Monday, November 20, 2017

Sunday, 11/19/2017 to Saturday, 11/25/2017 - Race with Grace 10K --- IN PROGRESS

This blog entry is labeled IN PROGRESS and published to turn off Blogger's Auto Save "feature". This feature can delete the entire contents of a blog post if you accidentally delete it and "autosave" kicks in (which it will). I have done this more than once ... and it sucked each time.

I ran 4 times this week, 21.55 miles.
I walked xx steps this week according to my Pebble 2 HR smartwatch.

Sunday, 11/19/2017: 1671 steps during the day, rest day.

Yes, a complete rest day on a Sunday. My left foot ached a bit from yesterday's festivities: 18.72 miles and 2 falls at the MFAMTL. I thought about getting out and taking a walk but didn't.

I did get out later to pick up my daughter, Karen, from the Amtrak station in Rochester and take her apartment in Palmyra. She paid me with two cupcakes.

Monday, 11/20/2017: 5811 steps during the day, rest day.

Tuesday, 11/21/2017: 14070 steps during the day; 6.46 miles, 51:00, 7:54 pace, 48F, 37% RH, 14 mph SW wind, wind chill 43F, mostly cloudy.


I needed to run and I like to run during the daylight during the run so a run before lunch fit the bill. The weather forecast this morning foretold a high in the mid 50s so I figured shorts, a long sleeve tech, light running gloves and no hat .. all good, right? Well ... it was really a bit colder than that and a lot windier also. When I got out into the wine ... brrr!! I didn't warm up for 2 miles! I kind of doubted my sanity but I don't like to turn around so I continued on. I warmed up, ignored the tightness in my thighs and enjoyed the run. My splits were: 8:12, 7:57, 7:54, 8:08:8:00, 7:37 and 6:48 over the last 0.46 mile.

Wednesday, 11/22/2017: 5988 steps during the day, rest day.

Thursday, 11/23/2017: 14231 steps during the day; 2 runs of 1.1 and 6.24 miles, 30F, 74% RH, 5 mph SW wind, wind chill 25F, overcast.

Today's race was my sixth Race with Grace 10K (2012- 46:04, 2013 - 45:07, 2014 - 44:29, 2015 - 45:58 and 2016 - 46:26) out at First Bible Baptist Church. I have run other races on Thanksgiving,  6 Newark Turkey Day 5 mile Turkey Races (2005 - Unknown time, 2006 - 38:00, 2007 - 38:57, 2008 - 37:38, 2009 - 38:50 and 2010 - 37:29) and a one and done Turkey Trot 4.4 mile in 2011 - 29:26. I run the RwG 10K since it is the last Rochester Runner of the Year race.

I had signed my darling wife, Christine, up for this race way back in September (I think) but she was way too tired after cooking practically non-stop since Wednesday. We were not having anyone other but my wife doesn't do anything halfway. I had gathered with 2 trips to BJ's and 3 or 4 trips to Wegmans. Her task was to cook her usual tasty food for us.

I got up at 6:30 AM, dressed in my usual winter weather running attire (Brooks pants, yellow/black Brooks 1/4 zip long sleeve pullover, yellow/black beanie and heavy running gloves), ate my usual pre-race bowl of cereal and banana, kissed Christine goodbye and headed out. I got to the race venue around 8 AM in plenty of time for the 9 AM start.

I met up with Joe Ciecierage and Tina Pellegrin before the race. Joe told me that he had dreamed about me. He was running a race with me (mini-Doug or little Doug) in a baby carrier. We laughed about it! He remarked that he was trying to get back up by my speed but was running 9 minute pace. I got out for a 1.1 mile warm up run at 8:34 pace, link here.


I lined up next to Andy Ciaio and waited for the start. I knew Andy would be wearing shorts ... since it was only 32 degrees. And ... we were off! I got up to race pace quickly. Andy and I noticed that the race photographer, Tim Matthews, took a tumble while he was running backwards.. He bounced up and continued shooting pictures. Wilt Alston and his crew of 2 women caught us around 3/4 mile. He said that he would be walking in a mile or two but we rather doubted it. I got to the first mile mark just over 7 minute pace. I was keeping pace with Andy and felt good so I kept my pace. The 5K mark came around 22:30 or 7:15 pace. I was felt the strain but kept up with Andy until just before mile 4. I slowed but I resisted the temptation to walk. I knew it was only a 10K. I do a 10K in practice ... but not at this pace. The last 2 miles were a bit long and into the wind. Andy was about 100 yards ahead but I couldn't catch him. I saw the clock tick past 46:00 and ... done in 46:11!

I went inside the FBBC and had a bit of their usual post race grub ... just a pint of water, banana and 1/2 pint of chocolate milk. I noticed that I was third in my M 60-64 age group so I stuck around for the awards. Andy was third in his M 50-54 age group. So we both stuck around for the awards but heading our separate ways for Thanksgiving.

My official time was 46:10, 7:27 pace. I was 89th out of 763, 3rd out of 41 in my M 60-64 age group, link here. I was 7th in my unofficial M 55-59 age group so I picked up no RROY points. I will finish second in the 2017 RROY M 55-59 age group with 47 points. My splits were: 7:07, 7:17, 7:23, 7:44, 7:23, 7:39 and 6:56 over the last 0.24 mile.

I got back home and started to help my darling wife, Christine, make our Thanksgiving dinner. First I had to bandage her right thumb where she had sliced a bit off while she was slicing potatoes while making scalloped potatoes. Her thumb hurt so I helped quite a bit with her patient guidance. I made the seasoning, opened the turkey, put on the seasoning and cooked the bird. We ate around 5 PM ... it was delicious!

So ... what did we have?

Friday, 11/24/2017: xx steps during the day; 7.75 miles, 1:02:20, 8:03 pace,

I slept in until 9 AM. I had plenty of opportunity to bag this run but between puttering around and spending a bit of quality time with my darling wife, Christine, I didn't get out until a bit after 3 PM. I have said many times that "A run doesn't get done by itself". So I got out there and got it done.


I had a bit of

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Monday, 11/13/2017 to Saturday, 11/18/2017 - MFAMTL

I ran twice during 6 days, 25.17 miles.
I took 73,537 steps during 6 days according to my Pebble 2 HR smartwatch.

Monday, 11/13/2017: 5328 steps during the days, rest day.

Nothing like leftover ribs and yams for supper on a rest day!

Tuesday, 11/14/2017: 5817 steps during the days, rest day.

I seriously thought about running but I ran late getting ready for work plus my legs still ached going the stairs to get my first mug of coffee at 6 AM. Then I got out of work late so that put the brakes on a run after work. I know I will be running a lot this weekend so I need to go into the 8 hour MFAMTL with fresh legs.

Oh ... the last of the ribs and white potatoes for supper ... mmm! My darling wife, Christine, sure can whip up tasty meals for me!

Wednesday, 11/15/2017: 19185 steps during the days; 6.45 miles, 52:46. 8:10 pace, 45F, 57% RH, 11 mpn SSE wind, sunny.


I was getting a bit stir crazy so I got out for a pre-lunch run. Nothing special ... just one foot of the other, repeat until done. The legs were a bit sluggish at the start but I didn't pay any attention to their nagging. My splits were: 8:17, 8:16, 8:06, 8:17, 8:12, 8:10 and 7:39 over the last 0.45 mile.

I forgot my bag that had my towel so I couldn't take a shower after this run. Shhh ... don't tell anyone!

Thursday, 11/16/2017: 6434 steps during the day, rest day.

I like to run on Thursday but the MFTAML trail run on Saturday loomed and told me to rest up.

Friday, 11/17/2017: 5808 steps during the day, rest day.

Saturday, 11/18/2017: 30965 steps during the day; 18.72 miles, 3:40:29, 11:47 miles, 43F, 75% RH, 4 mph S wind, overcast.

