The Day the Ground Got Me Good

My first spill on the pavement was quite unpleasant.

My nails as red as my blood

And surprising! Damn pavement came up and ripped me out of my beginning-of-my-long-run bliss and threw me to the ground. Given the skin pieces left behind there on that forsaken spot from the bridge towards Toy R’ Us, I’d say he got me good this time….

What happened? I was a mere 1.8 miles into my 11 mile run, listening to…I can’t remember now….something fun and inspiring. I was thinking of the nice BBQ dinner I had yesterday, the pleasant relaxing morning, the shopping, the soup I was going to make later, and BOOM! Next thing I knew I was flying a bit (I didn’t even notice I tripped, there was no stubbed toe or stumble) and the pavement was suddenly super close to my face and I was skidding on my right hand and left knee.

Right hand took the brunt of the fall

I lay there for a few seconds trying to figure out what the heck happened before I started peeling myself off the asphalt. It has been a long while since I have been so intimate with pavement, so I was a bit stunned. I looked around and saw no one rushing to help me or point and laugh, so I took my time getting up, shaking out my legs, ankles, arms, etc. I saw immediately that I had scraped both hands, one mildly and the other missing more than a few layers of skin. I hobbled over to the bench to pull up my running tights and inspect my knee, where I found some scrapage but it was not bad. I was more concerned about any damage that I couldn’t see. I sat on the bench (and paused my GPS timer) and pondered going home or going on. I really felt like going home, since I was injured and bleeding, but I did not want to do my long run on a Monday morning, which I would have to do if I didn’t complete today’s run. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that I’d regret not trying, so I got up and said “I’ll run slow if it feels ok and just complete the mileage and forget about timing. Or, if it feels uncomfortable, I will stop and walk home so my hobbly run won’t injure me further.”

The ground punched my knee and ripped my pants to boot

It turned out that I was ok and completed my 11 miles, the last of them at 7 minutes and 37 seconds, with the total time 1 hour 34 minutes 6 seconds. Yay for a cold day and frozen pain! Boo to the hot shower that made my wounds re-punch me over and over. And boo to the fact that I can’t really cook or do laundry or fix my hair nice for the time being (really not wanting to get my hands wet again until tomorrow’s scabs arrive). But hey, I am ok!

Nano took a hit

Poor abused Nano all cracked

Sorry, Nano. You're now as cracked as the pavement was.

Lesson: Be careful, no matter how much happy bliss you run in!


I Didn’t Feel Like Running the Half Marathon Anyway

And then I didn’t have to.

Two Feet In-Tact

Yet again, Mother Nature stepped in and swept away my 2nd chance of running a half marathon. I shouldn’t have been surprised to see that there was a snow storm on the forecast for last Saturday’s race. I still tapered down my mileage and ate my pasta dinner. But I did make sure to check the NYRR website before taking off my pajamas on Saturday morning. Low and Behold – the race was actually not cancelled but due to the snow and ice in Central Park, they gave us all race credits and said “You do not have to race. It will count as if you did. We will not time you. But if you do come, we have a baggage check.”

I sat for a brief moment thinking maybe I should do it anyway. But then I thought about the cold icey hilly road. And the fact that I wouldn’t even get an official time. All motivation to get going at 6:15am to trek up to the park (itself a dangerous and long journey from my apt) and run a cautious, treacherous, self-timed 13.1 miles was going down the toothpaste drain. The final straw was the thought that if I go and run out of stubborness and get injured, my Sunday snowboarding plans and my taiko season would be crushed. The joyous pride I would get from running anyway just to say I did it did not compare to the anger I would have unleashed on myself if I went and got injured for basically no reason.

So I stayed home and had an omette. And then I went to 4 hours of taiko practice. And Sunday, I got to go SNOWBOARDING!!!

To the top!

Me, all uninjured and stuff

New England is a bunch of rocks

Just chillin' on the slope, doing my bindings and other's

Life is beautiful, even as the Death Star approaches

Shaun and I on the tired way back home with a wet (but waterproof) camera

Since I hadn’t run from Friday (rest day) through Saturday (cancelled race and taiko practice) and Sunday (boarding!)  I tortured myself with a 7 miler on Monday night and 8 miles worth of intervals on Tuesday morning, followed by an intense abs yoga session in the evening. I think I paid myself back all the pain I should have suffered during my supposed “first turned second turned nada” half marathon.

Running up to my First Half Marathon

anti climactic pre-first half-marathon training

My first half marathon is coming up in exactly a week from today! And I am not giving it much thought. I had heavily prepared for the first time I thought I was going to run a half marathon (the Bronx Half), but this time, I am not only running it, I am going to taiko practice afterwards, and snowboarding the next day. It seems to just be another notation in my planner.


How did this happen? Well, I suppose the fact that my first half-mara was supposed to be last summer and was tragically cancelled due to a freak hurricane in New York. And also, it is cold as HECK so training is not a bunch of inspirational Central Park runs with the sun shining on my enthusiastic face. It’s more like a frozen grimace on a very red face. And teary burning wind-whipped eyes. And a torturous first freezing mile, and a desperate shuffling ‘cool down’ mile back home. Or boring treadmills and smelling people’s gym farts. Getting a nice picture here?

