Thursday, December 31, 2009

Totals for 2009

I ran my last miles for 2009 yesterday. I closed out 2009 by cross training at the gym today. So here are my totals 2009:

Total Number of Runs: 157
Total Miles: 1,026.1mi.
Total Time: 142:09:36

Avg.Distance 6.5mi.
Avg. Time: 54:19
Avg. Pace/mile: 8:18

I'm still working on my goals and racing plans (at least for the spring racing season) for 2010.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Winter Treat

Today we were blessed with one of those rare warm winter days. When I turned on the TV to check the weather, I couldn't believe my eyes 53 degrees at 7:00 a.m. I had to check a few channels just to make sure I wasn't dreaming.All the local channels confirmed the mild weather. I layed out a cold weather outfit the night before so I had to go upstairs quietly, so not to wake the family, and pull out a pair of shorts and a long-sleeve tech shirt. It's always a treat being able to run in shorts during the winter. We don't get too many of those days so I wanted to take advantage of it and run long.

I chose a particularly hilly course so my legs would be used to the hills of Central Park when I run the Manhattan Half Marathon on January 24. I had no pace in mind and all I knew I wanted to run more than 10 miles. My only mistake was not bringing a GU with me. I had 20oz. of Gatorade with me but a gel might have made to run a little less painful. My quads were hurting from the hills but I expected nothing less.As I got close to home I took a peek at my Garmin and saw that I was a few tenths of a mile short of 13.1. I ran up and down some local streets until I hit 13.1. Stats for today's run: 13.1 in 1:50:08 (8:23/mi). I'm pretty thrilled about this considering I haven't run this far since August 2.

I haven't started working on my training plan for the Pocono Mountain Marathon on May 16. I know I will have a good base since the Manhattan Half is the first official day of my 18 week training cycle. I'll talk about this more later but I know I will have train my legs for a net downhill race. It should be interesting and challenging. Bring it on!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

1,000



While many of you were sleeping soundly or unwrapping presents Friday morning, this Jewish running addict ran his 1,000th mile for 2009. I consider this a pretty big accomplishment considering I took a week off in January (family vacation), a week off to find my mojo, a week off to get over the summertime blues, missed 6 weeks in September and October with a fractured rib, and missed other runs because of religious observances. I also only ran 1 marathon in the spring so my weekly mileage was not as high during the second half of the year.

Thanks for coming along for the ride. I can't wait for 2010.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

2009: The Year in Review


At the end of 2008 I laid out some goals for this year. Let's see how I did:

Stay healthy through the winter so I can run the New Jersey Marathon on May 3.
CHECK! Aside from a minor calf strain 4 weeks before the marathon I did stay healthy, no other injuries or illnesses to speak of. My training went very well. I started doing winter speedwork with the Nike pacers and got to race day feeling strong and confident.

I would like to race more.
CHECK! In 2008 I ran no more than 5 or 6 races. This year I ran 8. All but the Achilles Hope & Possibility 5 miler were non-NYRR races. A secondary goal was to run more local run races, so CHECK to that as well. I set new PRs  in the first 4 races that I ran: Fair Lawn Sunrise Rotary 1st Day 5k (22:46, 1/1/09), Prospect Park Track Club Cherry Tree 10 Miler (1:19:50, 2/22/09), New Jersey Marathon (3:52:54, 5/3/09), and the Achilles Hope & Possibility 5 miler (36:55, 6/28/09). In September I bested my 10 PR by 2 seconds at the South Nyack 10 miler (1:19:48, 9/13/09).

Continue to focus on nutrition and overall good health.
CHECK! With the help Mrs. Ansky, RD I practiced better eating habits (the occasional bowl ice cream included). I learned what foods work for me before a race or long-run (whole wheat english muffin with peanut butter) and for recovery (oatmeal, choclate milk, omlets).

Get faster
PUSH. I did set 4 new PRs this year but...I didn't run a sub-1:50 half or a sub 3:50 full. I'm hoping that I'll be able to accomplish both in 2010.


Other Highlights and Lowlights of 2009
Excluding the PRs, the highlight of 2009 was my run to Yankee Stadium. I decided to have some fun on that Sunday in August. Rather than going with my buddies in the car, I traveled to the Stadium on foot and met them in the parking lot.

The other highlight was meeting some amazing new people.At first we were all like minded runners writing about our running in and around New York City.We only knew each other in the virtual world, Blogspot, Wordpress, Facebook, and Twitter. Then we decided to meet up in person, at Nike Speed, at races, and then at Tweet-up runs. Now, we are not only fellow runners, we are also friends.

The big lowlight of 2009 was my fractured rib. I missed about 6 weeks of running and had to drop out of my fall half-marathon. I learned a lot during that time. I was beyond frustrated that I couldn't run but my time off the roads allowed me to help others accomplish their goals. Trea was training for her first half marathon during this time and she was very nervous about being to finish what she started. This was a way for me to stay involved in the running community while not running myself. BTW...Trea ROCKED her first half marathon, finishing in 2:00:xx.

Lesson Learned
I learned to listen to my body this year. During the year, I lost my mojo and had the summertime blues. Both times, running just wasn't fun. I was going through the motions and felt like my running had no purpose. I took a week off both time to re-focus.

I also took a week off while on vacation with my family. I wanted to enjoy the time with my family and not worried about getting my miles in. Bottom line, it's OK to take a week off. Nothing will happen.

So there you have it. 2009 certainly wasn't perfect, it had its highs and lows. The important thing is, I'm ending 2009 on a high note. It took me a while to fully recover from my rib injury but I'm finally feeling strong heading into 2010.

Thank you all for reading and commenting on the blog. Best wishes for a Happy Holiday season. 2010 should be a safe, prosperous, and healthy year for all of us.

Happy Holidays!




To all of my readers who are celebrating, best wishes for a Merry Christmas to you and your families.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Safety First



Winter finally showed it's ugly face by dumping 8 inches of snow on my town (some place got a lot more) Saturday night into Sunday. Once the snow stopped, plows started coming through and pushing the snow to sides of the streets and many sidewalks were not yet shoveled. I needed to get some miles in, so rather than playing chicken with the plows, I moseyed over to the gym for a treadmill run. I wasn't looking forward to doing 7 miles on a treadmill but I took Matt's advice and kept an open mind. Thanks to the Run Run Live and Run Digger Run Podcasts, the experience wasn't so bad. I finished the 7 mile in 57:19 for an 8:11 pace.

Last night as I was walking home from the bus stop, I made sure to look at the conditions of the roads and sidewalks. There was still lots of snow on the side of the street and the most people did a bare bones shoveling. On top of that, people started to park their cars on the street again instead of in their driveways. WHY????? YOUR HOUSE HAS A DRIVEWAY PLEASE USE IT!!!!

