Sunday, October 31, 2010

2010 pumpkin chase 5k: race photos and results

separated by a few hours, the pumpkin chase 5k in new canaan was the second race of the day following the wilton halloween hustle 5k. the pumpkin chase was also the opportunity for us to celebrate rob's birthday - with a cake and beer to supplement the pumpkin pie and cider at the finish line!

plenty of familiar faces there: emmy, rob, kate, john, roy, dan, jim, karen, gail, ronnie, tommy, luis, dawn, erin (who was the first woman overall!), bob, and dana - to mention just a few! my 21:39, 6:58 pace, for the half trail, half road, course was a minute+ faster than the morning 5k (and even a few seconds faster than i ran the 2009 edition).

here are the race results.

2010 wilton halloween hustle 5k: race photos and results

last year the wilton halloween hustle conflicted with the nyc marathon, so had to skip it. otherwise it's an annual event, together with the police pumpkin chase 5k in the afternoon. this year john, francoise, and emmy ran it as well. the course is half on a runner-friendly trail and half on roads. i ran a 22:42, 7:19 pace, this morning.

after the race, jim enlisted emmy to start the timing for the kids race, while he complied the results for the 5k. emmy won her age group - and a blue sweatshirt as the prize. john, emmy, and jim timing his second race of the day, and i will regroup in new canaan for the pumpkin chase!

here are the race results.

happy halloween 2010!!

happy halloween!!

this is one of my favorite holidays - b/c your never too old to go out trick or treating :D and with halloween falling on sunday this year, we can run a pair of halloween 5k's today - the wilton halloween hustle this morning and, then, the pumpkin chase in new canaan, this afternoon!

and we have a couple of halloween happy birthday shout outs to rob and meredith!! rob turns 40 today - and not only enters a brand new age group, but he gets 5 more minutes of boston qualifying time :D

and, last - but not least - today is the 84th anniversary of harry houdini's eerie and untimely death on october 31, 1926 :(

happy halloween :D

Saturday, October 30, 2010

bimbler's bluff 50k: race report

i'm a bit late in getting this race report together. bimbler's buff, in guilford, ct, wasn't on my race schedule until 4 days before the start! i'm happy there were some last minute cancellations and the race director let me in (and emmy a few days earlier). even though i was seriously under trained for the 50k (and the road 10k i ran the day before), i looked forward to the challenge.

both races were basically training runs (and my first races in over 3 weeks). since the trail mix-up 6 hour run in queens at the end of september, my running mileage had dropped off significantly. leading up to the 50k i had barely logged 60+ miles for the month (i missed a entire week of running alone, just because of the flu). that said, i needed the mileage; perfect training for the jfk 50 miler, but iffy with the nyc marathon in two weeks.

a brief look at the race course information, i thought it had a lot in common with the long island greenbelt 50k (right down to the various road crossings). however, out on the course, i soon realized the highly technical terrain had much more in common with the escarpment trail run and the nipmuck trail marathon! it wasn't an event for newbie's to the trails. i started out with a roughly 6 hour time goal - which, upon arrival at the bluff - i revised to 7 hours!

another race that i was reminded of was the jfk 50 miler: there was a steep descent that seemed to mirror the drop off at the weverton cliffs on the appalachian trail (sans the switchbacks). and the steep climb up to the bluff echoed the climb out of gathland gap (but steeper)! regardless of the comparisons, bimbler's bluff 50k was a tough course - and tricky to navigate with the multiple trail changeovers (including the different blazes).

the race director did a great job of marking the trail. at the pre-race briefing he mentioned that they had over 1,500(!) markers out on the course! i will say that the candy-striped ribbons and orange flags were lifesaver!! still, they didn't stop me from going off-course twice!! my boy scout training abandoned me before i even reached the first aid station (and then, again, before i reached the half-way point)!

before we set out on the trail, the course included a loop of the school field. it was cold at the start - i wore two shirts (a long-sleeve tech shirt over a short-sleeve tech), gloves, and a buff around my neck. the gloves came off after a couple of miles, but i never warmed up enough to take off one of the shirts. i carried a 22 ounce hand-held (and had a 6 ounce water bottle in my fanny pack - filled w/gatorade - b/c of the distance between aid stations).

