (run) 26:14
8/17/2014 3.1 miles (run) 26:01 – 2014 Hightstown Triathlon (results)
8/17/2014 15.3 miles (bike) 50:16 – 2014 Hightstown Triathlon (results)
8/17/2014 0.25 miles (swim) 10:24 – 2014 Hightstown Triathlon (results)
8/9/2014 2.34 miles (run) 19:40
8/9/2014 600 yards/0.34 miles (lake swim) N/A…first time swimming in a lake in a wetsuit…had to “float” frequently during swim and rest for about 15 minutes between the two 300-yard loops.
8/8/2014 3.11 miles (bike) 27:22
8/8/2014 15.55 miles (bike) 52:48
8/6/2014 3.12 miles (run) 27:12
8/6/2014 14.99 miles (bike) 49:32 (in a bit of rain)
8/4/2014 3.11 miles (run) 29:05
8/4/2014 14.42 (bike) 51:19
7/31/2014 19.55 miles (bike) 1:06:54 (tracking was a bit off toward the end of the ride due to device issue)
7/29/2014 3.11 miles (run) 26:17
7/17/2014 3.11 miles (run) 30:42
7/16/2014 3.11 miles (run) 28:36
7/16/2014 20.03 miles (bike) 1:09:05
7/10/2014 3.1 miles (Nike+ recorded 3.19 miles) (run) 26:47.15 (RWJUH Strides for Stroke 5K) / 27:14 (Nike+)
7/10/2014 20.05 miles (bike) 1:09:45
7/8/2014 2.01 miles (run) 18:28
7/8/2014 10.04 miles (bike) 33:59
6/30/2014 5.00 miles (run) 48:02
6/27/2014 6.2 miles (run) 59:51
6/27/2014 20.08 miles (bike) 1:07:31
6/23/2014 3.30 miles (run) 31:15
6/23/2014 20.03 miles (bike) 1:06:44 (20-mile personal best)
6/20/2014 3.12 miles (run) 28:20
6/20/2014 15.01 (bike) 51:08
6/17/2014 3.11 miles (run) 26:09 (included personal-best mile time of 7:33)
6/16/2014 4.06 miles (run) 41:37
6/16/2014 20.28 miles (bike) 1:08:34
6/10/2014 6.22 miles (run) 57:02 (10K-distance personal best)
6/6/2014 3.12 miles (run) 26:43
6/4/2014 4.54 miles (run) 52:46
6/4/2014 20.24 miles (bike) 1:08:27 (20-mile personal best)
5/29/2014 6.21 miles (run) 1:02:37
5/29/2014 16.6 miles (bike) 58:48
5/29/2014 4.67 miles (bike) 17:39
5/27/2014 3.12 miles (run) 27:42
5/25/2014 6.21 miles (run) 58:57 (Brigantine, NJ)
5/23/2014 3.12 miles (run) 27:15
5/20/2014 6.23 miles (run) 57:16
5/19/2014 2.35 miles (run) 20:02
5/12/2014 5.01 miles (run) 46:18 (5-mile personal best)
5/9/2014 3.11 miles (run) 25:58 (5K-distance personal best)
5/4/2014 10.0 miles (Nike+ recorded 10.2 miles) (run) 1:36:21 – Broad Street Run (10-mile personal-best)
5/2/2014 3.1 miles (run) 28:15
5/1/2014 3.1 miles (run) 26:23 (5K-distance personal best)
4/28/2014 4 miles (run) 35:44
4/24/2014 10 miles (run) 1:39:04 (10-mile personal best)
4/22/2014 5.02 miles (run) 50:18
4/21/2014 5.02 miles (run) 46:38 (5-mile personal best)
4/13/2014 3.1 miles (run) 26:57 official chip time – Barnabas Health Lakewood BlueClaws 5K
4/9/2014 3.14 miles (run) 26:52 (26:35 personal best 5K time)
4/2/2014 3.11 miles (run) 26:51
3/27/2014 10 miles (run) 1:45:49
3/21/2014 15.25 mile ride followed by 6.21 mile run 59:25 (bike)/1:05:14 (run)
3/11/2014 18.46 mile ride followed by 3.11 mile run 1:10:09 (bike)/30:40 (run)
3/6/2014 6.21 miles (run) 58:45
2/21/2014 6.21 miles (run) 1:01:34
2/11/2014 3.11 miles (run) 30:55
2/10/2014 1.02 miles (swim) – 72 laps (25-yd pool) approx. 40 minutes
2/6/2014 1.02 miles (swim) – 72 laps (25-yd pool) approx. 40 minutes
2/4/2014 0.57 miles (swim) – 40 laps (25-yd pool) unknown
1/31/2014 1.14 miles (swim) – 80 laps (25-yd pool) approx. 1 hour
1/29/2014 1.02 miles (swim) – 72 laps (25-yd pool) approx. 50 minutes
1/27/2014 0.71 miles (swim) – 50 laps (25-yd pool) approx. 40 minutes
1/24/2014 0.37 miles (swim) – 26 laps (25-yd pool) approx. 30 minutes
12/5/2013 13.12 miles (run) 2:27:27 – longest distance run

