Friday, December 9, 2016
Picked up my shirt and race bib for the Ted Corbitt 15k at the NYRR this afternoon. I also got a preview of some of the course as I walked over to the east side via Central Park to catch the train home! This will be NYRR race number 10 for me (and the final club points race of the year). Doubt that I'll score for the team tomorrow - but looking forward to seeing my fellow Taconics!
As always, if you're at this one, say hello!
Wednesday, December 7, 2016
That iconic quote, taken from FDR's address to a joint session of Congress the following day, December 8, 1941, say it all.
Sunday, December 4, 2016
This was the second year in a row that the two Taconic Relay races were combined and held on one day - instead of over the two day weekend. One interesting observation, the Couples Relay course is definitely a LOT shorter than the original layout. We suspected as much last year - but this time I mapped it w/Strava and the course measured 1.4 miles! Wow - I had suspected it would come in at 1.8 miles (which would still have been shorter than the 2+ miles the older course)!
Well that only meant we could get to the pancakes and bacon (and beer!) a little sooner :D Although the shorter distance did not apply to the Team Relays. In any event, this really isn't about precise distance as much is it about socializing and having some holiday fun!
Here are the official results from Taconic Road Runners.
Saturday, December 3, 2016
Hard to believe that 2016 is coming to a close! Has the year really flown by that quickly? Since it's December, the answer must be yes :O
I only have a few short races planned for this month - and, maybe, one long race. Tomorrow is the Taconic Road Runner Relay Races (and post-races pancake breakfast)! That's something I always look forward to running/and refueling at post-race!
The following weekend is a FA 50k, with a shorter, 30k option. I will probably opt for the 30k distance. It's actually, twice the 15k distance I wanted to run (at the Ted Corbitt 15k - which has, unfortunately, sold out) - but still a great event (socially too).
The following weekend is the Holiday Run for Toys in Fairfield. It's typically my last race of the year. But this year there may be one in Rockland County, on New Years Eve. That is one I may do, just to put a running twist on year-end :D
Here's how it looks so far:
12/4 - Taconic Relay Races
12/11 - BUS Trail Mix-up FA 50k/30k
12/18 - Holiday Run for Toys 5k
12/31 - Snowflake 5k
As always, if you're at any of these - say Hello!
Thursday, November 24, 2016
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
It's that time of year again - when family and food dominate our daily activities :D
No race for me this morning. Instead, a 10.5 mile run around the neighborhood to create a calorie deficit for all the food I would consume when the family gathered around the dinner table for turkey!
Not sure the 10 miles came anywhere close to matching the calories that went in - but then there's always tomorrow (and the day after) to equal things out :D
Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!
Thursday, November 17, 2016
I love the third Thursday in November because the brand new bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau are released here in the United States (thanks to the wonders of air delivery). I picked up two bottles on the way home from work today - although haven't opened one yet. That will be for tomorrow night (Friday).
Last year I found a great little wine shop downtown and bought a pair of the new releases in the City. I may go back there and see what he has available (and it's always a great idea to support the small mom & pop shops - of any stripe, really).
Cheers to everyone who tried some of the 2016 releases today!
Saturday, November 12, 2016
The 2016 NYC Marathon is in the books! By the numbers, it was my 14th consecutive NYC Marathon! It also capped off my 9+1 requirements for guaranteed entry for the 2017 edition - so, God willing, I'll be back next November for #15 (it is my all time favorite race after all) :D
As for the race itself, after running a 4:10 last year and the year before that one (2015 and 2014), I got something of a groove back and came in below 4 hours, with a solid 3:57:42 finish. It was all the more satisfying because for the 3 year in a row I started off the race with a relatively poor base, averaging just 40 training miles a week during September and October.
I did run 4 half marathons during those 2 months and one long run of 15.5 miles. But that's far from an optimal training plan. For the second year in row I just could not get in the runs during the work week, leaving me with Saturday and Sunday to log 20-25 miles. It's not for a lack of running motivation, but rather a more onerous teaching schedule.
The summer was a different story, which included a pair of 250 mile months back in June and July. The base was there, just not close by - haha. It was a good deal muscle memory that got me over the course. I say that somewhat seriously because while I expected to hit the proverbial wall, it never happened! I did slow down over the last 5 miles but I didn't need any walking breaks.
