Sunday, September 28, 2008

Race Report: ING New York City Marathon Tune Up

Today's race was pretty simple, 3 counter-clockwise loops of New York City's Central Park for a total of 18 miles (at least according to NYRR). I left my house around 5:30 and got to the Upper East Side around 6:00. After circling for parking for about 15 minutes, I gave up and headed to the West Side. After another 10 minutes of circling, I did something that I have never done for a NYRR race, park my car in a lot. I got to the start on East Drive and 102nd with about 15 minutes to spare. I checked my bag and headed to my assigned corral, yellow.

The good thing about running counter-clockwise is that you hit Harlem Hill for the first time early on while you're still fresh. After Harlem Hill, the rest of the first loop was pretty uneventful. I got to mile 6, the end of the my first loop in 50:44. I took my first GU and asked myself if I was going to fast. I felt pretty good and prepared myself to conquer Harlem Hill for the 2nd time. This time it felt a little harder. I crested the top of the hill and enjoyed the downhill that followed. The crazy thing about Central Park it is not flat. It is quite hilly on all sides of the park. I got to mile 12, the end of my 2nd loop in 1:42:10. Once again, I took water and my 2nd GU and prepared for my last climb up Harlem Hill. This time it felt really hard. I slowed my pace and kept one foot in front of the other. The last climb seemed like an eternity but as with previous 2 climbs I got through it. The last significant hill before the finish is Cat Hill on the East Side beginning at the Boathouse. Like my 3rd time up Harlem Hill I slowed my pace and told myself "don't let Cat Hill beat you." Just after Cat Hill was the 1 mile to go mark. I started to pick up my pace and headed towards the finish.

I crossed the finish line in 2:36:06 which averages out to 8:40/mile. I have to say I really surprised myself today. I beat last year's time by 20 minutes! My Garmin had me running 18.36 miles which would average out to 8:30/mile. Even more strange is that when I uploaded the race to, the distance for the race was 18.89 miles Why is there such a difference between the actual distance, Garmin, and In any event, I've been walking around the whole day full of confidence. With 27 days until MCM, I can say with the utmost confidence that I'm ready.

Now I can slowly taper down and enjoy the Jewish holidays with my family and friends. The Jewish New Year begins tomorrow night. I will be spending a lot of time in synagogue Tuesday and Wednesday reflecting on the past year and praying for a successful 5769. May the upcoming year be full of health, prosperity, and of course good running.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Yankee Stadium 1923 - 2008: Some Final Thoughts

Most die hard Yankee fans can remember their first game at Yankee Stadium. For some reason, that moment eludes me. I would like to share with you some other memorable moments:

  • I was at both the last World Series game and the final game at the Stadium. Unfortuately, the Yankees did not win game 6 of the 2003 World Series vs. Florida. Josh Beckett pitched a great game resulting in a World Series title for Florida and World Series MVP honors for Beckett.
  • I was also at the last no-hitter at Yankee Stadium. It was a combined no-no pitched by 6 Houston Astors pitchers: Oswalt, Munro, Saarloos, Lidge, Dotel, Wagner) on 6/11/03. Final score of the game was 8-0 Houston.
  • Even though the Yankees lost, Game 2 of the 2001 ALDS was memorable in the sense that it was my first time back at the Stadium after 9/11. I remember vividly the hightened security and the police snipers spread above the stadium.
  • Without a doubt, my most memorable game was Game 5 of the 2001 ALDS. The Yanks won the game 5-3 and won the series 3-2. The Yanks became the first team to win a ALDS series after dropping the first 2 games at home. Jeter made an unbelievable catch in the top of the 8th inning.
  • My daughter probably won't remember the exact date of the her first game, but I took her this year on June 22, 2008. The Yanks won the game vs. Cincinnati 4-1. Andy Pettitte got the win and Mariano Rivera got the save and Ken Griffey Jr ht a home run. I remember her reaction when she saw the field for the first time. She simply said "WOAH!" Rain delayed the game for an hour and we had to leave during the rain delay.
  • There were also so many memorable games against Boston and interleague games against the Mets.

