Showing posts with label Hangover Fun Run. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hangover Fun Run. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Hanging Over with the Runsketeers

Flower inserted due to behavioral issue
According to my records, I only had three Emerging Runner posts in all of 2018. That's pretty pathetic. This was mostly due to the fact that I didn't post on the other 362 days. However, I am proud to say that I've posted every day in 2019. I've also run every day this year. Not so pathetic now, huh?!

I give credit for today's run to my long time running nemesis friend, She Is Out Running (SIOR) who decided that the Runsketeers would return to Eisenhower Park to do the 2019 LIRRC Hangover Run. For some reason we skipped it last year, but now we're back on track. While some Runskies weren't able to make it today, they were with us in spirit.

The Hangover Run is a great event because it provides all the great stuff about being in a race (organization, other runners, time clock, free food!) without the pressure of competing. Everyone starts together, but after that you're on your own to do as many loops of the one mile course as you'd like. Since the event happens on New Year's Day, it's usually a chilly proposition, but today's morning temperature was about 56°, albeit with some stiff winds along the route.

I arrived at the park around 9:20 AM for the 9:30 start and looked for SIOR. I knew TPP needed to work, but wasn't sure if Professor Mike (PM) or KWL would be joining us. I didn't see anyone from the crew so I lined up for the start, figuring I'd run into the others along the way. After the LIRRC guy counted down the start, we were off. I knew I'd be running this course a lot slower than in the past due to some medication I'm taking. It was both interesting and a little humiliating to go from being a solid mid-packer to back-of-packer. At least I was passing walkers!

About 3/10ths into the run, a couple of speedsters slipped by and were running directly ahead of me when I realized they were SIOR and PM. I said something snarky, which they ignored, so I tapped SIOR on the shoulder and surprised them. We ran together for a couple of minutes. It was probably my fastest quarter and definitely SIOR's slowest of the day. She caught up with PM and they resumed their pace. I watched them on the other side of the loop each time I went around, getting ever closer to lapping me. On my third mile, that's exactly what happened and I ran the remainder of the route with SIOR.

It was the fastest three miles I've run since April 1st of last year. Still nothing to write home about in terms of pace, but it underscored how much I'd regressed by running solo much of 2018. We grabbed some coffee and food and then SIOR decided to run one more loop before we headed off to Runsketeer HQ, also known as the closest Starbucks.

Rare pic of SIOR acting like a grownup
PM and SIOR were waiting at a table by the time I arrived. Starbucks was sparsely populated and I gave my buddies holiday presents because last year we skipped the Hangover and I didn't give them their gifts until July. I grabbed a coffee and we got into it right away -- politics, religion, medical issues, work, kids, anything but running. It didn't matter that it had been months since we got together, it's always as if we saw each other the day before.

Seeing my buddies and running better than I have in a long time was inspiring. I really hope we can get the whole group together soon. I wouldn't call it a resolution, but I am serious about getting back to 18-21 mile weeks before mid year. I have a strategy to get me there, and running more with the Runsketeers is part of that plan.

Friday, January 1, 2016

2016 Hangover with the Runsketeers

Mini photo bomber, SIOR, TPP, ER
Today's run (Hangover Fun Run): 4 miles

2016 has arrived and the Runsketeers rang in the New Year this morning with the LIRRC Hangover Run at Eisenhower Park. After so many days of unseasonably temperate weather, the cold returned for real. I arrived a little after 9:00 AM and met up with TPP. She and I walked over to the staging area where we signed the waiver doc and tucked into a corner to avoid the the chilly winds. SIOR texted that she was delayed and would join us after the start.

The Hangover Run is a perfect running event for me, because it has elements of a race like a formal start and timing clock, but no individual tracking of runners. Running distance is at the discretion of each participant although most people run five 1-mile laps. I normally do that as well, but I wasn't feeling great this morning and elected to run only four.

There's a lot of construction work going on at Eisenhower Park and today's route differed a little from the previous four times I'd done the Hangover. The old route was basically a half circle. This year it looked more like a giant comma. I actually like the new course better,  even though you still end up looking at the same scenery, mile after mile.