All of these factors, coupled with the fact that I run in early in the morning when it's still dark, do not make for very safe running conditions. So this morning, I went back to gym for a 4.5 mile tempo run on the treadmill. Fortunately, I had Brandon's newest podcast to keep me company. I did today's run (4.5mi) in 34:55 for an 7:45 pace. I hope I'll be able to get out for my other mid-week runs, if I can't, it's OK too. I don't want to risk slipping or something worse. I am thinking about getting a pair of Yaktrax but they wouldn't solve this particular problem. The streets are in good condition, the bottom line is, it's not safe. Between the snow, the parked cars, and the cars on the road, there isn't enough room for me to run.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Chanukah Special: 8 Things I Love About Runing


Night 8: Camaraderie

I know, I know, on the first night I wrote about how much I loved the solitude of my weekend long runs and most of my early morning runs. I believe there is a place for enjoying the solitude of a weekend long and  for running with company. Whether it's a small local 5k or the New York City Marathon, there is no better feeling than race day. The energy on race day is amazing. After I ran the New York City Marathon in 2007, people asked me if I ran with anyone I knew. My response was, "I ran with 38,000 of my closest friends." I am sure that most us have made conversation with total strangers during a road race.

The Nike Speed sessions is another place where I've enjoyed the company of other runners. I just can't see myself being able to run intervals at the right pace if I were running solo. The coaches are great motivators and give advice about form and breathing. The other runners in my group were also great company. We would provide motivation during a tough part of the workout and high five each other afterward.

The popularity of blogs, Facebook, and Twitter have made it even easier to meet new runners. I've participated in a few Tweet-up runs in New York. It's a pretty amazing thing. Up until a few weeks or months ago, these were people I only knew in a virtual world. Now groups of us are meeting up on a pretty regular basis. Running on the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, from Midtown to Battery Park, and in Central Park.

As tonight is the last night of Chanukah, this will be the last post in this special series. I had a lot of fun putting this together. I hope you enjoyed it. Please leave a comment letting me know what you think or what aspects you love about running that I didn't write about. I hope to do more of these special series in the future. For now, it's back to writing my everyday running and whatever else comes to mind.

Happy Chanukah!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Chanukah Special: 8 Things I Love About Running


Night 7: You Can Do It Anywhere

Running is one of those hobbies you can do almost anywhere. I can walk out my front door and run, if I'm on vacation, I can walk out of my hotel room and run, and it's not weather or time dependent. Skiers need snow, scuba divers usually need to travel to exotic locales, golfers can only play on a course or at a driving range. In it's simplest form, all you need are shoes, shirt, and shorts. No bulky equipment to schlep.

Whenever I run away from home, I look forward to uploading the map of my run from my Garmin. I look at as a memento from my travels. It sure beats any t-shirt, snow globe, or other item that I would otherwise buy in a gift shop.

Happy Chanukah!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Chanukah Special: 8 Things I Love About Running


Night 6: The Sense of Accomplishment

Most of you can remember the exact finishing time of your marathon (mine was 4:21:57, NYC 2007). I also remember the wave of emotions as the finish line in Central Park came into view. A small part of me was saying "thank good that's over. What the hell was I thinking?" A bigger part of me was on the verge of tears and was saying "Holy Shit, I just ran my first marathon!" It wasn't until later that night for the sense of accomplishment to hit me. I reaped the benefits of the long runs, speed work, and hill repeats. The training schedule that was mounted on my fridge for the past 18 weeks had all come together. 

This sense accomplishment isn't limited to your first marathon. Setting a new PR at any race distance, conquering a particular hill, running your first sub-whatever mile, are all major accomplishments. Brandon became an Ironman this year, Allan did his first triathlon, Sarah ran her first 100 mille race, and Allen qualified for Boston.  I could go on and on. The point is, be proud of of what you accomplish, it is one of the many motivating factors that gets us out the door each and every day.

As 2009 comes to end, us running bloggers will devote a post or two about what we accomplished in 2009. I know I will be sharing mine before the sun rises on 2010. It's also not too early to think about what you want to accomplish in 2010.

Happy Chanukah!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Chanukah Special: 8 Things I Love About Running

Night 5:  Being Fit


Even though I was very active in high school and in college, I always carried some extra weight around my belly. I paid no attention to my diet. I ate with reckless abandon. Pizza, fries, burgers, fried chicken, etc... I always wore baggy clothes to hide the extra weight. It wasn't until I took up running when things started to change. My clothes were even baggier and my body was not happy when I ate large amounts of fried foods. Friends and family began to comment that I was beginning to look good. Yes, I was losing weight but more importantly, I was losing inches. A few summers ago, my family was doing some outlet shopping and I was trying on polo shirts. Out of habit, I went for the large, too big. Medium, too big. Small, just right. I can't remember the last time I wore a size small.

Being fit isn't only about looking good in your clothes. It's also about how you feel. I started paying more attention to my diet. I had help from Mrs. Ansky, who not only is my wife, she is also my dietitian. I learned the words "in moderation," "lean proteins," "whole grains," and "complex carbohydrates." Not too long ago we had a fire drill at work. Part of the drill involved taking the stairs down to the lobby instead of the elevator. Many of my co-workers, were huffing and puffing after a few flights. After the drill, everyone was waiting in the lobby for the elevator. I decided to take the stairs. No problem, not even a little winded. A good friend's father is still running marathons well into his 70's. I you saw him, you would think he is his early 60s. Every time he is in town I say that I hope to keep running marathons when I'm in my 70s.

Happy Chanukah! 

Monday, December 14, 2009

Chanukah Special: 8 Things I Love About Running


Night 4:  Seeing Places From a Different Perspective

Most of us fail to notice to our surroundings are we are speeding by in our cars. Being out on a run affords us an opportunity to not only take notice but also to appreciate our neighborhoods. As most of you know by now, I do almost all of my running early in the morning before I leave for work. One of the many things I love about running during the pre-dawn hours is being able to see my neighborhood wake up. I notice so many things about my neighborhood that I otherwise would not have had noticed had I not been on foot. Houses being built, being put on the market, construction progress of new businesses, etc...

My favorite pre-work run in New York City is on the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges. There is no better time of day to run on the bridges than early in the morning. Any runner who has done this run during lunch or after work, finds themselves dodging other walkers, runners, or tourists. Early in the morning, the views of Lower Manhattan, Lady Liberty, and Brooklyn, are amazing and there are no crowds to deal with. Regardless of how fast you run, it's hard not to take notice.

During my last run with TK, a major rain storm passed through the night before. The skies were still cloudy but traces of sun were visible in the distance. When we passed the Intrepid, she commented that the scene before us reminded her of a scene from a naval thriller (Think Hunt for Red October). Further south on the West Side Highway, she commented that even Jersey looked good. These are the types of things we notice when we're running. I doubt the same comment would be made if we were speeding down the West Side Highway at 60mph. 

Happy Chanukah!


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Chanukah Special: 8 Things I love About Running


Night 3: The Adrenaline Rush/Endorphine Addiction

Many of friends often comment that I'm addicted to running. Truth be told, they are not entirely wrong. I know that if I miss a run I'm often grumpy and difficult to be around for the rest of the day. When I broke my rib and couldn't run for 5 weeks, I was miserable. I felt like going through withdrawal. In fact I was withdrawing. My body was so used to having it's daily dose of endorphins, that when it didn't get it them, my body let me know.

