Sunday, February 25, 2007

Fastest Race Report Ever!

Race: Snowflake 4

  • Temp: Freezing. Didn't that god damn groundhog predict a short winter.
  • Before the race: Mary Wittenberg says over the intercom, "Any new runners out there?" and the response is . . . silence. I say, "Not today," and the guy in front yells, "Try again in July!"
  • During the race -- Miles one and two: felt like I was working way too hard for 6:10s. Not surprising since I haven't run in two weeks and am pushing 80 hours at the office for the week already.
  • During the race -- Half to mile 3.5: At this point I'm thinking, "Well I'm not going to get a p.r. I'm not even close. I'm exhausted from work. I don't really want to be here. And $*!@ this is hard!" I start coasting.
  • During the race -- 3.5 to end: Run hard. Finish in 25:25; 6:21/mile. Slower than my 10K in December.
  • After the race -- water was frozen. My apple had ice bursting through the skin.
  • Around 6pm, I'm at the office and I think, "Gee. Let's see how bad today's race really was against my old best. . ." And the old p.r. is . . . 26:18. Are you kidding? I guess that's the benefits of having soft p.r.'s. Or maybe it says something, I guess, on how much fitness I gained last year that this race was that much better than my last.
  • Miles since 2/15: 4

Friday, February 23, 2007


I was very happy yesterday when I learned, via email, that I'm being deleted:

Please Note: Your account will be removed from The New York Times Job Market on March 7, 2007 since it has been inactive for 18 months. If you would like to keep your account with The New York Times Job Market, please login now and your account will be retained for 18 more months.

About eightteen months ago I was initially offered my current position. This was a nice reminder of the hard work that went into finding something fulfilling in a down market, and the way that the bumps can get smoothed out over time.

Tomorrow, I'm "racing" the Snowflake 4, before heading back to the office. I'll be my first run since the 15th.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Quothe the senior partner to the associates: "You know when the trial is. This isn't going to be a pleasant time for any of us."

Quothe the associate to his friends: "I shall speak to you again in April."

Week of February 5: 27 miles
Week of February 12: 16 miles
Miles since February 15: 0 miles

(When I return, I shall beguile you with stories from my wife's 10 year high school reunion.)

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Stupid Cold

I've been gymming it for the last couple workouts due to the frigid temps outside. (But thank god I don't live Upstate, where up to 100" of snow is forecast!) The workouts were a mix. On Tuesday's "tempo" run, my hips felt extremely tight, which I assume was from climbing hills over loose snow on Sunday. After the run, my hips were so tight that I actually couldn't do my normal "bicycle crunches" after the run because I couldn't lift my legs off the floor. Note to self, remember to stretch those hips.

Last night, I felt fatigued, which makes sense following my hard run Tuesday and the long-ish run Sunday. So, I zoned into the first half of the Duke-UNC basketball game and took it easy. I have to say, it's good that UNC has such talented players because Duke totally out executed in the first half. UNC just looked bad, bad passes, forced shots, forced passes into triple coverage in the post. So rather than leaving in a good mood, I left my mill in a huff since UNC was down by 5 at the half. This was actually exceptionally close. As poorly as UNC played, and as solid as Duke's execution was, if the talent levels had been equally matched Duke would have led by 20. In the end, although I left after the first half, in the final period UNC did come back to win. So, while the result was great, I hate to see anything good go Duke's way, even if it's only a halftime lead.

In other news, Kentucky knocked off, or squeaked past, SEC cellar-dweller USC in a mid-week tune-up before hosting #1 Flordia on Friday night. ESPN, for several years, has been hyping this as a "Rivalry Game." For me certainly, and I think for most UK fans, calling Florida a "rival" of the program with the most wins of any school and the second-most NCAA championships may still be a little strong. But since #18UK (1 on the wins list, 2 on the NCAA championship list) has already lost to #5UNC (2 on the win list) and #2UCLA (1 on the NCCA list) this year, I guess we'll have to consider Florida an acceptable "rival" for this decidedly mediocre Kentucky basketball team. However, I really wish Indiana had a good team again, or Bob Knight, because that was a rivalry -- coaches that hated each other's programs, #2 and #3 on the NCAA championship list, border state's flagship schools. That had all the elements. And even after Bob Knight left, you could still hate Mike Davis.