Having been to some of the new stadiums I realize the need for a new building. The concourses are too narrow, there is not enough legroom, it lack many of the modern features that newer buildings have, etc... Lastly, a world class team deserves a world class facility.

There wil certainly be many changes in store for the Yankees during this offseason. It's strange not planning my evenings around Yankee playoff games. The good thing about the baseball offseason is that it's during the winter when I cut back on my running. I'll have more to say then.

But for now...there are just over 29 days left to MCM.

Thursday Night's Speed Workout

Last night's workout was pretty simple: 6 x 400m (1/4 mile) intervals on the 102nd St. Transverse. To make it interesting Coach Bob decided that we'd run the intervals starting on the West Side of the cutoff and finish on the East Side of the cutoff. This way we'd be running uphill. After each interval we'd recover by jogging slowly back down to the West Side of the cutoff.

Becuase of the cloudy weather, I had a hard time picking up a signal on my Garmin during the warmup from the school to the transverse. Once we got to the trasverse, I was able to pick up a signal. The data displayed reflects the 6 intervals and the cooldown back to the school. Here are the splits for the intervals:
#1: 1:33
#2: 1:30
#3: 1:29
#4: 1:28 (Coach John said after this interval that #4 is almost always the fastest)
#5: 1:31
#6: 1:29
Cooldown back to the school 1.3 miles in 11:33.

Since it's 1.3 miles from the transvers to the school, I'll assume it's also 1.3 miles from the school to the transvers. Total miles for last night: 5.7 miles

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Yankee Stadium 1923 - 2008: The Night in Pictures

The Marquee outside the Stadium

The sun setting on The Stadium

Next Year's Home

Exterior of the new Stadium

1922 AL Champion Pennant

Reggie and Randy Maris

Paul O'Neill! Paul O'Neill!

Andy on the mound

Mo on the mound

Final Score

Yankees saluting the fans

The most famous corner in sports

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Yankee Stadium 1923 - 2008: The Final Game

After the pre-game festivities, there was still a game to be played. I'm not going to bore you with an inning-by-inning recap, I'll just mention some of my favorite moments and some trivia.

Andy Pettitte started the game and got the win. It was nice to see him on the mound for the final home game since he was so instrumental in helping the Yankees win 4 World Series titles and 6 AL pennants. The Yanks fell behind 2-0 early in the game but then went ahead 3-2 thanks to a 3-run home run off the bat of Johnny Damon. After Baltimore tied the game at 3, the Yankees went ahead 5-3 courtesy of a 2-run home run off the bat of Jose Molina (more on this later). Andy gave up a hit in the top of the sixth and that's when manager Joe Girardi came to the mound to make a pitching change. Andy walked towards the Yankee dugout to a standing ovation. He waved his cap to the crowd and came out for a curtain call. Jose Veras, Phil Coke, and Joba Chamberlain, held the Orioles scoreless through the 8th setting the stage for the 9th.

During the 7th inning stretch Ronan Tynan treated the crowd to his moving rendition of "God Bless America." I love listening to Dr. (he's a physican by trade) Tynan sing. He doesn't sing at every game only "special" games like opening day, playoffs, and of course for the final game. If you've never heard him sing you need to hear him.

Everyone in the building knew who was coming in to close out the game and the Stadium. As soon as the first chords of Metallica's "Enter Sandman" came over the PA system, the place went crazy. It was so loud that we could barely hear the music. For those of you who have never been to a Yankee game when Mo comes in this is a must watch. For those of you who have, well I hope you share the same feeling that I do....THIS NEVER GETS OLD.

There were a bunch of people in my section, myself included that thought it would be awesome if Metallica showed up at the Stadium to play "Enter Sandman" live. That would have made the evening beyond perfect. Wishful thinking.

With 2 outs in the 9th, Girardi took Jeter out of the game. He left to a standing ovation and also came out for a curtain call. If you're curious, Wilson Betemit replaced him. In classic Rivera style, the game ended on a weak grounder to first. That's when New York's finest swarmed the field with hundreds of police officers. Most were on foot but there were some mounted on horses as well. For the most part, the fans behaved themselves. There were 1 or 2 idiots who thought they could outrun New York's finest. NYPD simply smothered them and walked them off the field in cuffs.

