Saturday, January 12, 2008

RACE REPORT: The Fred Lebow Classic

My Shirt
My Running Number:

NYRR Fred Lebow Classic
List by Name: Alex Gonzalez
Distance: 5.0 Miles, 8.0 Kilometers
Date/Time: Jan. 12, 2008, 9:00 am
Location: Central Park, NYC
Weather: 44 Deg. 53% Wind Calm

Today was the New York Road Runner Club's kickoff to the 2008 season. I took the train in with some leftover Metropass fares I had from last year.

The weather was definitely warmer than anticipated, and I was grateful to run in my shorts. The air was crisp, and the sun was out, and while I was maintaining that I would just 'jog' my first race out, I did run a 7 1/2 minute mile in my last mile, and actually ran a negative split* overall. Plus, it was a very crowded race, so there was a lot of body warmth throughout the entire course, namely the first mile or so.

With backpack on, I did an easy jog to the trainstation, and took the F,R,and 4 trains to clubhouse. Got my shirt (took a large because I am back to to 164.6) and then jogged all the way to the start. I did this in return too, and was pretty surprised to find out that just doing these runs were 3 miles all their own.

There were nearly 4,500 runners. The starting lines were jam packed. I was one of the last to get in line, and I deliberately started between the 9 and 10 minute area. Early in the year, I was always start near the back, to give me added confidence for passing more people. Let me be the first to admit, that's its quite a vain thing to do, but it works. Why run in a race, if you have no sense of competition anyway?

The first mile was expectedly slow, even with my Garmin only measuring from the moment I crossed the starting line, I finished my first mile in 9 minutes 17 seconds. I knew I could do better, but with all the congestion, this was not the mile to push myself. Plus, I figured there would be a better chance at a negative split*, by starting conservatively in the beginning.

I guess the reason why I also may have started slow, is my weight. Wearing nothing but my birthday suit, I clocked in at 164.6. Apparently, I gained back about a pound or so of weight.

I've been asked "HOW DID YOU LOSE 3 LBS IN 3 DAYS?" Well, I happen to be a water sign, in more ways then one. It seems that when I am above 160 pounds, a lot of it is water weight. I am able to gain and lose, fairly quickly, when I'm at this level. It still means a lot to me, whether I gain at this level or lose, but when I get into the 155-160 level, losing weight starts to get tough. And below 155, it starts to get REALLY tough. In fact, it is easier for me to go from 165 to 160, then it is to go from 155 to 154.

To gain some time, I deliberately skipped the first water stop at the Mile 1 marker. It worked. My second mile, was mostly downhill too. I finished that in 8 minutes and 24 seconds.

My third mile was sort of a market correction. I was going back uphill too. Mile 3 was completed in 8 minutes and 45 seconds.

By the time I started entering my fourth mile, I was beginning to feel glad that I had shed my Adidas pants in favor for the shorts prior to the start of the race. I was totally warmed up. I no longer had any need for my Nike DriFit gloves either, so I shed those too, but it was during my run, so I had them balled up in my fists.

Speaking of shedding, I noticed some women runners shedding layers of clothes. There was a lot of assage* out there. Forgive me for being a man (or a dog, as Ileana would say), but I'm all in favor of that. I can tell you that women runners nowadays, look a heck of a lot sexier than they did when I was 19. I brought this up as a question in a previous blog ( I think ) where I was unclear whether this feeling of mine was because it is true, or because perhaps I might be setting myself up to be a dirty old man someday. Nope. I really do think that women runners are sexier. Okay, enough loud thinking for today. LOL.

Mile 4 was mostly downhill, but I came across some unexpected logjams which cost me some time. Rather than fighting against the tide, I stored my energy for the last mile, and smiled when my watch read 8 minutes 32 seconds.

I will never be satisfied with any time I get. If I did poorly, I could have done well. If I do well, I could've done better. This form of thinking is my engine. I am happy that I'm not out of breath so, for the last mile I completed it in 7 minutes and 33 seconds.

Overall Place: 1764 out of 4409.
Gender Place: 1290 out of 2344.
Age Place: 195 out of 332.
Finish Time: 42:31
Race Pace: 8:31
Age Graded Time: 39:38
Age Graded Place: 1262
Mile 1 9:17.15
Mile 2 8:24.79
Mile 3 8:45.79
Mile 4 8:32.38
Mile 5 7:33.74

In other news.....

Ileana and I went to the movies today. We did a bad thing. We snuck into another movie. LOL.
So we saw two movies for the price of one.
Here are reviews for what we saw:

No Country For Old Men
Violence and mayhem ensue after a hunter stumbles upon some dead bodies, a stash of heroin and more than $2 million in cash near the Rio Grande.

What did I think: This was a good movie, but the hype is not justified here. There are lots of good movies in this genre, but the only reason why it's being nominated is because it was written and directed by the Coen Brothers (these are the dudes that did 'Fargo'). I also did not like the ending either.
This movie does not even come close to 'There Will Be Blood'. Javier Bardem, performed nicely, but I am getting tired of seeing Tommy Lee Jones with a sheriff's hat on. Try something different, Tommy!

Score: 6 out of 10 Gonzos.

After the movie was over, my girlfriend and I checked out...

The Diving Bell & The Butterfly
This movie is the story of Elle France editor Jean-Dominique Bauby, who, in 1995 at the age of 43, suffered a stroke that paralyzed his entire body, except his left eye. Using that eye to blink out his memoir, Bauby eloquently described the aspects of his interior world, from the psychological torment of being trapped inside his body to his imagined stories from lands he'd only visited in his mind.

Now this movie was really depressing. It too could have been better, but it is an otherwise astonishing edict on how a person can do just about anything, even write a book, while they are paralyzed from head to toe. I liked the camera angles, as it well translated the imaginary sense of frustration, and hopelessness that Bauby must have endured during this period in his life. I won't give away the ending, but I will tell you that it is a worthwhile watch. Is it Oscar-worthy? Perhaps.

Score: 7 out of 10 Gonzos.

Finally, I read a fantastic article in Runner's World regarding the saga of last year's Chicago Marathon. It would take me too long to paraphrase it, but I really want everyone to read it so I will quote the whole article. It was written by Dave Thigpen. It's an important read because it really makes you stop to think....If you were in a marathon, and the temperature goes above 82, do you stop?

No comments: