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

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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…

2015 Hightstown Triathlon recap September 14, 2015

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Well, I wasn’t expecting to do all that great in Sunday’s (9/13) Hightstown (N.J.) Triathlon. I knew I wasn’t going to have a lot of time to train this year and that was made even more limited when I broke my left hand July 12. In my last post, I wrote that my first open-water practice swim of the season came the day before the event. And guess what happened the next morning, on the day of the event?

I got hit with a stomach bug of some kind. After throwing up at 5:15 a.m., I convinced myself it was out of my system and managed to get to the triathlon to give it a shot. Somehow, I made it through. In fact, my 500-yard swim was a few minutes better than I had expected with such little training (although two minutes slower than my time in last year’s event). Even the 11.2-mile bike ride was faster than my two previous practice rides of the same distance.

The 5K (3.1-mile) run is where I lost it. I finished the run in 35:18, which is my slowest 5K time in years. Honestly, I had to walk decent stretches of it, as running was agitating my stomach issues.

At least I managed to finished the triathlon, but it was probably a terrible decision to go through it. I spent the rest of the day throwing up and in a near-fetal position on my bed, hoping for the pain in my stomach to go away. It pretty much sucked.

Anyway, below are my results from Sunday’s 2015 Hightstown Triathlon:

500-yd swim:  12:40
Transition 1:  4:34
11.2-mi bike:  39:29
Transition 2:  2:20
5K run:  35:18
TOTAL:  1:34:19

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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.

Enjoy the latest version of my Christmas song December 17, 2013

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32352_850957667094_1010370090_nI originally wrote this Christmas song in 2011 and recorded what is essentially a “demo” version with GarageBand on my MacBook. I updated it for 2012 and made some more changes this year. Here is the latest version.

It’s Christmas Time Again – Brian Kelley

© 2011 Brian J. Kelley. All rights reserved.

I had always wanted to write a Christmas song and I obviously plucked inspiration from “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” (especially since I’m a huge Midge Ure fan), The Waitresses’ “Christmas Wrapping”, Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmastime” and others. Yes, it includes many of the clichés you are familiar with from other Christmas songs. And when you think about it, most Christmas songs do tend to ask for quite a lot (peace on Earth, snow on Christmas Day, happiness for every boy and girl, etc.), so I refer to that with the line “well, it may be a daunting task/and an awful lot to ask.” But the whole nature of the holiday is this belief in Christmas dreams or miracles coming true, so why not ask for a lot?

Enjoy.

Update No. 4 – Back in training 2013: Preparing for my first 10K October 16, 2013

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Trenton Half Marathon logo

OK…it’s been awhile since the last update, but here’s the deal…I’m making progress in shortening my 10K times.

Today (10/16/13), I ran 6.23 miles in 1:04:36, setting a new personal best for a 10K in the process. This is actually my second 10K-distance run in less than 1 hour, 5 minutes, as I ran 6.23 miles in 1:04:50 on Sept. 25.  In between, I completed a 3.14-mile run in 30:27 on Oct. 9.

I’ve updated my run tracker below with links to data from my Nike+ Running app.

Original Post from May 4, 2013:
This week, I signed up for the Trenton (N.J.) 10K, which is held in conjunction with the Trenton Half Marathon. The race takes place Saturday, November 9, 2013, at 8:30 a.m. It will be yet another in a series of runs I’ve done this year that take place near or in a ballpark, as the Trenton 10K finishes inside the Trenton Thunder’s (Class AA affiliate of the New York Yankees) Arm & Hammer (formerly Mercer County) Waterfront Park. So far in 2013, I’ve taken part in the Phillies Charities 5K, which included a post-race walk around the warning track of Citizens Bank Park, and the Barnabas Health/Lakewood BlueClaws 5K, which finished inside FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood, N.J.—home of the Class A affiliate of the Phillies.

