Sunday, October 2, 2016

2016 Ridgefield Half Marathon: Race Photos & Results

It was a dreary morning to run the 40th anniversary edition of the Ridgefield Half Marathon (not just gray skies, but a light mist/drizzle as we waited for the race to start).  Some might find those bordering on optimal running conditions - maybe in my glory days (haha) - but I could have stood for a little sunlight :D

As it worked out, I actually ran my fastest Ridgefield Half!  My 1:41:25 was almost a minute faster than my 2011 finish (1:42:15) and a solid 2 minutes faster than my 2012 finish (1:43:24)!  So the last thing I should do is pan the weather!

Ridgefield was also the second race in the trio that makes up the "Fairfield County Half Marathon Series" - which concluded with the Reservoir Run at the end of the month.  Speaking of trios, this was my 3rd straight weekend of Half Marathons - Norwalk and Paine to Pain preceded this one.  It will also be my last until the end of the month :D

Here are the official race results.  And thanks to Tony for letting me swipe a couple of his photos!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

October 2016 Race Schedule

October kicks off tomorrow with a half marathon in Ridgefield and the month ends with a half marathon in Weston.  I've run the Ridgefield half a few times over the years, but this will be my first official Reservoir Half (although I've run that actual course once before).  Together with the Norwalk half last month, this trio of half marathons make up the Connecticut Distance Challenge!

As for the rest of the month, I still haven't filled in the details.  Next week will be a return to the Great Train Race, now run unofficially as a fun run!  The 6.8 mile point to point course is not only scenic, but when run back to the start is a great medium distance training run :D

The week after is a return to New York races with the Harry Chapin 10K in Westchester.  Haven't run that one in a few years.  In additional the challenging course, it always delivers a pretty artsy tee shirt design!

That's probably the only New York race for this month because the following week is back to Connecticut for the Great Pumpkin 5K - which will also be the shortest distance of the month.  That is, unless I have a little gas left in the tank for the Pumpkin Chase 5K the afternoon of the Reservoir Half at the end of the month!

Here's how it looks so far:

10/2 - Ridgefield Half Marathon
10/9 - Great Train Run, 6.8 Miles
10/16 - Harry Chapin 10K
10/23 - Great Pumpkin Run 5K
10/30 - Reservoir Run Half Marathon
10/30 - Pumpkin Chase 5k

As always, if you're at any of these races - say hello!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

2016 National Coffee Day

Today, September 29th, is National Coffee Day!  How does one who typically drinks 2-3 cups of coffee a day celebrate?  Drink more Coffee?  Drink a different style of Coffee?  I'm not really sure, but interesting to take note of the day itself!

Personally, it's hard to believe I voluntarily gave up drinking coffee for 4 (four) years!  I basically switched over to tea.  While giving up coffee/caffeine was an interesting experiment (which ran a little long), I missed it too much to write off.

However you do it, if you drink Coffee - enjoy it a little more today: National Coffee Day!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

2016 Paine to Pain Trail Half Marathon: Race Photos & Results

Another great day on the trails - via the Paine to Pain Trail Half Marathon.  This time around, two weeks after the course check, the temperature was a good 20 degrees cooler!  Excellent running weather (and dry conditions, which may cut the other direction for those who revel in muddy trails).  It still amazes me how this fantastic trail system is practically hidden from plain sight!

As for the race itself, I did not manage to run under 1:50 (my target) - but I did squeak in under my 2015 finish by almost a minute.  My 1:52:05 was a solid 10 minutes slower than my finish at the Norwalk Half Marathon last weekend. But the double loop course in Norwalk, challenging as it is with its hills, is a lot different than the single loop Paine to Pain course.  Both are great events - yet each requires tapping into a different skill set.

Post-race was equally worth putting in the miles for!  Not only were there pull-pork sliders (awesome), but there were various hero sandwiches to choose from.  That's was in addition to the typical post-race stuff (bagels, fruit, yogurt...).  And not to be overlooked was the ice cold chocolate milk :D

This is a must run event for any local area runner!  I will certainly be back in 2017 :D

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the most meaningful moment of the morning (for me, at least) was watching the blind runner as she crossed the finish line.  I'm in awe at the courage that it took to run the course without the benefit of sight.  It's a tough enough challenge even when you can see every root, rock or fallen branch!  God bless her - she's a true inspiration.

Here are the preliminary race results.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

2016 Paine to Pain Trail Half Marathon Packet Pick-Up at Westchester Road Runner

This morning I drove up to Westchester Road Runner for the Paine to Pain Packet Pick-up.  It was a break from the typical packet pick-ups in NYC for NYRR races.  Westchester Road Runner is a barely 10 minute drive north on the Post Road from my house.  In addition to the great shirt, they also included a water bottle, copy of Trail Runner magazine (it is a trail race, after all :D), car magnet, and a sample pack of Half Pops popcorn.  And, the bibs were personalized (which I assume only works for pre-registered runners :D)!

Looking forward to the race tomorrow!  As always, if you're at this one - say hello!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Happy Autumnal Equinox - 2016!

Happy Autumnal Equinox!  Fall officially arrived here on the East Coast an hour ago (10:21 AM EDT) - with some bona fide Fall-like weather to enjoy!

Now we can look forward to cooler days and easier runs (so to speak).  But one thing I'm not looking forward to are the increasingly shorter days that lay ahead. They turn around when winter arrives - so shorter days, in that context, are perfectly fine :D

Enjoy the new season!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

2016 Norwalk Half Marathon: Race Photos & Results

Ran the Norwalk Half Marathon this morning - great weather (opposite of the heat and humidity for the Paine to Pain course check last weekend).  Amazingly, almost didn't run it because I was still on the fence at 6:30.  Been feeling under the weather for the last few days, as if a chest cold was coming on.  But after a cup of coffee, and the realization I'd go out for a run regardless... got in the car and drove to Norwalk :D

As for the race itself, was pretty surprised to run a 1:41:13, 7:44 pace.  Shocked would be more appropriate since I didn't think 1:45 was doable!  Somehow I managed to string together a bunch of miles between 7:35 and 7:45 (with only a pair of 8 minute miles during the entire race).  An even bigger surprise awaited when the results were posted - I managed to finish third in my age group!  Had I run 20 seconds faster.. would have taken second!

That was pretty great - but even greater was the ice cream truck waiting patiently at the finish :D

Here are the official results from Lightfoot Runners.