todd is one of my oldest running friends and we've run a lot of races together over the years (wurtsboro, escarpment, boston, for instance). i wasn't going to miss his "completion" run to celebrate the finish of his quest to run all the marked trails in the harriman state park system! it was a great day and i met a bunch of his other running friends in the process. here is todd's recap of his adventure (a fuller version is in the works for his blog).
As some of you rundangerously readers may know, I have spent the majority of the 2010 running season building a relationship with the mountains of the Lower Hudson Valley. In a quest that I began unwittingly sometime in mid-May, and which took on formality in early July, I have endeavored to run all of the marked/maintained trails of Harriman State Park in one season. According to most credible sources, the current trail system - maintained so wonderfully by the NY/NJ Trail Conference - comprises approximately 240 miles of trails. These trails range in difficulty from reasonably easy woods roads to highly technical single-track trails, but leaning much more heavily toward the highly technical. And so it was with this knowledge that I undertook the project of completing all of the trails.
To make the accomplishment "official", I have kept track of my progress via a large map of the park system, which I have detailed with appropriately colored map pins to indicate trails which I've completed. In addition, I spent the latter two thirds of the project documenting each of the runs via a blog, "Into the Woods," which recaps each run, including photos from the trails. I had certainly been a trail runner prior to this season, having run the Escarpment Trail Run five times, using some of these very trails as training ground. But this year (and this project) has taken my trail running to a whole new place. Since June, I've run less than 25% of my total mileage on the roads, and I have to confess that I don't miss the pavement one bit.
A few weeks ago, I decided that in order to give myself the necessary focus, I should set a goal completion date of November 28th. Once that 'monkey' was out there, I knew that I had to live up to the commitment that I'd made to myself to get this done. And so, over the past few weeks, I have hastened my schedule, averaging about 5-6 hours a week out on the trails in an effort to knock out the last 25% of the project. My second-to-last run was last Monday, when I ran up and over Bear Mountain twice on the Appalachian and Major Welch trails. That run was the one that I essentially viewed as my "final run," knowing that yesterday's run would basically just be my "victory lap around the stadium." And so it was... :)
I had invited all of my runner friends in the area to join me on the final day. And to my delight, many did. Almost 30 of us in all ran across the meadow in the Elk Pen to begin the party that would be this run. And a party it was! We had runners from NY City, Connecticut, Sullivan County, and even five folks from Albany! As we traversed the trail, groups formed, mainly according to speed and ability. Some of the groups got lost. One group (the "A" group) even got lost somewhat permanently. ;) But in the end, everyone found their way back to the Elk Pen, where there was plenty of food and beer, and certainly lots of laughter and talk of the trails. The consensus seemed to be that you would have had to be in a coma not to have had a good time. And although that metaphor is somewhat ‘coarse,’ it pretty much sums up the spirit of the day.
The question people are asking me now is "What's next? Where do you go from here, Todd?", and I can't say that I know the answer to that at the moment. But I have great faith that the answer will manifest itself in due time. Yes, I will keep running these trails. And I will keep on sharing my enthusiasm and spirit for the trails with my running brethren. And in the end, I know the answer will come.
Monday, November 29, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
what a fantastic day to spend on the trails! todd invited a bunch of his friends to harriman state park to run with him as he finished up the last of the marked/maintained trails of the park system. the distance covered was about 5 miles - of technical trails, steep climbs and descents, water crossings, and spectacular views. when it was finished ("completed") we celebrated with some post-race food, beer and socializing.
here is some news coverage of todd's quest; race report to follow.
Saturday, November 27, 2010
this morning was another yeare volunteering at, instead of running, the bedford turkey trot. while in prior years i've been at the pre-registration table handing out bibs, this year was a little different. instead of pre-race duties, emmy and i were given the timing clocks to set-up and man at the mile markers. we waited at the top of the hill for the horn to sound, started the clocks, then drove out the markers and waited for the runners.
i took mile one and emmy was at mile two. the first runner reached me at 5:09 and the last one came through at 16:02. as soon as the sag wagon passed, i took the clock and jogged back the start. jogging while lugging a bulky timing clock was an interesting experience to say the least! it was a fun morning.
i'll add a link to the results once they're posted.
