Sunday, April 30, 2017

RACE REPORT: Race #310-Alley Pond 5 Mile Challenge


Race: # 310
Name: Alley Pond 5-Miler
Location / Date:  Oakland Gardens, NY   Sun. April 30th, 2017 @ 9:30am
Weather: Cloudy, 65F, 43%  Winds 10mph ENE

The Report:
It wasn't until I finished my long and arduous 14+ mile run yesterday afternoon, that Karen had decided she was not going to do the More Half Marathon.  Citing, not being prepared and also having to wake up so early (5am) and having us get the kids up, she felt it was just not in the cards.  I couldn't agree more.  I did not want her to hurt herself, and frankly I was exhausted from a mild case of sun poisoning (too much sun during my run yesterday.  My shoulders and back were like a lobster).

"I think I am going to do the Alley Pond 5 mile run instead" she told me.
And then, my capitalist mind kicked into gear.  I wanted to run that as well, figuring that I might see some folks there and wanted to all run as well.

But was I just going crazy?

I was beyond exhausted, and couldn't even stay up past 9pm last night.  And as it was the slightest coolness of the A/C in our room had given me the shivers.  My body temperature was completely deregulated.  And let's not one should do a race....the day after running 14.5 miles!

But, in being committed to push myself to lose weight and get into better shape for the Brooklyn Half Marathon, I didn't want to throw away any opportunity that I could get a hold of.

Although it was just a slight chance of it, I reached out to my friend Jack.  Jack used to be the Forest Park Road Runners Club President for over 10 years, and while I was joined with them, back when I lived with Ileana in Kew Gardens.

Jack immediately came back advising me that his girlfriend Lynn, was going to be there to cheer him on and would be more than happy to watch the kids for me.   This is amazing!

Now all I had to do was not collapse on the race course. LOL.

I hadn't done the Alley Pond 5 Mile Challenge in 5 years.  That year I finished my age group in 4th place.  2 years earlier, I had come in 3rd place.

The course this year was different.  Actually it had been different for a few years now.  The entire course was run within the park itself.  Sources at the Alley Pond Striders told me that it was due to the rising costs that the NYPD wanted to charge for keeping the streets clear of vehicles during the race.  APS is not a huge club, and as such, they didn't want to raise the cost of the entry fee to subsidize the police.  It would have deterred runners from doing the race, and I totally agree with their philosophy on this.  Plus, it was much nicer to have the entire race wholly within the park grounds.

And hillier too!

Wow.  Those hills throughout the park really kicked my ass in.  While I tried mightily to keep up with the pace I had started with, I faltered several times, and my pace, which had started at just over 8 MPM (minutes per mile) just kept rising and rising until the last half mile or so. I didn't expect to do so well, but when I looked at the website results, I was shocked to see that I had come in 3rd place. Wow.  I couldn't believe it!  I ran back to my car, put my cape on, came back and accepted the award in my full Machine regalia!

The race was brutal though.  It took quite a bit out of me due to the sunburn/poisoning and extremely long run less than 24 hours earlier.

I should have never done the race, but I did it and survived.  And Medalled too!  Another story for my legacy to provide to my future family tree, I suppose :)

In other news:  Karen came in 2nd place in her age group! WOW!
And she also won a raffle too.
We stayed in the park for a couple of hours after the race ended to let the kids play.

The Data:
TIME: 43:27

OVERALL: 50/153  - Top 32.7%
GENDER: 36/83 - Top 43.4%
AGE (50-54): 3/8 - Top 37.5%

The Photos:
Part of the sunburn that I had to run with the next day.

Wilson Alvarez.  First race in 6 months.  And he medals.  I want to be like him when I grow up!

My old and very friendly Forest Park Road Runner team!

Karen collects medal for 2nd place.  She only missed 1st place (and trophy) by just 10 minutes.  ONLY.

Cape ON!  Machine ON!

Karen and her future little runner!

Tom & Wilson.  Two great runners!

