Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Week in review 10.27.13

One good week of training before I taper for Savannah and our last half of the year.

Monday I headed down to the track for some fartleks.  I was hovering right around 10 minute miles for the 4 miles and afterwards I still felt pretty good.  If I could only run afterwork so it wasn't so freaking dark! 5.2 mi in 53:25 a 10:16 pace.

Tuesday I headed back down to the track trying to keep my race pace in sight.  At 10:23 I was a bit slow but it's still below a 2:20 pace!  5mi in 51:52 a 10:23 pace

Wednesday I headed out to do the Waverly Ave hill again.  Three times down and back and my hamstring was feeling pretty tight.  The cold weather is definately getting tome.  5 mi in 53:32 a 10:42 pace

Friday I made my way around the neighborhood for a slow run before my long run on Saturday.  Nothing special to report here 5mi in 54:49 an 10:58 pace.

Saturday I headed out for a long run. I started out to John Brewers and back before heading down to the track to do a little speedwork towards the end of the run.  The thinking behind this is to be able to run the second half a race FASTER than the first half which is called a negative split (sounds painful doesn't it).  Well I started off pretty good out of the gate getting down to the track at just about 6 miles a 1:02:37 then really pushed it doing the second 6 miles in 59:16 shaving off over 3 minutes.  All told it was 12mi in 2:01:53 a 10:09 pace.   

Also of note every run this week was a sub 10 minute pace the the long run on Saturday put in on pace for a PR.  Can't ask for anything more.  Time to taper.  Rock N Roll Savannah in 2 weeks!

Miles run last week 32.2

Miles run this year 821.1

Miles left to 1K in 2013: 178.9 (19.31 miles per week over the next 9 weeks down 1.8mi from last week)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Week In Review 10.20.13

A recovery week after my first 10K, and time to start ramping back up for my last half of the year down in GA next month.

I took an extra day off but when I got out there on Tuesday my legs were still pretty heavy and sore so there wasn't much speed down at the track, so I'll have to try some Fartleks tomorrow. 5 mi in 54:07 a 10:49 pace.

Wednesday I headed down tot he track and decided against the fartleks and opted for a pace run instead, trying to match what my normal race pace would be.  A little slow from my PR but I'll take it.  5 mi in 51:44 a 10:21 pace

Friday I made my way around the house for a slow run before my long run on Sunday.  The hardest part about these runs is getting out of bed at 4:45 in the morning.  Uggg 5mi in 56:53 an 11:23 pace.

Saturday I headed out for a long run.  I started out to John Brewers and back before heading down to the track.  I was only doing 10-11 so I didn't feel the need to make it a fun route just get it done and go home, but I was pretty happy with the pace and how my legs felt afterward.  I definitely could have gone longer!.  One real week of training next week before I taper again for Savannah!  10.2mi in 1:47:38 a 10:33 pace

Miles run last week 25.2

Miles run this year 788.9

Miles left to 1K in 2013: 211.1 (21.11 miles per week over the next 10 weeks down 0.36 from last week)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Race Report: Rock N' Roll Brooklyn 10K

After doing over a dozen halfs and a full marathon, the RnR Brooklyn 10K was my first ever 10K. Julie and I headed out towards New Haven early on Friday morning to catch the Metro North train to Grand Central. The two hour train ride isn't the quickest way to NYC, but it sure beats driving the whole way, and gave me some time to read and listen to some music.

We arrived downtown just before two and headed down to Bryant Park so Julie could make a quick work call and I could grab a spare set of keys from my Buddy Dave who we were staying with this weekend.  Once Julie was done with her call we made our way down to 12th to drop our stuff off and head over to Brooklyn to grab our packets (East River crossing #1). 

We jumped on the F and headed out to the Bryant Park stop as Google maps told us.  Unfortunately I wasn't very specific about where in Bryant Park I wanted to go, so I ended up at the opposite end of the park from where I wanted to be.  A 20 minute walk which let us preview the race course brought us over to the Grand Army Plaza where packet pick up was taking place.  Being just a 10K there was no expo, just a couple of tents holding the bibs, shirts (which look like they were developed on the set of 'In Living Color' back in the early 90's) and event guides so we didn't spend much time there.  We grabbed our stuff and jumped on the 3 train (which was much closer) and headed uptown so Julie could do some shopping  (East River crossing #2).
Packet pickup was pretty low key
Grand Army Plaza at Bryant Park
The 1991's Brooklyn 10K Tech Shirt