This is where things started to get emotional. The fans started singing along to Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York." A few minutes later, with the entire team gathered on the pitcher's mound, the Captain, Derek Jeter took the mic and addressed the fans

After the speech, the entire Yankee Team took a lap around the field and saluted the fans. No, they did not pull a Wade Boggs and get on horses, they walked around field as a team. After a few more minutes of "New York, New York" we decided to leave. I gave my seat a few taps and left the section. We stopped at a few spots in the stadium to take pictures and finally left Yankee Stadium for good a little after midnight.

Now for some trivia:
Last home run: Jose Molina
Last hit: Jason Giambi
Final out: Brian Roberts
Last strikeout: Aubrey Huff (thrown by Joba Chamberlain)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Yankee Stadium 1923 - 2008: A Recap of Last Night's Festivities

The Runner's Recipe of the Week will be delayed this week due a series of special farewell to Yankee Stadium entries.

The final home game at Yankee Stadium was played last night, September 21, 2008. Beginning next season the Yankees will move across the street into a new building. I was lucky enough to have a ticket to yesterday's festivities. Gates to the stadium opened at 1:00 p.m. Those with valid tickets were allowed to visit Monument Park between 1:00 and 6:30 p.m. Fans were also allowed to walk on the warning track between Monument Park and home plate between 1:00 and 4:00. Unfortunately, I was not not able to make to the Stadium that early.

The pre-game festivities began with a pre-recorded message from Bob Sheppard, long-time public address announcer for Yankees. Bob is still recovering from an illness but said he hopes to see everyone next year in the new Yankee Stadium. Masters of Ceremony were John Sterling and Michael Kay. In the days leading up to last night, the Yankees said that a special historical memento would be revealed. We finally found out what that was, the first ever AL Pennant raised in Yankee Stadium in 1923. It was the 1922 AL Champion pennant.

Sterling and Kay then introduced the first team to take the field in Yankee Stadium:
Manager: Miller Huggins
Starting Pitcher: Bob Shawkey
Catcher: Wally Schang
1B: Wally Pipp
2B: Aaron Ward
3B: Joe Dugan
SS: Everett Scott
LF: Bob Meusel
CF: Whitey Witt
RF: Babe Ruth

Other Yankee greats of years gone by were then honored: Lou Gehrig, Lefty Gomez, Red Ruffing, Bill Dickey, Joe McCarthy, Allie Reynolds, Casey Stengel, and Joe DiMaggio.

Then the real fun began. Sterling began by saying that the Yankees have over 700 living alumni. Starting in left field, a tribute to former Yankee greats was played on the DiamondVision. the last player featured at each position was the current Yankee to play the position.

First up was left field: Roy White and Dave Winfield were introduced and each trotted to left field.

Shortstop was next: needless to say, Derek Jeter was featured and before any player was introduced, the fans started chanting Derek Jeter! Derek Jeter! Cora Rizzuto (wife of Phil Rizzuto) was escorted out by Mariano Rivera followed by Gene "Stick" Michael.

Third was up next: Greg Nettles, Wade Boggs, and Scott Brosius represented.

Right Field was next: Randy Maris (son of Roger), Reggie Jackson, and Paul O'Neill! Paul O'Neill ! represented. What an ovation Reggie and Paulie got.

Second Base: Billy Martin Jr. (son of Billy Sr.), Bobby Richardson, and Willie Randolph. Willie came out in a full sprint and slid into second.

First Base: Moose Skowron, Chris Chambliss, Tino Martinez (TINO! TINO!)

Catcher: Yogi Berra, Cheryl Howard (daughter of Elston), Michael Munson (son of Thurmon), Joe Girardi. This is where I shed my first tear. There was something about seeing Yogi in the old time uniform behind the plate that choked me up.

Pitcher has the most representation starting with "The Chairman of the Board" Whitey Ford, Don Larsen (who pitched the only perfect game in World Series history), Helen Hunter (wife of Catfish), Goose Gossage, Ron Guidry, David Wells, and David Cone. It was interesting that Roger Clemens was not even featured in the video tribute to great Yankee pitchers. No one really seemed to care.

