New York City Half Marathon Race Report

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So I ran the NYRR Half Marathon on Sunday!  Hurray for me, this was my first really long ORGANIZED/TIMED run(other than a Spartan), everything else was just practice.  The days leading up tot he race I had such anxiety, up at 2AM, 3AM, and just nervous in general.  But I committed to it, so I have to do it right?  NO turning back, etc.

As I got up at 3AM on race morning, I set my alarm for 4AM, but I was up around 2AM, and just lay there thinking about what was ahead, I managed to lay there but I did want to get up.  I finally got out of bed around 3:45AM, ate, took a long hot shower and off I went.

October was the last race I did–The Men’s Health Urbanathlon!  Funny they both started out the same way–FRIGGIN COLD!  This morning it had to be below freezing, I decided to wear Skins under my Team RWB shirt.  I figured it would warm up a bit during the race so I didn’t want to have a ton of clothes on which I would want to get rid of during the race.  Well, I came up snake eyes on that because it never warmed up, I was never actually cold, the perpetual motion kept me warm most of the time.

OF course I would meet Diane and her friend Debra, Diane seems to know EVERYONE.  I can’t even count the number of people I have met thru Diane and still are friends with and yet I only see Diane maybe once or twice a year.  As soon as we met I suggested we just huddle–it was so damn cold, that was probably the best 2 minutes prior to the race, it would have gotten weird if we continued to stand there hugging much longer.

We were in wave three, so we started around 8:20AM, I believe.  Started around 66th St or so I wasn’t sure, but as we went out, had a great mix of songs and I found the first few songs really got me going, I actually had to temper my pace as I know this was a 1/2 marathon, I didn’t want to blow up early.  The crowds cheering were great, all the funny signs and all the great NYers, they’re the best.  Look no matter what they say about us New Yorkers, in the end we show up for the show and give it our all, spectator and competitor alike.

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Now I hadn’t run in about 2 weeks, as most of my friends know–I HATE RUNNING, but running is one of those symbolically ‘thumb my nose’ at the sport things for me, I have to do it even though I hate it!  I shouldn’t say I hate it, but since I’m not good at it–I hate it; on the flip side I have to practice to be good at it right?  OK, NOTE TO SELF PRACTICE MORE!

So I ran all the way up thru Harlem, when we made the turn at the circle, I kept going then we hit Harlem Hill, like the old days with the bike I slowed down to a crawl, so much so I decided to walk up the hill; it seemed like I was walking as fast as some people were running.  Karamjeet had told me about a technique of running a mile and walking a mile, I didn’t quite do that, but as with Spartan races, I did slow it down when the terrain went uphill…

There were more and more people on the course, mind you we hadn’t even left the park yet, we were now going down west drive toward the exit to run down 7th Avenue.  So many people, and so many spectators, it really gave me a little lift under ‘my wings.’  We were probably about an hour into the race and in the back of my mind I was thinking man the pros have already finished and are having a beer!

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When we finally exited the park, we were running dow 6th Ave?  The streets were filled with people, I wanted to walk a little but I couldn’t it was as if the people gave me energy to keep going.  It really was an awesome feelingASHOK 6TH

and I couldn’t stop.  We rounded the corner at Times Square towards the West Side Highway and there seemed to be more people all cheering us on!  I continued to run towards the West Side Highway, I was nervous because it was still cold and now we’d be running along the water with a headwind–WTF!  I kept going, I won’t lie, I did walk a little probably about 1/2 mile in total just to catch my breath I knew I wanted to be running to the finish line.  As I pass the Freedom Tower, I couldn’t help but get choked up as I couldn’t believe I’m almost at the end of this thing and I’M STILL ALIVE AND FEELING GOOD.  2 years ago I was watching it on TV and wishing I could do it and here I am DOING IT!

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I crossed the line at 2:35:13, I didn’t break any land speed records but I FINISH!  So now that my Half PR (Personal Record), next time I will break the two hour mark.  If I go by that pace then I should be doing a full marathon in just over 5-6 hours, hmmmmGL 6TH FINISH FINISH BLANKET DOWNTOWN D&D FIN D FIN3

See you at a marathon coming soon….

