Friday, July 31, 2009
Recently, I noticed a team at several races called Powered By Dim Sum..hmm..first I thought it was maybe a computer program, like Java, but no, it's a running group that likes to eat dim sum. Cool. If you read my blog regularly, you know I love dim sum (known as yum cha in Australia), especially chicken feet and any other 'nose to tail' parts. I thought Powered By Dim Sum and Team Joe Coffee. Huh. Maybe we could be friends. Jerry, who seems to be the Team Leader, has agreed to join forces loosely. We have invited his team to run with Joe, since they don't have regularly scheduled runs. In exchange, we get to tag along for dim sum...also, they have organized their own Half-Marathon the same date and time as the NYC Half. August 16th. 7 a.m. The difference is there is no fee to run...also no T-shirts, no water stations, no nothin'. Afterward, we will all meet up at Jing Fong. Read Jerry's email below.
Due to stronger incentives for PBDS members to be cheapskates, PBDS will be holding their 4th Annual PBDS Poor Runners' Half-Marathon on August 16th, 2009.
The PBDS Poor Runners' Half-Marathon is for those who found their net worth to be lower than the Titanic and for those who didn't wake up for several days to make it in time to sign up for the NYC Half before it closed out.
The PBDS format is causing NYRR to change their format for the NYC Half this year. For NYC half, its now First come first serve for race entry instead of lottery. For PBDS its first show up ON TIME, then run. Those who are late will not run because we will not be around. For PBDS, we have done our halves without any sponsorship. For NYC Half, NYRR has reduced their sponsors by getting rid of NIKE. The theme for PBDS Poor Runners' Half-Marathon 2009 will be Milking NYC for what we can get out of it. We will use their roads and pedestrian pathways for no money, we will use their bridges for no money. we will even use their water fountains in the public parks for no money. In return for the milking, you will receive nothing from us. No t-shirts, no water tables, no marked paths, no forced, smiling volunteers to guide us in the right direction. I know this is a culture running shock to some of you who before could afford the NYC Half but this is how it is done when you come down to our level. This year we must institute 2 pace group. Slow and Fast. I will be with the slow group. Those who are considering to be in the fast group should familiarize yourself with the route. We will not lose people or leave anyone behind. Those 2 girls that we somehow misplaced last year found their way back to the start. So technically we did not lose them since they were found.
Here are the details of the PBDS Poor Runners' Half-Marathon
START TIME: 7AM, That means START running at 7AM.
Course will be:
1ST LEG Start on South St. and Market St. (Chinatown)----Up East River park----To Williamsburg Bridge and over----around the Navy Yard----To Brookyn Bridge and over----to Entrance to Manhattan Bridge. 8.08 Miles http://www.mapmyrun.com/run/united-states/ny/new-york-ny/103726283
2ND LEG Start On Entrance of Mahattan Bridge----Over Manhattan Bridge----Up Jay St.----Right on Tillary St.----Brooklyn Bridge and Over. 3.05 Miles http://www.mapmyrun.com/run/united-states/ny/new-york/99509712
3RD LEG Start Off Brooklyn Bridge----left on Park Row----Left on Broadway----Continue on State St.----around State Plaza----pass South Ferry----Up South St.----Finish at Market Slip. 2.23 Miles http://www.mapmyrun.com/run/united-states/ny/new-york/99516752
ROAD CLOSURE: None, unless you use your body to block the cars.
POLICE PROTECTION: They will be protecting the NYC Half. Not us.
WATER STATIONS: There are 2 water fountain in the 1st Leg. 1 water fountain at the beginning of the 3rd leg. If you have water belts, Bring it!
STRAGGLER BUS: More Like straggler walk back to the start for us.
MEDICAL SUPPORT: None, so don't get hurt.
BAGGAGE: Can be stored in my place.
SCORING/TIMING: whatever your watch tells you.
DISTANCE: Total distance is a little greater than 13.1 So train for that extra .1 or .2 miles.
If you can make it, Email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Spinach and Mushroom Quiche (Serves 6-8) - from Laura
Rich shortcrust pastry:
4oz (125g) hard margarine or butter
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon cold water
1oz (25g) butter
1 small onion (peeled and diced)
4oz (125g) mushrooms (sliced)
1/4 pint (150ml) double cream or crème fraîche
salt and freshly-ground black pepper
large pinch of dried basil
Preheat oven to gas mark 6 (200ºC, 400ºF). To make pastry, sift flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Cut in margarine or butter, then rub in until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Bind together with the egg yolk and water to form a dough. Chill for 20 minutes. Roll out the dough and use to line a 9-inch (23cm) loose-bottomed flan ring. Place a piece of greaseproof paper on the pastry, then fill with baking beans. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and beans and bake for a further 5 minutes. Allow to cool. Turn oven temperature down to gas mark 4 (180ºC, 350ºF). Cook spinach according to the directions on the packet. Drain well. Melt butter in a frying pan. Add onion and fry until soft but not brown. Stir in the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the spinach, spoon into pastry case. Beat eggs and cream together and season well with salt, pepper and the basil. Pour into pastry case and bake for 20-30 minutes (or until just set). Allow to cool.
