Tuesday, July 30, 2013

2013 escarpment trail run: race report

until the weather report on saturday forecast thunderstorms, i had looked forward to the trip to the catskills for  my 4th go at the escarpment trail run. dealing with rain and mud wasn't too bad, but the thought of dodging lightning on the mountain tops was enough to cool my enthusiasm.  luckily, while it did rain on the drive to bedford to meet emmy - and it picked up in intensity as we approached windham - there was no thunder and lightning!  wet, slick rocks would be the hazard of the day.

i had hoped to finally run a sub-5 hour race.  but given the weather, i reset my sights on a more realistic sub-5:30 finish (w/out injury).  in 2011 i ran a 5:23 - and in 2006 i finished in 5:20 - but i didn't expect to beat those times.  i would be more than happy with a solid finish - which would bring me one more run closer to the 6 needed for the 100 mile shirt :D

i had purchased a new pair of brooks cascadia 7's the prior weekend - a big change from the new balance trail shoes i normally wear.  i would soon come to miss those new balance.  whatever the reason - and maybe it was just the lousy weather - the cascadia's didn't give me any meaningful traction.  i slipped on way too many slick rocks to walk away with a favorable impression.

because of the rain, i had been wearing my windbreaker.  i made a huge mistake not taking it off before the start.  even though i knew better, part of me wanted it in case the weather turned ugly and i got stuck out on the trail.  after windham high peak, i had it tied around my waist for the rest of the run.  still, while it was dead weight - there were a couple of instances when it got chilly enough that i thought about putting it back on!

i reached windham high peak in 54 minutes - same as 2011.  but the run down off windham reminded me that the danger at escarpment lurked in the downhills.  giving back all the elevation gain on that first compressed vertical drop really spooked me - because that's when i noticed the cascadia's weren't providing the needed traction.  even so, i still managed to keep pace with my 2011 splits - and reached the base of blackhead in 2:12, just 3 minutes off 2011.  the 31 minutes it took to reach the peak of blackhead was another 3 minutes off my 2011 split.

given the wet conditions and my less than ideal running shoes, at 2:44 i was barely 6 minutes behind my 2011 time - that was great news!  it was all the more so because my least favorite stretch of the trail, the descent down to dutcher's notch was up next.  i took an s cap at the blackhead aid station to forestall any calf cramping.  as for food, all i took at the aid stations were a few handful of chips and/or pretzels - mostly for the salt. i also ate two gels during the second half (just before dutcher's notch and again just before stoppel point).

for the next two stretches, i pretty much kept pace with my 2011 times.  it took 45 minutes to reach dutcher's notch and another 44 minutes to climb up to stoppel point.  remarkably, at 14.4 miles, i was only 5 minutes off my 2011 pace. but pride always gets in the way.  with 4 miles left to go i was confident i could make up that 5 minutes!  maybe in a road race - but within minutes of my newfound determination, i took my first fall of the day - and bruised my left shoulder when it banged into a rock.

once i reached north point i should have taken heed of the omen that befell me.  i slipped on the boulder and landed on my butt - while i stood there waiting for a volunteer to top off my water bottle!  who would have though i'd be at risk standing at the aid station!  amazingly, the volunteer told me that half a dozen runners took that same spill!  with only 2 miles left to go, and 4:44 on my watch - i was still determined to push the pace to the finish.

even with that slip at the aid station, my mind refused to remember how technical that last 2 mile stretch is (and not just the bolder hopping).  it took me a solid 44 minutes to finish that last stretch - and i had my second (and most painful) fall. again i slipped on a rock and landed on my right kneecap - argh.  then, when i saw the clearing to finish line, i quickly forget the scrapes and bruises!  in one last twist, it turned out that i had pinned by bib scoring tag - which joe, mercifully, took the time to unpin for me at the finish line!

all in all, i squeaked in just under 5:30 (5:28:11) - 5 minutes slower than 2011.  and, it's good enough to qualify for the 2014 edition :D

here are my 2013 race photos.
here is my 2011 race report.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

2013 escarpment trail run: race photos and results

escarpment trail run #4 is in the books - only 2 more to go for my hundred mile shirt :D  given the rain - which hung over us all day - and all the slick rocks, this one was probably the toughest of the four that i've done.  the very short version, after a lot of slips and a couple of falls (bruised shoulder, knee and ego), i managed to finished in just under 5:30 hours (5:28:11) - which was good enough to qualify for escarpment 2014 :D  given the slippery conditions, i was more than pleased with that outcome!

here is my race report.

here are the 2013 race results.


a lot more photos posted on facebook!