in addition to fluids, i carried 3 powergels in the fanny pack. i prefer gu, but had none at home. around 18 miles i used a strawberry-bananas gel (for the 1x caffeine) and again, around 28 miles had a second one - also for the caffeine. at aid stations i drank coke and mountain dew after 10 miles. except for some boiled potatoes, chips, and two pb & j quarters, i didn't have much in the way of solid food. that said, the only negative of the entire day was the huge distance between some aid stations.

at one point, between miles 22 and 30, there was an 8 mile stretch without aid. i carefully rationed my water (and back-up gatorade) to get through, but other runners - i learned afterwards - weren't so lucky. the race director warned about this aidless gap (and an earlier 7 mile gap) - but that didn't help matters. what would have worked better was a pair of unmanned stations that just had a few gallons of water. it was tough bridging that distance in cold weather - it would have been brutal in warmer temperatures.

it was at the 22 mile aid station where i discovered the course was "long" - aka "horton" miles. i thought it strange that the volunteers said 8 miles to the next aid station. why have one a mile before the finish i thought out loud as i headed back on the trail. another runner pointed out that there were 3 miles to go after that one (2.8 actually) - for a total distance of almost 33 miles! i reached the last aid station by 6:40 and covered 31 miles in just under 7 hours. i crossed the finish in 7:16:18

my only bad moment on the course was on the downhill heading into the 22 mile aid station. i remember feeling happy that two-thirds was done and i could take it easy for the remaining 9 miles - and suddenly found myself inches from a face plant. my handheld broke the fall and i got a few scratches on my left hand. it was instant payback for not staying focused on the trail! aside from that small bruise to my ego, the entire day was fantastic!

here are my race photos.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

2010 new york ultrarunning grand prix: final standings

the final standings for the 2010 new york ultrarunning grand prix series were posted yesterday. phil mccarthy, with 4,000 points out of a possible 4,000 over 4 scored races, was the overall winner! jodi kartes heino, with a perfect 3000 points out of a possible 3,000 over 3 race, was the top woman finisher. this year the series consisted of 7 races that kicked off with the caumsett park 50k in march and just ended with the long island 6 hour run two weeks ago.

this year i ran 5 of the 7 races and finished in 5th place overall, with 2230 points - and won my age group with 380 points out of a possible 400. while i equalled my 5th place finish from 2009, my point total was almost 300 points less than the 2515 i accumulated in the 2009 races. in a similar vein, i repeated my age group win for the series, but it was 20 points shy of my 400 points in 2009. that said, i'm still pleased with the results :D

the grand prix series is one of the best kept ultrarunning secrets in the tri-state area. not only are the races low-key and (relatively) inexpensive - but each one is practically a family reunion considering all the familiar faces that participate year after year. for this good fortune we have to thank richie, our fearless b.u.s. leader - and all the volunteers who help put together the events!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

boston marathon entry confirmed :D

the email notification arrived this afternoon:

"This is to notify you that your entry into the 115th Boston Marathon on Monday, April 18, 2011 has been accepted, provided that the information you submitted is accurate."

normally, i wouldn't bother to note this "event" (the confirmation). but yesterday i noticed a few runners posting that they hadn't received a confirmation yet. so i logged on to the site and, when i typed in my name - nothing! when i typed in my zip code - plenty of my neighbors appeared - but no me?!

that wasn't a real cause for concern - but i wondered why, after a week, my "paperwork" hadn't been processed. i use the term paperwork loosely since it was all done electronically - even the bq time and marathon information was already in the system, so to speak.

so, when the email arrived, i breathed a sigh of relief. but, i wonder, why the caveat, "provided that the information you submitted is accurate," was tacked on at the end of the sentence - if they did, in fact, take the time to confirm my entry information??

go figure ;O

Monday, October 25, 2010

50 races in 2010... so far

when i updated my running stats for 2010 after a pair of races this weekend, i was surpised to see that the bimbler's bluff 50k was my 50th race in 2010! so i thought i'd take the opportunity to do a quick breakdown of the 2010 races by distance: 11 ultras, 3 marathons, and 36 races shorter than a marathon :D

the most frequently raced distance so far is the 50k - with bimbler's bluff being the 6th one of 2010. one notch behind, the half marathon comes in with 5 raced this year. the range of distances runs from a one miler (new canaan) to a pair of hundred milers (umstead and beast of burden) and even included a xc two-person relay (van cortlandt park, with emmy).

