Thursday, November 27, 2008

Turkey Trot, Prospect Park Brooklyn, NY

Hey guys, just finished my Turkey Trot at Prospect Park. It was awesome to run in NYC. I even ran my fastest per mile race yet: 8:02 per mile.
This Thanksgiving started at 5am, rolling out of bed and commenced my drive to Brooklyn. I travelled the LIE west to the BQE west to Tillary Dr to Flatbush Ave, passed Grand Army Plaza and turned into Prospect Park. I was the first one there, even before the PPTC staff. I didn't want to get lost or be late do to traffic.
Before the race, I signed in and received my sports bag (no t-shirt), bib, and timer chip. I ran up and down the road behind the starting line to keep warm (39 degrees). The race started at exactly 9am and was very crowded.
As the race started I was running slower, walking pace, until the .5 mark and things opened up quite a bit after the 1 mile mark which posted a 9:36 mile. That pissed me off. So once the crowd loosened up I took off.
The majority of the race was a gradual incline after looping the Prospect Lake. The inclines stuck as we ran the perimeter of the park until the 3.5 mile mark when speed could be gained on a slight down grade which leveled off at the 4 mile mark, which was not accurate. I took off with no end and started to die until the finish came into view. I sprinted the last 20 yards to pass a runner just before crossing the finish line. I stole 296 place.
Once the race ended, I strolled over to the Oriental Pavilion, received my medal and had a warm cup of hot chocolate and a bagel. Very delicious, by the way. I caught my breathe and returned to the finish line watching the runners come in until the end. I met a woman from Jamaica, an older lady named Jean. She ran NYC Marathon and came in just above 4 hours. She runs triathlons, too. Funny thing is, she grew up on an island and didn't learn how to swim until she was over 40, living in Brooklyn and needed a break from running. Now she is my parents age and still runs and competes in triathlons. Amazing. We walked toward the race results being posted back near the Oriental Pavilion and noticed that I finished 296 and she 297. She was the woman I aggressively passed just before crossing the finish line. Funny. I spent myself that last 20 yards to be 296 and to pass an older woman who said, "This was just a fun run." She could have kicked my butt at any time.
This is what makes these races so much fun. You compete against yourself. You compete against others only for an ego boost. And all the time while running, or watching others finish, you meet people, share experiences, and make friends. She let me know about the Brooklyn Half Marathon in the spring and I told her to try the Mountain Goat or the Boilermaker in June. I guess we can look for each others' results after those races are run and smile.
See you on the road.

Friday, November 21, 2008

An Early Morning Run

It is TOTALLY awesome to the MAX, as the valley girl would say, to run in the park in the wee hours of morning. Today was cold, around 22 degrees, and snowing. No wind to speak of. So, once you warmed up over the first mile, warmth and comfort set in and the next 5 miles just breezed by.

Again, as Tuesdays run, there were a few runners, walkers, and dog walkers. Still very quiet. A nice pace, a little quicker than Tuesday, 8:40/mile or so was attained. The running path was snow covered; no ice, no slipping, no Lights on the Lake (yet); just pure running.

Casual conversation and contemplation ruled the morning. I will say this, I really like running in the darkness of morning. By the time the run ends the sun is beginning to rise and by the time I return home, the day has sprung. I know once I start my work day that I can eat lunch without regret, and I can run the kids around and complete homework w/out rushing to get to the gym or run around town at a late hour.
I look forward to running again tomorrow morning just a little later to see how different it may be. Different walkers, the workers putting the finishing touches on The Lights on the Lake display. Maybe even a few more runners to talk with or to see for the first time. Everyday is an adventure. If you have the desire to run, invite a friend. Enjoy the road to health, fitness, and conversation.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My First 5am Winter Run

Hey gang. I just wanted to let the crew know that I accepted Jennifer's invitation and ran at 5am this Tuesday morning. The snow and some ice were on the ground, but we did complete the 6 mile run. Our conversation was nice and the silence, contemplative. It truly was a good run, easy infact. I can't wait to run again on Friday morning.

The cold is something many of us who are new to running are concerned about because we may not feel as though we have the correct gear to weather the elements, but do not fret. Again, like our Sunday afternoon Mtn Goat run, I over layered. By the end of the run I was sweating big time The temperature according to Dave Eichorn was 28 w/a chill factor of 18. It really wasn't bad.

I wore a tight long sleeve Under Armor, a tec material half zipper, and a full zipper jacket I stole from my son's closet. I wore lose running pants w/a whicking tights beneath and cap and gloves. I unzipped the jacket half way and lost the gloves at the half way point. I probably didn't need to wear the whicking tights beneath the loose running pants. I guess I don't need much more than what a may already possess. However, while at Fleet Feet over the weekend my running shoe are available in gortex, which Jennifer said do i fine job keeping your feet warm and dry. Stop in at TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Fleet Feet (on Erie Blvd.) or any sports store to find the items you may require.

So, the moral of the story is "come on out into the cold; its much nicer than you think." See you on the road.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday 11-16 The 1st Half of the Mtn. Goat Run

Great run this afternoon. Seven of us met at Clinton Square and ran the first half of the Mountain Goat. The group consisted of Ray, Jen, Jennifer, Jaimie, Ken, Ben, and myself. It was a pleasure meeting Jennifer and Jaimie for the first time, and I hope to run with them again.

Although the weather was chilly, I over layered and was sweating quickly after we started down Clinton St. So, being a relatively new runner, I now know how to dress for 35 degree temp and wind. Jaimie, Jennifer, and Ken ran a quicker pace while Ray, Jen, and I ran more leisurely. Thank goodness we did run slower because Ben came late and sprinted to catch up as we approached the circle over looking the Dome at Onondaga Park/Hiawatha Lake. We couldn't believe he made it that far that quick. ben is definetly a strong runner.

We finished the course heading down South Ave back to Onondaga St to Clinton St and back to the skating rink, exchanged some parting words, made some plans to run again during the week and departed for home.

Once the skating rink opens, we should run 6 miles, skate 2 miles and close with a cold 10 mile bike ride... Anybody with me?

Enjoy the remainder of the weekend. Hopefully we'll meet more runners next weekend.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Grunt Run, Lakeland, NY

This was a fabulous experience. I chose to run this short 5K while 5 of my friends and members of the Lake Effect Run Club ran in the 10K.

I just wasn't ready to go six miles following the Leaf Peeper 1/2 Marathon in Cortland 2 weeks prior. However, running the 5K enabled me to let loose and go for a fast time. I went out quick not realizing the steady, gradual incline the race maintained for at least the first 1.5-2miles. I made the commitment and stuck to my guns. I finished the race with a personal best, 24:08:10.

After completeing the race, I waited for my friends to start the 10K. Once they were off and running, I discovered the best part, a homey set up of drinks and food. The Town of Geddes set up a cafeteria with homemade sandwiches, I preferred the PBJ. Soda, coffee, chocolate and white milk flowed a plenty. It was a great time listening to the times of the 5K finishers.

229 runners ran in the 5K and the competition was fast. Awards were divided among many age groups and the times of the top three winners for each group made me look slow. I learned a lot and gained a strong appreciation for the variety of runners, especially those who were victorious posting times as low as 16 minutes and change. Wow, I can't wait to run it next year.