Saturday, March 29, 2014

Swag!! and Becky!!

So tomorrow my friends at the South Brooklyn Running Club are leading a NYRR sponsored training run for the Brooklyn Half.  I volunteered to lead the eleven minute group, because, well, somebody needs to do it, and today that seems to be about my speed.  The run is a single loop around Prospect Park, leaving from Carroll Park, for a total of about 6 miles, to be followed by beer.  The run is sponsored by New Balance, so as a group leader I got major swag: a tech jersey, a tech hoodie, shorts, and a pair of shoes (NB 890s).  All totaled, it's almost $200 worth of stuff, retail -- the shoes alone list at about $100.  I guess that just brings home the point that the actual cost of materials is probably about $5.  Anyway, pretty cool. Hopefully I'll be able to slog out an even pace.

But I haven't even mentioned the best part!!  Becky will be up from DC for a mini runningprofs reunion.  She will be there to make sure I keep the pace honest. :-)

UPDATE: Here's a photo of the gang (see if you can spot us), and another from the back of the pack.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Hail, hail . . .

Runningprofs' own Spencer Waller, with co-author Harry First, won the top prize in the category "General Antitrust" in the Concurrences Antitrust Writing Awards, for their article Antitrust's Democracy Deficit.  I got a look at that article some months back and think the jury -- an august group in its own right -- hit this particular nail on the head.


20 Mile Week

Not that long ago, a 20 mile week would have seemed perfectly ordinary, if not a light week's work.  Well, today I'm claiming victory.  With short 3-5 mile runs, Friday, Saturday, Tuesday and a 7 miler today, I'm feeling like I'm finally starting what is going to be a long crawl back to fitness.   Now I need to recover.  The next goal is to lead the 11 minute group on a loop of Prospect Park this Sunday. Should be fun.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Four out door runs

The past two weeks I have run outdoors more than the entire rest of the winter.  Hungary featured an 8 miler to/from and around Margarita Island and a 5.5 miler along a different stretch of the Danube and up a 200 meter vertical hill with some cool stuff and even better views at the top.  Once back home did two 6's in different directions along the lakefront.

Looking forward to running in DC at the ABA spring meeting of the Antitrust Section but bummed it won't be with Max as in past years.

Next race the 8K Shamrock Shuffle with my daughter next weekend.  Then maybe a half marathon first weekend in April.

Also registered for the Chicago Marathon lottery.  New format this year so get your lottery ap in. They will notify in mid-April and then you have 5 days to finalize and pay so no downside.  A costless option as Janger observed the other day.

Heal fast Max!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Surgery and After

On Tuesday Dr. B__ performed a partial meniscetomy, removed my plica, and cleaned up some frayed edges of cartilage elsewhere in the knee.  A few have asked me "how was it?"  My answer:  I was told "you will feel a prick" (the IV being inserted in the back of my hand) -- and then I woke from a very restful nap, learning all had gone well.  From my perspective, surgery may be the most restful thing I have done!

I walked out of there and apart from some swelling I am suffering exactly no ill effects.  I did not even fill the pain med prescription and now three days later I am off the Tylenol, though I'm still taking prescription-strength Aleve for swelling.  The swelling restricts motion a slight bit.

I've now visited a therapist twice.  There is not much need for therapy for recovery from surgery -- I got a list of stretches and very minor strength building exercises -- but I am going to take full advantage of PT as a means to build my running stride to better than it was before.  Something funny has been going on and I want to solve it.  Among other things, the therapists identify flexibility and strength limitations that are not necessarily related to surgery at all.

Dr. B__ says the injury is just a function of getting older.  As the meniscus loses its sponginess it tears more easily.  Better simply to deal with it, he says, than not to engage in activity that might cause a tear (and deal instead with the health problems that come from a sedentary lifestyle).

Here's where things stand:  I'm enjoined from sweating much until the holes are closed -- approximately 10 days from now -- so no running or biking.  No swimming either, for the same time period.  At the gym today after doing my stretches I learned my weight is a good 5 lbs above normal and 10 above "race weight," so when the ankle bracelet is removed I get to enjoy getting visibly fitter.

Back to what I wrote a few weeks ago:  I wish I had done this in November!

Speed is Relative

Went for my third outside run this week, and its beginning to feel normal.  This is great.   It's a little bit depressing, though, when your fastest mile, and one that felt like work, is at a slightly over 10 minute pace . . .

Monday, March 17, 2014

Cold, Short, Nice!!

Okay, yesterday I did a mini-bric, spin class followed by a gentle mile on the treadmill.  Orthotics seem to be helping a lot. They don't fit in my bike shoes, but my form on the bike felt better anyway.  The run part felt fine.  Today, I braved the elements, for another short run around Brooklyn Bridge Park.  It was cold, and slow, but it felt like a normal early March run. The issue is my conditioning not the heel. Hooray!! sort of . . .

