Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Why I Run

Actually, it's why Justin Gimelstob runs, though it reminded me of the various running bets/dares I and my friends have taken on over the years. (And he does have two NYC Marathon entries still available at the time of this article).

Will he break 4:45? I bet he'll have a lot of fan support along the way (and I would be surprised if Andy Roddick jumped in near the end if he's close).

Monday, August 23, 2010

Brooklyn Bridge Stays Open for Pedestrians

Just to reassure anyone who was concerned (probably just me), but the Brooklyn Bridge, while closing in one direction at nights for a while, will keep the pedestrian walkway open during construction

Other info here, courtesy of the Brooklyn Heights Blog (and the BHA)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Battle of Brooklyn Results: Quick Hit

10-Mile results here: Winning time: 57:26, from Brooklyn's Kiern O'Conner

Relay results here:

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Should You Stretch Before You Run?

A study from USATF definitively says ... maybe

"To stretch or not to stretch? That's a question millions of runners ask themselves daily, but results from a USA Track & Field-sponsored clinical trial involving close to 3,000 runners confirm there is no difference in the risk of injury for those who stretched before running and those who did not. "

Me? I've done 30-minute stretches ... and 30-second stretches. I find if I ease into the run, and feel something a bit tighter, stretching it out after 5 minutes or so works fine (and I always (cough, cough), stretch *after* a run, which is very beneficial).

So ... as with many things in running - do what works best for you! Plenty of articles out there in cyberspace on stretching and preventative workouts that will target certain areas.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Battle of Brooklyn Race-Day Registration

Spots for the full 10-mile race (not the 3-person relay) are available if you want to race on Sunday, Aug. 22 ... 6:30am to 7:45am ($30 cash only, no relay team registration on race day) Start/Finish is in Prospect Park near the intersection of Prospect Park West and 15th St.

Midnight Run Now a Qualifier

NYRR has announced that this year's midnight run on New Year's Eve will be a qualifier either for either the 2010 season (i.e. the last qualifier of the year for the 2011 NYC Marathon) or 2011 (the first qualifier of next year, for the 2012 NYC Marathon), so add it your list if you're doing the Q-route for NYC. There's still plenty out there for the fall, but I've known people who've had to run all three December races to get in, so ...

One wonders (delicately, just asking) why this race should be considered as a qualifier for the NYC Marathon given that it's traditionally a fun run (no times recorded) but, say, none of the many X/C races in Van Cortlandt this fall are.

An aside: As a NYRR member, you pay $35 for this race, though unless there's verification that you've completed the race (i.e. a time), then you've just "bought" one of your nine q-races. (Hey, if you win best costume, do you get a second Q-race?)

This is moot, of course, if times will be recorded, as they may well be (though putting the dang thing on your shoe is a pain at the best of times, could be interesting with a couple of glasses of vino ...).

The description on the site hasn't been updated yet, since it *specifically* says: "Your time will not be recorded, and participation does not count toward qualifying for guaranteed entry to the ING New York City Marathon"), so keep an eye out - maybe you will get a chance to find out your PR while slightly tipsy and sleep-deprived.

I wonder if there will be a race cap ... :-)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Brooklyn Bridge Park Connection Might Be Soon

According the NY Post, we'll soon see the long-awaited connection between Pier 1 and Pier 6 along the waterfront. It's looked close to reality during the summer, though parts of the fencing along the water have been, well, non-existent.

If this gets done this fall, a key component to any loop in Brooklyn Heights/Dumbo just got put together. Very cool.

Places to Run

Pulling up this question from one of the comments, since there's likely interest from others

Q: "I live near Prospect Park but am not a huge fan of running there - too many people, not a great route. Do you know of any straight tracks in Brooklyn that allow runners access?"

A: Red Hook Track, in Red Hook about 2 mi away from Prospect Park (roughly, depends where you are starting from), is your best bet for a track (if I'm understanding your question correctly - if I'm not, please respond and I'll try to do a better job).

Head down any of the streets (Union, 9th, etc.) across the Gowanus and make your way over to Henry, Hicks or Columbia, then hang a left. There may be a couple of detours, but you'll eventually get there.

Here's a link to NYC tracks.

One suggestion if you are frustrated by the number of people in the park - do a loop using the upper and lower transverses. There are *a lot* fewer people that run there - a loop is about 1.64 mi. (See this park map, with distances)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Random Thoughts on a Tuesday Evening

*Tomorrow is the last day for the PPTC 5K summer series (scroll down on the site). Perfect opportunity to find out how your summer training went, and if you can bash out a PR. Race time around 7 a.m. (cars in the park help to determine the start).

*Don't forget to register for the Battle of Brooklyn 10-mile race. The race - a 3-person relay in Prospect Park, or a "simple" 1-person jaunt - takes place Aug. 22.

*Let's be careful out there. According to a DoT study, the greatest number of NYC fatalities/injuries from car/pedestrian accidents in 2002-2006 took place in Brooklyn (based on raw numbers and per capita), the New York Times says

*Nifty new bike mapping tool from Google, highlighted in the New York Times over the weekend

*Trail racing is popular, the Wall Street Journal says (well, yeah ...)

