Monday, April 27, 2009

Random Thoughts on a Monday Evening

I've spent an inordinate amount of time in the past 36 hours doing, well, nothing, as I've waited for various things to occur (most of them did, eventually). So that's left me with plenty of time for some random thoughts while I sit here and ice (and a way to catch up for the past week of no blogging).

-- Quote of the Week 1:

"I thought all runners would be serious loners. I'd been an amateur boxer when I was younger, so running was something that I did, but I did it alone and never really loved it. I never thought about it as fun. When I joined the club {Brooklyn Road Runners}, I started meeting people and running with them. I absolutely have achieved the goals that I had when I first joined -- to get serious and to get faster -- but I didn't realize I'd also tap into a whole social network of runners.

--Elias Hernandez, Brooklyn Road Runners, Spring 2009, New York Runner

-- Quote of the Week 2:

“Along with not-so-subtle nods to Eliot, Faulkner and Kipling (a 4:30 miler), "Once a Runner” features some near-Joycean experiments with time. According to Cheever, it takes 15 minutes to read aloud the account of the climactic mile that Quenton runs in less than four. Cheever called the novel “so inspiring that it could be banned as a performance-enhancing drug ... ”

--Jennifer Schuessler, New York Times Book Review, April 26. "Once a Runner" hit the hardcover list at #14 this week, and can be bought here for $15.29. A bargain, consider it cost $100 or more to get a used copy of this classic.

-- Have I mentioned that "Once a Runner" is the ***best*** running book ever! (Here's what Running Dangerously thinks.) And while there have been some close contenders, I'm still think "Chariots of Fire" is the best running movie ever.

Despite the heat over the past weekend (and no sub-50 temperatures in sight), the water fountains at Cadman Plaza Park (at the entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge) have yet to be turned on. Then again, you can pay $2 for a bottle of water in multiple places on the bridge ... should you be able to run at all through the masses on the coming weekends.

-- The Brooklyn PTA Run for the Schools is this Saturday (May 2) in Prospect Park. If you're not planning a long run, or other race that weekend, worth checking out (full disclosure: I have kids in the Brooklyn schools, so this benefits me :-)) And hopefully lots of you out there.

-- On a related note (as screams start escalating from the other room -- I suspect another sharing problem), here's a question, that I'll spend a little more time answering in the coming weeks. My oldest child asked me tonight when we'd go out and do a race together. A valid question: For those of you who have younger kids and run with them, where do you go? Do you run the NYRR races? Some of the PPTC races? I'll try to pull together a list of decent places where adults and kids can race.

-- New York Half Marathon registration begins noon on May 1, on a first-come, first-served basis, according to the NYRR Web site. The race is Aug. 16. The link on the Web site is not-clickable at this point in time, but figure the fees for this race will approach $100.

-- If you care about NYRR news, it's worth having Facebook and Twitter accounts. Right now, that seems to be where the newest information is coming from, and not from their Web site or via e-mail.

-- BTW, how hard is it to include the "cap" number on information about a race? The NYC Half has a cap of 10,000 runners (give or take an adjustment). What about for the various Central Park races? Not an idle thought - the size of the race is one of the criteria I use in deciding what I'll do.

-- Has anyone planned a run past the giant salt pile in Red Hook?

-- Race series kick off en masse next month:

Tuesday Night Speed Series, Icahn Stadium
Prospect Park 5Ks, Prospect Park
VCTC X/C 5Ks, Van Cortlandt

-- Let me circle back to the quote at the beginning of the post and urge you, if so inspired, to go out and try to join up with some of the various groups that run in Prospect Park. PPTC, Brooklyn Road Runners, Team in Training, JackRabbit, Nike -- and others -- all have large groups that conduct workouts in the park. Believe me, I'm a huge fan of running solo - I use those runs to work out various life problems, target specific workouts, etc. But I'm also a huge fan of running with people - *BECAUSE YOU LEARN FROM OTHERS* and it's fun.

Oh, and it's a good excuse to plan a post-run libation. :-). Happy trails.

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