Monday, October 31, 2011

happy halloween, from lille :O

happy halloween! since i'm in lille until tomorrow, no trick or treating for me this year. the closest i'll come to celebrating halloween was wearing my pumpkin tech shirt when i ran this morning :O

but for those of you back in the states, put on a costume and get in the halloween mood :D

Saturday, October 29, 2011

running around lille... with a camera :D

this morning i took my camera with me as i ran the streets of lille. in just under 6 miles, and in a 4-leaf clover route, i managed to take in some beautiful sights! i had so much fun taking these pictures that i may take the camera out with me again tomorrow :D

Friday, October 28, 2011

greetings from lille, france :D

greetings from lille, france! i left jfk last night, arrived at charles de gaule airport this morning, transferred to the high speed train - the station conveniently located at the airport - and arrived in lille this afternoon. as travels go, this was a relatively easy trip (contrasted w/how long it took to get to kuala lumpur last month!).

the train ride, even at just over an hour, managed to take me back to my post-college days bumming around europe on a eurorail pass! as a practical matter, however, lille is a definitely a walking city - with most major attractions clustered together near the city center. hopefully, i'll get in a few runs that take in some of the sights :D

stay tuned!

update:  air france cabin crews just started a five day strike - so it remains to be seen if i make it out of here on tuesday!  but,  w/news reports of a freakish snowstorm hitting new york city/new england this weekend - maybe i'm better off being stranded here a couple of extra days :D

Sunday, October 23, 2011

2011 run the farm 5 mile trail: race photos and results

this morning, from the race directors of the leatherman's loop, the second edition of run the farm took place on muscoot farm in somers, ny.  it was a challenging (read hilly) 5 mile trail run.  for fans of the leathersman's loop, it was a warm-up (sans water crossings) for westchester's spring trail classic. 

for only its second year, there was a large turnout, not only for the 5 miler, but the 1 mile kids fun run as well.  as an added bonus, each runner received 5 farm dollars at the finish to spend at the farmers market, conveniently taking place on the farm, post-race :D

race prizes (as at the leatherman's loop) were pies!  emmy, after winning her age group at the sleep hollow 10k yesterday, doubled up and won her age group again this morning - and a pie in the process.  she seamlessly switched from roads to trails w/out missing a beat!

i, on the other hand, missed my 45 minute target by two minutes.  i thought that a nine minute pace was doable, but after a poor starting position it quicky got out of reach.  nevertheless, i had a great time out there.  in addition to emmy, todd, chris, and bob (who took pictures along the way) also ran the course.

here are the race results.

here are a few more photos posted on facebook.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

eliot's first double - race reports for the hartford and atlantic city marathons: guest post!

this weekend eliot took on a pair of marathons, back to back, for his first "double" - and they were in different states to add a logistical twist!  his friend john joined in this 52+ mile weekend on the roads, both running and driving :D

here is eliot's write up of the adventure (and as a bonus, he picked up another marathon maniac star in the process)!

Hartford and Atlantic City Marathon Weekend - My First Double Marathon
October 15/16th, 2011
Honestly, I’ve been struggling to find myself as a runner for a better part of this year. Can I ever (or do I even want to) become faster? That was my early 2011 plan …. to try to become faster. It never happened. Yes, I did throw down for a bunch of races (short and long), but only did them halfheartedly. What could one expect with basically a once a week training regime? What could I realistically accomplish?

In May, at the NJ Marathon Expo, my ‘5:42 am train to the city’ friend, John, asked if I wanted to try a double marathon in the October; a first for both of us. John’s story is this …. he has run 3 to 4 marathons a year for the past 4 years, including Boston, NYC, Philadelphia, MCM, etc. He has a different approach than me about training. He is like Felix Unger and I am like Oscar Madison. Need I say more? But, I thought to myself that it was like five months away; so, “why not!” This gave me something to work towards …. so, I even ran two/three times a few of these past weeks.


The expo at the XL Center was convenient to the start and they had a race-day packet pick-up in the morning, which meant that I could sleep at home, pick John up at 4:00 am and drive the 2 hours to Hartford with plenty of time to spare!
Live to fight another day! I went into the first one with a strategy: Run hard like I’m trying to PR and re-assess at the halfway mark. The ½ mat came at about 1:53 and I re-assessed. Goal was to finish in good enough shape to ‘fight another day.’ So, I ran another 6 or 7 at ~ 9:30 mpm pace and finished the rest in an ‘ultra’ style combination of run/walks while eating an energy bar. My goal was to finish with an overall 10 mpm pace or a sub-4:22 finish.

I hate ‘out and backs’ with a passion and Hartford had a doozy! At miles 10 to 17 was the out with a return to mile 24 as the back. It was a long straight stretch in the sun and seeing the runners ahead of me effortlessly heading back is always disheartening. I just grit my teeth to 24 and was finally coasting in for a close to goal time (give or take) when I had my race highlight. During the last ½ mile stretch as the crowd thickened, an obnoxious runner sprinted past me towards Bushnell Park. I said to myself, “F that!” I took after him as the crowds cheered, “Catch him!” As I passed him, I turned my head and gave him a nod. Then, I said to myself, “Holy crap, you looked at him so now you can’t let him pass you again.”

The finish was in sight now so I just put my head down. So focused on staying ahead of this guy, I must have ‘obnoxiously’ passed another runner who must have gotten pissed off at me. That guy got slightly ahead of me. Without thinking about etiquette, I found another gear so we blazed through the Arch together. We both smiled. Talk about a climax. And, I must admit, the obnoxious runner (not me) got me in at 4:21:15. Post-race in Bushnell Park was free Harpoon IPA for the runners. Too bad I left my ID in the car. All in all, a very nice race and course with lots of support.

