Category Archives: travel

Spokane Negative Split Half Marathon

Race report by the tweet.
Some time here, in my hotel. Yeah, I was pretty surprised to hear the race had only 320 runners. Smaller by a factor of 10 (almost) than my last race! There were only a handful of runners in the sub-8:00 corral, so I thought my chances might be good. They all looked to be in their twenties, with telling cross country collegiate gear. But I suspected wily graybeards might lurk, biding their time.

20130706-130940.jpgSo there it is. A couple minutes slower than my last race. Sadly, I don’t think I managed a negative split – which would have been particularly apt in this race. [Actually, I managed a 40 second negative split.] The course was pretty easy, with some rises (I wouldn’t quite call them “hills”) along the Spokane River.

20130706-131326.jpgAround mile 6 or so I could feel that I am not in the same aerobic shape I was back in May. I was on track, in terms of my race plan, but rather than find the next gear at mile 7, I faltered. Then at mile 11 it just unraveled a little. I was hoping to run the last few at 6:50 min/mile pace. Still, I was pretty happy with my “race” — I managed to pass about 5 people, and none of them managed a counter move (though the last guy gave me some trouble). I did manage a negative split. Nice data just posted on the website, with halfway split, time behind leader (for full and age group results). I was 5 minutes behind my age group winner, who ran the race I would have loved to clock: 1:29:29. Next age grouper was 16 minutes behind him.


Something very satisfying about besting a man in Newtons – not sure what exactly – but anyone wearing those is probably pretty serious about their running – or have a lot of dispensable income. (In my last race there was another guy with said shoes, and to make it extra satisfying he was wearing a Stanford t-shirt.)

Yes, pretty long stretches wondering if the person I passed earlier was going to come blazing by. Pace can slacken in these solitary moments with no one to spur you on. My experience, anyway.

And that is my rather fragmented race report. Pretty happy with what I did, given the material ( i.e. fitness) on hand.


El Capitan

Just had what Runner’s World calls a “rave run”, on the Bill Wallace Trail. Six deer (2 pair antlers), hawk, legion bunnies. The trail was so green and leafy you could have eaten it for lunch. Clear on the way up, completely shrouded in fog on the descent, and also a fair amount of mud on the way down, which made for some technical slippery stuff but no falls. Highest elevation about 790 feet. Four miles, 47 minutes of fantastico.

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

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!



Spacious Lawns


Second East Coast run. Now in Burlington, Vermont, which is summery and lovely and hot. There is a pool. There were gin and tonics. This morning we make a move across the border into Canada.

The run took me up along the edge of UVM with its unthinkably spacious lawns and boxy brick buildings. Some good hills.

23:34 2.78 miles 8:28 min/mile


Most inspired to hear of a comrade who, after a 41-hour travel period that included 4 hours of sleep, ran the Colchester sprint triathlon this morning. I was meaning to write this about 10 hours ago, entitling it “For Those About to Rock” — but at this point you have already rocked. Still, we salute you! Hail!