Friday, July 26, 2013

2013 westchester corporate cup 5k at suny purchase

the westchester summer series - rechristened the "corporate cup" - made a somewhat low-key return to the summer race calendar last night at the suny purchase campus.  it's been on a long - almost 10 year - hiatus (due, mostly, to the consequences of the unfortunate death of a runner during one of the 2003 5k races).  this summer it will consist of only two races, with the second one held on august 14.  next summer it will return to the traditional three race format.

the 5k course is basically one full loop of the campus road - and includes some decent hills.  the weather was perfect (even with the threat of rain overhead).  the temperature in the 60's was a solid 20-30 degrees cooler that the heat wave of 90+ degree days we had just experienced.  but there were a number of unclaimed bibs at the registration table of runners who didn't show up (perhaps worried about the forecast of rain?).

i didn't have a time goal in mind, but planned to run the race in lieu of my mid-week track workout.  i was slightly disappointed not to see mile markers - but there were 2 water stops - on the course.  as a result i probably went out faster than i would have.  fortunately, it turned into a good thing.  i finished in 21:42, a 6:59 pace, one of my fastest 5k results in while!  not only was i pleased with my time - but i finished 3rd overall!  a very good night at the races :D
i'll add a link to the race results once they're posted.

i'll also add a link to the race photos when they're posted by dorian drake international (one of the race sponsors).


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

nyrr queens 10k: race report

it seems like a while since i've written a race report.  that may be because since the chronic compartment syndrome did a number on my running last summer, i've hardly felt like i raced in any of the races that i participated in over the last year.  that didn't stop me from enjoying myself at them, but it was a major bummer watching my times get increasingly slower during the process.  but over the last 3 months my weekly running volume (including long runs) has picked up dramatically during my base re-rebuilding phase.  and, more importantly, the weekly trips to the track for intervals are finally starting to yield some speed dividends!  while there's a still a long way to go before i start running 40-42 minute 10k's again, the trend is decidedly positive!

i knew on saturday, at the westport summer series 4.1 miler that i was getting back some of my long lost speed.  for the first time in a while i listened as my internal dialogue said, "you're going too way too fast" when the first mile went by in 6:46 - and i needed to save something for the queens 10k the next morning.  so i ran a series of progressively slower miles, 7:14, 7:22, and 7:53 for the last 1.1 miles.  the 29:16 finish, a overall 7:08 pace, made me very happy because i knew that i could have run it faster.  the only question that lingered for me at that point was did i save anything for the 10k?

in earlier posts i mentioned that i was using 10k's as a rough fitness benchmark while i worked to rebuild my base mileage.  in april i was running 48 minutes 10k's and by may, after a month of increasing my mileage (but not yet focusing on speed work) i dropped it down to 47 minutes (47:08, 7:37 pace) at the norwalk mother's day 10k.  i haven't run a 10k since.  but speed work and plenty of shorter races began in june.  at the norwalk 7 miler 2 weeks ago i ran a 53:07, 7:36 (under pretty hot and humid conditions).  so i knew a 47 minutes would be a "soft" target for the queens 10k.

but knowing and executing are two very different propositions.  luckily, the heat wave (7 straight 90+ degree days) broke saturday night and we'd start the race with "only" 79 degrees and much lower humidity.  i didn't seem too worse for the wear from westport 4.1 miler.  so all that was left to do was run :D

here are my splits:

7:10  14:23
7:28  21:52
7:46  29:39
7:20  36:59
7:29  44:29
1:27  45:56

in a bit of good fortune, my official time was 45:54 (2 seconds better than my own watch),  a 7:24 pace.  my 5k split was 22:41, a 7:18 pace.

overall, except for mile 4, i was happy with those splits.  i lost some focus after the 5k split and when i realized how slowly i ran that mile, i pushed the pace and rallied back with a 7:20.  interestingly, my 5 mile split of 36:59 was my finish time at the norwalk 5 miler last month.  and the strangest thing that happened was just before we got back to the unisphere, my watch band broke!  i had to stop and retrieve the watch and band.  i was lucky that it wasn't stepped by the runners around me!

as i suspected, 47 minutes was a soft target.  but i was especially pleased to go under 46 minutes!   even with the handful of seconds i lost retrieving my watch, i don't think i could have done much better under the circumstance.  so all in all it was a good race.  next stop sub-45 minute 10k's :D

here are my race photos and results.

Monday, July 22, 2013

r.i.p. dennis farina :(

dennis farina died of a blog clot in his lung this morning - he was only 69 years old.  i've been a fan of his since the 1980's - when i first saw "crime story" where he played lt. mike torello.  that role wasn't too much of a stretch from his former career as a chicago cop.  he cross over to the crime side as mobster ray "bones" barboni in "get shorty" the 1990's classic crime comedy. then back to the cop side of the street when played detective joe fontana on "law and order" for two seasons, following the death of jerry orbach.

but he was much more than a typecast  cop or gangster.  one of my favorite films where had played a small role was "bottle shock" - as an American expat wine lover in paris!  and he played a lt. col. in "saving private ryan."  the was a good actor.

here's a link to the obituary published in the ny times.

here's a clip from his early days as lt. torello - on "crime story" - and glimpse of the acting career that would follow:

you will be missed.

rest in peace dennis farina.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

