Monday, January 28, 2008

Race Withdrawl, and a movie review

Man oh man. It's been over 3 weeks now since my last race and i am in total withdrawl. The 15k wasn't gonna happen due to health and injury, and now I am searching like crazy for nearby races. This weekend we have a 5 miler in Milford, about 30 minutes north with a 20 dollar entry fee. And there is the rub. I'm always a bit skint the second paycheck of the month and now the decision to race is tough. Race for $20 and eat cheap Trader Joe's stirfry all next week? Or don't race, put in a long run and eat much better. There is a possibility of looking towards a 4 miler on Feb 16th, but I'd have to take a half day off work for that. We'll see what happens there.

I did get in a nice nine mile training run on Sunday and followed it up with a 6er today, and I am feeling good, even if the quads are tight. But as much as the training runs are useful and helpful it's not a race. A light at the end of the tunnel is a that February is just around the corner, which means we are just one month closer to May when I run the Indy Mini. And now a friend in the DC area has talked about gettin a relay team together for the Baltimore Marathon, and if that doesn't work out just maybe running the Baltimore half. Columbus Day weekend. Yeah, I can live with that. I just need some competition to see if my training is continuing to improve my performance or if I have plateaued.

Over the weekend I watched one of two films on Prefontaine that came out in the 90's, Without Limits. Now being the film snob I am I can't entirely say it was a masterpiece. But that didn't stop me from emailing Spitz 30 minutes in claiming it was the "best movie ever, dude!" Or, "coolest shit, ever!" It was something along those lines. I mean, it takes the trajectory of any sports movie complete with slow motion montages and all. But it's hard not to get fired up watching some of the running scenes.

Possibly my favorite scene though was a 5 second post race snippet. Pre had just won a race, and walks over to an old rival and they talk times. The guy finished well behind Pre, but he tells Pre his time. And Pre responds, "That's a personal best, right?" And congratulates him. To me, that scene was terrific. Possibly cause I will never win a race, but thats another story. Unfortunately, the filmakers attempted to show Pre's death in the car crash, though. In the end, I wish they woulda skipped filming that scene and just shown newspaper clippings instead. Trying to recreate it, somehow, just seemed cheap and unnecessary to me.

As I talked to Spitz a bit about it afterwards I also mentioned how the film showed the probably true, but still unnecessary love story. You need a love story in a film I guess to make it sell. And some of the posters for the film put the love story front and center. But, I found myself just wanting those scenes to end and get back to the training and racing! And I am about the sappiest hopeless romantic out there, or at least I used to be. But, I guess my focus just slipped a bit more to running now.

If I had to use Spitz's patented running rating system, I'd rate Without Limits 7.8 k's outta 10. It's definitely worth watching. It's a better running film than Chariots of Fire at least.

I've also been chewing on Spitz's "No I.D." post over at runrevolt. I hope to write some thoughts on that, if I ever get them formulated.

And congrats to Krys, as she and other members of the Texas chapter of TKWRT completed a their half this weekend!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Cross Training? and a chapter update..

Last night I had my first soccer ref certification class. I will be certified as a grade 8 ref by February 12, and making far too much money to run around for an hour in the sun on Sundays. Seriously, some leagues are between 30-60 dollars a game. Thats not bad. I mean it's not exactly a long run. May it count as cross training? Not really, and since Sunday is my long run day, we may need to switch that. BUT, I don't see that being a problem.

I've been rethinking my running program. I had been running 5-6 days a week with a base run of 6 miles. But, as I have brought it down a bit the past few weeks to take care of my knee I am feeling totally revived on my runs. I am thinking perhaps to do a 3-4 day a week plan with 8-10 miles a day. Maybe do core work the other days. It's something to think about. I was dreading the treadmill today. Just not feeling it. But a half mile into my run, I realized I could go forever today. I only went 6 miles, but my word, it was the most effortless 6 miles I have had in ages. I was quite pleased.

The Kip Winger Running Team has added another chapter today. Texas, we love you!


You feeling the love? Kip is.

