Category: FRNY

City Parks Foundation Run For The Parks 4-Miler


Overall Time: 24:10
Pace: 6:02
Place:  67 of 5272
AG%: 69.7%

Weather: 44 Degrees, 62% Humidity, Clear.
Start time: 8:00


This was a good race! True to form, I stayed out too late last night and had a few too many vodka tonics. Despite this, I managed to beat my 4-mile time from last week and set a new PR for the second week in a row.  While I was unable to achieve the elusive 5:59 pace, I’m pleased with this race. I started off a little slow, but that may have been a result of not feeling too rested this morning.

With today’s 4-Miler, I’ve now raced the last 4 consecutive weeks. The next NYRR race isn’t until May 9th, so I (thankfully) have a few weekends off for once. Whew!

Mile 1: Cat Hill is here. I intended to run a 6:00 because of my tendency to start off too conservatively.  That was a fail, as I clocked a 6:05 split.  Dammit, already behind pace!

Mile 2: Cat Hill is out of the way and my intention was to run a 5:55 or so, to bank time that will inevitably be lost on the hills of Mile 3.  When I saw 6:00 on my watch, I knew I’d have to push it a bit.

Mile 3: Shit, there’s a hill here. Last week I did this in 6:18. Today I pulled a 6:10, and it felt really good to push a bit on the uphill. I passed a lot of people who were starting to fade.

Mile 4: With the worst behind me, I just made sure to finish strong. I held my form together and made to not to get lazy simply because the end was near.  5:52 final mile, and a 13-second PR!

Run As One 4-Mile Race Presented by JP Morgan Chase

Overall Time: 24:23
Pace: 6:05
Place: 86 of 6712
AG%: 69.1%

Weather: 52 Degrees, 47% Humidity, Clear.
Start time: 9:00


This was a good race! I have a 4-mile race next week, and I thought I wasn’t going to try to run this one too hard. That changed once I got to the front corral, as it became evident that a lot of the faster Front Runners were doing this race. Sensing that FRNY might be able to take home a team medal, and me wanting to be a part of that, I decided to go for it and I’m happy with how this ended up.

Unfortunately, I ended up the 6th Front Runner to cross the line (only the top 5 get medals) but at least FRNY ended up with a 3rd place Men’s Team medal. I felt good the entire race, which means maybe I didn’t try hard enough – but it was a 37-second PR for me and I’m happy about that.

Next week is the same course, and if the weather holds out I’m going to go for another PR. Wish me luck!

Mile 1: Cat Hill is here, but despite this nasty incline I was too busy weaving around the slower runners to notice. I went by in 6:02.

Mile 2: Cat Hill is out of the way and now it’s nice and flat with a couple downhills. This would be my fastest mile, at 5:59.

Mile 3: Shit, there’s a hill here. At least we’re halfway done!  Everybody slows down here 20+ seconds, and I was not much different. 6:18, and glad that’s over!

Mile 4: I should have pushed harder, but somehow I forgot where the finish line was and didn’t realize it was as close as it was until I saw it after the turn on the 72nd Street transverse. Oh well. 6:02 final mile, and a 37-second PR. Huzzah!

2010 Scotland Run 10K Race


Above: a group photo with some of the FRNY participants. A total of 124 Front Runners participated!


Overall Time: 39:25
Pace: 6:21
Place: 233 of 7790
AG%: 68.1%

Weather: 52 Degrees, 80% Humidity, Clear.
Start time: 10:00

6:36 (yikes!)
1:17 (.22 miles at 6:00 pace)

Today was the NYRR Scotland 10K Run in Central Park. The weather was astonishingly beautiful, if a bit too warm. I went out in a singlet and shorts and was totally fine for the day. The sun was high in the sky and made it feel much warmer than it was. Coupled with the humidity, it made the running conditions a little warm for me but not too bad.

Overall, I’m OK with my results. I was a little disappointed that I didn’t crack 39:00, but it seemed like everyone struggled a little bit today. The hills in Central Park never make for an easy race, and my legs really felt tired by the halfway point. I should have been able to finish the race much stronger, but the hills in the first half took most of my energy. Despite this, the day was spectacular and the cherry trees are starting to blossom. I wouldn’t have wanted to spend this Saturday morning any other way.

I had to take a pee before the race, so that means my corral got crowded and I was at the very rear or the corral. When the race got moving, there had to have been at least 600 people in front of me that I had to weave through during the first mile. I could be heard saying rather loudly somewhere in the first mile, "Well, there goes the PR!" I really bothers me that people crowd the fast corral, only to set out much slower than they should be running. For the fast people really racing the race, it’s very difficult to weave through so much traffic when people are running shoulder to shoulder and you’re trying to not trip or get tripped.