Tuesday: 4.5 miles in 30:54 (6:52/mile, 2.5 miles at 6:40 and faster)
Wednesday: 6.1 miles in 45:00 (7:23/mile)

Monday, February 05, 2007


9. 17 mph wind.

In Metric, -13. 27kph wind.

Loose snow the length of the trail, approximately 1/4" thick.

Ice. Especially on hills.

Ice chunks on the Hudson.

Those are the details of the run for seven Flyers yesterday in Upper Nyack, New York. I, for one, on the subway ride to meet the group, kept raiding my dry clothes bag for extra warmth (I think I need that T-shirt now!).

Apparently, Ward called Christoph, who was our guide to this trail, the day before to say, "Hey, Christoph, it's going to be really cold. Let me know if you think we should cancel. . ." Christoph's response on the ride out of the City? "See, what he didn't realize is . . . I'm German." (I'm not really sure what that means, exactly -- "I'm German and we're rigid," "I'm German and in the Bavarian forests this weather is warm" -- but it was still pretty funny.)

I'm calling the run 13.5 and am going to forget the time due to the conditions. I'm a little unnerved to report that Christoph and Skylight went out for more! They ended up running 20 in this weather (I hung out in the car during their extra mileage, with the heater, eating my banana and reading some Dickens. ) For me, 13.5 doubles my prior longest run of 2007, and brings me to 32 miles for my first consistent week of the year. That 32 also more than doubles my total mileage for '07, but it seemed like a good "getting back into it" amount.

Afterwards, we hit up a really cute cafe for brunch. Christoph, Skylight and I had about 7 plates between the three of us, which was somewhat ridiculous. However, it was really tasty and if you're ever in Nyack, New York, it's was called Strawberry Place.

(And, since its that time of year, the Alma Mater staged a 14-point, second-half comeback to beat Arkansas on the road Saturday. Go Cats!)

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Is it a trend?

I've been very sporadic in blogging in '07, which reflects my running (weekly-to-date: 0,5,16, 10*). However, this week . . . oh, glory, oh accomplishment . . . I'm going to break 30 miles. This strikes me as sufficient consistency to be worth blogging about (also, it's notable in that it'll also lead to a doubling of my miles for the year!)

So, how has this amazing accomplishment occurred? Well, for one, I've (re)discovered that when I'm only running 4 miles a pop, I don't have to get up at 5 am. Amazing! You don't have to allocate 2 hours to run only 28 minutes. Second, I've been routinely leaving the office by 8 to 9 pm. That may still seem late, but at only around 12 hours, it's completely within my tolerance range for outside activity. Third, after about 2 weeks, I really started to feel run-down, but in a completely different way than the run-down I feel while running at my most fatigued. Basically, I like the way I feel when I'm active and don't like the way I feel when I'm not -- even if I'm running a lot and feel exhausted. A few weeks off reinforced just how much I like busting out a 5 mile run.

One thing odd about my month off, is how much faster my runs have been on this return than they were during marathon training. I would have thought that after 4 weeks of almost nothing, I'd be running slower (or at least no faster) than I was at the end of last year. That's not even close. Here's this week so far:

  • Tuesday -- 4.15 miles in 29:08 (7:01/mile on the Pulaski O&B).
  • Wednesday -- 4.15 miles in 30:25 (7:20/mile over loose snow in McCarren Park).
  • Friday -- 6.00 miles in 45:06 (7:31/mile in a gym that felt like Kenya. Seriously, it felt like running in July).
  • Today -- 5.00 miles in 36:28 (7:18/mile on the Billy Bridge O&B, but a noticable headwind on the out (18:43) that was a tailwind on the back (17:45)).
I'm somewhat confused by this. Although I understand tapering, and I understand faster times on lower mileage, I really have done almost nothing in January and thought that it would be assured that when I got back to normal mileage I wouldn't be running at sub-7:20 (and, for the record, these runs are being run at the same effort as my 7:40-7:50s at year-end '06). Is this just from integration of fitness during my time off? Is this just from rested muscles? Should I expect these times to climb over the next couple weeks? Last year was my first really "serious" training period, so this was also my first lay-off. What should I be expecting?

*I'd planned more for the fourth week, but the Flyers annual dinner (including a big open bar) derailed those ambitions. But it was totally worth it. Heh heh.