Sunday, February 26, 2012
a hardy group of runners lined up for the inaugural ekiden relay in central park this morning. the temperature hovered at the freezing mark, but the heavy winds pushed the real feel well-below 32 degrees.
i had planned to run this event, but after the colchester half marathon yesterday, there wasn't much speed left in my legs. instead, i ran 10 easy miles in the park, and watched the 4 stage relay unfold.
i'll add a link to the results once they're up at nycruns.
Saturday, February 25, 2012
this was my 4th colchesster half marathon in the last 5 years! it's a fantastic, old school road race. the turnout for this edition of the race was huge - well over 600 runners crossed the finish!
despite the heavy winds (40-50 mph!), i managed a 1:41:17, 7:45 pace, finish. i missed my 1:40 target, but under the windy circumstances i was happy with the outcome. it was a solid 6 minutes faster than my 2011 finish (but well off my course pr of 1:37).
i'll write up a short race report. here are the race results from the last mile.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
barney rosset, the publisher of grove press and evergreen review, died tuesday night at the age of 89. rosset, through his publications and actions, was at the forefront of the fight against censorship during the 1950's and 1960's. by way of a single example, rosset was instrumental in bringing henry miller's work to the american public. it was grove press that first published "tropic of cancer" in the united states, and then underwrote the legal fees incurred throughout the country to defend it against charges of obscenity - and culminated in a landmark legal victory in the supreme court.
rosset was the subject of a 2008 documentary, "obscene," - which did a fantastic job of capturing not only the man and his crusading zeal to push the limits of the first amendment, but also the people and institutions that sprung up around him. in addition to "tropic of cancer," rosset and grove press led the fight to publish such diverse titles as "lady chatterley's lover" and "naked lunch." evergreen review was instrumental in bringing the beats to print. rosset not only republished "howl" in the pages of evergreen review - but the landmark ruling that held the poem was not obscene.
this man led a truly remarkable life - and a good portion of it was spend expanding the borders of our first amendment rights.
rest in peace barney rosset.
here is his obituary in the new york times.
Monday, February 20, 2012
last night joe and i started off episode 65 of the new york running show and midway through were joined by steve and emmy. we began with a short take on running routes and then went into a brief chat on the freezer five miler (and other races) at fdr state park. that was followed by the cherry tree 10 miler at prospect park, also held that morning. and, for good measure, we also chatted about different local area running clubs. it was a good time...
listen to, or download, episode 65 at talkshoe.
Sunday, February 19, 2012
instead of the albany winter marathon, i ran the trrc freezer 5 miler this morning. long story, short version, i didn't want to tempt fate with 26.2 miles around the suny albany campus so i opted for 5 hilly miles in fdr state park as a compromise :D
i didn't really have a time goal in mind for this race. i was more interested in getting the miles in w/out putting too much stress on my still slightly sore ankle. i was more than pleased with the 35:49, 7:10 pace. and as a bonus, i had some captain lawrence smoked porter during post-race awards ceremony :D
here are the race results from the taconic road runners.
Friday, February 17, 2012
this almost become a belated race report. i started it on sunday afternoon, w/the details still fresh - and somehow it friday morning when i finally got around finishing it up! the biggest difference in the 2012 edition of the boston build-up 20k was the new location. the start/finish was moved from southport to fairfield, one exit on i-95. but despite relocation, the bulk of the course remained the same - which is to say, grueling and challenging!
that said, this version seemed a bit easier than the original layout. maybe it was psychological, but the miles to and from the fairfield train station may have been a bit tamer. as in 20k's past, the west point running (marathon) team had a strong turnout. and there were plenty of familiar faces in the field: don, roy, brian, tom, bob h., ted, karen, rob i,, evan, neal, andi, dan, joe, ronnie, bob g., jeanette, dawn, and marty - to name just a few. kate was there and took pictures. tony was there and did post-race massage.
this was by far the coldest of the three 2012 boston build-up races. i had on 3 loose fitting shirts and a vest. it seemed like a recipe for serious overheating. but when all was said and done, the wind kept me from feeling overdressed - at least for the first 10-12 miles. i wore mittens over my gloves and kept them on until i reached 10 miles! despite all the layers, i don't think my race performance suffered too much as a consequence.
i had a relatively straightforward objective - a sub 1:40 finish. i wanted to run a pair of 50 minute 10k's and redeem my poor 2011 finish (1:43:20, an 8:19 pace). as it turned out i had a great race, and ran negative splits. my first 10k clocked in at 47:48, a 7:41 pace. that included a bit of walking to reach the crest of the big hill in mile 5. the second 10k had no walk breaks. i ran a 46:13, 7:26 pace, for the second half. that was a minute and a half faster than the first 10k.
