I’m very nervous….

AR4R

 

“A Ride For Reclamation” US Vets Cycling 1,000 To Tampa For Charity!!

Through private sponsorship, A Ride For Reclamation (AR4R) is organizing a 1,000 mile cycling campaign consisting of US military veterans and outstanding volunteers. The cyclist are starting their journey at the historic Mount Vernon, VA. They are excited to continue cycling through VA, NC, GA, and FL along the way! The final destination will be in Tampa, FL on July 11th. The journey will raise money to help TeamRWB, whose mission “is to enrich the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity.” Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S), which provides resources for survivors of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. USFirst.org “Our mission is to show students of every age that science, technology, and problem-solving are not only fun and rewarding, but are proven paths to successful careers and a bright future for us all.” Boys and Girls Clubs of America “Our mission is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.

The campaign has established a donation website athttp://www.gofundme.com/ar4r2015. Director and founder Bill Murray states, “At a click of one button, we are giving people the ability to make donations to four phenomenal organizations and help change the world for the better for generations to come. It’s exciting to get the wheels moving and make a difference with every generous donation and mile we ride.”

The Team will be available for interviews/media to share their story, vision, and cause. Please contact AR4R Public Relations and Marketing Director, Alisha Feagin (alliear4r@gmail.com) to arrange media and/or further information on how you can support such an inspiring campaign.

https://www.facebook.com/events/760222094096560/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Ride-For-Reclamation/1688948968001415

Twitter: @AR4R2015

AR4R Egghead Challenge!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZ9vtDWkpiM&noredirect=1

So, as I sit here in The Courtyard by Marriott in Vienna, Va–I head off on another adventure.  We’re riding from Washington, DC to Tampa, FL–what the hell am I thinking!

I know I haven’t trained enough and this trip in my humble opinion was put together haphazardly!  This all started a couple weeks ago at The Air Force Classic, after the race we went for brunch, little did I know what this brunch would lead to.  As we sat there watching the race (Criterium around Crystal City), we had fun, re-fueled and made new friends.  Unbeknownst to me Bill was speaking with Marjorie about his plan to raise funds and ride to Tamp from Washington, DC–specifically depart from The Air Force Memorial.  She quickly said that I would do it, she was halfway right.  I ‘complain’ an ‘blame’ her for getting me into this but in all actuality nobody makes me do anything I don’t want to do, but it makes for a better story to say I was backed into it…LOL.

He explained his plan, I said ‘maybe’ outwardly to him, but in my head I was thinking ‘he’s fucking nuts!’  Seeing as the turn around time was supposed to be 6 days, originally we were supposed to leave on June 26, but cooler minds prevailed and we are leaving today.  Now, we are riding at night which I am not crazy about, but I am here to pedal!

Here’s our route, pretty aggressive the first few days.  The first day is in honor of Independence Day–get it 177.6, lol.  We plan on leapfrogging that day and on the 3rd day, the other days we’ll both be on the road for all the miles.

A Ride For Reclamation Route Details:

Mckenney VA, via route 1 177.6  3-4 July

Washington, DC to Mckenney, VA

Mckenney, VA to Raleigh via US Route 1 – 114 July 4-5

Mckenney, Va to Raleigh, NC

Raleigh, NC to Columbia, SC – 220 miles July 5-6

Raleigh, NC to Columbia, SC

Drive to Atlanta – Rest in Atlanta 6-7 July

Atlanta to Robins AFB GA via US 19, US 3 and Maynard Mill Rd. 109 miles July 7-8

Atlanta, GA to Robins AFB

Robins AFB to Valdosta GA – 138 miles July 8-9

Robins AFB to Valdosta, GA

Valdosta, GA to Crystal River FL via US 98 – 159 miles 9-10

Valdosta, Ga to Crystal River, Fl

Crystal River FL to Tampa FL Macdill AFB via US 98 / US 19 – 106 miles 10-11 July

Crystal River, Fl to MacDill AFB, Tampa Bay

17.4 miles around tampa!

I m both scared and excited at the same time, does that make any sense?  I guess that’s normal, but what’s normal now a day?  Well, I will be blogging about our adventure so stay tuned.

It’s been a long, long time since my last post!

It’s been almost a year since my last post, as I sit here and write.  So many things have happened in the last year, it’s hard to keep up.  My last post was in July 2014, I hadn’t yet gone to RAGBRAI, which I hadn’t been back to in several years.  It was a great time, met some life long friends and one in particular that always has no up to no good.  NO GOOD in a great way you know who you are!  LOL!

So first of all I have to say am watching Cast Away, the movie always makes me think of Jenn, my one love from college whom I definitely shouldn’t have let go, but LIFE HAPPENS and sometimes these things just don’t work out we want them too.  C’est la vie right?  There is a pat in the movie toward the end when Tom Hanks goes to see Helen Hunt and they embrace in his Jeep.  And for a moment they lose themselves and he starts driving away with her and she says ‘I love you, you’re the love of my life,’ they jump in the Jeep and start driving away and then she says ‘Chuck,’ and he finishes off by saying ‘you have to go home.’  I feel like that at times when I think of here, I have seen her on several occasions, when I hugged her it felt like we never broke up all those years ago, but ‘she had to go home,’ she will be the great love of my life that got away.

Cast Away

I’m at a point in my life where I feel like I’m at a crossroad, a sense of ennui has set in and I feel like it’s time for a change.  There is nothing that keeps my in Hoboken, I have a job that I marginally like, I have some good friends, but I’m gregarious and can make new friends anywhere right?  ;)  I never thought I would be single still at this point in my life.  I am saddened to think that I FAILED at marriage, I’m not used to failing at anything.  But I failed miserably at it–I ruined her life and mine seemingly.  No regrets–still does suck!

