Sunday, March 29, 2015

2015 mudders & grunters 5 miler: race photos & results

this edition of the taconic rr's mudders & grunters 5 miler was cold - so cold that most of the mud was in the form of ice (though there was still plenty of actual mud to slog thru)!  the main water crossing was especially brisk :D

finishers were greeted with a space blanket and a roaring fire back at the concession area.  a number of runners decided to toss out their trail shoes instead of cleaning off all the muck!  to add an easter-like flair to the festivities, pink cookies were given out as age group awards :D

my 57:15 finish was well off my 50 minute target.  but given all the ice out there, better to take it slow and finish in one piece.  though my hands did get pretty trashed from all the thickets.  at one point the glove was ripped off my hand - and i had to retrace my footsteps to free it from the bramble bush that had seized it!

here are the race results from taconic rrc.

herfe are the rest of my photos up on facebook.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

2015 boston blowout 30k: race photos & results

despite the decidedly unspring-like weather (below freezing at the start), it was a great day to run a 30k!  the 2015 edition of the boston blowout was run as three 10k loops instead of the more familiar double 15k loop.  as a result, when we turned around at the 4 mile mark - instead of continuing down the road as we would have under the old course, got that strange feeling that we were somehow running fewer miles - ha.  that is until the 3rd loop, when i lost a lot of steam in the last 5k and the number of loops didn't really matter - just getting in the last 3 miles did :O

the weather did cause a course modification - we didn't get to run the short trail portion because the ground conditions were pretty bad.  the more interesting aspect was the addition of 10k splits - which was pretty neat.  since there were runners covering 10k, 20k, and 30k distances out on the course, it made sense to collect the split times for everyone - it certainly was great to have them as part of the results!

as for my race, the splits showed my 10k loops were roughly 52, 54 and 56 minutes - the last pretty much captured how i bonked over the last 5k of the final go around.  even so, the 2:43:30 finish wasn't that far off the sub-2:40 mark that i had targeted.  all in all, it was a good day :D

here are the race results from clubct.

Friday, March 20, 2015

happy 2015 spring equinox - snow & all :D

spring officially arrives at 6:45 pm tonight here in new york - right in the middle of a forecasted patch of snow!  it's hard to believe how gnarly a grip winter has had on the east coast - and the especially brutal february cold and snow we've had to slog through.  and here, on the first day of spring, winter refuses to give up the ghost!  the weather forecast is for anywhere between 2-4 inches of snow today, arriving around lunch and done by the end of the day.  with any luck, it'll all be melted away by tomorrow :D

today marks the point where daylight and darkness are approximately equal in length.  going forward we'll get increasingly more daylight - until we reach the summer solstice in june, and the process reverses.  hopefully, the increasingly longer days will be warmer!

happy 2015 spring equinox :D

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

2015 nyc haf marathon race report

when i signed up for this edition of the nyc half marathon, i expected to make a run at doing all five races in the 5 borough challenge again (going for 3 straight years).  but, instead, the week registration for the brooklyn half was set to open i learned that i'd be traveling that week - argh.  so much for the 5 boroughs this year.  it's not that i don't love running the nyc half, but my primary reason was jettisoned the minute i realized i couldn't run brooklyn in may.

getting back to the nyc half, the weather was 20+ degrees on race morning this year!  last year i actually ran the race with my windbreaker on - something i rarely do (and didn't regret running with it for one second).  with the temperature hovering in the low 40's it was practically balmy waiting in the corral. in a corral first, i took the time to download the nyc half app - mostly to check out the course map.  but the added bonus was adding my bib number for tracking - and, presto, just after crossing the finish had my race splits in hand!  but i get ahead of myself.

it was a very crowded start.  it took me 2:25 just to reach the start mat (not much longer than the 2 minutes it took last year, but it seemed a lot longer).  like last year i had forgotten to grab a gu out of my bag when i dropped it off.  rather than a random act of kindness when someone simply handed me a gu last year, i managed to find a gu when the corrals collapsed and we moved forward.  that one, plus  the gu i had as we crossed 42nd street would be the only things i had during the race (except for water).

my game plan for the race was to run sub-8 minute miles - and bring it in under 1:45 overall.  my first mile, 8:13, was my slowest of the half.  mile eight came in at 8:24, but i stopped to look for a gu with caffeine at the table.  the fastest was the 7:34 i ran for mile two!  the rest of the miles were clustered just under/over 8 minutes - pretty consistent, actually.  the highlight was running the last 5k faster than the first one, just barely (24:23 v. 24:40)!  when i reached 10 miles in 1:20:33, an 8:03 pace, i picked up the pace and managed to save a couple of seconds off the overall result - and brought the pace down to 8:01 - just missing my target.

i did manage to squeak in under 1:45 - that made me smile, actually.  still, it was 4 seconds slower than the 7:57 pace i ran at the boston blowout 25k two weeks earlier - and a solid 8 seconds a mile slower than the colchester half the day before.  not sure why i ran this one slower.  maybe it was the drop off in mileage over the last couple of weeks?  the lower mileage wasn't a result of injury, i was just tired of day after day of piling on clothes to run in the frigid weather.  now that it's gotten warmer (relatively speaking), the mileage will climb back to normal.

the only downside of the entire day was not running into a single familiar face: before, during, or after the race!  i knew - and looked out for - a lot of people who were running, but i didn't see any of them out there.  i think the only time i spoke out loud was to ask the finish line volunteer if she would talk my picture (which she did)! 

here's the screen shot of the splits from the nyc half app:

here are my race photos.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

2015 nyc half marathon: race photos & results

nyc half marathon #6 is in the books.  this one was a solid 20+ degrees warmer at the start than last year's edition - so it could only go up from there!  as for the race itself, i just squeaked in under my 1:45 target - with a 1:44:56, 8:01 pace.  that was a solid 1:30 slower than last year's finish - as well as my finish at the colchester half just 2 weeks ago.  as such, it was a mild disappointment.  but for running the course itself - that was, as always - fantastic :D

here are the race results from nyrr.

here is my race report.

