it was a hot and humid day in van cortlandt park. the morning kicked off with a thunderstorm that flooded a good stretch of the trail for the first half of the memorial day marathon. a bunch of us started early, at 9:00 - todd, mark, joe, emmy and me. if emmy hadn't insisted on running the entire 4 loops, i would easily have called it a day at the half! i'm glad we stuck it out. ran a 5:15 (which was 10 minutes slower than the queens 50k on saturday!) - and emmy finished her first full holiday marathon!
i'll post a short race report, and add a link to the results once they're posted.
Monday, May 30, 2011
the bulk of last night's new york running show, episode #32, was devoted to coverage of phil mccarthly's new american record at the 48 hour distance! we also discussed today's upcoming memorial day races (the next instalment of the holiday marathon series). as i write this at 7 a.m., with the sounds of thunder and pouring rain outside my window, the memorial day marathon may be a wet and muddy affair!
listen to, or download, episode #32 at talkshoe.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
it was a hot, sunny day - not ideal conditions for running a 50k (or 33.33 miles on the 1st day of the pioneer memorial 100 mile trek). i was completely drenched half-way into the first 3.4 mile loop - and never dried off! i missed my 5:00 target by 5 minutes (5:05:21) - but it was good enough for 5th place overall (too many 5's in that sentence!). even though i've done the trek twice in the past, i can't imagine heading back to queens for day two tomorrow ('though a big part of me wants to).
i'll write up a race report. here are the race results.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
last night we celebrated phil mccarthy's new american record of 257.7 miles during a 48 hour run at mcann's pub on 46th street. phil's mileage total crushed the prior record of 248 miles!! not only were phil's running friends on hand, but his non-running friends and family were also there for the fun. in a well-timed coincidence, the ny daily news ran a feature story on phil in that day's paper! the write-up became the centerpiece of the card we signed to commemorate the evening.
in addition to phil's own fantastic recount of the record setting performance, we were treated to a brief history of the modern 48-hour event by dan brannen (a previous record holder of the event) as an introduction. michael arnstein presented phil with an engraved pendant ("dogtag," as phil called it) after dan's history lesson :D
so what does a newly minted record holder do in the hours after his run? well phil got cleaned up, met up with his music group, and performed with them that very night! amazing!
once again, congratulations phil!!
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
bob dylan is 7o years old today, may 24, 2011 - and for 50+ years of that life, he has been making some incredible music. and dylan is still going strong, putting out albums and continuing to tour the world. not only is dylan touring these days, but his artwork now does it's own touring! and dylan himself shows no signs of slowing down - kicking off a european tour next month.
in one word dylan is iconic. and, to slip in a second word, he is still relevant today. just last month, as an example of how ubiquitous his impact is - fordham law school held a two day conference on dylan and the law! check out this interesting factoid: "According to the National Law Journal, a 2006 study determined that Bob Dylan is the musician most cited in appellate court opinions." as a lawyer, i find that tidbit nothing short of remarkable.
ironically, my all-time favorite dylan song is "joey" - a mid-70's release that dramatized (fictionalized) the life of mobster joey gallo. dylan rarely plays it in concert, but a fantastic live version of the song is on "dylan and the dead," released a decade after he originally recorded it.
another of my favorite dylan connections is his relationship with the beat generation. and that with allen ginsberg, to be specific. here is a poem ginsberg wrote about dylan's work, appropriately titled, "on reading dylan's writings," that he penned in london, during the summer of 1973.
Now that it's dust and ashes
now that it's human skin
Here's to you Bob Dylan
a poem for the laurels you win
Sincerest form of flattery
is imitation they say
I've broke my long line down
to write a song your way
Those "chains of flashing images" that came to you at night
were highest farm boy's day dreams
that glimpse the Angels light.
And tho the dross of wisdom's come
and left you lone on earth
remember when the Angels call
your soul for a new birth
It wasn't dope that gave you truth
nor money that you stole-- was God himself that entered in
shining your heavenly soul.
it was reprinted in rock sessions magazine, hamburg, germany, 1979.
happy birthday bob dylan!
