Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas - 2017!

Merry Christmas!   

This year Christmas was a dual celebration - the holiday itself and Katie's graduation as well!  We had my brother and his family over, as well as my mom, for our traditional Christmas dinner. 

It's hard to believe that 2017 has come to a close.  In a few short days New Years Eve will be here and it'll be time to welcome in 2018! 

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Pre-Christmas Trail Run in Van Cortandt Park

Running the old Holiday Marathon course on the trails of Van Cortlandt Park this morning was a trip down memory lane!  Back in the 2011-12 "era" - a much more innocent age- we had a series of holiday themed "marathon" in VCP.  Runners could do four 6.5 mile loops for a full marathon (or any number, for that matter).  The results were recorded on the honor system via a sign out sheet at the start/finish (Tortoise & Hare statue).

The tradition was brought back this morning when the trail runners meet-up group set off with about 15 or so runners, following the old route.  Interestingly, in the intervening years the one major change was the addition of a concrete switchback at the one mile (or so) mark to reach the highway overpass.  In the old days (did I really write that - haha), we climbed the steep embankment up to the highway (and in winter an old rope would be added to make the icy, slushy climb more manageable).

I had a great time - and if I had more time would certainly have gone out for a third loop!  One funny fact: I got a parking spot on Broadway, not to far south from the Tortoise & Hare statue, for the 1st time in years!  Typically, I find myself parking at the Horace Mann school - that's how hard it is to get a spot right off the park! 

Great trails, great company, and even great weather - an awesome way to spend Christmas Eve day!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

2017 New Canaan Santa Run: Race Photos & Results

This is the first time I've run the New Canaan Santa Run (it's 5 year) - but I'm no stranger to the course running through Waveny Park! 

Truth be told, if I hadn't preregistered for the race last week (to make up for not racing while we were in Ann Arbor), I would probably have gone back to sleep when I heard the sounds of rain outside.  But I'm glad I made the drive.  Despite the scattered heavy rain/foggy conditions to and from New Canaan, the weather let up for the race itself.  In fact, the rain pretty much cleared up for the first 2/3rd's of the event - only picking up again in the last mile.

As for the race, it was roughly 1/3rd on pavement and 2/3rds on trails.  I finished - slightly damp - in 23:12, 7:29 pace.  But the biggest surprise was see Rob at the finish!  I hadn't seen him at the start (he having arrived minutes before the race went off).  Aside from Rob, and Jim (timing), no other familiar faces this morning.

In a twist rare weekend twist, after a quick shower at home, I went into the City to put in a few hours at the office :(

Here are the official results from ClubCt.

Happy Festivus - 2017!

Happy Festivus Everyone!

It's that time of year again - between Winter Solstice and Christmas - that a somewhat bizarre (maybe just plain unusual) Festivus arrives.  That uniquely George Castanza inspired holiday tradition - just one of many Seinfeld classic episode. 

If you'd like a little background on this "festive" occasion, check out this quasi-official Festivus page.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Happy Winter Solstice - 2017!

Happy Winter Solstice!

Winter officially arrives here on the East Coast at 11:28 AM.  It's not the cold weather that I'm looking forward to - but rather the increasingly longer days ahead of us!  As of tomorrow, with the shortest day of the year safely behind us, we'll get more and more daylight in the days and weeks ahead.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Graduation Day - Ann Arbor!

Official Graduation Day for Katie!  While she "walked" with her graduation class during the Spring Commencement, yesterday was her official graduation from the University of Michigan! We are so incredibly proud of her accomplishment!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

2017 NYRR Ted Corbitt 15K Race Photos & Results

I should really strike photo from the post title since my phone died/froze right after I crossed the finish line of the Ted Corbitt 15K this morning!  But I'll add a link to the NYRR Photo Gallery to make up for it.  There seemed to be a slight chance the race would have been switched to a fun run when the NYRR sent out an advisory that they were monitoring the weather conditions and would let runners know by 6 AM what to expect.  Luckily (as this was the last Club race of the year) the race went off as planned :D

As for the weather it was chilly (but not really cold) - hovering just above freezing at the start.  The real concern was snow - which actually held off until the race got underway (with slight flurries as we left the chutes).  But it did pick up - and by the second loop it was bona fide snowfall accompanying us to the finish!

I didn't have any expectations, time-wise, for my performance.  There was an outside hope I'd run a 1:15 (8 minute pace or so).  But given how beat up I felt after last weekend's BUS Trail Mix-Up 50K there wasn't any speed left in my legs.  Still, my 1:16:51, 8:15 pace, finish made me very happy!  As a bonus, got to say hello to Gary Corbitt (Ted's son) as on the 102nd Street transverse during the first mile!

Here are the official results from NYRR.

Here is the link to the NYRR photo galleries.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

2017 NYRR Ted Corbitt 15K Packet Pick-Up

I picked up my bib and race shirt for the 2017 Ted Corbitt 15K this Saturday, after work this afternoon.  But given how beat up my legs felt after the B.U.S. Trail Mix-Up 50K on Sunday, I doubt that there'll be anything approaching "speed" covering the 9.3 miles around the Park.  Still - I will certainly work up an appetite for our traditional year-end Taconic post-run breakfast at the Rambling House after the race :D

This will be my 10th NYRR race of 2017.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

2017 B.U.S. Trail Mix-Up 50K: Race Photos & Results

Today's Broadway Ultra Society's Trail Mix-Up 50K in Alley Pond Park was challenging - and probably my last "long" run of the year (it is December, after all)!  What made this one especially tough is the 30K option - which is the siren song of cutting it short if ever there was one!  In fact, a few years ago, I exercised that option and bailed out of the 50K in favor of the 30K (and nice warm park house).