Comma course
TPP and I took off, she was the hare and I was the turtle. The course allows you to see runners coming back in the opposite direction and I was able to monitor her progress. TPP seemed to be running half a lap ahead of me but she covered five miles in almost the same time as it took me to complete four. I watched for SIOR and I think I saw her once along the way. She did a lap after TPP and I had finished and we took pictures and videos of her as she came around at the end.

SIOR showing her signature maturity
Once done, we made our way to the lot. SIOR started a conversation with a random runner who was walking ahead of us. She complimented his running tights and told him some websites that have good running gear bargains. The guy said to TPP and SIOR that they probably shop on-line a lot. I thought that was a sexist thing to say. I stood up for them and told him that SIOR prefers stores because you can't shoplift on a website. He left quickly after that.

As tradition dictates, we headed to Starbucks. Our timing was perfect because a motorcycle gang was just leaving when we arrived. We practically had the place to ourselves until some guy SIOR knows showed up and sat at the end of our table. To her credit, she didn't talk to him about his pants.

The Runsketeers exchanged holiday gifts. SIOR gave me a runner's headlamp and TPP gave me a framed picture of the Runsketeers that also included KWL and NIMC. Knowing them as I do, I gave them red wine and homemade chocolate truffles. As usual, we talked about everything and I was shocked when I looked at my watch and saw it was almost noon.

We said our goodbyes and talked about our next run which we hope will happen in January. Once again, the year started out great, with a bracing run and the company of good friends. Happy New Year to all.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A run in the brume

Can you see the oncoming bus?
Today's run (street): 3.2 miles

As the song goes, it's the most wonderful time of the year. In terms of working, it really is. I worked from home both yesterday and today and my office will be shut down on Thursday and Friday, I'm also taking next week off. All that time translates into more time for running. This week got off to a good start with an elliptical session yesterday and a nice run this morning.

I knew we'd get rain today and it looked pretty gloomy at "sunrise." I planned to do something but I figured I'd be doing it inside. At around 7:00 AM, I verified no rain was coming down. I dressed for the 49° temperature and headed outside. As the garage door rose, I saw that my neighborhood was enveloped in thick fog. Fortunately I'd worn high visibility gear.

Running in the fog was an ethereal experience. Like freshly fallen snow, it made everything look a greeting card photo. I appreciated the visual effect, but I needed to be careful because visibility was measured in feet today. If I couldn't see school buses, they couldn't see me. The roads were reasonably clear, but I did need to detour over to the sidewalk a couple of times.

A year ago, I was doing my Christmas week run in much colder weather. It's supposed to hit 71° on Friday. Me and the Runsketeers will be carrying on our New Year's day Hangover Run tradition on January 1st. It's really fun to hang with my buddies before the start, but we're usually shivering up until the horn goes off. I won't complain if this weather hangs around until then.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015 Hangover Fun Run

Happy New Running Year
Today's run (Hangover Run): 5 miles

The Hangover Run is a free event put on every New Year's day by the Long Island Road Runners Club. I ran it for the fourth time today and, for the second year in a row, I was accompanied by running buddies SIOR and TPP. This morning we were joined by SIOR's speedy daughter, a cross-country and track runner.

It's usually freezing cold on New Year's day, so it's a challenge to choose the right running clothes. Too many layers will keep you comfortable prior to the start, but you can overheat on the run. I overdressed for warmth and regretted it. I ended up taking off my gloves and holding them in my hands during most of the run. It wasn't the overheating that got to me today. It was the nagging sciatica that has bothered me over the past few weeks.

We all met up in the parking lot and headed toward the staging area about 15 minutes before the run was set to start. After signing our liability waivers we made our way towards the line. There were about 200 people congregated behind the time clock that counted down to the 9:30 AM start time. Without fanfare, we were off. I felt great and hoped that would continue for the duration of the run.

