Saturday, June 30, 2018

Recapping the First Six Months of 2018

Just a quick recap of my running for the first six months of the year.  I've managed to rack up more than 1,500 training/racing miles so far this year (1,507.1 to be precise).  To put that in perspective, it's been more than a decade since I've run that much in the first half of a given year!  In another decades long first, I've managed to run more than 200 miles a month for the first six months (averaging 250 miles per month) - with a one month high of 300 miles in March.  Again, I haven't run a 300 mile month in maybe a decade?

As for races, I ran a total of 16 so far, ranging from 1 Mile up to 100K (last weekend, actually).  That total included one marathon, three 50K's and one 100K (it also included a 3 Hour Run, for a total of 23.6 miles).  The remainder, half marathon and shorter, included trails and one relay.  In a twist, only one of the 16 races was a NYRR event (the Italy Run).  Normally, at this point of the year I'd have run close to half a dozen NYRR races (going for my 9+1 goal).

Not sure what the second half of the year has in store for me, but doubt I will keep up a 200+ mile per month pace!  That would give me a 3,000 mile year - again, something I haven't racked up in more than a decade! But I will try to get in another hundred miler (next month in Vermont).  And definitely get in NYC Marathon #16 in November :D

Stay tuned!

Here is the monthly mileage recap:

Friday, June 29, 2018

Pair of Thieves Underwear Run at Central Park

Just got home from the Pair of Thieves Underwear Run in Central Park!  It's an annual kick-off event for the NYC Tri - though it's open to non-Tri participants (such as me).  Of all the races I've run - this is the first one I've run in my underwear (boxers to be precise)!  It was a lot of fun.

Tony was there and managed to get a shot of me during the race!  As for the event itself, the distance was billed as 1.7 miles (the lower loop of the park).  That was a bit short because my GPS came up with 1.9 miles (MapMyRun) - and even Strava gave it a solid 1.8 (which, for me, consistently registers shorter distances than MapMyRun).

Whatever the actual distance I managed to squeak in just under 13 minutes (12:55) - which given the 100K last weekend, I consider lightning fast - haha!

At the finish we were given Pair of Thieves fanny packs - which had a coupon for a free pair of underwear.  Sweet indeed - but unfortunately the code hasn't worked when I keyed it in and tried to secure that free pair :(

All in all, it was a great time - and I'll definitely go back next year!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

2018 The Great New York Running Exposition 100K ("GNY 100") Race Report

It’s a bit strange because I didn’t run TGNY 100 last year, but it seems like only yesterday I ran the course (when, in fact, it was actually two years ago in 2016)! The biggest difference between the two years is probably the training – I went into 2016 undertrained (having gotten off the wait list in late May, early June) and I went in this year over trained (having run roughly 1,400 miles so far this year)!

While I signed up for another go at 100 miles, when I got off the waitlist for the Vermont 100 next month at the start of this month, the 100K seemed to be a better option. Given that I ran the full 100 in 2016 and then DNF’ed at mile 60 in Vermont the following month, I don’t want to repeat that outcome. Whether it was the lack of sufficient recovery time – or simply that I was undertrained – the DNF at Vermont following GNY was not fun.

But getting back to TGNY 100 – it was nothing short of a miracle that we didn’t get any rain! The forecast leading up to the start called for rain as early as 3 AM, and included scattered thundershowers throughout the afternoon. However, there was no drizzle, no rain, and no thunder! There was plenty of humidity – and strangely enough, a lot of wind - during the first half of the day. Humidity was preferable to rain! That said, by the time we exited Central Park I was already drenched in sweat because of the humidity.

So much for staying dry! Not to get ahead of myself, but just before Central Park I suddenly realized my first huge goof of the day – I had left my water bottle in my finish line drop bag! It was strange to reach for a sip of water and find an empty hand where the bottle should have been!

But I’ve gotten ahead of myself. I had a somewhat over packed mini knapsack (too much stuff that was never used). I also had a small drop bag for 100K, a finish line drop bag, and the water bottle.