Holiday Blues…

I recently moved into an apartment in Hoboken by myself!  LOL, it’s been a long time since I have lived by myself.  I would even dare say I have NEVER lived by myself.  I lived with my mother, then went away to school, had roommates, moved to Seattle, had a roommate, moved back to the east coast, had a roommate, got married, had a wife/roommate LOL.  Moved back to NJ with roommates, there has always been someone there now I am seemingly alone and I absolutely HATE IT!

I hate this time of year, it is no wonder that the suicide rate is higher this time of year, being that everyone is with their family and when you don’t have any family it makes it that much tougher.  The next month will be brutal as everyone prepares for the holidays and the new year I will be dreading it–the holidays that is.  I look forward to the new year, a new chance for whatever right?

I stay late at my office because I hate going home to the empty apartment, I absolutely just hate being there, did I mention how much I hate being in my apartment?  As I am writing this post I am sitting in my office, because I dread having to go back to that apartment!  That’s right as you are sitting at home, I am sitting in my office typing away this ‘holiday manifesto!’  Silly right?  When I am in my apartment I think of all kinds of sinister things, none of which end with me being ALIVE and happy.  Is this strange or is it normal?  What can I say I guess I am a ‘people person’ to some extent. 

Please don’t call me to ask me if I am ok (I’m sure I won’t do anything I will regret); I have plenty of friends and being with them I greatly enjoy, it’s when I leave their company is when the ‘demons’ start to swirl around in my head.  SO as you enjoy the holidays remember there are people out there that the holidays just aren’t that ‘hunky dorey’ for.

Happy Turkey Day!

2013 Men’s Health Urbanathlon at Flushing Meadows

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So this past Saturday, myself and several of my friends went to do the Men’s Health Urbanathlon!  Obviously we knew right off the bat this wasn’t going to be a Spartan or CMC, but it was going to be a fun run.  AND it was, there was A LOT of running, the course was 10 miles with 10 obstacles, nothing crazy.  We started out and ran for about a mile then went over the orange traffic barriers, ok no problem, over under fencing and then the traffic barriers.

The course was beautiful, when we got there it was FREEZING, but it warmed up nicely in the end.  Irregardless I went with shorts, calf sleeves and skins, I was covered but there was still enough ventilation.  The running course was beautiful, we ran in Flushing Meadows Park where they had the 1969 World’s Fair, obviously I don’t remember any of it as I was only 0 years old!  LOL!  The park still has many of the monuments/statues from when it was there.  It was pretty cool.  I hadn’t been back there since I was 10 yrs old or something like that we would go with the YMCA on Sunday trips to a museum there I believe.  So it was a little trip down memory lane in a way for me, I remembered some of the stuff and some of it I was fascinated by–feeling like a tourist in the city I have lived in for almost all my life.

As we ran towards the second obstacle there were police barricades, look it’s the Urbanathlon–go with it!  Up and over, no problem, just like we did in The Bronx in the 80′s, lol.  More running, the scenery was pretty, we ran along a lake and it was very nice.  The field had spread out and there was a lot of room to move.  At the beginning there was a little bit of a backlog, but it soon opened up nicely and we had a lot of space.  The obstacles were still a little crowded but it seemed to move along fine.

The third obstacle–MY NEMESIS, the monkey bars…and parallel bars, what am I Kurt Thomas?  Got about 4 rungs and fell off, went back and tried again, got across 4 rungs, at this point I walked thru and tried the parallel bars.  I hadn’t been on parallel bars since elementary school when I was but a quarter the size I am now and I could move this mass which is my body!  As I flung my body across, my left arm slipped–BOOM right down on my left bicep, it still hurts today!  Maybe next year monkey bars and parallel bars, maybe next year…

As we continued to run back up the opposite side of the lake we came back to the overpass we ran thru and there was another over under thru, 5 foot walls and under the walls, back to running again.  The next obstacles were jumps over yellow poles, think of a group fitness class with the rubber bands around your feet, and you jump over something.  There were crates and these little yellow poles to get over.

