June 23, 2008


another catching up post

god... let's see...

You know about last Sunday's 5-miler and how well the five miles went, comparatively, but then didn't go no more to the full eight. OK.

Monday - workout at gym. 30 minutes on stationary bike, 35 pushups, 25 pullups (!), stretching, foam rolling, etc.

Tuesday - after work run to City Hall. didn't even complete the entire 4.5 miles, technically. Shortcutted it to the City Hall N train station, instead of going around the block as usual. Was just a hot, miserable run with plenty of walking. I'm not getting better at this, I think.

Wednesday - would have loved to have run after work - perfect weather. So... got home and went running anyway. A hard two miler, just up to the bank and back, but what a two miles! I was really pushing my pace and was probably turning in 8:45 or 9:00 miles, even with traffic pauses. And it felt good.

Thursday - long run home from work, all the way down to and over the Brooklyn Bridge. Didn't go all the way to the Court Street station as usual on that route - cut it slightly short and got in at High Street station. Regretted that due to train delays and bad transfers. Should've gutted out the extra half a mile above ground. :( Still...5.5 miles, lots of walk breaks, but the distance got done.

Friday, rest. worked ten hour day at work. Dark before I got home.
Saturday, slept very late. Felt like shit. Aching in all my joints and my abdomen. Rest and Tylenol.
Did go out with a friend Saturday night. First to Bubble War in Times Square, then to an Italian restaurant in Williamsburg. Had a great time.

Sunday, same picture. Still had to get some miles done, though. After the tylenol kicked in, I got out about 1:30. Five miles; should have been eight. At this rate, I'm not going to be trained up for the NYC Half. And at the end of this week, I have to start training for the NYC Marathon! I know the summer weather has this effect on me, but it's depressing. I've got to have some better runs and have to start meeting my mileage goals on the long runs.

I'm currently in Toronto, just about finishing up setting up an impromptu computer lab for three days of teaching. Boss and I are going to have to have a long talk before anything like this happens again.

A few pictures from the Bubble War:

June 15, 2008

Father's Day Prostate Cancer 5-miler

Extremely humid today. Had 8 - 9 miles planned, but I didn't have time to warm up much, maybe a half mile, and by the time the race was over...well, I decided to quit while I was ahead.

Rained most of last night, but had tapered off by this morning - lots of water everywhere failing to evaporate. Walking to the subway with my cup of magic tea in hand was like slogging through an ocean of hot sponges. Less fun than it sounds like, believe me.

Didn't bring a bag (it's at work) and therefore forgot my own hydration. Fortunately, the race had water tables. Race got off to an on-time start and I grabbed water off a table right after what would become the finish line. So thirsty today. Decided that my best strategy to avoid passing right the fuck out was to take the pace real easy and to drink (and walk thru) every water stop. This turned out to be a wise decision.

Course was very crowded, even with the new corrals start. This is because they're not running the start like a corrals start - at least not for the back half of the pack. I had a number in the very last corral, as usual. I spent the first three miles of the race passing people, really, and that's always nice. I wasn't going fast, but it seems like most people had the idea to take it easier today.

Keeping my mantra in my head - "Run the mile you're in." - got me to the first mile marker and water stop in short order - and surprisingly easy. My legs were giving me now trouble other than the normal warm-up laziness and even my lungs were keeping the coughing to a minimum. I grabbed a full cup of water and it was gone in three gulps. WTF? Did they start using dixie cups or something? No...same size as always...just thirsty. After finishing my water, I got running again. These first two miles were the really hilly ones (though the course did NOT include the worst of the hills at the north end of the park) and I was surprised at my ability to handle them today.

Still, I was terribly overheated and I took off my shirt as I ran, which helped immensely. I know I'm not a super-model or anything, but I hope I didn't cause any runners behind me a sudden case of blindness.

Drank and walked through the second water stop right after the second mile marker. I think this mile marker was off. I'm fairly sure three and four were off. Coming down the east side of the park, my legs got fully warmed up, my body was working well, and I sped up somewhat. The next water stop didn't come 'til the 3.5 mile point, at which I was doing so well I didn't want to break my rhythm. To that point, I'd only walked for the two water stops and one coughing fit - all very short walks.

