Have been crisscrossing the country the past couple days, arrived in New York City late last night and finally got a little down time. The family joined me yesterday in Philadelphia, then chased me up I-95 to New York last night so we were able to spend an atypical Thanksgiving together. Not that it will become a new tradition or anything, but I found that a good New York pizza is a perfectly acceptable substitute for turkey giblets any day of the year.
Spent Tuesday in Burbank, was able to decode the “recommended run” map and found a nice neighborhood that will be used on future visits. Wanted to get about 6 miles or so, wove in and out of the area until I hit about 40 minutes. Always nice to get to LA or another warm-weather city once winter sets in back home – I’m sure my Enola PA tan turns some heads out there, not so much from an impressed standpoint….
Burbank – Memphis – Philadelphia on Tuesday night, got in Wednesday morning. After a little sleep got out and logged about 6 more along the river. Was still about 75% sure I would be racing on Thursday morning, otherwise I probably would have went about 8 or so since it was a nice day and I was feeling pretty good. Family was inbound from home anyway, so I shortened it up a little bit and called it a day. We spent the afternoon at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where you can call me unsophisticated but I thought the best part was recreating the iconic Rocky pose at the top of the museum stairs (and from the looks of things, I am not in the minority on this one – the line to view the Italian Stallion bronze statue was waaaay longer than the line to view any works of the French Stallion Auguste Rodin. Plus, I’d put my money on Mr. Balboa vs Mr. Rodin in a fight any day….).
Philadelphia – Newark Wednesday night, drove into NYC for the long layover. Got everyone settled into the room and lights out about 1AM – not ideal for a pre-race but what are you going to do. Up at 7:00, subway to Brooklyn for the Prospect Park Track Club 5 mile Turkey Trot. Race was in Prospect Park, 1.5 loops around a mostly flat and wooded park, start and finish in the same spot – nice course, chip timed, well-organized. Got out with the second pack, don’t run these things often enough to know what the pace should be – was targeting 27:00 (5:24 pace), went through the first mile in 5:16. Mile 2 in 5:24, Mile 3 in 5:28 as we climbed the one long hill. 16:08 through 3 miles is almost a 5k PR for me, began to regret not getting out this fall to give that distance a legitimate effort. Things started to get rough around the 3.5 mile point as they probably should when you are getting after it, but managed to hold it together with a 5:25. Finished with a long shallow downhill, picked up the spirits a little bit and came through with a 5:08 finishing mile. 26:41 – had never run the distance before, was pretty happy with the results. Didn’t do anything in particular to prepare for this race – didn’t run “hard” the last 2 days but didn’t lay off the workouts either. The time is what it is, but I’m happy with my current state of conditioning and this time reflects I am on my way to getting the body where it needs to be.
Spent the rest of the day wandering the city, hitting toy stores at strategic intervals to keep morale up with the kids. Most of the stores were closed due to the holiday, but all the windows had their elaborate Christmas displays in them so everyone had fun. Gang got tickets to the Rockette’s Holiday Show tonite, so I will be getting my football fix on while they see the show. As I mentioned earlier, we celebrated the day with an awesome, old-school New York pizza – the way I see it the Pilgrims would have done the same thing if the Indians would have only brought their deep dish over to the first feast. I mean come on, can shaped jelled cranberries!?! Happy Holidays to all!
Ammendment: Prospect Park 5 Mile results are out, will have to recalibrate my watch. Chip time 26:44, 8th place overall. Wasn’t quite in the “pies” money (top 3 got a warm apple pie for their Thanksgiving feast) – the herd of twenty-something Central Park Track Club guys were too much for this old man. Hope to fare better vs the CPTC masters guys this track season…