Monday, January 21, 2008

No 15k this weekend, but...fame? fortune? tv tips?

The Boston Build-Up 15k just wasn't happeneing for me on Sunday. Too little training in the week leading up. Now, I am 90% positive I woulda finished the race if I went out. But at what cost? I wouldn't have been pleased with my time. I had been fighting a cold for most the week leading up, and it was freaking 20 degrees out. Did I read somewhere that optimum running conditions are between 36-50 degrees? I think so. At any rate, coming off the cold I found myself making enough excuses to talk myself out of it. It's not something I'm happy about, but it is what it is. And then, as if to mock me, round 4pm the results were emailed to me. I was looking through them. I ran my 10k 2 weeks back with 7:24 splits. So I was thinking, that perhaps I'd finish this race with somewhere around 8 minute splits. That woulda been well in the back middle of the pack. But looking at the results, there was a new course record, by a Kenyan in 20 degree weather! 49:33!!!! 5:19 splits!!! Unbelieveable! Hats off to a run like that.

I will say however that I am pleased that I have been able to get in some miles the past two days as the cold has started to leave my body. 13 over two days. I'd be thrilled if I am able to get back up to the 30 mile weeks I was at about a month ago, before some knee problems, work, and life in general intruded.

In addition to that, yesterday I actually was interviewed by a freelance writer for Runners World. A story will be in the May issue (hits News stands in April) on new/beginner runners, and yours truly fell into that group. A contact made through the Boston Build-Up 10k put me in contact with the writer, and there you have it. Who knows if anything I said will wind up in the article. It's not too inspiring of a story, "Well I started running after I moved out here to avoid the lonliness of bar happy hours where I knew nobody..." But who knows. Perhaps, some other stuff I said will make the article. She seemed intrigued by Kip Winger Running Team. If I make the issue, I will autograph copies for a minimal fee.

Another thing. A confession, if you will. My favorite tv show used to be The O.C. And why wouldn't it be? Who wouldn't wanna live the life of Ryan Atwood. But after the phenomenal 4th season (the best since season 1!) the OC was off the air. And I needed to find a new favorite show. And I've found it...

Running is a show on YES network out here. In addition to a great title it's just a fantastic show. It's a once a month show put on by New York Road Runners. It of course highlights a lot of the NYRR events, but also other running events from around the whole northeast and the world. Thing is, everytime I watch it I get inspired. I already ran 6 miles today and I wanna get out there and run some more. They covered the New Years Eve Midnight Run (which i MUST do next year, looking for company to go with!) They covered some high school events, and did a whole year in review segment. And I tell yeah, anytime I am seeing any of these elites win there marathons setting new PR's or course records I am gettin choked up. This is honest to god truth. At any rate, try to catch a show if it shows out near ya. 6 months ago I never would imagined stopping on a running event if I saw it on tv, now I search them out. It's all good.

Finally, I added some running links to the side of the page. My bookmarks folder was getting crowded so I figured I'd just jump from this page instead. If your site is over there and you don't want it on my page, let me know!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Run for CJ Results finally up, and a training update

Good Lord. Just when I'd given up hope of ever seeing my Run for CJ Results, another CT running blogger put up an alert that the results are up!

So I went to check out the results, and boy did I like what I saw.

A new 5k Personal Best. 21:54. 7:03 splits. And amazingly, 25th of over 200 runners! Still, I didn't place in my class. I did finish around 6th though. I can't complain one bit.

So after that race, and my first 10k, both being extremely satisfying results, I am bumming about the past two weeks. Only 21 miles of training this week. Once I finally diagnosed that it was my IT band that was screwing up my knee I was able to remedy it the best I could. I did get in 6.5 on Thursday afternoon, after getting in only 15 in three training runs while having a much needed vacation in Vermont. But, as of today, the cold that I have been fighting off for a week is at it's worse. So, it doesn't look like I'll be doing the 15k this Sunday that I had hoped to do.

