Apr 28, 2014

2014 Weeks 14 - 16

John and Larry's first steps in their 250-mile run to Boston
Random thoughts about my runs and anything else that comes to mind.

So there are two major things going on in my life right now, and running is taking a back-seat to that. I expect my weeks to be mostly fake-zeros with a weekend long run until things settle down.

 Here's photos of everything I eat: http://instagram.com/stevetursi

Weight loss contest update (I am in two weight-loss contests right now.)
* Lifetime Fitness 90-Day challenge: Since my parents have been in town, I haven't been disciplined or keeping track. Oops. I think the damage is +5-7 lbs, but like I said I've not been keeping track so I could be off.

* Hertz "thinner winner" employee weight loss contest: This contest is now finished. See above. I lost my first place position but at least one my location, which is good for $50.

Daily log..

Wednesday April 2
I was really sore after Monday's 5K test and Tuesday's social run strides! I ran 4 laps at a track around Joey's lacrosse practice and called it a day. 10:00 minutes, 1 mile. Guess the pace per mile. (:

Thursday April 3
Beautiful day for a lunchtime run with Ami, where we ran 3.54 miles in 36:21, 10:17. We were both kind of sore though.

Friday April 4
Took a rest day and just did a Lonergan Loop (1.65 miles) in 15:30, 9:24 per mile.

Saturday April 5
Broke 24 in the Wharton 5k (here's my race report) and spent the rest of the day driving around Pennsylvania. Fun!

Sunday April 6
Longish run at Rockefeller with Ami. 12 miles. We had planned to go longer but she was feeling something in her ankle and we thought it prudent to cut the run short.

Monday April 7
Fake zero single mile at the track during Joey's (cancelled) lacrosse practice. The weather was bad so I just said "hang on a minute" to Joey while I ran four laps.

Tuesday April 8
Ran an easy flat 2.5 with Ami, who was still taking care of her bum ankle.

Wednesday April 9
Ami and I visited Atkins Glen for the first time since before the snow. Great to be back! 3.2 miles.

Thursday April 10
Again with Ami, this was one of the best lunchtime runs we ever had, where we did 4.8 miles. We averaged 9 minutes per mile on this run that included West Park, Atkins, AND Leach! (Hills).

Friday April 11
Ran Kingsbridge (hill near home) for the first time in forever. Did the entire 3.3+ miles in under 29, which is a personal best.

Saturday April 12
Longish 12 mile run at about 10:30 with Ami and Lifetime Saturday run group.
Palm Sunday April 13
Today Larry and John started their 250-mile stage run From Franklin Lakes NJ to Hopkinton (start of the Boston Marathon) to raise money for Hole-In-The-Wall camp for children with serious diseases. At the starting line, there were about 100 supporters, plus the fire department, police, mayor, news vans - a big group. I ran the first 8 miles with them from Franklin Lakes to home, but in order to get to Franklin Lakes I decided it was easiest just to run down there. It made for a solid Sunday long run of 16 miles total, and this was after 12 on Saturday. The 80ºF weather was getting to me a bit at the way back (especially since I ran out of water and didn't want to ask for more), but we were moving pretty slow (11-12 minutes per mile) and were getting close to my finish line anyway.
Run down to Franklin Lakes and back

Coverage by local NBC affiliate.
Coverage by NJ.com

Me and Larry completing his fifth mile

Monday April 14
Today was a work-from-home day, and I figured that after a 28-mile weekend I'd take advantage of the nice weather and tack on a trail run. I haven't been on a trail in so long I've forgotten what it looks like! Anyway,

Tuesday April 15
Went to the lifetime Tuesday group run but was short on time, and the weather was bad so we were indoors anyway. I ran 30 minutes on the treadmill, in which I did 3.67 miles (8:11).

Wednesday April 16
Solo run around the corporate park (Phillips to Grand to Spring Valley) where I did it very fast - 18:37. That's 2.36 miles, 7:54 average.

Maundy Thursday April 17
Had very little time, so I ran a mile at a high school while Joey and Grandpa threw the lacrosse ball around, and then we were off someplace else.

Good Friday April 18
Four laps at a track at 7pm.

Saturday April 19
Four laps at a track at 1pm.

Easter Sunday April 20
Short loop around Suffern Orange-Washington. 1.3 miles in 11:30.

Monday April 21
Short lunchtime run with Ami. We ran a mile and then we walked the rest of the way. Neither of us were feeling great.

Tuesday April 22
Single loop around the lower lake at Ramapo Res. So this is how many fake zero days in a row?

Apr 8, 2014

Race Report: Wharton 5K, Philadelphia PA - 23:56 (PR)

This race was sponsored by Hertz, and as an employee I got a free entry.

It's not very often where you enter a race where you know before the race that you'll easily PR. My previous 5K PR was a 25:48 set in Mahwah back in October 2011 (also at a race sponsored by Hertz). But that race PR has been beat by 82 seconds in training last Monday when I ran 12.5 loops on a track in 24:26.. So I knew I could break the race PR. The only question was would I be able to beat my training PR.

Well, that wasn't really my only question. The other question was would I be able to make it to the race on time? It started at 8:30am "sharp" and was held in Philadelphia on the University of Pennsylvania campus near its largest train station. We didn't leave Suffern until 6:10am and I was getting a little stressed as 7am and then 7:30am ticked by and we were still on the Turnpike. Making a long story short, I arrived at the race shortly after 8:20 and after a far-too-fast bathroom stop I was in the starting area a few minutes before 8:30.