Friday, November 26, 2010
yesterday kicked off with a trip to van cortlandt park - and a great 10k+ trail run (10.56 miles). i ran one loop of the 4 that make up the thanksgiving day marathon - a brand new fa event that i learned of less than a week earlier. the hardiest runners did 4 loops of the hilly (and sometimes technical) course for a full marathon. others did 2 loops for a half marathon. the rest completed one for the 10k. every runner received a proportionate sized fork after finishing.
so many familiar faces at this one. just to list a few - emmy, phil, grant, stella, charlotte (and her daughter), joe, lisa, laura, and lucimar (each running various distances). i'll post a short race (fun run?) report.
results were complied on the honor system. each runner recorded her time in a guest book. here are the results .
Thursday, November 25, 2010
happy thanksgiving everyone! this is one of my favorite holidays (as is any holiday where family and friend gather around the dinner table and spend lots of time eating great food)!!
part of the holiday tradition involves a morning race, a pre-dinner calorie burn, if you will. this time i'm headed down to van cortlandt park for an informal 10k - while the die hard runners will be running a full (or half) marathon. it's a switch from my plan to run the gateway gobbler in greenwich. and either race is a drop down in distance from the mhrrc turkey trot 25k rob, emmy and i ran last year!
then it's back to the house to start work on thanksgiving dinner. lots of family coming this afternoon; including mom, my brother and his family, and my sister-in-law and her family. should be a great time. and i hope everyone else has just as great a day :D
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
this should actually read "rewriting" the remaining november race schedule. i had planned on the gateway gobbler 6 miler tomorrow and the cow chip xc 4 miler on saturday to close out the races for november. but a new event, the thanksgiving marathon, is on for tomorrow. not only is it at a great location, van cortlandt park, but it's FREE - and includes shorter distances.
i'm opting for the shortest distance, the 10k (one loop). i may go for a second loop and move up to the half marathon - but my real concern tomorrow is getting home early enough to put the turkey in the oven and start working on our dinner. so the marathon itself is pretty much out of the question because i won't get home before one!
on saturday, instead of running the cow chip xc 4 miler, i'll return to bedford and volunteer at their turkey trot 5k. i've volunteered there for the past couple of years and decided to keep up the tradition - so to speak. once the race goes off, we typically run the course backwards to get in a workout as well.
then, on sunday, i'll head over the tappen zee bridge for todd's "completion" run. it's more of a celebration as todd completes the last few miles of the trail system he's been systematically running over the last few months. aside from the running, there'll be a good deal of socializing as well :D
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
The 48th (2010) edition of the JFK 50 Miler was my third time running the point to point course from Boonsboro to Williamport, Maryland, the bulk of which traces the contours of the C & O Towpath. It would have been my fourth JFK if I had gotten accepted into the 2008 edition - instead my lottery entry for that year was rejected. Thanks guaranteed entry because of my time at the Caumsett Park 50K, I signed up for JFK over the summer. At that time I didn’t think I’d be line up for the race undertrained and unprepared for the distance. But, be that as it may, I was still glad to be there!
My major concern centered on the drop off in mileage over the past month and a half. I had logged over 200 miles a month for the entire year heading into October. Then, sidetracked for a week of no running because of the Flu that kicked off the month, my weekly mileage dropped over the ensuing weeks. When I returned from an extended trip to Bangkok, I found myself unexpectedly lining up for the Bimbler’s Bluff 50K! While not a great way to taper for the NYC Marathon two week ahead, it was still a great event, despite my slowest 50K performance to date.
