Showing posts with label LIRRC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label LIRRC. Show all posts

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.

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 apr├Ęs-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, 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.

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.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Indoors at the outdoor stores

 Today's workout (elliptical): 40 minutes

Today was a busy day that included visits to two of my favorite stores: EMS and REI. I was hoping to find some after-Christmas bargains in running and outdoor wear, but I wasn't compelled to buy. I did get a lightweight reflective vest to replace the tattered one that I've been using. The vest that I'd bought a few months ago at Paragon is a little too bulky for running, but I'm sure it will come in handy for some other use.

My wife picked up a very nice Mountain Hardware sweater at REI at a great price. I also bought three GU gels that were on sale for $0.79 -- Peppermint Stick, Peanut Butter and Mandarin Orange. I hope those flavors taste as good as they sound when put to actual use.

I've decided I will participate in Sunday's LIRRC Hangover fun run. It's a five mile course on the grounds of Eisenhower Park, with no tracking chips. It could be fun to run a "race" without the pressure of the clock. I believe that the race is timed for those who want to know how they did, but no results are posted.

I did 40 minutes on the elliptical machine this morning and set the resistance higher than I usually do. It was a nice low impact workout that still generated quite a sweat. I'll go out for a few miles tomorrow to celebrate another great year of running. On Sunday the 2012 odometer will start!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Six miles in the morning, party in the afternoon



I heard from Fred Haslett, the president of the LIRRC, the running club that organizes many races on Long Island. Fred said that they had sent out email and set up a hot-line as well as putting information on their website to tell participants how to deal with the triathlon that interfered with access to the 4 mile race on September 13. I guess once I participate in an LIRRC race I'll get put on that email list and get a heads up on conditions. I appreciated Fred's comment and I look forward to participating in their run series.

Last week I received my SpiBelt (SPI = small personal items), a runner's version of a fanny pack. It's a nice design, basically a zippered compartment made of stretchy material that can hold money, keys, ID, or even a cell phone. The SPIbelt is built to hug the runners body at the belt line and does not interfere with running motion or balance. I took it with me during a six mile run yesterday and included some cash and my identification card. I completely forgot about the SPIbelt while I was on my run. That's certainly the idea. I was thinking that I may put some GU in it for a boost during the second leg of my relay at the upcoming Cape Cod Marathon. I'll be covering my experience with the SPIbelt in greater depth on Runner's Tech Review after the marathon.

After yesterday's long run we headed to out to Adventure Girl's housewarming party in New Haven and had a great time. With the kids, we arrived early and left early but by the time we left the place was filled with Yale grad students, good friends and family (some four legged). Quite a few runners in that group. The great food and home-made desserts will hopefully power me through my runs today. My plan is to try a two-fer again, but not too long in terms of distances. I'm feeling a little sore after yesterday's run so a little stretching is probably advised before I head out for today's workout. Only 21 days to the marathon relay...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Cow Harbor 10K - great event, bad timing


I did my first run since Sunday's trail race this morning covering 3.7 miles at about a 9:20 pace. I'm not surprised that my pace was as slow as it was since I covered the first two miles at a moderate pace and sped up as I went. According to my Garmin I was tracking below 9:00/mile for the last mile or so. I was more tired than I'd expected to be after a day off from running but I did do a hike yesterday that involved some steep hills. Today was definitely a maintenance run, nothing remarkable to report.

I'll admit that I do miss my iPhone and although I still haven't had more than a couple experiences with the GPS tracking apps that reported within the range of acceptable accuracy. I did like the maps they create and the built in compass and iPod functionality on one of them. My desktop support person from work promised me that I'd see a replacement for my failed iPod from FEDEX either today or tomorrow so I'll live with limited tools until then.

I've identified my next race: a 4 mile run that's part of the Long Island Road Runner's Club (LIRRC) that will take place in Eisenhower Park on September 13. The LIRRC holds these informal races often and registration is day of race only. The cost is less than $10 and it seems like a good basic event. A 9:00 AM start makes it easier in terms of travel but it could be hot. I'll need to miss the Great Cow Harbor 10K because of a schedule conflict. I've heard more from Brian, who reads this blog, about the Cow Harbor 10K. He told me that The Northport Running Club holds a number of practice runs every Wed. night at 6:00 PM and those who are interested should check the website for information. Brian also sent the Training Assistance Program Weekly Progression Table (above). Clicking on the picture will produce a larger view. 
I'm glad to have a new upcoming run to help me focus my training. More to come in October and November.
 

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