Friday, October 31, 2014

Good luck, Ted!

I came across this awesome sign and thought it was appropriate for the blog :) Have a great run on Sunday, Ted! The hay is in the barn...

Monday, October 27, 2014

Hopping in at the end of the race

I followed Spencer around Chicago the other week and noted here that experiencing a marathon as a supporter may have been as fun as racing myself -- and certainly less stressful.

I thought I might reprise that yesterday at the Marine Corps Marathon, held, as seemingly always, on a beautiful day.  The course has changed since I last ran it in 2011, now heading up and back on Rock Creek Parkway to a u-turn at the Calvert Street exit.  I left home and headed south through Rock Creek Park, following the crowded bike trail to Calvert Street.

The runners were long through but the course still closed to traffic, so I jumped in.  I enjoyed a solitary run all by myself right down the middle of Rock Creek Parkway.  One athlete was still out there, an older gentleman sure to be caught by the MCM's famous slow-runner bus.  So it was just me and the Marines left cleaning up cups, bottles, and gel-packs from road-side, preparing the road to be re-opened to traffic.  I kept hoping I might catch a few more stragglers, but I was too late or they were too fast.

At the river I left the course and turned west past Thompson Boat House onto Water Street below Georgetown.  Spencer and I ran this stretch on his 18-miler in September.  Instead of turning up into Georgetown I continued to the C&O trail which would, if I followed it, take me north to Bethesda.

Instead I split off to the right and followed the dirt trail through the woods, heading back north through Glover Archbold Park, a sub-part of the Rock Creek National Park.  The trail takes one from the C&O Canal all the way to Tenleytown.

Glover Archbold Park
From where I wound through neighborhoods back home.  12 miles on a beautiful fall day for my only run this week.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Who knew that was a thing?

I had worked out my strategy for taper weekend. I was going to run 5-7 with the SBRC folks on Saturday, and then 5-8 on Sunday, then shut it down.  I went to the 7 am meetup, only to find out there was a plan -- take the subway up to the east side, and then run the last ten miles of the marathon course.   That was more than I'd planned, but what a great idea.  We took the subway up, and then walked to 59th and first at the base of the 59th street bridge.  Suddenly there were running clubs all over the place gathering and setting out.  The Prospect Park Track Club, my former club (though I never really did anything with them) even had support stations.  Who knew?? I've been running the NYC Marathon for 16 years on and off and had never heard of this taper tradition.  What a great idea!  I have never been a great finisher in NYC.  First avenue is a false flat that goes gently uphill.  Then two bridges into and out of the Bronx, finally a long gentle uphill mile on 5th Avenue before you enter Central Park.  Short version, miles 19-23 are pretty miserable.   This year I've taken a different approach to the back half of the course.  Two of my 20s included my nemesis, the 59th Street Bridge, and then, the last ten with fresh legs.  It turned out to be a really great confidence builder.  We kept a nice pace (faster than my planned pace by about 20 seconds/mile).  The weather was perfect.  It was fun -- the sort of run that reminds you why we do this.   Now I'm shutting it down.  Today, an easy swim and a spin class.

The economic impact of marathoning

Here are some interesting on the economics of the Chicago Marathon with 2013 data.  Maybe this is why it doesn't matter that much to the organizers how elite the leader pack is as long as it is respectable.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Brooklyn Triathlon

Max will no doubt have thoughts on this post.  Each of the last two years, I have considered signing up for the first Brooklyn Triathlon.  Last year the event was scheduled in mid-November, and was cancelled well before, when somebody realized that it would be really cold!!  They announced a better date, and a simpler course, and a whole bunch of friends of mine signed up.  I would have, were it not a week before the Marathon.  Well, it looks like I'll still have an opportunity to do the first Brooklyn Tri.  Yesterday they cancelled again, posting this on their website.  Gotta say, August seems a bit late to be submitting a request for a permit for a major event.  Just sayin' . . . 

Two years ago, because of Hurricane Sandy, I experienced the cancellation of the year's A race.  It was a wrenching experience, redeemed by the availability of another race a few weeks later (the Brooklyn Marathon).  That's not going to work for my tri-friends.  October 26 is the bitter end for the tri-season in the Northeast.  I would be very frustrated with the organizers for not having their act together . . .

Monday, October 20, 2014

Note to law schools:

I've voted.  You can stop sending me stuff.  None of it worked, even the cookie that one of you sent me.  (Yes, one of you did, and no, I did not eat it.  Or permit it to influence my vote.)