Sunday, January 29, 2012

2012 boston build-up 15k: race photos and results

it's funny how the mind works w/selective recall. the boston build-up 15k in ridgefield sounds pretty noncomital. but reword it as the barlow mountain 15k and suddenly all the hills come back to mind :D

it was colder than yesterday - 33 degrees at the start - but still great running weather.  even so, i opted for tights instead of shorts.  sun or not, there was plenty of wind out there and i didn't mind the extra layers.

i had a good race.  the 1:11:40 was a solid 8 minutes faster than my 2012 performance!  i don't know how that worked out - i would have been happy with a 1:15 :D

i'll write up a short race report.  here are the race results from clubct.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

post-race mileage at rockefeller state park

after the brooklyn hot chocolate 15k, drove up to rockefeller state park for a few more miles. anthony had been there since 7 and had already logged 24 miles. he ran a few more with wayne, emmy and me, then called it a day at 27+ miles! wayne, emmy and i ran just under 8 miles before calling it a morning.

that afternoon, with the sun still shining, i headed out for another 4 miles on the post road - which, i will admit, was mainly to reach 20+ cobbled together miles for the day :D

next up, the boston build-up 15k in ridgefield tomorrow morning.

2012 brooklyn hot chocolate 10k: race photos and results

with great weather we had for the brooklyn hot chocolate 10k this morning, it's hard to believe we're at the end of january! i ran the double loop course of prospect park in shorts - and with two long sleeve shirts, was overdressed! one glitch, with the timing system down, the race became a fun run - which was fine by me. i'm trying hard to shake off the remenants of a chest cold :(

my 47:26, 7:39 pace, was well under my 50 minute target. i was pleasantly surprised because for the first 4 miles i was struggling to maintain a 7:45 pace. i managed to pick up the pace in the last two miles w/a 7:30 and 7:08, respectively. but the highlight of the race was the burnt orange mugs we got instead of tee shirts :D

afterwards, went up to rockefeller park and ran a few more miles with anthony, emmy, and wayne.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

one snowstorm knocks out two weekend races :(

saturday's snowstorm - the first of the season - turned the manhattan half marathon into a fun run and resulted in a postponement of the boston build-up 15k until next weekend.    given that we had more than 30 inches of snow by this point last winter, i've got no complaints about the weather - especially when we had only a few inches of snow when it was all said and done  (and we got a qualifying credit for the manhattan half).

but from a mileage perspective, it was tough to make up the 13 miles on saturday.  i only managed nine - broken into two 4.5 mile runs.  the first was during the storm itself, and running through 2-3 inches of freshly fallen snow was fun.  the second 4.5, after the snow had stopped, wasn't much fun because now there was 4+ inches on the ground and forward motion across it was work!  add to it shoveling snow - twice - and i got some solid cross training in yesterday :D

this morning i got in 6.5 miles - on the same route, but with the snow cleared.  that was a totally different experience.  it was just as cold (maybe colder), but the effort was noticeable easier.  i'll head back out for a second run later this afternoon for another 6.5 - which should give me 22 training miles for the weekend - instead of the 22.4 race miles.  while it wasn't what i'd planned - it's all good :D

then it's time to sit back an watch the giants play san francisco :O

Thursday, January 19, 2012

packet pick-up for the manhattan half marathon

this afternoon i picked up my bib and shirt for the manhattan half marathon. i hadn't been to the nyrr building since august - when i picked up for the bronx half (a race that was cancelled in anticipation of a hurricane - which arrived, instead, as a tropical storm)!  this shirt looks a lot like the bronx half marathon style.

the manhattan half will be my first nyrr race of 2012.  the forecast is for some snow to arrive on friday night - maybe into saturday morning.  hopefully the road conditions will be okay.  the race itself sold out back in december so the park should be crowded. 