I didn’t fair much better at the NYC Marathon - an annual event on my race calendar. Whether it was too slow a recovery from the 50K, low mileage, or a combination therefrom, the 3:51 finish was my second slowest NYC Marathon. The following week I traveled to Berlin, and managed to log just over 6 miles on that trip. I arrived back home on Wednesday, and drove down to Maryland with Emmy on Friday! Hardly much time to recover from the jet lag - but I was still game for the race.
While those were my pre-race concerns, I’ve run enough races to know whatever pre-occupations dog you going into an event - banish them once the gun goes off. The JFK 50 Miler is basically 3 separate races - 15 miles on the trail (with some roads mixed in), 26 miles on the towpath, and a final 8 miles on the roads. My target was 3/5/2 - 3 hours on the trail, 5 hours on the towpath, and 2 hours on the last stretch - for a 10 hour finish. It seemed doable - but certainly ambitious under circumstances (that’s what I ran in 2007, but slower than my 2006 performance).
I ran the entire distance in trail shoes because the race organizers don’t provide for drop bags. My biggest gripe about this race is not having the opportunity to switch out of trail, and into road, shoes before starting off on the towpath section. If you have a crew, or club support, that becomes a moot point. For everyone else it’s a issue. In 2006 I ran with trail shoes. In 2007 I ran the course in road shoes - and that was a big mistake. Trail shoes the entire way is the lesser evil.
Weather-wise we had great conditions. I wore way too much (two long-sleeved tech shirts and a vest) and suffered for that decision. Even so, I really can’t remember any point during the day that I would have ditched more than one of the tech shirts. It was pretty windy on the towpath - and it did get a little chilly when it got dark out. That said, it was outstanding running weather! I just wasn’t in a position to really take advantage of it.
There were a lot of friends at this edition. Friday night, after a 5 and a half hour drive, Emmy and I went straight to packet pick-up (in 2008 she arrived too late and had to get her stuff race morning). Marge, Susan, Laura, and Tammy (swimming in hotel pool) were there at the time. We ran into Lucimar on the way out. After some Chinese food for dinner, it was an early night. A 5:15 wake-up call, then out the door just after 6 - with two glazed donuts in my belly for a pre-race breakfast! At the start we met up with Elaine - but didn’t catch sight of anyone else (Marge, Susan, and Lucimar opted for the 5 AM start).
I ran the first 2 and a half mile up the trail head with Emmy and Elaine. That road stretch took just over 28 minutes. Elaine went on ahead and then Emmy and I ran with Mat and Joe for a good stretch of the trail (walking together up to the cell tower). Our little group broke up heading down to the Gaitherton Gap (I wouldn’t see Emmy again until I was exiting the towpath at 42 miles!). I climbed out of the Gap with Mat, and then he eventually went on ahead.
I reached the Weaverton Cliffs at 3 hours - slightly behind schedule since I still had to descend the switchbacks! Unfortunately, I was stuck behind a line of runner (not that I had any intention of sprinting along the switchbacks). I reached the start of the towpath in 3:16 - slightly behind schedule. The towpath itself has individual mile markers - a mixed blessing. We start at roughly marker 59 and exit the towpath just beyond marker 84. I learned later, that there is an 8 foot elevation gain between each lock on the canal - which explained why it seemed that I was constantly staring uphill along the towpath!
The towpath was my toughest stretch - mentally. After the half way point I kept imaging myself in time trouble (“omg, I don’t think I finish this thing in 12 hours!” kept playing in my head). Along the towpath I would see Mat, Elaine, and Joe here and there. Later, approaching the “38 Special” aid station (mile 38) I ran into Bob, a fellow B.U.S. member. That was the extent of my socializing for the middle section of the race. I had reached the half way point (mile 24.8 aid station) in 4:57:45 - just shy of a sub 10 hour pace.
