Monday, June 27, 2011

group run at rockefeller state park

it's been a long time since i ran at rockefeller state park ("rockies") - almost 10 years, in fact (back in my old wtc training days). but if yesterday's group run was any indication, i may have to reconsider whether to drive out there for a few more weekend long runs.

anthony led a group of us (emmy, cherie, micah, hiroshi, peter, and me) out on the trails just after 7 and after 10 miles we met up with joe's group (supplemented with a few runners from the bronx running company) at the sleepy hollow high school parking lot. in a pleasant surprise, before we met up w/joe's group, we ran into yuki (sans hiro) on the trails!

joe's group, taking it out at a faster pace, didn't run too much w/us. as it went, i got in just 19 miles, plenty for me - but the fewest miles in our group :D

Saturday, June 25, 2011

front runners pride run: race photos and results

even with 93% humidity this morning, it was a fantastic day to run 5 miles in the park! the front runners pride run had some incredible news to celebrate (in addition to the 30th anniversary of the race itself): same sex marriages were legalized in new york state late friday night!

there were over 5,000 finishers. even if my time, 36:25, was on the slow side, i was happy with the outcome. the 7:17 pace was well under the 7:30 that i expected to run. aside from emmy i lined up with susan and saw my old friend (and wtc teammate) michael at baggage. this was 2011 nyrr race #6 for me - just 3 more to go :D

here are the race results from nyrr.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

packet pick-up at nyrr for the front runners pride run

the nyrr were taking care of two races at once at their offices. downstairs were tee-shirts and bibs for the achilles hope and possibility 5 miler on sunday and, upstairs, was the front runners pride run packet pick-up. in a twist, no tee shirts for the pride run - hats instead. not just hats, but hats that were distributed in a drawstring tote bag :D

the pride run sold out late last week, but there wasn't too much of a crowd. there was probably an equal split in runners picking up for both races. the course change for the pride run (now to use the north end of the park) means we'll run the hillier 5 mile loop - via the harlem hills.

this will be race #6 on the road to 9 for the 2012 nyc marathon. as always, if you're at this one, say hello!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

mount greylock trail run: race report

sunday's trip to adams, ma, for the mount greylock half marathon was certainly worth the long drive (3+ hours) - if only for the scenic views. it was my first time climbing mt. greylock, which runners summit in the first 3 miles of the the course! i drove up with emmy and rob, and we met up with yuki and hiro - who had also been at the norwalk summer series 3 miler the day before. hiro pulled a hamstring in norwalk, so he opted to sit out mt. greylock. both hiro and yuki (and rob too) were veterans of mt. greylock

my only inkling of what was in store was the 2,500+ foot elevation gain packed into the first 3 miles. in this respect, greylock was very similar to the escarpment trail run - which also starts off with a 3+ mile climb to summit windham peak. on the course, after cresting the summit, i soon came to realize how much more they had in common - especially the rocky, technical trails - and the intense downhills! it's no exaggeration to call mt. greylock an escarpment "light" - primarily because the course has 5 fewer miles.

emmy and i hadn't pre-registered, but rob had. we arrived at 9:45 - and parked what seemed like a half mile from registration. there was a relatively long line for race day registration - and the race began a little late. in the pre-race crush of business, emmy and i managed to switch bibs (i signed us up and had the two bibs - mistakenly giving her my bib, and vice versa). it would lead to an interesting result switch at the end of the day! aside from that, my only pre-race issue glitch was that i forgot the body glide in the car. luckily, chafing wasn't an issue this time around.

the first 3 miles were, literally, a hike. the race could accurately be described as a hike to the summit of mt. greylock, followed by a 10+ mile trail run. it took me just under 55 minutes to reach the summit - and, after a few photos, left the summit just after 57 minutes. it's no exaggeration to say that 95% of that time was spent power hiking up and increasing grade! for the remainder of the race, the opposite held true (95% running, 5% walking).

it came as something of a shock to discover the steep - and rocky - descent just off the summit. for at least 1-2 miles the trail was - putting it mildly - a jagged single track of exposed rocks and roots. then it settled down to just technical running! i reached the 6.1 mile aid station - and was startled to be informed that we had "only" covered 6.1 miles! the next aid station, we were informed, was 2 miles away, followed by a 4 mile stretch before the final - unmanned station.

i reached 8.1 miles in just under 2 hours - which averaged out to a 15 minute per mile pace! i had covered the 5 miles from the summit in just under an hour. if i could run the next 5+ miles in another hour, i'd finish in under 3 hours - which was pretty much my goal time. the final miles were not as grueling as the first 8, so i managed a decent 52 minutes for the final stretch. my 2:52:23 was well under my 3:00 hour target - which, in hindsight, may have been soft.

at the finish i met up w/hiro and yuki (who had run a 2:46). i had some hot dogs at the post-race bbq. and the good folks from g.a.c. had a cooler filled with a half dozen growlers of berkshire brewing beer! it was so incredibly great of them to spot me a few glasses worth :D emmy wasn't too far behind (3:18) - but the real surprise was seeing our times reversed on the results board! at first i thought it was the beer - then i realized we had mistakenly switched bibs! that as first!