Monday, May 23, 2011
among the races we covered last night, on episode 31 of the new york running show, were a pair of nyrr races, the wall street run and brooklyn half marathon, and did a brief recap of the sugarloaf marathon from last weekend. then we took a look at the upcoming memorial day marathon at van cortlandt park. finally, we did a quick survey of some of the weekly summer series races that start up this week (or next) - i.e. the vctc's summer series kicks off thursday night.
listen to, or download, episode #31 at talkshoe.
Saturday, May 21, 2011
this morning don and i ran the brooklyn half marathon, with a great assist from pat - who dropped us off at prospect park and picked us up at the finish in coney island. it was great running in the sun, something mia for the last week or so. even the incredible humidity at the start was quickly relieved by the cool breeze along ocean parkway.
it wasn't an incredibly fast race for me, 1:45:55 - just over the 8 minute pace (8:05) that i targeted. but i was happy with it, especially coming off the sugarloaf marathon last weekend. it was race #4 on the road to nine for 2011.
here are the results from nyrr.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
not sure if was that the race closed out in a day, or it was the break in the rain - we finally got some sunshine this afternoon - but when i picked up my stuff for the brooklyn half marathon this afternoon the line stretched down the stairs, out the door, and down the block! it was quite a sight. my old friend, steve, was there putting in his volunteer hours and was assigned to shirt distribution (a great orange tech shirt).
despite the early start, i'm looking forward to the race on saturday. it's one of my all time favorite events! being from brooklyn may have something to do with that :D
as always, it you're at this one - say hello!
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
the sugarloaf marathon in eustis, maine, was a late addition to my race calendar (i had planned on the healthy kidney 10k). when myriam suggested it a couple of weeks ago, count me in! i had just gotten closed out of the vemont city marathon so this would be my plan b. i ran sugarloaf back in 2003 and have fantastic memories of that race. especially so, since it was my very first boston qualifier. this time around i'd needed a sub-3:30 finish for a bq and, equally important, to redeem my disastrous performance at the boston marathon last month.
as the saying goes... the "best laid plans of mice and men often go awry" (or, in the vernacular, "sh*t happens"). my 3:40:21 wasn't even close (although it was 7 minutes faster than what i ran at boston). that's the sort version.
but, things didn't seem that bleak at the beginning. emmy, myriam and i drove up together on saturday - it made the 8 hour drive fly by. on friday morning the forecast said there was an 80% chance of showers. when we arrived in maine, the rain began - and continued non-stop in varying degrees until the following afternoon - when we hit the mass pike on the drive home. it would be a soggy, rain-soaked weekend. still, despite the rain, we did have a great time!
we went straight to the base lodge to pick up our race packets, before continuing up the road to our motel. the course is point to point, starting at the cathedral pines campground in eustis maine and runs down route 27 to finish in kingfield. it's a beautiful, scenic course - even under rainy grey skies. the motel was just 4 miles from the start. but, logistically, we drove back to the sugarloaf ski resort and took the shuttle bus to the start the next morning.
despite the weather, there was a record turnout for the race (and the separate 15k). most of the runners stayed inside the school buses and shuttles to stay somewhat dry before the gun went off. the rain wasn't too bad at the start, but it was incredibly humid - and the humidity wouldn't break during the race. i had planned to run in just a singlet, or tee shirt - but wound up wearing a light weight vest over a long sleeved tech shirt. it wasn't a smart choice.
my first mile was 7:44 - and during the first half of the race, i wondered if the mile markers were placed correctly because my splits were all over the map. miles 4 and 5 were 7:19 and 8:53, respectively - over relatively flat terrain. regardless of the markers, in retrospect, i went out too conservatively. my five mile split was 40:16 and ten miles 1:21:45. granted, there were some decent climbs between miles 6-10, but i should have run under 40 and 1:20, for those splits. i also had to slow a little every couple of miles to wipe my glasses dry (i carried a bandanna just for that chore).
by the half, with a 1:46:06, i realized the 3:30 was slipping away! that split was almost 4 minutes slower than my comparable boston split. but, where i crashed and burned in beantown, i didn't slow down as much for the second half of this race. i picked up the pace for the next few miles, but by mile 18 i was out of sub 8 minute miles. by that point the rain had picked up considerable - and so too did the traffic on route 27! at mile 23 i inched over the 9 minute mark for my miles - with a 9:24 mile 25 the slowest mile of the race.
