Monday, January 31, 2011

Brooklyn Half: Some Answers

*Yes, the Brooklyn Half is Saturday, May 21, at 7 a.m. After all the waiting, this isn't much of a surprise. But with this race, no surprises are a good thing.

*No, despite some confusion caused by NYRR, which initially posted the race with the double red asterisk, the race is *not* closed. Hasn't even opened yet.

*Soon, is when NYRR has said the application for the race will be posted (several other April and May races also don't have race applications yet, so this isn't a huge surprise.)

*Hours? Days? A couple of weeks? Not sure what the over/under is for how quickly Brooklyn will close out once the application is posted. It will close out for sure, and probably will close out quickly. Not only do you have the rabid Brooklyn running community (many of whom were closed out last year), you also have the new motivation (run 4 of 5 halfs to gain entry to the NYC Half in 2012).

And of course, it's always cool to be out on the boardwalk in late May, especially if you get a wonderful day.

*16 weeks (minus a couple of days) is the training plan you want to start looking at if you're serious about running Brooklyn. Start gradually increasing both the weekly miles as well as the long runs. Especially with the snow and ice, training in Prospect Park isn't a bad plan, given that the first half of the race is there. And if you're already able to run 13 now, think about ways you can get faster - mix in tempo runs, fartleks and some training on Zoo Hill (or your hill of choice).

Brooklyn Half Is Now Listed for May 21

No details, or application (and it helpfully indicates that the race is closed already, which it obviously isn't). It actually looks like a cut-and-paste job from last year - Continental isn't still a sponsor, is it?

Anyway, here's the date: May 21.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Think It's Cold Here?

Check this out. And no whining about the road conditions.

Run Three in Brooklyn in February

While running endless loops in Prospect Park today, I was told by one of my friends that she doesn't like leaving Brooklyn for races (she does, of course, but I agree - the early morning adventures on the subway are just another added stress.

Thankfully, we can put three (and there may be more) races on the calendar for February. The one downside is that they are all in Prospect Park, where many of us are finding solace after the storms.

*Valentine's Day 5K, Feb. 13 (Brooklyn Road Runners)

*Cherry Tree 10-Mile/Relay, Feb. 20 (Prospect Park Track Club)

*Al Gordon 4 Mile Race, Feb. 26 (NYRR)

And if you don't run - I guarantee all three are looking for volunteers!

No prize for running all three, but I bet you see a lot of the same people out there.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Odds for NYC Marathon Entry

NYRR has disclosed some data about how tough it is to get into the marathon on a non-guaranteed entry

Reminder: If you're seeking to do the 9+1 route in 2012, you *must* be a NYRR member as of Jan. 31. Otherwise, won't happen.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Millrose Games Tomorrow

For those looking for a fun Friday night activity, the Millrose Games are tomorrow

Tickets start at $15 and are still available.

Snow Update

Wow, that was a pleasant surprise (or not, depending on what you think about a 15-inch snowdrift sitting at your front door).

Sidewalks seem more or less runnable (though the street corners and slush puddles are lurking). If you can get there, Prospect Park is clear (though it will probably ice up tonight). Small path on the Promenade, suitable for running if you're the only one out there. Haven't been up to the bridges, so don't know whether skiing or running is the way to go.

Now where are my snowshoes ...

P.S. Still no word on the Brooklyn Half

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Is Brooklyn Half on May 21?

There's an e-mail circulating around that lists the 2011 Club Points races (that in itself is not surprising since there was a NYRR Club Council meeting on Wednesday). That list as of this morning had not been posted on the NYRR site.

What is surprising: It lists the Brooklyn Half on May 21.

Please note, this is totally unconfirmed - this may be a placeholder date, though it's the same weekend as it was last year (and makes sense based on the calendar). Was anyone at the Club Council that can confirm this and put this in perspective?