I spent most of the second half of the towpath counting mile markers. The high point was the “38 special” aid station - where my appetite finally returned. I ate, in no particular order, jelly bellies, gummie bears, red orange slices (that I at first thought were grapefruit), pretzel sticks, downed some mountain dew, and finished up some chicken soup! My somewhat full stomach slowed me down for a mile or so, but I was very excited to reach end of the towpath! I had promised myself that once I exited the towpath, I’d let myself walk - as long as I felt like it!!
So much for expectations! Just as I had my reflecting vest put on by a volunteer and was leaving the aid station, Emmy surprised me! I was already elated to be done w/the towpath - and have only 8 miles left - but this was an added bonus. Little did I know that she had no intention of walking. It took 5:23 to finish the towpath. Cumulatively, I was 8:39 into the race (39 minutes off pace). If I hit the 2 hour target I would finish in 10:39 - which, given my strong desire to start walking, didn’t seem likely at that point.
Amazingly, by hook or crook, I found myself continuing to run - mostly because Emmy kept insisting we could run it in at a 12 minute pace by then. I was almost incredulous as we continued to knock off the miles. At this point in the race the markers are reversed, noting how many more miles are left to go (8, 7, 6, and so on). When it started to get dark, I actually knocked off a sub 10 minute mile (mainly because I wanted get off the unlit country road before it got too dark to see). It was funny get some grief from Emmy at that point because I was running too fast. And we sped up again at the last aid station, with 1.5 miles to go, knocking off that remaining distance in 16 minutes! We finished the last stretch in 1:58 - 2 minutes faster than targeted!
Even the last quarter mile was interesting because a volunteer attempted to direct Emmy in the final turn, crossing an intersection in the process. They actually got into a mild shouting match! Hard to imagine Emmy losing her temper - however briefly - and yelling at a volunteer. Aside from that bit of excitement, we crossed the finish in 10:37! Although in my rush to get inside and change out of my wet clothes, I forgot to give back my chip. I had to revisit the finish to have it clipped off before taking the bus back to Boonsboro.
Post-race was fun. Inside the gym was Joe (who had finished his 10th JFK - woo hoo!), Mat, Elaine, and Lucimar. In an interesting twist on the post-race food, they added burritos to the menu. So I had a slice of pizza and a burrito before calling it a day. All in all, a successful day at the races :D
here are my race photos.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
my 3rd jfk 50 miler is in the books. at 10:37:13 it's the slowest one. the running gods exacted a heavy toll on my performance this time around because jfk was my third consecutive marathon/ ultra (on the heels of bimbler's bluff 50k and the nyc marathon) in the last month that i ran both undertrained and underprepared. it's time to get back to basics - more training and fewer races (and this will be easier since no business travel planned for the foreseeable future). even though this one was a tough race to gut out, it was still a great day to be outside - and at was a fun time regardless of my finish time :D
here is my race report; and here are the preliminary results.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
if all goes as planned, the doors of posthumous pardon may finally open for jim morrison - more than 40 years after he was convicted of misdemeanor incident exposure and profanity charges (he was acquitted of others) and sentence to six months in jail. while morrison's onstage behavior was gross and disgusting, his prosecution was vile and politically inspired. the ny times has an interesting story on the atmosphere surrounding the news, which includes an interview with one of morrison's defense counsel.
morrison never served any of the six month sentence, the decision was still on appeal when he died in paris of a herion overdose the following year. the florida clemency board meets on december 9 and will decide whether to grant the pardon. doors and jim morrison fans have petitioned for his pardon in previous years and under earlier governors. but this is is the first time a florida governor (albeit with less than 2 months remaining on his term) has indicated that he is willing to grant the pardon.
hopefully the pardon will issue. then jim morrison can join the likes of legendary lenny bruce, who himself received a posthumous pardon in new york in 2004, from then governor george pataki, for his 1964 obscenity conviction that stemmed from bruce's comic performance!
pardon jim morrison!!