More friends from FPRR.  Can't say enough about Lynn.  Thanks for watching our kiddies!

A family that runs, is a family with fun!

Tom and I were the 1-2 lethal punch to other Queens teams back in the day!

Mommy & Daddy's Little Girl!

Closeup of the FPRR Bunch!

The Videos:

Here I am crossing the finish line.  Glorious, ain't it?  LOL!

Machine collects more metal, err medal.
part 1.

part 2...

part 3...

Oh and let us not forget about that metal to add to the machine's collection!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Rewind And Unwind: Flower Hill Long Run

Today was David's first day in Little League.  He was in it last year, but at the age of 4, he barely knew what he was doing.

Today was my day to help coach as well.  It was exciting for me.  Tomorrow I will be getting him a bat, a T (to hit off of), and some little league sanctioned hardballs.  He decided that he wanted to put the glove in his right hand, so that makes him a lefty thrower.  A future in the infield might be tough for him, unless he plays first base, but he could be an everyday outfielder.  Then again, he could wind up to be a pitcher like his older brother too.  One thing for sure.  I'm going to teach him how to be a switch-hitter.  Starting tomorrow!

Afterwards, i dropped him off at the gym where Karen was, came home and decided to go for a long run.  And long it was.  I had my heart monitor on, which is so tight and uncomfortable.  I decided I would stop to recuperate if my heart rate ever went above 160.  And I did.  Many times unfortunately.
I'm still out of shape (though losing weight) and it was hot outside today.  The temperature reached a high of 84.  I also got a bad sunburn on the arms and neck.  The arthritis in my neck flared a little (on Naproxen now as I write this to you all).

I decided I would do a half-marathon, as I have one coming up in Brooklyn.

I haven't run through Port Washington in quite awhile, so I decided to do an out and back course.  I ran south on Glen Cove Road, hooked a right onto Northern Boulevard.

That looks like one helluva climb up ahead!

This is the end of the inlet separating the north shore necks between Oyster Bay/Glen Cove and Port Washington

A long and very hot stretch of lonely road!

From there I went all the way west until I got to Center Drive.  I made a quick right onto Ridge Drive East, and headed northward on it until I got to Woodland Road, where I made a left.  It was nice seeing all of the beautiful houses, which were being built, back in 2003-2005, fully completed.

I continued my journey through Flower Hill by turning right onto Birchdale Lane.  Such pretty streets.  I continued northward until I got to Hewlett Lane, and made a left onto it, a quick short right onto Country Club lane, and then back onto Hewlett Lane, where I would run all the way until I got to the cross street of Greenbriar Lane.  I was excited as I looked at my watch and noticed I had already done more than what was needed for a half-marathon's worth of running.  And I was a little tired too when I noticed a sign on the corner for a race next week Saturday (see below)

I'm already running the Long Island 10k race in East Meadow on Sunday, but I need all the work I can to get me ready for Brooklyn.  Or as the Beastie Boys say it best,  "No Rest Til' Brooklyn!"

I started running back, and I could tell I was winded.  Not used to running so much in one offering since last year.  Being overweight didn't help either, however I know I'm closer now to 170 than to 180 (my goal weight is 160).

I went back the way I came, and at one point stopped at Grace's Marketplace in Greenvale, and bought a Core Hydration drink and a Blood Orange (two things that I never had before)

Happy to report that both were very well received by my body.

In the end, i got home 14+ miles later.  As I write this, I've done over 30,000 steps today.  So that makes more than 50,000 over the last 2 days, and 110,000 since Monday.  Not bad when you consider that I only did about 3,000 steps on that fateful Tuesday in Atlanta a few days ago.

Karen has decided not to do the More Half in NYC because she feels she is not ready for it.  I agree.  I think she has made a wise decision by instead opting in to doing the Alley Pond 5miler tomorrow.  I was going to sit the kids while she ran, but as it turns out, a lot of my Forest Park Road Runner friends, including Jack and Tom, will be onhand.  Jack's girlfriend has graciously offered to watch David and Kayla, so I will be running it too.  That will mark my 310th race (hopefully).

