my welcome home was a bit muted with the onset of an annoying head cold - argh. not sure if it was the flight home yesterday morning, or the roller coaster weather temperature changes from north carolina to new york? whatever the cause, it's not fun to have this nagging headache and head cold today. while it's not debilitating, it's certainly uncomfortable - especially getting the chills on a hot summer day - argh!
i skipped my daily run and, hopefully, a little rest and some hot soup will get this inconvenient visitor out of my system in a day or two.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
i got home from north carolina early this afternoon - after an only a one hour flight (which was even faster than the one hour and 10 minutes flying time down there on friday)! i'm glad to be home (although pat and katie are coming home on thursday) - but, tomorrow it's back to work.
the highlight of the trip was forrest's baptism on saturday morning. but i also managed to get in some running during the extended weekend, albeit in some hot humid conditions! each day the temperature was in the high 90's - and sunday topped out at 103 degrees. most of my runs were squeezed in between family activities (5 miles saturday, 6.2 sunday, and 7.5 miles on monday). they were some tough miles, weather-wise, and included a lot of hills and pavement (and about a mile of trail).
other highlights included a visit to the the sir walter gun club on sunday with scott, george and katie and, on monday, a visit to the chatham hill winery with pat. these two activities should not necessarily be combined :D
Monday, June 28, 2010
this afternoon, we took a tour of the chatham hill winery in cary/morrisville and, afterwards, took part in a tasting of their wines. chatham hill is an urban winery (actually located in a corporate park) because it doesn't have an attached vineyard. the bulk of their grapes are grow in western north carolina and shipped to the winery for pressing. the tour was informative - but the 8 wines we tasted were the highlight :D
on the way back, we stopped for lunch a the village draft house - where they have at least 99 craft beers on tap at any given time (and a great selection of local north carolina brews) :D
Sunday, June 27, 2010
scott, my brother-in-law, took katie, george, and me to the sir walter (as in raleigh) gun club, in creedmore, this afternoon. scott is the club's range safety officer. while i ran the umstead 100 miler last winter, katie, george, and pat were at the club shooting! so it was my turn to get in some target practice (it had been 30+ years since i handled a firearm!).
scott brought along enough weapons to outfit a small militia. after we set up the targets, we shot rifles first. then me moved in closer and fired pistols. it was an incredible hot day (the temperature never feel below 90 degrees), but we had a great time out there!
Saturday, June 26, 2010
forrest was baptised at the greek orthodox church in raleigh this morning. it was a wonderful ceremony - and forrest was remarkably into it, in as much as a 6 month old can be aware of what's happening around him :D
here are a few photos:
Friday, June 25, 2010
greetings from north carolina! we arrived in raleigh just before 10 (our flight arrived 10 minutes early!). we were met at the airport by my brother-in-law, scott, and nephew, george. scott drove us drove to my mother-in-law's house in wake forest. the highlight of this trip to wake forest is my brand new nephew's baptism on saturday.
pat's sisters are all here (it's rare when all 4 girls are together in one place at the same time these days)! we were down here only a few months ago (march) for umstead. while that trip was about the race, i met forrest for the first time. and now he's almost 6 months old!
stay tuned. i'll post a few pictures after the baptism and reception!
Thursday, June 24, 2010
the 2010 summer solstice 15k (actually a 14k) in minnewaska state park, new paltz, was unfinished business (according to emmy) because last year emmy, rob, and i arrived a solid 40 minutes after the race had begun! between traffic and a pair of torrential downpours (and a deer that jumped in front of the car as we approached the park) the drive there seemed endless. be that as it may, we went ahead ran the course anyway and were rewarded with spectacular ridgeline views!
this year, rob had work commitments and missed the race. emmy almost missed it, until she arranged for a last minute carpool for her son. i left work early and drove up to bedford, where we met to drive the rest of the way together. there was no traffic, and no rain, on the drive and (in a rarity) we arrived with plenty of time to spare! we met up with myriam (whom we didn't see at all last year because by the time we finished the course, practically all the runners had gone home).
an interesting scoring system was in place for the event. no bibs, no chips - only an index card handed to the runner as he crossed the finish line. he, in turn, filled in name, age, sex, and turned the card in at the results table. this system is a variation of the numbered ice cream sticks handed out at the westport summer series races (then names are filled in on clip board). very low-tech, very old school.