overall, my 1:34:01, 7:34 pace, finish (my watch had 1:33:57, unofficially), was my best boston build-up since 2007 - when i ran a 1:33:59 :D but that 2007 race was a far cry from the year earlier when i ran a 1:25:40, 6:54 pace, in 2006 :O ah, those were the good old days!
here are my race photos.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
yesterday todd and i checked out puck fair, on lafayette, just south of houston street. as a bonus, it's conveniently located just 4 blocks west of the whole foods beer store :D puck fair is the most recent in a string of bars that feature a decent selection of craft beer that we've visited (said list includes, mudville 9, the ginger man, the waterfront ale house, the pony bar, the blind tiger ale house... to mention a few).
i started with an aventinus, a dark german wheat beer. actually, it's even a darker version of the traditional dunkel weiss style - a doppelbock. it's one of my favorite beers. if that had a high abv (8+), the brooklyn black chocolate stout was off the chart with a 10% abv! the chocolate stout had some great flavors, but i couldn't get past the high alcohol content.
afterwards, todd took the opportunity to check out the whole food beer store :D
Sunday, February 12, 2012
despite the frigid conditions (low 20's and a wind chill in the single digits), i had a great race at the boston build-up 20k. not sure if it was the new course at fairfield (which actually included much of the original 20k route), or not having any expectations going in, but i took almost 10 full minutes off my 2011 result!
my only real goal was a sub 1:40 finish (basically a pair of sub-50 minute 10k's). not only did i come in under 1:40, but i broke 1:35 - and, if my unofficial watch time is correct, 1:33:57, i ran a sub 1:34 (7:34 pace)! i haven't done a boston build-up 20k that fast in a few years :O
here is my race report. here are the race results from hiteck/clubct.
a few more photos posted on facebook.
Saturday, February 11, 2012
the prospect of getting up to stratford looked pretty iffy yesterday, with the weather forecasts predicting 3-4 inches of snow on the ground saturday morning - and snow continuing until mid afternoon! so it was a pleasant surprise to get up this morning and find no snow on the ground - and just a few snowflakes in the air during the drive there.
this course is easily one of the toughest 4 milers out there. my goal was to finish in under 30 minutes - and i was very pleased with my 29:16, 7:19 pace. that result included walking up the hill at the start of mile four! another pleasant surprise was finding out that emmy and i won our age group (100-109) in the team race :D
here are the results from hitek racing.
next up, the boston build-up 20k tomorrow (on the new fairfield course)!
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
it snowed ticker tape outside my office window this morning! seems like yesterday that the giants made their way up the canyon of heroes - but it was actually 4 years ago. ticker tape parades never get old! this one seemed like deja vu - given the repeat of the giant's unlikely (to non-believers) win over new england :D
for most of the morning it seemed like controlled chaos leading up to the 11 am start. despite the early hour that i normally get to work - there were plenty of fans already lining up to grab the best vantage points. i was on the 5:30 metronorth in and arrived at grand central to find dozens of blue jersey clad teenagers already headed to the subway for the ride downtown!
i had a decent vantage point to see the parade from my window, but didn't make it over to city hall park afterwards to catch (listen to) the speeches :O
today is the 200th anniversary of charles dicken's birth on february 7, 1812. i've read a lot of dickens over the years, and my favorite is still is "oliver twist" - which i and legions of students first read in high school english classes. this may have more to do with the film, "oliver!," which i forever associate with the novel.
while "oliver twist" is the clearly the sentimental favorite, as a trusts and estates lawyer, "bleak house" is more up my alley :D
the morgan library is holding a special dickens exhibition to celebrate his 200th birthday - which includes the original exhibition to "a christmas carol." if you're a fan of dickens, don't pass it up!
Sunday, February 5, 2012
yesterday, after the manhattan hot chocolate 10k in riverside park, i finally had a chance to get over to the cloisters for the "game of kings" exhibit! i've been wanting to see the medieval chessman since i read about them in the ny times article, way back in november. as a huge fan of chess - the game and almost anything about it - it was great to get a peek back into time and see how others viewed the game.
there really couldn't be a more perfect setting to view the 34 chessmen (know as the lewis chessmen) on loan from the british musuem, than the cloisters. medieval chess in a castle setting, can't be beaten :D even the story of how the cache of chessmen was discovered by a farmer on the isle of lewis in 1831 adds luster to the exhibit and its setting.
the exibit continues through april 22 - if you're a chess fan, don't miss it :D
Saturday, February 4, 2012
another great weather day for a race! riverside park was the site for the companion hot chocolate 10k. last week, also with fantastic running weather, the brooklyn hot chocolate 10k was held in prospect park. today the hot chocolate and 10k moved over the bridge to manhattan.
on what was easily a tougher course (both in terms of hills and overall turns), i managed to finish the two loops in just under 47 minutes (46:58), a 7:34 pace. that was solidly under the 47:26 that i ran last week at prospect park! i'm very happy with both :D
here are the race results from nycruns.