Saturday, October 30, 2010

New York Marathon Clock Ticks Down

And now starts the blitz of local coverage, a bit more than 7 days (tick tick tick) before the start time for many of you. (Good luck everyone!!)

The NYRR has a wealth of information. Doubtless you're aware of it, but in case you're not ...

*Week events are here: Tons of stuff worth looking at

The NYRR 5, next Friday morning, now has an additional incentive: 5 runners who enter will be guaranteed entry in the NYC Marathon in 2011 - the first 5 official entrants. I'm looking to see if this is just a guaranteed entry, or if the entry fees, whatever they may be, will be paid. (Note the $40 fee for members, the $50 fee for non-members)

Remember: Don't get messed up by Daylight savings time (back an hour that night, which of course means an extra hour you don't sleep)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Meb vs Geb

New Yorkers know about Meb. They don't know as much about Geb, i.e. Haile Gebrselassie, one of the greatest marathoners in the world. He's the fastest ever ... is he the best competitor? Interesting NYTimes article today about the upcoming race.

My thoughts: If it becomes a strategic race, Gebrselassie may be at a disadvantage (he's obviously got the speed, though NYC isn't always to the fastest). A faster pace in the beginning benefits him as the competition will slough off. But who knows! From a spectator point, this oughta be one of the best.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Variations on a Theme

When you go for a run, do you retrace the same route over and over?

An example: If you run from Grand Army Plaza to the base of the Brooklyn Bridge, how do you go? Or, if you're on the base of the Williamsburg Bridge in Brooklyn - how do you get back to Grand Army Plaza?

I ran a fairly typical run today: 11 miles, from GAP over the Brooklyn Bridge, over to Williamsburg and back to GAP (I've mapped this route before, I think, or a version of it). I'm realizing, though, that the opportunities to make things different abound, especially when you think of the cross streets involved.

An example (from above): If you run from GAP to the Brooklyn Bridge, do you run down Union to Court? Carroll to Clinton? Flatbush to Livingston (to Court)? Thru Fort Greene? What about from the other end of the run: Do you go along Bedford? Cut down to the water and head along Kent?

One thought, especially as we pass marathon season and get into the winter months, when motivation to run starts to ebb in correlation with the cold: Mix it up, have fun, do something different.

Remaining Brooklyn Races in 2010

While there is this little thing called the New York Marathon which will dominate the running scene on Nov. 7, there are a few other races out there, including dueling races in Prospect Park on Dec. 11 (assuming everyone's Web sites are still up to date). If I've missed any, give me a shout:

Brooklyn races to watch the remainder of 2010:

*Nov. 7: Prospect Park Duathlon (5K run, 14 mi. bike, 5K run)

*Nov. 21: Cosme's Turkey Trot 5K, Coney Island

*Nov. 25: PPTC Turkey Trot (5m), Prospect Park

*Dec. 11: NYRR Jingle Bell Jog (4m), Prospect Park

*Dec. 11: Peter Rabbit X/C Run (3m), Prospect Park

PPTC/JackRabbit Marathon Bus Nearly Full

Only 33 spots remain for the buses that will head to the marathon start, so sign up now (and don't expect to show up on marathon morning with cash in hand and expect to be able to get on board).

Details are here (scroll down) and sign-up info is here

Monday, October 18, 2010

Whaddayou Think About the Prospect Park West Bike Lane?

Opportunities galore to protest, and respond.

As a runner - it's easier to cross the street, though I'm leery about wayward bikers. It also keeps them off the sidewalk on the rare times I'm running there rather than in the park.

Boston Sells Out in 8 Hours

Faster than I thought, though not totally unexpected. If you were hoping to run, hope you got in.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Tale of Two Saturdays

Last Saturday, I went for a run, like I typically do. I'd been thinking about doing as many as 15 miles, though a scheduling problem meant I'd probably be able to do 12 at most. I ended up doing 8 after my legs inexplicably gave out on me. Nothing dramatic - I just reached a point in the run about 4 miles in, where they suddenly became increasingly heavy and fatigued. I staggered back the final two miles, wondering what the heck was going on. This past week of running, as I struggled with a minor injury, was also mentally tough.

Today, I went for a run, like I typically do (yes, there is a point). I was planning to run four miles easy, using a route from the Promenade over the Brooklyn Bridge and back, since I'm racing tomorrow. For those of you out there today: You know it was blustery (all the more fun). I was expecting an easy run, perhaps even tougher than usual. So I was surprised when I reached the top of the bridge and was running 30 seconds faster than I normally do on an easy day. And in fact, the whole route was done a good 1:30 faster - and I wasn't trying.

Obviously, I didn't ingest steroids or speed pills overnight. What did happen? One was a bad day, and one was a good day (I love it when the good days also occur when I'm racing: Those become "great days"). For all the training and prep work we do, I'm a firm believer that some days just suck, and some days are the absolute best.