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Update No. 15 – Back in training 2014: Preparing for an international triathlon, half-marathon August 31, 2014

Posted by Brian in Brian Kelley, links, New Jersey, NJ, Philadelphia, running, training, weight loss.
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Atlantic City Triathlon logo
Trenton Half Marathon
Hightstown Triathlon logo
Broad Street Run

I kind of promised in my last update that I would provide more detail regarding my performance in the Hightstown Triathlon on August 17, but thinking about it some more…there really wasn’t a lot more to say. I mean, I know the swim component of these triathlons are going to be the toughest for me to complete. My 10:24 time for the quarter-mile swim at Hightstown included a few breaks, but was probably a best-case scenario for me. My transition times were pretty terrible, but—as much as I wanted to—I didn’t really get a whole lot of time to practice that, especially going from swim to bike. If I can improve anywhere at this point, it’s during the transitions.

Also, the last two times I’ve taken off the wet suit after a swim, I have suffered a slight charley horse in both calf muscles while trying to get my feet out of the legs of the suit—including during the Hightstown Triathlon.

Speaking of which, I tried to do a practice mile swim at a lake in Medford, N.J., yesterday morning. However, after completing two loops for a half-mile, I wanted to rest in shallow water and make some adjustments to my swim cap and the neck area of my suit because something was digging into the back of my neck. When I went to put my feet down on the lake bottom, I stepped awkwardly and suffered a severe—and painful—charley horse. It was so bad I had trouble feeling my right leg below my knee for a minute or two. I quickly started rubbing it out and started backstroking to shore.

Thankfully, by the time I got myself to the lakeside beach a few minutes later, my leg wasn’t too bad. It felt a little tight, but I could walk without too much discomfort. I can’t imagine being able to complete a 20-mile bike ride and 10K run, though, if that were to happen September 14 during my next event, the Atlantic City International Triathlon so I’m going to be researching ways to prevent that from happening again.

Also, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I’m just going to have to go buoy to buoy on the mile swim for the AC Tri…whatever it takes to complete the mile loop.

Then, with both triathlons behind me, I will focus on my final major event of the year, the Trenton Half-Marathon, on Nov. 8, 2014. I also just added a minor running event to my schedule, as I recently registered for the inaugural WXPN 5K Run for Musicians On Call on October 5. WXPN is a radio station close to my heart and I’ve been a member-listener for a few years now, so I figured it would be a nice tune-up run prior to the Trenton Half Marathon. Plus, it benefits WXPN’s Musicians On Call program, which provides live music to thousands of patients in healthcare facilities around the Delaware Valley area.

Just a reminder…I have already completed two of my main competitive, athletic events this year, as I finished the 10-mile Broad Street Run on May 4 in 1:36:21 and completed the Hightstown Triathlon on August 17 in 1:34:05.

Note: See the January 18 update and original post below for background information…and please see the Training Tracker below to follow my major training swims, rides and runs. And, again, I apologize for not yet having a chance to reverse the order of the tracker so that the more recent results are at top…hopefully, I’ll get to that for the next update.

