Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Acton Trussle

OK so I am in the UK, Penkridge in Staffordshire to be exact. Sunday after recovering from my flight over, I went out for a run. This is England, so of course it was raining, though not too heavily. I ran from the Village out on the A 449 to Acton Trussle, which is about 3 miles from my sisters house and then back. It seemed to clear out some of the stiffness from sitting on a plane and then a bus the day before.. I went out again yesterday for an easier run in colder but drier conditions. I actually feel more relaxed than I do when running in New York, but that may be partly due to the fact that I am on holiday.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

First Snow

It started to snow shortly after I woke up this morning. By the time I went out for my run with Abichal there was already snow on the ground and the temperature was around 23 F (-5 C ). As we started our the wind in our faces made it feel much colder, even though I was wearing wool gloves my hands were very cold. Maybe this is the result of losing some fat in the summer.We did of course warm up. My plan was to run 10 miles like last week, Abichal had a slightly different plan so we only ran together for about 7 miles. I was happy again with the stronger pace and felt better than last week. The fact that I hadn't run 2 races earlier may have something to do with this, but I like to think that I am getting stronger.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Old Friend

My running is going quite well this week after all that speed work.
I received an E mail from US Ultra Running Hall of Famer Marcy Schwam yesterday, it was actually in response to one I had sent her. A mutual friend had given me her address last week. She lived near to me in the late 70's and early 80's and was partly the inspiration for me to get involved in ultra's. She now works for Reebok and it seems is in NYC quite often, so I hope that we will get a chance to meet and maybe talk about old times and future running adventures. it should be fun.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

10 The Hard Way

For a change this morning I went out with 2 of my faster running friends. One of them has a slight leg problem at the moment but still moves pretty fast. We went out at 6:30am and the temperature was just above freezing, but beautiful sunshine and fall colour made everything feel really nice. After about 4 miles I started to feel my legs on some of the hills, but decided to hang in there as well as I could. I struggled over the last few miles, but was happy to finish a hard 10 mile run, I know this will help me in the future. With the 2 races I did earlier it made for a good hard training week for me.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

2 Races 48 hours

This morning I went out and ran our local 2 mile race, the temperature was 25 F with the wind chill it felt like 17 F. It was such a big difference from Thursday when it was 55 F. Due to the cold weather only about 12 people showed up. I finished 4th, though I was in 3rd place until the last 1/2 mile when my legs just started to get really tired, probably because it was my 2nd race in less than 48 hours.My time was not so fast either. 16:12, but the average was a little faster than my 5 mile race. Once again I was happy just to run.
Hey how do those guys in the Olympics run heats and finals in just a few days.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

It's Thanksgiving in the US and there are lots of races called Turkey trot going on everywhere. I chose to run a 5 mile Turkey trot in Prospect Park Brooklyn. The park is quite hilly and although it's late November the temperature was around 55F. There were over 1000 runners and I think part of the race fee goes to funding a local high school track team. I was supposed to meet my friend Luis who lives near the park, but he didn't show. I of course ran anyway and my time was 41:20 which is not bad for me at the moment. I got this medal and bought the hat for $5. My 8:16 pace was sufficient I used to be able to run 6:16 25 years ago, but hey I'm older and wiser now, he he.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

yesterday I went into Central park, where the Knickerbocker 60k was being run. There were over 100 runners. The photo is of the eventual winner, this is with 2 laps to go. His name is Oz Pearlman and he is the guy who won the 50 mile race at the Lakefront 50/50 that I ran in Chicago 3 weeks ago.Though I hadn't planned it I myself ran 15 plus miles in the park too.Oz ran the 60k in 4:01:34
This morning I went out for my usual Sunday morning run and covered 10 miles, so I had a 25 mile weekend, which I am quite happy with.