The point: Today, many of you probably finished your last big workout before the New York Marathon, three weeks hence. For some of you, it was a brilliant 20-22 mile jaunt, for others it was a struggle and you felt like crap, and you're wondering if you're ready for the big race.

The answer: If you've done the right work, and keep yourself in check for the next three weeks, you'll probably be fine. At this point, there's not a lot you can do to suddenly improve your performance - if anything, you can hurt it.

Believe in yourself, believe that you've sweated out the miles over the past 15-20+ weeks to get ready for the race. One or two bad days during the cycle is typical; don't pysch yourself out or over worry. Get into the three-week taper mode, do what your plan calls, and start getting mentally ready.

And, if you're feeling awesome after today's long run -- feel the power and milk it. But don't get overconfident and suddenly start planning for 30 secs/mile faster pace. Look at your training and make a smart decision about what you can do.

WHOOOOH! Good luck everyone.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

WSJ Weighs in on Boston Qualifying

Just noticed this: The WSJ has an article in today's paper examining whether the female qualifying standards for Boston are "too soft". The online version is behind a paywall, though it may be freely available - search for the title "It's Time for Women to Run Faster"

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Boston Marathon Registration 10/18 at 9 a.m.

Registration for next April's race start on Monday morning at 9 a.m.

I've got to tell you, I know *a lot* of Brooklyn runners who got closed out of last year's Boston race. They will all be going online that day ... as will everyone else. (Hope the BAA servers don't crash). Could it close in a day? Possibly. Will it be open next weekend (so someone can eek out that last minute qualifying time?) I wouldn't count on it.

Bed Stuy 10K Results

are here.

I should note, I've heard from a couple of people that the course may have been a bit short by about 1/10 of a mile (which, depending on your speed, is 40-60 seconds or more). No immediate way to verify this. If anyone has anything conclusive (Garmin measurement, something from the race organizers, etc.), by all means send it along.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Most Competitive Brooklyn Club?

There was a query a little while ago: What's the most competitive Brooklyn club if you want to be racing?

At varying age levels, competitive is all relative. And, frankly, sometimes getting out the door for five days a week can be seen as competitive. So let me define this before answering, and opening the door for any comments:

Competitive, in my mind, is a mission within the club to support runners as they seek to achieve faster and faster and goals, and also achieve certain team goals. Within Manhattan, for example, Central Park Track Club is a competitive team, with an application to join.

I have tons of conflicts in answering this question, so please take with a grain of salt:

*If you're a superfast male (at this point, let's say you have aspirations for a sub-1:25 half or a sub 3 marathon), I'd go with North Brooklyn Runners or Brooklyn Road Runners

*If you're a superfast female, I'd go with Prospect Park Track Club, which has greater depth than the others.

There are plenty of options out there for runners - look at the club Web sites, go for training runs with the teams, get a sense of what's the most comfortable. Geographically, you may not find a fit, so be willing to travel a bit.

Also, go to NYRR and look at the race results: See how the various runners are placing. Just because the runners are placing doesn't mean that you're able to run with them - we all have unique schedules, so top runners may not be reaching group runs.

I'd love it if club representatives would make a case as to why they are the most competitive Brooklyn club - feel free to send an e-mail, or post a response.

Fast Times at Staten Island - What About Bed-Stuy 10K?

Staten Island half results are here - lot of really fast times (the weather was unbelievable for racing today.). Heard Brooklyn's Rebecca Gorges won the Bed-Stuy 10K on the women's side, though looking for a list of results (if anyone has, let me know).

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Hartford Marathon: Brooklyn Resident Finishes 13th

Tom Gatyas ran a 2:42:41 (he was the third NYC resident, it looks like)

Full results here

Saturday, October 2, 2010

5-Mile Running Route Involving Brooklyn Bridge

Got a query from a reader, to which I belatedly responded, though thought I'd throw it out there: What's your favorite 5-mile route involving the Brooklyn Bridge?

For me, it's a loop including both the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges, which I regularly do.

I start on the southern end of the Promenade by Remsen, head north, then cut right on Middagh and thru Cadman park to get over to the Brooklyn Bridge. Once in Manhattan, I cut through Chinatown to the Manhattan Bridge to head back to Brooklyn. I normally head back to the starting point (which would be only about 4.5 miles), so to add to that, I'd head down to the water and run through Dumbo and the park there to pick up the extra mileage. Other thoughts?

Reminder: Liz Padilla 5K Tomorrow

For folk looking for a good 5K (with awesome weather) tomorrow, reminder the Liz Padilla 5K takes place tomorrow in Prospect Park at 10 a.m.

