Monday, December 31, 2018

2018 Running Year in Review!

It's hard to believe that 2018 is ending in a few hours.  As fast as it's flown by, it's been one for my record books.  In terms of miles, I logged just under 2,800 running/racing miles (2,794.7) for the year - with at least 200 miles per month!  I haven't logged that volume of miles in over a decade.  In fact, have to look back to 2009/10 for the last time I ran 2,500+ miles in back to back years.  Over the last few years it's been a struggle to reach just 2000 miles for the year.

Even more surprising, I ran every single day of the year.  That I did not intend to accomplish - but more than pleased that I kept at it - and the streak, if you will.  It's actually a couple of days more than 365 straight since I can add in the last few days of 2017.  Not sure if this streak will continue into 2019.  It was more of a curiosity (to see if I could stick with it) than a true obsession.

In terms of data, the first six months of the year were by far the most productive.  As is my custom, the second half of the year is always the more challenging (primarily because of the tougher Fall semester teaching schedules).  I ran 1,500+ miles (1,507.1) through the first six months - followed by just under 1,300 miles (1,287.6) for the second half.  My highest mileage month (March) was a sliver over 300 miles (300.2.) and my lowest (November), I barely eked out 200 miles (201.2).

As for high and low racing points during the year - they were separated by just one week in July!  The low point was my 4th DNF at the Vermont 100 (which now gives me a negative 3-4 finish/DNF ratio).  After the NYRR Team Championships in Central Park the following weekend, I somehow notched a 15+ minute PR at the Escarpment Trail Run.  It was all the more surprising (shocking, actually) since I had run that earlier PR way back in 2006 (as a 44 year old).

In terms of numbers, I ran 34 races + that one DNF.  Seven of those were marathons (3) and ultras (4).  I also ran a couple of 30k's and half marathons.  The longest distance of the year was the Greater NY 100K back in June.  The shortest was a trio of mile races over the summer (one cross county, one beer mile, and one road mile).  In addition to the beer mile, the other "odd" race (event) of the year worth noting was the Underwear Run in Central Park (just under 2 miles).

Well, that's the 2018 story in a nutshell.  Goals for 2019 - finish NYCM #17, Escarpment Trail Run #9, and my 4th Vermont 100 Miler.  Not to mention, most importantly, stay healthy and keep on running :D

Happy New Year to everyone!

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas - 2018

Merry Christmas everyone!

After a few days of above-average temperatures... Christmas morning is back to the chilly starts we've had for the better part of December.  As always, hopefully a few pre-gift opening miles... then the presents, then the cooking, then the family and feasting!

Hope everyone has a great holiday too!

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Happy Festivus - 2018

A holiday for the rest of us :D

Saturday, December 22, 2018

2018 New Canaan Santa Run

It was a windy morning to run - but the 6th annual Santa Run went off without a hitch... except for a slight left (instead of a slight right) that lead to most of the field running the course backwards!  It made for an interesting experience, since I remembered that layout from last year!  Instead of a loop around the school - and heading down the right side of Waveny Park, with a return up the left side of Waveny ... we ran the other way (and encountered most of the course signage facing the "wrong" way)! 

But all's well that ends well - it was FUN and we were no worse for the wear!

Here are the result from ClubCt,

Merry Christmas!

not only race shirt - but Santa hats too!

Friday, December 21, 2018

Happy Winter Solstice - 2018!

The shortest day of the year has arrived!  But instead of Winter, today is full of rain - and the possibility of temperatures getting to 60 degrees!  Even for one day, will take wet and warm over dry and chilly.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving - 2018!

It was a low-key Thanksgiving this year.  No race this morning, instead I did a frigid 6.8 mile run from home.  Then cooking the holiday bird - with Katie and my mom making the lasagna :D

We also had one fewer in the guest column, my sister-in-law was sick.  She probably caught the stomach virus my brother just got over.  Instead of 3, we had just my brother and nephew over.

On the celebration side, in addition to Thanksgiving proper - we also celebrated my mom's 80th birthday! 

