Faced the past, had a blast

Yesterday me and AG did our usual end of the week run in Central Park. We returned to the Bridle trail in Central Park that we ran a few months ago. That previous run was difficult for me. I wore a non-breathable rain jacket and between the heat from that plus the very giving mud-caked trail I had a hard time with pace and distance. Much has improved since then, the weather was cooperative but very warm and the trail was in much better shape than before. We ran the trail and circled the reservoir for a total distance of 4.6 miles (per Garmin) and 4.2 miles (per Central Park map). It was a great run. We didn’t push ourselves and while our pace was moderate we had quite the workout. I was also able to carry on a conversation with a minimum of huffing and puffing. That may have had more to do with our pace than my fitness but I’ll take it. Near the end AG decided to step up her pace and I watched her take off at a speed I could not match. I did try to keep her in my sight and though she finished well ahead I didn’t embarrass myself.

This morning I switched my plans for a Bethpage run because the US Open has taken over that location. I was pressed for time so I did a 3.8 mile run in my neighborhood. I took a different route than normal and followed the western and northern boundaries of the neighborhood running parallel to a couple of major roads. The northern section has a decent hill that gave me pause but turned out to be much easier than I’d anticipated. I tested the QStarz sports recorder for the first time and was knocked out by the rich amount of information that it provided (click on the above picture to see an example of how it interfaces with Google Earth). I’m going to live with it for a couple of weeks and then post a full review on Runner’s Tech Review. I’ll use it again tomorrow when I hope to cover at least 5 miles.

Announcing the Expanded Emerging Runner

I am pleased to announce two new blogs from the Emerging Runner: Running Gone Wild, Adventure Girl’s monthly column which covers fun and challenging activities that contribute to better running. This month’s column is about Yoga and I even learned a few things. Also new is a blog called Runner’s Tech Review that will review running technologies, running gear and nutritional products that enhance the running experience. You’ll find a review of the Moji Knee icing system as well as our first review of MixMyGranola. As always, every week Sedentary Man shares his perspective on activity, motivation and life in general. I hope you enjoy these new features.

A penultimate pre race run

I took the day off today and sneaked in a longer than normal week day run. I’m in taper mode and wanted to get one more 3+ mile run under my belt before Sunday’s 8K. Like other times when I’ve run during the work week morning I was cautious about sharing the road with cars and school buses and I stayed on the sidewalks more than I normally do. Sidewalk running has its own risks, especially when you encounter buckled or broken sections. But compared to a steady stream of cars making their way to the local school and landscaper’s trucks maneuvering through the streets it’s a better way to go.

I gave myself a quarter mile to work out the leg stiffness that remains on my right side and then focused on keeping my pace steady and brisk. I felt good and the weather was cooperative so I expected that I’d end up pacing below 9:00 minutes overall. I was a little time pressed and needed to return home within 35 minutes of departure so I knew I’d probably run less than 4 miles. I purposely kept the Garmin in time mode rather than pace or distance. I wanted to see how I would run if I concentrated on speed without knowing how much distance I’d covered or what speed I was running. As I came upon the last segment of my route I tried to run faster, lengthening my stride and quickening my cadence. I finished and saw that I’d covered 3.6 miles at 8:54/mile. I was happy that I broke 9:00 but I’m still wondering why I’m not in the 8:30 range at this point. Oh well, I plan one more run on Friday and perhaps I can again push the speed and get ready for a faster pace on Sunday.

I will soon announce a new section/site related to the Emerging Runner that focuses on running technology: Runner’s Tech Review. The first review will cover the Moji knee icing wrap which I am wearing as I write this. AG field tested it with her team during her recent Patch Sprint mountain race. I am also starting to work with the QStarz GPS Sports Recorder and will report on that soon.

Stay tuned for lots of new stuff on emergingrunner.com including “Running Gone Wild” and, every week, “Sedentary Man.”