Sunday, February 27, 2011

2011 boston build-up 25k: race photos and results

the 2011 edition of the boston build-up series is in the books! today we had some of the best weather ever for the 25k - reaching into the 40's and sun to boot! the great weather was even more fortuitous because the race was held a week earlier than it's typical early march date! not sure if it was the weather or date change, but there seemed to be a record turnout this morning!

time wise, i was more than pleased to come in under 2:10 after the colchester half yesterday. emmy and neal also ran the half in colchester yesterday. i think all three of us were no worse for the wear :D

short race report to follow. here are the race results from clubct.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

2011 colchester half marathon: race photos and results

another road trip to the colchester half marathon this morning. of the three that i've done, today had the best weather. i missed my sub-1:45 by 41 seconds (my official time was just over 1:46 because i didn't start timing until i crossed the start). the (all uphill) last mile was the culprit. it pushed my sub 8 minute pace thru the first 12 miles up to a final 8:05 pace overall. even so, i was very pleased with the outcome :D

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

Thursday, February 24, 2011

2011 albany winter marathon: race report

the 2011 edition was my third albany winter marathon (it was emmy's 4th). missing from our road trip was rob (it would have been his 4th go round as well), who made the trip up ther with me in 2009 and 2010. like last year, the main factor was the bitter cold and wind. in 2010 the race began with 30 degrees on the bank thermometer and rose to 33 by the time i finished. this year it kicked off at 16 degree and worked its way up to a balmy 22 degrees! even so, the conditions weren't as bad as 2009 - when we experienced rain, snow and sleet for most of the race!

i had a relatively conservative goal for race, maintain an 8:30 pace and finish under 3:45 - which i was on target to accomplish thru 20 miles. but when i reached the last 10k, the wind had taken a toll and my pace dropped off significantly. to put it in context, my first mile was 8:34 and my last came in at 10:31 - for a 3:49:29 finish (8:44 pace). the bulk of my slowdown from the 20 mile point was probably a result of dehydration. i hadn't drunk that much to begin with, and the heavy winds a two points on the course sped up the process.

in warmer conditions, this would be a relatively fast course. it begins with a short outer loop (just under 4 miles) and is followed by an additional 4 longer loops (that incorporate part of the internal roads of the suny albany campus). there are two aid stations on the course (gatorade, water (frozen solid at times!) and gu). the volunteers who manned the stations were fantastic - and worked in some seriously frigid conditions! miler markers are provided at 1, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 25.2 miles.

here are my splits:

1 mile, 8:34
5 miles, 41:25
10 miles, 1:23:14
15 miles, 2:06:05
20 miles, 2:53:41
25 miles, 3:36:57
26.2 miles, 3:49:29

8:44 pace

i tried to run each 5 mile segment in 42:30 or better and was fine with that target thru 18 miles. but i slipped off that pace just before 20 miles - and was 3:41 off target when i reached the 20 mile mark. at that point i was pretty cold. i had on gloves and mittens, but the wind seemed to blow right through both pair. numb fingers were my only physical hardship - the rest was all mental :D i had my ipod with me for almost the entire race. it was a big help because i ran the entire distance alone (i only caught sight of emmy twice on the out and back). aside from thanks to the volunteers, i didn't speak to anyone else on the course!

despite missing my target by almost 5 minutes, i was still pleased with the outcome given the weather conditions. afterwards, i more than made up for the solitary running at the evans brewing company at the albany pump house. in what's slowly become a tradition, it's become the rehydration destination of choice after this event. it was even more fun because two of my old (but non-running) and dear friends joined us there for lunch and drinks.

while i have repeatedly said i wouldn't be back for yet another edition of this race (and the same was said on the drive home sunday night), the memory of the frigid loops is already fading :O

here are a few race photos.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

2011 albany winter marathon: race photos and results

another albany winter marathon is in the books. in 2009 we had rain and snow, 2010 brought in heavy winds. this year the temperature ranged between 16-23 degrees, and we had even stronger winds! tough conditions, but a good race all around. and, in a new twist, we shared the athletics building with a cheerleading competition! afterwards, in what's become something of a tradition, headed over to evans brewing at the albany pump house to rehydrate.

here is my race report; and here are the results from hmrrc.

