Wednesday, February 26, 2014

2013 nyrr grand prix patch... and race magnets!

a two for one surprise arrived in the mail from the nyrr - not the just the patch for completing all 5 races in the 2013 five borough grand prix series (that was expected), but the 6 tiny race magnets that came along with patch (totally unexpected).  personally, i dig the magnets more than the patch itself.  each race shirt logo is represented, plus one for the series itself!

i last completed all five races in the grand prix series back in 2005 - a whopping 8 years earlier, when each race was a half marathon.  i normally run 2-3 of the races a year.  occasionally i managed 4 out of the 5.  but running all 5 in one year is a significant logistical accomplishment (aside from actually finishing the races themselves).

this year (2014) will see yet another variation to the composition of the series with the switch of the nyc half marathon for the manhattan half.  running the manhattan half counts toward the 4 of 5 races for guaranteed entry into the 2015 nyc half, but it no longer counts toward the 5 boro series itself (i believe).

last, but not least, the envelope contained a certificate of completion that listed each race and the finishing times. all in all, a great job in wrapping up the 2013 series by the nyrr!


Sunday, February 23, 2014

2014 boston buildup 20k: race photos & results

 the boston buildup 20k got underway - after two weather related postponements - with some fantastic running weather.  "it was worth the wait" for a race that normally kicks off in frigid conditions!  as a consequence, the 25k (scheduled for next weekend) will likely be pushed back a week to avoid back to back races.
i was more than pleased with my 1:38:03 because it came in well under my 1:40 target!  my goal was to run 8:00 minute miles over the hilly course, on the heels of a 15 mile training run the day before (in lieu of a drive to colchester for the half marathon).  as it turned out, my at 10 miles was 1:19:27 (a 7:56 pace) -- and i managed to pick up it up enough for the last 2.4 miles that i brought down the overall pace to 7:53!

here are the rest of my race photos up on facebook.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

a pair of 10 milers in lieu of a race this weekend

the month began with the taconic rr freezer 5 miler at fdr park penciled in on my race schedule for this weekend.  when the boston buildup 20k in fairfield was rescheduled from last weekend to this one because of snow, i'd skip the 5 miler and run the 20k instead.  on the way to this weekend, we got another blast of snow - i've lost count of the inches of snow that just keeping coming down this winter and, seemingly, refuse to melt away given the icebox conditions we've been lock in with as well!

the already rescheduled 20k was put over until next sunday - which, as an aside, may lead to the 25k being pushed back a week so the races won't be run back to back.  pushing the 25k back a week will, unfortunately, upset a few apple carts - namely the celebrate life half marathon set for the weekend the 25k would be moved to... well, that decision doesn't need to be made for a while.  who knows, a rogue snowstorm may push back the 20k an unprecedented third time (stranger stuff has happened)!

in any event, the freezer 5 miler was back on for me.  then came more snow on saturday afternoon. i had slogged thru a relatively slow and unpleasant 10 miles that morning - mostly 2 mile loops of the side streets in my neighborhood because my main running route was impassable thanks to unplowed snow, which be that point had taken on an ice-like edge.  that afternoon the freezer 5 miler was preemptively shortened to 4 miles because of severe icy condition at the parking lot used for the turnaround on the 5 mile course.

this morning, when i finally got to fdr park, the main park roads looked pretty bad - i could only imagine how bad the condition was at the turnaround parking lot at the other end of the park!  but the real surprise was hearing from the runners walking back to the main parking lot from the concession lodge (staging area) that the race was cancelled!  given the conditions on the main park road, it was right call.  even making it into an unscored fun run would have been dicey.  instead, all the pre-registered runners will get a free entry into another trrc race this year.

ironically - and somewhat late - when i got home i found that my friends had posted the cancellation news on my fb status and twitter feed.  i had left for the race 40 minutes earlier!  instead of changing out of my running clothes, i just headed back out to run the same loops of my neighborhood street that i did the day before.  on the positive side, the second ten miles came in at 1:30 even, a 9 minute pace - versus prior day's 1:35, 9:30 pace!

on the dreadful side - the weather forecast is for yet more snow this tuesday - argh!!  hopefully, that will be winter's last gasp for a while because the rest of the week - and into the weekend - sees a return to 40 degree temperatures!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

2014 stratford ymca sweetheart run: race photos & results

it was 21 degrees when i got out of the car at stratford for the ymca 4 mile sweetheart run.  but the cold wasn't discouraging - it was the seemingly endless stretches of snow that made it seem as if we ran the race in the frozen tundra of siberia!

i love running this race - and the tough, hilly 4 mile course.  this was the first year in recent memory that don wasn't at the base of the hill straddling miles 3 and 4, cheering on the runners.  it may have been the reason (excuse) that i walked a few yards of the hill, to reach the 4 mile marker. even so, i managed a 29:31 finish, 7:23 pace. that was well over a minute faster than my 30:47 result last year (albeit i wasn't 100% for that one).

afterwards, there was hot vegetable soup and fresh bread for the post-race recovery :D

here are the race results from hitek racing.

here are the rest of my photos up on facebook.

here are more race photos at

Monday, February 3, 2014

2014 trrc freezer 5k: race photos & results

we had great weather - and excellent, i.e., dry, road conditions - for the kick-off of the taconic road runners 2014 race calendar with the freezer 5k at fdr park this morning.  aside from the typically cold weather, the park roads are usually covered with snow, slush, and/or ice for this february race.  instead, the temperature was well into the 40's at the start - and plenty of sun!
my only time goal was to run sub-22 minutes.  that may have been a soft target because i ran a 21:49, 7:02 pace (after an initial 6:46 first mile) without too much trouble.  but given mylack of speed work - my last 5k was a 21:25 at the greenwich turkey trot in november, i'm more than happy w/that time!  and the highlight of a post-taconic rrc race is rehydrating with some fantastic captain lawrence beer :D
here are the race results from trrc.



here are the rest of my photos posted on facebook.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

february 2014 race schedule

hopefully, february won't be a repeat of my january racing - or lack thereof!  an odd confluence of events led to running only one race - the boston buildup 10k - during january (including a last minute road trip to ann arbor last weekend).  but despite missing a few races, i managed to log 210 training miles for the month. it was my ninth straight month of 200+ miles.

tomorrow kicks off the february races with the trrc freezer 5k in fdr park.  had it not closed out, i would have preferred to run the gridiron 4 miler in central park to collect my first 9+1 point for 2014.  because of that annual conflict i typically only run the second of the two freezer 5 races - the 5 miler mid-month.  this year i'll get to run both.

the following weekend is another pair of february staples - the stratford sweetheart run 4 miler on saturday and the boston buildup 20k the next day.  the 4 miler is over a tough course.  if you're in good condition, it's a great warm-up for the 20k.  otherwise, it'll make running the 20k the next morning more of a challenge than it ordinarily would be :O

the freezer 5 miler is on february 16 - a good recovery weekend that leads up to the colchester half marathon that following saturday, february 22.  colchester is one of my all-time favorite half marathons - old school, low-frills, challenging... and great post-race food!  it's a commute to get to, but well worth the drive time.

here's how it looks so far:

2/2 - trrc freezer 5k
2/8 - stratford sweetheart run, 4m
2/9 - boston buildup 20k
2/16 - trrc freezer 5 miler
2/22 - colchester half marathon

as always, if you're at any of these races - say hello!