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Saturday, May 30, 2009

A shot from Brooklyn

A couple of Joesters in Prospect Park during today's Brooklyn Half Marathon:

Judge Stephens is 7 foot 3. Dr. Bird is 3 foot 7 (and heat regulates like a dog...).

A few other (non-Joe-related) shots of the Brooklyn Half, here, here, and here.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Phantom Knee Pain

Ouch! What the %$#@!? Today I was working at Waverly Joe, like every other day(actually every other week at that location) from 8a.m.-2p.m. Just as I was finishing the shift, I noticed intense pain in my right inner knee.  I have never had that before, even after the Marathon.  

I'm just elevating it and will ice it tonight. Yikes! Was going to run today. Hopefully tomorrow the Phantom Pain will be gone. Sounds like the enemy of the Superhero, "Super Runners Shop Man" or something.

Anyway, it'll be touch and go, I suppose, till Saturday. Anyone have any ideas what the "%*&#" might be going on? Click on Title above for ideas...

Wish me luck!


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Joe Run Theme Song (or what happens when one procrastinates for too long on a Tuesday night...)

Race next Saturday in BKLYN!

This is where we can meet up and go to the start together at 7:30a.m. (CLICK ON TITLE FOR MAP) Where Prospect Park Southwest meets 16th Street (16th becomes Center Drive into the park) looks like a good place to meet up. So I guess that corner, Parkside.  It's a short walk into the park from there to the race start and hopefully Bag Check.

If taking the F train, it looks like it stops at Prospect Park, where you can walk just a few blocks to said meeting spot.

If you are coming with me from Joe Waverly, I will be supplying coffee, bagel sticks and a bathroom from 6:30-7a.m. when we will promptly leave and hail cabs to the meeting place at Prospect Park.

Who's coming with from Waverly Joe and who wants to meet at the park?

Friday Night Met Roof

Last Friday's Boathouse cocktail-hour(ok, hours) was really fun! Good turnout, perfect weather! Unfortunately, 4-month old Baby Sally reneged on her promise to buy us all drinks, but let's cut her some slack.  She doesn't yet know the code of drinking... although she does know her way around a bottle.

This coming Friday, we've picked another Gabby favorite, the Metropolitan Museum's Rooftop Garden Martini Bar. It has a 360 degree view of the city. Runners below look like ants; it makes me feel like Godzilla trampling the city and its tiny running stick figures! I LOVE it (or maybe I'm just a very angry woman who wants to kill, kill, kill...).

I'll be there promptly at 6pm until 7:30 or 8 when they kick me out (because that's when they close, and not because I will be drunk and unruly again..err....I wasn't gonna tell you that. Oh well. I feel closer to you now).

Yes, there is a Half-Marathon the next morning at 8 a.m., but we can drink beer and call it carbing up, in't it?


A few run-related images from the birdw0rks photo archive, as requested by GR (click on the thumbs for a larger view of each):

Addendum: I've a 20x30 (cheapy) framed print of the first 'ghostly runner' print if any of you regular Joesters might want it...

Friday, May 22, 2009

Don't Forget Boathouse Tonight!

My brother is also bringing Baby Sally by so they can both drink from a bottle.  Sooo, if you want to ogle the cutest and newest Team Joe member, come to the Boathouse! She's buying everyone a drink! She'll just take it out of her college fund.


p.s. it's the one in Central Park, NOT the Boat Basin on the Hudson. People always get that confused.


Fairfield Half

Thought I'd mention a run event coming up that I've not yet done myself, but has been recommended: the Fairfield Half on June 28th. Is an early start to get the train out there from Grand Central, but there's a freebie shuttle bus to the race start from Fairfield Station. You can save a few $$ if you register before May 28.