But this time around I managed to do all 10 of the 5K loops (the loop was roughly evenly split between trail and pavement sections).  Mile for mile, this was probably tougher than running the Knickerbocker 60K two weeks ago (if only because we could stop after 6 loops/30K).  However, given that we share a portion of the course with a dog run (and some decidedly unfriendly dog owners and their equally snarling pets) - this was hands down the most dangerous course I've run all year.  This is no creative exaggeration because I was right behind Grant when some obnoxious dog (thankfully on a leash) leapt at him during the 2 loop - forcing him off the path!

Aside from that adrenaline moment, the rest of the day was like any other ultra.  As for my race, I got thru the first 6 loops in under a 10 minute pace.  After that point I mostly ran, jogged, walked the remaining 4 loops.  Given how tough - mentally - the last 4 loops were I was more than happy with my 5:51:33 finish (11:19 pace)!  The best part of the day was the post-race food - which, just from memory, included, ravioli, eggplant parm., lasagna, veggie pasta, chicken marsala!, and, no ultra would be complete without - pizza! Not a bad way to recoup the 3,700+ calories burned getting the 50k done :D

As always, thanks Richie (and all the volunteers) for putting on another great B.U.S. event!

Here are the official results from New York Ultrarunning.

Friday, December 1, 2017

December 2017 Race Scheddule

Year end has arrived!  Still hard to believe the entire year has flown by so quickly.  In arddition to holiday related stuff, this month will be tough because I have finals exams and grades to deal with before bring the Fall semester to an official close.

While I probably won't get in that many races, I will put in some decent race mileage.  December kicks off this weekend with the BUS Trail Mix-up 50K in Alley Pond Park.  While I plan on doing the full 50K, this event lets you drop down to the 30K without penalty (to which I availed myself to one yea

The following weekend is the Ted Corbitt 15K - my final NYRR race of the year.  As has become a tradition, following the race we'll have our annual Taconic post-race get together at the Rambling House!  And, in keeping with the Club themed weekend, will join the Van Cortandt Track Club for their annual Santa Run the next morning!

I'll try out a new (for me) holiday race on the 23rd, the New Canaan Santa Run - to work up a Christmas appetite :D

Here's how it looks so far:

12/3 - BUS Trail Mix-up 50K
12/9 - NYRR Ted Corbitt 15K
12/10 - VCTC Santa Run
12/23 - New Canaan Santa Run 5K

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


Sunday, November 26, 2017

2017 Van Cortlandt Track Club Run for Puerto Rico

This morning I drove down to Van Cortlandt Park for the VCTC Run for Puerto Rico - a fund raiser for hurricane victims.  Most of the runners were VCTC members, but there where a good number of friends participating as well.  The highlight, pre-run, was the singing of the Puerto Rican national anthem ("La Borinquena") before we set off across the flats to the start line!

The run itself was 2.5 loops of the parade grounds.  It worked out (according to my GPS) to slightly less than 3.7 miles.  But the more interesting aspect was the widely disparate running conditions on either side of the flats - wind tunnel like on the east side, calm with breaks of sun on the west side! 

Thanks to Hiroshi, I wound up running a much faster pace (couple of second over an 8 minute pace) than the easy run I had planned (e.g. 9+ minute miles).  All in all it was a great morning, and it was great that VCTC organized it.  I think Bobby said it raised over $1600 for the relief effort - which is outstanding!

I only took a handful of photos - but the event was covered by local cable news (channel 12, I believe) and a clip was posted on FB.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

2017 GAE Turkey Trot: Race Photos & Results

Could not possibly have asked for better weather this morning for the 7th annual Greenwich Alliance for Education Turkey Trot 5k (and 1 mile kids fun run)!  For such a young race, they had 800 pre-registered runners + and lots more race day entrants thanks to the mini heat wave.

I volunteered, mostly course marshaling (-- managed to get a short video clip of the 5k start) and ran an easy loop of the 5k course afterwards. 

Will add a link to the results once they've been posted.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

2017 NYRR NYC/Knickerbocker 60K: Race Photos & Results


I finished the NYRR NYC/Knickerbocker 60K - and am more than a little surprised to be writing that sentence!  As I pointed out early, when I picked up my shirt and bib earlier in the week, making it to the start line didn't seem like a realistic possibility given how much time I've spent "sick" during the last couple of weeks!  But things looked up on Thursday, and I managed an easy 4.5 mile run on Friday - so at a minimum, would go in, line up, and run as many laps as I could eke out!

Five laps (21 miles) was my initial goal.  Even that seemed like a stretch considering I only ran twice since the NYC Marathon (the Raven Rocks 10K, on trails, and the 4.5 miles, on roads, Friday).  Somehow 10.7 miles, broken up by Bronchitis and a chest cold, didn't seem like a realistic lead in to an ultra!  But in a counterintuitive miracle, maybe all that "rest" that came along with feeling sick worked some magic!

After the 5 loops I stopped for hot soup!  The perfect thing, actually, and I also took a couple of minutes to switch my phone over to a mofi because the charge was dying.  At that point I was on a solid 9:40 pace (roughly 3:23 in).  The next loop I stopped for a cup of coffee (mainly for the caffeine).  But I had started slowing down (10+ minute miles).  The last two loops were the toughest - I had slowed to 11/12 minute miles by this point.  But, amazingly, the only cramping I had the entire day was in the last 2 miles of the entire distance!  The only walk breaks I took were during the last (9th) loop.

I was incredibly happy with my 6:46:07, 10:54 pace, finish.  While it was way slower than my PB for this course (5:23), it was a solid - and gratifying - finish!  Given the trepidation I had at the start, I count this as one of my happiest race finishes :D

Here are the official results from NYRR.