When I got out of the car I had put the water bottle in the outside pocket of the bag to make carrying all that stuff a bit easier. Needless to add, there it stayed. I eventually – just before the second aid station - picked up a discarded Poland Springs plastic bottle, rinsed it out, and it became my water bottle for the next 50+ miles!

As for the actual running, Manhattan and the Bronx were fine – both in terms of pace and navigation. Heading up the West Side to Van Cortlandt Park was straightforward running. VCP, itself, was “easy” on the navigation (even with a slight detour to a new exit from the Park) thanks to Grant’s excellent signage and markings. But there were still plenty of hills to climb! From VCP to Bronx River, down to Pelham Parkway and across to Pelham Bay Park was also very runnable. It was great to see Jeanette (single-handedly) managing Aid Station 3 (at roughly the 20 Mile mark)!

I didn’t really hit a down patch until I left Soundview Park (just past the 50k mark). At that point I had fallen almost a half hour off my 2016 pace (6 versus 5 and a half hours). It was also a long stretch of dreary industrial streets and lots of noisy Bruckner Boulevard traffic. Things picked up at Randall’s Island because the “bridge crossing” was upon me! The impending panic/anxiety attack that would overtake me crossing the Hells Gate Bridge instantly snapped me out of the doldrums!

Luckily, just before the walkway over the Bridge was a convenient construction site porta-John! I made a quick pit stop there, took a couple minutes to rearrange my pack, and took some Advil – then onward over the bridge. I had my right hand on the rail for most of crossing, while I chanted “keep it together, keep it together, it’ll all be over in 10 minutes” (silently – and occasionally aloud)!

Out of a 15 hour day, that was truly the most stressful 10 minutes (and it did seem like an eternity) of the entire race. The nice part of 100K, instead of the 100M, is I wouldn’t need to repeat it crossing the Marine Parkway Bridge! When I reached the aid station at the foot of the bridge, my right hand was so black from soot and dirt that the volunteers asked if I had fallen! No, thankfully I hadn’t done that. They were kind enough to help me wash my hand off with water before I set off on Astoria Boulevard and the Queens leg of the run!

By this point I had gotten my second wind and looked forward to reaching the Citi Field aid station. The 4+ mile stretch was uneventful, but when I arrived at the aid station I gave some serious consideration to a shot of tequila (a real surprise to find some waiting there)! Unfortunately, I stuck with Coke and had some boiled potatoes and chips – I was craving salty stuff after a diet of mostly watermelon and Swedish Fish.

I was good for the next couple of miles, but missed the left turn on Leavitt Street (just before mile 43) and went a couple of blocks out of way. No biggie, but my concentration had started to flag and missing the course marker was a wake up call. That jolt was good enough to restart my concentration and was quickly back on track (so to speak).

The next major milestone for me was the Mile 51 aid station – which I reached in 12 hours. I said hi to Tony, who had his massage table set up and was working on a runner. By this point I was hungry – real food hungry. All I could think about was the pizza and beer that would be waiting at 100K. So it was nothing short of heaven when they had pizza there! I ate a slice and half and it quickly brought me back to life.

I ran to the next aid station (Mile 56?) under power from that newfound energy. It actually powered me to the Unisphere before fatigue overtook me big time. While I tried to mix in running, the last 3-4 miles were mostly powerwalking. It was the longest stretch of walking – and for some reason, the Forest Park section seemed to go on forever! But right there, exiting the park I spotted Grant and the 100K finish!

It had taken me 15:03:20 to complete the 100K. Interestingly, it had taken about 3 hours to cover the last 11 miles (2 aid stations). That was just over an hour to go from 51 to 56 and then just under 2 hours from mile 56 to the finish. I finally sat down (exhausted and happy) and ate more pizza – and had a Tecate (as well as a Corona)!

I briefly (like for a minute) toyed with the notion of going on – especially since the Brooklyn portion is my favorite. But I really didn’t want to push it – and jeopardize my performance next month in Vermont. But come what may next month, I will be back next year – and for the full 100 miles!

Here are my race photos.

Monday, June 25, 2018

The Great New York Running Exposition ("GNY 100"): Race Photos & Results

Very few of these are pictures I actually took - but so thankful that those taking them got me in a few shots!  I'll add some comments to them soon, together with posting a race report (and link to the results once they've been posted)!

