Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Racing the Rain

After tearing through John Parker Jr.'s Quenton Cassidy trilogy at breakneck speed, I found it impossible to hold back from an afternoon run. I'd been pretty much sedentary since running 100 miles two weekends ago, but but Parker's narrative of the competitive miler (and eventually marathoner) and his lifestyle are enough to make anyone want to immediately lace up and begin clicking off the miles en route to greatness. The original novel Once a Runner and it's sequel and prequel all have elements that many of us can relate to on some level — the innocence of youth and the hope of great things yet to come, and then longing to relive those youthful days later in life.

Halloween afternoon. Overcast but mid-60s, this is possibly the warmest day Ithaca will see for many months. I arrive home from work, quickly swapping scrubs for shorts and a singlet. It is all I can do to avoid suicidally attempting to rip off a series of 60-second 400s on the IHS track, pretty much guaranteeing a complete rupture of my still-achy tibialis anterior tendon. I restrain

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The Monster Marathon 2018

I just can't get enough of the Finger Lakes Runners Club's Monster Marathon. The timing usually works out that the race can serve as a long, supported training run on close-to-home trails. There's also a bit of nostalgia factor; the accompanying half marathon (run on the old course in Kennedy State Forest) was one of my first trail races back in 2011.

The marathon course is a double out-and-back that snakes its way around Treman State Park in a slippery S-pattern. (Half marathoners run a single out-and-back of the same route.) Runners receive handicap starts based on age and gender. This means people who are older and/or female had a head start over the final starting wave. At age 35, I'm still considered a young buck and was rewarded with an 8:00 a.m. start time in the final wave of runners. Standings are based on the order in which runners cross the finish line, rather than their time spent running. Essentially, it meant I was starting off tied for last place overall