Today's race was the MFAMTL 2017 Fall Edition, Facebook group link here. It's a impromptu run put together by Mike Vallone down in Oatka Creek Park from 9 AM to 5 PM. There were going to be 2 1.6 mile loops, 1 orange loop run from 9 AM to 1 PM and the blue loop from 1 PM to 5 PM. There have been two other (I think) MFAMTLs (which means Maybe the First Annual, Maybe The Last). I went to the first one and missed the second one because it was the day before the Boilermaker back in July. The first two were free with donations accepted. This one was "official" with a $10 entry fee accepted from Ultrasignup.com, link here.

I was up at 6:15 AM.I had my usual pre-race meal of a bowl of cereal and banana. The weather forecast was for rain and rain so I rustled together some long sleeve tech shirts and a sweatshirt along with a second pair of pants and shoes. Then I made a lunch pail of 6 sandwiches (3 PB&J, 2 ham and cheese and 1 turkey and cheese), 2 bananas and 2 apples along with a mug of coffee. My darling wife, Christine, needed more sleep but said she would drop by later. The drive down to the race venue took about 30 minutes like Google Maps foretold. I got down to the race venue around 8:15 AM.

Signing my life away ... photo courtesy of Tom Reding
There were many people there I knew. I quietly got ready. I overdressed slightly: my Brooks running pants, yellow/black Brooks 1/4 zip pullover, yellow/black Brooks beanie and heavy running water. I carried water in my Nathan SpeedDraw Plus flask. I expected rain and raw condition so I dressed for it.


The start ... photo courtesy of Tom Reding
And ... we were off! The rain never came ... there was a bit of wind but it was actually quite nice and pleasant ... perfect weather for running in the woods. I set up a nice and easy trail pace that kept me in sight of the leaders for the first 4 loops. The orange course was actually 1.7 miles with some rollers, and one hill along some roots, rocks and leaves on most of the rest of the course.

Keeping up with the lead pack for a bit ... photo courtesy of Tom Reding
Following Kimbery Wrate. We flip-flopped for a while before she pulled ahead. She kept on running (and running) and ran 44.2 miles! ... photo courtesy of Tom Reding
Well ... I found a root with my left foot at mile 7.3. Down I went. I let myself roll a bit. I got back up and kept running. I had a PB&J after 1 hour. I hit 13.1 miles around 2:17. I had another PB&J after 2.5 hours. My left toes started hurting a bit after that.

All by my lonesome ... photo courtesy of Tom Reding
I almost quit after 10 loops or 17 miles. But I just grabbed a ham & cheese sandwich and kept walking while I ate it. Then ... I got up to a run and tripped again with my left foot ... HARD! I fell and lay there for a couple of seconds. I got up and told myself .. "enough". I could walk and I tried to run again but it hurt so I just walked. I quit when I got back to the start. Done with 11 loops and 18.72 miles for the day.

I was a bit tired, sore and hungry. I stayed for a while while I had a bit of something to eat and changed from my trail shoes into my road shoes. The runners who were still running were excited about getting to run the blue trail from 1 PM to 5 PM. But ... I was done.

I think my body is trying to tell me that I should stick to the half marathon or less distance. I try to keep not listening though .. I have run a marathon (Empire State) and two 40 mile ultras (Mind the Ducks and Many on the Genny) this year. I had hoped to run another ultra today. But ... I knew I had been wise. I knew that if I stayed I would have tripped again and maybe hurt myself worse because I was tired and not picking up my feet. So ... I went home.

Soon I was home with my feet up and my obligatory mug of coffee by my side. I uploaded to Garmin. My splits were: 10:04, 10:10, 9:53, 10:46, 9:31, 9:44, 10:06, 11:50, 10:34, 11:10, 10:18, 11:09, 10:17, 10:31, 13:48, 11:18, 13:34, 12:31, 19:25 and 18:53 over the last 0.72 mile. The results were posted and I finished 52nd out of 77, link here.

Later I took my clothes off and took a shower. I found that I had a dime sized scab below my left knee. I bandaged it so it would heal faster. The joys and perils of trail running. It's peaceful but if you don't pick up your feet ... shit happens.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Friday, 11/10/2017 to Sunday, 11/12/2017 - Dirt Cheap Stage Race

The race this weekend is the three race Dirt Cheap Stage Race at Mendon Ponds Park (MPP) put on by Yellow Jacket Racing for the past nine years. I have run it every year since its inception in 2009. It was 3 races in 2 days for the first six years: Stage 1 - the 3 mile Time Trial on Saturday morning at 9 AM, Stage 2 - the 5 mile Devil's Bathtub race at 1 PM and Stage 3 - the 11 mile Epic Race on Sunday at 9 AM. Stage 1 was moved to Friday night at 6:30 PM (yes ... in the dark) in 2015. So now it is 3 races in 3 days.

I did some number crunching and totaled up all my times for these races since 2010. I couldn't do 2009 because I had missed a turn during Stage 1 that year and DQ'ed myself afterward. I wasn't the only one who missed that turn but I was one of the very few who went to the timer and took a DQ. Anyway ... I noticed that I ran my fastest cumulative time for the DCSR was last year, 2:58:21, in 2016. My Stage 1 time of 30:55 was my second slowest and Stage 2 time of 43:19 was my third fastest but my Stage 3 time of 1:44:07 was my fastest ... so I beat my previous best from 2011 by 25 seconds. Insert snark about cagey veteran runner here! I have run 425 races so I qualify, lol.

Friday, 11/10/2017: 16394 steps during the day, 2 runs of 1.0 and 3.13 miles, 19F, 67% RH, 8 mph W wind, wind chill 10F, clear.

I knew that Stage 1 is a time trial with runners going off every 5 seconds. I remembered that you are seeded according to when you pick up your bib. I also remembered that I picked up my bib at the race venue last year and had to wait for some long and rather cold minutes to race. So I made my way to Fleet Feet Armory to pick up my bib and series mug before I went to lunch. Boom .. bib 151.

I charged my headlamp for about 18 hours but it never came to a full charge. It was bright enough but I think a new running headlamp is in my future.

I didn't get out of work as early as I wanted so I didn't start out until just before 5:30 PM. I wore my usual winter running gear: Brooks running pants, white Freezeroo long sleeve tech, yellow/black Brooks 1/4 zip long sleeve pullover along with my blue Salomon SpeedCross 3 trail shoes. I thought about wearing my black Salomon SpeedCross 3 trail shoes that I had screws put in 2 years ago ... I think I should have. I saw runners with Micro-Spikes later. I got down to the parking lot at the intersection of Pond Rd and Douglas Rd around 6 PM. I added my balaclava, yellow/black Brooks beanie, headlamp and ski mittens along with a jacket that I found in the trunk as I walked the cold and dark 1/4 mile up to the race venue. Did I mention it was cold?

I got up there at 6:23 PM. I was cold so I stuffed my jacket into my drawstring bag and got out for a 1 mile warm up run at 8:23 pace, link here. I knew I had a bit over 12 minutes from the race start since every runner was going off every 5 seconds and I had bib 151. So I only had to wait about 5 minutes before I started.


And .. I was off! DCSR #1 is a short, just over 3 miles, trail race in the dark. This particular one was made more difficult by the one inch of snow and a bit of ice along with leaves obscuring the rocks and roots underneath. My headlamp wasn't as bright as I would have liked either. Another difficulty was passing some of the 150 runners in front of me. The upshot was that I fell not once but twice. The first fall was about 1.5 miles in. I was going around a tree to the right and putting down my right foot on a slope that fell away from the tree. My foot slipped on some ice and boom! I went down on my right hip just like that! I bounced back up and continued running. I walked a few of the hills along with everyone else. The second fall with due to a root on a downhill. I let myself tumble a bit instead of trying to stop right away. I bounced up again and kept on running. I did slow down a bit. I could hear Ellen so I knew I was close to the finish. I passed a few runners and ... done in 32:51, 10:30 pace!