However, I have set sites on a 5 miler for Feb 3 in Milford. So, all is not lost. And with that being the case, lets hope that Sunday's training run in lieu of the race is a long and productive one.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Tarazan of the Plains

Spitz alerted me to this article.

And, it's awesome...

One of several awesome paragraphs through the article...

"Anton typifies the young and new breed of runner," says Buzz Burrell, manager of the La Sportiva Mountain Running Team. "They aren't running to work off their inner angst or pain. They don't have their heads down, grinding out the numbers, substituting mental calculations for movement. They don't think that suffering is noble or pain somehow makes you a better person. They already are good people, they have their heads up, and they run as an expression of joy and freedom. You can actually see the ease in Anton's running form, and you feel good when he goes by you."

Is anyone a knee doctor?

So remember way back in the last race report how I mentioned that I had some pain in my knee during the warm up to last Sunday's race. That has yet to subside. What it's left me with is my lowest mileage week in several months. Three times this week I was unable to go beyond 3.5 miles due to pain in my knee. This culminated last night while on the treadmill and shortly after passing three miles, the outside of my right knee felt a shooting pain so sharp that i wound up grabbing onto the handles of the treadmill and hopping on one leg until the treadmill came to a stop. As tonight I will not be getting any running done since I am packing for a ski vacation the weekly total Sunday through Saturday looks to be about 23.5 miles.

Now, I've talked to Spitz about this and he's saying the right things. Be careful, take a few days off. You won't lose your fitness after one week off. These are all true. That all said, I very much want to participate in next weeks Boston Build-Up 15k. I haven't registered yet for that, and it looks likely that I will wait till midweek, maybe Thursday or Friday to make my decision on this.

But truthfully it isn't so much worrying about missing a few days here or there. It's just thinking back that this was the same knee that I had a small fracture in about a year ago after a soccer game. It took a month for that to be diagnosed, and I have wondered often if it ever healed correctly. And if it didn't, would that affect my running down the line.

Over the past 2-3 weeks before this, I'd been able to increase my weekly mileage to around the 35 mile mark. Combine that new distance with the times I'd been setting at some races and I suddenly was not only looking to finish the Indianapolis Mini Marathon in May, I was toying with ambitious time goals in my head. Is 1 hour 40 minutes possible? 1 hour 35? Would even a marathon be possible by the end of the year? Definitely in 09, right?

But now there is the knee. And that ridiculous battle between self doubt and all out stubborness that thinks if I just keep running perhaps my body and later my mind will become numb to this.

In the meantime, it looks as though I do have two days off coming up due to travel up to Smugglers Notch, VT for some vacation time. And then possibly some cross country skiing to keep the cardio up, and hopefully by Monday or Tuesday I'll be getting in some 7 or 8 mile training runs in anticipation of the weekends 15k. It all remains to be seen though.

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Weekly 64th and Broadway Screening Room

In Between Days d. So Yong Kim - I must admit I'm a sucker. You put together a story of a lonely cute little Korean girl, and title it after one of one of my favorite Cure songs, I'll find time to watch it. In the end the film was better than I thought it would be, but still fell short of expectations of what I wanted it to be. It's got some striking visuals that stick with you, and the narrative style gives enough room for the story to be told in silence when need be. It's also got 2 or 3 songs from Asobi Seksu though not in between days by the Cure. It's the film I'd find myself watching again if I saw it on cable, for it's subject matter more than because I really loved the film.

The Warriors - It took me nearly 31 years to see this movie. Unnacceptable. Cyrus calls for unity of all the NY gangs against the police. But this goes horribly wrong, and now all the boppers are out on the run to track down the Warriors. Shirtless vests, street fights, moltov cocktails, several scenes of jumping the turnstiles to get on a train before the rival gangs get ya. All ya wanna do is get back to Coney. "CAN YOU DIG IT?!?!?"

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Boston Build Up 10k Official Results

Official Timing ::

Scot Sedley, 30, Norwalk, CT 45:54 7:23

I can live with that. Other numbers of note.

