Monday, September 23, 2013

Race Report: Cow Harbor 10K 2013

I'd heard nothing but positive things about the Cow Harbor 10K, which is widely regarded as one of the most popular races on Long Island.  Saturday's race lived up to its reputation and I know this a race that I'll try to include on the calendar each year. 

The race took place in Northport (a town I had been to only once); Northport is located on the north side of Long Island and the course features some amazing views of Northport Harbor and Northport Bay.  The race was large (especially for a local race), with 4,578 listed finishers, but was run so smoothly and efficiently from start to finish that (for me) it never felt uncomfortable.  One of the best things about the race had to be the crowd support; the race is in its 36th year and the town really gets into it.  If there were three official water stops, there were at least a dozen more resident-supported stations. The cheers across all ten kilometers were encouraging and the crowds of people surrounding the home stretch on Main Street made for a memorable finish.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

A Hint of the Chill to Come

It was 54° for this morning's walk of the dog; the running shorts and tank top I had on were hardly appropriate!  I'm sure it will warm up throughout the day and I know we are (hopefully) still many weeks away from the real cold setting in, but I can't help think about the looming winter.  

This will be my third winter since I moved back to New York and I am no more excited than I was for the other two. Maintaining my training is made exponentially harder by the cold temperatures and short days. Waking up at 5:00am is hard enough when it's nice out but sometimes your body just says "no" when it's cold. 

Weather aside, I'm working on developing a plan/strategy for the winter that will further fortify my foundation for when Mont Tremblant training formally begins in late February.  I am committed to working on my weakest link: swimming (specifically my form). I also plan to focus on increasing my cycling power.  To accomplish these two goals I'm considering both joining a Masters swim group (though I'm no aquatic Master myself) and trying the Sufferfest indoor cycling DVDs which I've heard great things about. 

For now I'll just enjoy the remainder of summer and the cooler temps of fall. Though the weather may soon put the kibosh on swimming and cycling, this time of year helps produce some of the best run results (see: Marathon Performance and Temperature).  I am signed up for next week's Cow Harbor 10K and plan to round out my season with a few more running races.  I've yet to run a standalone 10K nor have I raced a 5K with an actual goal; this fall - in a 5K yet to be chosen - I will be aiming to run sub 20 minutes (a far cry from my first 30+ minute 5K several years ago.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Race Report: New Jersey State Triathlon

Early attempts to properly plan my 2013 race calendar went a bit by the wayside after some of the winter’s events.  My hope to race an Olympic-distance event about a month before Timberman was saved by the New Jersey State Triathlon.  Despite being sold out, an email to the race director secured spots for me and my buddy (J$).

Located in West Windsor, NJ at Mercer County Park, about 40 minutes from my Aunt and Uncle’s house, the race was close to home (yet far enough to offer a mini-simulation of traveling for race).  We headed to NJ on Saturday for packet pickup and enjoyed a pasta dinner with my Uncle before laying down for an early night’s rest.

Race morning entailed an early (even more so than on a normal race day) wake up and breakfast before the 40-minute drive to the race site.  We were among the early arrivals (as is tradition for J$) and had plenty of time before the race would begin.