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.


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.
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.

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

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.
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.


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.