This being a college 5K, I quickly realized that I was one of the old guys in this race. I'm 37. According to the results, there were 25 people (out of 577) in this race who are 38 or older. I'm not often the old fart, so this was a new experience for me. Not that it changed anything.

The Course
The course is a double out-and back from one end of the campus to the other. There was a small bridge with a steep hill several hundred meters from the starting line, and we had to cross it four times. The course was otherwise flat-ish - there was a noticeable grade to much of it but it wasn't substantial. Weather for the morning featured a rather nasty headwind on the "out", especially after the bridge, but otherwise cool and sunny. Surface was half asphalt, half brick.

The bridge (Google Street View)
My goal for this race was 24 minutes. This requires a 7:44 per mile pace.

Mile 1
Having not raced a short race like this in a couple of years, I got caught up in the wrong crowd early and went a tad too fast at the very beginning. I ran that first mile in 7:26 - perhaps my fastest mile ever.  I didn't realize this at the time because I didn't look at my split when the mile ticked by. I actually figured this mile was run in about 8 minutes because the very beginning of this race was quite crowded and it didn't feel like I was going very fast for the first quarter.

Mile 2
In retrospect, I know that the 7:26 first mile was why I crashed - but at the time I thought I ran the first mile in 8. So when I struggled to maintain that 8-minute pace in the second mile I figured that it just wasn't going to be my day to run sub-24. Some days you just don't have it, and I chalked that up as the reason. I knew I would still PR, and since I was racing, might as well dig deep and do whatever I can to stay under 8. This was a very difficult mile for me. On the second lap, when I crested the bridge outbound at about mile 1.9, I came very close to walking. I was definitely working hard at this point. Mile 2 was 7:59 - just made it.

In the pain cave at the end of lap 1/Mile 1.55
Mile 3
I recovered modestly in mile 3, and actually sped up a bit. I still didn't think sub-24 was in the cards, but I figured I could probably break 25 if I kept it up. So I kept pushing at my limit, which was 7:52 for the third mile. I happened to look at my watch with less than 100 meters to go and for the first time I realized that maybe I could break 24 after all. I didn't understand why, but it read 23:40. Turning up the intensity to near max, the last tenth was at a 7:27-per-mile pace, which was actually slower than my first mile. But it was fast enough - my official chip time came was 23:56, a PR and under my 24-minute goal. Gun time was 24:16.

Afterwards, we celebrated my new PR with Breakfast at my favorite place to eat in Philadelphia - a cheesesteak from John's Roast Pork. 
mmm, breakfast

My official time: 23:56 (PR), 166th place out of 577, 123rd place out of 275 males, 21st place out of 61 in the M30-40 age group.

Apr 4, 2014

2014 Week 13

Random thoughts about my runs and anything else that comes to mind.

So there are two major things going on in my life right now, and running is taking a back-seat to that. I expect my weeks to be mostly fake-zeros with a weekend long run until things settle down.

 Here's photos of everything I eat: http://instagram.com/stevetursi

Weight loss contest update (I am in two weight-loss contests right now.)
Update to come next week. (:

Daily log..

Wednesday March 26
Another 1000-calorie run. I was actually short on time, and wasn't thinking when I entered 1000 calories. I really only had time for 500 calories worth of running, a mistake that became apparent in the first couple of minutes. Oops. Still, I didn't change the setting. I assumed I'd just stop early - but never did. In fact I kept speeding up until I was going almost 8MPH at the end. Turned out to be an awesome 4.89 miles for me - in 40:44. Average page: 8:20 per mile.

Thursday March 27
Lunchtime run with Ami. 5.4 miles in 50:39, 9:23 per mile. This run was notable because every single mile was run under 10 minutes per mile - including the mile that ascends Anne Terrace to Leach Rd. I don't think I've ever run that mile under 11. This time we ran it in 9:45.

Friday March 28
Lunchtime run (work from home day) at Ramapo Reservation. Really only had time for a lap around the lake - which is 1.2 mile fake zero. 1.2 miles in 10:57, 9:08.

Saturday March 29
My tri club normally meets on Sunday morning at Market Basket - but this weekend we had a 21-miler scheduled, so I called a couple of tri club friends who are planning a 10-day stage run to Boston ahead of the marathon there and got together with them and Ami. We ran all around Franklin Lakes, Oakland, and Wyckoff. It was a fantastic morning where we did 21.87 hilly miles in 4:19:04, 11:51. That includes stops. We ran just about every step, too.
Saturday Long Run
Sunday March 30
Lonergan Loop (1.59 miles in 15:41, 9:45) at 10am just as an easy run.

Monday March 31
After a 1-mile warmup, I once again did the 5K track workout around joey's lacrosse practice. This time, which was after having a scoop of superstarch, I ran 5K in 24:26 - 7:49 per mile (PR). This is 23 seconds faster than last week's PR effort.

Tuesday April 1
Tuesday afternoon social run with the lifetime group. Now that the weather is getting nice the groups are getting larger - which is a ton of fun. 3.69 hilly miles in 34:39, 9:24. We did a couple of 100-meter strides afterwards - where my pace in one of them, according to my watch, was 4:11 per mile. If only I could keep that up longer than 100 meters!

Lifetime Tuesday Social Run group