Wednesday, March 31, 2010

"paul mccartney: a life," by peter ames carlin: book review

peter ames carlin's "paul mccartney: a life" is the latest addition to the canon on mccartney biographies. it's a fresh take on the 67 year old rock legend, but doesn't break new ground on the well-told "good" beatle story. carlin was unable to secure an interviews with paul mccartney during the two years he spent writing the book. most of the material is taken from familiar secondary sources, but carlin did interview many acquaintances who knew mccartney throughout the arc of his career. carlin succeeds in putting together a more complex and earthier view of the man (this book is certainly not haliographic).

for someone who comes to the beatle saga via phillip norman's "shout" - a decidedly john lennon centric view of all things beatle - carlin's book may seem like another effort a mccartney revisionism. but carlin does an excellent job of drawing the significant distinction between the beatles as john's "band" and the beatles's creative output strongly indebted to paul and his work ethic. it's tragic to read of paul's futile efforts in late 1969 to get the other beatles to consider going back on tour - performing live before their fans again - while the group was imploding.

one thing carlin does is lay blame not at the classic villian, yoko, for the beatles' breakup and long running litigation. instead he pointedly focused on the insidous and divisive impact allen klein, the beatles' manager after brian epstein died, had on the group. klein's relationship with mccartney was strained at best - and non-existant for the most part. paul was increasingly ostracized and outvoted as a result of klein's cozy relations with the other three beatles (and, significantly, yoko).

but the real highlight of the book was the post-beatles material (and in some respects, is far from flattering to paul mccartney). carlin does a great job of discussing the music - album by album, almost song by song, breakdowns of mccartney's output (solo, wings, post-wings). it's good stuff - and eye-opening. paul won't stand for any criticism from anyone! he barely tolerated hearing negative comments from none other the george martin when the two reunited in the early 1980's for martin to produce "tug of war."

carlin also paints a great portrait of paul and linda's relationship. paul went to great lengths to raise his children as "ordinary" kids - far from the trappings of a lavish lifestyle. linda's death and paul's reaction to it is probably the most poignant part of the book. but, afterwards, carlin seems to sour on the older paul - taking a harder line on his increasingly autocratic view of the world around him. but that certainly dovetailed with the complex character study carlin sought to evidence in his telling of the mccartney life.

"paul mccartney: a life" is a not a definitive biography, nor an exhaustive one. but it is a solid one that paints a more accessible, earthy paul mccartney - rather than the rock legend image that has surrounded him for decades.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

2010 umstead 100 mile endurance run: race report

wow - the umstead monkey is finally off my back! that's the very short and sweet version of my race report! it was my third attempt at the umstead 100 mile endurance run. in the 2008 edition i dropped at mile 78 because of an injured calf; and, in 2009 i missed the race entirely because of pneumonia! umstead, accordingly, had sole possession of first place on my list of unfinished business.

my primary objective was to finish the race. and, instead of the finisher's buckle, i wanted the lady's pendant to give to katie. for the past two years the race fell on her birthday weekend and she had to spend it in north carolina instead of with her friends (that was mitigated somewhat because our in-laws live in wake forest). it's a real highlight for me to see pat and katie during the race. this year katie planned to run a couple of miles with me - and i was psyched!

aside from pat and katie, the race field seemed like an extended family full of familiar ultra running faces. emmy was running it for her third time (and we'd run the last 2+ loops together). anthony was gunning for a sub 20 hour finish. tammy was looking for a sub-26 hour finish. meredith was looking for her first hundred finish since her daughter, zoe, was born last year! hugo, was there (after the nyc half last weekend). shannon was there (after a 20k last weekend). kim was there too (running with, pacing her boyfriend). cheryl, adam and fred too (a multiple umstead finisher).

too many stories to relate here. kraz came down from connecticut as a volunteer pacer (and his daughter volunteered at aid station #2). johnny, who hadn't fully recovered from his knee injury, was there to crew and support friends. rick flew in from california to pace anthony for the last 50 miles. wayne drove down from new york to pace and crew. and there were plenty of first timers attempting finish a 100 miles: eric, steve, laura, ira, susan l., susan g., and marge. apologies for anyone i missed.

