Monday, June 29, 2009

A Tribute to Michael Jackson

This popped up in my e-mail box today ... so be warned if you see some people doing the Thriller dance while running in Prospect Park tomorrow night (of course, you could also join in ... just how many of you added some MJ songs to your running mix for your iPod in the past few days!)

"Please join us Tuesday, June 30 at 7:30 p.m., for a loop around Prospect Park to celebrate the music of Michael Jackson. Glittery costumes and/or wigs and makeup are encouraged (some of us will be going with the simple white t-shirt/black pants/black fedora combo), boomboxes playing the greatest hits will be carried, and when we reach the end of the loop we will organize a mass Thriller dance. Let's do right by MJ and make a spectacle!

Don't worry if you're not a runner; we'll take it slow.

We'll go for drinks afterward, of course, where we'll dance... on the floor... in the round.

Meet at 7:30, Prospect Park West & 9th Street, the same entrance used for access to the band shell."

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Training Programs

Ahh, the heady days of summer have arrived. Might we have a rain-free day today? (Well, yesterday was just a blip, a refreshing douse). And do you have your training program set for the fall marathon?

Eighteen weeks from today, the New York Marathon takes place. Eighteen weeks is the traditional training program length that's suggested. Eighteen weeks starts ... RIGHT NOW!

There a few places out there that you can get some help, especially if you're willing to fork over a few bucks. No endorsement implied by listing any of them - just presenting some options.

The New York Marathon is offering its own training program, an online, 18-week course conducted by Andrew Kastor. The cost of 18 weeks is $45.

Also, NYRR has six sample schedules posted, created by the Glovers (though only distance is listed - and just plodding along at the same pace for 18 weeks isn't likely to help you do anything other than ... run the race at that pace.). For more effectiving training, they offer sessions during the week through NYRR set up by skill level that are well worth at least a sampling if you've never done any kind of interval work. These take place in Central Park.

Through a nifty interactive feature, the New York Times offers sample plans from the likes of Jeff Galloway (great for beginners), Grete Waitz and Greg McMillan.

JackRabbit Sports has a 16 week training class starting July 16 taught by Jonathan Kane, meeting at Grand Army Plaza. Cost is $325.

Also, Brooklyn Road Runners' member Scott Ruplinger has a training program as part of Marathon Training Systems, with training done in both Prospect and Central parks. The cost is $350, or a fundraising commitment of $600, and you can sign up on

One note: Before entering any of these training programs, you'll note they all recommend you have a certain base level of mileage before you start, so please take the words of caution seriously.

OK, hit the roads!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

High-Intensity Training

This story by the N.Y. Times raises some intriguing thoughts:

"What researchers have been looking at recently is whether humans ... can increase endurance with only a few minutes of strenuous exercise, instead of hours? Could it be that most of us are spending more time than we need to trying to get fit?"

Does high-intensity training for short bursts of time give you the same fitness level as the longer, slower slogs that we all do?

Note that running wasn't studied - cycling was the main activity - so the pounding impact may not work well for this. The article points out that you have get out of your comfort level -- and I'm still feeling the pain from a speed workout a couple of days ago, so I wonder about this part.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Fall Marathons: Get Ready

Didn’t get into the big marathons this fall (I’m talking New York, Chicago or Marine Corps)?

Never fret, there are plenty of Northeast marathons to choose from – some flat, some challenging, some picturesque, all of them still open (hopefully) as this writing.

Here’s a list as you ponder your travel/training plans. There may be some smaller ones that I’ve missed, and if you know of any that are worthwhile, by all means, post a comment or send an e-mail. It does look like the Westchester Marathon and the Atlantic City Marathon won’t be held this fall (based on the lack of information on their Web sites) – if someone knows of dates of these races, please let me know.

By all means, check out if you’re thinking about traveling elsewhere – it has an extensive list, along with comments from racers, elevation charts, etc.