There's also nothing like that adrenaline rush you get during a race, during a particularly good training run, or during an intense speed session on the track. You feel spent but it's a good kind of spent. Your body might say "STOP" but you feel like you can keep going. When I started running again after my injury, I wasn't running well and was feeling discouraged. I stuck with it, and slowly but surely, things started to click. This week, I had a great tempo run, a great run on the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, and then today I did my first double digit run in a few months. It's a great feeling when everything just comes together.

Happy Chanukah!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Chanukah Special: 8 Things I Love About Running

Night 2: Eating Anything (well, almost anything)  I want
When I am at the peak of a marathon training cycle, I am constantly eating. A handful of nuts here, a bowl of ice cream there, a cookie, you name it, I eat it (except for egg salad and melon). On more than one occasion, Mrs. Ansky has asked me what happened to the leftovers in the fridge. She's seriously considering leaving me notes "OK to eat" and "Not OK to eat." 

This is also particularly relevant this time of year. Whether you celebrate Chanukah, Christmas, or nothing at all, we find ourselves surrounded by food. Co-workers are bringing in baked goods and candy, and don't forget the holiday parties. Running alleviates a lot of the guilt many of us feel by having an extra plate at the buffet, a 2nd helping of dessert, or an extra cocktail (yes, cocktails have calories too). Our annual family Chanukah party is Sunday afternoon. I will have no problem indulging in Mom's potato latkes and a jelly doughnut or 2 especially after a 10 mile run.

Happy Chanukah!

Chanukah Special: 8 Things I Love About Running


In honor of Chanukah, I will be blogging for the next 8 days about 8 things I love about running. I have to give props to my daughter who gave me the idea. These are in no particular order, just as they came to mind.

So without further adieu, I give you the first thing I love about running: Solitude

I do many of my morning and weekend runs alone. I often tell people that when I'm out on run it's truly the only the time I have to myself. No family obligations, no work deadlines, no "honey do" lists, it's nothing but me, the road, and my thoughts. Some people look forward to a quiet Sunday morning with a cup of coffee and a newspaper before the family wakes up, that is what running is for me. During the week, it is a time when I release stress from a hard day of work the day before and prepare for myself for what that day has to bring.

Happy Chanukah!

Disclaimer: Judaism holds by a lunar calendar which means that this post should have been posted last night which was the first night of Chanukah. Since tonight is the 2nd night of Chanukah, I will be writing another post a little bit later tonight.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Happy Chanukah!









Happy Chanukah to everyone celebrating. In honor of the holiday I will attempt to blog for the next 8 days. I'm not sure what about yet, I'm open to suggestions. Please leave a comment. Chag Urim Sameach!


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

And My Spring Marathon is.....(drumroll please)




May 16, 2010


There are a few reasons why I chose this marathon:
1) It's cheap - $65 + $5.64 (Active.com processing fee). The $70.64 is cheaper than the New York City Half Marathon ($79 + $5 processing fee) and the Rutgers Half Marathon. Why anyone would pay more for a half marathon than a marathon is beyond me. 
2) It's close to home - The Poconos are less than 2 hours from my house in NJ.
3) I have an offer for weekend hospitality from a friend who will remain nameless.  
4) I can cross Pennsylvania off from the list of states I've run marathons in. 
5) Proceeds from the race benefit the Monroe County Chapter of the American red Cross and will go directly to help the disaster relief program.


This is going to be a much different marathon experience. Last year's race had 411 finishers. My previous 3 marathons were much larger (NYC 2007, Marine Corps 2008, NJ 2009). Chances are I will be running large chunks of the Pocono Marathon alone. I'm not too concerned since I do most of my training alone. However, the energy that comes along with larger races will be missed. 

Lastly, the Pocono Marathon has a reputation of being a "downhill" race. As indicated by the elevation profile, there is a net decline in elevation

  but, based on what I've heard from people who have run the race and from the reviews on Marathonguide, there are rolling hills in the second half of the race that can beat you up if your are not prepared for them.

So there you have it. Training officially begins on January 24, which happens to be the day I will be running the Manhattan Half Marathon. What better way to kick off my training than than with a winter half marathon in the hills Central Park.


Stay Tuned.....

Monday, December 7, 2009

My Kind of Weather

The weather gods teased the Northeast with some snow on Saturday. No major accumulation just enough to cover my lawn and to get everyone complaining about how much they hate winter. Truth be told, I have a love-hate relationship with old man winter. I can certainly do without the shoveling, scraping ice off the car, and juggling work schedules becuase daughter has a snow day.

When it comes to running, the cold weather is my friend. Safety always comes first, so if the roads are not safe because of ice or snow I won't chance it. This morning however, I was chomping at the bit to get out there. I put on my tights, compression base layer, half-zip pullover, fleece hat, and warm gloves and headed out around 5:45. There were some icy spots on the road but nothing dangerous that forced me to turn around and go home. I haven't run more than 10k since coming back from my injury so I was hoping for 7 or 8 miles today. I love running around my neighborhood in the early morning. I get to see the town wake up. Papers are getting delivered, people getting making their morning bagel and coffee runs (no pun intended), dogs getting walked, you get the picture. I ran 7.74mi in 1:05:26 (8:27 pace).

The cold air felt invigorating. I find that the cold air is better for my asthma than warmer air. During Tuesday night's Tweet-up run, EG mentioned how she's never trained thorugh the winter for a spirng marathon (she will be running Boston in April). I told her that I prefer to train in the winter. As long as you dress right, the cold should not be a problem. There is nothing you can do to make yourself feel cooler when it's 90 degrees and 100% humidity. So I'll leave you with this, don't be afraid of cold weather. Get yourself some quality cold weather running gear, get out there, and enjoy it.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

From the Archives: "What's Ansky?"

Many of you have asked me recently the origin of "Ansky." I wrote about this in my 2nd ever blog post in 2008. Since this blog was not very popular back then, I'm reposting that post for your enjoyment.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
So You're Probably All Wondering..... 

what the hell is ANSKY? Well, if you remember this Addidas commercial from the late 90s:


without giving out too much personal information....since my first name starts with "A" and my last name ends in "NSKY" and I am a rabid Yankees fan, my friends deemed me "Ansky."

Any Questions?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Enjoying the Concrete Jungle

The last time I ran in NYC I broke a rib and couldn't run for 5 weeks.Since I started running again in October, I've been doing early morning runs around my neighborhood in NJ. So you can imagine my excitement when the makings of a NYC Tweet-up run in Central Park started to take shape. For those of you not on Twitter, a Tweet-up is a get together of people you follow on Twitter. I'll digress for a minute by saying that if you have a hobby/passion/obsession etc... you should definitely check out Twitter. Whether you are a runner, knitter, chef, scotch drinker, etc.. there are plenty of like- minded Tweeters to share ideas with and get advice from.