On our way to 71st street we were cruising along just as rush hour was approaching, 1 stop from our destination when the train we were on went out of service crowding the platform with even more people.  A couple of minutes later a local train came by and we jumped on since it was closer than the express stop anyways and made our way to Columbus Circle.  I went to grab some wine while Julie went to try on a vest.
The wine store like every building in New York is small and crowded.  When I interned in NYC I didn't think much of it and it didn't bother me.  Now that I'm older I've realized that I like things normal sized as opposed to kiddie apartment sized. It took me a while to find what I was looking for (since it was under the stairs) but finally I was able to get a couple of bottles and check out $500 later (it wasn't really $500 I'm just making a point that things are also very expensive in NYC which is also a bit strange because it's so much smaller).  I met up with Julie and we headed back downtown to meet up with Dave and his fiancĂ©e Kaitlyn.

After a bit of catching up we headed out to take advantage of something you can't get in Massachusetts, happy hour.  We bar hopped our way around the area, including one which drew an large police response just outside before we ended up at I Sodi for dinner.  This place was great (Dave picks great restaurants) offering up some different meals and specials.  Julie and I started with some fried artichokes before going into to main course of rabbit wrapped in bacon for me and some portobello ravioli's for Julie.  Great dinner and conversation all around.
For dessert we headed to a Big Gay Ice Cream which is exactly what it sounds like.  Colorful names and combinations (see the picture below) matching the flag of equality.  As we entered we were greeted by "Brenda" who loved my pink shirt and gave us the lay of the land.  Julie and I split the Salty Pimp, which was soft serve ice cream with salt and then covered in chocolate.  A great snack at an all-around fun place.
Colorful names and combinations, this place has a lot to choose from
Salty Pimps for all!
Race day arrived as we awoke and tried not to wake the rest of the apartment.  I didn't get much sleep as the noises of the city kept me from falling back asleep after I awoke at 3:30, but the show must go on so we ate and headed back over to Prospect Park (East River crossing #3) and ended up closer to where we wanted to be but again not at the closest subway stop.

 The 10K was much smaller than most of the other RnR races which made it feel a bit more intimate but for some reason it was also a bit more unorganized.  The corrals weren't manned so just before the start of the race everyone just started walking forward so there were no longer corrals.  As we got closer to the start line though RnR personnel jumped in and divided people into corals to keep everyone from starting at once.  Either way the corrals seemed a bit mixed, and I had to do a lot of weaving between people throughout the race.

Once we got started the course heads out from the park along a street that runs just outside it and takes you down a hill and around the Grand Army Plaza for the first mile before heading back up the hill and past the park entrance.  The course stays just outside of the park  until the 5K mark.  Once back in the park the views get nicer running through the tree lines street and along the pong in the park.

After reentering the park you head back towards the start line at mile 4.  By this time I thought I was in good shape to make my hour goal being more than 90 seconds ahead per my watch, but just after you pass the start line the course starts climbing a hill which lasts almost the entire 4th mile.  By the time I had hit mile 5 I was just barely under my 9:40 per mile pace.  Fortunately what goes up must come down and most of mile 5 was downhill along the west side of the park, and once you hit mile 6 it's a pretty good downhill run around one last hill to the finish line.  I looked at my watch and I was sure I had made my sub-hour goal (which prompted Dave to say the key to running fast is eating a fast animal the night before)!

I waited a bit and Julie joined me at the finish and I we headed back to Manhattan but not without a bit of a detour.  The Manhattan bound train didn't stop at our stop so we had to take a train outbound a few stops before going over to the other side and taking the train back to into Manhattan  (East River crossing #4).  On the way we met a young woman named Marie who we chatted with about the other RnR races (this being her first) and she told us about doing triathlons and giving us some good pointers.

Once back in the city we showered up and headed over to Madison Square Eats which is an outdoor market open late September and October and has food stands from all over the city.  We started out with an arancini the size of a baseball.  Pesto and cheese for me and red sauce and eggplant for Julie.  Julie was smitten with the aranchini but unfortunately Aranchini Brothers don't yet ship, but if you're in town try to find them they are great!  We then headed over to the salami booth and grabbed some panninis. 


 After lunch we headed back to Brooklyn (East River crossing #5) for the Brooklyn Pour beer fest.