i saw a good number of those people at the pre-race briefing friday afternoon (which i prepared for with a quick stop at the big boss brewing company). the weather was lousy on friday - a raw, wet day. but blake norwood, the race director, predicted beautiful conditions for race day - and we did get great weather! i skipped the pasta dinner, opting to eat at home and finalize my two drop bags. even getting up at 4 a.m., i managed a solid 5-6 hours of sleep before pat drove me back to umstead for the start.

time-wise, i had a 22 hour target in mind. based on blake's stats in the "how to train for your first 100 at the umstead 100," i wanted to run the first 50 miles in 10 hours and the second 50 in 12 hours. that was a bit more aggressive than his 1.3 ratio, but it gave me an extra 2 hour cushion to come in under 24 hours. i wanted to run the first four loops at a 2:30 pace and the final 4 loops at a 3:00 pace. i also planned on meeting up with katie mid-afternoon and running the airport spur with her.

since we had an hour of darkness at the start, i took a small flashlight with me. i ran most of that loop with emmy, and then picked up the pace at the second aid station. i didn't carry anything with me (no water belt or handheld bottle) since there was plenty of aid spread out on the loop course. i stopped long enough for water - and a hard boiled egg - at the various aid stations during the first few loops. the first half went perfectly (and i even wore my ipod for the second and third loops) and i reached 50 miles in 9:11:26 - well below my target.

i normally don't believe in banking time - preferring to target even splits whenever possible. but would i shift gears to run a few miles with katie in the fifth loop, and i knew that i'd run slower loops in the second half regardless. i was extremely psyched to see pat and katie when i got back to camp laphio at the end of loop four. i was a major mental boost - and i was especially amazed to hear that they had gone to a gun club with my brother-in-law for target shooting! that was a first! after i katie headed back down to camp laphio i spotted emmy about to finish her 4th loop.

if she sped up and i slowed down to 3 hour loops she'd catch up and we could run the last two loops together! and that's pretty much how it worked out. on my fifth loop took 3:01:24 - a solid 40 minutes slower than my average for the first 4 loops. but i felt great and was confident of hitting my 22 hour target. in loop four i ran with kim and her friends for a while and, a bit later, with meredith up to aid station #2. just before the midway point of loop six, emmy caught up to me and we ran the rest of the race together.

while i still felt good physically, it was getting past my bedtime mentally. on the airport spur of the seven loop my brain started to shut down. suddenly i found myself practically sleepwalking! at the low point i was imaging things - like dogs on the course. thankfully, emmy found a pair of runners who gave us some caffeinated gu! that gratuitous act of kindness worked like magic - it was as if someone flipped a switch and turned me back on again! but that incident, coupled with breaking out my drop bag at aid station #2 to grab emmy a pair of gloves, made it the slowest loop of the day - coming in at 3:27:46.

still, with an 87.5 mile split of 18:59:09, we could hit 22 hours with a 3 hour final loop. that was pretty aggressive - but i felt fine at that point. emmy would also break her pr (and f50 course record) from the 2009 race (22:18). so off we went, and pushing the pace, managed a 3:09:24 for the last loop! not quite 3:00, but solid enough (and my fastest one since loop 5)! i finished in 22:08:33 - which may have been faster if we didn't have to pick our way down a pitch black minefield of roots and rocks in the last half mile!

still, it was all good!! not only did i finally get the umstead monkey off my back and get katie that finisher's pendant, but i set a 100 mile pr by more than 4 hours (easily eclipsing my 26:16 at vermont last year) and a 50 mile pr by more than 30 minutes (eclipsing my 9:41 at jfk back in 2007)! plus, anthony ran under 20 hours! tammy finished in under 26 hours! eric finished his first hundred miler under 24 hours! woo hoo!

here are my lap splits:

2:05:03 4:21:18
2:18:09 6:39:28
2:31:58 9:11:26

first 50 miles: 9:11:26, an 11:02 pace.

3:01:24 12:12:51
3:18:31 15:31:22
3:27:46 18:59:09
3:09:24 22:08:33

second 50 miles: 12:57:03, a 15:33 pace.