Center Field was saved for last. Everyone in the building was waiting with bated breath for the last player to be introduced. But before that David Mantle (son of Mickey), and Kay Murcer (wife of Bobby) were introduced. The tribute to Bobby Murcer was very moving . Everyone knew who was the last player to be introduced. #51 Bernie Williams. This is where I shed my 2nd tear. Bernie has always been my favorite Yankee. Any of my friends will tell you that I tend to like Yankees who come up through the system rather than join the team via free agency or trade. Bernie was the first to come up and play through some tough years before Jeter, Pettitte, Rivera, and Posada arrived. I've always loved how he played the game. He never searched for the spotlight, he just showed up every day and did his thing. It was great to see him back especially because he kind of was not heard from after he left baseball.

Bob Sheppard then introduced the starting lineup for tonight's game (yes, there was still a game to played). Each player took their spot next to the former Yankees to play the position
CF: Johnny Damon
SS: Derek Jeter
RF: Bobby Abreu
3B: Alex Rodriguez
1B: Jason Giambi
LF: Xavier Nady
2b: Robinson Cano
DH: Hideki Matsui
C: Jose Molina

The U.S. Army Field Band then played the National Anthem.

Finally it was time for the ceremonial first pitch. We were all waiting to see who the Yankee would bring out. Posada came out to to catch it. Then Michael Kay took the mic and said that in 1923 Babe Ruth christened Yankee Stadium with a home run. It would be only fitting that the Yankees close the Stadium with a Ruth. Out came the Babe's 92 year old daughter, Julia Ruth Stevens. Ms. Stevens came out with a smile on her face and waved to the crowd. She then stood in between the pitcher's mound and home plate and threw a one hopper to Posada.

Notably missing was Yankees principle owner George Steinbrenner. I may not have agreed with all of his decisions when it came to personnel but for the owner of the team not to be there on such a historic night is sad.

I know, I've already written a lot and will be writing a lot more. But I just want to share one more thought. In my opinion, there is no other team in sports that could have put together such a ceremony. The ceremony wasn't meant to make people cry, it was a celebration of 85 years of history and tradition.

I'm sure you're all waiting for pictures, I will post them in a separate entry.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

What a Day!

I'm not going to include to MotionBased link to my long run today because something got screwed up and the time does not do this run justice. This morning I started out my house around 6:15. Since we only have 1 car, I had to run to Tenafly to meet the running group I've been running with for the past 2 weeks. When I got Tenafly I was already 4.65 miles in to what was going to be a 20 miler. I got the to the meeting sport a little after 7 and by 7:20 we were all there. The group decided to walk up RiverEdge Rd. because they didn't want to start the run going up hill. Once we got to Knickerbocker we started to run north. The other 3 runners I was with were planning on running to Piermont, NY and then back to Tenafly. Since I already had 4.65 miles under me, I turned right on Broadway and headed towards Piermont Rd. I took Piermont Rd. straight into Tenafly and began the climb on RiverEdge Rd. I must be a glutton for punishment because this is the 2nd week in a row I had to climb a steep hill very late into a long run. Anyway, I made it up the hill, took a right on Clinton, then left on Woodbine. By the time I got Woodbine, I was at 19.5 miles. I thought to myself, I can't stop my run here, it's too far to walk back to my house. So I carried on towards New Bridge and then left on Windsor. I finished the run at the my usual spot with enough distance to walk off the run and cool down. I stopped my Garmin and saw that I ran 21.5 miles in 3:15:10. This is the first time during training I've gone past 20 miles. For who are interested, here are the mile splits for today's run.
Mile 1: 9:43
Mile 2: 8:49
Mile 3: 9:06
Mile 4: 9:17
Mile 5: 9:06
Mile 6: 9:34
Mile 7: 9:18
Mile 8: 9:19
Mile 9: 9:25
Mile 10: 9:19
Mile 11: 8:51
Mile 12: 8:45
Mile 13: 8:45
Mile 14: 8:51
Mile 15: 8:52
Mile 16: 8:46
Mile 17: 8:55
Mile 18: 9:25
Mile 19: 9:02
Mile 20: 9:07
Mile 21: 9:10
Mile 21.5: 3:45
Avg. Pace for the run 9:05

