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Posts Tagged ‘NYC marathon’

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November 1, 2012

The first day out of the Lower East Side, out of the cold, out of the darkness and in an area of phone reception and Internet. Ah yes, my office at Long Island University in downtown Brooklyn. I have never been so happy to get here, but it was not without incident.

Good news is the NYC Marathon is on and I am rested and happy to run to on Sunday.  I slept more in the last few days since the Con Edison 14th Street plant blew up leaving us in the dark; it is just 14 blocks from my apartment.

A video of the plant blowing up from the other side of the river in Brooklyn:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYC7sV1Kj9o .
as was this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gtNgauQlIE .

In Manhattan from 34th Street down to Battery Park City, east to west there is no electricity which means no hot water, and in some buildings no water at all,  no internet, no charging cell phone, but most cell phones do not work  anyway since many of  the towers went down. We are in a media blackout and as well as a dark city.

Honestly losing the lights and heat unto itself is not a big deal it is like camping, but last night I wanted a shower and I had enough. I tried to get out of Manhattan and it was impossible. Cars are allowed into the city and it is jammed bumper to bumper and people are being extra assholes. None of the street lights work and there are almost no traffic cops so the cars speed down long stretches not slowing, let alone stopping at the cross streets for other cars or pedestrians. A friend who had to drive to work, said it took three hours to go less than 3 miles. Because he is handicapped he could not walk. Plus there is no gas. The gas stations cannot work without electricity and where there is electric they ran out of gas, so we really are trapped.  I can ride my bike or run but I can’t bring my dogs with me, so I am staying.

Then there is the problem of  people feeling the need to buy huge amounts of crap in Brooklyn where services are working. As I rode my bike onto the Manhattan Bridge  (to come to LIU) a guy with what looked like a whole fucking kitchen table strapped to his back came flying down the bridge ran into my lane and hit me with the giant object, throwing me and my bike into the guard rail. It slammed my arm into the metal in one direction my hand in the other. After holding up to the stress this week I felt the tears come, then figured it would feel really good to cry, but just as I started to cry and pry my arm out of the fence, the next person riding down says, “that is a really bad place to stop.” No kidding, but can I at least get my arm back and make sure my hand is not broke?”  and that piece of dog crap that hit me kept going. “Oh, do I found stressed out?” Yes, a little bit. I have some anger going. As most of you know I am an easygoing person but I could have  pummeled that guy with his stupid table.

One of the coffee shops opened today. They must have brought the coffee brought in,  the place was lit with candles.  It was nice to have hot coffee. My refrigerator is completely empty having to throw everything out. Last night  7 of my neighbors came over;  we drank wine, had delicious lasagna, rice pudding, streamed vegetables, basically we emptied what was still good in our houses and cooked it on my gas stove. The night before I went to David’s and 4 of us made pizzas and ate leftovers in the dark. But from here on out it will be rice, oatmeal or other no-perishables. (Now if only a grocery store was open.) I am really happy that I have water. The 16 story buildings just three blocks away, buildings that are massive, have no water at all.

The dark neighborhood  of course is the perfect opportunity for crime. With no ATM’s working, people are carrying around more cash than they normally would, and the number of armed muggings has taken off. I was surprised to see  cops walking my street on Tuesday night when I came home about 10:30pm in pitch-blackness trying not to step on the plethora of rats that are no about.  There are more and more police present.

That is the update from the Lower East Side. I am off to find some dog food and something really tasty for myself. Tonight David, Patrick and I are going to the Marathon Expo to pick up our numbers. I may still try to get out of Manhattan, I would love a nice long hot bath and a good rest.  I am going to have to skip my special marathon haircut since no salon is open. It is hard telling how long it will be before we have electric. I have heard anything from 4 days to 2 weeks. I can’t say when I will be back on-line, but I am doing fine. I have great friends in the neighborhood and want to be with them.

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Looking Good! Oh NO!

A few weeks ago I got two compliments in the same week that “I looked good.” My first thought was, “oh, crap I am getting fat.”

Imagine my delight (reinforcing my belief that I do NOT  body dysmorphic disorder) when I read this in the 1977 Complete Book of Running chapter on “Getting Thin:

“A runner in good condition weighs not more than two pounds per inch of height. A man not more than 5-10 percent body fat; a woman is about 15 to 20 percent. ….Ted Corbitt, the former Olympic marathoner mentions in Chapter 2, “When people tell you how good you look, you can be sure you are not fit. If you don’t look gaunt you’re out of shape.” Dr. Alan Clark, the same physician cited in Chapter 2 as an advocate of aerobic exercise instead of tranquilizers, told me that after six months on a running program “friends would approach my wife in private and speak with a concerned air about my gaunt appearance and ask how long I had been ill. Her explanation-that I was long-distance runner-would leave them scratching their heads.”

James E. Fixx, The Complete Book of Running, pg. 75, 1977

In the next week I am asked if I am ill, or told that I looked gaunt I will know I am ready for the marathon! If not, I will just wing it and run as hard as I can. Surely at the finish I will look ill.

 

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The pleasure that conceals itself in pain is familiar to most runners. At the finish of the 1975 Boston Marathon a spectator named Kitty Davis noticed a runner crying. His face was contorted like a child’s and tears were running down his weather-tanned cheeks.

“Why are you crying, sir?” Mrs. Davis asked. “Are you hurt?”

“No,” the runner replied, “I’m crying because I am so happy.”

Perhaps, then there is in us a need to experience pain, and through it pleasure.

James E. FIxx “The Compete Book of Running” ©1977

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ING NYC Marathon

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Twelve more days until the NYC Marathon. And in celebration I am going to post daily quotes from the 1977 “Complete Book of Running by James E. Fixx. The first book I owned as a Junior High School beginning miler. Reading it today is a refreshing and simple look back into the uncomplicated days of running.

“Of course runners feel better; become thinner; probably live longer; have a better sex life, and drink and smoke less than their sedentary companions, but they are also likely to acquire a “high” from running, increased their self-esteem, be better able to cope with pressure and tension, feel surges of joy, discover that apparently insoluble problems dissolve, and even achieve, however temporary, a state of serenity that carries over into their daily lives.”

Thank you Jim Fixx.

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Just a quick post before I go to the airport. My flight to Madrid leaves shortly, then to Venice. I will be there at 11:30 Sunday morning while all of you are getting ready for the marathon. My first run will be at 4:00, I suspect many of you will be between 13 and 18. Good luck NYC Marathoners.

The three athletes for the time I am there, all sharing an apartment in Lido are Dave Durante, Sadie Wilhelmi and me. Here they are preparing for the biennale

Dave at the Olympic trials
Sadie
The Dave and Sadie Blog

And I ran and did squat with rocks you don’t need to see a video of that. You will see one soon of me on “Track and Field”

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Williamsburg Hipster

In woke up this morning at 5am, after being at a dinner party until midnight, wondering why I god’s earth did I think it would be fun to sprint back and forth over the Williamsburg Bridge at the crack of dawn. I text my always ready for an adventure  32 year old running buddy, “David, doesn’t sleeping in sound good?” I immediately get the reply, “race, then go back to bed.” darn

The first annual Bolt the Billyburg, is a 2.75 race beginning in Brooklyn at the base of the Williamsburg Bridge, run up, over and down, then back up over and down. But it starts in Brooklyn so I ran over the bridge to get there, a nice warm up. The race was super well organized by Mikal Cook, Rouge Runners Production. It was Mikal’s first time organizing a race and he did an awesome job. He has to be a runner to do this so well, though I know nothing about him. It was a small very friendly group, everything was like clock-work. Afterward we went to PIPS- Art and Table Tennis Space and  received cool t-shirts, the winner and slowest guy got a hoodie and there was PBR and water.  At 8:00am I would sleep the rest of the day if I drank  beer  so I stayed with water.