13:17 average pace

here are some race photos.
here are some pre-race photos.

Monday, March 29, 2010

a quick visit to big boss brewing company

it seems like no road trip would be complete without squeezing in some craft beer :D on the drive over to umstead for the pre-race briefing on friday, pat and i stopped in at the big boss brewing company. i missed an in-person visit to big boss last year, but pat brought a few nice bottles home for me.

i picked up a growler of d'icer (a munich style dunkelweizen) and a six pack of their bad penny (brown ale). those were fine for later, but i also had a pint of blanco diablo wit ale (a belgium style wheat beer) before continuing on to umstead :D

good stuff!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

2010 umstead endurance run: race photos and results

i'm all smiles after finishing the 2010 umstead endurance run this morning! my 22:08 was a pr by over 4 hours and i ran the last two + loops w/emmy, pacing her to a pr! anthony rocked the course and finished well under 20 hours (19:24)! it was a fantastic "no excuses" weather day - and in the middle of it i got to run a few miles with katie - which made it even more sunny and specular!

here is my race report, and here are the race results.

more photos posted on facebook :D

and here are some pictures from the pre-race briefing on friday afternoon.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

2010 umstead 100 mile endurance run: pre-race briefing

here are a few pictures from the umstead pre-race briefing conducted by the race director, blake norewood. on the drive over to the race site, i made a quick stop at the big boss brewing company and picked up a growler of their "d'icer" - a dunkelweizen. the briefing itself doubled as a social event, with many familiar faces in the crowd.

despite the lousy weather we had (wet, raw conditions), race day is expected to be dry.

Friday, March 26, 2010

greetings from wake forest, north carolina!

greetings from wake forest! we arrived here late last night and until the rain started a few minutes ago, had perfect weather. spent this morning and early afternoon with family - and i finally met my brand new nephew, forrest!

just about to head over to umstead for the packet pick-up and the pre-race briefing. hopefully the rain won't last too long. the cooler temperature was expected, the rain wasn't :(

here are some family pictures :D

Thursday, March 25, 2010

a 10 mile week and off to raleigh, north carolina, for umstead!

this has been a very low mileage week so far: no running monday or tuesday, 6 miles yesterday, 4 miles today, and no running tomorrow. but over the weekend, starting at 6 a.m. saturday - and hopefully finishing up before 6 a.m. sunday - will run the umstead 100 mile endurance run in north carolina! if successful, that will give me a 110 mile week :D

there will be a lot of familiar faces at umstead and i'm looking forward to catching up with old friends (and meeting some new ones in the process). in addition to the race, i'll get to see my in-laws (and meet my newest nephew, forrest!) and, hopefully, get a chance to stop in at big brother brewing company!

stay tuned!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

2010 world tuberculosis day

today is world tuberculosis ("tb") day and is intended to increase public awareness of global tuberculosis epidemic and efforts to eliminate the disease. this startling statistic says it all: one-third of the world's population is currently infected with tb!

the march 24 date marks the anniversary of dr robert koch's discovery of the tuberculosis bacillus in 1882 - the first step towards diagnosing and curing tuberculosis. the world has made tremendous strides in fighting tb, but there is much to be done.

just yesterday, in fact, in the science section of the ny times, there was a report on the spread of drug-resistant tb (which killed 150,000 people in 2008 alone)! standard tb generally takes 6 months to cure with antibiotics. drug resistant tb can take two years to cure and requires a much more toxic mix of drugs to combat.

the theme for the 2010 campaign is "on the move against tuberculosis: innovate to accelerate action!"

support the fight against tb today!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

just registered for the 2010 brooklyn half marathon!

i just registered for the 2010 nyrr brooklyn half marathon on may 22 - not to sign up early but rather to avoid being closed out entirely! thanks to eliot's heads up email this afternoon that race registration would close tonight (3/23), i learned that this announcement went up on the nyrr site today:

"Registration for the NYRR Brooklyn Half-Marathon on May 22 is very near capacity and will close at 11:59 p.m. tonight, March 23. If you wish to run the Brooklyn Half and you have not yet registered, you must do before registration closes tonight."

