Saturday, January 31, 2009

Totals for January

Total Runs: 10
Total Miles: 56.9 miles
Avg. Distance: 5.7 miles
Avg. Pace: 8:13/mile

I'm not crazy about these totals. I did take a week off from running. I missed one Sunday run due to inclement weather, 2 Sunday runs due to vacation, and 2 speed sessions. Hopefully with weather gods will be more forgiving in February.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Good Idea?

I just realized that the 2 races I'm considering running are on consecutive Sundays. The Prospect Park Track Club 10 Mile is on Feb. 22 and the E. Murray Todd Half Marathon is on March 1. Is running road races in consecutive weekends a good idea? I know that Rundangerously runs races just about every weekend. I don't have to run both at full effort. I can treat one race as a training run and go all out on the other. I'm told that Prospect Park is a tough place to run, so maybe I'll run the 10 mile at training pace and go all out on the half. Anyone care to comment?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Rain, Rain, Go Away

I was looking forward to tonight's speed session at Paragon. Coach Kate posted on the RUNNYC Facebook page that tonight's workout was going to be a "pyramid" workout. Here is how it was described on the FB page: "The workout is a fartlek run (Swedish for \\\"speed play\\\"), alternating between fast pickups (\\\"on\\\") and easy running (\\\"off\\\") at 5k race pace or slightly faster. We'll do 1-2-3-4-3-2-1 (advanced groups can add a 5 min pickup if time allows; beginners will top out with a 3 minute pickup) with 2 minutes recovery on all but the 1 minute pickup, where we will have a 1 min recovery. Unfortunately, the weather gods had other plans. This morning's snow turned into rain. I've mentioned in other entries that rain and I don't mix. I'd rather stay healthy than get sick so I decided to bail.

Tomorrow morning I'm running with co-worker, JS who is training for the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile in Washington, D.C. April 5. I'm off from work on Friday so I hope to get some quality miles in the morning.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Back At It

I returned from vacation yesterday afternoon. While I was away, I did not run. I gave myself a week off and enjoy a truly magical vacation. I allowed myself Mickey ice cream and popcorn every day. The only time I talked about running was when I saw someone in line wearing the 2008 MCM shirt. We struck up a brief conversation about MCM, he also mentioned that he did the Goofy Challenge the week before. For those of you that don't know the weekend of Jan. 10 -11 was marathon weekend at Walt Disney World. The Goofy Challenge involves running the half marathon on Saturday and the full marathon on Sunday. I was back to my usual morning routine. I woke up at 5 and headed in work for my morning run. I debated which route to run and finally settled on the Brooklyn & Manhattan Bridge run. I finished the run in 38:52 (~8:16 pace). That's about my usual pace for that run. It's good to know I didn't lose much fitness during my vacation. Tomorrow I'll cross train and Wednesday it's back to Paragon for speedwork with the Nike pacers.

On Feb. 1 the registration fee for the NJ Marathon goes up from $95 to $100. I really need to decide if I want to run the race. I've had no time to put together a training plan. Sunday is already Feb. 1. The clock is ticking.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


I will be leaving for vacation on Sunday. We are going to Disney for 5 days then on to Boca Raton to spend the weekend with my parents. I debated long and hard about whether I should take my running stuff. In the end, I decided that I'm not going to pack anything related to running. I want to enjoy my time with my family. They have been so supportive of me and my morning runs and my Wednesday night speed sessions. I owe them some quality time. Besides, do I really want to wake up at 5:00 a.m. to run and then spend a full day on my feet at the parks? NO WAY!. I'm going to relax, rest up, and start running again when I get back.

My only concern is that it will be 3 weeks without a long run. The weather gods did not cooperate last Sunday and the next 2 Sundays I will be traveling. I think I'll still be in good shape for the NJ Marathon on May 3rd.

I'll speak to everyone soon.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wednesday Night Speed Session - 1/14/09

Tonight was week 2 of the RUNNYC Wednesday night speed series at Paragon. I was looking forward to the workout despite temperatures around 20 degrees. The original workout was supposed to be 6 800m repeats on the 6th St. track. Coach Kate told us that the track was iced over so plan B was to run down to the West Side running path for a Fartlek workout. I've spoked about Fartleks before but just to refresh everyone's memory...Fartlek is Sweedish for "speed play." The basic concept behind the workout is you run faster for a pre-determined amount of time during your run.

We warmed up by running from Paragon to the West Side, about 1 mile. After a short regroup, we started the workout. I ran with coach Kate who led the 7:30/mile (5k pace) group. We ran a little faster than our 10k pace and then on her mark we picked up the pace for 3 minutes.

All in all we did 6 fartleks and ran 6.79 miles in 57 minutes (about an 8:23 pace). That time includes the warmup to the West Side and the cooldown back to Paragon. Here is the route we ran (courtesy of
I'm really liking this new group. For now, it's much smaller, the runners are friendlier, and I think there are more pacers/coaches. I will be missing next week's session because I will be on vacation. More on that (hopefully) before I leave.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Helping Others

More often than not, we get caught up in our own training, quest for a PR, BQ, etc...that we lose sight of others who are trying to take up our sport. A co-worker, I'll call him JS, of mine has been slowly getting into running. I'm not sure what his longest run is but he decided he wants to train for the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run in Washington, D.C. in April. He shared with me his training plan and asked me for comments. For a new runner, his plan was solid and if he stuck to the plan I'm confident he will finish the race.

Yesterday JS e-mails me asking me if he can join me on my morning run today. Who was I to say no? We met this morning at 7:00 a.m. and decided to run down the south end of the island and up the Battery Park City Esplanade. Since I was unsure of his pace, I asked him to lead. JS started out at a fairly brisk pace. I had no issues keeping up but I had a feeling that he may not be able to keep up that pace for the duration of the run. About half way through the run he asks if we can slow down. We finished the run at a much more comfortable pace for him.

