Saturday, October 31, 2009

Water Fountain Woes

On the eve of the New York Marathon, the Parks Dept. has started to turn off water fountains. A long-ish run over the Williamsburg Bridge today and back to Prospect Park via Kent, along the BQE, Washington and then Vanderbilt - and several spot-checks (I NEED WATER!) indicated a number of fountains have already been turned off for the winter.

Despite the 60-plus degree temperatures today. Sigh.

The ones in Prospect Park seem to be on, as are the ones in Cadman Plaza. Anyone know of any others turned off?

Don't get me wrong - obviously the risk of pipes freezing necessitates these moves, though it seems weird that they are off in some neighborhoods and not others. It just means some advance planning, in case the temperatures nip higher again, to carry some water.

New York Marathon Web Surfing

For those of you trying to sit on the couches as much as possible today (and aren't college football fans), here are a few places to consider Web surfing as you get ready for tomorrow:

The ING NYC Marathon Daily Blog

LetsRun (the best of the professional Web sites devoted to running)

New York Times (and also a separate link to an op-ed column that argues that vapid articles about running make it hard to focus on the race itself) (for updates - this is for Brooklyn) (kickback and relax - it ain't *all* about running)
(if you have a subscription, watch "Chariots of Fire" immediately)

Friday, October 30, 2009

NYC Marathon 2010

Details have been posted about applications for the 2010 version of the New York Marathon. Some of the highlights:

-- NYRR members will pay $149 to enter (and a $11 processing fee). Non-members pay $185.

-- There will be Brooklyn buses to the start (more details to come).

-- The lottery is open Nov. 2 and runs through March 5

-- Guaranteed entry applications, including those who have time qualifiers or have done the Q-race route, will be available next year

-- Interestingly enough, those seeking time qualifiers will still be able to run the NYC Half (likely mid-to-late March) or Boston and use those times to get in

It's Finally Time

Whoohoo, it's finally New York Marathon weekend. Advance congrats to everyone who is toeing the starting line - think about all the hard work, long runs, early morning wakeup calls you've put yourself through to get to this day.

Since you're being inundated by advice, well wishes, etc. I'll limit my comments to one:

-- Plot out the 12-24 hours before the race, knowing what you're doing, what time you're going to bed, what time you're getting up (remember, you ***gain*** an hour for daylight savings time, etc.). Obviously, your routine will change since it is marathon day, but minimize all those changes.

Best of luck everyone.

*** POST UPDATED AND CORRECTED to show that you gain an hour of sleep. See what sleep deprivation does? And thanks to the commenter for pointing the error out ***

Monday, October 26, 2009

Race Results

Here's a link to the Nike Human Race results, as well as a press release from Nike (click on the New York-based U.S. flag) More than 3,400 runners finished in the Prospect Park 10K event, making it one of the year's largest races in the borough.

And, here's results from the Poland Spring 5 mile race in Central Park.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

PPTC Marathon Bus: New Departure Times

From the PPTC Web site:

"NYRR has just notified local clubs that chartered buses have to be at the bridge by 6:30 a.m. Runners riding PPTC buses to the start must be at 9th Street and Prospect Park West no later than 5:45 a.m. to check in and board the buses. This is a half hour earlier than originally planned. Buses will leave as they are filled and the last bus will leave at 6:00 a.m. SHARP! The PPTC buses will roll on Marathon morning from Prospect Park West and 9th Street."

More info about early morning transportation on the Web site.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Check the Fine Print: NYC in 2010

The application for the New York Marathon in 2010 goes live on Nov. 2, one day after this year's race.

From the Web site:

"By adding 12 weeks to the training schedule, NYRR hopes to attract runners from a wider spectrum of ability, from experienced runners to novices -- even people who have never run a step."

What's not said: Applying to the race doesn't mean you get *into* the race. 2010 standards haven't been published, but please check the application when it is posted. If you're banking on getting into the NYC Marathon via lottery, there's no reason to apply until the deadline -- based on last year's rules (so you can enjoy the use of your money before then).

Friday, October 23, 2009

Plodders Stay Home

So ... there's an article on the front page of today's New York Times about so-called "plodders" and whether they should both running a marathon.

It's teased with following blurb: "As marathon fields continue to grow, so has the intensity of the debate over how quickly a runner should finish the once-elite event that is now an activity for the masses."

Umm, what debate?

Oh, this:

"Purists believe that running a marathon should be just that — running the entire course at a relatively fast clip. They point out that a six-hour marathoner is simply participating in the event, not racing in it. Slow runners have disrespected the distance, they say, and have ruined the marathon’s mystique."

I consider myself lucky enough to have friends who have qualified for the Olympic Trials , and those whose goal are to break six hours in a marathon. And yes, there are those who question the commitment of those who are moving at the slower pace. A tiny, tiny, tiny few.