Mile 1: The traffic aside, I was right on target for my first mile, at 6:17. It was pretty flat and I knew that the next two miles would be a little tough because that’s where the hills are. So far, so good.

Mile 2: I had room to run finally and the weaving continued through the second mile, a 6:08 mile that came and went pretty quickly and saw me pass a lot of Front Runners. My legs started to feel good, and my heart rate was within what I considered a good range for me. Only 4 miles to go!

Mile 3: This is where it started to get hard. The reverse of Harlem Hill is still easier than the normal counter-clockwise route, but it was tough still — a lot of guys got punished here; no one had an easy time, that’s for sure. I kept the pace strong, but maybe kept it a little too fast. 6:12 pace.

Mile 4: Honest to god, I wanted to quit through the last and current hill. All I could think about was how nice a DNF sounded at this point, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to live with myself. I could ease up the pace and still finish, but there was no way I could realistically let myself quit. It was my slowest mile, at 6:36

Mile 5: Somehow I talked myself back into the race, and while I wasn’t running super fast I did manage a 6:22 after a horrible 4th mile. Throughout the entire race, another Front Runner named Matt was ahead of me. He was far ahead in the corral, so when we started he got a good 30-second head start on me. I could see his bright orange shorts from far away on the downhill portions, and it gave me motivation to keep running. I wanted to see if I could catch up with him, and it wasn’t until Mile 5 that I knew I was within striking distance to pass him. He didn’t know it but he helped pull me through the last two miles.

Mile 6: The home stretch! While a 6:29 pace isn’t what I wanted, I was sure glad that the race was coming to an end. I had caught up to Matt (the Front Runner I was chasing down all race) and we were running together. I think it was good for the both of us, because it seemed like we fed off each other’s energy.

Mile 6.21: OMG Finally we’re done. Matt and I had a super big kick the last 200 meters, and we must have passed a dozen people. Felt great!


Wurtsboro Mountain 30K Race

Warning: Long write-up!

This morning, a group of 12 Front Runners ( and I headed to Wurtsboro, NY where the annual Wurtsboro Mountain 30K Run is held. It’s a race, but I decided not to race it — I just wanted to have fun and enjoy the company.

Wurtsboro is small city (pop. 1,234) located 75 miles north of New York City. Their annual 30K is notable for the start — a 1055-foot climb in the first 4.5 miles. The rest of the course is downhill with lots of rolling hills. It’s a tough course, but a beautiful one.

I decided to test myself a little by accepting this run, because I’m generally not a long distance runner. My runs are normally in the 5-8 mile range. The longest run I had done prior was somewhere around 11.5 miles long, and those were pretty flat miles.

I didn’t want to run this very hard, slightly because I was a little worried about the distance and the difficult course. I figured that I’d start off slow (easily done with 4.5 miles straight uphill!), then find an easy tempo in the middle. Depending how my legs felt, I figured that would determine how I’d finish the last 5 or 6 miles of the race.

This race couldn’t have gone any better. I honestly don’t think I’ve had a more enjoyable time in a race. I knew I wasn’t going to be trying to set any speed records, so it really allowed me to enjoy the beautiful scenery in Wurtsboro. I love Central Park and all, but really being in a place that is still very much untouched is something special. There were brooks, lakes, trees as far as you could see — all very beautiful, really.

I started off with my running bud Mikey B. Mikey is training for Boston, and wanted to use this as his long run for the week. He said he wasn’t going to run it real hard, so that was all I needed to hear and decided to keep him some company. The first 3 miles were absolute hell. According to Mikey’s watch, Mile 3 was somewhere around 9:30! I’m not sure how accurate the mile markers were, but some of those grades were intense.

After the first 5 miles were done, the fun part began. Miles 5-12 were nice and easy. The scenery was beautiful, and the course was rolling [down]hills with a net elevation loss. We passed the 10K marker at 51-minutes — an absolutely horribly shocking time on any flat course for us, but given the hills we were just happy the worst was behind us. We went from 8-9 minute splits to low 7s with a sub sub-7 miles.

