Sunday, October 31, 2010

Kansas City

Last week I was in Kansas City, Missouri for a 2 1/2 day conference. In addition to my business casual attire, I packed my running gear and was excited to explore a new city. Problem was, I had no idea where to run or where the "sketchy" neighborhoods were. The only thing I knew about KC was that is bordered Kansas. Since I have no idea when then next time I'll find my in KC, I got this idea into my head that it would be fun to run across the state line from Missouri to Kansas. The questioned remained, how do I do it?

This is where the power of Twitter came into play. Ryan lives in KC so I sent him a Tweet asking if he wanted to meet up and show me around. He gladly obliged and we decided that Tuesday morning would be the best time to meet up. Ryan was nice enough to pick me up at my hotel and we drove to the start of a popular KC running route. We started off by running through the Plaza district. The shops and cafes in this part of KC had a very Spanish look to them Ryan mentioned that The Plaza was modeled after Seville, Spain. I immediately noticed that we had the entire sidewalk to ourselves. Ryan mentioned two things 1) most people in KC drive everywhere and 2) The Plaza will be packed later since it is mostly a shopping district. I commented, that there are very neighborhoods in NYC where you can run on the sidewalk unimpeded at 7:00 a.m.

From there we picked up the Trolley Track Trail. Ryan mentioned that this is where most of the KC running community goes to get their miles in. I expected to see lots of runners getting their miles in before work. For the most part, Ryan and I had the trail to ourselves. Every so often we would see a fellow runner but for the most part it was pretty empty. Ryan mentioned that the trail is usually pretty crowded in the evening. During the run we chatted about running, race plans for 2011 (Ryan's are much more ambitious than mine), the New York City Marathon, Coach Jeff (we both train with him), and who knows what else.

After an out and back on the Trolley Trail, we hit some of KC's hills. Anyone who thought that KC was flat because it's in the Midwest and surrounded by prairies, is sorely mistaken. There are some serious hills in KC. After we crested the final hill and ran down the other side, we stopped and Ryan said, "here we are." "Where?" I asked. "Kansas" he replied. Really???? I was expecting one of those signs you see on the Interstate that said "Welcome to Kansas." No such luck, all I saw was this:
I was slightly disappointed that there was no sign. Ryan mentioned that since people travel between Kansas and Missouri almost every day, it's not a big deal. I travel to New York every day and there's a sign on the George Washington Bridge that says "Welcome to New York." Just today, Mrs. Ansky and I drove to Rockland County, NY and there was sign. No sign between Missouri and Kansas? WTF? At least I have this:

Anyway...we finished up our run and Ryan drove me back to my hotel. I thanked him for showing me around and we parted ways. Should you find yourself in a new city, I highly recommend trying to meet up with someone you may only know virtually. It's a fun experience and what better way to find the good running sport than from someone who lives there?

Question: How do you learn about the good running spots in a new city?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I've Made a Decision

A few posts back, I mentioned the possibility of running the ING Miami Marathon. At the time there was a possibility that we might be in South Florida for a family vacation. Well, after much "should we" "shouldn't we" with Mrs. Ansky, we decided that this is not the best year for me to run Miami. We've been pushing off some home improvement projects and we need to use the money to fix a few things around the house rather than fun in the sun. There are also some other expenses coming down the pike and we don't want to overextend ourselves. Going to Florida would involve 3 plane tickets, a rental car, food, activities to entertain Lil Ansky, and a hotel room in Miami. 

Am I bummed? Of course, but I am OK with it. In the meantime, I'll close out my 2010 racing season with a 5k on Nov. 14 to benefit my daughter's school's scholarship fund and a 5 mile Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving. After that I will go into maintenance mode until it's time to start training for a spring marathon. I have a few races in mind, but there is no rush sign up. I'll also take time over the winter to improve my running form and transition to Newtons.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Race Report: 32nd Annual Terri Roemer Paramus Run

It's been about 18 months since I last raced a 10k. My current 10k PR was 49:47 which I set in May 2008 at the Ridgewood Run. In fact, this blog didn't exist at the time. My goal for the 2010 Paramus 10k was simple, a shiny new PR.

I'll admit it's hard to consider a 10k an "A" race when all of my friends have run will be running fall marathons. With all of the Jewish holidays and other social obligations, I simply did not have time to devote to the marathon. So I targeted today's 10k as the race I was going to train hard for.

The first mile took us out of the Paramus Park parking lot and on to the residential streets of Paramus. I wanted to run the race by feel and pay more attention to my heart rate than to the mile clocks on the course. The first challenging part of the course came between miles 2 and 3. There was hill followed by short flat followed by another small hill. My pace slowed slightly but I was able to recover well. Right around mile 5 there was another small hill which again slowed me slight but I was able to recover. From there it was downhill to flat to the finish. Once I made the final turn onto From road I could see the finish line in the distance. I knew I had a new PR well in hand the only question is by how much. I tried to find my finishing kick but I just couldn't muster the strength to move my legs faster. So I held my pace and crossed the line in 45:22, which translates to a 7:18 average pace and a shiny new 10k PR by about 4:30.

I don't know about you, but I find the 5k and the 10k very difficult distances to race. I either go out too fast and bonk at the end or go out to slow and find myself trying to make up time later in the race. I find it hard to hit settle into a pace that's fast enough to PR without feeling like my heart is going to jump out my chest. I think I ran a very good race today. I might have gone out a little too fast but I adjusted quickly to a pace that I could maintain for the remainder of the distance.

Next up: Nov. 14 - a 5k to benefit my daughter's school's scholarship fund
              Nov 25: 5 mile Turkey Trot in Congers NY

I don't have any updates about Miami. Mrs. Ansky and I are still trying to hash out some details. I need to decide to soon so I can start training in earnest. Stay tuned......

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I'm Getting an Itch.....

and it's getting harder and harder not to scratch. That itch is to run another marathon. Up until very recently I was not ready to start training for another 26.2 journey. I was enjoying running for the sake of running and not having to worry about training, workouts, pacing, or racing. Then the weather got cooler, I started training in earnest with Coach Jeff, and many of my friends are tuning-up for their fall marathons. Then today, I spent a good deal of the morning watching the live stream of the Chicago Marathon (thanks and tracking my friends as they made their way around The Windy City. I started to get excited. With Marine Corps and New York City only weeks away and Philadelphia soon after that, that excitement is here to stay.

My original plan was to run marathon #5 in the spring of 2011. Vermont and Providence were on my short list. But......that may change. Nothing is definite yet but there's a chance the Anskys will be in South Florida for a family vacation at the end of January. There are still several details to hash out but if the vacation materializes, my next marathon will be the
Like I said, it's not definite yet. I hope to know more in the next few weeks. Stay tuned......

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Totals for September 2010

Total Number of Runs: 11
Total Miles: 90.46
Total Time: 13:21:44

Average Distance per Run: 8.22
Average Time: 1:12:53
Average Pace: 8:51/mile

The Jewish holiday "season" dominated September. Although it's a hectic time of year, I enjoyed quality time with family and good friends with lots of good food  and single malt scotch. Needless to say, running took a back seat and I was pleased with whatever miles I was able to get in. Now that my holidays are over, I look forward to restoring a sense of normalcy (is there really such thing.). That means regular work weeks, getting back to a normal diet, Lil Ansky having more than 10 school days in a month, and running a least 4 days per week. Next up for me is the Terri Roemer Paramus Run (I'm running the 10k) on October 17.