Lower Manhattan from East River crossing #5
We arrived 45 minutes early but there was already quite a line so we decided to wait.  At 3 those of us who didn't want to pay an extra $30 for an additional hour of drinking time we allowed in and it filled up pretty quickly.  We grabbed some beers as we made our way back to the Pyramid/Magic Hat table.  There was a large selection of pumpkin beers (I tried all of them but Pumpkinhead is still the best) as well as a large selection of the stouts for the soon to come winter season.
It can get a bit crowed when beer is involved

After about an hour we headed downstairs to the food area not to eat but just to have a seat.  Down there we found a Butternut Squash/Pumpkin beer which was interesting (not great, not bad just interesting) and a hard cider by Mckenzie's which was perfect for fall. It didn't taste like a normal hard cider this tasted like spiced cider that you warm over a stove on a camping trip.  Also there were giant vault doors since this place used to be a bank.

They are serious about security!
After 3 hours of drinking the pour was over so we grabbed a cab and headed to a bar (I don't remember which one I was drinking for 3 hours) before it was time to grab some dinner.  We headed across the street to Fette Sau.  I'm not sure that the name would make you think BBQ, but as soon as you walk in you know what kind of place you're in.  The line was long (about an hour) and was more agonizing that normal as the smell of smoked meats wafted by.  It's not an exaggeration to say that it was hard not to drool it smelled so good.  Once we got to the front of the line the ladies snagged a seat and we grabbed the BBQ which was just as good as it smelled.  We ate and headed home for the evening.

The aftermath
Sunday morning wasn't early and we took our time getting up before packing and heading down to grab a sausage egg and cheese on a big NY bagel before hopping a Metro North train back home.  One more race scheduled for the year.  See y'all in Savannah!

Photo Op at Grand Central




Segment Pace

Overall Page
















Overall: 1,612 out of 4,124 Division: 193 out of 322 Gender: 818 out of 1,402


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Week in Review 10.13.13

Another week another race week, this time for the Rock n' Roll Brooklyn 10K

Monday I headed out for some hill work up and down Waverly ave.  I've really started to take to this route for hills since it offers a steady incline and decline which isn't too hard on the knees.  4.6 mi in 51:20 an 11:09 pace.

Tuesday I hit the track for some Fartleks.  The speed work as been working so I figured I might as well keep it up for my first 10K  3.6 mi in 37:47 a 10:30 pace

Wednesday I headed out for a short run around the neighborhood to get in some miles but give my legs enough time to recover before the race.  2.9 mi in 32:30 an 11:12 pace

Saturday race day for the Rock n' Roll Brooklyn 10K.  Hope to have the race report up soon!

Miles run last week 17.3

Miles run this year 763.8

Miles left to 1K in 2013: 236.2 (21.47 miles per week over the next 11 weeks up 0.34 from last week)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Product Review: Brooks Equilibrium Base Layer

The days are getting shorter here in New England so that means the cold weather is coming, and with the cold weather running takes on a new art form, that of "the layer". How do we keep from freezing but without having to cart around a lot of extra weight. At the same time you have to be cool enough not to over heat.

One of the new products out on the market is the Brooks Equilibrium Base Layer which they claim is good for both hot and cold weather.  I read about it in the September issue of Competitor and since I was ordering new shoes from Brooks anyways, I figured I'd throw it in my cart and give it a try.  At $75 it's not cheap but nothing in running seems to be.  They say to pair it with a shell, but I've seen their shells at the expo and I can't bring myself to pay $80 for that no matter how good the quality is, so my jacket will have to do.  There are only two sizes for men S/M and L/XL so it was easy to choose the right size for me.  I entered my credit card information and through the magic of Internet commerce my order was placed.

A few days later it arrived thanks to free expedited shipping (it pays to visit the expo booth) and I eagerly ripped into the packaging.  When I took it out of the bag the first thought that crossed my mind was "fishnet".  If this was around in 1975 I think Dr. Frank-N-Furter would have used it to round out his outfit in "The Rocky Horror Picture Show".  About 60% of the shirt is mesh (read holes) with the front of the shirt being solid, with solid strips running down the arms and back and the rest being mesh.  The mesh (holes) traps air to keep you warm, but also allows moisture to escape (says the little video below) but I didn't realize how big the mesh would be to allow for this.

