Friday, September 29, 2006

Peer Pressure

7 miles. Only because of these guys. It was tough at first, but not bad by the end.

I'm posting this with my new wireless keyboard and mouse, while I lean back in my chair and ice my legs. Gotta love multi-tasking...

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


First off, here's my run from Toronto.

I thought the map would look more impressive, since I had run through this park. You can see it in the top right portion of the path I took, but it doesn't look all the impressive. It's hard to believe, but when I was in there it seemed much more impressive. Here's a picture I took from my cellphone while in there.

It was also cool because this trail, which looks like it's miles away from civilization, exits the park near a ravine that was very near to my old house. I lived there for almost 15 years and didn't know it connected to the park.

Yesterday was another fast day on the Jewish calendar. (Kind of practice for Yom Kippur, next week.) After a quick snack, I headed out for a 4 mile run with my new running partners.

I've run this route many times, but I always like the way the map comes out. It's kind of cool how the surroundings change from urban to bridges and water (ocean!) over such a short distance.

Anyway, the run was extremely painful. My shin splints have started up again, and I was really disappointed. I don't think I've been increasing my mileage too quickly, but it always seems to hurt when I get to this point. It's not so painful, but it's enough to get me upset that I may not be able to keep progressing.

I did ice afterwards! My legs didn't really hurt today, but I can feel my left shin when I move certain ways, or stand too long. (I've got four cases in the OR tomorrow, so I hope it's not too bad.)

So obviously I didn't run today, but the weather was nice and I was done work early. So I went to play tennis. It probably wasn't the smartest thing to do, but the season is going to end soon and I couldn't resist. We played 3 sets, which was record for us. I was really smoking the first two sets, winning 6-3 and 6-0. The last set was a tough battle, and I really tired at the end. Not so much in my legs or cardiovascularly, but my right arm was tired. I managed to pull it off, and win it in the tiebreaker 7-6 (7-5).

I've mentioned in the past how awesome the running track and tennis courts are. I brought my camera today, so I could get a few pictures.

(You can see there were "real" runners on the track today. I could tell they were "real" not so much from their speed, but more from their attire!)

I titled the post "Crosstraining" because I then road my roommate's bike back to the apartment. It was only about 2 miles, but I haven't ridden a bike for that long in about 20 years! It wasn't that easy, but was actually fun. I've been meaning to do it for a while, but I really have to get myself a bike. Perhaps now might be a good time at the end of the season.

(BTW, does anyone else find it to be a big stress coming up with a good title for these posts?)

Anyway, while I was uploading my pictures and organizing them, I came across a few more interesting ones.

I went out with some friends a few weeks ago, and we went for pizza late Saturday night. I took this picture because it was pretty weird to see Broadway so empty.

Because one of my interests is obesity surgery, I was invited to a lunch meeting on obesity research. This is what they served (apples, crackers, and carrots). I should have taken a picture at the end of the meeting, but as you can imagine, it looked exactly the same!

Finally, I've updated my sidebar. Both of my new running partners have started running blogs (here and here). Please stop by to offer encouragement.

Friday, September 22, 2006

(High) Holiday season...

Rosh Hashanah, the jewish new year, starts tonight. I'm back in Toronto to spend the holiday with my family. I've always chuckled to myself about the misconception many non-jews have about this holiday. I guess because it sounds like New Years, it's often assumed that it's a party holiday. Actually, it's quite far from that. There's quite extensive services in synagague, and the theme of the day is that we're being judged on our actions of the past year, and that what's in store for us in the following year is being decided. Heavy duty.

Anyway, it also starts off a ten day period of repentance, which culminates on Yom Kippur. I think when you're busy with work it's often hard to get into the frame of mind beforehand. However, going to synagague on Rosh Hashanah and hearing the familiar tunes, always sets the tone for the next ten days. I haven't been home for this holiday in a while, so it should be interesting.

For the record, I did get in a run today. Sunday's part of the holiday, so I pushed up my "long" run of 6 miles. I didn't know of any specific path around here, so at first I was kind of running back and forth on the local streets. Eventually I found a big park around here, and starting running on some path there. Eventually the path turned into a gravel road, and then an abandoned road near a ravine. It eventually popped out onto regular streets around the corner from my old house. It was kind of cool. I wore my Garmin, so when I get back to NYC I can post a cool map - hopefully. I also took a picture of the "trail running" portion.

The shins aren't great, but hanging in there. I'm trying not to push too hard with the training. I'll have to keep them in mind during prayers as well. (See last year's entry!)

Anyway, I wish all of you a happy and healthy new year!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Good old Central Park

It's been a while since I posted. I've run a few times, but work has been busy, like usual. I was on call last Friday and Saturday, and had a wedding on Sunday. It took all week to catch up.

So since the New Haven race 2 weeks ago, where I really pushed hard at the end, my shins have been acting up again. I think I ran once during last week, and then did 6 miles last weekend. But it wasn't really 6 miles, it was more like little spurts of 1 mile, separated by walking breaks. I know some people do that all the time, but I wasn't stopping from deconditioning, it was from shin pain. And I don't like that.

This week I also ran once during the week on Tuesday, and it didn't go so well. So I rested until today, and then decided to give it a chance again. I woke up (relatively) early, and headed to the city with my new running partners.

Our plan was for one 6 mile loop of Central Park. For those of you in NYC, we started on the west side and went clockwise - which I think is the easier direction.

The first mile was pretty painful for me, and my shins were acting up. I think if I was alone I probably would have stopped. But I knew if I stopped at this point, I'd end up stopping every mile - like last week. So I told myself I'd try to get to the halfway point, and then stop for a stretching break there.

