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!!!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Boston Build Up Series 10k - Tomorrow

My longest race yet is tomorrow, a 10k, the first race of the Boston Build Up Series put on by Club CT. It's not that I have a concern about finishing the race. My base training mileage over the past two months has been 6.25 miles, just about a 10k. My long runs have been up to 10 miles. I did 10.25 this Monday, and felt okay. My concern is finishing near a goal that I have set, which may be unreasonable.

I've set out a 48 minute goal. That would put me at 7:30 splits. Even in my best training session, where I tried my damndest to reach a 48, I wound up at 48:22. So this will take some extra push if I'm to hit that 48.

Last night I wound up running a final training run before a day off today before the race. I felt like hell the entire time. Not exactly encourging, but i did get in 6.5 miles. And if there is one thing that is encourging, it's that I have been able to run a decent distance even on days that I have felt awful.

So what have I done the nights before the race to keep myself fired up, you ask? Well last night, I watched Bill Moyers to see interviews with Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich. And tonight, I am seeing Rufus Wainwright solo in Tarrytown. Believe me, I thought the Rufus show was Friday when I recieved the tickets. Last time I saw Rufus, I drank wine. Quite a bit. Tonight, maybe 1 glass with a carb laden dinner. That's it. I gotta run in the morning.

My first race as an official member of Kip Winger Running Team. Gotta admit, the excitement is palpable.

Friday, January 04, 2008

What is Kip Winger Running Team?

You may be looking over to the side, under my profile and see that I am El Capitan Supremo of Kip Winger Running Team. You may wonder to yourself how you can become a member of Kip Winger Running Team.

Here is a crossposting, from Spitz's livejournal with details, all words below are written by Spitz, and provided for your inspiration...

Following on the foosteps of yesterday's post, an ad hoc assemblage of The Kip Winger Running Team has been formed. There are no meetings. No organized runs. No uniforms (sort of). No application process. But there is one requirement. Any member of The Kip Winger Running Team must have floppy hair or a do of a length that falls over the ears. This is only a minimum requirement and expectations will be that members grow their hair out to a length that matches Kip Winger's. Extra Extra points for feathering the sides. For specific examples see - these pics - The current El Capitan Supremo of The Kip Winger Running Team is Scot Sedley, who has been given that position based only on his seemingly infinite knowledge of 80's hair metal bands and personalities. His head is an encyclopedia of relatively useless information, which he can now put to use as El Capitan Supremo. (Sidenote - El Capitan Supremo of TKWRT is different from, and on a level below, the actual !El Capitan Supremo! title that I hold...just to clarify).

Instead of cutting my increasingly shaggy and lengthening hair this morning, I decided to go on a TKWRT inaugural run, which consisted of a fast paced 2.5 miles, transitioned into 15 snowy hill sprints, and finished with another 4 or so miles. I'm not sure how many miles that amounted to, but it felt good to get out after 2 days of not running and to have a good strenuous workout. Tomorrow will be a long run (maybe 10 miles?) and Sunday will be either a fartlek run, or some rigid speedwork. Not sure yet.

This cold weather snap has temporarily broken, just in time for The TKWRT to show off their beautiful flowing locks, previously kept in hiding under running beanies. If you feel you can meet our strenuous membership requirements, feel free to start a chapter in your home town.

The Kip Winger Running Team is go!

In honor of TKWRT's first full day as a nationwide, soon to be multinational world conquering team, and being inspired by my teamate's run, I will have my final training run leading up to this Sunday's 10k tonight. The plan is for 7 miles (away, nothing left of what we had!), just to give a little extra than the 10k I will be required to finish this Sunday.

It's a proud day.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Christmas Break Screening Room

Just a few thoughts on a handful of films I watched over Christmas break. For actual well written capsule reviews check out Not Coming probably one of the best film sites on the web.

It's a Wonderful Life d. Capra
As I do every Christmas eve, I watched this. There is a lot to like. I love the sappiness of good Capra films, and this is definitely a very good, and very sappy film. But, what I like most about this film is Gloria Grahame in a supporting role. In the feel good movie of all time, you have Ms. Grahame, one of the most gorgeous femme fatales in Hollywood history. She who ruined her marriage to Nicholas Ray by sleeping with his son. It always jolts me when I see her in this film. God bless her.