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thursday Night's Workout

Part of the fun of the NYRR Thursday Night Running Class is waiting for Coach Bob to tell us the night's workout is going to be. Tonight, Coach Bob came out and told us we would be doing a FARTLEK workout. For those of you who think we spent the evening passing gas, I'm sorry to disappoint. Fartlek is Swedish for "Speed Play" and consists of adding short bursts of speed (in our case 200 yards) into a run. For this workout, we jogged from the school to 110th and 5th. From this spot there are 3.5 miles left in the ING New York City Marathon.

We started our run up 5th Ave and entered the park at 90th and 5th. Soon after that we started our first burst. We repeated this until we exited onto Central Park South. The last burst was up West Drive towards Tavern on the Green which represents the finish line of the marathon. I felt real good tonight, the air was cool and my legs felt great.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Runner's Recipe of the Week

My wife finally got around to giving me the runner's recipe of the week. This week I present to you Peanut Butter Sesame Noodles. This is one of my favorites because it combines two runner's superfoods, pasta and peanut butter. It is a fuel-filled combination of peanut butter and noodles. Yet another noodle recipe, you say? Don't be deceived by the noodle base of a recipe, the additional ingredients that make up a recipe can push the glycemic index up, the carbohydrate load up, the fat content (which increases satiety) up, and suddenly you have a totally different nutritional content. It is important to realize that, during training, satiety factor is very important. Your hunger is great (as you very well know from experience) but you must fuel yourself with nutrient-rich hunger stoppers. Peanut butter is one of those foods. It is a runner's friend. Full of B-vitamins to fight off illness and give you energy. Full of healthy mono-unsaturated oil to keep you full. And, a good source of protein. The additional noodles, of course, help with carbohydrate loading and replenishing your glycogen stores. Lastly, the addition of some sweet peppers, kicks the recipe up a notch and makes it a very good source of Vitamin C.

Truth be told, this works better as a good snack. Who wants peanut butter and crackers? That is for people who go to the gym and run 30 minutes on the treadmill. We need real food for real mileage. Take a cup of this recipe--eat it slowly with a piece of fruit to add additional fiber, vitamins, and carbohydrates and, voila! You have a perfect 460 calorie snack. Think that sounds like a large amount? Absolutely not! When you are running the miles that you are running--that is the minimum.

Serving Size: 1 cup

For peanut dressing
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup warm water
2 tablespoons chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 medium garlic clove, chopped
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons Asian sesame oil
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes

For noodle salad
3/4 lb dried linguine fini or spaghetti
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/8-inch-thick strips
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/8-inch-thick strips
3 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted

Make dressing:
Purée dressing ingredients in a blender until smooth, about 2 minutes, then transfer to a large bowl.

Make salad:
Cook pasta in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water until tender. Drain in a colander, then rinse well under cold water.
Add pasta, scallions, bell peppers, and sesame seeds to dressing, tossing to combine, and serve immediately.

Click here to access the nutrition analysis and to receive more information on this wonderful recipe.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My New Shoes

Today, I took my new shoes out for a run. I've done really well in the ASICS Nimbus 8s and Nimbus 9s so I figured I'd give the Nimbus 10s a try as well. I was a little surprised when I took them out of the box. The first thing that struck me was the asymetrical lacing system. I'm not quite sure what to make of it or what purpose it serves. All I know was it was it difficult to secure my Polar 200SD Footpod to the shoe because of the new lacing system. The second thing that struck me was the color. I'm usually pretty traditional when it comes to shoe colors, blue, black, maybe red, but GOLD???? This is so unlike me!
Once I got over the color, I put them on and liked how they felt. I not an expert on running shoes so I will not give a detailed review. They felt good when I went out for my lunchtime run today. MCM is 5 weeks away so I felt this was a good time to get my new shoes and get some miles under them before Oct. 26. I did buy 2 pairs so I can rotate them and hopefully they will last longer.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I Thought Summer Was Over?

