Thursday, April 28, 2011

NYC Marathon Benefits ... How Local Runners Are Affected

Catching up on a few things, but wanted to comment on this article in the NYTimes the other day on how the NYC Marathon benefits the city.

*Runners from overseas spend $2,647 per person and stay 5.7 days on average
*Runners from elsewhere in the United States but outside New York — an additional 20 percent of the participants — spend $1,585 on average and bring 3.8 guests with them.

Looking at those stats: If you live in NYC, don't bet on the lottery to get in the marathon. Run the 9+1 program. Unless you're willing to fund-raise, run really fast, or pay megabucks, odds are you won't get in otherwise.

High School X/C Runners, Watch This

It's a Katy Perry knockoff, though captures the angst that I had (and I think my teammates) during X/C - in a hilarious way.

PTA 5K in Prospect Park April 30

Now that the temperatures are pushing past 70 degrees (oh the heat, oh the humidity), it's time for 5K season in Prospect Park. A few have already been run this year - get set for the onslaught.

This weekend, the Brooklyn PTA 5K takes centerstage to raise money for Brooklyn schools. Details are at NYCRuns.

Lots of other races, this weekend, including the Bronx Zoo 5K and the High Rock Challenge out on Staten Island. Check out the list here. And good luck everyone running marathons and halfs in New Jersey and Long Island - hope the heat holds off.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

NYC Lottery Results Out Today

So far, among my friends and colleagues, I'm seeing a lot of "We're sorry XXXX, you have not been selected."

Friday, April 22, 2011

When Not to Race

At the beginning of each week, I tend to map out my planned mileage and workouts. In some ways, this is folly, since my work schedule fluctuates, my kids don't always fit my schedule - in short, it's pretty much what most runners with families who work face.

The additional challenge, however, is running the planned workout *on that planned day.* And this discipline, I admit, is problematic. Because what happens it that an easy day turns into a hard day (or vice versa).

Group runs (which are great, and if you don't have a group you're running with, I urge you to find one), are great at setting this discipline ... most of the time. I had to laugh when I got an invite to run with a friend at a much slower pace than he usually goes out on.

As for single runs: if I'm not training for anything specific, I tend to run at the pace I feel like. Some days fast, some days slow. My legs let me know what's going to happen.

(Bear with me, there is a point coming)

And then there's today - a planned easy run up to Prospect Park and then an easy loop, prepping for a longer run tomorrow (even with the expected rain). My run up to the park was bit more brisk than I wanted, but no worries - it felt fine. It was in the park that it got a bit dicey. I was passing another runner, when she suddenly sped up and surged past me. She slowed down a bit, I passed her again, and then she surged forward again.

This happened for 1 1/2 miles before I finally passed her for good. But the problem here was less to do with the "competition" that can occur when doing a loop in the Park and you pass someone/are passed by someone is that my pace suddenly accelerated by 30-40 seconds a mile. To be sure, there are times when it's fun to do this. Today wasn't supposed to be one of them. And while I'm pleased with the overall results (it gives me a better sense of my fitness 4 weeks into the Brooklyn Half), I've also muddled my planned training for the weekend.

In the larger scheme of things, there are worse things that can happen. My long day tomorrow will be a short/easy day and I'll find time on Easter Sunday somewhere for the long run. If you're running only 4 or 5 times a week, make sure you're doing the workouts that you should be doing. Making an easy day a hard day can be problematic.

One way to avoid (something I referred to a few weeks back): Take a time check at known measured distances to see how you're doing. Prospect Park, with the 1/4 mile marks for the PPTC 5K race is great at doing this. It's also how I knew that I was running a lot faster than I should be (yeah, I should have slowed).

Some unsolicited advice as you get prepped for your spring races. A bunch of Brooklyn folk are running either New Jersey or Long Island (half or full marathons) next weekend; make sure you're not running hard this week, even though it will feel relatively easy as you complete your taper.

JackRabbit Running Show This Weekend

For those of you sticking around NYC for the holiday weekend, note the JackRabbit show at the Metro Pavilion in Manhattan.

Several local clubs will have a presence there, including Brooklyn Triathlon, North Brooklyn Runners and Prospect Park Track Club.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Lessons Learned

One would think that, having run in Brooklyn for umpteen years, I'd have learned a few lessons. Obviously, I had forgotten the following:

*One does not run on the Brooklyn Bridge on a gorgeous weekday evening on a holiday week. Never. ever.

