Sunday, June 29, 2014

2014 achilles hope & possibility 5 miler: race photos and results

in all my years as a nyrr, this was my first time running the achilles 5 miler!  and, had i know it wasn't a marathon qualifier it's unlikely i would have registered for it since i generally only run those that add a point to the 9+1 requirement.  but it was a honor to run this race - and join the achilles runners on the course.  point or not, it's a race i'll continue to run in the years ahead.

as for my performance, it wasn't one of my faster 5 mile races.  at 39:26, 7:54 pace, it's actually one of my slowest 5 mile road race finishes.  still, i enjoyed myself and, given the high mileage week, i was more than happy with to get it done.

next up is the putnam county classic on the 4th of july - and maybe a trip to van cortandt park the night before for the relay :D

here are the race results from nyrr.

the rest of my photos are up on facebook.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

2014 westport summer series 2.3 miler: race photos & results

the westport summer series kicked off this morning at staples high school with the 2.3 miler.  the race started and finished on the track.  despite the short distance, it was a hilly loop to and from the track!  i had a sub-15 minute goal in mind, but it wasn't in the cards with my 15:26 finish.  even so, we had great weather and i tacked on a couple of warm up and cool down miles before and after the race.

here are the race results from the westport road runners.

up next is the achilles hope & possibility 5 miler tomorrow morning in central park.

many thanks to tony for getting that shot of me finishing :D

Friday, June 27, 2014

eliot's "the great new york 100 mile running exposition" race report: guest post

it was a while ago when eliot posted a race report on his first 50 miler (lake waramaug).  there have been plenty of marathons and ultras since that first 50 miler, but just last weekend eliot finished his first 100 miler right here on the streets of nyc!

The 2014 Great New York Running Exposition 100M/100K – Finding My First 100 Mile Finish – Eliot Lee
TGNY100 had its first 100M running in 2012 and was the brainchild of ultra-marathon runner Phil McCarthy.  Phil is the current American 48-Hour record holder with 257.34 miles.  Phil had a vision that he executed and continues to nurture.  Other than saying that this course covers 100.3 miles through and around four boroughs of New York City, starting and finishing in Times Square, I’m not going to spend time describing the course of this great event.  It was described in this 2013 WSJ article.
For 2012 and 2013, my involvement was that of a volunteer.  Phil called me his ‘supply chief.’  For this 2014 edition, I was a runner.  This was my second attempt at the 100 mile distance (my first attempt was a DNF at the inaugural TARC100 in MA last June) so I had some pressure to finish this one.  The rest of this write-up won’t be in the typical ‘race report’ style; rather it will be a compilation of my scattered running thoughts (good and bad, funny and not so funny).  Here goes …
·         Many happy and excited runners toed the line in Times Square at 5:00 am last Saturday morning.  I was in the ‘Class of 2014.’  The TGNY100 class size is getting bigger each year.  Phil, Trishul, Kaaren and so many others worked hard to get the race started on time.  Richie and Tim were there to start supporting the 20 aid stations on the course.
·         As I ran up Broadway to and through Central Park and further north, it was easy to keep other runners in sight.  But, this was still early.  I made a decision to ‘try’ to stay with a pack of runners for as long as possible.  The pace may have been slightly fast for me but I would save time by not having to stop to read the turn-by-turn directions.  So, for all of Manhattan and some of the Bronx, I tried to stay in the company of Thunder, Cherie and my new friend Ray.  It was also better to run harder then before the full strength of the sun was on us.
·         Midway through the Bronx, I let the runners go and ran alone because I needed to slow down.  Now, I had to rely solely on my maps and directions and had to stop often to regain my bearings.  When I got to Emmy’s aid station in Soundview Park (~50K), I realized that my pacer John who was meeting me at the 60 mile mark in Queens would be there too early given my current pace.  I called him and told him to get there at around 5:30 pm.  By then, the full sun was out.
·         ‘Kuya’ Gerald steps in.  ‘Kuya’ is Tagalog for big brother.  I may be older than Gerald in age but not in terms of ultra-running.  This was his third TGNY100 and he told me to ‘run’ with him.  So, I did for as long as I could.  Gerald is a strong and consistent runner.  He took me through the rest of the Bronx, over the Triborough Bridge, through Randall’s Island and into Queens.  As much as I wished I could have stayed with Gerald, I told him to go ahead at the World’s Fair Marina aid station (~42 miles).  If I was going to finish, I had to run my own race.

·         I took the next 5 or so miles myself again navigating with the directions and maps through the streets of Queens.  Somewhere on Brooklyn-Queens Greenway, ‘Kuya’ Luis steps in.  Yes, I am older in age to him too, but he was also my big brother that day.  This was his third time on the course (once as a 2012 pacer).  Luis was nursing a sore Achilles from the Massanutten 100 in May.  So, Luis and I ran/walked together through Flushing Meadow Park until the 60 mile point (Jewel Avenue) where I met my own pacer, John.  Luis forged ahead.