whatever the morning has in store, it will be my 10th manhattan half marathon :D

if you're at this one, say hello!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

bobby fischer died 4 years ago today: january 17, 2008

bobby fischer died on january 17, 2008, at the decidedly young age of sixty-four. on the one year anniversary i did a lengthily post on fischer as a chess legend and, subsequently, a deeply flawed human being.  it's hard to believe so much time has passed so quickly (his death occurred before this blog came into existence just a couple of months later, in march 2008).

in the four years since fischer's death, his estate has been in a prolonged litigation for more than three of those four years.  the controversy included the exhumation of fischer's remains and a post-mortem paternity test (which definitively concluded that he was not the father of the alleged daughter making a claim to his estate).  it also included a ruling against his widow, followed by a reversal of that ruling last march - which, apparently, has finally brought the protracted battle to a close - his widow inherits the estate.

aside from the estate litigation (always fascinating stuff for me, as a trusts and estates attorney), in those four years a full length documentary was released, and a comprehensive biography published.  while neither did much to change opinions (at least mine, of the post- 9/11 fischer), they did further the quest to understand what made him tick - and eventually implode.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

group run at rockefeller state park

it was a rare weekend where there weren't any local races to run. but there was plenty of socializing on our group run at rockefeller state park (a/k/a "rockies). i got in a solid 12.5 miles at an average 10:15 pace. it never ceases to amaze me how many hills can be crammed into a given route at rockies! to even things out, when i got home i put in another 6.5 miles on the post road - pancake flat by comparison. that run came in with an average 8:29 pace :D

next weekend races return: the manhattan half on saturday and the boston build-up 15k on sunday.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

2012 mhrrc "recover from the holidays" 50k: race report

this was my third trip to norrie point for the mid-hudson road runners club "recover from the holidays" 50k - and by far the warmest, most runner-friendly of the three. in the prior two, 2008 and 2011, the temperature started in the low 20's and never worked its way beyond the mid-20's. there was snow and ice on the ground each time - enough that i wore trail shoes for what is essentially a road race within a park! this time there were no snow covered roads, no trail shoes, and temperatures that started in the low 30's and rose into the high 50's! good enough to run in shorts!

the course consists of ten 5k out and backs, with two decent climbs along the way.  my goal was a sub-5 hour finish, which basically worked out to ten sub-30 minute 5k's.  it would be my longest run since the brooklyn marathon in mid-november.  since brooklyn, my longest runs had only been between 10 and 12 miles - so i was decidedly under trained for the 50k distance.  be that as it may, i looked at it as an over distance run that would kick off my winter base-building training.

in what eventually turned into two separate races, a solid 30k and a grueling 20k, i missed my target by six minutes.  my 5:05:45 finish, 9:50 pace, while the fastest of my three 50k's at norrie point, was decidedly unsatisfying because of the increasingly painful calf cramps that bedeviled me during the last four out and backs.  that not to say i didn't enjoy myself - it was a great day to be outside and run long!

during the first half my splits were pretty consistent, and i ran a 2:14:58 for the 25k.  that pace would have netted a sub 4:30 finish (which wasn't in the cards given my training mileage for the last month and a half).  if i ran could run the remaining four 5k's at a 30 minute pace, i'd have 4:45 finish (which i thought was doable).

5k    26:03
10k  26:06  52:09
15k  27:48  1:19:58
20k  27:16  1:47:14
25k  27:43  2:14:58

at the end of the second 5k i took a couple of minutes for a bathroom break.  at the end of 25k i took a couple of minutes to go back to the car for some gu and fluids.  aside from those breaks, i felt fine.  the second half went off according to plan:

30k  29:30  2:44:28

but that was the last solid 5k of the day.  mid-way through 30k i began to feel calf cramps sneaking up on me.  this issue has nagged me at races of various distances - and i haven't found a satisfactory explanation for what brings them on, and why sometimes they just go away and, other times, get worse.  today it was definitely the latter :(

at the end of very end the seventh out and  back, just before the 35k split, i was hit with a pair of cramps that made my legs seize up, just as i was crossing the road to cut a tangent.  if it wasn't so painful, i would have laughed out loud at the jerky series of pirouettes that i made with locked legs as i tried to get out of the roadway!  but i wasn't smiling but wincing.  one runner came up and asked me if she could get me some help from the aid station.  the second runner that came up asked me if i needed help getting back to the aid station - my right calf was still knotted so tightly that i couldn't stand!  somehow i weathered that setback and finished 35k - in what was my slowest split of the day.

