Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Once a Runner in April 2009

According to this Slate article, "Once A Runner" will be republished in April 2009. (An earlier post on this blog, based on a Running Times interview, had suggested this year, which obviously isn't going to happen.)

"Again to Carthage" was OK, but somewhat a disappointment when compared to the standards that Parker set. (I know why he set it up the way he did, and appreciate that, but still wanted something more). The article on Slate is somewhat negative, but don't be discouraged.

If you have never read, ''Once A Runner" is the best book depicting running at the competitive level that's ever been published. Why? It captures both the pressure, the skills, and the inanity the top-level runners cope with on a daily basis - something that can't be captured in the daily/weekly/monthly press. It's fiction, yes, but I'll be grabbing it for my bookshelf and sending some early Xmas presents.

Happy New Year

It's going to be cold outside tonight. More power to those of you doing the midnight races.

And for some inside training, note the following workouts (so you can get ready to race in the frigid winter I suspect this will be -- last week's 65 degrees not withstanding).

Friday, December 26, 2008

New Year's Eve/Day Races

At least three in the area that you want to keep your eye on:

The New Year's Eve Fun Run (11:15 p.m. in Prospect Park)

The Midnight Run in Central Park

Harry's Handicap at 10 a.m. New Year's Day in Prospect Park (mostly a Prospect Park Track Club event, but guests welcome). The quirky thing about this one - you get a head start based on your previous times (the goal for organizers is to have all races arrive at the finish line at the same time, which never happens)

Early forecast: High 20s for that evening ...

USATF Lifts Headphone Ban

I still think it was a good idea ... anyway, race directors now have the discretion to make a decision as to whether to have a ban or not.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Hope the holiday season is peaceful, and the running gifts are plentiful!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

NYRR Volunteer Program Extended

Somehow, this doesn't surprise me - figuring that a lot of people left their volunteer "requirement" to the last moment as they sought to get a guaranteed entry into the New York Marathon in 2009. Now, you have until the end of January ...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Why I Run ...

Tonight was a perfect example.

After setting up arrangements to meet some friends at Grand Army Plaza, I was stymied by the sluggish MTA service this evening, so arrived 15 minutes late.

Figuring I'd meet up with anyone who did make it, I started a clockwise route of Prospect Park, only to quickly find another runner, who'd also missed her group start.

Our 10 minute conversation was pleasant (she found her group, I didn't), but so was the winter wonderland as the snow kept falling, creating the magical scene that occurs every December during the first or second snowfall.

I got hammered with snow in the eyes on the top half of the park (memo to self: wear baseball hat over Under Armour beanie), but the run home was simply beautiful. Holiday lights, early snowfall - what's not to like?

Friday, December 12, 2008

NYRR Race Registration Dec. 15?

Apparently NYRR race registration for the first three months of the year will open on Dec. 15.

NYRR will accept 6,500 runners for the "capped" races, figuring that no-shows will bring the count down to 5,000.

Will March races close out that day? Doubtful. But if you're doing the 9+1 strategy to get into NYRR Marathon, it's worth keeping this in mind. I seem to recall one of the articles - it may have been the NYTimes -- that said 10 of 27 races last year crossed the threshold.

Meanwhile, keep in mind that there are hundreds of other races in the Greater New York/New Jersey/Long Island area. And while the New York Marathon is admittedly special, you don't have to commit your running life to Central Park.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Random Thoughts on a Saturday Afternoon

Sitting here, trying to figure out why my neck muscles have contracted for the second time this month (might have something to do with trading the bed for the couch after our 2-year-old refused (again) to sleep through the night in her bed ...) Ahh, but there is more worthy commentary ...

** Think runners are obsessive? Try these hikers who go after the 48 4,000 footers in New Hampshire every month of the year (I've got about two-thirds of them at least once) ...

** My blogging friend whatyoudon'tknowbecauseyourarentme culled these comments from the blogosphere about the PPTC Turkey Trot - a great selection (and thanks for the kudos!)

** The New York Times has this about the NYRR capping races in Central Park at 5,000. Head honcho Mary Wittenberg also talks about caps for the NYC Half and NYRR Marathon, though these are already in place in some fashion because of the lottery.

** Speaking of which, I bet tomorrow's Joe Kleinerman breaks 7,000 finishers ... and the Peter Rabbit X/C race in Prospect Park breaks 70 ...

** Which would be worse - running the Queens Half in August or the Bronx Half in the dead of summer?

** Did you get your volunteer duty done yet?

** Slope Sports and JackRabbit are among the Park Slope merchants participating in the Buy in Brooklyn campaign Thursday night, with many open later that evening to encourage some holiday shopping. Definitely worth checking out to see what deals are available.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Many NYRR Races Capped at 5000 in 2009

This posted on the NYRR Web site in relation to Central Park races:

"Why is NYRR capping races?
At NYRR races, our commitment is to deliver a high-quality runner experience. Our races are more popular than ever, so we are capping our Central Park races at 5,000 participants to enhance the race-day experience for all. Some races, such as the NYRR New York Mini 10K and Grete’s Great Gallop, will have higher caps; these races will be identified on our online race calendar. Kids’ races will not be capped."

Immediate implication: Many of the races were hitting 6,000 or more - that means that stragglers will no longer be able to sign up at the last moment. Does mean that, theoretically, things should move smoother.

What's not said here: Central Park folk are getting upset at us runners on the weekends.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Six Months to Brooklyn

Some not-so-random thoughts in the wake of the Brooklyn Half being scheduled on May 30. (Let's assume, for now, that that date is locked in place, though this early on, there are certainly no guarantees).

- My first reaction was that it was Memorial Day weekend (an absolute race killer). Instead, it's the weekend after - so basically, the second weekend of "summer."

While temperatures will hopefully be moderate, it means we'll be running into some of the summer Coney Island crowd. (I'm sure the borough isn't going to be too thrilled about the potential traffic issues).

- So, if Coney Island traffic becomes an issue ... does that mean the course changes? (Running four loops in Prospect Park ... blech.)

- Given a preference, would much rather do a summer half marathon down Ocean Parkway rather than the Grand Concourse in the Bronx (something called trees ...)

- Some temperatures (and dates) from past races

2004: April 24, 65 degrees
2005: March 19, 44 degrees
2006: March 18, 33 degrees (windy)
2007: April 18, 41 degrees (windy)
2008: May 3, 48 degrees

- The later date means that Brooklyn can't really be used as a training springboard for a spring marathon (yes, you can find a summer marathon, but ...)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Brooklyn Half Marathon May 30

Don't know if this date is set in stone, but it looks like the Brooklyn Half has been pushed all the way back to May 30!!