1/18/2014 UPDATE:
Earlier this month (see original post below), I wrote about training for my first half-marathon, the Trenton (N.J.) Half-Marathon taking place Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, and my other goal of reaching a target weight of 168 pounds.

Well, when I wrote that, I was also eyeing another ridiculously ambitious goal…competing and finishing in the Atlantic City International Triathlon on Sept. 14, 2014. However, I was still waiting to hear back from the organizers regarding a question about my bike. Well, I was given the information I needed and have officially registered for the event, which includes a one-mile swim, a 20-mile bike ride and a 10K (6.2-mile) run.

I’ve never done an official half-marathon before, but at least I’ve run 13.1 miles in training  so I know I can do it. I have completed a swim of around a mile, have ridden 20 miles on a bike many times before and have 6.2 miles several times. However, I am in no way ready to do all of these in sequence at one time, but I’m learning as fast as I can how to get myself trained and conditioned for it.

So I must revise the 2014 fitness goals I listed in the original post. They are now: 1) get weight down to (and stay at/near) 168 pounds, 2) complete the Atlantic City International Triathlon, and 3) complete the Trenton Half-Marathon.

Wow…when you write it all out, it looks daunting. What was I thinking? Oh well, nothing to do now but to get in shape and ready to compete.

At the bottom of each of these posts, you will find a training tracker so you can follow my progress.

Original Post – January 9, 2014:
Last year, I tracked my training for the Trenton 10K, which took place Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013. It was the first organized race I have run other than a 5K. I finished the Trenton 10K with a chip time of 59:46.399, and my goal was to finish in less than an hour…so mission accomplished.

But as I watched the half-marathon runners start their race that morning, I regretted not being more ambitious with my running goals. After finally shaking off a persistent head cold I came down with the day after the race, I mapped out a route and completed a test run of 13.1 miles in 2:27:27—and, admittedly, that included about a half-mile of walking.

Now that I know I can do it, I want to announce here that I have registered for the 2014 Trenton Half-Marathon, taking place Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014.

I also want to use this opportunity to finally get into the proverbial “best shape of my life”— a sports cliché used by so many aging veterans heading into training camp. The holidays and two bouts with colds have basically put me back to square one as far as conditioning is concerned, but next week I’m going to start getting serious about working out everyday and tracking my caloric intake. And, of course, I’ll be tracking my training runs here on the blog.

In addition to training for the half marathon, it is my goal to finally get down to 168 pounds, which means losing about 23 pounds. I had lost 35 pounds back in 2006 after a false heart disease scare, but my weight-loss efforts stalled at 173—leaving me five pounds shy of my goal. Unfortunately, I gained nearly all of the weight I lost back again within the following year and have only been able to lose about 10-15 pounds a couple of times since then.

So…those are my two main goals for 2014: 1) complete the Trenton Half Marathon, 2) get down (and stay at/near) 168 pounds.

