Long Weekend Ahead!

Happy Friday too all my friends out in the blogosphere!

Hopefully for most of you, there is a long weekend in store that includes Monday off for Martin Luther King!

Coming into this Friday, I thought I would go back to my β€œFriday Free For All” posts that I had done last month. So here goes!

NYRR Virtual 5K

They gave me a bib for the virtual 5k but I think I will pass on wearing it!

 

Earlier this week, I decided to sign up for the NYRR Virtual 5k. I did it pretty much because it was free. There was an option to pay $20 if you wanted this particular virtual 5k rece to count towards qualification for next year’s Brooklyn Half Marathon. I believe you needed to run 6 virtual races with NYRR in order to automatically qualify. However, I started to think about this – six virtual races at $20. That’s $120 in virtual races just to qualify for the Brooklyn Half and it would be for the 2019 Brookyln Half and knowing NYRR, I would likely still have to pay the race fees for that race which is listed as $90 for NYRR members. So over $200 just to run a half marathon? Ummm no thank you. I will just run this virtual 5k for free! Most likely I will get out and run my 5k on Sunday. It’s supposed to be cold again on Sunday so I’m not looking forward to a fast time. Let’s see how I rank on the virtual race leaderboards!

Stanner Games At The Armory NYC

I cannot tell you how nice the armory is!

Its no mystery but I love running. My love for running doesn’t stop only at road races, I actually love Track & Field as well! Next month, I am hoping to get to the Millrose Games on February 3rd, which will be held in Manhattan at the Armory Track & Field Center. But before we get to the Millrose Games, this Saturday I will be assisting with a very well attended high school meet which will also be held at the Armory. For folks outside of New York City, the Armory is a state of the art indoor track and field arena in Washington Heights New York City. It’s a great facility and it produces some great track meets and some even greater results. On Saturday the high school that I graduated from Archbishop Molloy high school, will be hosting its annual track and field meet, The Stanner Games. They lean on former track and field athletes from the school to work the meet and each year more and more track alumni come out to assist. The meet has become one of the biggest high school track meets in the North East. Last year Olympian Sydney Mcloughlin ran at the meet as a senior in high school and I had a chance to meet her and chat with her a bit. I don’t think any Olympians will be there this year but for me, the vibe of the meet and seeing these younger kids compete at a high level is inspiring for me! I remember as high school kid being nervous at these meets but then using that nervous energy to surprise myself and run strong. It will be a long day 8am to 6pm, but I enjoy it so much each year! So if anyone is at the Armory on Saturday, come down to where the relays are being checked in- I will be there all day!! πŸ™‚

Celebrating Martin Luther King

If you have a chance – read Bryan Stevenson’s book!

 

As I mentioned above, hopefully many of you will have off from work or school for Martin Luther King day! Earlier this week we had a speaker, Bryan Stevenson, come to my job to give a talk on social injustice and criminal justice. His 70 minute speech was very profound and resonated with me a lot. Mr. Stevenson is a lawyer whose work is centered around prisoners on death row. He’s worked with so many inmates over the years, including children. When he came to our job he didn’t come to talk about the issues with social injustice but rather how we can all help to fix them. He outlined 4 points. The first was we have to be proximate to where there is poverty and injustice. If we aren’t exposed to it then we can’t see the issues. Second, we have to learn to change the narratives that we are always given. Third we have to create hope for those that don’t have it. Lastly, we have to be willing to do uncomfortable things, like visit inmates or impoverished in struggling neighborhoods. I won’t go into too much detail here but I thought it was very fitting that a few days before MLK day, I was hearing Mr Stevenson kind of carry on the work of MLK right in front of me. Mr. Stevenson is the author of a New York Times bestseller, Just Mercy, a Story of Justice & Redemption. If you have some down time this weekend and want a good read, pick this book up! And if you don’t, take some time on Monday to reflect on Martin Luther King!

Have a great weekend my friends!!

This Guy Is Getting Antsy

The older I get, the more I despise winters in New York City. The last few years my angst has been more about the snow than anything else. By all means you can say the same thing about this year as we have already had 5 instances of snow this winter and it has driven me nuts!

This year however, the winter has frustrated me because it seems like forever since I have run a race. I was supposed to run a race this past Saturday but it was cancelled due to the pretty bad snow storm that we got smacked with! Aside from the informal 5k that I ran on New Year’s day, which for me wasn’t an official race since there was no clock to keep track of it, I have not run a race since Thanksgiving. That’s the longest drought since I started racing over a year ago.

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The focus on race day is real!

 

For me, races are what keeps me going! The adrenalin that I get from races makes all of the runs worthwhile and it keeps me hungry. That is not to say that I am losing the desire to run – not at all! However for me, races bring out something more in me. My times are definitely reflective of that. There are times where I will do a training run and look at the pace I have run and compared the same distance to a race and wonder to myself, how did I ever run that much faster during a race? That’s what a race does. The other runners, the adrenalin, the fact that you are focused on nothing else at the moment but that race is what makes all the difference when compared to training runs.

These days also, my training has been impacted by severe cold and snow, I have been forced to do more treadmill runs which I really do not like to do. Side note, a friend recently sent me a link for some treadmill reviews that they did. I thought I would share it here with all of you in case treadmills are your thing! Back to my training runs, since I am doing more treadill runs and less races, I am becoming a very cranky runner lol. I need some racing in my life!

Winter has made me do more treadmill running than I would like to!

 

So I decided to try something different. Something that when I first saw it two weeks ago, I admitted to saying it was “stupid”. Earlier on Tuesday, I signed up for a “Virtual 5k” via the New York Road Runners club website.Β  A virtual 5k is a 5k race that you run on your own, at your time and leisure. You must measure your time and distance with one of their pre-approved apps. In the case of this particular race, they are using the Strava app to record your time. On the Strava website, they are tracking everyone that is doing the virtual 5k. The person with the fastest time is obviously the winner of the race. So this weekend, most likely on Sunday, I will wake up and go thru my regular prep for a race. I don’t know if I can mentally psyche myself up for a race when I am the only one running it in real time, but I guess you can say I am desperate at this point!! I will let you know how the “virtual race” goes!

Aside from the virtual race I am hoping to run a 4 miler on Super Bowl Sunday. When NYRR cancelled the Joe Kleinerman 10k this past Saturday, they offered me a free race or an automatic entry in this year’s “9+1”. I took the free race since I personally am looking to record times for my races. I opted for the NYRR Gridiron/4 Mile run but I haven’t been confirmed on whether they will accept my entry for that race. So the wait for my next official race continues. Never have I been this antsy for a race – it’s almost comical!

Is anyone out there running any races soon? If so which ones? I may hop on a plane just to go run one! (joking lol). While I wait for my next race, I will remember a favorite quote of mine that the great sprinter Jesse Owens once said. When I remember this, I am reminded that re-focusing on our workouts and training runs is not a bad thing!

A great quote by Jesse Owens!