Saturday, August 15, 2009

What you should know even if you are not me.

What you should know even if you are not me.

Michael Ring

News from the Communications / Technology Committee

I would like to document the different modes of communication the Prospect Park Track Club uses. Since I am on both committees I figured I would let you know what I know.

  • We have a newsletter; “Around the Park”. It is made of paper and is mailed monthly. Any member can submit an article and it may be edited (with their involvement) for grammar or content. It also contains recent race results and lists which businesses give discounts to our members. Don’t forget, we are trying to save trees and stamps, so if you still want it mailed to you let me know.
  • We use iContact to notify members of official announcements, via email
  • We have a website. Check it out.
  • We have a Blog; “”. It contains online versions of all of the newsletter articles and more. Blogs are interactive; readers may leave comments on all “Blog entries”. In our case comments are moderated because this is a “public Blog”. Anyone can read it, but we want to avoid “spam” and other ugliness.
  • We have a Google group; this is vehicle for an Open Communication Forum by the members, and for the members. This group is not for official messages from PPTC, but for members to voice their opinions or concerns, post comments, connect with other runners, start a topic for discussion, or share new ideas that the entire PPTC membership can benefit. It can also be used to share “documents” like photos of our members. It is not “moderated” and can only be accessed by members of the club.
  • We have a “club phone” 718-595-2049. It is just an answering machine. You can call it anytime to find out information about the club; you can leave a message or just listen to Ami’s voice.
  • We have a membership meeting on the first Monday of each month (except for those months when a holiday falls on that date, such as September when Labor Day falls on the first Monday). The location is MetroSports Med, 263 7th Avenue, between 5th and 6th Streets. We’re on the second floor and there are refreshments.
  • Just in; we have a Flickr Pool. Got to and upload and/or view PPTC related photos. This is public so keep it nice. Also, do not post the photo of anyone under the age of 18 without the parents’ permission.

I hope this information was helpful. It is all about interacting!

The Club Championship Five Mile Race

The Club Championship Five Mile Race
By Tom Meany

The Club Championship Five Mile Race
By Tom Meany

Saturday, August 8th, was sunny, breezy, 66 degrees, 54% humidity. What a great day for a race!

We had over 50 members descend on Central Park for the Club Team Championship and had close to 20 in each race. Many new members, unfamiliar with the course and what to expect, were thrilled to pass the PPTC banner with about 400 yds. to go, to our roaring cheers. Tyrone Sklaren said it pulled the sprint out of him. Many couldn’t decide which was more fun; cheering or being cheered.

Mark Crowther, our first male finisher had asked beforehand if there would be supervision for his 4 & 6 yr. old while he ran. I assured him, being an experienced parent, I would play Cowboys and Indians with his children, and he would find them safely tied to a tree. He brought them anyway.

Several parents brought their offspring; David Jones’ daughter informed me that she was 7 ¾ years old and Traci Lester’s daughter, Haley, holding court in her stroller, flashed her two new teeth in big smiles at all the excitement. The youths had as much fun as the adults.

There was Gatorade, water, watermelon, Fig Newtons, beef jerky and some spiked orange soda provided by Paul Soskind. Coralie, aka Coco, used this opportunity to her advantage in teaching proper “toasting.” Amy Duquette gave a brief demonstration on Chi Running, and has promised to make a more formal presentation at our next membership meeting.

We have some great pictures of all present around our Club banner on the side of this hill. In addition to a great turnout of runners, we had an army of supporters: Richard and Kathleen Weaver, Michael and Lila Rieman, Anne Perzeszty, Julio Zavala, Lenny Nemerofsky, Michael Ring, Brad Skillman, Eveline VanDer Meulen. Richard, Lenny, Michael Ring and Michael Rieman did double duty as supporters and runners!

It filled everyone with Club pride to see so many, happy, fun loving Club members doing the things we love doing most: running and supporting running.


Walking along the Prospect Park West, walking to downtown Brooklyn, on 9th street getting to the soops to pick up groceries, Priscilla Muller prefer to walk whether for her daily workouts or just to get to wherever she needs to go. Regards to PPTC from this very active walking lady.
Condolences to Helene Roth and family on the recent loss of her father.
Congrats to PPTC’s Sandy Ferrari and her peformance on the swim leg for her relay team at the recent NYC TRI. With the start delayed for twenty minute due to heavy downpours, Sandy might’ve been soaking wet before she even jumped into the Hudson!
Helen Dole had a blast on her summer trip to Colorado. Hooking up with the Boulder Trail Runners, she raced the Boulder West End 3k. According to Helen, the divisions were either "Family and Friends"
or "Elite Women" .Chosing to run with the Elite Women, Helen paid her dues. The
first place winner was 2004 Olympic Trials Marathon champion Colleen
De Reuck. "She's 45 and runs like the wind. I came in 22nd out of 34
runners and definitely was given some perspective."
Quote of the day from Helen:"I ran with pepper spray when I ran solo around dusk. There
had been several mountain lion sightings around the cabin I stayed in." Moral of the story here? Next time you see a squirrel crossing your path on the inside loop or a dog off the leash, it vould always be worse!
Look for Mike Ring’s latest installment currently appearing on Facebook "Running with the Gerbils", due out soon at your local pet shops and book stores. And speaking of pets, if you want one of the furry little baby gerbil makers, don’t be shy to ask Mike. He’ll only be so very glad to share the millions that might have taken over his apartment by the time you’re reading this. Hey, its kewl, I’m one of Mike’s Facebook friends. Dude!
Bobby Fisher knocked off another one, 75 miles of the ‘ Harlem Valley Century’ Sunday July 26th. Rode in weather much like they forecast in Ireland this time of year, ‘’some clouds, some wind, some sun, some rain, some fog..."
Thanks to Gil Torres for passing along the fact that Christine Boutross was named the top Pro trainer for all NYSC (111 of them) for the month of May.Congrats Christine !
Sean Rice off and running with advertising and registration for his Prospect Park Youth Running Club. FOR BOYS AND GIRLS AGES 6-13 interested in Cross Country Track and Field, Sean’s
Prospect Park Youth Running Club will hold a late registration date on Wednesday, September 9th, at Bishop Ford High School. Interested? Don’t delay! Email
Thanks to Ron Rice's heads up about the upcoming RACE TO REMEMBER SEPTEMBER 6 . In honor of the victims who were tragically killed on 9-11, the Run To Remember Foundation announces the opening of registration for the World Trade Center Run to Remember, scheduled for Sunday, September 6, 2009. This event is a fund raiser for several organizations who continue to work hard to support the families and surviving victims, honor those who were killed, and provide other services within the 9-11 community. This event will be held on Governor's Island and it will feature a 5K Run, a 3K Family Fun Run & Walk, a Children's Fun Run, and many other family friendly activities. Participants will be able to personalize their running bibs to identify which 9-11 victim they are running to remember. For more information and to register, visit
What’s new under the winter sun? Apparently the JINGLE BELL RUN/WALK for ARTHRITIS DECEMBER 6TH IN PROSPECT PARK. Shades of the original Jingle Bell Run back in the day, the predecessor of the Holiday Classic which morphed into the Turkey Trot, this year’ Jingle Bell Run/Walk offers participants a 3.1 mile (5K) run with a one mile walk followed by a post-walk celebration featuring awards ceremony, entertainment, food and valuable health-related information. This might be a good time for PPTC to come together and compare what we’re going to ask Santa for. For more information or to sign up today, please visit:

See you on the roads!

There are some good hills in Brooklyn: the steep sidewalk leading up to the Brooklyn Promenade, Mile One of the Summer Speed Series Race, Union Street heading up to the Park, and the far edge of Greenwood Cemetery to name a few. But there aren’t mountains. I’m out West this summer and there are definitely mountains. Below is a journal of sorts, some insights into what it is like to run in Colorado.

The first day I ran in Colorado, after arriving from sea level a few days before, I ran a whopping two miles, at a very mellow pace. I live in a one-room wood cabin at 9,500 feet. There are limitless trails right outside my door, but that day I stuck to the boring dirt road. Adjusting to the lower levels of oxygen meant that speed and deft maneuvering on trails would have to wait. Running that first week felt a bit like what running felt like after I’d come back from knee surgery in high school. Mentally you know you should be able to go faster – you’ve done it before – but your body is telling you otherwise.

After about a week, I felt confident enough to try running with other people. My breathing wasn’t 100%, but I was feeling stronger. I ran several times with the Boulder Trail Runners. One day we ran a somewhat flat course at a conversational pace. The next time I joined them was for a Night Run. The run starts at 8:30 pm. There was a decent crowd, a dozen or so, and we set off. Soon we had our headlamps and flashlights turned on and we veered off the path intentionally. We ran for a few miles through a field with no sign of a path, just following our fearless leader. Occasionally you’d run into a small cactus, but mostly it was just grass and wildflowers. Eventually we met up with the trail, and returned to the parking lot. Half the group hopped in their cars and headed home, the other half set out to go for two more hours of night running. At one point, as we neared the parking lot, a runner went on the road for a moment. A fellow runner teased him, “Are you on the Boulder Road Runners now?” I responded, “I didn’t know there was a Road Runners club here.” In the dark, a voice responds, “Yeah, what is the point when you live around all these great trails?” The group seemed to sneer at the notion of roadrunners. I kept quiet.