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

2018 NYRR Virtual Turkey Trot 5k

This was my third NYRR virtual race of 2018 (Resolution Run 5K kicked of the year and the pre-NYC Marathon 5K kicked off this month).   Given the frigid temperatures forecast for Thanksgiving day, safe bet that I'll probably run from home on Thursday. 

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Beaujolais Noveau - 2018!

I love the third Thursday in November, when the Beaujolais Nouveau arrives!  It's my second favorite day of November, behind only the 1st Sunday in November (NYCM) :D

This is the third year in a row that I teach an evening class, so I purchased two bottles in the afternoon from a local wine merchant in the financial district (as opposed to when I would get home from work and stop in at Zachy's).

After class, I carried them home in my knapsack. Which is saying something since the commute involve snow and slush!  But it was worth the hassle to sample a glass the fresh new vintage!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Stan Lee R.I.P.

A chapter of the Marvel Universe came to rest today when Stan Lee died - at the too young age of 95!

I've been a fan of Marvel comics practically my entire life.  Some of my earliest memories are of going to the candy store with my little brother to by comics - and the bulk of those selections were Marvel titles. 

I won't go into a long history of Stan Lee's impact on not just comics, but American society in general.  I will add a link to the NY Times obituary of this fantastic human - just one of dozens that will be out over the next few days.

I'll simply conclude with his catchphrase of the last few decades --


roughly translated as "ever upward" - as he has undoubtedly already achieved the heavens :D

Sunday, November 4, 2018

2018 NYC Marathon: Race Photos & Results


Just a quick update (I'll post a short race report in a couple of days) - my 16th consecutive NYC Marathon is officially in the books!  It was an incredibly beautiful day to be out running the streets of New York City.  Unfortunately for me, the great weather didn't make my 26.2 miles any easier.   At 4:25, this was my slowest NYC Marathon (significantly slower than my 4:15 last year).  But I'm still so happy to have gotten it done - and survived to tell the tale :D

Congratulations to everyone else who traveled those 26.2 miles today!

Here is link to the official NYC Marathon results page.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

2018 NYC Marathon Virtual 5k

On this gray, drizzly morning I opted to run the NYC Marathon virtual 5k - instead of taking the trip into the City and running the actual pre-marathon 5k (which I've run only once or twice in what may be at least a decade).  This was my second time doing a NYRR virtual race (I tried the very first one of the year back in January, the virtual Resolution Run 5k). 

It definitely gives one a sense of participating - albeit from afar :D

Thursday, November 1, 2018

2018 NYC Marathon Packet Pickup at the Expo

What an awesome surprise I had waiting for me when I picked up my bib this morning at the Javits Center - a cool 15 finishes and counting patch!  Was not expecting that, to say the least.  Thanks NYRR!

This will be my 16th consecutive NYC Marathon.  Like all previous editions, I'm pretty psyched up for it.  No understatement to say it's my favorite marathon (and hometown race).

The only downside to getting there in the morning was missing out on the beer - which wouldn't be poured until noon :(

One other cool thing, seeing your name on a wall (temporary as it may be), never gets old!

As always, if you're running this one - say hello :D

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Radio Humperdoo 6930 Khz USB North American Shortwave Pirate Radio

Received this neat eQSL from Radio Humperdoo - broadcasting "under the influence" for a reception report I sent them over the weekend.  It's a Halloween inspired theme (and from the email message, a new design for them). 

It's that time of year again, which mean more Halloween themed pirate broadcasts :D

Thanks Radio Humperdoo!

Saturday, October 13, 2018

National Chess Day - 2018!

Who knew that the second Saturday in October is National Chess Day!!  Pretty Cool :D

Apparently, it goes back to the administration of President Gerald Ford - he announced it on October 9, 1976 and designated its observation for the second Saturday in October.  Today is its 42nd anniversary. 

I'm going to try and play a game online (at RedHotPawn) to celebrate :D

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Phil McCarthy Completes Run Across the USA at City Hall - in 49 Days!!

Phil McCarthy finished his epic run across the United States at City Hall this afternoon.  It took 49 days, 7 hours and 55 minutes!  He began his run in San Francisco on August 21st and it ended on the steps of City Hall, here in NYC.  Well, technically, it ended about a dozen miles later - in the surf on the beach at Coney Island!