it's not like i don't check the nyrr site - but this deadline came out of left field. to put it some context, last year the date of the race itself wasn't even finalized until the first week of april! be that as it may, i'm in - phew! aside from the brooklyn half ranking in the top 5 of my all time favorite races (probably the brooklynite in me), i'd like to run all 5 of the half marthons in the grand prix (which i haven't done since 2005).

so if you're thinking about the brooklyn half - register now!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

2010 nyc half marathon race report

What a perfect weather day we had - and what a difference a week made - for the 2010 edition of the NYC Half Marathon. No rain, no cold, sunshine and temperatures in the 50s - a “no excuses” day to get out and run! Those conditions fueled a record turnout and finish of just under 11,500 runners. My 1:37:29 finish was a personal best for this race - and easily beat my 1:38:36 at the inaugural race in 2006. The result was even more surprising because I had a 1:40 target in mind - and didn’t push the pace until the last 5K (and the final mile was my fastest of the race).

But the day began with a few glitches. Emmy and I drove in, and had a hard time finding a place to park - finally getting one on 89th Street and 2nd Avenue. We had missed the pre-race group photo with the World Lung Foundation, and almost missed the baggage trucks! The UPS truck from Emmy’s corral closed just as she arrived - and wouldn’t take anymore bags. My corral’s truck immediately next, was taking it’s last few bags - mine included. Thankfully, the baggage handler let her put her bag inside of mine and then took the combined bag!

There was one more technical glitch I was confronted with in my corral. My brand new watch (which Pat had gotten me the day before to replace the one that died after so many years of race and training service) - began acting up! I couldn’t get the functions to work properly. Eventually, with the clock showing 3+ minutes of elapsed time, the gun went off and I started keeping splits with that extra time built-in. But even that wouldn’t last!

Almost the entire 10-15 minutes I spent in the corral was a blur - spent on trying to fix my watch - argh! As it turned it out, after a slow, slightly crowded first mile, I got into a groove of 7:35-7:40 miles. This lasted until we reached 5 miles, and with the Lasker Pool in sight, my watch died - or, I should say, completely zeroed out (erasing the splits and magically reset the time 4 hours ahead)! I was furious, but there wasn’t anything to be done. Amazingly, about 30 seconds later it starting working again - at least recording new splits.

According to memory, I reached 5 miles in roughly 38 minutes. The official split for 5K was 23:45, a 7:40 pace. My 10K split was 46:59, a 7:35 pace. My watch was once again recording splits, and I was dutifully logging them. But, I had pretty much decided to ignore the watch and key off the mile marker splits. With the new course we had more distance in the park - reaching the 8 mile split just before turning south and heading out onto Seventh Avenue for the run down to 42nd Street.

The next split, 15K, was along 42nd Street, and I reached in 1:10:18, a 7:34 pace. The new course added a short right turn at the West Side Highway. The extra loop (together with the extra park distance) accounted for moving the finish line north to Chambers Street. The 10 mile mark was just south of 42nd Street - and I remember reaching it in just under 1:16. At this point, with just 5k to go, I picked up the pace significantly.

From memory, my last 3 miles were roughly: 7:19, 7:10, and 7 05. I reached the 20K split in 1:33:21, a 7:32 pace and really pushed the last 7/10th of a mile to the finish. 1:37:29, a 7:27 pace, was my official finish (having yet again lost the 59 minutes worth of splits on my watch when I tried to store them). Emmy was just up ahead, having run a 1:35 - and taken second in her age group! I can’t remember a race where I ever had such problems with a watch - and may have been better off just running without it!

But by the time I reached the post-race festivities the watch problem was ancient history (although, Pat exchanged it for a new one later that afternoon). In stark contrast to the beautiful spring day, I skipped the cold refreshments and rehydrated with hot chocolate! And later still, I switched to a Heineken (thanks to Marty)! Post-race, aside from the World Lung Foundation running team, there were plenty of familiar faces in the crowd: Tom, Eric, Hugo, Greg, Maria, Sharon, and Liz - and new ones too, Robert, Helen, and Leo!