35k  36:22  3:20:50

the remaining 3 tours of the course were a combination of running and walking (whenever the cramps returned).  it was a real struggle - and a lot of runners offered help and encouragement along the way.  i missed my split for 40k, so it took 1:09:53 to reach 45k.  at that point, with thankfully only 5k left to go, i managed to wrap it up with a 35:02 out and back. what an exhausting way to finish a race!  so while i was happy to have it finished, i was frustrated at how the last 20k played out.

afterwards, nachos and beer at the hyde park brewing company, quickly erased memories of the last 20k :D

Sunday, January 8, 2012

2012 boston build-up 10k: race photos and results

the 2012 boston build-up series kicked off with the 10k in rowayton this morning - and a record turnout too boot. the fantastic weather, a carryover from yesterday, made for a great day to be out running. there were so many familiar faces that it was more like a social event than a competitive road race: emmy, rob, don, roy, john, francoise, dan, kraz, andi, neil, ronnie, hiro, yuki, kate, jeanette, dorothy, tony, bob, torpedo, jeff, dawn, gracie, marty, gail, karen, and our rd, jim!

my calves were still sore from the 50k yesterday, so i had a soft target of 50 minutes for the hilly course.  i was more that surprised to finish in 46:26, a 7:33 pace (with the downhill first two miles in a 7:15 pace).  the last hill at 9k once again did me in and i had to walk a bit.  but aside from that short bit, it was all good.

the next race, the 15k in ridgefield, will be another double because the manhattan half is the day before in central park ;O

here are the results from clubct.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

2012 mhrrc recover from the holidays 50k: race photos and results

what a fantastic weather day to run, and run long at that! while it started off in the low thirties, the temperature quickly rose into the fifties! the prior two times i've run the mhrrc recover from the holidays 50k, the temperature never rose above the mid-twenties!

great weater aside, my performance was a mixed bag. i wanted to run a sub-5 hour race, but managed to eke out a 5:05:45 finish. while i would normally be happy with that, for what was basically a training run (my first long run since the brooklyn marathon in november), the last 4 loops turned into a real struggle with calf cramps - argh!

i'll write up a short race report.  here are the race results.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

back to winter running tights, winter has arrived :O

yesterday, to again mark an irreverent milestone, i reluctantly put on my running tights for a training run.  for me it's the psychological threshold that admits another winter has finally arrived.  it was a personal record because i can't remember having ever postponed that day of reckoning until january - or even the official start of winter for that matter.  last year i caved in to the cold weather on december 14 - and that was a week longer than the year before.  so to have stuck it out for an extra 3 weeks this time around, well past the official start of winter on december 22, is definitely a morale booster :D

even so, with the two day cold spell about to break - i may still get a little more mileage out of my running shorts over the next few days :O

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

the girl with the dragon tattoo: movie review

i'd been looking forward to the remake of the girl with the dragon tattoo ever since daniel craig was cast in the role of mikael blomkvist last year.  while craig was an inspired choice, i must admit that i was skeptical when rooney mara was cast as  lisbeth salander.  but rooney made the character her own and it worked beautifully (a term some might find ironic to describe a edgy gothic lisbeth).  it isn't often that a remake can stand on its own, but in nutshell, david fincher's adaption is worth the effort.  fincher's take is generally faithful to the 2009 swedish original.  but anyone who hasn't read stieg larsson's millennium trilogy or seen the original film, will not have a problem settling into the atmospherics of the graphic thriller.