all in all, the mt. greylock half was a fantastic event all around (there was also a 5k trail race). climbing the highest peak in massachusetts was a first for me - and i especially enjoyed the few minutes i took at the summit taking in the views. separately, i had no idea how technically challenging the trail would be on the descent. but it was a bonus because it was great training for the escarpment trail run next month!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

mount greylock trail races: race photos and results

today rob, emmy and i drove up to adams, ma, and ran the mount greylock trail half marathon. it was a long (3+ hour) drive, but well worth the effort. it was a fantastic race - which began with a 3 mile climb (2,500+ feet of vertical ascent) to reach the summit of mt. greylock, followed by 10 miles of trail run to return to the base of the mountain. it was a great way to spend father's day :D i ran a 2:52:38 over the 13.5 miles.

i'll will write up a race report. here are the race results from wmac.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

2011 norwalk summer series 3 miler: race photos and results

the 2011 norwalk summer series kicked off this morning with the 3 miler at norwalk high school. aside from the humidity, it was a great morning to run. while i missed my sub-21 target (21:14) and was well off my 2010 finish, i still had a great time. just a handful of the familiar faces: emmy, rob, kate, roy, jeanette, tony, dan, hiro, yuki, evan, and don (our fearless rd).

this was the first of a pair of races this weekend. tomorrow, emmy, rob and i had to north adams, ma, to run the mt. greylock half. yuki and hiro will be there as well. from a short road race to a longish trail run, it makes for an interesting running weekend :D

here are the race results via hi-tek.

Monday, June 13, 2011

2011 litchfield hills road race: photos and results

yesterday i ran my first litchfield hill road race. it was the second race of the day, on the heels of the bridgeport run the rock 5k, that morning. the course lived up to its billing - hills! the major one was called "gallows hill" to inspire! my only gripe, in an otherwise well-staged event was the lack of a baggage check. for an event that had just under 1,500 (1,483) finishers that was a major negative.

i managed a 52:53, 7:27 pace over the 7.1 mile course. emmy and andi took 2nd and 3rd, respectively, in their age group. in addition to emmy, kate and jeanette also ran the bridgeport 5k earlier in the day.

race report to follow. here are the race results, via coolrunning.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

2011 run the rock 5k: race photos and results

the day kicked off with the run the rock 5k, in bridgeport. this was the first of a pair of races i'd run today - with the litchfield hills road race on deck that afternoon. emmy, kate and jeanette did the bridgeport/litchfield double. we had fantastic weather for the race - overcast and on the chilly side (which is a relative here, 20 degrees cooler than friday temps).

i was more than happy to squeak in with a sub-7 minute pace (6:58), 21:43 finish - albeit a few seconds slower than my 2010 finish. both kate and emmy took age group awards.

here are the race results from hi-tek.

Friday, June 10, 2011

2011 cook your buns 3 miler: race photos and results

just back from the 2011 edition of "cook your buns" at todd's point in greenwich. not only is it a great mixed terrain course, but the post-race bbq is fantastic. i had a bad start - stuck behind lots of runners - but still managed a 21:00, 7 minute pace. lots of familiar faces at this one: emmy, rob, kate, jeanette, john, hugo, dan, and gail - just to mention a few.

here are the results from threads & treads.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

"bobby fischer against the world" documentary review

last night, "bobby fischer against the world," which premiered at the 2011 sundance film festival, was broadcast on hbo. in a word, it was fantastic! but in the interest of full disclosure, i must say that i'm a huge fan of bobby fischer the chess legend - and detest the hateful shell of a human being that he deteriorated into in the last decades of his life. it's this very duality that animates the view most people have of fischer - especially those who came to chess as a consequence of fischer's capture of the world championship in 1972.

the documentary, directed by liz garbus, is filled with archival clips of the young bobby fischer - inter spliced with modern day interviews with most of the cast of characters that unfolded across the years of fischer's active chess life. on of the most interesting people among the interviewees is anthony saidy - perhaps the person most responsible for physically getting bobby fischer to iceland for the match! the history of the fischer-spassky match is meticulously covered in dozens of books and other sources - but garbus does a fine job of relating it in the film.

for those unfamiliar with the storyline - it's no spoiler to disclose fischer won the match - the biggest concern among all those involved was whether or not fischer would actually deign to play the games! fischer's demands were endless - and he eventually arrived late for the first game, which he lost. fischer went ahead and forfeited the second game because he refused to play unless the organizers removed the t.v. cameras (the noise from them bothered him)! to come back from an 0-2 deficit, to win the world championship is the stuff of epics.

the line-up of interviews assembled by garbus is truly diverse. in addition to saidy, larry evans is another fischer confidant that adds to the material. garbus managed to interview henry kissenger - who called bobby fischer during his holdout to personally aske him to play. kissinger added to the cold war dynamic be insisting that fischer represented the united states and his participation was a matter of national interest. garbus also interview garry kasparov, a future wourld champion. fischer and kasparov never played against each other, but kasparov is probably the single chess player who could assume fischer's legendary mantle.