Saturday, March 15, 2014

First Run With Orthotics

In DC yesterday for the American College of Bankruptcy annual meeting, got to stay at one of my favorite cute little hotels near Dupont Circle and managed to squeeze in a quick run on the Mall.  This was my first run with my new orthotics, and it was a bit of an experiment. If I'd been home and smart, I'd have gone for a nice slow 3 miler in Brooklyn Bridge Park.  But, instead, I did my usual 4.5 mile  wander from Dupont Circle/Farragut North toward the White House, then to the Washington Monument, around the Lincoln Memorial and back.  

I have no base, so that was depressing.  The orthotics felt weird, but the extra support was very nice.  I found myself able to run in ways that I haven't in months.  Running on the Mall is never solitary.  There are always other runners, and I always get a bit competitive.  Running along the path next to the reflecting pool (under construction), I dropped my pace into the 8-8:30 range for the first time in months.  This probably wasn't the brightest thing I've ever done, and my lack of conditioning was painfully evident, but it still felt good.  I was able to open up my stride without feeling heel pain.  Hooray.

Today, the heel is pulling a bit, and a bit the worse for wear, so I'm taking the day off. The orthotics add significant weight to my shoes, but they seem to take pressure off the heel tendons, so that's a good trade.  I developed hot spots on my toes where the orthotics end, but nothing too serious.   Fingers crossed . . .

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Moot Merger Filing and Review Competition

Could one create such a thing for law students?

Team A:  FTC.  Team B:  merging parties.

Create and file HSR documents.  Review HSR documents and create investigation plan.  White paper submission.  Second request.  Papers for TRO/preliminary injunction.

The competition would start in late August, when everybody (acting as Team B) would work up their HSR documents.  The interactive portion would take place over the December/January holiday period to approximate the realities of (1) a short time clock and (2) late-year filings.

Competition organizers would need to create mock deal documents and mock hearing transcripts.

The challenge would be to make it sufficiently interesting and realistic to be worth the candle.

Why?  We all need more experiential opportunities for law students.  And I want to increase the variety of antitrust offerings, at least here (but I imagine others have a similar interest).


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Cool site for the running wounded

In my various Google searches for "peroneal tendinopathy," I came across a site that is new to me--it's called Athletes Treating Athletes. I haven't fully explored it, but it's a wealth of info about rehab routines, how-to videos and diagnostic tools. I need all the help I can get!


I've moved to the next phase in trying to fix my left heel -- orthotics.  Maybe this will finally get my left  foot to track straight, align the heel tendons and fix my stubborn glute, hamstring, hip thing.  Any one of those things would be good.  I was surprised at how big and heavy they were.  I seem to have traveled full circle from old style "Neutral Plus" to barefoot, to minimal, back to neutral, and now neutral plus a great big heavy sheet of leather and rubber that makes me 1/4 to 1/2 inch taller . . . Well, after a morning of walking around in them, they might actually be magical . . .  We'll see.

Asset Sales in Triathlon

WTC -- read, Ironman -- bought the Tri Columbia races.

This reportedly means that those events, including the Columbia Triathlon (Olympic), Eagleman (70.3), Chesapeakeman (140.6), and two "Irongirl" triathlons, will be held in 2014.  Details of the deal are not known (or perhaps even finalized?), so whether WTC finds it appropriate to run the entire series ad infinitum is up in the air.

My prediction:  WTC keeps the Columbia Triathlon as a marquee qualifier for its 5150 series championship.  The Columbia Triathlon earned that status for the first time in 2012 when the short-lived DC Triathlon folded.  Based on the level of competition at the Columbia Triathlon, it brought truly top athletes to the championship event in Iowa (Hyvee).

WTC obviously keeps the Eagleman, one of the most sought-after 70.3 races.  As an aside, I have not a clue why Eagleman was so desirable an event.  Although I've never run it, I have run the Chesapeakeman, which follows the same roads and swims in the same water.  It's pretty if you like stark, lonely landscapes.  Perhaps it was the time of year, perhaps it was the Kona slots that were available, but Eagleman has been a big hit.  WTC ownership will not change that in the slightest.

And WTC unloads everything else.  No way there will be a Ironman Cambridge, MD (Chesapeakeman) every September.  First, September is already overcrowded with Ironman races.  Second, the town is not large enough to support a four-day event with 2500 athletes and two spectators per athlete.  Third, Ironman racing is a destination sport.  Cambridge, Maryland, is a pleasant place to eat crab cakes and run a race, but it is not a destination.  Chesapeakeman's only hope is that members of the TriColumbia board want to form a new entity just to run the smaller events and have struck a deal with WTC to keep the race alive for long enough for that to happen.