the pace of races has slowed from 2009; and it's unlikely i'll equal the 67 races i ran last year. with just over two months left to the year, i may reach 60 - it'll be a stretch. as i'm writing this, it occurs to me that this will be the first month of 2010 that i don't log at least 200 miles (thanks to travel and illness) - which bums me out a little. still, i'm on pace to surpass my 2009 (training and race) mileage.

in an interesting twist, 24 of the races were run in connecticut - versus 22 in new york! while i run plenty of races in connecticut (primarily fairfield county), this inversion is a first. i wonder if it will hold up by year end). of the ny races, 8 were nyrr races - and the nyc marathon will by my 9th - to get a guaranteed entry into the 2011 nyc marathon.

still plenty of running and racing left in 2010 - stay tuned :D

Sunday, October 24, 2010

bimbler's bluff 50k: race photos and results

it was a long day! left the house at 6:15 and arrived home at 6:30 (a 12+ hour day)! but it was fun - the bimbler's bluff 50k+ (distance equalled 33 "horton" miles) was one of the toughest trail 50k's i've run (lots of elevation gain and very technical terrain). including some bonus mileage i racked when i found myself off course, i ran a 7:16:18. emmy finished in 7:30 - and loved every minute she was out there! the only negative was the distance between some aid station (8 miles at one point).

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

Saturday, October 23, 2010

sleepy hollow 10k: race photos and results

the sleepy hollow 10k was my first race since last month. seemed like an eternity (yet only 3 weeks) since my last race (the trail mix-up 6 hour run)! previewing her halloween outfit, emmy ran the race in her cat costume - and still managed to take first place in her age group! joe also took first in his age group. another joe, not running this one, took race photos this morning - and donated some of his pictures as the prizes!

as for me, i was happy with my 46:36 - a 7:30 pace. i'll post a race report. here are the race results.

Friday, October 22, 2010

field hockey team's "last game" and pot luck dinner

today was nominally the last game of the season, and the girls celebrate with a pot-luck dinner at the high school. but given a weather related postponements this month, there are still 2 more games left to play :D

the girls won today's game, 6-0, and the pot-luck dinner went on as planned! but they're back on the field tomorrow - and again on monday - before the regular season comes to a close. then on to the playoffs :D

Thursday, October 21, 2010

bimbler's bluff 50k this weekend

a new addition to the race schedule - the bimbler's bluff 50k in guilford, connecticut, this weekend! it's a very late minute addition, in fact - i only got word from the rd this morning! two other late entries include emmy and noonie. i'm pretty psyched about getting back on the trails, and the weather forecast is excellent.

but, given the sparse mileage i've logged this month (just under 70 miles) thanks to a combination of the flu keeping me off the roads for a week and the low mileage from trip to bangkok, i'm going into it under trained. the 50k is more in line with an over distance training run at this point - with the nyc marathon on deck two weeks later.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

happy birthday tom petty - 60 years old today!

it's hard to believe tom petty is 60 years old today! tom petty and the heartbreakers was staple of my high school music scene in the 1970's - and he's been going strong ever since. since his "live anthology" was released a in 2009, petty tunes have made a major return to my ipod play list. the 4 cd collection of his live performances quickly became on of my all time favorite petty releases. this year petty followed up the live anthology with "mojo," an album of new music that showed his talent is in no way fading with the years.

two years ago i caught peter bogdanovich's 2007 documentary on petty's career, "runnin down a dream," which is a must watch for any petty fan. it's a fascinating look at the many sides of his music - and life. come to think of it, i'm going to add it to my netflix queue - and listen to his live anthology on my ipod today!

happy birthday tom petty!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

2011 boston marathon registration closed in 8 hours!!

registration for the 2011 boston marathon opened at 9 am - and the entire field of 26,000+ runners was filled by 5:03 pm!! i registered in the early afternoon (and, based on my submission id, was #17,577) without difficulty. but the earliest runners had plenty of hassles with the process - probably a direct result of the initial crush of volume. while i thought registration would close quickly (in a matter of days) - i still can't believe the time frame was measured in just hours!