About a quarter mile into the run, SIOR and SIOR Jr passed me and continued on ahead. TPP did the same at the 3/4 mile point and I saw, after the turnaround, that she'd caught up with the SIORs. The course is a one mile loop with a suggested distance of five miles, so I was able to chart the progress of the others as we passed back and forth.

The soreness started on the second mile and increased as the run continued. I felt like I had another gear but I was reluctant to put too much on the injury. I still don't know the nature of the problem, so I'm being careful about hard I push. I picked up my pace a few times during the last mile and that resulted in my second fastest split. I came through the last mile, with an overall time of 51 minutes. My friends were all  waiting for me at the finish.

As tradition dictates, we headed to Starbucks for coffee and conversation that included a deep analysis of the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. We don't always talk about running.

Happy New Year to everyone. It's nice to start the year with a  challenging run, especially when it happens with great people.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Close encounters on the trail

 
Today's run (Stillwell Woods): 3.5 miles

This morning I went out for a trail run at Stillwell Woods for the first time since late November. I'm still dealing with pain from sciatica and hoped that running on softer terrain might provide some relief. The temperature was in the high 20's and Stillwell's trails were mostly frozen mud. Even so, it provided a more forgiving surface than pavement.

When I arrived I saw a few groups of high school aged runners entering the woods. I wondered if I'd run into these speedsters on the trail. I ran by the first group who were standing around planning their workout. I followed my usual route, going north before turning southeast. When I came around the bend, I saw a couple of guys sprinting toward me on the narrow path. That was disconcerting because the protocol is to follow that section of trail in the direction I was running. I'm glad I heard them a second before they appeared so I could move over and give them room to get by.

I had a few other situations when my path crossed a group, but had no more close calls. I was disappointed that the soreness I've been having was present throughout the run. The pain was minor and my concern was more that running (instead of resting) was enabling the problem. But a runner's gotta run, run, run, run, run so I decided I had to shake it off.

I'll be resting tomorrow and going out next on New Years day with my buddies for the LIRRC Hangover Run. In the meantime, I'm putting heat on the source of the problem and using the massage stick often. Next week I return to work and that will mean a reduction in volume. Usually I'd be unhappy about that, but I realize that it's probably the best thing for me right now.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

LIRRC Hangover with the Runsketeers

Hangover gang (from left: L, ER, TPP, SIOR)
Photo courtesy of LIRRC.ORG 
Today's run (LIRRC Hangover Run): 5 miles

It's always great to start off the year with a good run and that was certainly the case today. For the third consecutive year, I participated in the LIRCC 5 Mile Hangover Run. Unlike the past two years, I was accompanied this morning by running buddies SIOR and the Petite Pacer (TPP). We even had a guest Musketeer, L, who SIOR knew from a prior race. Even though we ran at different paces, it was fun to do this together.

The Hangover event consists of five laps around a one mile course. Although the four of us started at the same time, SIOR and L quickly put some distance on me and TPP. Left to run her own pace, TPP could have easily kept up with the other two (no one was focusing on performance this morning), but she stayed with me through the first couple of miles.

It was very cold, but we all dressed for that. The wind from the south chilled my hands and face, but after a couple of miles of running, I was sufficiently warm. TPP picked up her pace and then waited for me to catch up a couple of times, but then switched to overdrive for the remainder of the run. It was fun to see SIOR and L gaining ground the other side of the loop. By time I completed my fourth mile they were coming up on 4.5 miles.

My fastest laps were my first and fifth, both done around 9:20. My overall time was 48:34, just a few seconds off last year's finish time. The others had finished a few minutes before me and when I crossed the line, TPP asked if I wanted to go around again. I was pretty much done with running at that point. We headed toward the New Year's cake which, combined with a cup of instant coffee, tasted like heaven.

Post run refueling
After that, the four of us visited Starbucks, the official clubhouse of the Runsketeers (I just renamed us). As much as I loved the run, the après-run conversation was the highlight of the morning. All too soon it was time to leave. When I got home, my wife and kids had prepared all the fixings for tacos. It was a perfect way to refuel from a great New Year's Day morning. Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Layering up for the Hangover

Too much?
Today's run (street): 3.4 miles

The old Scandinavian proverb, "There's no bad weather, just inappropriate clothing" is especially true for runners. This morning was so cold that I considered staying inside for my run. My wife was on the treadmill at the time so I would have needed to wait for her to finish. We had morning plans, so to save time I decided to brave the weather and dress "appropriately."