I am confident that I was the oldest runner. After all, Billyburg is the home of the young hipster set. But don’t let my grey hair fool you, I can kick the ass of many under 35 year old dudes, and I did. Yea, grandma got respect at the end, boys coming up saying how I blew by them, a PT telling me what good form I had as I came down the final 200 meters at 5:30 pace. That is not a fast pace if your only running 200 meters  but after running 2.75 miles up from 0 elevation to 400 twice, back to 0 then 400 again, I was moving. Here is how it looked:

Bolted the Billy

We started in two waves and I went in the second. I spotted who my competition would be. David tells me I could win the women’s race, my main concern: Do not get beat by the pink skort. I let pink skort go in the first wave and I would chase her down, and I did. But thinking our waves were 1 minute apartment, I was wrong, I did not push quite as hard as I should have. Pink skort beat me by 6 seconds! Crap.  Oh but it was a fun. The race was two hours ago and my lungs are still burning.  For almost 3/4th mile  you climb, then the fast downhill, and another almost mile climb. David came in second and I came in second. The winning guy ran 16:??, David ran 18:?? I ran 20:43, averaging a 7:30 pace overall, the last guy coming in around 24:00.

At the beer and cheer  I met a girl from my hood who I made a running date with, then David and I tucked our butts back in and walked briskly back over the bridge to Manhattan.

Lastly, today is October 15th. I have just one more run to do today and I will have completed 50 runs in 50 days!! Woo Hoo

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I have been back in NYC for one week and I have experienced an earthquake  and a hurricane. Fortunately the hurricane did not do a lot of damage in NYC, but the surrounding areas got hit pretty hard.

In anticipation of the big storm I met my friend Les to do a 13 mile run on Friday night. It was really fun running in Central Park after dark with a nice cool rain. We ran until about 9:30pm that night. I woke up a bit sore. After 12 weeks of soft sand and nice trails the cement is a bit tough but I am sure I will get used to it quickly. I had an awesome run pre-hurricane on Saturday. It was raining then too, but it was nice and cool.

On Labor Day is another wonderful Holiday Marathon in the Bronx. I can’t wait. That will be a good day of some hilly, dirty, running. While I really miss the New Mexico mountains I am embracing the wet cool weather of NYC.

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I planned on driving back to NYC today, but, I didn’t run yesterday and I can’t run during my 4 day drive because of the dogs so I am staying an extra day, to run and “stuff.”

Conrad rolled in some cooking oil the neighbors threw out, then in sand so he is a big mess and needs washing. The car is packed but I have a slow leak in one tire, that needs repair.  I have all kinds of excuses to stay. The biggest is, if I arrive in Manhattan  Friday there will be no parking, I will have to carry my stuff several blocks because I can’t leave it in the car or my car will be broken into, so it is best to arrive Saturday morning when it is quiet.

Today begins the 12 week countdown to marathon and I have 7 x 1000 plus 2 miles warm up and cool down to do. If I can get up really early I can run 8 in the a.m. but it is pretty unlikely since I will be ready to drive.

That is all the news for today, I want to spend the rest of my time outside enjoying the dry desert air.

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Running – I knew it was close but I chose to ignore it. The NYC marathon is just 14 weeks away and I am far behind in my training. I can salvage it but I need to kick my butt into gear and get my long runs in. Since I haven’t even been doing medium runs, I can’t jump from 6 to 18 miles per run immediately so I broke it down. Not ideal but the 2x a day works great for me in a built up or coming back from an injury. I have the time and I don’t mind going out for a couple miles in the morning and evening. So Sunday I did a 5 mile trail run, came home had a snack, scratched the dogs and later went out for 10 miles on the road. The 10 miles sucked. I was in glycogen depletion from the prior day’s mountain hike combined with eating very little carbs. I never feel like eating after hiking so I pushed my body to use fatty acid which ultimately is what long runs are for. In fact that is the new research going on, glycogen depleted runs, but man do they suck.   Monday was rest. Today is track.

I will head into Santa Fe high school to meet the Striders for:
4 x 200
3 x 400
2 x 800
1 x 1600
100, 200, and 400 recovery laps.

Hummmm, since the 200’s only have a 100m recovery I have a feeling they are rolling. Damn those kill me. I need extra rest in the altitude, track is hard enough at sea-level. But I really need the track workouts here. Since everything is slower at 7000′ with the exception of 200’s and 400’s and maybe 800’s I have to keep the neuromuscular transmitters working so that I can keep pace back in NYC.

