I'm not the only one who runs a lot. My wife does too. She even ran 2 marathons recently within 14 days of one another (NYC & BROOKLYN).
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Race Report: Oyster Bay Turkey Trot 5K. It was a cold 25 degrees today, with a lot of wind. I didn't expect to do as well as I did, and finished my first race here, and first post NYC Marathon run. My finish time of 22:52.4 included a good 10 seconds of just getting across the starting line, which cost me a 3rd place trophy finish as the guy who finished ahead of me beat me by just 2.5 seconds. Even still, I never would have thought that I would have had such a great run, I actually ran 3.18 miles and my actual pace was 7:13. Next year, I will have to determine whether to do this one or go back to Port Washington. Even though, I think I have what it takes to medal here, I'm so determined to get revenge in Port. Last year's injury at Mile 4, really was a bummer. My friend, Nat, did his first race here yesterday. Very proud of him. I think he will be hooked from this point forward.
Posted by Alex Gonzalez at 11/28/2013 12:49:00 PM
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Rather than spending oodles upon oodles of time telling you why I stopped blogging, and what I've been up to for the last 8 months, I'm just going to start today as if I never left. Next month, when I do my end of year report, I'll fess up to everything that's come across these tired, but muscular and sexy legs of mine. Tonight I ran with GLIRC (Greater Long Island Running Club). We met up at the Plainview High School, not far from where I work. There were about 11 of us, and we split into two groups. We ran in the pitch black of night, and we ran fast. This is the first time where I was definitely the slowest runner trying to keep up. It was wonderful. One of my goals for next year is to surround myself around faster runners than me, in the hopes that it will help me to achieve better times. I knew these runners were fast, when one of them asked if I raced, and when I mentioned that my fastest half marathon was a 1:39:59, his reply was, "Oh well, we all have to start somewhere." - LOL! I ran 7.4 miles in 1:01:47, for an 8:21 pace. Each mile we ran a little bit faster than the last and we ran the last mile in 7:34. There are a lot of strong runners in GLIRC. Most of the time I was panting, the others were talking as we ran. A lot of strategy talk, and people being happy for coming close to their PR of 1:15 for a half marathon.
Posted by Alex Gonzalez at 11/19/2013 11:33:00 PM
Saturday, March 23, 2013
RACE #: 204
Race Name: RunNassau Series: Cedar Creek Park
Distance: 5 miles
Location: Wantagh, NY
Date/Time: March 23, 2013 @ 9:00am
Weather: 35 deg, 66% hum, 17mph,
Finish Time: 37:49 Pace: 7:34 pr/ml
Overall Placement: 35 out of 273 - top 12.8%
Gender Placement: 27 out of 199 - top 13.6%
Age Group (45-49)
Placement: 2 out of 15 – top 13.3%
Forest Park Runners Placement: 1st Place out of 2
Against Previous Races of Same Distance: 6th best out of 21.
Course Record: Yes.
Personal Record: No.
Talk about lack of mental preparation. For the last two days, Karen and I have been frantically searching for a nanny. This, after some piece of shit decided it was ethical to offer our already-employed nanny a job for the ridiculous some of $800 per week for 45 hours worth of work….and off the books no less! The worst part of it all, was that this was someone in Port Washington. That’s a pretty shitty thing to do, if you ask me, to steal someone away like that. Nonetheless, a business is a business, and with all the work Karen and I were doing to find a replacement, I didn’t think I would have time to search for a replacement.
The good news is that this job market is still an employers’ market. And between, Nanny’s, babysitters, and Au Pairs, we are getting a flood of offers. We will be closing soon on one.
The idea of doing my 2nd RunNassau race seemed beyond remote. It wasn’t until Karen told me to do my long run on Sunday, that I was all for naught on Saturday (I had planned to do a long run on Saturday while she did her race-and while our nanny watched the babies for the last Saturday morning ever) Cedar Creek starts off of Merrick Road on the north end. It’s considered to be near the border of the towns of Seaford and Wantagh, Long Island. Karen and I got there on time, and realized that our car would be the baggage check. Good. I was freezing my guzunkuses off and was glad to stay inside a warm car!
Bathrooms were plentiful in the park, as I got a real toilet with real flushes (yay).
I weighed in this morning 163. Not where I want to be, but at 5 pounds lighter than where I was for the NYC Half, I definitely felt lighter in more “weighs” than one!
I lined up near the front, and unlike Nickerson Beach, I actually REMEMBERED to put my watch on this time!
After about a half-mile, it seemed like the field was not as strong as I had originally thought it would be, so I decided to go and use the “Pre” (Steve Prefontane) strategy. This strategy calls for going all out and holding on for dear life till the end.
It was a fun ride.
I started the second mile at 7:10 and was at PR pace. I wasn’t looking to break records today, just have a good race. In fact, I wasn’t expecting much of anything. And usually when I think that way, I do better. It’s counter-intuitive but it served me well.
