Sunday, September 27, 2009

RACE REPORT: ING NYC Tune Up (18 Miler)


Date: 9/27/2009
Type: Race
Course: NYRR ING NYC Marathon Tune Up
Distance: 18 miles
Duration: 2:41:21.85
Pace: 8:58 / mile
Equipment: Brooks Infiniti 2 (Copper/Silver/Bl)
Weight: 158 lb
Statistics: Calories: 2151
VO2 Max: 38.2
Misc: Quality: 7/10, Effort: 7/10
Field Placement: 1267 / 3534 (35.9%)
Age group: 40 – 44
Group Placement: 189 / 353 (53.5%)
Gender Placement: 967 / 1970 (49.1%)
Statistics: Calories: 2151
VO2 Max: 38.2
Weather: 61 F Humidity: 100% Rain.

Mile …… Time… ……. Accum ………. notes……
01 ………. 09:53.1 ……….. 09:53.1 ……….. best 8:00
02 ………. 10:18.1 ……….. 20:11.2 ……….. best 7:31
03 ………. 09:43.7 ……….. 29:55.0 ……….. best 8:07
04 ………. 08:54.9 ……….. 38:49.8 ……….. best 7:15
05 ………. 09:20.5 ……….. 48:10.4 ……….. best 7:28
06 ………. 08:31.4 ……….. 56:41.7 ……….. best 7:11
07 ………. 09:07.5 ……….. 05:49.2 ……….. best 7:33
08 ………. 09:06.9 ……….. 14:56.1 ……….. best 7:32
09 ………. 09:06.1 ……….. 24:02.2 ……….. best 7:26
10 ………. 09:04.6 ……….. 33:06.9 ……….. best 7:27
11 ………. 08:34.9 ……….. 41:41.8 ……….. best 7:26
12 ………. 08:16.1 ……….. 49:57.8 ……….. best 6:48
13 ………. 08:46.4 ……….. 58:44.3 ……….. best 6:24
14 ………. 08:39.1 ……….. 07:23.4 ……….. best 6:35
15 ………. 08:04.2 ……….. 15:27.6 ……….. best 6:32
16 ………. 08:35.0 ……….. 24:02.6 ……….. best 6:59
17 ………. 08:30.0 ……….. 32:32.5 ……….. best 6:23
18 ………. 07:40.4 ……….. 40:13.0 ……….. best 6:11
0.15 ………. 01:08.9 ……….. 41:21.9 ……….. pace 7:35 best 6:46

Okay, so now that you have all the stats above, here is the story behind it below.

Excluding the training runs of 20 miles each, this was the first race of over 13.1 miles. It was raining and nasty, and frankly, I really wasn't looking to push it, simply because I was tendering a still sore calf. In fact, I wasn't even sure if I was going to even finish this race, especially since I heard "pop" in my calf at yesterday's race. And yes, this is the second time ever that I've had back to back races. Last year it was the Manhattan 14.2 training and the Nike race in Randalls Island.

I started off by running with Karen, my leg was so sore that I was trying to keep pace with her for a bit. Eventually, I settled in, but not before breaking a 9 minute barrier in the 4th mile. I wasn't sure how long my leg would last out, but something important happened, and that was that my leg actually began feeling better....as I was running.

I ran very consistent between miles 7 through 10, between 9:04 and 9:07 and all under a sub-4 pace. But something amazing happened during the back end of the race that I can't explain. It seemed that as I kept running, I kept going faster and faster to the point that I think I paced in at around 8:20 for the last 8 miles. In short, this was a negative split, and by far the most radical negative split. My first 9 miles I ran in 1:24:02 and the last 9 in 1:17:19, for the grand total of 2:41:21 or a sub-9 pace. The second half split was nearly 7 minutes faster than the first half. That's an average of 40 seconds or so faster per mile!

We ran three loops around Central Park, and for me, each loop was faster than the last.As you can see, I love statistics. Anyway, we were drenched! Waterlogged! Swimming with the fishes? Well, not quite. Because our day was not over yet. My sister, Vanessa and her husband Kerry, were in New York this whole week. In fact, I had taken some time off to be with them during the week. I actually forgot to mention earlier (I think) that I introduced Karen to Vanessa & Kerry right after we finished up our Queens Half Marathon, where we later met up with Jeff & Mindy and their daughter for an early dinner at the Cheesecake Factory in the Huntington Mall.

So, as they were in town, Vanessa and I had gotten tickets for the four of us to go see the Broadway production of Hair. I didn't expect to be 'wowed', but the music was sensational, the acting was top notch, and the energy was incredible!




That's Karen and I.....Hey isn't that Berger behind us? It looks like he is about smash me over my head with his fists or something! About the best part of the play, was when we were all asked to come up on stage, which we did, and began dancing. I've never done that in my life before. Very cool. And the funniest? Believe it or not it had nothing to do with the play, but of a frantic woman in the audience. After the show finally let out, and all of us stepped off the stage to get our coats from our seats and leave, this woman yelled out to her friends, "Oh My God! I just touched Berger's ass!!!!" LOL.

