Running, Biking, Triathlons, Swimming, Snowshoeing; what's next? Sal's does it all.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Race with Grace & RROY

A relatively warm by Thanksgiving standards (47) but extremely windy morning greeted the 1100+ finishers at the annual Race with Grace 10k. The last 1.2 miles, always tough due to its' two small hills and a long incline to the finish, were even harder with a 15-20 mph headwind.

Sal's did well in the races with Eileen finishing 5/19, Jan 8/34, Mike W 4/36, Lou 10/36 (and picking up his first RROY point of the year) and me 17/77 in our respective age groups.

Jan and I finished a respectable 11/50 in the husband/wife team competition, with only one 40+ team and one 50-54 team ahead of us. The other teams that finished ahead of us were at least twenty years younger. Our first time as a husband/wife team the people that made up the winners this year were maybe 12 years old? I guess we've been at this a long time.

Final standings for the Rochester Runner of the Year series also were published yesterday. Jan and Eileen each finished with enough points over the year to end up 3rd in their age groups. I was 6th, one place out of a prize, and Mike W was 7th, which was more by accident than design. If MW cared about the series he would be in the top 2 or 3.

Now it's on to planning our winter training and thinking of goals for 2016.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

25 Years of Race With Grace

Race director Bob Dyjak will be completing his 25th and final RWG 10k (as director) on Thursday, November 26. More than 1,400 runners will be at the race. I have had the privilege of completing 22 of those races (assuming I finish tomorrow). Jan will have completed at least 15 of them.

I have never run the race particularly fast, only one year breaking 40 minutes. Usually the race came 1-4 weeks after a fall marathon when I would have a good aerobic base but not the speed. Now my predicted race time won't be much, if any, faster than my marathon pace used to be. Jan is fighting for a Rochester Runner of the Year top 3 spot, so this race, the last in the series, is important to her.

The weather is going to be unusually warm for November, with temperatures between 45 and 50 at the start of the race (9am). We will have a nice headwind of 10-15 mph on the way back up Manitou road for the last 1.2 miles. It's always a pleasure to race into the wind while running on an incline for a mile and being tired from the first 5 miles.

Twenty-two years, that's a lot of races and running. I'm glad to be healthy enough to run the race whether I finish in 47 minutes or 51. I'm not predicting a finish place or beating anyone as so far this year my RROY races have been less than stellar. I do predict I will race, not run, as hard as I possibly can, the Bear will be out and in my mind I'll have the feeling of moving along at a 6:20/mile pace, not the 7:50/mile that it likely will be. In other words, the effort will be there, just in a 59 year old body instead of 39.

Running My Races
2014 RWG start (I am somewhere back there in the masses). 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Washington DC Travel Advice

Friends of ours are going to Washington DC this week for a four day holiday. I had no idea one could go to DC without having to run a marathon or at least a 10k race, but I guess it’s possible after all. As a self-appointed travel aficionado I have ten pieces of advice to offer our traveling friends.

1. Don’t take your drone and fly it over the White House. This is really frowned upon and will result in the drone being shot down. If you decide to go ahead and fly the drone anyhow don’t call me for bail money.
2. If you are playing President Obama one-on-one in basketball don’t let him drive to the left. Remember he is left-handed, so force the Prez to go right, similar to what some people would like him to do politically. 
3. When touring the White House, if you get hungry, don’t go off into Mrs. Obama’s garden. She did not grow all those vegetables for you to take back to the hotel.
4. The Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool is not for swimming. Yes, it would make a great lap pool, but don’t take your wetsuit and jump in. That would be another cause to need bail money and my credit card is already maxed out so I can’t help you. 
5. Don’t take selfies after climbing into the lap of President Lincoln’s memorial statue. 
6. If the President’s motorcade comes by on your morning jog get out of the way. Don’t grab onto his limo and pretend to be part of security. This wouldn’t end well for you.
7. Don’t jump into the Panda cage at the Smithsonian National Zoo. They may look cute and cuddly but they aren’t.
8. Yes, Washington DC is sinking, but don’t worry, it’s only going down about 6 inches per 100 years, due to geological reasons. However the sea level is rising due to global warming so you might want to take your kayak just in case that is an issue. DC does have sections right at current sea level.
9. One of NASA’s land rovers from a moon mission was recently found in an Alabama scrap yard. If you have some of NASA’s space artifacts this visit to DC might be a good time to donate them to the Smithsonian.
10. A daughter of mine, whom shall remain nameless, ran about 15 miles of the MCM before dropping out. She didn’t have any money and wanted to get back to the hotel. She went to the metrorail station hopped the gate and got on the train. I don’t recommend this as standard procedure. Getting chased by police inside the metrorail area might be amusing to spectators but not to you.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Strength or Cardio First?