Well the pain didn't get worse, and probably lessened a little. By halfway I felt I could just keep going, and so I did. We ended up just running the loop straight through. We weren't fast (about 64-65 minutes), but that was fine. I didn't hurt too badly at the end, and I feel ok now, so that's the main thing. (I did skip tennis today, as I think that's been contributing to the problem as well.)

Unfortunately, I forgot my Garmin in the car, so no cool pictures of Central Park today.

Next weekend the High Holidays start, and so 3 out of the next 4 weekends (both Saturday and Sunday) are Jewish holidays, which preclude me from running. In order to keep up the training I'm going to have to be creative with my time, and/or -gasp- wake up really early.

I'll keep you posted. (Intermittently.)

Monday, September 04, 2006

New Haven 5K

What a wonderful day today! (Although trying to post about it - and dealing with stupid Blogger, and the ridiculously unreliable Internet Explorer - is really annoying the heck out of me!)

I had an early start today, as my friends and I left the Bronx about 6 in the morning. On the bright side, there was no traffic, as we headed out to New Haven. It's actually not that far, but we didn't want to be late.

We were there pretty early, and it was kind of cool to be able to park so close to the race. I went back and forth to the car a few times before the start of the race. (Kind of a secure baggage area.)

("Albert Einstein Road Runners")

We met Dianna, Bill, David, and Jon before the race. (We only met April Anne and Michelle afterwards.) Like usual, all the RBFers were as nice in person as you would guess from reading their blogs. We took a few pictures, watched the kids races a little, and then headed off to the start.

It was the first race for both of my friends, and they were pretty psyched at the start of the race. I was too, since it had been a while since my last race in June. The weather was beautiful, and there was a little over 2,000 people running the 5K.

It took a while to get to the start line, but after that the traffic wasn't too bad. Our first split was about 8:50. Considering that we'd been doing about 10:30 miles in training, that was pretty good. We pushed a little harder for the second mile, and towards the end we started to spread out. However, two of us reached the second mile mark with about an 8:20 split.

During the third mile, I started to tire. About halfway through there was this band playing some funk type music, and I really felt energized. I really picked it up - for about a tenth of a mile. At this point my friend got a little ahead of me. I had this evil plan to save a little kick for the end, and catch him by the finish line. As we went on though, I didn't think I'd be able to do it. He looked back at one point, and I tried to wave him on. He was probably about 100 feet ahead of me when my Garmin showed about 2.95 miles. I didn't have much energy left, but I picked it up a bit to try and catch him.

Well, as it turned out the end wasn't that close. I still had about a third of a mile left to go, but since I didn't really know that, I just kept speeding up. I blew by him and was really running a super fast pace for that last little bit of the race. (I didn't feel so hot right at the finish, but that faded away after a minute or so.)

The numbers are a little off, but you can see the basic idea of increasingly faster miles, and a really fast final kick. My net time was 26:21, for an 8:29 pace. Not close to my PR, but considering how I've been running lately, I was quite pleased with the result.

My friends finished with net times of 26:28 and 28:36, both PR's. ;-)

We then picked up some food, and some ice at the medical tent, and watched the male 20K winners. Even though I'd never heard of any of the runners, it as still pretty exciting. It was really just a nice crowd out there.

(Incidentally, the winners were Ryan Hall for the men, and Marla Runyan for the women. I was pretty sure that Marla was blind, but when she was up on stage receiving her award, it really didn't seem that way. But I checked her website, and sure enough, she's legally blind. Just amazing.)

Afterwards, we hung out with the rest of the RBF gang. Everyone was really nice, and it was just so relaxing hanging out together. As my friends commented, it felt like we were "part of a big team".

I'm already looking forward to next year.

Friday, September 01, 2006

The weekend has arrived

Once again, the week has gone by, and I never made it to the track. I'm not sure that's such a ad thing, since my leg has been bothering me a little. I did get out for a quick run this morning. Not that it was quick in terms of speed, only quick in terms of time. I did about 5K in 32:35. I know it wasn't a race, but it was quite far off from my PR for that distance of 24:11. (If I had felt like I was jogging leisurely I wouldn't feel so bad. Why did it seem so hard?!)

I was tired this morning, since I had gone to the U.S. Open last night. It's really quite fun, but because of the Agassi match, I didn't really walk around as much as in the past. Pretty much everyone was in the main stadium watching Agassi. The match was pretty close, and the crowd was really boisterous. I was really upset that I couldn't stay until the end, but it didn't end until almost 1, and with all the traffic it takes an hour to get home. Of course the ending was amazing. I left with Agassi having lost the last two sets, and looking like he was falling apart. But about an hour later he had pulled off a 7-5 fifth set. Bravo!

One other fun thing I did was another wedding earlier in the week. The bride was from Toronto, and so my mom was in town. So were a bunch of other people from the "old country" so it was really nice. I was classmates with the bride's sister about a million years ago. She now has 5 kids of her own, but doesn't look that different.

The cool thing is that the bride was always a big tomboy growing up, and remains a huge sports fan. Now before all you girls out there start claiming that girls can be sports fans too, answer me this question: Would you have your wedding monogram made in the shape and color of the Toronto Maple Leafs logo?

(this was my placecard)

Plans this weekend?

That's right, I'm heading to New Haven this Monday morning. As I've alluded to earlier, I'm not really in top racing shape, but I am looking forward to meeting some of the powerhouses in the Running Blog Family.

Have a great weekend, everybody!