Friday, February 18, 2011

broadway ultra society (b.u.s.): 2011 race calendar update

richie just sent out an email that listed the 2011 broadway ultra society events for the first half of the year. the dates for the caumsett park, sybil ludington, and long island green belt trail 50k's had already been posted on the web site.

the big news - in my opinion - is the return of the 100 mile memorial trek this year! it was an open question whether we'd see a return of this fantastic biennial event because, back in 2009, richie sadly announced that the 15th edition that year was "probably" the last one b.u.s. would stage.

other news from richie's email: a new 6-hour run would be held in hendrickson park in valley stream, long island, on april 2 (together with a shorter, 3 hour, run). the annual grand prix awards lunch would be held immediately after those runs.

here is the text of richie's email:

The first event of the year is the Caumsett State Park 50K on Sunday, March 6 starting at 8:30 AM. The race is also the USATF National Championship. There is also a coinciding 25K starting at 9:30 AM. Both the 50K and 25K are Long Island Championships. You can call the Greater Long Island Running Club (GLIRC) at 516-349-7646 or you can access an entry blank from the New York Ultra Running (NYUR) web site.

The first BUS event of the year will be a 6-hour at Hendrickson Park in Valley Stream starting at 8:00 AM. The race application will be enclosed in the said mailing. NYUR will also sponsor a 3-hour on the same April 2 date but starting at 11:00 AM. The event flyer is also enclosed in the mailing. Following the conclusion of both races will be a Grand Prix lunch provided by NYUR and the distribution of the 2010 NYUR Grand Prix Awards.

Please also be reminded that the 33rd running of the Sybil Ludington 50K will be held this year on Saturday, April 16 starting at 8:00 AM. And the 9th annual Long Island Greenbelt 50K Trail Run will be held on Saturday, May 7 starting at 7:30 AM. Entry blanks for both events will be mailed in about 2 weeks.

And last but not least, BUS will conduct the NY Pioneer Memorial (3-day) 100-Mile during Memorial Day Weekend (May 28-30). There also will be a coinciding 50K.

I hope all is well and let's keep in touch.



Tuesday, February 15, 2011

2011 ted corbitt "run around manhattan" 50k: race report

the 2011 edition of the ted corbitt memorial run around manhattan was postponed from the last weekend in january because snow covered most of the route. when we ran it on the rescheduled date, last saturday (2/12), snow still covered most of the west side route - so the regular course was slightly altered - instead of the hudson river greenway, we ran north, from our start on 97th street, on riverside drive. our intrepid group of 20+ runners had much warmer weather than the 2010 edition, but we'd be in for a few more detours (some unplanned) as we circumnavigated the borough.

little did we know that first detour would happen upon us before we reached the first planned stop, regrouping point, the twin donuts shop at 217th street. originally, we arrive at twin donuts via inwood park, then south past columbia's butler field. this year we ran north on riverside drive - and eventually found ourselves climbing up to the cloisters! while grant's tomb and the armory were highlights from this leg, the cloisters were a decidedly unplanned visit! no worse for the climb, we reached twin donuts in 1:24 (roughly 8 miles).

thanks to our great mobile aid station - a kick scooter manned by alex - i had some berry tea w/lemon to rehydrate and get warm. in a decision that i'd rue a few hours later, i didn't carry a water bottle with me. i did have a fanny pack; and took along a couple of gu's, mittens (which came in handy when the wind picked up), and my camera. if it wasn't for alex and his various thermos bottles full of tea, hot chocolate, and water - dehydration would have claimed me by the half way point!

we lingered at twin donuts for almost 14 minutes - which, as it turned out, was the shortest of our 3 planned stops! as we headed south, the second major detour (unplanned) occurred as we found ourselves on a decidedly icy (and windy) harlem river drive (instead of climbing fort george hill). we eventually returned to the main route at 155th street and st. nicholas place. given to poor road conditions we ran on along the water, climbing the hill would have been a much nicer alternative!

aside from the divergent path we took, the highlight of this leg is covering a portion of the nyc marathon route. we joined the official course on the west side of marcus garvey park and follow the route down fifth avenue until we veered off at 86th street. our next planned stop was at bob's bagel shop on york avenue and 86th street. it took 1:37 to reach the bagel shop - and we had covered roughly 15.5 (according to alex, our semi-official human gps). we lingered there for almost 19 minutes!