I don’t really claim to be a “runner,” but I’m trying to get in better shape and I’ve been enjoying running more and more over the years. Last night, I attempted my first-ever 10K-distance run and it went very well. The Nike+ app on my iPhone clocked me at 1:05:50 for a 6.24-mile run. There is definite room for improvement, but the thing I was really happy with was that—for my first time attempting that distance—I felt great throughout the run. I established a nice, comfortable pace early on that left me feeling good enough to turn in a rather solid final 1.24 miles. My average pace was 10:33 per mile, but I was running at a pace of under 10:00 per mile for the final 7/10th of a mile. In fact, I was cruising along at 9:31 per mile at the 6-mile mark.

It’s going to be rough to get in 10K-distance runs on a regular basis as I train for the Trenton 10K, so I’ll likely be doing mostly 5K runs with a few longer outings sprinkled in. But I’m hopeful I’ll be able to get in two or three 10K runs in a month—likely more closer to November—prior to the race.

Run Tracker
I’ll be posting updates on my progress here once or twice a week. The table below includes my run distances and times during this training period:

Date Distance Time
10/16/2013 6.23 miles 1:04:36 – personal record (10K)
10/9/2013 3.14 miles 30:27
9/25/2013 6.23 miles 1:04:50
9/23/2013 6.2 miles 1:05:12
9/20/2013 3.1 miles 30:10
9/4/2013 3.13 miles 32:10
8/14/2013 3.12 miles 29:52
7/26/2013 2.2 miles 23:13
5/19/2013 3.1 miles 29:52
5/12/2013 3.1 miles 30:42
5/3/2013 6.24 miles 1:05:50

Update No. 3 – Back in training 2013: Preparing for my first 10K September 24, 2013

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Trenton Half Marathon logo

OK…the summer and everything going on during it really prevented me from doing a lot of running. However, this month, I have resumed training for the Trenton (N.J.) 10K in November.

As you will see in my run tracker below, I’ve only gone on five runs since May 19—and only one of those (yesterday, 9/23) was a 10K-distance run.

I’m going to try to do another 6.2-miler later this week. Ideally, I will be able to condition myself to finish the Trenton 10K in less than an hour. That essentially means I have to get down to an average pace of 9:30 per mile—a full minute less than my average pace during yesterday’s 10K-distance run.  That’s going to be tough to do with a little more than a month left for training and conditioning, but that’s my goal.

Original Post from May 4, 2013:
This week, I signed up for the Trenton (N.J.) 10K, which is held in conjunction with the Trenton Half Marathon. The race takes place Saturday, November 9, 2013, at 8:30 a.m. It will be yet another in a series of runs I’ve done this year that take place near or in a ballpark, as the Trenton 10K finishes inside the Trenton Thunder’s (Class AA affiliate of the New York Yankees) Arm & Hammer (formerly Mercer County) Waterfront Park. So far in 2013, I’ve taken part in the Phillies Charities 5K, which included a post-race walk around the warning track of Citizens Bank Park, and the Barnabas Health/Lakewood BlueClaws 5K, which finished inside FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood, N.J.—home of the Class A affiliate of the Phillies.

I don’t really claim to be a “runner,” but I’m trying to get in better shape and I’ve been enjoying running more and more over the years. Last night, I attempted my first-ever 10K-distance run and it went very well. The Nike+ app on my iPhone clocked me at 1:05:50 for a 6.24-mile run. There is definite room for improvement, but the thing I was really happy with was that—for my first time attempting that distance—I felt great throughout the run. I established a nice, comfortable pace early on that left me feeling good enough to turn in a rather solid final 1.24 miles. My average pace was 10:33 per mile, but I was running at a pace of under 10:00 per mile for the final 7/10th of a mile. In fact, I was cruising along at 9:31 per mile at the 6-mile mark.