i couldn't have been happier when i finally crossed the finish line (3:40:21, 8:25 pace) - because at that point all i wanted to do was get into some dry clothes and warm up. emmy finished just behind me, in 3:51 - and took 3rd in her age group! myriam finished in just over 4 hours, with a 4:08. in what was comedy of errors, we watched myriam finish - but she couldn't hear us cheering her on! we regrouped at the sugarloaf resort - each of us arrived there independent of the others! - before heading back home.
we stopped in portland, at the great lost bear, for lunch and rehydration. in our post-mortems of the race, we went over the weather, the hills, the humidity (a surprise negative factor), the blown bq opportunity (for myriam and me) - but none of it really detracted from what a great road trip it turned out to be!
here are my race photos.
Sunday, May 15, 2011
emmy, myriam and i took a long road trip up to the sugarloaf marathon this weekend. we arrived in the rain and drove home in the rain. in between we had sprinkles, showers, downpours - a seemingly neverending stretch of rain! it was a tough day to run a marathon. i managed a soggy 3:40 in those conditions. emmy, despite the conditions, took 3rd in her age group. despite the lousy weather, we still had a great time :D
here is my race report; and here are the race results.
Friday, May 13, 2011
this is one of my earliest race reports. long before the days of runners world forum, coolrunning (then kickrunners), rundangerously, and then facebook - i'd write up the occasional race report and it would find its way into my club's newsletter. this one may have been published in the westchester track club newsletter (i can't remember!).
but i dug it out because after 8 years, i'm heading back to the sugarloaf marathon this weekend. this race has a very special meaning for me - it was my very first boston qualifier. i think it was my sixth marathon at the time and i had become fixated (what runner doesn't ultimately) on getting a bq time. i had come very close a couple of times - but no cigar.
but the sixth one was the charm - a 3:17:47 and i went on to run my first boston marathon the following year (2004). this year i need another bq if i hope to get into the 2012 boston marathon. i crashed and burned at boston last month, so this is trip is another bite at the apple. there is little chance of a sub 3:20 this time around. but, with some luck, i'll try for a 3:30 :D
Carrabassett Valley, Maine
Sunday, May 18, 2003
May 19, 2003: 12:47 PM. Well my quads are really sore - but I qualified for Boston yesterday!! Hurray. Still hasn't sunk in yet. My time was 3:17:47 - and could have been faster if I hadn't felt the effects of the heat in the last few miles. But don't care, don't care that a girl snuck by me in the last two seconds to finish #40 and push me back to 41 out of 272 finishers. It was all excellent. In fact, I missed 3rd in my age group by just over 1 minute! Was technically 5th in my age group - but the first place guy was the first master - so he gets a different award. And 2,3,4 get 1st, 2nd, 3rd. . . oh well.
Anyhow, back to the report. Took the bus to the start like all the other runners. It was 34 degrees - yes that's correct, 34 degrees at the 7 AM start. The forecast was for the temp to rise 10 degrees per hour . . . which it did: 40's at 8; 50's at 9, 60's at 10. Thank God the race began at 7 AM. That "extra" two hours of "cooler" temperatures really made the difference because there was literally no shade on the course. A straight run down route 27 with bright sun overhead!! Still, wore a throwaway tee shirt (which was handed off to Katie at mile 11.5 in front of Sugarloaf) and seriously considered wearing my gloves as well. But skipped the gloves and didn't regret that decision beyond the first mile. In fact, only the first 3 miles, in the "forest," were cold because the treeline was too high for the sun to penetrate. After that we had sun overhead all the way.
The first 4-5 miles were pretty flat - nothing special (except that I went out at 6:58:19 for the first mile - and it didn't seem fast for me at the time). Settled in for a stretch of 7:15/ 7:23/ 7:33/ 7:40/ 7:32 for the first 7 miles. Trying to keep it easy and not burn too much energy in the early miles. Then at mile 8 started working the hills 7:27/ 7:53/ 7:42 - those 3 miles were the biggest elevation gain in the course and cresting the top of mile 10 was pretty amazing b/c of the immense downhill. I was in a pack of runners and pretty much "took it easy" - again that's relative - by 7:07/ 7:06 coming down the hill (the 7:06 included seeing Pat & Katie cheering on the course). Then I hit a dull patch between miles 13-15, 7:21/ 7:22/ 7:16, and felt my attention really starting to wander.
