Monthly Archives: December 2012

Best Vacation Running Ever: The Central Park Loop


The thing is, I far surpassed my own expectations and ran over to the park on four different days to run the 6 mile loop around Central Park. Thirty miles during vacation is just unheard of for me. I became smitten, though did find all the road running a bit of an adjustment. From day one:

Made it into Central Park this morning. Did the six mile loop, but even with the Hokas, or perhaps because of them, it felt like a lot of road running. I threw my lot in with a fit looking runner who seemed initially to be running an 8:30 pace, but by mile 5 she had disappeared ahead. Her pace, it seems, was truly 7:00. Perhaps the 32 degrees F temperature contributed to the sluggish feeling.

Most days I found someone to humble me in the park, or keep me focussed. When you find a runner in Central Park, they mean business. The loop itself is scenic enough, with rambling hills. I like what one poster at a running website said about it: “If you’re from Florida it’s mountainous, if you’re from Colorado it’s flat as a pancake.” I have to agree. Some good steady grades, but nothing terribly challenging. Most days it was 30 degrees. And yesterday when I saw the temp was 20 degrees, I simply waited until it was 26 and headed out.

I’m very much looking forward to donning a lighter pair of shoes and scampering around Griffith Park!

12/29     57:09     7.02 miles     8:08 min/mile    

8:17   7:14   7:26   7:54   8:03   7:38   10:21

The following was my snow-day-in-Riverside-Park run with my daughter. Amusing and fun.

12/30     38:29     2.83 miles    13:36 min/mile  

13:02   13:06   14:52

12/31     1:02         7.45 miles     8:25 min/mile    

9:41   7:46   7:29   7:45   7:44   7:54   9:10   11:43

1/1         1:00         7.38 miles     8:12 min/mile    

9:38   8:17   7:41   7:45   7:39   7:11   8:28   10:00

1/2        1:00          7.16 miles     8:31 min/mile    

9:38   8:10   8:18   8:20   7:36   7:57   9:21   9:57



Put on the racing flats and the body just says run fast. Will have to be careful when I put these shoes on. There were some moments, again, as yesterday with the PureFlows that I felt the form was coming together, the right foot was carrying its share. Now I have a shoe for every occasion, it seems. In fact, the wife pointed to a spot in the hall closet and said, “that’s you’re shoe whore area.” Great pre-travel jaunt.

5.06 miles      38:02     7:30 min/mile

Happy New Year


On way, tomorrow, to take in some little municipal facility they call “Central Park”. Have weathered the holidays quite well, in terms of getting out on the road, but not sure how the travel schedule will go. Here’s the pre-travel week:

Sunday:  More like a hike with just one other runner. A beautiful trail where deer come down to a creek. Not only was there deer and some good muddy trails, but also some rock climbing.Even for one week, I shall miss this park!  2.11 miles   12:56 min/mile    27:15

Monday:  Really pleased with this one — got out for 8 road miles on Christmas Eve. Hadn’t dreamed of it, frankly. It has been raining and was raining some on Monday and the lower sections, Crystal Springs trail, would be swampy. So I donned the Hoka One One Stinson Evo Tarmacs (how’s that for a mouthful, if not completely correct, I forget) and was not sorry. These shoes are truly wonderful marshmallows. Though I’m making room in the repertoire for other shoes, to work on form, these will be my long run shoes, and quite likely the go to for Half Marathons. I deleted the first three miles of the run while running it (an excellent feature), which I ran at about 8:30 pace. The data for the last 5 miles:

5.12 (8 miles total!) miles     8:10 min/mile     41:46

Tuesday:  Near astonished that I got out for a Christmas day run, too. In the morning I took the family for a hike in the same spot where I ran on Sunday, and again we caught a deer. The run was just 5 road miles, again avoiding the swampiness. I took the Brooks PureFlow out for a spin. Switching back and forth from the Hokas to the PureFlows is quite an adjustment. But I am quite liking these shoes. Nice minimal feel. Around the last mile I was really enjoying myself, feeling that something was clicking with form.

4.95 miles     8:07 min/mile     40:10

It is my great hope that I might sneak in something today, a pre-travel jaunt, after the rain clears. And even perhaps document some of my New York miles, should they materialize. We shall see. Happy New Year!




With these two runs, back into the mileage. Yesterday’s run was unfortunate in that I lost my car key (second time, no replacement), which led to a minor adventure and the inevitable outflow of funds (approximately the cost of a new pair of Hokas – glad I got those for free). I include the “looking for car key” mile splits for amusement. What happened was I was wearing gloves as it was 39 degrees F and just lost touch of the key without that skin to key contact – forgot it was in my hand – sigh.