Next up: Raleigh, North Carolina, for the Umstead 100 Mile Endurance Run!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

2010 nyc half marathon: race photos and results

what great weather we had for the 2010 nyc half marathon - and a record field of almost 11,500 finisher! on a slightly altered course (more in central park, less on the west side highway) i ran a 1:37:29. the only trouble i had this morning was technical - my watch malfunction twice and, as a consequence, my mile splits have vanished. otherwise, it was a fantastic day!

race report to follow. here are the results from nyrr.

2010 nyc half marathon: world lung foundation running team photos

the world lung foundation running team had a great day at the nyc half marathon! on the heels of our team's pasta dinner last night at tony di napoli, we had perfect weather to run and all 20 members of the team came in with excellent results. this is the third straight year that wlf has fielded a team for the nyc half - and we've managed to raise over a $100,000 in fight against childhood asthma in africa in the process!

i posted a few more race photos on facebook.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

world lung foundation running team's pasta dinner at tony di napoli

if the fun we had at the pasta dinner tonight is any indication, the world lung foundation running team is going to have a great time at the nyc half marathon tomorrow! good food, great socializing, and the perfect way to ease into a running mindset for the race. most of our 20 person team made it in for the dinner.

if you're running tomorrow, stop by the world lung foundation booth at the finish and say hello!

Friday, March 19, 2010

roz savage, "rowing the atlantic: lessons learned on the open ocean" book review

i found roz savage's book, "rowing the atlantic: lessons learned on the open ocean," at the library a couple of weeks ago and it seemed like the perfect tonic for the seemingly endless winter blues. "rowing the atlantic," was far removed from my typical running world, but it immediately appealed to me, as do most books on individual adventures and travel. i can't see myself stepping into a rowboat to cross a lake, much less and ocean, but i can readily identify with savage's desire to push beyond her comfort zone and discover what was out there.

her road to the water was almost a return to the familiar, after all the upheaval in her life. she had rowed competitively in college, but abandoned the sport for a decade before returning to it (in extreme fashion as it turned out). while most people often confront tough decisions by making lists of pros and cons, savage went straight to the obituary. her epiphany arrived after reading two versions of the obituary she wrote for herself. one was based on her current life, married, management consultant, toiling away at a 9 to 5 job she increasingly couldn't relate to as the drudgery mounted.

the second, way more interesting tale of a life, was based on sheer fantasy - the "what if" version of where she wanted to go. even so, the competing obituaries weren't enough to precipitate change. she was engaged in an extramarital affair and someone told her husband about it via an anonymous letter! even then, as she pointed out, her husband didn't toss her out but took the mature view and sought to put their life back together. despite the temporary reconciliation, roz decided to go it alone and realized she wanted a very different life.

the kick-off to that new version of herself was the 2005 atlantic rowing race (3000 miles from the canary islands to antigua)! savage was the sole woman entrant in a field of 26 rowing teams (composed of 4 person/2 person and some individual men). of the 26 starters, 6 capsized and didn't finish the race. of the 20 finishers, roz savage was the last one, taking 103 days to complete the transatlantic journey. when she arrived in antigua she had succeeded in her objective and banished a number of internal demons in the process.

some of the moments she shares are funny, such as the flying fish that lands in her boat. her first thought is "eke" and her second one is "supper" - and she does eat the little guy! some moments are frustrating (the uncooperative waves that continually seem to drop in when least wanted - during meals). and then there are the terrifying ones - when a rogue wave flips her into the water as she attempted to empty her bedpan (terrifying and funny). and, at the very end of the journey one last malfunction (after all of her oars had broken at one point or another), where she was forced to cut away her sea anchor!