Flapjacks* - bonus recipe from Laura
In the US, the words flapjacks and pancakes are used interchangeably to refer to the same thing. The pancakes may have other ingredients in them, such as oats, honey, etc., but we still call them either pancakes or flapjacks.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Tri'd and Failed(to change my own tube)? Tri'd and succeeded(in never giving up)?
Yesterday was the NYC Triathlon. It was my 3rd NYC Tri and 6th Olympic Tri overall. I've been extremely lucky in the previous 5 in never having a flat tire or an accident, so yesterday, I actually was more or less expecting the flat. When it came, I just said to myself, "Oh yeah, there it is." and hopped off my bike to change the tube. I'd never actually practiced the move before, but had seen it enough to feel confident I could do it.
I couldn't do it. 20 minutes of trying and my hands cramped up. 25 minutes more of standing on the side of the highway with bikers racing past, a look of relief in their eyes that it was me and not they who were stranded. Finally a young woman with a flat wheeled over to me and we commiserated. She tried to get get my tire off and also was unsuccessful. 15 more minutes and I decided to fill the tube with a CO2 cartridge and try my luck at riding. When the tire was full, I could feel the spot on it where the air was escaping. I got on the bike and rode another mile or so before the tire was again flat. I tried to fill it again, but was unable to inflate it. Now, I was stranded AND alone again on the West Side Highway at around 165th street. Luckily there was a nice view.
Now, before the flat, I had been having the race of my life! My swim was great, my transition pretty quick, and I had been steadily passing people on my bike. Team Joe member and Tri coach Deb Mahanger had raised my seat an inch and it made such a huge difference! I almost felt like I was cheating! So, when I was standing on the highway, I got a mite frustrated because I knew I would have had my best tri time ever.
After waiting for over an hour, a passing cyclist told me that the Toga Bikes help truck was just behind and so in me awoke new hope for a finish! However, 30 minutes more passed before they came by. By then there were no more passing bikes. Not one.
Toga changed my tube. To make me feel better, the guy (with huge muscular forearms) said that my type of wheels and tires were really tough and hard to change. Thanks guy.
I called Anthony because I knew he'd be very anxious. He had to know SOMETHING had happened. The last time I called him during a race, I had a terrible ankle sprain (see earlier blog entry from January). Anthony was the go-to person for live updates to my parents and to our friends.
Finally, I got back on my bike and raced back to Transition. I put on my Team Joe shirt, grabbed some ShockBlocks and began my 6 mile run across 72nd street and up and around the park. 72nd street still had a few cheerers out and many finishers, all of which cheered for me as if I were a hero. It was so nice of them and their encouragement helped me along. The hills in the park felt different than usual. Steeper, longer, harder. People continued to cheer me on, last as I was. They looked a little surprised that I was last and was running pretty quickly, considering. I was probably running about a 9 minute/mile pace.
The finish line couldn't come fast enough or be a more welcomed sight. The announcer called out my name as I crossed the finish line. I got my medal and a wet cold towel. All was well again.
Triathlons are exciting for the very reasons we fear them and fear the challenges and unknowns in life. You know there will be pain, you don't know if you will fail or succeed, you have no control of the weather or of the people around you. There will be a flat one day, maybe today.
We do tri's because they test us. Do we give up when we get a flat or do we do everything we can to finish, even if it's in last place? We get scraped up, swallow Hudson River water, get kicked in the face, want to cry while riding uphill, face 6 miles of running when already exhausted. We want to just stop, but we don't. That is life in a 3 hour race. That is why I love triathlons.
That, and the free T-shirt.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
For the Team Joe Potluck Picnic last Friday, I wanted to try my baking skills and thus made this batch of Dark Chocolate Chunk and Dried Cherry Cookies, courtesy of Katie Lee Joel.
I share this recipe with you all, fellow runners:
- 2 1/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 8 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped (be sure to use a high-quality chocolate with more than 60% cacao) [Anthony's note: I used 62% dark semisweet Scharffen Berger chocolate - YUM]
- 1 cup dried cherries (about 6 ounces), coarsely chopped
- 1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together into a bowl.
In the bowl of an electric mixer (or in a bowl using a handmixer), beat the butter with the sugars until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated. Beat in the vanilla. On low speed, add the flour mixture. With a wooden spoon, fold in the chocolate, cherries and pecans (if you’re using them).
Scoop by the heaping tablespoonful onto two nonstick or greased cookie sheets. Bake until golden and chewy, about 12 minutes, rotating the sheets after six minutes. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool and repeat the process with the remaining dough.
Makes about 40 cookies (depending on how big you make them!)
If you bake a batch, why not bring them along and share them with your fellow Team Joe runners. It's probably best to eat them after the run and not before.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
It has been abnormally chilly (49-67 degrees) in Lenox, Massachusetts making it perfect running weather!
My run this afternoon took me to Tanglewood where tonight Christian Tetzlaff will be playing (among others) Beethoven's Kreutzer Violin Sonata. I find it interesting that the sequence of keys he is playing is: G A G, which is probably what I'd do if I sat through THREE Beethoven Violin Sonatas. (Beethoven is great, but three!)
