The Brooklyn Half memorializes its entrants
Ah, the Brooklyn Half! This used to be my favorite race, an un-ironic celebration of all things Brooklyn. Then it became my favorite race as an ironic celebration of a very specific Brooklyn, the Brooklyn of curated food trucks, craft beer, and made-for-Instagram photo ops.
So what happened this year? My lack of excitement was matched only by my lack of preparation. I was running, because, well, that’s what I do – but honestly, I would really have rather spent the morning birding.
In the end, I did a bit of both. Continue reading
Runners (and their shadows) in mile 13
Here it is, at last: my report on this year’s NYC marathon from the spectators’ side of the police tape.
As you may recall, I’d mapped out a plan in advance that would take me from Park Slope to Bay Ridge (with a stop in Sunset Park) to Greenpoint to Long Island City to East Harlem to the Upper West Side. I executed my non-running race plan much better than I’ve ever executed any of my actual running race plans. You could even say I hit my “A” goal.
I also learned a lot, and am already making plans for 2019.
Here’s how it went down. Continue reading
Defending my home turf (photo credit: Luke Redmond)
Let’s begin by contemplating the marketing genius who connected this race, which routinely sells out in less than an hour, to its new title sponsor, Banco Popular. Was it the result of a caffeine, doughnut and Gatorade-fueled spitballing session in a New York Road Runners conference room? Did someone at Banco Popular, possibly a runner themselves, come up with the idea? Or was it – as my friend Michael, who has some tenuous family connection to the world of marketing consultants, tells me is most likely – the handiwork of a professional branding matchmaker?
However it happened, this popular race is now officially Popular. Continue reading
Something I thought I’d never do: post a finishing medal photo
Sometimes, despite your best efforts at self-sabotage, things just come together on race day.
A bit of background here. I will always remember the 2006 Crim in Flint, Michigan, as a perfect race. It remains my personal record for 10 miles (1:07:38); I placed third in my age group in a competitive field, and was among the top ten masters (against Russians who were no doubt doping); I ran negative splits, with the last mile (a 6:20-something) my fastest.
Much has changed over the last decade. I went through cancer treatment and chemo-induced menopause. The Big Three automakers – and with them, the state of Michigan – almost went belly up. I gave up on racing for a time, got married and moved to Brooklyn. The city of Flint had an emergency manager imposed on it, stripping its elected officials of their authority (and its citizens of their political power), and ended up with a poisoned water supply. I joined a new running club here in Brooklyn and started racing again.
But racing now is different. Continue reading
For the last race of the summer (as defined by Labor Day, not the autumnal equinox), I headed uptown to Harlem.
I had company from the start. A couple of PPTC teammates were entering the F/G station at the same time as me, and another two joined us shortly after that. We talked, mainly, about coffee. My insulated travel mug, which I’d filled before running out of the apartment so that I could sip my morning coffee on the train, was quite the conversation-starter. Continue reading
My #1 summer racing goal: NOT to require ambulance services
Here it is: an overview of my summer 2016 racing season, presented chronologically. Since I’ve fallen so hopelessly behind on race reports, I’ve stinted on the usual copious detail and tried to tease out broad themes instead.
NYRR Retro 4 Miler (June 4). The official theme of this race was running “old-school.” Sweat bands, “Stop Pre” t-shirts and pscychedelia abounded (kudos to the PPTC teammate who wore a vintage team singlet picked up at the Beacon’s Closet resale shop). Continue reading
Don’t look for me in this photo – I’m not there (for reasons that will be explained). Photo credit: Christine Goh
Half the fun of New York Road Runners races is getting there, so it’s only right that this (tardy) report should begin with an early-morning train story.
Weekend construction-related service changes are the bane of racers, but for once, they broke in my favor. Not only did an F train come right away – it was skipping 14th and 23rd streets, turning its usual pokey course through Manhattan into something approaching express service.
I used to be a morning person.
I settled into a mostly-empty car and closed my eyes. At Jay Street, a mother, father and adult daughter, all laden with suitcases, boarded. They headed toward the empty bench I was on, then stopped. Continue reading
So glad to see Andy. Even gladder this race is almost over. (Photo credit: Andy Wong)
The NYC Half is a race I swore I’d never run: too big, too expensive, too early in the year, too much of a pain in the ass. Then, late last year, I logged on to my New York Road Runners account and saw an utterly unexpected message congratulating me for having earned guaranteed entry to the 2016 NYC Half.
I caved immediately. Continue reading
High-visibility race shirts
Is this a trend? The t-shirts from my last two New York Road Runners races are crossing-guard green and highway-worker orange. This has caused some grumbling among certain runners of my acquaintance, who – being New Yorkers and all – prefer black, or at least gray. But Eric heartily approves. He is, after all, the man who showed his love for me by festooning my bike with day-glo yellow tape one day as a surprise. Continue reading
Early Sunday morning on the D train
My excuses were lined up even before I stumbled onto the R train that would take me to the D that would take me to the Bronx.
- This is not a goal race.
- I have a cold.
- Eric also has a cold, and his symptoms include violent, sleep-disrupting sneezes. All. Night. Long.
- My right Achilles continues to piss and moan – and, on occasion, shriek like an angry banshee – when I run fast or far.
- I’m at the end of a 65-mile week, I have 70 miles ahead of me next week, and I’m tired, dammit.
- I drank, if not excessively, then certainly more-than-optimally the previous night. (Too tired and cold-addled to cook, Eric and I went to the Peruvian place across the street in search of restorative seafood soup. I ordered a pisco sour, because why not? We waited. I finished my drink. We waited some more. Thirty minutes passed without a single plate emerging from the kitchen. But the manager was on the case, appeasing the packed room of fidgeting customers with mini pisco sours, on the house. Yes, I know I didn’t have to take one – much less a second one – but they went down so easy, and they were free . . . )