I went to the food tent and quickly downed 2 hot dogs and 2 cookies. I put my jacket and headed back to the Cruze fairly quickly ... another race tomorrow.

I laid out my somewhat wet running clothes for them to dry ... I don't change my clothes for the DCSR if I can help it. Just pick them up and put them back on the next day. Boom ... easy peasy.

I checked the results when I got home. I did OK, 3.13 miles in 32:47 (32:51 by Garmin), 10:30 pace, 352 feet elevation gain, 68th out of 203, 1st out of 2 (!) in my M 60-69 age group, link here. My splits were: 10:03, 11:22, 10:27 and 7:26 over the last 0.13 mile.

I was tired when I got home and went to bed by 11 PM. My alarm was set for 7:15 AM.

Saturday, 11/11/2017: 11187 steps during the day, 2 runs of 1.1 and 4.65 miles, 27F, 68% RH, 3 mph SSE wind, cloudy.

I got up with my alarm and puttered for a bit. I had a pre-race breakfast of a English muffin with ham and cheese along with a glass of apple cider. I kissed Christine goodbye and headed back to MPP. The venue this time was Devil's Bathtub. I got there around 9:10 AM and got a nice parking spot just below the parking lot on top of the hill. I did stop for a much needed pit stop at the heated bathroom near Stewart Lodge ....nice! It was a bit warmer so I just wore my yellow/black Brooks beanie and heavy running gloves. I got out for a nice and easy warm up run of 1.1 miles at 9:04 pace, link here.


I talked a bit with Andy Ciaio as we walked up to the start. And ... we were off! I was up with the fast kids and was passed a bit in the first mile before we got to single track.

DCSR #2 - start ... photo courtesy of Jo Meleca-Voigt
Andy (yellow top and shorts) and I (4 runners back) ... photo courtesy of Jo Meleca-Voigt
The trail conditions were variable like last night: an inch of snow, bare trail, a bit of ice, rocks, roots, leaves. Today we had areas of ice with mud and water underneath! But I could mostly see the hazards today. I was a bit more careful, didn't fall and walked the hills I had to walk. I found a lot of mud and water though! The mud was sticky and tired me out. I saved enough strength to make it up the infamous stairs to the finish. And ... done in 47:36, 10:14 pace!

The infamous stairs of DCSR #2 ... photo courtesy of Jo Meleca-Voigt
I had 1.5 cinnamon raisin bagels and 4 cookies along with some water after the race. I had wisely brought a change of shoes and socks. I changed into them as I was sitting in the driver's seat of the Cruze. I may have gotten some mud inside the car. But .. my feet were freezing!

I checked the results when I got home. I did OK, 4.65 miles in 47:34 (47:36 by Garmin), 10:14 pace, 348 feet elevation gain, 56th out of 220, 1st out of 2 in my M 60-69 age group, link here. My splits were: 8:12, 10:37, 11:24, 9:23 and 12:16 over the last 0.65 mile.

A warm shower did feel good after I put my wet gear up to dry. I have my doubts that my blue Salomon SpeedCross 3 trail shoes would be dry by morning.

Sunday, 11/12/2017: 19958 steps during the day, 2 runs of 0.52 and 10.09 miles, 30F, 64% RH, 6 mph SW wind, wind chill 27F, cloudy with some sun.

I was up by 6:30 AM. Today was all about running for the coveted DCSR hoodie! Ellen is fond of saying even she doesn't know what color the hoodies are until she opens the box! I had my usual bowl of cereal and banana for breakfast. I kissed Christine goodbye and left around 7:40 AM. The 30 minute drive down to MPP was uneventful. There is something comforting about following a Dodge Caravan sporting a Sehgahunda sticker on its rear window ... you're pretty sure that they're going where you're going!

I went up to Stewart Lodge to hang out for a while. Ellen was a bit concerned about the a**holes that had removed the course flags overnight. She told everyone that they were being replaced.

I got out for a short 0.52 mile warm up run on my virgin Saucony Kinvera trail shoes at 11:03 pace, link here. I had these Fleet Feet clearance shoes in my closet for a couple of years but never had dug them out. My trusty blue Salomon SpeedCross 3 trail shoes were still damp. I was not impressed with the lack of room in the toe box but ... what choice did I have? You run in what you bring to the dance. I met up with Andy Ciaio just before the race and got my Garmin Live Update fired off about 2 seconds before the race started.


 And ... we were off! I have run this race more than a few times so I knew to go out nice and easy. Easy to do and hard to do ... so I didn't. I talked a bit with Andy off and on for the first mile before I pulled ahead. There was too much mud for the first four miles.

Maybe two or miles ... photo courtesy of Marsha Barrett
Somewhere in the middle ... photo courtesy of Marsha Barrett
Somewhere else in the middle ... photo courtesy of Barb Boutillier of Fleet Feet Rochester
I took a mouthful of Hammer Gel at mile 4.75 just before I crossed Canfield Rd. Andy passed me as I drank some water as I crossed the road. He told me that he had kept me in view ... I just love being a rabbit, lol! I set off after him. There was a lot of cold mud and water for the next three miles. There was even a bit of glare ice on Hopkins Point Rd at mile 7 that required a bit of skating ... err ... putting on the brakes a bit and trying not to fall on my ass. I skirted the edge of most of the bog by Devil's Bathtub instead of taking the higher but very rooty route above it. Getting it done! I saw Boots at the top of what he said was "the last hill before the finish". I laughed a bit. It's mostly true ... it's the last "big" hill that requires most runners to walk (err ... crawl) up it. I could hear Ellen at the finish so I just kept on running.

About a mile from the finish ... photo courtesy of Marsha Barrett
About 1/4 mile from the finish ... photo courtesy of Barb Boutillier of Fleet Feet Rochester
Mud ... photo courtesy of Barb Boutillier of Fleet Feet Rochester
Barb took my picture ... a couple hundred yards more ... right turn ... up the last hill ... cross a foot wide log ... and done in 1:51:39!

My newest favorite DCSR hoodie!
I found lots of mud!
I went inside to get my new 2017 DCSR hoodie. Ellen told me and everyone else that "no one can wear this hoodie but you". The color this year is chocolate ... sweet! I was a bit chilled so I changed right into my newest favorite hoodie. I talked with Andy (1:47:23) and Doug Miller (1:56:58) for a bit as we watched other runners run up the last hill to the finish.

I am not a soup person so I just had a bagel and some cookies after the race. I had brought a change of shoes and socks again. It may have been a bit gross ... but I changed my shoes and shoes right in Stewart Lodge. My toes were freezing! I finished ahead of Chris Barry who was the other M 60-69 runner. I talked to him for a bit before I picked up my age group award ... a jar of creamy Once Again peanut butter and a nice plaque.
The M 60-69 age group winner swag ... I was running out of peanut butter!
I stopped by Herrema's to get a couple of large cinnamon buns ... I figured that I had earned their sweet goodness ... mmm!

I stripped and took a nice hot shower and bath when I got home. I don't normally take baths but usually do after long and dirty races. I checked the results as I sitting with my feet up with my obligatory mug of coffee. I did OK, 10.09 miles in 1:51:38 (1:51:39 by Garmin), 10:14 pace, 804 feet elevation gain, 57th out of 197, 1st out of 2 in my M 60-69 age group, link here. I was 50th out of 175 overall in the series, link here. My splits were: 9:22, 9:25, 11:20, 10:33, 11:13, 9:27, 11:18, 14:16, 13:24 and 10:16 over the last 0.09 mile.