Also, I encourage you Joesters to make use of our new Forum. You need to register to post messages and read the team-only announcements, but only takes a few seconds to do so.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Painful in Sydney

Sunday May 17, 2009 - I awake early to have my pre-race breakfast - wholewheat toast with honey and peanut butter, a banana and cup of coffee. With much nervousness and alot at stake, I took the brief walk from the hotel to Hyde Park in central Sydney. At 7.30am the gun goes off, and I am off with 8,500 fellow runners. Alot of runners so it was hard to make a break for the first 10km. It's two laps of a course which winds its way through the downtown area along the harbour. That said, there are also a few killer hills - including the infamous Hunter Street Hill (500 metres between Pitt and Macquarie Streets) as well two climbs at the turnaround point of Mrs Macquaries Chair. The first being a long gradual rise (250 metres) followed near after by a short hard climb (150 metres) that trebles in length on the second lap. Another run up the Argyle cutting is 500 metres and although not as steep as Hunter Street, it was tough.

I was running at a good pace, well on my way to getting a sub-2hr time. Then in the last 3 kms, I felt something go in my left calf. I slowed down. Oh no, please not now. So close to the finish line. Not now. I start to feel pain in my right calf as well. I slow down to a walking pace. I stop and stretch. Can I finish? Everyone is running past me. I continue to move forward, hobbling all the way to the finish line and straight into the medical tent - for ice packs and water and water.

I ended up with a time of 2.06.47, respectable but a personal disappointment. Our fellow Team Joe running, Marcel did a great time of 1.47.33. Well done.

Now it is back to physical therapy and a short retirement from running.


Swimming, not running on this Saturday morning

I won't be joining the group on Saturday because I will be swimming in the Great Hudson River Swim ( The good news, though, is that the start time is 10:15 from the Christopher Street Pier, and the finish line is at North Cove, so the timing is such that the runners should have a good view of the entire race. Feel free to cheer us on in between sprints.

I will see you and everyone else on Sunday at Joe Uptown.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

2 Fun Things

Yes, that is the Boathouse in Central Park. In honor of the beginning of the summer season, I am proposing a Team Drink there this coming Friday after work, 5:30-7:30.

For me, The Boathouse is one of the great pleasures of New York - nay, of life itself (yes, I've already started tippling for the evening)!
There, we can drink, watch the aria-singing Gondolier fake an Italian accent, talk about running, not running, David Lynch, Star Trek, or whatever else is on your minds.

Secondly, Saturday we have a special treat. Jae Gruenke, GCFP - of The Balanced Runner(tm) - wants to try out a new running lesson with us. It will take just 15 minutes and is done standing. It's meant to be done outside right before a run, to make the ensuing run feel more fluid.

More about Jae's methods:

Developed by Jae Gruenke, GCFP, the Balanced Runner is a sophisticated, truly individualized approach to improving running form using the Feldenkrais Method of Movement Education®. Each session consists of a careful observation of how you are currently running, then a learning process structured to help you feel, step-by-step, how to reduce excessive tension and impact, use your joints properly, and find support, elasticity, and power. The learning format is low-stress, making it safe even for runners dealing with injury. Yet it is potent enough to impact runners performing at high levels.

If you are a competitive runner, Balanced Runner sessions and workshops will help you reduce imbalances, increase your economy, and improve your technical control. If you’re a beginning runner, you’ll get a solid grasp of the fundamentals. Whatever your current level, you’ll improve your performance.

See you Friday, Saturday, and that too much togetherness?


Fat Bloke Jogging! 5 Marathons in 5 Months, Part 1

Her Gabbyness asked me to scribe a little about my running exploits over the past year or so - probably as a cautionary tale about how not to be quite as blatantly stupid as me when you start off as a marathon runner.’s part 1 of how a relatively unfit, middle-aged, chubby Brit ended up running five 26.2-milers over a five-month period.

One of the for-the-most-part positive effects of running all these ridiculous distance events is that it forces you to become more forward thinking. As soon as you’ve completed one thing, there’s preparation, via recovery, for the next which kicks in immediately. This is generally A Good Thing: you feel that you always have momentum, there’re are constant goals and perceived improvement, and there’s a sense that you’re living a bit more in that elusive present tense. The dafter side of this is that you can get over-enthusiastic and your ‘eyes get bigger than your legs’ (and I have pretty big legs already.) The end result of that, unless you’re very lucky, is that you wind up injured, but more of that later.

Every November, the NYC Marathon trots past the end of my street. As many of us have, a few years back, I had the thought that one day I really should complete a marathon (just the one, mind!) and it might as well be the one here in Gotham since, let’s face it, it’s not going to get much better than a jog over the Verrazano via all 5 boroughs to the Tavern finish line. Having lotteried unsuccessfully but consecutively for a few years, it meant I was a shoe in for the 2008 run. Hence, I started jogging proper at the end of 2007.

