I am saving lives, 1 mile at a time

July 11, 2012 Leave a comment

What are Your Top 3 Favorite Road (or trail) Races

August 18, 2010 Leave a comment

I was thinking today about races I’d run before NY.  I miss those races.  They were mostly small local races, but not all.  Some were highly touted, huge money races.  One in particular I remember like that was The Crim in Flint.  It was “the” race in Michigan.  10 miles, 1 good sized hill.  It was an event.  A huge after party celebration, beer, bands, all types of food.  Fun.

Even the small, out of the way, random 5k was enjoyable.  Everyone in the town knew about the race, they would either be in the race, volonteering, or at least watching from a lawnchair in their driveway.  The race was often accompanied by some kind of parade or celebration after.  They rarely had splits or even mile markers.  I would almost always get an age group award, as would most of the field if they were in better than average shape.

I miss those days.

Now it seems like a bi-weekly cattle herding experiment, except with NY runners.  We all get into our pens, and then we are released onto the circut.  Sometimes a full loop, sometimes 2, once in a while a shortened loop.  A few times a year we get to venture outside of that loop and try a new course.  But for those of us that are without a car, that commute is well over an hour.

The “after party” of the cattle herd is always bagels and fruit.  No parade.  No celebration.  Just get your stuff and go home.

Thinking of this brought to my memory, great races of years past.  I have many fond memories of racing PRE-NYC, and here are my top 3

3. An Unknown Race.  Seriously, I can’t remember the name or place.  It was someplace is South Eastern Michigan.  VERY small, maybe 150 people.  It was a trail race.  You had the option of 15k or 2 loops for 30K.  I choose 15k.  I remember it was a hot day, maybe in July.  One of the water stops was huge barrels of water that you would dip a big mason jar into to drink.  Awesome.  It reminded me of cross country days of high school.  And everyone went into a nearby lake after to cool off.

2. The Bobby Crim 10 Mile in Flint Michigan.  I ran this race in 1992 with my Dad.  I remember waking up super early to drive up to Flint.  It was the summer after my senior year of high school and I was in great shape.  I ran 57:52 and came in 146th, my Dad didn’t do to shabby either at 45 years old.  He ran 1:03:54 and came in 446th.  There were about 5000 runners.  Afterward, it was the biggest celebration I’ve ever seen after a race.  Bigger than NYCM.  Bands, beer, food, TONS of food and giveaways for the runners.  And the coolest “shower” fountain that you could cool off in.  The course was awesome, neighborhood people out cheering the whole way.  Actually this race is coming up on Aug. 28th…road trip anyone??

1.  The National Cherry Festival, Traverse City, MI.  Traverse City is one of my favorite places to visit.  Small town charm, but big enough that you don’t get bored.  Once my grandparents moved there, we made it an annual trip every July to go up to visit during the cherry fest.  I usually ran the 5k, while my Dad would run the 15k.   I really liked racing with my whole family watching, it added another layer to the racing experience, a good kind of pressure.  They would camp out near the finish line with lawn chairs and have to get there really early.  There was a parade immeadiately following the races, so everyone in the city wanted front row seats.  There was also a carnival with rides that make you throw up, sorry sis.

Honorable mention…Salinas 10K with bags of salad as the post race food, NYC Marathon, anything cross country

I would love to hear about everyone else’s top 3 favorite races….

To Join OR Not To Join…a Running Club in NYC?

August 16, 2010 Leave a comment

NYC.  A running city.  Every race is 5000+ people.  The marathon is one of the largest in the world, if not THE largest.  Joining a club is easy, fun, and you immediately have running partners…if you want them.

Every weekend I see hundreds of runners in Prospect Park and I would guess that about 10% belong to a running club.

The club Championships on Aug. 7 featured 800 men and 519 women.  That seems like a low number to me in a city of millions and with 5000+ at each race.

So what gives people?  Why are you not in clubs?

I think there is a false sense of what clubs do and who they are for.

MYTH:  Not fast enough or competitive enough for a club.

TRUTH:  There are MANY different clubs for different people and goals.  Some focus on being competitive, some are social, some are for women, some are for charities, and the list goes on.  There is one for you.

MYTH:  Can’t make that kind of commitment for all the training and races and event.

TRUTH:  Once you join a club, you can be as involved or uninvolved as you want.  Just do races.  OR, just do a long run on weekends, no races.  OR, just go to the social events with people who also run.  It’s up to you.

