Monday, March 31, 2008

time for a mini-taper

my 6 mile run yesterday was one of the hardest things i've done lately. forget about delayed onset muscle soreness, forget about the notion of running in a race, what brought home to me how beaten up i was from the 60k on saturday was standing alongside the high school track, unable to move, as the kids set off on their 4 lap fun run!

a very bizarre internal dialog took place in my head, "go on, jog it with them! no way, you jog it with them, i'm just going to wait here." no amount of motivational invective got me to move from that spot! i was sore, and i felt like reveling in it!

but a few of hours later, i dragged myself outside for a recovery run. the juxtaposition of "recovery" and "run" in that context sounds almost diabolical. after the struggling with the first mile, things mellowed out for the rest of the run. most of that time was spent wondering if i hadn't overdone it with the 60k. but, once home, things looked up again.

in fact, while slow, the 48:11, 8:02 pace for the 6 miles wasn't too bad. it made 65.2 miles for the week. in a reversal from the prior week - where i ran 7 days (5 of which included doubles), logged 76 miles, and had no long run - this week had 5 running days (no doubles), and more than half the weekly mileage came from one long run! hardly a consistent running pattern. but i've run out of training weeks and, for better or worse, it'll have to suffice.

the umstead 100 miler has arrived - and i'm actually very psyched about it! because of the horrible training month february turned out to be, i feel seriously under trained. but i bounced back with a solid march, so i 'm pretty optimistic heading into the race.

now, if i can just sit still long enough for this mini-taper to yield some dividends :)

Sunday, March 30, 2008

scarsdale kids fun run photos

four laps was hard work :)

katie and her finishers ribbon

the start

this was the highlight of my morning: watching the kids run 4 laps of the track in their one mile fun run - the official end to the morning activities.

here are a few more race photos (4 miler & 15k).

scarsdale races photos

john and michael, post 4 miler

anton, post-15k

judy and michael, post 4 miler

susan (3rd woman overall) and her sons, post 4 miler

mark, post 15k

while i didn't run in either the 4 miler or 15k race this morning, i couldn't help taking some photos of my friends after they ran the races.

here are the photos from the kids races.
here are photos from the 2009 scarsdale 15k and 4 mile races.

queens 60k photos and results

richie, laying down the law!

emmy and phil, the race winners!!

emmy and frank - and a little trophy envy :)

here is my race report.

official results on new york ultrarunning
split times on new york ultrarunning

rr: queens 60k

it was almost a year ago to the day that we headed over to forest park to run this course. last year the first weekend of april kicked off with the b.u.s. metropolitan 50 miler/kurt steiner 50k. i had originally planned to run the 50 miler, but not feeling well, switched to the 50k. rob ran the full 50 miler and emmy ran the 50k. this year the three of us planned to meet at my house and drive in together for the queens 60k. one race, midway between last year's two distances. but just before 8, as emmy arrived at my house, we learned that rob had a flat tire and wouldn't make the race.

so the two of us drove down to forest hill park together. the sunny weather completely masked how cold it actually was when the wind chill was factored in. last year we had grey, dreary skies - and below average temperatures. this year at a minimum, we avoided the really nasty weather forecast for race day. on thursday richie, the race director, sent the race participants this weather related email:

"Please note that the weather forecast may be brisk with some showers. Please bring the appropriate clothing and plenty of them. The location of “baggage check” will be the inside of the van. That way, your stuff will remain dry. The van will be parked on the course mere yards from the finish line area. You will have access to your belongings throughout the race."

so sun and 15+ mph headwinds was a blessing.

the race started on the victory field track. we ran 2.75 laps of the 400 meter track before setting off on the official 3.08 mile course. the first .75 miles we did as a group, in honor of the memories of ted corbitt and sri chimnoy. then we set off on the remaining 2 laps, and 12 loops of the course. this was a tough, hilly course, predominately on park road and the concrete sidewalk outside the park. my primary objective was to finish each loop in 30 minutes or less, for a finish under 6 hours.

here were my splits:

1. 33:11 (includes laps on track)
2. 24:50 58:01
3. 25:54 1:23:55
4. 28:44 1:52:39 (bathroom pitstop)
5. 29:21 2:22:00
6. 28:53 2:50:53
8. 58:55 3:49:48
9. 30:11 4:19:59
10. 28:30 4:48:29 (50k split)
11. 29:39 5:18:08
12. 28:23 5:46:32

the layout of this course had one primary benefit - seeing the fellow runners during the various out and backs along course. aside from emmy, plenty of good friends out on the course - including sal, barbara, phil, and byrum -to name just a few. at the scorekeepers table, our friend grant was counting laps for us most of the day. and richie, the rd, seemed to be everywhere during the day - out on the course, at aid stations, the officials table - and led us on the initial loop to start off the day.