Take it with a grain of salt for a few reasons:

a) Even if the list is genuine, until NYRR posts the race (and even after the fact), that date's not set in stone. We've seen it move before, we'll see it move again.

b) Perhaps more interesting: If the Brooklyn Half is a club points race, then there's got to be some plan in place to handle the entries when the race opens. Too many people got closed out last year by surprise, which means there will be an initial upsurge when the race opens. Brooklyn won't close out as fast as Boston, but look for it to close out relatively quickly unless handled correctly.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Packer's Eddie Owens Wins Manhattan Half!

He's one of the top prep runners in the country, and dropped down to mix it up with the adults with a 1:10:25 half. More analysis/results in a bit.

Races for Your Marathon Training Calendar

This weekend marks the 12 week countdown to Boston, 14 weeks to New Jersey/Long Island, 15 weeks for the North Face/Long Island endurance trail races (fill in the blank for your own target race).

There's a lot of training still to be done, though one thing that can be done is running "target" races that help to determine where you're at.

Here's a list of local races that may help. Use them for training and/or racing, or simply make them your own target race. Especially with the halfs, you can use them as a base for a 20-22 mile run. The Brooklyn Half remains a possibility before May 1, though the longer there's no confirmed date, the more it seems likely to be after prime spring-marathon season.

One key to this: Set your goals for these races beforehand, and stick to that goal. If you're planning to make it a targeted training run, don't race it. I've also tried to pick some races that are outside of the city: Don't get hung up running loops in Central or Prospect parks - there's a whole world out there!

Plenty of other shorter races in the area exist for those who want to run a 5K/4 miler; check out a calendar here and here (scroll down). BTW, a tip of the hat to the PPTC calendar guru, who compiled these on his much more extensive list.

*Prospect Park Cherry Tree, Feb. 20: This can either be a 10-mile race, or join as part of a relay team (and run two legs hard).

*Caumsett Park 25K/50K, March 6: I'm thinking the shorter race is more appropriate here. Run 5K loops in the park for 15.5 miles. Or run an additional couple of loops to make it almost 22.

*NJRR Half Marathon/Relay, March 13: Take a stroll over to Asbury Park, and run on the four-loop course.

*Celebrate Life Half Marathon, March 13: Should you fancy a ride upstate, this race on the rolling hills of Sullivan County might be more your cup of tea (especially for those of you who are running Boston, and would get some elevation into your race).

*Sleepy Hollow Half Marathon, March 26: How can you pass up an opportunity to run in the land of the Headless Horseman (or perhaps more apt, run from)? One note of caution: This is the first running, so don't be surprised if there are some glitches.

*13.1 Marathon New York (in Queens), April 2: A rare non-NYRR half marathon within the city's boundaries (look, they can be done!). Quick quiz: Click through to the course map, and try to figure out if it has more or less turns than the NYRR version later this year.

*VCTC Urban Environmental Trail Challenge (10K), April 3: Not your typical 10K, this is run on the grass and trails of Van Cortlandt. As an added bonus: the conditions can make this one of the most challenging races of the year (try it in a driving rainstorm!)

*Hudson Valley 15K, April 9: This course has hills! The race is a little late for Boston for anything more than a training run, though this marks a nice challenge for those running a later spring race.

Other suggestions welcome. Good luck training, and stay warm!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Get $5 Back From NYRR* (Note the asterisk)

*Well, if you signed up for the NYC Half, didn't get in, and live in the NYC Metropolitan area, NYRR is offering to refund the $5 application fee that you were already on the hook for. E-mail instructions will follow.

Details are here, as well as the fine print. Noted earlier by NYRR was that they wouldn't be expanding the field (well, except for Kara Goucher (given the fact she may win the race, an acceptable exception)) for the race - but if you run 4 of 5 NYRR halfs, you get eligibility for the 2012 NYC Half.