41st of 70 Males under 40
117 of 230 Males overall
133 of 343 overall finishers

Numbers I can live with for that first 10k.

Result Page Here

Full race report just two posts down on your scroll wheel.

Not That Anyone Asked...

But, I have been caught up in the Presidential Debates and the Caucuses, Primaries, and what have ya.

I find myself watching last nights debates this afternoon, as the NFL games are boring me to death, and my legs are too tired from the race to go for another run. And a few things stick out.

1. Edwards had a phenomenal debate on the Democratic side. I really only had problems with his phased withdrawl strategy. Richardson was right when he called him out, saying that made the leftover troops targets. Nonetheless, I thought he was sensational throughout. But....

2. Numerous blogs and analysts have pointed out the exchange between Edwards and Hillary as the moment Hillary's campaign failed. They say her 35 years of change comment was Hillary coming unhinged, becoming angry, what have ya. I don't get that. I thought it was an impassioned and impressive response. Part of me thinks if a male made the same response, he would be praised for being strong. Hillary is not my first choice, by any means, but their is an amazing anti-Hillary bias through much of the press right now. Any impartial observer I would think could realize that.

3. Rudy Guiliani scares the shit out of me. I couldn't help but laugh when discussing arrogant foreign policy that Guiliani's answers sounded even more arrogant than Bush.

4. Ron Paul was extremely impressive on the Republican side. I hadn't paid much attention to him up until a week or two ago, and each time I watch/listen I am more impressed.

5. I am in a bit of a dilemma. Connecticut is a closed primary. I have up to 5 days before the primary (Which is February 5) to pick a party if I want to vote. I think much of my decision will play on how Edwards and Paul play in the upcoming weeks. I'd feel just as fine registering Republican and voting for Paul as I would registering Democratic and voting for Edwards.

EDIT: Just heard a comment that Edwards' strong performance in the debate was due to a freshness since he breaked from campaigning in the afternoon, to take a run. Yay! Runners for Edwards!!!

Race Report :: Boston Build-up Series 10k Rowayton

My first 10k. Now granted I have run much longer in training, and my base training run is around 10k. But still, there are nerves to be had before any race. And, the nerves understandably increase when it is your longest race distance yet.

Now, add on top of that that my evening beforehand wasn't exactly the typical evening before a race. I went to see Rufus Wainwright solo (perhaps a full review of that later). Normally, the night before a race, I make a big pasta dinner, drink tons of water, and am in bed between 10-11. Last night, I had some subpar gnochi at a pizza stand in Tarrytown, hardly any water and listened to Rufus. It made me look forward to the day when Kip Winger Running Team had themed pre-race resturaunts around the country. It's only a matter of time. At any rate, luckily, I was still in bed before midnight.

After waking up at 7, I had coffee, showered, and watched a little of the Presidential debate on DVR. Rudy Guiliani is unbearable. Notre Dame Rudy should sack him and take back his name. But thats for another time. I get to the race check in, as advised at 9am. My bib number is 277. I have 45 minutes still before the race starts. Time for some racing warmup. I run about 3/4 of a mile and am realizing that my right knee feels awful. Twice I pull up lame just looking down at it, thinking, "What the hell?" During my warmup though I am starting to recognize people from previous races, and even cooler they are recognizing me, "Hey, happy new year Indianapolis!" "Alright, Scottie, good to see ya again." That puts me in better spirits, and I try not to think about my knee. I run into that cat that I talked to after the race in Stamford, the one that flew by me about 1/2 mile or mile in. We talk for 5 minutes or so about upcoming races, goals for this race. I tell him I am aiming for 48 (which is 7:43 splits, not 7:30 as I mentioned before) this time around, he says, "Aww, man. You should be able to do that no problem, mate." I'm still unsure.

As we line up for the race, I sort myself about 3-4 rows back and towards the outside. We go off. The course map shows lots of elevation change, including a steady downhill the first mile or so. I feel like I have gone out way too fast. I'm already visualizing that huge uphill around mile 5, and I am thinking to myself don't leave yourself with nothing for that hill. Before I know it, I pass a chalk marker noting 2k done. Not bad, I think to myself, only 4 more of these 2k's to go. It's at this point that runner from last week's Stamford race blows by me again. I know he's aiming for 42, so I don't attempt to keep up.