the race director had some basic announcements before he set us on our way. two aid stations, the first at the top of the mountain (roughly 4 miles) and the second, mid-way through the fifth mile. after an initial quarter mile drop (which turned into hill at the finish), the course climbed straight up for almost 4 miles. that was the toughest part of the race. then the course followed the ridge line and slowly descended back to the start/finish area.
i didn't have a time goal in mind, just get in a solid run. last year it took just under 1:20 to finish the course (which included stops for pictures). i figured that a 1:10 finish was more than doable. it took 29:33 to reach the summit after a tough climb which, i guessed, may not have been 4 miles! despite the 93 degrees on a bank thermometer as we passed through new paltz, the heat wasn't that bad on the trails.
it took 13:11 to reach the mid-five mile aid station! once again i thought the mileage mark was off (especially when the volunteers insisted that the aid station was at mile 6!). i remembered that the final stretch seemed interminable - and that memory proved correct. it took me 23:10 to cover the distance (something more than 2.3 miles?) back to the start/finish, for a 1:05:55 - which was, according to pre-race estimates and post-race garmin readings, a course of 8.5 miles.
i filled in my index card and turned it in at the scoring table. then i went back to cheer on the finishers - one of whom was doug (who i'll see again next month in vermont). emmy finished in just over 1:14 and took first place in her age group. the prizes were fresh baked loaves of panera bread. in the it's a lucky day category, after the awards ceremony, the race director handed out the extra loaves - and i got one :D
the park officially closed at 9 - and it was 8:30 when the awards ended and the remaining runners began filing out. by the time i got home (luckily, no traffic on the drive back) it was 10:45 (and i had eaten half that loaf for dinner)! don't pass up the chance to run this race. the views and trails are spectacular!
here are my race photos.
here is my 2009 race (training run) report.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
i just got back from a trip to new paltz for the summer solstice 15k. this is a great race, over fantastic carriage trails, in minnewaska state park, with spectacular views! even with the race starting at 6:30, the bank thermometer read 93 degrees(!) as we drove through town to get to the park! it was a hot, humid night to race!
the short version: in sharp contrast to last year (when we arrived 40 minutes after the race had begun thanks to heavy traffic and horrible weather), emmy and i arrived early. the race went off on time and i managed a 1:05:50 for the course. emmy, with a 1:14, took 1st in her age group (and won a loaf a pannera bread). we met up with myriam before and after the race, and also met up with doug (who also won his age group).
here is my race report, and here are the race results.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
the joe kleinerman 12 hour run celebrated its silver (25th?) anniversary this weekend. it was my second 12 hour run, and my second time running the joe kleinerman run. the 2010 edition was markedly drier than the last one, in 2008. that run included a race stoppage because of nasty mid-afternoon thunderstorm (which, on the positive side, led to a drop in the overall humidity). i barely reached 50 miles that year (terrible weather conditions plus a bout of anemia).
this time around the weather was fine. it sunny and warm (but most of the course was shaded and there was a nice breeze). my mileage target was 100k, just over 62 miles for the day. the macadam pedestrian loop in crochern park (bayside, queens) was 0.97 miles. the 50k split equalled 32 loops, 50 miles (50.5 actually) was 52 loops, and the 100k mark equalled 64 loops of the course. i hoped to run 6 loops an hour for most of the day, then slow to 5 (and probably 4) at some point.
i ran at a 7 loop per hour pace for the first 3 hours (reaching 21 loops in 3:01). because of the heat, i discarded my singlet after the first loop - and didn't put it back on until i reached 50 miles late in the day. i ran well for the first 25 loops and then began to feel the wall creeping up on me. i stopped to eat some avocado that i had brought to the race and kept in a cooler. even so, i found myself walking up the rise to the scoring area after the 25th loop.
i reached the 50k mark in just over 5 hours (5:01) - much sooner than i reached it in 2008 (5:52). but i just couldn't shake off the doldrums that hung over me. my pace dropped significantly during loops 33-38 and all i could do was push forward until i got a second wind. that came, thankfully, during loop 39 and carried me straight through to the 50 mile mark. my split for 50 miles, 8:57:11, was a pr! i was thrilled - and surprised, given the desultory string of loops between laps 25 and 38!