Here is link to the 100M results.
Here is link to the 100K results.

Here is my race report.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

The Great New York Running Exposition 100 ("GNY 100") - Quick Update

Quick update of the 2018 edition of the Great New York Running Exposition 100 ("GNY 100") while I write up a race report over the next couple of days.
Here is my race report :D

Finished the 100K (which according to my GPS was actually 63.5 miles, thanks to a couple of missed direction markers), in just over 15 hours (15:03:20 official)!  I had reached the 51 mile aid station in exactly 12 hours (had a slice and a half of pizza - my first real food of the day!) before pushing on to the finish.  It took just under 3 hours to cover the last 11 miles (but that was a little misleading because I ran to the 56 mile aid station in just over an hour and spent roughly 2 hours covering the last 6 miles).  I was ecstatic - and celebrated with cold beer and a bit more pizza!

I had planned on running the entire 100 miles, but beaten up condition aside when I arrived at 100k, I didn't want to repeat the mistakes of 2016 when I ran 100 miles at GNY and then had to dnf at 60 miles at the Vermont 100 the following month.  Hopefully the fewer miles this weekend will give me more recovery opportunity for the Vermont 100 next month :D

Either way, it was a great time yesterday (pun intended) - and we experienced something of a miracle when NO rain showed up.  Thankfully the weather forecasts were way, way off! 

This was Jill, Emmy, and me at the finish line last night - that can in the chair's drink holder is a Mexican Tecate Beer (and don't tell anyone, but I also had a small bottle of Corona as well) :D

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Happy Summer Solstice 2018!

Happy Summer Solstice!

Summer officially arrived here on the East Coast at 6:07 AM.  Unfortunately, it was a rainy kick-off to the longest day of the year.  Be that as it may (an it's down to a light drizzle right now), the sun should make its appearance by lunchtime!

Celebrate the Solstice by doing something fun outside today :D

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

2018 VCTC Flats Mile: Race Photos & Results

Celebrated Global Running Day with a trip to Van Cortlandt Park to run the Flats Mile!  It was a fun time, running and socializing.  But as for racing, after a long day at the office, all I could eke out for a mile run on the cinder track encircling the parade grounds was a 6:50 finish.  It was certainly one of my slower miles, but I'll take it :D

In addition to the great patch we received for signing up for the race itself, the NYRR were set up with their "finish line" for the Global Running Day runners - and I received a great buff as some nice bonus swag!

The official results have been posted on the VCTC results page.

2018 Global Running Day!

Happy Global Running Day!

This one requires no explanation - just get out and run!  Doesn't matter where (but preferable not on a treadmill - ha).  Roads or Trails, just get out there and put in a few miles today :D

Sunday, June 3, 2018

2018 NYRR Italy Run 5 Miler: Race Photos & Results

What a great morning to run in Central Park - especially given that it was 20 degrees cooler than the heat and humidity we had yesterday!  Today was the inaugural of the Italy Run (and I think it was at least the 4th country specific NYRR race that I've run: after, France, Portugal, Israel, and UAE).  And what better place to line up for this one than next to the statue of Giuseppe Mazzini on West Drive (Mazzini was a leader in the effort to reunify Italy in the mid-19th century)!  It also coincided with the Italian holiday "Festa della Repubblica" (2 June, actually) - which celebrates the birth of modern Italy (ala our own Forth of July) :D

As for the race itself, I managed a 38:33, 7:43 pace.  I was more than pleased with that result since I haven't done much speed work lately.  I was solidly under my 39:00 minute target, but well off my reach for a sub 38 finish.  I probably could have shaved a few seconds off that time but I watched in shock as a runner collapsed about a 100 feet from the finish - and began to CRAWL to the finish line!  He kept refusing all attempts at aid (from spectators, runners, and medical personal alike) in an effort to complete the 5 miles under his own power!  A remarkable sight to say the least.

Afterwards, there was a festival set up in front of the band shell - and tons of goodies!  Nutella and Lavazza coffee among the booths set up.  I included some of the goodies that I brought home in the picture of my race bib :D

Here are the official race results from NYRR.