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
what an interesting experience - to put it mildly - i had at tegel airport. for the first time in all my travels near and far, i was pulled out of line at security and taken to a customs office to have my carry on bag inspected (actually, it was my computer). it wasn't a big deal in retrospect - but in real time following the customs agent out of the gate and back to his office was way out of my typical airport comfort zone!
to put it in context, i had gone to the airport with a bunch of my colleagues (we were all on the same flight back to jfk). we checked in, cleared customs, and were on the same security check line together. i cleared the scan (and body pat down) without incident. but as i waited for my bag to come off the conveyor belt, the inspector called over an agent, pointed to me, had a quick chat in german, and off i went with him (i did get to put my shoes and belt back on).
he didn't speak english (or opted not to) but was pleasant enough as we walk back thru the customs area i had just cleared, through the gate, and into the terminal to another customs office. they had me open up my computer and pull out my adapters and other electrical cords. these were all dusted, put on a card, and that card was fed into a scanner which proceeded to test for what i suspect was gun powder residue!
after 30 seconds the machine gave a negative reading - phew! i was "cleared" - and after i packed up my stuff, the original agent accompanied me back to the security check. he took me to the front of the line, but i still had to have my bag passed through the machine again, and i too was patted down a second time when i went through the metal detector. the entire episode lasted, at most, 10-15 minutes.
when i got home, in what may be totally unrelated, my checked bag had been opened and examined! this i became aware of when i found the customs paperwork (bi-lingual) in the bag that explained it had been check - and cleared - and this was my official receipt, if you will. an interesting bit of reading on the tail end of the gunpowder test!
but none of it took away from the great time i had in berlin :D
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
for most of the trip the weather was pretty gray, including drizzle and occasional light rain. on day four it became outright rain and wind - all day long. since most of the day was spent inside at meetings, it wasn't too bad. it wasn't until after we finished dinner (at ottenthal, an excellent austrian restaurant) walking back to the hotel, that we could finally put away the umbrellas.
despite the spotty weather, it's been a great trip. now it's time to head home :D
Monday, November 15, 2010
day three included some time at the convention center in the morning at the world lung foundation booth. afterwards, andy, jack, marc, and i did some sight-seeing. later that afternoon we were back at the conference center for a meeting and conference call. we ended the day with group dinner at cafe des artistes.
on the running front, didn't get in any miles. except for the 10k on the treadmill in the hotel gym, haven't done much running :(
after all the activity of the first day here, i looked forward to a more relaxed pace on my second day. i had a late breakfast w/marc and peter, then set off on the m45 bus to spandau where i was met by my very old friend, phil. i spent the afternoon w/him and his family (his lovely wife, maria, and daughter, frances).
back in the summer of 1984 i spent just over a week w/phil in berlin. those were some good times. when he took me to the reichstag, it was on the opposite side of the wall from the brandenberg gate (which i gazed at from an observation platform at the time). so it was with a mild sense of awe that i walk from one to the to the other the day before i visited with him.
maria made a great dinner for us and, aferwards, phil drove me back to my hotel. i got in my first run - albeit in the hotel gym - of 10k later that night. hopefully, my next run will be outside, at the teirgarten...
Sunday, November 14, 2010
day one in berlin included sight-seeing, business, and socializing. here is a sampling of pictures (i'll post the rest on facebook). after a quick lunch at a neighborhood pub, dicke wertin (where we would return to a few more times during our stay), i went to the reichstag, brandenburg gate and a few more nearby attractions w/marc. we got back to our hotel only to head right back out to a conference reception at a nearby hotel. from there our little group went out a fantastic little restaurant, belmondo, for dinner (where jack and i had frog legs for appetizers). dinner was followed by a few nightcaps at our hotel bar and a late night return to dicke wertin to meet up w/a few more friends... phew!