with 3 hours still to run, i had already reached my 2008 mileage (51.4). but the tables turned on me because after reaching 50+ miles, i hit another down patch. the high point of that stretch (between loops 53 and 58) was the root beer floats the richie had prepared for us! but, after walking a few loops (i had one loop that clocked in at 19 minutes and a second in 21 minutes during that stretch), a got another second wind. my last 5 full loops bounced between 9 and 12 minutes! i reached 63 loops before switching over to the short loop.
that loop, while just over 0.21 miles, included the only major climb on the course (and constituted half of the small loop)! i eked out 3+ small loops before richie blew the whistle at 12 hours. my unofficial mileage is 61.8 - less than half a mile shy of the 100k mark (62.2). given the roller coaster ride over the 12 hours, i was more than pleased with that mileage! the only downside to the day was the incredibly bad chafing i suffered through during the second half of the day :(
afterwards, richie had pizza set up for the runners. collectively, we devoured 12 pies in the blink of an eye! phil won the race - logging more than 78 miles in the process - and alicja took first place among the women. emmy (who ran just under 60 miles) won a sweatshirt in the post-race raffle! in a fun bit of trivia, my bib number equalled my age! and, in an it's a small world category, i met another 47 year old who runs ultras and blogs - seth - at the end of the day!
this is probably my last long run/ultra before the vermont 100 miler next month :D
here are my race photos.
Monday, June 21, 2010
happy summer solstice! summer officially arrived a few minutes ago (7:28 edt) here on the east coast. while tomorrow is the first full day of summer, the heat and humidity jumped the gun and rolled into town, full force, yesterday. we've had an unusually warm may and june this year, which makes it seem like summer arrived last month :D
in any event, get outside and grab some sun today! more importantly, carpe diem - tomorrow the days start getting shorter! i'm planning to celebrate the solstice on wednesday, in new paltz, running the summer solstice 15k. hopefully, this time around we'll make it there on time for the actual race :D
happy summer solstice!!
Sunday, June 20, 2010
i kicked off fathers' day with the rowayton fathers' day fun run. on the heels of yesterday's kleinerman 12 hour run, i opted for the 2.2 short course - instead of tempting fate with the double loop, 4.4 mile long course. i ran this one last year (the 4.4 mile long course) and it's a great, low-key race. turnout was much higher this year.
it was sunny, but incredibly muggy. rob ran the race in his vibram 5 fingers - and emmy was tempted to run with an ice pack on her foot (a bit swollen from yesterday). instead of the ice pack, she wore racing flats! while emmy stuck with the short course, rob opted for the long one.
i ran a 17:30, good enough for 3rd place in my age group. the awards were tee shirts, so that was pretty neat. emmy won her age group and rob also took third in his!
here are the race results from clubct.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
it was a long hot day (but thankfully plenty of shade and cool breezes) to be running loops in crocheron park, queens, for 12 hours! in a roller coaster of a day, i managed 62 miles - just shy of my 100k target. i ran the first 50 miles in 9:02:30 - but since the split was 50.5 miles, i probably did the 50 in under 9 hours - either way, the split is a pr for me at that distance :D
here is my race report; and here are the race results.
a few more pictures posted on facebook.
here are photos from the 2008 kleinerman 12 hour run.
Friday, June 18, 2010
i can usually go for weeks at a time without a new album (the last one, in fact, was the reissued rolling stones "exile on main st."). so it was something of a surprise to walk out of j&r music with two albums on tuesday: the steve miller band's "bingo!" plus tom petty and the heartbreakers' "mojo." miller's first new studio release in 18 years was practically a rarity! but even with an 8 year gap since the petty and the hearbreakers' 20o2 "the last dj," "mojo" is a surprise in the wake of the monster multiple cd, "live anthology," last fall!
petty and the heartbreakers previewed two of the songs, "jefferson jericho blues" and "i should have known," on saturday night live last month. the album has an additional 13 tracks, and a running time of just over an hour. contrasted with miller's 10 tracks, clocking in at just over 30 minutes, petty is giving fans the bigger bang for our collective bucks. in a similar vein, miller issued an album of covers, petty cranked out all new material for this release. i'm a long time fan of steve miller, but petty clearly has his fans in mind with generous content.
