Friday, May 23, 2014

2014 brooklyn half marathon: race report

one very funny coincidence is worth noting at the outset - almost to the day, two months after the nyc half marathon, i ran the identical race at the brooklyn half (albeit one second faster in brooklyn!  except for the wide disparity in temperature (teeth chattering cold at the start of nyc half), the race played out with practically identical splits!

aside from finishing it faster than last year's 1:45, i didn't have a time goal in mind.  i would have like to run sub 1:40, but that wasn't in the cards.  it would be race #4 of my 9+1 for the 2015 nyc marathon.  the brooklyn half is one of my all-time favorites (easily among my top five races) and i really enjoy running the course.  in fact, brooklyn was my very first half marathon way back in 2001 - in the days the course ran in the opposite direction, from coney island to prospect park!

logistically, however, the race isn't that much fun to contend with.  i didn't mind the early wake-up and drive in (i met up w/tony, jeanette, alan, and anne at 5:10 - and they had gotten underway at 4:45)! but the blocks long walk to enter via the security checkpoints located just beyond the very last corral and the blocks long walk back to the front of the corral and then onto the baggage check was a drag (though it did have the unintended effect of serving as a warm-up).  the low point of the morning, however, was baggage check - both at start and finish.

i don't like to harp on negatives -- but i was at the baggage truck at 6:20 - with dozens of other runners waiting for our bags to be taken - and, astonished, watched the truck doors closed despite repeated pleas to take our bags (and even some intrepid soles tossed their bags into the trucks helter skelter).  we were all relegated to the late baggage truck - which now had the runners from the 3 departing trucks to contend with.  and the confused scene of 100s of runners randomly tossing their bags onto that truck was more than unsettling.

on the walk over to my corral all i kept wondering was whether i'd ever see my phone and car keys at the finish.  but aside from baggage, everything else about the day was fantastic.  i love the idea of having porta-johns in the corrals (best race amenity since the invention of sliced bread - haha)!  the first person i saw in my corral was my taconic rr teammate, eliot.  a few minutes later, alan came in - having also tossed his gear on the late baggage truck.  while in the corral i had drank a bottle of water and ate a package of power gel gummies.  then we were off.

i really like the new course design that runs a couple of miles outside the park - up to and back from grand army plaza - before heading into the park.  ostensibly, this was mapped out to handle the increased number of runner (and avoid the lapping problem that would arise under the old course).  the number of finishers this years exceeded 25,000 - a sharp increase from last years 20,000+ runners!  that's an impressive number of runners taking to the streets of brooklyn!

as for the race itself, here are the splits:

5k  23:37
5m  39:46
10k  49:23
15k  1:14:24
10m  1:19:49
20k  1:38:21
13.1m  1:43:23

7:54 pace

despite a crowded and slow first mile (8:00), i was almost a minute ahead of my nyc half 5k split (24:11) - but quickly gave back those 40 seconds on the prospect park hills.  the 10k split finishing up the prospect park loop was now 2 seconds off the nyc half split (49:21).  i lost another 10 seconds by the time i reached the 15k split and at 10 miles was a solid 23 seconds off my split at the nyc half (1:19:26).

but with the help of a 2x caffeine gu at mile eight, which final kicked in, i made up 30 seconds over the last 5k and actually finished 1 second ahead of my nyc half time.  when i crossed the finish i didn't remember my nyc half finish - but guessed they were within seconds of each other.  my watch read 1:19:25, which as it turned out was 2 seconds slower than my official time.  when i finally looked up my times i couldn't help smiling.

but before i checked out results, tony, jeanette, alan, michelle and i headed back to the boardwalk for a couple of beers to rehydrate.  the bar, ruby's, had a fantastic view of the finish line and the crowds cheering on the runners as they crossed it. for the record, i had a mermaid pilsner (which was so hoppy that i would have sworn it was an ipa!).  all in all, it was a great day to run a half marathon - and finish up at the beach :D

here are my race photos.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

2014 brooklyn half marathon: race photos & results

it's hard to believe over 25,000 runners finished the brooklyn half marathon this morning - that's 5,000 more than last year!  it was my 4th nyrr race of the year toward 9+1 for the 2015 nyc marathon. i didn't have a particular time goal in mind - but did want to finish ahead of 2013's result (1:45).