The NYT has turned off the ability to comment for the article. And that's not a surprise, given the responses I've seen in my own running community. Geesh.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Nike Human Race in Prospect Park 10/24

Nike is one of the most powerful media/athletic companies on the planet. But you'd have to be actively searching for stuff to understand that the Nike Human Race is this Saturday. In Prospect Park, no less.

I was reminded of this as I struggled during a six-mile run earlier this evening down 1st Ave. and then along the FDR. At one of my checkpoints (by 23rd St. along the water), there was a large display promoting the Human Race and a lone person standing by with a clipboard. (Not sure what she was trying to do.)

Contrast this with the advertising blitz by the New York Marathon folk reminding us that the race is at the beginning of November - I've seen displays everywhere.

Anyway, here are the details. It starts at 8 a.m. on Saturday.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Sunday Stuff

The weather forecast - low 40s and rainy - ain't promising, but some things to be aware of:

* The 11th annual Race Against Violence is being held in John Paul Jones Park

* In Prospect Park is a Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, sponsored by the American Cancer Society, that starts at 11 a.m.

* For those of you who want to get cold, wet and dirty (after all, why else do we run?), the Kurt Steiner X/C race takes place at Van Cortlandt in the Bronx at 11:30 a.m.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Running in Prospect Park

Hey, the New York Times discovered running in Prospect Park is a good thing. To Roving Runner's credit, though, he didn't stay on the loop but explored within.

Think the Brooklyn tourist board will be a lot happier about that article than this one about murderous swans ...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Race Results

Wow, a ton of them over the weekend. Let's get to some of the highlights:

One of the fastest marathons* (in part because it's a huge net downhill (*that is, unless you hate downhills), the Steamtown Marathon in Scranton, PA, boasted a good handful of Brooklyn runners. Daniel Blausey had a net time of 3:11:25, making him the top Brooklyn male finisher. Maggie Deschamps led Brooklyn women with a 3:40:05.

And then, of course, there was Chicago, where the fastest marathon on U.S. soil was run. Pretty friggin' awesome. The results are here, but right now it's not letting me search by city and state.

Closer to home, the Staten Island Half Marathon boasted almost 4,000 finishers on what was a picture perfect day for the 13.1 mile race. Jorge Eliecer Real smoked the field with a 1:10:04. Sarah Foster finished second overall for women with a 1:28:39.

Kirt Joseph led the way with a blazing 16:30 at the Get to the Point 5K, which boasted 449 finishers. Miriam Beyer dominated the women's field with a 19:21.

No immediately seeing any official/unofficial results for the Restoration Plaza Bed-Stuy 10K. Some rumblings out there that there were some problems with directions on the course, which may have caused some problems (and added some distance.)

The fall weather is here, and so is racing season. Congrats everyone who laced on shoes over the weekend - and good luck to those who are gearing for competitions in the coming weeks.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Saturday Snoozing

This Saturday morning was one of very few in recent memory that I haven't dragged myself out of bed for a run by choice (as opposed to being injured). But with a race Sunday -- and so many options out there -- there was no impetus to dash down some coffee and speed-read the Sunday paper.

Best of luck everyone running Bed-Stuy 10K, Staten Island Half, Chicago Marathon or whatever. And congrats to local runners who ran in Hartford today - hope it wasn't as windy as it was here in NYC.

Wrapups, coverage and other stuff late Sunday and Monday.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Race of the Weekend

Here's a quick shout-out to the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration 10K this Sunday. I ran it a couple of years ago and had a blast - it's a fun course, with plenty of entertainment both before and after the event. Be mindful of all the subway construction this weekend as you're trying to get there.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Random Thoughts on a Monday Evening

I am not a huge fan of running the early mornings. 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. starts, I can do with no problem. Even 6 a.m. isn't so bad. 4:30 a.m., after being awoken by a persistent (and yet undead) mosquito - not a fan. I read about the people who regularly get up for 5 a.m. runs and come back after a 10 mile jaunt - consider me impressed.

