Tuesday, January 31, 2012

"Shoeless" Al Gonzo

What a great day it was outside! Not only was the big and-all beautiful sum beaming thru, but it was 52 today on this, the last day of January, here in New York.

Yes. It was indeed a great day to run outside for lunch today.

If ONLY I hadn't left my sneakers at home.

Mother Fu#%*%*#!!!!!!!

How could I possibly do this?!!

What sabotage! What lunacy!
No. Better still .... What Idiocy!!!!

I needed to run to keep my streak .
There was only 1 thing to do....
The treadmill at work AND.....
Go shoeless .

I so wanted to call this blog post , "Barefoot Contenda" as a pin to the cooking show of a similar name ("Barefoot Contessa") but to do that I would have had to run completely barefoot on the mill, and that's the type of a career-limiting move at work that I would wish to avoid right now.

So up on the treadmill I got. Nothing between me and the 'mill 'cept for y double-layered Wright socks, which I still swear by to this day.

The first mile was more of a novelty than anything else as I really didn't pay attenion to the things needing attending to. For one, a certain sense of male inadequacy came about for the top of the treadmill was yet another 2 inches closer to my head (guess those sneaks give me a lift after all).

All I kept thinking was, "My lord. What if some executive walks in here and sees me running in socks?" I can see the inter office memo now. "Proper attire must be maintained at all times...EVEN AT THE COMPANY GYM! This means you, Blogrunner!

Of course as I'm even more dedicated to my job, I didn't even get to do y 'lunch run' until 2:30. Most humans have finished eating by then. Also, and then again, to most 'humans', a 'lunch run' signifies a trip to a food place and not an actual RUN!

My 2nd mile was more interesting because my once broken interior left left tibia was flaring a little.

Do I stop?

I already saved the streak but had so so much energy left. What a shame it would be to do a Roberto Duran and walk away.

So instead I focused on changing. My stride and my landing technique. Without shoes, I had abandoned my ball-heel technique but realized that the impact was taking its toll on my unprotected feet.

Mile 3 was where my feet started getting hot. As a beloved Mets fan, I was wondering it Roger McDowell was back in town to give me hot foot.

Mile 4.
Would I make it?
Would I dare even try?
Fuck it.
Did it and done.

14 consecutive days and nothing, not even missing sneakers has deterred me from going on.

And if that weren't enough, here I am at precisely 8 o' clock writing to you from where of all places? A treadmill at the Training Station Athletic Club in Port Washington. In fact, this entire blogpost has been written while I've been hammering out 8:40 miles.

Umm let's see...
Looks like nearly 6 miles done already . Another 10+ mile day and.... A new mileage record for me for the month January.

Fuck off, 2011. I'm gonna blast you 2012-style. Ho!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Sands Point Run

After having traveled this route a few times by car, it was finally the time to do this on foot.
Sands Point, is a village located at the northernmost tip of the Cow Neck Peninsula on the North Shore of Long Island in Nassau County, New York. As of the United States 2010 Census, the village population was 2,675. The Incorporated Village of Sands Point is in the Town of North Hempstead.

The village was incorporated in 1910. In 1917, the village absorbed the communities of Barkers Point and Motts Point. It was originally owned by three families, the Sands, Vanderbilts, and Cornwells. In 1910 Daniel Guggenheim bought his 216-acre (0.87 km2) Hempstead House, formerly Castle Gould. His son Harry Guggenheim, founder of Newsday, later erected his estate "Falaise" nearby. Today, the estate is part of the Sands Point Preserve, notable for a medieval fair run by Medieval Scenars and Recreations, Ltd., which is held every September. In the 1960s, under less strict building codes, many homes were built on 1-acre (4,000 m2) parcels. Current zoning allows subdivisions of 2 acres (8,100 m2) or more.  The Sands Family Cemetery was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.[1]

In F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, Sands Point was referred to as "East Egg". East Egg residents inherited their fortunes and were considered more respected than the nouveau riche in newer "West Egg" (Great Neck/Kings Point) because Sands Point had "old money." The story's fictional Buchanans lived in the western part of Sands Point. Reports suggest[4] that Fitzgerald – who was often a guest at the mansion of Herbert Bayard Swope on Hoffstot Lane at Prospect Point in Sands Point 40°52′08″N 73°42′51″W / 40.8688876°N 73.7141473°W / 40.8688876; -73.7141473 – used the site as his inspiration for the fictional Buchanan home in East Egg. The 20,000-square-foot (1,900 m2) waterfront mansion had originally been built for A.C. Sloane, originally named Keewaydin, had been designed by Stanford White and built in 1902.[4] Demolition of the house "Land's End" began on April 16, 2011. It is to be replaced with a subdivision of five houses tentatively priced at $10 million each.[5] Its owner David Brodsky said it was costing him $4,500/day to maintain and that it was in need of extensive renovations

People Associated with Sands Point
So, now that you have a "Wiki" point of view, now, it will be my turn to give you a "Blogrunner's" point of View.

First off, if you like running or cycling, then this area is a garden of eden.  So many beautiful roads, sparsely traveled.  Well appointed mansions everywhere, along with nicely-behaved foliage (I say 'nicely behaved' because people around here have $$$ to keep the streets clear of debris).