*When one runs past someone with a dog, always keep the owner in between you and the not-always-so-friendly-likely-to-bark/lunge-at you-canine.

Cardinal rules. Violated both tonight. I'll remember this. On the plus side, got in an ~8 mile run at a respectable pace (except for the Brooklyn Bridge). So life isn't too bad.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

PRs Tumble at Boston

All I can say is that I want to run a marathon with a 20-mph tailwind. (Get over the net downhill course, marathon-record critics - Boston is punishing).

WOW. Awesome times.

The searchable database is here. Some top Brooklyn results:

NBR's Danny Mazzuchin was the boro's top finisher, crushing the race with a 2:48:45. Top female honors go to Kir Selert, who blazed to a 3:01:55.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

JFK Runway Blog Comments

Since I was totally late in blogging about this, wanted to offer up a few comments on the JFK Runway Run from some fellow bloggers, who did a much, much better job in capturing what happened, and the adventures getting there.

From Bridges Runner:

"Heading for home there’s tar or something to that effect that’s sticking to my shoes! Great, needed that for the final portion..."

From To Badwater: (includes comments about the top female)

"The driver thought it was a little funny that we were asking to be dropped off at "Building 14" and not at the terminal, but we explained that it was for a race. He just shook his head at that. I can imagine him thinking, Crazy runners. He might be right."

Weekend Races: Brooklyn Bun

I should note, there's plenty close to home if you want to get out on the roads and crank out a few fast miles. (Since I'm typing this on Saturday AM, I'm going to skip to the Sunday races, but if you're reading this right now, click thru and scroll down to see what you can do at the last minute.)

Close to home, there's a biathlon in Prospect Park on Sunday called the Brooklyn Bun. Ride 20K, race 5K (and they've got a pretty cool logo, that I've hopefully embedded correctly above.). There's also the Bronx Biathlon in Orchard Park.

*Head up to Queens and run the Alley Pond 5-Mile on Sunday

*City Park Foundation 4 Mile Race in Central Park (NYRR) still has spots open on Sunday, and there are kids races there as well.

Running and Travel

The good thing about traveling is that it gets you exposed to all kinds of different ideas and places, especially new running routes (even if blogging gets dumped to the wayside for a short time).

Let's focus on the positive parts though -and it's apropos, considering it's marathon weekends in Boston and London. More than 100 Brooklyn runners in Boston, and I expect to see a fair NYC turnout in the UK.

*When I travel, I run. Mapmyrun or Gmaps Pedometer is a great way of figuring out routes from where you are staying. And on Mapmyrun, you can see what other folk have done in the past.

*Take the unexpected path, even if you don't expect to. When I run in new routes for the first time, I invariably get temporarily lost. Or I have no idea where I'm going. That's the fun of it. Don't be afraid to ask. Again, that's part of the fun. And tacking on an additional 5-15 minutes to your run isn't going to ruin your training - just run slower, or even take walking breaks.

*Find a destination race, and plan a trip around it. is a great place to start.

*Plan a trip, and find a run to fit your needs. For example, I'm up in the Boston area a lot, so use New England Runner and Cool Running to plot out some ideas (these are both great for the Northeast, I might add.)

*Look up a running group online from the area, and send a quick e-mail to see if you can join them on one of their weekly runs. I did this up in the Boston area a few years back since I wanted to go long and I wanted company, and enjoyed a wonderful 16-mile loop on Heartbreak Hill into Wellesley (and back).

Good luck everyone racing this weekend.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

JFK Runway Run Results?

Work has got me out of town, not always near a computer so I can blog, so I missed some great races this past weekend.

Helen Dole of PPTC was top finisher in the JFK Runway Run - that's about it, since I can't find a link to the results and the main website isn't connecting. So I'll try to update that as soon as I'm back. If anyone has a link, please forward so I can post.

Marathon fever, with London and Boston this weekend (among a slew of local and regional races).

Monday, April 4, 2011

Race Results From Last Weekend

At least three races over the weekend garnered a healthy amount of Brooklyn runners:

*13.1 over in Queens

*More Half Marathon

*Urban Environmental Challenge

Some beautiful temperatures out there - I was lucky enough to be out in Van Cortlandt Park on Sunday for the 10K trail race, and it was a blast.