Training Tracker
I’ll be posting updates on my progress here every so often. The table below includes my swim/bike/run distances and times during this training period. Items in bold are personal records or other milestones. Also, I finally reversed the order of the table so that the most recent activity is at top…
Date Swim/Bike/Run Distance Time
8/30/2014 0.5 mile (swim) Approximately 25 minutes
8/29/2014 3.15 miles (run) 26:14
8/17/2014 3.1 miles (run) 26:01 – 2014 Hightstown Triathlon (results)
8/17/2014 15.3 miles (bike) 50:16 – 2014 Hightstown Triathlon (results)
8/17/2014 0.25 miles (swim) 10:24 – 2014 Hightstown Triathlon (results)
8/9/2014 2.34 miles (run) 19:40
8/9/2014 600 yards/0.34 miles (lake swim) N/A…first time swimming in a lake in a wetsuit…had to “float” frequently during swim and rest for about 15 minutes between the two 300-yard loops.
8/8/2014 3.11 miles (bike) 27:22
8/8/2014 15.55 miles (bike) 52:48
8/6/2014 3.12 miles (run) 27:12
8/6/2014 14.99 miles (bike) 49:32 (in a bit of rain)
8/4/2014 3.11 miles (run) 29:05
8/4/2014 14.42 (bike) 51:19
7/31/2014 19.55 miles (bike) 1:06:54 (tracking was a bit off toward the end of the ride due to device issue)
7/29/2014 3.11 miles (run) 26:17
7/17/2014 3.11 miles (run) 30:42
7/16/2014 3.11 miles (run) 28:36
7/16/2014 20.03 miles (bike) 1:09:05
7/10/2014 3.1 miles (Nike+ recorded 3.19 miles) (run) 26:47.15 (RWJUH Strides for Stroke 5K) / 27:14 (Nike+)
7/10/2014 20.05 miles (bike) 1:09:45
7/8/2014 2.01 miles (run) 18:28
7/8/2014 10.04 miles (bike) 33:59
6/30/2014 5.00 miles (run) 48:02
6/27/2014 6.2 miles (run) 59:51
6/27/2014 20.08 miles (bike) 1:07:31
6/23/2014 3.30 miles (run) 31:15
6/23/2014 20.03 miles (bike) 1:06:44 (20-mile personal best)
6/20/2014 3.12 miles (run) 28:20
6/20/2014 15.01 (bike) 51:08
6/17/2014 3.11 miles (run) 26:09 (included personal-best mile time of 7:33)
6/16/2014 4.06 miles (run) 41:37
6/16/2014 20.28 miles (bike) 1:08:34
6/10/2014 6.22 miles (run) 57:02 (10K-distance personal best)
6/6/2014 3.12 miles (run) 26:43
6/4/2014 4.54 miles (run) 52:46
6/4/2014 20.24 miles (bike) 1:08:27 (20-mile personal best)
5/29/2014 6.21 miles (run) 1:02:37
5/29/2014 16.6 miles (bike) 58:48
5/29/2014 4.67 miles (bike) 17:39
5/27/2014 3.12 miles (run) 27:42
5/25/2014 6.21 miles (run) 58:57 (Brigantine, NJ)
5/23/2014 3.12 miles (run) 27:15
5/20/2014 6.23 miles (run) 57:16
5/19/2014 2.35 miles (run) 20:02
5/12/2014 5.01 miles (run) 46:18 (5-mile personal best)
5/9/2014 3.11 miles (run) 25:58 (5K-distance personal best)
5/4/2014 10.0 miles (Nike+ recorded 10.2 miles) (run) 1:36:21 – Broad Street Run (10-mile personal-best)
5/2/2014 3.1 miles (run) 28:15
5/1/2014 3.1 miles (run) 26:23 (5K-distance personal best)
4/28/2014 4 miles (run) 35:44
4/24/2014 10 miles (run) 1:39:04 (10-mile personal best)
4/22/2014 5.02 miles (run) 50:18
4/21/2014 5.02 miles (run) 46:38 (5-mile personal best)
4/13/2014 3.1 miles (run) 26:57 official chip time – Barnabas Health Lakewood BlueClaws 5K
4/9/2014 3.14 miles (run) 26:52 (26:35 personal best 5K time)
4/2/2014 3.11 miles (run) 26:51
3/27/2014 10 miles (run) 1:45:49
3/21/2014 15.25 mile ride followed by 6.21 mile run 59:25 (bike)/1:05:14 (run)
3/11/2014 18.46 mile ride followed by 3.11 mile run 1:10:09 (bike)/30:40 (run)
3/6/2014 6.21 miles (run) 58:45
2/21/2014 6.21 miles (run) 1:01:34
2/11/2014 3.11 miles (run) 30:55
2/10/2014 1.02 miles (swim) – 72 laps (25-yd pool) approx. 40 minutes
2/6/2014 1.02 miles (swim) – 72 laps (25-yd pool) approx. 40 minutes
2/4/2014 0.57 miles (swim) – 40 laps (25-yd pool) unknown
1/31/2014 1.14 miles (swim) – 80 laps (25-yd pool) approx. 1 hour
1/29/2014 1.02 miles (swim) – 72 laps (25-yd pool) approx. 50 minutes
1/27/2014 0.71 miles (swim) – 50 laps (25-yd pool) approx. 40 minutes
1/24/2014 0.37 miles (swim) – 26 laps (25-yd pool) approx. 30 minutes
12/5/2013 13.12 miles (run) 2:27:27 – longest distance run

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