Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 running year in review :D

the 2013 running year has come to a close.  i ran the final run of the year this afternoon, with snow flurries during the final 2 miles.  the 7.6 miles brought my december mileage up to 203.2 and gave me 2,168.2 total miles for the year.  given that this was a recovery year, and i suffered a minor setback during the first quarter, i'm very happy with that total.

i mistakenly began the year ramping my mileage back up, thinking (and wanting to believe) that i had put the chronic compartment syndrome behing me.  i had to pretty much write off the 2012 running year since the doctor diagnosed me with it in july.  my mileage dropped off so precipitously during the second half of the year that i didn't bother summing up the year - i just couldn't wait for it to end and get to work on rebuilding my mileage base.

things looked good in january, but i added too many miles to quickly.  by mid-february my right foot once again gave me pain during what should have been easy runs and races.  so much for a quick road back to decent running mileage.  as it turned out, it took until may before i ran a 200 mile month.  and i never looked back, managing to run 200+ miles a month since then.

i also headed back to the track for some speedwork during the summer. i managed to get down to 21 minute 5ks and 45 minute 10ks - times i hadn't seen in a couple of years.   the goal for 2014 is to keep working on the speed and get down to 20 minute 5ks and 43 minute 10ks.  very doable goals if i can get myself over to the track on a regular basis :D

as for races, the one regret i have for 2013 was not running any ultras.  it's the first year in a very long time (since 2005 or 2006) that i haven't run at least one ultramarathon.  i had registered for the jfk 50, but was sidelined with a nasty chest cold.  i keep my string of nyc marathons alive with the 2013 edition earlier that month.  it was the only marathon i ran during the year.  as for shorter distances, i ran 46 races ranging from one mile to 30k.

looking ahead, 2014 will certainly include a return to ultras (i probably start off with the sybil 50k in april).  but my primary running objective will be speed and shorter distances - getting down those 5k and 10k times!  that means many more track sessions and intervals :D

happy new year!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

2013 taconic road runners xc & couples relays: race photos & results

this year was the first time that the taconic road runners cross country and couples relays were combined and held on the same day.  in years past, the xc relay kicked off the weekend on saturday morning, followed by the club's holiday party saturday night, and the couples relay and pancake breakfast sunday morning.  not only was did we have revamped weekend (both races started at the same time), but a new course as well.

the couples relay morphed into a mostly road 2 mile loop, instead of it's traditional mostly trail figure eight layout (both versions are well short of the 2 mile distance).  it may have been a combination of the incredible warm weather (60s) or the combined races, but the turnout was very high!  one interesting terrain note was running through fog at one stretch - which was the only really cold microclimate section of the course.

as in prior years, emmy and i teamed up for the couples relay.  our combined time of 24:21 was good enough for 7th place overall (not too bad for having run the norfolk pub 10 miler the day before).  there were no separate age group awards, but every team won merchandise prizes (new socks & vintage shirts)!

i'll add a link to the results once they're posted.

here are the rest of my photos posted on facebook.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

2013 norfolk pub 10 miler: race photos & results

i ran my 6th norfolk pub 10 miler this morning.  it's one of my favorite races, at any distance.  today happened to be unusually warm - in the 50s - for a race that's run in a town that bills itself as the "icebox" of connecticut (and most editions of the 10 miler are in frigid conditions).

i just squeaked in under 1:20 with a 1:19:05, 7:55 pace finish.  given the tough course, i'm more than happy with that! the post-race rehydration at the pub is one of the best parts of this event - a great payoff for working those hills!   i'll post a short race report in a couple of days.

here are the race results from greystone racing.

the rest of my photos are up on facebook.

happy 2013 winter solstice :D

happy winter solstice!

winter officially arrived at 12:11 this afternoon - just as i was about to finish up the norfolk pub 10 miler (which at 1:19, had me cross the finish line 8 minutes later at 12:19). 

given that winter arrived a month early this year, the freakishly warm day (it was in the mid-50s for a race that is typically run in freezing conditions) was a welcome surprise.  and the forecast is for another abnormally warm day tomorrow!  then winter conditions return monday, just in time for the work week.

i love the winter solstice because it marks the start of increasingly longer days.  but i don't much like the actual winter it officially ushers in.  i'm not fond of running in the cold weather.   hopefully, since we've had a month of winter like weather, the real winter season may be milder?  probably just wishful thinking :D

in any event, happy winter solstice :D

Sunday, December 15, 2013

van cortlandt track club's santa beer run!

today's van cortlandt track club's santa beer run was, in a word, a blast!  one way to describe the holiday fun run was 7+ miles of mostly van cortandt park trails, with 3 pub destinations mixed in for rehydration.  the running adventure kicked off at the tortoise and hare statue with egg nog and hot chocolate and spanned 3+ hours when we finished up at the kelly ryan pub at the north end of the park. that stop included that distinctly british pub snack, the "chip butty" - a/k/a  a french fry sandwich! 

it was a fantastic time all around - the trails, the pubs, the weather, and most importantly, the company!!


the rest of my photos are up on facebook.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

2013 jingle bell jog: race photos & results

this morning i ran the jingle bell jog 3 miler in greenwich. there were plenty of kids and christmas themed costumes on the course - and a good number of the runners wore the santa hats given out at registration!  and the post-race mimosa's were a fantastic way to rehydrate :D
my 21:30, 7:10 pace, reflected my slow start (a 7:30 first mile).  i wasn't near the front when the race got underway, so i spent the first quarter mile weaving my way through a seeming ocean of little kids!  be that as it may, it was still a lot of fun running with them - especially the pack of "girls on the run," who reminded me so much of running races with katie when she was that young :D 

the rest of my photos are up on facebook.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

december 2013 race schedule

it seems like December actually kicked off yesterday, with the 5k turkey trot in greenwich.  otherwise, no race for me today, this first day of december.  next weekend is another 5k, up in trumble, the jingle bell jog.

the two main races for december follow are the roxbury marathon and the norfolk pub 10 miler. the roxbury marathon conflicts with the taconic road runners post-ted corbitt 15k holiday get together in the bronx.  but i've already registered for roxbury - and it's a bit of unfinished business given my poor showing last year - so i'll miss the 15k/post-race get together this time around.

december wouldn't be complete without the fairfield holiday run 5k.  this race doubles as a toy collection for children under 16 and race entry includes dropping off an unwrapped toy for kids under 16.  coming the day after Roxbury, this one will be a fun run for me.

i've said many times in the past, the norfolk pub 10 miler is one of my favorite races - at any distance.  it's hard to look forward to a trip up to the "icebox" of connecticut - as the town is billed.  but the post-race festivities (including beer) more than make up for the typically frigid weather conditions :D

here's how it looks so far:

12/7 - nia jingle bell jog 5k
12/14 - roxbury marathon
12/15 - holiday run for toys 5k
12/21 - norfolk pub 10 miler

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