from this point we had a "planned" detour because of the icy conditions along the east river. instead, we headed south on york avenue until the united nations. just south of the u.n. we turned east to the f.d.r. drive and continued south under the highway. this stretch, except for the views of the manhattan and brooklyn bridges, was relatively tame - until we approached south ferry. at that point the winds had picked up to gail force strength! they were so powerful that just walking forward was a challenge!

thankfully, we only dealt with those winds for less than a quarter mile before we could warm up inside the ferry terminal. it took us 1:20 to cover the 8+ miles down to south ferry. from this point back to the start at dave's apartment, we had 8 miles left to cover. we had mixed reports for the total distance (between 32-33 miles) at the finish - so we could have been at either mile 23 or 24 by the time we left south ferry. our stay here was easily the longest of the 3 stops - clocking in at 23 minutes!

the remaining 8 miles went by quickly. i ran this leg with phil and mat - and we just powered up the west side highway with any stops. i did have a brief pang of remorse as we ran past chelsea brewing company - which was open by that time :D my decision to skip the water bottle was felt just a couple of mile from the finish. when i tried a non-working water fountain, i quickly realized i was parched (my last drink was a small cup of tea at south ferry). luckily, mat shared some of his camel back with me! it took the three of us 1:16 to cover the last leg - easily the fastest stretch of the course.

of the 6:35 it took to complete the loop of manhattan, roughly 55 minutes was spent at the 3 planned stops. even with the stops included, the 6:35 was 20 minutes faster than the 6:55 i took to complete the loop last year! regardless of the time, this was a fantastic event! most of the 2010 participants returned for the 2011 edition - and i will definitely be back to run it again in 2012 (it's that much fun)! many thanks to dave for organizing the run - and once again keeping ted corbitt's memory alive!

here are the race photos.
here is my 2010 race report.

Monday, February 14, 2011

happy valentine's day 2011!!

spring temperatures arrived just in time for valentine's day today. maybe the groundhog was right - it's 40+ degrees outside this morning! maybe this finally kicks off the big thaw - i haven't seen my lawn since the christmas blizzard, almost 2 months ago!

but weather aside, happy valentine's day - especially to pat and katie! and to all the other great women in my life: mom, joan, amy, andrea, tina, and rosemarie, to mention just my immediate family :D

happy valentine's day!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

2011 boston build-up 20k: race photos and results

today was the 3rd race in the 2011 boston build-up series, the 20k in southport. after a chilly start, we had some great weather. the one negative of the morning: on the inbound leg runners had to deal with an obnoxiou s.u.v. driver who thought it was good fun to speed by us in a menancing fashion. what a jerk! aside from that experience, the rest was a good time - and joe had a bunch of us over at his house afterwards for a post-race brunch :D

here are the race results from clubct.

here are a few more photos posted on facebook.
here are some photos from the 2010 edition of the 20k :D

Saturday, February 12, 2011

2011 ted corbitt "run around manhattan" 50k: race photos and results

today was the 12th edition of the ted corbitt "run around manhattan" 50k, while lingering snow and ice led us to alter the course (and we ran a few unplanned detours via the cloisters and harlem river), it was still a fantastic time, and once again dave obelkevich (our unofficial rd) put on yet another awesome tribute to ted corbitt! the weather was perfect (except for a few spots of heavy wind gusts near south ferry), and we had an excellent time circumnavigating the borough :D

here is my race report. if dave posts the list of finishers, i'll add a link.

here are some photos:

Friday, February 11, 2011

one entire year without coffee :O

okay, this ranks up there in one of the stranger things i've done (or should say, will admit to) - today is the one year anniversary since i drank my last cup of coffee!! for someone like me, who easily had drunk upwards of 3-4 cups a day, this was like climbing mt. everest, in the denial sense! no starbucks, no french press on the weekends, no dunkin donuts, no street corner vendors - it was straight cold turkey - and not one look back.

