Tuesday, July 31, 2012

LI Corporate Challenge

RACE: Marcum Workplace Challenge
DIST: 3.5 Miles
RUN#: 188
DATE:  Tuesday, July 31, 2012 @ 7pm
TEMP:  77F - 50% HUM
WGT:  163.6

This race is always always always run under the most adverse weather conditions, but this time, we were somewhat spared.  The sun never totally shone through, and the humidity, which was high as usual, did not pack that much of a wallop as we were fortunate enough to have temps in the mid-upper 70's only.

I hadn't done this race since '09 but I do remember what a zoo this race has become. Without start mats, corrals, etc, I lined up as early as possible to get a spot up in the front.    I'm glad I did so, because it only helped to allow me to win my 4th championship among Arrow'ers.  I finished ahead of all my employees, and this year we had some great participants to speak of.  Some of them almost beat me!

I did my first mile in 7:12, the second mile in 7:18, the third at 7:19, and scorched the last half mile in 3:20, which was a 6:40 pace.  If I could have seen 1/2 mile intervals, I'd bet anything that for the last half of the 3rd mile, I was near that 6:40 pace as well, as I really picked it up between mile 2 & 3.  Instead of dying at the end, I was battlin' and that's a good thing!
I was tired!

Also, it turns out that my final time of 25:09 was a PR.  And I did it with the near-slimmest of margins...Only by 2 seconds over that of the 2009 time.  But at the age of 47, I'm feeling blessed and I will take it!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

NYRR Long Training Run #1 & Central Park Reflections

NYRR Long Training Run is a great excuse for doing a long run.  The toughest part of doing long runs is that if it can get lonely running for an hour by yourself, then just imagine running 3 hours like that.

With the LTR however, there are many runners doing the same thing as you.  You're never alone, and your always setting goals while you running (let me pass this one, let me draft that one, etc etc). 

For me, this run was a special one because it had been a long time since I ran in Central Park, especially relaxed.  Though make no mistake about it.  Even though this was not a scored race, I'm usually extra motivated when I'm running with others. 
I felt as tired as this race bib looked. LOL.

The weather was a balmy 78 degrees, but it wasn't as bad as it could have been considering the summer we had been having. 

The loops around the park were great.  I missed all of the areas, Harlem Hill, Central Park South, Tavern, UES straightaway, and of course my favorite (not), Cat Hill.

I ran into Pauline and we ran for about a mile or so together, but we split apart to do our own programs.  

Interestingly, Karen also ran, and like Pauline, she too did 16 miles.  I say interestingly, because her knee surgery was scheduled two days later.  Most people would just take it easy, but not her.  Hmmmm.  Well, when I think about it some more, perhaps I would do the same too.  After all, might as well get in as much mileage as I can, especially when faced with the possibility that it could be some time before I could run again. 

The only downer of the run, had to be my decision to pause my GPS's and to wait for the 9:30pace group to be given the signal to take off for the 4th and final loop.  The guy coordinating the "take-offs" took forever, and I wound up cramping so badly, that I wasn't even sure I was going to be able to make it 1 more mile, let alone 4. 

Running through Central Park brought back a lot of great memories.  Two sets of memories, to be exact.  My first set of memories, which date back to the mid-80's, when, after going through a tremendous difficult time in my life (school, parents, Tricia), I took up running and did 3 consecutive Marathons ('84, '85 and '86).  During those memorable years, I would run from my very humble studio apartment in Kew Gardens (84-20 Austin Street, Apt 6K, to be exact) and would make my way either by subway or actually running, into Manhattan.  And from there, I would go into Central Park and run, run, run. 

Never thinking that those memories could be matched, proved me to be of lacking insight.  Because, from the summer of 2009 right until the end of fall of 2011, I ran in Central Park like a man on a mission.  I ran at all hours of the day, all routes, all distances, with everyone, with Karen and with no one.  Central Park.  The finish line to my cherished 10 (soon to be 11) marathons.  Central Park, the home of most of my 187 finish lines crossed.  Central has always been home to me, and it will always be home to me.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Dayton, Ohio

The 16 week training program for the New York City Marathon begins....where else? 

In Dayton Ohio???

My job sent me out here this weekend to do an technology upgrade.  Everything went fairly smooth, and I've had time to run  as well.  I leave tomorrow, but tomorrow is Day 1 of my 16 week training program for the New York City Marathon, and Day 1 of my 12 week training program for the Chicago Marathon.

I need to run faster and longer.  But this is going to require a lot more discipline than that.  In order to escape the quagmire that I've been in for the last few years, some things are going to need to radically change.