·         At 60 miles, I was really starting to feel the fatigue.  I made a decision to stop running and to start only walking from that point onward.  Doing the math, it would be possible to finish under the cut-off by keeping a 20 minute pace (3 mph).  Finishing my first 100-miler was still my only goal.  I didn’t want to risk another DNF by pushing too much so I was being very conservative.  Actually, I was being a big baby, I know.  But, if I was going to finish, I had to run my own race.  My 50 mile split was ~10:00 and my 100K split was ~13:14. 
·         The next long 30 miles of walking (~10 hours) were very interesting, especially at night.  I’ve never walked that long or that far!  We walked to and through aid station after aid station.  Darkness fell.  Every mile that passed, I tried to do mental math to project a finish time which was always somewhere between 26 to 27 hours as long as we kept moving.  It is very difficult to do math when you should be asleep. 
·         Having no headlamps proved to be a hindrance.  With no light, we were directionally challenged in and after Riis Park and again up along the Belt Parkway.  We couldn’t see the yellow course markings or our footing especially with the glare of the headlights from oncoming cars.  We used our map light for the ground when we could.        
·         About my pacer John …  he has only run a few recent ultras (some BUS) but has not done a 100 mile race himself (yet).  So, why John?  He and I run together all the time.  I know his idiosyncrasies and he knows mine, so it was comfortable.  Plus, he was raised in Brooklyn so he knew the lay of the land … even in the dark.  I can’t thank him enough.
·         After 80 miles, even the walking was starting to slow.  Now, I started seeing ‘people’ but they were trees and shadows.  I did start seeing rats too, but they were actually rats.  Once in a while, I scared John by letting out a primal ‘grunt’ or by slapping my own face to wake myself up (a driving straight back from Florida habit).  I even told him that I was going to grab onto his shoulder and continue to walk with my eyes closed … so he says, anyway.  And, that darn Verrazano Bridge was like the moon.  Walk, walk, walk towards it … but, it never got closer.
·         By almost 90 miles, we were going over 20 minutes per miles and slowing more.  Enter Paul.  I heard Paul’s carefree banter behind us and watched his effortless gait.  Somehow, that sparked me and calmed me … hard to explain.  It made me realize that I only had 10 miles to go and was going to finish this thing.  So, after the Leif Ericson Park aid station, John and I ran but walked now only when necessary.  The running seemed to wake my mind and body up as it got my blood flowing. 
·         We ran through the last aid station at mile 95 without stopping and walked over the Brooklyn Bridge.  Once in Manhattan, we continued to run/walk to Times Square.  We managed to finish the last 10 miles in just over 2 hours (almost 5 mph) for a 25:14:57 finish time in Times Square at around 6:30 am on Sunday.  What a second wind!  That is where I gave Phil a big ‘thank you’ hug.  I am now the proud owner of my first 100 mile finisher buckle.  Congratulations to all the 100M/100K finishers … especially to my new friend Ray who showed such resolve on his own first 100 mile finish.
In my 50’s, I am now doing things that I thought were out of my reach.  Life is funny that way.  And, about this first 100 mile finish … as Grant so appropriately quoted these song lyrics to me, “Ain't nothin' like the first time …”

 photo credit:

Thursday, June 26, 2014

2014 achilles hope & possibility 5 miler: packet pick-up

this afternoon i volunteered at the front runners ny lgbt pride run - handing out bibs during the second shift for the saturday 5 miler.  before the start of my shift, i picked up my bib and shirt for the achilles hope & possibility 5 miler on sunday.  while i've done the front runners 5 miler, this will be my first achilles 5 miler.

it will be race number 6 on the road to 9+1 for the 2015 nyc marathon.  and working the second shift took care of the volunteer requirement.  after this race i'll only need 3 more races - which will probably work out to be the bronx 10 miler, the staten island half, and the 2013 nyc marathon :D

as always, if you're at this one - say hello!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

2014 queens 10k: race photos & results

the queens 10k was my second race this weekend - on the heels of the greenburgh mile yesterday :D  it was actually race number 5 on my road to 9+1 for the 2015 nyc marathon, and race number 3 in the five boro grand prix series.  it was my second time running this course, which i really like.  what isn't so great, however, is getting to and from this location via car!  travel hassles aside, it was a great morning to run.

my 47:07, 7:35 pace, was a minute+ slower than my 2013 finish (45:56).  but i was more than happy w/that finish because i ran 10 miles after the greenburgh mile yesterday.  so this one turned into something of a hard training run.  interestingly, aside from the 2 half marathons, this was my 3rd nyrr 10 race of 2014. 