Completing just 3 or 4 miles or so was a wheezing, spluttering struggle back then. Doesn't seem very long ago. And running more than 2 or 3 or so times per week not really an option for the middle-aged, fatboy legs. At some point a few months later, the heart and lungs conditioned themselves and I completed my first 10K around Central Park and then half marathon in Brooklyn in relative ease (if not speed).

Training went decently from then on apart from an idiotic decision to play (real) football for the first time in yonks in the summer. Oh-so-bloody-predictably I quickly got knacked with a fully-torn left calf muscle that put me out of commission runningwise for a good 8 weeks. That left a rushed mileage build-up and a no doubt equally foolish decision to run a full 26.2 miles a mere couple of weeks ahead of NYC. This really isn't the way to do things, obviously, but it is what you tend to do when you're not always that sensible.

I was signed up to run a half marathon in the plastic delight of Atlantic City on October 19th, 2008. I’d not yet completed a full 20 mile training run by then, so my initial plan was to complete the half and tack on a few extra miles and drop out. The AC route was a bit of an annoying multi to-and-fro out / back / out / back again and to stop anywhere near mile 20 would have left me stuck out on a limb in the middle of suburban nowhere. So, sort of predictably, I ended up completing my first full marathon by just jogging the last 6 miles too.

At least it was flat, flat, flat the whole way (although there was a fair amount of weaving involved to avoid running into the drunken, stumbling, obese, smoking, gambling dejetoids that were staggering along the boardwalk looking considerably more poor than they had done the night before). Miles 19 to about 22 were bastadd tough with little left in the leg tanks. (I thank an anonymous Japanese woman somewhere around there for distracting me with chat about her international marathon exploits and lying to me that I still looked fresh.) By the final 3 or so, however, a second (or ninth) wind materialized and I finished feeling surprisingly strong. Looking back, the race itself felt amazingly good considering, but I wouldn’t recommend doing your first and second full marathons that close - I definitely felt Atlantic City by the time I hit the Bronx a fortnight later. More of that next time....

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Healthy Kidney Race

Great race today...once it stopped POURING rain down on our heads in a biblical manner.

Soggy, but very green was the park (Yoda..). I ran with Jen "Jenk", keeping pace in companionable silence. It was, as usual, awfully crowded. Someone please tell me something: How do those REALLY slow people always start in the 8 min/mile group and get away with it? I always get halfway through a race and start passing them. That means they had to have started up front! Who do they think they're fooling? It's like buying a skinny mirror; you look great in the mirror, but if you're fat, you're still fat, people!

Anyway, great race. Don't forget to sign up for Brooklyn. There will be more room to spread out and overtake slow people, which is great for your ego.

p.s click on the title for race results.

p.p.s I think it's sweet when couples race together (e.g. team newcomers Laura and Chris from London)..although I hear she runs faster and he follows from a distance, then zooms in at the end for the kill. Looks like today all was fair in love and running, as they finished together. awww..

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Melanoma-Fighting run also Saturday

If you are looking for a relaxed family fun-run for this weekend, this run is highly recommended:


Event Date: Saturday, May 16, 2009
Event Time: Race Day Registration 8:30 - 9:30 a.m.
Race Start: 10:00 a.m. (please arrive by 9:45 a.m. if pre-registered)
Location: New York City’s RIVERSIDE PARK @ 110th Street

Please enter via W. 103rd St. ramp at Riverside Dr.
Alternate entrance available via steps at 108th Street

Race Entrant Suggested Contribution:
Online / Mail Registration: $30.00 - must be received by May 12th
Race Day Registration: $35.00 - forms available at check-in
Children under age 13 are free.

The Melissa Fund SUN RUN™ is a timed, USATF certified/sanctioned event for those interested in running. Non-running adults, teens, children, parents with strollers, and (child-friendly) dogs on leashes are all welcome to participate in the walking group. There will also be a short children's "run" right before the start time of the adult running group.

