Friday, April 29, 2005

Missing Runner

She disappeared while she was out for a 40 minute run. Her fiance said that he knows roughly where she might be, but didn't know her exact route. I realize that I'm probably a lot less likely than she is to be singled out for malicious violence, but from now on, my route will be known to someone in my family whenever I go running.

Update: I'm glad to see that nothing happened to her, but people shouldn't go messing with the police like that. Filing a false report is serious business.

Nice and Easy

Out for a nice, easy three miles this morning. Tomorrow I'll get in a long run.

I've been looking at Rochester-area running groups/clubs on the internet. One particular group interests me. They require members to work at a certain number of events/races which are sponsored by the club as well as represent the club in a certain number of races. They also have an event called the "Tour de Pain." This is a series of races on a Thursday night. It starts at 6pm with a 5K cross-country run. At 7pm, all participants race in a 400 meter dash (I don't know if enough people race to require heats). At 8pm, everyone races in a one-mile run. It sounds like a lot of fun, in a very painful way. It must be pretty popular, since it's now in its eleventh year. I don't know if I'm going to be in any kind of shape for it this year, but who knows? By late August I might be able to handle something like this.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Nice morning

It was nice out this morning, about 50 degrees. I got out for my 3 mile rest day run on the AAAH run.

While I was running, I passed a bus going in the other direction, on a road which never has buses. As I got close to it, I saw the destination sign, which said "SIRR Shuttle / St. George" which meant that the train wasn't running. Of course, I instantly panicked, thinking that the train was shut down for the day. Buses generally take twice as long to cover the distance to the Ferry as the train does. Fortunatley, the SIRR was only shut down until the 6:17am (at my stop) train.

Tomorrow, I'm going for an easy run, followed by a long run on Saturday.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Cool and rainy

I should have gone out yesterday morning. At least then I would have had some more pleasant weather.

I ran the rooster hill run this morning, probably for the last time, since I move on Tuesday. I took it pretty easy through the first half, which left me more for the actual hill, which is pretty long and increases in steepness as you go up.

the drainage on Staten Island seems kind of haphazard. there are some places where the storm drains take the water away very quickly, some places where it appears that the streets/gutters are the storm drains, and a few places where intersections are used as stormwater detention ponds. It makes your morning run very interesting when you can't tell whether you're about to step into 5 or 6 inches of water.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005


I overslept this morning and woke up at about the time I should be getting back from my run. Kept up all last night with details about moving.

In Rochester, my commute will be much shorter, so I won't be getting up at 5am to get out and run.

That will be nice.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Quick & Easy

I got out for my 3-mile recovery this morning. I couldn't believe how quickly it went by. I wasn't really paying any attention to the watch, since this was a recovery run, but I was finished with my run, showered, shaved and dressed and ready to walk out the door for work a half-hour before I usually am. I didn't feel like I was sprinting or racing or anything like that--it felt like a recovery run. I didn't even encounter any pedestrians to have one-sided races with. Must be a sign of my improving condition. No more slogging, just a nice, light stride.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

New Route

I prefer to get out for new routes on Saturdays, since I'm running in the daylight, and have a better idea of where I'm going. Once I run a route once, though, I can do it in the dark very easily. That's why I got out for a new 5-mile route yesterday morning. It's a 5-mile route that I probably won't be running very many more times. One stretch of the route is along a five-lane road, and a good protion of it has no sidewalk/pedestrian area on it. Doing that in the dark would be near suicidal.

This morning, I decided to take a rest day, especially since I had laundry to take care of. Tomorrow, I'll get out for a nice, easy three, with a return to 5 miles on Tuesday.

I'm waiting until I get to Rochester to do my speedwork, since I have several good places there to do the runs, and I don't really know of any here on SI.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Long Day

I got in my long run this morning. I'm trying to alternate hard and easy days, with any speedwork to come on Saturday. If I do a hill run on Tuesday, then a long run on Thursday, Speedwork on Saturday, then I have a day of easy/rest after each of the first two and two days after the speedwork. This should allow me to bring down my times as time goes on.

The first week of May is going to be chaotic. I'll be packing on Monday, loading and driving on Tuesday, so my training may be interrupted somewhat that week.

Looking forward to my return to the Great White North.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Easy morning

I got out for my 3-mile AAAH loop this morning, taking it nice and easy, not pushing or working too hard, and I still managed to get out early and catch the train earlier than I usually do. I'm not sure how I managed that. Won't be making a habit of it, though.

Of course, I'm leaving NYC at exactly the time when Central Park looks best. Oh, well, I'll be back.