A recent article by personal trainer Jonathan Ross in the IDEA Fitness Journal gives advice on what type of exercise should be done first based on a person's goals. I think many people will be surprised that if weight loss is a main goal you should do strength training first.

This table provides a concise explanation of the timing;

                            Main Goal?

Better Endurance Performance in Running or Triathlon Races
Cardio First
Lose Weight or Get Leaner
Strength First
Improving Strength
Strength First
Concentrating on Upper Body Strength
Cardio or Strength First
Concentrating on Lower Body Strength
Strength First (& no cardio for more serious strength goals)
General Fitness
Your Choice (but for motivation and fatigue reasons do the one you enjoy least first)

Monday, November 9, 2015

Weekend Racing

A Perfect Storm?

The headline read "Inclement weather delays Disney's Wine Dine Half Marathon", which only told part of the story. The race, set to begin at 10pm so finishers and family could enjoy Epcot Center until 4am, was in danger of not happening. 
Cloud to ground lightning strikes moved into the Orlando area a couple of hours before the race. With the start time changed from 10:00 to 10:45 the course was shortened to officially 6.72 miles. More than 13,000 starters and several corrals had some people running closer to 7.1 miles, that's how long the lineup was to get to the start line! 
Andrea's friend James, attempting to complete his first half-marathon, officially ran the 6.72 miles in 1:21:08, finishing in the top 50% in his age group.  

East Avenue Grocery Run 5k

Almost 1,000 people took off on the streets of downtown Rochester through the beautiful neighborhoods of East Avenue and University Avenue areas. It was a perfect morning for racing, with temperatures in the upper 40's. Eileen finished in 25:14 and second place in her age group. Jan ran a 26:58 and fourth in her age group. Eileen is now in 3rd or 4th place in RROY and Jan 2nd or 3rd place (officially updated results haven't been posted yet). 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Successful Weekend of Racing!

Let's begin with the Strides for Rides trail race in Prattville, Alabama. My daughter Andrea, who trains on trails in the Birmingham area quite frequently, ran in this race, which supports the Spirit Horse Therapeutic Center. This was Andrea's first trail race and she finished the 3.3 mile course in 32:40, good enough for 1st in her age division (20-39) and fifth overall out of 48 runners. Andrea is now a professional runner as she picked up a $50 gift card for her effort!

The Scare Brain Cancer Away 5k race was held Saturday in East Rochester, NY. It is a great course (roads) and chip timing for the start and finish. Eileen W led the way of the four Sal's runners with her second place age group finish (25:16). Mike W. took third in his age group (22:23). Jan picked up some RROY points, finishing 5th in her age group (out of 30) 27:12. I had a decent race, finishing in 22:55, 10th in my age group and hopefully getting one point in RROY.
Besides perfect race temperatures the post race food was as good as advertised, with subs, pizza, fruit and more.

Next up, the East Avenue Grocery Run 5k in downtown Rochester on November 7. Another flat course and RROY race. Well, that race plus a little half-marathon at DisneyWorld that Andrea's boyfriend will be racing on November 7, beginning at 10pm. The Wine and Dine half-marathon includes a party at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival that goes until 4am.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Race For Race Shape?

Saturday is the 7th annual Scare Brain Cancer Away 5k in Rochester. This race is also a Rochester Runner of the Year Race. Jan is currently in fourth place in her age group and with three races to go has a good shot at finishing in the top three. I am in a tie for ninth place and have little chance to finish in the top five and be eligible for an award.

I've been having an internal debate on why I should race this weekend for at least two weeks. This coincides with the last time I did any real speed training. My guess is I'll run my guts out and finish around a pace that ten years ago I could have maintained for 13.1 miles or longer. Anyone else I would have ready answers for why that is okay, even quite good. The bald guy sitting on my right shoulder hiding his belly fat keeps harping on that fact, whispering in my ear to accept what I am. The skinny, fast, bald guy on the left tells me running that slow is unacceptable and my fate is not sealed, there is still hope.

I'm going with the left shoulder runner. He is even wearing matching clothing and lightweight race shoes. He looks like a racer. The left shoulder guy tells me that this Saturday's 5k will be hard, but great training for the next RROY race, another 5k (the East Avenue Grocery Run), and then, on Thanksgiving morning, the last race in the series, the 25th annual Race with Grace 10k.

Besides, the race Saturday has pizza, Dibella's subs, and more post-race delights. Even if the left shoulder racer is wrong, the right side runner will be fed and happy!