Sunday, September 28, 2008

Training is Cheap, & The Last Miles of Newport-Liberty Half Marathon

I have been riding my bike a lot, and I should do a duathlon or triathlon, but every time I look for one to put on my calendar, I say to myself, I can go out and run and bike farther by myself on that day, have a great time, and save myself a couple hundred bucks! I would have much rather gone running in the woods today than in Jersey City. A couple of weeks ago in Watchung Reservation I ran about 1/4 mile behind a fox.

Speaking of which, in today's Newport-Liberty Half Marathon, I finished the race with Laura S., who caught me with a 1.5 miles to go. What a racing animal - I had no clue she was so focused and she was catching me. I must have been slowing down and she probably ran negative splits. She said, "We are going to catch that guy in yellow!" OK, motivation for me besides thinking I had to run fast so the RVRR women wouldn't beat this old guy. The guy in yellow was about 50 yards ahead of us, with some others between us and him. Well, in the next mile we reeled in the others, but not the guy in yellow. With a bit less than a half mile left, I went harder to catch the guy in yellow, and I also wanted to make Laura run faster. I caught the yellow guy, and have a story to tell too. Races are cool like that sometimes. I ran 1:32:01 - about seven minutes slower than I ran just three years ago, but about seven faster than last year. Races are cool like that sometimes, too. I have learned in my old age not to take them as seriously as I used to. I like to think that any day I am out there running, I am one of the luckiest guys in the world.

Training: September 22-28, 2008

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


My son was 4th man in his first high school cross-country meet.  Not too bad for a freshman, but his high school isn't exactly an XC power.  It was a double dual meet, and they lost against both teams.  He ran 22-something.  Better than he was running this summer at the summer series XC races.  There his best time was 24:57.  I ran about the course barefoot, taking photos of the team.  Any similarities in the photos below?

My Son, September 17, 2008

Me, H.S. Senior, Fall of 1976

Monday, September 15, 2008

Yea, we are spoiled...

Ran into this blogger who reported on a marathon in The Congo:

...if you can see the photo, those girls are running barefoot and in socks. I'd say at least half the runners did not have footwear. Some were wearing sandals and very precious few had good running shoes.

Yes, shoes are overrated.

Training: September 8-14, 2008

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Ten Miles at Watchung Reservation

There was record heat today.  I am in need of logging some long runs in prep for the Newport-Liberty Half-Marathon in two weeks and for the Philly Marathon in two months.  So I wanted to run for a couple hours today.  I cut it short because of the practically record heat.  It reached 92 degrees F in some parts of NJ today.  I smartly didn't begin running today until about 3 PM, at the height of the heat.  At Watchung Reservation the rocks were literally sweating.  They were cool from the days before, so they collected condensation.  I sweatted a lot more than the rocks, however.  I carried water and electrolyte replacement.  And I had to walk a couple of times.  I usually encounter dozens of other people walking on the trails.  Today I encountered a total of eight, if you count the baby in one guy's backpack.  I guess it was too hot for people to even walk today.  I admit, it wasn't exactly too hot, relatively, had it been summer in NJ.  But for me to have to turn on my AC at home on September 15 definitely qualifies today as an anomyly.

Hershey Park

Hershey Park, PA, has a posted and written policy on "Attire" .  It states, "For your safety and health, all Park visitors are required to wear shoes and shirts at all times."

The guy who checked my backpack at the gate didn't say anything about me being shoeless.  Maybe because he saw my flip-flops in my backpack.  The grounds of Hershey Park, as well as all the rides, are flawless - perfect for feet.  I enjoyed most of the day without hassle, with three exceptions. Also note, there are several rides that actually encourage you to remove your shoes if they do not cover the heel because they would fly off.  Here are the exceptions; two occured on rides that had signs online that stated the shoe/shirt policy for the ride.  On one ride, The 
Superduperlooper , the seatbelt checker said, "The next time you ride this ride you have to wear shoes."  I didn't actually record that as a demand to put on shoes.  On another ride, TheSidewinder, the checker asked if I had shoes, I said they were in my bag, and he asked me to put them on.  No prob, I did - but it is amazing how the presence of those thin rubber soles on the bottom of my feet makes a difference to riding the ride.  Finally, at the end of the evening, no trip to Hershey is complete without a visit to Chocolate World .  As I walked into the building, a security guy said that shoes had to be worn inside this building.  He was nice, retired type, reminded me of my dad.  I put them on, to the embarrassment of my kids.  Hey, it takes me about 10 seconds to get them out, drop them onto the floor and put them on.  Now, about exactly a year ago I was at Hershey Park barefoot, and was not hassled once, not even in Chocolate World.  I wonder what happened between then and now in regards to people going barefoot.