So ... another epic Dirt Cheap Stage Race is in the books. What have I learned? I may be getting older and may be losing a step or two but I still love running in the woods from time to time. It's so different and more peaceful than running on the road. It may be a bit more dangerous but it's a different kind of dangerous. Trail running requires your attention and concentration to adjust your foot falls to the varying terrain. If you lose focus you can and will fall. It may not seem it but trail running is relaxing.  I would have never believed you if someone had told that when I first starting running way back in 2005. But it is. Plus you get to play in mud! That's my story and I am sticking to it.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Sunday, 11/5/2017 to Thursday, 11/9/2017

This blog post will be only for 5 days since the upcoming Dirt Cheap Stage Race (DCSR) deserves its own blog post (as usual). This will be my ninth DCSR!

I ran 3 times this week, 23.35 miles.
I walked 54,852 steps this week according to my Pebble 2 HR smartwatch.

Sunday, 11/5/2017: 12786 steps during the day; 8.15 miles (7.55 miles recorded), 1:04:29, 8:32 pace, 54F, 88% RH, 10 mph S wind, rain with some lightning and thunder.

The clocks "fell back" overnight and I used it to full advantage. I went to bed around midnight and woke at 8:50 AM with the time change ... so I could almost 10 hours of sleep. Boom!

I saw the NYC Marathon elite women go off and knew that I had to get out there on my own run. Yes, it looked like rain ... but out I went. It was a bit chilly so I wore my Brook pants, white Rochester Marathon long sleeve tech, orange Charlie's Old Goat short sleeve tech (on top) and light Brooks running gloves along with my Brooks Transcend 3 running shoes. But ... I should have worn my orange Fleet Feet hat too!


I set up a nice and easy pace as I headed out. It started to sprinkle ... then rain ... then some lightning and rumbles of thunder ... all before I got to the 390 underpass on the LOSP trail. I took a brief rest to let some rain pass by and took off my short sleeve tech. I forgot to turn my Garmin FR 220 on for about 0.6 mile. The rain came back, stopped a few minutes and then continued. I was getting drenched. I had to blink my eyes quite a bit to see where I was going. But once you get drenched ... you can't get any wetter! I was soaked to the skin when I got done but there was no nipple irritation ... thankfully. I stripped as soon as I got in. I draped my wet clothes all over and went to take a warm shower. My darling wife, Christine, said she was a bit worried about me as I headed upstairs. She also doesn't nag me about my leaving my running clothes all over the place! But ... it was only rain, wind, lightning and thunder! My splits were: 8:18, 8:10, 9:42, 8:29, 8:27, 8:22, 8:28 and 8:14 over the last 0.55 mile.

Christine and I watched the ESPN2 coverage of the NYC Marathon. It was great watching Shalane Flanagain.win in 2:26:53! She had a final mile of 5:04, won by 1:01 and was the first US woman to win in 40 years!

A screen grab from a Rodale Publications ad celebrating their author of "Run Fast, Eat Slow" (and winner), Shalane Flanagan!
Barry Cherney was the only runner that I knew running so I tracked him with their tracker app. He finished in 5:12:16. He had been given a free entry for this marathon by Fleet Feet Rochester.

Monday, 11/6/2017: 6463 steps during the day, rest day.

Tuesday, 11/7/2017: 16922 steps during the day; 8.70 miles, 1:08:27, 7:52 pace, 43F, 56% RH, 4 mph ENE wind, mostly cloudy.

So it begins ... runs before lunch twice a week (until the Erie Canal trail is snow covered and/or icy) so I don't have to run in the dark after work. It was a bit cool and windy so I wore my Brook pants, white Freezeroo long sleeve tech, heavy gloves and orange Fleet Feet hat. I set a fast pace so I was only cold for about a mile. That is the key to running when it's cold ... let yourself be a bit cold at the start since you will warm up. My splits were: 7:54, 7:48, 7:52, 7:35, 7:58, 7:55, 8:08, 7:59 and 7:34 over the last 0.75 mile.

Wednesday, 11/8/2017: 15773 steps during the day; 6.45 miles, 51:16: 7:57 pace, 45F, 53% RH, 5 mph SW wind, sunny.


Another run before lunch. This time it was sunny but just as chilly and windy. My thighs hurt a bit from yesterday but I ignored them and ran onward. I did shorten my stride a bit to lessen the pain. My splits were: 7:53, 7:55, 7:51, 8:06, 8:00, 7:45 and 7:07 over the last 0.45 mile.

Thursday, 11/9/2017: 2908 steps during the day, rest day.

I took a few minutes before I went to bed to dig out my cold weather running gear. I put my Black Diamond rechargeable headlamp on charge. Then I found my black balaclava, yellow/black 1/4 zip Brooks long sleeve pullover, another long sleeve tech shirt and my old but reliable ski mittens. I even made sure that my blue Salomon SpeedCross 3 trail shoes were in front of the door so I wouldn't forget them. Boom ... ready. Been there, done that and have the DCSR hoodies to prove it.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Sunday, 10/29/2017 to Saturday, 11/4/2017 - Grocery Run 5K

I ran 6 times this week, 29.58 miles.
I walked 76,027 steps this week according to my Pebble 2 HR smartwatch.

Sunday, 10/29/2017: 8983 steps during the day; 6.17 miles, 50:13, 8:08 pace, 43F, 100% RH, calm, light rain.



Yes, it was raining. Yes, I could have bagged this run ... but no ... I didn't. Runs don't get done by themselves. You have take that first step out the door to get the run done. It was in the low 40s with a light and steady rain so I put on my Brooks pants, Brooks jacket, Brooks light running gloves and Brooks Transcend 3 running shoes. I did go non-Brooks with a white Freezeroo long sleeve tech shirt, Balega socks and my trusty orange Fleet Feet hat. I set up a nice and steady pace with no warm up stretches. I didn't get wet at first. I knew I was going to run at least 10K and thought about stretching it to 15K but ... I could feel my drenched shirt rub against my nipples so ... I kept the run to 10K. I did notice that my Garmin read 6.25 miles when I clicked it to Stop but the upload only read 6.17 miles ... weird. That's the first I can remember that happening after a run. My splits were: 8:34, 8:10, 8:08, 8:02, 8:01, 7:59 and 7:32 over the last 0.17 mile ... so I did negative splits for this run in the rain!

I stripped my wet clothes as soon as I got in the door. A mug of coffee and the rest of the donuts from yesterday helped warm me up. Later, I watched the Raiders - Bills game. The Bill made it boring as they won 34-14, link here, to go to 5-2 on the season. They are only 1/2 game out of the AFC East lead to the Patriots. The month of December should be interesting when they have to play the Dolphins and the Patriots twice along with the Colts! The Bill schedule is here. Can the Bills end their 17 year playoff drought? Only time will tell.

Monday, 10/30/2017: 3845 steps during the day, rest day.

Tuesday, 10/31/2017: 18033 steps during the day; 7.55 miles, 1:02:00, 8:13 pace, 43F, 75% RH, 16 mph WSW wind, wind chill 35F, partly cloudy.


It was Tuesday and I run on Tuesdays so I ran. I wore my Brooks running pants (instead of shorts), heavy gloves (instead of my light Brooks gloves) and Brooks beanie (instead of nothing). I was glad that I put them in my running bag in the morning. It was a wee bit chilly and windy. I even ran in an old pair of black/red pair of Brooks Adrenaline GTS15 running shoes that I had retired last year with over 650 miles. I had mistakenly grabbed them instead of my current pair of black/red Brooks Transcend 3 running shoes (hey, they looked the same in the semi-dark hallway). Anyway ... I got there a bit before 5 PM, geared up and got running. My old shoes weren't so bad. My splits were: 7:58, 8:10, 8:12, 8:03, 8:07, 8:22, 8:32 and 8:19 during the last 0.55 miles.

It's the end of October so it's stat time.
I ran 16 times for 140.1 miles, 8.76 miles/run.
I ran 2 races during the month: the Empire State Marathon: 26.34 miles, 4:28:24, 10:11 pace and the Finish Strong 15K: 9.35 miles, 1:11:52, 7:41 pace.
I walked 331,983 steps during October according to my Pebble 2 HR smartwatch.
I have run 186 times so far in 2017 for 1381.7 miles, 7.43 miles/run.