Not too many people were ahead of me by the end of mile 2, which I crossed at 14:30, but catching up to anyone ahead of me was getting impossible as the gap was widening. Interestingly, only 3 people would pass me, which all happened between miles 3 and 4. And when I looked behind me in the home stretch, there was absolutely no one behind me.
In the end, I came in 35th overall, 3 places lower than in the Nickerson Beach race two weeks earlier. But who cared? I still came in 2nd place. That’s two of four RunNassau series races done, and second place on both. And neither person that came 1st in either race, even showed up for the other. Right now, that puts me in first place overall. Wow!!!
Here I am in this video below as I humbly accept my Silver Medal for 2nd place.
And lastly, I think even this car outperforms the Jetta (hahaha)
Posted by Alex Gonzalez at 3/23/2013 04:53:00 PM
Sunday, March 17, 2013
RACE #: 203
Race Name: NYC Half Marathon
Distance: 13.1 miles
Location: New York, NY
Date/Time: March 17, 2013 @ 9:00am
Weather: 30 deg, 64% hum, 7mph,
Finish Time: 1:48:51
Pace: 8:19 pr/ml
Overall Placement: 3724 out of 14,500 - top 26.7%
Gender Placement: 2622 out of 6903 - top 38.0%
Age Group (45-49) Placement: 249 out of 765 – top 32.5%
Forest Park Runners Placement: 1st Place out of 5
Against Previous Races of Same Distance: 19th best out of 41.
Course Record: No.
Personal Record: No.
A race as big as this, it would suck if I didn’t speak much about it. But I sucked, so there isn’t too much to talk about.
Kinda wrong. I do have stuff I can talk about. This was my 41st Half Marathon, 39th since 2005, and 5th NYC Half. My time did suck, though I thought I was flirting with a sub 8 pace, the effort I put forth was harder than normal, and so, everytime I looked at my watch and saw that my pace was 8 something, instead of 7 something, you can imagine the disgust I had. No Red Bull, Gatorade, GU Gel, or vitamin B-6 could help me out today.
Most people would laugh at this after hearing my weight. Oh yeah, it’s 168 (or was-when I got home it was at 164.2 but I’ve since eaten).
Please don’t misread me. I finished with a smile on my face, hung out with my brother Doug, and had a nice breakfast (the last one of its kind that I will have for awhile, anyway). As always, I know I love running when even on a day like today, I had a lot of fun.
|Actually it was less of a smile and a more of my classic "Gargoyle" face, done up for my buddy Doug, who was waiting for me at the finish.|
I'm grateful to finish on my team in first place on my team again, but a big overhaul is going to happen soon. The 629 miles so far done was aided by a high caloric intake. I may have to decide what I want more, 3000 miles this year or improved times. Hopefully, I won't have to sacrifice either and not get injured in the process, but I have a small body frame and the 167 pounds plus clothing did not help me today at all. Need to lose 12 pounds to compete the way I know that I can. This might spell the end (at least for a few months) on some of the fun foods I like (pizza). All foods are on the table (pun intended)!
Without a question, there are simply too many variables that can determine a persons pace. Items such as age, weight, temperature, course (flat or hilly), rest, humidity, and several other factors will determine the overall result.
However, if I were just to cherry pick a single category, perhaps none is more telling than weight. You would think that age would have been it, and in most cases one would be right, but I happen to be an exception to that rule. I started in 2004, and in my training, I have gotten better with my mechanics, and more aware of my strategy. Experience on a previously raced course doesn't hurt either.
However, weight had always been something that I kept barking about as the single biggest factor.
And I was right.
Take a look at the chart below. With Karen's help (she created a trendline), I was able to determine exactly how much of a difference my weight actually impacts my race times. Keep in mind however, that this is not yet refined. For example, I may weigh 165 in the summer, and 164 in the winter. But everyone knows that we all wear more clothing in the winter. It's not just the body that the body carries, but whatever it has on as well. I must have weighed easily over 170 pounds today, whereas while I still weighed 165 in Florida last month, I wasn't wearing much of anything else. The difference? 7 minutes. Again, Florida was flat, and Central Park is just a flat out pain in the ass.
To be fair, I only looked at Half Marathons for the last 5 years. Anything earlier, and then the cost of inexperience would have been too much of a factor to accurately measure impact based on weight. By 2008, I already had enough experience to consider all races since then as worthwhile data candidates.
Look at the result above. It's as clear as day. My best average ever was at 158 pounds, however if you look at a trendline, the result is apparently clear. At the low end of the weight scale (155 poundsmy trendline showed me at 476 seconds per mile (which is a pace of 7:56 per mile). Yet, if you look at the high end of the trendline (169 pounds), my pace there was 508 seconds per mile or 8:28 per mile.
A 32 second difference seems like nothing, right?
But if this was sustained over 13.1 miles, you would now be looking at 419.2 seconds, almost exactly a 7 minutes difference.
With a range of 14 pounds (from 155 to 169), you can almost say that my trendline forecasts an average of 30 seconds more for every extra pound I weigh. This is not as bad as I had theorized without the facts, but now that I know this, perhaps I can forecast (with some modest measure of success) what I can accomplish based on my weight.
