Thursday, September 29, 2016

2016 National Coffee Day

Today, September 29th, is National Coffee Day!  How does one who typically drinks 2-3 cups of coffee a day celebrate?  Drink more Coffee?  Drink a different style of Coffee?  I'm not really sure, but interesting to take note of the day itself!

Personally, it's hard to believe I voluntarily gave up drinking coffee for 4 (four) years!  I basically switched over to tea.  While giving up coffee/caffeine was an interesting experiment (which ran a little long), I missed it too much to write off.

However you do it, if you drink Coffee - enjoy it a little more today: National Coffee Day!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

2016 Paine to Pain Trail Half Marathon: Race Photos & Results

Another great day on the trails - via the Paine to Pain Trail Half Marathon.  This time around, two weeks after the course check, the temperature was a good 20 degrees cooler!  Excellent running weather (and dry conditions, which may cut the other direction for those who revel in muddy trails).  It still amazes me how this fantastic trail system is practically hidden from plain sight!

As for the race itself, I did not manage to run under 1:50 (my target) - but I did squeak in under my 2015 finish by almost a minute.  My 1:52:05 was a solid 10 minutes slower than my finish at the Norwalk Half Marathon last weekend. But the double loop course in Norwalk, challenging as it is with its hills, is a lot different than the single loop Paine to Pain course.  Both are great events - yet each requires tapping into a different skill set.

Post-race was equally worth putting in the miles for!  Not only were there pull-pork sliders (awesome), but there were various hero sandwiches to choose from.  That's was in addition to the typical post-race stuff (bagels, fruit, yogurt...).  And not to be overlooked was the ice cold chocolate milk :D

This is a must run event for any local area runner!  I will certainly be back in 2017 :D

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the most meaningful moment of the morning (for me, at least) was watching the blind runner as she crossed the finish line.  I'm in awe at the courage that it took to run the course without the benefit of sight.  It's a tough enough challenge even when you can see every root, rock or fallen branch!  God bless her - she's a true inspiration.

Here are the preliminary race results.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

2016 Paine to Pain Trail Half Marathon Packet Pick-Up at Westchester Road Runner

This morning I drove up to Westchester Road Runner for the Paine to Pain Packet Pick-up.  It was a break from the typical packet pick-ups in NYC for NYRR races.  Westchester Road Runner is a barely 10 minute drive north on the Post Road from my house.  In addition to the great shirt, they also included a water bottle, copy of Trail Runner magazine (it is a trail race, after all :D), car magnet, and a sample pack of Half Pops popcorn.  And, the bibs were personalized (which I assume only works for pre-registered runners :D)!

Looking forward to the race tomorrow!  As always, if you're at this one - say hello!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Happy Autumnal Equinox - 2016!

Happy Autumnal Equinox!  Fall officially arrived here on the East Coast an hour ago (10:21 AM EDT) - with some bona fide Fall-like weather to enjoy!

Now we can look forward to cooler days and easier runs (so to speak).  But one thing I'm not looking forward to are the increasingly shorter days that lay ahead. They turn around when winter arrives - so shorter days, in that context, are perfectly fine :D

Enjoy the new season!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

2016 Norwalk Half Marathon: Race Photos & Results

Ran the Norwalk Half Marathon this morning - great weather (opposite of the heat and humidity for the Paine to Pain course check last weekend).  Amazingly, almost didn't run it because I was still on the fence at 6:30.  Been feeling under the weather for the last few days, as if a chest cold was coming on.  But after a cup of coffee, and the realization I'd go out for a run regardless... got in the car and drove to Norwalk :D

As for the race itself, was pretty surprised to run a 1:41:13, 7:44 pace.  Shocked would be more appropriate since I didn't think 1:45 was doable!  Somehow I managed to string together a bunch of miles between 7:35 and 7:45 (with only a pair of 8 minute miles during the entire race).  An even bigger surprise awaited when the results were posted - I managed to finish third in my age group!  Had I run 20 seconds faster.. would have taken second!

That was pretty great - but even greater was the ice cream truck waiting patiently at the finish :D

Here are the official results from Lightfoot Runners.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

2016 Paine to Pain Trail Half Marathon Course Check

I ran the Paine to Pain course check this morning (although opted for the 10 mile loop instead of the full half).  Tough weather conditions, namely high humidity.  I was completely drenched - down to my socks - by the second mile!  Still, had a great time out there - and the race itself is just 2 weeks away :D


Never Forget: September 11th - 15 Years Later

It's hard believe that 15 years have gone by since the cowardly terrorists destroyed so much on September 11, 2001.  Despite the physical destruction - and the loss of so many innocent souls - our collective spirit survived intact and emerged from the ashes.

Today the Freedom Tower rises in the former Twin Towers site.  We have rebuilt and our lives have go on - despite the horror and sadness of that day.  And for those reason, we must never forget what happened.

Never forget the evil.
Never forget the survival.
Never forget the souls that didn't survive.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

2016 NYRR Fifth Avenue Mile: Race Photos & Results

Great morning to run a mile down Fifth Avenue in the company of a lot of fellow 50 year old runners!  I upped the distance a bit by running over to the Met from 86th Street and running down to Grand Central afterwards.  But the 2.5+ miles was still short of the 10 I would have run at Westport - so I tacked on another 6.5 miles when I got off the MetroNorth :D

As for the one Mile that mattered, I ran a 6:13 - trying hard to sneak under 6 minutes, but given no speed work this summer, that wasn't realistic.  Still I'm very happy with it!  In fact, it's a solid 26 second improvement over last year's Fifth Avenue Mile (6:39). 

Like last year, this was NYRR race #8 - and like last year, the NYC Marathon itself will be the ninth.  Unlike last year, when I still had the volunteer requirement to do, this time around I already took care of that one.  Not sure if, I'll run another NYRR race before the Marathon, but pretty sure there be a couple more before the end of the year :D

Here are the official results from NYRR.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

September 2016 Race Schedule

This month kicks off with the NYRR Fifth Avenue Mile on Saturday.  It will my 8th NYRR race of 2016 (and my 6th of the Summer + the volunteer requirement)!  Unfortunately, will miss the final race of the Westport Summer Series - the 10 Miler.  But will make back the mileage and then some the following weekend.

To honor the 15th Anniversary of 9/11, a few runners (including me) do the Run Around Manhattan 50k loop.  Mat, who started this event a few years ago is putting it together.  It will be run on the 10th (Saturday), which lets me run the Paine to Pain course check the following day :D

The following weekend is the Norwalk Summer Series Finale, the Half Marathon.  It's one of my favorite races - and really looking forward to it because I could only run one Summer Series race this year.  The following day, if I have anything left in the tank, will run the Tuckahoe Challenge.  Have done this one many times - but in a first, the 5 Miler has been cut down to a 5K!  Should be interesting.

The month closes out with the Paine to Pain Half.  Also looking forward to this one.  It's a great course - literally hiding in plain site in my backyard!  Ran it last year (and the Course Check the year before that).  In addition to the fantastic course - pretty excellent post-race party too!

Here's how it looks so far:

9/3 - NYRR Fifth Avenue Mile
9/10 - Run Around Manhattan 9/11 Memorial Run
9/11 - Paine to Paine Half Marathon Course Check
9/17 - Norwalk Half Marathon
9/18 - Tuckahoe Challenge 1M + 5K
9/25 - Paine to Paine Half Marathon

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