It's a really good course, and soon enough we are down by the water, by the beaches of Long Island Sound. And there are enough mini hills throughout that it keeps me focused on them, and not too focused on the larger hill at mile 5. But, there are two other problems on my mind. One, why is it that always between 4-5 k in a race I get a horrible side stich? And two, how fuckin long have I been running anyway, why aren't there timers shouting out times? I decide to just try to out run the side stich, which works, and I decide that it's probably good I am not hearing times, just run your own race.

Soon enough, we are at the one water stop. I know this is at 5.8 miles, so I am feeling good at this point, more than halfway though. But, it's also at this point that I am really starting to get passed by quite a few people. The concern is still there with me that I have gone out too fast and that I am fading big time. I try to convince myself that this isn't the case. There is a guy in long blue pants and a red shirt that I have been trading places with all race. And we are still trading, still withing 3-4 seconds of eachother. I use that as encouragement that I haven't screwed up too bad. I have no idea how thats rational. Then almost exactly at 7k, I see bird crap falling out of the corner of my eye. I am sure it's gonna hit my shoulder, but it doesn't. I tell myself I must have been too fast for it, and that I haven't been fading as much as I thought.

I see the 8k chalk marker and soon enough we are on that 1/2 mile or so uphill. Oh, and it has turns. Thanks guys. I think back to when I was looking at the map at the check in, and I said to a guy standing next to me, "nice hill at the end." He shook his head, "Flax Hill Road, those assholes..." and walked away. This made me laugh a bit remembering it as I was running up the hill. But then I realized that laughter isn't good for my breathing rhythm. And then I realize, damn, this hill is really long. I notice blue pants red shirt guy and I are no longer trading places. I think he's behind me. I take comfort that others are breathing as labored as me.

Finally, I see a 9k chalk mark. It's pretty much at the top of the hill, but now I am worried I am gonna throw up. For real. I think to myself, just wait 5 minutes, you only have 1k left. Get to the finish and then throw up. I still have no idea what my time is, but I know I am less than 1k to the finish, so I try to pick up the pace. I get evetually see the high school we started at, and soon after I notice cones leading us back into that lot. Once I hit the cones, I go into my kick, it's probably only .2 miles left at this point. Once I round the corner I am able to see the clock and get an idea of my time for the first time all race. Holy shit. I am gonna finish in under 46?! At this point any thoughts of throwing up and pain go away, and instead, I am just thrilled. My goal was 48. I had no idea whether that was conservative or ambitious. But when I had the knee tightness during warmup, I just was worried about finishing. At the start, I heard two guys talking strategy. One said, "Start slow, taper off, then drop out." They laughed and I did too, but I was afraid that was gonna be me, deep down inside. And here I was, one of over 300 finishers, and I am finishing in around 45:55. I was thrilled. Going by the the 2007 results this woulda put me at 124 outta 280 finishers. I am still waiting to see where this puts me this year. I am hoping they have better luck getting the results up to the webpage than last weeks race.

But here's the really encouraging thing to me. I set my goal at 48:00 cause that would put me in a good seeding position for May's Indianapolis mini, table towards the bottom of this page. And not only have I done that, but I am within striking distance of an even better seeding. Not to shabby for a first 10k.

I will admit, there was a bit of added pressure as this was the first race run under The Kip Winger Running Team name by any of our nationwide members. But, it felt good. And I think it was that pressure that helped me keep down vomit at 9k, and to crush my goal by over 2 minutes. I look forward to another 10k soon, hopefully. It's a pretty great distance for a race as far as strategy (which I certainly haven't figured out yet) and speed. But before that, I gotta decide if I will be doing a 15k on the 20th. We'll see.

Official results will be posted as soon as I find out.

Kip Winger Running Team is go!!!