this insanity is the logical conclusion of an ever shortening registration window - last year registration closed in only two months. gone forever are the days you could register for this event as late as march. in 2008 i was closed out when registration filled in february - and i payed for my procrastinating ways. last year registration closed before the philadelphia marathon. now it closed before the nyc marathon - shortening the qualification period even more as a consequence.

whatever your thoughts on charities - the boston registration process has been hurt by its decision to set aside more than 5,000 slots for charity runners (one fifth of the field). for a race that's built its reputation on stringent qualifying standards, that single decision may inevitably change the public perception about what running boston means.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

wat phra kaew (the emerald buddha), the grand place, and wat pho (the reclining buddha)

day seven in bangkok was busy from start to finish. it began with a 5 mile run in the rain before breakfast. the our last day of class was held in the morning (while the budget and finance portion of the conference concluded, our students have the project management classes next week). after lunch, salil and i joined most of our students on a group tour of some of the major sites: wat phra kaew, the grand palace, and wat pho. the day ended at the kinaree thai restaurant, where jose, jamshed and i had a late dinner (and then an post-meal mini-adventure).

i didn't get to visit any of these sites during my first trip to bangkok, so i was happy for the group tour. the emerald buddha (made of jade, actually) was overshadowed by the ornate temple that housed him! we had a fantastic guide who walked us (literally) through the incredibly detailed complex. after the emerald buddha and the grand palace, we continued our tour with a visit to the nearby wat pho temple to see the reclining buddha. this was another wonderful complex to explore (beyond the main attraction).

after the tour, i had dinner with jose and jamshed. the kinaree restaurant is a 10 minute walk from our hotel. i've eaten at this thai restaurant on my previous trip to bangkok. this time around we were driven for a little loop - literally - after the meal. the restaurant's credit card machine was down, and we didn't have enough bhat among the three of us to cover the tab. no problem at all - they drove us, via their own tuk-tuk (that classic 3-wheeled chariot), to the nearest atm! the tuk tuk ride was a first for me!

the reclining buddha

here are the rest of my sightseeing photos, via facebook.

Friday, October 15, 2010

bangkok: day six

i had chuvit garden pretty much to myself this morning. not too much company in the rain - not even the cats. i waited until 6:45 to see if it would let up, but no such luck. yesterday it rained during the last 2 miles of the run. today it rained from the minute i left the hotel until i walked back in the door. there was one die hard walker, w/an umbrella, when i got to the park - but she left after my second loop. except for the gardener, it was deserted for the rest of my 16 loops.

i had planned on 22 loops, just over 4 miles, but i called it quits after just 3 miles. still, i was more than happy to have dragged myself outside. the streets were pretty empty - surprising because even at that early hour they can be relatively busy. it's still raining right now, at 8:30, which seems like the longest stretch of bad weather we've had this week. normally the rain doesn't last more than an hour.

yesterday was the last full day of classes. today is a half day, followed by a group tour to the grand palace in the afternoon. hopefully, we'll get some sun for the touristy half of the day :D

Thursday, October 14, 2010

bangkok: day five

yesterday, the fourth day of class, was our group picture day. while the course continues for a second week, my teaching duties on budget and finance wrap up saturday. the second week is focused on project management issues.

this morning, following my new routine, i ran at chuvit garden. as usual, the humidity was incredibly high - and it began to drizzle during my second to last mile. altogether i managed a soggy 6.1 miles (4 in the park, and the mile out and back to and from the park).

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

bangkok: day four

this morning i made my way back to chuvit garden (pictured above) for the 3rd time in 4 days. the one morning i skipped it (and running, for that matter) was weather-related (rain and thunderstorms). i'm at the point where i recognize a handful of regulars - mainly walkers, and 2-4 stray cats. the cats have a pretty nice gig - waiting around for the gardener to bring them some food - roaming the manicured grounds of the garden.

