Monday, November 29, 2010

NYRR Update

According to the NYRR Facebook page:

*Dates for January-March races will go live this week. Don't hold your breath for a date for the Brooklyn Half, which looks like it's ensconced in late May

*The NYC Half lottery will be held in early December. Lot of complaints from readers about timing, and some apologies from NYRR

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Race Results

Philadelphia Marathon (not searchable by city, however - am assuming those will be available later). I'm seeing Nathaniel Kuzma as the top Brooklyn finisher in 2:57:58, with the top female as Jaimie Hunter at 3:01:37 - apologies if my crude search missed some faster finishers.

NYRR Knickbocker 60K

NYRR Fred Lebow X/C Championships

Race to Deliver

I'm not seeing any results yet for Sunday's Turkey Trot on Coney Island, will post those when I locate them.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Day 5: Back to Coney Island

Yeah, I've temporarily skipped yesterday since I'm still compiling thoughts, but it being a beautiful fall day, thought I'd share this first.

With the week off, and Thanksgiving travel not happening until tomorrow, I was torn about what to do today. Part of me wanted to go up to Bear Mountain/Cold Spring and kick the leaves around (though wasn't particularly looking to dealing with the traffic given I get to spend so much time in the car tomorrow).

So I compromised, and got in my longest run in a while. Compromise being a big part of the work/life/family/running schedule of course. With the trusty Metrocard, I was eager to do something long, and one way, and I realized that I hadn't been out to Coney Island since ... well, on the running front, since the Brooklyn Half. And I hadn't done a 13-mile run in a while either (with no marathon this fall, the necessity of the 90-minute/2 hour runs somewhat dropped off.)

The weather was, let's just say, delightful - probably the last day of this caliber this year. I actually brought along water in case the fountains were shut off (though both the main boardwalk fountain by Ocean Parkway, as well as all the fountains I tried in Prospect Park were on).

It was a trip well worth it. I'm a little sore after yesterday's race, though ended up just "going my own pace" - which was perfect today. After a 10-mile jaunt to the boardwalk, I tacked on another 3.5-4 miles on an out and back on the boardwalk (wow, there are some place there that are simply dangerous for runners). Midday, during the work week in the late fall, Coney Island is barren - good for the runner, bad for the economy.

A few points here:

-- One reason for the long run today is because of a simple desire to get back into the training bandwagon. (After yesterday's race, I realize that I'm off whatever schedule I would have had to peak at the appropriate time). And, while I've still got a couple of races (which will be more likely hard workouts) this week, I've got enough time to reasonably recover from today's run before the Thursday Turkey race.

-- Be creative on your runs. They don't always have to start and end at the same point. There was no way I could get out to Coney Island and back (and enjoy a run on the boardwalk) at my training level. So figure out a way, and use the subway or bus.

The route is here - not particularly unique I'll admit. Nor really hilly. (Nor is the Brooklyn Half, which makes today's run, or variations thereof, perfect to prepare for that spring half).

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Empire State Building Climb Feb. 1

The application is available here - note that it's an invitational race. Even though there is a race sponsor, the entry fee has skyrocketed to $50 from $30. Given the fee increases we're seeing in other races - between $40-$55 for the Jingle Bell Jog in Brooklyn (which is being used as a fund-raiser) - you may want to budget a bit more for races in 2011.

The Joe Kleinerman 10K has closed, for those who were thinking about that race.

Still no word on the dates for road races in January and February - a post by NYRR on its Facebook page earlier this week indicates that they will be coming shortly. The one race everyone wants the date for is the Manhattan half, which has been run in late January, traditionally.

Day 2-3: "Slow Down, You're Moving too Fast"

Or, I could say "Slow Down, You Move too Fast" - which might be the more appropriate song for this (answers to both artists in a bit).

Obviously, running fast is not always a problem; and in fact, it's a goal for many of us to run *faster* - so it seems somewhat of a contradiction to say "slow down."

Yet that's one of the things to do, especially in preparation for a race or three. Yesterday's run, an early morning saunter over the Brooklyn Bridge and back, is a perfect example. Normally, especially when I'm on a solo run, I run at what ever pace I'm feeling like. Which is both good ... or bad if you're supposed to be running at a slower pace.

So, yesterday was a deliberate move. I picked out a very familiar route, and targeted *slower* time checkpoints than I might normally do. And, happily, I did. (And today, a light two miles with stretching, is a bit more of the same).

If you want to get faster, you have to mix up the pace a bit - if you run 9 minutes miles all the time, you're not going to race at 8 minute/pace. That's why tempo runs, fartleks, hills and intervals should gradually worked into your training. At the same time, the recovery days from the hard workouts are equally as important.

Sauntering over the Bridge also has the added benefit of allowing you to appreciate the surroundings a bit more (such as the temporary Parsons map exhibit on the Promenade - get to it before it rains!)