More rest.
Run early in the morning.
Less bread
Fewer fats.
Less salt.
In other words, eating healthier.
Weight training - enough to build a little mass to get my body to burn calories faster.
Stretch, stretch, stretch.
Perhaps go to a yoga class every so often.

These are the tenements I need to execute on, if I want ANY shot at making it to Boston in 2013.

Here is the Plan for Week 1:

Time Range: 1:04-1:09 (9:12-9:48 mile pace)
Flex Day: What is a Flex Day? A flex day is a day for you to further customize this training program -- you have the option of a run, cross-training session or a day off AND you can schedule which day of the week you do this! We recommend that you schedule flex days after hard workouts or long runs in your training program. Cross-training sessions are aerobic workouts, too, which means that those sessions on the bike can help your marathon time. Everyone responds differently, so it's difficult to determine the effect, if any, that your choice of what to do on Flex Days will have on your marathon time. Many elite runners only train six days per week, so don't think it's necessarily a bad thing to take days off! If you do elect to run, today should be an easy run. Easy runs are important for recovering from hard sessions. Running too fast on these days is counterproductive. You can aid muscle recovery by running on soft surfaces. (Dirt and pine-needle trails are best!) Some of you are going to have a hard time hitting the prescribed paces because you'll think they're too slow. For this week it's not a big deal if you go a bit faster, but as we start ramping up the intensity, it will be important for you to hold yourself back! If you're cross training, go for 64 - 69 minutes at about the same intensity level. If you elect to not run, then do not make up the missed running in your remaining running days. You will now run 37 miles this week.
You may have noticed that your current regular run pace (8:55-9:12) is slower than your inputted typical run pace. Don't be alarmed by this. We are trying to teach you how to train at the correct paces -- this will not only make your running more enjoyable but it will also help keep you healthy. These paces will get faster as the training plan continues and you will be running faster on workout days. Most recreational runners just run at one speed, but we are trying to teach you to train at different intensities (paces) -- this makes running more fun! If you feel these paces are much too slow, then you have two options: (1) you may want to run a road race to re-assess your fitness -- after you enter the race result all of your training paces and your marathon goal will change!, (2) ask a NYRR e-coach in the training forum.
Health Check: Every runner should get a thorough physical examination screening prior to starting this training. Although millions of people safely complete marathon training programs and marathons every year, there are potentially health risks. These health risks are different for each individual, so we are recommending that you see your physician prior to starting this program.
You may have signed up for the wrong training program! Since you entered this training program running less than 5 days a week, the Conservative training program seems like a better fit for you. Even if you have a great aerobic fitness from swimming or cycling, the load-bearing demands of running are different. In fact, research has identified that this is a risk factor for a running-related injury. You can switch training programs at any time within your training program. So after you get a few weeks under your belt, you can consider a switch back to the Moderate program. Do you need help? Perhaps you need a NYRR coach to assist with fine-tuning your training plan and providing support/motivation.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

RACE REPORT: Queens 10k

It doesn't matter whether it's a 10k, Half Marathon, or even if I'm just getting out of my car out of the parking lot under the Van Wyck Expressway.  One thing is clear, or umm rather muggy.  And that is that if one is going to do anything around Flushing Meadow in the summer, then prepare.  Prepare for Helter Swelter!

RACE: Queens 10k
DIST: 10k
RUN#: 186
DATE: Sunday, July 1, 2012
SITE: Flushing Meadow Park, Corona, Queens
TEMP:82 degrees, 51% humidity, wind NW 3 mph, partly cloudy.
WGHT: 165

The only thing good about this race was that I medalled like everyone else that finished but outside of that, it was an utter disaster.  My net time of 50 minutes flat was atrocious, yet somehow I finished in 3rd on my team.  The heat was disgusting, the humidity was disgusting.  This was no different then the last two half-marathons and triathlon that I debuted in 2 years ago.

Chris, Jack, Pauline, and Carrie

That's me. Shirtless.  No. Not the African American, the super pale whitey behind him. LOL.

Meadow Lake is the world's largest steam room.  It's Jurassic Park without the dinosaurs. 

Karen was feeling very refreshed after this.  The water was freezing!

Man, do I look old.

Yep. Dudley-Do-Right, did wrong today.

Old AND Fat.

Only my immodesty allowed me to post this.  Else, I wouldn't be caught dead doing this.

I guess Brightroom has finally gotten pissed off at people placing their demo fotos on their website. Hence the ridiculous quantities of watermarks. LOL.

While I still had a shirt on.  Made no difference though.  I was drinking the night before, stayed up late, slept little, was overweight, and the temps sucked.  Anything else I can think of to ruin this race for myself?