not only do i share the 300 meter loop with walkers and cats, but ethereal new age sounds (i'm hesitant to call it music) is pumped in via speakers! the only downside to this morning running routine is the humidity. today the ground was still wet from the overnight rain, the sky was overcast, and the humidity was stultifying high! but it's still better to be outside :D

yesterday was another full day of classes. i normally lecture in the morning, along with my co-instructors. the afternoon sessions are devoted to group exercises, which the students then present to the full class to wrap up the day. we have a great bunch of students, and the sessions tend to go by quickly! today is fourth day of the five and a half day program that concludes saturday afternoon.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

bangkok: day three

i got back to running outside this morning and did just over 6 miles (4 of which were at chuvit garden). i never made it to the treadmill yesterday, not that i tried too hard to find the time for it - just zero desire to battle it again. i thought about dealing with the crowded streets after classes last night, but the weather took care of that decision. a new round of thunderstorms arrived at the end of the day and that weather pattern lasted, on and off, through most of the night.

when i ran this morning, the sky was still overcast and it was pretty humid. as i write this now, about 8:30, the sun has just come out. my classes start in a half hour, so this post will be short.

stay tuned :D

Monday, October 11, 2010

bangkok: day two

yesterday, my second day in bangkok, was my first day of the budget and finance course. aside from the morning run, i spent the rest of the day inside. the course runs from 9 until 5:30 (with a pair of breaks for tea, and lunch in the hotel restaurant). at the end of the day my fellow instructors and i met briefly anx planned out how we would present the material and group exercises for the remainder of the week.

this morning i woke up to the sound of rain outside the window. i passed up the morning run - and will probably squeeze in some miles on the ancient hotel treadmill tonight. after my dismal experience with that machine, it's a prospect i'm not looking forward to :(

but for now, day two of classes awaits :D

Sunday, October 10, 2010

bangkok: day one

still hard getting used to the 11 hour time difference. it's monday morning here in bangkok, sunday night back home! i spent a good chunk of yesterday catching up on my sleep - including a mid-afternoon nap. but i did get out on the streets for a walk around sukhumvit neighborhood in the morning. that was on the heels of getting in some tough miles on an ancient treadmill (easily the same one i used 3 years ago when i last stayed at this hotel). i'm going to avoid, at all costs, a return trip to that machine.

last night jose and i took the sky train to siam paragon (pictured above) for dinner. it's hard to believe a shopping mall is a serious tourist destination - even if it includes an aquarium (which we checked out my last time here). after an international dinner (we both started with thai soup, jose went indian and i went japanese, and we had some cuban mojitos to round out the flavors) in a spacious restuarant, we checked out an incredible bookstore, before riding the sky train back to the hotel.

this morning i took my running outside - and got in a decent 5 miles before breakfast. the highlight of that run was finding a small park that had a 300 meter loop track. it's going to be my new morning run destination. right now, however, time to head to class.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

greetings from bangkok :D

greetings from bangkok - it's sunday morning here, saturday night back home! that's the view outside my hotel window. after all the airline miles, i arrived here early this morning, well after 1 a.m. local time. except for some quick internet access at the hong kong airport last night while waiting for my connecting flight - was out of touch since 2:55 friday afternoon, when i flew out of jfk. it's good to be settled in, albeit on the other side of the world :D

tomorrow kicks off a week of teaching here, a budget and management course. i'm not sure if i'll get in any outdoor running miles this week, but i will (as in the past) use the hotel tread mill for some pre-breakfast miles. in the it's a small world category - as we drove to the hotel last night traffic in downtown bangkok was pretty backed up because the roads were shut down to make way for the midnight run race! what a welcome to the city :D

stay tuned!

greetings from... hong kong :D

just a quick update. i'm en route to bangkok - and, after a 16 hours flight from jfk, i'm currently at the hong kong airport waiting for my connecting flight to bangkok. hard to believe i left new york yesterday and it's saturday night here, right now! will post trip details tomorrow - stay tuned :D

Thursday, October 7, 2010

allen ginsberg performs "howl" for the first time - 55 years ago today!

it was 55 years ago today that allen ginsberg first performed "howl" in public at the six gallery in san francisco. while i posted about the anniversary last year, it's worth mentioning again because of the new film, "howl," that was released last month which dramatizes the six gallery reading and subsequent obscenity trial of the landmark poem. if you haven't yet seen james franco's performance as allen ginsberg, make time to catch "howl' in the theatre - it's a must see for any fan of ginsberg and/or the beats.

today's the day to pull that dog-eared pocket poet copy of "howl" off the shelf and read it once again. or, in lieu of that, do something subversive to commemorate the anniversary ;D