Oh, and the songs? "Lights" by Styx and "Feelin' Groovy (the 59th St. Bridge Song) by S&G. I hope it's the latter song that gets stuck in your head as you're out for a run - and that your mind doesn't wander over to something like "Mr Roboto"

Friday, November 19, 2010

Coney Island Turkey Trot on Sunday

For those missing the summer days on the boardwalk - now's a chance to revisit Coney Island for an ultraflat 5K on Sunday. Race starts at West 19th on the boardwalk, and, unless the course has changed, it's an out and back course (meaning you might have a headwind and/or tailwind, depending on what part of the race you're in).

First 500 who register get a heavy sweatshirt (you might need it); top 3 men and women get a Butterball turkey.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Day 1: Running at/to/from Work

One of the problems that I've faced, heck, everyone I know has faced, is figuring out how to squeeze in the time of the day to run.

Work is a complicating issue (we have to do it). Families are a complicating issue (we love our spouses and children and want to spend time with them). Other activities (friends, bars, football, shopping) are complicating issues.

And yet, we run. And that's a good thing.

Today's 7-mile outing took place during an extended lunch break. Happily I'm near Central Park, which gives me a good place to go running in Manhattan (and I'm also on the East Side, which gives me options north and south, as well as the Queensboro Bridge into Queens). The route I chose: Nothing fancy - a run to the park, a loop around, and a run back.

The orchestration, however, took some planning in advance:

*Laying out the clothes, the gu, the deodorant the night before (I've tried setting that up the morning of, that's why one year I ran the JP Morgan Challenge in work socks)

*Remembering you have an extra gym bag with you on the subway. (Yeah, I've forgotten - got two new pairs of shorts this year at the Atlantic Antic - now they're somewhere else)

*Carve out time during your work day ... and stick to it. If you pass up an opportunity to run in the AM, and then work intervenes ... you're hosed unless you can come up with a PM plan

*Figuring out where you're going to ... freshen up. Most work places don't have a shower. So you have choice: Join a local gym with a shower, or pack a good amount of baby wipes and Secret.

*If you're running to work (which I do): where is your change of clothes?

*If you're running from work (which I do): how do you include the important documents you want to take home (it's a lot easier now with e-mail and VPN access)

*Bring that MetroCard. Sometimes emergencies happen, and you need to get back to work/back home/etc.

And at what point do you leave your wallet somewhere? And where do your glasses reside?

A few tips/thoughts: Know where the closest drugstore/running store is. Be flexible with your running schedule (those days where work prevents you from running ...)

And stay committed. It takes planning and perseverance to pull this off.

Day 1: 7+ miles, 54:40. Three days until Sunday's 5K at Van Cortlandt

11 Days, Three Races: Prelude

It's not so often that I delve into my personal running and training - well, OK, perhaps more than I think. Still, I had an idea of a brief series of posts that may help both my readers (you know who you are) and myself (suffering a little bit of a running funk lately).

Just to set it up a little: I had a planned series of races in the fall, including the three that I'll mention here soon. Had decided to focus on shorter distances rather than just go for it all in a fall marathon. And my early races - great PRs, some of my best age-graded performances ever.

Then a few nagging injuries, increased work stuff, some mental running focus issues (I was setting PRs and falling further behind my competitors). Training was, well, bleah. Suffice to say, it hasn't been a great month.

Yet, here I am, with three races - on Sunday, Thursday (yep, a Turkey Trot, though not the one in Prospect Park) and Sunday (and then actually one the following Sunday). And I'm eagerly looking forward to them. I may crash and burn. But I've also figured out a way to use them to launch into a next phase of training (and of course there will Brooklyn/New York angles all over it). And finally, that's the point of this post.

So, bear with me for a tiny bit: I'm hoping the ideas I've got help out, whether you're planning your post-marathon recovery, gearing up for indoor track races or plotting an enjoyable run down on in Coney Island on the boardwalk. Hope these ideas help.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Last Day to Sign Up for NYC Half Lottery

Nov. 15 is the last day to sign up for the NYC Half lottery being held next March (and for that matter, guaranteed entries as well).

The lottery will be held in late November.

No cancellations or transfers; the entry fee (including handling charge) is $94 for NYRR, $104 for non-NYRR members.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

WSJ Article on Marathon Course Change Speculation

Interesting piece of speculation about any possible changes (some radical, most unlikely) to the course of the NYC Marathon in the Wall Street Journal (registration may be required).

One restriction to adding more people (do you really need more?) has been the start and the finish (an alternate start could be in Brooklyn ...). The Olympic marathon, if it were in NYC, would have started in Coney Island and gone across the Brooklyn Bridge - not realistic for the annual footrace.

The WSJ had an article last week about attempts to add a second New York City marathon, this one run solely in the Bronx.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Why I Run

'Nuf said. This is a family blog, so I won't even describe the reactions this sign got.

Now What?

As you're sitting somewhere inside, hopefully warm, thinking about:

*How glad you are the marathon was run *yesterday* instead of *today* (it just stayed raw, didn't it? And the sleet in the AM probably wouldn't have been appreciated to those of you who ran in shorts and a singlet)

*Rethinking your past desires to live in a third-floor Brownstone walkup (at least not too many people will see you walking backward when you go downstairs)

The next big question is: What Now? (Deep tissue massage for both your legs.).