*Including this year's NYC Marathon, there are 12 events on the NYRR calendar that can be used for qualifying races for next year's event

*Why doesn't everyone get their hearts a flutter say, if Ryan Hall, is announcing his plans for the New York Marathon like the Brett Favre saga? (The sporting world is warped, I tell you)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Bronx Half Results

... are posted here. Congrats to the 5,000-plus that finished. Haven't had much of a chance to look them over or sift through the blogs, though some quick comments:

*Orest Babyak was the top Brooklyn male, finishing 3rd overall and top master. His AG performance of 86.05 is the top male from what I can tell in an initial glance...

*The top female AG was listed as Maggie Bodo, 61, of NY, at a stunning 99.26. Given that there's only one other listing, a 37:46 time for a 5K, can't imagine that will stand (Note to number swappers out there: If you're going to do it, don't mess up the age group results).

*Miriam Beyer, was the top Brooklyn female

*Will Abrams, a PPTC member, won the Male 50-54 category

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Pier 1 Problems ... Again

I'm out of town, so I haven't witnessed this personally, but apparently the resurfacing of the Brooklyn Bridge Park (Pier 1) isn't going so well ...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Weekend Races

So, NYRR Team Championships and the Brooklyn Bridge race this past weekend ...

Results here for both men and women on the NYRR race

Results here for the Brooklyn Bridge run as well as Brooklyn runners

Run Dangerously
has some thoughts on both (especially as the runner is a former Brooklyn Heights resident)

Bronx Half This Weekend

Apologize for the lack of posts - work and out-of-state travel (combined with a rare vacation) are interfering a bit.

That said: Bronx Half. Afraid yet? How about: Grand Concourse in the middle of the summer!!!

OK, it's not that bad, and the weather forecast looks promising. I've run/raced Bronx in both the summer and winter (I'm missing it this year for the first time in a while) - it's definitely a lot of fun.

What you need to know or should do:

*Plan for at least an hour subway commute - or more - from Brooklyn. The plus-side: Half the people on the 4 or D train riding that hour will be running the Bronx Half, so there's an opportunity for a lot of new friends. Remember, the race starts at 7!

*The course is a warped figure-8. Take a look at the map if you haven't run it before -it's helps to plan your miles. Around mile 6 you pass the starting area again. The great part: You'll know where the water stops are.

*The Grand Concourse is, well, an experience. It's hilly in places you don't want it to be, and there's an underpass right around the 10 mile mark (you've passed thru it earlier), that always kills me. And there's no real shade, so get the sunblock on. Watch out for people trying to cross the street.

*Staten Island is still my favorite overall course, but Bronx has a taste of the neighborhood that you don't get with some of the other halfs. It's also a great course to add a few miles as you work in your marathon training (I've run Mosholu Parkway before the race, and it's a perfect way to tack on 5 miles)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Bolt ... Loses to Gay!

Not Brooklyn-oriented, not distance-oriented, but wow. Video here.

Solinsky broke 13 minutes again in the 5K. It's a fun time to be watching the world's best track runners, esp. in a non-Olympic year

Summer Runnin', Having Some Fun ...

A whole lot of summertime songs are running thru my head, but you don't care about this.

The return of Summer Streets ... that you care about.

Run from Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park
*in the middle of Manhattan
*without having to hug the rivers
*if you time it right and avoid the tourist hoard, without having to stop

Three consecutive Saturdays in August (7, 14, 21) - well worth doing

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Fall Marathon Woes

If you're running a fall marathon, though procrastinating about a choice - get a move on.

Consider: Mount Desert Island Marathon, ME, on 10/17, Baystate Marathon in Lowell, MA on 10/17, and Mohawk-Hudson Marathon in Schenectady, NY on 10/10 - all closed.

Hartford and Philadelphia remain open.

For now.

For those seeking a Boston qualifying time at this point, with no plans: Hartford on Oct. 9 seems to be the best bet. I still think that Boston will close within days - if not hours - of its registration opening of Oct. 18 at 9 a.m. (at that point, the server will crash for a bit, I suspect). Too many people got burnt last year, and I don't think you can count on running a race the following weekend, or any later in the fall, if you want to get into Boston 2011. Philly won't do it.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

CPTC Founders 5K Results

... are here.

Jonevan Hornsby was top Brooklyn male with a 16:04, Kristan Lucas was top Brooklyn female with an 18:16

Will Abrams

Nice piece here on PPTC's Will Abrams, who finished 2nd in M50-54 at Queens last month. Tip of the hat to Chicken Underwear for pointing it out

5 Bridges, One Way, Lots of Ups and Downs

The other day, got a chance to do one of the funner running routes I've done in a while - hitting the bridges of Brooklyn (twice), Manhattan, Williamsburg, Pulaski and Queensboro - in a one-way route that totaled about 14 miles. The one I've mapped below started from Grand Army Plaza, though obviously you can start from anywhere and experiment. Note the route I offer includes a couple of short cuts - go from bridge to bridge in your own way.

The nice thing about it is that you get to hit Queensboro within a couple of miles of the time you would during the New York Marathon, which at least simulates some of the pain and fatigue you might be feeling at that point in time.