Friday, March 13, 2015

pearl izumi pi fun run 5k

last night went up to croton-on-hudson for the pearl izumi pi fun run 5k - it took me a while to figure out the pearl izumi and pi were connected - haha.  the event was sponsored by run on hudson valley, a great new running speciality store that recently opened for business, and included post-run refreshments and a raffle (in which every runner managed to win something) :D

the run itself was an out and back through croton point park - which some runners extended to 5 miles.  the post-run raffle include trivia questions (test yourself - the event page includes the list of questions asked - and the answers).  and, of course, there was plenty of runners socializing.  it was a very good time!

if you're in the neighborhood, check out the store and say hi to brad, ben and lorraine!


Thursday, March 12, 2015

packet pick-up for 2015 nyc half marathon

 this afternoon i picked up my bib for the 2015 nyc half marathon at the skyline at the moynihan station.  it was a new location from the one used last year.  the process went very smoothly - last year there was some sort of registration glitch that resulted in a new bib number being assigned.  this time around picked up bib, picked up shirt, and i was set. 
for the actual expo, it was big - much bigger than i remember it in previous years.  it had a nyc marathon lite feeling to it.  i'm looking forward to the race.  i hope this "warm" weather sticks around for a few more days.  this winter has seemed like we're never more than a few hours away from a return to the deep freeze!  still, given how cold it was at last year's half, even the mid-20's would be an improvement - haha.
as always, if you're at this one - say hello!

happy birthday jack kerouac - 93 years old today in heaven :D

jack kerouac was born 93 years ago today, on march 12, 1922, in lowell, massachusetts.  he died in 1969, at the tragically young age of 47 - from the ravages of alcoholism.  i'm a big fan of kerouac - and the beats in general.  the latest bit of beat news is the discovery of the long considered lost joan anderson letter in november - and the seemingly inevitable litigation that ensued over its ownership.

i've done a few posts about that, so won't bother to repeat the details here.  suffice it to say, regardless of the ownership outcome, hopefully the remaining - unpublished pages - will finally find their way into print.  for those that remember, the partially published letter served as the basis for the film, "the last time i committed suicide."  more significantly, however, kerouac has always claimed that the joan Anderson letter was the impetus that freed up his writing style - and resulted in "on the road."

anyway, aside from the day to day details of planet earth - happy birthday in heaven jack!

Monday, March 2, 2015

march 2015 race schedule

march kicked off yesterday with the boston buildup 25k - the second part of a weekend double that included the colchester half marathon on sunday.  if that's a trip down memory lane, may do it again later this month with the wurtsboro mountain 30k and the boston blowout 30k on the 21st and 22nd.  haven't done that double in years - and the jury is still out on whether i'll line up for both this month (though i will run one for sure).

but gotten ahead of myself because the week before wurtsboro/boston blowout is the nyc half marathon!  looking forward to that one - and hopefully it will be warmer than the 2014 edition (given the weather this winter, that may just be wishful thinking).  in view of the half coming up, i haven't really penciled in anything to run this weekend.

but since the blowout was moved up a week this year - the last weekend of the month has opened up and i can run the mudders & grunters 5 miler!  that's one of my favorite low key trail events, and it's hosted by taconic, at fdr park.  it should be fun doing the water crossing :D

one new twist for the month is the pi fun run 5k on thursday night, 3/12.  if i can get a ride up to croton-on-hudson, i'll give that one a try :D

here's how it looks so far:

3/1 - boston buildup 25k
3/12 - pi fun run 5k
3/15 - nyc half marathon
3/21 - wurtsboro mountain 30k
3/22 - boston blow out 30k
3/29 - mudders & grunters 5 miler

Sunday, March 1, 2015

2015 boston buildup 25k: race photos & results

i almost didn't make it to the boston buildup 25k this morning.  not because i ran the Colchester half the day before (even thought it's been a while since i've done this particular double), but rather the weather forecast for snow made the thought of driving to norwalk very iffy.  until the weather forecast pushed back the start of snow until noon last night, i didn't want to do the drive.
thankfully the snow held off - though there were a handful of flurries at the start!  i ran the entire race with the thought of getting in the miles before it started to come down.  that may be why i kept it under 8 minute miles - haha.  as it turned out i ran a 2:03:33, 7:57 pace.  that was well off the 1:58 i ran last year - but i didn't run a half marathon the day before that one!
overall i was more than happy with the outcome.  the 7:57 pace was just a few seconds slower than the 7:53 pace i ran at colchester.  no leg speed to speak of, but very consistent miles all around.  ironically, the toughest part of the day was crossing the ice covered field after the race - to get back to silvermine!


here are the rest of my photos up on facebook.