So I continued on, slowly increasing my stride length and pace. The hills began to get harder, but my hill shuffle...uh...shuffles me right up the hills. Another pleasant surprise today.

I noticed a woman in purple about halfway through the race; she and I kept passing each other (she'd take me on hills, I'd pass her on straights) and as the remaining distance dwindled to 800 meteres (there was no marker, BTW, but I'm familiar enough with the Tavern on the Green finish to know what's what out there), I noticed she'd gotten considerably ahead of me during the climb headed south past the 72nd street cutoff - about 3/4 miles back.

She became the one I had to beat. I poured on the power carefully, feeling very thirsty and getting very tired, but wanting very much to finish strong - and very slowly I gained on that woman - and then passed her! I held a good strong pace through the last 200 meters and finished feeling pretty good. I immediately went searching for food and water and was really wishing I'd brought my own HEED or Sustained Energy, because I needed electrolytes.

After a bagel and banana and two more cups of water, I was feeling much better and stayed to watch the kids races. Those are adorable.

To my dismay, my chip was not recorded, nor do I appear in the finish line tapes made by WABC (they broadcast during the race and made tapes of the finish line.) The tapes are poor quality and there are blank gaps in the recordings, including the window of time I was coming in, judging by the times of the people with bib numbers that I could spot-check against the NYRR database.

This is a real problem, because this race is a qualifier and I need proof that I did the race! I will call NYRR tomorrow and perhaps Brightroom caught me in their still photos... if nothing else, my neighbor and NYRR employee Mark can attest that I was there and ran the race - he saw me on the course and at the finish.

Time according to my watch: 54:30, which puts this race solidly in the company of my middle-achievement times. I've run 5 of these total and this is smack in the middle. I'd have to take six minutes off this time to PR...well, there's another five miler in two weekends and maybe I can take three minutes off the time. Given a day that isn't 97% humidity, I might be able to perform at a higher level.

To close, here are some pics I took on Saturday as I walked around the DUMBO area.

Some random wedding:

Londoners at the other end of the Telectroscope:

Jane's Carousel:


Otterness sculpture "Large Covered Wagon" at Washington & Prospect

Jane's Carousel:

PS I did run Friday after work, down to City Hall. It was as hard as Thursday was easy. Very strange.

June 12, 2008

another catching up post

Geez, I had to read my own blog just so I could remember where I'm at. I've got almost two weeks to catch up on.

So the 8-miler turned into 7. The weather was OK, but not great and I just didn't have a lot of energy.

Did get two runs in last week, Tuesday and Thursday, both of them after work with L. When he's not out on a job, he's a good running partner. Tuesday's run took me up to NYRR to pick up my bib for Wednesday morning's free 5-miler...

Come Wednesday morning, though, it was pouring. So I didn't go.

Fast forward to this last weekend and my "long" run was only 4 miles. Again the heat. As you may recall, though, this weekend, along with Monday and Tuesday, was our first official heat wave of summer, with four days of highs bordering on 100 degrees. Though it took all the run out of me, I was not as beat down by the heat while walking around as I thought I'd be. I was handling it fairly well.

And I didn't run at all this week until tonight. Work is busy and Monday and Tuesday after-work runs just weren't an option. Wednesday didn't pan out either. but I made sure to get in 3 miles tonight, going up to NYRR to pick up my bib for this Sunday's 5-miler. The run, surprisingly, went well. My legs felt like lead for about half a mile, and then I didn't feel them at all. My lungs were doing well and I only walked once due to coughing. Well, OK, twice, but the first time was less than ten steps of walking on Cat Hill. I finished strong and feeling like a real runner for the first time in weeks.

Depending how the weather is tomorrow, I may do 4.5 miles after work down to City Hall or may even extend that run over the Brooklyn Bridge for a full 10K.

I'd really like to turn in 10 minute miles on Sunday. I'm planning 4 miles of warmup, then do the race, so I may be pretty tired by the last few miles; but I hope to get all the walking out of the way during the warmup and have a great 5 mile race.