We agreed that we would meet last Tuesday, Dec. 1 at Bethesda Fountain in Central Park. Before heading over to the park I met up with some fellow Tweeters at the New York Sports Club on 73rd between Central Park West and Columbus to stash my stuff. nycbklyngirl, NYCe, bklynrunner, lady_southpaw, and myself headed over to Central Park to meet up with the others. Waiting for us were: pigtailsflying, agaliza, sclevine, speedysasquatch, mikejoconnor (who was in from MA on business). It was a clear and chilly night in the city. The city looked great, all decked out for the holidays. Running in Central Park is always a treat. It's a runners haven in the middle of the concrete jungle that is New York City. Since I don't live in the City, I forgot how tough CP is. Yes, there is Cat Hill on the East Side and Harlem Hill at the north end of the park, but I forgot about the rolling hills on the west side of the Park. For some strange reason these felt the toughest. I paid no attention to my Garmin, the point of the run was to meet new friends. During the run, we started talking about how much fun we were having and we need to do this more often.

Well, fast foward to Thursday morning. TK, AKA, pigtailsflying, and I met up at 48th and the West Side Highway for a morning run. While I was waiting, I took this picture of the Intrepid decked out in holiday lights.
Took yesterday waiting for @pigtailsflying. Intrepid decked o... on Twitpic
It was an unusually warm December morning. So warm in fact that I was able to wear short sleeves abd shorts. The forecast was for rain and wind gusts of up to 40mph. I wore my rain jacket over my shirt. The rain never showed up but the wind certainly did. We were running south right into the wind which made the run feel harder than the actual pace. It was a fun run with good company and conversation. I dropped TK off at the subway station on Canal and Broadway and I ran down Broadway to my office in the Financial Distrcit. The West Side Greenway/Hudson River Park is another great place to run in the City. Running downtown towards my office is always a treat as there are great views of Lady Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge.

These 2 runs in the City made me realized how much I miss running in the City. With winter on the way, I have a feeling I'll be running in Central Park a lot more as it is usually clear of snow and ice. There aren't many safe place to run during the winter in my Neighborhood. Until the bad weather, I need to make an effort to run in the city more often.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Totals for November

Total number of Runs: 11
Total Time: 6:44:55
Total Distance: 49mi

Avg. Time: 36:48
Avg. Pace/mi: 8:15
Avg. Distance: 4.5mi

Are you effing kidding me? Only 49 miles for the month? WTF?????

Monday, November 30, 2009

What Life is All About

This past weekend, my wife and I celebrated the bar mitzvah of the son of good friends. For those of you that don't know, when a Jewish boy reaches the age of 13 he enters in adulthood and is obligated to observe the laws and commandments passed down from generation to generation.

I try not to get too emotional or philosophical on this blog, but something struck me about this weekend's celebration that I need to write about. The Rabbi's wife mentioned to my wife that what makes a successful celebration is not how much money someone spends on the affair, but the people are what make the celebration memorable. We have been to many Bar/Bat Mitzvahs and weddings where the guests were "not that into it." Rather than dancing many  guests will sit at their table and schmooze. At this past weekend's celebration, everyone was into it. People sat and schmoozed when dinner was served, but for the most part everyone was singing, dancing, and doing everything they could to help make the celebration memorable for the Bar Mitzvah boy and his family.

Here is where I get philosophical, as I get ready to celebrate my 37th year on this planet, I am realizing more and more the importance of celebrating happy occasions with friends and family. We have friends and relatives who have recently lost a loved one, been out of work and have a family to support, and some are dealing with health problems. Regardless of the challenges you are facing in life, take the time celebrate the happy occasions that come your way. You don't have to celebrate with elaborate parties, a beer with friends, a phone call, an update to your Facebook status, or a Tweet on Twitter is good enough.

At Jewish celebrations, and sometimes during the 7 day mourning period know as Shiva, it is customary to say "may we continue celebrating happy occasions together in the future." When we I got home from the Bar Mitzvah, I included this saying in my Facebook status. A colleague from work commented that this is what life is all about, being able celebrate good times with family and friends.

Indeed it is.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving

On Wednesday, I was having a conversation with some co-workers about the types of foods they eat on Thanksgiving. I found it interesting that everyone does eat turkey but also incorporates cultural foods into their meal as well. A Latino co-worker has rice and beans, an African-American with Southern roots has macaroni and cheese and collard greens, the Italians I work with have different pasta dishes. So leave it to my mother to include Matza Balls, the quintessential Jewish food, into our Thanksgiving meal. However, instead of serving them in the traditional chicken soup, Mom made this unbelievable curried carrot and parsnip soup. Instead of the dumplings, we had Matza Balls.

 
Bubby, my 98-year old grandmother, who still lives on her own in the Lower East Side of Manhattan brought some Lower East barrel pickles and sour cherry tomatoes

and a cabbage roll


After the soup and sour stuff, it was time for turkey, dressing (stuffing prepared outside of the bird), cranberry sauce, rice, and brussels sprouts.

The bird before carving


The bird after my brother took a knife to it



The Dressing




I didn't take pictures of the cranberry, rice, or sprouts. We also enjoyed some good kosher wines








During dinner we spoke about what we were thankful for. We all mentioned family, friends, our health, and being able to practice our religion the way we choose to without fear of persecution. My dad said it best, he was thankful for the 4 generations of our family being able to have Thanksgiving together, Bubby (my dad's mother), my parents, my brother and myself (and our wives), and my daughter, and niece (Bubby's great-grandchildren).

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Race Report: Dick Meighan Memorial Thanksgiving Day 5k



I had no expectations for today's turkey trot. I haven't been running well the past few weeks. My last 5k was a struggle and I was having a hard getting myself motivated to run every day. Truthfully, my only goal for today's race was to have fun.

Everyone was in a festive mood. The local high school track and cross-country teams were sporting their colors and preparing for some friendly competition. Moms and dads were out with their children. A few were proudly wearing their 2009 Philadelphia Marathon shirts.

And then there was me, I was never on a high school track or cross-country team, I wasn't there with my daughter (she was still in bed when I left) and I wasn't sporting a recent marathon shirt. I was there simply because I'm a runner and runners should be trotting on Thanksgiving.

The horn went off a little after 9 and off I went with the masses. I definitely struggled with the hills and I couldn't find my finishing kick when I made the final turn towards the finish line. I crossed the line in 23:39 which is about a minute slower than my PR. But that's not important. What is important is that my splits were 7:40, 7:28, 7:28 which are the fastest miles, I've cranked out since my injury. Not that they felt effortless, but running at that speed didn't feel like a struggle. It's just good to know that my speed is finally on the way back.

Congrats to everyone who trotted today. I will write about my Thanksgiving meal in a separate post. I want to end by saying thank you for reading and for your continued support and encouragement. The running community on Facebook and Twitter is one of the many things that I am thankful for this year.