Well time to get some shut-eye.  Goodnight, fans.  :-)

Friday, April 28, 2017

I Won't be Stopped. At least not after clearing TSA.

Despite another early morning at the facility for studying (and the last one), I still managed to eek out another 5 miles.  This time, I had to get up at 5:30am to do it.  Well, at least I am committed!

I can't get over how crowded this LA Fitness is.  I have to hand it to Georgia.  The fact that the southern states are considered to be having the most overweight people, might just be a generalization.  I can't recall ever seeing so many parked cars out in front of the LA Fitness in Lake Success, when I would go early in the morning from my Bellerose home back in 2005.  Wow.  It has been 12 years since then.  Some amazing and painful memories back then, but I digress.

I could have done a few more than 5 miles, but truth be told, I was still a little tired.

At lunch today, I did another 3 miles, but walked them this time.  I've been neck in neck in my Garmin step competition.  Some guy, simply named, "Lou" has been trading off with me for 1st place.  The competition, called 75k step challenge,  ends Sunday 11:59:59 pm.  However, I think the name of the challenge is just textual and there is no basis for the 75k.  Well if it is, Lou has won.  I got up to 74,600 steps when he surpassed me, eventually hitting 76k.


So I decided, that regardless of whether or not he does win, that I would make sure to outdo him and everyone else for the week as a whole.

Arriving at the airport very early, I did the unthinkable to pass the time.  I walked from one end of Terminal T to the other.  And back.  And back again, and back, and back again, and back, and back, and....

I walked for a little over an hour.  The length of the terminal was easily about a mile.  In total, I finished up the day with 22, 548 steps.  And even then, Lou finished the evening just a couple of hundred steps behind me.  Now, I must start to bring out the big guns and show him and everyone else what I can do.  I know.  I am crazy.  Crazy and competitive.  I guess I needed this kind of motivation to be the excellent runner that I can and have been, and this has put me over the top for sure.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Rest and Recoup

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Today was a bounceback from yesterday's eat and drink fest.  I woke up at 5:45am, and by 6:01, I was back at LA Fitness.  I ran 7 miles with a vengeance, I might add.

And if that weren't enough, I went out at lunch and did 3 one-mile loops around our warehouse facility in Mableton.  I had a change of clothes, towel, everything.  I had a plan and executed!

It actually felt nice that it was raining.  It was cooler than anticipated too.

10 miles done today in total.  And I'm in first place in my step competition too.

Ate dinner at PF Chang's (for Tom's birthday), and called it an early night.

I Have Fight!

Despite a lackluster Wednesday,  where I barely even had 3k steps, let alone no running, today was a much better day.  By 7am, I already had 10k steps done, 7 miles, and nearly 800 calories burned off (thank you LA Fitness). 

I woke up this morning at 5:30am (incredible), and was able to get to LA Fitness by 6:00am. 

The workout was a high quality session too.  I never stopped and started off correctly.  I walked for a minute before picking up the pace to 5mph and starting my Garmin.  After the first mile, I raised that to 6mph, and after that 6.7 for Miles 3-5.  In Mile 6, I raised the bar to 7-7.5 mph, and for my last mile I even threw in a few 10mph sprints.

Interestingly, my heart rate did not spike above 159 until after I cranked it up during Mile 6.

I think this is key because I feel fine as I write this at 11:24 am today.

Calorie intake-wise, I did not eat any bread so far.  I did have an egg & American cheese omellette.and three small slices of maple sausage and a cup of coffee.  Again, focusing on protein (for repair and belly-full feeling, as opposed to crazy carbs addiction). 

I did have a 12 ounce Diet Red Bull this morning before and during my run ( along with 24 ounces of water). By the you like my new phone screensaver.  It pissed me off, and made me run harder every time I saw it, LOL!!!

I could tell I lost some weight because I sweat like a pig during my workout.  And that's even with coming in with a sleeveless T.