Manhattan Half Will Be Cold ... Again

Friday's snowfall will lead to Saturday's chilling temperatures, with morning temps in the low to mid teens, so dress warmly for the first half of the year

Which reminds me of the race two years ago, when it was 14 degrees and the water was freezing in the cups.

P.S. If you're in the crowd during the pre-race speech, ask when the Brooklyn Half will be :-)

Cherry Tree Race Feb. 20

The annual Cherry Tree 10-miler and 3-person relay race takes place on Feb. 20. Run one loop of Prospect Park (and hand off to a friend or two), or do it three times - either way, it's a fun way to spend a weekend morning.

Details are here. This year's swag is a Trailheads Winter headband.

And if that doesn't inspire you ... "After the race everyone can relax with hot refreshments at Bishop Ford High School and runners can treat themselves to a massage courtesy of the Swedish Institute massage therapist interns. "

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Monday Morning Thoughts

Life has been interfering with blog posting (not with running, thankfully enough), so apologies. Few thoughts as the week begins:

*As noted earlier, the NYRR calendar is posted for the remainder of the year, albeit with some gaping holes. One might think the Brooklyn Half would be Sunday, May 22. One might also be completely wrong as it seems there are some things still being negotiated. (I can't see it being Memorial Day weekend). That raises the possibility of earlier in May, or later in June.

The Brooklyn Half also has the potential to be one of those entry nightmares, so when you do see the application posted, get in there quickly.

*I've been dragging myself out of bed at the wee hours a few times in the past several days to go running, and I've got to say I'm truly heartwarmed (well, some part of my body better be warm) by the number of folk I've seen out on the streets and on the bridges

*The Fred Lebow 5-miler took place on Sunday; results are here. I realize the precautions put in place for shifting the running date, though keep in mind that ultimately, the only change was the steady wind in runners faces today (ugh).

*I want to run the numbers to be sure, though I think at this point, with NYRR making a decision to keep Fred Lebow a marathon qualifier regardless of whether you run (and the New Year's Eve runs on 2011 ... and potentially 2012 ... both of which could conceivably count for this year), I do think it's possible to race less than 26.2 miles in NYRR races and still fulfill the NYRR marathon qualifying goal, given the races they have listed.

Friday, January 7, 2011

NYRR Races for 2011 Posted; No Brooklyn Half Yet

Races for remainder of the year are on the NYRR Web site

No date yet for Brooklyn Half.

And Fred Lebow 5-miler is on SUNDAY now,

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Manhattan Half Nears Capacity

Figure that the race will close in the next day or two, so if you're planning to run, get your application in now.

Also, note that the Fred Lebow race is on as scheduled, but with Friday snowfall expected, don't be surprised if NYRR makes it a fun run for safety reasons.

(That would mean that potentially the first two qualifiers for next year's NYC Marathon weren't races after all :-))

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Great Slush

OK, I come back into town after the holidays, and the roads are, no surprise, a giant slush puddle. (Actually, most of the side streets are OK in the Heights, except where people are shoveling out their cars).

A quick update on running conditions in my general area:

*Prospect Park loop is wet but runnable
*Brooklyn Bridge is runnable, though during the warm weekend days it's been taken over by locusts (er ah tourists - it's just as crowded as it is during the summer). Also, in the places where there is work on the pedestrian bridge, it narrows to about a lane. The plus side: I only saw one bike up there (and I was moving faster than he was).
*The 0.43 loop in Cadman Park is completely snow covered (though if you want to run loops there, you can run on the sidewalks)
*Manhattan Bridge is perfect
*Brooklyn Promenade has two very narrow paths carved out. Unfortunately, there are often people on these paths, so prepare to divert into snow if you run there (nearby Columbia Heights, which parallels the Promenade, has both the sidewalks clear and the streets open, if a bit slushy in places)
*Brooklyn Bridge Park pathway has been plowed
*WATER and bathrooms remains open during regular hours at the Pierrepont Street park off the Promenade

Happy New Year everyone!