Having run 50 miles thus far, I only needed to do 1 mile to break my all-time record for most miles in a week during the month of January.   Instead, I was flirting with doing 10, although I had to be responsible, not only to my body, but Karen needed some much deserved time to go and workout as well.  It was already 2:30 in the afternoon, so I didn't want to take too much time, and give her some sunlight as it was radiant outside.

With the temps at around 42 (wind chill feel of 33), I headed out in a long sleeve with my Asics jackets, long pants Dunkin Donut hat (obtained at the 2010 NYC Marathon) and gloves.  It wouldn't be too long before the gloves when in my pocket.  Not just because it wasn't all that cold, but also since picture-taking on the iPhone is impossible without your fingers actually touching the screen.

Above is a picture of Mill Pond, right along side Shore Road on the other side of Manhasset Bay.  I ran past here through Harbor Road to get to Middle Neck Road. 

Once I reached Middle Neck road and made a left, I would start to head north.  It was nice to see a shoulder lane (below), but I would be a little nervous using my bike due to it's narrowness.  I will have to tell Karen that it might be better to cross Middle Neck than to actual ride on it.

 Port Washington has many "sub" divisions. I was now running through the Village of Port Washington North.  Incidentally, I saw only Avenues A & B.  Nothing more.

Not long after came the Village of Sands Point....

And with that, the Sands Point Preserve Museum as well

There never are a shortage of large homes in Sands Point.  5000 sq feet?  That's nothing in this area.

As nice as the North Hempstead Country Club might be, I can only imagine how much more exclusive this club must actually be.

This house on the corner of Sterling and Middle Neck Road has got to be one of my favorites.

Middle Neck Road

This is the castle at the northern tip of Sands Point near the Long Island Sound.  1 Lighthouse Road, to be exact.

More of the castle.

In the end, another 8 miles logged.  For the week, I did 58 miles. 101 in   That's the most miles in any one week for the month of January.

And that makes 12 days in a row of running too.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Beacon Double Hump

Main Street in Port during the morning.
 One of the great things about Port Washington are its hills. Like any neck in Long Island, there are sure to be plenty of hills, humps and bumps. The colony of Beacon Hill just east of the northloop of Harbor Park Drive is quite a hill. As a joke, I called it a hump, because it rhymes with 'chump', something that you are left feeling like after tackling it. A long and ardous rise to 255 feet, and a razor sharp drop. Well, I decided to tackle it on, by going through it, and then back (in reverse).

Nice stone walk work

On Beacon Hill/Harbor Drive.  Houses 64 & 66 represent the "summit" if you will.  Once you get past here, it's all downhill.

Pictures seldom reflect the immensity of the eye's view.  In this photo Harbor Drive is curving to the right and sweeping down.  You can see the water.  It's pretty intense!

Still going downhill.  Perhaps you can better see the view of the "beach" where my first crack at a Triathlon (2005) took place.

This ugly sign and gestapo-like chain-link fence was the 4 mile turnaround point.

Going back up?  OMG.  What am I thinking????

Intersection of Main Street & Port Washington Blvd on a sunny day.  PS-I took a ton of pics along Main, but I'll spare you the boredom!

All crosswalks should look like this!

Very tempted to stop at Starbucks to get a nice 700 calorie drink.  I was good though and DID NOT STOP!

Hey! I didn't know that "They Grey" was playing?!
Of course, it was a wondeful day to run outside, and with this, my 11th consecutive day, I needed a nice sunny day to lift my focus on my day, and not worry about streaks.  

Finn MacCools'.  Someone I once knew told me about this place.  I stopped by one evening for a drink with Karen, and they indeed still have the "children eat free on Sunday" rule.  Not bad.

Amongst a bevy of shops, the Dolphin Bookshop is one of those rare treasures you find now and again.  It's a quaint bookshop, that manages to survive (Thank God), and does special things, like guest authors who come and read to children.  Ever see a movie with Meg Ryan called  "You've Got Mail?".  Yeah, it's a chick-flick, I know.  But if you did see it, then it should give you an idea of what this small nice bookshop is all about.

Low tide in Manhasset Bay
Now  there a lot of people who may be skeptics about my "hill" work and rightfully so.  It's so easy to say that one's hill is tougher than other hills.  So let me give you the facts:

First off, here is the elevation chart for my run:

At it's peak, Beacon Hill is 255.7 feet.  Given that I start off near Shore Road, I really do go from 0 feet above sea-level, making the overall climb the entire 255 feet.  And on the way back my climb from the base of Harbor Park Drive (which that is nearly at sea level +20 feet) is a net of 235 feet in 3/4 of a mile.  Now let's compare that with the NYC Marathon.  Take from the Marathon website itself: 

Starting first with the highest rise, the Verrazano Narrows bridge, we see that the runner's actually start at 100 feet above sea. With it's highest point of 260 feet, that would mean that one would only run up 160 feet, and over the same distance, which is 90 feet less than my Beacon run.

And for those, like me, who hate the Queensboro Bridge for the same reason, you will see that rise is even less.  It's highest point is 135 feet. Even from sea level, its nearly half as much as my Beacon Hill run.

And last but not least, my Forest Park Runners Hill Work on Woodhaven Boulevard.  You are kidding me, right??? A 50 foot climb.  Big Whoop! :-)