Point Break d. Bigelow
At my old roomate's wedding in Indy in mid December, my friend Tyler and I took to calling each other "brah" a lot. He was wondering who ever said "brah" first, I said it was Keanu in Point Break, he wasn't sure. Regardless of the facts, Johnny Utah said it best. You forgot something brah. Brilliant. I'm sure ten years from now I'll still watch and enjoy this movie. Does that make it timeless?

Pickpocket d. Bresson
Robert Bresson is one of my all time favorite directors. And, nearly without fail you can tell how a Bresson film will end in the first 10-15 minutes. And, that's okay. His directing style is inimitable. Pickpocket is sensational. The theft scenes play like ballet. For those scenes, the thinly drawn 'love story,' and the themes of redemption, it may be Bresson's most accesible film.

Eastern Promises d. Cronenberg
A friend once told me all Cronenberg films are stories of transformation. Taken in that light A History of Violence became my favorite Cronenberg. But, my is Eastern Promises a close second. And I will sit around for days pondering the implications of the ending, which I have shifted my thoughts on a half dozen times already.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Run for CJ 5k - Stamford, CT Dec 30 :: Race Report

Going into the final race of the year I had many reservations. It's the morning December 30, so it's gonna be freezing cold. It's also coming off probably my most satisfying race yet. Just two Sunday's earlier I had run the Jingle Bell Jog in Greenwich, a rolling 3 miler. I finished that race in 21:51, so 7:17 splits. Not bad especially considering the weather and hills there. That, though had raised my own expectations for the Race for CJ. I figured though the 5k was adding .10 miles it wouldn't be as hilly, and I was aiming for a 21:40. That would be 6:59 splits. It would also place me in a higher seeded queue for the Indianapolis Mini.

I never sleep well before races. I always attempt to get to bed early, and I always toss and turn. If I were to study I would guess that my race times usually are nearly equal to the amount of continuous sleep I get the night before. It seems I wake up nearly every half hour. Dec 29 though, I got sucked into some hockey and football, and didn't get to bed till midnight. The alarm was set for 6, I was making coffee by 5:45, and outta the shower eating some granola by 6:15.

By 8:15, I've found my way down to the Athlete's Foot where we are getting race packet pickup. For the first time, I look the part, and looking the part makes me somewhat uncomfortable. I have a brand new dri-fit long sleeve Nike tech shirt. When I go to check in, the man at the athletes foot says, "Ah, you look like one of those elite runners." I nervously smile and tell him yeah, I am. I am bib number 10. A nice low number. I take that as a good sign. It's still 45 minutes to race time, I am in my car attempting to stay warm when I get a "Run motherfucker, run" text from Spitz. I complain a bit about the temperature. He tells me to get out there and warm up. I realize thats a good idea.

The Race for CJ is a fundraiser for the family of CJ Sweeney, a well loved kid in CT who passed away from cancer in early December/ After some prerace ceremonies, including a proclimation from the Mayor that it's CJ Sweeney day in Stamford, it's time to get ready to start the race. Somehow I find myself way towards the back middle of a good 200-300 people. This won't work. I nudge my way through a bunch of people and wind up finding myself 2-3 rows back on the outside. The Mayor sets off the race. And we go.

Within the first 100 yards I almost trip over a kid. Twice. Eventually I get by him. I then here two guys I am passing talk, "Yeah, let everyone go out quick at the start then we pick them off at the middle and at the end." Not exactly what I wanted to hear. I had the idea of just attacking this race at the start and hoping I was able to keep up a good pace throughout. If I am gonna do this in 21:40, I can't exactly stay back at any point. Not with my previous times at least. I need to push myself the whole time. At about 1/4 mile in on my right a guy just fly's by me. I think of using him as a bit of a pacemaker for a moment, but at the pace he's going, it doesn't seem reasonable.

It isn't until about a mile has passed, that I think I am getting my feet under me and feeling good. I think it's a mile anyway. I can't tell. There are no mile markers. Nobody is yelling out times. I haven't run this race before, and I sure as hell am not familiar enough with the streets of Stamford to really know. I have nothing to do but keep running. I am more or less by myself. I can hear people behind me, but not really close enough to pass me. And i have a group of 5-6 people about 10-15 yards ahead. This goes on for what feels like forever.