on thursday, february 11, 2010, i consumed my last cups of coffee. i had no idea they would be the last ones for the foreseeable future. the next morning began without my typical stop for coffee on the way to the office... and soon enough the dreaded withdrawal symptoms settled in and made the next couple of days a living hell of constant headaches. friday wasn't too bad, i had lunch w/anthony at bxl cafe that afternoon, in fact. but, by dinner, i was craving a caffeine.

saturday was the worst day of withdrawal symptoms - and it coincided w/the stratford sweetheart run. that race is always a fun time - but all i remember from that edition was a throbbing headache that just wouldn't quit. eventually, the headaches disappeared and for the next few days i was just listless - wondering what sort of insanity had overtaken me and convinced me to give up coffee?!

while i never imagined it would be an entire year, i had given up coffee for a month (and even for a summer) in years past. one thing led to another - and the chief impetus to abstain from coffee was the transfer over to tea - and the months just kept piling up. decaffeinated tea just isn't the same, i'm sorry to report. and i'm sure that i'll eventually go back to my old coffee drinking ways.

but, right now i'm trying to think of a way to celebrate this off kilter anniversary. high on the list is a cup of decaf... coffee :O

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

2011 brooklyn half marathon sold out in one day!

don't say you weren't given a heads up about this one!

registration for the 2011 brooklyn half marathon opened monday at noon. by late that afternoon the nyrr had posted a "filling fast" notice on its homepage - that the race would close out by tomorrow (tuesday). on tuesday, not to let the ink dry on the earlier notice, it was reworded to read that the race was expected to fill that day. and, as advertised, anyone who visited the nyrr site last night discovered this bit of news:

"The Brooklyn Half-Marathon on May 21 has reached capacity. Entries are no longer being accepted."

i can't say it was a surprise that the race sold out. but it was amazing to see it close THAT quickly! i'm in - having learned my lesson getting closed of important races oh too often because of procrastination, wasn't going to dawdle. this is one of my all-time favorite races - and probably the one i've run most often over the years. while may is a long way off, i'm already looking forward to running it again!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

happy birthday neal cassady - 85 years old in heaven today!

neal cassady, the "dean moriarty" of jack kerouac's "on the road" and "secret hero" of allen ginsberg's "howl" is 85 years old in heaven today. cassady was born on february 8, 1926, and died tragically in mexico on february 4, 1968, at the way too young age of 41. during the 40's and 50's, cassady - through his close relationships with kerouac and ginsberg - was an integral part of the nascent beat generation.

by the end of the decade, cassady was a quasi-tragic figure as he found himself in san quentin for marijuana possession. then, in the early 60's he befriended ken kesey and morphed into one of his merry pranksters. cassady become the official driver of the intrepid psychedelic bus "further" - as he criss-crossed the country with a new generation of hipsters.

aside from his unfinished biography, published posthumously as "the first third," and his collected correspondence, cassady wrote no prose or poetry. in that regard he wasn't technically beat generation author in the classic sense. but cassady letters to kerouac in the late 1940's were the inspiration behind kerouac's break from the tom wolfe style his prose then aped to kerouac's more famous "spontaneous" prosody of the 1950's.

one of cassady's more infamous letters - known as the "joan anderson letter" (of which only a significant fragment survives) - was made into a movie, "the last time i committed suicide." put it on your netflix queue and check it out!

happy birthday, neal cassady, in heaven!

Monday, February 7, 2011

ny running show podcast: empire state building run-up & gridiron 4 miler

yesterday's episode (#17) of the new york running show kicked off early (3 in the afternoon) to accommodate a different kick-off a few hours later, in dallas - the superbowl. we had a pretty large group on the line and the topics included the empire state building run-up held last tuesday and the gridiron classic 4 miler run that morning.

listen to, or download, it here, at talkshoe.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

2011 gridiron classic 4 miler: race photos and results

what a great day to be outside and run. it almost seemed as if winter was put on hold for the day. the only remnant of the seemingly endless cold that's fallen across the tri-state area was the occasional spots of black ice along east drive during the gridiron 4 miler this morning. the great weather brought out a huge crowd - more than 5,700 runners crossed the finish line!

i ran a 29:16 - off my target of a sub-29 for the 4 miles. after the race, todd, emmy and i ran another 9 miles (a loop+ of the park) to build up the daily mileage. that was fun - and for me it was a pleasure to get in some training miles on solid ground instead of slush or ice! hopefully this weather will last for couple more days before we're tossed back into the deep freeze :O

here are the race results from nyrr.