I arranged to meet the same group that I met up with last week. The original plan was to once again run loops of Central Park. I recommended we change the plan becuase of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure was scheduled today on CPW and in CP. We decided to start on the NJ side of the GWB then go over the bridge and down the West Side. Since I ran 20 last week I was going to run 15 this week.

A light mist was falling as we started over the bridge. I prayed that the rain would not get harder because me running and the rain do no agree. Anytime I run in the rain, I get sick. Fortunately, that mist stopped and the skies remained overcast (at least for now). There were some steep hills between the bridge and the Hudson River Greenway. I tried not think about having to run up those same hills at the end of my run.

At the 7.5 mile mark (around 79th St.) I turned around and started to head back to the bridge. That's when the sun came out and made the rest of the run very uncomfortable. After a brief pit stop at 145th st., I began my final approach to the bridge. At one point after a tough climb up one of those dreaded hills, I noticed a runner sitting down on the ground and in some discomfort. Someone on a bike had stopped as well. We both offered her water and asked if she needed help. For reasons I don't know, she didn't answer until we asked if we should leave her alone. To that question she nodded her head. The cyclist and I shrugged our shoulders and went on our way.

I crossed the ramp to 181st St and began the climb from Plaza Lafayette to Fort Washington Ave. When I got to the top, I seriously considered throwing in the towel and hopping on one of the Jitneys back to my house. I pushed on, down 178 St. and began the climb up to the bridge. By the time I got to the top, my legs felt like jello and I didn't have much left in me. Somehow I made it to the end and drained the remainder of my Gatorade.

The heat was a real factor in today's run. It was hot as hell out there! I thought the temps were supposed to get cooler not warmer. Here are the mile splits from today's run:
Mile 1: 9:47
Mile 2: 11:02 (we got a little lost finding our way to the greenway)
Mile 3: 9:21
Mile 4: 9:00
Mile 5: 9:01
Mile 6: 8:41
Mile 7: 8:57
Mile 8: 9:20
Mile 9: 8:18 (what the hell happend here?)
Mile 10: 8:35
Mile 11: 8:56
Mile 12: 8:52
Mile 13: 9:92
Mile 14: 10:21 (this is where I stopped to help the fellow runner)
Mile 15: 9:07 (this last mile felt a lot longer)
Avg. Pace: 9:14/per mile

Friday, September 12, 2008

Thursday Night's Speed Workout, Today's Run, and a Day of Wellness

Thursday night's speed workout consisted of 6 X 1/2 mile repeats starting on the East Drvie of Central Park at 99th St. We ran up to the 102nd St. Transverse and finished on the West Side of the transverse. After 1 mile warmup jog from the School to the 99th st. I began my first interval with the 7:30 - 8:00 minute/mile (for a 5K) group. Here are the splits for the workout:

Warmup: 1.07 miles in 9:02
Regroup: 5:23
Interval 1: 3:26
Recover: 2:36
Interval 2: 3:24
Recover: 2:51
Interval 3: 3:17
Recover: 2:38
Interval 4: 3:21
Recover: 3:20
Interval 5: 3:14
Recover: 2:46
Interval 6: 3:19
Recover: 2:06
Cool Down: 1.07 miles in 9.01
Total: 5.28 miles. Avg. Pace was 10:57 but that was becuase of the recovery times between intervals.

Today's objective was to get some solid recovery miles in. I woke up about 5:15, drank some water, had half a roll and headed out around 6:10. I wanted to keep it simple today so I decied to run loops in Votee Park. The loop is ~1.2 miles. I did 6 loops and ran home for a total of 7.85 miles in 1:04:27 which comes out t a 8:13 pace. I ended the week with 37.81 miles. I would have hot 40 if I didn't miss my run on Tuesday.

After the run, I showered, ate, and went to my chiropractor. He has really done wonders for me. I am pretty much pain free and much healthier because I go for frequent adjustments.

This is usually the point in my training cycle that I feel the need for a sports massage. My wfe found a massage therapist who make house calls. I must admit, some of it was painful, but I felt better after the hour. All in all it was a good day. I am feeling strong, motivated, and ready to tackle the next 6 weeks.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

7 Years Ago Today

19 hijackers took control of 4 planes. The hijackers flew 2 of the planes, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Ailines Flight 175 into the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center. American Airlines Flight 77 was flown into the Pentagon. United Airlines Flight 93 crashed near Shanksville, PA.