Aug. 25: Self-Transcendence Marathon, NY

Sept. 13: Rochester Marathon, NY

Sept. 13: Lehigh Valley Marathon, NY

Sept. 13: Erie Marathon, PA

Sept. 20: Adirondack Marathon, NY

Sept. 20: Yonkers Marathon, NY

Sept. 26: Hamptons Marathon, NY

Sept. 27: Clarence Demar Marathon, NH

Oct. 3: New Hampshire Marathon, NH

Oct. 4: Maine Marathon, ME

Oct. 4: Wineglass Marathon, NY

Oct. 10: Hartford Marathon, CT

Oct. 11: Mohawk Hudson Marathon, NY

Oct. 11: Steamtown Marathon, PA

Oct. 18: Bay State Marathon, MA

Oct. 18: Amica Marathon, RI

Oct. 18: Mount Desert Island Marathon, ME

Oct. 25: Cape Cod Marathon, MA

Nov. 1: Manchester City Marathon, NH

Nov. 8: Harrisburg Marathon, PA

Nov. 14: Richmond Marathon, VA

Nov. 22: Philadelphia Marathon, PA

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Owl's Head Park

For those of us in the Brooklyn Heights/Park Slope area of Brooklyn, it's easy to get tied into running routes that encompass the Brooklyn Bridge, Prospect Park, or places in between. That's why it's nice to get out and explore other parts of Brooklyn.

Today's route has been done before in longer fashion, but it was a fairly straight out and back from Grand Army Plaza to Owl's Head Park, running through Sunset Park and into Bay Ridge It's roughly 5 miles there (10 miles roundtrip), and that's before you do anything in the park. There's a mighty nice grassy uphill/downhill in a few places in the park that I think will serve me well for some cross-country training later this summer (haven't checked out the footing, but I'm optimistic.)

Obviously, if you're out this far, a run along the water toward the Verrazano Bridge can bring about some added miles. Not many water options along the route (we chose 5th Avenue, but obviously there are others), so worth bringing a bottle or some money for one of the bodegas (or you can hit up one of the store owners hosing the sidewalks for a blast of New York's freshest).

As the summer goes along, I'll try to add different routes (click on the Favorite 10-Mile Plus Runs to see some others), to offer some suggestions for people looking to build mileage for the fall.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

June Races

Folk, here’s an abbreviated list of what's coming up in the next couple of weeks. More to come, obviously. ...

Upcoming Races

June 20, Good Shepherd 5K, Batchelder Str.

June 21, Take Your Base 5K, Coney Island

June 24, Al Gordon Speed Series, 5K, Prospect Park

June 27, Front Runners NY Gay and Lesbian Pride Run, 5M, Central Park

June 27, Rockefeller State Park 10K, Sleepy Hollow, NY

June 28, Achilles Hope & Possibility 5M, Central Park

June 28, Cosme 5K, Coney Island

Monday, June 15, 2009

NYRR Race Updates

The Father's Day race is sold out. (If I had my druthers, running a race in Central Park is *not* how I'd spend my day running). But good luck to all the dads who will be out there.

The NYRR Sprint Triathlon is taking entries now. Open just to NYRR runners for a 24 hour span, then open to the general public. Capped at 500. The race is on Aug. 23, takes place in Queens. Not sure when they posted it.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Random Thoughts on a Saturday Morning

Would rather be running this AM rather than blogging, but sometimes other priorities come up. Still, a chance to go through some assorted stuff that's accumulated in my brain (and e-mail box) in no apparent order ...

-- My first reaction when I saw this article on the new High Line: I must run on it ... For a time, I worked near the portion around 34th Street, and it was always so tempting to hop the fence that blocked it and go for a stroll. Alas, this was also post-9/11, meaning the odds of getting arrestedas a result had drastically increased. A portion of the route is open now, and more to come ...

-- For a variety of reasons - injury, timing, etc., I'd managed to put off the first decently long run of the year in 70-plus degree conditions and 90+% humidity, until yesterday. Blech. A bit more than an hour, and I was four pounds lighter as the sweat poured down my body. (And I was hydrating throughout). Blech. Obviously I need to do a bit better. Here's a link, BTW, to an attempt to map NYC water fountains.

