Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Belated Birthday

I can't believe it... I missed my first blogiversary! What a terrible publisher I am! If you're interested, here is my very first blog post.

A reporter for a local newspaper doing a story on area runners recently asked why I keep a running blog. I bumbled and stumbled out some lame answer when the truth is, I'd not really given it much thought.

Well, I've thought about it and my (missed) blogiversary seems like an opportune time to answer the question: "why blog?"
  1. Advice - I often get very sound advice from readers.
  2. Inspiration - I enjoy reading your blogs for inspiration - why not do the same.
  3. Vanity - It's fun being a publisher and I get a kick out of the results when typing my name into search engines.
  4. Family - All of my family is in the Midwest. This is an easy way for them to keep tabs on me and my running.
  5. Support - I have been contacted by several new runners looking for guidance. I don't pretend to be a coach but I can point newbies in the right direction.
  6. History - Much like I keep a running log detailing my mileage, here I keep a history of my thoughts and experiences on running.
  7. Exhibitionism - Those that know me (particularly socially) know I am a bit of a showman. Blogging is just an extension of my desire to be in the spotlight (I am a Leo after all).
  8. Writing - Pretty clearly I'm no Steinbeck. Nevertheless I enjoy writing and it is nice to have a venue to sharpen and hone my skills.
  9. Motivation - By publicly stating my goals and intentions I am far more likely acheive them.
  10. Because - Why get out of bed to to run in the rain? Why train all through the winter months? Why run 26.2 miles...
"Because it is there."
- George Mallory (when asked why he wanted to climb Everest)

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Al Gordon Snowflake 4 Miler

At 8:00AM Saturday I ran the Al Gordon Snowflake 4 miler hosted by the New York Road Runners Club. Well over 2,200 men (and as many women - though the women's start was an hour later) charged through Central Park.

Stiff winds made the 20 degree weather feel much colder. Fortunately the sun helped to warm things slightly. I opted to go with my newly acquired CW-X Insulator Pro tights which are rather pricey but do keep you warm and allow for a good range of motion. As an added bonus they look and feel pretty good too.

photo by Jared Mestre
This was a Club Points race but I wasn't wearing my team singlet (shame on me) which is why there is only this profile shot of me...

Splitting the men's and women's starts helped with the typical congestion of the first few miles. I also had hopes of absolutely destroying this race by running it in under 25 minutes. Thus, I lined up toward the front of the queue. The horn sounded and we were off.

The first mile was a challenge for me as I didn't stretch or warm-up properly. My breathing was labored, my legs felt dead and as I passed the first mile marker I was already behind -- 6:22. I stepped it up a bit and clicked off the second mile in 6:14.

Going into the third mile I settled into the pace, got my breathing under control and my dead legs got some life. Cat Hill reversed all that leaving me with a split of 6:28 and no hope of a sub 25 minute race.

The final mile of the race was mostly flat with a down hill sprint to the finish. I held my pace and then surged the last 400 meters for a 6:14.

While short of my goal, my official time of 25:23 still represents a pretty fair personal record. Prior, my best 4 miler was a minute and a half slower.

Congratulations to my fellow teammates for their terrific efforts!

"Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee."
-Muhammad Ali (became the Heavyweight Champion on this day in 1964)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Something New

Today, I did something entirely different.

Today, for the first time in over three years I rode a bike – well, a stationary bike.

10 miles in 30 minutes… I have no idea if that is good or bad, average or pathetic.

But it is a start.

"Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride."
-John F. Kennedy

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Boulder Beer - Planet Porter

I was gifted a subscription to the Micro Beer Club over the holidays. The beer club generally features award winning, small-batch brews. The first shipment has arrived and for the most part, been happily consumed!

I thoroughly enjoy a good porter so naturally I reached for Boulder Beer's Planet Porter. This heavenly concoction did not disappoint. It has a tempting aroma with hints of coffee and chocolate, a weighty body and a smooth satisfying finish.

Ahhhh, I am going to grab a telescope and peep where I can get some more!

"Son, when you participate in sporting events, it's not whether you win or lose: it's how drunk you get."
-Homer Simpson

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Awards Night Montage Part II

This is the second of a two part video package I edited for the Hellgate Road Runners Awards Dinner. All photographs were taken by Jared Mestre. The music is "Chariots of Fire" by Vangelis.

"Happiness does not lie in happiness but in the achievement of it."
-Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Awards Night Montage Part I

This is the first of a two part video package I edited for the Hellgate Road Runners Awards Dinner. All photographs were taken by Jared Mestre. The music is "Battle Without Honor Or Humanity" by Tomoyasu Hotei from the Kill Bill soundtrack.

"Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it."
-Helen Keller

Sunday, February 11, 2007


Last night The Hellgate Road Runners held their annual Awards Night dinner party. It is always a good time (open bar + music = raucous good time) but this year in particular was special for a few reasons.

I put together a video montage from photos our coach has taken over the past few years. I burned the montage to DVD and used a projector to show the video (running the audio thru the DJ’s sound system). The project came off technically glitch-free and based on the feedback I’ve gotten, it was well received.

I was also recognized as the “Most Improved Male Runner” at the awards ceremony. I am really quite honored by this but mostly I am thankful to the club. Without the support and motivation I get from my teammates I am fairly certain I wouldn’t be running as well as I am today.

My hearty and sincere congratulations to all of the other award winners. Your recognition is very well deserved!

“Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve.”
Benjamin Franklin

Friday, February 09, 2007


I’m no doctor, but I am guessing that when you get that alkaline / blood like taste in your mouth it is too cold to be doing speed work…

Time: 7:00AM
Temperature: 20F
Winds: Variable off the East River

1 x 1600 Meters Warm Up (as if that's possible)
1 x 1200 Meters 4:41
1 x 800 Meters 3:07
1 x 400 Meters 1:26
1 x 400 Meters 1:26
1 x 800 Meters 3:02
1 x 1200 Meters 4:41
1 x 1600 Meters Cool Down (as if that's needed)

“I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat."
Sir Winston Churchill

Monday, February 05, 2007

Super (cold) Sunday

Over the years the number of participants at New York Road Runner Club races has grown quite substantially -- which is terrific. However, herding thousands of racers over a ChampionChip timing mat and navigating this speeding mass around a course in Central Park can be daunting, particularly when you’ve got to share the road with elite runners, mid-packers, walkers and non-racers (cyclists, tourists and the all too frequent horse-drawn carriage!).

The NYRR held their Annual Gridiron 4 Miler at 9:00AM on Superbowl Sunday. Nearly 4,500 souls braved 14 degree temperatures and a blustery wind chill factor. Since little can be done about the horses or tourists the NYRR held their first experiment with waved starts to alleviate some of the aforementioned congestion.

The organization and execution of race directors, course marshals and volunteers was top notch. However the experiment didn’t work. Runners were corralled into groups of about 750. The first group consisted of elites and runners who have won an age group award. After that it was first come, first serve.

I was corralled into the fourth wave and had probably the best race start of my running career. Unfortunately I hit the slower runners from wave three within the first half mile. The rest of the race was an exercise in frustration as I had to cut, zig and weave around those who started ahead of me. I would find a comfortable pace but then have to slam on the breaks until a path around a gaggle of slower runners opened up. Even with the finish line in site I was still passing walkers and eleven minute milers.

My advice to the powers that be over at the NYRR Club would be to continue with the wave starts but assign all runners to a corral that corresponds to their average pace per mile. This average could be determined by their three most recent NYRR races. Runners without three races in their history should be assigned to the last corral. Out of town elites or other special cases without a NYRR race history can be handled on a case by case basis.

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
-George Bernard Shaw