Race Report: Hermes Cleveland 10 Miler

This was my first race longer than a 10K as a masters runner so I was a bit nervous about what to expect. Also, I had some pretty rough training in April, missing a total of 7 days this month with some quad/hip flexor issues and a really bad cold. On top of that, the last two weeks I worked a lot of overtime, but that said the race went really well.

I ran 62:05 (6:12 pace) on a tough course, which included crossing two pretty big bridges and a stretch by an airport of about 2 miles straight into a really strong headwind. The first mile was flat and I went out very conservatively in 6:26 almost treating it as an extension of my warm up. Mile 2 was a long gradual uphill crossing the Carnegie Bridge from downtown Cleveland into the Ohio City neighborhood. I hit that mile in 6:24 though the effort was much faster. As I worked my way off the bridge I got into a really nice groove, hitting 25:00 at 4 miles. Soon after that we crossed another smaller bridge back into downtown. The 5 mile mark was right near Cleveland Browns Stadium and I hit that in 30:55 feeling very strong. There was a pretty nice tailwind for the next 1.5 miles as we headed by Burke Airport but man, the wind was rough coming back. After rolling off a string of miles in the high 5:50's/low 6:00's I hit mile 7-8 in something like 6:40! That said I was gaining on people who were ahead of me so I knew they were hurting just as much or more. I was never passed in the race after the first few miles so I was really pleased with my pacing. Once we got out of the headwind, I was able to regroup a bit and catch a second wind and finished pretty strong. I was 11th overall and 1st in 40-44.

I was really happy with my time and the fact that I ran pretty even 30:55/31:10. I think without the headwind from miles 6.5-8.5 I might have run about 20-25 seconds faster but I really can't complain. Next up is a 5 miler on May 26th where I hope to get as close as possible to breaking 29:00. Feeling motivated and back on track!


New Balance Joy Division Trainers

No, this isn't a hoax! A British designer actually sculpted a limited edition shoe for New Balance as a tribute to the legendary late '70s UK post-punk band Joy Division. Apparently they are on sale in a few UK stores. For those who might not know the story, lead singer Ian Curtis hung himself in 1980 and the rest of the band went on to form the slightly more cheery New Order. The first shoe to celebrate the 'Runner's Low'? Maybe a Happy Mondays '24 Hour Party People' model would have been a tad more appropriate.

Anyway, more links can be found on Gawker.com


Training Report: April 1 - April 22

Well, the last three weeks, since my 5K race on March 31, have been pretty up and down as I've been fighting off a nagging quad/hip flexor injury, which caused me to take five days off in the first two weeks of the month, and then this past week I got a bad cold and took two more days off. I feel like I'm more or less back on track now as I did a decent 12.5 mile run yesterday and right before I got my cold I did a pretty good 4 x mile session. My next race is a 10 miler on April 28. My expectations aren't as high as they were as my mileage the last three weeks has been pretty low. First week of the monthwas under 30, and the past two just under 40. Hopefully the solid mileage base I put in from January through March has kept me from losing too much race fitness. Anyway, my key race this spring is a 5 miler on May 26th so I have plenty of time to get ready for that.


Death of the music industry

Great editorial in the NY Times op-ed section by two guys, Tony Sachs and Sal Nunziato, who used to own an independent record store in NYC.

Spinning Into Oblivion

Here's part of the piece if you're too lazy to read the whole thing:

In the late ’90s, our business, and the music retail business in general, was booming. Enter Napster, the granddaddy of illegal download sites. How did the major record labels react? By continuing their campaign to eliminate the comparatively unprofitable CD single, raising list prices on album-length CDs to $18 or $19 and promoting artists like the Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears — whose strength was single songs, not albums. The result was a lot of unhappy customers, who blamed retailers like us for the dearth of singles and the high prices.

The recording industry association saw the threat that illegal downloads would pose to CD sales. But rather than working with Napster, it tried to sue the company out of existence — which was like thinking you’ve killed all the roaches in your apartment because you squashed the one you saw in the kitchen. More illegal download sites cropped up faster than the association’s lawyers could say “cease and desist.”

By 2002, it was clear that downloading was affecting music retail stores like ours. Our regulars weren’t coming in as often, and when they did, they weren’t buying as much. Our impulse-buy weekend customers were staying away altogether. And it wasn’t just the independent stores; even big chains like Tower and Musicland were struggling.

Something had to be done to save the record store, a place where hard-core music fans worked, shopped and kibitzed — and, not incidentally, kept the music business’s engine chugging in good times and in lean. Who but these loyalists was going to buy the umpteenth Elton John hits compilation that the major labels were foisting upon them?

But instead, those labels delivered the death blow to the record store as we know it by getting in bed with soulless chain stores like Best Buy and Wal-Mart. These “big boxes” were given exclusive tracks to put on new CDs and, to add insult to injury, they could sell them for less than our wholesale cost. They didn’t care if they didn’t make any money on CD sales. Because, ideally, the person who came in to get the new Eagles release with exclusive bonus material would also decide to pick up a high-speed blender that frappĂ©ed.


Family Guy - Cheetah On Crack

Family Guy is pretty hit or miss but this is freakin' hysterical!


Training Report: March 26-April 1

Nothing too eventful with my training this week. 44 miles with one day off, a light interval workout and a 5K race in Akron called the Canal Park Challenge (see photo with pained expression to your left). I ran a really solid race on what was probably a slightly long course. My splits all seemed to make sense, but if those mile markers were accurate, then the finish line was probably about 100 meters further from the 3 mile marker than it should have been. Anyway, my splits were 5:32, 11:08 (5:36), and 16:52 (5:44). Normally it takes me about 37 seconds to get from mile 3 to the finish line but today it took 63 seconds so either the mile markers were all wrong or the finish line was off. I'd like to think the latter as the early pace felt about the same as the pace I ran my 7 x 800 @ 5:32 pace the other week.


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