just as i finished my 9th loop of the course, the finish tape was spread out for phil. he had run a great race. i had 3 more left to go at that point. after the 10th one, my 50k split was 4:48 - about 28 minutes slower than my finish time for the 50k last year. 2 loops later, i finished strong in 5:46, a 9:18 pace, and 6th place overall. since this was my first 60k, i guess that made it a pr :)

but in terms of real pr's - emmy finished up right behind me, with not only her fastest 60k time of 5;47:49, a 9:20 pace - but was the first woman overall! awesome!! then we quickly headed over to the field house to get out of the wind - and eat some food. it was there that richie presented emmy with a huge first place trophy! this makes the second b.u.s. event emmy has won - last year she won the sybil ludington 50k!

yikes - now it's time to get serious and finally focus on umstead! my family and i fly down to raleigh, north carolina, thursday night. the race kicks off at 6 am saturday morning!

check out my race photos!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

queens 60k update - rr and photos to follow

sunny, very windy conditions, for the race today. our original trio of emmy, rob, and me turned into a duo when rob got a flat tire this morning and had to miss the race.
i finished my first 60k in 5:46:38, a 9:18 pace. that was good enough for 6th place overall. but the really big news was emmy winning the women's race! her 5:47:49, a 9:20 pace, was not only a pr - but enough to claim first place!
phil mccarthy won the race in just under 4:19! he finished his 12th and final loop just as i finished my 9th loop.
last year, emmy, rob and i ran this identical course as part of the metropolitan 50 miler/kurt steiner 50k. rob ran the 50 miler, emmy and i ran the 50k. here is my race report for the 50k (ten loops). today's race was an additional 2 loops to reach the 37.3 mile distance.
my race report and photos for the 60k to follow.
check out emmy's blog, she already has up some great pictures!!

Friday, March 28, 2008

"run fatboy run" movie review

how far will a sedentary, cigarette smoking, guy go to win the respect of the mother of his 5 year old son - the same woman he abandoned, nine months pregnant, at the alter? he announces that he's going to run a marathon - one only 3 weeks away - to prove that he can compete with her new boyfriend. that's the running related premise of "run fatboy run," a light romantic comedy that opened today.

from the first run that kicks off his "training" - where he develops a run-ending side stitch only a few doors down the street from his apartment - to finding out that he just can't show up and "run" without registering (and the race has long since been sold out) - thus leading to his increasingly extreme efforts to secure a charity slot - and finding one on behalf of erectile dysfunction - this movie packs in a lot of running humor. two of the funniest bits are how he deals with "chafing" and the large blister on foot - these scenes are hilarious!

then there's the actual marathon itself, which is the nike "run the river" marathon taking the runners along the thames. one highlight of his run was the inevitable encounter with the "wall" - and his determination to break on thru to the other side. i'm not giving away any state secrets when i say that he finishes in under 14 hours - a solid 13:55! and in doing so, banishes the rival and wins back the girl - how else could such a movie end?

this movie will definitely make you laugh. it will also make runners smile with recognition many familiar running moments. it's a light-hearted, funny movie that may even inspire non-runners to lace up and going running :)

here's the review from the ny times.


boxoffice update: turned out to be a very disappointing opening weekend for "run fatboy run" - as it failed to make it into the top ten.

"If you're looking down the list for Run, Fat Boy, Run, don't bother. With only $2.4 million out of the gate it couldn't even break into the number twelve spot. Only showing in 1100 theatres, it was likely to have a rough ride, but now it looks like David Schwimmer's debut won't ever get to see the inside of the top ten."

a pair of 8 milers

in the last 24 hours, since my "runner's low, runner's high post," i've gotten in two 8 mile runs and had no time to dwell on lows or enjoy any highs - but i did get in the miles :)

yesterday turned into one of those days where everything seems to rush on ahead - and you're just carried along for the ride. i had a client drop off her tax documents at lunch, then i thought i'd stop at village hall to preregister for the 4 miler - only to find, to my surprise, that the rec dept. was only taking registrations until 4, not 5! missing that, i headed over to lacrosse practice to collect my daughter and her friend, and bring them home.

then i got to run the 8 miles. that took 1:02:21, a 7:48 pace. but i didn't have much time to dwell on the post-race glow from that elusive runner's high b/c i had to drive to new rochelle and pick up documents from another client. when i got home, my wife and daughter were preparing for the 6:30 girl scout troop meeting taking place at our house that night. i was given 3 slices of pizza, some bottled water, and told to make myself scarce for a couple of hours!

luckily, the troop meeting ended well before the season finale of the celebrity apprentice went on a 9:00 o'clock! so i got to reclaim my living room and watch some reality t.v. to end the day.

this morning i went out for my run before work. i normally run in the late afternoon, so the morning run was unusual. one reason for the change in routine was the forecast of nasty weather later today. i ran the 8 miles 2 minutes slower than the day before, in 1:04:30, an 8:04 pace. for the 5 day week, it gives me a less than stellar 22 miles.

but looking at the 60k tomorrow, and the 4 miler on sunday, i should finish the week with at least 60 miles. then it's full steam ahead to umstead the following saturday!!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

runner's low, runner's high

last night when i got home from what is, typically, my longest day of the week, i skipped going out for a late night run. after a quick dinner of take-out chinese food, instead of running i fell asleep. when i woke up this morning i couldn't help but be depressed at the stark contrast between the mileage from the first 3 days of last week - 33 miles - versus what i managed to log for the first 3 days of this week - a paltry 6 miles!!

even with a conscious decision to taper back my mileage this week - going into the 60k saturday, followed by the 4 miler w/katie on sunday - this sort of sporadic running is practically "anti-mileage" in my book. so i commuted into the office in a serious downer of a mood.

but in a classic example of, if you just wait long enough, things will change (maybe not for the better, but they'll change - haha) - i opened up the ny times and found - amazingly - an article on new research published on the science of the runner's high! not only did that make me smile but it made me even more determined to get back out and run.

the story reminded me of similar coverage about the runners high that i had read last week. the complete running network had posted an article, "visualizing the high," that discussed the same research findings and included the pet scan images. it's worth a quick look just to "visualize" what the endorphins set free in our brains look like after we run all those miles :)

so while i'm clunking around in the runner's low portion of the cycle for the moment, hold on to your endorphins - more miles are just around the corner!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

brooklyn bridge park

wow, after having lived in brooklyn heights for the better part of ten years, and that's not counting the years i spent attending law school in the heights, before we moved north to westchester, i am amazed to see this incredible project finally get off the ground.

for better or worse, construction (or maybe controlled destruction) got underway last week. the ny times ran the story on page one of the metro section on monday. it included a photo of the one lone crane as it undertook the initial demolition under steel grey cloud cover. it also mentioned local opposition to the project - some which is critical of the open space idea of the project (not enough commercial use), while others are critical of the residential condominiums set to anchor the north and south ends of the project.

ny1, the local cable news station, also covered the story, and includes a video clip of the broadcast on its site. the video is worth checking out, if just for the views of the site! even more coverage, and additional photos, can be found at the gothamist site. brooklyn bridge park has it's own, "official" site that provides images of what the completed space will look like when it's eventually opened to the public.

after years and years of talk (and some would add, inaction), i'm excited to see the project finally underway. while there are plenty of aspects to be critical about, in the final analysis i think it's going to become yet one more great reason to walk over the bridge and visit brooklyn!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

reluctant rest day

after the desultory drop off in mileage - 6, 17, and 6 miles, respectively, for the last 3 days - in finished last week with 76 miles. by sunday night i still suffered from the lingering effects of the cough and fever that had nagged me all week, the weather was still lousy - especially the heavy winds that refused to abate, and i had gone for a long stretch without a day off. i'd run every day since february 23, basically 4 straight weeks.

it was finally time to take a rest day and regroup. but that was easier said, than done, because by monday night i was already going thru withdrawal idling around the house - haha. it was a strange feeling to watch the clock tick away while i stayed inside on a perfectly fine running day! but as unpleasant as not running was, i survived my reluctant rest day.

i also decided to switch from the h.a.t. 50k to the queens 60k. purely as a matter of logistics, running the 60k will save the 3+ hour drive down to maryland, an overnight stay there, and a 3+ drive back home. in additions, this will be my first 60k race, and it will be scored as part of the ny ultra running grand prix series.

so after a day off, i returned to my basic running route along the post road this afternoon. it was not fun because, after all that rest, i somehow felt rusty! after only one day off i needed to get my sea legs back! the six mile run took 46:55, a 7:49 pace. i'm sure some unseen benefits accrued as a result of the rest day - but there has to be an easier way :)

world tb (tuberculosis) day

march 24, 2008 is world tb day.

this date, "commemorates the day in 1882 when dr robert koch astounded the scientific community by announcing that he had discovered the cause of tuberculosis, the TB bacillus. at the time of koch's announcement in berlin, TB was raging through europe and the americas, causing the death of one out of every seven people. koch's discovery opened the way toward diagnosing and curing tuberculosis"

get more information at the world tb day 2008 home page - "i am stopping tb"

in spite of the impression many people have, and i was one, that tb was a disease isolated to developing countries in the third world, it can be found very close to home. here are some recent news stories:

tuberculosis in westchester.
tuberculosis in nyc.
drug resistant tb concerns in harlem and the bronx.
a tb infected patient faces felony charges in arizona.

and, in south africia, patients with drug-resistant tb are locked-up.

why is this information about tuberculosis on my blog, you might wonder?? because fighting lung disease and promoting lung health is something i care deeply about.

Monday, March 24, 2008

ultra switch

just thought i'd quickly mention this revision to my weekend race schedule, then follow-up with a few more details later today.

in a last minute change of plans, instead of the h.a.t. 50k in maryland this weekend, i've decided to switch directions and run the b.u.s queens 60k in forest park, queens, new york. aside from the switch from trail to road ultra, and the increased distance from 50k to 60k, the local ultra will work out much better, logistically, than would the drive to and from maryland (plus the overnight stay).

Sunday, March 23, 2008

easter sunday

when i got home from the bunny boogie, i ran 10 miles in 1:17:57, a 7:48 pace. the downside to running the bunny boogie having to miss my weekend long run. but spending the morning with katie more than made up for the reduced mileage. with the post-race mileage, i had 66 miles for the week - but that was below my goal of 75. i didn't an extra 4 miles friday night because of the fever. then, even with last night's additional 4 miles (33:21/8:20 pace), which gave me 70 for the week - i was still 5 miles off target.

this morning, with chores, preparation for easter dinner, and church service, i squeezed in 6 miles before our guests arrived. those were some of the hardest miles of the week, on dead legs - done in 46:44, a 7:47 pace. it was a repeat of friday's death at 4 miles, followed by a struggle to finish the last 2 miles and get home. still, it gave me 76 miles for the week. tonight i'll try and run another 4-6 miles to end the week with 80. but after a day of holiday eating and drinking, that may be the hardest run of the week :)

summing up the training. it's been a disappointing week overall. the lousy weather, especially the seemingly never ending headwinds, plus the cough and fever, all combined to make this one of the most unpleasant stretches of running for me in recent memory. this would've been easily forgettable training week in february - but not 2 weeks before umstead. even the relatively high mileage was cobbled together with a stretch of daily doubles - and did not include a long run! for overall effectiveness, i would give it a grade of "c" - and that's generous.

still, it's all good. hopefully next week will see some warmer, less windy, weather!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

bunny boogie 3 miler photos and results

emmy, rob, katie, john, and kate

my favorite picture :)

emmy and rob, post-race

katie about to finish!

katie and emmy crest the hill!

john crests the hill!

just one little hill!

katie and emmy, just after the first mile

art, tom, and michael, pre-race

kate and rob, pre-race

emmy and gail, pre-race

katie, what has my dad gotten me into? :)
here are the official results.

rr: bunny boogie 3 miler

in a strange twist, i almost had to skip this race. last night i had a fever of 100.9 - which went a long way toward explaining why i died at mile 4 of my training run, and struggled to finish the final two miles to get back home. i skipped the second run. instead i took advil, multi-vitamins, and went to bed early. this morning i had coffee and advil for breakfast. then katie and i drove to darien for the race.

this is a fun course, and can be fast. there's one notable climb at the end of the first loop, but it's basically a net downhill elevation. since this was katie's first race and sustained run since last fall, i wanted her to take it easy - and even power walk the hill. the women started the race 2 and a half minutes before the men. until i caught up to her, emmy was kind enough to pace katie during the race.

there were plenty of parents running with their kids, including my friend joe, who was there with his daughter. other friends there included, rob, kate, john, tom, art and gail - just to list a few of them. that led to a lot of pre and post-race socializing. i actually felt like a quasi-tourist, running the race with my camera! in fact, my race was mostly a series of leap frogging sprints to catch up to katie, snap a picture and run on to the next location.

the hardest running i did was at the start, mainly to make-up the 2.5 minute deficit and catch up to katie and emmy. somewhat surprising them, i sprinted in front and snapped a great shot of them in action. then i ran on ahead, took up a strategic position on top of the hill, and snapped away. i got a couple of good shots of john, then katie and emmy, cresting the hill. then i ran to the finish, catching up to kate in the process, and took pictures of them finishing.

i finished in 24:06, an 8:02 pace. katie finished in 31:03, a 10:21 pace - which included walking breaks. despite a minute off target, i was very happy with her performance. even though she didn't place in her age group, jim, the race director, gave her a chocolate bunny (race chocolate instead of hardware) after the award ceremony! what a nice gesture on his part!

check out emmy's race report and photos

next week we'll run the scarsdale 4 miler together - at a slightly faster pace :)

Friday, March 21, 2008

good friday

despite years of parochial school, i have never gotten used to the jarring and inappropriate title "good friday" to symbolize the day christ was crucified and died on the cross. i'm one of those who believes the current term is the evolution of "god's friday," a plausible explanation for the word "good" in such an in opposite place. but, that's just speculation on my part. so much for the snippet of religion on this traditional day of "fasting and penance."

on the training front, last night i went out for an additional 4 miles. the wind hadn't abated, but i ran my typical post road route - and faced significantly fewer hills than the 10 miler earlier that day. the run took 31:51, a 7:58 average pace. that gave me a total of 14 miles for the day, 47 for the week so far.

this morning, however, when i got up that nasty cough had returned. i rationalize it as a cosmic payback for running on wednesday and thursday, instead of resting up and getting that bug out of my system. so i sat in my office this morning eating one lemon honey cough drop after another - with little to show for the effort. then, when i got home this afternoon, i had the surreal experience of kicking off my run with a shot of cough suppressant - that was a first.

the cough medicine did its job, but my legs were dead from the combination of yesterday's hills and the lingering hold of the cough. the wind hadn't abated at all. when i took off, expecting to run 8 miles, it was deja vu all over again - wind tunnel conditions - ugh. i got thru 4 miles in 30:59, then faded. going for the full 8 miles was ridiculous under the circumstances. an 8:09 and 7:31, closed out the 6 miles in 46:45, a 7:48 pace. not pretty, but i'll take it.

if i follow this week's routine, i'll try to eek out another 4 miles later. but two things may mitigate against the extra miles. first, there's the 3 mile "bunny boogie" in darien, ct, tomorrow morning. it katie's first race since late last fall! i want to keep a little in the tank for that one. and, second, the 3+ sick days, each with varying degrees of discomfort, seem to have caught up with me - and i'm pretty beat right now :(

but, there are still a few hours to go before bedtime. with nothing worth watching on t.v. - maybe i'll get a second wind.

today's 6 miles gives me 53 for the five day week.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

spring equinox

can hardly believe that spring has arrived, especially since the weather leading up to the vernal equinox was anything but spring-like. in fact, the last two days have been incredibly tough, weather-wise, to get in my training runs. yesterday was a water-logged mess and today was something akin to wind tunnel conditions - sustained winds of 20+ mph, with gusts well over 30 mph!! oh well, did i mention that spring has arrived ;)

on top of the weather mess, tuesday night i inexplicably developed a nasty, hacking cough that persisted through the night. i woke up with the cough subdued - but replaced by a raw, sore throat. it seemed like a case of strep - ugh. but aside from losing my voice, my throat got better and the mysterious affliction vanished in the mist - or should i say rain.

it rained all day yesterday. i waited by the door for it to let-up a little. when it slowed to a drizzle, i started out - hoping for 8 miles, but willing to settle for whatever i could get in. ran almost a mile before the rain returned to full strength. by the end of 2 miles, i was soaked - to the point my running shoes squished. time to head back and leave it at 4 miles. but it calmed back down to a drizzle soon enough and i decided to go for 6.

after 5 miles, it started raining heavily again - and the though of going for the full 8 quickly disappeared. waterlogged and all, i got in 6 miles, in 46:35, a 7:46 pace. since this was short of my target of 8 miles, i'd go back out again later for some extra mileage. i didn't realize that it would be 10 pm when in went back out again! but instead of rain, it was just a light mist and high humidity. i ran 4 more miles in 32:19, an 8:05 pace. that made 10 for the day, and 33 miles, cumulatively, for the week.

today, i opted for a different course - a hilly, beastly route. it's one that i usually run on weekends as part of a long run. as a follow-up to the hilly wurtsboro course, this route would provide some challenging elevation gain - in anticipation of the 10,000 feet of elevation gain over the 50k of trails in the h.a.t. run. i didn't mind the hills - but mile after mile into the wind was demoralizing. it was in the high 40's and sunny - but the wind chill made it feel like it was below freezing!

it took 1:23:09, an 8:19 pace, to run those 10 miles. i pushed the pace the entire way! it was so hard to run head down into the wind that i lost count of how many uphills made me want to drop down into a walk, or a crawl! at the start of mile 7, i was cold enough to put on gloves. but my hands had gotten so numb at that point that, even with the gloves on, my fingers wouldn't warm up. but when it was over, 10 more miles were done, 43 for the week.

theme song for today, easily, is bob weir singing "black-throated wind" :D

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

pat metheny trio - a guest review!

as i mentioned yesterday, my wife went to see the pat metheny trio at the town hall theatre in new york city last night. while i count myself a fan of the pat metheny group, i'm not a fan of all things pat metheny. in this case, i had no desire to see his trio - as fantastic as the reviews of his current tour are.

but my wife loved the concert and agreed to post her brief review of the show:


Last night's jazz performance by Pat Metheny, Christian McBride and Antonio Sanchez was amazing. Although the Town Hall concert in Manhattan coincided with the trio's recent release of their new CD "Day Trip" (Nonesuch Records), the group played a variety of Pat's tunes, from slow ballads, to somewhat traditional "modern" jazz, to loud pieces that might even pass as some sort of jazz/rock hybrid. That's the incredible thing about Pat: he can do anything on his guitars, and he does. The concert began by Pat coming out alone and playing three slow pieces, each one more beautiful, melodic, and layered than the last. Pat's slow songs are simply incredible for their magical way of telling a story. If I had my way, I'd have Pat play only slow pieces, one after another, for two straight hours.

Alas, he finally let the other two members of the trio out on stage - - which was fine by me. Christian McBride, from Philadelphia, was on string bass, and Antonio Sanchez, from Mexico City, was on drums. Throughout the night, both men showed how very talented they are. McBride's smoothness and soulful playing is mesmerizing, as is Sanchez's intense and varied ways of playing percussion. The first three tunes by the trio were from the new CD - - "Son of 13," then "Let's Move" and "Calvin's Keys" - - all of them incredible. Then they played "Police People" from the "New Song X" CD Pat put out a few years ago. "When We Were Free" was a long, stretched out piece from the new CD, which I and the crowd especially loved. Then came "This is America," a piece about Katrina, which I missed most of because I took a break to call my daughter at home, but was wonderfully soulful and melodic at the end. They played one or two more before leaving the stage and coming back for a well-deserved encore. I loved every minute of it and could have listened to more for another hour or two! All in all, "experiencing" Pat Metheny and his trio for about two hours, non-stop, was a wonderful way to spend an evening.

here's the review of the show from the new york times.

here are a couple of upbeat reviews of the trio's boston show, which they played just prior to the new york city appearance:

welcome ctmarathoner to the blogosphere!!

okay, cue up the lead in to "sgt. pepper's lonely hearts club band," ----

so may i introduce to you, the runner you've know all these years... and her brand new blog!

it's in it's infancy, but check it out. a work in progess to enjoy!

updated schedule

last night i updated my near term race calendar. the big race for me is umstead. to get psyched up for it, i put up that really nifty count down clock. little did i realize that watching it would stress me out enough to avoid visiting my own blog - haha.

i'm actually looking forward to umstead. my goal is to finish it 24 hours and redeem my poor performance in vermont last summer. but, i'm getting ahead of myself because there's time enough to talk about umstead - after the h.a.t. 50k.

two new additions, the bunny boogie 3 miler and scarsdale 4 miler, are races i want to run with my daughter. the bunny boogie is still a maybe for her, the 4 miler is a definite! i added the run as one 4 miler (scored race #5 toward nycm o9). most of my running buddies will be tearing up the trail on bear mountain that day. i'll be missing them, but not the trail running coming off umstead the week before.

after that short rest week will be an interesting run of races: boston, sybil, bklyn half, and li greenbelt trail. i've done each at least once, if not multiple times, and am really psyched run them again. each has it's own particular story, which i'm sure i'll mention as those dates get closer.

the norwalk 10k kicks off don's newest season as race director of all good things in norwalk! while the 10k isn't officially part of the summer series - which starts in june with a 3 miler and buikds up in distance to the concluding half in early september - it's a heads up, welcome back, event. i can't miss it.

finally, the boy scout 5k is easily my favorite non-nyrr central park race! i should confess that i was a card-carrying boy scout growing up, love everything about scouting, and my daughter now continues the campy tradition as a girl scout :)

it's all good!

anyone planning to run one of those races, and is up for some informal pre or post-race socializing, post a comment and let us know!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

tuesday mileage

i ran 3 times today, for a total of 13 miles! working from home has an upside, the ability to get in more miles than i would on a normal day commuting back and forth on the metronorth.

after a morning spent drafting documents, i headed out at lunchtime to run. i did 8 miles in 1:00:12, a 7:47 pace. playing in my ipod was robin trower live on the kings biscuit flower hour - in honor of his gig in the city tonight. speaking of concerts, my wife went in to see pat metheny at town hall tonight. if he had played with his group, instead of his trio, i would probably have gone to that show as well.

after that run i went back to work, and just before 5:30, decided to head out for another run. this time it was 4 miles in 30:04, a 7:31 pace. those miles fly by to the dead song cycle, china cat sunflower, i know you rider, lady with a fan, terrrapin station, and the wheel. in dead speak, that playlist could have looked like this: china > rider > terrapin > wheel :)

then i was in for a big surprise. when i got home my daughter was waiting at the front door and said "run a mile with me daddy," wow, this was more of a surprise than when i ran a mile with her and our neighbor last week. that time i had gotten a heads up that they wanted to run before i went out for my daily run.

so we went out for a easy out and back mile in 9:53 - a pace that made the time fly by way too fast :(

the two day total of 23 miles is the highest start to a regular training week in months. but, as the new countdown clock ticks away on the sidebar, only 17 days left until umstead. and that remind me to load the talking heads "life during wartime" onto the ipod...

"this ain't no party, this ain't no disco, this ain't no fooling around..."

new date for brooklyn half marathon!!

it's official - bklyn half has been moved to may 3, and starts an hour later, at 9 am:

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Due to concerns in the Brooklyn community, the date of the 2008 NYRR Half-Marathon Grand Prix Presented by Continental Airlines: Brooklyn has been changed from Saturday, April 26, to Saturday, May 3, at 9:00 a.m.

read the entire nyrr announcement

now i'm definitely in! the previous date directly conflicted with the 30th anniversary of the sybil ludington 50k, in carmel, ny. sybil is also the second race in the ny ultrarunning grand prix series. now i can run both events.

there still may be additional news on the bklyn half - no course information has been posted. that lend fuel to the speculation of a course change - reversing the traditional direction from coney island to prospect park. either way, it's a great course, great event!


the final update - nyrr has posted course info - and it's still the same classic direction, coney island to prospect park.

Monday, March 17, 2008

captain lawrence microbrew

served up nice and cold from growlers!

what better time than st. patrick's day to mention how great it was to find captain lawrence microbrew at the post-race festivities yesterday! not only was this the second year in a row that it was supplied for the taconic road runners st. patrick's day races, but captain lawrence beer was also on tap at the post-race festivities for bedford "where the pavement ends" 5 miler last october! what made drinking this beer even more fun was just having read a great review of the brewery in wednesday's issue of the journal news.

anyway, st. patrick's day and beer aside, i did get in some running today. when i got home from work i went out and ran 6 miles, in 46:55, a 7:49 pace, before dinner. my legs felt stiff and pretty tired, no doubt it was the delayed soreness from wurtsboro. but at the end of the run i was glad that i kept the pace under 8 minutes and got in the miles.

after dinner i went back out for an easy 4 miles, in 32:21, an 8:05 pace. the extra miles brought the total up to 10 miles for the day. this was the highest mileage monday in well over a month. a great start to the week.

no green beer today - but plenty of water and good mileage made up for it!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

trrc st. patrick's day 10k photos and results

anthony, emmy and me

the youngest miss mysolitude, greg, emmy,
me and anthony

mark and gregg

me and anthony, before we discovered the
captain lawrence beer

paul and me

here is my race report.

official results for 2 miler
official results for 10k

here are photos from the 2009 st. patrick's day races!

rr: taconic road runners st. patrick's day 10k

this morning it seemed as if my luck with the rain had finally run out. when i woke up there was a light drizzle and it seemed to linger for hours. from all indications, it seemed as if this would be a wet and uncomfortable race. in addition, for the second year in a row, my daughter couldn't make the race. that fact alone made it lose some of its appeal to me. but, on the plus side, i did want to socialize with my friends; emmy (ctmarathoner), anthony and greg (mysolitude). and, i had to run a minimum of six miles to reach my mileage goal for the week.