my next nyrr race will probably be the bronx 10 miler.  it would have been the club team championships in august, but i'll be travelling that weekend.  maybe i'll find a july race to run in place of the club 5 miler/

here are the race results from nyrr

Saturday, June 21, 2014

2014 greenburgh mile: race photos & results

this year the greenburgh mile coincided with the summer solstice.  this is one of my favorite low key, old school, races - and i've been running it for years. this time around, however, my 6:28 was my slowest finish for this event (and a race at this distance!).  with the queens 10k on deck for tomorrow morning, i didn't want to go all out for this one, even if it was just a mile.  i'm getting to be way too conservative in my old age.

even so, i stilled managed to finish 3rd in my age group :D

i'm not sure the results will be posted.  but i'll add a link if they are.

happy summer solstice - 2014 :D

happy summer solstice!  the longest day of the year kicked off here less than an hour ago, at 6:51 am.  in a somewhat ironic twist, i'll celebrate by running a one mile race this morning.  i guess that means i need to run an ultra on the shortest day of the year - haha.

on a historical note - last year the summer solstice coincided w/katie's high school gradation - no race for me that day.  this summer she's finished her freshman year at michigan - my how time flies!  which once again begs use of the phrase - carpe diem!

so get out there and enjoy the longest day of year... they start getting shorter tomorrow :O

Friday, June 20, 2014

2014 nyrr queens 10k packet pick-up

i picked up my bid and shirt for the queens 10k this afternoon.  it's race number 5 on my road to 9+1 for the 2015 nyc marathon.  it's also race number 3 in the five boro series, with the nyc half and brooklyn half in the books.  i just registered for race number four, the bronx 10 miler, last week.  if i get in the staten island half in october, it would be the second year in a row that i've managed to run all 5 races.

the shirt, albeit a different color, uses the same logo as the 2013 edition.

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

Sunday, June 15, 2014

2014 rowayton father's day fun run: race photos & results

the rowayton father's day fun run gives runners the choice of a short (2.2 miles) and long (4.4 miles) course - one loop or two?!  the last time i ran this one - 2010 - i opted for the short course.  the year before i ran the long course.  this morning i raced the 2.2 mile loop and paced emmy for her second loop of the long course.

in somewhat of a big surprise, i redeemed my relatively slow 7:12 pace at the norwalk summer series 3 miler yesterday, with a 6:44 pace for the 2.2 miles!  the 14:48 finish was almost 3 minutes faster than my 2010 run (albeit that 17:30 was on the heels of having run 50+ miles at the joe kleinerman 12 hour run the day before)!  it was also good enough for 2nd place overall :D

here are the race results from clubct.

 here are the rest of my photos up on facebook.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

2014 norwalk summer series 3 miler: race photos & results

i missed the 3 miler last year -- and conveniently forgot how hilly the course is!  last year the start was moved to the high school track, which was a new twist for me.  except for the high humidity, it was a great morning to run!

i had hoped to run it in under 21 minutes, but with a 7:10 first mile, i wasn't going to hit that target today.  in fact, my 21:36, 7:12 pace, was well off the mark. still, i had a great time - and spent all the calories i burnt during the race on a post race cherry garcia ice cream bar :D

next up is the rowayton father's day run tomorrow.

here are the race results posted on hi-tek racing.

the rest of my photos are up on facebook.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

happy 2014 national running day!

Happy National Running Day!

except for the badge above, i didn't do anything special for running day - except run my regular 6.5 route on the albany post road this afternoon.  i had toyed with the idea of joining a couple of group runs in connection w/running day.  but it's was tough, logistically, to swing since i was at the office most of the day.  so it ran as if it was a typical running day for me - which it was - getting in the miles when i got back from the office.

so since today celebrates running - get out there and run!  fast, slow, long, or far - doesn't really matter.  it's just about movement :D

Sunday, June 1, 2014

june 2014 race schedule

june includes a return to norwalk and westport for their respective summer series.  norwalk kicks off with the 3 miler in two weeks (6/14) and westport starts off with the 2.3 miler at the end of the month (6/28).  the waveny park xc series in new canaan and the van cortandt track club summer series, tueday and thursday nights respectively, kicked off last month.

and the first week of june includes national running day on wednesday - and a week earlier than it's normally run, the cook your buns 3 miler in greenwich on friday night.  the best park of cook your buns - aside from the fun of running at todd's point, is the post-race bbq :D

june also includes the nyrr queens 10k.  it'll be my 5th race of the 9+1 for the 2015 nyc marathon.  it's also race #3 of the 5 boro grand prix series.  at only 10k, it's the shortest distance of the 5 races.  the course is flat, which offsets the typically hot weather conditions it's run in.

i'm penciling in the summer solstice 14k trail run on wednesday night june 18.  this is not only one of my favorite races - but minnewaska state park is one of my all-time favorite places to run.  but, as always, getting up to this race mid-week can be a logistical challenge for me.  hopefully i'll be able to make the trip up there for it.

here's how it looks so far:

6/6 - cook your buns 3m
6/14 - norwalk summer series, 3m
6/18 - summer solstice 14k trail run
6/22 - nyrr queens 10k
6/28 - westport summer series, 2.3m

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