Brooklyn Runner


Paying for running shoes
October 27, 2010, 12:58 am
Filed under: Shoes and Gear | Tags: , ,

I read with interest this NY Times story about how much to pay for running shoes. “Fit first and price last” is the mantra that most experts seem to agree on. I have to agree, but my bias has been toward not paying attention to how high the price is, as opposed to not paying attention to how low the price might be.

I’ve bought my shoes at running stores exclusively now for the past ten years, but after reading this I remember the first pair of Nike’s I was wearing when (in college, I think) I started running for exercise and for for and for stress relief. I bought them at Marshall’s for $40. Maybe I’ll give it another try!



Brooklyn Half
June 2, 2009, 4:18 pm
Filed under: Racing | Tags:

Oops – congrats to all you finishers and participants in the Brooklyn Half marathon on Saturday! Brooklyn Running blog has a nice roundup of stories about the race here. Look up official results here.



Urban runs

These days when I go for a run I experience sensory overload from the beauty of the urban environment surrounding my home. I feel lucky to have backdrops like these during just an ordinary run…

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Part of my route takes me past the beautiful and decaying Admiral’s Row at the edge of the Navy Yard.

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An uplifting message in the industrial waterfront of Dumbo.

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A New Year
January 6, 2009, 9:26 pm
Filed under: Contemplating, Seasons, The City | Tags:

Happy New Year! It’s not too late to say that, right?

I love this time of year. The city has been quiet — almost desolate — between the big winter holidays and after the first of the year everyone starts trickling back, slowly but surely. There seems to be a bit more optimism and hope this time of year too, New Years resolutions and all.

Sure, one could trot out all the dreary statistics about how most people abandon their resolutions by mid February, or one could be cynical and say “What’s the point” of making resolutions that you know you aren’t going to keep? But I think making resolutions and aiming for something is entirely the point. Even if you don’t keep them. Even if you try and don’t hit them. At least you hoped for something; at least you dreamed a little.

The tragedy is not in failing to reach the goals, the true tragedy is never having made the goals at all (that’s not mine, I’ve heard it from someone but can’t quite place it just now). So what if making resolutions is cliched, or makes you a big cheese ball. In my book it’s a good practice — at least it gets you thinking.

At the very least it’s an exercise in thinking about what is important to you, what matters, and in what direction you’d like to see things go. One step at at time.



Blog Advice
December 10, 2008, 3:25 pm
Filed under: Blogging

I found this great post from marketing guru and best-selling author Seth Godin about how to increase traffic to your blog. I only just discovered him and have been reading him lately. For all you bloggers out there, check it out!

And happy running today – feels more spring rain than two weeks before Christmas…



“I can only do 11-minute miles…”
December 4, 2008, 2:24 pm
Filed under: Contemplating, training | Tags: ,

I must confess this comment from a Runner’s World online column, which came through my inbox yesterday, pulled at my heartstrings a little bit. The writer says she “feels like a loser” for not being able to crack 11-minute miles after drumming up the courage to go out and run her first race, a 5K.

How sad! No one should feel like a loser or be discouraged from running because they turn in a performance that can be improved upon, or they’re not as fast as someone else, or they haven’t done their best yet. The beauty of running is that it is possible to be competitive with yourself, and at the same time not have to worry about anyone else. Running is all about improving yourself and finding your own rhythm and stride, doing the best that you know you can do. What makes it a success for you as a runner will be different from what success will look like for someone else.

The coach here gives some good advice about slowly building mileage and intensity of workout. She says the hardest step in becoming a runner is taking the first step — having the courage to show up on race day. I agree taking the first step is hard, and important. But I don’t think the first step is the hardest part. The more difficult challenge is to continue taking those steps, to keep at it, to persevere and be consistent. Isn’t it the same with so many things in life that we’d like to do? Sticking with something, keeping at it even when times get discouraging or hard, that’s the true challenge.

They say “a writer writes” — that if you want to be a writer, well, be writing. The same is true for runners. If you’re a runner, you run. You run when you’re in shape and when you’re not in shape. You run when it’s cold and when it’s hot. You run when you’re tired or not tired, when you have free time, and when life is busy. Sometimes you take breaks, and some breaks are longer than others. But the point is, keep running!

Whether you can do 11, 8, or 5-minute miles.



Turkey Trot, 2008
November 25, 2008, 10:59 pm
Filed under: Racing, Seasons | Tags: ,

I would be remiss if I did not at least give a shout out for the very fabulous annual Turkey Trot in Prospect Park, hosted by Brooklyn’s own Prospect Park Track Club. The 5 mile race starts at 9 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day, this Thursday November 27. Registration the morning of is usually bearable, or go here for registration and more info.

Also, a discussion on who’s running a Turkey Trot landed in my inbox via Runner’s World this morning. Check it out here to see the discussion and add your thoughts. At the very least, running a race the morning of Thanksgiving will make for some good discussion around the dinner table, especially among the non-runners in the family.



The Brooklyn Bridge at Night
November 11, 2008, 1:01 pm
Filed under: Running Routes, Seasons, The City | Tags: ,

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Brooklyn Bridge at Night.
Photo by madabandon.

The other night I ran through Dumbo and across the bridge at night, like 10 o’clock. (I would never do this alone but since I was with another person I felt it was OK).

What a treat it was to be on the bridge and above the water with the city all up in lights and the air cool and mild on your face. It’s a different city up there at night, quieter somehow but still full of life. Perhaps it was the colder weather, and how it gets darker earlier these days, but everything’s a bit more subdued.

With the winter coming and the weather cooling the nights seem quieter now. The cold has always been one of my favorite times to run. Fewer people on the street. The stillness and hardness of the earth seem to make running a more solitary experience — more soulful somehow.



Places to Donate Old Running Shoes
September 23, 2008, 9:23 am
Filed under: Shoes and Gear | Tags: ,

Photo by doviende.
Photo by doviende.

What to do with used running shoes has become an annual dilemma for me. It’s that time of year when it seems like you need a new pair of shoes every five minutes. Locally, any Jack Rabbit Sports location will accept used shoes for donation. A manager at a store once told me they see to it that the shoes go to needy people, but didn’t elaborate.

Runner’s World has a list of organizations where you can send used shoes, many of which send them on to places where people are truly in need and where a pair of high quality running shoes would make a big difference in someone’s life. My favorites are Hope Runs, a nonprofit working in Kenya and Tanazania that uses athletics, education and social entrepreneurship to empower AIDS orphans, and Shoe4Africa, whose mission is “empowerment through sports and education.”

Please take advantage of an opportunity to be gracious and give out of the wealth that we all possess. Anyone able to own a single pair of running shoes in this country is wealthier than the vast majority of the world’s population.



Tuesday Photo
September 2, 2008, 10:05 am
Filed under: Photos

From Luke Redmond
“Greenpoint Runner”
Photo by Luke Redmond