I got this.

In any case, I am going to run this half marathon (itself a sort of ‘bore’ as it is 2 laps around Central Park, which I have done numerous times already in training!) despite it all because 1. It is a good gauge for me to figure out a proper goal time for the Disney Princess Half Marathon, 2. I need to do at least 9 races this year and/or 4 NY half marathons to be guaranteed for the ING NYC Marathon in 2013, and 3. Santiago will be my running buddy so it will be fun! So I will be pretty tired and then be forced to do Hachidan jumps. So I might fall asleep on the subway back home from taiko practice and end up freezing in Coney Island. So I have to wake up at 5am the next day to catch the bus to Hunter Mountain. So what? I am alive and I am living. Clap Your Hands! And have a fun beer.

Taiko practice is serious business!

Three Years in Yamagata has made me an avid Snowboarder

Beer today, Beer tomorrow!

I will be running 10 miles tomorrow with sore taiko practice arms in the bitter 20 degree weather by the bridge if you want to find me!

Joe Kleinerman 10K Recap – New Record! + Mochitsuki

The panting, Stomachache, achey legs, shoulders, and back can all be worth it.

Pre-race carb dinner

Just a quick recap of yesterday’s 10K, my first official race of 2012! The day started off really early (6:15am wake up) and a bit cranky, as they have been tending to start. I arrived at Central Park sans phone or sweatshirt. Doing a few laps around the baggage – t-shirt – start area, I failed to find Santiago (although I think I saw Hori-san from work!). Eventually, distraught as I was, I had to get into my horsie corral and get this sucker started.

The course started at the northeast corner of the park, the part I refer to as “The Gauntlet.” My first mile was mostly downhill, so it was a quick one. It was unpleasant to fly down the hill in a horde of people, but I managed to keep up a quick pace since I knew I had to use it to make up for the uphill portion on the northwest side.

The whole west side going south tends also to be a bit rough, as there is more uphill than down or flat. But nothing is steep. Anyway, Mile 2 ended up being my slowest mile. From then on, I went into cruise control, telling myself I was doing well as it appeared I was doing at least 8 minute miles, and that there was only one hill – “The Hump” – left to struggle through. I find that I usually can maintain a good pace when I am in a good mood, which was not how I started the race, but with the constant pep talk going on in my head that sounded like “You’re not cramping, so be thankful!” and “If you keep up this speed, you will be fine!” I was able to push away troubling thoughts and get to Mile 5.

After that, I was kinda hoping it would be over soon. I kept telling myself it would be, as I have managed to consider 1.5 more miles as “not much” in the past, however, after my last long run of 8 miles in the gym and having to stop 3 times, my confidence started to drop a bit. 10 more minutes of running can be excruciating when you are mentally done. Finally, Mile 6 came along and there was ‘only’ 0.2 to go.

I decided now was the time to show my guts. I picked it up as much as my tired body would let me and I kept it steady. I saw the beginning of the Finishing Line Cheerers and continued to push even though I could barely breathe and I felt that I was on the verge of death. (Only slightly exaggerating here, less so than I would like to admit.) Flinging across the finish line with a grimace, I took a few more steps before doubling over. When I could stand up straight again, all I did was search for Santiago and also a place to lie down.

Painful as it was, I am pretty proud of myself! I really felt I gave it my all. Since Santiago’s knee had been bothering him, I managed to finish before him (first time ever! Now all I need to do for the next race is kick him in the knee!……..kidding…….  😉  and beat my old 10K time from the Rock ‘N Roll 10K with Stu.

New 10K time: 47:29!

Bagel Halo, stomach ache, Santiago knee pain. Thank's, Joe!

Then it was off to Mochitsuki, I missed my Soh Daiko friends!



I also signed up for the ING NYC Marathon lotto. Wish me luck!

Surprise Coupon 10K

Happy New Year! Hope you’re ready for that 10K you forgot about!

After getting back from Germany toting a bad cold, being hurdled through work and a lot of stress, pressure, doubts, realizations, questions and conclusions, I opened my planner to find “Joe Kleinerman 10K” written in small letters on January 7, 2012. Hot damn (or cold, given the freezing temperature), I needed to get back to running!

So, despite everything else swirling around me in life, the New Year started off with a very cold run.

I am ready for the elements.

To the bridge!



It turned out to be a Gorgeous New Year’s Day.

My bridge

Photo op after Mile 1!

Still staring at the bridge on the path to the pier

Made it to the pier

Turn around point

Ships in the bay

Victory with a View

Birds and Bridge

A little cold and a little tired, I return home

The road home

Xmas decorations still up!

Back to my hood

This week consisted of a quick build-up and a taper down to prepare for my surprise 10K. This is a race I signed up with Santiago with because it was ‘conveniently timed’ – not really – and because we had to use our race coupon from the cancelled Bronx Half Marathon turned cancelled 5 mile in Central Park. I thought with this kind of luck, the weather would turn sour and the race might turn into another coupon! But, alas, tomorrow will be another gorgeous day. Time to eat my pasta marinara!