"rowing the atlantic" is a quick and interesting read. i quickly got caught up in her trials and tribulations trying to remain "solo" (avoiding any assistance) and inching across the pond. at one point her satellite radio failed and she was unable to communicate (except point to point via her vhf radio). that opened up a more introspective aspect of the journey, as she admitted (even enjoying the cut-off more than she imagined she would).

the high of completing her journey never wore off! savage went on determined to row the pacific over 3 years (two of those legs have been now been completed). after finishing her book, i'm tempted to re-read some of buckley's sailing books :D

Thursday, March 18, 2010

2010 nyc half marathon packet pick-up at metropolitan pavilion north

the nyrr moved packet pick-up for the nyc half marathon downtown, to the metropolitan pavilion north on 19th street. that's even further south than the days when nike sponsored the race and pick-up was at niketown! the new location is large enough to stage a mini-expo, a kind of marathon expo light experience (including a small area for presentations)!

i picked up my stuff this afternoon, including the great tech shirt pictured above. while not scientific, the sizes seem to run small! i opted for a medium and later discovered that it was more like a small. i may try to exchange it, or it may be another shirt for katie :D

once again, i'm running the race on behalf of the world lung foundation. this will be my 4th (of the five) nyc half marathon. don, emmy, and i ran the inaugural race in 2006. i skipped it in 2007, and have run the rest of them on on behalf of wlf. it's a fantastic course and event!

as always, if you're running it - say hi!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

"poison friends" ("les amitiés maléfiques") movie review

poison friends ("les amities malefiques") is, for a lack of a better label, an intelligentsia thriller. a wordier summary would be a bloodless thriller focused on a group of literature students at the sorbonne who are taken hostage, pyschologically, by one of their own. that particular svengali is an insufferable narcissist who is also a pathological liar who thoroughly enjoys controlling his easily maniputable comrades. phew! despite that almost overwought recap, the film is riveting and incredibly watchable!

the opening scene, the first class of a literature seminar at the sorbonne, carried faint echoes of the paper chase. but the professor, claude mortier, is no charles kingsfield. after andre morney(thibault vicon) takes on a speaking challenge and gives an impromptu discourse (an assignment to have begun with the second lecture -with students using the interim to prepare) mortier labels him brilliant. what did andre say? basically, that writing should only be done out of necessity.

but andre takes that much further, insisting no one should write at all! he quotes karl klaus "why do some write? because they're too weak not to." he uses this hackneyed line repeated to bludgeon his friends into being ashamed of their own writing. at one point he heckles a fellow student for publishing in a literary magazine! another, eloi duhaut, is so unnerved by his views that he throws out his own manuscript (luckily, his mother not only salvages it from the trash but submits it to her publisher and it's accepted).

andre is so pompous that he actually makes the case for critics! it's the critic's job to expose and root out the weak and useless writers! espoused by such an egoist, it almost seemed plausible. but andre would have done well to heed another quote from his hero, klaus: "education is a crutch with which the foolish attack the wise to prove that they are not idiots." but andre does mentor his colleagues to a remarkable degree. he convinces one, alexandre pariente to give up literature and pursue acting (at which he succeeds). and he convinces eloi to continue in literature (his mother is a famous author) and write his thesis on james ellroy!

ellroy is a fascinating selection for andre. professor mortier, who is also supervising andre's thesis, agrees to supervise eliot's work on ellroy (in small part because of eloi's connection with andre). while not developed in the film, ellroy is a contemporary american author (whose nickname is "the demon dog of american crime fiction"). he's a hard boiled version of hunter s. thompson. given andre's contempt for america it's an astonishing concession! it's with his own thesis, however, that andre meets with his undoing.

without spoiling the ending of this fascinating character study, andre's dramatic comeuppance begins when he submits his thesis to professor mortier. mortier is shocked and disappointed that andre spent little if any time during the preceding six months working on it. he rejects the submission and decides to no longer supervise andre's work. overnight andre rewrites an entire section and want mortier to reconsider. when he refuses, andre slaps him in the face and leaves. but not before constructing yet another elaborate lie for his friends consumption.

how the film develops after this scene says as much about eloi and alexandre as it does about andre. the relationship between and among these three characters as time moves forward and their lives assume adult dimensions is both dark and humorous. the title of the film emerges when eloi crosses out his original title on the book proofs and pencils in "poison friends." the end certainly plays off the title.

put this one on your netflix queue. if you're a writer (in any shape, form or quantity) don't pass it up :D

check out the trailer (even if the scenes are cut and pasted out of sequence):

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

2010 nyrr 8000: race report

It was very tough to get out of bed Saturday morning, with the wind howling and the drumbeat of incessant rain against the window. But the NYRR 8000 and final World Lung Foundation group training run for the NYC Half Marathon immediately after the race motivated me to get up and out the door. Emmy met me at seven for the drive down to Central Park - and while the rain had let up, it was still very windy (and rough driving). On the ride in, she and Yvette wisely decided to cancel the group run (a sane choice under the circumstances).