All of this talk, should have most of you reaching for the phones and seeking help for me right away. But don't worry, I have no plans on going anorexic or anything extreme like that. For inasmuch as I love to compete, win, accomplish, etal, I value my life much more. However, having said that to make you all feel at ease, I would love to do a half-marathon at 150 pounds and see exactly how I would do. The one thing I must also account for too, is that at some point, I will start to perform worse if I feel emaciated. Given my small-boned frame however, I don't think that's an issue I will experience in my lifetime again (like when I weighed 120 during my 20's).
|Taken from the NYRR website. Actually I was in baggage zone 5 (based on my running number).|
|Site of where I froze my coglionis.|
By 6:45 am the jig was up because after my 3 mile run I actually went back to my car on Madison and 68th to sit inside, but then I had to go back to check in my bag at UPS.
I ripped off my disposable white pants at the start, but it wasn’t until I had passed the 102nd transverse on the east side where I finally took off the top to it. And I only took off my gloves when I had gotten to about mile 10 on the west side highway.
As for this race, the one thing I love is that they have port-o-sans inside the corrals. I think that’s great! Now if they can somehow mosey a UPS truck alongside it too, wow!
|Even after just 1 loop in the park, it was plain to see that I was looking a bit decimated here.|
|Running thru Times Square. I'm somewhere in there. Can you see me?|
|Running south on the West Side Highway.|
|Just passed the Freedom Tower|
|About to head into the Battery|
|Coming out of the 1/2 mile battery tunnel.|
As for the course, I only went 1/10th of a mile over which is really good if you ask me. Typically, I usually wind up doing an average of nearly .02 per mile. So typically, a final distance of 13.36 instead of 13.1 is not unusual, especially on NYRR courses.
Here were my laps
(14)8:28 pace for the last .23
From Miles 6 thru 10 I was teetering at sub-8. Then it all went to hell. It's called being OVERWEIGHT!
I haven’t put the diet together yet, but here are the foods that over the next SIXTY days which I MUST either minimize or just freaking delete altogether.
MUST CUT OUT!!!
Pizza – My Achilles heel, and by far this if the absence of this doesn’t kill me, nothing will
Toasted Buttered Bagels- the ones I have in the morning. Goodbye, take an effin’ hike!
Real Ice Cream – Carvel – goodbye. Baskin Robbins? I’ll be seeing you. Weight Watchers’ Ice Cream okay, but 1 at most per night.
Chips Ahoy & Oreos – I don’t buy ‘em, Karen does. She leaves them in places where I can easily get to them, and even goes so far as to pack them in my lunch. She means well, and it’s her way of expressing her love for me. But I must stay away. 160 calories for only 3 measely cookies. No way to fill up on 3 cookies, so you know how many I’d be eating.
Half N Half - Yeah I know my coffee sucks with skim milk. So guess what? If I can’t take it that way then tough shit. No more Half N Half. That stuff pours on the calories – 10 calories per tablespoon or 20 calories per ounce. Compare that with 10 calories per ounce of skim milk. And I don’t measure in spoons, I pour on, mein host. I love lattes.
Butter – Real Men may use real butter, but real runners don’t. Lard is lard, no matter how you slice it.
Cheese – Each slice of American Cheese or Munster is something like 80 calories. Cheese is yummy, but it gives me a big tummy too. 60 days. Suck it the eff up!
Non Fat-Free Dressing – Either that or use less dressing.
Red Meat – While the allure of protein to help curb apetite is appealing, I might wind up eating too much red meat in substitution for all those great things above I wish to curb. Chicken, Turkey, Fish (not shellfish), and even Pork will be better than red meat, like steak and chop meat. And bacon.
I need to drink more water!
Diet soda is okay for now, but can’t do much of that either.
Fruit juice? Fugghedabout it. Too many calories.
Gatorade? Stick to the G2 brand.
I need to start calorie counting. I know. It’s a royal pain. But for the next 60 days, I need to make sure that I am counting my calories to ensure that I’m not screwing up (or not eating enough either, for that matter).
I need to take into account the running and the calories that it burns. And perhaps run a little less actually. It seems that in this winter frenzy of running that I’ve been eating even more than I’ve run. And I’ve run 629 miles since January 1!!!!!
If I can get to the Brooklyn Half Marathon without doing any of the no-no’s I am SURE I will be at an amazing weight. Then it will be a matter of maintenance. I will reintroduce these lovely no-nos, but within reason. Between now and then, I have to figure out how to handle this. Stress-related factors, work, family life, traffic, long runs, etal, will all have an impact on my knee-jerk reaction to feel like falling off the wagon. I won’t make any bones about it. The next two months might be harder than anything I’ve ever done before, but if I love my running as much as I say that I do, then I will do what I must!
My finish. I'm somewhere around the 1:52:50 mark
Posted by Alex Gonzalez at 3/17/2013 10:56:00 PM