Update: The official results were recently posted, here you go:
Chip Time: 23:39
Pace: 7:43
Overall Place: 326/1779
Gender Place: 260/988
AG Place: 12/88

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Race Report: Damon Runyon 5k at Yankee Stadium

The last time I was in Yankee Stadium was on November 4 when the Yankees won their 27th World Series Title. 11 days later I returned with 2,499 other runners for the Damon Runyon 5k at Yankee Stadium. All donations raised went directly to the most brilliant young scientists in the nation funded by the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation.

Up until a few days ago I had no idea how a 5k could possibly be staged entirely inside Yankee Stadium. Yes, the race organizers gave us some hints. They told us that runners would get to run on the field, run around concourses, and up steps between levels. Then a few days before the race we get an e-mail with the final event details. In that e-mail the described what was in store for us:
START LINE on the 100 level concourse, near Section 120
• Run/walk two laps around the 100 level concourse
• After second lap, near Section 126, turn left behind concessions, then take ramp to sub-zero level
• Run/walk through the sub-zero level
• Exit the sub-zero level between the Bullpen and Monument Park, turn right onto warning track
• Run/walk two laps around the warning track that circles the field
• Exit warning track to the right, return to sub-zero level
• Run/walk back through sub-zero level, turn left toward right field stairs
• Climb 103 steps to 200 level concourse -
• Run/walk the length of the 200 level concourse toward left field stairs (near Section 234)
• Climb 64 steps to 300 level concourse
• Run/walk the length of the 300 level concourse
• At Section 310, turn right down ramp near Gate 6, then take ramp down to the Great Hall
• Run/walk short distance through Great Hall (please stay to your right)
• Turn right up the Great Hall stairs to 200 level concourse
• Climb 55 steps to 200 level concourse
• Run/walk the length of the 200 level concourse toward left field stairs (near Section 234)
• Climb 64 steps to 300 level concourse
• Run/walk the length of the 300 level concourse
• At Section 310, turn right down ramp near Gate 6, then take ramp down to the Great Hall
• Run/walk short distance through to FINISH LINE in Great Hall (please stay to your left)

As you can see it's not your typical 5k road race course. I have to be honest, I was quite nervous about having to climb all of those steps, especially 103 at one time.

To avoid crowding during the event, staggered starts were used. Every 30 minutes another 250 runners/walkers were allowed to participate. I was in the 3rd wave which went off around 10:00. The first 2 laps around the 100 section went pretty smoothly. I felt pretty good considering how badly I struggled at last week's 5k and that just a few days ago I left work early with a fever and sinusitis. Anyway, I made the left and down the ramp to the sub-zero section. After running for a bit in what I called the catacombs of Yankee Stadium I see this light at the end of the tunnel and the next thing I know I'm on the warning track of Yankee Stadium. I attempted to take a video of my 2 laps but something went wrong and it didn't work. It was pretty surreal running not too far from where the Yankees were celebrating just 11 days ago. The final line score from Game 6 was still on the outfield scoreboard and the World Series logos were still faintly visible on the first and third base sides of the field. The one thing I regret is not stopping to take pictures while on the field. I guess that's the competitive runner in me. I knew I wanted to have fun today but I just couldn't bring myself to stop running in the middle of a race and take pictures.

After the 2 laps of the warning track came the dreaded 103 steps up to the 200 level and the rest of course as described earlier. I'll admit I had a hard time with the steps, as did many of the runners. At this point the course got a little confusing but the volunteers made sure everyone went in the right direction. I did keep track of my time, finishing the course in an unofficial time of 27:14. After the race, I hung out with my friend MB's family who was hanging out in the Delta 360 Main Level Suite that was made available to all participants and spectators. Congrats to my friend MB who started in a later wave and finished in under 34:00.

As an added bonus, I got to meet Twitter buddy, Eva, who  having a great time and took the time to take pictures and enjoy the event.

Thank you to the staff of the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, the volunteers, and the New York Yankees for opening the Stadium. I can't wait to do it again next year.

I'll mention one last time that it is not too late to make a contribution in support of my run. On-line donations will be accepted through December 18. If you have the means to do so, a contribution of any amount in support of my run is greatly appreciated. On-line donations can be made by clicking here.

Update: Official results were posted a few days ago. Not that I care but here are my official results:
Chip time: 27:11
Pace: 8:46
Overall Place 221 out of 2,026
Gender Place: 168 out of 995

Also, I wanted to share picture of how the race looked on my Garmin 305. I did lose the signal a few times so it's only a partial but it's good enough.



Saturday, November 14, 2009

Book Review "A Race Like No Other: 26.2 Miles Through the Streets of New York" By Liz Robbins

I recently finished reading "A Race Like No Other: 26.2 Miles Through the Street of New York." by Liz Robbins. Ms. Robbins has been a sportswriter for seventeen years—the last nine at the New York Times—she has covered marathons, the Olympics, tennis, and the NBA.

In "A Race Like No Other," Ms. Robbins tells the story of the 2007 New York City Marathon, which happened to be my first marathon. I finished that race in 4:21:57. The book intertwines the stories of the elite runners and "ordinary" runners with something to prove. We learn about Pam Rickard, a recovering alcoholic from Virginia, Harrie Baskt, a cancer survivor from Riverdale, New York, and many others. We are introduced to ordinary New Yorkers like Carmine Santoli who has been overseeing the same aid station in Brooklyn for 27 marathons and NYPD Officer John Codiglia who has been shouting words of encouragement to runners on the far corner of 7th Avenue and Central Park South. Lastly, we meet the likes of Percy Sutton, Ted Corbitt, and Fred Lebow who laid the foundation for what the New York City Marathon is today.

Ms. Robbins does a great job describing everything that makes the New York City Marathon the best race in the world. I could not put this book down. I found myself wanting to learn more about Paula Radcliffe, Martin Lel, and who knew that Hendrick Ramaala was the "class clown" of marathoning. He takes such a loosey goosey approach to competitive marathoning.

The New York City Marathon is a race every marathoner needs to run at least once. If you need convincing read this book.

P.S. I also recommend listening to Brandon's Marathon Podcast Episode 60 where Brandon interviews Ms. Robbins and to the Runner's Roundtable Podcast Episode 56 where Joe talks with Marci (who is also mentioned in Ms. Robbins' book) about this year's New York City Marathon.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Damon Runyon 5k Run/Walk at Yankee Stadium for Cancer Research


Registration is closed but it is not too late to late to make a pledge in support of my participation in this unique event. The entire event will take place in the Stadium. Participants will run/walk the concourses and ramps, climb the stairs between levels and enjoy incredible views of the Stadium from all angles. The race ends with special access to a victory lap on the warning track circling the field where you will see the Stadium from a player’s point of view.

If you have the means to do so, please consider making a contribution. 100% of all contributions will go towards cancer research. On-line donations can be made by clicking here. Your support is appreciated.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Race Report: Westfield Garden State Plaza 5k


Today was the 5th annual Wesfield Garden State Plaza to benefit the scholarship fund of my daughter's school. I haven't been running much over the past month so I knew I wasn't in top race shape. The course was the same as last year, 1 1/2 loops of the Westfield Garden State Plaza Parking lot. Today was an unusually warm day. I'm not sure what the exact temperature was when the race started but I was overdressed in a long sleeved tech shirt..