It’s going to be rough to get in 10K-distance runs on a regular basis as I train for the Trenton 10K, so I’ll likely be doing mostly 5K runs with a few longer outings sprinkled in. But I’m hopeful I’ll be able to get in two or three 10K runs in a month—likely more closer to November—prior to the race.

Run Tracker
I’ll be posting updates on my progress here once or twice a week. The table below includes my run distances and times during this training period:

Date Distance Time
9/23/2013 6.2 miles 1:05:12
9/20/2013 3.1 miles 30:10
9/4/2013 3.13 miles 32:10
8/14/2013 3.12 miles 29:52
7/26/2013 2.2 miles 23:13
5/19/2013 3.1 miles 29:52
5/12/2013 3.1 miles 30:42
5/3/2013 6.24 miles 1:05:50

Update #2 – Back in training 2013: Preparing for my first 10K May 30, 2013

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Trenton Half Marathon logo

This is a bit overdue, but I have done a couple of 5K-distance runs since I originally posted May 4 that I am “back in training” for the Trenton (N.J.) 10K in November. Those more recent times are in the table at the bottom of this post.

One of the runs was the Mercer County (N.J.) “Spirit of Boston” 5K on May 19, which I finished in 29:14 (official results – PDF). However, it is listed below as 29:52 because I was unable to immediately turn off my Nike+ app on my iPhone.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to get some more running in over the next couple of weeks. I’d really like to get another 10K-distance run (or two) in, if possible.

Original Post from May 4, 2013:
This week, I signed up for the Trenton (N.J.) 10K, which is held in conjunction with the Trenton Half Marathon. The race takes place Saturday, November 9, 2013, at 8:30 a.m. It will be yet another in a series of runs I’ve done this year that take place near or in a ballpark, as the Trenton 10K finishes inside the Trenton Thunder’s (Class AA affiliate of the New York Yankees) Arm & Hammer (formerly Mercer County) Waterfront Park. So far in 2013, I’ve taken part in the Phillies Charities 5K, which included a post-race walk around the warning track of Citizens Bank Park, and the Barnabas Health/Lakewood BlueClaws 5K, which finished inside FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood, N.J.—home of the Class A affiliate of the Phillies.

I don’t really claim to be a “runner,” but I’m trying to get in better shape and I’ve been enjoying running more and more over the years. Last night, I attempted my first-ever 10K-distance run and it went very well. The Nike+ app on my iPhone clocked me at 1:05:50 for a 6.24-mile run. There is definite room for improvement, but the thing I was really happy with was that—for my first time attempting that distance—I felt great throughout the run. I established a nice, comfortable pace early on that left me feeling good enough to turn in a rather solid final 1.24 miles. My average pace was 10:33 per mile, but I was running at a pace of under 10:00 per mile for the final 7/10th of a mile. In fact, I was cruising along at 9:31 per mile at the 6-mile mark.

It’s going to be rough to get in 10K-distance runs on a regular basis as I train for the Trenton 10K, so I’ll likely be doing mostly 5K runs with a few longer outings sprinkled in. But I’m hopeful I’ll be able to get in two or three 10K runs in a month—likely more closer to November—prior to the race.

I’ll be posting updates on my progress here once or twice a week. The table below includes my run distances and times during this training period:

Date Distance Time
5/19/2013 3.1 miles 29:52
5/12/2013 3.1 miles 30:42
5/3/2013 6.24 miles 1:05:50

Back in training 2013: Preparing for my first 10K May 4, 2013

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Trenton Half Marathon logoThis week, I signed up for the Trenton (N.J.) 10K, which is held in conjunction with the Trenton Half Marathon. The race takes place Saturday, November 9, 2013, at 8:30 a.m. It will be yet another in a series of runs I’ve done this year that take place near or in a ballpark, as the Trenton 10K finishes inside the Trenton Thunder’s (Class AA affiliate of the New York Yankees) Arm & Hammer (formerly Mercer County) Waterfront Park. So far in 2013, I’ve taken part in the Phillies Charities 5K, which included a post-race walk around the warning track of Citizens Bank Park, and the Barnabas Health/Lakewood BlueClaws 5K, which finished inside FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood, N.J.—home of the Class A affiliate of the Phillies.