it's the hollywood production values - read glossiness - that really set fincher's version apart from niels arden oplev's film.  the subtitles may have been a factor because listening to the story transpire in english is a lot easier than reading it.  i hate such generalizations but here, with so many plot details lurking in the storyline, i found it more enjoyable the second time around.  with respect to the story, i laid out the narrative in more detail in my review of the original film. i'd rather focus on a couple of interesting changes this time around. the main twist is the eventual meeting between blomkvist and lisbeth - which arrive more than an hour into the film.

in the original, lisbeth continued to hack (pry) into blomkvist's life, post-libel conviction.  she triggers the eventual meeting by sending him an email that explains the references - the story's major clue - found at the back of harriet vanger's diary.  in the remake, blomkvist's daughter tossed off an offhand remark that led mikael to realize the significance of the numbers.  armed with that clue, he then tracks down lisbeth to enlist her aid in his research.  character-wise, this paints their relationship in a completely different light.  in the remake, lisbeth had no continuing interest in blomkvist once she turned in the dossier to her employer.

moreover, while their meeting took place in similar circumstances (an unannounced arrival at her apartment after she had just spent the night with a girl she met at a club), craig exhibited an almost bond-like insouciance when he barged in, demanded the friend leave, and they had breakfast together!  over the take-out breakfast he had brought along, and insisted she eat, he related the harriet vanger mystery and the sought lisbeth's help in researching it.  in the original, blomkvist barged in threatening her with prosecution for continuing to spy on him - and settled for a cup of old, cold coffee!

that was the most significant twist in story line.  there were minor ones too, but they really didn't change the story (london versus the australian outback as one such example) - just the tone. does leading the life of an investment banker over that of an archaeologist add glitz?  why make that change?  similarly, while the lisbeth's financial re-engineering was implied in the original, it was achieved explicitly - dare we say underwritten - with mikael's funds in the remake.

there were only two things i didn't care for in this version.  the first was the opening credit sequence - done over a fantastic cover of led zeppelin! - which involved some of the most disgusting (imho) images of rubber fetish extremes imaginable.  it seemed like a nightmarish cross between a james bond opening credit sequence and outright sadomasochism.  call me a prude, but i found that utterly repulsive - and the memory still leaves a dank taste.  the second was the contrived emotion lisbeth felt for blomkvist at the end - and the equally ridiculous denouement in the final scenes.  contrast that to the scene in the swedish version of a country club prison where blomkvist was doing his jail time - now that ending worked.

all in all i enjoyed the remake - and look forward to the next two instalments

Monday, January 2, 2012

january 2012 race schedule

a new running year has gotten underway! the first "race" of 2012 was a 5k fun run, the dash and splash, held at compo beach yesterday. i only did the dash - opting to keep myself dry while some runners joined a bunch of polar bears and dived into the water for a quick new year's day swim :O

the rest of january will be a more traditional race schedule - with the boston build-up kicking off this weekend with the 10k in norwalk. but, in a repeat of last year, i'll do the mid-hudson road runner's "recover from the holidays" fa 50k. and that may include some dehydration at the hyde park brewing company.

the following weekend, 1/14-15, doesn't have anything on the schedule.  but not for lack of trying, i just couldn't find a race to run!   but the manhattan half is on deck for the following weekend (a race missed last year because i was in singapore).  the following day is the second race in the boston build-up series, the 15k in ridgefield.

for the last weekend in january it's a return to prospect park (last visited in november for the brooklyn marathon) for a new race, the brooklyn hot chocolate 10k.  that may be cold, but it should be fun - especially since we only need to run the north hills twice :D

here's what it looks like so far:

1/1 - dash and splash 5k fun run
1/7 - mhrrc "recover from the holidays" fa 50k
1/8 - boston build-up 10k
1/21 - manhattan half marathon
1/22 - boston build-up 15k
1/28 - brooklyn hot chocolate 10k

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

Sunday, January 1, 2012

new year's day dash and splash 5k fun run

what a great start to the new year - great weather and a great fun run at compo beach with a lot of good friends.  afterwards, the first of a pair of new year's day plunges into the unseasonably warm water took place.  but no swim for me, the run was plenty enough (although i did get in 10 more miles that afternoon).

here are the rest of my photos on facebook.