Happily, I have some other thoughts. (Beer. Well, beyond that.)

*Thinking about next year's race? Well, NYRR has helpfully provided an application already: It will only cost $167 next year (if you're a NYRR member), and $207 if you're not. That includes a non-refundable $11 processing fee, though you won't get charged the full amount until you're accepted. I need to go through the fine print to see what changes have been made. You can apply until April 30.

*Didn't have a great race, but don't want all the distance training to go to waste? Now's the time to check out Marathon Guide and see what other marathons and halfs are in the near future (create a short vacation! Somewhere warm!)

*Do the paperwork - if you need more Q races, or have to volunteer (you can fork over $1,000 to get rid of that last issue), make sure you take advantage of the remaining Q races. Walk 'em if you have to

*Stay close to home, and hone in on a couple of key races: For Brooklynites, obviously the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day is a tasty option (how can I get me a pie?). But check out a couple of the NYRR races in December, and some PRs may be in the offing. Me, I'm looking at the Joe Kleinerman 10K on Dec. 5

*Start thinking indoor track, and go from one extreme to another. I know, I know - the last time to ran an indoor mile was high school - now's the time. NYRR doesn't have the races posted yet for January, though the Armory has a list of races in January and February, and maybe you can figure out a way to sneak into the Park Slope Y and train there (though I have some good treadmill workouts).

*Chill out for a few days, relax, consider this an effort well done. Anyway, most of you can barely walk down the stairs without little yelps (it'll get worse tomorrow, trust me. Oh, and the walking backward isn't a joke - do it; you'll be happier).

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Searchable Results Available by 8 p.m.

The New York marathon site, which has been frustrating me to no end throughout the day, says searchable results will be available by then. Look for this, as well as tons of snippets of information, throughout the next few days. Congrats everyone who ran!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Book Signing at Expo

At the expo on Friday and Saturday, Brooklyn native Matt Long, a New York City firefighter and New York marathoner will be signing books and talking about his experience about becoming an athlete again after being crushed by a 20-ton bus. Book details are through the link.

Friday, 11/5
11am-12pm - I WILL RUN seminar, Matt Long + Charlie Butler ING Booth #318
12pm - 1pm - Matt Long and Charlie Butler signing copies at the Runner's World Booth

Saturday, 11/6
11am-12pm - Matt Long and Charlie Butler signing copies at Runner's World Booth

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

For Those of Us Who Aren't Obsessed With the Marathon

Note that the marathon expo over at the Javitz opens at 10 a.m. tomorrow (and continues Friday and Saturday). Even if you're not running in the race, it's always fun to wander over, soak in the atmosphere, see what kinds of bargains you can find (and freebee stuff).

And if you are running ... get pysched!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Poland Spring Marathon Kickoff Results

are here ... Melvyn Stafford was the top Brooklyn runner (and the top Brooklyn master), while Patricia Mulia led the way among Brooklyn women

Carbo Loading at Park Slope Food Co-op

Saw this on the Prospect Park Track Club blog, passing along an opportunity for carbo loading the Saturday before the race:

"On Saturday November 6, 2010, all are welcome, runners and non-runners alike to come share the carbo-loading pasta party at the Park Slope Food Coop located at 782 Union Street on the Second floor. The party begins at 1 p.m. Come fuel up for the biggest race in New York City with carbohydrates, healthy drinks with electrolytes while enjoying running films about marathon running. "

Training for Philly ... and Looking for a Doctor

Passing this along from one of my readers: Any suggestions?

"I'm training for the Philly Marathon, and think I may have a nasty shin splint on the very lowest part of my right leg. I feel like I should see a doctor and thought I'd ask you if you had any recommendations for a good sports medicine physician. I could obviously just scour the NY Magazine rankings but I thought that you may have someone you like. "

Part of my response to her dealt more along the lines of the decisions she has to make:

At this point, you're almost done with the bulk of your training, so regardless of the doctor decision, you have some choices to make:
> If you have access to a pool or a gym (ellipitical, bike, etc.), I'd start doing some cross training that will help ease the burden on your shin, and maintain your fitness level. When running, I'd also look for softer surfaces (run on the trails where available in Prospect Park). You can't just shut it down at this point and expect to meet your goals, though you can modify your training.
> Ice and Tylenol will take care of some of the pain, though you also need to figure out whether this is "just" shin splits or something more (and the doctor may be able to help).
> Make a smart decision on this, and also think about what your short-term and long-term goals are - you may be able to train thru this, and tough it through the race (the post race recovery may be longer, however). And be up front with whatever physician you speak with: Tell him/her your plan is to race, and what steps can you take that will allow you to fulfill your goal without clobbering your body at the end.

Marathon Weather Outlook

Right now, you'll be waking up to weather around 40 degrees, with a high for the day projected to be 51 degrees. Chilly weather to be sitting out at Staten Island for a few hours, but almost perfect conditions to run a long race, depending on when the high is reached.