I just noticed that the weather forecast for Rochester says "chance of snow" for this Saturday. Well, I've always said that Rochester has two seasons--winter and August.

1:50 pm: I just discovered that SBC Yahoo has been taking a monthly fee, even though I terminated the service at the end of October/beginning of November, when I sond the house. Apparently the billing office never got word. I check my account on a weekly basis, and I have never before noticed that they were doing this. However, to their credit, they are refunding all of the money which was withdrawn from my checking account.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005


At least to current and former track people:

San Diego Times article about why college/pro football's 40-yard dash numbers are suspicious, to say the least.

Big News

This morning, I got out for the Rooster run. I felt pretty good until I was a hundred yards or so up the hill, at which point I started to flag. Then I remembered that case of beer next spring, and I found new determination. Of course, the case of beer will be in South Carolina, so it's not likely that any of it willbe coming back north with me, but the competition is giving me new determination.

The big news is: In the beginning of May, I'm leaving New York City for Rochester For the past ten months, I've been living apart from my family, doing an "every two weeks" commute between here and upstate. I found a pretty good job in Rochester and I'll be moving after may 2nd and starting my new job on May 9th. So it's goodbye to my friend the rooster.

Moving seems to be in the air right now--Christian is moving to Houston, Susan is moving to Connecticut--anybody else relocating?

Monday, April 18, 2005

No way was that a mile.

Yesterday, I ran down to Wolfe's Pond Park (about a mile and a half away) to run the trail around the outside of the park. The Staten Island Athletic Club says that the trail is just over a mile. I took it easy, quick but comfortable, and I got around in about 6 minutes. Now, that means one of three things happened:

1. I took a wrong turn or I missed a portion of the trail, and I ran less than a mile,
2. Whoever wrote the description of the trail mis-measured it and I ran less than a mile, or
3. I've suddenly become one of the fastest milers on the planet, when an easy, comfortable mile takes me only 6 minutes.

I think option number 1 is the most likely, but 3 seems really attractive to me for some reason.

Day off today--I had trouble sleeping and couldn't get up for my morning session.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Good day

I got out for a "comfortably hard" three miles this morning. I felt pretty good the whole way, tired at the end, but not exhausted.

I finished the three miles in just under 20 minutes. I think I'm going to win that case of beer.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Closed course?

The hazards of running in a small town marathon for a world-class runner:

Titus Mutinda at the Xenia Marathon

I knew it would happen.

OK, first things first. I got out for my 5 1/2 mile long 4 mile run this morning. The wind was a little bit chilly (being originally from Upstate New York, I refer to any temperature between 20 and 50 as "a little bit chilly"), but once I got into the sheltered area downwind from Fresh Kills, it wasn't bad.

I talked to my youngest brother last night--he's the baby of the family at 32. He's started running, and almost the first thing he did was challenge me to a race. He wants me to come down next year (he lives in Charleston, SC) for the Cooper River Bridge Run, which comes up in early April. Loser buys a case of beer for the winner. Of course, I couldn't refuse a challenge. Did I mention that we're competitive?

Then, this morning, on the way to the train, there was a guy walking along the sidewalk about half a block ahead of me. All of a sudden, he collapses and falls into the street, and just lies in the road. Naturally, I called 911, but by the time an ambulance could get there (it was rush hour, after all), he'd gotten up, said he'd be fine, it was probably an epileptic seizure, and walked away. I waited around for the ambulance to get there, to let the EMTs know what happened.

Strange morning.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Rooster Run

I got in the Rooster Hill run this morning. My recovery period from the race is over, so I can get back to hard running, hills and possibly some speed work. I have to get in some longer distance training for my first 10K in over 10 years, coming up on May 22.

Some guy was walking his overly aggressive dog this morning on the road that goes up the hill. The dog started barking and snarling at me and tried to lunge at me from across the street. Fortunatley, this one was on a leash, so even though it wasn't particularly obedient, the man was able to keep it from getting at me. I'm thinking that it may be a good idea to get something to protect myself from dogs. I wouldn't want to hurt any dogs, but I've been attacked by a doberman before, and I would like to avoid having it happen to me again.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Signs that the end of the world is near

My 38-year-old brother, a smoker since high school, quit smoking and started running. So far it's just across the street, twice around the track (he lives across the street from a high school) and then home, but there have been more inauspicious beginnings in the past. Now if I can get my other brother to quit smoking...

