Sunday, March 1, 2015

Winter Storm Sparta

Sitting in DC with a canceled flight back to work and Winter Storm Sparta bearing down, I ducked out for 10 miles on trails through Rock Creek Park.  Nebraska to Oregon where the road meets the trail and from there just wandering -- running would be a tad strong of a word -- over uneven snow and ice among the trees.  It started in sleet and moved into freezing rain. 

After a time I crossed East-West Highway and followed the Rock Creek trail north, then the Capital Crescent from Jones Mill Road to Wisconsin Road in Bethesda.  I wandered back to DC through neighborhoods of Bethesda and Chevy Chase.  By the time I got home the sheet of ice on my shirt and hat was approaching 1/8 of an inch.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Bernard Lagat Strikes Again

One of the greatest indoor miler of all time strikes again setting a record for 40 and over runners.  Bernard Lagat was lured back to compete in the MIllrose Games in NYC.  He finished fourth, but in the process obliterated Eamonn Couglan's record for a mile by a 40 year plus runner with a time of 3:54.91.  Details here.  Ten of the 13 runners broke 4 minutes.  Sigh.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Gear Check

Decided to emulate Matt S. and get some serious winter tech running gear.  He went Lululemon but I went North Face.  Obviously not known for their running gear but they have a performance line which includes the Animaji jacket pictured below.  Nice down for the core and traditional heavy long sleeve running shirt material with thumb holes on the arms.  Took it for a spin yesterday when it was 34, sunny and not too windy.  Wore it over a thin long sleeve running shirt and had no problems.  If the base layer had been thicker it would probably work down into the 20s without anything over it.  Could easily a wind breaker on top for the blustery days that are coming.  All in all very happy with it in place of the sloppy running hoodys and the like which are my usual fare.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Ice, Rice Baby . . .

Just when you're feeling invulnerable, you step funny to avoid some sidewalk ice and you roll your ankle.  I caught it before the dreaded "POP!", but after the place where you could just walk it off . . .

Went home and am icing and elevating.  There's some swelling, but not too bad.  Grr!!!!

It looks like I'm in for a few weeks on the bike, elliptical and in the pool . . .  

Grumble, grumble, grumble . . .

Saturday, January 31, 2015


I rarely run with music.  Outside, I'm concerned about safety.  I am quite capable of almost getting killed by cars and cyclists even when I don't have music blaring in my ears.  The bigger problem, though is the earbuds.  For some reason, the Apple earbuds fall out very easily, and I've been too cheap to investigate other solutions.  Last week, two things happened to change this.  First, I bought a pair of "in ear" buds that don't fall out, and second, the snow storm kept me trapped on a treadmill all week.  This has allowed me (1) to start catching up on Serial, and (2) to renew my appreciation for the Allman Brothers as workout music.  In particular, Jessica may be the perfect song to run to.  It's seven minutes long, upbeat, and the tempo is quick and steady.   I think I will download an extended live version for good measure.  Ramblin' Man and Melissa are also pretty awesome.  Whipping Post, not so much (too slow) . . .

Monday, January 26, 2015

NOLA half

Turns out I can finish a half marathon more or less untrained and injured.  Probably a bad idea but a lovely weekend.

Matt and I traveled to New Orleans with spouses for a long weekend and a half marathon.  Stayed at the Westin Canal Place which is basically a perfectly fine but soulless hotel in a very fancy shopping mall.  We used frequent flyer and point to keep cost down.  Westin was a race sponsor and a serious promoter of running.  They have a running concierge and not juts for the race, various running groups, and unlimited free Goos and electrolyte tablets for race weekend.  Only complaints were noise from party rooms at end of the hall both nights and the price of the heavily advertised grab and go breakfast for the runners.

Spent Friday and Saturday checking out the Garden District and walking around the French Quarter.  Friday dinner at Emeril's Delmonico was adequate but in no way special.  Saturday dinner at Bayona was superb although Sags split off and head down and dirty fried chicken and red beans rice. 

Also have to recommend EAT in the Quarter and Squeal (BBQ) up by the Tulane campus.

All the food didn't seem to slow Matt down any who finished in a blazing 1:34 PR.

Mr I came in really nervous about my luxating patella and various muscular issues related to that.  Serious chiro and massage got me to the start line and mind over matter took over.  It was 50 and sunny but with a stiff breeze.  We headed out St Charles Avenue for 4 miles to Audubon Park and Loyola New Orleans and then back to downtown, through the French Quarter, north up Esplanade street finishing in Louis Armstrong Park while the marathon itself split off for another 13.1 in some not nondescript areas. 

I sagged a bit in the middle of the race but finished strong.  I didn't even attach the timing loop because I wasn't sure I was going to make.  Recovery is fine, my knee is feeling better than it did and the start of the race.  Only issue is right top foot soreness which is already fading.  In the end it was another WTF race and my first half in my post-marathon era.  I highly recommend travel races and hope we can all hit some in between the actual antitrust marathons.

Various pictures are on Instagram of New Orleans, food and me at the starting line.  Check 'em out and follow me @sweberwaller.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Manhattan Half -- Race Report

Still awaiting word of Spencer's hijinks in New Orleans.  Today was the Manhattan Half.  I signed up months ago, thinking it made sense . . . This morning when I woke up at 5:30 am, I wasn't so sure.  I have run this race twice in its current configuration, January 2012 (heavy snow) and January 2013 (bitter cold).  This time we got lucky.  Saturday was a snowy slushy day, and tomorrow looks to be a blizzard, but today was mid 30s and turned sunny in the middle of the race.  You couldn't really ask for better weather this time of year.  The bigger problem is that I haven't run anything longer than 8 miles since the Marathon, and none of it fast.  My thought was to just do a long training run.  Of course the crowd always puts an end to the "easy run", but I did resist trying to push it faster than the pack.  I pretty much dialed it in at an 8:30 pace, concentrated on form and ran very consistent splits through 9 miles.  I slowed in mile 10 and 11, and then my phone clicked off, so I don't know what happened.  Subjectively, I stayed with traffic.  Objectively, I probably slowed a bit.  The end result was a slow for me, but fast for now half.  Considering it's January, I'm feeling well positioned for a good Spring .