As for the nitty-gritty of the race itself, I ran a 1:56 first half and a 2:01 second half. I can't help but smile as I write that because our minds love to play tricks on us. Running up First Avenue I was harboring the completely humorous illusion that I could run a negative split (and win a free pair of running shoes from Strava - haha). While half my brain clearly understood the simple math of pace, the other, more idealistic, part of my brain refused to engage reality :D
I will say that, despite not having a real chance of running a sub 3:52 that day, the goal of running a negative split did pull me along "fast" enough to run a decent sub-4 hour finish. For that I'm very grateful that half of my brain (or maybe it was really my heart) held out for the negative split! That said, next year, after number 15 is in the books, I'd like to summarize the lot of them (3:20 to 4:10).
A couple of race observations - this year I was in the green corral and began the race on the lower level of the bridge. Not my favorite place to begin, but as my friend Eric pointed out on the bus ride to Staten Island, it meant a smaller hill to cross! That did make me smile (and, despite the oft-repeated urban legend, no umbrellas were needed crossing the lower level).
On the Brooklyn side (and easily this Brooklyn boy's favorite stretch of my favorite race) I looked forward to seeing my mom at Bay Ridge Parkway and Fourth Avenue. She is my number one fan on the course - having spectated at almost all (seriously) of the 14 I've run. I think she's only missed 1 (but no more than 2) of my races. God bless all moms out there. They are amazing!
Also on the Brooklyn stretch (along 4th Avenue) - one of the all time worst race moments of all-time! I pulled off to use a porta-John, waiting patiently for the one in front of me to open up. Another guy was pacing impatiently up and down the other 5+ occupied ones. "My" porta-John opened up and as I got in he grabbed the door and said menacingly, "I got this one!" Part of my was about to laugh in his face, but I ignored him and turned to do my business. Amazingly! And I will say this again - Amazingly - he pulled open the door and screamed for me to get out! In one of the only times I ever directed an expletive at someone (other than a car driver) during a race I growled back at him "Get the f*ck out of here!" Despite my partial immodesty, I was ready to punch him in the face (forget the laugh). Luckily, for him - another one opened off and he ran over to it.
The silver lining here, if any, was my adrenaline level shot thru there roof. So I had no trouble flying down 4th Avenue after that sideshow. I wonder if he would have been as threatening if he hadn't been twice my size? Or maybe it was the desperate urge to relieve himself that caused the scene. Be that as it may, it left a bad taste in my mouth for a couple of miles. By mile 8 it was old news.
Running the remainder of the race was completely uneventful. I just kept my focus of keeping it together mile by mile. I love crossing the bridges (hills they may be) - so I looked forward to them. Even so, my lowest point (mentally) is crossing the Queensboro Bridge into Manhattan. That sounds crazy, considering the wall of sound that awaits at the Manhattan side, but the typically windy and seemingly endless stretch never fails to get to me.
First Avenue itself, however, is another story. I love this stretch - even though it's also mentally challenging as we get closer to the Willis Avenue Bridge. This time around I felt pretty strong during 1st Avenue and over into the Bronx. I had eaten an Expresso Luv Gu as I came into Manhattan and had a Tangerine PowerGel up at the mile 18 station (2x caffeine) - so I was very alert. The caffeine did it's magic and I was fine for the rest of the distance. I had another Expresso Luv Gu tucked into a compression sleeve, but never needed it.
As I mentioned, even though I slowed down in those last 5 or so miles, it didn't seem that way until I reached the Park. In fact, it wasn't until mile 25 that I felt the wheels coming off the bus. I was on the edge of 4 hours - and would only come in under 4 if I kept running. I could have walked it, but that would have kissed a sub-4 goodbye (although I probably would have finished sub-4:10, ahead of my prior two finishes). Thankfully I managed to keep it together :D
And, as always, regardless of the actual race, the toughest part of the day was the dreaded walk to the baggage bus! Do I exaggerate - yes, but it is a dreadfully long trek to get to my dry clothes! One great new thing this year was having the Tour buses parked on Central Park West, just north of the Family Reunion Area. That was simply fantastic - as contrasted with the walk down to Lincoln Center where our buses were parked in years past!
Well, that's the story for 2016!