Enough of this melancholy BS, you read to hear about my adventures right?

July 2014, rode RAGBRAI, great ride with Team RWB.  We had a small group but, had such a great time.  I met this really nice woman Marjorie, with whom I spent most of the week bringing up the end of our group.  RAGBRAI is so great, you can go thru it like you’re riding Le Tour de France or you can meander and take in all the sight and happenings at this great annual event.  Obviously we chose the latter–had so much fun.  So much fun that I am going back again this year for another go at it with a different group.

As you all may or may not know my dream is to run a triathlon, but the swim has always been kicking my ass.  I did a couple of triathlon relays last year–West Point and Nations Tri, this year I’ll be doing the full triathlon all on my own–God help me!  I also will be doing a couple of Sprint Triathlon relay’s.  Today I signed up for a Austin 70.3 Half Ironman, although I am sure I shouldn’t have but anyone who knows me–GO BIG OR GO HOME right?  LOL.  So now it’s all about training for the big show(s) in the fall.  My Ironman occurs a week after the NYC Marathon, maybe I’m not that well though out..

I did the New York Road Runners 9+1 program last year, I have a guaranteed spot in the NYC Marathon this year which I am proud to say I will be running.  I am also running the Chicago Marathon in October as well as The Disney World Marathon in January.  I am pretty sure I will run The Paris Marathon in April.  I only registered for Paris 3 out of the last 5 years and ended up chickening out.  No turning back this time.

I am currently prepping for a ride from Washington, DC to Tampa, FL.  It’s called the Ride for Redemtion, we are raising funds for several charities one of which is Team RWB.  We will be leaving on July 3 and finishin about 9 days later.  Quite an aggressive schedule, you all know I’m not well thought out all the time–this is proff.  But hey life is all about the adventure right?  Stay tuned I’ll blog and let you know what’s going on during the ride.

 

It’s been a while

It’s been a while since I have posted to my blog!  A LOT has been going on, as I sit here at 6AM on July 4, I am slightly bummed out and excited at the same time.  July 4 is actually my anniversary–yes I was married on July 4, 1999.  It’s bittersweet because the marriage didn’t last, and no one can forget an anniversary on July 4th right?

The last several months have been a whirlwind, a lot of racing, a lot of working, even met a very nice lady in that time (more on that later).  I ran several races over the last several months, did the NYC 1/2 which I last wrote about, Brooklyn Half, Queens 10k, and sundry other smaller 5 milers.  I am almost at the point where I have completed my 9+1.  For the uninformed, NYRR has a program in which if one runs 9 races and volunteers at 1 you’ll get a GUARANTEED entry into the following years race.  I am at 6 races and have about a half-dozen more scheduled.  Evidently I WILL be running the NYC Marathon next year!  I was supposed to run the Paris marathon this year, but quite frankly I just didn’t train enough; I was using the NY Half as my gauge to see how I would do, as it was two weeks before Paris.  Unfortunately running a 2:20 half meant at least 5:30 marathon which I just wasn’t mentally prepared for.  5+ hours on the road?  There’s always next year…

I took this Shape Up NYC course thru the NYC Parks Department.  The main instructor in my class was Amanda Young one of the instructors at Equinox, she suggested I try the course which I did. The long and short of the course is that we are trained to be fitness instructors, we will then teach for the NYC Parks Department for the next 6 months as an internship and then we’ll graduate 6 months from now.  The course was a lot of fun, met a lot of great people and maybe have a great alternate career path if I so choose.  I start teaching sometime after the holiday, so look out NYC–I’m coming to get you.

As all this was going on, I met a wonderful lady in February; everything seemed to be going really well, but then June came, which is always a bit sad for me.  My mother’s birthday is on June 6 and I always am a little withdrawn this time of the year, so I withdrew.  I shut everyone out of my life and just withdrew.  Obviously when one is in a relationship this isn’t good, but what can I say, guys in general are like the CIA, we just don’t talk, LOL!  This didn’t go over to well, one thing led to another and everything fell apart.  I am so heartbroken, but there is no one to blame but myself.  I had a really great lady, and let her slip thru my hands.  I know this will past as everything else does, but it does leave me with an empty feeling when there was so much seemingly put into a relationship which in the end went nowhere.  I am sorry that I hurt her, but that’s too little too late.

SO, today I’ll be hitting the gym shortly, will be taking a Boot Camp class at SOHO Equinox and then see what happens.  I think I’ll jump on the Vespa and take a ride north and see what trouble I can get myself into.  It’s weird to have a Friday off, I shouldn’t complain, work has been HECTIC to say the lease. It’s been so crazy.  I can’t complain, because soon it will be fall and winter and we’ll see the seasonal slow down.

I’ll be off to RAGBRAI in a few weeks.  For the uninformed, RAGBRAI is a huge bike party in Iowa, we ride from western Iowa to eastern Iowa during the last full week of July when the prevailing winds blow from west to east.  It’s going to be a lot of fun, it always is.  I’ll be riding with Team RWB, evidently we want to get the word out about our organization.  We’ll fly the Eagle all week.  This year RAGBRAI is relatively short, only 416 miles.  It’s a northern route, only about 11,000′ of climbing, with a third of those on the last day!

Getting ready for a big trip in January, Hawaii to Sydney, Australia for an Australia/New Zealand cruise, back to Sydney then off to Japan to ski.  Gotta WERK hard!  While I am down, I’m not out, life will go on as it does.  See you on the road!

New York City Half Marathon Race Report

Image

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.

CROWDCROWD2CROED3

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!

TS3TS2GL 6THMUTAI&MO

PRO CHICK,JPG

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!

ASHOK FT2 ASHOK FT ASHOK FIN2 D FIN

ASHOK FT4

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

IMG_0324Image

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!

Image