Sunday, August 21, 2016
It was a soggy morning out there for the France Run 8K. Midway through the national anthem it began to drizzle - and rain it did for almost the entire race! For most of the miles it wasn't much more than a drizzle (and felt pretty good, actually) - but there a couple of minutes of heavy rain laced in there. Regardless, 2016 NYRR # 6 is in the books :D
At 37:43, the 7:36 pace for the 8K was almost an entire minute faster than my shuffle at the 5 Mile Team Championships last month (42:08, 8:36 pace). But at that 5 Miler I took it more as an easy jog because the Escarpment Trail Run was the next morning ;O
Next up, NYRR race #7 will be the Fifth Avenue Mile in two weeks. As always, if you're at that one - say hello!
Here are the official results from NYRR.
Friday, August 19, 2016
Picked my shirt and bib for the NYRR France Run 8K yesterday. Same logo, but an excellent blue instead of the simple white background from last year.
This will be NYRR race #6 for me this year. Yesterday I also signed up for the Fifth Avenue Mile (race #7) which I had been on the fence about. It directly conflicts with one of my favorite races, the Westport 10 Miler. But since I got a late start on my nine + one this year, opted to collect another point. On the plus side, skipping the 10 Miler in favor of a 1 Miler will leave me in decent condition to run the New Haven 20K two days later :D
As always, if you're at this one - say hello!
Tuesday, August 9, 2016
Picked up my bib and pint glass for the NYRR R-u-n 5K after work today -- and put glass to work use when I got home! As for the race itself (a rare NYRR 5k in Central Park), there is a weather advisory up for it. Check the website to see what the NYRR decide to do if the heat and humidity are too high Thursday night.
I'll run it whether or not it's switched to a fun run. It will be race #5 on my road to 9+1 for the 2017 NYC Marathon. Race #7 should be the France Run 8K next weekend.
As always, if you're at this one - say hello!
Sunday, August 7, 2016
This morning I did an interesting tour of the city that included "four bridges, 3 boroughs, 2 islands, & 1 tram" - put together by an old friend, Bob Tona, and his Raritan Valley Road Runners Club. It was one of the most fun group "fun" runs I've done in a long time! The actual distance came in a bit longer than the projected (actually slightly more than half a marathon) - but included numerous stops for photo ops (and running thru a few sprinklers at some local kiddie parks)!
One of the highlights for NYC Marathon runners was covering familiar course ground in different directions. The first bridge was the Queensboro - taking us out of the City instead of into (and on the pedestrian walkway instead of roadway). Another site was running over the Pulaski Bridge, again in the opposite direction (and across the pedestrian walkway).
While we didn't "run" on the tram, it was the means back to NYC after we finished up at Roosevelt Island. It's been decades since I've taken that tram ride!!
For those of you interested, the street by street (bridge to bridge) directions are posted below :D
Wednesday, August 3, 2016
This year, I almost didn't line up for the Escarpment Trail Run. When I went to bed Saturday night, it was raining. When I woke up Sunday morning, it was still raining. Somehow I dragged myself out of bed with the lame rationalization that either it would stop (somehow it continued to rain all day long) or I had nothing else to do if I stayed home (true). As if to lull me into a false sense of complacency, it mostly stopped raining/drizzled on the drive up the race.
Like last year, I was once again assigned to the last wave (18) - set to go off at 10:25 AM. The late start was the only saving grace because I got to sleep a little bit longer - haha. As it turned out, our wave went off at 10:15 (with the combined 15/16 wave) because of no shows. Last year we went off a wave sooner, also because of no-shows. But last year it was dry! This time around all I thought about was the looming mud slides down from Windham and Blackhead!
Once the gun set us off, we had the climb up to Windham peak. Although it started raining at that point, the canopy helped keep it from becoming too much of a hassle. I was 2 minutes behind my pace last year (59 v. 57 minutes). But I hadn't gotten my head into to race yet. In a first, I was wearing compression shorts to stave off the anticipated chafing that typically bedevils me in long events. After my most recent negative experience with chafing issues in Vermont, it was time to try something different!