One runner was kept pace with me at this point. When I saw the huge figure 8 downhills, decided to make up some ground (catch up to the pack of runners that had gained serious ground on me over the last few miles). I did a 6:28 mile 16, and a 7:00 mile 17 to catch up with that pack of runners - and also dropped the runner who had been keeping pace with me (but he'd catch up with me later). I had run 17 miles in 2:04:33 and was now 3 minutes ahead of the pace chart I had worked out the night before (targeted 17 miles in 2:07:30). Had to work the next few miles - 7:25/ 7:19/ 7:31 which gave me 2:26:50 - now 31/2 minutes ahead of my pace at 20 miles (by way of comparison, this winter NYRRC 20 miler was 2:25:57). I came within a minute of my best time for 20 miles. Pretty decent performance.
Also forced myself to eat a powergel around mile 18 - with a plan to have a second after mile 20. But once again couldn't manage to get another one down for the rest of the race. I was also starting to feel the effects of the heat now. Probably more dehydrated than I imagined. Mile 21 was 7:34. Mile 22 was 7:43. Definitely up against the wall at this point, exhaustion was starting to creep in. Mile 23 was 8:03. Mile 24, which now included some walking, was 8:49 (amazingly, despite breaking down, I was still under my targeted 7:30 pace at 2:59:01). At this point I was trying hard to just keep it together. Having the sun overhead and rising temperature added insult to injury. It was at this point that I began grousing to myself that they should have water stops at every mile (if not every half mile - ha).
There were two other people, M & F, in my condition and we kept trading off the "lead" with each other. Funny how at any given point two of us were shuffling along while the other had to walk a few steps. For me this was all I could do to push thru mile 25 (in 9:13). Kept wondering where Pat & Katie were because I was positive they hadn't passed me on the way to the finish line. Then, as if by magic, they drove by as I finished mile 25 (my lowest point in the race). They shouted from the car that I'm going to do it! That was at 3:08:15 (now 45 seconds off pace). I had 12 minutes to do 1.2 miles. Really pushed that last mile (all running, amazingly) and was rewarded with a 7:53:06 - my fastest mile since #22 (7:43). I hit mile 26 at 3:16:08 (only 1:08 off the pace) and was in painful shape despite only 2/10s of a mile left! But kept pushing myself to cross the line running and managed the final stretch in 1:39:30. It was in the last 50 yards that the woman runner managed to surge ahead (i hadn't been aware of her - or anyone else - at that point) and crossed the finish line 2 seconds ahead of me.
Phew. What an effort it took to bring home those last 3-4 miles (especially miles 24 and 25). But it was all worth it. Pat and Katie were at the finish line. I think Pat got a picture of me finishing the race. Katie was waiting with some watermelon - the best post-marathon food you can get. I was covered in dirt and dust, and had brought in a pretty lousy smell as well when it all mixed in with the sweat and sun block I had used. Thankfully, however, I was not sunburned. Couldn't bear to repeat the consequences of the NJ marathon roasting.
Thursday, May 12, 2011
on may 12, 1963, a young bob dylan, as yet famous, did something that neither the rolling stones or the doors subsequently did (and the beatles weren't asked to do) - blow off the ed sullivan show censors. in dylan's case it came down to song selection. he wanted to perform "talkn' john birch paranoid blues" - but which the executives from the show's standard and practices department believed would result in defamation actions from members of the john birch society.
while the legend goes that he stormed off the set in an angry protest, the reality was decidedly more civil. the show's producer explained the situation to dylan and asked him if he'd perform another song instead. dylan respectfully declined and said "No, this is what I want to do. If I can't play my song, I'd rather not appear on the show."
what made dylan's decision remarkable was that his second album, "the freewheelin' bob dylan" had yet to be released. dylan was hardly the household name that he'd become in the wake of that album's release. passing on the ed sullivan show, the most watched t.v. program at the time, meant he passed up the opportunity to have his performance broadcast to a huge national audience.
instead, after dylan's non-performance, ed sullivan subsequently denounced the network's conduct in various interviews. the resulting media attention over the incident, ironically, probably garnered dylan more positive press than the performance itself would have.