Atlantic City

John and I headed straight for the car and onto 91S when we hit a wall of traffic just outside Hartford. Damn it. No beer, now traffic and a 5 hour drive to Atlantic City to boot. We got to the hotel at about 6:30 pm, checked in, showered and headed over to Bally’s for late arrival packet pick-up. We had a nice meal at a local micro-brewery which included some food, a sampler of their brews and then a pint of their IPA to wash it all down. Now to sleep, but for the bachelor party next door that returned to their room at 2:30 am. Security please, to the 10th floor!

I went into the second one with a strategy: Finish healthy enough to run NYC in three weeks. I hate ‘out and backs’ with a passion and Atlantic City had a doozy too! After 4 miles of crosswind on the boardwalk, we ran southbound on the roads from about miles 12 to 16 into strong headwinds. I was actually feeling good for this half of the race, crossing the ½ mat at about 2:05 so at about 9:30 mpm pace. But, the ‘out and back’ plus wind just took its toll on me. Funny how it always works out this way, but there was no tailwind to speak of on the backside.  It was sunny, warm and I was feeling fatigued, so my very generous goal was now to finish in under 5:00 hours.

My ‘ultra’ running kicked in much sooner out of necessity. Oh yeah, there was a second ‘out and back’ between about miles 18 to 21; where, again, there were headwinds, this time on the backside. The last 2 miles were running northbound on the boardwalk through the crowds and I felt a great sense of satisfaction finishing at 4:49:17 at about an 11 mpm pace overall. I even stopped for a ‘jump’ at the mat, didn’t get very high, but the crowd cheered anyway. At the finish there was Blue Point beer. Yikes, I forgot my ID again, but didn’t need one in AC. Whew! We hit the road for the 3+ hour drive home. All in all, another very nice race and course with lots of support. Plus, a finisher’s medal that is also a bottle opener!

Marathon Maniacs

Sporting my Marathon Maniacs shirt, I was given special attention. So, I’m giving a shout out to all my fellow MM’s who crossed my path this weekend (like Otto Lam and Dave Mari) for the winks, smiles, and words of encouragement. The ‘maniac’ question of Saturday was, “What are you running tomorrow?” And, Sunday’s was, “What did you run yesterday?” Gotta laugh! And, special thanks to John for making us get our MM fourth stars!

So, besides a MM fourth star, what was accomplished this weekend? I did 52.4 miles in 9:10:32 or at an overall 10:30 mpm pace across two days. Did I find myself? Not yet, but I understand to do so will involve having and setting goals. So, I’ll keep looking ….

Sunday, October 16, 2011

2011 great train race

not much in the way of photos to post for the great train race. i only took this one of the race registration before the start. since it's a point to point course, didn't take my camera with me.

as for the race itself, the course is hilly! i ran a 55:14 for the 6.8 miles, which was well off the 51 minutes i ran it a couple of years ago. but i was more than happy with that result.

instead of carpooling back to the parking lot in new canaan, emmy and i ran it. that plan worked well for the first 5+ miles - but then we veered off course, after missing a marker, and wound up tacking on a few bonus miles as a consequence.

the return trip took us 1:30 (and included flagging down a couple of cars, a biker, and a runner to ask for directions)! still, even with that little detour, it was all good :D

Monday, October 10, 2011

2011 harvest half marathon: race photos and results

today emmy, rob and i took a road trip up to red hook for the second running of the harvest half marathon. our friends lisa and doug were the race directors (and there was also a 5k). reaching into the 80's, it was 20 degrees warmer than the half we ran in ridgefield last weekend!

while i wanted to run a sub-1:40, i was more than pleased with my 1:42:35 under the circumstances! surprisingly, it was good enough for 3rd place in my age group (and emmy won her age group)! afterwards, we headed over to the hyde park brewing company for a little hydration :D

i'll add a link to the results once they're posted.

a few more photos posted on facebook.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

2011 ridgefield half marathon: race photos and results

this morning i ran my first ridgefield half marathon. it's a race i've wanted to run, but somehow never managed to line up for in prior years. it's a challenging, double loop course. but the real challenge was the pre-race weather!

i woke up to driving rain, which eventually gave way to much cooler than usual temperatures! i was shivering on the way to race registration - and not much warmer when we started! but within the first mile i had warmed up, and it turned out to be perfect weather for running.

my 1:42:15 was well under my 8 minute goal pace. in fact, all but 3 miles came in below 8 minutes, between 7:40 and 7:50 - for an average 7:48 pace for the race. next weekend is another half - the harvest half in red hook - and i'll target a sub 7:40 pace.

here are the race results from hitek.

i posted a few more pictures on facebook.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

october 2011 race schedule

october kicks off with the ridgefield half marathon tomorrow morning. i haven't run this one before, so i'm looking forward to it. i'll follow it up w/another half marathon next weekend, the harvest half in red hook. it's also a new one for me - and the race director, lisa glick, is a friend.

shorter distances make up the rest of the month, as a lead in to the nyc marathon the first weekend of november. the great train race, one of my favorite local point to point courses, is on october 16. if i can get back in time for the noon start, it may turn into a double with the harry chapin "run against hunger" 10k that afternoon!

the following weekend, is a 5 miler on the trail, at "run the farm" in katonah. this is another new race for me - bring the total up to 3 for the month. the final weekend of october i typically run a great pair of halloween 5ks - but this year i have another business trip planned (the 3rd in two months), so no races that weekend.

here's what it looks like so far:

10/2 - ridgefield half marathon
10/9 - harvest half marathon
10/16 - great train race, 6.8m
10/16 - harry chapin run against hunger 10k
10/23 - run the farm, 5m

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