Wednesday, 11/1/2017: 7534 steps during the day, rest day.

Thursday, 11/2/2017: 18332 steps during the day; 8.15 miles, 1:05:18, 8:01 pace, 66F, 68% RH , 12 mph SW wind, overcast.


My darling wife called me and told me that her father, Bill Wisniewski, was doing poorly in OH. So we hastily planned a quick trip to OH. But ... I did have time for a nice quick run in shorts and a short sleeve tech. I run light and quick. My splits were: 8:00, 8:14, 7:56, 7:58, 8:04, 8:04, 8:00 and 7:54.

I knew better than to rush her so we left when she was ready around 7 PM. We had SiriusXM in the Cruze so I found the NFL Channel and listened to the Bills - Jets Thursday night game. The Bills stunk and lost 34-21 (and it wasn't as close as it sounds), link here. We got out to Beth and Nick's house (her daughter and husband) around midnight. I couldn't sleep until around 2 AM since I had some coffee around 11 PM to keep awake during the drive.

Friday, 11/3/2017: 3395 steps during the day, day out in OH and travel back to NY.

We got up late around 9 AM and got out to University Hospitals in Ravenna OH around 1 PM with a quick bite at KFC in Streetsboro OH on the way. We found her father in his room looking well but with a host of medical problems: a left leg wound due to a leg circulation problem (somewhat solved by a stent), Afib (shocked by into rhythm yesterday) and a severe case of constipation (not solved by an edema yesterday). He had given a dose of xx-xx and was waiting for it to do its work. We left around 4:30 PM. We were headed into the biggest full moon that I ever seen! We got a text from Christine's brother Bill around 8 PM ... "HE POOPED!!" We just stopped for a potty break so we got home just before 9 PM.

Saturday, 11/4/2017: 15905 steps during the day; 3 runs of 2.05, 3.11 and 2.55 miles, 36F, 93% RH, 3 mph WSW wind, a light overcast.

The race today was my third Grocery Run 5K (2014 - 22:13 and 2015 - 22:06) Both years I had run the Mendon Ponds Trail Run afterwards at 9:30 AM (2014 - the 30K in 3:27:34 and 2015- the 20K in 2:27:40). I felt like a bit of a slacker since I was just running the Grocery Run 5K.

My alarm went off at 6:05 AM. I was still bone tired but ... I had signed up for a Rochester Runner of the Year (RROY) race so I had my pre-race bowl of cereal, geared up and got going. I got down to the area around the Third Presbyterian Church around 7:15 AM in plenty of time for the 8:15 AM start. It was chilly so I wore my Brooks pants, orange Empire State Marathon long sleeve tech shirt, yellow Brooks jacket, heavy gloves and yellow Brooks beanie.

I got for a rather long but really nice and easy 2.05 mile warm up run at 9:15 pace, link here. I ran a bit with Jason "JMac" McElwain. His nice and easy was a bit faster than my nice and easy though. I stopped by the Cruze to peel off my Brooks jacket and change my beanie for my orange Fleet Feet hat. I lined up near the front along with the fast kids ... lol!


A few ignored announcements ... and we were off! I got up to race pace quickly. A 5K goes quickly ... the first mile passed in 6:55. I passed a few runners .. the second mile passed in 7:05. I could feel myself slowing a bit ... the third mile passed in 7:20. I rounded the last corner and pushed it to a sprint and closed the last 0.11 mile at 5:52 pace. I saw that the clock was just before 22. Boom ... done in 21:58.

I downed a pint of water while I talked with Prem Kumar. He ran a 20:30 and was thinking of heading down to run the Mendon Pond Trail Run 10K (UPDATE: he did). I checked the results and saw that I won my M 60-64 age group. Then I grazed on all the fine post-race food (cookies, pastries, donuts, bagels, pizza, chili and hot soup!) I managed to only down a pastry, donut and cookie. Then I made myself go out for a cool down run of 2.55 miles at 8:57 pace, link here. I grazed again and ate a pastry, cookie and a piece of pizza before I hit the road to go home.

Officially, I finished in 21:53, 7:03 pace. I finished 76th out of 975, link here. I finished 1st out of 28 in my M 60-64 age group, link here. I looked at my stats for the year and this 5K was my fastest 5K of the year! I checked my old M 55-59 age group and I finished an unofficial 6th so I won't pick up any Rochester Runner of the Year (RROY) points. I would have had to finish 3rd or better to improve my 46 out of 60 points.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Sunday, 10/22/2017 to Saturday, 10/28/2017

I ran 4 times this week for 36.1 miles.
I took 80,090 steps this week according to my Pebble 2 HR smartwatch.

Sunday, 10/22/2017: 14745 steps during the day, 10.45 miles, 1:24:53, 8:07 pace, 63F, 59% RH, 6 mph SW wind, mostly suny


 I slept in a bit and then puttered on Facebook before I remembered that runs don't get done by themselves. So I dressed, filled my Nathan SpeedDraw 20 ounce flask with water, strapped on my Garmin Forefunner 220 and go out there. I fired up iHeartRadio, fired off an eCrumb and got going. I struck up a nice and steady pace as I explored a new route out east to Ontario Beach Park (OBP), aka Charlotte Beach, and then out west on the LOSP trail to my more familiar route. I was pleased to see that there is now a beach at the OBP. There wasn't too much of a beach the last time I was out this way. I had a bit of trouble with my pace after mile 8 as I took a few walk breaks. I think I should have taken my Hammer Gel flask so I could have had some Hammer Gel at mile 6. Note to self ... carry Hammer Gel on all Saturday and Sunday runs. My splits were still plenty fast ... 7:58, 7:51, 8:09, 8:06, 7:57, 7:47, 7:55, 7:54, 8:40, 9:00 and 7:55 over the last 0.45 mile. I guess I shouldn't be so hard on myself.

Later ... after a few mugs of coffee and two donuts ... I watched the Buccaneers - Bills game. The Bills ... you gotta believe! They could have folded when they got down 20-27 late in the 4th quarter ... it took them 46 seconds to tie it up with less than 3 minutes left. They could have folded when the Bucs had the ball with 3 timeouts and just had to head down the field for a field goal to win it ... but the Bills punched the ball out on the Bucs first play, fell on it and drove for their own winning field goal. The Bills won 30-27, links here and here, to go to 4-2 on the season.

Monday, 10/23/2017: 5000 (estimated) steps during the day, rest day.

Why the estimated steps? Well ... my Ricoh phone, a Samsung Galaxy S5, decided to do a factory reset (again) while it was in my pocket on the way home from work. It felt warm in my pocket and I did wonder why. I was a bit pissed when I found out but soon I was relieved when I found that it was reloading all my apps and pictures at least. I just had to figure out the usernames and passwords of all those apps. Still ... I was a bit pissed.

Then ..I read vile Facebook comments from locals about Senator Schumer's visit to Canandaigua to talk against 45's and the Republicans tax plan. You can tell from my use of the term 45 for the current occupier of the White House which way my political views lean. Let's just say that I don't believe anything either 45 or a Republican says with regards to politics and leave it at that. So ... my mood wasn't the best.

Tuesday, 10/24/2017: 18628 steps during the day, 9.05 miles, 1:12:40, 8:02 pace, 55F, 52% RH, 12 mph SW wind (it seemed almost calm to me), overcast.


I needed a run ... bad! I got dressed and drove to Greece Arcadia High School to run my usual evening route. I got there and was waiting to clock out at 5 PM ... shh! I set a quick pace and extended it to 9 instead of the usual 7.55 miles. I will have to wear my reflective vest next week. My splits were: 8:04, 8:07, 8:07, 8:02, 8:03, 8:00, 7:52, 7:58 and 8:03.

Wednesday, 10/25/2017: 4285 steps during the day, rest day.