Part 2 of my day began at lunch, really.  I prepped my food on my desk and covered it up.  Went to the bathroom and changed.  Then I went outside and ran around the MSC facility.  It is a large facility with a warehouse, so running around the area outside was 1 mile long.  I did three 1-mile loops. And it was a tempo run too.  I finished up with an 8:35 pace (even faster than in the morning).  One interesting thing about the run.  I started out as a sprint, and my heart rate spiked up to 203 (well beyond my max).  However, I went down after that to the point that I wonder if this chest strap was really working.  If it was, then my body seemed to have truly appreciated the slowdown in pace.  From Mile .8 to about 1.7, my pace never went above 120.  Again, while I felt much better after slowing down, I really think this is a faulty reading.  Interestingly, it started raining right around this point too, which makes me wonder whether or not it had an effect on the chest strap (even though it was under my shirt).

When I came back I had my "pre-reserved cutlet of Chicken Marsala, with a half-cup of rice pilaf and a small plate of Caesar salad with just 2 teaspoons of the dressing.  To drink, I had water.

My willpower is strong today too, as I've been successful in staying away from snacks on the table directly behind me, despite others partaking on a continuous basis.

Part 3 will be a birthday party for Tom tonight.  Let's see if I can continue to abstain.....

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Got up yesterday at 5:50am, went straight to the gym.  Ran 4 miles, felt great for having done it.  Breakfast consisted of no bread, eggs, and fruit.

That's Doctor Jekyll.

After class we went to StoneyRiver Steakhouse.  I ate a huge rib eye steak and other foods.  Afterwards we bought liquor and drank at the hotel lobby while playing games.  It was a lot of fun.
I went over in calories by at least 1,500, and was too tired this morning to go and run.

That's Mr. Hyde.

I need to be more like Dr. Jekyll.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Torn Treadmill Belts Are Not A Good Thing

Flying into Atlanta for Week 2 of my training was a scary adventure.  Despite it being an Airbus 320, the plane was jostled quite a bit during the final hour of flight.  I had to shut down and stow my laptop away three times due to turbulence.

Well at least, I didn't leave my laptop at TSA or anything crazy like that  :-)

After getting to the hotel room, I changed to go and run on the treadmill (because the weather outside was horrible).   What I didn't expect was that the treadmill would be even more horrible.

So I hop on the 'mill, ready for what should have been a good 6 mile run.  I kick up the speed to 6mph.  Then I go and place my hands on the bars to get an accurate heart reading.  Within seconds of doing this, I feel a huge tug on my right foot, and started to lose balance.  The pressure was so intense that I would have fell flat on my face had I not been holding onto the handles.

I stopped the mill, and looked below:

A gash, about 8 inches across the belt. I had the misfortune of having my right foot get caught on the belt.

The hotel management was nice enough to provide me a week membership at the LA Fitness gym, but between the accident, and the inconvenience of having to go elsewhere, they should have done more.

I went to LA Fitness last night (after doing 2 miles at the hotel) and did another 5 miles.  It was hot in there.  The little fan on the treadmill did little to make me feel better.  It was crowded in there too. But I got my miles in and did 5 more for a day total of 7.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Race#: 309
Race Name: Helen's Run/Walk 5k
Date: 4/23/2017  Time: 9:30am
RunNum:# 525
Weight: 173.8
WakeUp Sys/Dia/Pulse: 137/96 P60
Weather: Temp: 54 F  Humidity: 50%  
Sky:Sunny,  Winds: 9 mph NNW

I was originally signed up for the Run As One race in Central Park, but since we didn't have a babysitter, it would have meant that Karen would not be able to run.  Karen needs to get some long runs in before her More Half Marathon (which is NEXT WEEK!) so I opted to do this race instead, and close to home, so that Karen could run after I finish.   Plus, it supported the equally worthy Helen Keller's school for the deaf here in Port Washington, NY

The weather was perfect today.  It was very sunny, but the sun was not a factor as the temperature was a cool 46 at the time that we got there.  The race was in Sands Point Preserve.  Surprisingly, the course today was NOT the trail run that I had done at the preserve a few years back, but rather outside through mansion-laden streets (as seen above).