my 1:43:23 was well under 2013 -- but the real surprise was that it was and entire 1 second faster than my 2014 nyc half finish (1:43:24) - haha.  performance wise, event though i haven't gotten in any speed work, i managed to run negative splits!

here's my race report.

here are the race results from nyrr.

here are the rest of my photos on facebook.

here are my photos from the pre-race party/packet pick-up.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

2014 nyrr brooklyn half pre-party at brooklyn bridge park

after a brief misstep (i went to last year's pre-party site... a short walk in the opposite direction) i made it to the brooklyn half pre-party at pier 2 in brooklyn bridge park.  despite the forecast of possible afternoon showers, the weather was beautiful and the walk over the brooklyn bridge was - as always - a trip down memory lane.

as for the pre-party itself, the highlights (aside from the spectacular views) was the barefoot wine tasting and the cold press expresso coffee :D

the brooklyn half is one of my all-time favorite races (easily in my top five)... as always, if you're at this one - say hello :D

the rest of my photos are on facebook.

here are the race photos & results.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

2014 norwalk mother's day 10k: race photos & results

it's seems like a long time since i've done back to back races on a given weekend.  this morning was the norwalk mother's day 10k on the heels of the healthy kidney 10k in central park yesterday.  without the oppressive humidity we had yesterday morning, the running conditions at calf pasture beach were beautiful! 

i had no real time goal in mind at the start - just hitting last year's 47:08 would have been fine.  i was incredibly surprised to run a 45:59 (unofficial) which not only bettered 2013 - but it was just 30 seconds off yesterday's finish!  that was good enough for second in my age group!

next up is the brooklyn half marathon next weekend.

i'll write up a race report for the pair of 10k's tomorrow.

here are the race results from hi-tek racing.

the rest of my photos are on facebook.
the great photo of the start is tony's :D

Saturday, May 10, 2014

2014 healthy kidney 10k: race photos & results

what a difference not making a bathroom pit stop can do for your race results -- my healthy kidney 10k finish (45:29) was a solid 5 minutes faster than last month's scotland run 10k (50:29) - haha!  given the high humidity this morning, i was more than pleased with the outcome.  it was my fastest 10k in a long time - faster than last summer's queens 10k (45:54)!

i doubt that i'll do as well at the nowalk 10k tomorrow (aside from fatigue, the course is much more challenging).  but i'll be plenty happy to finish it in a sub-47, a little faster than last year's result.

here are the race results from nyrr.

Friday, May 9, 2014

2014 nyrr healthy kidney 10k packet pick-up

i picked up my bib and tech shirt for the 2014 healthy kidney 10k at the nyrr yesterday afternoon.  it will be my 3rd nyrr race of the year (and the bklyn half, the following weekend, the 4th) on the road to 9+1 for the 2015 nyc marathon. 

i've run this one many times over the last few years.  it'll be the first of a two 10k race weekend - with the norwalk mother's day 10k on sunday (another one that i've run many times over the years)!  after the 50k two weeks ago, it'll be great getting back to shorter distances again :O

as always, if you're at this one (or nowwalk) - say hello :D

Friday, May 2, 2014

may 2014 race schedule

may looked as is if it would kick off with a rest week.  i had though about the long island marathon, but running sybil last weekend made me reconsider heading to long island for a full marathon.  instead i would probably run a local 5k - until... i came across the riverdale y half marathon on sunday!  there's a strong chance i'll line up for that race.

otherwise, may is all about the brooklyn half marathon 2 weeks later.  i love this race and, despite the logistical hassles, is one i always look forward to running.  it's also the 2nd race in the 5 boro challenge.

the week before also kicks off with a nyrr race - the healthly kidney 10k.  it's the first of a pair of 10k's, with the norwalk mother's day 10k the next day. normally i'd stick with the norwalk 10k - and skip the nyrr 10k.  but, since i need to get some points toward the 2015 nyc marathon, going to double up that weekend.

memorial day weekend is all about running the 50th anniversary of the jim fixx 5 miler.  it's a tough course, but a lot of fun to run.  i may squeeze in another race that weekend (the weston 5k) - but haven't firmed up those plans.

may has half a weekend left this month. not sure if i'll race on saturday (may) or sunday (june) - so that one is still open.

here's how it looks so far:

5/4 - riverdale y half marathon
5/10 - nyrr healthy kidney 10k
5/11 - norwalk mother's day 10k
5/17 - brooklyn half marathon
5/26 - jim fixx 5 miler

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