Saturday, September 21, 2013

My Top 10 Running Shoes of All Time

Saucony Kilkenny
Reebok Circa Waffle

  1. Saucony Kilkenny XC Flat 2007 (Now updated and not as good)
  2. Nike Sting 1973 (Long gone)
  3. Onitsuka Tiger Racing Flat 1973 (Long gone)
  4. Nike Terra TC (Long gone)
  5. Nike Waffle Racer 1977 (Long gone)
  6. Reebok Circa Waffle 2007 (Gone)
  7. Merrell Trail Glove (original) (Now updated, and the upper is not as durable)
  8. Merrell Sonic Glove (Gone)
  9. Merrell Mix Master 2 (Still available)
  10. New Balance MT110 (Still available, but probably on its way out)

IN Boston!

I was whiny last week about not seeing acceptance to Boston.  But I received the email the next day:

118th Boston Marathon

This is to notify you that your entry into the 118th Boston Marathon on Monday, April 21, 2014 has been accepted, provided that the information you submitted is accurate.

So I'm in with the other 36,000.  This scene at the Hopkniton High School is going to be epic.  How can they fit so many people into that space?  I learned last time I ran it in 2009 that the place to go is directly to the starting line area.  There are port-o-johns there.  There are enough of my running club friends coming for us to almost have our own bus to the starting line!  I now hope to get enough marathon training in during the ski season to make this a decent race.  In it for Boston Strong.  That theme should be quite prevalent this coming April.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Waiting for Boston

I am kinda pissed that a lot of my friends who put in their entry for the 2014 Boston Marathon on Friday are now coming up in a search for entrants, but my name is not.  After filling out all the entry info, the Boston people (B.A.A.) send you a nice email that says:

"Thank you for submitting an entry to the 118th B.A.A. Boston Marathon. It is important to note that your Reference ID does NOT constitute entry into the race, but confirms that your application for entry has been received by the B.A.A....  You will be notified of your acceptance by email and US Postal Service in October. Your notification of acceptance will be sent as soon as we verify your official results from your qualifying marathon. When you are accepted, your name will be posted on the Boston Marathon Entrants page."

So what is taking them so long to check the Philly Marathon database?

Registration still seems to be open, so I guess all will be well.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Wildcat Ridge Romp 50K

The Wildcat Ridge Romp 50K yesterday was tough. Perhaps the heat and humidity? Perhaps just the rocks.  Here is a great photo set by Otto Lam!
Though this course had everything from pavement and million dollar homes to garbage dumps, this is a typical rocky section of course. The course was at least 50% technical single track trails. (photo by Heather Simon)
The last lap hurt a lot on-and-off. I was constantly gauging whether I needed another electrolyte cap, gel, or just water. It was hard to start the last lap of this 3 lap course. I was thinking of DNF, but felt OK after pounding handfuls of blueberries, strawberries, grapes, and half a banana. Miles 18-23 felt the worst, but were not the slowest. As usual, once past marathon distance, my legs started to hurt less, but the pace was slow.

I was glad to have many friends there. Peter was 3rd in his first 50K; Molly was 2nd woman; Heather was happy and comfortable, and Elaine got through it with varied levels of pain and success. Lauren, unfortunately pulled out after 2 laps with stomach and dehydration issues. 10 milers Angela, Sally, Gail had fun and it was cool to see them on the start line when I finished my first lap - I ran right through them!

Post-race group. L to R: Peter, Molly, Me, Gail, Heather, Angela, Sally. (Photo by Heather Simon)

This was a great training run for Mountain Madness (Sep.) and Grand Canyon R2R2R (Nov.)
Here are pics of me, "stolen from".

Here is the partial Garmin data through about mile 27.5.

The first and second laps (10.x miles each) were fairly consistent: 1:47 & 1:58. The last was bad, with a couple of 17 minute miles @ 2:18. [results with splits]

I wore a new pair of Merrell Men's Mix Master 2's, that I had to stop and re-tie/tighten after turning both ankles. That is one of the dangers of wearing new shoes in a trail race. I used Puma Men's TB Running Short Tights thinking they might help with hamstring pain. I only carried a simple Nathan Triangle bottle belt, with gels and Endurolyte salt tabs. I consumed 9 or 10 salt tablets and about 8 gels.

Here are a few more photos, by Otto Lam.  Notice how in the first tree from the first lap I am noticeably happier than the second three from lap 2....

Sunday, August 04, 2013

My Rather Ambitious 2013 Event Schedule

2013 Date | Event Title | [Time, Place Age Group or Over All, Age Grading]

3/10 Miles for Music 20K [1:30:46, 17/42 AG, 71.6%]
3/23 HAT 50K [DNF @21 miles]
3/30 Chimney Rock 5 Mile [48:23, 2nd AG]
4/6 Gunks Springletrack Marathon ("Fat Ass") [6:42]
4/27 Clinton Country Run 15K [1:04:34, 8/38, 74.29%]
4/28 Inspire 5K [20:49, 1/9, 5th overall, 72.6%]
5/4 North Face Endurance Challenge 50K [6:10:31, 1st 50+M, 5/44 in their goofy 46-55 age group]
5/27 Ridgewood 10K [41:48, 20/88, 75.25%] (Did the 5K as a Barefoot Bandit!)
6/1 Towpath "Train"ing Run 25 miles (was aiming for 34) [4:08]
6/11 RVRR Summer Series 5K XC
6/17 President's Cup 5K
6/23 Lager Run 5K on my birthday!
7/9 RVRR Summer Series 5K XC
7/23 RVRR Summer Series 5K XC
8/10 Wildcat Ridge Romp 50K [6:08:36, 1st 50+M]
9/22 Liberty Waterfront Half-Marathon [1:30:27, 11/112, 75.9%]
9/28 Mountain Madness 50K
10/20 USATF National/USATF-NJ 5K XC Championships
10/27 USATF-NJ 8K XC Championships
11/4 Grand Canyon Rim-To-Rim-To-Rim!
11/10 Giralda Farms 10K
11/17 Philadelphia Marathon
11/28 Ashenfelter 8K