My race went almost exactly like it did last year. I went out too fast, running the first mile in 6:48. Had I been in race shape, I might have been able to hold that but I knew I couldn't. I slowed down and ran mile 2 in 7:35. A little better, but I was still struggling. Mile 3 was 7:55. My final time was 23:43 for a 7:39 pace. When I finished my wife said to me that I had an expression on my face that she hasn't seen for a while during a 5k one of pain and discomfort. I just need to start running consistently again and my speed an endurance will come back.

This year, my 8 year old daughter decided she wanted to run the 1 mile fun run without me. She ran it with her friends and had a great time.

I don't about you, but I'm pretty convinced that the 5k is my least favorite race distance. You have to get yourself going quickly and be able to hold a fast pace. I prefer a longer distance where I can take some time to settle into my race pace.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Yankees are World Series Champions



After 9 years, the World Series Trophy returned to the Bronx. The Yankees defeated the Phillies 7-3 in Game 6 of the World Series last Wednesday night. I was fortunate enough to be at the game with my buddies. It was the first time I've seen the Yankees win the World Series in person. Needless to say, it was a special experience.

I want to share with you something that happened off the field. In the row in front of us, there were three generations of Yankees fans, a grandfather, a son, and a grandson. When the Yankee announced that Hideki Matsui tied Booby Richardson for the most RBIs (6) in a single World Series game, the grandfather turned around and said that he was 9 years old and was at that game. We all thought that was pretty cool. When the final out was recorded and the Yankees were celebrating on the field, the grandfather was glowing. It was great see him sharing that moment with the his son and grandson.

The other non-game part of the evening that impressed me was Keli O'Hara singing "God Bless America." It was freaking amazing.

I took a video of the final out with my digital camera, Nikon Coolpix 3700. The video is a little better than the ones I shared with you when the Yankees won the Pennant.

Photobucket

To wrap up, I really enjoyed my experience in the new Stadium. I was very lucky to go to as many games as I did. I was at the first night game in the Stadium, the first post season game, the first pennant, the first World Series game, and the first World Series winning game. I can't wait for next season.

Monday, November 2, 2009

How I Spent the First Sunday in November

The first Sunday in November is a special day in New York City. Many New Yorkers call it an unofficial City holiday. For those of you that don't know, the first Sunday in November is marathon Sunday in New York City. The 2007 New York City Marathon was my first marathon. I finished in 4:21:57. My times have improved since then but the New York City Marathon will always hold a special place in my heart. I don't live in the City but I do work there and run there as much as a I can.

Even though game 3 of World Series between the Yankees and Phillies ended after 1:00 a.m. due to a rain delay, I was determined to run Sunday morning. I benefited from an extra hour of sleep. I woke up at 6:00 a.m. with a spring in my step itching to get out. It was a beautiful fall day, leaves of all colors lined the streets and in honor of the race, I wore my 2007 NYC Marathon shirt. I really didn't know what to expect since I haven't been running much recently. As much as I'm enjoying them, the Yankee playoff games have been ending way too late for me to able to wake up at 5:00 for my morning run. Back to today, the run itself went pretty well. I ran 5.33 miles in 44:26 for an 8:20 pace.

But today wasn't about me, it was about the 42,000+ runners that would toe the line in Staten Island for the New York City Marathon. I'm not going to recap the men's and women's professional races. All I'll say is Deratu Tulu of Ethiopia won the women's race. Defending champion Paula Radcliffe struggled in the later miles and settled for 4th. The men's race turned out to be a great day for American distance running. American Meb Keflezighi won the race. Ryan Hall took 4th, and 4 other Americans finished in the top 10.

About halfway through the men's race my daughter, who was watching the race with me on TV, turned to me and said "Daddy, no offense, but the professional men are much faster than you." I laughed for bit and then replied "none taken."

I knew a bunch of people that ran today. I want to give shout outs to:
  • My buddy Joe, who ran his 1st marathon today. Joe didn't run this marathon for himself. He spent the day with an athlete with disability who was running his 95th marathon. Joe guided his athlete to a 5:57:37 finish today. Joe will be running his first "official" marathon on November 22 in Philadelphia.
  • Sarah Stanley who finished today 4:14:17. What makes Sarah's race so impressive is that New York was her 3 1/2 marathon in 4 weeks.
  • Co-Worker Allen finished in 3:29:55. 
  • Scott finished 4:44:05
  • Julia finished in 3:59:27
  • Tara made the trip from California and finished in 4:19:42
  • TK's little brother, battled dehydration and still managed a 4:44:16
  • Matt finished in 3:47:18
  • Laminator finished in 3:04:20
My apologies if I forgot anyone. Please leave your finishing time in the comments. Whether this was your 1st marathon or your 100th, you are all amazing and an inspiration.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Running has Taken a Back Seat

With many of the Yankee postseason games ending well after midnight, I haven't done much running recently. Thanks to a Saturday night rain out of Game 6 of the American League Championship Series, I did manage to run outside for the first time since fracturing my rib on Sunday. It felt great to get back outside. It was a cool and crisp morning so I headed over to the local park where I felt safe while it was still dark out. I finished the 5.60 mile run in 46:51. Surprisingly, that came out to a 8:21 pace. I wasn't trying to push the pace, I just wanted to be out there and run at a comfortable pace. The only other I got in this week was 4 miles on the treadmill on Wednesday. I am simply too tired from going to bed late almost every night to get up early to run. So for now, I'm enjoying the postseason and will run when I can.

Speaking of the Yankees...I've been fortunate to have been to a few playoff games this postseaon including the pennant clinching Game 6 of the ALCS and Game 1 of the World Series. I already shared with you what the atmosphere was like in the stadium when the Yankees clinched. I was hoping for a similar atmosphere on Wednesday night for Game 1. Cliff Lee and Chase Utley had other plans and the Phillies took the first World Series game in the new Stadium 6-1. Still, I can say that I was at the last World Series game in the old Stadium and the first World Series game in the new Stadium. Unfortunately, both ended in losses.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Newton Running Clinic in NYC

Brandon asked me post details about an upcoming Newton Running Clinic in New York City.

UPDATE: IT’S ON!!! SEVEN AM EST AT THE BOATHOUSE IN CENTRAL PARK

So, here are the final details:

Who: Newton Founders, Danny Abshire and Jerry Lee and the Newton Running crew
What: Free Newton Running clinic and group run. Free Newton Running hat to all who attend! (someone will be there to watch bags and such)

When: Friday, October 30, 2009 7 AM EST
Where: The Boathouse in Central Park, New York, NY (click the link)

Newton wearer/runner or not, this is a great experience and we hope to see TONS of you there!

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Yankees Win The Pennant!



Last night the New York Yankees won their 40th American League Pennant. I was at the game last night. It was the first time I've been to a pennant clinching game and it did not disappoint. I'm not going to re-hash the highlights, you've all seen them over and over again. I wanted to share a series of short videos that I took with my cell phone before, during, and after the last out in the top of the 9th. The video quality sucks but you can hear all the sounds of the crowd celebrating the World Series returning to the Bronx after a six year absence. LET'S GO YANKEES!