I exited the A Train station at Broaway-Nassau St. as I usually do to what I hoped to be a fairly routine day at the office. As I got closer to the street I noticed a large group of people congregating on the corner looking up at a burning WTC tower. As we all stood there in shock, a 2nd plane crashed into the 2nd WTC tower.

I still carry that image with me. It's that image that still causes me to freak out when I see low flying planes. It's that image that still causes me to freak out at the sound of fireworks. Every day as I commute to and from work via the Lincoln Tunnel, my heart races praying that my bus makes it out safely.

It is because of that day that I make an effort to tell my family how much they mean to me and how much I appreciate them. It is because of that day that I try to do more acts of kindness and be a better person.

Never Forget

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Typical Lunchtime Run

Today during lunch, 4 of us went of for an easy run, I work in lower Manhattan so the typical lunchtime route usually involves going over the Brooklyn Bridge and back to the office via the Manhattan Bridge. It's about a 4.6 mile run. Today's run was a little slower than usual since there were 2 beginner runners in the group. Nothing would hurt me more than for them to get discouraged and stop running because the people they are running with are too fast. I was happy to get them through the run at a slower pace so that they look forward to the next lunchtime run.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

No Running Today

I was out of the office today for some training so I could not get my lunchtime run in. Since I allow 2 rest days, I must force myself to run Friday morning. I'm usually pretty wiped out after my Thursday night speed workout but I will force myself to get out of bed.

Just a note about the Runner's Recipe of the Week....please provide feedback! This is something new that I thought I would try. It combines both my hobbies, cooking and running. Since I'm always hungry, my wife is always looking for new things to satitiate my hunger. Also, if you have a recipe you would like to share or would like my wife to analyze please post them in the comments.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Runner's Recipe of the Week

Since Monday is a cross-training day (at least until after MCM), I thought I would introduce something new, The Runner's Recipe of the Week. Each Monday I will be posting a new recipe that is runner friendly. In addition to the recipe, a detailed nutritional breakdown will be given and when in a runner's training cycle, i.e., pre-race, recovery, carbo-loading, etc... My wife, who is Registered Dietitian, will be doing most of the work of this post. Nutritional analysis is courtesy of NutritionData.

With that introduction, I present to you Ansky's Noodle Meat. Don't worry, not all of the recipe's will begin with "Ansky." Our friend Heather named this one after her family devoured it at our house.

What You'll Need:

Serving Size is 1 cup/serving
Recipe yields 30 servings

Noodles, egg, dry, enriched
2 bags (12 oz)

Onions, raw
1 slice, large (1/4" thick)

Soup, tomato, canned, condensed--reduced sodium
4.0 cans (10.7 oz each or 303 g total)

Water, tap, drinking
42.8 fl oz (4 cans of water)


Saute Onion add beef until brown. Add soup and 2 cans of water. Let Cook in pan 11/2 hours or until meat is tender. Cook 2 bags of noodles separately then drain. Add noodles to meat, mix well, cook in oven at 350* for additional 35 minutes.

The website has relevant nutritional information regarding this recipe. This particular recipe is very balanced between carbohydrates, protein, and fat. It is not for carbohydrate loading in your training cycle, although it does have a pasta base. One should note that meals with a balance of carbohydrates and protein have a lower glycemic index which is very good for blood glucose control and avoids the sharp elevations of insulin that carbohydrate loading can produce. Even a non-diabetic should watch out for foods with too high a glycemic index, because the constant strain of putting out insulin to accomodate is not healthy, and has been known to lead to pre-diabetes/poor blood sugar control.

On the other hand, when you eat a meal that has a higher percentage of protein, you must hydrate properly. Flushing your kidneys post meal is essential to release the break-down products that can build up when there is a higher consumption of protein. That said, this happens to be one of those meals--good for blood sugar and insulin control, not as good for your kidneys. Drink water!