I don’t really claim to be a “runner,” but I’m trying to get in better shape and I’ve been enjoying running more and more over the years. Last night, I attempted my first-ever 10K-distance run and it went very well. The Nike+ app on my iPhone clocked me at 1:05:50 for a 6.24-mile run. There is definite room for improvement, but the thing I was really happy with was that—for my first time attempting that distance—I felt great throughout the run. I established a nice, comfortable pace early on that left me feeling good enough to turn in a rather solid final 1.24 miles. My average pace was 10:33 per mile, but I was running at a pace of under 10:00 per mile for the final 7/10th of a mile. In fact, I was cruising along at 9:31 per mile at the 6-mile mark.

It’s going to be rough to get in 10K-distance runs on a regular basis as I train for the Trenton 10K, so I’ll likely be doing mostly 5K runs with a few longer outings sprinkled in. But I’m hopeful I’ll be able to get in two or three 10K runs in a month—likely more closer to November—prior to the race.

I’ll be posting updates on my progress here once or twice a week. The table below includes my run distances and times during this training period:

Date Distance Time
5/3/2013 6.24 miles 1:05:50

New song: "Alliel" October 13, 2009

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Back in November 2007, more than a year into my relationship with my now-fiancee, Alison, I had recorded an early, instrumental version of a song for her. I had worked out some lyrics for the choruses and the first verse, but that was it.

Because Elvis Costello wrote the ultimate song called “Alison” — a song my Alison can’t stand, by the way — I just couldn’t bring myself to call it that. Hence, I constructed the name “Alliel” by combining my fiancee’s first name and her last initial. My Alison only spells her name with one l, but “Alliel” looks better than “Aliel” so I added the extra l into the song title.

Anyway, a few days ago, Alison went to a baby shower, leaving me home alone to clean and do some things around the house. Instead, I fired up GarageBand on my MacBook, finished writing the lyrics, changed/added some of the piano parts from the 2007 demo and recorded a more finished demo version of “Alliel.”

I realize my voice isn’t the greatest, but once I start recording vocals, I seem to always find myself trying to do some interesting things with harmonies. And then I added the “big vocals” at the end of the song, which was inspired by a Trevor Rabin (former Yes guitarist who does a lot of composing for films these days) solo album from the late 80s.

Anyway, I posted the song on my TalentTrove.com profile, but you can also listen to it below:

“Alliel” (4:43)
Written, arranged and performed by Brian Kelley

Don't want to be a pest…but I still need your vote! June 5, 2009

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BK

BK

As mentioned previously on this blog, one of my songs — “Vortex (2009)” — is up for Best Piano/Keyboard Performance on TalentTrove.com, an online talent community, with a $100 prize going to the winner of the contest.

You can help me win the contest by visiting the site to place your vote for “Vortex (2009)” (it’s the third song down from the top in the list of songs).

“Vortex (2009)” is a reworked version of a techno instrumental song I originally wrote in 1992 or so, featuring the sounds of a Roland Jupiter synthesizer I used to have. You can listen to it on the song’s TalentTrove.com media page, or you can listen to it using the embedded player below.

It is a tight race and “Vortex (2009)” is in second place as I write this. Voting ends this Sunday night (June 7), shortly before midnight.

Now, you do need to register on TalentTrove.com in order to vote, but I would greatly appreciate it if you went the extra step to support me — and my song — in this contest. Besides, you may have a talent you want to share with the world and TalentTrove.com may be the place for you to do that.

Again, if you can, please vote for “Vortex (2009)” by midnight this Sunday, June 7.

I would like to thank you in advance for your support.

And I especially would like to thank all of my family and friends, and the all of the readers of this blog who have already voted for “Vortex (2009).”

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