Saturday, November 13, 2010
i flew in to berlin with my friend marc. our flight was delayed because while the plane was in line for take-off, the pilot discovered that the cargo had been loaded on to the plane incorrectly. we had to taxi back to the gate, where the ground crew redistributed pallets of cargo, before we were able to take off. all together, take was delayed for an hour and 20 minutes because of the cargo issues.
still, that wasn't as bad as the luck some of our colleagues had on the day before, on the same daily flight. there a passenger had checked-in, but never boarded the plane. the pilot had to bring the plane back to gate - where the ground crew had to locate - and remove - that missing passenger's luggage for security reasons. that was a 2+ hour take-off delay.
despite our delay, the arrival was only a half hour behind schedule. after marc and i checked in, we did some sight-seeing on an otherwise gray and drizzly day. i'll post pictures from that little excursion.
stay tuned :D
Friday, November 12, 2010
just finished packing and waiting on the car service to drive me down to jfk. the overnight flight gets me into berlin tomorrow morning at 10 or so. it's been 26 years since i was there - the summer of 1984! back then it was still a divided city, in the middle of a cold war. i can't wait to see what's become of it almost 2 decades after the wall came down. i'm also looking forward to getting in some running miles in and around the city. but, most of all, can't wait to meet up with my old high school friend, phil, who lives in spandau.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
last night my friend david and i checked out apotheke - best described as a depression-era speakeasy mixed with a turn-of-the-century (19th, that is) mad scientist's pharmacy - on an out of the way street in chinatown. this place jumped on my radar last summer when i read a piece in the ny times about the bartender who got himself arrested for setting the bar on fire (yes, truth is definitely stranger than fiction)! not a trick you want to play when fire marshalls are in the house :O
following on the heels of lunch at bxl with anthony the day before (and a keifer sutherland sighting as we drank our beers at the bar), it was a rare back to back midweek bar outing for me! while belgian beers are awesome, the mixed drinks the white lab-coated bartenders (mixologists?) served up at apotheke were a totally new experience for me. my typically drink universe consists of just martinis and single malt scotch - so this was a major change of pace.
this wasn't an easy place to find - without any signage to indicate its location! once we found it, under the sign for a chinese restaurant, i stuck with scotch based cocktails for the most part - while david's had vodka as the base ingredient. all the drinks we had were pretty impressive - and our waitress even got dave to opt for one that had egg whites mixed in, despite his initial protests (it was a "jasmine sour"). i ended the night with a "kissed by absinthe" - switching from scotch to cognac - just to try out the home made absinthe!
it was a good time!
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
at the end of the day, my target of a 3:30 finish seemed a bit on the optimist side. still, i was more than pleased to have finished my 9th consecutive nyc marathon - even if the 3:51:53 was my second slowest of the nine. it didn't take more than the first mile before i started to suspect that my goal of a bq would be out of reach this race. but i've gotten ahead of myself.
the day began just after 5, with some sourdough bread toast and butter. then i drove over to white plains high school to catch the 6:00 wtc bus to staten island. there i met up with emmy and noonie. we were let off about a quarter mile from the staging area just before 8. the walk to athletes village wasn't bad, but it was pretty windy. once there, there really wasn't much time to socialize. i dropped off my bag at the ups truck and made my way to the blue corrals.
i met up with eliot there and socialized a bit. once the ropes were dropped and the we started our trek to the bridge, i made my way up front. it took less than 40 seconds for me to cross the starting line. it was still windy on the bridge, but that alone couldn't explain my 8:58 first mile! that was a full minute slower than my sub-8 goal pace. the next two miles, 7:40 and 7;56, gave me a 3 mile split of 24:35 - well off my target.
after giving my mom a kiss at bay ridge parkway - she's cheered me on at every nyc marathon, except one - the next 7 miles were mostly under an 8:10 pace. my 10 mile split of 1:21:44 was moving me further and further away from a 3:30 finish. a more realistic target at that point was 3:40 - and even that would soon be a stretch. i seemed to be working much too hard to maintain that pace - and things would certainly get tougher in manhattan.