Miles 13-18 got a little tough. There’s an elevation gain, which wasn’t fun this late in the game. Still, this is where I decided that my legs felt strong and that I was going to say good-bye to Mike and push the pace a little. I was doing low-7 miles with a lot left in the tank, but it became a difficult mental game now that I was running alone. I was passing a lot of people that had passed me early in the race, which felt great. At the home stretch, the guy right behind me started to sprint in hopes of coming in ahead of me but I had so much left that I went into an all-out sprint and totally blew him away — felt great!

Splits were roughly:
Miles 1-3 : 25:38 (forgot to get individual splits)
Mile 4: 8:44 (uphill)
Mile 5: 7:51 (finally the hills stop!)
Mile 6: 7:30
Mile 7: 8:00 (pitstop)
Mile 8: 7:32
Mile 9: 6:50
Mile 10: 6:59
Mile 11: 7:36
Mile 12: 7:32
Mile 13: 7:46 (pitstop #2)
Mile 14: 7:28
Mile 15: 7:28 (Decide to have a little faith in myself and leave Mikey)
Mile 16: 7:15
Mile 17: 7:15
Mile 18: 7:20
Mile 18.7 4:20

Overall time: 02:23:15
Finish: 22nd of 200+? (final numbers pending)

Coogan’s Salsa, Blues, and Shamrocks 5K Race

Coogan’s 5K
Time : 18:42
Pace : 6:01
Overall Place : 216 (of 5629)
Age Place : 55

Ryan Q is right — I definitely have to stay away from the wine and whiskey the night before a race (I had both). I got out of bed with my legs feeling *TIRED* but I decided I was going to try and push myself at this morning’s 5K race anyway.

Unfortunately, the trains are running super slow and they’re local this weekend, so it took me over an hour to get to Washington Heights. Once I got there I (again) didn’t have time to take a tinkle, and I almost didn’t make it to my corral before they closed it off at 8:50am. Already I felt like I was having a bad day!

Despite all this, when I got into my corral and saw my running club friends, I started to feel better. I psyched myself up a little bit and then off we went! I paced off a couple of my friends and started off right how I wanted given the hill in Mile 1. Around the halfway mark I picked up the pace and decided to see if I could speed up and also finish strong — I definitely didn’t want to fade the last mile, and I’m happy how my results came out.

I was a little disappointed that I didn’t crack a 5:59 pace, but I’m not going to sweat it. I’ll just make sure to get it next time around.

0:36 (5:36 pace for final .10685596 miles)

Coogan’s Salsa, Blues, and Shamrocks 5K

This Sunday is the first points race of the 2010 season:the Coogan’s Salsa, Blues, and Shamrocks 5K. While I don’t think I’ll be fast enough to get any points for my running club (FRNY), it will be fun to be with the real fast guys – the guys breaking 5:30 and 5:00 splits for a 5K.  It should be a good experience.

This is my third race in three weekends, and following the race will be my third post-race brunch in just as many weekends. I’m starting to feel a little worn down physically, but my legs seem to do fine during my training runs; I pushed a 6:45 pace for a 6+ mile run through Central Park last night despite heavy legs and that at least gives me the confidence that I don’t have to feel 100% to turn in a decent time.

My running buddy Dave C. thinks I should really try and race the Coogan’s 5K, and he thinks I can probably crack a 5:59 pace despite the hilly course. At first I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to, but somehow his confidence in me really makes me think I might be able to do it.  Can I? I don’t know for sure – but now I really want to lay it all out on the asphalt and see how I can do.

NYRR Al Gordon Snowflake 4-Miler

NYRR Al Gordon Snowflake 4-Miler

Official race time: 25:02 / 6:15 pace
Overall Place: 64 of 3684
Age Place: 19

This was definitely not the race that I wanted. I’m not sure what went wrong exactly, but I just didn’t race this that well and lost focus. I wasn’t expecting to do a whole lot better than what I did, but at the least I did expect to beat 25:00.

My splits were as follows:

Mile 1: 6:26 (flat / uphill)
Mile 2: 6:12 (flat)
Mile 3: 6:01 (flat / downhill)
Mile 4: 6:23 (flat / uphill)

I can’t change the past, so let’s focus on the future here.  Let’s see if I can pin-point some obvious things I should do differently in future races:

1. I got less than ideal hours of sleep. Did I really need to stay up late to finish off those last two beers?

2. Those last two beers.  Were they really necessary?  Probably not. I should focus on being hydrated the next morning, and not the minimal buzz I might get from a couple of beers.