One secret about mountain running is that it’s not always running. On another night run, we ran to the crest of a peak that overlooked the spectacular city skyline. That run included a fair amount of fast hiking as we scrambled our way up and down rocky trails. Sometimes running isn’t as efficient as speed hiking.

So far I’ve raced twice in Colorado. The first race was a 3K on city streets. I had the option of signing up for one of two divisions online: “Family and Friends” or “Elite Women.” I hesitated for a moment, but decided to go with the “Elite” category. Boulder is home to many sponsored athletes, as well as former college and Olympic standouts. Colleen De Reuck, the winner of the 2004 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, set a blazingly fast pace and won our 3K. I didn’t finish last, but suffice it to say, I wasn’t near the front of the pack. A coach I was talking to beforehand told me that fully adjusting to elevation takes up to six months. I’d been there for three weeks at that point, so I added that to my list of excuses for why I hadn’t fared too well in my first Colorado race of the summer. I was so inspired and happy to run in a race with such talent, though. My next race was a 10K on the trails of a local ski resort. Over 200 runners participated and there were giveaways, a huge breakfast, and beer at the end. That course was all up and down, barely a stretch of flat. But because it was also all trails, I barely felt sore the next day.

One other component of running in the mountains is the wildlife. On my runs I’ve seen marmot, hares, deer, and elk. There have been reported mountain lion sightings in the area where I live and run, but so far I haven’t seen one. I’m avoiding running at dusk when they like to hunt and catch their prey off-guard – and I’ve started running with pepper spray when I run alone. I’m pretty sure pepper spray won’t actually stop a mountain lion but it offers me some (false?) sense of protection.

As I’m writing this I received an email from the Boulder Trail Runners list-serve. It is too perfect an example of what running out here is like, so I’ll share it: “Hey guys, Anyone want to run to Nederland this weekend? Total
 distance would be 30ish miles, in probably 8ish hours. I'm totally flex on start time, so long as we're certain to get to Ned 
in time to catch a bus back to Boulder. Daytime, nighttime, whatevah. I'm not picky about pace, either. I can probably do it in 7 hours; and
 would be perfectly fine with spending 11-12. No worries either way. :-)” I won’t be joining him, but I’m sure he’ll have company. Never mind that the elevation gain on that run is over 4,000 feet!

I am a big fan of Prospect Park Track Club. I enjoy the races, the camaraderie, the sense of community, and the-get-you-out-the-door-on-a-cold-day-because-people-are-waiting-for-you mentality that goes along with being part of such a vibrant running club. I look forward to joining you all back on the hills of Brooklyn this autumn.

Cleansing & Detox

Cleansing & Detox

By Christine Boutross

You've probably heard the words "detox" and "cleanse" a lot recently. They're pretty big buzzwords in the nutrition field. But what do they actually mean? The words themselves are pretty interchangeable. Let's start with dictionary definitions from Merriam-Webster.

Cleanse: to rid of impurities by or as if by washing

Detox: to free from an intoxicating or an addictive substance, or dependence on such a substance

Pretty much the same thing, right? So “cleansing” and “detox” mean taking out toxins and addictive stuff, like sugar, nicotine, alcohol, caffeine and chemicals (coined “SNACCs” by detox doctor Elson Haas). But removing toxins is only one side of the cleansing equation. The other side, which is just as crucial, is adding in nutrient dense whole foods. So the formula is simple – reduce SNACCs, increase whole foods.

Now, keeping our formula in mind, there are different degrees of cleansing. You can go out in the desert and live on water for 40 days to cleanse, or you can simply eliminate one food that you rely on every day. It could be your morning bagel, your 3pm mocha latte or the fast-food drive through lane you find yourself in on the way home from work.

Remember, eliminating toxins is only one side of the equation. So you’ve decided which SNACC you are getting rid of. Great! Now what do you add to your daily diet? We suggest green vegetables, and lots of them! Some examples of green vegetables are kale, collard greens, dandelion greens, spinach, and arugula. They are the foods most missing in modern diets, and are loaded with beneficial phytochemicals and cleansing fiber. You may be thinking “But I don’t have time to cook green vegetables.” Not to worry! This month’s Food Focus – wheatgrass – shows you a great shortcut to getting more green veggie power into your diet everyday.”

