Monday, June 28, 2010

A More Comprehensive Look at Area Races

is here, at NYC Runs, for those who haven't discovered this site yet.

Summer Runnin', Having Some Fun ...

As I'm sitting here desperately praying for the summer storm to hit, and bring relief for this gosh-awful humidity, my thoughts are also turning to what the summer holds. Here's a look at some of the events that you might want to put on your calendars if it works out. One caveat: This by all means is not a comprehensive list - I'm deliberately picking and choosing, and I welcome comments on the omissions. (And by all means, if you're traveling, make sure you take a look at some of the local running clubs or local races in your neck of the woods).

July 4: Pepper Martin Run. Five miles, including a kick-ass hill, and a great post-race feed, all a worthy excuse to visit Staten Island before your evening festivities.

July 10: Take Your Base 5K at MCU Park (that's where the Cyclones play now). It's a fund-raiser for the American Cancer Society, and a perfect excuse to drag the family out to Coney Island.

July 11: Utica Boilermaker 15K. One of the state's great races.

July 23: Dan Kelley Twilight Mile. I know nothing about this Staten Island race; that said it's an opportunity to race a classic distance on a track (bring your spikes!). An aside: Something like this needs to happen more often: How about a Brooklyn Track Festival out at Red Hook?

July 24: Queens Half Marathon. Still waiting on the course description. I love the comments on how to get there on the NYRR Web site: "Take the 7 Train to Mets-Willets Point station. More details coming soon."

Aug. 7: NYRR Club Championships. It's one of those races that still pulls in most of the best of the city. And when you look at the NYRR race results, and realize how many top runners *aren't* on club teams ...

Aug. 8: Sgt. Ferguson 5K on the Brooklyn Bridge. Perhaps I need to check my vacation schedule next year. I spend way too much time of my running time on the Brooklyn Bridge - it's time I should race it.

Aug. 15: Bronx Half. Grand Concourse. Middle of the summer or the middle of winter. Which is worse?

Aug. 18: Al Goldstein PPTC Summer Series. This is the last race of several in Prospect Park, and a perfect way to round up the summer racing season.

Aug. 22: Battle of Brooklyn 10-Miler. Sponsored by JackRabbit, it's 3 loops in Prospect Park ... or, run a 3-person relay. (Wait, hasn't this been done ...). If I'm in a betting mood: What's the over-under for the temperature spread at the start between the Cherry Tree and the Battle of Brooklyn ... Let's start at 60 degrees (F)

Needless to say, there are plenty of other races, and I welcome some shout-outs.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Cosme Coney Island Boardwalk 5K Tomorrow

So, if you didn't already have plans, and have a hankering to spend some time in Coney Island tomorrow, the Cosme 5K takes place tomorrow (June 27). Race starts at 9:30 a.m. - online registration is closed, but details about the race are here and here

Running in the Heat

There are reasons to run in hot, humid temperatures. Say, for example, you're training for the Queens or Bronx half marathons, and you're looking to mimic race-day conditions. Or you're looking at at a fall marathon and need to get the mileage in.

Then there are the reasons *not* to run in such conditions, or at least tailor your workout to accommodate the heat. Such as today's poor excuse: a 12+-mile run (should have been 15), which started with some promise and slowly dribbled away (like the water I vainly poured over my heat in an attempt to stay cool.) Note to self: a run around the Green-Wood cemetery sounds like a good idea (a little variety, little traffic ... and no water fountains. Yes, there a couple of bodegas, if I'd planned a bit more ahead).

I don't care that the Watchtower clock said it was 73 degrees when I crossed the Brooklyn Bridge later - the strength-zapping humidity more than made up for it. I'd also think my body had at least acclimatized, a little, to the temperatures given the weather over the last few weeks. Uh uh.

I know others feel my pain. And probably some of my dehydration (despite drinking Gatorade, water and lemonade for several hours, it wasn't until mid-afternoon before the need to use the bathroom arose). It seems a lot more humid sooner in the year (could just be me).

So, to actually add some value to this vent, let me steal a line from when of the better cop shows: "Let's be careful out there." Don't overdo it. Make sure you're hydrated. And run smart (i.e. modify your workout to take into account the temperatures.)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Running and Pianos

I'm seeing a running route in this (or multiple trips) ... with the installation of the "Play Me, I'm Yours" piano exhibit, there are 10 pianos in Brooklyn (and 60 throughout the city) just waiting to have your sweat-dripping fingers making some beautiful music. (Does Vanessa Carlton run?)