Is this good?  Bad?  Indifferent?  Commenters on the Slowtwitch post (linked above) are generally maudlin regarding the loss of a non-profit entity putting on nice local races.  The problem is, as Ted signals in his comment to my prior post on this topic, the loss was inevitable:  a non-profit cannot realistically compete on the WTC scale.  Some commenters suggest other regional promoters were available (and interested) to pick up the races, but I'm a skeptic.  It takes a serious organization to run an event like the Columbia Triathlon.  Perhaps it could be scaled back to ~500-700 athletes, but that would be a very different race.  In contrast, WTC can run it at full throttle.

Finally, I doubt other promoters were available to pick up the entire series.  WTC may have offered to keep the smaller events afloat for long enough to see if they can be run on their own, in exchange for priority in purchasing the desirable events.  If the alternative was shutting down Chesapeakeman and Irongirl, perhaps this is the best of two unhappy options.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

A good day for the law and running

Spring break began on Friday, daylight savings began his morning, tonight I leave for a weke of teaching, lecturing and running in Budapest.  Teaching at the Catholic University there.  Lecturing at he Hungarian Competition Authority. And running on Marguerita Island in the middle of the Danube.  Its about a 5K loop which combined with getting there and back should be a nice run.  Weather expected to be high 30s to mid-50s.  Warmed up with a 5 miler outdoors today.  Tell you more when I get back.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Joseph Schumpeter would be proud

Tri Columbia, with its 30-year-old Columbia Triathlon (Olympic distance) was a very early player in the national triathlon scene.  In addition to that large and much-loved mid-distance race Tri Columbia puts on the Eagleman, which Ted tore up a few years back, and several other less well known regional events including the Chesapeakeman (Chessie) 140.6.

To place the enterprise in appropriate historical perspective, one source dates the first "official" triathlon race to 1974 in California.  (It does reference triathlon in the 1920s in France but gives the distinct impression that the sport was not a sport until the '70s.)  Tri Columbia's Columbia Triathlon has been run continuously since 1984.

The report is that the enterprise is inches away from folding.  (Hat tip to frequent commenter D__, who as founder of a mid-Atlantic power triathlon team is frequently in the know on these matters.)

Why?  The blame seems to revolve around a high level of competition.  A few years back I ruminated here on runningprofs on the developing triathlon market, noting that the entry barrier to putting on a mid- or short-course race was little more than permit fees and insurance.

On the basis of my three (extraordinary) Tri Columbia events and observation of the firm for several years, I will add a slight bit of texture:  there is substantial market segmentation in triathlon.  There is Ironman, Challenge and Rev3 (three large, well-funded promoters); there is the category including Set-up Events, Sommer Sports, and similar mid-tier promoters putting on race series; there is the category of similarly mid-tier single-even promoters like the Silverman Triathlon folks; and there is the infinity of club races.

Ironman et al. have created brands of extraordinary value and have turned "triathlon" into their customers' first-priority week-long vacation.  Mid-tier races are for the committed few who want to race several times per year and are less concerned about getting their backs slapped at the water-cooler the following week.  (For fun, try bragging to a colleague that you just finished the "Chesapeakeman" or -- I did this once -- "Great Illini."  Doesn't quite have the same ring.)  Club races are for early and late season "gotta get my speed workout in" AND for "cross this off my bucket list" athletes.

Tri Columbia's problem was that it fit squarely in the middle tier.  That firm offered a first-rate race experience for regional athletes.  For many of us it was the unofficial start to serious training and racing.  In 2013 the competition in my age group at the Columbia Triathlon was better than at much larger -- and much better known -- races including the Nation's Triathlon, Timberman 1/2 Ironman, and Lake Tahoe Ironman.  (With similar perceived output on my end, in my age group I was 18th at Columbia compared with 3d, 11th and 12th at the other races.)

Tri Columbia tried, though, to compete in the top tier.  The Columbia Triathlon had become the go-to black-label race of choice for pros resting between their Kona qualification and their Kona training cycle.  Not many of those pros were mid-Atlantic locals, suggesting that a large chunk of money was going to appearance fees.  Other large chunks of money were clearly going to making the races first-rate:  the level of support and amount of swag at Tri Columbia events is much greater than at regional competitor Set-up Events events.

What lesson?  Unless you have large dollars behind you, to run a triathlon race series you need to be lean and regional/local, unless you want your lunch eaten.

From the Chicago Marathon

I received this email from the Chicago Marathon organizers:

Registration for the 2014 Bank of America Chicago Marathon has been postponed until March 19 at 12 p.m. Central Time to finalize a routine yet comprehensive assessment of our new registration process. We apologize for this inconvenience and thank you for your patience and understanding as we aim to ensure a seamless registration experience for all who wish to register for the event.

Thumbs up for beta-testing!  Is this a lesson from the ACA experience?

Last I heard, this October race was tentatively on a few calendars.  I'm not going to enter, but I might enjoy cheering and pacing if there is a good excuse for doing so.