the music itself cover a lot of ground, blues, jams, reggae infused, and a hard driving classic rock throwback. my favorite number without question is "i should have known," which channels led zeppelin. mike campbell lets loose his inner jimmy page and really fires up a pair of solos. petty does a workman's job of bringing to life plant's lament, but the song belongs to campbell. the other song of note, "first flash of freedom," conjures up the dead with its elongated jams (actually it reminded me more of phish or, stretching, tea leaf green).
petty himself, in interviews suggested the album has an almost allman brothers feel. but the first cut, "jefferson jericho blues," with scott thurston on the harmonica, is all heartbreakers. and, as noted over and over - everywhere it seems - petty sounds so much like dylan these days that their voices are practically indistinguishable at times! look no further than petty's raspy voice "u.s. 41" - a twangy bit of rockabilly, or the more bluesy "takin my time."
there's a reggae infused paen to marijuana in the lamenting "don't pull me over." it could be a quieter coda to straightforward petty rocker, "mary jane's last dance." although, mary jane isn't the only intoxicant covered on this album. "high in the morning" is alcohol infused with lyrics like, "boy that bottle belongs to the devil/better leave it on the shelf." without the campbell electric grooves on that one, "high in the morning" is all county!
there is a lot of variety on "mojo." it also has a classic stripped down sound - thanks to skipping the overdubs in the studio. as petty explained, the album highlights the heartbreakers and their contributions to the sound. in that regard, works - and works well. check it out.
here is the track list:
1. jefferson jericho blues
2. first flash of freedom
3. running man’s bible
4. the trip to pirate’s cove
6. no reason to cry
7. i should have known it
8. u.s. 41
9. takin’ my time
10. let yourself go
11. don’t pull me over
12. lover’s touch
13. high in the morning
14. something good coming
15. good enough
Thursday, June 17, 2010
legendary chess champion bobby fischer died in january, 2008, in iceland (where he had been living) more than two years ago. yesterday, as the ny times reports, the supreme court of iceland ordered that his body be exhumed and a paternity test be conducted to determine whether 9 year old jinky ong is, in fact, his daughter.
from the news report: "since his death, there has been an ongoing fight over his estate involving competing claims by marilyn young, jinky’s mother; miyoko watai, the head of the japanese chess association, who said she legally married fischer in 2004; and two of fischer’s nephews, alexander and nicholas targ. agence france-presse reported that the united states government has also filed a claim for unpaid taxes."
interestingly, this is from the 2008 ny times obituary, "he never married, but had a daughter, jinky ong, in 2000 with a companion, justine ong, in manila. the child is his only immediate survivor." the obituary made no mention of miyoko watai, who claims she married fischer in 2004 (at which time they had been living together in japan).
update: dna tests establish fischer is not jinky's father.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
steve miller's "bingo!" is the steve miller band's first new material since 1993's, "wide river." the 17 year hiatus wasn't entirely fruitless, miller has been recording (just not releasing) and touring every summer. one of my summer of 2008 highlights was catching steve miller at radio city music hall - that was a great show! amazingly, despite the extended studio drought, "bingo!," has no new material. the album covers 10 blues classics - songs that miller listened to as a texas teenager. he includes four additional tracks on the special edition (together with expanded liner notes) of the album.
miller, in various interviews promoting the album, is unapologetic about the lack of new material. he's just not in a song writing place - one that would generates new material. but that's a far cry from not playing music. in the studio sessions (held at the skywalker ranch) miller recorded 42 songs. more than enough material for two albums. and, in fact, he plans to release a second album from those sessions next year.
given all the tunes he recorded, one grip i have is the remarkably short running time. the entire 10 tracks clock in at just over 30 minutes. tack on the 4 bonus tracks, the running time inches just over 42 minutes. this volume of sound is more appropriate for a 60's or 70's vinyl release - not a modern cd (and even that term sounds so dated). still, it's all about the music - not the length thereof.
and, in that regard, the music doesn't disappoint. the is a guitar driven, bluesy album. while a couple of tunes sound like classic miller band pop - the bulk of the album has a 50's striped down blues feel. my favorite number on the album is miller's cover of "tramp" - where miller's voice channels the muscular side of tom jones! and, among the bonus tracks, "further on up the road" has miller sounding like eric clapton singing and, on "drivin' wheel," miller could stand in for buddy guy.