As a further side note, ran yesterday’s run with the Brooks Pure Flows. Quite like the shoe, but may take a little getting used to. I don’t have any other shoes up my sleeves (so to speak), just this little flurry of shoe purchases. I think it will be interesting to be switching out shoes, see the feedback from the legs and joints, etc.

Today: 1:05     7.53 miles     8:40 min/mile

Yesterday: 1:17     7.88 miles     9:48 min/mile

8:51   8:03   9:56   10:11   11:04   10:22   10:00   9:58

For the week, with Saturday to go:

21.46 miles


Done Drinking It In, Now Just Kind of Freaking Out


Well, not really. Picked these up from Running Warehouse, with an $8 discount for mentioning Can I recommend Why, yes I can!  His review of the Saucony Grid Type A5, the first ever running flat I’ve ever owned and, as of this morning, run in, begins simply, “I think I’m in love.”  That was enough for me.

In the past, I’ve felt that you really need to try a shoe on in the store to make the decision. I’m no longer sure about this. Granted, I’ll know one of two things when I try on a shoe in the store: Whether I love it or hate it (in the store). What remains to be seen is whether I’ll continue to love it. (I guess we can pretty much rule out the case of buying the shoe you hate just to see if it grows on you.) And though I dearly appreciate my local running store, which is totally the real deal, my last visit there after trying five pairs of shoes on I left flummoxed. They all seemed credible options, but nothing really grabbed me.

Anyway, I got the leprechaun energy again when I put this one on. There is something about a box that comes in the mail. And it is so unlike any shoe I’ve run in. I used to run in stability models. Then switched to neutral. Then to Hoka One One Bondis, which are, of course, gigantic, and also the Hoka Stinson Evo Tarmac, check again the box “gigantic.”

But these, these are 5.6 oz of pleasure. Honestly, I don’t think that even registered when I read the review. I just wanted something with a low heel-toe drop. This one is 4 mm, the same, incidentally, as the Stinsons. And I just checked and they actually weigh less than my Vibram KSOs. Running in them, it’s like running in a sock.

I threw together a run, knowing the window of opportunity was very narrow. Forgot the watch. Ran 2.44 miles (logged that course many times), but not sure about the time — around 20 minutes, pace 7:54 min/mile or something. I like the shoe. Felt a bit like running in the Vibrams, so light. Felt very connected in my stride. And, perhaps, felt like I was running faster than I actually was. Will see, when I get the watch back into play.

For the week, that puts me at a titanic 6 miles! You can bet I’ll be attempting to put together an easy 10 tomorrow morning. If that’s not possible, I may go into convulsions or do untold number of plyometric exercises. I’m guessing this is not the shoe, just yet, for an easy 10. Perhaps I’ll try my other new shoe for that…


This week, the question is, heading toward overtrained? Probably not, but time to ease off a little, me thinks.

Sunday. 3 miles with the group. We headed up a very steep, and frankly relentless, ridge trail, then back around the sweeping descent. I had no recollection of the trail being that steep, which I’d only run once before. (Mental note: Great for hiking, photos, etc.)

Monday. Rest.

Tuesday. Part 1. The “technical” day. Bounding, skipping. One-leg hopping with focus on driving the straight leg forward. Then the one moment I dread — the turn up to the piney slope. I got one good sprint in up the hill. Later we did a quarter, but it was crap. In fact, I literally stepped in some crap during the race, which was fitting. 2.25 miles.

Part 2.With my distance mentality, I could not let 2.25 stand as the day’s total. So ran this, perhaps a little too fast. All these “benchmarks” can just be racing your workout, which is often a bad idea. Came upon something in Runner’s World about over-training that has given me pause. This should have been a recovery run, not another workout.

5.02 miles     39:08     7:48 min/mile

Wednesday. This was my Beacon Hill workout. Loved it. Possibly a tad more stress than I needed.

6.07 miles     1:02     10:18 min/mile

Thursday. Finally a sensible pace. Quite happy about this. I say that because I’ve been achy and really, for me, been piling on the miles. School’s out next week, probably a good thing as it’ll be hard to indulge in a heck of a lot of running.

7.56 miles     1:08     9:05 min/mile   [9:11, 8:46, 9:00, 9:16, 9:14, 9:10, 9:04]

Friday. Another relaxed 5. I was going to take it off, but realized I’m taking tomorrow off.

5.04 miles     44:35     8:51 min/mile   [8:55, 8:33, 8:47, 8:50, 9:09]

Total for the week: 28.94 miles