MYTH:  Costs too much.

TRUTH:  Membership fees range from FREE to $125 per year, but usually fall somewhere in the $25-$35 range, and there are often family options, if that applies to you.

MYTH:  Everyone is faster than me

TRUTH:  The fact of the matter is, various running clubs are made up of all types of runners.  And all of the runners I know would welcome any skill level to the team.

Did I miss anything?….Comment if you have a different reason.

I think joining a club is an excellent way to take your running to the next level, if you have that as a goal.  It gives you a reason to get out of the door, knowing there are people to run with at a specific meeting time.  And you get to meet like-minded people.  Who knows, you may just make a new friend.

Plus you usually get a cool shirt to run in and have people cheering for you when you run by in it :)  I guess you know where I stand on the issue.

HERE ARE POPULAR RUNNING CLUBS IN NY and NJ

AND MORE CLUBS FROM NYRR

Solid Week of Training

August 15, 2010 Leave a comment

Ended up with 22 miles running, 18 miles biking this week, with one day in weight room.

Did the 22 miles on 4 days of running, next week I will add one more day of running and possibly another strength workout in the gym.

Achilles is still a little tight in the morning but seems to be improving.  I am icing about 3-4 times a day and doing some stretching.  I should have been massaging it with the trigger point therapy tools, but I haven’t…That will start next week.

A Donkey with no Carrot is a Stationary Donkey

August 14, 2010 Leave a comment

GOALS.  Important in every aspect of life.  Career. Family. Education. Athletics. If you don’t have specific goals you are working toward, then you are just meandering through life.

It’s my first year since 2007 that I am without a Fall marathon to gear up for.  No carrot.  I have been just going through the motions in my training, which has been minimal at best.  I am formally committing to a Half Marathon in October.  It is called Paine to Pain in New Rochelle, NY on October 3rd.

Setting goals is a skill.  Let me rephrase, setting effective goals is a skill.  Anyone can set a goal to run faster, but what is that?

There is an acronym for goal setting called SMART.  Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely.  Those words are fairly self explanitory, but I will expand a bit.

Ex.  I will be sub 1:30 in my half marathon on Oct. 3rd.

Specific?  Yes, time goal and a date for a race

Measurable?  Just need a stop watch :)

Attainable?  Hopefully.  My PR is 1:23 and I ran 1:25 last year, this IS a trail race, so it may slow me down a bit, but I didn’t want to set the bar too low.

Realistic?  (See Above)

Timely?  October 3rd is test day.

Creating S.M.A.R.T. Goals

For deeper explanation see this site

I also find it valuable to have multiple goals, not just 1 huge goal.  And have some long term goals of 5 years and 10 years.

“People overestimate what they can achieve in a year, and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade”

-Tony Robbins

Make sure you give yourself time to “get there”

Write your goals down on paper.  Not just once.  Often.  Everyday if you can.  Not only will this exercise keep your goals in your conscious thoughts, but your subconscious will work on them too.

Break your goals down into bite size chunks.  For example.  If you have never run before and you are 50 lbs overweight and your goal is to run a marathon in 3 hours at the end of 12 months.  OK.  That is a grand undertaking, but it can be done.  The problem is, it looks so far away and may seem impossible.  Break it down.  Step 1, start a consistent work out plan.  Step 2, analyze diet and eat better food and control portions to start to lose weight.  Step 3, enter a local 5k and complete it, even if walking. Step 4, keep a running log and chart your progress, Step 5, Run with a spouse, friend, or club to keep it fresh and interesting.

There are an endless number of things you can focus on and accomplish on your road to a big goal.  Make sure you enjoy the road to your destination

To get new results you have to take new actions.  If you keep doing what you’re doing, you are going to keep getting what you’re getting.

Make a dream board.  In addition to writing your goals down, find pictures that portray your goals.

Good luck in your ventures and comment with any questions or stories :)

How to Change a Bike Tire

August 12, 2010 Leave a comment

I gotten many flat tires in my time riding bikes.  But they have always been on mountain bikes.  After purchasing my Pinarello road bike, I knew it was just a matter of time until one of my tires popped.  My concern was, how would my bike handle with a flat?  Mountain bike rims are huge compared to road bikes, so all my flats on mountain bikes were uneventful.