"rock me babe" - not to be confused with miller standard "rock 'n me" - and "sweet soul vibe" have the added licks of guest guitarist, joe satriani. vocals from miller band's sonny charles, especially on "tramp" really add depth to overall sound of the album. this album isn't a pop version of steve miller. even so, it'll be immediately accessible to even the most occasional steve miller fan.
here is the track list:
who's been talkin'
don't cha know
rock me baby
sweet soul vibe
come on (let the good times roll)
all your love (i miss loving)
you got me dizzy
ooh poo pah doo
bonus tracks (on special edition):
ain't that lovin' you baby
further on up the road
look on yonder wall
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
this weekend i ran a trio of races, the norwalk summer series 3 miler, the new canaan mile, and the "run the rock" 5k. my objective was to run 6 minute miles. a fourth race, the "cook your buns" 3 miler kicked off the weekend on friday night. but since i paced katie during that one, i didn't run that one for speed. instead of writing up individual race reports, i thought i'd post a summary of the weekend (including the training runs).
"cook you buns" 3 miler, friday night
i've run this one many times, and it's one of my favorite low-key fun runs. the highlight is the post-race bbq and socializing. this year, what's normally a 20-30 minute drive took an hour in rush hour traffic and i got i got a lousy parking spot (far away from the start/finish) as a consequence.
luckily, the race started late. katie's only goal was a sub-25 minute finish. given the crowded start, the 8:43 first mile didn't bode well for that target. the 8:40 second mile, 17:25 split, was also slow. but she picked up the pace, 7:30, in the final mile and managed to squeeze out a 24:55 finish!
i think the course may have been a bit short, but i was still pleased with her strong finish. before we had left for greenwich i ran 4+ miles. altogether it was a 7 mile day.
norwalk summer series 3 miler, saturday morning
weather-wise, saturday morning had the best running conditions. the race started early, at 8 a.m., and i did a one mile warm-up on the high school track before we lined up. i had a 20 minute target in mind, but thought it would be a stretch (6 minute miles would be good enough). while this was my slowest norwalk 3 miler, i was still pleased with the outcome.
here are the splits:
when i got home later that morning a ran another 6+ miles. it was a 10 mile day going into the one miler that night.
new canaan mile, saturday night
this race was a last minute decision. truth be told, the deciding factor was the post-race pizza! the mile course consisted of 3 loops around the block. i had a very straightforward, albeit out of reach, objective of 2 minute loops.
here are the splits:
i was mildly disappointed to see my official time was 6:23, 2 seconds slower than my watch time. even without a warm-up, i was happy to have run this one. it would be my fastest mile of the weekend.
"run the rock" 5k, sunday morning
i ran this race once before, in 2005(?), when it was run over a different course. the hot and humid conditions made for the toughest weather conditions of the weekend. i had a sub-21 minute goal but, once again, thought it would be a stretch.
here are the splits:
i ran my slowest mile of the weekend (7:12), which included 15-20 seconds of power walking up to the crest of the hill at 2.2 miles. still, my overall pace just squeaked in under a 7 minute pace! interestingly, there were 1/4 mile markers on the ground during the race! that was a first, and i ran 1:40 splits for most of them (hill, excepted)!
including the half mile warm-up jog, and the 6+ miles i ran when i got home, it was another 10 mile day.
overall, i was pleased to log 7 total miles of speed work out of 20 weekend miles.
next up: the joe kleinerman 12 hour run in queens this saturday.
Monday, June 14, 2010
this weekend, while i focused on shorter races, eliot took a ride out to pa for the 1/2 sauer 1/2 kraut marathon. in the it's a small world catagory, at the cook your buns 3 miler friday night, i learned than yuen and zeke were also headed out to run this one on sunday! it turned out to be a hot, soupy day to run a marathon. luckily, i only had a 5k in bridgeport :D
here is eliot's report from the marathon distance :D
The ½ Sauer ½ Kraut Marathon, Wyomissing, PA, June 13, 2010 (Sunday)
My last three races were like an old Clint Eastwood movie. My April Lake Waramaug 50 miler was the ‘Good.’ My May Greenbelt Trail 50K was the ‘Ugly.’ Yesterday’s June race was simply the ‘Bad.’ So, I’ve renamed it in my mind …. The ½ Sore ½ Cramp Marathon. Please do not get the impression that the race was poorly run. It was nicely done. The course, facilities and volunteers were all fantastic. It just wasn’t my day or race.