Right now I am not going to discuss amount of calories you should consume, the website that calculated the nutritional analysis of the recipe can help you with that, but I will address 'when' in your training such a meal is appropriate. There is a super-compensation period before you run the marathon. This happens the week before--you start the week at 60% in total carbohydrate calories, then taper it down to 40% days 2-4 in that week. In the last 3 days before the marathon, you increase the total carbohydrate back to 70% --this is also known as 'carbohydrate loading.' This is a really good recipe to consume in that 40% period, when you taper down the amount of carbhoydrates you consume.

In general, this is a good plan before any long run such as a 20 mile run, you must, and I repeat, you must replenesh your carboydrates following these long runs--increase to 75% of total calories from carbohydrates. And, make sure that you are taking multivitamins. Please make sure that you also consume adequate protein in the form of lean meat, poultry, fish, and pork. These are essential in boosting your immune system so that you can fight viruses that you may easily pick up after you tax your body to such extremes. With the proper planning, proper nutritional intake, your body will recooperate well, and you will be prepared for your next marathon!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

20 Miles

Today was the first of 2 20 mile training runs before MCM. One thing I've been struggling this training cycle has been th mental aspect of training. Up until today, most of my long runs have been done alone. I would set out early in the morning and it would be just me and the road. Occasionally, I would see someone out watering their lawn or someone out for a bike ride. But for the most part, I would be alone. I was having a tough time staying focused.

After my 14.2 mile training run last Sunday, I realized that I need to run with and be around people more during long runs. I called Rich from OnTrack Activewear and he hooked me up with a group that meets every Sunday, in various locations, for a long run. Today I met the group in Central Park, NYC. There were about 6 in the group all training for different fall marathons. I was immediately introduced to someone who runs around my pace and off we went for 3+ laps of lovely Central Park.

I never realized what a difference having company on a long run makes. The 20 miles went very smoothly and I had no problems staying focused. 20 miles is never easy (especially in Central Park) but having company helped passed the time. A little over 3 hours later I was done with my 20 miles. Here are my mile splits:

Mile 1: 1o:05
Mile 2: 9:26
Mile 3: 9:13
Mile 4: 9:28
Mile 5: 9:02
Mile 6: 10:05
Mile 7: 8:43
Mile 8: 8:55
Mile 9: 8:36
Mile 10: 8:46
Mile 11: 9:08
Mile 12: 10:36
Mile 13: 8:40
Mile 14: 8:54
Mile 15: 9:11
Mile 16: 8:53
Mile 17: 11:50
Mile 18: 8:44
Mile 19: 8:25
Mile 20: 8:45

After stretching, I headed home, hopped in the shower, wolfed down a bagel and grapefruit I headed to my daughter's school for a carnival. I had daddy duty for the carnival since my wife was selling Jewelry at the boutique. By the end of the carnival I was spent.

The good thing about marathon training is that I can eat pretty much anything I want and not feel guilty. Today was no exception, I had 2nd bagel on the way to the carnival. Once I got to the carnival, I had a burger. About an hour later I had a hot dog. For dinner I had a very generous helping of chicken with string beans with brown rice and 3 steamed vegetable dumplings. Later in the evening I had bowl of Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Pasta with marinara sauce and a cup of ginger tea.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

So You're Probably All Wondering.....

what the hell is ANSKY? Well, without giving out too much personal information....since my first name starts with "A" and my last name ends in "SKY" and I am Yankees fan, my friends drew inspiration from this.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Bear With Me

This is my first foray into the world of blogging. I read of plenty of blogs, but this is first time creating one of my own.

A little bit about me....I am 35 living in Bergen County, NJ. My wife and I just celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary on September 1. We have a 7 year old daughter who just started 2nd grade on Wednesday.

My sports allegiances are to the New York Yankees, New York Rangers, and NY Giants. I'm not much of an NBA fan. My hobbies include cooking and running. I am currently training for the Marine Corps Marthon (MCM) on October 26. I know, most people start blogs at the beginning of a marathon training to share the highs and lows of training. I'm a little late, in that regard but I do hope to share with you my highs and lows leading up to MCM as well as any other thoughts, rants, and raves I might have about other subjects.

That's it for now more to come later....