There are a few more hills around here than I'm used to after running along the Hudson, but I was able to make it home without sticking around for the Beethoven!
Sunday, July 5, 2009
After a 12 hour journey on Thursday, including a 3-hour delay at La Guardia, followed by the cancellation of our flight, a cab ride over to Newark for a new flight, another 2 1/2 hour delay there, we finally landed safe and sound at 12:30a.m. at the Cleveland Hopkins Airport! While waiting at the 2 airports, we sampled the very best in airport cuisine and met some very nice people. Did you know that Newark Concourse C now has a wine bar that offers flights of wine for $7 and nice cured meats and cheeses? Well, it now does! We did some shopping, some strolling, and if it wasn't probably a crime, we would have gone for a jog.
When I think about my city of birth and childhood, I think about the running trails it hosts. We ran a few of my favorites this weekend. Ohio has many thousands of acres of parks, with many trails for running, biking and horseback riding. Friday, we ran through the beautiful neighborhood of Shaker Heights, Ohio, past beautiful turn of the century mansions and around scenic lakes.
July Fourth, we did a 6 mile run on the Chagrin reservation towpaths, a pretty adventurous trail run with streams to walk over via large rocks and twists and turns that revealed ever more beautiful land that will never be built on.
Today, I took Anthony to Peninsula, Ohio (click on the tile above for website about the town) for a trail run that started at a historic railway station and went by a swift river that beckoned for a swim. I declined.
We decided to stay an extra night to enjoy the sound of the birds chirping outside my folks house. Not a neighbor in sight or within earshot. Aahhhhh!!! If only Midtown were this quiet and Central Park had bubbling rivers that one could take a dip in without getting a ticket.
Four runners went running, but why?
They ran for four miles,
were greeted with smiles
and lattes, though some preferred chai.
Full disclosure: technically, new runner Danielle had iced tea, but chai was easier to rhyme in this context.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Ok, I cannot believe I am sharing this photo as I look like a big fatty, but Gabby thought it would be good to share the adventures of a pregnant runner for posterity. My friend Becca, on the far right, and I, on the far left, were both about six months pregnant for the Manhattan Mini 10K, June 7th, in Central Park. She decided to get a small shirt so that she would have it for the longterm; I decided I might need more XL’s for the summer, so I look like a blimp. All through the race people were cheering Becca on for being pregnant and probably just feeling bad for me that I was so fat and slow. I wouldn’t mind that much if a really hot and fit looking Aaron Eckhart of In the Company of Men fame hadn’t run right by at the end of the race as we were milling about and made eye contact (well, maybe he made eye contact because I was staring at him and scaring him.)
For some reason it isn’t that strange to be at the beginning of a NYRR race with thousands of women and no men. It is a good testament to how many women run in NYC that it doesn’t feel odd when it is just women. I was nervous before the race, much like I might be before a half marathon rather than a 10K. Five and a half miles is about the limit of my general running these days and sometimes I walk a little then, and for some reason a 10K in a public race was intimidating. I felt nauseous and dizzy before the start. But, once we started it is just so fun to run with other people (yay, Joes!) and we went a nice slow pace with a particularly slow start from the crowds so that I felt fine and peppy the whole way. Unusually, the race starts up Central Park West starting from Columbus Circle before entering the park in the 90’s and it did feel empowering to see a beautiful avenue lined with towering buildings filled with women running. That they would shut down a whole road for us was flattering. Our group hung together and chatted the whole way and the park is so nice and cool under the canopy in the shade that it was really a pleasant experience. All five of us finished together – a lovely women’s outing. Hopefully, the NYRR’s will start age-group categories for pregnant women like four months, six, months, eight months, so we could maybe win something for once, but I guess that would be ill-advised as it would encourage women to push it and compete, which is not recommended.
Given no other contraindications and if you are a regular runner, running is fine all through pregnancy and can provide a number of benefits to mother and baby. (See Exercising Through Your Pregnancy by James F. Clapp III) Pregnant women even have certain competitive advantages like higher blood volume and better heat radiation. Apparently, the East Germans tried to cheat in one of the Olympics by making sure their athletes were 12 weeks pregnant, which is supposedly like blood doping. Nobody I have spoken with, though, has felt like a superior athlete at 12 weeks, but hey.
The hard part is knowing your body, which is changing every day. As a runner, you generally know good and bad pain, when to push it if you are tired and flat and when not to. When you are pregnant it is much harder to gauge all that especially since the general population is expecting you to stop running; you feel a much greater burden of responsibility. There is always the nagging fear that you overdid it and did something bad. In some ways being pregnant is probably similar to being an older runner. You have to be very regular and keep it up or it is hard both mentally and physically to get back into it. So I try not to take more than a couple days off doing other activities because otherwise I lose confidence that I will be able to keep this up throughout, which I hope to do for all the health benefits, both mental and physical for me and the hanger on and because running rules.
So hope to see you all along the West Side Highway Park this summer. I’ll be the bulging one in the giant t-shirts.