We went afterwards to an Italian restaurant near the theatre district, and afterwards Kerry was nice enough to drop us both home.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

RACE REPORT: Continental Airlines 5th Avenue Mile

Date: 9/26/2009
Type: Race
Course: Continental Airlines 5th Avenue Mile
Distance: 1 mile
Duration: 5:55
Pace: 5:55 / mile
Equipment: Brooks Infiniti 2 (Copper/Silver/Bl)
Weight: 158 lb
Misc: Quality: 7/10, Effort: 10/10
Field Placement: 827 / 3793 (21.8%)
Age group: 40 – 44
Group Placement: 75 / 256 (29.3%)
Gender Placement: 763 / 2166 (35.2%)

Intervals (Quarter Mile Intervals)
Distance............Time......Total Time....Pace.......Notes
1st 0.25....Mi.....1:16......... 1:16......... 5:04
2nd 0.25...Mi....1:40......... 2:56........ 6:40... up hill a bit. tough. losing ground 2:56 total
3rd 0.25...Mi....1:24.......... 4:20........ 5:36... down hill went all out. heard my right calf pop 4:40
4th 0.25...Mi....1:15........... 5:35........ 5:00... all out even with calf pain. best 1/4 split!

I’ve only done this race once. Back in 2005. Back then I was still something of a novice in what was my first comeback year. I’ll cut to the chase and tell you that my time was 6:45 in 2005. Back then I thought it was fantastic. Now it’s 2009. I’m fours years older. And I’m faster too.

I left Karen at the start and made my way down 5th to see her finish. She was very impressive, as she crossed at 7:15. She wasn’t as impressed, but I’ve been noticing subtle changes in her running of late, and I think she is going to improve a lot over the next few years. I’d like to think that I might have something to do with that too.

Well, I walked back up to the start area. I felt like I was waiting on line to hop on a rollercoaster. I went to the starting line as soon as my age group was announced. In the meantime, there was another corral in front of us ready to take off. Take off was every 15 minutes. I was pretty fortunate to line only 4 rows back from the elite runners in my age category. I could see them bent forward with their hands on their watches waiting for the air horn to go off. It did, and we were off.

The strategy to this race is totally different than any other race. Basically, there is one simple objective: Take off as fast as you can, and see how long you can hang on.

I started playing "Would I Lie To You" from Annie Lennox because I love the upbeat tempo. Finished it off with "Blackout" by Scorpions. After the first 1/4 mile, I was flying and still feeling good in the lungs. 2nd quarter was much tougher; it was up a hill between 75th and 70th streets. However after that it was all down hill. I extended my stride to start passing people; bad idea. My right calf muscle just popped, and I had to slow down actually. The last quarter mile came up. Some idiot wearing a gray shirt, slightly taller than me, banged into my right shoulder, re-activating my need to speed up. As I headed through for the last 200 Meters I was able to see the time clock at the finish line and realized I had an outside shot for breaking 6 minutes. After finishing, I was totally winded though. Not as bad as the 2005 one where I felt like knives, but bad enough that it is 8pm and I am still coughing up a lung. They almost didnt give me a water bottle as i was supposed to hold on to the tshirt coupon. the guy was telling me some nonsense about it, and i was so out of it, i nearly spilled my water all over him. lol. he finally relented and gave it to me. I then saw Karen, and I walked home from 60th to 96th. Icing my calf now. Will I be able to do 18 miles tomorrow at 7am? only time will tell. that and some protein and pasta!

So there you have it. It took a while this year to do it, but at 5:55 for the mile I have a PR. Fastest One Mile race? Well, here it is. 44 years old and loving it!

Francis Burdett, 44, of Worcester, MA did it in 4:28. That's a full 1:27 faster than me!


Check this out!
I couldn't find myself on video, but Karen can be seen with her blonde hair in a pony tail. She's wearing all black and you can see her in the lower part of the video. She enters into the scene at about :25 seconds.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

RACE REPORT: Queens Half-Marathon Grand Prix


Date: 9/20/2009 7:00 AM
Type: Race
Course: NYRR: Queens Half-Marathon
Distance: 13.1 miles
Duration: 1:45:41
Pace: 8:05 / mile
Equipment: Brooks Infiniti 2 (Copper/Silver/Bl)
Weight: 158 lb
Misc: Quality: 7/10, Effort: 7/10
Field Placement: 1055 / 5106 (20.7%)
Age group: 40 – 44
Group Placement: 144 / 405 (35.6%)
Gender Placement: 917 / 2870 (32%)
Weather: 65° F, Sunny
Statistics: Calories: 1565VO2 Max: 42.3


