Alas, the last bit of wood is burning away. It’s been many years, but because we are hosting Christmas this year, my sister having sold the house in which we have long done it, we wanted to do a test run of the fireplace. And it worked. So I spent a deal of time reading, glass of Scotch helping me, by the fireplace in the living room, which happens to share a wall with the Porch.

Couple of things. After my run on Friday, I stopped by the Bronxville Running Company, as is my wont, and chatted with Josh Hibbs (holder of the record for the Bronxville 2.5 mile course). He’s debating whether to focus on an HM in the spring or on track, 3000s and 5000s. As I think of it (and I’ve never been anywhere near as fast as he is), I’ve been going through something of the same debate and, as I think about it, a man who is tired of track-racing is tired of life. By which I mean that there’s something exhilarating about running fast. Of course speed is relative, person-to-person and distance-to-distance. As Brenn pointed out in our last New York Running Show episode, while a cross 15K can be tough — we were speaking of the Pete McArdle 15K at Van Cortlandt — a hard 5K is pretty much as tough as things get. In terms of intensity, this is probably true, although I think that a 10K is tougher because while you’re not as red-lined you’re at for longer.  (Speaking of which, Julie has a nice report of the second in her 5K-race series.)

And doing stuff on a track just feels more intense. I say this as if I know what I’m talking about. But I’ve raced only one 5000, in which Greg Diamond blew me away in the final 400. I do hope, however, to give it another shot in 2012. They are, however, rare. I think the people behind the new USATF NYC affiliate are thinking of improving the quality of meets. This, though, is in the back of my mind. A hard 5000 in the spring? Something to shoot for.

What does this mean in the real world? It means that my mindset now a week before Christmas fueled by a couple of glasses of Johnnie Walker Black and fondly remembering those recent track work-outs I did (and listening to a podcast from Hawaii where the temperature is 76) is to race fast. Fast, as I say, being relative.

Speaking of fast, my friend Mark Thompson was among my clubmates at SSRMC and he and I differed on the frequency of racing. I was against it; he lived for it. Shows what I know. He is on a tear, hitting PR after PR, including in today’s Ted Corbitt 15K. Congrats to Mark who is a runner’s runner.

The guys at LetsRun have a link to an interview with Terrence Mahon about the men’s and women’s OTs. Good stuff. Note especially what he says about a shortened marathon-specific training approach, although that assumes one comes into it with a solid base. And here’s a status report from Jaymee, who’s heading to Houston for the trials. Yikes!

Speaking of running, I’ve thought it might be worthwhile to throw in some tempo-work on my Friday track runs. A little rusty, I risked it this past Friday, 7 laps at about 6:14 pace and my legs didn’t fall off. I figure a bit of speed regularly can’t hurt. I’m just glad to get it done outside before snow closes the track.

Apropos of nothing, here’s a cool 2011 movie compilation. I don’t go to movies much. But here’s a cool compilation:

And here’s fire: