Saturday, October 31, 2009

harry houdini died on halloween, 83 years ago today :(

on halloween, october 31, 1926, harry houdini died from peritonitis - allegedly a result of heavy blows to his abdomen from a mcgill university student that ruptured his appendix. he was only 52 years old. while the punches to his abdomen may have contributed to the rupture, houdini had suffered from appendicitis in the days that lead up to the incident. but the blows may have accelerated the rupture.

so ended the amazing career of ehrich weiss - not only a magician, but also movie actor, escape artist, author, debunker of spiritualists, and an early aviation pioneer! if that list isn't long enough, add to it competitive runner! yes, in the 1890s the young ehrich weiss competed in road races in nyc!

every year, for the decade following his death, his wife, bess, held a seance on halloween to see if houdini would manage the impossible - communicate from the great "beyond." with no proof of any bona fide messages received from houdini, bess no longer continued the seances. but that didn't stop magicians and houdini fans from continuing the spooky tradition.

happy halloween!!


unfortunately, it's raining outside right now. but with any luck, it will taper off and disappear in time for the prime trick or treating hours later today. still i'm not about to let a little rain put a damper on one of my favorite holidays of the year!

get in the halloween spirit today!

and some halloween birthday wishes to rob and meredith today!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

the ginger man: post-new york city marathon expo rehydration :D

luckily of me, the ginger man beer bar was directly in the path of our walk back to grand central from the nyc marathon expo :D in the interest of healthy rehydrating from an exhausting tour of the javits center, we stopped in for a quick drink. while michael and i were all in for the beer, emmy opted for a starbucks grande.

i had no particular beer in mind, but since the jolly pumpkin's bam biere saison was one of the featured drafts, couldn't pass it up! that funky farmhouse ale was the perfect follow-up to the "flaming fury" i picked up last weekend captain lawrence brewing company. it's pucker factor was decidedly lower than captain lawrence's peach infused wild american ale. but the jolly pumpkin artisan ales's cask-conditioned bam biere still carried an edgy sourness - and it worked.

on an atmospheric note, the ginger man was a much more attractive destination at noon - quieter laid back lunch crowd - than when i visited the packed and way too busy beer bar last fall prior to heading down to the fillmore at irving plaza to check out "riders on the storm."

note to self: definitely plan more off-hour visits to the ginger man!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

2009 new york city marathon: some pictures from the expo

the nyc marathon expo was both fun and exhausting! no matter how many times you tool around an expo, they never seem to get old (as long as you meet up with friends and see some familiar faces). after bib and packet pick-up, i checked out the booths with emmy and michael. we ran into a number of friends in the hour+ that we spent weaving up and down the aisles.

afterwards, on the walk back to grand central, we ducked into the ginger man for some proper rehydration :D

staci, me, and emmy

michael and me

bart yasso and eliot

here are a few more photos from the expo.

2009 police pumpkin chase: race report

i've run the police pumpkin chase 5k in new canaan many times over the years. it's a combination trail (1/3) and road (2/3) race that runs through and around waveny park. typically, in years past, this race was the second leg of a halloween double - the morning would start in wilton for the halloween hustle 5k and end in new canaan with the pumpkin chase. this year wilton moved it's race back a week (now it conflicts with the nyc marathon). so a classic halloween-themed double is history.

luckily, in place of the wilton race, the race scheduling gods dropped in the great train race! sunday morning kicked off with a point to point run from new canaan to wilton (spirits of the halloween hustle, anyone?). in between the two races, my laptop decided to create havoc in my otherwise staid life - the monitor suddenly crashed, and has refused to display anything remotely resembling data since! so when i arrived at waveny park for the 5k i was in a decidedly gloomy mood.

but the good(?) thing about gloomy moods is that they can fade fast. seeing most of the usual suspects for a second race in one day soon had it in the distant past. roy, rob, kate, emmy, and dawn (no don; but he ran the great train course back to the start to double up on the miles!) were all there for the 5k. one hilarious coincidence - roy, rob, emmy, and i all had on a pair of orange boston build-up socks! jim did too, but we didn't realize that when kate took the above photo!

as for the race, we had great conditions! while it was a bit warmer at mid-afternoon, i was really digging the sunshine! i didn't have any particular time goal in mind - basically looked to get in a solid tempo run. i was surprised when we reached one "mile" mark in 7:09 - because i had expected it to be the 1 kilometer mark! this course traditionally been marked off in kilometers, so that was a twist! i missed the second mile marker (and third as well), and finished in 21:57.

i was surprised, no shocked, to learn (from kate and emmy) that i had won my age group! not only was that time 2+ minutes slower than my pr for that course, but when i ran that pr it didn't even break into the top 5 of my age group that year! but never look a gift ag award in the mouth! it was great to win - and just proves that sometimes (no always) it's about who shows up and runs the race!

here are some race photos.

next up: this week is the nyc marathon expo, the international friendship run, and the nyc marathon - woo hoo!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

2009 great train race report

the great train race, a point to point run from new canaan to wilton, is one of my favorite connecticut races - and does include a real commuter train as a participant!

this description is from the race flyer: "It takes three separate trains and 59 minutes of riding time to get from New Canaan to the Wilton station. Want to challenge the Iron Horse?"

aside from racing the train to the wilton station, the course itself is a hilly challenge - with a noteworthy climb in the first mile (reminiscent of the start of the wurtsboro mountain 30k) and another one lurking in miles 4 for good measure.

here is the route, and elevation profile:

the 2009 edition kicked off with a different pre-race twist. jim surprised me with a bottle of shipyard pumpkin ale to try out (after the race, of course). i can't remember the last time i looked forward to post-race rehydration with such anticipation :D as it turned out, i had the pumpkin ale later that afternoon, after the police pumpkin chase 5k.

but i've gotten ahead of myself. the great weather contributed to a large turnout. among the participants could be found the usual suspects: dawn, don, emmy, kate, rob, roy... (how alphabetical) just to name a few. all of whom, except don (who jogged the back to the start after he finished the race), would be back in new canaan that afternoon for the 5k!

the race has a deceptive downhill start that has the potential to lull runners (especially me) into a much faster pace than warranted. the bulk of first mile, as it quickly becomes apparent, is all uphill. i missed the split for mile one, but ran the first two miles in 14:17, a 7:08 pace. i wanted to finish in under 50 minutes, basically a 7:20 pace, so that was a bit too fast.

mile 3, in 6:40, was mostly gravity assisted since it was all downhill. i gave a bunch of that time back when i briefly walked to the top of mile 4 - which took 7:46 to complete. my split, 28:43, still had me on a 7:11 pace. i missed the marker for mile 5, but took 15:03 to reach mile 6 in 43:46 - which slowed the pace down to 7:17. that stretch also included a bit quick walk on the sharp little hill after the reservoir.

rob shouted up to me to quit the walking, which motivated me to run again. rob passed me in the last half mile, as we approached the overpass that led to the finish. rob missed breaking 49 minutes by one second! i wasn't too far behind, in 49:08. i was very pleased with this result -but mildly annoyed at myself for slacking off in the last mile (had i stayed focused, may have had a sub-49 finish).

jim's excellent pre-race present :D

here are the 2009 race photos.
here is my 2008 race report (and photos).

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

today is theodore roosevelt's 151st birthday :D

today, october 27th, is theodore roosevelt's birthday. he was born 151 years ago today, on october 27, 1858! while today hasn't generated nearly as much interest as his 150th birthday celebration did last year - including the open house festivities at this birthplace, here in new york city - as my all time favorite president, i couldn't let this his birthday pass unnoticed!

it's all the more timely (ageless?) since i'm just about finished with the newest roosevelt biography, "the wilderness warrior: theodore roosevelt and the crusade for america," by douglas brinkley. it's a unique biography, focused exclusively (and in minute detail) on his role as america's first (in essence) environmental crusader. i'll write up a review of that fantastic book in a week or so.

last year, in addition to the open house, i attended a one-man staged performance on theodore roosevelt, "the bully pulpit: quality time with teddy roosevelt," - which was, of course, "bully!" i'm not at all sure what 2010 has in store for teddy roosevelt fans. but it's unlikely that his 152nd birthday will arrive next year without some interesting teddy roosevelt news :D

so take the time to incorporate his signature catchphrase, "bully," into your conversation today!

Monday, October 26, 2009

2009 police pumpkin chase 5k: race photos and results

the police pumpkin run 5k was the second race of the day, following up on the 6.8 mile great train race in the morning. the great train race began in downtown new canaan and finished in wilton. the police pumpkin run was a return to new canaan, where the course ran through waveny park. my 21:56, 7:04 pace, was good enough for first in my age group!

will write up a short race report.

here are the results.

here are a few (post) race photos:

and here are a few more race photos.

check out photos from the 2008 police pumpkin chase.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

2009 great train race: photos and results

ran the great train race this morning - a hilly 6.8 mile point to point course that starts in new canaan and finishes in wilton. it's one of my favorite races in connecticut. i finished in just over 49 minutes (49:07), a 7:14 pace. that was a 2+ minute improvement over my 2008 result!

i'll write up a short race report.

here are the results.

here are some photos:

captain lawrence brewing: "flaming fury" limited release

yesterday, instead of the trip to prospect park in brooklyn, for the nike human race 10k, a weather induced audible made me change directions and head north, to pleasantville, for the limited release of captain lawrence brewing company's "flaming fury," a sour ale, infused with peach! this is not beer profile suitable for most (nay i say, even some hard-core) beer aficionados. the pucker inducing sourness is definitely an acquired taste. but i've managed to acquire one over the years and love these wild american ales - in the european lambic tradition.

i wasn't the only one it seemed. a limited edition of 750 (small 375 ml) bottles sold out in well less than an hour! in fact, when i got on line - maybe 12:15 - my "number" from the pull tag machine was a whopping 737!! i was surprised, no shocked, at the relatively huge turnout out because (a) the beer wasn't a typical release and (b) the weather was downright lousy! my luck held out and there were 4 bottles (maximum per person) waiting when i finally reached the makeshift table set up inside the brewery.

concurrent with the release, regular customers were headed inside the main tap room for growler refills - and samples! and, outside - yes in the lousy weather - craft brewers had set up on the picnic table (strangely at home in an industrial parking lot - ha) and were sampling each other's recent creations. the entire scene - inside and out - was a heady (couldn't resist that easy pun) atmosphere.

in addition to the samples of the sour ale i tasted while on line, i also got to taste (dare is say it?) copious quantities of their pumpkin ale - which was the perfect seasonal accompaniment!

for those curious, here is the beer profile (courtesy of captain lawrence):

Flaming Fury – Barrel Aged Sour Ale with Peaches. This one is for the sour lovers out there, and I mean real sour lovers. I will be very blunt; this one is one of the more intense sour ales we have produced. It sat in the barrels for well over a year, aging with NY grown peaches from a local farm and Brettanomyces. The flavors are fruity and sour, with a very lively carbonation (chill well before opening, like champagne)

Release Date: October 24th – 12pm
Price: $10 – 375ml bottle
Sales: Limit 4 bottle per customer
Production: 750 bottles

Saturday, October 24, 2009

nike human race 10k, prospect park - dns

faced with another rainy, dreary start to an october weekend, i decided to skip the trip to brooklyn for the nike human race 10k in prospect park. i had looked forward it, especially since it was in prospect park - a place i love to run. but, after i was up at five to help pat get out the door at 5:45 and into the car service for the drive to laguardia for her early morning flight to raleigh, north carolina, i didn't want to deal with my own ugly drive into the city. nor did i want the hassle of finding a place to park on the congested streets of park slope once i arrived.

i rarely blow off races because of the weather, but after the trio of wet 5k races last weekend - especially the muddy kurt steiner xc in van cortlandt park sunday morning - i'm a bit tired of running in wet soggy clothes. that's not to say i won't drag myself outside for a few wet training miles today (since the forecast is for rain all day - and probably well into the night). but at least i don't need to drive to, and park for, that local exercise.

i'm not sure what i'll do with the cherry red dri-fit shirt i picked up yesterday at niketown. it's basically a fresher version of the same cherry red shirt nike gave out for last year's human race 10k held at randall's island. i normally don't wear shirts from races i didn't run (although i haven't even worn the 2008 edition shirt, so it's probably a moot point).

but, in an interesting aside, on the walk down to grand central from niketown, i stopped in at the grand opening of the new asics running store on fifth and 42nd (across from bryant park). thanks to the heads up on the nyrr website, asics offered a free pair of socks to nyrr members. the uphot, i walked out of there with a great pair of asics "kaynano ll" low-cut running socks - gratis!! those i will definitely wear :D

next up - regardless of weather (ha), a pair of great races in fairfield county tomorrow: the great train race in the morning, and the police pumpkin chase in the afternoon.

Friday, October 23, 2009

kurt steiner xc 5k: race report

i wanted to race the kurt steiner xc 5k to make up for the disappointing 21:52 that i ran the previous weekend at the harry murphy xc 5k. but van cortlandt park was a cold, wet, muddy mess - perfect cross country conditions, actually - that sunday morning. it was the continuation of a nasty weather pattern that arrived thursday and stuck around for the weekend. i ran a xc 5k saturday, on staten island, "the scout trail run," and ran my local 5k, the "scarsdale fall foliage 5k" that afternoon.

but the staten island race was basically a fun run and the fall foliage 5k was all about pacing katie (who, happily, ran a pr). the kurt steiner 5k was all about racing. in almost perfect - relative to this weekend's weather - race weather, my finish at the harry murphy 5k was disappointing because the back hills had gotten the best of me. i had to walk up one of the back hills during the second mile. i finished 10th in my age group in that race.

while the sloppy conditions didn't bode well for running under 21:52, i would give it my best shot. i picked my way through the crowded initial straightaway on the flats, and picked up the pace as we turned the corner and headed for the hills. since it was so wet already, i didn't bother avoiding any puddles - just plowed straight across them. again, without mile markers, it's impossible to really gauge the pace, so i couldn't rely on splits.

the trail conditions were amazingly dry - much drier than the wet and squishy flats, actually. i had no problem maintaining my pace to the overpass and onto the back hills. and, even more remarkable, i didn't walk any of the back hills. the only slowdown, barely perceptible, was on the downhills! i also found myself slowing down a bit when we returned to the flats. when i crossed the finish i felt great - and was surprised to see my time, 22:14, was 22 seconds slower than the week before!

despite the slower time, this was an incredibly better performance (as counter intuitive as that may sound). i'm not sure why i slowed from a 7:03 down to a 7:10 pace. maybe i was just a bit more cautious because of the weather and course conditions! regardless, i was very pleased with my performance (and even moved up to 4th in my age group - albeit with a smaller field)!

here are some race photos.

next up - on what looks to be yet another rainy day, the nike+ human race 10k in prospect park on saturday!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

the scout 5k trail run: race report

for me, the trip to staten island for the scout 5k trail run was an excuse to revisit camp pouch, the sight of many a camp out with my old boy scout troop. camp pouch was, in fact, the location of my very first camp out, pre-scouts, with my uncle, cousin, and brother way back in the mid-1970s! the last time i was there was probably 1979 - 30 years ago.

the morning rain didn't auger well for the trip. but it was reduced to a light drizzle by the time we pulled into the camp parking lot. the course was basically a double loop around the lake. it had a couple of decent hills, but the trickiest part was a sharp downhill that was wet and slippery with moss. i was surprised at the relatively large turnout on such a gray, gloomy day. there were almost 90 finishers.

the highlight of the course was the great vista of the lake - framed in the fall foliage. the one jarring contrast to that otherwise bucolic picture was a ghastly soda machine stuck in the middle of the dirt road that lead down to the lake access! the race began and ended on the jamboree field. a flashback that caught me by surprise as i cruised along the lake front was of perch fishing, with bread crumbs on a tiny hook!

but, back to racing. since there were no mile markers (or none that i actually noticed) i couldn't gauge my pace. not that it really mattered because, mile splits or not, the race was basically a fun run for me. with the mud, hills, and occasional drizzle i was more than okay with the 23:03, 7:36 pace, finish. that was enough for 11th overall and 5th in my age group.

the next morning i'd put my trail shoes back on - with the same gray rainy weather and muddy conditions - to run the kurt steiner xc 5k at van cortlandt park!

here are some race photos.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

jack kerouac died forty years ago today :(

jack kerouac died 40 years ago today, on october 21, 1969. it was somehow fitting that his ugly death from the ravages of alcoholism came in october - his favorite month. i've been a fan jack kerouac for more than 3o of those years that he's been dead, "safe in heaven." ever since i first read "on the road" and "the dharma bums" back in high school, i've been hooked on keroauc, allen ginsberg, cassady, corso, and the beat generation.

kerouac died just after he published "vanity of dulouz" the last book he'd write, and the last chapter of the "duluoz" legend. while kerouac's work continued to appear posthumously (ginsberg was the major force behind publication of "visions of cody" - the "on the road" book previously considered unpublishable, but that jack viewed as his masterpiece), decades would pass before acadamia would finally acknowledge kerouac and his work.

i read the original scroll of "on the road" this summer (and viewed it on exhibit at the new york public library the previous year). i found the unabridged narrative more powerful than the fictionalize version it ultimately became when published! while kerouac alway hoped to assemble all of his autobiographical fiction in chronological order - his proustian "dulouz" life story, it never came to pass. it's as if his parting book title was the acknowledgement of the "vanity" of the entire enterprise.

so take time to read some of jack's work today!

and, have a listen to kerouac reading from "october in the railroad earth"

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

scarsdale fall foliage 5k: race report

without a doubt, the 2009 scarsdale fall foliage 5k this weekend was my favorite race of the year! any race that i can run with my daughter immediately becomes my favorite race, until supplanted by the next race i can run with her :D but this one was extra special because, despite the lousy weather, katie finished in 26:44 - a pr by 2 minutes! i had hoped that katie would pen this race report. but, with the last week of regular season field hockey games to play and plenty of garden variety homework to do, it's easier for me to write one up!

if it veers off in the overly "proud" dad direction, apologies in advance (a more traditional race report is on deck for the kurt steiner xc 5k i ran that morning)! on the tail end of a lousy string of cold, wet, rainy days - the weather wasn't too bad considering what it could have been. even so, katie periodically gave me "weather updates" leading up to our walk to the historical society. for a girl who spent hours playing field hockey games in the rain - i was amused at how worried she was over the prospect of running in a light drizzle!

the race starts and finishes just over a quarter mile from our house. as we walked up boulevard to check-in, the 2.5k walk had just started. the light drizzle didn't diminish the enthusiasm of the walkers. at the check-in katie met up with some of her friends, annalise, dj, and marcus - to name just a few. and despite the weather-induced low turnout, there were plenty of familiar faces: susan, tom, mark, joe, and lee all ran. pat took pictures of us lined up at the start, and then cheered us on from the boulevard/nelson intersection.

katie was overdressed for the race - in long pants and a jacket. no amount of cajoling would get her to part with the jacket (until, ironically, after the race). she's run this course in the past - and each time was around 30 minutes (plus or minus a minute). the initial half mile downhill on boulevard is retraced back up on neighboring sprague. the course then winds through a series of rolling streets in the edgewood neighborhood, to finish in the ihm school parking lot.

here are her splits:

8:33 16:56
8:58 25:54
0:50 26:44

8:37 pace

in the third mile, katie grumbled about the pace and picked up a nasty little side stitch. but aside from those distractions (and some extra weight from the wet clothes), she kept moving forward and finished strong! katie took second in the 14 and under age group (right behind her friend, annalise)! needless to add - i was overjoyed by her performance! now if i can only get her to switch from field hockey/lacrosse to track/cross country :D

check out the great race photos!

Monday, October 19, 2009

scarsdale fall foliage 5k: race photos and results

the scarsdale fall foliage 5k is my hometown race - the course literally runs through my neighborhood. the high point of this edition was running the race with katie, and pacing her to a pr of 26:44 - second place in her age group!

here is my race report.

i'm not sure if race results are posted on-line (normally they're published in our local paper).

here are some photos:

award winners :D

here are a few more race photos.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

kurt steiner xc 5k: race photos and results

went down to van cortlandt park for the kurt steiner xc 5k this morning. nasty wet, windy, and muddy conditions, but managed a 22:16 - which is an improvement over last week's 21:52 at the harry murphy xc 5k, which featured great weather.

i'll write up a short race report tomorrow.

here are the race results from nyrr.
and a couple of soggy photos:

Saturday, October 17, 2009

the scout 5k trail run: photos and results

this morning was raw and blustery, and toss in a light drizzle, for the scout 5k trail run at camp pouch on staten island. it took me 23:14 to run the course - a hilly, double loop around the lake. but every second of it was a blast - and a 30 year trip down memory land (1979 - the last time i was here with my boy scout troop)!

here is my race report and here are the race results.

here are a couple of photos:

here are a few more photos.

manhattan cask ale festival video clip

"the l magazine" covered the manhattan cask ale festival at the chelsea brewing company last week for their "food and wine" section. the upshot, they just posted a video from the event - and yours truly finds himself in it!!

here is my post on the event.

Friday, October 16, 2009

bob dylan "christmas in the heart" album review

christmas in october? when i heard that bob dylan would release a "christmas" album (something he'd never done in a 45+ year string of album releases) my first thought was that it was a put on. even when i had it in my hands, was still unsure whether it wasn't some sort of april fools prank in october! but, i'm happy to report that dylan does, in fact, play it straight with christmas (15 songs worth) on the new album. and it really is christmas in october for dylan fans - a second dylan album (following up on "together through life" released last spring) in one year!

while the timing is aggressive - a month before thanksgiving (when most people start to turn their attention to christmas) - the weather has certainly obliged to make it a timely release! we've had an unrelenting taste of winter weather this week - each day colder and nastier than the previous one (the temperature - in the 30's - is 20 degrees below average outside). it had the unintended consequence of getting some wood burning fireplaces started up. it was the perfect atmospheric backdrop to listen to, via ipod, during my training runs!

i will admit that i love christmas music. even though we have roughly a dozen christmas albums (of various genres) i always go back to the beach boys, dean martin, bing crosby, vince guaraldi, and followed in recent years with turns of james taylor. occasionally, to mix it up a little, we toss in elvis and john denver. i could continue that list, but the point here is whether dylan's "christmas in the heart" makes it into that (or your) christmas rotation.

the answer may depend on whether you are a dylan fan.

despite 15 songs, the album is only 42 minutes long. none are original dylan tunes, most covers of 40s and 50s holiday standards. most of the songs are just 2 minutes, with only 4 clocking in at over 3 minutes. the cover art (a two horse open sleigh) harkens back to 19th century currier and ives (and moves up a half century with a surprise bette paige santa pinup on the back cover of the liner notes!). all of dylan's present and future royalties from "christmas in the heart" will be shared equally by three charities that seek to feed the hungry.

my favorite song on the album is "christmas island," the lyle moraine number is probably more at home with jimmy buffet than dylan. but dylan does it proud, and it works. dylan brings in dave hildago from los lobos to play the accordion on "must be santa" - the most "out there" (outlandish?) cover on the album. dylan plays it as a frenetic tex-mex polka - on speed. but, amazingly, the bizarre rapid-fire take worked! dylan was more at home - and comfortable - with "christmas blues." it's probably my second favorite cut from the album. he does a workmanlike job on "i'll be home for christmas" - the raspy voice box actually enhanced the contrasts and made the song another winner. "the little drummer boy" also works for dylan.

but dylan was probably out of his element on the more religious songs - that required a strong voice to pull off. with the exception of "o' come all ye' faithful" where listening to dylan run through the latin passage took me back to catholic school days and made the song enjoyable (again via contrasts), he just doesn't have the sweet angelic voice to pull of "hark the herald angels sing." that number was practically unlistenable!

which gets me back to the dylan fan dichotomy. as a dylan fan i enjoyed "christmas in the heart" and recommend it to fellow dylanites without reservations! however, non-dylan fans may cringe at his croaky voice spread under the mistletoe! katie found it "painful" - and repeated wanted me to turn it off (the sensibilities of a 14 year old). pat, in her charitable way, suggested dylan sounded a little like burl ives - but was totally underwhelmed by dylan's take on christmas!

but since i get the last word (smile) and i'm a dylan fan (smile again) - it gets a thumbs up!

here's the track list:

Here Comes Santa Claus
Do You Hear What I Hear?
Winter Wonderland
Hark The Herald Angels Sing
I'll Be Home For Christmas
Little Drummer Boy
The Christmas Blues
O' Come All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fideles)
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
Must Be Santa
Silver Bells
The First Noel
Christmas Island
The Christmas Song
O' Little Town Of Bethlehem

Thursday, October 15, 2009

a pair of weekend 5k race reports: "run for habitat" and the "harry murphy xc"

the great weather from last weekend seems is a distant memory because monday ushered in and early winter - and today brought the leading edge of a nasty gail force storm. this weather system is may make for a cold, raw, and wet race weekend. the "run for habitat" in bridgeport and the "harry murphy xc" at van cortlandt park, conversely, benefited from some great fall temperatures. the two races couldn't have been more different - the bridgeport race was pancake flat while the harry murphy had plenty of challenging hills.

on saturday i wasn't sure i could go all out because i'd run the maine marathon the previous weekend. run for habitat was run along the water, a beautiful seascape to frame the course. except for a mild wind off the water, there were no hills - and few turns. i went out way too fast in the first mile - 6:07, which i knew was unsustainable. the second and third miles, 6:41 and 6:45 respectively, suffered as a result. the finally tenth, in 0:38, got me across the finish in 20:12, for a 6:31 pace.

despite slowing down in the second half, i was incredibly happy with the result. i was 12th overall - but miles from placing in my age group! 3rd place in the m40-49 went to a runner who posted an 18:43! that speedy time was a minute and a half off the 17:14 posted by the winner of our age group! but emmy and kellie both won their respective age groups!! i did win a book, "the quotable runner," at the post-race raffle :D

that afternoon i tacked on a four post-race miles and then rehydrated at a vintage port wine tasting! sunday morning i jogged the mile and a half down to the bronx river parkway to cheer on the runners at the westchester half marathon. after i jogged back home, switched into my light-weight trail shoes (new balance 840s), i car pooled with emmy for the trip down to van cortlandt park.

we had been down to van cortlandt park at the end of august for the henry isola xc classic. that 4 miler was a double loop course that climbed cemetery hill (2x). the harry murphy course was one big loop that took in the back hills (the same course run 3x makes up the pete mccardle 15k at the end of november). there were no mile markers (that i could see). the entire loop took me a seemingly endless 21:52, 7:01 pace - and included a walk up the hill in mile two!

i was not at all happy with this result! but, it was a fun course - and i love running at van cortlandt park - so it was well worth the trip into the city. emmy and sue won their respective age groups (and i was a distant 10th in mine). no post-race miles when i got home. instead, drove up to newburgh to celebrate my nephew's 5th birthday party.

all in all, it was a great weekend!

some pictures from the "run for habitat" 5k
some pictures from the "harry murphy" xc 5k

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

an updated october 2009 schedule

i added a few races (and a walk) to the original october schedule (and learned of a date change for the great train race), so i thought it would be easier to repost the updated version instead of constantly tinkering with the original.

the reschedule great train race was moved back a week from 10/18 to 10/25. this will be a new double, with the police pumpkin chase that afternoon. the old double, with the wilton halloween hustle in the morning, was broken up when that race was also moved back a week (to 11/1).

two new were races added (and already run), following the maine marathon: run for habitat 5k in bridgeport and the harry murphy xc 5k at van cortlandt park. and, with the date change for the great train race, added the great pumpkin classic, 4m, in its original place (for another double). haven't been to trumble for that race in years, so it should be fun to check it out again.

the last two additions are coming up this saturday, a 5k trail run on staten island in the morning and a 1.5m walk in nyack that evening! i'm very excited about the "scout 5k" because it's a trip down memory lane - revisiting the boy scout camp of my youth, camp pouch! and the walk is fast becoming a tradition with our family. it's the third year in row we'll participate in the light the night walk (along w/my sister-in-law and her kids) in nyack.

here are the events:

10/4 - maine marathon
10/10 - run for habitat 5k
10/11 - harry murphy xc 5k
10/17 - the scout 5k
10/17 - light the night walk, 1.5M
10/18 - great pumpkin classic, 4m
10/18 - scarsdale fall foliage run, 5k
10/24 - nike+ human race 10k
10/25 - the great train race, 6.8m
10/25 - police pumpkin chase, 5k
10/31 - nyrr international friendship run

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

a few pictures from peter's 5th birthday party at cosimo's on union!

sunday afternoon we drove up to newburgh for my nephew's 5th birthday party! the above picture is of katie and her cousin peter (quite the resemblance). as always, it was a great time - and i really can't believe a year has already flown by since his 4th birthday!

... about to be levitated by the magician!

w/his proud mom and dad!

Monday, October 12, 2009

harry murphy xc 5k: race photos and results

yesterday was a great day to run cross country in van cortlandt park (what day wouldn't be?)! ran the harry murphy xc 5k - one loop that took in the back hills. ran a 21:52 on the hilly course. short race report to follow.

here is my short race report and here are the results from nyrr.

here are a few photos:

here are a few more race photos.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

some photos from the westchester half marathon

this morning i jogged down to the bronx river parkway to cheer on my friends (don, carmen, julie, and sue) running the westchester half marathon. it was a great morning to run (and just to be outside)! afterwards i jogged home, met up with emmy, and we drove down to van cortlandt park for the harry murphy xc 5k!

julie (in blue).

sue (walking the course).

don (in gray) - 2nd half in two days!

carmen, flying past me!

here are a few more race photos.