Friday, November 16, 2007

This weekend there are a lot of ultra races going on; in Texas the Ultracentic 48/24/12/6, the JFK50 in DC and here in New York there is the Knickerbocker 60k in Central Park. Quite a few years ago when I still owned a car, I used to go into central Park a lot to watch all kinds of races, but then for some reason I stopped. Well after going in the see the US Olympics marathon trails a couple of weeks ago it has once again peeked my interest. So will take the subway into the city and spend a few hours Observing the 60k. I think I may have a few friends actually running. I will try to post some photo's and a report as soon as I can get something together.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I read a few other running blogs, one of which is Scott Jurek's. In one of his posts he recomended a book on Vegetarian Sports Nutrition by Ennet Larson-Meyer. Well I bought it on amazon.com and it arrived yesterday. It's great! it has some great suggestions for drinks and food I can use during training and races, that will really help my energy levels and also with my recovery from long runs and races. Something I also discovered recently are Chia seeds, which are amazing, because you put them in water and after a few minutes they make a gel, which can be used as an alternative to some of those sports gels and you control what goes into them. So I am making lots of new discoveries that will hopefully help me with my races and training in the future.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Well it was time for me to run in the 2 mile race again.I hadn't done one since September I think, so here I was on a cold damp November morning. I wasn't expecting much, so I was pretty relaxed. Going through the first mile in 7:37 was not as bad as I thought, but my breathing was starting to bother me a little, probably because I had a cold all week. I ended up with a time of 15:24, which means that my second mile was 7:47. Well not bad for an old guy. I am never unhappy with my times, it gives me an idea as to what I need to do next, or how my recovery from a race or injury is going, there is always something to learn.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Today is the New York city marathon, I haven't run in it since 2000. To tell the truth I don't like to run it anymore. There are too many people, it's such a pain trying to get into it and there is so much waiting around. First to go pick up your number and then at the starting area. Of course lots of people like all that stuff, in fact I have a lot of friends who do run the race. When I first ran it in 1978 it was a lot different.
I did go out with my friend Utpal and run for 2 hours in Flushing Meadow park, it is cool and sunny, I think pretty good conditions for the marathon. Oh yeah I hope Paula Radcliff wins the womens race!
Technorati Profile

Saturday, November 3, 2007

This morning I went into the city early with my friend Sudip. We actually went to Central park to watch the US Men's Olympic Marathon Trials. There were 133 elite Americans vying for 3 spots on the Olympic team.This was the lead group as they passed us for the second time, just after this the runner in blue, Ryan Hall from California made a break and eventually won the race by 2 minutes in a time of 2:09:02. He looked so fresh at the end and actually jogged and waved to the crowd as he crossed the finish line. I know it is almost a year away, but I think the US will have a pretty strong team in Beijing next year. It was just really cool to see these guys running, what a thrill.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

So this weekend I went to Chicago for the Lakefront 50/50. I was to run the 50k race. The weather forecast called for rain and cold temperatures. well it did rain only it was the night before the race and it stopped about 3 hours before the start of the 50 mile race. When it was time for my race to start it was cold but dry. With about 80 runners already out on the course, the 50k and marathon runners started at 8:30 am. I ran very comfortably for the first lap which was just over 10 miles. It turned out I was running a pace that would give me 5 hours 30minutes for a finish I was thinking of 6:30, but I didn't feel like I was pushing.
The course runs along the southern part of the Lakefront trail, it is quite flat. The organizers had quite a few aid stations well spaced along the course, they had a good variety food and drinks, both sweet and salty.The race is 3 equal laps and by the half way point I was still running sub 6 hour pace, though now I was mixing in some walking. On my last lap there was a pretty strong head wind but I still felt good and realized that this would be at my back on the way home. Once I reached a point where I could see the 63rd street beach house and the finish line, I was feeling pretty good and then the adrenalin seemed to kick in. I ran quite steadily to the finish, crossing the line in a time of 6:11:34 which is about 21 minutes faster than the 50k race I ran in May. I am quite pleased with this and after finishing I quietly dedicated the race to Sri Chinmoy who is the one who inspired me to start running ultras.
Oh! I finished 116 out of 178 finishers in the 50k race.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I looked at the website for the Chicago lakefront 50/50 and it seems they will now have a certified Marathon at the same time, with a limit of 200 runners. This could mean that there will be around 400 runners out there this weekend, which of course means that we will not get lonely. Everything seems to be going well as far as my preparation goes, I just have to go out there and enjoy myself. I will give a report on the race when I get back.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

It is Sunday and time for Utpal and I to go for our usual morning run. Running has the ability to heal and that is exactly what we needed at this time. We ran about 9 miles ( 15k ) on a beautiful sunny morning with blue skies. It is 6 days to my race in Chicago and I have to say I feel ready to do the race. Back in May a friend died just as I was about to run a 50k race and I dedicated that race to him, now I have the opportunity to do the same thing in Chicago. I feel truly blessed.