just after mile 12 i caught up with emmy. she had a local elite start, but wasn't having a good day. i could see she wasn't herself when i realized she was still wearing her gloves! we would run roughly the next 10 miles together. at the half way mark, todd was on the bridge cheering on the runners - he and his girlfriend were hard to miss dressed in pink! just into manhattan, the was the trrc cheering section at 63rd street. is said hi to tom and joe there.
first avenue is always a tough stretch for me. from mile 16 onward, my pace dropped to 9 minute miles (until i hit the wall at 24 miles). still, the objective was to keep moving forward. at mile 17 i spotted kate at the poland springs water station - and gave her a kiss! then, the biggest surprise came up just after the power gel station. i had two gels and was in desperate need of water. amazingly, at mile 18 grant handed me a cup of water and said "hi frank!"
that was blast because up to that point i had an idea of which friends would be at which locations. i had no idea grant would be out on the course! that boost (along w/the power gels) got me over the willis avenue bridge and into the bronx. still, by mile 22 i could feel the wall closing in on me. i told emmy to keep moving without me. by mile 22, marcus garvey park, i would run a pair of 9:46 miles!
the last 3 miles, down fifth avenue and through the park, were a death march for me - 10:11, 10:03, and 10:12, respectively. i crossed the finish in 3:51:53 - about 4 minutes behind emmy. while i didn't find her again until the baggage trucks, i did run into jeanette and tony handing out water and food packets. then the real death march to the ups trucks began. it took me a solid half hour to reach my bag!
afterwards, emmy and i made our way over to the trrc post race party. there was just enough time for a quick beer, some food, and a little socializing, before the walk south to lincoln center to catch the 4:30 wtc bus back to white plains. when i got home there was still a quarter left to the giants game. while the gaints won, the only downer of the entire day was finding out that katie's field hockey team lost 2-1, in double overtime :(
here are my race photos.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
my 9th nyc marathon is in the books! it was a great day to run but, unfortunately, i was way off my time goal of 3:30. my 3:51 was my second slowest (barely) nyc marathon to date. even so, i was still pleased with my race. highlights included seeing the following people throughout the day: emmy and noonie (on the bus), eliot, my mom, todd, kate, tom and joe, grant, jeanette and tony! plus there was a fantastic trrc post-race party!
here is my race report; and here are the race results.
Friday, November 5, 2010
the girls won their third straight playoff game this afternoon. it doesn't get more dramatic than a 0-0 score in regulation, followed by a 1-0 win a minute and a half into sudden death overtime!! it was an amazing game!
next up is the sectional final game sunday afternoon. i'm bummed at having to miss it because i'll be running the nyc marathon and won't make it back in time to see the game :(
Thursday, November 4, 2010
except for the constant rain, today's trip to the nyc marathon expo was fun. the walk to and from the javits center, however, was something i could have done without. this expo included a photo op at the ing runner's nation booth - along with an orange cap. but the real highlight, for emmy and michael, had to be the special "streaker" singlet that the nyrr gave to each runner that had notched at least 15 nyc marathons (emmy is running her 22nd and michael his 17th).
other familiar faces at the expo included "torpedo" (a/k/a mike), pam (and her husband), and a few taconic road runners. it was an especially happy day for pam because she picked up her bib this year (on the heels of a pair of deferments) - and will run her first nyc marathon!! torpedo, on the other hand, with more than a few marathons under his belt is looking to run a 3:05 (give or take) on sunday.
my time goal this year is a relatively straightforward 3:30 (3:30:59 to be precise) - a bq for the 2012 boston marathon :D
a few more photos posted on facebook.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
it's playoff time for field hockey. i missed the first playoff game on monday afternoon, the girls won that game 4-2 and moved on to the quarter finals today. this game was a real nail-biter, and they won it 1-0! the semi-final game is this friday - team and location still to be determined. if the girls win that one, the move on to the sectional finals this sunday!