Yet circumstances and training necessitated a 9 mile run this AM

The few things that remain in my sleep-deprived mind (there is no way I'll see the second half of Monday Night Football tonight):

-- at 4:30, the Brooklyn Heights Promenade is empty, and beautiful when there is a full moon shining on the water

-- at 5 a.m. in Prospect Park, there are more power walkers (and couples, I might add) then there are runners

-- the park's raccoon and swan population is alive and well

-- I have to be really, really, really desperate to open one of the PortoPotties at that hour (I didn't)

-- It's harder to sprint for a subway car after running 9 miles

Other stuff as I'm thinking about it:

-- The Prospect Park Track Club is sponsoring a marathon bus ($10 for members, $15 for nonmembers) to get to the NYC marathon start. Also of interest: a Gatorade supported group run on Oct. 25 of the last 10 miles of the race

-- Check this out: Photo and article in Prospect Park, including resident Chris Bither, about running with a stroller

-- I asked Heavy Metal Runner for his description of an almost 20-miler that he's been running, and he obliged. To quote from his e-mail:

"It's a pretty good route. Lot's of water available on the 2nd half. I run from carroll gardens up union street to easter parkway, then up bedford all the way through williamsburg. I make my way into long island city over the pulaski bridge, the over the queensboro bridge, across manhattan to the west side and then I take the west side down until I hit chambers street and then i head over the brooklyn bridge and straight home. I like this route also because it covers a lot of territory that the marathon covers which I had yet to run on (this years marathon is my first so i figured it would be to my benefit to run some of it's faraway from home stretches to gain a little familiarity)"

Race Results

Plenty to catch up on:

Here's the final standings of the Brooklyn Triple Crown

Grete's Gallop Half, a 2+ loop of Central Park, is here

Kelly Chin was the top Brooklyner in Minnesota at the Twin Cities Marathon with a 2:49:34, just missing qualification for the 2012 Olympic Trials (go Kelly!). She needs a 2:46.

Cross-country ruled at Van Cortlandt, as it should (first of three consecutive Sundays, races at 11:30)

No results yet for the Liz Padilla 5K (unless I've missed) - will link when available.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Gangs of 4

Was running an easy 7 miles today because of a 5K tomorrow, and was struck by the number of groups I saw in Prospect Park and on the roads leading to the Brooklyn Bridge.

It's actually something I've noticed for the past several weeks, and I realize this is purely anecdotal, but the number of groups (2, 3, 4 or more) of runners - at all hours -- I've seen seems to be increasing. And this is ultimately a good thing. I love running on my own, but I'll be the first to admit that running with someone else can add another element that makes the run both enjoyable and successful.

I tend to do group runs on the weekend, and then probably once during the work week (work and family commitments often make it difficult to schedule more than that, something I know that weighs on a lot of my colleagues, especially the ones with young children). But I've found that the extra effort in trying to schedule runs and speed workouts with my friends is well worth it. Not only does it help me when I'm trying to run faster, it also helps to control me when I'm seeking to run slower.

Happily, there are plenty of clubs out there that have scheduled groups runs, where you can meet up with folk, make friendships/alliances, and then set up your own runs. Local running stores also tend to be sponsoring runs, so check them out.

Some links below to some of the area clubs and organizations: Scheduled workouts are available on their sites. There's also Team in Training, which has some Brooklyn-based workouts, and more formal workouts with stores like JackRabbit (though this involves a fee), as does the Brooklyn Bridge Boot Camp (not solely fixated on running).

Brooklyn Road Runners
Brooklyn Running Meetup Group
Prospect Park Track Club (with Slope Sports)
North Brooklyn Runners
Shore Road Striders

Liz Padilla 5K Oct. 4

For those of you who might be interested in what tomorrow's Liz Padilla 5K in the park is about, here's a summation from a colleague to put it in perspective:

"On Thursday, June 9th, 2005, we suffered the tragic, untimely loss of Elizabeth Kasulis Padilla. Always an active person, Liz was riding her bicycle to work when she was killed in a road accident. Her absence continues to weigh heavily on those who knew and loved her, yet she continues to inspire us through her legacy of generosity and kindness.

Liz, a graduate of Cornell Law School, joined the Volunteer Lawyers Project as a Pro Bono Coordinator/Staff Attorney in December 2004. She immediately focused her extraordinary talents and abundant energy on providing direct representation and counsel to clients with family law issues, as well as the challenging task of coordinating the efforts of the Project's volunteer attorneys, making certain all eligible clients received appropriate representation in family law, bankruptcy, elder law and housing matters. Her fluency in Spanish was a great source of comfort to many of the Project's clients. Liz was an active participant in the Project's Senior Legal Education and Assistance Program (LEAP), visiting many of the senior centers herself. Liz approached each day with excitement, eagerly seeking opportunities to give back to her community, especially to those most in need of a helping hand.

In addition to long hours at the VLP, her days were filled with an amazing mix of challenging and meaningful activities: tutoring high school students, training as a tri-athlete, enrolling in a trapeze school, running the NYC marathon with disabled athletes as a member of the Achilles Track Club - and so much more. More than anything, Liz loved her very special family, laughter and hard work. In the summer of 2005, Liz was planning a 5k Race to benefit the VLP, her unique way of joining two of her favorite activities. We dedicate this event to her. "

The race starts at 10 a.m at Bartel Pritchard Square (15th/Prospect Park West). There's also a donation page.