Marker....................Time.....Total Time Pace Avg HR Max HR Notes
Mile 01.....................8:05.69............... 8:05.69 ..........best 6:53
Mile 02....................7:29.96.............. 15:35.65 ..........best 6:28
Mile 03................... 7:32.29.............. 23:07.94 ..........best 6:17
Mile 04....................7:37.94.............. 30:45.88 ..........best 6:23
Mile 05....................7:35.79.............. 38:21.67 ...........best 6:34
Mile 06....................7:41.97.............. 46:03.64 ...........best 6:45
Mile 07....................7:53.33.............. 53:56.97 ...........best 6:52
Mile 08.....................7:42.9 ............1:01:39.87 ...........best 6:42
Mile 09....................8:07.2............. 1:09:47.07 ...........best 7:11
Mile 10....................7:51.91............ 1:17:38.98 ...........best 6:58
Mile 11....................8:57.61............. 1:26:36.59 ..........best 7:29
Mile 12....................8:23.39.............1:34:59.98 ......... best 7:27
Mile 13....................8:16.84.............1:43:16.82 ..........best 6:48
Mile 13+ 0.23 Mi...2:25.33 ............1:45:42.15 .........best 6:20 pace 7:24


On April 13, 1986, I did my first half-marathon ever. It was this race. I did it in 1:51:13. I was 20 years old, and I was already losing my interest in running. I had these horrible Nike sneakers (should have never abandoned my Brooks from the year before), and I weighed about 130 pounds. 19 years later, I did this race again. I weighed 167 pounds, and had not run in almost two months thanks to a fractured tibia. I was almost 40 then. I ran it once more in 2006 and redeemed myself with a time of 1:48:08. I clearly remembered not being able to do this race in three years for one work related reason or another, and I knew I was long overdue.

Parking in Queens is a difficult event. With the race starting at 7am sharp, I had to make sure Karen and I were both ready to leave by no later than 6am. To top it off we also had to get our running numbers too. Leg wise, my scabs were gone, but my scarring is permanent (unfortunately). I will probably wear that Ride To Montauk badge for all of my remaining years.
Speaking of scabs, and other blood-things related, I chose to wear all red. I was fixated with “going to war” with Queens. As you can see, I was feeling good. My calf was not demonstrating that much pain.

Karen had said this was a flat course. No offense, but I think she must have been smoking something. I thought that there were hills. Then again, the course has changed since I last ran it back in 2006, so who knew right?

The start of the race along the water on Poppenhausen was uneventful. Until the first quarter-mile, and then we had a hill. And then another hill. And another. And another.
Hill. Hill. Hill. Curve, then Hill.

What a tough race this was! Clearly more difficult the NYC Half. What joker thought of this course anyway? We kept going up from one hill to another, and with all the rights and lefts, you hardly knew what was coming until it was nearly too late. Fortunately, the weather was cool and not humid.

I tried the best that I could, but clearly the hills did not have eyes. They had knives. Also, nothing better than running up and down when nursing the trail end of a calf injury, right? Ugh.
I started off very strong, only posting one out of the first ten miles in over 8 minutes. I clearly thought I had a chance at obtaining my first sub-8 half for the year, and my fourth ever. But the hills killed me, and I totally collapsed in Mile 11 and Mile 12. I still managed a nice finish at the end, and as usual, but not enough, and finished it in 1:45:41, or a pace of 8:03. All in all, I still came in the top 20%, so despite my last 5K collapse, I had a lot to be hopeful for in the quest to revive my fountain of youth and prove that older is better.









Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Hamptons - One Last Injury-laden Hurrah.



So despite the injuries, we set east one last time to the Hamptons. My scabbing was not as tight anymore, but it still restricted my mobility. Thus playing tennis was not a wise move. First of all, I lost my glasses this weekend, and I think it happened while we were playing tennis of all things. Second of all, I aggravated my left calf muscle while playing tennis.

I still ran 18 miles over two days though. After tennis, we ran about 11 miles and the next day we ran to the sag harbor bridge and back. The night before I actually drove my car onto a ferry and went to Shelter Island. That was the first time I've ever done that with a car. We drove off and into town, and went to a place called Sweet Tomatoes. The ambiance was very romantic and the food and the service was excellent.

Here is the outside of Sweet Tomatoes, the exact table of where we ate too, but at night...

Of course, I did not fair much better physically as the days ahead came and went. My never healing knee had bequeathed itself to the tightness of my left calf muscle. It hurt a lot. So,as a result, I did the wise thing and bow out of the Fitness Games (see Karen below) on the 12th...

And most definitely, I also took a pass on the NYC Century Bike tour on the 13th. I was really bummed about that, especially because the weather was absolutely beautiful. Karen did the century as well (see pic below - started on 110th and Central Park North), and I just stayed home and wallowed in self-pity. BooHoo.

I did get to sell my ticket for the Century run however. I had it on Craigslist, and on the New York Cycle Club website.

Disappointed, I tried my hand at running on in Central Park on the 14th and 15th, but I still wasn't right. The only thing left for me to do was to rest. Even if the Queens Half Marathon was only 5 days away......

Sunday, September 6, 2009

RACE REPORT: Manhattan 14.2 Training Run


Since I didn't provide too many photographs on my last couple of posts....

With this:
and this:
























I took my kids one last time to the Venetian Shores...



The next day and with my knees extremely tight from the scabbing...
I did this....

Using this....

To get that....

Any questions?

This was the first time, I ever did a run (race) where Karen and I started and finished together. During the last few yards, we held hands and then held them up as we triumphantly crossed the finish line near Battery Park. Someone took a picture of us. If anyone out there, stumbles across us, and can help us get a copy, we would love it!!!!