Monday, May 9, 2011
episode #29 of the new york running show is in the books. the bulk of last night's episode focused on the north face bear mountain endurance challenge. todd covered his experience running the 50k (his first ultra) and amy covered her experience captaining an aid station on the 50 mile course (her second consecutive year). steve and i reported on a pair of 10k races, the newport and the norwalk mother's day 10ks. joe gave us a heads up on the loucks games (including the 5k and the masters mile) that are coming up this weekend here in westchester. good stuff!
listen to, or download, episode #29 at talkshoe.
Sunday, May 8, 2011
it's become something of a tradition to kick off mother's day with a trip over to norwalk for the 10k. this morning, except for an annoying little headwind, it was the perfect weather for a run! there was a large turnout, which also included participants for the 5k walk. well over 350 runners finished the 10k. i came in well under my target of 48 minutes, with a 47:05 :D
here are the results from hi-tek racing.
Saturday, May 7, 2011
in something of a twist, i decided to run the sugarloaf usa marathon in eustis, maine, instead of the nyrr healthy kidney 10k next weekend. i had wanted to run the vermont city marathon at the end of the month, and miss the pioneer memorial 100 mile trek as consequence. but since the vermont city marathon closed out the day before - literally - that i logged on to register, that was no longer an option.
instead, when myriam asked if anyone wanted to run sugarloaf with her and split some the driving, i was in. then emmy signed on, and now we had three drivers to share the eight+ hour road trip. the only downside, for me, iis giving up the extra two weeks. i would have liked to sharpen my training for the race. be that as it may, my goal is to run a sub-3:30 and grab a bq for the 2012 boston marathon.
ironically, way back in 2003, the sugarloaf marathon was my first boston qualifer! i ran a 3:17:47 and then went on to run my first boston marathon the following year, in 2004. if i can dig it up, i'll my 2003 sugarloaf race report. stay tuned :D
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
on sunday i ran the 25th edition of the leatherman's loop in ward pound ridge reservation. it was my first time running this race, an trail running event that had been on my "to do" list for years. the course features mud (lots of it), water crossings (three significant ones), and some decent climbs (a 45 degree sand dune)! the race takes it's name from the historical figure of the leatherman (who himself remains unidentified). interestingly, the historical leatherman made the news himself as reports of the upcoming exhumation of his remains were in the monday papers! but that's another story...
back to the leatherman's loop - it was actually the third of a trifecta of new york trail races that i've run this spring (which includes mudders and grunters, and the urban environmental challenge) - all were firsts for me, and all had been on my "to do" list for years. i car pooled up with emmy, and we expected to see some familiar faces there. emmy had run the loop more than a decade ago - and took home a pie for winning her age group. she'd take home another age group pie today! todd and kate, like me, were loop newbies. john was running his 19th loop - and bob was tackling his 23rd official loop (all 25, unofficially)!
in addition, "caballo blanco," of "born to run" notoriety, returned to the loop. he ran the race last year - and was back for another go at the course. after the race, kate pointed out that christopher meloni, of "law and order: svu" fame, ran the loop - together with daughter. while i didn't get to see meloni, i did meet micah true ("caballo") and his girlfriend, maria, after the race. both were extremely gracious and down to earth people. micah headed over to the westchester road runner store that night to give a running presentation.
as for the race itself - it lived up to all the hype, and then some! race director, tony godino, and his crew of staff and volunteers put on a spectacular event. from the choreographed parking ballet that easily got the half mile long of cars into the park and into spots on the grass field, to the course marshalls and post-race festivities - it all went off without a hitch. and that is saying a lot when well over a 1000 runners of all shapes, sizes, and abilities set off on the challenging cross-country trail adventure, affectionately known as the "loop."
given my trail running experience, i still managed to kick off my race with a classic rookie mistake. todd and i were together at the start - a few rows back from the starting line. when the gun went off we instantly lost sight of each other as the field moved forward. todd, intelligently - angled off to edge of the crowd and sprinted along side to the trail head. i, suffering from some variation of brain freeze, manage to get stuck in the teeming mass of runners. it was almost 3 miles later that i finally emerged with some "running room" on the trail!