I'm not going to share with you the details of the run, it's not important**. Today's run wasn't about my pace, how I felt, or what I did right or wrong. Today was about coaching a new runner through a 5 mile run on a cold winter morning. I'm sure I'll be running with JS again and I can't wait to see his improvement.

** I'll mention that the MotionBased feed for the run is not accurate. My Garmin did not pick up signal until we were about 2/3 of a mile in to the run.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Ice. Ice, Baby

I had a feeling it was going to be a challenge getting out this morning. After spending about half an hour getting the ice off of my car, I decided to drive to Votee to see what the conditions were like.

Before I left the house my my wife said "If you fall before our vacation I'll flip out!" We're taking a family vacation to Disney World next week and last thing I need is to be agony during the vacation because I slipped on the ice while running. I drove over to the park around 7:40 and the running path was a sheet of ice. I got back in the car and drove home. A little bit before 9:00 a.m. I saw that the sun was out and the temps were rising so I decided to try again. Still a sheet of ice.

I'm a little bummed because I was hoping to get 12 or 13 in today. I also know that I won't be running the next 2 Sundays because we'll be traveling. I'm hoping to get some runs in Florida but not the mileage I usually get in on the weekend. Hopefully it won't set me back too much in my attempt to train for the NJ Marathon.

I just got back from a social obligation, and a friend who lives in NYC posted on my Facebook page that Central Park was salted and plowed and full of runners. Oh well, I'll know for next time.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Guest Blogging

Brandon, from, asked me to guest blog on his site every so often. I submitted my first entry earlier in the week. I discussed treadmill workouts since he mentioned that he wanted to use the treadmill more in the winter months.

If you haven't already, I suggest checking out his site and listening to his podcast. He has a lot of great things to say.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I feel the need....the need for speed!

Tonight I started a Wednesday night speed session with RUNNYC sponsored by Nike. In the past, I did speed work on Thursday nights with New York Road Runners. Unfortunately, the cost of the classes was adding up do I decided to do without it. Then I came across the RUNNYC group on Facebook. Their speed sessions are free. That's right boys ans girls F-R-E-E that spells free. With my wife's permission, I decided to check it out.

The group meets at Paragon Sports at 6:30 p.m. Before we left, the program coordinators mentioned that in better weather conditions, we would be allowed to try out Nike's newest shoes. I thought that was kind of cool. We left Paragon and ran to the 6th St. track. The coaches mentioned that it was about 1 3/4 miles to the track. Today's workout was 3 x 1600 meters or in layman's terms three, 1 mile repeats. I ran with coach Brad who was leading the 7:30/mile group. He said the main goal for tonight was to try and keep each interval within 10 seconds of each other. I forgot to take the autolap feature off my Garmin so I did not get my exact splits but coach Brad was happy with the workout. It was great to run get off the pavement for a bit and run on the soft surface of the track. Here is a link to the workout: Wedensday Night Speed Session.

The main difference between the RUNNYC and NYRR workouts is that the RUNNYC workouts are traditional track workouts. The NYRR workout are done in Central Park and incorporate hill repeats and tempo runs. Personally, I prefer the traditional track workouts. I can do hill and tempo runs on my own. We'll what next week brings.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

8 (well almost) @ 8

I met up today with some runners I met on Facebook. I try to post my long runs on my FB status when I get home so if there are other runners who live nearby and run at the same pace we can meet up. The plan for today was to run 8 miles at an 8 minute pace. We started out at a slightly slower pace for the first 3 miles. We then picked up the pace for the last half of the run. I'm not sure if it was because of the cold but my breathing was heavy the last 2 or 3 miles and I was struggling to keep up. I had enough left to finish strong. We did 7.52 miles in 59:02 for a 7:50 pace. You can check out the details here: FAst 7.5 in Saddle River Park.

If there are any readers out there who are on Facebook, please let me know how to find you. If you live nearby, Bergen County, NJ or NYC, I would love to meet up for a run.

I hope that everyone's 2009 running is off to a good start.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Race Report: Fair Lawn Sunrise Rotary 1st Day 5K

What better way to start 2009 than with a new PR? That's right, my first race of 2009 and I set a new 5K PR! Today I ran the 7th annual Fair Lawn (NJ) Sunrise Rotary 1st Day 5K. Race start was at 11:00 so I was able to sleep in (I woke up at 7:30 instead of 5:00 or 6:00) and enjoy a lazy morning with my family. When I left the house, the temperature was 15 degrees with wind chills in the single digits. On top I wore my UA Cold Gear Mock, my heavy 1/4 zip pull over, and a windbreaker. I only wore one layer on bottom, my line Addidas tights. On my head I wore my UA hood. When I got to the school I debated if I should wear the jacket during the race. In the end I decide to leave the jacket in the car thinking that I would warm up quickly.

Before the start, I said to a friend that I didn't think I'd set a new PR given the conditions. The streets were in excellent condition given the dusting of snow we got yesterday and the frigid overnight temps. At the very end of the race I heard footsteps and heavy breathing behind me. I was determined not to let the guy on my tail pass me so close to the finish so I kicked my pace up a few notches. When I crossed the finish, I looked at my Garmin and saw 22:39. Even if I was off by a few seconds, I knew I set a new PR.

Here are the official stats:
Time: 22:46 (7:20/mile)
Overall Place: 58/227
Age Group Place: 7/25

Here are the mile splits:
Mile 1: 7:21
Mile 2: 7:02
Mile 3: 7:03
last tenth: 1:04

Looks like 2009 is off to good start.