I added another upper layer just before heading outside. It's always tricky to find a balance that works. Races are hard, when you're by yourself and there's no place to keep warm before the race begins. I generally dress for my second mile. That can be uncomfortable unless I'm able to park close to the starting line and stay in my car until race time. Training runs, like today, are easier to manage because you can start as soon as you step outside.

That extra layer kept me comfortable from the beginning. I wasn't looking to run at race pace which would have put me into overheating territory. It wasn't until near the end that I really began to heat up. Flipping back my glove mittens to expose my fingers helped introduce enough cooling to counteract that heat. That got me through the remaining half mile.

Tomorrow is New Year's day and, for most people, it's a recovery day after staying up very late. But for me and my two other Musketeers (and possibly a fourth) we'll be gathering in the morning at Eisenhower Park for the LIRRC Hangover Fun Run. The distance is supposed to be 5 miles but we may be going for a few extra. Our speediest-keteer is looking to cover ten.

I've done the Hangover event for the past couple of years and both mornings were very cold. The temperature at tomorrow's 9:30 AM start is predicted to be 27°, with winds making it feel like 19°. Since this isn't a race, I'll probably error on the side of too many layers. Just as the Norwegians say, "Det finnes ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlige klær."

Friday, December 20, 2013

Not all traditions are good

Wednesday and Friday's runs (treadmill): 3.2 miles

Vitamins no, flu shot yes
I've been busy this week, with a few days where I worked straight through from 5:30 AM to 7:30 PM. Due to that, I didn't run on Thursday. Worse, I barely moved at all yesterday. I did get in some treadmill runs on Tuesday and Wednesday and again this morning. The icy roads and a lack of time has kept me indoors. We have weekend guests staying with us, so I'm not sure how much mileage I'll get over the next two days.

We're coming up on the end of year holidays and that makes me happy because my kids get a long break from school. I've always taken the week between Christmas and New Year's off. That's because my company would fundamentally shut down during that time. It was nice to be away knowing I was missing nothing at the office. Ironically, I'll be working on some project items next week that I need to complete before the year closes.

A less positive tradition that I seem to follow is getting a year end cold or flu (and four years ago, pneumonia). That's always undercut my ability to enjoy my time off. I've managed to dodge that bullet the last couple of years and, interestingly, that coincides with when I started taking flu shots. I haven't taken a vitamin since I read about their lack of effectiveness on Tuesday, so I'm probably playing with fire. I want to stay healthy for the LIRCC Hangover Run on January 1st morning. I'll be running it for the third year in a row. That's the kind of tradition I want to follow, especially now that my buddies will be joining me.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Hangover Fun at LIRRC Run in Eisenhower Park

Finishers gathering at the end
Today's run (LIRRC Hangover Fun Fun): 5 miles

Happy 2013. Early this morning, as I made my way along Hempstead Turnpike, I enviously noted some restaurants promoting New Year's Day brunches. Soon enough, friends and families would be gathering at these places for a relaxing meal, while me and a few hundred others would be running five, 1-mile loops around Eisenhower Park in the name of fun.

The posted start time for the Hangover Run was 9:30 AM, so I planned to get there fifteen minutes before. The temperature, including wind chill, was close to freezing. With neither registration nor number pickup, I had the freedom to show up far later than I would for a race. The organizers pushed the start a few minutes, probably to accommodate some late-arriving participants. After a New Year's style countdown we were on our way.

The Hangover is a group run that feels a lot like a race. But it isn't a race and that's what makes it fun. I proceeded at a pace that kept me with the crowd but, after a few minutes, I noticed the 6:00 pace crowd had broken off ahead. I was passed by a fair number of people through the first mile but I didn't care about that. I was enjoying the experience and feeling great running in the cold.