Video Clip #1: 2 outs in the top of the 9th. Mariano Rivera pitching to Gary Matthews JR. Mo. Gets strike 1.

Video 1

Video Clip #2: Mo Gets strike 2. 

Video 2

Video Clip #3: Mo throws ball 1. The crowd gets antsy

Video 3

Video Clip #4: Just after Mo strikes out Matthews JR. The Yankees win the pennant!

Video 4

Video Clip #5: It's Up to You New York, New York

Video 7

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Should I Do a Long Run Once a Week?

Trea, who recently completed her first half marathon, asked me an important question the other day. She wanted to know how long should her weekend long run should be now that she's completed her goal race. This is especially pertinent for those who have recently completed or will complete thier fall goal races and get ready to huker down for the winter.

After a goal race we'll enter the base building or maintenacne phase of our running. The purpose of base building is to maintain fitness during the weeks or months before starting training for the next race. Truthfully, the distance of your long runs during base building depends on if you have any short term goals. In Trea's case, she is really enjoying speedwork and running fast. So I suggested to her that she find a 5k about 2 months out and tailor her training towards running a fast 5k. Trea also mentioned that she could see herself running the same half marathon next and try to improve her time. I thought that a year was long time to run her next big race and that she should try and find a half marathon to run in the next few months. Even though she will be base building, having a goal race will keep her focused. It's very easy to lose focus if there is nothing to train for.

 During the winter, I will generally keep my weekend long run between 6 and 8 miles. With this base, you can do some winter 5 or 10ks and get yourself ready for a winter or early spring half marathon if need be. This is what works for me. What do you do during your base building phase? Please chime in.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Guest Race Report: Trea's Salonpas Half Marathon

Congrats to Trea who ran the Salonpas Half Marathon in Melbourne, Australia last Sunday. This was Trea's first half marathon and she KILLED IT!. Trea ran a 2:00:45 and on top of that, negative split. For those who follow Trea on Facebook and/or Twitter or heard Brandon read her e-mails on his show, you'll know that she was very nervous about this race. Congrats again Trea, we're all thrilled for you. And without further adieu, here is Trea's race report.
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Leading up to my race I had read and heard so much on core strength, so I had doubled my sit ups and sit ups with twists. A few days before the race I realized that the pain in my hips was from the twist sit ups (Hands behind head elbows to each knee.) I stopped them for the last few days and bingo the pain was gone.

RACE DAY:
Morning of the race I had to walk 30min to get to the start area nice warm up for the legs. The day was sunny and windless just perfect.

After downing a Gu the Gun went off …12min later I crossed the start line. “I was on my way”. My mind from the start was focused on all I had been told and learned over the past 6 months. I started with a slow pace and was going to hold that for 35min then walk for awhile then run/walk the rest of the way. My coach at track said this was the best way to get myself to the finish line. Within the first 5klm everyone around me was passing me, it was a terrible feeling. It was like I was the slowest runner in the race. But by the time I got to the 6klm mark I was passing so many people it felt so awesome. It actually made me feel so strong I just put my shoulders back and moved more forward onto my forefoot and kept running.

A few nice girls had talked to me along the way which made me feel not so alone. Before the halfway mark the leader, a Ethiopian runner, was on his way back to the finish line. WOW to be that close to him he was just the other side of the road it’s hard to explain what a beautiful motion a real expert in flight. Cool Stuff! Just the motivation I needed at that point. I had a Gu with me I had half at the 15klm mark and left half just incase they had run out at the next water stop,and yes that was the case, no Gu left. I only knew this could happen by listening to race reports. 

Thus, in the second half of the race I downed my last of the Gu and some water and I just went for it. I paced myself off a lady just ahead of me. I felt sorry for her she had relied on the Gu stop for her next energy serge so she was really feeling things hard. I then knew how lucky I was to have had advice from you guys. Tears began to fall from my eyes as I went up the ramp onto the M.C.G. (Melbourne Cricket Grounds) Stadium. The grass was so soft on my feet.

What a life experience I had just been through! 21.1klm completed! I have come out of this with more confidence than I have ever had. My mind was tired from all the focus but well worth it. All the training had worked. I had no idea what my official time was till a few days after. I had Gun time,Net time and watch time. Until you had explained it to me I didn’t realize what I had just done. Then Brandon said I had negative splits I was thinking at that stage is there anything else you guys can confuse me with LOL.

What a journey I have been on. I Thank You for your support and confidence.
Kindest Regards
Trea

P.S. I did have to jump over a guy that had dropped his Gu . He stopped right in front of me and bent down to pick it up. Thank goodness I was aware of the 2,000+ people coming behind me I jumped him and luckily missed a parked car and just kept on going.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

On My Way Back (Slowly)

I decided that yesterday was going to be the day I would try to do some light running. It's been a month since my injury and I haven't felt any pain in my ribs for about 10 days. The plan was to spend a few days on the treadmill at the gym before venturing back outside to the pavement. I set the treadmill to an easy 9:00 pace and my comeback was under way. I mainly focused on my breathing and if the pounding on the treadmill (albeit softer than pavement) would cause any pain. During the run, my breathing was not labored. I did feel out shape but I expected that after not running for a month. The good news is, I didn't feel any pain in my ribs. I ran 3 miles in 27:00.

Today I felt a little better. I did 5k on the treadmill in 27:49 for an 8:58 pace. I know it's going to take a while for my speed and endurance to come back. Honestly, I'm not in any rush. I have no lofty goals for my 3 5ks in Novemeber. I'm just going out there, have fun, and enjoy being with my fellow runners again. The next few months will  be all about base building so I'll be in good shape when spring marathon training kicks off some time next year.

Thanks to everyone for keeping me positive while I wasn't running. It's good to be back.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Guest Blog Post: AH from Israel

AH lives in Israel and is training for the Tiberias Marathon on January 7, 2010. He recently shared some thoughts about running with me. He is allowing me to share his thoughts on the blog. Enjoy.
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Thoughts While Running

I started training for the Tiberias Marathon and yesterday I went on my longest long run so far in the program, 21 km (13 mi.) Because I live in a very hilly area (Samaria) I decided that I would run my long-runs near work, in Israel's coastal plain. I park my car by work early in the morning, go for a run, shower at work, and begin working.

My work is located in the town of Petach Tikva. One of the best places to run in the Tel Aviv area is the Yarkon Park, the Israeli equivalent of Central Park. The Yarkon Park is located along the Yarkon river (it's a stream by US standards) and has trails which run the length of the river to the sea. From my work, I run about a kilometer through an industrial park, over railroad tracks, through a citrus (sweeties, I think) orchard, under a highway and then I join the paths of the Yarkon Park. The advantage of running there is that I'm not alone, I always see runners and bikers, no matter what the weather. The positive peer pressure helps me keep going. There are also water fountains along the way, but I generally run with a 2 liter pack on my back.