In another first, I also wore gloves (with the finger-tips cut off). They too turned out to be very helpful - not just on the muddy downhill stretches, but also on the climbs up to Blackhead and Stoppel. In addition to my hand held water bottle, I also wore a mini-back pack (instead of my fanny pack). I used the pack because I wanted to put my handheld in it during the descents! As it turned out (and mainly due to the wet conditions), I tossed it into the pack at the top of Windham and didn't bother taking it out for most of the day. That would certainly not be possible during hot, dry conditions. But I was glad for the pack this time around.
If I wasn't as focused on the way up, the descent off Windham quickly got my head into race. I managed to pick up those couple of minutes I lost on the initial climb - by the time I reached the base of Blackhead. But in something of a pleasant surprise, I picked up another 4 minutes on the climb up to Blackhead. Was it the gloves? At the peak I took a pair of Advil because I could feel the soreness in my legs creeping in. Up to that point all I had to eat was a handful of Fig Newtons.
At 10.5 miles, I was about 2 hours and 45 minutes in and wondering about the next 8 miles. Specifically, if it would take me 3 or so hours to finish. Last year was my slowest Escarpment (at just a sliver under 5:47) and the final stretch from Estoppel to North Lake was always my slowest leg of the race. But I felt pretty good at that point and thought I could run a lot more of that 8 miles than I've managed lately.
The compression shorts really did work for me. Even though I was drenched pretty much from the get go, there was no chafing - not one bit. Not only did I pick up some time getting down to Dutcher's Notch (always thanks to a gravity assist - haha) - but I picked up a solid 7 minutes on the climb up to Stoppel! According to the Albany Running Exchange splits (below) it took 41 minutes (versus the 48 it took me last year)! Must have been the gloves :D
But, gloves, pack, and even compression shorts aside, I knew it would be a good day when I ran most of the 4.4 final miles to the lake (when not boulder hopping after the last aid station). Last year I distinctly remember having to walk stretches because I couldn't pick up my legs quick enough to avoid stubbing my toes on the rocks. Not sure what was different, but I had no problem running the "runnable" stretches this time around.
By that point I was pretty sure that I'd come in under 5:45 - and suspected that I was probably in the 5:30 range (I hadn't worn my watch). So I was pleasantly shocked to discover that my finish time was 5:24:19! I haven't done Escarpment in under a 5:30 since 2011 (and that year I ran a 5:23). So despite the rain (and rain, and rain...) I got to relive some of my glory days - haha!
Can't wait for the 2017 edition!
Monday, August 1, 2016
August kicks off this weekend with a group fun run - that includes "4 bridges, 3 boroughs, 2 islands and 1 tram" - and I'm really looking forward to the tram ride - haha! If the run itself isn't fun enough, it will wind up at Rattle & Hum for rehydration :D
This month also includes a pair of NYRR races, one of which is on a weeknight. The NYRR 5K is next Thursday night (8/11) and the France Run 8K is on the 21st. Those two should get me up to 6 races of my 9+1 for the 2017 NYC Marathon guaranteed entry.
The last weekend of August is a road trip to bring Katie back to Ann Arbor for her senior year! As always I'll be on the lookout for a Michigan race to run. But that plan to find a local race to run hasn't worked so far - but hope springs eternal.
Finally, the open question for this month is whether to run the Viaduct 100 Miler the weekend of the 13th and 14th. I'm on the fence right now (not the least of which is that my quads are shot from Escarpment and I wonder if I'll be up for an ultra in less than 2 weeks). In terms of logistics, I don't have a pacer lined up and I don't really want to wing it (that didn't prove to be a successful plan for Vermont last month). So I may drop down to the 50 Miler - or find something local (and shorter) to run, instead. Stay tuned.
Here's how it looks so far:
8/7 - "4 Bridges Run"
8/11 - NYRR 5K
8/13 - Viaduct 100 Miler?
8/21 - NYRR France Run 8k
As always, if you're at any of these - say Hello!
Sunday, July 31, 2016
Just a quick recap - I'll write up a race report in a couple of days.
My seventh Escarpment Trail Run is in the books! It was a wet (- rained all day) and muddy time out there, from start to finish. But, in a big surprise (to ME!) I finished in 5:24:19 - my fastest time in 5 years (since the 5:23:20 at the 2011 edition)! That was a solid 22 minutes faster than last year's finish (5:46:58) - when we had dry conditions on the course!
Not sure what accounts for today's result - but I'll take it :D