The next obstacle we came to was Arthur Ashe Stadium, up the stairs, and around half of the stadium, and then back down the stairs.  It was here that I saw Mel and Karen running thru, whew I was in front of someone!  LOL, they both started after us so no big victory.  There stairs were very long it seemed like, especially after we had already run 7 miles at this point.  There were some very enthusiastic people cheering just outside the stadium.  You would have thought it was a lot of people, but there were three of them–but they were LOUD!

As we left the stadium another loop around the park and the fountain and then back towards Citifield where I could smell the finish line!  As I rounded the corner, I could see the entire festival going on, and there were people who finished who cheered up as we ran through, tried to speed up but was getting tired at this point.  The next obstacle was the tire carry over the Jersey barricades, I don’t know what the hell Jersey Barricades are, all they were were elevated tracks which we walked over with a tire over our neck.

Next back into Citifield where we would run up and down those damn stairs.  I remember this from Spartan, which seemed much more brutal, but it was fun running up and down the stairs and thru the stadium, funny this was the second time I’ve been thru the Mets locker room.  It was really uninspiring, no wonder those guys suck…(oooohhhhh).  We then got to run along the foul lines and the warning track and back out for the last couple of obstacles.

As we ran back thru the parking lot, we had the taxi cab hood slide, which was cute, just slide across the hood.  It was funny to see people trying to get across trying to slide on their bare skin–OUCH!  Then there was the cargo net climb over the school bus and of course what’s a good obstacle course without a 10′ wall.  I got to it and was tired and, I went back and took a running jump and tried pulling myself over.  There were guys there to help get you over, think ‘Everest’ at Tough Mudder, but not as difficult, the one guy grabs my arm and say pull yourself over and I look at him and say ‘I AM pulling myself over,’ but I wasn’t going anywhere!  Then like an angel I feel some grab my feet and give a little push which is what I needed!  FINISHED!

To sum it up, a fun race, good times with some very nice people.  Although at the races I go to, we start out as a group and everyone runs their own race.  In any group it will always be tough to find people who are the exact same fitness level that I am, but the win is finishing.  Although I am starting to get more competitive…The next big challenge Paris Marathon, only 158 more days to train…STAY TUNED!

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9lbs in one week? WTF? A LOT of WERK, and good clean eating…

OK, so I got back on the ball since last Friday and really hitting it and eating clean. I am always amazed what I can do when I buckle down; lost 9lbs this week–WTF! I credit it to eating clean and WERK at the gym!

I got my ass handed to me tonight when I took back to back classes with Caitlin, holy shit she is tough. I had forgotten how intense her classes are, and fun. I did so many burpees and push ups it was just ridiculous. I am running everyday day, put in 10 miles this week, not much but a good start. I want to start running on the Greenway on the west side, any takers out there?

I bought a slow cooker a couple of weeks ago, thank to my friend Melissa she motivated me to start cooking instead of buying all the time. I mean I do buy good stuff which can get expensive, but it so nice to make a meal which will last for several days and keep me out of the Aspen Market. You should subscribe to her blog, (http://steakssquatsandsundresses.wordpress.com/), really good stuff and great workout advice. She’s really got her crap together!

Busy weekend ahead, I have the row-a-thon in Monroe, CT tomorrow. We are rowing 50,000m (31 miles for the uninformed). I was practicing a little, rowed 3000m in 27 minutes–WHICH SUCKS! It’s 10 person team so we’ll make it thru, or it’ll kill us! LOL

Pas de cadeaux!

Lemond is doing a new re-launch of his Lemond Bikes after separating with Trek. They’ve been doing a social media BLITZ, watching and reading this brings back so many memories. After Major Taylor,I would say Greg Lemond is the reason why cycling became so popular in the 19080′, this is long before Lance who also did a lot for the sport.

I so remember this tour, the team held him back and kept telling him Hinault was right behind, in fact when he was the leader on the road. Really pisses me off even now!

http://greglemondfans.wordpress.com/2013/10/12/la-vie-pas-claire/

2013 Civilian Military Combine Bryce Mountain Resort, VA

Here’s a great re-cap of the race held this past weekend. I would have went but was committed to another race which in turn was cancelled due to the government shutdown.  Coupled with I was going to run Tough Mudder on Sunday, it would have been a TOUGHER weekend!

http://strongfigure.com/2013/10/cmc-at-bryce-2013/