the documentary pulls no punches in describing fischer's descent into madness and hatred in the decades after the match. this part of his life is the most difficult to countenance. regardless of the twists and turns of his life - nothing justifies the monster he devolved into. in 1992, he ignored a u.s. embargo and played a "re-match" with spassky. that defiance earned him fugitive status with the united states - which only fueled his growing hatred of the united states. a decade later he was taken into custody at the tokyo airport - and would have been extradited to back here to face criminal charges, if not for iceland!

thanks to icelandic citizenship, fischer lived out the rest of his days in the country that rocketed him to the world championship. but even after his death in 2008, the fischer saga continues - in the form of a battle over his estate. that material is enough for another documentary! in the mean while, enjoy this one! it's a must see for any chess fan - and any child of the early 70's :D

Monday, June 6, 2011

new york running show podcast: memorial day & vermont city marathons, celebrate israel run, and freihofer's 5k

last night's new york running show, episode #33, covered the memorial day and vermont city marathons, the celebrate israel run, and the freihofer's run for women 5k. with only joe, ari, and i on the show, we didn't actually have a participant in the women's only 5k - but joe was a volunteer at the race and gave us his perspective :D

joe also gave us his take on the memorial day marathon races at van cortlandt park last weekend - the latest instalment of the holiday marathon series. ari covered his race at vermont city last weekend. and ari and i both talked about the celebrate israel run. good stuff!

listen to, or download, it here at talkshoe.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

celebrate israel run: race photos and results

i wasn't sure i'd make the celebrate israel run. got back late last night from our little road trip to oneonta, where katie particpated in a field hockey tournament at hartwick college. it was tough getting out of bed and taking the metronorth into the city. but i'm glad it did - the race was fun. i ran a 28:33/7:09 pace - which far exceeded my 30 minute (albeit soft) target. i was very pleased with that result because i wasn't in a racing mindset and, more importantly, my legs still felt dead from all the miles last weekend.

didn't have a chance to take many pictures. but my friend chip was at the finish line w/his camera - so i may get to post a few of his later.

here are the results from nyrr.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

katie's field hockey tournament at hartwick college - redux :D

that could also read, "a year later." it's amazing how time can fly. we were here for the very same tournament a year ago this weekend. this time around katie played in both sessions: four games, with the first at 9:30 and the last began at 5:00 - a full day of field hockey.

we had lunch in downtown oneonta, at a fantastic place called the autumn cafe. which contrasted the so-so place for dinner last night - and the fast food for dinner on the ride home.

here are a couple of photos of the girls in action:

Friday, June 3, 2011

greetings from oneonta :D

greetings from oneonta, new york. we drove up this afternoon, in just over three hours, for katie's field hockey tournament at hartwick college tomorrow. she participated in this tournament last year, so the surroundings are a bit familiar. like our trip last year, we passed by the escarpment trail head along the way. but this time around we didn't stop for a picture.

unlike last year, when we couldn't make the morning session because of a prior commitment, it's an overnight trip and katie plays in both sessions. i brought along my running gear, so i can get in a few miles in the morning, before the first game :D

Thursday, June 2, 2011

packet pick-up at nyrr for celebrate israel run

this afternoon i picked up my shirt, bib, and d-tag for the celebrate israel run at the nyrr offices. i ran into my old friend steve there. he was both picking up for the race and using the club as a drop location for his stuff, as he went out for a few miles in central park. the israel run will be my 5th nyrr race of the year (on the road to 9). after a series of high mileage races in may, i'm looking forward to the 4 miler :D

as always, if your at this one, say hello!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

june 2011 race schedule

after a month that included a pair of marathons and a 50k, june will be a month of shorter distances - for the most part. one caveat: if we can put together a summer version of the "run around manhattan" at the end of the month, june goes out with a fa ultra!

this weekend kicks off with the nyrr israel run. it'll be race #5 on my road to nine. that will be followed up with a pair of fantastic 3 milers. the "cook your buns" 3 miler is a friday night race that ends with a barbecue. it's a race i've often run with katie - and, hopefully, she'll be at this one too. the norwalk summer series 3 miler - which kicks off the 2011 summer series is the following weekend.

something new, for me, is a road trip up to adams, ma, for the mt. greylock trail races. it's a half marathon+ run up and back down mt. greylock! since one good road trip deserves another, the summer solstice 15k at minnewaska state park in new paltz, ny, is later that week.

the last weekend is still open. if plans for a summer version of the "run around manhattan" don't pan out, there are a few good races that weekend. stay tuned.

here's how it looks so far:

6/5 - celebrate israel run, 4m
6/10 - "cook your buns," 3m
6/18 - norwalk summer series, 3m
6/19 - mt. greylock trail races, 13.5m
6/22 - summer solstice 15k

as always, if you're at any of these races, say hello!