A full listing of local races tomorrow, and further on in the calendar, is here at NYCRuns

Mary Wittenberg Interview in Runner's World

Interesting thoughts by Wittenberg on the national/international running scene. She's already publicly said she's not interested in running USATF (Doug Logan was ousted), and I know throngs of local runners with opinions good and bad about how NYRR handles the local running scene (some complain NYRR spends too much time on attracting the stars to NYC) ... that said, it's an intriguing idea

Also, since I'm on the national topic... check out for the debate about Ryan Hall's decision to pull out of Chicago because he was fatigued.

Grete's Results

Grete's Great Gallop top Brooklyn finishers by Age Group%, including club, net time and AG%

* FELIPE VERGARA, M46, WSX, 1:15:48, 85.40%

* AMERICO CEBALLOS, M55, WSX, 1:23:07, 84.10%

* JOHN M SHOSTROM, M56, BRRC, 1:24:55, 83.10%

* JOHN MACCONNELL, M25, FRNY, 1:12:08, 82.00%

* STUART MARKER, M39, GNY, 1:14:34, 82.00%

* DEBORAH BARCHAT, F62, CPTC, 1:50:29, 81.80%

* NOEL HAYNES, M64, BPTC, 1:33:50, 81.00%

* KELLY CHIN, F30,, 1:21:33, 80.70%

* KIRT JOSEPH, M39, WSX, 1:16:13, 80.30%

* WILLIAM ABRAMS, M53, PPTC, 1:25:42, 80.10%

* SAMUEL SKINNER, M68,, 1:38:41, 80.10%

* DMITRIY KOURTCHIKOV, M52, BBLP, 1:25:41, 79.40%

* MARKUS RANDLER, M38, NBR, 1:16:35, 79.30%

* DANIEL GERCKE, M44, CPTC, 1:20:55, 78.70%

* MATTHEW MALINE, M27, NYH, 1:16:05, 77.80%

* ARMANDO RAMIREZ, M31,, 1:16:06, 77.80%

* CAITLIN PHILLIPS, F28, NYAC, 1:25:20, 77.10%

* JENNIFER DANIELS, F27, NBR, 1:26:00, 76.50%

* ROBERT FRITZ, M28, NBR, 1:17:29, 76.40%

* CHARLIE M HANLEY, M61, BRRC, 1:37:05, 76.10%

* DOUGLAS CURRIER, M56, BRRC, 1:32:48, 76.00%

* RALPH YOZZO, M47, WSX, 1:26:20, 75.60%

* DAVID GOLDFARB, M19, GNY, 1:20:34, 75.20%

Age Group Results and Sharing Numbers

So ... Grete's Gallop preliminary results have been posted (more analysis in a sec), and the top two age-graded results in Brooklyn belong to runners bearing the names Pearl Jones (1st in the F 80-84 category, with a whopping 111% AG result) and Barbara Grcevic (91%, 1st in the F 50-55 category).

A quick search of past histories of both runners indicates that neither have run today's times - or anything remotely close to them - in the past. So, one suspects that the results will be adjusted, and the proper winners will be picked. (And if I'm incorrect here, my humblest apologies).

Not everyone can afford to eat $20-$25 if they can't make a race - so with that in mind, I completely understand why people sell/give their numbers away, especially for these NYRR races. But, c'mon. If you're going to do it, don't mess up the age groups.

(I've said this before, will say it again - there needs to be a process where people can give up their numbers and not suffer. It's not a difficult process, and many other races do it).

Open to other suggestions, so please chime in (and since I know NYRR folk read this blog, a) make sure you fix the times and b) listen to the suggestions).

Back off the pedestal. Results analysis coming shortly.

North Brooklyn Runners

Nice writeup on North Brooklyn Runners in the most recent issue of New York Runner.

Founded a year ago, the group has almost 400 runners, the group mixes talent (NBR's men top the open B division in the NYRR team-points standings) with diversity, attracting runners experienced and new.

"I've had an incredible experience, and there's something for everyone" says new member Katie Winther. "It's great for people new to the neighborhood, and also for those like who me who want to get faster." Most members live in Williamsburg, Bushwick and Greenpoint, though members are from other parts of Brooklyn as well.

The group's Web site is here, and there's a copy of the article as well.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Welcome to October

One of the great things about running this month (my favorite month) is that you know never know what the conditions will be when you walk out the door the following morning - could be 90, could be 30 degrees. So it was this morning when I woke up, watched a little Ryder Cup and planned for a nice morning run. The rain had held off so far -- what was the worst that could happen?

Hah. Sheets of pouring, windswept water, giant shoe-sucking puddles mixed in with a precious, solitary experience of sopping footsteps chugging down the Brooklyn Heights Promenade - not a soul on it except for me. (Which probably was because it was POURING.)

That's why I run. Happy October.

P.S. Five weeks to the New York Marathon (and a week to go if you're running Hartford). Excited?!!!