Hi! My name is Ken. I'm going to periodically write about running, writing, and a number of other topics. Please feel free to read my posts and provide your comments. If you have a question about any topic, leave a message and I'll try to help you get the information you're looking for. Thanks for stopping by. I hope to see you again soon.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The 75th Running of the Thanksgiving Day Manchester Road Race

There's only one race that has been a tradition for me over the many years I have been running and that's the Manchester Road Race on Thanksgiving Day each year. The race course is only twelve minutes away from where I live plus it's in an area I used to faithfully train in.
The day before the race this year, Wednesday, I reported to work and took a rest day in preparation for the race. Around 10:00 am, I ran into one of my co-workers who said that I was in a picture in the morning Hartford Courant from last year's race. Now with the 15,000 or so people that run, it's difficult to get in, never mind make out images in most of these newspaper photos. Shortly thereafter, I walked down to our lunchroom to see if there was a copy of the paper.  It took a little searching, but I was able to find the half page with the race photo. It only took me several seconds to find myself since I was one of about sixty people that were easily identifiable. I'm the guy wearing gray and white on the left side of the picture two people from the bottom. Well, only half of my body is showing, but you can see my head.

The next day I made the mistake of leaving later than usual for the race and paid for it. By the time I had reached East Center Street, the path I usually follow to parking right behind Main Street near the start/finish line had been blocked off. I had to pass by Main Street and park about a 1/2 mile away. This all lead to me having to gently push my way to the starting area so that I could use my special pass to get into the under 40 minute area. There must have been over 300 people blocking my way. I finally got into the fenced in starting area with three minutes to spare. There's three areas that faster runners can get access to: under 30, 30 to 35, and under 40, but you need an access card. You just need to run a qualifying time the previous year of the race or a qualifying time that year as listed on the race website to get one. The problem is that security is lacking and people often climb over the gate without an access card.

As I'm waiting for the gun to go off, this guy lifts his three kids (all looked under the age of 8) over the gate and then climbs over himself. He didn't even have a card. This is the type of behavior that's dangerous because the faster runners aren't expecting to have to dodge little kids. When I said something to him about it, he gave me a dirty look. To be honest, I passed about another thirty or so people that looked like they couldn't run a quarter mile, never mind 4.75. It took me about 22 seconds to get to the starting line and another 1.5 minutes before I could run unimpeded. I have to take some of the blame though because of my late arrival. Normally I'm able to get right up to the 30 minutes line and when they drop  the partition just before the race starts, I usually end up closer to the line.

This is a loop course, with the second mile all up hill. My goal was to run the first two miles in around 15:30 and I was able to do that. I unfortunately slowed down in mile 3 and ended up there at 23:00 minutes, 30 seconds slower than planned. I finished fairly strong, but ended up finishing in 35:30, about 22 seconds slower than last year. I just wasn't race ready. This is only the second race for me this year. I had planned to do 2 or 3 others in September, but my wildfire assignment put an end to that.

Did anyone else run a turkey day race or another one this past weekend? Let me know. I hope everyone had a good holiday.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Seven Random Facts Quest-For Certain Bloggers

I'm asking five fellow bloggers to participate in this quest. There's my list. This is just another topic to feature in a blog post. I think the more obscure the facts, the more interesting in my book. Have fun with it-I did. Hopefully, you haven't done this yet. If you have, sorry about that.
Jessica-Jessica's marathon training (in transition)
Lily-Run Lily Run
J.J.-A Better Reflection
Brent-Vaudiophile over at RunFatbrentRun
Davina-DvB's Fitness & Food Adventures


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Seven Random Facts

I recently was tapped by Becki aka Supergirl over at "The Middle Miles" to create a blog post which includes seven random facts about myself. I also have to reach out to invite a number of other bloggers to join this quest and do the same. So here goes:
R.F.#1: I don't like broccoli. Years ago, I had an abscessed tooth that left a taste in my mouth that tasted like broccoli. Enough said.

R.F.#2: I used to live in Pennsylvania when I was real young.

R.F.#3: I've had the same black Casio watch for over 15 years. You know, the one with all those little buttons for calculating your race pace and mileage. I even use it at work.
R.F.#4: I've run the Manchester Thanksgiving Day Road Race over 30 times.

R.F.# 5: I'm into science fiction movies and books.

R.F.# 6: I played three varsity sports in high school, basketball, baseball, and soccer. Baseball was my favorite sport.

R.F. # 7: Sorry guys, I now use an artificial Christmas tree.

I'll include a list of at least five other bloggers to share the fun with later on this week in another post.
Good night.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Week With No Power

Parts of New England two weekends ago got hammered by a snowstorm with almost all of the leaves still left on the trees. Normally we don't get snow in October. I think the last time it happened in CT was back in the late 1950's or early 1960's  and then it was only several inches. Parts of CT got as much as 20 inches. The result was literally thousands of trees and branches came down with all that extra weight and lead to the largest power failure I've ever seen in my life. Some of the trees split just like a banana being peeled. Incredible.
We were without power for about seven days, which wasn't much fun. But at least I had a wood stove, which helped keep the temperature in the house in the sixties during the day and fifties at night. No home phone or cable made it challenging too.
I was able to go to work most of the week because my office in Hartford had power and showers in the basement. I was especially happy about that. I continued to run 3 to 4 days a week during that period. The snow actually melted very quickly so it was the wires and tree limbs all over the roads and people's house and properties that presented the big challenge to restoration. As I write this post, there are still hundreds of people without power and it's going on 12 days so that totally sucks.
Here are a few pictures from my neighborhood which illustrate the damage. Let me know if you got caught in this storm. Also, I'm interested to see who has been the longest number of days without power in their life. Give me some detail. I'm interested. My record is 7 days. Any challengers?