Monday, October 15, 2007

I was fortunate to attend the very moving memorial for Sri Chinmoy yesterday October 14th.It was both a sad occasion and a joyful one.There were several traditional ceremonies. many guests that were in attendance offered tribute and remembrances. Over 1000 of his students along with the various guests closed the service by offering a rose as they walked past the open casket. His inspiration continues to grow in the hearts of everyone of us.
I was fortunate to attend the very moving memorial for Sri Chinmoy yesterday October 14th.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Yesterday Spiritual Teacher Sri Chinmoy died. He was my teacher and the biggest inspiration and source of encouragement for all my running. For the last 34 years I have tried to honour that inspiration whenever I run a race, I will continue to do this in his memory. This is all I have to say at the moment.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Well things seemed a lot better today. First of all the weather is quite warm here in New York for this time of the year. This meant that it was T shirt and shorts for my Sunday morning run. We decided to go out to Flushing Meadow and run out by the tennis center, by running this with an easy pace it became a 2 hour run.After the problems I had with my sciatica last week it was really nice running and feeling quite loose. If all goes well I can spend the next 2 weeks putting in some decent miles in preparation for Chicago. I am not sure what will happen with the 6 hour next weekend and will wait on Ray K to see what he is going to do. He had a pretty easy 24 hour last weekend running just 76 miles. Have to see what he says. Anyway I am really happy that I feel better.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

After I got back from the 24 hour in Ottawa I felt really good. The next 2 Saturday's I ran some fast(for me ) 2 mile races and my recovery seemed good. Then things changed a little, it started with an ankle problem then a a stomach bug and finally sciatica. Sometimes we get all excited about running more and more, but the body decides to slow us down. I have a 50k race coming up and wanted to do some serious training, but I think what I really need is to fully recover. When I look back I can see that I have done quite a lot, since July I have run 2 24 hour races and a Marathon, then I started running fast 2 mile races. Finally my wisdom has caught up with me and made me realize that I need to take it easy between long races, if I don't my body will stop me. Anyway I have 3 weeks before the 50k in Chicago, I have to slowly let myself build up to it I have the training mileage in the races I've done, so I just have to let it happen.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

In 1978 I was fortunate enough to be present when Don Ritchie came to New York and ran the NYRRC 100 miler in Flushing meadow, around the lake. This was my first exposer to Ultra running and I was really impressed. I had run a few marathons and later that year would be inspired to run my first Ultra a 47 mile race. I later helped to organize the first Sri Chinmoy center 24 hour race, as I entered into my late 20's I decided it was time for me to run one. For the next few years I ran anything from the marathon up to 24 hours, getting my marathon time down to 3:09 and running 100k in 11:43, but somehow never managing to complete more than 93 miles (150k) in a 24 hour race. In 1984 I helped out at the first New York 6 day and a whole new world opened up for me. I had become friends with Don Choi a couple of years before and was fascinated by this type of event reading all about George Littlewood in the 1880's. I now got to see Yiannis Kouros break world records that had existed for almost 100 years. I continued to run 24 hour races for some years, but in 1986 ventured into the multi day scene. I ran in a 5 day race in November of that year completing 252 miles, though I experienced physical problem s like I had never known before I wanted to do more of them. For the last 21 years I have run on average 1 multi day race every year, I found that my focus was so much turned to this kind of race and I stopped running in 24 hour races and other shorter ones. Last year I developed a foot problem that had bothered me for 10 months and I finally managed to fix it a few weeks before a 6 day race here in New York. I decided it was too soon to run in this event but went out to help some runners I know. My running was improving and I decided to run a local 50k race some weeks after the 6 day, something had inspired me to try and run some shorter races again. The race went quite well and now that I am in my early 50's I was quite happy with my 6: 36 time, one thing I did feel though was that I was a little heavy. So over the next month I went on a raw food diet and lost 17 lbs. Next stop was to run in the open division at the 24 hour world championships in Quebec Canada. I managed 73 miles and was now excited about running shorter races to hopefully help my multi day performances. I have since run 80 miles in Ottawa Canada and plan to run a 50k race in Chicago in 4 weeks time. I have somehow re discovered the spark in my ultra running.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Last night I suddenly had developed a weakness in my right ankle, it felt like a compression in the joint and it wouldn't bare any weight. I know in the past when I have had this kind of problem that the real cause is in fact the calf muscle, so I worked on that. This morning it was still there but not so bad, also when I walked around a bit it seemed to get better.Undeterred I went out for my usual Sunday run with my friend Utpal. I decided it would be nice to run out to Flushing Meadow Park and run part of the course where the Ultra Trio would be being run at this moment if they were still putting it on. If I was still running in the 1000 mile race it would start today. Anyway we had a nice easy run extended in to different parts of the park and ended up running for 2 hours. There is still some soreness in the ankle but it seems to be OK. I have signed up to run The Lakefront 50K in Chicago in 5 weeks time and may run a 6 hour race here on Long Island in 3weeks, so it's back to serious training.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Today was the usual 2 mile race. With the head cold I had earlier in the week and the humidity being 94% I wasn't sure what to expect. Fortunately there are a few runners that I seem to run with the last couple of weeks and I just tried to run with them. They are my gauge. I did feel like I was work quite hard but still comfortable. My first mile was 7:24 which was the quickest so far, with my second mile of 7:17 matching my fastest second mile this year, giving me a total time of 14:41. Again an improvement and the third week running that I have been under 14:52 my previous best for the year.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Two weeks before the Ottawa 24 hour race I ran a marathon in 4 : 51:43, the next 2 weeks were recovery weeks with just a little running. I flew up on the Friday, my flight went from New York to Washington DC, then to Ottawa.I was lucky to stay with friends and arrived early at the track on the morning of the race. The weather was pleasant and as you can see from the photo's, sunny.My main goal in these races is to remain cheerful and I think you can see that I had a smile on my face. Every time I approached the counters I tried to smile and thank them. Other than the fact that I am slow and of course I got tired as the day went into night I think I had a pretty good race. I had no problems with blisters and just general aches and pains after the race, which 5 hours of sleep in the afternoon seemed to help. In fact I think I actually felt better after the 24 hour race than I did after the marathon 2 weeks earlier.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Laurie Mc Grath is a Canadian runner who was in the Ottawa 24 hour race I ran 10 days ago. She ran A Canadian Women's 24 hour record of 211 km 6 weeks earlier at the World Championships in Drummondville. In Ottawa she was trying to break that record, she only managed 201 km, but on the way she set a new Canadian Women's record for 100 miles. This photo was taken at the point at which she did it.Her time was 15 hours 59 minutes and 7 seconds.The photo was sent to me by Utsahi st Amand, one of the race directors. Although she was reduced to a walk at the end, she remained cheerful.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Over the years I have been lucky enough to have met some great runners, ranging from Carl Lewis to Yiannis Kouros. The majority have been in the ultra running field since I have been involved in this for almost 30 years now. Some one recently said to me that all ultra runners have huge ego's and this may be true in some cases, but there is one runner that I have considered a friend for the last almost 30 years, who I don't think falls into this category. In 1979 I saw Donald Ritchie run in Flushing Meadow Park in the New York 100 miler, setting at that time a world road 100 mile record. Since that time we have been friends and have over the years corresponded and visited with each other in both Europe and America. To this day he still has the fastest time for 100 miles, 11 hours and 31 minutes, set on a track. I have to say that he is the most humble person I have met, though maybe Ted Corbet would be on even par. He often gave me the impression that he did not know what all the fuss was about when people paid him a lot of attention. In this world where we see many sportsmen with seemingly huge ego's, it is people like Don and Ted that show me the true way to behave. Not to feel that you are better than someone else, but to strive to be better than yourself, having the proper respect for the other runners who inspire you to do that and showing the true spirit of sport, to those who are inspired by you.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Last weekend I ran a 24 hour race in Ottawa, this was the track it was on, the Terry Fox track.I haven't been running 24 hour races for about 20 years, but after recovering from a foot injury in April I started to get the inspiration to run them again. My main goal in running these races is to enjoy myself and share something of myself with the other runners.
The weather was great and the field of 32 runners seemed to have a good time, I managed to chat with about a third of them. The top runners completed over 200 km. I did 130 km and I am quite happy with that.
I used some frequent flyer miles to make the trip from NYC, this involved me taking 3 flights to get back on Monday. During the week I felt pretty good and just ran a couple of times.
Every Saturday morning there is a 2 mile race around a school about5 minutes walk from my house. This morning I ran a time of 14:46, which is my second fastest time this year, so I guess my recovery from the previous weekend's adventure went well. I am looking at other ultra races in the coming months, but my running just goes on.
I like to run so this blog is about my running. The races I run in range from 2 miles to 6 days. So my posts will vary quite a lot. Stay tuned.