We highly encourage families to participate, especially because Melanoma is very often a young person’s cancer. It is important to educate children, parents, and young men and women on the dangers of this deadly disease - and the simple steps to protection.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Healthy Kidney Race coming up

Firstly, there seems to be room still to sign up! It hasn't been capped yet! Click on the Link above in the title and sign up!

Secondly, Team Joe will meet on Saturday at 65th street and Central Park West, parkside, by/at 8:45 promptly for those of us who want to run together!

Don't forget to wear your team shirts..

Sunday, May 10, 2009

First Uptown Team Run Success

Today was the first Team Joe Columbus Sunday run. I was surprised at the number of people who showed up, new and "old". All very fit and friendly. My kind of folk!

We took the 5 mile loop, cutting across at 103rd street transverse. I didn't want to intimidate anyone with the Harlem Hill, but really, mostly everyone was much faster than I and barely breaking a sweat! These are some fine runners!

Meanwhile, next week there is the Healthy Kidney race on Saturday at 9 a.m. I don't think there's a great place to meet beforehand, but maybe we can meet afterward for brunch Upper West Side style! Does the UWS have style? To be discussed at brunch.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Running Rebelious

Okay, this weather is just ridiculous! What's a runner to do? I've had to resort to running in the rain, soggy Sauconys and all, trying to hide my ipod from moisture, under my shirt(a little awkward), people around me looking nervous, " that a very small gun she has?...", I imagine a little old lady named Ruthie saying, finger tight on the mace trigger.

It just needs to stop. Could we be in luck for the weekend? I, for one, will not live in constant fear of the wet. I will take back the outdoors!

Join me in a running revolt to the weather this Saturday at 10 a.m. at Waverly Joe and/or Sunday at 10 a.m. at Columbus Joe.

We will run in fear no more.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Running Down Under

G'day mates,

I write this from Sydney where I have landed to run in the Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon on Sunday May 17, 2009. My training in Sydney has so far consisted of a 10 mile leisurely run in Centennial Park on Monday and a shorter 6 mile run along the Brighton foreshore. Sydney is currently in the Fall season so the weather is similar in temperature to New York.

In search of good coffee, I went to Campos Coffee in Newtown, the best coffee house in Sydney. I walked into the store, looked on the shelf and what do I see? A Joe mug proudly on display. Wow. I knew I had come to the right place. I picked up some beans which they called "The Obama Blend" - great depth of character, strong, and eloquent. This very appealing blend unites coffees from Africa and the Americas to produce a cup which has gotten us excited. Formidable middle palate flavours, syrupy with an uplifting finish. Excellent drink for going forward.

Also I met up with fellow Joe runner, Marcel who recently moved back from New York and presented him with a new Team Joe running shirt.

More updates to come from Sydney and my training!


Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Not talking about "that age" between childhood and teenage-hood, where the eye-rolling happens at breakneck speed for every adult uncool utterance. It's the time between Spring and Summer. I feel like it's a standstill time right now. Everyone's energy is low, we seem to need extra sleep, are dragging our heels a little bit before the razzamatazz of the summer months. The great summer movies haven't been released yet.

Summer, as we all know, can be exhilarating and exhausting! There is so much to do! Weekends away, Shakespeare, Opera & movies in the park, drinks on the roofs of swank bars, picnics and beaches and running, running, running!

We are coming out of hibernation from a long winter. With a little trepidation, I unpack my summer wardrobe, shake out those flip flops and the giant sun hat. Time to stock up on the 45 spf with Helioplex and Full Spectrum YadaYada..

I will consider the Brooklyn Half on May 30th the beginning of summer. What is more summer-like than ending a race at Coney Island, eating a Nathan's hot dog and riding the Cyclone till you puke?

Friday, May 1, 2009

Runs this weekend are optional due to rain

Heads up! It's will rain all weekend. That's just wonderful for the trees and flowers, but not geat for running. I only run in the rain when it's a lovely light sprinkle and warm, or when I have a long training run that can't be postponed.

Y'all are welcome to run anyway and still cash in on the FREE BEVIES, but I will not be chatting next to you or keeping you at pace.

Next weekend, we will resume on Saturday, and begin at the new store on Sunday.

Don't forget your umbrellas and wear your favorite rain boots this weekend.