Congratulations Phil!!!

Interestingly, Phil's finish came just a month shy of the 10 year anniversary Marshal Ulrich's finish of his 52 day run across America back in 2008 (which I was also lucky enough to attend)!

Here's Phil in his own word :D

Sunday, October 7, 2018

2018 Paine to Pain Trail Half Marathon: Race Photos & Results

My 4th consecutive Paine to Pain is in the books!  It was Nick's 11th(!!) - Eric recognized him, and the other runner, at the start as having lined up for all 11 editions of the race!  Weather-wise, the 100% humidity made for some tough going.  On the bright side, last year we had the same 100% humidity, but on and off rain as well!  But the weather didn't take away from another great day on the trails!  As always, this is a fantastic event.

One of my favorite moments was coming off the trail and heading uphill on the small road portion that connects the course to the next trail head - and hearing Green Day's "Know your Enemy" cranked out by the roadside band.  That was pretty great.

As for the race, I did not get off course in Saxon Woods like I did at the course preview 2 weeks ago.  But even with no bonus miles, I still missed a sub-2 hour finish (2:02:50).  I'll blame that, conveniently, on the brutal humid conditions - haha!  The 10 miler I ran yesterday may have also contributed my less than fresh legs.  Although that run did include parts of the course - and I took a few pre-race pictures (you might say).  I especially like the one in front of the row of empty porta-johns (echoing Eric's similar shot when they were delivered to the site last week).

I include a couple of the memorials to Thomas Paine, which most runners don't have the opportunity to see (as they are located up the road, on North Avenue).  A descendent of Thomas Paine was ran the race as well.  He began a hour before the official start.  Very, very cool - and a gave him a shout out when I caught up to him.

Here are the preliminary race results from the race website.
I'll add a link to the photos as well, when they're posted.

Friday, October 5, 2018

2018 Paine to Pain Packet Pickup at Westchester Road Runner

A tie-dyed colonial is this year's tee shirt for the Paine to Pain Trail Half Marathon!  Although I will say we did get a soft-reveal at the course check two weeks ago :D

This will be my 4th consecutive Paine to Pain - and, counting course checks, my 7th time running the full course.  I run the southern portion of the trail system often as part of my weekend training runs.  I'm looking forward to getting a refresher on the northern trails (clearly needed, it seems, given the bonus mileage in Saxon Woods I added during the course check - haha).

If you're at the race on Sunday, say hello!

Sunday, September 30, 2018

2018 Sarah Bishop Bushwhack Trail Run


This was my first time running the Sarah Bishop Bushwhack which, I believe, was the 6th edition of the trail race.  It literally is up the road from Wards Pound Ridge Reservation, home of the Leatherman's Loop.  It's also part of the 7 race "trail mix" series (of which, I've now run all (except one), at least once). 

The race takes its name from an actual person, who lived in a cave, self-sufficiently, for about 30 years during the early part of the 19th century.  A precursor of sorts to the wanderings of the Leatherman himself!

As for the race itself, I was well off my 1 hour target for the 10k-ish course.  It had run as long as 6.4 miles but Rob told me before the start (as he was pointing out the trail highlights on the map) that a stretch of road in the second half was replaced with trails.  So it was "officially" a 6 mile course (though my GPS clocked in at closer to 6.3 miles).

My 1:04:15 finish was good for a 10:42 pace (1:22 over 6.2 miles :D). 

Here are the official results, on the race home page (but will probably be moved to the results page in a few days).

Here are the race photos, hosted on the Leatherman's Loop page.  (of which, my finishing photo was borrowed from :D).

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Radio GaGa North American Shortwave Pirate Radio eQSL

It's been a couple of years since I've posted a pirate radio eQSL!  I was testing out a new web based SDR located in Milford, PA, and tuned into Radio GaGa's show on 6925 KHz USB this weekend. I couldn't resist sending in a reception report :D

I was pleasantly surprised to receive a reply within 24 hours!  They put on a great show, which included Neil Young, Eric Clapton, CCR, The Who, and David Bowie to list a partial playlist.

Thanks Radio GaGa!