Thursday, 10/26/2017: 14337 steps during the day, 6.45 miles, 51:40, 8:00 pace, 48F, 81% RH, 6 mph NW wind, wind chill 46F, sunny.


The sun was shining so I got out for run before lunch. It was chilly and windy so I set a quick pace. It was nice to get out and run in the sunshine! My splits were: 8:07, 8:03, 8:03, 8:08, 8:00, 7:55 and 7:28 over the last 0.45 mile.

Friday, 10/27/2017: 6272 steps during the day, rest day.

Saturday, 10/28/2017: 16823 steps during the day, 10.15 miles, 1:21:06, 7:59 pace, 55F, 67% RH, 9 mph S wind, sunny.


Another Kelly's Donut Run was slated for today ... so I was up at 6:15 AM. I tried to rouse my darling wife, Christine, but she liked the warm bed more than the thought of going out for a walk. I got there around 7:15 AM in plenty of time for the 7:30 AM start. There was a lot more runners this week ... I would say around 30. I started a bit fast as I tried to keep up with Jason "Jmac". I tacked on a bit on North Ave all the way to the Parkway before heading east on Huffer Rd so I could get to 10 miles. My splits were: 8:34, 7:56, 7:52, 7:46, 7:49, 7:50, 8:11, 8:01, 7:57, 8:02 and 7:41 over the last 0.15 mile. There were a lot of people in line for the delicious post-run donuts and coffee but they were worth it!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Sunday, 10/15/2017 to Saturday, 10/21/2017

I ran 4 times this week, 34.3 miles.
I took 79,678 steps this week according to my Pebble 2 HR smartwatch.

Sunday, 10/15/2017: 13933 steps during the day, 7.85 miles, 1:05:12, 8:18 pace, 70F, 73% RH, 16 mph SSW wind, mostly cloudy.


It was a warm and windy morning and I wanted to get out there since the weather was forecasted to be much cooler by Monday. So I had a banana, started a load of laundry and got outside before I could change my mind. I wanted to get back on my usual Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday running schedule. I struck up a nice and steady pace. I found a tree down across the LOSP trail between Greenleaf Rd and Dewey Ave. I thought about taking a picture of it on the way back. I thought of stretching the run to a 15K but instead of turning around at Edgemere Drive I ran onward onto Beach Ave and turned around at just under 4 miles. My thighs had started to ache again. Maybe I should have rested them ... but that's not what I do. I came across the fallen tree on way back. I was going to take a picture of it when a bicyclist came up, dismounted and started to drag the tree off the trail. I helped him. He didn't say a word ... he had ear buds in his ears ... whatever ... how rude. I was kicking the rest of the branches off the trail when another bicyclist came up without warning ... no words again ... how rude. I ran onward ... yet another bicyclist on aero bars came up at a fast clip ... this one did yell out "Good morning" ... luckily since I was in the middle of the trail and might have moved left into his path. This last bicyclist was moving so fast that he might have not seen the tree blocking the path if it hadn't have been cleared already. I'm a friendly runner ... I'm the one who 90% of the time waves "Hi" or says "Hi" when I meet runners or bicyclists instead of ignoring everyone. Anyway ... my splits were: 8:30, 8:05, 8:00, 8:14, 8:26, 8:36, 8:37, 7:55 over the last 0.85 mile. I did walk a little bit a few times over the last couple of miles.

It turned warm later in the afternoon. It was 80F when we were sitting on the patio around 4 PM. It started to sprinkle so we went inside. It was blowing and pouring rain within 5 minutes. A windy cold front moved through and about 20,000 people lost power elsewhere in Rochester, Irondequoit and Pittsford. It's forecast to struggle to reach 50F tomorrow.

Monday, 10/16/2017 and Tuesday, 10/17/2017: Both rest days.
7218 steps during Monday, 5768 steps during Tuesday.

Monday was the usual rest day after running Saturday and Sunday. Tuesday was a "I'm too tired" rest day. I didn't sleep well so I bagged the run and went to bed early.

Wednesday, 10/18/2017: 16722 steps during the day, 8.75 miles, 1:09:53, 7:59 pace, 63F, 68% RH, 9 mph WSW wind, sunny.


I got out before lunch and pushed both the distance and pace a bit. It was beautiful out so I went out to Elmgove Rd before I headed back after taking off my shirt. The 2017 Rochester Marathon short sleeve tech shirt was a bit tight. I knew I would be soaked with sweat by the time I got back if I kept it on so ... I took it off. Running shirtless in the middle of October ... priceless!

Thursday, 10/19/2017: 16411 steps during the day, 7.65 miles, 1:01:03, 7:59 pace, 72F, 48% RH, 18 mph W wind, mostly cloudy.

It was Thursday. I could have bagged it ... I ran yesterday ... but excuses don't get runs done. Runs do. So ... I ran. I dressed just before I clocked out of work and drove to the Greece Arcadia High School for my usual IC and Janes route. There was a strong wind out of the west which was a bother but I struck up a fast pace and held it as much as I could. My splits were: 7:45, 8:03, 8:08, 7:52, 7:52, 8:00, 8:11 and 7:57 over the last 0.65 mile. Boom. I earned Christine's delectable leftovers for supper: meatloaf, asparagus and spaghetti squash ... mmm!

Friday, 10/21/2017: 3827 steps during the day, rest day.

Saturday, 10/22/2017: 15799 steps during the day, 10.05 miles, 1:22:42, 8:14 pace, 46F, 76% RH, 7 mph SW wind, sunny.


 The lure of donuts after a run lured me up before the crack of dawn on a Saturday morning out to Kelly's Apple Farm out in Hilton for a group run (rare for me). I got there a bit before 7:30 AM. It was a bit chilly so I wore shorts and my Empire State Marathon long sleeve tech shirt ... but no light running gloves. There were about 8 who showed up. I ended up running with Russ and Rick for the first 5 miles ... which was a bit less than it took for my hands to warm up. Russ told me that he was heading out to Phoenix to run a 100K trail ultra next weekend, link here. The course is one loop of 22 miles and 2 loops of 20 miles. It starts at 7 AM with a 29 hour time limit on Saturday. Wow! We stopped for about 5 minutes to collect Wilt Alston and Christine Antonini coming up behind us and take a breather before we all ran onward. The donut smell coming from Kelly's when we got done was heavenly! I bought 6 donuts and a large coffee. One donut disappeared while we all talked running. Christine had run the Mohawk Hudson Marathon, results here, in 3:45 and Wilt had run the Steamtown Marathon, results here, in 4:56 on the same hot day that I had run the Empire State Marathon two weekends ago.

Soon I was home. Christine and I enjoyed a mug of coffee and a donut in bed before we got on with the day. So ... my splits were: 8:36, 8:13, 8:11, 7:44, 7:45, 8:18, 8:07, 8:01, 8:26 and 8:10. A beautiful way to start a morning!

Much later, I was a sports geek as I watched the Rochester Rhinos win a USL Eastern Conference quarterfinal game versus the Charlotte Independence 2-1, link here, ... while I watched Game 7 of the Yankees versus the Astros via www.foxsportsgo.com on my laptop. The Astros advanced to the World Series by beating the Yankees 4-0, link here!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Monday, 10/10/2017 to Saturday, 10/14/2017 - Finish Strong 15K

I ran 3 times in 6 days for 17.05 miles.
I took 49,030 steps in 6 days according to my Pebble 2 HR smartwatch.

Monday, 10/9/2017 to Wednesday, 10/11/2017: Rest days.

1048 steps during Monday.
6450 steps during Tuesday.
8141 steps during Wednesday.

I wisely took Monday off from work to recoup from Sunday's Empire State Marathon (please see the previous blog post for all the details). What a difference 24 hours makes! Tropical Depression Nate hit upstate NY overnight. If the ESM had been held today we would have been drenched! The race still would have held of course ... but we would have had a whole other set of problems to contend with for sure!

