May 2009 Archives

008 BK Half Marathon: 1:28:15

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M31 50 291 276 71 1:28:15 6:44 1:28:15 67.1 %

47212-435-032f.jpg The Brooklyn Half Marathon was to take place on a Saturday morning. My ritual, the night prior to any race, is to meet with some friends and have a big meal and a few drinks. I met Ila, Nancy, and Rachel at a bar in Hells Kitchen and we played iphone trivial pursuit, drank beers, ate some food and had a pretty good time. I was home and in bed by 11:30 or so.

Saturday morning I had my Cafe Bustelo and set off on the F Train to hit Prospect Park. It was so thrilling to see the subway packed with runners in their bibs ready to go!

I was late and so when I got tot the front corral it was packed, but thanks to some friendly guys they suggested I just hop over the gates as I had proper bib credentials!

The race began at 8 AM and it was already getting hot. We did 2 1/2 laps around prospect park (which I quite enjoyed as it was ever changing scenery). at mile 7 they threw us out onto Ocean Parkway heading south. It was a straight away of 6 miles into Coney Island. I was doing great running 6:20 miles until that straight away. It was out on the highway and so freakin boring. Miles 10-13 were of course brutal and I was grabbing water at every possible station. It was here, at mile 12, that my old running partner and friend from last summer Robert ran by, yelling "Hey Baker!!! How are you?" I was like "Im dying out here man!" and his reply was "Hang in there, one more to go!" This actually helped fuel me so thanks Robert! Running down the final stretch of the Coney Island boardwalk was memorable and scenic for sure, but I was winded and fighting to keep up my pace. I finished in 1:28:15 which is a personal record, but I had hoped to do better.

After the race I met up with Robert and then what do you know, Antonio (another running partner) rolls up beside us! We all decided to go have a few beers and watch the race finish out on the boardwalk. It was great! We had some laughs about our times and performance, caught up and relaxed in the sun.
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007 Great Hudson River Swim

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 Time
Distance Place
41:01 1.3 Miles
156

Todd had agreed to coach me and train me in my swimming starting January. My goal of course, being Triathlons. During all this training Todd discovered the Manhattan Island Foundation, a group that organizes open water swims in the waters surrounding Manhattan. He decided we need to do a few of these swims, and he being my coach, I couldn't refuse.

Our first race (and our first open water swim) was The Great Hudson River Swim, a 1.3 mile race from Christopher Street to the Battery Park Marina.

The night before Todd, Ila, and I went out for pasta and some wine, heading home early and getting to sleep by 11.

It was beautiful out the next day, highs reaching 70 degrees. The water temperature however, was a mere 60 degrees, very cold. We arrived on-time and checked in, getting our swim caps, tracking chips, and race numbers. We lounged in the grass until it was time to swim. We lined up according to our numbers and one by one jumped in the soup staying behind a set of start buoys. The minute I hit the water my hands and feet went numb (Todd and I had on wetsuits) and we treaded water for ten minutes until the first heat sounded.

As we set off I let the faster swimmers take off, as I was a rookie at this point and wasn't sure of how I was going to do. Immediately I was having trouble. It was the cold, every time I put my face in the water to begin my form, it was like plunging into and ice bucket. I did some breast stroke to get moving and was really not happy with my performance. In fact, I was ready to quit. It was then I thought about my marathon run and everything leading up to that point. I couldn't quit, so I plunged in and started doing 2 strokes per breath patterns.

Taking a left out past the first buoy I was now in the current and heart of the Hudson River (aka The North River up until about 1950). I was doing just fine at this point and was getting comfortable with my pace, mostly I think because my body warmed up. The crazy thing about the whole thing is that at no point was I even concerned with drowning. 6 months ago I would have been freaking out.

Halfway through the race I stopped right in the middle of the Hudson. ( I had no intentions of winning this race) I just wanted to really take in the surreal moment of being smack in the middle of the Hudson, looking at Jersey City, and then over to downtown Manhattan.

Pressing onward I really got going. I was back to my 3 strokes per breath routine and moving. At the marina entrance I nearly missed the left turn and could have been swept out into the sea! I had a few swimmers by me making the last 50 yards of the swim which fired me up to really go. We climbed the ladder and were on dry land! My legs were very wobbly. My friends and family were yelling my way and snapped a bunch of photos.

They hosed us off on the dock and I made my way to find Todd to high five him. We had done our first open water swim and it was a great accomplishment. Hudson_Group.jpgtodd_baker_swim.jpg
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006 Wall Street Run - 3 Miles: 18:22

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M31 85 68 68 14 18:22 6:07


WallSt.jpgJim, Ed and I signed up to the American Heart Association Wall Street Run after work on e Tuesday Mike missed the deadline so he would cheer us on at the finish.

The race was mayhem as there were no corrals at the start, oly packs of people varying in speed. We all agreed to just enjoy ourselves.

At the start I was basically bobbin and weavin in and out of the crowds trying to get up to an enjoyable pace. I eventually did. It was a really fun run because we would through the financial district like mice! At John Street Todd and his team from Expand the Room came out and cheered me on which was a goo booster!

I met up with Mike at the finish and we cheered on Jim and Ed as they finished. This marked the first race we had run together where we could actually go get beers after. We made our way up to Broome Street Ale house in SoHo and did just that. It was a great end to the night.

005 Healthy Kidney - 10K: 37:55

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AG %
M31 37 202 181 40 0:18:44 6:08 37:55 350 70.8 %

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The Healthy Kidney was my first 10K in quite some time. I spent the night before in Brooklyn at my friend Stephanie's house warming party with the intentions of getting home by 11. Try 1:30 AM.

SIDENOTE: After much taunting from Mike, Jim and Ed about how I wear track pants to run, I decided to get some shorts. This was my first race with them and I did feel the difference.

I was tired the next day, but in good shape for the run. It was overcast and looked like rain.

I arrived at the front corral and it was very empty. I had been told that there were Olympians running in this race so therefore overlooked any chance I might have had at placing. The people around me in the front pack were indeed hard core. You can normally tell when their legs come up to your head.

The gun went off and we all bolted. This was the first race I had been in where I literally crossed the Start a second or two after gun time. I was up to pace in no time and ran my first mile in 5:54. Not bad but I needed to slow it down. At the top of Central Park it started to downpour. My headphones came out and wouldn't stay in so I ran n the rain. It was actually very serene and peaceful, the sound of the rain and the footsteps. Mile 5 and 6 I got to run next to some Olympic fellow named 'Alex'. I know this because everyone kept cheering for him and I was like "What about me? I need some pep too!" I gunned it through the finish line and thought my heart was going to explode. I wanted to finish in under 38 minutes and I had just made my mark!

Out of nowhere I hear "Yeah, go Baker" from the sidelines! I look over and its my friend of 12 years Melissa sitting sideline! It turns out her boyfriend (another good friend of mine -I matched them up years ago) was running the race as well. I came around and waited with her to see Joey D finish. We cheered him on then met up and grabbed some snacks catching up on life.


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Recent Comments

  • Sylvan: "Little did I know that the greatest cold front Florida read more
  • eliz: Nice race report!! So frustrated it took me so read more
  • eliz: Nice race report!! So frustrated it took me so long read more
  • eliz: Nice race report!! So frustrated it took me so long read more
  • RJR: I've never had any desire to run Disney, but after read more
  • Regina: Holy Crap! That is awesome and that is a weird read more
  • Morgan: Great recap Chris! You were totally killing it out there read more
  • MelissaH: I know that you're disappointed that you didn't BQ, but read more
  • Jenny: It really is a great medal! read more
  • Regina: Nice going. I also hate the city on those holidays, read more