Since I'm still not very flexible with the hammies, I didn't want to extend the stride length too much as I wanted to land with my feet directly under me, as opposed to in front of me. So instead I focused instead on cadence (steps per minute).  I started out like a Machine (haha) with a cadence of around 200!  This was amazing!  I never got this high ever before.  And keep in mind, that the elite runners have a cadence of anywhere from 180 to about 210, so I was in 'rarified' air.

Karen films the start:

The first two miles were slightly hilly but were downhill for the most part.  At the halfway point in the race, I was pleasantly surprised to see that I could still see the leader.  However, I also knew that I needed to keep the gas going and I wasn't sure if I already had over exerted or not.  I also knew that for every downhill that there was to be an uphill as well.  Mile 3 proved to be exactly as I hadn't hoped it would be.  It wasn't the worst set of hills, but at least it was at the end of the race.  So, I'm glad I did my positioning earlier on.  

Overall: 19th/420 = Top4.5%!!!
Gender: 15th/171 = Top 8.8%!!!
Age: 2nd/31 = Top 6.5% (Medal!) and not just 50-54 but 50-59, so, a ten year span
Perhaps the sweetest of all wasn't even the medal (in a non-finishers' medal race) but the fact that I've had good results now for the last 2 weeks in a row.  I need to build upon that, and I will do so by trying to lose a few more pounds, and add a few more miles between now and the next race next week.  

The finish pace of 8:03 wasn't exactly what I wanted over a 5k, but it was enough to post an amazing finish.  I came in 2nd place in my age group (50-59) and 19th overall!!

And this just in....
This information below:
Shows that I finished in 19th based on the time that I crossed the finish line.
However....THAT IS WRONG!  

I actually finished in 18th!  Muhammad Shaoib (#378)  DID NOT cross the finish line in 24:26!!  As you can clearly see, Muhammed (wearing the winter hat on his head), crossed behind me, as I caught up to him and beat him at the finish line.  


And despite the fact that he is in a different age group than me, makes no difference because I fight for everything.  Every last millimeter.  And add to that the race scorers initally told me that I didn't come in the top 3 until they read my name for 2nd place.  So, again they were wrong!

Also, it cost Shane 17th, but worst of all it cost Pablo Santander a 3rd place finish and medal which wrongly went to Muhammed.  Great finish by Muhammed, but the race director has to do what is fair. Their scoring computer is faulty!.  

I sent an email to the race organizers.  Let's see where this goes!

In the meantime, I'm so sure of this being correct (as there were no NET mats for differentiation), that I've revised my summary to now be:

OVERALL:  18/445 - Top 4.0%
GENDER:     14/181 - Top 7.7%
AGE (50-59):  2/32 -   Top 6.3%

This combined total gives me a POWER METER RANKING of 284.08  That's a GOLD/ELITE finish.  I haven't done this well since April 9, 2016, when I crushed the Celtic Crush 5k with a 5th place overall, and 1st place for Age group.  Frankly, that race only had 43 entrants.  A far cry from the 420 today.  Even if you subtract the walkers, I still did significantly better than last year's race, which featured a brutal hill at the very beginning.

Music Tracks:
Nick Warren - Don't Forget Me (Way Out West's Clifton's Remix) 6:10
Overseer - Veolcity Shift 2:09
Joe Jackson - I'm The Man 3:59
N-Trance - Stayin' Alive 3:51
The Tings Tings - That's Not My Name 5:15
Flo Rida - The The Ayer (Jason Nevins Remix) 4:35
Creedence Clearwater Revival - Green River 2:34
Opus III - It's A Fine Day (Slow Techno Mix) 5:28

**UPDATED-It's official!  I did come in 18th place. Woohoo!