Amazingly, we got a parking spot right on Central Park East and the 102nd Street entrance to the Park! Directly across the street, runners were huddled under apartment building scaffolding in an effort to stay dry for just a few more pre-race minutes. As luck had it, the rain tapered down to a drizzle by the time we reached the corrals. I saw Bob, ready to race, as soon as I got there. It was almost comical that most runners hung back, not wanting to be at the very front because of the wind and ran.

Thankfully, this race was just under 5 miles. I really had no intention to run it fast because the next morning was the Celebrate Life Half Marathon. As it turned out, the storm increased in ferocity during the day and knocked out our power - along with dozens of trees in our neighborhood. I never made it to the half marathon on Sunday. Had I known this (wishfully thinking), I would have run the 8000 with more effort.

Here are the splits:

6:46 13:53
7:01 20:55
7:19 28:14
7:02 35:17

7:05 pace

I was very pleased with result (and slightly annoyed that it may have been too fast, given the next race on Sunday). I'm positive that a sense of "let's get this thing over with" had a lot to do with the faster pace. Tom, wearing just his racing singlet caught and passed me just before mile four. Emmy caught up to me with just a quarter mile to go. Except for Bob and Tom, I didn’t see any other familiar faces on the course. The nasty weather reduced turnout to just over 2,600 finishers - relatively low for a NYRR event.

Here are some race photos.

Next up: the NYC Half Marathon! As always, if you’re there - say hello!

Monday, March 15, 2010

happy birthday phil lesh - 70 years old today!!

phil lesh (aka phillip chapman lesh) the greatful dead's bassist is 70 years old today! born march 15, 1940, he joined jerry garcia when the grateful dead were, very briefly, the warlocks in 1965. lesh was with the band for its entire 30 year trip, until the very last concert they played in the summer of 1995.

my favorite lesh song, "box of rain," was a rarity at dead shows - but always worth the wait. lesh penned few songs during his time with the dead, but amazingly, the last show at solider field in chicago featured three of his songs: "box of rain," "childhood's end" and "unbroken chain." the title of lesh's autobiography, "searching for the sound" is a line from "unbroken chain" (and "unbroken chain" is the name of his charitable foundation).

in the years since the dead, phil occasionally reunited with his former band mates - but mainly toured with his band, phil lesh and friends. last year, following a brief dead reunion tour, phil has been touring with bobby weir and their "new" combined group "furthur." after many phil lesh and friend shows over the years, hopefully i'll get to catch "furthur" at coney island this summer!

happy birthday phil!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

tree knocked out our power... but otherwise, just another rainy day :D

yesterday, just after 5:30 the wind knocked over our neighbor's tree and it, in turn, knocked out power to our little block! that was on top of a day of seemingly endless rain and wind... that stretched well into the night. this is a picture i took this morning, when things finally quieted down. there were downed trees all over the neighborhood - and most houses were without power.

i originally thought it might take only a day or two to get the power restored. but i went out for a run this morning (after bagging the trip to rock hill for the celebrate life half marathon) and the landscape was truly bleak. there downed trees and power lines all over! be that as it may, no one was hurt, so things aren't that bad.

hope everyone else survived this intense wind storm!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

2010 nyrr 8000: photos and results

the nyrr 8000 this morning was wet and windy. the wind was actual the more troublesome of the two (gusts over 20 mph). without the gusts, we had light rain - no where near as sever as the overnight downpour. as expected, turnout was relatively low, with just over 2,600 finishers. i ran a 35:17 - slower than last year, but probably faster than i should have with the celebrate life half tomorrow.

here's my race report, and here are the results from nyrr.