-- Apropos of nothing: The Princess Bride remains one of the best movies ever. "My name is Inigo Montoya ... "INCONCEIVABLE!" -- so many great quotable lines (I'm reminded because you can now link to Facebook groups directly ... such as the NYRR (or, I suspect you will, when they get it working.)

-- Let's Run has ongoing coverage of the NCAA Division 1 championships, and the amazing Galen Rupp. It's worth clicking on the mini-videos that are part of Day 2 and Day 3 (and are now on the main home page) of the coverage to watch the final three minutes of his 10K and 5K victories, respectively. Ahh, to have that kind of talent.

-- If you wanted to get in some low-impact (i.e. grass, trails) *downhill* running - say at least a good 200 meter stretch, where would you go? It's easy to find pavement - it's less so to find the low-impact stuff. The wooden slats on the Brooklyn Bridge aren't bad, but not preferable, especially on the weekends when Tourist Hell arrives.

-- Woefully behind on calendar/fall marathon lists, etc. Will have downtime at weird hours this weekend, so watch for updated posts. Happy trails.

Monday, June 8, 2009

New York Marathon Charity Slots

The New York Times has a piece today on their Web site on a variety of different charities that still have slots available for this year's New York Marathon (which received more than 100,000 applicants, according to an Associated Press article last week.

Among the many worthy causes: the Lance Armstrong Foundation, the American Cancer Society, and the Team Hole in the Wall all have slots for you to run, and raise money, on their behalf.

Results and Photos

Kenny Dolan results haven't been posted yet, though here's a link to some photos from the race.

Here are results from the NYRR Mini 10K. Kelly Chin was the top Brooklyn finisher.

Results from the Riverdale Ramble 10K are linked off the main page of VCTC. (Scroll down).

Thursday, June 4, 2009

New York Marathon Lottery Results Today

At noon. See this posting on the NYRR Web site:

Lottery results for U.S. residents will be available on Thursday, June 4, at noon by logging-in to the Entrant Login. Entrants will need their username and password in order to log-in. If you do not know your username and password, please e-mail for assistance. Entrants will be asked to provide emergency contact information. Please have that available.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Happy National Running Day

If I'd gotten around to posting this earlier, maybe you'd make the 6:30 run in Prospect Park tonight. But never fear -- every day is a perfect day for running.

Take this morning, for example. After dragging myself out of bed at 4:30 a.m. for a bevy of tasks, I managed to squeeze in a 2 1/2 mile jaunt that took me to the top of the Brooklyn Bridge (and even missed the rain to boot). With only a couple of other people up at that hour, the solitude was blissful.

Admittedly, perhaps I could have gone for a run this evening with Deena Kastor, or headed up to Boston for a workout with Bill Rogers, but so be it.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Brooklyn Triple Crown

Speaking of the Kenny Dolan 5K this weekend, the race is part of a new Brooklyn Triple Crown of races, sponsored by the Coney Island Sports Foundation.

The two other races are Cosme's 5K on June 28 in Coney Island, and the PO Hoban 5 Miler on Sept. 20 in Bay Ridge.

According to the Web site:

"In order to be in contention for the Brooklyn Triple Crown you must run all three races.
Awards will be 5 deep in each age category."

Sounds like a great opportunity for local runners who want to showcase their talents in Brooklyn races.

More details on this as they become available.

Upcoming Races This Weekend

Enough with my Brooklyn Half obsession. It's over, done with for a year. I probably won't post about it again for at least another day ... but don't hold me to it.

Shockingly enough, there are *other* races to be run. I'm woefully behind on my race calendar, but at least let me offer up these four for the weekend:

June 6, Eugene McCarthy 5K, Marine Park

June 7, Kenny Dolan 5K, Prospect Park

June 7, Riverdale Ramble, 10K, Bronx

June 7, NYRR New York Mini 10K, Central Park

More to come.