I didn't really move much on Monday. I did take my darling wife, Christine, to get her lovely nails done at New Nails in Irondequoit.

Going up and down stairs hurt less each day until I thought that I actually could run on Wednesday if I had my gear and the gumption. But ... I did have some brains ... so I held off on running until Thursday.

Thursday, 10/12/2017: 13767 steps during the day, 6.55 miles, 52:35, 8:01 pace, 55F, 94% RH, 10 mph E wind, overcast.


I went out before lunch so I wouldn't have to after work. It was cooler so even though I wanted to do nice and easy it turned out to be nice and a bit fast. It felt good so I don't mind. I was a bit overdressed with shorts, my Empire State Marathon long sleeve tech, light running gloves and my orange Fleet Feet hat. I carried my Nathan SpeedDraw Plus flask with 20 ounce of water. My splits were: 8:07. 8:05, 7:59, 7:54, 8:17, 8:06 and 7:15 over the last 0.55 mile.

Friday, 10/13/2017: 3086 steps during the day, rest day.

Yada, yada ... the usual rest day before a race the next morning. I went out to the Grace and Truth Sports Park to pick up packet for tomorrow's Finish Strong 15K. I found that I had accidentally signed up for the 5K instead of the 15K. The race director quickly got me squared away. No money changed hands since each race cost the same.

Saturday, 10/14/2017: 16538 steps during the day, 2 runs of 1.15 and 9.35 miles, 61F, 88% RH, 8 mph SW wind, mostly cloudy

Today's race was my fourth Finish Strong 15K (2014 - 1:09:51, 2015 - 1:09:38 and 2016 - 1:12:07). This race was one of the twelve GRTC Rochester Runner of the Year (RROY) races so I had signed up way back on July 4th.

I was up with my alarm at 6:30 AM. I had a muffin with turkey and cheese along with apple cider for breakfast. I puttered around a bit too much before I started to get ready but I knew the drill. I wore my black shorts, my latest Heather Boyum 5K short sleeve tech shirt.and filled my water bottles with water before I kissed Christine goodbye and headed out just after 8 AM. I arrived at the race venue around 8:20 AM.

I got out for a nice and leisurely 1.15 mile warm up run at 8:52 pace just to pass the time, link here. Then I walked up to the start. The usual fast RROY runners were lined up so I took my spot too.


The RD took a joke (paraphrased here) ... "The race is canceled since it is not 40F and the wind isn't whipping off the lake on Edgemere Drive". I chuckled because I have run races when that was the case. Today's race was quite mild and calm by comparison. And ... we were off! I quickly got up to speed. I can try to hold back at a race start .... but I just don't. My first mile was 7:24 according to my Garmin.
I had looked at the course map ... up North Greece Rd, right onto Post Ave, left onto Flynn Rd which became Lowden Point Rd, left on Edgemere Drive, a jog at the end before a right onto East Manitou Rd, left onto Frisbee Hill Rd, right back onto Flynn Rd, right onto Post Ave and left onto North Greece Rd to the finish. I hydrated at miles 2, 4, 6 and 8 along with taking some water at the last two aid stations. I started to pass the early start runners around mile 4. My thighs started to ache around mile 6. I stopped to walk for about 100 feet just after mile 6. I got back up to speed, shortened my stride and put my race pace into "get it done" mode. One guy passed me around mile 8. I tried to keep up with him but I couldn't. Back on North Greece Rd ... mile 9 marker ... right towards the finish arch ... clock just under 1:12 ... and done in 1:11:52!

The usual post-race selfie
The only croquet pitch I have ever seen
I was parched and down 2 cups of water before I went to the Cruze to change from my sweaty shirt into my "newly earned" blue Finish Strong long sleeve tech shirt. I headed to the tent for some good post race food: pizza, potato salad, pulled chicken along with another bottle of water. There was also pulled pork, bananas, bagels and yogurt to choose from. Wow! I had checked the results and saw that I had finished 20th and was first in my M 60-64 age group. The 5K awards were given out first and then the 15K awards. I won a $25 gift certificate (worth $50 if you use for running shoes with MSRP greater than $100) to xxx. I won M 55-59 age group last year and received the same award ... which had expired on 10/7/17. Maybe this time I should use it since I will need new running shoes in a couple of months ... if I don't loose it first. Oh ... I met Paul Noe, the guy from Buffalo who beats me in the M 55-59 RROY standing every time he races here. He explained that in Buffalo a runner ages up in their Runner of the Year races when they move into a new age bracket while in the RROY you stay in your current age bracket when you age up.

Soon I was home with my feet up drinking my usual mugs of coffee after a run while I uploaded my Garmin and checked Facebook. My splits were: 7:22, 7:29, 7:45, 7:31, 7:37, 7:46, 8:07, 7:49, 7:47 and 7:32 over the last 0.35 mile.

I checked the official results from the Score-This website. I was 20th out of 105, 1st out of 8 in my M 60-64 age group, link here. I was an imaginary 4th in my old M 55-59 age group so I will get 7 RROY points. I will stay at 46 points since my lowest score is already 7 points. Paul Noe moved into the lead with 50 points. I could potentially finish second or could move into third. Two more races in the 2017 12 race RROY series: the Grocery Run 5K on 11/4 and the Race with Grace 10K on 11/23.

There were a lot of runners out there in Rochester this morning. There were 109 runners in the Finish Strong 5K, 640 runners in the Photofinish 5K, results here and 594 runners in the Scare Brain Cancer Away 5K, results here.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Sunday, 10/8/2017 - Empire State Marathon

I ran 26.34 miles today ... the Empire State Marathon
I took 41578 steps during the day according to my Pebble 2 HR smartwatch.

Sunday, 10/8/2017: 26.34 miles, 4:28:24, 10:11 pace, 73F, 78% RH, 14 mph SSW wind, mostly cloudy with a brief sprinkle.

Today's race with the Empire State Marathon. The race start/finish was at the NBT Bank Stadium (links here and here). The race course was kind of a Y and used a lot of the paved trails around Onondaga Lake, trail map pdf here. A 10K and half marathon was also being held. The 10K course was an out and back so the half and marathon runners would see the fast 10K runners. The half course veered off from the marathon course so we wouldn't see them come back at us but we would "catch" up to the slower half marathon runners much later in our race.

I woke up with the alarm at 4:30 AM. I had an OK night of sleep. I did wake up with the wind and rain at 2:40 AM. I got up and checked on things and also started the dishwasher. I thought I wouldn't fall back asleep but ... the next thing I knew the alarm was going off.

I went downstairs and started the coffee. I knew Christine would need some. Me? I don't drink coffee on race mornings. I made a muffin sandwich (2 slices of cheese for Christine and turkey and cheese for me) for breakfast. We both knew the drill ... quietly get ready, get our gear together and get on the road without any stress or drama. We were on the road for Syracuse at 5:23 AM. I was a bit apprehensive about how warm and windy it was ... over 70F with a gusty wind. The drive was uneventful. The sky to the east got slowly lighter with the coming dawn as you drove onward. We arrived at the race venue around 7:03 AM ... 96 miles from home. The backup due to everyone arriving was a couple of minutes at most and was well handled by the police who directed traffic and the volunteers with the lighted wands who were directed us to a parking spot.

I took my time getting ready. I remembered to put Body Glide on my nipples and put some sunscreen on my head and neck. I fired up my Garmin Forerunner 310XT and set it to the Virtual Partner (VP) screen which I had set to 8:45 pace (a BQ for my age group minus 5 minutes). I put two Hammer Endurolytes in the right pocket of my shorts along with my Hammer Gel flask ... a poor choice. I chose the amber lenses for my sunglasses ... a poor choice. I think I should have stayed with the dark lenses since the sun did come out later. A wet towel around my neck might have helped also.