rain, or no rain - off to the races (plural, since two races were schedule) we went. in a comic start, we arrived in plenty of time for what we thought was a 10:00 start to the 10k race, only to discover, to our complete chagrin, that it went off at 10:45 - the 2 miler started at 10:00! oops! but in this, we were not alone! anthony was there, laboring under the same mistaken belief that our race started at 10:00! three adult, each incapable of reading and understanding the plain language of a race flyer!

in the meantime, i ran into my old friends, gregg and mark. both were members of westchester track club until they joined a new group, the sound shore runners, that formed up in their town. they were planning to race the two miler. in an interesting twist, gregg mentioned that his reach the beach relay team may need of another runner! stayed tuned on that - i may get to run in my first relay much sooner, rather than later! reach the beach relay is one of those events that's been on my "really want to run" list for a long time.

with all that time ahead of us before the start the 10k, emmy, anthony and i decided to jog the 2 miler as a warm-up. last year i also ran it before the 10k - mainly to pace my good friend john as he ran it. this year john decided to run a competing st. patrick's day race - a 4 miler in fairfield, connecticut. don and kate (ultrabrit(e)) were also running that race. i'm glad we opted to tag along with the 2 milers, because the first person we ran into as we lined up was greg!

greg was running the 2 miler to pace his youngest daughter! he, and his oldest daughter would run the 10k. anthony and i ran the 2 mile loop together. i mistakenly thought the 10k course would be 3 loops of the 2 mile course, with a small dog leg out and back at the start to complete the distance. that was the course layout for the race last year. this year, as we soon found out, the 10k was an expanded double loop of the park. anthony and i finished the 2 miles in 17:04 - a nice and easy 8:32 pace.

i intended to use the 10k as a recovery run, so a pace between 8 and 8:30 was my plan. that is until greg and i ran most of the first loop together in 7:45's! so much for the recovery part of my plan. but it was a lot of fun running with greg - and he trains in fdr park often, so he knew the terrain. the course came as a surprise to me when we didn't turn around on what i thought was the short out and back 2/10's portion. instead we continued on and i was soon in an unfamiliar part of the park.

the surprises continued when this part of the course had an equally tough hill climb! this layout would work out to be tougher, relatively speaking, than the previous one. two hill twice, versus one hill three times - pretty straightforward. so much so that i walked up portions of both hills in the second loop! i finished in 48:24, a 7:48 pace (unofficial). it was a faster, harder, run than i had planned. but, overall, i was very happy with my miles at fdr park. that gives me a solid 72.3 miles for the week. right on target.

after the 10k did a good deal more socializing - despite the seemingly big drop in temperature that converted a grey drizzly morning into a cold, raw afternoon. they had michelobe ultra on tap - which was an initial disappointment because i had expected captain lawrence microbrewed beer. initial is the key word there. subsequently, i stumbled on the captain lawrence beer at the other end of the festivities - being served out of growlers! awesome!

in yet another interesting twist to the day, while anthony and i were drinking the michelobe draft, i met paul. he's a fellow wtc member that found my blog and after the exchange of a couple of posts, realized we'd both be at this race. i'm glad he ventured a hello because i was on the look-out for our team's characteristic blue, brooks singlet. which i would never have spotted since it had gotten so cold that everyone was bundling up!

and the final twist was when greg suggested we make a small sign congratulating a fellow rw forumite ("pudov") that had just run his first marathon! he ran the seoul marathon in an impressive 3:38! so greg found a sharpie, wrote "congrats pudov" on a sheet of paper, and anthony took our picture! when i got home that afternoon i posted it on his rr thread. i hope he got a kick out of our little surprise!

so despite the drizzle and grey start to the day, and the cold weather that blew in later, turned out to be a great day!!

next up, the h.a.t. 50k run in maryland two weekends from now - unless i can squeeze in a very neat 3 miler, the "bunny boogie," next weekend ;)

check out anthony's rr.
check out paul's rr.
check out greg's rr.

here are my race photos.

wurtsboro mountain photos, part two

emmy collecting some hardware!

anne, emmy, and todd

just after 2 miles...

myriam and me
more photos from sullivan striders

Saturday, March 15, 2008

wurtsboro mountain photos and results

don, emmy, rob, barbara, me

me and anthony

emmy and christine

john, christine, doug, and emmy

emmy, myriam and me

me and todd

more race photos (part two).

here is my race report.