My pace was pretty good for most of the run (5:45-6:00 min/km) but after about 16 km I was feeling a bit tired, and it was starting to get hot. I was running through trails shaded by Eucalyptus, and all of a sudden, I heard a sound almost like a horse's trot. The "horse" was getting closer, and rather than turning around, I moved to one side of the path, and kept running. As he passed, I realized that he wasn't a horse at all. He was a runner with one leg, and one leg which had been amputated above the knee, and substituted with a prosthetic device with a spring-like foot. He must have been going much faster than me because he was out of sight and earshot within less than a minute.

About 2 months ago, I fell while running and went to the ER to be stitched up, and later found out that I had "water on the knee" which prevented me from running for about 6 weeks. I was quite upset and angry at myself for such a "stupid" injury. Seeing someone without a knee run faster than I could, really put things into proportion again. I'm grateful for the fact that I have two knees (even though I'm not that fast...) and that the healing process is almost complete.

Seeing that runner was inspiring - I even picked up my pace a bit and finished the 21 km faster than I had expected.

Monday, October 12, 2009

What have I been up to?

I realized today that it's been about 8 days since I last posted something here. Quite honestly, I haven't been up to much. I'm still not running, which is causing me to lose my mind. I feel like I'm going through withdrawal. My body was used to having its daily dose of endorphins and now they are gone. I need them back.

It's been about a month since my injury. I do not feel any pain. Every now and then I'll feel a stretch or twinge that reminds me of what happened. I'm going to try and do some light running on the treadmill in the next few days and see how I feel. I do have 3 races planned in November, the Yavneh Academy 5k on 11/8, the Damon Runyon 5k at Yankee Stadium on 11/15, and the Dick Meighan Thanksgiving Day 5k on 11/26. I don't expect to set a new 5k PR at any of these races, I just want to be out there racing with my fellow runners.

In the meantime, fall racing season is full swing. Congrats to:
  • Cowboy Hazel on his 3:05:14 at yesterday's Chicago Marathon.
  • TK on her 1:56:33 at Saturday's Baltimore Half Marathon.
  • Trea on completing her first half marathon in Melbourne Australia in 2:00:45. 
  • Casual Jogger who PRed at the Steamtown Marathon.
  • Brandon who took 2nd in his AG at his sprint Triathlon
  • Everybody else who raced last weekend.
To everyone who is racing Marine Corps on Oct. 26 and New York City on Nov. 1 enjoy the taper. To anyone racing Philly on 11/22, you're almost there. Get those last long runs in, get plenty of rest, watch your diet, and stay healthy.

Lastly, LET'S GO YANKEES!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

How are you feeling?

That's the question many of friends have been asking me over the past few days. So here is my injury update.

It's been about 2 weeks since I fractured my rib. I'm in a lot less pain than I was 2 weeks ago. The only time my rib really bother is when I'm laying down.  I thought I was able to resume running related activites but I'm still feeling winded and out of breath. One of things that comes along with a fractured rib is not being able to get enough air into my lungs. I also came down with an upper respiratory infection about a week ago. Thankfully it wasn't pneumonia. Between my coughing and not getting enough air into my lungs, I am not ready to start pounding the pavement yet. I'll give myself another 2 weeks and re-evaluate.

So where does that leave me? Needless to say, I'm very grumpy. I haven't run in 2 weeks and it's driving me crazy. I am in the midst of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, which is distracting me a little, but not enough. Work has been very busy recently, and I'm missing not being able to use my running to relieve the stress.

As for upcoming races, I will not be running the Asbury Park Marathon Relay on October 18. I'm hoping I'll be healed for my 3 5ks in November, Yavneh Academy (my daughter's school) 5k on 11/8, The Damon Runyon 5k at Yankee Stadium on 11/15, and the Dick Meighan 5k Turkey Trot on 11/26. Other than that, I am trying to stay positive and do what I can to support everyone I know who are running fall marathons.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Totals for September

Total # of Runs: 10
Total Distance: 64.8mi
Total Time: 8:44:02

Avg. Distance: 6.5mi
Avg. Pace: 8:04

Not my best month. I fractured my rib on Sept. 16 and that was my last run of the month. On a positive note, I did PR at the South Nyack 10 Miler on Sept. 13. October will be no better than September as I am still recovering from my injury.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation 5k at Yankee Stadium


Todd Brogan, Communications Coordination for the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, sent me a message on Facebook after reading my post about my Yankee Stadium Run. His foundation is has recently launched a 5k run/walk at Yankee Stadium. The entire event will take place in the Stadium. Participants will run/walk the concourses and ramps, climb the stairs between levels and enjoy incredible views of the Stadium from all angles.  The race ends with special access to a victory lap on the warning track circling the field where you will see the Stadium from a player’s point of view. The event is limited to 2,500 participants. If you are interested in participating, sign up soon. More information can be found by visiting the event's website. If you cannot participate in the event but would like to contribute towards cancer research, please click here.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Yom Kippur Begins Tonight at Sundown



Yom Kippur begins tonight at Sundown. It is considered the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. Starting tonight at sundown, I will be spending the next 25 hours fasting and in synagogue praying. It is customary before Yom Kippur to ask forgiveness for any wrongdoings I committed during the past year.

In that spirit....Please forgive me for anything that I may have to done to hurt, embarass, or upset you. I will try to do better in 5770. May you be inscribed for a year of health, peace, and prosperity.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Why I'm Not Running a Fall Marathon (before I fractured my rib)

Before I fractured my rib, I was asked a lot which fall marathon I'm training for. My response was the same each time "none." My goal race for the fall was the Asbury Park Marathon Relay. Allen and I were each going to run 13.1 miles. Allen's plan was to use the race as a tune up for the New York City Marathon a few weeks later. My plan was to run the distance all out and knock my PR of 1:53:19 out of the park.

So here's the deal...I observe the Jewish holidays pretty strictly. I don't drive, use the TV, the phone, or run on the Sabbath or holidays. The Jewish holiday "season" began last weekend with Rosh Hashana, and will end on the weekend of October 10 and 11 with Shimini Atzeret and Simchat Torah. All of this means that there are 3 definite weekends where I cannot get a long run in. The only available Sunday is this coming Sunday, September 27. While there are no prohibitions against running on Yom Kippur eve, it's probably not the best idea to go out and run 20 miles and then later in the day start 25 hours of fasting. If I were training for a fall marathon, these 3 - 4 weekends would be the peak of training. It's hard to lose that many consecutive Sundays and still be in decent marathon shape. Not running on those weekends would also have weighed on my mind during the holidays. With the exception of Yom Kippur, the other holidays are joyous days. I look forward to spending theses days with family and friends. Not getting the long runs in would weigh on my mind and would detract from my enjoyment of the holidays. I also don't have a flexible work schedule where I would be able to get a long run in during the week. My only day to run long is Sunday.

I might have been able to get myself into shape for Philly on November 22  but my neighbor's son is getting married that day and we need to be at the wedding.

I'll write about how my injury changes my fall running plans in a future post.