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
"the girl who kicked the hornet's nest" ("luftslottet som sprängdes"), the third and final instalment of stieg larsson's millennium trilogy, clocked in just shy of two and a half hours - 148 minutes to be exact. for a film where the principal actor's actual spoken dialog can be measured in a handful of minutes, it dragged on much too long. seriously, lisbeth salander, confined to a hospital bed and then a jail cell, for the first half of the film barely utters a spoken word. the action is moved along, thankfully, by her erstwhile "partner" in all the dirty business, mikael blomquist.
maybe that first take on the final instalment is too harsh? perhaps. but if it had come in 30 minutes lighter i'd probably have a more positive view. even when lisbeth finally "opens up" - to answer questions in her defense at her trial for the attempted murder of her father - her words are overshadowed by the visual impact of a punk/goth outfit she slipped into (together with a gelled mohawk). it was doubly distracting because, up until that point, lisbeth had only worn drab hospital/prison garb. she may be true to her inner self with this presentation, but was it wise packaging for the trial?
as for the trial, the nominal centerpiece of this instalment, it's fascinating to watch (in the first film she teamed up with blomquist to solve a mystery and exposed a conspiracy; in the second film she was framed for a trio of murders by her unspeakably evil father). it's not the sort of courtroom trail we've become accustomed to seeing in in the united states. from an american perspective, lisbeth's "trial" has in common with pre-trial discovery than a formal courtroom adjudication. as for the outcome - i doubt this is a spoiler - lisbeth is vindicated.
the film could have easily, and effectively, have concluded at that point. instead, she spends the remaining screen time tidying up a couple of loose ends. the most ludicrous, and gratuitous, moment is lisbeth's confrontation with her sociopath half-brother. rather than inflict the coup de grace, lisbeth dials for some unexpected assistance - which, in itself, neatly ties up one more loose end. but with all the effort to wrap up the disparate elements, the most unsatisfying - albeit believable - moment is lisbeth and mikael's hello and farewell.
it makes one (or at least me) dial back to the first film and wonder out loud how they ever became physically (i wouldn't stretch it to romantically) involved. still, mikael's feelings for her are the glue that string together the three films. is he in love with her? is he searching for justice? or is he seeking to expose the evil that men do across the pages of millennium, with lisbeth as the vehicle for that end? probably all of the above.
so while the film ran too long for my taste - and needlessly tied up loose ends - "the girl who kicked the hornet's nest" is worth seeing (especially if you've already seen the first two). but after spending 7+ hours with "the girl," over three films - i'm glad the american version of the millennium trilogy won't be out for a while yet :O
Monday, November 1, 2010
november kicks off with probably my favorite race (at any distance) - the nyc marathon. it will be my 9th consecutive one, on the road to the goal of 15 nyc marathons. then, a couple of weeks later, a return to the jfk 50 miler. i haven't run that one since 2007.
in between those two events, i'll be in berlin on a business trip. it's been 26 years since i traveled to berlin; and, in those days, it was a divided city. this is one trip that i'm really looking forward to because i get the chance to meet up with some old friends who still live there.
after jfk, a thanksgiving race is on deck. last year i ran the mid-hudson rr's 25k turkey trot. that was a fantastic event, and i'd like to go back. but the gateway gobbler, a 6 mile race in greenwich, ct, is much closer to home. i've run that one a few times over the years, and think i'll opt to run it this year. a couple of days later, the cow chip xc 5k, rounds out the month.
here's what the schedule looks like:
11/7 - nyc marathon
11/20 - jfk 50 mile run
11/26 - gateway gobbler, 6m
11/27 - cow chip xc 5k
as always, if you're at any of these races, say hello!
update: i changed the last couple of races (thanksgiving day and weekend) at the last minute. here are the details.