be that as it may, i had a great time along the way! while my target of a sub-one hour finish was dashed (it took 1:02:33), i enjoyed every minute (and obstacle) on the trail! the mud wasn't particularly daunting, but the water crossing were a challenge. the first was more a "let's get wet" crossing. the second was easily the toughest, with the water reaching chest level. the third and final one (a/k/a the "splashdown") was, perhaps, the trickiest. it didn't seem deep - and the finish line was tantalizingly close - but there was an undercurrent. the guy in front of me lost his footing and splashed face first into the stream!
the other interesting obstacle was the roughly 45 degree climb up what some referred to as a sand dune. it was around the 4-5 mile mark and most runners took it as a terrain enforced walk break! after we crested the hill, the course flattened out and the run back to the finish was relatively bucolic - and included a pair of violin players just before the final stream crossing! as i approached the finish chute, todd was running back toward me and shouted "what took you so long?!" without getting stuck in the bottleneck at the trail head, he finished well ahead of me.
caballo blanco finished just behind me. after emmy finished, she introduced me to him. she had run with him for some of the course. we'd socialize a bit more at the post-race brunch. but for the moment, todd, emmy and headed back to the parking lot to change into dry clothes. while waiting for the results, i met up with hiro and yuki (who i hadn't seen during the race), and traded stories with some other runners. then, at the awards ceremony, emmy, john, and bob, each took home age group pies!
all in all it was a fantastic day - and the sunny weather made it even more enjoyable! put this race on you "must do" list. more importantly, put the opening day for race registration (yet to be announced for the 2012 edition) on your calendar - to avoid getting closed out. i'm definitely going back for another turn at the "loop" :D
here are my race photos. the above photo, of me traversing the "splashdown," is courtesy of dawn moore.
check out the new york running show (episode #28) for our discussion of the leatherman :D
Monday, May 2, 2011
ny running show podcast: leatherman's loop, nj and long island marathons, and running store based running programs
last night's edition of the ny running show (episode #28) covered a lot of distance - so to speak. it kicked off with a continuation of running stores that sponsor running program (basically group runs, and occasional coaching). the weekend's local race coverage included the leatherman's loop in westchester, the new jersey marathon, and the long island marathon. lot's of good stuff :D
listen, or download, espisode #28 at talkshoe.
Sunday, May 1, 2011
this morning was the 25th edition of the leatherman's loop, held in wards pound ridge reservation (westchester county's largest park). it's a grueling 10k run across multiple water crossings, long stretches of mud, and a huge sand dune for good measure! it's a fantastic event! this was my first time running the "loop" - and if today was any indication, i'll be back again and again. i ran a 1:02:38 (which included a rookie mistake - argh)!
emmy, john, and bob won age group awards - and took home pies as prizes! among the runners were caballo blance of "born to run" notariety - and a sighting of christopher meloni of "law and order: svu" (which i report as hearsay, since i didn't see him myself) :D
here is my race report. here are the official results from the leatherman :D
may kicks off with a trio of 10k races - the first of which, this morning, is the leatherman's loop 10k. it's been on my list of races to run for a long time! the trail run includes multiple water crossings, sand dunes(!) and some single track trails! should be fun (and muddy) :D
next up are a pair of 10ks that i've done multiple times - the mothers day 10k in norwalk (with the summer series just around the corner) and the healthy kidney 10k. the second nyrr race follows on the heels of the healthy kidney - the brooklyn half marathon. that is one of my all time favorite races at any distance. this year the race sold out in just one day!
finally, and still up the air, is memorial day weekend. i've had the pioneer memorial trek in my plans for the longest time. it's a favorite of mine -and run only ever second year. the 3-day race takes place in a different park in queens over the course of the memorial day weekend. but if i can get into the vermont city marathon, i may do that instead - in search of a late season boston qualifier!
here's how it looks right now:
5/1 - leatherman's loop 10k
5/8 - norwalk mothers day 10k
5/14 - healthy kidney 10k
5/21 - brooklyn half marathon
5/28 - pioneer memorial 100m trek
as always, if you're at any of these events - say hello :D