The seemingly giant rock came out of nowhere and I crushed it with my front tire, jolting my whole upper body.  Aside from startling me as I sped downhill at 25mph, I thought the bike made it out unscathed.  15 seconds later I realized my tire is not supposed to sound or feel like that, so I eased to a stop, hopped off and began my first tire change on the road bike.  I also was using the CO2 cartridge and tire levers for the first time.

Everything was pretty straight forward until I couldn’t get the Presta valve to stay out far enough to attach the CO2 nozzle.  So I had to take the tire apart again and realized there was a small nut screwed onto the valve.  My popped tire didn”t have it so I took it off and screwed it back on after the valve was through the rim.  It held the tube in place and gave support to the valve.  after the tire was inflated, I took the nut off.

Here is an unedited video of me changing a tire in a recreation of the event.

NYRR Team Championships 2010 Race Report

August 9, 2010 Leave a comment

Thank goodness for muscle memory!  That’s what I had to use for this race, because it sure wasn’t my training log.  I’ve been averaging 10-20 for the last 3 months, mostly in the low to mid teens.  I have been supplementing with 20-30 miles of cycling, but I am by no means “fit”.  Not an excuse, just a fact.  I had no notions of grandeur for this race.  I was excited to be healthy enough to compete and would do my best and be happy with it.

I’ve been nursing a sore right achilles that just won’t heal.  Strained it in my very short jaunt in my Vibram’s.  So I’ve been taking it realitively easy lately.  Running about 4 times per week but nothing longer than 4-5 miles.

Club Championships are always 5 miles in Central Park and it is guys at 8am, women at 9am, which is nice.  It makes the race less congested and for the women, lets the winner actually win.  The race is also restricted to club memers, i.e. not open to the general public.

I arrived at Central Park 103rd St about 45 min before the 8am start.  Got my number and checked my bag in.  A saw a few teammates by the corral and said Hi, then started off on my warmup.  I like to warm up alone, gather my thoughts, and not have to feel pressured to go a certain speed or distance with the group.  I ended up going about 10 minutes easy and then did a couple quicker strides, then some stretching and it was time to head over to the start.

The corrals are seeded by speed.  The speed is determined by each runner’s fastest race in the previous year.  Mine was the Wall Street 5k where I averaged 5:44 pace.  Usually that puts me in the 1st corral, but they spaced it out a little more in this race and the cut off was 5:27  pace for the first corral.  Something to shoot for next year, although this year I’ve only done 4 NYRR races and by best pace so far is 6:15…

I wasn’t able to find the rest of my fellow Brooklyn Road Runners at the start, but once the race started I saw them working their way to the front in the first 800 meters.

My goal in this race was to 1. Finish :)  2. Take it easy in the first half of the race  3. Have fun.  I wasn’t sure what kind of shape I was in.  I ran a 21 minute 5k last weekend at the end of a triathlon, so I was hoping for 6:30 pace at best.

The weather was a huge improvement from what it had been recently.  Weather at race time was 70* with 53% humidity.

My first mile was 6:36, right on the money, the first mile is always pretty quick from the adrenaline of the start.  I settled in, took inventory of my body.  Achilles was a little tight, but loosening up, and my knee was feeling more sore than usual.  At least the problems were on opposite legs, so my hobble was evened out.  I’m kidding of course.  If your soreness/injury causes you to change or alter your stride then you shouldn’t be running.  Rest until you can run with out any limp or hitch in your stride.

2nd mile was a bit quicker, 6:26, felt good but didn’t want to get carried away.  I hadn’t done any long runs for a few weeks and 5 miles would be my longest.  I wanted to save some energy for the the last couple so I could actually hold my pace at the end.

3rd mile, I was starting to feel the fatigue creeping in.  Ran a 6:45.

4th mile, big hill, 6:59 mile.  Ouch.  Time to push the last mile

5th and final mile I cranked out a 6:28

Overall place was 352nd, time 33:17  (6:39 ave.)

I finished, I took it easy in the first 1/2 to allow a nice last mile, and I did have fun.  Goals accomplished.  Now I need to go to work on increasing my mileage, lose a little more “vacation” weight, and incorporate some tempo and speed into my training.  I want to run a trail 1/2 marathon in October.  That will require getting weekly mileage up to at least 30/wk and some long runs of 90-110 minutes.

Our Brooklyn Road Runner team was 17th out of 42 teams.  But the highlight was our 40+ and 50+ teams that were 6th and 5th respectively.  Nice job guys.  Here are the official BRRC results

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