Saturday, July 20, 2013

My New Job & Running

Same place, different position.  I will not be an English teacher during the 2013-2014 school year.  I am a teacher on special assignment.  My position is a combination, they got 2-for-1 on this one.  The postings were for a technology specialist and a media specialist.  The tech specialist was a new position, and our previous media specialist retired.  I was talking with the principal towards the end of the year about our media specialist, whom I had known for at least 15 years of my tenure at school.  I threw out there, on a lark, "can I have her job?"  He stopped for a second and said something like, "Maybe - why not. Send an email to the superintendent, and copy me on it, saying that you are interested."  Done and done in mid-June.  With the end of school crush and the beginning of camp preparation I totally forgot about it.  On the second day of camp I got a phone call from the board offices, to come down for an interview with the assistant superintendent, but I was not sure what it was for, exactly.  I got a call from the principal about it, and had a quick discussion, that it was about that email request.  I set up the appointment, went down to the offices, and he already had the new contract ready to sign.

What this means to me in relationship to running is this: I can return to superior fitness that I had when I was doing a similar position at school, before the last couple of years of full-schedule English teaching.  I can ride my bike to work or run to work, not needing to carry around a backpack full of papers to grade.  It was always the papers, and the accompanying weight of responsibility for them, that somehow mentally blocked me from using the commute to school as a workout opportunity.

Another thing it means is that I can eat my lunch during any lunch period I choose!

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Springletrack fat ass "marathon" in the Shawangunk Mountains.

Shawangunk Mountains 25.71 mi 05:59 13:57 pace.

Garmin ran out of juice, so I had to finish this course using endomondo on the cell phone. Total for the day is 25.71 miles. Total time for the day for me was is 6:42. Total running time 5:59. Total elevation gain 3785, elevation loss 3819. 

Dixon, Kolb, and Ivan ran faster. It was the first time in 40 years of running that I "ran" a course through a cave! The views were spectacular, almost all rocky technical single track, some snow and ice, and a stream crossing using a rope for balance help. My legs don't feel too bad, but my head is sunburned. Getting ready for North Face Endurance Challenge 50K on May 4! Merrell Mix Master felt great, but took a lot of wear out of the sole.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Sub 6 Minute Pace

The last time I ran a race that averaged below 6 minutes per mile pace was on June 15, 2009, at The President's Cup Night Run 5K.  I was 49 years old.

That's kind of depressing.

I have been through injuries, and I have been building up longer trail racing, finishing my first two 50K's last year.  And I love that.  But I think I need to get a race into the sub-6 minute zone again this year.

My fastest race last year averaged 6:13/mile, at the Lager Run 5K on June 24.  I had just turned 53.  This year, the Lager Run is on my birthday, so I think I need to give myself the present of running sub-6.  To get there I need to do track workouts.  I have a pretty full schedule, so I think this is all I can fit in.  I am going to keep it simple:

April 4 = 8X400@90
April 11 = 10X400@90
April 18 = 12X400@85
April 23 = 14X400@85
May 14 = 10X400@80
May 21 = 12X400@80
May 28 = 14X400@80

4/18/13 UPDATE: So far I have done NONE of these planned workouts!  But my distance is long and getting faster.  That won't get me under 6/mile for a 5K, but at least North Face won't hurt as much, and maybe I could go faster than last year.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Merrell Trail Glove 2.0

I will just lay it out right now: I love the Merrell Trail Gloves.  They are my preferred shoe both on trails and on the road.

I am happy to report that my advance media sample pair of Merrell Trail Glove 2.0 shoes  have not let me down.  On the contrary they are amazingly better than the original Merrell Trail Glove.
My first run with them was with my RVRR peeps at Round Valley on February 17, 2013. It was cold and windy and there was a little snow covering parts of the trail. Here is what I wrote after that run, "First run with Merrell Trail Glove 2.0's: WOW - they are actually BETTER THAN THE ORIGINAL Merrell Trail Glove!"

My second run was February 22nd at Watchung Reservation.  I wrote, "Second run in the Merrell Trail Glove 2.0 and they are great. Traction is good on old snow and the rock plate is much more protective than the original Trail Glove - which I don't even think had one - yet the flexibility is maybe even better."

Therein lies the most major advance in the 2.0 version.  I wrote to Merrell about the original Trail Glove, that I felt it didn't have enough protection for long runs on eastern rocky trails.  I suggested that they make a Trail Glove West and a Trail Glove East - the East version with a zero lift, but a little more sole.  They have answered the problem, as far as I can tell, by improving their rock-plate protection, yet keeping the overall shoe as flexible as ever.

After the Watchung Reservation Run

There is a slight change in the lacing system, reducing the OmniFit closures from 4 to 2.  That adds a little less feeling of shoe on top of the foot.

I continue to use my older Trail Glove and Sonic Gloves on trails and on the road.  I have New Balance minimal road shoes and trail shoes, but their last is a little too curved for the shape of my foot.  The Trail Glove's last sticks to my foot as if it was a part of it, and protects my arch area better than the New Balance MT-110.

I will be running the HAT 50K in this shoe on March 23.  I will give a report on its performance over that distance sometime shortly after that.

In the interest of full disclosure, they do send them to me for free.  I am not happy that they retail for $100, which is much more than I think running shoes should ever cost - but that is because I am not only cheap, but now I am spoiled by the hand that has fed me.