I completed the first mile in 9:28 and that was probably the fastest loop that I did all morning. I was slightly disappointed that I wasn't generating much speed because the effort was there. My heart rate was keeping close to my racing zone, and I didn't want to push any harder. On a few occasions, slower runners blocked the narrow path or ran a little too close for comfort. After a while the field opened up and I could run without those distractions.

It wasn't the easiest five miles I've ever run, but I didn't feel like a race. Halfway through the run I noticed that my Garmin wasn't recording my run so I needed to rely on the clock for my time. When I came past the timer for the fourth time, I saw that I was tracking about a minute behind last year's run. I thought about picking up speed for the last mile, but I decided to maintain my current pace to the end.

I crossed the line feeling like I'd had a good workout, but it wasn't the same as competing. Not surprisingly, I was warm at the finish. Soon enough, the cold air and my sweaty clothes started giving me a chill. I headed back to my car and made my way out of the park before the road got too crowded.

Like last year, it was great to start this new year with a running start. My wife did her run this morning as well, so we both have perfect records for 2013! Tomorrow it's back to work for me and back to school for the kids. It has been a great holiday break and I'll be happy to take a rest day tomorrow.

Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 ends today but the Hangover starts tomorrow

Almost done
Today's run (street): 3.4 miles

The year is nearly over and, for that matter, so is my vacation. In past years I've taken time to reflect on the previous twelve months and set my goals for the coming year. 2012 had its ups and downs and I won't be too upset to see it go. I will say that it's been fine year for running although I can't point to any particular moment that stands above all. If I had to pick, I'd say it was my experience running the half marathon in May, when I hit my stretch goal in terms of performance.

Counting a two day business trip that I took prior to the break, I have been away from the office for eleven days. Tomorrow will be my last day off before returning to work on Wednesday. I'll cap the vacation and celebrate the start of 2013 by running the Hangover 5-miler in Eisenhower Park. The Fun Run starts at 9:30 AM and I'm going to try to time my arrival so that I minimize the time I'll need to wait in the 25 degree weather.

Although I usually take Monday as a rest day, I decided to trade it for Wednesday when I return to the office. I'll be back to rising before 4:00 AM and I'll appreciate being able to skip my workout without feeling any guilt.

Today's run was a good rehearsal for tomorrow's event and I paid attention to how long it took to go from comfortably warm to hot and sweating this morning. Tomorrow I'll be covering almost two more miles than today, so I may opt for one less layer up top. I'm not thrilled that my vacation comes to an end on Wednesday, but at least I'll have this event to send me on my way.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Taking the warmer option on a windy and chilly day

Today's run (treadmill): 30 minutes

It's been a busy day catching up on errands and taking care of things around the house. The winds have been blowing hard all day, and the temperatures have stayed below freezing. I decided early in the day to follow my wife on the treadmill, where I did 3+ miles (I always question the accuracy of the treadmill's display) at a decent clip.

We're heading out shortly to see some friends for dinner. I'm going to try to convince my buddy to do the Hangover Run with me on Tuesday. Even though he's a runner, I don't think he'll want to deal with the early hour or the cold. I am looking forward to the Fun Run  and may do a short run tomorrow as well, since the Hangover isn't a race and I don't feel like I'll need to take a day to taper.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

My motivation to race is at an all time low

Today's run (street): 5.2 miles

Lately, I've been struggling a little with motivation, but not to the point where it affects my commitment to running. After having two of my favorite races canceled in November, I think my competitive spirit has gone stale. The next race on my schedule is the Ho Ho Ho 5K Holiday Run that takes place in Bethpage. I ran it last year, but I'm considering skipping it this year.

5K's require speed work, but I'm not that interested in doing tempos, fartleks or intervals right now. I recognize the benefits of a hard workout, but I think the moderate training runs I've been doing provide the same value. The idea of of lining up on a cold morning for a race doesn't appeal to me at the moment. I'm thinking that the LIRRC 5 mile Hangover Run on January 1st will be my next organized event.