My wife and my sisters refer to the three of us as "the competitive brothers" because anything we do together eventually turns into some sort of competition. If these two both start running, I can imagine that we'll be competing every time we're in the same city--race that week or not. Hello, overtraining injuries.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Easy day

As part of my three days of recovery, today was an easy day. I got out for about 2.5-3 miles slow and easy.

I figured out why I faded on Saturday. I had breakfast at 6:00 (race was at 9:00) and my breakfast was small. I think that I didn't have enough to eat before the race and was running on empty by the time the last mile fo the race rolled around. In college, we used to all go out for French Toast together before the bus left for the race. Since we usually had a pretty good ride to the meet, and we arrived early for the race, we had time to digest, but not enough to end up feeling hungry during the race.

I'll have to keep that in mind..

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Post-Race Report

The Parkinson's Canal 5k:

The race is held on the Erie Canal Towpath, and is an out-and-back 5k on a flat, fast course. About 150 runners. Weather was clear and sunny, temp about 35 and rising quickly.

In the first mile, I went out too fast. 6:14 for the first mile. I think I went out that fast in order not to get caught in the crowd in the first half-mile or so. The course is only about 12 feet wide, with a slope down on the right and the Erie Canal on the left. All of the runners also had to start by running through the finish gate, so that could have created a backlog at the start, and I didn't want to get caught in that. The flatness of the course may also have led me to go out too fast.

At the turnaround, I had to slow down to make the 180 degree turn, and the slowing and turning started my legs stiffening up. The turnaround came at the halfway point, and my time was 9:45 The return trip was slower for me than the trip out; I don't have a 2-mile time, because the 2-mile point was not marked on the ground. The second mile was perfectly flat, just like the first mile.

The third mile was also perfectly flat. At the finish, I was in 21st place, with a time of 20:14. I was the fourth of the old guys. In the last mile, I noticed two men pass me, who I later discovered (but suspected from the time I saw them) were in my age group. If I could have held on, I would have had second in the age group. First was out of my reach today--the first masters runner was in third place overall with a time below 18:00.

For the first half of the race, I was running 6:17 pace, for the second half, 7:00 pace, pretty good. I'll have to work on that second half.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Gorgeous weather

How many different ways can I say that the weather is nice? By the middle of summer, I'll be calling 40s cold.

The temp was in the 50s this morning, with no wind and dry streets. I got out for my 4-mile hill run (maybe I should go back and re-measure that one, too). My friend the rooster sounded like he was a little hoarse this morning--I always have a little bit of trouble talking first thing in the morning, maybe he'd just gotten up and hadn't had his morning coffee yet. I didn't hear him making the "trouble starting the car" sound--maybe that's his way of clearing his throat.

I have to make an unexpected trip to Rochester tomorrow night, so Thursday running is off the schedule. I'll get out for a few on Friday, and on Saturday, I'm planning on entering a 5k race. I can use it as speedwork.

I started Jack Daniel's Running Formula yesterday. It sounds like a mixture of Bourbon and Gatorade, but it's actually a training program. I got the book from the library, but I think I'll have to buy it.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Managing to get out in the morning

The time change messed up my sleep patterns, and with 2 full days of work this weekend, I didn't get a chance to get out and run at all Saturday or Sunday. The subway disruption on Sunday did not help at all, ensuring that I would not get home before 7:30 pm.

This morning, in my sleep-deprivation haze, I hit the snooze, then immediately realized what I had done. I lay there for what seemed like a long time, willing myself to get out of bed, and finally got up and out for three miles. I managed to get up and dressed before the alarm went off again, so it must have been pretty quick that I got out.

Beautiful weather, low 40s with only a little wind, but the sun comes up later now than it did on Friday, so I'm back to running in the dark.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

It's all right, Ma

Read This.

(registration required, but worth it.)

He who is not busy being born is busy dying.

Friday, April 01, 2005

I was right.

Well, it turns out that I was right about the route I ran yesterday. What I thought was about 4 is actually almost 5.5 miles. With that kind of skill at underestimating distances, I could be a coach.

That’s a reference to something that happened in college, where the coach was preparing us for a cross-country meet. He had us getting ready for a 4.3 mile race. The race had always been 4.3 miles, since the meet was first run. As it turned out, the race course had been slightly modified that year, and the course was now a 10K. The coach had missed that fact when he entered us into the meet. We each found out as we rounded the 4 mile point, thinking that we just had a quarter mile dash to the finish line, when we actually had just under 2 miles to go. We did all run PRs that day.

The next year, the race went back to being 4.3 miles.

Rest day today. Tomorrow, if the park isn't underwater, I'm going to run in Wolfe's Pond Park before going in to work.