L/XL Men's Equilibrium Base Layer

Not stretched so this gives you perspective on the size of the mesh
Assuming that brooks knows what it's doing I decided to try it on since I was a bit chilly sitting around my house in just a tee shirt.  Despite the strange look from my wife I liked it.  The fit was tight as described but not constricting, even for a bigger guy like me.  It's lightweight and soft adding the airy feeling (along with the "mesh").  I felt the length was good, but the sleeves were very long.  Perhaps a short version would be in order for vertically challenged.

Walking around the house put away laundry, I didn't feel as if I was warming up much (it is just a base layer), so I thew my tee-shirt back on over it.  The combination of the two seemed to do the trick at keeping me warm.  I will warn you that if you do wear the Equilibrium with nothing over it be careful.  I happened to lean back on a dining room chair and the feel of cold wood through the mesh (holes) was a shock!

The next morning I took it out for my first run.  I had been wearing a long sleeve tech shirt under my running jacket but I was still pretty cool (especially when starting out).  It was one of the warmer days of the week (55 vs the low forties we were getting), and I paired it with my running jacket and was off for a 5K.  The shirt definitely kept me warm and I didn't feel over hot. The mesh (holes) worked allowing for moisture to evaporate and I felt less moisture in the shirt when I was done.  The first impressions were good but like I said it was warmer so we'll need to wait for a colder day to come to really put it to the test.

The second test of the equilibrium base layer was at the Rock N' Roll Providence half marathon.  I used it underneath a short sleeve tech tee shirt to add some extra warmth on this cold 45 degree morning.  Standing and waiting for the start of the race my core felt warm but my arms with the mesh (holes) we cold.  Once we started moving I warmed up and I felt good throughout the race.  At the end of the race it had warmed up to the upper 50's and despite sweating for over two hours I didn't feel as if the shirt was very damp so I guess the mesh (they did their job I'll stop calling them holes) did their job.  Standing around at the beer garden there was a slight breeze and in the shade my arms again were cool with my core warm, but in the sun I was perfectly heated.

For the third test I wore the Equilibrium under a long sleeve tech shirt.  The temprature was 52 degrees and the combination of the two worked great at a keeping my core and arms warm.  I didn't feel too hot and the tech fabric worked to keep the moisture allowed through the mesh away from my skin.  I think I'll be using this often.

The final test was a run as intended, with the Equilibrium and a shell on a again on a 52 degree morning.  The shell wasn't designed for running specifically but had ventalation and was light weight.  The combination left me a bit clamy as made my way up and down the hills of Watertown, but provided plenty of warmth.

Overall I think the Equilibrium Base is a great running top, which is able to provide ample warmth without over heating.  It can be combined with vairous other garments to fine tune the level of warmth needed and allow you to make it to the strarting line without having to discard that old Mets sweatshirt.  Why you have a Mets sweatshirt is beyond me though?  I mean the Mets and Yankees are in the same city why would you pick the Mets?  It's like "No thanks I don't want that Fliet Migon I'm happy with my Taco Bell."  Sorry I digress. If you're looking for more information check out the video below and the link to the Brooks website above.

If you have a product that you'd like to provide me for an honest review feel free to contact me via my profile here on Kicking Asphalt.

Week In Review: 10.6.13

The Providence half is done now it's a week of training to try and get my first 10K in under an hour!

I took off Monday to give my legs a rest but headed back out on Tuesday to do some Fartleks at the track.  My legs haven't fully recovered so it wasn't as fast as I wanted but speed work is always a good thing (I think) 5.1 mi in 52:48 a 10:21 pace.

The course in Brooklyn looks pretty flat but I decided to throw in some hills anyways.  Going up Waverly ave is about a 0.6 mile one way and offers a steady incline, then levels off for about a tenth of a mile before a more sever incline for the remainder of the hill.  The 80 feet of elevation gain offers a good hill workout without putting too much pressure on the legs on the way down. 5.0 mi in 55:52 an 11:10 pace

Since the race (and the next) is on a Saturday I took an extra day off to have my long run fall on a Saturday, so Friday ended up being my slow day down at the track.  I made it a bit longer since I was only running 4 days this week.  6.1 mi in 1:05:18 a 10:42 pace

Saturday was a long/taper run down to John Brewers then down rt 20 towards the center of town then back up and over to track to push it during the straights.  Can't push it too much since Rock n' Roll Brooklyn is next week!  8.7 mi in 1:32:23 a 10:37 pace

Miles run last week 24.9

Miles run this year 746.5

Miles left to 1K in 2013: 253.5 (21.13 miles per week over the next 12 weeks down 0.29 from last week)