Finally a mile split time. 2 miles down 13:56. Shit! That's not bad. But I am definitely gonna need to pick it up. I pick up the pace and start picking off a few in that group of 5-6 in front of me. Then very soon afterwards, "2 miles down 14:58 !" Wait, what the hell? Which mile marker is right? Shit! At any rate, if either were right I need to pick it up, quickly.

A slight uphill, thats alright, I tell myself I have trained for that. Soon enough I start seeing street signs that I recognize from my drive down. 2rd street. Was it on 6th street that we turned? No it turns out it's on fifth. I can see the shopping center where the finish queue is just a few hundred yards away. And then it comes, that side stich. Are you kidding me? This couldn't happen at the one mile mark. Regardless, I know I just need to run through it. Not as quickly as I would like though, and I get passed by 3-5 people who are having a much more succesful kick than me. When I can read the clock in the distance I can see it at 21:38. Damnit. I am not gonna get in under 21:40. I pass sometime between 21:52 and 21:55 unofficially. Still a personal best, so I shouldn't be too disappointed. Though there are no official results up of the race yet, there is a flicker site up. This is how someone looks when they set there personal best, but are frustrated they didn't reach their goal.

After the race I start feeling better. That cat that passed me around the 1/4 mark? He finished in 19:59. Thats great, I tell him. He asks how I did, and I tell him 21:55. How's that rate for ya? Oh, it's a personal best, but I was gunning for 21:40. Nah, thats great, he says it's not every race you get a personal best. After a few waters, I decide I want a mocha, I hit the starbucks across the street. i see another cat with a race bib, and chat him up. He tells me, "I couldn't keep up with you after that hill, I tried but I just couldn't do it." It turns out he finished 15 seconds behind. And he was in that group ahead of me shortly before 2 miles. I'm not feeling so bad now.

I head home, still a bit disappointed that I didn't hit my goal, but not distraught. My mile splits were around 7:05, and I imagine, if the actual results ever good posted I finished in the top 15-20% or so. Now I just gotta translate that to a 10k this weekend.

Unofficial Results :: 5k 21:55, 7:04 mile splits, still waiting on placement

New Year, New You

Is this thing on? Is anyone still out there reading this thing? We had up to 125 hits a day at one point, but that faded quickly. A move to Norwalk, CT limited internet access and low motivation kept 64th and Broadway from reaching Drudge Report levels of popularity. But thats okay. We're back now. In a much smaller much more confined form. What does that mean? Well, all this blog ever really served as was a personal journal and screening log of films for me. And, since through the shortsightedness of our national media outlets I was passed over as a film critic, this blog will pay the price. It's not a huge price. It's just that I am really too lazy, and my computer to slow to upload pictures. So it goes.

The new 64th and Broadway, Barcelona will focus still on films. It's one thing that keeps me relatively sane out here in Connecticut. So there still will be a screening log. Just without pictures. So over the next day or two, I plan to have simple one paragraph reactions to After the Wedding and Eastern Promises up here. Yeah, you dig it.

But oddly enough the one other thing that has kept me sane out here since the move in may has been competitive running. It started as a bit of thing just to avoid coming home to my apartment alone and drinking. Then, something else happened. I realized, I was running further, and longer, and quicker. I thought to myself, I'll sign up for the Mini Marathon in Indianapolis in May. That will give me ample reason to continue training. Thoughts kept coming, if you are gonna do a 13.1 mile road race, you may wanna get some other races under your belt. So, thats what I did. And since October I have had 5 races under my belt so far. And I'm addicted. So I may be writing here about training. I will definitely write race reports, if only because my friend Spitz makes it seem fun. And he's quicker than me. By, a lot. Maybe race reports will make me quicker. But, yeah, in the next day or two, there will hopefully also be a race report from the Run for CJ 5k in Stamford this past Sunday, in which yours truly set a personal best. And maybe even a report from my 10k this coming Sunday.

Is this the world's first running and movies blog? I don't know. But to avoid that distinction I am not gonna review Chariots of Fire, since I think it was a good story, but a crap movie (albeit with a wonderful soundtrack).

So yeah, there ya have it. We'll see how long I'm able to keep this internet connection tapped, and how long I am able to keep my muse.