I passed the one in City Hall Park this morning - very colorful under its plastic wrap. The exhibit starts tomorrow and runs for two weeks. Grand Army Plaza, Coney Island, McCarren Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park all have one, and there are more ...

Father's Day Race Results

Nothing I like better on Father's Day than being reminded about the risks of prostate cancer (yes, I know, good cause and all that, but still ...). Remarkably blechhy day - I did an hour run about 10 a.m. and found myself stopping at water fountains every chance I got (great sprinkler section in Battery Park if you haven't seen it).

Oh, yeah, the results. 5,203 people finished. The weather part is ... blank (it was hot, humid, messy).

Jon Phillips was the first Brooklyn finisher, clocking a 24:42 (nothing in there about whether the 26-year-old is a dad).

Friday, June 11, 2010

Running This Weekend

After being put in my place by two 5Ks (Sunday, Thursday), and facing a bunch of schedule conflicts this weekend, I ain't happy. Still, there's running to be done:

*Both Saturday and Sunday mornings look perfect for long runs (with rain possible both weekend evenings). Should be in the 6os tomorrow morning, which is a nice change.

*On Saturday, many are running the NYRR Mini 10K (featuring 11 Olympians). It's also being Webcast on the NYRR site. Women only. Closer to home is the Race for Auto Music 5K! at 9 a.m. Other events are on the PPTC Web site.

And then of course there's the U.S.-England World Cup game *and* the Diamond League meet on Randall's Island in the PM (not happy about this). Lagat will be running in the 1500 with about 15-20 minutes to go in the game ... blech - wouldn't be a problem, if I didn't have tickets to the track meet. (Yes, I know, a better smart phone would save me).

*Sunday, please note, the Michael Hanly run has been canceled, according to the Web site. Cool race icon, though. Thunderstorms later in the day, indicating some levels of humidity, in case you run in the evening. Then you have the choice of watching Celtics-Lakers game 5, or running early in the AM Monday (again, not happy).

Good luck, everyone who's racing!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Number Pickup for NYRR Races

Hearing some rumblings that folk picking up numbers for *other* runners at NYRR races are being told that they may need a letter, or some other proof, in the future.

Previously, I've had no problems picking up numbers for friends. Anyone hearing/seeing anything that would confirm a change?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

What's the Fastest 5K in Prospect Park in 2010?

Abiyot Endale ran a 14:44 on Sunday in the Kenny Dolan Run.

It *could* be the fastest time in 2010. Haven't reviewed all the past races - anyone know?

Congrats everyone who ran - 653 finishers.

No Buckleys-Kennedys Men's Results

Scream at the NYRR all you want, though one thing you can count on is race results (unless the race becomes a "fun run").

Just heard that the Buckley's-Kennedy's race isn't able to post men's results from its May 16 event.

Overall results exist, so you can see the winners, but no men's figures.
Publish Post

Pickle Pickle Pickle Juice

Interesting article here from the NYT on whether pickle juice might help resolve muscle cramps.

P.S. As for the title of the blog ... a favorite item by Patty Wolcott when I was a kid

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Dolan Run: Quick Thoughts

No official results yet, though they'll be here when they are posted; beautiful, muggy day for a race (guessing they hit at least 6oo finishers, before taking into account the kiddie races - good-sized lines at the late registration booth).

Several of my heat-loving friends hit PRs (giving credence to the "downhill start is faster" argument); I got crushed by the hill at mile 2. And the heat (which I'm really not ready for.) Thankfully the temps have dropped 10 degrees as I write this.

One of the great things about the Dolan Run: it's organized by people who know what they're doing. It's not flashy. It's got a great post-race feed (which sadly I had to miss). It has a T-shirt. It doesn't promise a lot, and it delivers on what it does promise. I love the fact that I see runners from all walks of life - old, young, fast, slow, having a blast.

Great local race (of which there are many in Brooklyn).

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Humidity. Blech. A New Source for Relief

As I feared, the humidity and temps made it a soggy day to go running. Did an easy 6+ and was drenched.

There was some good news - I checked out the new kiddie park at the end of Atlantic Ave. in Brooklyn Heights by Pier 6 that just opened. (With my kids, later).