3. I arrived to Prospect Park *only* 30 minutes before the race start. Normally this might not be a problem, except that (due to the snow, I think?) the baggage check area was moved as far away from the start as possible.  I wasted a good 10 minutes getting to / from the baggage check gates. When you factor in the few minutes it took me to walk from the train station, change shoes, get my bib pinned to my shirt, and find my friends in the corral I had only 5 minutes before the race start before I finally got to my corral.  This means I didn’t have any time to stretch or warm up. Before I knew it, some lady was singing the Star Spangled Banner, and the horn went off… time to run!

3a. Because of the crazy corral / baggage check / porta-potty area, I didn’t get to use the facilities… and I definitely needed to use them… specifically, I had *two* reasons. Argh. Next time I’m getting to the race area a full hour early.

4. I totally lost focus during the run. I had planned on pacing behind my friend Dave Caraway, but he started his first mile slower than I wanted. It took me a half mile to realize this, before I made an effort to pass him. Perhaps worse, during the run I definitely found myself getting lost in thought — typically I’m pretty good about focusing on pace, heart rate, breathing, cadence — but a few times I caught myself literally day dreaming and it caused me to slow down.  Next time : eye on the prize!

Disappointments aside, the day wasn’t a total loss. My running group (Front Runners New York) did very well. We took 3rd for the team awards, which means I get a medal! Yay! I was the 3rd fastest Front Runner which was sort of cool, being able to contribute to my team’s award. The two ahead of me were much faster (5:45, 5:32 paces). Also, I beat my friend Dave C. I knew he’d give me a run for my money and really wanted to stay ahead of him.

The FRNY Women also got 2nd place overall, and there were a number of age / gender awards as well as personal records that individual Front Runners pulled off.  Notable mention goes to Dave Pitches, who turned in an awesome 27:20 (6:50 pace), that gave him 1st place in the 60-64 age group.  I hope I’m runnig that fast when I’m 64! I hope the 65-69 group is ready for Dave next year, because he’s going to give them a run for their money!

Next weekend is the Coogan’s 5K, but I don’t have super high hopes for this race. I hear the hills make it a difficult course to PR on, so I’m just going to try and enjoy the hills and have some fun. It’s time I take a little pressure off myself, anyway.

2010 Prospect Park Cherry Tree 10-Mile Relay

This morning was the 10-mile, 3-man relay called the Cherry Tree Relay, put on by the Prospect Park Track Club. Considering I was working on little sleep and had 5 drinks last night, I think this went alright.

Overall, my team (Two Speeders and a Breeder) placed 15th out of 97 teams. Our final time was 1:03:33, for a 6:22 pace.

I ran the third and last leg, which was a little odd. I found that most of the people at the point where on their second leg of the race, and I was flying by them which gave me concerns that I may have started off a little fast. Thankfully, though, this wasn’t the case. I started off right about the pace that I wanted to.

This is only my second race, and my first without someone to pace me so I’m still learning how to start off properly. I’d say overall this is about the race that I wanted. Since this was more of a social race and not a NYRR race, I didn’t want to go all-out — but at the same time, I definitely wanted to do well.

I think I did just that, and pulled an overall pace of 6:10. Splits were : 6:15, 6:23, 6:08, 2:00 (5:24 pace for the last .37 mi).

I Know This Is My Running Blog….

Tonight was the multi-sport cross-training swim session. The triathlon group (Tritons) that used to be a part of my running group (Front Runners New York) invites us runners to come join them for these workouts and I happily went down there tonight for the first time.

My post-workout thoughts? This is intense! I haven’t been in the water doing laps in 20+ years! Yes, I spent summers in Hawaii and went to the beach every day with my grandparents, but I never really was a strong swimmer – and certainly never did anything like drills or intervals.

Tonight started off real rough — it was difficult enough to swim those first 50 meters. Toward the end, my technique improved dramatically and my breathing came much more naturally, so that 50m wasn’t such a big deal. It was still work, but it was doable. I’ve got a long way to go, but it’s a good start and I look forward to improving my technique and form.

I’m going to start throwing in swimming every other Monday. Why every *other* Monday? Because on the non-swim Mondays, I’ll be doing spinning! I can’t wait!

Where I Run

I ran across this last night at the Front Runners run in Central Park. It was dark and I was trying to maintain a decent pace, so I didn’t bother to stop and look. I did make it a point to check it out on my lunch hour this afternoon; now if only I had remembered to put the battery in my real digital camera so I wouldn’t have to rely on my stupid Blackberry to take a photo.  Ugh! 

Either way, it’s very cool.  I guess it’s just a frozen little waterfall.  There were bricks of ice last night around it, broken off from it. The cool thing about those bricks were that they were crystal clear!