Home- I got my appliances today! Yea. I put everything together but I am not so sure of the pipe that comes into my house that is attached to a propane tank. It looks pretty sketchy, plus my electric outlet doesn’t work so until I hire an electrician to fix things I still will not have a stove. An electrician has been recommended to me by two different people, but it is the same guy who wired the house just 5 years ago. I have three outlets that don’t work, I have rolling shorts between ceiling lights,  I have wires coming in and not hooked to anything and constant power surges. If that is good I would hate to see what poor is. I am naively  thinking that my bad wiring is just a fluke. I also have a surveyor coming to put in corners on two of my lots. Almost all of my land has markers but the lot between the neighbor and I do not. I want to put up a fence for privacy and make sure it is only on my land and not his.

Hiking – this weekend I will get in two peaks, hopefully, if the SF forest opens. Saturday it is Tesuque peak, 12,040’ and Sunday Pecos Baldy. 12,529. The Peco’s hike is 18 miles  and will take about 9 hours and the Tesuque is only 7 but both are very steep and it will take about 5 hours. For fun I will wear my HR monitor to see if I can get in a 70% aerobic range. Going up it’s possible, especially steep climbing at that altitude. It would be very possible if I ditched the group and trail ran it, but it is against group protocol to go off on your own. And by group, it is seldom more than 4 other people, but you do need to observe the rules, which mostly are don’t be a slacker and make people wait for you . That is the biggest no-no. That is not my problem. I always want to run ahead! Of course I will have to do a run of at least 13 miles which is on the low side for this late in training but if I do any more I will get hurt. The big hikes will help some but of course it is not running.

Parting Thoughts. I am returning to NYC soon. This makes me sad because I love being outdoors but I also look forward to being clean and seeing my friends. I can never seem to get clean here, myself or my house. Everything is covered with a layer of sand. I will also like the convenience of walking across the street  to get a pint of ice cream at any hour instead of driving 6 miles and having to do it before 7pm because the store closes. I love the quiet but I do miss the plethora of cheap services you can get at any time in NYC.

 

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I have had a lot of people ask me if I am sad when I sell a drawing. I always find this a ridiculous question and want to ask them if they ever tell their boss not to pay them because they enjoy their job. Fortunately I love my job and I get paid for it. If I never sold work  I could never pay the rent on the studio or buy supplies. Plus I would end up like the Collyer Brothers with thousands of papers stacked floor to ceiling. I want my work out in the world, in homes, in museums, etc.

I have to admit though I will miss this drawing a bit. I sold it last night to my teammate and friend Blossom, hence the title, “Boston for Blossom.”

I gave you previews of this drawing some months back. “Boston for Blossom”  traces, literally, my rehab runs after breaking my foot in 2009, (my first major running injury) up to the 2010 Boston Marathon. It is a 7 month journey beginning with  alternating 400 meters walk/ run on a soccer field, to 22 mile runs along Manhattan’s west side many months later.

The process is very simple, but  time consuming. After my run, which I wear my garmin 305. I download my data to my Gramin Training Center, from there I upload the data to garmin connect. I output the mileage from garmin connect to google earth. I hook my computer up to a video projector and project the maps onto the large 60″ x 44″ paper on my wall, 10 feet away. I  draw over the map lines with either black, red, pink watercolor or pencil. Track work is almost always red, tempo runs usually pink and long runs black. Pencil, put in there for extra texture are recovery runs. Yes there are a couple of black loops on the track and this does not include every mile I ran for those seven months. But it does include the most important ones.

Blossom came and got the drawing last night and it is on it ways to Dot at Rabbet Framing in NJ. They are my favorite framer in the metropolitan area having framed over 30 pieces for me in the last couple of years, including one over 120″ long.

I now have room on my big wall to start a new long-term drawing. This one will be methodically color coded and include ever single mile I run from October 1 on. I am not sure of the end date but I have an exhibition in March that it could show up in.  I will also do a few “one-off’s” that is drawing that are of a single time run or race.

When you get sick of those terrible Brightroom photos and want to commemorate your race or your training in a high art kind of way, impress your friends with your athleticism and culture, call me, perhaps we can make a deal and you can have your very own GPS drawing.

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