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

back to running... flu in the rearview mirror :D

i logged a decent 6.5 miles this morning (55:00) - after 6 days of no running (no real activity of any kind, for that matter). it's been one of the longest stretches without running in recent memory for me - two consecutive days without running is unusual for me. for someone who typically runs 6 days a week, this was basically an unwelcomed vacation. but now i'm back in business :D

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

no running for an entire week :(

it's pretty hard to believe, but i haven't run once since last wednesday - when i logged an easy 4.5 mile recovery run. the very next day i was hit with some nasty flu symptoms - mainly a fever and chills. they got worse over the next 24 hours, but peaked on friday night. i felt well enough on saturday afternoon to accompany katie to the dia museum for a shool project and, afterwards, celebrate my nephew's 6th birthday at the mid-hudson children's museum.

all that running around (can't resist that one) wasn't the smartest move. by saturday night the fever had crept back and i had relapsed feeling lousy - which carried over into sunday. that necessitated a call to my doctor, who had me come in on monday for the belated check-up and and some blood tests. still, i managed to get myself into the city for my monday night class, and back into the city this morning for the tuesday morning class.

but when i got home this afternoon, while i could have dragged myself outside for a few miles, i decided to take a rest day. writing that seems pretty funny since i'd been resting my running since the previous week. but to avoid the "no good deed goes unpunished" maxim, i wasn't about to push my luck - and relapse. so tomorrow i'll return to the roads for an easy 4-6 miles (and wonder where that week has flown by).

Sunday, October 3, 2010

no race this weekend :(

except for a trip to my brother's house yesterday to celebrate my nephew's 6th birthday, i've been in the middle of a rough patch of flu-like symptoms (fevers and chills, mostly). yesterday may have been a minor set-back because my symptoms returned this morning - argh!

so i had to skip the half marathon in putnam county. the way i felt, i doubt i could have walked the distance - much less run it. this is now my lowest mileage running week in recent memory - 4.5 miles. hopefully i can get back to running in another day or two. i have a doctor's appointment tomorrow to get this thing checked out (since it's taking it's sweet time working it's way out of my system).

stay tuned...

on the positive side, katie and her field hockey team went to the bronx zoo and participated in the kids walk to cure diabetes this morning :D

Saturday, October 2, 2010

peter's birthday party at mid-hudson children's museum :D

this afternoon pat, katie and i drove up to my brother's house and, from there, to the mid-hudson children's museum to celebrate my nephew's 6th birthday. it was actually a two museum in one day road trip because we stopped off at the dia museum in beacon on the drive up to his house. i'm not into contemporary art - the trip to dia was a school assignment for katie.

the road trip was my first time out of the house since thursday. a nasty fever w/flu like aches and pains had me spending a lot of time in bed. i seem to be over the worst of it now - but the chances of lining up for the putnam county fall half marathon are very slim. with only 4.5 miles run this week, even if i ran 13.1 miles tomorrow - this would be my lowest mileage week of the year.

stay tuned :D

Friday, October 1, 2010

october 2010 race schedule

my october race schedule will have a big "no-race" gap in the middle of the month because i'll
be traveling to bangkok and miss out on the weekends of 10/9 and 10/16. some great races on those weekends, but i'm sure i find ways to log some miles abroad :D

this weekend, however, i'm jumping into the putnam county fall classic half marathon in brewster. this is a local half marathon that i've yet to run. i had looked at greta's great gallop on saturday, but i have some family obigations that made that one to impracticable. another new race for me will be the sleepy hollow 10k (which seems to be a revival of old sleepy hollow 5k race from a few years ago).

the month ends with one of my favorite doubles: a pair of halloween 5ks. the morning kicks off in wilton with the halloween hustle and ends that afternoon in new canaan with the police pumkin chase. last year was the first time in years the races weren't held on the same day! in fact, wilton pushed its race back to november - and it conflicted with the nyc marathon. glad to see they're back on the same page :D

i may try to get in another race or two but, for now, this is how it looks:

10/3 - putnam county fall classic half marathon
10/23 - sleepy hollow 10k
10/31 - wilton halloween hustle 5k
10/31 - new canaan police pumpkin chase 5k

as always, if you're at any of them, say hi!