The inaugural marathon (half marathon) was set up to be memorable race. It would be run on a mostly shaded, flat compacted cinder trail alongside the Tulpehocken Creek and the Schuylkill River (near the Penn State – Berks Campus). The route was a simple out and back starting somewhere in the middle and was supported by aid stations every 2 miles. It was recently certified a Boston Qualifier, good for some …. but for myself, I was looking forward to the Oktoberfest aid station where they served alternative energy drinks (wink! wink!) at miles 11 and 22. I had the pleasure of driving there with George G. (Taconic’s President) and Jolanta Z. (another TRR member who was there doing the half). We hit the road at 3:30 am.
It was a brutal day for me. The weather was really the surprise for everyone. So much so, the RD gave all full-marathoners the option of dropping to a half. The 11 mile mark was the decision point …. simply turnaround at 11 and finish the half or forge ahead to mile 18 (the last turnaround) then home. It was already 73 degrees w/ 95% humidity at 6:45 am when we arrived, so I expected it to get worse as the morning’s overcast sky burned off. The 3 hour drive didn't help, but since I planned for the race, I signed up for that aspect.
At 8:00 am, as soon as the gun went off, the sun came out. It probably went as high as 88 degrees in the afternoon and even managed to rain heavily for a period before noon to soak me and my feet at miles 21- 23. By the way, I knew by mile 2 that it would be tough day .... I was totally drenched with sweat from a 9 minute/mile pace! At mile 11 (the ‘decision point’), I was enjoying my cold beer too much and dreamed about turning/doing only half. But, George pushed ahead so I went along as well. George pulled away quickly as I dropped pace drastically. I had already decided to cut expectations way, way back. By 16 miles, my legs were beginning to say, 'cramping now, take that – you should have turned at 11, fool.' Damn that George …. still 10 miles to go. Haha.
I finished in 5:06ish (est.). Yikes …. I’ve done 50K’s faster than that! My half marathon split was somewhat decent given the conditions ~2:00+ hours, so you know how the second half went. I ran, jogged, walked, chatted, took pictures, texted, ate, drank and finished. Then, there was the 3 hour drive back home with traffic on 287 to boot. But, I did get a good dinner off of George!
So, I'm perfectly fine and healthy today, even smiling. Just wasn't a good day for racing for me. And, I'm fine with the outcome …. really. Not all races will be good ones, so I’ve learned. Live (and learn) to run another day!
Here are some words to me from fellow Marathon Maniac, Rich H., who I met on the course. I ran the final 8 miles on/off with him and his daughter, Lauren. It was their first father/daughter marathon. He wrote, "Thanks for the message. What a day! I have run in some severe conditions but yesterday was probably the toughest. It was also a pleasure to meet and run with you."
So, for myself, I’ve also learned that the runners you meet and know are the ‘silver lining’ in every ‘cloud’ – (bad day/run/race) that comes your way.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
the "run the rock" 5k in bridgeport was my 4th and final race of the weekend. the 5k and the new canaan mile last night were late additions to my race plans. these races were, in effect, a speed work spread out across the weekend. my 21:35, 6:57 pace, was a bit slower than i would have liked, but fit in well with my objectives.
the highlight of the "run the rock" 5k was the post-race birthday cake for emmy and kate! not only did they get a cake, but each took home some race hardware too boot :D
here are the race results.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
a second race in one day?! at the last minute i decided to drive up to new canaan and run the one mile race. that morning i had run the norwalk summer series 3 miler and when i got home afterwards, i tacked on another 6 to give me 10 miles for the day. but the weather was great, i needed the speed work, and they had pizza (and sandwiches) for the runners :D the 6:22 mile i ran (a three loop course) was well off my 6:00 target, but i was happy to get in the work.
here are the race results from clubct.
last, but not least, tomorrow morning is a 5k in bridgeport. it will be my 4th race in 3 days.