2013 nyrr queens 10k: race photos and results

wow, what a difference a few degrees can make!  the queens 10k is the first race with low humidity and a temperature under 80 degree (just barely) in what seems like weeks!  there was also a nice breeze as a bonus.  this was race number 3 in the 5 borough series (and race number 6 in my 9 +1 for 2013).

i had a conservative goal of running 7:30 miles.  the change in weather was a plus and helped me run a 45:54, 7:24 pace for the 10k.  of all the strange things to happen during a race - my watch band broke in the last mile - so i had to retrace my footsteps to retrieve my watch off the ground.  luckily, no one stepped on it - and it still kept recording my time :D

the 45:54 was a solid minute+ improvement over my last 10k race (47:08 at the norwalk mothers day 10k in may).

here are the race results from nyrr.

here are the rest of my photos on facebook.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

2013 westport summer series 4.1 miler: race photos and results

we had our 7th straight 90+ degree day (along with the high humidity) as the backdrop for the westport summer series 4.1 miler at compo beach this morning.  for such oppressive running conditions, there was still a big turnout for the race!

i didn't want to go all out for this one because of the queens 10k tomorrow.  so when i ran a 6:46 first mile, i spent the next 4 miles dialing it back - a first, in recent memory, where i kept telling myself to slow down - haha!  i finished with a 29:16, a 7:08 pace.  given the conditions - and i was trying to hold something back for a race the next morning - i was more than happy with the outcome :D

here are the race results from the westport road runners.

the rest of my photos are posted on facebook.

Friday, July 19, 2013

packet pick-up for the 2013 nyrr queens 10k

i got to the nyrr building early yesterday, just after 12:30, and the place was packed - with volunteers waiting to get set up and runners to pick up for the queens 10k - and the run to breathe 10k.  if the space wasn't cramped enough, there was a table set up right next to the front door for "boomer's team" runners!  oh well, thankfully there was air-conditioning :D

the queens 10k will be race number 6 on my 2013 road to 9+1.  it will also be race number 3 on the road to running all 5 of borough grand prix races.  haven't done that since 2005!  i have a shot at it this year, if i can work the staten island half into my schedule for october.  but i should get in at least 4 of the 5.

they handed out clear bags along w/the tech shirt (separate sizing for men and women) - so the baggage drill will probably be similar to what they had for the brooklyn half.   regardless of logistics, hopefully the heat wave will break before sunday!

if you're at this one - say hello :D

Thursday, July 18, 2013

"ted corbitt way" - east 228th street in the bronx renamed in ted's honor!

nyc has renamed east 228th street in the bronx, "ted corbitt way."  it's a well-deserved honor for the man who ushered in modern american running - from track to ultras!  ted corbitt was a running hero of mine - right alongside steve prefontaine.  i was honored to have met him a few times - most notably in 2007, at the 3-day broadway ultra society's pioneer memorial 100 mile trek

ted corbit was a giant in the running community.  he was the founding president of the new york road runners - and the december ted corbitt 15k is named in his honor.  he was an olympian and also went on to make his mark in the world of ultrarunning.  after ted passed away in december, 2007, the broadway ultra society staged a ted corbitt 24 hour run in his honor in 2008 (the race is once again being staged, on its 5 year anniversary, this october).

take this opportunity to remember ted corbitt :D

Saturday, July 13, 2013

2013 norwalk summer series 7 miler: race photos and results

it was one of those mornings, waking up to the sound of rain coming down outside, that the last thing i wanted to do was go outside and run.  but somehow i got myself out the door and drove over to norwalk for the summer series 7 miler.  despite the light drizzle, the conditions weren't that bad.  the most trying thing was the humidity - which even the rain couldn't seem to break.

i knew things would be tough when my glasses fogged up by the end of the first mile!  it seemed like i spent a lot of time wiping them over the next 6 miles.  my goal was to run a sub 7:30 pace for the race - but i couldn't keep it together for last two miles and finished in just over 53 minutes, a 7:35 pace.  it was a little disappointing, but given the humidity - i'll take it.

here are the race results from lightfoot runners.

the rest of my photos are posted on facebook.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

2013 waveny summer xc series 2 person 6 mile relay: race photos and results

tough conditions - like 90+ percent humidity - for the waveny summer xc series 2 man, 6 mile relay!  but even with the oppressive humidity there was a record turnout for the relay!

like we did last year, emmy and i teamed up for the co-ed 100-110 age group.  unlike last year, however, we ran more than minute slower for the combined six miles.  still, the 42:59 finish was good enough to win our age group :D

here are the race results from clubct.

the rest of my photos are posted on facebook.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

2013 westport summer series 5k: race photos and results

it was another hot and humid morning for the westport summer series 5k today.  but even with the oppressive weather, there was a record turnout for the race - over 250 finishers!

last year - another hot and humid race day - i finished in 22:11.  this time around my goal was a sub-22 finish.  given the conditions, i was more than surprised with my 21:32 finish - taking off almost 30 seconds from last year's race!

here are the race results from westport road runners.

the rest of my photos are posted on facebook.