Food Focus: Wheatgrass

Wheatgrass first became widely known in the West in the 1930s, when a man named Charles Schnabel began touting its benefits. Schnabel claimed “15 pounds of wheatgrass is equivalent to 350 pounds of the choicest vegetables.” Although science hasn’t proven that claim, it has proven that wheatgrass has one of the highest concentrations of nutrients and is the fastest and easiest grass to grow. The best to way to absorb its goodness is by extracting the juice.

Wheatgrass works by filling nutritional gaps in the diet and cleansing the blood. It is high in vitamins A, C and E, containing the same amount of vitamin C as an orange. It is also an excellent source of essential B vitamins, which are necessary for normal brain and body development. Wheatgrass juice also contains many essential minerals (calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, sodium) that are necessary for healthy bones, teeth, hair and skin.

Wheatgrass juice contains natural enzymes, which help the body’s defense mechanism by strengthening cells and removing poisons from the blood stream. It helps eliminate toxins accumulated from eating processed food, breathing polluted air and drinking impure water. Wheatgrass is approximately 70% crude chlorophyll, which can alkalize the body and have a highly energizing effect.

Wheatgrass also has a dilating effect on the blood vessels, allowing blood to flow more easily. This improved circulation means valuable nutrients can be distributed more efficiently throughout the body. It also has an effect on red blood cells, increasing the iron content in the blood.

Where To Get Wheatgrass

  • Juice bars (Jamba Juice, Robek’s Juice) sell shots of wheatgrass
  • Whole Foods Markets carry frozen wheatgrass juices in individual containers
  • Grow your own wheatgrass at home (

How to Take Wheatgrass

  • Take on an empty stomach
  • Start with a quarter of a shot and build up to a full shot, gradually
  • Follow with a glass of water
  • Mix with other vegetable juices, such as celery, parsley and spinach

Recipe: Simply Green Juice

Stalk of celery
4 large spinach leaves
Half cup parsley 2-3 inch round of wheatgrass
1/4 cup water (optional)


  • Wash greens thoroughly, cut up celery and juice
  • Dilute with water if desired

Build Up – Don’t Break Down

Build Up – Don’t Break Down
Paul Soskind

As the fall season of racing approaches, many of us seek to increase our level of training to meet the challenges of marathons and other long races. To have success at such endeavors entails training that will ensure the outcome of an injury-free race and recovery.

There are several ways to achieve this that involves buildups of total mileage, intensity of effort and devotion. These can be incorporated simultaneously into your training if you follow a few simple guidelines.

Mileage should only be increased by 5-10% on a weekly basis, usually over a 6-10 week period with the last 10 days before “the race” as a gradual tapering down.

Duration should include building up over the same period to at least 10% over the time you expect to be on your feet to complete your race, e.g., if you are shooting for a four hour New York City Marathon, work up to a long run where you ignore your mileage but are on your feet for 4 hours and 20 minutes.

Intensity is the most difficult and potentially dangerous aspect of this training. It could include tempo runs at race pace, but at shorter distances than the race distance; speed workouts including races of 5K to 25K at faster than marathon pace to sharpen up and become accustomed to prolonged, sustained quality effort or interval training.

Interval training ideally should be done on an all-weather track because the distance you cover is precise and you will be able to use segments of the track (100m, 200m, 300m) for recovery jogs before commencing the next interval. It is also a softer, more forgiving surface. Alternatively, you can do intervals with timed running. For example, if you are planning a 3:15 marathon: mile intervals at seven minute pace with five minute recoveries; 1/2m intervals at 3:30 pace with two minute recoveries; 1/4m intervals at 1:45 with one minute recoveries. As you become more adept and your fitness level increases, you can increase the number of interval repeats.

In all three forms of buildup, beware of overtraining. What can start as a minor annoyance can become an injury that prevents you from racing. Back off; be prudent; show patience and you will be able to re-intensify and achieve your racing goals.

Beating the Clock

Beating the Clock

Paul Soskind

Father Time challenges us to beat him,

Ignoring rhyme or reason,

Weather, heat, cold or season

In pursuit of that ever elusive

Personal best

Which, if we ignore his admonitions

Of torture, aches and self-imposed pain

He will inflict upon us the bain

Of the breakdown lane.