Christine took a picture of me before ... all smiles!
I did make it up to a bathroom stall so I could take care of some urgent business before the race. I noticed that the temperature at the baseball stadium was 74F! So much for a cool October marathon! I went back to the Cruze and kissed Christine goodbye. I stretched a bit and took an unrecorded warm up run of less than 1/4 mile just to kill some time. Then I lined up in a bit of a Y shaped scrum about 100 feet from the start.



And ... we were off! It took at least 1/4 mile to get out and up to speed. There were a lot of slower runners in front that I had to make my way around or between. I didn't realize that I had forgot to send off an eCrumb to Christine and my kids until almost a mile into the race. I dug my Samsung Galaxy S5 out of my Nathan Zipster, carefully fired off my eCrumb, tucked it back in and ran onward without breaking stride .... nice! I realize now that I went out entirely too fast ... but I always do. This race had no pace groups or even a semblance of a start chute. But it was what it was ... an October marathon that I had signed up for in the hopes of getting a flatter and cooler chance at a BQ time.

The start ... photo courtesy of Pat Hendrick Photography
Two or three miles farther ... photo courtesy of Pat Hendrick Photography
The early miles passed. The wind was bothersome but it never seemed to be in my face ... always to the side. It was actually a bit refreshing. We were on a wide 4 lane highway (Route 370) for about 2 miles before we got onto the East Shore Recreation Trail along Onondaga Lake. I encountered the first 10K runner racing back before I had run 3 miles. There was a bit of a rainbow on our left over Onondaga Lake and I could see what looked to a shower up ahead. A light mist started to fall around mile 5 that lasted for about 5 minutes so I had to take off my sunglasses. My wife, Christine, had made it through the detours to be here to give me a bit of support. I was running well. My VP screen climbed up to minus 4 minutes.

These two pictures seem to be around mile 5 or 6 ... photos courtesy of Pat Hendrick Photography
I don't know what it is but I lose confidence in myself when I try any road distance above a half marathon. Today it probably was the heat plus I started to doubt myself. I should have modified my water and gel schedule to take in more water and nutrition due to the heat and humidity. I suck at race adjustments. I was hydrating like I usually do on practice runs every 2 miles and had Hammer Gel at miles 6 and 12 and 20 (I think). My Hammer Gel Endurolytes fell out of my right pocket when I dug my Hammer Gel flask out of my shorts at mile 6 ... oops!

Anyway ... I made it out to Hayes Rd around miles 8 to 10 when I started to slow. My left hip started to hurt ... was it an imaginary pain? Who knows? I saw faster marathon runners coming back towards me. I thought they were coming back with 8 miles to go ... I had forgotten that there was a turnaround only a mile or two ahead. My VP started to be less negative. I didn't see Christine at mile 11 at Long Branch Park where I had asked her to be. Then we were running on the West Shore Trail. The course went up a bit and I just lost my mojo. I walked for a bit. It hurt to run. I tried a couple of times. I took my shirt off to try to cool down. My VP went positive. I felt discouraged. I saw faster marathon runners coming back again from the turnaround somewhere up ahead. I walked a bit more. I finally set the 310XT screen to elapsed time. I knew my BQ attempt was over. I made it to the turnaround and headed back. I remember seeing my brother, Don (who lives in Syracuse not far from the back half of the course) as I came back. I called Christine around mile 18 to let her know about my lack of progress. I tried a run/shuffle and found that I could do that ... so I did that as much as I could.

Back on the East Shore Recreation Trail ... I finally got to mile 21. I came up on Christine and she asked "What do you need?" Well ... I needed some water. I expected her to have my bag right where she was ... she proceeded to cross the course to get to the Cruze. I followed her ... she had trouble unlocking the car ... I slapped the flask down ... I think I didn't swear ... I turned and ran onward. I was a bit pissed. I had run 21 miles and she wasn't ready? I had called her at least 20 minutes ago. Late she told that her shoulder ached, her ears were ringing and she had to pee. All understandable ... I was a jerk ... but I was already gone down the trail muttering to myself. I should have told her beforehand what to have with her when I came by. Better yet ... I should have packed it for her so she would have had it with her. Then ... no hassle or drama. I walked a bit. I got back to a run/shuffle. The sun was out and it was around 80F. I was stopping at the aid stations for water and Gatorade now because the water in my remaining water flask was almost gone and I didn't feel like cranking my head to get it all.

These two pictures were taken on the East Shore Recreation Trail on the way back around miles 22-24 ... photos courtesy of Pat Hendrick Photography
 I saw Don again at the Salt Museum (links here and here) around mile 24. He thought the race was over. I walked with him for a bit. I told him that the race ended at the NBT Bank Stadium and he said "Shit, that's two miles away!" (I paraphrased his remark). I ran/shuffled onward. The course was now on Route 370 again which was still closed. It was long, wide and straight so I dug down, mustered whatever I had left and ran as best I could. I wanted to get done. So ... I ran ... NBT Bank Stadium in sight ... can't go straight to it ... have to follow the course ... keep going ... finish chute ... clock under 4:29 .... and done in 4:28:24 according to my 310XT.

These two pictures were taken in the finish chute ... photos courtesy of Pat Hendrick Photography
I was beat. I gladly let someone put the finisher's meal around my neck. Someone gave my a pint of water which I downed quickly. I sat down and collected myself. Christine called me ... and we apologized to each other. She told me that she wanted to dump a bottle of water on my head for running off before she could fill my water bottle. My brother, Don, found me and we walked to the Cruze. Christine had parked it right against the finish chute so she had seen me come in and heard my name being announced as I finished. We all went up into the NBT Bank Stadium (the elevator helped immensely) where there was a free Coors Light waiting for me. We stayed until the band started up before we left. I had checked the online results from Leone Timing and was surprised to find that I was third in my M 60-64 age group. I found a nice man named Brett who gave me a Age Group Winner glass.

A smile at the finish masked the pain my body felt ...
We went back to the Cruze and talked for over a hour. I don't get out to Syracuse too often so there was a lot to catch up on. Christine drove home ... there was a lot of traffic on the NYS Thruway in the afternoon.

Overview: I survived. Officially, I finished in 4:29:08 gun time, 4:28:21 chip time, 127th out of 293, 3rd out of 13 in my M 60-64 age group, results link here. My splits were: mile 1 - 7:58, mile 2 - 8:00, mile 3 - 8:05, mile 4 - 8:14, mile 5 - 8:18, mile 6 - 8:20, mile 7 - 8:41, mile 8 - 8:27, mile 9 - 8:52, mile 10 - 8:38, mile 11 - 8:51, mile 12 - 10:25, mile 13 - 8:53, mile 14 - 12:44, mile 15 - 9:03, mile 16 - 11:13, mile 17 - 10:12, mile 18 - 14:12, mile 19 - 14:43, mile 20 - 10:40, mile 21 - 13:56, mile 22 - 11:48, mile 23 - 14:06, mile 24 - 12:45, mile 25 - 9:53, mile 26 - 8:47 and 7:48 over the last 0.34 mile.

Empire State Marathon bling
Analysis: my BQ attempt failed due to lack of planning, lack of changing my strategy during the race and lack of confidence. I should have driven out to Syracuse and ran the course a week before the race ... particularly the back half. I should remembered about the turnarounds. I had looked at the course but I didn't memorize it. I should have changed my hydration and nutrition schedule to better meet the demands I was under due to the heat. It might not have helped me BQ but I think it would have helped my overall time. I should have had an A goal (3:45), a B goal (4:00) and a C goal (4:10) ... not a BQ or nothing. I need to stop doubting myself somehow. Maybe I should have had music on my phone ... something ... anything ... to silence the doubts that start going through my head once I got past the half marathon distance.

Looking ahead: Right after the race I told Christine to "find a 4x4 and beat me upside the head if I ever think about signing up for another marathon". I believe that is a direct quote. But ... I should have amended that remark to add a time limit. Yes ... I probably will run another marathon ... hopefully I will plan, execute and have better weather for my next marathon. There ... I said (typed) it.