The Hangover Run appeals to me because it's non-competitive. There's a timer but no timing chips. In fact there's no registration at all. Just show up, run and record you own time. But if I run my fastest time during this event, I will certainly claim it as a PR.

My big issue today was a feeling that I'd be bored on today's run. Yesterday's run around the neighborhood was a bit tedious and I was planning to go out even longer today. I started thinking about running with other people and how much I used to enjoy my workday runs in Central Park with Adventure Girl, JQ and others, or my runs at Bethpage and Belmont Lake with Dave and Brian. It made me reconsider joining a running club.

It turned out I wasn't bored after all today. The lactic acid buildup in my legs was gone and though my performance was average, I felt great throughout the run. I do like running on my own where I can determine my preferred route and speed, but the experience of running with others also has great appeal. Perhaps I'll find a weekend morning meet-up in the area. Running with a group might be a good step towards regaining my racing spirit.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

LIRRC 2012 Hangover Run: well done fun


Today's run (LIRRC Hangover Run): 5 miles
47:19 (9:28 pace)

Happy New Year! Last night went later than expected and I didn't get to sleep until after 12:30 AM. I did catch an hour's nap earlier, in an attempt to bank some needed sleep, but I don't think it did much good. Even so, I got up at 6:30 and tried to decide how to dress for this morning's fun run in Eisenhower Park. The NYC news station showed 44 degrees, while our local station showed 32.

I finally settled on a long sleeve base layer topped with a short sleeved jersey, along with my new CS running pants. It was a good choice but I may have been fine with only one layer on top. When Team Emerging Runner joins me on cold days, I can wear more layers to keep warm. I just hand off my jacket before the race begins. Today I was by myself, so the extra layer helped while I stood waiting for the start.

I have to hand it to the Long Island Road Runner's Club who put on today's event at Eisenhower Park. LIRRC does it all with a minimum of frills (no race shirts or pre-registration) but they charge very little to participate and they hold many races throughout the year. Today's Fun Run was a gift because the event was open to all. Post-run refreshments were served and not a penny was charged to participate.

It was friendly crowd who milled around near the start area and soon we were off on our 5 mile run. The LIRRC provides a timing clock but the tracking is up to the participants. No one wins this race but I'm sure the swiftest runners compete for bragging rights. The course is five times around a measured loop within the park. Every time you pass the timing clock at the start, you've finished another mile.

It was interesting to run this "Hangover" run. I didn't see too many sluggish runners nursing hangovers. It felt like a race. Since it wasn't actually a competition, I decided to run it a little faster than a recreational run at that distance, but not as fast as my 8K race pace.

It may have been last night's late bedtime, or the fact that I haven't taken a rest day since last Monday, but I couldn't generate a lot of speed. The first mile seemed to take a while and the clock showed 9:02 when I passed it. Miles 2 through 4 were run slower as I settled into a more comfortable pace. At the last mile I decided to step things up a little and passed a handful of runners before crossing the line at 47:19.

Even though I didn't have a hangover, it was a great head-clearing experience. Just think, I've got a perfect streak going this year, running every day and averaging 5 miles each run! Sadly, the streak will end tomorrow when I take a well needed rest.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 running is done, now bring on the Hangover!

Today's run (street): 3.4 miles

It's the last day of the year and I had to get in one final run before the ball drops. Since I'm planning to participate in tomorrow's 5 mile Hangover Fun Run, I decided to keep my distance to about three miles. It's unseasonably warm for the end of December and the temperature was at 45° when I went out this morning.

I wasn't the only person looking to end the year with a run around my local streets. I encountered a couple of runners who I'd seen around the neighborhood plus plenty of people who were out walking their dogs. I didn't push the pace but it still felt challenging, even for such a short distance.

It should be fun to run around Eisenhower Park on New Year's day. Were I more adventurous, I'd consider heading into NYC tonight for the Emerald Nuts Midnight Run. That's a four mile race that's run every New Year's Eve. But since that race starts long past my bedtime, I think I'm far better off waiting for tomorrow morning.
 

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