a couple more photos posted on facebook.

ronald reagan 100 years old in heaven today!

president ronald reagan celebrates his centennial in heaven today. he was born february 6, 2011, and died june 5, 2004, at the age of 93. although i wasn't a fan when he was elected president, by the end of his second term i was one of his admirers. today he's easily my second favorite president, narrowly behind teddy roosevelt.

in honor of his 100th birthday, i'm currently reading "reagan: the hollywood years," by mac eliot. i've read plenty of reagan biographies over the years (including one that focused entirely on his "early" years) - but this is the first book devoted exclusively to his career as an actor and president of the screen actors guild.

happy birthday, in heaven, president reagan!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

stefaan engles sets world record with a marathon a day for one year :O

today stephaan engles completed his 365th consecutive marathon when he crossed the finish line of the carretera de les aigues marathon in barcelona, spain, today. according to news accounts it eclipsed the prior record of 52 consecutive marathons set in 2009. there aren't too many details of his accomplishment in the brief cnn new story. it seems unlikely that the marathons were actual "events" - probably 26.2 mile runs each and every day with official races spaced in at weekly intervals?

still, it's an impressive accomplishment - and gives new meaning to regular long runs! to put his mileage in perspective, he ran 9,569 miles in seven countries during his year long event! a few years ago, i ran three consecutive 50ks - which was part of a stretch when i ran 13 marathons and/or ultras in a 12 week span. it was major logistical challenge in addition to the actual physical one of running them week after week.

i really admire engles' perseverance. he compared the daily marathons to a "regular job" - day in, day out. "I am running just as Joe Average goes to work on Monday morning, whether or not he feels like it."

congratulations stefaan engles!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

packet pick-up at nyrr for gridiron classic 4 miler

this afternoon i picked up my number and shirt for the gridiron classic 4 miler. it's my first nyrr race of 2011. normally i'run at least one or two central park races in january (the manhattan half and/or the fred lebow 5 miler). truth be told, had i picked up a point towards the 9 + 1 requirement last month, i'd line up for the trrc freezer 5k in fdr state park instead.

i remember the days the when the gridiron was an out and back 5k race - it began on east drive, went across the 102nd street transverse, south on west drive to an abrupt (and inconvenient) turnaround point. the horseshoe shaped current 4 mile course is decidedly more runner friendly.

the forecast is for some snow on saturday - argh (enough with the snow already)! hopefully, we won't get that much - and whatever falls won't linger on the course sunday. in any event, after the race i'd like to tack on a full loop of the park to up the mileage to ten for the morning.

if you're at the gridiron sunday, say hi!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

february 2011 race schedule

february, for some strange reason, seems to be a month of conflicts - too many great races, too few days to schedule them. almost every weekend is a trade 0ff, starting with the gridiron 4 miler on sunday. it conflicts with the freezer 5k, the race i'd like to run but will pass up in favor of my first of nine nyrr races for 2011. had i run one or two nyrr races in january, i'd line up for the freezer 5k this weekend.

then, the rescheduled ted corbitt run around manhattan is on deck for the following weekend - which knocks out the stratford sweetheart run. the next day, sunday, the valentine's day marathon in van cortandt park conflicts with the boston build-up 20k. tough call, but right now the marathon has the edge.

and again, the following weekend finds the freezer 5 miler, albany winter marathon, and cherry tree 10 miler all on the same day - argh. i like each of those races - and have run them multiple times over the years. but this year, like the last one, the albany winter marathon has the edge.

the final weekend of the month is relatively conflict free. while the al gordon 4 miler conflicts with the colchester half - the colchester half, despite the long drive, was on my tentative list of 2011 races. plus, with al gordon in prospect park - that's a lot of driving to run just 4 miles. the next day, sunday, is the boston build-up 25k - the final race in the winter series (and easily my favorite of the 4 races).

here's what the schedule looks like:

2/6 - gridiron 4 miler
2/12 - ted corbitt run around manhattan, 50k
2/13 - valentine's day marathon
2/20 - albany winter marathon
2/26 - colchester half marathon
2/27 - boston build-up 25k

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