And there's a pretty awesome sprinkler park that looks like the perfect place, if needed, to stop by and stick your head in (realizing, of course, that some 5-year-olds and their parents may be looking at you askance). But any park that allows you to soak your head quickly - awesome.

It's also a great place to bring your kids (though no shade at this point ).

Despite all the controversy about the development along the water ... I've got to say, a few years from now, when everything is in place, I think it's going to be pretty cool.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Queens Half Moved to July 24

So... this may come as good news or bad news: You pick.

Just noticed this, but NYRR has pulled the Queens Half out of its September 2009 slot and scheduled it for July 24. (If there was a note out there, and I missed it - humble apologies). If you recall, it's been in August in the past. It had been scheduled for Sept. 12 this year.

So, now you get to run through both the Bronx *and* Queens in the middle of the hottest months of the year (you might think the NYRR doesn't like those boroughs, though I have to admit I have soft spot for running on the Grand Concourse in the middle of August).

Last year's race change to September came with a snafu, of course.

What's new? A new course that starts at Flushing Meadows (easily accessible by public transportation, the site notes, though obviously no one who wrote that has tried to go from Brooklyn to Queens early on a weekend morning in the midst of subway-work hell. I know this from experience ... hopefully there's a let up.) Blech.

Yes, the race starts at 7 a.m. So if you don't have a car ... double-blech.

It does add a summer half marathon into a relative void (a ton of halfs in Sept. and Oct., which I'll eventually get to). It does mean, however, you only have 7 weeks to train for it.

No course map yet, though if it has half as many turns as past Queens races, it will be welcome.

So what happened in the Sept. calendar? I didn't take copious notes, but it looks like they just removed it from Sept. 12 (according to the cached search I did on Google). No replacement race, if one is even being considered.

The huge downside: I'm not sure when the move was made, since I haven't been monitoring the race schedule closely. For those of you aiming to run all 5 halfs, and had already scheduled a vacation out-of-town in July ... triple-blech.

One final thought: A lot of local runners like focusing on their local halfs (Manhattan, I'd guess being an exception, though if running two-plus loops of Central Park is your game, no problem). By shifting the dates around at the last moment (as has happened with Brooklyn, etc.), it keeps runners from focusing on what, for many, is their "destination" race. Given the fact that the NYC Half has already been set in stone for March 20 next year, why not do the same for the local halfs?

Running This Weekend

Going to be another muggy scorcher on Saturday, though possibly decent weather on Sunday for the Kenny Dolan 5K Run (of course, it could pour). Some highlights:

*Saturday has got several New York-area races if you haven't already made plans. The Prospect Park Track Club calendar has them listed, so not going to repeat them all here. The weather ain't going to be great, but I've talked to a number of folk who are starting up their marathon training this weekend for a fall event: go early, plan your route around a lot of water fountains.

A special shoutout for those of you traveling to Albany for the Freihofer's Run for Women (not a race I'm able to run, but one of those races about which are spoken highly).

*Sunday, as I mentioned, the Kenny Dolan 5K Run takes place in PP. Start time is 10 a.m., and you can register until 9:45 a.m. at Bishop Ford. The race starts on the downhill in the park (which means you have to contend with Zoo Hill near the end of mile 2.) Which is faster? Getting the uphill out of the way first? Or not? My current PR is at one of the PPTC Speed Series (uphill first), though I broke 20 for the first time at the Dolan Run some years ago. Of course, if it pours, then it might be a moot point.

The NYRR Japan Run in Central Park has closed out - I'd guess about 5,000 runners will be there. (According the Web site, 289 people like this on Facebook - no idea if that's good or bad, though I note none of my friends have taken the plunge). If you're not racing, that may be the day to get in the long run, given a high of 80 projected.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

No Usain Bolt in NYC

One of the highlights of my summer calendar, in part because I'm not really focusing on races over the next few months (it's hot!) was to see Usain Bolt in person for the first time at the June 12 Diamond League meet over at Icahn Stadium.

That was going to make up an awesome sporting double that day (not including a planned 10-15 mile run in the morning: USA-England, World Cup soccer.

That, however, has been dashed, with news that Bolt is out of the race.

Yes, I know, there are tons of other worthy runners to cheer on at the event, including 26 Olympic and world champions at last count.

But still ... "the best sport" isn't the "best" without the best sprinter in the world.